Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm a loser baby.....

And why am I a loser?
Because tonight was my first class of the spring semester.
So, why am I blogging rather than sitting in Baltimore, soaking up the wisdom of my professors?????

Because Mother Nature had other plans.....

The girls decided to "play" was icy, rainy and altogether miserable outside.
But they thought it was cool because they didn't even need their sled to go down the hill. Snow pants worked just fine....

I'm a loser because I probably could have made it to school - I was more worried about getting home since the temp is dropping dramatically as I write this. And...I'm ashamed to say....I haven't even ordered my books lately. YIKES!! There's been so much going on that I have been too distracted to think abut school. For the record, this if the very first time - ever - that I have been this disinterested at the start of a semester. I fear I am quickly burning out. I still have a year to go and I just can't get myself excited! SIGH......

On a lighter note, Sydney got her face painted at a birthday party this weekend. She was determined to leave it on until school Monday (NOT). She was extremely disappointed to find that it had rubbed off overnight on Saturday. I was extremely disappointed to see that her pillow case was now a smear of purple, yellow and pink.

She quickly got over her disappointment when she lost her top front tooth - the tooth that has been hanging by a thread for a week now that she would NOT pull out. Brian actually reached in her mouth and tugged on it. She didn't realize it was gone until she saw it in his hand.

And finally, poor tortured Chauncey. This dog puts up with so much....
He's being attacked by the robot......

...and he's not impressed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do you ever feel......

...Like everything is against you?

Like nothing can go your way?

Like someone is trying to tell you something?

That's me today.

I've been involved in something for the past year and a half. And NOTHING has gone right.

Every time I turn around, another brick wall is thrown up in my path.

Another issue develops that just beats me down.

I'm beyond reason at this point.

I'm defeated.

I've done what I can and it's not enough.

It's straining my mental health.

It's affecting my marriage.

It's turning me into a person I don't like.

One that doesn't sleep.

One who's mind is constantly racing to find answers.

One who is worried that I'm leading my family down the wrong path and getting us into a situation that will one day come back and bite me in the behind.

One who's snappy with everyone (although given my impatient personality, it's possible no one has noticed).

I always thought that if you worked hard. paid your bills, were frugal with your money, were a good person, were responsible, weren't frivolous, made plans, plans, PLANS, anticipated the worst and tried your hardest, you'd be OK.

Apparently that's not the case. You have to work harder, try harder, DO MORE.

And some things are completely out of your control.

I've been told I have control issues before, and I never REALLY believed it, until now.

Lest you think the worst, please let me say that I am not sick (nor is anyone in my family that I know of), not in danger of bankruptcy, not in danger of foreclosure (if you knew me, you'd know how conservative I am with money and would know that is NOT something that I would take lightly or let happen), and haven't broken any laws. This is just a life decision that isn't as easy as I once thought it would be. The economy, the real estate market, and a host of other issues are not on my side at the moment.

I now have to take a step back, let the chips fall where they may, and accept what fate has in store for me and my family.

I'm not a religious person by definition - I don't go to church, I have my issues with the Bible (it's an historical document written in the perspective of the author and I'm sorry, but I can't blindly take those words at face value - God made us living, thinking human beings - if he didn't want us to question things, he wouldn't have given us that ability. I'm getting off my soapbox now).

But I DO believe in God.

And I pray. And I ask Him questions. And, quite frankly, I wonder what he does up there.

So, even though it is totally against my nature, my logic and my very being, I have to leave this up to Him. It will either work out - or it won't. I KNOW that I have done everything I can - and more. It's truly out of my hands. And if things don't go as planned, well...I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So there you have it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 20, 2009

Tomorrow we install a new President - one that I hope will make some necessary changes for this weary country.

I have my reservations - because I don't think that ANYONE can bring about the dramatic change we need so quickly in such troubled times.

Because to see someone lifted up so high and placed on a pedestal only makes me wary of how hard he can fall.

Because this is a whole new ball game.

I've never experienced the energy and hope that is being exuded by the masses. makes me nervous.

Stop treating him like a God.

He's a man.

And he'll make mistakes, as did the 43 men before him.

Let's hope this love and pride and hope for him doesn't turn into hate and disrespect and despair when that happens.

Regardless of everything else, he has my respect - and my support.

And my hope for a better future.....someday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This is the story of a scaredy cat mom

Well, after much thought and consideration, I decided NOT to take Olivia down to the Inauguration.

And I even had tickets!!

I know, I know......I have really mixed feelings about it.

Olivia, however, doesn't have mixed feelings at all. She's just plain pissed at me.

On the one hand - WOW! How cool to go to such an historic event.
How wonderful for my daughter to be able to experience it at such a young age.
What an amazing thing to see IN PERSON.
On the other hand -what a logistical nightmare the day would be.....
After reading up on the events of the day and our transportation options (which SUCK when going to DC on a normal day), I figured we'd have to get up and out the door no later than 6 AM to try and catch the Marc train which would put us in DC - with all of the delays, extra security, and two billion people headed there as well - hopefully before 9 AM. Which meant that we would then have quite a hike to our allotted roped off "Space" (near the Capitol) where we would then have to stand, in the cold, with no sign a port-a-pot anywhere, for several hours, risking being trampled, dealing the crowds, the security, etc., etc., etc., all in the hopes that we could see a glimpse of the parade or jumbo tron. I think if it wasn't just me and Liv, I would have considered it more. But I didn't know anyone else who had tickets and quite frankly I was just a tad bit chickenshit that somehow Olivia and I would get separated and/or - God Forbid - something really bad would happen and we'd be stuck in DC trying to get out of the city with all of the other millions of people.

When it came right down to it, I wasn't willing to stand in the cold for hours, with no potty, no food, no drink (unless of course I was willing to pay $20 for a bottle of water from some random vendor) and an 8 year old who would be SO OVER IT after about a half an hour.

The other reason, the REAL reason, the one which I keep pushing out of my head, is that I was worried I would be putting the welfare and safety of my child at risk.

And I'm just not willing to do that.

So, we're staying home. The kids are off school and we'll have a few friends over and watch it on our nice big TV, in HD, in the warmth and comfort of our home. We'll probably see more and we'll certainly be more comfortable.

It definitely won't be the same.

But it'll be great, nonetheless.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The girls showed thier support yesterday at school......

Good Luck Ravens!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Enough Already!

Enough with the parties. Enough with the Holidays. I'm over it. Let's get back to Bizness here!!

As part of my job, I often have to attend community meetings to prepare people for a future development that's going to happen near their neighborhoods. I also go to County planning board meetings, commission meetings, etc. I am constantly astounded at some of the ridiculous things people say at these meetings. I understand that no one wants new homes or commercial buildings built around them - I sympathise with them because I've been there as a homeowner - and the majority have well thought out, logical arguments. But let's face it - development is a way of life. It HAS to happen. And it doesn't matter where you live - the people that were there first didn't want your house built. It's universal. Complain all you want, but you live in a house and a neighborhood that someone else found offensive. It sucks, but, there it is. Most reasonable people accept this and just want their concerns heard and want to work with Developers to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on their community. And most Developers WILL work with you and try to address your concerns as best they can. I'm not saying all Developers are angels - God knows there are crooked, dishonest people everywhere. But I can honestly say, 99.9% of the ones I have worked with will bend over backwards to work with you. Most people are satisfied with this - maybe not happy - but satisfied.

Others though- WHEW!!! Some people won't be satisfied no matter what you do or how hard you try.

Some of the more interesting comments I've heard over the years:

When discussing the approval of a gated active adult community (55+ years of age)..

President of the Commission: "I don't think it's right to round up the old people and put them behind bars".

Um, seriously? Someone actually voted for you? We aren't trying to keep them locked in - they're trying to keep us out! They want some peace and quiet man! And it's not a requirement that you live there if you're over 55. We aren't going to come around and check everyone's age. "Oops, sorry pops - you're 56 - that's too old to be out in the community - you got to GO. Get in the bus. We'll take you to your new home. Behind the gate. You can never leave. Life as you know it is over (insert evil laugh here)." Jeesh!

During various meetings with NIMBYs....

Concerned citizen: "I don't want you to build more houses because it's not safe for my children to play in the street with all this increased traffic."

Well, no shit Sherlock. Playing in traffic is DANGEROUS. Have you thought about - perhaps - making them play in the yard with adult supervision? I'm just sayin'....

Concerned citizen #2: "I go a'shootin in my back yard. If you build those houses and there's kids playing and they get shot, well, it's not my fault"

Um, yeah, it kind of is. Because shooting someone is a FELONY you idiot. And why the hell are you shooting in the middle of suburbia? And why are your neighbors OK with this? Oh. Right. Thier kids are playing in traffic. It's all good.

Concerned Citizen #3: "Well, I moved here from North Dakota. I like wide open spaces. I didn't move here to be surrounded by houses"

Dude!! You moved to the Washington Metro area. You probably should have thought that out a little more.

Amazing. And always entertaining......

And while I'm listening to one or more of these diatribes, Brian is home with the girls, who get into our bed every night at 8 to watch television before they are officially made to go to bed. 9 times out of 10, they fall asleep in our bed and we have to transfer them to their own. So, Brian gets Sydney and makes the required "potty stop" before putting her in her own bed. She sits on the toilet, goes pee, and he tells her she has to wipe - which is something she DOES NOT like to do (why???? ewwwww.) She refuses. She's basically asleep sitting up. He tells her several more times. She gets down from the toilet. He sits her back on it and hands her some toilet paper. She makes a face, wipes...and promptly throws the dirty toilet paper at him, gets down, pulls her undies up and stomps off to bed.

It was at this point in the story where I burst into laughter and couldn't talk. (I'm so wrong. I was just glad she didn't do it to me!)

I asked him what he did. "What could I do? I was stunned. And actually I was laughing because she was half asleep."

So I told him what to do.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The last of the parties...

Well, not the LAST party. The last of the HOLIDAY parties....

Every year we have a little holiday "get together" for friends and family. Usually it's the weekend between Christmas and New Years, but this year we had it the last weekend in January. It's nothing big, nothing extravagant, just an excuse for us all to get together.

This year, I was lucky enough to have my friend Beth come down and visit, and she got to be at the party! Beth and I used to work together and she recently moved from North Carolina back to her home state of Pennsylvania. We had SUCH a great time.
Beth and her two little boys - Jacob and Johnathan - arrived on Friday and stayed through Sunday. I haven't seen her in almost four years, although we have always kept in touch. Did you ever meet someone and just "click"?

That's Beth and me. It was one of those friendships where, we worked together for awhile, but then she moved, we moved, children were born, relationships ended, more moving, etc. etc. and all of a sudden we realized it had been YEARS since we'd actually seen each other! Beth is the one who got me into blogging, so you have her to thank for my frequent ramblings.....
Her boys and my girls played - HARD - all weekend. God love her - I don't know how she does it. There's a very good reason God gave me girls. I simply don't have the energy for boys. And her boys are well behaved! How do parents with children who aren't so well behaved do it every day?
She helped me get ready for the party and I'm so glad they were here.....

Playoff Game. Here's where the guys sat all night. Well, until Matt got a little upset at the Colts, there were children present and he told me it was time for him to go before he got out of control. I sent him down to mom's, where the house was empty (because they were at my house). Problem solved!

Me and Staci, who lives in Georgia. And Olivia. See is you can find her in the pictures...she popped her little head in almost all of them - but it's very subtle....kind of like playing "Where's Waldo"

Seriously. The kitchen is the smallest room in a fairly large house. Can't you people find somewhere else to congregate?

One of my bestest friends EVER - Megan and her new husband Mike (giving the peace sign=)

Brian and his Indian sister Staci. They both have distant relatives that were American Indians. Apparently that gives them some sort of "bond". I'll tolerate their Indian connection comments - until I find them chanting with feathers on their head. Then, not so much.

Beth's oldest son, Jacob - so stinking cute =)

Staci, Kristy and me.

Dea, Cheryl and Jenn

Marianne, Stuart and Nick.

Me and Neil.
Neil and his lovely wife Deb, and their kids, Aubrey and Jerrid, lived next door to us at our old house. I miss them terribly. They were the greatest neighbors and friends....

And here's Aubrey.

Oh, if only I had looked that good at 22. And to think when I first met her she was only 10! She's grown into a beautiful and incredibly intelligent young lady - she's graduating cum laude in May. WOW!

The end of the evening....

Sharon - my high powered world traveling friend. Love her!
And this is what we looked like after everyone left........

Brandon - looking distinguished....

Ok - Now I'm getting punchy...

I was saying the most profound thing here.......I just don't remember what it was....

Oh yeah - that's nice. Aren't you jealous that he's mine?

I think she needs another drink!

It was a great time. It's quite something to think that almost all of my friends are people I have known - and still talk to on a regular basis - for more than 20 years. I'm so lucky to have them.

That being said, I don't plan on leaving the house, having anyone come to my house, answering my phone or in general being sociable at all for the next week or so.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Birthday New Year!

Yesterday was this guy's birthday.....

He took the day off from work, the kids went to a friends house to play and he stayed home and played on the Wii. He's now a "pro" at everything. I'm the only one in the family that hasn't had much Wii time so, basically, I suck.

I worked all day yesterday and when I got home we had steamed clams to tide us over until the seafood curry was done. Since I didn't get home from work until after 6:00, dinner was pretty late - like 8:00 - so the kids crashed soon after.

New Years Eve is really only celebrated here because it's Brian's birthday. We've never been big New Years Eve party people and we've spent the past 14 years safe at home, with our own little traditions. So, last night after the kids fell asleep, we snuggled on the couch and desperately searched for something interesting to watch.

It was a futile attempt.
After scanning through all of the different New Years Eve programs, we came to the following conclusions:

1. It was REALLY freaking cold in NYC
2. The people stand who stand in Times Square are all crazy. Or drunk. Possibly both.
3. Music today pretty much sucks.
4. The run down of the artists playing last night looked and sounded like roll call at the prison.
5. And they all looked and sounded ridiculous. But apparently they don't know that.
6. Carson Daly is quite possibly the most unentertaining host in the history of hosts.
7. Ryan Seacrest - Really?
8. No one will ever compare to Dick Clark. Not even Dick Clark. It was sad.

So we flipped through the channels and found an old favorite..

The Full Monty.

This movie makes me laugh every time I see it. Within three minutes of turning it on, we were both laughing.
Mom and dad stopped by after their dinner with friends and they brought champagne so the four of us could toast the new year together. Brian and were half asleep when they came over, so we probably weren't the best company, but we ended up drinking fabulous champagne out of my "oo la la" glasses and watching the ball drop.

The best part of the evening? Giving my honey a kiss at midnight, being with mom and dad to ring in a new year and listening to Frank Sinatra being played over the loudspeakers in Times Square.

Now THAT's music.