Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday 13: End of Summer

Thirteen Things about THIS WEEK
  1. The lateness of this 13 says a lot, doesn't it?
  2. It's the last week of the kids' summer break.
  3. The return will come none too soon.
  4. We still don't have a way to get them home after school.
  5. I'm apparently the only one who cares.
  6. I've only had one migraine so far this week.
  7. The migraine medication my doc gave me actually works... eventually.
  8. The new dosage of Percocet he gave me isn't covered by my "discount card"-- to the tune of $129 a bottle.
  9. It's darn good we got that check, isn't it?
  10. I still haven't sent Caty's birthday present-- she turned 1 on the 17th!
  11. Isn't she cute?
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  12. We discovered mice and centipedes in our house this week.
  13. They came in to get out of the rain-- yay, we got rain!!!

    Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Back-to-School Whine

The Man went back to school this week (after nearly two weeks off--woohoo!), in case you were wondering where I've been. (That, and I was plagued by another round of migraines and started some new blood-pressure medicine. Oy.)

Because TM is in school full-time, I've been home all day, every day, with all the kids. Under some circumstances that wouldn't be impossible to deal with. In fact, I suspect that most moms do not get so stressed by their children that they begin their days by threatening homicide. But I have to be different. Or rather, my kids do.

So they cannot simply walk on the floor (even when it's clear of toys and trash); oh no, they must run and jump and fling themselves on the furniture, preferably head down so that their little necks look like they will surely snap. Of course. And they cannot simply talk to people who are standing within 5 feet of them in a room less than 10 feet square. Oh no. They must yell at volumes calculated to carry in a baseball stadium-- during the World Series. And when they get really excited they must utter sudden and piercing shrieks over and over like a flock of possessed gulls.

This is when they're on their good behavior, mind you. Today they... weren't. It's been building up all week-- Monday, they were pretty good (Monday is also a short day), Tuesday, it was quite a bit harder (TM is gone for about 12 hours on Tues/Thurs and I'm still coping with crippling pain and coma-inducing medications). Today was the worst. After TM came home, I'd wanted to just crawl into a corner and cry, but instead I had to help keep the monkeys under control while he very kindly fixed dinner. And it almost wasn't enough.

After dinner, I did go crawl under a blanket and shake violently from the stress, but the animals found me anyway. While their dad was on the phone trying to persuade his brother to move in with us, the kids swarmed over my bed, sat on me, and whacked me with books to indicate that it was story time. But I couldn't even do that. I, who used to study Chinese and Russian simultaneously in the middle of the night with my eyes shut, couldn't even open my eyes and read Go, Dog. Go!

I wanted to be back on my feet before time to tuck the little brigands in, but I simply couldn't move. And within minutes, there were violent screams and wails from their end of the house. Apparently TM had had a bad day too. I managed to pry myself out of bed and totter on pain-pierced feet down the hall, collapsing across the end of the littler pirates' bed. I pulled the door shut and announced, "We are all going to sleep now." Oh, how they fussed! I just laid there. The Punkin jumped and bounced and turned acrobatic flips off the walls and onto his brother's head. I moved him over but otherwise just laid there. He howled and complained. "We are going to sleep now," I repeated. And in only 30 minutes, both of the little pirates were unconscious. Truly a miracle. One week down, 14 more to go-- this semester.

And now, really, I am going to sleep too.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's Alive!

I've been reading an interesting book lately, in between chasing children and weeping uncontrollably. It's called The Monsters: Mary Shelley & the Curse of Frankenstein. The Man brings home all sorts of bizarro stuff from the library, and being a half-comatose invalid, I basically take what I can get and read it all. Some of it's bad. Some of it's good. This book is fascinating.

Mostly I say that because of the research that obviously went into it. Now, the people who wrote this book, Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, were consummate professionals at researching biographies by the time they got to this one. The "Also by" page lists another 18 nonfiction titles to their credit. Their specialty seems to be analysis and interpretation of the facts, not mere reporting of each one. Their skill at this impressed me, and as many of you know, that's not easy to do.

But about the story. As you've guessed, the book traces the life of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of the novel Frankenstein, but it goes so far beyond that that you may forget who this "Mary" person is they mention from time to time. Her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, is obviously a major factor in her life, but long before he arrives on the scene, we experience the stories of Mary's parents, who were also important and well-known in the literary and philosophical circles of late 18th-century Britain. As the book progresses, we learn in great detail how deep Lord Byron's involvement reached in the Shelleys' life (along with some fascinating tales of his personal habits and character).

We watch the heartbreak of women who, in the attempt to live according to their principles, lose parents, children, husbands, lovers, fortunes, reputations, homes, health, hope, and happiness. I was fascinated to note how pivotal in the saga was Mary's stepsister Claire, who seems to have had less strength of character and intellect than nearly everyone, yet seems to destroy nearly everything she touches. Maybe I'm overanalyzing things. Anyway, it's a fascinating read. If you happen across this book and have a couple extra days lying around, pick it up. Read it. Devour it. Ponder it. But for heaven's sake don't let it near your kids.

Careful What You Ask For

It occurred to me yesterday that I'm finally where I expected to be when I grew up: a stay-home mom chasing multiple children around a little house in a little town while my husband tries to finish school so that we can have a better life. Oh sure, I expected to be here in my early twenties instead of my late (VERY late) thirties, but I'm here. Yay me.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Live? Really?

Happy dance, happy dance, I got paid today!!! Whew, whew, I can breathe again. I can't even believe we survived this long, but every time we needed just another hundred dollars or two, it turned up, or someone generously shared a bushel of food, or something weird happened to save us, but MAN, that's a hard way to live. Faith-building, I won't deny, but exhausting. And now, we have room to breathe and recover our strength for another month or so until the financial aid comes in, and so we'll be OK until about the end of the year. Whew!

**And there was much rejoicing...**

Oh, yeah, and I had a good birthday, too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

For Better or For Worse, or Love Conquers All

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is my 8th wedding anniversary. Eight years of being married to my soul mate, literally the man of my dreams. Eight years that, despite the occasional (or more than occasional) trauma, have sped by like lightning. The most wonderful eight years of my life, in fact.

In those eight years, he's been with me through five years of college (his), four pregnancies (mine), three debilitating injuries, two career changes, and the death of one child. He's been with me in the emergency room and the Phantom of the Opera room, 3000 feet in the air and 30 feet under the sea, laughing so hard the tears ran down our faces and crying so hard that the tears ran out...

How do you thank someone for that? For being the perfect spouse? For loving you exactly the way you are, even when the way you are is ugly, angry, whiny, hopeless, helpless-- or unemployed in Greenland? And for all the while assuring you that you are in fact the most beautiful, lovable, wonderful human being they've ever met? In short, for being completely, certifiably crazy?

As long as he's crazy about me, I'm happy. And he is. And I am. And we are.

Happy Anniversary to the most wonderful husband in the world.

Freak Show

You know, I almost posted again Thursday night. Some weird little things had happened, but here's me trying to stay positive and not distract attention from the Thursday 13 post... yeah. Now I know to follow my instincts. Remind me of that later.

So today we get the fallout from one of the psychotic eXpisodes (go read The Man's post about it; you won't regret it). For those of you who are putting off going there, I'll sum up: TM's ex is a psychotic who totally projects her own crimes on others and loves to accuse TM and me of neglecting and/or abusing #1 Son, even though she has no other reason than her own psychosis. A while back, she called 911 because all of us assured her that #1 Son had not sustained a serious injury when a small rock hit him on the head. We must be lying about the extent of the injury, she insisted (though somehow she believed the bit about its existence), and although she was nowhere within 100 miles of us or the boy, she filed a report with the cops. (Yes, this has been going on for more than 8 years now, and no, we are not amused, and no, the authorities still haven't caught on.)

So, today, right. Today the Child Protection Services shows up on our doorstep. Someone (gee, we can't imagine who) has reported that our children are being starved and that all they get to eat is scraps of banana bread. OK, we did have an awful lot of banana bread there for a while, but nobody in their right mind... Oh, yeah. All right, lady, come on in and take a peek in the pantry... the fridge...the freezer too if you want, but watch out for falling chickens. Yeah, take the kids aside and ask them what they've had for dinner recently. We'll wait. (Note that Pirate Boy gives a more accurate account than #1 Son, despite being only 6. The kid's got a great memory.)

So it turned out OK, I think. We talked a lot more about the molestation situation, and how no, sending #1 Son to live with "Mommy" would probably not be the best thing for him, considering her attitude about making a family for him with the Molester. And the CPS lady totally agreed with me that #1 Son needs to be watched carefully as he enters puberty, lest he continue the cycle-- she stressed that the aforementioned "family" situation could make it worse, could encourage him to idolize the older boy and follow in his footsteps, thank you very much. Idiot-freak-psycho-EX! I am so angry about that; gee, it probably shows, too. Sigh.

And one more thing, while I'm on the subject. If she cares so deeply about whether we have any food in our house to feed HER child, why doesn't she consider just maybe paying more than $90 a month in child support? Just a thought. Oh, and now we've got enough zucchini to bake about 2 dozen loaves of bread with. Wanna bet there'll be another freakish phone call?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

T13: Is It Thursday Already?

Thirteen Things Left on My Doorstep This Week by a Very Kind Soul

Someone's really looking out for us.

  1. Saltine crackers
  2. Creamy chicken cup o' soup
  3. Canned chicken chunks
  4. Black beans
  5. Bush's baked beans
  6. Some other canned stuff
  7. Bowtie pasta in three colors
  8. Chicken & dumplings bake
  9. 24 packs of peanut butter/cheese crackers
  10. 7 cinnamon rolls
  11. 3 boxes of Skittles Sours
  12. 1 bag of M&Ms
  13. A whole lot of love

We're gonna make it.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Someone's been reading my blog. It must be that. How else would someone know to leave a couple bushels of food on our porch right about now? How would they know I love M&Ms and could probably use some chocolate? Yeah. I think I know who it is, too. Bless you.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mouse Potatoes

Tonight as I sat at the desk and The Man lounged on the couch with the laptop, I burst out laughing. He asked what was up, and I managed to stop snorting long enough to tell him to check's tech section. After a brief discussion of Sen. Joe Lieberman's predicament, he found the right article. "Wow," I managed. "They have a term for what we do every night." And for some other stuff, too. Some of it may be gone from the lexicon by morning, but I'm keeping my favorite, which describes us perfectly: electroverts.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nobody's Going to Make It Stop, Are They?

I ought to know better. Just when I think "I can make it only another hour and no longer," I ought to realize that at the end of that hour I will find the means to go on after all because I haven't got any choice. Not really, I don't. Turn the kids over to their own self-destructive tendencies and just walk out the door? No, I can't do it. I have to go on, no matter how late The Man comes home, no matter how little sleep I've had, no matter how my head throbs from all the screams and whines, and no matter how badly the pain makes me want to throw up. Day after day after freakin' day.

So what I need to do is figure out how to live this way without losing hope, sanity, and self-control more than once per day. (Oooh, you're lucky you didn't hear me tonight. My family may never recover from all the screaming I did. One whine too many as I fixed dinner through my own sobs.) It helps to hear from my sister who is facing possible breast cancer and to read about other moms with chaotic lives. It does. To quote Morgan Freeman, "You are still alive."

Oh yes, and I need to figure out how to feed a family of 5 for the next 3 1/2 days on nothing but 3 loaves of bread and 2 fishes-- no, 2 containers of sour cream. And some mushy tomatoes. We have a little bit of cheese left, and... let's see... some canned peaches. Very little else, outside the spice/baking supplies cupboards. It's going to be a tight squeak until the windows of heaven open again on Friday. But we'll be OK. We will. What choice have we got?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday Thirteen: The Princess Quotes

Thirteen Princess Bride Quotes
Most Often Heard at SCONE's House
  1. "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."
  2. "Truly you have a dizzying intellect."
  3. "Yes, you're very smart. Shut up."
  4. "Where was I?" "Australia."
  5. "Inconceivable!" "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
  6. "No good. I've known too many Spaniards." (Or sailors, or whatever...)
  7. "Get used to disappointment."
  8. "I'm not saying I'd like to build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely."
  9. "I didn't mean to jog him so hard."
  10. "I can cope with torture."
  11. "I'll use small words so you'll be sure to understand."
  12. "This is true love. You think this happens every day?"
  13. "Goodnight, sleep well, I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

[Update: My husband pointed out that I had the same quote twice. So I changed #12. This should help the attitude problem these quotes seem to have.]

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!