24 November 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all enjoy a beautiful holiday! I am thankful that I have gotten to know you - even if it's just a little bit. Be safe and eat well!
Love, Gina

23 November 2005

The Holidays have arrived

We have many lovely Thanksgiving traditions! We always have dinner at my MIL's on Friday. I am still the only person who watches the Macy's Parade. I can't quite figure out how to stage the cooking to be done at the same time. Oh, and my personal favorite, there is always a child who is sick or needs stitches.

This year we went for.....PINK EYE!

I didn't notice anything wrong with Saw until right after my daughter's playdate left! Yup! I am that lucky. Nothing more fun than calling another mom on a Holiday weekend and telling them their child has been exposed to a nasty looking, highly contagious thing just in time for the family photos.

I knew what it was and didn't think anything was too horrible. My husband called his sister, mother of five children, to see if they had any pink eye drops they could share. She did so we put some stuff in and sent the boy to bed.

Let me explain that we have had this here a few times. There's gunk, the eye is red, the drops fix them right up, and we all move on. But! I should have remembered it's a holiday week! Or I would have been prepared for what I discovered this morning.

I go in to wake up Saw expecting to see a gunky eye like I have before. He was peacefully curled up in a ball and I could not see the offending eye. I gently roll him over to see where we are at and I had to take a step back. His eye was the size of a friggin golf ball! It was hugely swollen and a lovely dark blue. His lid was stuck shut with bright orange gunk. Did you know that we could make BRIGHT ORANGE gunk? I didn't know this. This was new. After three kids and 10 years anything new kinda freaks you out!

I immediately thought "OOOHMYGAAAWWWDDDD! My child has something horrible and I didn't take it seriously enough! Oh, I am a horrible mother! What if there's glass in there? What if it's a strange tropical disease! What if he looses his eye because I was so blase? Whhhyyyyeeee?!?!?!" Outwardly, I remained calm and explained to my son why he couldn't open up his eye and that he wasn't blind.

My husband comes waltzing in and jumps back. He said that maybe the boy should go to the doctor! Now I am really freaking. If my husband thinks they should go, then they look pretty damn bad!

I finally got off permahold with the receptionist and got an appointment. I am greatly relieved. I get everyone loaded up and we rush up there to be on time. Saw is scaring people as we walk in. Peri is explaining to people that he's got THE PINK EYE like it's some sort of magical power. We get our paperwork and go back to the waiting room.

Sitting in the waiting room of my pediatrician's office is not always horrible. Today was kind of fun because I had the scariest child! It was finally my turn again. As we were walking down the hall I explained to Saw that he couldn't touch anything or anybody so he wouldn't get them sick. There is always at least one baby there and Sawyer likes to talk to them.

I am walking into this room with a child who has a giant, freakish, red, puffy eye oozing bizarre gunk. Today was apparently BABY DAY at the doc's office! Not one, not two, but FIVE babies in this little room. Two were a set of twins so there were only four mothers holding their little babies in terror at the monstrosity that stood before them.

Of course, every one of them were first timers so there was plenty of thick fear in the air. The only other parent was a dad with his older son. He didn't bother to even look up from his paper. Typical!

I sat off to the side with my kids. I made Saw sit on the floor waaaaay far away from the babies. After a couple of minutes of shared looks between the four of them, I could no longer take it. I turned to them and explained that he had pink eye and it was contagious, but that I would not let him get near any of them.

They all warily settled down, but I could see the wheels a-turning in their tired little heads. I used to think that way when I had my first child...

"Oh my gawd, that woman let her kid get a horrible disease! And it's nasty! I will never let that happen to my child!"

I looked at them, as they were called away one by one, and remembered how it was. Then I had a good mental giggle and guffaw and held my freak of a son's hand!

So after all of this, it was pink eye. He looks better already and I even got samples! Crouching Mommy would be sooo proud!

19 November 2005

Children v.2

must. not. kick. out. children!

I think I am pms-ing.

Children bring such joy!

I just want to cry sometimes. I had to throw down the gauntlet and tell my kids to STOP TRASHING MY STUFF. Now they are not complete little heathens, but they are close. My van, my poor van, is a nasty mess. Spots from dropped drinks and candy are all over it.

Then there is the DOOR issue. We have spent the week remembering that that particular door is BROKEN. The service guys managed to put it back on and we all have respected this - until yesterday. My son, the anal, bossy one, forgot about said door and when I parked the van, he pops up and promptly opens the broken door and allows it to go KAWAP. I was watching this in slow motion unable to stop it.

The door now cannot be closed. I tried to get it back on its tracks and shut it, but I couldn't. So the door is barely hanging on. While I was trying to do this, I was on the phone with my sweet friend Lisa discussing our school options (VERY important at this point) and my goofy 10-year-old is running around yelling "I'm sorry! I will pay for the damages!" I glared at him to get him to hush. I finished my phone call with Lisa and I tried in vain again to shut the door.

No luck.

We went inside and my other kids were doing the classic "oooohhhh, you are sooooo in troooouuuubbble!" thing to oldest son, who was not amused by this. He is a really good kid so I can't be too mad at him, but whyyyyeeee can't he use his head and THINK?!? sometimes?

There is that little line that all of us have. On one side is mild annoyance and on the other side is OHMYGAAAAAWWWWWD! I was waaaayyy over on the OMG side at the moment I walked into the house. I do try very hard not to lose it with my kids so I calmly walked into the kitchen to put the backpacks and lunchboxes away.

My forgetful son walks in behind me and says again "I will pay for all of the damages!" in a very sad voice. I had to laugh at that moment. How will you pay for it? With what? I asked him if he had a new job I didn't know about. Was he sneaking out at night to work the graveyard shift? Was he running a fabulously successful dot.com from the school's computer lab? Did he marry some rich girl and I hadn't noticed? Pay for the damages. har har snort!

So now we have to figure out how to run our weekend. We can't drive around in the van and hope the door doesn't completely fall off in the middle of the street. We will have to see if the just arrived husband can figure out how to get the door back on or we are down to one car. Of course there are birthday parties for my daughter to attend. And other errands to take care of. What a pain in the ass!

The soonest the dealership (the body shop said it would take two weeks) could get the van in was Monday. The kids only had to be careful until then, but NOOOOOOO, someone had to forget. Ugh!

This is definitely one of those stories I am saving for when my kids have their own children!

14 November 2005

I want to keep this door please!

My kids figured out how to break the door off of our minivan. We have to park on a hill and a couple of years of opening the side door and just letting it go "kawap" all of the time took its toll and killed the roller. I took it into the dealership to see how much it was going to be to fix it. The first thing out of the service guy's mouth was "I haven't ever seen this before! I have no idea how to fix this, but I am sure I will figure it out." That instilled so much confidence in me. I decided to get a second opinion at a body shop. Hopefully they have done this sort of thing before and I will be able to drive down the highway without fearing that the side of my mom-mobile won't fly off.

08 November 2005

I paint, therefore I avoid my crazy family

I am using the excuse of having too many projects to avoid having Thanksgiving Dinner at my house this year. I had it last year, I should be off the hook for at least three years. I have too much stuff to paint to clean up everything and have all of those cranky people here. I know that I am not the only person to have relatives that are INSANE, but when they're at my house, it feels that way. I could go on and on, but I will save it for right after the holiday so that I can bitch about current events.

I have been trying to catch up on my pottery. I usually have stuff listed on eBay and do a couple of shows, but that hasn't quite worked out this Fall. I need to get organized! I have slacked off on all of my projects. I am going to do better and get all of this stuff done before Christmas. Oh, or maybe right after Christmas so I don't have to have that here either!

Earlier I was showing off my class project handywork. I didn't throw those jars. I would love to take that kind of credit but I don't have time to throw right now. Those jars are just that plain bisque like you would paint at those paint-it-yourself places. Any of you could do it! Kid's fingerprints always make them precious.

Maybe later I will get a wheel and start doing that again, but right now I just use my slab roller. I use hump and slump molds to make my platters and bowls. A couple of years ago I started making hearts for my friends and they have taken off. I make lots of those now. I have a bunch I need to get painted and fired in my dining room right now. I love making them. They are my therapy along with my daily call to Mabel. They are like a magic 8 ball. If you are down and you need a pick-me-up you just reach into a bowl of these and pick one out. If you would like your own set of hearts just email me your address and I will send you some. It's the least I can do for all of my 12 readers!

This is what I do actually make myself:

I love polka dots and stripes - it's a personality flaw - I know! I have done a few weddings lately. These are some favors I did for a wedding last June...

Heidi, email me the colors you like and I will whip up some hip stuff - nothing foofy. I will make more big pieces this weekend. I don't have anything left to take pictures of. Yea, I'll spend Thanksgiving making dishes. That would be lovely!

In the earlier post I ranted about some of the moms up school. I did want to say that there are only three that irk me to no end because they are a little pack of arrogant wenches. They don't do anything, they just have an opinion about those who do. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you are helping, you can have an opinion. If you don't do anything but show up, then keep your mouth shut about how things were done. Telling me or the other moms who spent all day up at school getting stuff ready for an event how we could have done it better will only make me want to throttle you.

Most of the moms are great. We have a lot of parent participation, even with all of the drama going on up there. There are the typical ones that are too busy to be bothered - both working and SAH. The only working moms that piss me off are the ones that assume I am not doing anything all day because I don't go to an office. I have a great respect for the working moms who also show up at school. I wanted to clarify that, Crouching Mommy has some moms that irk her, too. After reading her post I am proud to say that I do not own any seasonal vests, I can't speak for Mable though.

05 November 2005

Happy Birthday Mabel!

Gertie and Mabel - 1988
She is a friend of my mind...The pieces I am she gather them and
give them back to me in all the right order.
- Toni Morrison

Today Mabel enters her 39th year. And we enter the 20th year of our friendship. She is my wonderful, sweet, brilliant, darling friend. I cannot imagine my life without her. She is my connection to reality. My compass.
Mabel didn't like me at first. I walked up to her and started talking. She tried to walk away and I followed her still talking, too oblivious to realize that she thought I was a dingbat. She realized that she couldn't shed me and accepted her fate. She became my friend.
God brought us together when we were both going through some very rough times. Polar opposites that fit together to form a union of friendship, loyalty, and trust. We came from very different lives, but at that moment we were on the same level and could totally understand each other when no one else could.
There are millions of moments I can think of with Mabel. Being roommates in several crappy apartments. Crying together over stupid boys. Mabel and I teaching others the fine art of jumping in the fountains downtown and charming the cops that stopped by to let us. Each of us eating an entire pint of vanilla Hagen-Daz ice cream with frosted animal crackers while watching movies. Driving around in her P-O-S orange car with the windows rolled down laughing our asses off. Playing New Order or The Cure as loud as we could and singing along. Wherever we were, we could always get everyone else to dance.
Oh, we had soooo much fun. And we took care of each other. Even when we fought and weren't speaking to each other we still kept tabs on what the other one was doing. The way we always made up after a fight was that one of us would show up or call the other one to talk about something that was going on. We couldn't stand not to have an opinion about what was going on with each other.
Mabel became a grown-up long before I did. She still put up with me and mothered me a lot. She finished school and got her teaching degree. She got married. She moved to another state to start her career. We still occasionally talked. But there was a distance while we transitioned. This is where most people would stop being friends. But we still were, even without speaking. We went a long time until one day she just felt like she should call. I was going through a strange time in my life and her timing was perfect. I really needed her. We went from not speaking for three years to talking every day again.
She just knows when I need something. She will call me right when I am going to call her and cry on her shoulder. When I had a horrible miscarriage, I called her from the hospital collect and she listened to me cry without saying a word for 45 minutes. She helps me formulate my thoughts and she listens to what I am really saying. She once drove six hours out of her way with her husband in tow on her way back home from a cross country trip to check on me in person because I sounded funny on the phone. In spite of what I am saying she always knows what's really going on with me.
She has been a constant source of love for me. I don't feel I could ever do enough for her. I try very hard to be a good friend to her. I do my best to remind her that she is doing a great job in her life. She is a psychotic perfectionist. She gets mad at herself for not figuring out stuff that takes other people years to get in 10 minutes. She will look at something and figure out a plan immediately. She manages to do more things in a day than most people while taking care of three kids by herself and then bitch that she isn't doing enough. That's why I get to be her friend. I remind her that she is doing enough and that she doesn't have to have everything perfect.
When we became friends, we were just babies. Then we grew up and had babies. During the next twenty years we get to watch our babies grow up. We are Aunties to each others children and we each know all of their stories. Our children have two moms. I am comforted to know that if anything were to happen to me, my children will still have me. Mabel will keep my spirit around for them.
I wish I could do more for you Ms. Mabel. You are the best friend that I have ever had and I adore you. Thank you for taking care of me, listening to me, and being there for me. You are truly a wonderful person and the world is a better place because you are in it.
Happy Birthday!
Love, Gertie