Mar 31, 2009

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Missed the Saturday dance

It's been a little crazy here. We got John's dad buried then John went to Miami. Then I went to NY to do a jewelry show. Now we're heading into Holy Week with loads of rehearsals this week and next. I'm still sick. It's been, what, 7 weeks now? 8? But, hey, I'm out of the first trimester as of last Saturday at least, even if I can't breathe.

Heard they crowded the floor

So, I was told a week ago Sunday that my hours at work are being cut 25%. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to still have a job but I'm just not exactly sure how the mortgage is going to get paid without that $500. And what kind of galls me is that the leadership isn't cutting their hours, nosirrreebob. I did the bills today (and isn't that always a party and a half; I can't even drink afterward these days!). The medical bills from the pregnancy are starting to come in. $600 this month. In order to pay on the plastic, I had to pay one of the medical bills with plastic. How seriously fucked up is that?* But, hey, that puts us $600 more toward the $2500 deductible after which all is covered.

(*Just so that everyone knows, the bulk of our credit card debt is from a surprise $7700 tax bill and subsequent doubling of our estimated quarterly taxes (basically, we had $12,000 due to the IRS within 2 weeks of finding out about it) and not from big screen TVs, unnecessary clothes, or fancy cars - I am pleased to report that both cars are paid for, not so pleased to report that our 24" TV (the only TV in the house) is starting to develop a weird line in the middle, and distinctly embarrassed that I've had to stop wearing my tennis shoes out because they're just too holey. We had a nice cushion - that proverbial 3 months all the planners talk about - when he went into his own practice but, funny, how quickly that gets eroded when your income gets cut in half.)

So he's been pushing me to donate more to charity. I'm not exactly sure where he thinks it's going to come from. I had to lay it on the line for him today. I don't like having to do it. He internalizes it and beats on himself for not "providing" better. In fact, I absolutely hate having to do it. He gets depressed about the credit card debt and I always feel like he's blaming me (though I am no more a spendthrift than he is!) simply because I'm telling him what he doesn't want to hear. It's frustrating because I feel like I can't talk to him about it yet I can't talk to anyone else about it either because that upsets him too.

Couldn't bear it without you

Life isn't all bad though - my sister, God bless her, hosted a jewelry party - the proceeds of which should pay much of my jewelry business's expenses for the year. She also, bless her double and her children too!, cut my hair (with her son's round nosed school scissors, even) into a cute little 'do that is a vast improvement over the "D.W. haircut" I sported until she got at me.

I'm looking forward to Holy Week and the Stabat Mater in particular. I really wish I could find a way to record at least my aria. I'd love to hear it - you can never hear yourself properly when you sing.

John's mom appears to be holding up well. She's been moved into a smaller assisted living apartment where, provided the stock market doesn't fall too much further, she should be able to stay without a problem. I was going to call her to come visit tomorrow but Katie threw up tonight so I'm not sure I ought to be exposing an elderly woman to that.

Don't get around much anymore...

Thanks for listening.

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Mar 14, 2009

"But, Mommy, I HAVE to Talk!"

Ok, I love my kids. I really do. But my 3 year old is a morning person and, worse, an extrovert. She's not a true morning person - i.e., she's not one of these kids who's up and demanding attention at 5:30 a.m. - but once she's awake, look out. The mouth starts running and doesn't stop. Ever seen that "Help I'm talking and I can't shut up!" t-shirt? That's my 3 year old.

In contrast, when I worked at the law firm, I got up at 5:45 every morning and got all corporated-up, read the paper, and drove the 30 miles to Springfield, getting there about 8:30 (work started at 9). My boss knew not to talk to me unless absolutely necessary before 10. Oh, he made plenty fun of me - he being a true morning person - but if he wanted a well-thought out and rational response, he knew to wait until a couple of cups of caffeine hit the bloodstream. That's the kind of night person I am.

Now, I know (man, do I know) that being a morning person and being an extrovert will be very helpful to her through the years. In fact, I'd venture to say that being an extrovert will take someone farther than natural intelligence. It is, however, a volatile combination in the mornings - the introverted, night person parent vs. the extroverted, perky morning person 3 year old.

Even if you take morning out of the mix, it is difficult to parent a child who is the opposite temperment. I suspect it may be even harder for extroverted parents with introverted children but, yowee kazowee, this introverted parent sure struggles with her extroverted child. I worry that I'm dampening her natural high spirits by asking her to "Just. Stop. Talking!" (to which she once answered "but, Mommy, I have to talk!") or that I'm not meeting her socialization needs adequately. I worry that, given my prediliction for inner (vs. outer) conversation, I can't accurately judge what is an appropriately average amount of spoken conversation. I remind myself that my job is to be her mother, not her playmate, and at 3 1/2 she's old enough to be expected to entertain herself a good chunk of time. Even though I haul her to music, dance, preschool, and occasional playdates - all of which involve a fair-to-excellent amount of socializing with her peers, I worry.

I had really hoped that once her sister was old enough to interact with her, she would lighten up on her need to be "entertained" by me. It is starting to work a little that way - but there's still the jealousy that gets in the way. We still hear a lot of "She smiled at me!" (this is a grave affront in my 3 year old's world) and "Evie's scaring me!" (when the baby is merely attempting to "talk" to her). It absolutely infuriates me that she can't see her sister wants to be her friend - both for Evie's sake and my own.

I have not gone all Bunny Foo Foo (or, Jade, is that Bunny Fu Fu? ;-) ) on her head. But, man, sometimes I sure want to!

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Mar 4, 2009

Toora Loora Loora

Toora loora lie
Toora loora loora
Hush now, don't you cry.

My father-in-law passed away last Saturday night. He'll be waked Friday evening and buried Saturday morning. He was a good, fair, and honorable man. He was a funny man. He always had a smile for me, even when he could no longer speak really. He was career military and very proud of his Irish heritage. Rest in peace, Bill; we'll miss you so very much.

Ah, toora loora loora
Toora loora lie
Toora loora loora
It's an Irish lullaby.