Thursday, October 27, 2005

Me? A Room Mother? HA HA HA HA!

Okay, anyone who truly knows me will tell you that my intentions are good, but that I'm just too easily distracted. So of course it makes perfect sense that I sign up as Room Mother for my middle son Sam's 3rd grade class. Oy!

Actually, I didn't really sign up. And I'm not the sole Room Mother. I was more or less drafted by another mom. Her son is Sam's best buddy in class. Anyway, no one volunteered to be Room Mom so Sam's teacher enlisted another mom and gave my phone number as someone 'who might be interested in being a co-room mother.'

The mom who called me seemed so nice, plus her son and Sam are 'buds', AND she happens to have another son who is my oldest boy's could I say no? Neither one of us really has any idea what we've gotten ourselves into. Of course it's not about us - it's about the kids.

So it's too bad that I'm not the slightest bit 'domestic.' I am so going to suck at this. If you have any ideas/suggestions how I can be the Best Room Mother Ever, I'm all ears!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Finally - Autumn!

...Or as close as we get in southeast Louisiana. No changing leaves, but today's high is supposed to be 60 degrees and it feels great! Yesterday was also cool. Breezy, too. I was completely unprepared as I walked Sam to the bus stop yesterday morning. I was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt, had wet hair, and was carrying a cup of Diet Coke. Oh well, at least Sam was better prepared. He was wearing a heavy sweatshirt.

I'm ready for the cooler weather. Those 90 degree days were getting pretty old. Unfortunately, I'm sure we'll have a few more of them before the end of the year. Who wants to be wearing shorts at Christmas time?? (Well, probably my northern buddies who, by then, may be tired of snow...)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Gave Away The Crib Today

My youngest moved into a big boy bed this summer so we stored the crib in the attic. I had been planning to get rid of it for months. A friend of a friend of a friend lost everything to Hurricane Katrina so when I heard they needed a crib, I thought, perfect....

As soon as my friend and her friend pulled out of the driveway, the tears started. It's not the crib itself - although I'll miss seeing the little spots where Drew teethed. Fortunately, it's a light pine finish so it's not really obvious. (Silly crib manufacturers! They put a plastic strip on the side rails to prevent babies from crewing. They couldn't outwit my Drew who chose, instead, to gnaw on the headboard.)

We bought the crib at Burlington Coat Factory a little over 10 years ago* shortly before Drew was born. It was his bed for nearly two years before becoming Sam's eight years ago. We kept it, even moving it cross country, just in case... It was one of the few baby items that I still had when Zack was born 3 1/2 years ago. And today it's gone.

Not that we were planning on using it again. We considered trying to have another baby (I'd love a fourth boy!), but my age and my husband's health are just two factors why we've decided that our family is complete. We decided. It's settled. I haven't given it much thought since.

But seeing the crib in someone else's van really puts the nail in the coffin, so to speak. No more beautiful babies for us. But at least there'll be one more beautiful baby to sleep in - an perhaps chew on - the crib.

* I checked the websites for the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Assn. ( and the Consumer Product Safety Commission ( and the crib still meets the recommended safety requirements.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So Now What?

A friend and I were just talking about how awkward it seems to make small talk here in southeast Louisiana in these weeks after Hurricane Katrina. The main topic of discussion is - and as it should be - the hurricane. It's impossible to go anywhere without being asked "so, how did you make out with the storm?" She and I are among the very lucky ones. Minor issues aside, our homes are intact, our families' incomes hasn't been radically altered. But it feels weird to say, "Just fine, thanks. And you?"

My friend mentioned that it feels like survivors guilt - which is a fitting description. (She has clearly thought this out more than I have.) Everyday there are reminders of Katrina's wrath. This morning I received an email from a friend who I know lost every physical possession in the storm. His home was in the Lakeview area of New Orleans where the levee breached. He evacuated to his in-law's house in Virginia and like most of us, thought he'd be able to return a few days later. As it turns out, he's not returning at all. At least not to live. His children are enrolled in school in Va., his wife is looking for work. He himself will return only for work since he accepted a position with a FEMA contractor to help assess the storm damage. Although it's a job, his career as a free lance writer has been swept aside, one more casualty of the hurricane. I felt a little awkward telling him that all's well here in my little part of the world.

A few days after we returned home following Hurricane Katrina, my older two kids and I went to our church and its school to assist with the cleanup there - removing sheetrock, throwing away moldy school books, toys, backpacks, removing tree limbs and brush. When they asked why were doing this, I just blurted out that it was because we didn't have to do this at our house, dammit, and we're grateful for it! (Their own public schools were spared, but our church and its school was located a couple of blocks from the lake so it was one of the few areas in our town that flooded. The boys really worked their butts off and I'm proud of them.)

For me, I don't know if it's so much guilt, as it is the feeling that although we've come through this unscathed, I don't believe we're intended to come through it unchanged. I just don't know what to do with it all yet...

Friday, October 14, 2005


Taking a page from Sugar's, Jules' and Danna's blogs....

20 Years Ago (1985)
I'm playing and partying my way through college. Is it any wonder why it's taken me six years to get a degree (as a full-time student no less!) ?! This is my Making Stupid, Stupid Choices Phase. Fortunately, it is short-lived.

15 Years Ago (1990)
I married Dear Hubby just after the start of the new year, after dating for three years. It's probably no coincidence that Stupid, Stupid phase pretty much ended when I met him. Not sure I can say it was *because* I met him, but still it was time to grow up - even if just a little. We move to the Washington, DC area about a year later.

10 Years Ago (1995)
Still in the DC area, can't imagine ever leaving. We bought our first home a couple of years prior. Son One arrives. I'm spending my six-week maternity leave searching for a new job. No way I'm staying with a company that laid off my mother (who also lived with us at the time) on the very day I went into labor. Sheesh!

5 Years Ago (2000)
Dear Hubby, Son One (now 5), Son Two (now 3) and I moved back to Louisiana a year ago. We're renting a little townhouse type apartment not far from where I grew up. Hoping to buy a house across The Lake. We say that here as if there's only one lake in the state. Dear Hubby's mother is diagnosed with a brain tumor. She has surgery and radiation treatments. She still manages to keep her sense of humor. (She dies a year later.) Dear Hubby starts a job that seems promising after taking a year off to be Mr. Mom, while I worked various secretarial jobs. It's not that he doesn't want to work, but his 7 years as a police officer in Va. apparently isn't considered an asset. Law enforcement doesn't get the same level of respect here that it did in the areas surrounding D.C. Son One has a seizure at school.

1 Year Ago (2004)
Dear Hubby has triple bypass surgery, after two previous attempts at using stents to keep his arteries clear. His first stent was put in a year and a half ago on the same day that his sister suffers a massive heart attack after one of her four stents clogs up. Of course, her situation is more dire, so the rest of the family is holding vigil at her bedside while I sit in the cardiac waiting room (different hospital) with Son One (8 at the time), Son Two (6 at the time) and Son Three (six months old at the time). Sister-in-law died about a month later, just shy of her 41st birthday. Dear Hubby had three more stents put in on the one-year anniversary of his first procedure, but six months later, he was being filleted like a catfish. This time, though, I had plenty of company as the family comes to hold vigil at Dear Hubby's hospital. It's almost too much, though. The surgery took several hours longer than planned. After 5 or 6 hours, I finally persuade the rest of the family to go home and have dinner (it's around 6 pm at this point). They go, and take Sons One through Three with them. Just one sis-in-law, who's a nurse, and I are left. Finally we get the word that all is well.

We've been in our house for a few years now - we really like the area where we're living. Son One's seizures are under control and he is eventually taken off his anti-seizure medication, but is taking medication for ADHD. I've been a stay-home mom since Son Three was born in '02.

A Month Ago
Home Sweet Home! After a two week evacuation, we return to our home which weathered Hurricane Katrina with minimal damage.

The older boys are back in school. Son Two hasbaseball practice in the evening, but Dear Hubby arrives home early enough to take him. I don't mind going to the park but the coach keeps them at practice for two hours, which is hard at that time of the day. Everyone (incl. me and Sons One and Three) starts getting a little hungry and cranky, not to mention eaten by mosquitos. Besides, my mother the mall rat, sent me two boxes full of clothes that she picked up at various sales over the past couple of months so I'm having a one-woman fashion show at home. My strut-and-pose music? The theme to "Tom & Jerry" (yes, the cat and mouse) accented by Zack's machine-gun cackle. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm Back! (Again!)

And this time for good, I hope. Phone service has been intermittent at best. Just 5 days after having it restored the last time, a large moving truck knocked down the line (which was hanging low). Service was restored yesterday, only to have it cut off again this morning. It was restored at 3:45 this afternoon.

Of course, now that I'm back I can't think of much to say...

We're settling into our routine and life is slowly returning to "normal" (whatever that means). The older boys returned to school last week and are actually happy to be back. I hope that's not a reflection on my talent as a homeschooler.

Sam is playing baseball again, with practice on Thursdays and games on Saturdays. His team won the first game of the now-shortened season this past week.

CCD (religion) classes start tonight for the older two, and cub scouts will be gearing up soon.

I'll close here - before my phone service poops out again and I lose my internet connection.

More later...