Thursday, January 26, 2006

Updates to Previous Posts

One of my non-blogging buddies emailed me recently to ask that I update some of my previous posts (I get it, L, you're still reading. Thanks, BTW.) Anyway, here it goes:

Jan. 18, 2006: So now I want to kick a 10 Year Old's @$$!
Not much to report here. I asked my son if he minded that I talk to the bus driver and he said no. One afternoon last week, I spoke to Mr. Kenneth (my son's is the last bus stop so Mr. K had time to chat). I explained about the coveted back seat and that there was one kid who kept calling my son a 'retard,' among other things. Mr. K asked which kid and when I told him, he said, "Oh man! That kid is bad. He's always giving me trouble. I'm gonna have a talk with him and I guarantee it's not going to be a problem anymore." (Thinking to myself: at least not on the bus.) For now, the rotten kid sits in the seat directly behind the bus driver. I know we could've taken the easy way out and suggested that my son sit elsewhere, but sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself (or have your mom do it for you), know what I mean?

Jan. 2, 2006: Happy 2006!
Okay, so I'm not doing so well with my resolutions.
1) lose weight - I've lost one pound. Two actually, but one missed me and returned home to my hips.
2) drink more water - some days I do well, others I don't
3) drink less Diet Coke - again, some days I do, other days (such as today) I don't
4) pick a hobby and stick with it for the entire year - for the past couple of weeks, I've been making beaded jewelry. My neighbor taught me and I've made a couple of things. She and I are going shopping for more supplies on Saturday. Will it last the year? We'll see...

Our family resolutions are:
1) less yelling - I've been doing pretty good here.
2) pray the rosary as a family once a week - oops!
3) set aside time at least once a week to play a board game as a family - not regularly, so this is still a work-in-progress.

Nov. 3, 2005 - My Kid Rocks!
My middle son was tested for the gifted program. They use a 'matrix' to determine whether a child should be evaluated further and my son missed it by a point. They administer an aptitude test and depending on your score, you get 1, 2 or 3 points toward the matrix. Then they look at the last standardized test and, again depending on the score, assign 1, 2, or 3 points for the language portion, and the math portion. The maximum matrix score would be 9 assuming a child earned 3 points on aptitude, 3 in math and 3 in language. A child scoring 6 (or higher) would be evaluated further. My son scored 5 on the matrix. He was disappointed at first but got over it quickly. His next standardized test is this spring and he's matured a lot in the past year so if he scores exceptionally well, we can request that he be reevaluated (if he's still interested). I'm not thinking that far ahead. By the way, he still rocks! One B and the rest A's on his report card. Yay!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sonnet 17

I'm at a loss for words today, so I thought I'd leave you with these by Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) who won the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature:

"I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's Lonely at the Top

I was commiserating with a fellow blogger and came to the realization that very, very few people read my blog. I don't know why that bothers me. After all, I made the deliberate choice NOT to promote my blog on the web. (But why not? What am I afraid of? Hmmmmm.)

Anyway, Lisa and Renee, I know you don't blog and therefore cannot comment, but I hope you're still reading.

And here's a shout out to Jules and ~D. Keep checking in with my blog from time to time.

Finally, where's Sugar??? Her blog, The Barefoot Mailman, has disappeared. Sugar, if you're still reading mine, I hope you'll check in and let us know all is okay with you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So now I want to kick a 10 Year Old's @$$!

How mature of me! The situation is this. Dear Son #1 is in the 5th grade. He attends a middle school, which in our area covers 4th through 6th grades. There's this one kid on the bus, Jason, who is determined to make my son's life hell.

Now, a little background on my son: he's 10, but is much smaller than most of his peers. In fact, he's a bit smaller than his 8 year old brother. DS#1 is also speech impaired and struggles with ADHD. He describes himself as 'weird' and seems proud of it (most of the time). I prefer the word "eccentric." There's a lot to like about him: he's creative, very smart, empathetic, imaginative, fair, kind.... but he also acts young for age. This, combined with the speech issues, small stature, and social awkwardness, makes him an easy "mark."

Jason and a couple of other kids have deemed DS#1 unworthy of sitting in the coveted 'back seat' of the bus. Jason has resorted to calling my son a 'retard.' Dad is ready to kick some 6th grade butt. I'm trying for a more diplomatic approach (although you can see the steam coming from my ears!). After all, this kid lives in our neighborhood and there's no telling whether Jason's parents are nut jobs too.

I've discussed with my son how conformity is prized above all else in school, but in the 'real world' conformity equals lack of individuality, creativity, originality, etc.

In the meantime, Dad is going to talk to the bus driver - primarily to let him know there's a problem and to cover our butts if it escalates. Hopefully, the sight of Dad talking to Mr. Kenneth, while glaring at the bully, will be enough to put the kibosh on any further antics.

My step, next week, will be to stalk the kid (maybe 'stalk' isn't the right word) to find out where he lives. If things don't improve, I'd like to have a civil talk with Jason's parents. (I'm giving them benefit of the doubt - after all, my kids aren't perfect, and I'm not aware of every little thing they do.)

If this doesn't work, then it's off to the principal's office. Our parish (the equivalent of a county) has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. It could get especially interesting since, because of my son's educational issues, he is in a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act - a card I'd normally never usually play, but hey, I'm smelling a civil rights issue here....

I'm sure it won't come to that, but be forewarned: Mama Bear has her claws sharpened. More later....

Sunday, January 15, 2006

16 Years and One Week

Erika and Sugar (blog-buddies) commented on my Jan. 6 post, wishing me a happy anniversary, and I was reminded again just how blessed I am to have found the ONLY man who:

1) can hold his own with me
2) deal with my 'eccentricities'
3) won't argue unless it's really worth arguing over (and it *rarely* is)
4) doesn't expect me to fill some stereotypical housewife role
5) is amazing with the kids
6) still treats me like a sex goddess (I'm blushing! Did I just type that????)

The love of my life ran a 9K race (5.6 miles) today and did great. He's feeling good. He calls it "better living through chemistry." For those of you who don't know, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in 2002 at the age of 36. His family history is awful (fatal first heart attacks on his father's side, multiple bypasses on his mother's). We pretty much figured it would be an issue one day, but I honestly thought that we'd have another 20 years before we'd have to deal with it (he'd be in his late 50's then).

Instead he had one angioplasty and one stent in August 2002. Three more stents, including one of the new medicated ones, in August 2003. Triple bypass surgery in March 2004. His surgeon at the time, said dear hubby has 'the arteries of a 12 year old girl.' (a genetic predisposition for very narrow arteries). He was also the first to say, 'well, technically, your husband has a fatal disease." (thanks, doc!)

I guess if you have to have a 'fatal disease', CAD is the one to get. The American Heart Association lobby is apparently a powerful fundraising and lobbying entity. During the time between stents 1 and numbers 2-4, for example (a one year span), the drug coated stents were approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, they didn't work for dear hubby, but someone else with benefit, I'm sure.

Now they're working on new medications, based on a certain protein (apoA-1 Milano), that may actually clear arteries like surgery needed! Of course these meds are a few years from being approved, but perhaps during dear hubby's lifetime...

He and I don't discuss it in depth often, but I think we've both resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably won't grow old together. He has mentioned on more than one occasion that he doesn't think he has the same life expectancy as the average 38-year old man. Perhaps medical advances - and a lotta prayer - will change that.

Here's hoping for another 16!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I've had absolutely NO energy since I caught this blasted cold from my youngest. He was sick last week - a little sinus thing that ended up developing into croup for him. He's a terrible medicine-taker so the doc and I opted to give him a steroid shot, which really helped. It sounds cruel to put him through that, but 1) he seems to grow two extra sets of arms and legs as soon as you get the medicine bottle, 2) he clenches his jaw shut and spits out anything that you manage to squirt behind his teeth, and 3) the kid has an amazing gag reflex. I kid you not. This child (and his oldest brother) can barf at will. So it was one shot versus twice daily doses of an oral steroid. I took the easy way out.

And as my penance, this past Saturday night I was sitting at a little table in the grand ballroom of the Wyndham Hotel enjoying Dear Hubby's employer's post-holiday party when - BAM! - it hit me just like that! I can remember the exact instant where it felt like I was punched between the eyes and my sinuses closed up. (Thanks, son!)

I've tried various cold remedies, but I've had best luck with a nasal decongestant twice a day, and a spot of brandy at night. Of course, I have to factor that into my diet. I'm unofficially doing Weight Watchers. I don't attend meetings, but I have the materials from when my sister joined last year, so I'm counting points. So far, though, I'm keeping up with one resolution.

On a side note, Dear Hubby and I decided to stay overnight at the Wyndham Hotel in New Orleans (his company got a great room rate) to celebrate our anniversary which was on Friday (112 dog years!). We spent part of Saturday walking around the French Quarter, the Riverwalk, etc. It was a ghost town. There were some people out and about, and they seemed to be tourists (or playing tourist), but not many. Every restaurant in the French Quarter that we walked past had only 3 or 4 tables filled - the window seats, so it would look 'busier'. We settled on Pere Antoine's. Our waiter said it was so sad how slow business has been since reopening after Hurricane Katrina. There was a wedding at the St. Louis Cathedral, but it really did seem like a ghost town. Just a handful of white folks walking around - most of them from my husband's company, I bet. There just didn't seem to be any *life* there. If you've ever spent time in the 'Quarter, you'll know what I mean.

Friday, January 06, 2006

It's Our Anniversary!

Dear Hubby and I have been married for 16 years today. That's 112 in dog years. Doesn't feel a day over 80! ;-)

We exchanged presents this morning before he went to work - a GPS runner's watch for him, a couple of small accessories to match my new purse for me. Son #3 (who has croup, by the way) and I ran a couple of errands before meeting Dear Hubby for lunch. Tomorrow Hubby and I are going to "the city" to spend the day before checking into our hotel where his office Year End Celebration is being held. Just a quick overnight stay. Should be fun though.

I'm not making much progress yet on my resolutions, but the year is still early!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy 2006!

Happy New Year! I've made a few resolutions. I thought if I published them here, then perhaps I'll actually follow them. I'll update on my progress from time to time. (Or you can can just check my Jan. 1, 2007 blog and you'll probably see the same ones listed.) :-)

1) lose weight - this has been on my list for the past 15 years
2) drink more water - this is from my 2005 list. I did really well for the first 4 months or so, but I didn't decrease the amount of Diet Coke. 44 oz of Diet Coke + 60 oz of water = a lotta time spent in the bathroom, so I ended up skipping the water.
3) drink less Diet Coke
4) pick a hobby and stick with it for the entire year

Our family resolutions are:
1) less yelling
2) pray the rosary as a family once a week
3) set aside time at least once a week to play a board game as a family (perhaps after the rosary...we play together a lot, but it's often me playing a game with Sam, DH doing something different with Drew, etc.)

As for New Year's wishes, I'm hoping that things stabilize in Iraq so our troops can come home, continued health for my family and, oh yeah, no more hurricanes!