Saturday, July 15, 2017

Community - Part One

A friend recently posted (ok, several months ago) on Facebook a tribute of sorts that has been rolling around in my head and occasionally out of my mouth to AB. Her tribute to the wonderful community we reside in. How loved she feels by the community, what a great place to raise her kids, how much there is to offer here, etc. 

I am so so so happy she has this. But I can't help wondering where she lives? It can't possibly be just a few miles from me, can it?  I live in a different place. When I read her post, my eyes immediately jumped up to the header to make sure it was that person posting and not someone in some far distant realm - was this really about MY community? Someone thinks my community rocks? What the? I am obviously missing something. 

It's no secret on this blog that AB and I don't have a fondness for this region and we agree that it probably stems from both of us, separately, growing up in what we remember as really wonderful and special spots. I think about it and wonder what my kids will take away from growing up here? Maybe some of the same as I had as a kid growing up... 

So that I can get this out of the way first, I am going to list the positives I see with living here. Then we will move on to my complaints: 

  • We can escape to nature, to the mountains, easily. 
  • We have the cabin on the Sound that we spend time at every summer and the kids LOVE that. 
  • Access to a couple big cities (Seattle and Portland) and a smaller one (Spokane)
  • Growing up with great farmer's markets (wonder if my kids see that as a bonus? I certainly do.) I didn't have produce when I was a kid. It was red "delicious" apples (it's no wonder I despised apples growing up), bananas, and navel oranges.
  • Schools closing for a few inches of snow. Lots of snow days in 2017!
  • Going out in the trailer - playing games in the trailer, campfires, snuggling on the tiny couch to watch movies. 
  • Skiing at local ski resorts - ok, it's not the champagne powder I grew up on. But I have learned to adjust as a skier. 
  • Going to Canada and exploring hot springs as a family. Experiencing newness and exploring as a family.
  • The ability to travel. (This is a big one, having good jobs enables us to do big vacations.)
  • The play house and zipline in the backyard, dad building things in the yard and them helping. 
  • Schools and teachers really are pretty dang good. I have a few issues with the school district and specific instances with teachers, but they are one offs - we have some truly fabulous educators and a community that is always willing to invest in education. I have lived places where the opposite is true.
It's awesome, right? I am giving my kids a great childhood. I mean really, what is my problem? 

When I was a kid I was always going to return to the places I lived. I had no intention of living elsewhere. (I do now, you couldn't force me back to live in Colorado or Wyoming.) But my kids? Leif plans to live in Seattle (or any big city), and Skadi intends to move to Alaska or Canada. Neither of my older two want to live here as adults. And further, they both ask to move on a reasonably regular basis. Skadi asks why we can't go live in Alaska with the rest of AB's family and Leif thinks I should seriously pursue that offer from my place of employment to place me offsite in Florida, or any one of the other reasonable offsite positions available. 

Now my list of complaints: 
  • My neighborhood. I hate my neighborhood. Friends in other neighborhoods have neighborly type interactions and forge awesome relationships. I get to deal with complaints to the city on us from our "neighbors" several times a year. One of the reasons we chose this neighborhood was because there was no HOA. We could park our trailer/boats/RVs on our property within city guidance (no we don't have all those). No annoying oversight. Wrong. Because of our "neighbors" the city is spending significant efforts (time and money) issuing me (and I think others) notices of violation that aren't really a big deal or actually within violation. Example, our trailer is parked on our property. When we put our RV pad in we confirmed location and compliance with the city. I have a letter from the city indicating we are in compliance. But that doesn't stop neighbors from calling the city, complaining, the City issuing a violation (sight unseen), me having to call the city, send them photos of the location (because they cannot set foot on our property to measure), remind them this is an ongoing issue with a cranky neighbor, and the city to use time and resources to (once again) clear the complaint. It isn't just the trailer. It's the foliage - if one of my trees dangles a branch on the sidewalk, the city is notified. If my dog is in the front yard off leash, the city is notified. The city, the animal control, others have come to know me and many apologize when I phone or they show up at my door. Moving has become a serious thought from us - but we always said if we move it won't be within this region. It will be to leave here. 
  • The City Council is a joke - they ask the community to vote on issues, but do whatever they want in the end. Why waste my time requesting input? The city's lack of responsiveness to observed issues and how they deal with issues (see above). But wait... I thought you said they were overbearing, right? Yes, I did above. They don't properly respond, they don't tell the "neighbors" to stop filing dumb ass complaints. But they also don't listen to the real issues. Like speeding through our neighborhoods. Like the ridiculous traffic situations that SHOULD NOT BE for a town this size. 
  • The region is ugly. I am sorry, I don't find desert beautiful. Actually, that's not true, I actually like New Mexico, but that's real desert, not this cheet grass infected vast nothingness area. And our local "mountain"? HA! (I know, this is dumb, the "community" has nothing to do with this.) Ok, sunsets can be amazing here. That's it. 
  • Lack of family nearby. (Not a fault of the region, but people don't even really want to come see us.)
  • Nature at its best is hours away. Negative aspect - HOURS. 
  • Chains, chains, and more chains. Chain restaurants. WTF. And we don't even get good chains at that.
  • The road system. Seriously, we are a small city and our roads are disasters. (See above again - a city thing).
  • Lack of quality physicians (though we do have access to Seattle and Spokane)
Ok, it isn't all negative. There are some good items for us, but sometimes it feels as though the days when the good doesn't always outweigh the bad are on the rise. What keeps us here then? 

  • Good jobs and happiness in my job
  • Job satisfaction. I am at a place right now where I LOVE my job. Things are going really well and I have the flexibility our family needs.
  • Good school system - see above. 
  • Continuous community investment in schools (though schoools aren't yet fully funded as they are supposed to be)
  • Cost of living is reasonable
I have lived in this region longer than I have lived anywhere in my life. I can honestly say that I don't have a physical place that I call home. I call my family and my house, home. First and foremost, my family is home, wherever they are is home. But AB will always call Alaska home. Washington will never be his true home. This connection to somewhere is something I am kind of jealous of. 

I wonder if it is my own head that refuses to wrap around this city as my home? Or a love of this community? AB and I are presently not huge community involved sorts at this point in our lives. A lot of the reason for that is that we are really, really busy. Work and running everyone everywhere keeps me crazy busy. There are things I would love to do, but I have no time. You may note that this is Part One - I have a Part Two rolling around in my head, nearly ready to go on record. But not just quite yet... 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Four and a bit more

Now Silas is four. Isn't there a poem or something that starts that way? Actually he has been four for two months now.

We have had some pretty miraculous changes on his part in last two months. One day he realized he was now four, and that means he is a big boy and that he was going to behave like one. This has resulted in a huge change in him at daycare and at home. All changes that have been very welcome. Being kicked out of daycare is no longer an everyday concern. Now that said I am still counting down the weeks until he leaves daycare and gets to attend public school.

I am thrust into the new generation of parents through daycare and thus work - several of the younger people I work with have their first child at the same daycare. And I see myself 12 years ago. And then I see how very differently I view things now. I want to tell them that THIS daycare, this particular beacon of light in your world? Not the be all end all and not in control. You are.

I would rate Silas' daycare at about a 6 out of 10. His lead teacher is tired (one of the few who was there when my older kids were), prefers he not be there more than absolutely necessary, isn't pushing academics (though he is showing great interest at home). The second teacher is wary, a bit cranky given she isn't even a year on the job, not her ideal job, doesn't smile much. But she is nice and has some fun ideas. The third teachers - are the amazing ones. But they are still new with aspirations and dreams of making a difference in a kids eyes. And, they do. Silas adores every single "third" teacher he has had over the last year. (There has been several...)

Silas... he is a very different kid as compared to the other two. He looks like them and the similarities stop there.

1. Silas eats everything. He discovered lettuce in the garden yesterday and devoured much of it. He can't wait for the carrots to pop up. He tried daikon yesterday and didn't like it, but was able to tell us why he didn't like it, "it spiced my tongue too much". Leif is emerging from his picky stage. Skadi is beyond hope - though she DID eat a single strawberry on her own accord last weekend. Silas has moments of picky, but for the most part he eats what we put in front of him particularly if it is a simply prepared fruit or veggie. His down side? Where we start really questioning his being a Carman? He doesn't like fish. I mean WTF? Never in my life would I have thought that I would have a child that didn't like fish.

2. Silas loves books. Thank you, thank you, thank you. He likes to read, he will pick up a book and flip through it and "read" to himself. Working hard to ensure this is a quality that stays with him.

3. Inquisitive. "Mom, how do you spell [insert long word or phrase]." Ok, so all my kids were inquisitive, but I don't recall any of my other two asking me how to spell something until the point they were writing for school. Some kids ask "why" incessantly? Not Silas, he wants everything spelled for him. (Weird... though I do recall quizzing my babysitters on whether they could spell Wyoming...)

4. Third child. My first two never said, "stupid". I just heard Silas say "stupid" twice while typing - regarding my hair dryer. I guess I am like his first teacher at school. My desire to fight his using the word stupid is waning. He watches cartoons and movies I am positive I never let my older two watch at this age... but it is freaking HARD to keep him separate from the other two when they are watching their shows. Silas has a play date today. Probably his first official play date. I invited the other boy to come over and knowing the parents a bit (knew the dad as a student intern ages ago and we have worked in similar spheres since), I suggested they drop him off and go have lunch or have an afternoon together. The boys will just play here! No dice, lol. He and his mom are coming over for the play date. Now my friends and I also did this, but it also usually involved a cocktail. Do I offer her a cocktail? Or a glass of wine? Or does that just further call into question my abilities? Silas is a pretty solo kid, he is king of imaginary play, hangs with his big sister a lot, runs the backyard by himself. I am suddenly freaking out and trying to recall how helicopter-ish I may or may not have been with Leif. Would I have been outside with him hovering over his play at 4? Oh this play date suggestion may have been a horrible idea.

5. Stats... I will have to add this in later this week after his well child... See bullet #4.  I will say though that I just bought him a bunch of size 4 clothes and was wishing I would have bought 5's.

6. Activities. Silas is chomping at the bit to do every organized activity. He starts piano lessons tomorrow. I am skeptical... but Leif's teacher wanted to try a new toddler piano program with Silas because he is very musically oriented (this teacher? The first Silas has had who sees his "genius", lol! Maybe for that I will pay him?? He probably tells all parents this...). Leif quit piano this month, and I felt a little guilty and would love to have a pianist in the family. So I bought the program and we will see if it works. Silas has suddenly excelled at swimming and AB said the other day that his teacher talked about skipping the next level with him and putting him in Level 3. We will see. He starts soccer in a few weeks - totally excited for that. And he is begging to start Tae Kwon Do with his dad and brother too. Trying to figure out how we are going to fit everything in.

All in all, Silas is an amazing and wonderful kid. He is smart, funny, expressive, and brings a huge amount of joy to the entire rest of the family. Can't imagine a world without him!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Logistics and stuff

I have been blogging. A lot. In my imagination as well as on various platforms. I have blog posts started, some finished, many in my head, but somehow they don't make it here. I wish there was a decent app that I could open and blog, offline, and set to post when I am back online. But it doesn't exist. I am never on my home PC anymore. Never. One of the kids is always on it and I am too busy. But I have my iPad ready handy many times.

Anyways, I have e-mails written to myself. I have posts written on my iPad. I am going to try and get them all pulled together and posted over the next few weeks. AB is headed to Alaska, then he gets back and I go on travel again back to Albuquerque. I am hoping to have some time where I can sit and get things caught up here because I have been in a real funk lately.

Blogging used to help me see things straight. I miss writing a lot. I have had a lot of tears lately and while AB has been good about helping me through some part of me feels as though if I had this outlet active, I might have less frustrations and hurts? Maybe not. But I'll try.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

You wouldn't believe what happened...

Seriously. I didn't believe it.

I was promoted this cycle!

And I hadn't even taken to whining about my job yet! That never happens. It is a well known fact that you don't get promoted without being just totally pissed off and overdue for a promotion that you don't even want to celebrate when it does happen.

I figured I had little to lose last fall when I told my team lead that I wanted to be considered for a promotion this coming year (nearly a year ago). I reminded him mid-year and then I made it pretty easy for him to make my case for me by arming him with tables and written materials stating my case.

I was actually a bit worried because my group manager (who I adored) left a few months ago to take a temporary assignment (betting she doesn't come back) and the guy who took over for her lacks that something. Oh and not to mention that I had even had one of those "come to Jesus" meetings with him as his program manager just a few months prior.

So when he was announced as our interim TGM I felt a bit sick to my stomach. I knew that recommending me for promotion had been put forward as he called two meetings with me within the last month to "just get things straight".

Last week he shook my hand, told me congratulations on the promotion and let me know that it was actually an easy sell. I was blown away. He read off glowing word for word reviews from people I work with that actually made me tear up. It has been a hard fought year with a lot of travel. But worth it.

I haven't told many people. Truth is, I have few people in my life who really care about my career or my getting a promotion. I don't mean that to sound bad, I know many people care about ME, which is what counts. And I DO have the people who I told. And really, I don't mind it, it is just a fact of life in what I do for a living that not everyone buys into it, sees value, many think I should do something different or have taken another path. And most, frankly, don't even know what I do on a day to day basis. I am in introvert, I am not the person to scream up and down and shout it from the mountains. I find satisfaction internally, not from other people patting me on my back.

I did need to change some cost estimates and I gasped a bit at what my new charge out rate is. I had to tell one colleague why I was presenting her with a new request that was 20% larger for the year than my previous estimate. So it was a bit of a sticker shock, but she was tremendously supportive.

So here it is, putting it out there. I have rocked this year. I helped bring in a new $12-18M/year program and have a lead position on that program, I co-managed an existing program and brought many changes to how things are done, I ran one proposal call, landed a few smaller proposals, continued serving on my graduate universities advisory council, was offered a research associate position at one of the nation's most prestigious nuclear engineering university programs (UT Austin), despite never having taken a nuclear OR engineering class, I mentored other staff, I was the hammer, I resolved staff conflicts, I endorsed others, I was compassionate with what my staff were experiencing, I made connections, I was invited to speak, I became one of the "good old boys" (or so I was told, I tell myself I have infiltrated their network), I have made my colleagues proud, and I have supported my country in our mission space. I am proud of what I have done.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Skadi Update

Skadi is at that really fabulous age. Not yet a tween. Totally a pleasure to be around. Enjoys interacting with people around her. Always has a smile for everyone. Takes every broken or bent being under her wing. I wish I were more like her.

She struggles academically, which is hard for me to admit as someone who has always succeeded. This year we put her in Sylvan (freaky expensive). And we are actually seeing a lot of growth in her both academically and socially. We ended 3rd grade in the dumps. She hated school. She felt that she wasn’t liked. It was horrible.

I don’t want to think it was because she had a horrible teacher. I felt as though her teacher was “just there”. She wasn’t a leader. She was a warm body in the classroom. She was lenient to start and then when Skadi pushed, she had no where to move to. She became exasperated (my impression) and then Skadi ended her year on a suck-ass note. Skadi wasn’t happy socially, she felt that her teacher wasn’t her friend (and maybe her teacher shouldn’t be her friend, but maybe she should stand behind her?).

I have to admit that I have no actual idea how Skadi is doing this year. We have a very different teacher who is from the dark ages. (Seriously, she could have been my 4th grade teacher.) She doesn’t communicate, no e-mails, no “newsletters” home. But you know what? Skadi adores her and reports that she is actually on “grade level” by her tests. WTF? Grade level is not a phrase we use with Skadi typically.

Conferences are coming up and we will find out the hard truth. Skadi has worked her tail off. I so hope it has paid off.

Skadi was in tae kwon do – but has decided her priorities lie elsewhere. I really kind of wish she would have continued. And maybe she will at a later date. What has really driven home for me was the confidence builder it has been in her own body. The girl knows how to take down a grown man. No joke. You don’t want to meet my girl in a dark alley – and she is only an orange belt. I asked her one day to show me what she would do if someone attacked her. I was astonished.

Skadi really enjoys swimming – like her dad. She has her goals set on joining the swim team at our health club this spring.
She has a lot of passions she wants to pursue - but until we get her lined out and on a solid path academically, we don't have a lot of time to pursue other activities (which makes me sad). She is in Leadership Club at school and came up with the Club's motto for the year on her own. Well I found the website of "quotes for kids" and she picked the one she wanted:

"Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody." Kid President

This embodies Skadi. She is tender hearted and wants everyone to be included and have fun. There is a boy in her class from Korea that speaks little English. Skadi has been nice to him and offers to partner with him a lot - we have learned that the boy has a pretty serious crush on Skadi now. Instead of backing off (since she doesn't like him "that way"), she continues to be nice and warm to him.

I love her so much.

One thing I love is seeing the interactions between her and her brothers. Yesterday we went to pick her up at Tchoukball (afterschool PE activity like handball). She is the tiniest child on the teams and the boys tend to ignore her. Leif was outraged. He knew some of the boys from last school and was SO upset that they weren't getting the ball to her equally. I loved seeing him stand up for her!




Silas Update (from September, never posted)

Silas is at that funny age where his memories are starting to form and he is defining his own world around him. He is nearly 3.5 and is a typical preschooler for the most part. A bit more intense than my other two were. And more so than many of the kids around him in preschool. He is intense and over the top, but loving and snuggley and caring.

It is really fun to see his world evolve around him and him act as an independent participant in the world we are not a part of. The Mystery Bag is his thing. What is the Mystery Bag? For sharing in his preschool class the kids get a canvas bag that comes home with a big question mark on it. The kids get to put a secret item in the bag, bring it in and give hints to the class, while the classmates guess what might be in the bag. It is a huge highlight for Silas. He LOVES the Mystery Bag. He gets so excited when he finds the Mystery Bag in his locker and then we all get to practice guessing for him all night before he takes it in. 

Silas is a huge fan of music. He has eclectic tastes in music, and very much goes OCD with one song. So much so that he wears everyone out on the song. He gets the song completely memorized. (Everyone else is forced into complete memorization as well.) He sings the song, he plays it on piano, guitar and whatever other instrument he can find. And is absolutely insistent that no other song can play on the TV, in the car, anywhere. And if you try, he screams. 

I kind of hate to give in to musical preschool terrorist tactics. But keeping the peace is also a priority in the house. 

Silas is also at that age where he is starting to fib and try to get out of things. He wasn't the one who hit someone at school, it was another kid in the class. The reason Skadi was pushing him away wasn't because he was throwing the arrow in his hand at her. "It wasn't because I threw this arrow at her mom." He self-incriminates pretty regularly. And it's always hard to keep a straight face as he tries to get himself out of trouble. 

The big trouble comes from Dad though. He pretty regularly gets in trouble at daycare for something, the teacher tells me, he insists it wasn't him. Then begs and pleads for me not to tell dad. Dad will be "Soo mad at me!" Sorry that AB has to be the bad guy all the time, but we play it up pretty good. 

Silas had his first stitches two weeks ago. He and Leif were playing when Silas slipped on the floor. When he looked up there was blood all over. Split chin. AB took him to the ER and he did great there and was home in record time. Stitches dissolved and we thought all was good.

That was until I was chatting with a friend at the grocery store and Silas was messing around near my feet - slipped and fell. The ER visit that time wasn't so easy. Hours later he came home with butterfly closure and no stitches and one irritated dad. Multiple doctors, multiple injections, doctors constantly pulled away for other emergencies. It sounded awful. And the final doctor slapped some steri-strips on it and sent them on their way. Amazingly the chin has healed, but not without a decent sized scar.

Silas Update

Excuses? It isn’t that I don’t have the absolute best intentions. It’s that I don’t have the time. I have jotted down a gazillion things that I want to record regarding Silas. I want to blog about my work life – because that is crazy. But I just can’t seem to stay on top of things. There’s no time like the present, I guess. My goal over the Thanksgiving holiday is to blog everyday. Maybe this will push me back into the habit? I always take the week of Thanksgiving off - but this year I saw that the Friday before Thanksgiving had no meetings scheduled - and Silas was in need of some mama time - so I extended. Now we are kicking off 10 days straight of "hanging out" (Silas' words). So in theory that would be 10 days of blogs. I have a few days in there we won't be around or connected, so I hope for a few days of double blogs.
So Silas. He is a ball of love, but a superior pain in the rear at the exact same time. Knock on wood – we haven’t had a bad report on him from daycare in a week and a half. Seriously, I would knock on wood.
He is at that phase where everything he says is hilarious. Or completely scary and I worry about my safety at night. But mostly just loveable. He is struggling at daycare. The child does not really like other children. At all. He thinks they are evil or something. I don’t really know. He doesn’t want to be near them, he doesn’t want them to make noise. He doesn’t really want them to exist. If they make noise, say things he doesn’t like, exist in his space, basically – he freaks out. And sometimes (but not always) that freak out entails a more vampire like attitude.
Yesterday Silas was pushed down and bonked his head pretty hard. They decided to keep him up for nap as a concussion precaution. For some reason they sent him off to kindergarten with the 5 year olds. When I picked him up I got rave reviews. He loved sitting there in kindergarten, was not distracting, loved participating. I felt a bit vindicated because we keep telling them to push him intellectually.

Silas is my book kid. I FINALLY GOT ONE!!! After having two reluctant readers, I finally got my kid who enjoys passing his time with a book laying on his bed.

He is freaky smart. He counts above 20, counts objects by rote, he memorizes songs and books completely. He will sing entire songs – “Sound of Silence”, “Lampshades on Fire”… not easy songs. He also memorizes books. AB and I have taken to trying to trip him up. But he catches the slightest word and corrects us. If I say “beast” instead of “bear” in his favorite (and freakishly long) Merida book, he will correct me. It is a LONG book and he can recite it from front to back and doesn’t miss an adjective.

We have thought about taking him in and having him “tested”. Though I am not sure for what. Can they tell if a preschooler is a genius? Or are we just the same as every other parent and shocked at the things that we, as adults, don’t seem to be able to do anymore because we have our brain power devoted to other things?

It’s probably the later.
Silas' favorites:

Curious George
Captain America
Finding Dory (refuses to watch Finding Nemo)
The Grinch book
Merida book
Too Many Toys book
Buzz Lightyear
Monsters Inc,
Beethoven (our dog)
Lucky (our cat)
Calling people "buttheads" (hanging head in shame - my fault, I call Odin this. Correction, I used to call Odin this.)
Jingle Bells by the Barenaked Ladies

Cooking - cracking the eggs specifically. Silas calls it "making". When I am cooking dinner he yells, "I want to make with you". He is a hard worker in the kitchen.

He is also my good eater. He eats lettuce! An unknown in my house with the kids. I actually get to send salad in for his lunch.

One other thing that Silas nailed that the other kids still lack is knowing where things are. He remembers. And when he loses something (or Dad loses something that was bought at the Chinese Lantern Festival) he remembers the item months and still holds grudges.


Me: "You're out of time out. Now what are we going to do?" (I was thinking something along the lines of apologizing to Skadi.)

Silas: "You are going to return me back to the Brother Store where they will put me back in my cage and I will have to wait for another mommy and daddy to decide they want me."

And so now I AM the one who feels like crap.
Silas: "Mom, when we get home can I have a feather?"
Me: "We can probably find a feather, what do you want it for?"
Silas: "To call it macaroni."

Silas asked the other rainy day why we didn't have more gorillas as he wanted to take one to school and certainly Skadi would want to take one too.

Tonight while reading to him, I found out that gorilla is umbrella. And his world makes a little more sense.

Silas channeling my mom: "If you want to make pie, you make pie!"
This is actually a common Silas refrain. "If you want to have a hang out day, we have a hang out day."
Or, "if you want to go to school, you go to school".
He is a very matter of fact kid.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nakey butt

Silas is in the "fascinated with his body stage". Or actually we will change that to "fascinated with everybodies bodies stage". 

The locker room at the Court Club after swimming is my most feared place right now. In and out as fast as possible. House of Horrors. 

He is very well versed in genitalia presently. He calls his "penis" and Leif has helped him out with the "balls" one. Leif didn't ask about those until much later. But he is also fascinated with "Basheenas". It sounds an awful lot like Sheena. Which is also the name of the daycare director. And I haven't told her that when she says it is cute that he asks everyone if they have a "Sheena", that it is actually not her. 

Anyways. He has this naked dance. It's the "naked butt" dance. He gets naked, pats his head with one head, pats his head with the other does this sideways slide thing and sings "naked butt, nakey butt" while prancing and dancing. The older two fight over who it was who taught him this as though it is a badge of honor.

Yes, I have video. No, you can't see it. Well ply me with a glass of wine and I might show you. 

The other day Leif went to change his clothes. Silas knew where he was going, followed him, stripped naked with Leif and started singing "we're just two naked guys! Doo doo!"

Leif yelling (and simultaneously laughing his ass off) "MOM! Will you come get him. Or do something. Or videotape him? Or no, because I am naked. I don't know. But maybe you just need to come see this!" 

Hilarious. Yes. We were dying as Silas danced around Leif naked singing "we're just two naked guys, doo doo". 

Daycare told me he is fascinated with genitals. 

I asked them not to tell me anymore. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My big fat whiny post

Ever have one of those days when your frustrations just build up? Nothing, in itself, that's huge. Just little things. Things that bog you down and get inside your brain? I have a series of them. Let's see how far I get and if it is at all cathartic.

I had a friend. She was a decent enough friend and works where I work. Then one day somewhat recently I noted that it was always on me. We were having lunch on a somewhat regular basis and I enjoyed it. Then it dawned on me that I was always the only one that set up lunch. And I started getting paranoid.

"Maybe she doesn't actually like me."
"Maybe she doesn't really want to have lunch with me?"
"Maybe she only does this because she doesn't want to hurt my feelings?"

So I quit initiating lunch. That was over a year ago. I haven't had lunch with her since.

Lunch is just an example. It extended beyond lunch. Occasional dinners with my family. Never at their house. Occasional glasses of wine . Not at their house and never initiated by anyone other than me.

I'll admit it. My feelings are hurt. And I kind of feel like I have been an idiot all this time assuming I had a friend. Yes, sometimes I am the most insecure person around. But I have stopped initiating get togethers with her and the friendship is gone. Not valuable to her is my take away. And frankly, at this point it would take a lot to rescue the friendship probably because I have let it sit for so long waiting to see if she ever reciprocates.

This leads me to #2. Reciprocity. Based off of #1 I have started questioning several of my friendships and trying to understand where they go off course. I have my areas where I am sucky - I haven't been to my best friend's house in ages. And I feel guilty about this. But with three little kids and a professional career that is requiring me to travel right now, and a husband with a job with suck ass hours, escaping for girl fun is just really, really hard. I promise promise promise I will make it up. I have faith that you will be there at the end of this phase!

But here locally I have noticed that AB and I initiate and invite new couples over for dinner and never get invited back. At first it is easy to say, "they are too busy" or "someday it will work out". But then it becomes "what did we do wrong?" And AB and I wrack our brains. Was it this? Or that? And we finally come down to, "well I love you and you are perfect to me, so screw it".

The fact that people come to our Halloween party every year and seem to have a great time is indicative that some people enjoy hanging out with us. But of the people who come, there is one. occasionally two couples, who host us back. Every year I threaten to not host the Halloween party. But our kids love it and it creates fun memories for them. So I suck it up. And we all have a great time.

I wish I knew what it was. Maybe it's my kids - and if it is - well go suck an egg. Maybe it's the raucous dogs. And if it is, I am sorry, but I wouldn't bring them over or out to dinner. Maybe it is just me. Or AB. And well, if it is, I guess that's just what we have to live with.

But still... I wish I knew.

This kind of leads to #3. RSVP people. I invite you somewhere, I suggest we go do something and ask when a good day is, let me know if it will work for you. Let me know you aren't interested in going. Common courtesy. Three times within the last month I have invited a few people to do things with me or my kids.


WTF? Seriously you can't bring yourself to respond to me?

Then let's take it to the small set. What's wrong with my kids? I mean, I know they have flaws. But if I invite a child to a birthday party, tell me if they are going to be there. And if they are, and then your plans change, let me know. My daughter's birthday party still bugs me. We invited several little girls along with all our good friends and their kids. All our good friends and their kids came. And all but one out of about 8 of the other kids bailed. Skadi had a great birthday party. But she still on occasion will mention "but I had invited her to my party and she didn't come". I was shocked at the number of people who RSVP'd and then didn't show up. Further shocked at the number of people who were invited and couldn't bring themselves to even RSVP.

Then there was the other one that pisses me off even more. The lying family. The daughter tells Skadi the truth at school as they play a lot. But the mom texts me lines of crap so deep I wish I hadn't left my hip waders in Alaska. I don't want to punish the girls, but freaking be honest. The next time a text comes across on why the girl can't come over after school that contradicts so vastly what the girl told my daughter and is obviously the truth, I think I am going to call her on it.

"We are going out of town this weekend, I am sorry my daughter can't come to the party."

"No problem, I understand that you don't like this other girl who will be around, she is a sweet kid, really. But no problem! I'll see you in your front yard when I drop off your neighbor on carpool tomorrow."

Along the lines of the common courtesy of the RSVP is the "thank you". I sent you a gift, at least tell me you received it. Easy one.

I am kind of feeling done right now.

Feeling done right now. Feelings have been hurt. Friends I am now calling lost. Done.

AB and I are hanging on here in this region by a thin thread right now. That thin thread is my job. And how well it is going and future exciting positions that are all but promised to me. Hell, I have exciting current positions in hand. I love my work. Largely. Most days. Two good paying jobs and mine with extreme flexibility? Bird in hand.

We have talked about going overseas for a few years to an available position. What keeps us here right now is not knowing what we would do with the dogs. Ok, and the house and the cars. But largely, the dogs. I have made a commitment to them and they wouldn't be easily rehomed. But at the same time taking our kids and packing up and going overseas sounds like a dang good idea.

So there it is. Blah blah blah.

Now I can move on and be my normal happy self!