Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Best Laid Plans

It's a damn good thing I had done all of my Santa shopping online before I got sick. Because there was no way I could have made it out to the stores before Christmas day. It would have been better if I had picked something up for my husband too. I felt awful that he was presentless on Christmas morning. But there just wasn't anything I could do about it.

I had lots of plans that didn't get fulfilled. I hate that. Tons of gifts I didn't buy. Boxes of decorations I never put up. Letters I didn't write.

Even now, I'd love to blog about this and that, but I have to pack.

Yes, that's right. Tomorrow I'm off to New York City for just a few days. Like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, New Year's Eve in Times Square is something you should do at least once in your life. Even if it sucks. Right?

Besides, the rest of my trip won't suck. I get to see Patrick and his new swanky apartment. My first order of business is to buy a box of tampons to leave way back in his bathroom closet. Every gay man should have some Tampax buried deep in their closet, don't you think?

I won't have any idea of my schedule until I get there, but if you're in the city and you have my cell phone number, give me a ring.

And have a happy New Year. If you're watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve, keep your eye out for us on the streets. We'll be the two very sober people looking confused at all the hub-bub.

Update: There are two things I've forgotten, and I want to mention them before I go away.

First, I just love Christmas cards from bloggers. They're always the best, sweetest, most creative kind. (Except for mine, of course. I just slap on a picture of my kids and call it a day.) Thanks, you guys!

Second, I know some of you were wondering about the decision I cryptically mentioned a few days ago. Well, we've made the decision on our part. Now everything is in the hands of the two separate entities that have a stake in the outcome. And I can't even cross my fingers one way or the other. It is just too complicated. Either way, something major is going to suck. And it will affect the blog, so you'll be the first to know. Or maybe, like, the third or fourth. Either way, keep a good thought.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

You can call me Ross.

I was sick enough last night to actually contemplate showing up at a doctors office and demanding treatment.

But I had a 9 a.m. appointment this morning for my son's annual check-up. And then my daughter woke up at 5 a.m. just as sick as me.

So I used that 9 a.m. appointment for all three of us.

In the time it took the doctor to do my son's well check, the boy started running a fever too.

So after having our fingers pricked and our noses swabbed, we have all officially been diagnosed with the flu.

The flu really sucks.

But isn't my kids doctor great?

When I was picking up our prescriptions I realized that in the last four years, I've only seen a doctor twice. And both times it was a pediatrician.

I'd make some really great joke about it now, but I'm too sick to think. So feel free.

Oh, wait! I have something about a gay man and a gynecologist. You guys make it work.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bad, Mother. Bad.

Yesterday was my son's birthday. He turned four-years-old and I marked the occasion with a snarky little blog post about TiVo.

It's okay though, because for once I planned and executed a birthday party that went off without a hitch.

The theme of his Saturday party was Tuna Boy's Super Quick Birthday Party. The invitations I sent had a picture of a train flying by with both birthday balloons and Christmas decorations trailing behind. We invited his classmates and my friends' kids for ice cream at the parlor right smack in the middle of the shopping district. The idea was that people could just stop by while they were finishing up their holiday errands.

Almost his entire preschool class showed up. They are an especially sweet group of kids and I really like the parents this year. I am making a conscience effort to be outgoing and make friends with them.

We let him open his gifts with each child as they came in the door. So we avoided that present-opening chaos that usually ends a party. And each kid got a really good look at him opening what they brought.

One thing I have to say for my kid is that he is an extraordinary present receiver. His cries of "Oh thank you so much! I love it!" (and on and on) had the parents so tickled.

It's hard to believe that he's four. That means we've lived in this house for five (unheard of!) years and it's been four years since are first deployment experience.

He was in his first Christmas program today. He was a reindeer in a "modern dance" recital. It was too adorable for words. And my daughter was an angel. She sang songs in French and Latin.

When the hell did they get so old?

I could go on and on, but the husband and I are in the midst of making a very serious decision. It is superseding everything else in our lives.

Suddenly, annoying friends (and if I still blogged about AH I'd have some stories), obnoxious strangers, bratty kids, and tons of shopping just aren't so important. The two of us have been able to go out after his hockey game every night this week and just talk about the pros and cons.

Life all comes down to our marriage and how very much we love each other, our children and how they are growing, and the people we love. (In that order.) I married an amazing man. He's far from perfect (aren't we all?) but he's perfect for me.

And in all of the hardships and separations of the last four years we've been able to raise a pretty awesome kid.

Happy birthday, baby boy! We love you. Whoo hoo!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What are you trying to say?

In the last two days, my TiVo has recorded at least a dozen consecutive episodes of What Not to Wear.

Is someone trying to tell me something?


To my New York friends:

Isn't it a lovely day for a walk?

Monday, December 19, 2005

One Big Happy

Currently, my parents are one state away.

Yesterday morning, they hopped in their grandparent-mobile (a tan minivan, which is even worse than my blue one if you ask me) and headed South, enroute to the land of Tuna.

The amount of stress this causes me is hard to explain.

They're my parents. I love them. I do.

But I find it hard to fit them into our lives here in my own home. I wonder if this is a common feeling for thirty-something family women.

Before my son was born we had a guest room. My parents would come and they'd have a place of their own. And my mom would help so much with the baby that it was like I was getting a vacation.

Now, my son is displaced to his sister's bottom bunk. My father takes my son's bed. And my mother sleeps on a mattress on the floor near the kids because they "expect" it and she "has come to see them, after all."

My mother still helps, but the kids aren't babies anymore. The grandparents disrupt their routine and their sleep and they get cranky and disobedient. To sum up, they get spoiled.

Which is fine. No really. It is. I swear!

I'm glad that my kids are close to my parents. Being a military family can make maintaining family connections hard. But I don't think my kids are missing out when it comes to their grandparents at all. And that is a credit to my parents.

But it is hard to just be me when my parents are around.

They worry constantly that my husband isn't happy. They think he is moody and brooding. I think he does pretty well, considering. But he is a man who is used to having his own space and time. When he goes to bed at 9 p.m., they think it is because they're driving him crazy. And they may well be, but he goes to bed at 9 p.m. most nights anyway.

They worry that I'm avoiding them because they're driving me crazy. And they may well be. But I go to my room at 10 p.m. now (even though I stayed up until midnight as a kid) because I need a few minutes to unwind, catch up with my friends, and maybe write a little something or other.

I don't know when being around my parents got so hard. But doing the simplest things, like paying my bills and sending my Christmas cards, becomes impossible when they're here.

And you can yell at me all you want about being more assertive, but I have to pick my battles with my family, and getting my father to stop spouting racist comments when the kids are around is a top priority to me. (Forget trying to shift his actual ideals. I've been working on that since I was 8-years-old.)

So tonight I need to hot glue a halo (It's Christmas Program time and I suck at making costumes.), pay my bills, mail my Christmas cards, make beds, fold laundry, and complete a myriad of tasks that I won't be able to get to when they're here. Which means I'll be up all night. Which means that I'll run to my room to have a nap as soon as I get a chance. Which will make them think I'm avoiding them. Which will start the whole stressful mess.

Or I could say, "Fuck it all!"

I wonder how other adults deal with their parents' visits. Am I alone in this? Have I let my relationship with them get out of control?

It's so hard when your relationship with your parents shifts. Don't you think?

At least I have a very supportive and understanding husband. We're a team. But his half of the team has flights and hockey games scheduled back-to-back all week.

Hmmm. I wonder if that is a coincidence.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I told you to shoot me.

We've become one of those couples.

I've been very sick. I was planning on going to a brand new doctor today, but instead I slept late. My husband got up with the kids and took them to school for me.

But he woke me up at about 9:30 a.m. and told me to meet him at the car repair shop. He had just made an appointment for my van.

I stumbled out of bed. Threw on the clothes that were on the floor from yesterday, and jumped into his truck to go meet him.

When I hopped down from the cab to switch places with him, I noticed something.

We were wearing the same outfit. Jeans, and grey hooded sweatshirts. We've become one of those couples.

I bet he wasn't going commando, though.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Like Mother, Like Kids

When we became parents, one of our priorities was to raise empathetic children.

Man, have we succeeded.

Or maybe they were just born with big hearts. Either way, I'm very proud of them.

In the last couple of weeks, my husband has commented quite a few times that they are both just like me. I always scoff. But he may be right.

My daughter can be just a tiny bit of a drama queen. I'd normally never admit it, but...yeah, okay. I can lay on the drama too, if I think it makes for a good story. So, check!

My son is extremely imaginative. He "tells stories" constantly. So much so, that you never know when to respond to him. "He's going to be a writer," I tell my husband. And he says that he gets it from me. That someday there may be a Little Tuna Boy blog. Let's hope he doesn't follow in my footsteps. But, overactive imagination? Yeah. Check.

She can be lazy. Check.

He can be stubborn. And obstinate. Check. Check.

But they are the most caring children I have ever met, and I say they get that from their father. And he says, "Bullshit. They get that from you."

My daughter is very concerned that Uncle Patrick doesn't have a bed to sleep on. She's excited about his new apartment, but is concerned that he won't get his mail. She worries that he works too late at night. And she's upset that he has to walk home on dark streets. That girl thinks too much.

Hmmm, I wonder where she gets that from?

I had no idea how concerned I was for my friends, or how it was affecting my mood, until I reread some of my blog. And now that things are working out so well for my friends, both Patrick and CB and even some other friends I don't blog about, I'm feeling the relief right down to my bones. My friends are great, deserving people.

Now I feel like I'm getting my shit together too.

So, my kid's caring and concerned and dramatic and sensitive and a worrier.


I hate to admit it, but...

Check. Check. Check. Check. And check.

All I want for Christmas...

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Clothes I'm In

If one more straw comes to rest upon this camel's back, she is going to crumple like her bones were made of porcelain.

As is always the case with me, it's not the big things that get me down. It is the myriad of small things that pile up to make me feel like I'm suffocating.

Today it was a jacket.

When I want to feel close to someone who is far away, I will often wrap myself in their clothes to feel more connected. When I was a kid, I'd take my mom's t-shirts to camp with me. When my husband is deployed, I wear his thermal t-shirts to bed.

These last couple of weeks, I've been wearing an old suede jacket of Patrick's that he gave to me when he moved. I've been stressed for him (not worried for him...there's a big difference) and wrapping myself in his comfy suede made me feel just a little bit closer to him.

And tonight, while I was berating my kids for leaving their back packs behind once again, I left it behind in the waiting room at music class.

Damn it.

Yeah, I can get it back no problem. But it's one more stop I have to make in my already overpacked week. And it is just more proof that I suck. And I'm not my old self. And I think there might be something wrong with me.

My night only got worse from there. No amount of apologizing can undo the damage you do when you yell at your kid for no reason.

Now, I've wrapped myself in the huge nightgown that I bought when I was pregnant with my daughter because it was the only thing I was comfortable in. It's the only nightgown I own.

Maybe I'm trying to feel closer to her. Or maybe I'm trying to feel closer to the mom I used to be. The one who didn't yell. Or forget to turn in lunch orders. Or have such a messy house that her kids can't find their homework.

I'm running out of other people's clothes to wear. But I'm afraid to face myself.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Playing with Fire

Speaking of blow jobs...

I have a tendency to goad people into doing things without even realizing it.

Last night, my husband broke out the sewing machine to put some new rank on his winter gear. As he was using the seam ripper to pry off the old rank he commented, "I'm turning into your mother."

I know a lot of military wives take care of their husband's uniforms for them, but I don't play things that way. He is the military member. It is up to him to take pride in his appearance and be responsible for his uniforms. I won't always be around anyway.

Of course, that's assuming that I could even sew. Which I can't.

As he was poking, poking, poking with the seam ripper, he remarked in mock exasperation, "Why aren't you doing this for me?"

"You know, hon," I told him. "When you get a wife who gives blow jobs like I do, you don't get a wife who sews. It's a fair trade."

(Now truth be told, I didn't just mention blow jobs. I have a lot of other special talents too. But believe it or not, some things aren't for sharing on a blog.)

"Ack!" he exclaimed. "Do you know how long it's been since you did any of that?"

"Not that long," I replied.

He thought for a moment and then insisted, "It's been almost a month."

"That's not that long," I scoffed.

His jaw dropped in disbelief.

Do you think I goaded him into what transpired in our bed last night?

Speaking of which, why can I always remember to put my retainer back in after I eat but never after I have sex?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My husband is a saint.

But you knew that already. He is married to me after all.

I think every long-term relationship has its ups and downs.

We've been married for ten years, and we've taken our bumps just like everyone else. We've had our days of miscommunication. We've had our days of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. But in the end, he's the only man I've ever loved and the absolute right man for me.

We're a team. But there are times when he's my hero.

Take these last few days for example.

I need a break. Not from the kids, or the dog, or him. But from myself. I'm sick. Not just with a cold, but so, so sick of myself. I need to be stopped before I completely turn into my father.

He said he understood. And then he proceeded to systematically make my life easier. He made phone calls I've been dreading. He even fired the cleaning ladies for me.

He offered to fill in for me and substitute in my daughter's classroom. I said, "Really? I'd love you for life!"

He said, "You love me for life anyway."

I said, "True," but what I thought was, I so owe you a blow job for this!

He's gotten up early the last two mornings and driven the kids to school so I can sleep later. He's made lunches and brought me home Diet Coke instead of ice cream as a treat because he knows I'm trying to be healthier.

And he's just been so damn cute. He makes me laugh. Sometimes too much.

Just last night we were watching television while we were getting ready to get busy. (When you're in your thirties and have been together for sixteen years you'll know what I mean by that.) Something on the show made me laugh, and I couldn't stop.

When he rolled on top of me I laughed really hard. And when I laugh really hard I make this really pathetic, almost silent wheezing sound.

"You sound like a ten-year smoker," he told me. Which only made me laugh harder.

So there we were. Him trying to get going and me laughing until I couldn't breathe.

"Ow! It hurts. Wheeze. Wheeze. Wheeze. I can't breathe! Wheeze. Wheeze. Wheeze."

Finally he rolled off me. "Shall we try again later?"

"Okay. Wheeze. Wheeze Wheeze."

When I finally subsided into giggles, he put the moves on me again. Only a man who is damn sure of himself could get laughed at like that and still be able to do his duty.

He's a saint, I tell ya. A saint.

Heck. Being married to me can't be a walk in the park. Unless you're talking about a walk in the park after midnight when you might be dragged into the bushes to be mugged, but you might be dragged into the bushes to be ravished.

Either way, it's one hell of a ride.

(Love you, Hon!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A View from Here

I told you things were about to get exciting.

This is my default view: a sea of mini vans and SUV's (luxury ones in most cases) lined up as far as the eye can see.

Want to trade lives?

A real post is forthcoming.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas came early!

Now, let's see if this works.

For Christmas this year, my husband bought me a fancy shmancy Treo phone from Sprint. This was a present for Patrick as well, since it should reduce his phone bill by a couple of hundred bucks a month. You've got to love free PCS to PCS calling, especially when your friend is as talkative as mine.

And now I can blog from the place where I spend the majority of my time--the front seat of my mini van in carpool line. Exciting, huh?

It's a good thing I'm a master of two-fingered typing.

Maybe I'll post a picture of the view from here as well.

Hold onto your seats, boys and girls. Things are about to get wild.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Rock Bottom

A while ago, I commented at Stale Betty's site that while dreaming about blogging is bad, composing blog posts during sex is even worse.

But I think I've hit rock bottom with this one.

Last night I dreamt that a delivery person brought me food (of course, I dream about this all the time). The handsome thirty-something delivery man insisted on bringing the food into my home and setting it all up for me. I started eating and he flirted with me for a while.

I began to feel really warm and he explained to me that he had stuck around to deliver the most important part of my dining experience. The massage.

I was feeling languid and oddly sleepy and while I kept wondering if it was strange for him to make such an offer, I let him do what he would.

Things got rather, well, heated, but I couldn't resist the urge to fall asleep.

When I awoke, half of my stuff was gone. And what was left was vandalized and stabbed with a large knife.

I was still feeling sleepy and dazed, but as I wandered around our house from place to place I realized that he had drugged me, had his way with me, and then raped and pillaged my home.

This was also when I suddenly came to realize that I was married. And I was going to have to explain what I had done to both the police and my husband.

And my primary and recurring thought through all of this? Wow. Now I really have something to blog about!

Not only did I dream about blogging, but I dreamt about composing blog posts while having sex.

That's fucked up.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Know what I hate?

When I'm taking a late night shower to prepare to go to my husband's late night hockey game so that his late night friends won't think I'm a late night skanky whore.

And I pull open the curtain and step out of the shower to find that my towel isn't hanging in its customary place.

Because it was used as a cum rag after a late night tryst.

And all the other towels are in the linen closet. In the hall. Across from the six-foot-high window that looks out over the enlisted housing complex.

And I'm freezing.

So I wrap myself in the robe my husband has had since high school and washed as often as his jock strap.

And I'm instantly right back to smelling like a late night skanky whore.