Friday, January 30, 2009


For the last few days my husband has been all upset over the fact that my daughter's jacket is always in a ball on the floor of her bedroom. He keeps telling her she better hang it up.

I told him, "I've given up on that battle. In a heap on the floor is where she keeps it. At least she knows where it is. Every time we leave the house, she has her jacket on. That's huge progress!"

So I was thinking...

In first grade...

I'd ask my daughter, "Where's your jacket?"

And she'd look at me and ask, "What jacket?"

In second grade...

I'd ask my daughter, "Where's your jacket?"

And she'd start crying.

In third grade...

I'd ask my daughter, "Where's your jacket?"

And she'd look at me, start crying and wail, "I don't know!"

In fourth grade...

I ask my daughter, "Where's your jacket?"

And she looks at me, starts crying and says, "I left it at school."

I choose to look at it as progress.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What the Meme? Or Who's Your Daddy?

Facebook feels like the early days of blogging. Everybody is doing it and everyone wants to meme. (Is that a verb? I'm making it a verb.) Nobody wants to be left out as one of the cool kids.

And what the hell. On a day when I don't feel like writing, it gives me blog fodder. So here's a little something Scott tagged me with. I think it's cute.

What does your music library say about you?

1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in parentheses after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends

What do your friends think of you?

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Life in a Nutshell

How would you describe yourself?
Soldier Boy (Or soldier boy's wife, but okay.)

What do you like in a boy?
Enter You (Ha! Fit a "by" in there)

How do you feel today?
The Wall (Perfect)

What is your life’s purpose?
Square Dance

What is your motto?
Wild Horses (Couldn't stop me)

What do you think about very often?
Anna Nicole (

What do you think of your best friend?
Come as You Are (That's kind of sweet)

What do you think of the person you like?

What is your life story?
If I Wanted To (Perfect!)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Family Affair

What do you think of when you see the person you like/love?
Paul Rever (Why do have so many songs with proper nouns as titles?)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Take a Ride (by Luscious Jackson...actual song we danced to: Only One)

What will they play at your funeral?
Swim (I guess I'm gonna drown)

What is your hobby/interest?
Lonely Girl (Ha!)

What is your biggest fear?
[Silence] (Ha again!)

What is your biggest secret?
Criminal (Ha yet again!)

What do you think of your friends?
What's the Matter Here?

What will you post this as?
Who's Your Daddy (tee hee)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Speaking of Guilt

Was I? Probably, I always am.

My son is doing very well in speech therapy. We do therapy (or "homework") at home every night, so I knew he was doing okay. But suddenly his everyday speech is pretty much normal.

It's been six months. I figured that was normal. But apparently, because he had so many sounds to fix, he is way ahead. We've been working on about six sounds all at once. I had no idea that most kids work on one or two sounds at a time.

I wish I had done this two years ago. Guilt. Woo hoo!

One day I told the practice manager at the therapists' that I really thought my orthodontia and jaw surgery during my son's early years contributed to his speech problems. She didn't think so (but I still think it's true). He was alone with me 90% of the time back then. Guilt. Guilt. Painful guilt. Yay!

But we've become friendly and now she'll come out from his sessions and say thing like, "Well, he did really well for a kid whose mother had braces." The other parents there must think she's horrible. I laugh, guiltily.

I have run into a roadblock, however. My son is currently working on words that end in "ar". And I can't make that sound to save my life. Especially if there is another "a" anywhere in the word.

My son is destined to sound like a reject from Good Will Hunting for the rest of his life thanks to me.

Ah, guilt. It goes down like a fine wine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spring Break! Woo Hoo!

I'm finally going to Hawaii. For Spring Break. Woo hoo!

My husband travels domestically all the time with his new job. A while ago he mentioned the possibility of me joining him in Vegas. But then he found out that he will be going to Hawaii in March and thought that sounded even better.

As it turns out, the kids will be on Spring Break that same week. But my mom offered to come take them for the week. In fact, she's going to fly in and fly them back to Boston with her. She's even mentioned taking them skiing.

Sounds good to me.

The only problem is that my husband doesn't have his plane tickets yet and won't get them for a while. But I can't wait that long to get mine. So I am now the proud owner of tickets to Hawaii and faith that I won't be going alone. I have a compact car reserved, but no place to stay yet.

Considering how many times my husband's travel plans get changed I'm pretty convinced that I'll be cancelling all these plans. But he insists that if that does happen, I should go to Hawaii on my own.

Sure. That will be fun. Hawaii all by myself. That's not depressing at all.

Of course, I've never actually been on a trip for Spring Break before. I spent all my college Spring Breaks at softball spring training. So if you have connections for a place to stay in Hawaii, be on call.

You might just be spending Spring Break (woo hoo!) with me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Losing My Shit, Completely

I finally wrote the article for the kids' old school. And I cried the entire time I was typing.

Then I had to go through all of our pictures to find something to accompany the story. And that made me bawl.

And then I got a flurry of e-mails and Facebook messages from my old Shreveport friends. And that's got me sobbing.

I'm so homesick. For a place I never wanted to call home.

I have to go pick up my daughter and take her to lunch. I need to get it together first. Or people will be asking me, "Who died?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mondo Beyondo

I love this idea which I found through sweet Brian.

Mondo beyondo! It is similar to a bucket list, but it is beyond. It is beyond new year's resolutions. Andrea of Superhero Journal explains it here.

"This is the list of things that are outrageous, wild, and may not even happen for 5 or 10 years from now. This is the list of things that are SO JUICY and unlikely to happen that you are afraid to even write them down. This might be the most important list of all!"

Afraid? Did she say afraid?

Hell yeah, I am. I'm scared to death.

I could easily write a list of "I need to lose weight" and "I need to clean my house" but those are easy. Anyone who looks at me can tell that I need to do those things. But they don't inspire me.

So what does? Do I have the guts to go Mondo Beyondo? Let's see.

1. I will write a book and find someone who believes in it and has the power to get it made.

2. I will create a home that I love. I will create a place that I love to come home to.

3. I will learn to play the piano.

4. I will make a circle of friends who feel comfortable together and love each other.

5. I will play and have fun with my husband!

6. I will travel to Europe.

7. I will find ways to empower my kids.

8. I will find the right place to volunteer, even if it means creating a charitable organization mysef.

You know, the truth is that none of those things are so hard. Other people do them all the time. The only hard thing is overcoming my own fear of failure.

How very FDR of me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

All I Really Want

My husband and I were watching that really annoying DirecTV commercial that mimics Desperate Housewives. You know, the one where one woman says she's bringing "Chicken a la Beth" and the other woman says she's bringing "brownies a la supermarket" to their friend's house.

In a moment of vulnerability and conscience sharing I said, "I wish I had friends who just came by."

"No, you don't," my husband replied. "You'd feel like the house had to be spotless all the time."

"No, I do." I insisted. "I want friends who are close enough that they won't care if they have to push laundry off the furniture to sit down."

I don't think I've ever had friends like that. I mean, there are a couple of people in my life who could be those kind of friends, but they live far away and I never call them. And I suppose my college friends were like that. But you never have friends again like the ones you had in the dorm. Real life just doesn't work that way.

My life is so full. I've got the best of everything that is important. I hit the life jackpot.

I just wish I had some friends who I could share my jackpot with. All I really want out of life is a husband who loves me as much as I love him, kids who know they are loved, and friends to gossip with over blueberry bagels and Diet Coke.

Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Sky is Falling

It's a snow day!

School was canceled today for the forecast of "light" snow.

And we thought we had moved out of the South.

I was going to watch the inauguration with a couple of cups of coffee. Now I'll be watching it with a couple of crazy kids who are just waiting for the first flakes to fall.

Update: I'm so glad they had Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma play before Obama's actual oath. My kids were not interested in the least (on their no-snow snow day) until I was able to draw them in with strings.

"Yo-Yo Ma is playing!" I called out and my daughter came running.

"Yo-Yo Ma is so young," she commented and then the kids settled in to watch the swearing in and speech.

And I cried my freaking eyes out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Changes and Answers

The kids really enjoyed their visit to our possibly new school on Wednesday.

While they were there, my husband and I were on the phone obsessing over our choices for next year. We don't want to trade one set of problems for another in a misguided attempt to find a school that we loved as much as our bayou school.

There's a reason why the phrase, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence," is a cliche.

So I was anxious to see what the kids had to say when I picked them up.

As usual, it was like pulling teeth.

At first all my daughter could do was complain about the art teacher who told her she had to fill in all the white spaces on her paper even though she didn't want to. But the more she talked the more good stories emerged.

Her favorite part of the day was playing with the school dog at recess. Yes, the school has a very sweet (and sweet smelling) Labradoodle as a pet.

How cool is a school with a pet?

My son had plenty of good things to share too, but neither one of them was making the declaration I was hoping for. Neither one of them came right out and said that they liked it better than their current school.

But then during her violin lesson, (conveniently about half a block from the new school) I noticed a marked change in my daughter.

She was talkative. And confident. She asked questions and made comments to her teacher. She was smiling. And happy.

I haven't seen her like that since we moved.

On the car ride home, she never shut up. "Wow," I had to ask. "What's up with you, kiddo?"

"I don't know," she replied. "I just feel so happy. And self confident."

About ten minutes later she declared out of the blue, "I really liked that school."

Then she had to go back to her current school yesterday and get mediocre math scores, be bored in language arts, and get bullied at recess and car pool.

When she got in the car when I picked her up she made another declaration.

"I've had it!"

Apparently, she is fed up. She went on and on about a certain girl who is absolutely awful. She is rude and mean and, as my daughter says, "She doesn't deserve to be treated nicely."

You have to understand what a departure this is. Even when kids are awful to her, she'll worry that they are unhappy at home. She worries that they'll either hate her or tell on her if she stands up for herself. But she stood up for herself yesterday. And she plans to have a sit-down, serious discussion with her teachers about the situation today.

"What's with the sudden change in attitude," I asked her.

"I just confident at the new school," she told me. "I didn't like having to go back to my school today. I just don't like how I feel there."

And our obsessive questions are answered.

I've missed having my little girl around. It's nice to see her be herself again.

Of course, she still has to test and be chosen for the new school. But I think her chances are good. Unfortunately, they still probably won't have room for my son, and he really doesn't want to go to a different school from his sister.

But I'll do whatever I have to to make sure my daughter gets back to herself. Even if it means driving all over the region to take my kids to different schools.

Once she's in, we'll work on getting my son in from the inside.

And then the military will probably move us and it will all start over again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Actual texts from my husband in Vegas.

Him: Horny?

Me: Drunk?

Him: Drunk in love with you.

How cute is that?

(Excuse me while I puke.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Will be Ignored

So it is official. Everyone and their brother is on Facebook now. Or at least my brother is.

Except he has ignored my friend request. My own brother. Sheesh.

It has occurred to me that maybe he also has a secret online alter ego that he doesn't want me to know about.

Considering the possibilities makes me want to drink bleach.

So I'm going to go on believing that he is just so busy with work and my nephews that he hasn't had the time to go on Facebook in weeks. Yup. That's it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Kingdom for Some Influence

Today I will spend all my time preparing for the kids to go on a school visit tomorrow.

They are spending tomorrow at the school I would kill for them to attend next year. Seriously. I'm considering spiking the lunchroom meat with peanuts.

They will go through the entire day in their current grade level, being observed. So I am freaking out today to make them observant-worthy. This means I need to do laundry, pack clean backpacks, get the kids haircuts, brief them on manners and *NOT* crying. And preparing the world's greatest pep talk for the morning.

I can't help but wonder if the Obamas jumped through all these hoops to get Malia and Sasha into Sidwell Friends School. I mean, the schools here told us "no mid-year admissions" but the Obamas didn't seem to have a problem.

Why oh why did I marry a lowly military guy? I should have nabbed me a senator.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The F Word

A few nights ago I woke in the middle of the night because I was fuming mad. In my dream, an elderly neighbor yelled the word "faggot" at someone.

I no longer remember the details of the dream. I just know that I was pissed off. I sort of remember that I was marching up to the old woman to rip her a new one when my husband stepped in front of me and handled the situation much more politely.

But I never really went back to sleep after the dream woke me up. I tossed and turned all night. I dozed but I was constantly trying to figure out the right thing to say or do in that situation. I also kept trying to compose a blog post. How sad is that?

That night, the situation was so real to me. I was so fucking angry.

I haven't been quite right since then.

My sleep is all fucked up. My mood is an abomination. I've been no good to anyone. I've had a horrible headache going on five days now.

It's one thing when I can point to stuff going on in my life and blame it for my mood. But it's another thing when I feel this bad and I can't pinpoint why. I wonder if it's the medicine I've been taking to fight this headache that is making me feel so bad.

I'm so sick of being me right now. I need a break from myself.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

He Ain't Heavy

My daughter, who gets pushed and bullied at school and never does anything but tell me about it, seriously considered beating someone up tonight.

Both of the kids were in a big violin group class when one of the boys about my daughter's age (and a complete freak like more than half the kids there) made a point of telling everyone that my son had messed up the bowing on a song.

My son completely ignored the kid. But my daughter was steaming mad.

I mean, really pissed off.

I couldn't actually see her because she was standing behind a column, but she came right up me after class and said, "I did not like what that kid said about my brother."

"I know. It was rude." I told her and patted her head.

But when we got in the car she went off. "I want to beat him up," she insisted. "Nobody treats my brother that way!"

I actually find it humorous. I've learned that being her mother requires me to be very good at finding the humor in things. She won't stand up for herself to save her life but she's going to kick a spaz's ass for some public criticism of her little brother.

I can only shake my head. Maybe she is a little bit like me after all.

Now I need to teach her the art of passive aggressive revenge. Though I think she could have taken the kid.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Testing Fear


Figures. Just a couple of hours after I went public with my resolve to get serious about my writing, I got tasked.

But I got tasked with a favor. I was asked to write a short story about kids and school for a collection celebrating our old school's 75th anniversary.

And I've got...





I've got ten days to write something.

I guess this is a very good test.

Monday, January 05, 2009

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Last week, over the course of three days, I had two separate speech therapists tell me on two separate occasions that I should be a speech therapist.

Having both the practice manager and the practice director at my son's clinic telling me in all seriousness that I should have been a therapist struck me as funny. My college roommate was a communication sciences and disorders major and I never once considered it for myself.

It got me to thinking.

Of course. Do you know me at all? All I ever do is think and think and think.

We've been talking a lot about careers and our futures lately, because my husband is coming to a place where he needs to decide if we're just going to throw in the towel on his career, coast until retirement and settle here, or go all out to become a commander and possibly a General.

I've been thinking a lot about the fact that his career could be over in seven years. If ever there was a time for me to start over, it's now.

I seriously have thought about becoming a teacher. I've been thinking and thinking about what and who I really want to be in my forties. I could be anything I wanted.

Inspired by Patrick's current career search I went back to square one. I thought about all those tests I took when I was eighteen to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Particularly the Myers-Briggs personality test.

I remembered that back then I was an INFJ. A counselor. Which is great and all but back then I wasn't going to let some test tell me what I should do.

But I decided to go ahead and take as many online versions of the Myers-Briggs test as I could last week. And they all came out the same. INFJ.

And what careers match with an INFJ?

-Special education teacher
-Alcohol and drug addiction counselor
-Diversity manager / trainer
-Speech / language pathologist
-Career counselor
-Director of religious education
-Editor / art director


You know, with the right eduction, the right tools, I could happily do any of those things. But few of them really fit with what I want in life. And only one of those words up there represents my dream.

Since I was a little kid, I thought becoming a writer was about as possible as becoming a movie star or traveling to the moon. But people do it.

I've realized that if something horrible were to happen to my husband, lifting geographical constraints, even in this economy there are plenty of writer/editor jobs out there that would be perfect for me. I could support my family.

For now, it is time to start working toward my dreams. It's time to start working on my writing like a job. It's time to stop making excuses become I'm scared of failure.

It's time to make time to do what I really want. It's time to grow up.

Friday, January 02, 2009

There's a zombie in the house!

Well, this is no way to start the new year.

Since I stayed up late on Christmas Eve my sleep has been all out of whack. It got ridiculous yesterday when I got eight hours of sleep, but between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

My husband is back to work today and he leaves on Monday for a few weeks, so I've got to get myself straightened out. And since I didn't sleep a wink last night that means only one thing.

I'm staying up. All day. With no sleep.

It's going to be a fun day in the Tuna house today.

Violin practice is done for the day so my only responsibility is to stay awake. Oh, and keep the kids alive.

I plan on going to the movies and carbo loading (or candy, popcorn and soda loading...that's the same...right?). Adam Sandler can keep me awake.