Category Archives: friends and such

No words

I just can’t come up with any, because here are Kate’s!!!

Just too much

Do you ever get to the point where you’re not sure how much more you can take?

It’s not all bad, just stress-inducing.  But some of it’s bad.

I’ve been sick for the last month.  It started while we were at Disney in February (did I even mention that here?  Well, we went, it was awesome, had a great time.)  Got worst on the trip home, and went to the doctor’s and was put on antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection.  They helped, but I’ve been in various states of general unwell since then.  Never quite enough for another course of antibiotics (though I was given a prescription to hold onto just in case) but lots of coughing and trouble sleeping until finally a few days ago I slept 11 hours one night, plus took a 4 hour nap the next day, and then slept 9 hours the next two nights, and I’m finally feeling mostly human.

Just as I got what I hope is permanently better, Lane came down with a bug and had a 101-degree fever yesterday.

There’s the whole hopefully going back to school and waiting to find out if I am accepted mini-drama, upon which I decided to pile the mini-drama of maybe getting a job.

And, the whole question of will I get pregnant, how much do I want to, and how much am I willing to go through to make it happen if it doesn’t on its own?

Frank’s studying is gearing up because he has an exam in about six weeks.

And, the biggest and worst news of all, my friend Kate is sick.  Really sick.  She came to visit me in early February, during which I took pregnancy portraits of her, which came out just lovely and we had a very nice visit… it was so nice to see her and our kids all got along great.  Then a couple weeks ago she had her baby, and it went downhill for Kate… bad infection, surgeries to remove the infection (which has been characterized as flesh-eating) and currently she’s still not “out of the woods” as they say.  She is almost fully sedated in the ICU on a ventilator, while her baby is in another hospital in the NICU with jaundice.  They are far enough away, and I think have enough help on hand that there’s really little I can do.  My heart is just aching for Kate and her whole family.  I simply can’t imagine a world with Kate not in it, she is witty and kind and thoughtful beyond belief, and a great friend to everyone lucky enough to have her in their life.  She better pull through.  She has to.


Bringing in reinforcements

I waffled on the idea for the last couple days, as I am staunchly a work-it-out-yourself sort of parent most of the time.

But Lane’s struggling.  Emotionally, physically, socially, with the estrangement from the girl that I think was her best friend at school before this.  Lane has a strong personality, so I imagined from the beginning that she might be a polarizing figure — the girl that other girls love, and/or hate.  I sort of mentally prepared myself for dealing with that.  I guess I didn’t predict Lane’s reaction to it.  Playing sick, changing her preferences, begging me not to send her to school.  Her heart’s aching, and so is mine.

So I emailed her teacher.  Just in a friendly heads-up sort of way, and seeing if she’d be open to doing a bit of mediation with them.  I’m still not sure it’s the right thing to do, and we’ll see how the teacher responds.


Really, I have to deal with this already?

Oh, sigh.

Now, let me remind you.  My daughter is five.  She just started kindergarten.  She watches Sesame Street and Dora.  She thinks farts are hilarious.  She was dumb enough to cut her own hair five months ago.

Yet, I am already dealing with a full-on case of girl-angst-drama. 

Before last week, Lane loved school.  Couldn’t get enough of it.  Rejoiced at getting an earlier bedtime so she’d be well-rested for school.

Then this week, something changed.  It was harder to get her out of bed.  She didn’t feel good.  She didn’t want to go to school.  Tonight, there were tears when she pleaded with me to not make her go to school tomorrow. 

Time to get to the bottom of things.

I’d gleaned a couple days ago that she and her friend (I’ll call her Katie) were mad at each other over something.  But when she told me, Lane didn’t seem very affected by it.  So when she had her minor freakout this evening, I dove deeper.  The story I was finally able to extract was that Katie hit her last week, and Lane told on her, and Katie got mad because Lane told on her, and declared they weren’t friends any more. 

Gosh, I hate this.  I was not good at being a girl through school.  I gravitated toward the jock girls, as we always seemed to be slightly more immune to the drama.  I was just never good at navigating through that social minefield.  And now, I have to teach my daughter the ways of this nonsensical world?!?  Ugh.

I did my best, and I think I gave her decent advice.  Well, first, I gave her a huge hug and thanked her for trusting me with the whole story, and now I’m her mom and it’s my job to be her friend and help her and protect her, so she can always tell me this stuff.  I told her that I totally understood that she would be mad that Katie hit her, because nobody likes to be hit.  However, even though Katie did something wrong, maybe Lane could have handled it differently too instead of telling the teacher right away.   Lane’s also a pretty big tattle-tale at home, too, and 95% of the time I make her work it out herself.  Tell your brother you don’t like to be hit.  Don’t play with him if he’s not nice to you.  Blah blah blah.  I told her tonight that while she wasn’t wrong to tell her teacher, that maybe she could have done something differently.  Maybe she could have asked Katie not to hit, because Lane doesn’t like to be hit.  There was a little more talking, a couple rephrasings, a couple examples, a little talk about how maybe she go about making amends with Katie, who before this incident was arguably Lane’s best friend at school and the only one she talked about having playdates with.

And, sigh, again.  I feel so ill-equipped with dealing with this crapola.  I want Lane to be better equipped to deal with all this angst and drama. 

Or maybe I can just encourage her to be a jock.  🙂

Seriously though, I’d totally take some advice here.   Any thoughts?  Any good books to read?  I need help.  I’ve considered shooting an email off to the teacher, just to give her a heads-up about what’s going on between these girls… but how much is helpful to a teacher, and how much is needless meddling?  Would she want to help mediate the situation, or prefer to let the girls work it out themselves? 


A day in the life

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but here it’s lovely.

Much has been accomplished. My garden got the bejeezus weeded out of it, and I planted some more radish & carrot & spinach seeds, and re-routed some strawberry runners. Everything got a good watering.  I ate my first salad from it.

Frank tried to fix our attic fan, but discovered that instead of a bum thermostat as we originally suspected, the motor is blown. The standard home improvement stores did not carry a replacement. Bah.

I had my neighbor friend over for margaritas on my deck, which thanks to a bunch of potting and a few purchased accessories feels very homey now.

Jake took a three hour nap.

Lane’s been playing at the neighbor’s for the past two or three hours.

I’m still buzzed from the margaritas.

Life is good.

Your slip is showing

Lacking motivation or inspiration to come up with my own topics, I’m joining in today with Kate and some other folks and we’re doing a weekly theme, a shared topic each Wednesday.  Today’s is “Freudian Slips”.

This just goes to show how dry my creative font is.  Even though I was a psych major and still pick up my textbooks to read for fun, the only thing I can really think to say about a Freudian slip is that I didn’t know that Freud was a transvestite.  Thanks, I’ll be here all week!  Try the veal!  (Not really, veal is mean.  Try the penne vodka.)

I don’t have any stunningly funny stories about my own Freudian slips, and I can’t even muster the mental fortitude to remember something funny that happened to someone else.  Actually, I could link this topic back to parenthood.  But shit, I seem to link every topic back to parenthood.  As much as I love my kids I got sick of ‘hearing’ myself blog about them constantly, and I find my kids infinitely fascinating.  Or at least more infinitely fascinating than any other person on the planet would find them.

Well, darn it, I’ll go there anyway.

I slip up a lot when I yell at Jake.  He is, 98% of the time, an affable, friendly, independent, happy little guy.  Occasionally though, he pulls out the big guns and does something like write with a Sharpie on the wallpaper in the hallway.  Or color his whole hand in with a Sharpie.  Or other destruction, Sharpie-related or not.  When these things happen I am obligated, as mothers are, to yell.  (OK, I know some moms don’t yell.  And I’m all for natural consequences.  But really — if you do something dumb and destructive, I think a perfectly natural consequence is dealing with someone else getting upset about that boneheaded thing you did.)  Only I find when I go to yell at him I often don’t call him Jake.  Sometimes I call him Lane first…. which sort of illustrates who I’m usually yelling at.  And now that my brother’s living here, I will occasionally call Jake “Mark” when I yell at him… which sort of illustrates which other male in my life has supplied some of my most frustrating moments.

And speaking of Freud, let’s touch for a moment on the dream I had last night, which I’m sure Freud could have a field day with.  I don’t often wake up remembering a dream, so last night was notable for that, if nothing else.  But it was a weird couple of days… Lane’s been sick, I worked last night, I found out my friend Abby is expecting baby #2… and not that all that is weird but it made the last couple days a bit beyond run-of-the-mill.

(Edited to add a couple, in my opinion, pertinent details, for those who may be visiting for the first time:  my mom passed away ten years ago, and before I became a stay at home mom, I worked for seven years in human resources for a major pharmaceutical company, where I gained a healthy respect for the business and the products they make, but a general disdain for the currently popular sales model that most pharmas use to peddle their products.)

So… the dream.

I’m in the hospital with my mom.  Neither of us are IN the hospital, but for whatever reason we are hanging out there.  My mom tells me she thinks I should take a pregnancy test.  I don’t see why, I don’t think I’m pregnant, but whatever.  Lo and behold someone shows up, who functioned in the dream as both some sort of nurse AND as a pharmaceutical rep, wanted me to take a pregnancy test that for reasons unknown would cost my insurance company like $40.   I completely freaked out in the dream, yelling at this nurse/rep and telling her what a scam this was and there was no reason a pregnancy test should cost that much money, get me a $5 Target brand test and I’ll take it but I’m NOT peeing on a $40 stick.  She says, “would you really trust the results of a store-brand pregnancy test?  Do you think that’s the best decision for your baby?”  and I start yelling at her more, that she can’t make me feel guilty and like a bad mother for this decision and then I kick her out of the room.  That was about it.  I never did take a pregnancy test in the dream.  Your thoughts welcome!  🙂

Trekkin’ around the state

It’s been a whirlwind few days!

As I mentioned previously, Lane went to Buffalo on Monday.  My dad was here visiting for one night with his fiancee from Sunday to Monday, and as they were preparing to leave, Lane started saying she REALLLLY wanted to go to Buffalo with Grandpa Jerry.  Well, he’s retired, and she wouldn’t miss anything more than a few days of preschool and a dance class.  So she went.  By all reports they had a blast.  Tuesday was an off weather day in Buffalo so they hung out at home and watched movies, and Wednesday they went to the Buffalo Zoo.  (I am happy to report no polar bears died while they were visiting.)

Then, Jake and I drove up there on Wednesday afternoon and got there about 9:00 p.m.  Thursday was general hanging-out-with-relatives, and my dad took Jake to see choo-choos (my dad used to work on the railroad).

I also had a very sweet, very frank conversation with my brother about life stuff and relationship stuff of which I will not violate his confidence by divulging the details here, but it make my heart sigh, in that good way.  He’s a good egg who just needs to sort out his priorities a little and really realize he’s more grown-up and mature than he gives himself credit for.

Then, Friday, the kids and I headed for the Albany area, where we visited with my friend Amanda and her new, perfect little baby, and where Frank rendez-vous’ed with us.  We stayed there last night, and then went to my friend Cari’s daughter’s first birthday party, where we also saw other friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, being caught up in the whole moving-into-our-house-and-getting-it-spiffied-up whirlwind, as we are.  But there are tentative plans to get together with the other friends in the next couple weeks, and for Amanda to visit at some point in November, so we’re getting caught up, socially, which feels good.

And now we are home, and I’m sitting on my own couch, and I’m relishing that we don’t have to travel anywhere until Christmas (unless we choose to do so otherwise, before then).  Not that we won’t be busy – we have a dining room that needs wallpaper stripped and a coat of the “tomato bisque” paint I bought before Thanksgiving, among a couple other rooms that need painting.  But after our last two busy weekends… bring on the paint.  🙂