Friday, December 18, 2009

Home for the holidays

It is t-1 week until Christmas. I guess I'm done with my shopping.... not that there was alot to get done in the first place. My tree is up, but still remains only partially decorated. Josh and I put a solid effort forth last night, but we bought a pretty tall tree this year and Brad is the only one tall enough to reach the top. Considering that we're flat broke - I did manage to get several nice things for Josh. Brad won a Wii and Wii Fit at his company party, but gave the Wii back for someone else to win since we already have one. He kept the Wii Fit, so that'll be a nice one under the tree from Santa. For the first time since I've been working a "9-5" job, I am taking off the week between Christmas and New Years. Our office is open, but it always a barren waste land. I can't do much work because the people I primarily work with are teachers, and they're not working. The rest of them are folks who also work with teachers, so they're not working either. I figure I've got the time to take, so why not use it to enjoy my holiday. Josh will be off of school, my babysitter is going to Venezuela, so it just makes sense for me to be home. Too bad Brad won't be able to join us. I can think of so many projects we could get done if we were all home together for several days.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On the road again

I need a "slow down" button. Life is blazing past me and I can't quite keep up. A year or so ago I used to have perpetual anxiety about making my flights. I had so many trips piled up on top of each other that I was literally dreaming about the next trip as soon as one had ended. I deduced that this was likely my brain trying to prepare for the next event, but it just made me nervous all the time. Now I'm all lackadaisical about traveling all the time, and I find myself a bit unprepared for upcoming trips. This weekend I'll be busy. Tomorrow I'm working all day at the Soccerplex (or at least I'm pretty sure I am, unless they call and tell me it's been cancelled because it's under water), and then Sunday evening I fly out to KC for four days. I haven't been away for that long since I went to convention back in March. I've been trying to keep up with stuff around the house, and Brad has actually been doing his part (for the most part), by doing the dishes and then vacuuming periodically (oh, if only he'd do the stairs). I spent a good bit of time working on laundry (cause you can't very well pack for a 4 day trip without clean clothes), and then I try to tidy up daily (which is nothing new). I still find myself panicking when I think about having to go away. Like I'm completely unprepared, but actually I am prepared. Brad and I are both taking Sunday off, and I'll have all day to do whatever needs to be done before I take off that evening. I'll be back late on Wednesday, but then have to hit the ground running again as I'm working next Saturday and Sunday at the Soccerplex as well. At least the next week is Thanksgiving. I'd like to say it'll be a nice relaxing break, but my mom is coming and by this point you should fully understand that no relaxing will happen. I'd like to focus on going to Puerto Rico in late January, but I have to get through my trip to TX and annual leadership meeting first. That is also somewhat stressful, though the meetings always go well. I can at least focus on KC BBQ for next week and Root burgers after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Laughing, but perplexed

I'm grappling with the fact that people I know are at a stage in their life where they have kids who need to maintain a certain GPA in order to play school sponsored sports. Compound that with the additional fact that at least one of these people has decided that it is more important for their kid to play sports than to do well in school. Yep, that's right. I honestly thought that ridiculous idea went out of fashion (sadly, I had athletes in the high school where I worked a few years back who had similar parents). I just cannot wrap my brain around the idea that somehow it is ok to bash the school for requiring kids to maintain a certain GPA in order to participate in sports. I also cannot fathom how these folks seem to think it's ok to put sport participation over doing well in school. Please, someone, tell me where the train derailed here? Now, I will say that my life has been considerably different that this particular person's life. Nonetheless, she wasn't an athlete of any sort. She wasn't in to the arts. Hell, she wasn't in to anything extracurricular as far as I could tell. This perplexes me even more. I guess somewhere, I could maybe comprehend a bit of this sort of sentiment from someone who'd been a 3 sport athlete and had gone to college on scholarship. Maybe, just maybe, an argument could be made by THAT person. But, she's not that person. I have to laugh because I pointed out to this person that the school wasn't in the wrong. In fact, the school is struggling, struggling hard in recent years, just to get a half decent education to these kids. To my amazement, it seems they've started offering foreign language to kids at the middle school level. I think this is fabulous, because it's a huge step forward from what was previously offered. Sadly, the person I speak of thinks it's an aberration. She literally made the argument that the only reason Spanish was offered was because of the diversity in this country. Seriously? I couldn't help but put in my two cents on the issue. This only led to more laughs because others actually chimed in to support the crazy ideas she was spewing. Alas, I am now one less "friend" on FB, which makes me laugh even harder. Oh well, no more redneck entertainment for me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saving the planet and still more crazy people

So, Josh's school has an artist in residence this week - Dan Dancer. Information about Dan, and the school encompassing art project he would execute while in residence was sent out a few weeks ago, and I was excited for Josh when I got this information. The kids are all wearing black and white and together will create the image of a huge panda on the school soccer field. A photo of this will be taken from above thus creating the art. A reminder of this event was emailed to parents earlier today (on my mobile address), but there were a couple of interesting side bars which made me question why such verbiage would be necessary. Basically they noted that some parents don't believe in global warming (laughable, I know), and that we should all use this opportunity to discuss with our kids the impact we have on the planet. The website for Dan (linked to above) was included, so I took a look. I was truly moved by all the great things this guy has done with art to enlighten folks to the state of our environmental demise. I was even more perplexed, after viewing the website, about why the school sent such an odd email. Once I got home and checked my home email I saw the reasoning. A parent, one who I believe I've met (her kid came to Josh's birthday party last year), emailed every parent whose email she had (at least that's what I'm guessing - she may have emailed the entire school like a true psychopath) complaining about how this isn't an art project after all, and instead calling it "propaganda." Now, the only thing I can take away from her short email is that she doesn't "believe" in global warming, or the fact that we as a planet are dealing with serious environmental issues. I sat and I thought, and I thought some more, and employing every fiber of my "let it go" being, I did not email her back and tell her how excited I was that my child was going to be part of something that heightened awareness to the environmental issues facing today's generation and most certainly tomorrows. Why on earth would this lady think that she was somehow of the majority in her thinking? That her opinion would be that of the whole school, or even of the other parents in her kid's grade? I can't imagine emailing people, encouraging them to hop on board my band wagon if I was to disagree with something overwhelmingly positive that the students at my kids school were taking part in. Now, if the US Nazi party was stopping by for a chat, I'd certainly have beef with it, but I really can't see how FCPS would in any way shape or form think that was positive for the kids. She ended about how mortified she was that the picture the students create (a panda) would be posted on the 350 website. That made me even more excited! Dan's website is nice and all, but it's nowhere near the publicity that the 350 site has. I even went and became a fan of 350 on Facebook. I think this project, and notoriety on both websites, is something Josh will be able to reference and look back on for the rest of his life. We do what we can to help the environment. We recycle, we use energy saving appliances and electronics, we use cf light bulbs, and we buy from the farmers market all summer. I hope that these things and more stay with Josh (and Brinley) throughout his life. I hope that learning about the environment and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint early on will help him to continue to learn about what he as an individual can do to make a change. He is VERY interested in biology, so who knows, perhaps he'll be our next environmental champion.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Parking lot interaction with a psycho

Yesterday was our "free" day. Nobody had to go to work (shocker), there wasn't anything on the agenda for the day. We were free to do whatever we wanted. If Brad had his way we never would've seen the outside of the front door. I, however, had other plans. Josh needed a haircut, plus, he only had like 3 long sleeve shirts, so I wanted to shop around for a few more of those for him to wear.

We headed out for the Hair Cuttery in Old Town Fairfax, where I generally like the ladies and they have yet to botch Josh's haircut. We didn't even make it in the door when drama ensued. Apparently, sometime between when Brad got out of the car, and when he walked to the curb, he spit on the ground. I don't know if he got rain in his mouth as it splashed off a car, or if a bug flew in, or any number of other reasons one might feel the need to spit, but he did it nonetheless. It was not a lugie, nor was it gum or some other form of litter, just plain old spit.

Why, you may be asking, are you blogging about spit? Well, it's not in my normal repertoire, but this pissed me off, so here's the reason.

As we step up on the curb to head in to the store, a lady across the parking lot starts yelling something we can't quite understand. Everyone on the sidewalk stops and looks at her, and then turns back to what they were doing. This doesn't faze her and she continues to yell - now saying "you, hey you, yes you." I still don't get that she's talking to us, but as she comes close she starts speaking words that make some sense. "You can't just spit on the ground like that!" I said "what?" She goes on with "he just spit on the ground - that's how tuberculosis is spread you know!" I nearly laughed out loud. Not because I didn't believe her, but because she chose a random individual in a parking lot to yell at about the spread of disease because he spit on the ground for reasons she didn't know. She continues to lecture with "this isn't' a 3rd world country you know, you can't just go around spitting on the ground." I had to interject before I smacked her right upside her ridiculous head. "That's all fine and dandy, but this isn't a 3rd world country, and nobody here is spreading tuberculosis." She says "well how do you know." Again, I almost laughed in her face. "Well, he is my husband, and I'm acutely aware of the status of his health." She continues on with some nonsense about how she's a physician (beware of this crazy lady - very short brown hair, with no style to it whatsoever) and is certain that people are getting tuberculosis from spit on pavement all across the US. I noted that I was also a health care professional and that I was not the least bit worried about people spitting on pavement (good lord, what would she do if she ever set foot in WV where folks are spitting their chew on the pavement - or lack thereof - left and right). Brad, at this point, is sensing that I'm on the verge of doing something he might regret, so he goes for the diplomatic approach with, "ok, you've made your point - move on." (this to her, in an attempt to get us both to shut up undoubtedly).

We ended up leaving the Hair Cuttery immediately because it was apparent that there was a significant wait, and frankly I could not stomach the thought of having to sit there in the store with that crazy lady another second. We went to Old Navy (which sometimes makes me think I'm in a 3rd world country), then to California Tortilla (where I was disappointed, yet again, with my meal), and then back to Hair Cuttery (where we were the only people in the store and it was quiet and pleasant).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Life comes at you..... fast

So, I just noticed that the last time I posted a blog was nearly 3 months ago. WTF? Where on earth did the time go? Alot has happened since August 6th, so here's a recap.

Katie & Bekir left to go back to Turkey at the end of the month, and Brinley started full time daycare with our neighbor (and Venezuelan goddess of childcare) Martiza. This is a fantabulous set up with her being only one block over, the best deal going (cost wise), and a very kind, trustworthy person who truly seems to love Brinley and children in general. I started working part time at Gallaudet for a three week stint while Jonathan went off to Taipei (I'm only slightly bitter). Brad got a second job at Golf Galaxy to help pay for childcare (and get a discount on golf equipment and clothing).


The Gallaudet gig got pretty taxing. I was working mornings at my regular job (trying to cram 8 hours worth of work in to 4 hours was nonsense), and then afternoons/evenings/weekends at Gally. It was fun for the most part, but exhausting as well. I was really glad when that ended. Couple that with trying to balance my schedule with Brad's schedule and it was a bit of a circus. At my regular job I ended up doing all of the content loading for my two websites. This came as quite a surprise, as I thought I wouldn't have to do all of that. Nonetheless, I got it done (4 hours a day for 3 weeks) and was glad to have the experience and ability to make changes where necessary. It's up and running now, but still needs more work from my perspective. You should be grateful that I had no time to blog while that was going on. I had mad blog fodder, but it's one of those things that needed to be written in the moment.... and the moment has passed.

Let the travel begin! Ok, so I've cut back ALOT from travel in years past. First, I don't have the crazy whack budget I had before. Second, Brad would undoubtedly divorce me if I was on a plane once every two weeks for a 3 day trip. Nonetheless, some trips are necessary. I was off to Seattle on the first for my fall committee meeting. Things went relatively well, and I got the chance to bum around town a bit after the meeting finished up on Friday. Had a nice time with a few committee members. On Sunday, Brad had his graduation ceremony for UOP. He's still got a few loose ends to tie up, but there's a bright light at the end of the tunnel now.

This has pretty much caught us up to where I am now. Brad is working many evenings a week, and usually one weekend day, and that really sucks for the most part. He doesn't get much down time, and I am single parenting on the regular. I can handle it, I just don't enjoy it and I miss him being here in the evenings.

Brinley has taken to rolling back and forth. She doesn't roll over and over (so it's not a mode of transportation as of yet), but she does roll over and can flip back over if she wants to. She doesn't do this much cause she's not much for tummy time, but we're working on it.

Josh will test for his purple belt at Tae Kwon Do tomorrow. I feel like we JUST had a test, but I guess it's been a couple of months now. This time next year he'll be testing for his black belt (and hopefully we'll be able to afford for him to do so). At the last test he got a trophy for most outstanding test. This makes me happy because he works pretty hard at it, so he deserves to be recognized for his efforts.

In a couple of weeks I'll be heading out to Colorado Springs for the one state convention I'll be attending this year. I've never been to Colorado, so I'm looking forward to it (though not all the snow they've got). A former coworker lives there now, so I'm looking forward to seeing her and checking out her new job at the OTC. Also looking forward to working with some AHA pals, and imbibing some Fat Tire (yay Fat Tire!).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I feel the need...

... to get up and move. Sitting at my desk is detrimental to my health. I discovered this a couple of years ago when I took this job and realized that it took very little time for me to pack on about 10lbs thanks to the lack of regular activity. Yes, of course I get up and walk around the office. I take little trips to visit folks, deliver things to other department, and get a drink, but these do not make up for the endless hours I spend sitting in my ass. In the past I've taken walks around the park where my office is located during lunch, and I really need to get back to that. My current hang-up is that I can't remember to bring my sneakers to work. Mind you, I haven't actually worn my sneakers since sometime in late April because they ceased to fit on my feet. That situation has since been resolved, so I really have no excuses.
At this juncture I wish I could say that I am only 10lbs overweight, but then I'd be some sort of freak that every other recently pregnant chick on the planet loathed. I assure you that this is not the case. While I'd ideally weigh about 40lbs less, I'd really be quite happy with a 20lb drop. I'm not sure that the 40lb dream is actually in my future (at least not without the help of some very skilled surgeons). All that aside, I'm never gonna lose anything without getting up and moving around with my goal in mind. I have taken up dog walking as my exercise of choice at home. Poor Ben does not get as much exercise as he should and I thought that taking it upon myself to help him out in that department would benefit both of us. Still, a lap around the neighborhood is not going to get me very far, so I need to work on fitting in still more activity. I would love to squeeze in some pool time, but a real workout in the pool is not a reality most days.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Yet another quote of the day

The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience...not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Today's quote in my little quote widget thingy was yet again filled with words of wisdom very applicable to my current situation. "Changes must come from the inability to live otherwise..." This is so very true. No matter what, most people are at least partially resistant to change, and for many people it takes a real problem to initiate any sort of real change. I've found that while I'm not adverse to change, it's still a difficult thing to do and I really have to gear myself up for it. We've had alot of change at my house over the past year. Most of the changes have been for the better, and we've adapted and enjoyed the additions to our life.
Unfortunately, some of the changes begot changes in our financial status and that situation needs to be resolved pronto.... thus necessitating further changes. At this juncture it is impossible for us to continue to live in our current situation without making some major changes. One change is to find new jobs. Brad has applied to about a bazillion jobs and since the job market is so exceptionally crappy thanks to the glut of unemployed, but very skilled workers, has yet to actually get so much as an interview. With that being said, thankfully he has not joined the ranks of the unemployed and it is pretty certain that he will not land in that boat. The same can be said for me (minus the part where jobs have been applied for). I have applied for absolutely no jobs. I have two jobs as it is, and the flexibility that my primary job affords me is one that I don't want to give up. The flexibility allows me to have the other job (which is the job I really love), while paying the bills (for the most part). Unfortunately my two jobs still does not make up for the budget deficit we're currently facing. Brad is now looking for a second job as well, and I hope and pray that will happen and our financial issues will be resolved.
Yesterday in my daily job hunt (which is generally for Brad), I came across a job that I thought would be better suited for me. It's not a perfect fit, but perhaps a better fit than where I am. I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw my hat in to the ring for a position with this organization, but I need to do some major work on my resume (which hasn't been updated for approximately 2 years). In all honestly I'd just like for things to fall in to place without either of us having to take a job we don't want (just for the sake of the paycheck). It would be great if one of the jobs Brad has applied for would come to fruition. It would be great if a local AT job opened up and I was able to take it (thus saving us the cost of summer child care and plunging me back in to the field I love and went to school for 7 frickin' years to do).
All in all I guess what it boils down to is that I am hoping and praying for change. Major, life altering change. Change that will free us from the terror that is the child care bill, and the stress of going to a job every day that is less than enjoyable.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What's New

I've been a little preoccupied for the past 5 weeks, thus no updates to the blog (aside from the repost when MJ went on to the great big stage in the sky). Here's a quick breakdown of what's been going on.

June 18th, 2009 - Brinley Nicole Snyder finally decided to join us. Can I tell you how happy I was to have that be over with? I don't think there are words to describe my elation. As I've mentioned many times before.... never, ever will I do that again. Thankfully she came out cute and perfect. To give an example, she sleeps through the night (starting at 4 days old). Additionally, she appears to be a Taylor baby (as opposed to Joshua who, according to everyone on the planet except me, appears to be a Snyder baby).

I took a month off from work and spent a considerable amount of time sleeping in and lying by the pool. I've got the farmers tan to prove it. Joshua joined the swim team this year, and after about six weeks of prodding, begging, pleading, and forehead slapping (on my part) he is now a pretty decent swimmer. He needs to learn the strokes, but he does a mean doggie paddle, and is getting better each day with freestyle and butterfly. This is a major accomplishment and frankly it trumps me giving birth in the way of big events because we've been trying to get him to swim (in any capacity) for roughly 5 years now.
Katie came to town in early July and has been quite helpful in the way of baby tending and carting Josh around (not to mention she vacuums regularly and will load the dishwasher). Bekir followed earlier this week and we've been enjoying visiting with them.
Unfortunately I won't be going to Taipei in a month due to financial stress and the need for an additional job to pay for childcare. Anyone looking for help in the evenings or weekends should contact me STAT. In lieu of travelling to Taipei I'll be heading back to Gally to cover for Jonathan (who replaced me when I left) so that he can travel to Taipei (I'm only extremely jealous, but not disgruntled).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Memories and Michael Jackson - again

In lieu of the recent passing of Michael Jackson I'm reposting a blog I wrote well over a year ago about how fond I am of his music.

Monday, February 11, 2008
Memories and Michael Jackson
Do you ever forget how much you loved Michael Jackson? No, not recently loved him, but in like 1st grade loved him. When I was in 1st grade, along with many of you - Michael Jackson was da bomb. He was the coolest, most talented, best entertainer out there. We all loved his songs (go ahead, try and deny it), wanted to do the moonwalk like him, and watched Thriller over and over again. Regardless, I'm not on here typing away to convince you of anything.
So, we've established that I loved Michael Jackson as a kid. I continued to enjoy his music even though Michael, as a person, became the exact opposite of someone who I would admire. The music he made during the early 80's, and even the early 90's was great. Catchy tunes that have been sampled and remade time and time again in the current music scene. This is what leads me to this blog and the recent updates to my playlist.
Rhianna's newest radio release has a nice sampling (or pseudosampling) from Wanna Be Starting Something which in turn leads me to think of Michael Jackson, which in turn leads me to think about a very long trip to and from Connecticut with my partners in crime Ron and Cami (and Will was along that trip which made it even better). We didn't always all agree on what should or should not be on the radio, but we all agreed on Michael Jackson. (BTW, Cami or Will if you happen to read this - one of my favoritest memories ever.) This story has already been recapped in a 2 part blog way down my list called "We're supposed to take 95 north," and "We're supposed to take 95 south." (found on my MySpace blog)
Anywho, all this brought me to today when I finally remembered to add some MJ songs to my playlist - along with Rhianna, and some new Chris Brown. When you have nothing better to do, or need the best playlist ever to get you through your day - check it out :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The longest day must have its close—the gloomiest night will wear on to a morning.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

So I have this little quote widget on my blog (you've probably noticed this already), and it's there as much for me as anyone else. I particularly liked today's quote because it seemed so very applicable to the agony that is my sitting and waiting. To quote about a bazillion other people, "nobody was ever pregnant forever." This is true, but it sure does feel like I've been pregnant forever, and with no actual end in sight it seems that the misery will go on endlessly. One two or three occasions now I've been sure that the end was near. I mean really near. This, only to be disappointed when the end did not in fact show up. I could sit here and list all the reasons why I feel as though I cannot go on another day, but it won't get me anywhere, so I'll just sit here and stew about it to myself.

There are undoubtedly people out there who have no clue I'm about to have a baby. Either they don't keep in touch, or I don't keep in touch, or they don't read my blog, or they don't talk to anyone that I talk to. It's probably for the best. I find pregnancy to be horrific. It's agonizing and painful, uncomfortable and miserable. I can't find one positive thing to say about it other than you get the baby in the end (and then you get a whole new set of agonizing, painful, uncomfortable, and miserable issues). Why people do this on purpose ceases to amaze me. All that being said, if you're one of those people who thinks that pregnancy is so fabulous then you probably do not want to have a conversation with me. I don't care how glorious you thought it was. Frankly, I think you deluded yourself the entire time. My theory on the knows, and the know-nots is simply that I can deal with the knows and probably cannot or do not want to deal with the know-nots. I like them all just the same, it's more a matter of relativity and agreement on the issue at hand.

All that being said - I'm hoping that this ever so long day will have its close (not the actual day, but the theoretical day that has been the last 9 VERY LONG months) soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bathroom Remodeling

Ages ago (like well over a year) we discovered that our bathroom sink was rusted. Not just a little bit rusted, but rusted clear through. In the sink's defense, it is probably the original sink installed in the house in 1973. We discovered the leak while replacing the faucet which also seemed to be the original from 1973 (it too was leaking). Not wanting to get in to anything too massive where bathroom renovations were concerned, Brad was able to just use some plumber's putty to "fix" the leak.
Fast forward a few months. I noticed one day that the bag I'd pulled from under the sink for the trash can was wet. This was slightly disturbing, but it wasn't like it was dripping... just a little damp.
Fast forward a few months (maybe it was even just a few weeks), and Brad realized he'd left some tools under that same sink from when he'd changed out the faucet. He went to fetch them and they were rusted. Further proof that the "fix" was not working.
Finally a couple of weekends back I was pulling yet another bag out from under the sink and noticed that it was wet. No, not damp, actually wet. Water had pooled on the bag, so that when I grabbed it and pulled a small puddle ended up on the floor. This was bad and needed some immediate attention.
I mentioned to Brad that the "fix" was shot and we needed to look in to replacing the vanity. We would probably have opted to replace the sink but previous attempts to disengage the sink from the vanity proved impossible. Plus, the vanity/sink combo was ancient (see part where it's undoubtedly the original from 1973). We'd looked at other vanity/sink combos at Home Depot and Lowe's and found a few that were inexpensive and good looking. Brad and his friend Nick met up, headed to Lowe's and picked up a new one to install. I was very excited, but of course it wasn't going to be easy.
I'd like to note that it has been two weeks now since this project first started and I still have no sink to use in my bathroom. There is an upside to this. While Nick was able to come in, remove the old installation, and begin the process of the new installation, there were more challenges to overcome. The vanity had been flush with the front and right side wall. The new vanity did not want to be flush with anything and when we made it flush it then exposed part of the floor that had never been finished. Everyone had a theory as to how to deal with the flooring issue, but the bigger issue is that the floor just needs to be replaced. It's spongy in places, has a slope in other places, and isn't installed very well regardless.
What was once a simple issue of replacing a sink has now become a bathroom renovation. Not to say that the bathroom doesn't need to be renovated, but frankly I'm short on time here and I'd like to see this done sooner rather than later. I like using the potty closest to me when at all possible, and even though it's only another 10 steps or so to our other bathroom it's a pain.... especially in the middle of the night (for 3 - 4 trips). Brad is now nearly halfway through the process of laying porcelain tile that I picked out. Hopefully he'll finish up the actual tile laying this evening and begin the process of grouting tomorrow. Perhaps when he's finished, and the new sink is in place, and the potty is put back I will post pictures.

The world is full of stupid people

Just when I think things are fine and dandy I find myself right in the middle of numerous situations involving incredibly stupid people. If it was just a single incident I would probably not get all bent out of shape. I'd chalk it up to general stupidity and move along. Unfortunately these things come in waves, and before I know it there's just stupid person after stupid person beating down my door (no, not my actual door, but my door in theory). I don't deal well with stupid people. If they're really dumb and annoying I find myself completely infuriated with the entire situation and I have to do something to remove myself. This becomes a challenge when it's not just one person, but many people and many situations. Why, why are people so incredibly stupid? I just don't understand what makes a 70 year old act like a 4th grader. I also don't understand why you tell someone something specific a bazillion times only to have them act as though you never said anything at all. I do my best to be as specific and detailed as possible to give people the best opportunity to be informed. Why then do they decide to just ignore everything I've said? I'm at a loss, I really am. Days like today make me wanna find a different job and leave it all behind. Sadly, that's really me taking it out on the wrong people. The people AT my actual job have done nothing wrong. It's other people I'm forced to deal with that drive me straight up the wall - and not even all the time, just periodically. Perhaps I need a new approach. I will not answer emails, I will not provide ridiculous amounts of information. Perhaps I'll provide no information. Maybe then people will stop acting so stupid and actually think and act like responsible adults? Probably not, but one can hope.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Babyland

Ok, so we're looking about a 3-4 more weeks of this craziness.... max! This is a good thing. I am sooooooooo ready for this nonsense to be over and feel like an actual human being again. I cannot wait to sit down, stand up, or, God forbid, lie down without it being excruciatingly painful in a variety of ways. More than that - I can't wait for the weight loss to begin. I've come to find that IT has happened to me AGAIN. What is IT you ask? IT happened last time I was pregnant, some 8+ years ago. I look in the mirror and I don't see something all great, but I don't see Shamu. The fact that I don't see Shamu eases my fears about being Shamu and I'm able to go on about my business.... satisfied that I don't need my own zip code. But then the pictures come.... some evil being with a camera takes pictures at an event of some sort and then, and only then, the truth comes out. IT is revealed! I am Shamu! Never mind that I don't see it when I look in the mirror, and nobody has the gumption to tell me (except my boss who says to me the other day, "so you seem to be retaining water", to which I replied, "yes, it's quite nasty, but that's the case"), but regardless I am fat fat the water rat. Now, in my defense, I'd venture my boss has really hit the nail on the head. It's ALOT of water.
It really came on quickly about 10 days ago or so. I'd been just dandy with a bit of swelling, but nothing too horrible. I was able to wear my shoes, and my rings, so those were comforting aspects in my quest to not be Shamu. Then, all of a sudden I couldn't get my feet in to my shoes, and my rings wouldn't come off (mind you, I got them off and haven't put them back on since). I'm truly amazed at how quickly this happened, but happen it did and there's no looking back. I can only hope that I'll be able to ward off the really ugly number on the scale I'd prefer to remain on the left side of, but I don't feel that I have much control over the scale at this juncture.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just in time for Mother's Day

So, if you know me pretty well you're undoubtedly aware that I have a less than desirable relationship with my mom. It's been this way since I was a little kid, and unfortunately has only gotten worse over the years. I've grown and learned and changed as much as one person normally does over the course of 25 years, but it seems that no matter what I do I am always at odds with my mom.
A little over a year ago things got very bad with my mom and I decided that I had no choice but to just stop speaking to her. She only brought me grief and anxiety and it was extremely difficult to deal with her unreasonable and irrational ways. It didn't only affect me, it affected my husband and kid too. After several months went by I was caught off guard by the auto-answer feature on my phone while driving and was suddenly forced in to conversation with her. I told her what my problems with her were, I explained that I was very unhappy with our relationship and had been for most of my life. She was somewhat sympathetic and said she would like to make things better. After that conversation I went a couple of weeks without speaking to her, but was encouraged by friends and family to try and make amends. I decided that I would call, tell her that I needed to put boundaries on our relationship and tell her what it was that I expected from the relationship. Maybe, just maybe, if she knew what my expectations were then we would be able to go forward. I got up the nerve and called and told her what I had to say. She was happy to hear from me and said she would "do anything to help us have a better relationship." As you might imagine, that entire phone call went right out the window about a week later when she called, completely trampled every boundary I'd set and ignored every expectation I'd described. I was once again at a loss. Still, I tried to make things work, but did not put much effort in to the relationship because I was very tired of being hurt all the time.
Months went by and she continued to get worse. By the holidays I'd really just had it with her once again. I managed to make it through Christmas, but by New Years I decided that I just could not have her be part of my life anymore. She caused me so much stress and anxiety it was difficult to get through the day every time I had to deal with her. When she called in early January I, once again, described to her the problems I had with our relationship and how she managed to not only ignore everything I'd requested of her before, but how she had actually managed to make things much worse. I cited very specific incidents, and noted things that she had said and done that were completely out of line for anyone - especially one's own mother. I told her that I had no desire to speak to her until she got professional help.
She went a few weeks and then took to calling periodically and leaving messages on my voicemail as if nothing were wrong. I ignored her calls because I'd been very clear during our last conversation that I had no desire to speak to her. At one point she called Brad's cell phone very early in the morning, and being startled by it he answered quickly. She asked why I wasn't talking to her and he said she would have to discuss it with me as he wanted to stay out of the middle of it.
Then a few weeks ago she showed up at our house early one Saturday while I was still in bed. Brad did the stupid thing and let her in (he doesn't want to be the bad guy). I got up and sat on the steps and described to her, YET AGAIN, all of the problems that I have with our relationship. I did not get upset, I did not yell, I did not cry, I did not speak with anger or disgust. I just calmly explained that I cannot be in a relationship with someone who treats me so badly. I told her she should not have come to my house and she should not come back again. She needs to seek professional help from a therapist, but for whatever reason, completely refuses to do anything of the sort.
Anyway, yesterday we got an anniversary card in the mail from her with a substantial check. I told Brad we would not be accepting gifts from her as she's only trying buy a relationship with me and that can't be done. I've asked for simple things - for her to treat me like a human being (cause God forbid she treat me like her daughter), and to seek professional counselling for her many issues. I called her to ask why she'd sent the money and see if perhaps she had changed her mind about counselling since our talk a few weeks back. Nope. When I got her on the phone she literally blamed my father for all of the problems that I told her I have with her (mind you he's been dead for 20+ years), and then made really awful and lame excuses for why she's said and done the things she's done. She made conscious choices to not only apologize for her actions, but to defend them in the most outrageous ways.
Once again, I'm done with her. At this point she has really pushed me over the edge and I cannot foresee a change with her at all. No matter what anyone says to her she turns it around and says that it's not her, it's them, or clearly it's someone who has been dead for 20 years.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rugby and warmer weather

I'm pretty committed to my rugby team. They're a good group to work with and generally there aren't any problems to speak of. What I particularly dislike about the job is that it starts in January and goes till May (June if you count our end of year alumni match and picnic). As you might imagine those January and February games are cold.... and I mean cold. I really have no clue how I survived last year because it seemed to be 20 below every Sunday. I'd bundle up and head out there, but within minutes my feet would lose feeling and it would just creep up to about my knees through the rest of the afternoon. Nothing resolved this issue, so I just dealt with it - hence is life as a Reynaud's case. Given my current state of being, I ran this scenario past a midwife at PMCP when I was quite early on and she said there was no issue with me standing out there freezing once a week. Fair enough, so I was still game. Regardless, it seems that God has smiled on St. John's this year and there have been few games where it's been painfully cold. Don't get me wrong - the cold has been there. I've broken out the heat packs, and layered on the socks and whatnot, but the horrible, awful, relentless, freezing cold has just not been part of our Sunday games. This being said, I think we're through the part where it's just freezing altogether (knocking furiously on any piece of actual wood I can find). We had a cold game on Sunday, and played the last half or more of the last game in quite a bit of icy precip. Later that night we got about 6 inches of snow. Said snow has now almost completely melted thanks to a relatively warm day yesterday and increasing temperatures today. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO looking forward to this Sunday when we'll again have 3 games, and it's supposed to be a whopping 70 degrees outside. 70 degrees! It'll be March 8th and we get 70 degrees! I'm only slightly elated by this information as you might be able to tell. The flip side of this is that I have no clue what the warm weather will bring to my current state of being. Last time I swelled up like a freakin' blimp and was rendered virtually useless cause my toes were on the verge of popping right off. I'm hoping that won't be the case this time, but really have no clue if it's even an avoidable issue.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Church?

Believe it or not, we actually attend church.... every once in awhile anyway. I'd like to say we're regular Sunday morning folks, but half the time I am working on Sunday and need to be out the door by noon, and the other half of the time I've got to drag my other two cohorts behind me (kicking and screaming the whole way). Regardless of these factors, we've had a hard time with church ever since we left Manassas. In Manassas we found a great old Episcopal church right off the bat. The people were friendly, the ministers were hilarious, and we really enjoyed going there. That being said, I still had to be the one to drag everyone out the door on Sundays. Here in Fairfax there are 3 options that I've found (relatively close by our house). We started going to one last spring and it was fine, but of course it didn't compare to our old place in Manassas. We continued to go there through the summer, but then it came to be a major burden to get everyone out the door, and so we fell off yet again. In an attempt to rekindle our churchgoing ways, I looked up the other two last night and requested that Brad make a choice, so we could visit one of them today. He picked and we went. It was fine, the people were nice. They had a great concert this morning, all live music and singing, of Vivaldi's Gloria. Yes, it was a bit long, and in Latin, but I enjoyed it immensely. I don't know that I can say the same for Brad & Josh, but they'll survive. After the service, which was just fine, I asked for Brad's reaction and his only real input was a shoulder shrug. He continues to compare everything to Manassas, and that's just not going to be equaled. We're not going to have the same two fabu ministers who were so funny and personable, we're not going to have that same "old small church" feel. These things are not necessarily bad, but it's difficult to give up and let go. We barely make it out the door to church that's 5 minutes away, so you can imagine that we'll most likely never make it to church back in Manassas (we'd have to leave 45 minutes in advance most likely). Regardless, I'm hoping to either continue going to this new place (I really like all of the kid activities they have), or to try out the other local spot some time in the near future.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Girl talk

Last week we headed over to Ultrasound Associates for what I like to refer to as the "half-way" ultrasound. The entire purpose of this trip is to see that all your kid's parts are accounted for and developing as they should (it's bad when they're missing things like a spleen, or a brain, or what have you). At this point, if they find something wrong, they can take the necessary steps to try and correct the situation in the hopes that you'll still have a happy healthy kid in another 5 months. While they're scanning around looking at parts, they also discover what flavor of kid you'll be having. You can opt in or out of this part depending on what your preference is (though I have a very difficult time understanding why anyone wouldn't want to know - even though I know several people who wanted to wait on the "surprise"). I find this to be the very most important part of the entire pregnancy process (note that I despise the entire process and can't understand why people do it over and over and over again). Once you know what you've got growing in there you can focus on a name (which is extremely important), registering for stuff (mind you, you can register whenever you want, with or without this information - I just find it easier since so many things are quite gender specific), and get people off your case (perhaps the most important thing of all).

So, we ALL went to this appointment since Josh expressed some interest in seeing the sibling to come. Once we got in the room the lady asked if we would be finding out what we were having and I said "oh yes please, that's the only reason we're here." She then asked Josh what he wanted. While he's flip flopped on this several times, he told her he'd like it to be a boy. I chimed in that I was interested in having a girl, so if she could just make sure that's what it was we'd be all set. Looking around, everything was just dandy. All the parts were accounted for and developing nicely. Heart has 4 working chambers, brain is formed and has the necessary ventricles, 2 arms, 2 legs, nice round head, very nice and intricate spine. All is fine and dandy. Finally we get to the part where she says "oh yes, that's definitely a girl." This of course made me very happy as I'm always keen to get my way. The major issue that this poses is that I have no clue what to name a girl. I don't like every name that I see (virtually), and when I do see a name that I like it's already been taken by someone I know (and I'm very against duplicating names for the most part). I didn't want to name Joshua, "Joshua," but rather wanted to go with Gavin. I'll have you know that I've only ever met two "Gavins" in my entire life - neither of which was a child. I personally know alot of Joshuas, and he's run in to plenty of them in school as well. This is what I was trying to avoid, but compromises are often necessary and so that's the concession I made. This will not happen again. Regardless, it doesn't make the naming process any easier. We'll probably keep our final name decision to ourselves until we've actually got a little person to apply it to, but perhaps, we'll make an announcement sooner - who knows.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

7 Layer Rugby

Today officially kicked off the return of rugby season (for me anyway - I believe the team has been practicing for a couple of weeks now). As you might imagine, it's freaking cold here. We had a high of 34 today, so I did my best to prepare for the weather. I found out the hard way last year that even when conditions seem bearable here in Fairfax, it's like the Arctic Circle in Chevy Chase (and maybe not even all of Chevy Chase, just up on the hill at SJC). I scrounged up four wearable layers of pants and four wearable layers of tops. I stopped by CVS and bought the store brand of Thermacare heat wraps in 3 different styles. The only thing I forgot was my freakin' scarf (though I must say that my neck was hardly the body party I'd complain about). I reinstated my customary Connecticut Ave. Starbucks run, and even went for the venti this time (I learned that the grande just doesn't go real far when you're using it as an internal heat source). I was all set for the freezing cold, but I didn't really accomplish the mission. My feet were still painfully numb (it doesn't help that I'm a totally Reynauds case) despite wrapping the thermacare thingies designed for your neck the entire way around my toes. I may make a drastic change from my sneakers in to my moon boots for the next game. I don't feel that I am as mobile in the boots, but I believe they're afford me the room for decent air circulation (which is what fules the heat packs). Once I get used to them I think I'll be just fine - frankly it can't be any worse than trying to move quicky with completely numb feet.
Anywho, on to today's scrimmage....
So, we scrimmaged a team that we played on multiple occasions last year. I'm really envious of about half of the kids on the other team. They go to the metro area French immersion school that I would've killed to go to, and would equally kill to have my kid go to (though I have no clue how I'd actually get him there seeing how it's somewhere in deepest darkest Montgomery County - nowhere near where we live). In a couple of the games last year, two of the other team's players ended up with pretty unsavory shoulder injuries. Thankfully, the one who I believe fared the worst, was pulled by his physician and went through months of rehab. I was pretty satisfied with this course of action and hoped that I wouldn't have to worry about this kid going forward. Unfortunately today was the day that all of that came to an end as the same kid suffered yet another dislocation in today's game. I was easily able to reduce it, ice it and put him in a crevat before sending him off to call his mom to let her know what happend. I did make a side note to him that I wished he'd find a different sport to play. He said his mother begs him to do that regularly. On our end things were relatively injury free. A slightly sprained ankle (that I wasn't told about until the game was over) and some bloody knuckles were the only thing I had to deal with, so no complaints there. I'm very fond of my team. Last year was relatively injury free until the final weekend when we had a laceration-fest and even a displaced nasal fracture. I'll count my blessings that we came away today with nothing too bad on our end, and hope that it continues through the season (even though I'll undoubtedly have to pass the torch as the season nears it end).

Friday, January 9, 2009


Well, since it's customary to actually tell people this kind of stuff, I guess this is as good a place as any to do so. Despite my best laid plans to avoid such an event, it seems that I now have a bun in the oven. No, it's not planned. I'm not a "kid" planner cause I'm entirely too consumed with what could go wrong with said kid. Even though lengthy discussions were had in regards to Joshua (well before he was ever a zygote), he still wasn't planned. Alas, this one is the same (only without the lengthy discussion part). I'm pulling for a girl this time, so that I might have one of each. This is completely contradictory to my thoughts last go round as I'm generally petrified of the teenage girl, and have zero desire to actually raise one. Still, this being said, I'd like to have one of each. If she is in fact a she, and goes all batty on me at 15 I'll just have to take her out of this world (which is my right according to Bill Cosby). The challenges that have been posed to me in raising a boy to this point are things I'd rather not repeat. I want someone who will virtually self potty train (which most folks with girls will tell you is the case when compared to boys). I'll not get in to details here, but the entire potty training ordeal (all 2+ years of it) is something I want to be quick and easy this go round. Additional issues we had to deal with were often dismissed as "oh, that's just how boys are." Even though repeatedly we tried to get help, none was ever offered until he finally went to school and the experts there said "um, your kid has xyz issue." Well no shit - I'd been trying to tell people that for 2 years, but nobody would listen because "he's a boy." Anyway, this isn't supposed to be a bitch fest about the things that suck about raising boys, but rather my reasoning for now wanting to have a girl. Anywho, whatever will be, will be, and I'll be sure to post about the outcome of said kid once we find out in the next month or so what we'll be having. I'm now soliciting sponsors to cover the cost of child care, diapers, formula, and all the gadgets that go along with babies. Anyone offering up that sort of cash should be referred to me via email or phone :)

Dishwasher woes

When I'm doing mind numbing things like loading the dishwasher, or perusing the internet at my desk (because I'm procrastinating writing more content for my program's new website), or watching Josh play video games I often think of several things I could blog about. Most recently, I was downstairs at work, unloading and loading the dishwasher and I thought about how often I actually do this chore. There is no assigned person to this job - we all "share" it. By "share" I mean that a small handful of people take on the responsibility of noticing that the machine is full, putting the soap in and running it. Yet another small handful of people (who might be one in the same) take on the responsibility of unloading it when it's finished. I've found myself to this person on numerous occasions. I don't mind it at all. If I see that it needs to be run I will do so and the same goes for unloading it. It only takes a couple of minutes. What infuriates me is the fact that everyone else doesn't seem to have a clue how to a) actually load the dishwasher in any sort of organized fashion, b) rinse the food out of whatever dish has been used (our dishwasher here isn't exactly top of the line), c) run the stupid thing when it's clearly full of dishes. It's an office rule not to leave dishes in the sink. You're supposed to rinse them out and put them in the dishwasher. Everyone manages to accomplish this task without issue, so I fail to see how taking it one step further and putting the soap in the little box and pushing a button would be so incredibly difficult. Anyway, that's my recent thought. Don't let this happen to your coworkers - do your part in the office kitchen! I'm off my soapbox now :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Wedding - Part 4 of Katie's Wedding Weekend

Finally, the wedding day arrived! Not much to do early on except roll out of bed, find some food, and wait for my turn to get my hair done. Katie arranged for a couple of professionals to come and do everyone's hair and make-up (well, some hair and make-up).
Jenny an Irene (friends of ours from back in the day) showed up and offered to make a Starbucks run, and Brad and Bekir took Josh to find some breakfast (which turned out to be Dunkin Donuts). The rest of us sat around and watched a little TV and vegetated while waiting our turn.

Once I was all set with my hair, I headed out to the mall to pick up some shoes that I hoped would not render me disabled by the end of the night. Josh also had some shoe issues, so we picked him up a new pair as well. We grabbed some lunch and before we knew it the time had come for us to head over to the venue for pictures. I finished up my make-up, hopped in to my dress and we all piled in to the car.

Once we got to the venue, Katie still had to get in to her gown. It had a fantastic corset back, which of course needed to be laced by yours truly. I hadn't had much practice with lacing corsets, but it was pretty easy and the dress looked really lovely (which I was grateful for). Once she was all set we headed downstairs to start the pictures. I've been forbidden to post any really good ones online, but here are a couple we took that were good.

So, the pictures finished up and the wedding commenced and everything was really great. The weather turned out better than the day before, so even though nobody had a hat, gloves, scarf, or heating blanket, we survived the ceremony without any trace of frostbite. There was a cocktail hour after the ceremony with some fantastic Turkish appetizers and drinks a-plenty. Everyone visited, and then it was time to head in to the ballroom for the actual reception. The food was great, the music was awesome, and the party was a blast. It was fun catching up with friends and family I don't get to see much, and I was really thrilled to see so many people out on the dance floor enjoying themselves. The DJ played a nice mix of Turkish dance music and all of Bekir's friends and family, as well as our plain old American folks, had a good time.

The Rehearsal & Dinner - Part 3 of Katie's Wedding Weekend

Yes, I fell off the blogging wagon for a bit. It's been a bit busy around here, but I'm committed to finishing this series... honest.

Ok, so, as customary with weddings, we had a rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner. I got up that morning still hacking from the night before and with about 50% of the voice I came to town with. This was not at all my idea of a good time, so after breakfast we headed out to find a drug store... or any store for that matter that might have something to make the hacking stop and my throat feel better. I had Katie's GPS in the car as we'd been sharing it for the past few days. Surely it would tell us the fastest way to a drug store... or not. First it said there was a CVS inside the mall... there was not. Next it said there was a CVS up the road... there was not. So I gave up on the CVS and tried for another drug store... it didn't exist either. Finally I called Katie who called down to the concierge at the hotel who told her there was a Walgreens down 206. So we head down 206, but find no Walgreens. Thankfully, about 5 minutes away there was a Wegmans and that was just as good as anything else. We needed some drinks and snacks, so we shopped around for a bit, picked up what we needed and headed back to the hotel. I promptly took 3 kids of drugs and took a short nap. I felt 75% better once I got up, and so I proceeded to get ready to head over to the venue. Once we arrived we waited for quite some time for everyone else, but finally everyone in the wedding party showed up and the rehearsal was underway. Since it was December, and the ceremony was outside, we all bundled up and headed out to practice. It was only about 12 below, so we huddled together to conserve heat and hoped the officiant wasn't too horribly long winded. Thankfully he got through it pretty quickly and we all rushed back inside to thaw out. Everyone piled back in to their cars and we shoved off for dinner. We enjoyed a lovely 4 course italian meal that was really delightful, and everyone was stuffed when it was all said and done. I discovered over the course of the evening (via a nasty message to my sacrum) that heels were not going to be a part of the remainder of my wedding weekend. I made a mental note to head to the mall first thing in the morning to pick up a pair of flats (or the lowest heels I could find).