Monday, August 31, 2009

Holy Cowboy (and girl)

Two people running for governor of Texas want Texas to secede. Apparently they are ready for a "bloody war" because they "hate the US Flag [and] the United States Government."

Rachel Maddow is giving me the info. Go look it up. I've seen enough.

Let me explain

The world is not how I want it to be. Really, that's something I never expect. So, I'm fine with that. But my life, my life is not how I want it to be. I feel that I've been very, VERY good with going with the flow. I have what is most important to me and always have. Now, though, there's something else that is important to me and that is building my career. Maybe now is not the best time to do it. Maybe I'm not supposed to be doing it, yet. But maybe it's just a shitty situation right now with the economy and that has nothing to do with what I should or should not be doing, only with what I can and cannot do.

I cannot work a job that doesn't provide enough money to cover the exorbitant cost of benefits through Will's job (I should mention that Will pays nothing for HIS benefits, but the cost of adding me, in both premium and deductible, is not worth it at this time) and still gives us some additional income after child care costs. I have alerted social services of Will's income and we are waiting to receive a letter letting us know if we're still covered... if I'M still covered. If I am, we'll be just under the line and then I definitely cannot make any more money unless it is worth it, as mentioned. IF I am not covered, then I CAN work and I HAVE to work. In that case we will be forced to add me to Will's insurance and I will be able, will have, to substitute teach as much as possible. At this time, the scenario where I'm still covered by Medicaid is my favorite one. I am suffering from reflux and on medication and needing a scope and biopsy and all that out of pocket, medicine every month, doctor's appointments... makes my head spin. While I would love to substitute and "keep my foot in the door" as everyone says, I'd rather not start drowning in medical debt.

But I am still waiting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday Night Enlightenment

Friday night I was sitting at a most awesome, authentic Irish bar in the city listening to live Irish music and debating with Will whether or not we should go to a party with camp people. I was tempted to go because I liked the person hosting the party, a fellow teacher from camp, though I am aware that most counselors did not like me because I had the audacity to insist that they help in my classroom rather than sit down and do their own projects, which, I've come to the conclusion, is why I was not invited to the mid-camp party hosted by another fellow teacher. Will was not keen on going from the start because, well, the party-ers would be college co-eds and some underage at that and "it's not like we'd be making any lasting friendships there." I agreed to that, but there was one problem. There's something about bars and being away from home and my children that makes me slightly anxious and a little melancholy, even when I'm out with my husband. Maybe it's just a little separation anxiety. I was feeling it Friday night, so once we decided we'd stay put and enjoy the evening at the bar and then walk next door (yes, right next door to the awesome bar) to my sister's house and stay the night (she was away camping), I said, let's get a pitcher--I need to relax! No sooner had Will gotten back with the pitcher and poured our glasses was our true destiny revealed (I am NOT being over dramatic). We had a most enjoyable night with people like ourselves. Not that I don't embrace differences and different cultures and ... whatever, it's easier to make friends with people who have similar world views, right?

I was taking my first sip of beer, oh, yum, when Will called out "A!" Well, A isn't her name, but I'm going for mostly anonymity on this blog. Get the fuck out, was my response, because I knew he was referring to his former co-worker from his new nonprofit gig. He'd told me about her and I'd asked if she and her b/f were friend-potential (we neeeeeeed couple friends). She had just arrived with her b/f and then within the hour another friend of theirs showed and joined us and we had a night that will get us through the monotony of life until the next time we can have such a night. Not that the joys of parenting don't punctuate my existence, but as an individual, I need peer social events. The social development doesn't stop after high school, people.

How can I express the pure enjoyment of "clicking" with people. It's why I went to a Catholic college after going to Catholic high school. I knew there would be people with similar upbringings who would make compatible friends. Contrary to the conservative Catholic myth, there are liberal Catholics, or at least people who were raised Catholic, and I knew them in HS and college and A and her b/f, B, who considers himself a recovering Catholic, are of the liberal minded sect. There were differences and debating and contrary views, of course, which make interacting with people worthwhile, but agreeing with people is most encouraging to the human soul.

I feel so great meeting people who are working to spread humanity in the city, help the less-fortunate and abused (the friend of A and B's I mentioned, also works nonprofit), educate next generations and who genuinely think about morals and society and government and see there is a world beyond themselves. And most importantly, we all love NPR. Enough said.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What you don't know...

Can't hurt you? Yeah, right. I ate lunch with G at camp yesterday, as I've done on occasion. I looked around at the lunches the other four year olds ate and felt...discouraged, saddened. It was a depressing sight. The little boy next to me, W, was like many of the other boys (all boys in G's group except one other girl) and had nothing but packaged "snack food" for lunch. He wanted me to open a chocolate brownie with appealing colorful sprinkles on it. I looked through his lunch box for a healthier option to open first. There was none. He had a bag of Fritos, a baggie of Apple Jacks cereal, a Quaker Chocolate Chip Granola bar, a blue and pink colored yogurt cup, the brownie and a box of Organic milk. Most of the kids are THIRSTY when they sit down for lunch, so they stick their straws in and chug down whatever boxed or bagged drink is in their lunchbox. Then they are mostly full since their stomachs are the size of a small child's fist (fun fact: make a fist--that's how big your stomach is). Most have some sort of chocolaty dessert, so they open that next and eat about 4 bites and start feeling kind of yucky because of all the sugar from the juice and candy they've eaten and don't eat any more lunch. There are a few kids who start with a turkey or PB&J sandwich first, but only a few. Also, 2-3 of them get camp provided lunches which have fruit or veggies, very nice looking ones, so they eat a decent lunch.

Why do these affluent parents throw a handful of packaged snacks into their kids lunches? Popcorn and chips, artificially colored yogurt cups and Gogurts (gross!), Little Debbie snacks, etc. What are the parents eating? Do the stay-at-home (go play Tennis and have lunch at the club) Moms have a nice big salad with grilled chicken for lunch? Or are they just as ridiculous with their diets, gulping down Starbucks while on the run and picking up take-out for their husband's dinner? Can I be any more judgemental?

Yes, I can. Why would you buy a large car seat for your kid, the one that tethers in because the built-in safety belts in cars can malfunction in a crash, and has a five-point harness that holds a person up to 80 pounds (grandma, gotta new seat for you to get to the eye doctor) and NOT tighten the straps? I mean, just leave those straps so loose that even if the kid does not fly out in an accident because of the leg straps he/she will surely have brain injury because they will lean so far forward their foreheads will hit the seat in front of them and bounce back on the car seat and slosh their brains sideways! WTF! I get the kids in and out of cars each morning and afternoon and it's just ridiculous what I see with these car seats a few, yes only a few, I'll be honest, kids have. It's for the ease of the kid to be able to buckle themselves in the 5-point harness, so mom/dad doesn't have to since they are already 50 and can't turn their bodies around like that anymore. Yes, more judging.

Truthfully, most parents are in their 30s (and most who are older are not car seat offenders) and have great car seats and really make sure their kids are buckled nicely and I have seen really healthy lunches in S's group of 5-6 year olds, but the atrocities really stick out in my mind these days.

Last Week

This is our eighth and final week of summer camp. It's Tuesday and I'm home. G is sick. It started going around camp a little over a week ago. It starts with a headache and nausea, then a fever and some cold symptoms. S had it over the weekend, pretty much just Saturday, but needed Sunday to rest. Yesterday we went back to camp and she was fine. G woke up happy yesterday! She was actually excited to go to camp and had a great day. However, on the way home she said she need to "pook." She never did puke and she did eat a little dinner, but this morning she felt warm when I woke her. She got dressed, then came downstairs and curled up in a ball on the couch. As I was just finishing getting our things packed to leave, she ran to the bathroom saying she was going to pook. She gagged a little, but having an empty stomach couldn't heave. I walked her upstairs and changed her back into pjs and felt that she was more feverish. I tucked her in, woke Will and agreed that I'd stay home and he could take S to camp.

So, I'm in cut-off sweat pants and a comfy pink Hanes T-shirt. I started some laundry and scrubbed our bathroom, which was about 2 weeks overdue. G slept about an hour after I gave her Motrin and is now sitting in bed watching Kipper on instant view netflix on our laptop. I just got an image: Berenstain Bears, Brother is sick, Papa goes to the office and gets the laptop to setup in Brother's room, Brother picks something about dinosaurs to watch and never gets his homework done. You remember that book/TV episode, right? The instant watch was never offered to the kids until we moved here, though. Back "home" in NC we actually had a small TV with a built in VCR (from our early college days) and we'd play VHS tapes for the girls when they were sick.

I'm loving the instant watch, though. On Friday, the girls and I snuggled up in my bed and we watched Enchanted together. Even G sat through the whole movie and loved it. So fun. They don't even know what BlockBuster is. The last time we went to one, S was 2. We rented the Heffalump movie, then bought it because it is so darn cute. Then left it at someone's house we never saw again and bought it again. Oh, Kipper is over and G is demanding my presence. Motherhood calls!