Archive for October, 2012

Giving Thanks

Posted October 31, 2012 By kmarrs

I suppose it’s a month early, but I’m very thankful this week.  Of all I’ve been handed, I’m keeping it in perspective and being thankful I wasn’t handed more than I can handle.

I could be cranky that it freakin snowed in October, or I can be thankful that’s all Sandy handed to us.

I could be cranky that my kids have to wear coats over their costumes this beggar’s night if we do go out, or I can be thankful that the neighborhood we will visit isn’t submerged in foot after foot of water.

I could be frustrated with the gas leak out back that will cause our gas to be shut off, taking away our heat for roughly 7 hours today, or I can be thankful that it’s only 7 hours, we have an electric heater, we won’t freeze, and, again, it’s only 7 hours.  We were preparing to lose power for days depending on how Sandy hit us.

I can be pissed off that the in-door trick-or-treat option provided to the community was an epic failure, or I can be thankful that they tried so hard.  It was set up weeks ago as an attempt to provide a safe alternative to hitting the streets, and they could not have foreseen the thousands that would see them as the safe haven for little kids who don’t understand and parents who can’t break little hearts by telling them trick-or-treat isn’t logical this year.

I can be upset at the cold, wind and rain, or I can be thankful I don’t have sharks swimming in my backyard.

I’m assuming my 9yo would be pissed if he knew he were missing out on shark action.  Shark week live and in 3D.

I can be amused that my 4yo is still obsessed with the weather channel, though I do wish my little worrier would watch more Dora and less Sandy, too little to understand what he is seeing on TV isn’t outside our back door.

I’m finding myself trying to take deep breaths and take things on one moment at a time.  The next moment is the 4yo’s class party*.  Then comes figuring out the plan for Halloween.  We were doing the in-door thing in-place of hitting the streets, but with it being a bust I’m not sure.  If it’s just cold, not wet, we’ll deal with coats.  As pissed as I was last week about having to cover the costumes, suddenly I’m shrugging it off.  As long as it isn’t wet.  If it is?  We’ll dress them up and go eat burgers and fries.  The candy can be bought tomorrow for half price anyway.

*So the 4yo’s preschool does not celebrate Halloween.  Instead, they are having a “Noah’s Ark” party.  While this was planned months if not years ago, I am finding no end of amusement in the theme considering the storms.  Irony.  Preschool should teach it.

Also note, while I don’t take the end of the Mayan calendar being the sign of dooms day seriously, I’m also amused that we’re all of 6 weeks from its end, and this week brought us the worst storm in recorded history.  I’m not saying NYC should sacrifice a virgin or 2, but maybe we should all hug our loved ones a little closer.  The end is near.

Or it’s not, but there is not such thing as hugging loved ones too much.

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Posted October 30, 2012 By kmarrs

So apparently it’s an election year?  You’d never guess with how quiet and polite everyone is being with it.  Hardly a word on twitter.  And Facebook?  Silent!

No, I’m not here to tell you why my candidate is the only option and yours is worthy of being stoned to death.  Because honestly?  At this point, they all are.  Yes, even the guy I voted for 4 years ago. (No I don’t actually want anyone stoned to death.  Or anything to death.  I do want them to play nice but violence isn’t the answer.)

Sure if he wins, I’ll be ok with it.  But he isn’t actually who I voted for (we can vote early in Ohio).  Nope, I didn’t vote for the warm weather, hand gear either.

I decided to give the system my middle finger.  I actually voted for the guy I said I was going to vote for over a year ago.  I decided it time we got rid of the two-party system and introduced a serious contender for a third, if not fourth or fifth party.

So many told me they liked the guy I voted for.  So many more told me that by voting for him I was wasting my vote.  “He’s great and all but he’ll never win so why even bother voting from him!”  (It was never a question, always a statement of fact.)

Yes.  Well.  Last time I checked, he can’t win if nobody votes for him because he won’t win.

I’m not here to name names.  I’m not here to tell you to vote for my guy.  I am, however, here to tell you to vote for who you really want in office.  Sure, maybe the odds really are stacked against him or her.  But if enough people vote for who they honestly want to win not who they think can win, then maybe next time around the third, fourth and fifth parties will be taken a touch more seriously and for once we can look to someone who isn’t a democrat or a republic.  Because really, don’t they both make you just a touch ill, even if one makes you a touch more ill than the other?

And for the record, the only such things as a “wasted vote” is a vote given to someone other than who you actually want to win.

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Finding Logic In Words

Posted October 29, 2012 By kmarrs

Since before I even graduated high school, over 10 years ago, I’ve been a student at the local community college.  At no point, aside from one measly semester in 11 years, has this gone well for me.  First I was young and dumb and made a bad decision.  Then I had the consequences of that decision.  Then I had a fresh start and did beyond well.  Then as I attempted a repeat of doing well, I got promoted and moved in the same week and lost internet connection at the same time, while taking online classes.  Oy.  I thought I dropped the classes, properly, in time but apparently not.  Drama drama drama.  And CSCC has no interest in really working with me.  Looking at the 11 year history of the good and the bad and trying to solve the problem so that I can be the student I am capable of and want to be.  Dudes, I am really really trying here.

Finally it got to the point where I just accepted I was going to have to pay out-of-pocket until my GPA was “acceptable” so I could get my aid back.  What’s being counted on my GPA?  Two classes I dropped properly a week too late and 2 damn near perfect scores.  I can see why I’m an at-risk student that should be denied the aid the federal government already approved and handed to them.

God, I don’t want to drudge that back up.  I’m over it.  It’s behind me.  But the want to be educated isn’t.  My life is settling.  My kids are only getting older and wiser.  I will have no more in the oven.  I have this opportunity for once in a long time, to be really selfish in a way that will better me so that I can better my family and our situation in life.

But, to continue at CSCC I do still have to pay out-of-pocket awhile.  And while I have made arrangements for a benefactor, that person can’t do anything for another couple of years.  All this to go to a school I don’t even really wish to attend anymore.  Sure it’s cheap and easy, but what is the real cost?  Is it really as easy as it could and maybe should be?

I’ve spent the past year going over my options.  First aggressively and without any feelings of hope about a year ago.  Then I put it aside and focused on my career all while trying to decide not on the school, but on the intended degree I could get from it.

Now I find myself hearing news of the school I have always known about.  I know people who are starting there.  Just finishing there.  Making something of themselves there.  And I find myself jealous.  Why not me?  Why is it never me?  Then I learned the one thing holding me back wasn’t an issue: They actually offer their classes online!

Boom.  That was all I needed.  I’ve started the process of enrollment.  I’m ready to fill out the forms for my aid.  They won’t be given the info from my CSCC days which means a 100% fresh start.  Sure I’ll have to retake 2 classes, but in the grand scheme, if this goes as I’m starting to plan, who cares?  It’s 2 easy classes that I’ll get to start with and hopefully pull the same damn near perfect scores.  Talk about starting school with an ego boost.

I don’t expect to be able to start before summer.  I don’t know how many classes I’ll take at a time.  I know tuition is 3 times the cost so I’ll need aid to cover every penny.  This means I’ll have to be sure to take enough credit hours.  This may mean, and I hope not, that I’ll be working full-time and going to school full-time.  But even then?  So what.  I’ll be busting ass balancing work, school and family, but in 4 years I’ll come out the other end a mother-fuckin-college graduate!  I’ll be damned if anything is going to hold me back.  Not even my own nerves.  I’ve wanted this for far too long and that drive that has built for 11 years will get me past the next 4.

Dammit, I am Karen hear me roar!

This isn’t full-on insane, right?

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Steps Big And Small

Posted October 26, 2012 By kmarrs

Sambam has been capable of walking for over a month now but has simply chosen not to.  She’d forget this choice now and then and take a few well enough balanced steps.  Or, she’d take a few to better reposition herself to pounce you.  But mostly, despite the skill, she’s lacked the will.

Princess is a princess and princesses don’t walk.

That aside, over the past couple weeks we’ve known the big transition was coming.  You could see it in her eye.  And she’d forget to crawl more and more.  Then in a matter of the past 2 days the switch flipped and we went from “OMG SHE’S WALKING!” to “Aw, she crawling!  I remember when she did that!”

She can turn.  She can cross rooms.  She can pull herself up on a single tread of a spider’s web.  Now, if she does land mid walk, she’ll finish the journey on her hands and knees, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of a time before she decides crawling is for babies and princess is not a baby.

She’s also taken her old trick of crawling away as fast as she can and giggling maniacally when you call her name, and has advanced it to a precarious, slightly quickened toddle.  I’m just wondering how long before slightly precarious, she can technically crawl faster, turns into the full on giggle and “RUN AWAY!” of a toddler.  Oh, I know it won’t be long.  Her brothers showed me that.  But so far everything she has done has been at her pace so I’m curious to see I long I have to get my ass in shape before I have to actually work to catch her.  I’m assuming it’s only a matter of days.  Hell, hours.  That is, after all, what babies practice in their cribs late at night.

Thank God her brothers are fast and can be coaxed into catching her. Otherwise, I’d be screwed.

Scratch that, I’m screwed anyways.  She’s gorgeous, brilliant, and diabolical.  We are all in trouble.

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Posted October 18, 2012 By kmarrs

As I feel myself slipping into a dark place again, I am for once in my life doing everything I can to head it off.  Very constructive, beneficial stuff at that.  In place of self destructing, I’m attempting reconstructing.

I gave myself last weekend to refuse to leave my bed.  Pity party, maybe, but I mostly slept.  Exhaustion helps no one so I figured come work Monday morning, I’d have no excuse for being tired and might have the energy to work towards function.

Monday I fought back and forward between my usual Monday evening with Lisa and just going home to bed.  I finally settled on giving exercise the middle finger since it was cold out and I hurt physically, and she and I hit dinner and a movie.  That triggered an up swing.  It was exactly what was needed.  Exactly what the doctor would have ordered.  Didn’t even need a script.  Just some spending money.

Stepping back a bit, over the past few weeks I’ve been fighting to go with my burning desire to exercise, but the weather has been crap.  I’m not going to refuse to run because of rain or cold, but since my last run attempt was in the rain and cold and my joints were screaming as well, I decided I needed to just not hurt myself, and stop for a bit.  Long enough to regroup.  Long enough to form a battle plan.  Long enough to find a gym.

I’ve wanted to join a gym for years so I could start exercising but money has been a huge issue.  And investing in a contract to start something you can’t really afford isn’t the way to go.  Now that I’m actively exercising and my will power isn’t what’s working against me, I’ve decided now is the time.  I need climate control.

I spent time looking at my options.  I knew what I wanted but I also knew what I could afford.  Ideally I would join a gym with a pool and an indoor track that wasn’t stupid expensive.  My first choice was 80$.  It had everything I wanted, but not the price tag I could handle.

Today I signed a contract for the gym that I really think will work.  24$ a month gets me a pool, sauna, classes, and a women’s only gym that has equipment built for women.  Indoor track?  No.  But realistically I have pavement or a treadmill I can use depending on the weather.  I can’t have everything but I think this compromise is going to be solid.  It’s basically 7 minutes from where I work, so about 15 from where I live.  Work is literally smack dab in the middle of a straight line between home and gym.  The hours should be about perfect for what I need.  So all around this seems a doable investment.

And?  They teach aqua classes made for those with chronic pain.  They have a few things geared towards with chronic pain.

So hopefully by maintaining my Monday social hour with a few bonus days thrown in, and starting a workout routine that won’t hurt me further, I can actually pull myself out of this funk and stay out.

Bonus days?  A bunch of us from work are going to a haunted house this coming Friday.

And?  While I can’t even say this with a straight face, I’m attending my first ballet class on Tuesday.  It’s made for people who have no business taking ballet.  I’m going with Lisa and another friend from work.  It should be quite the humiliating experience.  For everyone involved.  I’m actually looking forward to it.

And I think that’s the key.  Making sure I have things to look forward to.  I’ve never tried that anti-depressant before.

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My Daughter, I Promise

Posted October 8, 2012 By kmarrs

My Daughter,

I promise I will not let daddy panic over, or influence the cost of your prom dress your senior year.  All the other formal gowns we will have to shop wise, but you only have one senior prom.  To this day, over 10 years later, I deeply regret not attending mine.  So yours will be magic.  This is an event you will regret not doing right.

I promise you can come to me over the issues I may not like.  My main goal is to keep you safe, always.  Even if it means keeping you safe through choices I don’t like.

I promise that while you are still little I will dress you as girly as I can.  But I promise when you are old enough to have an opinion, it is your body and you have to like how you dress it.

I promise that the above does not mean I’m going to let you walk out of the house dressed without honor.  There is a saying I’m going to hold on to through your first 21 years: Don’t let your daughter wear makeup at 10, date at 12, wear provocative clothing at 14, and then wonder why she’s pregnant at 16!

I promise when the time does come for you to learn how to wear makeup, while I can’t teach you myself, arrangements have already been made for your lessons.

I promise I won’t let daddy scare all the boys away with his shotgun, but the one who is worthy of your heart and hand won’t be bothered by it for he has nothing to hide and nothing to fear.  He’ll treat you right.  Daddy’s protectiveness of you is to chase all the others away, not him.

I promise I’ll surround you with books, like I have your brothers.  You’ll find I’m the one that will spend the money we just don’t have on the newest book in the series you love.

I promise to shove you out the front door and lock it behind you on amazing summer days and snow days when school’s been canceled.  Locking you away from TV, computers, and even your books.  Nothing is more valuable than fresh air, running, bikes and climbing.

I promise to help you learn to love your body no matter what size or shape it takes.  I will make sure you eat your vegetables and get up and get moving, but the body you are blessed with is amazing no matter the numbers that are attached to it.

I promise to always make sure you know how pretty you are.  I promise to enforce this just enough that you have confidence but not an inflated ego.

I promise to surround you with both dolls and trucks, princesses and super heroes, satin and denim, frills and mud.  I will encourage both sides of you in whatever proportion they end up coming out in.

I promise to support you in what you love whether it’s cheer leading or the only girl on the football team, and everything in between.

I promise to do everything I can to make sure your daddy is here with us to see you accept your diplomas, walk you down the aisle, and pace outside your labor and delivery room.

I promise whomever you merry, we will support you and love them like we love you as long as they treat you right.  Gender, race, nor age will have no influence over this.  A happy, loving marriage for you is the only true requirement.

I promise to see all the wrongs in the world and do my best to use the knowledge gained to do right by you.

And I promise that while I will never be perfect at being your mother, I will learn from my own mistakes and always strive to do better next time.

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