Today in three subjects

The first day of school went wonderfully well. I got so much stuff done today I can hardly believe it. Having structure in my day makes a huge difference. If I have all day to do one thing it won’t get done, but if I have only an hour to do 10 things, they’ll ALL get done.

Link loved his first day. He came home bright eyed and happy. Kiki came home with a homework log and a reading log. Since she’s always been very organizational this pleases her. It pleases me too, I’ll actually know what is going on rather than having to call the teacher and ask every couple of weeks like last year. No rocks and smooth sailing so far. Yay.

In some of the structured time I had today I’ve been trying to put together a report on Fandemonium. It’s harder than I thought it would be. There has to be a balance between brevity and full detail. I don’t want it too long or boring. I’m still hammering on it, then I’ll post it.

As a last thought for the evening, Gleek has developed bedtime fears in the last couple of weeks. She’s turned one of those developmental corners which significantly changes her behavior. Suddenly my girl who fearlessly went to bed in the dark doesn’t want to be left alone and needs a nightlight. Tonight she snuck out of her room, when I confronted her she told me that she wanted to sleep in my room because her room was the bad dream room the dreams waited for her in there.

I took a few minutes to talk to her and explain that the bad dreams weren’t in her room, they were in her head and she could push them out by thinking happy thoughts. This was a real revelation to her. She’d honestly thought that the bad dreams lurked in her bedroom to pounce on her when she slept. She liked knowing that she had some power over the dreams and we made a plan full of happy thoughts to crowd out bad dreams. Then I tucked her back into bed and she went to sleep.

Of readership and rocks.

I took a look at my Userinfo page today and noticed the number of people who have “friended” me has creeped up to 73. This amazes me. Stories about my life are obviously entertaining to me, but I didn’t realize there was a broader audience for them. Although I suspect that many of the names on that list have gone inactive. I also suspect that there are some people who tune in to read who aren’t registered LJ users. Look honey, I have a readership of my very own! (Howard’s LJ has over 300 friends, which isn’t so surprising considering the popularity of Schlock Mercenary.)

In other news, school starts tomorrow. I get to trade the trials and joys of summer lack-of-schedule for the trials and joys of school-year rut. I’m expecting a rough year since both Kiki and Link are in transition grades. 4th grade is a transition from learning basics into using basics to learn other stuff. It’s also when peer interactions can begin to turn ugly. Hopefully not, but we’ll see. 1st grade is a big step up from Kindergarten both academically and socially. Hopefully the rocks I see looming ahead are mirages.

Sick Kids. Whee.

I arrived home from vacation on Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were supposed to be days for me to bring house and life back into control and to gear up for starting school next Monday. Ha! Gleek got sick. She transformed from a happy bouncy “I’m bored” climbing-on-things person into a sad, cranky, snuggly, feverish little person. For three days she didn’t want me any further away than across the room and if she could be snuggled in my lap that was best.

Patches didn’t like this. He was still recovering from post vacational Separation Anxiety stress and couldn’t stand to see snuggling happening unless it was for him. It went like this: Mommy snuggles Gleek. Patches wanders in, sees snuggle, and climbs on top pushing and shoving until there is room for him. Gleek cries because she’s been pushed, shoved, or otherwise injured. Patches cries because his snuggle attempts are rejected. Mommy cries out of sheer frustration.

Gleek improved today, less snuggling was necessary. Here is hoping for a healthy tomorrow.

All done vacationing.

The trip to Boise went really well. The family reunion was lots of fun and not nearly as claustrophobic as I expected despite the fact that there were 11 children and 13 adults in one house.

Fandemonium was amazing. There is so much to tell that I hardly know where to get started. Since today is the coming home and figuring out where I left stuff day, I don’t really have time to elaborate, so I’ll just put it this way. When I was driving home and I had to pass the exit which would have taken me to the convention hotel I felt a wave of sadness. Particularly since I realized that even if I did take the exit and drive to the hotel, the people I wanted to go see wouldn’t even be there. I’ve GOT to get together with those people again, it was too much fun.

The drive home was miserable. I was tired and cranky, the kids were tired and cranky. Patches was angsty because all weekend Mom kept abandoning him to the care of his aunt and grandmother. An hour and a half into the trip the kids decided not to eat when I sugguested it, because they wanted a restaurant with a playground. 2 hours, 150 miles of exits with no services, endless miles of road construction, an hour of Patches screaming, and one bloody nose later we stopped at McDonalds. At McDonalds we cleaned up bloody nose, ate, played, changed diapers, changed soiled pants, and then had to get back into the car for an additional 2 hours of driving through commute traffic and a pouring rainstorm.

Things are much better today. The car is unloaded, the mounds of laundry are begun, some of the stuff has actually been put away, and I’ve begun to shape life back into a routine. I don’t have a much time to pull it all together though. School starts next Monday.

On the road again

Now I’m at my sister’s house. Although internet connections abound, privacy and brainspace are hard to come by, so I’ll not be posting much. Today and tomorrow are Family Reunion. Thursday finishes out the Family reunion and begins Fandemonium. I won’t be back home until sometime on Monday at which point I’ll probably have more stories than I have energy to tell.

Speaking of stories, Gleek picked Milo & Otis for an in-the-car movie. I think she mostly picked it because the box had a kitten and a puppy on it. Frankly I expected all the kids to be bored. I certainly cringed listening to the narration through the whole movie. The kids were entranced and delighted. I actually enjoyed having the movie in the car because all four kids went into peals of laughter frequently. I love hearing my kids laugh. Patches actually watched and shouted “Da-Gee! Wa-wa!” when the dog fell in the water. Then during the bouncy credits music Link was bopping around in the back seat and I just had to laugh. So in the end I have mixed feelings about Milo & Otis. It’s hard to hate something that makes the kids so cute and happy.

Kids and Fandemonium

Today I begin gearing up for Fandemonium and a family reunion. I’m not yet clear how all the stuff on my Things-to-pack list is going to fit into my minivan, but at least I’ve got the list.

The concern that is really on my mind today is wondering how I’m going to balance Fandemonium with family. I need to get some time away from the kids without them feeling totally abandoned or my siblings feeling taken advantage of. Part of me wants to dump the kids on my relatives and just be a fan without being a mommy for 2 days. Most of me would feel horribly guilty about that.

Howard thinks having any kids underfoot during the Schlockfest event would be a mistake. Part of me agrees. Part of me chews her nails at the thought of leaving Patches with someone else over night. Some of the Schlockers said “Yay!” at the possibility that Patches would be there. Some almost certainly would prefer a kid free zone although no one has said so.

Howard tells me not to worry and that all these tangled thoughts will straighten themselves out once we’re actually in Boise and see how things are going. I know he’s right, but the hamster of my thoughts just keeps running and running in that wheel without ever going anywhere.

Link’s Surgery

Link’s surgery went far better than expected. The hospital staff kept handing him cool things to play with so that he was happy and busy throughout the check in process. The fact that his bed had wheels and the wheeled the whole thing down the hall was so entertaining he hardly even said goodbye as they wheeled him away. That was a good thing because it meant that I didn’t cry either and I fully expected to.

Link came back groggy and disoriented. During the post-op observation time Link asked when I was going to say goodbye. He hadn’t even realized that we were done. Then he asked to see the adenoids that had been removed. Somehow I didn’t think it would be a good idea so I didn’t even pass the request on to the nurse who would almost certainly have denied it.

Before we left Link’s nurse asked me if I were a nurse. That amused me. Apparently I seemed medically competant and coolheaded enough that she thought I worked in the medical field. That made me feel pretty good.

Link was on codeine as they released us and incapable of walking straight, so he got to ride in a wheelchair. He thought that was really cool. In fact he was ready to take the wheelchair home with us and only a promise of a video store visit staved off the threatening tears when he learned that wasn’t possible.

Drugged child in Blockbuster. That was amusing.

I came home to find that my sister-in-law had cleaned up my whole house, folded laundry, and made sugar cookies with Gleek and Kiki. I need to figure out a way to have THAT happen again without the surgery. 😉

Eleven Years

Tomorrow (August 5th) is the Eleventh aniversary of Howard and my wedding. We’ve decided to go with tradition and celebrate it by mostly ignoring it. I do mean traditional, we totally missed our first aniversary because we were too busy painting our house. After that it seemed a little silly to make a fuss over the other ones.

I know it isn’t fashionable not to make a big fuss out of an aniversery. Hallmark would have us believe that it is downright sinful not to buy a card. Florists hawk their flowers. Chocolateries push thier candies. But I’ve always felt that consumerism cheapens a holiday or event. Gifts should be heartfelt expressions of love, it’s the love that matters, not the gift. Last year Howard bought me a McGriddle and took the day off work. That was a great anniversary present because it showed to me that he was thinking of me and what I’d like.

This year Howard is spending the day on the other side of the continent. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be surprising me by showing up at the door with a McGriddle. It doesn’t matter, because he tells me he loves me daily. We laugh and talk and share daily. Doing that stuff daily demonstrates Howard’s love for me far better than a big once-a-year effort possibly could.

That said, I miss him and I wish he were here. Happy Aniversary Honey!

Archive Entrapment

This morning I had a few quiet minutes and so I poked my nose into the Schlock Mercenary archive for a few minute amusement. An hour later I’d gone through several months of comics and was nearly late for a dentist’s appointment.

I LIVE with Schlock how can it possibly still be click-compulsive entertainment for me?!

venting.

I haven’t done much grumpy in here, but this week is stressy and I need to vent.

Novell. It pays our bills in spades. It pays our medical expenses in spades. It also sends Howard on trips once a month or more which creates buffer stress and detaches him from me an his children. I hate that the kids consider it normal to have Daddy gone. I can live with it except when corporate decisions leave Howard pissed off and unable to enjoy family or schlock. Then his at-home time is ruined as well.

Howard leaves for yet another trip tomorrow. He’ll be gone until late Thursday night. Thursday morning Link has minor surgury. (Adenoid removal) We’ve looked it over and over and all things considered Thursday is the best day to do it. Logically it all makes sense, but I’m going to have to deal with it by myself and I don’t want to. And Howard feels horrible about not being there and this entry is NOT going to make him feel any better about it. Which makes me want to delete this entry. Howard’s pain is my pain, I want to avoid pain.

Howard and I both dream of a time when Schlock makes enough money to support our family. Then he could be at home. He could be involved in the daily running of the house and caring for the children. We could build habit patterns which are dependant on having him here instead of off on trips. Unfortunately there is only a limited amount of things I can do to forward that goal without sacrificing our goal maintaining a stable home for our children. I know I could be doing so much more to foster the growth of Schlock-as-business. I’m capable of being a real asset there, but only at the cost of ignoring the children. I can’t do enough. I can’t pay off the debt fast enough, I can’t keep the house clean enough, I can’t even get bedtime working smoothly.

And today all I want to do is curl up in my bed and cry. Or sleep until it gets better. Both would be incredibly counter productive.

I was going to make this entry family only, but I keep thinking about friendship. Friends grow closer because they tell each other the bad stuff as well as the good stuff. I have the beginings of some good friendships here, I need good friends.