Monday, April 28, 2008

And Then It Hits You

People always talk about the moment they realized that their life isn't half so bad. After months, years, whatever, of complaining and feeling dumped on by fate - they have this crystallizing moment where they realize that it could be worse. Or that there is so much more they could do to enjoy what they do have.

I had that moment Friday night. For the last 2 months, I've been bemoaning the fact that my neck is permanently screwed up, that I have osteo-arthritis at my tender age, etc. Sure, my remaining kidney is perfectly healthy, unlike it's naughty dead twin who left us 2 years ago. My heart is good. My health is fairly decent, and despite 7 surgeries, I enjoy relative good health. So what if I have joint issues? At least I can head to the chiropractor.

Because I found out that a beloved instructor at my karate school is ill. He's only 24 years old, and he has Crohn's. His lifelong dream was to teach karate, and he was able to be doing just that. Except that now, his traitorous body has no energy, and he has to step down. I'm beside myself worrying about him, and so very sad for his loss of his life's love. I can only hope that treatment can be found for him to be able to strike the balance and find the energy to at least train in the martial arts and progress to higher black belt levels. Because he is an amazing martial artist. And he damn well deserves to be able to do what he loves.

So no more bitching about how unfair it is that I have what I have. I refuse to allow myself to give in to this joint crap anymore. This week, I feel a sense of renewed purpose - and I feel that at least I have a chiropractor interested in helping me rehabilitate myself, and get to the point where I CAN do what I want physically.

I was wavering about whether or not to keep going in martial arts, trying for my black belt. Mainly, this was due to the fact that the test is 6 hours long. With a LOT of physical demands. And many things that would hurt like hell now. But my chiro said that with work, I could be able to do it without having numb hands, or swollen knees.

And now, I WILL do it. Period. It's not an option, not after this weekend.

Monday, April 21, 2008

When it rains....

Yeah, so that saying? So true...

Saturday was Chili Fest - went well, would have been EVEN better had we had more volunteers. And yet, the people who hadn't done a thing to help? Full of TONS of complaints and suggestions. Er, yeah - shaddup unless you're willing to DO the thing you suggested to better the event, mmmkay?

But then it happened.

Sunday morning, we spent about 4 and a half hours at the ER. My poor hubby has a kidney stone. He was in so much pain, and we finally decided it couldn't be a strained back - not with it hurting around front. Yeah, we're brilliant individuals, no?

He "thinks" he's passed it now. Gotta love that. How does one know? I mean, at least with labor and delivery, there's a screaming person there to prove you did something. But he has no trophy, no thing he can hold up and say, see that? *I* did that.

I did have to talk him into taking Vicodin. Which I cannot for the life of me figure out. I'm not a drug person, I don't like aspirin let alone getting high. But use the pain meds you're given when you're in severe pain! I've had a kidney stone, I've passed a fragment - and I'll say this: I would give birth to my 65 pound 4 year old right here, right now, instead of go through a kidney stone again. SERIOUSLY. It's that bad.

He did a lot better once he took the meds - uh, duh. Pain makes you stress out. Stressing out means clenched muscles. Clenched muscles mean the stone can't get through. Logical, yes?

I do have to say this - he is SUCH a good husband. He waited until Chili Fest was over to have his episode. Gotta love a dedicated husband and father!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm posting to tell ya why I haven't posted a blog...., yeah - weird. I know.

I volunteered to help the PTO. Which, as any of you have done that, is like signing over a major organ. That scene from Monty Python's Meaning of Life comes to mind.

(DISCLAIMER - do not click if you're upset by gratuitous blood/gore/weird British humor)

Right - that's what I currently feel like...

So yeah - I'll be back to form next week - our event is Saturday.....keep your fingers crossed for me, will y'all??? :D

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blast from the past gets me thinking!

I was driving the kids home from karate today, and the song Stand by R.E.M. came on. I loved this band - still love the music that I loved "back then," of course. So I wanted to find the video of my favorite song, and their most well-known song - End of the World As We Know It.

I know all the words to this song. I remember the clip from Tommy Boy where Chris Farley and David Spade are driving and singing, and this song comes on, and they screw it up royally! Not me, I always thought - I know the words!

The song I'm talking about runs from about 27 sec to 50 sec

Apparently, I had some of them wrong. :O The horror! For those who don't know this about me - I pride myself on knowing the RIGHT lyrics to a song. HAVE to know them, or I feel weird when I listen. I will listen to a song over and over and over until I get them down, too. With the proper inflection and emphasis and everything. Go ahead - we'll pause while you laugh at me.

Yes, I know that's sad. I know that's weird. But I love music. It can make me feel better, help me get out anger, you name it, it helps with my emotions. So the lyrics are important to both my music loving side, and the writer buried inside of me.

I digress. Anyway, I've made fun of my husband for not knowing the lyrics to songs - I will correct him singing in the shower without even having to think about it. Yes, it drives him nuts. But you know, he actually appreciates that knack in me. He was so embarrassed, for example, to learn that in the song "If You're Gonna Play in Texas," by Alabama (yes country - :P), where he sang " When a cowboy in the back stood up and yelled, 'Hi-hi Joe'!" the lyric is ACTUALLY "When a cowboy in the back stood up and yelled, 'Cotton-Eyed Joe'!" I honestly laughed so hard at him for two reasons - one, HOW did he get that? No one says "Hi hi," especially not a COWBOY. But Cotton Eyed doesn't sound a thing like Hi hi. Anyway - you get the picture.

So when searching for this video:

I also found the "official" lyrics - and I was appalled to find out I was singing some of them wrong. Yeah, that's a silly thing to be appalled about, but man, how embarrassing to tease my hubby about lyrics - when something I prided myself in (this is a tough song to learn the lyrics to, if you know what I mean) was WRONG!!! Ugh. Sad.

So here are the lyrics for those of you who've always wanted to know just what the heck Michael Stipe was saying in this song!

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -
world serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
common group, but it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.
Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,
slam, but neck, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...

(It's time I had some time alone)

Sing it with me, people!!! You know you love the song!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I Got Tagged, so Here it IS!!

My lovely friend Melisa (you know, the kickass spin instructor!) tagged me on her blog (and I am too new to know how to hyperlink, so please forgive!). So here it's about my hubby!

How long have you been together? We had our first date August 11, 1998 - so this year it will be 10 years! Yipes, a decade!

How long did you date? 3 months, got engaged on Friday the 13th, Nov 1998. Yeah, we're that type of couple! LOL!

How old is he? 37 - 7 years older than me!!

Who said ‘I love you’ first? I have no idea. I know we pretty much knew at that first date that this was it....

Who is taller? He is by (according to him) an inch and a quarter. He's 6'1" and (once again, according to him) I'm 5'11.75"

Who is smarter? He normally scored about 2 points higher than I do on IQ tests - but we're both smarties, always were good in school. We're both math people, too, so our kids are annoyingly math-oriented.

Who does the laundry? ME - he is SO not allowed near my clothing, he put an underwire Wacoal bra in the DRYER the first week I lived with him!

Who does the dishes? Me, mostly, but he'll help once in a while. But I am the stay-at-home parents, so you know, it's sort of my job. LOL!

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Uh, right when you're laying face up or face down?

Who pays the bills? We take turns writing out the checks/calling the utility company

Who mows the lawn? We both do it together, most of the time. Two tiny push mowers for about an acre, with about 52 trees? Yeah, we need to do it together or it would take HOURS...

Who cooks dinner? Both of us - but - don't tell him I said this - he's the better, more inventive cook. I do better comfort food and baking....

Who is more stubborn? Him, for sure. Which is saying a lot, because I'm hard headed!

Who kissed who first? He leaned in first.....

Who asked who out? He asked me to dinner during our one 3 hour long phone convo...

Who proposed? Well, technically, he never REALLY asked the question, "Will you marry me?" and I never actually said "Yes."

Who is more sensitive?
If you mean sensitive as in, get upset and hurt by little jokes and annoyances, uh - that would be me.

Thanks Melisa! :D

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monkeys, Bears, Eagles - oh, and the animals in the zoo too!

Yesterday was a wonderful day here! My husband took the day off and we headed to the zoo. Our boys are very much interested in animals, but even more fun is that we've all explored, and decided upon, our own personal animal spirit totems.

The hubby brought back two necklaces when he went to Glacier Park on a business trip last July. Ever since, the boys have been fascinated by the concept of spirit totems, and we've even begun a treasure trove of stories about two spirit brothers, Brother Eagle and Brother Bear. It's wonderful, and I've always felt drawn to the earth religions and the Native American religions.

My older son is Bear. Bear is loving, but grumpy, wise, but impulsive and war-like. It's perfect for him, he's such a dichotomous personality! My younger son is Eagle. Eagle is respected, wise, overlooks everything with a benign eye. He can be playful, but firm and resolved. He is also more removed and aloof. Once again, it fits him very well. He is wise beyond his years, yet playful. He holds himself somewhat aloof from people, and has always been an observer.

Of course, the kids picked out totems for my husband and me. I was the harder to peg. Up until a few weeks ago, I had no totem. Each one we all thought about didn't seem right. My husband is turtle. Turtle is a survivor, he travels, and is also associated with longevity and life. It fits him well, if you ask me.

Now the funny part. My younger son never liked any of the suggestions any of us made for me. He was always and forever yelling at us about it! But a few weeks back - apparently he decided. He is very persistent and tenacious about his beliefs, and due to the fact that he is our Eagle, and thus a leader of some sort, we've all given in to his choice.

I am butterfly, apparently! He picked it in part because I am the "pretty" one in the family, since I'm the only girl in the house! But butterfly seems to work well, as it is a constant metamorphosis totem, and also has a critical and multi-faceted way at looking things.

So, I promise, I have a point. Truly!

The boys kept hearing these stories of Brother Bear and Brother Eagle. And somehow, our younger son came to believe that these animals are purely made up! He wouldn't believe me that there really were wild eagles and wild bears, as well as live ones we could go visit in the zoo.

So I determined to prove him wrong, and in turn, cause much elation in being able to visit their spirit animals in the flesh. We gathered our passes, and snacks, and hit the road.

The awe that my younger son had on his face when he saw the condor that he was convinced was an eagle was just breathtaking. His little face lit up, and he was yelling and waving, and singing to this giant of a bird. Here's a picture of him in front of the wingspan display:


The older son was a little less enthusiastic at first. Then we saw the polar bears and the brown bears swimming and playing and goofing around with each other. He loved it. He didn't realize other animals played. It's so much fun watching that sort of realization hit. Here's both kids in front of the bear display:


It was a gorgeous day, albeit a very cold one for our area in April! But the best part about having free passes is you don't feel the need to stress out and SEE EVERYTHING. I hate that part about vacations where you buy tickets to parks, etc. I just don't enjoy having to rush around. I like being able to visit only 4 exhibits out of our enormous zoo's entire grounds. It's so much more fun.

And the picture (and hats) that made me laugh:


And in case anyone complains about my not including one with me in it:


I do have one main problem with zoos. I don't know that ALL zoos are like this, but we go to Brookfield Zoo a lot. My mom has an awesome membership, and she takes us, we get passes, etc. So it's several times a year at the very least.

For some reason, our zoo feels the need to keep changing these display boards. Why is it that we can't just go to the zoo to see, GASP, animals? Instead, there's these "informational" and "educational" boards with switches, and cranks, and buttons, noises, lights, you name it! I hate the things. The kids push the buttons to push the buttons. They don't stand there and actually LEARN something. They're just doing it to do it. It drives me nuts. My kids aren't allowed to touch them, in fact. Maybe that's borderline crazy, but I would much rather talk to my kids and explain things to them than they stand and press a button and keep pressing it, doing a sort of DJ-style mixup.

The money they use for these displays boggles my mind. They could be using it for much better things, I would think! There's a new one. You exit the gorilla house - ours is Tropic World, and it's indoor, but with "realistic" habitat. It's wonderful. It even RAINS in the ape house. It's fantastic to hear the thunder and watch the monkeys take off to get out of the rain. But you exit - and BAM. It's a maze of these big wooden things. You have to walk through it, and it's a "decide what path" sort of thing. Except that the decisions are things like, "Are you going to conserve energy and walk to school, or waste the Earth's resources and flush the toilet every time you use it??" What kind of question IS that, anyway?

It just makes me nuts that I can't just go to a zoo, see the animals playing, being themselves, without some sign preaching at me with really lame pictures (seriously, folks - there was a giant TOILET with an evil face....). Why can't I pay my membership fee, and that will be enough to save the Earth for them? I try. I really do! I recycle, I conserve energy, I try not to drive tons of places, and I am pretty tough on water usage. I just don't see how Terry the Evil Toilet helps.

And I do see how lowering ticket prices COULD help, I guess.

So, all that long windedness about a short trip to the zoo! Well, the good news is, we got to see animals, and I didn't go berserk and rip down the signs with Agua the water droplet. The bad news? They wouldn't let us set up an exhibit for the boys.

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