Saturday, May 30, 2009

Relay for Life

I'm off to walk in Relay for Life today. Our Northern California Outdoor Adventurers group has formed a team.

I've walked in Relay for Life before....a couple years ago for North Valley Bank.

In 2004, I walked in the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer 3-Day. That was tough. And fun.

I lost my friend Heide this year - right before Thanksgiving, she lost her fight with breast cancer. Just heard good news about Randy, though.

I've pledged to walk 3 hours today - may end up walking more.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How do you make a hiker?

We hiked to Upper Brandy Creek Falls today. It's an easy little hike for kids, with a beautiful spot to relax at the end.

We didn't hike it last year because of the fires.

The year before we went several times, and always had a good time. The Jelly Bean Princess would whine a little, but she was only 4. We'd slide around and land in pools of icy water and pretend it was our very own water park.

This year was different.

The Princess cried the entire way there. I'm not talking whining....full out sobs. "Just leave me here." "This is the worst day of my life."

It wasn't even hot.

But there were bugs everywhere. And dirt. And the ground wasn't perfectly flat.

This girl is not cut out to be a hiker....what can I do? I LOVE hiking. The Prince is a great hiker.

Do I leave her at home with a sitter next time, and come home talking about what a great time we had? Or do I just make her buck up and keep doing it?

I'd post pics, but she'd kill me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's a little warm in here

AwkwardFamily photo
I think it's time for that family photo...actually, I've heard some people look forward to these. You've got the Cables' awesome family photos. Then, there are the rockin' Millers. And the Edwardsons.

Don't even mention the Whittakers.

But I'm more afraid they'll end up looking like:
AwkwardFamily photo

or even:
AwkwardFamily photo

But it might be in my genes. Here's my family:Yeah, I'm not in that picture. Apparently, they were too busy spoiling me to take any more family shots once I was born. That's how I ended up with this sparkling personality.

Here's a nice one of my dad and two of my uncles:Now, don't they look like fun?

So now the planning begins!

And thanks, Los for this great time waster!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hi, my name is Annie, and I'm

Quietly going out of my mind. Or not so quietly.

Back off if you think I'm slamming or making fun of mental illness. Believe me, I'm a good friend of the family. I have friends and family suffering from everything from ADHD (yes, it's classified as a mental illness), bipolar syndrome, schizophrenia. And that's on a good day.

Whatever. You take your insulin, my son will take his meds, ok?

I haven't been blogging much because I've been under SO. MUCH. STRESS. And I feel like a real weenie for saying this. I feel awful.

I follow Christ. I truly believe that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. I get it. I really do.

And I haven't had child or a spouse die. That would truly be the worst.

But I've got a lot of cr*p going on right now. Everything from an unemployed ex, to a son AND daughter who may have serious health problems (besides their regular, garden-variety ADHD.)

Birthparents that won't leave us alone.

A month-long bout with asthma that required lots of steroids that MAKE ME WANT TO SCREAM AT EVERYONE!

$1,000 dental bill that my insurance denied. Did I mention I just had to get new tires and register my car the same week?

I now do the work of two people - literally - in fewer hours. At least I have a job. But I want to cry every time I look at my desk, when what I should be doing is slogging through the stacks of paperwork.

All of it is taking its toll. I haven't been blogging. I haven't been sleeping. I gained too much weight.

But I'm turning this around. Right now. I finally dropped 4 pounds (yay!). I got something from the doctor to help me sleep. And I'm relying on God, and not myself.

There, I feel better now.

Uh, I'm not doing ANY chores tonight. The d*mn house can wait.

I can't believe I'm swearing so much! It's cathartic. Pardon me while I go swear at the dog....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This was going to be different

This was going to be about the crappy day I had. The piles of work on my desk. The call from my daughter's school (she insisted on going this morning and had no fever) just as I was about to leave for the dentist, the two HOURS in the dentist's chair, the $1,000 I had to pay since it doesn't look like the work will be covered by my insurance, learning I now have to wear a night guard.

It was going to be funny, though. It really was.

And then I got home and found out about Kayleigh. I've been following the Freemans' blog since Kayleigh was just a couple months old, and my kids and I have been praying for a miracle. Last night, the day after Mother's Day, the Freemans had to say good-by for now to their precious little girl.

I though my day stunk.

Excuse me, I have to go hug my kids and snuggle down for the evening.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

When plans change

When I was a little girl, I imagined growing up and having my mom always with me. Planning my wedding. Being a grandma. That, and so much more.

Then my plans changed.

Here's what I wrote last year:

A most troubling day for me.

My mom died when I was 10. I loved her as all little girls love their moms - with an unconditional and all-encompassing love. I remember the love of reading she passed on to me. The nights we'd stay up late, snuggling and watching Alfred Hitchcock movies. The way we ate artichokes, and the marrow out of bones. The way she cared for me when I was sick, or when I burned my leg when I was nine. Though it must have been horribly difficult, she cleaned my 3rd degree burn every day and convinced me I would live (since I'd heard that people with 3rd degree burns died, I was convinced it was happening to me). She was so beautiful. She was, really. She was a model, and started a modeling agency in LA with Nina and Virgina Blanchard.

The night my parents met at the Trocadero restaurant in LA, my father, the Russian, saw my mom across the room. The next day the "Daily Variety" had a headline that told what he said when he saw her. "My heart is on fire!" Big time.....

So, when Mother's Day rolls around, I used to just withdraw, because I get cranky. It got a little better after I became a mom myself, but I still MISS. MY. MOMMY.

This year started off very strangely. I planned on taking the kids to the coast, as my NCOA buddies were headed to Patrick's Point for a little camping and sea kayaking. Ok, I wasn't going to let my 6 year old, or even my 9 year old kayak, but I figured we could enjoy the camping and hiking.

But then my ex told me that his parents would be in town and he was keeping the kids through the entire weekend. Yes, he told me that. Didn't ask. Didn't discuss. Didn't consult.

After screaming silently for a moment, I calmed down. After all, my kids rarely get to see their grandparents on his side, as they live far away. And they have no grandparents on my side. It's really great they get to spend time with them while they're here.

So, plans changed, and I headed to the coast sans children.

Once there, I scheduled my sea kayak trip and also made plans to meet up with some old friends on the way home. Bonus!!!!

Great, great weather. Wonderful people. Amazing fun.

And then the ex called last night. Princess Jelly Bean was running a bit of a fever. I told him to give her some acetaminophen and I'd call in the morning.

This morning she was running a temp of 102 and coughing.

So my plans changed again.

I THREW all my camping gear into my car, took a very quick shower and started home, trying to drive carefully while really wanting to DRIVE. LIKE. A. CRAZY. WOMAN. to get home. The roads are windy, and I needed to get home to my daughter in one piece.

So now she's sleeping on the couch, and I'm posting here. Wondering how I can teleport everying out of my car into the house and garage.

And did I mention I broke a tooth this morning? I'll be calling the dentist tomorrow, though I can't actually go until Princess gets better. See, even though her dad's not working right now, he's going to be golfing tomorrow, so I get to stay home with her. We'll snuggle and watch movies, and I pray she'll feel better.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

But it sticks to my thighs

I love learning from my son as he learns from me.

Just today, he taught me what an aglet is.

And I shared the meaning of ferrule with him.

And I did something else today FOR. THE. VERY. FIRST. TIME. EVER. I popped popcorn. On the stove....with only a pan and some oil. My mom used to make it that way all the time. I started with JiffyPop and graduated to microwave, with a short stop at an air-popper in between.

And we melted butter. Real butter.

The look on his face when he took the first bite was priceless...but, of course, I didn't have my camera ready. I'm just not like Ree or MckMama. I'm not a good photographer.

His words?

"Moooo-oooom. Butter is AWESOME!"

My poor deprived child.