Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

This is the last song in my Halloween music series. I will be posting and excellent Halloween playlist closer to the holiday of holidays. (as it is my favorite)

This song is just so excellent.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Report - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Authour: Johnathan Safran Foer
Length: 326 pages
How long it took me to read: Three Weeks

What it's about: Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

The ending is the most important part: I'm very glad this book ended. I kept reading this book with the hopes that it would get better. It only got a little better in that some loose ends were tied up, but not enough.

Last word: I totally hated this book. It was torture reading it. It jumped around too much, was confusing, and the pictures were weird. I do not recommend this book at all.

Spoilers after the jump

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Thin, White, Duke

The other night as we were sitting around the dinner table (a very rare occurrence), I asked Huey how his crazy hair worked out. It was crazy hair day at the Jr. High, and he had tried sleeping with a hat on to give himself crazy hair, but it didn't work out so well. He was born with perfect hair: parted down the side with lovely waves, and the most gorgeous golden blonde. He rarely has bed head, and when he does, it usually calms down after an hour. I have the same issue. My hair pretty much stays the way I put it too. We can't relate to Harry Potter in this way at all.

The conversation led to DH asking what the next day's theme was, and Huey couldn't remember. We looked it up and it was Music. The kids were supposed to wear a music tshirt. Huey doesn't have any band tshirts, so he had to turn to his parents. DH has a number of Chicago and Steve Martin tshirts, but they would be huge on Huey, not that he would have minded the size, he was just not interested. I mentioned that I have a number of old concert tshirts, maybe one of them would work out?

There was a little discussion about these shirts as far as how did no one know that these existed, and a wager regarding whether or not I could find them. I went straight down to my craft room, moved a couple of boxes, and came upstairs - triumphant. Huey decided to wear my Cult shirt from when I saw them open up for Metallica in 1989.

Two things came out of this:

  1. I got up from the table and said, "I have a ton of old concert shirts downstairs, I'm sure you wouldn't be interested in the Duran Duran ones, but maybe something from INXS, or David Bowie?" Huey said, "Who's David Bowie?" What? How could this happen? How could my child not know who David Bowie is? Where did I go wrong? The Let's Dance album was the first album I ever owned!! I instructed DH to educate him immediately while I ran downstairs to obtain the box of shirts. There were many YouTube videos, I couldn't find my Sound and Vision shirt, and my The Glass Spider Tour was too small, so he went with The Cult.
  2. Huey had one of those moments where he got to get a view of his mother from before she was a mom. I'm pretty open and share lots of stories with my boys, but without evidence, I'm sure they are not very tangible. Plus, now that he's older, he gets it a little more. Watching him look at my shirts in wonder, and seeing his dad's reaction, and observing him soaking everything in was cool. I could see the gears ticking in his head and realizing that I had a life before I was a mom. That I was an actual person, not just someone who made him sandwiches and took every available opportunity to embarrass him. He may have been a little jealous that I had seen so many concerts. I've offered to take him to see concerts, but he's always passed, or his grades have not been up to par.
This reminded me of the time that I realized my mother was cool when she was a teenager. I was in Grade Ten and had just learned the jive in P.E. and was teaching it to my sister in the kitchen. My mum saw us and taught us a couple of moves, and then proceeded to tell us about how she and her brother used to win swing contests all the time when she was a kid. I was in awe, I couldn't believe that she had a life before us! The thing that drove this home for me was when we were at my cousin's wedding and I saw my mum and uncle dancing together like the old days. They were really good. I'd seen my mum dancing before, but never like that.

I just love that I got to blow my kid's mind. He's pretty cocky and thinks he knows everything, so it's very excellent when I show him that I can still show him a thing or two.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lady Gaga - Teeth

In keeping with my Halloween music theme, Lady Gaga is appropriate. The Mother Monster herself.

This song makes me think of Vampires.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm Back, Baby!

I know that I wrote about September sucking, and I really meant it.

I've been doing this thing this year where I've been looking at the number of blog posts last year and trying to beat each month. So far, I've totally done that and I'm so proud. I noticed that my posts were really low last year in Sept and there were none in Oct.

Usually when I go through a period of radio silence it's because I'm going through a blue period and I can't function in public. My mum calls it "going into (my) cave". I'm sure other people who deal with depression do the same thing. I go through these periods where it's really hard to get out of bed and difficult to function and I feel like I just should not be around humans. Nothing sounds good, I'm completely unmotivated, and it's all I can do to get up, go to work, and make sure the boys stay alive by feeding and clothing them. I don't feel like anything; reading, eating, getting dressed, writing, nail polish, etc. Listening to music is painful; nothing sounds good, there are no good songs, and I can't get out of my funk.

So far, the only cure is tie a knot and hold on, and time. Hopefully I will be able to figure out a better resolution, but this is what has worked for me for the last forty years or so.

I'm happy to report that I'm out of that - the evidence is in the library hold list. When I'm blue, I can't read. It's just not interesting, and I find my mind wanders too much and my brain starts to cycle and I can't pay attention any way, so I just give up. Just recently, I got inspired to read again, and I have 5 books on hold at the library, and three on my night stand. The books on hold are ones that are already checked out, so I have to wait my turn, which is fine, I like to use the library hold system as a lottery system; whichever book comes off hold first is the winner and therefore the one I read next. I actually went for several months where I was waiting for nothing on hold. It was a weird experience.

I'm really looking forward to reading some things that I can really love and sink my teeth into. Books that take less than a week to read because I actually have the desire to make the time to read.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Report - It's Kind of a Funny Story

Title: It's Kind of a Funny Story
Authour: Ned Vizzini
Length: 444 pages
How long it took me to read: a week and a half

What it's about: Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy.

The ending is the most important part: The ending was perfect. So hopeful, so joyous. Just lovely and perfect.

Last word: Read this book. Especially if you have or love someone with depression. This book was so excellent. I closed it with a satisfied smile on my face.

Spoilers after the jump

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Mommy Wars - Rantgirl Weighs in‏

I'm mad. I'm mad and I'm sad. I'm Smad. (Bonus points if you get the reference.)

How is it that in 2013, there are still people who ask the question of Stay at Home Moms: "What do you do all day?" Is this a joke? How is this still happening? I can only assume that the people that are asking the questions are not experienced in the realm of motherhood and are therefore completely ignorant and are legitimately seeking the answer to their question. I mean seriously, how is this still a topic? Did they not have mothers?

People are so stupid.

Can't we all just agree that it's ALL work? Working is work, and being home is work and anyone who has spent any time at all around children knows that children are work. Right? So how is this still an issue?

I want to tell the stay at home mommies to shut the heck up sometimes when they cry about not being recognized as "working". Listen, girls, we all know that you work, okay?

I wonder if we have a jealousy thing going on. The ones who stay home are jealous of the ones that get to leave their house and wear pantyhose and talk to other adults, while the ones who work are jealous of the ones who get to stay home and wear yoga pants, don't necessarily have to shower that day and can kiss the smooshy faces of their babies whenever they want.

I know that I'm jealous. When I have those days where getting out of bed is a chore and I'm having a bad hair day and I hate all my clothes, I still have to get up and leave my bed and shower and get dressed in something "professional" because guess what happens if I don't? I don't get paid. If I do it often enough? I get fired and never get paid. And then I can't feed my children. I'm pretty sure that's an important thing in the role of a mother - to feed your children.

You want to talk about jealousy? How about the working mom who works from home, but hires a nanny to come and play with her children so that she can work? Those moms don't get to join in the conversation. I want to punch those moms.

Maybe I have the wrong friends, but I keep seeing these "Heck ya, I work, I stay home" type of posts and it makes me wonder about the working mom. What about her? Where is her voice? Well, for one, she's too busy to pipe up. She goes to work and works all day only to come home and work all night (or vice versa). What about those moms? What about the moms who leave their babies and go to work and hate themselves because all they want to do is stay at home with said babies?

I can't even talk about single moms who have no choice but to work. Single moms have a special place reserved for them in heaven. This one time DH and I took Huey and my two nephews to the beach; they were all around three years old at the time. Oldest nephew lived on an island and was best friends with the ocean, so tore off as far from us as possible and dove head first into the roaring surf. Huey and DH skipped along in the tide pools, wandering along at their own pace, stopping to look at crabs and weird seaweed and anything else that caught their fancy. Youngest nephew lagged far behind because he had tripped in a tide pool, got tangled up in seaweed, and was paralyzed with fear. O.N. was too far away to hear my shrieking pleas for him to return, and Y.N. was freaking out, so knowing that my son was perfectly safe with his father, and fearing for the lives of the sons of my sisters, I ran back, scooped Y.N. into my arms and raced to the surf to haul O.N. out of the ocean and to play within a safe distance. Just as I was walking towards DH and Huey, dripping wet, dragging a soaking O.N. by the hand and carrying a sobbing, drenched Y.N. in my arms, my mother and brother arrived with towels and her famous beach bag. She was laughing at me and said, "Can you imagine? I did this with FOUR of you all by myself! What was I thinking? It's amazing none of you drowned." Like I said, MAJOR props to the single moms.

Back to the working moms; what about them? The ones who get up and get their kids ready for their day while getting ready for their own day, to go to work and do things all day for other people only to come home and make the dinner and do the laundry and clean the dishes and supervise the homework and read the books and put the ones to bed. Forget it if there's a sporting event, musical instrument concert, or scout meeting to attend. What about those amazing jugglers who sometimes don't even manage to get out of their pantyhose until ten o'clock at night? Pantyhose can be itchy, you guys; it's annoying and ugly and expected for you to wear if you want to look like a professional.

When Huey was two I changed jobs and we had no choice but to enroll him in preschool. Every day for a year when I took him into school he cried. His teacher would have to peel him off me every day. Then I would go into my car and cry; every day for a year.

When I went back to work after Dewey was born, he wouldn't take a bottle. He would scream and scream, but he would not take that bottle. One time DH called me at work, I could hear Dewey screaming in the background and my milk let down immediately. "Just come home as soon as you can." He said, and hung up. I hung up, told my boss that I had to go home, she understood what I was going through, and raced home. I could hear Dewey panic-crying from the elevator. I rushed down the hallway, unbuttoning my blouse as I went. After some intense internet research, DH figured out how to get Dewey to take a bottle and things got better, but I can't tell you the guilt I felt for having to leave my baby every day.

I'm only going to mention the humiliation of trying to find a discreet place to pump so that my children wouldn't have to have formula.

We were blessed where DH and I worked opposite shifts for the most part, so I mostly left my baby boys with their daddy. This lessened my guilt a little, but only a little. What kind of a mother leaves her children for hours every day? I wished so much I could just be with them. I wished that I was the one changing their diapers and watching The Bear in the Big Blue House and Blues Clues and Thomas and Bob the Builder. I wanted to be the one to play blocks and trains and cars and make forts and puppet shows. I would get up every morning and look over at my sleeping boys and be so jealous of their father who got to spend all day with them.

DH and I fight constantly because the house is a mess, but I don't have the energy to clean after working all day and then attempting to be there for my boys all night. I admit that my guilt drove my over compensating. I would come home from work and just do whatever the little ones wanted because I felt so guilty for leaving them all day. We would play and read and watch movies. There would be some semblance of dinner, but my little boys were my first priority. Dishes and laundry could wait, but then DH and I would fight about how nothing got done around the house.

You stay at home moms who get the "what did you do all day?" question? You're not alone. I would get it too. DH would go to work at 3pm when I got home. He would come home for dinner at 7:30 and see that the house was still a mess and that there was no dinner yet, and he would ask, "What have you been doing for the last four hours?" The answer is I've been paying attention to my boys to make up for all the time I've missed today! Now that he's home and he sees what my evenings are like, he's backed off a little, but we still fight about this and Huey is thirteen!

Our babies are only babies for so long. The time goes quickly and I feel like I missed out on so much of my babies being babies. Dewey is nine and perfectly capable of taking care of himself. My guilt has lessened somewhat now that they are both in school while I am at work, so I don't miss out on being with them during the day. There are still those times when they're home sick or on school holiday that I can't be with them during the day and I hate it. I still wish I could be a stay at home mom.

Sometimes I feel like our children need us more when they're teens and trying to navigate themselves into adulthood than when they're little.

I've taken vacation time just to stay home and live the life of a stay at home mom. I still can't get everything done. It may just be me, but my vote is that raising children is all encompassing, and it's work.

You guys, being a mother is WORK. We are all mothers. We need to love and support one another in our roles as mothers. I'm not saying that anyone has it any better or worse than anyone else. We all have it hard. I just wanted to give a voice to the moms who have to leave their children every day in order to put food on the table.

I don't want to fight. I'm too tired to fight.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lamb - Heaven

This song is so hauntingly lovely. I love the mellow vibe. I just sit an groove when I play this song. Enjoy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Report - Ballet Shoes

Title: Ballet Shoes
Authour: Noel Streatfeild
Length: 233 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 weeks

What it's about: Pauline, Petrova and Posy are orphans determined to help out their new family by joining the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training. But when they vow to make a name for themselves, they have no idea it's going to be such hard work! They launch themselves into the world of show business, complete with working papers, the glare of the spotlight, and practice, practice, practice! Pauline is destined for the movies. Posy is a born dancer. But practical Petrova finds she'd rather pilot a plane than perform a pirouette. Each girl must find the courage to follow her dream.

The ending is the most important part: This book ended with all loose ends tied up.

Last word: I'm indifferent to this book. There were some lovely parts, and it's well written, and I recommend this to every little girl in the world. I just wish I'd read it when I was younger.

Spoilers after the jump:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So. September Sucked.‏

I have decided that I hate September and I'm really mad about it.

Like, I can't believe it's already October 10. Wasn't it summer like two minutes ago?

Just when I made up with Snow, and Summer, now I have to break up with September. What's the deal? September used to be that month where you were all done with summer and ready for the new school year. Even after I was all done with school, I still used September as a renewal month to set new goals and look forward to a new year.

Now September is still hot and I'm not ready to let go of summer, but there's school and homework and routine and I'm not ready yet! How did September sneak up on me so fast? This summer went by too fast and it felt like we didn't do anything awesome. I wasn't ready for summer to leave this year and September was so weird. Hot one day, snowing the next. September, you were one moody beeotch this year. I guess I just got caught off guard this year, but it's been happening the last couple of years and it needs to stop.

I have found that February, April and September are the worst months for me. This has been bothering me for awhile, so of course I've been thinking and thinking and tossing it around in my brain for some time. I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons that these months affect me so much is that they are so wonderful in BC and so not like that here in Utah. I'm trying so hard to bloom where I'm planted, but it's hard sometimes.

Since I'm whining about September, I'll talk about September and leave the other months for some other time. September in Vancouver is sunny, crisp, fall colours, and rain. You are instantly inspired to snuggle up in your tights and boots and sweaters. It is so beautiful. The weather changes, and it stays that way. There is none of this yo-yo scalding shorts and flip flops one day, snowing the next. There's too much whiplash weather here in the in-between seasons. In Vancouver you are eased into to the miserable weather and it rains a lot more. Here, it's summer one day, and winter the next. I hate it.

Did I mention I hate it? I had such a hard time this year. Getting into the routine of school and homework was like a slap in the face this year. Huey is doing a little better this year, but it's still a struggle. If I only had him to focus on, it would be okay, but Dewey is still at the point where I have to sit with him and listen to him read and help with math and by the time I'm done with all that, I'm too tired to fight with Huey.

I also struggled with finding time to do anything that gave me joy. I couldn't get myself inspired to blog, so I didn't make the time to write, and that was a bad idea. I've been composing this post in my head for three weeks, but just could never take the time to sit down and get it out of my brain. Reading seemed like such a drag too. I dunno if it was the book I was reading, or just the time of year, but the book was nice enough, I just couldn't get motivated to take the time to read when there were so many other things to do. Forget about sewing or doing anything else creative. My craft room looks like a bomb hit it and I just want to cry every time I think about it.

I just feel like time is racing away from me right now. Soon enough it will be Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It feels like time is going faster and faster and I have no way of catching up. I need to take a break and regroup, but I'm so worried that if I even take the time to breathe, that so much time will have passed that I'll be even further behind!

I don't feel organized and on top of things. I can't stop to rest until my chores are done and I just can't get caught up. I need some peace and quiet so that I can get myself back in order, but time is racing by so quickly that I just don't have the time to get in order. I need to make the time, but I just can't figure out when!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

I decided to use Halloween-y type music for the month of October.

Crazy Train pretty much explains my life. I love to play this really loud in the morning to get myself going.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Physically: A little head-achy and allergy, no gym.

Emotionally: Relieved last week was over.

Spiritually: Need to read my scriptures more often, but still good.

Goal: I don't have a goal. Life is too stressful to add one more 'to-do' like a goal. I'm trying to re-think this whole weekly check-in thing. I like the idea of a weekly check-in, but I want to change the format.