Not What I Had in Mind

(Can you believe I was sick again?! {I left out all the cuss words} I have never been this sick in a year as I have in the last month. My god. I’m ready to scream. Luckily lots and lots of sleep and gargling with salt water fixed me up in 48 hours. But are you kidding me?! I’m wasting precious summer time! I had huge {HUGE} plans this summer too. Work on the blog. Read blogs. Work on the novel. Loose a few pounds {Ok, more than a few pounds; I have high hopes}. Go on adventures with the boys. Swim every day. School prep. Cub Scout prep. But I keep getting sick every other week! Gods above, I will hurt someone over this. {Probably me, trying to do more than I should.} As you can imagine, I feel very much behind and cheated. I need to rail against something. *Shakes fist angrily at a cloud*)

I also interrupt my scheduled vacation posts for today’s weird adventure.

As the Tucson heat builds and builds with our monsoons not in sight, it’s still over 100 at 6:30pm. Horrible, I know. Fahrenheit for my none American readers. Honestly, it’s a small price to pay not to shovel snow, but usually we have thunderstorms coming through by now.

But back to the blog…. As it is still pretty hot, I’ve been allowing the boys to jump in the pool before bedtime in hopes that they’ll be cooled off and ready for slumber sooner than later. I know, high hopes. Usually they’re still in their swim trunks from the afternoon swim.

Today I fell into a book and didn’t usher them into the pool. My brother, The Friendly Giant, came over and played video games with the boys instead. We went out to celebrate Tornado E’s birthday.

Around 7 pm, Tornado A asked to go swimming. I agreed.  He stripped to shorts and underwear and jumped into the pool. Huh. You know, your swim trunks are right over here?

Ten minutes later I called the other boys outside away from the tempting TV. Tornado E stripped to his underwear. Then he refused to get in because Tornado A was splashing him.

Tornado S had stripped nude. As I walked the backyard to gather steps, he walked next to me telling me about Legos and games and such. Finally I stopped walking.

Me: Tornado S, get something on and get in the pool.

He went over to the patio and put on goggles. Then he ran through the yard and jumped into the pool.

Not what I had in mind.

Not Writing on Vacation

(I apologize. I had writer’s block. I still may, but I’m sitting down to write any ways. Good luck, reader.)

One of the reasons I haven’t written in a while is because we went on vacation.

First I was in a blur of prep. When living in my own house and preparing for travel, I had a staging area that I would drop the things we would need on a trip. I may start two weeks out just dropping a thing or two as I remembered it. Usually it would start a few days before. Oh, we need this. And this. After I put this load in, I’ll get this thing out while I’m thinking about it.

I cannot do that in my parents’ house. Oh, my mother will say I can. But I really can’t. The remarks and sighs and looks, you know. So prep drop happens on paper and then 24 hours before the trip, making me look sloppy, but I am pretty organized, so there is that.

Second, I did download the WordPress App. I figured when we had down time, I would write. After the boys went to bed, I would write. But you know what I learned this trip?

We don’t have to hang out at the hotel. For any reason. No one needs naps. We can leave early for things. And my morning birds can’t rise with the sun if the black out curtains are closed. They still get their 10 hours of sleep. But as soon as 10 hours is up, up they jump. So when they went to bed late, they slept in.

We never had down time in the hotel. If we didn’t have a scheduled activity, we went to the beach or to a park. If a boy was tired, he would sit with me and build sandcastles. Since I’m willing to drive all around an area we’re staying with, they rested in the car.

As for night times, usually I am a stickler for bedtimes. My boys don’t sleep in. Dawn comes, and they’re up with the sun. But when I told them we can stay as late as they could handle it at Disneyland, we stayed until nearly 10, getting back to the hotel a little after 10. Then the most amazing thing happened, they woke 10 hours later. (Well, from 10, they fell asleep in the car, woke at the hotel, and went straight to sleep in their beds.) Each night (except the unexpected last night, different story) they went to bed late (and I felt guilty), but they woke after 10 hours refreshed (and I felt less guilty).

I highly recommend not hanging out in the hotel room. No arguing over the TV. No jumping on beds. No wrestling. No fighting. No craziness. It was glorious. I mean, they still fought, argued, and were crazy, just not in a tiny cramped space.

I enjoyed this so much that when my mom suggested we go on vacation together next year, I’m a little hesitant. They like to return to the hotel an hour or so before dinner to relax and go swimming. And I don’t want to go back to that.

(Look at that. When in writing doubt, start from the beginning…..)

I Miss This

The last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I don’t have a place to write about my kid stories and my mom stories. I’ve been thinking about how much I missed my blog friends. Then the other day I mentioned I once ran a mommy blog for years, and the person asked me about it. After I explained, she said wow, what an amazing experience. And it was.

So I’m going to start blogging again. I can’t promise I can do it regularly. I’m hoping to do write Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with a weekend post every now and then. You see, now I’m a full time teacher, and this is my first year teaching all Freshman under the new curriculum. Tuesday nights are karate nights… for the boys. Thursday is Cub Scout and Boy Scout nights …  for us all. But Monday is Nerd Night, and Friday is Art Night … both for me. Wednesday is Kung Fu night, but that’s only for Tornado A, and he’s done by 6:30.

This might not even work out, since I now call, email, and write my federal legislators every day. I’m looking forward to the day I can write to my state legislators. I’m working on my poetry, and I’m editing a manuscript. But who isn’t? I’m studying Spanish. Note to self, work on Spanish later. I’m also studying to take the history and government test in the summer because why wouldn’t I want to be qualified to teach more subjects? I don’t plan on giving up journaling again because that’s for me. Please, Lord, someone burn those when I die.

Beyond that, I’m raising three active, smart, funny boys, living with my parents, and fighting depression. Now you know why I keep a journal. Next stop, meditation. When I get the time.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.

Dusting off Cobwebs

When I was a child, my family owned a cabin.  (Family as in the Clan; the cabin belonged to my grandpa, and his children took their families there.)  Every time we left, we had to pack the cabin back up.  Every dish and condiment was put away.  Chairs were folded and put in the corner.  Sheets were folded and put in trunks.  Plastic was draped over beds and counters and the table.  The outdoor swing and chairs were brought into the cabin.  The water basin was hung.  Drapes were closed.  Boards were put on windows.  The last weekend of fall, the ceiling was propped.

I loved going to the cabin.  I loved walking into the cabin the first time, smelling moth balls and ant killer and setting down the load I carried up the hill.  I loved waking up the cabin, opening windows, helping to take out the outdoor furniture, helping to take out the plastic to shake it out and fold it away, helping to make beds, and taking out things to make the cabin a home.  After the car was unpacked and the cabin was unpacked, my brothers and I were released to the forest to run as a pack up hill, down hill, along deer trails, sliding down pines.  Before we were called in to take the bucket out to collect kindling, I would collect flowers and pretty rocks to decorate the cabin.  No matter how brief the visit, I had to make the cabin my home.

Lately this blog has been more like a vacation home than a permanent, roots-deep home.  My classes have made it difficult to carve out any time for myself.  When asked what I do with my free-time, I blinked, saying “well, I used to…”  But now I’m student teaching, and I hope I’ll have a little more free time, though I’ll be teaching a full load in a matter of weeks.  Which reminds me, I forgot to write a paper that’s due… And there’s 5 lesson plans to write… And I should read Macbeth again…

But I miss this home.  I have to write.  I’m not happy when I don’t.  Only now have I had too little time.  Even in college, in between classes, anyone could find me with my journal out, sitting by the fountain, writing.  Now I hope to carve out the time to write.  Now that the divorce trial is over.  Now that I am forced to lose my boys every other weekend.  Now that I’m not jamming a semester’s worth of work into 5 weeks.  Because I want to perfect my craft.  Because I need a place to get these thoughts out of my head.  Because I need these stories to stop haunting me.  Because I need to breathe.

With any luck, I’ll see you tomorrow.  With more luck, I’ll start hunting everyone down.  Or more like I’ll ring doorbells of blogs and offer cookies and comments and tell you how much I truly missed you and ask for the latest news and gossip.

Oh, you can see me.

I’m not anonymous anymore.

Well, not really.

(Ok, so I was out two years ago by some crazy ex-employee of the ex.  But no one goes looking at that thread on some crazy “report” site.  That’s not really what I’m talking about.)

It’s the boys and their names.  You type in their names, and the blog comes up on the first page.  You type in their names and Arizona or blog, and the blog comes up first page.  So if you know me and that I wrote a blog and you know my boys’ names, it is stumbling easy to find the blog.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

When I first started the blog, I did some research on other blogs and what they did for their children’s names.  Then I did a search on Tornado E and Tornado S.  It was a popular combination of boys names.  But when you add Tornado A, well, you get a more unique combination.  No one has three children any more or are graced with three boys.

This only comes up because I’m a pretty private person online.  (Except I used my real name and photo on Pinterest)  My Facebook is pretty locked-down tight.  I didn’t use my real name to set this up or the Twitter account.  I’m annoyed how easily it is to get my address online.  The only things I want to come up online is any writing with my name on it.  Ok, it’s also cool that I’m still up for a panel discussion I did years ago at my alma mater.  (And Pinterest.  Not sure how I feel about that.)

I only think about my privacy because I had a stalker in my past (and we all pray he stays in my past) and that one day I’ll be teaching high schoolers.  Tech-savvy high schoolers.  My only hope is that they are so self-absorbed in their own worlds that they never think to research into my life.

Also I plan never to say anything negative about them in a public forum, so if I’m recorded, I’m not in trouble.  I mean that’s just common sense.

But the question is how far do I go to reveal my life.  How much can I be an open book when I know just possibly someone I know might fine the blog and look threw it, learning things that I didn’t want said person to know.  But then I did make a public blog.

That question came to mind when I realized I’m holding a lot of secrets, and the ones that hurt the most are not even mine.  I realized those secrets aren’t my burden.  I’m not the one who has to be ashamed.  So I decided I’m not going to keep them.  It’s not like I plan on running around screaming them, but I’m not going to protect them any more.  If the conversation ever turns to those secrets, I’ll tell the truth.  Every time I do that I will be true to myself and take another step towards healing.

So there.  I’m easily to find under this name with the right information, and I, like every other person on the planet, has secrets.  Somehow I have to figure out how much of my mask and armor do I take off to be in this space.

Outted

There was a time in my life, a long time, where I didn’t give a damn about what people thought of me.  If you liked me, fine.  If you didn’t, that was your problem, not mine.  I knew my faults, loud, difficult, tactless, stubborn, independent to a fault.  In other words, I can be a real bitch.  I understood that I was going to rub some people the wrong way, and I would have to accept that.  And most of the time, I did try to get along with people.

Then I met The Husband.  And he cared what people thought.  He cared very much.  But he always insisted that he didn’t care what other people thought of me, he liked me for who I was.  But he very much cared what people thought of his girlfriend, of his wife.  So I worked diligently to gain the respect of his circle and his father.  I only succeeded with friends outside the circle.  By being me.  Once I started to give into the pressure to be liked by other people, a part of me died.  And I hated who I was when I was with those people.  And I hated them for causing that change.  And I hated the pressure I was under to be the perfect whatever.

When I started this blog, the anonymity allowed me to be who I really was.  It was a step back to being the person I was, meeting people by being who I was and not apologizing for being who I was.  (Though I’m still trying to figure out why criticizing a crappy kid show brought down the fury.)  I’ll admit that I do get a little intimidated when I start to think how many people might be reading this that actually know me. Not that any of them would be surprised that I’m crazy or a bitch.  But still.  Yet this place is often where I can lay down the mask and open the dark parts of myself to the light in hopes that someone, somewhere understands and nods back before I put the masks and the armour back on to do battle with the outside world.

But a couple of months ago. Some one outted me.

This jackass posted a link to my blog on a false complaint with false rumors about The Husband.  The jackass “claimed” to be doing it because he sympathized with me.  Um.  BS.

Not only is he slandering The Husband.

Not only is he trying to destroy the welfare of my family.

Not only is he using my blog to hurt the father of my children and to bring down the very entity that puts the roof over my kids’ heads and the food on our table.

He outs me as The Husband’s Wife.  Not my name.  Not who I really am.  Just His Wife. Because ever since I was a little girl I only wanted to be known as A Wife.  In fact, I would bet the jackass doesn’t even know my name, even though he has been to my house (The Orange One), I’ve cooked him dinner, I’ve taken care of his dogs for a day.

We’re not sure how this jackass found out about the blog.  It certainly wasn’t through me.  Now that the chaos is mostly over, I felt easier to talk about it.  I didn’t want to throw fuel on the fire when this BS hit the web.  I didn’t want to acknowledge the BS and give it power.  I did begin to wonder who really was lurking around the blog, waiting for me to say something that could be used against my family.  I tried to figure out how any one, ANY ONE could link this blog to my family. I debated whether to shut down the blog or not.  That debate lasted 30 seconds when I realized this was My Space and I’ll be damned if I let some jackass ruin it for me. But then I did notice how I began to censor my writing, cutting myself into pieces, editing myself.

I’ve decided not to do that any more.  So F them if they can’t take a joke.

That sucks . . . . sort of

You know what sucks?  Working on a post for several days because you can only steal a handful of minutes at a time to work on it and then have your husband take the laptop with the post on it to a business meeting on the day you’re going to post it.

The bright side: Long nap instead.

You know what sucks?  You’re eldest boys acting out, pushing the boundaries, trying to be the biggest pains in the butt.

The bright side: It’s only a phase.  (It damn well better be only a phase.)

You know what sucks?  Blog and nap time are being taken away so that I can learn to work  my mom’s jewelry site for when she’s out of town.

The bright side: I look like the good daughter.

You know what sucks?  Not being able to comment on your favorite blogs.

The bright side: At least I have my Blackberry Storm to read my favorite blogs.

You know what sucks?  Typing one-handed because your infant son believes if he’s awake he should be held and possibly fed at all times.

The bright side: I have a cute, cuddly infant to hold.