Monday, June 25, 2007

Obsess much?

Me: Baby, have you seen that SWAT show on A&E? It's fantastic! I just found it today, and I'm already totally addicted to it.

K: You're addicted to anything you do more than once!

Me: Nuh uh! I'm not addicted to cleaning.

K: I said something you do more than once.

Me: Jackass!

I don't think I've mentioned this because it's not something that I'm particularly proud of, but I have a highly addictive personality. Whenever I find something I'm interested in or something I like, I tend to dive in headfirst and get slightly obsessed with it. Case in point, I've been googling SWAT today and reading the episode descriptions and bios of the super hot SWAT guys. Also? I'm flighty, so my obsessions come and go. I think it's charming. He thinks it's really annoying. What can I say? The show is amazing. I spent much of Sunday afternoon watching a SWAT marathon, and now I MUST see them all. It's quite compelling, and I have a thing for criminology and law.

In unrelated news, my hair looks like shit today! Oh and? I'm in desperate need of a nap.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thanks Pa!

(This is my dad (Ryann's Opa) chilling with his favorite granddaughter. She's constantly looking forward to her next "adventure" with her Opa and Oma)

Growing up, I had a deep respect for my dad, but I was also scared to death of him (as were my friends). Maybe because of his many years as a state trooper or a military police officer, or his time in Vietnam or just part of his personality, but he can be extremely intimidating. From him, I’ve inherited my small hands, wide feet, love of dogs, water, music, reading and sports. He taught me to be open-minded, to stand up for what I believe in, that very few things are absolute and that the hardest thing to do is usually the right thing to do. He’s a talented singer and guitar player (sounds very much like James Taylor). Growing up in West Texas, we had colossal thunderstorms quite often. When our electricity went out, as it often did, we would light candles and my dad would sing and play his guitar. This is one of my most treasured memories growing up. Thanks Pa! When I think about my dad, there are a handful of moments like these that really stand out.

Growing up, I played every sport that our school offered. Basketball was my favorite. My sophomore year, I made the varsity team, but was demoted to junior varsity after I stunk up the joint after the first game. To say I was devastated would be a gross understatement. I stayed in my bed and sobbed uncontrollably after I found out. My dad sat down on the side of my bed and told me that I had two choices. I could quit or I could show the coach that he had made a mistake. I chose the latter. We had our team practice after school. The day after our talk, every day after team practice, my dad and I would go to the junior high gym and practice for another hour or two. After only a week or two of this, I was kicking ass on JV and moved back up to Varsity. By my senior year, I was voted district MVP. Thanks Pa!

Another time in high school, my dad and I were having a conversation about something or other, and he said something that has to be in the top three if not number one nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said that, because of my intelligence and empathy, I had the potential to be the very best of our family and in some ways, I already was. To truly understand and appreciate how profound this compliment is, you would have to know my family: my father (the genius), my mother (the saint and the most moral and kind person I know) and my brother (the golden boy). He probably doesn’t even remember saying it and he quite possibly said something similar to my brother, but honestly, I wouldn’t even care. I still remember the sense of pride I felt hearing those words. Thanks Pa!

The three years after I graduated from high school were a very dark time. I was too immature to be on my own in college and I went completely crazy. I was wild, partied nonstop and made one idiotic decision after another. Truthfully, it’s by no small miracle that I am still alive and not in prison today. I still feel a crushing guilt when I think about the hell I put my parents through. A couple of months after I turned 21, I found out I was pregnant and my boyfriend demanded that I had an abortion and broke up with me when I refused. My mother was so distraught that she couldn’t really talk to me about the situation, but my father was my rock. He talked with me about all of my options (even the ones I wasn’t willing to consider), and talked to me candidly without judging me. Thanks Pa!

A couple of years ago, my dad played me a song and said that it always reminded he and my mom of me. I cry every single time I hear it. Thanks Pa! Here are the lyrics:

Look at You Now by Catie Curtis

There were times there didn’t look like any way out
And we’d all cry when there was no more that we could talk about
None of us knew what we could do
Mostly we were just scared for you

But look at you now walking on clouds
Lining up stars from medicine jars
You’re the life of the crowd
You had to rise above
What bad dreams are made of
Through all the heartache you didn’t break
You went through more than I could take
And look at you now

There were days when everything was going wrong
And your whole life changed as your dreams were broken one by one
I know you’re never gonna be the same
As you were before all that pain

But look at you now walking on clouds
Lining up stars from medicine jars
You’re the life of the crowd
You had to rise above
What bad dreams are made of
Through all the heartache you didn’t break
You went through more than I could take
And look at you now

I can’t even tell you how much I’ve learned from you
Even in my darkest hour you know what I can do
I can look at you now walking on clouds
Lining up stars from medicine jars
You’re the life of the crowd
You had to rise above What bad dreams are made of
Through all the heartache you didn’t break
You went through more than I could take
And look at you now
Look at you now
Look at you now

Monday, June 18, 2007

Poor Trixie

We've been having a really exciting week since K left. Trixie is in heat, and is now rocking the latest in diaper chic! Doesn't she look miserable? I'm planning on getting her spayed ASAP! She's only nine months old, and this is the first (and last) time that she's been in heat. I'm not sure which one of us hates it more.
On a completely unrelated note, I can't believe yesterday was Father's day and I didn't even mention MY dad! Because you may not know this...but he rocks! As a matter of fact, I don't think he should have to share a post with Trixie, so tomorrow, I'll tell you why he's so awesome!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

K is in Las Vegas for two weeks for business, so we haven't been able to celebrate Father's day yet. Ryann sent him a lovely powerpoint presentation instead of a card. It had several pages of famous athletes and the last page said, "Vince Young is great....but you're my MVP!" K is sort of nerdy (in that totally sexy way), so naturally, he loved it. Ryann is a tomboy, so this was right up her alley and she had a blast putting it together. She's in a day camp this month, and apparently she learned how to do powerpoint last week (which is sort of bizarre as the theme for last week was baseball, but whatever!) K is an awesome dad, and I know Ryann was very disappointed that he wasn't going to be here today to celebrate. So instead, she and I had a reeeeaaaalllllly lazy Sunday. We'll celebrate when he gets back.


What a fun day! In reading some of the posts from others who attended, it was reassuring for me to read that I wasn't the only one who had to step out of my comfort zone to go. I'm proud of myself (and anyone else who was nervous) for going anyway. I've found it to be really difficult to make friends as an adult. I've made a few new friends here and there, but since moving to Houston five years ago, I just really haven't made any close friends. I really believe that growing up in a small town has something to do with it. You have all these built in friends who you've grown up with, and you don't have to put yourself out there and meet new people and make new friends. So meeting new people sometimes feels really awkward. Also? I'm lazy. So that might also be a factor.

I can't tell you how glad I am that I decided to go yesterday. I met so many really cool women, who I can't wait to get to know better through their blogs and future events (if any of you are reading this...Hello! Rock on with your bad selves!) The conversation was lively and hysterical. It was also enlightening (pasta, diapers and fur? Oh my!) It just goes to show that it really pays to step outside of your comfort zone. No offense HGTV, but it was even more fun than staying home watching Design on a Dime.

I'm just sort of dipping my toes into this whole blogging community, and I can't tell you how grateful I am that so many people have been so gracious and made me feel so welcome. I hope that this blog (and my writing) will evolve into something a little more interesting. I used to really think I was an intelligent person (Hello? I was in Gifted and Talented dammit!), but reading so many hilarious, insightful blogs have made me realize that I'm not nearly as smart as I thought I was. (I also used to think I was outgoing, but apparently I'm a socially retarded hermit since giving birth.) Effing internet! Robbing me of my self worth post by post! Anyway, I used to be a better writer than I am today. I sort of treat my blog like a personal journal, where I don't proofread and I don't take much time to plan. I hope to take more time in the future and really improve and write about more interesting things.

Again, so great to meet all of you who braved the storms and made it out yesterday for lunch. I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures. I am already looking forward to next time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It takes a village

The x-rays were normal. I'm cautiously optimistic. She's still having some pain in her back, but she's no longer in tears. That's got to be a good sign. She had decided at one point this week that she would prefer to have a different mother...preferrably one who would say, "To hell with doctor's orders, swim your little heart out, Princess. Don't forget to eat lots of candy, drink lots of coke, never brush your teeth and stay up all night watching cartoons or the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." She backed off on that sentiment, but only after she had sufficiently twisted the knife in my heart.

Isn't nine a little early to be doing the whole teen angst thing? It's scary to think of what might lie ahead in her teenage years. For me, the idea of her growing up in Houston (or any big city) scares the hell out of me. It just seems like there are so many bad things to get into. I know that she'll think we are strict and we'll try to balance that fine line of giving her enough space to grow without giving her enough rope to hang herself with. I grew up in a tiny town of 1200 people. I tell people that I graduated 3rd in my class, but I usually don't tell them that there were only 30 of us (although in fairness, the parents of the two girls who graduated ahead of me did alot of their projects for them. You don't read my blog, but if you ever know who you are, and you know it's true. I love you anyway! I also love my parents for making me so independent, but I was totally robbed!)

Anyway, my point was that I know how much mischief we got into growing up, and it was plenty. It seems like there are just so many more opportunities to mess up in a large city. I read about all of these scary things going on with kids in and out of school here, and it's just so outside the realm of my experience that I get overwhelmed thinking about it. I loved growing up in a small town. Everyone knows everyone and everyone looks out for everyone. You may have to endure vicious gossip, but you'll also never walk down the street without several cars asking if you need a ride. I love going back and seeing how all of the drivers wave to every. single. car. that passes. It's charming. When I was growing up there, I always fancied myself a big city girl trapped in the country. My, how things have changed! Even I can appreciate the irony.

I do love the city. I love having more choices than just Dairy Queen when I want to eat out. I love the diversity of Houston. I love Target and I love being an hour away from the beach (even if it is ONLY Galveston). But sometimes? I would love to pack Ryann up and raise her in my hometown. Things just seem simpler there. The biggest scandal at the school is that the cheerleading routine is a little too raunchy for the bible belt. All and all, it's a fun place to be a kid. You can play outside without worrying about strangers. There are no strangers. Ryann really loves it there. She'll be spending July with my parents and she'll be able to drive the golf cart around our dead end street and go play in the field behind the house. It's just a great place to grow up. Also? I really miss Allsup's burritos.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sick and tired

I just realized that the ending of my last post on how much I love my daughter despite all her quirks is eerily similar to the one I posted about our Wirehair Fox Terrier, Trixie. What a horrible mother I am! I knew it felt familiar.

Anyway, to add on to my last post on some of the things I love about my daughter...she doesn't do things halfway! She's an all or nothing kinda gal. Typically, she's healthy as a horse (knocking on wood right really, I am). She's also tough as nails. I always know when she is really hurt or sick, because she's not one to whine and moan unless she's in serious pain. In fact, when she was almost two, she tripped and fell down on concrete. It busted her lip and knocked one of her front teeth almost completely out. We had to go directly to the dentist who pulled the tooth. She didn't cry once. The dentist was so amazed at how good she was that not only did he not charge us, but the ladies in the front office gave her a little wooden dog that they had in the office for decoration. I take a lot of pride in her being such a tough cookie. I may have failed her at every other lesson, but by golly, I did do something right. As a toddler, when she fell or ran into something, she would look for me to gauge my reaction and go from there. If I wasn't making a fuss or spazzing out, then generally she would dust herself off and go on. So I perfected my nonreaction (which incidentally, went against all of my instincts at first) and I've never had to guess at whether or not she's really hurt or sick. Don't get me wrong, she's full of drama in other areas, but not this one.

Back to our current situation... Last week, she was complaining about back pain. Apparently, she was playing touch football at camp and got tackled by a boy who was two years older. She landed on her back, and it had been bothering her ever since. Friday evening, she also started complaining about an earache for the first time in her life. (I guess she's done pretty well to get to 9 years old without an ear infection). So when she woke up Saturday morning and was in tears because of her back and ear, I immediately called the doctor who told us to bring her right in. (How convenient that her doctor's office is open on Saturday morning!) So it turns out that she has strep throat (what? She hasn't even complained about her throat), swimmer's ear and we're still not sure what's going on with the back. He prescribed a muscle relaxer, which doesn't seem to help the pain, but does knock her out. I'm trying not to give it to her too often, because she's taking so many other medications (antibiotics for strep throat, 2 adult motrin around the clock, ear drops). He sent us in to have her back x-rayed this morning, so we'll see how that turns out. If the pain is not gone by Wednesday or Thursday, he'd like to do an MRI. Bless her heart! She can't swim this week at camp, can't roughhouse with Daddy, can't do anything too strenuous at camp. She's a trooper, my girl! And apparently? She's decided to pack a year's worth of illness and injury into one week.

ETA: It looks as if we will be returning for MORE x-rays tomorrow. My daughter will be thrilled. Apparently, the x-rays were of the lumbar spine and the thoracic sp? spine is what he needed to see. Lovely!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Mad Potter

I haven't an artistic bone in my body. But I thought it would be fun to spend some quality time with my daughter, so we spent Friday afternoon at The Mad Potter. Ry painted Patrick from Spongebob and I painted a birthday plate. We had such a great time that I think it is going to be a "thing" for us. Ry is such a daddy's girl, so it's fun to find things that she and I can do together. Sometimes the ache of secondary infertility is so overwhelming and painful to me that I forget to thank God for all of the blessings I already have. At the very top of that list would be my daughter. I feel so honored to mother such a beautiful, intelligent and articulate young lady. Sure she's a tomboy. Sure she's only nine and already has the whole tween angst vibe going on. Sure she's a bear in the morning. But all in all? She's amazing! She's just such a cool little person and I'm not saying that only because she's mine. When she earned $75 for good grades, she spent ALL of it on gifts for relatives. She loves animals, is exceptionally good with babies and small children. She's thoughtful and witty and a firecracker. When she felt that her 3 year old cousin was being favored and getting a lot more attention than she was, she wrote her dad a note that said, "Sometimes I feel like I'm a couch and he's a tv. Everyone sits on me and watches him." For a nine year old? That's deep! I have to love her, because she's my daughter. And I do love her fiercly. But to like her, too? It just doesn't get any better than that!