It's just about 10:30 at night and I am exhausted but Clooney is on my TV as Michael Clayton and I'm not quite sure I can go to bed. I love my bed. I miss my bed during the day. In college, my bed was my sanctuary. I would come home from my 4:30am practices and get back into bed before my 10am class, it was wonderful. I would lay in it on rainy days and watch TV with my friends either laying on the bed with me or on the floor next to me. My bed was unbelievably comfortable.
Our bed is still super comfortable. I love sleeping in it. I love watching TV in it. I love playing with my kids in it. I just love it. Lately though, it has been quite cramped. The boy has been sleeping with us. Every. Night.
I am not a proponent of co-sleeping. It's just not something I'm comfortable with. My children slept in an heirloom cradle next to my side of the bed as newborns and they were put into their respective cribs by 4 or 5 months old. I'm a sound sleeper. I move a lot. I like my space. Ironically enough, my son is very much the same way. He likes to be comfortable. He likes his space. He likes his pillows and blankets. Most of all, he likes to sleep horizontally when everyone else is sleeping vertically. That spells A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G!
When he had his surgery we were advised by our doctors to let him sleep with us for a number of reasons. We had to be able to get to him at a moments notice because of the risk of bleeding and vomiting. It would also provide him with a sense of comfort and security after the trauma of the surgery. Honestly, it provided me with a sense of comfort knowing I was right there with him and able to keep an eye on him.
Before the surgery he was waking up in the middle of the night because he could not breathe. He would stop breathing. Sometimes he would come into our room and bed. More often than not we could comfort him and get him back to sleep in his own bed. I figured that this was how things would go following the surgery. It would be a short spell of him sleeping with us.
In the hospital I slept right next to him. Occasionally, I'd sleep in the bed with him because he was scared or in pain. After the hospital we were, again, advised to let him sleep with us when he needed for a short time. Until he was out of the clear of the pneumonia. No problem. Again, I liked the comfort of knowing he was right there and I could keep an eye on him.
His sleeping with us dwindled, slightly. The waking in the middle of the night was supposed to stop. It has not. Now it's not because of the lack of ability to breathe. Now it's because he's having night terrors. He's dreaming about the surgery. He's remembering the hospital and the tests and the IVs and the breathing treatments. And he's having night terrors. Every night. 2am. Every. Night.
I miss my bed. I feel bad for my little guy. I envisioned child therapists working with my son to draw out his problems with crayons and paper. I took my questions to my pediatrician. (I love her. She's incredible. Seriously. I can't tell you how much I respect her and trust her.) You know what she told me? Let him sleep in our bed. It's what he needs. He needs the comfort. He needs the security. I get all of that. But does he really need to sleep horizontally and kick me in the ribs with an odd sense of rhythm?
Seriously, though, I feel bad that the little guy is going through this. He's healthy. He's gaining weight. He's got his energy back. We are beyond lucky and grateful. We are completely appreciative of the care that we received and continue to receive. I just wish I could figure out how to help him put those moments and experiences behind him. I wish I could let him know that it won't happen again (I hope). I wish I could help him talk through these terrors.
I've read it on so many of your blogs, in so many of your lives, so many of us would take our children's pain on ourselves instead of them experiencing an ounce of it. This is no different. I miss my bed. I miss my sleep. But, God, I feel so bad for my little man. This last little hurdle to jump over before this whole mini medical drama is behind him. How do I help him jump it? I don't know. Any experiences and thoughts are welcomed. In the meantime, I'm going to let him sleep in our bed and work through it that way. I'll just wear some protective padding!
Clooney is still on but I think I may have to pause him. The boy is set to wake up in a few hours and I need to get a teeny bit of shut eye before the break in our sleep cycles.
Monday, March 31, 2008
It's just about 10:30 at night and I am exhausted but Clooney is on my TV as Michael Clayton and I'm not quite sure I can go to bed. I love my bed. I miss my bed during the day. In college, my bed was my sanctuary. I would come home from my 4:30am practices and get back into bed before my 10am class, it was wonderful. I would lay in it on rainy days and watch TV with my friends either laying on the bed with me or on the floor next to me. My bed was unbelievably comfortable.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:25 PM
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Have you seen this movie?
If you haven't, I suggest you rent it. If you have then you know all about Carl's struggle with the gopher. That gopher is his nemesis.
That's a groundhog. I hate that groundhog. I thought it was dead. I thought it was gone. Clearly, it's not. From when we moved into this house I would wake up, look out the window and there would be the groundhog staring at me through my bedroom window. I would be making dinner and look out the back window to see what the weather was like and there was that groundhog staring at me. I would sit on the couch and watch tv and there would be the groundhog staring at me through the sliding glass doors. I would drive to work and there would be the groundhog on the side of the road. I would go an visit friends in the area and there would be the groundhog in their backyard. It was EVERYWHERE. Then one day, I thought I hit it with my car- completely accidentally. Seriously, I may hate the thing but I would never ever harm an animal. (Unless it was harming me or my children) I thought it was gone and dead and I felt bad. I felt bad that I had possibly killed another of God's creatures. But I was little happy that it was gone. I didn't have to see it anymore.
I was sitting on my couch doing work this week when I saw something moving in the backyard. There was the groundhog. That damned groundhog was back! I hate that groundhog. I've tried to think about the groundhog in a positive sense. Maybe it's God. Maybe the groundhog is watching over me. I haven't seen him in close to a year so maybe he's back to bring me good luck. Or maybe he's back to annoy the shit out of me. I can't stand that groundhog!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:47 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
When I was in therapy for my PPD, and other issues, my therapist routinely told me that if I exercised it would help me to start moving out of the fog of depression. I exercised sporadically. It helped sporadically.
Since I started Weight Watchers, I've been relying on the fact that I've been eating better and cutting back on my portions to help me lose weight. And it's worked. The past week or two I haven't been as Weight Watchers faithful as I should have been, or could have been. But I have introduced exercise, again. I've been doing exercise DVDs and I count my PT as some sort of exercise. Actually I count my PT as more than some sort. They take a total body approach to therapy at my PT office and I've been working my entire body in order to help my shoulder. So, yeah, I count that as exercise.
Today, I did a 30 minute walking for weight loss video (GREAT workout!!) and then went out for a walk around our development. I popped in my iPod and I was ready to go. Excited, even, to go. The first song that came on my iPod was Frou Frou "Let Go". Extremely apropos. It set a really good tone for me. It got me thinking. I walked. I walked out of our section of the development and down our hill and into a different development. Simon and Garfunkel came on next, "The Only Living Boy in New York". I was thinking about what has been going on. I was thinking about the changes that my life has gone through over the past months and years. I was thinking about good I was feeling in this moment of exercise. I was thinking about how if I did this regularly than Pepper, my therapist, was SO RIGHT!
Next came Van Morrison. I love Van Morrison. I love his voice. I love what he sings about. I love what he makes me think of when I hear his music. It was "Warm Love". This song brought into the big hill. There is this hill that leads into the second part of our development. It's big. It's not really steep but it's big. I mean BIG. The husband and I used to walk it with the boy in his stroller and our out of shape asses could barely make it up the hill. Routinely, we would turn around mid hill and head back the way we came. Today, I contemplated turning around. I could see the horizon and the top of the hill and yet it was too much for me. I just wanted to turn around. I am out of shape. I was winded. I needed a break. Then the Corrs came on. "Breathless". HAH! How ironic! This song is about a relationship but, God, at that moment I was TOTALLY BREATHLESS!!
Then I had a moment. The hill was what I've been dealing with. The hill is what I'm still climbing. The hill SUCKS but it's totally necessary and completely worth climbing because the top is just so nice and rewarding. I really had to push myself up to the top of the hill. I was breathing hard and for a few moments I felt bad about myself. But I realized that I was at the top. I had made it. I had not turned around and quit. I climbed the hill and I never stopped. I kept walking....I don't know what song came on next. I think it might have been "Overkill" by Collin Hay, but I'm not sure. I kept walking.
I walked past where our pool was supposed to be built. I walked past the house we were supposed to buy. The one with the giant deck and the gorgeous basement. The one we would not have moved into until our son was more than a year old. I had no regrets about not buying that house. I kept walking. I walked down streets that hold houses that look just like ours except their doors are green. I walked past houses that are lived in and houses that are not. I walked past the house that our next door neighbors were to have bought and it made me think. What if we had bought the house with the basement and what if they had bought the house they originally wanted? What would be different? How would things be now? Would we still be in the same place we are now? I don't know the answers. Honestly, I don't know the answers because I can barely answer the questions that surround the current situation. How could I possibly answer the 'what if' questions?! I kept walking.
I came to end of the developed part of our development. I came to the construction part. And here is where I reveal an "interesting" part of me. The song that came on my iPod was from the movie 'Enchanted'. That's right. That movie that every 11 year old girl loves with McDreamy and Amy Adams. From that movie. The song is upbeat and happy. It was the perfect song for that moment. I was feeling melancholy. I was feeling sad in that moment. I was confused and unsure. Then the song came on and I started down the rocky hill back towards our part of the development. I could see EVERYTHING that the land in front of me had to hold. I saw houses beyond ours. I saw open land and trees and fields and the mountains. I saw it all and it was really beautiful. In that instant I was ok with living where we live. It was gorgeous. Seriously beautiful. I kept walking.
I walked the same steps that we had walked last night with the boy and the girl, as a family. I navigated my way down the hill through the small rocks and the big rocks. I stepped carefully and made my way back to our street. I walked around our cul de sac and made it back into our driveway and back to our door. Listening to "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. I entered our home and I was upbeat. I had left our home looking for some exercise. I had left looking to take a break and wanting to listen to my iPod. I had left wanting to get off on the right foot to get in shape. I got all of that. I also got the chance to think. To reflect. To almost see how things could be different and ask myself if I really wanted them to be different.
Things are hard right now. Really hard. I hate PT. I am having trouble dealing with my accident- that happened in OCTOBER. I never processed it. I get anxiety when I drive by the spot where it happened. Some days I even start to cry. I hate the effect that this whole thing has had on our lives. I'm tired of not having money. I love my job, I just wish it paid more. My husband loves his job, we just wish it paid more. I'm ready for grad school to be done- I've done it for 2.5 years. I'm not always happy where we're living for many reasons. I have unresolved anger. I'm sad some days. I can't stand going to doctors anymore. I hate that my child has lived a medical drama in his short three years. (I think it's wonderful that he is better and doing so GREAT!) I sometimes just need a break. But you know what? Other than the unnecessary bad crap, I wouldn't change it. The crap makes me stronger. All that we've been dealing with makes us better. It teaches me lessons and shows me what is important. It sucks a lot of the time but the more I live it and come out on the other side, I see how vitally important and necessary all of it is. I see how it makes me a more compassionate and understanding person. I see how it gives me strength and determination. I do my very best not to let it all break me. It hasn't yet.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:38 PM
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
First, tequila in the late afternoon is delicious. I am sitting here sipping a margarita getting ready to start dinner and I feel pretty good! I've never been a Big Spring Cleaner but this week I've been turning over a new leaf. We moved a bunch of furniture, granted it was last night around 11pm. We repaired a bunch of nail pops on our walls, courtesy of the blasting they were doing to make room for new homes. I cleaned out our front closet and organized it and put a bunch of stuff aside for either donation or Ebay. And I have almost all of our laundry cleaned and folded. I've done an excellent job of avoiding all of my school work and work work. Sounds productive to me....margarita well deserved!!
Do you ever think about what you would have said? What you would have done? I enjoyed the move "You've Got Mail". Meg Ryan talks about how she wishes she could say the perfect thing at the right time and then she does and she feels terrible. She's nasty to the Tom Hanks character because his company is taking over her mom and pop shop. She at first feels victorious at being able to be so snappy and quick tongued and then feels bad. Her emotions and character get the best of her and she realizes that she has spoken as someone that she is not. She shares this with the Tom Hanks character before she knows that he is the one she has been instant messaging with. He comforts her and they move on.
I often think about what I would have said or could have done or said in previous situations. I replay things in my head forever. I am terrible at forgetting. That whole forgive and forget thing. Yeah.....doesn't always work well for me. My best friend and I were talking about this during the past week. She and I are very similar in the fact that we have a very hard time forgetting about what people have said and done in the past. And it's not always the bad things that stay in our heads. We remember the good things. I'll never ever forget the kindness that people showed us when the boy was in the hospital. There are things that I think about surrounding that whole time and I wish I had said or done differently. I wish I had shown more gratitude to F's sister. I wish I hadn't been in my head so much thinking about the next thing or next medicine times or things like that. I wish I had stopped for a moment and recognized the kindness of her actions in the moments that they were occurring. Don't get me wrong, I thanked her, I cried, I appreciated all she did but there was a part of me trying to move back to talking to the resident and getting medicine in the boy. (All things that are completely understandable but I just wish I had stayed in that moment for a little longer.)
Then there are the bad things, the sad things, the anger filled things. The times when I wish I could have said things differently. The times when I wish I had stood up for myself more and said what was on my mind and heart rather than what people wanted to hear. The times when I wish I had stopped it all and said enough was enough. I wish I hadn't accepted all the blame. I wish I had pointed out what I felt others did to make the situation worse. I wish I had taken a little bit more of the responsibility off my shoulders and just said what I wanted to say and moved on. I wish I could have expressed my feelings better, or at all. I didn't want to rock the boat. I didn't want to deal. I thought I was wrong. I thought it would create too many problems and I didn't want to deal with any of it.
Now it festers. Now I instant replay it like the worst call in a football game. Now I sit and I pick apart the arguments and the discussions and everything else and I see what I wanted to say and what I should have said and it festers. I get upset because there's so much more I want to say. And I can't forget.
Instant replay makes it impossible for me to close the door and move on because I'm so focused on the plays that don't matter anymore. I'm engrossed by what went wrong and how it could have come out differently because instant replay is in my head all the time.
For some reason that scene from the Lion King just popped into my head where Rafiki smacks Simba on the head and Simba gets annoyed and says, "What was that for?"
Rafiki replies, "It doesn't matter, it's in the past."
I only wish it were that simple.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 4:42 PM
Monday, March 24, 2008
I totally forgot that Girl at Fertile Mertile tagged for a fun and easy meme last week and since I've been such a slacker, I totally neglected it!! Bad me! So here it is....
Post 7 random facts about yourself. The Rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
And we're off.....
1. When I was a child I fell off my bike and the bike and my face kept going along the curb. I ripped off a lot of skin from my lip and under my nose. It could not be repaired with stitches. The scar that was left is just underneath my nostril and it looks like I have a booger hanging out of my nose.
2. I used to work for the guy who does Bracketology on ESPN, Joe Lunardi. He was my boss during college when I was an intern in the university communications office.
3. I am DEATHLY afraid of deer. Seriously. Bambi scares the shit out of me.
4. When we found out we were pregnant with our first child, I really really really wanted it to be a boy.
5. I can't stand the word p@nties.
6. I can put my entire fist in my mouth. I discovered this at a young age and found that it was quite the party trick in college.
7. I brush my teeth in the shower.
Ok, now I get to tag 7 of you......
2. The Sports Mama
3. The MomBabe
6. Momo Fali
7. Mr. Lady
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:21 AM
I just ate an Reese's Peanut Butter Egg for breakfast and it was so damned good that I may have another. Maybe not. It was so worth it.
I have Spring Break this week. I have so much crap to do it isn't even funny.
On the top of my list? Juice boxes. We are OFFICIALLY out of juice boxes! I have two children that live off of juice boxes and we have none. Do you have any idea what mutiny feels like? I'm beginning to know!!
In addition to getting juice boxes I have close to 300 papers to grade, most of them term papers, the rest are tests and quizzes. I have grad school work to get done....yuck. I have a house to clean because once you give children candy instead of juice boxes they turn into saccharine soaked versions of Linda Blair from the Exorcist. I am well aware that there are people out who claim that sugar has no effect on children's behavior. I think you're wrong. I think that the candy or whatever food it is that has sugar in it, increases the child's blood sugar which, in turn, increases their energy output. Once the energy output goes up, the parent's patience decreases and bedlam ensues! And that is why my house looks like a pastel colored candy flavored bomb went off!
I really enjoy doing laundry. I enjoy the sense of satisfaction I get once all of those clothes are clean and folded and put away. The problem I have is actually getting motivated to do said laundry. Hopefully, my motivation is building.
I hate when people don't return emails. And I'm not talking about the initial email. I'm talking like you've been emailing back and forth a few times about a couple of different topics and all of a sudden then just stop. It's like walking away in the middle of a conversation. Annoyingly rude.
I took my kids to daycare this morning. That's right, I'm on break and my children are currently at daycare. Go ahead, condemn me, I don't care. I have things to get done and I have an appointment with my masochist of a physical therapist and bringing children is frowned upon. I felt bad dropping them off. My son cried and cried and cried. I felt terrible. My daughter smiled and laughed and was fine. My son wanted to come with me. I felt bad walking out the door of the daycare and leaving them there but I know that if I took them with me, nothing would get done. I also know that my son does better when he is kept to a schedule, albeit a loose one, and daycare is scheduled. He knows that he goes to school on Mondays and he's having more fun there than he would be with me!
So, I took my kids to daycare this morning and while I did feel bad at first, once the laundry gets folded and the kitchen gets cleaned and my papers get graded and those darned juice boxes are back on our shelves, I will feel MUCH better!! And they'll still love me when I pick them up this afternoon....
I make cheesecakes. Special occasions occur and I make a cheesecake. I need something to bring into work for a potluck or faculty dinner/lunch and I make a cheesecake. I enjoy it. I hate cheesecake. I rarely, if ever, eat it. I love baking and cooking. I sometimes wonder if I could ever cook/bake for a job. Don't get me wrong I love teaching and I want to do counseling but I really enjoy creating through baking and cooking.
This randomness was boring today. I'm bored with it and I wrote it and lived it. Laundry and my shower are calling my name and soon my PT will be, too. Hopefully, my brain will go back to functioning on a high level within the next few hours...I think the candy needs to wear off.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:54 AM
Monday, March 17, 2008
You will turn one this week, Thursday to be exact, the first day of Spring. As I sit here recovering from a weekend full of planning, cleaning and entertaining to celebrate your first year of life I cannot help but think back on what has been the most amazingly crazy and wonderful 20 or so months of my life- our lives.
I often tell people you were a very BIG surprise, and you were. But more than that, you are and were a miracle. All children are a miracle but you were an incredible one. You came along after being told we wouldn't be able to have more children. You came along after a staggering medical diagnosis. You came along after a radiation treatment that I was sure would either kill you or disfigure you. You survived in my body for months that were riddled with doubts and fears and depression and endless doctor appointments . You lived and grew and thrived through endless amounts of medications and medical tests. Until finally it became too much for you. Finally, they dropped me off my medication because it was slowly starting to strangle you. Then came the bed rest, the weeks and months of bed rest. Then, just after I thought you would be born on St. Patrick's Day, you were ushered into this world with lots of pitocin on the first day of Spring.
I will never forget the moment that I knew you would be coming. It was a Monday. I went in for another doctor's appointment and when my doctor walked in the door and told me that I looked like shit, I knew it was time. I knew my body couldn't sustain you any longer and I knew that you were ready to come out. You would be small. There was a possibility of problems. It would be scarier than your brother's birth. I left the doctor's office and called your grandmother. I called your father. I text messaged everyone who was awaiting word. We were going to the hospital and you were going to be here very soon. I was 35 weeks pregnant.
The next few hours were filled with waiting and anticipation. Endless amounts of paperwork. Endless amounts of monitors and IVs and medicines. Eventually we were moved into labor and delivery. The pitocin was started and I was determined to deliver without an epidural. That lasted until 2 in the morning. The pain and discomfort became too great. Your heart rate started to drop. It was time for some pain relief and comfort. The epidural helped me sleep. It helped you, too. Your heart rate, for the most part, stabilized. I awoke early the next morning, Tuesday March 20th. I was only 4 centimeters. You were not coming any time soon, or so we thought. We anxiously awaited your grandmother's arrival. I anxiously awaited another round of epidural. At 8am they checked me I was 5 cm and I received another epidural. At 8:20 I started pushing. At 8:25, 4 pushes later, you entered the world. Crying. Covered in vernix. Clearly unhappy to have been ripped from the comfort of my womb. Your apgars were great. You were a girl, after months of worrying that the ultrasound tech was wrong and we'd be bringing home a little boy to a hot pink room. You were breathing on your own. You were doing great.
The next few days were a blur. They were hard. You had no suck reflex so nursing never really worked. You developed jaundice early on and I could not imagine leaving the hospital without you, as we had done with your brother. You were immediately placed under the lights. You reddened up quite quickly but did very well. Your billi levels dropped, you ate and pooped like a champ. You started to develop your very own personality. And we took you home late Thursday evening. You got to know your grandparents and your brother. You experienced your first family meal. You slept- a lot. You found your niche in our family quite quickly and easily and we have not been the same since.
I was privileged enough to get to stay home with you and your brother during your first 5 months of life. I watched and worried as you slept endless hours of the day away. There were days that you would sleep for close to 22 hours. My concern lessened as you grew older and you ate more and began to move more and experience more. I watched as you were swallowed up by newborn clothes for weeks on end. I watched as we visited the pediatrician a number of times during that first month. I watched and listened as you would try and catch your breath at night, wondering if you were having trouble breathing. I watched as you very quickly learned to soothe yourself and put yourself back to sleep after your late night feeding. I watched as you and your brother came to know one another. I learned that being a mom to two very different children was going to be very hard but realized I wouldn't want it any other way.
You brought an immense amount of joy and wonderful chaos to our lives when you entered them first in August of 2006 and then again in March of 2007. Since you have been a part of our lives I have learned more, grown more and come to understand more about being a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a woman. You have given me a new perspective on how things should be, as did your brother when he was born. You have taught me, as your brother did, how to live completely outside of my body and how to give my heart over to someone else. You have frustrated me and made me cry and made me laugh and even gave emotions that I cannot name. Your brother taught me how to be a mom initially. You have shown me how to be a better mom. A more committed mom. A more dedicated and understanding mom. You have shown me the importance of being a mom to a daughter and a son. You have also shown me that it is important for me to be who I am so that I can be the best possible parent to you and your brother.
Yesterday we celebrated your first year of life. We celebrated a successfully hard pregnancy. We celebrated a difficult first few months of your life and the growth we all experienced during that time. We celebrated you hitting milestone after milestone, sometimes a little later than other kids your age and sometimes a little earlier. We celebrated the love and joy you have brought us and that you continue to bring us. We also celebrated your first unassisted steps. They were brief but they were there. You stepped from grandma to me all on your own in your pretty little dress and I could not have been more excited or thrilled. We celebrated you yesterday and on Thursday we'll do it again.
Your birthday is the one time during the year when we recognize you alone but know that you and your brother are celebrated every single day of our lives. You were and are both miracles to us. You are miracles because you are pieces of us and your grandparents and aunts and uncles. You are miracles because you came from God at exactly the right moments in our lives and enriched them in such ways that you can never know no matter how much we may tell you. You are especially a miracle because you survived when many, including me, thought you wouldn't. You thrived when I was afraid you wouldn't. You are a miracle and I can only hope that as your mom I am able to show you that every single day.
Happy Birthday little girl, we are so thankfully lucky that you are with us each and every day!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:16 AM
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I started this blog for a few different reasons. People encouraged me. They thought I was funny and my stories about my kids and our lives were funny. They said should write them down, if for no other reason, I would have them forever. I'm not a diary or journal keeper. I've tried. When I was younger I tried to keep a diary because I thought it was important, I thought it was the cool thing to do. It ended up being things like, "Oh my god, I love Brian so much. He's so good looking. I wonder if he likes me?" You know, typical immature girlie crap. I stopped pretty quickly. It just couldn't hold my interest. It was not important to me.
When my children were born I lovingly chose their baby books. I searched high and low for what I felt was the perfect book for my then unborn child. I wanted something to chronicle their lives and the milestones. I found two that I loved and I try my best to write in as much as possible.
As their lives have progressed and I have returned to work much of my time, especially at work, is spent in front of a computer. This blog and my time in front of my laptop has given me the chance to create something not only for myself, but also for my children, that will hopefully last a very long time. I have been given the chance to chronicle my thoughts and feelings surrounding motherhood and womanhood. I have been given the chance to let out my frustrations about everyday life with my family and friends. I have been given the chance to share with anyone who reads, the love and devotion that I have to my family and friends, especially my children. This blog was begun because I thought I was funny and sometimes I am. This blog has become my journal, my outlet, my means of making new friends, my solace, my whatever I want it to be. And while I do hold back on certain things because something the repercussions in real life are just not worth it, I do share quite a bit on here and I am brutally honest. I hope that my children, one day, will see the value in this and treasure the thoughts and words that I have put down as they've grown and taught me how to be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister and a woman.
I was going to write a letter to my daughter but I think I shall save that for a separate post because it's too important to me. Let me tell you about my night last night and how it made me realize just how much of a mom I am.
So, I went out after work last night with my friends H and N. They both live in PA, and not the close part of PA. I met H down by her job about 45 minutes from my job and we did a little shopping for the girl's birthday party and then headed another 45 minutes or so into PA to H's house. I hadn't been there since she and her husband bought it so it was nice to finally get the grand tour. As we were getting off the highway in PA my phone rings and it's the husband. Let me first tell you that he was WELL AWARE that I was going out last night. AND he was WELL AWARE that I was going down to PA. We had pre arranged this about two weeks ago and I made sure to remind him every other day about it. So, the phone rings....
Husb: Hey, you're getting the kids right?
Me: NO I'M IN PENNSYLVANIA! (Not angry more surprised than anything else!)
Husb: What?!? What are you doing in PA?!?!
Me: Husband, I told you! I'm going out with H and N tonight. They live in PA. Remember? (Getting increasingly worried at this point because it is now 5pm and the daycare closes at 6:30 and the husband works about 40 minutes away.)
Husb: Oh, that's right. I guess I didn't even realize! Sorry about that!
Me: It's ok...you don't have to be sorry. But, are you going to be able to get the kids? Do I need to turn around? (Knowing full well that even if I turned around and did 80 the whole way, I would NEVER EVER make it there by 6:30.)
Husb: No, I'm just a little behind. I'll get them. It's fine. Let me go and get things done. Love you.
Me: Are you sure? Ok, love you. Call you on my way home.
We hung up. I was a little shaken to be quite honest. Then my mind started reeling.....
What if he didn't get there in time?!?!
What if the kids were stuck at daycare?
What if they never got picked up?
Who could I call to get them?
What was I going to do?
Were we really becoming those parents that practically forget their kids at daycare?
How long would it take my parents to get up there to pick up the kids?
Should I call my parents now?
Was daycare going to call our emergency contacts?
Was daycare going to call DYFS if we didn't show? (This I knew wouldn't happen until an hour of not being able to contact anyone and then they call the cops.)
Should I turn around?
Oh my God....my poor kids...I could feel the tears in my eyes. I could feeling the tingling of hyperventilation starting. I could feel myself shaking. I was seriously worried. Was the husband going to get there in time? I could call my parents but a)I didn't want to put them out, b) I didn't want them to sit in miserable traffic on a Friday afternoon and c) I didn't think they would make it in time! Calling our emergency contacts was not an option. What was going to happen? I felt TOTALLY and completely helpless so far away. And then the guilt set in. If I had just come home after work and not been selfish and wanted to go out with my friends my kids would be fine and home and starting to eat dinner. They would not be sitting at daycare completely unaware of the fact that their mother was in PA hanging out and their father was running late worried about not being able to pick them up.
I arrived at H's house and told her what was going on. Then it hit me. My husband is 32 years old. He is perfectly capable of figuring this out. He knows that if he REALLY needed to he could call my parents. He knows that he needs to have someone there because daycare will call the other contacts and that can't happen. He knows that he needs to get his ass out of work and get to the daycare center. I should not feel guilty for going out on a Friday after a long week. I should not feel selfish for taking a night out to see two friends whom I haven't seen in quite awhile. I should not be hyperventilating over this, but I was.
H and I talked and chatted, she reassured me it would all be fine. It didn't help that neither of us had cell service at her house but at the same time it did. I wasn't constantly watching my phone waiting for a text or phone call from daycare or the husband but I was thinking that I was missing one. N finally arrived and we headed out. I got in my car and immediately called the husband. He was home. He had the kids. Everything had been fine and gone smoothly. I let out a breath and relaxed.
In that moment of relaxation after knowing that my kids were home safe and my husband was with them I realize that the moments when I don't feel like a mom for whatever reason, are fleeting. There are the days and moments where I can't comprehend the fact that I've given life to two children. I can't get over the idea that these two lives are mine and the husband's FOREVER. To care for and love and provide for as long as we live, no matter what. There are days that I don't like being mom. There are days when I don't feel like mom. There days that I just can't believe I am mom. But yesterday, I realized I am most definitely mom and I am totally and completely happy about that. Although the heart stopping-anxiety attack-hyperventilating moments I could do without!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 12:05 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
First, there has been some speculation as to whether or not I actually work at said teaching job. This speculation has been spoken out loud by a few individuals, mainly in a joking manner, but I'm sure there are many more out there who have not spoken it and think it. Let me put your evil thoughts to rest- I do work. Actually, I work quite a bit. I get into my job, on the majority of days, quite early and I leave somewhat late. Two or three days a week I am here until 5 or 5:30 working a second job separate from teaching. In any given week I have more than 250 papers to grade and at least one or two tests or quizzes to create and give. I am continually doing lesson plans and creating exciting powerpoint presentations on the fascinating world of Church History. Tonight I will be at work until at least 9pm because of meetings and contractual obligations. Tomorrow I will get up and do it all over again. Partially, because I have to. We need food. We need heat. We need electricity. But a lot because I enjoy it. A lot because I like the kids and the connection. A lot because I enjoy sharing my faith, albeit not the history portion of it, with my students.
So, yes I work. But, as many teachers have, I have free periods and I take breaks and I occasionally give my kids busy work. During those times sometimes I will grade papers and do work other times I will blog or work on grad school work or simply go and talk with another teacher/friend. Your speculations are put to rest....you evil evil people! ;)
Yay for finding the tilde....again!!
Many of my bloggy companions are asking people for questions to answer. I've decided to follow suit and up the ante. I am looking for a few things from my readers....
First, questions. Anything burning deep down in your soul that you just NEED to know about me or how I think or am in real life....ask away!
Second, I have questions for you.....Why do you read me? Why do you come here to see what I have to say? What brings you back and what would you like to see when you come here?
Third, what does or does not make you comment? I know I'm not garnishing the readers that many of my fellow bloggers are so my comment numbers aren't nearly as high but I do have a few quite faithful and dedicated readers. Why do you, all of you not just the faithful, not comment or sometimes comment or always comment?
So, come out wherever you are...you lurkers, you secret readers, you people that I know are there but keep your fingers to yourselves..come on out and share with us...introduce yourselves and ask your questions. Keep them pretty clean but know that you can ask me anything.
I must now return to work because my class has been waiting out in the hall for 20 minutes so that I could finish blogging........
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:39 AM
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
So, I'm at work perusing the blogosphere and looking at random people's blogs and I found this one about a woman who is moving to Hawaii to become a Yoga instructor. She'll only be there for a month. So I am perusing her blog...looking at old posts...being a total nosy snoop...and I happen upon her trip back to her home state. In the posts about her trip back she writes about her grandfather's funeral. And there are NUMEROUS pictures to accompany this post. When I say numerous, we're talking double digits! Pictures of people in front of the casket. Pictures of people at the grave. Pictures of people in the funeral home. Pictures of the service. The only thing there wasn't a picture of was her grandfather. Now, don't get me wrong, funerals are probably the one place, other than weddings, where the ENTIRE family is together. And, yes, I've briefly considered taking a few shots of us together to preserve the moments and grasp a few family togetherness moments. BUT in front of the casket?!?!? I don't know....this creeped me out a bit.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 4:31 PM
Maybe because I'm not a viewer, I'm a little disappointed....oh well....I guess everyone can't have McDreamy....
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 1:27 PM
I haven't been random in awhile and it feels like it's about time especially since my brain feels like it's shooting off fireworks from all the crap inside my head!
So, let's begin.....
I put a CD in my car's CD player the other day that I haven't listened to in F-O-R-E-V-E-R (for the record whenever I type the word forever that way I can't help but think of that Reese Witherspoon/Mark Whalberg movie where he carves that into his stomach!) ANYWAY, I popped this CD in and I was listening to it and skipping to my favorite songs and singing along and then this song came on :
God, I loved this song! I loved this version! I loved that Clinton used it as his campaign song. Yes, I'm a Clinton fan. Do I approve of what he did with his personal life? Not really, no, not at all. But I think we were in a very different place as a country when he was running it. Anyway, this song always brings my spirits up and makes me feel kind of hopeful! I don't feel overly hopeful about our Presidential prospect. I am not an Obama fan. There, I said it. I voted for HRC and I'd do it again and again. I might even vote for McCain if it comes down to Obama getting the nod. We'll see....wow, this went a long way from Fleetwood Mac to Obama...it's like the worst game of Six Degrees ever. I wonder if I could connect Kevin Bacon to Obama. I did it to Flipper once....Kevin Bacon, that is, not Obama.
Wow, that's upsetting. I am using my new Mac, from work, to type this and I just realized that I don't have my little squiggle/tilde thing to separate my randomness. Or maybe I do and I just can't find it....it is early, I was up late.
I got a Latte Lite at Dunkin Donuts this morning and when I got to work and took off the top to add in some more sweet n low the cup was BARELY half full! What is that about!??!?! I need my Starbucks back, and now.
I FOUND IT!
I am convinced that my students have never ever been told 'No' or 'Stop'. They have no idea what it means when I say "STOP TALKING". They'll know when I go absolutely nuts and they end up re-writing their textbook!
I'm having a creative block. My daughter's birthday party is on Sunday and I have no theme, no colors, no idea about anything. My son's parties have been so easy. The ideas for them came so quickly and easily. My daughter was born on the first day of Spring. I wanted something that went along with that. I thought about flowers. I thought about even doing an Easter theme. I thought about Bugs. I thought about doing a Spring Cleaning theme.....HAH! I'm blocked. And I'm running out of time!
I went to the mall on Sunday and I almost had a nervous breakdown. It was RIDICULOUS! It was worse than Christmas! I don't understand people who go to the mall just to sightsee! It's the MALL! Get in, get what you need, get out! That's it. And don't get in my way. I'm wielding a GIANT double stroller that without children in it weighs 40 pounds, get the hell out of my way or I'll have my kid kick you in the knees. I don't care that you just NEED to stare in the window of each and every store along the way. My kids need Easter outfits and I need to get out of the mall before I go postal and you reap the benefits.
We went to a wedding two weeks ago and the husband and I were seated at the table directly in front of the Bride and Groom's table. I felt kind of honored. It was my cousin's wedding. We used to be close, like brother and sister close. We've drifted. I was really honored to be seated at that table. I think it was arbitrary, though. My cousin's wedding ring was my grandfather's wedding ring. I thought that was quite possibly the most touching thing I've experienced in quite a long time. My cousin took care of my grandfather for a long time when he was sick and dying from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. They were best friends and I thought it was beyond special that my cousin started off his married life with a very large piece of my grandfather.
The Bibles and Bars worked out wonderfully. We got everyone to sing a few hymns and then did a few decades of the Rosary and I now feel better about my chances of getting into Heaven. The booze was good, too! As was the company! We decided next time, though, we're getting the husbands to drive us so we don't have to limit how many spirits we consume because let me tell you, praying is thirsty business!
You know what I can't stand? When people flick their cigarette butts out of their car windows or on the ground. You are aware that that is littering, right? I don't give a crap if you smoke, but jeez, do you have to pollute my world AND your lungs?!?!? And seriously, what if, God forbid, my car had some type of unexpected fuel leak or something and you flicked that half lit butt and it ignited my fuel and then caused my car to blow up. Don't you think that would make for a shitty morning commute?!?!?
My husband's co-worker and new BFF (more on that later. I'm pretty convinced they're moving to Vermont and getting married soon) had to have emergency surgery the other day. I wanted to send him something. He sent the boy stuff while he was in the hospital and even called to check on him. But do you send a guy flowers? Is it inappropriate to send a basket of beer to the hospital? And seriously, is fruit really what you want to see when you're coming out of your drug induced haze???
It's time for my 10 year high school reunion. I'm the class rep. If you graduated with me and you're reading this you may be surprised to know I'm the rep. Or you may be laughing hysterically. Part of me has NO DESIRE to get together with my classmates. There were 35 of us. I went to an all girls private Catholic High School. Can you imagine what it was like? The cattiness factor was OUTRAGEOUS! By the time we graduated we knew every intimate detail of each other's lives....we could've been a Jerry Springer show on our own...without any toothless boyfriends. Steve the bodyguard would have had nothing on the 35 of us! The other part of me is scouting out venues to hold this shindig of epic proportions.
I'm ready for Spring but one more BIG snowstorm would not be refused at this point in time. Maybe say next week....like Monday into Tuesday or Tuesday into Wednesday then we get to miss the last day of school and the faculty reflection day. I'm excited that it's still light out at 7pm. I'm excited that I can go out for walks at the end of my day. I'm excited that the warmer weather is coming. I'm so excited for this that I just tentatively planned our first bbq of the season....I love grilling season! YES!
These random thoughts suck today.
I'm thinking my next post is going to place the responsibility on you, the reader. You'll see....my well is drying up temporarily. Maybe that's where my creativity went....down the drain.
I have a zit on my chin that has it's own zip code. Welcome back puberty! I so missed you with your awkwardness and gross skin!
I am thinking about all the crap I have to do between today and Sunday. It's a lot. I can feel the ulcer brewing. I can't even stand to think about my house and the tornado that has been the past few weeks. GOD! It needs to be demolished and rebuilt SO BADLY! Not really....it's fairly new...but the inside could use a major overhaul. Clean wise definitely....style wise, maybe. The husband should be afraid, very afraid of what is brewing in my head. It will involve work and ladders and possibly even scaffolding. It will involve possible demolition and nail guns and table saws and multiple trips to Lowe's and Home Depot. It will not be done all at once because we've resigned ourselves to the fact that it is POINTLESS to move until we're done with our degrees. I want to go into a PhD program in Philadelphia so why move now when we'll just have to do it all over again in two years. Oh well....in the meantime, we're cleaning house. Anyone want some couches or baby crap...I've got a ton!
I'm done with my randomness....I don't feel like I've cleared my head but whatever....at least it's somewhat out of my brain.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:43 AM
Friday, March 7, 2008
It's 2:50pm, it's been a long day, I should leave work but I'm still here. My last class was interesting. I let my kids have discussion day which means they can ask questions pertaining to religion and we talk about them. It gets loud and interesting and really, at points, it is enjoyable. Today was ok. We covered the normal stuff, abortion, pre-marital sex, condoms. I, of course, gave them the Church's view on all of those things as it is my job. Then I had a student tell me that another teacher and he were talking and this teacher said that if you did not read the Bible and go to Church you will not go to heaven. This is also the same teacher that informed my students that I was wrong regarding Adam and Eve and that they are, in fact, 100% real. (Or were) I was floored. How do you tell young people that? How do you tell a person that is most likely struggling with their belief in God and their faith, as most teens are, that if they do not read the Bible or go to Church there is no hope for them getting into Heaven?!?! GOOD LORD?!?!? I'm not going to heaven then! I am at a loss for words on this one. Part of our contract states that we must uphold the teachings of the Catholic church. DUH! We are CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL teachers!! The Church teaches that not going to church is a sin but we can ask for forgiveness. We can say that we are sorry. God can be gracious and forgive us this wrongdoing. I don't believe in a God that would deny a good person heaven. I don't believe in a God that would say if you didn't read Scripture you can't get in to heaven. I don't believe in a God that is seemingly that arbitrary. I don't know many people who do believe in that type of God. I just can't get over that this teacher felt it was ok to tell a student that. I felt terrible for some of my kids because they believe this teacher. They believe that if they don't go to church and don't read the Bible they will not go to Heaven. How sad? How sad that a teacher, an adult, someone these kids respect has used knowledge to really hurt a child's life. Those are words that could make an insecure and unsure young adult or teen completely give up on God and faith. I just can't get over it. I am truly truly bothered by those words and by the fact that they were spoken with such sincerity and "authority".
Other than that it's Friday. I'm going out tonight. I'm looking forward to it. The husband is staying home to do schoolwork so I'm going out with a friend to check out a new bar by us. I'm pretty excited. Maybe I'll bring my Bible along so that I can kill two birds with one stone....you know reading the Scripture and taking a break. Bars and bibles? They go well together? Yes? Oh and really it's three birds because whenever two or more are gathered in Jesus' name we have church...I bet I can convince my friend, on the promise of heaven, to bring her Bible, too!
Good thing I'm getting this out here, otherwise I'd be saying it to the teacher and God knows that wouldn't be a good thing!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:53 AM
Thursday, March 6, 2008
After my fabulous morning yesterday I was so very lucky to have the opportunity to experience a faculty meeting quickly followed by a diocesean religion teachers meeting. All of the religion teachers in the Catholic high schools in our diocese came to our school to meet to discuss textbooks and curriculum guidelines. It was a rocking good time!
While I can't stand faculty meetings because they are the boring of the boring and it always seems like someone brings up something ridiculously stupid that does not need to have 40 minutes spent on it but just keeps pushing it, I can't stand meetings that go past 3pm even more! I am contracted to be at my job until 3pm except on Fridays. I don't get paid extra for being here past 3pm. I don't get a nice pat on the back for being here past 3pm. There's no incentive, other than I'm not home contemplating cleaning and cooking, to stay past 3pm at my job. Yesterday I was here until 5:15pm because of my other meeting. Yuck! Luckily, I was able to escape the dinner portion of the evening because it was the husband's birthday! I was out while everyone was eating cafeteria style baked ziti and rolls.
The husband turned 32 yesterday. He received a Nintendo DS from me and my parents and Call of Duty 4 from my sister. You would have thought he was a 14 year old boy all over again! It was nice to see him so excited about his gift. I guess I made a good choice when I went with the DS over the dress shirts and ties. While it was his birthday and he did receive gifts, I also received a very nice "gift" yesterday. It was nothing physical. It was nothing material. It was nothing other than words and being wanted. It really was everything at the end of a shitass day.
A number of the teachers that I used to work with at my first high school were at this meeting yesterday. This included the woman who I could not stand when she first started working there because she was my maternity replacement and told my students that I was way too hard on them. But I grew to like her because we found that our knowledge and styles complimented each other. It also included the brother that was the head of the department and hired me and then who, in a meeting at the end of my first year, made me cry (I was pregnant, it was really hormones) because he said I didn't make enough effort to get to know him and others. We ended up being allies and very good friends because we share the same ideas about Catholicism- we believe in Vatican II and the progression of the church. Then there was the woman who was my department head when I left. She was a tough hardnosed B who I couldn't stand when she first took the leadership role but I came to love and really trust and turn to even though we thought very differently on many things. It was wonderful to see them. I was looking forward to seeing them. I missed them. And apparently, they miss me- quite a bit.
Within moments of walking into the room for the meeting I was hugged and greeted and asked about the kids- they all knew about the boy being in the hospital and had kept in touch with me during that time and wanted to make sure he was recovering well. They asked if I was happy. They asked how I liked it at this school. And then they begged me to come back. They told me that I was their first choice to fill in the openings that they knew they would have for the 2008-2009 school year. They wanted me back and bad. I knew they had openings because J, the department head when I left, and I have kept in touch and she's mentioned to me a few times, in passing, that there would be openings and room for me and would I consider it. But this was overwhelming. I was told I could teach whatever I wanted. I was told that I was missed because no one thinks the way I do. I was told repeatedly that I was wanted and needed back at my old school. I have to say, it was wonderful.
If I could take all of the good things from my current job and all of the good things from my former job, it would be perfect. I am happy where I am. I have my own classroom, I have good friends that I really like, people are genuinely nice and caring, and I'm fairly well respected. There are the negatives but that would be the case no matter where I went. If I went back to my old school there are one or two people there that I just don't know that I could deal with. They are negative beyond belief. They are selfish and horribly self centered. And they are truly mean and nasty people- something I had never really encountered before meeting them. There were points when I was happy at my old job. There were many things that I really liked about the place. I had very good friends there, as well, many of whom I still keep in touch with. I was given the opportunity to teach WHATEVER I wanted. I was well respected because I had worked my way up through the ranks and really worked through and with some very tough kids and classes. I was on my way up to the top when I left. There were just too many other negatives. The school is HUGE for a Catholic high school. They just over 900 kids and the building is smaller than the school I teach in now and we have less than 500 kids. Many of the teachers are negative and angry but refuse to do anything about it. And the administration is currently in a changing process which can often make things difficult for the teachers.
Each of these places has its pros and cons. There are some very strong draws back to my old school. Some things that really make me want to return. I won't make more money there- we're on a pay scale, you make the same regardless of where you teach. But I wouldn't have to prove myself as I feel I do here. I don't think I'm going back. I miss people and I miss teaching what I really want to teach but I don't think I'm going back. I don't think that it would be fair to jump ship and head over to another school so close by especially when they aren't offering much of an incentive. It was so nice to feel so wanted. It was so nice to feel so missed. It was so nice to know that I am appreciated, even though it is after the fact. I received such a nice gift yesterday, on the husband's birthday, and for that I am eternally grateful. That gift actually make getting up this morning a little bit easier and made returning to this place where I know m paycheck is going to be less today than usual, a little bit easier because maybe, just maybe, they also appreciate me and value me in the same way!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:23 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I need to get this out especially before I go downstairs and see the bookkeeper and end up being pissed and nasty when I see her. I am raving mad. Seriously angry and also, a little hurt. I'm a little disillusioned, too.
See, I work for the Catholic Church. I am a Catholic High School teacher. I have been for roughly 4 years now. I left my first teaching job in another Catholic high school because I was unhappy, I felt like I was in a situation where everyone was negative and angry at the world but wanted to do nothing about it. Plus, I had just been diagnosed and felt completely out of control of my life and I knew that quitting my job would give me some control. And I had been offered a position somewhere else that was supposed to be more money and a resume boost. I found out I was pregnant within a month of beginning my new job and my heart wanted to go back to my high school. I stayed where I was and at the end of my maternity leave, I did not return. On the day I offered my resignation I had an interview at the job where I am currently employed, another Catholic high school. I had wanted to teach here for a very long time. I had been trying to get my foot in the door and there were never any positions available. Finally, one opened up and I received it. I was very excited. I could not wait to start and get back to teaching.
While I was at my previous high school I gave birth to our first child, I lost my grandmother and my grandfather, I was diagnosed with my tumors and thyroid disease, and our son had his first surgery. I had a lot happen in a few short years. During the year that my son had his surgery I used up all of my sick days and personal days before he even went in for it. He had been sick most of the winter and at that point the husband's job was not so flexible so I was the one to stay home. When I put in for my time out for the boy's surgery the vice principal stopped me in the cafeteria and very kindly let me know that I was out of days and they would have to start docking my pay. I was a little surprised that I had used my days but it was May at that point and it made sense. I said ok and told her that obviously, he was having surgery so I couldn't not take the days. She was very nice about it all. I told her I understood that they had to dock me and that was that. I never lost a cent from my paycheck.
This year has been ridiculous. We had our car accident in the fall and then the resulting surgery and recovery. The boy had his surgery and then ended up in the hospital. Those two events alone, along with one wedding, forced me to use all of my days. They are all gone. I was called into the Principal's office where she informed me that I used all of my days. She informed me that there was no set protocol for what happens once an employees uses all of their days. She informed me that she was considering docking my pay for any days I was out following using my last day. This was all before the boy ended up in the hospital. She then looked at me and essentially asked me what she thought she should do. WHAT? I was confused. I am not the boss. I am not in charge. It is not my place to decide whether or not I get docked, especially since there are no rules governing this. I told her that if I worked for a major corporation and I used all of my days they would dock me, why should this be any different. She told me that she liked to think we were more compassionate and had pity on employees. She even said that the majority of days, since related to the accident, weren't even my fault. There was no conclusion reached. I guess I walked out of there thinking that if the money came out of my check I'd be a little surprised but by the same token I would totally understand- it's their right, I used my days. Plain and simple. I also walked out there and felt a little weird and angry about the whole thing. It was a strange meeting. It was something that probably would have never happened had I been working for a Merck or Lucent or Wyeth.
This morning I got into work and went to my mailbox, as always. I had the regular stuff and then I had a copy of my last request for time off, it was for the boy's surgery and for the wedding I was attending. It had been approved, there had been no problem with that. At the bottom was a correspondence between the bookkeeper and the principal. The bookkeeper informed the principal that I was one day over my allotted sick and personal and should they dock me for the time I was out and then put in some type of equation that makes it look like I am being docked for 3 days. Right next to that was a note from the principal, "I think we have to deduct the amount." This set me off. This made me so angry. This sent me into a rage. I went upstairs and dumped my stuff in my classroom and went in to see K. I handed her the paper and said, "I didn't think they would really do it." And I didn't. I really did not believe that I was going to lose the pay. I understand I was out. I understand I used my days. I get all of that and logical answer is, "Yes, I deserve to lose the pay." But I work for a compassionate company that has pity on it's employees.
I am hurt and angry. I was not out shopping on those days. I was not taking needless time off. I was out because someone ran their car into mine and destroyed it. I was out because I had a shoulder injury that someone else inflicted upon me and it needed to be fixed. I was out because I had major surgery and then had a bad reaction to said surgery. I was out because my son had surgery and then developed a life threatening complication. I was out because my life took a downward turn at everyone else's hands but mine. I just didn't think that I would lose my pay over that. I just didn't think that this compassionate company would do that.
I went down to the bookkeeper because that equation where it looked like I was being docked for 3 days really bothered me. I wanted to see why it was 3 times my daily rate or the sub rate. She was very nice, I was courteous. I showed her the note and asked why 3. She explained because I had been out 3 more days than I was allowed. I showed her the attendance tally we all received the other day and said that all of the days were included and tally read that I was only out 1 day over. She laughed. She had read it all wrong. She thought I was requesting more days and never bothered to look at the dates and see that they were from FEBRUARY! She was going to take 3 days worth of money out of my check because she was not careful about reading. Thank God I went down and checked with her. Good thing she works with numbers all day....
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:18 AM
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
So I took a brief breath yesterday. I drove home with the sunroof open, the music on and my windows down a little bit. I hit Target to get the husband a birthday present, I paid a few bills, I came home and cleaned the walls, the windows, and a mirror, and I even did some more laundry. I felt like I really accomplished a lot. I felt good. I woke up to chaos, I was late, there was traffic, I may have overpaid a bill and screwed the bank account ( cleared that one up), my hair looked like shite, and I felt fat. The rain brought me a bit down. I had a nice talk with my friend K and we're just about ready to get our taxes in. Things are getting done but still I don't know....I think everyone is feeling the same way. It's a time of waiting for change. It's a time of waiting for new life and new beginnings. And I'm ready for them.
On to lighter things....
I don't know about your house but in our house Noggin, Nick Jr., PBSKids, Sprout, Disney- they're all staples. Yes, we allow our children to watch tv. Yes, I have been known, on occasion, to use the TV to my advantage and allow it to be my babysitter and main entertainer for my children. I don't care. I'm careful about what my kids watch, I'm usually watching with them and that is where all of this comes from....
Can we talk about Max and Ruby? Why don't they have parents? Why do they have a grandmother but not parents? Why is Ruby such a bossy B? Why does Max never say anything? Why do they live ALONE? Who pays Ruby's bunny scout dues and then who buys all those darn bunny scout cookies when Ruby doesn't sell to meet her quota? Do Ruby's friends have parents? Isn't anyone concerned that there are no "adults" around?!?!?
Moving on to Little Bear....Why exactly is it ok for Little Bear to walk around with no clothes on but Mother Bear and Father Bear and all the other adult bears get to wear clothes? Is there some right of passage that Little Bear will eventually go through that will get him clothes? Has anyone else noticed that Little Bear has very little educational value?
Little Einstein's is one of the boy's FAVORITES! I love the art and music aspect of it but if you've ever watched closely with a discerning eye there's a lil' bit o'sexism going on! The boys are all about leading the adventures while the girls are all about helping them. Annie takes care of Leo and June is there to dance. Don't get me wrong, it's a good show and I love that my son now knows classical musicians and artists but I think it portrays women in a somewhat subservient role. That's right...I said it...I'm talking about some silly cartoon!
Don't even get me started on the freak show that is the DoodleBops! DEAR GOD THEY SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF ME! Seriously, they are weird. That's all I have to say about that.
Yo Gabba Gabba....my son won't even watch that...it frightens him.
Handy Manny...well, I have a little crush on him but he's clearly got a thing for Kelly the Hardware Store girl! (That makes no sense, everyone knows a woman shouldn't go near tools! ;) )
The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, playhouse, whatever, and toodles....oh dear lord. My son has the toodles dance down pat. My TiVo is primarily Mickey Mouse Playhouse. He knows the episodes by heart. The songs are catchy in that stay in your head all day make you want to kill someone sort of way. I think it has some redeeming qualities but they're limited.
Johnny and the Sprites....um does anyone else find it odd that this grown man lives with "sprites"? I do.
I haven't even touched on Dora and Diego. They've been around since the beginning of time. Dora and that freaking monkey. Diego and baby jaguar. Can't these kids make real friends?!?!
Oh my god. I need to stop. I'm getting "angry" as I sit here and watch Little Bill and write about all these mind numbing shows.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 12:47 PM
Sunday, March 2, 2008
I received an award from the Sports Mama over at You Don't Have to Like Me and it comes with strings and I promise I will post the award and the strings tomorrow and I will also pass it on! Thanks Sports Mama, you have a way with words that I really do enjoy and envy!
Today, though, I've been contemplating. I've been thinking. I've been a bit down. Not sure why exactly. We've had a pretty ok weekend. Friday, I was off from work because we were going to a wedding on Long Island and while I saw more boobs at this wedding than anything else, the food was good, my cousin- who was getting married-looked quite happy and it was a pretty good time. Saturday I got to sleep in until 11!! I know! I'm shocked, too! But after getting in around 3am, I needed the rest. I'm sure the husband did, too, but he wasn't drinking so I think he had pity on me. We also did some cleaning and I got some food shopping done. Overall, pretty productive and also somewhat relaxing! Today, I'm not sure what's up with today. I woke up ok. I could've slept a bit longer but I'm not exhausted. We got a bunch done around the house....crap was everywhere. It still it but now at least it's semi organized. We did a TON of laundry and the clothing that is in the kid's rooms actually fits them or will fit them in a short time! Even with all of that getting done, I'm still feeling off somehow.
Maybe I'm ready for Spring. Maybe I just need a break for a bit. Maybe it's something more, I really don't know. I was talking with my friend H today about this. We talked for awhile and she helped me talk a lot of it out but I'm not sure we came to any concrete solution- which I hate! I like having a plan.
Have you ever felt like if one thing in your life changed, then everything else would fall into place? That's how I'm feeling today. I just feel like I need this one piece to change and while things would not be perfect they would be different, I would be different, everything around me would be different. It's a big thing and it's not easy to change. But more and more I feel like it's needs to change, for all of our good. I don't know, maybe my hormones are out of whack. Maybe I'm more tired than I realize. Maybe I'm still hungover. (That one is a BIG maybe) Maybe I just need to step back and take a breath. I have to say that I'm a bit nervous about doing that. I'm too afraid to step out of the chaos because right now it feels like it's controlled. I'm too afraid to step away for fear that something else will happen- the other shoe will drop. I make it sound like things are so horrendous and they're not. It's just we're coming off so many weeks and months of shite that I don't know which way is up anymore. I need to take a breath but I don't think I have the time.
H did say one thing to me that always resonates with me regardless of where it comes from, I just need to have faith. Sometimes in the thick of things I don't want to hear that. Today, she was right. My faith is strong and it's there and I trust it and God. Maybe I'm waiting to hear from God that's it ok on her watch for me to take a breath. Who knows? I just still feel like if that one thing could change everything else would follow suit and because it's such a big thing I feel slightly powerless in how to change it.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:32 PM