Archive | July 2013

I’m baaaccck!

Just a quick note to let you all know I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m hoping to post about our vacation in the next couple days. Things have been a bit hectic since our return, so it’s taking a while. Sorry!

These are the People in Your Neighborhood

Take race out of the equation. Would he have pursued him? Called the police? Tailed him even after a 911 operator told him to stop following the boy? Gotten out of the car to confront him, knowing that police were on their way?

Now flip the script. If Martin had been white and Zimmern black, would that verdict have been different?

Sad thing is, racism was, and still is, an issue in our country. The thing is, until I was almost in middle school, I didn’t know racism existed.

I live in a city that’s a nice mixture of many races. I grew up having block parties with people of many different backgrounds. I was exposed to other cultures at a young age. I remember having cow tongue tacos (tacos lenguas) with our next door neighbors. Skipping double dutch or doing drills with the girls down the street. Watching tv with my friend while her mother put cornrows in her hair. Learning to speak Spanish from the kids in the neighborhood. Playing marbles for “keepsies” with every kid on the block gathered around to watch like it was the World Cup. This was my childhood and it was great.

Fast forward to Fourth Grade. I was a smart kid who was pretty socially awkward. I got bullied a lot. One of my bullies was a girl who I had been friends with at one point. While we were on our way to the library, she balled up her fist and made a motion like she was going to hit me. When I flinched, she asked me if I was prejudiced. I had no idea what that meant. As I stared blankly at her, my friend Travis spoke up for me. “If she was prejudiced, she wouldn’t be friends with me.” As we continued to the library, Travis explained to me what prejudiced meant. By the time he was done, I wanted to cry. How could someone think that my opinion of them could be based on their skin color?

I guess that’s part of the reason I don’t understand the hate and anger that people are throwing around about this case. As a parent, I feel anger over the not guilty verdict. As a human, I feel sadness over this senseless loss. I don’t understand the anger and hate though.

Over the past couple days, the comments I have read on social media have been outright horrible. Some have even made me cry. My news feed is blowing up with views from both sides of the fence. Many people are posting other crimes that may have been racially motivated, saying why didn’t this have national coverage? Why didn’t Obama make a statement about this? Plain and simple, it’s the media. The media chose to take this case and blow it up. That had nothing to do with the government, the president, anyone else other than the media.

On the flip side, I have heard people call for the death of Zimmerman. Some have even commented that they would like to find him and do it themselves. What is that going to solve? Nothing.

I’m happy to say that these extreme comments are only from a few on my contacts list. It still saddens me to see people I care for so full of anger and hate.

A gentleman on Facebook named Alex Fraser penned this response. I found it to be both insightful and true.

Hopefully, one day race will be a non-issue in America. I often think back to my childhood neighborhood and wish that the whole country could come together as we did. I know one thing for sure. So long as people allow hatred and anger to well up in them at moments like this instead of concern and compassion, things like this will continue to divide us instead of unite us.

We’re Going West, My Friends

Family trips can be a huge source of stress for me. The planning, packing for 7 people, securing hotels, car, transportation and everything else that goes with it is just exhausting. Not to mention that the change in sleep cycles and routines can really do a number on my mental health.

All that being said, guess what I’m in the midst of doing. Planning a vacation. I’ve actually reached the point where I’m beginning to pack. I have a mere 4 days until we depart. Even though I’ve been planning this for months, I feel like I’m drowning in to-do lists.

Part of this is self imposed. I want the house spotless before we leave. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a messy house after vacation. So I’ve got everyone on cleaning detail. This is creating more headaches than its helping at the moment though. The kids are rebelling. They’ve put together a list of demands that they insist must be met before they will continue in their work. I don’t negotiate with terrorists, no matter how cute they may be, so it seems we’re at a standoff.

I wanted to buy small travel pillows. We’re taking the train there and flying back, so I need something small we can cram into a bag on the way home. After looking at my options, I decided it would be cheaper to make my own. It was cheaper to buy the materials. Now, being that I have no time to make these things, I just need to find a bunch of little mice to sew them up for me. I wonder if Cinderella’s little friends would be up for it…

I also got the great idea to make these felt Mr. Potato Heads to keep the kids busy on the 2 day train ride. They’re so cute and compact, and even a couple the older girls wanted to have one. I started those two weeks ago. Guess who’s still not done. Oh well. At least I only need to cut out the accessories.

I have 3 1/2 people packed, clothes-wise. That’s half way done! Woo hoo! It also means I have 3 1/2 more people to pack. Okay, fine, it’s more like after the half is done I only need to pack for myself. Knowing the eldest and the boyfriend, I’ll have to double check bags though.

The eldest will pack too much, as teenage girls often do. She recently went on a week long trip and took two bags for herself. I’ve been packing everyone else’s clothes two people to one duffle bag. I don’t mess around when it comes to packing.

The boyfriend will do the opposite. He tried to argue that one pair of shorts would be enough for a 10 day trip. Yeah… um no. I’m sure he’ll forget something important too, like his underwear. I’m not sure I ever met a man who was good at packing.

Despite all this chaos (or maybe because of it) I’m really looking forward to this vacation. We’ll be spending time with the boyfriend’s friends and family, we’ll see some beautiful scenery, including waterfalls, which I’m psyched about. I know that it will be a great time. It’s just the preparing stage that makes me bonkers. Then it should be all good… until it’s time to come home and unpack it all, that is.

It’s 3 am, I Must be Lonely

Today (well yesterday actually) was a busy day. I spent last night in the ER with my boyfriend and didn’t get to sleep until 5 am yet I still managed to help the middle girls clean their pigsty of a room, run errands, start packing for vacation, take a nap and go to game night with some friends. I should be out like a light right now. Only I’m not.

Even after developing a killer headache that turned into a migraine, I still haven’t found sleep. I got home, took some meds for the headache, covered my eyes, put ear plugs in, and prepared myself for dream land. I’m pretty sure it’s further away now than it was when I got home.

It’s so frustrating to be exhausted and unable to sleep. I was over emotional today. I cried 4 times for no reason whatsoever. Everything is starting to run together, my fuse is getting shorter and reality seems… a bit unreal.

It’s been more than a week now of averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night. I haven’t used my melatonin lately because I usually don’t think of it until it’s too late. I’d give one of my toes right now for a good night’s rest. Tomorrow, I’m going to drug myself before I even lay in bed. Maybe then I can get some good sleep.

As always, I’ve been trying to analyze why I might be having this issue. I know part of it is the upcoming vacation. There’s a lot to do in the next week, so there’s no doubt that the stress from that is affecting me.

There are other things stressing me out. My boyfriend’s been having health concerns and is going to require surgery. It’s a “fairly routine procedure” but it’s still surgery and it still freaks me out.

I might need surgery on my ankle, which means I have to change my education plans yet again. Ankle surgery would make it too hard to go to school 45 min away. Honestly, my bigger issue here is the changing education plans again. The idea of surgery does worry me a bit but I’m more concerned with how is going to affect my ability to function on a daily basis that anything else.

The kids have been pretty good lately. There’s been some petty stuff, but they’re kids, so it’s to be expected. I’m just glad they’re all happy and healthy. Sure, I wish I didn’t have to repeat myself 20 times, but I guess that’s just post of being a parent.

Man, I got off on a tangent there. It’s 3:30 am. The brain is showing no sign of stopping. I really wish I didn’t have things to do on the morning. I’d dug myself with some melatonin and finally pass out. I think I might go get some warm milk… (does that crap even work?)

Woo hoo!

I want to say thanks to my minions… I mean followers. I’ve got over 500 views now! I feel so loved!

A “Family” Reunion

I lay here feeling a myriad of emotions. Today marked me throwing my first (and last) “Annual Family Reunion”. I will still have an event every year, but I think it might need renaming.

I’m sorry, I’m being vague. Today was to be a reunion of my fathers side of the family. My grandfather passed away about 4 1/2 months ago. He was the glue that held my family together. I worried that with his passing, the very frayed family ties I had would snap completely. So I vowed to do something about it.

As often happens, life got complicated beyond measure. One month before today’s event, I finally announced my plans, asking everyone for addresses so I could send out formal invitations. I managed to collect three addresses. Understanding that this is the digital age, I also sent out a mass text and put up a Facebook event.

I was aware that the holiday weekend could interfere with my plans, but I chose this date because I knew people from out of state would be in town. I had several people tell me that they would come, only to call me later and tell me otherwise. I understand that life can throw curvebals, so I made an executive decision.

With attendance looking to be so low, I extended my invitation to my other family as well as my friends. I already paid for everything and didn’t want it all to go to waste, so it seemed to be the perfect idea.

The adults in attendance today numbered around 10 and those I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I understand that there are things I could have done differently. I really wanted this to be a success though. I wanted to have my family come together and laugh, joke, chat, and spend quality time together. I wanted to reach out to the family that’s been fractured for so long. I’m not angry they weren’t there. I guess I’m just bummed that my expectations weren’t met.



So I’m adjusting my expectations for next time. I’m not labeling it a family reunion. I’m inviting whoever I please. I’m doing it when it’s convenient for me. I’m going to be happywith the day, whatever the results are.



During the “reunion” today, I didn’t think too much about this. I enjoyed my time there and the company of those who were able to make it. It was a beautiful day and the afternoon couldn’t have been better.



I did mention to another person that I wished more people would have come because I made so much food. The response I received was, “All the people who matter are here.” It was putto me in a joking manner, but it does have a little truth to it because, in that moment, those people were the people who mattered most to me. They are the people who put the “Family” in my “Family Reunion”.


A “Family” Reunion

I lay here feeling a myriad of emotions. Today marked me throwing my first (and last) “Annual Family Reunion”. I will still have an event every year, but I think it might need renaming.

I’m sorry, I’m being vague. Today was to be a reunion of my fathers side of the family. My grandfather passed away about 4 1/2 months ago. He was the glue that held my family together. I worried that with his passing, the very frayed family ties I had would snap completely. So I vowed to do something about it.

As often happens, life got complicated beyond measure. One month before today’s event, I finally announced my plans, asking everyone for addresses so I could send out formal invitations. I managed to collect three addresses. Understanding that this is the digital age, I also sent out a mass text and put up a Facebook event.

I was aware that the holiday weekend could interfere with my plans, but I chose this date because I knew people from out of state would be in town. I had several people tell me that they would come, only to call me later and tell me otherwise. I understand that life can throw curvebals, so I made an executive decision.

With attendance looking to be so low, I extended my invitation to my other family as well as my friends. I already paid for everything and didn’t want it all to go to waste, so it seemed to be the perfect idea.

The adults in attendance today numbered around 10 and there were about 20 our so under the age of 18. 30 people isn’t horrible I suppose, but when you consider that I invited 125+ people, it’s pretty sad. I prepared for 50-75 people, which means we well be eating leftovers for the next month. Yay.

I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I understand that there are things I could have done differently. I really wanted this to be a success though. I wanted to have my family come together and laugh, joke, chat, and spend quality time together. I wanted to reach out to the family that’s been fractured for so long. I’m not angry they weren’t there. I guess I’m just bummed that my expectations weren’t met.

So I’m adjusting my expectations for next time. I’m not labeling it a family reunion. I’m inviting whoever I please. I’m doing it when it’s convenient for me. I’m going to be happywith the day, whatever the results are.

During the “reunion” today, I didn’t think too much about this. I enjoyed my time there and the company of those who were able to make it. It was a beautiful day and the afternoon couldn’t have been better.

I did mention to another person that I wished more people would have come because I made so much food. The response I received was, “All the people who matter are here.” It was putto me in a joking manner, but it does have a little truth to it because, in that moment, those people were the people who mattered most to me. They are the people who put the “Family” in my “Family Reunion”.