To my nonblogging friends..

So I am kind of a snooper. In high school if you forgot your purse at my house I might read the note from your boyfriend inside. In college if you left out your journal I might just read a page ( or the whole thing while watching the door to make sure you don't come home and catch me).
As a grown up the snooping thing has died down. I almost never check Shaun's cell phone, although if he gets a text while he is in the shower I will of course read it. I don't want him to miss something important.....it is even more fun to text back pretending to be him. It is hard enough to make friends as a grown up that I wouldn't risk losing one by digging through their drawers. Snooping was never about being in the know or looking for dirt. I was just always just trying to figure people out. Get to know them.
Myspace made that so much easier. Like 2 years ago ( actually probably longer ago than that ... but it took me a while to catch on). Wondering how an ex-boyfriend is doing? Wondering if a new aquatience is friend-worthy? Easy...just myspace them. Their profile said plenty. I even learned things about friends I thought I knew pretty well. Then a few things happened. 1) most people started making theirs private. 2) people started having like 5000 friends and no way to keep up with them 3) the novelty wore off.
I haven't deleted my myspace or anything and still check it at least once a week........but I used to check it several times a day, change the music and pictures week. It is no longer a source of information. There are almost no new "friends requests" from long lost highschool and college friends. Bow it is just another way I have to avoid things like cooking dinner, grading papers or vacuuming.
None of my favorite high school friends and only a few of my college ones actually had accounts anyways. I used to be the girl who remembered birthdays and kept up with emails. Not since myspace. Why email people individually when I could just blog about it, and check everyone else's blog. Why remember birthdays when Tom did it for me? Why send a card when I can send a cool glittery graphic comment with the click of a button. My friends that were hard to be in touch with only drifted further away.
Like everyone else -- I eventually outgrew my myspace obsession and moved on to the big girl world of blogger. I post most of my blogs there and only stick a few on myspace. It is harder to search. You can't look up everyone you work with just by their name.......or atleast if you can I haven't figured it out yet. I don't dare ask a new potential friend if they have a myspace ( but that won't stop me from searching later). People give you funny looks when you talk about things you wrote in your blog.........unless of course they live in the blogging world too and then you can just read their blog, skip all the getting to know you nonsense and become new bffs. This has yet to happen to me though.......but am sure it will soon.
I just got an email today from one of my favorite HS friends. She was in my wedding, yet I didn't recognize her name when I saw it in my inbox. She had a sweet baby girl last week. Another recently got divorced and moved off to some state starting with a vowel ( idaho, iowa?). I got a happy birthday email from her ( of course I missed hers) and replied with a few of the new thigns in my life. I mentioned that this baby I am carrying is a girl. Her reply was I didn't even know you were pregnant ( oops how did those 6+months slip by) I have meant to reply.......but haven't responded. It has been like 10 days. 5 years ago I would have replied within 10 minutes of reading it. One of my college friends called me 2-3 weeks ago to mention she was in town. I never called back. I want to. (I have been busy although I did have time to read like 20 books and write 5 new posts.) I miss those girls like crazy. I wish I knew what was going on in their lives. I wish I could just click on their website and be filled in and comment as necessary. Suddenly maintaining friendships via email ( or worse phone calls) feels as ancient as snail mail. My favorite kid ever ( who isn't a kid at all) has had crazy adventures trying to make it in NYC but I only hear things through the grapevine. I learned of another friend's father's death ( at least a month ago) when she called me ( apologetically I might add because she was a just a few days late) to wish me happy birthday. I felt like an ass. I could feel the sadness in her voice over her dad and couldn't tell you what season her birthday falls in even though I don't think she has ever missed one of mine. My friend Laura turns 30 today. I actually remember this.........but have I so much as send her a freakin email. No. All of this makes me feel guilty and like a terrible horrible crummy friend. I don't know you anymore and would like to say one thing.
IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT.
Blog.
easy peasy.
We will be friends again.
Some website will notify me when you write a new post or attach a new picture and it will be just like you were living next door ( or in the next room) again.
It is like snooping but with permission.
I miss you and can't be counted on to maintain any other forms of communication. Unless of course I conviently see you at work or church or live within a 2 mile radius.
So unless you plan on relocating call me and I'll help you set up your new blog.

Just the three of us??

It won't be just the three of us for much longer.........and truth be told it has barely been this month. I did some math a few days ago and Saturday night was the only night that me, Shaun and I got to stay in our home together for a 24 day stretch. First it was the inlaws, then Colorado, then the inlaws again, we left O there for a week and came back to lots and lots of fleas meaning me and shaun stayed in a hotel and/or with friends for 3 nights, back home but still no O, one night as a family, and then shaun is off to Kansas City ( ironically enough not even in Kansas). Me and O are here but in a few are headed to Houston, then Galveston where shaun will meet us. Sunday, maybe, our life will go back to normal.
If you had talked to me from Wednesday on last week you did not get a very fun girl on the phone. I missed O. I hated being home alone all day. Well now O is being more than I can handle by myself. There have been 2 major daddy moments in the last 24 hours alone. As I was getting him ready for his bath lastnight I noticed a spiderman sticker stuck to a not so comfortable place (on my son -- not me). He was really struggling trying to get it unstuck. I usually try to avoid that area all together ( daddy's domain not mine).......but figured if I could give it one good clean rip ( like a bandaid)......it would come off. Sure it would hurt, but quick and fast is better than slow and extrutiating right? Wrong. I'm not quite sure how long spiderman had been hanging out there......but it must have been quite a while because it did not come off in one quick pull. Instead it tore in several pieces. I tried several tugs on each little peice until I couldn't take the screaming anymore. I thought maybe a soak in the bath tub would ease spiderman's grip. This was partly true. The paper part of the sticker came off easily, but the glue stayed stuck to his unmentionables. Kind of like when they glue a free sample down in a magazine and you have to rub it off. Finally the gluey strip came free........and I don't think I have to worry about finding anymore stickers "down there".
My next "where is daddy moment" involved standing up to pee. O is 97% potty trained and has been for quite a while. However, we haven't been able to teach him to pee standing up yet. He tries but tugs on it so hard he can't pee. He also refuses to pee outstide. ( I trick I was hoping he would learn before going to CO). He is pretty good about taking care of his business by himself and usually only needs help getting his clothse back on. So during naptime ( mine.......not his because he refused to take one) he slipped off to the restroom to potty. It was taking a little bit too long so I went in to check on him and found that he had climbed ( I have no idea how) onto the bathroom counter and peed off of the top of it. He never took his clothes off so most of the puddle was on the counter beneath him with a bit dripping into the open drawer ( please, give me one more thing to clean out) and onto the floor. I asked him what was up and he told me he wanted to pee up there. I figured it was some fluke thing until a few hours later when I caught him a second time on top of the bathroom counter. This time he took his pants off first. I didn't see a puddle anywhere near him so I asked him where he peed and he happily told me the potty. That wasn't quite true but there was a puddle on the ground near the potty ( none on the counter). Apparently O has decided it is time to pee standing up like most of the male population. Unfortunately -- he thinks it has to be done from high altitudes. Dad doesn't show up until Thursday. Hopefully, I can keep him off of the counters between now and then.....and away from stickers.

showing off

I hit the 6 month mark a few weeks ago and almost none of my old clothes fit anymore. I have moved past the fat stage to the true baby belly stage. Tess herself has moved past cute little jabs and kicks in my abdomen to all out acrobatics resulting in back pain, shortness of breath, major heartburn ....just for starters. The sad thing is I know I am going to get much bigger and much more uncomfortable in the next 3 and a half months.
I would like to pretend that this belly doesn't slow me down. But it does. I would also like to pretend that it isn't affecting some of my friendships. But it is.
You see, it seemed I got pregnant this time just by thinking about it. I have several friends and aquatiences where that is not the case. They have spent thousands of dollars, long hours in a waiting rooms, and had some pretty humiliating office visits all to end up in the same disappointed place each month.
If you subscribe to any parenting magazines or websites you willl notice an article every few months or so about how to act or what to say to your friends who don't have (and don't want) kids yet and even some about how to treat a friend who had a miscarriage. Even a few on adoption. These topics get plenty of press and most people are sensative to those topics ( even though plenty of people still manage to say really dumb things). I have yet to see one article on how to act around your friends going through infertility, while your belly is bulging.
Don't get me wrong there are thousands of websites devoted to infertility and most of them are enough to make a girl crazy.............but girls like me don't go to those websites. And as shocked and thrilled as I was to see those 2 little pink lines I was also a little stunned and sad for my friends who have been trying so much longer.
We try to be helpful by asking questions, about treatments, about random studies or remedies we have heard about. But trust me these girls know. They are far more well-read than you are on the subject. So we ask about other options........but other options don't exaclty cut it when you want a baby. It is like promising a teenager a new car, and then offering them a bicycle.
I wish I had something more to offer about what to say or do. I am sure I have made my share of mistakes here............but my advice is to remember that your body may have been taken over but make sure your conversations aren't. It is ok to occasionally bring up dr's visits, paint colors and names, but find other things to talk about too. Movies, coffee, etc. Don't complain about how uncomfortable you are or how fat you feel. It is like eating a BigMac in front of a starving person and complaining about the way it tastes. Spend hours talking about stretch marks or breast feeding with someone else.
On the flip side, don't feel bad or guilty about your joy. Revel in it and cherish it and use it to help you forget about the heartburn.

still not home

My son has been at grandma's for a week. This sounded so good in theory. I couldn't wait to sleep in, read books, go to movies etc.
Instead I am bored and lonely. No good movies are out. I feel like I should be cleaning rather than wasting away in a Barnes and Nobles chair. I want O to come back home. I want to giggle and play in the sprinklers and pick his legos up off the floor.

book girl

This past year I changed schools and churches. Both of those transitions were pretty smooth in functionality. I love my new school and I love my new church and he purposes both of them serve. The community aspect of them didn't come so easy. It is hard to jump in and make new friends, especially when you still like your old ones who didn't go anywhere.
The church decision was kind of thrust upon me. One I can't take credit for. I was happy where I was.......but that happened to be in SW Ft Worth, while I live in Kennedale. It was about a 20 minute drive every Sunday........which isn't much but it was adding up. Our friends were all in there and we were here. The older Owen got the more I wanted to be close to home. When I took a new job teaching HS in Mansfield, I somehow noticed the big Methodist church on the corner. God was saying there. Loud and clear but I managed to talk him into waiting for a few more months until I at least made friends in one place, then I could start tackling another. God upped the "move" date and I found myself new and friendless at work and church. Don't get me wrong. I haven't been lonely. My old church and school friends are still around ( I didn't really give them any choice in that matter).....but it isn't quite the same when you don't see them consistantly.
So we jumped into this new church pretty easily. Found a service, found a sunday school, went to a few parties and joined a women's bible study. Just recently I have stopped feeling like the new girl. I still don't know everyone's names, but that is ok.........they probably don't remember mine either. They have tagged me though. I am the book girl. The girl who has read every book that we are considering studying next. The girl that they want to tell me what they are reading or ask if I have read. The girl they want to borrow from. I have been introduced this way more than once. No, they don't say this is Michelle, "the book girl"........but they say she reads alot or is well-read or whatever.
It is true. I won't deny that aspect of me. Mainly I just read fast and am a sucker for a pretty cover. But there is more. I am used to be the funny girl, but we already seem to have one of those. The reliable one ( turns out I am slightly less reliable than I used to be and that nametag is already taken as well).........or even the fun girl. The impulsive, slightly obnoxious one with the tattoos. At least a third of the girls around the table have tattoos.
I'm not sure what to make of this new identity. I am thinking of wearing glasses and my hair in a bun........but they don't know that I am funny yet and might now get the joke.

coming home

It has been over 9 nights since I have slept in my own bed..........and at least one more to come.
I type this from a hotel room just down the road from my own house. For all of last week we were in Colorado......but our homecoming wasn't exactly welcoming. Within minutes of entering the house we were covered with fleas. Fleas who used our week long absense and warm temperatures to breed like crazy. The place still smelled of the chemicals my kind friends used to try and bomb the place while I was gone. So we hosed off and made reservations. The exterminator comes today and hopefully soon I will get my own bed back.
Any trip longer than 3-4 days makes me long for home. I want the comforts of my own house. Lately I have been sharing a lot of space. In CO we stay in a lodge...with other families. Meaning we have our own room, but share all the common spaces like restrooms, dining, and even the back porch. In some ways I like the community. It makes me think of others and pick up after myself and keep the noise level down, ........but I never quite get comfortable and a nap is hard to come by.
I am anxious and drive too fast on the way home. It is quiet without O in the car ( we left him w/ Gram and Grumps for an extra week) but can't wait to park myself on the couch. Catch up on Tivo, read, blog, clean and sleep in.
Instead I find myself at the local Holiday Inn. I had a few friends offer to let me stay with them ( and tonight I will be accepting that offer).......but I needed some space for a few nights. The hotel is new. The towels are fluffy. There were plenty of extra pillows in the closet and the bed not too hard or too soft. But I still am not quite comfortable. In the middle of night doors shut. Voices are too loud in the hallway or a car pulls in and shines it's headlights right through my window. I was still hopeing to sleep in....but the bustle of housekeeping is a bit too much and I finally get up and wonder down the hall for my free breakfast.
Back in my room I still somehow feel rushed. Check out isn't until noon, but I feel like I should be packing up and loading everything back in the car even though I have no where to go. I have been back in town for a few days now and am still living out of a suitcase. I have bad cell reception and still don't quite feel like I am back into my life yet.
Me friends feel far away, even though they are still in town. Mainly I am just not home yet.

And when you think about it. None of us are really.

Three and Thirty

Yesterday O turned 3. Actually it was our 3rd celebration. First one was 2 weeks early at the lake with my family. The next was my typical over the top birthday party I threw on Friday for him ( one day before we left town). And yesterday's was in the mountains. We are staying in a lodge at a private ranch and most meals are served family style. I knew there was a cake coming and Owen was pumped. He practiced holding up all fingers and and kept saying happy birthday cake all day. Dinner was over and time for dessert. I was expecting the first cake. The one with 3 candles and a toy car on it, but not the second one that was placed in front of me. Luckily they did not try to fit 30 candles on it.
30 is supposed to be this monumental birthday. I don't picture myself as 30. Well expcet when I look in the mirror and see wrinkles by my eyes. I found a grey hair about a month ago. A long silver one. Plenty of my friends have these tell tale signs........but they still come as a bit of a surprise. The eyes, every time I look in the mirror.
For the most part I am ok with 30. I am happy. I have an amazing husband, a funny kid and a little girl growing in my belly. I like my job. I have good friends and am content with who I am. Sure I wish my boobs were a little bigger, that my bank account wasn't always dwindling and that I wouldn't mind dropping a size or 2 ( pre-pregnancy size that is). But my life is good. It doesn't feel like the party is over. In fact, I am so busy throwing toddler birthday parties that I don't worry about my own.
Thirty is something to celebrate. Although I am not quite up for it this year. I keep trying to convince Shaun that I am not up for a big scene this year. This is unlike me. I am into big scenes and attention. But....I am tired and have to wear stretchy pants and can't drink anything fun. I'll stay thirty but would like to postpone the celebration until next year.
Last night O sung himself to sleep singing happy birthday to himself. As for me, I'll enjoy my last few days in my twenties.

struggling to breathe

I am in Stonewall Colorado. Elevation 8000 ft. There is a lot less air up here and it takes me a day for the throbbing headache to go away. My son is in worse shape and spends the entire first night coughing. As in every minute from 2:00 am to atleast 5:00 am. We do the usual which is to pump him full of asthma meds and hope it gets better.
Breathing is an issue in our family. Mainly O. 4 trips to the ER in about the last year have made us pretty aware. He has 2 types of inhalers ( an emergency one and a preventative daily steroid) and a crazy one-way valve to help the medicine get to the right place. (Most of which we forgot to pack....but that is a different blog entirely).
Breathing is funny. It is involuntary, like our heartbeat or nerves. We don't have to think about it or will it...........like most of your muscles. Your lungs just go in and out on there own. 10-18 times a minute while resting. Unlike your heart, you can control it. Temporarily at least. You can think about breathing and decide when not to take a breathe. I can't tell my heart to not beat or my stomach to pick up the pace. But your lungs do what you tell them too.......well to some degree.
Stop reading for a sec and think about breathing. It almost becomes difficult. This thing that we do so naturally can get all screwed up when we think about it. Breathing becomes hard work when you try to contol it.
Most relaxation and pain tolerance techniques teach you to take deep controlled breathes. The whole point of it is that it takes so much effort to take slow and controlled breathes that you have little room to stress or write your shopping list in your head.
Did you ever try to hold your breath when you were a kid? Thinking that if you turned blue in the face eventually your mom would cave and give in. Turns out your brain is smarter than you. You can hold your breath until you pass out if you want, but eventually you will pass out. Your body quickly takes over and does what it is supposed to without you. Your lungs empty and fill. Like I said, we only have a small degree of control over this.
Our life is like that. Trying to contol it is exhausting and consuming. The amount of control we think we have over our lives is deceptive at best. Eventually God will demonstrate his control whether we let him and breath easy or make our selves turn blue.

The end

Today was the last day of school. Well at least for the kids. This finality is always one of my favorite parts of my job. In May ( or June) you are done. 100% finished. Grades are exported, pictures are taken off of shelves books are turned in. Everyone goes their own seperate way for at least a few months. When we do come back we will all be starting fresh. How many other times in life do we get to be completely finished and start new after a nice long break?

The end always manages to sneak up on me. Sure my beakers are washed and my filing cabinet partially cleaned out........but I mean with the kids. They sit there and I realize about 5 minutes before the bell that this is it. Sure I am ready to be rid of them, but still get a bit sappy. Our year together is over. Most of them will never sit in my desks again. They are young and bright and some will do amazing things. Some will do really stupid things. And some will do both. I want to say more. To do more. To give them all some kind of award.........well most of them. But the bell is about to ring. They are rowdy and I just mumble out some dumb have a nice summer, be safe kind of things.

They file out quickly. Some of them give hugs or gifts or remember to say thank you. But most just fall in line behind their friends. I head back to my computer to finish up their grades and hope that they all find their way back.