Ok, I'm a little late for Christmas. I was busy being a mom and Santa all at the same time! We had a wonderful holiday.
Christmas eve, Son went to his fathers for the day, which gave me time to wrap the Santa presents that were hidden in the shed. After all the wrapping was done, I went upstairs to my parents for dinner and drinkie-winkies and to wait for Son to come home. We exchanged presesnts with them and let me tell you , I am still Daddy's Spoiled Little Girl! Son made out pretty well with them too.
Christmas Morning, Santa left this pile for Son:
Son expressed his disappointment at the smallness of the size. FINE. Let's call Santa to come and get ALL of them, if you are going to be ungrateful. And Son's tune changed QUICKLY.
Note to Self: Small pile again next year!
Son is on the floor right now, reading the directions for this:
He is asking for my help and since I am playing Full Time Mom this week, I am going to crawl around on the floor with him. I don't know how much I will be around this week but I hope your Christmas Holiday was a wonderful as mine!
I work for a non-profit drug and alcohol outpatient treatment center as the grant writer. This is an important position because if I don't write and beg for money, we don't get money in to help the people or pay the employees. Over the course of my 7 years with this agency, I have gotten pretty good at writing about addiction and our treatment and prevention programs. I like what I do.
Usually, I sit in an office in front of a computer, some days looking for places to beg from, other days writing to places to beg from. Most days, I sit and write or look up stats while I email with friends or read blogs.
Last summer, I was able and allowed to work from home on 13 requests that were due at the same time. It was for prevention programs and since my agency is in 7 counties and each county and program we were offering to perform needed a separate submission, I had 13 to write by September 30. So my boss allowed me to work from home where I wouldn't be interrupted as much. I sat with my laptop on my front porch and watched the river go by while I wrote those grants. It was the best, least stressful time!
At the moment, I am writing to the federal government to beg for money from them. I have never been awarded a federal grant and think it would be quite an accomplishment (my ex-boss says it is VERY hard to get awarded by them!).
This time of year, there are TONS of reports that come out that I have to read so I can write based on current trends and facts.
My reading piles:
On the left is what I have to read for THIS grant I am working on.
Due 1-14-2010 and I am on vacation for 10 days during Christmas.
On the right is stuff I have to read just because it pertains to other things I may write about.
None of this is exciting stuff. There are no vampires or wizards to entertain you. Every once in a while, I feel myself drifting off to sleep from the boredom of the facts.
But when I think about the people we have saved from their addictions or the kids we prevented from starting, I wake up and read some more. Either that or I get a comment from my blog. So comment away and wake me up!
I have been emailing with Son's father about the holiday schedule and while I haven't been NICE to him, I have been generous with the time he can see Son. In his response to me he said THANKS and I'M SORRY both in the SAME EMAIL!
My stepmother came into my life about 10 years ago - really, was it really 10 years? - I guess it was. I will be the first to say that I wasn't the happiest person about it either but then what child is happy about a step parent.......
Anyway, my father was smitten and wanted all of us to get along. GREAT. She has 4 children, who have kids of their own, to blend with my brother and I. You could just see that they wanted all us kids to get along and be one big happy Brady Bunch. The first year of their life together, we had "family" get togethers for all the holidays and cookouts in the summer for all the kids who lived around here. GREAT. The first December that they were dating, I went to Ocean City alone but Daddy and Stepmom showed up and stayed in their own hotel but still joined us girls for shopping and meals.
Actually, I think I did a pretty good job of hiding my discomfort from Daddy and Stepmother. I was nice to her and her kids, I allowed her to hug and love Son like he was her grandchild, I taught Son to call her Grandmom (eventually), I let him run up to her screaming her name so that she could pick him up and swing him around before hugging him.
Son, Stepmom and me (smiling!)
I had lots of issues with her invading my family. She wasn't my mom, I didn't want her to come in here and think that she could replace my mom. Son was going to know about Grandmom Kathy, who WAS his grandmom in heaven. Yet at the same time, I knew that Daddy deserved to be happy again and that Mom would want him to be happy. Because of that thought, I bit my tongue ALOT and let Stepmom into our lives.
As I did, I came to know her, to know that she loved my father with all her heart, that she didn't WANT to replace my mom, that she loved ALL us kids (and grandkids) equally. And since she knew my mom, she was able to share some stories with Son about Grandmom Kathy.
Although, I think she loves my little guy the best!
Just cause I got to know her, doesn't mean that everything is peachy keen. There is still the usual jealousies that happen between some families but we manage to work them out and love each other again.
I haven't told her how grateful I am that she is part of our family, how much I love having her around, but I hope my actions speak louder than any words I could say. With the addition (and acceptance) of Stepmom, we have added another chapter to our family History Book.
I have taken to writing down my random thoughts so I can remember what they are when I get around to posting. LAME.
I have decided that its ridiculous for me to be in bed at 9:00 pm, especially when I get up at 2:00 AM. So I have enlisted my parents to help keep me up a little later in the evening. I have been going up to their place after Son is in bed and Wii bowling with them. They have been Wii bowling every night since they bought the Wii. I have really enjoyed myself these past couple of nights. I think my father has too cause he invited me back tonight!
I spent ALL day yesterday at work READING. I love to read. Just not about how to make a recovery program work and the science of how the federal government decided recovery programs work. Snooze-ville.
I am DONE with Christmas, except for wrapping. I won't have a chance to wrap Santa presents until Christmas Eve when Son will be with his father.
Anyone want to clean the turtle cage for me? I feed him yesterday and with all the crap floating in the tank, I couldn't be sure there was a turtle in there. I don't mind scrubbing the cage, its picking up the turtle and putting him in the bathtub that I have a problem with. YUCK.
The bosses at work are annoying again. We are in the process of moving one office to a new location and need an inspection by the state before we can open for business. I have told the Bosses several times that the inspector needs to see certain things in place before he will sign off on the license. When I checked with the Bosses yesterday, we didn't have ANY of the things the inspector wants to see. Yet, the Bosses told me to schedule the inspection. So, I am driving to AC (which is 2 HOURS) from home to meet with the state inspector who will not sign off on our license. Total waste of MY time, which could be better spent reading about recovery programs and how to make one work.
Ok. Time to brush teeth and drive to AC! Happy Tuesday on Wednesday! Check out the other random-ness over at The Un-Mom!
This time of year when everyone is running around buy presents, baking yummy treats and decorating as if we are Martha Stewarts it is very easy to forget that this holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I was given a chance to review a childrens book about the true meaning of the season.
The Story of Christmas from the Read and Share™ Bible is a colorful retelling of the birth of Christ and the events surrounding it.
Based on the International Children’s Bible, this book begins with the birth of John the Baptist. Next comes the angel appearing first to Mary, then to Joseph, the trip to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, the wise men and their gifts, fleeing to Egypt, and at last heading home to Nazareth. The “Can You Retell the Story” activity at the end of the book is a fun way for children to learn to tell the story themselves.
The animated DVD includes a 15-minute story plus coloring pages and other bonus features.
This book is a very basic telling of the story and would be very appropriate for all ages. It is easy to read and at the end, you get to pick through pictures so you can re-tell the story. The DVD contains short stories about Jesus growing up as well as coloring pages.
This book and DVD set is a good introduction into the meaning of Christmas for the younger children. I highly recommend this book for preschool children to start teaching them that this holiday is not just about getting presents.
I was provided this book / DVD set to review by Thomas Nelson
I only have a couple of rants and raves but they need to be said.
Rave: I LOVE my brand newly paved road.
Rant: Do you think they could make it so it doesn't flood still? All the rain this morning caused it to flood even worse than it did before they repaved.
Rave: I know the licensure standards for my agency. I know they very well
Rant: My bosses (the people who make the decisions about things for the place) DO NOT. And they don't check with ME to see if their decisions will be affected by the licensure. Yes, that happened today and I had to smooze the state reps to make everything okay.
Rave: Son's father has the Son's retainer that Son't thought he threw away AGAIN.
Rant: Son's father is being an ass about getting the retainer back in Son's mouth. He's refusing to meet at any time that I can to give back the retainer. Why can't his priority be what's best for Son?
Rave: kitters seems to be recovering well He's stopped fighting the lamp shade and loves to snuggle up. he's fighting with the lap top for space right now. And he's been very good about taking his medicine.
Rant: the vet bill was OUTRAGEOUS.
I think that's all I have to rant and rave about. Not very much. Happpy Wednesday!
We have 2 kitties, Kitter and Saylors. About 6 years ago, I saved Kitters from dumpter diving and Saylors came to us about 6 months later from a yard sale (get it, Saylors).
Kitters is the Orange one and Saylors is gray.
Before we moved here, we lived on a VERY busy street and they were complete inside kitties. When we moved here to the dead end street, I started letting them outside. This summer, they would only come home occasionally. With the colder weather, they are spending more time indoors but Kitters still likes to go out ramming at night.
This morning, Kitters came home for breakfast with a fish hook in his eye! GROSS!
My Monday morning started with heading to Delaware where the emergency vet is located. Kitters has to have surgery to remove the fish hook and thankfully, it appears that he did not damage his eye, its just stuck in his lid. Poor BABY!!
Son and I went back over to pick him up after dinner and he has one of those dorky plastic collars on. What fun!
I had to email Son's teacher so she could let him know not to worry about Kitters. Son was very upset when Kitters came home Monday morning and worried all day long until the teacher told him.
The things we do for our pets!
Kitters after he got home. Not happy and still on drugs.
Son's school has a program called 100 Book Challange. Its to encourage kids to read at home. In each marking period, the kids have to read for at least 15 minute each night, have an adult sign the line (one line = 15 mins of reading). They can read more than what is assigned but Son has a problem with that. To him, the rule is 2 lines each night. And if the teacher doesn't assign it on the weekends, there will be NO reading done. Don't change the rules!
This year has been a little better. Usually we are spending the week before the end of the marking period fighting over how much he needs to read. This year, he is at 160+ lines and the second marking period just started last week. I am SO proud of him!
I have asked Santa to bring me a Sony eReader because I LOVE to read. And I love gadgets. I am a Geek. I hope Santa brings me this one:
When I was looking at this in Wal-Mart, Son wanted one too. Yeah. I'm going to get you one when you don't like to read. Right.
Since Son is doing better with the 100 BC, I gave him an additional challenge. At the school, if you read 700 books you get a free lunch coupon from McDonalds, for 1000 lines, you get $100.
I challenged Son to read 800 lines and I would get him an eReader. He accepted and sat right down to read! W oo ho.....
Guess I need to save my pennies for June's present!
This weekend makes me think about my mom LOTS. Not that she is very far from my thoughts and heart anyway but most of the people I hung out with this weekend were HER friends. Mom and I started going to the Ocean with Judy (Mom's best friend since 7th grade) and Bonnie (a part of Junior High Group) about 15 years ago. Mom even went in December of 1998 and she passed at the end of January 1999.
This is my Mom and me at my wedding.
Isn't she gorgeous?
She was in SO much pain but you wouldn't know it from her smile.
My mom was a talented seamstress. She made both of my prom dresses as well as most of my clothes and the best bathing suits! I remember shopping in the mall with her and she would sketch out designs on the racks and a week later, I would be wearing it. AWESOME! Until she became sick, we had planned for her to make my wedding dress. It was going to be Scarletts dress from the garden party at the beginning of Gone With the Wind. I even found the pattern when I cleaned out her sewing room.
But she was too sick to make my dress. She did make my hat and the veil. She created the pattern, got extra material from the seamtress doing the alterations and made my hat. I loved it! I could never have found a hat to go so perfectly with my dress.
Here is a picture of my parents from 1988.
I know mom was disappointed that she didn't get to meet Son but there was a reason. Son looks like Mom, acts like Mom and loves like Mom. Son is Mom, born again.
Mom knew she wasn't going to be here to meet Son so she made lots of baby clothes, a baby quilt and a christening dress that will be passed down through the family. I loaned it to my brother for his girls and when he got divorced, I threatened bodily harm if he didn't get it back in the settlement. He knew I meant business.
This is not the best picture of the dress but its all I have on the computer.
Mom made a little bonnet that matched too.
He looked like a little girl! Sorry Son, it was only for one day!
Momma, I miss you everyday. Keep watching over us, I know you're there! I love you!
Well, this morning was rather rough getting Son ready to for school. There was lots of arguing and yelling and walking away. By 7:30, I was ready to leave for work just to get somewhere quiet! There were also words that were meant to hurt, said by him.
I am a MEAN mom and HE wants to go live with his DAD. That’s a direct quote with the appropriate emphasis to reflect Son’s attitude. Nice kid, huh?
But, I’m not worried that he will go live with his dad for many reasons. The most important one is that his dad doesn’t want him full time or even part time. He just gets Son every other weekend and court approved holidays to impress the current girlfriend so she keeps supporting him in a manner he would like to be accustomed. See, I’m not bitter! But I digress. His father doesn’t want him full time or part time. Son would be too much work and his father would have to pay attention to someone else.
Also, Son wouldn’t want to be there full time, for the above reasons as well as the fact that he would miss me. Even if I am MEAN. Son was just with his dad for 5 days over the Thanksgiving Holiday, was SO happy to be home, and MISSED me SO MUCH!
Anyway, Son FINALLY got ready for school and out the door he went. I headed for the shower to compose myself before a long day at work. I am also holding my breath for the dreaded call/email from the school because of his behaviors today.
Fingers crossed that he changed his attitude on the ride to school. OH! and this is my 50th post! Go me!
Random thought Tuesday. Finally! There are SO many silly things in my head. I can't seem to put two thoughts together. I can't even concentrate well enough to READ. TRAGEDY!
Let's get started!
Thanksgiving weekend was everything I could ask for, quiet! I also was able to get the entire place cleaned, carpets steamed and the CAR cleaned on the inside. Not bothering to bath the outside of the car yet because we are still dealing with road construction.
On the good side of that, they are almost done. They should be putting the final asphalt layer down tomorrow. THEN I will wash my car.
I am excited about this weeks Theme Thursday - Friends. I am going away for the weekend with some of my oldest friends and family this weekend. Every year for about the last 18, us girls have gotten together for the first weekend in December to go away without kids and men. Its always been a nice relaxing, fun, SHOPPING filled weekend.
Son is not too happy that I am leaving this weekend because he will have to spend it with his Dad and I think he is a bit tired of being with his Dad. Or it could be his Aspergers flairing since I am changing the visitation schedule on him. Oh well! Deal with it Kid!
Over the weekend my best friend and I went to see New Moon. It was SO much better than the first one but I will still disappointed with the ending. In the theater I LOUDLY proclaimed "Really? That's the END?" My friend laughed at me! What can I say? I was into the moment! When's the next one come out? January?
Work has gotten pretty busy again. They seem to be tapping into my knowledge for certain projects. I don't like that they have remembered that I have a brain! I was just adjusting to being a little peon.
Son and I disagreed on how to decorated the tree. I have a minimalist view of things and he thinks that just because we have TONS of bows, they should be on the tree. I don't want ANY bows on it. But I compromised for the bigger ones as long as I can have my butterflies on it.
Ok. Son is ready for snuggles before bed so the rest of the random thoughts will just have to stay there for now. Don't forget to check out the other Random Thought Tuesday Bloggers! Happy Tuesday