A Full Weekend

It turned out to be quite the busy weekend -- still full of grief peering over the shoulder, but what can you do.

Eldest had a friend spend the night Friday, then Saturday morning we took the fam over to another friend's home for a birthday party that was more of a family hang out with paintball in the woods for whomever wanted to partake plus cake. Everyone had fun -- except perhaps youngest who also seems to be the one left out. Eldest's friend has a sibling youngest's age, but she's a girl and the other family who joined also has a girl that age, so the two girls glommed together and were uninterested in youngest. And eldest with his friends his age had no interest in youngest and...it's hard to be the youngest sometimes. 

I did what I could, as did hubby, to engage and entertain, but it's awfully rough to be the one kid who doesn't have kids who want to play with you.

I fear more of that is on tap for today as we've a playdate and the friend youngest's age is, again, female, and completely disinterested in anything youngest might enjoy doing and vice versa. 

People say gender doesn't matter but, well, yes it does.

Sunday was church and then an evening cookout with another group of friends this time as a laidback birthday party for youngest's friend (who amusingly is female but happily tomboyish and well content to play with him - so I know it's not all gender, but it certainly can be a factor). Plus there's a younger brother who gets along well enough so the three of them are thick as thieves. Eldest has a friend his age as well among the four siblings (and the second oldest is another tomboy who doesn't mind running with teh older boys) and so there was much fun had by all this time.

Except, of course, that in this family I'm the odd man out as the wife and I have a bit of a fraught relationship. She gets ticked at me for breathing here and there (honestly, I never know what I do that sets it off) and stops speaking to me then eventually gets over and acts like all is well. Any attempts to try and clear the air or figure out what I've done so as to avoid it in the future are stonewalled or dismissed and frankly, it's just so much drama and anxiety to be her friend that I never really enjoy hanging with them until it's over because I don't know what I'm walking into.

Regardless, it's all done now and we're off to a new week. What's in store? No one really knows.


Ennui for Mother's Day

Motivation has flown out the window the past day or two and I've been trying to put my finger on exactly what the problem is. It hit me a few minutes ago -- it's mother's day.

Mom used to require a big to-do for mother's day. Her birthday was the 11th, so it often fell on the day and so birthday and mother's day were frequently combined. And it was always never quite enough (or so it seemed) or not quite up to her standards.

Regardless, I'm used to the necessity of ramping up toward the day...and this year there's nothing.

Couple that with the fact that this is the weekend we traveled to inter Mom's ashes two years ago (again it seemed fitting at the time. Maybe we didn't think it through as well as we should have. Hindsight.) and I guess grief has decided that it's a great time to come for another little visit.

Hubs continues to ask what I'd like to do tomorrow and he's not reveling in my answer of sleep. Go figure.

Le sigh.


Much to say, little desire to do so

I've started and deleted probably twenty posts of late. Feels like I'm inevitably mopey around these parts - or have only the banal to share.

The reality is, my sister's cancer has moved into "Well, we might be able to find a clinical trial." status. And that somewhat overwhelms much of life. 

Dad is doing poorly with the above information (no shock there) and it's coupling with the impending three-year anniversary of Mom's passing and, well, they say most men don't live much past three years of losing their spouse and I don't think Dad is going to be the exception to the rule.

Youngest's ADHD seems to be worsening? Spiraling beyond the limits of his medicine even though we bumped up the dose? I don't know. It's worse. Everyone is miserable. We'll see the doctor next week but it's just one more thing I'm supposed to manage that I don't know how to carry.

Eldest is sinking into sullen teenager with aplomb and...I feel like I should be able to make that stop, but how? I'm seriously considering that he might need therapy (hell, we probably all need it right now) but when I try to broach the topic he acts as though he's done something wrong and I'm intent on punishing him or selling him to pirates. Which is...strange? We're a very pro-mental health help family around here so I don't get it. It's just one more place where I feel as though the gap between me and him is widening and I don't know how to build a bridge.

And see? None of this is fun to read, so really why share it? It doesn't change anything or make it lighter. Because it simply is how it is. And presumably this too shall pass. At some point.


80 Days of Ouch

So hubs has been super stressed at work, owing largely to having had an incompetent person for most of last year. They finally rid themselves of him and found a replacement. And...turns out he was ALSO incompetent. Except that, bonus, his incompetence bordered also on illegal - and so now that he's gone, hubby needs to get the work that was meant to have been done actually finished so they can stop having it hang over their heads.

The following conversation ensued:

He: I should exercise to reduce stress. Also it'd be good to be in shape before Man Camp with eldest this summer.

Me: You can use my elliptical?

He: Maybe. I feel like I should do weights, too.

Me: Okay. I could use some toning/weights incorporated. Want me to find a program to do together?

He: That sounds great.

Que searching here, there, and everywhere. Talked to a few friends who are into fitness and finally bit the bullet and signed up for Beachbody with the intention of doing 80 Day Obsession.

We did day 4 today.

And oh my gosh. I don't have abs. Not any of them. I'm fairly certain, God skipped those muscles when He made me.

It's a fun (ish) program. For exercise. But also, abs. I don't have them. Now I have a sore belly. But I'm still pretty convinced they're not abs.

Regardless, it's fun to do with hubs. And it does seem to be helping hubs with the stress levels, so we'll keep calling it a win.


On Teenagers, Fools, and Money

Eldest can't keep a dollar in his pocket for thirty minutes to save his life.

His latest obsession is paintball. And yes, it's an expensive hobby but we figure if he's willing to work to earn money to spend on it, then that's fine.

Or it was.

Lately it feels like he hardly gets the dosh in his pocket before he's asking me to hit up the Zon for this, that or t'other. Or other sites that he says he's researched (and he may have, but not running in the paintball world, it's not exactly something I can verify all that well. And I don't feel like taking on the researching of same as my own hobby.)

I'm torn.

On the one hand, we're pretty hard line about no cash in mom's hand, no clicky the order button. On the other hand, good NIGHT, try saving for a rainy day.

We have the middle school Dave Ramsey curriculum and I need to do better about actually sitting and working through it with him lest he end up like so many I know who never seem to have two nickels to rub together.


The Bee's Knees

Today was a day.

It started off innocuously enough. I did my daily turn on the elliptical, showered, woke the teen, and then younger and I went out so he could ride bikes. Whilst out, the Sleepy Pup's friends came by on their walkies, so I grabbed his leash and brought him out for sniffs and but wiggles. Everyone had a ball. 

Lunch followed shortly thereafter.

And then a group message I'm part of with author friends devolved into drama. Because you can say it's internalized misogyny if you must, but women suck and seem to be incapable of being kind to one another when they disagree. And one of the ladies seems hell bent on being better/faster/stronger/smarter than me at all costs. And like, ok? I don't need to be queen bee. She's welcome to it. But opinions were solicited, I gave mine, she jumped all over me about why that was a stupid opinion. Not that she had something better or other to offer. Just that mine was dumb.


I put the group message on mute and we moved on to school. It went well enough. Eldest seems to have finally resigned himself to algebra. I'll take it, though it makes me sad, because algebra is my favorite ever. It's just so fun and beautiful. But resigned and not grumbling is good. Youngest actually read instead of guessing, so I'll call that a win as well.

And then, we went into the basement to watch the language arts lesson (we're doing an IEW writing course for eldest, but youngest enjoys watching the videos as well and I'm not going to say he can't watch extra school just because it's above his level. Plant those seeds!)

We get settled and the DVD is starting and...what is that buzzing sound? I look around, sans glasses, and see something near one of the lights and assume it's a fly that got in when the door was left open, as the boys do.

Except of course it wasn't a fly. It was a bee of some variety. Hornet? Yellow jacket? One of those. Not the kind of thing you swat at to rid the room of. So we vacate and eldest gets spray and he gets it and we try again, but then there's another. And another. And at one point I think there were five and it's like W.T.F. Where are they coming from??

So we scrap the English lesson and we're looking inside and we go outside and I see that they've found (made?) a hold in the caulk that closes out the conduit hole where the Internet and other lines come in the house and they're happily flying in and out of that.

Oh crap, says I.

We spray there. We spray in the basement. I furiously text husband that he's going to have to fix it when he gets home because I don't know what to do.

At this point, youngest is near apoplectic with terror and in his blessed ADHD manner so completely fixated on it that it is ALLLLLLL he talks about from three-ish until I just tucked him in bed. 

Did I mention I'm allergic to bee stings?

So yeah, I'm not super excited about this new development either and I'm relatively unable to help between trying to keep youngest from imploding and also an unwillingness to court anaphylaxis.

And all the while this is going on, my sister texts me that due to HER allergy and near anaphylaxis over the weekend, her chemo on Friday is cancelled and the doctor will talk to her tomorrow about what that means for her going forward, but it's likely that it's the end of viable options and just...yeah.

I suspect I'll be raiding the gin cabinet this evening.


Planning the Next Homeschool Year

The annual homeschool material catalog has arrived, which means it's time for paroxysms of crippling self doubt.

I never know if we're doing enough. (It rarely feels like we are - partially I know because it takes SO very little time to get through a day's worth of work. Often I can remind myself this is because I have a class size of 2 not 30. And it's often more a class size of 1, as they're far enough apart in age/grade that it's not like there's overlap.)

So I get sucked down the rabbit hole of what we could be doing. And should we be doing it? And and and and...

Cue crippling self doubt.

I usually can talk myself back into sanity fairly quickly, but if I disappear for a while, you'll know what happened.