Monday, May 21, 2007

This weekend was a wash. I didn't do a thing...well as much as you can not do a thing when you have a kid so you are always doing something. But, after Henry went to bed I relaxed...a lot! Every night, all weekend, it was just me, some fudge pops and Sex and the City. The post-finals recovery weekend, ah, it's the best!

I love summer in Lawrence. Sure, it's insanely hot and there are days that I don't want to even walk outside, but that doesn't even matter when you get in your car and see that there is no traffic. No students! Hurrah! Right now I am sitting at my desk, in my apartment that faces Mass St. and there is no cars driving by, no sirens, no people yelling. Today I drove from one side of town to the other in 5 minutes. Impossible by school year standards. It's fabulous.

So, I told myself that I wouldn't post any more on this blog until I could get my grumpy ass up out of this funk. I said "No one wants to read your complaints. No one wants to listen to you whine. Lighten it up or go home." So, I'm trying. The fact of the matter is that I am still feeling like a bit of a grump. I think the whole moving thing has got to me a bit. Especially since we haven't really seemed to want to spend much time with the whole packing thing. The last time we moved we were literally packing the boxes as we carried them out the door, we can't do that this time. So, we need to get in gear. I can't wait to be in our new house. I have so many ideas for decorating. I am dreaming about what I am going to do to that kitchen. I am thinking white subway tiles and white cabinets and concrete counter tops. Last weekend we bought our first fridge. I think that officially makes us grown-ups. I used to think having a kid made you a grown up but I have since learned that some of the least grown up people have kids.

Okay, now I am getting a back scratchy. Gotta run. Ah.....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today was totally hectic. This weekend has been insane. I have been puked on every day, sometimes twice, for three days. I have also been pooped on once and had a tiny person sneeze in my mouth more times than I can count. Ah, the glamorous life of a mom. Henry is sick. He may have a cold, he may have allergies, he may have a rash or he may just be getting hot, sticky and sweaty that is causing bumps. He is definitely teething, two more molars coming in on the bottoms. Plus he bonked his head again this morning. The bruise from the last bonk is still there, it's a double bonk.
It's a funny thing to have a kid. I remember sitting in the hospital room the day after Henry was born and feeling this uneasy feeling. It was the moment I realized that I would never again relax like I did before he was born. My Mom says that over time you worry less and less but right now that is hard for me to believe. I have a final I should be studying for but all I can do is worry about his rash, his cough, is he getting enough to eat?

I really feel like I should say, after my previous post, that my parents try so hard. In a way they try almost too hard. They love their children and they show us that every day. Today my Mom said to me "You are the light of my life". She's never said anything like that to me. It was nice. I guess all you can do in this journey is try to accept people for who they are, including your parents. We're all just doing the best we can do.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I've been struggling with some family stuff lately, which explains my previous blog. My parents are good people, they really are, but some of their conflict resolution tactics are downright dreadful. They are upset with my little sister right now for planning to move out of their house after she graduates and are applying their standard techniques to manipulate the decisions of their children. My father is doing his ignore technique. You know, like when you were mad in grade school so you stopped talking or even acknowledging whoever you were mad at. When I moved out of my parents house after high school my Dad not speak to me for an entire year...365 days. He didn't say "hi" or "bye" or "Merry Christmas"....nothing. My Mom's way of handling it is to basically instill fear into my little sister, making her doubt her abilities to do something so much that she will loose her confidence in it and give up. They did this to me for years and still do. For example, buying a house. My parents didn't think we should buy a house. The never came out and just told me that, but they never do that because being direct is rude... So, they do the ignore it technique...

Laura -"Hey, we met with our bank this morning and got preapproved for our loan."
Dad- "Ginny would you pass me that salad dressing. Man this is good lettuce."
Mom-"Oh yeah it's from the merc."

Laura- "Hey, we made an offer on a house last week."
Mom- "Is that right? Well, I was going to tell you that I looked though the classified ads and there is a nice house for rent over on Prairie Road."
Laura- "We don't want to rent a house Mom."
Mom- "Don, would you pass the salad dressing, man this lettuce is good. It's from the Merc."

Then when the ignore technique doesn't work they do the fear tacktic. ..
Mom- "I read in the paper today that foreclosures are at an all time high right now."

Dad- "When you girls were little I had to work 3 jobs just to pay the bills. I missed out on everything because of all the time I spent at work."

Fear isn't step, appear to be supportive while offering solutions they are more comfortable with...
Mom- "Laurie there is a house down the street that is for sale."
Laura- "Mom that house is way out of our price range."
Mom- "Oh really? It's small."
Laura- "I'm sure it's 4 bedrooms and your neighborhood is expensive. Besides, you know we like to be on the other side of town, close to downtown and KU and our jobs."

The next day-
Mom- "Wade did you see that place down the street."
Wade- "Yeah, it's too expensive."
Mom- "Oh, really? It's pretty small though."
Wade- "Yup, out of our price range."

The next day-
Dad- "Laurie did you see that house down the street?"
Mom- "Don, Wade says that house is out of their price range."
Dad- "Oh really? Huh. Seems small. Sure would nice to have Henry so close."

About two weeks after we made the offer on our house my Mom decided to let me show her the details of the house on-line. 2 weeks later we drove by. She was not that impressed and I was pretty sure she had already checked it out herself. That house fell through and the next one we made an offer on they liked even less- bad side of town, may have to get flood insurance, such a far drive to get to their house.... I am not sure if they think that we are going to not be able to pay the mortgage (the bank is generally pretty particular about who they give hundreds of thousands of dollars to but hey, what do they know?) or that something is going to break and they are going to have to bail us out, which has NEVER happened before and I will probably never know. Unless something does break and I have to ask them for help when I will certainly hear a very polite "I told you so".

So, the crap that they are pulling on Kelly right now is really upsetting for me because it is the same stuff that they did to me and it left me with some pretty serious emotional wounds that I am still trying to heal. Kelly is bright, beautiful, talented, kind, free spirited, open, loving, a great person and she deserves to have people in her life that have faith in her not manipulate her decisions so that they are the most like their decisions. My parents told me "If you major in textile design you will have no support from us whatsoever. We will take your car, not call you or talk to you, not help you with school, nothing." My Dad said "Get used to asking "Would you like fries with that?"" So, I floundered and tried to find a place for myself outside of what I really wanted. They are doing the same thing to Kelly. She is way more talented than I have ever been and it breaks my heart that they have this bright light here just needing a little guidance and support but they won't give it to her because it isn't the choices they would have made. It is so interesting, raise your children to think independently, appreciate art and music and strive for the best and then they turn into adults and you freak out, try to stifle them and fill their heads with doubt and insecurity. My Dad loves music but I married a musician, ehh gad, we'll be in the poor house for sure. Wade is such a committed father. He pays the bills AND he is there for Henry. He isn't missing it. My Dad is retired and he is still missing it.

I would love to know my parents and I would love for them to know me. I just don't know if they want that.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Am I in yet?

I think that something went wrong when I was a kid where I think that other people they just accept that they are in, they accept that this other person likes them and that they don’t have to keep proving themselves were as for me it is entirely temporal, like I’m constantly judging the whole thing moment by moment and it could always fall apart, for me it never ends.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

It's for the kid, I swear

It's silly, I know, but I have grown very fond of the Wonder Pets. I had a guinea pig when I was little, named Romeo, and that could be a factor, or it could be that they have little kids do the voices and it is insanely cute or that they sing everything which I do CONSTANTLY. I think that they try to make the songs sound like they were made up by kids because the rhyming isn't always the best, which is exactly how my songs go too. Plus it's like half cartoon half cut out pictures, I am a a big fan of that mismatched, collage looking style. Love them. Worth checking out even if you do not have a 17 month old to blame it on.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Please confirm

I love relaying conversations I have to other people. It drives my husband nuts, and understandably so, it’s pretty boring to hear “She said this so I said that and then she said this…can you believe it?” But I have four sisters, I was raised in a house where someone was always talking, resolutions were reached by conversation and a situation was not deemed “shocking” until it was relayed and responded to by another person. I require confirmation that if a comment someone made was nuts to me, it was also, in fact, nuts to someone else. And, one must also consider my current employment situation. The people I work seem so completely insane that anyone would feel the need to purge themselves at the end of the day. So, that is where a blog becomes useful. I am hoping that my instinctive urge to verbally relive my day can be redirected to an urge to write about it. I did this for years in my super secret diary, why not on a blog? And the beauty of it is that if someone else finds my stories as mind-blowingly boring as my hubby then they can go read someone else’s blog and I will never be the wiser.
Here are a few conversations I have had today that are worth revisiting.

I told my “friend” today that I had awful car sickness this morning. She asked, “Could you be pregnant?” Before I could answer she smiled and said “do you even do that? I mean you have a kid and all….ha ha ha”. –This is not funny. Frankly, her problem is that she is 35 and has not had children because she takes horrible care of herself AND she has totally unrealistic expectations which destroy every relationship that she has ever been in. She claims to desperately want to have a family but cannot find the time. Right….I bet 10 bucks I am getting more than she is.

I told that same friend that people were giving us strange looks at the park this weekend. She told me that she would stare at him too because he has a huge bruise on his forehead and people probably think we are beating him up. I said “Not if they have a toddler…and if they are at the park you would think that if they don’t currently have a toddler that they must have had one a few years ago or they are just weirdos at the park without and kids and in that case I really couldn’t give two shits about what they think about me.” Why am I still talking to this person you may ask…well you’ll really wonder that after this story…

Same friend oh about 2 years ago Laura -"I'm pregnant!" Friend-“Well Laura now you are going to have to be prepared for the possibility that one of Henry’s friends parents is going to see that Wade is black and they are not going to want their kid to play with Henry anymore.” I said nothing. She said “I’m serious, it will happen.” “Well,” I said “I suppose if Henry had a friend with parents like that I would prefer that Henry not play with that child anyway…gotta run…bye.”

We have had many comments about our multi-racial union since the moment Wade and I started dating. They seem to grow in frequency during major milestones in our life together.

Us- “We’re getting married….” Someone else-“Well what are you going to teach your children?”

Us- "We’re having a baby….” Someone else- “Oh, he will be so cute. What are you going to teach him?”

After a while…..
Us- “We’re having a baby…and we already know what we are going to teach him.” Someone else- “Oh good, I am glad you thought of that. So, what are you going to teach him?”

Us- “Here is a picture of our baby…” Someone else-“Oh he is so pale.” Someone else-“He doesn’t look a thing like Wade.” Someone else, trying to be more subtle-“Wow look at that blond hair. I thought blue eyes were recessive. Interesting (glace and friends)”. Me-“Wade is biracial you idiot and his Dad has bright blue eyes and all his brothers are sisters had blond hair.” You can kiss it!

Us-"Wade graduated from KU" Someone else-"Good, it is important for minorities to get higher education. Are you going move now because you really should think about where you are going to know what I mean?"

Us- “We’re buying a house…” Someone else- “Where are you buying it? Because you guys need to pick your neighborhood carefully…you know what I mean?”

Us (to each other)- “Let’s not tell people what we are doing anymore.” Us- “Cheers to that!”

More conversations to come…stay tuned.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Stepping on toes

This morning my friend M said to me “I love talking to you Laura. You are just open and honest and I feel like I can really be myself around you.” This made me so happy. If there is any one thing that I could want for people to feel around me it is that I accept them for who they are. I really feel like that is what people ultimately want, to just be loved and accepted with no strings attached. It has not always been easy for me to do this though because while I really want to be an accepting person I am also super opinionated, very political and stubborn, and I have zero patience for intolerant people. Last night I inadvertently stumbled upon a comment blog on for an article about Bush vetoing a bill defining crimes against gay people as hate crimes. Some of the comments on that blog actually made me sick to my stomach. Then I did something I never do, I got so upset that I actually posted a comment. After about an hour going back and forth with a person who may have actually been the most ignorant, indigent and hateful person I have ever been in contact with, my hands were shaking and my heart was racing…I had to walk away from the computer. So I have come to this conclusion, I am going to continue to try to be as tolerant of people as I can be, accepting their quirks and our indifferences, BUT I am not only not going to accept people with deliberate and hateful prejudices, I am also not going to even give them the time of day because it is certainly not getting my blood boiling over or wasting an hour of my precious family time debating with an asshole.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dear Sir/Madam

This is a letter I received at work today. It made me chuckle.

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am in possession of a cheque to pay you for something. Since I am informed that Her Royal Majesty's Royal Mail (who would otherwise deliver it next day) would have to pass the letter to the american mail service I am advised to use a courier company. The courier companies we use insist that we do not use PO Boxes on the address. A google search on your web-site shows it as unobtainable-so I could not get a telephone number in order to call you and clarify your address. When I contacted Bristish Telecom’s International Directory Enquiries they informed me that there was no listing for you. You are an exceedingly difficult organization to communicate with.
For this reason I am writing to you, entrusting my letter to the excellent next day services of Her Royal Majesty’s Royal Mail. Of course upon arrival in america, I expect that the letter will be passed on to the american mail services and I have no idea how long it will take to arrive at your secretive location.
When it does please could you write to me giving me your proper postal address, that is-one that gives an actual road and No. of your building and not a PO Box. I will then be able to send you the, quite considerable, cheque that I have for you.

Yours in great expectation,

Dr. M H
(Perhaps the choices your countrymen made in 1779 were overhasty(!))

Of course, I noticed that this guy has not capitalized America once and he is clearly not a big fan of the ole US of A, and that sort of sucks. I feel like telling him that we are not all so bad, but my guess is that he is old and crusty and not worth the effort. Also, he did not give me any contact information other than his mailing address, if he wanted for me to get in touch with him so badly why not give me an email address or phone number? Whatever, I'll write him back today and try to find some sneaky way to slip in that he is a jerk.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Take backs

My husband is sick and I am not being very sympathetic. I never am. When I am sick Wade buys me magazines, rents movies, brings me OJ and rubs my feet. So far tonight I have yelled at him, called him a jerk, told him back to work and stomped off.

I just called him to say that I am an ass hole.

He laughed.

He's a good guy...

but he really was being a jerk. ;)


May 1st is nearly over and I almost missed it. I love May Day. When I was a kid we would make baskets out of construction paper, fill them with flowers and candies and leave them on the front steps of our friends houses. I remember ringing the doorbell and then running as fast as I could to the car. It was so fun. I think I am going to do baskets next May Day.

$21.50 per class

KU is a freaking joke. Seriously, give me a time machine and let me do my college career over again, please! I guarantee that you would not find me on that campus. In my, ehh, 10 years as a student there (well, 7 if you count the years I took off, which I think we should for my own mental health) I had maybe 3 teachers that actually cared how I did in their class. I have been weeded out more times than I could count on two hands. I have gotten different advice from my advisors, sending me in different directions that I have had to spend a semester making up for. I have paid thousands of dollars to be bored, ignored, sent on wild goose chases, and jump through bureaucratic BS. JUST LET ME GRADUATE, THAT IS ALL I ASK! THEN WE WILL BE OUT OF EACH OTHER'S HAIR.

My freshman year I had an English teacher that did not like me, maybe it was because I could pass his exams and write his “challenge essay assignments” without attending class, whatever the reason he failed me. I tried to make an appointment to meet with him about my grade after I got my grade card but he wouldn’t answer his phone. I contacted the department and made an appointment to speak with one of the head office folks in the English department. I came in with my papers and exams and my calculation of my grade, an 89%. The woman told me that my teacher, his name was Vincent, had decided half way though the semester that too many people were skipping class and so he told the class that he was going to start taking off a half a letter grade for each absence. “You must have missed that day” she said. I saw Vincent on campus the following year and he ran from me...I am not kidding, he ran from me!

This semester I had a teacher berate me on an essay question on my first exam. She wrote things like “What are you talking about?” “You really should have taken genetics class before this class” (genetics is not a prerequisite for my class, by the way) and “I don’t even know what you are thinking”. But by far and away the most egregious department on the campus is the parking department. This year it cost 85 dollars a semester to park at the University of Kansas. Well, actually, it is $85.00 a semester just to be given the opportunity to look for a parking spot at the University of Kansas. $85.00 to practice your slow-driving-while-following-students-walking-through-the-parking-lot skills. Since I am only taking one class a semester I figured I would bypass the parking pass nightmare and use the meters. I figured it is $1.50 for an hour and a half, class is an hour and 15 minutes twice a week for 15 weeks that’s….$45.00, what a deal! Well, today, I got a ticket. My teacher lectured for an extra two minutes, according to the clock in her classroom. I scrambled down the hill as fast as my slippery flip-flops would carry me and I missed the parking lady by 4 cars. This is the second time this has happened to me this semester. That’s $40.00.

I should have gotten a parking sticker.