Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This Caged Bird

I really hate where I am living right now. It isn't just one thing, and I love the location... But...

Well, lets start from the beginning:
  1. When living in a small, tight-knit community, and you find yourself suddenly related (through marriage) to half of the town, it begins to feel a little claustrophobic. Everywhere I go, I have someone reporting to someone else. It is really getting old. I can't go to the pub after work, have an ale and walk home without hearing about it from my husband before I even get home. I also hate the loss of anonymity. I used to live in a city where I knew a handful of people and that was it. I could make a fool of myself at a bar across town, drive home and no one would know. Not that I want to be able to act foolish for a bunch of strangers, but being able to carry on my life without someone misinterpreting me or even outright lying about what I am up to.
  2. Too much family for such a small area.
  3. Meth. Meth. Damn meth is in our town and I am sick to death of seeing people dealing in the playground or highschool parking lot. Seeing the skeletal forms of what used to be a mother or father, now too self absorbed and tweaked out to care for their children.
  4. Family, leering over my shoulder, waiting for me to stumble so they can revel in my misfortune.
  5. The medical facility is sub-par and if you ever need immediate care, you better hope a medivac can make it in time. Women have died from breast cancer being overlooked or letters urging more testing be done, never sent.
  6. Crappy customer service almost everywhere you go. The mail delivery guy sits on packages over the weekend, even if it is medicine and is labeled that it should be refrigerated or delivered in a timely manner. If you tick him off by calling attention to his terrible work ethic, be prepared to either never receive items, receive them rifled through or broken. Mail from the post office takes weeks to send a letter, in town. Basically, it takes someone WEEKS to pick up the mail out of the "in" bag, turn around, find the appropriate box, and stick it in. Send your car to the shop to be fixed. They hold it for a few days, tell you its fixed, pay an exorbiant fee and then a few days later you find out, it wasn't really fixed... ARRRrg!
  7. Pedophiles seem to be welcomed here. Victims are painted as liers and slandered. Nevermind that they are young (10 years old most recently) and can provide detailed, horrific accounts that no child could ever fabricate. We have a pedophile working at the grocery store right now. He isn't suppose to be around young girls, but there are young girls working at the store and come in as customers. If I were the owner of the store he would never have gotten a job.
  8. conniving, backstabbing, gossipy, lying, jealous, and meddling family.
  9. Forget getting any kind of quality foods, and if the store does, don't expect them to be able to continue getting it. As soon as a product becomes popular, they no longer carry it. Rotten veggies abound!
  10. No nightlife, unless you are satisfied with just sitting in any one of the 4-5 bars, all of which are basically the same except that 2 are by membership only.
  11. It is a spiritual dead zone here. There are, I think 8 churches here. For such a small community, you would think it is either incredibly diverse and open minded, or confused. Actually, they all (okay, the Salvation Army is exempt here) are extremely judgmental of you as soon as you walk in the door. I can't tell you how many self righteous individuals, mince around acting like God's chosen and then you see them at the bar making out with someone other than their spouse. Infidelity, rampant adultery and illegitimate children are a plague here!

Okay, I am being totally negative, I know. I don't want much, just better quality of service. At the very least, a medical facility that I can feel confident will care for me or my children as if we were family. I want to be able to go to a grocery store and find everything on my list and in good condition (I am sick of slicing into an onion, only to find it is rotten in the middle!). I would like to find a church that I could feel welcome in and at peace. I know any where I go, there will be problems, but I want more offered to counterbalance the negatives. Small town, with big city problems and none of the benefits of a big town. It really sucks. Course, next week, the moon will be in a different position, my cycle will start over and all will be rosy right? I sure hope so.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Weighty Issue

Oh, the ever ongoing battle with... THE BULGE! I swear, I could eat onion sprouts and those cornstarch packing popcorn and run 50 miles a day, and when the sun set and I step on the scale, I would probably find I had gained 5 lbs.

Why? And don't give me that, "Your genes tell us you come from a long line of survivors and your body is made to withstand bouts of famine and extreme cold." Well, then why, oh genius of the body and it's wonderous secrets? When I attempt to go more than 20 minutes without ingesting some form of simple, processed and sugar coated food product, does my stomach think my throats been cut??

Okay, so, I am very sick of being a fat girl and not fitting into my clothes. So, I have decided it is time to take drastic measures. I do not over-indulge in sugary snacks, but I am fond of carbs. I walk every day for at least an hour, so I am not sedentary, but I do spend more time than I should, in front of this computer and Wednesday night I try to catch "Lost" or "Surface" (I also LUV "Grey's Anatomy" for that luscious "Dr. McDreamy"). I lost 20 lbs this summer and just hit a plateau. A very ugly and lumpy plateau and I would very much like to change the scenery. If not for myself, at least for my very loving husband. Everyone says, "Oh, you look good for having two kids only eleven months apart!" Wow. I can still feel the imprint of the back of their hand hitting me square across the jaw.

I have shared my woes with my boss and she suggested Weight Watcher. She, by the way, is a convert and looks fantastic. I think I am going to give it a shot. So, if I succeed, I will definately let you know. Then again, if I don't, I will probably come on here and bitch about it. I must say, drinking lots of water, eating more veggies and walking every day has helped my energy level, and I feel good. I just want my outsides to match how I feel on the inside. Lord help me! I am tired of looking in the mirror and seeing Jabba the Hut!

I will post a pic of me everytime I lose a noticeable amount of weight, so I can see the difference.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

They Grow Too Fast

My sons, 28mos and 17mos, are becoming such wonderful little boys. I know, you are probably thinking (gee, what a surprise, a mother who thinks her kids are amazing). Well, they are.

They are always doing something funny and it is so much fun watching them discover the world and come up with ideas on why things work the way they do. My oldest is so sharp. He has special names for my folks: Bramma (grandma) and Dampa (grandpa). My husband just told me the best story about our oldest: My husband had just wrapped my son in a towel and was getting him his toothbrush. Out of no where, my son starts to fuss and with a very worried expression, asks his daddy, "Peepee gone! Where did it go?" My husband realizes, with the chill of getting out of the tub, it had retreated. So, he explained that it was hiding from the cold and that it was okay. This seemed to relieve him. I almost died laughing when he told me this. Then, this morning, my husband is changing him and didn't have a shirt on. My son points at his daddy's armpits asking, "What's that?" Daddy says, "That's my armpits." My son says, "I don't like them. Them too stinky. I don't want them." Oh, he is too funny!

My youngest loves to boogie. He gets down, literally. He will be swaying and rocking back and forth and slowly get lower and lower until he is laying on the floor. He laughs hysterically at himself (like his mama). He has started this cute habit of following either his daddy or myself around saying, "Hi(mama or dada)" over and over in a high lilting voice. You can't NOT pick him up and love on him when he does that. Yep, they are my life. I love them soooooo much. I had no idea how fun, terrifying, wonderful, agonizing, and heartbreaking it would be to be a mommy. If you aren't one yet (due either to age or stage of life) but hope to be a parent someday, I wish you the best of luck and hope you find out how amazing and neat it is. Also, that you are never cursed with hateful in-laws!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Music With Meaning

The band Splashdown, has some of the most insightful lyrics for their music and the vocals are beautiful. This is one of my favorite songs along with the lyrics:

Copyright © Splashdown "I Understand".

I Understand
Please could you stop this feelingLyrics by Melissa KaplanCopyright ©

like you're misunderstood
I know that what you've done
you've done the best that you could

I Understand
I Understand
You're not alone
It's not what you've planned
I Understand
You're not alone

You've backed yourself into a corner of yourself
Another reason not to listen to everyone else

I Understand
I Understand
You're not alone
It's not what you've planned
I Understand
You're not alone

On either side you'll find a door to be opened
And one will have to close
There's no way out but through
I've been there before
Don't please everyone -- just you

I Understand
I Understand
You're not alone
It's not what you've planned
I Understand
You're not alone

1997 Adam Buhler / Kasson Crooker / Melissa Kaplan

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Some Days You're The Fly....

And some days, you're the windshield. I am the fly of the proverbial grill of life right now. I feel squished and burnt. Some would say that it can only get better from here on out and to just be patient. *sigh* I need a vacation.

I look at my kids and husband and think, if we were on a desert island that had all we needed (food, water and shelter) I think I would wish for such a life. When I get home from work and watch my husband wrestling with my kids and am surrounded by squeals and laughter it is the only time I really feel at peace and can forget about all the miserable people I have to deal with. It's not that I have alot of negative people in my life, on a daily basis. However, it takes just a small dose to bring you down for a very long time. It gets harder and harder to pick yourself back up the longer you go without some kind of vacation from it all. Here is the clincher: When you live on an island, it is essential that you make it "off the rock" regularly so that you don't eventually go crazy. It has been a long time since I have been on any real vacation (Hawaii five years ago?), and I am DESPERATE for a vacation. I am going to have to settle for taking the "fast ferry" to Juneau for a weekend trip. Just to get away and see a few friends and surround myself with sane people who know me and love me for who I am. No drama, just peace and quiet. I might even leave the kids with their daddy and let him experience single parenthood for 72 hours. I am sure the boys would love some uninterupted guy time without mommy around to put them down for naps, expect at least a bite of veggies at meal times and regular bedtimes. Daddies are just more fun I think. heh.

Well, I am holding on to the shreds of my heart and hoping I can make a break for it before I fall to pieces and say or do something I'll regret. I can do it. I know I can.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In-laws and Outlaws

Most have difficulties with them. It is a struggle as old as time. Everyone has them in their families... Except Eve (damn lucky girl!), but then, she was the original "law enforcement kid" so she didn't have it any easier. If you think about it, it is inevitable that there will be conflict. Most of the time, opposites attract (as in my case), and when you try to bring together a group of people whose ideals and concepts on living life are different, well, it can get interesting. I am from a law enforcement family and my husband's family is the Alaskan Frontier family, who made their own rules and enforced them as well. They are good people, but unused to anyone telling them what to do. So, here I come, and I have ideas on what should and shouldn't be, and may have some very good ideas, but nobody wants to hear that my way is the only way, no matter how nicely I put it. heh... Well, I at least know when I have overstepped my boundaries and try to make amends. This is where it can get sticky. See, I am pretty good, most of the time, about forgiving and forgetting. If someone crosses me, I may get mad as a hornet (if it is bad enough), but as long as the person bites the bullet and says, "I'm sorry." Heck! Water under the bridge! But not everyone is able to do that, not that it is a flaw on their part, but it makes it pretty darn difficult on anyone who makes a mistake and wants to make amends, and I hate that awkward feeling, when you know you have done someone wrong, and no amount of wallowing and apologizing will ever get you back in their good graces. So, that is me, I am the girl who speaks in a big loud voice and carries a small stick, that later I end up choking myself with for letting my words get ahead of my thoughts.

(cue cheesy, spaghetti western style music. ie: trumpets/guitars ala mariachi band)

So, I mozy into my in-laws world like a gunslinger who had her heart stolen by their fish wrangling son (commercial fisherman) and without so much as a "may I", I stake my claim. Okay, so maybe that is a bit overly dramatic, but you get the idea right? So, long story short, myself, the MIL and the SIL square off in the center of town and when the dust clears, we are all gut shot. Now, we are all struggling to recover and while there are still some hard feelings, I would like to think that eventually we would all sit down (Waldon Family style), have a beer together and say, "This town ain't big enough for all three of us... but it will have to be." and just get on with our lives.

Now, I joke and create cutesy anecdotes, but all kidding aside, it is hard to get women to play nice. If you have spent any time in a junior high or high school setting and just observed the cruelty with which women toy with and sometimes destroy each other's feelings, it is really frightening. So, no woman should really be surprised when she is rebuffed when trying to find her place in a new family. MILs are really maligned in jokes and passing. They are made to be the villains, but I can see the other side of the coin, especially now that I have two little boys. It will be so hard, when they are too old for kisses and cuddles, and then when the day arrives that another woman (gasp!) comes along and kisses and cuddles MY BABY... Well, I will bite my tongue and play nice as long as she makes him happy... But so help me... If she hurts my boy!... You know. lol

So, I have to admit, when I get together with gals who are in the same boat as me (young, married, raising rugrats and struggling to maintain our sanity) I have a story I like to tell. Now, I have to say, it is far better to leave the past in the past because it only serves to keep bad feelings alive when you rehash all the wrongs that have been committed against you. However, if you must, make certain you are truly over the situation and have found humor in it and deliver it with as much as possible. So, here it is....
When I was a new mommy (weary, bleary-eyed and very much thin-skinned), I was trying to be the absolute best. I wanted my son to be comfortable and happy at all times. Safe from anything sharp and dangerous. Unfortunately, his very hands were sharp and dangerous. If I didn't put "no-scratch mittens" on his paws, he would claw himself something awful, and he wore them until he was three months old I think. Well, my MIL and SIL were trying to joke with me about the mittens and I wasn't in any shape to laugh about my attempts at mommyhood. My SIL turns to me and says, "Well, don't come to me for help when he needs psychological help!" (or something to that effect). Well, at the time, I was very hurt and angry and felt like I was being attacked. I handled the whole situation wrong, but, you live and learn. Now, I am learning to read comments made in humor as such.... Sometimes it takes me a moment, but I am getting there.

I am learning how to forgive. My pastor tells me, "If it was as easy as pulling a "forgiveness" card out of our back pocket and handing to someone who hurts us, all the psychologists in the world would be out of a job." Along with all the lawyers and Jerry Springers too. That is why it is so hard. Also, he warned me to be careful when praying for more forgiveness, because you get what you ask for and that means LESSONS in forgiveness. God puts people in our lives that push us to change for the better. So, the next time someone hurts your feelings, you really ought to thank them for teaching you to forgive and then... Forgive em! Yah, I know, easier said than done, I am not there yet either (but I am working on it!).

So, I am the outlaw, as you may have guessed. I am slowly working on being more of a "lady". I am trying to consider my words before they leave my mouth and are no longer able to take back. It is a long hard road. My advice to anyone who is struggling to find their place in their spouse's family is to find a way to put yourself in your MIL's shoes: She doesn't see you as adding to her family, but subtracting from it. Maybe, she was even mistreated by HER in-laws and doesn't realize she has taken on the role of abuser now. Break the cycle of abuse yourself, and vow to never treat your children's spouses the way your in-laws treat you. Oh, and, turn the other cheek. I know, it is so very hard, but if you return harshness with love, maybe someday, they will realize you want peace and hopefully, they will too. Also, given time, seeing how much you love their child as long as you are respectful of your relationship, eventually they will come to accept you.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why Do I Let Them Affect Me So?

I concede. They win.... Maybe I just need some prozac and regular shots of whiskey to make it in this family. I just don't know anymore. I am going to take a nap now. I am too tired to figure it out.

Past Musings You Might Ponder

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