Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm dreaming of a New Mexico Christmas

Christmas in New Mexico is something I believe everyone should experience at least once. Some areas get snow and there's a chill in the air, but it's enjoyable and you can get through it pretty well. I'm sure people in Chicago might appreciate at New Mexico winter. Tonight, in Tularosa, is the annual luminaria display, which family tradition dictates as the night we all wear our coats and Santa hats and walk around the village to view the beautiful displays of luminarias on historical homes and the church. The luminaria glow looks like it could warm your bones just from the light of a single candle. Traditional foods will be cooked, turkey and ham, pies and cakes. But in New Mexico we'll also have menudo and tamales and maybe some green chile stew. Most years it is pretty sunny outside and you can let the children play with their new toys, or in some cases just the boxes. Sometimes it snows even in the southern part of the state, a couple of years have been a white Christmas. Because the sense of family spreads so far in New Mexico to include friends and neighbors, we'll be making a couple of local trips to visit with each. This is the only state I've every lived in where people wave at you when you pass down the street just because, even if they don't know you. The sun will set beyond majestic purple mountains with pink and orange glowing clouds reflecting the last rays of sunlight. The fireplace might be lit with bits of wrapping paper used as kindlin. The children will "ooh" and "ahh" all the different colors the paper makes. We'll tuck in sleepy, smiling children who, though tired, will insist they aren't really that sleepy. Then the adults will play cards, drink cider, and head to bed satified in belly and heart at the day's adventures. I think no matter where I've ever lived or ever may live, my parent's home and New Mexico will always be my home for Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do I write it, or don't I?

That's a question that's been plagueing me today. Actually for a few days. I am generally a very upbeat person. But I would never lie and say I have a perfectly sun-shiney life, no one does. I'm just not one to dwell on bad things, my glass is always half-full. My blog is read by few and yet it is, in my opinion, very exposing. That is my own creation and what I wanted a blog for - a place to tell what I couldn't say in person, to admit what I can't admit out-loud, and a forum for my own sometime silly views of the world.
After a few days thought, I believe I can write it: I am tired, depleted, drained and every other likewise word you can find in your everyday thesaurus. But I am also scared and it is the first time I've ever really admited it. I am tired because after another nearly full day of court to keep custody of our Lena, we have to try again to finish on the 31st. And no, this isn't what I'm scared of. We have an excellent case - child has lived with us for over three years, wants to stay with us, is doing better with us (gifted program, band, dance, and attends/participates in church) then she ever did with her mother. Her mother has only attempted and sucessfully completed three visits with her children this entire year. But I'm dreading more 200+ mile round trips to listen to a woman who clearly isn't willing to actually do anything to spend more time with her children except talk about it and shows us her insane side by telling the court that we threatened to kill her/bury her alive so she couldn't be with her children. (And yes, I did about laugh at that but sucessfully covered it with a cough) Our only worries are that our judge retires at the end of the year and our lawyer need to end her time with us because she's been elected district attorney, so we need to hurry to finish fast.
I'm scared because my father's MRI came back with a tumor on his spine. I had an uncle die from spinal cancer. Daddy and I have been having a hard time, very stressed out (obvious reason referenced above) and Daddy hadn't exactly been very honest with me over the last few months leading to my dad being upset with him, so tack more stress on me because here comes more time with the two of them together----the holidays. Also, Daddy hadn't been very understanding about certain cultural traditions (namely endearing terms) and was upset with my dad. He also wasn't listening to me or being his usual open-minded self, which to be honest, was pissing me off. He didn't understand how serious my dad's condition was when I explained it last month and didn't want to spend any more time at my parent's house than was absolutely necessary. When the MRI came back, I put my foot down and declared what days we were going to my parent's house and that there was no way around it. Which then led to the horrible aftermath of two parents not even wanting to be in the same car together, neither one wanting to budge. My husband-to-be has already lost both his parents, dad when he was ten, mom when he was 31, both his parents were in their 70s or 80s. I finally got the brick wall of stubborness in him to fall when I told him, "I'm not going to get 70 year old parents!" My parents are only in their 50s. Mom is told it's lupus, or not; rhumetoid arthritis, or not; neurological disorder, or not - no test is ever conclusive - one marker is possitive the other is negative, everything is a maybe but she's in more pain than she will ever let anyone know and every year she gets worse. And now dad. He's been in pain for so long with VA doctors telling him it's from injuries he sustained doing rescue mission in Special Forces. He's tried over and over to tell them it's something more and the pain is unbearable, but it has fallen on stubborn buracratic ears only seeing the dollar signs it's going to cost them to help another veteran's body and mind heal from what his country needed him to do. I'm scared that I won't have my parents much longer. It seems like we only just got past the point from when they only saw me as their child. I finally have an respectful adult relationship with my parents and can talk with them. But it's only been a few years. I think Daddy finally gets it, "I'm not going to get 70 year old parents." A camper has been rented, I told Daddy he could call it my Christmas gift, to spend a few days at my parent's home and give two of the most important men in my life their own "cave" to retreat into if they need it. But surprisingly, to both me and Daddy, my dad was in great spirits and Daddy enjoyed his company and my dad enjoyed him. If it is my last Christmas with my dad, I want it to be wonderful for him.
On a side note, our wedding may be pushed up depending on what my dad's doctors say the first week of January. We may be getting married next month!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I love the holidays. Sure there's the family and friends gathering, all the love in the air. But my favorite thing is the food. I am a food person, it's a miracle that I don't weigh 300lbs. Then again, it's probably the running after 4 kids that makes it so I don't gain 300 lbs. (On a side note, I've actually lost over 10 lbs, hooray!!!) Seriously, I AM a food person. I love to cook (someone else does the dishes), I love to taste, I love to tweak recipes. But the holidays bring so many of my favorite foods and the opportunity to try new recipes on my unsuspecting guinea pigs, I mean - coworkers and family. Today, however, I enjoyed two of my holiday favorites: ribbon candy and shortbread cookies! I picked up the perfect peppermint ribbon candy, thin, super minty, awesome. Then my boss left a tin of those Danish Butter cookies, yum! You may think they're a cheap last resort gift for the old curmudgeon down the street, but I LOVE these cookies. They melt in your mouth like a fresh snowball but without the annoying brain freeze. Milk, cocoa, eggnog, wine, everything goes great with these cookies (I'm not sure about beer since I don't drink it, someone will have to let me know). My next food quest: TAMALES!!! My mother called me the other day with the number to Mrs. Flores (name changed to protect my tamale supply, don't want y'all ordering them all up). I am, however, tempted to try my own hand at making tamales. I learned how to roll them last year for a fundraiser, but I believe, and afterall isn't Christmas about having faith, that with the help of friends on the internet, I can find a great recipe for tamales that my family will love. Of course, I'll still order some from Mrs. Flores just in case!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Accidents that only seem to happen to me

I am truely starting to believe in two things: my mother has mis-named me, and a lack of sleep will cause panic and/or laughter.
My first name, which I no longer go by except with old friends and family, means "grace." I am named after Nancy Sinatra because of her song, "These boots were made for walking" which is appropriate since that is exactly what I have done on numerous occasions most notably with The Ex. But "grace"? I believe I have stumbled on nothing, tripped over my own feet, and walked right into too many posts to be considered as having grace. Then again, it may be the fact that I continue with a smile, somewhat turn the other cheek, maintain a ladylike presence during adverse situations type of meaning of grace. I hope that's the case. Either way, I'm learning to laugh at myself, for instance.
After a long trip to my parents' hometown to visit an ailing grandmother who was thought to have broken her hip, my return was even longer. We woke at 4am on Monday and I did not drive up to my driveway until 5:15 am on Tuesday! Then slept for an hour and woke to get ready for work at 8am. By the time I picked up B-Boy from daycare and took him to Wal-Mart to pick up some groceries, I was a zombie. B-boy had to "potty" so I took him to the restrooms in the front of the store, which I have never done since we moved here. As most people know, one Wal-Mart is pretty much like another. The one back in my hometown and this one in Roswell are nearly exact opposites, where the groceries are in one (the left side) it's the opposite in the other (right side). But I guess I never realized just how far the opposites went. As I walked into the restroom, hurrying as B-boy has only recently potty-trained, I noticed a pair of rather large, dumpy and dirty looking tennis shoes at the bottom of one of the stalls. I figured they belonged to some young woman who was dressed in the "I really don't care what I look like so I wear men's clothing and combat sneakers" thing. I took Brandon into the next stall, carried on a toddler conversation, flushed and left the stall heading for the sinks to wash our hands. And then......I noticed the very unusual sinks and realized they were urinals and we were in the MENS ROOM!!! I rushed out of there in a hurry telling B-boy we'd just use mommy's germ-ex gel.
Moral: I will make myself get more sleep and if I can't be graceful on my feet, I'll be graceful of character.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008


I recently traveled to my parent's hometown of Victoria, Texas to visit my grandmother who had broken her hip. It was my desire to introduce her to three of the great-grandchildren she had yet to meet while she was still capable of visiting with them.
During my return to New Mexico, I was pulled over by one of Hudspeth County's finest sheriffs. And seriously, I am not being sarcastic here, I am truely grateful for this officer pulling me over. My infraction? "Failure to vacate lane or slow down." I was informed by the officer that there is a law in Texas (New Mexico and Oklahoma, that he knew) that says, "whenever there is an emergency vehicle pulled over on the side of the road, you must vacate the adjacent lane (ie. move to the farthest left lane) or if you cannot vacate the lane, you must slow the vehicle to no less than 20mph less than the posted speed limit." My mother and I were bewildered, neither of us had ever heard of this law, not surprising since we don't live in Texas, but even more surprised that there might be one on the books in NM that we didn't know about. There I was facing my first ticket for a law I didn't know about. I was informed that another Hudspeth sheriff had been hit by a vehicle failing to vacate and would no longer have the used of his legs! The officer asked me where I was going, where I was coming from and why had I been in Victoria, TX? When he returned from his vehicle, he announced that he was giving me a warning (my perfect **knock on wood** diving record in still standing) and that he had just lost his grandmother due to a broken hip.
So my mission: to inform as many people as possible of this law and what other states it involves. Not so that you can avoid a ticket, although that is a perk. But so that we can all better protect our officers and emergency personal who are already in enough danger as it is.
I found this link: which has a chart of all the states that currently have a "MOVE OVER" law on the books, some also include tow truck drivers. It also has links for each state so you can read the specifics of your state's law.
My co-workers (all state employees) had never heard of this law, so they are passing it on too.
Hopefully by being better informed drivers, we can all do our part to protect the lives of all our emergency personal including that sheriff in Hudspeth county, Texas. I'll be sending him a thank you note.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A guy once told me....

"Life will come full circle. We shall meet again." This is also written in my my high school yearbook from my junior year. The young man who wrote this was John Ripici (not sure of spelling) and I still find it very profound and rather Zen in its nature, which is not surprising as this young man was a Buddist.
While I have yet to re-meet John since he graduated, I have been blessed with the re-introduction of many people from my past.

Brandi - my best friend. While I have a few best friends, each is unique in their own way, our personal history, and their availability for coffee, chats, and crisis. History - Brandi has known me since I was 12 years old and in 7th grade. Brandi was older than me, had a twin brother who used to tease me, but pretty much stuck up for me at every turn. We used to ride the same school bus from our little hamlet of Boles Acres and our moms would take turns checking on us to make sure our skirts weren't too short or that we hadn't snuck make-up from the house to put on at school. We lost track of each other shortly after she graduated in 1991. Found - I enrolled Josie in HeadStart in 2006 and she made her first best friend "M". I wasn't able to attend the first few parent meetings but volunteered to be president after the original president failed to show up to meetings. It was then that I meet M's parents - my old friend Brandi. And it so happened that she lived at her parents' old house just down the street from where we were living! Visits at home flourished and the coffee rained down from the heavens in buckets! Seriously, I had to replace the first coffee maker. She has been here for me for everything from going to my Halloween party to hugs when I've gotten in a very heated discussion with Daddy. I am truely happy that life has brought her back to me.

My Ex - ooooh, this one is scary. My Ex was my first for alot of personal things (I'm sure you understand). History - I met My Ex at college when I was 24, we had both volunteered for hall council to represent our dorm wing and I later went on to become dorm president. As this was during the Clinton years, we were teased about him being my intern. We got engaged, lost our first baby, got pregnant with our second baby, married and then he joined the Army without even discussing it with me and he was gone during the rest of the pregnancy until BB was four months old. We moved to his first duty station and he became abusive so I left with BB, filed for divorce and didn't see him again until 2007 (though I wouldn't call this re-meeting). Found - My Ex actually remembered our daughter's birthday, without reminding from his mother, and e-mailed her through my account. I was impressed and decided to tell him so because I've been hoping he'd mature (i.e. get his head out of his ass) and start being the father he claimed to be, and yes, I was very nice about it. He replied about how he was sorry about what happened, glad that I was proud of him, and happy that he had finally gotten his head out of his ass and grown up, even if it did take eight years. I was flabbergasted! A short series of e-mails have followed and though I'd like to think that at least I can be friends with My Ex and perhaps forgive a little easier, I will tread cautiously upon this new terrain.

Mr. M - a new re-introduction to life and almost scarry with the timing of said event. History - Mr. M was a friend of mine in high school and someone I had a crush on for several years, though I never said anything. Mr. M sat in front of me in US History class, which was also homeroom, so we were stuck there for more than the usualy class hour. I used to give Mr. M back massages, this shy-girl's way of flirting, and together with other bored members of this class, would light gunpowder (from a classmate in the "building trades" class supply of nail gun caps) and drive our teacher crazy with antics like supergluing chalk to the chalkboard, flipping every other book on the shelf upside-down or backwards, or pouring "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" slime on his desk. *Yes, sweet little ol' me has done a few things I could lie and say I was not proud of, but let's be truthful, it was and still is pretty hillarious! And no, I will not be telling the kids* Once again, graduation separated me from this friend. Found - this one surprisingly found me. MySpace can work wonders in locating people you thought were gone forever, even when you aren't looking. I am enjoying this re-introduction.

Speaking of MySpace, I have a few honorable mentions. Mr. S - was my second boyfriend ever and took me to my first high school dance, Homecomming, our sophomore year. Lost track of him when he moved over the summer but he was found on MySpace just as crazy as ever. Rik - was the director of a play I had the lead in and we had a fast love-affair over the course of two weeks which we tried to make last over long-distance, marriage and children were even discussed. But alas, I began college and became very busy and was unable to devote as much time to letter writing as he deemed was necessary and the affair fizzled nearly as quickly as it began. We reconnected just as I was preparing to leave my husband with a letter he wrote to my mother's address asking about me, but he was lost again when he changed jobs. He is again found via MySpace and is happily married and continuing his theatre career.

I hope this trend of re-introduction continues as my always curious mind wonders what happened to those I knew. Did Matthew ever forgive me for breaking his heart? (And there are two broken-hearted Matthews, sorry) And for that matter did Mike (a couple of those too)? And what ever happened to my flamboyant friend Mikey? Nathan? Chad? And I still miss Cameron (way long story there!) and yes I still have that book you gave me. In fact, it still smelled like you for many years. (Yes, I smelled the book, okay!) I'm just a weirdo full of nostalgia.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'd been hoping this would work.

It feels like finding a long lost friend or breathing after holding your breath for a long time. I haven't had the internet at my new house since we moved to Roswell in June and I wasn't sure I could access my blog at my new office. BUT I CAN!!! My head has been a rumble of thoughts and ideas and stories waiting to burst forth but without an outlet and yet, here it is. Tomorrow will give me more time to update the online world with the Powell family happenings and my somewhat idealistic thoughts on such. But I feel like I have my voice again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

All for the love of writing

I was enjoying a little down-time at the office when I read this blog at Velveteen Mind. I truely enjoy her blog and decided this one required a little linky-love. Most of the blogs I find by going through Chelsea's "I'm Somebody's Mother?" blog and I just tap the links that BlogHer has on the page (after laughing my ass off at whatever Chelsea may have to offer). Just on the chance that she should ever read my little page here, Chelsea, you were my first blog, ever. I lost my blogger-cherry to you and I am now running rampant down the blogger streets. I have shamelessly entered a haiku contest, which gave me my first comment, and even been so brazen as to admit personal defeat to the public. I admit I have been a little lax in the writing arena, but I can only excuse by saying: Daddy's already in Roswell, I'm tending to four little ones by myself, planning my graduation AND wedding, dealing with repeated "welfare checks" by CYFD because of The Big B frantically trying any crazy tactic to "get her daughter (note just the one) back", and packing. I'll write more about The Big B's tactics later.
At any rate, Velveteen says it all in her blog about why I write. I hope you enjoy her as I do.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My kid may be what!?!

Yesterday was Josie's second autism evaluation appointment to see if she has made any progress with the things we have attempted to do. While she has fewer "bad" days, her bad days are worse and she's been asked to leave school for the rest of the day for biting. There have been quite a few days where Daddy and I are at our wit's end. We have tried music therapy, dance therapy, schedules, counseling, cooking, monitoring her sugar intake, watching for food triggers, being extra firm but allowing more time, and the list goes on. She even only wears certain colors like pinks and yellows because for some reason blues, browns, and black or sometimes even green lead to "bad" days. We have found that asking her "what colour is your sky?" gives us an indication of what kind of day we can attempt to encourage or avoid.


we've reached our limit. Nothing new, old, or in-between is working for her anymore. We have improved what seems as far as we could without medicinal intervention. Our counselors say so, the teacher believe it, and the specialist we drive 400+ miles each way to see agrees. Daddy couldn't go with us yesterday, so Josie and I were alone to hear the diagnosis and I had to make a decision.

Josie has autism - Asperger's syndrome and she is very intelligent, this is what we were working with. She has some sensory loss and needs occupational therapy for balance and fine motor skills especially on her left side. With the combination of her biological mother's mental health history and her maternal grandmother's plus the extreme peaks and valleys Josie is displaying - her doctor believes they may be precursors to her being bi-polar.
What!?! (Deep breath) Okay, we can handle this (repeat as a mantra). Then the doctor went over some medications for getting her to focus, getting around her rigidity, and the peaks and valleys. She asked me which barrier I felt she needed to most overcome with the use of medication. (Oh, dear God, I'm considering medicating my kid. But I can't help her alone anymore, she needs something) I believe she needs to focus if she is going to do as well in school as we know she is capable of doing. Crying, I agree to try the ADHD medication, explaining that I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't fix the world for her. Peter and I had agreed that medication would be our last resort, and here I was making this decision without him. But he did agree with my decision when I got home, it really is wonderful to have someone support your decisions about "their" child, makes me feel like I am the mom here.
So, we're going to try the medication over Spring Break, I'm taking the week off to see how she does and because it would cost more than I make to put the kids in camp for the week. A friend of ours suggested (and we had heard at the support group) that using the medication and fish oil seems to work wonders. I'll be researching more about this. In the meantime, I'm praying that this works because she really is a wonderful little girl and I want her to enjoy the world.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Water, water, everywhere

I, know, again with the blue posts, but this one is because of water. Let's clarify, Water Problems.
I took a lovely one credit class this weekend called Project Wild, if you get the chance, take it and have fun. On Saturday, I woke at my usual get-ready-for-work time and turned on the shower. My shower take a little while to get warm so I have it two minutes while I sipped on some coffee. Since that was enough time, I stripped off my PJs (which were actually the shirt I wore the day before and my undies) and swung a leg over the tub side and into.....
I screamed and hopped out of the bathroom naked to tell Daddy that I think the pilot light on the water heater was out. Then I thanked God that I had a shower the day before and my hair wasn't oily because the pilot light wasn't out, the water heater cracked and water was pouring out. Our landlady had it replaced in time for evening baths/showers.
Then on Sunday, Daddy took the girls to dance practice and when he started to get them out of the van, he noticed a steam kind of sound coming from the engine. Turns out our water pump had just gone out. Daddy limped the van home and took his car to pick up the girls and a new water pump. He spent the rest of the evening taking off the old water pump, then the next day scrapping off the gasket and putting on the new water pump. One gallon of antifreeze/water went in, everything was fine. The second gallon and it all started leaking out. So my dad said to bring the van to his house (5 minutes away) and they could work on it together. Never have I seen my dad take to anyone I've brought home as he has to Daddy. And to think, it only took 2 1/2 years to get here.
Daddy has a theory about fixing cars. It's not fixed unless you bleed. Well, Daddy got quite a few scratches and gashes from trying to fix the van. I told him, "Now it looks like your theory doesn't hold....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Double D's or Difficult Decisions

Let me begin by saying I'm not one for admiting defeat, ever. Just ask Daddy. He says I drive him nuts because I just won't give up on something and will wiggle things around so that I still come out on top.
But this week was different.
And I'm a little blue about it, hence the blue color to my blog.

It looks like this move to Roswell is going to happen. Which means in a couple of weeks, I'll be without Daddy for most of the week. Really, I was OK with that. I've made arrangements for friends to pick up kids on those days when I'm in Chemistry class/lab. I made arrangements for Miss Becky to pick me up and drive me to/from my procedure on April Fool's day.
But then.....
I got my grade back from my first Chemisty exam. Talked with the professor about needing to take the April 1st exam early and turning in the labs I missed. So still, I thought, no problem there.
But then.....
I was at work, caught up on everything I had to do there and finishing typing up my labs during lunch. I got a call from the kid's school,
"Miss B? This is the secretary at ? school. I have Josie in the office and she needs to go home. There was an incident (just that word alone fills me with dread) with the parent volunteer, Josie pulled her hair and bit her. She's spoken with Mrs. Principal, and because of our rules, she is being dismissed from school for the remainder of the day."
With the parent volunteer.... that is so much worse than if she bit a teacher because a teacher would keep things quiet, never mention it again. But a parent volunteer will be the one who points me out at the next PTA meeting as the mom whose child bites! Perhaps moving now is the best choice just to avoid the stares.
I picked up Josie and got the whole story, upset in the morning, something got to her about lunch and she dropped her tray, something got to her again on the playground and she was screaming (enter the parent volunteer to calm her down) and the biting ensued. Took her to my office and, since I knew Daddy couldn't get her and I still had class to get to, called my mom to beg her to take Josie. My dad could get her at 1:30 (an hour and a half) and take her to mom so that I could go to class. It was after my dad (with a smug attitude, he doesn't think I can handle all my kids since I'm not my mom) picked up Josie that I realized that I forgot to cancel the counseling appointment for Lena and BB.
Various thought that entered my brain at that moment: Josie is finally showing us what she thinks about moving, I am just not going to do very well this semester (after having looked at the Physics exam), how the heck am I going to be there for the kids if I can't get them because I'm in class, what about all my medical exams, I can't do this, like this, once Daddy leaves for Roswell, since we're moving to Roswell and I have to change schools, and I don't need this Chemistry or Physics class for the degree from that school, why the heck am I going to kill my GPA (and myself) by struggling through classes I don't need.
So, I decided to withdraw from Chemistry and Physics. Since I have to be full-time for my financial aid, I found three Microsoft classes (which I use everyday at work) to take for easy A's and they are all online, I'll be home for the kids. What a wonderful idea.
But.... I felt like I was giving up. Throwing in the towel, something I just don't do.
It put me in a horrible mood. I know it's the right decision, but I've never backed down from anything.
Luckily, I had my Project Wild class this weekend, a one weekend, one credit class where attendance and participation are the only things that affect your grades. I spent the weekend running around like a deer or rabbit, drawing a to-scale 55 foot whale, and hiding in the brush from a predator. I felt like a kid again, lost my worries for awhile, and though I'm sore today, I had fun.
I'm thinking that moving won't be so bad, change can be fun, I'm going treat it that way.
Tough decisions made, looking on the bright side... a possible 4.0 this semester.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ouch and oh my!

Several things occured this week that were unplanned for. Per the request of my doctor, who talked to my mother, who nagged me and got Daddy to nag me, and also some nagging from several of my friends... I finally made some doctor's appointments to get my tests done. First one up was the IVP, where it received an iodine solution intraveineously. 90 % of people who are allergic to the iodine solution react immediately. Apparently, I'm one of that weirdo 10% that doesn't react until later. I was changing back into my street clothes when I noticed that I was turning red and blotchy. Thinking it wasn't really anything to worry about, I put my clothes on and then asked the tech if that was normal. I guess it wasn't since she went to get the other tech and the doctor. I got hives, swollen hands, itchy lips and light headed. They gave me another IV and injected me with Benadryl and steroids to stop the allergic reaction. I was then put on a strecher, sent to recovery and then to OCU until I was finally released 6 hours after my appointment started. During that time, Daddy came to get me but had to go back to work when the doctor decided to keep me longer for observation. So he called my mom who came to see me, then went to get the kiddos from school, and then came back to pick me up. When they removed my second IV, I didn't exactly clot like I was supposed to and soaked the gauze, gotta remember to tell my doctor. Then mom took me home and drove Daddy to get our van. Since I had that allergic reaction, and the B-boy is over two, I decided we might as well complete weaning. I was in so much pain for the next two days! On night three, I secretly allowed B-boy a midnight snack so as to relieve both of us and because I hadn't really expected our last time to be the last time. I enjoyed the relief and stroked his hair and whispered how much I loved him and how I was going to miss his babyhood. So I got the last time I wanted, and our baby has officially graduated to little boy. He has been completely weaned for three days and I'm not in any pain. So I was able to start my new medication from the gastrointerologist last night (can't breastfeed on it) and this being day one, it seems to be working great. April Fool's day is my next procedure, not really looking forward to it. But each test brings us one more step closer to finding an answer to what's wrong with me. I've been waiting almost a year for an answer, perhaps I'll get one soon.
On another note, I got to order my graduation announcements last night. I'm really starting to look forward to "walking the line." Didn't think I'd be this excited about it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An Answer from God

About two years ago, as we were struggling from job losses, we prayed to God that something big would come our way to really help our family out. We both got different jobs, mine allowing me to continue my education and finally getting my degree, Daddy's giving him more banking skills and his own office. We are in debt, mostly due to the Big B's misdeeds (turning in Daddy for child support when the children live in our house 24/7) but it fortunately is a drop in the bucket compared to the debt others must wittle down. Let's just say it's under $6500 and that's with car payments. To me, we are doing fine~not in need of anything or in want of anything. And I'm talking about the serious need. We have plenty of food, home, gas, electric, water, toilet paper and coffee (yes, that's a necessity in my life). But we do not NEED anything.
Daddy, however, has a horrible compulsion to provide. I think it's a guy thing. I currently make more $$$ than Daddy and though he says it doesn't bother him, I can shake this feeling that it does.
Daddy went through a horrible blue mood two weekend ago. Even snapping at me and the kids, which is unusual for him. I finally got out of him that he was depressed that he wasn't giving us everything we need. I told him we were fine and happy. Not good enough and he was blaming himself. I couldn't seem to put it into prospective for him that under $6500 in debt was a good thing and other people have it much worse than we do. Still not good enough. After two days, I finally had enough and told him to call his mom and his sisters, who only reaffirmed what I told him and somehow that was enough to get him out of his mood.
So there we were, content with our lot in life for the moment and repeating that God only give you as much as you can handle. I think that weekend was cutting it close for Daddy.
Then out of the blue an old friend, who also happens to be Daddy's former boss, called four times in twenty minutes! Now, that's unusual for him to call that often, ever. We missed the call because we were out for a Lenten dinner at a Mexican seafood place (and yes, seafood enchiladas are good!). So before Daddy could set down the diaper bag, I dialed this friend's number and handed Daddy the phone.
For over 30 minutes they talked......this is what I gathered from the faces my husband was making:
W (our friend) is offering Daddy a job.
From the look on Daddy's face, it's more money.....
obscenely more money.....
doing the job he was doing two years ago.......
not as much work.......
At this point (honestly, though I don't tell Daddy), my heart sunk. Roswell is two hours away from where we live now. Away from friends, family, my job, my school, the kids friends, their school, their grandparents (one of whom relies on us for daycare income)..... Away.....
Though I was supposed to be studying for my Chemistry exam, my brain was no longer in it. How was I going to tell my parents, my co-workers in my already understaffed office, the kids? Oh God, what are the kids going to think?
The offer is on the table for a position in six months at almost double what Daddy was making before, $10,000 more than his current salary, but we'd have to move to Roswell. They'll pay moving expenses.
OK, six months is plenty of time to prepare my parents, the kids, finish the semester, attend my college graduation in May.
Turns out, the kids aren't too keen on the idea. The grandparents, while understanding this will help the family, aren't keen on the idea of only monthly (instead of daily) visits with the babies. Grandpa even lays on a little guilt-trip, jokingly (maybe) about, "Now you say six months, but just watch, you'll be gone in three weeks." This was said yesterday when I was picking up the kids.
Then, I went home..........
W calls Daddy. The jerk (aka: the guy Daddy was going to replace in six months after W learned what he could from him and then fire him because the big boss didn't like him) walked in yesterday morning and quit! So W needs Daddy ASAP! Timeframe: three weeks! Time for big decisions. Daddy and I agree that the children and I will stay where we are until the end of the school year/semester. Daddy will go to Roswell and come home for the weekends. My heart is breaking because I've never been without Daddy for so long or so often since that vacation I took when we were first together. My thoughts are overrun with ideas that tonight will be the last time we go to dance class together and I don't like dancing with anyone else. Who's going to take the B-boy from my arms at night to place him sleeping in his bed? How am I going to wake up every morning when I've gotten used to him waking me and no longer wake with the alarm clock? I cried in my shower this morning thinking about this. I'm worried I'm going to bomb my Chemistry test because I can't concentrate on it. I have 18 formulas to remember....sometimes I've got them, mostly I feel I don't. I need Daddy like I need air, I feel like I can't breathe. I'm supposed to be strong but I feel so small and fragile right now and I'm not used to it, I'm not like this. I know this is a good thing, that this will give Daddy time to find a place for us and see if this job fits before I leave mine and pack up and move. So why do I hurt so much? I know I can't make everyone happy, but I'm also sad that I'll be without Daddy. But I do thank God and everyone who's been praying for us that something great came our way. And I do look forward to the adventure.....not to mention, leaving the Big B behind and not having to worry about her around every turn. That's probably the best thing of all.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Baby no more...

February is turning out to be a very "mommy-moment" filled month for me. My baby, B-boy, turned two in December and I realized that it was time to start putting baby thing away. Weaning (yes, two years of breastfeeding is recommended by the WHO and BB kept getting sick everytime I tried to wean her till she was two, not taking chances with the only Powell boy) began in December. Luckily it has been going slowly because B-boy was the only one who didn't get this horrible flu and I think my supermom antibodies in the milk were the reason. But this month we've been taking the BIG steps. First, the toddler bed was ordered (Cars of course) and received. When Daddy brought in the bed set (bed, table, chairs, toy organizer, etc), B-boy started screaming with delight shouting "Vroom, vroom!" I tried, while still sick with the flu, to put together the toy organizer while Daddy made dinner. I managed to get it almost done, with some screws still sticking partway out, before having to rest. The next day, I found Daddy and B-boy in his room putting together the bed. Well, Daddy was putting it together while B-boy was handing Daddy every part he didn't need. When the bed was done B-boy proudly sat upon it eating the ice cream I had given him in a failed attempt to get him to leave Daddy alone. He didn't leave the bed all night. It wasn't until 5am that he woke and realized he was alone and there were no boobies close by. Our brave little boy made his was down the hall, through the kitchen, and down another hall to Mommy and Daddy's room, crying the entire time. This has turned into our routine minus the crying (mostly) for the last three weeks. My bed is my own now, but I do miss my warms baby boy curled in my arms. And then.....
Daddy and I had been debating about B-boy's curls. To me they were baby-curls, to Daddy "it" was a mullet. So after much thought, which was actually my mother telling me how little old ladies were telling her what a pretty little girl HE was and when are we getting her ears pierced, I decided to let go of this last bit of babyhood. He is afterall a boy, all boy, car playing, hair-pulling, cat throwing boy. (Later I will explain my theory about boys being an entirely different species from girls) So I told my mom I was ready for his hair to be cut. She said ok and left out the details. I didn't know what day it would happen, I just didn't want to be there because I knew I would cry. Strong women don't cry... yeah, right. They just don't cry in front of their children because mommies are supposed to be strong. The resulting little boy (no longer baby boy) was just so cute and so different. I'll swear that he even carries himself with more of a big-boy attitude. And with that attitude came the word ~ no! He has learned the word no and I am hearing it almost as often as I ask for a kiss. It seems like in a few days he'll be asking me to drop him off a block from school, he already thinks farts are funny.

Hail the Meatloaf!

As is typical for me, I could not help but accept the meatloaf conversation as a challenge. Not only did I sucessfully make a meatloaf, I slammed that sucker right out of the park! According to my future hubby (between mouthfuls of meatloaf), "This (snarful, gulp) is the best (chomp, chomp, chew) meatloaf I've (swallow, shove another bite) ever had!" So yes, I can and do make a pretty good meatloaf. How's that for American!

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Haiku Buckaroo entry

Four children play here~
Two mine, two not, together~
Love, thicker than blood.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Teased for the lack of Meatloaf

Our tale begins with a Schwan's catalog gently delivered into the hands of a certain co-worker eagar to place her first order. I love Schwan's for two reasons: I can do anything with their meatballs and I have a horrible knack of forgetting to thaw anything for dinner. With Schwan's I can continue my reign as SuperMom/Cook Extraordinair even with my powers of memory limited by that wonderful morning Kryptonite called "No Time." Upon its return, her order on the sticky note on the cover, and I notice that she is ordering the meatloaf. She loves meatloaf she says but doesn't have an oven in her condo to make it. I love meatloaf, too and the Schwan's ones are great because I've never made meatloaf. A stunned silence fills the air.
"What do you mean you've never made meatloaf it's delicious and so easy?"
"I've just never made a meatloaf, I probably could, I just never have."
"You, who bakes and cook everything have NEVER made meatloaf?"
"I know. I can make a Turkey Roullade but I've never made a meatloaf."
"Oh, that just....not American!"
Perhaps one day I'll make a meatloaf. Until then, I'll let the Schwan's man fulfill my meatloaf dreams and I'll go bake an AMERICAN apple pie!

Friday, January 25, 2008


My mother always says that first impressions are the most important. In my opinion, that's completely wrong. Then again, if it weren't for the first impressions of my best friend, Jen and myself when we met, we would have the funny story to tell. More on that later.

So, allow me to introduce myself and my rapidly changing life.

My name is Christine and I currently work for New Mexico State University, which, ironically, is the same University I left nine years ago to get married and have my first daughter, BB. I returned to school last Fall and received my AA in December. Now I'm continuing full-time to get my Bachelor's.
I'm a former military brat and was born at Loring AFB in Limestone, Maine. Having traveled the country and Panama in Central America, my dad got stationed at Holloman AFB in Alamogordo, NM. I've left town several times including for college and two internships at DisneyWorld, but have always return to what has become my hometown. I left my abusive ex in Louisiana eight years ago with my baby girl and came home. My former MIL still loves me and changed her locks and told me where to find the keys once the divorce was final. About three years ago, one of my friends became my coffee-buddy, then my boyfriend, fiance', father of my second child, and will soon be my husband. With him came two beautiful little girls, Lena and Josie. Lena is his ex-wife's daughter form a previous relationship, but he's been daddy since she was two and I've been mommy for three years now. Josie is his with his ex, BB is mine with my ex, and B-boy is our together. So I went from mom of one to mom of four pretty much instantly. We have custody of all the children and have had some seriously hard times with the girls mother, hereby known as THE BIG B! So here I am, mom of four, working full-time, going to school full-time, driving a mini-van (when the Heck did that happen) to practices, and occasionally taking care of my (this can't be possible) aging parents. I'm holding too many stories and vents in my personally space (brain) so it's time to start Blogging.