Life as a reformed Zookeeper. Now living a life as a working mother who dabbles in karate, scrapbooking, and Coors Light!

Monday, December 31, 2007

What a crazy week it was.... I went to Southern Indiana for the funeral. In knowing how delusional my bio-mother is, it's easy to forget just how sweet my stepfather and his family are. And the love they show to the obviously delusional bio-mother makes me love them. They love her and have patience for her like I can't. They're a very sweet family. And it didn't matter that I hadn't seen any of them for the past two years. Didn't matter that I hadn't said good-bye to step-grandpa. I will forever struggle with my feelings toward bio-mom and the heebie-jeebies I get from being around her. But my stepfather's family is a group of people that I am going to try harder to associate with. They care unconditionally. And my kids need to see that.

...And I got home on Friday evening to be greeted by Katie, Greg, and her five kids.... and two bottles of wine. I got home at five. The bottle was gone before seven thirty. I threw up and was passed out by eight thirty (Oh, and Judy? You left just in time, my dear girlie!). *blushes* Not so proud of that, and very sad that I missed so much visiting time, since everyone else went to bed around twelve thirty. I was so tired and drained, though, that they understood. I just hope that they either move back to the midwest or aren't afraid of coming back to visit. I promise to be better behaved, if you come back, guys! other news, I found a Wii. No lie, I found one! It was at a store called Pamida, in the town where Katie and I grew up. I was actually able to buy two! Collin is very happy. He's even happier that I get nauseated while playing it, so he doesn't have to share! *grins*

....tonight will find me at Matt and Renee's house. I will not be drinking red wine, but Coors Light. I will be a good girl.....yeah, right! Happy New Year to you and yours!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oy.... the holidays were fairly successful. The kids were happy with the haul they got. I vacilllate between wanting to cut back and feeling like my kids should have the world. I'm sure most parents feel this, too!

...the festivities of the holiday weekend started with spending Friday night and most of Saturday making presents for the second annual homemade gift exchange. I made calendars for the girls, and they seemed to like them. I got three beautiful gifts that are very expressive of their makers! My friend Judy blows her own glass beads (I'm still so very impressed by this!). And she made me a bracelet! It's black and white and is on heavy-duty stretch cord. You see, I tend to break things. Every homemade bracelet I've either received or bought has been broken within the first day. I swear! So I have always admired Judy's bracelets from afar. Another dear friend of mine brought me back a glass bead bracelet from a trip to Italy that was on this elastic cord. Judy saw it on my wrist more than once, so she made me this bracelet. I love it. I can wear it with everything, and even have it on my wrist as we speak. *grins* On to my friend Rebecca. In a fit of perfectionism, she decided to give up the unforgiving art of paper crafting (once you drop a black stamp pad on a creation you've worked hours on, you've not only ruined your vision for your artwork, you get a little downtrodden and pissed off!). For months, she kept secret her new art form. For months, she sold us all her stamping and paper crafting stuff in order to gather a bit of cash for her new art. And I'm not sure that I've exposed her fun, dirty secret or not, but she's become a stained glass artist. And I got the most beautiful stained glass piece from her. I need to adjust the cording so that it's not too long to hang in my kitchen window, so it currently has a spot of honor in my craft room window. I love it, and can't wait to see all the new things she does with her new craft. That brings me to Stephenie. Last, but certainly not least! She gave me one of her canvas collages. It's neat to receive her gifts, because they're certainly not something I can create. She manages to put stuff together that I'd NEVER put together and make it look cool. It's something I'm envious of. So her present has a place of honor in my craft window, too. I'm currently in a huge transition in my house (we're moving around the twins...separate rooms! sob, sniff), and everything's in disarray, so I'm currently not hanging anything on the walls. Anyway, love it, and it holds a place of honor.

...Christmas held a few new things this year. Or, recycled old things, I suppose. Christmas morning, I get a call from the birth mother that my stepfather's dad died. "It would really mean a lot to Stepfather if you stopped by...." So we went to her house. Yes...I went to her house. On the surface, I'm sure things are fine. But all the same things are still there, slapping me in the face. The basement, where the "kid tree" was (remember my brother, his wife, and their two kids actually live with her!), smelled so badly of cat and dog waste. Mind you, it wasn't as bad as the house that had withstood 20 years of this, but it was bad enough to sting my eyes and nose. This makes me sad and angry with my brother, as he's bringing his kids into this lifestyle. What got me about as much as the fact that she can have no emotion of her own was the fact that she actually asked me if I needed someplace to stay when I came back for the funeral. Um, hello? No, thanks...I'm good.

...Anyway, today I leave, by myself, to go to this funeral. I feel badly that I don't have more emotion to give to this. Sure, I'm emotional right now, but it largely has to do with other girlie issues and being in the beginning stages of getting sick. My emotions surrounding the funeral itself are conflicting. I'm a bit angry at my mom at this stage for asking me to sing. Pissed at myself for agreeing to it. Scared of seeing Stepfather's family, since I've not been in their lives for the past few years, yet I'm showing up for the funeral and singing nonetheless. Feeling a wee bit guilty that I didn't say good-bye. Among many, many other emotions..... Oh, well.... I don't know.

....The good news? I will come back tomorrow, where Katie and her family will be waiting. They're going to stay with us on their trip around the midwest for their Christmas. They started off in Southern Ohio, will bop by Indy on their way to Southern Indiana, then go back to Central Ohio before heading home (or at least I think that's the plan). I don't envy their trip over Hell's Creation, though! *waves at Katie*

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Christmas to All....

...and to all a good night!

...not that you expect more frequent updates from me, all three of you who still read here, but I'll be out of the office until Thursday, December 27. Nice to have five days off in a row!

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Favorite Picture of The Season So Far....

I haven't found a good way to take pictures of the Christmas tree to capture the beautiful glow of the lights without having fuzzy pictures. Am thinking that once I get a better camera, I might have better luck? If you have ideas on how to get the Christmas mood without the blur, let me know. I just loved that the kids were watching intently as Aaron put the garland on the tree.....
What you don't see is that my biological mother is seated to the left of Erin, and Aaron has brought out the tree to keep himself busy during our not-so-bad-but-still-never-gonna-be-right visit earlier this month.
So tomorrow I'll be meeting with my girlie-friends for some good food, visiting, and a lop-sided gift exchange. They are being very sweet about the fact that I've not been able to complete their presents. Of course, two of them have had their presents done well before the trees went up. The other one (who happens to share the same name as me) is taking part of the day off to finish her presents. Now I REALLY feel guilty! But, they will open something....just not their real gift. And I love them for their patience with me.
Aaron's nursing a rattle in his chest that makes him sound like a Dementor (waves to all the Harry Potter fans). He's been off work for a while, and it's driving him crazy. I can't blame him. It really does suck to nearly hack up a lung every time you stand up!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


....every year (the whole two years I've been here, at any rate), we get the best almond toffee ever. I can't keep out of it. I just wish I could afford getting it year-round.

....saw the Biggest Loser finale last night. I don't typically watch a lot of television that isn't Colts football, but I got sucked in last night. How awesome that these people can lose that much weight. I do worry, however, about the safety of losing that much weight so quickly? One of the guys that works for us has lost over 100 lbs. since his bariatric surgery. His wife has lost over 80 lbs....WITHOUT surgery. She said that since her husband couldn't eat that much, she wasn't inclined to fix as much, so her weight's come off, too. They both look FANTASTIC!

...Aaron's been sick lately. I actually have to strongarm him into staying home. It's crazy to try to do as much as possible to make it easier on him. He did fix dinner last night, but I wound up giving the Gruesome Twosome their bath before I took Collin to karate. That was one hellish hour. I got home just before six and left for karate just before seven. I ate, gave the twins a bath, and got Collin there on time...whew!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Think I'm Creating a Monster.....

Like Mother, Like Daughter, eh? So many times I catch them stealing sips of my diet Coke.
She's so terribly cute when she's not whining her fool head off.....
So I've been a crazy busy girl lately. Each year (well, this would be year two), three of my good girlfriends and I get together to swap homemade Christmas presents. And I've just now been able to start theirs.... I don't think I'm going to make it in time to swap presents on Friday. Am hoping that we'll either postpone until after the holiday (or at least until after Saturday), or they will accept a small handmade gift and a handmade I.O.U. for their real presents. Hate that I've been so busy. I just now got my Christmas cards finished....
So the holiday party went well on Saturday. It was definitely not as exciting as last year, but I think those who braved the elements to come went away semi-happy. At least they went away with a belly of good food. So I didn't have to live through Sunday in fear of my job this year. *whew*

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The next Karate Kid....

This is my sparring gear. Note the head gear. Did I tell you guys about the head gear debacle? It's an ADULT EXTRA LARGE. No beauty in that, my friends.... and I ordered pink on purpose. But, notice that it says "Macho Hot" on it. It's supposed to say "Macho Warrior". So... that only adds to the irony and embarrassment of the head gear. So, I took a sharpie and put the ?! on it. If I ever do competition team, I shall be getting new head gear!
But in the mean time, isn't he just the funniest? He put all this on himself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Three More Sleeps....

.... so recently we're counting in sleeps how long before things will happen. Last Friday, I spent a fitful night of sleep in Griffin's bed, because I promised (does anyone else do this with their kids?). In the week leading up to it, Griffin pouted every night that I wasn't going to be in his bed that night. So I tried to console him with counting down the sleeps until it would be Friday. It worked. So now we do it for everything. This weekend is my work holiday party. And the kids are going to spend the night with Aaron's parents and niece. So of course, now we're counting down the sleeps until we can spend the night at Grandma's. The kids LOVE spending the night at Grandma's, and even pretend that their animals/Spiderman/dolls are "going to spend the night at Grandma's." It's way cute.

...So, three more sleeps until my work holiday party. Which I planned. Am very nervous about things that I cannot control. Like the fact that I know I've told the caterer that there should be no pork in any preparation of the meal. Yeah, I did that last year, and there still managed to be bacon bits in the salad. That, and I'm relying on others to help with things like ordering tables and decorating and such. This makes me nervous. I am going up on Friday to help out with the decorations and such, but it still makes me nervous. We shall see.

Anyone else going to any work parties this year?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Am Pouty, Will Bitch

OK, so why is it that when I ask for important pieces of information, I do not get it. I can call, fax, and email, but no luck. But if some freaking MAN asks for the same shit, it's done by the end of the day? Or, I can say "this is this and that is that" until I'm blue in the face and no one will take me seriously. But so help me a MAN says it, they'll take it for the fucking gospel.

So help me.....

Busy, Busy

So much ado Chez Byers. And it goes in spurts, but the man of the hour is none other than our dear Collin. Last Saturday, we had the Black Belt Extravaganza--the official ceremony for his receipt of his Jr. Nidan (or second-degree black belt for those of you not in the karate world). It was fun for me now that I've been sucked into the world of martial arts. I sat in awe of the ability of some, and in amusement at the theatrics of others (you guys know what a mean woman I am...). Looking at the successes of others makes me want to step up my own training. Anyway, back to Collin. He did a pretty good job, remembering that he's only 11. He will be doing this all again when he's older, and I do feel that he'll remember it better when he's older, if he still chooses to persue the awesome craziness of martial arts.

He's also been quite busy with Boy Scouts. This weekend will find him in a plane, doing the requirements for his aviation badge.

I kept going on my own Christmas cards this weekend. I will post when I finish. They're going to be different, and I can't wait to get them finished up.

Hope you are all having a good Tuesday!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Few Things....

....walking up five flights of steps because the elevator's broken while a wee bit hung over is not my idea of a good time....just sayin'.

....I am so sorry.... go here to visit Pandora Radio....I lurve it. At first when Aaron told me to go to the website, I thought it was going to be something kinky. But it's not. It's a fabby radio station that will mix up your favorite artists.

....I think everyone in the Green Bay area must be hanging out all day here. I'm so sad that the Colts are so far behind. So go out and vote every day for the Colts.

.... And I shall leave you with a cute twins story. I typically take the twins to preschool each day. It's on my way to work, and I leave later than Aaron, so it just makes sense. So, if anyone's ever tried to get two kids rolling in the morning, it's no easy feat. I have a philosophy that it takes the average four year old no less than twenty minutes for each task at hand, more for eating. So, you're killing at the very least an hour of your day by getting the kids ready. A chore that can be likened to hearding cats. Anyway. It's been cold lately, so we've been donning all the winter finery....Hats, gloves, mittens, scarves. We get ourselves ready and head out the door. And while driving, to drown out the loverly sounds of the midgets, aka old married couple, fighting, I will listen to music and sing to the top of my lungs. So sometimes I miss the goings-on, so long as no one's beating the other. Well, we got out of the car that morning, and the twins proudly displayed their hands and said "Look, Mommy! We traded gloves!" And Erin and Griffin each had on one pink mitten and one red and blue striped Scooby Doo glove. I didn't even hear them do it. And the act itself wasn't as cute to me as their pride in what they'd done. They really thought they were clever.

Happy Thursday, all!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Loving It....

I love love love Pandora Radio. Go here to give it a whirl.

I'm currently loving Ozzy Osbourne.

Dreamer (ok, so they didn't copy and paste the way I'd like...but give it a read).

Gazing through the window at the world outsideWondering if mother earth will surviveHoping that mankind will stop abusing her, sometimeAfter all theres just the two of usAnd here we are still fighting for our livesWatching all of history repeat itself, time after timeIm just a dreamer, I dream my life awayIm just a dreamer, who dreams of better daysI watch the sun go down like everyone of usIm hoping that the dawn will bring a signA better place for those who will come after us this timeIm just a dreamer, I dream my life away, oh yeahIm just a dreamer, who dreams of better daysYour higher power may be God or jesus christIt doesnt really matter much to meWithout each others help there aint no hope for usIm living in a dream, a fantasyOh yeah, yeah, yeahIf only we could just find serenityIt would be nice if we could live as oneWhen will all this anger, hate and bigotry be gone? Im just a dreamer, I dream my life away, todayIm just a dreamer, who dreams of better days, okIm just a dreamer, whos searching for the way, todayIm just a dreamer, dreaming my life awayOh yeah, yeah, yeah

Happy Wednesday to you all. You will find me in some bar in Westfield after my karate class tonight! *grins*

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Weekend...

...So the weekend wasn't too shabby. Wasn't all that fantastic, either, but it could have been worse...

...We went out on Friday. Was a lot of fun. First off was Aaron's school's holiday party. I had to miss last year, so I was happy to be back with all the good food. *grins* It was nice to be able to catch up with people, too. After that, it was off to a bar to sit and laugh at Aaron with his co-workers.... You see, Aaron's a beer snob. No Coors Light for him. He had some chocolate beer that had one girl accusing him of being gay. Had the rest of us in stitches!

... Saturday was ok. It had all the potential to be horrible. You see....I met up with my biological mother in the evening. The whole lot of us, at any rate. And after all the junk that I said to her, I was gearing up for some drama. But, I should have known better. She's incapable of showing any real feelings. Which makes it tough to have any sort of real relationship with her. And anyone who's read this for any length knows that I'm more real than most people like. So this proves to be difficult for me. If she calls, I won't push ignore (though i was so very tempted!), but I know that it's only going to be shallow. She refrained from saying anything that would piss me off, though, which is a far cry better than some of my other family. And she was nice to my kids and didn't make any offers to stay at her house. Which, after over a year, I might visit if I'm invited, but it would definitely be on a trial basis only. Who knows? We shall see what the future holds.

... Sunday was just fine. I went with the fam to church (and if you've been around long enough, you know I'm not really feeling religion... and I'm still not.... ). Of course, the twins gave me additional reasons not to go to church, but I do it to play nice with Aaron. It's not that he doesn't know how I feel already. He does want to take the kids, but needs the extra hands. So after church, Aaron and I went to the gym together. Then it was lunch time. So I fixed some soup in time for us to watch kick off for the Colts/Jacksonville game. The Colts didn't disappoint. We pretty much were lazy slobs the rest of the day, and that felt pretty good.

...hope you all had a weekend where you got some relaxation in!