Monday, January 31, 2011

(43-188) A Good Book

I absolutely adore reading; but it's something that I don't get to do very often.  Typically I read a couple of books over the summer, while my kids are at swim team practice; and whenever we go to Mexico, I can usually find the time for a book or six; but during the year; not so much.  With that being said; where there's a will thre's a way; which is why I've been stealing a few minutes here and there to read  "Sleeping Arrangements" by Madeleine Wickham.

When I wrote "Authors," I mentioned that I was still waiting for the Sophie Kinsella "Shopaholic" series to be available at my library.  Every time I go there, I rush eagerly to the aisle where I might find the sequels; and I have yet to find book two available.  Being the Queen of FOLLOWING THE RULES, I have no interest in reading the books out of sequence; so I switch gears and look for something else.  Well, about a year ago, a librarian informed me that Sophie Kinsella also wrote books under the name Madeleine Wickham; and as luck would have it, on my last trip to the library, I was able to check out two of her books.

I had wanted to read "Eat,Pray,Love" for quite some time; and over the summer my friend Shannon had lent it to me.  I read a couple of chapters and thought it was OK; but I never finished it; not even close.  I hadn't read another book in the mean time; until I took out "Sleeping Arrangements."  Just two pages in, and I could tell that this was a book that I wasn't going to be to put down; and I was right.  I just love Sophie/Madeleine's voice; and even though reading her words makes me question what in the world I think I'm doing; I'm still compelled to read on.

Feeling awestruck, and inspired by my current read; I thought I'd look for some quotes on books and reading; and I found a few that I felt were worth sharing:

1. " A house without books is like a room without windows."
~Heinrich Mann

2.  "To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting."
~Edmund Burke

3.  "Never judge a book by its movie."
 ~J.W. Eagan

4.  "You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend."
 ~Paul Sweeney

And to quote John Burroughs "I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Sunday, January 30, 2011

(43-187) "Get A Job" By Nicky Ramos

My emotions were all over the place today; and why wouldn't they be?  The past two days had been both joyful AND stressful; and I was tired physically AND emotionally.  I ran a couple of errands and suffice it to say that nothing went smoothly.  Then to top it off, Kelsie was getting on my last nerve; and yes, I did just say that.

When I returned from my errands, I was frazzled. I'd had enough; but then Nicky told me that he'd used his cell phone to make some videos of his Lego's. I told him that I'd love to see them; but I had no idea what to expect.  When he showed me the videos, I laughed and laughed.  I couldn't believe how creative Nicky had been; and I was astonished by his work.  I mean, I know that Nicky is an extremely, intelligent guy and that he's not your average 11 1/2 year old boy; but theses videos really took me by surprise.  He'd shot 3 videos that were between 1 to 2 minutes long; but in order for him to text it to me; so I could then email it to my account and post it to my blog; he had to make a shorter one; and that's what I'm going to share with you now.

Without further ado; I present "Get A Job," by Nicky Ramos.

video
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Saturday, January 29, 2011

(43-186) Good Sports

I sat at dinner tonight and discussed possible blog topics with Luis, Jenny and (SMF) David; as I REALLY didn't want to write about what happened at the tournament today.  But I just re-read yesterday's post, "I Had A Feelin;"  and it seems to me, that I would be remiss if I didn't tell you what the outcome of the tournament was; so here we go...

I woke our household up at 650am because we needed to be on the soccer field by 815.  As Luis and I got everyone ready, we discussed the drama from the night before; and we knew that we were in for yet another unpredictable day.  Luis and the Torpedos played their first game at 9 and they lost 5 to 1; but everyone played really well.  Kelsie's goalie kicks were the best they'd been all season; and the team played as well as possible considering they were missing their highest scoring forward, who was at the doctor with  a fever and an earache.

We had a break for an hour, so Luis, Jenny, (SMF) David and I, took the kids to McDonald's, so we could have some coffee and the kids could play.  We discussed the previous night's events, and agreed that we all just wanted to enjoy the tournament today.

We were back on the field by 11:15 for Lyndzi's game.  After missing last weeks game, because she was sick; and missing a week and a half of practice, my girl played goalie for the first half; and made a brilliant save.  She played as well as ever, and her team won four to zero. 

As soon as Lyndzi's game was over, we went on to Nicky's.  Nicky's team played unbelievably well, and won the final game of their tournament seven to zero. Nicky's coach presented the medals and trophies to the team; and when he'd finished; he told Nicky that he had chosen him as one of five players to play in next weeks All-Star game.  We were / are SO delighted for Nicky!!!

With three games down and two to go; both Lyndzi and Kelsie had a game at 3:00.  Kelsie was doing a great job as goalie, until she announced to me that she HAD to go to the bathroom.  I told Luis; and he subbed her out so that she could use the restroom.  Ultimately, the Torpedos tied 1 to 1; and finished their tournament in third place.  I am so PROUD, of Luis and Kelsie.  Luis did such a great job for his first venture as a coach and Kelsie came SO far this season.  

Trying to watch two games concurrently was not easy; but we sat in between the two fields so that we could keep an eye on both.  Lyndzi's team won five to zero, so they too came in first place for the tournament.   Lyndzi's coach gave out their medals and said something about each of the players.  He spoke about what a great goalie Lyndzi had become and how he looked forward to teaching her how to dive for the ball next season.


We hugged our friends, packed up our gear and concluded another GREAT soccer season.  We learned a lot about soccer and about people; and we left feeling confident that our children had all improved their soccer skills this season; had a great time playing; and behaved as all around good sports.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Friday, January 28, 2011

(43-185) I Had A Feelin...

OY!  I would like nothing more than to let that one word suffice, to sum up my evening; and I know that you'd get the point.  However, I would be disappointing myself if I phoned it in like that; so I'll tell you more.

For the past few days I've been concerned about our end of season soccer tournament; for although it should be great fun for the kids; there's a lot going on with the soccer board; and complaints from parents; which are making this experience stressful and unpleasant.  Nonetheless, I tried to remain positive and look forward to this evening; but this morning I had a feelin that I just couldn't shake and I knew that something was going to go wrong.

I met Mari for a quick cup of coffee and as soon as she saw me, she asked me if I was OK.  I told her that I was absorbed in some soccer drama; and that I just wanted to shake it off and move past it.  We had a lovely visit, and I went on my way; but there was that feeling again.

Fast forward to this evening.  The Torpedos warmed up and checked in with the Field Marshall, but the other team only had three players there.  They had missed the deadline to check in and it was getting very close to game time; so I walked over to talk to the coach and he explained that he had a small team to begin with; and now he had three kids out sick, so he was going to have to forfeit.  I told him that we'd be happy to play him anyway, and that we could either play with the same amount of kids that he had OR we could give him some players.  He preferred the latter option; so we walked over to the Field Marshall and explained the situation; and then we went to tell Luis what was going on.  We asked our team for volunteers to go on the other teams side; and almost all of our players did; INCLUDING Kelsie.  I told Kelsie that she needed to stay with Luis; but we gave them 4 of our players and then I updated our parents on the situation.  The kids all seemed to have a great time; and that's what it's all about; so I know we did the right thing.

Feeling pretty good about the tournament thus far; we moved over to the field where Nicky was going to be playing.  Little United took an early lead of two to zero, and the other team put up a good fight; but by the second half of the game, I found myself in a fight as well; because a couple of people were standing behind us, bad mouthing our coaches and our team.  They were saying that because we were winning six to zero, we needed to stop scoring and give the other team a chance to score.  Really?  Because I thought that you were supposed to get what you worked for; and if they wanted to score, they needed to get the ball etc. etc. In my life, I have never seen such poor losers; or such bad sports; and those were the parents.  It made me nauseous.  They were saying that our coaches / team were very disrespectful for playing as we did; and I was just baffled.  WHY should our team have to be anything less than what they are - a great team!  Is that how the world works?  Someone is good at something but they shouldn't try as hard as they can; because someone who's not as good, can't do as much; and you don't want them to feel bad?  I thought that the idea of the soccer league was to have fun, and to improve your skills; and that's exactly what the kids on Nicky's team have done. Now if it wasn't bad enough that I got into an argument; Luis got involved, as did Jenny and my friend, Tina.  It was just ridiculous.  Arguing with these people was pointless, and disturbing and it kept me from watching and enjoying the game.

I wish that I had NOT had this feelin.  And truth be told, the drama that occurred was not the drama that I'd been expecting.  I thought if there was drama, it would be over something else; but I was wrong.  Luis and I are both very upset about what happened tonight and about the messages that these people are sending.  We're not really sure how we want to address this situation, or what we're going to do with the information that we now have.  All we wanted was for our kids to play soccer and have a good time; but some adults; (who should be ashamed of themselves,) are interfering with this. 

Tonight was very unfortunate and extremely unpleasant and I'm almost afraid to see what tomorrow will bring.  I know that (for me,) I've been somewhat vague; but trust me, the most important part of this story is that 1.  Children learn what they see; both negative and positive; and parents need to be very careful about the example that they're setting for their children.   2.  You get what you work for.  No one is going to hand something to you. and  3.  The harder you work; the more you should receive. 

Please send positive energy our way.
Till next time,
Queen of EVERYTHING

Thursday, January 27, 2011

(43-184) Half Way There

It's SNL Cheerleader time again my friends. "Milestone, milestone, who's got a milestone?"  "IT'S ME!  IT'S ME!!"   YUP!  Believe it or not, I am half way there. With the completion of last night's post "Whatcha Need,"  I have now begun the second half of my ascent towards post # 366; and I for one, just can't believe it.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I have NO idea how I'm doing this; but I'm very proud of my commitment and I'm extremely grateful to those of you who are supporting me.

Now, with that being said; let's get on with getting on.  When I first started writing "The Bumpy Ride," I said that I was going to write about a multitude of things - one of them being, reality TV.  It's been a few months since I've tackled this subject; and with the return of "American Idol," I think that now is an opportune time to share my opinion.

When I wrote "100 MORE Random Things About Me," I said "I don't think "American Idol" will be the same without Simon Cowell;" and although I wish he were there;  I have to admit that I've really enjoyed the 3 episodes of "Idol" that I've seen thus far.  I like the chemistry between Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.  And even though I find Steven to be excessively flirtatious; I also think that he's amusing and entertaining in a way that I wouldn't have expected.  I'm impressed with J-LO; (I'm sure she'll be just thrilled to hear that...)  She seems to be very caring, sincere and down to earth; and I think she'll make a great role model for the contestants.  Randy's just Randy; and it appears as though he meshes well with the newbies; so I'm totally looking forward to this season.

Although Luis and I don't frequently watch the same TV shows, we both wanted to watch "American Idol;" and last night, Luis made a very interesting observation.  We were discussing how many people they put through to Hollywood, that never would have made it in previous seasons; because Simon would have said the contestant(s) didn't have "IT;" or because they didn't have the right look.  But this season seems to be a lot more like the first season was; in as much as they're offering chances to people who are less "it" and more different.  People who can sing, but aren't necessarily commercial; and I think that there's a nice symmetry to that.  It's almost as if they're starting all over again and getting back to basics.

If you haven't watched "American Idol" yet this season, let me tell you that there are some really interesting, and  amazing contestants; and barring any interference from that heinous, votefortheworst.com;  I think that this season of "American Idol," may just be its best yet.  Lucky for me, I've got 182 more opportunities to tell you all about it.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

(43-183) Whatcha Need

The other day, my friend, Michelle M posted, "I finally know what I want;" as her Facebook status.  To which I was tempted to reply, "Is what you want, whatcha need?"  Which is a line from  Mama Odie's song, "Dig a little Deeper" from "The Princess and The Frog."   For the sake of this post, The relevant lyrics are: "You got to dig a little deeper
Find out who you are
You got to dig a little deeper
It really ain't that far

When you find out who you are
You'll find out what you need
Blue skies and sunshine guaranteed"

I'd venture to say that "Princess and The Frog" is one of my all time favorite Disney movies; and one of the biggest reasons why, is that; it makes a lot of sense.  It's not an old fashioned fairy tale.  One of the messages is as simple as what the song suggests; "what you WANT isn't necessarily what you NEED;" and you need to take the time to figure out who you are, and what it is that YOU in particular NEED, to find your happiness.  People may think that they WANT a lot of money; BUT, they don't necessarily NEED a lot of money to be happy.  As for me; I WANT to be a writer; and I do believe that this is also what I NEED to do. 

I suppose because I never posted that comment to Michelle, the idea of whatcha need, remained on my mind.  Coupled with the fact that my kids have been watching "Princess and The Frog" quite a bit lately, and I' can't get the catchy tune outta my head.  BUT, I also found another perfect example of this what you want vs whatcha need concept; when I was watching an episode of "Your OWN show" on OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network.)  Now if you haven't seen this show; basically, Oprah is having a reality competition show, that would provide the winner with, right; their own show on OWN.  Say that a couple a times fast.  Anyway, the contestants are divided into two teams, and each week one contestant is eliminated; and in the episode that I'm talking about, Arsenio Hall was the guest mentor
Aunt Flora
and this woman, who goes by the name of Aunt Flora, insisted that she be the person on her team to interview Arsenio; even though some of her other teammates would have been better suited for this task.  Now before I go on; I wouldn't be me if I didn't say; "doesn't Aunt Flora resemble Mama Odie?"   But I digress.  So here's the thing ~ Aunt Flora WANTED to interview Arsenio; but it's not what she NEEDED to do; because she stunk at it. Interviewing in a late night TV show format was not her forte AT ALL.  The woman claims to be a cook and seems to want to have a cooking show; but she saw Arsenio, and got really excited; I mean REALLY excited.  Basically she said "I want to be the one to interview Arsenio," and then she gave her team no choice in the matter.  So they let her have her way; and she had her way, all the way out the door, as she got eliminated from the show. See there Aunt flora; ya shoulda listened to Mama Odie. What you wanted was absolutely NOT whatcha needed; and now your opportunity is lost. I don't want the same to happen to you guys. SO, in the interest of (say it with me,) "The Greater Good," listen to me; listen to Mama Odie; and find out who you are and you'll find out what you need.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

(43-182) Diving In

When I wrote "Oscar On My Mind," I told you that I was on the fence about hosting another Oscar pool; BUT, in the long run, I had decided that I would go ahead and do it.  At first I'd planned to email the previous participants prior to The Golden Globes; but alas, that didn't happen.  I then changed my game plan, and was going to send an email after The Awkward Awards, (aka the Golden Globes;) and I went so far as to take my notebook to Kelsie's soccer practice, so that I could draft the letter.  I started writing the email, but got sidetracked and I was unable to finish.  Fast forward to today, and much to my dismay, the email had still not been sent.

Shame on me!  I'm falling short.  So much so, that I wouldn't have even known that the Oscar nominations were announced today, had my cousin, Jackie not mentioned it to me.  Right after I heard; I went directly to Oscar.com and sure enough, there were the nominations.  I wasn't happy to see that the Academy is persisting with an excessive ten nominations in the Best Picture category.  I think the only thing that wasn't nominated was "Sex & The City 2."  I've had mixed feelings about James Franco as an Oscar co-host; and the fact that he's garnered himself a Best Actor nomination to boot; just makes the situation even that much more curious to me.  It's not that I have anything against James Franco; but to me, there's something unsettling about him.  It seems that he is a multi-talented man, acting, writing, obtaining multiple graduate degrees from various Universities in a multitude of disciplines.  He's making Oscar nominated films AND, he's currently playing a serial killer on "General Hospital;" I don't get it.  And now to top it off he's co-hosting the Oscars??  I dunno, there's just something a little too peculiar about this to me; and I just can't put my finger on it; but you know me - I will.  As for Anne Hathaway; the other co-host; I enjoy her as an actress, I do; but again I'm not sure that she's Oscar co-host material.  Let's face it; just because she was in Hugh Jackman's opening number for a hot minute, two Academy Awards ago; doesn't mean that she's ready to co-host an entire show; especially with someone else who has no hosting experience. Hmmm, maybe this is my hesitation about The Oscars; ya think?

Without having seen any of the nominated films other than "Toy Story 3" thus far; I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Natalie Portman will win for Best Actress in "Black Swan."  Colin Firth will win for Best Actor in "The King's Speech," and Toy Story 3" will win for Best Animated Feature Film.  I may recant these predictions after I actually do some research; but hey, I have to start somewhere.  AND, if I really want to have an Oscar pool this year; then I need to get that email out to my swimmers once and for all.  I'm diving in.  Let me know if you care to join me.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Monday, January 24, 2011

(43-181) An Immediate Connection

When I wrote "What's Going On..." I told you that Lyndzi had been sick for a few days; and I really want to thank everyone that's expressed their care and concern.  I took Lyndzi to Urgent care on Sunday, because I didn't want to wait until Monday to get her treatment.  She was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and they're treating her for Bronchitis too; due to her Asthma.  She's been taking steroids, antibiotics and breathing treatments; and she is starting to feel better, but I was told to keep her home on Monday; at the least.

We're a very snuggly, cuddly, family; and that is especially true when someone isn't feeling well.  Lyndzi likes me to sit next to her and comfort her while she's having her breathing treatments; and I'm more than happy to do so; which is why I used a sick day today.  Since I work from home the majority of the week, it is often difficult to justify needing a sick day; but I knew that Lyndzi needed my undivided attention and I was not going to deny her.

I got Nicky and Kelsie off to school, and once Lyndzi awoke we began her breathing treatments and medication.  After 24 hours on the steroids, she seemed to be doing a little better, so I suggested the possibility of taking a  ride to meet our cousin Becky, (Jackie's daughter;) at The Cheesecake Factory (where she works) and Lyndzi very much wanted to go.  Now I know that a lot of parents wouldn't have done this; and that's ok; I felt I was justified.  First off, Lyndzi wasn't contagious, secondly, she LOVES school, so I had no reason to fear that she would seek additional days off, expecting lunch and outings; and lastly, Becky's Grandpa (my Uncle Harry) was having surgery today, and we expected to receive the results at the time that Lyndzi and I would have been with her; and I wanted to be able to lend our support if the outcome hadn't been good ~ so we went.

When I wrote "Just What I Needed..."  I told you about how I found my cousin Jackie on Facebook; and I shared that her daughter, Becky; lived right here in Arizona ~ but, our surprise visit to her today was also our first.  Lyndzi and I walked in to The Cheesecake Factory and asked the hostess for Becky.  Someone went to get her; and as she approached the hostess station, I recognized her from her Facebook pictures, but she clearly had no idea who I was.  The hostess told her that I was the one who had asked for her; and once she came over to me, I said "Hi, I'm Paige;" and she gave me a huge hug.  I then introduced Lyndzi and they hugged as well.  I told her that Lyndzi and I had taken a sick day, so we thought we would come see her; and she was very happy that we did.  She asked us to stay for lunch; and we gratefully accepted.  OK foodie friends; I know you want to know what we ate; and ya know I hate to disappoint; SO... Lyndzi ordered the kids pasta Alfredo, (which I tasted and it was DELICIOUS;) and I ordered the grilled eggplant sandwich, which I had considered on several previous visits to the Cheesecake Factory; but since I had never been there for lunch before; I thought this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it.  In addition to the grilled eggplant, the sandwich had roasted red peppers, grilled Bermuda onions and a garlic aioli.  I chose a salad, instead of fries; and it came with a fabulous vinaigrette; which I really enjoyed.  Becky was able to sit down with us a couple of times; and we discussed our upcoming trip to Disneyland next month; and how excited we all were to be going together. We discussed where we live in relation to each other; and I told Becky that our house was her house and that she was always welcome.  We talked about soccer and swimming, and Just Dance, for the Wii.  We discussed "Master Chef" and "Iron Chef," and taking a trip together to Sedona, when her mom comes out for a visit. And then, Becky said the magic words, that I'm sure Lyndzi was elated to hear; "Would you like some cheesecake?"  I said that Lyndzi could get a piece to take home and share with Nicky and Kelsie; and Becky said, "well, let's get a couple;" and she whisked Lyndzi away to the bakery.  When Lyndzi returned to the table, she was very excited to tell me that the baker asked if she was Becky's sister; and Becky said "no, she's my cousin."  THIS made Lyndzi's day; and we discussed it quite extensively, both at the table and after we left.    Lyndzi said "I'm not sure why that comment made me so happy;" and I suggested that there was something very special about having an immediate connection with a relative that you'd never met before.  I went on to say that Becky really was a stranger; but by virtue of being related to us; we immediately loved and accepted her; and we wanted her to do the same; and that's exactly what she did.

After saying goodbye to Becky, Lyndzi and I left, hand in hand and very happy.  Lyndzi said "I bet I know what your blog is going to be about tonight;" and I said "I think that's a great idea."  As poorly as Lyndzi had been feeling, I know that meeting Becky really lifted her spirits.  We are both so thankful to have our new cousins in our lives and we look forward to getting to know them better and better.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(43-180) The Toddler Laws Of Property

If you've ever read "The Bumpy Ride" before; I'm sure this title seems untimely.  If you're new to The Ride; I'll explain that it's been quite some time, since I've personally had a toddler.  My son, Nicky is now 11 1/2, my daughter, Lyndzi is nine and my youngest; Kelsie, is seven.  But when Kelsie was two, I bought her a t-shirt with "The Toddler Laws Of Property" on it, and I've kept it all this time; because I wanted to use what was written on it for a scrapbook page; ONE DAY.

Sure; I could have written down what was on the shirt, and then gotten rid of it; but this is me that we're talking about, and I don't always do things the easy way.  I'll be honest, I'm not even sure where the shirt was.  I thought I had it on the top shelf of Kelsie's closet; yes, yes, I'm going to stick with that.  It WAS on the top shelf of Kelsie's closet; so what it was doing downstairs, and wet at that; I have no idea; but that's where and how I found it this morning.

I re-read the shirt; and it gave me the same chuckle that it did, years ago when I first saw it.  If you've never seen this shirt, and you have a toddler, have had a toddler or ever met a toddler; I think it will give you a smile too:

The Toddler Laws Of Property
1.  If I like it, it's mine
2.  If it's in my hand, it's mine
3.  If I had it a little while ago, it's mine
4.  If it looks just like mine, it's mine
5.  If I think it's mine, it's mine!

I loved when my children were babies, so small and new; and as they grew into toddlers, I cherished those moments too.  Everything was a discovery, what foods tasted like or why different things worked the way they did; including themselves.  Each of my children were so different from each other; which is why I never would have bought this shirt for Nicky or Lyndzi; but for Kelsie, it was perfect. With each child I learned more about individuality, patience and flexibility. Oh I loved having young children; but, there is definitely something to be said for the blessing of communication.  As your children get older they are able to tell you when something is hurting them or they don't feel well.  You are able to talk with them about their happiness and their sorrow; and you are able to merge your relationship to where not only are you parenting them; but you're enjoying each others company.

I'm so glad that I came across Kelsie's shirt today.  It reminded me of how far we've come and how much fun and love we've shared getting there.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Saturday, January 22, 2011

(43-179) What's Going On...

Today's post, is a response to a writing prompt from Mari's "Memories And Thoughts" jar; which I told you all about in "There's Something About Mari."  The prompt I chose read "Describe what's going on around you right now, in detail."  

Now details aren't something that I usually have to be encouraged to share; for I am the Queen of DETAILS; in ways both good and bad.  I'm extremely detail oriented; Queen of THOROUGHNESS, as I told you in "Making Things Right," remember?  However, when it comes to telling a story; it may be said that sometimes I OVER share, or provide too much information.  If I do, I assure you that it's because I'm an overachiever, and a people pleaser; so I'm of the opinion that if you have to ask me for details, then I haven't done a satisfactory job of explaining - and I would hate for anyone to think that I'd left something important out or hadn't done a good job.  WHEW!  So, in DETAIL, here's what's going on...

I am feeling quite lazy today; and I'm attributing this to the fact that I haven't slept very well for the past two nights; because Lyndzi's been sick.  it started out as a sore throat, but she rapidly became congested and developed a nasty cough; so it's been difficult for her to sleep; and in turn, for me as well.  In addition to my lack of sleep, I have a sinus headache that I can't seem to get rid of; so I don't feel like doing much of anything; which is highly unusual for me.  Since I'm feeling so out of it; I thought I'd put my time on the couch to good use and write my blog; but given my present state of mind; I couldn't think of anything amusing, useful or moving to share; so I turned to my handy, dandy jar.  Thank you Mari!

As I sit and type; Luis is finishing up his paint job in the kitchen.  He's working on the wall that runs through our kitchen and family room, and this is the last wall, that he needs to complete.  After that it will just be the inside of two small windows that are about 16 feet high, some baseboards and a few touch ups and then he'll be done.  If you don't count a shelf and mirror that he's going to paint black for me.  I can't  say enough about how impressed I am with the job that Luis has done so far.  Talk about being detailed.  He's taped, he's cut in, he's painted, he's trimmed, and he's done it all SO WELL.  He's just a painting machine; and to answer your next question; yes, he loves it.  He's very pleased with what he's done so far, and he's enjoyed the project; according to him.  At the moment he's vacuuming the family room wall, to prepare to move into this room; which actually isn't good news for me; because it means that I'm going to have to get up from where I'm sitting.  I know, that's awful; I'm sorry.  It's not that I'm ungrateful; I'm just tired.

When I first picked this topic out of the jar, Lyndzi was sitting at the kitchen table, making clothes for her Barbies out of old soccer socks.  She made 4 dresses in total, a red, an orange one that even had a pumpkin broach, a white one and a royal blue.  Lyndzi's talent just blows me away.  Apparently not only can she draw, and sculpt; she can also use her artistic ability to design clothes as well.  Her talent seems to be limitless; God bless her.  As soon as Lyndzi completed her fashion line; she and Kelsie went into our playroom, so they could try out the new outfits on their dolls.  Lyndzi and Kelsie get along well, more often than not; and today was thankfully one of those days.  It was heartwarming to listen to them role play as their dolls; but that came to an end when  Lyndzi came to sit down with me, because she wasn't feeling well. 

While Luis is painting, Nicky is in the  guestroom / office / craft room playing Club Penguin and Kelsie is trying to collaborate with Lyndzi who is now back at our kitchen table, working on her latest design.  I am sitting, amidst a mountain of clean clothing that has been taken from the dryer and needs to be put away.  My house in in total disarray, due to the painting project and the displaced wall hangings; but for once, I'm just choosing to ignore it; and cater to my physical need to sit and move nothing but my fingers; as I type. 

It's now a few minutes; (oh, details;) seven minutes after five; and I just received two texts, which means that I need to start planning our evening and since I've really given you ALL of the details of what's going on; I guess I'll just say...
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING 

Friday, January 21, 2011

(43-178) Making Things Right...

I'm a fixer.  That's what I do.  It's my nature to try and help others.  I can't help but attempt to make things better or to provide assistance if it's within my capability.  I'm a people pleaser.  And although I want EVERYone to be happy; the people that I NEED to please the most are my family.  With that being said; it should come as no surprise to learn that I've already devised a plan to "fix," the fiasco that was my kid's first roller skating experience; which I wrote about in "Do Over."

Being a take the bull by the horns kinda girl; there was no way that I was going to allow my kids first foray into skating to be their last.  I told Michelle M that I had to get my kids back to the skating rink ASAP, in order to right the wrong that was their last experience and she offered to join me along with her son.  I checked the Great Skate website and was delighted to discover that they offer lessons; and for a price that was not to be believed; so I called to verify.  I was able to confirm that they give skating lessons on Saturday mornings, from 9-10 and the price is only $5.50 per person; which includes skate rental and admission to the public skating session that immediately follows, from 10-1230.  Holy cow!  Is that a SUPER deal or what?  According to Bob (the very nice man that I spoke to;) they don't take reservations for the lessons; they just recommend that you arrive at 845.  There are no more than 8 students per instructor; and they separate the classes by experience level; as well as adults and children; so a beginner adult would not be in the same class as a beginner child; since adults and children learn differently.  Additionally, because I am the Queen of THOROUGHNESS, I would like to add that they also offer a lesson package of 5 lessons for only $25.  That's a $2.50 savings if you're doing the math; but the point is; I think that's a FABULOUS find.  5 hour long lessons, skate rental and 2 1/2 hours of skating after each lesson, for only $25; now that's a SPECIAL!  For now I'm only going to have my kids take the one lesson and see how they like it; but, if they'd be interested in learning some more; I think that this opportunity would be difficult to pass up.

I am SO excited about this lesson.  I feel like it's my way of making things right; and I only hope that my kids will learn how much fun skating can really be.  We are planning on going on sat. Feb 5, in case any of you would like to join us.  My friend Jenny, who's bringing her 3 kids; joked that the moms could bring their scrapbooking stuff and I actually think that's an incredible idea.  They have plenty of tables and you could still watch your kids.  We could plan a scrap -n-skate; or skate -n-scrap or something like that; but not THIS time.  No, THIS time I just want to sit and watch my kids ENJOY skating, or at the very least; have a better time than they did on our last visit.  I just can't wait!!!!!
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Thursday, January 20, 2011

(43-177) Gotta Dance!

#30 of "100 MORE Random things About Me," was "I wish that I danced more - A LOT more;"  and I know that I've mentioned how much I LOVE to dance, in several other posts as well.  I was a "Dancing Queen" at Bar Mitvahs and sweet sixteens; and then when I was a senior in high school, I went to The Hippodrome, in London (during a criminal justice seminar that was offered through our local community college;) and one night was all it took; I was hooked, and I couldn't wait to turn 18 so that I could head right to New York City and go dancing.

When I was 16, the drinking age in New York was 18, but by the time I was 18, the drinking age was changed to 19; and then it went up to 21; so not all clubs were admitting 18 year olds who didn't have fake I.D.  Chippendale's; however, turned into a dance club once their famous show was over; and they thankfully let 18 year olds in; so that became my regular hang out.  I never saw the show (not there's anything wrong with it;) just trying to make the point that I merely went there to dance.  During college there were all kinds of dance clubs to go to; after all, it was the Hamptons.  We also had weekly dances on campus as well; so I could shake a tail feather on a very regular basis.  During the summers, I worked at a bar, and dancing was a big part of my job.  On weeknights each club would have an employee night, so we went out dancing just about every night of the week, and worked on the weekend.  After college, I moved back to Rockland County, and even though I had a job, I still managed to go out several nights a week to go dancing.  When I met Luis in Puerto Vallarta, there were tons of dance clubs to go to, and we did; and then even after we got married, we went dancing quite a lot at Pleasure Island in Orlando.  With all that having been said, I think it's safe to say that  dance has been a big, no, not huge; but an important part of my life.  dance was / is something that I really enjoyed/enjoy; which is why I find it disappointing that there aren't many places (at least in the Phoenix area; at least that I know of,) where people over 20 something can go to dance; because if there were such a place, I'd totally go.   So Phoenicians, if you know of such a place, email me and we can go check, check, check it out.

In the meantime; I think I'm gonna just keep getting my groove on like I did this morning, IN MY CAR.  I didn't care who was looking, laughing, or watching.  I got down, "Boogie Oggie Oggie'd,"  I put on my "Boogie Shoes," and I did the "Last Dance."   It was just all about me, for me and  I went to work in a GREAT mood.  What a way to start the day!  You know I love me some Classic Disco.  THIS I have mentioned many times before as well; and today I found a station (it's not new; just new to me;) and it was a blast from the past all the way to work.  Thank you Mega 104.3  I had Boogie on my brain, for the rest of the day, thanks to my disco drive.

I definitely sense some dancing in my near future.  Between the disco lights and music at Great Skate taking me back to the day, and this morning's old school tunes on the radio; my toes have been tapping, "I've got the music in me" and I just gotta dance!   Let me know if you want to join me.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

(43-176) I Choose Happiness

I know myelf extremely  well.  I recognize my strengths; and I'm uniquely, well aware of my weaknesses; which is why I can admit, that I am The Queen of GRIPES.  It's not that I like to complain; it's just that, although I'm a patient person; I am also very easily annoyed.   To give you some insight into my frequent griping; I'll share this tidbit.  I think that I am prone to gripe because in any instance that I feel as if myself or my loved ones are being cheated out of something; my defenses flare up.  I believe this stems from feeling cheated out of having my parents; and all that would entail.  I know, HEAVY for a Wednesday night blog; but you know me, I'm the Queen of FAIRNESS, even at my own expense;  and I'm just trying to give you an honest assessment.

Now, with this being said; I can tell you that I DON'T enjoy griping. I wish that I never griped.  I would love for things to be able to flow off my back, and I wish that things didn't bother me as easily or as often as they do; but old habits die hard and history and baggage can be very difficult to overcome.  Nonetheless; I realized today, that this is exactly what I need to do. 

Earlier today I had a lengthy conversation with (SMF) Big Mike; the director of our soccer board.  Part of our conversation was about our upcoming tournament, and he shared some information that disturbed me; because I found the decision to be very unfair to the children. Rather than be so vague, let me take a minute to explain.  Every year we have a two day tournament at the end of the soccer season; and we always have it at a location, other than where we play regularly.  Additionally, the tournament starts on Friday evening, so that the kids get the opportunity to play at night, under lights; and everyone seems to find this pretty exciting; kids and parents alike.  Well today Mike told me that the teams that are in first place for U-8 (Kelsie's division and team as luck would have it,) and U-10 (Lyndzi's division and team, as luck would have it;) are NOT going to play on Friday night; and instead, they will play a double header on SaturDAY.  I objected; and explained that I thought that it was unfair that the teams who had done the best all season, were going to be deprived of an experience that we were supposed to be giving to everyone.  Mike fully agreed, but said that others were doing the planning and it just seemed like this was the way it was going to have to be.

OK, now let me stop you; and say I KNOW, this is NOT a big deal, in the big scheme of things.  I KNOW that there are A LOT worse things going on in the world right now; and I'm not saying that this occurrence even merits being discussed; BUT it is a turning point for me; which is why I'm exposing myself and my thoughts in this way.  I was contemplating the situation later in the day, and I decided that I would blog about it. I also knew that I had to STOP!  Instead of being annoyed that my girls were being short changed; I needed to be grateful that I had healthy girls who COULD play soccer.   I needed to be thankful that I could still afford for my kids to play soccer; and I needed to realize that no one will be any worse the wear, even if they are disappointed.  I decided that I wanted to and HAD to choose happiness; and in doing so, I had to let go of these petty annoyances; and just go with the flow.  Whatever it is; it is.  Now, this is not to say that I am always going to accept whatever hand I'm dealt; because I do think that I have the ability to effect change; BUT, it means that if I haven't succeeded in my quest; I have to accept it, and choose to be happy despite it; rather than tell everyone I know about my latest pitfall.

So there you have it.  My lesson of the day; I CHOOSE HAPPINESS!
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING                                                         
                                                                                                           

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

(43-175) With Sympathy...

Everyone has their own personal way of dealing with their grief, loss, depression, stress; etc. We all have our own means of coping. For some, it is best to be surrounded by loved ones, while for others isolation is more soothing. Because people vary so much, it can be difficult to know how to be there for a friend when they're hurting; but I hoped that I knew what my dear friend, Rachel K needed.

A few months ago, Rachel had suffered the loss of her beloved friend; Barry; and then on December 26, she had to say goodbye to her four legged son, Bart. I may not get this exactly right; but I believe that Bart was a 16 1/2 year old, wire haired, Dachshund; and I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who was more devoted to their dog; than Rachel. Rachel adored Bart; and she treated him with the utmost love and respect. During the last month of his life, Rachel cooked special meals for Bart and tried to do everything and anything to restore his health. She even took him to a holistic vet in addition to seeing her traditional vet.

When Rachel called to tell me that they had to put Bart to rest; she was sobbing uncontrollably, and I felt helpless. There are NEVER any words that anyone can say to someone who has experienced such a loss; and so all I could say was "I'm so sorry;" and I was / am. I'm so sorry that she has to hurt; I'm so sorry that she has to be without her friends. I'm so sorry that she won't get to hold them or be comforted by them again, and I'm so sorry that this is unfortunately the way that life is.

I hadn't heard from Rachel since she called to tell me about losing Bart; but because I know that she needs to keep to herself when she's upset; I tried not to crowd her. I left her a message on a weekly basis; just so she would know that I was thinking of her; and I sent her a text as well. I wanted her to know that when she was ready, I'd be here for her; and in the meantime, I'd wait and send my love.

Rachel was very much on my mind today; and perhaps that's why she called me. Rachel told me that she was working on healing, slowly; and we discussed how unfair death was. I told Rachel that I felt terrible for not being able to do more for her; but I knew from personal experience that there was absolutely nothing that I could say. I apologized for not being able to do anything to provide her with some relief, and again told her how sorry I was for her loss. We chatted a bit longer, and discussed how awful death is. I said that hopefully, as time goes on; she'll be able to remember the wonderful times that she'd had with Barry and Bart and those feelings of gratitude  would replace the agonizing pain that she was experiencing now.  I know that right now, that seems impossible; but I speak from experience when I say it can be done. It will always hurt to miss our loved ones; but I do believe that Tennyson is right, "Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."

Rachel is a woman who treasures her family of friends, and all that are fortunate enough to call her friend; are truly blessed. I am so sorry for Rachel's recent losses; and for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. All I can offer is my love , my words and my sympathy; and hope that in some way, there is comfort in that.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Monday, January 17, 2011

(43-174) FORGIVENESS

I've said it more times than I can count; "I am blessed, I am blessed, I AM BLESSED;"  and so I am; in so many ways.  But tonight; the blessing that I'm referring to, is that of my children and my friends.  The response to "Do Over..." has been heart warming, as both my kids and my friends seem to believe that my analysis of my behavior was far too harsh.  Once again, I have to dispute their claims and tell you that my behavior was far from what I would expect of myself, and though every one's faith in me won't permit them to believe my assessment; it's true.

With that being said, I can tell you that I'm trying to put the incident behind me and forgive myself.  I KNOW that no one is perfect.  I KNOW that wallowing in my shame is not helpful or healthy; and I KNOW that I will do better next time; and there WILL be a next time, because I am nothing if not a fighter.  A fighter in the sense that I will not give up.  I will not be dissuaded, because for me; failure is not an option.

In the process of trying to work through my feelings about "the drama," as my kids refer to it; I looked up quotes about forgiveness; and I'd like to share some that I liked best, with you.

On Betterworld.net, I found "Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were." -- Cherie Carter-Scott

"The only way children can learn the habit of forgiveness is by seeing us, their parents, forgive others and forgive ourselves." -- Naomi Drew

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."  -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

"Forgiveness does not overlook the deed. It rises above it." 
 -- Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Such profound words.  They have helped me to realize that if I can forgive others (which I am apt to do;) then I myself am deserving of my own forgiveness.  I see that no one benefits from my extended lament and criticism of myself.  Instead I have to approach each day ready to do better than the last.  I need to remember what happened but not dwell on it and love myself regardless; because as RuPaul says, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"

I AM forgiven.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING                     
                                                                                    

Sunday, January 16, 2011

(43-173) Luis' Dream

I set my alarm for 830 this morning, because I was going to go over to Mari's to scrapbook for a little while.  Luis wanted to get up at 830 as well, because he had a full day of painting ahead of him.  YES, he's STILL painting; and probably will be for another week or so.  Anyway, I told Luis that it was time to get up; but as is usual; he didn't wake up the first time I told him.  I had gotten out of bed, and again told him that it was time to get up; but he asked me to come back to the bed; because he had to tell me something.

(For the purpose of this story, you need to know that Christina is our hairdresser and she just recently closed the shop that she had with her mom who is also a hairdresser.)

I climbed back into bed, and Luis said "I just had the most real dream."  He went on to tell me that we were in Sedona, walking down the street and we saw Christina's mom, and she had opened a Barber shop with her husband.  We went in to say hello, and I asked Luis if he wanted to get a haircut; and he did.  Luis said that Christina's dad cut his hair, and he'd done done a good job. Luis asked me if I wanted to get a haircut; and I said yes.  I got my haircut, and we left the shop; and as we were walking down the street, Luis said "I'm so sorry Pooh, (because that's what he calls me) but your haircut is terrible."  I said "what do you mean?"  And Luis went on to say "You didn't tell the guy what to do to your hair, and so he gave you a haircut like mine."  I said "what do you mean?  Don't I have my wedge in the back?"  And he said "No,  it's flat and short in the back; just like mine."  I said "what about my curls?"  And Luis shook his head no.  I asked how this could be possible; and said that I needed to go to the restroom so that I could look in the mirror (because apparently there wasn't one in the barber shop;) but Luis begged me not to.  I insisted, and when I came back from the restroom, I was almost in tears.  Luis tried to reassure me, by telling me that my hair grows quickly, and in a couple of weeks it should look much better.  He said that we walked by an OPC (time share wrangler; in case you're unfamiliar with the acronym) and when he tried to start his spiel; I told him, "Please, I don't want any tickets, I don't want anything for free, I don't want to talk;" and we walked away.  Luis said that it was at this point that he heard me calling his name; and he woke up, so incredibly relieved to see that I still had my hair and that it had all been a dream.

I have to tell you; Luis is not typically a good storyteller, and he knows this; but the way that he described this dream; I was laughing hysterically.  His facial expressions were priceless; and his description of his dream was delightful; even though it wasn't a good dream by any means.  Luis was so happy to wake up to me and my hair as it was; which is fantastic because I think he's been mourning the loss of my longer hair for years.  Maybe THAT'S what this dream meant.  Perhaps he's still unhappy that my hair is short and the extremeness of the cut in the dream, symbolizes how drastic my present haircut is compared to my longer hair.  And then again; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  Only Luis knows for sure.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

(43-172) Little United

Today I witnessed the most incredible soccer game EVER!!  And for those of you who regularly read "The Bumpy Ride," you might be asking yourself, how many different kinds of soccer stories can she write;  but trust me when I tell you, that this one is worth the read.

I'm starting to find trends in our game days at soccer.  For instance, last week Lyndzi had the first game of the day and her team seemed a little off.  Then we went to Nicky's game, and although they won; his team seemed off as well.  Fast forward to today, and we were on the field by 7:20 to set up our goal and warm up for Kelsie's 8am game.  By 8 the opposing team only had four players, and their coach was no where to be found.  Some of our dads were kind enough to set up the goal for the other team, but by a few minutes after 8, it seemed unlikely that our game would take place.  The ref told me that the team had until 10 minutes after 8, to get a minimum of four players and a goalie on the field, or they'd have to forfeit.  One of the moms from their team stepped up to try and coach the four kids; and although Luis could have played seven kids, like a regular game; he did the right thing and played four as well.

By 820 or so, the other coach showed up with his son; so we were able to play 5 on 5, and the Torpedos won 8 to 1.

Both Nicky and Lyndzi were supposed to have 930 games, so I asked Luis if he wanted to go to Lyndzi's game first, and I'd go to Nicky's; because I had a feeling that if Luis went to Nicky's game first; come half time, Luis wouldn't want to leave Nicky's game.  Now here's the symmetry part... Nicky's team only had five players today; and the other team had 14. This has never happened before.  Nicky's team had to forfeit because they needed to have a minimum of seven players in order to "technically" have a game.  Nicky's coaches decided to play the game anyway, and told the opposing coach that he could play as many players as he liked; instead of just playing five, like us.  The other coach took them up on their offer, and played 11 players on the field, against our five.

I was sitting with (SMF) David, and our mouths just dropped.  Neither of us could believe that the opposing team was going to play so many players; and yet they did.  Within the first couple of minutes, the opposing team scored; and very shortly thereafter; so did Nicky.  And after Nicky scored; so did our goalie.  That's right, I said SO DID OUR GOALIE.  Our goalie got a hold of the ball, and ran the field and scored; not once, but three times by half time.

The coach of the opposing team was going wild.  He loudly advised his players that there were two of them to cover each one of our players; but you never would have known it.  David and I kept remarking how absolutely, unbelievable this game was; and I said "I can't leave at half time;" even though I knew that I had to.

When Luis arrived at half time, I apprised him of the situation and let him know that we were winning 4-1.  I went off to Lyndzi's game, which her team won; and then rushed back to Nicky's. 

There were a few minutes left in the game when I arrived, and the score was 5 to 3; with Little United still winning.  Luis told me that Nicky had scored two more goals, but one didn't count because he had been off sides.  Little United was exhausted, but they battled on; and when the whistle blew, they had won the game that they had to forfeit.

Oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD!  This was absolutely one of the best things that I had ever seen in my life; and I'm not just talking soccer.  I have so enjoyed watching Little United play all season long.  They are truly poetry in motion.  The coaches are the most knowledgeable, and skilled that I have ever encountered and I know that Luis is not insulted by that statement.  Nicky has made so much progress as a player with this team, and their drive and spirit are just spectacular.  

We only have one game left before heading to our end of season tournament, and I for one am going to miss watching Little United in action.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING    
                                                                              

Friday, January 14, 2011

(43-171) Do Over...

If anyone would have told me that what started out as  a fun and innocent evening would turn into one of the most challenging nights of my life; I wouldn't have believed them.

Tonight our school held an event at Great Skate; and because Nicky is on student council, he needed to attend.  As none of my kids had ever skated before, nor showed  any interest in skating; I told them that they could use their admission price to buy tokens rather than rent skates; because that's what my friend Jen; (who's one of the student council advisors,) had told me. 

As soon as we entered the building, each of my kids saw friends from school.  They went to go play games; and I sat with Jen.  Being at the roller rink brought back a lot of memories for me; as back in the day, I was a big (say it with me) "HUGE," fan of disco roller skating.  All of a sudden the lights were turned down, and there were disco lights galore; and a remix of "ring my bell" blaring over the sound system.  At one point they played Debbie Deb's "When I hear music," and I was transported back to Studio 59 for a midnight roller skating session.

It didn't take very long for my kids to use up most of their tokens; so I anticipated an early exit.  But then all of a sudden, Lyndzi looked like she was about to cry; and I've told you many times before; Lyndzi isn't really a crier.  I asked Lyndzi what was wrong, and she said "nothing;" but I know her better than that; and the expression on her face, told me that there was definitely something bothering her.  After several minutes of prodding; Lyndzi said "roller skating looks fun."  I said "it is." And then she said that she wanted to try skating.  I asked if she'd be willing to spend her own money to do so, since I'd already paid for them to get in; and after thinking about it for a minute or two; she said that she would pay; and Nicky and Kelsie agreed as well.

I'm not quite sure how I went from no one wanting to skate, to everyone wanting to skate; but that's exactly what happened.  All three kids took out their money and went to get skates, but they came back cash in hand, because the person at the skate rental told them that they didn't have to pay for skates since they paid to get in.  I told them that they did have to pay, because they had gotten tokens rather than skates, for their entrants fee; and I went to the office and paid the additional $5 per child.

Nicky and Lyndzi got their skates on.  Kelsie had to wait for Lyndzi to finish so that she could borrow her socks; as she hadn't worn any.  Nicky looked a little shaky, and I accompanied him across the carpet until he got on the rink; and he actually made it around the skating floor on the first attempt.  I then tried to help Lyndzi; but she proved to be a lot more challenging.  Lyndzi could barely stand up on the skates, and I found that I had to hold onto her so tightly to keep her from falling, that I was afraid that I was going to break her arm.  Lyndzi tried to remain upright, but was having a very tough time. 

I was watching Lyndzi like a hawk, and I noticed a dad that was in shoes, not skates; and he was assisting his son, out on the rink; so I decided to do the same.  This may not have been my brightest idea, because I was wearing flip flops as usual; and my toes were not prepared or protected for what happened next.

I tried several different approaches to helping Lyndzi, and after a few minutes; the DJ announced that parents without skates, who were trying to help kids, had to go in the center of the rink.  Lyndzi and I made it there successfully, and although Lyndzi fell numerous times; and smashed my toes more times than I could count; I thought that she had made some progress. We got off of the rink as the DJ turned the lights down lower, and advised that for this song you needed to have something that was glow in the dark, in order to participate.  This gave us a reprieve.  Lyndzi decided to take a break and lend Kelsie her socks.  Kelsie had been waiting very patiently; and as I tried to help her skate across the carpet; I was hopeful that she would be the one that skating would be easier for; but alas I was wrong.

I helped Kelsie from the carpet to the rink, but cutting across the floor to get to the center, was almost impossible.  I managed to get Kelsie to the middle of the rink with the skate guards assistance; but once we arrived there, Kelsie was frustrated.  I tired not to make a big deal about getting kicked, and rolled over; but I failed miserably; because after the umteenth time; I blew.  I didn't yell at Kelsie, but I definitely lost my patience.  I was almost in tears because my legs and feet were hurting so badly; but Kelsie WAS in tears; and that just made me feel worse.  Kelsie felt responsible for hurting me and she desperately wanted to get off of the skating floor; but the crowd was bigger and moving faster, and it was even more difficult than getting on.  As Kelsie and I tried our best to get across the floor; I remember thinking to myself, "I hate this; I absolutely hate this."  By the time we got off the skating floor; Kelsie was in full blown hysterics; and Lyndzi came running over and began to wail as well. Kelsie was sobbing and implored me to let her sit down right then and there so that she could get the skates off; but I told her that I would get her back to our table.   I felt awful!  It seemed to me, that I had failed my children in the worst kind of way.  They deserved so much better than me tonight; and this thought hurt me more than any injury that I'd endured.

I begged the girls to stop crying and I did my best to assure them that they had done NOTHING wrong.  I told them that I was so proud of them for attempting to skate, and for spending their own money to do so.  I apologized for losing my patience, and for getting frustrated; and they excused it all. But I was still miserable.  To know that I had been the cause of my children's pain; I felt ashamed.  I wished that I could have handled the situation better; but I was exasperated. I was afraid that the kids were going to  fall and get hurt.  I was fearful that I was going to break their arms, with as tight as I had to hold onto them to keep them from falling; and I was in pain from my injuries.

It is true that I am my worst critic; and that I don't cut myself any slack; however, I am the first one to tell you when one of my kids does something remarkable; and I''ve been known to give myself a pat on the back as well; so being the Queen of FAIRNESS, I also have to tell you, when I have completely missed the mark.

As soon as we left the rink; I held my kids close and apologized profusely. They then started to cry and apologized as well.  I begged them to believe that they had nothing to apologize for; and they tried to convince me of the same.  Oh if ever it was possible to have a Do Over; tonight would be the night that I'd want to re-do.  I don't know exactly what I would do differently; but whatever it is, it would be done in away that my children didn't feel guilty for wanting to try. 

Oh how I wish tonight never happened.  If only life were like a Disney movie, and I had a fairy Godmother who could wave a magic wand and make tonight go away.  It's not that I have to be perfect; I just have to be better.  Better than what I was; because they so deserve it. 

I told the kids that I was so happy that they had given roller skating a try; and that if they had any interest in trying again; they could.  I can only pray that this evening didn't make them afraid to try new things because without trying, you only insure that you fail. 

Oh this one's gonna haunt me for a while; but hopefully a good dose of snuggling will make it somewhat better for everyone.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING