Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Vacation

On Saturday morning we got an early start to take the hour drive over to Lake Tahoe. I had called a head of time and found out that we could check in after 10 am - yay, lucky us. Usually check-in isn't until 3pm. When we got there to check in there was a discussion on whether we wanted futons or twin mattresses delivered to our place for the extra little sleepers. All the sudden someone took over my husband's body - this personality was NOT welcome. He was a real jerk and very difficult. He ended up leaving me standing in the lobby of the resort because HE wrote down the wrong license plate number....great, just great. I was ready to call the whole thing off (actually it was more like I was ready to send him packing). We quickly resolved the issue for the time being and I happily started settling in and eagerly awaited Stephanie et al to arrive. In the mean time we got some sandwiches (I had been on WW for one week so still wanted to stay on track). As I took my second bite of sandwich I hear this 'crack' and quickly discovered a front tooth was missing - shit, where the hell is it??!! Whew, found it. But now what? What the hell am I going to do for the rest of our vacation? Within 10 mins the kids showed up and the games begun. I never was able to take care of the tooth while we were there but I figured if I was going to have any kind of a good time I would have to check the ego at the door and say fuck it.
It went clear sailing pretty much the rest of the week with the exception of the 'hag woman from hell' at the trout farm (you will find the story here).
I was lucky enough to have all three of my kids come with their spouse/fiance/girlfriend and my grandkids. It did me a world of good to spend time with all of them. Especially my youngest, Christina, since she lives so far away and just got engaged. I was looking forward to spending some quality time with her and to get to know Joe (fiance) better. In my son's case it was his birthday while we were there so we gave he and his girlfriend a hotel room for two nights. I didn't particularly want to witness his drunkenness. When it comes to Michael one never knows what you're going to get. He is a Cancer and very true to form. He can be extremely crabby but usually it's because he is super sensitive. So, I was a little cautious until I could get a read on his mood. It turned out that he was great. I don't know if it was because his girlfriend was there or what but he was the good/funny Michael that we all love. With the exception of the 'episode' referred to earlier of 'hag'. We all went out on the boat - so much fun. I even went out on the tube with Stephanie and Leah. It was especially fun to watch the guys out on the tube. Jimmy did a great job giving them a wild ride and the spectators quite a show.

One day we went to a beautiful beach for a few hours (too short) and it was just perfect. Unfortunately Stephanie thought the kiddos were sunburned even after dousing them in 50 spf - it was super hot that week. Luckily they were not burned. I loved watching Mike and Christina with their partners. Susy, Mike's g/f, was really sweet and seems really good for Mike. I've never seen him be this way with a girl before. It was evident that he cares very much for her and visa versa. I was so happy to see this. He has had issues with women so I hope that this will last for him. And then there was my baby girl and her fiance, Joe. I think my heart could have just burst watching them over the week. Joe is just so good and doting to her. And she is definitely in love with him. She can and does depend on him and he doesn't let her down. Stephanie and I were discussing them and she hit the nail on the head in describing them - he is the male counterpart of her. I wasn't sure that she would ever meet someone so right for her but she has. Dave and I believe that they are soulmates (and I never used to believe in that).
Even though she lives far from her beloved family and they're poor and don't have much in material things those two are on top of the world having each other. They make my heart melt.

While we were at the beach Joe was in the water the whole time we were there. One of the great things about him is that he's so good with the kiddos. My grandkids LOVE him. He's like the pied piper when it comes to the kids. So he was out in the water going back and forth from the shallow area to the deeper area in between taking time out to make a guppie trap for the kids - sure enough that sucker caught guppies! When we were getting ready to take off he grabs Christina's hand and takes her out to the deeper area (4 ft clear water) and shows her this heart of rocks that he made for her.....awwwwwww. He won over all of our hearts last week. He is already part of the family.
I am happy beyond belief when it comes to my kids and their choices in partners. Stephanie's husband, Jimmy, is a wonderful husband and father and I really could not have handpicked him any better. They are both good parents and devoted to each other. Michael seems to have found an awesome woman and hopefully their love will grow and flourish and Christina and Joe are definitely off to a great start of a long and happy marriage. Now, we can get started on planning a wedding.
As far as Dave and I are concerned I was so proud of him for doing things that he might not choose to do if it wasn't for me and my preferences. The best part is that going out and hanging out on the beach turned out to be fun for him. It gave him another chance to bond with and get to know my kids. They are all so very important to me and my biggest wish in life is for all of them to accept each other as family and care for one another as I do.
Now for more picture memories of our vacation.

Dave, Leah and Stephanie

Michael and Susy

Dave and Jimmy - living the life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacation - will it help?

Tomorrow we are leaving for a much anticipated vacation up in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Dave and I are going up one day early and are going to spend the night in Reno then the next day we are checking into our rental house. Stephanie and her family will arrive there Sat. Then my son and his girlfriend and Christina and her fiance, Joe, will be there on Monday. I'm very happy to have all of my kids together for a vacation. When they were young I used to take them up to Tahoe every year and we always had a great time. Usually I do not want to go home.

One of the things I am hoping is for Dave to be able to relax and for us to reconnect and find romance again. The physical part of our relationship has been practically non existent for several months and it is really getting me down. He has been depressed and shut off from most joyful things, instead working so hard to secure a promotion and make more money for our future. Because he has been depressed (and I know how that is) I haven't pressured him about discussing anything too deep or about our physical distance but I am just about drained from this. I feel like I lost him somewhere. I don't want to be roommates, I want to have intimacy on every level with my husband. Isn't that what marriage is. I know and understand that he has reasons for his depression. He has some deep stuff that he hasn't dealt with and has told me a few times that he's going to seek help. He has not. He doesn't have any friends around here, doesn't socialize really, doesn't exercise or do anything just for himself. I feel for him I really do and it breaks my heart. It also hurts me to be alone so much and to never have compliments or passes.

I sure hope this vacation allows for him to just have some fun and for us to remember those early days of romance. I miss it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

My friend, Kristin, and someone else (escapes my memory right now) tagged me to do this grueling little diddy. I have to come up with 10 truths most people don't know about me. I've been putting it off because I think I'm pretty open and that I don't withhold information but the truth is of course I do and I do for a reason - so others won't see me in a negative light. In the meantime my daughter, Stephanie, has done one and did an excellent job of being honest and transparent. I'm sure I'm not as interesting as she is but here goes -

1. Sometimes when a stranger does something really stupid I fantasize about slapping them upside the head or tripping them. This includes old and young strangers - no matter - I have a no prejudice policy for fantasy kickass. Then I smile to myself feeling better as I am on my way.

2. When I was a little kid I used to fantasize that my parents were killed in either a plane or car crash and then I would cry real tears. It was one of the only ways I could actually 'feel' so that I could cry. There was a lot of abuse going on in my home so I was on auto-pilot a lot of time just to survive.

3. I wanted children as early as 11 or 12 and couldn't wait to get married to have a baby. My biggest regret in life is that I thought that my desire to be a good Mother was in of itself enough but turned out that I was sadly unequipped and lacking in the great Mother gene. There is not a day that goes by that I don't regret mistakes I made as a Mother that hurt my children in any way.

4. Sometimes I wish I could just take off somewhere by myself without having to explain myself. Just to be completely on my own and do exactly as I please for a month. I would shave my head and live in a monastery somewhere.

5. I have a hard time realizing my age and especially my weight.

6. I looked my best in my late 30's early 40's. I was rockin.

7. I regret not spending more time with my grandmother when she had cancer. We had always been SO close but by then I was a 16/17 yr old self absorbed, immortal teenager who didn't realize what was happening. I miss her still to this day.

8. When I was pregnant with my first child I would secretly pray/wish/beg for the baby to be a girl even tho that had already been determined. And I wanted a girl for my 2nd and 3rd as well. I would have been perfectly happy with 3 or 4 little girls.

9. When I was little because I felt so 'different' I didn't think my relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) liked me so I stayed distant from them and never formed close relationships with them. I envy people who have strong family ties.

10. I regret dropping out of High School and going to college when I was young and didn't have kids yet. I think my life would have turned out way differently. I don't know if it would be better or worse but certainly different and I'm sure I would have done well.

Ok, phew, I did it. I'm not tagging anyone but I would love it if you are reading this and have not done it to try it - it's freeing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Families, Politics and Religion

I recently went on a day trip to Alcatraz with my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids; Jared and Leah. It was fun and there was the usual banter/teasing and laughing that is common in our family. It was a great day. Coming home I was driving and something came up that turned on the valve of 'politics' - well, knowing that my son-in-law and I are far apart on our beliefs I wasn't in a good place (driving the Bay Bridge at 4pm) to state my opinions, etc., so I said 'let's just drop it.' Not wanting to 'get into it' with him about my love for Obama and the liberal side of life. No problem, done deal. I did however realize that my grandson was most definitely wanting to get things going and it really gave me pause later. How do I want my grandchildren to view me as well as my ideals, thoughts and morals? How important really is it that I feel strongly about certain political ideals? The ironic thing of this is that I raised my daughter to be just exactly as her husband is. I was pretty much on the same page with him with my religious and political ideas. Although I think I may have been a tad bit more tolerant on certain things but never the less I was once a conservative, born-again Christian right wing. Now, I am opposite. I do understand where he comes from and why he feels he way he does. Even though I don't agree with him does not mean that I don't respect him or stand by his right to have his own opinions. It is certainly not worth my grandchildren seeing any kind of riff between their Dad and Gma. The truth is I think he is a fantastic Husband and Father. I couldn't be happier that my daughter married this wonderful guy. She is happy - the kids are happy, what more could a Mother possibly want for her child? That's it - I want my children to be happy PERIOD.

I would like to think that he and I really have the basics in common - loving, compassionate, honest and kindhearted. When I have needed help, he has been there and I have no doubt that he will always be if possible. And in turn I will help them out in ways that I can.

As for the grandchildren I know that it is none of my concern what their parents are teaching them and it would be wrong of me to contradict what they are taught in their home. I just hope that I can be a living example of my beliefs and ideals. Maybe the best lesson for them is to see that we can all have different ideas about how things should go but we can also all live together peacefully in our differences. Wouldn't that be an ideal world?