Thursday, February 25, 2010

Um, Seriously?

Ok, this is getting a bit extreme. Since we've been back in CU Land, Yetta has called C several times. The first time I answered the phone even though as soon as I saw her number on the caller id I considered not answering. She asked some fairly random questions, and the conversation lasted about 2 minutes. I knew she wanted to talk to C, but C was sitting in the car with Bear who had fallen asleep in his car seat (once he falls asleep in his car seat, he could sleep for 2 hours, but there is no chance of transferring from his car seat to his crib without him waking up. To keep him asleep one of us will work in the car while the other hangs out with Wild Man or works in the house), so I didn't ask her if she wanted to talk to him. Oh, and I also knew C didn't want to talk to her. Since then she's called his office several times, and each time he's either been out or had students and hasn't been able to answer. I'm sort of curious why she keeps calling his office, which she never does. We know it isn't an emergency because if it were se'd also call his cell phone and the home phone. I think she's calling his office because she thinks she'll be able to talk to him without me around or because she's afraid I won't tell him she's called. I have to admit I'm sort of amused by C's unwillingness to talk to his mom right now. I know it won't last, but for now, I'll take some enjoyment out of it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We have returned

We got back to CU Land on Sunday after spending a week in Home State with our families. For the most part, we had a good trip. I made a conscious effort to be relaxed and not to focus on fairly minor things. My parents also made an effort to plan for having 4 extra people in the house. My mom had stocked up on groceries, and my dad cooked two of the three nights we were with them. The fourth we had salad and ordered pizza, which was totally fine. The biggest issue we had during our stay with my parents was that Bear caught a cold the day before we left, and he was running a fever between 100 and 102 for much of the time we were with my mom and dad. As long as he had medicine in him, he was fine, but the minute the medicine wore off and the fever returned he was, well, a bear. C ended up sleeping in my parents' recliner holding Bear upright for several hours a night, and I ended up getting up early with him. All in all it was a minor illness, and by mid-week, Bear was fever-free and feeling better. It was really great to spend time with my parents.

Seeing Yetta was another issue altogether. In an attempt to be positive, I have decided not to blog about the drama that occurred on the day before we left. Suffice to say, there was drama, though, and it involved a thoughtless comment on her part coupled with my attempt to be mature and tell her that the comment, which was apparently intended as a "joke," hurt my feelings. The resulting conversation was not pretty (once again, I was labeled as ungrateful, impossible, and malicious), and it ended with C so angry that he is still not speaking to his mother. I was not in the room for much of the conversation as I removed myself and the boys once the shouting commenced, but I did hear C shout something to the effect of "You don't want to put me in a position to choose between you and my wife because you will not be happy with my choice." Luckily Bear was oblivious to it all, but Wild Man was angry. He only understood that his mommy was upset and his daddy was shouting. I had to physically restrain him from leaving the back of the house to give his Yetta a lecture "for hurting my mommy and daddy's feelings." He told me at least 3 times that he would "take care of it, Mommy. I will go put Yetta in time out for being unkind to you and my daddy." I managed to distract him with packing as I knew his presence would have only aggravated the situation--somehow Wild Man's reaction would have been blamed on me, even though I told him nothing about what was going on.

I've been thinking about these sorts of arguments and how they routinely occur during our trips to Home State. Every visit we've made since C's dad died has ended with a similar argument, and these arguments always seem to happen either the day before we leave to go home or the day we leave Yetta's house to go stay with my parents. I think she starts an argument because she is wholly unable to discuss her sadness that we're leaving. I really want to tell her that we'd all be much happier if she could only say, "I'm so sad you're leaving. I wish I could see you all more often," rather than pick a fight as a way to express her emotions. I could deal with that honesty. I can't deal with passive-aggressive comments that are meant to tell me I'm a bad mother-wife-daughter-in-law who is constantly manipulating to keep her son and grandsons away from her.

Aside from that, the trip went really well. Wild Man fell in love with his cousin J, who is only 14-months older than he is. They spent all day Friday and Saturday of the visit playing, and they gave each other a very long hug good-bye on Saturday night. Seeing them together almost makes me want to move closer--almost.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Packing for 2 adults, 1 pre-schooler, and 1 infant is reason enough never to leave the house!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Being a Grown-up

So rather than just complain and expect the worse with the family trip, I've decided to be a grown-up. I just called my mom and asked her if she could go to the grocery store before we get there. She was a bit taken aback, but she agreed. I gave her a short list of some things that Wild Man likes, most of which are not things she keeps in the house. I also told her that C and I would be happy to cook while we're there (my parents don't cook much anymore, and I've decided just to accept that fact rather than thinking it has something to do with me) as long as she'll buy the groceries before hand. So she'll have stuff on hand for nutritious meals that we will cook, and we won't be scrambling for things to feed Wild Man. I think this is a more effective tactic than waiting till we get there and getting annoyed with my parents.

A trip to Home State

On Sunday, we're traveling to Home State to visit our families for Reading Week (what CU calls Spring Break. It falls way too early here to be called anything close to Spring Break.). I have to admit that I am not remotely excited to be going to visit our families, and as soon as we booked the tickets I regretted our decision. Why do you ask? Primarily because I could use a week of uninterrupted work. The boys' daycare will be open during Reading Week (or at least T-F), so if we had stayed in CU Land, I could have actually gotten some work done. But I'm also not looking forward to all the family drama that is likely to take place. And even if there is no drama (ok, even if there is minimal drama) there will still be catty comments and lots of frustrations.

So why are we going? Well, we haven't been to Home State in over a year. My dad, C's brother, and our nephews have not yet met Bear. I haven't seen my childhood best friend (we've been friends since we were 8, and seeing her is the one thing I'm excited about) in 2 years. And Yetta was constantly asking, "When are you coming home?" Add to that the fact that C will be in Home State in March to give a lecture at our undergrad alma mater, and there was no way we could work a trip to Home State for all 4 of us mid-semester and mid-week. Going now seemed like a good idea a few weeks ago. But, as I've said, traveling to see our families is always fraught with tension, and quite frankly, a lot of it is due to the idiotic machinations and manipulations of C's mother and my mother's complete inability to plan or socialize. For example, last night I called my mom to give her our flight information since she's picking us up at the airport (my dad works at the end of the week, so we're spending the first part of the week with my family). I told her that Yetta wants to come by her house sometime on Sunday to see the boys, and I then added that maybe Yetta could just come by for lunch. Mom immediately said, in a total panic, "But what will I make?! I was planning on going by the grocery story after I picked you all up, so we could get whatever you wanted for the week." I swear I really wanted to reach through the phone and smack her. I calmly pointed out that we would be arriving at lunchtime, after getting on a plane at 7 am. "Taking Wild Man to the grocery store when he is both tired and hungry is not a good idea, Mom, " I said. I then asked if she could just have lunch stuff on hand.

I really don't understand why it is so hard to plan a little ahead. I remember visiting my grandparents when I was a kid, and the refrigerator was always well stocked and the house was ready for us. We weren't expected to go to the grocery store the moment we arrived. My grandmother spent days cooking before we got there. I certainly don't expect my mom to do this, but I also don't expect to have to plan the menu for the entire time I'm there. I'm really not that hard to please, I swear. But I do want to feel like they want us there and that they've planned for our arrival just a little.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It takes talent. . .

to throw-up while breastfeeding and NOT disturb the baby. I'm just saying . . .

Yesterday C and I spent the day alternating between caring for the boys and throwing up thanks to the stomach bug Wild Man brought home from daycare. It was not fun, but we managed--which explains the first line of the post. In our house, once Bear goes to sleep, we do everything we can to ensure he stays asleep.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A little levity

Here is Bear performing his new favorite activity: blowing raspberries!

And this is Wild Man, the T-Rex!

*Pictures have disappeared.

And the Dean said. . .

something along the lines of, "I understand C and M's situation, and I'm sympathetic to their position. They are both valuable to the university, but right now, due to budget constraints, there isn't anything to be done. Once the department budgets are finalized next month, we can revisit this topic." And of course, all of this was filtered through Dr. Nice Guy, so who knows what she actually said other than, "Um, no, not now. No money. Tell C to have a great trip to Chicago. Get back in touch when one of them has an offer we can take seriously." Dr. Nice Guy urged C to talk to him again if he gets an offer. My lovely husband is pissed, PISSED. He read the email from Dr. Nice Guy and said, "F*** them. Now we're playing hardball."

C is an incredibly easy-going man. It takes a lot to get him angry--a lot. But when he feels like he's being screwed or when he feels like I'm being screwed, you really want to get out of his way. So he's gone from not wanting to go to the interview to wanting to rock the interview and get the job. In fact, in his mind, we've already moved. Me, I don't know. I expected this response, but I made the mistake of hoping. So I'm feeling demoralized all over again.

And for the record, Dr. Nice Guy, who has become a family friend, handled it badly. He emailed C this news while C was teaching and then, knowing C wouldn't have had a chance to check his email, stopped by C's office as soon as C had gotten out of class to discuss another departmental issue. He never once mentioned his meeting with the dean; instead, he let C read about it as soon as he left C's office. I understand he wanted to avoid confrontation, but given that they go out for beers on a semi-regular basis and our families spend time together on the weekends, I know this hurt C.

I did get some good news on Friday. Dr. Feminist has asked me to teach the intro Women's Studies course over the summer, which is great. This means I'll have an income over the summer, and I get to teach something new. I also feel like it is a test of sorts. So maybe if I do well with this course, I'll have more leverage. . . Who knows? Here's hoping next year's job list looks better than this year's. . . Now to get that article published.