Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 10th Anniversary to C and me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Impossible to answer

This morning, as we were all eating our Cheerios, Wild Man looked at C and clear out of the blue asked, "Daddy, why did your father die?" How do you answer that question?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bear!

June 22, 2009

June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I have 8 days left until the summer semester is over. I'm exhausted, and frankly, the end can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Trying to Understand

So a lot happened in the course of Yetta and Pita's visit, and instead of being angry (as I usually am after spending time with them), I want to try to understand them. I'm doing this in the goals of encouraging a positive relationship between them and my children, not necessarily between them and myself. I, for one, am perfectly comfortable to keep them at arm's length. But I do want them to be involved in my children's lives as I see how much they love Bear and Wild Man. So I'm just going list out a few things that struck me. I may blog about certain things in more depth later as I try to come to terms with all of this.
  • They left today and will be driving back through upstate NY to tour some wineries. Pita doesn't return to work until Sunday, so in my mind, they could have stayed at least one more day to spend time with the boys.
  • My refrigerator now contains 2 jars of mustard and 2 jars of relish because they had hot dogs for dinner on Saturday and didn't like the brands of mustard and relish I had on hand.
  • Yesterday C took them to Toys 'R Us to buy gifts for Bear's upcoming birthday. They left the store with a water table for Bear and a more expensive toy for Wild Man. (Ok, so this really, really bugs me, and I'm going to comment on it here. I truly don't care that she bought Wild Man a gift, and I know Bear will love the water table. What bothers me is that she spent more money on Wild Man when she was ostensibly shopping for Bear's birthday. It bothers me because I see it as symptomatic of the way she and Pita treat Bear in general. As the 4th grandson/nephew, he just isn't seen as important as Wild Man and his cousins. They rarely ask about Bear, they made little effort to connect with him, and they left early when they could have had another day with him, which I would think would be especially important as they were with Wild Man all weekend and we took Bear with us. When they were with him, they both complained that he was frightened by them and refused to go to either of them, which he did, and rather than spend more time with him so he could become accustomed to them, they left early.)
  • The visit began with them both questioning C on "M's stress level." In fact, Pita asked "Is M managing any better than she was when you all came to visit us in February?" (I'm commenting here. So, right, she's recalling the fight when I told Yetta she hurt my feelings and Yetta told me I was selfish and didn't know what it was like to have a cruel MIL. Was I stressed out that visit? Damn right I was. In addition to that fight, I was dealing with Bear who had been sick all week and was only sleeping in 3 hour increments as well as Wild Man, who was completely off his schedule. I had 40 papers to grade, was being interrogated about our decision to live in Canada, and was told I didn't try hard enough to get a job in the States so we could move closer to them. So, yes, I was stressed out. Am I managing better? I manage wonderfully most days, I think, especially days I'm not judged by my in-laws.)
  • C was told at least twice that we privilege money over family. This was made in response to him pointing out several times (in response to questions about jobs) that we make considerably more money at CU than we would in the states. In fact, I personally make about twice what most full time adjuncts make in the states, and C makes about 20% more what most assistant professors make.
  • C was told we value our careers over our families.
  • We were told that Mexico is too dangerous and we can't possibly take the boys there when C needs to go there to do research.
  • C was told that my sister is mentally unstable and a bad influence on our children.
  • C was told that I'm too controlling and need to relax in my parenting style.
  • I was told that my SIL J is too lax and needs to take more charge in her parenting style.
  • It became abundantly clear to me that neither C nor his older brother ever do anything wrong but that they made poor choices with their wives and that Pita and Yetta could parent my children better than I can.
All sarcasm and attempts at understanding aside, I find a lot of this so profoundly hurtful. And you know the thing that aggravates me the most? At the end of the day, after all my anger and thoughtful consideration, I still don't understand why they don't like me. And I really don't understand why I still care.

Well-educated, but ignorant

According to my sister-in-law, I am well-educated but ignorant. Why do you ask? Because I don't believe that Christians in the U.S. are being persecuted. Because I don't think the current trend toward saying "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" or the fact that their local fire station wasn't allowed to put up a nativity scene at Christmas constitutes persecution. I'm apparently also ignorant because I don't agree that the U.S. was founded on Christian principles as I don't define greed, intolerance, or violence as Christian principles. I'm also ignorant because I don't view "the truth" as the Bible (or so Pita assumes). Yes, that was the conversation that I had at breakfast. Is it any wonder that I forced Wild Man to go to the bathroom with me at least twice during the course of a 45 minute meal?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


C, Bear, and I made it home yesterday evening. We had a wonderful trip. The conference was great, we loved the city it was in, and C and I needed the time together. We ate a lot of great food, saw some beautiful sites, and spent a lot of time outside. Bear was a great traveler as well. Additionally, Wild Man had a great time with Yetta and Pita. He was well cared for, although he was really spoiled (as evidenced by the temper tantrum he had this morning when I told him he had to eat breakfast in the dining room not in front of the TV).

I have lots of other things to say about that, especially as I was overcome with anger at the state of my refrigerator and house in general last night (I mean, seriously, when Wild Man misses the toilet b/c he is 3 and doesn't have great aim, is it so hard to clean up the urine?). But I want to process my feelings a bit. If I write now, it will be little more than a rant, and I don't feel like that will be productive at all. I also want to blog about a comment Pita made to C regarding whether we're moving back to the States (she said something to the effect of: "Well, at some point you have to put your family before your career.") But for now, I will simply enjoy being home.