Thursday, October 22, 2009

where to go when you don't know where to go?

My hubby and I have decided to go away on a long weekend- (Thurs. through Monday) in early December.

If anyone has recently tried to plan a trip to the Carribean you are now feeling my pain. First off I now have probably every travel site known to man sending me "vacation deal" updates every day. Now these can be helpful because sometimes they suggest places I've never really thought about, but mostly they just confuse me more.

We have previously traveled to Cancun, the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana & La Romana) and Jamaica. We enjoyed all of our get aways. The problem this time is I can't decided where I want to go...

This past July was our 25th anniversay so we've decided to go away (without the kiddies). Now when you factor in adult only resorts- this cuts the choices way down. I mean why on earth would we want to go somewhere that has kids? The whole idea is to get away from it all- (including kids- I love mine but need time with just Jeff) and have some well deserved alone time.

So these days I find myself behind my pc with multiple windows up looking at various destinations- but then the cheapskate in me second guesses myself so I have to cross reference and check out the same hotels at various sites... (can you say obsessive compulsive?) 

The choices in front of me are somewhat intimidating... I don't think I am actually "cool" enough to go to some of these places! The couples pictured are all very attractive, slim, young-ish etc.. and well... we're 50 (enough said).Plus the thought of actually taking my lilly white bod  out in a swim suit in Dec. is not my idea of fun-

So  all that aside, I guess the main thing(s) I should look at include:
1. the price
2. the hotel reviews
3. is it all inclusive?
4. how long does it take to get there (yeah I'm not doing over 5 hrs. on a plane)

If you've been somewhere fabulous recently- drop me a line... I need the help!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why is it that most kids think their parents are dumb?

Jeff & I are both college graduates, and are both professionals- he is CFO for a local company and I am a speech therapist. I thought the natural progression was that as our children(ages 21, 18, and almost 16) got older they would suddenly see the error of their ways (in regards to their perception of said parents) and we would miraculously become wise and worthy of listening to...

Yeah that isn't happening here...

So I guess the question is- at what age do our parents seem smart?

After we got married and I became pregnant I can remember thinking how smart my mom was- Man she knew it all when it came to pregnancy and the symptoms you had... and once the baby came- she was a pro... changing diapers, burping the baby etc... I had such great respect for her...

** sidenote**Not that I am proposing that ANY of my kids propagate any time in the near future- (hold off at least five  eight yrs. Jenny)

But it would be nice if once in a while our kids recognized that their mom & dad are pretty  cool intelligent people.

I think deep down they do believe this, but are silently taunting us by with holding their awe of how wonderful Jeff & I actually are.

It is a given that when it comes to anything financial or sports related- their dad is the go to guy- he is very knowledgeable about finance/$$ and has participated in sports his whole life. He is a great guy and an excellent father- and will be there for them no matter what.

So what is it about me that they secretly think is fabulous?

*silence with the exception of the sound of crickets*

OK- I've got maybe my warped sense of humor????

So I asked my oldest (Jenny)..."what is it about me that you think is smart or really cool?"

Her response (after a long pause I might add)
"I guess your writing...(she just started reading my blog-and she likes it except that she thinks I should write about her and not her sister who is away @ school). (can you say sibling rivalry much?)

So all of this got me to thinking.... what am I good at? Which led to the conception of:

Barb's list of things she is good at
1. I have been told(multiple times) I have a nice singing voice.
2. I am good with computers, and most electronics.
3. I am a pretty good cook. (ok, ok yes I do tend to burn things at times but that is because I get involved in other things and forget I have stuff in the oven)
4. I am good @ gardening- flowers etc.
5. I am really good at proof-reading my kids school papers.
6. I am good @ my job.
7. If motivated... I am very good @ cleaning (I'm just not that motivated anymore).
8. I am good with animals. (except for snakes.. I don't "do" snakes.. trust me this is non negotiable)
9. I can hold my liquor pretty well.
10. I have a decent sense of color and can make a home "homey".
11. I am a good swimmer.
12. I have become (over the years) better at saving $$.
13. I am good @ procrastinating..(what do ya mean that's not a good thing?)
14. I am usually always on time.
15. I can be am very organized.
16. I am a fast reader.
17. I am good @ Wheel of Fortune and would probably make a ton of $$ if I ever went on the show.
18. I have a warped sense of humor. (yes this is a good thing)

So all this self reflection also made me think...

Barb's list of things she is not so good at or needs to improve:
1. Losing weight- I know what to do but don't do it. (didn't I say in a previous blog that menopause was the excuse reason for this?)
2. I forget things a lot.(it's that whole hitting 50/menopause thing)
3. I am not always the most patient person...(especially if service is bad)
4. I am not a bad driver, but am not a great driver either.
5. I don't do snakes... EVER.
6. I am not very good at putting up Christmas lights on our tree- (luckily Jeff is awesome at this)!
7. I am the wrong person to take to an amusement park because I don't like most rides .
8. If I am wrong I always usually say I'm sorry.
9. I worry & over analyze stuff too much.
10. I get too emotional sometimes (I cry @ Hallmark commercials).
11. I am not good @ sewing.
12. I look stuff up on the internet when someone is sick and usually think the worst.
13. I tend to let things get cluttered around the house.
14. I don't clean out my refrig as often as I should.
15. I don't exercise regularly. (refer to #1)

I could probably come up with another 15 things I SUCK at but I don't think my ego could take it...

I think I need to concentrate on my good list and have some wine...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Road trip!!!!!!

This weekend I am traveling to James Madison University to see #2 child Stefanie.
My oldest (Jenny) is coming along as well and is bringing a friend. The best part of this trip however is my sister in law Suzanne who we're picking up on the way from Dulles airport in D.C. (Suzanne is flying in from Atlanta).

This is going to be girls only weekend and we are going to have a BLAST!!! Suzanne is so much fun and has been loosely termed "mom's drinking buddy". OK... so we like our wine, and Cosmo's... we're both over 21 (obviously) we will be @ a college so we will fit in fine!

Originally we were going to go for the parents weekend- but I couldn't get tickets for the football game- Stefanie made the all girls cheer squad @ JMU so going to the game is a priority. Lucky for us that Stef is cheering b/c she will get two parent tickets... Suz and I will just have to pretend we are Stefanie's two really cool lesbian mom's! Stef is trying to get two student tickets for Jen and her friend... I figure if they can't- they can tailgate *shrug*

We will be nomads to a certain extent because I was unable to get a room for two consecutive nights so we will stay @ one place Fri. night and another Sat. Hopefully the beds are comfortable!

Each day I am receiving countdown from Stefanie.. "3 more days"!!! Which excites me, but at the same time makes me realize I have ALOT to do before we leave Fri. morning.

My mom is going to come and stay @ our house and take care of my pups Buffy & Cali. They are both yellow labs- Buffy is 5 and very laid back and Cali is 6 months and a pistol! Not quite Marley & Me caliber but a handful just the same. My mom is a good sport and I know she will really enjoy her time with them.

I have the maps all printed out for our route... have the confirmations for the rooms etc... so what else do I need?

Let's see... short list of necessary road trip items & Things To Do :
CLEAN OUT THE CAR (not something I particularly want to do but necessary just the same unless we all want to arrive @ JMU covered in yellow lab fur)
Get Drinks, Munchies (what is a road trip without munchies?)
Bring wine + opener (learned that lesson long ago- have to actually bring the wine opener to drink the wine)
Pack clothes/shoes/toiletries
Go to bank and get $$$
Bring Camera- charge battery ahead of time so I can actually take pictures)
Bake Peanut butter cookies...(have to make them they are Stef's favorite)
Bring MAP!!!!(Yes I have a GPS but with my luck it would break mid trip)

The route looks pretty easy to get there except for having to drive around D.C. which on a Fri. morning could be a mad house. We are scheduled to pick Suz up @ around 11:30. One thing I KNOW I will not do is let Suz be our navigator- she and her sisters ALWAYS get lost when they take road trips! Thank God I have GPS...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hot flashes suck.....

I've started menopause and I'm hear to tell ya it can be a royal pain in the ass.

For one thing- how are you supposed to know how to dress in the morning? I mean the temperatures outside are dropping so you need to begin wearing warmer clothes but once I am inside.. I range from either being cold to sweating like there is no tomorrow. I know they say you should layer, but honestly...I can't layer everything.

I work full time as a speech therapist in a public high school. In my office it is either meat locker cold, or pushing 75+ degrees- depending upon the day and the weather outside. Don't tell me to talk to the custodian because he is not a particularly nice person who would just as soon tell me to fuck off as he would say hello.

I am increasingly having night sweats as well.. last night... I had just a sheet on... and was still hot...

Another thing.. when I CAN sleep... I generally wake up by about 2AM (after about 3 hrs. of decent sleep) and then keep waking up till the alarm goes off @ 6:00 AM.

About 3 wks ago I began waking up each morning feeling nauseous... so I thought oh shit I'm getting sick...uh no, according to a friend, this is another stupid symptom of menopause!! After complaining that I was nauseous every morning, a friend told me that some women feel this way because of the hormones like when we were pregnant way back when.

Well shit, then I am really screwed because with both girls I was so nauseated that they almost slapped me in the hospital because I couldn't eat and was nauseous 24/7 for the first 4 months.

So I Googled "menopause symptoms" and this is the list that came up and the ones I am experiencing:
The number of stars 1-5 indicate the severity for me- the more stars the worse my perception of them.

Common Symptoms of Menopause
1. Hot Flashes ** (they are a PAIN!)
2. Night Sweats **(and yes I have had to shower & change nighties at times)GROSS!
3. Irregular Periods *** (so either stop already or continue... my periods indecisiveness is annoying)
4. Loss of Libido ***** (and this sucks for my poor hubby )
5. Vaginal Dryness ***
6. Mood Swings ** (WTF is your problem?)

7. Fatigue ************Can you say off the charts?
8. Hair Loss (thank God- but for now at least- NO!)
9. Sleep Disorders ******* refer to #7
10. Difficult Concentrating *** (ummm what did you say?)
11. Memory Lapses *** (again... ummm what did you say?)
12. Dizziness *
13. Weight Gain ** (ok, ok so I cannot completely blame that on menopause!)
14. Incontinence ** (I freaking feel like I have to pee ALL THE TIME)
15. Bloating * (like for the past 20 yrs.)
16. Allergies *
17. Brittle Nails *(although this could be from having artificial nails for 15 yrs.)
18. Changes in Odor (ewww, but no)
19. Irregular Heartbeat ?
20. Depression * (Who wouldn't with all this shit?)
21. Anxiety * (somewhat)
22. Irritability ** (my family would probably add more stars)
23. Panic Disorder ?

24. Breast Pain (does phantom pain around when I am supposed to get my period count?)
5. Headaches *****************ALWAYS
26. Joint Pain **
27. Burning Tongue(for real? - NO Thank God)
28. Electric Shocks (for real? - NO Thank God)
29. Digestive Problems *****(can you say irritable bowel & acid reflux?)
30. Gum Problems (N/A- but something to look forward too- NOT!)
31. Muscle Tension (a good excuse to get massages more often!)
32. Itchy Skin (N/A- but something to look forward too- NOT!)
33. Tingling Extremities (N/A- but something to look forward too- NOT!)

Gee.... no where on that list is feeling nauseous every morning like I did when I was pregnant!? WTF????

Don't tell me to try the medicinal route...aka hormone replacement therapy - tried some "natural hormones" last year as prescribed by my dr. they didn't help.

So, in light of all of this I think my only option at this point is to drink more...
1. It will make me happy
2. It will help me sleep
3. Wine is healthy for you- doesn't it have antioxidants in it or something?
4. If I am feeling "good" after a few glasses of wine I won't care about my symptoms!
5. It will make me happy- worth restating! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Tonight my Stefanie comes home for the weekend from college with 2 or 3 friends.. # 3 is possibly going home to her own parents this weekend not that I care how many kids she brings- the more the merrier.... As soon as she comes thru the door I will no doubt start crying as I put a killer death grip hug on her.

Tonight life will be good.....

Tomorrow she is taking her friends to our local mall in King of Prussia (we are outside of Philly)... these girls are all from small towns in Virginia where malls are only one floor *gasp* they are so excited to go to KOP it is unreal. For those of you who have never heard of King of Prussia- it used to be one of the largest malls in the US prior to Mall of America. It really is a nice mall and I take it for granted....

I have the requisite items already purchased as per her request "food mom, we need food" for her to take back to school... and am making her favorites for dinner Sat. night.

My cleaning lady comes today (please Rosalba do not cancel today) so the house should look pretty good... ok... yes I have a cleaning lady- I work full time and she comes 2x month- and I do clean in between her visits....not that I have to justify that to anyone- best $ I spend 2x a month!

Stefanie went home with her roommate last weekend and met her family and said her home was absolutely gorgeous... she told me their house looked like a model home for a new development... no clutter anywhere, etc... she said her roommates parents were very nice, stricter (OMG how is that possible) that we are and seemed a little...hmmmm uptight...aka prim & proper. She told me she prepared her friends for coming home to our house.

At first I was like.. umm what do you mean by that??? She said she told her roomie that our house & family were NOTHING like hers...
First- the house will be (relatively) clean, but there will be areas of clutter... Second- her mother has been know to swear (gasp) on occasion...
Third- her mother does on occasion drink (holy mother of God).
Fourth- they can all expect to be given a nickname- we nickname all of the kids good friends... some previous nicknames include: bubblebutt, piglet #2, diva... you get the idea.

Evidently her roomies father did not whole heartedly approve of my daughter (wtf is your problem buddy?)
It seems that he took exception to a poster Stefanie had in their dorm room.. it is titled "Big Shots on Campus.. what I really learned in college" the pictures below are of various kinds of shots and includes the recipe to make each.

He found the poster highly inappropriate. Stefanie told her (in private) ummmm my parents have that poster matted/framed and behind our bar in our basement. Luckily Natalie thought that was "cool".

So I guess the girls will be "slumming it" this weekend... :)