Just Heather

How’s this for a Valentine?


This is the IM I received last night from my littlest sister. Never mind the caps and the total lack of punctuation. This is the best Valentine. It’s especially meaningful to me because ours is the relationship I worry about the most.

Hayley was 7 when I moved out. Seven. That’s the age my daughter is now. It’s so weird to think of how young she was when I still lived at home. She is obviously a completely different person now, and I struggle to know her. Being a teenager makes her especially difficult to know (and love).

Okay, I’m just kidding about that part (mostly). No, really. I love her to pieces, but I want to know her as Hayley—not just the cute kid sister I had before I left. I’m working on it. I truly think she’s working on it. Maybe we’re getting there. I don’t know. I guess the first time I think, “oh, I can’t wait to call and tell Hayley” I’ll know we’re there.

One of these days I’ll actually participate in ANBOW, but until then my Monday morning recaps will have to suffice. This one’s a doozy, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in. The weekend started like any other. If you hadn’t checked my calendar, you would never know a Super Family Fun Weekend was about to occur. We had our typical fast, cheap and easy Friday dinner, followed by my weekly sleep day. I get Saturdays; he gets Sundays.

As per our arrangement, Saturday starts with the kids waking me up and me kicking Spencer until he gets out of bed. Then I snuggle in for a few more hours of uninterrupted guilt-free extra sleep. This is the one day of the week I get to wake up, shower, and get ready without a tagalong. In fact, this is generally the one day a week I actually get to shower before naptime. While the sleeping in may not be all it’s cracked up to be, this is bliss!

After lunch, I run my weekly errands. This day was no exception. What made it so great was a serendipitous meeting with someone who works at the newspaper delivery station. I have been going through their old paper stacks for 6 months to get my weekly coupons. Last week, the station manager kicked me out, saying it was for employees only. The lady I met had spoken to me in the past, and even given me her extra Sunday papers. She told me on Sunday that she argued with him for 10 minutes after I left, and that she wanted to help. I typically pick up 15 papers each week. Some for my personal use, some for my sister, and some to get extra freebies for food banks. She is working out getting me way more than I could have ever collected in the newspaper bins.

After my errands, it was back home to prepare for the first phase of Super Family Fun Weekend—SuperCross 2005! This was my 5th SuperCross, and it started quite by accident. The first year my father-in-law was all excited because he was getting tickets for Valentine’s Day. He asked if we’d like to go. Spencer said sure, which made his dad very happy. A few weeks later, his wife calls me to make sure we really wanted to go before she bought tickets. I said if Spencer said we’d go I guess he wants to and double checked the calendar. Spencer’s sisters would babysit, so we were set.

Spencer had no idea what I was talking about when I told him we had tickets. No recollection whatsoever of the conversation. Since his dad was so excited about the opportunity to share this with us, we decided to go anyway. It was so cool! At least I thought so. Spencer? Not so much. He stays home with the girls now and his little sisters come along. There is just something so exciting about the buzz of all those motorcycles flying through the air. I look forward to it every year.

Ricky Carmichael is back from last year’s injury and kicking butt. As expected, he flew right passed the competition, including our Hoosier boy, Mike LaRocco.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, SuperCross 2005 pictures (click to bigify). And picture me right there in the middle!

To balance out the hick, I rounded out the weekend on Sunday with a Symphony Orchestra Concert. My Brownie troop finished up our Sounds of Music Try-It with the Family Fun Concert. The symphony opened with the Star Wars theme. I was still waiting for late Brownies, but rushed Stacia inside to hear it. After giving up on the ones who were now 40 minutes late, I joined the girls. Stacia leans over to me to whisper “They just played Star Wars! It sounded just like it!” We’re raising such geeks.

The orchestra went on to play some classics, like Beethoven and Pachelbel. The kids were invited onto the stage to hear the music from the orchestra’s point of view. I was concerned about the length of the concert (almost 2 hours), but by the time intermission came around the kids didn’t want to leave! Never fear, I came prepared with snacks—which could only be eaten out in the lobby! The second half of the concert was nice, but not near as interactive.

The orchestra had invited 2 local young musicians to play with them. These girls—one high school, one junior high— won an award and scholarship for their musical accomplishments. They were truly amazing, but did they really have to choose the 2 longest songs on the face of the earth?! After the concert, we stopped by the “musical petting zoo” so Stacia could try out a violin. I sure hope she chooses a different instrument. The hesitant, I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing sound of a new violinist is not something I’m prepared to tolerate.

I hope your weekend was a Super Fun as mine! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need a nap.

Well, that went well. /sarcasm

It started when they arrived 20 minutes late. Par for the course with my brother, though. The chicken I cooked because it’s all she’ll eat spent an hour and 40 minutes when it only required an hour and 20. I was afraid it might be slightly dry. Not so much. It was bleeding! Yuck.

So we ordered pizza instead. They wanted pepperoni and peppers. I ordered pepperoni and peppers, but I got green when they wanted jalapeno. Oops. We ate the pizza anyway and played Scrabble. A game which our 7 year old won. Okay, so I helped a little.

Once the food arrived, it was actually pretty nice. We relaxed, played Scrabble, and talked without me grilling The Girlfriend—which I was seriously worried I might do. I made my favorite dessert and everyone seemed to enjoy it, if the scraping of plates was any indication.

I sent them away with a container of my finally cooked chicken so they can marvel at my culinary skills during lunch tomorrow. It could have ended there. It could have been nice. Instead we spent 5 minutes discussing porn. I’m thinking recommending a movie to my brother and his new girlfriend was probably not the best idea.

My brother—bachelor playboy extraordinaire—is coming to dinner tonight. With his girlfriend. This will be the first girlfriend he has introduced to family since high school. Actually, this will be the first girlfriend he has ever introduced to me. Being only 3 years older—thus attending the same high school—I already knew them. I am unbelievably, stupidly nervous.

What if she doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like her? It could happen, you know. I don’t tend to like a lot of people. What if both of those things happen and my brother actually goes on to marry her? Then I’ll spend the rest of my life being jealous because she’s friends with my sister and I don’t get to have that kind of relationship with our sister-in-law.

Then my sister reminded me that we’re basically twins. She likes Leslie, so I’ll like Leslie. Leslie likes her, so there’s no way she won’t like me. Fine. Then the neurosis kicked in again. What if I really like her and I start thinking of her as a future sister-in-law? Then my stupid brother changes his mind about this whole girlfriend thing and dumps her? Where will that leave me?

All alone, 2 hours away, and jealous that my sister gets to spend time with our almost-sister-in-law, that’s where.

I don’t embarrass easily so when people are sharing their most embarrassing moments, I’m not really able to contribute. Things that should embarrass me—like finding hubby behind me when I’ve just finished singing Steve’s Silly Hat song, complete with the dance—don’t even faze me.

For my would-be embarrassing moments, I have so far been lucky enough to be alone—like cowering under a table armed with a fly swatter peering out at a giant wasp. Of course, had I not been alone that one would have never happened. I would have simply ran out of the house while someone else disposed of the alien wasp.

Then there was the time I was halfway to a friend’s house—sans kids—when I realized the cd I had been singing along to was Elmopalooza. These are things people would never know. That is until I out myself—which I would never do if it would embarrass me. I guess I’m just not that kind of person.

Since Christmas I have watched Gilmore Girls in its entirety. It’s such a great show—even hubby likes it. And I’m sure that’s not solely because Lauren Graham is hot.

In the last month I have noticed the soundtrack playing in my head. Not a Hey, you post-the-lyrics-to-pass-it-on sort of way. Just that the happy, bouncy song plays when my life is good and the dramatic, what-else-could-go-wrong music plays when things get tough.

It’s why I don’t have an iPod. That, and I’m skint (it’s British).

Today is the third day in a row I have woken up with a splitting headache. When your day starts with pounding coming from inside your head, you know it’s all downhill from there. I’ve been sick as a dog for 5 straight weeks* and I—in all my brilliance—decide that this would be a great week to finish our Sounds of Music Try-It during our Brownie meeting yesterday. Can you say ouch? 23 1st graders pounding the shit out of homemade drums and maracas does something for a headache Tylenol will never touch.

*No, I haven’t gone to the doctor yet. It’s a freaking cold people. It started with an ear infection and slight cough after Christmas. Then the ear infection went away, but the cough lingered for a week. Week 3 brought a cold so the cough decided to hang out and help me expunge the phlegm. The cough tried to fade during Week 4, but the cold became sinus problems and another ear infection. The antibiotics for both—naturally—caused a yeast infection. All of which is forming a militia with which to hunt me down, but none of which is actually life threatening. Therefore, I will not be lugging a toddler into the doctor’s office when I’m tired, pissy, and over-medicated inviting further sickness into our home via the munchkin. /rant