Category Archives: Personal

It Was the Best of Times…

Last night I was looking at a post my daughter had put on Instagram before she went to bed. It was a collage of photos from this summer and she had tagged all the friends she’d made at her day camp, thanking them for the “most amazing summer ever!”

It was really quite moving seeing a whole summer condensed into a collage of tiny photos and reading about how many great people she’d met and how much fun she’d had.

She made that collage and posted it last night because school was starting today. She was saying goodbye to summer.

And she was saying goodbye to another year gone by.

As I sat there ruminating on this, I got choked up and started to cry.

It’s not just the end of summer. It’s the end of one year and the beginning of another. It’s another year of my kids’ childhoods behind us.

If you know me at all, you might recall that I have a really hard time with the idea of my kids growing up. The mere thought of my babies not being my babies anymore brings me to tears on a regular basis.

But that Instagram post didn’t just make me sad because my kids are growing up and time is flying by faster than I ever thought it could.

It made me sad because despite all the bad stuff that’s happened this summer, namely my husband becoming unemployed along with a few other things, it’s also been one of the best summers we’ve ever had as a family. Get the whole story »

You Mean We’re Poor Now?

My husband lost his job.

Well, he didn’t exactly lose it. I mean it’s not misplaced or anything. He just doesn’t have it anymore.

He is officially unemployed after 12 years at the same workplace. I can’t give you the details other than to say his job was in the IT field but he was at that job for a dozen years and honestly, I figured he’d retire from there.

But when your still kind of new-ish boss is having a meltdown every day over nothing and yelling and screaming at everyone on a regular basis and decides one day that he should take a swing at you because you told him you weren’t going to put up with him screaming and spitting and throwing violent tantrums anymore, well, it’s probably time to go anyway.

The guy was an idiot and his childish outbursts chased away the one guy who could actually run the whole department and do EVERY.DAMN.THING that needed to be done but as shitty as the situation turned out, I’m glad my husband doesn’t work there anymore.

He was coming home at lunch and complaining of chest pains at least 2 times a week, if not more, and while a lot of people don’t believe it, stress really does kill people.

So goodbye and good riddance to crazy bosses with anger management issues.

And hello to being poor.

For the record, it totally sucks.

I’ve been taking note of how things have changed for us almost overnight and writing blog posts in my head. Unfortunately, my head is not a very effective filing cabinet and I forget said blog posts :(

Nonetheless, I plan to chronicle our newfound status as the poor people on the block so stay tuned (and load many pages!) because I need that $5 a month ad revenue check more than ever.

And that last part was sarcasm. Sort of.

Decisions, Decisions

Ughhhh…blerghhhhh….arrrghhhhh… Big decisions are afoot over here at my house. And if you know me well enough, you know that I am a worrier—but not one of those annoying worriers that constantly ruminates on their concerns—out loud—over and over and over until you want to jab a sharp pencil in one ear and clear out the other.

No, I am a secret worrier. There is always a mental chess game going on in my brain…weighing pros and cons and what ifs and trying to stay two jumps ahead of fate and circumstance until I’m mentally exhausted and have to take to my sofa and nap it off. Some people eat when they are stressed or upset or worried. I sleep.

So, the minor stuff first…

My almost 13 yr old daughter wants an iPhone and if anyone had told me a few years ago that I’d even be considering such a thing, I would have insisted they put down the crack pipe and seek help.

Anyhoo, she already has a regular phone she peevishly refers to as a “dumb phone” because it has no internet and even worse, NO INSTAGRAM!!!  OHHHH, THE HORROR OF IT ALL!!!!

I just got it for her about 6 months ago because she was going on a trip with her Girl Scout troop and I wanted her to be able to contact me whenever she needed without having to ask anyone or borrow a phone yada…yada…yada. It doesn’t help at all that her BFF just got her first phone and it’s an iPhone 5.

Honestly, if we weren’t grappling with other issues, I wouldn’t even consider letting her have an iPhone but since an iPhone 4 would be free on our plan and it would only be an extra $10 a month more than what we pay for her “dumb phone”, I’m actually thinking about it.

My primary concern is that she will become one of those kids who always has her nose in her phone. I don’t like it when adults can’t pry themselves away from the tiny magic screen and I really hate it when kids do it (looking at you, neices and nephews). But the upside is the leverage I will have with her—TONS AND TONS OF IT!

Of course, this begs the question of why I am actually considering letting her have the stupid iPhone (aside from the leverage).

You see, she attends a very diverse International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet school and the kids come from all over the county. Making friends you can actually spend time with outside of school is very difficult when they live up to 45 minutes away. Having an iPhone will let her stay in touch with her school friends as well as all her friends from her old school since she never gets to see them either.

She’s been feeling really left when she gets together with her old girlfriends because they are all connected by school and apparently by their phones, too (via Instagram, Facetime etc). It’s really not that different from the blogging world…we adults stay connected by social media and if you’ve ever been to a blogging conference without a smart phone,  you know exactly what I’m talking about. It kind of sucks :(

The much larger issue is that she wants to change schools.

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Pet Sematary (kinda like the movie but not really)

It’s been the week of death around here…critter deaths, unfortunately.

Yesterday, I had to go out and get a dead squirrel off the street in front of my house because the kids play out there and that would have really upset both of them. Plus, it’s just ewww to leave something dead in the street.

Whenever I see that,  it makes me wonder how civilized we really are because a truly civilized people wouldn’t just ignore something dead in the road. And this will make me sound like a freak but over the years  I have removed a handful of dead animals out of the main road a couple blocks away…primarily because it was obvious it was someone’s pet and I can’t think of anything more devastating than finding your missing pet squashed in the road and continuously run over like a fly-ridden soda can.

Prior to that, over the weekend, my cat got a bluejay. He’d lost his bell collar a few days before and I hadn’t had a chance to replace it.

I saw him with the bird and it was flapping and freaking out but by the time I got from my car to the other end of the yard, the poor thing was dead and it’s mate was flying around all agitated and upset.

The whole thing was awful. But I can’t blame the cat completely. Cats are predators by nature and that’s why he wears a bell. It’s really all my fault because I didn’t get him a new one as soon as I noticed his old one was missing. He has a new one now. Guilt s a terrific motivator…

And because I don’t have the heart to just throw away a dead animal in the trash like many people do, a bird and a squirrel have joined our growing pet cemetery in the back yard.

And I sound like a total Wednesday Addams weirdo  :-|

Frenemies and Other Lame Things

Well, the world didn’t end on 12-21-2012, which is good. But then again, we have the Korean krazypants, Kim Jong Un, making threats and pointing his nukes at everyone so maybe I shouldn’t get too happy just yet, huh?

Right now, I should really be writing out my thoughts and feelings in the form of a letter (that I won’t send) to a friend who really hurt my feelings yesterday. She’s not just a friend, though—our 12 year old daughters have been friends since they were two. This complicates things immensely.

I won’t bore you with the details except  to say that she made some incredulous claims about my motivations regarding a recent event..something that hurt her child’s feelings but that I absolutely did not do.

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Should I Be Christmas Shopping or Doomsday Prepping?

Ugh.

I don’t know what’s wrong got me so down but I have less than zero holiday spirit this season. Usually, I love Christmas and decorate the shit out of my house and bake cookies and do all that other Martha Stewart-y stuff  that I eschew the rest of the year.

But this year, I just can’t muster the required JOY! to make all those things happen and I’m even feeling a wee bit resentful that I have to participate at all.

Exhibit A:

We’re supposed to decorate our tree tonight and I’m all “Can I just lay here on the couch and read my book?”

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Free-Range Parenting Fail or Accidents Happen?

My seven year old son has recently developed an interest in running which always makes me smile a little because this is not something I’d ever expect from him. Like his mom, he’s a very firm believer in never exerting himself too terribly much.

Soooo…when he started asking to come along and run the track while my daughter and I are at cheer practice three nights a week, I happily let him.

He was like Forrest Gump…just running and running and running around that track and he swears he did ten laps one night. But then he realized he has access to the playground at the school next to the football field and has been going over there to play while I sit on my butt watching cheer practice and talking to the other parents.

He’s not super close by (maybe 3/4 of a football field away) but I can see him and every minute or so, I look over there to make sure all is well. He’s usually running around and playing with other kids or climbing all over an elaborate array of monkey bars. Of course that part makes me a little nervous because it’s a long way to the ground but I figure we all grew up playing on monkey bars and it’s good exercise for him so I just try to relax and let him have his fun.

Last week, while he ran the track and then went to the playground, I walked over to let him know I was going to the fieldhouse for a minute and would be right back. Upon my return, I again went to him to let him know I’d be over on the bleachers if he needed me.

As per usual, I kept an eye on him while watching the girls and chatting with the other moms and dads.

Well, I must have forgotten to look over for a more than a couple minutes because when I tried to spot him, he was nowhere to be found. It was dusk and I figured I just couldn’t see him and was getting up to walk over there when one of the coaches came over and told me the nurse called her from the fieldhouse and asked her to let me know my son was injured and bleeding.

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