Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's List o' Things I Probably Won't Accomplish


I am not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I hate setting myself up for failure.  Don’t you think if I really thought I could lose 10 lbs. by simply resolving to do so starting January 1st I would have done so by now? 

Nevertheless, I am going to attempt to hold myself accountable by putting some goals (NOT resolutions) out there in the universe.  And by universe I mean the World Wide Internets.  I must admit that I do not have high hopes.  Actually I foresee a post on December 31, 2012 that includes a video of the honey badger and which is titled "Guess Who Else Doesn’t Give a Sh*t?"  

Karma, if you’re out there, please help me out a little.  I try to be a good person.  (Relax, I didn’t say nice person, I said good.  There’s a difference.  This is how I earned the nickname Sweet B*tch in college.)

So here’ goes:

1.  Lose weight
I know everyone says this, but I really need to lose weight.  I remember joining Weight Watchers once . . . yes, I’ve joined MANY times . . . and hearing a woman say her goal was to lose 9 lbs.  NINE lbs.?  I don’t mean to undermine her goal, but to someone who needs to lose, um, more than 9 lbs., that sounds like a good night at Outback, not a goal weight. 

The thing is, diabetes runs in my family.  I don’t want my kids to have the fat mom, and I currently weigh more than I did when I was pregnant.       

Prom, 1991
Although looking at it now, maybe my
Big Hair just made the rest of my
body look smaller . . . 
I have many reasons why I need to lose weight, but the primary reason is that I am getting fat.  Not just “fluffy” like I was before; I mean I’m getting FAT.  I use food as comfort, and I need to remember that food is sustenance, not a hug from the pantry.  I also realize that I have had a distorted body image for a looooong time, meaning I thought I was fat way before I really was.  Now I really am.  (And for those of you who read my previous blog entry about people who post needy messages on Facebook in order to elicit sympathetic responses, this is NOT one of those times.  I don’t need sympathy; I need a life change.)

2.  Prepare and Eat Well-Balanced Meals
It’s no secret that I don’t like to cook.  I like to eat.  Cooking takes too long.  Since Hubby often works late or has evening meetings, I usually make something quick for the boys.  Then I end up eating remnants of grilled cheese or cold spaghetti.  I have turned my kitchen into a restaurant where each diner places his own order.  Since no one likes the same thing, I make grilled cheese for one, macaroni and cheese for another, etc.  Notice there are no requests for vegetables.  I have created these monsters, and I need to put an end to my family’s poor eating habits because I am the main culprit.  

3.  Spend less time on Facebook
Facebook is such a timesuck.  Because I’m so nosy curious, I spend way too much time snooping around in other people’s business.  When I think of all the creative things I could be doing with what little free time I have, it makes me cringe to know that I waste it by cyber-stalking people I barely know.  Plus, I have a bad habit of believing things I read on Facebook, like how happy/fulfilled/successful everybody is.  I need to work on my own happiness, and Facebook makes NO contribution to my overall well-being. 

4.  Stop saying “I’m sorry”
I don’t mean that I need to stop apologizing when/if I’m wrong.  I mean when someone backs into me in the aisle at the grocery store, why is my first instinct to apologize?  I feel like I’m apologizing for taking up space, and that ain’t right.                

5.  Start putting more effort into my appearance
Perhaps this sounds shallow, but I feel so much better when I look better.  I am not the kind of woman who can roll out of bed and look all fresh and eager to begin my day.  Just ask any of my neighbors who have bus stop duty in the morning.  I am aging, just like everyone else, (even though I have a firm plan in place in which I will remain 39 forever.  Not that I’m 39.  Because I’m not.  I’m 38.)  Anyhoo . . . I need to keep up with my hair, my skin, and my style.  (And perhaps shave my legs a little more often.)  There’s no reason for me to be wearing pastel-colored elasticized pants and embroidered blouses just yet.  I remember thinking my mom looked so pretty when she got dressed up and wore makeup, which she didn’t do often because she stayed at home with us kids.  I don’t want my kids to look at me and think, man, Mom cleans up real nice, when she washes her hair.  I mean I'm never going to be a Ginger; I'll always be a MaryAnne.  But right now I look as if MaryAnne got trapped on Gilligan's Island with a keg full o' beer and a never-ending supply of Doritos.

So there ya have it.  My goals probably aren’t much different from anyone else’s.  If I decide not to run the Honeybadger post next year, I can probably re-post this one.  It will probably be just as relevant then as it is today.  Maybe I'm having a mid-life crisis . . .                                                       

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Facebook Archetypes, part II


I’ve discovered some new Facebook Archetypes to add to my previous post, called Facebook, I Wish I Could Quit You.  I find them to be equally as annoying as the first 10.

1.  What is commonly known as the Vaguebooker.  She posts things like “Why does it have to be so hard?!”  This, of course, prompts replies like, “what’s wrong?” and “call me!” and “hang in there!”  and it leaves me perplexed because I am nosy curious and I want to know what the heck is going on?  It's the Facebook equivalent of the following conversation:
Person A:  "What's wrong?"
Person B:  Sigh.  "Nothing."  (please keep asking me because I need you to know how needy I am.)
The End.

2.  The Self-Portrait Taker.  Now you know I LOVES a good self-portrait, but seriously?  You’ve got 326 “friends.”  You can’t find ONE to take a photo of you?  And since when did the bathroom become a photography studio? 
This IS my sexy face . . . 

3.  The Bra Bragger.  This status update is posted ostensibly to make a point about whatever the cause du jour is, although how posting your bra color is going to cure cancer is questionable.  In reality, this is a means for women to give the illusion that they are still young, vibrant, and sexy.  Because who, (besides me of course,) is REALLY going to post that their bra color is used to be white but is now grey from years of wash?

4.  The Hacker.  He gets into his girlfriend’s account and starts gushing about how in luuuuuve they are.  “My boyfriend is the BEST thing that’s ever happened to me!!!!”  For future reference, if you ever see elaborate PDA posted on my account, you can be pretty sure I didn’t post it.  I love my husband, so I tell HIM.   

5.  The Over-Friender.  This is your cousin’s neighbor’s hair-dresser’s little sister.  You bumped into her at the 7-11 ONCE and now she thinks you’re BFFs and need to be “friends.”  She has 1000+ friends.  Oh mah gah, she is SO popular!

Friend Request, Friend Request, Friend Request . . . 
6.  The Former Teacher.  I will admit I am “friends” with some former students with whom I worked closely when I was employed.  These are girls I coached and worked with for several years.  But it creeps me out when I see former teachers make remarks like “you’re just as beautiful as you were 20 years ago” and “hang in there, you’ll find someone!”  Ooops, I’m sorry!  You must have stumbled across Facebook when you were searching for the Sex Offender Registry.

7.  The Repeat Friend Requester.  Remember the last two times when I didn’t accept your friend request?  It’s not happenin’ this time either.  I have my reasons.  Accept it and be on your way.

8.  The Photo Tagger.  I don’t mind being tagged in a photo in which I look smokin’ and lord knows I love to have my picture taken.  But if I’m stuffing pie in my mouth, (hypothetically, of course,) and you just happened to click at that moment, PLEASE don’t tag me in that photo.  Or else the next time you’re picking your nose, I’ll be watching.  With my camera. 

9.  The TMI Poster.  Recently we lost a member of our graduating class and most of us found out because of an ALL CAPS POST posted by his grieving wife.  I certainly understand the need to disseminate information quickly, but I about had a heart attack when I read the post.  I need to be eased into these things.  I liked being able to share stories and contact info afterwards, but I was wierded out by the whole facebook thing, mostly because I was scrolling through, delightfully learning what so-and-so was making for dinner and what whatsername was buying at Walmart . . . and BAM! 

10.  The Inspiration.  I am all about self-discovery and improvement, but the cheesy inspirational it’s-all-about-the-journey posts on a canvas of beautiful scenery?  I call bull-sh*t.  You know you’re sitting on your couch in your jammies just like I am, so don’t tell me you’re all zen now.

I am the first to fall into that trap of believing everyone else’s life is more glamorous, exciting, and fulfilling than mine.  Trust me.  Please remember to put it all in perspective.  People post what they want you to see.  Facebook is an excellent way to manipulate people’s perception of you.  This is why, from now on, I will be posting portraits

of myself,


my home, 

  
and my children's accomplishments


in order to make you all jealous.














Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Y'all.


In the interest of not ruining anyone's Christmas surprise, I had to postpone publishing this one until today.  Happy Christmas!

You know how I’m not supposed to write about Hubby because he thinks I throw him under the bus?

Is it MY fault he gives me so much material to work with?

Today is December 24, also known as Christmas Eve.  The Day.  Before.  Christmas.  I have had most of my Christmas shopping done for at least a few days now and I have been wrapping like a madwoman so that my family can rip paper off their gifts in a matter of mere seconds.  Hubby took the older two boys to a football game today and the plan has long been for me to wrap the remaining gifts while they are gone.  Keep in mind that I did much the same yesterday, except yesterday also involved a screwdriver and Chinese directions for items which may require some assembly. 

I couldn’t sleep this morning because I kept thinking of all the things I want to get done before our guests arrive for dinner this evening.  I am not a morning person, so when I had returned from Target and was already making Rice Krispie Treats with Medium at 8 AM, Hubby literally felt my forehead for fever.  What can I say?  Mama’s got sh*t to do. 

Before he left for the game, he made an online purchase for his parents on behalf of himself and his two brothers.  Would any particular member of this little trifecta of siblings be picking up said purchase at the store?

N to the O.

That little task was left to me after Hubby asked me if I could do him a little favor and pick something up for him.

Do you know what he wanted me to pick up for him?  A friggin’ television. 

Me:  How am I going to get it out of the store?
Hubby:  Oh it won’t be a big deal.  They’ll have it all ready to go once you get there.
Me:  Remember, I’ll have Small with me.
Hubby:  You should just be able to run in and run out.
Me:  Um, it’s the day before Christmas.  I'm having some doubts . . . 


So I drove to the store, loaded Small up in the stroller, and headed in to “just run in” and pick up my purchase.

Wah?  There’s a line?

We waited.  Small wanted his cup.  We waited some more.  I broke out the snacks.  We waited some more.  “I wan git out,” he says. 

Finally it was our turn with the sales representative.  She checks my ID and the purchase order and then steps over to find my item.  Except she returns empty-handed and tells me my husband just cancelled the order. 

Super. 

I’ve just waited in this line and there are at least 10 impatient customers behind me, who are beginning getting a little testy when my phone rings.

Me:  (super friendly and brimming with adoration for my spouse.)  Yes.
Hubby:  Hello Dear.  So I’m making things more complicated for you.
Me:  Uhuh.
Hubby:  I talked to Cluer (my brother-in-law) and he measured the space and we can get a different size for the same price, so I cancelled the order and all you have to do is pick up the different, even bigger, tv.
Me:  So now I have to wait even longer so they can bring a different tv up from the warehouse and then I need to stand in line, again, to check out?
Hubby:  What’s wrong?  You sound annoyed . . .
Me:  I sound annoyed?  (this comment was met with chuckles from several members of the Last Minute Shopper entourage waiting in line behind me.)
Hubby:  What’s the big deal?

Just so we’re clear . . . the big deal:
1.  It’s now naptime.  I left the house in plenty of time, but I’ve had to wait and now Small is cranky, squirmy, and loud.
2.  It’s crowded.  I don’t like crowds of people as I get easily annoyed by people who stand too closely to me or who have complete disregard for the line of people who apparentlyarejuststandinghereforourhealth, hello???!!
3.  There’s no way to look cool while pushing a toddler in a stroller AND maneuvering a giant television.
4.  WHY did you and your brothers wait until the day before Christmas to make this purchase, and WHY is it that not one of YOU is doing anything more strenuous than clicking “make purchase” on the website?

I am wrapping that bad boy tonight.  And I’m signing the card:
TO:  Hubby's Parents

FROM:  the woman who went to the store on the day-before-Christmas to wait in line, pick up the gift, load it into the car, and then got to go home and wrap it, all with her tired toddler in tow.  And also the Trifecta of Morons who waited until yesterday to buy your gift.

Friday, December 23, 2011

BoyMommy Works Her Magic: A Lesson in How It's Done


I thought for a moment that this blog entry was going to be dedicated to convincing you, dear readers, to stop shopping at a certain big box toy store because of their less-than-stellar customer service.  (I won't name them directly, but it rhymes with ShmoysRUs.)  But alas, I worked my magic and they have therefore been forgiven.  You may continue to shop there until further notice.

We bought Large and Medium a certain gift for Christmas which will herefore be known as The Big Gift.  I purchased two The Big Gifts so as to guarantee that there will be no fighting and/or whining about whose turn it is. I ordered said purchase online on December 1st and I was assured that it would ship out from the warehouse immediately.

Except I got several apologetic emails stating that The Big Gift was backordered and I started FREAKING OUT a lil’ bit that they might not arrive in time for Santa’s delivery.  Worry not; they have since arrived, but in the meantime I got on the website and discovered that the price per The Big Gift had dropped by $50.

Now I’m not so good at the math, but I bought two of these suckers, so that’s $100.  That’s a lot of money.  Right?  Two children at $50 per gift = $100.  Yes, one hundo.

Once I received my order, I pulled out the receipt and called the 800-number to attempt to get a price match and be refunded $100.  Surprisingly enough, I spent a significant amount of time on hold.  My call was very important to them.  They appreciated my business.  They would answer the call in the order in which it was received.  While I was waiting, I was welcome to check out their website at www.Shmoys-R-Us.com.  So I did.

In the interest of killing time, I started reading the online product reviews for The Big Gift

Rut-row.

MANY customers were complaining.  Not about the product, but about the customer service they were receiving as they attempted to get the price difference refunded and the fact that the product didn’t ship when it was supposed to.

It’s time for BoyMommy to work her magic.  I’m not one to try to buck the system or be unkind to customer service representatives.  After all, they’re just doing their jobs.  I'm only interested in being fair, but sometimes their policies are dumb.  (That’s the technical term.)

"blah, blah, blah, but it says!   with the little stars!"


Finally, an actual real-live person picked up the phone.  I explained my situation . . . made the purchase in plenty of time, item didn’t ship immediately, recently discovered price difference, me wants my money. 

Customer Service Representative: “I understand, but our 'policy' states that we cannot refund money on a purchase that was previously made.”
BoyMommy:  “That doesn’t make any sense to me.  I could go to the store and return this item and then repurchase it for the lower price, OR you could make it right over the phone.”
Rep:  “Yes, you could do that, but they may have to restock the item before they’ll allow you to purchase it again.”
BoyMommy:  “It says on my receipt here, all highlighted with cute little stars, that ShmoysRUs guarantees hassle-free returns!  Going to the store 3 days before Christmas is NOT hassle free.  Is there someone else with whom I can speak?”

Because I’ve got good smarts and I like to use proper grammar.

Eric gets on the phone.  Eric sounds as if he is about 25 years old and I’m pretty sure he does not have any children, though I didn’t ask.

I exlpain the situation again, except this time I also mention that I have THREE children, I am a frequent customer of ShmoysRUs, and I am not the kind of customer they want to lose.  And I WILL boycott.  (Ask me how many times I’ve had Father J’s pizza since the 30-year-old-still-lives-in-his-mom’s-basement-delivery-driver messed up my order at the baseball field, which you can read about here.)  I mention the stars on the receipt and the hassle-free returns.  I mention the MANY negative reviews I’ve been reading online.  I want to know WHO decided it was good business policy to refuse to make a price match if the customer makes the effort to redeem it.  Then I begin my diatribe on the crappy economy and how $100 is a lot of moolah.  Did I tell you I mentioned the little stars?

THAT conversation won me a trip to speak with the Senior Customer Service Supervisor. 

Go ahead . . . I ain’t skeered.

Guess what, folks?  ShmoysRUS refunded $100 to my credit card.  It seems they lowered the price on The Big Gift before my purchase ever even left the warehouse, so they felt obligated to give me the price that was offered on the day it shipped.  (It's also possible they felt obligated to get me off the phone once they realized I could go on for a looooong time.)

And that, my friends, is how it’s done.  God bless us, every one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ah, the Holidays . . .


Ah, the holidays. 

They bring out the best in all of us, don’t they?

Hubby and I decided we’d take the boys shopping separately so they could each pick out a Christmas gift for their brothers.  We would split up and then meet back at home for dinner in one hour.  We decided on the division of labor using the same method we use for all important decisions in the BoyMommy household:

Rock, Paper, Scissors.

It was a one shot deal; none of this best-out-of-three nonsense.  I was SURE he was going throw “rock” so I threw “paper.”  Alas, he threw “scissors.” 

Crap.

So I took Medium and Small out to Walmart as Hubby said he was taking Large to Target. 

See?  I was set up for failure from the very beginning.

We got out of the car in the Walmart parking lot, which in my town is like going to Cuba from Florida.  One does not keep going once one arrives at the Florida Keys.  Oh no, one STOPS where the gettin's good.  Such is life in our town.  We don’t generally pass the Target because our destination is Walmart.  It’s just not done.  This is not to say that Walmart is a bad place.  It is not.  But OUR Walmart is a bad place, with long checkout lines, messy shelves, and the dregs of society perusing its aisles.

Anyhow, I am situating the boys in the cart when we hear a store patron yelling at the cars in front of him, “come on, people!  Learn to drive already!  Especially you up front!”  Tis the season, after all.

As we’re approaching the front doors . . .
Medium:  “who’s yelling?”
Mommy:  “oh, it’s just people in the parking lot.  All the classiest people in town shop here.”
Medium:  “Whas that mean?  Classy?”
Mommy:  “never mind.”
Medium:  "I don't get it."

By the time we got into the store, Medium had a gift in mind.  Lo and behold, we couldn’t find it in the Walmart.  I called Hubby to make we wouldn’t run into them if we ventured over to Target.  Guess what?  He was HOME already.  F*cker.

So we went to Target, where my first order of business was getting Small’s little legs into the leg holder in the cart so I could strap him down buckle him in.  We searched the aisles and found our intended gift, but there was only one left and it wasn’t the variety we wanted.  We asked for help and a nice gentleman checked the inventory and went searching for our choices.  We waited.  Small squirmed and screamed his new favorite phrase, “I wan gitout.”

Mommy:  "Look at Medium sitting nicely.  Don't you want to sit with Medium like a big boy?"
Small:  "I wan gitout."
Mommy:  "We're gonna sit.  We're not getting out right now."
Small:  "I wan gitout."
Mommy:  "I know you want to get out, but you need to sit on your bum."
Small:  "I wan gitout."  

video


By the time we checked out, Small was standing in the back of the cart where Medium had been riding.  Unfortunately, he was reaching for the gum/candy/ponytail holders/chapstick/batteries from the just-one-last-thing section of the checkout lane.  Once this ceased, he began emptying the contents of my purse onto the conveyor belt.  I put everything back into my purse and turned around to find him pushing all the buttons on the credit card swiper. 

I picked him up, but he, surprisingly enough, did not want to snuggle right now, so I had to hold him outwards.  He was on my hip with my arm in his armpits, swinging his legs and bucking so that he could free himself from my loving embrace.  I tried to maneuver the cart with one hand out into the parking lot, but of course, as soon as we stepped off the sidewalk and were in the middle of the street, the bag opened up and my purchases fell to the ground. 

Mommy:  "Ugh.  Are you kidding me?"

So I’ve got an unhappy toddler – ever tried to hold a cat who does NOT want to be held? – a heavy cart because Medium is just along for the ride, and a Fisher Price dump truck bouncing along in its cardboard package.  Luckily an older mommy came to my rescue and ran over to help me corral my belongings. 

D*mn you, rock paper scissors!  I’m SO picking rock next time.  If it doesn’t win, I’ll just beat Hubby over the head with it until I get my way.  Happy holidays, my @ss.  Where's my wine?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Condensed Version of my Many Misadventures


I had every intention of writing about my antics every day while Hubby was out of the country, but after days 1 and 2, I was too exhausted to find time to write.  I’m used to Hubby being MIA during the week, either with meetings, late nights at the office, or sports practice, so the weekdays weren't too bad.  The weekends kicked my @ss.  I have even MORE respect for single parents and military wives than I already did. 

So here is my Condensed Version of my many misadventures:

1.  Took Medium to the dentist to get a spacer, or as we call it in our family, “mouth bling.”  For what we’ve paid this dentist, Mommy could have had some hand bling or ear bling, but instead Medium has a mouthful of mouth bling.  Sigh.  Merry Christmas, Medium, you got dental work!


2.  Argued with Large, who is eight years old, about why it is inappropriate for him to watch Eastbound and Down, the HBO comedy series that features an “athlete” named Kenny Powers.  Yes, I know it is about baseball, but I’d prefer Large try to emulate someone whose chief mode of transportation is not a jet ski and who doesn’t toke up in the parking lot of his middle school substitute teaching job.  Call me a prude . . .


3.  Had the following uncomfortable and politically incorrect conversation with my children at the new Chick-fil-A.

Large:  You know what I like about this Chick-fil-A?
Mommy:  What’s that, son? 
Large:  All the people speak English.
Medium:  Yeah, at McDonald’s they all speak Spanish and you can’t unnerstand ‘em.
Mommy:  Well, lots of people speak different languages, and lots of people speak Spanish.
Medium:  They never get it right at McDonald’s.
Large:  Yeah, like last time?  We went to McDonald’s?  They gave me TWO packages of apple fries?  And no french fries!
Medium:  Yeah.  Daddy goes ‘is it TOO much to ask . . . '
Mommy:  Everyone makes mistakes.  Hey!  Is that a talking cow?

I’m hoping that the nice Hispanic gentleman and his two children who were sitting directly behind us did not hear this conversation.


4.  Loaded up all three kids in the Swagga Wagon and drove them through a torrential downpour to Target, which is the logical place to visit the eye doctor.  (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when you think good eye health, you think Target.  If they had a gynecologist and a dentist I’d never have to go anywhere else.)  We arrived only to find out that we no longer have vision coverage.  When I spoke to the Aetna representative on the phone and explained that I’m pretty sure we do, indeed, have vision coverage, he informed me that his computer system was down and he could not access my records.    This was a slight improvement over last week when I called and got a voice message that their phone system was down.  A tad bit annoyed . . . ahem. . . . I informed the operator that I was standing IN the doctor’s office WITH my 3 offspring for an appointment that was made months ago.  The operator apologized, and I use the term loosely, by saying "I'm sorry ma'am but I don't have a magic wand that can make the computers work."  Clearly not a parent himself, he suggested that we “give it a half hour” and try again.  

Sure.  

We’ll sit here with our hands folded in our laps and wait patiently for 30 minutes, at which point we will try again and may or may not be met with success.  Forget it.  Medium doesn’t need to see the blackboard.  He probably doesn’t pay attention anyway.


5.  You know how the media is all abuzz about Alex Baldwin being kicked off a plane for acting like my toddler refusing to power off and for slamming a bathroom door?  I was reading an article and the reader responses on MSN when this response caught my eye:

“I think all cell phones should be banned from aircraft as well as camera's, radio's, people with pacemakers, fat people (they're heavy), babies (adult one's too), underwear, bra's, people wearing lose fitting cloths, old people, deaf people (they can't hear the flight attendants yell at them), blind people (can't see which flight attendant is yelling at them), handicap people (they get in the way of us normal people), airline employee's (I don't like the fact they fly for free)....have I left anything out?”

I had to respond.  I just HAD to.  So I logged on and gave myself a user name and everything just so I could post this:

“um, you left out "people who know how to spell" and "apostrophe's."

Seriously, I could NOT help myself.  The Grammar Police ride again . . .


6.  Paid a nanny/babysitter the equivalent of a car payment so I could accompany my dad to the hospital for minor surgery.  (I’ll let you in on a little secret though . . . sitting in the waiting room afforded me enough time to address my Christmas cards, read a few chapters of my book, and catch up on my celebrity gossip.)  I was full of jokes that day too.  Lucky Dad. 

  • When the nurse came to attach his IV and apologized that it would hurt when it came time to remove it because it would pull his arm hair, I casually looked up from my magazine and suggested they tape it to his head . . . there’s no hair to worry about there.
  • When they asked if my dad had an advanced directive or a living will, I pulled a well-worn copy out of my back pocket.  Carry that bad boy with me.  Just in case.
  • When the receptioninst asked for his emergency information, I made him change his next of kin from my brother, who lives within 10 miles of my dad, to me, because clearly I am the responsible one. 
  • The doctor made him wear those special white compression socks that help with circulation.  I dubbed them Medical Spanx.

Apparently I am full o’ the jokes when I’m uncomfortable.  When they let me see him after surgery, the nurse patted my hand and said, “he did fine.  I know you were worried.  You looked very nervous when we took him back . . . I was more worried about you than I was about him!”

Pillar of strength, just like always.


*  PS - Click those ads!  Tiny Tim needs new crutches.





Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Life as a Single Mom - Day 2


Day 2 is not going any better than Day 1 did. 

Large had a basketball game this morning, which meant that we ALL had to escort him to school.  In an attempt to give myself a little treat, we stopped at Starbucks on the way and I purchased a Venti cup of caffeinated goodness.  We arrived at school and I was all proud of myself for arriving on time with a few minutes to spare.  I had packed a little bag of Monster Trucks for Medium and a bin of toys for Small, and we set up camp in a corner of the gym.

On time?  Check!  Prepared?  Check!

And then Small spilled my super-duper cup o’ joe all over the floor.  I bolted for the bathroom to get paper towels only to have a representative from the Parks Authority chase after me. 

“Excuse me!” he called.  “Someone spilled a drink all over the place in here.”

Well, thanks for the heads up, Johnny Newsflash.

I explained that I was getting paper towels, and he graciously offered to go find a mop.  Yes, there was THAT much coffee.

I don’t know if I was more annoyed that I was down on my hands and knees with those industrial strength brown school paper towels that have the absorbency of sandpaper, or that I had only had ONE sip of my coffee.  I have mentioned once or twice how much I likes my coffee, right?

Large does not have a future in the NBA.  He had fun, but the entire experience was the basketball equivalent of the Bad News Bears.  Medium complained the entire time that he was bored, he had nothing to do, he was hungry, how much longer, etc.  Small wiggled, writhed, screamed, fell backwards onto the seat behind him, ran from me, threw a car onto the court, and ate raisins off the floor.  Medium took full advantage of this situation and began teasing Small by holding his car just out of his reach, showing him the ball and then taking it away from him, and “wrestling” him and then claiming he couldn’t hear my desperate request for him to pleasefortheloveofpete knock it off!

Because I clearly appeared to have the situation firmly under control, another mommy offered her husband’s services and had him take Large to their next destination while I headed home with the younger two.

I have a hard time asking for help.  I remember Hubby calling my mom soon after Large was born and asking her to come help me with our newborn for a few days as he was going back to work.  I was exhausted and emotional, (which I now refer to as Tuesday,) but felt like I should be able to do this motherhood thing on my own.  Since then I have learned, especially recently, that I need to ask for help and I need to accept it when it is offered.  I am always willing to get the neighbor kids off the bus when mom or dad is running a little late or to watch an extra kid so he doesn’t have to sit through his sister’s soccer practice.  I need to get rid of the Mommy Guilt I feel when I need to lean on other people.  I’ve never wanted to burden another parent with any extra responsibilities because we ALL have a lot on our plates. 

It was such a relief when the other family asked if they could take Large after practice so I wouldn’t have to drag Medium and Small to yet another activity which would be rife with the temptation of bad behavior.  I HATE it when my children act poorly, especially in public when there are witnesses, so being able to avoid the possibility of a meltdown, either from my kids or myself, was a real lifesaver. 

Later in the day, while Small napped, we headed outside to play catch.  Sure enough, our neighbor’s parents pulled into their usual parking space out front, and I made the requisite jokes about parking there at their own risk, are you sure you wanna park there, etc.  Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.  The neighbor’s daughter was playing too, so when I ran inside to make sure the baby wasn’t crying, I gave her my glove. 

One minute.  That’s as long as I was gone before Large ran in and said that she had been hurt.  He had thrown the ball to/at her, it hit her square in the nose, and she was in pain.

Seriously?  We haven’t done enough damage to this family within the past few days? 

I checked to make sure she was okay, then announced that we’d be heading around back to play in hopes that we wouldn’t cause as much damage to body or property.  Tomorrow I will suggest that they call their insurance agent and simply explain that the BoyMommy family lives across the street, at which point their agent will nod knowingly and amend any catastrophic policy they may already have.

Day 2 = Fail.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Adventures as a Single Mom, Day One


Hubby is in India for a 10-day business trip, so I am single-mom’in it.  We survived Day 1, but it was not uneventful. 

What will I be doing while my spouse is gone?  Funny you should ask.  The answer, my friend, is laundry.  Lots and lots of laundry.   



We woke up one day last week to discover that, at some point, our washer must have leaked/overflowed/vomited water all over our mudroom floor.  We figured I had overloaded it in an overzealous attempt to getdonefaster!  But when we returned from Thanksgiving and started a load of laundry, we again found ourselves swimming in what was formerly known as our laundry room.  We scheduled a service appointment for two days later, which should have been Wednesday.  Sure enough, the guy-who-sits-at-the-phone-with-the-sassy-headset called and had to reschedule . . . for December 8.  I panicked! gently explained that we are a family of 5, three of whom are young boys, and I cannot wait that long to do laundry.  He acquiesced and agreed to send someone on December 2, which is today. 

My washer is now fixed, which is a blessing in disguise.  I did two loads of laundry at my neighbor’s house on Wednesday.  (But don’t tell her because she doesn’t know.)  (Okay, that’s a joke.  She knows.  She knows NOW at least . . . )  But now I have A LOT of laundry to do, including a giant load of beach towels that need to be washed because we used them to sop up the standing water in our mudroom.  The irony is not lost on me. 

In other news, Medium lost a tooth today.  I have a hard enough time remembering to move our Elf, Neeney.  (That’s right – his name is Neeney Sweeney.)  Countless times I’ve had to make up a reason why Neeney is in the same place he was yesterday, even though he is supposed to report back to Santa each night and reappear in a different spot.  Perhaps he was just too tired from all the fun and decided to stay last night.  Or maybe he just really likes that spot, so he visited Santa and then returned to the same place.  Or maybe you were bad, bad little boys.  The point?  I sometimes forget to move Neeney and now I have the extra responsibility of remembering to be the Tooth Fairy too?

Thhhhhhh . . . 
I have also concluded that I should have gone to Target today.  Today was the first day this week I have NOT been to Target.  I went Monday because . . . well, just because.  Tuesday I went to look for a toy I had seen on Monday, price-checked at other retailers, and decided I needed to purchase at Target.  Wednesday I went to purchase all the little travel-size accoutrements Hubby needed for his trip but neglected to tell me about when I was there on Tuesday.  Thursday we went as a family to kill time until bedtime to purchase gifts for our Trim-a-Tree at church and for a neighborhood charity.  IF I had gone this afternoon, I may have avoided the embarrassing incident in which one of my children had to apologize for breaking a tail light. 

The boys were playing in the front yard with a friend while I sat on the front step and engaged in a grown-up phone conversation with a girlfriend.  We live on a street that doesn’t get much thru-traffic, so it’s not uncommon for the boys to play catch in the street.  One of my boys (betcha can’t guess which one!) was throwing a Matchbox car up into the air.  This, of course, is not advisable, wise, or what God intended when He invented Matchbox cars.  Lo and behold, he threw the car up into the air, his aim was off, and it hit the tail light of my neighbor’s parents’ car, which was parked in front of their house.  I didn’t know how hard it hit until Medium came running up the yard and cried, “I’m in big trouble!”  He apologized to the owner, admitted he had made a bad decision, and shook hands, and I said we would pay for the damage. 

Surprisingly enough, this is not the first time we’ve found ourselves in a situation such as this. 

Day One: FAIL.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Glitter = Mommy Anthrax


Last night our neighborhood sponsored an activity for children that featured cookie decorating, ornament making, and a tree lighting.  As a tired/haggard/frustrated mother, I appreciate their effort and I loved the fact that the boys were tired when we got home, which meant a quick bath and straight to bed.  (No, not straight to sleep; straight to bed.  There's a difference.  Straight to bed means I watch tv and ignore them while they stand at the top of the stairs asking for water and/or hugs and announce their need to pee.)  However, it was obvious to me that the event planners are not parents themselves. 

The Evidence:

The “festivities” began at 5:00 pm.  We were the 2nd family to arrive and the boys made a bee-line for the ornament-decorating table.  It was a simple craft, but it involved glitter glue.  Who in their right mind sets out glitter glue for a room full of children, the oldest of whom is 8 years old?  Obviously someone inexperienced in the playdoh/moonsand/fingerpaint genre of childsplay. 

Glitter.  Everywhere.

Next they moved on to cookie decorating.  Along the same lines, this activity involved colored icing and sprinkles.  We’ve added sugar to the mix, and it’s only 5:15.  The lighting of the tree didn’t happen until 6:00, so I spent 45 minutes chasing my toddler around the room, pulling him out of the men’s room, and holding him by one arm while he did the limp body dangle.  He looked like a very cute, highly-sugared and perpetually snotty bobble-head marionette because apparently sugar makes him lose control of his neck muscles.  The older two were wrestling with the neighbor kids, touching each of the Christmas tree ornaments, and bouncing on the sofa as if they were at home. 
Seriously?
You gave my kids glitter and sprinkles?
I'm plotting your death . . . 

There were several of us mommies who had toddlers at this function.  We all looked alike:  wine glass in one hand, toddler’s hand in the other and trying to carry on an adult conversation while giving the this-is-neither-the-time-nor-the-place speech through clenched teeth and a fake smile.  I had exactly one conversation last night with another mother, and we discussed my favorite subject . . . people who know how to parent other people’s children better than the actual parents themselves.  (This group is generally comprised of the elderly, the childless, and those employed in the cash-register field.)

They didn’t light the tree until after an inappropriately high-heeled, short-skirted woman sang Rudolph with the kids.  She sang with a shaky voice and seemed nervous, which kinda makes me laugh because kids are the BEST audience ever!  They could give a sh*t what YOU sound like; they just want to belt out the words as loudly as they can.  Oh, there’s a tune to this song? 

I may have lost my Christmas spirit for a moment and uttered under my breath, “just light the damn tree already!”  Hypothetically.

Merry Christmas and all that.