Thursday, March 10, 2011


I have a confession to make.


image credit


I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I love food and I tell myself that food loves me too. When I’m feeling down (sad, lonely, angry, stressed, bored, whatever), I eat. And it’s not like I eat things that are good for me. You will not find me wrist deep in a bag of carrot sticks. No way. You’ll find me stuffing my face with comfort food. A.K.A. junk food. Brownies, chips (Cheetos especially), candy bars and whatever else I can dig up. They are like family to me. I can always count on them. I don’t know when this started or if it’s gotten worse the last few years, but this relationship has been one I have known about for quite some time now. I’ve just never really talked about it. Sometimes I feel better after I eat them. Sometimes I feel guilty. And sometimes, like now, I feel like I’ve eaten enough to feed an army. I’m uncomfortably full. Worse, I’m too full, feeling guilty, and still unhappy. They let me down. They weren’t there to make me feel better. Right now I don’t think they care more about me than any other person who eats them.


The reasons I’m upset don’t even matter. Part of it is just normal things that all parents have to deal with from time to time. The other half shouldn’t matter either. I keep telling myself that it’s okay. In the grand scheme of life, it doesn’t affect me at all. That I can’t have everyone like me. That I have plenty of people that do like me and they are the ones that matter. What’s ironic is I remember giving this very advice to a fellow blogger. That she shouldn’t let the people who don’t recognize her greatness get her down. That it’s their loss. Funny how the universe has a way of throwing that back in my face.


As a total shift in subject, the blog where I found this picture is actually pretty funny. It’s written by a nun and she’s got some spunk in that Catholic sort of way. Being a disenchanted ex-Catholic myself, I was surprised to find myself continuing to read her posts and even laughing now and again. But I guess being a nun doesn’t take away your sense of humor.


Remember when I talked about how the early dismissals at my daughter’s school would interfere with nap time? Yeah, it’s been fun around here. I’ve been pushing my son’s nap back until after we get her picked up and home. Unfortunately, he falls asleep on our way to the school and wakes up when I try to get him into his bed. And I haven’t been able to get him to go back to sleep. If I’m lucky, he’ll lay in bed for half and hour. So the time that I need to work on writing has turned into just enough time to start something and then turns into breaking up the verbal World War III. They don’t hit each other (usually) but bicker and argue until my three year old is crying and then my ten year old starts crying because she’s the one in trouble. You would think with that big of an age difference between them, they would get along and just play nicely. Only in my dreams does that happen. I can only imagine what the next six days are going to be like. I need to start planning plenty of activities to get them out of the house. Sigh. So if my posts don’t come out as regularly as they had been, or I don’t comment on your blogs as often, just think of me and send some patience and peace my way. I know I’m going to need it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Break For Kids?

This week starts the beginning of Spring Break for my daughter’s school district. It also just happens to correspond with the end of the trimester, meaning early dismissals and parent/teacher conferences. Translation? Hell for parents! For working parents it means figuring out childcare for the three days of early dismissal and the six weekdays (yes, I said six!) they are off for spring break. For stay-at-home parents like myself, it means listening to my kids bicker and fight for those six should-be school days. And an interrupted naptime schedule for the early dismissal days. (For my three year old. Not for me. Although a nap is sounding pretty good right about now.) I think I’d like to put in for a well deserved respite from my kids vacation. Too bad the odds of that happening are about as good as lightning striking a lotto jackpot winner.


But seriously, who came up with the idea that elementary kids needed spring break? When I was a kid, we got an Easter Break and that consisted of Good Friday and the Monday after Easter. That’s it folks. The rest of the time our sorry little butts were in our desks. Even in high school we didn’t get a spring break. Sure I would have liked the days off to just lay around and be lazy (or grab more hours at work when I was old enough to have a job), but it didn’t really matter all that much to me. I mean, it’s not like I had big plans to head down to Daytona Beach or Cancun or whatever other hot spot for spring break. Come on. It’s high school. We’re teenagers. Not college students.


image credit


I guarantee when my kids are in high school, they are not going to be allowed on any spring break trips unless it’s a family one. (And it certainly won’t look like the picture!) There is no possible way I would ever allow that. I’ve heard too many tales, seen too many news stories, and watched too much MTV spring break specials to ever consider it.


And elementary? Really? What are they gonna do? Plan a trip to Chuck E. Cheese for five straight days?! Campout in the park? I haven’t heard of too many parents planning spring break vacations with their kids either. The whole thing is just craziness I think. Elementary kids, and even middle school and high school students do not need six days off for spring break. I hope the teachers do something really extravagant because from the way I see it, they’re the only ones who are coming out on top in this bargain.


Now just so you don’t think all I ever do is bitch (although I will admit I do it a lot. Ask my poor husband.), I’ll do something a la Paul and list three good things that happened yesterday.


  1. I had an awesome sandwich for lunch yesterday and I’m having one again today. (Turkey on oat-nut bread with mayo, lettuce, and provolone cheese. So good!)
  2. I got the majority of things done from my list. (Too bad some of the things like laundry and dishes keep multiplying and are never truly done.)
  3. At my PTA meeting last night I got to jerk the chain of City PTA. (I take such joy from disagreeing with them, I think there must be something wrong with me.) A member had attended the last City PTA meeting where the officers for City were asking those who attended to go back to their individual units and get money to pay for the lunches at State Convention (which is being held in our town) of seven little old ladies that normally attend the Founder’s Day luncheon that was cancelled. I raised the question that since they have $200 in their budget to cover Founder’s Day and they’re not having it why do they need money from us? That made everyone pause and reconsider whether or not we really need to take money out of our budget to pay for something that isn’t our responsibility. The issue is tabled for now and it makes me happy. (I must have an evil streak in me.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Know I’ve Wasted Too Much Time When…

This is what I did this weekend.


image credit


When I should have been doing this.


image credit


So now I’m this.


image credit


Okay, well maybe not quite as extreme as the last picture (and definitely not with beautifully applied make-up and perfectly styled hair.) But, I did spent too much time with my nose in a book this weekend and the rest of my time playing games online. The proof is all around me.


I have:

  • a pile of dishes needing to be washed.
  • laundry in various stages of completion in my bedroom and in the laundry area.
  • reports to get done for a meeting tonight.
  • more work than I even want to think about sitting in the office at school.
  • deposits that need to get to the bank.
  • a stack of newspapers that need to be sorted through.
  • a growling stomach that is demanding to be fed. (My son’s is probably ready too!)


Because of all that, I am going to spend my day getting caught up around the house, but will catch up with you guys (and your blogs!) tomorrow.


I should have some real posts coming later this week. I started a couple over the weekend, but they need some polishing. I’ll also have to fill you in on my role-playing thing and the books that I finished last week. Good stuff.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Remembering My 21st

In honor of the day, I thought I would share the events of my 21st birthday.


My oldest sister and my sister-in-law were taking me out for a “night on the town” in celebration of my reaching the legal drinking age. (In reality they were just excited to get away from their kids for a night, as was I. Although they probably were excited for me too.) But the three of us were looking forward to having a girl’s night out and all bets were off. We had arranged for us all to meet at my brother and sister-in-law’s house where the kids and the men (my brother and my brother-in-law) were going to be staying while us ladies got our grooves on. We opened a bottle of champagne and toasted to a fun night out, then made sure the kids were starting to eat and doing okay before we set out for the night. My brother was our designated driver and he delivered us to our first stop for the night, a restaurant and bar that we all enjoyed. We were like three school girls being dropped off by a parent the way we giggled and rushed to get inside. Even the warning from my brother to behave ourselves was reminiscent of childhood.


We went inside and were seated and ordered our drinks. Beers all around! My sister-in-law, who worked part-time as a bartender at this bar, made sure our waitress knew that it was my birthday and that I got carded. Every. Time. They hooted and hollered because they thought it was the funniest thing ever to have happened. After our meals were eaten, a number of beers consumed and after we verified that the guy I was hoping to run into was at work and would not be coming in that night, it was decided we should move on to our next stop for the night. My brother was called and a short time later he was outside waiting for us.


I was already getting pretty buzzed so coming down the flight of stairs to get outside to the parking lot seemed to be very tricky. I went reeaally slooow and kept my hands on the wall on either side of me to help me reach the bottom. (Who puts an entire flight of stairs in a bar? Don’t they know someone could hurt themselves trying to reach the bottom after drinking?) Anyway, my brother was waiting and we all piled in. The plan was to go across the river and go to a cool, happening bar in the bigger town. (Which coincidently is the town I now live in.) Apparently my sister-in-law had been there at some point, while my sister and I had never been there. Or even heard of it. But we figured she was the expert since she lived in the area.


It was a bar on the fourth floor of a building and we had to ride an elevator to the top. For some reason that still doesn’t quite make sense to me, there was an elevator attendant for this building. Now, this is not a fancy town, and it definitely was not a fancy building. It was actually pretty crappy and run-down looking. But we didn’t question it and just continued acting like the silly women we were. We reach the floor and open the door to the bar. I was expecting a room full of twenty-somethings and cool music with lots of dancing going on. In actuality there were only about eight other people there and they were all like 40. (And I know 40 isn’t old, but when you’re expecting a hip young dance club, 40 is ancient.) Even worse, there was only one couple on the dance floor and they were both, well, huge. And they were grinding against each other like a floor-buffer on hard wood. Okaaay. Turns out the last time my sister-in-law had been there was roughly 10 years prior. We sat down at the bar and my sister starts badgering the bartender asking if he knew how to make cosmos. He says he does not. (Good rule of thumb, if the bartender doesn’t know how to make something, order something else.) She gives him a quick lesson in the art of cosmo mixing and he delivers our drinks. (More beers for me and my sister-in-law.) They tell him that it’s my birthday and that he should card me. He does (while my sisters shrieked and laughed like hyenas) and then gives me a free shot. I drink it not knowing what the hell it was. It must have been something girly because it tasted yummy. My sister says her cosmo isn’t as good as she’s had before, but she continues to suck it down. And then orders another. By now, she’s raring to go and she wants to dance. Like Really. Wants. To. Dance. Dancing was not high on my list of priorities because the placed sort of creeped me out. And the other couple were still on the dance floor. Finally I relent and we go shake it on the dance floor. I was so self-conscious because some of the few people in the bar stood along the edges watching us. Great. Not long later, we sit back down and order more drinks. This time my sister decides she can’t drink any more of the inadequate cosmos and orders beer. But then she wants to dance again. Worse than before. She grabs the back of my bar stool and starts jerking it back, trying to shake me loose from my seat I guess. Suddenly, there is a bouncer standing behind us and he tells her she needs to calm down or he’s going to kick her out. Oh my god, the humiliation. She stops yanking on my stool, but the bouncer doesn’t leave. He just stands behind me with his big arms crossed across his chest.


image credit


I’m completely freaked out at this point and my sister-in-law and I decide now would be a good time to call my brother and have him pick us up. We finish our drinks and walk to the elevator. Once inside the elevator, my sister starts digging into her purse for money because she wants to tip the elevator attendant. My sister-in-law and I both keep shoving her money back into her purse and finally hold her hands so she’ll stop. We had to continuing telling her to keep her money in her purse. Over and over again. She’s totally hammered. We get outside and my brother is there waiting. We help my sister up into his truck and he starts laughing, telling her, “I thought we were going to have to help Hannah into the truck, not you!” We roll the windows down (even though it’s early March and cold) to make sure she doesn’t get sick in the truck.


We get home and my brother half lifts her out of the truck and practically carries her inside his house. Her husband is waiting inside and when he sees her, the only thing he can say is, “Oh boy. I thought it was Hannah.” (Why is it that everyone thinks I’m going to be the one who gets out of control and won’t know when to stop?! I was a responsible adult even at the age of 21!) He takes her down to the bathroom to change her clothes. My sister-in-law and I sit there for a minute or two. She says to me, “It’s not even midnight yet. Do you want to head to another bar?” Not ready to have the evening end, I say yes and we leave again.


It wasn’t nearly as much fun as when it was all three of us (partly because we kept thinking about how sick my sister probably was back at the house.) We only had one more drink each before coming back. The last thing I remember from that night was my sister sitting on the bathroom floor while her husband tried to prop her up. It was definitely not a night we care to remember, but one we’ll never forget. Oh my poor sister. It was not one of her finest moments. But I still love her.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

If I Woke Up In A Psych Ward

I noticed this morning on Facebook that there’s one of those status games floating around. Normally I usually don’t pay attention to any of them. I rarely do the “re-post as your status” things because honestly, who cares? This one however, did catch my eye.

It said, “You and I wake up in a psychiatric ward together. Using 4 words, what would you say to me? NOTE: If you comment you must copy and past this to your status, so I may comment on yours as well.... Be a good sport and play along.... 4 words is harder then you think.”

I didn’t feel like commenting and re-posting, but I thought what an interesting thing to blog about! (And, really, isn’t it great when a blog topic just sort of falls into your lap?) The first thing I thought of when I read “wake up in a psych ward” was, “Some days I think I actually should be in a psych ward.” The second thing I thought was, (if I woke up in a psych ward I would say) “I like it here!” I mean, really. I’d be able to just relax and not have kids and all sorts of people nagging me and needing me (in a purely non-sexual way; I’m all for needing me sexually) and expecting the world from me. It would just be me. Maybe they’d let me have my books. My laptop? Probably not. Sure, there would be pesky doctors and nurses around, but think about the meds they could give me!

image credit

To say that I’ve been stressed is putting it lightly. Aside from the kids and family, there are tons of things pulling me in all directions. I think the biggest one right now is PTA. I’ve been Treasurer of my daughter’s elementary school PTA for two and a half years. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t like it anymore. The work load is immense and every time I turn around there’s another meeting being scheduled that I have to attend. I just got an email yesterday from one of our presidents (whom I love dearly and enjoy spending time with) but she was setting up our next board meeting. I thought to myself, “Didn’t we just finish our last board meeting?!” Well, yes and no. It was in the middle of February when we had it. So yes, we did just have one, but no because it’s already been two and a half weeks. And there was a City PTA meeting that I should have gone to, but skipped because I have reached the point where I just don’t give a shit about what City PTA is doing. (Because we have multiple elementary, middle and high schools, there is a City PTA that brings all the units together. It’s total bullshit in my opinion.) And I have a meeting of the whole next week. It’s really good that I don’t have a job outside of the house. I cannot wait for July to come because then I will no longer be an officer. Or even a member of PTA anymore. I’ve had it! I’m throwing in the towel. I have come to the conclusion that all the effort I spend fighting City PTA isn’t going to change how they operate and I don’t want to waste my time and sanity on it any more. And because I don’t like the way they operate, but refuse to change, I refuse to give them any more of my money. I decided that I am no longer going to shell out my membership dues to a group that doesn’t manage it wisely. And you know what? I’m proud of myself for saying enough is enough. Maybe they won’t miss my contributions next year because my daughter will be at middle school and most of them won’t know me. But if they knew me from my time at the elementary school, they would miss what I could have done for them. (I know it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but I really have made a difference in the PTA I’m in now.)

I’m also stressing today because of this Facebook group that I joined. Here I was thinking I could take it slow and gradually work myself into it. Nope. They threw me right into the deep end! Although, it’s probably a small role that I’ll be performing, but I want it to be right and I don’t have much time to research it. So I’ve been scouring my books and the internet on how to draw out evil spirits from an object. I have searched and searched and am coming up pretty empty. So I think I’m just going to have to make it up. Cross your fingers for me. I know once I get a couple of these storylines under my belt, I’ll feel more comfortable, but right now I’m freaking out. And I know that it’s supposed to be fun, but I’m such a perfectionist. I can’t help going to the extreme to make things right. That may explain why I get so stressed out about things all the time.

But anyway, back to me waking up in a psych ward. What would I say? (There’s no way I can limit myself to four words. That’s just not gonna happen.)

“Is this where I sign up?”

“I’d like some of that too.”

“I’m claustrophobic. Can you take the straight jacket off? I’ll just sit here. I promise.”

“Shock therapy isn’t really my thing, but a massage would be great.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Call It Tough Love

My 30th birthday is getting so close I can practically touch it and it’s been bothering me. I’m not ready to turn 30. It feels like I’m losing my youth. My opportunity to do those wild and crazy things that 20 somethings do. That later in life can be written off as “Oh well. I was twenty whatever and didn’t know any better.” Well, now I can’t use that excuse any more because I do know better. From the time I was 19, I knew better. Babies have a way of changing how you act.


I’ve already sort of talked about this here, so I won’t dwell on it.


But two weeks ago, I had a series of texts from one of my sisters that lead to a revelation for me. One that I should have had a long time ago.


A: You turn 30?

Me: Sad smile yes

A: Oh yeah, you’re so old…ash turns 30 this year too. I turn 43. What are you complaining?

Me: I didn’t get to live my 20s!!! And now they’re gone.

A: Boo hoo. I actually accidentally spelled boob. *niece wants blood and carnage. (They were at a hockey game.)

Me: Why does she want blood & carnage. (Not connecting the conversation to the hockey game until later.)

A: I drank too much tequila.

Me: I can tell.

A: lol


image credit


When the conversation was happening, I was a little pissed off that she was being so insensitive about my feelings. But then I realized she was right. (If you’re reading, gloat while you can. I may never admit it again! Haha) And I wonder if she would have said they same thing if she hadn’t been enjoying the tequila maybe a little too much. Knowing her, she probably would have. Because sometimes you need a dose of tough love to make you see things clearly.


Eventually I came to realize that life is full of choices. And those choices will forever change your life. But those choices brought me where I am today. I probably would never have met my husband if I hadn’t had my daughter. Which means I never would have found someone that I love so completely and who also loves me back! I never would have had my son. I never would have had a lot of things. And really, my life is pretty damn good. Naturally, there are bumps in the road, but nothing we haven’t been able to handle. And everyone has bumps along the way. I suppose that’s what gives you character. You fall down, get back up, and brush yourself off. And are better because of it.


Who knows what kind of person I would have been if I hadn’t been a mother at such an early age. The past is behind me. Now is the time to embrace where I am and look forward to the future.


Plus, hey, the bright side of turning 30 is that I get to join Studio30+, right?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Think My Dog Is Plotting Against Me

I’m sure you’re asking yourselves, “why would he do that?” And I don’t really know the answer to that. He’s got a fabulous life now. I’m trade with him in a second. Bristol (yes, named after Bristol Motor Speedway) pretty much only eats and sleeps with the occasional five minutes of running around after a toy. (He’s not big on exercise.) But maybe it’s pay back for the days before my new fancy laptop when I would spend my son’s entire nap time on the computer and not on the couch with him. (He really likes laying next to people on the couch under a blanket. He gets cold easily.) Or maybe it’s for the nights when he was a puppy and I subscribed to the philosophy that dogs were not meant to sleep in bed with their owner, but in a crate in the kitchen. (He hogs the bed now.) Or maybe it’s because he hates going outside to do his “business” when it’s cold out. Whatever the reason, I’m convinced he’s out to get me.




“Now, what on Earth would give me that idea?” I can hear you muttering to yourselves. I know you think I’m crazy. Maybe so. But listen to the evidence before judging.


I like to have peace and quiet. Like 85% of the time. I’m not a rowdy person. (Usually.) I like quiet activities. If I had the entire house to myself for a whole day with no TV, phone, or radio, I would be perfectly happy. You won’t hear a complaint from me. How I’ll raise two kids to the age of 18 and get them moved out before I lose my sanity is sort of beyond me. But I digress. My dog, like I mentioned before, is a pretty inactive little guy. He’s perfect that way. But he also thinks he’s a big guard dog. (Aside from being part cat and half human, as my husband likes to say.) Part of being a guard dog in his expert opinion, is barking at every single noise he thinks he hears and every single motion he thinks he sees outside. I am fortunate to live sort of out in the country (even though it is a subdivision) and in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic driving by. I would without a doubt suffer from hysterics if I were in town. No matter how many times I’ve heard my dog bark, it still startles me every time he starts. And there are times when I can’t get him to stop, making my nerves buzz like a power line knocked down in a storm.


Have you ever read a book where one of the characters (usually it’s a maternal figure) is overwhelmed by her nerves and headaches and has to spend hours upon hours in her bed? Like Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice or Emily Tallis in Atonement? Sometimes I swear that is not a far stretch for me. If only I had servants that would take care of the children and running the household for me.


So imagine Mrs. Bennett with my dog barking at every little sound and every leaf that happens to blow by. That’s me.


And, even worse, my dog will do it when I’m sleeping. My bedroom is on the far side of our house which is situated unfortunately close to our next door neighbor’s garage. They have two dogs of their own and one of them is constantly barking. So there are nights when I’m trying to sleep and the neighbors put their dogs out (sometimes as late as 11 or 12 at night) before they go to bed. My dog will hear the other dog barking outside and lose his mind. He goes absolutely batty! I throw myself to the foot of the bed to make him stop, not only for my own sake, but so that he doesn’t wake up my son. (My daughter is old enough to go back to bed on her own without any help from me.) Repeat the exact situation but at 5:30 in the morning when the neighbors wake up and have to put their dogs out. If that isn’t a shock to the system that is probably whittling days off my life, I don’t know what is.


But, I can still hear you thinking, “Sounds like pretty typical dog behavior. I’m sure it’s nothing personal.” Possibly. But he plots against me in another way. And what’s worse, I think my son is in on it.


Let me explain the insanity of my house. Before my son was born, it was my husband, me, our daughter, and our dog. Bristol is a boy, but more than that, he’s a miniature dachshund. A.k.a weiner dog. So my husband and the dog formed what Hubby calls, “The Weiner Club.” (First rule of The Weiner Club is that there is no Weiner Club.) So when my son was born, he was allowed into the club based on the fact that he has, well, you know. A weiner. There are times when my husband will be sitting on the floor doing something with my son and Bristol will come over and join the group. And no joke, they sit at the three corners of a triangle. When my husband would see this happening, he would declare that a meeting of The Weiner Club was taking place. When I would notice what was happening, my husband would quickly disband the group and they would go their separate ways. This is just one example of the silliness that occurs in my house nearly every day.


But back to how Bristol is plotting against me. I said before that he doesn’t like to go outside to do his business because of the cold. On the really cold winter days, we will usually leave the garage door down so that he could do his stuff without having to actually go all the way outside. Now, it’s turning into a habit, even though it is starting to warm up outside. His favorite place to poop is directly underneath the driver’s door or the backseat door on the driver’s side. Now, most of the time, I notice it and remember that it’s there long enough to get it scooped up and thrown away before it causes problems. But there are days when I swear the dog has covert meetings with my son and they arrange for my son to thrown a major temper tantrum right as we’re getting ready to leave the house. When that happens I’m so preoccupied with pinning my son into the car seat that I forget about that nice little present Bristol has left for me. And as I step down out of the backseat onto the garage floor, I step right into it.


Today was the second time this winter it’s happened. Which I suppose isn’t terrible when you think of all the days winter has. But when it’s stuck to the bottom of your shoe, it’s pretty terrible.


Could my dog be plotting my mental demise? Maybe not, but you never know…