Monday, August 31, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

My youngest starts preschool this year. Next year, I will need to make a decision on Kindergarten. It's not as clear cut as you may think. Or maybe I complicate- yeah that's probably it, but we don't need to point fingers- whatever the reason... it's a hard decision... take a step inside my decision process...

First, you need to know that I have a freshman in high school at public school and a 3rd grader and 5th grader in a very strict Catholic school and I'm not a model Catholic.

If you must question my sanity (and why wouldn't you)... the back story goes a little like this... when my kids started school, we lived in a city with a scary unaccredited public school system and since I was a new mom and liked my kids enough to want them to return home alive, but not quite enough to home school them- Catholic school was the only option. Oh yeah, I'm Catholic, too. We loved that school. It was laid back and the way I remember my Catholic school. The people were like us. It was a community within a community.

Four years ago, when we moved to a community with good public schools, I was an idiot- a sheep who didn't think for herself and shoved my kids into the same school that my sister sent her kids to (said strict Catholic school) even though one of the reasons we left WAS to be in a good public school district and did I mention... I'm an idiot. So, after the first year, it was awful, I hated the school, the judgement of the people, the cliques that I didn't fit into, the smiles on all the mom's faces while I was rolling my eyes- just pissed me off. It's a fine school, academically, but it's not a great place for me, personally.

However, I realize it's not really about me - which is hard for me to admit, but I did and asked the kids what they thought. My 3rd grader is easy- she likes the school OK, but is open to a change if that's what we decide is the best way to go. I love her. My 5th grader was not as diplomatic. Meaning she broke glass with her squeal while flailing and I heard something like..."I know you are doing this to me because you hate me and you want me to clean my room and NEVER let me pick the restaurant and now you are destroying my life by making me change to a new school where the kids are all stupid- why did you even have me?" I love her, too, but she makes me tired and sweaty.

So... sending my son to public school was easy. He hated the school he was at, too, and we left the decision to him and... cha ching- saved $10,000 a year and started my love affair with the bus system!

So, we decided that the girls didn't need to make more transition and we would just keep things consistent for them- plus, I have like $1000 invested in school uniforms.

Next year will be the test.

If I stay with Catholic school, I will have to break the bank-again- and make the decision of half day Kindergarten vs full day- for an extra $1000! Public school is full day- FOR FREE!

It would just seem easier to make the switch next year and put them all at the mercy of tax dollars! I will then have a 6th grader, which in public, would put her at the "middle school", a sophomore at the high school, and Kindergartner and 4th grader at the elementary school. Simple enough, right?

The catch? And the reason I didn't take the plunge this year? Was not from all the broken glass caused by daughter's screaming... it was because the elementary school goes year round. YEAR ROUND! What kind of crap is that? They go 9 weeks and off for 3 weeks- ALL YEAR LONG- NO SUMMER- it's just un-American! Then I also have to deal with the regular schedules at the middle school and high school which differ from each other, but at least, have summers, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

The people that live around here swear by it and think it's great, but if it's so great- why don't they sync all the schools on the same system- they like parent's heads exploding? And can you imagine the what employers of these parents have to deal with?

So yeah, that's what I'm thinking about.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

My random thoughts for the day

*** My son has started high school this year. Public school. It is our first experience with public school. I think I'm in love. First day- he comes home with a t-shirt given to the Freshmen, me: "ugh- who do I write a check out to for that?" No one! FREE! And, um, the bus. Oh. my. god. I don't have to wake up. I don't have to put on shoes. It picks him up directly in front of our house which probably contributes to the childhood obesity issue these days, but WOW- how easy! Why didn't someone tell me about this earlier?!

*** My husband used to bring hardback books into the "library" (the commode for his special time). It disturbed me because, well, it's gross, but more than that, if he had a whole book- he could be in there for like an hour, when really the "chore" at hand only needed a maximum of 18 minutes! Lately, I've noticed a new disturbing trend... finding DVD cases in the bathroom. Now, the bathroom is right off of our bedroom and only feet from the entertainment center in our room, so the first time or two, I gave the benefit of the doubt, that he was putting away a DVD and the urge, if you will, came upon him and he ran to the bathroom- with the case in hand. First Gladiator, next, The Firm, then... Rocky Balboa, I figured it was time to address it. He fessed up. Admitting he didn't have the time to get through a whole book- the synopsis on the back of the DVD made for good shittin' reading. However- these are OUR movies- in OUR DVD collection- that we ALL touch! EWWW! I have two suggestions- Reader's Digest or the back of his Preparation H tube!

***I have looked like a homeless person for the last 2 weeks. I swear, next week, I'm turning a new leaf- going to the gym, putting on clean clothes- that match- sort of, but I get the weekend to prepare myself. Monday is the day though! No excuses.

*** I think I should stop getting my bank statements online because the e-mail is labeled "XXXX Bank Alert" ("alert" is a bit of a strong word for my monthly statement, don't cha think?) It makes my heart drop out of my chest every single time I see it! It's reminiscent of when I use to get snail mail from the bank, but it wasn't a thick envelope so I knew it wasn't a statement- it was just a third of a sheet of paper stating that my account had insufficient funds. It's actually kind of funny that they only put that on a tiny piece of paper, but your statements include an 18 page outline. I guess once you bounce a check , you're not worth the investment of paper anymore.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I envy Oprah's eggs!

My mom has told me stories about when she was 37, she started going to the doctor complaining about random symptoms of nausea, faintness, irritability, and hot flashes (sound familiar?)

She'd insist to the doctors that she thought maybe she was starting an early stage of menopause, they'd shoot that okay, crazy lady glance her way, assure her that her eggs were still juicy, and shoo her away with some muscle relaxers.

Oh have times changed, right?

Yeah, sure.

Instead, my hush money was in the form of refills of Xanax and Lexapro. Valium is so 1980.

My recent bout with similar symptoms led me to the doctor for a battery of tests.

But I was really sick. I had the textbook case of thyroid disorder, Graves disease, and anemia. Urine specimen and blood work result were in.


Note to self: you are officially banned from WebMd.

Now, to most, normal test results should have been accompanied by a sigh of relief.

Not me.

I feared being the crazy hypochondriac lady at the doctor. I feared not having closure on the symptoms I was having. I feared PERI-MENOPAUSE!

My mom's dreaded fate has been passed down to me. I can look forward to 10 years of unexplainable hot flashes and mood swings (although, I refuse to believe that the fact that I cried today when I couldn't find my RENT soundtrack, a mood swing- that's perfectly justifiable!)

Hormones to regulate these feeling are frowned upon because of breast cancer or something -thanks Oprah! 100 bucks- she would have never done that hormone therapy show if she felt like this!

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is there a doctor in the house???

I'm pretty sure I'm dying.

Web Md diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, but that makes no sense- fucking quack!

I have been dizzy. Like pulling the car over to the side of the road and freak the crap out of the kids- dizzy! Like reminiscent of the time I fainted in the front row of the sixth grade choir and the boy behind me thought I just tripped and was "doing me a favor" by helping me forward so I fainted and went straight forward like that "trust" exercise" except no one caught me except the concrete floor and about 300 people gasping as they thought they watched me plunge to my premature death... KAPLAT flat on my face and bit straight through my bottom lip and still have the scar to prove it- dizzy.

I have been nauseous. Like constant fear, feel, and desire to vomit, but never getting the relief except from a measly little burp now and again. Unfortunately, shoving more food down my throat does give a false sense of comfort for about an hour- so I'm eating hourly which has been contributing to this fat suit I've been wearing lately.

I am hot. Not "fever" hot- but breaking out into cold sweats and feeling like I'm going to spontaneously combust hot. Like seeing how far a human can fit into the milk freezer at the grocery store hot (and don't think my kids weren't thoroughly entertained by that experiment!)

And, for your reading enjoyment, constipation is the newest symptom. Yeah!

Today is the 4th day of this hell.

It's highly unlikely that I'm pregnant although, I'm aware, it's text book case of early symptoms. I could get into details, but I won't- HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

The only thing that helps is laying still in a dark, quiet room and not moving, talking, or having ANY stress. And since 4 practices a night has been our routine- that's not been possible, thus my impending death.

We have a weekend full of activities and I'm sooo nervous about how I'll hang in- I wish I could get the shits and throw up profusely!

Since Web Md sucks- I need your diagnosis... and if you don't come through... my plan is to see a doctor on Monday.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BLOG- the new four letter word

Twelve years ago, I stopped working to have and take care of kids. That life was, and still is, greatly rewarding. I am the one who has seen all of their monumental firsts. I am so lucky to have had the pleasure to witness the wobbly steps, wipe the tears and kiss the boo boos- first hand.

Instead of gaining tenure and a nest egg, I've sacrificed a little bit of me to mold four little newborns into four little people that I am crazy proud of. My resume has instead gained colic, night frights, bedtime stories, and trips to the emergency room. And I am proud of that.

Admitting this life was a sacrifice was just being honest- never was it with the intent to negate the value of the role that I have held and the rewards that we reap from it.

The fact is, some people fall into this role seamlessly, like they nurtured their baby dolls from infancy. I, however, chucked my baby doll, as soon as I was old enough to open a lemonade stand.

My youngest child starts preschool next month. She will only be in a few hours a day, at this point, but I know what is on the horizon. I have always known this time would come. The day she would fly this cuckoo's nest and I'd have to fill my time ruffling feathers elsewhere.

For the last two years, I have been calculating my life, sorting out logistics and asking myself, "what do I want to do when I grow up?"- or rather- when they grow up? I've sent my share of resumes, filled out applications and stalked Craigslist- none of the "Earn $30,000 a month- and not even leave your home!" have panned out. I'm still needed here on a limited basis so I had to turn down all the overseas CEO positions that were offered to me.

16 months ago I discovered a way of journaling. An outlet for all the things I had to share. It seemed to fill the little free time I had and the creative releases that I needed. It offered the support from a community of people that understood. It fit into my schedule with my kids and I enjoyed it.

I share thoughts, feelings, and fears. Everything is derived from my experiences and my opinions. Take all or nothing that you want from it- I don't claim to be an expert of anything- just a slave to blatant honesty. I editorialize. I kid. I trivialize. I curse. I poke fun at myself.

I blog. ***GASP***

I am a mom who blogs. Not a 'mommy blogger', which has its own negative connotations and hype without any help from me. And, no- I am not a drunk.

'Blog' is the new four letter word. Fear of the unknown, the predators, the ignorance. Some may be threatened by it.

My mothering has come under attack and been criticized because of my blog. That's certain to only increase if others in real life find out about it. I have banished pictures of my kids from this site in an effort to prove to make this about my words. Note to perverts: you are not welcome here- I have enough problems and if you're jacking off to my words- you also have some problems to tend to. I have come under fire as being naive and clueless when it comes to the "reality of the Internet".

I stand firm that I am hurting no one and putting no one in danger with my rants.

In July, I went to a blogging conference and among 1500 bloggers, I did not spot one axe murderer in the bunch- and I was looking! Each person I met was just as they represent themselves on their respected sites (well, maybe a few photography tricks to disguise second chins- but bygones- I was sucking in my gut, too!)

There was no Chris Hanson. No squirrely, fat, middle-aged men carrying six packs of wine coolers and boxes of condoms meeting his cyber-girlfriend that he knows only as "14YROLDSXYGAL"!

Blogging has saved my sanity and my brain from turning to a ball of animated mush. I am saddened that it's shamed and not taken as a serious forum for writing. Not for myself, but for so many talents out here.

You always hear, "do something you love"... I am doing something I love- it's oddly rewarding (and not in any sense, financially), but I still love it. Yet, slightly disheartened that the perception of the "blog" holds me back from sharing it.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Exorcism for breakfast, anyone?

I am not a morning person- never have been- probably never will be- my mom still enjoys sleeping until noon- so technically, lazy runs in my family.

This fact made school morning rituals less than fun.

My grandma, on the other hand, was a morning person- a chipper, pull open the blinds to reveal the dreadful sunlight, singing hokey Zipadeedooda songs- kind of morning person. Lazy skipped a generation on her.

She was the one that would have the pleasure of waking me each morning for school. And by pleasure, I mean, abuse that by any other standards should have landed me in a juvenile detention center or, at least, a brisk slap across the face. But the woman, God rest her soul on a super duper puffy cloud of a pillow, was a Saint. She would keep a smile on her face and take my demon side in stride and prepare me a hot breakfast.

Which, in hindsight, makes me feel like even more of an asshat.

I'd scream. I'd curse. I'd call her names. I remember throwing a brush once.

In the afternoon, my grandma would pick me up from school and I would eat my words, apologize emphatically, and shower her with hugs for being such a dickhead.


My 10 year old is not a morning person. Funny how that works, huh?

The second her foot hits the floor she screams. I don't know what this is about. This squeal, shrieking whine that wakes up the house with such glee- that's when we know... here it comes.

Sometimes it's her hair.

Sometimes it's a zipper.

Sometimes it's her sister.

Sometimes it's the cereal.

This morning... it was a granola bar.

They get out of school at noon today. So they will not get lunch, but they can have a snack, a "healthy and nutritious snack" per the student handbook. I offered her a bag of grapes or a granola bar. Holy fuck. You'd think I'd just given her Sophie's Choice!

The tears, the torment, the shrilling. Seriously? All this- over a granola bar?

I channeled my grandma and kept my cool. Deep breath.

She channeled Linda Blair and her head spun...

"I want chips!"

Deep breath. "No you can have grapes or granola bar," I said with as much reserve as my body contains.

"I hate you and your granola bars!"

I took the possessed little girl to school and as I said goodbye, the demon left her body as she kissed me goodbye and said sorry.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who says you shouldn't start a sentence with "And"?

Today is the day that I pulled my head out of my ass and realized (ummm, because my sister told me) that two of my kids go back to school- ON MONDAY- GULP.

And we have Open House tomorrow.

And my son has football practice everyday after school for 4 hours (is it just me or is that excessive? That seems excessive.)

And we have soccer practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

And we have Volleyball practice on Wednesdays.

And flute practice on Thursdays and Fridays.

And in September, my youngest starts preschool (she's 4 and I suck because I decided to only send her to one year of preschool unlike my others that each went two years, at least. I enjoyed her company too much. And preschool is expensive.)

And that brings my grand total to 3 different school schedules, 4 kids, 5 activities, and my den floor full of school supplies that need to be separated and labeled.

And gone are the days when I can just say "find something to play with and shut up" (you know, hypothetically, if they were driving me nuts and my head felt like it was going to explode and I was out of Xanax- but totally hypothetical because a mother NEVER talks to her kids like that. Or runs out of Xanax.)

And then that means I have to start putting on clothes that are somewhat presentable (pants), shower on occasion, and wear shoes.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Sweet innocent school boy.

Awake at the crack of dawn with excitement and anticipation.

I can still see his red uniform shirt tucked tightly into his starchy creased navy shorts with the backpack snuggly on his proud tall shoulders.

His toothless grin said it all.

I tied his fresh-out-of-the-box bright white tennis shoes in double knots. I walked him to the kindergarten door and kissed him goodbye.

My misty eyes said it all.

High school teenager.

Rolled out of bed late. Nervous with uncertainty and insecurities.

Crumpled baseball jersey and camouflage shorts to make certain he doesn't appear to have tried too hard.

"I can wait for the bus by myself, mom," he said with an eye roll.

"Good luck", I said, as I wistfully walked back to the house.

I peeked from the inside corner of the window as he waited for his first bus. I watched as he apprehensively walked down the aisle of the bus with all of the new faces sizing him up.

He caught me spying. He turned his head abruptly the other way to avoid making eye contact with me.

I miss tying his shoes, spit wiping the cereal from the the corner of his mouth, and combing his hair down with my fingers.

But mostly, I miss kissing him goodbye.

It's been an emotional day- go read some of my lighter side at my other home, Aiming Low, today.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Scrappy Doo

Murphy loved the cows...

And by "loved", I mean he truly wanted to take them out. The 9lb Shih Tzu/Bichon vs. the really really (can you tell I have no idea how to estimate his weight) heavy bull...

Murphy reminds me of Scrappy Doo, Scooby's nephew that is really brave and always putting up his dukes to take on the bad guys. I've told my family this analogy before and no one gets the reference. They clearly didn't watch as much Scooby Doo as I did, which really just makes me sad for them, but also pissed that they don't understand what I'm saying.

He didn't head the warnings...

and only got shocked by the electrical barbed wire fence a handful of times before we decided to put him on his leash- which drove my dad absolutely nuts because it's against the natural order of things and dogs should be able to wander on several hundred acres of land freely and be electrocuted and eaten as small snacks for Black Angus- or something like that.

We threw the leftovers into the cow crossing after meals and Murphy lived like a king and ate NOT ONE OUNCE of his dog food this week because he figured out a path into the cow corral without getting shocked...

And in case you were wondering.. that hot dog bun came up in his vomit yesterday- still all in one piece!

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Sunday, August 9, 2009


I survived the farm.

The peace.

The tranquility.
The huge spiders.

The modes of transportation.

Thanks to caffeine...

and S'mores.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Gone Fishing- seriously.

Starting tomorrow morning, I am going off the grid. As in no phone, no Internet, no McDonald's for a 40 mile radius, the aroma of cow shit and savage coyotes to eat your left over crappy casseroles overnight. I hate casseroles. I don't make the rules- I just follow them. I think casseroles are suggested in some farming handbook passed down in my family- to ensure that my kids eat NOTHING except peanut butter and jelly.

The family farm.

I usually enjoy it, though I complain about having lost my modern conveniences and my will to live while I'm there. It's my sunny disposition.

The nearest living population are the Mennonites about 50 miles away, but they're busy singing A Capella standards while making pies from scratch, so they certainly won't hear my cry for help, but I will buy a pie from them on the way to the farm.

So think of me while you are sitting in air-conditioning, catching up on Internet gossip (or porn- whatever your poison), and Twittering. I'll be looking at a bazillion stars- and while that's lovely and all- it gets old after the first 3 and 1/2 minutes. Luckily, the fridge is stocked with beer.

I will be taking boring pictures of gorgeous scenery and NOT pictures of my kids next to cow dung (like I did last year) because there has been a gag order put on pictures of my children on this blog. Note: some posts in my archives will seem like I was on major drugs because they no longer make sense without the photos- I was just too lazy to delete the whole post.

I will also have a new post at my mother ship- Aiming Low- please go visit and share some love with all the great writers there- including me!!!

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