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Showing posts from 2013

When a Dude with a Gun, in a Ski Mask, Ruined My Perfect Day

I had high hopes for today. Today was going to be the bomb. Today was the first day of my two week vacation (and by vacation I mean that I'll still do work, just not all of the time, and in my jammies.) and the babysitter was coming to watch the girls so that I could check off every itty bitty little thing that has piled up on my to-do list over the last few weeks. For the past several days, I had been day dreaming about today. It was going to be perfectly productive. I'd start the morning with a run, a glorious run since the Artic Tundra has temporarily melted. After my run, I was going to chill in the sauna at the gym. Yep. I was just going to sit there, naked, in that weird dark room, maybe with some other naked ladies and it was going to feel so awesome. After that I planned to go to Stagecoach, aka, the best darn coffee shop around, and get myself a coffee and bagel. Then off to the library to hammer through the last assignments of my career development class, aka, the c…

Spoiler Alert!

It's no big shock that I opened my mouth and got myself in trouble earlier this week. This time it was my virtual mouth, and we all know that can be the worst. Saying something stupid, online, is like spreading a highly contagious virus. Speaking of which, with all of my recent coughing and sneezing, I've been really good at spreading a germy virus around. I teach students to be social media savvy, and gosh darn it, I did so as recent as yesterday. I provide them with some rules to protect them from looking like a virtual ass, but low and behold, I fall victim to assiness every once in a while. How am I supposed to know every single rule in life, and particularly online? I'm just a simple human being, with a big mouth, who wants to over share!So, here's what went down, if you didn't get pissy pants over my FB faux pas. I watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead on Sunday night. Andy was in the can and I just needed to talk about the episode. I needed to. I…

Crafting the Perfect Holiday Letter

I was flipping channels on the radio today and came across the Christmas channel. It's that time of year, again, a time filled with egg nog and cookies and tinsel and stressful shopping and depression, and a general sad nostalgia for a time in your life that is no longer or never was. Yeah! Along with all that fun stuff, it's also a time for holiday cards. Even with facebook, some people still go old school and send a cute card, perhaps with photos of themselves dressed in nice green and red and white sweaters, holding their kids, or their cat, or their dog, or their saxophone, in their lap. You can stick their smiling faces on your fridge or in a little basket on your counter and feel stress that you, too, need to coordinate a photo sesh with your family, wearing matching sweaters and smiles, and your youngest clutching little Fluffy until little Fluffy nearly suffocates in her overly exited, Christmas-spirited hands. The icing on the Christmas card cake, however, is the let…

All You Want for Christmas is....Me!

The next few months are stressful for me. It starts tomorrow. American holidays are the epitome of conspicuous consumption. Tomorrow night, my little elves will dress up like Bat Girl and Spider Girl and tromp around town, with pillow cases cluthched in their hands,collecting insane amounts of candy. They will fall asleep in the car ride home, their mouths smeared with chocolate. They will eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for several days. I will stress out about hyperactivity and cavities until I stress-eat a significant pile of chocolate from their stashes. Then it will be all gone and we will forget about candy consumption for another year. Simple solution: I ate my problem. Just a few, short months later, conspicuous consumption rears its ugly head again. As the Christmas holiday nears I will perform my own annual ritual; a sign of the season. I call it the toy cleanse. I perform this ritual at least twice a year, usually before the girls' birthdays and before Chris…

3 Sentence Poems for My 3 Year Old

Char is in a phase. It's been a long phase. It started when she was born.In her honor, I drafted up a few little poems. ONEMy little Charlotte,with a twinkle in your eyes,and horns on your head.TWOAre you three years old?Where did you learn all those words?No four letters, please! THREEYou are the second,Birth order rules apply, here.Wild child, yes!FOURKeep me on my toes,Wish I had extra eye balls. Always in trouble.FIVELook away one sec,And you appear with a knifeand your sweet smile.SIXPull on the dog's tail."He likes it, Mom," you tell me.A dog's best friend. Not.SEVENThe little sister,Are you a friend or a foe?Little protector.EIGHTUp at 5 a.m.You ask, What should we do now?Go the F*7^k to sleep!NINE,p> Char, you make me laugh.Charlotte, you make me cry, too.Full of pride, and tears.TENKids don't challenge you.Kids are so easy to raise,Said no one, ever.LASTWho's in charge of who?Isn't it so obvious?So..clearly...she is.

My Perfect Little Person

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."-Henry Davidson Thoreau Nonconformists have long celebrated these words from Henry Davidson Thoreau. Weirdos around the world applaud the notion that is it a-ok not be just like everybody else, especially if you just can't be like everybody else. Thank goodness for that. When I first read these words in high school I too, applauded. At 15, I considered myself a true nonconformist. I listened to Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. I wrote introspective poetry on the walls of my bedroom. I dyed my hair purple. I shopped at second hand stores. I was so different, so, so different from everyone else. It was hard. Like Thoreau, I felt like I should go live in the woods, away from others, to better understand nature and to reflect on society. Instead I chose to watch Singles and wear combat boots and develop …

Neon Signs

There are a few topics that I try to avoid in my blog- politics, religion, work, and sex, to name the top few. It's very hard for me to have practiced restraint in these areas, because, if you know me, I like to discuss politics, religion, work, and sex quite a bit. As a matter of fact, after talking about Andy and the kids, this is pretty much all I talk about. (Oh, besides running. I could talk about running ALL day.) I'm really proud of myself for keeping my blog clean. I'm never worried about anyone reading it or re-posting it. I've never been concerned that what I write is going to come back to haunt me. That's quite the feat for me given the fact that, when speaking, I stick my foot in my mouth all of the time. Stupid things flow furiously out of my mouth like a river after a hurricane. You'd think I'd learn after 35 years but no, I don't, and now I'm going to write about one of the topics on my taboo list. I promise I won't use the word …

Summer Reflection

Fall is a time for change. It's always exciting and heart breaking to hear and read about the little ones heading off to school. Whether it is Pre-K, K, or college, fall is the season for letting go and allowing our children to embark on great adventures- without us. Every summer, it has been a tradition for me (well, I may have just done it last year, but let's now call it a tradition) to recap my summer with my two little beans and reflect on stay-at-home parenting. This summer for me was different. It was my sixth summer full-time momming-it and honestly, it was the best and it was the worst. I could write a Dickens novel about this summer. It was good because we have a groove. I am a big schedule person and being unscheduled causes me major anxiety. After many years, we finally have a really nice, unscheduled schedule. I've (uh, sorta) figured out the perfect mix of TV/crafting/adventure time/quiet time that allows the kids to be engaged yet not overstimulated, and fo…

In the Field with: My Husband

I am an explorer. I am Jane Goodall. For twelve years I have lived side-by-side with a strange and foreign creature. I have immersed myself in the daily life of this creature so that I am able to fully understand the creature's similarities and differences. It's been a hard experiment and some days I've wanted to give up. I've found living with the creature to be stressful at times, maybe even dangerous, in certain situations. My weakest moments have been when I've found that I'm acting more like the creature than myself. Then, I go organize something, throw a ton of stuff away, and do some serious labeling, and I know the real me is still there. Emotionally, Andy and I are night and day. There's a reason for the success of Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. I'm most certain that Andy is from another planet. Often, he speaks another language, and his inability to understand most of what I'm saying is no doubt an indication that he does not sp…

Craigslist shopping: Looking for an Invisibility Cloak and a Nice, Safe Playpen

I recently wrote about my frustration with the old sentiment that children should be seen and not heard. I told you that I would continue to hold my head high and bring my children out and about in public. I told parents to stand proud in the face of haters, after all we parents are consumers, and tax payers, and citizens just like everyone else out and about doing what they need, and want, to do. I told parents not to worry what others think about them as they drag their children, by one arm and one leg, through a travel plaza, dirty state park rest room, airport, public library, or mall. Yeah, ok, scratch that. Listen, it's not that I don't think you should shake your parental tail feather and be confident that you are a good momma or papa, despite the fact that your kid is turning bright red holding her breath while stamping her hands and feet on the ground in the post office line. You hear me?! Who gives a flying sippy cup what the haters around you think, I care about y…

Facebook Reality Check

I am a big facebook user. No, I don't play Farmville or Candy Crush Saga but I spend at least 15 minutes on the site daily. I have read many articles about how facebook kills one's self esteem because people use the site to boast and brag about their awesome lives, which in turn makes others feel badly about their own. We all know that facebook is a slice of one's life or maybe a projection of the life they want to live. Anybody who isn't a fool should realize that. As a frequent facebooker and hardcore extrovert, with a lack of a strong filter, I find this whole situation to be a dilemma. What is worse, reading about someone's awesome day and seeing a picture of how fabulous they looked during their awesome day, or reading about their terrible day, looking at angry political memes, or rants about the bad customer service they received? Do you want to read about how someone had the best night ever with their bestest buds (you not included) or that they have been s…

A Day at the Beach

I have always loved to swim. Every since I was a little kid I just wanted to swim. At five years old, my heaven on Earth was a body of water. Whether a lake, a pond, a pool, the ocean, or an extra feeding trough for cows, if there was water and I was in it, I was happy. I looked for every opportunity to swim. I carried my little bikini with me in my jean purse so that I was always prepared if I was presented with the opportunity to swim. I asked my mom, regularly, to buy us a pool and I dragged her to our neighborhood pond every day in the summer. I took swimming and diving as gym classes in college. I love to aqua jog at our gym pool. I still feel a sense of deep calm when I walk into the pool area there and also when I crest a hill on a country road and see our town's beautiful lake glimmering in the sunlight. To me, it's just not a worthwhile summer day if we aren't swimming. Over the last six years I have figured out where all of the local beaches are at our lake, the…

Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard-Yeah Right!

I traveled, sans kids, over the recent holiday weekend. As it happens when one lives for years up state, being around so many people in one place is difficult. The thruway was bumper to bumper and the rest stops were crawling with travelers headed off to a weekend of R&R. However, anyone who travels often, particularly with children, knows that you have to go through a bunch of H&H (hell and horror) on your way to R&R. I noticed such a family at one of our rest stops. They had two children, presumably twins, and presumably about 18 months old. The kids were little cutie patooties. They clutched their parents' hands as they toddled excitedly around the restaurant. They sat and ate, their tiny heads barely looking over the table. Then, they started screaming. I noticed all of these details- except the screaming. A hundred concerts and an equal amount of running miles sporting ear buds has made me a little deaf, and background sounds are often a dull buzz for me. Plus,…

It's Pat! It's Adam Levine! No, it's Melissa!

When I was a little kid I was very girly, stereotypically speaking. I had long hair and wore pink ballerina dresses. I liked princesses and playing with Barbie and baby dolls. As a child, I don't think I ever questioned or doubted that I was a "girl." Yet, as a teen and self-identified feminist, I started realizing that gender stereotypes and gender boxes suck. The more I read about the past, and the more I looked around at the present, the more frustrated I became about how society assumes girls are girls because of x, y, and z, and boys will be boys because of a, b, and c. I decided, then and there, that I was not going to do what girls do because that's what girls do. Hold up. I'm not going to get all raging angry feminist on my soap box with you. I'm not going to give you an academic paper stating the injustices around gender. If you are reading this and you didn't know that there are injustices, go to the library and start reading, or open your eye…

Hybrid Mom

Goody, goody, goody. My summer vacation started today. This is the most wonderful day of the year. I am not a teacher and I get 8 weeks off during the only months of the year that there is a hope for warm weather in UpState. Plus, I get to spend 24/7 with my little princesses. My job allows me to be a working professional and a stay-at-home mom. Thank you, tight budgets! This means that I really can say "I understand" when I talk to a working mom and a SAHM. When a mom says to me, "I always feel like the worst mom ever when I can never volunteer to chaperone field trips!" I respond, "I hear ya!". When a mom says to me, "Nothing is worse than leaving an important work meeting because your kid puked at daycare." I respond, "I hear ya!" When a mom says, "AH! The days are so long with the kids that I feel relieved when they go to bed!" I shout, "I hear ya!" When a mom says, "I want to smack the hubster when he com…

35 Years of Wisdom-Right Here, For You

I'm going to be 35 soon. And by soon, I could mean tomorrow, next week, later this month, or later this year. It doesn't really matter to me. If it does to you, just look it up on facebook and wish me well on my wall. Some people seem upset to be in their mid-thirties, but not me. I'm really happy about it. I think that, besides the decade of 0-9 years, I'm the happiest I've ever been, even if the skin on my neck and elbows is starting to get loose. We all know that wisdom comes with age, thank heavens, because I was pretty dumb in my younger days. Through trial and error, and a lot of hard lessons, I'm very wise now and I look forward to how much wiser I'll become as my skin continues to lose its elasticity and droop toward the ground. This is what I know about life, particularly my life, as I see it from 35 years of age. It is bad to drive your car when it has a flat tire. Don't do that. P.S. AAA is awesome. You have to cook eggs for a certain amount…

LAX

Some people may think that Andy and I are "lax" parents. Our house isn't a free range farm by any means, although just throwing food on the ground, and letting the kids wander around and pick it up when they are hungry, sounds pretty enticing. It's true that we aren't the strictest parents and that, regularly, there is mutiny on the bounty and we are held hostage by little pirate people. The drill sergeant in our house is 3 feet tall and belts outs commands like, "Get me a drink!", "Turn on Netflix!", or "You will not wash my hair!" while wearing only a pullup, squinting her eyes, and pointing an accusatory finger in our direction. Our kids are often in charge. I'm not going to lie to you. The dog may also be in charge from time to time. That's just the way it goes.As more and more of our peers have a third child, we are, unfortunately, asked if we, too, plan to expand. Are these people insane in the membrane? Have they been …

I Know This Much to be True

I know this much to be true: 1. The kids will get sick, often. 2. The kids will get sick when I have a multi-day span of time when I must be at work, no ifs, ands or buts. 3. I will get the call first. Apparently, all schools/child care centers forget that Andy is also on the emergency contact list. 4. The call will come within ten minutes of arriving at work. 5. If Andy is not traveling, I will successfully coerce him into taking time off to watch the kids. He will do his due diligence and will make sure to make me feel bad about it. Though I have talked about the important work event taking place on this day, he will not hesitate to ask, "What? You can't take the day off? Is work busy?" 6. If Andy is not available, I will pick up the sick child who will either a)smile and seem totally fine and spend the rest of the day laughing, singing, and watching TV while I attempt to "telecommute" during the rest of the sick day. Or b) spend the car ride home moaning, s…