Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Horror Show

I’m not really sure when I started hating the holidays with a vengeance. I know it got worse after I became a parent. There are so many things we do to make the magic of the season come alive for our children. We kill ourselves trying to make them believe that there really is magic in the world. This year I’ve somehow either got the hang of things or decided I can only do what I can do and that will have to be enough.
Thing 1 is 10 and still believes in Santa. I know that this phase is going to be over soon so I have tried extra hard to give him one more year of magic. First there is the elf. His name is Mark and he is a little jerk. I have to move that thing EVERY NIGHT. And I’m not going to lie so far I’ve forgotten twice. The thing is, he’s really high up on a plant shelf and after the kids go to bed I have to wait for at least an hour to make sure they don’t come creeping out of their rooms for more water, or a scary dream, or they just don’t want to go to bed mom. Because if they come out and I’m standing on a stool to move the damn elf I’m going to be SO busted. The problem is I’m freaking exhausted. I love my children and I’d do anything for them but my chair is really comfy and as I have waited the requisite hour I have fallen asleep too many times. Most of the time I wake up at 3, hide the damn elf, and shuffle off to my comfy bed. Twice I’ve just forgotten. The first time I had to tell Thing 1 that the elf just really liked that spot. He gave me a questioning look so I knew I had to be more vigilant. So the elf stayed on that shelf doing other things for a few days. Just to drive home the point that he really liked it there. This morning I was woken up by Thing 1 as I was still asleep in my chair in the living room. The elf had not moved again and I saw the magic glow in his eyes dim. Now I think I have concocted a story about why Mark didn’t move. I’m going to feed my child an outright lie, because that is what we do as parents trying to keep the magic alive, and say Santa called me because Mark didn’t come home last night. I’m going to explain that Mark’s last report said that Thing 1 was being naughty by staying up past bedtime watching YouTube videos on his tablet he snuck out of the living room unbeknownst to his mother. Then I’m going to tell him that Santa and I think Mark fell asleep before he could leave because he was watching to make sure Tommy didn’t sneak the tablet again. This should work. I think it’s believable but what do I know? I just want to see the magic light shine brightly in his eyes again.
Then there is Santa. He’s a good guy but he screws me out of the cool gift every year. I started a tradition of him only wrapping his gifts in Santa themed wrapping paper. Was that a stupid move? Yes. Have I continued to make that move? Yes. So now I have special wrapping paper stashed at my office so my snoopy children don’t go looking for proof Santa isn’t real. It’s exhausting. Thing 2 no longer believes and his mother confirmed for him that Santa wasn’t real. This happened last year and I WAS PISSED. First, there are tactful ways of saying they might be right, but second he was not following the cardinal rule of keeping it to himself. When Thing 1 asked if Santa was real my response was “sometimes it’s not about how real something is, it’s about the magic it lets you see” then I asked his thoughts. Shockingly he told me he thought Santa, The Easter Bunny, and Tooth fairy were real. All the other characters were made up. In other words, he believes in the ones that bring him cool stuff. I say, fair enough. I created these monsters so I shall continue to make them kick ass in his mind. Thing 2 doesn’t believe but I made it very clear to him that if you don’t believe in Santa he doesn’t bring you presents. After that I got a lot of very enthusiastic belief out of Thing 2. I am not above threats and if he ruins his brother’s belief’s I’m going to follow through on the no gift policy. He’ll still get gifts from us but nothing in his stocking. It will be really sad for him but he has to learn that part of knowing the truth about Santa is keeping it to himself and letting others still feel the magic.
I am also the Gift Buyer in Chief. Meaning my husband and I discuss the gifts but most often I have the task of actually making the gifts appear, wrapped under the tree. This can be exhausting especially when all my children ask for are video games, which I’ve vowed never to purchase again, and other electronic stuff that I’m not going to get them. Then we have to go “off book” and find things they will like without crushing their Christmas dreams. I will say that we are very honest with our children about the “no video game” policy. They know we aren’t going to buy them the games but they also have grandparents and other parents that might be willing. That’s fine with me as long as they don’t have the expectation. This year they wanted the Spy Gear LCD Walkie Talkies. My mother tried to find them for under $98 and was unsuccessful. She got them something else so I casually put them on my Amazon Wish list. I knew I wasn’t willing to pay $98 for walkie talkies but I thought I’d keep it on the back burner. Eventually the Amazon gods were with me and the price dropped to a still outrageous but within our budget price of $65 and I snagged them. So now I’m down to Legos for the stockings and Christmas Eve Pajamas and we are good to go.

Normally I’m a ball of nerves this time of year that presents in the form of fits of tears over something minuscule but this year I feel oddly calm. I’m smiling at people at the grocery stores and trying not to get overly stressed about things I cannot change. I’m happy that we are still part of the magic that is Christmas. I’m happy that my husband will be home for an astonishing 11 days. I’m happy my children are going to have their Christmas wishes come true and I’m happy to be alive. We are in the final countdown, just 8 days until the culmination of excitement. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Why I freed my nipple

I loved breast feeding my children. I know that a lot of women love it but what I don’t understand is the arguments for and against certain types of breastfeeding. “Free the nipple” or “cover that sexualized part of the body while letting a squirming child clamp on to a very sensitive area” are just strange arguments to me. Personally, do what you gotta do mama. I just tried to make it through each feeding with a happy full baby belly at the end. Isn’t that the only real point to feeding babies?
I personally tried to use a nursing cover with my second child. It made my husband more comfortable and until we got really good at nursing it made me more comfortable too. I was just like every other mom trying to feed their child. I have a story of my struggle and I think it might help some understand why each woman’s choice is hers alone and passing judgement only makes you part of the problem.

When my youngest son was about 6 weeks old he started having some trouble. It appeared to be colic but turned out to be acid reflux. He cried pretty much any time he was awake for about 2 weeks. I was so tired and my nerves were shot. Not only was I healing from a Cesarean section but I was figuring out how to mother a baby again, my older children were 8 and 9 at this point so it was like riding a bike with a bent wheel because this crying gig was something I’d never had to deal with before. After several doctor’s visits and switching to a new doctor we started acid reflux medication hoping to god that it worked (which it did! Yay us!). A few days into the medication my husband and I thought it was a great time to take our children to the hot air “night glow” event.

It was probably about 80 degrees as we set off on a journey to see the glowing balloons. We had to walk about 1.5 miles and because the baby was dealing with tummy issues he was having none of that stroller crap. He wanted to be held, by me, like right NOW! I was sweating like a pig and trying to keep up when the baby decided he was hungry. I was prepared for this because at 6 weeks he was only hungry about every 5 seconds. I had my cute nursing cover in place with a baby latched on as I walked with my family to the event. As we got closer to the crowd my son’s anxiety began to ramp up. He wasn’t used to crowds of thousands of people (gee I wonder why) so all he wanted to do was nurse, for 2 hours straight. I was a living breathing pacifier.

I hate being hot. I keep my house at a balmy 68 degrees in the summer to make sure I don’t kill my family out of crazy heat induced rage. I was not only wearing pants and a t-shirt, but I also had basically a jacket over me to cover the baby and my boob so as not to make those around me uncomfortable. But the hotter I got the less of a fuck I gave. I was becoming a crazy heat induced ball of rage and I was losing my shit. So I looked at my husband and mustered every ounce of calm as I explained that the cover was coming off and he was going to have to be ok with that. He could see that I was hot and bitchy and it wasn’t helping the baby attached to my boob so he was smart enough to hold the cover for me before I tore it to shreds. There I was in a crowd of thousands with my boob, complete with baby nipple cover, exposed for the world to see and I didn’t care one bit. In fact, if someone had told me to put my boob away I probably would have decked them because I was finally feeling air movement and the ball of rage was evaporating.

I was free. I was not trying to stage a nurse in and make other people uncomfortable I was just trying not to die of heat stroke. My husband watched for pervs which was his one and only reason he preferred me to use a cover but like I said, all I was worried about was fresh air. By this time the glowing balloons were out for the evening and we were headed home. I walked down a main street in town with a baby latched on to my nipple for dear life and no one said a word. I’m sure some people were uncomfortable but I didn’t care. We were doing the best we could and that was all that mattered. After that day I decided I wasn’t going to subject myself to that experience again. I hung up my covers and never used them again because that was what worked for me.

The moral of the story is this: each mother has her own limits and no one should judge her for those. I tried using a cover until I just couldn’t take it anymore. Some women are fine without a cover from day one and others prefer the cover at all times. Why not come together as humans and try to support mothers and their choices without passing judgement. We are all just trying to raise small humans to be good big humans someday.  If you want to judge, please do it silently, because nursing mothers are riding a wave of hormones that make them unpredictable and I could see a jury acquitting a nursing mother of homicide.. just saying.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The last time he said I love you

As I sit in my office brooding about a mistake I made my thoughts suddenly drifted to Thing 1. He is the oldest and we've had a lot to work through over the years. School is hard for him, be it because he has to focus or because there are no video games, so he struggles everyday with going to school. We have the same fight every morning where he begs and pleads and tells me how dumb school is. Then I eventually get him and The Baby into the car to take him to school. I drop him off at school since the bus is no longer cool. And for the last 5 years when I take him, I tell him I love him before he gets out of the car. This used to be met with an "I love you too" before he walked away into the land of future adults. I knew with every passing day it might be the last time I heard him utter those words on school property.

Monday was a rush to get to school on time and look like a real responsible adult. On Monday, when I said I loved him and he just got out of the car and went into the school. The slightly pathetic person in me reasoned that he must not have heard me.  On Tuesday, the same thing happened and the voice in my head that gave me so much comfort the day before was not as loud. Today I realized the day had come and gone for "I love you's" in public. I am so happy watching Thing 1 turn into a very strong and wonderful young man, but now that the "I love you's" are no longer free flowing I begin to miss that little boy.

When I used to pick him up from daycare he would launch himself into my arms and hug me so tightly. Some of the staff would just watch in utter amazement that a mother and son could be so happy to see each other after a very short 8 hour day. Someone even commented on us being their favorite child/parent duo because it never got old to see him launch his tiny body with all his might into my arms. It was the very best part of my day to see how happy he was to see me. And just as those days came and went (mostly without me stopping to realize they were gone) here I am struggling with the reality of him growing up even more.

He still loves me, this is something I know and even the pathetic side of me knows, but he has reached a point in his life that he doesn't display that love to the world. He doesn't count the minutes until he sees me again. He doesn't think of his mom as the same hero I must have been in his younger years. Maybe it's part of becoming a big brother. He has to let go so I can have open arms for The Baby to fling himself into. Or maybe he's just old enough that public opinions are too highly regarded (I thought I had until middle school, not 4th grade). Maybe, maybe, maybe... I am so happy I have the memories of the independent boy who didn't care if his friends heard him tell me he loved me, but I'm also happy for his steps into the land of true independence. He grows everyday and though I got my last public declaration of love from him, I know deep down he still feels the same. So I will continue to tell him I love him and when those words aren't returned I will be ok. Because he does love me, he just doesn't love me out loud anymore. He loves me from the inside where his friends can't see and tease him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back to School Boot Camp

Last night Thing 1 had "Meet the Teacher Night" at school. We go, meet his new teacher, and get ready for school to start tomorrow... Part of our back to school routine is something I like to call Back to School Boot Camp. It's not something that makes the kids happy but I've found from my many years of transitioning them from fun summer routines back into boring school routines, we all get through it much smoother if I start getting them ready a few weeks before school starts.

1. School bed time is back.
One of the first items in back to school boot camp is bed time adjustments. Not only are the children required to be in bed no later than 9 p.m. but they are also required to sleep in their beds. No couches or floors for my boys. The lazy days of summer are at an end and they start to realize this when I require a real bedtime, instead of the sometimes bedtime we use during the summer, and a real bed for said bedtime. I start a few weeks before school starts so there is no whining about it later.

2. Getting up like we're leaving for school.
Though I don't make the boys put on school clothes I do make them get up at their normal wake up time for school. In the summer they get to sleep in a lot when Nana comes over and even when I have to take them to the spoiler herself, they don't have to be up before 8. During school the bus leaves by 8 so if they want to squeeze in video games and breakfast first they have to get their butts out of bed early. Life is so hard.

3. Respectable school hair.
During the summer the boys are allowed to do whatever they want to their hair. This year Thing 1 bleached his, his first foray into the world of different. He loved his "golden hair" and was very sad when I announced that his golden locks would soon be on the barber's floor. When the whining began I was forced to remind him that our summer hair is not something that is appropriate for school. Discussion was over. Thing 2 had a green Mohawk. Yep, I even dyed it for him. Did he look like a punk? Maybe a little sometimes, but he only acted like a punk to me so I don't care if you judge. He loved it and was very sad to see it go, but since he heard the discussion I JUST HAD with his brother he decided there was no way out and took it without much protest.

4.  Supplies, backpacks, shoes, clothes
I was so happily surprised this year. Both of my children still fit into their school pants from last year. They may look frumpy one year because I get a size they can grow into but since my children aren't that hard on their clothes it saves me some serious money to let them look a little disheveled sometimes. Anyway I offered to take them shopping for back packs, shirts, pants or shoes and they declined.... The heavens opened and there was signing. So this year I didn't have to buy anything. Thing 1 has a dress code he has to follow so shopping for him is no fun anyway, and Thing 2 just wasn't in the mood. Might still have time to add to their wardrobes but if not, they will be ready regardless.

5. Actually start school.
Because Thing 2 primarily lives with his mom, he goes to a different school, in a different district than Thing 1. He has another week to hold on to the last glows of summer. But tomorrow Thing 1 will officially be a 4th grader. This is very hard for me because I still see him as he was when he was The Baby's age. His teacher seems to be wonderful and I am hoping and praying for a teacher who is willing to put in just a little bit of extra effort to help him succeed!

6. Prepare myself for the feelings..
Thing 1 thinks he's going to get to ride the bus tomorrow but I am that mom. I will drive him to school and then cry as I drive away because tomorrow he will be a little older and need me a little less and I hate having to watch him walk away. I get a little sentimental when school starts because I know that he is growing all too fast. During the summer I can forget that he is getting older and wiser and just be with him. But when school starts so do school sports and with that, school activities and with that, more maturity. I will hold on as long as I can to my picture of the golden haired boy laughing as he jumps in the pool and soaks up the suns rays. I will be happy when he learns a new skill but I will never again get to see the almost 4th grader. Because now he is a 4th grader and each year he grows I will remember who he was and try to help him to become who he wants to be.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Vacation from Hell

I've been back from vacation for almost a week and I've really had time to think about all we did. We got to see some cool things, sweated our butts off, and spent a lot of time in the car. Let me lay out our vacation on a day to day basis.

Day 1: get up at the crack of dawn. Take children and Meemaw to the airport. Surprise the kids and tell them we are, in fact, going with Meemaw to Hawaii. Record their shocked reactions, which were much less exciting then I was expecting, and get all of us and our bags into the actual airport while Meemaw parked the car. I paid a skycap from a different airline $20 to get my bags inside while I tried to wrangle the Things and The Baby. It was like watching a train wreck. I have the Things peppering me with hundreds of questions about what I did and did not pack for them, I am trying to separate the luggage and hand my ID to the lady at the counter and hold The Baby because I was not thinking about putting him in his backpack carrier when Meemaw left us. Finally get everything aside from our carry ons ready, Meemaw comes back, we get boarding passes, head to security. Things were going well, we packed little bags of candy with cute poems to  bribe nearby passengers for when The Baby inevitably screamed. We were there in plenty of time and even though it looked like a disaster I thought I was doing well. Security was less impressed. Meemaw had the bottle and the candy. I had all three children. I forgot to put my phone on the belt in the chaos, which was pointed out to me before I went through the metal detector by a less than happy security Nazi. We go through the metal detector, get my hands swabbed for bomb making materials, happy to say that test came out as an all clear, and then Meemaw gets pulled aside for her suspicious items. She pointed to The Baby to explain away the bottle. The candy only took the security Nazi a minute once he read the note and we were good to go. Met up with Grandma and Brother in Laws Girlfriend, Shaniqua and we were ready for the first of 2 flights.

First flight was only 1.5 hours so baby did well. He snoozed and I thanked God. Get off first plane, eat lunch, let the baby crawl on the horribly dirty floor which I was far too exhausted to care about and then board the plane that mattered. The 5 hour flight plane... It was a darn good thing we bribed the people around us. The Baby got REALLY tired and screamed for a good 20 minutes because he no longer wanted to be touched, he just wanted to sleep, but on a teeny tiny airplane the whole sleep on his own thing was not going to fly. Eventually he fell asleep and I held him and dozed for one blissful hour. The rest of the flight involved a lot of movement, a lot of singing, and a lot of crying, mostly it was The Baby crying but I was close to tears once or twice. Finally touch down I go to get the rental car, Lineman meets everyone and loads enough into Shaniqua's car that only we fit and everyone else has to go in the rental van. It was a nice 2 hour ride in which I was not allowed to sleep due to constant chatting. Eat dinner, explore house, drink wine and fall exhausted into bed.

Day 2: Wake up at 4 AM because the baby is not aware of the time change, go to make coffee, find only decaf, contemplate killing both my brother in law and everyone else around me, eat breakfast and go to the store to buy REAL coffee and other necessary items. Then drive back to the same town that we landed in yesterday, 2 hours away, enjoy a BBQ and fun day at the beach. Introduce The Baby to the ocean, snorkel, watch the Things body board and then dinner and another 2 hour drive back to the house. At this point we are all triple exhausted from the travel and sun and beach. Lineman, Meemaw, Grandma and I vow to never go back to that town until we have to fly back home.

Day 3: Laze around and make breakfast, eat, let the baby nap and then head to a rocky beach in town. Watch the kids play, enjoy our day and be thankful it was only a 20 minute drive. Go home eat dinner, drink wine, and fall exhausted into bed.

Day 4: Special outing to a black sand beach is planned. Get up, make breakfast, play with children, put The Baby down for a nap get ready to go, wait for baby to wake up. Brother in law gets antsy I tell him I will cut him the baby gets a real nap and he isn't going to stop me from providing that. Then I hear where the beach is.... 2 hour drive the other way with a VERY sketchy road that can only be driven by 4 wheel drive vehicles. Baby wakes up, we make the very long drive with the Baby in Brother in law's pickup because we didn't have 4 wheel drive. I was secretly hoping the baby screamed the entire drive but unfortunately he was pretty good. I got an attitude at the beach only enjoyed an hour of our time there, of which we only spent like 3 hours, then drive back home. Yep 2 more hours in a vehicle.

This was my breaking point. Let me first say my Brother in Law and his girlfriend obviously don't have children. They should not have planned the vacation since they live there and there were other things some of us wanted to do besides what they had on the agenda, and I have OCD and need to be in control to enjoy myself. I hated the amount of driving and the poor planning that caused The Baby not to get naps and to hate his life, which in turn make me hate my life.

Drink wine, eat something probably, go to bed really really pissed off.

Day 5: Baby and Meemaw stayed home and everyone else went to visit the volcano, only .5 hours away and had a nice time until my leg floated out of the socket and I was barely able to walk back to the car. Go home, watch a movie about the island, drink wine, eat dinner, go to bed.

Day 6: Go to find awesome waterfalls in the jungle, get sadly disappointed that we could not get closer and they were all right off the road, go to the rocky beach, play, have fun, and enjoy the day without Brother in Law or Shaniqua. Go home, eat dinner, drink wine and go to bed.

Day 7: We had planned to go swim with dolphins this morning but due to Brother in Law and Shaniqua needed us to help them ship their cars we wasted this day. It was a cluster you know what, of stupidity and I was irritated. No one asked the right questions, they assumed it was our problem, yadda yadda yadda. Finally get everyone back to the house, eat dinner, do laundry, drink very little wine because we ran out, and pack to go home. Fight with Lineman before bed and then end fight so we can sleep for 4 hours before getting up to go home.

Day 8: Get up ungodly early with slight headache, drive 2 HOURS to get to airport, go through security without Lineman then barely make it to our flight on time in another chaotic crazy airport experience. Flight has extra seats allowing for The Baby to get his own which was heaven on earth. He napped well until another baby was screaming, with my frayed nerves I wanted to strangle the parents though I know they were doing the best they could. He did really well on the long flight. We got to our connection early had a slight mishap of The Baby smacking his tooth in an attempt to stand, there was blood it was sad. Board last plane, fight with baby for most of flight. Get home and thank god the vacation from hell is over. Vow to never ever do that again with a baby.

The End!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The bible is not back up

I am a very nosy person. I am on social media to boast about my children and see what other people I know are up doing with their lives. If you don't like what I have to say you don't have to see it. It's a choice. I hate when arguments erupt on social media. It's gory and out there for the world to see. When opinions are being expressed tensions run high and inevitably there will be a show stopping comment. BOOM. Bible verse. What now?

I am not a hugely religious person. I have questions that I need to try to answer for myself. I am not against religion in any way. It is normal and natural to want to believe there is someone watching over and protecting you. I have seen religion as something personal for each individual, which is exactly what it is. Some follow certain religions because of their family or friends and others choose what religion works for them. Whatever your reason, good for you. I do, however, have a problem with you shoving your choice down my throat.

Religion is a tricky business and no one religion is ever acceptable universally. I have a problem with those that back their opinions by bible versus because there are so very many versus and versions and not a single one is completely current. There are versus saying that working on Sunday is punishable by death. The people using the bible as a back up for their arguments never touch the versus they don't believe in or think don't apply to them. I get it, you want ammunition to show others your way. Well for me, it's all or nothing. You don't get to choose what pieces work for your argument and leave out some pretty big flaws.

Everyone should have an opinion. Wars have been waged to make sure we are able to express our opinion. It is human nature, especially when we are happy, to want others to be happy as well. When I love a restaurant I tell all my friends so they can enjoy the same experience I had. When I have an amazing hair stylist or babysitter or anything I want to tell me friends and let them experience my joy. I love my hair stylist, my friend hates how she did her highlights. Ok no big deal, we have a difference but we can still be friends. For now. Because I love my highlights and you should too. I understand wanting to convince someone your way is better, and I'm a control freak so my way really is better. I do not, ever, use bible versus. Sometimes I will mention articles I've read, but I'm quick to show that they agree with me so they are articles I enjoy. My husband does not always love my back up but he understands. I want to try to back up my reasoning. It's okay to want others to join you in your views but please choose your versus carefully.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lazy Sundays are so nice.

I had a semi busy weekend. I played with my boys and even my nephew. I got my hair done and errands run. I have kept my house picked up and laundry caught up so I didn't have much to do yesterday except veg out. Which I did. ALL. DAY. LONG. It was amazing. I finally caught up on my sleep because every time The Baby napped I napped. I felt a little disgusted with myself for not cleaning bathrooms but oh well. I know next weekend will be crazy getting ready for our vacation so I decided to do absolutely nothing. Plus it was in the 90s on Sunday and I am not a fan of heat.

Last night Thing 1 wanted the big screen TV in the living room. Let me break my house down for you we have 3 TVs. 1 large TV in the living room which holds the much coveted DVR. 1 medium sized one in the bonus room, which is where we make the Things watch TV and play on their Wii. And 1 in Lineman and my bedroom. As you see from the breakdown Thing 1 has a TV he can watch. It's in the bonus room. He can keep The Baby out because there is a baby gate so there is no reason to use the living room TV unless you want to play on the PlayStation that Lineman will not let me move to the bonus room. Of course Thing 1 wants to build things in Minecraft, a game I loath with all my heart. So I said, sure you can put The Baby to bed and I'll go to sleep. He actually took me seriously. He stuck with me through bath time, which is really just The Baby playing in the water while we watch and adore him. He stuck with me through getting The Baby diapered and dressed, and he stuck with me through making a bottle and singing a lullaby. I was pretty reasonably impressed that he did not ditch me throughout the process. It was kind of nice. In the end he got 30 minutes on Minecraft while I talked to Lineman on the phone.

These moments pass so quickly that it sometimes escapes me how grown my older boys are becoming. They want to help and play with their baby brother. They want to be part of the conversation. They want to hang out with me. It's nice and I know I will blink and it will be gone so I try, even on my bad days, to show them love and kindness. To show them that I am not the wicked witch of the west no matter what Nana tells them. I try, especially on the days I'm tired, to give them all my patience. In the end we are better off together. In the end it is all worth it, but I don't want it to end. I want to be the mom they still think is cool. Which will be cemented in place when we take them to Hawaii in just over a week! YAY!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A small kitchen fire and a broken disposal.. looks like a job for super mom

I feel like last night was a test. I worked a bit late to finish up some payroll and when I went to pickup The Baby from Nana I heard that he had been in a terrible mood all day. He didn't want to eat he wasn't feeling well and my mother was at her wits end. Taking from her notes I hightailed it out of there before she regaled me with stories of my terrible baby. 

My mother does not think my baby is terrible. She loves him, but it's harder than she anticipated to take care of him on a daily basis. It scares me that I will have to find another caretaker because she is going to be too worn out to watch him. It also scares me that she might not have a great bond with him due to resentment of having to care for him on a daily basis. I don't really think this will happen but it might and that is a very scary thought. So far she is handling it but I am going to be checking into some alternatives when I get a chance. 

We get home from Nana's and The Baby is indeed in a mood. He played with Thing 1 for a while but he was very fussy and snotty and slobbery. In the end we had baby food popsicles for dinner and a play time bath. He was tucked soundly into  bed at 8:01 PM and I could breath for a second. I was late getting home so I made a late dinner starting at 8:02 PM. Macaroni and cheese is a savior on nights like these. Now when I turned on the burner everything seemed fine. Did I check the burner tray for food debris? No. Did I worry there might be a fire? No. Was there a fire? Yes. A very small fire which I did not even freak out about. I calmly, sorta, turned off the burner and switched to another burner, this time checking the tray, and finished the noodles. MMMMM cheesy calorie goodness.

Eventful night right? Well it got better. After cooking, cleaning and doing dishes I tried to run the garbage disposal... A slight buzzing and then it stopped. I mentally used lots of curse words. Then, since I pretend to be handy when my husband is gone, I tried the reset switch. A slight buzzing then it stopped. I text Lineman to see if I should call a plumber or wait until he got home in 3 weeks. He called immediately. Normally, I would be cussing him for being gone and having something happen but I was calm and collected so I didn't stress him out. He told me about a magic item on the disposal. Apparently you just plug an allen wrench in the hole and spin it. The disposal MUST BE UNPLUGGED and you can sometimes keep from having to replace the disposal. I found the correct size allen wrench after annoyingly realizing I have WAY too much stuff in the cabinet below the sink, and I worked the sucker loose. I can now say I have a functioning garbage disposal. Go team me! After putting all the crap back under the sink without sorting it in my OCD way, I was ready to relax.

I am about to go check on The Baby because Nana has requested my presence at home during my lunch hour. Apparently his teething ways are not soothing to her and I need to go swoop in and be super mom again. It's a tiring job but someone has to do it. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


As our big trip to the islands approaches I am beginning to stress out.  Majorly stress out. My children are wonderful people but every day The Baby gets more active and closer to walking and he will be riding in my lap on the flight to Hawaii. I will be semi alone and I'm freaking out. Trying to get ready both physically (packing) and mentally (some form of mom meditation). I keep thinking and thinking and thinking about what it is going to be like having to corral my little sweetie for 6 long hours. I know we will be ok but then again, will we?

Have you ever been on a plane with a screaming baby? I have, it's never been mine and I've never even attempted a flight this long with him but here we are, planning for an adventure and I'm kinda freaked. Now The Baby has actually flown before. We went to see his grandparents but we flew on a private plane. IT WAS AMAZING. You can pretty much do whatever you want on those planes. Plus, Lineman was with me and the Things were at home. It wasn't very stressful and I had a lot of people I knew there to help keep him happy. This time it's me and the things. I might get an occasional helping hand from Meemaw or Grandma or Girlfriend but pretty much it'll be me against the rest of the plane. I am aware that when you see a baby ready to board a plane you pray that it is no where near you. You cross your fingers and you promise to be a better person if you just don't get a seat next to the child. Well guess what? Someone is going to have to sit near us and if it's you, I'm very sorry.

I might stop here and explain my theory on nature. I tell my children to scariest thing in nature is a mama bear. She will protect her cubs with her life and you better watch out because she has some weight to throw around. I am a mama bear. I love my children fiercely and I will not hesitate to give someone a piece of my mind if they are being a**holes to my kids. But how do you nicely tell someone to shove it 30,000 feet above the ground when you are stuck together for 6 hours? I have a feeling I'm going to have to use one of Lineman's sayings a lot. Goosefraba meaning deep breath and let it go. Goosefraba. He's screaming, goosefraba. He's crying goosefraba, you glare at me watch yourself because goosefraba only works to an extent. I will not hesitate to glare right back. You will not make me feel bad for taking my sweet innocent baby on a plane. No way, no how. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all because my stress level is liable to make me snap.


I'm off to maybe work some and stress some and quite possibly stress some more.



Rain Clouds Make Me Lazy

I've taken a couple of weeks off. Not from life but from my blog. I have been going so hard lately that I haven't had the mental capacity to write my thoughts down each day. This weekend was Memorial Day and we were VERY busy. When I say we, I mean Thing 1, The Baby, and me. Lineman is still enjoying the pineapple drinks and ocean spray in Hawaii. But we are heading his way in 2 short weeks! Eek I'm excited. And somewhat stressed.

We decided we will be surprising Thing 1 and Thing 2 by not telling them we are taking the journey. Under the guise of taking their dear grandmother to the airport we will whisk them away at the crack of dawn and head to the islands. This is exciting except the dear grandmother, great grandmother, and girlfriend of the uncle, will be in the front of the plane carrying small yippy dogs, and we will be at the back of the plane. Just me and all three of my boys. I'm glad I have both older brothers to help wrangle The Baby because I would probably go insane if I was completely alone. But this begs the question. How in the world are we going to get through this? I'm downloading the new favorite cartoon on the IPAD. I am making goody bags and carrying ear plugs for my fellow passangers but I'm pretty sure we will still be annoying.

I hate screaming babies on planes but it is a means to an end and I know that the parents of said children are doing everything they can to calm the child. But The Baby is now crawling so 6 and 1/2 hours on a plane isn't going to be enjoyable. If I'm lucky we will hit his first and second nap time in the air and he won't be much of an issue but I'm guessing I'm just not that lucky.

Cross your fingers that we all live through it and the police aren't called.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Helicopters worry me

Lineman got a job! Yay, except it's in Hawaii. What you say, why is Hawaii a bad deal? Well I'll tell you why. Helicopters. When you can't get to a transmission pole by roads they take you in a helicopter and you dangle below it to work on the line. Does that sound just a teeny tiny bit dangerous to you? Me too. 

I love my husband and he is psyched. He cannot wait to fly above the lines and earn some bragging rights. All I think about is the what ifs. What if he falls? What if his line breaks? What if he grabs the wire and becomes conductive? All the answers equate to my need for antacids and ulcer medication. I am so happy he has a job, that relieves some of the financial stress I've been under, but I cannot help but want to cry every time I think about him being dangled a hundred feet in the air from nothing but a piece of rope or cable of some kind. I choose life Lineman. I want to grow old WITH you. 

That being said I guess we should get ready to take another Hawaiian vacation. As our honeymoon gift my in-laws took us to Hawaii a few years ago with the big kids, since The Baby wasn't even a twinkle in our eye yet. And the things have been begging to go back. I say, shut up kid you are so lucky you got to go when you were 7, I had to wait until I was, not yet 30 but dangerously close. And the spoiled little darlings are going to get to go again before the age of 10. 

Because they have been begging for this, Lineman and I are going to trick them. What horrible parents we are right? Well too bad, if you get to go to Hawaii twice before the age of 10, you are going to have to take it how it comes. We think we'll just tell them Lineman is working there but we won't tell them about the plan to meet him for a week of fun. I'm going to wake them up early the morning of the flight, pile them into the car and not tell them until we get to the airport. How fun will this be? SO FUN! I'm stoked, only have a month to wait.

Other honorable mentions would be that my mother in law, grandmother in law, and probably soon to be sister in law will all be heading to the same island around the same time. See my brother in law and his girlfriend, hopefully soon to be wife if he ever proposes, live in Hawaii now. He is also a lineman and he got a job in Hawaii back in January. They have a 3 bedroom house in the rain forest and I'm so dang excited. Anyway they have 3 pint sized dogs that had to wait to go to Hawaii because they needed shots. My hopefully soon to be sister in law is coming home to get the pups and flying back with my in laws. We might be able to swing the same flight and life will be grand! 

I am crossing my fingers and toes everything works out. This is definitely a new adventure! Bring on the sun, and lots of sunscreen because my whiteness is just so very white the sun burns me in seconds.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The life of a single married woman

Today Lineman headed for the great unknown a.k.a. California. He is looking for work again which means I don't know when I will see him again. He will call nightly but having him present for our nightly rehash of our day is really nice. Most of our marriage he has been away working. Actually most of our almost 6 year relationship he has been gone. I knew when I met him what I was signing on for. I knew that his choice of career would most likely carry him away from me on a constant basis. I knew my life would be harder without him home, but I also knew I loved him enough to endure the loneliness and celebrate the togetherness. 

The last 6 months of our marriage has equated to more time together than the rest of our 6 years combined. I have enjoyed this time and in a rare moment I began to depend on him. He was there every night, he was there every morning and he was there to help with the everyday stuff. I loved having him here and though our time together always had a deadline, it was so far away until now. Now I have to be strong. I have to raise our children without him next to me. I am a good mother and I can wear a lot of hats, but I can't help feeling a little sad at the loss of our everyday routine. 

I will now have to cook, clean, raise children and work all at the same time. It is something I have done most of my life but it seems different now. I have striven to keep from depending on him. Not because he doesn't want to be home with us, but because he can't be home with us. He has a job to do and though he loves it, I know he struggles with the choice every day. He misses the everyday, the milestones for our children and the hard times we endure without him. If you don't appreciate the ability to turn on a light, you should. My husband risks his life building and maintaining power lines to ensure when you flip a switch the power you need is delivered. 

He may not be a hero to everyone and most people do not realize that his job is so important. We do. His family does. He sacrifices his time with us so he can support us and do what he loves. He sacrifices watching his children grow to make sure the power is there. He works in the heat, snow and ice. When it's -30 degrees and your power goes out, so does he. He endures the weather to ensure that you do not freeze or melt into a puddle. 

He is my hero and I will miss him so very much. I hope he finds a job.  I hope he stays safe in his travels. I hope he stays safe when he is working with voltage that could easily kill him in an instant. I hope he finds comfort in knowing we are so proud of him. I hope he isn't gone too long. I hope he knows that he is missed. I hope, beyond hope, that he comes home soon. And I hope he knows that even with distance spanning between us I love him enough to be a single married woman.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Park parenting: My way

I am not an angel or a perfect person or a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination. I know parenting methods differ, I also know that there is no book, no way of knowing you are doing a good job, and we realize our mistakes a little too late. I strive every day to be a good parent and I think that is all anyone can do. I try very hard not to judge other's methods as children are not "one way fits all" equations. I read an article about some parents wanting other parents to butt out at the park. It was even said that some parents go to the park to let their children be free of parenting. This is all a choice on a personal level, I'm not saying that this doesn't work and honestly everyone gets to screw their kids up all on their own. That being said here are the reasons I still parent, even at the park, and possibly other people's children.

Thing 1 has a hard time making friends. He is far too nice and far too forgiving. He gets picked on and as a mother that really angers me. I know kids are jerks but mine isn't and it makes me sad that he has to deal with children his age acting this way. Last night my son came home to grab some Nerf guns to take to the park. No big deal, toys are meant to be played with. Ten minutes later he came home with 2 friends to get more Nerf guns (we SERIOUSLY have WAY too many of them) for a Nerf war. I am fond of him playing outside and I see no problem with this. I did put some restrictions on his massive gun collection, he didn't get to take anything of his brothers and if his friends were going to help play with the guns they would darn well help bring them back. All the children agreed and set off to have fun at the private neighborhood park that I can see from my driveway.

At bed time I went in search of my little darling who was playing happily with friends at the park. He saw me, knew it must be time to go home and told his friends he needed the guns back he had to go. One little jerk let him walk up to him then threw the gun over his head in the grass. I SNAPPED. Like baby on my hip screaming kind of snapped. I yelled at the child to pick up the gun and hand it to my son. He stared in shock and I'm sure fear. I told him he had better learn some manners because that was rude and uncalled for. There were adults in the vicinity, ages ranging from barely legal teens to early to mid twenties. No one said a word and I'm pretty sure I struck fear into their hearts as well.

I tell my children on a daily basis that the scariest thing in nature is a mama bear. I became the mama bear. My adrenaline was pumping and I was pissed. My son was being a good fair person, like I taught him, and this other child was being rude. Do I blame the kid? Not really. Do I blame his parents? Not really. It's a culmination. I know my job as a parent is to protect my children when they NEED protection, offer them support all the time, and raise them to be genuinely good people. These are the goals I set every day. Last night Thing 1 may not have NEEDED my protection but I had had enough. If you want to give your children a break from parenting I get it, but you need to know that if they are hurting my child because they lack direction and general decency, I will rectify the situation.

I will parent your children for you. You can give them a break all you want but I will not hesitate to correct behavior that impacts my family. As long as your choices don't affect me I will stay the heck out of it. The millisecond your choice not to parent gets in the way of the values I teach my children, I will do what needs to be done. I will scold a child, I will make them apologize, and I don't care if you don't like it. Find another park or correct the behavior yourself. The real world is an ugly place and though I want my children to grow knowing that life isn't always good or perfect, I also want them to have time before they have to join the working class. I want them to be children and play and be happy. I don't want them to act like jerks and I definitely don't want them to be treated like they are nothing by your jerks.

We all get to choose our parenting style. Mine is a mix of OCD or CDO(in the correct order) and mayhem. My children are growing fast and the more they grow the more I like what I see. They are becoming decent human beings and though children are truly the meanest beings you encounter in life, I will not let them beat my son down without a fight. I will teach him to fight, and in the moments he is scared to fight, I will fight for him. That is my choice. You can say I am ruining your child's fun all you want, but I know that the day I have to step in is the day they crossed my line. If you don't agree, that's ok, because I don't agree with your choices either. We can agree to disagree and move on.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekends are for work... I mean fun

We had the weekend of weekends. On Friday, yes accounts get lazy in the off season and I am lucky enough to be one that works only 4 days a week, we worked. OK, so only Lineman worked, I was watching The Baby and pretending to do housework. The Baby had a doctor's appointment at which time he developed a strange rash, thank goodness we were there when we discovered it. No problems, all is well and the rash is gone. Then we got to spend time driving to get Thing 2, seeing my wonderful in-laws, no really I do love them very much, and seeing some friends and their little girl. It was a wonderful, though tiring day.

On Friday Thing 2 got in trouble for being rude, when his Meemaw scolded him he told us when he was 23 and we were old he was going to beat us up.... wait what? Who is this child and why does he think he can talk to us that way? He got in more trouble and as any self respecting parent would, we were so very ashamed we loaded up the kids and high tailed it out of there. How did we raise this beautiful boy with such a sharp mind to be so disrespectful and violent? Oh heck no. On the long drive home we proceeded to lecture them about the importance of respect for elders. Most of which was tuned out because they are children and lectures in dark cars are of course, unproductive. We are silly and thought we may have reached them.

Saturday brought lots of work. The landscape project that would never end actually got finished, save for actually planting in the beautiful flower beds. The children shoveled lots of dirt, my nephew came over to play, the children whined and finally we got to zone out.

Sunday we had lots of fun planned. As always the fun lasted for a little while before attitudes deteriorated as did the fun. We went back to Meemaw's house since she has some acreage and decided a Nerf war was a great idea, and in our defense for a while it was a lot of fun. Us against the big kids, then the big kids split to their respective parents. All was going pretty well until Papa joined our merry band. Nerf darts flew the rules were simple. No head shots, and since Lineman and I are color blind, the big kids had to help us find our ammo. Easy right? Wrong, they didn't want to help causing the game to start to become a true battle of the minds. Then Thing 2 started making up rules to his advantage, normal kid stuff not a big deal, we would remind him that his rules were not how we were playing. Everything was settled, not. Finally he shot Thing 1 in the face, I'm sure by accident, but he was being a total brat about it. Apologize and lets get back to having fun. That was not happening. There was an argument. They got in trouble and the fun was over.

Thing 1 is highly emotional. He is also ridiculously strong for a 9 year old but we call him a gentle giant. He never hurts people even when he is getting attacked because he doesn't know his own strength. Yay for us until he finds out just how strong he is. Gulp! His feelings get hurt pretty easily and he is not a fan of being picked on. Thing 2 is ridiculously smart but he doesn't have much muscle. He tricks his brother into thinking he is stronger to avoid getting beaten into a pulp. The problem is Thing 2 has an attitude. He is not a fan of authority and though I understand this viewpoint I can't help but wonder where it comes from.

Each person has a language that gets through to them. For Thing 1 I have to yell, usually very loudly, before he will listen. With Thing 2 yelling only serves to piss him off. Do I know this? Yes. Can I control my angry voice even with this information? No. Parenting fail. I know.

Sunday after the Nerf war was a fun family gathering complete with slip N' slide and pinata. We got home about an hour before bedtime. The children played on electronics after a day of good old fashion fun and we put The Baby to bed because nap time never really happened and he needed to sleep. And we REALLY needed him to sleep. When bed time came I called the things. No answer. I called again, no answer. I counted, Thing 1 whose bedroom is furthest away reported for duty all wide eyed and innocent looking. Thing 2 ignored. I told Thing 1 to tell Thing 2 he was grounded. This was a scare tactic and maybe ill advised but I needed him to come within normal voice range as not to wake The Baby. When he finally emerged from his lair he was pissed. Slamming Lineman's IPad down. Lineman had had enough. He got Thing 2, who loves his dad and actually listens to him, to understand that slamming an electronic will only get you in trouble and then he really did get grounded, but he couldn't stop there. He had to use that smart mouth of his. This ended in a 20 minute lecture, grounding from electronics and a promise of full disclosure to his mother who he spends the weeks with.

Lineman had a very long talk with him during the "tucking" process and I can only hope that next time I see him Thing 2 will have done a 180 in the attitude department. Because if not I think he might be acquainting himself with a life without electronics, *gasp* how will he ever live? We are like so unfair.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Men can be real a**holes

I just got a call telling me that my sister in law's husband asked for a divorce. Back story here is that they are both only children. She never wanted to have children and neither did he until a few years ago. She was scared that he would leave her and she would be a single mother. We all told her that we would support her if that happened and she didn't have to worry. They were blessed with a bouncing baby boy on the 4th of July and everything has seemed amazing. She loves motherhood and their little boy is thriving.

Last night the a**hole came home and told her he didn't love her. Wait, what? He proceeded to say that he hadn't loved her in a long time, 2 years to be exact. So he didn't love her when she made his child? He didn't love her as she carried and cared for his child? He didn't love her through her pregnancy or the growth of their child. I am sorry but anyone who has the balls to say that is an a**hole. He's a f***ing a**hole. 

I have never liked the a**hole. I think he's a pompous jacka** but I like my sister in law and I hate that he has done this to her. He is a coward and I truly hope he reconsiders his position, at which point she can tell him to go take a hike. I hate him for doing this and I hate all men that drop bombshells like this. I happen to be a woman of action, when my ex husband asked for a divorce I was all business and all action. I cleared out our bank account I found a place for my son and I to live, I went to visit an attorney, and I had divorce papers in the works before he knew what hit him. I didn't give him a chance to reconsider because you can't take those words back. Once you speak them your relationship will never fully recover, you will always remember those words. 

Marriage is something that takes work. Constant work, not the "I work on it when I feel like it" kind of work. It takes determination and love and honesty and respect and courage to fight the good fight. My husband and I fight, but deep down on the most basic level is love. We love each other, we respect each other, and we love and respect the family we have made. We have to work to stay together. We fight about petty things but we also play and have fun. We apologize and admit mistakes. We work to overcome our differences, we talk and enjoy each other. We hold hands in the car and show our love whenever we can. If one of us fails the other is there to lend a loving hand. But it is not always sunshine and daisy's. We've had really hard times, we've worked through many complicated differences and when we see the light again we are better from our struggle through the dark. That is what it takes to stay married. It's a choice we make every day. We choose to struggle and work and the payoff is having a best friend through it all. He is my best friend and he is strong for me when I need him as I am strong from him when he needs me. 

Leaving is easy. Leaving takes no courage, no respect, and no honor. If you chose to stay married for 8 years and then give up, you are failing. You are not just breaking promises you made, but you are failing to try, you are failing to give your all. You are failing your wife AND your child. I have a child that has lived through divorce and though it's common place and his father and I still co parent there are scars. He has to live through those scars. You are causing real pain you a**hole and nothing will change that. I hope your wife does not take you back when you realize your mistake, I hope she lets you know that you chose to give up and you chose to cause pain. I also hope she finds someone she deserves. Someone who is kind and loving. Someone who sees the good and chooses to fight through the dark so they can enjoy the light together. And I truly hope that you have to live your life in the dark, alone. 

Eye Surgery, Naps and Disney Dads

Yesterday was a fun day. I took my mother-in-law to get her lens replacement surgery. She isn't a candidate for lasik so instead she has to wait 3 weeks between surgeries so she can see without glasses. I was pretty excited for the anesthesia and a funny recovery. Unfortunately she was just tired. boo to no funny video to share. We spent the day driving to and from the doctor, eating and napping just a little. It was a good day. Filled with some pretty stylin' sunglasses. 

Something hit me this morning though. My son left his favorite and only zip up jacket at his dad's this weekend. This morning he wanted me to call his dad and have him bring it home. I said no, that Thing 1 could call his dad and ask that question. Unfortunately for both Thing 1 and Disney Dad he got Disney's answering machine here was his message " Hey, Real Name which is not dad, can you please bring me my jacket? I am tired of wearing my coat and I left my jacket at your moms house."

For anonymity sake I don't use real names but this message hit me like a ton of bricks. For a few years now Thing 1 has been calling Lineman dad, not as a disrespectful act to his real father but as an accident at first and then it became easier to just call Lineman dad. He has now started calling his father by his real name. If that were me I would be crying my eyes out. I gave birth to and have nurtured my child and if he used my real name it would be on like Donkey Kong. 

Disney knows that Thing 1 calls Lineman dad and when we met with Thing 1's counselor it was something that Disney brought up. He said it hurt to hear Thing 1 call another man dad but he also understood why it was happening. Lineman has been there and Disney has not. At this point I should probably explain how Thing 1, Disney, and I went from happy family to functional divorced family that is even happier.

Disney and I were married when he was in the service. When we were apart all the time our marriage worked. It was when he was discharged from the service that we discovered we didn't really like each other. He asked me for a divorce when I was on my first business trip ever and I was 1 part relieved and 1 part crushed. I had never wanted a divorce because I was taught that you get to choose your spouse and it's your job to make it work. I had failed and I didn't really like that feeling. I lashed out as did he but in the end we realized that we needed to worry about Thing 1 and function as his parents that at one time did love each other. 

The status quo has worked well. I am in charge because I am the primary caretaker and Disney clears things through me if he wishes to keep his life. I am a mama bear and I am fiercely loyal to my children. Once Disney decided to tell me how to parent and I told him when he was a parent every day he could tell me what to do, but as long as he only saw Thing 1 on the weekends he didn't get a say. It was somewhat hurtful and mean but it was true and after that Disney and I have had no problems. I am a very fair judge and jury so things work well.

A few years ago after running through 2 different women who he immediately moved into houses where my son stayed Disney moved to another state in search of work and finishing his degree. He was gone for 2 years and when he came back I knew his relationship with Thing 1 would never be the same. Thing 1 liked seeing him but he didn't want to stay with him for very long. Disney is now a long haul truck driver who stays with his parents or brother when he is in town so Thing 1 likes spending even less time with him. Thing 1 likes his space and his routine. When Disney screws that up we all pay dearly for it. As a result he sees Disney about once a month and only stays for 2 days and 1 night. Any more than this and Thing 1 loses his cool. He loves his father but he needs the stability that Lineman and I provide. 

So today, as my 9 year old continues to grow I think he is distancing himself from his biological father. They will always have a relationship and I hope he continues to try to build a bond there but ultimately when Thing 1 looks for stability and help I know he will turn to me or Lineman. We are his rocks and we are always there for him. He is my sweet young man and I am so happy he calls me Mom, a title I have darn well earned, and not by my given name that is only allowed to be uttered in large crowds where calling Mom would not pinpoint me. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

My kids are cool and my house is a lot of work

This weekend we decided to really get stuff done around the house. On Friday we were basically running around like chickens with our heads cut off all day but we got to see family and all three of the boys were home for at least a night. Thing 1 had a Mother & Son Game Night at his school on Friday night. So when Thing 2 got home from school we invited him to join us. We had a blast. Mostly eating the sweets they served but also playing the games.

I may have never explained this but Thing 1 is my first born. He is the oldest by 3 months and he is a  very muscular kid. He doesn't know his own strength and he's so sweet and innocent I just adore him. He goes to his father's house from time to time but he prefers my house. His dad is not a bad guy and after years of being divorced we are on good terms. He clears everything through me because my rath is nothing to sneeze at. Overall we get along and raise Thing 1 as a team. Lineman is included int he team since he is around more. Crazy life but we make it work.

Thing 2 is Lineman's oldest. He is only younger than Thing 1 by 3 months but he is wise beyond his years. He is smart as they get but he is pretty sure he should be 20 for all he knows... yeah. He loves The Baby and is a great kid. Thing 2 lives with his mom most of the time. She is good people and we are all mutually looking out for Thing 2 as a team.

On Game Night the boys put themselves into a brownie coma as we played basketball, twister, charades, what am I doing, and headbandz. During headbandz, which is a really fun game by the way, I had a mushroom. I asked "am I a vegetable?" Thing 2 said "Oh yeah I can give you a hint." This seemed harmless so I took said hint. He then explained my mushroom like this "It's the thing that Uncle Lineman took and he thought there was a zombie chasing him." I stared open-mouthed. First, how does he know this story? and second what the heck have we done?

I got home and talked to Lineman about it. He explained that he told Thing 2, always inquisitive and never satisfied with the "because I said so" answer, that story to explain the dangers of doing drugs. This sounds like an amazing way to ward kids from taking drugs but as the school principal had been behind me moments before his explanation Lineman got the over the glasses "look". I was less than pleased that our 9 year old would explain a vegetable that way. Needless to say we snuck by the principal when we left and I said a prayer that she did not hear that part of our game. All in all it was a good night.

Then came Saturday. I got up early to make bacon, Thing 1's favorite food in the whole wide world, because he was going to see his dad for the weekend. I cooked waffles as well at the request of Thing 2 and we had a lovely morning. Then it was time to knock out chores. Thing 1 was saved when his dad picked him up, Thing 2 was relegated to the back yard with Lineman to finish the landscape project that might end, and I was sequestered to the house with The Baby.

The Baby was tired but not giving in so he was clingy. We played on the floor and I finally put our wedding video in for something to occupy my mind until I was able to ply him to sleep with a bottle. Once he was down I began to tackle the task of mowing the lawn. Of course we had bad gas in our mower that hadn't been used in 2 years, I was pregnant and lazy so I paid someone, don't judge. I had to call Nana and borrow her mower and weed eater. I finally finished the front yard and headed to the back to get the parts of the yard that were not covered in construction materials, eventually I convinced Lineman that yes we should move the trampoline so I could mow under it since I was already  here and ready. By the end I was ready to take the mower back and stopped in the house to check on things. Apparently The Baby had woken shortly after his nap began and Thing 2, being a good big brother, had saved him from his swing and put him on the floor with his toys. He was happy and Thing 2 was playing on the IPad and watching The Baby so I took what I could get and ran the mower back.

I got home, played with The Baby, and laid him down for this second nap. I vacuumed and cleaned the house so we could you know, continue to live in it without CPS being called. I did dishes and laundry and was ready to cook dinner. After a quick run to the store I noticed the clouds were darkening signaling rain. So I jumped in and helped Lineman shovel the last load of dirt into the flower bed before the rain hit. I cooked dinner, did dishes again and imbibed in some adult beverages with a icy hot patch on my lower back. I had a slight sunburn but so much got done I couldn't complain.

Sunday was much of the same. Work our butts off, got another more painful sunburn, and ALMOST finished the flower bed. I am now so tired I can barely keep my eyes open to finish the payroll for my clients that is due on Thursday. Yay weekend is over now I can rest.. wait what?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dealing with Taxes gets my blood pressure up

Today I had the wonderfully irritating experience of dealing with the state tax commission. I will first tell you my father's theory on IRS agents and the state tax commission. "If they aren't smart enough to work in private practice they go to the IRS, if they aren't smart enough to work for the IRS they work for the state tax commission." And today that was proved. 

The big picture is both the state and federal agencies lean on CPAs and in my case, lowly tax preparers, to do the work and research the laws for them. Not only do my clients have to pay for the agencies idiocy but I have to deal with the idiots myself. 

I understand people get itchy and their eyes glaze over when they hear accountants revert to form numbers and laws but I get pumped. You pay us for a reason. And today I beat "the man" who was actually a woman and seemed to be new. As frustrating as the process is I know I'm right, which isn't surprising given the level of expertise I was dealing with, but I am going to take the victory lap anyway. 

Also today my oldest,Thing 1, has been fighting a cold. The cold is clearly winning but I don't dare tell him that because it becomes his mission in life to miss school for the day. The kid hates school, I get it, but come on! You ran to school which caused a coughing fit, which caused you to puke, which doesn't mean I should have to come get you. But I caved and set the ground rules. Thing 1 got to go to Nana's house but there would be no TV watching. I wanted him at least reading if he was going to milk the common cold for a day off. He was totally agreeable to that as he disappeared into his room at Nana's house. 

Yes my children have their own room at my mothers. Grandparents are allowed to spoil. I'm sure as soon as the front door closed the TV went on and it is still currently running making the minutes tick buy until he has to shut it off before Mom gets there. Honestly, she is creating the monster and I just want to bury my head in the sand. Lineman Dad offered to keep him home but the landscaping project that will never end is still in process and I need him focused on that and not on torturing his son for faking illness. 

Another day another drama.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Landscape Project that will never end...

My husband, Lineman Dad, is a great guy. About 3 months ago he quit his job at a non union company to join the union. We had some money saved up so instead of heading out to find work immediately I, being a clever woman, convinced him to try the "stay at home dad" thing for the duration of tax season, aka April 15th, aka the

During the first month of said "stay at home dad" job he went a little crazy. The Baby wouldn't let him get much done, so the baby was shipped off to Nana 3 days a week so he could get work done. That was a good decision since he decided to invent a project. The first project was a liquor cabinet. I will say it only took 2 weeks longer than anticipated and it looks amazing in my home. We displayed photos on Facebook and everything.

Then my mother, Nana, who is also recently retired, came up with another small project for Lineman Dad. A homemade trellis she found on Pinterest. Of course this was about a day worth of project... said day project took 3 days because Lineman Dad is a perfectionist and this causes projects to run over his original time line by about 300%. 

This is the lead in to the current never ending landscape project. With the liquor cabinet, and trellis done, Lineman Dad needed a new project to keep from going crazy due to lack of work and stress. He did not consider housework to be something to keep his mind active. So I saw a little Pinterest project of my own that looked nice. A raised flowerbed. The version I saw was made of wood and looked like a week long project for my husband. I do not say this often but boy did I miss the estimation on that one.

We are on week 4 or maybe 6 of said raised flower bed and I lost interest 3 weeks ago. I've been out of the blur of tax season for about a week and the progress is steadily .... slow. I go to work and come home to about the same amount of progress. It isn't that he isn't working furiously to get it done so he can go make money again, but he tends to stress rather than do. I am a doer. If something needs to be done lets get it done, except for my CPA because well, that is just different. 

Lineman Dad is leaving Monday to find work somewhere closer to home and to make buckets of money to refill our savings account. The current problem with him leaving lies in my flower bed being only partially done. Today the problem was this, we are using retaining wall blocks to build the wall and they will only stack so high before falling down without something holding them from behind. We need dirt. A LOT of dirt. Lineman Dad tells me we need 10 yards of dirt, which for a small raised flowerbed seems excessive. Except it's no longer a small raised bed it stretches the length of our fence and will be 270 cubic yards of space. What? How did THAT happen? 

Finally after much discussion and a little bickering and stressing we decided to have the dirt delivered. Now I talked him down to 5 yards of dirt, which seems A LOT more reasonable than 10 plus it should take less time to move, so hopefully he will be using said dirt to fill the bed. But by his calculations he should be able to stack the rest of the blocks in a day worth of time and move all that dirt from the front of the house to the back of the house in a day. That is 2 days worth of work. Remember when I said his timelines are normally 300% off? That means he will definitely not finish my bed by the time he leaves... And so I will forever have to live with an unfinished flower bed. Or do it myself. With Thing 1 and The Baby I just don't see that happening, I mean, retaining wall blocks are heavy. And dirt is pretty heavy and I'm only one woman. I don't want to do this project anymore but we're already way over budget and  I just want the stupid thing done so I can plant stupid flowers and maybe that will distract guests eyes from the rest of the backyard which is a mess of overgrown grass, partial flower beds and lots of holes compliments of our dogs. 

Who decided a raised flower bed was a good idea?? I am sure it was not me. This is not my project. I quit. I am currently sending prayers that a miracle somehow happens and Lineman Dad can finish this stupid project so we can do something else for the next 4 days before he leaves. 

And so it begins...

Hi all I'm an avid blog reader that has some original thoughts from time to time. My life tends to be a chaotic race against time. My amazing husband (We'll call him Lineman Dad) and I currently have 3 children (Thing 1, Thing 2 and The Baby). A little of the his, mine, and ours variety. I work full time as an Accountant, I went to school and everything, but am still putting off my CPA for reasons mostly attributed to procrastination. My husband is a Journeyman Lineman and full time cool guy.

Both my husband and my children drive me crazy sometimes so I thought I'd blog about our crazy life to relieve stress and make others laugh.... what? Not all accountants are boring. I hope you enjoy reading about our crazy life.