Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just in case you're thinking

where in the world did LA get the title for her blog??   Remember this song?

There's a line in it that says, "Here's your life, welcome to it."  For some reason, every time things get especially crazy, that line goes through my head.  So now you know, and no more sleepless nights for you :)  Now you'll also be able to envision me humming this song on a regular basis.  The people around me are so fortunate.

Hold tight people! I'm about to make a shocking announcement!

What I'm about to tell you has never been said before.  Some of you will have trouble believing it- and trust me, I feel you, but it has to be said.  **sigh** Here it goes:

Moms are people too.

Yep, I said it.  Moms are people, and in prehistoric times they even had their own hobbies and interests...  They were able to pursue those hobbies by simply sending the kids out to play fetch with the dinosaurs.  Naturally you can't do that today because A) There are no dinosaurs, and B) Someone would surely call social services on you.  While the rest of mankind has evolved, moms have devolved.  No longer do we include basket weaving and animal skinning in our past times- now it's huddling in cold, miserable rain watching one of our kids sit on the bench, or something like "cooking" which is really just a fancy way of tricking yourself into believing you are pursuing your own happiness, but really you're just feeding people.  (Disclaimer:  There is no place I'd rather be than watching Will play soccer and I really do love to cook.  Coincidence?  I think not.)

Ok, so I know some of you are skeptical.  I was too.  Why just this morning I went out in 26 degree weather to scrape ice off my son's windshield so he wouldn't have to before school.  Did I get thanks for this?  No.  Instead I got that look that only teenage children can give their aging, be-dumb-ified mothers, because of my choice of ice scraper.  His deodorant.  What?  I thought it was ingenious!  I couldn't find the ice scraper- there was his deodorant on the seat of his truck, which btw what's that about??!  It's not like I had it opened or something and it worked like a charm.  I also turned his truck on so it would be warm and toasty for him on the way to school.  All that elicited was a complaint about the gas I used.  Mmmhmmm.  This from the same kid that you might remember wanted me to follow his bus 40 miles with a pair of shorts so he didn't have to tell his coach he forgot them.  Not to mention that I give him a small fortune in gas money myself!  I said all that to say this:  Moments like this make it very hard to believe that mothers are indeed people...  It's still true though.

Some of you are not skeptics...  You have been saying from the beginning 'of course mothers are people.  That's not breaking news!'  For you, I offer up more proof that mothers are ranked just above sweat shop workers in third world countries, and that is only because we have better accommodations.  It is widely believed that:

1.  Mothers' phones charge themselves.  That or we don't need phones to begin with.  I think it's the former though because how else would they call us 5 minutes before lunch to say, "I don't have any lunch money!!!"?  Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but judging from the fact that I have never plugged my phone in and found it still charging when I came back, I can only deduce that that is the belief.  Even if my battery is completely dead and someone else's is half charged, they still take precedence.  I think the only solution is to get rid of anything in the house that requires my charger with the exception of my phone.  Bye-Bye iPhones and iPods!  It's a rotary dialer for you until you learn to keep your own charger handy!

2.  Mothers don't have to pee when they wake up.  True story.  Therefore if your current abode only has one bathroom it is perfectly acceptable to lock yourself in there while you spend 12 minutes trying to push down the same piece of hair.  If your mom asks you to remove your booty from the bathroom long enough for her to use it, this is the proper response:  Why do you always have to pee when you wake up?!     **sigh**  I don't know, I suppose I'm a freak of nature....  I'm afraid moms are going to continue to devolve 'til the point where they send us out with the dog in the morning.  Won't that be pretty?

3.  Moms know everything, or they know nothing.  It depends on the child.  According to the 3 year old, I should be a walking Wikipedia.  Which I am of course.  We all know anyone can say whatever they want on Wikipedia which means that the crazy answers I give Jace are completely acceptable.  Why don't birds hit their heads on airplanes?  Invisible force fields.  What?  It works.  Alternatively, I'm pretty sure Parker and Will are amazed that I've even survived this long, what with my limited knowledge of... well...  everything.

4.  Moms don't get cold.  Or if they do, they shouldn't humiliate their children by wearing anything that keeps you warm, yet might be uncool.  The other day I made a comment about trying not to embarrass Parker when I dropped her off in the mornings- vague, but you'll get more of the story with number 5- to which Parker replied, "Well I was completely embarrassed when you wore that weird, sweat band thing on your head...."  It was one of those knit things that keeps your ears warm.  Sue me for having cold ears.

5.  It doesn't matter what moms look like.  Alternatively, it totally matters what moms look like because the things they wear are always able to make or break the social status of tweens and teens.  When I made the comment about trying not to embarrass Parker when I dropped her off in the morning, it was in response to Will's wonderment that I actually want to see myself in the mirror for 20 seconds in the morning before I leave the house.  The nerve of some mothers... thinking that they have to see themselves before they leave the house.  It's no wonder kids today are so crappy- it's all these selfish moms...

and 6.  Moms don't have feelings.  If Mom comes home with new hair, clothing, shoes, or make-up, it's a green light for blatant honestly regardless of whether or not Mom asks...  Now Parker frequently asks me how she looks- if I say anything other than, "Great!" she's pissed.  No matter how nicely I try to say that just because the Disney kids get away with wearing polka dots, stripes and plaid all at the same time, it doesn't translate so well in real life, she is highly offended.  I have yet to figure out why she even asks me...  At any rate, anytime I get a haircut I feel all cute and awesome right up until I pick Parker up from where ever she might be.  Instantly I get 'the look'.  You know- the one with the wrinkled nose that either means 1) You stepped in dog poo or 2) You've once again managed to make yourself look like a clown in front of the entire world.  Yeah, that look. It's always followed by:
P:  (eyebrows raised, disdain impossible to not read) Did you get your haircut?

Me:  No, terrible mishap involving a goat....  Ok, I really don't say that.  Most of the time. I usually say, Yes, you don't like it?

P:  (looking the other way as eye contact will burn her retinas) Ummm... I just have to get used to it.

Translation:  Please don't get out of the car for at least two weeks.

I haven't done a very good job of making my case about moms being people, have I?  Maybe it's just wishful thinking...  Either way, I'm about to let every child in this house know it's true :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

17 years of experience, and yet I still don't know what I'm doing...

Yesterday I had a nervous breakdown.  Just a mini one unfortunately.  It would be kinda nice to have one of the major ones that would result in a vacation at the local psych ward where I am sure I would find more sanity than my home offers most days.  

Most of my life is spent in a "kumbaya" state of mind where I 'don't sweat the small stuff' and all those other cute li'l sayings that make me wanna vomit on the days when my 'attitude of gratitude' is MIA.  Why is it that life can being rolling along nicely and then suddenly you are hit with just an overwhelming feeling that the only thing missing in your life is you?!  While 99% of the time I am fine with being known as someone's mom, or SFC Hollen's wife, that 1% of the time when I miss just being me can come out of nowhere and hit pretty hard.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I really, really hate it when those days hit, because I don't believe in living life wishing for anything other than what I have, but there is a little catharsis in being the one crying, "What about meeee????!!!!!" every once in a while :)

I've been a parent for a while now.  Over 17 years to be exact.  (Hmmm, I guess "over 17 years" isn't what some might call 'exact', but it works for me, and this is my blog gosh darnit.)  In any other 'profession' 17+ years of experience would make you an expert at what you do.  When it comes to being a mom, not so much. It's all trial and error, and mostly error.  I think most of us have a list in our heads of what we will not do as a parent that is based on our experiences growing up.  As an adult, that list shrinks because you realize stuff like having to clean your room isn't a form of torture and/or abuse.  There is stuff on my list that I still feel is valid though.  I just can't seem to find the middle ground between being the type of parent who would do anything for their children, and being the family doormat.  In my quest to try to remember what it's like to be their age, and the value in supporting their dreams even if I know the odds are against them, it seems like I've not done a very good job of teaching them that in this family we are all a necessary part of the team, and no- you are not the MVP.  Basically this means I have three kids who have no idea that the world does not in fact rotate around them.  My life in a nutshell:

If I lie down, someone needs something.  If it's Jace, the older two have either A) suddenly become deaf and can't even hear him asking, or B) help him out but make sure to complain loudly because their TV watching, book reading, game playing, etc. has been interrupted.  If I start to jump in the shower, Parker was just headed that way.  If I have to use the bathroom, someone else needs to more.  If the dog needs to go out, it's ok if I have to completely get dressed first, because Heaven knows that expecting one of your kids to do the same is like a fate worse than death.  

You know our current living situation is little old lady in the shoe meets any given episode of Hoarders, but Parker refuses to believe that she can in fact get dressed in any room other than the bedroom.  She fully expects anyone who's in there to immediately stop what their doing and evacuate so she can get her clothes on.  Will on the other hand, will drop his towel no matter where he happens to be and just yell for everyone to avoid that room 'til he's dressed.  Both of them seem to believe that taking their clothes to the bathroom with them and getting dressed there after they shower is foolish and emotional abuse.  Jace is just Jace.  His middle name is after Thomas' great-grandfather who was nicknamed Boss.  Had I known that Jace would feel compelled to live up to that reputation, I would have named him something else...  Obviously somewhere along the way I have failed them big time as a parent.  What else is new?

What does all this have to do with yesterday's breakdown?  I'm getting there, I promise.  Yesterday was like any other day.  Will and Parker were celebrating the life of leisure that they feel is their birthright, (seriously the princes Wm and Harry probably feel less entitled than my kids,) and Jace was being a holy terror.  I had mountains of homework, a house that wouldn't let me rest until it was clean, and a flatulent dog with diarrhea.  What happens when you mix flatulence with diarrhea, you might ask.  One word:  Sharting.  FML.  Add to that the fact that I am so popular in my home that no one can be more than two steps away from me at any given time, and you get a basket case waiting to happen.  As I was trying to get ready to go to a movie (Footloose.  Funny stuff, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't supposed to be.  Angry ballet, anyone?) the dog needed to go out one more time so I asked Will to take her out.  Cue scene of dramatic collapse:

Will:  Ok, but I'm not going in the yard because I don't want to get my new shoes dirty.

Me:  Well you have to go in the yard because she uses the bathroom in the very back.

**I look outside and see Will trying to figure out a way to hovercraft himself to the designated bathroom area.  By all appearances he thought he could simply Go Go Gadget the arm holding the leash and Molly would be able to reach the back of the yard.  In a move that pretty much sums up my entire parental shortcomings, instead of making him prance his ass out there, I succumbed to my usual, "I'll do it myself!" huff.  So now I'm back there trying to get Molly to go to the bathroom- btw, what is up with all the turning and sniffing??!!  Anyway, as I'm at the back of the yard with Molly, Jace decides he has to have a ball that is dangerously close to Molly's 'bathroom'.

Me:  Jace, don't go back there, you'll step in dog poop.

Jace:  I have to get this ball.

Me:  No, you don't.  We are getting ready to leave.  Go back to the house.

Jace:  But I 'meed' it.

Molly- turning, sniffing, turning, sniffing, turning, sniffing.....

At this point for some reason I start crying.  Not full fledged boo-hooing, that came moments later.  I give up on Molly using the bathroom, tell Jace to get in the house, and I sniffle my way across the yard.  The only good thing is that even though Jace wouldn't stay away from the ball, he didn't step in poop.  The only bad thing?  I did.  Wth?  By this point, I'm on the front porch, where I am full on sobbing, while kicking my shoes off and hurling them across the yard.  Parker, Jace and Will are staring at me like I've grown another head.  If I could have heard the thoughts going through their minds, I'm sure it would have gone something like this:  Ok, is Mom hurt, or is the nervous breakdown she's been threatening for years now?  Which totally reminds me of the other day.  Apparently anytime my kids are fighting I say either, "I'm running away, or I'm gonna blow my brains out."  (Go on, add that to the parental failure list.  See if I care.)  This particular day, I used the brain blowing threat to which Will replied, "All talk, no action." Ahahaha, yes.  Retched little monsters that they are, I love my kids.....  At least they "get" me.

Anywho- so while I'm lying in bed sobbing hysterically and saying stuff like, "I can't do it all myself, and I never have a second to myself," Jace is on top of me saying, "Aww Mommy, it's ok."  Cute in retrospect.  Parker decides that she should get Jace off me and let me have my tantrum in peace.  After a minute I pull myself together and start trying to undo the mess caused by my torrential downpour.  Like it really matters what I look like.  I'm barely even human...  I'm the mythical creature known as a mom.... Anyway, I look out the window and there is Jace getting that effing ball that he was after in the first place.  In between my first thoughts of "who will watch my kids while I go on an adult's only all inclusive retreat" and my gut impulse to beat my head against the wall I hear this:

Jace:  Ewwwwwww!!!!!  There is poop on my toes!  It's diarrhea!!!

Which brings me to my final parenting bummer.  In every other situation in life there is such joy in saying, "I told you so."  Not so for a mom.  All it means for a mom is that there's another mess to be cleaned....

If only all this had happened after I watched "Footloose".  I could have avoided all the tears and just stomped around pulling at my shirt and tossing my hair.  Added stress release if you can find a chain hanging from a ceiling somewhere that you can swing yourself around on with lots of smoldering drama....  At least it seemed to work in the movie.  **sigh**

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hey Kid! Yeah, you in the blue- go clean your room!

Growing up with four older siblings, my mom called me a variety of names.  The only time I can remember being truly offended is the day she called me "Kevin".  I mean, calling me by one of my sister's names was one thing, but my brother's?  Not cool.  My grandmother Parker was just as bad.  I think I briefly thought my name was "Heather Amy Leigh Anne"...  Both mix-ups were understandable though.  My mom had five kids, and my gramma enjoyed her vodka.  These are both handy excuses for being a li'l forgetful.  

(I'm fighting my urge to go off on another tangent at this point.  I'm really working on my ability to focus on one subject at a time, but I'll just say that if you wanna live to be 95, forget all those vitamins and that healthy living BS.  Vodka, Charles Chips and Breyer's Ice Cream is the way to go- at least it worked for Gramma Parker.)

Back on track!  So while I know that it can be normal to call your kids by the wrong name from time to time, I really thought I'd be able to bypass that hoopla.  I mean I'm sure my kids will have enough material for their therapist someday without having 'Mom used to call me by the cat's name' on the list.  Yeah.  Here I was offended over being called my brother's name and my kids are lucky if they get called by a human's name instead of an animal's...  My personal favorite is when I start to call one of the kids and my mind goes into what I call russian roulette mode.  It just keeps spinning and spinning, but unfortunately no bullets are in the chamber.  That's when this happens:  Hey, um.... Wwwww... uh....  um...  huh.  Um, Hey kiddo!  This is usually followed by a look from the kid that is along the lines of, "WTF?!  Did my mom really just forget my name?!"  Sad, but true.  I blame my self-diagnosed ADD.  What, you didn't know I was a doctor?  Honey, in the days of google and WebMD, everyone is.  Now if only I could write prescriptions...

Now I'm totally thinking about that joke where the woman has a bunch of kids and they all have the same name.  When someone asks her what she says when she wants to call a particular kid she says, "Oh I just call them by their last name."  Ahahahaha.  I so shoulda done that.  I mean if you're gonna be dysfunctional, you might as well have fun with it, right?

We did recently add a new family member.  Thomas rescued a dog he found on the side of the road, so please welcome Molly Molly Bo Bolly Banana Fana Fo Folly, to the Hollen family.  So far she is the most well behaved member we have.  I'm considering dropping the kids off in the woods for a couple days to see if they come out with good attitudes too.  What?  I'll go back for them, jeeze.  Some people are so uptight...  Anyway, the only issue so far, is that Molly and Harpo like to fight.  I have to admit that I laughed hysterically today when I saw Molly walk by the couch and Harpo lean down from where he was sitting on the back of it, to slap her upside the head on her way by.  I could just do without the times that I'm trying to concentrate on something and they are stampeding through the house like it's the running of the bulls.  I mean, isn't it enough that Will and Parker fight like it's their job? 

 --another tangent-- would it be shocking if say, a mother were to rip the television of the wall, and throw it out the front door while yelling, "Bet you wish you could have agreed on a show now, don't you?!"?  I mean, I don't know anyone who would ever do something like that, I'm just making conversation :)  -- end tangent--

Anyway, so remember that I'm currently living in shoe box until we move to Texas in a couple months?  Right- so now there are me, Will, Parker, Jace, Harpo and Molly in said shoe box.  Last night I actually slept in a full-sized bed with Parker, Jace and Molly.  I'm not sure if you've ever attempted to sleep with a paw up your rear, one kid upside down in the bed, and the other with their foot on your face, but let's just say that it's not what I would call a 'restful' sleep.  More like one long night of thinking to myself, "is this really happening, or am I getting punk'd?"  For reals, I'm going to start wearing make-up to bed, just in case Ashton Kutcher pops out of somewhere... When we get to Texas I'm going to lock myself in my bedroom for at least three days where I will attempt to deprogram myself.  Really.  It's not natural for a 36 year old woman to believe her favorite shows are "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Good Luck Charlie".  It's like a Stockholm Syndrome type of thing where I've just acknowledged that I will NOT choose what is on the TV as long as we are living here, so I might as well convince myself that I love it.  

My eyes are drifting shut as I type, so Peace Out What-cher-names!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kids. Can't live with 'em...

can't afford to put them in boarding school...

Soo there has been a drought in the Hollen House of Hilarity, (Horrors or Hormones.  Pick your own "H", they all apply.)  Either my kids haven't been as funny lately, or my sense of humor has been MIA.  More than likely it's just me, right?  As usual though, when it rains it pours so here is the blog that you've been eagerly waiting for.  By you I mean you, Jen ;)  

I think a country musician should start singing about parenting.  I have a list of possible song titles:

Acorns in My Dryer

There's a Reason You Never Get Those Cute, Li'l Photo Cards From Me at Christmas (Seems long but this is country so it works.)

Why, Why, Why?

There's a Tear in my Yoo-Hoo

What About Me???!!!!!

What Shoes Should I Wear?

You Were Adopted

Don't See Me

and my personal favorite-

You're Mom's Favorite, No You're Mom's Favorite

Now I'm no professional writer, so I don't do lyrics.  However, I do have some story line suggestions :)

**Acorns in My Dryer?  Naturally this song would be about all the random things you find in the laundry when you have kids.  The list should include:

 1) Acorns.  Especially if your 3 year old has a thing for "nuts".  Yeah.  Do NOT attempt to empty his pockets with his knowledge.  The end result is tears, trauma, and a host of other "T" words like tantrum.  **Shudder**  

2) iPods.  It is important to note however, that if expensive electronic gadgets are found, then this part of the song should include something along the lines of, "Mom is an idiot...  She doesn't check my pockets."  Alternatively, this song could also be about wives in which case you would substitute, "Mom" with "Wife".  At no point however, should you EVER even so much as imply that the individual who put the said object in their own pocket should carry any responsibility.  Only Mom/Wife.  The chorus should include the phrase, "Quick!  Throw it in a bag of rice!"  Catchy, isn't it?!

3) Random bits of paper:  Extra bonus if any of this paper is later called, "homework".

4) Money.  Whatever you do though, do NOT let out the secret that any money found in the laundry belongs to the person washing it.  I am slowly building my empire, one load at a time.

**Photo Cards.  This song would be about those sweet cards people send you at Christmas featuring their kids and assorted pets all looking at the camera with an aura of love and happiness.  Obviously those kids are paid.  This is what happens when I try to take pictures of my kids:

Yesterday was a beautiful day, full of sunshine and leaves falling.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get some pics of the kiddos while enjoying the scenery down at LBL.  Fun for all, right??  Wrong.  First of all, Parker is the only one who will pose.  She'd be happy to be the star and sole occupant of all family photos, but then I feel crappy because the boys are missing.  As of now though, I'm over that.  Parker is now the "face" of the Hollen family and will be representing us as a whole :) This is what the boys do:

Will:  Family pictures?  (Said in the same tone you might say, "Worms for dinner?")  Why??!!

Me:  Because I would like to have pics of my kids.  Duh.

Will:  Well you're not putting any of them on facebook.

Me:  Ok, well A) I'll put whatever I want on my facebook, but I won't tag you, and B) is your family really that humiliating??

I mean really, are we?  What is it about having your picture made with your brother and sister that inspires fear of public humiliation?  Is Will the only teenager known to man to actually have a family?  Is that what it is?  Like it's embarrassing for someone to find out you have siblings or **gasp** parents?  Gee thanks.  I remember being a young mom and thinking that one of the bonuses would be the fact that I would be this young, hip mom that Will would be proud to have.  It's obvious now that the fact I even thought the word "hip" eliminated that possibility.

Soo as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.  Here that translates to, you can force your kid to pose for pics, but you can't make him look normal.  99.9% of all pictures involving Will are one of two things.  He's either posing like a pin-up- think hip thrust out with one hand on it, the other hand up by his lips while he makes a kissy face, or he's making some other ridiculous face.  Personally, I am no longer going to even attempt to get pictures of him looking normal.  I'm going to take what I'm given and then I'm going to put every single one of them on facebook, tag him, make one my profile pic, post on his wall, print out flyers to hang around town, and have announcements made to send to all my friends with small children.  "Enjoy them now- soon they'll be teenagers!  Blech!"

Then there's Jace.   After I'd all but given up my photographic dreams yesterday, I tried to take a picture of Jace from behind.  It was completely unposed, he was staring out over the lake and it was precious.  He saw me out of the corner of his eye and took off running, yelling, "No!!! Don't take pictures of me!!"  Apparently he's Amish and didn't tell anyone.   Who knew?

**Why, Why, Why

This is self-explanatory for any parent.  If the songwriter could include answers to the 97 bazillion questions that toddlers ask, that song would go platinum immediately.

**There's a Tear in My Yoo-Hoo

Again, self-explanatory.  Every event in life does not have to include tears.  Not toddler tears, not  hormonal tween girl tears....  No tears.  Period.

**What About Me???????

What about me... the favored question of siblings everywhere.  This song should include something about Christmas cards being sent out with a picture of only one child, while the other two cry, "What about me??"  The chorus could be, "Because you wouldn't pose, or I don't love you anymore.  Which one is it??!!!"  Ahahahaha- sometimes parenting is fun :)

**What Shoes Should I Wear?

This is another favorite question in my house.  Actually I'm pretty sure Parker has NEVER gotten dressed one, single time without asking me, "What shoes should I wear?"  The funny thing is she generally hates my taste and rejects all my suggestions until I finally list the shoe she wanted to wear all along.  I have told her more than once to not ever ask me again so now she does this, "Mom, I know you hate it when I ask, but umm... what shoes should I wear?"  Maybe I'll just donate every pair of shoes but one...   Sounds like a winner to me!

**  You Were Adopted

Will has been trying to convince Parker from birth that she is adopted.  I'm not sure what about this is supposed to be an issue, but apparently it is because I can remember my own siblings trying to convince me of the same when I was little.  If that's the case, I'm going to start looking for my "birth" parents immediately and pray that they are now filthy rich.

**  Don't See Me.  This song will be about toddlers who make their parents accompany them to the bathroom, you know to protect them from the "ghosts".  These same toddlers don't like to be seen while using the bathroom so they call you in there and then point at a spot right outside the door where they tell you to stand with the instructions, "Don't See Me".  It's almost like time-out.  My particular station is by the washing machine, so I just look for money in pockets while I wait.  I'm getting rich one trip to the bathroom at a time.  I'm hoping the follow up tune, "Don't Wipe Me" is coming soon.

**  You're Mom's Favorite, No You're Mom's Favorite.

If your two older children are both convinced that the other is your "precious, little angel", are you doing something really right, or really wrong?  I've been pondering this for a while now.  Just pondering, I don't intend to change anything.  After all, even being seen in public with me is detrimental to their social status after a certain age, so what do I care?  I feed, clothe, and steal money from their pockets.  Isn't that my job?  I tuck them in and kiss them good night, although Will has been air-kissing me for the last few years.  He's either adopted some European flair, or thinks I have cooties.  Speaking of, I just thought of two final tunes:

Everything I Needed to Know About Life, I Learned While Secretly Reading My Teenager's Text Messages


I  Didn't Know Butt Dialing Could Get Me Grounded

Yeah.  Enjoy those toddlers and don't have me arrested in a few years when Parker is a teenager and I won't let her out of a locked closet.  It's for her own good, really!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Awww Mommy... it's just Mari-yo...

I work from home.  I have a website called If you haven't checked it out, you should.  Really.  No now, go on I'll wait.  Great! 

Now working from home is freaking awesome.  It's also close to impossible.  For all the benefits of being able to be home with your child, work in your pj's, and keep up with your 12 current games of 'Words With Friends', there's also the fact that you're home where you are surrounded by other things that need to be done and your kid(s) is/are there.  **sigh**  

Adding a merchant to my site is really easy- it literally just takes a few clicks and then waiting for stuff to load.  In reality it goes like this:

*Click download- estimated time says 2 minutes- just enough time to empty the dryer, refill it, and reload the washing machine.

*Click another download- hmmm... this one is only gonna take 30 seconds, but I can't stop looking at those dirty dishes in the sink, so I'll wash them in the meantime. This results in a vicious cycle of:  wash a couple dishes/ dry hands/ check progress/ click download/ repeat.  Did I mention that Jace is also hanging on my leg during much of this?  He LOVES to wash dishes.  **sigh**

*Click another button- realize that I haven't folded the clothes I took outta the dryer.  Now they're going to be a big flippin' mess if I don't do it now.

*Elapsed time- 27 minutes.  Time it should have taken- 4 minutes.

Adding to all this fun is the often heard, "I'm hungry" or it's partner, "I'm thirsty".  A new addition is "Come to the bathroom with me" because Jace has decided it's 'scare-wee' in there.  Oh, and the dryer just dinged again, so back to that...

I decided the other day that I could get a lot done if I gave Jace Parker's DS to play with.  I charged it and then surprised him with it just as he was harassing me yet again over who knows what.  This presentation brought much happiness just as I anticipated....  There was a lot of yelling "Yay", jumping up and down, and then this li'l gem of a phrase, "Mommy... sometimes I love you!!!"  Sometimes?  **sigh**  At any rate, Jace went to play and mission accomplished!  Only I forgot one little thing...  He always needs  my help at some point.  Cue the phrase, "Mom!  Play my game!"  

Jace is really pretty good at Mario for a 3 year old- at least I think so.  I haven't really polled the 3 year old community for Nintendo wizards, but my gut instinct tells me that my kid is superior, as always :)  He only needs help every once in a while.... Like when he's swimming, which naturally is his favorite thing.  So I've pretty much mastered the exact timing to get through the world as fast as possible and to the end where I pass the DS back to Jace so he can jump on the flagpole.  Story of my life- I do all the work, someone else gets all the glory.  C'est la vie...  (I really can't even remember what that means, it just seemed to fit.  If it doesn't, disregard.)

So inspite of my mad Mario skills, sometimes I die... then I hear this:

Jace:  (patting me on top of my head)  It's ok's just Mari-yo.  Now do it again.

Me:  **sigh**

Jace:  Mommy, what's wrong?  You just jump on the bugs.  It's ok.  You're  good grill.  

Then I think to myself, sometimes it doesn't even pay to get outta bed... but then I remember I'm in the bed 'cause I moved there so I wouldn't be constantly distracted by the fact that the kitchen needs to be mopped.  Which reminds me that I really need to go mop the bathroom.  Apparently people frown on un-toilet training your kid, which I think is lame, but whatev.  (I've turned into a high school girl at some point during this blog. I wonder if this is it?!  The time I really am gonna lose my mind like I've been telling the kids would happen since they were born.  Will I get to go to the looney bin??  Yay!!!   A vacation!!!)

Where was I?  I don't have a clue, but I did just remember a funny story.  Once we were at a church dinner.  They had these big, long tables where you were sitting with a mix of people.  Everyone was telling funny stories  and then Will popped up with this li'l gem:

Will:  Mom, remember when you were waving your arms in the air like this and saying, "I'm going crazy!  I'm going crazy!"?  

Awkward silence. Yeah.

And then one more story while we're talking about my kids humiliating me in public places:

When Parker was about three, we went out to eat with a friend.  Parker had this really cute way of saying her prayers at night, and so I asked her to show my friend.  Apparently Parker thought this was 'Night at the Improv'  **sigh**  She jumped up on her chair, and in the loudest voice possible, began to pray:

"God... you're a good God... but you could be a better God...  I'd like more toys, and a bigger house..."

that was about the point where I started dragging her off the chair.  The rest is kinda a blur.  

Ok, well I'm gonna round up this cluster of a blog and attempt to get some work done just as soon as I beat this world, fold those clothes and mop the kitchen and the bathroom.  C'est la vie!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

I don't want to be the kind of mom who puts a timer in the bathroom....

but I'm about to become the kind of mom who puts a timer in the bathroom. Seriously.

For the last four years, we've lived in Georgia where we had a 4 bed, 3 bath home.  I thought I appreciated the amount of space we had, but now I REALLY appreciate it.  In May we decided to move back to my hometown temporarily while my husband is in school in OK.  Since we are going to be moving to Texas in December, we went ahead and sent our belongings to be stored in Texas.  Thinking it would be better for everyone for us to have our own place while we were here, I rented an apt.  A very small apt.  It seemed to make sense, especially considering the fact that I had no furniture with me haha.  **sigh**

Ok, so it still makes sense.  We have borrowed some items of furniture from family members, but no one had enough extra beds lying around to furnish a four bedroom home here, and I'm sure as heck not buying what I already have sitting in storage in another state!  There's just one problem.  I feel like the little, old woman who lived in a shoe...  I actually said that aloud one day which prompted the following comments:

Parker to Will:  And you're the bug in a rug.

Will to Parker:  Well you're the butt in a hut.

Anywho- while I'm grateful- oh so grateful- for being here now, I feel a little bit like I'm on an extended camping trip.  BTW, I'm not a huge fan of camping unless restrooms are provided, and with one bathroom for four people, that's sometimes not a reality....

Especially in the morning.  I suppose if we had unlimited bathrooms and unlimited hot water, I wouldn't have an issue with Will and his 20 minutes showers.  Unfortunately, neither of those apply.  For one thing, people have to pee in the morning.  Shocking, I know.  In Will's defense, he does set his alarm to get up before everyone else so he can get his business outta the way, but when you gotta go,  you gotta go...  The scene from this morning:

As I'm squinting, trying to adjust to daylight and the day in general, I catch a glimpse of Parker outta the corner of my eye.  She's doing what I like to call the potty dance.

Parker:  Mom, I have to go to the bathroom and  Will's in there!

Me:  Well, I guess you'll just have to wait.

Parker:  (hopping from foot to foot with a look of extreme agony on her face, because apparently that helps) But I have to go now!

Me:  Ok, well we only have one bathroom....  Are you wanting a bucket, or what?  (I'm not so very gracious before noonish.)

Parker:  No, I just have to go, but he's in there.

At this point, I'm wondering exactly what I'm missing.  I'm tracking that Parker has to pee and Will is in the bathroom... What I'm not tracking is how this is my problem.  **sigh**

Me:  (knocking on the bathroom door)   Will, hurry up, Parker needs to use the bathroom!

Will:  (yelling from the shower) Well I set my alarm to get up early.

Me:  (puzzled look on my face... wondering what that has to do with the price of tea in China...)  Ok, well that's great, but she still has to pee, so can you hurry up?

Will:  (grumbling unintelligibly)

I go back to my room...  Two seconds later, the potty dance is once again taking place in my peripheral, and I'm debating telling her to walk to the bleepin' gas station haha.  I didn't.  But I'm not gonna lie, it crossed my mind.  

Will finally emerges from the bathroom, grumpy look on his face and all, and Parker manages to get her business done.  I'm still irritated though, because quite honestly, I can't even imagine how I would fill up 20 minutes of time in the shower.  I mean you get in, you get wet, you soap up, you rinse off.  How long can that take??! 

Soo yeah... I'm about to set a timer in the morning, and I'm considering investing in a Port-a-Potty.  I don't think my neighbors would mind too much...  I'm sure this will all result in my kids sitting in front of a therapist someday telling about the atrocities of having a time limit on bathing, but at least it will keep them alive, and quite frankly, I'm sure I've done worse for them to complain about...

This just in from Jace:

Mom, can you help me take my shirt off?  (Holds up hands, clearly covered in vaseline which is a MAJOR no!)  I have hot dogs on my hands. 

**sigh**  I'm trying not to feel offended by what he thinks of my intelligence.  He is only 3 after all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What do you do all day??

and other things that annoy me....

Because I know that all you want outta life is my happiness, a list of things that make me crazy :)  :

1.  Constant complaining.  *sigh**  (There will be lots of sighing today.)  Look people, no one likes a Negative Nellie.  Sure, we all have complaints from time to time, but when you find something to complain about all day, every day, you make me crazy.  You know that expression, "Misery loves company"?  It sure does.  In fact it loves other negative people more than anything in this world.  Know what that means?  It means if you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of negative whiners, you too are a negative whiner.   Not to be all Pollyanna and shiz on you, but you reap what you sow in everything- not just actions, but also attitude.  So cheer the blank up!

2.  For this one, I've chosen a poem.  Perhaps one of my least favorite poems in the world:  Things Not To Say to a Military Wife

a.  1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
      Well aren't you?  It's a legit question.  Is it the most sensitive question a person can ask a woman who's hubby just deployed?  Probably not, but then again I've said some insensitive things from time to time myself, so I'm not gonna judge you.  

b.  2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
         Seriously ladies, just say thank you.  It's intended to be a compliment, so just take it that way.  If you weren't so busy trying to manage everything on your own, you wouldn't be so freakin' sensitive that a simple statement like this sets you off.  It is hard.  People who don't live this life probably do wonder how you do it.  Just tell them the truth.... lots of alcohol is involved.  (I kid... I kid...)

c.  3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
      Granted, this one can be a little irritating depending on your man's job.  But, the intent behind it is good, and really that's all that matters.  It's not necessary to come unglued.  Maybe if we work on our PR a little, military wives can stop being considered emotional basket cases by others.  Duh.

d.  "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas / anniversary / birthday / birth of a child / wedding / family reunion, etc.?"
        Ummm wow.. This really is a highly offensive question, because everyone who is not affiliated with the military already knows the answer, right?  Wrong.  I mean think about it.  I didn't grow up a military brat.  I didn't know squat about this life until I married into it.  I'm sure I asked others that same question.  It wasn't out of anything other than a sincere hope that they would be able to be around for that stuff.  

e.   "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
         Oh jeez... this really offends people?  Just get over yourself and answer the question.  Whether it's get a job, or sit around and eat bon-bons all day, it's harmless. 

f.  "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
        Wait.  This is offensive?  Crap, I just asked someone this yesterday.  I had no idea asking how much longer someone had left was a violation, but I'll be sure to add it to my military wives handbook, and try to remember to feel slightly offended the next time someone asks me the same question.

g.  "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
          Ugh.  Ok, yes having your hubby gone for months on end in a danger zone is never fun no matter how many times you've done it.  This is the one and only time you can tell someone they are an idiot haha.

h.  "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
           In her mind, she does understand.  For three weeks, she had the weight of her world solely on her shoulders.  For three weeks, she did it all with no relief and missed her man the whole time.  She might have worried for his safety.  She might have prayed his flight would land safely. She might have sat by the phone waiting for it to ring.  So what if it's short term?  She's trying to identify, and in doing so let you know that she knows just how hard it can be.  Let her.  Life is subjective.  Again, get over yourself.  You don't own the royalties on missing your man.

g.  "Wow, you must miss him."
        It's called making conversation, and btw let's be realistic, you enjoy not cooking dinner a couple nights as much as the next gal.  ;)

h.  "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"
         Just say I don't know, or be general.  Whatever... just don't act all secret squirrel.  It's annoying, even to other military wives.

i.  "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there."
       Hmmm...  has anyone ever really said this to someone?  Like face to face?  I can't imagine that went over well....  

j.  "Oh, that's horrible ... I'm so sorry!"
        Just say thank you.  Or don't.  But spare them an hour long lecture on the sacrifices of the military family.  

We do sacrifice- every one of us; the service member, the spouse, and perhaps most of all the children; but can't we do that graciously?  Can't we do it with a hug or a thank you to people who care enough to even pause to ask how we're handling things?  Our men have a job to do, but so do we.  We need to be here representing them on the home front.  Not with an attitude of entitlement, but just as people who happened to fall in love with a guy who gets to wear that sexy uniform to work every day.  So stop thinking you're the star of a hit Lifetime show, and start remembering what it's like to just be a person who sometimes says the wrong thing, just like everyone else.