Friday, August 20, 2010

I Think We're Over It

Our oldest son turned 18 this week. What he wanted for a party was a headbanger concert. So that's what we had.

We've done a few of these shows. He gets in touch with some bands and arranges for them to come play, and we parents secure a place to have the thing, organize the food, security, and hang around providing drinks and snacks and supervision and reminders to smoke outside and stay til the bitter end to make sure the place is cleaned up and every kid has gotten a ride home.

We like to support the interests that our kids have. We like to be fun parents. But this time, I think the experience has about done us in. Since it's nearly 1am now I won't promise anything, but the two little words I've been thinking for the past several hours are Never Again.

We set the timing of this thing to be 7-10, even though he was wanting 6-11. Yeah, um, no thank you. He always does this thing where he plans it for too darn long, there is a ton of down time in between bands setting up and taking down, and it just wears out the welcome, you know? not to mention, after listening to loud, screamo, growly music for hours, we are pretty much ready to get it over with.

So we were being smart, you see, going for just 3 hours. (plus it's a school night, so probably most kids can't really stay much past 10 anyhow)

Unfortunately, there were technical problems. Big ones. That meant that although the party started at 7, there was no music until 9:15.


And we had three bands lined up to play.

So, you can imagine the rest of the story.

Band number one, very good.

Band number two, pretty good. Crowd dwindling.

Band number three gets set up, and only a few exhausted headbangers linger around the edge of the room, many kids are out in the parking lot packing their cars and vans full of music equipment. Including my kid, clueless that band three has begun. So even he missed listening to this nice guy and his band play for his party.

Frankly, I was horrified. So rude! So thoughtless! So failing to truly appreciate what others had done for him.

It was the back-breaking straw for this camel, I'll tell ya.

Yes, I guess he didn't actually know that the other band was starting. But I know my son, and if it was a band that he was really, really excited about, he would not have missed it. no way.

The thing went very late. we just got home a few minutes before midnight. I think I have already earned my Cool Mom Badge, and now I can stop being this cool.

(*My husband was cool and did a little moshing tonite. Someone else was even cooler. That person did a back flip. and while he was doing it, my husband turned just in time to get the flying feet to the face. The poor guy was pretty wrecked. But at least some teenager came and asked him "How old are you?" Dave tells him, "40." Happily, the kid says, "40! and you can mosh like that? wow! That's awesome." So, you know, not a total loss...)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Plain Hick Town

At the end of a letter to the editor in my town newspaper, where the writer is unhappy about the new school dress code:

"Wake up. This is a plain hick town and there isn't anything wrong with our kids wearing plain t-shirts. Before anyone gets mad, I can say this is a hick town because I was born and raised here."

Well, ok then. I live in a hick town. End of story.

Swirling: Update

Well, the boys made it through their trip to the dentist, and nobody even asked if I was going, nor complained because I was not there. So.

Financial anxiety compounded by $400 dentist visit. Man, teeth are expensive!

Realized that I was given two sets of sheets that I thought I would not like, so planned to give them away. Decided it was a better plan to put them on the bed and give 'em a try, rather than have to go searching for new sheets and pay for 'em. Decision: the news sheets are just fine. Will be keeping them. Cross sheets off the list! (apply the money that would have been spent on the sheets to the dentist! Yes!)

The kids pitched in to help clean up the house, so things are somewhat better now. The trick is keeping it this nice and making it even better consistently. ha.

(yes, I can spin that plate, but then some other plate will not be spinning)

Today we have just a few things going on. Like, taking 1 cat to the vet (1 drop off, 1 pick up), dropping off some of the kids to spend time with their grandparents, and making a party for our 18 year old's birthday happen tonite. (complete with 2 bands and a glow dance/rave....I will be ready for bed tonite!)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Swirling Around in My Noggin

Today has been a bit of a melancholy day. I guess I might be able to blame my gloomy thoughts, fears, and sadness on PMS, though it doesn't really help to do so.

Fears about the children and how will we get this, that, and the other done for them for school.

My new 18 year old got a speeding ticket that is going to cost him a pretty penny, and other consequences from it will be following him for awhile in the form of increased car insurance, and possibly a change in his license status. I really am ok with him dealing with the natural consequences of his actions, but now we also have to consider whether or not he should be losing some driving privileges as well. He just had a fender bender a couple weeks ago as well, so this is not sitting well for my husband and I. (sigh)

I realized that three of my little guys have to go for dental work tomorrow. I hate dental work! (for all of us) I have concerns about the Novocaine, the laughing gas, and most every other aspect of the process. (sigh) It is going to take several hours to get the three of them through their processes, and my husband has volunteered to take them. Which is wonderful of him, and I certainly have plenty to do here, so it's practical. but....I can't help but feel kind of like a cruddy mom to not accompany them. As one of my other kids once told me about this issue, "Moms are more comforting." (while tears welled up in his eyes...) So, side dish a Guilt, please! (the ones that are going tomorrow have not asked if I am going yet, so my guilt is purely self-inflicted at this point)

Had some financial anxiety today, which is interesting because it wasn't based in reality. I think I have spent so many years of my life in some level of financial anxiety (like, 38 of them...) that even now that we have a much better financial situation and are not needing to worry about juggling and suffering with our money, I still have moments of panic and fear that somehow we are going to run out of money and I will have to go back to the way things used to be. I knew it stunk while I was going through it, but at least I was used to it. With some space, and my unique form of financial PTSD, I see that it was more damaging than I realized. Don't. Wanna. Go. Back.

The house was a mess. Seemed like everywhere I turned I was faced with a zillion undone things, and chore areas that have not been well-done by children of any age. With 8 able-bodied citizens living here, I think it is reasonable that this house should be kept up better than it is. The trick is in the enforcement, which can be it's own career because of the time and dedication required. I busted around dealing with some of the issues that had been nagging at me and felt some better. I made lists for all the kids to accomplish while I was at work. They did fairly well and things are looking much nicer this evening.

I fell into reading some heavy stuff that got into my head and just contributed to making me sad. It was one of those can't-look-away experiences, even though I could tell that it was getting me down. Eventually I did get away, but then within a day or two seemed to be faced with a few other contentious groups/web sites that also bummed me out. Clicked them off and walked away today. Life's too short to deal with other people's toxicity.

Speaking of toxic, I have at least one toxic person left that I am going to have to deal with. I have set it on the back burner for now, but it is still there, bringing weight. Don't like that. don't know how to escape it. (or like the bear hunt song: Can't go around it, can't go under it, can't go above it, gotta go through it!)

Have been feeling discouraged about my weight. I lost that 30 pounds last year. This year I have probably gained back 5. or so.... Yes, I know how I lost the weight. Careful diet and consistent exercise. I also know that for the most part, it is mighty hard for me to live that way all the time. I have so many responsibilities, and then there are my human frailties....I do not know how I can realistically fit in trips to the gym, or early morning walks, when I have homeschooling taking up the lion's share of every day, work, and of course, everything else. I can see that I am losing some ground on my weight, and I do not want to go back any farther, but I also do not want my schedule to be more slammed than it already is. I understand now why people try so many weight loss tricks and pills--we are all too darn tired and busy to lose weight the honest way!

3 kids needing braces. 3 Pets needing to go to the vet. 3 people needing glasses. New sheets needed(current ones are finally beyond threadbare). Organizing art classes. Coorindating homeschool activities for my kids so they are happy, or at least less unhappy, as the case may be. Getting a ballroom dance class series going in my town. Oh yeah--somewhere in here I supposedly run a business or two. Fill the minds of my offspring with great and mighty things. Learn how to get the most out of my new iphone. Things I want to help people with or told them I would help with but then ran out of steam.

So much stuff! Some days I feel like just saying no to everything beyond home and school and work, and just try to re-spin those plates really well. but, you know, time stops for no woman....if it did we would all buy that app!

Thursday, August 05, 2010


My younger boys are playing. I just heard:
"Feel my wrath!"

"No. YOU feel MY wrath!"

It's pretty darn fun to have kids in the house.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

No, it doesn't get easier

They tell you lies, I say!

All of the people who look at you sweetly when you are hip-deep in babies and toddlers and preschoolers and they say, "It'll get easier, honey. Don't worry."

Well, I beg to differ.

Yes, it's true: you won't always be wiping noses and bottoms and cleaning up duplo blocks and spilled milk.

But what are you trading it in for? Pre-teens and teens with:


Broken hearts, both romantic and by friends that didn't turn out to be very good friends after all.

Body odor and poor personal hygiene.

Eye rolling.


Lots of emotions out of control: happy, sad, tortured, frustrated, angry.

Learning to drive. And the letting them drive. And then the inevitable fender benders. (I hope a fender bender is the worst you ever deal with.)

Whether or not they accept or reject what you have taught them.

Helping them make big decisions, and hoping that you have earned enough influence with them to have your guidance matter to them.

Eventually they will be making their decisions without you, and you can no longer protect and guide them. You're a captive audience to whatever goes down, good or bad.

And then shake all of this up with 2 or 3 or 4 teenagers or preteens, and you've got a perfect storm, my friends. A hot mess some days. Yep.

(Did I mention that kids get a whole lot more expensive as they get older? Well, they do that too.)

It's true that eventually you will be able to walk out the door by yourself and leave the kids home to make their own dinner and entertain themselves for the evening.

It's true that eventually you will be able to sleep in without all hell breaking loose around the house.

It's true that it won't always be like it is when they are little.

Eventually, it will get harder.

(*I guess I will have to admit that even though the stakes are much, much higher with my teens and pre-teens, I still enjoy them. In some ways the baby days *were* indeed harder. Physically it was harder for sure. But some days when I am navigating the Big Issues of life with my older kids, I think that making a little sandwich, taking a little nap, and playing with the train set would be a whole lot easier than what's going on in real time. It's all good, but it ain't easy. But then, nothing worth having ever is.)

Monday, August 02, 2010


I have been wishing for a cute bread box for awhile, and yesterday I found this lovely vintage one on etsy. I waited for the rest of the evening and then overnight to decide if I would buy it. I decided that it was one of those items that I would be sorry to have passed by, so now it has been purchased and I will be thinking about where it will go. Will I use it for bread? Maybe.....maybe not.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

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I have been using Alice since fall of 2009 and I love love LOVE it. I recommend it to everybody! Right now you can get $10 off your first purchase of at least $50 when you clickety-click above to sign up. How cool is that?