Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gloria Estefan and Snow White.

   
     The last two days, Bug woke up way too fucking early. 5:30am yesterday, and 5:00am today. That means I got about 8 hours of sleep in 2 days. Not good. I'm a super bitch if I don't sleep enough. It makes my tummy hurt, and I feel stupid and slow all day, and it just ruins my whole mood. So today I was a super bitch. I've been trying to get a couple sewing projects done, but couldn't do anything until tonight when I finally asked Gage to babysit for a couple hours. Instantly I felt better, even though I totally fucked it up. I think I just needed some ME time. I don't mind being super Mom everyday, but once in a while, on days like these when I'm exhausted, I just can't function right. I found myself singing to her, "Ohhhh poor babyyyy......why do you just fucking cryyyyy allll the time....??? Stop fucking crying babyyyy......I hate whining.....it really is fucking annoying.....wahhhh....I'm not sorry about giving you the wrong cup... la la la laaaa..." So yeah. I needed a break.

    

    
It was supposed to be a skirt, but I fucked up the measurement by a foot! WTF? So I cut it in half, chopped off the bottom and made side panels for a dress/shirt. Whatever!


     I just have to bring this other thing up because I've been thinking about it a lot all week. All my life I'd hear people complain about Los Angeles and how the people are so fake, and everyone's a dick, and nobody knows how to drive, etc...but my experience was never that way. I grew up 30 minutes away from L.A., and felt at home there. I lived in Hollywood for a couple years, and as miserable as my situation at that time was (that's a whole other show, people), I found the people I met there to be friendly and delightful. There are so many different cultures of people and things to do and see! I never could understand why anyone would hate it. I get it now though, I think. At least part of it.

     We moved here kinda reluctantly. Husband has lived here before, briefly, years ago. From his experience from before, and my recent experience, the people here are exceedingly stupid. People drive like they are the only ones on the road, they are rude to us and each other, racism is thriving, people look at my "Wife" tattoo and say, "I don't get it....", and Gage is hard pressed to find a kid who gets his Family Guy references.  This opportunity was too good to pass up though, and Gage and I were just ready to try something new. Pensacola was so pretty when we visited...once we saw the beaches we were hooked. We were certain once we were here for a few months we'd have friends and new hangouts and such. And then reality hit us. We're different. We are NOT used to where we are, or the culture here. We think everything and everybody here is lame, and honestly, it probably isn't as lame as we think. It's just very different, and we're trying to adjust and find our niche.
     I just made the connection with the whole L.A. thing. There, everyone is from somewhere else. It was seriously hard to meet someone in L.A. who was from there. At one point I was friends with a group of about 10 people, 9 of which were from different states. And they all tended to think people in L.A. were fake and rude, etc. They just weren't used to it there. The culture was different. And now we are going through the same thing they were. I'm trying to give Pensacola a chance, really I am. And when we go downtown I have hope that we can make this work.

     We just took Bug to the Pensacola Museum of Art, to see what it's like. I didn't care for the current exhibit much, but it was good to know where it is and that it exists. It's housed in a very old building that was originally a courthouse and prison, and the doorways inside are all prison bars rather than actual doors. Creepy. And rad. They do kids birthday parties! There are a few galleries downtown, some cool stores, great restaurants, and live music venues. It feels more like home to me down there. We just found this joint called The Bodacious Olive. You walk into a room full of dozens and dozens of olive oils, infused oils and balsamic vinegars to taste test or take home, fresh baked breads to dip them in, plus a limited menu and cooking classes, wine, cheese and oil tastings...omg HEAVEN. I literally felt my knees get weak! You mean we can go in and drink and eat fresh baked bread dipped in infused olive oils and 18 year old vinegars??? YES. PLEASE. I suddenly loved Pensacola. I spent the next hour trying to think of a babysitting plan so that Husband and I can spend a whole day getting drunk and eating bread. Just like old times...

     Oh shit. Now I have to tell a Hollywood story cuz I got nostalgic and those days snuck into my head and I can't NOT let it out. I'll tell you one of the better ones rather than just wax poetic about my 19 year old Hollywood days. Here goes:

     I used to live a block north of Hollywood Blvd, in a tiny little neighborhood called Franklin Village. It was quite the little up-and-coming hotspot at the time, but very much an L.A. locals hangout. I lived in a total shithole apartment, and worked at a cafe across the street, right in the center of all the action. It was a new restaurant/espresso bar called the 80's Cafe, and the owner was a mid-thirties, second generation Italian dude who loved Gloria Estefan a little too much. He had a huge family who lived all over the city, some of whom owned restaurants too. On Sundays a whole bunch of them, sometimes 30 people, would come in and have dinner, and pay for whatever food and drink charges I had from my shifts during the week too. They were very sweet people.

     He hired me to waitress, with no experience, and told me flat out that I got the job for being cute. I slowly learned the art of food service and the strange game of charades-meets-Spanglish needed for communication with the cooks. For a few weeks it was awesome. I was allowed to wear any 80's themed clothes I wanted, great for a new wave girl with pink hair. As the weeks turned to a full month though, shit went bad. I never got a paycheck. When I finally got the balls to ask the owner when I'd get paid, he said, "How much do you need?" Me being naive and scared to speak up, I said, "Well... I need rent money, and bills...", to which he replied, "Well, I can't pay you your hours right now, so how about whenever you get a bill or rent is due, or you're going out to a club or whatever, you just come in here and tell me how much you need, and I'll give it to you, and we'll deduct it from your paychecks?" That sounded just fine to me, so that's what we did.

     From then on, I could walk in on a night off and ask for $400 here or $60 there, and my boss would hand it over. No questions asked, just a kiss on the forehead. This setup was so much more convenient than having a bank account, because there were no fees and no such thing as banker's hours.
   
     One morning I called my boss to let him know I'd come in later for some cash, and he said that was fine, he'd be there all day. So in the late afternoon I showed up at the cafe to meet him. I looked in both rooms and didn't see him, so I asked the cook and he pointed to the back storage room. So I throw the door open (it wasn't locked) and walk in with my usual "Hey, I just came by to..." and I froze, because it wasn't just my boss in there, but several men in my boss' family, sitting at tables with big, brown paper wrapped squares in front of them. My boss was counting money. The back table which usually held to-go cups, now had scales and a plate of white shit on it. Everyone stopped laughing and talking, and stared at me with the same amount of shock you'd have if I was a unicorn come to kill them. My boss suddenly screamed at me, "GET OUT!" and I did. Fast.

     I spent the rest of that night and the next few days trying to figure out if that really happened. Did I imagine it? Was it all a joke? Surely I didn't see that right. There's no way I really just walked into Scarface or some shit. The cafe never opened up again. I showed up for work and me and the cook would sit there for a while waiting for our boss to come open up, but he never came. No returned phone calls either. When I finally did get ahold of him, I was all riled up about getting the rest of the pay he owed me. I told him over the phone that he didn't know how to run a business, and he better pay me today or I'd go to the labor board. He called me a little shit and told me to come get my money.
     Of course, when I got there he didn't pay up. It was him and his uncle, who informed me that the cafe was out of business now, that they'd send me a check for the remainder of my pay (never happened), and that I am very young and sometimes my imagination might run away with me and make me see things that aren't there. I said I didn't know what they were talking about and they seemed happy about that. I felt awkward all of a sudden so I thanked my boss for the year of work, and wished him well. I'd seen gangster movies. I wasn't trying to be a snitch or whatever in the fuck they say...whatever. I just wanted to pay my rent. And I absolutely didn't understand what had just happened. It still seems like a movie.

     Oh yeah, I was watching infomercials in the middle of the night, years later, and I saw my old boss from the 80's Cafe pitching a sale on some chef knives! No shit! Hahaha payback's a bitch, huh? hahahaha....chef knives....

Monday, April 22, 2013

This is the problem I want to have.

     When people ask how we met, we look at each other and smile. I can't speak for Husband, but what I'm always thinking in that moment is, "How much should we tell these people?"

     We met in a bar. That fact is usually enough to make ignorant people write off our marriage as likely being a poor decision, and it's a reaction we don't care for when relaying our love story. To us it is a grand  journey that rivals the most famous romances. To others is might look like a train wreck. I think we like it that way. Kind of a big, punk rock, FUCK YOU to the white-picket-fence set. I would LOVE to tell you the whole story, because the honesty and purity of it is beautiful (and funny. And maybe gross.), but since there were others involved and our children and family read this, I must be more discreet. The gist of the greatest love story ever told is this:


July 2010

     When we first met I was dating someone very wrong for me, a cheating hooker who had a smorgasbord of drug problems, unbeknownst to me. Husband played the occasional game of pool with this person, and had an eye for me, also unbeknownst to me. When the hooker and I broke up, Husband was also newly single from his own cheating hooker escapade, and we both bonded while in a mental state I have coined, "The sad hoodie". Being "sad hoodie" was termed from the night when I went into the bar and found him 6 whiskeys deep, resting his head on his fists with his hoodie over his head. It was the saddest thing I'd ever seen. I knew exactly how he felt, except I wasn't wearing a hoodie. The next few months we became close friends, sharing everything in our past all the way up to our present, and even talked about the unsuccessful dates we were currently going on here and there. We were able to share anything with each other, and it was so...perfect. He was truly my best friend, my drinking buddy, my confidant, and my comfort. 
We're on the left


The first "good 'ol days"
       So then we did it and it was rad, and then after 4 months of secretly dating I finally introduced him to Gage, who instantly liked him. Gage said to me one day soon after that, "He should be your boyfriend Mom. I like him." And that was that. Next thing I knew, I was knocked up (I found out on Father's day) and we all moved in together and became a family!

     Husband didn't propose to me in any kind of traditional way. We had talked about getting married before and it was just kinda understood that we would. Then one Saturday, when I was 8 months pregnant, he said casually, "Hey let's go get married tomorrow. Are we already doing something then? No? Well how much is it to go to the court house and do it? Yeah I'm serious!" I was pissed! How dare he ask me to get married when I'm fat and preggo and can't even drink, and the next day the court was closed anyway, and he didn't even do it in a romantic way! UGH! So ....then I got over it and started planning our wedding. With $350, and that had to include all of our wedding clothes! We had the ceremony at home and the reception at the bar we met at, during regular business hours, so the bar-flies were there too, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Our family was gracious enough to contribute to the cause so the flowers and cupcakes were paid for, and other stuff I can't remember, and the whole thing turned out great! I got my dress at Goodwill for $50, and I actually liked it! Clearly we were meant to be ;)

     Our first year of marriage has been filled with drama and excitement. First we had a baby, I graduated from college, then we moved across the country when Bug was 7 months old, she broke her leg on the way here (fell off a hotel bed), Husband started a new job, My Dad died, Gage took his first plane ride alone, I started a business, we had a multitude of house guests, and each of us has learned a whole lot more about ourselves and each other. I'm probably forgetting something...Whew! I feel like it's a new beginning now, and that's pretty awesome too.


     A year ago today I married my perfect person. It took us a long time to accidentally find each other. And giving this man a chance was, without a doubt, the best decision I ever made, and the most fun I have ever had..For those who missed it, here's our ceremony. I took bits and pieces of ceremonies and vows I found online and this is what we ended up with. Wish I could take all the credit! Don't worry, it's short...haha

     We are gathered here, not to witness the beginning of what will be, but rather what already is! We do not create this marriage, because we cannot. We can, however, celebrate with S and Kerryanne,  the wondrous and joyful occurrence that has already taken place in their lives, and the continued commitment they make today.
    It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life- it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. Kerryanne and S came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship. 

     We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong.
     Why is this?
     Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems – the ones that make you truly who you are – that you’re ready to find a life-long mate.
     Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person – someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have!"
     The bride and groom have gotten tattoos as a symbol of the bond of their love, and so with their vows they will enter into marriage.


I promise to be your lover, companion, and friend,
Your partner in parenthood,
Your ally in conflict,
Your greatest fan and your best friend.
Your comrade in adventure,
Your student and your teacher,
Your consolation in disappointment,
Your accomplice in mischief,
Your strength in your need, and vulnerable to you in my own,
And most of all, your associate in the search for your own fulfillment.










Monday, April 15, 2013

You think you're so hot!

     I was recently reminded that I may be alienating myself, Husband and the kids by announcing my views and thoughts in a public forum. That people who meet us or don't know us well may consider my views and humor to be off-putting or they may be misunderstood entirely. I might be pissing off everyone I know. I have no idea. Sigh....I wish I cared more, but I just don't.

     This blog isn't for YOU. It's for me. Sure it's nice that I have a few readers, because everyone likes to feel understood and accepted. But I'm not trying to be internet famous, or make money off this. And if you don't like what I have to say, don't read it. If I am your friend and you read something here you disagree with, let's talk about it. Or shut up because I didn't say those things about/to YOU, in particular. Not everything is about you.

     Actually, I have restrained myself quite a bit in this forum. One time I re-wrote the same paragraph a dozen times to make sure it was not too offensive. That's love, folks. But ultimately, I write here because I love to write, and if someone else enjoys my journey, that makes me happy. If they don't, I care very, very little, if at all.

     Now that THAT issue has been addressed, let's move on.

    When I was a kid (remember, a GIRL kid), one of the worst insults you could receive was, "You think you're SO HOT!", and likewise, "You are so conceited!". Hearing those words come out of my friends' or enemies mouth pissed me off more than anything else. I admit, I used both phrases toward my friends just as much as anyone else. It was our most vicious attack, short of cussing at each other, which one just DID NOT do. I was in the shower today thinking about how ridiculous an insult it was, and also about how much it hurt. We used it to convey our anger over someone thinking their ideas were better than our own, or because they were being bossy. Or sometimes just because we were mad that nobody liked our suggestion to whatever game of pretend we had going.

    I remember a particular occasion where all the kids in my neighborhood were playing war. This happened to be one of our most epic games of war, which had already lasted for days. We'd all run home from the bus stop, rush through any homework and snacks, and then meet in our forts to make weapons out of sticks and bamboo or discuss strategy for the day's battle. On this day, I was inspired by learning about the legend of the Trojan horse in class, and I also spent my free time in the school library reading about Indian weaponry. I was dedicated to win this war, and my brilliant ideas would surely bring more territory to my kingdom. However, my fellow soldiers were not impressed. They wanted to spend another day in the tree throwing dirt clods at our enemies from above. Were they nuts? Our adversaries already knew that trick from yesterday, and they'd just be waiting at the bottom of the tree with their Wiffle-ball bats all afternoon and make us all late for dinner again! No matter what I said to try and convince them, nobody got on board. I was so frustrated and sure of my Trojan horse (refrigerator box) trick, that I threatened to stop bamboo trade with the other team if I didn't get my way. See, my house was the only one with bamboo in the backyard, and it was easily the hottest commodity in the neighborhood at the moment. We traded it for dirt clods from the other team, whose base was at the railroad tracks. But EVERYONE needed bamboo. If I stopped supplying it to the war, the whole game would end. And this one was a really, really good game.

     Next thing I knew, my whole team was yelling at me. "You think you're SO HOT, Kerry, just because you have all the bamboo! We're not playing with you anymore, you're conceited!", and they left to go tell the other team about what a greedy, conceited brat I was. I immediately regretted my decision, because they moved the fort from my backyard and relocated, and told me I was out of their team. Then I had to try and get on the other team so I could still play, which was totally humiliating. Luckily my team forgave me so I let my Trojan horse idea go and resigned myself to fetching fresh dirt clods for my soldiers in the new fort.

     Being conceited was an even bigger deal when I was in Jr. High. I can't even count how many times I had older girls threaten to beat me up because of some falsely perceived act of conceit on my part. For example, the popular girls in P.E. class wanted to pummel me once because I didn't wear a T-shirt over my swimsuit the first time we used the pool, so that made me conceited. Needless to say, I never made that mistake again. In reality, I just didn't know we were allowed to wear a shirt over our swimsuits, or I would definitely have worn the longest, widest Tshirt I could find, because being half naked in front of 60 other 13 year olds was absolutely horrifying.

     So in that climate of childhood, where having a creative idea or being different makes you conceited and turns you into a target, how were we supposed to have any self confidence? Thankfully for me, my Mom was always telling me how smart and pretty I was, so often that I believed her. Even as depressing and bleak as my awkward phase was, from about 5th grade to 9th grade, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that I'd grow out of it and one day NOT be an dorky, clumsy, naive, funny looking ball of acne with no boobs and greasy hair. Because Mom said so. Ha ha...little did I know that the acne would come back with a vengeance at 25 and the boobs never came in, but whatever. It's a give and take I guess.


     "They" say that little girls have even more negative images and ideas to sort through on their quest for self-confidence these days than when I was little. I'm sure that's true, but there's also things like, the DOVE campaign which uses varied ages, sizes and shapes of models in their advertising, and offers a self-esteem toolkit for little girls on their website. So I think at least the message is out there that it is okay and right for us to feel good about ourselves just the way we are. If that message has translated to schoolyards, I doubt it. But I hope.

     I can't imagine my beautiful, smart little girl trying to hide her intelligence or beauty in order to fit in and be liked, or that she could be ostracized for being unique. But I know it's totally possible. Just one more reason why having a girl scares me sometimes. She has already brought me to so many reflections on myself and my values, at only 13 months old! That's a good thing though. It just blows my mind sometimes, how insane a journey it is to be a parent. It makes you stretch in ways you never thought possible. I want Bug to be proud of herself, no matter if it's cool or not. I guess that's what every decent Mom wants for their kid.


    

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jesus built my hotrod.

     I saw an engagement photo this morning that annoyed the crap out of me. It included text with some nonsense about how woman was made from Adam's rib. First of all, Genesis is by far my least favorite story from the bible because it is the most ridiculous. If you really think snakes talk, get your head checked. Second, if man was made in God's perfect image, and then woman made from man's image, it suggests that women are less perfect than men. Oh how I LOVE antiquated ideologies...
     What was this engagement photo trying to say? The message I got from it was that these two people are now complete because they have each other. Homeboy found his rib and whatnot. Ugh....can we please stop with the "you complete me" crap? Complete your damn self.

     After that I started my forever long search on homeschool curriculums. Husband and I think it is most likely the best choice for Bug, for lots of reasons. Public school is shitty and increasingly dangerous, private school is mostly religious around here, or Montessori, which is lame, and the stuff kids have to deal with socially these days is nothing but counter-productive to actual learning and healthy development. Homeschool curriculum is not one-size-fits-all. There are so many options and philosophies, secular and religious, public and private, online, state-run, on and on and on....as a person who knows nothing about homeschool, it's all very confusing. I ran into a forum where parents and students review different programs, and as I scroll down, I run into a Mom who tells her story about why she started homeschooling. She cited many of the same reasons I would, until she dropped the science bomb. She thought it was "irresponsible" to teach kids scientific "theories" as if they are facts. She named a few that really bothered her. What kind of "theories" offended her, you ask? DINOSAURS.

THE THEORY OF DINOSAURS.

     Because......dinosaurs aren't real? So, petrified bones which were carbon dated to millions of years ago and form the shape of dinosaurs...are theories?? How does one come to such a notion? I Googled "who thinks dinosaurs aren't real?" so I could find out what all this is about. I've heard that some Christians think the earth is only 6000 years old, but this dinosaur thing is news to me, and I never bothered to do the math. Unfortunately, there wasn't an 'I don't believe in dinosaurs' website, but I did find a post on babycenter.com that explained it fairly clearly. Oh, if you don't know, babycenter.com is a site all about pregnancy, conception and childhood, and they are host to hundreds of forums and blogs about everything motherhood related. I am a member of a forum full of other moms of one year olds. We share ideas and stories about our kids and stuff, and it's been very helpful. But there are lots and lots of nut-jobs on there too, and sometimes I go on there just to feel smarter.

     So anyway, I found this post from a Mom on babycenter from a couple years ago. She is talking about her neighbor who gave her 8 year old son some toy dinosaurs:

"I am a little shocked. She says she is a Christian, but the Bible doesn't say anything about dinosaurs. Should I let him keep them, as long as he understands that dinosaurs aren't real? Even the PBS shows that he watches talk about dinosaurs and evolution, and how the scientists found these "bones" but the Bible doesn't say that God ever created them, and the earth is only 6,000 years old, not old enough to have "bones" that they say are MILLIONS of years old! I know that Satan tries to trick us in many ways, and this is one way that he tries to fool man into believing that there isn't a God who created the universe. How can they be bones when they are made out of ROCKS? I told my son that dinosaurs are one of Satan's many ways of tricking man, and he must talk to God before he plays with them. Am I handling this right? My first 3 were all girls, and I adopted boys, and lots of mothers tell me that boys are often attracted to these dinosaurs. So I don't know what to do. Is this just harmless fantasy play for him, or should I be worried that he may go on to believe in things like evolution?"

     WTF.

     I know and love many Christian people, and only two of them are totally nuts. My Christian friends and family are intelligent people. I am fairly certain that they accept dinosaurs as actual animals that lived on earth and became extinct. When did dinosaurs become one of satan's tools? 

     Never in my life have I run into this dinosaur issue. No, seriously, people, I went to catechism as a kid, and Sunday school too (we were Catholic) so I am fairly aware of the highlights of the bible. Incidentally, I didn't do well there, because I was constantly getting in trouble and being sentenced to hundreds of Hail Marys (Hail Mary is a prayer) for my incessant logic. The nuns said I was being disruptive to the class by asking too many questions about their lessons. Totally confusing to a kid who was usually told to ask tons of questions because that's how you learn. If you don't get it, ask, right? Wrong. Not in religious school. The point is, the nuns almost always gave me the same answer to any question I had. "The bible is an allegory, not a textbook. Of course there are no talking snakes, Jesus used the stories in the bible to help us understand God's message." Oh okay, well that explains nothing. Thanks for all the Hail Marys, Sister, how about I go hide in the tube slide until my Dad gets here to pick me up, instead of in the sanctuary with all those gory statues and creepy paintings instead? 

     I had Baptist friends, Methodist, Jewish, Mormon, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Non-Denominational Christian and probably others, and I do not remember this level of crazy from any of those people or their parents. I did have a weird experience with the Mormon family though, cuz the whole family of 9, including the parents, looked identical to each other, and the girl I was friends with in their family was only allowed to eat apples when she was at my house. For reals. Me and our other friends would be having cookies and milk, and this poor girl was only allowed apples and water. Bizarre. So anyway, what happened to Christians?? They used to be nice people who tried to live in a peaceful way like Jesus would, and now there is a rising population who think dinosaurs are a conspiracy and science is satan's tool for tricking people? And what exactly is he tricking people into? Intelligent thought? Did God say, "here's a brain for ya, but you'd better not use it!" What in the fuck is going on??? 

     There must have always been religious nuts, and I just didn't notice. Maybe they're just getting louder, or more mainstream. Maybe the internet has brought to my attention what I otherwise would never have known, until the next Jim Jones incident. I don't know, but I'm a little scared. 

     Are these the children my kids will have to try and make friends with at the homeschool field trips and events around here? Oh Gage would love that. Fodder for his own blog for days. I gather from all the homeschooling forums I've been to that only about 40% of homeschool families are in it because their religious teachings contradict with mainstream education. That's still a lot of kids, but not most. Most seem to be families with kids that either didn't thrive in regular school for some reason, or kids whose parents are otherwise dissatisfied with our education system in general. Lots of parents choose homeschool because public schools are terrible and private schools are unaffordable. We are thinking about homeschooling Gage because his high school is consistently a year or two behind in lessons, than he was in California. Which blows my mind, because California has shitty schools too! He is doing algebra he learned in 7th and 8th grade, for fucks sake! How is he gonna be ready for college at this rate? Also, one of his teachers didn't know he was in her class for the first 10 weeks...Gage had to tell her he was there! He tells me the students who go there can barely speak English, they call the girls in the class "trick" or "ho" as an affectionate term, and a teacher actually said to his class, "what time IT IS?" in the form of a question. So yeah. Homeschool is looking pretty good. 

     Do I sound judgmental? I am. I judge my son's school as sub-par on a good day, and I do not feel very good about trusting his education to the employees there. However, taking over his education myself is fucking terrifying. If I fuck up, he's fucked too! So, finding the right curriculum to follow is imperative. Wish me luck!

    
   Bug's new thing is helping out. If we give her a rag, she'll "clean" things with it. She loves to sweep too, it's really cute!

     I made burritos the other night for dinner, and Bug loved them. It's so nice to be able to give her real food, and the fact that she actually likes what the rest of the family is having for dinner makes life easier.
     
     While we had burritos, Husband made himself a horrifying manwich. I'm pretty sure he only eats what I cook during the week because it's faster than cooking himself something, so whenever he gets a chance he'll do his own thing for meals. Here's his protest to burrito night:

     This terrible thing has a sliced hard-cooked egg, sliced onion, bacon, and mayo. Fucking sick.

Like my shitty food photography? haha
     




Oh yeah, and I made an ice cream cake! It's red velvet cake with vanilla ice cream in the center, and then I whipped together a can of cream cheese frosting with a tub of creamy cool whip, and used that for frosting. It was so easy I don't know why I never tried it before? I love ice cream cake!



Well, it's Saturday so I have to pretend to get shit done around here. Later!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Paint the bugs!

     Ahhh...you know....I am just not really an animal person. I thought I was because I like house cats and funny squirrel videos on YouTube, but really...no. True animal people are like, vegetarians who rescue strays and send money to the World Wildlife Fund, and don't mind if their dog pees on their ottoman. They have key-chains that say funny things about how animals are better than people. I do not fit into that category, in any way, shape or form. I LOVE kitty cats, and have had a pet cat (or 3) since birth. I HATE cat hair on my clothes, though. I will not go anywhere covered in pet fur. If my cat pees on something, then that something is getting thrown away, and the cat will probably have to live outside from then on. I didn't used to be like that, until I had this asshole stray cat that I "rescued" and the goddamn thing pissed all over my entertainment center, coffee table, carpet, kitchen cabinets....and then some. I then realized that: 1. I didn't "rescue" shit, what I did was hold a perfectly happy feral creature hostage in my apartment; and 2. Fuck all that 'animals are better than people' bullshit, because even the creepy-racist-asshole-with-a-5th-grade-education-handyman that worked at the apartment complex didn't piss on my Lazy-Boy when he came over. That was beneath even him. Humans are smart. We got to the top of the food chain, and invented fire and shit. Dogs eat poop. Done.

     I feel sorry for people who honestly believe that animals are better companions than people. It makes me wonder, how horribly have life and love beaten them down to the point where the unchallenged, thoughtless affection of a pet is the only relationship they can connect to anymore? "I feed you, you keep coming home, and that equals love" sounds like a cry for help to me, not a reason to make a key-chain.

     Before you send a missile to my desk chair, let me say this: people who absolutely have no respect for animals, are sick, dangerous beings who EVERYONE should stay away from. I dated someone when I was a teenager that hated animals. My cats peed on him or on his stuff every time he came over. Dogs barked at him wherever we went. There was something VERY wrong with that boy, and I should have listened to my cats. So yeah. There's a balance here.

     I bring all this up because we have a roach problem. Oh, excuse me, we have a "PALMETTO BUG" problem. Me being me, I have done countless minutes of research on such things, and I learned that some people who live in Florida accept them as just part of living here, like mosquitoes and rednecks. Other people say that unless you get your house sprayed once a month, you're fucked. Either way, I am disturbed. I came from this pretty little postcard of a town in the Southern California mountains. We were at too high an altitude for roaches to survive. After 4 years there, I got used to roach-free life. Now I am confronted with these monster bugs that are 4 times the size of the roaches I remember from my 7 year stint living in the ghetto, and these fuckers FLY. I remember having a roach problem, and it was horrifying. We had the apartment sprayed every TWO WEEKS and the bastards STILL invaded my dishwasher! When I finally saved enough to move out, we unpacked our things from the parking lot, just to make sure we didn't bring any with us (and we were successful). So now we move into this huge, gorgeous house and we have bugs. GREAT. I will say that we don't have NEARLY as many as your typical roach infestation brings, but seriously, 3 a week is way too many for me.

     Husband and the in-laws are all like, "Oh sweet spirit, you have just as much right to live as we do, I shall pick you up with my bare hands and gently place you on a bed of clovers outside to continue your existence in peace. Farewell, creature of the night!" and I'm over here with the kids shivering in disgust. So when I found one in the FUCKING SILVERWARE DRAWER, I hit the roof. Because washing everything before I use it is totally what I wanna do. The in-laws were already coming over in a couple days, so I decided I'd ask about what we could do about this problem when they got here. It's their house, so anything we do has to get their approval first.

     I never even got to bring up our issue. Or rather, I could have but realized it would not go as I wished so I shut my mouth for the time being. Over the course of the next few hours, my in-laws made multiple comments about how insects are beautiful creatures and blah blah blah....they even went on about some 4 inch long, local spider species that is beautiful and shit, and weaves 6 foot webs across doorways (but doesn't bite because their mouth is too small? wtf.) and how this spider is amazing....blah. *Puke* So plan B went into effect. Husband and I decided to clean the fuck out of the kitchen and wherever else necessary, and then seal all the cracks and crevices in the cabinetry and in the flooring. We both have experience with this approach working, so hopefully even these Floridian super bugs will get the hint.

     Husband thinks it's funny. We were all in the garage recently, and one of the super bugs appeared while Husband was painting a lawn chair. We all noticed the bug, but instead of his usual catch-and-release trick, Husband painted the top of it. No, yeah, you heard me. He painted the bug. 

      He has since painted 3 of them. And the funny thing is, I laugh now when I see them the next time. It's surprising to me that we even see them again! You'd think it would make me feel better somehow, that there are fewer of them than I thought, but instead, I just think if we had killed them instead of painting them, they might not have just layed an egg in my wall. I never see babies though....maybe they are just from outside, like some people say? Ugh. I don't know! The plan is to spend a good long weekend cleaning and sealing. I'll update when we're done on that subject.

     I dropped my Mom off at the airport this afternoon. I tried to make it as nonchalant as possible, so we both didn't get all squishy and sad. I hate to see her cry, it's worse than seeing my kids cry, for some reason. It went well. She has been missing my brother and her cat, so she did have something to look forward to.  It'll take me years to process this visit and our experiences in these recent few years, so I won't even try right now. I've said enough on that subject for now, I think. I am happy to have my bed back, though. And our routine is back to normal. That feels really good :) On to the next thing! Oh wait....Grandma is going to stay here ON OUR ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND. How could I forget about her invitation to herself to stay at our house on our FIRST ANNIVERSARY????????? How silly of me. I can't wait to sleep on the couch away from my husband on our first anniversary night. That'll be rad.

     Are we there yet?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Of course I'm a good Mom, the kids are still alive aren't they?

     Bug suddenly has three words! Three very loud words.

     "WOW!" is accompanied by balled up fists, or she bends over and points with both hands toward something or someone to accentuate the whole situation. "Wow" basically covers everything, but is used in a way that suggests she is proud of something, or herself.

    "That." or "This" is what you always hear when she points to something. "That" can be a question, as in 'what is THAT?' or a statement, as in, 'I want THIS'. Her favorite past time? To point at every single thing around her and say, "THAT." And then we tell her what 'That' or 'This' is. ALL. DAY. LONG.

     It's pretty adorable.

     Yesterday she was walking around the room, screeching like a pterodactyl, yelling at her toys and at us, and exclaiming "WOW!" at the tippy top of her lungs. She lectured her toys and her family while waving her arms around for emphasis. I looked it up, and learned that people who talk with their hands are natural leaders. Not surprising. She bosses all of us around constantly and we totally bend to her demands. The other night, Husband admitted it. "I'm powerless, dude. She's got me." Then he explained how if she is trying to go play with the light socket (as she sometimes does), he is the A-hole that will shut the electricity off in the whole house so she can have her way. Of course he's kidding. But on the real.....he's right. He's screwed.

     Even my Mom, who has been doing way better this week, just does whatever she says. Mom's legs and feet ALWAYS hurt, like, she describes the pain as 8 on a good day, but she walks that baby girl around the kitchen island for MILES. The kid is powerful.

     This visit with Mom has caused me to think a lot about Motherhood.

     I love my kids. They are really good, fun people. Having them was my hope and dream from the time I was little. But they are not my only source of joy, or the only reason I get up in the morning. I feel lucky to be their Mother, but Motherhood is a transitional affair. I am a Mother, and I am also a wife, friend, sister, seamstress, crafter, skater, and lots of other things. I love life and there are so many things I still want to experience. Motherhood is one of them, but it is not the only thing that makes me who I am, and it is certainly not the only thing I'm good for. While it is still my job to take care of them, I will do the very best I can, and appreciate every minute of it. And I will not be useless or empty when my kids leave the house. I will be proud of all of us for getting to that point. I will be in my next step of life. To me, that's really cool. It's like graduating. To look back on it and feel empty because it's over is stupid. A Mom is not the only thing I am, and I intend to keep it that way.

     In the kid's early years, I might as well be the sun to them. They cannot exist without me. When they are adults, I will (hopefully) be a cherished member of their lives who they will enjoy sharing their new families with. Our relationship will change. I want it to change. I want them to honor our journey together by taking what they have learned from me and be their own people, and I want to watch them grow and change and learn and have their own lives. I want to be proud of whoever they become, and while I will remember their childhood fondly, I will revel in the state of adulthood and wisdom they come to as the years move on.

     I had my kids on purpose. I did not have them so that I would have someone to love me. I didn't have them so that I'd have people to care for me when I'm old. They are not my accessories, or my ticket into the Mommy social scene, or just more humans that will carry on the family name. I had them because I wanted to be part of their lives, while experiencing the challenges and sacrifice of motherhood. I wanted there to be more good people in the world. I wanted to raise children that would never be hurt or left alone. I wanted to do better than my parents, and their parents before them. Maybe that's where my own selfishness comes in. I wanted to be a Mommy. I wanted to experience what everyone, including my own Mom said was so wonderful and amazing, and I wanted to be good at it. I think that's okay.

     Watching my son grow into a man is exciting and difficult. My instinct is to protect him, so allowing him to fail in order to learn hurts. It's a constant task to remind myself that he needs to learn by experience. Sometimes my heart aches for him as I watch him suffer through something. But I know it's good for him, and seeing him understand it later is more rewarding than I ever imagined it would be. I have made mistakes with him though. I was too protective in some places while not protective enough in others. My personal choices, good and bad, have shaped who he is because as my child, he has experienced my struggles and triumphs right along with me. The way HE has experienced MY life will affect him forever. So far, he really likes who he is, though, thankfully.

     "Mom of the year" is a joke in our house that the guys and I use to 'lovingly' point out my mistakes, questionable acts or words. I refer to myself as "Mom of the year" sometimes too. Dude, I'm going to fuck up, even with all the best intentions. And I'm going to say whatever needs to be said, even if it makes the boy cringe. I am also going to pour myself a drink with the baby on my hip. And like I tell Gage, it's fine because I'll pay for their therapy later. :)

     Getting to know myself is a lifelong thing. I've learned from watching other people that taking on your career or your station in life as your identity is a harmful thing. What happens when you aren't a nurse or a wife anymore, are you NOTHING? Fuck no! So I am always checking in with myself to remember who I am, and who I am is constantly changing. At least, I want it to. These last few weeks have changed me yet again. And here starts another adventure.