Monday, April 29, 2013

Free Weekend

Ryan took the kids camping over the weekend which left me with a blissfully quiet house for a whole 48 hours.  It was heaven on earth.

Sydney thinks I spent the entire time they were gone watching "Pride & Prejudice" and eating chocolate.  Does my kid know me or what?

Alas, I did not do that.  Well, not the entire time.

I'd promised Ryan that I'd do some yard work and I think he was surprised to find that I actually did it.  Well, most of it anyway.  It started raining halfway through so I didn't get as much done as I'd planned.

I went through our various stashes of medication*, cleaned them out and took all of the vials of expired ones to the nearby recycling center for the drug take-back day.  We still had a vial of painkillers from my c-section with Evan and he turns five next month.  Pretty sad.

I played with the dog, despite my still being ticked at him for eating all of the berries off of my brand new blueberry plants last week.

I made some pumpkin granola bars with chunks of chocolate in them.  I had to keep myself from eating the entire batch in one sitting.

I gathered up items for our church's upcoming garage sale.  I teared up a bit at the thought of giving away the little kitchen that my kids played with for years.  I did not tear up at the thought of giving away the breast pump that tortured me for months on end.

I finally checked out the Indian grocery store/takeout place in our neighborhood and picked up some yummy chicken tikka masala.  There was so much that it served as my lunch and dinner.  And the naan that came with it was scrumptious.

I did some pre-emptive laundry before the campers brought home a couple of bagfuls of dirty, sweaty clothes and sheets.  How exciting, right?

I tried to claim a boatload of boys' dress-up clothes from a mom who posted them for sale on our neighborhood message board, but someone beat me to it.  :(

And I painted these to decorate the kids' newly painted bathroom:

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They're supposed to be bluebonnets and a sunflower to coordinate with the blue paint I used in the bathroom.  I think they look pretty good for someone who doesn't really know how to paint.

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They're also meant to go along with the tissue box I painted last month:

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As it was my last free weekend until the next camping trip in September, I savored every moment of peace and quiet.  I just hope I can channel that calm come this summer when the kids are driving me crazy!

*Yes, I know you're supposed to keep all medications in the same spot and out of reach of children, but I bet even the head of the FDA keeps a bottle of ibuprofen in their kitchen cabinet for easy access.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Would if I Could

Things I'd like to say to some of my FB friends (but won't for obvious reasons)....

1.  For the life of me, I can not figure out why you're sending me a friend request.  You were a jerk to me in high school and now you want to be my friend?

2. Why do you "like" your own FB status or picture?  You wouldn't have posted it if you didn't like it already.

3. Please don't whine to me about how you don't like the things I "like".  Chances are, if you don't like the things I "like" then I don't like the things you "like", either.  The difference is that I've figured out how to block seeing your "likes".

4. On a related note, there is a difference between "liking" something and reposting it.  I'll admit that I  have strong opinions on a lot of things, but I choose not to use FB the way that you do by reposting every single thing I agree with.

5. Enough with the ambiguous status updates, i.e. "I'm having the worst day ever but I can't talk about it" or "Some people need to mind their own business and stop sticking their noses in things they know nothing about".  (Actually, that last one is usually a run-on with some sort of profanity, texting language and/or terrible grammar in it - "Sum people need to stop being a h8er and mind there own &*%$ing bizness and stop stickin there fat ^&%$ing noses in things they don't know nothin about.")  (It actually pained me to write that.)

6. On a similar note, if you're going to use FB for a rant of some sort and expect people to take you seriously, you should probably check your spelling and grammar before you hit "post".  Prime example?  One of my friends posted, "John Doe* - your so dumb!"  Gah!

7. If you're going to post a link to an article with some sort of snarky comment, please be sure to have read and understood the article before doing so.  Otherwise, you look about as smart as the people in examples #5 and #6.

8. Snopes is your friend.  Use it before posting some kind of inflammatory article/quote/unsubstantiated statistic.  If you tell me you don't trust Snopes because it has some kind of "agenda", please just stay off the internet completely delete me.  Seriously.

9. Posting hateful opinions on the same topic several times a week is not going to change my mind on any issue.  It is going to make me think a whole lot less of you, however.

10. If you think you're going to make me feel bad about deleting me, you won't.  Chances are, if you dislike me that much, I've probably already blocked you or haven't gotten around to deleting you first. 

Whew!  I feel much better now.  :)

*Names have been changed to protect the stupid.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bluebonnet Picture Overload

We took the kids out for our annual bluebonnet pictures this past weekend.  We had to bribe them with pizza, but you do what you gotta do, right?

Once we uploaded them to the computer, I got to looking at our past bluebonnet photos because I'd have to say that of all the traditions we have in Texas, I think this my absolute favorite one.

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I told Ryan that someday I'm going to make a little photo book with nothing but our annual bluebonnet photos in it.

At that point, I will officially be old.

Friday, April 5, 2013

When I Grow Up

I don't know what I want to do when I grow up Evan goes to Kindergarten next year.

I've been out of the workforce for ten years.  Ten years.  No one wants to hire a mom of three who hasn't been employed for an entire decade, especially when she will still need to be the parent who has to take off when a kid is sick or needs a dental cleaning (why oh why can I never get them an after-school appointment?).  The closest thing I can find that fits my requirements (off in the summer, keeps the same schedule as school, gives me time to get the kids to their activities in the afternoon) are becoming a sub at one of their schools or working at Evan's current pre-school.

I'm a certified teacher and could technically do either of those jobs.  But I don't want to do either one of those jobs.  If we really needed the money, then yes, I'd suck it up and do it, but the thought of holding my tongue spending my day with other people's children and then being nice to my own at the end of the day sounds nearly impossible for me.  I decided when Syd was born that I had just enough patience to be a good teacher or to be a good mother, but that I could not do both.  The women who can do both have my utmost respect, that's for sure.

So, despite my desire to add to the college fund, it's probably just not going to happen.

The way I see it, stay-at-home moms traditionally (and yes, stereotypically) have four options:
1. Drink
2. Shop
3. Volunteer
4. Find a hobby

As for #1 - I'm not much of a drinker.  An occasional glass of wine or cocktail is more than enough for me, especially since alcohol messes with my sleep cycle and after years of sleeplessness due to insomnia or those three little people who wake me up with an earache, vomiting or a fear of thunder, I refuse to intentionally let anything interrupt my sleep.

As for #2 - I'm too cheap/frugal to be a shopper.  The guilt of spending money on myself far outweighs any enjoyment I get out of whatever object or item of clothing I've bought so this is not an option for me.  And after listening to a co-worker gripe about this quality in his wife, I think Ryan is quite thankful I'm not a shopper.

As for #3 - I've tried.  And I will continue to try.  But it is hard to volunteer when you're an introvert, especially when the other volunteers are clique-ish and snooty.  I prefer my volunteer work to be the kind that can be done at home by myself (Girl Scout troop treasurer, Sunday School class secretary).  Sigh.

As for #4 - Not a problem - I have lots of hobbies.  I love to read.  I go to the gym a few times a week.  I go to a Moms' Bible Study at church.  I like researching recipes and trying them out.  I've started making all kinds of foods that I usually used to buy - yogurt, granola, jams, hummus, vanilla (this is so easy and so much cheaper than the store-bought stuff!).  I've been painting a bit, too.  The problem is, as much as I love these hobbies, none of them will help me contribute to the braces/college/vacation funds.  I thought the chocolate business would work, but my state doesn't allow me to sell them because they're candy.

If there's a way for me to turn one of my hobbies into something more, I haven't figured it out yet....

I guess I wish that I had some sort of passion that I could turn into a career.  I am envious of Sarah, who has turned her passion for encouraging women to have the births they want into a career as a doula.  I'm envious of moms who have turned their love of photography into businesses taking pictures of sweet little newborns.  I'm jealous of the moms who have a job that they can freelance or work part-time, like the speech therapists and writers that I know.

Anyway....enough middle-class/first-world whining.  I know I should appreciate being able to be in the position I am and there are women all over the world who would trade places with me in a heartbeat.

In short, I really need to get over it.

But for the life of me, I just can't figure out how.