Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Apology Etiquette

Let us review, shall we, one of my favorite soapbox issues: How to Properly Apologize.

Let's say you stepped on my foot.
I exclaim "ouch! that hurt. you stepped on my foot"

you could say

a) I'm sorry if I hurt your foot
b) I'm sorry that your foot got hurt
c) I'm sorry that you think I stepped on your foot
d) I'm sorry that I hurt your foot

Let's review these options.

a) the key word here that screws this up is "if". IF you stepped on my foot? NO. I just told you that you DID step on my foot. My foot is throbbing. The act of you stepping on my foot is factual, not something I imagined.

b) note the passive voice of this one...that your foot got hurt. This removes all responsibility from YOU and puts it out there in the universe somewhere...but not on you. Even though YOUR foot is what stepped on MY foot. passive voice is bad in an apology

c) this one should be obvious. that I THINK you stepped on my foot? no. you did. and it hurt. period.

d) ding ding ding. Plain ol' "I'm sorry" is the best choice. And if you have the balls and fully accept your responsibility for whatever happened, you can add "I'm sorry that I did such and such and hurt you".

"I'm sorry I hurt you" is the grand prize winner.

any questions? good.

Happy new year!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Bitch is Back

I'm happy to report that for the time being, I am back to my old self. This doesn't imply that the stuff that was weighing me down is gone, but I have had my time in the ring with it, made my peace with it, and am ready for the next step.

Today was SO cold. It rained pretty hard last night and so today the sky was clear and beautiful. Cliff didn't have school, obviously, but I did have daycare available for Amanda. So Cliff went with us to sign some papers at the bank and then he and I went to breakfast. It was great to just hang out with him. Look! what?! I enjoyed him? yes. alot. Then we ran home for a pee break and took a drive up into the foothills like we have many times before. Except this time Amanda wasn't with us and the idea was to actually enjoy the view and then nap when we got home. Usually the kids both fall asleep in the car, which I why I didn't take Amanda on this drive. I was saving my nap time!!

It was just beautiful. I felt the excitement and joy that I used to feel in the presence of beauty. When I drove through a drift of leaves and they ruffled out behind the car, I felt giggly. When my tires splatted through the mud, I felt ornery. Cliff and I got out of the car and I just too a deep breath to take in the smell of earth and grass and rain and it was BLISS. The wind in my face was totally refreshing (and freezing!!) and I put my arms out and spun around like some goof ball in a movie. I didn't want to leave.

but I got some great pictures.

It was a GOOD day. I hope there's more of these. But if there's not, anytime soon, at least I know that when these days are gone, they will come back. Makes the hard days easier if you know that the hard days are not forever.

Oh and P.S. I frosted some cookies yesterday with this cool piping kit that my friend gave me. Its easier to use than a piping bag and it actually WORKS. I hadn't frosted anything in...months. a real sign of dark times if there ever was one. LOL


Stay tuned as the metamorphosis continues...


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Obligatory Xmas Post

I feel somewhat obligated to do a Christmas-y post. Even though I don't feel slightly Christmas-y. and that should have been a comma there instead of a period. and I'm not going back to fix it. see how I am?

anyway, I really love Christmas but this year has just been so rough, it just seems like a sort of brutal ritual. I will muster a Happy Birthday Jesus in my heart but I haven't decorated beyond the bare minimum and I don't feel bad about it at all.

so here's my stolen/borrowed Christmas post. I borrowed this from Swistle, who I think borrowed it from someone else.

Eggnog or hot chocolate? I like eggnog but its too rich now that I'm old. Even diluted with milk. Hot chocolate is good too. I'm ambivalent.

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? Santa wraps ours, per our requests. Or sometimes if I have a special paper I want to use, I tell him that I'll wrap them. He laughs his jolly laugh over his cell phone and thanks me for my assistance. ;)

Colored lights on a tree or white? I usually do white. I had colored ones for a couple years. I like both. again. ambivalent. but I tend toward white.

Do you hang mistletoe? No.

When do you put your decorations up? Usually shortly after Thanksgiving. On enthusiastic years. I take that weekend after Thanksgiving and just go berzerk.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Can't say as though I have one. I like your generic turkey and ham stuff, and my mom's party potatoes recipe, which I now have but never make.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? sometimes we do one or 2 on Xmas Eve but mostly we do them all on xmas morning. If I did them all on Xmas Eve, I think Xmas day would feel so anti climactic and I'm not sure at all what we'd do all day. My family is scattered even though we all live in the same town. I really have always wanted to come up with some new traditions but have not been successful yet.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? This year or on a year when I care? On a year when I care it varies. I have a theme or a color and run with it. one year it was all purple and gold. last year we had 3 mini trees: one for mandy, one for cliff, one for us. Mandys' had a pink feather boa around it as garland. Cliff's had some fun garland. and mine was all fancy. the kids' trees had ornaments that were designated for them, bought by me for them (I buy one for them each year) or ones they made, and mine has fancy ones. so what I'm saying is, it varies based on my mood, the decor of my house, or where I am in my cycle. *shrug*

Snow: love it or hate it? We don't get snow here except once a decade. Its pretty, but I detest getting around in it. I don't like how cold my ears get. I hate walking in snow when we go to the mountains or whatever. so short answer: hate it. nice to look at out the window though.

Can you ice skate? Yes I probably COULD. we have good insurance coverage.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? again, not sure I have a favorite. I make a mean cheesecake, so that's probably my favorite if I have to name one. I feel obligated to say cupcakes. but no. frosted Xmas cookies though...similar to cupcakes in the decorating vein.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? sigh. need to re-get some. life has messed mine up.

Candy canes: yum or yuck? I like them. can't say I've ever craved one or anything...

wow, that was riveting, yes?

ho ho ho.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Words that Speak to Me

~Every soul is experiencing a window for change, change into a newer more real you. This window does not come along often, and to take advantage of it you need to forget the limiting words or 'realistic' advice given by others. You need to know your own song and follow it.

(Todd Savvas)

I am choosing, now, to know my own song, no matter where it might lead me or how many may question it being out of tune. I must go through this window because I know I am supposed to.
The kelly that woke up insists on it.

I dare you to find your own window in the coming year, and to follow your own song.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When life gives you lemons, talk about defecation alot...

Decided the title of the book may just be "poop and lies". more on that later.

so there's a theme here. shitty year=lots of posts about crap.

6 year old boy+50 year old house=strong plunger arm.

Then Cliff announces upon leaving the bathroom "man, wiping sure is a lot of work".

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

poop and lies

I am working on the book. it will be a long time coming I'm sure. but I am committed to it now. I've put it "out there" so it will happen.
about the time I make progress I'll probably get a job and it'll all be thwarted. Course I said I'd get a job as soon as I liked staying at home and that didn't happen. pllfffft. who can figure!!?!

so anyway, random post. about poop. and lies. chapter title, right there, right?

so when Mandy has obviously pooped in her diaper I say "ooooweeee Mandy you stinky. do you have poopoo?" and she says "Noooo" with a big smile. and sometimes she says "mona poo poo" (that's the dog!). So I say "Oooooh...you lie" and I proceed to check her drawers and then go change her.

so in the car today, she has a baby doll (my baby doll from when i was a tiny girl, in fact, which is so sweet that THAT baby doll is still getting loved even with her horrid hair and everything) that she mothers when we are driving around. She puts her to sleep and other adorable things that little girls do that I am just being exposed to. So today she says "Poo poo baby? no. you liiiieeeee"

I almost wrecked the car. I laughed so hard. I had to share that.

hope you have a truthful and poopless day. well ok not poopless (Jay that's for you). but ya know...

Monday, November 23, 2009

THE BOOK, damnit.

Sigh.

Alright LOOK PEOPLE.
We all know I should write a book. we've all known this for some time. I always thought it would be some great work of fiction, or some pithy dramatic story about how God has affected my life the last few years. But as it turns out Adult ADD (or whatever you want to label me with...whaever i can take it) and fleshing out complex characters and plots and writing deeply personal things don't work well together.

so my friend, (you know who you are) said, "Well what about an Erma Bombeck kinda vibe. She's dead ya know. There's a spot in the market..."

friggin brilliant really. I could take all my little short musings from here and Facebook and compile a book of witticisms and pithy, funny, quippy crap. Like Jenny McCarthy meets Erma Bombeck and they ride the Sarcastic Express to the Yellow Brick Road...

So listen...would you people actually buy, and read, and enjoy reading such a thing? What if it turns out to be kind of my life story only with funny crap here and there and things I've learned along the way? I have a hard time believing that anyone would want to read such a thing.

Make a freakin comment. I'm manic and I'm writing a book and I'm writing it now and you people better get on board and help me!

I need a name (working title is "Kelly's Quippy Crap" so we'll need a real title.) I need a format. I need to know if it has to be all funny. I need you people to help me decide what isnt' funny or included. And then we have to figure out if I should publish it myself or find a publisher. and then you all have to buy it cuz there's no free copies damnit. I'm unemployed. (But I will sign it with my signature happy face).

comment. now. damnit.

I'M WRITING A BOOK!!!!

(I feel like I just "came out" or something... hold me)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Let us pray...really...

Life is such a pain.

why, now that I am really enjoying being at home, do I feel like I need to go back to work?

Money is a bit scary right now...in that...its running out!

so many good changes have occurred in me in this process. so many. little ones. big ones. I am starting to really like who I am. I don't want to lose that in a job again.

I know, I know...I could keep those things. I mean, maybe this process was just so I could find those things and take them with me into a new career.

but my time. my freedom. the groove I have now. The luxury of doing laundry in a timely manner (well sort of. more than before!) and hand writing Christmas cards (hello?! haven't done it in years!) and shopping during the day and taking the kids on drives/to the beach/to the zoo... I don't want to lose it. I don't really want to work, let alone full time. and yet...I feel like unless I do we are kinda screwed.

My initial gut reaction is that I need/should/want to work part time. period. I have a pretty firm number in terms of pay that I need in order to make it work. (debt is a bitch!!)

so please pray. this time we have a specific prayer.

Dear God, please let Kelly find a part time job that pays the right amount and ease their financial situation. Or bless them with some other answer. Amen.

kay? thanks!

Monday in pictures

would anyone like to hazard a guess as to the condition of my skin?



and this lovely little arrangement came from clippings that my mom and dad were throwing away and Cliff was collecting the remnants. Pretty!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Day in the Life (nay, just a few moments really)

We have this ottoman thingy that has storage inside. We keep shoes in it near the front door. Mandy is sitting in it and eating a chicken nugget that was on the table for about an hour. She turned it down when I offered it to her fresh. "I no wah-wit!".
Henry put drawer latches on the kitchen drawers about 10 minutes ago. She snapped one on the first try.
She's suffocating her brother with her butt now. That's after she hit him, pulled his hair, tried to force feed him a cold chicken nugget, and then tickled him.

Henry is stalking flies with his electric fly zapper thing. crispy cooked flies lie here and there. If a fly lands on me, I am told to remain still while he hovers over me with the electrocution tennis racket. seriously?

Cliff ate hard boiled eggs, and a cupcake (chocolate). My entire house looks like someone sprinkled compost everywhere.

As I type this, the children are rolled up, of their own doing, in a blanket and the small mean child is screaming at the TOP of her lungs because of her "peet" being confined. She doesn't say that of course. She just screams. Now she is stomping on her brother. Oh, here comes the "Ow! My nuts!" phrase.

My life is so perfect.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

milk and cupcakes!! but not at the same time in this case...

Hey guess what?
These Avent breast milk storage tupperware wannabe thingies...they work perfectly when you want to pack your kindergartner a cupcake in his lunch box!!

More self rediscovery crap in the form of heavy prose

Re: Water Courage
by Kelly Barker

I forgot how to swim.
They say you can’t forget how to swim,
But I did.
I was in the water
Struggling to remember
What to do with my limbs,
Fighting to breathe.
The struggle in the water
Picked up steam
As I floated helplessly down a river.
Every so often
I would flail -
Shoot out an arm in the hope…
And then I would go under again.
Eventually I stopped fighting.
I let my lungs fill with water,
And I sank.

I lived in an underwater world
Where every thing moved very slowly.
And it was very heavy.
You can not throw a punch
under water.
you can not run.
you can not sing,
or cry.
Eventually I forgot what
Living above the water was like;
I became accustomed to the
Darkness
And the loneliness.
Even though I was surrounded by
Life,
I could not communicate with them,
As I had no voice

One day I borrowed
From somewhere deep within me -
Hope.
And I looked up
To the surface.
Something was there
Something that was looking for me
It was familiar,
But forgotten
Like a dream that I was trying
To remember…
Vague.

And yet, this vague force
Was pulling on me.
Beckoning me upward.
A magnet above the surface
And a magnet below
Both quivering with their charges
And the demand of being
Reunited

I let it draw me up
And up
And up.
When I broke the water’s surface
The light was blinding
And my lungs nearly burst.
I sputtered water for what seemed
Like
Days.
It was only minutes,
But they were painful.
And I cried.
And then, tentatively,
I inhaled.
I was afraid of what would fill me.
I shook
All over.
Until my lungs were filled
With a sweet memory
Of something real
And light
And bright
And home.

I had forgotten how to
Use my legs
And my voice
and my eyes
and so many other things.
But as I remembered them,
Joy returned to my body.
My cells were unburdened and
I remembered how to sing.
And
I remembered
Myself,
All the parts of me.

One day, even after everything
That had happened,
I fearlessly
Marched into the water.
I swam
And swam
And swam
And the water felt perfect
And warm
And safe.

Something was
Holding my head above the water,
Allowing me the
Freedom
To explore with my new courage.
Something weightless,
And beautiful,
That loved me.
And taught me,
How to swim again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sephora has many colors, but I'm not seeing green

Dear Sephora,

I Looooooove your store, your website, your products.
this arrived for me today.
seriously? have you heard of little padded envelopes or do you have any boxes in smaller sizes? seriously?!







CD just here to show scale!
Could we, perhaps, Dear Sephora, consider revamping our shipping packaging? just a smidge?

Thanks!!

P.S. I did give a free plug here to your eye make up remover, and I have a blog just for beauty products, and I'm unemployed. I'm just sayin...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

newsflash, or not?

So speaking in the vein of self re-discovery, here is something you may not know about me.

when I was about 3 until I was about 10, I was desperately shy. At 3, if someone said "hello" to me at church, I would burst into tears. No exaggeration. In Kindergarten, I cried every day. In about the 3rd grade, something clicked and the little drama girl emerged. I was pretty much obnoxious until about jr. high, when life handed me a big slice of humble pie. What do you mean not every one will like me?! what the hell?!
High school I spent most of my time trying to not be noticed mostly, unless there was a boy involved. I didn't really get overly involved in anything. I went out on a limb and tried out for volleyball, which was a BIG deal for me because I had NEVER played ANY kind of sport and P.E. filled me with dread because I never knew which way to run in flag football. Dance was the only "sport" I had ever done. I made the volleyball team by the skin of my teeth and was frequently ribbed about how I pointed my toes when I spiked the ball, or how my approach was very ballet-like, or how I would sprawl for the ball in the splits, as opposed to the face down slam yourself into the floor technique.
I did choir for a year or 2 but I really can't sing.
I dabbled in drama but was too insecure to try out for anything big. I was cast several times in little tiny parts which were always some kind of bimbo, or vixen, or sexy robot. That should have puffed my ego, but it just made me insecure. Go figure.
I fiddled one year with the yearbook. I liked that.
I never did student government because I figured I'd lose, or no one would listen to me if I actually had an office.
There was no dance program at my high school, which is very unfortunate (there still isn't, which is also very unfortunate).
I didn't feel brave enough to join debate and argue my point about anything, though anyone who knows me could tell you I would have done fine in such a forum as arguing IS my forte, as is having an opinion in general.
I didn't really join any clubs except to be in the yearbook pictures.
I came very very close to trying out for cheerleading my freshman year but about an hour before the try outs, which I would have easily nailed because of my dance background, I chickened out because the idea of wearing that uniform to school on a regular basis and being associated with cheer was something I just didn't have the balls to do.


THIS is what I looked like in High school. I can't imagine for my life why THAT girl would feel THAT insecure. I know, everyone is insecure, but holy crap.


Its no wonder that NOW, looking NOT so much like that and having been though enough experiences that lead me to question myself and everything else daily, I'm still a bag of insecurity. I find that I need almost constant reassurance. When i don't get it, I find ways to channel my nervous energy. I cope, maintain, I manage. I make cupcakes!

Today in the gym a new girl asked me what it was I was doing in between machines (at Curves they have "recovery pads" every other station where you do stuff...walk in place, aerobic-y stuff, etc), I was so taken aback I could barely speak. "excuse me" she said and I said "who...? me??!" I didn't really come up with a good answer. And I felt as though I came off a bit aloof and I felt bad so I told the trainer lady that if that girl was there sometime when i was I'd show her what I was doing (which was dance-y stuff instead of the jumping around that many do. she said "so I don't have to jump around? and i said "no I try to do anything BUT that" lol)

I got in the car and realized that I am still inherently shy when spoken to, uncomfortable in social situations, and insecure in general. I compensate for that, mostly, by being an aloof bitch.

It is surprising to even myself that I am "SHY". its weird. I can't stand to be the center of attention. I have always preferred to be behind the scenes than in the spotlight. I can't stand group settings, they make me want to come out of my skin. I don't mind group settings if I am in charge of the group but other than that, no thanks. I have let many opportunities in life go because I am too shy to approach a situation. Ironically, I am built to lead. I love to boss. I am a visionary person, not a details person. I do not have a problem taking control of a situation if its handed to me. But it has to be on my own terms. I was born to be in charge, just like I was when I was in the 5th grade bossing the Aimee's and Jenny's around and forming clubs and "directing" plays. In truth, director is one of my dream jobs. But I never chased after any of the passions I was drawn toward in schooling. I wasn't brave enough.

weird.

just thought you'd like to know. or not. LOL

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Look Bird! Look At Me.

I did 483 things today. most of them were of a domestic nature.
I got Cliff out the door and off to school and then Mandy and I went to the grocery store for some dinner items. Then I actually went to Target for a couple things. You know how that goes...a "couple things" at Target usually means a couple hundred dollars. guh.
So then I grabbed some food for Mandy at Jack in the Box and cooled the french toast sticks by holding them out the window on the freeway. Very effective method, I must say. Mandy ate one of those and then fell asleep. I went to the bank drive thru and waiting forever. Really. Like 30 minutes!! It sucked. But Mandy was asleep and I had some tunes and some money in the bank (although I can't really tell HOW much money because WAMU just became Chase and...holy crap. its confusing!). Then I came home and Mandy continued to sleep in the running car while I futzed with a huge pile of laundry in the garage and pushed some crap around to make more room. Then I ran inside, Mandy still asleep, and threw my stroganoff ingredients into the crockpot.

For some reason I can't remember what came next. But I did take her to the park. This is only like the third time the poor child has been to the park because I suck. And the only time she's ever been by herself. And in fact, we had the whole place to ourselves!! she loved the swing and said "Look bird, look at me!" which melted my heart. And she went down the slide and that was great until she bumped her lip. Then she was over the slide and back on the swing. I had to coerce her to get back on the horse/slide before we left. It was so fun and sweet to hang out with just my baby girl at the park!! such a simple thing. such a stay at home mom thing.

I had to remind myself that I have only been home full time with them since August. They were full time at daycare for April and May. June and July were part time, and August was cold turkey. August is too flippin hot to go to the park. I actually do not do well in the summer. I just do like to go outside at all. So we do glitter. September is no better. But we had school to get accumstomed to. Now its almost November and the park was sooooo wonderful. I hate the sand and I wish our park had that cool rubber stuff. But my heart was so happy. Especially all the stuff she was babbling about.

She proceeded to flip out when we left to go get Cliff. Its bloody difficult to put a child in the car seat when she is arching her back and turning into an angry wet noodle. grrr. "I no want bubba!!" (she is sooooo mean lately. her new thing is "I don't want it" or "I don't want *insert thing here*!" and she says it like this "I no wah-wit!")

she kept freaking out for about 20 minutes I swear. then we went to get Cliff. The rest of the day is as follows:

cliff's homework
check on dinner
feed mandy
look up some stuff online
make kids take 30 minute nap
take both kids to the dentist (mandy's first time)
come home and check dinner
feed mandy again
do laundry
do dishes
yell at kids
yell at kids to stop running
yell at kids to stop hitting
yell at kids to stop jumping off the bed
ravenously eat dinner while the kids try to injure each other
feed kids
hear mandy say about dinner "I no wah-wit!"

and the rest of the night you pretty much get...bath, more yelling, etc etc etc...

My stroganoff rocked. and my day mostly did too.

Look bird! Look at me!

I felt like a bird today. A busy one.

Look Bird, look at me!!

I may also borrow "I no wah-wit" from her. It seems very effective. I'll let you know...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Everything old is new again...

I won't get into details but suffice it to say, its funny how examining my past has helped me rediscover who I currently am.

I have been through some serious crap in the last 5 years. And not just the whining about job loss that you see here. Serious crap. Crap that at one time or another has made me question ev.er.y.thing. God, myself, who I am, my marriage, my life in general...everything.

In going thru said crap, I sort of lost myself a little at a time. I didn't really notice it until about a year ago. A year ago I felt like things sort of were coming back together. I feel like I've been on a journey on an unpaved road and I've been in this rattle-trap car that has just lost nuts and bolts along the way as we bumped along the road. Last year I felt like we hit some pavement and I got the opportunity to pull the POS car into the shop.

I just realized I called myself a POS. not really what I meant. anyway...

so when I was able to stop having to hold my life together with every bit of strength I had until I thought my fingernails would rip off, I was suddenly able to breathe. I didn't know I hadn't been breathing until I starting breathing again.

and I started rediscovering myself. Strangely, this rediscovery began with one of my oldest friends. I was hanging out with her in the hospital after she had a procedure done. We were inseperable for a large part of our youth and then grew apart like people do. We reconnected shortly before her operation and while I hung out with her in the hospital I picked her brain about things I didn't remember about myself. She's one of those people that remembers every detail of every thing and I remember nothing that didn't involve me directly. It was so enlightening and validating and...cool. I just felt like I had found an old friend...myself.


And since then, that self re-discovery has continued. Losing my job has been a big part of that. And reconnecting with old friends on facebook. Who knew facebook would be so cool?! I didn't really love Highschool. I didn't really have a reason not to, I just didn't really want to be there. However, reconnecting with those people who knew me then, has helped me to see myself through their eyes in some cases, and remember this girl that is in there. She's funny, and confident, and haphazardly bitchy without intended malice, and sensitive and caring and devoted. She has always had a potty mouth, and hated shoes and been somehow a prissy tomboy and a klutz. I found old pictures from HS wherein I was barefoot...in the middle of class or the middle of some presentation. And another picture of me at 16 looking adoringly at my first nephew (who is approaching 20 or 21!!!) and I am sitting in the least lady like position. I sit like a dude. I thought it was a habit I developed as i gained weight over the years (something that has defined me more than I had admitted). Nope. I was a little skinny, tan, teeny-bopper bitch with my legs open like a dude sitting on the tailgate of a truck drinking a beer. years of ballet and this is how Kelly sits.

Its been little things that have brought me back to myself. I realized that the things that I have been defining myself by were either lies, or inaccurate, or defense mechanisms. Now that I feel like I need to defend myself a lot less, some of that is peeling back. And what is underneath all this protective layering is pretty much the same girl that I knew 20 years ago - only a better version of her. This stunned me. I have changed a great deal in some ways. I'm much less judgmental, I'm much softer and more accepting. I have a much more realistic view of life and hardly anything surprises me. I'm much less black and white. I'm much more able to handle criticism (I didn't say I was GOOD at it!). I have tons more self confidence than I did then. Growth is inevitable. But in all the growing, I somehow thought that I had turned into a different person. Nope. I still take my shoes off in the movie theater, swear, get antsy like a 6 year old if I have to sit still for more than 15 minutes. I still love readily and hurt easily. I'm still funny and crazy. I'm still a writer and a dancer. I'm still Kelly.

I had no idea she was still in there. and that I'd like her.



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taking Back the Word, Discovering our Roots

Oh I know...it sounds all academic and hoighty toighty and astute. But look around, people. You're reading a pink and green blog whose title has the word "Diva" in it. There will be no astuteness here.

so here is my theory. Men like bitches.
and my hypothesis follows the idea that, all women, all of them, eventually become bitches. We snap and snit and gripe and boss. Its required for survival. Especially survival along side men. And other women, frankly. Anyway, we all become bitches. I used to dismiss (dismiss, in that, when the idea occurred to me, I tried to get rid of it as though it was a huge, green, slimy booger on my finger that was gagging me) the notion that men marry women that remind them of their mothers. But the older I get, the more this makes sense to me. We may not be like their mothers in the way we cook, or the way we clean, or the way we tousle their hair, or the way we verbally berate them, guilt them, and nag them. But we are like their mothers in that we have become bitches.

And if we are not bitches when they met us, then they set to making us into bitches. By driving us crazy.
Evidence:
Henry: do you have that birthday card that I was going to give to my mom?
me: Yes let me find it
(Kelly sets to looking through birthday card file for the mom card. I gave it to him, he said thank and then I continued filing some cards that escaped their categories. Henry then went into the kitchen and turned the lights in the kitchen off, both sets. I was in the dining room and I had the ceiling fan light on, but the kitchen is open to the dining room and the light from the kitchen was adding to my light. the ceiling fan light is fairly dim. so I said, nicely:)
Kelly: can you turn those back on please?
Henry: you can see fine
K: no, I can't. turn it back on please
H: You have a light right over the top of you
K: I need the lights on. I didn't ask you to judge FOR me if I can see or not. turn them back on!
H: you don't need the lights. you can see fine
K: don't tell me what I can and can't see!! (storms over to the lights and flips them back on)
H: and those are actually helping you?
K: (growling) yessss!

so you see, even if I wasn't a bitch when I met him, I most certainly am NOW. (and I was a bitch when I met him, which is why he liked me, which is getting me to my point)

I think men require bitches in their lives in order to survive. (Like the time my mom and dad got caught in a rip-tide at Pismo and got towed way out and my dad went into shock and turned white and my mom dug her fingernails into his arm and swore at him and yelled at him to SWIM! and he did)


So, men need us to be bitches in order to survive.

Anyone who has been married for more than 10 minutes knows that men require specific and detailed instructions, not hints and vague ideas. Lesbian relationships are probably very efficient in that they have to spend a lot less time explaining things. A woman can gesture to another woman and go "I need that...(hand gesture)" and the other woman will go "Oh, the pepper grinder? the acrylic one, not the wood one? ok" . whereas a woman can say to a man "I need that...(hand gesture)" and the man looks at her and goes "what does (hand gesture) mean?"
woman: "you know...that thing that does the pepper"
man: the...pepper shaker?
woman: NO! the thing that turns it into pepper (this woman probably has children because she can not find the word "grind" in her vocabulary. Because a) she has no use for that word with the children. and b) there has been no grinding in their marriage since the last child and c) the only grinding she does is with her teeth, in her sleep, and she is not aware of it)
man: the...grocery store???
woman: NO!!! that thing! the black thing! in the top cupboard on the left next to the tea bags and the clear thing. No, the other one. yes, thanks!

anyway, any lesbians out there feel free to clear that up for me if you'd like. but I am jealous of the idea of communicating with a being who can read between the lines.

In a life and death situation, this would be great.

woman to other woman: its bleeding! put pressure!!
other woman: got it!! tourniquet! shirt!
woman: (riiiip!) got it!! calling 911!
other woman: his pulse is weak. but he's breathing.
woman: (already describing in detail the situation to 911 operator)

alternately -
woman to man: its bleeding! put pressure!!
man: I know you're under pressure! I'm trying to save this man's life!!
woman: put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding...!
man: oh. OK yeah. got it.
woman: tourniquet
man: with what?!!
woman: your shirt...?
man: but I'm wearing it. and I just got it. and I am putting pressure in this wound and if I move my hands...
woman: (rips shirt off man and tears it into strips) nevermind. got it. I'll call 911
man: thanks. I think I may have saved this man's life.
woman: yes dear, you're very brave. I'll buy you a new shirt, ok?

so let's summarize: men like bitches because their mothers are bitches. Their mothers became bitches because off their fathers. Even women who are not inclined to be bitches become bitches. I am certain it started with Eve. everyone wants to blame her for tempting Adam to eat the apple. Well the poor bastard was probably starving to death because God didn't give him specific enough directions on HOW to eat, and so, knowing that the future of all mankind depended on their survival, Eve forced him to eat the apple to save his stupid life.

The word bitch has always been offensive to me. Not having a sister, no one ever called me a bitch and wasn't written off my list for ever. Sisters and good girl friends can say to one another, "you're bitchy today" and then laugh it off. But that was never the case for me. then when I met Henry, having been called a bitch enough times, I started to believe it, but in all the wrong ways. I would say "I'm sorry I'm such a bitch" and he would actually scold me for calling myself a bitch. I have to applaud him for that because honestly, it did a lot for my self esteem and my view of myself. After 12 years and alot of actual, real, bitching, he still scolds me when I call myself a bad name or a bitch. How sweet.
anyway, I do not think men should ever ever call women bitches. its not theirs to say. A woman calling another woman a bitch should be used very carefully. but all in all I think we should own our bitchiness. Its the foundation for life on earth. Its what makes the world go round. Its what shapes our children and saves our husbands.

I, myself, wear my bitch crown with pride. Because I know my husband loves me, and my bitchiness is pretty obvious, therefore, he must love that I'm a bitch.

Bitch on, my sisters. the world needs you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Travel Plans

I think I will plan a visit to my home planet soon. I enjoy hanging out with this species, but I am having trouble understanding them, or how I relate to them. So I think I'll get on the mother ship and visit my own people.

I wonder if they have full day Kindergarten on my home planet. hmmmm...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reappearance...

Today I kept Mandy home from her half-day daycare, which I love sending her to, although I feel guilty about the money as the funds rapidly dwindle dwindle dwindle and there is nothing career wise on the horizon for me. anyway, she was croupy last night. cliff got croup 2 years in a row, damn near ON October 1st both times. Mandy got it last time this year too. The weather changed TODAY so I'm not sure why she had it last night. she has a snotty nose and a generic cold, but this time of year the colds come with croup, for some weird, twitchy airway reason. So we were up all hours trying to get her fixed up and back to sleep. So Henry took Cliff to school AND took time out of his day to pick him up from school so that I could just chill at the house and not have to uproot everyone still in their jammies (everyone being me and Amanda) at 11:30. Half day kindergarten is friggin lame...have I mentioned that?

So we napped alot to catch up on our sleep. And by about 2 we were all good to go, even Cliff.

I made cookies, watered plants, cleaned the patio, took the kids in the front yard to PLAY and I swear, my soul came out of hibernation. Maybe its just this oppressively, wicked, awful, frickin heat that makes me feel sad and pissy. Some people get that way in the rain or the snow so why not me in the heat. I hate doing anything at all when its hot. I do not want to go outside to play, I do not want to go to the store. I hate it. hate it hate it hate it hate it!!! I remember last year one day in the "fall" (term is used loosely here) I went to the store mid day and I was practically skipping through the friggin parking lot. The crisp clean(er) air, the blue(ish) sky, the ability to fill my lungs without inhaling wildfire ashes or County Fair dust, or almond pollen...it was fantastic. My energy soared. I think the real me might reappear soon.

anyway, then I made a steak dinner, put Mandy to bed, then took a hot bath. I exfoliated my face, and scrubbed my feet, I took my vitamins, and put on my really good Vitamin C facial serum.

It was a take care of me day. And it gave me hope for the restless, hopeless, fearful, trapped feelings that I have been dwelling in...that maybe they will dissipate with the heat and I can feel ME again.

Still need financial prayers, y'all. I'm trying to not worry but...hello...I'm having to restrain myself from making charts and graphs so you know I AM worried.

and in other news, Mandy has peed in the toilet twice this week...while the bath is running. I squeaked so loud I almsot lost my voice. yay Mandy.

She has a new nickname too. In addition to: Demanda, Mandible, Monster, Kreature, Panda, MandaBear, Monkeybutt, Squirrelbutt, and maybe a couple others, she is now also "Manaconda" for the way she clings to her father as though to squeeze the life out of him and eat him.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Death of Language

I am pretty hip to the language of the internet, and to some of the lingo of those damn youngins. I met Henry on the internet in 1997 so I have known what LOL and ROTF and BRB and BTW etc etc etc mean for a long time, and because I am old school internet, I tend to still type my actions in asterisks, like we did in the chat rooms of old. i.e. "*EG* well IMO, you'd have a hard time winning that one" (EG=evil grin)
or as another example "Ok, have a good day *hugs*". anyway, I know the internet has its own language. I have had to step down not only my expectations but come to terms with many things that bothered me. For instance, on Facebook, you type your status after your name so it goes: KELLY "blah blah blah". And when I first got on facebook this kind of thing really curdled my blood: "PAM I am not ready for Monday" or "LINDA hungry" where I felt it should have been "PAM is not ready for Monday" and "LINDA is hungry". I guess not everyone is ready to talk about themselves in the third person so I got over it and joined the substandard club. I now talk about myself in the third OR first person without blinking. We all get it, its ok. relax Kelly.

I have added words that aren't really words to my vocabulary like "ginormous", although I refuse to add words like "orientated". I have ranted many times about the abuse of the English Language. Orientated is at the top of my pet peeves. Anyway, I AM flexible. But I have to draw a line somewhere.

Below is a snip from a series of comments on Facebook from a young girl I know. I can barely stand to read it, it literally hurts me in my gut, or my brain, or someplace vague that I can't quite put my finger on. (And I know that that sentence should have read: someplace on which I can not put my finger. But that's just lame)

Ok, so...enjoy. vomit at will, but clean up after yourself:

GIRL 1: hey guys mii mamma just got a job nd now that she has da money she wants mii to join some kind of dance again nd i was thinking about cheer... do you think i should do it?? 9 hours ago

3 Comments - Like

Girl 2 likes this.


Girl 3 at 6:29pm yesterday
no cheer! haha i tried it 4 3 years. it wasnt that fun haha

Girl 1 at 8:08pm yesterday
ocay hahaha thxs

Girl 4 at 8:51pm yesterday
haha i tried it i loved it i wanna do it again gosh Girl 3 such a lozer

It goes on like that at some length. Girl 1 is the big offender. Its someplace between internet speak, baby talk, and some ridiculous made up language where one uses words like Mii instead of ME , and Godfather-esque accents, i.e. "da money".

WHO spells "OK" ocay? Okay, OK, K...but Ocay?!?! WTF!?!

Here are links to my lengthy rants regarding language, and its looming death.






Friday, September 25, 2009

thumbing my nose at irony

I guess I'm superstitious, but I'm almost hesitant to say this "out loud" (? you know what I mean!)...but I am so grateful for the healthy monstrous children I have. Many of you are familiar with my friends Chris and Holly who have a 2 year old who is working on kicking cancer's ass. He was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in November of 2008 and given a 35% survival rate, but has just been the picture of God's grace and miracles all along and he's doing so well now that they had to go to urgent care last week cuz he shoved a vitamin up his nose. LOL Anyway, I have followed their journey very closely and been very touched by it. Holly keeps a blog on UCLA's "carepages" website.

Today, somewhat by accident, I stumbled upon a link to a carepages site for the little boy of my ex ex ex many times ex boyfriend/fiance from like 1994. It was an ugly, painful breakup that scarred me for a long time and he treated me very badly. But to find out that his little boy has stage 4 neuroblastoma was just a whack in the head for me.

so today I'm posting how grateful I am. Me and gratitude have a love hate relationship. I used to feel that if you were grateful enough for something, God wouldn't take it away from you...as though its a favorite toy or something. For some reason I am such a fanatic believer in irony, though, that its hard for me to state the things I'm grateful for. I keep them very close to my heart like little secrets between me and God, and I'm careful not to bring it up out loud too often so as not to bring it to God's attention how blessed and lucky I am so that He doesn't see fit to even the playing field for me somehow.

How twisted is that?! Many of you know that the playing field has been full of potholes for me and my family, namely with my marriage. But we have made it, I think, to the end zone without any broken ankles so I'm going to allow myself to do the touchdown dance in the face of irony and just lay it out...

I am grateful for:
*my beautiful hyper insane healthy children

*my husband who is so patient with me, and who is never afraid to work on himself.

*my parents who live next door and get to see my kids most every day

*the opportunity to stay home with my kids right now, although a painful event and not really the way I planned it (haha), I am loving it. NOW...now I am loving it. It wasn't always the case. And I still have my days of not loving it.

*God's provision. Its through odd channels sometimes, like unemployment insurance! But its always there.

*a comfortable and beautiful home for my family

*my wonderful friends who have held me up and inspired me all along the way

*my parents' health

*my extended family and the friends who've I've decided are my family

*little escapes from reality occasionally

*the internet

*old friends who remind me who I am when I have forgotten

*beauty, art, dance, and the things that light my heart up

and a bunch of other stuff, of course.

so there, I did it. I'm going to go step on some cracks and walk under some ladders, and break a mirror now.

ta-ta

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An unexpected Soapbox moment...

Amanda normally takes 2 naps a day: one around 10am and another around 2pm. On days like today, which is Taekwondo day, I sometimes tweak the schedule a bit to fit into the crazy driving across town schedule. I had that planned today....one BIG nap at noon. logical, right? no. she did not sleep ONE wink. not at all. she defied every pattern and habit she has ever displayed and refused to sleep. Then I took her to TKD with cliff because I'm sick of paying for babysitting all the damn time for just a couple hours. But it would have been worth it today. As Henry has said in the past: "How much is your sanity worth?"

This is what I text messaged the father of the possessed child today halfway thru TKD:

"Daughter=devil"

and that pretty much sums up my day. Someone slipped that girl something. On the ride home from TKD, which is a good 20 minutes and she ALWAYS naps in the car...she didn't even blink. I looked back at her and her eyes were WIDE like a Tom and Jerry cartoon where Tom has his eyelids propped open with a toothpick. What the hell got into her today?!

Cliff is doing well and is happy at school (only not in the morning...he's not even human in the morning!) and we're all fairly well and 3 of the 4 of us have our flu shots. Getting swine flu shots in October.

I'm still adjusting to this new school schedule. IF I could find the world's most perfect job (oh wait I HAD that job, bastards) I would still be killing myself to get the kids where they need to be. Mothers do this every day all over the country and it should NOT be this hard to make a living and get your kids to and from school and into after school care. There is a disconnect here.

Dear President Obama,
how about you work on some rights for working mothers and women. If you're so fond of legislating "rights" like health care, how about you legislate some stuff that's affecting our children just as much as their health care. How about you REALLY level the playing field and REALLY pay women the same as men. How about, since we're so fond of patterning ourselves after European countries, we take a cue from them and provide more paid vacation and more maternity leave. Have you looked up how much time European women get for maternity leave?! Its not 6 weeks, I assure you. Its months. How about you legislate some stuff like "No child left behind" called "no child left at home alone" and do something about the great gap of childcare in this country. How about you get some women in office there in DC who want to do something for women's rights OTHER than pushing through various abortion laws?! How about your put some pressure on Businesses to do something other than pay taxes...how about you put some pressure on them to give more women a shot at telecommuting and working from home so we can be proper mothers when we need to be?! It actually save the businesses money. Hello?! We subsidize everything else. Why don't you enact some law that subsidizes husbands' salaries to make up for lost
wages when the mother can't find work for the same salary as the job she lost?!

Sincerely,
Kelly

P.S. Please phone Hillary and ask her "Where the HELL is my village, bitch?"


wow, I have no idea where that came from but...demons be GONE. be HEALED sister!
sorry. as you were. nothing to see here, just a woman who's snapped.

ta-ta.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mucus, Medicine, Motherhood, and Moments.

I think the plague is passing over the house now. Look, a full sentence!! Amanda, while she never really got "sick" per se, did develop an intense neediness. As of yesterday, she actually let someone else besides Henry hold her and didn't scream as one having bamboo applied to the fingernails when Henry left the room.

I'm not one to brag, but let's just say that I have graduated to the next level of antibiotics. I love the doctor I went to. Its my allergist and its so novel and refreshing to be treated as though a doctor actually cares. I have had 3 sinus infections this year alone and until this year I don't know that I ever had one that required medication. It could be that motherhood is slowly rotting my brain, or it could be the tremendously admirable air quality in this town. Or it could be that after the first one, the antibiotics that I was on, that I had an allergic reaction to and had to switch, did not do the job. So my mom, bless her heart, on the rare occasion that she requires antibiotics, can still take penicillin. Isn't that sweet? She's so pure and unadulterated in her bacteria! Cliff moved from Penicillins to Cephalosporins when he had ear infections. Amanda was able to tolerate the dreaded Augmentin (which is penicillin and some awful thing called Clavulamate which makes the penicillin work better and also has some nifty side effects like...oh...Idanno...diarrhea, bleeding diaper rashes, and a 2 year old that banged his head on any solid surface until we took him off of it!!).

Mommy is way past the small stuff. Mommy is apparently past the beloved z-pak. I'm a badass on Avalox. Moxifloxacin. Its fun to say. Say it with me. Moxy flox ass-in. say it fast. moxifloxacinmoxifloxacinmoxifloxacin! weeeeee.

anyway, I'm hoping that some lingering bugs may be the reason that I've been feeling puny and less robust than usual. I hope this moxi-fun stuff kills all of the remaining suspects. I'm really glad I'm taking something because not only did I have the sinus issues, but its gone straight to my chest and when I laugh, I sound like a 20 year smoker. I kind of wheeeeeeeze and no sound comes out at first and then I start the cough-laugh. I'm glad we caught this before the cough-drop phase. That, according to my Aunt and Cousin (thanks for this brilliant term, girls!), is when you cough so much you drop a little pee. I had bronchitis when I was 8 months pregnant with Amanda. I know you don't really need me to go into any more detail than that but because I'm a giver, I'm going to. So my bladder was apparently paper-thin during pregnancy number 2 anyway and I would occasionally experience pregnancy panty wetting. But when I got sick and the coughing/TB ward thing started, I swear I had to start wearing pads. God it was awful. I'm glad the couch is leather.

In other doctor news, donations would be appreciated because my sweet husband, after enduring much nagging, finally had a sleep study done and is now using the sleep machine/darth vader thing for his apnea. But he accidentally forgot to check with the insurance and the sleep clinic twats didn't say anything and guess what? They are not an in-network provider. And he did 2 sleep studies. so...Sleep Study: $4000; machine to help you sleep better: $30/month; restful sleep: Priceless. or not so much. cuz we really needed to owe someone more money at this particular juncture in our lives. I'm still paying for Cliff's-we-haven't-met-our-deductible-cuz-its-February-broken-arm.

Speaking of money. I hate money. But that's not really the point. the point was to tell my readers that in the last couple days, I've been able to let go a little tiny bit of the anxieties about my joblessness. I am trapped by so many circumstances right now. and just having faith and seeing what happens is not really my thing. Cuz in my sick little head, all I hear is "God helps those who help themselves". And I tell myself to shut the hell up. And then I set about to making graphs, and budgets, and spreadsheets with color coding, and tireless googling, and bleeding ulcer activity. I have a hard time not having a plan. and this may change next week but for right now, I feel OK. Whatever happens, I feel OK.

I do have an interview Monday, which I hesitate to even mention because I am superstitious and kind of private about such things. when I applied, I was kind of excited at the job description. But when I spoke to the recruiting agent, I felt kind of deflated. Maybe I'll blog more about that later. So anyway I told Cliff that I'd have to drop him off, maybe, in the dreaded *insert suspenseful music here* cafeteria...before school on Monday so I could in turn drop Amanda off early so I could be on time. then a discussion about what being on time is all about and why its necessary at a job. And he asked me what happens if you're late. And I said, trying to keep it simple and not launch into a discussion about "well then your supervisor pulls you aside and makes you feel really stupid and maybe writes you up or something and then you sulk back to your desk and hate him/her"...I just said "well you can get fired".
And there was a very very brief pause. and he said "well I want you to get fired cuz I like it when you're home with me all the time."

*insert sound of car wreck or hysterical mother here* It actually made me smile. You mean, even though I yell at him allllll day, he still wants to hang out with me?!

and in that moment, it was kind of the affirmation from God that I needed. There may be a job in the future or not. If people would suddenly flood me with requests to design them websites, and brochures and tshirts and business cards, I would have it made in the shade and have the business I always wanted and this would all be a moot point. There may be a job in the future. But for now, I am exactly where I'm supposed to be...

...To witness and remember things like this:

Cliff: Mom, we should go out to dinner
me: yeah? where?
Cliff: Um...turkey-yaki.
me: *choke* oh...teppanyaki? japanese food?
Cliff: yeah! that!!

so just for making my day, I may take the lad on a date to a movie and some turkey-yaki.

Monday, September 14, 2009

short sentences

me=sick.

cliff blowing chunks - coughing fits.

not cool. on silk pillow.

amanda-death grip on father

waiting for paycheck from God.

missing: appetite. I should be grateful but I miss it.

much whining

sinus infection - again. 3 this year.

annoyed with weather. hot. cold. hot again.

worried. 2 kinds of flu shots. husband says "media bullshit" "vast left wing conspiracy". still worried. hotter than hell in summer, sick all the time in winter.
no one wins.

life sucks.

here ends the monday prose.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Progress...(the kids)

Cliff didn't get any "time outs" at school today. Tuesday or Wednesday he was in a time out more than not, but as the week progressed, with the help of some bribery, he got better and better and today he came home with the "star student" sticker!! He was quite pleased with himself and so was I!

Last night when we did his homework, I had to laugh. There were 4 shapes at the top of the pages, 2 circles, different sizes, and 2 triangles, different sizes. He had to sort them 2 different ways...and...this is the good part..."explain your thinking".

ROTF!! seriously? explain his thinking?!LOLOLOL!!! Its Kindergarten!! and he can't even explain his thinking when he's jumping off the bed, let alone when he's sorting shapes! LOL

In other news, Mandy has successfully given up the binky except at bedtime. We started last weekend just for grins and it was painless. She asked for it a couple times but didn't freak out when we said "no, only at bedtime". It was awesome. She's totally cool with it now!

Cliff used to find them around the house and just stuff them in her mouth. Which was fine. But I told him that since she was giving it up, if he found any, to please toss it in her crib without making a big deal of it.

So being the supportive big brother that he is, this is the conversation I heard this morning:

"MOooom!! I found a binky!!"
"Ok babe, just put it in her bed, ok?"
"OK!"
(pause)
"Hey Mandy, I found a binky but since you're a big girl you can't have it right now. Ok?"

right on cliff. way to be there for her. LOL I hope she doesn't come to you when she wants to stop smoking some day. "Well Mandy, I have some cigarettes here, and they smell great, but I'm going to hide them for you, OK?"

I have 3 sets of business cards that I've designed now. I just need a business to go with them. LOL

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things that BUG me.

well first of all, thanks for the comments on the mandatory post entry. feel free to weigh in at any time with any ideas you have for my life. I am so overwhelmed and terrified. I checked to see if God is on twitter but I didn't see any tweets about my life path. sigh.

secondly, the patio project is finished. It wasn't glamorous or anything but man is it SO much more usable!! It has cute lights hanging out there at night but I can't get a good picture of it. there's also a little fountain with a light. And flameless candles. its just so cute and neato. And we will actually sit out there when the weather is less than hotter than hell.

However, I think the project may have stirred up some things I'm not at all happy about. We have lived here in this house for NINE years and I have never ONCE seen a roach in this house. We've had ants and an occasional spider but never one single roach. This week there's been TWO! OH.MY.GOD. I could die.

Ok so let's take a journey back in time. I was 19. I moved into my own little shit hole apartment on Q street. For those of you not from here, it was just on the border of the hood. Lots of drugs and unsavory people but I was oblivious. I had a cute little loft with twinkle lights and no A/C. One night I went to step into my hot bath and a roach the size of my hand caught my eye. I screamed, burst into tears, and ran out of the room to call my mother.

that's right. I called my mommy. to tell her there was a roach in my bathroom (which was shut now so the demonic insect could not escape). I don't remember what she said or how much laughter she stifled while I cried but we hung up. I put on TWO isotoner leather gloves and TWO rubber gloves...all on one hand. yes. and I armed myself with the Dow foaming bathtub cleaner (you know, scrubby bubbles). I sprayed the bastard with the foam and then waited for him to die. this became my favorite method of dealing with bugs of all sorts because the foam covers them up so you don't have to watch them die. Then the foamy stuff clings to the 18 paper towels (18 so you don't have to FEEL any part of the creature in your hand) and you barely have to close your fingers. Then you dump it in the toilet and flush and cry.

And one time, about a year or 2 ago, I saw a black widow in my garage. she was probably ill because the bug man, who comes monthly, had just been here. She was right in my foot path and I was barefoot. The what-if's alone nearly sent me over the edge. i was GOING to walk, in the DARK, to the washer and move the clothes to the dryer. but at the last minute I flipped the light on to find the spider. I cried. I couldn't scream because Cliff was asleep nearby. I didn't have any Dow handy, do I did the next best thing. I dropped a gallon paint can, full, on her. Then I continued to do the freak-out dance and cry some more.

So as you can see, I do not handle bugs well. Seeing these 2 roaches in my home does not make me happy. My house is NOT dirty. Crayons in corners and sippy cups under the table don't count. My house gets cleaned every week!

this has to be from the outside construction, yes? ugh!!!
Oh I forgot to mention that the one tonight tried to kill me.

I was typing on facebook and out of the corner of my eye saw the little bastard and said out loud "oooh, noooooo, this can't be. this is unacceptable!!" so I put cliff's helmet/toy over the top of it and stomped into the kitchen for some spray. I came back and sprayed the thing copiously and then sprayed all the thresholds and corners. And then, i stepped in some of the spray with my heel, had zero traction and flew into the air, after nearly breaking my ankle, and landed on my back. I just laid there for a second, Raid can in my hand to take in the moment. I said, again out loud, "that sucked. ow. fucking roaches!" and then got up.
Henry commented, upon hearing of the incident, "for spiders, roaches, and klutzes". thanks. Can we sell the house now?!

As for Kindergarten, things are Ok. cliff is getting in trouble a little here and there for not listening. and for talking. he's antsy. he gets "time outs". I'm trying to not be up his butt about it while still trying to impress upon him that its important to do his best and listen. This week he has improved as the week has gone on. I express my frustrations with Cliff pretty honestly with certain people. Certain people make me feel better and understand, and other people make me feel like a piece of shit. I had a little of the latter this week but tried to shake it off. I'm just annoyed with the expectations of society that boys be robots. When I was in kindergarten, I cried every single day. the boys in my class, hit, and spit, and said bad words. I don't remember it EVER being a crisis. And Kindergartners are learning to read. My friends tell me that 3rd graders are learning the 3 branches of government and long division. 6th graders do algebra. this is crazy!! their brains are literally not mature and finished developing! And we expect little kids to sit still and grasp these concepts? And out of the other side of "our" mouths we have "no child left behind"...? I don't get it. In kindergarten, we did art and cutting and pasting (I've yet to see any evidence of paste or a glue stick because how could they possibly have time to do any ART when they are only there for THREE HOURS and they have to learn to READ!?!?) and we played...alot.

Anyway, frustrations with the system aside, I know very well what cliff's issues are. But I wouldn't call them abnormal or label them necessarily. But the person that made me feel like shit actually referred to it as "problems". "He has problems". grrrrrr. I have investigated explanations with an open mind and always just come back to the same conclusion. He's Henry's prodigy, he's full-on hyper active, and he's smart. and manipulative. and social. and sensitive. and immature. I don't think he "has problems". I think he's a pain in the ass, but I don't think he "has problems". grrrr. THAT BUGGED ME!!

Other than "his problems" he is doing great with his homework. and I look at the stuff they do in class and it seems he's listening to directions and what not. And his letters have improved just in this short amount of time.

I just hope he'll be able to write the "Gettysburg Address" in cursive and balance my checkbook by the end of Kindergarten so I can feel up to snuff with the world's expectations. I expect him to create his own website next year.

and speaking of expectations...the competitive parents at Taekwondo. dude. I'm a dance teacher, I'm flexible. I may be a fat-ass but I can kick my leg up. And let me tell you I wanted to do a round house kick into the side of a few dads' heads the other day. Their boys are so aggressive and intense. And the dads are out there talking crap about how their boy took out so and so, and look how he's kicking/hitting. Meanwhile the parent of the other child is right there within ear shot. Dude, they're 5-7 years old!!!! Grow a penis. Go raise your truck or something. Crack open a beer and drink it...anything to shut you the hell up! I'm gonna do a battement tendu into your manhood and a rond de jamb en lair upside your head! You're buggin'!!!

Hmpf!

Still waiting on enlightenment, by the way.

Thank God the bug man comes on tuesday. Open up the canister, buddy and pour it on the floor so I can mop with it. bathe the house it in and light a match. just get rid of the critters!!! aaaaaahhhh!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Mandatory Comment Post

Alright, here it is guys. I need your comments. And I want you to be serious.

If you could magically put me on the perfect path, in the perfect career, what would it be?

What do YOU think my "calling" is?

I know some of you don't really "know" me. go with your gut. Most of you have known me for a long time. So if you could pick the perfect "thing" for me to do, what would it be?

or if you by some chance got the fax from God that He meant to send to me, please tell me what it said.

What should I do?

(and just so you know, for some reason, posing this question to y'all makes me feel kinda giddy and nervous. I've always been the know it all with all the answers and I rarely ask for opinions. But I seriously want to know what the people who know me think.)

so cough up your comment. please. ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Motherhood Inc.

I need a vacation from motherhood today.
Is there paperwork? Who is in the Human Resources department for Motherhood?

I've worked several overtime shifts and I'd like to be compensated for those too.

And how do I file a complaint about hostile work environment? The little people I work for are ruthless! And sometimes rude. And stinky and sticky and messy. And they yell at me. Maybe its a stress claim I need to file?

I also have a workers comp claim I'd like to file for the constant pain in my neck and shoulders that I have incurred while performing this job. How do I go about doing that? Who pays for me to have my back fixed?

What time is my break????!!! These shifts are ridiculous. and my raise? hmmmm?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A True Soapbox Moment

I was talking to someone today about the half-day kindergarten issue. She was shocked that we only had half day kindergarten (we both live in the same town! but there are um-teen districts and she is lucky enough to be in one of maybe 3 districts that still has all day kindergarten) and she was feeling my pain, so to speak.

So I, for grins, got online and googled this. I am shocked and amazed that the debate still exists between stay at home moms and working moms. Really? come on people. Especially in this economy, just not everyone CAN do it on one income. It doesn't mean that families who have to have 2 working parents are crappy financial planners and are irresponsible. And not every family with a stay at home mom is better off and more nurtured. I never felt that my children were neglected by being in daycare. On the contrary, because we had GOOD daycare and they were genuinely cared for and loved, they THRIVED and learned and made friends. I nurtured them when we were together and I never felt like I took 2nd place to anyone at the school. That's just ridiculous. Its the type and quality of time you spend with your kid that matters, not necessarily the quantity. 8 hours with an exhausted grouchy short tempered unwilling to do anything mother is arguably not as great as 3 hours with a energized and fresh and ready mom who wants to hang out with her kid.

Its just ridiculous to have these rigid morays. Some people make statements about how children shouldn't be in all day kindergarten because their parents are just using the system as a babysitter and children belong in loving homes, cared for and nurtured by their parents. Yes, of course they do. But its incredibly simple minded to think that all stay at home moms are GOOD at it. And working parents DO need the child care because of the precise situation that I am in. I do not WANT to leave my kids anywhere any longer than necessary. However, when my kid gets out at 1140 (that means his school day is 8:08 - 11:40 and I am not even sure how they can get much done in that time. There is no teacher aide and there are 20 kids. But anyway...) and the after school programs (because kindergartners don't fit into the "daycare" category) start at 2:30, that obviously leaves a significant "no care available" gap for working parents. There are VERY limited options that are VERY expensive.

I still maintain that it should be an option for parents. But I forget that we live in a society with a narrowing range of choices. sigh.

so anyway, the whole stay at home moms are better than working moms debate is SO old. I have done both and could go on at length about what I like about either side. And I could blather on about the financial part of it. But that's just unnecessary.

I just wish people would think outside of their own box.

in other news...you know how you had that one boyfriend back in the day and you thought he really loved you and when you broke up it was just circumstances and stuff? Then several years later after some life experience you went "Oh. He really was just not that into me and I don't think he ever loved me." ? that is how I feel about my ex employer. I am still really hurt. The man who was my boss, who was always so seemingly supportive of me (and not really just seemingly...when I had my miscarriage he was totally supportive, when I had marital crises he was supportive, when I was on maternity leave in the middle of the busy season, he was totally cool) has YET to provide me with the letter of recommendation that he promised me and that, frankly, I deserve. I try not to use the words "I deserve" but damnit, I do. I busted my ass for them and they way they conducted the layoff was SO cruel and unnecessarily so. They knew it was coming for weeks. You'd think that someone might go "maybe we should have a letter ready for her"...but no. And its been SIX months. I have asked boss #2 what is up with that (boss #2 gave me a letter but he was much much less my boss than boss #1 who was the supportive longer term one) and he doesn't seem to get it either. But he's a man and he's all about the "move on". But I am not a man and I'm all about the "hanging on". And I am hanging on to this pain. Utter rejection. Not only do we not think highly enough of you to keep you in this job, but we're going to treat you very badly during the layoff procedure, and then we're going to not think highly enough of your 8 years of unswerving service to provide you with a letter of recommendation. ouch. I mean, really people, I AM trying to let it go. I'm praying and trying to...well...let it go...and its just stuck to me. It hurt. It seems lame to compare it to a love relationship but I did love that job and it was SO much a part of my identity...so much...that it was like a really bad break up.

So, sorry to belabor the point and bore my readers. But the take home lesson today is: People are no damn good and humans suck. (readers excluded of course!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Non-sequiteurs

I am still waiting, deciphering, discerning, trying to make sense of things. I feel like the answers are swirling around my head but I just can't quite reach up and pluck it down.
So I'm trying, trying, trying, to just BE. "Be still and know that I am God." that is my mantra.

Here is my insight for today. I used to believe that if you were grateful enough for something, nothing bad would happen to it. Not so. Living a life of gratitude is crucial, I think, but it doesn't guarantee anything. I know, that seems like a downer but for some reason it doesn't feel downer-y to me. I think what it has taught me is what genuine gratitude feels like.

In unrelated news, we had the first Kindergarten tears this morning. Mr. Morning Person (not) cried because when the bell rang, I wasn't visible and waving like I usually am. I was buckling Amanda in the car. I saw him through my windshield and saw his shoulders and head drop and recognized immediately the body language of a crushed Cliff. So I slammed Amanda's door and ran to the fence to soothe him. His teacher said he got over it in a few minutes. This is pretty typical for him. Its not the first day that is hard when we do something new...its the next few.

In contrast, I would have cried on day one. And on every day after that. No wonder my mother was exhausted with my tears. It was daily in Kindergarten. What a mess. By today's standards they would have labeled me as something no doubt. Asperger's or something. Poor broken Kelly. And then in the 3rd grade, the real Slim Shady stood up and while she's still a cry baby, Drama Diva never looked back.

More unrelated news. I put a new piece of sculpturey art over my fireplace mantle. Why is it somehow drawing attention to all the toys on the floor? Weird. its just goofy how changing just that has changed that whole side of the room. The new piece is red and while its 3d and sculpturey it blends into the brick. And I think because the eye isn't led up to where the orangey sunset picture was, your eye stays on the floor where ToysRus is. not sure how I feel about this. It was Cliff's idea to hang it up there! He said something about fancy restaurants. LOL

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fly By Post

Week 2 of Kindergarten. All is going well. Cliff was greeted enthusiastically at the gate by a darling little girl named Kaitlyn today. Then they waited for Audrey. And on the way out he said goodbye to Alyssa. And then we talked about Bailey. She's blonde and smiles at him...alot. And she has a cute smile and he likes it.

He did greet 2 boys so far. LOL

Been too busy to write much more. Children driving me in.sane. Dogs also. Patio finished. Looks nice. Before and after photos soon...when I have a few more minutes.

Just wanted to post that we are alive and I haven't hurt or maimed anyone so no need to send the Police to look for me or anything.

Must go shut damn dog up and move plant I just purchased, which is now in shock, to shade. I am not good with plants and Henry and my mother both give me enormous amounts of crap when I buy them. This is just a coleus. They are terrifically hearty but the snails devoured my last batch. The first batch did great and I forget what happened...froze during winter maybe. Then snails ate batch 2. Now on batch 3 and one big pot looks fantastic, the other is all wilty and pathetic. I know its shock. But I have to rectify it so I don't have to hear it from the plant woman/my mother. =)

stoooopid dog. She's lost her flipping mind!!

more soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Cafeteria Lady - and other spooky campfire stories...

Just FYI, as I type this, cliff is laughing hysterically and saying "Jump Mandy! Jump!" then "hahahahahahaahHA!" "ooooh!" "Jump mandy! jump!"

I should be concerned and get up, but I'm too mentally exhausted from dealing with stupid people.

So we're on Day 2 of Kindergarten. We're all OK so far. I'm extremely frustrated and in shock at how this "system" works.

Day one was great. The teacher was nice. I got a packet of information from her about drop off/pickup/lunch. It contained almost everything I needed to know that I could have gotten at an orientation and it would have been super duper nice to have had that hand out before the first day of school.

The kids are dropped off and picked up in the cafeteria, regardless of whether they eat or not. But no one knew that on the first day so all the Kindergarteners gathered at the door of assigned room. Cliff did great! No tears! He was awesome.

When I picked him up they were parading to the cafeteria. I was so excited to see him. I had instructed him that morning that I wanted every detail of his day, to which he replied "I can't remember ALL of it mom" (and it hadn't even happened yet!). So as instructed, he told me as much as he could remember about his day. It sounded pretty good.

Today I dropped him off in the cafeteria and hung around. I had packed him a combination breakfast lunch figuring, if he has to wait around in the cafeteria regardless, he may as well have something available to snack on while he waits. So I tried to get him settled at the Kindergarten table where all his friends were eating the school breakfast. Cliff was all confused about what to eat and I explained to him that he could eat his yogurt from his lunchbox and whatever else he wanted out of there. He's not an eater at all so its just a bunch of snacks: grapes, granola bar, yogurt, capri sun, chips, etc etc. So he ate his yogurt and his doritos (yuk) and the janitor lady teased him about eating his lunch for breakfast. I bit my tongue. I followed them when they were escorted to the classroom and watched him play on the Kindergarten playground until they went inside. Some other janitor lady and 2 6th grade-ish girls were the assigned supervision for the kindergarten playground. yes, you read that right. The 2 girls were playing ON the equipment. One of them said "crap". Its not as though I'm a prude and my kid never hears bad words but he doesn't need to hear it from them on the Kindergarten playground! strike 453 against Nichols. OK, maybe its about strike 4. Oh yes, I AM keeping score.

So when I picked him up today, he was at the table in the cafeteria looking forlorn and confused, with a hot lunch in front of him. It was gross first of all, and I had to pay for it second of all, and he had a friggin lunch in his backpack, lastly. He was confused so it was no biggie. So I inquire how does this work since we have to pay for this now...so the teacher, who is equally as overwhelmed and confused, says she'll introduce me to the cafeteria lady.

The cafeteria lady, who looks as though she's just been paroled from Corcoran Women's Prison, asks me if I got "the form". I said "I got the reduced fees/free lunch form. Is there a 'regular' form?" She just stared at me. "I don't qualify for reduced fee lunches. how does this work? I don't have a buck on me right now. Do you keep my kid until I pay, or does the office bill me each month or what?" She just looked and me and stammered about 'the form' some more. She continued to tell me that from today's lunch he's "in the system" (God help us, he's IN the SYSTEM!) and we'll be charged now. Ok, how? Again, does Guido hold my child until I pay or is there a billing format? blank stare. Ok thanks, I'll fill out the form...buh-bye.

About that time the Corcoran Women's prison cafeteria lady (CWPCL) handed some other mother her ass for taking 2 milks and the mom specifically said "Hi, I have 2 milks here, can you bill them on my kids accounts?" (or something to that effect perhaps less articulate, but it was clear even to me.) and the cafeteria lady just flipped the hell out about the milk. Mom who got her ass handed to her was blocking my exit so I was a captive audience. Then CWPCL yelled at a girl who was attempting to leave the choatic scene with a tray full of food. geez. Seriously, I believe everything everyone told me about the public school system after this 5 minute "conversation". I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

So on the way out of the mess, I forgot to sign Cliff out. More on that in a minute.

I sat him down on a bench and explained to him that he will be bringing his breakfast AND his lunch forever and to never get in that line with the crazy cafeteria lady again. Did he understand? He said yes, but his other questions indicated confusion. So we rehearsed. "Ok I'll pretend I'm Mrs. Zachery." "OK!"
"OK children, raise your hand if you are buying a hot lunch today" he started to raise his hand and I shook my head. he smiled and put it down. "Raise your hand if you have a cold lunch, a sack lunch, a boxed lunch, if you brought your lunch" (I tried to think of every possible phrasing for this). He stared at me and I nodded and smiled. So he raised his hand. We repeated this exercise until we both felt like he got it.

So before the hand raising exercise, a well meaning mom overheard our conversation and asked me "did you fill out the form?" "No" I replied "I don't think i qualify for the reduced fee lunches and all that" "Oh", she said "Do you get WIC?" (that's a gov't subsidized food program for "women, infants and children" for those of you not in California or not aware) I silently signed and said "No, no I don't get WIC" She continued. "Well my husband makes $18 and hour and we get WIC and I've never paid for school lunches" "Oh really?" I said, "OK, good to know, thanks! I'll fill out that form"

I have no intention of filling out their effing form and disclosing my effing income that does not effing qualify...and there's nice neat little chart right on the form that says what your income has to be in order to qualify. Pretty sure I can figure it out.

So am I the ONLY parent who has EVER gone through this school who does NOT qualify for government assistance?!?! Puh-lease people!? this is so insane!!!!

So I got home and realized that I forgot to sign him out after that cafeteria chaos. I called the office and said "blah blah blah, son...kindergarten...forgot to sign him out, blah blah" she chuckled a pleasant church lady laugh and said "Oh that's fine, as long as you have him".

I SO wanted to say "Oh I do have him alright. you don't know WHO *I* am, and I'm going to bake him in a pie right now. Thanks!!"

Then I sat down, exasperated and frustrated, and called a magnet school in the neighborhood that has a waiting list a mile long. They don't take any inter-district transfers, the VERY nice lady on the phone said, "because we're a magnet school". I wanted to cry and wail: "But you sound so nice, and pleasant, and possibly intelligent, and my former 6th grade teacher teaches kindergarten there, and there's an afterschool arts program! PLEASE please PLEASE!!!!" But I just whined and said thanks and she apologized and we hung up.

So then I called a private church school who has a preschool up through middle school I think. For Amanda to go there for two HALF days a week, its $426 a month. She is doing two half days now for $152/month!!!!! HOLY CRAP. I didn't even bother to ask what their tuition for elementary school is, or if they use Jesus as a tool to instill shame and manipulate the children (as the last Christian private school did: "Your behavior is making Jesus sad".)

I just about threw the phone across the room. I handed it to Amanda instead, which accomplishes the same end goal. See? I am not allowed to leave this situation. I am stuck here...for some reason. for some MADDENING reason!!!!

I guess if things stay this effed up long enough, I will qualify for free school lunches and they will wear me down to the point of insanity and I will be as stupid as the people that work there and then it won't be frustrating anymore. Where's my "mediocre mom" cape?

Don't other people who are like minded to myself (and by that I mean reasonably intelligent, reasonably sophisticated people...not crazy people) use the public schools? Certainly not all of them can afford private school? are they ALL lucky enough to be in a good district? Am I really all alone here? It sure feels like it.

Well, I'm gonna go fill out "the form" now. (No, not REALLY!)

TA-TA!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Now if we could have met her, I would actually shut up...

So I've called Nichols like 10 times since enrollment. Each time, they told me they'd post classes on August 21st. I assumed it would be during the day. Ooooh but I'd assume wrong! Because most of MY assumptions are based on reasonable actions on the part of the school. stupid kelly! I went with Cliff this morning and no, the classes are not posted until after 5pm. What? really? Am I on candid effing camera? Cuz this is really just silly at this point. Stupid. Ridiculous. Outrageous. All my other friends are facebooking and blogging about Kindergarten orientation. We get Mystery Teacher Behind Door Number X.

Anyway, I went back this EVENING and he is AM Kindergarten and has Mrs. Zachary. I am posting her name because I am sure all of my poor readers will be hearing something about her, and probably frequently, in the future.

I have no idea where to pick him up. Do I go in the classroom? Do I hover outside? I have no idea how the cafeteria works. Do I send him with money? Nothing gets mailed to us to inform us of anything. Do these people get their training from the EDD?

I'm sure that looking back on this at some point, I will go "Man, I was alllll nutted up over nothing". But I'm not there yet. I feel like the one salmon swimming up a stream of logic.

My mom, I'm sure after 36 years of becoming exhausted while watching me battle the world, keeps trying to down play it and say it'll be fine, it's fine, we didn't have orientations when you guys were little, Cliff will be fine. yes, he'll be fine, but that's not the point. Its the principle. its always the principle with me. My boxing gloves are on, man. I think this kind of NON information and NON communication with the parents is inexcusable and totally unnecessary and frankly, just plain lazy on the part of the school. I'm sure she is very tired of seeing that wild look in my eye and hearing the exasperation in my voice. She probably wishes that I were way more chillaxed about the whole thing. But then, I wouldn't be the Soapbox Diva, now, would I? Sorry mom, ranting is my calling. I am, therefore I rant.

I just want to be prepared, as a mother, and a human. Is that so wrong? Its the crux of my life...being prepared. its why I carry a purse big enough to carry Amanda in, and why my car looks the way it looks. I have everything with me all the time. You need clippers, I have clippers. You need tape? yep. Tampons? yep. (although I haven't required one in 7 years, TMI sorry.) nasal spray, eye drops, curling ribbon, snacks, disco music, safety pins, hats, socks, baby wipes? yep! I have never run out of anything EVER. We've never been out of toothpaste, toilet paper, lotion, milk...I don't run out of things. I am an inventory management queen. The milk carton screams at me "I am at my order point now". Its the product of both my first job, my college education, and my genes. Can't be helped. So in this vein, I also want to be prepared for my baby boy. I want to know where to go and when and how it will work so I can help him. Yes its somewhat for me too, I'm not in denial about that. But again, he is a kindergartner...is it too much to ask for some advance notice and information?

Its actually a good thing that my patio project, which is moving slower than the school district, is going on to distract me somewhat from the kindergarten issue. Can you imagine if ALL of my considerable energy was devoted to JUST the kindergarten issue?

Be afraid people, be very afraid. The capricorn-aquarius-type-A-who-thinks-she's-a type-B-genetically-predisposed-to-anal-retention-german-girl-who-dyed-her-hair-red to-match-her-personality-and-who-is-a-fiercely-protective-individual has a soapbox and isn't afraid to use it!!