Monday, July 30, 2012

While I Was Away...

I'm baaaaaack!  Summer has begun, folks.  Yay!  Baseball ended yesterday, with a bittersweet loss and then a quick drive to see my nephew's team win their championship last night.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day, perfect for watching youth baseball, and to be honest, I really am sad it's over this year.

But it was four days a week for us.  And A has been in trumpet lessons every week until this past week.  So those little commitments have made it difficult to do some of the fun summer things we have been wanting to do, so we're going to do lots of fun stuff over the next three weeks before football starts.

Holy cow this coffee tastes good.

So here's my updates for the long week I've been absent.  I have met with my advisor at the University. What a weird experience that was.  I found out that all my credits still stand, and I am still an upperclassman, however, I unfortunately have taken all my lower level requirements and so now after a 20-year hiatus I have to start in with upper level classes.  That is sort of terrifying.  The worse news is that they still haven't been able to figure out how to clear one of my ancient holds, so I have to wait until they get that straightened out before I can actually register.  I'm hoping a bunch of phone calls today will clear that up.  I'm also going to spend some time today shopping for what class I want to start with.  I will actually have to drive out there for all my classes, too.  My hopes that there would be some online options were not fulfilled.  I guess it really isn't like one of those schools I see advertised while I'm watching my daytime television...

I have eaten more sunflower seeds than I care to admit over the past few weeks.  I started during the baseball tournaments a couple weeks ago, and I think I have a problem.  And I don't want to know how much water I'm retaining from the salt...

Hubby's band had a gig!  It was so much fun to get out to a bar and be a grown up for a night.  We were out nice and late.  First, I brought A and J over to SIL3's house, where she had her regular babysitter coming over.  So they hung out with their cousins, and SIL3 and I went to the gig together.  We had dinner first, and I loved every second of hanging out with her.  We do NOT get out enough, and she is the best.  I can tell her anything, and she makes me belly laugh.  The gig was really good--two really heavy metal bands, and the hubby's rock band.  They're not so heavy, but they're primarily rock guitar, so I think that's why we were put in that category.  I hadn't seen them on a stage in years, and they are so good!  The guys from the other bands were watching our guitar player and filming him with their phones like he was some kind of celebrity.  Kind of funny, actually.  But the most fun was watching SIL3 bouncing around on the dance floor dancing with all the headbangers.  She was obviously having so much fun, and I was in awe of her free spirit.

I mowed.  And now I need to mow again.

I got my house sort of picked up.  Now I need to do it again.

I finished the laundry.  I have more laundry to do now.

I applied for a job.  WHAT?????  Yep, I did.  It's the first time I've even considered applying for a job since I left my last job in 2001.  It's a secretarial position at one of the local elementary schools.  They want a bi-lingual (spanish) secretary, so I have no shot at it, but I just wanted to get my name in the hat and in the district's hat, in case I want to try again in the future.  There was a time I was bi-lingual.  I finished my minor in Spanish a the University, and I actually tested fluent.  But, again, that was 20 years ago.  And I haven't used the language really since.  So I knew I wasn't really bi-lingual, but I figured I'd have a chance to tell them that I could be again quickly, and that I was going back to school...

So they called me for an interview.  Well, the district SPANISH INTERPRETER called me for an interview.  And it really was hilarious.  She told me she had to ask me a series of questions in Spanish, and that I was to try to answer them in Spanish.  Wha...?!?  So she rattled off the first question, and I actually started laughing.  This lady obviously had not read my application, where I wrote a whole paragraph about how rusty I was.  But I pretty much understood her question, so I re-asked it to her in English, and then I answered in English.  And then that's how I handled all the rest of the questions as well.  Awesome.  I thanked her for her time and patience, joked around with her for a bit, and hung up the phone, knowing that was the end of that.

But I don't feel badly about it.  At least I went through the steps, right?  And I'm definitely not sure I'm ready for that kind of a thing anyway.  The full-time job thing.  But my mid-life crisis is still in full-swing, so I'm definitely searching.  For SOMETHING.

I have decided I'm going to go ahead with learning how to drive a motorcycle, not just ride one.  So hopefully over the next couple weeks hubby will start working with me.  Wheee!

I'm having a big shindig at my house this week.  Friday night.  I've invited a bunch of baseball families (new friends!  Yay!) over for a barbecue, and guess what--I'm not even nervous about it!  Who am I?  We're just going to grill a bunch of hot dogs and hamburgers and put a bunch of drinks out, and I'm having people bring munchies to share.  The kids will all run around and the parents will sit by the fire pit, eating and drinking and chatting.  I'll put on some music and play a slideshow of the baseball pictures.  Easy-peasy.  I think the main reason I'm relaxed about it is that my house isn't hoarder-like at the moment.  It should take me less than a day to get it so I don't mind that people are seeing it.  But we'll see how I'm feeling Friday morning...

So now I'm looking forward to a fun few weeks.  I think tomorrow we might hit the Science Museum with my mom.  We will be heading to the zoo with my sweet Chihuahua friend and her boys this week, I need to take the kids to the water park for a day, and we'll have some buddies over.  Summer is finally here.  I'll also be able to keep in touch with all my lovely readers more, since I'll have more time and energy to post in the coming weeks.  I love you all for sticking with me, and I'll be back soon!  XOXO

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Lady

Oof.  My feet and legs are killing me.

Yesterday was an adventure.  In very typical style for my life.  It makes me wonder what the hell I'm thinking sometimes.

I left my house around 7:00 a.m., so I could be sure, considering rush hour traffic, to be at my mom's place by 8:00 to meet up with my sister so we could head over to campus.  I made it, and after hanging out for a little while trying to figure out what is wrong with my mom's cameras, we left at about 8:20.  (The timing of the morning will become significant later.)

We arrived at the campus around 8:40 or so, and parked along a residential street.  I was already feeling a little sentimental because I parked in almost the same exact spot that I parked the VERY first time I drove myself to the campus, in the late summer of 1989.  Crazy.  So we went and had a bagel on our way in, which was lovely, and then headed to the Veteran's Affairs office, which was our first stop.  And this is when the craziness started.

I should explain.  The reason we had to stop at the VA office first was because my dad was a Vietnam Vet, and the Navy has attributed his cancer to his exposure to Agent Orange while he was serving.  Because they say his death was a direct result of his military service, his children receive a benefit of waived tuition to an approved school, and the University is one of those schools.  So this is why we are now able to fulfill our desire to finish school.  Thanks dad.

But we had to go to the VA office to turn in the appropriate paperwork for all of this, and so that's where we started.  It was there that we met the lovely Jenny.  Jenny is a cute college kid, much like everyone else who worked with us that day.  We had excellent luck, because all the offices we needed were open during these summer months, and there were no lines, so it worked out well.  Jenny went through our paperwork, made all the right copies, and was extremely helpful with everything.  Our first hiccup was with the sister, and the question of whether the benefit would work for her yet, as she's not yet fully admitted to the school, but that's a whole different story.  And besides, it sounds like it may work out anyway.  Then we found out about the second hiccup.  I asked her if she had access to our files, and indeed she does.  She printed out an unofficial transcript for me, and I asked her to check if I had holds on my record, since I had heard that would be the only reason why I may not be able to register.  Indeed I did.  Of course.  I had two.  But Jenny's eyes got very wide, and she said, "I've never seen these holds before."  Of course she hadn't.  They are mine.  That is the story of my life.  Apparently there was one in the Gopher ticket office for athletic tickets and one at the Coffman Union. They are both 20 years old, so of course I have no recollection of what they were, but I can only assume they were for bad checks, very possibly for Football tickets and for a chicken sandwich.  That was the way I had to roll sometimes back then.  The ramen years.

So anyway, I had to clear these up.  But we figured out all the next steps we had to take, and went on our way after joking with Jenny about our situations, and how grateful I was that my records weren't on Microfiche, but actually in the computer.  Ha!  Oh, and sister actually was able to tentatively sign up for a few Extension classes while we were there.  We're being optimistic that everything will work out for her.

We then went over to the One Stop office around the corner, where I was going to try to clear up my holds.  The One Stop program is a new thing to me, a sweet program where they manage everything you need as a student on the computer.  It's way cool.  But the problem was, the cutie who was helping me there had never seen my holds before either.  He called the appropriate numbers for the departments, and they were befuddled as well.  Apparently, my holds were placed back when they had to be chiseled into stone tablets, and long before they had a computer code.  Yay me!  So basically the decision was made that I should just try to register around them, and that if I ran into a problem they could just delete the holds.  I wondered why they didn't just do that anyway, but who am I?  Just some weird old lady.

Our next stop was Johnston Hall, home of CLA.  There, I needed to set up an appointment with an advisor.  This one was weird.  The office of CLA is really dumpy.  There was this sour-looking girl with this old-lady dress on with tennis shoes, which was weird because I swear she looked like she was about 20.  She was cranky, and kept interrupting the kid who was trying to help me about when her lunch break was.  He eventually shut her up and then gave me my information, sending me to another office with an advisor's name, Claudia.  I went up to set up my appointment with Claudia.  This office was busier, with lots of kids sitting around waiting.  When I approached the desk, I noticed a sign-in sheet.  People sign in with their names and their Student ID numbers.  This was also super cool because  these are 7-digit numbers.  This has not changed.  I still keep my original student ID.  However, all these numbers began with a 4 or a 5.  Mine starts with a 1.  Yes, a 1.  Yay me!  But I got my appointment set up with Claudia for Wednesday afternoon, so then I'll really get the ball rolling.  I also found out I still have a declared major in Spanish, which was interesting.

I forgot to mention how great it was to see my hideous old transcript.  Man, my priorities were NOT academics back then.  But it's the story of that time of my life, right there on paper.  The fact that during my last year of enrollment, my classes included the History of Walt Disney, American Indians in Cinema, Spanish, and Fundamentals of Music proves that I had no idea whatsoever what the hell I was doing.  But I did find out that I got a D in Logic, which was sweet because for some reason I always thought I failed that one.

Then we were off to Williamson, where we had to hand in my name-change form.  You see, although I have been married to my darling hubby for 16 years, I was still an unmarried wild child then, and everything is in my maiden name.  So we took care of that.

And off to Coffman Union.  Here we needed to visit the Tech Center to get our Computer accounts set up and all that fun stuff.  We also needed to get the magic UCard, which entitles us to all the beauties of attending college in the technical age.  It's your bank account, your ID card, your life.  All on a small plastic rectangle.  Here's the funny thing about this, though--when we left the VA office, it had started sprinkling, and by now, it was full-on raining.  And we were walking.  Outside.  A lot.  We looked like sweaty, tired, old, drowned rats.  And now we got to face getting our pictures taken for the new little magic cards!  Yay us!  Thankfully, we did find out that I needed to wait until Wednesday to get mine, after I was registered for class.  But the sister had to get hers!  And it was a beautiful shot of a deer in headlights.  Or a very surprised middle aged lady.  It's awesome.

By this time we were starved.  And tired.  And needing an adult beverage.  Or several.  So we went to one of our old hangouts for some lunch.  Thankfully, it was still there, and we got some good, cheap Vietnamese food.  Then we popped over to a new funky place (well, new to us anyway) for a beer.  That was the best thing we could have done.  Nice break from all the insanity.

After a couple more quick things, we headed back to the car.  Our legs were getting tired, we were SUPER hot, and still somewhat damp from the rain.  We got to the car, grateful that we would be sitting in the air conditioning.

Only the car wasn't there.

I had been towed.  Yay me!  Here's where the time from the morning becomes significant.  We arrived on campus before 9 a.m.  There were cars lining the streets, and we had squeezed into an open spot.  When we came back and noticed the empty street, we saw the sign, tucked into some trees, that there was no parking on that side of the street from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

People, I almost started weeping openly.  But we are tough old broads, so we dealt with it.  We called to find out where the car had been towed.  This was no small task.  Apparently, there is no record of an impound lot in Minneapolis.  After LOTS of calling, and LOTS of screaming swear words to nobody in particular, we were successful tracking down a number and the location of my car, along with the information that this would be a $200 adventure.  We got on a city bus, remembering the route it took, and believing it would drop us off close to the impound lot.

It did.  Several blocks away, but still.  Walkable.

Except it was several blocks away according to actual distance, not walking distance.  We were across a couple freeways from where we needed to be, and had to walk for a very long time to get around to the other side, where we needed to be.  It was hot.  Damn hot.  We were hot.  And tired.  Damn tired.  So we are two middle aged, out-of-shape ladies, carrying my big bag of crap (and my iPad), in inappropriate footwear for distance power walking, thirsty, and grumpy.

By the time we got to the lot, I had almost lost my voice from yelling swear words like a crazy homeless person.

We got into the car, and drove back to my mom's place in exhaustion.

But the story doesn't end here.  Almost, though.

The MOH's parents are in town (If you don't know who my MOH is, see this post).  They had arrived at my mom's while we were on campus, and when we got back to mom's they wanted us to go out to dinner.  I felt like I should probably go.  So we dragged our poor, abused selves to the malt shop with them.  I ordered a BLT on white toast.  My MOH's Dad (who I love very much, by the way, and have since I was a small child) immediately starts telling me about how white foods like white bread and flour and pasta are basically poison, and he has been doing extensive research about it, and how it is very possibly going to lead to my death.  Then I try to change the subject and talk about how excited I am that they are going to see A's last baseball game this year, and how excited I am about the upcoming youth football season.  He looks at me in shock and says, "don't you EVER watch the news?"  He informed me about the crisis about kids getting concussions from these sports, especially football, and how much research he's also done about this, and basically infers that I am a horrible failure of a parent for even considering allowing them to play this evil, deadly sport.  I'm sitting right next to him.  I look across the table at my equally exhausted sister, and stuck my finger in my mouth like a gun, and motioned that I was shooting myself and my brains were spraying out of my head all over my lovely MOH's dad's beard.  She's just shaking her head.

And that's how my day ended.  I made it home.  Hugged my boys.  Looked around at my messy house and wondered what I'm getting myself into.  I can't keep up with my life now.  How can I possibly think I'll be able to when I'm a student and possibly an employee along with what I do now?  WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING?????

I truly am Flying by the Seat of My Pants.  Barely hanging on to my sanity.  Thank you all for holding my hand.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Oh, man, I did NOT sleep well last night.  I'm sort of freaking out.  This is apparently how small (and comfortable) my life has become:  I'm freaking out because today signifies change.  In my life.  I feel like I'm not really at a fork in the road, but a possible turn.  Like I could either continue going straight ahead and be just fine, or take the exit ramp and go into a town I've never been before, and I chose the exit ramp.

Today I'm going out to the University with my sister.  We're going together for moral support, with the goal of figuring out what we need to do to register, and possibly registering for classes beginning this fall.  Yikes!  I am so nervous, people.  And it feels ridiculous to admit that, since going to that campus to me feels like visiting my hometown.  But this time I'm not just watching a game and getting a beer.  I am starting my next chapter.  And I.  Am.  Scared.

My life is so comfy.  I am not good with change.  I'm starting to feel time passing, though, and I'm having more time to consider my possibilities, since my kids are getting older and needing me less and less (sniff).  So here goes, I'm just going to see what else is out there, think about what I like to do, what makes me feel like I matter, and figure out how to chase that.  I'll let you know what happens.

I'll write more later, but I have to go get some more coffee and get in the car.  We had an overnight guest the night before last, and it was so much fun!  My A had his "best friend" (be still my heart) over, and wow, was it cute.  I'll fill you in soon.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Oh my Goodness!  I've been nominated for an award!  A MAJOR AWARD!

(For those of you who don't get the obscure reference, A Christmas Story is one of my all time faves.)

It's the Sunshine Blogger Award, and I'd like to thank my new friend The Vintage Boomer for the nomination.  She is truly lovely, please go check her out here.  I heart her.

I'd also like to express my appreciation for the instant blogging topic!  I was going to write about youth baseball today, since J's season just ended, but I had decided to wait with that until after A's season is over, in a couple weeks.  I'm sure you'll all be sweating with all the anticipation...

This award has a few rules!  But they're fun rules!  They are as follows:

1.  Include the Award Logo in a post, or on your blog page.  (Check.  See above.)

2.  Answer 10 questions about yourself.  (Here will be the meat of my blog post today.)

3.  Nominate 10-12 other Fabulous Bloggers.  (I'll do that at the end.  This will be easy.)

4.  Link your nominees to your post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

5.  Share the love and link the person who nominated you.  (Check.  See above.)


Ten Questions and Answers:

1.  What would you most like to change about yourself?
Ay yi yi.  I can think of a couple biggies.  First of all, my stick-to-it-iveness.  I am a master at starting things and not finishing.  Such as college, but hopefully I will remedy that soon.  Such as exercise plans.  Such as LOSING THE DAMN WEIGHT!  Again, hopefully I will remedy that soon.  The other thing is my listening skills.  I know people who really listen, and I'm so envious.  I can talk to them about some random thing, and I swear to God they remember what I said two years later.  It really makes you feel important when you know somebody is not just hearing you, but really listening.  I want to be that person.

2.  What is your theme song?
Seriously?  I have to pick one?  Holy crow.  I will have you know that I sat here for a good long time before I got it, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks.  This one fixes what ails me every time.
What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.  Take a listen!

3.  One part of your life, a memory, action, etc., that you wish you could surgically remove from your brain?
Wow.  Now this one is very personal, and gets right to the core of me and my dark passenger.  The darkest days of my life were when I was about to turn 18, when I should have been having the time of my life.  The details are something I am completely not ready to make public here, but someday I'm hoping to be ready.  I would surgically remove that.  For sure.  But I have another.  I was in a car accident when my J was 3 years old.  It was a pretty bad one, and he ended up having to go to a hospital in an ambulance and be there for four days, ending up with a neck brace for several weeks.  Turns out he was fine, they were just being very cautious because of a weird mark on his MRI, but still.  I felt like I almost killed my baby.  It stayed with me for a VERY. LONG. TIME.  I'd LOVE to get rid of that memory.  shiver.

4.  What generation do you wish you had been a part of?
No question.  The post WWII generation.  The clothes!  The hair!  The way the men were men, and the women were so sassy!  The music!  The dark red lipstick!  The cars!  Seriously, I would have LOVED it.

5.  What was your favorite childhood toy?
Hm.  I have a little list.  My Mandy and Jenny Dolls:
My roller skates:
and my pop-up treehouse:

Ahhh, the good old days.

6.  What is your favorite housecleaning chore?
I really like ironing.  And vacuuming.  And cleaning the bathrooms.  Hubby says I like to make order out of chaos, so generally I enjoy cleaning.  I'm sick...

7.  Do you twitter?
I have an account.  I pretty much never check it.  I follow Will Ferrell and Rainn Wilson and Ellen Degeneres.  But I never tweet or know what they're tweeting, so....

8.  Any goals?
To lose some weight before the holidays.  And to get myself back into school.  Easy-peasy, right?!?

9.  Do you really drink margaritas all the time?

10.  What is the ugliest car you've ever driven and were embarrassed to be seen in?
Oh my gosh, I wrote a post about this a long time ago!  It's right here:
My car post
Mine was WAY more beat up...
I'd have to say it was the Chevette.  When I was a senior in high school, we were new to town.  Yes, I was a new kid my senior year.  I got a gross turd-brown 1979 Chevette to drive to school.  It was in really bad shape.  The worst part of it was, we were broke.  And I ended up enrolled in some swanky school district where there were tons of rich kids and the parking lot was full of fancy cars.  That students drove.  And I pull in with this turd-on-wheels that would backfire so loud it sounded like a bomb went off, and give people heart attacks, and then pour all this black smoke out the back end.  And sometimes, I'd park, turn the key and take it out, and get out of my car and start walking before the engine would actually stop.  Then it would backfire again and scare the shit out of people again.  Have you seen Uncle Buck?  Yeah, that was me.  Sweet.

So that's it for the questions!  Now to nominate some bloggers!  Woo hoo!  I strongly recommend you go check these folks out--they're a fun read for sure.

1.  Joy Unexpected
She's the first blogger I followed, long before I started myself.

2.  Dude of the House

3.  Thrifty Decor Chick

4.  Not My Mom's Blog

5.  Twins Happen

6.  The Somewhat Sane Mom

7.  Blissfully Discontented

8.  Motherhood: A Descent Into Madness

9.  Diary of a Delirious Mom

10.  Mama's Mumbo Jumbo

Thank you, Miss Vintage Boomer!  This was pretty fun.  Keep writing, fellow bloggers, and keep reading, those of you who are here!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Can Calgon Take Me Away?

Before I get into this, I have to make sure you all know something:  J is a good kid.  He's my nine-year old, and he is truly exceptional.  He's brilliant, he's affectionate and loving, and he's super funny.


Yesterday was a rough day with my J.  He LOVES the computer and my iPad.  He plays this Minecraft game, he watches funny videos on YouTube, and on my iPad he loves to play all the different games we have.  But it is MY computer.  And MY iPad.  And we, as dutiful parents, limit the time he is on them.  It's a generous limit, mind you, but we control (supposedly) the amount of time he uses these things, for obvious reasons.  His main rule is simple:  ask before you use them.

He has had difficulty following that rule.  It is incredibly complex, after all.  (snort.)  I have had talks with him about it, I have cut him off for a day.  The other day I told him if I catch him going on without asking again, he is off the computer AND the iPad for a week.  Reasonable, in my opinion.

So yesterday I was outside with hubby for JUST A COUPLE MINUTES and when we came in I saw Jack hurrying to shut my iPad, which was sitting on the charger on the kitchen counter.  My blood boiled, but I just calmly looked at him.  Oooooh, he looked guilty!  Flashbacks of my own childhood were flying through my mind.

Me:  Would you like to tell me what you're doing?

J:  (silence.  Blank stare.)

Me:  Did you ask permission?

J:  Sorry.

Me:  You know what that means, right?

J:  Yes, a week.

Me:  Yep.

And then he trudged out of the room, defeated, but trying to act normal.  After all, it's not like he could argue.  But then I was in my office at the desk, and he came CRAWLING into the room, saying he felt so guilty that he said he could barely walk.  AUGH!  If I wasn't so supremely irritated I would have thought it was funny.  So I told him to go to bed if he feels that weak.  He just kept lying there waiting for some pity, and it was making me crazy.  So I said, "J, I'm a bit concerned.  I know you feel guilty, and you should.  So suck it up.  But I'm concerned because had I not walked in at that second and caught you, you would have finished what you were doing and shut down the iPad, and you would have gotten away with it.  Then you wouldn't have felt bad, and that bothers me so much.  You need to make the RIGHT decision.  Even if it doesn't fit in with what you would like to do in that second.  If you would have waited a few minutes, I would have come in, you could have asked permission, and we wouldn't be in this mess.  You made this CHOICE, and now you own the consequences.  So if you would like to be all whiny and dramatic, feel free to do it in your room, with the door shut."

And I left the room, patting myself on the back for not throwing my stapler at him.

So then that drama was over, and we continued on with our day.

Then it's late evening, and I'm working on a project at the dining room table, watching a Hoarding show on TV.  In my happy place, in other words.  A asks if he can watch TV, and I said they could downstairs in the family room.  I was using this TV.  He's got a bowl of Cheetos, and he's making himself some hot chocolate.  He asked if he could watch in my bedroom instead.  For "cozy time."  So I said they could, but NO food or drink in my bed.  Which they know.  They use these little lap desks as tables on the floor and have a snack ON MY FLOOR before they crawl in the bed.  He gets all excited because I don't always let them lounge around in my room (they can't be in a room without destroying it, after all), and he goes and changes into his p.j.'s and a robe.  Very cute.  So he and J start getting ready to go up there, and I happily settle into my project.

Until J comes downstairs freaking out that he SPILLED HOT CHOCOLATE IN MY BED.  WTF?????  And it's all over him.  So I trudge up there, and yep, it's spilled.  Lots of it.  It is on some of the pillows (soaked through the pillowcases to the pillows, mind you).  It is on the flat sheet.  It is on the fitted sheet (soaked through to the mattress pad, and then to the mattress, mind you).  It is on the duvet cover.  Soaked through to the down comforter.


So I start hollering random mom cliches, stripping the bed and making them put each piece down the chute.  They're looking at me like they're afraid I might throw them down the flight of stairs.  Don't think it didn't cross my mind.  I get the bed cleaned up and re-made, and then just go back downstairs, hoping not to see them anymore for the evening.  Right then is when hubby gets home from work and I told him the whole thing.  Then I got a beer and just started watching my Hoarding show again.

A few minutes passed, when a paper airplane flew into the room.  I picked it up, and it was a note from A telling me how much he loves me and how much he loves his family, and closing with, "so as you can see I'm so sorry about the hot choclit."  That kid.  So I of course gave him a hug and kiss and said thanks.

I think J is feeling pretty low now, because I really didn't see him again until I went up to bed.  The two were laying in A's bed, J was watching him play games on his iPod.  I said good night, and told them once again that I love them always.  Even when I'm super mad at them, I never stop loving them.  And I went to bed.

It's true--I never do stop loving them.  I just need to get the hell away from them sometimes.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mid-Life Crisis?

I think I'm entering the early stages of a mid-life crisis.  Crisis is such a strong word.  I'm really not close to that yet, but there are things happening in my brain that make me feel like maybe I don't know myself that well.  I consider myself a fairly easy-to-understand person.  I think that once people hang out with me for a few minutes, they pretty much know what kind of person I am.  And if you read my blog, folks, you REALLY know me.  Which can be unsettling at times, since there are several people who read this that know me way better than I know them....  oh well.

Anyway, my crisis (since it's all about me, right?).  Once I describe my big issues, you will get a good look at how small my life is.  Because again, crisis is a strong word.

Two things have been floating around in my head, and the more they float there, the bigger they get, until I'm laying awake at night thinking about them.  I'll start with the smaller issue:

I am considering learning how to ride a motorcycle.  Drive, not just be a passenger behind the hubby.  I know!  No big deal.  But for some reason I'm obsessing over it.  I feel so old and silly to be even considering it.  And there's that safety issue--if you're not a fan of motorcycles you can find all kind of statistics about how unsafe they are, and if you are a fan you can find all kind of statistics about how safe they are (if you're not a dumbass).  But I'm a mom now (did you know that?) and my welfare means more to me now than it used to.  I don't even enjoy rides anymore!  I used to LOVE amusement park rides--the scarier the better.  Now all I see are my kids flying out of them to their death, or me dying in some horrible roller coaster accident and leaving my kids without a mom.  I went on the dang ferris wheel with the kids at the State Fair a few years ago and I was so petrified that one of them was going to jump out that I felt like I was going to puke the whole time.  I am that wonkers.  So becoming a licensed operator of a motorcycle seems a bit crazy to me, but I can't stop thinking about it.

We already have a motorcycle that I could use.  It's a perfect size for me, and hubby says it's very easy to drive and comfortable.  It was my dad's, and I think he'd be pretty happy about me using it.  No matter what my mom says.  She hates them!  But it's so impractical!  I can't put groceries on it.  I can't put both the kids on it.  In fact, I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to have a kid on it with me.  I can barely stand it when hubby does that, and he's a very experienced and safe motorcycle driver.

Plus, we live in Minnesota.  Which means half the year I couldn't ride it anyway.

But there is one thing it would be handy for, which brings me to part II of my mid-life crisis:

I'm thinking of going back to school.  At my advanced age, I am still an upperclassman at the University of Minnesota.  I attended school there for six years, off an on, and never graduated.  My life was INSANE back then.  That's a series of posts for a whole different time, folks.  But for reasons I can't possibly fit here, it was impossible for me to be a serious student back then.  I think I switched my major five times, and I was horribly broke the entire time, so I was just never able to reach that degree.  Once I stopped trying and settled into a very comfortable job as an executive-level secretary, and also settled into a very comfortable marriage, I gave up the whole school thing.  Happily.  I've actually never regretted anything, I LOVED the University, but I never really knew what I wanted to do with my future anyway, other than be a mom.  So I am that.  But now my kids are middle-aged, too, in a way.  Meaning that they're at that halfway point to the time when they're graduating and leaving me to live whatever kind of life I have left when they're out of the house.  And that's what makes me think there might be something out there I could be interested in other than laundry and grocery shopping.  (Not to belittle stay-at-home moms, mind you, I AM ONE.  And I KNOW how much work and heartache it takes, don't get offended.  I'm sarcastic about it simply because I have earned that right.)  Part of why I'm nervous about what my life will be when the kids are out of here is the simple fact of how much work they are.  I don't want to feel empty when they're off on their own, I want to be proud of my own life and have my own pursuits.

But holy cow is the idea scary.  I go walk around the campus with the hubby once in a while, and I feel OLD.  I am old!  I remember when I was a freshman there, and I'd see all the parents bring their kids to help them move into the dorms.  Or I'd see parents come watch their kids at events they were in.  These parents seemed old.  That's me now!  I'm almost that age, and the thought of being a student there with all those kids is bizarre.  I'm sure it would be different for me now.  It's not like I'll be living in a campus apartment and bar-hopping every weekend (or almost every night, ahem).  I'm an old lady.  I'll be there to attend my classes, and it will probably be just one or two a week, and in the evening, with several other old people there doing the exact same thing as me.  Right?

So that part's scary.  The other side of that coin, though, is sort of awesome.  I don't have the same insecurities as I did back then.  I would be taking the whole education side of it seriously, and have a goal this time.  Unlike when I was a kid there with a nightmare going on in my family that I was trying to ignore, and falling in love and breaking up and falling in love again were my main concerns, and I was DEAD BROKE.  I have a super stable home life.  I have money.  I don't have to worry about buying books or paying tuition.  I don't give a S--T what the other students think of me there.

Another big problem with this whole idea:  I have NO CLUE what I want to do.  None.  I have to figure out what kind of degree I want.  And I really don't want it to be in something that I can't do anything with, like general Sociology.  I don't want to graduate just to say I did.  I want a degree that I can use for something.  So that means I have to figure out what I want that something to be.  You would fall over laughing if you could get into my head and see all the craziness I have been considering.  Everything from being a teacher to a private investigator (thanks Miss N.S.!) to being a suit in an office.  I honestly have no clue.  And I'm hoping that the advisors there will help me find a path...  Poor folks.  Maybe there's a degree in buying and reselling antiques and flea market stuff.  Ha!

And there's another benefit to this big mess:  If I do this, I think I might be able to get season tickets to Gopher sporting events!  For student prices!  I wonder if I'd have to be in the student section with all the drunk kids with maroon and gold body paint...

Anyway, that's the junk that's keeping me up at night lately.  And summer's going by way too fast.  I need to make an appointment to go up to the campus and do some investigating.

Thanks for sitting with me while I pick my brain.

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's Hot Out There.

It may seem funny, but I think the reason I haven't been writing as much lately is this dang heat.  It is crazy hot these days.  As it if the fires from Colorado are brutal enough that they're heating us up way over here in Minnesota!  I have so much trouble motivating myself to do ANYTHING during heat like this.  I just want to sit in my air-conditioned house, on my couch, watching movies.  It's horrible.

Today A's baseball practice has already been cancelled for this evening due to the over-100˚ heat index.    Today I should mow, because our grass is getting tall faster and faster, and it's not getting any cooler for several days.  But I just cannot bear that heat right now.  I may mow this evening, if the temperature goes down.  But today, I need to clean this house.  And I will.  Right after I finish this post.

We are in the thick of summer, people.  It's July 2nd.  The Fourth of July is the day after tomorrow.  It is supposed to be even hotter than it is today.  Ugh.  Not the kind of weather you want to be barbecuing in, playing frisbee, sitting outside on a blanket waiting for fireworks, anything.  I'm not sure what we're going to do.  I'm thinking maybe eating picnic-style food, down in our chilly basement, while we watch some American movies to celebrate America.  Maybe The Patriot.  Or Captain America.  Or American Pie.  Who knows.  But I think I'm over-worried about the heat...

So how to motivate myself for the cleaning extravaganza?  I have a playlist on my iPod called "Sparkle and Shine".  It's filled with 80's music, club music, poppy dance stuff, and some cheerful sing-along stuff.  That's the first trick.  I think I might get serious today, and put on my uniform.  I have two uniforms:  one for mowing, which is a pair of ginormous overalls and a tank top.  The overalls allow me to put the iPod in the bib pocket, and they're loose enough so I'm sort of "air-conditioned".  My cleaning uniform is even more ridiculous.  It's grubby sweats, a t-shirt, and an apron.  The apron holds my rags and a bottle of cleaning stuff, maybe a brush, maybe a scraper (yes, sometimes I need a scraper for crud on my floor.  It's that bad).  I'm only writing all this down to help motivate myself, so thanks for bearing with me.

I usually start in the entryway, where our shoes are.  It's a SUPER irritating tiny room that is continuously covered in grass clippings and shoes.  And jackets.  And baseball hats.  And work gloves.  And keys.  And umbrellas.  And random outdoor things like baseball mitts, footballs, and other toys.  And "Hubby junk".  That's what I call the strange metal or wood things, chemicals, gadgets, or whirlygigs that I don't know what they are and so they end up in a pile on the counter or on top of the cabinet in the entryway because I can only assume they are something he brought in and are associated with some project or another that he is involved with.  It can be frustrating.  That ends up just being a pile to haul out to the shop or the garage.

Our entryway leads into the kitchen, which leads into the rest of our main floor.  That's the natural path to follow.  My goal today will be the main floor and the basement family room, and then I need to start the big, awful project:

The kids' clothes.

What is it with kids' clothes?  Do they expand by themselves?  Do they multiply on their own?  It's the WEIRDEST thing.  I don't shop that much.  I'm not buying them new clothes all the time.  They're boys.  At their ages, they care very little about their wardrobes.  So twice a year (ideally), I go through their clothes.  We stash the stuff that's really out of season, and make a giant donation pile and another pile for their cousin to see if he wants any of their better, outgrown stuff.

So then for a short time, they have nicely organized, half-empty drawers, with plenty of room to put away their clothes.  It's awesome.  For about a week.  Then all of a sudden I will go up to put more laundry away, and their drawers are overflowing, and I end up having to shove the clothes all in, and then pack it down, and then they won't even shut!  What the hell?

By this time in the cycle, they have stacks of folded clothes on top of their dressers and in their closets which won't fit in the drawers.  I also have laundry baskets with folded clothes in them that I dread putting away.  Because they won't fit, dangit.  And this time it's particularly bad, because I'm quite late in the cycle.  So all their school clothes are still lingering in their drawers.  And as these kids get bigger, their jeans get bigger.  So that's the other giant project awaiting me.  Awesome.  As you can see, it's one of my favorites.

Sweet Jesus, this is a boring post.  Sorry, people.  I guess that's just where my life is right now.  I shouldn't complain.  It's a good thing when there's not much drama, isn't it?  I think I'm just in a mood.  I feel a post brewing in me about the beauty of youth baseball, the joy of summer freedom, and the fun-in-the-sun pool time of the summer.  I also am planning on going to the zoo as soon as the weather gets less oppressive, so there might be a fun post about that.  But for now, this is all I've got.  I hope you endured it all right.  I have to go get my apron.  Stay cool!