Monday, August 30, 2010

I'll Bring the Awkward or The Imperfect Mom Gets a Pedicure

Pink nail polish.Image via Wikipedia

I've come to the realization that I can turn any possible situation awkward in a manner of seconds. Even something as normal and supposedly relaxing and enjoyable as a pedicure.  Most women love pedicures as much as I love sleeping in on the weekends, but I'm not one of them.  I also don't enjoy getting my hair done-I hate sitting still doing nothing, and I really hate the forced socialization.  My beautician is very sweet, but I have a hard time making on going small talk with a 23 year old whom I have nothing in common with.

Anyhow-back to the subject at hand.  (or should I say "foot"? Har, har!)  I usually do my own pedicures-being a lover of all things flip flop, it's a necessary evil.  Before today, I've had one other actual pedicure, in a salon, that is.  I have what may be the world's most ticklish and sensitive feet, so I just remember alternatively cringing in pain, and trying not to laugh. Combine that with the fact that the manicurist didn't speak English, so we had to communicate with each other by smiling and pointing shyly.

Today I found myself all alone.  All alone with some raggedy looking feet that I just couldn't bring myself to deal with.  (Seriously, I think hooves may have been starting to form on the soles of my feet) So, I put on my big girl panties flip flops and headed to the nail shop.

I grabbed a Vogue magazine from the table, because it was the thickest magazine there, although I think Vogue is kind of snooty and boring (a combo which sends my inner snarky thoughts into overdrive).  This was part of my strategy-I'd be entertained, and I'd also look engrossed in my magazine, so I wouldn't have to attempt to make small talk. Rude, I know, but I need all of the Awkward Management Tools I can get.

The awkwardness began when a kindly older gentleman showed me to my chair, and I couldn't quite figure out how to climb into it, or what I should do with my big, old purse in the process.  The man, who apparently did more nodding, gesturing and smiling than speaking English, just stood by with a patient grin.  Finally, I flung my purse up on the tall, throne-like beast, and climbed aboard clumsily, much like a little kid scrambling up on Santa's lap. (Have I ever mentioned that I'm short and unweildy?)

So, the nice fellow starts up the water bath below (ahhhhh!!!!) big, beastly chair starts punching me in the back with vicious force,  and.....and.... squeezing my butt!! Wha??!! I don't remember this happening before! I'm actually not offended by the butt squeezes, surprisingly enough, but the jarring back massagers felt like I was being repeatedly poked by the steel end of a tire iron.  I couldn't put my head back against the headrest, because every time I tried, the tire iron massagers would change position, and technique, pushing me off the seat back.  Alarmed, I looked around at the other women nearby.  They all seemed quite relaxed, heads back, reading books, chatting, or texting.  None of them were squirming, or jerking around in their seats as the violent massage pulsated against their backs, as I was.  I fiddled with the remote control, which only seemed to make it worse, as the technician came over.

I tried to look casual, flipping through my magazine, pretending to look really interested in fushia eyeshadows and spiked, 5 inch heeled open toed booties.  (Booties!! A term I hate almost as much as "jeggings"! And open toed, booties?! Dumb, dumb, dumb.)  The back beating moved from my lower back to my upper back, which actually felt tolerable, as the Korean tech greeted me, and gestured at my feet (with what looked like a smirk on her face), and said "You cut nails yourself?" I looked down at my toenails, which really, I didn't think looked too bad myself, and nodded.

As she began cutting my nails and trimming my cuticles, which thankfully didn't hurt (a feather touch, this lady had!), I wondered what could possibly be wrong with how I trimmed my nails.  I mean, I think I do a pretty good job doing it, although it was obviously time for a trim.  I was jarred out of my thoughtfulness, as the massaging, iron fists, now on my middle back, switched to "agitate mode".  My body was jiggling like jello, and if I'd had on a pair of pasties with tassels.....well, let's just say I could have earned some tips of my own.  You, know, if there had been any men there (besides the smiling older dude), and if I were thinner and younger, and all that.  It would have been a good day to wear that heavy duty, underwire Cross My Heart Playtex number.  As the agitation continued, my wet foot slipped out of the tech's hand, and she looked at me with a surprised glare, as the metal cuticle stick stabbed her palm.  Oops. 

"Sorry!", I whispered, contritely.  Apparently satisfied with my apology, she went back to work, and the chair went back to the "Punch and Squeeze" mode.  Working on my cuticles, I think I heard her say my toes were "nasty".  But I'm not sure, since I could barley understand her-so I tried not to get too offended. Nasty? Yes, my feet were badly in need of a pedicure, but they were clean!  Should I have done a pre-pedi treatment before coming? feet couldn't be that bad, she must have said something else.  Right?

Finally, she turned off the brutal beast, which stilled the water.  Ahhhh, that's better.  "I'm handling this pretty well so far", I thought to myself, "it hasn't hurt, or tickled hardly at all".

Then she started scrubbing my heels and soles with a scrubby pad.  I really tried to play it cool by flipping through my Vogue again, past pictures of too-thin models with haughty expressions, wearing skin tight leggings and red-soled stilettos, as I tried to ignore the tickly feeling.  I nearly peed my pants trying to suppress the urge to yank my foot out of her hand.  Finally, my relexes took over, and my foot jerked forward, causing the tech to scrape her hand hard with the scrubby thingie.  She looked at me again with the same, but slightly more annoyed, surprised glare. Oops.

"Sorry, I have very ticklish feet", I said with an apologetic half smile.  By way forgiveness, she smiled, and tried to start up some small talk.  The conversation quickly came to an awkward end, as I was having a heck of a time understanding her quiet accent.  I always feel guilty when I can't understand someone, I don't know why, but I do.  I feel bad. 

She asked me something about nail polish, and  I pointed to the bottle I had picked out.  She asked me a few more questions after that, but I had no idea what she was asking, so I just nodded and said "yes" or "no" whenever I though it might be appropriate.  I was really afraid that she was only going to paint my big toes for a while (Oh no! Is that what she was asking me? Is that a style?), but then she moved on to the others.  (Oh, good.  She's going to paint them all.  Breathe.) I then started to worry that I was going to end up with some wacky nail art or something, but everything turned out well.

After she finished, I had to figure out how to climb out of the chair-mountain with my toes still in those squishy, spready thingies.  I hobbled over to the dryer, and she started it up and took my payment.  The dryer causes more awkwardness for me-I had my fingernails done once in this salon, and really, you get no direction once you get to the dryers.  After watching other people, it seems like you stay as long as you want, and then get up and leave.  Long bored with my magazine, after about five minutes, I was getting really antsy, so I bent over and gently peeled off the squishy things. 

Appearing out of nowhere, the nail tech reappeared, flapping her arms and gently scolding, "No! No! You not dry! Do you need to go now? Stay for while, you not dry yet!"

Chagrined, I sat back down and put my feet back under the drying table.  I waited another 5 minutes, then looked around, and........ snuck out.  (Remember, I paid already!) Whew.

That wasn't so bad.  On the Awkward But Sort of Necessary Scale, it ranked above getting my hair done and getting my teeth cleaned, but ranked slightly below going to the ob/gyn.  I could do this again, you know, now that I know what to expect, and all.  (I'll wear a super thick sweater to dull the punches)  But, I think it's pretty safe to say that I won't be getting a Brazilian anytime soon, if I can barely handle the intimacy of a pedicure.

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Friday, August 27, 2010


I love that rolled up jeans are back in style.  I've been waiting anxiously for this since 1994.  Short women of the world, rejoice!

I hate that "jeggings" has become a word.  It completely irritates me, and I spend far too much time thinking about it.  Yes! I really do think about these things. If you are unfamiliar with jeggings, they are the "sporks" of the pant world-leggings that look like jeans.  Apparently, cheap looking polyester/lycra blends are chic again. I also hate that jeggings are being marketed to the kids who shop at the tweenie bopper store my daughter loves, AS WELL AS to women in their 30's, like me.  I could have worn jeggings when I was 20, but 15-16 years, 2 children and 30 pounds later? Well, I suppose I COULD wear them if I had some waist to ankle Spanx, but really? I think they are tacky, and not even my spell check likes "Jeggings".

I love the smell of my husband's clean T-shirts.

I hate the smell of the dirty ones.

I love that our new dog walks so nicely by my side on a leash.

I hate when my children act like buffoons on the walk-tripping each other, trying to carry each other, laughingly trying to shove each other of the sidewalk, etc.  Basically doing everything they can to annoy me and make the dog nervous.

I love that I found a pair of Justice sweatpants for my daughter at TJ Maxx today for $12.99! These are usually at least $30 in the stores.

I hate paying full price for cheaply made trendy junk at Justice.

I love that when the guy at Chick Fil A asked me if I needed a condiment today, I almost said, "No thank you.  I'm Catholic."  Even though I'm actually not Catholic, and he would have not gotten the joke anyway and would have thought I was crazy-kind of like you are doing right about now. It made sense inside my head...

I hate how cheery the people at Chick Fil A are in the mornings.  Maybe it's just the ones around here, but honestly, they are just so over the top happy and friendly, and want to chat and smile at me and stuff.  I can't deal with that kind of treatment until at least 11 am.  Just say thank you, maybe wish me a nice day, and hand over the breakfast burrito and Large Coke Zero (no ice, please).  It's kind of like when the dog is all happy to see me when I wake up, and he follows me back and forth throughout the house hopefully wagging his tail all morning.  Really, it's sweet and all, but just go lay down somewhere and be happy from afar!  I can't even muster up the civility to say "good morning" to anyone until I've been up for at least 30 minutes-it's not pretty.

I love that my daughter cares so much about animals, and has such a big heart for them.

I hate that she and the neighbor kids decided all on their own to walk down the street soliciting money from neighbors for the ASPCA without telling anyone.  The made it through several houses before my husband found them.  We made them return the money.  It was hard to explain that even though your heart is in the right place, you can't just go soliciting money from people in the name of a charity-especially without telling your parents.  They really did have every intention of giving the money to the ASPCA, but still...  It reminds me of when she and a friend decided to ask the neighbors if they wanted their nails painted (for a nominal fee, of course)-I wrote about that here .

I love that my son is already pouring over a catalog of Halloween costumes.  He can't decide whether to be a special forces guy, a Star Wars guy, Indiana Jones, or Mario.  I always loved dressing up for Halloween, and I'm glad that my kids enjoy it, too.

I hate that Halloween decorations are already in the stores, however.

I love that it's Friday, even though my kids came home today with those dreaded fundraiser packets. 

I hate trying to hawk those stupid $30 coupon books that nearly every other school child in the state is selling at the same time.  I hate that I feel guilty for not wanting to spend $60 so each of my kids will have made at least one sale.  I hate the thought of asking my cash strapped friends and relatives to buy these expenvie things no one really wants.  I hate that they get the kids all hyped up with the "Fantastic!" prizes (listed on the info sheet in BIG letters, and eye catching fonts) they'll earn for conning people into buying selling these.  Then they come home all excited, and I have to dash their hopes.  $60 for coupons that I can never remember to use? Not a good deal.  Why can't my kids sell Yankee Candles like the parochial school kids? I'd be ALL over that one!  I've always thought about just writing a yearly check to the PTO and calling it good.  Honestly, I pay my taxes, I volunteer in the classroom, I donate extra supplies for the classroom, I pay our book rental fees-so why can't I pass up this one dumb fundraiser without feeling like a deadbeat?

Yikes! My laptop battery is about drained, so even though I don't love to do it, I'm going to have to wrap this one up fast!

I hate that the power cord never gets put in the same place twice...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Don't Wanna Do It!

Have you ever felt change in the air? I don't mean how the (beautiful and hot) long summer days slowly get shorter and cooler, and you start to feel the "crispness" in the air as the days turn shorter and autumn sneaks up on you. (bleck!! pa-tooie!! Fall means the death of everything green and lovely!)  I'm talking about life changes (not to be confused with "change of life", I'm only 35, kids!).  I'm generally not a very "deep" person, at least I pretend not to be, so I usually don't get these "feelings", but I think that God has been trying to prepare my change resistant mind for something.  I'm generally pretty dense and literal when it comes to "signs from God" and all that, so I usually have to be practically hit over the head with it before I notice what's going on.  But I've felt it for a few weeks first just hints, with a little restlessness inside, but now it's built up to a fever pitch in my head.  My comfortable, familiar, secure little routine is going to change in some way, and I don't like it.  At all.

Have I ever mentioned how resistant to change I am? While the undiagnosed mildly ADD part of me gets bored with routine, the shy, nervous, insecure part of me clings to familiarity like Linus clings to his security blanket.  I remember crying for 2 hours as a 10 year old kid just because I found out that I was getting a new bus driver.  Same school, same bus stop, same kids, just a different bus and driver.  I'm obviously better than that now, but it still stresses me out.

What's changing? Well, I'm not sure entirely, but there have been some little changes around here.  The kids have gone back to school, so that routine is different, and they are attending a different school this year due to redistricting.  We are lucky to live in an area with great schools, so it has been a nearly seamless transition.  The kids are happy and comfortable there. Their new teachers seem wonderful, and the school itself is very much like their old school, which we loved, so that's all good.  Also, I'm actually enjoying the peace during the day while the kids are gone, so the whole "back to school" change has gone well for all of us.

Another change occurred on the first day of school-we adopted a dog.  If you read my recent Doggone Guilt post, then you know how badly I did not want a dog, but how badly my daughter did.  Well, I gave in to the Mommy Guilt, and we are now the owners of a big, furry, sweet mutt.  He's a good dog, with none of the issues that our old dog had-he doesn't chew, doesn't pee in the house, he's perfectly happy laying around the house all day, and he doesn't even bark.  Basically, he's a big cat.  He's been taught some basic commands at some point, so he's well behaved, and walks on a leash like a dream.  But, he's still one more thing to take care of, and it seems that the kids and I are a little allergic to him.  Most frustrating for me, is that the cats, particularly my favorite cat (my baby!), is afraid of him, so he's been spending most of his time outside.  This particular cat is a very social animal, and loves to be where ever we are, so it makes me sad.  I feel guilty in a weird way, like we replaced him, or something. Ugh.  Anyhow, we aren't giving away another animal, so we are stuck.  (Don't get me wrong, the rest of the family is thrilled with him.)

Ok, I know, those are sort of  "weenie changes", not a big deal at all, right? True, that.  But there's more coming, I just know it.  First of all, my hours at work have been cut even more.  For those of you who don't know, I work part time as the Assistant Director of Education at a tutoring company franchise.  Basically, I have a fancy title and my own office, but crappy pay with no benefits or anything.  I like my job a lot, and I love the people I work with though, and I've been there for 7 years.  This is our slow time of year, plus the business has been hit hard by the economy, so in order to make payroll, everyone who is not salary is getting hours cut dramatically.  I'm down to 14 pathetic hours a week, which combined with my sad little wage, is not good.  Things will pick up eventually, but this is no time to ask for a raise.

My husband talked me into applying for a teaching assistant position in our district.  The pay and hours would be much better than what I have now, but I don't want to do it! I don't want to leave my current job, but I really would like to make more money, and it kind of "feels" like this might be the right thing for me right now.  I have my teaching degree, but my certification is expired, and I'm just not ready to have my own classroom again.  I want/need a job that I can leave at work at the end of the day, and teaching just isn't that way.  I don't have the energy or desire to take on that kind of commitment at this point, so a teaching
assistant position might be my best option. 

I don't know.  My heart is screaming "No! Don't do it! Stay! Who cares if you make an insulting wage! You like what you do, you like having an office, business cards, and the ability to apply your college degree! You like working with friends! You like being able to get lunch from Chipotle and Panera like a grownup instead of having to ask permission to leave the building or eat in the cafeteria!" 

But the bills are screaming "Pay me!" and the pretty fall clothes are calling "Hey you! Wouldn't you like to buy me?"  And the tuition fees at the amazing, private Christian high school we'd like to be able to send our kids to someday are saying "Yeah, right! Do you think you'll ever be able to afford this?"  So, it looks like some type of job change may be in order.  Bah.  I'm much too old to run to my Mom's house, and lay on the couch crying and screaming and kicking my feet like I did when I was ten, but that's kind of what I feel like doing...  I know, I know...I'm a wimp.  My issues are really no big deal in the grand scheme of life, but...but...but....I'm scared.

Anyhow, I'm sorry for the long winded, boring post, but I haven't posted in a while, and wanted to let you all know what's going on in my world.  I'll be back tomorrow with something more fun!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

7 and 10

When you are a 10 year old girl, you can be running around outside in a fuzzy cheetah vest and a lion mask meant for 3 year olds one moment, and lamenting that you are too mature to wear the pretty ruffled dress to church the next.

When you are a 7 year old boy, you can actually "forget" to use toothpaste when you brush your teeth, even though you were just reminded to do so

When you are 10 or 7, you can get up from the supper table and dance around or wrestle with your sibling.  Then, when being told you are behaving like a 2 year old, you can just giggle happily (after sitting down in order to avoid the Wrath of Mom, of course).

When you are 7 or 10, you believe that any parental question should be answered with a "meow", until a human answer is demanded.

When you are 7, you think that having a stomach ache entitles you to be able to lay on the back of the couch-cat style.

When you are a 10 year old girl, you can say that Tyler Lautner is your celebrity boyfriend in front of your parents without being too embarrassed.

When you are 7, it will ruin your entire evening if you can't find your Nintendo DS to take along on a trip to the store.

When you are 7 (or even 10) you tune your parents out when they tell you for the umpteenth time that when they were kids there weren't any Nintendo DS's, and they survived car trips just fine, by looking out the window.  Then you think about how boring life must have been way back then.

When you are 10, you can sing off tune at the top of your lungs in front of a crowd, and believe that you sound amazing.

When you are 10 or 7, you are able to become invisible when sneaking huge spoonfuls of Nutella or peanut butter unknown times each day.  The only evidence you were ever there is the gooey spoon stuck to the sink, and the empty jar (recently purchased), Mom finds in the pantry the next time she tries to make you a sandwich.

When you are 7, you can happily entertain yourself for hours with your Legos, action figures, or just about anything, if only your sister would quit trying to make you play school or act in her imaginary plays all the time.

When you are a 10 year old girl, if it's bright, has glitter, some type of animal print, and has colors that clash with each other-you think it's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.

When you are 7 and 10, you are caught somewhere between "big" and "little".  Sometimes you want to act grown up and sophisticated, other times, you just want to crawl around and pretend to be a dog.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back To School Shopping

Shopping at Save-Co -- 1968Image by arbyreed via Flickr
My kidlets return to school next week.  I'll have a second grader, and a fourth grader.  We all have mixed feelings about the start of school-I think they are a bit excited about returning to school and seeing some of their friends, but our neighborhood got redistricted (again), so they are going to a different school this year, so I think they are a little nervous, as well.  (This will be the third elementary school my daughter has attended, thanks to our rapidly growing town!) I'm not looking forward to the school and fall activity routines to start up again, but it will be nice to have some time alone sometimes.

We finished our school supply shopping on Tuesday, with apparently, thousands of other people.  Walmart was out of pencils.  Pencils! Who runs out of pencils? I'm not sure, but I think you can probably even buy pencils at the Quick Stop.  We had to run to Target to get our pencils and pink erasers, which Walmart also ran out of.

Yesterday was school clothes shopping day.  They don't really need much right now, so they only got a few things a piece  School clothes shopping was much more fun for me when my daughter took no interest in what she wore, and I got to dress her however I liked.  At some point last year, however, she suddenly became picky about her wardrobe, and let's just say that the two of us have vastly different taste and ideas of how a 10 year old should dress.  After looking at several stores, I'm left wondering why retailers think my daughter should be dressing like Who's That Girl era Madonna? Seriously, what's with all the black lace, raggedy looking plaid tunics, short skirts, and cone shaped bras? Ok, scratch that last part.

After showing my daughter several things, and her looking at me with a combination of pity and horror, I realized that I would need to change my strategy.  I started looking for trendy items (her style-type of choice, apparently), that I could actually tolerate, even if I didn't love them.  She'd point out something hideously ugly not quite right for her, and I'd quickly find a similar but less hideous item to distract her compromise with.  Things got even better once I realized that every time I said something was "cute",  that look of pity and horror came back again.  But if I said something was "cool", she'd at least look interested in whatever garment I was holding up for her to see. Semantics are a big deal when you are a tween, I suppose.  Honestly, I remember going through the same thing with my Mom.  But Mom, I don't want to look "cute", I want to look "good"!  I didn't understand her exasperation at the time, but I sure do now!

My son got a few things too, but honestly, shopping for boys isn't as much fun.  There are only so many variables-t-shirts, polos, shorts and jeans can only be done in so many manly combinations.  He really doesn't care much about new clothes, anyhow.  He even said, "I've already got enough clothes.  I don't need anymore." A statement I've never in my life uttered, despite the contents of my closet.

As the King of Random Conversation, Tot's purpose on the shopping trip was to keep us "entertained" with his constant chatter on the way to the mall.  His chosen topics flowed (as usual) rather confusingly from Pokemon characters, to Lego guys, to iCarly, and on to motorcylces and Camaros-all punctuated with excited stuttering. 

Honestly, I tuned out for a while, until I heard him say in all seriousness, "N-n-n-no offence to you Dad, and Mr. Fullen (our 89 year old neighbor,) and other old men, b-b-but..."  I didn't hear the rest of what he said since we were all laughing so hard by that point. 

Confused by our laughter, Tot turned his hands palm up and said, "W-w-what?! I said 'no offence'!" 

He quickly moved on to talking about the Jonas Brothers.  "M-m-my friend says they drive one of those cars, I think one of those Italian cars.  Y-y-y-you know, a Linguine!" (cue more laughter) 

"Do you mean a  Limousine?", I asked.  "No, it's a Linguine-it's Italian or French, or something like that."

"I think he means a 'Lamborghini'", my daughter piped up. 

"That's what I said! A Lamborghini!", Tot replied with a giggle before moving on to Mario Brothers as a topic for conversation.

All in all, it was a pretty good afternoon.  My daughter won't be going to school looking like an 80's MTV Vee-jay (not completely, anyhow), and my son has a couple of new shirts to spill ketchup on at lunch.  Next time, though, we're shopping for me.
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy Blogaversary to Me!

GoofyImage via Wikipedia
One year ago today, I was bored.  I had taken my kids school clothes shopping, and did something at the mall that only a goofy Mom could do.  I felt the need to tell someone about it, so I started this blog to share my silly little stories of random things that happen around here, and to give myself something to do.  Talking to myself wasn't very satisfying, so I didn't really do too much more blogging until January, when I really started to get down to business.

How does one celebrate a Blogaversary? With birthdays, you have cakes with candles (and chocolate cake ground into your carpet), presents, and if it's a kid's birthday, you may have to suffer through a trip to hell Chuck E Cheese.  (Please don't make me go there-I'd rather clean the bathrooms!) With marriage anniversaries, there's a card, a bouquet of roses from Kroger, and a discussion about how nice it would be to go on a date together, if only you had a babysitter.  (What? Just us?) With the anniversary of a job, you may get more vacation benefits, or even a raise.  (At least that's what I hear-it certainly doesn't happen to me, though!)  The 4th of July could be considered the anniversary of the US, and for that we have cookouts, fireworks, and parades.  But this?

Mary Bailey suggested that I celebrate by giving all of my loyal readers Amazon giftcards, and I think that's a fabulous idea! You will be donating them, right Mary? ;-) If not, I could send you all a little token of appreciation-that is, if you would like a used dryer sheet, a sock missing it's mate, or whatever random Lego pieces or pocket change turn up in the wash.  Ummm...maybe I'll just do a "best of" recap post instead.

The post that started it all occurred in August of 2009, along with a few others.  In September, I blogged about having nothing to blog about.  (Fun, right?) We'll just leave that one in the old archives.....  October, November and December saw a complete lack of posting.  I really got off to a booming start, didn't I?  Things got fired up in January, finally, when I started posting more regularly.  My favorite January post  is probably this one , a sweet little story about my cute little guy. My first Disturbing Pictures My Son Draws post took place then, too. (The link can be found in the sidebar) 

In February, something exciting happened! I wrote Confessions of a Library Loser , and people actually started visiting and commenting on my blog! (and some of them even came back after finding out what a terrible civic-citizen I am) In March, I wrote my first Is it Just Me, Or... post, and was very relieved to find out that, at least for a lot of things, it wasn't just me!

I actually have a lot of favorite posts from April, but probably that one that gives you a hint of the true chaos that is me, is this post where I dump my purse out and describe the contents.  Sounds pretty lame, I admit, but I think it came out pretty entertaining.  In May, I did   Pictureless Wednesday, or Signs That a Little Boy Lives at Your House.

In June, I did If I Wrote a Parenting Magazine , which was so fun to write (and easy, because I'm good at spewing fake advice), that I'm planning on making it a series, or a meme.  Last month, I wrote about my alter ego, or nemesis, depending on how you look at it, in Stories of a Perfect Mom .  This one was fun to write as well, the pent up sarcasm and snark flowed through my fingertips with so much ease that I'm totally going to be writing more of these!

So, there you have it-a year (more or less) with the Imperfect Mom.  Stick around for another year, as I continue to find my groove, in my own imperfect way.  Thanks to all of my regular readers who keep me from talking to myself, and if you are new here, stick around! (That is, if you don't mind some sentimental posts, and lots of sarcasm and general goofiness!) 

Now what am I going to do when I hit 100 posts?

PS-By the way, you've probably noticed that I have a new blog header and blog button.  Keep in mind that this is my first attempt at customizing anything blog-wise, and I'm making it up as I go along.  I don't really like the way the header doesn't blend with the template, so this will be a work in progress.  If you'd like my button, you are welcome to use it!
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Doggone Guilt

I like dogs.  I'm a dog liker. (not to be confused with a dog licker, LOL).  Other people's dogs, that is.  At least the ones who don't run off from home, the ones who don't jump on me and scratch me, and the ones who don't yap constantly.  Oh, and only the smart dogs-I've known way too many stupid dogs in my time, and I have no patience for them.  (Basset/beagle mixes, I'm talking to you!) I much prefer a laid back, friendly, cuddly, purring lap cat to a dog, most of the time. Cats are not dumb, either-they are moody, calculating and manipulative, and not easily distracted; these qualities prove their intelligence to me.

Anyhow, my children, particularly my daughter, love dogs, and want one badly.  We tried owning a dog a couple of years ago, and it didn't go well for us.  Scout was (and actually still is) a Border Collie mix, although we were told he was a Sheltie mix (yeah, I don't think so) when we adopted him from the shelter as a puppy.  We kept Scout crated at night, and while we were gone, but when we were home, we kept him in the kitchen.  He had a hard time realizing that carpet and grass were not the same thing, so it was...more keep him on the linoleum.  Scout grew from a tiny little baby pup to a big, goofy puppy dog in a matter of weeks.  Oddly enough, I was usually the only person who would hear his whimpers to go out at one in the morning, and also, strangely, I was usually the only one who noticed when he was out of dog food.  Despite my studious watching of The Dog Whisperer, I could not get Scout to walk at my heel (he actually pulled me down and dragged me a few feet once-good times.), or stop chewing on things.  We spent lots of money on Kong toys and rawhide, but he was still a chewer.  He quickly destroyed two dining room chairs, multiple shoes, blankets and towels, three dog beds, several stuffed dog toys, and gnawed the molding around our kitchen door, and the underside of the kitchen cabinets.  There were many other issues that kept Scout from being a good match for our family, so a year from the date we brought him home, we gave him away to a friend of mine.  Scout is now the star pupil of his dog obedience class, and has two doggie brothers.

Apparently, giving the dog away to a friend traumatized my daughter.  She seems to have forgotten that no one but me paid much attention to the dog when we had him, and still, two and half years later, cries over missing him late at night. (Yes, in fact I do feel like crap every time she cries over him, even though Scout is happy in his new home).  This Mommy guilt has not caused me to consider getting another dog, however, despite the pleas of both of my children, and even my husband (the traitor).  I've said many times that I'd rather have another baby than have a puppy, because if I'm going to put that much time, effort and work into something, then at least a child will grow up some day and be able to take care of me when I'm old.  Not to mention the whole learning to use the toilet thing....

Little Bit has gotten much more sophisticated in her frequent dog pleas-she is now drawing up Dog Care Proposals, and writing Dog Owning Contracts.  This is the latest, that she presented my husband with this morning.  I hope you can read it...

If you can't read it, the title is Things I Will Do if I Can Have a Dog, and she has written a checklist of dog chores that she will take care of.  My favorite part is towards the end, where she says, "buy it supplies (if I can afford it)" and "anything else that needs to be done for it (except I can't take it to the vet because I can't drive and can't afford it so you guys might have to do that)" Notice she uses lots of parenthesis in her writing like someone else we know? In order to make her case particularly airtight, she has included another document, nearly blank, where we are supposed to write in our own dog care demands for her to agree to.

Oh, boy.  I so do not want another chewing, shedding, barking, pooping beast in my home, but it's hard being the lone standout when this is what I'm up against!  Anyone know of a bread that is smart, laid back, smart, doesn't bark much, smart, doesn't chew things up, keep itself clean, doesn't need to be walked, and is smart? Oh wait, that would be a cat.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

That's Sweet!

Ok, ok, so I said that I'd post on Saturday, but I didn't.  I can be such a loser like that. Anyhow, Saturday was busy, what with the whole Saturday-nowhere-to-be-sleeping-in thing, and then shopping and cleaning house for my daughter's tenth birthday party.  Sunday afternoon was the actual party-just for family, no "friend parties" this year.  I still can't believe that I have a 10 year old-that just seems so old to me! I'm sure in a few years, I'll be singing a different tune, looking back on when she was "little" and only 10.  She had a nice party, and thanks to the generosity of our relatives, she now has more cash to spend than I do.  The money is burning a hole in her pocket, but I am dreading taking her shopping to spend it.  When it comes to her own money, the girl is seriously picky about what she buys.  It will take her at least an hour of looking at the same 3 aisles of toys or video games before she decides that she needs to look at another store.  Three stores later, she will be begging to go back to the original store, where it will be another hour before she buys the first thing she looked at.  It's exhausting.

I really could use some retail therapy of my own lately-I've just had a lot of not fun to blog about here type thoughts rolling around in my head, and I don't know what to do with them all. Nothing bad, or earth shattering, just not entertaining, is all.  I've thought about starting a separate blog for the more serious stuff, but it'd just be a lot of whining-I tend to get pretty melodramatic from time to time, and then I get embarrassed about it later.

August 8th, it will be my 1st blogiversary, although I really didn't get down to business until January or February.  I'll try to come up with a fun post for that day-not sure what I'll do yet.... Any ideas?

Oh, and hey! A couple of weeks ago, Alisha, from Musings of a Manic Mama gave me the Sweet Blogger Award! I'm not sure if that's "Sweet" as in "Suuuhhhh-weeeett!!", or "Sweet" as in "Awwwww!", but either way, I'm excited to win another blog award! Where ese can I put forth minimal effort and be rewarded for it? That IS suuuhhh-weeettt, my friends!
Anyhow, thank you Alisha! Be sure and check out her blog-she's the lone source of estrogen in a houseful of boys, so you know she's got some stories to tell!

I'm going to pass this award on to a few blogs I've recently started reading.  These ladies are my favorite kinds of Moms-moms who aren't afraid of keepin' it real, and that's sweet! (As in suh-weet, of course.)
Second Chance Moon
The Adventures of JAMC
Figments of a Mom

Since I'm being linky and all, check out this site if you haven't already-it makes me laugh a little every day. Catalog Living
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