August 11, 2009

toilets and woman's place in life...

First off, Bug just flushed the toilet. I'm pretty sure that's a milestone, must have lost the sticker for the calendar...

And there goes the water bill...

I hope there isn't a time limit to spring cleaning because apparently spring lasts all summer in these parts. I'm going room by room in an orderly fashion and getting every little thing perfect before I move on and...


I'm trying to do every single thing and once and everything is getting in the way of everything else. We can hardly walk through the bedroom and I keep loosing things. Bear is getting a little frustrated. But there is hope...sort of.

Bug's room has a floor. Who knew???

Part of this so called spring cleaning fiasco is envolves putting Bug's old clothes and out gorwn baby gear on craigslist. My aunt wants me to do this big consignment sale thing with her but I figured by the time I priced everything and hauled it an hour out of town I could make about twice as much doing it 'hillbilly' style. Not quite as classy, infinently easier.

So, one of the things I put on these was two bulk pacages of wipes. For 3 dollars. I don't know how many wipes were in each one but all together it amounts to about 10 lbs of Huggies o-riginals. A lady wrote me about them, asked how many there were, etc. I told her and she then ready for this...that she would have to ask her husband. 3 dollars. Of something incredibly useful.

The LAST thing I want to sound like is a feminazi, but really??? And yes, I just used 'feminazi' in normal speech, I grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh. Get over it.

I own a denim skirt, A denim skirt. ONE.
My hair is a reasonable length.
My husband and I have never been inside a church at the same time. Not even on our wedding day.

That said I hold a surprisingly concervative point of view on the place and role of women in the house. I will get to this is a second.

For now let me just say that I do not have to ask Bear about every little thing that I do. Big things yes, but little things no. Because he trusts me. He trusts me to make intelligent decisions about how to manage our money and run our house. I love him for it. He frequently calls me his 'cheif financial advisor,' not because I am so amazing at managing money, but because he respects what wisdom I may have to offer on the subject. To each their own but I don't understand the usefulness of a woman in a relationship where she cannot make a 3 dollar purchase. I realize I am probably reading into that statement WAY too far...

In other news, CNN did a piece on the waining integrity of the 'mommy blogger.' Read here. I have not encountered the issue described in the article but my concern is with the comments. Frankly I am shocked. Appalled. Not to mention a little outraged.

I'll take it favorite comment by favortie comment.

'how about these women get real jobs? Most children I know who have a stay at home mother are spoiled, indulgent, coddled and the mothers generally feel as though their children can do no wrong. How about teaching them that mommy is just as smart as daddy and that you have to take responsibility for your actions and contributing monetarily to the household is important. I can tell you that is not what most stay at home moms teach. additionally, after reading some of those blogs, it scares me to think that these women think that what they write about is important in the general scheme of the world.'

Define 'real job'...
Personally I do not want to teach my son that I can be a 'productive' member of society by bringing home my share of the bacon. I do not want to shove him in daycare so I can make MORE money so we can have MORE stuff. Because children care about stuff. I am not demonizing working mothers, we all do what we have to. But a child will not understand that for eight hours a day mommy is doing a good thing by subscribing to scociety's idea of 'right.' They will not value the work being done while they are in daycare. Why? Because no one will take the time to teach them.
Enter mom. Here is what I want to teach my son. I want to teach him that daddy leaves us every day and works very hard so we can have a nice house and food and get clothes. I want to explane that it is our job to value that work by being frugal and loving daddy when he comes home. Children can understand that. They love love, not money. This mentality is being responsible for your actions and contributes not only to the household but to the soul. And does that sound, 'spoiled, indulgent, and coddled' to you? To me this sounds like training a servant's heart.

And yes, the writings of mommy bloggers are important to the general scheme of the world. It is home, it is love, it is children. If these things were a little more important I don't think we would have so many problems today. This is a very ignorant person.


'to Moms everywhere:

Put down the laptop! Put down the blackberry! Pay attention to your kids rather than blogging about it! '

Ummm, I sorry these mothers take a few moments each day away from their children to blog. Here's something to think about. They aren't drinking, they aren't out with friends, they aren't shopping. For these mothers their 15 minutes of quiet involves writting...about their children!!! WOW, amazing! They love their kids so much, they want to talk about them even when they are trying to take a break. These kids aren't the once being neglected. I'm guessing it's been a while since the average woring mom spent a rainy afternoon splashing with their toddler or covering the kitchen with shaving cream to learn the alphabet. Just a hunch...

'My experience in reading blogs written by mothers (sorry, I just canNOT bring myself to say the "MB" words) is that the vast majority of them are nothing more than women who feel they must tell everyone what good mothers they are. They are also judgemental and supercilious. Yes, there are a few good ones, but they are completely overwhelmed by the "my children are perfect because I'm a perfect mother". Get away from the computer (most of the time) and your kids (some of the time) and get some personal time. THEN you'll be able to parent.'

This just confuses me. I think this person needs to be directed here but I'm not sure.

'I put "mommy blogs" right up there with Bridezilla - women who are in an incredibly lucky position that millions of women would love to be in but still find a way to complain. Seriously. Have you ever read them? They get to stay home with their kids and have someone else pay the bills but somehow their life is just so hard. Please!'

Someone else doesn't just pay the bills. Someone else leaves his family and the comfort of home, drives in a total clunker, works eight long hard hours, sometimes more, feels bad because he can't provide the best newest and brightests, then depends on the industry and frugality of his whole family to make his paycheck pay the bills, buy food, clothes, gas, and everything else requiered. This commenter has insulted every family of 6, 7, 8 living on a single paycheck. Yes, we are fortunate, yes we are thankful for our possition. But luck has nothing to do with it. We work for what we have and we work to live without the things we don't have. Not to mention this person has never spent a day alone with a child, much less several in succession.

And my personal favorite...

'WOW what a scoop

"Women wasting time by spouting their opinions and demonstrating lack of ethics"

what's tomorrow's story? Sun rises in East '

Ummmm, come again??? I can't even discuss this. -insert response here-

The overwhelming disrespect towards mothers and homelife in the world today in so upsetting. I would have thought that with the current movement towards simplicity it would get better. As society we are completely uneducated about simplitiy. No one can cook, no one can sew, forget growing your own food. Well, no on except some of the evil mommy bloggers. Who is going to teach the next generation these dying skills? Mothers. I don't get it. You are darned if you do, darned if you don't. This is a subject that has been mulled over so many times that I won't spend any more time on it. The people who matter value me and I value them and that is about all that counts...

July 18, 2009

I hate this..

first off, my shift keys are both broke. yes i know about proper capitalization. i can use caps lock if i have to but i don't feel like it.

i just tried to write an open post on the message board of my moms group asking for baby sitting and i felt sick. like i was going to throw up. i hate this. i hate going to school. i hate leaving my baby. i hate feeling like i going against my husband. i hate feeling like i am under my parent's thumb. i hate putting so much time and so much money into something that i do no want to use.

school is not to hard. i don't want to give up. i can do it. i just don't want to. it feels wrong...

June 10, 2009

I fail at life...

So here's a little something about me. I have trouble making friends. My husband likes to blame this on homeschooling but I honestly believe it is just the way I am. I'm not shy, I do great in public and I love meeting people. I have a ton of acquaintances but friends don't seem to stick. I don't know, maybe I smell bad.

Here's a little more. I'm a homebody so I have barely left the house in the nine months Bug has been here. When I do get out it is to go to school. You know, for engineering. Engineering. Code word for "no vaginas."

And to top it off with a big ol' scoop of pathetic, Bug wasn't exactly planned. At all. I had a shotgun wedding minus the shotgun. (Justice of the Peace said a lovely prayer.) I'm not technically legal to drink adult get the picture. I love Bug and I always have but it was taken me none months to feel like I am "supposed" to be a mother. Like I belong here and I deserve to be proud of it.

So I was REALLY EXCITED that I found a playgroup in my town. Yes, I know they are supposed to be for children but holy cow, I was going to talk to moms! Real live ones with kids and everything. It took a little gumption (gumption, not courage. I'm not that pathetic...) to contact them and even more to attend the first event. It was today, a meetup at the splash park.

Yay! Perfect! Our AC is dead so of course I would love to go slash around with the Bugglet and meet my new friends. I was so excited that my husband made fun of me for sounding like a little kid. Getting ready to go felt like I was headed to a party. I even shaved my legs...

I get there, pay, walk in, and wait to the see the gathering of happy mothers. Maybe they would wear matching shirts, perhaps they would have a sign proclaiming their welcome. I was even open to an aura of light and the angel chorus. I didn't know how but I knew I would see them.

I didn't...

I thought maybe they met up at the swings and and would walk over together.

They didn't...

I thought maybe it was canceled.

It wasn't...

I load Bug back into the car and drive home. I checked the website to see if something changed or if I got the time wrong. Nope, time was 3 o'clock. Location was, wait...MLK park? I thought it was at Creekmore.

I had gone to the wrong park.

I got Bug all showered because he was sleepy and then laid down with him. I had gone to the wrong park. I felt so stupid. My new friends didn't go to the wrong park. About this time I started crying. I haven't cried about anything since the first month of Baby Blues. But I cried about this. I had spent 45 minutes splashing with my son, eagerly searching for faces that looked "playgroupish" and getting upset. Meanwhile, 10 minutes north, moms and kids were having a great time and wondering (I can only hope) why I wasn't there. I felt like an idiot. Bug laughed at me and tried to cram the wet towel in my wailing mouth. I blubbered an apology to him about how he was never going to have any friends because I would always take him to the wrong place or get lost or forget and how I was a generally horrible mother and he could send me the bill for therapy. He spit up on the bed...

I still feel horrible. And I can't even make good cookies. Yes, I made depression cookies. What about it...

March 01, 2009

Pantry Challenge Update...

The pantry Challenge is going a lot better that I expected. Food has been a little scarce this week but that is only because I felt like going on strike.

Here's a recap:

On February 2, Bear and I made a trip that I personally think we should all just ignore.

chocolate chip cookie dough
2 ltr Big Red
vanilla ice cream
and for some reason cottage cheese (large curd of course)

Total: 9.57

On Feb. 9:

chocolate syrup
apricot jelly
2 canned green chilies
2 bell peppers
4 potatoes
razors for her

Total: 21.13

On Feb. 10 (I don't know why I went the very next day):

turkey bacon
more tortillas (I know now, I wanted to make a double batch of enchiladas)
turkey deli meat
and ummm, something for Mommy and Daddy

Total: 15.94

On Feb. 17:

chicken breast
ranch dressing
jello pudding

Total: 14.44

On Feb. 20:

roma tomatoes
engine oil
2 butters
3 fruit cocktail

Total: 19.80

The last two trips were largely because my parents were coming down and I made lunch and dinner. The ingredients used were still less that eating out and we had two days of leftovers.

So, the grand total, including the normal sized first trip,two company meals, and a few personal items, comes to $186.57. Am I impressed? Not really. It has been six week since my PC declaration and considering that our average monthly food cost is 200, six weeks would normally be $300. It is a savings but not as much as I anticipated.

But wait, if you take out the 61.34 of the original trip that brings the total spent during the PC to 125.23. Ok, that is more in line with what I expected, about $20 a week. Alright, so maybe I am impressed. Could I have done better? Absolutely. But I'm not done yet...

February 17, 2009

She must have done something, er, right...

Ok before I move onto this post, I have to say that Bug is a walking (well, not exactly) example of cause and effect. You pee - your diaper gets wet. You hit yourself in the face with a toy - it doesn't feel very good. You cram your fingers too far down your throat - you gag. You fall off the couch backwards - it hurts, badly.

His latest one is, Mama whips out the Girls - you get to eat! When this little man sees the buffet line open you would think his eyes were about to pop out. He starts chattering away like they are long lost friends. It's actually kind of disturbing. (Bug, my eyes are up here!) I would like to say that baby's are in fact NOT to old for breastfeeding when the can ask for it, but apparently I'm going to have to convince myself a little more.

Now, onto the post!

My mother did not teach me very much about the finer art cooking. I have my theories about why she didn't take a more active role in cultivating my homemaking talents. But that doesn't change the fact that I came into marriage with only soups and casseroles under my belt. This is not to say that she is not a good cook. She is incredible, something of a magician. She can make amazing meals out of absolutely nothing,. You put her in a kitchen with a chicken leg, two onions, and some honey and she will come back with a three course meal.

I must have picked something up because last night, I pulled a Mom. It is hard to describe what "a Mom" means. It usually involves extreme impatience, forgetfulness, and generally not doing things correctly. Thankfully, she also has a gift of resuscitating and recreating meals that others would deem beyond hope.

Here's my Mom moment. I used to make cookies called oatmeal scotchies and the other day I got a bad craving for them. We had some caramel pieces which I figured could sub in for the required butterscotch chips. I found an appropriate recipe and went at it. They smelled great but when I took the first batch out it was obvious they were not going to bake up well. The edges were totally burnt but the centers were still uncooked. So what do I? Scrape the bad cookies off the sheets (burnt bits and all) and threw them into a baking pan. I crunched them up, mixed the rest of the batter in, and threw it in the oven.

The result? It tasted good, if you didn't break a tooth. The caramel had melted and, well, caramelized, leaving an impenetrable, possibly dangerous texture. It would have made lovely building material. Getting a piece required chiseling a fork through the crust and using the leverage of full body weight to pry it out. I hacked away at over the course of a day until I decided the risk was not worth the taste. So here came my moment of brilliance. I decided to jackhammer the remainer out of the pan (taking care not to crack the glass), grind it up in the blender (cross your fingers that the blades don't break) and make a pie crust. Scraping that stuff out literally made my teeth hurt from the sound. But I think it will work and I am very happy with myself for using the unusable. My mother would be proud...

But here is where any similarities end. Whereas my mother would be rummaging through the cabinets trying to figure out how to make a pie out of crystallized honey and expired yogurt, I bought Jello.

The final irony: I plan on serving said pie this weekend for visitors. My parents...

February 16, 2009

Always at the worst time...

My husband works at something called an FBO. Here's a little history lesson. When planes were first taking to the skys, flights were so rare and take off and landing points to irregular, that fuel truck just followed around on the ground. This occurred up until WWI when it became obvious that they needed fixed fueling stations. Hence the creation of a Fixed Base Operation. Think of it as a full service, 24 gas station for planes. Because of the 24 hour operation, his schedule is very sporadic. By the time everyone has their 40 hours a week and all the days off they need, there is no telling what days he'll have off. For the most part he gets every other weekend and two days during the over week. He usually works 2-10 and 4-12 on Fridays. This schedule is very hard to work around with a baby who should be going to bed early and my school in the morning. I want to stay up to see my Bear and I want to keep Bug up so he'll sleep in and let his Daddy rest. The result is that no one gets quite enough sleep and I am very happy when when my husband gets to spend all day with us.

Except that doesn't ever seem to happen. In fact, I an starting to dread days off because it means something bad will happen. A friend's car will break down and he will have to go fix it, our car will go on the fritz and need work, a family member will get sick and we have to go visit. Something always happens.

Today was a day off. I didn't remember until I got home from school and crawled back into bed with my boys. I was so happy that I didn't have to say goodbye to my Bear in two hours but I almost immediately started waiting for the "phone call." It came around noon. My husband is doing some work restoring a '79 Firebird. He set up shop in a hanger at work and had since moved the car out but left the engine and some miscellaneous parts. His boss asked him to get it out by the end of the month because the were going to rent out that hanger. Fine. The phone call was a work buddy informing him that he had to get it out today. Still fine. Wait until ten when this friend gets off, go out their, load it up, bring in back to our shed. No big deal, needed to be done anyways.

Well, around 5 this same friend calls back with some bad news. Last night when him and my husband were putting up a plane it seems the wing hit the wall of the hanger. My husband was driving the tug and the friend was walking by the wing for the very purpose of keeping an eye on the clearance. The corporate head quarters recently issued a very specific set of rules for wing-walkers to avoid this exact situation. It comes down to two things. Either the friend wasn't doing his job and let it hit or someone else hit it while taking the plane out today and lied. Bear is sure he would have known if he did it.

Here's the bad part...

Regardless of who's fault it is, Bear has to go in for a mandatory drug test as early as possible in the morning. The place opens at 8 and I have class at 9:30. Drug testing has taken up to two hours in the past. I cannot miss class and we cannot get a baby sitter for Bug with this short of notice. We could leave him with some ladies at Bear's work but that would mean he couldn't eat from 8 until 11. "Not eat?" you ask. "Just take a bottle," you say. Yes, that would work for any cooperative kind of baby. But Bug, in his parent's stubborn style, absolutely refuses to take a bottle as of last week. Great. That might put a little kink in my 'year of exclusive breastfeeding while finishing college full time' plans.

Here's the really bad part...

All the line guys get a $115 incentive check every month...if no one breaks anything. That means if one person screws up, they have 8 angry coworkers breathing down their neck wondering where their little bonus is. At the other FBOs it is very rare that something doesn't happen so their check is truly a reward. But here has the lowest accident rate out of the twelve locations so the check is kind of expected. In fact, Bear has only not gotten in one other time. A guy forgot to put the gas cap on the plane so when the pilot took off he noticed his fuel gauge dropping quickly and gas trailing out behind him. He circled around and landed, catching his plane on fire in the process. Of course that happened during an absolutely dismal month financially and we were really waiting for that little break.

Which brings us to, why this is such a bummer...

We are trying to save as much money as possible because we are planning on moving in April. We are in a cute little townhouse right now but it is time to be homeowners. Renting was a wonderful thing for us and completely the right choice for the time. But with all the changes happening in the government and the low housing market, there is no better chance. Add to it my mom recently getting her real estate license and you've got a winning deal!

$115 is not very much to some, but it a lot to us. We need as much as possible in the bank because we have no credit. It's not the end of the world but it is a bummer.

Anyways, Bear went in to try and explain that he doesn't think it was his fault. Hopefully his boss is still there. And while he's at it, his friend can help him get the engine out. Providing Bear still wants to speak to him. He was not a very happy Bear when he left...

February 13, 2009

And on the eighth day, God made Tater...Part 1

And gave her a Bear, then a Bug, and their life was good.

Today I'm participating in the SWAK carnival at We Are That Family. I've read a few of the stories so far (mostly on the blogs that I already frequent) and I've noticed a reoccurring theme. It seems like every one of these ladies were traveling along, peacefully or not, in one direction when PLOP! God stuck the perfect guy in front of their face.

My love story is no different. Except mine is completely devoid of romance, flowers, or anything of that sort. It is a when the rubber hits the road, till death do us part kind of love story. Only God could give this one a happy ending. This is how I became a Tater...

I left my safe, home schooled life at the age of 16 to go to college. Most people said I was too young but their was nothing for me to do at home. I had exhausted the local community college and it would have killed me to sit around for two years until I was "ready." Besides, I had a plan and support system of faculty and administration. I had a full ride scholarship in engineering and it seemed like everyone was bending over backwards to make sure I was comfortable and taken care of. It was a very small college and their concern was genuine. I was starting a new chapter in my life and it was going to be wonderful.

It was going to be so wonderful that I decided I wouldn't even consider having a boyfriend until my Junior year. I never had before that so what was the point in it? Keep that in mind...

My parents helped me move in to my single apartment on campus the day before I went to the freshman orientation camp. ::Side note: The three days at that camp were the best of my life. It was truly one of those life changing experiences. I wish I could go back and explain to myself how much I was going to appreciate that time.:: Anyways, the next morning I had to be at the athletic center at 9:30am to load up in the buses. Like the good little freshman that I was, I woke up extra early and trotted off to buy my books (to be "prepared", even though classes didn't start for an other week). I got back to my apartment and remembered that I needed to turn in my room assessment form at the office before I left. So off I went.

I remember being so scared to walk out my front door. I was nervous about this whole, living alone concept so everything was big and scary and not to be trusted. The thought that I was living in an apartment complex, surrounded by people who obviously knew exactly what they were doing was terrifying. I prayed that I would encounter no one, lest I had to make human contact. I walked quickly, but as I rounded the corner into the courtyard I saw someone. Not just any someone, a male someone. He wore jeans and a dark t-shirt and he had LONG HAIR. I was petrified. Long hair could only mean bad things, most likely that he was going to rape me. Imagine my horror when he fell in behind me and followed me all the way to the office. The situation grew worse when he opened the door for me. (Rapists always open doors for ladies, right?) We found the office closed, he commented about it, I muttered something under my breath and fairly ran back to the safety of my new home.

When I was growing up I always hoped I would remember the first time I met my husband. Unfortunately I do. He does too. He said I looked like I fell out of the 80's that morning and he noticed I was very nervous and didn't seem to like him.

Apparently we rode on the bus to camp together and spoke during a "round robin get to know ya". I don't remember. I do remember that once I realized on one planned to rape me, I felt strangely drawn to him. I felt like I had always known him. We talked some at camp and later, after classes started, we were hardly ever apart. The thought of a relationship never entered my head. (Not until Junior year, remember?) He was more like my brother, my best friend. We completed each other's sentences and had everything in common. This was the best time of my life. Classes were easy, I was making friends, and I had him. We used to go out at 2 in the morning and walk around the campus. Our campus has the largest bell tower this side of the Mississippi (that made me feel so hick) and it was beautiful to walk through the lights around it and talk about everything. Once, in late fall, we went out and played in the sprinklers on the green and each jumped in the decorative fountains. Talk about cold! My favorite night of all was when we stayed up all night long, facing each other at each end of the couch, just talking. We were always talking, and we didn't know it but we were always falling in love. But never like that...

I will finish later. This kind of cheating on the carnival but tell that to my screaming, hungry child...