Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm back!!!

I know I just posted yesterday, but something really important happened today that I must talk about. At about 8:07 this morning, the worst thing that could ever happen to me, happened!

The peninsula lost internet!!!!!

Not just my house, not just my neighborhood, but apparently the whole Delmarva Peninsula, or at the very least the upper eastern shore, lost their ability to access the internet.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the storm of the century we just experienced for the past 18 hours, but since my phone line runs through my internet line, I was completely cut off from the modern world.

I spent the first couple of hours in a state of panic. I couldn't check my email, I couldn't update websites, I didn't know if my new boss was trying to get a hold of me with computer questions, and I could not speak to another living soul. Except of course for my 2 year old son.

After a morning spent trying desperately to fix the phone connection, only to be repeatedly told by a computer voice on the phone that I really didn't know what the heck I was doing, I decided that we must not have paid the Vonage bill.

That knowledge led to a moment or two of peace for me. Since I do not have a car and I didn't have telephone service or internet service, there wasn't a heck of a lot I could do to change my current situation. So I hunkered down and decided to make the best of it.

By lunchtime, my son and I had discovered new routines to our day. We went outside and "puddle-stomped." We discovered new books that we had never read before. We played dress up and had a short little parade. Since my computer still did everything else, I worked on my book for a while. I did laundry and washed bedsheets. I actually got a lot done today.

Right after I got my darling daughter off of the bus at 4:00pm, the phone finally rang. My husband and my best friend were desperately trying to call me all day to make sure we weren't flooding. (We didn't, yay!) They also explained to me that the entire area had lost internet. I have never been so glad to hear a phone ring in my life. I grabbed the ringing phone and clung to it like a life ring in a raging ocean storm. I was saved, I could speak to another adult, it was glorious! And if I had telephone service again, that means I could access the internet again. I quickly logged on and discovered I had 33 emails that I needed to read.

Guess what? Thirty-two of them were spam. Apparently I missed nothing at all today. Huh! Oh, well, I am off the read a book. Catch ya later!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bella Swan: not so bad after all!

Beware! If you are into the Twilight series and have not finished Breaking Dawn, do not read this. I have some heavy duty spoilers. Read on at your own Risk.

I had previously written an article on another website about how the Twilight series was seriously starting to bother me. Here is the link to it.

The general thesis to my article was about how Bella Swan had changed during the course of the series from a strong independent girl who made the ultimate self-sacrifice in choosing to live with the dad she barely knew so her mother would be happy into a weepy insecure wretch who could not live without a guy. I considered her to be a poor role model for my daughter and just an annoying wimp.

Now that I have finished the series, I have totally changed my opinion. As I was loading the dishwasher for the third time today, I started to ponder the world that the vampire version of Bella lives at the end of the third book. She doesn't have to sleep, so she doesn't get too tired to deal with her husband or kid. She is never too tired from raising Renesmee to deal with whatever Edward has in mind for her after their daughter goes to bed. They don't eat, so she doesn't have to slave over a hot stove all day only to hear that Edward just isn't hungry at dinnertime. And if she doesn't have to cook, she therefore does not have to wash dishes and silverware, and pans with melted cheese stuck to them. She has superhuman strength, so she can clean up any mess and drag a two ton shop vac up a couple of flights of stairs without breaking a sweat. In short, she gets to be married, have a child, and not have to deal with any of the annoyances that we as mothers deal with every day for what feels like the rest of our natural lives. And she gets to live like this forever.

They say that as women we have to do it all. Bella actually gets to do it all, simply because she doesn't have to do it all. She has less on her plate from the get go. And she gets to be young and beautiful through it all.

So,I have changed my mind completely. Not only is Bella not the worst role model I have ever seen, she might be smarter than all of us put together.

So, if you see any vampires in your travels, maybe you could send one or two my way.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Have A Job!

Well, operation "working Toward Independence" is off to a roaring start. I went on an interview last week for a job that I really wanted, and I just found out today that I got it. A nice woman named Rebecca called me to offer me a job. It is a part time job, but the pay is enough that we might be able to afford a car and to send my 3 year old son to preschool.

Oh, wait. I have a three year old son. That's right, I need to find somewhere for him to go while I am working two days a week. I immediately checked out area preschools and found a slight problem. All the preschools I found have two day a week programs, but they only last 2 hours a day. I need somewhere for Trevor to go for three hours a day. Unfortunately it looks like I might have to go the daycare route. (shudders in horror)

This job also only pays quarterly. The job starts in August and my first paycheck wouldn't be until October. This writing thing better start to pay off soon so I can buy a car. It is the definition of irony: I need a job to buy a car, and I need a car to get a job. Or maybe not irony, maybe more like a catch-22. or something equally scary.

I will figure this out. This is a job that I desperately want to do, and do well. It is in a field that I have been dying to break into, and this position might mean a whole new career path for me.

But I have time to figure all of this out. Until then: I HAVE A JOB!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My one year plan

I have a plan. I am calling it the 'Working Toward Independence' plan. If I can make my plan work, then by this time next year I will be a whole new woman.

Let me start from the beginning. When my second child was born, I knew that I wouldn't be able to afford daycare for a toddler and an infant on a private school teacher's salary. I decided to stay home and raise the children while my husband became the sole breadwinner of the family. I thought it would be great, and to a point it has been. I have had time to volunteer at my daughter's school and chaperone field trips. I am able to keep my children home from school when they are sick without going twenty rounds with an angry boss threatening my job if I don't come in. In that respect, it has been a dream.

On the downside, we were no longer able to afford two cars. We became a one car family. And I cannot do it anymore. I have been late for doctor's appointments more times than I can count. I have had to rely on my best friend for rides to places. I cannot participate in any playdates with my mommy friends unless someone is willing to pick me up. (and you would think that they would be happy to, but apparently not) To say it has been challenging is an understatement. And the state of Maryland makes it almost impossible to actually own a car. There is insurance, tags, insurance, tags, and so on. And if your insurance lapses for any reason, then the state fines you and revokes your tags. So, in a nutshell, if you can't afford to pay your insurance, the state punishes you by making you pay more money. And removing your means for getting to your job to make more money. And I can't afford to buy and maintain a car unless I get a job, but I can't really get a job without a car. What the heck is that all about? Talk about a catch-22. A catch-22 seemingly devised to keep me at home in my kitchen.

And the lack of money has been a challenge too. There are so many thing I would like my children to do, which they cannot do because we don't have the money. Or a way to get there.

The final straw came this week. I actually got mad at my best friend and deleted her from my facebook account because I was so jealous that she gets to get out and see people anytime she wants. Luckily, she understood that my particular psychosis had nothing actually to do with her and more to do with my hatred for staring at the walls, and forgave me. Although she hasn't refriended me online yet. But I am sure she still loves me. I hope.

But I have a plan. I have a job interview on Friday with a tutoring company. I hope I get the job. Hopefully I will be able then to make payments on a small car and get my self out of this house occasionally. Have fun. Make some friends and actually see them from time to time. Wish me luck! God helps those who help themselves, and I am doing my best to do so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good bye, Dear Crib

This week marks a milestone in our little family. My youngest child is getting ready to transition from the crib to a big boy bed. The bed arrives tomorrow, the mattresses arrive on Friday. We have sheets, pillow, blankets, everything we need.

This particular crib we have been using has had quite a journey in life. We purchased this crib over 6 years ago in anticipation of our first child's birth. We didn't actually use it until Allison was 4 months old, and it has been in near constant use since then. She slept in it until she was almost 3, and then we moved her into a big girl bed just in time for her brother to arrive. About a month went by when it wasn't being used in between children.

Allison's baby brother is now approaching his third birthday. He is growing too tall for the crib, even at the lowest mattress setting. He is showing an incredible interest in the rest of our beds. He makes up beds on the floor for his stuffed animals. He turns pillowcases into sleeping bags and pretends to sleep on the floor. His every move seems to say to us,like a well fed, sleepy Oliver Twist, "Please guys, I want a bed."

So, we have gotten him a bed. He may be ready, but I am not sure I am. The crib has a certain security to me. I can put him in it at night and know that when I wake up in the morning, he will still be where I left him. I am not ready for 'free range' baby yet. When his sister first left the crib, I used to wake up in the middle of the night to find her climbing into bed with me. I am dreading the return of those days.

Plus, the crib is almost like a member of the family now. It has lived with us and cared for our children at night for almost half a decade. I thought about giving it to another family, but a bolt is starting to fall out of one side. So, to the dump it goes.

Wish me luck. Wish Trevor luck. He should be a free-range chicken by Friday night. And I should, once again, be a tired, sleep deprived mommy by Saturday morning. Oh the joys of childhood.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A conversation at Girl Scouts

I was at my daughter's Girl Scout Meeting last night getting my cookie selling information,and some parents and I had an interesting conversation. We started talking about our children's behavior, then we spoke about our jobs, and somehow the conversation turned to standards of cleanliness in homes.

I got a little frightened by the turn of events happening in front of me, as I have always believed that I am a terrible housekeeper. My house isn't dirty or in violation of any health codes or anything, but with a 3 year old, a 6 year old, and a slob of a husband with ADD, the clutter can start to pile up faster than I can deal with it. As much as I fight it, the tradition around our house continues to be a sort of Hansel and Gretel re-enactment. My husband and daughter will arrive home leaving a trail of clothing, hats, coats, socks, and shoes leading from the front door to whatever room they decide to reside in. And like the nasty mean birds in the story, I will go behind them picking up the bread crumb trail and dealing with it. Now that I think about it, those birds were really misunderstood. They were just trying to keep their home neat, now that I think about it.

Anyway, the conversation at Girl Scouts turned to cleaning. You know how when you go to other people's houses for a visit, the house is so clean and neat that you have problems believing that isn't how they live all the time? Then you develop a little low-level depression because you know you could never aspire to the same standards no matter how hard you try. And these people usually have children. And you truly believe these are the neatest children in the world. (My friend Karen is the worst with this. Since her husband moves around a lot, she keeps her house staged for show all the time. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Love you Karen!)

Well, the truth is out. This is an impossible standard that most people cannot maintain on a daily basis. That is why cleaning services were invented. One parent told me that he went over someone's house, and they had to wash dishes right there in front of him so they could serve him food. Now I will admit, there are dishes in my sink right now. My dishwasher holds quite a bit of dishes, but it isn't a bottomless pit of room or anything. But can't we pretty much agree that having available dishes is a standard we can all strive to?

So that is my first New Year's Resolution this year. There are depths to which we should probably never fall, so I resolve to make sure I have available seating and available dishes and glasses at all times. This might be the first resolution I maintain all year long.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I don't want out of 2010

Happy New Year, Everyone! Hope your holiday was happy! Instead of making a list of New Years resolutions for myself, I have decided to make a list of resolutions for the new year. In other words, these are the things that bugged me in 2009, that 2010 must improve on to not irritate me. I came up with this list last night and I am sure many of you will agree with me that some things need to not continue into the next year.

1. Pressing 1 for English and getting someone who speaks English with an non-understandable accent. I pressed 1 for English. How is that so hard to understand?

2. People who verbally say "OMG" or "WTF". I'm sorry, would you rather be texting me instead?

Which brings me to. . .

3. Little kids who text. Who are you texting, anyway? Your broker?

4. People who cut me off mid-sentence to text someone else. texting annoys me, can you tell. Probably because I can't afford to do it anyway.

And now for the non-texting resolutions for 2010:

5. People who try to find love on television. VH1 and E!: this is for you!

6. When my favorite shows change their formats and end up ruining themselves. I am calling this the "new coke" strategy. Why fix what isn't broken. A perfect example is American Idol. After all this time they changed to a four judge panel, and they were too busy being impressed that they could all talk on tv that we never really got to see anyone sing.

7. Ugg boots and bare legs. I own a pair, and my personal opinion is if it is cold enough to wear them, it's probably time to throw on a pair of tights.

And now to end with a personal resolution of my own.

8. I resolve to try to ignore the 7 issues addressed above, since I will probably confront all of them again in 2010. And I will eat more vegetables.

Have a Happy New Year!