Category Archives: family

I should know better . . .

. . . than to say I have laundry under control.  Seriously.  Just when I think I’ve conquered it – BOOM!! – the laundry pile is suddenly a mountain that threatens to come crashing down on top of me if I don’t start up the washer pronto.  I know it’s never-ending, so why the heck I said it’s under control is beyond me.  I know better!! 🙂 

I think I’ll start of new category of “I should know better …”s.  I’ve got a bunch of them!  I’m a smart gal, at least in some areas, but sometimes I do make the same mistakes a couple of times.  The laundry comment is minor, yes, but let’s see what else I can come up with.  What about you?   Anyone want to share their own “I should know better” moments?  Names can be change to protect the humiliated. 🙂

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Filed under family, I should know better . . ., life, motherhood, parenting, working mom

Ahhhh, the weekend

Since I’ve been in corporate America for nearly a year and a half, after being a stay-at-home mom, then going to grad school, I’ve come to appreciate the weekend in an entirely different way.  I savor my weekends.  Of coure, there’s the anticipation that builds as the weekdays pass.  Thursday is especially delightful in knowing the next day will be Friday, and then . . . glorious weekend.  Fridays can be crazy busy at work, but I don’t let things get to me because I know in a few hours I’ll have two days entirely for my son and me.

And here it is Friday.  Lovely.  My son’s in bed.  I have a glass of wine, which I’m savoring also.  Breathe in the bouquet followed by small sips of utter enjoyment.  One glass.  Not enough to get tanked, but just enough to enjoy.  Fabulous.

I’ve been energized this week.  I feel like I’ve accomplished a great deal at work.  Tonight I started my weekend housecleaning that I usually start on Saturday morning.  I started laundry and already have that under control.  The kitchen’s in pretty good shape.  I’m feeling good about things.  I’m sure the nice weather we’ve had these past couple of days has helped.  The battle for spring is on.  Right now the warmer temps are in the lead, but winter’s going to do another smack down early in the week.  Back to frigid reality.  At least for a few days.  So for now, I’ll savor this warmer weather the way I savor my weekends and my wine.  One moment at a time.  Hope your weekend is enjoyable and you can spend some time with people you love.  Cheers!

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Time flies

Has it really been over two months since my last post??? I know it’s corny, but it’s oh so true: time flies.  Next week it’ll be February.  Good Lord! 

I guess I got swept up in the holidays and end of year work busy-ness. (More like work craziness, but that’s another post!) Even though the holidays can be hectic, I’m finding that I love Christmas more and more.  That may seem like a strange thing to say, but when I look back at how stressful the holidays were when I was married, I’ve come a long way. It used to be all about making sure we made the rounds, my husband was cranky because he didn’t like us spending money, he didn’t know what he wanted to buy people, and ideas I would suggest would often get shot down. Even my own wish list would get shot down, and I’m not talking extravagant items either.  Wow. I don’t miss those days.

Now I’m still doing the holiday shuffle, making sure we visit who we need to, but for whatever reason I find more joy in the season. I love the festivities. Love to decorate. Love to shop. Not that I’m a marathon shopper, at all. If I pick up a gift or two at a time, I’m doing good. I guess maybe I’ve learned to pace myself. I know what my patience level is and I work with it. And for the first time, in probably my whole adult life, I was sad to take down the Christmas tree.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

I changed the blog theme to something more holiday-ish.  It’s not just retailers getting in the mood! One of our local radio stations starts playing Christmas music promptly each November 1st.  Some people grumble and ask, Do they really have enough music to play all day, let alone for two months?  The answer is yes, they do.  I enjoy listening to it, and granted, there are songs I don’t particularly like, so I do the same thing I do the other 10 months of the year: I change the station.  I think it’s nice when we have Christmas music to add to the mix.

Don’t get me wrong, though.  I’m not always gung-ho and on top of the holiday madness.  I didn’t send out Christmas cards last year.  I can’t remember if I did the year before that or not.  I’m rather spotty when it comes to Christmas cards, some years I do, some I don’t.  I love writing letters, so you’d think I’d be a natural.  I enjoy sending photo Christmas cards, though, and sometimes it’s not easy to find someone to take a snap of my son and me. 

You’d think, as much as I love writing, that I’d get into the Christmas letter, catching everyone up on our lives in a month by month recap, but I haven’t embraced that tradition yet.  Maybe one of these days.  This year, I’m planning to send cards.  I’m even offering to help my mom send photo Christmas cards of her and dad if she’d like.  She hasn’t done that before.  I took a few photos of them recently that would work well, so I’m going to send those to her and see what she thinks.  She gets to pick the photo, and I’ll order the cards and send them to her. 

Now for Christmas shopping . . .

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Public School Pest

When you think of pest, you probably think of a student, but in our case, I think it’s my son’s teacher.  He’s been complaining that she’s mean.  A few students have even cried, and these aren’t kindergarteners, they’re 5th graders —  Kiddos who are used to the school routine.  Except when your teacher is an intense 25+ year veteran teacher.  Normally I’d be grateful for an experienced teacher, but in this case, I don’t think experience weighs out.  I haven’t figured out if it’s just her personality, that she’s just abrasive, or if she’s burned out, or if it’s both of those and maybe more.

All I know is my normally happy-go-lucky little man has been stressed and anxious, and even crying at the thought of going back to school each day.  I called a meeting with the teacher and the principal, and I left having mixed emotions.  She’s definitely intense, and wanted to steer the focus of the meeting to what she wanted to talk about.  Definitely an overbearing personality.  We agreed to weekly phone calls.  Last night was the first of those.  I can’t say I feel any better about the whole situation. 

And she threw in a verbal slap in the face, saying she had heard that my son wanted to live with his dad.  I know for a fact this isn’t true, but what I don’t know is if she said that strictly as a jab, or as retribution for calling her to the principal’s office, or if she was digging for information.  Doesn’t really matter.  What I do know, is that as a mother and grandmother (as she told me she was) she knows full well the power behind her statement.  Shame on her.  I see thru her comment, but how many other parents has she wounded in her 25+ years of teaching.  Multiply that times ten and we might have a low-ball estimate of the number of students she’s traumatized over the years.

How is it that this woman still teaches?  I’ve been trying for a year and  half to get a teaching job and haven’t had any luck, but here’s this hateful woman interacting with innocent children on a daily basis.  It boggles my mind!

I’ve typed up an email to the principal outlining all of my concerns and requesting that my son be transferred out of her class.  I haven’t sent it yet, but I did send it to my ex-husband who was also in the meeting.  I want to see what he thinks about it, and I want to let it sit for a day.  I’ll look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes and see if anything needs to be added or taken out.

It’s a stressful situation.  It’s so hard to see your child in misery.  So hard to drop him off at school each day knowing I’m sending him into such agony.  I know the school has a policy of class assignments being final, but in this case I think they have to make an exception.  He’s not focused on learning, and he can’t have a year of this level of stress.  I may be in for a battle, but they’ve got this mother hen riled up.

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Filed under children, family, motherhood, parenting, Public School, rants & raves, the kiddo, working mom

Sad Sundays

I’ve always thought of Sundays as a little sad.  When I was a kid, it meant whatever cousins had come to visit for the weekend had to go home; it meant the end of the weekend and the beginning of the school week; it meant the end of fun and back to the grind.  As an adult, my perception of Sundays hasn’t changed. 

We had a fabulous weekend with friends of ours who last year moved two hours away to a college town.  They have a lovely home outside of town and there’s a creek on the backside of their property.  It’s so utterly scenic, they should charge us for staying the weekend.  I think if I lived there I would be utterly and totally at peace.

In fact, driving out there yesterday morning, I came to the conclusion that part of the stress I’ve been experiencing lately is due to not getting out of the city in so long.  I love getting out to the pastures and farm land and corn fields.  A couple of years ago when I was in NYC, I stood on the sidewalk gazing up the skyscrapers and precious few trees and wondered how far I would have to drive before I saw any farmland or a cow?  I’ve told people about that experience, and I think they thought I was crazy.  “I must say, I’ve never wondered about cattle when I’ve been in the Big Apple” or “With all there is to see, you couldn’t stop thinking about pastures??”  Yes, I confounded my friends.  I finally stopped telling people.  It was an odd experience.  I love NYC and plan to visit again and again; it really has nothing to do with the city itself.  It’s more about me, and where my spirit is.  And believe me, the revelation has surprised even me.

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to leave the country, move to the city, get where the action was.  I wasn’t going to be held back by some small-town, I was going places.  So now I’ve spent more of my life living in cities than I did living in the country, but I find myself drawn to it like a touchstone.  I need that time to help ground me, literally.  It feels like the pull of generations.  

I don’t think I could give up all the conveniences of city life, though.  Maybe one of these days, but for now I’d like the best of both worlds.  Sort of like my friends have.  Smaller but good sized community, and living on the outskirts of that.  As I listen to the sound of traffic outside my window, the wheels are turning, trying to formulate a plan of possibilities.

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Back to Reality: or, more accurately, the post vacation blues

I’m back home now.  We traveled far.  We saw lots of scenery.  It was a grand adventure.  And I would share it with you in all its photographic glory, except I left my camera in Wyoming.  Yes, I set it down while watching a film on historic Fort Laramie and walked right off without it.  I didn’t know it was missing until somewhere in Nebraska.  (Chimney Rock, specifically.)  I tried not to panic, but we were on the homestretch of our trip.  Days of photos are on that camera, and these aren’t poses you can just recreate.  If they’re gone, they’re gone.  I tried calling the Fort, but was having trouble getting through.  Western Nebraska and my cell phone service weren’t mixing well.  I finally did get through, but by then they were closed.  I had a restless night.  I hoped that someone hadn’t decided they were the proud new owners of a digital camera.  Not that it’s special or really nice or anything exceptional.  But it held my memories of the trip thus far.

The next morning I groggily called the Fort again.  I was barely awake, sounded like a trucker who smokes two packs a day and hadn’t had her morning coffee, but I had to know if someone had been kind enough to turn in my camera.  Had I really left it at the Fort?  Or did I absent-mindedly toss it in the trash when I’d cleaned up after we had our picnic lunch?  Or did I leave it in the bathroom at the Bachelor Soldiers Barracks?  Where was it?  Would I get it back?  While we were at Yellowstone, I overheard my mother say to my father, “This might be our last time to be here” and those words stuck with me and haunted me as I wondered if I would have any photographic memories of this trip at all! 

I reached a real person that morning, who had me describe my camera, said it had been found and they would mail it to me.  Such relief!!  I wanted to cry.   That was a few days ago.  My camera hasn’t arrived yet, and I began to wonder if I dreamed the phone call, so this afternoon I called the fort again.  They assured me my camera was mailed and should be arriving soon. 

You may be wondering why we didn’t turn around and go back to get it, but we were several hours away and by the time we would’ve gotten there, they would’ve been closed.  Besides, who knew if it would even be there?  We just didn’t have that much time in our “budget” to backtrack that far.  I decided calling would be the most practical answer.

So now we’re back and I’ve been back at work two days.  They rearranged sections of the office while I was gone and now I have a nice corner cubicle with windows in front and behind/beside me.  I should be excited. Instead, I’ve got the post-vacation blues.  I’ve come to fully realize how much I dislike my job.  How mind-numbing and pointless it is.  Being there all day has me feeling like a caged animal.  But is it really my job?  Or is this merely a result of me being tired and road-worn and, as a result, less patient?  All I know is I don’t like feeling this way, and as trying as it could be at times traveling with family members who are used to a variety of schedules, I would take that any day over my day in the cube. 

Anyway, photos and stories to follow  as soon as I get my camera back.  I hope it’s soon!

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Filed under children, family, memories, travel, vacation