Friday, March 25, 2011

One of those mornings

This morning I woke up 16 minutes late with a throbbing migraine on the right side of my head.  16 minutes might not seem like much, but my morning routine with the kids takes exactly 45 minutes.

I resigned myself to the fact that they were going to be late for school.  I was going to have to walk them into school and sign them in, in the office.  In other words, I was going to have to go on the walk of shame, the walk where you get the stink eye from the school secretary for being tardy.

I decided that I wasn't even going to stress the fact that I was going to have to go into the school with the worst bed head ever.  Whatever.

Problem is, when I tell my kids to hurry up, that must translate in their minds somehow to:  "Get ready as slowly as possible.  Take 5 minutes to put your pants on."  Their ability to rush is nonexistent.

And then right as we were getting ready to go, Ryan informed me that his backpack was missing.  I wrote a blog a few months ago about what a sin it apparently is to go to school without your backpack.  Needless to say, he was freaking out, absolutely losing it over his damn backpack.

After about 7 precious minutes of searching and me screaming at him, the backpack was still nowhere to be found, so I threw a tote bag at him and told him that if he doesn't hang up his backpack every day after school, punishments will be fierce.  I was mad as hell....and my migraine definitely was not helping me keep my cool.

So about 15 minutes after they're supposed to be at school, we walk into the office.  The secretary looks at me and says, "I'm confused.  So his backpack was here without him?"

This is when I felt like smacking my head against my palm as hard as I could.

He left his backpack on the bus yesterday afternoon.  It was never in the house to begin with.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To quit or not to quit. That is the question of the day.

We had a little situation here on Monday night.

Jayden started going to dance class a few weeks ago.  I thought she loved it.  On Monday night, when I told her to get ready, she started saying things like, "I don't want to go.  I don't want to be a dancer anymore."

Now, if you know my daughter, this is absurd. 

While I don't have a natural rhythm and pretty much can't dance to save my life, Jayden is the kind of person who, at the sound of music, starts to move her shoulders to the beat.  I don't even think she realizes she does it...she just feels the music.

I asked her why she didn't want to go and she would just whine and say, "Because..."  She was in tears.

If I suspected that she truly hated dance class with all her heart and soul, I would let her quit.  And I didn't get the sense that she was being bullied or anything like that, but I felt like a monster forcing her to go.

I told her she had to go that night, but if she decided that she didn't want to go again, that could be her last class.

Brand dropped her off and told her teacher the situation and that we have a potential drop-out on our hands.

Fast forward an hour later.

Jayden walks in the house with a big smile on her face and tells me she was sorry for acting crazy and mean before she left.

Needless to say, she has decided to not hang up her dancing shoes just yet.

So my question is this:  How do you know when you should let your kid quit an activity or when you should force them to do something they don't want to do?

Shoot, I quit band in high school because the director was a douche and embarrassed me one time.

My dad still hasn't let me live that one down.  After all, flutes are very expensive.  :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trying to find a balance

I am a working mom, but sometimes I wish I could just quit my job and focus solely on taking care of my babies and having a clean house.

I don't know how many hours a week I work because I've never calculated really, but it's a lot.  As a freelance court reporter, I never know where I'm going to be working from one day to the next, and I will basically always have a backlog of pages to edit.

I have work hanging over my head every second of my life.  It's like endless homework.  As soon as I finish one transcript, it's on to the next one...sometimes without even taking a breath.  I basically fall asleep every night with my laptop on my lap or right beside me.

I have a great career in most aspects, but being that I'm self-employed, I don't get the perks of having a regular job.  I don't have set hours.  I can't clock in and clock out.  Health insurance costs a bloody fortune.  And I have to pay additional taxes.

On the plus side, I can pretty much decide what days I want to work.  When I'm not in a deposition, I can be in my pajamas and working on my couch if I want to.  Best of all, court reporting can be very lucrative.  But working at home and being a procrastinator do not mix AT ALL.  And while I have made strides in time management and sticking to deadlines, it is still really, really hard and stressful for me.

The cleanliness of my house suffers.  I can't commit to volunteer at my kids' school, and that bugs me.  More often than not, if you ask me what I am doing, my response is "Working."

It's not cool to have to put your job above everything else in your life...and sometimes I have to.  For example, when we went away last summer, the day before we left I took a rush job...and I spent at least the first three days of my vacation stuck inside, typing away on my laptop while my family was at the beach.  That sucked...hardcore.

All in all, I'm happy that I chose this career and I'm grateful that I'm good at it....but sometimes I dream of just being a person who pumps gas or something monotonous and mindless like that.

Right this very minute I have locked myself in my car because I have a job that needs to be turned in this afternoon...and if I go in the house, I know that I will sit on the couch and pass out from sheer exhaustion.

Such is the life of a court reporter I guess...

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's the First Day of Spring...

...and this is what it looks like outside:

It's just a dusting...but it's snow nonetheless.

Just yesterday, this was my view:

Do you spy some green grass?  It's there to the left...ever so slightly.

On Friday it was, like, 65 degrees.  After the winter we've had, you better believe that girls were out in their daisy dukes and flip-flops, which really made me laugh.

It's just raining now, but we're supposed to get some more of the white stuff again later in the week.  March is a tricky little devil.

You know what though?

I'm really glad to be rid of this:

This morning I've been trying to figure out what we're going to do with the kids over summer break.  Brand has worked third shift up until now, so we never had to worry about child care.

I'm learning that it's going to cost me THOUSANDS for eight weeks of summer camp.

"Wow" is the only word that comes to mind.

Kids aren't cheap.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You know what I think?

  • Corned beef and cabbage is mighty delicious.
  •  The internet is my best friend.
  • Laundry is the devil.
  • Going to Target (or any store, for that matter) with my kids sucks.
  • It's not wise to marry a person that is not your best friend.
  • Beer is gross...wretched even.
  •  Today must have been national "Drive Like an Asshole" day.
  •  Deciding to be cat owners was the worst decision I ever made, hands down.
  • Having to shave my legs is such a waste of time.  Who exactly decided that women were the ones who needed smooth legs?  Because I'd like to punch that person in the face.
Ta ta for now.

So.  Tired.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My day...

This morning I dropped the kids off at school at 8:45, and I didn't see them again until 8:30 at night.

I worked all day long at home on editing my transcripts, stopping only to surf the net occasionally and to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

About a month ago I signed the kids up for an after-school program two days a week.  They love it.  And I find myself looking forward to that extra two hours to get things done.  And let me be honest.  Sometimes "get things done" means take a nap.

Anyway, Brand picked them up at 5:30 when he got out of work and then stopped at a friend's house for a while and picked up some McD's on the way home.

Unfortunately I also had a screaming migraine since about 3:30 in the morning, so it wasn't a totally fabulous day.

And, of course, there's the situation in Japan with the possibility of a nuclear meltdown.  It is terrifying me.

On that note...good night. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun times

At approximately 7:30 this evening, I was sitting on the couch with my computer on my lap (as usual); Ryan was sitting to my left, playing a game on my iPhone; and Jayden, who had been playing in another room, walked into the living room.

She was searching for something.

I don't remember what she was looking for at this point, but whatever it was, she thought it might be between the couch cushions where Ryan was sitting.  Naturally, she asked him to move for a second so that she could look.

Do you think he could be nice and just do what she nicely asked him to do?

Nope.  (Surprise, surprise.)

So I told him to get up immediately and let her look.  His response to that was to throw the fit of the century.

Since I wasn't pleased with his behavior at that moment, I told him to give me my phone back.  Did he listen?

Of course not.

Instead, he decided to scream like a banshee.

So you know how I handled it?

I did my best Exorcist impression and screamed at him in a voice that I'm shocked came out of my body:  "GET ON YOUR BED NOW!  YOU WILL NOT ACT LIKE THAT!  GOODNIGHT!"

My throat was immediately inflamed.

I'm totally not exaggerating.

And then he cried himself to sleep...

I'll tell you one thing.  It's a damn good thing the downstairs neighbors just moved out because I'm sure they would have been tempted to call the cops, or a priest, to deal with what I'm sure sounded like a demonic force up here.

How can the most well behaved child in the first grade come home and act like such a little jerk?  Seriously...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Today I stayed in bed all day and watched season two of Army Wives on Netflix.  Love, love, love that show!

Netflix streaming, by the way, is the freakin' most awesome thing EVER.

Brand put corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot before he went to work.  He cooks and he irons.  Good thing, too, because I'm lousy at both.

Jayden and Ryan snacked on microwavable pancakes all morning (which they can make themselves now), and I had an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.

I've been kind of glued to CNN all weekend.  I just can't stop thinking about what's going on in Japan.

Can you imagine it being the middle of the day, you and your spouse are at work, your kids are at school...and then catastrophe strikes.  It literally makes me panic just thinking about it.  That is my worst nightmare:  being separated from my kids and having no idea where they are or if they're okay.

To end my day, I will be watching the newest episode of Sister Wives.  I am completely intrigued by this family.

Good night!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Making some changes...or at least trying to.

Up until this very morning, I have been doing myself and my children a disservice.

I have had the mentality that things will get done faster and better if I just do it myself.

Naturally I created lazy mess-making monsters.  And I've had it.  They're not two years old anymore.  They are capable of doing a lot more than I give them credit for, and this morning their lives changed.

I am certainly not the neatest person walking the face of the earth, but I'm going to try to do better with that in an effort to not raise slobs.

It's easier said than done, but I'm sticking to my guns at least for now.

They are spending their entire Saturday in their room cleaning.  Every time they fight, they get punished.  And when the time-out is over, it's back to cleaning.

I'm channeling my inner Miss Hannigan from this day forth.

After all, it's much easier to live in a clean and organized environment than a pigsty.  Trust me, I know.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquakes suck.

It's finally Friday, the day I was so looking forward to...

And then I had a rough morning with the kids.  Jayden went to school wearing a shirt covered in toothpaste because she wasn't paying attention to what she was doing while she was brushing her teeth and, sadly, it was the only clean shirt she had.  I was angry with her for making a mess...and I was angry with myself for being so behind on laundry.

When I got home from dropping them off, I went on the computer to check my e-mail and Facebook and discovered what had happened in Japan and was immediately overtaken with sadness.

All those poor people...I can't even begin to imagine the chaos.  It's very scary.

I told the kids about the earthquake and tsunami when they got home.  Jayden's first words were: "Did people die?  Did kids die?"

And of course I told her the truth.  I don't like to scare them, but you can't really sugar coat catastrophes.

Today turned into a weird, glued-to-CNN kind of a day.

Natural disasters are so not cool.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The idiocy I encountered this week and other things...

All of a sudden I suck as a blogger.  I want to post nearly every single day...even if the subject matter stinks.  So here it is:

Today is Thursday, but I feel like it should be Friday.  I'm ready for the weekend.

My incredibly healthy breakfast this morning:

In recent news, the decision-makers in my town canceled school the other day because one road was flooded in town.  Suffice it to say that I'm still pretty baffled by that decision.  I mean, come on.  Ever hear of a detour?

I didn't think to check my phone for the school delay/cancellation text before I got the kids ready for school because it was barely drizzling when I woke up, so they were showered, dressed, and had their shoes/coats/backpacks on and were about to go out and wait for the bus when I looked at my messages and saw that school was off.  I think the phrase that came out of my mouth at that moment was, "Son of a bitch."

Last night the kids had their winter concert at school.  Last year Ryan did not move his lips one single millimeter the entire time he was supposed to be singing.  He kind of sang last night, but you can tell that he is totally not a fan of being on stage.  He's a shy little man.

Here they are before the big performance.  My camera battery died right after I took these substandard pictures, so this is all I've got.

In keeping up with tradition, we took the kids out to eat last night after the concert.  There were nine of us altogether, and we were lucky enough to be served by the waitress-in-training.  She looked a little bit scared when she said, "This is the biggest table I've ever waited on."  And then when my grandmother asked her what kind of ice cream they had, she said something like, "Chocolate, vanilla, the regular stuff..."  She was totally flustered.  The first day of a job totally sucks.    

You know what else sucks?

The price of gas.

Enough said.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nothing excites me more than...

...a fresh, unused notebook.


Buying a new day planner, a couple notebooks, and some sweet pens really made my day today.

I realize that my nerd status probably just went through the roof.

Tomorrow I start fresh with a new court reporting agency.

Clean slate.  Big sigh of relief.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I'm sure it's a total coincidence that within 12 hours of the worm pancake incident, I became extremely ill.

Like "someone please kill me now"sick.

Not that having a flu-like illness is ever convenient, but I was supposed to be interviewing with a new court reporting agency at 11 on Monday morning...and at 5 a.m., I was hugging a toilet bowl.  I'm sure that calling in sick for the interview doesn't give the greatest first impression.

Oh, and why is it that when mom gets sick, she can't have the day off to recuperate, but when dad has the sniffles, the poor dear needs a week off from work?

Just sayin'.