Monday, December 8, 2008

Probably, this will ramble and meander.


I haven't written a post since before Thanksgiving, and I apologize. The holiday was lovely, we spent it with Pete's family. They are really a very warm and accepting group of people. I love them. They always have people there that aren't exactly family, but who are close friends, and it makes me smile to know that I am a part of this cherishable (Google tells me this isn't a word. I don't care.) group. Of course, they are also a bit loud, and coarse. They yell a lot, they fling around the f-bomb the way Valley Girls use "like," and they're opinionated. Obviously, this is what attracted me to them in the first place. I like to argue, but I don't like to fight. I like to get into the heat of having strong different opinions, and having them dashed, and then turning around and dashing someone else's opinions. This is a big part of hanging out with them. Another big part of it, is that they LOVE my kids. They put in special movies for them on the big screen TV, they look forward to changing diapers, and they wrestle around on the floor with them. It gives Pete and I a much needed break from chasing our own kids around. Sometimes I wonder if the family thinks we always are so lax about the kids behaviour, but I rest assured knowing that if I was lax, my kids wouldn't be so lovable.

One highlight from Thanksgiving, and then I'll move on. Pete and I sat at the kids table with our kids, and Pete's cousins who are 16 and 19 years old. We didn't talk about what we were thankful for before the food came out, because it's hard to be thankful for anything when you're hungry. So once we were all quietly chowing down on turkey and stuffing, I began by asking the 19 year old what she was thankful for. After her, I asked her younger sister, who gave a straight answer and then went on and on with petty thanks (ex. my new phone, brown hair, that so-and-so is not here [this may not have been her actual petty thanks, but this type of thing). I moved on to Pete, who gave the appropriate "Daddy thanks" of being thankful for family, and having them so close even though we're so far away from where he was born and grew up. Next was Lucian's turn, and the 16 year old was still being silly, now accompanied by her big sister. Lucian didn't answer me at first, so I repeated the question, and he looked at me and said, "I want Chelsea to listen so I can tell her that I'm thankful for Chelsea!" I was touched. Chelsea was touched. Chelsea's big sister Samantha, was jealous. I had been expecting all week that he was going to say that he was thankful for Santa Claus because he would bring DACS Digital Arts and Crafts Studio this year. So that's my holiday update.

Playgroup update time. Remember when I said I needed a new playgroup because Lucian was too big for the little kids at the old one? Well, I didn't exactly start taking him to a new playgroup. I hadn't found one in time for this past Wednesday, so I took him back. This time, the other moms went too far. They didn't stop at just yelling at my kid. They put their hands on him. They waggled their fingers in his face. They pushed me. And as you're reading this I imagine you're saying to yourself, "Ohhhh, so she hasn't been writing because they don't have wireless internet in jail. Got it." But no, sadly, I didn't go to jail. I should have. Because that would have meant I did something other than shout in these women's faces. It would have meant that I taught my kids that NO ONE is allowed to touch them outside of our family. Instead, I taught my children (according to Pete) that there is a time and place for knocking a bitch out, and that playgroup, in front of other children, is not it. Which means that I'm hoping to teach them that Sweetbay, or Target is the time and place. Because if I ever see any of those bitches out in public away from playgroup, I'm totally going after them with all my South Jersey charm. I did, however, get banned from playgroup for two weeks. Apparently, the overseer of the group could tell, I was one teensy, tiny push away from killing some hoes.

My father in law says that the reason other moms don't like my kids is because I dress funny. I wear rainbow thigh-high socks with shorts, I wear two different color Chuck Taylor high tops, and I wear t-shirts with teenage girl pictures on them (neon skull and crossbones, rock'n'roll instruments, etc). I never leave the house with out a hat, usually a Jeff Cap, or a Pork Pie hat. And most grievously, I never wear make-up, or spend a minute on my hair. My nails are never filed, or painted, not even with clear top coat. In FIL's opinion, the fact that I'm a "free spirit" makes them hate me, and since they hate me, they hate my children.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. First, I don't know if he's right. I wonder if I'm really a bad parent who has failed to teach my children how to behave properly. The thing is, as soon as I start thinking this way, I take my oldest to play miniature golf, and he remembers to say thank-you to the the lady that handed him the club - without being prompted. And when I took him to the local (private) park, his brother threw a tantrum because he wanted to ride in the power wheels jeep, Lucian came to me, and told me, "Val's crying. Maybe I should ask him if he wants to play with me." And then he promptly went over to his little brother, got in his face, invited him to play, then took his hand and coaxed him over to the jungle gym to climb and slide together. So, I believe I have come to the conclusion that I have good kids. I have been raising them well, and they are well behaved and thoughtful. Val has even been known to come over and hug his big brother while Lucian melts down. Pretty impressive for a boy who turns 16 months tomorrow.

Second, I wonder about what I should/can do about this. I have always been an outcast. I was never popular in high school... let's face it. I wasn't popular in grade school either. I always chalked this up to moving around a lot and having been raised in a cult. (Jehovah's Witness's) It's hard to make friends when the people you're told to respect consider the kids you go to school with heathens and mongrels. When you're taught that being a good Christian means that everybody in the world should hate you and ridicule you, it's hard to want to change how you present yourself to your schoolmates. I was fairly popular in K-2, but then we moved in the middle of the school year, and it never seemed quite as easy to make friends. Even after I decided that religion of any sort was not for me, that I would live by the Golden Rule without having God and Satan to fall back on, it was still difficult for me to find people who "got" me. Of course, it was never hard to find guys who wanted to sleep with me, and usually once I got them in bed, they realized that even though I was quirky, I was also smart, funny, and interesting. Then they introduce me to their friends, who also had to warm up to me, but eventually, I would have a circle of friends. The circle would remain loyal to my boyfriend when we broke up, but sometimes I was able to really connect with one or two of the circle and find friends of my own.

The point is, I never changed who I was in order to make friends, or be liked by my peers. I still dressed wacky at work, and when I went out on the town with my built in friends. Mostly, they learned to like my style. Some of them see it as being rebelious against society's conformist regime, some see it as my way of warning others that I am not a follower, and should not be recruited to go along with something mindlessly. For me, I see it as fun. I like to have fun with my clothes, my socks, my kids... there's a lot more to it than different color shoes. I think that more women would understand if they realized that their decision to wear make-up, or cute(matching) shoes fell into the same category. Sure there are some people who wear make-up and designer labels because they want to fit in, but mostly I think they do it because it's fun for them. And for me bright colors, rainbows, and clashing patterns are fun.

So what do I do? I want my kids to be able to have fun with the other kids at the park. I also want to feel happy when I pick out my outfit for the day. Should I change the way I look to appease the other moms at the playgroup? Do I stay the course and wait until my kids go to school where they can make friends without their mommy's around to tell them who they can and cannot play with on the playground? What if by not changing my look I ruin my children's chance at a normal childhood? Would it be worth it if they grow up learning that they can do or be anything they want and that true friends won't judge you based on what color shoes you have on? Or, is it better that they learn this lesson on their own, when they get older and want to dress funny themselves. I'm not big on conformity. I like to get stared at when I walk through the mall. I like that people look at me and wonder if I'm sane. But I also went through life on the outside of the cliques. I never had more than two friends at the same time. I was miserable about it, whenever I thought about it. I wanted to be popular, but I wanted to be popular on my own terms. My little brother is going through this right now. He's 15 years old, and he wants desperately to be popular. He also really likes the "goth" clothes, and even some "goth" music. So, the kids at school tell the teachers that he has a bomb strapped to his chest and that he's hiding a gun in his locker. They tease him mercilessly, and they knock him around a good bit, too. He's not prepared to dress differently, or to listen to Fallout Boy, but he does want to find a circle of people who have similar interests... and it's hard for anyone to look past his goofy black exterior.

So which is more important to me? That my kids be popular, which I really have no control over, or that my kids know that I'm not a conformist, and in the end, I'm happy with who I am, and who my friends are. If they are observant, though, they'll also see that I wish I had an easier time making friends, and that I want friends- but don't have them- here in my new neighborhood.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm a sucker, I know.

I just paid $32 for information and a start up kit for something having to do with getting paid $2 per envelope. I have no idea what this means I will actually be doing. I know that this probably means it's a scam, but I need something to fill my evening after the kids go to bed. I need income. And I need some reason to feel the way I feel. Which is to say I feel like I have no control any more. I live in somebody else's house with their routines, their schedules, their lifestyle. I didn't have much of a lifestyle before I moved in, but it was my own choice. Now when I lay on the couch watching TV while my MIL puts away groceries, or sweeps the floor, I feel guilty. When I take the kids out in the morning, and I want to come home early because their having a rough time, I feel guilty for interrupting everyone else's quiet time. When my kids want to stay out longer, I feel guilty because someone at home is holding off on a project they want the kids to help with. If I don't want to take the kids anywhere because we all feel a bit lazy, I feel guilty because I'm not allowing the rest of the family their quiet time to do what hey want to do.

Part of this comes from the fact that my MIL and FIL don't like to hear the kids cry, and they cry to get what they want. Before we all moved in, they didn't cry much, because they knew they wouldn't get what they wanted anyway. Now, they know that someone will cave and come play with them, so they make a fuss. I don't think that my MIL is doing them any harm not developmentally, definitely not physically, and really not even emotionally. It's just not how I would do it. So it makes me crazy. For example, at dinner we all sit down together and eat. I sit as far from the children as possible, and allow mom-mom to sit between them. She plays games with them to get them to eat. She makes up stories about dump trucks, and plays a bit of reverse-psychology telling my 3 year old he 'better not' eat whatever it is she wants him to eat. That's how it is now. Before we moved here? We all sat down to eat, and it went parent, child, parent, child around a circular table. I gave each child a plate of food that I expected them to eat. I gave them plenty of time, and I reminded them to eat a few times each meal. After the appropriate amount of time had passed, I took their plate from them, and they got no more until tomorrow.

Does it make a difference? Do they eat any better for them or me? No. They eat about the same. Is my sanity still together? Yes, because I have no part of it. I was having a conversation with a cousin about it, and she had made the comment that Lucian must hate having 4 adults telling him to eat his dinner, and I told her that I just stay out of it, because it would drive me crazy otherwise.

My MIL, who claims she can't hear my voice too well, overheard this conversation, and threw a fit claiming that she would back off and the kids could sit near me. The problem is, she felt like I was not happy with how she did it, and I wanted the job back. But that's not the case. a) I do not believe for a moment that she would indeed back off. b) I don't care how it's done, as long as they eat.

So. Here I am with no control. Because, if I took the kids back to my side of the table, I'd still have her trying to make dinner fun for them, and now I would just be surrounded by loud children while I'm trying to eat my dinner.

I have decided to take back control where I can. If I can earn some extra money, I will not feel guilty spending it on doing some things for myself. And I will be able to show what I am useful for. Also, if I am sitting on the couch watching TV and doing something with envelopes I will not feel guilty that I'm not helping put the groceries away.

Also? I am going to check out the local colleges and try to get a degree in psychology. I want to be a therapist, and I think that now is the time to pursue it. I have free daycare as it stands right now, and I'm young enough to be able to begin a career and have it go somewhere.

So, I'll keep you posted on how both of these endeavors are going.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I need a new playgroup...

Today, Val was sick, so we left him home with Pop-pop and headed out to our usual Wednesday playgroup. Now the group is advertised as being for mobile babies to 5 years old. Both of my children fit squarely into this category, so I thought that it would be fun for them for several years. I thought I wouldn't need to look elsewhere, maybe ever because one they're 5 years old, they'll be in school, and won't have time for morning playgroups anymore. But lately, it's been mostly 1 - 1 1/2 year old kids and they're just too small for Lucian to play with. Also, they're too small for Lucian to play around. He likes to ride all the bikes, and prefers to crash into other kids. He knows better than to purposely crash into the smaller kids, but sometimes they wander into his way before he can maneuver around them. And then the other moms get mad at him. And though I spend the morning yelling his name from across the gymnasium, they never come to me, they yell at him, instead. It irritates me, but I know that not everyone can handle adult confrontation the way I do, so I just make sure that I reinforce what the other mom told him, so he learns that anyone taller that him is an authority that needs to be respected and listened to. I figure this is good for school. (I realize this also sets him up for kidnapping, but I really don't let the kid out of my sight, even at playgroup)

Today, somebody did work up the nerve to tell me that my kid was making her nervous. I apologized, assured her that he was pretty good on the bike, and that I would try to keep a better eye on him. She assured me that her twin boys would bite him, if they felt threatened. I said I was sure they wouldn't have to go that route. But, the truth of the matter is, he is too old for that play group. He's too old for all of them. He's a three year old boy who plays better with 4 and 5 year olds that kids his own age. And moms with older children obviously run in different circles. I am looking for those circles.

Do you have older preschoolers? Where do you hang out? Do you think I should separate the groups I take my older kid to from the ones I take my younger kid to?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

And now, a fluff piece.

Ok, I don't like to have stuff that's too heavy up for long. And I don't get to blog very often. So, I'm just going to tell a story or two that doesn't mean anything, but hopefully will be entertaining.

Story one: As you may know, Pete and I have entered a new living arrangement that doesn't really allow for financial freedom. What you may not know, is that Pete and I often role-play in the bedroom. When one or the other of us is having a bad day, Pete will often send me out to the local exotic clothing store to pick out an outfit or toy. Sometimes, he sees an outfit or toy on the Internet, and buys it, hoping I will be up for wearing it on the day it arrives. There are a few in my closet I still haven't worn.

So the other day when he told me that he bought me a present, I was surprised. I couldn't imagine what he thought we could afford, or when he thought I would be able to put it to any use since we now live with his parents. I don't usually try to guess about surprises or gifts. You'll never find me under the Christmas tree shaking boxes. I do, however like to what day it will arrive. So I said,

"How soon will it arrive?"

"I don't know. I'm not sure we'll even get it. The website seemed a little shady."

"Well, yeah..."

"It's not what you think. It's just that I can't imagine that this product would have a whole website dedicated to just it."

"Is it toe socks*? Because I could totally imagine a whole website dedicated to toe socks. different lengths, colors, themes, specialties like having a name or phrase embroidered on..."

"What would make you say toe socks?"

"I don't know, I was just thinking of things that might be silly to dedicate a website to."


"Why? Is it..."

"It's freaking TOE SOCKS! How could you guess toe socks? Did you read my email?"

That was when he started to get mad. I'm thrilled. I know that winter in Florida is kind of mild, but toe socks would be just the thing to keep me warm. I still don't know how I guessed, and neither does he. I don't check his email, I don't remember the password to our bank account, and he didn't tell anyone that he had bought them. I guess we're just actually perfect for each other, reading each other's minds and all.

*toe socks are socks that fit like gloves encasing each toe.

Story Two: So, I spent my life from the age of 12 to 27 living in South Jersey. For those of you not familiar with that area, it's in New Jersey, and it starts when you think of Philadelphia as the closest City, rather than New York. I moved around a lot, but the culture doesn't change too drastically from town to town. We're all trying to be Philly folk. A lot of boisterous attitude, a desire to "take care of our own, first," and no problems making our opinions known.

The other day, I was at a park with my two kids. Valentino, my 1 year old, mostly stays near me at the toddler jungle gym, climbing the steps, and falling down the slide. Lucian, the 3 year old, on the other hand, runs all over the park making friends, begging for food, and trying to join in everybody's fun. Often the other mom's at the park remember me from the week before as the mom standing atop the jungle gym yelling across the park at Lucian. It often sounds like this,




I'm not proud. I'm not ashamed, either. It's just who I am.

So this time, I'm doing my normal routine, and in runs a little brown curly haired boy. He's cute, and out of breath, and I can't help but talk to the other kids on the playground. I also encourage Lucian to do the same. So I say something or other to the boy, when Lucian cuts in; "Excuse me boy, but my name's Lucian. What's yours?"

The boy says nothing, makes his hands like Spiderman about to sling some web, and makes a "FSSSSTT" sound, and runs away. I smile at Lucian, and said, "He must be Spiderman, why don't you go tell him you're Superman." And off my child runs.

Now, I had brought cups of water for the boys, and since Val's been sick, I was careful of his cup and whose little hands it might be in. In walks Spiderman, who grabs Val's cup, and his mother is... elsewhere.

Me: "Oh, no,no,no we don't share cups."

Spiderman: *Throws sippy cup at me* "Fucking Bitch!" *runs away*

Spiderman's Mom: *walks over* "No, no. We don't throw things." "..." "Oh, we don't say those things, either." *walks away*

I was flabbergasted! I was speechless! I was unable to comprehend what had happened, or my role in it. I went back to playing with Val.

The longer I played, the more I was getting angrier and angrier. How dare this punk kid say something like that to me! What kind of mother would just calmly wave that behaviour off? Why didn't she at least apologize to me that her kid just cussed me out?

Eventually, the boy was on the swings. These swings are the Special Needs swings. They're made for kids who have CP or some other condition that would make it difficult for them to ride the regular swings. But when there are no special needs children about, they are the kids' favorite swings, because they're different, you understand? Lucian sees the boy and asks if he can ride the swings with Spiderman.

I told him no. I told him in front of the boy's mother that because he used words that in our family only grown-ups use, I didn't think it was appropriate for him to play with him. (Yes, I use big words with my son. He seems to understand them) I told him he could take a turn on the swings when the boy was done. When it finally was his turn on the swings, Valentino joined us and as I pushed both of my boys on swings, I told Lucian to not play with Spiderman, and that if Spiderman said or did anything that made him feel uncomfortable, he should hit him as hard as he can. I don't know if you agree with what I told my child. But the fact of the matter is, my boy is kinda... um... weak. He melts down if a kid doesn't want to play with him, or says something mean to him. And I don't want him to be that way. I also don't want him to grow up to be a bully, but he should feel he has a right to defend himself if someone makes him feel uncomfortable.

Of course, I would rather it didn't come to that at all, so I steered my children over to play with a set of twins that we sort of know from play groups and playgrounds. I was enjoying the type of conversation you have with a stranger you have only one thing in common with. Polite, with some humor, and some comiserating. I look up to check on the kids, and Spiderman has filled his mouth with water from the drinking fountain and is spitting on the twins. The twins start to melt down because they were told to play carefully as they were going to Grandma's afterwards, and Mommy didn't want them to be a mess.

And Spiderman's mom?

Is sitting quietly off to one side, and practically whispering, "...that's not nice..."

I had had it. I don't have a long fuse. I marched over to that woman and told her that I felt it was time she take her kid elsewhere. At this point I think I should tell you, this woman, and her son were brown. I don't know what shade of brown. I wouldn't be able to guess at whether hispanic, or middle-eastern, or some other cukture I'm unaware of. I hadn't spent a lot of time trying to figure it out, and it was irrelevant to me until the next thing she said to me*:

"No. No. This is a free country, and my people have been discriminated against long enough. I have a right to be here, and so does my son."

"What? Yes it's a free country, yes you have a right to be here, but I have a right to have a place where my kids can play without fear of being bullied by other kids! I think, after seeing his behaviour that yor kid maybe needs a time out. Tell him that if he can't play nice, he isn't going to be able to find kids to play with!"

"Well, he needs time to run it out and get his energy out."

"Maybe. But not at the expense of my kids' safety. You should know that I told my son that if your son makes him uncomfortable, he should hit him as hard as he can."

"Good. I hope he does. He needs to learn he cannot treat people that way. Hopefully your son straightens him out. (I just gave her a blank look of surprise) You can hit him too. He deserves it. He needs it."

"What?! I would never hit someone else's child! I'll tell you what, though. Your kid does anything to me or my kids, I'll march over here and punch you in the eye! I can't even believe that you would suggest to someone that they should hit your child! Maybe, instead of hitting, a simple time out. Something more than a weak 'No, no,' is in order here. Surely you see that?"

*These are not verbatim, it has been too many days for me to remember the actual words said, and in fact somewhere in here I did say something about it not being right that her kid be allowed to "terrorize the other children at the park."

While I was doing all this, her kid was sneaking up on my one year old. Just as I was about to give her discipline tactics from my parenting classes, he pushed Val off a ledge and into the mulch. I can't say how high the ledge is, but it's marginally higher than a curb on the street. I ran to pick up my crying baby, and contimplated how well I'd do in a fight with a baby in my arms, but decided it was time to leave.

As I walked out of the park, calmly telling Lucian that no, we were not leaving because of the "bad Spiderman," but because Valentino needed a nap, the other mom's in the park were saying, "Shame on you, calling that woman a terrorist."

Spiderman and his mother hurt my sense of decency, because I could never imagine letting my kids get away with that kind of poor behaviour, nor would I feel comfortable in public if they did. The other mom's who assumed I was upset at the mom because she was brown hurt my pride. I know that as a Republican, many people view me as a close-minded, puritan, conformist who wants to rid the world of the not-white people. But it's not true. On most, if not all, social issues, I fall pretty far left. And I have never been labeled a racist or a biggot (well, one time when I was 12, but it was a misunderstanding). Honestly, I think those other moms were the biggots to assume that it was her skin color that was the problem. Or that simply because of her skin color she was incapable of raising her son to be a decent person. I'm still distressed about that. It bothers me when I run into people like that. I feel like I'm living in times before Civil Rights, when people thought, and said aloud that they felt sorry for the blacks because they were too stupid to find real jobs.

It's just crazy. And, as always, feel free to tell me I'm dead wrong. Tell me I shouldn't yell at other moms about how their children behave, or that by using the word "terrorize" I'm making this world worse, or whatever. I never said I'm perfect.

P.S. I wrote this post for like 3 days, so if it sucks, I blame my famdamnily for asking me to eat meals, sleep, and go play.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"They're born that way"

I have lately discovered that I am not a very tolerant person. I am not tolerant of people who dismiss me because my opinion differs from theirs. (This is not to anybody in my blogosphere... it's someone I know personally) I am not tolerant of laziness - unless it's my own, because I never ask anybody else to take care of my responsibilities, I simply accept that due to my laziness, I may have to sleep on not so fresh sheets. I have no tolerance for whining. Nobody in my life has ever gotten anything from me by whining about it.

But where it really shows, is that I have absolutely zero tolerance for pedophiles. I think they should be killed upon discovery. They cannot be rehabilitated because they are not showing a learned behaviour. And you can make the argument that often times they are victims of childhood abuse, but I say that if we start killing them off now, then we will not have to worry about 'continuing the cycle.' I think anybody who molests a child, in any way, should be shot immediately following their trial.

The fact is, that pedophiles are born with the same type of(chemical?) imbalance that gay people are. Gays don't choose to be gay. They don't wake up one morning and think I'd rather stop living this normal life, and start living a life that I have to keep hidden in order to be fully welcomed and accepted by everybody. No, from early childhood they are 'different.' I remember in kindergarten that there were girls I wanted to hang around with because they were so pretty. I wished I could cuddle and snuggle with them. I also remember knowing that I couldn't tell anybody I felt that way because it was not an acceptable way to feel. I knew that I could tell my folks about the boys I thought were cute, but I could never tell them I thought girls were cute, too. As an adult, I still don't tell everybody I know that I find women attractive.

Pedophiles aren't gay... necessarily. They are attracted to children. Since I am not a pedophile, I do not know what it is they find attractive about children. Maybe it's their innocence. Maybe it's the angelic/cherubic faces. Maybe it's that they are weak. Maybe it's something else entirely that I haven't thought of. What I do know, is that it's a crime to have sex, or any type of sexual relations with a child. Fortunately, I have the law on my side. The law also says it's a crime, but even if it didn't, *I* would know that it's a crime. It changes a person. Even if they try not to show it, or they themselves don't notice the change, it changes them. It changes the way they perceive themselves. It changes the way the look at others. It destroys their sense of trust. And, it changes how they view sex.

Sex should be wonderful. It should be comfortable, and orgasmic, and fun. If you are only comfortable having sex in the dark, but you DO enjoy it, you are normal. If you enjoy sex in the daylight, or in the car in the parking lot, in the rear, or in the mouth, you are normal. If sex makes you feel dirty, guilty, ashamed, lonely, or any other negative emotion, you are not normal. And this is just one result of the crime of sexual relations with children. There are many, many, many results of the crime of sexual relations with children. Some are big noticeable results: criminal behaviour, depression, suicide, becoming abusers. Others are not so noticeable: slutty behaviour, quiet/shy behaviour, anger issues, self-esteem issues. These latter are so unnoticeable because they are 'normal' behaviours for some people.

I think that the Megan's Law that was instituted in 1996 is a start, but it is waaaaay too lenient. It only ensures that sex offenders (pedophiles) have to register where they live. And that when you move into a new neighborhood, you can do the research to find out if they live nearby. But this is not enough. I don't want to know that my neighbor down the street might lure my children into his home if I don't keep a close enough eye. At this age (1 and 3) I am with them every second of the day. what about when they're 8 and want to ride their bike around the development? To their friend's house? How do I relax, knowing that a person is lurking around watching them and thinking about how to destroy their lives most fully?

I have ties to someone on Megan's Law, and I used to know another. I believed their stories about how they were falsely accused. I let it roll off my back the same as if they had told me that in high school they were band geeks and nobody wanted to be their friend. Then, as I got to know them better, I realized these were sick people. People that I wouldn't want around my kids, or any kids at all. The more I got to know them, the more I wish it was legal for me to shoot them, in order to ensure the protection of future children, and their families. And you can talk about compulsion control, or whatever the phrase is, that if we "rehab" these sex offenders, that just because what they want is a crime, it does not mean that they will act on it. But I call bullshit. If that were the case, we wouldn't have a problem with "repeat" sex offenders. The person in my life that is on the Megan's Law list, allegedly molested a 13 year old girl. Since he was put on Megan's Law, he has slept with 17 year olds, a few 20-somethings, and his wife - who is chubby and cherubic looking. He is a sick pup. He is 39 years old, and he has several children with several women, and he has been fired from job after job for sexual harassment. He cheats on his wife with a girl he's been sleeping with since she was 17 (she's 19, now) and he makes no apologies. He thinks that as soon as a girl is old enough to "get the tingle between her legs" she is old enough to want to be seduced by him.

I think that 12 years ago when he was put on Megan's Law, he should have been carried out of the courtroom, and shot. I do not think that any of his seemingly redeeming qualities are worth his shortfalls. He and others like him need to be wiped from the earth. What's worse? He knows that it's a mutation that makes him find children attractive, and when I told him that he should have been killed, along with every other pedophile in the world, he claimed that I would be killing Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, and the rest of the X-Men.

I'm so full of anger and hate towards him, and others like him. I don't think that any of them should be allowed to live. In my opinion ....

Gah! I've been writing this for over an hour. I can't continue any longer, my kids gotta eat.

Feel free to tell me that I'm an ass, and should value life more. I do value life. I don't value their lives.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've been sick

I'm sorry for leaving the Obama-rama post up for so long. I've been sick. And even though I had a whole day of sitting around doing nothing while I recovered, I didn't have time to blog. Being sick makes the day fly by, what with all the naps and all...

I know you hate me because I got to be sick like a person without kids. I sat on the couch and watched period movies. That's period as in they take place in a time period that requires beautiful dresses, and top hats for men, not period like movies I watch while I leak monthly blood. I do have the latter type of movies, but they usually have people like Johnny Depp, or Brad Pitt. But yesterday, I watched When Nietzsche Wept and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I won't review either of them for you, because I'm not sure I saw all of either since I was in and out of consciousness all day. I thought they were good, though.

Tonight, I'll be going to another parenting class. So far, I feel I haven't learned anything, because well, let's face it, I'm already an awesome mommy. I do routines, I'm consistent, I use "toddler words," which is to say I use concrete nouns. ex. "The truck is in Lucian's hands. You cannot have the truck now." Both of my children know that when a toy is in another's hands they can't have it. Of course for both my boys this translates to if the other kid drops said toy, and my boy can get to it first, it's totally fair to take it. I let this go, because I believe in letting kids fight it out. I completely expect that someday my children will be clobbered for taking toys from the wrong kid. And I will do nothing but kiss the boo-boo when that happens. I let my boys fight amongst themselves for a lot of the time. I only get involved when it gets dangerous. I don't know if that's right, but I do it, anyway. Hopefully tonight's lesson will revolve around what to do when your oldest child is dragging your youngest child by the arm down the hallway, and you have a laptop computer on your lap and all you want is for the oldest to let go of his little brother. Currently, my solution to this problem is to yell, "Lucian! Lucian! Lucian, Stop Dragging Your Brother! Lucian! Lucian, Stop! Lucian!!!!!!" This does not work. Lucian doesn't stop until Val is violently yanked from his hand by the wall he has drug him into.

That is my biggest problem with Lucian.(now) When you try tell him something he doesn't want to hear, he either a) ignores you completely, as if you don't exist, or b) says, "What?" while continuing to do said taboo.

How do you fix that? I'm not above flinging my shoes at the child, but my aim isn't as good as it could be, and in this house there are breakables. I'm at a loss.

There hasn't been much going on new around here. But I have heard talk of patents on nuclear 'batteries' that could power 20,000 homes for 7 years, and the waste, which would only be about the size of a softball, is completely recyclable. I don't know how you feel about this, but I would like to. Also, I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, it would cost each household approximately $420 per year (this is a factored number of spreading out the $25,000,000 installation fee) to keep them powered, and it would be contained. So, it's cheap. And after 7 years, they would remove the 'battery' and replace it So, it's contained. And somehow, recyclable. And yet... it's nuclear. I mean I know burning oil is bad for the environment and all, but I have this fear of all things nuclear. I mean I grew up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and various other toxic waste characters. I get a little nervous when I hear the word "nuclear." I dunno. Am I crazy? Does this sound better or worse that our current energy options?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let the Obama-rama Begin!

Deep Breath. Sigh.

Barack Obama is our new President elect. Whew. It feels good to not be waiting for the decision anymore. I'm not happy, as anybody who has bothered to pay attention to my comments knows. However, I'm a patriot first, and a democrat-voting-republican second. So, now it's time to support our new President.

He's publicized some good ideas. Ideas that I think will only benefit us in the present, and harm us in the future. Ideas that I think won't come off as advertised. He's got no one to block him in Congress, either, so if it doesn't happen, it means he changed his mind. I hope he will.

It's time for me to be Real. And Specific. But probably not Real Specific. Here's the truth. I am an idealist. I want to clean up the oceans, and revitalize the rain forests. I have organized rallies at colleges to this end. I have written letters to my congressmen, and signed petitions fighting for gay rights. I have had two abortions in my younger days. I never judge people, or a person, based on skin color, nationality, or religion. I have dated black, brown, yellow, and white people. In my family, I have Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, Pagans, Atheists, and well, no actual Muslims, but my Uncle read the Koran. I have lived in a commune, in my car, in an apartment, and in a house. I often get many people who dislike each other to work together, play together, party together, and talk to each other. I am selfish. I think of my family first, and the rest later. Until I had children, I thought of myself first. I am lazy. As I sit here writing this I am avoiding doing actual work. I have avoided writing this post for hours and hours, since I was awake and watching the election last night, and then stayed up talking about it for hours after that. I have already commented on other blogs today, and even now, as I am about to get to my point, I'm going to break for a cigarette.



OK, my point. My point is, I'm also a realist. I know that at the core no one is uncommonly good, or uncommonly evil. I also know that in mobs people are stupid, aggressive, and self-serving. I know that in order to get to utopia, you must travel down a long road taking baby steps. It is not one leap of faith that brings you to the promised land. I think that even if you continue to ignore all the stories that came out about Obama during his campaign, that he is all ideals, no substance. That he has a lot of plans that make us think that we're suddenly going to live in an ideal world. For instance, the plan to throw billions of dollars at green energy innovations cannot work without getting specific. You can't just tell people that lots of government money will make farming equipment run on corn alcohol. Before I spend money on this research, I would want something solid. I would like to know that first we're going to power the mid-west with wind energy. I want to see cars recycling their exhaust energy. I want to see more vibration energy collectors in train stations, and subways. I see these innovations being a good start, I do not see them being an end to oil consumption. I see a need to make sure that we (the free world including our Allies) continue to receive all the oil we need to run our lives. I feel a need to have a strong man behind the desk, with a steady hand on the button. I do not want to just push the button unnecessarily, or vindictively. But I also do not want to avoid pushing the button because of fear. Or because we can't afford to push it, because we've cut our defense budget.

I hope all goes well. I know we've survived some terrible presidents. I wish I didn't have to look at this term as one to be survived. I wish it could be something that I could rejoice over with apparently more than half of my fellow Americans. I hope in four years, I have seen my doubts, and fears assuaged. I hope that in four years I look back, and can say to myself, "Wow, he really knew what he was doing. I think he needs another four years to finish out his plans." I hope I want to re-elect him.

Here is my promise to our new President: I will be following more closely during the next four years than I did during the last four years. I will be more politically active, not because I'm going to try to shut him down, or because I want to gloat that he's not accomplishing the changes he hoped for, but because I will do everything that I can as a single citizen, as an American to get us to the Utopia he has us all drooling for. If he thinks he can do it, I think he's going to need our help, our support, our action to bring it about. We can't just go back to being lazy and apathetic. Without our continuing to stand together as so many of us did at campaign rallies and other events, he can't do it. He can't do it alone.

We've used our voice. We've decided what we want for our future. Now it's time to put our backs into it, and help him make it all happen.

I hope I didn't confuse you. It's hard for me to stay focused on my blog while trying to care for this damn household.

Monday, November 3, 2008

NEVERWAS there a better party

As most of the two people that read my blog know, this past weekend was Avitable's Halloween party. Pete and I attended it. And? It was AWESOME!

I met so many people there. I'm not usually one to go out and meet other bloggers, because I don't really feel cool enough. I don't blog often, I don't even know how to check to see if anyone is reading my journal, or add links, or upload pictures, or well, any of the "normal" things that bloggers do. But Avi lives kind of close to me, and I have met him before, so I felt slightly more comfortable meeting bloggers with him around.

If you haven't been to Avi's Avitaween parties before, I highly recommend it. There was food, liquor, beer, a bartender, karaoke, a blood red pool, and lots and lots of fun, interesting, and creative people. Not everybody was a blogger, some of the people were fortunate enough to know Adam personally, in a non-internet sort of way, and while they didn't talk to me much, they seemed cool, too.

Pete and I went as a Pimp, and his #1 Ho, respectively. Pete bought his costume at a Halloween store, I got my costume from my closet. While I have never worked as a ho, per se, before kids I was kind of a slut. (slight understatement) I'm pretty sure that I had actually worn the exact outfit out to a bar to see a local band play maybe 4 or 5 years ago.

I would like to talk about all the wonderful people I met, but I'm afraid to because I don't know how to link to them all, so I'm hoping that this will work. I'm trying something I've never done before, and if you can go visit all these websites, then it did otherwise, I'm an ass, ans I'm sorry. Also, I kissed a lot of women. I will link to those women in here, but since I haven't seen any of them admitting to kissing me, I won't tell you who is who. Nah Nah!

I was very excited to meet the beautiful Faiqa. Actually, she's the only Faiqa I know of, but it must be said that she is beautiful, in every reference, because, she is stunningly beautiful. I know that Pete really enjoyed her company, I'm sure as much for her intelligence, and passionate debating, as for her amazing good looks.

Hilly and I bonded, and since she at least admitted on her blog that she kissed some girls, I can tell you she is one of the girls I was fortunate enough to make out with. Pete was also fortunate enough to make out with her, and she was very respectful telling him that she wouldn't until she had heard from me that it was O.K. I thought that was sweet. She could have easily decided that I was too drunk, or too slutty to care, but she stood her ground.

Finn was actually the first person I met at the party (aside from the bartender) and she was very nice, and seemed pretty laid back. She and her husband talked with Pete and I long enough for us to get socially lubricated (a little drunk), so we could go on to try to be the life of the party. A mission that failed, since there were so many outgoing, exuberant people we couldn't lay claim to that title.

Wow, this is getting tough. Karl was dressed as a shim, and it took Pete and I half the party to figure out that he had a half shaved beard... we thought he was just really ugly, until we noticed that the ugly half was his beard.

Nis and Cher were the only people that we exchanged numbers with. Pete really liked them, but for the life of me I can't remember if they have a blog, or where to find it.

Oh, I can't forget my fellow Pittsburger, Becky. She was everything I'd imagined she'd be - sweet, happy, beautiful - and more - she allowed Pete to lick her. Really, I have to admit that I had really been looking forward to meeting her, and I feel like she was worth the wait, and I hope I can visit her when I take my random trips home to Pgh for rides at Kennywood.

I'm sure there were more. I know there were more. There was Sheila (Charm School Reject) who I met early on, and then lost track of, and Deanna Banana who was not the girl dressed as a Banana, and so many, many more.

I think Pete and I have learned a valuable lesson. We love bloggers, and the blogging community, and we will try to participate in more of these events. Also? We will definitely be at all of Adam's parties... as long as we're invited back.

P.S. If I met you and didn't link to you, or mention you, I'm sorry. I'm sure you were awesome. If I kissed you and didn't link to you, I'm VERY SORRY, you were a GREAT kisser. If you are Delmer I didn't mention you cause I didn't know if you would want to read the mommy blog of the woman who let you take pictures of her boobs... and everyone knows that you have to read blogs who link to you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Have you ever been somebody's support? Been there to rub their back when they get too stressed, make them coffee in the middle of trying to do a million other things because they're tired and don't want/have time to, stay up until 3am to let them vent even though you have a busy day ahead of you? Have you ever been the one to listen as they talk through their problems, offering advice, or cheering them up - whichever you think is most necessary at the time?

If you have, for how many people do you offer this service? Do they return the favor? Do you have somebody that you can go to for this service if the person/people that you support doesn't/don't reciprocate?

If you haven't, are there people in your life that you can turn to when you need them? Why don't you support others? Do support somebody financially, or otherwise that you feel lets you off the hook for emotional support?

That leads me to my next question: is financial support equal to emotional support? If you live in a situation similar to mine - one working parent with one stay-at-home parent - is it the job of the SAH Parent to make sure that the working parent is stress free so s/he may keep his/her job? Looking critically it seems that the working parent has the more important job. Because we all know raising kids is a tough job, but it's also not the type of job you can get fired from for having one bad day (unless that bad day is taken to extreme), and if you have both parents, somebody will pick up the slack. But the SAHP cannot (usually) go into the office for the working parent, and without their ability to keep their job, the family is in worse shape than if the kids are a little spoiled, or didn't get a bath, or are having nightmares.

I don't know if I phrased this post well at all. My in-laws just left from packing up the moving truck, and I'm a little frenzied. I have to get showered and dressed, and then pick the kids up from the baby-sitter so we can all go to our first night of parenting class. I wish I had more time. I would go into more detail.

I may not be back online for quite sometime. I don't know how long it will take to get me a computer I can use in the new living arrangement.

P.S. I voted early today! Woo! That's a load off my mind. Now I don't have to worry about what my schedule looks like for Election Day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who knew I wasn't kidding when i put "Boring" in my title

How often am I supposed to blog again? Daily? Weekly? How long can I go between posts and still keep readers?

I know one woman whose posts infrequently but whose posts are soooo long that it takes days to read one. She keeps readers. Maybe not a lot of readers, but faithful readers. Readers so faithful that when she visits America (she's from Australia), she almost never has to book hotels, because her readers let her into their homes.

I don't write that well, though.

So, I should probably post more often. Unfortunately, I don't have much to talk about. I mean, yes, we're moving in with my in-laws. There's a million stories there - but they're not MY stories to tell, and I have been asked to not publish it "all over the Internet." My kids really are the heart of my life, and they're doing really really well.

We've been doing this routine thing for a while now, and even though I've been told, and told again by other parents, doctors, teachers, experts, editors, etc. that routine was the key to a happy child, I was still completely flabbergasted as I watched the transformation in my children. Lucian shares better, transitions better from one thing to another, he even stays in the playroom at home longer and quieter. Val has had fewer temper tantrums, has started a concerted effort towards talking. Today I was playing with one of those toys where you manipulate a switch of some sort, and then something pops up out of it's hole. His had farm animals. First I was trying to teach him cause and effect: Turn this knob, and a COW pops out. Push this button, and a CHICKEN pops out. Then I got bored after doing this for 15 turns, so I started to add animal noises. When the chicken popped out I started doing "bok bok bok" and he repeated me. Of course, "babababababa" IS his favorite word, so I wasn't that impressed. When the cow popped out I said, "Moo," and he replied, "Booo." I was shocked. I mean he's 14 months, and I know Lucian was an early talker, or at least he's very articulate for his age, now, but I really don't remember Lucian learning how to talk. As far as my memory goes, he was born, he learned how to crawl, and then he was singing his alphabet, and potty training. I don't know. There was so much going on, and I wrote it down so I wouldn't have to remember. But with Val, I just assumed it would take him a long time to start talking. He uses a binky, and he isn't in daycare, and quite frankly, I don't have the attention span to sit with him and name shapes and colors, and other baby games.

Sorry, back to the story at hand. So he said, "Boo." Well, it's not Moo, so I repeated the sound for him. He looked at me scrunched up his little face, and said "Moo!" I cheered. The Horse popped up next, and I said, "Neigh!" He replied, "neyneyney!" I think someone else must have been working with him on these words. Tonight at dinner I'm going to try different words. I don't know what, though. "THEY" say you should start with nouns because they are concrete. They have more meaning for him. But the sign language he knows isn't concrete. He says 'more,' 'down,' and 'drink.' When the camera is pointed at him, he says, "cheese," out loud. I don't think he's thinking of baby Swiss when he does it, so much as he's learned that when the camera points at Lucian, his big brother says cheese and gets lots of attention. It's simple baby logic.

I don't want Val to talk. I mean, yes of course I want him to talk. But once he starts talking, then I can't talk for him anymore. No longer will his reply to my question, "How are you this morning?" be, "Oh, Mom. Good morning. I'm ok, I just woke up, though, so I'm still a little groggy. Would you mind letting me hold my blankie while you change my diaper? You don't mind? Oh, great. I love my blankie. I should apologize now, I made a big stinky mess in my diaper, and i know you don't want to open it, but I appreciate that you do, and that you clean off all the poopies. I think my jeans are clean, can I wear them today?" Now it will just be, "Sing the sunshine song, Mommy."

good times are moving forward. I know it can't last forever. I know that all good things come to and end, and I know that this good thing ends with a transition to a new good thing. But I'm still sad at this passing. Maybe I should get pregnant agian... Ha! *this is funny because we're moving into a 3 bedroom house with 4 adults, 2 children, and 3 dogs. There's no more room for more babies.*

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feeling Better

Well, it's been another few days of my new routine with the kids and the chores. I'm feeling better. Lucian is behaving better, and Val is napping better.

I knew that this, too, would pass. The kids are still a bit clingy, but we're adjusting.

Of course, just as we get under way with our new version of happiness, life takes an unexpected turn. The economic crisis, or poor decisions by individuals (not myself), or petty bullshit between friends has caused a need in my family. We have a need to become a multi-generational family. Pete and I will be moving our family into his parents' house. It's not in the town I chose to live in, so I hope we won't be there too long. I hope to be able to move my kids back into the land of good school systems and choice by the time the kids are in like 2nd grade. But honestly, I don't know if we can move that quickly. Pete and I have some ideas, but we're not positive we can make them work.

It's going to be a struggle for everybody. The kids have gotten used to Mom-mom and Pop-pop's house being a rules-free zone, and now they'll have to cope with it being at least as structured as I have been working to make this house. Pete and I have gotten used to being able to prance around naked after the kids go to bed, and when they're visiting at Mom-mom and Pop-pop's. Now, there will be no nakedness outside of the bedroom, and there will be no more kid-free weekends since there will be nowhere to send them. Mom-mom and Pop-pop have gotten used to living a quiet life while they get by in semi-retirement, now they will have a house full with 4 adults, 2 children, and 3 dogs. HOLY MOLY!

Some days (since this decision was reached) I sit and weep over what I'll be losing. Other days I sit in awe at the things I'll be gaining. Mostly, I'm just terrified of change. Which is unusual. I was once accused of being a gypsy. Not that the person thought I was foreign, or that I went around wearing broomstick skirts and lots of jingling jewelry and beating on a tambourine for money, just that I moved around a lot. I ever wanted to be stationary. I wanted to live a life of many apartments in lots of different places, I even had a dream of living in my car and driving across the country getting part time jobs in any town I chose to stay in for a few months. (Have you ever seen the movie "Chocolat" - that life was pretty perfect for my dream.) But now, it seems that I have finally gotten everything I wanted - a home, a family, a future... now I'm terrified of change. I'm afraid that change really means destruction of everything wonderful about my life.

Maybe it will all be great. It could be. I believe that. I just don't want to be miserable. I don't want my family to be miserable. And honestly, I have a great relationship with Pete's parents right now, and I don't want to lose that, either.

Right now, my life is back in limbo while we get ready to pack, and try not to tell the kids too much about where we're moving so they don't get impatient, and I have to go shopping for a few things that we can't live without even in the new house.

Maybe I'll have something for you to read about when I get back from shopping.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I'm looking into daycare for my oldest. He's three years old, and he's a brat. I know that sounds like I just repeated myself, but seriously. He is mean, he thinks he's #1, and he won't stop talking. EVER. If he is awake, you can hear his constant chatter. He doesn't listen, and he only tries to be a good boy for about 2 hours after being spanked. I don't like to spank him, but it's the ONLY thing that's worked. I've tried time outs, sending him to his room, making him clean up his mess, taking him out of the situation... shit I've even tried praising him for every "good boy behavior." ex. 1 he goes to the potty and only washes his hands once, I give him a big hug and tell him how proud I am and describe what I'm proud of. ex. 2 he stays in his playroom even though he can get out on his own while I get my chores done, I tell him how very good that was, and helpful. Reward: getting to play Mario Party with me.

Nothing has worked. Sure time outs work in that way that he cries, but sits still, he apologizes for the behavior in a way that sounds convincing, "Mommy, I'm sorry I made a mess in the bathroom, I won't do it again." The very next time he goes to the potty? He has soapy water all over the counter, the floor, and obviously - himself.

Pete and I took the kids to the mall the other day. The mall has a cute little park in it. It's all soft plastic stuff to climb on, and it's enclosed so the kids can run around and have a good time. Lucian felt the desire to not only push other kids off of what he wanted to climb on, but he also felt the desire to jump on top of other kids, with his knees! I'm at my wits end here. I don't think I'm a terrible mom, but I do think that I'm failing at teaching my child that he's not a prince, he can't treat other people, be they kids or adults, like whipping boys/slaves/toys/trash. He also, has an uncany ability to break his toys. It's almost as if that is what the toys are for, to be broken. Not played with, not shared, just destroyed.

And what's even worse? He's turning Val into the type of 1 yrd who bites, fights, and growls. Well, Val always growled. We've always thought it was cute, but now he growls at people.

Seriously folks, I'm at my wits' end. I don't think I've spoken to my children in a normal tone of voice in like 48 hours. Do you know what that's like? Do you know what it's like to feel like all you do is yell at your kids? I believe that I am a good mother. I also believe that I'm not the best for them 24/7. I think they, right now, especially Lucian, need to be in daycare. He needs to feel like 'just another kid.' He needs to learn how to treat others. I've been taking the boys to parks, playgroups, out in smaller social situations. I've tried. I've tried, and tried and tried, and I'm tired.

So, while I will of course accept advice (even from non-parents) on what else I could do to help my kids be the sweet angels that they were, I'm really asking for advice on daycares. I don't have an unlimited supply of cash. (I know, right?) So I can't afford much. Should I go with a church based daycare? They tend to be cheaper, but we're not christians, and we don't intend to be.

Do I go with a local private business, or should I be looking at chains? Lucian used to be in Tutor Time and Kinder Care, which were both chains, but he was under two at the time, and I wasn't terribly concerned with him being taught anything. I just wanted him safe and fed until I finished work. Now, I don't even know what I'm looking for.

Is there boot camp for three-year-olds? Is it wrong that I want to find one?

If you happen to live in the Sarasota area, do you know of good daycare options?

Well, I've had enough of writing about it. I'm going to call around.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Leaf

So, Monday the 15th, started my new leaf. The one I turned over. I began keeping my own house clean. I know this sounds like a ridiculously easy task. But let me tell you. I've never been real big into the whole domestic scene. I mean, I've gotten used to coming home to (well, since I never go anywhere I should say, waking up next to) the same man day after day, and raising children, and doing grocery shopping. I am still working on being used to vacuuming everyday. And mopping. And folding AND PUTTING AWAY the laundry. See, we had a cleaning lady. My house wasn't dirty, it was a little messy at times, but I chalked it up to having two children who walked and carried toys everywhere, and I was under the impression that it just couldn't be neat. The cleaning lady came every Friday, and I would take the kids out of the house for several hours... usually to a park, but sometimes we got shopping done, or went to the doctors, or whatever. When I came home, all the toys were put away, the beds were made, and the house smelled of cleaning products, instead of dog. I have two dogs. A St. Bernard, and a shitzpoo. So, moments after the cleaning lady left, there was dog hair on the carpets, and by the base board, my children, who had been out all day would already have all of their toys scattered about the house, and Pete would take a nap. All of this supported my claim that having a nice, neat house was impossible until the dogs die, the kids grow up, and Pete learned how to make the bed.

*ASIDE* Pete is awesomely domestic already. He did most of the laundry, cooks dinner, and helps me pick up the toys at the end of the night. He also loaded and unloaded the dishwasher as needed. And he takes out the trash. So my claim that he would have to know how to make the bed was one of those things that you just don't say out loud, because that'd be like spitting in his face considering that the house would probably smell like old food if he didn't do all the things he already did for the house. *ASIDE over*

I was also under the assumption that I could never get anything done while chasing after two toddlers. That even though most of the day I was letting them watch TV while jumping off of the couch pretending to fly, that if I wasn't at their beck and call for juice cups, or to break up fights, or find binkies - not to mention getting down on the floor to build towers out of blocks and hope I could stack more than three before one of them knocked it over, helping them into their dress-up clothes, clean up the DVDs after Val pulled them all off the rack, and do all the silly dances with them on Yo Gabba Gabba, that they would kill each other or make an even bigger mess, or just generally fall apart. I felt that being a mom was all I could do.

I read some blogs here and there, and at night I've been playing WoW. I felt this was my god-given time after a grueling day of 'being a mom.' In some of my blogs I read about women who work at real jobs, make dinner for their families, and keep their house clean. I began to think that if I got a job, maybe I could be like them. Notice that my first thought was not that I could clean the house, but that I could go out and get a 40 hr/wk job. I felt that somehow this would motivate me to be more active around the house. The wrench in that idea is this: Pete makes enough money to support our household comfortably, and unless my paycheck could do a lot more than pay for day care, it wouldn't be necessary, so I would slack off at work, and eventually quit. Not to mention, I wouldn't get to see my kids very often. And I would have EVEN LESS time to do chores. So Pete and I brainstormed some more.

A few months ago, we moved our dining furniture into the breakfast nook. And put down foam puzzle pads into the dining room. We bought a TV stand, and put a 13" TV in the new 'play room.' We put bins for toys in there, and a few standing toys (tables with things to spin and twist that play "educational" songs, and such), and we hooked up an Xbox to play kids DVDs. But the kids wanted to watch TV shows, not DVDs. We procrastinated on getting cable run to their TV, so they just watched mine. And since they were in the living room, they brought their toys with them, and my house looked like a tornado hit daily.

Pete and I decided it was time for more drastic measures. So we organized all the toys and put them in bins with lids that they haven't figured out yet. We put those bin's in Lucian's closet, and have given him the option of one bin of toys at a time. Val doesn't talk, yet, so we left his toys in the playroom, in little mini-hampers that he can reach the bottom of. We put a giant corral around the open side of the playroom with gates that neither of them could open. We called Verizon and had them run cable to their TV. Please, you can yell at me about the harm of TV. You can explain to me that being sedentary while watching the TV is going to make them fat. But listen, these kids are NEVER sedentary. They run around inside their playroom, and well... hear me out.

So all of this was Saturday. Sunday, the kids went to the beach with mom-mom. Pete and I didn't do a single chore, as there was no time between all the sex, and all the football. Monday, the kids were staying at mom-mom's because pop-pop missed them and wanted to spend some time with them. I cleaned up all the mess that Pete and I had made during our weekend. It was a lot of work. I cleaned up the whole kitchen, vacuumed, mopped, did laundry, etc*. Tuesday, I de-cluttered the house, vacuumed, mopped, did laundry, etc*. Tuesday evening we finally got the kids back, so we took them to Boston Market, and went to pick up Pete's new suit. By the time we got them home, it was time to put them to bed. Wednesday, we all woke up early enough to go to a playgroup, then came home where Pete had a gourmet lunch waiting for us (brats, macaroni's in a cream sauce, and a baked, stuffed, tomato), after lunch, the kids were put into their basically new playroom. Lucian actually took to it a lot better than Val. I got more chores done, and Pete made a new recipe for dinner. We invited his parents over for grub, and after dinner his mom and I cleaned up dinner. (Usually, she cleans up while I lamely protest saying I'm going to get to it later, and she should just relax, and then I go smoke a cigarette on the lanai while she finishes cleaning up.) I was pretty stoked, and I'm sure she was happy to see me being such a good little domestic girl. Yesterday, mom-mom joined Lucian and I at mini-golf, and we came home to find pop-pop playing with Val. More lunch, then kids to playroom while I did more chores, and mom-mom and pop-pop went visiting other family.

Today, I've been relaxing a little for the morning, but now it's time for lunch, and then mom-mom is coming back to swim with the kids in the pool so I can do more chores. So I think this is a pretty good routine. In the mornings the kids get to run and play, then they eat a real lunch read: not just whatever microwavable meal I can heat up, but a meat starch and veg meal made from scratch, then they play together in the playroom while I get chores done. About an hour before dinner, I let them out of the playroom, to sit and play with me, then it's on to dinner, show, stories, bed. And I still have time to WoW.

Neat, huh?

Hopefully, I'll keep this up forEVER. Probably, three months.

*etc. should be translated "sex"

P.S. It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrgh!
P.P.S. there are a lot of places where I should have added links. I'll do that when I'm done with today's chores. I'm not actually smart with bloggy stuff, so it will take some research. Thanks for your patience.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kick-Off Family Style

Yesterday was the first Football Sunday of the season. It was pretty awesome. Of course Val is sick, so there was a lot of getting up to get medicine, and he was napping at odd times, but while he was up he sat with me and Pete on the couch-bed and relaxed.

The couch-bed. That is what Pete and I have decided will be our Football Sunday tradition. We'll pull out the couch-bed, eat snacks, and watch all three football games. We'll chase the kids around the house during half-time, and pre-game, and let the kids have movies on the playroom tv when they get bored of football.

Do you have traditions built around sports? How do you get your kids involved in the things you love?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weeee! Debating.

I have been debating on other people's blogs. It's fun. It reminds me of when the WWW was first created, and lots of people had message boards, and chat rooms, and I used to get into heated discussions with people I didn't know. Only this time, it's seemingly itelligent people with better things to say than, 'Well, you're ugly and stupid, and that's why no one likes you!" It's good too, because when I try to debate with Pete's cousin Joey, he always wins due to the fact that he gets louder than me, and I get frustrated with being yelled at, and give up. Here on my adored WWW I can get my turn to say something, and believe that it's being read, and um... I'm at a loss for words. I want to say ingested, but I think that's wrong. I really should go back to school to keep my brain functioning better. Basically, I believe that the people I'm debating with are at least thinking about what I have to say. They may not agree, and generally have something to say back, but at least when they do they're not just giving me virtual raspberries.

Of course it's also inspiring me to do more research. Because most of what I know of the world (politically speaking), comes from my discussions with Pete. in which, he reads something, it causes him angst, he talks to me about it during our cigarette breaks, and we discuss how we feel about it, how we see the issue and so on. Usually he has to give me the background on why the issue is important, and then once I am armed with that information, I think on it between cigarette breaks, and discuss it further with him. and while that's good, mostly he and I agree. He's a little right of center, I'm a little left of center, but ultimately, there's not much that he and don't agree on.

I think in the light of debating with people who seem further left than me, I will have to start doing my own reading. I guess that I will try to use my computer time more wisely.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Grown-Up Blog

I am eventually going to actually tear down all my old blogs. I feel that they are no longer a decent representation of who I am. And while they do give insight into who I was, I feel like since my kids were born,or perhaps since I moved to Florida, I have gone through a transformation. I have let go of a lot. I have breathed in the peace and tranquility, and exhaled the bitterness, snarky-ness, and mean-ness. I guess, a lot of my old blogs revolved around me trying to 'prove to the world' that I was "better" than the people who dropped my friendship like a bad habit. And told me that I was a bad habit. I don't want to focus on them, or that, anymore. I want to focus on what's important to me now. My kids (and the rest of the family), my community, my experiences.

And despite my title, I will sometimes complain about my in-laws, or toddlers... but in a sort of frustrated, 'this too, shall pass' sort of way. I love them, I really do, but some days are better than others.

These days, everyone is talking about which candidate they'll vote for. It's a time when normally well-adjusted adults start getting petty, and childish, and nit-picky. What it comes down to for me is this: the candidates are human, too. They all have their character flaws. They have their families who do not necessarily have their best interests at heart. They have pasts.

I have a past, too. One that while I do not deny it, I also do not feel that it should destroy the person I am, or the person I am capable of being.

However, what matters to me, in this election is that McCain has proven time and time again that he loves this country, and he wants this country to prevail and prosper. He recognizes that we are in a time of history when we need to show our iron side. I have two children. I like to let them do whatever they like. I enjoy letting them run around and go crazy. I like to spoil them, with toys, freedoms, and letting them decide how to govern themselves. But they get out of hand. They start to not listen to me, they start to think I am incapable of enforcing the rules I have set out. When this happens I usually spend a week coming down hard on them. Sending them to their room for each tiny rebellion. yelling at them in my scary voice, with my ugly face on. Spanking them when necessary. And after a few days to a little over a week, they are back to being my little angels that I can allow to have some independence. McCain knows that we are in a period of coming down hard on the world. And I make this analogy, because as the superpower of the world, we have the responsibilty of keeping as much peace and control as we can.

I know that as a parent, I am expected to lead through example. I also know that while one of my children responds to being sent to his room, the other only responds to the ugly face. I am a unique person, and my children are individuals.

McCain sees that what seemingly works for Europe (a whole other matter I won't get into right now) won't work for America. McCain has the researchable history to prove that he stands firm on his beliefs, and does what he feels is right. Obama, has only 2 years in Congress voted on almost nothing during those two years, and his most gut-wrenching decision as he put it, was voting against the war... while he was in the state senate in Illinois. Which means that his vote meant very little... he had no real say in what the NATION was going to do about the war. Obama wants to force Americans into buying health insurance. Health insurance companies are a private business. If it becomes a law that every American who can afford it must buy it, that is the equivilant of them levying a tax. Obama wants to make it possible for private industry to levy a tax people!!!! Obama wants to make SUV's illegal. Because they're not green. And while I'm all about doing right by mother nature, I don't think the government should regulate this for me. I want my government to do what it promised. Protect me from outsiders, provide me with oppurtunity to better myself, and allow me to believe and say and do what I want. I do NOT want the goverment to protect me from me. I do not want the government to patronize me and tell me that I am incapable of making the right decision so I have none to make.

*SIGH.* I don't know how long this post is. I do know that no one will read it. I'm feeling a bit spent. I'm sorry if you did read this and it doesn't wrap up nicely for you. Perhaps i'll come back to it later.