With Caller ID, I’m not sure why robo-callers bother anymore. If we don’t recognize the number, we don’t answer. Simple as that. Even the kids know that. Duh. [Do people still answer their phones in a devil-may-care way?]
However, tonight something changed. Gallup was calling. This is the second time in the last couple of days that I noticed them on the Caller ID. What did they want?
Did they want my thoughts on the last Presidential debate? Did they want to know if I was one of the mysterious women listed in the infamous “Romney Binder”? What was it? What did they want to know?!?
Well, Gallup wanted to know . . . . actually, my bank wanted to know if my last contact with them was pleasant. Gallup was acting as the nosy best friend. Gallup wanted to know if I liked Such&Such Bank and if I wanted to “go steady”. B-o-o-r-i-n-g. Ho-hum.
Yes, curiosity killed the cat. I know. No need to gloat. I definitely won’t take the bait next time.
However, since I answered the phone, I decided to act happy that someone gave a shit that what I thought about anything was worth noting. I happily answered poor Randall’s questions. I mean, Randall was just doing his job. It’s not his fault that the majority of the questions were ridiculous. The one that made me laugh out loud (really loud) was, “Can you imagine a world without Such&Such Bank?”. I lost it. I wasn’t sure how to answer that one. He giggled too. I told him I wasn’t sure how to answer that so he took care of it. Do they have a “giggle” option?
I have honestly been with the same bank since I was sixteen years old. Okay, not exactly the same bank ~ my bank keeps getting bought out. Maybe my new bank should be worried – I may be bad luck. They could be the next target of a huge acquisition and become something that is “too big to fail”. [Large intake of breath.]
But, on the bright side of things, unless you really, really piss me off, I’m pretty loyal. Let’s see . . . . 16 and I’m now 47. Uh, wow, 31 years! That’s pretty loyal, right?
BTW, I can imagine a world without my bank because I’ve lived in a world without my current bank and have been perfectly happy. What a weird question.
Good question: “Can I imagine a world without Mocha Chip ice cream?”
The answer, “NO!”
Good question: “Can I imagine a world without wine?”
The answer, “NO!”
Now, those are good questions.
Maybe Gallup can’t advise their clients that their questions are asinine, but they really should. Help a brother out, Gallup. Really.
Oh, all right. It wasn’t really a push. She pretty much flew out by herself – she was ready.
That’s good, right? I mean, if she wasn’t ready then we would probably be wondering what the hell happened, reviewing where we went astray, and then coming to the conclusion that it was my husband’s fault some how (kidding).
I’m just not ready for her to be ready, you know what I mean? As parents, we spend eighteen years preparing our children to leave the house. It’s our job. Cliche alert ~ Boy, those eighteen years went by in a blink.
After hashing it out with my one of my besties, I’ve determined that I’m not actually worried about my daughter managing on her own. She’s smart, strong and amazing. It’s the fact that this is the beginning of the next chapter in our family. We add the kids, the kids leave and then it’s back to just me and the hubs (unless the kids move back in because they can’t find a job). It’s the arc of life.
It has been a slow adjustment to our family dinner table of four instead of five (It hasn’t even been a month yet. Give us a break, people!), but you know what has helped us? Technology. Love, love, love technology! Since instantaneous communication is so abundant, our daughter has been connecting with us regularly and she’s only asked for money twice!
In addition to the frequent texting, stalking her on Facebook has allowed me to see that she is making friends, having fun and adjusting to her new life. Seeing her embracing her new adventure had improved my state of mind since we left her standing in the dorm parking lot all alone (stifling a sob). Now, when people ask me how Rachel’s doing, I can answer without completely breaking down. Just don’t ask me how I’m doing. I can’t get through that one yet.
Click here to watch a short film by one of her new friends who happens to be a film major. My girl is in the striped sweater. Fun, right?
The original saying, “The family that prays together stays together,” was a slogan invented Al Scalpone (not to be confused with Al Capone) and was first uttered on March 6, 1947 as an ad during the radio program, Family Theater of the Air (click here for more info).
You’ve probably just learned something new.
The two-story blank wall in our entry way has always been the bane of my husband’s existence. Blank walls really get on my husband’s last nerve. He’s an architect. I think that sums it up.
After ten and half years in this house with this blank wall, my husband finally decided that he had had enough. It was time to do something about it. He’s a professional on deliberation especially when the decision is important (it took nine years of dating before he decided that I was the one). During Christmas break of 2011, Mike and the kids brainstormed and the solution was the Family Art Wall (FAW).
This solution was presented to the Family Manager (moi) and was approved with reservations.
It’s a two-story blank wall, people.
However, I really wanted to be viewed as encouraging whimsy in our house since I’m usually dubbed, “the funsucker”. (Say it carefully.)
The FAW was to be done by December 31, 2011, but due to multiple delays (we all got hit with a long-term mokus) it did not get done until this summer (around the 11th anniversary of living in this house).
It turned out really well and we all love it. When we tried describing it to our friends and family, some were like, “cool” and some were like, “huh?”. Those in the “huh?” category were probably worried we were turning our household into some weird liberal-art colony-free love-free thinking hippie commune. Maybe we did and maybe we didn’t (wink, wink).
Without further ado, I present to you, my loyal followers, the Family Art Wall:
In order from Top to Bottom:
Jack’s creation: He combined his love of making a mess with his love of Origami.
Rachel’s Creation: Her piece is a thinking person’s piece. The phrase is in contrast with the background – very artsy.
Mike’s creation: His piece is a compilation of the people in his life. Not to be too cliché, but family is important to him. He really could give Ward Cleaver a run for his money.
My creation: If you have been a long-time follower of this blog, you know that artsy stuff is an extreme challenge for me so please don’t judge too harshly. One of my friends said it looked like a gay foodie poster which wasn’t my original intention, but she does have a point!
Maddie’s creation: The girl LOVES to bake so this is a perfect representation of one of her many interests.
As you can see, the kids have taken after their father in the creativity/art department! Aren’t they talented?
Next project? The other blank wall in our house. It’s located our fancy living room that we never use (and only one-story). Look for an update in the summer of 2013.
My daughter is helping my son clean out his room and get organized – this is definitely a fleeting moment in our house and it had to be documented!
I’m having bad thoughts. Really bad thoughts. What the hell is wrong with me? Am I all alone in this?
Finally, the swirling mass of words formed into coherent sentences and I confessed to my husband that if I had been an alligator yesterday, I would have eaten one of my children (this particular child will henceforth be known as ‘Baby Gator’). The only thing that stopped me was time and social convention.
Why an alligator? On our trip to New Orleans this year, we learned that the male alligators will sometimes eat their babies. I know I’m not a male, but work with me, people. Obviously, we can only speculate as to why they would use such a tactic to deal with their wayward young.
Maybe it was the whining about:
how inconvenient it is having someone come in every two weeks to clean their nesting area
how awkward it is to have to play with his/her alligator siblings
how it’s not fair that the alligator siblings got a snake or a rabbit for dinner and Baby Gator got just a turtle, etc.
– OR –
Maybe it was the storming and stomping around exclaiming why everything was the Daddy Alligator’s fault:
the bayou is too wet
the world spinning
the weather is hot
the rodents are too small, etc.
When I take all of that into consideration, I have some sympathy for the Alligator that uses this extreme measure in dealing with his young. Sure, you don’t want to be impulsive. Also, sleeping on it might be a prudent action.
So that’s what I did – I’d been sleeping on it, sitting on it and thinking about it for a couple of days. However, yesterday after hearing the last and final straw-of-a-whine from Baby Gator, I promptly picked my head off of the floor (it popped off in an effort to release the steam that had been accumulating) and quickly returned it to its rightful spot. Then, I uttered a mild and mature, “Shut it!” as I left the room.
Huh? Okay, maybe not the most mature response, but what else could I do? It was either that or eat Baby Gator.
Since I’m not an Alligator and I am a human, I’m sure that the eating of Baby Gator would not have been well-received as a viable parenting practice. And, I’m confident that this parental act would definitely be considered as thinking “outside the box”, and not in a good way.
So what do you do with teenagers? You would think that I would know how to handle most situations by now, but clearly I haven’t figured it out. What’s the deal? Am I getting slower in my old age? Is my skull getting thicker? I feel like I’m losing my mojo and I’m a little rattled. All I need is a confidence boost.
I do recognize that this Fall will be bringing a lot of changes for our family and I’m sure this is mostly responsible for the current of craziness coursing through our house. I suppose I need to keep all of this in mind as I deal with our Baby Gators.
But, oh. My. Goodness. Give me the strength. Please.
It has been an interesting time in our house – it all started with prom in May and ended with our post graduation vacation to Orlando at the end of May. Whirlwind doesn’t even really describe it – all of the stuff parents and seniors have to do at the end of the year is crazy!
Events leading up to prom were stressful, but then everything worked out and she had a terrific and memorable time at her first and last prom (Ray is in the purple dress).
Every event of her senior year made me cry (in private) because, well, I’m a crier and the passing of each event meant that graduation was nearer. And, then it arrived…..
Surprisingly enough, I kept it together (only cried during the speeches). I owe his stoicism to my new camera (thank you, dear camera). I was so focused (pun intended) on taking pictures of Rachel and all of her friends that I didn’t have the time for sentimentality. Have you ever tried to take pictures when your body is convulsing due to extreme sobbing? It’s really hard. Trust me.
Since I’m an overanalyzer and tend to think way too much about everything, I have been going around in circles wondering if I’ve given my girl everything that she needed. Did I push her too much, not enough? Did I hover too much, not enough? Was I there for her emotionally when she needed it? Have I been a good role model (except for the sailor mouth) for her? Etc….
I’m not looking for pats on the back or reassurances. Really. Don’t you think it’s normal to assess your parenting at a juncture in your child’s life by going through a litany of self-doubt questions? Some don’t ask many questions and say to themselves, “It is what it is.” (God, how I hate that saying.) And some, like me, ask multiple questions and then question the answers to those questions. (I have A LOT penetrating, self-doubt questions available, so if you are in need of some or run out, email me and I will send you the list.)
I think it would be weird to think to yourself, “Fantastic! I (with some of my husband’s help) did an absolutely perfect job with this kid. Kudos to me (I mean, us)!”
What? You don’t think that’s a weird sentiment? Then, maybe you’re one of those and if so, why are you reading my blog? Go write a parenting book and quit judging me!
When I do consider it honestly, I know deep down that she shouldn’t need but 6 months of therapy – that’s how good parenting is measured. You know. . . . . .by therapy months. If you haven’t heard of this new method of assessing your parenting awesomeness, you are behind the times, my friend. I think I saw it in some parenting magazine a while back or saw it on the Today Show. By the way, six months is average to better than average on the Therapy Months Scale. Anything beyond two years means you really F&%#ed up and you should probably be in therapy yourself.
Despite some glaring mistakes that cannot be unmade, she has turned out to be a bright, thoughtful, funny, good-humored (for a teenager), soft-hearted, determined, stubborn, beautiful, and confident young lady.
Our next big milestone on the path to college is in July when we take her to orientation and then the biggie – we take her to school at the end of August. Meanwhile, my denial is going strong and I should be able to keep it up until August. [Just a warning: This blog could get really morose, pitiful and boring starting in September.]
By the way, here’s how we ended May and brought in June – we went to Orlando and did three parks in three days (Sea World, Magic Kingdom & Islands of Adventure) – crazy, but fun!! The entire purpose of the trip was to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (in the Islands of Adventure) and it was very cool and worth it!
Here’s to a great summer!
Is there really such a thing as Camera Love? Well. All I know is that I think it’s real and that I have it! For this past Mother’s Day, I was bestowed with a Canon Rebel EOS T3i digital camera!!
Of course, I told my three lovely children that if they dared show up without this camera on Mother’s Day that they would be homeless waifs within minutes. And, that their daddy would “disappear”. They have all watched enough Bones, NCIS and CSI episodes to know what I meant.
What do you think I got for Mother’s Day? Well…..let’s not keep you waiting! I got my Canon EOS Rebel T3i!!!
It. Is. So. Awesome!!!
I love my camera so much. Really. I have signed up for another photography class. Despite some of my previous posts, these classes have actually been very helpful and very interesting. And, I’ve met some really nice people.
For the first class in my second photography class EVER, the topic/assignment was ‘abtrasct’, so here are my options:
Assignment #2 for my second photography class is “portraits”. People, I tried really hard, bought a reflector and ruminated on my lessons. Below, the photos that I’m turning in for “homework”:
These are my assignments for next week. What do you think? I’m pretty happy with the pictures!
BTW, Happy Father’s Day to all those celebrating and I will finally stop my denial and get real with all of the changes going on in the Engledow Household in the next post. Promise.