Mommy, I Already Looked in There!

Yesterday was one of those days. Yep, it was my monthly “What if I just ran away?” day. Does everyone have these days, or is it just me? If it’s just me, don’t tell me. I’d like to think I’m not alone. I just picture myself getting in Mike’s Sporty Acura (leaving him the Minivan) and driving off into the sunset….

I’d been on the run from the time I got up until the time I got home from work. I usually get home about two minutes before Jack gets off of the bus, but some days he beats me home.  When this happens, he’s supposed to call me. I got a call yesterday:

Me & Jack:  ‘Hey, Bud!” “Hey, Mommy.”

Me:  “I’ll be home in 4 minutes. What’s your homework like?”

Jack:  “The obvious project (reading journal), math and spelling. Uh, mommy?”

Me:  “Yeah, Bud.”

Jack:  “Uh, well, I lost my reading journal. I got to the bus stop and my backpack was unzipped. It might have fallen out.”

Side Note: Ah, the reading journal. It’s our twice-a-quarter torture. He is required to read two books a quarter and write about them in a particular composition notebook (there are rules and a required structure). He has to write almost 3 pages each time. He LOVES reading and HATES writing. So, he usually waits until the last minute (like this time) and it’s about a 3 hour ordeal. BTW, the due dates are stated at the beginning of the school year – these are not surprise assignments.

Me:  “What??? You walked out of the house with a completely unzipped backpack on your back, and you think that the composition notebook fell out?”

Side Note: Really?  How in the hell do you not notice that your backpack is unzipped and splayed open while you’re putting it on your back!?

Jack:  “Yeah, but I noticed it was open when I got to the bus stop (it’s two houses down).”

Me:  “You zipped it up then, right?” {Please say, ‘yes.’}

Jack:  “Yes.”

Me:  “Well, it couldn’t have gone far. It has to be in the garage or somewhere between the house and the bus stop. When I get home, you can go hunt for it.”

Jack:  “Okay, Mommy.”

When I got home, the Great Composition Notebook Hunt was on! While he searched outside, I searched the backpack (even though it had already been searched “thoroughly”). OMG – that backpack looked like a bomb had gone off in it. I’ve been trying to take a somewhat hands off approach this year to try to ease both him and me into his first year of junior high next year. If you haven’t read my prior posts, I can be somewhat of micro-manager. In this spirit of being “hands off” I haven’t been checking his backpack (this is HUGE for me). He needs to learn be responsible, right?

How’s that hands-offy-thingy working out for us? Apparently, not well! There were lots of papers in there – some graded (all A’s – darn good thing) and some informational items for the parents (that are past due). {Silent Scream} Guess what else was in there? Yep, the reading journal aka composition notebook. When he said he looked in the backpack, who’s backpack did he look in? Did he even really look? I guess we need to go over the definition of a “thorough search”.

Crisis averted. Jack began working on his journal entry.

Then, I had to pay the bills. Ugh. It always makes me grumpy. I’m getting into the groove and then….everyone else started coming home. “Mommy, can I go workout at the Monon? Mommy, when’s dinner because I’m going to walk the dog. Mommy, what’s for dinner? Mommy, what time do we need to leave for my band meeting?”

The hubs came home early to save me (okay, not really). It was just my good fortune. Could he please take Jack to the band meeting? Yes, he will. It’s a damn good thing because I’m on Mommy overload and he just brought home my get-a-way car. I could have been gone in a blink, but I had decided to scrubbed the escape plan for the time being.

Since I decided to stick around, I made Jack and Mike scrambled eggs and toast for dinner so they could skedaddle (you don’t hear that word very often do you?). Then Rachel came home from working out and Maddie walked in the door with Jasper. “When’s dinner?” “What’s for dinner?”

Before I could answer, they took one look at their poor mother and volunteered to make their own dinners (smart girls). Sometimes it takes awhile, but eventually their Spidy-senses kick in.

Tomorrow is always another day 🙂

Lists, Et Cetera, & So Forth

This week, I’ve been on a roll! I’ve finally started to cross the “big” things off of my To Do list that I created on January 24th. What day is it today? Oh, yeah, APRIL 8th!

What did I accomplish from the original* list?

*What do I mean by original? I wanted to go back to Jan 24th list to see what I’ve actually accomplished. To Do Lists are living, breathing, ever-evolving entities, aren’t they? If I put my current as-of-today list in this post (see pic), it would be too long and bore you to tears. Come to think of it, maybe this old list is making you want to stab yourself in the eye with the nearest writing utensil. If that’s the case, then maybe this post isn’t for you.

1. Bio for work website – Done! I finally finished that in early February because I had a serious deadline.  The updated page is up and running – by the way, I sound awesome (those website writers are creative)!

2. Call the Carpet Cleaners – Done! They came out in February.

3. Start my running program again – I’ve kinda started.  I went running the other day with my daughter. How did it go? I couldn’t sit or stand for the next two days without groaning because my thighs were on fire!  Walking was fine, but any transition from sitting to standing (and visa versa) was, well, a struggle. Apparently, I should have taken it easier the first time running after being on sabbatical.  (Note to self: try not to act like a 20-year-old when you’re really a 40-something-year-old).

4. Make doctor appointments for everyone (including self) – this is where I’ve finally made some headway!

Item #4:

I know, I know . . . I’m talking about my doctor appointments – this is one of the items on my list that I swore not to do as I age. To hell with the list.

Eye Doctor – Done!

Rachel and I finally went to the eye doctor – yeah, that was fun. I had to finally come face-to-face with the fact that I had to order some bifocals. I’ve been wearing monovision contacts for the last year during the day (one eye for up close, one eye for distance), but using my old glasses at night which wasn’t bad at first. THEN, it became annoying as hell because I couldn’t do puzzles while watching TV (I felt like this happened over night!). I had to lift up my glasses every time to see my puzzle, then put them back on my nose to see the TV.  My left arm looks like Popeye’s now because of all of the arm lifts completed over the last year! Why did I wait this long? Oh, hell, I didn’t want to hear it AND I didn’t want to spend $350 on a new pair of glasses!

Anyway, it’s done. I get my new glasses next week – maybe I’ll post a picture later.

Mammogram – Done!

The other appointment? It’s a little overdue – I got the reminder in September 2010.  Reminder for what? My annual mammogram. Yay! I finally had my exam today.  B-I-G fun.  Nothing does more for the 33-year-old boobs (I didn’t get them until I was 13) than a good old fashioned flattening!

Mammograms are definitely a necessary evil and I know that I shouldn’t put it off. But, I know a lot of you can relate – you get so wrapped up in taking care of everyone else, that you just don’t take care of yourself.

I excel at that.

Can I share a little bit of my appointment with you today? As most of us know (and the men can imagine), it’s an uncomfortable, barbaric, and painful ritual. I usually wince while holding my breath during the whole ordeal (and they do instruct you to hold your breath – like you need to be told that!). While wincing (which is constant throughout the entire exam), the tech doing the mammogram asked me what I thought was a very strange question –

Tech: “Are your breasts always this tender?”

Me (huh?): “Well, only while they’re being smashed between two panes of glass.”

Tech: “Oh, sure. There’s no chance that you’re pregnant, right?”

Me (I would be sobbing if that were so): “Nope.”

Tech: “I just wanted to make sure.”

I have to take a poll. Am I the only one that winces? Does everyone else stand there with smiles or stoic expressions on their faces while the girls are being tortured?  She does this to women all day long and thinks my reaction is abnormal?

Now, I’m anxious about my results. I have a week to worry – great.  That’s all I need. I’ve never had an abnormal result, but I’ve never been asked that question before either.

I still have a couple of other appointments to yet to make, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m making progress on the list. However, today’s exam kind of freaked me out, so I may procrastinate just a tad bit longer (not too much) on the other appointments if you don’t mind.

Girls, we need to take care of ourselves – no one else is going to do it! Let’s make a pact – wait. . . . pacts never really work. But, let’s at least make a promise to work harder at taking care of ourselves by adding ourselves to our lists!

Pinky Promise……

My Love-Hate Relationship with Procrastination (maybe just hate)

Procrastination. I hate this word.  Really. I know everyone does it. My kids are really good at it. I hate it when I do it.  

 I know my excuse – I’m a perfectionist (which is a serious illness). What is your excuse?

What are the items on the Procrastination List? Well, a lot of things. But, I did finally tackle the big one on my list – the family vacation we are taking this summer.  The hubby has always had this dream to take the fam damnly on a trek out West.  You know, Griswold-style.  However, Wally World is not our destination – the destination is our country’s National Parks!

Why did I procrastinate on this particular project? It’s an 11-day “get-a-way” that includes multiple stops, multiple routes and maps, sight-seeing decisions, etc. It was so daunting and overwhelming to me. And, I was not excited about changing hotels every other night – packing and unpacking, etc.  What finally got me started on this project was my husband telling me that he was freaking out about my lack of planning and interest in this huge opportunity for family fun.

Whoa, I didn’t want to be the fun-sucker on vacation (I do that enough on a day-to-day basis). Finally, I confessed that I was afraid of his expectations for this family trek – his parents used to go on these 3 week long driving pilgrimages staying in a new location every other night with extensive itineraries, etc. He assured me that he was not thinking along that vein. Relief!

It took an entire day, but we did it!  We have a budget, all of our accommodations booked, and some awesome activities planned.  Now that it’s done, I’m excited! Why did I fear this task so??

Here is our itinerary:

Day 1:  Hellish 12-hour day of driving to get to BFE, MN

Days 2-4:  Another long day of driving, but we reach our destination:  Rapid City, SD.  We will be staying here for 3 nights and visiting Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest and possibly checking out the Corn Palace.  I’m especially stoked about seeing Mt. Rushmore!!!

Day 5:  Driving from Rapid City, SD to our next stop, Estes Park, CO.

Days 6-8:  Hanging out in Estes Park; visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. The place we are staying is on a river where my husband can try out his new fly fishing gear and looks fantastically relaxing.

Day 9:  Hellish 12-hour day of driving to Kansas City, MO.  Just a stop, not a destination.

Day 10:  Short 5 hour drive to St. Louis, MO.  We are taking our kids to the Gateway Arch – the “Gateway to the West”!

Day 11:  We are homeward bound.

It will be EPIC! However, we are not making any stops to pick up Aunt Edna so we won’t have to worry about toting a dead aunt on top of the mini van 🙂

Okay, here are the remaining items on my Procrastination List:

1.  My bio for my boss’s new web site.  What do I put down?  It’s not really that interesting.  Why am I in health insurance?  I’m not sure – it just happened.  I definitely did not plan this as a career – I was a math major!  I can’t put this one off much longer – it was due today.

2.  Various Doc visits – annual visit, colonoscopy (dad, I swear – I’ll call tomorrow), mammogram, daughter’s eye exam, my eye exam.  This is another day of just calling people – I don’t have time for that! Buuutt, these are important visits and I just need to do it.

3.  Call the Carpet Cleaners

4.  Start my running program again.  What the hell is wrong with me ?  I did so well (almost 30 minutes straight!) and then the flu.  Now, I’m starting over again, but not quite yet.  Just Do It!

Okay, first thing tomorrow morning, I’m going to cross items #1-4 off of the Procrastination List!  Or maybe next week…..

Strike While the Iron is Hot

Okay,  today I have reached my limit.  I had a mommy tantrum the size of China.  I’m seriously considering going on strike.  I mean it.  I’m at my wit’s end!  This tantrum has been building for a while.

What was the last straw?  The L word: laundry.  I know I’ve written about this before.  Maybe I should make my kids do their own laundry, but we have a family of 5 and I could see the “do your own” eventually ending with someone getting either stuffed in the dryer or getting smacked upside the head with the iron.  Why?  Because ultimately the girls will each be down to their last pair of undies (they are clearly professional procrastinators) and favorite jeans and then the race to the washer for the dual of the century (which would occur about once a week – hopefully).  This would not be helpful in reaching our goal of family unity and harmony and world peace.

So back to the part where I do the laundry – I fold everyone’s clothes, put them into neat piles outside their bedroom doors.  I do not put clothes away (except my own) – that’s my line in the sand.  Okay, so I do a load of laundry every day, thus there are clean clothes for the kids every day – little stacks that would take about 5 seconds to put away.  Instead, this is what happens outside the doors of my daughter’s rooms:

“I don’t have time to put my perfectly folded clothes away!”  “I’ll do it tonight (2 days later, see pic above).”  “I have too much homework!”  “I’m tired.” “I had to work tonight.”

I’m getting angrier and angrier as I’m fixing dinner.  Guess what I made for dinner?  Curry shrimp and rice with broccoli.  Yep, shrimp.  I’m standing in the kitchen removing the shells and the shit from 2 pounds of shrimp for my ungrateful, spoiled girls!  I should have just left it in there – I don’t think anyone has died or contracted a deadly disease from a little cooked shrimp poop, have they?

Arrrrggghhhhhh!  Do they think I do all of this stuff for shits and grins?  That’s when I started fantasizing about going on strike.  Do you know how quickly this place would lapse into total chaos without my daily attention?! I started thinking about all of the little stuff I do that no one notices (I’m sure many of you can relate) – fill the soap dispensers, the toilet paper holders, keep the house tidy, keep the house stocked with food and their favorite snacks, make doctor appointments, manage their schedules, pay the bills, etc.  You get the idea. Hmmmm….. What would happen if I went on strike, ran away, or disappeared??

After wallowing in their own filth and dirty underwear, would they start crying and begging me to come back so they could apologize to me?  Would they all magically start respecting what I do, putting their things and laundry away, doing the dishes, taking the dog for a walk all with a smile and a “I love you, mommy!”?? 

I know, I know.  But it’s part of the fantasy.  A girl’s gotta have something.

I have thought about getting each of the girls a laundry basket and just throwing their clean clothes in there unfolded.  They end up like that anyway – then they can fold their wrinkled clothes on their own time.  Hmmmm….   It would save me time.

Okay, tantrum over…until next time 🙂