Wednesday, March 2, 2016

treat stealer...

So, tonight sucked.

Yes - last night, I ate 1/4 bag of those little malted easter eggs (robin eggs). My spouse had set them out so that the boys could snack on them. Instead, I snacked on them. So, tonight the spouse was giving me a hard time about the missing candy. Jokingly, I blamed "a mouse - a really fat mouse." Then, one of the boys worried that we had mice, so I said "We're just joking. There is no mouse. I ate the candy."

My adorable child #1 said "Mom, you eat everything."
Adorable child #2 asked "Yeah. Why do you eat all of our treats?"

The funny thing is that I eat 2 fruits and 3 veggies every day. I limit carbs. I drink loads of water and no soda. I am the person who tries to keep high fructose corn syrup out of the house. I am the one who uses only whole wheat flour and doesn't make food from boxes (anymore). I am the one who is moving the family away from cow dairy. I make sure that we take our vitamins, and I am always the "bad guy" for enforcing limits on screen time.

Yes - I have a sweet tooth, and I occasionally binge on the candy.

8yr olds can be harsh. Spouses sometimes just sit there....

Boo-hoo. Waaaa-waaaa-waaaa.
Just feeling fat and unappreciated and sad and temporarily ruined.....
[Sigh. I'll suck it up and get over it soon.]

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

cherry-chocolate, please

Today, we are celebrating some great behavior from the boys in school for several days in a row.
It just seemed like an ice cream kind of night!
I stopped by the local greasy spoon to get everybody's favorite flavor. Four shakes for $18. (Holy hell - what a rip off!)

Peanut: Butterfinger
Meatball: Strawberry
Bub: Coffee-banana
Me: Caramel-cashew

Every time we get shakes, I'm reminded how going out for ice cream was a HUGE treat when I was growing up. We typically didn't have money to spend on these types of things, so it only happened about once every six months or so. Isn't that crazy?
Anyway, I can only remember getting a Bishop or Caramel-nut or Caramel-Marshmallow concoction, although I'm sure that I've tried so many more.

My mom, however, unfailingly ordered a Cherry-Chocolate shake. Always. No matter what.
How long do these silly simple memories stay with you? It's not like I sit around and think about this stuff; I never think about this until I get a shake of my own. Invariably, though, at that time I manage to think of her and how she savored every bite knowing that it would be 6-7 months before she could afford to buy herself and all of us another one....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

the hammer, or the nail?

I just finished watching a movie where "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" played over and over.
Not the whole song - just the first verse.
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail
Yes I would, if I could, I surely would
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would

I didn't really notice the song because it fit into the movie just fine.
Afterwards, however, the song popped into my head, and I immediately thought "I would rather be the nail."


The movie was about a woman who was beaten down by life, and she struggles through her personal demons to eventually become a happy, well-adjusted human.
So, good for her. The hammer smacked the crap out of her, but she eventually became the hammer and is a strong woman.
Or, something like that.

And, I totally get that. I usually agree with it.

Today, though, I think that it's the nail that's the most important part of the equation.
Yes - it gets hit by the hammer, but they both suffer an impact. (The nail more so than the hammer due to its size, but...)
The nail, though, is only hit a few times, and then it's done. The hammer moves on to the next nail and more impact. Time and again. Overall impact to the hammer is more...

The nail, on the other hand, holds everything together for what seems like forever. As a mom - and a middle child - I think it's not a bad gig. Right?

Monday, December 14, 2015

The siblings

MY siblings. That's who I'm talking about.

You know, I would do just about anything for any one of them - even the one that I don't get along with.
We rarely hang out. I think I've mentioned it on here before.

Growing up, I always thought that we were close. Turns out that we're not. After my mom died, we sort of just fell apart. We don't really get together. We don't really go out. We honestly suck at this sibling thing.

I see my oldest brother a few times per year - maybe. The excuse there is that he works crazy hours and we live 2 1/2 hours away from each other.
I see my sister about the same number of times. This time the excuse is that she lives in Mexico or Tucson or where ever it is that she has chosen for the year. Sun seeker, that one. Give her a margarita and some hot sunshine, and she is a happy girl.
I also see my just-older-than-me brother only a few times per year. Oddly, he only lives 7 miles away from me. We just don't get along. Never really have, but it doesn't help that he doesn't like my wife, and I don't really like his all that much.
Then, there's the baby brother. I see him most (even though he also lives 2 1/2 hours away) because we get along the best and because he comes up this way fairly often to visit my dad. Even so, it's not frequent at all.

All that being said, I would bend over backwards to help any of them if necessary.
I bailed one of them out of jail once.
I spent a week with one of them when he was suicidal. (Man, was he sick of me by the end of that week.)
I've pretended to be happy about a couple of seriously sketchy life choices (which actually turned out great in the end).

Sometimes, one of us can be an asshole or a pain in the ass.
At one time or another, each one of us have been married to (or have dated long-term) a complete screw-up that nobody approves of.
A few of us have some serious competitive issues.
At least two of us can be very bitchy.
I would venture to guess that all of us have a chip on a shoulder.

We don't see eye-to-eye politically.
We don't even remotely agree on gun control, abortion, hunting, racial inequities, animal rights, conspiracy theories, government spending, voting, paper or plastic, climate change...
Hell, we can't even agree on which beer to drink.
(We are, however, united in our don't-really-give-two-shakes attitude about religion.)

HOWEVER, do NOT try to stop me from sharing in their happiness. Do NOT tell me to hurry up a visit with one of them.
We get together so infrequently that the time that we do spend is valued and precious and fun even if we're arguing about something...
So, don't tell me that we're not close. I know that it's not true even though it seems to be. I know that all of them would do anything for me. I know that my kids would be supremely cared for if something happened to me and Bub. I know that I am loved by all of them even though I never see them.
Don't try to tell me otherwise.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Not important

When I was growing up, my mom was THE most important person in my life. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to be like her. I wanted people to compare me to her. My dad wasn't around much, and when he was there, he wasn't a stellar family man. (No. I'm not busting on him. Facts are facts. I love him, but he struggled with being a good dad and husband.)
When Bub was growing up, her mom was the most important person in her life, too. After all, it was just the two of them for many years as her dad wasn't the greatest guy either.

I wanted to be a mom forEVER. I wanted to be the most important person in somebody's life. (Perhaps that's a middle child thing?) I knew that I wanted someone to love me as much as I loved my mom.

There was a time in my life where I said that I didn't want to have kids mainly because I didn't think that I was ever going to actually get married. Me - chubby, nerdy girl with poor social skills... It just didn't seem possible. But, then I met Bub, and we got not-legally married. At that point, I was more of a realist and knew that I could just have kids without the spouse, so I was really clear with her that kids were part of the deal.
She wasn't enthused.

Convinced that she would be a horrible mom, she didn't want kids. At all. Ever.

Fast forward several years, and here we are.
She's an awesome mom, and my kids can't stand me. (Well, neither can she, to be honest.)

I am never home.
By the time I get home, everyone is tired and cranky and fighting over whether or not to eat dinner.
Then, the boys get some computer time, and then it's bedtime.

I don't get to help with homework (even though I tell Bub to switch up the schedule so that I can help. I actually WANT to help.).
I don't get to volunteer at their school.
I miss so much time with them.

I work my ass off so that she can stay home with them even though we really can't afford it.
I take the bus (4 hours per day) because we can't justify spending the gas for me to drive into SLC every day.

They listen to her. They fight with me.
They tell me that if something happened to them, I wouldn't be sad - I wouldn't miss them.
We have no connection.

This is not what I imagined. This is not what I dreamed of.

Instead of being someone important to them, I am someone who gets after them for being disrespectful. I am someone who pays for their school lunch. I am someone who they get mad at when the internet doesn't work because I'm late with the bill. I am someone who tells them to get off of their computers.

I play the role that my dad played in my life.
I am irrelevant.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

And, then it hits you... And, it sucks...

So, you get up.
Get dressed.
Rush to the bus stop with computer and gym bag in hand.
Work at 5am while commuting on the bus.
Get to work and head to the company gym for (traditional) yoga class.
Back to cubicle for non-stop"fun."
Eat salad while working.
Keep working.
Catch bus - ALMOST miss connector that will truly take you home.
Sit down, log in - ready to work some more.
Put off working so that you can browse FB and DDPY.
THEN - you finally do the thing you've been avoiding all damn day: you look at the calendar in the corner of the monitor.
You can't stop a few tears even though you're on the bus, and you hate to cry in public.
You knew what day it was from the moment you woke up, but you've managed to keep yourself busy.

Here's the thing: My mom was SO cool. She would have been 74 today. She's been gone 17 years. She would have loved my boys. She would have been over the moon when we finally, LEGALLY, married. She would have been at the finish line of all of my races. She probably would have tried DDPY with me because she was just that cool.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I have a pile of laundry in the “computer room” which is less of a computer room and more my laundry room. My laundry gets put away – sometimes. The room is a disaster. Full-on, absolute disaster. It probably puts Bub over the edge every time she walks in there to drop off more of my laundry.

(We had a closet collapse a few years ago, and the room just never fully recovered. I got the closet shelving reinstalled, but that’s about as far as I managed to get. It remains a mess even though I continually promise Bub that I will take care of it.)

Well, one morning (3:30am) while rummaging around in my pile of clean clothes to find something to stuff into my gym bag to wear at work after my morning run, I found a pair of panties.

Not mine.


Slinky and sexy.

You know – the kind that you own when you’ve been married for a couple of years but eventually give up as you (and your body) age (meaning get fat).
I’m a cotton-undies kind of gal, now. Most women in their 40s are…

It was too early to wake Bub up and shove the panties in her face and demand answers. Not because I wouldn’t love to do this, but because one – or both – boys inevitably ends up in our bed every night. So, in waking Bub, I would also be waking both boys on this particular morning, and that just wouldn’t be fair to them. I would have loved to wake her, though. I was pissed. PISSED.
Great. She’s having an affair AND doing her mistresses laundry. Brilliant move, bone head.

So, I threw them back onto the pile of laundry, collected something lame for work (beige, I’m sure – “I’m the same color as the DMV!” – excellent quote from The Banger Sisters), and went for my run.

Then, I fumed about it ALL DAY LONG. When I talked to Bub, it was short and terse. Of course, she didn’t notice because she was busy trying to keep one or both boys happy or out of trouble or focused on homework or….
I wasn’t any less mad when I got home. In fact, I was probably even angrier, but how was I supposed to have the “are you cheating on me” conversation in front of two 7-year olds? I can’t. I don’t. I have to wait.
Until, of course, Bub made some sort of (what sounds like a) crappy remark about something and then follows that with a “What is your problem?” remark. Well, then, I just hinted at the level of anger I had stored up inside. I made sure to indicate that I was very displeased for some reason, and that she had no clue how much worse it was going to get.

She then decided not to talk to you for the rest of the night, went to bed early, and didn’t wake up when I REALLY want to talk about it. I opted to sleep on the couch instead of lying next to “the cheater” for any amount of time. Because, screw it and screw her.

Then, I had to get up at 1am to let the dogs out to pee and because I had to pee, too. (But, I always blame the dogs – it makes me sound less OLD.) While in the bathroom, I suddenly figured out the entire problem. (Some people do their best thinking while exercising and some while in the shower. Me? I get my best ideas when peeing in the middle of the night.) I released any anger I had. I felt remorse for ever second-guessing the love that I have for Bub and vice versa. I went to sleep relieved, calm, and content.

The trouble with this is that I hadn’t told Bub that I was no longer angry and that all was fine. Partly because I hate to wake her up due to her insomnia and for whom sleep is a gift from the gods. Partly because I forgot to say something before I quickly fell back to sleep. (I always blame the insomnia – it makes me sound like a better person.)

So, I get up, grab my stuff, go for my run, go to work, just tra-la-la-ing about my day. Bub, on the other hand, spends the entire day completely freaking out. COMPLETELY.

By the time I get home from work, Bub is practically in tears, on the verge of an anxiety attack, short tempered, stressed, and, well, freaking out. Convinced that all is going to go straight to hell in short order, she decided to go take a bath to try and calm herself.
Once I got the boys settled into their dinner, I went into the bathroom to talk.

“If you’re going to leave me, just do it! Are you going to leave me? Don’t answer that. Please don’t leave me,” she says through tears.

I have no idea where this is coming from. After all, I’M the one who was mad. I’m the one who thought I had been wronged. What the hell is going on?

So, I go into my pile of laundry, and I get the panties. I bring them into the bathroom, and show them to her. She starts crying like crazy. “I know. I saw them. I know that you’re going to leave me. Whose are they?”
“Uh…. I was going to ask you the same thing.”
“I don’t know,” she replied.
“Me neither,” I said. Then, I tell her what I think.

You see, our dryer broke. Kaput. Done. Dead and gone. So, we had been running to the laundromat to dry things.
SOMEONE from the laundromat who used the dryer before Bub is missing a pair of panties.

We. Cracked. Up.

And the slinky, sexy, black panties went into the bathroom garbage.