Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's a Small, Small World

The internet has suddenly made the world tiny. I've had repeated conversations with friends that have found - or been found by - random people from the past.  Old boyfriends/girlfriends, high school pal, or just people they've known and lost track of. I've looked up people myself.  I had one of those experiences myself recently.
I was reading through my facebook page and saw that one of my friends had just become friends with a name I found familiar. It's a common name and I figured it was just a coincidence. It didn't seem possible that this particular person from my past could be friends with this fairly new friend.  So I clicked on the link and there was a picture and it was in fact the old flame I thought it was.  I've talked to a couple people about it and they've said I should email or say hello. But I don't really want to. We had an odd relationship, and to resurface that 15+ years later seems silly. Plus our mutual friend has close ties with someone I grew up with and I don't know how much of that time I am willing to rehash.  There's nothing particularly bad or dark that I want to hide, there's no real skeleton that I'm interested in keeping in a closet.  I made pivital decisions during that time and I don't want to go back.  The flame burned fast and bright and I'd rather remember him as he was at 20 that know who he is now at almost 40.
Fast cars, ocean air and lots of laughs make for good memories. I wish him the best and hope that his life has turned out as well as he had hoped it would.
I know mine has.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Today was a good day.

Nothing all that exciting happened, but it was a good day. It's spring break and Allie and Jane are off on their visit with Kraig and his family. Doug is out of town doing inventory work in Wenatchee. That leaves Krysty, Fi and me together without any kind of real big agenda. Krysty made it to to about noon before she started with the  "Mom, I'm bored" and really I could use a little something else to do, too. So, we headed out to the mall for a little shopping. Alright, I'll admit it didn't really take much coaxing and it was a fun day. We had lunch together and wandered the mall a bit. While shopping with a teenager is about as exciting as watching paint dry, and a little taxing on the wallet I didn't mind. I managed to get out of there for only a pair of jeans and a couple tank tops.
The soundtrack for the day was mostly gum popping and the sounds of thumbs on a keyboard, but there were laughs in there, too.  Krystyne and I have come to a mutual understanding lately. I'm Mom, she's the Kid and we both have our rolls to play.  She gets that I'm just doing the "mom thing" and that nothing I'm doing is a personal attack. I think the real rebellion has slowly leaked out of her. She's realized that it's easier just to do as I ask and that it isn't really all that much.  I know I'm not out of the proverbial woods with her, but it seems as though we've at the very least entered a clearing.  It seems as though she's realized that I'm a person and that I come with all the limitations that any other person can have. But with that she has also realized that I am not perfect and am not the end all, be all of everything.  I am fallible and have my limitations but am doing the best with what I have been able to scrounge up in expertise and experience over the years. Thankfully that seems to be good enough for her.
I still get gum chewing, exasperation, eye-rolling, attitude, and mood swings. It's hard to believe that we've come to this understanding together. I'm enjoying it while it is here. I am content to have moved from the realm of being the embodiment of embarrassment and festering resentment - due to my tyrannical and completely illogical and unreasonable demands of what is so obviously a perfect child - to being a necessary-(while not entirely) evil until she can unleash her vast superiority and sophistication on the unsuspecting and ill prepared general population.
Lord help us all.
Today I am thankful for this time alone with my teenage daughter. Tomorrow I might not be so lucky. I'm glad I am today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who? Me?

I got an email today from one of my friends that is part of the moms' group that I am a member of . She was checking in to see if I had mad a decision on whether or not to become a Mama Mentor (apparently I missed an email somewhere). The email said "As a Mentor Momma, you would be the “go to” gal for other mommas in the group. To listen, to advise, to live life with." Go To Gal? Me? Look ladies, we've talked about this... no more than 2 martinis before lunch! Apparently I've been nipping in the cooking sherry, too since I agreed to do it.
Honestly I'm honored. I can't believe that someone thought that out of all of the other people they know they  I was the one that had it had it most together (or to offer) but I'll take it.  Even more baffling is that there was a conversation that somewhere consisted of "OK, might as well ask her".  I am willing to concede a nomination based on the fact that I probably have the most kids and they've all survived my "Parenting" (although let's not get too cocky folks, they're teenagers now and I can not promise they'll make it to adulthood).  Either that or since having my 1/3 of a dozen children and I have managed to survive it gives someone else hope.  I can't have played the game for this long without picking up something along the way, right? Dear Lord I hope so.
I've said it before, I don't think that I have any remarkable parenting skills. I parent by momentum. I use what I think is common sense and try not to hit myself in the head with a hammer any more than I have to. As parents, like with anything else, our generation thinks we've got it all figured out and can't fathom how our parents managed to no kill us with their "recklessness" (funny, sounds like my teenage daughter telling my husband how he couldn't possibly understand because "kids today are so much more sophisticated" - no kidding my friends, I couldn't make this shit up). I don't use any Method or live by any one Expert. I used cloth diapers and breastfed Fiona. Not because of some sense of moral superiority or because I was doing "the very best thing for my baby and the planet" - excuse me I think I just threw up a little. I did it because the thought of spending $20 or more a week to buy something for my kid to poop in seemed lame. And why should I buy something to feed my baby when I make that something for free, it's fairly easy to carry around, comes in rather nice packaging (if I do say so myself) AND makes her poop a little less rank. D'uh. I opted for natural childbirth because the alternative scared the hell out of me and I'm a big fat chicken.  It doesn't seem like rocket science to me. Some call it Maternal Instinct. I call it Common Sense.
I've made mistakes in parenting. BIG mistakes. I've had a lot of "Probably Shouldn't Do THAT Again" moments. I've accepted I'm helping my kids into therapy.
I don't know what answers I'm going to be able to give. My biggest advice is to do what you think is best. Do the research for yourself, educate yourself and do what your heart says is right. If you can't do that I can't help you. But I will support, guide, answer the questions I can, try and figure out the ones I can't and all around try to somehow meet this funny vision of me someone has.
As cliche' a s it is - Parenting has been the best/worst job I have ever had. It makes me all teary just thinking of it. Thank you, Ladies, for having faith in me.

Boy I hope I don't F*&#  this up!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Most Creatures Aren't Stirring

There is something special about a sleeping house. All four kids are sleeping soundly. Or at least supposed to be. It's 10 o'clock and I'd bet money that Krysty is in texting her friends in the dark. She's 15 - what else can you expect? But the house is so quiet and still. Not in a creepy-movie-wait-for-the-music kind of way. Just peaceful. I can hear the "house noises". The bulldog is snoring, the cat bells, the furnace turning. Doug is traveling and his absence is felt, but not painfully. The stillness is nice. It's been some time since I've been able to enjoy this quiet time. 
Doug has been working so much lately that I feel like I am missing something if I take this bit of late night solitude. We are limited to the amount of time that we have to spend together and so I hate to hide at my computer when we can get a few stolen moments together. While I am enjoying this tonight, talk to me at the end of day 9 of his traveling for the next round and I might not be so reminiscent of my solitary moments.
But I do miss my solitude sometimes.  There's too many distractions during the day. Fiona, or work, or Facebook, or, or, or... Always something. I don't write as much during the day either. My brain can't focus. Doing this takes longer than you would think it does. Getting the words in order, getting them to sound right sometimes takes more effort. There are revisions and backspacing and "does that sound like what I am really feeling/thinking/meaning?".  I keep saying that I want to keep this up to date and I keep seeing that it is just not happening. Maybe once the laptop is working again I will feel a little less reluctant to take the time to write.
Writing is therapeutic. Even when it is just senseless rambling (which I am finding this particular thing to be) it helps me clear my head. I often find that when I have something that is weighing heavy on my mind or heart that I will "write it out" in my head. I've thought of using the voice record option on my phone to record it as it comes to mind but worry that I wouldn't get it down after that. Not that it matters, but the act of recording would mean that there would be the expectation to do something with it. My expectation of myself. And really, I have enough of my own expectations that I don't meet, I'd rather not add to it. Quite frankly I really should give myself a good, stern talking to about my lack of follow through but... well, you see the problem.
Wasn't there a point I was trying to make laying around here somewhere? Oh yeah, there it is. I'm enjoying the silence. The quiet calm of my home. It's comforting and I think I shall sleep well tonight. Not soon or anything, but still well when I get there. Good night.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coupons Rock

So a couple months ago I got onto the Coupon Train thanks to a friend I met in my mom's group. She hosted a coupon class and it sounded interesting so I went. I won't go into details on how or what to do or any of that. There are plenty of blogs out there covering that stuff. It's simple. It takes some time to learn and get into it but it's fun in the end. It's like treasure hunting for me. And with a family as large as ours I head out to Wal-Mart a little more frequently than I'd like to. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Clearance Girl! That's the first spot I hit when shopping and I'm not likely to pay full price for many things.  It's mainly because I like to shop and growing up (and even afterward) I never had a lot of money.  So, if I was going to have nice things I was going to have to do it as inexpensively as possible. This feeds into that.
I got my 3 newspapers on Sunday and felt like I'd won a small lottery.  I finally sat down today and went through the Walgreens circular and took a look at what I wanted to get. It took some planning and preparation (and a small container of Goldfish for Fiona) but it was definitely worth it!
Here's what I walked out with:
2 Boxes Tampax Pearl Tampons
5 Yakisoba Teriyaki noodles
6 Colgate Total toothpaste
1 Box Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal
2 Glade Fragrance Collection Reed Diffusers
3 Dawn dish-washing liquid
1 L'Oreal mascara
2 Herbal Essences Hairspray
1 Herbal Essences Mousse
2 Herbal Essences Shampoos
1 Herbal Essences Conditioner
2 John Frieda Conditioners
1 John Frieda Shampoo

My original total was somewhere around $120. While this is not generally stuff I would buy all at once it is all things that I buy.  Most of it falls into the "Oh And..." category. As in "Oh and I need shampoo or toothpaste or tampons or...". Or I go to the store for groceries and forget shampoo and it's another trip. The point is I'm not making extra trips for extra things that we don't want/need/use. I had a coupon for every thing on my list and only bought 1 thing not already on my list (but I had been looking out for it for sometime). In fact, because I know I can get better deals other places I left some things off this trip (and forgot a couple, too).  I saved $38.95 by buying things already on sale or that had Walgreens only coupons - anything that had a Walgreens only coupons I stacked with manufacturers coupons. I saved $50.72 with manufacturers coupons. 
My total savings was $89.67!! I couldn't believe it. I walked out with everything for just under $38!

Now to figure out where I'm going to store all of this.  I think I need a bigger bathroom!