Friday, November 21, 2008

Wait... what does PG mean?

Tonight was family movie night. The kids picked one of my favorite holiday movies, "Home Alone". I've owned the movie, like, forever -- I have loved it since I first saw it when I like 15 years old. One of my favorite lines from the movie has now come back to bite me in the ....

"Kevin, I wouldn't let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass!"
I always loved the way the kid delivered the line and the look on his face. It cracked me up, until I had kids. I was setting up the kids table in front of the t.v. -- cause we do that on Friday nights -- and I heard the line. I let out a little giggle and that was all that was needed. My kids laughed and they didn't even know what they were laughing at. "Mom, what does growing on my ass mean?" Lucas asked. "It means that is something you aren't allowed to say," I said.
Great response, mom! They laughed even harder and said ass like 10 times. But as the movie progressed I didn't hear it again, so I hope I don't have to talk to Luc about the "a-word" before school on Monday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Easiest dinner ever

My pantry was bare this morning as I contemplated what we'd have for dinner. I took a quick peek and decided to throw some things in the crockpot and see what happens.
I defrosted some chicken from the freezer, put that in the pot. Threw in some diced onions and some frozen corn. Then I topped it off with a container of Trader Joe's butternut squash soup. Put that on at about 10 a.m. (took all of about 10 minutes to do). At around 5ish, I heated some Trader Joe's frozen brown rice and threw that in the crockpot for about 30 minutes. We all sat down and everyone loved it -- even the kids! Awesome and easy and healthy!
The whole soup -- excluding the fruit we also had -- probably cost between $5.50 and $6.00 ($1.50 per person... awesome!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

washing dishes and why does the shit fall more heavily on some people than others

First I'll start with my dishes. I read that it is more environmentally friendly to wash your dishes with a machine rather than by hand. Fine by me. But it is better if you do not pre-rinse. Hmmm... I don't have that dishwasher where you can put a cake in it and the plate comes out clean, but I do have something that has been working. A dog. My dog has become the family pre-rinser. She is happy to oblige and she is a very hard worker. My only question is, do I have to pay her?

I have a woman who comes in to clean our house every two weeks. She has worked for my mom for years and is one of the nicest people I know. However, our finances have become tight lately and I've been meaning to tell her that I won't be able to have her come anymore but shit keeps happening to this poor woman. Today was the day I was going to do it, but she dropped a bomb and I couldn't. I can cut elsewhere. It's only $150/mo. Some women might get their hair and nails done, or buy gourmet coffee or shop at Whole Foods. Me, I only have to get down and dirty with my house myself twice a month instead of every week. The thing that gets me, though, is this woman has had a very difficult life since she was born. If it were me, I'd be headed for the looney bin, but not her... she picks herself up by her bootstraps and goes on with a smile. She is the oldest of 14 kids born to a poor family in Mexico. She basically had to raise her younger siblings from the time she was a small child. She didn't finish school. She was "taken" by an acquantaince of the family when she was 15 and held captive for 3 years. Her family didn't try to get her back because they were afraid. When she finally was returned at age 18, she was basically told to stuff her feelings. She came to the U.S. (she is legal) and helped her younger sisters. She's worked cleaning up after people since then. She has an alcoholic common-law husband, whom she has three children with. She finally got the nerve to kick him out only to have him back now, 5 years later, because he has heart failure and she is taking care of him while he dies. She doesn't love him, but as she tells me, "he is my children's father". Her beloved aunt died this year. One of her sons has had trouble with drugs and in school. The bomb today, her 18 year old daughter is pregnant. This young girl just started college. When she told me her daughter was starting college I was so happy. I was like, yes, you make her go to class and make sure she finishes. She's going to go on and do great things. Now the daughter is determined to keep the baby and finish college. I pray she does. Her mother has worked too fucking hard her entire life to have her child not do great things. Despite this, she owns her own home (in a scary neighborhood) and makes enough money to take care of herself and her kids. No handouts. She has medical insurance and car insurance.
The thing that absolutely kills me is that we had been talking lately about how she wanted to sell her home in January, when her daughter had been planning to move out, and she was going to get her own place. She was so excited that she would live by herself. Just take care of herself -- for the first time in her life. Now that dream is shattered because her daughter will most certainly need to live with her for some time. My heart aches, but still she has a smile and says a prayer and says that God will watch out for her. I wish I had a million dollars to give to her.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm confused....

I am totally confused. That may not be news to some of you... but this particular confusion is regarding setting up a playdate for my daughter with her bff. It shouldn't be a big deal, right? In an earlier post, I noted how we had been canceled on for a playdate two times. I decided to give up. The mom had arranged play dates and then cancelled at the last minute each time. Sucks for the kids, because each time I drop my daughter off at school, her bff says, why can't I play at Amanda's house, or why can't Amanda play at my house? I don't know, go ask your mom!
Anyway, the mom had been working part time at the beginning of the year. Then, about two weeks ago I noticed her daughter had switched to 5 days a week at school, like my daughter. I figured the mom was working full time again. Cool.
But then last week, there was a cute card in Amanda's cubby. It was decorated by the bff and a note was written by an adult. "Hi Amanda, I want you to come play at my house soon. Love, bff."
Shit... I lost the mom's phone number because I didn't figure I would need it. But I did have her email address from when i was a room parent last year. I emailed her. The response I got was confusing.
Something like, "Oh, the problem is I'm working full-time now. But maybe we'll see you at the park for the preschool get-together." What? Why would you send a note basically inviting my daughter over if that wasn't what you intended? You work full-time. That's so cool. I work as well and understand that. But I wouldn't have my child invite another child over while knowing that it wasn't possible for them to come over. Make sense??

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm out, the "f" word and great depression

I'm officially counting myself out for nanowrimo this year. I missed the first day and then got into it for a few days, but I completely flaked this weekend. This week has been busy, so I haven't done any writing for nano since last Friday. It sucks, because I've been planning that this is the November I will reach the goal. But I tend to let life get in the way. My husband will offer to take over the kid duties in the evening for an hour or two, but when I go into the office and hear the little voices saying, "where's mommy... I want to go visit her in the office," I break down and read some books to my kids instead. The shitty thing is that I know it's a cop-out to say that I'm too busy. If I really wanted to finish this task, I would just do it. I would open up my laptop at 9 every night and work until I met that day's goal. But the truth is, my sofa and a good book just seem so much more appealing right now. I'm so stressed out about life in general that I would rather lose myself in a book someone else sweated over, than create something of my own. Maybe next year....

My son said the f word the other night. No, not the really bad one. It's the one that's not so bad, but you don't want to be the parent that lets your kid get away with saying it at inappropriate times. He was running down the hall after his bath and he turned to his sister and said, "Amanda, I just farted!" Then they both fell on the floor giggling uncontrollably. I swallowed my own laugh and asked him where he had heard that word. He said, "Mommy, it's no big deal. It just means burping from your butt!" Again with the laughter. Apparently he heard it from his pal at school. This is the same pal he picked up "Oh my God!" from. It's Oh My God this and Oh My God that all the time. We haven't every really used "fart" around here. I admit that I feel it's a more masculine term. I don't like saying it and I don't like hearing my 5 year old saying it. I've always used the lame term "gas". I guess it doesn't matter. There is absolutely no way to convince a young boy (or even a grown man, for that matter) that farting isn't funny.
This is all coming from a woman who curses worse than a sailor as soon as the kids are tucked in bed.

The news these days is all about recession, recession, recession. It's enough to stop a girl from going to get a large latte a few times a week. OK... I stopped my coffee splurges about 9 months ago, and I've cut back almost every where I can. There are still a few splurges that we haven't cut out yet -- eating one meal out on weekends and buying the kids new socks when their old ones are too small. I haven't had my hair cut since April and I've been coloring it at home -- the results aren't great, but they aren't terrible. We made a trip the the La Brea tarpits a couple of weekends ago -- kids had an excellent time -- and we dropped about $60, not including gas. We don't do that too often anymore. I haven't shopped for clothes in I don't know how long -- if you know me, you know I used to be a clothes whore. I love new clothes... they make me feel so good. But it's been about 6 months since I even bought myself a t-shirt. I did go to payless a couple of weeks ago and picked up a pair of brown flats because the pair I had -- from before Amanda was born -- had had it. As I visited Phil at work the other day, one of his receptionists said, "cute shoes, I have the same ones." I said, "yeah, payless is awesome!" She made an awful face and said, "uh... no, mine weren't from payless." Whatever! Anyway, all this is to say that I'm sure lots and lots of people are a bit stressed out these days. But I officially entered the great depression today. My neighbor -- two doors up -- just put his house on the market for $440,000! Shit. I could kill Fernando!!!! We purchased our house for more than $250K more than that two years ago. Fernando, dude, you are killing me.
My husband and I have been playing around with the idea of selling our place. Yes, we would lose the 20% we put down, but we wouldn't be up all night, every night, worrying about bills. Instead, we could be worrying about whether or not we were screwing up our kids. That is what parents are supposed to worry about, right? But, in light of Fernando's move, we now see that we can't sell our house for even what we owe. Thus, the great depression.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Prop 8... prop 4

So, Prop 8 passed... I'm disgusted. Prop 4 was defeated... I'm equally disgusted. If these churches, which should be concerned with life, had put their money behind prop 4, instead of pumping millions of dollars into California to promote a bill that marginalizes a good percentage of our population, we'd maybe have some young girls protected.
Instead, I saw nothing regarding prop 4 from my church or any others in the area.
Whatever your stance on abortion, if you are a parent, don't you want to know if your 14 year old daughter is going make a life altering decision?
I thought Prop 8 would be defeated handily. Boy, was I wrong. There were rallies all around this town. The same folks voting for Obama, were trying to keep homosexuals from gaining the same rights as same sex couples.
I don't get it. I'm still stunned. Don't I live in California? Well, I thought California was a cut-above (yes, I'm a bit of a snob) but it turns out we're right inline with Arkansas. I know no-one from Arkansas reads this blog, so I can write that:) Really, I thought we were a progressive state. I guess not.
I knew prop 4 was a longshot... similar initiatives have been defeated in the past. But, perhaps if those church leaders had put their money where it really belonged, we'd be celebrating the fact that we can have the chance to talk with our daughters about important decisions. Instead, my neighbors are celebrating the fact that gays can't get married. Strange priorities these people have.