Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To Butter on His 13th Birthday

Butter,

I'm going to go all clich√© here for a minute... It seems like yesterday I brought you home from the hospital... And here you are... Turning 13. 

I sit back in awe and stare at the person you are becoming. You have a knack for so obviously pointing out... Well... The obvious, that it makes me laugh. Develop that, and you will make even the greatest curmudgeon smile. 

You have such a kind heart. Even at this age, you are willing to give a kid at the football field a dollar because he asked. It wasn't my money you were giving him, but money you earned with your sweat and hard work. You do everything in your power to make someone feel good about themselves, even if that means digging on yourself some. Pineapple looks up to you, and she does that because she knows that you will protect her. 

I have to admit, sending you back to a brick and mortar school this year scared me. I didn't want you to go through the same stuff that you went through before. It bothered me that I wasn't going to be able to protect you the way that I had for the past two years. I'm overjoyed that you are fitting in and doing so well. 

Even when your hormones rage and we clash like World War Three, I don't see the boy that I raised as much as I see this perfect creature standing in front of me. Your words and actions are from frustration, not really any ill will. 

KNOW I don't say it nearly as much as I should, but Buddy, you are an amazing human being. Thank you for picking me to be your mom. 

Ready?


I wasn't ready to start beauty school. It was more a necessity than a want. Oh, I knew I was going to do something... Eventually... You know, after Pineapple went to Kindgergarten (yeah, we all knew I meant first grade). 

I'm glad I started when I did. 

Scared? That's one way to put it. I had to tell myself several times a day that I was a rock star (shoot, I still do). There is still so much information to absorb and honestly, there is a ton of personal refining I have to do. Staying at home for the past 11 years has depleted my tolerance for stupid people. 

But back to the picture...

You will never be ready... There will always be an excuse on why you should wait. Life doesn't wait. Life just keeps going. 

So do it... Whatever IT is. I did... And it's been amazing!

(I found the image on Pintrest, which links back to here: cupcakesforbreakfast.com)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Months

It has been exactly three months since I have said anything about anything. 

It still amazes me how much can change in such a short amount of time. Because honestly, three months is nothing but a blink of the eye...

There have been some changes in our household, The Chef is back in the kitchen where he belongs (cooking real food for real people). Jelly started playing tackle football. Butter is all signed up for brick and mortar middle school. Banana is playing hockey for two teams this year... 

And I started back to school. 

At the grand ole age of 36, I enrolled myself into cosmotology school. Besides the instructors, I am the oldest one there. Is it wrong that I find almost a perverse joy in that? I will admit that in the beginning I was concerned about my age, but it disapated quickly. 

There is so much to learn. Cosmetology isn't just about "doing" hair. Of course that's a large part of it, but there are several other things you need to have a basic understanding of; anatomy and diseases are a given but you must also have a basic understanding of chemistry and electricity. Let's just say, I didn't think it was going to be a cake walk, but I didn't think there was going to be much, much more. 

I am actually rather proud of myself... and it's not just for the obvious reasons (doing something with my life, taking the steps to help relive the pressure my husband carries daily to provide for us, you know... the usual) but I have been selective in who I open myself up to.

That's not saying that I haven't bonded with anyone. I did (almost immediatly) to a girl that in the class directly ahead of me. She's 19 (so yes, if you are keeping track, I am indeed old enough to be her mother). As clich√© as it sounds, if I had a little sister, I would like to think that she would be this girl. Simply put, she is just an amazing human. 

I have made "friends" with a few people there, but with my eyes wide open. I'm being extremely selective in those I choose to care about. Instead of ignoring the warning signs as I have done so many times in the past, I tread lightly. I owe it to myself. 

Who says you don't learn from your mistakes?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm Practically Giddy (or Finding Control)


For the past (few) year(s), you would hear me say some of the following (and sometimes multiple times a day):

"My kids don't listen."
"My kids don't do anything."
"Look at how I sacrifice!"

That's what I did. I complained... and I complained a lot. Bless ChipBeef (fka The Chef) and My Sister From Another Mother (forever now known as MSFAM). They put up with me... and they did it with smiles on their faces. It's nothing more than a gigantic pitty party for one. 

I'm 36 years old and I don't really like me. I am nothing more than a whiny, hot mess of a woman that is afraid of tomorrow. If I know what's going to happen, I can be prepared for it. I do nothing but hide in the comfort of negativity. If something went wrong, I knew it was going to happen. If it went right, it was just a matter of time before it all would go sideways again. 

Then something happened

Yesterday, Butter and Pineapple had gotten under my skin and I decided to deep clean my bed and bath rooms. As I looked around, I noticed the handprints on the wall, the dirt that had collected in the corners, and the dust that covered the top of my dresser. A veil that I hadn't even realized was clouding my vision lifted. The condition of my rooms was entirely all my fault... and I never saw it. With sudden clarity, I truly understood that I had absolute control over this.

We live in a house that is almost too small for us... and we all just have a lot of stuff. That being said, when one or two things are out of place, it turns into a disaster. I did nothing to maintain it because I knew in a matter of minutes, it would be back to the same mess that I had just picked up... so I just didn't. Two things would turn into five, five things would turn into 10... you get the idea. 

Then the following three things would happen in this order: 

1) The house would stay in a constant state of disarray,
2) I'd fuss after The Babes to pick up with my only direction being "Now",
3) I'd finally have enough, clean a room and then get discouraged when less than 24 hours later it was a disaster again. 

It is nothing more than a horrendous circle... a circle that breaks today. 

The Babes are only children, and they do things as children their age will do. They will occationally forget to put a trash bag in the can when they take the trash out. Sometimes, they will forget to take something upstairs when I asked them too. It's to be expected. I forgot that... or should I say I didn't see it. 

Don't misunderstand me, I am not my family's maid. The Babes will continue with chores... but this time with more direction from me. Instead of saying, "kitchen", they will be able to choose what they do, the only exception is their rooms. They can run a vacuum, and sweep a floor, but I will be the one on my hands and knees scrubbing the corners. 

I can also control the sess pool that my vocabulary has become. See, I swear... and I swear A LOT. My boys have also started to cuss... and I'm not talking about the occasional "damnit". Let me lay it down like this, if I swore in front of my mom the way the boys swear in front of me, I'd have dentures because she would have knocked all of my teeth down my throat. I do get after them about it, but it's still bad. It wasn't that they said anything particular lately, but it needs to stop. If they stop hearing it, they will stop saying it. There is also the fact that when ChipBeef and I first started dating, I didn't really cuss. He said it was one of the things that he first loved about me (and he has brought it up once or twice in the last 12 years) that it made me more of a lady. I like that. I don't have to swear like a sailor on leave in general everyday conversation. I am the only one who can control that... and I'm making a very conscious effort. 

I know it's two very simple things, and as  rediculous as it sounds I cant help but take extreme comfort In the notion that there are at least two things in this crazy world that I have complete control over. I feel better today than I have in a very long time. I'm practically giddy. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It has been forever

I don't even remember the last time I updated this blog. It's not that there hasn't been anything going on, there has been a whole lot going on, which is the reason why.

You ever get that "I'm completely overwhelmed and if I talk about it, everything is going to fall apart?" Yeah, that's pretty much where I was for the better part of a year. It's wasn't anything more than life... but life hurts at times.

ChipBeef (aka The Chef) has made a career change at the age of 41. He has obtained his CDL and will be driving a truck for a living. After 20+years in the food industry, he just got burned out, and burned out to a point where even thinking about stepping foot into a kitchen was hurting him more than helping us.

We were lucky enough that his first job out is with a company that says he'll be home on the weekends. I can't even begin to describe to you how much of relief that is. The babes are used to seeing him every few days (because of the countless hours spent at a restaurant) so it'll be old hat for the older 3. They will just have to help Pineapple adjust. I, on the other hand, would wait up for him to walk through that door. That is going to be hard.

There have been other things, but none of them are my stories in their entirety to tell. In time, as they impact my life in various ways, I'm sure they will come forth.

And I'm sure as I get used to this new chapter of my life, I'll post more because there will be more to talk about, more to discuss.

Till then...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sometimes "The Man" Pushes Harder


Last year, after many hours of discussion, The Chef and I decided to pull Butter out of the traditional brick and mortar school and we enrolled him into an online charter school. For a while it was great. Things were more rigid than what the school had led me to believe I expected, but overall it wasn't that bad. That is until we hit the Earth Science unit. It wasn't coming easy to him like the other units were, and the only cool experiment was completed and filed away Long story short, he struggled... completely bombed a test and ultimately ended up with a 67%. According to the school that was a "failing" grade, and the school expelled him.

So, I went ahead and put together a traditional homeschooling plan (because there wasn't any I could justify sending Butter back to an environment where his teachers considered him a bother and other kids thought he was a punching bag) and submitted it to my local school district. In talking to other homeschooling parents in my area, they said it wasn't uncommon for it to take weeks for any sort of notification to come back to the parent. 


3 weeks after he was expelled (and 1 week after I had mailed out my notification letter to the district) I received a letter from the district's truancy office asking me why Butter wasn't at school. I call the officer and told him that I am homeschooling, etc. and he says "Great. Just wait for your notification."


Then everything imploded.
Yeah, kinda like that


The truancy officer started to call almost daily saying that the district never received my intent letter (my 
mistake was not sending the thing certified). He demanded that I gave him our address because he had stopped by the old house (Oh yeah, we moved across town) to do a home inspection. Our conversations consisted of him speaking down to me, telling me what a horrible parent I was because Butter wasn't in a brick and mortar school, I in turn, would talk to him as if I were trying to explain something to Pineapple. 


**Pop Quiz**
Because I was being a pain in the ass difficult, and wouldn't give into the bully, he called.... 

  1. The Chef (cell and work Numbers were school contact numbers)
  2. My Mom (emergency contact for school)
  3. My Mother-in-Law (emergency contact for the school)



If you answered "The Chef" you are completely wrong. He thought tattling talking to my mom was the best course of action. It didn't take long for him understand that he was going to get even less from her, no matter how nice/sweet/faux caring he tried to be. This got his panties even more in a twist and he started calling me again, but this time, he started to email me as well. Because the condensation that he unsuccessfully used before didn't get the desired response, he turned into flat out intimidation.  



I'm just going to leave this gem of an email here:

"Contact me immediately with [Butter]'s current enrollment status, and updated residency information. Failure to enroll [Butter] into school will result in the arrest of the parent/guardian."

"I'm going to have you arrested. Give me your address."

ha ha ha... right on top of that buddy
In all seriousness, all he had to do was a reverse look up of my phone number. We took it with us.


The Chef and I had MANY a... conversation.... about this. He kept telling me this wasn't the hill I was supposed to die on... and while I understood what he was saying, the thought of sending Butter back there was making me sick. 

I *knew* we were going to have to enroll him back into the brick and mortar school. I just waited until we absolutely had too. When I finally did, there was just over a month left. 


-o-o-o-

A week or so after school lets out for summer,  my mom calls me and tells me that I was served with a summons. I was being charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a minor, and Failure to Send. Both are First Degree misdemeanors (in my state). The max. penalty was $1500, 6 months jail time, and 500 hours of community service. 

HOLY CRAP! I was getting charged...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's.... Valentine's Day?

I do this thing for Valentine's Day...

I get my babes fancy lunches and give them a card that tells them that I love them more than anything in the world. I started doing it when Butter was in Kindergarten, and I have never missed a year...

...until this year.

Valentine's Day just snuck up on me this year. In fact I didn't even realize that today was the 14th until Banana spoke up at bed time last night and said, "I need 21 Valentine's, Mom."

Crap. "Jelly! How many Valentine's do you need?"

"I don't know. 100?" 

He got The Look.

"18 I think?"

Think? Double Crap.

So after the house had quieted down, and all the animals with both two and four legs were tucked soundly in their beds, I set off to work to make 21 (22 because it's a nice round number) girly-ish valentines for Banana, and 18 (20, because the word think is bouncing around in my head) boy-ish valentines for Jelly. 

Once I got the concept down, they took no time to put together. All it really took was substitution for boy-ish patterned paper with rock star/glam patterned paper. 

Voila, 42 valentine's for children class parties.

BUT

I just completely forgot. My stupid tradition that I started all those years ago, and I forgot about it. Butter, Banana, Jelly, and Pineapple received no special lunches, and no cards to tell them how much I love them.

I tried to make it up to them by making them pink chocolate chip pancakes and sausage for dinner. A special "Valentine's Dinner". Even though they said they enjoyed it, even though they thought is was hillarious to be eating pink pancakes, There was no magic moment at the cafe table, your mom telling you... JUST YOU... that she loves you...

I won't forget next year.