Friday, June 29, 2012

Horseback riding, online love, Legos, and tee shirts - a Summer with the Spaz

We're about a third of the way through the summer and things have been busy!

Munchkin has been spending most of her summer at La Petite Cheval Farm, riding horses, mucking stalls, having lessons, and getting dirty. If I would let her throw a sleeping bag down in a stall and spend the night there she would, but alas, I do need to bring her home in the evenings and make sure she eats dinner and showers. She reminds me so much of myself when I was a kid, rushing to the barn as soon as I woke up and only coming home when the last little bit of light was escaping over the horizon. If I can keep her interested in horses instead of boys throughout middle and high school, I'll consider it a job well done.

Goober and Bug have been driving me crazy here at home. Bug has met a girl who he talks to online... all day long and late into the evening.  But she's NOT his girlfriend and don't you even dare to say that she is! Goober spends his days playing with the dog, building gigantic LEGO creations, watching television, and asking me if we're going to leave the house at any point in the day.  I think he might be bored.

I've been selling Fifty Shades of Grey tee shirts like hotcakes. This is a major phenomemon, I tell you. They're going all over the world. Australia, the UK, and all fifty states. Everyone needs to express their love of Christian Grey.  And I love it.

But I'm really hoping to branch out to some new designs soon. We're working on our off-etsy store (to be unveiled soon!) and spending all of our time getting that in order so I haven't had a lot of time to work on designs. But soon... soon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What was I doing again?

Today is one of those days when I don't think I'm ever going to get it together. It's quarter to 4 and I have no idea what I'm doing or what I'm supposed to be doing. The Internet and its beguiling shininess has distracted me from reality for hours now and I'm preoccupied over the fact that I've been sneezing non-stop since I woke up. Is it a cold or is it allergies? I won't know until it stops or I'm laid out in bed whining about how I feel like death.

I know there were important things I was supposed to do today. This is why I can't have a real job where I go somewhere and people pay me to accomplish things for them. Surfing the Internet and sneezing doesn't pay.

I think it might be a cold. I will distract myself with my next thought.

Do you ever feel like you are on a precipice? I feel that way right now. I feel like my life is about to change... and though I'm not sure which way it's about to go, I feel that it must be a good change.

I have never been too afraid of change. You see people all the time, stuck somewhere... maybe in a job they hate or a marriage that makes them sad or living in a town they feel chained to. They're on reality shows all the time and some therapist will diagnose them with the "afraid of change" label.

I've never understood the fear of change. If something is making you unhappy - change it. Do something different. If it gets worse, change it again. It's amazing, this ability to change.

It's probably why I may have appeared flighty for a lot of my young life. Flitting about from one thing to another, moving, changing, learning a little from my mistakes (not nearly enough - but a little), and making new ones.

Change is one of the luxuries of life that is taken when you have children. Because every day I want to be something different (I still don't know what I'll be when I grow up) and every day I fantasize about what life might be like somewhere else. Just today I found myself pricing lofts in Brooklyn's Williamsburg district. Maybe living there would provide me the inspiration I would really need for my writing, maybe there I'd write the next great novel. Maybe I'll just continue to live vicariously through Hannah from Girls.

For now my life must remain somewhat constant. Living in our aging ranch house in the boonies with suburbia rapidly encroaching, sending my kids to ethnically homogeneous schools, and driving a minivan with character.

Whatever precipice I am at will not include Williamsburg or a third floor walk-up with exposed brick. It will still include all the main players in my life and probably the minivan, too. I'm still excited to see where I might be going next.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Spaz gets all sappy about The Man on Father's Day

At 24 years old I was a bit of a lost soul. I had spent the majority of my life floating around like a piece of paper blowing in the wind, letting life take me wherever it decided and not doing a whole lot to guide my future. I found myself a mom of two children under 2 years old, on a fast path to my first divorce, and living at home again under my mom and dad's roof without much of a clue as to how I had gotten there or how I would ever get back on my own feet again.

Then The Man walked back into my life. The Man was putting himself together. He had been taking care of himself a lot longer than I had and he had some stuff figured out. A lot more than I did, anyway. I'm not sure he quite understood the magnitude of what he was getting himself into when he made the commitment to me and to my children to be there for us, but regardless of the crapstorm that was about to rain down upon him, he held fast and stood by us.

And he's still here. Over a decade later, The Man is still standing and being the kind of dad to my children that any woman would dream about. He's strong when they need to be disciplined, soft when they need to be cuddled, silly when they need to laugh, and understanding when they need to vent. He's absolutely amazing with them.

People always ask me if Bug or Munchkin ever ask about their biological father and the answer is no. They don't. I honestly don't think they give him much more than a tiny passing thought every once in a while... because that void has been so completely and wholly filled by The Man. He has never treated them any differently than Goober, our youngest who is The Man's biological child. They know they are loved just as much and that The Man would do anything for them just the same.

There are no words to express how immensely thankful for him I am. How absolutely lucky I feel to have been blessed with him.

Happy Fathers Day to The Man - and every other dad who is there for a kid that needs guidance and love that their "real" dad isn't providing. You are amazing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Parenting FAIL number.... I think I should stop counting... it's just making me look bad.

Yesterday was Munchkin's moving on ceremony from 5th grade. I'm going to confess something here and it's not popular with other moms, I know it. But I'm all about honesty.

I didn't realize it was that big of a deal.

She's moving on from 5th grade. She's not graduating from college.  She has managed to pass through the most basic level of our educational system.  I'm sorry that I don't feel overwhelmed with pride.

Yes, I get a weepy when I reminisce and realize my little girl is growing up. I understand the importance of recognizing that she is moving on from one stage of childhood to a new stage where she will begin learning to be a young woman. I have all the normal mom emotions that go along with watching her grow and change and advance.

I just don't think that the fact that she has passed the 5th grade is something to throw a party over and I didn't realize that this ceremony, held in the middle of the week, in the middle of a work day, was supposed to be one of those things you drop everything and put on eyeliner to attend.

The ceremony was at noon, yesterday, a Wednesday. Obviously, in reality, the school doesn't think it's that big of a deal, either, or they would have scheduled the thing at a time when most parents could actually attend.  But they sure made it out to be a big deal to the 5th graders because Munchkin made a big stink about making sure The Man and I attended.

So we did.  It was important to her and we're all about being there for our kids, so we were there.

We sat in the cafeteria with a bunch of other parents, grandparents, and siblings and their digital SLR cameras. The Man decided that everyone was out of work due to the economy and that's why they could all attend. I wondered how they afforded thousand dollar cameras with no job.

And then the ceremony began.  Kids were being called up for all kinds of awards. Presidential, Honor Role, $500 scholarship funds for being a good person, and more.

Munchkin was called up for nothing.

And while I was a little annoyed with the fact that we were attending a ceremony to watch a bunch of kids I didn't know stand up and get awards, I realized that it was important to Munchkin that we were there when she walked across the stage to get her "diploma."  Really? Diploma?

So she walked across the stage, we watched a little slideshow presentation of all the kids as babies and now. I chose to send in a picture of Munchkin at the horse show and realized that due to the helmet, I don't think any of the kids realized it was her, oh well - I'm sure she let them all know.

And after the ceremony we were told that we should go back to the classroom where the teacher would be handing out some other awards that the kids had earned.

Here was the chance. Munchkin was sure to be awarded something in the classroom, right?

The Man and I took a seat in the classroom in chairs made for 5th grade behinds, and waited to hear how awesome our kid was.

Every kid came up and accepted something. I counted. Every kid.

Except one.

You guessed it.

Oh, but never fear, we didn't leave empty-handed.  I was given a slip of paper that let me know which library books Munchkin had checked out and neglected to bring back, and told that she would not receive her report card until they were paid for.

I cannot tell you what a proud mommy moment that was.

Y'all, I'm not proud of what I did next, but I hope you can understand what place I was coming from when I did it.  And if you can't... well, what amazing children you must have and how lucky you must be to have never been in my shoes at this moment.

The Man described it as me being "harsh".... but I know I was just downright mean.

As we walked to the car after leaving the school, Munchkin was all bubbly and happy.  And it made me mad. And the anger boiled up inside of me and came right out of my mouth.

"Maybe the next time you beg for Daddy and me to come to one of your awards ceremonies, you might want to make sure you ACTUALLY GET AN AWARD!"

It was venomous, too.

Listen, I told you I wasn't proud of it.

She cried, I felt sort of bad... but at the time I was still so mad.  Now I feel really bad.  It's one of those moments she's going to be talking to a therapist about in 15 years and pointing to as the reason for all of her life failures and struggles. I do realize this.

So today I'm going to eat crow and apologize to my daughter and let her know that I am proud of her... even if I don't do a very good job of expressing it sometimes.

Sometimes it sucks to be a grown-up.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where the Spaz clings to her sanctuary with white knuckles and denial

The kids have exactly 2 days left of school this year.

I am scared.

I'm completely, 100%, unprepared to have them home all day, lounging around, fighting with each other and making me want to pull the hair out of my head in giant fistfuls.

I. Have. No. Plan.

Munchkin will spend time at the barn. Thank heavens for the barn. But the boys? They're likely to kill each other.

I don't know exactly when the mayhem began, but it really feels like it's been going on forever. The boys are arch enemies. And it's exacerbated because they share a room.

As much as I'd love to be able to give the boys each their own room, it would require me to make a ginormous sacrifice. I'd have to give up my office. My lovely, happy place. My retreat.

I hate to admit it, but since I've put the kibosh on eBay, I probably could manage it. I mean, I could probably finagle a space in the bedroom for a desk or get one of those nifty armoire thingies where you just close it all up and your office disappears into the formal living room. I'm sure I could do it.

But.... my office....

I love coming in here and shutting the door and having my own little world. It's the only room in the house that is really mine. Granted, my office is sandwiched in between Munchkin's room and the boys' room so I occasionally hear things hitting the walls (mostly on the boys' side and I think it's mostly because they are throwing each other into the walls in an attempt to maim each other).  I could probably manage to make a little corner of the living room even quieter than my current office.

But..... my office!

Bug is currently 12 and Goober only 8. Bug is in middle school and interested in girls and technology and Goober is still playing with LEGOs and laughing at fart jokes. Okay, Bug still laughs at fart jokes, too, but you see where I'm going with this.

They're different.  And they need their space.

I'm going to hold out as long as I can, though.