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Monday, June 28, 2010

When momma's away...the world falls apart apparently.

Good morning!

So I spent the weekend doing writerly things.  Mostly, I was out of town at a friend's house.  When I returned I remember why it is I don't go away very often.  Let me just share a few of the high points:

1)  The kitten learned, over the weekend, how to escape the enclosed space in the house we put him when we're gone.  He managed this because no one put the enclosure together properly.  The result was when I returned home loaded with suitcase, briefcase, and purse, kitten got out of the house because he was not in the enclosure and no one was home to catch him. 

2)  The whole house looked like a frat house after a serious toga party.  I'm not a great house keeper, but even I know that dirty socks and dinner plates shouldn't sit on the same footstool.

3)  The checkbook.  (insert dramatic sigh here)  My husband is a very smart man.  However, there is some disconnect in his brain between using the check card and actually entering his purchases in the check register.  I left the check book right on the table for him to write down whatever he did.  I also informed him that since the house payment was going to be due soon AND he wanted to go to his class reunion next weekend, maybe we shouldn't spend money liked drunken sailors.  I kept my part of the bargain.  I only spent the money I got from the book signing.  He, however, did not.  When I got home there were two receipts on the counter  (Why not in the checkbook on the table?  See #2 above).  Then, when I called the bank to check my balance, there were THREE MORE TRANSACTIONS he hadn't told me about.  (Okay, does he honestly think that if he doesn't write them down or give me the receipt, I won't know about it and it won't come out of the checking account?)

4)  The bedroom.  I loathe unmade beds.  Ask anyone I went to college with.  I'm not a good housekeeper, but I loathe unmade beds.  I'm gone two days...TWO DAYS and my bedroom looks, again, like a college dorm room, complete with underwear on the floor.  (Our bedroom door is six inches from the clothes chute.

The kitten was obviously needing some TLC, wich I gave him while I was shoveling mountains of rubbish from the living room into the garbage can.  (Seriously...ten feet apart.  You couldn't get the dirty kleenex ten feet?)  As family members returned from where ever they'd gone, it was also obvious that personal hygene had gone the way of house keeping.  Now, my kids are 13 and 16.  But sometimes even they need to be reminded to SHOWER.  I couldn't even stand next to THE BOY he smelled so bad.  (It was 4 in the afternoon...no one thought to say, Hey, maybe rinse some of the filth from Summerfest off?)  The GIRL was little better.  Oh hubby was fine, sure.

This weekend brings me to the question that pains mothers everywhere:  If I'm not a single parent, why am I the only one who is capable of keeping things in order?  I mean, I realize the HUSBAND is a good dad.  And he's always telling me I nag the kids too much about things, that I should tell them once and then move on. 

That might be fine for him.  But I really can't stand the idea of the house looking like some flop house in Calcutta with my kids wandering around covered in their own filth.

Maybe that's just me....

I'd trade one dirty kids for a balanced check book.  At least I'd know how much money I had to pay a disaster clean up company.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Good morning!

So the Boy got his license this winter and has been a driving beast for the last several months.  The sticker shock of having a teen driver in the house does not end with the DOUBLING of car insurance.  No sir.  The bigger sticker shock is just how much GAS a kid can go through.

I've long said that my two children's biggest gift is to make friends with the kids who live geographically the farthest away from us possible.  In our neighborhood, we have no less than four of The Girl's classmates within two blocks.  Who's her best friend?  A girl that lives twenty miles away, and goes to a different school.

When the Boy started driving, I didn't think much of it.  Hey, he goes to a local high school, his friends are all local, right?

Then he put 600 miles on the car during spring break.

Did he go to Florida?  No.

No, apparently his best friend is a girl who lives...say it with me...20 miles away.  She uses school choice to go to his school. 

Well, with Summer vaca upon us, I did the math.  If he did 600 miles in a week..what could he do in ten weeks?

That's a lot of gas.

So the Husband and I laid down the law.  The Boy was on the hook for one tank of gas per month.  I envisioned three...June, July, and August.  But the Boy is no dummy.  (Don't let those second semester grades fool you!)  He pointed out, as I filled the tank the first week of June, that he was still in school and therefore it wasn't summer. 

After monkeying with his teen logic for two weeks I laid down a bigger law.  THE NEXT TANK OF GAS IS YOURS.

That was a week ago.  And he still has half a tank to go.  All of a sudden, the kid has learned about gas conservation.  Funny how that works, isn't it?  He's actually proud of the fact that he's outsmarted us and he will not be purchasing a tank of gas in June. He counts this as a win against us.

Well, it doesn't matter to me.  Let him feel like he's pulled one over on us.  I got him off his butt and on his bike and on his feet because walking and biking doesn't use gas.  So I count it as a win against him.

And that, if you are raising teens, is what we call a win/win situation!

Have a groovy sort of weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome to Blog #1 Sick Back and Enjoy the Ride

Hello everyone out there!

For the last several years, I've had people tell me that I'm funny. Not sure if they mean I look funny or I am funny, but after hearing the same thing over and over again, I've decided it's time to explore the funny side of Sarah.

A bit about me: I'm many things to many people. What middle aged women isn't? Mom, wife, daughter (oh you'll be hearing plenty on that!) Sunday School teacher, employee at a job I keep mostly because I get to blog all the time and watch Hulu all day long, and a published author. (My first book, Dream in Color, is a romantic comedy, and is available in print or digital forms. More on that later.)

I'm not really doing this blog because I'm any of those things. I'm starting this blog because I've found in the last several years, that middle aged suburban women lead odd and ultimately fascinating lives. I'm hear to share my experiences as a middle aged woman living in the suburbs.

Sounds boring? You'd think that. Well, let me kick this off with this tidbit:

My daughter and my husband (who will now be known as The Girl and The Husband) decided last week that WE HAD TO HAVE A CAT. My son, The Boy, and I are not pet people. As a mom, I know that any critter that comes into the house will become my responsibility. We had a cat years ago, we've had scores of fish (are fish really pets?) and we've had two hedgehogs. You read that right. Hedgehogs. I loved those hedgies. What I don't love about pets is the parting with them. Pets die. It's a fact of life. Pets die and children wail and cry late into the night because pets die. After putting down our beloved Snowflake the hedgehog two years ago, I refused to entertain the idea of another pet.

Until this past week. In a moment of weakness I said we could look for a cat.

A cat.

Two days later, we have an 8 week old KITTEN in our house. I swore I would bond with this cat, nor would I do anything for the cat upkeep.

We got Jasper on Thursday. On Friday morning, the Girl left for a three day weekend with a friend.

Did you know kittens cry like new born infants? I do.

Did you know kittens demand as much attention as new born infants? I do.

No one else in the house does. Girl child, gone, Husband, never has a problem falling asleep in ten seconds or less, Boy child lives in the basement. Who had to tend to Kit-Ten at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning?

Yupper, that would be me.

I swore I would not bond with this beast, nor would I do anything for its upkeep.

And then Jasper got sick. Really, really sick. Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, not eating, not drinking sick.

Anyone in the house worried about Jasper? Sure, everyone. But who's the one who drives Jasper to the vet? Who's the one who held Jasper down when they took his temperature?

Who's the one who cleaned up cat vomit when he barfed up his medicine yesterday?

And, (and this is the worst of it all) who's the one Jasper clung to when the vet tried to give him his first dose of meds? I have tiny kitty scratches all over my chest and shoulders, thank you!

So, $122 later, I come home with two sets of drops for the cat and a huge mandate: I WILL NOT ADMINISTER THE MEDICATION TO THIS CAT.

However, after watching The Husband and the Girl make a complete mess of the first dose last night (three drops of brown gooey liquid turns into a sticky BP sized slick in the middle of my kitchen and about a cup of kitty vomit behind the couch), I realize, given the fact that I have given eye drops and medicine to every sort of creature, I'll eventually wind up nursing this 2 pound furry pain in my rear back to mewing, howling health.

And those of you reading this...you all see yourself in this, I know you do!

So, my friends, I look forward to sharing the sadly humorous tidbits of my life with you. If you get a chuckle out of it, my job here is done!

We now know what Hubby does NOT have in his pants.

Good morning! So last weekend Hubby and I joined my parents, brother, and my brother's kids on a trek to Kentucky to see the Crea...