Archives for February 2008

Question: What Sucks More than Tax Season?

Answer: Not a whole lot.

It’s 9 p.m. on a Sunday night – do you know where your husband is? If he’s a CPA like mine is, he’s probably at work. Yes. At work. And in fact, he’s a bit mad that I asked him not to go to work until the girls were tucked in tonight because I wanted them to have ONE FULL DAY with their dad. He won’t get as many hours logged in on his time sheet, but they needed it, they really did.

Today, I was able to escape for several hours for lunch and some shopping with my best friend. Of course, I didn’t really need anything (except for the break) so I wasn’t scoping super hard for anything in particular. I did pick up a very cute shirt at Old Navy for $2.99, which was a bargain and will be a nice comfy shirt for kicking back in. I also bought more undies – partly because I buy underwear nearly every time I go shopping lately, because I realize there are underwear in my underwear drawer that I’ve had longer than I’ve been with Hubby (Um, nearly 11 years?!). So, I’ve been throwing the old stuff away and rebuilding my supply, so to speak.

When I was younger, underwear was my weird thing. I loved buying bras and undies back then (we’re talking high school/college). I always matched my bra and panties to the shirt I was wearing. Always (unless it was a white shirt). Somehow along the way, I fell out of that habit and I fell out of buying myself nice stuff. You get to a point in momhood where you can feel like you are wasting money that could be spent on your kids if you buy yourself nice things. And that’s fine… but my kids aren’t hurting for anything, and if picking up something nice for myself makes me smile than occasionally I owe it to myself to do it, right?

So – lately that’s what I’ve been doing. Today was no exception.

I had a great time away, capped off with a latte and picking up a few magazines at Barnes & Noble. Came home and had a family dinner (the girls and I rarely have dinner with Hubby anymore – he gets home too late). I’m glad that even though Hubby was peeved about losing time in the office that the girls got to hang with him. I’m sure he’ll make up for it later in the week anyway.

Thursday Ten, Valentines Day Edition

1. Valentines Day after nearly eight years of marriage and in the middle of tax season is about the equivalent of oh… I don’t know… any other day of the week?! I did get a card, but no gift, and that was not entirely a surprise. I did make the kids chocolate-chip heart shaped pancakes, so that was about the highlight of the morning right there.

2. Someone sent me the link to this video on YouTube. I really love Vincent VanGogh. This is his art set to Don MacLean’s “Vincent”. Made me seriously misty-eyed. I was truly moved.

3. One of my new favorite websites is Lifehacker. Yesterday, I learned how to find my criminal neighbors and learned about Smart Playlists in iTunes. To be honest, some of this stuff is just too techy for me, but for the most part… VERY Interesting.

4. Song of the week: “Just a Ride” by Jem. Someone referred me to it… I downloaded it. I listened to it on repeat 284 times yesterday. Then a bazillion people told me that they love the song too. Why I had never heard it before, I’m not sure… but it rocks. (And for those who have access to my MySpace page, it’s my new profile song).

5. Is anyone following American Idol yet? I’m such a couch potato. Of course I’ve been watching it. Not surprised at all by the finalists. Really looking forward to seeing what happens this season. Some interesting choices.

6. Speaking of interesting choices… Project Runway last night. The challenge was awesome – the designers had to pick a piece of art from the Met in NY and from that inspiration design an outfit. Christian won the challenge – and admittedly, somehow he’s grown on me this season. His attitude cracks me up. Did I mention I was a couch potato?

7. I’m reading “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks. It’s hard to get into. The thing is, it’s amazing stuff. The content… absolutely amazing and interesting. BUT, I don’t often read nonfiction and I usually get to read only at the end of the day after everything to do has been done. By then, I’m so tired it’s hard to absorb it, truly. I need to make an effort to really dig into this book this weekend.

8. This should actually be #1, but a friend of mine is going through some tough stuff this week. Yesterday was truly a gruesome day for her, and so if you can send her some positive thoughts to get her through all this, that would be fantastic. (And, K – I’m thinking of you!).

9. The Princess drew her version of “Starry Starry Night” for me yesterday. When I looked at it, I really had to fight off the laughter. She drew the most phallic looking mountains ever. Hilarious.

10. Is it spring yet? This snow stuff is getting old. Oh, okay. It’s so far beyond old. It’s just heinous now. It can just all melt away and become spring. That would be a-okay with me. Truly.

Happy Valentines Day all, if you’re into that sort of thing. Hope you get showered with love and mushy cards and chocolate!

Where Else Can This Week Possibly Take Me?!

Oh boy, and I thought YESTERDAY was a doozy.

Again, started the morning before 6 when Hubby left. Of course, Pumpkin was awake and ready to roll with the day… at 5:30. I mean REALLY. Who wakes up at 5:30 that doesn’t have to?

Again, the house floods with the children – my two, plus three others. While Pumpkin and I were downstairs, The PRincess and the other girls decided to rearrange her room. I don’t know why. No one asked me or said anything until it was done. At that time, they had dragged her (very heavy) bed directly over the heating vent – a bad thing in a room that is already difficult to heat. When I told them to move it back, they broke The Princess’s bed. Barely hanging on to my last nerve at that point, I was so frustrated. I grounded The Princess and I made the other three girls relocate to somewhere else because I didn’t want them in her room anymore.

With a little muscle (and a little blood, actually – since I scraped the hell out of my knuckles) I was able to move the bed, fix it, and get all the big furniture items back to their rightful place. I then instructed The Princess to clean it up and make it look good again.

I then had to make cookies for the school Valentines Party tomorrow. That was relatively painless.

Then, on to make a cheesecake for Hubby’s office for tomorrow. The power went out THREE TIMES while the cheesecake was in the oven. This cake is the ugliest cheesecake I have ever seen – the top is cracked in about six places. I’m sure it will still taste fine (I, um, tested the batter a few times before I popped it into the oven). But man is it ugly.

And… tomorrow is Valentines Day, which I fully expect to go by unrecognized except for a card that The Princess gave me early because she knows how much I hate VDay (“Because Dad never gets her the right thing!” she told a friend yesterday… It’s not the “right” thing… it’s anything at all…). Seeing as how I’m essentially a “single mom” (Aka Tax Season Widow) holding down the fort on my own for the most part, a card would be nice. That’s all I’m sayin’.

And it’s only Wednesday. There are two days to go. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for me.

And It All Started With "Fart"

Actually, if I’m being completely honest, it all started with Pumpkin’s poopy diaper at 5:15. I woke up around that time because I heard the garage door closing as Hubby left for work. I lay in bed awhile (seriously, who wants to be up that early? Not me), and got up to wander the halls and check on the girls. Pumpkin was out of bed and standing at her doorway. “Mommy, it’s Pumpkin!” she said to me. She then said, “I got poopy!”

Fantastic. Nothing better than starting your day with stench. I got the wipes and a fresh diaper, got her changed, washed my hands and put her back in bed. I told her it was still “night-night” time – not time to be awake yet. I was being cautiously optimistic, I really didn’t think she’d fall asleep. Lo and behold – SHE DID!

I went back to bed and curled up under the covers. At 6 a.m., The Princess came in. She usually sleeps in until after 7, so this was odd – but she was in a good mood and curled up in bed with me. I told her that there was NO snowday today (Wahoo!!!) and that we’d get up and start getting ready in a bit.

Fine. No problems.

The problems didn’t start until all the girls I watch came over. They were upstairs, playing in the playroom and one of the girls farted. Of course, she didn’t excuse herself so instantly the other girls started checking Pumpkin’s diaper (Yeah, blame the two-year-old), at which point, the perpetrator took ownership for the smell.

All fine and good (and gross, really! I can’t believe I’m blogging about gas), until the other girls started making fun of her. Oy. Really? I heard a lot of raised voices and so on, and then She Who Dealt It came to me crying about how she farted and how all the others were making fun of her. And the She’s Who Smelled It were saying, “But it’s so gross, you’d say something too!”

And let me be perfectly clear: I really REALLY hate talking about farting. Writing about it ain’t much fun either. I said to all the girls (big sigh): “Everybody farts. I sure hope none of you ever fart while you’re here, or you’ll know that EVERYONE is gonna make fun of you.” Then I got out my gingerbread air freshener, let them spray the hell out of the upstairs, and all was fine… I thought.

When they went out to wait for the bus, minutes after they’d gone outside the girl who had already been crying once knocked on the door, crying again.

“They’re being mean to me.”
“They won’t play with me.”
“They’re talking.”
“They’re talking about me.”
“She kicked my back pack.”
“She made a face at me.”

Oh. My. Hell. That school bus could not get here soon enough this morning. I’m not entirely sure what was going on. For the most part, the girls were behaving as normal. The girl in tears this morning was the one often provoking tears in others – as I pointed out to Hubby, “She’s usually harder than that. She usually doesn’t let people get to her. She’s usually the instigator.” I’m not sure what her deal was – but I was in no mood to molly-coddle. Those girls outnumber me, and that ain’t good!

Happily, the bus came and they were off. Pumpkin and I ran some errands and I came home to a call from the school asking where The Princess was. This is the SECOND time this has happened. “Um, she better be at school.” The secretary said, “Oh, I’ll check.” Minutes later. “She’s here. I’m sorry.” You’re sorry? You call me to tell me that my five-year-old, who I watched get on the school bus is not THERE and you’re sorry?! That woman drives me nuts.

And it’s only Tuesday, people. God only knows where my week is gonna go from here.

So, Spring Yet?

I make no secret of my dislike of winter. Yesterday, The Princess said to me, “Mom, I can’t wait until March 31.” (Um, that would be the 21st, I’m thinking….). “That’s when it’ll be the first day of spring! Then it won’t be so cold!” I went on to tell her that I won’t miss the cold of winter, or the snow, or the fact that the roads get so slippy-slidey when it’s snowy and icy out. She looked at me and said, “Um, the roads? Not my problem.” Then in a stage whisper, she added, “Because I. Don’t. Drive.”

Last night, we got slammed with some winter weather while Hubby and I were out to dinner. Rather than take in a movie too, we figured we better try to get home before the road conditions worsened. Overnight – they DEFINITELY worsened. And the temp? It definitely dropped. It’s so cold and nasty out, I have YET to get my Sunday paper out of the paper box at the end of the driveway. Hubby tried to leave this morning to go to National Guard, and spent 30 minutes getting not even ten miles away, so he turned around and (slowly) came home. At some points, visibility was zero.

Needless to say, we’ve been somewhat like shut-in’s today. Hubby has gone out a few times (actually, he’s working now. It is still tax season afterall). His second run of the day was to take The Princess out for ice cream – yes, it’s February and 0 degrees out, but none of her friends could play today and she was so tired of playing with Pumpkin, so Hubby went the sugar route. Of course, they brought a cappuccino home for me, so all was good.

I’ve had fits of productivity today – spending a few hours working, I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, I worked out my glutes/quads/hams, I marinated and made an excelled grilled chicken burrito dinner. In the midst of my productivity, I was channel surfing. Did you know that Snoop Dogg has his own reality show? It’s not good. Not at all.

At this point, I am hoping for the weather gods to chill the hell out so tomorrow can be peaceful and calm. I have plans to take the kids out, and don’t want us to all be stuck in the house… AGAIN.

Thursday Ten, The Yes-I-Know-It’s-Really-Friday Edition

Okay, so yesterday kicked my ass in a way that only Thursdays can and [insert excuse why I was just too busy to write this post yesterday], but here I am. And here’s the Thursday Ten, on Friday.

1. The BLUE SCREEN errors on my computer are really annoying me. I need to go to the Dell website and check for updated drivers. I just haven’t. I’m kind of getting used to these stupid errors.

2. I had a two hour meeting for work yesterday and it was probably the highlight of my day. My mom’s husband watched the girls while I went to the meeting (the snow increased my drive time from 30 minutes to 90 minutes). I stopped at Starbucks (ALONE) on the way there for a nonfat venti cappuccino, went to the meeting and hit Starbucks (AGAIN) on the way home for a gingerbread latte for lunch.

3. After 90 minutes of driving, I arrived at the meeting seriously needing to pee but I didn’t want to ask where the bathroom was. So, I never went. And I held it through the two hour meeting. And I held it for the ten minutes or so that it took me to get to Starbucks, and you better believe I made a beeline for that bathroom once I got there. Holy cow. I was miserable! (Moral of the story: Ask where the bathroom is. Everybody pees. It’s not a huge deal).

4. After two 2-hour delays and one snow day this week, I am so so so glad that school is back to normal for the day. I needed that. The Princess is off at kindergarten and Pumpkin is trashing the playroom (she’s very good at that). I can’t wait until naptime.

5. Sarah’s favorite download of the week: “You Can’t Count on Me” by the Counting Crows. Love it. Cannot wait for the new album in March.

6. Project Runway on Wednesday was hilarious – they had to make costumes for the “Divas of the WWE”. I don’t watch wrestling, so I have no idea who the hell these women are, but I think it’s funny that the designers start their challenge at a fabric store called “Spandex House” or “House of Spandex”. The costumes were described as “stripper/tranny wear”. For these designers to go from couture to slutwear is somewhat (okay, more than somewhat) amusing.

7. Have I mentioned that winter sucks? Snowstorms suck. When the plows come through and clear the streets and block the end of my driveway? That sucks too.

8. My friend, Kim, forwarded me a link to Tom Cruise’s goofball rant on YouTube. He’s really lost it, hasn’t he? Can anyone even stand him anymore? I’m just curious. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but man, I can’t even watch “Jerry Maguire” anymore. And my god, he’s even ruined “Top Gun” for me. Darnit.

9. Since I’m on a celebrity thing – Matthew McConnaghey either cut his hair or he’s wearing it differently. Either way, he’s looking a bit like Jason Priestly, circa 90210. Not good. Not good at all. I think I may have to temporarily suspend my Matthew McConnaghey crush til he can work through his hair issues.

10. I have been waiting for “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks to come in at the library – I’ve had it on hold for months. I picked it up this morning and I plan to start digging into it this weekend. I can’t wait. I usually read fluffy fiction, but this sounds so interesting, I’m hoping I’m able to absorb it!

Refilling the Well

Tax season is already kicking my butt. It’s barely February, and there’s just over two months remaining until tax season is over, and I am so tired and worn down from shouldering 98.5% of the load around the house I could really just scream. I haven’t screamed yet, because I’m sure it would scare the bejeebers out of my kids, but… I could scream. I’d probably feel a whole lot better.

Hubby leaves for work EARLY. Like 5:30 early. I’m not entirely convinced that it’s not him moving around the house that wakes Pumpkin up so early. Consequently, I’m up at 5:30 as well. Between 7 and 7:30 a.m., three other kids descend upon my house until the school bus arrives, and then for the next hour or so, I get to listen to them laugh and sing loudly (on a good day) or scream and stomp around (on the typical day). Send them out to the bus at 8:20, and from there it’s either holding down the fort with my two kids (if The Princess doesn’t have school), or just hanging with Pumpkin (if she does).

Of course, in the midst of that span between 8:20 and 4 (when the bus drops the kids back off at the house), I have to do work, clean the house, do laundry (if it’s Tuesday), make lunches, plan dinners, prep dinner, run errands, try to convince Pumpkin to take a nap, and so on and so on.

It’s a fricking chaotic day. Every day.

So, Yesterday, I took a step. I called the daycare The Princess used to attend, asked about openings and the cost. I’m waiting for them to call back with information. This was a huge step for me – because I still have the guilt of why would I send my daughter to daycare when I’m home.

But we both need it. She will benefit from time spent with other kids her age, and maybe she’ll even learn to want to be potty-trained. She’ll learn to interact with other adults besides me and her dad… And there are benefits for me as well – namely, time to focus on work, focus on the house, and focus on me… WITHOUT feeling like I’m depriving my daughter(s) of time that should be focused on them.

I know it will be a huge adjustment for both of us. But we need it.

Your Three Words

My best friend and I went out Saturday night, and while we were out, she was telling me about ABC’s weekly tradition of “Your Three Words” – defining your week in three words. Since I’m kind of more of a “The Today Show” gal, I had never seen this or heard of it – but we spent the rest of the evening, capsulizing the night in three words.

Looking so pretty
Starbucks detour first
No husbands allowed
Out sans kids
Booze THEN dessert
Brownie Obsession RULES!
Mrs misses Mister (**That would be my BFF – the newlywed!)
No more buzz
Safe to drive
Get home safe
Had great time

Can you define your weekend in three words (or, you can cheat like me – several series of three is alright!)?

Some Saturday Stuff

As I type this, Hubby is at a movie theater with The Princess and Stepson for the Hannah Montana movie/concert dealybob, and I’m hanging at home with Pumpkin. Pumpkin woke up from her nap completely mad at the world again, so she’s watching a bit of Miss Spider while she rejoins the world of the wakeful. I hate to park my kids in front of the television all the time, but some days she wakes up from her nap crankier than when I put her down.

Pumpkin must have rolled over on a book or stuffed animal during her nap – she was screaming, “I have an OWIE!” When I got to her room, she was pointing to her back. Seeing as how she insisted on having about twelve books and six stuffed dogs in her bed, I’m not surprised if she did roll over on something. Not much room to move when you pack so much into a twin bed.

I missed my opportunity this afternoon for my sis to wax my eyebrows – so I had to pluck. I hate plucking my eyebrows – it hurts and it’s time consuming. I much prefer the quick sharp pain and the speed of waxing. Oh well.

I finally cured my Chinese food craving last night. I think I’ve mentioned, it’s been about a year or more since I’ve had Chinese food since Hubby really doesn’t like it. I love it, though. Finally last night I said, “I don’t care what YOU’RE having for dinner – but can you pick up some takeout for me on your way home?” He did, and dinner was tasty (it’s not the best Chinese food ever, but it’s not bad – there’s another local place I went to last year and the food was… not so good, shall we say?). Pumpkin ended up chowing down on my leftovers today – so at least she’s a more daring eater than The Princess, who did nothing but make funny faces at my dinner, and tried a tiny tiny little nibble of a dumpling before pronouncing it, “Gross! I don’t like it! Ewwwwwwwwww!”

Heading out with a friend tonight for a night of decompressing from our busy work and mom lives. Can’t wait.

Have a great weekend everyone!

A Much Needed Atta-Girl

In the midst of my dealing with my two crazy kiddos, a husband who is swamped with tax season, and a stepson who can make me crazy oftentimes it seems like my job (you know, the one that gives me a paycheck) is just background noise. I do my work, and it’s just part of my daily routine – I work, I get stuff done, and nothing really happens.

Yesterday, I had an hour-long call with my boss. It’s been months since we’ve spoken to be honest, and the general feeling I have is that people forget that I’m still a part of the company because I’m not there and in their faces daily. Yesterday, she and I talked about the previous year, and plans moving forward, and it was the first time in a VERY long time that I felt appreciated, needed and respected. It felt so good that I was basically floating on a high all afternoon yesterday – and admittedly, even so far today I feel good (with the exception of a blossoming headache because Pumpkin smacked me with her placemat in my noggin – which doesn’t sound painful, but oddly enough REALLY was).

My boss expressed happiness at how I do my job. She talked about things I could do moving forward – that there are definitely opportunities, particularly if I decide I want to take on more hours or return to full time. Given that some days I want to pull my hair out and how I’ve always been concerned that when I’m ready to return to fulltime work, there just aren’t going to be opportunities there – it felt pretty good. I have a feeling that within the next year, I’m going to be ready to take on more hours – by then, The Princess will be in school full time every day, and Pumpkin may be in preschool some… I really think it might be good for all of us if I have a little bit more of a life going on outside the walls of my home (though, I guess, technically, it’ll still be INSIDE the walls of my home, as I’d still be working from here).

There will be opportunity for me to travel this year – at least once. The timing on that trip is looking to be not too long after the close of tax season – PERFECT timing, as I will be so so ready to get out of here for a few days – even if it’s work related (even better, not on my dime!).

I’m still smiling about it. I really needed that.