Thursday, January 31, 2008

When Carolie Talks, People Listen

I don't know what it is exactly, but being about the sweetest thing on the planet probably doesn't hurt her at all. The simple fact of the matter is, when Carolie asks you to do a meme, you just can't seem to turn her down. I personally think it is because she is so polite. Lesson for your kids, right there.

So without further ado, here it is.

The Rules:

  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
    Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog. Share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.

  • Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

The Meme:

Five Random/Weird Facts About Me:

  • My parents names are ( father is gone now) Fred and Wilma. My mom remembers when there was a contest going on to name the stone-age family and is pretty sure one of her friends made some money off of that.
  • I was thirty years old the first time I saw the ocean.
  • Each of my four siblings and myself were all born in different states...with the exception of T. who was born in another country.
  • My brother has been in a film with Robert DiNero.
  • My children were both named after contractors who had touched our lives in one way or another...but really just so named because we liked the names

Top five places I want to visit or visit again:

  • Dublin
  • Rome
  • Vancouver
  • Africa
  • Beijing

Tag at least five friends:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Co-Parenting Bloggers? Anyone? Anyone?

I've been having a hard time with my kids you might say. And when I'm having a hard time there is always one place I know to turn...Doctor Google. Doctor Google always has a plethora of advice, good, bad and ugly. But what Doctor Google lacks in discriminating taste, she (yes, she's a female Doc, deal with it) makes up for in volume and accessibility. But alas, since my divorce she's been failing me more and more often.

The point is, the amount of resources out there as help for people in co-parenting situations is miserable. Most of it comes in the form of lectures about how to handle the co-parenting plan when the divorce is going on, and step-parents patting themselves on the back for putting up with the biological parent not living in their home. There is nothing that I can find that offers any kind of support forum for people who are co-parenting. There is nothing that I can find about learning how to be an effective disciplinarian in a situation where you are desperately missing your child half the time, and dealing with an entitled brat the other half of the time. Nothing that I can find about maintaining your sanity when your ex makes your children start calling his girlfriend their step mother. Not much out there to support those of us doing this strange and very difficult work "for the kids."

Well, I'm sitting here looking at Doctor Google saying, "You know, somebody should do something about that." It wasn't Doctor Google at all, but some ghost from the past who sounded like a housewife said, "Um, you know you ARE somebody, right?"

So right now, as of this moment, I'm looking for bloggers who are also co-parents. I'm looking for people just starting off in the co-parent adventure, and people who have done it for years, moms or dads although I'd rather not it be "steps." And even though I respect them greatly, this really isn't about the parents doing it largely on their own. I'm looking very specifically at dealing with the issues of sharing parenting responsibilities with someone else. I suppose co-parents who were never married or significantly involved too, even though I don't have a lot of experience where the "other" parent is significantly involved in the child's life in those. And while we all know the children are of the utmost importance (that is why we make these choices, isn't it?) I want this blog to be about parents caring for themselves too.

What blog? Oh that's why I'm looking. I want to make a resource for co-parents. I like the blog format because it is personal and inviting, but I think it will need various contributors because a) I couldn't find enough fodder for a useful blog all myself, and b) I won't learn anything if I'm only blathering on about my own experiences and c) there is power in numbers.

So if you know a co-parenting blogger, are a co-parenting blogger, know of anyone who might know a co-parenting blogger, tell them to drop me a line here in my comments. I will email them back ASAP.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What comes around goes around.

Maybe you've noticed how I often blog conversations between my kids and myself. Part of the reason for this is I'm kind of pathetic and they are the centers of my little teeny tiny universe. So I'm trying to talk about it right now while it is still cute, not a symptom of an over attached mother who doesn't have a life.

The other reason I do it is that they are really much funnier and more interesting than I am. They just lack the mad typing skills I have (heh, heh...please don't find my ninth grade typing teacher and ask her though because that would be awkward...yeah). But mostly its just that old silly motherly pride and all of that.

Yesterday I was driving with my eight year old through some fairly icy streets. It was just the two of us (please don't ask me why he was not in school like his brother...the hemmorage is just starting to heal). He was goofing around with one of his little brother's motorized trains in the back seat when he "accidentally" launched it across the car and it banged on the door opposite his with a loud thud.

"Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!" went Thomas as he bravely tried to climb the door behind me. "Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!"

"Mom, can you reach that?"

I was in a small skid on the ice. "Um, no, I can't take my hands off the wheel."

"Well then I'm going to!"

"You, young man, will NOT take your seat belt off until the car is stopped, do you understand me?"

"Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!"

"Mom, that noise is making me crazy, crazy I tell you!"

"Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!"


"Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!"

At this point the sound that came from my son was somewhere between the hacking noise my cat makes when there is a hairball issue and the unmistakeable sound of a walrus dying.

"THAT sound was much better, thanks."

"Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!"

"Mommy! I threw up!"

"Uh. OK. Well I don't smell anything, goober."

"I was just kidding, Mom. Playing a joke on you."

"Reer! Reer! Reer! Reer!-Thump!"

"So you've got yourself a sense of humor, do you? Who said you could have one of those?"

"Hey don't look at me, lady. I came from you, what do you expect?"

Oh gad. I'm in so much trouble.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who says customer service is dead?

As you all know, I turned 39 in November (Ooops! Almost typed "30" - that would have been an unfortunate error, huh?) What this meant, among many other things, is that I had been a citizen of Iowa for FIVE years. FIVE. For my friends who "went through" the move from Colorado with me, I know they are probably as in shock about that as I am. Time really does fly when you are having fun...or whatever the hell it is I've been doing. Ok, ok...time flies when you are getting divorced too. That's really true, in a sad way. ANYWAY. Five years. I didn't really stop and think about all that signified at the time. A benchmark perhaps, but I'd have to consider that later because there were Christmas gifts to postpone buying, boxes that I'd postponed unpacking long enough, and of course the usual every day drama to deal with. I'd reminisce about my five years of being an Iowanian later.

Funny, the Department of Transportation really doesn't like you to put off some things. Yeah. I had totally forgotten that this was my year to renew my driver's license until some clerk carded me for a bottle of sparkling grape juice on Christmas eve and said "Oh hey, you know your license is expired?"


So at that point I figure I'm already 30 days behind...what the hell is the rush now? I planned a day off to go to the DOT around a day that I already had numerous other reasons to be off work (yes, I spent half my day at the school...if you were wondering). I hopped on the DOT site last night to see how much money and how many hoops I'd have to jump through. I'd already cleaned out my car in anticipation of having have a driving test. There are several reasons I'm glad I did this. For starters, I found out that the DOT station I've gone to for everything since I moved here, just a few blocks from where I used to live...has been permanently closed. I had to drive to Ankeny, which isn't that far, but honestly? Isn't that close either. You'd think that the freaking state capital would have at least ONE operating DOT station, but noooo. Anyway. (I'm saying that a lot, huh?)

The other thing I learned pissed me off (at myself) to no end. I had assumed, for no reason what so ever other than it made sense to me, that there was a thirty day grace period for getting your driver's license renewed. Nope! The state of Iowa is generous and gives you a sixty day grace period. Being a collections professional it is very easy for me to calculate days quickly. Today was, you got it SIXTY-TWO days after my 39th birthday, the day my driver's license expired. So, it seemed I would have to take a written test (they only require the driving test if you've let it lapse for over a year...I should really do more research earlier, shouldn't I?) So I spent about three hours last night cramming like a teenager for my stupid driving test.

I stood in line and my strange stress thinking had me conversely panicking and laughing like hell at myself. What if they arrest me for driving up here without a valid license? What if they fine me? Then I'd laugh at myself. I got up to the counter. The lady was not as good at figuring out the past due days as I am (I'm telling you it, truly it is a MUST in my industry) and she got out her little cheat sheet..."so it would have been sixty days on...."

"Sunday." I assured her.

"When we wouldn't have been open, so if you would have been here yesterday you would have been ok." She gave me a sad little smile.

I nodded sheepishly, probably looking much like my children do when caught with their fingers in the proverbial cookie jar. "I don't suppose the fact that the Department of Transportation cares much about it being the holidays and that I moved, and that my kid was having trouble in school during this time."

She smiled wryly. "Not really. But I don't think they really care very much about 24 hours either. We'll just let it go. Go get your vision test and your license and go home."

One of the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. But I wish I would have known that before studying for three hours. Seriously.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Politics as usual?

Earnest and sincere my youngest looked at me, clearly wishing to communicate that he had learned something important.

"Mommy, did you know that Mr. Obama and Mr. Huckleberry won the cacsukahs?"

My nose wrinkled. My eyes watered. I pinched my lips together hard. Must not laugh. The eyes watered some more.

"Caucuses. Um. Yes do you know what the caucuses are for?"

My oldest chimed in, eager to show that he was better than his brother at yet one more thing..."To choose the president!"

"Well sort of, to choose our presidential candidates for the two major political parties in the country, the Democrats and the Republicans."

"But we're Democrats, right Mom?" That older boy. Pretty darn sure of himself.

"Well, I'M a Democrat. Your father is too. You don't belong to any party right now. Why is that?"

"You have to be eighteen to vote. But I'm going to be a Democrat because I think war is stupid. People should use their words, not fight in wars."

"Hmm...well I don't know if it is quite that simple, but yes, it would be nice if everyone would just use their words to work out their differences. So you aren't old enough to vote, but do you know how old you have to be in order to be the President of the United States?"

"Eleven or twelve?" offered the young one helpfully.

"No, actually you have to be at least 35 years old!"

"Wow! Really, that's old."

"So do you think anyone you know could be president?"

"Well, I don't know..."

"Could Miss R from church be the President?"

"Yes, yes, she'd be a good president, she's good at using her words!"

"Nope, sorry boys she's only 22, too young to be president."

"Daddy could be president!"

"Well sure. What about me, do you think I could be president?"

The gurgling noise coming from my youngest was unmistakable. He was drowning in his own laughter.

"Hey! What's that for, why couldn't I be president?!?"

"You're a MOMMY, Mommy. You've got IMPORTANT stuff to do."

Well then. Okay.

Yes, I did.

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