Thursday, July 26, 2007

Going Home

Hubby called me from work yesterday. He wanted to know if I wanted to move back to New Hampshire. They're looking for more help in his field of work. He's an automotive technician for Ford. My job can be anywhere. They have the orange box everywhere now.

Part of me wanted to say, "Yes! Yes, of course I would LOVE to go home!" I almost cried to think that he'd want to move up there. Then, I thought, it really wouldn't be the same. I've been out of my hometown for more than 16 years now. I've spent half my life in the state I live in now. All my friends, save one or two, have moved away. One of my best friends has recently had a baby and she and her husband have settled in my old hometown to raise their little family. Another of my friends is now in upstate Vermont. Another in southern California. Others are in various places around the country. Some stayed in NH, most scattered.

Then I thought of our little expanded family here. My mother-in-law, father-in-law, mom and brother-in-laws family are all here. It would kill them if we moved away. It would really kill my mom. She's established herself in her own house, has her own circle of friends; I really don't think she'd move again.

Then I thought of all the crap I'd have to pack. And, moving that far, I'd hire a moving company. Then, I thought, would I really want to move that far again.

I've lived in New Hampshire, Washington state and now here. I've been to one coast and back in one lifetime. I really don't think I'd want to do that again.

Of course, now would be the perfect time, given that the chitlins are not in school yet. But, that's really the only reason I can think of. I love our little house here. I love the plans we have for it. I like our neighbors; I like where I work; I love my friends. I really don't think I could rip my roots up again.

Then Hubby chuckled a bit. He was never serious in the first place.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Venture

Well, I've started a new business venture. As a mostly full-time stay-at-home mom, I have to come up with new ideas that I can do while home with the chitlins and still earn money. One can only put in so many hours at a part-time job before paying for child-care and my paycheck just won't cover that!

So, I have started selling "reconstructed" shirts on eBay.

I have found that I can sew here and there during the day and still play with Princess and Curly. Princess even "helps" out with scraps. She likes to "make" her own shirts by pinning scraps together. I'll even sew some together and she thinks it's great! Curly helps out by stomping all over the fabric as a lay it out to cut.

So, if this takes off, I've just added another notch in my belt as a busy, "non-working", stay-at-home mom. "Non-working", now that's a laugh!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One Hot Day

It's mucho hot in our neck of the woods today. The actual temperature is 91, but it feels more like 97 with the humidity factored in. We are expecting some loo-loo of thunderstorms and one can only hope that they cool things off a bit. My little home is not equipped to handle this heat ~ we don't have air conditioning. So instead, I am wearing minimal clothing and the kids are clothing optional. Ah, the joy of being 2 and 3!

Why is that when the heat and humidity rises, patience lowers? The chitlins are extremely cranky and I have less than no patience for them. I feel so bad snapping at them. But what does one do? I can't drug them and force them to sleep all day, although they're acting like they do come bedtime. I guess that I just let them do their thing while I do mine and hopefully, tempers will stay at a simmer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dating Advice for Mom

My mother is a member of eHarmony. My step-father passed away about a year-and-a-half ago now and she's looking for someone to travel and hang with. She finally found a nice-sounding gentleman that she is e-mailing back and forth with now. Of course, with my mom being in the dark ages, she's going through me and my computer because she doesn't have one. Now that her social calendar is filling up, I'm going to have to go with her to find one!

Anyway, she calls me today and asks me for dating advice! I laughed at her. Not to be mean. I laughed because I haven't dated for over 14 years! I've been with Hubby since I was 17! A lot has changed over the last dozen or so years! I found it quite funny that she would ask me a question like that.

I don't know what to tell her. It's a strange situation---my mother's dating! Mom's aren't supposed to date! She's 64...she should be baking cookies for the grand kids! But, wait, that's so 1950! What's wrong with her dating? She's a wonderful person, kind of an angel on earth. She deserves to spend her life with an equally wonderful man. She got dealt a bad hand when my step-dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at an early age (he was only 70 when he passed). They had a wonderful relationship and one can only hope to have another like that.

I wish Mom luck. I really want her to be happy. She certainly deserves it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Are SAHMs Setting Themselves Up For Failure?

I was curious to read reviews on Amazon regarding a new book on motherhood called "The Feminine Mistake" by Leslie Bennetts. I had heard that it's quite a controversial read. After reading the reviews, it peaks my curiosity even more.

The basis of the book is that if moms give up their careers to have children, they are setting themselves up for financial disaster. She seems to feel as though moms must keep their high-profile jobs because the likelihood that they'll divorce and be responsible for themselves is extremely high. From the reviews that I read, she references women who are in extremely high paying jobs and probably wouldn't have a financial problem even if they did quit their jobs. She also appears to say that stay-at-home moms are lazy, unfulfilled, and needy.

I myself do work outside the home. I also work inside the house. I chase around a three- and two-year-old, I have dishes to clean and laundry to do as well as picking up countless toys. I see my part-time cashier job as a break from being at home with the children. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being home with them and I love the fact that my part-time income at least keeps food on the table, but I also love having the time away from home.

Did I quit a high-powered career? No. Did I quit something that would have been financially secure had I stayed at it? No. If my husband and I ever split, I will probably have to work two jobs to make ends meet; before or after kids. So I wish that I could be home with them full-time? I practically am now; I only work 20 hours a week. I do know that sentimentally, I'm glad that I spend the time that I do get with them. I've been able to see my daughter use the potty for the first time and my son mumble his first word (amazingly it was tickle!). Had I been off at a full-time job, the day-care provider would have been there for that. Somehow, to me, that's wrong in so many ways.

Maybe what's wrong with this world today is that not enough parents (moms or dads) are willing to give up their "identity" to raise their children. When I became pregnant with our daughter, I knew I would no longer be the same person that I was. I am defined by who I was and who I am now. I was (and still am sometimes) a very free spirit with her own thoughts and did pretty much as I pleased. I am now a wife and mother of two. I'm proud of that. When I married my husband, I gladly took his name. Taking his name didn't change became a part of me. When I gave birth, I dreamed of the day that my child would say "mama". That is also a part of me.

Having children changes all kinds of things. Ninety-nine percent for the better. There is a small part of me that misses the freedom that I had pre-kids and the jobs that I held. But then, I look at my two beautiful children who are smart, creative and, most of all, ACTIVE and realize that all that I gave up is worth it. I turned out OK. My mom was stay-at-home and she went on to go back to school and have a new career at age 55 from which she is retiring from today. If I can do half the job she did...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More On Rocky

Well, the obsession is even worse than last year. I am in this frame of mind that I am going to create the most movie-correct version of Columbia's costume as I can. I have found a corset and a pair of shorts to make. I already have the jacket, shoes and socks. This year, I have to find the correct pair of fishnets (with backseam of course!). And I plan to do this with the chitlins running around.
This should be interesting! I'll be trying to sew the shorts and corset with them getting tangled up in the thread that's supposed to be in the machine. (Yes, I can sew...Mom taught me how many moons ago.) Hubby will be shaking his head and rolling his eyes as he watches me sew on hundreds of sequins. And, the chitlins will be there to tangle themselves up and pull the thread out of my needle. I'll be lucky to be able to use all the sequins that come in a package since I just know they're going to have a blast throwing them all around the room.
I hope that all this sewing and crafting will instill in them something. Maybe that when you can't find something, find a way to make it yourself? With a little imagination, you can have anything? With a lot of imagination, you can have a wonderful time!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rocky Horror Show

It's only the end of May and already my friends and I are getting ready to buy our tickets to the Rocky Horror Show in October! I can't believe the insanity! Last October, we had 11 people that went with our group. This year, it's going to be almost two dozen! We took up one whole row (7th from the stage) and this year, we'll practically fill the first three rows!

I actually got Hubby to go last year for the first time. He's not a theater goer by any means of the word. And, he's a big biker dude that just doesn't understand the whole transvestite thing. But, given the gang that we went with, and the whole pretext of the show, he had an absolute blast! He's even going with us again this year!

The madness started three years ago when three friends of mine and I went to see the show. I had seen it when I was 16, and loved it then. Now that I'm a bit older and wiser (16 years older and wiser), I love it even more. I even took the time last year to make a Columbia costume and made up my face to look just like Little Nell in the movie.

As I delve deeper into finding the audience participation guidelines, I'm finding out how much of a cult this Rocky thing is. I e-mailed my best friend to ask her if we belong to a cult...she replied, of course! But, you know what? If this is a cult, then I'm almost completely brainwashed! :) Being able to be completely myself for an evening is so totally refreshing!

I sent a text message out to some other friends and have never seen my phone so busy with messages before! In the span of about 5 minutes, I recruited about 10 people to go! This year is going to rock!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Failing New Business

I try hard to make extra money for my family. We live in a very expensive part of New Jersey and working blue collar jobs barely makes for groceries some months. Could we move? Of course, but that would mean leaving all extended family behind. And let me tell you, having two kids and a hubby that thinks he's a kid, I don't know what I'd do without my mom. You ladies that move to another part of the country, far away from your family, I don't know how you do it. Knowing our family is right around the corner certainly helps during stressful times when emergencies happen or need someone to talk to.

So I had a great idea; or so I thought.

Last summer, I decided to turn a hobby into a business. I don't know what I was thinking. We have no extra money to put into advertising or a web site. There are times I can't even afford to buy supplies! But, I trudge on. I try the craft shows and usually do pretty well. But those are hard because I like to spend time with the family on weekends; it's the only time the four of us are all together for at least one day! I tried the internet thing, but never knew that the number of hits on a site could go into negative numbers! But, I trudge on.

I'm told I make beautiful jewelry. I wear it to work and get lots of compliments on it. Ok, you like it...please, buy it! I'll make anything! I'll even make collars for your dogs! Curtain tiebacks, can do! I'm desperate...a special bauble to be buried in...ok, that was un-called for! I'll do children's stuff, outfit a whole wedding party...

Okay, I've ranted enough about what a loser I've become in the great scheme of things...I'm not a famous author (though I'm trying my hand at that, too), I don't create fantastic web sites, I don't invent anything useful...I'm just a mom and a wife trying to get by in this world that depends on keeping up with the Jones'...who are they anyway?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Spongebob or Cartoon Network

My hubby and I are in discussions regarding what our daughter watches on TV. Up until now, the princess has watched Cartoon Network and such classics as Family Guy and Futurama. She'll be turning 4 in August and we're starting to think that these are not the greatest shows. Then again, during the day she watches such wonders as Spongebob and Fairly Oddparents. I don't which is worse. The mouth gets fresher everyday and I don't know if that's a direct result of the cartoons or just the age. In the morning, she'll watch Tom & Jerry. She does know that what's on TV is pretend and not real. She doesn't try to squish the cats in our house, so I don't know why she's got the fresh mouth.

I know that she should be watching wholesome shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. And she does! She has learned tons from watching Blue and Dora. Hell, she can speak Spanish better than me and I took 3 years of it in school!

I just don't understand what changed with TV from when Hubby and I grew up to now. I re-watch Looney Tunes and they're not that much worse than some of the shows on today's TV. In fact, they're probably a bit better because at least there's some hidden message in them (of course, as a child, you don't know that).

I'm also not saying that Princess spends 24/7 in front of the boob tube. She and her brother play constantly outside. In fact, given a choice, they'd rather be outside getting fresh air and sun. Or playing in their pool. (I tell ya, my tan in the summer is great!) The kids watch TV while drifting off to dreamland at night and when it's quiet time during the day. Other than that, they're off and running.

I guess the question is: do we get her a digital box to watch her cartoons (Nicktoons) 24/7, or do we just turn off the TV?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Finally Mobile!

I am SO PSYCHED!!! I finally got myself set up on wireless. I finally feel like I'm part of the 21st century now that I'm able to walk outside, lay down in bed, have a smoke all while having my laptop nearby! It's nice to be able to really relax while I surf the net; something that I haven't been able to do since before kids! What a really neat concept this is! So, while I type in my blog, I can watch/listen to Spongebob in the background while the little chitlins sleep (they had a busy Easter). Woo Hoo!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Time to Myself?

As I sit, trying hard to type without looking at the keys on the keyboard, I have to fight Curly for the right to my computer. Hubby is on the phone, walking away as the kids start to fuss. How come I can't do that?

I just would like a few minutes to call my own. Where I'm not going to work, or errands, or anything like that. Hubby gets a Saturday, why don't I? I'm not saying that I want the whole world to go away, I just want a few hours where I don't have to be anywhere, don't have to watch anyone, don't have to pick up know, time to myself.

I don't get it while Hubby is at work because when one child is sleeping, the other is awake. Just as Curly is going down for his nap, it seems the Princess is finally deciding to get out of bed. Me, get a nap when I have the usual Jersey cold? Not happening.

I hate kvetching. That's exactly what I'm doing here. Please don't get me wrong, I do love being a mom and wife, but we all need a break, don't we?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bad Blogger, Semi-Bad Mom?

I don't know if you're supposed to blog everyday or not. I'm new to this, so I don't know the rules, or if there even are any. I guess that it's just as things go.

I just finished reading my friend's blog. She writes everyday. Sometimes multiple times! How she does that with three kids, I don't know. I try to have five minutes on my computer, alone, and Princess comes and tries to sit on my lap and Curly tries to re-boot my computer without even knowing it. Pretty soon, we're all crying and screaming so we go upstairs to have a snack and some milk and I have my cigarette (outside the house, within sight of my kids).

So, I wonder: does this craziness make me a bad mom or a bad blogger?

Princess and Curly are upstairs with their dad right now. Dad's watching eBay on my cell phone and I'm watching in another window as I write this. I've got three minutes to go on a laptop. This should be interesting...If you see blogs that make entirely no sense, you can be sure that the Princess is trying her hand at writing.

My silence is broken! Curly has invaded! He came right over to my keyboard and turned the caps on. Of course, I turned them right off...I've done enough messaging to know that's the ultimate form of screaming on the computer.

I won! I won! I finally got a laptop!

Is it bad to ignore our kids a little bit to get five minutes of quietness to ourselves? I feel so rotten when I do it. Or when I shush them while on the phone. I realize that they're only 3 and 2 and they need to learn, so why do I get impatient?

The silence is totally broken. Princess is down here now completely having a 3-year-old moment. Tell me, how do you tell a 3-year-old that Mommies and Daddies have to get some sleep? Especially when mommy's been sleeping since daddy got home due to a sore throat. I think I'll sign off now only to come again when I've got that spare moment (truely, what mom has any spare moments?).....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

eBay Addiction

I think I can honestly say that Hubby and I are completely addicted to eBay.

See, it all started when he bought a toy train for our kids for Christmas. We thought it'd be so neat to have the train going and whistles blaring for our 3-year-old Princess and not quite 2-year-old Curly. Yeah, then the train bug hit.

First, we just got a couple of cars. Okay, no big deal, we'll make the track a little longer, add a couple more bends. Soon, this train that was supposed to go around the Christmas tree took up the whole living room! I swear we bought 10 cars for it off eBay within a week! Of course, I panicked...we were supposed to have dinner at our house Christmas Eve. We were having company. We were opening presents. How could we do this with a monsterous train taking up our whole living room and dining area? Hubby has a light bulb go off over his head (I swear I saw it). "Let's put the train in the basement in the kids' toyroom!"


Next trip was not to the hobby store, but the orange box store. He came home with plywood and 2x4's. He was now going to build a table for this train that was supposed to go around the Christmas tree. And, of course, it's not a regular size table; we took down walls and opened up into another section of our basement. The kids now play under the table. I'm thinking curtains around the table and they've got the biggest tent/fort ever!

Back to the eBay...Hubby now comes home from work, gives his perfunctory kiss and heads to the basement to the computer. He keeps telling me he needs to get away from the thing. He keeps finding things to add to our ever growing watch list. He'll tell me he's just watching it to see where the price goes. Next thing I know, we're buying it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm having fun, too. My thing is not the eBay, it's building little houses and trees and shrubs and mountains and rivers. He thinks I've gone over the edge with that. Well, I just want the over-size, 'round the Christmas tree train to have a nice view while it goes perpectually around in a circle.

How do you know you are addicted? When you keep tabs of your watch list on your cell phone. When you purchase about 10 items a day that you didn't really need. I think it's fun to watch Hubby as he clicks "refresh" a million times in one minute to make sure we'll win the item.

It's amazing to think that one small, simple thing could bring back childhood memories. Hubby had a train set while he was growing up and I used to pick wild blueberries and raspberries by the tracks behind my house. Are we really trying to recreate that for our precious ones, or are we trying to bring back something from our own memories?