Monday, December 28, 2009
Might as well JUMP
So they saw another friend drive by, called him, he stopped, and he also had jumper cables ... but he couldn't get the SUV to start. He left them at the gas station. My son called me wondering what to do next, whether to call a tow truck or what ...
I was on my way home and just told them to wait it out. I would be there shortly. When I got there, I took at look at my son's battery (and decided it looked pretty rough and we just needed to get it started so we could make it to Firestone and have it replaced). I cleaned it off, we hooked it up, and we jumped his SUV. The boys followed me to Firestone where we left the vehicle.
So why am I in a good mood when my son's Ford is now in the shop and it's going to cost me some money?
1. My son needed me. I helped him.
2. He and his friend thought it was funny that I was the one to help them.
3. I know how to jump a car.
4. My son knows how to jump a car.
5. I actually have jumped two cars in the past month.
6. I learned a lesson. Time to buy my son his own set of jumper cables.
7. Better car trouble now than when he leaves for college next week.
8. I feel empowered when I do things on my own.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
What are other things that are helpful for single mom homeowners to have and/or know about?
1. Air filters for your heat/air system. These should be changed about 4 times per year.
2. Someone to do your yard/rake your leaves. It's worth it.
3. Extension cords.
4. Hammer & nails.
5. Deadbolt locks on all your doors.
6. Extra batteries and a flashlight.
8. Jumper cables.
9. "No Soliciting" signs at your front door.
10. A friend who knows how to fix things. That would really help.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
My Top 10 Lists
1. You don’t know my life.
2. I’m thinking about getting a tattoo.
3. Change the channel.
4. What’s for dinner?
5. I hate you.
6. Leave me alone.
7. Do I have to go?
8. I’m busy.
9. Something’s wrong with my phone.
10. I’m spending the night at dad’s.
Top 10 Things I Like to Hear From My Children
1. Let’s go to the Sonic.
2. Listen to this, mom.
3. I love you.
4. Where are you?
5. Read this for me.
6. I need your help.
7. Let’s watch a movie.
8. Name your Top 10 favorite (Fill in the blank … it’s a game we play)
9. I can’t wait for Christmas.
10. Why do you keep calling? Don’t worry. I’m fine.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
So when I blog about him, it may be rarely … But it’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because I will respect his wishes to a point. At the same time, he’s part of my life and I’m blogging about my life as a single mom so there you have it.
I probably understand him better than he thinks I do. I understand his feelings of frustration when I remind him one too many times to “get the oil changed in his car” and many, many, many other things. I love to remind him to do stuff. I can’t help myself for some reason to keep reminding him of the things that I think he needs to do. He also can’t help but take an attitude with me when I keep doing it. My mom still reminds me of things over and over again. What is it with us? When someone asks me too many questions, I start feeling like I can’t breathe … and I just want to run for cover. So, I know his frustration with me.
I also understand his need to move away from home again. He’s been living at home for several months, and he’s ready to move on and live with friends in his own place. He thinks I would rather have him home, a little more under my control, and maybe he’s right. It’s hard to let go. However, kids need to grow up … learn to get fend for themselves, do their own laundry and find their own way. I understand that, I do, in a real sense, and I want that for him because he wants it. But I’m his mom and I worry so much. Unless you are parent, you can never understand the burden of worry that takes over your life when you have children.
When he was away at school last year, he took care of himself and he was just fine. He can survive without me. What happens to me when I’m around my mom, and to him when he’s around me, is that we resort to letting our moms take care of us because we know that’s the place where they are most comfortable.
He’s moving away soon, and I’ve noticed he’s been in a really good mood, and I’ve just been feeling more and more anxious and upset. He’s having no trouble letting go, and I’m holding on obsessively.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I am a Snooze Button
She wants to get up when I get up so she can take a shower, finish some homework, get to school early or whatever (now she wants to get up but actually getting up is a different story ... The reality is that she can actually sleep a little later because I have to be at work almost an hour earlier than she needs to be at school but nonetheless … )
So, each morning, at 6:30 a.m. sharp … I either call her on her cell phone or go downstairs and wake her up personally. Usually, I have to hit the stairs because somehow, for some reason, the child doesn’t ever hear her phone when it happens to be me calling. And then, without fail, she ways, “Wake me up in 15 minutes …”
So I obey her and dutifully watch the clock while putting on my makeup, and then I trudge downstairs again at the appropriate time and tell her “it’s been 15 minutes.” What do you think she says then? You got it. “Wake me up at 7.” And, because I’ve become a mindless, compliant robotic idiot at this point … I do what I am told.
At 7, when I am finally awake and starting to get annoyed but, of course, still obedient and still making the trip as a human alarm clock, she says, “Wake me up when you leave.”
And finally, for the thousandth time, the final alarm goes off … “I’m leaving!” and I walk out the door.
Why do I do this? I can’t explain it. I guess it’s because I love her, and if I’m meeting one little need in her life ... Even though it’s completely unfair to me and I’m not sure if it’s even appreciated ... I will just continue to do it. There will come a day, not very far from now, where she won’t live in my home and won’t need me as much and maybe, just a little bit, I will miss the fact that she did need me every morning these past few years.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Money Woes and Nos
Now, the point of this blog is that after the divorce, I had to rethink "money." I've looked for ways to save ... eat out less often, buy generic brands (usually you can save $2 per item on things like dishwater detergent ... I never knew that before), bought fewer new clothes, and just actually think about money more often. It's sad that at my age, 46, I'm just now starting to rethink my spending habits. I was spoiled because I had a good job (as did my ex) and we just didn't worry about money. Let me tell you ... that's not a good thing. It should always be in the back of your mind.
Although my kids are now older, they have finally had to hear the word "no" from me when it comes to spending. They both had to get part-time jobs to help with their spending habits, but that is a good thing. I hope they learn before I did how to save before you spend, don't buy what you don't need, and to wear that sweater one more season.
Now, time to think about paying for college for two!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Now, the first part didn't work. I spend way more money on Bingo gifts than I did when we just drew names. My mom probably spends hundreds of dollars because she makes sure everyone has gifts in Bingo particular to their likes and needs. She always has a movie she knows I want or stuff from Bath & Body Works (I love that stuff!) and CDs for my kids and whatever for my brothers.
However, the second part worked like a charm. Christmas Bingo is a tradition in my family like no other. We have to do it; everyone loves it; and I know of others who have heard about our tradition and have taken it on as their own. My kids probably actually like Bingo better than opening gifts on Christmas morning. It's just more fun ... it's like shopping for free. And, there's so much stuff you don't want or need. It's an extravagance, but sometimes you just need that.
My stepdad is so funny. He always brings a big sack to carry all his loot home. He's like Santa in reverse. My mom is the Bingo caller. Sometimes we take turns. Also, sometimes my mom asks trivia questions to break up the "Bingo." However, I personally hate that. She doesn't ask simple trivia questions like "Who is the current American Idol champ?" or "Angelina Jolie is in a long-term partnership with what famous actor?" I like pop culture trivia. No, she caters to the boys. And her trivia is stuff like "Who was named the MVP in Super Bowl V?" Who knows that stuff? I will tell you who ... my brothers! It's irritating. I always lose in her trivia contests. So mom, if you ever read this, give me a break and give me some pop culture triva so I can win!
If you are ever looking for a fun, new tradition to begin with your family ... try Christmas Bingo. It's great for all ages. And not hard to learn. lol
Thursday, December 3, 2009
A Life of Mediocrity
Her desires make me want to laugh and cry at the same time. She reminds me so much of myself at her age. I would write in my diary that I didn't want to live the life of my stay-at-home mother, that I wouldn't be satisfied with just being, just taking care of kids and a husband, spending my days reading cookbooks, ordering from an Avon catalog and gossiping with those who would listen. I wanted to move away, and back in the day, I wanted to be a flight attendant, and then later, a journalist. My daughter wants to be a rock and roll journalist (and really, she's an awesome writer, and I believe, her dream is more than just a dream, it is attainable for someone like her ... someone with real talent and drive).
Now, I'm a realist and it's hard to explain to my beautiful daughter, the dreamer, that sometimes life just happens and you make the best of things and you learn to live and love the life you have, not the life you once desired. Things don't always turn out the way we planned, but that doesn't mean it's not good. We can't judge other people's choices, and we all make choices that are the best for us. My mom actually followed her heart's desire as she wanted to be a mom and a wife ... I just didn't know that. And, she was ... and is ... a good mom. What I wanted changed, and it is still changing.
My desire for my daughter is a life fulfilled and, of course, not a life of mediocrity.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Leaves and more leaves
Those days are over. Now my aching back and the dozens of bags of leaves that line my driveway every single week are proof that the leaves don't rake or bag themselves. I've recruited my brother and even paid him, but it doesn't stop the leaves. My son has helped. Even my daughter has bagged leaves. Still they come.
Last week, my brother brought his super duper leaf blower to my house (mine died this year of course) and blew the leaves into amazingly neat piles. There is actually a method and a science to leaf blowing. Now the piles await. No one wants to bag leaves.
The point here is that this is probably the absolutely the one and only thing I miss about being married. Not having to worry about those stupid leaves. I do miss that.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
My Stepdad Has Cancer?
But today, I just want to say that he has lung cancer. About eight weeks after he had open heart surgery, he had lung surgery to remove a cancerous portion of his lung. It looks good like they may have gotten it all, but now he is suffering in severe pain because of a collapsed lung, an air bubble and other complications. He also is going through chemo and radiation. I haven't seen him in several months, and I remember the last time I saw him before his surgery. He was out walking around his neighborhood ... shirtless and tanned with a wide-brimmed hat on ... looking healthy and happy, and he said he was ready. He just wanted that cancer "out." I know he is now pale, sickly and has lost 45 pounds. I know he is in pain and suffering and it will be hard at Thanksgiving to see him and not worry. However, he is strong. I am anxious for one year from now when this is behind him and he is healthy and telling this story to people and we're rolling on the floor because he's actually making it hilarious.
Monday, November 2, 2009
My Daughter Doesn't Listen To Me
Now, I've never, not once, advised my daughter to be a journalism major, but that is exactly what she wants to do. She's on the school newspaper staff this year during her junior year. She kind of has a plan for her life. She has a deep love, and an unbelieveable knowledge of music far and wide from Dylan to Adam Lambert ... she knows about them all. It's really amazing and I am not just saying that, she really has a gift. She also is a talented writer, really creative. Her dream is to combine both of her loves and work, some day, for Rolling Stone magazine .... or something like that. She has a plan. She's looking for the right college with the right program and the right internship. No, I'm not helping her. She's on her own because it's really not my dream for her, it's her dream for her.
When she first joined the newspaper staff, I thought she should join the yearbook staff. No. When she joined the newspaper staff (first year), she told me she wanted to ask her teacher if she could have a music column (not many, if any, students get a column of their own) and I gave her my really brilliant motherly advice, "Don't rock the boat. Do as your told. Work hard and good things will come your way. Blah blah blah." Well, guess what. She didn't listen to me. She went straight to her teacher and told her what she wanted to do, pitched her column idea ... and now she has a column all her own called "For the Record" about classic rock musicians. And it's good.
I should know that you never get anywhere in this world by playing it safe. The most successful people take chances. They put themselves out there. They usually are risk takers. I think she's going to do just fine.
Read her column "For the Record" at http://www.tigernewspaper.net/.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Where is the best Margarita?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Cash for Clunkers
Monday, July 27, 2009
American Idol Tour Review
Monday, April 20, 2009
My First Blog
My name is Kelly. I am a single mom with two teenagers. I have a full-time job, and a home to maintain. I’m busy. I have two brothers who are both married and live in the same town as I do. I have a mother who makes me laugh with her addiction to QVC and all things Republican. I have a stepfather who can "spin a yarn" like no other. He has a story for every occasion and the great part about it is that they are all true. He's been in bar fights from Florida to California and worked in the prison system in California. He's always been the tough guy.
With this blog, I am going to comment on things about my life that either make me happy, make me think or make me laugh. Maybe it's my kids (who are both hilarious), my friends (not as hilarious), my family (again, hilarious) or something in the news (you gotta laugh or you will cry). Maybe it's my struggles with decluttering my life or maybe it's my daughter's love of music or my son's love of sports. Whatever it is, maybe you can find something in your life you can share with me. Let's laugh (or maybe just vent) together.