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Archive for the ‘Stuff About Just Me’ Category

poppies

I’m not really sure how things are going with the kids other than that they seem to be adjusting pretty well. Red’s hand washing has gotten alot better. She still pulls some quirky things, like not wanting to touch a library book after her bath, or open the car door. She has stopped washing her hands every ten minutes and has not woken me up in the middle of the night either (to wash her hands).

I know that deep inside, Red  must have some sort of deep 8 year old conflict between loyalty towards her dad and loyalty for J. She adores them both and I only hope she never feels guilt for enjoying the man who now lives with us.  I suspect that some of the extreme behavior lately has stemmed from J’s return and the slight changes. Even if they are good, I know it causes some anxiety, just because it is “change”.

Fortunately, we talk alot. There is alot of nurturing going on between all of us and J is so great to not make a major slam into the household. He’s spent some of the last two weeks up north cleaning out his apartment and getting affairs in order after being gone for six months. So it has given the girls some time with him here, but also still, with me, alone…with him gone.

I am grateful that he kept his Monday night gig that is two hours north. He is happy to be visiting with his mom and sister and her family, make extra money, as well as give us some balance back here with the girls. It’s a way to ease into things here.

In terms of changes, they are small-ish, other than the big one, where the man is home. He has clothes here and music equiptment and brought his new dvd player to replace our crappy one. But other than the keyboard in my bedroom and the duct tape chair, no changes have been made in the house.

Except that J is here most of the week. Which apparently, she loves. I see no weirdness when they are together. It is AWESOME.

And as for Blue, she just goes with the flow. 

I’ve been cranking through projects with J being gone right now up North. I finished my last commission that came in since my last show. It’s up at the top of the post here.  I am nearly done with the thirteen (random number) paintings that go up in a large group show in three weeks. I’m finally getting homeowner’s insurance on Thursday. I’ve got lists and lists of things to do for and with J, here around the house.

But here I sit browsing Hulu.com.

And I am in awe at all that is on there.

Who knew that you can watch Silver Spoons on the internet? And The Partridge Family?

Anyway, I am jumping around here, and am going right into conversations we had in our household this past week:

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Red: (to me) Mommy, when I grow up will I have medium sized boobies like you?

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Blue: (upon learning that I was getting my hair cut) You should make it long so you can braid it like Laura Ingalls Wilder. That way you can never grow up, like her.

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Red: (screaming) I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS! Apparently, the 2nd grade teacher made an announcement in class about Swine Flu.  Unfortunately, someone also told her that a baby died. Over the course of the last few weeks, she has become completely compulsive about washing her hands and being clean. So badly that I am considering taking her to the doctor who can explain to her about antibodies and how Swine Flu is not gonna be touching her if she waits more than ten minutes to wash her hands.  It got so bad last week, she woke me up at 4am to wash her hands. She wont touch things like her clothes or doors or even her stuffed animals unless she washes her hands after. This is a big problem and I learned she isnt doing it at school and I decided it will likely go away by the time school is out and we we are at the beach every day rolling around in seaweed and sand and catching sealife in the nets. Until then, I am ignoring it and not responding or giving it attention because it seems to bring the anxiety level up in her. It is so so sad to see. I realize my anxiety over her behavior is making her more stressed out. So I have to cool it. (update, this appears to be resolved!)

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Me: I’m a rockin’ girlfriend, aren’t I?

J: Yes, you are. 

Me: I’m a rockin’ girlfriend because I bought you some lube to take with you on your trip this winter.

J: (laughing) Yes, you did.

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…that my man has no problem sleeping in a very girlie bed.

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…that my kids are the ones who pointed it out.

…that eventually my girls will just go to bed when I tell them to. Not three callbacks later and two visits down the stairs.

…that I am ready for the kids to be out of school so we have more quality time together and not rushed after school activities, homework and dinner.

…that I will be ready for school to start again in the Fall.

I realize that when I want a grilled cheese sandwich, I should just have one.

Same goes for chocolate. Speaking of…I bought J some malt balls at the market today and before he got home, I ate them.

Tomorrow J will be an official resident of Massachusetts. He’s finalizing his car insurance, registering his car and getting new plates and changing his driver’s license.

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I went to my lady doctor a few weeks ago for my six month follow up after being cleared from a few years of pretty bad abnormal tests. 

Last summer, I had gone in to meet with the surgeon because we were at that point and he got “down there” and took a look and said, “you know, we still have to send this test to the lab, but I see absolutely nothing.”

Turns out, it had gone away on it’s own…well, not completely on it’s own, but I had recently been relieved of stress and had been diligently taking my vitamins.

So, I went in for my second six month in the clear check up and I have to say I worry…even though I haven’t been under stress, I got sick alot this winter and I worry that missing J and the wear and tear on me from the winter this year, maybe brought the damn thing back.

I asked a funny question to my gynocologist. “Um, I have this small lump on my head, could you see what you see and tell me what you think?”

In a way, it was good. I felt I could suddenly divert her attention to the fact that I hadn’t waxed or shaved in a few weeks…neither “down there” or my legs. There was no way to explain that I was saving it up so I could wax before J came home.  

Yeah people. I think ahead.

The lump on my head appeared in January after  had been sick. When I went to visit him in February on the second island, I mentioned it to him one day and he goes, “Yeah, last night I felt it when you were falling asleep and I was playing with your hair, but I wasn’t going to say anthing.” (he rubs my head sometimes if I can’t sleep, it feels goooooood)

So my gynecologist takes a look and says, “oh, that’s just a cyst, it’s benign. A dermatologist can take that off for you if it’s bothering you.

BOTHERING ME? NOOOOO a sudden lump on my head DOESN’T BOTHER ME, it FREAKS THE HELL OUT OF ME!!!!! (is what I thought in my head and wanted to scream)

Anyway, J felt it the other night and looked at it and thought it got bigger.

So now, I am going to call the doc and see what can be done. The one thing is that I worry they will have to shave the area around it and there is no frrrrr-ucking way I am going to be doing that right now, as Summer is almost here and I can finally get out of the blue jeans and frumpy winter clothing and actually GO OUT of the house.

But then, as J said, “what does a gynecologist know about a bump on your head? How does she know it’s benign without testing it herself? She’s a damn gynecologist!!!”

So I guess this week, I’ll be calling the doc.

As a side note, this weekend has been nuts with events with the kids and J starting his Spring/Summer/Fall gig last night. It was a full house of past supporters and friends, which was really touching and inspiring and awesome. When I can breathe, I will write more about it. Tomorrow he doesn’t work, the girls are with their dad tonight and tomorrow, so the day will be spent in bed. (to be utterly honest).

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Stocking up

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Back in the day when our id’s were checked less thoroughly and Costco and BJ’s (I can’t say that without laughing) weren’t yet mainstream in our city, there was Fedco. My grandpa was somehow a member, I think because of his business, and he would let my mom borrow his membership card (remember, his picture was on it, and he was a balding six foot elderly man and my mother was a 5 foot four middle aged blonde woman, but she always got herself in the door of Fedco).

We were thrilled, as kids, to hear that Mom was making a trip to Fedco, because a) we knew it didn’t carry health food and whole grains and b) we knew in moments of weakness, she would bring home barrels of generic “Cheetos”  that we could eat until she came to her senses a week later and toss the last three pounds of it in the trash.

I am a member of Costco and have been for about four years. Now, I love Costco for many reasons, but there are three reasons I hate it. a) it takes me 30 minutes to drive there. I live on an island of sorts. My mentality now, after four years, is to see how long I can go without driving across that bridge, off island. b) they don’t take credit cards. I always pay off my credit card at the end of the month. But I cannot bring myself to drop $200 cash direct from my checking account, in one morning. c) they open at ten. I am the type to get somewhere at 9am and get my shopping done by 9:30 and be home for the rest of the day. I hate sitting outside in the parking lot waiting for the castle gates to open and feeling like the day will be half gone by the time I get home.

I was thinking about stocking up on things. Some things I find worth it, others, I don’t. At Costco, I cringe to think that I won’t have space to store the 52 rolls of Scott tissue, when one of my dreams in life is to never ever ever run out of toilet paper.  And the flats of croissants. Do you know how well croissants keep in a ziplock in the freezer? Yes. Croissants at our fingertips, at any time of day. Take out and defrost and heat for five minutes in the oven and ya feel like you’re in Paris. And of course, opening up that ten pound bag of M&Ms in the car on the way home from Costco and stuffing handfuls in my mouth while I blast my new Taylor Swift cd…well, that is just pricelss.

But, you see, the last year or so, I have just been ending up at Target for my stocking up. It is only fifteen minutes away. I get 15 rolls of toilet paper instead of 52.  I can get a mongo double pack of ketchup, because that appears to be the only thing resembling vegetables/fruit in our house, lately. And I can get a small bag of M&Ms at the checkout…all paid with credit card.

It occurred to me the other day, when I was in an old fashioned general store type place in our town, that Target is just that. A HUGE general store.

I was reading Little House on the Prairie the other day to the girls and Laura and Mary each got a little sugar cake for Christmas. I pointed to the illustration and said to the girls, “Look, this is likely the only sugar they had FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!!!!”  The girls gasped, for I know they were thinking about their treat bags hanging on the back side of the laundry room door (filled with Easter and Valentine candy, ready to be thrown out or eaten by me before the next holiday). 

I showed the girls the illustration of the penny  Laura and Mary got in the toe of their Christmas stockings. “See this? This bought them a week’s worth of groceries!”

The girls cringed, knowing their wallets were filled with dollars earned from polishing my copper and silver, folding laundry, or losing a tooth. They knew they intended to use their money on sharks teeth necklaces and Polly Pockets, not potatoes and cornmeal.

At any rate, this is just randomness about warehouse stores and stocking up. Random. Does anyone else remember Fedco? It was in Los Angeles. Big vats of  “Cheetos”. Seriously, does it get better than that? I am curious how many people shop warehouses and actually feel they are saving money. And also wondering if what they buy ever goes to waste. Or is there something majorly awesome about going other than “Cheetos” stuck in your teeth for a lifetime?

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On Mama’s Day, I woke up at 6am and gathered my clothes and started to sneak out my bedroom door. You see, I’ve been training the girls to not leave their room until the first number on the clock read “7”.

So, it being 6, I figured I could get a shower, have some coffee, and maybe get some work done in my studio before the girls came down to start the day.

But then I realized their bedroom door was open and their room was empty. I heard voices downstairs in the kitchen and thought “I’M SUPPOSED TO STILL BE ASLEEP!” and I dove back into bed.

I browsed the internet on my iphone under the covers until I heard the girls coming back upstairs. Sure enough, they plowed into my room yelling “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!”  

Red carried the largest tray I own (which is twice the size of a normal tray) filled with yesterday’s coffee cake, water, juice, straws, and a very full bowl of milk with what seemed to be half a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  Apparently, that had been sitting around for a few minutes…or perhaps twenty.

Soggy cereal. Mmmmmhmmmm. Oh, what we’ll do for our kids. (even gag down soaked cereal)

They were beaming and I was thrilled at their independence (and more thrilled when I went downstairs later to find that the entire kitchen was clean!) and the joy they took in celebrating a day for their mum.  We spent an hour reading and talking and snuggling in my bed. 

I am truly blessed by these little ones. No matter how big they get, they will always be the little ones.

Soon, they were off to play in their room and I went downstairs to shower and have my coffee. 

They took off for Sunday School with my mother (because I refuse to step into church, but they like to go sometimes) and J and I had a coffee date on Skype.

Then I went to the market and with the needed groceries, stocked up on candy bars for the day. A Twix. 1000 Grand. A mongo Peppermint Patty.

I called my stepmom.

I swept the kitchen floor.

The girls came home and my mom came in and I gave her the gift my sister and I had for her…she hung out for a while (refused to go out to Mother’s Day brunch, because as usual, she is on a diet and “isn’t eating anything”) 

The girls and I went outside and rode scooters and jump roped (they did, I sat on my ass on the stoop).

Their dad came at 3 to pick them up for their Sunday night overnight. He gave me a portrait of the girls in a frame.  

I ate chili con queso and guacamole with chips. I got heartburn. Happy Mother’s Day to me!!!!

I did some work.

J called as it was getting dark here and he was in bed, since he’s six hours ahead.

We talked about how in a week he’ll be on a plane home.

And then we just sat there and looked at each other.

“Show me your dimples,” I said.

The next thing I knew, he’d moved his computer so that the video cam was pointing directly as his bare chest.

“Show me your DIMPLES!” I repeated.

His face appeared on screen again and he smiled, showing his dimples.

And then he laughed, “I thought you said “nipples”!

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Cleanliness

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Am I the only person on this earth who manages to always buy a cleaning product where the spray part has gone defunct?

Am I doing something wrong?

My girls had play dates today, meaning, each of them had a friend come over after school. I am ashamed to say that due to our schedules and need for downtime after school most days, we rarely have play dates. The last one we had was in March when I was helping out a friend. And I resented it because it was one of the few days while J was home and I wanted us to all be together by ourselves. Not with play dates.

Anyway, today, these two girls came over. Beforehand, I drove up the street to pick up Red’s friends’ American Girl doll from her house, because they were going to have a “party”. I stopped in to visit with her mother, who is a friend, but I had never been inside the house.

Am I horrible to say that it was a horrible disaster? It smelled and the rugs, which were on top of gorgeous wood floors, were stained and disgusting. Dishes from breakfast were still on the table (and I arrived at 1:30pm). Am I a snob and do I have OCD if I do the dishes after every meal?  

Later, we dropped off Blue’s friend to her house. I am a horrible person, but when they showed me their pool, which was above ground and seemed to have been built in the sixties, rusted out posts and the fence falling down, I silently declined their offer in my head to come swim this summer. I knew very well, there was no way in hell we’d be doing that. The couch sitting poolside also was a slight turnoff. My girls thought it was cool, a couch out in the yard. But there was no way in hell they were going to be sitting on it.

I love these two friends, but I just can’t hang out in their houses. I just can’t. (or swim in their pools)

I don’t clean my house THAT often. But I keep it picked up. Sometimes it’s weeks before I do a full cleaning and I tend to wash my windows only once a year or so, depending on how well the rain does the job in between. But if the dust bunnies are walking, I sweep. A stain on the rug, I clean it, or get rid of the rug. If there is poop in the toilet, it gets flushed. (seriously). 

I definitely have standards. My kids take a bath every day. I take one, sometimes two showers. I am curious to know how many people out there, really don’t give their kids a bath after they’ve been at school for six hours with 400 other children, go to possible study group and then gymnastics and then their kids don’t take a shower before climbing in to bed. It happens more often than I realized.  

When I was a kid, we always took baths at the end of the day. It wasn’t until college that I started taking a shower in the morning and at night. Mainly because I blew dried my hair before leaving the house for classes and the warm shower when I woke up, felt good. But something that is a MUST for me, is that I have to shower at the end of the day. Often it may be around 6 or 7. Sometimes right before I crawl into bed. But the end of the day, I have to, I must be clean before going in between my sheets and lying there for 6-8 hours (if I am lucky). Otherwise, I’d be lying in my own filth.

I dated someone once, for a short time. It ended shortly after I realized he only took a shower every few days.

I.Just.Could.Not.Stand.It.

Thankfully, J showers as much as I do. He showers in the morning. He rinses off after, um, s-e-x (before we go somewhere, because GOD forbid someone smells it on us!). After gigging at night, we stand over a platter of cheese and crackers in our underwear, drinking fizzy water and catching up. And then we break for a shower. He finally has stopped apologizing for wanting to take a shower before bed, when he realized, I always do the same.

When it comes to us living together, I think we will be just fine. J is incredibly organized at home. And when he is here, he keeps incredibly tidy, organizes things for me, does dishes…at his place up north, it was the same and his apartments down in the islands, remarkably neat for a guy living on his own. 

His car, is another matter. It’s gotten better. But I laugh to think about the first time I ever got in his car. He wasn’t prepared for it, obviously, and neither was I. After apologizing profusely for a long long time, he threw about three feet of water bottles, sheet music, music electronics, cables and sound wires, microphones, donut bags and coffee cups…you name it, it was in there. 

Yeah, we’re all entitled to have a mess, in some place, right?

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I came out okay on taxes this year, merely because I didn’t make alot of money and I spent a bundle on this Apple MacBook Pro.

Sad, huh?

I love my Apple MacBook Pro. I love it more than ALMOST everything in my house, almost more than my iphone, which comes in second over my butter dish and handmade mattress and seasonal ocean view.

And if you don’t include people in my house. I love people in my house more than I love my Macbook Pro. But I sure do love my Macbook Pro.

Worth-every-penny.

A few years ago, when I first started filing individually again after my divorce, I overpaid my estimates. By four thousand dollars. My tax guy, who I think is great, just left it and rolled it over the next year.

Well, this year, I realized something and sent him an email.

“May I have whatever money is leftover please so I can put it in my CD?” 

So, instead of rolling it over again, I got about three thousand dollars back. Mentally, I am calculating what I will need next year, but grateful to have the refund in my own control.

So, I know two people now who had boob jobs.

One is a realtor.
The other is a yoga instructor.

Neither are my friends, but I know them.

Apparently, they wrote off their boobs jobs for “business expenses” because they say it helped bring in more business.

Seriously.

And to think, although I am painting from photos I took on my trips to the islands to visit J, my tax guy laughed when I asked, “can I write part of this trip off as a business expense?”

Seriously. I am cranking out 15 new paintings from this one island trip. And ten more in the works from the other trip. And these ladies WROTE OFF THEIR BOOB JOBS.

I can’t figure out why my tax guy laughed when I asked if I could write off some of my trip expenses?

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