Friday, June 29, 2012

That Kid is kind of an A-hole

Well, I had written a post chronicling the mad adventure of my last move, but took it down because it was far too confusing. Bottom line, I live with my inlaws until September.  We have our niece and nephew staying with us, I think they are 6 and 3 respectively.  They have been a lot of fun.  It been great getting to know them.  They are a little loud and like to run around and are very busy.  I don't know when excatly I went from being a mom of small, busy, loud little kids to where I am now.   I really didn't realize it until the end of a ten hour shift when I remarked that everyone under 6 is an a hole.  Ya, I said that.  And in front of my mother in law who has loved and pretend enjoyed my children always.  I was tired, I had just gotten off work, I was teething.  Just choose your own excuse.  They hadn't really done anything that any other little kid would have done. They were just being a little rowdy.
There are those who say I lack a filter.  Ya know the thing that keeps you from saying something socialy wrong.  I think they are a-holes too. 

So I am living in an old west stand off:  Then hands off mom vs. Grandma.  I have kinda really enjoyed the experience.  I have watched her work like a ten year old litlle league kid would watch Pete Rose.  She is the master and I am her thorn in her side.  She only had 3 rules for me and Jared.  Make your bed, make sure all clothes go in the hampers and keep the bathroom clean.  This is where my Mom's rules differed.  She had one rule:  Make sure the house is clean and all the laundry is done and the windows are washed and the beds are made and everything else that I think of but don't actually tell you or show you how to do is done.   The kids have a chore chart, the simplest thing I have ever seen, and it rotates daily.  Breakfast and Dinner dishes are done right after dinner by whomever is assigned and that includes the kitchen.  Pick up upstairs and downstairs and wipe down upstairs bathroom and downstairs bathroom.   I have taught the children how to do all these things, I just have never been able to get them to do it.  "Ha," I thought, "this will never work.  Now she will see what I go through." There will be weeping and wailing and all that other stuff. 

I came into this whole set up late as I was in Salt Lake when the family moved.  So, the first night when dinner was done it was Alex's turn to clean.  She cleared her table then plopped in front of the tv.  Alice calmly, (this is the part that killed me) walked over and asked Alex to finish her chore.  Alex got up, worked unitl everyone else was visiting, then went back and plopped by the tv.  Alice immediately calmly asked Alex to finish her chore.  Alex got up and continued her job.  This is normally wherer i would snap and just finish it or let the disher rot, but Alice just kept re directing her til it was done.  I was amazed.  There was no crying, I was not cursing under my breath about having to do dishes after my long hard day, it was drama free chores.

Several days later when I had a day off I was fortunate enough to be party to the downstairs deep clean.  I thought I would help out since I was home.  At one point Alice told me she was going to run upstairs and i needed to pick up thirteen things before she got back.  "okay."  and I dutifly started looking for things.  The room was pretty cl...wait a minute!  That's my line and it's ten things!!  You're not pulling that business on me.  I wrote that business.  I am 10 years away from the senior breakfast at Denny's!  I will not pick up 13 things. Who do you think you are? Mary??  I waited for Alice to come back so I could hassle her but I got distracted by the challenge of finding thirteen things and I was worried Emily might be ahead, so I went on. 

I have a schedule.  I work for a few days then on my days off wander through the house picking up clothes until I have about 3 buckets and then I start the laundry process.  I sort them, put a load in, then get distracted.  About five hours later I remember I have something in the washer, I rewash it so it doesnt' smell then dry it and stick it in a bucket becuse usually I am onto something else.  The rest of the sorted clothes go back in the bucket until next laundry day.  On the days I actually need clothes,  I wake up and hour early to get my work clothes clean.  This is my schedule.  I'm so proud.  So the other day I was wandering around the house looking for the laundry to do and all the buckets were outside in a stack waiting to go to storage.  I went and found mary and asked her where the launry was.  "It's done."
"What does that mean?
"But where is the rest of it"
"It's done"
"but what about all the socks?"
"They are matched and put away." that's where they came from.
"but what about the socks with no match?"
"And the mending."
"Done. Where have you been?"
"Who did it?"
"We're done here."

There I sat, very alone and frightened.  I have had a pile of laundry in every home I have occupied.  It has followed us to 2 houses.  It was my friend. It was the thing that only I could conquer.  It was why they kept me around, or so I thought. 

"Mary, one more question? what am I supposed to do today?" 
"Whatever you want, I guess."

Wow.  I got out my violin and practiced for a while.  It's been a long time since I have had no hosework looming.  I wandered around the house and saw my calm little children reading and having fun and I had absolutely nothing about which to nag them.  That night after dinner, I watched as emily dutifully launched into her chores and finished them.  I was shocked.  It's been a month now and I follow my kids around and remind them about their chores.  No yelling, no guilt.  I feel like we have been attending rehab for housekeeping challenged people. 

I wan't my one month chip!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mother of the year

I got a letter. 
It was from one of my children's schools and it was congratulating my child on being chosen for a special program at school where they can go early and work on any number of subjects; math, reading, social studies.  Lucky me.  I saw right through their clever wording.  This is the educational equivelant of being told you have a great personality or a sweet spirit.  But, who am I to deny my special child any additional help the school might have to offer.  Plus a bus would pick her up and she would leave an hour early.  Win win. 
The first day she was supposed to attend, we set out to meet the bus.  I didn't have a schedule or anything, but how hard would it be to find.  Note to school.  Parents of underacheiving students rarely get notes in a timely manner.  This would include instuctions on how to catch the bus.  I drove until I saw a cluster of cars milling around our street.  I saw one woman jump out of her car in the middle of the street to flag down a bus.  I knew this had to be one of my people.  After some instruction from the bus driver on the danger of stoping in the middle of a street with busses coming and going, the bus moved on without our kids.  I finally gave up and drove my child and a few stragglers she knew to school. 

Later that day we received a note indicating that our child would benifit from additional at home reading.  Withoug hesitation, Jared and I jumped in the car and went on our Del Taco.  (It was Tuesday!)  After that we decided to go to the mall and check out the book store to see if there might be something we could use at home.   Like books.  We went to the childrens section and asked what might be a good choice for our child. 
"What level?"  He asked
"two? I said sheepishly."
"That's not a level"
"That's not a level either."
"Ya, I know, I said. I was just thingking aloud."
"What interests does your child have?

Since popcorn and sarcasm didn't seem appropriate I gave up and bought a couple of books that were shinney and moved on.

Jared and I found ourselves wandering around various sections of the bookstore.  I love going to the bookstore so I can harshly judge people and what kind of books they find interesting.  My husband always makes a b-line to the responsible type books on money and provident living and strenghtening himself spiritually.  I avoid those at all cost so I slyly hopped one isle over so I could watch people and mock them.  There were those on the diet book section who always ended up in the cook book section.  Mock Mock.  There were those sci fi guys who gravitate toward the how to get a date books.  Mock mock.  Eek.  I saw someone I knew so I ducked my head and pretended to be perusing the books where I was hiding.  As I fake perused, I started reading the titles of these books.  "How to be hot after hot flashes"  "How to drive him wild"  "Great sex after 50"  Sweet mother hubbard. Get me the heck out of here.  I grabbed my husband and we split.

We gave out the books and help as much as we can.  There seems to be improvement, but we continue to work together.

I remember having a similar problem with another one of my children.  We struggled and worked and I sometimes wondered if it helped at all.  The other day Alex came in with a certificate.  Congratulations Alexandra for being on the honor roll, or something to that effect.

"Well, Mom, what do you think?"
"I think they spelled Mary's name wrong"
"ya, i was just kidding honey.  Awesome!" 
Dude, I did not see that one coming.  Perhaps all that work was paying off!  Could there be hope for my little reader with the sweet spirit? I guess we'll just have to see.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I would like to preface this post by stating that I love my sweet husband more than anything else in the world.  He is the kindest man I have ever met and he would do anything for his family as long as it doesnt' inconvenience him in any way or make him work past 3 pm.

That having been said, recently since we moved into the "big house", I don't feel quite the financial freedom I had in previous years.  Our financial plan has always been the same.  Jared snatches the checks, pays all the bills and then we land on the bank like piranhas snatching the last little bit of money to spend on our own selfish needs. Jared has made an huge effort to keep us financially fit and to provide for our future, however, somewhere in his plan he forgot that his family has to eat and occasionally buy clothes.  Thus begins the battle.

In the past when the gatekeeper has told me I couldn't spend any money I would do one of two things.  I would pick up overtime hours or pick up another job.  Well, after my most recent 10 hour overtime stint as I sat huddled in the bathtub with scalding water pouring on my body to make the pain stop, I had what some call an epiphany.  Why do I have to work more?  I got out of the tub, took some pain pills and sat down with my husband.

Jared has worked from 7 to 3 since the day I met him.  There was a brief time in the nineties when he worked retail, but quickly when back to what he knows and loves.  He is always off by 3.  I wonder why he can't pick up a few hours?

"Hey, do you think you could pick up a few hours?"
"No.  I have too much to do on Mondays."
"Like what?"
"Laundry, dishes. stuff like that."
"Well, really that's something I can do with the kids.  We could really use the money if you would pick up some more hours."
"What we really need is to cut our spending more."
"Well, I have cut a lot of spending, we just could use a little more money and if you can do that, it would really help our family.
"I'll see, I need to talk to my boss."

In Jared speak, that means no.  I was mad.  Mad and still in pain.  I have just rearranged my schedule so I am home with the kids when they get home from school.  I can't work more. 

I went along with my life all pissed off until Sunday night.  I played piano for the Priesthood preview.  I sat playing looking at the people as they wandered in, and then I saw him.  The man who was going to solve all my problems.  The bishop.  He is a smartly dressed man.  He has a beautifully dressed wife who is happy all the time.  They definitely understand the need for disposable income.  He would certainly empathise with my special needs and best of all, he would make Jared work more hours while praising me for my unwavering commitment to spending more time with our children.  Win win. 

I promptly made an appointment with the bishop.  I was so excited. Jared reminded me that I had an appointment at 3 and that he would be glad to drive me there.  Somewhere deep inside, i know he had a feeling I was going to throw him under the bus so he figured he should be in there to minimize the damage.   I was given an incorrect time so I was a half hour early.  It was OK.  I found an Ensign to read but as I began to read, there seemed to be a disturbing trend.  All the articles were on provident living,  budgets, living within your means.  I was amazed and touched by the stories I was reading about people going through the same things I was.  I know that Jared was reading some of the same things.  It was a very reverent enjoyable time.  What beautiful and timely message.  I still planned to throw him under the bus, but I had pure intentions.

I went into the bishop and layed it all out on the table about how hard I was working and that I never get any money and that Jared could work more but he wouldn't because he is bad, and can he fix it. 

"I would love to help."  he said.  "let 's bring Jared in and talk about your concerns." 
Yippee!!! I was so excited.  Someone who Jared truly respected and slightly feared was going to command him to work longer.  I was free.

Jared came in and sat down looking frightened.
 The bishop started out with pleasantries and shared how many couples find themselves in the same spot.  Then he uttered one of the worst sentences I had ever heard.
"Well I happen to be an accountant by trade." My blood ran cold.  I knew at that very moment there would be no tire tracks on my husband that night.
How could I have missed that!  An accountant?!  Somehow I knew that my future would involve the 2 things I despise the most.  A ledger and discipline.  Foul word. 
I tried to backtrack and remove all the buzz words that tend to lead accountants to do the evil things they do, but it was too late.  With a gleam in his eyes he presented us with a work sheet. 
"Have you ever done a budget?"
He then uttered what I believe was the second worst sentence I had ever heard. 
"When I do my annual budget..."  Yikes.  I'm in trouble.There was a moment when I thought I still might have a shot at getting Jared to pick up some extra work when the bishop said:

"And Jared, you may want to explore some options where you may get the chance to increase revenue" 
Well, sadly Jared is not a wordsmith.  I saw him perk up and say "Sure, I can do that, I just can't work any more hours than I do now."

Our poor bishop look so confused, but I assured him we would talk about it.

So here I sit nursing a gigantic Carma bite out of my backside.  I should have known better to use a church leader to manipulate my husband.  We live and learn.

I have to go now to gather all the receipts from the car and my purse.  Wish me luck, and please send coke money!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  You are loved.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


Ok, so we all knew this day was coming. 

A little while back Emily got glasses.  For a few months things went really well and the glasses made it to school in one piece.  Sure, I got the occasional call from school that she had forgotten her glasses, but for the most part she was responsible.  Well, a few days ago I came home from work...oh ya, I went back to work, and I found her glasses on the table broken in two.  Everyone was asleep so I couldn't get the total BS story til in the morning.  The story is that Mary was tormenting Emily to the point that she had an incredible hulk moment and while going "grrrrrr" the glasses broke in two. 

I remained calm, after all, I am the new and improved mom that knows just how to deal with these situations.  I explained to Emily that glasses cost money.  I told her how much money I made an hour and how many hours I had to stay away from my kids to pay for a new pair of glasses.  I also threw in the obligatory, "this makes Heavenly Father sad" part just to cover all the bases.  I told her that her dad and I had decided that she needed to pay for the new glasses by pulling all the weeds in the back yard and by helping Grandma with a project. I rocked!  I proudly told everyone how well I had handled this and what a great lesson it was for Emily.   Every day I have been reminding her that she had to earn the money by Friday so we could get her new glasses.  I had it all figured out...or so I thought.

I came home today and Emily and her bike were gone.  I asked the girls where she was and they said she was at Sister Hansen's house.
"She's pulling weeds."
"To pay for the glasses.  She has been going to the neighbors asking if she can work to earn money to buy glasses because her mom will have to work extra if she doesn't."

I ran through the house shouting all manner of foul words then I sent the Rollerblade patrol to do damage control.  It has taken a month to rehab our image since the St. Patricks day party.  Why can't we just be the normal family for once.  I'm keeping the lights off and the blinds pulled so the relief society doesn't show up with shoes and apples for the "poor family."

Well, I have to go so I can make a giant banner that reads "It was an object lesson!  I'm not a mean mom!!"
Just shoot me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Yesterday was an hysterical historic day in St. George.  We got a brand new cutting edge tiny airport in St. George.  Several months ago a quartet I play in was asked to provide background music for a few hours.  We were asked to start playing at 2:15 so I picked up Jared at 1:30 and we started what is supposed to be a twenty minute drive.  As we took the brand new exit to the airport we encountered something we really hadn't planned; a traffic jam.  After driving for a half hour and only going about five miles, I started to panic.  I called Misty, the leader of our group, who had left quite a bit earlier that we had, and she was only a few miles ahead of us.  She had made a few calls and found out that even the dignitaries were stuck in traffic.  Oops.  It turns out that Dieter Ukdorf, who gave the dedicatory prayer, flew in so he was there, but the rest of St. George was on the southern parkway watching the poor Nellis Jets circle for about an hour waiting for the flyby that was postponed.  It was that moment that I decided that if the group responsible for this oversight was also in charge of air safety, I would continue to fly out of Vegas. 

After we had been in traffic for about an hour, I saw the police coming up behind me with a couple of black Tahoes following behind.  A police escort!  Yes.  I was getting ready to dart out and join them when Jared shrieked and said "NO!"  He scared the heck out of me so I missed my window to move.
"If you start following them you will be arrested." 
"They won't know that we aren't supposed to be in the group."  I argued.
"We're in a mini van."

We finally got up to the airport and the event staff was directing people to a parking lot a mile away.  I opened my window and told them that I was a musician and was supposed to be playing now.
"You were supposed to be playing an hour ago."  He said, and directed us to the front before I could curse at him. 

We got in and set up and were ready to play.  We started playing as soon as the ribbon cutting was over and the crush of people was milling through the facility checking things out.  I enjoy playing background music, but it is a strange experience.  It's almost like you are transformed into a zoo animal.  People come right up to you and talk like you can't hear them.  We have little kids poking us and the obligatory "guest conductor" who thinks it's funny to come up and start leading us.  Ha ha.  Now GIT.  It was absolute chaos and then everyone went in mass to another area.  There were some people sitting behind us and I heard one woman say. "They're like the musicians on the Titanic, they just keep playing when everyone leaves."
I turned around while I was still playing and shot her the death ray and she looked so embarrassed.  They quickly fled.  The second round of patrons came in next.  A couple of other people thought it would be fun to ask us questions while we were playing.  Just in case any of you are tempted to do this...don't.  It is almost impossible to count and talk at the same time and if you turn your head to acknowledge, you invariably loose your place in the music.  We even had people kneel in front of us and behind for pictures.  I felt like one of the giraffes.

It was fun though to be a part of it. We played until about six and then took some time to look around.  There is nothing as beautiful as the scenery out there.  The airport is about a half mile away from our old house and it was the reason we had to move in the first place, but after seeing the tiny airport, I figured it was ultimately worth it so all the tiny passengers can get away when they need to.  I spent most of my life living out in that area.  On the ride home the scenery was breathtaking. The colors were so beautiful as the sun set.  It was worth going out there for the view alone.  It was amazing to see it from a different perspective and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Tonight was such a great night.  We took Emily to a stake meeting for all the little kids who are going to be baptized.  We got there a few minutes early and we able to sit back and people watch.  At some point I noticed a girl I had known since junior high.  She was known as my, well I don't know if it's referred to as arch rival or Nemesis, or arch Nemesis, but she was it.  You know the person at school who just drove you crazy.  Well I am older and more tolerant now.  I am sure after all these years I have moved on.
Of course she was in charge of the meeting.  She looked really really old and not at all the princess I remembered.  I felt good, sitting with my handsome husband and beautiful daughter and minimal wrinkles.  I was the queen...then it happened.  My phone went off.  Yes, folks.  We are the people whose phone goes off at church.  It wasn't the ringer, because I had set it to silent on the way in, it was the alarm we have that goes off every night at 7:00 to remind us to read our scriptures.  You know the alarm that goes on and on until you shut it off.  I couldn't find the phone.  I was fumbling around in horror trying to shut the darn thing off when my handsome husband stepped in. 
"You need to shut that off!"
No kidding.  I gave him the look.  So, not only was I humiliated in public, I was caught giving my husband the death ray in front of witnesses which included my bishop and his councilor who were sitting right in front of us.  I finally found it in the pocket of Emily's coat.  By that time everyone in the chapel was looking at the crazy lady frantically digging for the offensive item.  I will never scoff at that woman again.
I just thank heavens that I changed my ringer from "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osborne. 

Then the ultimate insult.  After the meeting, the Nemesis in question came up to me and said, "Hello, Lou.  I didn't realize you were in our ward."

Lou?  Really?  Isn't it the job of your arch rival to at least get your name right?  I was thinking of getting back together with my minions at the lair to plan our revenge when I remembered something.  I am 44 years old and my daughter is being baptized in March.  Time to grow up. 

I believe that is one of the seven commandments.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


And the nominees for best performance in a drama by a drama queen are:
Emily Heaton.

Mom:  Emily, please pick up all the clothes you left on the bathroom floor.

Emily:  Falls to the floor sobbing.  "I have to do everything!  I never get to play with my friends.  Everyone hates me."

Mom:  Makes an obscene gesture in her mind... and scene.

Emily Heaton.

Emily:  While eating dinner, coughs softly, checks to make sure everyone is watching, falls to the ground.  "I was choking!  No one helped me.  I could have died!!!"
And scene.

Emily Heaton.

Emily:  Stands gaping at the TV as an ASPCA commercial solicits funds to help save animals.  Starts to sob and runs to mom.
"Mom! you have to send them money or they are going to kill that dog!  I mean it.  Hurry!!!
And scene.

Emily Heaton.

Emily:  MOM!!!  You have to help me with my homework NOW or I will have to give Mrs. Pollock five tokens!  I think it is a coincidence that you don't help me.

Mom:   "Do you even know what coincidence means?"

Emily:  Sobbing, "No, because you wont help me with my homework."  Falls to the floor.
And Scene.

And the winner is?  Anyone who doesn't live here.  What a diva.