Grid Iron Blood Shed

Posted On August 31, 2009

Filed under family, life

Comments Dropped 4 responses

This past weekend was the annual fantasy football draft for my family’s league.  This year, much like every other year, the smack talk started before the draft.  It usually starts with e-mails and text messages in July.  And, then escalates as the draft gets closer.  I actually believe that it brings our family closer together in a very strange way.  It keeps us talking all through football season when we would probably just talk on holidays.

Keys to this years successful draft were several.  But, I will give you a short list:

1. My cousin did not get beat up by his little sister for taking 15 minutes to draft each player.

2. My dad was able to draft the Lions defense.

3. I forgot to get the draft board. This was actually a positive.

4. The dog ate half a sloppy joe.  This turned the animosity towards the dog, instead of the other coaches.

5. My pre-made draft sheets were missing a slot for a player.  I didn’t realize this until I got home and we had finished drafting.  So we are all one player short. (Not sure how this is positive, but I did laugh at myself.)

6. Shouts of “WHOO?!?!?” were kept to an all time low.

7. There were 5 civilians (non-fantasy players) there.  I think that made it so we were on good behaviour.

8. We drafted an entire week earlier than normal.  I think the hate didn’t have as much time to simmer.  There were still shouts of “jerk” when someone took the player you intended to pick, but it was a love-filled name calling instead of hate-filled.

9. My mom had the fore-sight to feed everyone before we started drafting.  Full bellies = less violence.  I am sure there is a scientific study out there somewhere.

10. Most people were too bus checking their text messages from ESPN for fantasy football draft updates to even pay attention to one another.

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The daily grind

Posted On August 26, 2009

Filed under frustration, life, rant, self

Comments Dropped 5 responses

Since going on vacation and then taking a technical class for a week, getting back to the daily grind at work has been a bit of a challenge.  I am getting up early again and feel like a few more hours of sleep would only make things worse.  My class started 2 hours later than my normal work schedule, so I got use to sleeping in.  Now it is almost like I don’t quite wake up until much later in the day.  I am hoping that it will pass soon.

My office may be wise to my sleepiness…  It has been as cold as the Arcticat my desk.  I have been considering grabbing the emergency blanket out of my car so that I have something to stay warm with.  Its seriously that bad.  Even the people who normal don’t mind the cold are feeling the chill.  If I start to see my breath, I am really going to get concerned…  They may be trying to freeze us to our desks…  If you don’t hear from me for a while, it is because I am a Popsicle.  Please send hot coffee to 1400 Magic Kingdom Drive.  Attn: WickedStepMom.  Thanks!!

Random Tuesday Thoughts: RTFM

It’s Tuesday again.  And I can tell you honestly, that I am feeling like it is Monday.  Which probably isn’t very good.  Since it is, in fact, Tuesday.  I hope I don’t wonder around all day being this confused.  For some Tuesdayness, go see Keely

* I am convinced that the children came with a manual.  Bear must have left it at the hospital or something…  If we can have 300 page manuals on a cell phone, there should definitely be a manual for children.  Something that covers from age 0 to 21. 

* The ragweed invasion has began.  Please bar your doors and windows.  This is not a test..  This is a full scale alert….  that is all.

* I decided to make banana bread from a mix over the weekend.  It was okay, but it was not as good as the home made.  Lesson learned, sometimes shortcuts are not as good as they sound.

*Funny quote of the week is brought to you by The Tyrant:

“You stole my seat just to make me cry.”

*Back to school has been more stressful this year than years past.  The “Fort Knox” high school that we are sending The Mother Hen too has asked us for about 30 appointments and a DNA sample so that she can attend.  They may be looking to create a new master race out of teenagers.  It makes me more than a little nervous that we chose to send her there.

*At one point or another, The Show commented that her on-line character for a MMORPG was being a park hobo.  So, we some times tease her about growing up to be a professional hobo.  I think we should stop teasing her though, because apparently, there is money in it.  If I ever quit my job, I think that is what I will be.  After all, there is no instruction manual required.

Plastic bags or Silicone Doom

Posted On August 24, 2009

Filed under frustration, life, rant, self, soap box

Comments Dropped 3 responses

Mexico City recently banned plastic bags.  Los Angeles is discussing a ban on them if the state of California does not set a ban.  Seattle has rejected a 20 cent fee for every paper or plastic bag handed out at stores.  Plastic bags have really come under fire lately.

Personally I try to use re-usable bags, but most of the time, I end up forgetting them at home or in my car.  If they banned plastic bags or if they started charging a fee for their use in my state, I would have to get use to either paying or remembering my bags.  Honestly, I think more often then not, I would end up paying a fee or figuring out how to cart my groceries into the house without bags.  I think it is because I am just so use to seeing them in stores that it is hard for me to make the change. 
If using the re-usable bags will make that much difference, I am all for it.  I just think that there are bigger concerns to the world as a whole other than bags.   Wars, nuclear weapons, terrorism…. just a to name a few.  If using these bags make a small change, great.  But, I have a feeling that it is just going to be a fad until environmentalist  find a new target.

What do you think?  Are plastic bags as evil as they are made out to be?  Do you think the change will stick?

Bookworm

Posted On August 20, 2009

Filed under self, The Spin Cycle

Comments Dropped 3 responses

Growing up, I spent a lot of time reading.  My Mom and I spent a lot of time at the used book store.  We would trade in our old ones and buy new ones.  My Mom is an avid reader too.  To date, I think we have over $5000 in book credit at our favorite used book store.  I still care a book with me everywhere I go.  I currently have two books in my purse.  I prefer to read rather than watch TV.  I have lost several hours of sleep reading because I couldn’t put a book down. 

It is very rare for me to read a book over and over again.  But, there is one that I will read several times and never get bored.  That book is Legend by David Gemmell.  I love this book because the heroes are very human rather than super-human.  They have normal problems as well as extraordinary problems.  The battles they fight are not only on the battlefield but within themselves as they struggle to do what is right. 

I have read several books by Gemmell and I enjoyed every one of them.  Unfortunately, he passed away when he was in the middle of writing his last book.  Troy: Fall of Kings was finished by his wife Stella Gemmell.  For me that book was bittersweet.  It was a great read, but I knew it would be the last.

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Leprechauns vs. Ninjas

randomtuesday

It’s Tuesday, I am recovering from vacation.  You know the drill.  Go see Keely, a mother and a ninja.

When I asked Keely to guest post for me last week, she asked me if I had a topic in mind.  I said, I don’t know.  Motherhood, ninjas.. whatever.  She wrote back, “What about motherhood as a ninja!?!”  So, she is no longer the UnMom she is the NinjaMom.  Please tell her Hi from me!

I am convinced that the gnome ninjasare having a fight with the leprechauns in my house. The leprechauns in my cupboard are needing to bulk up for the impending show down. So, they are eating all of the poptarts.  Six poptart pairs in 24 hours?  These guys mean business!

I did 6 loads of laundry (with some help) and 3 loads of dishes this weekend.   I annouced Sunday night, that I was taking a break and I wasn’t doing any more.  So yesterday, The Mother Hen scrubbed down the kitchen and did the dishes for me.  Isn’t she sweet?

I went school shopping with The Mother Hen yesterday.  All of the clothes that were the hot new thing, are all from the 80s.  I remember wearing clothes very similar to the stuff on the shelves.  I had to laugh because to her and most other teens, it is all brand new.

Funny quote of the week: “You taste like fried chicken…” (after one kid bit another)

Is it paranoia if someone is really trying to get you?

Posted On August 17, 2009

Filed under Bear, life, self

Comments Dropped 6 responses

While we were on vacation last week, we spent a few days with Bear’s brother in law.  We shall call him WildChild.  Not that he is a child but he does have all the cool toys.  We went tubing with WildChild’s boat.  While he was driving he spent most of the time trying to tip us off.  When he was riding, he was climbing on other people tubes and flipping people over.  At one point, I commented to Bear, “I think he is trying to kill me.”   Bear looked at me with a grin and said, “Yeah, we talked about it.  He doesn’t like you.  He is trying to kill you.”

I thought he was joking.  I really did.  But that was before the PowerChute.  WildChild got his favorite toy back.  A PowerChute or Ultralite.  Its basically a go cart with a propeller and parachute.  The propelling fills the chute and you fly.  WildChild and the Flying Machine

This is WildChild doing test flight before taking Bear for a ride.

Later that night, it was my turn for a trip up in the sky.  I was looking forward to it because he had taken me up once before. There is nothing like it.  It is like a roller-coaster ride but you can’t see when the bumps are coming.  It is really quite a ride.

As we were flying, we were going all over the place.  We flew over farms, trees, houses, a high school and the lake.  As we started to cross the lake, we started to have engine problems.  The engine was sputtering and we were losing altitude.  WildChild, is a licensed flyer and he navigated us over the lake.  We were hovering for what felt like an eternity.  The whole time, I was thinking, dammit, I hope my cell phone doesn’t get wet.

Murky Water

The brown area on the top of the picture is actually the lake very close to shore.  The water is about waist deep.

Hovering

The lake is not far from Bear’s parents house.  He is taking this picture from the front yard while we are slowly getting closer to the water.  I am not sure what was going through his mind at this point.

We did not crash land, but we did have to make an in-flight repair to the fuel pump.  Even if he is trying to kill me, I can’t wait to go next year!

A series of guests: Part 5

Posted On August 14, 2009

Filed under Guests

Comments Dropped 4 responses

Tricia from Shout has always made me think.  She has post questions and topics on her blog that leave me thinking long after I have finished reading.  Sometimes I can’t leave a comment right away, because I need time to think about it.  I hope you enjoy her post and I hope she makes you think as much as it made me think.

*****

When I saw “WickedStepMom” as someone’s online name, I was compelled to click through to her blog. I too am a wicked step mother, or as my step daughter loving refers to me… “The Evil One.”

I’m incredibly fortunate to have four adult step children. We’ve had our share of strife over the years and it’s not always been an easy road but for the most part, the dynamics of our blended family have been a blessing rather than a curse. I know that’s not always the case for families, and really I have to give a ton of credit to my husband’s ex wife. We’ve been thorns in each other’s sides at different junctures, but she always encouraged my relationship with her children and as time passed and my love for them grew, she had more wisdom than I did to know my healthy relationship with the kids was one of the keys to ensuring a healthy relationship with between the children and their father.

Statistics related to step families aren’t collected on a routine basis, and best estimates indicate one in three people are a member of step family in some capacity.

When you are an in-tact nuclear family, aligning parental values and sharing with your children what’s important to you seems fairly simple. If you live and act based on your principles, your children will take note. Once a family is torn apart by divorce and stepparents are added, aligning values becomes much more challenging.

In a step family environment, when parents disagree, it’s very hard to create resolution. The reality is that the original parenting team couldn’t resolve their marital problems and most likely had terrible communication patterns…thus the divorce. Add squabbling throughout the child-rearing, custody and child-support years, PLUS new spouses or significant others, mix it all together and the differences that exist are magnified.

I’m always intensely curious about other people’s successes, and our ability to learn from each other. If you’re part of a step family, or have first-hand knowledge of the inner working of stepfamily dynamics, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of creating healthy interpersonal relationships with new family members, and how have you found solutions?

A series of guests: Part 4

Posted On August 13, 2009

Filed under Guests

Comments Dropped 22 responses

I started reading Casey from Half As Good As You when she participated in The Spin Cycle.  (I have been a very bad Spin Cycle participant lately, please don’t tell Jen!!) I loved finding out that she is a fellow IT Nerd and that she took a step away from the working world to spend time with her children.  I hope that one day they see how amazing she is and appreciate her for all that she has done.

*****

I’ve admired WSM for as long as I’ve known her. I grew up in a family with a “step-parent” and I’ve seen firsthand how amazing it is when someone unconditionally loves children who aren’t biologically theirs.

My dad helped my mom get out of an abusive relationship with my “sperm donor” and raised my brothers and me. Sperm donor was a raging alcoholic who drifted in and out of my life. Each visit brought more disappointment and heartbreak but my mom encouraged us to maintain a relationship with him nonetheless. When I was eighteen, he sobered up and tried to step back into my life. I told him that I had a dad and it wasn’t him. Being a parent is a privilege and he lost out on his so I made the choice to cut all contact.

My story could have turned out so much differently. I didn’t spend my childhood longing for a father, I had one who spoiled me rotten. We moved to FL when I was three and my dad worked his ass off to provide for us. He raised three kids that weren’t technically his responsibility and as far as I’m concerned, he’s the only dad I have. He worked a second job so that my brothers and I could race BMX. He walked me down the aisle and was among the first people to show up to the hospital to meet his grandkids. He is head over heels in love with both of them and vice versa.

My two and a half year old recently made the declaration that “Ampa” is his best friend. My dad beams when he’s around my kids it’s the cutest damn thing I’ve ever seen. For Father’s Day, we made him a cheesy shirt with the kid’s pictures on it and he wears it with pride.

So WSM, thanks for being you. I’m pretty sure you’re not so wicked after all and those kids of yours are lucky to have you on their side. Take it from someone who knows, they need you.

A series of guests: Part 3

Posted On August 12, 2009

Filed under Guests

Comments Dropped 9 responses

I started reading the UnMom about 6 months ago.  My favorite part about her is the she reminds us all that we are more than just mothers.  We are people too.  People who talk about zombies and ninjas and whatever else we are obsessing about.

*****

I am not an “accessories” kinda girl. I buy pretty rings and never wear them, I don’t wear earrings, and while I can own 17 pairs of similar jeans, I only own one purse (I KNOW). My house follows the same theme. It’s a little cluttered, but it’s with books and movies and random bits of paper. I think I own a grand total of 4 knick knacks. And maybe a couple of pictures in frames.

So when I finally, at the ripe old age of 33, became a mother, the thing that came as the biggest surprise was the amount of CRAP babies come with.

Before my child had even uttered his first bone-chilling shriek, he had crowded one room of my house with a crib, a change table, a Pack n’ Play, a swing, a Jolly Jumper, a monitor, an Exersaucer, a play mat, many many diapers (both cloth and disposable), at least four thousand blankets, and not one, but TWO bouncy chairs.

I remember standing in the doorway and wondering where the fuck I was going to put the actual BABY.

I mean, seriously, this tiny person, less than 10 pounds (barely, cough cough, thankyouverymuch), already needs his own U-Haul?

And now, he hasn’t even been in existence long enough to get a tech school diploma, and he could fill his own wing of the house. He’s somehow managed to acquire a high chair, a tricycle, a wading pool, a rocking horse, three hundred books (in addition to the three hundred I already owned myself), 12 Elmo DVDs, two potties, more pairs of shoes than I’ve probably EVER owned, stacks of clothes that only fit him for 30 seconds, two toy boxes, and of course the toys. OH DEAR GOD THE TOYS. I don’t buy the toys. I don’t know where the toys come from. The toys come out of the WALLS, man, they’re coming out of the FREAKING WALLS.

(Naturally, he plays with none of them.)

But I was holding him the other day, and he was smiling and laughing. We were having fun, one of those brief moments when it feels like you’re getting this motherhood thing right, like it might be almost easy. I thought, “I bet we look pretty good. This little man makes me look GOOD.” And that was it, right there. An epiphany. I may not be an “accessories” girl, but he’s the ultimate accessory. We don’t need anything else, none of this crap, these things, his stuff. All we need is each other.

So I put him down and called 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Because it’s driving me fucking crazy.

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