The Room

My daughter’s bedroom is the basement of our house. Since she left, I haven’t had the courage to venture down to that space. My husband has been pushing me to move my office space down there and split the area between her and I. After all, she’s not living with us right now and the space is going to waste. Reluctantly, I finally agreed to this plan. So this past weekend, we spent our time rearranging and organizing. Do you have any idea how much crap one kid can collect? Let me tell you…

When we first venture down the stairs we realize the light bulbs are almost all burnt out. How long were there no lights? I haven’t been down here since she left. Didn’t she notice the lights were out? Okay…can’t work in the dark. Oldest goes and gets light bulbs. Now we can see. Oh my…perhaps I just figured out why she didn’t care to have light. This place is messy! And she was the one that kept her room “clean”…

She has two dressers and a chest of drawers. All full of clothes. Oh, and look, clothes on the floor. And in that basket over there. And that box. And behind that… She told me she had gone through all of her clothes before she left and everything that was still here was what she wanted to keep. Um…I don’t think so! This she hasn’t worn since 5th Grade. This is from…hmmmm…Kindergarten maybe? Okay, new plan for the clothes…I will wash ALL of the clothing I find and go through it later to determine what really needs to be kept and what can be donated. That’s gonna be a big job…

Trash. Can you imagine how much trash one 14 year old girl can accumulate? Seven bags full. Yes, you read that right. Seven large Kitchen sized bags full of trash. Trash that was not visible to the naked eye. No…it was in things, under things, and behind things.

Donations. Three large black outdoor bags full of toys, shoes, and misc items for donation. Most of these items stuffed in the closet. OMG the closet! The visions of the closet will forever be etched in my brain. It’s a small closet. I honestly don’t know how all of that crap fit in there. Three bags of donations and that does not include the clothing!

Good news though…seven bags of trash and three bags of donations pretty much cleared out the room! It’s amazing the creative places kids can find to stash things. I mean, seriously, I found random toys inside the Kleenex box, inside the stereo, inside other toys…you name it…there was something stashed in it. I told you about the closet right?

Did I mention the spiders? I was assaulted by at least three of those little suckers. I will have nightmares. Oh, and the bathroom…well…let’s just say the bathroom is currently being fumigated and bleached. I thought boys were gross. Ladies and gentlemen…girls are DISGUSTING. Don’t do it. Don’t let them have their own bathroom.

It took two days to wash the clothes. The end result was a queen sized bed, completely covered in folded clothing, about 1 foot tall. Out of all those clothes, three bags for donation and not even one dresser full to keep. Looks like we know what someone will be getting for Christmas this year…

Overall, I’d say the project was a success despite the spider attacks and the closet – I mentioned the closet right!? I’d also say, girls are just as messy as boys, if not worse. In total…13 bags of crap. That’s how much crap one kid can collect.

Until Next Time…

Connie

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The, Not So Gentle, Art of Exercise…

I want to get in shape and get healthy.  So we decide to keep our gym membership because hey, now I have time to go.  Reluctantly, I make a plan and decide to stick to it.

Day One. I walk in the door and scan my little key card.  The lady behind the counter loudly says, “I see you haven’t been in in awhile.”  No, I sure haven’t.  “Is there any reason you haven’t been in?”  I quietly reply, “No reason…just life”.  “I understand”, she says, “would you like a refresher on the equipment?”  I think to myself, no I don’t need you to show me how to use a treadmill for crying out loud.  It’s not rocket science.  Instead, I quickly reply, “No thanks…I’m good.” I hang my keys and scurry off to the treadmill in an attempt to avoid any more of her interrogation.

Once at the treadmill, I place my ear buds in my ears, set my playlist, and start out slow.  It really has been awhile since I’ve been in so I know that it won’t be long before I am out of breath and ready to move to something else.  The first five minutes go off without a hitch.  I’m lost in thought about my reward at the end…the really awesome chair massage.  If I can just get through 30 minutes on the treadmill and 15 on the bicycle, life will be good.  Unfortunately, being deep in thought whilst walking on a treadmill can be dangerous.  Before I know it, the chord from my ear buds catches on the machine and I am being pulled backwards while my head is being pulled forward with the chord.  In slow motion, I lose my footing.  Suddenly I’m living an America’s Funniest Home Video’s moment as the ear buds rip from my ears and I fall in to the wall behind me. I lay there for a moment before I quickly scan the area to see if anyone saw me. A lady a couple of machines down simply looks my way, shakes her head, and turns her gaze back to the televisions. I’m stunned and embarrassed. Wait, why did I just grab my boobs? Did I think that by some miracle they might have fallen off during the fall?  Dear God. I do a quick mental check…nothing seems broken and I’m not hurt.  Well, perhaps my pride, but everything else appears to be attached; including my boobs. I clumsily get back up and decide I will try the bicycle instead. Humiliated, I make my way across the room with my head down. Perhaps I should have gotten the refresher course on the treadmill because clearly it is rocket science.

Day Two. My body hurts. More than likely from the fall because honestly, I didn’t stay much longer after my self inflicted humiliation yesterday. But not today. Today I wore clothing with pockets so I can tuck my phone and the chords neatly against my body. Once again, I attempt the treadmill. From the corner of my eye, I notice a woman a few machines down from me giving me a disapproving stare. Ah yes, that’s the woman that couldn’t be bothered to check on me yesterday. Awesome. After 25 minutes of success on the treadmill I carefully exit the machine and proudly saunter over to the stationary bike; Eye of The Tiger playing in my head. I complete 10 minutes on the bike and decide to call it a day before anything goes wrong.

My reward awaits. 10 minutes in the most amazing massage chair ever. This is really the only reason I like this gym membership. I lay down, get comfortable, and…fall asleep. Now, you would think that the feeling of the machine shutting down would awaken me. No, not me, not today. I awaken some twenty minutes later to the sound of the very annoyed lady behind the counter. Remember her from yesterday…inquisition lady? Yeah, her. “You cannot fall asleep in the massage chairs!” I mumble an apology and she informs me that I snore. I find myself scanning the gym for camera’s… am I someone’s funny outtakes this week? I am seriously not coming back here.

Day Three. I’m committed. I change the time of day that I go in the hopes that anyone who has witnessed my fitness bloopers will not be in attendance for whatever debacle I may encounter today. My thighs and my butt hurt. No pain no gain right!? But why does my butt hurt so bad? Is it getting smaller? I find myself turned sideways, staring at my butt in the plethora of mirrors; trying to decide if thirty minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on the bike have miraculously shrunk my behind. As I decide the answer is no, I realize that I have acquired somewhat of an audience. I can feel my face turn red. Head down, I make a b-line for the treadmill. I miss the stair. Seriously? I’m on the floor – AGAIN – mere feet away from my first humiliation just days ago. Instinctually, I scan the room and there she is; mean disapproving lady. This time she stares at me for a long while. I’m certain that I can read her mind today and believe me…she’s not saying anything nice.  I am defeated. I pick myself up off the floor and practically run to my car.

Day Four. The gym membership has been canceled and the funds have been reallocated. I stopped at Starbucks and got a Grande Iced White Chocolate Mocha with Caramel Syrup, no whipped cream. See how I watched my figure there? No whipped cream. Next week I might order it with fat free milk. We’ll see.

Until Next Time

Connie

Cars, Chores, and Concussions

Being in a house with three boys is…we’ll say…challenging. Don’t get me wrong. I love all of the men in my life and I am very grateful to have them. They all love me and are very supportive.  I wouldn’t change it for the world. But here’s the thing. Boys like cars. Boys hate chores. And boys…well…boys are the ones who usually end up with concussions.

My oldest son has had his license for 5 months. His Grandfather gave him a Jeep when he first got his license. Four hours after it was fixed up and ready to go…he totaled it. That’s right – FOUR HOURS. I think that’s some type of record, but I can’t be sure. At first we thought we would not let him drive until he could save up money for a new vehicle. But as any parent of a 17 year old knows…I really needed him to be driving. Having another driver in the house is like Christmas every day! So, we let him use my winter driver. He only slightly wrecked it once over the past five months so that’s…something. Now he has bought himself another Jeep. I’m thinking, this is great, I get my winter driver back just in time for snow. All is well. So he, my husband, and the little one spent hours in the garage fixing it up. Seriously, hours. So many hours I forgot I had a husband and two sons for two days. Now the head gasket is blown. This means more hours in the garage. I should be happy right!? A weekend to myself. Or more like a weekend to do everyone’s chores because…

…Boys do not like chores. I actually don’t think anyone likes chores, but boys REALLY don’t like chores. Chores at our house is what I like to believe would be similar to an interrogation. Did you clean the kitchen? Are you sure? What time did you clean the kitchen? Was it before dinner because there sure are a lot of dishes still in the sink? Do you know that the counters are part of the kitchen? Do you know that the floor is part of the kitchen? Do you know that the table is part of the kitchen? Are you aware that the kitchen is in fact one entire room that requires cleaning? How about your bedroom? Oh, you cleaned your bedroom? What is all of that mess in the corner there? Well, when will you be ready to go through that corner? Is the open bag of potato chips another thing you need to “go through” to make sure you aren’t throwing away something of value? And it goes on and on and on until I finally get so frustrated that I just finish the chore myself. My apologies to my boys’ futures wives. Good thing I’m feeling up to chores this week because…

…I ended up with a concussion. Every day I watch my boys do daring things on their bikes, skateboards, and, well, anything they can get their hands on that makes for a good “war” story in their minds. They come home with cuts and bruises. I’ve been to the emergency room many times for stiches. How lucky I’ve been that they have never gotten a concussion. I, on the other hand, am not daring. I don’t ride a bicycle nor a skateboard, never have. I am very careful and mindful of stairs, ice, and obstacles on the ground. You know, safe and cautious. So imagine my surprise when stomach flu is the culprit that took me down for two weeks. Who knew fainting whilst throwing up was a thing!? So yeah, fainted, apparently hit my head, ended up with a concussion. I guess this takes me one step closer to being one of the boys. Complete with my own, weird, “war” story. All I need to do now is develop an obsessive love of fixing cars and a dire hatred of chores.

Until Next Time

Connie

The Sock Monster

Socks.  That is what I dedicated my morning to…socks.  As you know, I have three kids and a husband.  You may live this or you can simply imagine how much laundry a family of five manifests.  I am certain it multiplies every day.  My daughter doesn’t even live here and I find her clothing in the laundry, every week.  How?  I dunno.  But I digress.  So I’m looking for baskets.  We have five nice, plastic, sturdy laundry baskets.  It dawns on me that for the past nine months, I have been going to the dollar store, about every three weeks, buying the cheap mesh laundry baskets that obviously cannot stand up to our laundry needs. Pure laziness I suppose.  Or, perhaps I have embarked on this task before. Either way, I, in my blissful ignorance this morning, decide today is the day to stop the madness and save $10 every three weeks.  So this is it, right!?  I am on a mission.

First basket…full of every single piece of mail acquired over the past year.  Nope; not going there today.  Second basket…in my daughters room full of God only knows what and I am NOT about to find out today.  Third basket…socks.  Fourth basket…socks.  Fifth basket…socks. SOCKS!  Now, remember, I figured out that I have been buying the mesh baskets for about nine months now.  That is NINE months worth of paperwork; NINE months worth of I don’t even know what; and finally, NINE MONTHS OF SOCKS! Holy cow, how did this get so out of hand?

So I’m doing mental inventory.  Has anyone been complaining about not having socks?  I know I haven’t been but then again, it’s summer so of course I haven’t been complaining but the boys must be and maybe I just tuned it out.  But fall is coming fast so I must get this under control – today! Enter the sock monster.

I begin sorting of the socks at approximately 9:15am.  Being the intelligent woman that I am, I come up with a most genius plan of action.  It should take me approximately one hour and then I can move on to something else. First, I will sort the colored socks.  20 minutes later, my daughter and myself have many wonderful, colorful pairs of socks.  Success.  Then I move on to black.  This will be so easy I’m sure…I am cooking right along.  45 minutes later my back hurts and good grief my husband has a lot of socks.  But my oldest…why are there only one of each pair of socks in this pile?  The pile, by the way, takes up the entirety of our King size bed.  I am baffled…where could they possibly be?  Hell, they clearly have not been missed in nine months; some of them are brand new! Of course, as any good investigative mom would know, most of them were in his sock drawer.  Some, however, were simply MIA.  After searching under things and in things and honestly putting way too much effort in to this, I give up on black.  It’s 11:15am.

As I change the playlist on my phone, I turn and look at the bed.  Really? I have literally accomplished nothing.  My first thought is to go to the store and buy everyone new socks.  But then the “gotta save money” side of my brain says, “No, you can do this”.  By 12:15pm my oldest son has over 50 pairs of socks.  My husband, about the same.  My youngest, about 35 pairs.  My daughter and I, probably 20 pair each.  The bed… still full of damn socks. Hundreds of orphaned pairs of socks.  I’m sitting there, on the bed, bitching to myself about the sock monster.  Yet, I’ve become so dedicated to this project that I cannot bring myself to stop attempting to find the mates.  It’s late; my body hurts; I’m hungry; I need to leave in 20 minutes; I have wasted my whole damn morning on socks.

Another genius plan enters my mind.  I will put them all back in one of the baskets because surely, the mates will show up.  This frees up two full baskets and therefore, SUCCESS!  The sock monster did not win today! Well…maybe…

Until Next Time,

Connie

 

A New Chapter Begins

It’s official; I’m home full time. My intent was to give a four week notice but the powers that be felt paying me out my notice and letting me go was a better idea.  Works for me! And so, tomorrow begins a new chapter.  Honestly…I am terrified.  Because, well, what if?  What if I’m really not a good mom and they hate me being home?  What if I’m a horrible cook but everyone has been telling me “it’s good” just to be nice?  What if I get bored?  What if I can’t handle being without adult interaction for one full day?  What if I get lazy? What if I don’t have the discipline to write?  Worse, what if I’m a horrible writer? What if I turn those “what if’s” into, “If I don’t…”.

If I don’t do this, I will never know the answer to all of those “what if’s”.  Because I know me and I know that all of those “what if’s” are lies I tell myself (except maybe my cooking – I have a sneaking suspicion about that one).  So I have devised a plan to keep myself and my “what if’s” from sabotaging my goals.  Keep it simple.  One day at a time; one goal at a time.   That’s it.  That’s the plan.  I don’t know if this will work.  But I believe this is God’s plan for me and I believe that I must at least try or I will regret it.  I suppose if the keep it simple approach doesn’t work, I can devise a new plan.

So… here we go. Are you ready to walk with me?

Until Next Time…

Connie

Haters Gonna Hate…

Over the past ten years, I have made several attempts at maintaining a blog.  Each time, I gave up due to haters causing grief and discontent because the content of my posts upset them in some way as they believed the posts were about them, though they certainly were not.  So here we are, not even 24 hours in to this and I am already seeing the affects of the haters.  As I look back now, I realize that I had previously let them win every time.  I am not the same person I was ten years ago or even ten days ago.  Now is the time for me to live my life.  To pursue my dreams.  Despite what people think or imagine my posts are about, I will continue to write.  If you are offended or upset by anything I post it’s very simple; don’t read my blog.  The purpose of this is for you to sit back, enjoy, laugh, cry, and relate.  My life.  My story.  My voice.  Haters will not shut me down this time.

Until Next Time

~Connie

Heartbreak

It was brought to my attention after my last post that someone was missing from the discussion of our lives.  My daughter.  I have a beautiful, smart, and amazing 14 year old daughter who made the choice to live with her father full time about 7 weeks ago.  I am still struggling to understand completely why she made this choice.  The reasons she gave me at first were just not the truth.  Now the new reason just doesn’t make sense.  So she’s fourteen and she’s hormonal.  I’m trying to leave it at that.  What kids don’t realize, is the pain they can cause a parent; how easily they can break a heart.  I have never, in my whole life, experienced pain in the way I have over the past 7 weeks.  I don’t sleep much anymore.  I’m sad all the time.  I cry randomly and at the most inopportune times.  It sucks.  But it’s life right now.  I need to focus on the boys and make sure they are cared for the way they deserve.  As for my baby girl, all I can do is pray to God that he’s got her.

I haven’t been in her room since the day she left.  I just cannot bring myself to go there.  But my husband, he’s strong.  He has gone in her room numerous times.  Last night, he found a letter she started to write but didn’t finish.  It says, “Dear Mom, I’m sorry.  I did wanna stay.  You guys cut the house phone line so I didn’t know what else to do”.  The phone line… that was a misunderstanding; a feline induced incident that no one was aware of until it was too late.  But the second line says it all.  “I did wanna stay”.  So why did she go?  That is my struggle every single day.  So, I hope this answers the questions some of you had.  She is still very much in our hearts and in our minds.  If she chooses to be a part of our journey, we will share that with you along the way.  Until then, it’s me and the boys.

Until Next Time

~Connie