Tag Archives: all-growed-up

Though Seasons May Change

I am starting to realize that changes in Life are a mixed bag. Some changes are simple and require nothing but an acknowledgement before one moves on: a change in hairstyle, the falling of leaves, etc. Some changes come as mixed blessings, and though part of the change is bad, invariably it enhances the good.

The other night I sat down to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has been a tradition in our home since before kidlets came along.

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tu

I love Peanuts™. Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was a BIG DEAL when their specials came on (had maybe three channels, and cartoons were not their forte). It became an even bigger deal after I learned English. They are timeless, and ageless as well. But this last time I came to the realization that I sat there, alone. And it wasn’t the first time I sat alone to enjoy a family tradition. Kids are growing up and away, becoming on their own, Hubby is stationed away so our youngest can remain in this school district, and youngest is busy with band and theater and myriad other activities. One would think that leaves me time to write, but actually the opposite is true. I can’t find the motivation to write fluff when it feels like loneliness is weighing down on my heart. Some days the absolute silence in the house reminds me of how the kids used to fight hammer and tongs and me screaming for them to SHUT IT. Now I wish I had that opportunity again, just to let them fight it out Coliseum style.

I can’t wait for Christmas 🙂

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It’s Sunday, and I Should Be Cleaning but I Just Found Some Spray Paint and It Needs to Be Used

There has been a lot of upheaval in the house in the past two weeks. Consequently I have found lots and lots of paperwork that is A) worthless, 2) expired, and/or iii) in need of shredding. And y’all know what that means, right? It means I get to ignore it for a few days until I can come up with a plan that does not involve a lightsaber or conflagration. The HOA frowns on both. Until then, I need to start cleaning and reorganizing so I can rearrange furniture and free up space in the garage.

Some people keep their dining set in their garage, right?

Anyway, as I was cleaning up craft stuff in the garage, I came across a can of gold spray paint. Originally I had bought it to paint some wine bottles and decorate them in a country glam style for Christmas. And then I remembered my future SIL redid her guest bedroom and just needs some gold glam in it, so I’ll be using it on something today. Because a can of paint is a great reason to not do the bathrooms today, don’t you know.

So today I plan on writing (check), cleaning (a bit), shopping (for food), cooking, (for two), and painting (for fun). School starts tomorrow for Little One, so it’s important that I have a flexible schedule today in case she needs me during an absolute meltdown. And in case she needs to go through several wardrobe changes in preparation for the all-important First Day™.

*first meltdown has occurred*

Now that that’s over, we can continue to have a normal day.

Ish. 😀


Soldiering On

Yesterday, we took Son to his parental units’ alma mater. He has chosen to follow in his dad’s and his late uncle’s footsteps: joining the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Already he has made new friends and reconnected with old ones. He has learned many traditions and aspires to be the quintessential Aggie. I have no doubts about his abilities and his aptitude. Anyone who enjoys calculus and argues physics will succeed in his chosen field. And being a member of the Corps cuts down on your laundry chores, so there’s that.

As an Aggie, I’m totally psyched to have one of my kids share in my scholastic experiences. As a mom, I’m terrified. Oh, I’m not afraid of something happening to him or of him doing some boneheaded stunt. That’s bound to happen anyway. But I do fear him growing apart from his family. I know the time will come when he makes his way in the world. I’m just hoping that happens after he graduates and goes into the military. At least I get to see him some weekends, so the loss isn’t so acute.

But today is a dark day compared to yesterday. Today, Hubby leaves for his new position in Washington, D.C. I keep telling myself it won’t be as bad as Iraq or Egypt, since we will be at least in the same country and only one time zone difference. Even after experiencing deployments before, this still leaves a hole in my heart, knowing he won’t be walking through the door to the bark of the dogs, or enjoy his video game (don’t worry, he took the console and games with him), or watch a B movie after a long day at work. My family of five is down to two for now, and it feels so lonely in this house without them.

But that’s what we do. We go on and adapt and hold down the fort until our loved ones return. I can only hope and pray that they will adapt faster than I will, because I can’t be there to help them through it. Already I am counting the days until Christmas when we can be together again, fighting over the the last of the doughnuts and waiting for dinner to be served while watching Christmas movies. Until then, I can only be there in spirit, and through Skype 🙂


Relax, There’s Vodka For That

This is the last week of school, y’all.

I am not looking forward to the summer like most people are. Son is graduating and getting ready for college. And that means my anxiety is growing as the apron strings get cut once again. For someone who has big plans for an empty nest, I sure have issues when the chicks decide to leave it. I admit it was difficult to get used to Eldest’s departure for the military. Now with Son’s impending departure for college, I am left behind with one chick, and she isn’t the most amiable towards my melodramatic angst.

I think her exact words were, “Get over it.”

Sigh….. It will be difficult but I am sure I will get over it eventually. It’s not like I am constantly checking up on Eldest. So what if I know her work schedule and know when she should be in her barracks? I’m her mom, so I can’t be charged with stalking, right? This parenting thing is hard, learn-as-you-go and sometimes thankless, but they never tell you that all you go through is a piece of cake compared to them leaving you. At least Son will be able to come home for some weekends and holidays so the break will be slow, like ripping a bandage or twisting thumbscrews.

I did mention my melodramatic angst, right?

I know my parents are laughing at me. Come to think of it, so is my sister. And most of my friends. I know this isn’t as bad as I make it out to be, and it definitely isn’t the end of the world. It’s a new beginning, and I just hope and pray that each one is ready to face the world alone. My apron strings are being cut and Hubby tells me they can’t be sewed back on.

But there is always Velcro™!! 😀


What. A. Week.

I swear, every time I sat down to write something would take me away. I may not have much to say but I still want to type it out.

First, our trip to Eldest’s graduation was full of surprises. I had no idea that cold could possibly get colder, or that wind could get any windier. It was so cold and windy, the graduates were given outerwear and we had to wait for their leaders to collect their coats prior to commencement and at the end. Afterwards we enjoyed our crowded stay inside the NEX as we watched sn*w falling. Once we could make our way to the vehicle, our new sailor expressed her wishes for the day. My taste for coffee was challenged when we took her to Starbucks. She was dying for a fix, and I was dying for actual coffee which I didn’t find thus I had to settle for hot chocolate. Then my geography knowledge was challenged when I found myself willing to drive to Wisconsin. No, we didn’t stop for any cheese. But we did stop to take a picture with the sign. After that, we made our way to a mall where she could have another Starbucks fix and wander around, whereupon my shopping gene was challenged and kept under strict control. The following day we were fortunate enough to spend a few hours at the airport with her as well, before our flights departed, ours for home, and hers for her duty station. And through all of this, she is ecstatic to have her phone back.

Second, ever had to make a diorama? Remember the fun you had making a three dimensional scene? Me neither. Little One had to make a stage set to SCALE for her tech theater class. When I say to scale, I mean everything had to be measured and built from scratch. No cheating at the hobby shop. Her assignment was to detail a living room in a 1970’s mansion. Break out the velvet sofas and gold brocade walls, right? Good thing I had all that stuff in my craft room. No, not actual gaudy wallpaper but gold paint and velvet I had in spades. Then came the hard part: making furniture. If I never see another piece of cardboard it will be too soon. Unless it’s a box from the Lolita website. Then it’s ok.

Third, nothing like trying to organize Thanksgiving get-together while still in the middle of home improvements. Luckily all that will be over by next week. Especially if I can convince my sister Reno Queen to change out a couple of light fixtures. If she has time, that is. Otherwise I will deal with unsightly holes in the ceiling and candlelight, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

But the highlight of the week belongs to Son, who was named a National Merit Commended Scholar, earning him a scholarship due to his incredibly high score on the PSAT/ NMSQT. The first of many accolades to come for the brainiac, I’m sure. If only he would get his driver’s license….

So, that’s this week’s wrap-up from gloomy South Texas. We are headed for a massive amount of rain,which means I need to get in gear and do all the grocery shopping before that happens. I’m not fool enough to go out during a rainstorm. Flash flooding always, ALWAYS wins. Also, I don’t particularly care for the wet-cat-through-hedge look.

Have a great Friday 🙂


Still Here, Sorta

These past few days have been a bit more hectic than usual. Eldest is getting ready to start her new adventure as a sailor, Son is beginning his senior year in high school, and Little One is in marching band. Meanwhile, I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that my baby is leaving in less than a month, so I have been reorganizing the house.

Room, by room.

It’s not easy. I keep finding baby photos, kids’ art, love notes, hospital ID bracelets (don’t ask), and sundry items detailing every year of their lives. I also found a pair of earrings I had been missing since 2009, so I have that going for me. Still, I need to find a better way to organize all of the mementos.

(We interrupt this post in order to pick up my new ceiling fan from Lowes, so have a funny.)

ruining games lol

Hopefully I will be back in the groove of spilling all sorts of weird crap entertaining y’all with my boring life exploits. Maybe. I am toying with the idea of moving Son to the upstairs and making his current room an office-slash-craft room. And perhaps I may get a formal dining set for the dining room, which currently holds the mouse cage and two kennels.

*sobs*

I just want my house to look normal. And don’t tell me that’s a setting on the washing machine. I watch HGTV.

So, lots on things on the horizon, mostly in the vain hope to keep from becoming too anxious over Eldest leaving home. And getting Son ready for college. And having to deal with Little One not being a baby any more. That usually calls for a box of Hostess™ Cupcakes. Thank goodness they are back because otherwise it would be a box of wine 😀


Women, Handbags, and Shoes

I took Little One shopping for clothes this past weekend. Seems she is growing and I can no longer ignore the fact that she is not a little girl. That meant taking her shopping to places were I like to shop.

For myself.

Don’t freak out. I restrained myself. I didn’t get anything.

Ok, I got ONE shirt.

And PJs. Stop judging me!!

Moving on, she got quite the haul: jeans, shirts, sweaters, camis, and PJs (she’s my mini-me, after all). She was very amiable to my advice for once, until it came to getting accessories of any kind. It was like she became a burro. Seriously, THAT stubborn.

Me: You should get a nice purse to use in high school, honey.

Mini-Me: Why? I don’t like them. Besides, I think policy is changing to all-clear bags.

Me: What did you say??

Mini-Me: All-clear ba–

Me: No, before that!!

Mini-Me: I don’t like purses.

Me: WHERE DID I GO WRONG???

She just rolled her eyes and laughed at me. But that got me to thinking (I do that on occasion, you know). Why are most women so hung up on purses, and shoes as well? Think about it: they are utilitarian items that we take to fashion extremes. Shoes are mainly used to protect our feet, and purses are used to carry stuff we need that we can’t fit in pockets easily. That’s it. Most men have under four pairs of shoes. But not most women. It’s like a drug. You get one pretty pair, and you just HAVE to get another, and another, and another until your closet looks like Payless™ puked. And the same for handbags! Witness what happened to me, remember? It’s like a moral imperative. And as I thought for the reason as to why we are so enamored of such accessories, I finally came to a not-very-flattering conclusion:

We buy the purses and the shoes in order to justify purchasing the outfit.

Tell me I’m wrong. Someone, PLEASE tell me I’m wrong!!

Because the shirt I bought this weekend really goes well with my new sandals, and I’m hoping I’m not that shallow 😀


Thursday Never List

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Bar NONE!!

Unless you are a parent. Then it’s a double-edged sword.

Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing the kids’ faces when they open their gifts. It’s so sweet to see the surprise and hear the “SQUEEE!!”, no matter how big or small the gift. But we parents learn a lesson soon after the first couple of Christmases about gift giving for the kids. Obviously the gifts should be age appropriate. No one disputes that wisdom. But there are some gifts one should never give children. You are asking for trouble.

play doh drill and fillToys to Never Buy for Children

#5– Play Doh Dentist

Just the thought of hearing the whirr of that drill is enough to get people climbing the walls.

#4– Underwear

There are two outcomes from this gift: tears, or wearing on the head like a superhero mask. I’m not sure which is worse.

#3– Expensive or Heirloom Jewelry

You don’t want a kid using Grandma’s rosary as a helicopter rotor.

#2– Musical Instruments

An eight-year-old with a drum set. Enough said.

#1– Any Repetitive Noisemaker

I know that sounds vague, but one can include trains, whistles, popguns, and whoopie cushions in this category, to name a few. Eventually, your need for peace will outweigh any desire to make sure the child is happy, and will result in a Godzilla-like rampage.

I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas in relative peace and harmony. If not, I hope your Godzilla imitation was caught on video 😉

Hat tip: roamingfirehydrant!!


Words and Wisdom and Wit

A few days ago, Hubby and I were talking to Eldest about facing her fears. One of the questions that always helps me facing adversity is “What would Jesus do?” In the same vein, we suggested that she try to emulate strong role models of fine character such as Winston Churchill.

One really can never go wrong with Churchill. Not even while being diplomatic.

Anyway, things came to a halt when Hubby suggested Teddy Roosevelt. Why? Because I nixed it. Puzzled they were when I said to emulate Alice Roosevelt instead.

Hubby: Who?

Me: Alice, Teddy’s daughter.

Eldest: Uh, why?

Me: Teddy Roosevelt once said, “I can run the country, or I can control Alice. I can not do both.”

Eldest: Wow….

Me: And really, how could you not admire someone who said, “If you have nothing nice to say, come sit by me”??

Hubby: *snort*

I think I made my point 😀


Ulta-matum

Last Thursday evening, my daughters finally had time on their hands to allow their mother to take them to a beauty store, Ulta Beauty™. Little One is now turning 14, and wanted to get some make-up. I figured we would go in, get her the stuff and come out in 30 minutes.

Boy, was I wrong.

ulta-beauty

We walk in, and immediately feel the familiar disorientation. So I do what any normal mom would do: walk around aimlessly until something familiar comes into view. YAY!! LIPSTICK!!! Not only do they have almost every brand of make-up known to Womankind, they had sections for every type of make-up as well. But I was there for my kid, not me. Fine….FINE!! We go in search of the Bare Escentuals™ line, since she prefers the expensive stuff mineral make-up, and find her a kit that she likes (she is my picky child). And slyly she adds, “Mom, it doesn’t come with lip gloss…” Well, what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t get her lip gloss? A SMART ONE!!! But she had Eldest on her side on this and I was weakened by my want need of new lip colors, so I relented. And thank goodness that Ulta™ had their lip, eye and nail colors on sale for 50% off, because that meant that I could get some lipsticks by Lipstick Queen™, which I am not ashamed to say I have been coveting for about five years now.

I understand this is not about me, but work with me here.

We saunter over to the haircare section to get some hairclips, and spy the sale bins. This place is not for the weak-minded. They had nail colors and eye quads and since they were reasonably priced I piled some in the bag decided to get some for the girls so they could experiment with them. Rounding the next corner we see the facial washes and treatments and both girls pipe up that they are out of their stuff. It was almost synchronized. But you must have a clean canvas in order to paint a masterpiece, right? Sigh…

By now what started as just four “need” items has grown to far, far more. Besides the kit, there are mascaras, eyeliner, seven bottles of nail polish, lip glosses, lipsticks, facial washes, hairclips, hair treatments, and numerous eye shadow quads. In a haze, I tell the girls that this is enough for now, because Ulta isn’t going away any time soon. So I go up to the cashier, a lovely young lady who asks me if I wish to sign up for their rewards card. My first instinct is to say no, since I seldom do that anywhere. But then I take stock of everything on the counter and tell her yes, please. With an understanding glance, she signs me up, rings up my purchases and gives me a few unexpected discounts, and tells me to enjoy my evening. I carry their behemoth-sized bag out to the car while the girls chatter along happily. Inwardly I am cringing at the bill, but the girls are happy and bonding together, something that seldom happens. And that makes up for it, no pun intended.

And that was my experience at Ulta™. Suffice it to say, Hubby took it in stride, not even batting an eye. It helped that I threw my kid under the bus told him that Little One needed a lot of new stuff. Hey, if I am going down for this, I’m taking them with me. They are enablers of the highest caliber 😉