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“Screw it!” (She said in front of her kids…)

January 30, 2011

HELLO World! I’m back! I won’t get into why I suddenly evaporated into thin air a few months. It’s not important in the grand scheme of things. But life sometimes gets in the way and that’s what happened in my case. Lots of crazy, freaky shit (some of which you wouldn’t believe. No… really. LOL!) happened since June or so, but I pushed through it and life is once again manageable. I’m great. Steve’s great. Steve and I as a team are great (as we always have been). And the kids are great. That’s all that matters, so let’s move along, shall we?

Tonight we’re going to talk about how we raise our kids. And by “we,” I mean me and Steve. I, frankly, don’t give a rat’s ass how YOU raise YOUR kids unless it directly affects MY kids on a regular basis. Otherwise, rock on with your bad self. Seriously. I don’t care. At all.

Steve and I came into our current parenting style after many years of trial and error. We all know how it is… You get pregnant and have a baby and you read every damn parenting book you can get your hands on. You follow it to the tee and you judge others who don’t follow the same philosophy you do. You cluck your tongue at other parents and think (or say), “Oh my god. They are horrible parents. How dare she bottle feed/breast feed their beautiful, precious child!” Whatever. [eye roll] (And for the record, I bottle-fed both of my children since day 1 and am perfectly fine with that and dare you to judge me for it…)

I’ve come to learn over the past 10 years, that that whole way of thinking is just total bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. All situations are different. All families are different. And all kids are different. To try to pigeon-hole all kids and parents into one train of thought is just ridiculousness at its best. Pure, unadulterated stupidity. Because no one has the right to judge someone else. Unless your throwing your kids into a car and not buckling them in (one of the few things I won’t waiver on), I don’t give a rat’s ass how your family dynamics work. I don’t care if you co-sleep with your children at age 13 or still wipe their asses (literally) when they’re 10-years-old (although I do think that would be weird) or treat them like they’re the king and/or queen in your house and revolve your entire life around them (which I also find unhealthy and damaging in the long run, but that’s neither here nor there. To each his own…). As long as they’re mentally and physically healthy, I figure it’s up to each family to figure out how to make it work. Not my kids? Then it’s not my problem. I’ve found that most people love their children and want what’s best for them. Most parents have found the balance they need to raise healthy, happy kids. My balance may not be your balance and vice versa. It’s all good.

Now back to me and Steve. Because that’s what we’re supposed to be talking about here…

We curse in front of our girls. [insert audible gasps here…] Hell, I’ve been known to curse AT them… (“Son of a bitch, Hannah! What the hell are you doing?!?!”… or “Grace, why are you being such an asshole to your sister?!?!”) Steve and I have friends over all the time and when all of us are in a room, we talk the exact same way we’d talk if no kids were around. That includes curse words, insulting each other (jokingly), and being total idiots. On more than one occasion (like a billion), an adult has been here and dropped an F-bomb in front of the kids or said “shit” or “damn” or “asshole” or whatever and then looked at us with a panic-stricken face and said, “Oh my god! I’m so sorry.” I’m always confused at first when this happens. There I sit, thinking, “Sorry for what? What did you do? Because unless you just drank my last beer or broke some expensive thing in my home, you have nothing to apologize for.” And then I realize that they’re apologizing for cursing in front of my kids. The light bulb goes on in my head and I think, “Ohhhhh….” And then I just start laughing. Because I realize that in most homes, that’s frowned upon. But here, it’s not something we even think about. I mean, we don’t encourage it or anything, but if it happens, it isn’t even something we think about or panic over or freak out about.

My girls think it’s HILARIOUS when I jokingly flip them off. That’s right folks… I give my kids the bird. And it’s always guaranteed to cause fits of hideous laughter. I’ll say, “Hey Hannah! Look here!” and she’ll look and I’ll flip her off and she’ll fall on the floor laughing. Because it IS funny, dammit. Hannah runs to Grace whispering, “Grace! Mom just stuck her middle finger up! Baahaahaaa!” Snort! Admit it, it’s funny…

I listen (loudly) to Eminem with my kids in the room. And they know the words to most of the songs (and others like his). God knows there are inappropriate things in there, but I’m OK with that. That’s just how we roll here. And I’m OK with that.

Here’s the thing though… my kids don’t curse. Ever. Never ever. They know what words are considered “bad words” and they just don’t say them. Ever. They wouldn’t dream of it (because we will punish them in ways they can’t imagine). It’s not an option and if it happens, they will pay the price. One time (after years of hearing words like “shit” and “hell” and “ass” and…yes… “fuck”), Grace said to me, “Hey Mom, is it OK if I say the word C-R-A-P?” That’s right…. she spelled out the word “crap” because she didn’t want to say it and get in trouble. LOL!

My kids kick ass. They’re both straight A students (except for one B this marking period that was only one point away from an A)… They’re polite… They say please and thank you… They respect other people… And they’re both kind-hearted souls who are GOOD to each other and other people. We get complimented all of the time about what good kids they are. They can sit in a room of all adults and hold intelligent conversations for hours at a time without being rude or a bother or just plain annoying. And whether you want to admit it or not, some kids are just plain annoying and a pain in the ass… “Mommy… hold me!”… “Daddy, my finger hurts!”… “Mommy and Daddy, why aren’t you playing with me?!?”… [SMACK!!!! Go away and let your parents hold adult conversations, dammit!] My kids can sit in a room of adults and you will either not even realize they’re there or they’ll actually contribute to the conversation. If they aren’t interested, they walk away and find something else to do, without making a scene or begging for our attention or annoying the living crap out of the adults in the room. We encourage our adult friends to have conversations with them in the room that they would have even if the kids weren’t there (within reason of course). I want my kids to hear things that grown ups talk about and ask us questions if they have them. And I’m often surprised that my kids contribute in a way that I never expected them to. I think that’s a good thing.

And we’re a close family. We all hug and kiss all the time. The four of us often (like several times a week) sit on one couch together and watch American Idol or Glee or whatever and laugh and joke and hang out (while all being squished to within an inch of our lives on that one couch, but that’s OK). We support each other. We praise each other. We lift each other up and generally really enjoy being together. We’ve found what works for us.

My point is that you shouldn’t judge us based on casual things I mention (like the fact that we curse in front of our kids or that they have things like iTouches and DS’s and TVs and are allowed to be on the computer whenever they want to). You don’t know us. You aren’t in our home when no one else is around when we’re all hanging out. You don’t see us several nights a week when one kid is on my lap and the other kid is on Steve’s lap and we’re all watching TV together and laughing and joking at commercials and snuggling and kissing and hugging. You don’t realize that when the kids are here, they are VERY rarely farther than 10 feet from either Steve and/or I and that even if we’re all doing our own thing at the time, we’re very well aware that everyone else is only a few feet away and there if we need them.

So although I’m not encouraging anyone to start randomly yelling “FUCK!” in front of kids not used hearing it (because that would be inappropriate on my part and a real embarrassment on your part when your kid goes to daycare and teaches it the other kids because he/she never heard it before and wants to tell his/her friend about “the new word” he/she learned), I do encourage you all to stop judging other parents and assuming things based on what you’ve heard. Because I guarantee you that 99.9% of the time, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about in terms of that particular family. (And yes, I’d say that in front of my kids. Because my kids rule and would know not to repeat it…)

It’s 1 AM…

August 27, 2010

Do you know where your children are? (Please tell me someone else remembers that commercial from years ago…) I know where mine are. They’re in their bed, asleep, which is where I should be. SO much to catch up on here tomorrow. I was going to do it tonight, but 6:45 AM comes quick and the kids hate when I won’t wake up during the school year to, like, get them dressed and feed them and stuff. So it’s off to bed I go. LOL!

I’m baaack!

August 18, 2010

New blog post coming tomorrow. Pinky swear. Sorry for the MIA status. It’s been a bit “interesting” around here. But tomorrow, we’ll discuss the job interview I had yesterday… Allison style. Stay tuned. ūüôā

Bullets Are Cool

June 17, 2010

First of all, I’m very sorry I haven’t been around. Technically, I HAVE been around (in my real life and stuff… because otherwise, I’d be dead or something). Just not here on the blog. It’s not on purpose. It’s just been one of those crazy weeks where good and bad stuff happens, and the world seems to be spinning and out of control, and you don’t know which way to turn. (For the record, I hate those weeks, but they aren’t usually thrown at us by choice, so I’m sucking it up and dealing with it.)

So let’s do some bullet points. (Because we all love bullet points whether we choose admit it or not…) <– That’s the tech writer in me. Bullet points are my friend. I urge you to welcome them in and make them your friend too. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

  • My younger daughter, Hannah, turned 7 last weekend. God bless the little spitfire. She drives me fucking mad in so many ways, but at the same time, she’s a cutie with a good heart so I let her demon ways slide sometimes. But only sometimes, because otherwise, she’ll be one of those useless, pathetic whores that ends up on the Bachelor and that would just be bad.
  • My unemployment compensation suddenly ran out. Just… POOF!… gone. Now I’m not complaining, because I’ve sucked off the system way longer than I should’ve been allowed to. Seriously. I make no apologies for that in many ways, but I also make would’ve appreciated some warning. I had NO clue it was ending and suddenly, we’re without a considerable amount of money every week that we were used to having. [Enter stress…]
  • Heard back from the woman I interviewed with last week and the pharmaceutical company is “seriously considering me as a candidate” but wanted some more details about specific pharma clients I’ve worked with in the past. Seriously? That was between 5 and 15 years ago! I’m lucky I remember the last time I freakin’ peed, let alone what clients I worked for that long ago and what boring technical documentation I wrote way back then. My brain is mush. But I managed to put together a brief glimpse into my career past and sent it along. Hopefully, I’ll hear back sometime soon and we can get this damn ball rolling.
  • Two days ago, I finally got my “baby” back in the mail. That would be my Canon Rebel Xti. My stupid dog (and she really is sort of stupid. Seriously… Ask anyone who’s met her…) pulled it off my desk way back in December, smashing it, but it was only recently that I managed to get it sent in (and pay) for repair. I’ve been a photo-taking fool the past 48 hours. I even made “Welcome Home, Baby Rebel” signs and hung them around the living room. (My kids were confused at first, but after explaining it to them, they got excited that in nine months, they’ll have a little brother named Rebel. Don’t bother trying to explain to them what I really meant. It’s not worth it and will only disappoint them.)
  • In the past 48 hours, I’ve watched my older daughter, Grace, finally realize what a true friend is, and realize that not all girls like to boss each other around and dictate who is and is not “allowed” to be a friend in the group (especially at age 8). This thrills me in ways you can’t even imagine, based on 4 years of misery due to Grace’s poor choice of a best friend. It was a long haul, but I knew it would have to be her decision and her realizations, and it finally happened. Words cannot describe my joy. Seriously, you have no idea. And the new friend is currently asleep upstairs in Grace’s bedroom, here for a sleepover, and one of the most well-behaved and sweetest kids I’ve ever met. (We won’t discuss the voicemail message the “old” best friend left on my answering machine 2 days ago. I would kick my kid’s ass if they ever even thought about leaving a message like this kid did, and that’s all I’ll say about that…)
  • Oh, but while we’re here, we also won’t discuss how I specifically requested that my child and the old best friend be separated next year in school (which Grace will never, ever, ever know).¬† It was time. Believe me, it was time…
  • I had a epiphany the past week. It’s another post for another time (possibly tomorrow?), but it was what I needed to do make myself become (once again) the person I want to be. Not trying to be vague here, but I needed to do some serious soul-searching, and I now know what needs to happen so it’s all good. I will blog about it soon, but it doesn’t fit in with my whole bullet point theme tonight, so we’re letting it slide for now.
  • I decided that my husband is the best husband that anyone could possibly ever ask for. Ever. I hate gushy, true love type crap in ways you can’t imagine. And I refuse to write about how we have the perfect marriage and how he’s my “soul mate” and stuff. But honestly, the dude really rocks. And we, as a couple, rock. Seriously, unabashedly rock. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the true rocking didn’t come more from his side than mine. I truly hope that everyone out there finds their Steve. Because my Steve is a god. And I have no doubts that we’ll be that 80-year-old couple you see years from now, sitting on the porch, drinking beer and reminiscing about how we fell in love, etc. I love the guy. Truly, truly love him.
  • I’ve decided to weed out my friends. Is that wrong? Not necessarily my real life friends that I see every day, because for the most part, I like most of them. (Note that I said most.) I’m talking about my Facebook/email/blogging/etc. friends. I still like most of them just fine, but there are a few that I honestly used to be friends with, but now, really don’t like very much for various reasons. Either they’ve changed, or I’ve changed, but suddenly, I want to punch some of them in the face and tell them that I hate them. That’s wrong, isn’t it? I figure the unfriending of them on Facebook will be hint enough for now, right? And even some of my real life friends annoy me at this point. I think I’m just cranky right now. Or PMSing. Or something. But I’m done with being “friends” with people who I don’t really like. It’s time to move on…

I think that’s it for now. Tomorrow’s a crazy busy day and I need to get to bed. But I’ll make sure to blog soon about my soul-searching process. Not because I’m egotistical enough to think that y’all care. But because I think that a lot of us have gone through the same process, or had the same thoughts, etc. and I feel the need to be the catalyst for the discussion about it. It’s all good…:)

A Job Interview — Allison Style…

June 10, 2010

Some excerpts from my job interview today.

(Quick background info… today I interviewed with 2 people who work at Company #1. Company #1 places people in job positions at other companies. The position I’m trying to get is at a pharmaceutical company. So the people I met today were meeting me first to decide whether or not to pass my info along to the pharmaceutical company. Got that? Good. Let’s go…)

Woman: “OK. Well, you seem like a great fit. We’ll submit your resume to them and see what happens.”

Man: “We’ll also make sure to tell them you aren’t an axe murderer.” (This was in reference to an earlier conversation in the interview.)

Me: “Awesome! And make sure you reiterate that I own rifles and stuff and can kill them from a WAY longer distance than if I only had an ax.”

Me: “Oh, on every holiday at our house, my 6 and 8-year-old daughters pull out their BB guns and shoot at targets we set up for them in the backyard.”

Woman: “So you have some experience using Visio?”

Me: “Is it on my resume?” (As I glanced across the table at the copy of my resume she had in front of her.)

Woman: “Yes.”

Me: “Then apparently, yes I do, although I also apparently have no recollection of it since I had to ask. But I’m sure I’d remember how to use it if I ever saw it in front of me again.”

Me: “The best was when my kids ate bear meat burgers one night and then we got a call from the taxidermist the next day and went to pick up the bear mount that’s now in our living room. It was hilarious when we told the kids that the night before, they had eaten the very bear that was sitting right in front of them.

Me: “Oh, I commuted over 70 miles every day for years.”

Man: “What the hell’s wrong with you?”

Me: “Eh. I met my husband and moved back to my hometown for him and then I sucked it up for him for a few years.”

(It wasn’t until later that I realized how many ways my statement about “sucking it up” could be taken.)

Me: “During one interview I once had, I made a joke about the guy in a picture hanging on the wall in the office. Then they told me it was an employee that had been killed in a motorcycle accident. That kind of sucked. I didn’t get the job.”

I swear on some random person’s grave, all of these words were uttered today. Honestly though? I rocked the interview. Totally rocked it! They’re sending my resume to the appropriate people at the company where the job is and hopefully, they’ll want to meet with me. I’m thinking though that perhaps I should hone my interviewing skills a bit before I go? That’s just a thought…

Holy shit, I suck!

June 9, 2010

Oy. I suck. I suck in ways that are beyond the normal definitions of suckage. (WordPress is telling me right now (via the red squiggly line under the word) that “suckage” isn’t a real word, but I know in my heart that it is. And if it isn’t, it should be. Of course, WordPress is also telling me right now that “WordPress” isn’t a real word (via the red squiggly line) so it’s obvious that they aren’t really that smart and stuff).

Anyway, I suck because I haven’t blogged. In my defense, it’s because life seems to have done that thing it does from time to time where it sends you into a tailspin and you’re all sorts of discombobulated. Extracurricular activities for the kids have taken over our lives… the school year for the kids ends in two days… several dear friends of mine have had someone important to them pass away in the past week… I decided to finally embark on a business venture I’ve been encouraged to try for years now and am trying to figure out the best way to go about it… and the day-to-day things that normally are automatic seem to have intensified to the point where I feel like the world is spinning WAY too fast and I just want to jump off and see where I end up.

I landed a job interview tomorrow at 10:30 AM. I sent my resume this morning and my phone was ringing less than 1 hour later. Part of me feels flattered by this, but the other part of me is dreading the whole outcome if I actually land this job (for reasons I won’t get into right now). But the bottom line is that my actual brain and what I get paid to do doesn’t exactly line up.

For those that don’t know me well (or at all), I have over 15 years of experience as a technical writer. That means I write REALLY boring crap that no one ever reads unless forced to by their job responsibilities. Seriously. The stuff I write would put the most hyperactive person on the planet¬† to sleep. But surprisingly, it pays quite well at times. Really well at times if we’re being honest.

But that isn’t the “real” me. The real me has no interest in that what-so-ever. I want to write creative, funny stuff, or design logos, or be a graphic artist, or write the great American novel. But the bottom line is that when push comes to shove, that stuff doesn’t pay the bills (unless you’re way more motivated and aggressive than I am). So once again, we’re at that crossroads where I have to¬† suck it up and do what I have to do to pay some bills and be a responsible adult.

So tomorrow, I’ll go to the interview and take my boring ass writing samples and say what I think the interviewer wants me to say. I’m surprisingly good at what I do, so I know in my heart that I have the ability to do a damn good job. But I also know that as I’m feeding them all of the “correct” responses, I’ll be thinking about how I got to this point and wondering if there’s a way to run out of the interview and still have them pay me even though they don’t offer me the job.

So I guess that right now, I’m asking for lots of good luck vibes for tomorrow and halfheartedly asking for some positive thoughts that I don’t say or do something really stupid during my interview. Because god knows it wouldn’t be the first time. Sigh…

Oh, How Far We’ve Come…

May 27, 2010

So I mentioned in my last post that at our local library’s book sale a week or two ago, I bought a book for the kids. I won’t go into details about why I selected it, but just seeing the cover and the title, I knew it would be hilarious without even trying. Because let’s face it, times have changed over the last 30 years. And I could tell by the cover that the book was old and would provide me with many a chuckle. And once I checked the copyright date (1970), I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And I wasn’t. At all.

So here’s the cover:

Well, it’s good to see that the two characters are satisfied with their gender. (Which leads me to believe that Chastity Bono wasn’t a contributor to the book, but it’s all good.)

So when you first start reading it, it’s nothing too flaming. It’s stuff like this:

And this:

Yes, there can absolutely be arguments made here, but they’re nothing compared to what’s coming up…

The next pages are starting to be what I had hoped they’d be when I bought the book:

Oh my. I know PLENTY of girl doctors and several male nurses. So now we’re starting to cross a line here, Whitney. Watch yourself. Let’s turn the page, shall we? Because it’s about to get really good…

Whoa Whitney! Check yourself, sister! First of all, every single person in these illustrations looks beyond pissed off. I get the dude in the car being ticketed by the metermaid (do they still have those?). But the policeman looks ready to rip that baby out of the stroller and bodyslam her on the sidewalk. And that mom looks beyond pissed. And what’s with the metermaid’s face? Honey, you’re giving him a parking ticket… not arresting a violent sex offender. Get off your high horse. My god…

But let’s move on, shall we?…

OK. I’ll give you 50% of this one. Because although it’s still rare to find a girl football player (although it happens), there are plenty of boy cheerleaders. I mean, if it wasn’t for them, who would hoist the young girls up and hold them over their heads by their crotches? That would be weird for a chick to do that to another chick, ya know? Thank god for dude cheerleaders.

Next page?

OK. So this one is only slightly amusing. Because you really don’t hear about many girl pilots (although I assume there are some out there). I guess the only thing wrong with this set of pages and that girls are no longer called stewardesses. However, I am greatly disturbed that the stewardesses underwear are showing here. Really Whitney? [shaking head…]

Now we’re about to get downright offensive…

Whoa! Back it up Whitney! Seriously? I’m about to hunt you down and fix you, you ignorant bitch!!! I’m already fired up and then on the next page, you say this?

Wow. In this case, I think it’s the boys that should be offended. I know many a man who can whip up dishes that God himself would eat if he could. You’re batting 1000 here Whitney. But it can’t get any worse, right? Wrong.

Um, wow. Just wow. I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree here Whitney. Because see, there are all SORTS of things invented by women. Like windshield wipers, disposable diapers, White Out, bras, and even chocolate chip cookies.¬† So take that Whitney!

Now surely you’re done pissing me off right? I said, RIGHT?!?!

Ugh. Obviously Whitney doesn’t know me very well. Because when it comes to “keeping houses” I suck. In fact, I’m surprised my house hasn’t run away on me by now. Just up and said one day, “Hey Allison, you can’t keep me. I’m outta here!” I wouldn’t blame it one bit if we’re being honest here. But Whitney, you’re an ass.

After that, the book once again goes back to being not too offensive. The last page is the boy and girl sitting together on a porch swing with the words, “We need each other,” under them. Even that annoys me in some ways, but by the time I got to that page, I was too fired up to even form coherent thoughts. LOL!

The truth is, none of the book actually angered me. I was laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my face. And god bless Whitney. Because back when she wrote the book, the things she said were pretty much the norm (which makes me shudder). I’m glad we’ve come a long way. (And based on the confused looks on my daughters’ faces as they each read the book for the first time, they’re pretty happy about that too…)