Not Writing on Vacation

(I apologize. I had writer’s block. I still may, but I’m sitting down to write any ways. Good luck, reader.)

One of the reasons I haven’t written in a while is because we went on vacation.

First I was in a blur of prep. When living in my own house and preparing for travel, I had a staging area that I would drop the things we would need on a trip. I may start two weeks out just dropping a thing or two as I remembered it. Usually it would start a few days before. Oh, we need this. And this. After I put this load in, I’ll get this thing out while I’m thinking about it.

I cannot do that in my parents’ house. Oh, my mother will say I can. But I really can’t. The remarks and sighs and looks, you know. So prep drop happens on paper and then 24 hours before the trip, making me look sloppy, but I am pretty organized, so there is that.

Second, I did download the WordPress App. I figured when we had down time, I would write. After the boys went to bed, I would write. But you know what I learned this trip?

We don’t have to hang out at the hotel. For any reason. No one needs naps. We can leave early for things. And my morning birds can’t rise with the sun if the black out curtains are closed. They still get their 10 hours of sleep. But as soon as 10 hours is up, up they jump. So when they went to bed late, they slept in.

We never had down time in the hotel. If we didn’t have a scheduled activity, we went to the beach or to a park. If a boy was tired, he would sit with me and build sandcastles. Since I’m willing to drive all around an area we’re staying with, they rested in the car.

As for night times, usually I am a stickler for bedtimes. My boys don’t sleep in. Dawn comes, and they’re up with the sun. But when I told them we can stay as late as they could handle it at Disneyland, we stayed until nearly 10, getting back to the hotel a little after 10. Then the most amazing thing happened, they woke 10 hours later. (Well, from 10, they fell asleep in the car, woke at the hotel, and went straight to sleep in their beds.) Each night (except the unexpected last night, different story) they went to bed late (and I felt guilty), but they woke after 10 hours refreshed (and I felt less guilty).

I highly recommend not hanging out in the hotel room. No arguing over the TV. No jumping on beds. No wrestling. No fighting. No craziness. It was glorious. I mean, they still fought, argued, and were crazy, just not in a tiny cramped space.

I enjoyed this so much that when my mom suggested we go on vacation together next year, I’m a little hesitant. They like to return to the hotel an hour or so before dinner to relax and go swimming. And I don’t want to go back to that.

(Look at that. When in writing doubt, start from the beginning…..)

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I’m dying, Egypt, dying.

It’s like my favorite line from “Antony and Cleopatra” by William Shakespeare. I don’t know why. Probably because it’s so damn melodramatic. Christ, Antony, die with some dignity, man.

As for me, Friday I had to get a tooth pulled. Kids, this what you get for not going to dentist in years.  How many? That’s between my priest and me. But almost all of those years, I didn’t have dental insurance. Actually everyone was quite surprised how well my teeth held up, but because I didn’t have dental insurance, I was near-obsessive with my teeth cleaning. I got the tooth pulled none-too-soon as it turned out an abscess was forming at the root. No, I didn’t take a picture or bring it home because I would like my kids to get into hard sciences and they’re a little squeamish.

Saturday Tornado E had a swim check for Boy Scouts and a pool party. At the Scout Master’s insistence, I had a burger before rushing Tornado E to his party. Once I dropped him off, I met my family for lunch before rushing to make it to the bank before close. And then I felt a little sick. So I took a nap and woke to feeling more sick and running off to get Tornado E.

By dinner, I was sick. Was it the abscess draining into my stomach? Was it food poisoning? (I’ve had food poisoning a lot; each time makes you more susceptible to it, making me a target long before the rest of the folks.) Was it a bug? (Like my mom argues; why are we having this argument?) It doesn’t matter. The details aren’t pretty. But basically I couldn’t eat anything for well over 36 hours, and I slept nearly all day Sunday. When I wasn’t asleep, I was in a headache haze because now I was in the middle of caffeine withdrawals. Bastards.

The worst part was this was my weekend with my kids!

Oh, I understand the little envy of you parents with full custody or still happily married parents, but when you are forced to be without your kids for any amount of time on a regular basis, well, I want to spend the time I do have them with them. And seeing that during the school year I’m the hard-ass, forcing them to do everything at my house where they will get the help and push they need, I really, really love the summers where I can be the fun parent.

Don’t worry about the kids. They had a great day. They watched a Back to the Future marathon. My mom fried them homemade doughnuts for breakfast. My dad brought them home a pizza. My parents took them swimming. My dad grilled steak. My mom made funnel cakes. (Please keep in mind that I couldn’t eat any of this and my parents were aware of this fact. I am torn how to feel about this.)

Then last night Tornado E started vomiting. While I’m naturally not a very good night parent, after 13 hours of sleep (according to the FitBit), I was able to be up and helpful without any annoyance in my voice. So today Tornado E clung to his existence, not nearly as desperately as I had the day before. In fact, he was able to do his worksheets and antagonize his brothers; while, somewhere in the middle of the day, I shuddered in my caffeine withdrawals as I nursed my bland foods and clear liquids diet.

I miss my caffeine. Look how long of a post I can make over complaining about being sick.

I’m going to go nurse my headache and pray for mercy. Hopefully tomorrow I can happily resume my addiction without praying to the porcielain god. With any luck, I can get my boys back so I can take them to Wonder Woman. (Yeah, we haven’t even been able to go to the movies because this vicious micro-plague.)

I Miss This

The last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I don’t have a place to write about my kid stories and my mom stories. I’ve been thinking about how much I missed my blog friends. Then the other day I mentioned I once ran a mommy blog for years, and the person asked me about it. After I explained, she said wow, what an amazing experience. And it was.

So I’m going to start blogging again. I can’t promise I can do it regularly. I’m hoping to do write Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with a weekend post every now and then. You see, now I’m a full time teacher, and this is my first year teaching all Freshman under the new curriculum. Tuesday nights are karate nights… for the boys. Thursday is Cub Scout and Boy Scout nights …  for us all. But Monday is Nerd Night, and Friday is Art Night … both for me. Wednesday is Kung Fu night, but that’s only for Tornado A, and he’s done by 6:30.

This might not even work out, since I now call, email, and write my federal legislators every day. I’m looking forward to the day I can write to my state legislators. I’m working on my poetry, and I’m editing a manuscript. But who isn’t? I’m studying Spanish. Note to self, work on Spanish later. I’m also studying to take the history and government test in the summer because why wouldn’t I want to be qualified to teach more subjects? I don’t plan on giving up journaling again because that’s for me. Please, Lord, someone burn those when I die.

Beyond that, I’m raising three active, smart, funny boys, living with my parents, and fighting depression. Now you know why I keep a journal. Next stop, meditation. When I get the time.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.

Summer?

Summer ends this week.

What?

Where did it go?

It was here a minute ago.

I want to go do something A-MAZING with the boys on their last day.

I’m not sure what.

On the other hand, I’ve been scouring YouTube for the perfect scene for the post I’ve been working on. . . for . . . um. . .days.

Also I have no idea what a Gif is. I do. But not really. Magic. And how to make one. Magic and trolls and gnomes.

Back to looking for this perfect video. . . .

Dieting on Facebook

I’ve already had a post on things I don’t like about Facebook.  Talking about dieting is another thing.  I have a few health fanatics among my friends.  Health fanatics is the polite term.  Obsessed with being thin is probably more accurate.  But I hate the diet memes.

If you believe this, then you haven’t lived, and you don’t know how to cook or you’ve never been to a good restaurant.  You live a sad little life.  You’re missing so much!  I can think of amazing clam chowder, brilliant sushi rolls, chocolate shakes that complete one’s soul, fried chicken that built an amusement park, ice cream that haunts dreams, steaks that melted like butter.  I’ll pass on being skinny.

I’m most concern with “blowing hours of hard work in the gym for a few minutes of pleasure in the kitchen.”  Why most it be either or?  Why can’t you have both?  Why not spend a few minutes on pleasure?  Why am I thinking this had some sort of implications about sex?

This is just sick.

Because when you’re with friends, all you care about is how you look.  You should surround yourself with fat chicks.  Then you will always feel pretty.  Or you could have real friends who support and love you, make you laugh, let you be yourself, and make you fight for the fries that moments ago you said you shouldn’t eat but hey! no one steals my fries.

Amen!

Let’s get some ice cream.  I know a great place for milk shakes.

Facebook friends, you’re annoying

I’m a little annoyed with certain people on Facebook right now.  Or I should say I’m annoyed by a certain behavior that a few of my Facebook friends exhibit.  Let’s call it the “Perfect Parent” behavior.

It starts out with those memes.  “Like if your kids are the best kids in the whole world.”  “Like if your kids are your whole world.”  “Like if you love your kids more than anything.”  God.  I’m not a fan of the “like if” craze any ways.  I mean of course I hate cancer, support the troops, hope that kid’s parent stops smoking, hope that kid gets his/her dog/pony/elephant.  And of course, my kids are my favorite kids that I love more than any other kid in the whole world.  Well, except for that little girl in Monster Inc.  I’d take her in a heart beat.  Perhaps over my kids.  Maybe.

One day I’m going to respond to those posts with “Like if your kid’s acting like a brat and you want to lock him outside until he learns some manners but I love him anyways.”  Yeah, that’ll show them.

But those memes aren’t even the worse.  There some really weird ones.  I especially hate “You’ll be his first love, his first kiss, and his first friend.  You are his mommy, and he is your whole world.  He is your little boy.”  First off, I added the comas.  I was going to leave it as it appears all over Facebook and Pinterest, but then I developed a tick.  Second, no.  No, no, no.  There’s something so off and weird and f-ing wrong to say you are your son’s first love and first kiss.  Because when we say “First Love”  and “First Kiss” as in “my first love”  and “my first kiss,” we do not mean our parents, who loved us unconditionally and covered our bodies with kisses and loved us to pieces.  When we say “my first kiss,” we’re talking about that awkward first kiss from someone who likes us and not a family member.  When we say “my first love,” we talk about that first person we fell in romantically in love with, not our family members.

On top of this, the people who do these meme on my Facebo0ok are people I know.  Most of them are crappier parents than I am.  I’m sorry, but you can’t claim “World’s Best Mom” or “I love my kids more than anything else in the world” if you let your ex take them from you and rolled over so that you can live your life without them.  You don’t get to be a crappy parent and act like you were awesome.  (Ok, you can.  But people like me can call you out on that BS.  I’ll be happy to.)

But my favorite annoyance is the friends I know in person that I know about them who write personal things like “I just caught my kids reading and giggling an hour after bed time; how can I punish them when they’re so darn cute.”  Really?  It’s easy.  You do.  It’s a school night; they broke the rules; you handle that.  Also, I wouldn’t say punish as much as discipline them.  Or “My oldest two have reached the age where they don’t fight anymore, and now the second and third are always fighting.”  Unless your eldest has moved out of the house, which is doubtful because he’s seven, this is just a phase.  Which I couldn’t help myself and wrote.  (The “it’s a phase” part because I try not to be a total bitch on Facebook.)  Tomorrow those two are going to have a huge fist-flying fight over a stupid toy that you have double of.  Because they are siblings.  Or my favorite favorite over the last week, “Oh my god, my kid woke my up at 7:30; I don’t know why she’s up so early.”  Don’t even f-ing talk to me.  Don’t.  Until you have a child starts screaming for you at 5:45, don’t even mention an early morning wake up call.

(Not really in the same category but still made me want to type something was a friend complaining about how her 2yr old threw her shoe out the window on the freeway as my friend drove 85 miles an hour.  Questions: Why was your window down while you drove the freeway?  Why were you driving that fast with your window down?  Why were you driving that fast around the town on the freeway?  Did you learn nothing when you got your first speeding ticket on your 16th birthday all those years ago?)

In conclusion, we all know you love your kids, we all know your kids are awesome, and I don’t mind seeing and liking millions of cute pictures and cute little tidbits about your kids.  Just let’s be authentic.  Or at least humorous with our lack of authenticity.  Also, you can’t claim you did an awesome job parenting when your kid is doing time for assault and burglary.

Open Letter to the Boy Scouts of America

I just heard you were considering lifting the ban on keeping gay leaders and boys out of Boy Scouts.  Congratulations.  Admitting there is a problem is the first step.  The second is healing.

Just tp assure you that I know who you are, I was a Girl Scout for eight years.  I worked in the organization for two.  My brothers were both Boy Scouts.  My parents were very involved in their troop.  My baby brother made Eagle Scout.  My eldest son is working on his Wolf Badge.  My middle son wants to join as soon as he’s old enough.  I’m sure my third son will follow his brothers’ footsteps.  So I have a vested stake in your organization.  I believe in a lot of things you do.  Except the bigotry.  I think it is my responsibility to discuss sexual orientation and religious beliefs with my children, and those beliefs and personal understanding has nothing to do with you.

Personally, I think you’re a little confused.  I’m sure when you came up with the ban you thought you were protecting boys.  You were keeping them from being indoctrinated into the gay lifestyle.  I don’t know about you.  But there was never an older boy who took me aside and indoctrinated me into the heterosexual lifestyle.  I assure you my father would have taken care of that boy.  Nor did I chose the heterosexual lifestyle.  It is just part of who I am. 

Now that we established that none of us “chose” to be the sexual lifestyles we are, we can discuss what else you were trying to protect those boys from.  You were trying to protect them from sexual predators.  You were afraid that some gay older boy of 17 will make sexual advances on some young, impressionable boy of 14.  Let’s work on that scenario.  What if it was some straight older boy of 17 who decides to make sexual advances on some young, impressionable little sister of another scout on a camping trip?  What would you do?  How would you feel?  If you’re not outraged and disgusted, then we have a much bigger problem here.  The correct answer is you deal with the boy who is making unwanted advances with strict discipline and a call to the police.  What if it was a young leader of 22 making sexual advances of a sixteen-year-old sister of another scout?  Again, the feeling should be disgust and outrage, and the action should be a strict disciplinary action and a call to the police..  What if a female adult leader or a mother makes sexual contact with one of the boys?  Again the feeling should be disgust and outrage, and the action should be strict disciplinary action and a call to the police.  Sexual predators are about taking advantage of their authority, their power, to thrust themselves on someone weaker.  It’s not about gay or straight.  It’s about power.  If you ban gays, you let the monsters who claim heterosexuality just waltz in.  If you  need an example, Jerry Sandusky.

There is your practical answer for the conservatives.  The new policy should be about protecting boys from predators.  “There should be no inappropriate touching, sexual advances, or relationships.”  Have your lawyers work it out.

But if we want to talk about the emotional impact, let’s think of the Boy Scout, who has just come to terms he is gay.  This boy must feel very alone and scared and worried.  What will his parents think?  What will his family think?  What will his friends think?  What about his leader and troop?  You are telling him to lie if he wants to stay in the Boy Scouts.  You’re telling him not to be morally straight, not to be honest with himself or others.  You’re asking him to go against his oath that you have made him swear at every Boy Scout function.  You’re telling him not to be brave, like it says in your laws.

What do you teach all the other boys in your organization?  They shouldn’t be loyal to their gay friends.  They shouldn’t be kind, friendly, or courteous to gay people.  They shouldn’t be brave, helpful, or trustworthy towards gay people.  That’s the problem with bigotry, it undermines all the good in the world.

So Boy Scouts of America, are you going to live up to your oath and law?