## Sunday, October 14, 2012

### Monday Vent - Families & Money

Last April, my mother and her husband asked me if I would be interested in buying their mini-van that they were planning to sell.  I immediately said "yes'.  Even though I have never wanted a mini-van, it has low mileage, all the bells and whistles, has been treated very well, and they said they would sell it to me for the trade-in value.  This is a great deal, and my husband and I agreed.  My mother said that I could pay her what I got for my car, and that she would extend me a 0% loan for the rest, with the agreement that I would pay it off as quickly as possible.  This sounded great and I told her how much I appreciated her generosity.  Our niece said that she would like to buy my current car from us.  This all seemed to be working out well.  That was six months ago.  I have periodically asked if they had found the new car they wanted to buy, but their lives have been rather busy, and they just haven't gotten around to it.  That's fine.  I don't owe anything on my current car and it's nice not having car payments.  My niece has also been asking when we might be selling, but has been patient also.  Now, my mother has told me that they are actually going to be selling both of their cars and that she will need six-thousand dollars from me to put the first payment on her new car, which she will then pay off within a couple months.  Oh, and she wants this within the next 2-3 weeks.  I don't know about any of you, but, we are only selling our car for $3500 and I don't have an extra$2500 laying around to pay out in a few weeks.  When I told her that I don't have that kind of money, she was unhappy and said that she didn't know what we should do because she thought I would get more for my car.  Of course, I had told her six months ago how much my car was worth,  Now, 6 months later, and five-thousand more miles on it, it's worth even less.  I'm just completely irritated!  I know that she has more than enough money to buy herself, her husband, and heck, everyone in the family a new car with cash along with a few houses thrown in for fun.  (She has shared her financial information with me because I will be the executor of her will if anything should happen to her).  But now, she wants to put pressure on me to take money out of my savings, of which I don't have very much, because she doesn't want to cash something else in.  If I had known six months ago, I would have made arrangements to set something aside.  I knew it sounded too good to be true.  I have never wanted to take money from her, not that she has offered.  She knows that we are responsible with money and that we have worked hard for everything that we have and have not received any financial help or handouts. I guess we will just have to continue on not getting any breaks, especially from family.  I know...I sound bitter.  I am glad that she is healthy and has no financial concerns.  I'm thankful that she is with us and spends time with us.  She's just quirky about money, which is probably one of the reasons she has so much.
S-)

## Definition of JACKANAPES

1
2a : an impudent or conceited fellow
b : a saucy or mischievous child

## Tuesday, October 2, 2012

### When the Table is Turned - Adoption Style

Back when my husband and I were starting our family, he told me that he thought we should adopt. I was taken by  surprise by such a lovely thought coming from my new husband. It wasn't because I didn't think he was capable of it, it was just that it had never come up before. In all of our pre-wedding and post-wedding conversations of our future, adoption had never been mentioned. The conversation of children came up as well as how many we would like came up (3 btw was the number we both liked), but HOW those children would enter our lives never came up. I assumed I would get pregnant and deliver them. He wanted to give a parent-less child a chance.
We were married a whole 2 weeks when my husband asked "So when are we going to start having kids?". I was shocked by his enthusiasm to "get cookin' " and probably reacted like a child hating ogre. "What do you mean?" I blurted out. "We've only been married 2 weeks!" The look on his face was shock. I immediate felt bad, calmed myself and then explained my reaction. "I wanted to be married for a while, just the two of us. Once we start having kids, it will never be just the two of us. Besides, I want to finish getting my black belt (in karate). I know that will never happen once I have kids." Surprisingly, that last "selfish" comment was the one that seemed to sway him. He agreed, waited patiently for several months, and drove with me to Ohio for my black belt test.

In my mind, I knew that once I got that black belt, I needed to keep my end of the deal. I was also now ready to start our family. I watched the calendar for prime ovulation windows and told my husband "Well, if you want to start having kids, today would be a good day to start trying." I imagined I would be swept off of my feet, but instead my husband said "I think we should adopt." What? Did I just hear correctly? "Really?" I asked. He explained how he felt and I was completely on board with adoption. However, I also felt the desire to try and have at least one biological child too. We agreed that baby #1 would be biological and then we would re-visit the conversation for babies #2 and #3.

When it was time for baby #2, I had already been researching adoption. I had looked into the process, the length of time it could take, and the costs involved in the process of adoption. I shared all of the information with my husband and we agreed that baby #2 would be biological. We wanted a second child sooner rather than later to grow up with baby #1 (they are only 19 months apart). We knew that adoption can take several years and a lot of money, that we just didn't have.

Baby #2 arrived and I continued to look into adoption. I also looked into becoming Foster Parents. I contacted someone at Catholic Charities and started the process. I met with the representative, filled out forms, got reference letters and signed us up for a required orientation class. Two days before the class, my husband told me that he couldn't go because he had to help his dad move. I was disappointed to say the least. This was the first point where he would have to be involved, and he didn't seem to be on board.

I asked if he thought we should have a biological baby #3. He was completely against it saying "Pregnancy is just too hard on you." It was a sweet comment. He was right. I didn't think he had noticed those last two 9 month spans. He seemed done and content with the two beautiful babies we already had.

Enter mommy guilt. Of course I was happy with the two beautiful babies we already had. But in the back of my mind, we were always going to have 3 children. I thought that perhaps the miscarriage I had prior to baby #1 was the 3rd child that I was feeling was missing. How could I want another child when I was so fortunate to have two healthy, beautiful and good boys already? As my boys grew, I grew to love having two. One at each hand, one on each knee, one on either side of me as bookends on the couch. Yes, two was the perfect number for us, for our family. Our family was complete.  I was sure of it.

Fast forward ten years to last weekend. My husband and I were sitting by the fire pit in our back yard. We were talking about nothing in particular when suddenly he says to me "What do you think about adopting a little girl? I mean, not a baby, like maybe 6 years old or so. I was upstairs and I saw that spare bedroom just sitting there, doing nothing. I know we don't really have any money, but maybe we can give a kid a chance." What? Did I just hear correctly? (Again) I looked at him for a second to make sure he wasn't kidding then I said "I started the process a long time ago. I filled out paperwork. I got reference letters. And you shut me down." He nodded and said "I know. And well, I'm not going to change. I'm still going to go out on my motorcycle and you're still going to be doing everything." I smiled and said "I know." Then we looked back at the fire pit and that was the end of the conversation.

I couldn't stop thinking about it the next day. Since then I've had dreams that I was pregnant, and then wasn't. I had a dream that I had an extra child that wasn't a boy. And, as I told my friend "You don't tell someone who loves puppies, that they can get another puppy."

For now we are taking it slow. As my husband pointed out, we are barely supporting our family now, so due to financial reasons we can't move forward. However, I am hopeful that our financial situation will improve and one day you will be reading my blogs about the adoption process!

=J

Adoption Healing By Soll, Joseph M./ Buterbaugh, Karen Wilson

## Monday, May 14, 2012

### Monday Vent - Shaking My Head

I have always been a hard working person who doesn't like to let people down. I take on more than I should and I deliver on promises. I put a certain amount of pressure on myself to keep a certain standard.

And some days, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

My kids are good. They listen. They work hard. They don't expect hand outs. They save their money for things they want. They are well adjusted and well liked.

And some days, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

Grandparents on both sides have taken it upon themselves to comment how great my boys are. They acknowledge that my husband and I are good parents. They say how wonderful of a job we've done.

And some day, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

I'm wondering WHY their cousins, on BOTH sides, are treated SO much differently than my kids are. Family that goes out of their way to say "everyone is being treated equally" are SO obviously NOT.

I have gotten used to being in that position. I'm the one who gets overlooked so that my "poor brother" can be helped. My husband grew up with a sick brother and a little sister and was overlooked as well.

We don't like it. We would also never ask for a handout like our siblings are just presented with. Every time I hear "poor them" I want to scream "what about us?" We are in the SAME boat! You MUST KNOW that! Is it because we are not whining and crying about it? Is it because we wipe up the crap and move on?

And some days, I'm left shaking my head wondering why.

Today is one of those days.

My kids have come to accept that their cousins on my husband's side are lavished with gifts. Multiple game systems, toys, etc. seem to rain upon them. Christmas leaves my boys saying "Did you see how much STUFF they got?" It was overwhelming for the cousins to get through all of the unwrapping.

I have come to accept, but choose to keep it to myself that my kids' cousins on my side are treated a bit differently by my parents. Swim lessons are paid for, art lessons are paid for, and there are little shopping trips for the kids without mine. I tell myself "it is no big deal" and then quietly wish they would offer to pay for swim lessons so we could afford to have my kids to take them too.

And now today, the straw that started this post. My father, while having good intentions in his effort to make my nephew's life a little better, has overlooked my boys, AGAIN.

True, my brother is an idiot. True, my brother doesn't treat his kids the way we think he should. True, my nephew doesn't have many friends. True, that I have done all I can to make my nephew's life a bit better too.

Bottom line is this. I won't be able to hide the preferential treatment from my boys this time. Up until now, they thought that at least MY parents treated them equally.

I DON'T WANT my boys to feel all of the feelings I'm feeling! Hurt, angry, jealous, petty, disappointed, less important, confused and then back to the beginning of the list.

I know that someone will say "Well, life isn't fair and this is helping them grow into strong individuals." To that I say "Screw you!"

"If I'm an idiot that does stupid things, doesn't have my shit together, can't seem to get my kids dressed and out of the house, get overwhelmed by every little thing, cry and complain about how the world is treating me so terribly, act pathetically, don't listen, am not motivated, sponge off of parents as an adult, and don't raise my children well... THEN both me and my children will benefit. People will expect little or nothing from me. I will never be able to let anyone down. I will never have to worry about anyone else but myself. People will just hand me things without me having to work for it and I will learn to expect things to be that way always. I will be liberated from responsibility and clueless to the world of hard work and perseverance."

Would I want to trade places with either side of the family? No. But, at times, it sure doesn't feel good being here either.

Tonight, I will hug my boys a couple of extra times. Try to be the "bigger person" and explain to them what is going on. I know they will be able to handle it, I just don't want them to have to.

Perhaps we will shake our heads together.

=J

## Wednesday, April 4, 2012

### Weird Word Wednesday - Aristology

ARISTOLOGY

Today's weird word is aristology. When I saw this one, I figured it had to be the study of something, especially with the "ology" hanging on the end.

I had no idea what the root word "arist" was though. Turns out, Ariston is Greek for dinner. Therefore, those who study dining are Aristologists and the art of dining is aristology.

Hmmm... who do you think might be hiring for me to be an aristologist?

aristology
Rare. the art or science of dining. — aristologist, n.

## Friday, March 30, 2012

### Bright Side Friday - I Didn't Deliver My Baby In My Sleep

While reading through the posts on Twitter this morning, two things caught my attention.

First, was that it is Friday! I can't believe it's Friday. My week has felt like a series of Mondays.

Second, was a post by a friend, Mandy ()(http://precisiondecisions.blogspot.com/) who had a weird pregnant dream. Her post immediately brought to mind a weird pregnant dream I had over 13 years ago. Yes Mandy, sorry to say, but that traumatic dream you had will stick in your mind forever! lol

When I was pregnant, I had all sorts of weird pregnant dreams. A particularly vivid one was where I could see the baby through my stomach. But the one that I found most disturbing involved me delivering in my sleep.

In my dream, I woke up to not being pregnant anymore. My DH was doing his normal routine and acted as if it was normal that I just woke up after what had to have been several days. I asked about the baby and was given a very flippant answer of all being well, which confused me. How could I have slept through all of this??

Then the next surprise, even though we thought we were having a boy, we had a girl. A GIRL?????? We hadn't agreed on a single girl name. I asked my DH about her name and again, flippantly (I hate that), "Ya, well, I had to name her and you weren't awake, so I picked Elise Lilac." ELISE LILAC????? The name kept running through my head with a WHAT????? attached to it. As gently as possible I asked my DH if it was still possible to change her name after we discussed it a bit and he responded "Fine, but we are keeping Lilac. That's a family name." In my head I was not questioning whether or not Lilac was a family name, but instead thinking, "OK, I can put up with that as a middle name."

When I actually woke up, I was SO relieved that I was STILL pregnant!

Oh, and I delivered a boy, while awake.

=J

## Wednesday, March 28, 2012

### Weird Word Wednesday - Floccinaucinihilipilification

floccinaucinihilipilification

Reading about today's weird word might just be a complete waste of your time. However, it could also save you a bundle!!!

Hypothetically, let's imagine that you are in an antique store and an item catches your eye. You are excited to have found it, but you are not sure of it's worth. Luckily, you happen to have brought with you an assistant. This assistant can not tell a lie, but has been known to try and trick you (really you should fire his arse).

So you ask your assistant "In one word, what do you think about the value of this piece?"

He replies "Floccinaucinihilipilification."

Now, if you're like me, big words sound fancy. You would then think "I'm spending the $1000 and getting it!" However, because you read this blog, you would know IT'S WORTHLESS!!! Stupid assistant.  Main Entry: floccinaucinihilipilification Part of Speech: n Definition: an act or instance of judging something to be worthless or trivial Etymology: the parts of the word each mean 'at nothing' or 'with a small price' ## Wednesday, March 14, 2012 ### House-shopping Aggravation My hubby and I have been planning to move for the last number of years. We have outgrown our townhouse and are ready to make the step into a single-family home. We now have our house on the market and we have been getting a lot of traffic which is a very positive sign. Our realtor has suggested that we begin looking at homes to identify what and where we want to purchase. My husband has been looking at homes online obsessively for the last two years. He likes to put in a price range that is$100,000 over what I think we can actually afford.  He gets aggravated with me because I don't get excited when he finds the "perfect" house for us.  Despite the fact that I have been very clear with him that these homes are out of our realm of reality, he keeps saying, we can knock the price down in negotiations.  He then gets angry with me about having a bad attitude.

We have now talked with a mortgage broker who has confirmed what our actual price point is on a new house.  Surprise, surprise, it is right at the price I have been telling him to look at.  Unfortunately, after spending so much time looking at homes \$100,000 over our price range, he says that all the homes in our price range are garbage and we should just stay right where we are.  When I consider how absurd it is that with the incredible number of homes up for sale, the current "buyers market", and how lucky we are to be in a position that we can take advantage of this situation, he is so completely unreasonable and out-of-touch.

He told me that he's done looking for homes and that it's all up to me.  That sounds fine, until I show him the homes that I would like to go see and all he can do is tear them apart.  Maybe he's right, we should just stay right here so he can continue to complain for the next 30 years about how it's too small. Ugh!!!!!

S-)

## Wednesday, February 29, 2012

### Weird Word Wednesday - Antepenultimate

Antepenultimate

I know that this word is similar to another one I wrote about a few months ago, Penultimate. However, I just couldn't pass it up. Antepenultimate is making my head spin.

Penultimate means second to last. Which I thought was odd, but I could justify it's use in certain situations. Antepenultimate, as you English Majors may have deduced noticing the prefix "ante", means third from the last.

WHY - EVER would someone use this word? Aside from no one knowing what you meant when you said it. And the fact that you would have to use a wordy explanation once you flopped out "antepenultimate", WHY? Just why?

Can ANYONE give me ANY instance where this word would be helpful or useful? Have any of you actually used the word "antepenultimate"? Is it JUST me? I can't even think of a situation where I explained that someone or something was third from the last. "Near the end" seems close enough.

Anyways, if you can come up with some great ways to work "antepenultimate" into a conversation, let me know!

## an·te·pe·nul·ti·mate

[an-tee-pi-nuhl-tuh-mit]
1. third from the end.
2. of or pertaining to an

## Monday, February 27, 2012

### Monday Vent - A Mother's Quandary

To Pee or Not To Pee... Right THERE!

Picture this:  it's the middle of the night and I was asleep.  A light went on in the hallway and it took me a moment to get up and investigate.  I walk into the light, and there is my 5 year old, with his pants down, urinating on a step-stool in the corner.

I know that he is sleep-walking (or sleep-peeing in this moment).  I am stuck in a quandary. I have three choices: Do I pick him up to move him to the bathroom which is literally three feet away from where he is standing?  Do I attempt to wake him up so he stops peeing and then get him into the bathroom?  Or, do I just let him finish his business and keep the mess confined to one area.  No matter what, I have a mess to clean up.

If I move him, he will spray over a larger area of wall and carpet.  If I wake him up, he is likely to begin crying uncontrollably and be scared/disoriented which has happened before.  If I let him finish, I am fighting against my instinct to stop this child from treating the carpet/stepstool/wall as if it were a urinal.  And the choice was.................

I let him finish.  I then cleaned him up and put him into dry pajamas and led him back to bed.  He never woke up.  I started the clean up and then realized I never had him wash his hands.  Technically, he didn't "use" the bathroom, so, other than pulling his pants down, his hands weren't actually dirty...right?

I sure hope no one's keeping score on my skills as a mother!!!

S-)

## Wednesday, February 22, 2012

### Weird Word Wednesday - Ultracrepidarian

ultracrepidarian

Today's weird word is ultracrepidarian. When I saw this one, I KNEW I had to use it. It's another one of those words that sounds complimentary, but isn't.

Ironically, when looking it up, www.merriam-webster.com didn't know the word. Congratulations to them for NOT being an ultracrepidarian site. This is a compliment. Seriously.

My younger brother IS always making ultracrepidarian comments/rants/speeches/etc. It is SO annoying! Even when he really does know what he is talking about, it is normally something that EVERYONE ELSE knows too. It comes off as if he thinks we are all idiots and his instructional jabbering is something we have never heard of before. Grrrr!

So now, when he starts up, and I walk away mid-sentence, just to make it stop, and so I don't actually resort to telling him to "SHUT THE F**K UP!" I can "thank" him for his ultracrepidarian comments, and smile.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ultracrepidarian

 Main Entry: ultracrepidarian Part of Speech: n, adj Definition: beyond one's knowledge or province; pertaining to opinions given on matters beyond one's knowledge; also written ultra-crepidarian Etymology: from Latin 'beyond the sole'

## Definition of ZAFTIG

of a woman
: having a full rounded figure : pleasingly plump

## Variants of ZAFTIG

zaf·tig also zof·tig

## Examples of ZAFTIG

1. The actress playing the lead role was a zaftig blonde.

## Origin of ZAFTIG

Yiddish zaftik juicy, succulent, from zaft juice, sap, from Middle High German saf, saft, from Old High German saf — more at sap
First Known Use: circa 1936

## Wednesday, January 4, 2012

### Weird Word Wednesday - Spanghew

SPANGHEW

This is a term that I think would be used more often if little boys were introduced to it. Two reasons that I think that are because first, it's fun to say, and second, it involves throwing things. I wouldn't tell them about the frog part though...

## Definition:

to throw violently into the air; especially, to throw (a frog) into the air from the end of a stick

Although it originally involved an unsavory pastime in which sticks were used to hurl frogs into the air, this word has had other meanings as well. For example, one 19th century report refers to a particular horse's insistence on "spang–hewing" its riders.
(Spang, by the way, is a verb in its own right. It's mostly used in Scotland and means "throw" or "jump.")

http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/top-10-words-with-bizarre-meanings/spanghew.html

## Tuesday, January 3, 2012

### Monday Vent - Self Absorbed Sibling

Before I get into my first vent of the year, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Hope 2012 brings you great things.

Now for my vent...

My mother's birthday is on January 1st. EVERY year, my mom invites us all over for a wonderful and "holiday" worthy meal to celebrate the New Year and her birthday. Just as it is with Thanksgiving or Christmas, I make sure that my kids and I are over at her house early to help set the tables, prepare food and clean up messes as they are made.

My brother and his family show up in time to eat.

Now, before I get too catty, they do contribute. Their contribution is mixing the rolls at their house. Then they show up at my mom's house to cook them. Honestly, with the crap conversations that come out of their mouths, they are also giving us a break both auditorily and mentally by showing up late.

This year my mom called over to their house at noon to see if they were making the rolls, and she woke them up! My SIL response was "We were up late". NO KIDDING? New Year's Eve was last night and you were up late? We ALL WERE UP LATE YOU DIPSH*T! Even MOM, whose birthday is TODAY was up late, and you can't think beyond yourself enough to get your ARSE OUT OF BED to come help prepare the meal or set the table!?! I mean, I know it meant nothing to you that she had hip replacement surgery 2 weeks before Thanksgiving this year, because you didn't show up early to help, and Christmas was the same story, but not even on HER BIRTHDAY???

They showed up at 2:00. The exact time my mom normally serves the fancier meals. Help was offered by both my brother and SIL when they walked in. They each did that 1 thing and then disappeared. That's when my mom and I started pouring wine into our coffee cups.

As the night went on, I would just randomly give jobs to the two of them even if there was no reason why I couldn't do it. It made me feel a bit better, or maybe it was just the wine.

I can't understand how people can be so clueless and self absorbed. I don't think they are trying to be malicious, but how can anyone be so ignorant?

Hope none of you have people like that in your lives. If you do, please share your story and possible tips to deal with them. I know there is no changing them!

## Monday, December 19, 2011

So, I come into the house after working late and based upon the disarray before me, I can map out the evening activities of my husband and two sons.  After having a dinner of rotisserie chicken, peas, and oven fries they decided to play Wii (clues:  yucky knife on the counter, rotisserie chicken container in the fridge partly open, peas under the table and in front of the garbage can, ketchup smeared on the table).  Did I mention that the dishes were "done"?  Except for the glasses and mess on the table and the pan the fries were baked in, but who's keeping track?  After playing Wii they had a treat/snack (clues:  Wii still on although the TV is off, sticky controllers on the floor in front of the TV).  Husband answered the phone at some point (clue:  phone upside down on the couch in the living room, not in the kitchen sitting on its charger).  Husband let the boys brush their teeth by themselves (clue:  toothpaste smeared on counter and inside of sink).  I know I sound crabby, but I just get defeated looking at the mess that greets me whenever I return to the house.
S-)

## Tuesday, December 13, 2011

### Weird Word Wednesday - chutzpah

I have always secretly admired people who have chutzpa.  Sometimes they can be obnoxious, but I am somewhat in awe of their confidence.  This definition is from the Merriam Webster online dictionary.  It's just a fun word to say!

: supreme self-confidence : nerve, gall

## Examples of CHUTZPAH

1. <had the chutzpah to demand that he be treated as a special case and be given priority in settling his insurance claim>

## Origin of CHUTZPAH

Yiddish khutspe, from Late Hebrew ḥuṣpāh
First Known Use: 1883

## rake2  [reyk]

noun
a dissolute or profligate person, especially a man who is licentious; roué.

Origin:
1645–55; see rakehell

libertine, profligate, lecher, womanizer.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rake

=J Do you have a weird word for us to shar? Let us know and we will mention you in our post!

## Monday, November 28, 2011

### Monday Vent - Swearing

*#@%&!

While growing up there were very strict rules about what we could and could not say.  I remember being slapped for asking my mother what b-u-t-t spelled.  That was a bad word.  My mother would also tell us that swearing was for people who did not have the education or the creativity to effectively put their thoughts into words so they had to rely on the "shock factor" and use profanity.  I admit, I agree with her.  I rarely, if ever, swear, other than the occasional "dammit" when I am injured (e.g. at church, my son slammed the kneeler onto my foot and I swore very quietly under my breath).  My husband typically does not swear in front of me during normal, everyday conversations.  I appreciate the fact that he accommodates my feelings that way.  We do have two young children, which, you would expect would further clean up his language.  For the most part it has, unless he is playing a video game.  While playing these STUPID and INANE games he swears so profusely that I have to shut whatever doors lie between him and me.  Our sons call this game the "yelling game" because he screams at the top of his lungs. We have had so many discussions/arguments about his abuse of language within earshot of our children and me, that I am beside myself with frustration.  My children have learned ALL the swear words there are straight from the mouth of their father.  It's completely infuriating and disgusting to me.

S-)

## Wednesday, November 23, 2011

### Weird Word Wednesday - Pule

PULE

Having children provides one with multiple opportunities to describe whining.  This is a new one for me that I will definitely use! S-)

## Definition of PULE

intransitive verb

## Examples of PULE

1. <a distressed baby puling in its crib>

## Origin of PULE

probably imitative
First Known Use: 1534

## Related to PULE

Synonyms: bleat, mewl, whimper
Related Words: fuss, sniffle, snivel, snuffle, whine; bawl, blub [chiefly British], blubber, cry, sob, weep; peep, squeak; yelp; mumble, murmur

## Monday, November 21, 2011

### Monday Vent - The Kitchen Sponge

Yes, today's vent REALLY IS about the kitchen sponge. Not so much about the kitchen sponge, as where I find it, REPEATEDLY.

For you to fully understand, I will have to share with you my disgust of kitchen sponges. Kitchen sponges, to me, are just playgrounds for germs and bacteria. They gross me out to no end. I use a brush to hand wash things or even a paper towel that then gets thrown away (I know. Not exactly green of me.)

My husband LOVES the kitchen sponge. He will use it on ANYTHING. He will wipe off the counter top and then go right to the cook top. I have seen him use it on dishes and the garbage can. (Hold on... I'm gagging...)

Once he is done using the kitchen sponge, he then throws it into the sink. No rinse. No wringing. No setting in on the edge of the sink so it can dry. Nope. It sits in the sink while cups are rinsed, hands are washed, and dog bowls are filled. That kitchen sponge sits in the bottom of the sink just waiting to be picked up again so a couple squirts of dish soap can be squirted on it and contaminate wash the next thing. (dry heave)

I have tried to discourage the use of the kitchen sponge many times. I hid the kitchen sponge, and my husband found it. I didn't buy new ones, he bought replacements.

I then thought I would at least try to keep the sponge out of the sink. Repeatedly I pulled out the sponge, rinsed it, squeezed the extra water out of it and set it on edge to dry. Certainly if my husband finds the sponge this way enough times he will return it to that position, right? Nope. I thought that perhaps my husband, being the gadget guy that he his, just needed a place to put it and THAT'S why he always throws it in the sink. (Side note: there is a hidden ledge on the front side of our sink that he COULD put the sponge in already. In fact that's where I put the kitchen scrub brush, but I digress.) So, while out shopping, I found a double sided sponge holder. It looks like a saddle and hangs on the cross bar between our two sinks. PERFECT and EASY place to put the kitchen sponge. I point out to my husband the new purchase and promptly place the kitchen sponge in it.

Do I even NEED to tell you where I STILL find the kitchen sponge? This is one of those battles that I will never win. I refuse to fight with him about it, and as gross as I think it is, we have never gotten sick because of it (that I am aware of). Full disclosure: whenever I see plates or silverware that he washed drying on the counter, I put them in the dishwasher when he isn't looking.

This is one of those things that I know will not go away. I try to not focus on it. However, if one day, you see a news headline that reads "Woman Goes Crazy Mumbling About Her Kitchen Sponge" you will know it is me.

=J

Have a similar situation at your house?

## Friday, November 18, 2011

### Bright Side Friday - Free Warm Goodness!

Today's Bright Side Friday has to do with one of my life's simple pleasures: a Venti Soy No Water 7 Pump Chai.

Now I know, I sound obnoxious. I feel funny even typing it! But my girlfriend, who is a barista, turned me on to the "no water" and the "7 Pump" part. Anyways, to me, it's like having a glass of heaven.

But wait, it gets better... a girlfriend treated me to it! A completely surprising random act of kindness. And do you know what? It made my day. It is STILL making my day, even thought I've long finished it.

So that's why this Friday's Bright Side, is dedicated to Free Warm Goodness because both my friend and my favorite drink filled me with a special warm feeling.

=J

What's your Bright Side Friday? Do you have something that gives you a lift?

## PULCHRITUDE

This Wednesday's Weird Word is PULCHRITUDE. Credit goes to Cecily K at http://www.uppercasewoman.com and twitter @Cecilyk for giving us the idea and permission to use it.

"Trying to make a word trend: pulchritude. Yep, PULCHRITUDE. It means beautiful. Really."

So here is our little part in helping to make her wish come true! =) Though in all honesty, Cecily could do just about anything all by herself. We are just happy she is our twitter friend. Oh, and the highlight color is also a nod to Cecily and her wonderfully fun hair. (Am I starting to sound like a stalker now?)

Pulchritude means (beautiful or) physical comeliness. Now I have to look up the word comeliness... or maybe I'll just save it for next Wednesday.

## pul·chri·tude

noun \ˈpəl-krə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

## Definition of PULCHRITUDE

: physical comeliness

## Monday, November 14, 2011

### Monday Vent - The Pressure of Helping

The holidays are fast approaching and I am starting to realize how unprepared I am. I am thinking about how I can gear up and knock out all of my "to do" list. The problem? I also have my mom's "to do" list. She went in for  replacement hip surgery 1 1/2 weeks ago. She is recovering beautifully, but... she still needs a ton of help. I don't mind doing it, really I don't. I love my mom and I know that I'm the only one that can do some of these things the way she wants them done. My brother makes her crazy with his own agenda and arguing with her about what she needs or doesn't need. JUST DO IT! She wants fabric deodorizer in the wash with her towels? THEN JUST DO IT! Nope. Not him. He argues with her that it doesn't need it and moves on.

I don't ask my dad, because my mom and dad are directly connected by emotional well being. If my dad thinks my mom is doing well, then he's happy. If my mom thinks my dad is happy, then she's happy. Keeping my dad out of it makes everything to him seem like it's going easier for my mom. Doing things for my mom, keeps my mom mentally happy and hence my dad too.

So I know, I could say "no" to her. But I just can't. I know that I will be purchasing all of her Thanksgiving Day food for her and getting it into her house. I will probably prepare of bunch of it too. I know, I SHOULD anyways. Why should she do the bulk of the work year after year? Even if she is able bodied enough to prepare the food this year, her stamina is not back to normal yet. So I say "yes" and "no problem" and "anything else I can do for you?" And then I put more on my plate, to put less on hers.

Who knows when she will be able to drive again. So after Thanksgiving, I will look forward to doing her Christmas shopping. I will do all of this with a smile on my face and a hug and kiss to her, while inside I will be stressing about all of my "to do" lists and my Christmas shopping.

I do it out of love. I do it out of appreciation of all that she has done for me. I do it because I'm the only one that can. When I do it and feel stressed about it, I feel guilty.

=J

Have you found yourself in a similar situation?

## Wednesday, November 9, 2011

### Weird Word Wednesday - infotainment

INFOTAINMENT

Today's Weird Word is Infotainment. I love this word! How many times have you gotten caught up in some silly infomercial because it was completing entertaining!!

• infotainment

• \in-foh-TAYN-munt\

• DEFINITION
noun
: television programming that presents information (such as news) in a way that is meant to be entertaining
• EXAMPLES
"Presidential efforts to generate news of their policies compete with Americans' preferences for infotainment and soft news coverage of celebrities and scandal." -- From Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha and Jeffrey Peake's 2011 book Breaking Through the Noise: Presidential Leadership, Public Opinion, and the News Media

"Smith is maybe best known for having hosted the CBS morning infotainment show 'The Early Show' and its predecessor, 'CBS This Morning,' for 17 years." -- From an article by Lisa de Moraes in The Washington Post, July 12, 2011

I love this word!  How many times have you gotten caught up in some silly infomercial because it was completing entertaining!!

## Monday, November 7, 2011

### Monday Vent - Relatives

I have a number of years experience in special education and have worked with hundreds of different kids with a multitude of issues.  There is a lot I don't know, but I have an educated and experienced point of view.  With that being said, I would not tell someone that I think their child has issues, even if it is obvious to me, unless they specifically asked my opinion, and even then I would be extremely cautious with what I said.  This becomes more challenging when it is the child of a close relative.

I babysat for this relative who has a 3 & 5 year old.  I have been concerned about the developmental skills of the 5 year old since he was 18 months old and have kindly and lovingly expressed my concerns on a number of occasions.  This was not received well at all.  I, therefore, have not said anything for over one year.  Now, however, the goofy dad starts telling me how he's concerned about the 3 year old because she is giving him a hard time with everything (ie. typical three-year-old testing & pushing limits).  He doesn't understand because the older child was so "easy to deal with".  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!  The older child threw tantrums any time he was in a new situation.  He threw tantrums when we sang happy birthday at parties because it was too loud.  He refuses to use the toilet anywhere but at his house.  He only eats 5 foods.  This is the easy-going child???  How can a parent be so blinded and in such denial!!!  How can some people's view of reality be so cockamamie?

S-)

Sound familiar? Tell us your frustrating relatives story.

## Friday, October 28, 2011

### Bright Side Friday - Happy Families

My husband and I often lament over the fact that time goes too fast and that our boys are getting big so quickly.  I know this is universal.  We did realize that unless we were actually doing more outside the home that when we looked back on the years, we would see a bunch of wasted time.  We do tend to be home-bodies, but we are trying to change that.

We have now made a few additions to our schedule:  our older son is now in Cub Scouts and the younger one is eager to join in 6 months when he'll be old enough, the boys are in weekly swim lessons, we have gone rock-climbing, and we have gone swimming on the weekends.  So far, we have been out of the house a lot more.  There are days/nights that we just want to stay home, but once we get out, we have been happy that we went.  It's the old adage of a body in motion stays in motion.

I hope we are able to keep up the momentum as it gets colder and more challenging to leave the house after a long day.  I know the boys really enjoy it and we are spending a lot more family time together instead of in the house all doing our own thing. It's actually how I always envisioned my family would be.  I'm just so happy that we're making it happen!

S-)

Now it's your turn. What is your Bright Side? Have you had family resistance to leaving the house and then all being happy you did?

## Wednesday, October 26, 2011

### Weird Word wednesday - Recrudescence

Today's weird word is Recrudescence. I enjoy taking the Merriam-Webster quizzes to assess my vocabulary skills.  This word appeared and I have never ever heard of it before.

## re·cru·des·cence

noun \-ˈde-sən(t)s\

## Definition of RECRUDESCENCE

: a new outbreak after a period of abatement or inactivity : renewal <a recrudescence of the symptoms> <a recrudescence of guerrilla warfare>
The weeks following Christmas, my boys just want to be home and playing with their new things.  Unfortunately, a recrudescence of requests and desire to go somewhere else and DO something occurs soon after.

My husband promised not to go gambling, but after a period of 6  months there was a recrudescence.

S-)

## Friday, October 21, 2011

### Bright Side Friday! I'm Not Cool and I'm Cool With That

I'm not cool. Ask anyone, really. I don't think I fit the terms geek, nerd or square, but I am a little of each of those. I'm also creative, smart, inventive, and many other great qualities, but cool just doesn't describe me.

Before you start trying to tell me otherwise, let me assure you, I'm O.K. with it. I've been this way all of my life. Back in high school, while the kids were having booze and pot parties, I was mostly oblivious to it. I was never invited to one of those parties, which made me feel a little like an outsider. But when I thought about it, "would I really want to have been there?" I knew my answer was no. It was like I was past that without ever having to had gone through it. Let me assure you, I'm no saint. I did my share of drinking in college, but I never regretted not being included to those parties in high school.

When other girls would be referred to as sexy or hot, I'd be referred to as cute, sweet, and apple pie faced. I looked like the innocent girl next door, and that suits me just fine too.

The reason I'm even explaining all of this to you is because of something that happened recently. A cool rocker friend of mine, I will call her Roxy for the sake of simplicity, and I went out. We met up with a rocker dude, let's call him Joe, that we knew from high school MANY years ago and hadn't seen since then. Well Roxy, Joe and I all had a fun time but I was SO aware of my uncool status in the situation. Roxy and Joe went back and forth about bands and singers and guitar players and songs. It was like they were speaking a foreign language. I had absolutely nothing to add, but I was still glad to be there. I could tell that Roxy and Joe clicked, not in a romance sort of way, but they just "got" each other.

Well, Joe went back home to another state. Time passed and Joe would contact me to talk about a business venture we have. He would tell me about his problems. I became part of his support system and cheering section.

Yesterday, I got a message from Roxy. Knowing that we were working on a project together, she finally needed to tell me something about Joe. She told me that Joe had been texting her since we met up. Telling her that he misses her, etc. She too tried to be supportive and told him about his nice qualities, but a relationship between them would never work. He then proceeded to send her a photo of his man part. WHAT???? Roxy's husband was understandably upset and told off Joe. Joe then tried to bribe Roxy by telling her he could get her tickets and special back stage passes for a certain concert she wants to go to IF she sends him photos of her upper and lower woman parts!!!! He followed that up with 3 more photos of him holding his man part. SERIOUSLY????

And then it totally hit me. I'M NOT COOL!!!!!! =) I didn't get dragged into such disgusting behavior because I'm not cool. Joe thought that he might have a chance with my cool rocker girlfriend, but he kept all of our conversations to business and strictly friend like. Did Roxy deserve it? NO! But being uncool, saved me from even having to deal with it. When I think back, there are SO many other things that I never had to deal with because I'm not cool. All of the situations I didn't get involved with in high school, and now via Facebook, I have found out things I missed in junior high too. Why did it take me until NOW to realize how great being uncool is? I am embracing my uncool status with renewed appreciation.

=J

Are you uncool too? Have you been treated differently because of how you're perceived?

## Wednesday, October 19, 2011

### Weird Word Wednesday: Penultimate

Today's weird word is Penultimate. It means second to last. I'm not sure how I would actually apply this word to my day. I guess I could threaten my kids with an extra warning before the final warning. As in "this is the penultimate time I'm going to tell you!" Or, if my kids ask me what place their team came in, I can make it sound better by saying "you came in the penultimate place!" Other than that, I can't really think of practical times it would come in handy.

Would anyone ever tell their spouse that the person they dated before them was their penultimate date? If you wanted the person in charge of the TV remote to go to the previous channel, would you ask them to go back to the penultimate one? They probably wouldn't understand what you were asking and you'd wind up missing it by the time you finished explaining all of it.

pe·nul·ti·mate  (p-nlt-mt)
1. Next to last.
2. Linguistics Of or relating to the penult of a word: penultimate stress.
n.
The next to the last.

=J

p.s. Don't forget! If you tweet or send us an idea for a Weird Word Wednesday word and we use it, we will give you credit in our post!

## Monday, October 17, 2011

### Monday Vent - Please Make A Volunteer's Life Easier

I'm a volunteer. I do it because I think it is the right thing to do. I do it because so many things count on volunteers to get it done. No one makes me volunteer, but admittedly when asked, I have a hard time saying "no".

For the most part, I enjoy volunteering. But it'd be a lie if I said it's always wonderful. Here are a few reasons why, and if you see yourself as one of THESE people, please try not to be. I know you are not doing it on purpose, but please, before I burn out from frustration, I beg of you, STOP.

1. When writing a check: Please SIGN your check. Please also make sure it is written out to the right organization name, not close, not a guess, but the actual organization name. Oh, and please make sure you have added correctly and the check is written for the right amount.

2. When passing along information to me, please make sure it is accurate. I was 30 minutes late on Saturday because I read your e-mail and thought you knew what you were talking about. It was NOT a fun feeling. Apparently, I was the ONLY one who read your e-mail. I felt like an idiot.

3. When filling out a form, FILL IT OUT. If it asks for a size, include it. If it asks for a grade or teacher's name, include that too. Oh, and please DON"T ASK me what size I think you should get or leave a lengthy explanation on the form's margins of why you chose that size or if I think you should change it. Who knows your child's size better than you? Just pick one!

4. If you say you are going to help. Please follow through. If you're not going to help, no biggie! It's worse for you to tell me you are going to help and then don't, then just telling me you're not going to help. If you tell me you're not helping, then I can account for it, I can work around it and I'm not surprised at the 11th hour that it's not done.

5. If you need me to do something for you, give me a chance to do it. "Tomorrow" is not a deadline I like to hear. If I have made it CLEAR that I need a 1 week notice for that task. PLEASE take it seriously!

6. Remember that I'm a VOLUNTEER. I am not paid to do any of this. I take time out of my busy schedule of work and home and kids and homework to do this. I am not sitting around waiting to do these things. I squeeze it between things, after the kids go to bed and before they wake up in the morning. You forgetting to complete a form or fill out your check properly means I have to contact you. Unfortunately, you aren't the only one who did that, so you are just one of MANY I have to contact. Then I have to contact again, when you don't follow through in helping me to rectify the situation. All of this just causes extra work for me and drains my time away from other things.

So in conclusion, thank you for the support of the many volunteer things that I am involved in. I do truly appreciate it. Just please, take the time to consider the volunteers the next time you participate.

=J

Do you get frustrated as a volunteer? I feel guilty for admitting I do, do you?

## VOCIFEROUS

Today's Weird Word is Vociferous! It basically means an intense reaction. I would use it in the same place I would use the word vehement. And you know with how much I use my fancy talk, I use that word ALL of the time too. =) For some reason, I'm actually excited that I now have an alternate for vehement. Now if I can just remember to say vociferous and not turn it into something like velociraptor-saurus.

## Definition of VOCIFEROUS

: marked by or given to vehement insistent outcry
vo·cif·er·ous·ness noun

## Examples of VOCIFEROUS

1. He is her most vociferous critic.
2. He was vociferous in his support of the proposal.
3. The decision was made over their vociferous objections.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vociferous

Thank you to Celina Murphy at http://www.winecheeseandbabies.blogspot.com for Tweeting me the suggestion. If you have a weird word, let me know and if I use it, you'll get the credit!

New York

## Monday, October 10, 2011

### Monday Vent - Following Through On My To Do's

I am one of those people who make lists all the time to help prioritize my time and energy.  I always put the one thing that I know I need to accomplish at the top.  I tell myself that I will be content if only this one thing is completed.   I then follow up with other things that would make me happy to have done, but don't need to happen immediately.  Unfortunately, while cleaning out my closet this weekend I came across a list I created over 1 1/2 years ago (I tend to date the lists.  I'm weird that way).  Anyhow, this was a financial goals list.  Right at the top was  "start a college savings plan for each of my children" and "rollover my 401k from a previous job".   I have not done these.  The other goals were related to paying off a few items and adding to our savings.  Thankfully, those were completed.  But, I am struck by how I can put off something that is so crucially important to mine and my children's future.  All because I'm unsure of my next step.  I need to get this done for me and my boys and to provide some relief to my brain which nags me relentlessly.  So, here I am, putting out to my girlfriends that I will complete these two tasks by the end of the month.
Wish me luck!

S-)

## Friday, October 7, 2011

### Bright Side Friday! Small Victories

My Bright Side Friday has to do with small victories. My son has struggled with speech/language/reading/ phonological issues ever since I can remember. I am thankful that we live in a great school district that has been able to provide him services, because we never would have been able to afford all of the work they have done with him.

Even so, over the years, there has been SO much frustration on his part and in turn, on mine. He is a very smart boy with a road block.  If I'd ask him the question, he could answer it right away. If I made him read the question, he couldn't even begin to figure out what is being asked. His teachers would say "He's a hard worker, but he's a slow worker". I finally realized it was because he spent most of his time trying to figure out what the words on the page were asking him to do.

This poor kid, who knows the answers, but gets them wrong because he doesn't understand the written question. Frustrating results time and time again. Spelling words made no sense to him. He memorized the letters as a picture or pattern. Sounding them out did him no good. He wasn't even capable of doing so. Every reading assignment a struggle. Every vocabulary lesson just torture. And now, that he is older, it has impacted ALL subjects. How can he describe facts about his Social Studies chapter, when there were so many new words in there, he was trying to figure it all out by context?

My heart wells up with pride for my son. This loving child with a hard head. Who could easily have given up long ago, yet for some reason doesn't. For all of the times he has felt defeated and frustrated, for all of the times homework has ended with one or both of us yelling or in tears, for all of the A+ papers his older brother has achieved with seemingly little effort, for all of the hours I have sat by his side and read his book to him so that it didn't take him hours to get through the chapter just to answer 4 questions on a work sheet, for all of the recesses and fun classes he has had to miss to get assistance, he never gave up.

And yesterday, as I sat at work, thinking about a million other worries, I got a call from one of his aides. My heart fluttered at the thoughts in my head. Would this be a call with good things or bad things? Is he struggling or worse yet, are they dropping him from the program? She was full of compliments about my son "kind, caring, loving, helpful, well liked" and compliments for me too on my part in how he has developed all of these wonderful traits. It made me feel good knowing that she REALLY cared about my son and his success. She then proudly told me that my son had exceeded his benchmarks for the time frame and she would only need to see him 2 times per week instead of 4. She felt confident that he had secured enough skills to build on moving forward.

In the past, I have had to be his advocate and fight for evaluations and services when I knew something was not right and he was slipping through the cracks. But this time, the news didn't hit me like a ton of bricks, it made me happy. Homework time has gotten SO much better. It is a little easier for him to understand. He has fewer questions and fewer melt downs. His road block is finally getting smaller and he can see over it now.

I am so thankful for small victories. What's yours?

=J