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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday: Jackanapes


Today's weird word is jackanapes. I wish I could say that I knew this word and use it all of the time. Truth is, my computer screen saver throws up random words and their definition, and I happened to be paying attention when this one popped up. 

I am drawn to this word, because it is weird, of course, but also because of it's sound. You could totally call someone this and it would sound like the insult it is intended to be! Short of jack-a** but they would still get the idea!

Love it. Got a list of people to start yelling this to. Enjoy!




noun \ˈja-kə-ˌnāps\

Definition of JACKANAPES

1: monkey, ape
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!


Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew By Eldridge, Sherrie (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Adopting in America By Hicks, Randall (Google Affiliate Ad) 

You Can Adopt By Caughman, Susan/ Motley, Isolde (Google Affiliate Ad)

Happy Adoption Day! By McCutcheon, John/ Paschkis, Julie (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Adoption Is for Always By Girard, Linda Walvoord/ Friedman, Judith (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad)

The Adopted Room By Michaelis, Antonia (Google Affiliate Ad)

Adoption Healing By Soll, Joseph M./ Buterbaugh, Karen Wilson 
(Google Affiliate Ad)

Being Adopted By Brodzinsky, David M./ Schechter, Marshall D./ Henig, Robin Marantz (Google Affiliate Ad)

Real Parents, Real Children ; Parenting the Adopted Child By Van Gulden, Holly (Google Affiliate Ad)

Adoption Nation By Pertman, Adam (Google Affiliate Ad)

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!"

And now, are you left shaking your head wondering why?

Because, when I want to get completely cynical about this, I see it this way:

"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.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday - 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? 

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 ()( 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.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday - 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!!!!!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday - 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!


1. third from the end.
2. of or pertaining to an antepenult

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!!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday - 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, 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.

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'

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weird Word Wednesday - Zaftig



Today's weird word is ZAFTIG. It means "having a full rounded figure: pleasingly plump." 

Zaftig sounds WONDERFUL! It sounds hot and cool at the same time! 

If I heard "Hey, that chick is zaftig!" 

I would think "they are TOTALLY complimenting me!" 

If I heard "Hey, that chick is plump!" 

I would go over and punch them in the face. 

Just saying.


adj \ˈzäf-tig, ˈzf-\

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


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...


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

About the Word:

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.")

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!