Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

Recently, we discovered that some of The Mister's family was going to be in Orlando and making a visit to that wonderful/hellish place: Disney.  As I was talking to my Mother in Law (MIL) about it, we decided that it might be fun if The Mister, The Nugget and I came down and surprised The Mister's sister and her family by joining their vacation (Hah!  Hope it was a happy surprise!).  Here are the simple steps that The Mister and I had to take in order to make this last minute vacation possible:

ME
1.  Exchange multiple emails and phone calls with MIL to plan dates, times, etc.
2.  Obsessively check flight options while simultaneously searching for lowest price.  Find lowest price but a)do not realize it and b)do not purchase tickets because you are at work.  Pay twice as much later because you are an idiot with no more time to wait.
3.  Assign dates to ask off to The Mister.
4.  Ask off dates from work.
5.  Attempt to find replacement at work.  Fail.
6.  Work double time prior to departure to try and prevent co-workers from hating you for having to do your work.
7.  Schedule friend for dog sitting.
8.  Realize friend has schedule conflict but has conveniently provided you with a second option.
9.  Contact second option and exchange several emails.  Schedule meet and greet.
10.  Ensure (basically) clean house and fully dressed family for Sunday morning meet and greet with new dog sitter.
11.  Type out instructions and exchange several more emails with two dog sitters.
12.  Ensure cat food and water are completely full.
13.  Ensure an extra bag of dog food is on hand.
14.  Ensure dog snacks are out on counter along with instructions, money and gifts for sitters.
15.  Ensure guest room is (basically) clean as friend who is dog sitting is staying over part of the time.
16.  Ensure there is some food available for friend who is dog sitting.
17.  Pack clothing, toiletries and toys for entire family.
18.  Ensure car is loaded with suit cases, stroller, booster seat.
19.  Schedule wake up time for entire family.
20.  Wake up earlier than entire family in order to be ready first and keep them all moving.
21.  Drive family to airport and, finally, leave on our spur of the moment trip.

THE MISTER

1.  Ask off for the time assigned by wife.
2.  Awaken at the time assigned by wife and embark on vacation.

Yep.  Spur of the moment ain't what she used to be.  For me, anyway.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stuff I Used to Do

Once in a while I allow myself to lament some of the things I have given up since having kids.  Before children, I was largely self-involved and had absolutely no idea now much free time I spent just wandering the world in a state of starry-eyed giddiness.  I also got really used to this being my state of being as I didn't have my first baby until I was 32 years old.  Now, every free moment counts.  Here, a short list of stuff I used to do.

1.  Get my hair professionally colored.  I cannot tell you how much I loved this.  I wasted money for years on doing it even though I had absolutely no gray hair.  Now?  Lots of gray hair and just me trying to cover it up at home with my friend Loreal #8.  And only if I have a coupon.  The color looks nice, don't get me wrong, but I miss that feeling of being spoiled at the salon.

2.  Wander high end furniture stores.  I could spend hours if not days just wandering through Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, sitting on sofas and admiring expensive flatware.  With a child this is just not an option.  She does not see the beauty in living in a fantasy world of furnishing and these places aren't exactly organized to be kid-friendly, anyway.

3.  Spend gobs of cash at Nordstrom shoe department.  I love shoes.  Good ones.  But now most of my money goes to my daughter's ever-growing feet.  I have little idea of what cute things are even in style; I buy supportive shoes for work and that's about it.

4.  Visit makeup counters.  Don't get me wrong, I'm actually not that big on makeup.  But I DID used to buy the good stuff, at least sometimes.  Now?  It's all grocery store aisle for me.  Just not the same.

5.  Spend time alone.  Period.  It's no secret to anyone who knows me that Momma loves her some alone time.  I am introvert, hear me roar.  These days I spend approximately 30 minutes a day, driving to and from work, alone.  Just the luxury of having to do nothing other than whatever pops into my mind for a few hours or *gasp* a whole day seems like an unbelievable idea at this point.

So, there you have it, some stuff I used to enjoy doing.  What do you miss from your pre-kids time?  Don't worry, like myself, I will assume that you would never trade any of these frivolities in for the kids and will therefore not be calling CPS to alert them that a mother is about to trade her baby for some decent lip gloss.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Bad" Words

One of my daughter's Auntie's has a new favorite story about her.  A couple of months back, The Nugget was spending the day with her Aunt Beth.  Apparently, they were watching Sponge Bob together when The Nugget had to excuse herself for a bathroom break.  Upon her return, she exclaimed, "Oh, shit!  Sponge Bob is over."

I admit it.  My two year old has a potty mouth.  She pretty much uses the words "shit" or "dammit" every day.  And I won't even try to say she learned it from day care or friends or some other outside force; it's from The Mister and me.  And, here's the thing: we don't care.

I've never been much for conformity.  I'm not sure why lots of different rules exist or why they need to apply to me or my family.  This whole concept of "bad" words is just another example of this.  I just can't get into the notion that there is really even such a thing as a "bad" word.  Words, I think, can be used badly.  Words can be used to hurt and cripple others.  Words can be used to draw lines in the world between people.  Words can push people to do terrible, inhuman things.  But the words themselves, they aren't bad.

It's a notion that, admittedly, is difficult to teach to a small child.  Perhaps it would be easier to create a category of words, as many parents do, which are off-limits for her to say.  We have chosen to approach the situation a bit differently.  I have explained to her that some people will not like it when she says "shit" or "dammit".  I have not told her she cannot say these things.  Instead, we have tried to focus on how words make people feel.  For instance, she has said, "shutup" before.  When that happened, I tried to explain to her how that is a hurtful thing to say and that we shouldn't use that word toward people we care about because it makes them feel bad.

We are invested in raising a good citizen of the world.  We want a daughter who is kind and thoughtful, who respects herself and others.  I think we can help her understand on a global level how to use words to express her beliefs and opinions without mowing down the beliefs, opinions or rights of others.  And I am confident that she can learn that saying, "dammit" when she drops her cup on the floor is significantly different than calling someone a cruel name.

I know the risks.  It is possible that I will be at someplace like the pediatrician or the museum and my child will yell out a word like "shit" and I will be embarrassed (I would).  Still, we prefer to take the educational approach to language and encourage her to use her words to express herself however she likes as long as it respects the boundaries of others.  And, yes, if she yelled it out loudly in a public place we would talk to her about how that is not appropriate because of the volume and that some people might not like it.  But I wouldn't tell her she couldn't say it.  I'd just ask her to say it a little more quietly, please.