Thursday, December 8, 2011

How My Kids Break the Rules of Logic and Science!

There are some things that defy all reason and scientific principles.  Most of these are things that have to do with my offspring.  Below is a list of things that make me go "WHUCK?" on a daily basis.

1.  Toothpaste and its ability to travel long distances.

Every single muther furking time I go into the kids' bathroom I find dried crusty toothpaste in the most odd places.  Today, I found it on the windowsill, UNDER the blinds, that is approximately 5 ft from the sink and NO WHERE near the towel, which is also covered in a toothpaste/saliva combo.

2.  Socks and where the Hell do they go?

I swear to all that is holy I have a basket of single socks that contains more socks than the actual pairs that end up in my kids drawers.  Where do the socks go?  Is there a black hole in my dryer that ONLY likes kids socks?  Ironically, I rarely have an issue matching pairs of mine or HH's socks.  So, this black hole is not only a mystery, it is selective!


3.  Pee on the seat

Bubbie is great at lifting and putting down the seat.  It is most likely a long term repercussion (which I am sure will require some sort of therapy when he is an adult) of my fastidious toilet training.  Yes, I did encourage him to "blot the tip" while training, and YES he has the cleanest underwear in the house thank.you.very.much to this day!  This pee on the seat is about the girls.  How in the heck do they manage to get dribble on the seat?  Are they hovering in their own bathroom?  Are they doing jumping jacks?  Did I get confused and encourage them to shake it off while I was teaching Bubbie to blot?

4.  Selective Hearing

How come I can whisper something about one of the kids from 3 rooms away and they can hear it, yet when I am right in front of them asking something they can't?  Should I yell my secret thoughts to HH and whisper my requests to the offspring?

5.  Selective Blindness

Actual sign haning in all offspring rooms

This is the first cousin to Selective Hearing.  I find it usually accompanies my request to fetch some object of theirs they are missing.  For example,  Manudo has selective vision for things as large as her lunch box.  I have packed her lunch and remind her to grab it on her way out the door.  She opens the fridge, stares RIGHT at the damn thing and says she can't find it!  I then will give her detailed directions to the area right in front of her face, and she STILL can't see it!  When I point it out, after stomping to the kitchen from the other room where I was importantly updating my FB status, she is all like "Oh....hahahahah....Sorry mom!"  Google revealed this is a REAL illness!  Refrigerator Blindness.  And we all know, if it is on GOOGLE it must be TRUE!

6.  Ackbassward Sleeping times

The unique phenomena of kids waking up at the crack of dawn on non-school days, yet having to be dragged kicking and screaming from their beds on school days.  Why is it that they go to bed at reasonable times on school days and have a harder time getting up than when they are allowed leniency on the weekends?  Perhaps I will do an experiment and let them stay up as late as they want on school days and make them go to bed early on weekends.  It would only be fair, since I happen to enjoy sleeping in on my few days off of work!

These are just a few....I am sure as time goes on and I enter the realm of parenting a teenager more phenomena will manifest!

Until next time!
Nic

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am not playing Hookie...

Hello Momginerd fans,

I have been  remiss in not updating the blog lately, but I PROMISE I have a good excuse.  I have been dealing with some pretty major heath issues.  I feel comfortable posting now, that we have ruled out any life-threatening issues, but I am still searching for answers.

I have RA, and for a chronicle of that please see: My body is trying to kill me, which details some of the trials and tribulations of living with an autoimmune disease.  About 6 weeks ago my rheumatologist increased one of my medications, and either coincidently or as a side effect, I have developed some "interesting" neurological "disturbances."

Including: numbness on the left side of my face, lack of coordination/vertigo, visual halos/auras/floaties, losing my words when speaking, and numbness in hands and arms (mostly concentrated on the left side).  Through process of elimination we do know 3 things:

1.  I have a BRAIN, and she is gorgeous.  I know because the doctor gave me a CD and I can look at her whenever I want!

2.  I do not have lesions, aneurisms, tumors or other brain related abnormalities that could be causing my issues.

3.  I do have some spinal issues with 4 protruding discs, but again they may explain SOME symptoms, but not all.

What we do not know, but suspect, is that I probably have a combination of issues (yeah, yeah, enter complicated woman comment here) that are causing my problems.  We believe the hand issues are caused by the protruding discs, so I am going to physical therapy.  I most likely have Hemiplegic Migraines which explain the other effects, and some residual side effects from the increase in the RA medication, methotrexate. I have had migraines in the past, but never one that has lingered as long as this one. I basically have been living with some level of a headache since the beginning of September.  Most of the time I can power through and move on, but sometimes they knock my flat on my ass.  NOTHING makes it go completely away, and I can now set up a side business dispensing drugs, if needed, since I have been prescribed everything from Imitrex to Vicodin to try and get these headaches under control. 
   
I used to look human, but I have
had 4000 Xrays in 1 month
I am anxiously awaiting yet another call with results of yet more tests to see where the next step will lead.  Most likely that will be to a neurologist and a pain clinic....which I am sure will end up in yet more tests so that I finally cease to look human and more resemble this a halo of myself, and more drugs to take up space in my overflowing aresenal....

Until then, the good news is my doctors (damn, that is scary to have to put the S after it), agree that I am to take it easy and play hooky, I  mean work from home, as much as possible.  Thankfully, I have an awesome team who understands and really do not NEED me daily to do their jobs!

Thank you all for your patience with me, I promise once all this is sorted out, I will be back full of snark and sarcasm per usual!

Lots and lots of  love,
Nic


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rites of Passage or Mothering a Junior High School Daughter (God Help me now!)

I wanted to be a Zombie, but Mom made me pretty instead
Last week, at least in my mind, Manudo looked like this on Halloween.  All that was important was being pretty or scary, getting lots of attention, and KNOWING that Mommy would always be there to take care of her.  She was always a unique child, even from a very young age.  Manudo is one of those kids who doesn't do things on a linear slope, she does them in peaks.  She has always been this way!  She went from not walking or crawling to RUNNING, at 9 months.  She never jibber jabbered, she spoke in sentences, before she was 1.  She is like this in school too.  I will be all worried about a poor grade in a course (I don't know if online grade reporting is a blessing or a curse at this point), only to be surprised and delighted when she aces the final exam.  Yes, this causes me lots of worry and trepidation, because I can't predict any achievements based any sort of a curve for her, she either gets it 100% or doesn't get it at all.  And just because she doesn't get it today, doesn't mean in a day she won't have 100%.  It drives me absolutely bat-assed crazy!

This past week has involved many rites of passage for both of us.  She and her team won 1st place in her cheerleading competition after a very difficult, heart wrenching (for mom, think mean girls), exhausting, thrilling, and "political" 4 months of 5 days per week practice.  She was THRILLED.  Then, she had her first dance at her Junior High School.  In years past, Manudo has always been the child who wants to be something scary and totally  made up for Halloween (above picture notwithstanding, since she was too young to pick then).  She has been scary witches with warts and green skin, zombies, and skeletons......so perhaps my mommy spidey sense should have went off when she said she wanted to go to her dance as a "pretty witch."  But it didn't.  Manudo has never before expressed any interest in boys, attracting boys, or being around boys.  She was still in the OMG, Boys are Gross stage....last week. 

So, being the Cool Mom I am, I proceeded to go out and get her lots of "pretty witch" accouterments.  She had gorgeous glittery false eye-lashes, eye make-up, lipstick, etc....I also spent about 45 minutes styling her almost to her waist hair.  It was a lot of work, and she looked gorgeous.  She kept hopping up and looking in the mirror, was asking all kinds of questions about make-up application, and was very critical if there were any smudges or the like.  She kept asking how I learned to apply makeup, how hard is it to curl hair, and other beauty routine related questions.  It was also the very first time EVER she didn't scream like a howler monkey when I styled her hair....Still, I was clueless. 

She asked me, specifically, to take her to the school for the party/dance.  On the way there, she is asking me all sorts of questions about my first dance experience.  It was quite the challenge to recall 100 years ago when I was in Jr. High, but I dredged up some memories about first dances.  You remember the girls on one side, boys on the other...waiting with bated breath as a very cute Jake Ryan looking boy traversed the 100 miles of gym floor thinking: "Is he coming towards me?  What will I do if he doesn't ask me to dance?  What will I do if he DOES? OMG, he is coming towards me, for real, I hope they play Stairway to Heaven, cuz it is like 8 minutes long" times?

As I shook myself out of my reverie to the past, I noticed she was very fidgety, anxious and nervous.  Being still clueless, I said, "Are you nervous?  Why are you so nervous? Sit still, you will mess up your hair and get glitter all over my car!"  She then proceeded to ask, in a very tiny and timid voice, "Mommy do you think the boys will think I look pretty?"  I was totally speechless and felt this odd prickling feeling behind my eyelids, and right then I was back in junior high with that feeling when the boy did not ask me to dance.  I wanted to turn that glitter covered car around and put my intelligent, beautiful, and for the first time ever self-conscious daughter in some footy pajamas, make her some hot chocolate and read her "Goodnight Moon" for the 1 millionth time.  Instead, I told her that the joy of dances is there are lots of boys there so if one doesn't like her, there is a high chance that another one will for sure.  She then said, "but what if "he" doesn't think I look pretty"....and I almost ran over the cop directing traffic in and out of the school for the kiss and ride line.   I told her that if "he" thinks she looks pretty in school, then "he'd" be blind and dumb to not think she looks pretty right now! And I felt yet more prickling behind my eyelids and realized that I was dropping my (in my mind) 3 year old daughter off to be ogled by nasty pubescent wolves!  As we pulled up to our spot in the line for her to get out, she opened the door, hesitated for a second, then got out.  Before she shut the door, she looked at me, and in her voice still reminiscent of when she really was 3 said, "Thank you and I love you Mommy." 

The prickling became a floodgate and I bawled the whole way home....without my daughter.  But I guess, even at 12 her most important things about Halloween this year were: Looking pretty, getting lots of attention, and knowing that Mommy will always be there to take care of her!

Nic
P.S. She texted me after the dance and said "he" thought she looked awesome.....


I'd love to hear your thoughts on my blog!  Please add your comments and let me know what you think....any ideas on what you'd like to read here?  Let me know!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things Kids Say

Here is a short compliation of some of the things I have overheard in my house in the past couple of weeks. Obviously, Princepessa is a born comedienne Feel free to laugh, and even better, add your own in the comments section!

Princepessa to Manudo (6 and 12): Mom said for you to put on your bra, Manudo.  She said you will be in PUBLIC and you have to wear a bra.  I am special cuz I don't have to put one on, not.even.in.public!  Manudo:  Well that's becausse you are only 6 and haven't joined the IBT club, you're still a BABY. 
Princepessa:  I am never joining that club, I am going to be a boy when I grow up!

Bubbie to Manudo (Bubbie is 8):  today all the kids were making fun of me in school because I am the shortest kid in class.
Manudo:  You aren't short, you are FUN sized!

Princepessa to HH and me: Why haven't you guys kissed lately?  HH and I proceed to kiss.
Princepessa: "Oh the horror!  my eyes, they are melting!!!"

Bubbie to Princepessa:  You are so annoying, I am going to sell you on eBay when I grow up!
Princepessa:  Well, mom was going to try that but decided not to because she said they'd send me back. 

Manudo to HH: But WHY do I have to learn algebra!  You are an engineer and I heard you say how dumb algebra is and how you never ever use it...you just do Excel formuals! 
HH: *crickets*

Princepessa to the dog:  You are the best dog in the whole world.  I love you so much!  I do wish you were a cat, though.  They are softer and like to purr.


Bubbie to Princepessa:  You SO do not my old room in the basement, you will be scared.  It is very dark and there may be monsters!
Princepessa: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have been sharing a room with a monster named Manudo for 6 whole years!  I love the dark lonely basement, all by myself!

Till next time,
Nic

Thursday, October 6, 2011

True Story about Bubbie, Football and Bugs


I am small, but I will bite your ankles and bring you DOWN!


The following is a true story about my 8 year old son, Bubbie "the Crusher".  He plays junior league football and also is in cub scouts.  He isn't the greatest (by far) player on the team and is on the developmental squad.  This basically means he plays a grand total of 10 plays per game.  He practices 5 days per week for 2 hours per day.....for a total of 5 minutes playing time per game (the games last about 2.5 hours, you do the math).  Oh, and bubbie is the smallest kid on the team.  He weighs a whopping 50 lbs....the biggest kid weighs 117 lbs.  WHUCK?!?  Imagine Angry Birds....Imagine a 117 pound kid tackling your 50 LB kid....Bubbie is the bird and the ground is the green pig.

The other day it was Bubbie's first day as a Bear Scout.  He woke up that morning and was SO excited.  This kid loves all things outdoors and knows just about every creepy fact one could ever want to, not want to, or even dream about knowing about bugs.....yeah, I know.   Take this factoid, shared during dinner the other night:
Dead cockroaches Stock Photo - 9127808
"Mom, did you know a cockroach can live nine days without eating. This is also the same amount of time that the body of a cockroach can live after its head has been cut off before it eventually dies from starvation."  Um......I think I am done eating now.  Thank you Bubbie for introducing a new diet trend: Gross mom out so she can't eat.  I am sure it will be all the rage.

So, cub scouts is a natural fit for him and something he has really been looking forward to doing this year.  It just so happens that football also has practice on the same day....of course football has practice everyday, so it pretty much puts our lives in chaos for 4 months (Princepessa and Manudo are cheerleaders for the same league as well).  Being the momginerd I am, I have read the rules and regulations for the league very thoroughly.  These rules specifically state that a football player can miss up to 1 unexcused practice per week and not be punished by the coach or miss any game playing time (hahahah, if 5 whole minutes counts as playing time).  Bubbie's coach is a bit........well.....let's just say he is really in to coaching this team.  Like when the kids (these are 8 and 9 year old BOYS) lost a game, he practiced them so hard over half of them were crying and/or puking the next day....nice.  Anyway, the much anticipated day of cub scouts arrived and Bubbie proudly wore his den shirt to school and drove us all nuts asking questions about what we thought he'd learn that day.  This is every mom's dream!  To have a kid actually excited about learning!  Am I right?

That evening when I picked him up from the den meeting he was engrossed into reading his new book and was bursting with information and excitement about all the activities he'd be doing with his den and pack.  It was also raining, torrentially.  I gave him the choice, we can hurry home and change for football, or he could go home do his homework and we'd start working on one of his badge activities.  To be fair, he does like football and hardly ever complains about going to practice.  He was nervous about how Coach would react to his missing a practice.  In my head I was thinking, "What is he going to do, make you play MORE as punishment?"  When we walked to the car and needed bath towels to dry off he (smartly, in my opinion) decided to stay home where it was warm, dry, and not doing pushups in to the mud (okay, you caught me, I only make him do that when he really pisses me off). 

The next day at practice the following conversation occurred between Bubbie and Coach:

Coach:  Why weren't you at practice yesterday?
Bubbie:  I had cub scouts.
Coach:  CUB SCOUTS!!!! What is more important around here, boy, Cub Scouts or FOOTBALL!
Bubbie:  Cub Scouts, I actually get to participate in cub scouts.
Coach:  *Crickets*

I never in my life wanted so badly to run up and give my kid a huge hug and a kiss in front of everyone. I did spare him the embarassment, but he got an extra big piece of homemade pie that night for dessert...just because.

Now before the flames start, I will say football has been a great experience for the Bubster.  He may be small, but he has learned the value of effort over size, teamwork, tenacity, and  keeping your head down so it doesn't get ripped off.

Until next time,
Nic

P.S.  Did you know you can follow me on twitter?  Look to the right and click on the twitter icon! I also have a momginerd facebook page find it here: Momginerd Facebook Page!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome to the Geekside

Steve Jobs via Apple's Ad campaign said it best:
To all you non-conformists, wierdos, nerds, geeks, techno-dweebs, oddballs, freaks, and crazies, I love you...keep up the good work because you are the ones who will one day change the world.  When you look back through history at the "change makers" who do you think of?  I think of people who did not just sit down and shut up, they stood up and SCREAMED their outrage.  They didn't listen to the nay-sayers that said "it couldn't be done."  They proved them wrong in the face of all adversity...even when they may have thought deep down in their hearts that perhaps they couldn't, they did not quit.

I invite all of you to be a geek, an oddball, a freak or a nerd.  Come on over, the conversation is always stimulating and some of us are even a slight bit funny!

Nic

P.S.  We usually have cool gadgets and good advice on how to fix your computer, program your remote, and knowledge of other esoteric things you may be curious about!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Three legs of a healthy relationship

Warning!  This will not by a typical Momginerd blog with lots of sarcasm and humor, but I do still think it has a lot of good messages to share.

When I got divorced a few years ago I spent a lot of time reflecting on what went wrong and why.  I came up with an analogy to a 3-legged stool that I think are the basics of a healthy, long term, and happy relationship. 


[apathy+mcs.jpg]
When you just don't
care enough to care

Emotional:  You need to have an emotional connection to your partner.  By this, I mean you need to feel about your partner's happiness, in many ways, more than you do about your own.  If your partner is unhappy, then you will be too.  If your partner is happy then you feel better as well.  When you have an emotional connection with someone it is almost like you are linked metaphysically.  Their emotions have a direct effect on your own.  I know with HH I can tell emotionally when he is feeling depressed, happy, anxious, etc.  By having the emotional connection to each other you are more in tune in many ways to the non-verbal cues that they are offering.  When you don't have that connection, you are clueless as to how they feel and it can lead to feelings of apathy towards each other.  When you feel apathetic towards your partner, I think, it is the beginning of the end.  You have lost all emotional connection and you just don't care enough anymore to try and get it back. 



Physical:  Well, this one should be pretty self-explanatory.  You MUST be attracted to your partner.  And by attracted I mean more than just the feelings of lust you have at the beginning of a relationship.  Sure, that is physical and is important, but it really doesn't last if there aren't more things you find are attractive about your partner than the color of their eyes or hair or if they have an incredible body.  To me the physical goes beyond the immediate lust to the little things that makes my partner irresistible to me.  The twinkle in his eye when he gets my jokes.  The smile that he reserves ONLY for me that tells me in one instant I am the woman for him, he loves and adores me despite my numerous flaws.  Don't get me wrong, he definitely fits the title of Hottie Husband not just because I find him attractive but because he is gorgeous.  But, at the end of the day his actual physical appearance from afar isn't the most important thing to me.  Sure, I pursued the relationship with him in the beginning because I found him very physically appealing, but just that isn't what made me want to spend the rest of life with him.  I think that the fact that  4+ years later he still makes my heart flutter is more attributed to the little things about him only I notice. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making divorce with kids involved work....sort of.....



Lately I have been getting a few questions from colleagues and friends as to just how I make my divorce work.  And eventhought Divorce and Making Things Work seems to be dichotomus, I thought I'd share some of the strategies that I have chosen to use and, thankfully, Ex follows along (if only he was so ammendable when we were married!).

1.  Keep the kids first
Whenever I am deciding on a schedule change for the kids, personal decisions relating to my career, vacations, meal planning, etc I ALWAYS think of the kids first.  If this change or decision would add undue stress to their schedules of lives, I just do not do it, or I change my plans.  Even though I am remarried, HH is perfectly clear and understanding that the kids come first, and he, poor soul is a distant 4th.  

2.  Communicate, communicate, communicate


We use ALL these and more to keep
try and keep in touch, it seems.
Ex and I communicate every.single.mother.furking.day.  Seriously!  We either text, phone or email daily updates about the kids at least once a day.  Some days, it seems like I talk to my Ex more than I talk to HH.  I will admit, when we were in the process of getting divorced this communication wasn't always pleasant or positive.  It took time, energy, patience and dedication to strategy #1 for us both to make it work.  I automatically forward every email/text I receive dealing with any of the kids school/social/athletic events.  I will also Text and/or call Ex to REMIND him of events and exactly what is required for said event (special shirt, $$, gear, etc).  It takes a lot of time, energy and patience, but it makes #1 work better...at the end of the day my mantra is "It is for the kids, if they are happy, I am happy."

3.  Agree to disagree
Ex and I definitely have different ideas on raising kids, morals, religion, etc.  If we didn't then we most likely would not be Exes.  We finally came to a point about 6 months after our divorce was finalized that we agreed to disagree.  This means that sometimes he makes decisions I don't agree with (like having a babysitter for the kids almost every weekend he has them), but I do my best to keep my $.02 to myself about his decisions.  He does the same for me, although he has little to complain about since I am so perfect ;-). 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Have some self respect already!

I wouldn't exactly call myself a feminist.  I mean, I like being treated like a lady, having my door opened, being wooed as much as the next woman.  However, perhaps because of my career (Engineer in manufacturing for any newbies to the site), I have a different perspective on the line between being a bra burning feminist and a lady.  I also think that because I work in a male dominated (and lets face it, a better description is meathead dominated) job, I have developed dos and don'ts for how I handle myself and what I think (no, you don't have to think like I do) is appropriate clothing for girls and women in public (what you all do in your own homes is your business!).
WHUCK?!?!?

For example, I do not think it is appropriate for young ladies to wear see-through shirts, daisy duke shorts, high heels, or thong underwear...all of which I saw with advertising targeted towards my 7th grade daughter while back to school shopping.  It is not in my goals as a parent to teach my child to look like a whore...ever.  Of course, I am in the minority in that my almost 12 year old is one of the few girls in her school that do not go to class with full-on make up either.  I am fine with it...Manudo, hasn't complained too much yet, but I plan on using the "When I was growing up...." explanation cuz we all know kids LOVE that one!

I also think it is inappropriate for adult women (and I use this term loosely) to wear clothing that is gender degrading.  Why in the world would a grown woman want to walk around wearing a Hooter's T-shirt, or even worse one from Playboy or Hustler?  Especially when all of those built their MALE owned companies based on the objectification of women and their bodies.  And before you ask, No, I haven't had the wings, and I don't care if they give me 3 minutes in heaven, you cannot tell me that most of the people who go there are going for the wings and not the, well, hooters. I am sure these are the same people who claim they read playboy and hustler for the "intellectually" stimulating articles....These people think women are here not only to be objectified but that they are dumb too! 

However, I guess if your life's goal as a woman is to have men stare at your boobs all day by choice then you are being successful.  Bravo!  Let me know how that works for you when your boobs are closer to your knees and you haven't learned to get men to look you in the eye when talking to you.

I also believe that as a mom it is my job to teach both my daughters and even more importantly my son to respect women.  Why is it that we all want our sons to be mommy's boy, but then society is okay with said son becoming a person who disrespects woman (and by association their mothers) once they grow a few hairs you know where?  Isn't it important for our sons to think of women as smart, independent, and valuable life partners?  Isn't it important to teach our daughters to love their female friends and respect them?  I am so upset by all the girl to girl bullying these days.  It is bad enough that young girls have to compete with society's vision of how they should look/act/dress, but to have to compete with their own female peers is just horrible. 

Men, women, girls, boys, we all need to realize that women aren't going anywhere, especially not back to heels and aprons and thinking that we are only as valuable as the men who care for us.  All women deserve respect especially from themselves!


That's not a smile, it is a grimace cuz her
feet are KILLING her!


Rant over.....for now!
Nic



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here is my take on the different types of Adults in America



In America there are many different groups of "Adults."  These can be broken down into distinct categories, each with their own unique features.

  Here is how I see them:




 1.  DINKs (Dual income, no kids): These are the people who have worked hard at their careers and have decided either by choice or circumstance not to have kids.  To those of us with kids, these people live the high life.  They tend to have fancy toys, go on vacations, have no clue about that particular torture other parents call "kid(s) in team sports", or limitations on spending money.  I have some of these friends, and I can honestly say I am jealous of their lifestyle.  When my other parented friends discuss this we always go back to the "Oh well, we can do that when the kids are grown."  The failing I find in that logic is, I will OLD when my kids are grown.  Will I really WANT a camper, boat, big house, huge yard, cottage, etc when I am in my 60's?

2.  Partnered Parents with 1 kid:  I like to call these parents "Practice Parents."  When you have only one child you are really not that inconvenienced.  1 kid is portable and sharable.  Each parent can have equal share (even though most times we know Mom's do most of the work).  If one parent has something they'd like to do, it isn't too big of a deal for the other to keep the child occupied.  It is also easy to hire a babysitter or ask a family member to keep one child.  Start adding complexity to the equation, and your social life ends.  Most of my friends with one child still seem to lead pretty fun lives.  Their facebook pages claim they are going on vacations, many have boats, cottages, etc.  I know when I only had one, I pretty much did everything I wanted to do...I just brought Manudo with me...she was portable like that.

3.  Parents with 2 kids:  These are the justice scale parents.  They either have 1 kid for each hand, or divide the kids up equally between the parents.  Extra lucky are the parents that get one kid of each sex.  Then they can divide by gender and everyone is happy!  It is still somewhat feasible to ask a family member to watch them so you and your partner can have some alone time...just don't do it too often, as that leads to:

Friday, August 19, 2011

9 Circles of Hell Kitchen Remodel, pt. 3

For those of you behind....come on already, keep up!  Just kidding...Here is  Part 1 of the saga, and for your continued amusement at our expense you can read Part 2.

Circle 7: Violence
Oh heck yeah, remodeling a Kitchen is nothing if not violent.  You should have seen the glee in the eyes of the kids when I said: "Oh you want to hit your sister?  Here's a hammer, go hit the nasty cabinets instead!"  Those kids were all about violently beating the crap out my old kitchen like stink is on you-know-what!  I will say they did a fantastic job of tearing everything apart....why am I not surprised?  I guess I should have looked in their rooms more frequently, as after a month of me being distracted by said kitchen their rooms pretty much resemble the demolished kitchen too.

Of course, when violence is involved, it doesn't seem to limit itself to inanimate objects.  Take this lovely picture of me, for example:
Vice grips -v- Thumb...Vice Grips WIN!
I was pulling nails out of the baseboards with a pair of torture implements from the early 1900's vice grips when the hook and eye type closure decided to latch....right on my thumb.  I had a VERY attractive blood blister for about a month.

HH and I would spend our 20 minutes we took before collapsing asleep in exhaustion at night taking inventory of the day's battle scars.  We combined had a total of 9 head bumps, 3 lacerations, 1 million bruises, 1 pulled bicep, 2 swollen wrists, 10 nail puncture wounds (yes we checked and we were both up to date on our tetanus shots), and various other injuries.  In the war of the Kitchen -v- Us, I'd say the kitchen won most of the battles.

In the end we did end up winning the war by getting the old kitchen to relinquish its dominance over our home, and we celebrated greatly...for 5 minutes...before we passed out in exhaustion.

Take that you old ugly kitchen.  We win, you are going
to the landfill...right where you belong!
Circle 8: Fraud
Oh yeah! This circle was probably the hardest for a couple of nerdy geeks to accept.  I mean, we spend our lives deciphering the B.S. from the truth statistically (yes, 90% of it really is B.S. too).  Our acquiescence to being frauded came mostly from the web, instruction manuals, and other people who claimed to be PROFESSIONALS! 

We would wonder how to put in a 3 way switch for a light fixture....being nerds, we turned to the almighty Google for the answer.  Those search engines are EVIL as well as fraudulent! We looked at this one page from an electrician and the title was "Putting in a 3 way switch is so easy a blind monkey can do it."  Being neither blind nor monkeys we figured "no problem!"  Well....2 hours and 20 combinations of Black-White-White-Green wires later we felt like this :

Blind and NO thumbs...Doh!
Then there were the "experts."  These folks must have gotten some really great laughs at HH and my expense.  We'd go to the Orange Box From Hell (OBFH) store and ask a question...they'd give us an answer that basically made us feel like were were idiots for not figuring it out...you know the "Oh that's so easy, you should be embarrassed for even asking that" type of response.  We'd get home and try to replicate what they said only to find out 1. They told us wrong (probably on purpose, EVIL Frauds!), or 2. the tool they told us would work fine for the job actually did not so we'd have to go back to the OBFH store and spend more $$$ there.  I swear, my paycheck for the next 6 months is just signed over to the OBFH. 

Nicism....every project you do takes twice as long as you think and costs 3 times as much money. 

Manuals.....what a joke.  Those damn things should have a warning on them! Part A does not fit in Part B, and how about including all the damn parts next time???


Circle 9: Traitors
We like to call the traitors, vendors.  These are the folks who promise something will be delivered on a certain date, but then don't show up or call.  Or the "nice people" who PROMISE that they are the best and have the most awesome customer service...until they get your money!  We had a delivery company put a ding in our brand new refrigerator.  When I called them (before the check cleared, I may add) they were all like: Oh momginerd, we are SO sorry, we will be sending out someone to look at that right away, we pride ourselves on our customer service!"  Ironically the check cleared the next day and we are still waiting for our replacement door....3 weeks later!


All in all, HH and I are proud of our accomplishment.  The Kitchen isn't perfect, but it is 10000% better than the 1970's special we had before.  We went from avocado appliances to stainless....boring white walls with 8 cabinets on soffits to 28 new cabinets and gorgeous Canyon Sunrise walls. 

Will we ever do a project of this magnitude again....HELL no!

Till next time,
Nic

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Circles of Hell, pt 2

As we continued on our Kitchen remodel, we continued to fall through the mythical Circles.  For those of you new to the blog, check out pt. 1 here: http://momginerd.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html

If only I had THIS bed!
Circle 4: Hoarder and Spendthrifts
Yes, we became bi-polars who constantly went over and over through this circle.  While sitting with the Kitchen Designer she informed us: If you spend $120 more, you will get $500 off!  She was a cruel mistress that lady!  HH and I were like, "Yippee!  Spice rack, built in trash, and other thingamagiggies we don't need here we come!"

Then, when it came to times we REALLY needed something, we would be cheap.  We'd be making modifications to a 2x4 that took 2.5 hours instead of spending $8 on a 2x6!  At our combined hourly rates that 2x6 cost us about $100!   BUT....when you are in full-on home improvement mode, you think a penny saved is a penny earned.  When in all actuality a penny saved is a thousand pennies flushed down the drain.  That is a Nicism when it comes to projects!

Circle 5: The Wrathful and the Sullen
This circle is one of the worst experiences, because when you are doing a project of this intensity with your life-mate, one of you is the wrathful and the other is always the sullen.  Both of us worked full-time while doing this project....fortunately HH gets to work at home quite often...me not so much.  So, we would be having lots of "discussions" over who did what, who sweated more, who was more sore, who was the bigger Pain in the Ass, etc.  Then, we would both switch roles the next day.  I'd take a vacation day to paint while he worked (at home, on the couch, drinking coffee, I'd like to add).  I would become wrathful that I was sweating my a$$ off, and he would become sullen because he really DID have to work.

Let's just say we more resembled this:


Than this:


Cirlcle 6:  The Heretics
Oh yes, those darn Heretics!  They were the ones who said "you guys can't do that!" Who doubted our tenacity, knowledge, strength and integrity.  To all of them I say:

Booyah!

All we need are our Contertops, but OUR portion is done

And, TAKE That!

There used to be a window where the Stove is

Perhaps HH and I are going to be residing in the circle of PRIDE, because if nothing else, we did it and to us it looks great.  Better yet, we did it and we are STILL married! 

I will say that we both used to be perfectionists.  Doing a home project like this will change you...we are now all about "It looks pretty damn good" and that is okay!


Pt. 3 coming soon!

Nic

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My 9 Circles of Hell Summer Remodeling my Kitchen Pt. 1 of 3

I have been living through the 9 circles of Hell this summer, and I am not even speaking of how HOT it has been.  You see, my HH and I decided that we were smart enough, strong enough, and yes just that GOOD enough to remodel our kitchen from the floorboards to the wall studs all by ourselves with minimal labor/help from anyone else.  There are many lessons we learned about ourselves and each other throughout this journey, and baby, not all of them were good!  Most importantly, I learned the value of working hard and making a lot of money so that I can hire someone else to do this work for me in the future!

So, exactly how is remodeling a kitchen the equivalent of living through the 9 Circles of Hell you may be asking? 

Let me break it down:

Circle 1 Limbo
When living without a functioning kitchen for 6 weeks you really feel like your life is in limbo.  And by limbo, I don't mean the dancing kind.
 

If only it were this much fun!
I mean the kind where you never know up from down, right from left or right from wrong!  For example, is it really all that wrong to write "messages" to any future homeowners behind the cabinets where they will only be seen if they decide to be disrespectful and tear out all my blood, sweat and tears hard work?
Yeah what the sign says, and GOOD luck
 cuz this kitchen has no even walls or floors!
Circle 2 The Lustful
Let me stop you...no I don't mean the lustful as in "Hey baby, come on over here for some somthin' somthin'!"  kind of lustful.  It is the lustful kind that means more of a Veruca Salt type of lust.

I want my fancy spice rack and
I want it NOW!!!
There is nothing that creates lust in my heart more than looking through hundreds of Kitchen Design magazines and seeing all the cool gadgets.  I am a nerd like that.  If there is a gadget that makes potatoes into curly fries, I want it...even though I don't eat fries.  I feel there can never be enough gadgets in the world...especially the electronic types. 

Circle 3 The Gluttonous  

NOT HH, but his is what he looked like
having REAL food for a change.
Reason would ascertain that living without a kitchen would make one less gluttonous, but I beg to differ.  I am an avid cook and prior to the fateful day of June 28, 2011 my family probably ate restaurant or take-out food about once per month.  I am the type of anal retentive Good Mom that almost always plans a weekly menu filled with a variety of healthy and mostly delicious meals for my family.  We belong to an organic food co-op and eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruit....especially in the summer.  This summer, our diet has consisted of things I put in the microwave, crock-pot or on the grill.  Did I mention that WE were doing the entire remodel ourselves while working full time?  I was/am exhausted too!  So, let's just be honest and say my kidlets have eaten more than their fair share of pizza, Taco Bell, hot dogs, and burgers this summer with not too many balanced meals (read, not many fresh veggies/fruit) as an added bonus.  Also, my sanctified family dinner time has gone down the tubes too.  We have what is charmingly called a country kitchen.  Basically this mean our postage stamp sized house has a huge kitchen and NO dining room.  Since it has been so hot, the kids have been eating in the basement in front of the TV every single meal, every single day because it has been 10000 degrees with 1000% humidity all Summer long.  You know it is bad when a family member takes pity and brings a home cooked meal and we ALL attacked it like a crack addict getting a fix.  We ate every single morsel she brought still warm from her kitchen and Princepessa even was caught licking the gravy off her plate....Yes, that was a VERY gluttonous day!  Most of our family conversations these days have been centered on the discussion of what meal we will make in our new glorious kitchen when it is finally finished.  Like I am going to mess it up right after all this hard work.
 
Pts 2 and 3 coming soon!  I will also include some pictures if y'all would like.  HH and I charge $500/hr for design and installation ;-).



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Princepessa is six going on sixteen!


Even though I like to eat cavegirl style,
I am a GIRLY girl!
 This is my Princepessa. 6 years ago today she entered the world charming me, our doula, her dad and the entire hospital staff with her perfectness...she continues her journey of charming almost all who meet her daily. She is the most social of my 3 kids as well as being the most outgoing. She also has a killer sense of humor!

Here are some snippets of conversations either heard or relayed that Princepessa has had:

1. At 3 years old Princepessa was in a daycare. She had fallen and hit her head. The policy of the school is to call whenever any type of injury occurs involving the head. The teacher took her in to the office to make the call. While I was speaking with her teacher, Princepessa had the following discussion with the administrative assistant of the school:

P: You are very beautiful Ms. B.
Ms. B: Thank you P.
P: Ms. B, Why are your boobies so big?
Ms. B: Because that's the way God made them.
P: After thinking about it for a while responds, "Well you must have been a really good angel before you were born for God to give you those boobies, they are VERY nice!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

M.O.M. = Mean Ol' Mom

M.O.M. (Mean Ol' Mom) Yes that is me, and I am damn proud of the title.  Perhaps I am old school, but I believe that when I brought children into the world, I took on the job of ensuring that they be: Respectful, Kind, Responsible, Independent, Inquisitive, Behaved, Educated, Kind, and Domesticated.

To accomplish these goals, I am raising my kids with a proverbial iron fist.  I do not believe they were put on  this Earth to be worshiped.  The fact that they were born of my body does not make them perfect, nor does it make me believe that everyone in the fracking (bonus points to those fellow geeks who get this reference) world must worship them.  When in public, I expect them to act like they have been there before...if they don't then we will leave and go home where the wrath of M.O.M will be unleashed upon them and their precious privledges. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Daughter is my hero


This is my oldest daughter.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  She is tall, thin, goofy, funny, modest, gorgeous and extremely intelligent.  I have learned so many things from her, and most of them are things about myself. 

Manudo is a voracious reader.  I never thought that I would ever say to a child "Put the book down."  I sometimes find her under her covers with a flashlight reading at night!  Then, she wakes up all cranky the next morning and can't understand why...duh....

The biggest lesson Manudo has taught me is that it is OKAY to be different.  She is her own person, all the time.  She does not bend to convention or peer pressure.  If someone doesn't like her, she really doesn't care.  If someone does something stupid, she isn't afraid to confront them.  Until Manudo, I thought being popular with my peers was really important.  To this day I still get hurt feelings if my friends have a party and don't invite me.  My quirky daughter has taught me that the people who really matter are the ones that want you to be with them...and if they don't then it really isn't worth getting your panties in a wad about because they really don't matter. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Autoimmune.....Or, Why is my own body trying to kill me????

Sorry Nic, your autoimmune system is shot
I have some serious issues with my autoimmune system.  It is like my body is Long Duck Dong from 16 Candles screaming "Aaaaaauuuuttoooooiiiimmmmmuuunnne" and then my body is the car he describes as destroying.  Here's a clip for those of your born after 1980: Drunk as a Skunk (I highly recommend you watch this movie at least 500 times, preferably with your girl-friends and learn every single word).   I have issues with both my thyroid (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) and my joints (Rheumatoid Arthritis).  Basically, my life is a series of different "cocktails" of  medications to try and tell my autoimmune system to STFU.  And, unfortunately, these cocktails are not Mai Tais or Martinis.  They have side effects much worse than too many Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens in New Orleans, and don't come with the fun of actually drinking said hurricanes and enjoying the nightlife in the French Quarter.  Instead my nightlife is more filled with the fun of "how many times will have to get up at night to go to the bathroom?"  And, "hmmmmm are those ACTUAL spiders crawling on my skin, or am I just bat shit crazy?"

Monday, June 20, 2011

No, I am not your wife anymore....

My kids' dad is still very much involved in their lives.  We share 50/50 custody, so we interact a lot.  A lot more than I would really like, but in the theme of "keeping the kids first" I always answer his calls and try to help him if he asks.  My Ex likes to think that since we once were married, I should still do lots of favors for him...NO not that kind of favors, step up to the gutter people! ;-). 

For example:  He decided to get Lasik eye surgery.  Not that big of a deal, but then he thought it was appropriate to ask ME to take him to his appointment.  Um....really!?!   I would have had to take one of my few precious vacation days to do this and I have much better things to do with my vacation days.  I did, however, arrange for my uncle to take him.  And, because I still felt guilty for not taking him, I made him a home cooked dinner and delivered it to his house that evening (yeah, I know, I am enabling the behavior).

Not a single day goes by when he doesn't call me at least 10 times to ask me something.  Sometimes they are important, like what exactly is it again that Bubbie is allergic to eating (yeah, you would think after 8 years he'd know what the kid can and can not eat, but I digress).  Other times it is stupid shit.  He literally called me 3 times once to ask directions to Manudo's softball game.  Did I mention that I bought him a GPS one year for Father's day?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Working in a Gender Bending Role.......The Negatives

Last week I focused on the positives of working in a non-traditional career.  Today, I plan on cluing you in to some of the more unpleasant aspects.

1.  No, I am not an expert on ALL things female.  I am sorry, but I do not know why your wife acts the way she does (except perhaps because YOU are a jackhole?) when you complain about why your dinner isn't prepared when you get home.  I have NO idea why she has denied you sex, drives the way she does, asks you the questions she does, or ignores your pleas for her to change.  Please talk to your wife, not me.  Having boobs does not make me an expert on all things female, just sayin'.

2.  The noises.  Working in cubeville with all men leads to overhearing sounds that I give time-outs to for my own son.  Some of the doozies are:  Snorking, the act of sucking snot while clearing your throat resulting in a sound that resembles a Canadian Goose dying.  Farting, no definition required, I am sure.  Burping/belching, this occurs a lot, and loudly, and is usually accompanied by a description of exactly which food led to said expelling of gas and how it tasted "coming back up."  Horking, like snorking, but without the snot sucking....just as gross and usually proceeds the sound of Spitting into the nearest trash can.

3.  The advice.  Just because you happen to have a penis and 10 or more years on me, does not make you the expert on all things dealing with me, my parenting, my marriage, my weight, my diet, my health, how I color my hair, my driving, how I spend my free time, which beverages I like to consume when not working, or what a "smart and pretty lady like you should do next in my career."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Working in a gender bending role....The positives

This will be the first of a two part series.  Because I like to consider myself an optimist,  I am going to start with the positives :).

First a bit of background.  I am a manufacturing engineer and I work in a 2.5M square foot manufacturing facility.  I work for one of the Big 3 American Automotive companies.  Yes, there are other women who work in my plant, but the majority of them do not work in an engineering capacity.  There are many hardworking women working on the production line, a few work in Finance, and then there are a few who work in the Administrative role.  These are all very important jobs within my company, but are more stereotypically "female."  Of the approximately 3,000 people employed at my plant, there are about 8 women in a "technical leadership role." 

1. I ALWAYS look good.  Seriously, if you are a woman who is feeling down on yourself, consider a career change.  I never go at least one day where I am not cat-called, oogled, hit on, or otherwise made to feel like men find me attractive.  Of course, these are the SAME men that wouldn't glance my way in a bar.  When compared to the competition in a plant, I AM the hot one, and frankly if feels good sometimes at my advanced maternal age.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I have Reverse Anorexia........



So, on my Facebook page today a friend posted this ad from the Body Shop that was pulled after Barbie, INC threatened them:
 

It made me realize that even though I most likely look like this ad, or perhaps even worse, in my mind, I look more like this (but brunette):

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mortgage, Acne, ADHD, Dyslexia, etc...OH MY

Well, you can probably see by the title how my week is going...about as well as trying to roll a snowball uphill!  I am in the process of refinancing my house.  I love how the mortgage companies are all like: "Oh this will be SO easy, just fill out this form online and you will be *almost* done."  Then you fill out the friggin' form which takes 3 hours and find out that you will spend the next 10 days looking for shit documents you haven't looked at for 5 or more years, answering the same questions on the phone to 10 different people, scurying around trying to find a FAX machine...I mean really, who in the hell doesn't accept documents via e-mail these days....and basically wishing you were happy with the crappy mortgage you already have.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome!

This is my first attempt at Blogging, so please forgive me if I disappoint. I am a mom to 3 kiddos: Manudo who is 11 going on 21, Bubbie who is 8 and has dysexia and ADHD, and Princepessa who is 5 and well a princess (I MAY have changed some names to protect the innocent, lol). I am married to the love of my life HH (Hottie Husband). I am a Sr. Manufacturing Engineer at a major automotive company, even though I am unsure of if this is what I REALLY want to be doing. I believe I must have a bit of ADHD myself, as I am constantly on the look out for my next career adventure. I have a BA in Psychology, History and Education, an MA in Counseling, and an MS in Manufacturing Management...oh and a 6-Sigma Blackbelt (this is a total geeky engineering thing about streamlining processes).

I wanted to start a blog, because basically I am a total smartass and NEED an outlet that I can get out my snarkiness instead of saying it out loud places where it isn't as much appreciated...say like to my boss, co-workres, kid's teachers, my parents etc.....

Some of the things I believe I will be snarking on include working in a male dominated job, dealing with an Ex-husband (the father of my 3 kids) who still thinks I should run his life like I did when we were married, a new(er) husband with 3 special needs kids and a psycho ex-wife, my crazy yet hilarious children, my funny and intelligent friends, and basically anything that just pisses me off. I figure, "Hey! It's MY blog, I can write about what I want ;-)."

So, watch this space for sarcasm, my opinions (which you probably won't agree with, but that's okay), and my rants!

Nic