Tag Archives: mom

Sorry For The Pause in European Commentary

I missed last Thursday. And today is a filler post. But it has taken me a while to get back on track.

Last week I spent Monday cleaning and Tuesday refilling the pantry and fridge and Wednesday doing laundry and basically last week was all about getting back into real life. I even paid bills. So sad.

Then we put our kids in All Mountain Ski School and I decided I should go skiing too. This coming weekend is my continuing law courses at Big Sky and I wanted to buy a $20 ski pass before I spent much, much much more to find out if I could find my center of balance on skis.

I did. Although I skied so tensely, my thighs burned. I am a nervous pregnant skier.

Before Christmas, my whole family was sick and yet I prevailed. I was the lone wolf. I was invincible. I had the flu shot. I was eating oranges and sleeping.

And then it all changed.

I’ve watched all of the playoff games and the college championship now. I”m getting caught up on bad tv. My children are eating prepared Costco food. For some of you, that might not sound like much of a difference, but before I was sick, I had not watched a single football game from start to finish.

That’s how bad it was.

But I shall conquer this illness and download my pictures and tell you my top ten of Europe.

Just after I take a nap.


Aaah! How we LOVED Florence


And What Do You Do?

How do you answer that question?

Last night we had a political meet and greet at our house.  I’ve spent the last month hanging things on the walls that had been on the floor below where they should be hung for the last year.  I bought some furniture that I’ve needed so that the house looks a little more put together.  I’ve been throwing things away and streamlining our house.

Yesterday I cleaned the house with some professional help.  While she was cleaning the floor, I was picking up clothes, rearranging the book case, going through the toys, vacuuming the base boards, washing the windows, doing the little things you only do when strangers come over.

Most of the food was purchased for me, but I put it out and I added some to it because it didn’t fill the table.

Kevin was in charge of the meeting.  He talked and I smiled.  Then I was asked what I do.

I never know how to answer that.  I don’t have an issue with the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mom.  I mean, I would love a full time job, but I honestly feel  like it’s best for my family to stay home.  Maybe that’s why I never know what to say… I would like to be able to say more.

I think I’ve written about this before.  But it’s a topic that comes up over and over again.

And part of the problem is that no matter how far we think we’ve evolved in accepting people for who they are, some people will always think stay at home moms nap all day.  I wonder if that’s because half the time I don’t shower until noon.  That isn’t due to napping, however.

Lately, when I do say that I’m a SAHM, the person I’m talking to usually goes out of their way to say how important that is and how wonderful it is, etc.  I also wish there was just a response that flowed with the conversation.  But there doesn’t seem to be.

What about you?  What do you say?  If you have a job, do you mention being a mom at all?  What’s a good answer? And response?

Look!  I Decorated.  This is What I Do so that I Look Like a FUN MOM!!! (the true ultimate goal)

Look! I Decorated. This is What I Do so that I Look Like a FUN MOM!!! (the true ultimate goal)

A Bank and an 80 year old Woman

I thought that for today’s activity, I’d share my complete and utter frustration with a bank in Utah.

About a year and a half ago, this bank which we will refer to as Pilon (which means drumstick in French) called my 81 year old mother and asked her to come get her money.  She said she didn’t have any money in that bank.  They said she did.  She said she didn’t.

They asked if 123-45-6789 was her social security number.

She said yes.

They asked if Alexander the Great was her mother’s maiden name.

She said yes.

They said it was her money.

She went into the local branch with her son-in-law and again told them that she had no memory of putting this money in a CD and she hadn’t been getting statements.

They said these things happen but if she doesn’t take the money it would go to the state as unclaimed.

After quite a few conversations on the phone and in person, she accepted that it was her money and took the checks from the bank.  She then gave some away, bought a washer and dryer, and put 2/3 into an annuity.

Then, a couple weeks ago, Pilon called her and said the money wasn’t hers.

She called the local branch.  They said the money was hers.

Then she got a letter that said if she didn’t return all 6 figures plus interest, Pilon would prosecute.

She went in and talked to them.  Her son-in-law wrote a letter to the annuity with 2/3 of the money and asked if they could get that money out without penalty.  They said yes if the bank wrote them.  My son-in-law told the bank how much was there and that they could get it if they wrote a letter.

The bank wrote the company and demanded the full 6 figures which the annuity NEVER had.

The annuity was a bit confused.

And now we are all getting a bit angry.  Here is an 81 year old woman who is willing to give back everything she still has of money she was told OVER AND OVER was hers.

It was the banks fault and yet they’re making her feel like a criminal.  And there doesn’t seem to be anything she can do about it.  It’s worrying her, understandably, and there should be a different protocol for how they deal with 81 year olds who’ve had 2 heart attacks and need a second knee surgery.

And I know there are people who will say, “If she didn’t think it was hers, she shouldn’t have taken it.”  But be honest with yourselves.  If you’d been told that over 20 years ago you’d put money away and they had your SS number, personal info, and your signature all linked to it, don’t you think that after a few conversations, you’d start believing it was yours?

I guess the lessons we can take from this is to let all money a bank swears is yours go unclaimed to the state and to not do business with a bank whose name rhymes with the French word for drumstick.

As if that wasn’t obvious in the first place.


Take Your Mom to a Movie Day

I’m back.  That was a fun summer break; wasn’t it?  People who blog consistently are machines.  MACHINES, I tell you.

Couple changes happening here.

1. I’m not going to even attempt to try to post every Tuesday and Thursday.  I’m going to be posting when my muse comes.  And I have the website open.  Could be more; could be less.  I find not knowing exciting.

2.  I’m going to start discussing my traveling.  I travel a lot.  I often pretend it hasn’t happened because of a weird reputation people who travel a lot get.  Mostly they get a reputation that they travel a lot and who wants that?

But besides these two things, everything is totally back to normal.

And normal  includes taking my almost 81 year old mother to The Expendables 3 in DBox.

DBox are those seats that move around with the action.  In the case of this film, they end up shaking whenever things blow up.  So the chair is generally always shaking.

Shaking makes the movie more exciting.  Especially when you try to drink from a straw.

Before you freak out that the seats could’ve injured my mom, calm down.  Her knees may be full of metal and she may be on 43.6 different meds, but her back is completely fine.

And if it does start hurting, I’m pretty sure she has a med for that.

What Did You Melt With a Car’s Cigarette Lighter?

When I was a kid, the cigarette lighter in the car kept us entertained for hours.  We burned the edges of every plastic snow scraper my mom got for free from car insurance companies.  We burned both ends of pens.  (After taking the ink out so it wouldn’t explode.)   (We weren’t stupid.)  It was fun for all ages.  But we always knew that it was hot and we shouldn’t touch it.  That’s why we melted things with long handles and we kept our hands far, far away.

We knew what a cigarette lighter was for;  we saw people lighting cigarettes with them and we saw the fire they created.  It wasn’t anything taught us.  It was something we intrinsically knew.  It was part of society.

Not so anymore.

My new car doesn’t even have a cigarette lighter, but our older car does.  My husband and I never thought about it.  Until our boys decided to see how the lighter works.   They didn’t realize they started fires.  Even though they know it’s called a LIGHTER.  My youngest got a blister. They thought it would just shock them.

So learn from our pain.  If you have an older car, DO NOT assume your kids know that cigarette lighters are actually hot enough to burn.  (And DO NOT assume that the large red circle will give them the slightest hint.)

DO sit them down with a can of root beer and the first season of Starsky and Hutch.  Everything should come together by episode 10.

(Maybe read a book about how you can increase your children’s common sense, too.  And email me your findings.)

I Had a Perfect Plan Until I Went to my Kids’ School Open House

OK.   I’ve planned 2-3 hours a day to write.  I have an amazing schedule. It has different colors.  And a place for everything.  It’s an amazing schedule. AMAZING.

Then I went to my kids’ school open house.

And I signed up to bring snacks for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.

And I signed up to volunteer in the classroom.  Because supposedly it shows I care.  And it helps my kids succeed.  And having a relationship with your teachers is supposed to be a good idea.

And I told the PTO I’d help in any way they need.

And I told my son’s 5th grade teacher that I’m not as flighty as I seem.  (Seriously?)

And all three kids are in piano.

And 1st grade means reading really boring books every night.

And 3rd grade means working on math facts every night.

And there’s dinner.


I am doomed.

I am doomed.

So we’re gonna see what happens in September.  And if men in white coats take me away, we’ll know my plan didn’t work.

(When times get really tough, I figure I’ll just remind myself that at least I’m not dancing on a stage half nude surrounded by giant teddy bears and Robin Thicke dressed as the Hamburglar.)

Look In My Purse and See My Soul

A professor of mine, Louise Plummer, taught that you should make lists as a way to keep a history or to find out more about yourself.  Lists of what’s under your bed; what’s in your car; what’s in your wallet… That sort of thing.
So here is a list of what was in my purse yesterday when I cleaned it out:

  • 1 sample kids’ toothpaste
  • 3 samples of floss
  • check book
  • glittery hair tie
  • ear buds
  • Target coupon
  • glasses cleaner
  • high heel page marker stickers
  • U of Iowa key chain
  • 4 expired Dr. appt. cards
  • key to office
  • 2 samples of essential oils
  • 5 lip glosses
  • 1 lipstick
  • 5 pens
  • a bracelet
  • a wallet (but that’s another list)

This is an amazing representation of me, if I think about it.  How well does your purse/wallet describe you?

It looks small but it can hold A LOT of lip gloss.

It looks small but it can hold A LOT of lip gloss.