Archive for April, 2009

I’m tightening my belt but I’m not losing any weight.

April 24, 2009

A year ago I got a new job. It was a fine job as far as jobs go, but it wasn’t really a fit for me for myriad reasons that I’m not really going to go into here. But the point is that I needed to get a cell phone for the job. I left the job 5 months later in October. But the damn cell phone contract wasn’t up until this week.

So what did I do? That’s right. I did it. I got rid of my cell phone. I get sick of being so accessible anyway. Besides, I like checking my messages when I get home from somewhere. It’s as fun for me as crossing something off my to-do list, or checking the mail. But I haven’t been able to do much of that for the last year. Nobody leaves a message on the home phone anymore. Damn cell phones anyway.

To be honest, I did really get used to having a cell phone. And I caught several cute pictures of the boys at times when I didn’t have my camera. I even started texting friends ( a – v – e – r – y s – l – o – w p – r – o – c- e – s – s.) And I have to admit, it’s the only direct line of communication I have with the President of the United States. He texts me almost every month. I didn’t just get rid of the phone because the contract was up. Truth is, we’re tightening our proverbial belts. Kim didn’t finish her dissertation yet. Let’s be brutally honest here, Kim hasn’t even finished her proposal yet, so there’s at least another year of school ahead of us. Kim’s scholarship runs out next month, debt is accumulating, scholarship money dwindling, the boys are growing, eating more, costing more. So we sat down with our numbers and actually put ourselves on a budget. No more cell phone. No more cable TV. No more gym membership. No more full coverage insurance on our car. In fact, does anybody want to buy a beautiful but past her prime Saturn named Lucy. She’s dependable, reliable, and for sale. Hello public transportation. We’re still keeping Ruby the Suby. No more Costco membership. No more AAA. No more organic cotton non-bleached tampons. No more Winder dairy. No more organic fruits and vegetables. No new school clothes. No eating out (honestly we rarely do except for the occasional Red Iguana which makes me drool just thinking about it.) No more life insurance. No school portraits (and you all know how I feel about pictures.) No bottles of wine. Fewer bottles of beer. Kim can’t get by without internet, but slower internet never hurt anyone. We even got rid of the USA Network and while part of me wonders how I’ll do without Monk and Psych, another part of me knows that I survived 33 years without them. And since I got rid of Showtime too, please watch the United States of Tara diligently for me, each Sunday, and feel free to send me weekly updates on her therapy. Seriously, we were able to trim $600 a month off our budget just by being intentional and taking a look at all the things we have gotten so accustomed to having – but we really don’t need.

I don’t think we were worse than any other person on our spending. But I do think we’re better than the average American now after taking a look. Guess what else we did. I feel my anxiety rising even as I say this, but we cut up 3 credit cards. Don’t worry. Don’t worry. We kept one just so we wouldn’t have additional medical expenses related to my anxiety. Anyway, it’s refreshing to cut back and I’m excited about our upcoming evenings outside, riding bikes and gardening anyway. Who needs TV? I’m not sure why I’m detailing my budget to internet land, but I do know that my post today has a homework assignment attached. No, I don’t expect each of you to go thru the same budgeting process. But I do ask for this one little thing:

If you’re reading this, will you please call this number (801) 661-5650 and ask for me. Thanks. It’s just a little something I think we should all pass on to the new owner of my cell phone number. See, people called me and asked for Edward for months (actually the calls haven’t stopped yet, though they have dwindled.) and I figured he was the most popular man with a number of good friends. Maybe someone could think that of me. Or if you really want to continue the tradition, you could call and ask for Edward. Give it a day or two though, I want to be sure the number’s reassigned. Thanks.

Rindge Tinge and Poop on April Fools

April 5, 2009

Riley is the perfect age for April Foolin’ so Kim and I did some plannin’.

We took orange kool ade and opened up the faucet in the bathroom and the kitchen and poured straight up fluorescent powder inside.   Then we cut holes in their straws and slit holes in their plastic cups they were to drink from.

The boys were playing downstairs when I hollered that it was time to wash their hands for dinner.  They ran into the bathroom to wash and the next thing we heard was “Holy Crap!  Moms you had better come here NOW!”  We ran downstairs to see what was up and rust colored water poured from the drain.

Kim, who wouldn’t win an Oscar, announced, “Oh drat.  I think we have rusty pipes.  I guess we will need to call a plumber after dinner.”  Then, she muttered under he breath, “Like we can afford that!.”

I told the boys they’d have to wash upstairs tonight and they bounded upstairs to wash up.

They found the same kool-ade rust draining from the pipes upstairs.

When we finally sat down for dinner, Riley couldn’t keep still.  “Mamma, can we drink our water?  What are we to do?  When are you calling the plumber?  If you need to borrow my birthday money you can.  I want to make sure our water is safe.”

Kim’s April Fools! was a bit premature from how we planned it.  But it was clear that Riley’s anxiety wouldn’t let us move on until he was ASSURED that life as he knows it won’t change because one day he turned on the water to find it dripping orange.

As he was laughing and reliving the fun, “You got me.  You got me Good!”  I told him about how his Mammas used to live in a place called Rindge NH and how the water there was orange all the time.  

He replied, “You know what, Mamma.  I wouldn’t want to live there.”  

We settled into dinner.  The boys kept trying to drink their water out of their straws but to no avail.  Neither kid said anything, they just kept fiddling with their cups and their straws.  Finally, Kim asked if they were having a problem with their straw.  They agreed that they were.  Kim took the lids off and told them to drink their water without a straw.

At the same time they picked up their cups to drink and water poured out of the holes we slit on the sides.  

“Do you boy have holes in  your chins?”

Riley was rolling with laughter, “April Fools.  You got me twice.”  Casey just looked at us like we were from a different planet.

It was time to eat their stir fry.  “I”m afraid to touch it.  There might be an April Fools joke in it.”

We assured them that the tricks were over for the night and they could eat.

Twenty minutes later we were still trying to get through dinner and I was coaxing Casey to eat a few more bites.  

“I’m not going to eat.”  He said, “I think it has poop in it.  April Fools!”

I don’t think he fully understands, but what the hell, he’s not yet 3.  

Riley decided that Casey was onto something.  Poop is funny.  Poop is really funny on April Fools.  “Hey Casey eat some chicken.  It’s not chicken, It’s Poop-Fil-et.”

Casey joined in, “My apple juice has poop in it.”  (Peals of laughter.)

Dinner took an hour. 

We planned such clever tricks, but poop still won.

Riley and his pappey

April 3, 2009

In school for Saint Patrick’s Day, Riley was asked to write an essay about what he would do with a pot of gold.  His essay is below:

rileys-pot-o-gold0001

And in case you’re wondering.  He doesn’t want a Pappy – he wants a puppy.  He’s perfectly content with his two Mammas.

And it melts my heart that his first response was to share some with homeless people.  Of course, he’s making sure that there’s plenty for his swimming pool and banana split.  But still.  He’s 7 and way more socially conscious than I was at that age.