Here’s to You on Valentine’s Day: A Toast to My Fellow Singles

I have 3 Valentines, I gave birth to them , so they aren’t exactly romantic Valentines, but we totally exchange gifts, and I love them. If you, like me, are single this Valentine’s Day, don’t sit around being sad about it, there are tons of things great about being single, there are also tons of reasons to enjoy Valentines Day with the people you love (and who love you too) and just enjoy the day. It’s a holiday, for cripes sake! Why not love a holiday?! Now that I have offended weeded out all the VDay haters…

The real reason for this post? Beverages that are Valentine’s Day themed to have with your platonic friends (or alone, no judging here) on Thursday, or this weekend, or hell, anytime you need a froufrou beverage.

*Small disclaimer here: I will not be drinking these with my “little” Valentines. Duh, no need to call CPS, jeez. *

girlfriends sharing a beverage (or 2)

girlfriends sharing a beverage (or 2)

Cheers my friends!

The Red Queen: (Named for its similarity to a Royal Flush)

Mix in shaker: 1 part Crown Royal, 1 part raspberry Liqueur, 2 parts Cranberry Juice.

Serve over ice.

Rx Love

Pour over ice: 2 oz Vanilla Rum (I really like Cruzan, as I said before), Splash Grenadine (Optional, but makes a nice red tint), 1 can Diet Dr Pepper. Stir. Mmmmmm

Little Red Dress

Mix in shaker w/ ice: 1 1/2 oz Mixed Berry Vodka, 1/2 oz Strawberry Pucker, 1/2 oz Granadine. Shake. Strain into Martini glass.

Chocolate Covered Cherry

Mix in shaker: 2 oz Creme de Cocao liqueur, 2 oz Whipped Vodka, 1 oz Black Cherry Rum.  Pour 1/4 oz (just enough to see) Grenadine in the bottom of the glass. Fill glass with ice. Slide 2 oz half n half on top.  Slide mix on the very top for your 3rd layer. (This looks cool all layered, but I would recommend stirring before drinking. You can also eliminate the ice, reduce the half n half to a 1/4 oz and create a shot it you want to go truly crazy…)

Do you have any VDay themed drink suggestions? It’s gotta be something you actually tried and liked, but let me know, preferably before 9 tomarrow when the ABC store closes… 😉

And some other Valentines to make you smile…

An Angry Mouth

I need to start off with making sure everyone understands who this rant is directed at. This rant is NOT directed at mothers who neglect their health and well-being for their children. This rant is also NOT directed at mothers who don’t neglect their health and well-being for their children. This rant is also NOT for people who are not mothers and can’t fathom how/why a mom might feel like she should/has to/guilt because she did/didn’t neglect her health and or well-being for her children. To me all of the above positions are perfectly reasonable, acceptable, and a position I have held at some point in my life or another. (Sometimes wildly ping ponging between the first two during a single week) So who IS it I am mad at? The subgroup of category 3, those who want to be all judgey and lecturing and add to my maternal guilt (thanks, but I manufacture plenty on my own, but if you’d like to babysit while I go to therapy, well, hell , that would actually be helpful). See? Here I am, just full of steam and wanting to yell at someone, but my mouth hurts. (Oh & I vowed to yell less about 4 or 5 years ago, so there’s that too; I feel like getting a white chip every time I go a solid week, so it’s a work in progress… Argh! So much mouth pain I am having trouble thinking in any cohesive way… Sorry)

 Here’s the thing, I am not a wealthy woman (Like you hadn’t noticed or something) I live below the official poverty line for a family of 4. (I checked recently, just to see) But I pay (along with my nice grown-up lady job employers) for my health insurance, and dental and vision, for the four of us. Those co pays will add up quick (as I am certain you all know) so I often am making a call along the lines of say $100 + $25 for BoyChild II to get an eye exam and new glasses or pay the electric bill that is not overdue at all. (I can tell you in this rock-paper-scissors budgeting glasses beat electricity, as long as electricity is not overdue, but moving on…)Yeah It’s that tight around here, and 90% of the time (fairly good odds to my mind) I end up getting the necessities paid for ( we never go out to eat/buy brand new jeans/ video games, but that electric bill gets paid). But I don’t feel like I should have to draw a map of my monthly (or yearly) budget to anyone (see awesome things about being a single mom) I mean anyone, it’s my choice to share or not share my finances with you or with any service provider. So when I say (hypothetically speaking) “Well, I’d love to pay you $88 to pull the skin back from my teeth and clean (remove cracked tooth filling bits that are now “too old”)  inside the gum line on the left side of my face and then come back in 2 weeks to pay you $88 to do the same to the right side of my face, but unfortunately that ain’t happening this week, or any time soon. I will call to schedule the appointment as soon as I have saved up the money to do so.” This should be an accepted statement. No one should then go on and on (hypothetically speaking again) for say 10 to 15 minutes on how important my dental health is to my overall health. (Note: stressing over paying for  $176 and a total of 1 1/2 days off work is ALSO not good for my overall health) See, I have never had a cavity. My parents didn’t have any dental insurance until I was out of school so my first dental appointment wasn’t until I was 12 and I went about 3 times after that the last time being at the age of 16. I didn’t go to the dentist again until my wisdom teeth came in and my face swelled shut (not pretty), I was 21. My teeth are so crowded in my mid twenties they started cracking each other. Guess who had actual cracks in her teeth with no nastiness/etc  for the 4 years it took to save the money to pull/fill those cracking teeth? Yeah, so when they start getting on me about “this is a dental health emergency” I just smile politely and roll my eyes when they aren’t looking. (In case anyone is wondering? No I can’t fit floss between all my teeth, but I religiously am a CREST kid & I promise to update this post should I ever get a cavity)

So the day has arrived. Thursday I have an appointment with the dentist to rip open my left side gums and  really bleed a lot get them clean, I finally saved up the money to do it. The problem is when I called to schedule said appointment I was already hurting and swollen (I did not tell the receptionist this, however super sonic hearing is apparently her superpower) I was scolded again for not having made this appointment sooner. So in a pain/frustration induced haze I broke my own rule. I rattled off a list of the things I did this year that also cost between $100 and $200 instead of getting this cleaning done back in March.

My List:

  • Aforementioned glasses
  • Electric bill (every month thank you very much)
  • Extra $200 in gas every month we lived in the hotel (4) after our house flooded (to do completely frivolous things like get kids to school, me to work, etc)
  • Tires for Suzie (my 2001 Isuzu Trooper)
  • Carpet Cleaner (to get indescribable things out of flooded carpet)
  • $300+ per month co pays for meds and therapy for BoyChild I
  • Breaks for Suzie
  • School clothes (underwear/pants/socks/shoes) at about $60-120 per child x3 since someone grew 4 inches, 26 lbs, and 4 shoe sizes this summer. (& well, they can’t go to school shoeless and nekked, no matter how clean their teeth are)
  • School supplies
  • Inspection ready repairs to Suzie & then inspection/title renewal (old girl has had a rough year, but we still love her — & she requires no car payments)
  • Infected toe (I have a feeling the growing 4 sizes was bad for it too) decontamination and whatever else the pediatrician did along with antibiotics
  • 2 children’s birthday parties (ok, I know this is not necessity, but you gonna say “sorry hun, no birthday this year, Mommy is going to the dentist instead” ? Riiight)

 Now it’s not a crazy list, I’ve had worse summers, and I don’t own a credit card so there’s no debt, but it was enough that I just couldn’t fix it until now. I was telling a friend about this, the receptionist and her reaction and what I had to say to shut her up (again, not for sympathy, just shut up) when a stranger nearby says “sounds like you just shouldn’t of had kids if you can’t even take care of yourself.”

What?! Like in the cartoons when they turn red and steam comes out their ears? Yeah, like that.

 So that’s what this was, my rant to get off my chest exactly how asinine both those people were being. I hope if you have ever judged like that you are feeling a bit shame faced and will never do it again. I hope if you have been judged like that (after several Lamaze type breaths) you will know it isn’t you, it’s them. Do you have a story like this? Do you think I’m just needing a nap and a stiff drink calm down because I am overreacting? Let me know. Looking forward to it!

Mom of Teen Daughter Seeks Advice

This week I am preparing to go to 3 Open Houses next week. 1 at the elementary school where BC II is entering the 3rd grade, or as any of you who are in the know would say, Big Kid Elementary School (Caps denote the somberness that must be applied to this statement-just ask him). No more recess 3 days a week, it’ll be 2 days but I promise that makes a difference, and honestly I wish they had recess 5 days a week all through elementary school, but no one asked me for a vote. We will go to Open House all bright eyed with the thrill of being a “big kid” firmly implanted in our brains. 1 Open House will be at the middle school as BC I is starting the 6th grade. (Have I mentioned how terrified I am of this?) I have the packets of information regarding what SPD is, reference book lists (with the mention that I own several of them and would loan them to any teacher would wanted to borrow them), his IEP, his medication list with side effects to watch for, and contact info for therapists, psychiatrists, and last year’s school councilor ready to print out. This year I am making 8 copies, since he will have 6 instead of 2 or 3 teachers. We will go to that one with me still faking enthusiasm and confidence, still building up how cool it will be to have lots of teachers, make lots of friends, and have your very own locker (he is most excited about having a place to put his stuff that no one else can even look at, much less touch), and BC I with sparkles in his eyes over finally not being in elementary school where everyone is “so immature”. See why I’m scared? On the same night I go to the Open House for the elementary school I will somehow also go to the one at the high school. (You see, the public school system, having absolute faith in my abilities as a superhero who can time travel, has double booked me that night) I hate it when this happens, and it happens all the time. Just another thing about this time of year, right? I mean, if I were planning an open house at any school in a public school system, I would make sure that the night I picked wasn’t already picked by any feeder schools nor any school that my school was a feeder school to. I mean, there are 3 high schools, for our part of the district, 4 middle schools, and about 7 elementary schools. Wouldn’t it make since to have say Monday and Tuesday nights are all elementary school open houses, Wednesday night be middle school open houses and Thursday night for the high schools? In my area, at least, you can’t have 2 kids at 2 different elem/middle/high schools in the same family, so wouldn’t this solve the issue? But I digress, that wasn’t even what I wanted to write about (sorry I did warn everyone I hate this time of year, I promise to return to sunny optimism and the like soon).

My question is, when I go to the high school Open House (time machine or no) my daughter, who is 14 will cling to my side, insisting that I stay within her sights (while she talks with her friends) and continue to call me Mommy. Right in front of anyone who happens to be around. Now, it’s not that I can’t be called Mommy ( I’m pretty well acquainted with the title at this point), my concern is that when I was going into high school as a freshman I would have actually died before I called my mom Mommy. Anywhere, in private or in public. Now, I’m from the south, we call our dads Daddy for way longer than is normal anywhere else in the country it seems (guys too, it’s not a girl thing). But Mommy? No most of us have been calling her Mom, Mama, or Mother since about the 2nd grade. In fact GC is the only one of my kids still calling me Mommy. This probably sounds like the most insane thing to be worried about, but well, I’m a Mom, I’m supposed to be worried about insane things right? And I am concerned about a pattern I am seeing.

In addition to calling me Mommy, my child (whose first phrase at the age of 1 1/2 was “get offa me” when I tried to hug her goodbye at daycare drop off, I was interfering with her getting to her friends to play with them) constantly wants to sit right next to me (you know in that share your skin way that they usually do at about age 2 to say 5ish?) something she wasn’t interested in prior to this year. She constantly wants to “hang out” with me, if I have a friend around she wants to hang out with us, getting upset when I nudge her off to do her own thing. This all seems so strange to me. When I was 14 I would have counted the ridges in the popcorn ceiling in my bedroom before I voluntarily “hung out” with my mother. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that we spend time together, I encourage it. But it’s as though she has decided we should be friends. I am not sure where she got this idea. We do have fun together, but I have never (at least intentionally) given the impression that I was her friend. Mom, nurse, chaperone, chauffeur, costume/wardrobe designer, chef, groundskeeper, disciplinarian, teacher, yes to all of those; but friend? No. I actually went so far as to tell her a few weeks ago, that while I look forward to being friends with her when she is in her twenties, I am not desirous to be friends with any 14-year-old, no matter how much I love said 14-year-old. She acted as though I had kicked her puppy (or maybe her). I know that it’s a thing now, parents who befriend their children, but I don’t think it’s right. She should have friends her age, I should be her mom, that’s how I have always believed. I have been raising this once independent girl for 14 years, I don’t consider myself done, and suddenly she has changed (in addition to the crazy hormonal changes that I had at least steeled myself for), she still seems very sure of herself and confident, but at the same time constantly wants Mommy around, like physically right there. I wonder is this a normal part of adolescence, that I myself skipped?

 I do want her to talk to me, to continue to tell be about her friends, her day, boys she likes, things she is considering doing with those boys. Maybe I would feel more normal if she didn’t volunteer all of those things, if I had to ask in that pulling teeth way I have to get information from BC I. I just don’t want to be her friend; I want to listen, help her learn to make good choices, guide her when she needs it(you know, be the Mom of the teenager). What should I do to encourage the continued sharing without encouraging this my mom is my friend thing? I would welcome any advice any of you have. Thanks & I hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer.

Piña Colada Smoothies

 

 

This time of year I love making things in blenders. Creamy, yummy, cold things in blenders. With Crazy Straws. You can’t have a decent frozen beverage without Crazy Straws. This recipe was an accident. I was trying to come up with a desert/snack smoothie that would be delicious but not full of fat and sugar. Oh, and it was winter so frozen fruits were a requirement. But as soon as RedBird’s and my eyes met over our crazy straws we realized I had made low-fat Piña Coladas! Which we immediately put liquor in as soon as the kiddies went to bed. These are the two versions I can up with, enjoy!

Kiddie Friendly Smoothie:

1 container fat-free/sugar-free vanilla yogurt (those really large containers on the bottom shelf in the dairy case whose ounces I can’t bring to mind right now)

1/2 bag frozen pineapple chunks (in own juice or no sugar added)

1/2 bag frozen mango chunks (same as pineapple)

About 1/4 cup skim milk

 Grown-up-lady Smoothie:

1 container fat-free/sugar-free vanilla yogurt (those really large containers on the bottom shelf in the dairy case whose ounces I can’t bring to mind right now)

1/2 bag frozen pineapple chunks (in own juice or no sugar added)

1/2 bag frozen mango chunks (same as pineapple)

About 1/4 cup Cruzan Pineapple Rum, Coconut Rum, Malibu or Parrot Bay Rum

 

Mix all ingredients in blender. (start on chop & gradually work your way to finest setting)

If mixture to too thick for straw slurping add (small amounts at a time) more rum or milk, depending on which is appropriate.

 Slurp away!

18 Awesome Things About being a Single Mom

I have always tried, when things look down, to subscribe to the Tinker Bell philosophy. You didn’t know she had a mantra?! Duh, “Think happy thoughts.” Obviously this doesn’t  work every time, but it’ll get you through a bad day. I understand she’s a cartoon character, but I totally wanna be Tinker Bell when I grow up (yes I am aware of the irony there, “and we’re walking…”). She’s tiny, like me, cares passionately about her loved ones (I have a list of people I’d drink poison for), and doesn’t take but so much shit from people. My kinda girl… 🙂 So I have a running list I’d like to share with you all about being a single mom. Now, I feel like I can speak with great authority on this subject, not only because I am a single mom, but because I have also been a married mom, a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a teen mom, and a cohabitating but not married mom. (don’t feel bad I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever lol) So this is a list (in no particular order) of reasons why, for ME and MY kids (emphasis is on purpose),being a single working mom is the greatest.

  1. I decide what we have for supper. No one (who gets a vote) tells me “that’s not healthy enough” or, “what do you mean you’re too tired? What did you do today?” or my favorite “no, I’m just not in the mood for that”.  Side note, I also get to decide when! 🙂
  2. I choose haircuts & if I want my little boy to have longish hair, no one tells me no. Or if I want bangs, I’m not disappointing anyone.
  3. I do not have to shave in the winter, unless I want to.
  4. No one has more authority than I do in my house.
  5. I don’t have to share the remote after 9pm… EVER
  6. My parenting philosophy is LAW, no one to compromise with.
  7. My house is as clean/dirty as I damn well want it to be.
  8. If I want to blow money on something, I don’t have to discuss it with anyone.
  9. I can leave clean laundry in a basket unfolded for weeks!
  10. Merchants have to talk to me, not “don’t you want me to just explain it to your husband, dear?”
  11. My bank account is the exact balance I left it at, always.
  12. If I decide we should not get dressed all weekend and watch movies and eat pizza in the living room cause it’s raining, no one judges me.
  13. There is no “I’m telling Dad”.
  14. If I get the opportunity to move for a promotion there is no one else’s career to consider.
  15. I don’t have to be nice to/pretend to like anyone’s lame, annoying friends. (Only my lame, annoying friends show up at my door. Love you guys, lol!)
  16. My stuff is always where I left it and organised the way I want it to be.
  17. I can decorate however the hell I want to. (there is a pink wall coming, I’ll tell you about that later lol)
  18. I get to be proud of what I am doing with no qualifiers, it’s just me, and I AM doing it, thank you.

Single moms, got anything to add that’s awesome about being the Lady of the house? (if you are in charge you get capital letters 🙂 )