Return of the Mutant

I am back from my vacation. I did so many things and also not did many other things. I had a wonderful time. I could sit and beat myself up about the not-dids but no way dude. That is definitely a huge perk to single motherhood– there is absolutely no one moaning and groaning about your not-dids on your time off, nor are you expected to take on any more than you already do.

I went to the Wynwood Art Walk. It was excellent. I think I can even go again in July. If I can, I will. There are so many tiny little galleries and the art is all over the place. Plus some even gave free alcohol. Next time, I’m determined to get there right when it starts because I really didn’t like it when it started getting packed.

On the 13th, Daughter turned 5. That morning I called her on the way to Summer Camp and asked her what kind of cake she wanted. “Hello Kitty” I did it. What a mission but I did it.

On Wednesday, Friend and I drove up north to get his daughter. It was a five and a half hour trip up and I got us back in another five. I was thrilled to get back home but it’s totally worth the drive. Seeing these two together is awesome.

On Friday, I went and got my long-awaited haircut. Oh how I pined for this day. Oh, how fantastic it was. I love my “summer hair” as my awesome stylist called it. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tolerate long hair again and I honestly don’t know how I feel about that.

On Saturday, my family went down to the Florida Keys for a Father’s Day dinner. The restaurant, Morada Bay, is famous for its view and sunsets. The food is really yummy too and they make awesome (alcoholic) drinks you get in a 32 oz jar. Towards the evening, they throw glow sticks in them.

Friend picked me up and we spent the night and the next day with his daughter’s (she totally needs a name) Grandparents who live in the Keys. We ended up going out in their boat and I got the first sunburn I’ve had in ages. But, it was completely awesome. I haven’t been on a boat in years and missed it terribly. It felt so good to be back out on the ocean again.We docked at the sandbar outside of the famous Holiday Isle and she got a boat-driving lesson on the trip back. No, I’m not in these pictures. The girl is his beautiful, wonderful daughter.

And then, in between all of these wonderful moments, was a lot of other stuff.

I read How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (brainy humor and a bit odd but if you can handle it, it’s totally worth it) and Sarah’s Key (which made me sob and sob until my head ached).

My dad surprised me and came to my house to do the hall closet. He bought me the shelves, the mounts, the brackets and installed everything while I built the playhouse my family and I teamed together to buy Daughter for her birthday. Through the week, I put things back into it. It looks amazing. I’ll have to take pictures so you can see it. Such a difference.

I did a bit of shopping for the kids (shoes!). I also did a bit of shopping with the kids as Eldest and Daughter wanted a chance to spend some of the money they’ve been saving and we had a rare opportunity to go while Baby hung out with my parents.

Very interesting opportunity to see how their brains worked. It was a great thing to do with Eldest but more complicated with Daughter. She wanted all of the big, expensive things and only had $10. She kept getting discouraged and honestly, I was too.

Despite the frustration and lack of options, she managed to score a Teresa Barbie doll and a Ken doll and then proceeded to spend the rest of the time in the store smashing the boxes together and making kissy noises (much to the amusement of observant Target shoppers). She said it was me and Daddy. “That’s not me and Daddy! I don’t kiss Daddy like that,” I said. “Oh well,” she said, “You were married, so too bad!” “But we’re not married anymore,” I said. “Who kisses Daddy like that now?” I asked. She didn’t skip a beat and answered with the girlfriend’s name. “Exactly,” I said, cheerful as can be because I am super happy it’s not me he’s planting those fake kisses on anymore but also because I want them to know it really is ok he’s got a girlfriend and is affectionate with her and that they like her. So instead of shying away from the opportunity, I figured I’d embrace it. I don’t want any subject to be taboo between my kids and me.

My kids started summer camp. They love it. I love it. I know some parents hate summer but, with this camp, I really love it. My kids have a great time. The pressure is off in the mornings even though I have to take the three of them, and to two separate locations. They eat like crazy. They play like crazy. I get way more relaxed with bedtimes and meals and life in general. It helps my parents both work at schools and are also off. My Friend having his daughter also adds an element of special to the whole thing.

Getting back to non-vacation life has been ok. Sometimes it’s been smoother than others. Somethings have been easier than others. It did make me wish I was a stay at home mom again. I think I’d be much better at it now– whether or not this is because of the ages of my children or the lessons I have learned, I’m not really sure. But yes, it’d be nice and it did give me a little fuel for the Financial Independence fire. The more I think about it, the more I’m sure something part-time would be just the ticket. But that’s for my “One day” file…

Ex surprised me big time on Friday and dropped off a very decent amount of money. He also went ahead and paid two extra fees that came up at the daycare.

I need to find a way to balance gratitude and trust when it comes to him. I have a tendency of combining the two and it blows up in my face. In other words, he will do something that I am grateful for and I automatically feel it is proof that I really can trust him and then he abuses the trust. So yes, I am grateful but no, I don’t trust you and honestly I probably never will. I’m understanding this is a game he plays and plays well and I am sure there are others guilty of the same tactic. One good deed is quickly followed by many not good ones.

With that unexpected cash flow, the money thing has mostly turned out ok. My checkbook isn’t really balancing perfectly but I know how much I actually have and how much I should have left over at the end of the month and that’s the important part.

Because I don’t have internet at home, or even a functional computer, the expense tracking got a bit lazy. It didn’t start that way, but it ended up there. Honestly, it wasn’t a horrible thing and it gave me something else to think about and somehow aim for in the future. I’m gaining a lot of confidence in my financial future. Barring any major unforeseen disasters, I really do believe my financial outlook will be supremely improved in just a couple of years. I need to be ok with that. Two years is really just not a lot of time.

By the way, I’m pretty sure I’m going to take the GRE in September. I know the test is changing in August but they’re giving a 50% discount if you take the new test in the first two months so I’m going to try it out. I work at a university. They pay for graduate programs (I have to pay the taxes). I don’t see why I shouldn’t at least try a couple classes and get my feet wet. I like school. I found a degree that is very appealing to me. And I don’t have to go insane taking a million classes. I feel no immediate pressure to change my career but it’d be nice to widen the net of future opportunities especially if I can do it for practically free.

It was nice. It really was just very nice. I would love to try and repeat this somehow next year. What about you? What have you been up to this week and tell me– did you miss me?!


21 thoughts on “Return of the Mutant

  1. You were missed.

    I just got my hair chopped too, but it looks far less than perfect right now. I think I need to call my stylist back and have her make it a little lower maintenance. I have no idea how to recreate the look she managed to blow out successfully in the salon.

    Friend and daughter are super cutie-licious.

    Time away is wonderful. Everyone should do it..even if it’s just car camping at minimal cost.

    • Thank you!

      This is pretty easy, with a straight iron. She also taught me the time before this one how to blow it out and that’s by brushing it up and forward like a turban around my scalp. But I never have time to blowdry. Iron it is.

      They are very cutie-licious aren’t they?

      You are NOT kidding madam!

  2. Oh yay you’re back! And yes you were missed. And I’m glad you had what sounds like a great time. And I’m totally jealous of your time in the Keys and at the beach. 🙂

    I think you should take the GRE. Heck, there’s the discount and even if you decide not to pursue any kind of grad school right now, you’ll have the option for a while.

    • The keys was wonderful. I’m peeling from the sunburn though :/
      I’m going to do it. Screw it. Like you said, even if I don’t do anything right away the scores are good for five years.

  3. I’m glad your back and that you had a good time. The pictures are so cute.

    I am in need of a summer haircut, my hair is the longest it has ever been.

    I think it is completely fair to not trust the ex. It does sound like a bit of a manipulative tool on his part.

    • Aw thanks!

      Yeah my hair hasn’t been super long in years. I just don’t have the time to make it pretty. I never did really but the difference is now I care whether or not i looks pretty!

  4. Ah, a week away from the same old schedule can be very refreshing. I’m glad you’re back, though. Of course we missed you!

    I like how you call your guy Friend. I always think that it sounds odd referring to my guy — a mature adult — as a “boyfriend.” I’ve just sort of settled on “guy.”

    If I were working at a university, I would totally take advantage of the option to enroll in classes for free! I actually took most of my masters degree courses for free through a tuition exchange deal between the uni my ex worked for and the one where I needed to get my degree. Go for it!

    • Ok seriously “boyfriend” = silly to me. I can’t do it. I feel so juvenile. I’m 30! I have kids! I don’t have a BOYFRIEND. My daughter will have boyfriends. So Friend it is. He calls me girlfriend which always makes me think “huh? Who’s your girlfriend? Oh me. Huh.”

  5. I’m happy you had such a great vaca! Its always nice to get away. And seriously happy about you going back to school possibly…just hope your beginnings aren’t as traumatic as mine (i’m laughing now hehe)! Welcome back to the blogger world! 🙂

    • Don’t beat yourself up too bad. You never know. One day you might end up being grateful to hear it’s not you too. I have a few years ahead of you as far as time to move on. Be patient with yourself. It’ll happen and you’ll be amazed.

  6. Yay to see you back! Lovely vacation pics.

    Good on you to be taking the classes. I think it’s a good investment in yourself – much better than spending lots of time doing lower-level activities that might bring some cash in the door right now but have no long term financial potential.

    • Thank you!! I’m really excited about getting back into school which I swore I’d never say LOL You’re right about the long term potential. I’m happy but taking this step might lead to a bunch of new doors!

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