Dear Family, I have a confession to make

Dear Family and Friends,

There’s something I have to tell you and it’s not going to be easy. The thing is, I know that you guys are pretty strict on some things and believe that some things are just right and some things are just wrong. So I’m hoping that you’ll still love me, accept me, and support me after I tell you something I’ve struggled with for years now.

The truth is, I don’t really like wine, I like beer. I know how important wine is in our family and how you were all pretty sure I was just like you in at least this one thing but I’m not. I’ve really tried to like wine. I’ve tried out a bunch of different types. I’ve even gone along with your wine tasting parties hoping that maybe I’d find a perfect match. I see how excited you all get when you gaze into a wine glass. I know how much joy you get analyzing the legs and debating how hot the wine is. I know that you all bond over your love of wine and that it’s pretty much expected in our family that everyone loves wine and will love wine and will make wine-loving babies but it’s just not like that for me.

The thing is, I just really love beer. I get so much happiness from a frosty mug of delicious beer that wine has just never brought me. I love all kinds of beer too! I love Germans and English and American.  I love meeting new beers from all over the world and admire them in every shade. I think they’re so special and unique and interesting.

I know there are some bad beers out there. I know beer isn’t perfect. But it’s what makes me happy. And I hope that you can respect that and respect my love of beer.

I won’t try and push it on you. I’ll even enjoy the occasional glass of wine, especially in your presence. And I’ll come to your wine tastings too because I love to be with you, my family, so much. I’d just rather have a beer in my hand, that’s all.

And does it really matter at the end of the day what we like to drink? I mean isn’t it about wanting happiness and love for our loved ones even if our loved ones love a little differently than we do? I won’t judge you for your drinking wine. I won’t feel bad for cabernet when you dump it for a pinot. As long as it makes you smile, I’ll happily refill your glass. I’ll even buy you a bottle if I ever have spending money again.

Thanks for listening, family and friends. I love you. Even though you love wine and I love beer. I just hope you’ll love me too.

XOXO,

Mutant

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Five Things I learned from Personal Finance Blogs & Books I wish I hadn’t

When I started this blog in October 2009, it was with Single Motherhood in mind. As it turns out, one of the cruxes of single parenthood is finances and so my blog eventually rambled in and out of personal financedom. It was never intended to be the focus of my blog but I have read up a lot on it and I have shared personal finance related stories on here. Sometimes, I learned some great information that has helped me evolve and grow tremendously. Other times, I learned things that started out awesome and promising but have gone completely wrong. So with that in mind, I now present you with:

Five Things I Learned from Personal Finance Blogs & Books I Wish I Hadn’t

1. Donna Freedman’s Coke Rewards Collection Methods

I love Donna Freedman. I admire her and respect her endlessly. I really do. That woman has been through some tougher than tough times and just came out sparkly like a diamond. And I’ve learned a lot from Donna, including about the pretty cool Coke Rewards program that she uses and abuses to earn free trips to the movies. But ever since I found out how Donna collects those Rewards points (hint: she doesn’t consume gallons of the stuff on a daily basis) my entire experience of walking to and from anything has completely changed. I see them everywhere. Sometimes I pick them up but sometimes I don’t. Basically it comes down to how many people are around me. Yes I’m ashamed of picking up trash in front of other people. But if I walk by the Coke Reward bottle cap, the inner war begins:

“Pick it up, it’s a COKE REWARD!”

“Dude no freaking way. I look adorable in my pencil skirt and heels, there are like a gazillion people around me, and there’s not a trash can right next to it. And I forgot the hand sanitizer. Again.”

“But hello it’s a COKE REWARD. If you saw a pile of three pennies, you’d pick them up!”

“Um, no I’m not sure I would.”

“Yeah right! Besides who cares what these people think of you picking up trash- I mean Coke Rewards? I bet most of them won’t even notice!”

“Excuse me but did you miss the part where I look fabulous today? Everyone notices me because I am amazing and fabulous and completely noticeable.”

“Oh get the hell over yourself, turn around, and pick up the trash- er Coke Reward.”

“Turn around? Are you out of your mind? I have to be somewhere like right now. And how crazy will I look then turning around and walking back… TO PICK UP TRASH THAT IS NOT MINE”

2. My FREE Credit Score thanks to CreditKarma

Almost every single personal finance blogger I know has at least mentioned CreditKarma if not dedicated an entire post to extolling its virtues. And sure, it provides information that is useful to know– if you plan on using credit in the nearish future. Which I don’t. But now that I know I can get this information, FOR FREE, I must know it. And it’s a downer of hangover proportions. My credit score is embarrassing and why shouldn’t it be? Ex and I let the house go to foreclosure a few years ago and this past December he allowed our co-signed leased car to get repossessed. My credit score is wrecked for the next decade or so. And CreditKarma reminds me of that– in two minutes and FOR FREE!

3. How to hold awesome garage sales

I live in the best location for a garage sale– right on a busy avenue directly across a park (traffic+parking). Once I started reading about all the money people made from them, I knew I had to have one. And I did and it was great selling all that crap from my stupidity of a marriage. And I even made a few hundred bucks!

But then I started wavering about future garage sales. When I want to get rid of stuff, I just want to get rid of stuff. But I knew I could probably sell it and make money. So where would I store it? Eventually I’d end up getting frustrated with the garage sale stuff slowly accumulating and I’d haul it to Goodwill instead. And feel bad about it. No money in my pocket so Goodwill could have some in theirs. And then I’d go through the cycle again.

I ended up having another garage sale when Stallion moved in and that was ok. Yes we made some money but it was seriously exhausting. When my grandmother passed away, it was generally assumed I would hold another garage sale. And I wanted to, I really did, but it felt like it’d be the biggest pain in the ass. So I wavered and hemmed and hawed and eventually just gave everything away again.

The thing is I keep not documenting what I’m giving away for tax purposes because I never intend to give it away and when I do it’s pretty spur of the moment. So recently I came up with a plan that is going to become my standard plan from now on and I’m going to say bye bye to Garage Sales. My grandmother often worked with Mother Teresa’s Sister’s of Charity here in Miami where they have a Women and Children’s Shelter and where they also manage the aid efforts in Haiti. The last couple of times I’ve donated to them have felt unlike anything I’ve ever felt before in my life. If you think giving to Goodwill feels good, wait until you start giving to something that has more of a direct impact.

4. How to coupon for groceries

Let me be clear, CVSing and couponing for groceries are, in my mind, two separate things. I love CVSing and I will CVS for a very long time. But couponing it up at the grocery store? I’m getting over this one in a big way.

It’s not even that I don’t have the space to properly coupon (I kind of don’t), it’s that bulk food buying has not made my life easier.

And now, we have Aldi. Not to mention, all of this coupons + sales math has really screwed with my sense of prices instead of improved them like most people do. Also, couponing and meal planning have never clicked together for me. I know they click for lots of people, just not me. And so I end up with lots of cans of tomatoes and not enough of everything else– especially meat. And the fruit and veggies? I buy a bunch because they’re on sale and we never eat them before they go bad. And I still end up caving in and getting take-out more often than I’d like.

I strongly considered experimenting with bulk cooking but that still gave me bulk food to deal with and didn’t appeal to me either so I’m going to try meal planning and food shopping on a weekly basis instead in a way very similar to what Carla’s recent interview with Simply Being Mum described.

5. Making Money from Blogs

Double-edged sword for me on this one. I go back and forth on this constantly. I really, really do. Right now, my WordPress blog is a free blog so outside of the occasional Amazon Affiliate link, I actually can’t earn money from the blog. I’d have to self-host it and then start figuring out just how to do this. And the thing is, when I first started blogging this was such an easy decision for me because I hated ads. So no ads meant no money from the blog. Simple!!

But since 2002, blogging has evolved and there are many ways to monetize a blog and actually ads have become the way I least despise because at least it’s authentic. An ad says, “Click me to earn this person some money!” and that’s it. You click it or you don’t. Where I really get all mixed up are things like Sponsored Posts and Giveaways, Product Reviews, Paid Guest Posts, and so on and so forth.

I used to do book reviews on here for free all the time and so I don’t think my reviewing a book I was given by a publisher would be out of character for me. And if I used something that I really really loved, I’ve come on here and told you so. But I was never given that stuff for free. Don’t we tend to naturally like things a little bit more when we didn’t have to pay for them?

And this is only half of it. There’s all that stuff about SEO and rankings and these people named the Yakezie that do something that revolves around something called Alexa that turns them into big money ballers. And there’s BlogHer and Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter and it feels like bloggy prostitution or something. But at the same time, it’s a sensible idea– get paid to do something you like doing. And so I go back and forth, back and forth.

 

So there you have it! What have you learned from personal finance blogs or books that you wish you hadn’t? Or just in general, is there something you learned thinking it would be super helpful to only have it backfire on you?

Shitty Saturday

The Crime Scene

Mutant Disclaimer: Let me begin by saying I’m not a fan of peppering my writing with foul language. When I write the way I speak with my friends, my brain is alarmed and tries to cover my eyes. Had the events which I will describe below transpired on a Friday, this post would likely have been titled “Fecal Friday”. As it were, the events transpired on a Saturday and leaked into a Sunday and so there is no title more suited than the one you see up there.
All of this being said, I feel obligated to provide this caution: If you are unable to read tales of parents in the trenches without experiencing a level of squeamishness, 1) Do not have children and 2) Forget the rest of this entry and follow me to Google + which is so much fun.

What you see pictured above is usually nothing more than the kids’ bathroom in my home. It’s mostly an unremarkable sort of space, although you may have noticed my attempt at incorporating a modern child’s sense of whimsy into the original 1960s décor.

This weekend, however, it was the scene of several frustrating and simply disgusting events which unfolded.

MutantBaby is mostly daytime potty trained. For the uninitiated, this means he’s quite good at marching into the above bathroom, dropping his pants, lifting the lid and seat, and proceeding to (mostly) pee in the vicinity of the toilet bowl.

However, Baby has always had problems of the bowels. As an infant, these manifested themselves suddenly and dramatically. He’d be drooling and gurgling and gooing on his tummy and suddenly—a look of horror would flash across his face. He would cross his legs at his ankles and proceed to straighten and lock them in a vise-like grip. He would cry, scream, moan, and whimper and suddenly return to normal. The only evidence to be found would be a tiny spray of poop in his diaper which would inevitably go unnoticed and burn his skin.

The doctors did nothing. They’d say, “He’s constipated. Change his diet and get him regular.” Nothing worked. And sometimes it was obvious his poop was hard and uncomfortable but more often than not… it seemed Baby just didn’t like pooping.

Now that he’s older, he still struggles. The signs are different. Now, he suddenly withdraws from whatever activity he’s engaged in and hides himself somewhere. He gets a very focused look on his face and quiets down. After a few minutes, he emerges and heads to the bathroom where he proceeds to clean himself thoroughly. Most of the time, a small piece of the poop that was trying to escape is in his underwear.

He started doing it on Friday. Usually, it’s no big deal because he does it a few times and then just goes and really lets it all out. But, this didn’t happen Friday.

Saturday, the behavior continued and proceeded to occur on a much more frequent basis. I’m talking about at least once an hour, I’d catch him making a dash for the bathroom. I talked to him and told him his body was trying to get out a lot of poop and all he had to do was sit and let it out. Nope.

I think it was after about the third pair of dirty laundry and after the sixth time I had to stop what I was doing and follow him into the bathroom, I bribed him. “If you just sit and do your huge poop, we will all go to Toys R Us,” I explained to him in front of the other two kids. They celebrated. But nothing happened.

I gave him an insane amount of plum juice. I even gave him some of my Cuban coffee. I told him to just sit and do it and so I gave him books and a Nintendo DS.

Nothing.

Finally, I changed course and just let him go outside with the others to play figuring physical activity and lots of water would help.

He kept sneaking in to clean fugitive poop pieces.

It was during one of these sneaks, I caught on and visited him in the bathroom to find the toilet heaped with a pile of diaper wipes.

You see, the child had used the whole roll of toilet paper that day and realized how smart he would be if he went and helped himself to the box of wipes and cleaned his little tushy like such a big boy. I freaked of course, yelled something like, “Oh my God! No, no, no!” and bolted to the kitchen to get my gloves and a plastic bag so I could rescue the toilet from the wipe mountain.

It was when I stuck my head under the sink to retrieve said items that he flushed. “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” I screamed as I ran back to the bathroom. They were gone.

And for some reason, this actually calmed me. “Oh, they went down. Ok.”

Well, the day went on and the poop pieces and the dirty underwear and at one point he came into the house and hid himself behind an end table. A-ha! I watched him closely with my patented Mom-Is-Not-Watching Watch Method and he went walking so very carefully to the bathroom. I followed quietly so as to not alarm him. When he began cleaning himself, I walked in and picked him up and plopped him on the toilet.

I told him he just had to poop already that this was crazy doing this and his body really needed to get this out and it wasn’t going to hurt because it was still soft and he looked at me and said, “Mommy I pooped!” And I said yes but he needed his BIG poop because the little poops weren’t good at emptying out his butt and he interrupted “No Mommy I pooped a huge poop!”

Yeah right. Let me see.

I was in the bathroom the whole time. I was holding him for crying out loud. So, I have no idea how to explain there was suddenly, in less than a minute, a giant poop log in the toilet.

“YES! You did it! Did it hurt?” “Nope!” “Alright!”

The kids came tearing down the hall asking if he pooped and celebrating too and I told them to hurry up and get in the tub because we were going to clean up and go to Toys R Us.

And there was hooting and hollering and I flushed the toilet and of course it got clogged but I plunged it a bit and threw dish soap at it and it was getting there. So I went and got dressed and cleaned up some more and told them to get out of the tub so we could go. And they were so excited. They got out of the tub, and went about the insanity of getting dressed.

A few minutes later, Daughter had apparently run somewhere and was running back to her room when she slipped and fell and started crying. It always happens. They track water out of the tub all of the time. I rolled my eyes and Eldest came and reported Daughter had slipped and fallen but that there was a very giant puddle in the hallway.

And that’s when I saw it. There was water all over the hallway.

I rolled up my jeans and ran over there. Water was coming out of the bathroom. Oh. My God.

Water. Everywhere!!!

It took me a few minutes before I realized the Hello Kitty band-aid on the floor in front of the toilet was sort of moving. The water was coming from under the toilet. And why the hell was the tub taking a million years to drain?

I called my parents. I called my landlord. My Dad and I used a snake on the toilet and I was being so clever with my gloves until while I was pushing the snake up, suddenly something happened and sucked my glove down and brown water filled my glove. Oh Christ’s sake, I wanted to cry. When we’d try a flush, everything would come up the tub.

That was when I realized the water in the house was the tub draining itself. Oh, great. Waste water.

It was a nightmare. I cleaned up the bathroom as best as I could and blocked it off until the landlord’s plumber could come the next day. The kids were not happy they couldn’t go to Toys R Us after all. I took like thirteen showers and still felt absolutely disgusting.

The next day, the plumber came. He saw what was going on and would have to unclog it from the roof. Apparently, my father’s and my efforts to snake were downright stupid because of the plumbing system in the house.

So he got to work.

It wasn’t pretty.

Water came back in the house under the toilet. At one point, the tub was filled with water so brown it was almost black. When he was done, he showed me a pile of diaper wipes on my patio that were revolting to look at.

When my Mom called to see how she could help, I had a moment of genius and asked if she and my brother, MutantPirate could take the kids to Toys R Us for me. She was hesitant but I must’ve sounded borderline psychotic because she agreed.

I cleaned that bathroom all day with an assortment of things ranging from boiling water to bleach to Comet to more boiling water to floor cleaner. I scrubbed with mops, rags, and sponges. I mopped a million times.

It still gives me the heebie jeebies.

Ladybug Kin

Ladybug
“Ladybug” by MajiPineapple on Flickr

My brain feels over-stimulated and I feel like there are so many posts to write but none actually come forth and bear fruit.

Where does one start? I saw some great posts and corresponding articles about language in politics and media and the resulting discrepancies they create. It got me thinking about how advertising can seriously distort a news outlet or even the perception of a news source.

I saw an article, and insane comments, about the recommendation to provide free birth control under the new health care law.

I saw an article about the two Florida congresspersons sharing jabs at one another that are exaggerated beyond comprehension.

And of course, there’s always the drama of life and all that comes with it.

But, one needs to start somewhere and I’m going to start with a light one because it’s most closely related to the motherhood.

I read this little blog post, and the paper it refers to, about this crazy wasp that lays its egg in the belly of a ladybug via its stinger.

The egg grows in the ladybug’s belly, feeding on the ladybug’s tissues for about twenty days. It then breaks out of the ladybug’s belly, which the ladybug survives, and begins spinning its cocoon between the partially paralyzed ladybug’s legs. This “zombie” ladybug now stands watch over the cocoon until the adult wasp is ready to go free and terrorize other ladybugs.

Get this, about 25% of the zombie ladybugs recover “normal behavior after the emergence of the adult wasp.”

This totally freaked me out and I felt so horrible for the poor undeserving ladybug, until suddenly I realized my kinship to the ladybug.

The ladybug’s experiences eerily mirror that of a human mother. Think about it…

We’ve got buns in the ovens. They escape. We are compelled to protect them. We feel like zombies. And there’s only a 25% chance we’ll return to normal when they leave their safe house as adults.

Ladybug, I salute you!

Mutant SuperModel and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I went to sleep with wet hair and now my hair is sticking up everywhere and when I got out of bed this morning I stepped on my son’s Legos and by mistake I dropped toothpaste drool on my silk blouse while brushing my teeth and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast Eldest tipped over his juice cup and Daughter dropped her cereal bowl and Baby peed his pants and the coffee pot cracked right when I was going to pour myself a cup.

I think I’ll move to Tahiti.

In the car Baby kept rolling down the window. Daughter kept singing out of her window. Eldest said he was being scrunched. Eldest said he was being smushed. I said, if everyone doesn’t be quiet right now I am going to be carsick. They only got louder.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At my morning meeting, my boss liked Phyllis’ five agenda items instead of my one agenda item to not have morning meetings.

At my desk, he said my music was too loud. At my afternoon meeting, he said I left out page sixteen of my budget report. Who needs page sixteen?

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I could tell because Angela said I wasn’t on the party committee anymore. She said Phyllis Peterson and Kelly Clark were on the committee now and I was only on the helpers’ list.

I hope you break a nail, I said to Angela. I hope the next time you get your hair done it falls out in clumps and lands in Tahiti.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

That’s what it was because when I left work early, it was to go to the dentist and Dr. Fritz said I needed a root canal. Come back next week and I’ll fix it, he said.

Next week, I said, I’m going to Tahiti.

On the way to pick up the kids at school I was cut off and while the kids were scrambling to the car Baby made Daughter fall where it was gravelly and when she started crying Eldest called her a crybaby and when Daughter tried punching Eldest for calling her a crybaby she punched me instead.

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I told everybody. They only got louder.

So then we went to the shoestore to buy some sneakers. Baby needed velcro ones in size 9. Daughter needed white and velcro ones in size 10. Eldest needed white and lace-up ones in size 13 but then the shoe man said, We’re all sold out. He showed me some expensive light-up ones the kids wanted instead, but they can’t make me buy them.

When we got home, I said they couldn’t play with my laptop but they forgot. I also said to watch out for the pile of folded laundry, and they were careful except for their hands. I also said don’t fool around with my cell phone but I think they called Tahiti. I said please don’t come near me anymore.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

There were tantrums at dinner and I hate tantrums.

There was Spongebob on Tv and I hate Spongebob.

The bath was too hot, they got soap in their eyes, a Lego clogged the drain and they had to wear pajamas. They hate wearing pajamas.

When they went to bed Daughter wanted water and Baby bounced on his bed and Eldest’s reading light burned out.

The cat wants to hide under the couch instead of cuddle with me.

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My mom says some days are like that.

Even in Tahiti.

*This was written 100% completely and totally inspired by the amazing Judith Viorst and her wonderfully timeless Alexander. We love you Judith! Please don’t sue me or I’d have my most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day ever. XOXO -Mutant

Wallet Wailings: Wherein I use a lot of bolds and italics as well as “strong language”

Tantrum
“Tantrum” by Big Daddy K on Flickr

So, how was your weekend? Good? Yes? That’s nice. So was mine.

Oh, I threw a tantrum last night.

Yeah, I had a total budget-based breakdown. I had a money matters meltdown. I had a frugally founded fit. It was epic. Maybe it was just that tantrums had been going around the house that day leaping from one kid to the next. Maybe they’re contagious. I’d like to say I fought it hard and it seemed inevitable.

It’s hard to make a change in habits and thinking and shift downward in your spending habits. It’s difficult to trim here, there, everywhere. I think it’s especially difficult when you feel as if the reduction is being forced on your by something out of your control like a reduction, or complete evaporation, of an income stream. But, it is really, really hard when you are low not just on income but time and energy too.

Let’s face it, I can probably wear the exact same wardrobe I own for at least another two years without buying anything to add to it. I get at least one gift of clothing a year, sometimes more, and I don’t really grow much in any given direction in a year. So it all fits and it’s all going to keep fitting more or less. So not the case with the kids. But I don’t have the freaking time or energy to get myself to a thrift store with enough regularity (i.e. ever) to guarantee good buys for them. So, the email lands in my inbox on Friday (following up on the flyer that went home on Wednesday– with their father– who never mentioned it to me) about how the Spring pictures are on Monday and kids should be dressed in Sunday best (no jeans) and I realize Eldest does not own a pair of pants that are not jeans. We don’t do Sunday best. We do Sunday poolside. All weekend, I gauge the availability of one relative or another to perhaps bribe them to please stay home with just two of the mutants so I can purchase said pants and maybe even replace the school shoes Eldest is now complaining about pinching his feet and he’s sporting a band-aid to prove it. No one. So Sunday at 9:00 PM I finally beg my grandmother to please come stay so I can go sans MutantEldest. I found the pants. Not on sale. I did not find the shoes. And it’s somewhere between where I’m figuring out the pants thing and giving up on finding the penny loafers he needs for school and instead looking at shoes for Daughter who is in need of some good casual shoes and/or sneakers, I start to feel the fit. It blew up in the bleach aisle.

I was shopping for bleach to replace the one my grandmother loaned me so that I could clear my drain– something else I kept postponing taking care of because I didn’t have bleach and I didn’t find it on sale and then it went on sale and I didn’t get a single damn chance to go buy it. But my shower is so clogged it’s threatening to overflow if I don’t fix the damn thing. So Abuela to the rescue with bleach (they always have bleach because they always have everything). I’m in Target looking to replace it. And I am actually doing the math on the Clorox that is on sale versus the generic Target brand and find the Target brand is eight cents cheaper than the brightly advertised Clorox sale and I start my fit about why on earth should I even care if it’s eight cents cheaper and this is just ridiculous that I’m tearing myself up over eight cents or even pants my son just freaking needs or shoes that he needs because his feet hurt or shoes that my daughter needs because she’s long outgrown and outworn the pairs that did fit and Baby is probably way overdue for some new shoes too given how fast the booger is growing not to mention how much his sneakers just reek of smelly feet no matter how many times I wash them and I’m not even trying to buy them semi-luxury items just some basic totally inexpensive reasonable things and I can’t just go and get them these items because Ex hasn’t paid me properly in three friggin months and thanks to that I’m in even more debt and besides who the heck’s going to watch the kids for me without making me feel guilty about it and why do people do this kind of nastiness to each other and total frigging meltdown that ended with me in the Taco Bell drive-thru. No tears, just tacos.

Epic.

Stand down, Mutant. Accomplishments. Goals. Needs. Wants. And you stick that temper tantrum throwing two year old part of you into timeout to just cool it. It’s probably a good thing the tantrum hit when it did and not on Friday night with a full weekend of opportunities to show my budget how silly I thought it was.

Oh budget, I am sorry. I know, I swear I do, you’re trying to help me and not hurt me. And imagine my surprise when I walk into the office today and enter all of my spending from the weekend and look at my budgeted amounts and find…

I have a lot more room to breathe than I thought. I apparently had initially under-budgeted my categories not really sure Ex would give me a cent this month. Better safe than sorry and the tight numbers ingrained themselves into my brain. Of course, at this point Ex still hasn’t paid a dime but I’m sure he’ll pay something. And even if he only pays half what he’s promised, it’s still enough to cover me and roll over another few hundred dollars to next month to help buffer his financial shortcomings.

Just because something’s temporary, doesn’t mean it’s going to turn around soon. Temporary does not equal soon. Temporary simply means “not permanent”. This unreliable income stream is simply temporary and while driving me somewhat nuts, is also affording me many a learning opportunity. The most important of which is that my kids and I can count on me as a reliable provider. I can meet basic needs and more. Not only can I build a solid foundation for my family, I am working at ensuring a strong future.

So, fine. I threw my tantrum. I whined and moaned the whole “I don’t wanna doooooo this anymore” thing. I even treated myself to a couple of comfort meals (I really, really enjoy eating food I did not make myself). But ok, that’s it. We’re on target, let’s keep it that way. It’s March 14th and I’ve got $288 for the remaining 16 days (my fiscal months begin the last day of the month which is my payday).

P.S. Apparently, I’m not the only one with money moanings this Monday.

P.P.S. Someone actually found this blog by searching the phrase “Panties Princess”. Thoughts?

My most unusual weekend

لاتتوقع ان تعيش كما حكت لك امك صغيرا حكاوي ماقبل النوم  فالاجدر ان ترى مسلسل الحكايات فقط باحلام النوم لتصحى كبيرا بواقع اكبر ..
Photo by Reham on Flickr

Here’s Monday, again! I have to say, this was a very odd weekend for me, full of things out of the usual for me. Like what?

  • I went to a (night)club (disco for the much older folks) for a friend’s birthday. I lasted an hour. Mostly, I sat at the VIP table and watched the music videos. The one time I got up and danced with my friend some very large, drunk man put his arm around my waist. I said, “Hi. No.” I didn’t dance again after that.
  • I sat on a sofa and watched TV for hours and hours on end, and I wasn’t even hung over (because I didn’t have even one single drink the night before). Specifically, I watched hours and hours of a show on TLC (there we go with my favorite channel again) called 48 Hours Hard Evidence. I couldn’t stop watching except for the time when…
  • I made brownies and icing from scratch. I know Maytina (where are you, woman?)would be so proud, but I was so into the show I didn’t take photos—not one. I kept running from the kitchen to the living room and asking my friend important questions like “What’d he say?” “What happened?” “Who did that?” “Why’s he in jail? He totally did it. Look how they’re trying to hide that he’s in jail! Isn’t that a jail?” After my question(s) were more or less answered, I’d dash back to the kitchen. Surprisingly then, the brownies were very yummy and used up most of the few baking ingredients I had on hand. The icing was fun to make too and so super sweet even though it was made with dark chocolate cocoa powder. I don’t know what got into me to do this crazy thing except that I really wanted brownies and didn’t have even one box of brownie mix left.
  • Later that night, I played Rock Band 3 with friends until a ridiculous hour (not ridiculous for a single mom of three like Friday night, but a truly ridiculous hour like 5 in the morning ridiculous). I was so proud of myself. I think it’s because I slept so much that day and then didn’t expend any energy except for the brownie-making thing.
  • Sunday, I stayed in bed until almost two in the afternoon. Oh my God yes, this was the most amazing thing ever. Bliss. I read some of Outlander, dozed off, read some more, dozed off, etc. And get this, later that day, do you know what I did?
  • I watched hours of more TLC! This time, I sat on the sofa and experimented with an idea of a crocheted bracelet I have while watching a Cake Boss marathon. After the Cake Boss marathon ended at 11 at night, and only then, I finally decided it would be ok to go and clean my house. So I did. I went to bed after two in the morning and slept horribly and I don’t even care one tiny little bit. My kitchen is clean, my desk area is gorgeous, my floors are mopped, the kids’ bathroom is glistening, sheets are changed on one bed, and I had three bags for the VVA to pick up this morning.

So, that was the weekend and now it’s back to business I suppose. Oh I wish I could stay in bed until two every day. I just find I am infinitely more productive as the ends than when it’s just getting started. But, I have kids so that’s impossible. Maybe when they’re teenagers, we’ll all sleep in until two together. Oh, divine. And don’t you dare and try to ruin my fantasy by telling me I’ll have long outgrown this silly stay-in-bed-until-two-in-the-afternoon thing by then. There are many things I refuse to outgrow and staying in bed until two in the afternoon is very high up on that list. The only acceptable alternative would be a return to my high school ways of going to bed at one or two in the morning, waking up at six, going to school, coming home, napping until about 7 at night, and then get in a few hours of high-octane productivity before resigning to bed again.

By the way, I’ve decided to go ahead and join in on the wonderful habit of collecting links to one’s favorite posts from any given week and then releasing them onto the blogosphere in one fantastic explosion of amazing links. But, I haven’t made the habit of remembering these things so your first experience of this, and therefore the inner workings of my mutated mind, will have to be this weekend. Don’t be sad! Instead, sharpen your blogging fingertips and put some good stuff out there because I’ll be judging.