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Life is funny like that

I have been working out. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that this is not a thing I do because I like it or because I love being healthy or anything like that; this is a thing I started doing because I feel BLAH and squishy and weak and old. I have tried to develop a regular exercise regimen, on and off, at various times in my life. I’ve had a modicum of success for months or even years at a time, sometimes. And then slowly I give it up, because I never LIKE it enough to keep going just because it speaks to me. (I have friends who say they LOVE working out. I strongly suspect this to be the modern-day form of no soap radio.)

I do not love this thing, this carving out of at least 30 minutes every day to move my body and pause my mind. But I am kind of getting to where I can see that it’s Not Awful. (“Not Awful” may be as close to “I like it” as I ever get. Baby steps.) The past few years have taken a toll on my health in ways I never could’ve predicted, and the one silver lining is that now when I exercise, I kind of appreciate it. (Sometimes Otto and I refer to my time on the elliptical as PEDALING AWAY THE RAGE and while I doubt anyone is going to patent that as a a tagline for a marketable exercise program, it works.)

These days, I move more, and talk less. I still don’t move enough and talk too much, but it’s progress in the right direction. (more…)

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Life! And other stuff!

Remember when I used to write here all the time? No? Huh. Me neither. But I heard a rumor that it used to be so. You know, back before life chewed me up and spit me out as a humorless husk of crankiness.

[HA! Just kidding. I'm TOTALLY CHEERFUL! I mean, most of the time. Some of the time. Occasionally. Look, I'm working on it. (No, really, I'm literally working on it. Like, old-school literally, not the new-fangled literally that makes linguists weep.)]

Anyway. Stuff has been happening, I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write about it because of reasons. (Those reasons include—but are not limited to—children, ice cream, pollen, chocolate, the return of Mad Men, work, trying to exercise regularly even though we all know I hate exercising, illness, laundry, fantasizing with my husband about all the things we’ll do once the kids have finally gone to jail moved out, school meetings, and shopping for groceries.) (So not kidding about the groceries thing. Seven gallons of milk a week. SEVEN GALLONS. I need a second fridge. Also a nap.)

Just how thrilling has it been? Let me count the ways! (more…)

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Thou shall suck it up and talk about it

There’s this magical time period when your little kids start becoming more self-sufficient and fun to do things with that do not involve Candyland or being a pretty pretty princess, and for a few years, you can totally be lulled into feeling like being a parent is totally awesome and not that hard after all.

And then they become teenagers. (SURPRISE!) So then you’ll find yourself saying things you never imagined would need saying, and doing things like putting a condom on a banana and then watching your kid eat the banana afterward because, hey, that’s a very safe banana and it shouldn’t go to waste.

Yep.

In an effort to spread the horror joy, I’m over at Alpha Mom today, outlining the commandments of talking to your teens about sex.

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Waking up is hard to do

I commented to someone the other day that I really never know how to react to the (often placating) usage of the phrase “All teens do that, it’s totally normal.” Do they/is it really? On the one hand, I don’t appreciate challenges we face due to my kids’ “extras” being brushed off as no biggie; but on the other hand, it turns out that I have no idea what normal teens do. It’s doubtful that I was ever a normal anything, myself, and my kids are not neurotypical, so how the heck am I supposed to know if they’re being normal teens or being their special snowflakey pain-in-the-butt YOONIQUE selves?

The one thing I have managed to learn is that a little humor brought to even the most aggravating situation can help a lot. I’m sure the kids don’t think it helps them as much as it helps me, but it helps me not to strangle them, so it’s all good.

Without further ado: Feel free to head over to Alpha Mom for the ballad of the school morning teen.

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The best-laid plans

Or, Things I did wrong recently.

Or, Life is hard because I am dumb.

Or, Allow me to make you feel better about your life choices.

I keep telling myself that I should just come over here and post some dog pictures and call it a day—after all, who needs content when you have furballs, right?—but it hasn’t happened and now all of that procrastination has paid off, because it turns out that while no one day has been blog-worthy, lately, taken in sum total I have a veritable epic of life-and-how-to-do-it-wrong to share.

Every day is a new opportunity to do something else stupid, as I always say. (I never say that. I should, though.) Without further ado, various illustrations of my suitability (or lack thereof) as a functional adult: (more…)

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Sometimes I am a delightful jerkface

I think I have discussed here before a certain… shall we say… philosophy difference in parenting between myself and my children’s father. Said difference manifests in a hundred different ways, but one of the most frustrating for me has been—and mind you, we’ve been divorced for ELEVEN FREAKING YEARS—this pervasive feeling that, as the custodial parent, I do most of the “hard” stuff and he gets to do the “fun” stuff. This is not a problem unique to us, of course. But as someone who really enjoys giving gifts to people I love, it has been a small but sharp point of contention all this time that I’ve essentially been unable to give “good” gifts to the kids since the split. Because the other person in this equation 1) buys stuff for them constantly and 2) is willing to spend way, WAY more money than I am.

This is perhaps a silly thing to get annoyed about, and I know that, too. Also, things have changed over the years, and that whole mythical “figuring out some basic truths about the way different people move through the world” thing that everyone told me would eventually come to pass is happening now, and so the sting of “I never get to be the hero” has lessened, of course. Still: Every electronic or “big” treasured thing my children own did not come from Otto and me. And that’s fine, but it can make occasions worthy of present-giving kind of challenging.

It’s fun to give someone something that makes them happy. I like to make my children happy. Lord knows I don’t get a lot of opportunities to balance out the “WHY ARE THERE DIRTY SOCKS ON THE COUCH?” and “ARE YOU TRYING TO FAIL THIS CLASS OR CAN YOU JUST NOT BE BOTHERED?” moments. (more…)

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Sing it with me

Being an adult is complicated, man. While I appreciate that I don’t have to ask anyone if I feel like having ice cream for dinner (this IS the marvelous future I imagined!), there are other aspects of adulthood I don’t relish quite so much.

Like, the older I become, the more I realize I’m responsible for my own behavior, regardless of how anyone else has behaved towards me. In a word: BUMMER.

Teaching these lessons to my kids feels a bit Sisyphean. Today I’m over at Alpha Mom, talking about what respect really means, and how much it’s not about the other person. It turns out that sometimes other people are jerkfaces, and that doesn’t entitle us to be jerkfaces right back. Weird, right?

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Dear kids: don’t read this one

Today over at Alpha Mom I’m sharing the naked truth about keeping romance alive when you have teenagers. Spoiler: It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be (and not in a “that’s what she said” kind of way, either). This would be a good time for nosey children of mine who like to read my blog to NOT go read that particular post. Consider yourselves warned.

By way of apology, I offer you this picture of my breakfast.

(They let me eat about half of it.)

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The only constant is change

Scintillating life development this week: I went to make myself a haircut appointment—as the weather warms up, my hair has begun to expand accordingly—and discovered that my last cut was… last April. Granted, I’ve been growing my hair out more or less ever since I stopped dying it and cut it all off a couple of years ago, but still. The fact that I went almost an entire year without so much as a trim is an excellent metaphor for the year in general. Don’t worry, I’m getting it cut on Thursday. For my next trick, I may even remember to have my teeth cleaned.

Anyway. While I’m busy indulging in self-care (HAHAHAHAAAA) I’m also thinking about my kids’ futures (because why not). I can take care of the haircuts and dental hygiene and whatever, but I would really like it if society would stop telling them they have to figure out the rest of their lives before they turn 18. I’m grumbling about it over at Alpha Mom, because that’s what I do. You know, between haircuts.

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Elsewhere, an earworm

Apparently I’m still writing things in other places, on account of those pesky “contracts” and “bills to pay” and all of that. This week at Alpha Mom, I’m telling you why everyone’s favorite song of the moment has become my new anthem. Sure, it goes great with animated princesses, but it goes even better with floundering teens (for real).

Plus, it’s fun to sing in the car.

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