I am turning into not a very nice person.  The last year, has had an unfortunate effect of making me a bitter, crabby, bitchy person.  This is probably not really all that true, but I just don’t know how much more I can take.

Mea has said to me, too many times to count, that I am always making a frowny face.  Which is not good for my overall mood, not to mention that I am going to end up with permanent frown lines, and need Botox or something.

Let’s do a recap of 2013 so far…

My Mom diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Fired from job of 10 years.

Unemployment for four and a half months.

More than one friend or friend’s spouse diagnosed with cancer.

One job offer, at a significant cut in pay.

Big daughter moves to Ohio.

House is broken into.

Small daughter’s babysitter quits with no notice right before Thanksgiving.

Big daughter calls crying as her work will not let her have any time off for Christmas, and she cannot come home.

This last one is just the icing on the cake.

Mack can’t afford to just quit her job, it took her 2 months to even find this crappy job she doesn’t really like, she had talked about just quitting and coming home, but this just isn’t really a reasonable thing to do.  My Mom is just devastated.  My heart hurts, I cried at work this morning.  Blubbered all over one of my co-workers. 

I cannot even begin to tell you what this is going to do to Mea.  She is going to be crushed.  She has said multiple times that she only wants Mack home for Christmas.  Now, she’s not fooling me completely, she still wants a guitar (she’s getting that) a computer (not so much) a I-Pod Touch (nope) and a Nerf bow and arrow (yes!), but I cannot provide the one thing that she has asked for over and over again.  It is at the top of each Christmas list.  I have even heard her whispering it to Sparkle Heart….

“I want my MackamooSissy home for Christmas….”

This breaks my heart, not just for Mea, but for me too.  I miss Mack like crazy.  I have been good, I haven’t complained about her not being here, I was sad when she wasn’t here for Thanksgiving, and I had to suck it up a few times.  I can only begin to imagine what Christmas without her is going to be like. 

Every year, for as long as she has been alive, and old enough to actually “help” Nana decorate their house for Christmas, she has been the main “elf” doing all of the decorating.  She told my Mom before she left for Ohio, that she understood that decorating couldn’t wait, but to please save the nativity for her to put out. 

My Mom made the nativity scene with her ceramics ladies.  Sanded, painted, and fired each piece herself.  The nativity has always been Mack’s last duty in the decorating.  Mom was saving it for her.

My Mom sent me a text that she can’t put it out.  She had my Dad put the box back in storage.

 We are going to pull everything together, get it wrapped so that I can get it shipped out in time for Mack and her boyfriend to have gifts to open.  Some of her stuff isn’t here yet, so I guess she may end up getting some of her presents in installments.  She has been making many of her gifts for the kids and grown-ups, so they are not all finished either.  I told her I would help her with the shipping when she was ready and able.

We have been planning on going out to visit over Spring Break, and to be honest, March 14th cannot come soon enough for me.  I need to see my girl.  I need to be able to touch her and give her a hug.  Skype is wonderful, but it’s not exactly the same thing as giving your big girl a snuggle.

I am over this year. 

It has been awful, and I just don’t know how much more I can take.

I’m tired of whining.

I’m tired of not being my normal snarky, somewhat happy self.




New Bed

Last night, I was pondering a few things that I would like to do once I do become employed again.  New furniture, and a new bed are at the top of the list.  Our furniture is getting tired, so is our bed.

Both are sagging in places they shouldn’t be sagging.  Much of this is do to age, but it is also due to the fact that beds, couches and love seats are not designed to be gymnastics equipment.  We have bought Mea a mat and my parents bought her a practice balance beam, so I am hoping that it will be safe to buy new furniture after we have her “gym room” set up.

After I started thinking of the new bed, it reminded me of this story….

When I very first started at my last job, one of my previous part-time jewelry store employees was my manager.  It was one of the few things about going to the new job that I was concerned about, because she was a high maintenance employee, so I was really worried about what kind of manager she would be.  I was right to be worried.  I haven’t talked about her being a horrible boss, but I probably should at some point.  No training, yelled at me in front of our employees, was never there, the list goes on and on and on.

One day when she was there, she was trying to sell her mattress and box spring set to anyone who would listen to her talk about it.  She had cornered me, and was really trying to make R and I buy it, although we had a new bed, and I had no need for it.

It was practically new.  She had only had it a few years.  They needed a king size bed for the bedroom in their new house, the queen looked to small in their new master bedroom.  On and on and on and on.

One of our employees was seriously considering buying it.  She and her husband were just starting out, their bed was old and it seemed like a good deal.

I knew that I had to talk her out of it.

I had to wait for our manager to go to lunch before I could say anything.

Finally, she left for lunch.

I pulled Kim aside and told her why she couldn’t buy the mattress.

She practically jumped away from me after I told her.

Now, remember that our manager was my “high maintenance” employee when I managed the jewelry stores.  There was always some sort of drama going on in her life, whether it was her kids, her parents, her husband, her siblings, the cloud in the sky, or a customer looked at her funny.  She constantly had something going on, or some new drama she would bring to the store.

I had to pull her aside and talk to her on many occasions.  I had to send her home after she came to work so distraught about stuff that was going on at home.  Sometimes it was in her head, other times it may have been real stuff going on, but she was prone to exaggeration, so it was always hard to tell.

One evening at the height of Christmas time, she had come to work so distraught, and I was not getting anything productive out of her, she couldn’t even clean the glass cases correctly.  I pulled her aside to have one of our talks, to see what was going on, and to determine if I needed to send her home, or if I could calm her down into actually working.

That’s when she confided in me.

It was so embarrassing, she had never told anyone.

She didn’t know what to do.

I had no idea what to tell her.

In fact, I was speechless.  (That doesn’t happen often.)

You see, her husband wets the bed.  Not just a little.  Drowns the thing, almost every single night.

She clearly forgot about our “talk” from that night, when she was trying to sell that mattress to all of us at the office.  When we had that talk, she was telling me how tired she was, she is up every night changing the sheets, and doing laundry in the middle of the night each night.

I will never forget.  In fact, I see her husband and pretty much always snicker in my head.  There are some things you just should not know about some people.

Her husband is now a pretty high up school official in our school district.

And I know he is a bed wetter.

Happy Friday, my friends.

On Our Way to Awkward

Mea is officially on her way into the awkward 6-9 year old stage where their teeth look too big for their faces, they are growing like crazy, they are smarter than their own good sometimes, and then can revert back to a small whining toddler at a moments notice when they don’t get their own way.

Someone ate all of the blue frosting.  I wonder who it was?

Someone ate all of the blue frosting. I wonder who it was?

 Those top two giant teeth are going to pop out any second.  They are on the brink.  She also has two new wiggly ones on either side of where those new giant big teeth are going to come in. She knows so much.  She can read all the words.  She surprises me daily with words she can read that I had no idea that she could.  Street signs, billboards, magazines, signs at the doctor’s office, pages from my books, cook books, and various text messages on my phone that she shouldn’t be reading.  It just amazes me. She’s growing up.  Getting big.  Then she’ll do something that reminds me that she is still little. Like on Sunday when we were opening Christmas presents with the big girls, and she opens her gift card from her oldest sister, and screams, “TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!  WOO!!!”  We all laughed and said, “No, Mea, look again…”  “TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!” The girl has no concept of money at all.  On Saturday we’ll be making a pilgrimage to Build a Bear to spend her twenty dollars, and most likely some of my money as well.

Bloggling Part 8

Since I have been MIA while being home on vacation, I will give you a bloggling as a quick catch up.

  • Saturday we went over to my sister’s house to decorate Christmas cookies.  The kids had a lot of fun, and there were frosting and sprinkles everywhere.  I would call the cookie portion of the day a success.
  • I was really annoyed when my sister gave Mea a hard time for asking for ranch to dip her pizza in.  Her kids were dipping in marinara sauce, Mea ate one piece of pizza, vs. her kids each eating two.  My sister is a little obsessed with calorie counting, and weighing her food.  She actually said to my kid, “Mea ranch has a lot of calories in it. Ranch is for vegetables.”
  • It took a lot for me to keep my mouth shut.
  • I was a more than a little irritated.  I am still a bit pissy about it.
  • Mea was super excited to have her big sister home for Christmas Eve, and to have her home on Christmas morning.
  • Mea was very pleased with all of her presents, but was especially excited with Mack’s gift.  Mack gave her an old I-Pod Touch that she had, she had two for some reason, and Mea has been non-stop playing music, games, and driving me crazy with it.
  • Mack was also pleased with her gifts.  Leather biker jacket, suede boots, various other things.
  • Mack’s boyfriend joined us for Christmas.  It was really fun.  He is starting to loosen up a lot around everyone.
  • I have been off work all week.
  • Mea was officially sick of me on Thursday.
  • Yesterday, she asked to go to daycare.
  • I let her.  I may have been a little sick of all the whining going on around here.
  • Tonight, we are having our little baby grandson over for his first overnight with Nana, Grandpa, and Auntie Mea.  Auntie Mea is beyond excited to have him to herself.
  • Slowly but surely E is getting better.  She still has a nurse coming to her daily to change packing in her incision, but the infection is finally gone.
  • Tomorrow afternoon, we are having Christmas with the big girls and my husband’s younger brother and his fiancée.
  • I am really looking forward to this.
  • I bought the oldest and youngest stepdaughters Coach purses, and I can’t wait to see their reactions.  I ended up buying them the same bag, just in different colors.
  • The middle step-daughter specifically asked for money, and when asked about a Coach she said she didn’t want one.  There are still many issues with her, too many to count.
  • Need to get my house cleaned up and ready for all these people to be inside of it tomorrow.
  • Also need to go to the grocery store so I can buy all the things we need to feed everyone.
  • Also need to go to Kohl’s to exchange the sweater my sister bought for me for Christmas.  I liked it, although it isn’t a color I would ever normally pick for myself, but there is a hole in it.
  • I am sad that I have to go back to work on Monday.
  • I am grateful that I go back to work on Monday and then I am off on Tuesday.

I think that is all for now.  I will be back to regular blogging after I get back to work on Monday.

An Early Christmas Gift

Every morning, my routine is to start my coffee, put leashes on the dogs and then take them outside.  I usually wait in the garage while the boys do their little doggie business, and check my email, Facebook, etc. while I wait for them to finish.

This morning, when I checked Facebook, I had been tagged by my youngest step-daughter E in a post with the following picture.

Step Parents

Step Parents

Now, I have seen this before today.  I have always felt that it is so true, but also didn’t want to post it or like this on Facebook, in case the girls would feel uncomfortable about it.  To have it tagged on my wall, and for 2 of 3 of the girls to “like” it, made it so special to me.

I cried.

Asked my husband if he had seen it.  He smiled and said yes.  Although, technically he is Mack’s step-father, when we had her name changed, and since she has been her Dad since she was seven and the only one she has ever had, he honestly is just her Dad.  Mack doesn’t consider him anything but her Dad.

I have mentioned before that being a step-mother has been the hardest mothering that I have ever done.  After thirteen years, it is finally feeling like things are coming together.  They really, actually love me.  I have loved them all for a long time, which is why it has always broken my heart when things were so hard, or there were such horrible disagreements.

This year has been huge in developing the relationship that I have with my youngest and oldest step-daughters.  Things with the middle one are still pretty tense and awkward after the birthday incident, and hasn’t really gotten  much better, but it is what it is.  I do think there are some jealousy issues there, and I don’t really know how to fix that.  She is 28 years old, she needs to get over it.

For a very long time, we have given the girls money vs. giving them a gift for Christmas.  This year I had an idea for the big girls that I thought they would really like.  I asked my husband what he thought, and he kind of shunned the idea.  He called me back about an hour later and said that I could give them the option of the gift I was thinking of (Coach purses) or money.

The oldest and youngest jumped on the idea of a Coach.  They were both really excited.  Middle step-daughter wanted money.  So that is what we are doing for her.  I had a lot of fun picking out purses that I thought they would really like.  I was not surprised with middle stepdaughter’s choice of money.  I am just glad that my husband was okay with the idea of them getting different things, he usually likes for whatever their gifts are to match.

They do have a few matching things.  I got them all earrings, a Coach key chain, and gift card to a restaurant.  The grand kids are getting gift cards to Toys R Us.  The older two girls are getting mustache earrings, and the three and two-year old are getting coloring books.  They are all getting a gift card to Monkey Joe’s, except the baby, he isn’t quite ready for jumping yet.  We have had a few issues in the past with them being bummed that they didn’t get more.  I hope that they don’t act like that this year.

I need to get a little something for the baby so he has something to “open” too.  We will be doing Christmas with the girls and kids next Sunday, so I have a little time to find something for him.

Other than the little something for the baby, I have every single gift wrapped, every single thing bought.  It is just crazy.  I am not usually done so early.

I don’t know if I will get back here before Christmas, so if I don’t, I do hope that you all have a wonderful holiday.

The Racetrack

When I was about seven years old, and my sister was four, she asked Santa for a racetrack for Christmas.  She had talked about it for months.  My sister was a bit of a tom-boy when we were little, although she didn’t care for getting dirty, or sports, she went through a phase when she only wanted “boy toys.”

Racetracks, cars, trains, she was somewhat obsessed.

I was never that kid.  I didn’t like to be dirty.  I hated being outside.  I hated bugs.  I could spend hours playing with dolls, Barbies, playing dress up, and reading my little eyes out of their sockets.

This Christmas when I was seven, I had heard many of the kids at school saying that Santa wasn’t real.  When asked my Mom always responded to our Santa inquires by saying, “As long as you believe in Santa, Santa is real.  If you stop believing, he stops coming.”  I still believe.  I want Santa to fill my stocking.  It’s seriously my favorite “gift” part of Christmas.

So that year, I was in the second grade, and although I really wanted to trust my Mom and her “believing in Santa” line, I just wanted to see for myself.  I was determined to stay awake, and catch Santa in the act.

I read by the light of my flashlight for as long as I could.  I would get up and go to the bathroom, I would pinch myself to stay awake.  Then I accidentally fell asleep.

When I woke up, I decided to sneak downstairs to see if I could bust the red-suited man in the act.  I figured it had to be the middle of the night, and everyone had to be sleeping.

I snuck downstairs.  I must have been really quite, because no one heard me.  There were lights on in the living room, so I thought for sure I was really going to catch him in the act.

I slowly slid down the last few stairs on my butt, I crawled through the hallway, and peaked my head into the living room. 

Where I saw my Dad playing with a racetrack, and my Mom sitting on the sofa. 

I must have made a noise, because my Mom jumped from the couch so fast, and was so frantic in getting me back upstairs to bed. 

“Who was that racetrack for Mommy?”

“Your Dad was just making sure it worked, Nana is giving that to your sister, don’t say anything, or you’ll ruin the surprise.  Now go to sleep, Kelly. (Just as a side note, I can hear this phrase in Samuel Jackson’s voice now, as in the “Go the fuck to sleep.”)  Now.  Santa can’t come if you are awake, it’s part of the magic.”

Now, thirty-one years later, I know that I totally had my parents scrambling.  They always set out the main present we had asked Santa for unwrapped, beside our pile of Santa presents.  The racetrack was what my sister had asked Santa for, I honestly don’t even remember what ended up being her big Santa gift.

I can only guess that they made a late night run to my Nana’s house to exchange the racetrack for something that she had bought for my sister instead.  The next day, my sister opened the racetrack from my Nana, in it’s slightly mangled box.

She loved it.

Sparkle Heart

Last Thursday, I left work a few minutes early, ran to Target, and bought an Elf on the Shelf. I had seen a few blog posts by that point about it, and had seen a zillion pictures on Instagram, and thought that it was a cute Christmas tradition.

I missed out on doing a lot of these types of things with Mack since I worked in retail all the years she was young and really into Santa. I feel bad about it. I do some of these things for Mea in attempt to negate how exhausted I was every single December that Mack actually really cared about Christmas, and how un-fun I was to be around during the holiday seasons with her. Seriously, the years when I was managing a store, and working 90 hours per week, I didn’t even wrap her presents. My sister and BIL would come over and wrap them while I slept. I sucked.

So anyway. I ran home after buying the elf. I set the book on the desk, and set her in a martini glass that sits on the top of the desk.

I left and picked Mea up, we ran to the store, and when we got home, I just acted like normal. Changed clothes, let the dogs out, started dinner. She went into the living room to play on her Kindle until dinner was ready. Then she saw the book.

“Where did this book come from, Momma?”

“What book, Mea?”

“This elf book.” She brings it into the kitchen to show me.

“I don’t know bug. Where did you find it?”

“It was right here on the desk. Is it for me?”

“My guess would be yes, maybe we should read it together?”

So we sat down to read the story. She was mesmerized by it. Then when the book started talking about the elves being in people’s houses, she started to get this crazy look on her face. Looking wild-eyed all around the living room. Until she spotted her.



She was excited, but there was a bit of weariness going on here as well. For the first hour or so, she didn’t take her eyes off of the elf. She repeatedly told us that the elf was looking at her, and that she didn’t like it.

Sparkle Heart

Sparkle Heart

My husband and I have had fun coming up with different places to stick Sparkle. She has been in a stocking, on the tree, in the freezer, hanging from the lamp, and is currently driving Barbie’s pink porsche. Each morning, the first thing that Mea does is try to find Sparkle. Yesterday, when she spotted her in the freezer while I was getting my ice water ready for work, she thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Now, I know that some people make their elves do naughty things. Make messes in the kitchen, go fishing for goldfish crackers in the toilet, throw underwear on the Christmas tree, make snow angels in flour, sugar, draw on family photos with markers, etc. and so on.

Our elf is not going to do any of these naughty things. She is a good little elf. I don’t want to encourage any naughty behavior. Sparkle is supposed to be keeping an eye on Mea to report to Santa if she is being naughty or nice, why would I want her to be a bad example?