Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I am so moved and pleasantly surprised by how many of my friends have shown support for the leagilzation of gay marriage on FaceBook. Many, I wasn't surprised by, but others, wow! This seems to be an issue that is crossing religious and political boundaries. Quiet honestly it seems to be fueled by love. Most of the people that I have spoken to are speaking out on behalf of family or friends. I know that I am. I want all of those that I hold close to my heart to be afforded the same rights as Rob and I.

Last night Caroline and I were talking about the issue. The thought that keeps coming back to me is that not long ago interracial marriage was illegal. That means some of the amazing couples that I know would have been shunned and their love denied, their children ostracized. I live in a beautifully diverse area. I can't imagine these families not being. Normally, I don't wear my beliefs on my sleeve. I believe in power of respect. I don't shove my beliefs down others' throats. I do however wear my heart on my sleeve and I am always going to come out on the side of love. I am so lucky to have found the most amazing life partner in the world. How could I not want that for everyone? Here's to love and through that love respect.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Spring Break and I am Freezing

This is the week of our spring break and it is snowing: in Northern Virginia!  There have been plenty of joke posts on FaceBook about groundhogs, and confused holidays, and being tired of the weather. This morning I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and used today as an excuse to wear my cute winter accessories. It was also yet another day to hide the lumps and bumps that haven't quite gone away yet under a sweater. I had big plans for spring break. We were going to be active and go on a hike. Well, the hike will have to wait until Thursday because the snow melted and we are now up to our knees in wet, marshy, mud.

I spent the first day cleaning, drinking tea, and watching HGTV. Caroline spent it at her friend's house and Lily spent it with a friend at our house. After her friend went home Lily declared this the "best spring break ever! So far we've seen Luke (my cousin in D.C.) and I went to a friend's house on Saturday to watch the Kid's Choice Awards and I had a friend over today and I got to go to Target and get a doll with my birthday gift card and we have friends coming over tomorrow and we are going to the movies on Wednesday and we are going hiking on Thursday and we are going to West VA this weekend!"

I can't really argue with that. It should be pretty good and pretty low key. I could use low key. I spent last week with a three day long headache. I tried not to make a big deal out of it. Of course, I turned it into a joke. At one point it was so bad that I was wearing my sunglasses while teaching. Of course that's when my principal came in. I later quipped to my teammates that "I looked like Cameron Diaz from Bad Teacher." In reality it was painful and frustrating. I still don't know what happened. I used to get awful headaches in college, and I finally chalked them up to stress.

So, I am going to spend the next week trying to be healthy inside and out. My best mommy friend is coming over with her girls tomorrow. Originally we were all going on the promised hike. Since the weather is too iffy we decided upon the relax portion of being healthy: wine and cheese while the kids play. Cheers!

P.S. I was looking back at last spring break's post and it was all about cleaning Lily's room. Guess who cleaned her room herself this weekend:)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Survival Tips

When I was in fourth grade, I remember that my mother clipped Erma Bombeck's column to send to my teacher. It was all about her love of chocolate and the great lengths that she went to to keep it from her children. I remember one part where she said that she'd pretend that it was Ex-lax so they wouldn't eat it. "This is funny?", I wondered, then. Now I can see how it would was hysterical and so darn true.

I have my own secret "Mom stash." I buy dark chocolate and other delights on sale and hide them in a basket in a far off cabinet of the kitchen. I used to be able to leave my dark chocolate on the counter and the family would leave it alone. It was too bitter and often contained nuts (just tell them there are nut or fish in it and all bets are off). Then Caroline's palate changed and she discovered the bliss that is dark chocolate. Her most recent discovery is Samoas. I used to be able to have them all to myself. Now both girls love them. Now do you see the need for a "Mom stash?" These treats last for months; I only need/want a little once in awhile.

If you really looked closely, you find other stashes, a box of Gobstoppers in the nightstand draw, pudding cups in the veggie crisper (my family would sooner clean the toilet than go in there) etc. The Gobstoppers are for those moments when I can leisurely lay in bed and read. The fact that they have been there since July should tell you how often I have time to lay in bed and read.

Well, so far my system is working for me. As long as the children don't develop a taste for tea (I have an cabinet's worth), I won't need any more hiding places.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In a Timely Manner

I seem to circle back to the same themes in my head over and over. These thoughts mostly creep in as I am  driving (which seems to be half of my waking hours). This morning as I was cruising down the road in my silver Ford Escape rocking out to Weezer while snacking on prunes, I wondered "Is this the portrait of the aging GenXer? Are we hip old farts? Wait a minute, isn't that what the Baby Boomers thought of themselves as the drove along in their Subarus rocking out to the Who eating their prunes?" Anyway, the thought that I had originally started with was "Damn, I've reached that age where there are many foods that I can't eat, and some that I must eat or I will suffer the consequences." That sucks. And yet, I roll with it. I am at the comfortable age where you can be sitting down sipping wine with your girlfriends and someone will casually bring up the name of some new anti-nausea/anti-gas medicine that her doctor recommended and no one is horrified. No, they are riveted.

Ok, so getting older kind of stinks. There is hair growing in places where you don't wish it too, everything seems to be headed south, from your memory to your butt (except mine which is going south and east and west, how is that fair?). The thing is, you don't really let it slow you down. At least I don't. I have too many other things to worry about: refinancing, keeping the girls alive and functioning, teaching, keeping the dog, the turtle, the rabbit and my spouse alive and functioning... I really can't loose sleep over stray hairs or tricky grown up tummys.

Of course this thought segued into comparing the me of now with the me of my youth. Right now I am lucky enough to be spending time with my 14 year old daughter and 20ish cousin. I listen to Caroline's passion and conviction and her opinions (Does anyone want to come take a turn listening to her opinions? She has plenty of them. We don't mind letting someone else have a turn listening.). She is just starting out and has so much idealism (with a surprising amount of cynicism). Then I listen to my cousin. He is nothing but possibility right now. His path is beginning and can be anything. So I was thinking: "What if we could combine passion with possibility with realism with wisdom? How amazing a person I would be if I could combine 14 year old Melissa with 20 year Melissa with Melissa now?  However it is impossible because you can't reach wisdom without having hit some stumbling blocks. Those stumbling blocks are largely built from idealism, naivete, and arrogance. Those things are, of course, all the things that aggravate all of us old farts about the youth of today. Unless of course you are me who loves them and finds them fascinating (mostly). Especially when they share their music with me and don't tease me about the hidden stash of prunes in the glove box of my "Mommobile."

P.S. Hopefully, I hit less traffic in the future which will lead to less rambling posts.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So What Are You Going to Do About It?

"Breakdowns come and breakdowns go, so what are you going to do about it, that's what I'd like to know?" Paul Simon

Well, so far, it is wine, followed by hot tea coupled with Savannah Smiles cookies, and a work themed bitch session with my hubby. Who needs Calgon?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Apple Tree

Friday night I stayed later at work than usual. Our newest teammate had two deaths in her family last week and I stayed to help her with plans. I called Caroline on the way home. She answered with "All hell broke loose tonight." She went on to explain that Rob came home and fell asleep. She took Lily upstairs to put her to bed and noticed that Buffy had peed in our room. When she went to clean up the pee, the rabbit jumped out from under the bed and scared the bejeesus out of her. She ran into the hall and discovered that the rabbit had gotten out of her hutch and chewed a "Trixie-sized hole" in the baby gate that blocked the dog from the playroom/rabbit room. Caroline proceeded to put another gate at the top of the stairs to block the dog. Then she went on to explain that the rabbit led her on "a merry chase" around the upstairs. She chased her into the hall slamming doors as she went. After she got the rabbit back into the hutch, she noticed that all of the upstairs doors were locked. She jimmied open all of the doors and in frustration put both Lily and Buffy to bed. I thought that she'd be older before I'd pass the Simpson chaos baton to her. I was wrong. I couldn't have done better myself. Here's to my oldest daughter's first "blog fodder."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

At Last

The snow came!! The girls and I went out and made a Snow Buffy. It wasn't really sledding snow, way too heavy and mushy. Caroline and I took the opportunity to catch up on more Dr. Who and Law and Order. I also used the time to catch up on some more school stuff. The timing was perfect. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed/overlooked. The truth is that I tend to over analyze. My feelings get hurt and hurt isn't always intended. I am hoping for another day off tomorrow. More time to refuel.

It is funny how much calmer snow days are when your children are older. There is less wet snow gear; everyone can get in and out of her own snow gear; there are less toys all over the house. Mostly everyone sacked out and relaxed.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Ok, Snowquester is on the horizon. Seriously, only here can we think of such crazy names for storms. Never mind, what really matters is the emotional effect of the idea of a snow storm. There was dancing at work, there was giggling with my online friends, and there was The Magic Eight Ball. Huh?

The Magic Eight Ball is a time honored tradition started by two former co-workers and I. We have a very serious and almost ritualistic way of consulting the ball in regards to a snow storm. The ball does not lie. It is almost like Qujia Board for grown ups except not quite as scary or potentially dangerous (don't scoff at me, I don't mess with that stuff).

 I am ready for a win, a freebie, a gimme. I promise that if we get a day off, I won't waste it by feeling stuck or overwhelmed or underwhelmed or blah or restless or any of the dozens of negative, totally unhelpful, yet normal emotions that have been crowding my head. Today Lily was gearing up for a rant about how unfair it has been that so many other places have had snow and not us (I know suburban southeastern kid problems). I stopped her and said "Lil, this is the only life you get. Complaining won't change it. Just live the life you have." And then I hit a gong and we all chanted "Ohm." Nah, just kidding. I know that it sounds like hippy-dippy, new-agey advice from a suburban mom, but I mean it. Now is all we have. Sure, we have hopes and dreams and we have regrets, but all we really have to work with is now. Fighting against things that we can't control is a waste of energy.

So here we are, hanging onto a little hope for a fun surprise, holding out for magic, "having the day we have," (to quote The Odd Life of Timothy Green). So, I'll go to work with a little hope in my heart, but ready to do what I have to do with what I am given. What I am given will be visiting political figures touring my school (no lie). I might get a tantruming child while said figures are visiting; I might not. I might get a squirrely and unruly classroom, I might not. All I can do is set the tone and charge ahead. "Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more!" Oh, and why I am "having the day I have," it wouldn't hurt to hope for just a little snow.