United States of Motherhood: February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Recession Progression

We've been doing some belt tightening around the Scouty household.

Looking for ways to save and stop waste. Turning off lights that once burned needlessly. Thinking twice about turning on the decorative switch on gas fireplace when our electric/gas bill hit the late $400s in one month.

Thinking thrice about making extra trips in gas guzzling SUV even with lowered gas prices. Doing everything not to eat out.

I search madly the local parenting magazines for free Seattle Art Museum admissions, and more free art admissions nationwide, cheap family skate nights, and, yes, even free boat sailing.

I am sure you are all doing the same.

Putting two years of an MBA on credit cards is killing us slowly with insults. The kids swim fees and meet fees topped $500 last month.

Yep, costs are up and confidence is low here.

I know we are in a much better position than most. We have paid off cars still under warranty. We can afford our mortgage and even still have a bit of equity left. CG has a well paying job for now and said monster corporation actually made a profit last year.

But. There's always a but. I am going to shock you here: As of today, credit cards are at $40,000 and last week, the husband paid so many bills aggressively that there was no money for me to shop at Costco.

Seriously. No. Costco.

Yes, we know me. Costco withdrawals were inevitable. My Costco addiction is well documented.

We did survive. No groceries. We ate from the pantry. Yep, that pantry.

So, we've started tweaking our expenses in the cold reality that those credit card bills are crazy and that MBA damn well better be worth it. No stress, honey. I promise. I know it was my idea for you to get an MBA.

So first baby step?

This week, for the first time in a decade, we have basic phone service. No call waiting. No caller ID. No calling out long distance.

With a cell phone, it's not like I used our home phone much anyways, but I did want to keep it for emergencies. For the school. For the regular storms up here that blow out cell coverage and electricity.

However, I must tell you I used those extra services on that home phone as a crutch to call screeen my little heart out. I never answered the phone unless I knew who it was.

Caller ID was my firewall to keep out charitable soliciting and pushy salespeople. We even had a distintive ring for out of state to alert that most likely family was calling.


No more. Now I must answer the phone the old-fashioned way. You know. Like an adult not a high schooler having her mom answer the phone and whisper the caller's name so I could decide if I wanted to talk to so and so.

Now I bite the bullet.

I tell those salespeople selling credit card insurance no thanks and to take me off their list. I tell my alma mater, "sorry, not this year."

I answer the phone and it's a crapshoot whether it's someone I want to talk to, but I can't play telephone hermit anymore. I have to be in my discomfort zone and work on skills to deal.

In a way, this is a progression. Sometimes technology makes us hermits. Unsocialized. Downright hesitant, avoidance prone, and even rude in our ignorance of calls.

No more. Thank the recession for pulling me off my information exile island and forcing me to talk to actual people.

My next step is to talk to actual bankers to get a home equity loan to pay off those credit cards.

Crazy talk. I know. I know.

Talking to bankers is up there on my list with talking with car salesmen. Shiver. Who knows?

Next, we'll start using actual cash in actual brick and mortar stores instead of plastic online. Break out the piggy banks.

Thx for the Flickr pics by Daniel Y. Go and Clemson and blmurch

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Dear Prez-a-dent Berrrrrrockkkkkkkobama"

Heard the news lately?

Depressing, eh?

I've been trying to avoid it all. Instead, I've been working in the classroom, baking for swimathons, leading art docent lessons, and working on 12 pages in the yearbook. Missed me?? Yep, my heads been to the volunteering grindstone while my heart tries not to worry about our country and the huge monstrous debt-ridden legacy we are about to gift to my children and yours.

But this post is not about worry, but hope. I promise. Keep reading...

So, yearbook is done and another day couldn't go by without my sharing of the cute words of advice and hope from Li'l Man's 1st grade class to "Berrrr-rocko-Bama."

Said just like that.

No space.

I think most of them think his last name is "Berrrockobama."

I had one little girl say it over and over to me during our reading group. Endless source of adorable amusement. She said his first name was "Berr-rock-o." Heh!

So we worked in groups, laboring with furled brows of concentration with stubby fingers wrapped too tightly around our Dixon Ticonderoga pencils and our pink pearl erasers at the ready. Their little pink tongues stuck out in concentration as they wrote letters to our president.

Their amazement and excitement bowled me over in a country struck down by fear and panic due to financial markets, mortgages, and stimulus package in-fighting.

Their joy overwhelmed that they would actually get to write a letter to the "Berrockobama."

So, with out further ado, here are some excerpts from each child on their words of advice:

"Dear President Obama, I hope that you will do the following for our country..."

  • "I hope you be a good president."

  • "I hope you make our country a better place."

  • "I hope you choose fair laws & teach people."

  • "I hope you make us live longer."

  • "I hope you let us carry more on airplanes."

  • "I hope you bring peace."

  • "I hope you help people."

  • "I hope you stop the war."

  • "I hope you help our world be a better place."

  • "I hope you give money to buy houses."

  • "I hope you be a good president."

  • "I hope you stand up to the country & take care of the United States & love."

  • "I hope you make the water not be polluted & no wars."

  • "I hope you help people drink enough water & eat enough food & not junk food like a monster."

  • "I hope you take money from the rich & give it to the poor just so it will be fair & so the poor can get a job & a good school."

  • "I hope you pay the bills more often & make our country a better one & that we’ll have easy homework."

  • "I hope you fix breaking pipes that have holes in the world. "

  • "I hope you will make our world a better place."
And finally, my Li'l Man's response:
  • I hope for no more wars, no more your mama’s so fat shows anymore, & every army to just meet together & don’t fight.

No matter what side of the aisle you are on politically, a dose of a 1st grader's optimism and hope is what we all as a country need right now.

I hope, Mr. Obama, too. I hope you can pull us out of this mess we are in.

Ahem...and about that "your mama’s so fat show?" I dunno.

Seriously. Clueless.

I think he might of been exposed to some MTV programming this summer.

Ahhh... for summer to be here and everyone feeling sunny again.

Blognotes: Thx for the pics by Astrid Photography.and xtopalopaquetl

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Population Studies

CG came back from a MBA class last night on Macroeconomics, I think.

We are sitting on the couch, Tivo-paused on Medium, laptop on lap closed, and chatting about our perspective days when he throws the bomb:

CG: "How many people live in the United States. I mean. What's the population? 3 Billion?"

Me: (In utter shock) "Did you say 3 BILLION?"

CG: "Ummm, yeah."

Me: (Laughing now) "Billion? Billion?! Where on Earth did you come up with that figure."

CG: "Well, then how many?" (Enter persnickety tone)

Me: "Well, it's been a while, but I'd guess around 280 million. I mean China is at 1 Billion."

I quickly googled to back myself up. Yep, US currently projected at 300 million and China at 1.3 billion.

Me: "Again, where did you come up with BILLION?" (Enter flabbergasted tone)

CG: "Well, it came up in class and I asked the guy next to me and he guessed 3 billion. It sounded right." (Enter whiny, defensive tone)

Me: "Was the other guy not a US citizen because maybe that's his excuse for not knowing his own country's citizenship?"

CG: "Uhhhh, no. He's American."

Okay, this is a pretty elite MBA program. It's nationally ranked top 20 regularly, my friends.

For 2008, U.S. News & World Report ranked the UW Full-Time MBA Program 11th among public schools.

And CG's particular program?

Business Week
ranked the Evening MBA Program 2nd among public schools and 16th among national business school part-time programs in a 2007 student survey.

And two of those 100 students admitted out of thousands for the class of 2010 were off by a power of 10 in their own country's population?


I am assuming these were the token engineering students accepted in the program.

Clueless engineers are. Heh!


Kids these days. They hear about some irresponsible psycho having octuplets and jump from millions to billions.

Math isn't my strong suit, but even I knew we hadn't beat out China at almost triple their claim to population fame.

Seriously, if that had happened, I am sure I would have heard that on the Today Show or at least Extra.

Blog notes: thx for the Flickr pics by Kalense Kid and by laurenatclemson

Saturday, February 7, 2009

35 Years Blows

It's Official. He's in his mid-thirties.

Happy 35th CG. Why so somber? What are you contemplating, grasshopper?

Yes, you are now officially 2 years older than Jesus.

What? What! That still makes you 1-1/2 younger than me!

Oh, that makes you happy now? Laughing at your wife?

Just blow out your candles, you asshat.

Any day now.

Yep, 35 blows, doesn't it?

(Checking watch)


You done yet?

You blow, my husband, you blow.

Widening your eyes doesn't make them go out faster.

Nope neither does a limp wrist help. Or spitting on the cake? Ewww...

Dude, you did it. You actually blow! You look as shocked as we all were.

Blow. Heh! Love you CG! Thanks for forgiving me for momentarily forgetting your birthday. You rock!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Highly Inappropriate Parenting

Inappropriate parents out there? I am your master.

We watched a highly inappropriate movie this last weekend with the kids. I will protest that it came from CG's Netflix account, not my blockbuster online.

I had never heard of the movie, but it had Anne Hathaway of Princess Diaries fame in it. I am embarrassed to admit I also did not stop the kids from watching along as soon as soon as some pretty inappropriate dialogue appeared.

I am just as guilty.

A few minutes in, my nine year old daughter pipes up with a simple question.

"Mommy, what is a blow job?"

Innocent rounded brown eyes ask with unabashed sincerity.



Suddenly, a gem from heaven floated into my conscious to the rescue. Answer with a question. When in doubt while parenting, answer with a question.

"Um, sweetheart, what do you think a blow job is?"

"Blowing leaves around, I think."

Oh, God in heaven, thanks be thy name.

"Yes, yes, you are so right."

I smirk across the couch at my husband. He snorts back. Whew! Embarrassing, age-inappropriate discussion averted.

A few minutes later, "Boy, they sure like to talk about blowing leaves a lot."

Crap. Both CG and I half-chuckle, half-hang our heads in shame.

Confirmation we suck as parents.


Blog Notes: Thx for the Flickr pic by ColorLoose

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We've come a Long Way, Baby

Just had to shake my head at this one:

(Click on the picture to zoom in)

Compare this to my husband bringing me my coffee when I woke today on his birthday. Snort.

My Memory Box is All Depleted

I've become more forgetful after passing a 10 lb. 1 oz. baby that could pass for a watermelon 4 month old through my vagina.

I thoroughly believe all women's memory cells are stored there.

Yes, there in the vagina rather than the brain and that my baby took a pink suitcase of scrapings of cells from my memory box before he left the womb.


Now, without calendar and multiple reminders, I forget anniversaries and birthdays.

I used to be known for my acute memory. I excelled at tests.

Now, not so much.

Like yesterday, I mention to a friend that it's my husband CG's birthday next week. He pipes up from the background, "Uh, honey, it's tomorrow."

Uh, shit.

No worries. I always have a hidey hole of gifts for any occasion cleverly hidden with gift bags and tissue. No one need know I forgot.

So I made mental note to myself to "not forget" and got on with my day.

Today, I woke up and it was like puff from my brain. I hugged husband CG when I woke up. He brought me coffee.

I sit down to get busy on blog, readers, and Facebook.

I see on Facebook that...oh, look, it's CG's birthday. People he has never met have sent him birthday greetings.


Not his wife.

The first adult he has seen all morning.

The one who pledged love eternal.

In just this case, I had already wished him happy birthday a day early on Facebook.

Note to my kids, I want my suitcase back.

Blognotes: Thx for the Flick pic by jek in the box

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Separated at Birth?

My husband got some new glasses as shown in this self-portait:

He shows me said portrait and asks who he looks like. He adds,"And don't say Tom Arnold:"

Ummmm, okay.

Never would say you look like Tom Arnold--even if you did which you don't--because that would set me up to be compared to one of the nappiest celebitches, Roseanne:


So it seems my not-celebrity-savvy husband thinks he looks like somebody famous, but not Tom Arnold.

I am still at loss here. Anyone have any suggestions for me?

All I know if when I saw him early this morning in kitchen with glasses on for the first time, I literally didn't recognize him and jumped out of my skin. He hasn't worn glasses for 10 years. He must remind me os someone scary like the first Darren on Bewitched:

The kids say he looks "freaky."

Honestly, I like the glasses, but they are a shock to the system.

So please, my friends, leave some comments and better yet pics for which I can play super sleuth wife to help my husband find his doppelganger, m'kay?

Funny Sign Part Deux

Resolved: War solves nothing.


That's all.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Touche Rhymes With Douch...Nevermind!

Overheard conversation in car on way to swim practice while Eldest gets in suit:

Eldest: "No looking. Don't look. You touch me on the head again, I'll wap you. I'll ... I'll wap the uterus right out of you!!"

PB: (Touch) hehehe.

Eldest: "Mom, she's sexually harassing me."

Yes, thank you Washington state sex education in schools for taking the whining of a twelve year old to a a new level of body parts and adult concepts.

Five minutes later:

PB: "Touche. "

Eldest: (In a quite earnest, Cliff Claiborne-esque way and obvious not familiar with French) "Touche is not a word. I think you are looking for the word, 'douch-ay,' but really it's just douche."

Me: "What! Touche is a word. Do you even know what douche means."

Eldest with sly smile: "Oh course I do, mom. Do I need to explain it to you? We use it in the form of bag, as in doucheba....."

Me: "Silence! Just shhhhh. No sounds allowed. Nada. Zip."

Sigh. I am screwed. So screwed. These kids are loaded with TMI these days.

I think my next recourse is duct tape.

Stoopid Bowl Recap

We are not football people.

As of 12:30 yesterday afternoon, we had no idea who was even playing in the stoopid bowl.


I thought the Cardinals were a baseball team and only because my brother had NFL and NBA wall paper in his room as a child did I know the sportscaster was not talking about a flaming red, chipper little twittering bird.

Yet, it is an American pastime with opportunities to eat tasty treats and cold beer in front of the TV, so we decided to go for it.

Besides, we had to do it for the children. I mean what kind of parents would we be?! Eldest was told to watch it as "homework," especially commercials for his language arts class.

Nice! Football crazed community up here in Seattle? Check.

So our 1st mistake was leaving the swim meet and stopping by the grocery store on our way home around 2:00. Lines, empty soda and ravaged chip shelves. Cranky people. Full parking lots. 35 minutes in the less than 15 items aisle.

Then we wended our way home to eat baby quiches, bacon and cheese sliders, stuffed jalapenos, pizza pockets, corn dogs, meat loaf sandwiches, roasted sweet potatoes, and broccoli.

I know. Weird.

Oh and chips. As in 5 bags because I was starved while shopping. The only chips actually consumed were on the drive home by said passengers. Mmmmm Kettle Mesquite BBQ.

Did I mention 3 pizzas from Papa Murphys?

So after that first course mentioned above, we never got to eating said chips with planned homemade guacamole. Nor did we even open pizzas to cook.

Quiches are very satisfying. Good thing my husband doesn't have cholestrol and a plugged carotid artery, eh?

Anyhoo, this non-sporty girl really got in the game. She I.M-ed Helen and Twittered everybody who was crazy enough to subscribe or silly them was on her Facebook throughout the game:

I am going on record that Faith Hill & Bruce Springsteen are too tired for the Superbowl. Yawn!

@mooshinindy mine too

My husband says they chose Bruce because if he has a wardrobe malfunction, no one will complain. "Although Faith Hill..." (eyebrow waggle)

What the hell is that chick in the tight red dress with big boobs doing wearing that at the stoopid bowl? Football harlot.

yes, it's "quitting time, Steve" Bruce sings. Yes, it's time to quit "Boss," You are epic fail.

Bruce sez "I'm going to Disneyland." Yes, we have truly just had a 90's flashback. Double fail.

LMAO syndrome. Not that's funny. One of the best commercials so far.

Whoops. Meant now that's funny. Twitter won't let me delete. Bad for me who types, hits enter, then reads.

Non-sporty Husbands asks in disbelief, "Are there any cheerleaders anymore?" No, you get nasty Bruce instead.

Go Cardinals. 'Cause redand white is purtier than yellow and black. That's all. No other reason.

I am surprised with all those long, flowing tresses on the stoopid bowl field that someone doesn't get his hair pulled & his feelings hurt.

@beauraines it was also my high school and it sux

@moemur777 yes, same room. Never happens especially Beau in the same room as football. Beer is onvolved.

free grand slam? Seriously? We are so there.

Escape from Witch Mountain?!! AWesomest movie. We have original on DVD. Talk about 70's flashback.

Steelers look like banana butts

When steelers run, they look like bananas splitz

Steelers coach looks like that doctor from House whose shagging 13.

Steeler's #78 is sumo wrestler disguised as football player. Doode is huge.

Just hexed Steelers & wished 'em broken biceps, crushed ankles, & bad "ACLUs." Beau asked incredulously, "ACLUs?" Umm, whatever. ACL.

love career builder ad.
Daughter liked big and cokes commercial more
bug, not big
apparently hair makes you fast. Go cardinals!!!
comeback cardinals

I needed my brother or my Dad to explain plays. CG? Hopeless. Most importantly, I learned I like my men in red and white and Bruce Springsteen seems stuck in a time warp of black jeans, vests, and the same old songs and moves.. Rawr.

And note to myself, next time I need to get myself some of those damn 3D glasses.

3D sucks if you don't have 'em and maybe they would have made the Bruce seem like much less of a tool when he came flying at that camera man. Heh!

Blognote: Thx for the Flickr pic by dianecordell

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