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I have never been one to be good at being sick.  I try, really I do.  But I am the kind of person who will go in to the ER at midnight to get relief from what I know is strep throat, and be told it’s only really bad flu, to be called three-day later and be told, oops, sorry you have the flu AND strep throat, sorry. Exactly. I know my strep throat, bitches.  Don’t toy with me…

We have ALL been sick this week, beginning with Lainey, then Ella, and last but not least, me.  I didn’t really think it was strep until I got it, but when I woke up with the sore throat on Wednesday I knew what was the culprit.  Bad mom, I know.  Ella had to be the guinea pig. (Both of my children loathe strep swabs, but then again, I haven’t met anyone yet who was like, “Woo Hoo! Bring on the throat swab, bitches!!!”)  I took her in on Wednesday morning.  Of course she tested positive.  Luckily my doctor is just down stairs from the girl’s pediatrician so it wasn’t a stretch for me to go down and talk with the nurse.  Then I went to get Lainey from school (She had gone back Tuesday) and took her in for a quick swab, and of course, she had it too. Needless to say we were all home on Thursday.

I have a friend that cries on the second day of her period, like clock work. She doesn’t cry often, but when she does, you know.  I am like that when I get strep.  Today was that day.

First off I had to have an interview with the unemployment office, which is nerve-wracking enough.  But then they have very little information to offer,(i.e. when I might get paid…) which wouldn’t be a big deal if my auto loan weren’t in danger of default and I needed a payment by Wednesday, or, you know what will happen. I haven’t been paid since December, which really sucks, but I should expect it. It is  the state after all.  I shouldn’t pin all of my hopes and dreams on an institution that has grown famous for not following through on funding… (Coupled with the fact that I don’t manage my money worth a sh*t, and it was just Christmas…what can I say, I spoil my kids, but that gravy train is screeching to a halt…Pardon my French, but screw what they want.  I’m pretty sure they will want their mom to have a car to drive them to and fro…)

Regardless of all that gibber jabber, It’s time for me to get over whatever the hell it is that has plagued me for a year and a half and suck it up and find a job, anything as my friend Trisha puts it.  Wal-Mart for all the f*ck she cares, just do something. In her defense, apparently I really haven’t been like this all of my life.  I guess in the previous parts of my life I can no longer recall I was motivated, and according to her and my ex, although I may not have been motivated in the household duty area for some time at the end there, I was always motivated when it came to teaching, or work, or whatever else.

So, yes,today I cried. There is not a lot of sympathy when one has children and you get sick.  I can only imagine what it is like to be sick with no children.  I tried to see if dad wanted to take them for part of the weekend, but to no avail.  (Not that I necessarily blame him, we were suppose to go out-of-town to see my brother and his family and had switched up visitation because of it… so I know it’s not his fault that they made other plans…) But still… it was just the icing on the cake.  So I cried.  I was totally expecting a FULL recovery today, but alas, it did not come.  I’m not even sure I should hope it might come tomorrow, but damn it would be nice.  Apparently illness and depression don’t work well together.  I’m also not sure how much longer my liver, or whatever other body part, will be able to function at the rate I have been taking Tylenol and IB profen. Seriously, they should just give me vicatin and forget it.  I don’t do well with feeling like razor blades are permanently housed in my throat, but I guess that’s what I got.  So I’ll live with it…. sorry to be such a downer, but gawd, I had to vent….

As some of you may know from reading my blog I am currently enrolled in Web Design courses at DeVry University Online.  This semester is my first experience with an actual design course.  Last week we were given an assignment to trace a famous work of art in Adobe Illustrator, and honestly I thought I was going to throw my nice new computer out of the window a few times.  After being talked down off the ledge by a great connection I made through a friend who is also in Graphic Design, I began to make some headway with my assignment thanks to You Tube and some other great Illustrator tutorials I found online. (Thank you You Tube…)

I’m not really sure how I did, but in true Liz form I dove head first in without doing my research on Illustrator and how to use some of its many wonderfully awesome features.  Namely using layers, but hindsight is always 20/20 right?  I guess that’s the purpose of school, you live and you learn…

Original Warhol Work

Anyway, originally I had planned on tracing Van Gogh’s Three Musicians, but after reaching Friday and having very little of it completed (like 3/4 of ONE of the musicians) I decided I better move on to something a bit simpler.  I ended up choosing Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup painting (using only ONE of his cans).  Note the original above and my tracing below.  I was pretty happy with the writing I traced, but you can tell I finished the top of the can and the bottom at the end, because frankly they weren’t my best work.  Feel free to comment and give me your constructive feedback, or not, whatever.  Just don’t be mean, my ego is really fragile right now!!! 😉 Oh well, practice makes perfect!

Aaaand my work...

Have I mentioned before that I think it would totally rock if my life were like a musical? Not like High School Musical musical, but more like Glee, though cooler… When I mention this to my friend she’s always like, “Um, how is your life not like a musical already? You break out into spontaneous song constantly.” Yeah, but it would be cool if EVERYONE would burst into spontaneous song, together, and on key… and DANCING… I would be able to dance and we would all just dance around and sing all day…

We use to sing a lot at my old job.  One of my friends and I would even pick songs of the day.  I just want MORE of it.  Have you ever noticed that there is a song for just about every situation?  It’s true.  Tell me your situation and I will find a song for it… I just think if we could sing about everything life would be better for all of us. Think about it, we would all be able to express ourselves in some form or another through song, and music tends to relieve tension and frustration. If I were president or something, daily music would definitely be a HUGE part of my campaign.  I would probably tour the country singing my platform to everyone.  People may not agree with me, but it would be a catchy tune so they’d just be humming it all the time and then when they went to the polls to vote they would subconsciously choose me as their choice and I’d be a shoe in!!! It’s a good idea, just sayin’…

Today I am going to discuss three concepts that have been lost to me for quite some time.   Maybe this will be helpful to you also, but if not, at least I have it written down so that when I find myself behaving less than my best, I can go to this post and remember.

Have you ever seen the movie Mallrats? If you haven’t, I suggest you do.  It’s a movie written and directed by Kevin Smith, so it’s meaningless, yet offensively hilarious.  Mallrats is about a couple of guys who get dumped by their girlfriends and spend the day hanging out at the mall. Within this movie you meet a character named William Black, who is always seen in front of one of those Magic Eye puzzles, trying in vain to figure it out.  People keep coming by and saying, “Oh, a sailboat!” At the end of the movie, William speaks some of the most prophetic words I have ever heard.  “When, Lord? When the hell do I get to see the god damn sailboat?!”

I find these words so prophetic, because how often do we find ourselves sitting there wondering, “When do I get to see the big picture, Lord?!” The three concepts I would like to discuss are responsibility, accountability, and the beauty of asking for help.  I have realized that if I lose sight of these concepts, I will forever be drifting around aimlessly, never seeing the sailboat. And that is one of my biggest fears.

This week, I began to have panic attacks again, which I haven’t had in quite some time. I began panicking that I might very possibly be living with my parents for the rest of my life.  Dramatic, I know. Yet, to me, lately, that seems like it could be a very real possibility.  This might come as a huge shock to some of you who know me (sarcasm), but I have not been  very responsible lately. When stuff goes wrong, or I’m irresponsible, I’m the kind of person who immediate puts myself down and is all “I’m the worst excuse for a person in the world.” (Again, dramatic, I know…) But this week, I got myself a new catchphrase.  “You are better than this.”  Whenever I find myself doing something not on the straight and narrow anymore I say to myself, “Liz, you are better than this!” It’s not putting myself down, but realizing that I have the potential to be more than I am in the current situation, and I have been a better person before.  Hence, I am a good person who is better than the behavior I’m expressing.

Responsibility sucks.  Plain and simple, there is no sugar-coating it. It sucks being a responsible adult. It sucks having to be a responsible spouse, not even mentioning a responsible parent. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. But it is a fact of life.  I have never been good with money. It burns a hole in my pocket, and a lot of times is spent even before I have it.  Lack of responsibility. That is what I am plagued with, especially when it comes to money.

Accountability is SO important.  And it sucks. But it’s a necessity. My ex-husband and I failed miserable at this concept.  We were enablers.  He enabled me to spend haphazardly, and I enabled him to… well, we won’t go there… Let’s just say we allowed each other to do what ever the other wanted to do with no accountability for our actions.  We didn’t communicate, and we didn’t positively reinforce our good behaviors in order to make us better people.  I suppose in the end that is why our marriage was an epic fail. Bottom line, you need someone to hold you accountable to being the person you are able to be in order to be successful.

Last, the beauty of asking for help.  I fail miserably at this one EVERY TIME.  I have believed that being responsible = doing it all on your own.  This is a hugely misconceived notion on my part.  It is ok to ask for help, it’s even healthy sometimes! Nobody can do everything alone.  Sometimes it takes gentle reminders or help taking on some of the responsibility in order to become responsible.  For me, this is the hardest thing to learn.  I don’t want to look weak, I want to be strong and independent. But sometimes in order to get where your going, you’ve got to stop and ask for directions.

I’m not sure if I have seen the sailboat yet, but I don’t think I will spend so much time analyzing the picture anymore.  I think I will take more time out to enjoy what’s going on around the picture instead, because I don’t want to miss it when my sailboat finally goes by.

Yeah, so remember I was talking about a vision board about a month or so back? I finally finished it.  Yeah, I’m getting stuff done. Pretty awesome. Pro…bably not the most important stuff, but hey, it’s a starting point.  I also created a vocabulary board, just in case the visual board isn’t enough.  It will remind me of the characteristics I want to possess as well.  Some day I will explain these, but you can peruse them at your own will.  Good times…

Click on the image to go to a PDF version.

Over the course of the past year my eyes have been opened to stark, saddening realities.  Divorce, infidelity, self-centeredness, and lack of compassion for others seems to be inundating the world these days.  I’m sure it’s been happening for years, in fact I know it has, from first hand experience within my own, older family members.  Much of it was just hearsay and logical guessing back in those days, but over the years these acts within a marriage seem to be coming to the forefront of our society.  Divorce was an unuttered word back then, not an option. If your husband was cheating on you it was quiet and unspoken.  I’m not saying it was a better solution, but what ever happened to working things out together? Or is that just a pipe dream, something taught to you in school or in church, not a realistic solution?  A marriage is nothing if it isn’t a partnership, a two-sided affair.  Where do people get the courage today to say, “I’m not happy right now at this moment, I haven’t ever been happy. We have done nothing in the way of trying to work out the real problem, but I have decided, single mindedly, on my own, that this is over.  There is nothing you can say or do to change my mind, and there is no working it out.”

All of this makes me wonder if there is such a thing as a perfect marriage or relationship, or even anything close.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that all relationships have their ups and downs and ins and outs, but there seems to be an overwhelming alignment of personal centered individuals who are not meant for relationships to innocent and unsuspecting others. Even my own family relationships, or other’s I have observed, have been filled with beating each other down to the point where you feel guilty or stressed out because you aren’t living up to another person’s expectations.

The bottom line is I’m wondering, is it safe for a disenchanted girl like me to think that someday she might have the chance at love again. I’m talking about a relationship, not just blind, unadulterated love that has no substance or depth. A connection with someone. I know it all sounds cheesy, still a little girl’s dream of white weddings, the 3.5 kids with the house and a picket fence.  I just want a person who is going to be honest with me and up front about what they want, someone who is real and genuine.  There are far too few people like that out there today, at least it seems that way in my world.  Is it just me? Do I gravitate to the wrong types of people?  I can’t see how that is possible when there have been no less than at least five stories I have heard in the last year about broken marriages, and homes, homes with children and foundations that are crumbling under people’s feet.  Maybe I am just becoming more aware of it now that it has happened to me.  Maybe my eyes were closed to it before, because I though it couldn’t, it wouldn’t, ever touch me.

I don’t want to ask for much, just someone we can all be ourselves with, someone who builds us up and not knocks us down, someone who can ask for what they need and continue to give to other’s as needed, someone who can see the forest for the trees, the bigger picture in life.

I hope that you have found someone who can do all of these things for you, and you can do these things for them. Unfortunately that seems to be a rarity these days. But for us daydreamers, the hope is for the reality of love in mankind. That everyone will one day be able to see the forest for the trees. The bigger picture, and that is love.

~All we need is love…~ John Lennon

Once again that dirty word has crept its way back into my world.  I can’t escape it. I blame “The Family“. At the next Academy of Parenthood award show I will be nominated for mother of the year.  Here’s why:

Tonight while giving the children baths, one of the children pooped in, on, and around the tub.  I’m not going to name which one it was, but the other is to blame, because as sure as the sun will come out tomorrow, this child decided for the SECOND time in two minutes, that she  HAD to go to the bathroom AGAIN while the other was in the tub. So needless to say, when the other was soaking in a nice warm bath, she had to “do her business”, and the other was already on the throne.  Mirolax is the devils tool, and I blame it too.

I deserve the Mother of the Year award because I cleaned it all up with minimal yelling, crying, and throwing up, well, no throwing up, but  the feeling came to me a time or two.  I may or may not have suggested I blamed the other child, but seeing as how they don’t get sarcasm or implied meanings I’m pretty sure they didn’t get it.  This is aside from the fact that they were both home from school today sick, and they have been on steroids or something because they are C-R-A-Z-Y, with a capital C.

Afterwards I went down to the gas station to get a soda and a pack of smokes and my mom didn’t even say a word.  I’m pretty sure it’s because I deserved a liter and some Jack to go with it, while I smoke an entire pack.

Notice the irony of this post being filed under Sh*t my Kids Do… it’s got to be a full moon again…

This just made me giggle when I found it. I wonder how many times people have walked into the kitchen to see me make this face...

I think it’s time I tell you my secret.  I’m not proud of it, but it’s happened, and so now I must own up to it.  I have several different persona’s in my life… but the one I am most ashamed of is my alter-ego Rosilita.

Rosalita came about shortly after my divorce and as a result of my increased close relationship with my best friend’s family.  It started innocently enough.  On one of my Saturday visits to their house, I started doing their dishes, then cleaning the kitchen.  Then it grew into a “deal” of sorts.  If I came and did the dishes, I would be provided with a wonderfully cooked meal in return.  Then the heckling began.

They began to call me Rosalita and pretend I was their housekeeper.  I would complain about the dishes not being rinsed off, and my friend would say to her husband, “Do you hear something? I think she’s talking again. Remind me to lower her wages.”  Then they would encourage their oldest child to refer to me as Rosalita.  He would say to me, “Rosalita, go do your job.”

Occasionally I would fill in other positions as well, nanny, chauffeur, kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Anytime I tried to assert my presence in the cleaning arena or “teach” them to do it on their own, they would threaten to pull my green card.  I don’t really know if they understand I’m not Mexican. I am for reals a citizen of the United States.

I think of this because I went to their oldest’s birthday party tonight at a restaurant in town, and while I was there I proceeded to clean up the “craft” table after everyone was done eating.  It was like second nature.  I’m not sure I get it, or understand why it happens, but it’s weird, in an Alfred Hitchcock kind of way.  Not quite as horrifying as The Birds, but more in a crazy Twilight Zone kind of way.

I find it amusing that said friend wants me to “get a backbone” so to speak, and in the same breath asks, “Are you going to do those dishes out there?” A week or so ago I was over for” my weekend” (we have taken to calling it my visitation weekend with them, more for the sake of their oldest, who always asks on Friday night if I’m spending the night, because, hey, logically it seems weird that I leave at 11pm and I’m back by 8am, but hey, it’s a weird set up to say the least…) anyway… I was over at their house and she asked if I were going to do the dishes.  I mumbled something, but I didn’t get them done before I left.  A couple of days later she texts me and asks (in a joking, but not so joking manner) if I want to come over and do them, because her husband told her something had to be done about them.  I of course offered to go do them the next day, and this all seems normal to everybody.  Except maybe her husband who just looks at her and shakes his head…

I really don’t mind doing it, however, the dinner “paybacks” aren’t quite up to the same high standards they once were (or maybe they just got tired of having steak every other weekend…), it makes me feel needed in a way.  Like I have a “purpose” when the girls aren’t around.  I suppose this is our own strange version of “backwardsland”.   Although, I’m sure we get a lot of weird looks when we go on our “family” shopping trips to Walmart on the weekends.  Then it looks like polygamy or something I’m sure… I bet their kids are going to be f-ed up…. Consider this an early apology….

PS – I’m telling this all in a most humorous mood, so DON’T go getting all mad at me because of anything I said, friend. It’s all in good fun, or at least it’s all taken in good fun. It’s in good fun, right??? Crap…


A message from “The Family”:

Your “friends family” (hereby known as The Family) would like to release the following comments:

1. You started in the summer, which everyone knows is grilling out season. Of course there would be more steak in the summer. The Chef was concerned immensely about the sub-parness of the food as of late. He will either be having a full on mental break-down in the kitchen soon (and will need time off) or he will be quitting his job. For your sake, I do hope you realize the secondary chef will be absorbing his duties and realize there may be a taste adjustment period for yourself and The Family.

2. Perhaps the advice about getting a backbone and the polar opposite statements of “uhm, are you going to do those dishes,” is for the backbone to begin it’s long journey of growing. You see, until said backbone is grown and able to stand on it’s own in any situation, the dishes still need done. The youngest members of the household are not yet of age to able to perform these tasks, seeing how they still use wooden spoons as swords and various banging apparatuses, “drumsticks” at any given moment.

3. The Family would also like you to take this forum and explain the “wife-partner” concept to the audience. This, in theory, should explain the whole relationship. Please be sure to explain the non-existence of the so-called perks in the “partner-ship.”

The Family
(except for the Chef, as he is on leave at this time.)