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How Do You Know You’re “Home?”

There is a reason “Home” is called “Home,” and I’m not quite sure where mine is right now. I’m sort of in between worlds. See, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio (Go Browns!), but I have lived on Cape Cod every summer of my life– and now year-round for 14 years. That’s a long time! I think I finally qualify for the “local” special at the diner, and I can legit say I hate summer people (even though I don’t–just the traffic).

I’ve lived on Cape Cod longer than I’ve lived anywhere, other than Cleveland (15 years). I spent many years in New York City (10) and Boston (3). But, now, I guess Cape Cod is my home, or well, it’s where I own a house and raise my children and have a job. So that’s home? It doesn’t always feel like it.

The reason I bring this confusion up is this: my partner lives in Cleveland, many of my best friends live here, and a lot of my heart is, well, here.

But my children are not.

Here’s a typical “home” in Shaker Heights, Ohio (where I grew up)

So yeah.

I thought about this today when the airplane was landing in Cleveland, and I could see the snow covering the acres of flat ground. The familiar grey sky had cover from Lake Eerie, and I felt a sense of relief.

“Ah, I’m home,” I thought, stepping off the plane and seeing the “Welcome to Cleveland” sign in Hopkins International Airport.

But, when I was taking off in the plane, I cried. I cried because I missed my kids. I saw them this very morning, but I felt so far away, and I was scared. I was scared that maybe something would happen on my flight, and that I’d never see them again. And maybe I was a terrible parent for flying and leaving them behind, even though they are safe with their father for the weekend. I sent my daughter a text on her Gizmo (for those not in the know, a Gizmo is like an Apple Watch for kids, where they can get a call or text from their parents or send a limited set of texts). I said, “I love you so much! I miss you already.” I also texted my parents (who now live on the East Coast).

When I arrived in Cleveland, I was greeted by my boyfriend, and we then met up with my best friend from high school for lunch. It was so nice! I was so happy and thought, “Yay! I am home!” This is where I’m meant to be!

But part of me is missing.

A big part. My kids.

And I know, deep down, this is not where I live. I’m just a visitor.

I just wish it could all be one. I wish I could feel whole in one of the places.

Wherever I am, someone I love is missing.

So what makes a home a home?

You tell me.

Parenting

Thanks for Listening: A Rant from Me xo

I want to start this by saying: I just can’t anymore! I have been running around like a maniac, probably accruing the much-desired 10,000 steps in the last hour, because I can’t get a break! Long weekends are a lot…a lot…for a parent with young children at home, especially if you’re a single parent, and it’s a pandemic, and they can’t play with others. Not to mention, my car overheated and basically was on fire on Friday, and my grill caught fire and no longer works. Oh, and the loaner car I got from Subaru for my on-fire car? I returned it, and I left the case for my air pods in it, so there’s that. And I can’t find my Chrome book, just the plug.

Guys! I am losing my mind!!!

See? I have all the good intentions of having a calm day, and then this crap happens.

So here’s my day:

  1. Get woken up early by Tigger (a.k.a., my daughter), even though it’s a holiday, and I wanted to get some quality rack.
  2. Play Old Maid with both kids and discuss our “ideal” agendas for the day, so we can come to a compromise: my son wants to sit around and play video games, and then have me drive him to Chic-Fil-A, even though it’s 40 minutes away, and I’m in a loaner car from Subaru, so we can’t *really* eat in it. My daughter wants me to play Barbies, walk the dogs, and then play more. Me? I suggested raking the leaves, cleaning the house, and walking the dogs. Seriously? That’s my “ideal” day? It was. Come get me. Someone.
  3. We go to the skate park, which was fun. Kids skateboarded, and I walked dogs. Then, we hit up McDonald’s in lieu of Chick-fil-A. Oh, and she needed a Coolata, so we had to hit up Dunkin Donuts also. Gross? Yes. But, whatevs. Then, I find out it’s going to cost more to repair my car from a decade ago than to get rid of it. So there’s that.
  4. I come home, make some steak in the broiler, because the grill is broken, and no one but the dogs enjoy it. Then, I cut my children’s hair, as if I’m licensed at Pro Cuts, they yell at me, and then I lose everything known to me. I flat iron her hair so it looks longer.
  5. I’m still cleaning.
  6. I decide I have to pour wine and exclaim, “Mommy needs a time out,” even though I had every intention not to drink on a Monday.

So this was my day “off” from work.

I don’t know. Just complaining to y’all. We all have it hard, and Covid blows, and no one’s life is easy, and I have NO business complaining. Yet, I just wanted to vent. So, thank you for reading and listening. Feel free to vent to me in the comments!

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I Need (More) Answers… Befuddling Questions

Ever wonder why when you want there to be a red light, so you can send a text, or dig through your monstrous bag looking for something, it’s always green? I have a number of these questions, which I’d like answers to. Here are others:

  1. Why does a “regular” coffee at Dunkin’ mean three creams and two sugars? Honestly, that’s irregular to me. #creambomb
  2. When I have the most garbage ever, and it’s spilling out of the cans, why do I forget to put it out on the street or it’s always a holiday and the schedule is all messed up?
  3. Why do I lose all of my nice sunglasses and hair ties, but I have that one scrunchie from 20 years ago and the Dollar Tree Store sunglasses from 2010?
  4. Why do I never learn my lesson that my children can’t eat in my bed, and then when there is a slick of ice cream on my clean sheets, I’m not only grossed out but also surprised?
  5. Why do I always wonder if the alarm will go off when I have my phone on silent?
  6. Why every time when I go to the dry cleaner is it closed? Also, does dry cleaning actually clean things? Seems a little dicey to me.
  7. Why do we open our mouths when we put on mascara?

Here is the first list of questions, if you’re interested!

What are some of your questions? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

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Top 3 Things That Made Me Laugh Today

BWAHAHA! That’s all I have to say about my day! (Well, really, about life in general, but we will just focus on then funnies of today for time’s sake). So, the day started out with a trip to Michael’s to get some crafts for the kids, so they are not up my grill. We buy some clay, a scrapbook, cool markers, and baking supplies. We’re good, yes? Well, not exactly. When we get home, we first decide to delve into the “YOU*NIVERSE Crystal Growing Unicorn” craft, in which you “Grow a Crystal Sculpture!”

Seems easy, yes? Um, no! First off, they don’t mention that not only do you need to wait two hours for the crystal liquid to settle in a bowl once you mix it (this is SO not a kids thing–anything requiring patience), but then you have to let the unicorn sit OVERNIGHT in the crystals before painting them. This sucks! Like, who wants to wait till the next day? It should have a warning on it that reads: “This is 24-hour craft! Beware that Children will Be Bored and You Will Be Responsible!” It’s like when you buy them a hamster, and then you’re the one caring for it after day 3 (#truestory). But, at this point in the crystal unicorn, I am legit involved and want to see this through.

So I go to clean up the mess and leave this nasty fish tank of crystals to sit overnight, and I can’t find the paper towels. Oh, wait, guess where they were, these coveted paper towels, of which I am allowed to buy just ONE at the store because of restrictions!? In the living room…#chewtoy

Onto the next craft, my daughter decided to be innovative and philosophical. Thinking about Santa, and how one should be rewarded for being good and punished for being bad, she devised a list of good behaviors that merit rewards (or points) and bad behaviors that force you to pay. Some good behaviors, such as not complaining, brushing teeth, and setting the table (ha! AS IF!), are compensated with points and rewards, such as “stay up an extra 20 minutes.” Bad behaviors, on the other hand, like hitting and punching, result in chores.

I realized, after looking at this extensive list, that the consequences and payments on the bad list are essentially MY LIFE. Yes, that’s true. Cleaning, raking leaves, shoveling snow, matching socks, folding laundry, garbage, recycling, and “making my bed for a whole month” are basically what I do on a daily basis.


Makes me wonder…

I mean, I am GOOD! Very good! In fact, I found $80 in cash on Friday outside this person’s Jeep, who was parked next to me. I could have legit pocketed that and gone holiday shopping. But, no, because I am good person, who believes in Karma (Um….when’s it coming?), I put the cash in an envelope, and I wrote, “Looks like you dropped this” and put it on their car.

But, I’m the one living the punitive chores list! Seems off, no?

SHEESH!!

Happy Holidays! Wish me luck with the crystal painting tomorrow!!

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Kids, This is What You Can Get Me for X-Mas #giftguide

I’ve been reading all these gift giving guides, and I decided I’d write one of my own for my children to reference. Here you go, Kids:

1. A REFRAIN FROM ASKING “Where is a clean mask?” when we are harried and rushing out the door on the way to school in the morning. I am sweating, frazzled, clomping around in my work heels, and basically hating life when you do that. We have a name for this person I become: the angry chicken, because I am squawking with my beak. Don’t make me the chicken.

2. A DUMPSTER FOR ANY SMALL TOYS, including Hatchimals (these are crazy, tiny animals that you peel out of a gross plastic egg like they are “hatching.”) These toys are not only killer weapons when I step on them in the middle of the night in the dark, but they are also dog chokers. Not to mention, Hatchimals are fun for like one minute, when you see what they look like after they hatch, and then they’re not so fun. Kind of like giving birth and seeing the baby, and then it’s just “meh.” KIDDING!

Hatchimals

3. A WEEK AWAY TO A RETREAT: I just want to be sent someplace where I can journal, sleep, get daily therapy, go on walks, and do nothing. I might enjoy something cult-like, where I sit by a fire with some freaks, and we bond while making S’mores and someone with a man bun (maybe the cult leader) is playing guitar.

4. “MOMMY MAKEOVER” PLASTIC SURGERY: Hey, I won’t be offended if you guys pay for it. Just get me the gift card, and I will go for that Mommy Makeover. I will never spend my mortgage or cable money on it, guys, so dump your piggy banks and get Mommy the help she needs. This is, after all, your fault I look like this.

5. A YEAR OF PACKED LUNCHES (can be frozen): I hate packing lunches, because now that peanut butter is not allowed (#nutallergies), I have no sandwiches to make. PB&J was my go-to sammie, and really the only one you guys eat. Not to mention, a jar of Skippy can last for like 20 lunches: basic economics. Now, I have to rifle around the snack drawers, find cutlery for the yogurts, add in a freezer pack to keep it cold (and you often leave it in your backpack overnight, so I have to dive in the freezer and find a new one), and feel bad that you went to school with six bags of chips for lunch.

6. A NEW REMOTE CONTROL: The one in the basement, the one I use on the elliptical, is covered in sticky ice cream and God knows what. No matter how much I sanitize it, it’s sticky and maybe more foul than the ones in hotel rooms that I put a Ziploc bag over before I touch them. I want a back-up…one you do not touch.

7. GIVE ME MY BED BACK: I love you in my bed (sometimes), but the fact that my bed is now called “our bed” is an issue. And, I found a sour patch candy in the sheets the other night, and your old blankie kinda smells, so I can only face one way in the bed–away from it. I might like to sleep alone, so I can read, stretch out, and feel okay sleeping on my right AND my left side.

Her side of “our” bed

Well, that should be a good start, kids. And it doesn’t require a lot of shopping! So, make like Santa, and get to it. I’ve been “Good” this year…