Mamagirl… says it all…

Just a Mama's musings…

I’m a Political Chicken… sometimes… August 8, 2013

Filed under: Musings,Rants,Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 5:36 pm

MamaGirl says…

For those of you who only know me through the blog, I probably seem like an average, boring, stay-at-home-housewife. For those of you that know me through Facebook or, dare I say it, “real” life, you know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I save my political rants for Facebook, and dole out the boring Mommy blog stuff on here. But the thing is, I’m very political. In fact, I’m a Liberal, feminist activist. I’m outspoken on many topics from women’s health rights to racism to welfare. I’m not afraid to jump into a conversation and piss a few people off… until it comes to the blog, then I’m a big ole chicken.

I think it has something to do with the fact that I not only know my Facebook friends, but I also have a “real friends” list, which filters who actually sees my posts. It’s a beautiful thing, really. And it permits me to be selective in who I share my thoughts with, without having to deny all of the friend requests from people I went to high school with. Because, as we all know, those faces that I haven’t laid eyes on in twenty years just can’t wait to see what all I’ve been up to! Nor can I deny them that voyeurism, as I, too, am nosy as all hell.

And I can get pretty voracious with my rants. I’ve had people un-friend me and block me. Of course, it won’t tell me who they are, so I only discover it months later when I suddenly think, “I haven’t seen anything posted by this person in a while.” And of course, by then, it’s just too late to care. Not that I necessarily would anyway, but you get the drift.

However, in case y’all haven’t noticed, some of the people on Facebook are… how should I put this… well, stupid. Even some of those on my “real friends” list are lacking in the smarts department. (I ain’t judging, I’m just telling the truth!)

But the thing is, on the blog, you open yourself up to a whole bunch of strangers. Strangers that don’t you, don’t know your sense of humor or how you live your life. And let’s face it folks, there’s a whole bunch of assholes out there. I know that eventually someone is going to bash me for my politics, they’re going to say mean, untrue things to me because the anonymity of the internet allows them that privilege. But you know, I have been known to tell a person to fuck off once or thirty times. So, I’m thinking that maybe we’ll just roll the dice and see what happens.  And I’ll write about something that matters, to me, at least. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are lovely and quite the entertaining pair, but really, if that’s what you’re looking for, there’s better Mommy blogs out there.

So, buckle up, buttercups! We’re about to get down and dirty around here. It’s okay if you don’t like it, you don’t have to, there’s an “unfollow” button around here somewhere. If you need to click it, I’ll understand.

Now, bring on the racism, classism, and sexism. Mama’s packing a lunch, ’cause kids, it’s a war out there.

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I am the worst blogger EVER! July 25, 2013

Filed under: Family,Musings,Summer,Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 1:05 pm

MamaGirl says…

I am the worst blogger EVER! I thought I was going to get back into it this summer, while I was going to have all of this “down time.” And although there has been a good bit of down time, there just hasn’t been a lot of blogging going on. There’s been plenty of stuff to share my opinion about, no doubt. And we’ve even had a few great adventures this summer, but the blogging just hasn’t been happening for me. The few times that I’ve tried, the words just haven’t worked out so much. It is what it is, I guess.

So, now it’s been two months since my last post… yeah, I know, I’m pathetic. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about, we’ve done all sorts of stuff this summer. I’m just super crappy at making myself sit down and write about it.

So, here’s a quick run-down: The day after the kids got out of school, we all took off for Atlanta. We dropped them off at my parents house and headed on in to the city for a weekend of partying and celebrating Hubbo’s 40th birthday. (I swear, I’ll try to write a post about it. It was a really great party). Then, at the end of that weekend, Hubbo and I took off for 6 days in south Florida. During which, the kids had their own beach vacay with their grandparents. Then, everyone reconvened back home and we spent a week or so trying to recover from all the fun we had on our vacations. There was some bike riding, but mostly we just lazied-out and played video games. Then, the kids took off, back to their grandparents, for what was supposed to be another two weeks. However, that trip was cut short by a few days so that we could fit in some camping trips. And now, we’re all back home again, trying to enjoy the few, short weeks of summer that are left.

We’re going to try to work in one more camping trip, and some hikes and bike rides. But before we know it, it’s going to be back to setting the alarms every night, back to schedules and routines, back to real life.

Summer is so sweet and so short. I love to wallow in it and enjoy every hot, sweaty moment. In fact, I like it so much, I haven’t even turned on the AC this year! (Actually, it hasn’t really stopped raining long enough to turn on the AC, but we can say it’s because I like the heat.)

So, there’s the run down on what we’ve been up to. Not too terribly exciting, but fun nonetheless. Maybe after I get this house cleaned up, I’ll sit down and write that post about Hubbo’s birthday. But don’t hold your breath, it’s just as likely that I’ll sit right back down and play a video game. Y’all hang tight. I’ll see ya when I see ya.

 

She’s baaaaaack! May 15, 2013

Filed under: Musings,Summer,Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 9:43 pm

Has it really been nine months since I last posted on the blog? The ingenious little tracker thingy that keeps up with such irrelevant (ha,ha! but I just found the relevance, didn’t I?), mundane things says that it has. It doesn’t feel like nine months….

Those of you who know me in real life (whatever that is) know that I have been spending the past nine months deep in the recesses of the local University’s Sociology department and absorbing all that I can of all things feminist. As always, it was a heartily enlightening and educating nine months, but it’s nice to take some time off, greet the warm days of Summer with open arms, upset some earthworms by dragging a hoe through their home, and generally experience life with no schedule and on an as-I-want basis.

I am happy to tell you all that as of the close of the semester, I am now officially a Senior. I’m double-majoring (because it’ll make me more “marketable” <eye roll>), so I still have three more semesters to go, but there is an end in sight and that means that there may still be some slim ray of hope for my sanity as well.

I can’t wait to tell you all about what’s been going on in my life and, as always, share my ever so valuable opinion on all things parenting, pop culture, and feminism. Hell, who knows, maybe this time I’ll keep the blog going for more than a summer. But don’t hold your breath on that. My CPR training has expired.

 

I’m a worrier August 25, 2012

Filed under: Humor,Musings — mamagirlsaysitall @ 10:38 am
Tags: , ,

Mamagirl says…

Remember this guy? Maybe he was a major influence…

I’m a worry wart. I worry about everything. No seriously, everything. I worry about whether or not my kids are having a good day at school (especially if our morning didn’t go so well). I worry about money (who doesn’t?). I worry about the economy, and for the past several months I’ve been exceedingly worried about the decline of women’s reproductive rights. I worry about my gay friends and whether or not they will have the same rights that I have. I worry about the decisions that we are collectively making to put people into office who clearly do not represent us. I worry about my grades. I worry about the impression that I make on my teachers. I worry about my friends and the things going on in their lives. I worry about their children. I worry about my Mama’s broken ankle and whether or not it’s going to heal well.  I worry about what other people think. And then, I worry about the fact that I even allowed someone else’s impression into my mind. Are we clear? I worry. A lot.

 

 

 

Sometimes, my worrying makes me angry. Example: I see a dangerous situation on the road and I

Exactly!

start to get worried about the people who might get in a wreck. Then, I get mad that I have to be worried about these people that I don’t know because some other jackass, that I don’t know, is being dangerous. That’s not my damn responsibility! I do realize that my worrying has no effect whatsoever on anyone other than me. Whether I worry about it or not, those people on the road either are going to get in a wreck or they’re not. My worrying is not going to stop the wreck from happening. Neither are the cuss words that I am undoubtedly slinging through the windshield.

So, it seems that the practical answer to this conundrum would be to stop worrying about strangers in cars on the interstate, right? I can’t. I’ve tried. Really, I have. I just can’t. Somehow it makes me feel less human. Like I don’t have a heart. Like maybe if I just worry hard enough, or cuss them out enough, they’ll figure out that they’re all a bunch of jackasses anyway and settle down and act right. Do I really believe that my worrying will ever have that type of tangible positive effect? Of course not. I’m not delusional. But I just can’t be one of those people. I know that they are out there. People who truly don’t care about anyone other than themselves. I’ve met them. You’ve met them. They do exist.

Easier said than done, but who can argue with Abe Lincoln?

 

 

I can’t be that. I do care about people, and therefore I worry about them, whether I know them or not. True, it isn’t the healthiest of habits to have. But if a stressful tummy keeps me feeling more human, then I guess it’s a fair trade. Don’t you think?

 

Coffee is a Hell of a Drug July 26, 2012

Filed under: Family,Musings,Parenting,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 10:52 pm
Tags: , , ,

MamaGirl says…

This morning, there are four, count ’em four, children in my house. Those of you who are keeping up

It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning.

(and have elementary math skills) should quickly be able to deduce that two of said-children do not belong to me. How did I go about collecting these extra children? I’ll tell you….

Due to our camping trip this past weekend, and a severe case of Mom-brain, Mags wasn’t able to attend the sleep-over that a friend was having for her birthday. In order to appease having to miss the highlight of the summer (in first grade terms, a birthday party-sleepover is tantamount to a Hollywood Oscar party), we invited that friend to come spend the night at our house instead. So, one extra kid I expected.

The other, I sort of picked up over the phone. Yesterday afternoon the phone rang:

“Hello?”

“Hi, this is [kid’s name], who is this?”

“This is [MamaGirl], A-Man’s mom.”

“Oh good! Listen, I need somewhere to stay tonight.”

Well now, dear readers, what do you say to that? Exactly what I said…

“What?”

“Well, see, my sister is having a sleepover tonight and we don’t have that much room at our house. So, I was wondering if I could come spend the night with A-Man.”

Now, I don’t about the rest of you, but I have a real hard time saying “No” to other kids. I may say it to my own kids 1000 times a day, but when it comes to other people’s kids, for some reason, I just can’t say no. And besides, what kind of ogre would I be if I condemned this poor boy to an evening of being cooped up in a small space with two middle school girls? Oh, the horrors!

As a side note, when I related this story to my own mother, she said:

“I would have killed you if you had done that!”

“Um, Mom… you do realize that’s how Krissy and I set up every single sleepover that we had for years, right? It was always YOU ask my mom, she won’t say no to YOU.”

I don’t know how anyone ever figured out to roast it, grind it, and brew it – but I am grateful to them everyday.

And she does know that, I think sometimes she feels like she should be indignant on my behalf. She’s pretty awesome that way.

The little ones, I finally managed to get into the bed a little after 10. The big ones, I usually let stay up until they pass out (for sleepovers, not every night). Usually, when we have sleepovers, I make a thick pallet of blankets on the floor in A-Man’s room. When I check on them during the night, there’s usually boy-parts spread all across the room.

When I went to bed, around 1am, I looked in on the boys. Mine was passed out in his bed, the other was wide awake, playing video games.

“You might want to try to get some sleep, bud.”

“I can’t really fall asleep.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m not really comfortable on the ground.”

Hmm… not much of a camper is he? Both of my kids will pretty much sleep wherever they finally drop from exhaustion, but hey, that’s cool. No problem. A-Man woke up, groggily slid down to the floor and promptly went right back to sleep. We’re flexible.

So, about 1:30, I finally managed to actually put my butt in the bed. I knew I wouldn’t go to sleep right away, so I read for about 30 minutes and, around 2am, finally turned off the light. I tossed, I turned, I tried in vain to distract myself with thoughts that don’t cause me a panic attack. It didn’t work. Around 2:30 I was wondering how much my books for next semester were going to cost, and by 3am, I was back online, in the dark, logging into the University bookstore website.

The big kids are plenty grown enough to get up in the morning and fix themselves breakfast without any assistance from Mom and I hoped that I had kept the little ones up late enough that they might actually sleep in. Yeah, right. It was not meant to be.

At 8am precisely, I was awoken to a small tap on the arm – which was a lot nicer than the ringing

I might have a little problem. I think they make 12-step programs for this…

phone in my face or the scream drifting up from downstairs of “MOOOOM!” that I usually get – and after what seemed like a whole 3 and a half minutes of sleep, they were all ready to go again… and eat again. Do you know how much two 12-year-old boys and two 6-year-old girls can consume in a 24 hour period? Try it some time, but take my advice and stock up first.

So, a bleary eyed and slightly cranky mom stumbled down the stairs, started a pot of coffee and threw some french-toaster-stick-things into the microwave. I poured myself a steaming hot cup, even though it was already nearing 90 degrees in my kitchen and found myself a tiny, little sliver of salvation in the bottom of that cup. Is there anything that coffee won’t fix? We should try throwing some of that Columbian goodness at cancer and see what happens. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ambitious, but I’m pretty sure that coffee might be the answer to all of the worlds problems. Or least all of MY problems. Okay, fine. If nothing else, coffee solved my damn problems this morning. Okay? And my gratitude extends far beyond the waking-up abilities that it bestowed on me this morning. Why hell, it worked so well, I might just have to do it again tomorrow morning!

 

Holy Time Warp, Batman! July 23, 2012

Filed under: Family,Musings,Parenting,Summer — mamagirlsaysitall @ 12:18 pm
Tags: ,

MamaGirl says…

Over the weekend, we went camping with another family (post forthcoming) and I had something of a ‘Matrix’ moment when another parent said the words “school starts back in 2 or 3 weeks, right?” You’ll have to imagine the slow-motion cinematography – time slows down, I hear something like “tttwwwooo ooorrr ttthhhrrreeeeeee wwweeeeeekkksss, rrriiiggghhhttt???” ,my head whips to the side, frame-by-frame, “WHAAAAT?”

And it dawns on me, just like it always did when I was a child experiencing my own magical summers, that summer is not eternal. As always, it must eventually come to an end and our lives will once again be filled with structure and rules, schedules and responsibilities.

And as that thought crosses my mind, another follows right behind it – I didn’t realize how close we were to the beginning of school because I too have had a magical summer. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to be able to stay home with my children this summer. This isn’t because we make enough money for me to not have to work, but because we are willing to make certain sacrifices in order to be able to be together as a family – just to be clear. But that’s not the point, the point is this: Along with my children, I too have had a wonderful, magical summer.

Being on a semester system in a University, my school year ended about 3 weeks before the kids got out of school. I spent 3 glorious weeks alone in the house for most of the day, playing video games and indulging all of my favorite vices that have to be left behind during the school year. When the kids got out of school, they took off for Nana & BeeBop’s house for 2 weeks, and Hubbo and I sat around for the first week enjoying the silence and then went camping together for the second week. We were way overdue for some alone time.

When the kids came back home, I decided that this summer we were going exploring and over the past few weeks, we’ve explored hiking trails and swimming holes all over WNC. We’ve been hiking and swimming  out at Warren Wilson College a couple of times, we’ve been to Skinny Dip Falls, this weekend we went camping at Mt. Pisgah and made another trip to Skinny Dip, when Hubbo & I went on our camping trip we explored the town of Highlands.

We’ve made new friends, we’ve become closer with old acquaintances and we’ve had a blast the entire time! There’s still 2 more camping trips that I’d really like to do this year, but I don’t know if we can possibly squeeze them in… we may have to extend our camping season this year.

Last year was a rough summer. I had a lot of depression, I felt useless quite a bit, I was pretty lost. I don’t really feel like dredging it all up again right now. But this summer, this summer has been amazing. I’ve really, truly enjoyed spending time with my kids. We’ve gotten out of the house, we’ve had adventures, we’ve experienced new things. Those old, horrid ghosts have been kept at bay. I’m healthy and I’m happy and my children are too. Life is good.

I still can’t hardly believe that the summer is almost over and school is right around the corner again! It’s time to start all of those preparations and slowly reintroduce schedules into our lives. Only Hubbo has been on a schedule this summer – I don’t believe in schedules when there isn’t anything scheduled to do, so we’ve pretty much flown by the seat of our pants all summer and it’s worked out better than expected.

So, for the next 3 weeks, I think we’ll take advantage of whatever we can manage to get into. If you want to get out of your house, there’s a good chance that you can find us down by the river. I’m going to enjoy as much as I can over the next 3 weeks, and savor every minute of it. When school starts back, our family will consist of a 7th grader, a 1st grader, and a double-majoring, college junior (that’s me). Who knows what kind of crazy, insane schedules we’ll be running.

There’s not much time left now, but there’s still a little time for swimming, sunning, hiking, family, and friends. Go get you some!

 

I speak the Southern July 17, 2012

Filed under: Musings — mamagirlsaysitall @ 12:55 pm
Tags: , ,

MamaGirl says…

I’m originally from a tiny, little town (we’re talking one stop light, and they only got that since I’ve been an adult) in the southwest

Even the Court House is tiny.

corner of the state of Georgia, named Colquitt. My living grandparents and my biological father still live there, so I’m forced to go back at least once a year. We moved away from there the summer that I turned 12. My mom remarried a man who was in the Navy – the same man that we now refer to as BeeBop – and he moved us up to Dover, New Hampshire. At twelve years old, I had only been above the Mason-Dixon line once, to visit my grandparents when they were living in Omaha, Nebraska.

So, moving as far north as New Hampshire was considered something akin to treason. My paternal grandmother was horrified, but I highly doubt that she had ever been out of the state in her life. I take that back, she may have gone to Alabama or Florida, they were both about an hour away. At the time, Dothan, Alabama was considered the best shopping to be found without going all the way to Atlanta. We’re talking late 1970’s, early 80’s. Anyway, my mother might as well have been taking me to the other side of the world, as far as my Granny was concerned. New Hampshire was a place that good, Southern girls had no business in. Why, who knows what all them Northerners might get up to?!

As it turned out, we only lived in New Hampshire for a  year. I had a thick Southern accent and I often got a lot of “say this,” because the kids thought I talked funny. But I was 12, and stuff like that didn’t really bother me much. It was worse for my mom. She got a job at the University of New Hampshire as a secretary and spent a large part of her day answering the phone. Apparently, Southern people had never before invaded the great state of New Hampshire, because people were absolutely shocked to hear my mother’s fine southern accent on the phone. She answered the phone, professional as always, and often got a response of, “Is that your real voice?” My favorite retort of hers was always, “No. I’m auditioning for a play. Do you think I’m getting it down?” No one can say that I didn’t get a bit of my sarcasm from my mother. Maybe even all of my sarcasm, she’s pretty witty. When the genius on the other end of the line would ask “Are you from the South?!” my mother would dryly respond, “No. I’m from Mars.”

So, at an early age, and whether she meant to or not, my mother taught me to appreciate, embrace, and defend my Southern accent. I know lots of people who, as soon as they move away from home for the first time, completely drop the accent and teach themselves to speak as if they’re from the Midwest (aka, having no accent at all). I understand why they do it. In fact, I once had a boyfriend from California who informed me that he couldn’t take me back there with him because his friends would think that I was uneducated because of the way that I talk. Yes, he was a douchebag, for many more reasons than that, but let’s move on. It was at that moment in my life that I knew that no matter what anyone ever had to say about it, I would not give up my southern accent, ever.

After a year, BeeBop asked for and was granted a transfer back to the south. In fact, he managed to get us almost all the way back to Colquitt. We moved to Leesburg, Georgia which was a suburb of Albany. Compared to Colquitt, Albany was a metropolis. I’m going to guesstimate that Albany probably had a population of about 100,000 people (I don’t really know – that’s what guesstimate means). There was hundreds of stop lights! They even had a mall! And it was only a little more than an hour’s drive to Colquitt, where my father and grandparents still lived.

Growing up Southern, you use words like “y’all” and “yonder” regularly in sentences, apparently everyone else does not. Words roll off the tongue differently. Language moves the same way that time does in the South, slowly. I didn’t know any of this until we moved away. At the age of 12, I made what I still think is a rather astute observation. Northerners talk fast because it’s cold and they’re trying to keep warm. They do everything faster in the North. Talk, drive, live – all faster in the North. At least, that’s the way that it seemed to my 12-year-old mind, and frankly, I still kinda seems that way to me. You see, in the South, it’s hot. I don’t mean like, “Oh, it’s warm today.” I mean, in the South, it is freaking HOT. And we have humidity in the South. See, you Westerners may know something about heat, but you have a dry heat out there. Here in the South, we have a wet, sticky heat. An oppressive heat. A heat that weighs down on you as soon as you step outside. Sometimes, it gets so heavy that you feel like you’re trying to breathe through a wet blanket. Forget about styling your hair (not that I do that anyway, but I hear it’s a problem for others).

Anyway, when you live under an oppressive, wet blanket of heat, things start slowing down. Speed, speech, way of life – they get a bit slower what with having to hold up that damn blanket. So we slow it down. We draw out our words because believe me, when you’re already fighting the heavy humidity, the last thing you want to do is exert much effort. Like we discussed before, Northerners are speaking fast, raising that heart-rate, trying to keep warm. Southerners are doing the opposite. We’re slowing everything down so that we don’t cause anything ELSE to sweat. I’m telling you, you haven’t experienced sweat until you’ve spent the summer in south Georgia. So, in my humble opinion, there is a reason for the drawl. There’s a reason that things, including our tongues, are slower in the South. It’s a necessity. Much like sweet tea and gnats, it’s just something that comes along with the heat. And frankly, I’m damned proud of it.

Sights and smells of the South.

I speak my Southern drawl plainly and without apology. I type it sometimes, too. You don’t have to like it. You don’t even have to read it. That douchebag from California certainly doesn’t have to listen to it anymore. But I’m gonna keep on speaking it. It’s in my blood. It’s who I am. It reminds me of home, no matter where I find myself. It connects me to my family and my roots. It reminds me of where I come from and where I’m trying to get to. I love it. It’s part of my embracing who I am.

Embrace who you are. And talk your talk. Words to live by.

 

 
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