Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Get your gems here!

Ugh. If we are friends on Facebook you already know my drama from yesterday. If not, here it is in a nutshell:

Nine year old needs an app on his iPad for school. Forty-five year old mother puts her debit card into his iPad to buy said app. Mother forgets to "remove" debit card from son's iPad. Mother goes into la-la land after surgery for 4 days and when she emerges she checks her bank account to find 36 transactions for iTunes. Now, mother is pretty sure she was feeling good while on her happy pills, but not happy enough to agree to 36 transactions for gems for Clash of Clans.

The sum of the story: $1,326.47 to be exact.

The moral of the story: It is WAY too easy for kids to push that buy button when they think there is an endless supply of gems...er, cash...in the bucket.

I do agree there were several missteps along the way, and they have all been corrected - mainly due to the "generosity" of Apple to eventually refund the purchases because they were done by a minor - but I think the larger lesson is the cultivation of a plastic generation.

When I bought the app for the iPad I used my debit card. A square card with numbers on it. That is eerily similar to the iTunes cards my son gets as gifts. Square. Plastic. Numbers. And with that comes hours of excitement as he gets to draw from this magical plastic card and buy whatever he's in the mood for - until Apple says "all gone". This time, no one said "all gone".

Our conversation yesterday will remain private - but I will say that the biggest eye opener was this idea that they wait for someone to say "all gone" because we (or I) have raised them on the currency that is the gift card.You enter in the numbers and they will notify you when you have run out. Unlike my generation when you handed the clerk the money and you knew right away when it ran out.

I'm optimistic that thanks to mothers like me, the iPad 7 will be currency based only...it would be a lot harder for my son to get himself to a bank and clean out my account the old fashion way if he had to slide $20 bills into his iPad! Anyone?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I used to do nothing

It's a true statement: I used to do nothing.

On Sundays, I would sit on my bed, turn on my stereo (yes, stereo) and listen to music while doing nothing. Nothing.

I would come home from school, wrap cheese up in a piece of bologna and sit in front of the TV with only 22 channels to flip through and do nothing.

There were the random days when I was young that I'd sit under our back porch, on the cold cement and crack open rocks to look inside - but basically doing nothing.

I would start, then stop. Then start. Then stop. Then start a "diary" - which contained a whole lot of nothing.

Even as recent as 15 years ago I'd meet friends on a random Tuesday night, drink some Miller Lites (hold the comments), go home, lay on the couch and fall asleep - thinking about nothing.

Now this is where you expect to me say, "But my life is so full now. I savor every moment with the hectic sports schedule, long work days and constant "what are we doing today?" questions"...right?

Sorry to disappoint. I reallly, reallly, reallly long for a day doing nothing. Nothing as in not thinking about dinner or food shopping. Or school events. Or the commute in or the commute home. Or cleaning the house, bathroom, clothes, dishes, bedrooms or yard. Or checking email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Texts or SnapChat (OK, you caught me. I don't have SnapChat).

I kinda think if you are reading this, you sort of long for it, too. Let's schedule a national "Do Nothing Day". Who's in???

Friday, September 26, 2014

I'm being introduced to a new language: Tween

When I first started this blog I would chronicle all the funny things my young children would say. The words they'd mispronounce. The popular phrases they'd get wrong. But now that they are so much older and speaking English, I'm still discovering I have a lot to learn about their language. And I'm not talking about the texting kind...I mean the one using WORDS!

My daughter will be 12 in December. Let's think about that - but not too long because it scares the crap out of me. She is exploring her sass and swagger and is PERFECTING the eye-roll. Bravo my dear.

She also insists on talking. All the time. About things I don't understand. All the time. All the time.

Typical evening in my house.

I arrive sometime after 6 because traffic sucks, again.
I walk into the house with an almost-12-year-old trailing behind.
A puppy attacks me for attention so I walk into the other room.
I put my bags down and it begins:

"Mom. Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mommy Mom. Mom. Mommy. Where'd you go?"
"Right here Abby!"
"Oh good. You know what happened at school today? It was so funny. Matt and Tom almost fell and then Gabi said "You're a chicken" which made Cooper laugh. [shoves a snack in her mouth and continues] (Muffle, Muffle) and then I ran backwards. Brendan didn't see that. So Matt threw the ball and hit Brooke, but that's okay because she's tall. And I had to go to the bathroom. It was so funny LOL!!! Oh, and then I saw Ryan but he was wearing green. I'll let Sandi know."
"That's great Abby. Did you finish your homework?"

What?! Did you get that?? Cuz I certainly didn't. But that represents a typical story. Every night. In fact, after sitting with her at Alex's football practice for two hours, I told her I was going to look for the "off" switch. She said "Good luck. It only comes on at night." I think she's right!

So, I am going to implore Rosetta Stone to create the Tween package instead of Spanish, German and Italian. Because there must be mother's around the globe that prefer to learn THAT instead. Raise your hands!! And I do love that she talks to me - and I do listen - it's the comprehension that throws me for a loop. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mommy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My fear of small spaces...it's all Fred Flinstone's fault.

When I was 7 or 8 or 9 - the memory is the first to go, they say - my parents finally moved my bedroom to the attic of our Cape style home in Waltham. The smell of the paint and the glue from the linoleum - what, who could afford hardwood back then - seemed so fresh. It was my own room. My own closet. My space to find comfort and joy!!!

Until I had a nightmare. A horrific, awful, larger than life nightmare.  In that safe, wonderful room I was being held hostage by Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble. Go ahead...laugh. You can do it. But it was terrifying.

They were laughing these evil laughs and every time I reached for the door they stood in the way. And when I screamed for my parents, my voice was empty and silenced. Oh the fear!!! There was no escape and suddenly the room seemed so small...and was shrinking.

Now, I don't know if I ever shared this story with my parents, but the memory followed me for 29 years (see how I just reduced my age by 15).  And I think that, in some weird way, it played into my fear of small spaces as an adult. Which brings me to another post for another time...my upcoming trip on a cruise.....in an inside cabin.......think about that for a while, will ya? If I see a turkey leg in someone's hand, or a shirt made of animal hide, I might just jump overboard.

What scared the poop out of you as a kid? My guess is it wasn't a killer cartoon character...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The trouble with being "all about that bass"!

I was a size 2 at my aunt's wedding in the early 90's. Or maybe a 4. I don't remember. I think I was 118 pounds. I was pretty thin.  Oddly, I actually had a hard time finding clothes. I guess when you're 5' 8" you aren't supposed to be that weight because everything was usually too short - in the arms AND the legs - likely because they assumed I had a little more meat on my bones at that height. I'd love to say I was a happy, healthy, aerobic loving machine and that's why I was shopping the single digits... but the real reason I was that size was stress.

Who had time to eat when it felt like my world was being tipped upside down and was in a constant state of "nauseous"? When I wasn't sure about my job, my relationship, my future. And when the paycheck wasn't covering the bills and the food, I'd skip the food and pay the bills. Beer was a main food group, cigarettes dulled cravings and rice packets were on sale for $1. Thank God for Beer Fridays at work - we had snacks.

My point? I haven't seen that size in decades and when I was "skinny", I wasn't happy. Just like when I was a size 18 I wasn't happy. After Abby was born, you'll find very few pictures of me. Pushing 200lbs when I was pregnant proved really difficult after she was born. Add all the other emotional changes that come with being a first time mom and I was a whirlwind of emotions shoving chips and dip down my throat. I was laid off, laying low and eating my way through parenthood.

See the trend here....just like money, weight can't be the driver that makes you happy. YOU have to be the driver that makes you happy. So while I love the song by Meghan Trainor, and sing along with my daughter, I don't think we should be "all about that bass", just like I don't think the life of "treble" is much better.

I do think we are an unhealthy nation. I also think we perpetuate it by obsessing over looks and body image. Wouldn't it be wonderful to flip through a magazine and see thin girls that the thin girls can relate to, right next to full girls that full girls can relate to, all in the name of reality!!! Like real-reality, not "size-8-is-full-size" reality.  Because when I look around my world, I don't see all size 2's or size 22's. I just see people. Seriously. I don't know the size 8 from 12 these days...or the 16 from 20. And who gives a crap.

Funny that body image was the trigger to get me blogging again. It has been "weighing" on my mind (yes, pun intended) ever since I noticed my son weighing himself incessantly this spring. I removed all of scales from the bathrooms and have been keeping a watchful eye. Eating disorders aren't just for the females, my friend, so this Momma isn't taking chances!!

Plus, I guess I'm tired of beating myself up over this roll or that jiggle. Talk to me next week when I complain about my jowls, or my larger-than-life ass, but for now I'll just remember that skinny or heavy doesn't make me happy or sad...I control that from within.