Thursday, July 10, 2008

perhaps a name change is in order?

Four and a half years ago, I officially became a single mom. I had been functionally single for a looooong time, but still wasn't really prepared for the reality of raising two little boys entirely on my own. (And yet, that statement is misleading, because I've never been entirely on my own. What's true is that the buck stops with me. I've got - for the moment, anyway - sole legal and physical custody of the kids. I'm entirely responsible for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But I'm entirely supported by a community that starts with my parents and siblings, and expands to include neighbors, friends, teachers, and various groups to which we belong.)

There's a part of me that has taken a huge amount of pride in the fact that I'm doing really well as a "single mom". I'm not really sure how to express it, but it has been the core of my identity for the last four years. Maybe there's a little (a lot?) of ego tied up in the fact that my kids are doing well academically, that they've made huge strides socially, that they are involved in lots of different activities, that I'm politically active, that I find time to exercise and take care of myself, that I maintain close friendships, work full time and (mostly) do a good job of making a home for the three of us, and that I've done all of this successfully without a partner. My kids definitely wish that their dad was a dad to them, but I hope that despite his general absence, they'll look back on their childhoods as happy and filled with love and fun.

So I guess that all of the above is why I'm feeling that this summer is a bittersweet time for me, because our family is about to change, and that identity is about to shift. I'm so happy that I've met someone who will truly be my partner in every sense of the word, and yet...I won't get to be a single mom anymore. Adding another adult to the equation changes everything, and while the changes are good, the dynamic of our happy little family will inevitably shift.

And on top of the emotional changes, we've got the physical changes involved in consolidating households -- what do we do with 4 sets of silverware? How many sheets does one family need? Who is going to sleep where until we get a house that's big enough for all of us?

At any rate, I think it might be time to rename the blog. I'm considering something like, two boys, a mom, and a snake plus a man, two more kids, a dog and a fish. Whaddaya think?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

yeah, right!

From my dad's blog:
" of the favorite pastimes of the family is putting me in humiliating situations." I have no idea what he could possibly mean by that.

yet another goal

(Pretend like I wrote this one on July 2 lol)

My sissy posted about her gas goal on her blog, and one of my friends has set a goal for herself of 25 miles of driving a week. I was really trying to be conscious of my driving through May, when I was biking to work a couple of days a week, but I couldn't seem to get below about 150 miles/week.

The problem is not short trips -- there are definitely days that I don't drive at all, since the grocery store, pharmacy, dairy queen, park, pool, etc. are all within biking or walking distance. I'm not driving at all around the neighborhood, and I'm trying to double up trips and not drive to either end of town more than absolutely necessary.

But my sweetie lives about 20 miles away, at least for the next couple of weeks (before he moves in with us!!!! ACK!!! whole 'nother post on a whole 'nother topic!!!) and even though I make him do most of the driving back and forth, I still end up doing some. Also, any time the whole family goes out of town, I end up driving because my car seats 7 peeps, so it totally makes sense for me to be the one to drive. Otherwise we'd end up taking two or three cars, which would be way worse in terms of carbon footprint. Two boys, a mom and a snake don't need a minivan, but two boys, a mom, a grandma, a grandpa, an aunty, an aunty's boyfriend, a sweetie and his two kids sure do! And my brother and his wife are moving here this month!! So, yeah. Minivan.

And I guess we go out of town more than I thought? It's a trip to the zoo, or a trip to see relatives in the mountains, or a camping trip, or going fishing in the next town over or...none of them are super long trips, but 50 or 100 or 120 miles on the weekend really bumps up the amount of gas I'm using and the volume of emissions I'm spewing.

So 25 miles/week definitely doesn't seem like a reasonable goal for me. On the other hand, 150 miles/week seems outrageous, not to mention expensive.

During the school year, 5 days/week X 5 miles each way to work is 50 miles. I can and will definitely bike often in the spring and fall, but honestly I feel a little wimpy about it in the winter. I want the goal to be something that's actually attainable. Oh, and if I'm taking classes toward my master's, that's like 60 miles round trip. So one class a week plus driving to work puts me over 100 miles/week even if I never drove anywhere else. Crap. Maybe I need to transfer to the university in my town? I really don't want to because of the fact that the program is much better where I'm going now, and I can do it at my own pace. The university here in town has a cohort program, so I think you have to take classes with the cohort. On the other hand, I could probably get done faster without the commute, which would be a very good thing, and maybe the degree is what really matters, and even if the program isn't as good, I would still have the piece of paper that lets me be a principal, which is the ultimate goal of the whole endeavor...

Sorry, getting a little off track there. But if you've got comments on this whole university dilemma, I'd love to hear them.

Ok, back to gas and mileage...When my sweetie lives in town, that will probably be 40 miles a week that will fall off automatically. Maybe I should try for an average of 90 miles/week over the course of a month -- that way if I end up driving out of town one weekend, I could be really frugal with driving the next week, and still come out ok. I just filled up my tank yesterday, and I've already driven 23 miles, so this will definitely be a challenge...

totally cheating

I set a goal for myself to blog every single day in July, but here it is July 3 and I still haven't done a single entry. So I'm totally cheating, and pretending that this is my post for July 1, when in fact I didn't even write it myself. It's a meme that my mom did for me and emailed, so I just had to cut and paste. Even the commentary is hers...

1: Type in “[your name] needs” in the Google search:
September needs to hurry up and get here

2: Type in “[your name] looks like” in Google search:
September, Kinda Looks the Same

3: Type in “[your name] does” in Google search:
September does football season

4: Type in “[your name] hates” in Google search:
apparently, nothing
(nope not a hatuh)

5: Type in “[your name] goes to” in Google search:
september goes to you
(yes, you!)

6: Type in “[your name] loves” in Google search:
September Loves Young Dream.
(and is apparently Japanese?)

7 Type in “[your name] eats” in Google search:
september eats.
('nough said)

8: Type in “[your name] has” in Google search:
September has Become Synonymous With a Lack of Preparedness
(despite BEST intentions)

9: Type in “[your name] died” in Google Search:
not yet she di'n't

10: Type in “[your name] will” in Google search:
September Will Include New Features
(that's always good)
September will bring clarity to GOP race
september will never end
September Will Never Be The Same
(ok, it's me again -- maybe this should have been my 6 word memoir title??)

My favorites are the ones where I'm late and unprepared, cuz they're true, and that I'm bringing clarity to the GOP race, cuz I want to make it clear that you shouldn't vote for McCain!