I might have overreacted

So, the week leading up to Vivi’s birthday party was pretty hectic.  I was gone every night.  All of that and planning a party at someone else’s house kinda sorta (okay, most definitely) made me a raving b-hole.  But the party was a success!  The little girls had fun, Vivi had fun, even I had fun.  But I’m still never doing a house party again…..unless I’ve decided I can’t take life anymore and want to end up in the looney bin, then I most definitely will because that’s a sure fire way to a nervous breakdown and my ticket into the nuthouse.

Anyway, I completed my detox successfully and did not drink a soda for the month of January….and I’m still soda free 12 days into February.  And, honestly, if I’m being honest, I’ve lost my craving for it.  Don’t even think about it any more.  Score one for me!

My February goal I never really established.  I was going to give up sweets, but that seems cruel to do in February when Valentine’s Day is coming up.  So last minute I decided that I wasn’t going to eat lunch out at work for February.  I have a bad habit of doing that.  It’s expensive and mostly responsible for the reason I’m overweight.  When I started my job I started eating out, big meals, for lunch and gained 30 pounds or more.  So, maybe it’s time I curtail that.

In good news, I’m off work today!  But I’ve spent the better part of two hours trying to decide what to do with my day….and now it’s pretty much gone.  The bright side is that I have gotten a lot of face booking done….so there’s that.

Okay, here I go.  I’m going to get up and get busy doing something.  What, I’m not sure, but I’m going to do it, whatever it is.

 

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I can’t find my happy

A couple years ago I started going to my current church and I became really happy.  Not that I wasn’t happy before, because I was, but I just started to be happier.  The sun was shining through me.

I’m not sure what happened, but it’s gone.  Disappeared.  I can’t find it anymore.  I feel like I’m drowning in life at the moment, not living it.

Is it motherhood?  Yes.  Between their activities and trying to stay afloat with everything else I’m doing, I can’t function.  I’m crabby and irritable.  My gosh, the way I talk to my kids sometimes makes me cringe.  If I was out and about and heard someone using the same tone of voice that I do with my kids, I would be appalled and think the worst of them.  But yet I do it myself.  They just push my buttons in the worst way until I snap and meanness comes out.

Is it wifehood?  Yes.  I’m tired from being a mother.  I’m tired of always doing, doing, doing, but I never feel like things are done for me.  Selfish much??  I am not feeling loved, appreciated, or cared for.  But in the same regard, I’m not loving, appreciating, or caring.  At this point I don’t want to give a flying fudge about someone else.  I’m tried of compromise.  I just want to be left alone.

Is it my job?  Yes and no.  I love what I do, but I’m not busy enough.  I go through periods at work where all I have to do is surf the internet and waste time.  It’s hard to feel a sense of purpose or direction when all you’re doing is wasting time.

Is it my church?  Yes.  I’m more involved now, and  the newness and excitement has worn off.  I’m starting to see little cracks and holes, and doubts are starting to creep in.  I think that’s to be expected.  No place is perfect.  I do absolutely believe that their hearts are in the right place, but my heart is drifting.  I’m starting to be cynical.  I don’t want to be that way.

My house is a mess.  My car is a mess.  There’s never enough money coming in.  I’m always robbing Peter to pay Paul and playing games with my checkbook.  There’s never enough time.  I’m always behind on laundry and cleaning.

I’m sick and tired of the production of getting the kids out of the door in the morning and even more tired of the delicate dance I do in the evening of trying to cook while simultaneously helping with math and reading and spelling.  And by the time the food hits our bellies, I’m just done.  Done with the day, done with the cleaning, done with being touched, talked to, and bothered.  I’m just done, done, done.

There’s no point to all this except to say that I hope I snap out of this funk soon.  I don’t want to be a crabby bitchhole.  I want to find my happy again.

I have no follow through….or do I

We’re nearing the end of January….the month that starts out with so much promise but really seems to drag on and on and kill whatever fresh, newness you were feeling at the beginning of it.  I think the Christmas high just kind of fizzles out and the cold, dreary winter reality sets in.  And this winter has been brutal and bipolar and overall just a really annoying pain in the ass.  I wonder how I didn’t drive off a bridge with postpartum depression after my daughter was born in January 7 years ago.  [Side note, that sweet, beautiful, vivacious devil child turned 7 a few days ago.  Party coming up this week.  Maybe I’ll post pictures…..or maybe I’ll have no follow through on that either.  It’s a roll of the dice.]

Anyway, I started out the year thinking of all the things I would do and resolutions I was going to stick with, and then my commitment and dedication was lost along the way somewhere.  But, I’m proud to say that I have now officially been 27 days soda free.  {Take that, Dr. Pepper.}  So there’s that.  {Pats self on the back}.   Now I have to decide do I continue on through February soda free, or do I allow myself one treat — reward if you will — and drink one soda (you hear that, self, just ONE).  I’m torn with that decision.  I’m afraid like a heroin addict I’ll be right back at my dealer’s house McDonalds drive-thru every morning sipping guzzling 32 oz Dr.P’s once again.   But I’m as equally afraid of a life without soda at all….ever…never-ever.  I’m not sure if I want to live in that world.  There has to be a balance, right?

On the saving front, I believe I’m up to a total of $40 saved.  Watch out, world.  Here we come!

So, I don’t remember what my other resolutions were.  Clearly they were very important to me.  But I do remember one of them being that I was wanting to write more.  And I have.  I’ve started to write several times, but none of them made sense and I didn’t feel like sharing them.  [Another side note:  I am friends with someone on a social media website of which I will not name names but it sounds an awful lot like facebook, and she is ALWAYS using sense when she means since.  It drives me bonkers.  I want to correct her, but I feel like she would then think I was a bitchy, lunatic English snob.  But I think if the situation were reversed and I was making a mistake, I would want someone to call me out on it.  Just throwing that out there to see if it makes SENSE to anybody SINCE it’s driving me crazy.]

I was given something by a friend.  It’s just a list of Bible verses put together in the format so it reads like a coherent letter from God. [Side not again:  I’m just completely changing directions here with no transition.  I can do that if I want to because I said I can.]  I love it!  Every time I read it, I find something new popping out at me.  But right now my favorite part is “I am not distant and angry but am the complete expression of love and it is my desire to lavish my love on you simply because you are my child and I am your Father.”

As a parent I can understand that love.   I have that love for my children.  Everyone else in a SENSE {pat self on the back for the right usage of the word} has to earn our love….right?  Maybe this isn’t how it’s supposed to be.  We are supposed to love like Jesus does, but we all know as humans that’s not always true.  You are nice and kind and an awesome human being to me?  Then I will like/love you.  You act like a complete dickface, selfish asshole, tool, douchebag?  Pretty much want to punch you in the face and don’t like you.  But if you’ve done the latter AND you just happen to have taken residence in my uterus for 9 months and after hours of painful labor I pushed you out of my vagina?  Yep, I love you simply because I do, even when you act like a demon child spawned from Satan.  I just do because I do.  It is my desire of every waking minute to lavish intense love upon you.  I may not like you at times, but you’re my child, I’m your mother, and with every fiber of my being, every breath I take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you…..wait, isn’t that a song?  No, I won’t be watching you, but I’ll be loving you unconditionally and always because that’s what parents do.

I don’t think most people, myself included, grasp that that is the kind of love that Our Father in Heaven has for us.  No matter what bonehead things we do, He loves us.  It’s just His desire to that….just because we are His children and He wants to.  Plain and simple.  Makes us pretty lucky, if you ask me.

 

 

Other than snow, I have nothing to talk about

So a shit-ton of snow came a’falling a few days ago.   The first day was kinda fun.  We hunkered down and cuddled up and enjoyed the fact that we didn’t have to go anywhere or run in 20 different directions.

The next day the temperature dropped to below zero degrees.  I’m no meteorologist, but that shit is cold.  So when you couple freezing ass cold with a foot of snow, offices were actually closing down.  Luckily, the courthouse was one of those places and I got a snow day.  I am serious when I say when I found out I did a little jig that included jazz hands to celebrate.  So once again we lazed about enjoying the fact that we didn’t have to shower and could be lazy.

Well, then yesterday happened and I was on day three of being stuck in my house – the courthouse was closed again.  But here’s the problem, I was stuck in my house with my kids.  I love them dearly, but they were going stir crazy….I was going stir crazy.  I had just spent days upon days with them over the Christmas break, and as much as I love them, I really couldn’t stand to be around them any longer.  We needed a break from each other.  Whew, Lordy, parenthood is a struggle sometimes.  The not-so-nice side of me came out.

Luckily I was back to work today and they were shipped off to annoy grandma since school was called off for the third day in a row.

So, yeah, other than the snow, not much has been going on.  Working towards my New Year’s Goals, I have not drank a drop of soda since January 1st.  If you’re counting, that’s 8 days, 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 6 seconds.  Just kidding.  I’m not really that much of a feign about it where I’m counting down the seconds.  I don’t think I’m really having withdraws or anything.  I think about the sweet goodness of a big fountain Dr. Pepper off and on, but so far I’ve been able to stay away from it.  I did have a sweet tea, but in my mind it’s healthier than a soda so I think I’m okay.

I’ve also started my savings plan.  So far I’ve saved $13.  Look out Rockefeller’s, here I come.  Whatever, it’s a start.

And besides that, the only other thing I have to complain talk about is the fact that I have no heat in my office and it’s colder than a well digger’s butt.  Other than that, 2014 is off to a pretty okay start.

I’m Turning Over a New Leaf

If I had an actual leaf for every leaf I’ve ever talked about “turning over”, I’d have a whole tree…..or bush…or something to that effect (or is it affect?  Does anyone really know the proper usage of that word?).  Anyway, I’d have more leaves than what is currently hanging out in my front yard from lack of raking this fall season.  (Yes, it’s December…we’ve had snow…and I’ve still yet to rake my leaves.  It’s probably not happening…sorry about that, neighbors.)

Back to the point.  It’s funny how the threat of a New Year brings about the need and desire to make changes in one’s life and start over, wipe the slate clean.  So here I sit just mere days away from 2014, and I’m hoping and praying and deciding that there are certain things that I will do differently this next year……hence, the leaf I will be turning over.  (Is that even the expression, turning over the new leaf??  Yes, it is.  I confirmed it by Google so it must be true.)

Anyway, back to the point (again).  After a wonderful church service this morning, I left refreshed and rejuvenated and with an urge to really sit down and think about what I want for my life next year.  I’ve been in somewhat of a slump the past few months.  Kinda just floating around feeling no real drive or purpose or energy to do much but try and survive this crazy life we’re living.  Have you ever been around people who are really crazy excited about Jesus?  Jesus freaks, if you will.  Well, they have a tendency to just have this crazy zest for life and hope and peace and belief that every little thing is gonna be alright…..(doesn’t someone else have that belief?  Oh, yes, Bob Marley.)

Anyway, back to the point (once again).  We had a prayer prayed over us that was pretty powerful.  I’m paraphrasing because I have a piss-poor memory, but to summarize, it was basically praying for the Heavens to open up and poor blessings down and for us to grow closer to Him and make the right choices and find our purpose in His will.  Yes, it’s this kind of thing that makes people leery of us “churchy” people because we sound so damn weird, but it really kinda shoved me out of this slump I’ve been in.  I sort of forgot that I’m a newly-minted weirdo Jesus freak and that I too have that every-little-thing-is-gonna-be-all-right attitude….at times.  I am human, after all, and I have moments where doubts and dissatisfaction creep in.

Anyway, back to the point (seriously, self, stop distracting yourself and get to the point.)   Okay.  So the point of all this is that with the promise of a New Year, I also feel like there’s a promise of a new attitude, new direction….just newness in general.  I want to seriously sit down and think about what I want my life to be like and what I am believing will happen for my family in 2014.  I’m wiping the slate clean and thinking up some goals and getting some ambition for myself in 2014.

To start with, what’s the top of everyone’s list?  Yes, weight.  I’ve gained and lost the same L-Bs over and over and over and I’m sick of it.  I need to make myself healthier.  My dad and grandpa died of cirrhosis of the liver, for cripes sakes, and it’s hereditary and I was specifically told to lay off the belly fat, yet I hear I sit with a beer gut that would make any alcoholic proud.  (Point of clarification, it is not from drinking beer.  I do not like beer.  It’s more of a chocolate-Mcdonalds-soda-everythingthatsbadforyou gut)  So I’m hoping when I turn this new leaf over there’s a skinny bitch on the other side of it because this mama wants to wear a bikini again before I die.

Next on my list is finances.  This is the year we could FINALLY be credit card debt free if we can just stay on course.  It would be a weird anomaly for me to actually not rob Peter to pay Paul and play games with our bills and checking account.  So along with the skinny bitch on the back of the leaf I’m hoping to discover either a million dollars or someone who will punch me every time I try to spend money stupidly.

I’m also getting serious once again about the Good Lord above.  I know it may seem like I’m far from what you would consider a Jesusy Jesus Freak, but I really do crave a relationship and want to live my life right.  To start with the hubs and I are leading a LifeGroup together for church and I am so looking forward to meeting some new couples or just hanging out with ones we already know and having them be a positive influence in our lives and our marriage.

Which leads me to my next leaf.  We have just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary and we are getting complacent.  I need to get my head out of my ass and start treating my man like he’s the best thing that ever happened to me and stop thinking I’m the best thing that ever happened to him.  (Not that it’s not totally true….amiright……but that kind of selfish thinking is going to lead us nowhere except divorce court.)  Somehow in the midst of our children and work and responsibilities, I need to make sure I’m putting him first.  Priorities, priorities.

And lastly (for now.  I’m sure I’ll think of more) I want to start writing again.  I SO enjoy it, putting down my craziness on paper (or the internet, either way) and I’ve kinda missed doing it.  And even though I’m not sure that anybody reads this or will ever read it, for myself and my sanity’s sake, I’m going to make time again to share my insanity with everyone.

So there you have it.  That’s it.  My new leaf.  2014 is almost upon us and I’m ready to kick it right in the balls.

 

 

This one time I thought it would be fun to have a blog

I like to write.  Plus I like to overshare.  Those two things would seem to be the perfect combination to have a blog, but it turns out that’s not always the case.

I thought that once I started a blog I would have all kinds of wise and fun things to share, but turns out mundane life is pretty boring.  It’s not as easy as people make it look.  There are several blogs I read that I love and they make me laugh, and it seems like it’s effortless for them.  Maybe their lives are way cooler than mine ’cause I find that lately I have a hard time thinking of things to share.  Plus, I feel like I’m the only one reading this, which is totally fine, but I already know all my cool stories so why do I need to share them with myself?  Add in the fact that I usually document every moment of my life on Facebook, and then telling the story over here seems redundant.  Maybe I should cut Facebook out of my life.  #justkidding #imaddictedtofacebook

Anyway, where was I.  Oh, yes, I was trying to think of something that I wanted to talk about.  Yeah, still got nothing.  There has to be something going on in my life that I can talk about???

#illgetbacktoyouonthatone

I’m on my period and I held it together

You know how that time of the month can make you irrational?  No?  Well, it does to me…..sometimes.

Anyway, it seems like my sweet little Ms. V is having her time of the month….all the time.  Seriously, she flies off the handle – often.  She throws fits – often.  Basically, you sort of feel like you should walk on eggshells around her so she doesn’t Mommy Dearest your ass for any slight infarction.  Usually what happens is she yells, then I see red and I yell, then she cries and acts like an idiot, then I act like an idiot, and she storms off, then I keep yelling and she keeps crying.  And I’m embarrassed to admit that oftentimes she gets her way just so I can get her to shut her mouth.  #winningatparenting.

That brings us to this morning where I am full on in the midst of bleeding out my who-ha, where I’m crampy and uncomfortable and usually just generally unpleasant to be around.  Little Ms. V isn’t too happy because I’ve asked her to go to the bathroom (the horror!) and brush her teeth (how dare I!) and not only do I have the nerve to do it, but I’m asking her to do it in a hurry so we don’t, I don’t know, miss the stinkin’ bus and cause me to be late for work and possibly get fired and then lose our house and our cars and have no food to eat.  Call me unreasonable.

Well, she has a mosquito bite on her leg and insists in a not-very-nice way, complete with a whiny voice, that I put anti-itch creme on it.  I happened to put it on the wrong one, what was I thinking, and she literally flipped out and yelled and screamed.  Now, what I wanted to do first and foremost was beat the tar out of her.  What kind of b-hole yells at you when you’re trying to help her.  Maybe she could have just said politely, “Hey, mom, that’s the wrong bite.  It’s really this bite over here that itches.  Could you give me another band-aid.”  Instead she just started screaming and stomping her foot and acting like a tool.

This is where I usually would flip out and yell back at her for being so unbelievably rude.  But I was able to keep it together and ignore it and take care of the other bite in the midst of her crazy display.  Considering the hormones that are raging through my body at the moment, I think I deserve a pat on the back for that one.

Is it girls in general?  Is it the age?  #idontremembermysonactinglikethisatage6  Is it just that I’ve managed to spawn the demon child of Satan?

I don’t know what the deal is, but I super-duper can’t wait until she starts her period.

#imsendinghertoboardingschoolinthealps

Marriage

I will celebrate my 12th wedding anniversary this year, but it will also be the 17th anniversary of when the one and only Handsome Hubby asked me to “go out” with him, be his main squeeze (he didn’t say that), the love of his life (he didn’t say that either till a few months later), to complete him and make him whole (he didn’t say that either, but I know it’s true…he’d be lost without me.)

I’m no expert on the subject.  Heck, maybe I’m doing it all wrong.  But, you guys, for seriously, marriage is hard.  Really hard.

I don’t know.  Back in the day, back when I first started dating my husband, there were butterflies.  Oh, the butterflies.  I used to see him coming down the hall at school and my heart would almost pitter-patter right out of my chest.  He would smile at me and look at me like I was the only person in the world worth looking at.  And I felt the same way about him.  He was the cutest and funniest and I just loved that he was mine.

graduation

Then we got married.  Well, not like right then.  I mean, give us a break.  We were just getting out of high school.  We both had college to deal with, which we did, and THEN we got married.

wedding

And then there was the newlywed stage.  We had a little condo with no children and no responsibilities.  We could do whatever we wanted whenever and wherever we wanted. (Hint:  I’m talking about S-E-X).  Oh, that?  Yeah, that….among other things.  Like if we wanted to sit on the couch naked and do nothing, we could, because there was no little people to worry about.

youngus

But soon enough the children came, and all of a sudden we couldn’t be selfish any more.  All of a sudden my focus, which used to be solely on what would make the Hubs happy, had to be focused on what would stop the crying and fussing and spitting up and DEAR GOD will they ever sleep through the night???  Yeah, it got a little hairy up in here.

firstfamilyphoto

But they grow up.  They’re not little forever, but boy do they still know how to suck everything you have out of you and then some.  And still my main focus isn’t so much what will make the Hubs happy, it’s what will make my children happy.  Because it turns out that parenthood never stops.  Worrying about your children never stops.  Trying to raise them to not be screw-ups, that job, it never stops.

olderkids

So here we sit, 17 years later, and I feel like we are just numb.  The memories of how it used to be are so far away.  The butterflies aren’t there as much.  You guys, I don’t hold my farts in any more.  I can’t.  It hurts my tummy.  And, letsbehonest, he’s seen babies and gross after birth and some really gnarly shiz come out of my va-china.  Plus, he has stomach problems and spends a good majority of his time on the toilet.  Our conversations usually take place in the bathroom.  The romance has flown the coop with the butterflies and hearts and starry-eyed looks we used to give each other.

kissyus

It’s just so hard to stay connected.  I’m selfish and I know it.  (I just sang that to the tune of “I’m Sexy and I know it”.)  But, for realz, I want to do things for me.  I get tired of being the mom and the wife.  I want to go out and make myself happy and screw you, Handsome Hubs.  I want to be single and not have to give two shits who I’m pissing off by doing what I’m doing.  Confession:  I’ve thought about how nice it would be to be divorced and have the one-night-a-week-and-every-other-weekend arrangement.  The alone time would feel so glorious!

But the truth of the matter is, I love my little family.  And I do love my husband.  He’s a good man with an abundance of awesome qualities (and a few I-want-to-punch-you-in-the-face qualities.)  I’m willing to work for what we have because it’s worth it to me.  It’s worth it to me that my children grow up in a home with two parents.  I want them to see that their mother and father love each other, made them out of love, and continue to fight (not literally.  we may have lost a little of our spark, but we don’t Jerry Springer it) for each other.

ballgame

So that’s it.  You may be thinking how lucky you are because you just gel with your spouse and your life is perfect and you just shit out giggles and sunshine and never want to kick your spouse in the nuts.  Good for you if that’s the case.

But in my case, my marriage is imperfect and hard.  Here and now I’m acknowledging it and making a promise to myself to work on getting it back.  I don’t want to always harp on the annoy things the Hubs can do because there are so many things he does that I’m thankful for.  And for as much as our marriage can be a struggle, it really is pretty easy too when you’re married to someone who does respect you and wants to be there for you and your kids, who makes you laugh, and is willing to put in the effort it takes to make it work no matter what.

arch

 

Besides, he’s it for me.  If this doesn’t work out, I’m never getting married again.  Think about it, it takes a few years before you can toot or poop in front of somebody, and I ain’t trying to hold that shit in (literally) any more.  I’m too old and my body can’t take it.

 

 

 

 

      

I’m NOT losing it…but I’m losing it

For the past two weeks I’ve not lost any weight.  On the bright side I haven’t gained any back.  I consider this a blessing since I was off work and my normal routine and felt the need to pig out.  And then someone gifted me a box of bakery doughnuts yesterday.  Obviously the correct response to that was to eat 4 of them.  Shit, what is wrong with me.  Put a sweet in front of me and I’ll shove you in front a moving train to get to it.  Seriously.

So I’m still sitting at 175 and a 10 lbs weight loss.

While I may not be losing weight, I’ll tell you what I am losing….my ever lovin’ mind.  I might be running away from home soon.  For realz.

I love my little V-Lou.  Love her to death.  She’s so pretty and can be so sweet and loving.  She really knows how to melt my heart.  (I had to start on a positive note to remind myself why I can’t run away from home.)

Again, I love her (breathe, Beth, breathe.  You do love her) but this morning I could have punched that little button pusher right in her face.

No matter what I ask her to do, she argues with me.  No matter how much time we have to get things done in the morning, she moves at her pace.  She is contrary just to be contrary.  She argues just to argue.  She pushes my buttons just to see if she can make me go bat-shit crazy.  I swear to all that is holy she must be diabolical.

I’ve tried the “give choices” tactic so she feels like she’s in control.  Fail.  She’ll thumb her nose at the two options and demand a different, third option.

I’ve tried the “pick your battle” tactic, but that one just pisses me off.  Epic Fail.  I’m the mother.  I’m supposed to be in charge.  And, seriously, why should I lose the battle of brushing teeth.  There are certain things I can let go of, but I really feel it’s important to not have the meth-mouth look by 2nd grade.  Call me crazy.

I’ve tried the “losing privilege” tactic.  That’s always an Epic, Epic Fail.  When faced with losing a privilege or doing what she’s supposed to, she never hops to what she should be doing.  She just stops doing anything productive and flails on the floor crying and screaming like a demon-possessed child.  In the evening I can ignore this behavior, but in the morning when I have to get kids to the bus stop and my ass to work, I don’t have the time.

UGGG!

So, yep, I’m contemplating where I will run away to.  What’s nice this time of year?  I’m thinking if I’m running anywhere it’s going to be close to the beach.

How is summer already over?

So, yeah, it happened.  Summer’s over.  My week-long vacation is over.  Fun times are officially over.

Back to life…back to reality….back to……….yeah, I can’t remember the lyrics to the rest of that song.

Anywho, I sent this little girl off to 1st grade:

first day of school 104

And this handsome devil off to 3rd grade:

first day of school 107

(Side note:  The day before school started poor X got a hack job of a haircut and ugly cried about it all the way home.  Poor little guy is impatiently waiting for it to grow out.)

Also for the first time this school year, they’ll be taking the big yellow bus to school!  I don’t know if their excitement level over riding the bus really deserves an exclamation point, but growing up as a non-bus-rider who longed to ride on the bus, I felt the fact that they are having this opportunity deserves an exclamation point.

first day of school 151

(Side note:  I followed the bus to school so I could take pictures of them in their classrooms on the first day.  I’m not ashamed.)

So that’s it.  Our lives officially are up and running again.  No more staying up late, snuggling as a family.

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(Side note:  Yes, there are no pillow cases on our pillows.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who does the laundry and then lets it sit in baskets for so long that you go weeks with naked pillows as a result.  No?  That’s just me?)

Anywho, no more relaxed summer fun.  We’re back to our crazy school routine of dance classes, sports practices, school functions and overall craziness.  This is what we think about that:

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That’s right.  A big fat stick-out-your-tongue from the kiddos and a big fat middle finger from me.  I’m just not quite ready to get back into the swing of things.  I’m not quite ready to let go of the lazy days of summer.