Archive for February, 2008

Advice From Mama

First of all, even if everyone in your office has gotten over the flu and whatever funk they had, don’t quit taking your Vitamin C (or Zinc and Magnesium or whatever else works for you).  I skipped the “C” ONE freaking day (yesterday) and woke up this morning with a hot breeding cesspool of germs in my throat.

If you know anyone (like an older person on Social Security) that doesn’t normally need to file a Federal tax return because their income is too low, file one for them anyways so they will get the “rebate” check in May that is going to go out to attempt to jump start the economy.  If you are one of those older people, and you happen to have a very smart daughter that takes care of your financial matters and in fact does this stuff for a living, don’t always second guess what she tells you because one of your little old lady friends tells you something completely erroneous or does things wrong themselves.

If you have your taxes prepared by an accountant, and they take the time to send you an organizer that lists everything you need to bring or send in, take the time to at least look at it.  You don’t even have to fill in the amounts.  Just send in the right documentation.  It gets so tiring. EVERY SINGLE YEAR, to have to call and ask for the SAME THINGS over and over again, just because you can’t even look at the paperwork we send that spells it ALL out.  Remember, most accountants charge you for the time spent doing your return–and this takes up a LOT of time!!

And, lastly, if your mama is sick, she’s probably gonna be very bitchy.  So tread lightly.

Thanks to Soldiers and Supporters

My middle son J got a free lunch today. Someone generously picked up the tab for him and some other Army Reservists that were out for lunch during their weekend drills. They don’t even know who it was. This isn’t the first time one of my two boys in uniform has been shown appreciation for their military service. When we were in Georgia for J’s basic training graduation, an older gentleman paid for J’s meal at a Mall food court. He was of the age where he could have served in WWII himself, when the country rallied around our first line of defense whether they “liked” war or not. Almost every time my oldest son went out with his friends after drills they had their drinks bought for them. For all the idiocy you read about from the liberal press, it just is so reassuring to know that so many regular American citizens do appreciate and support our troops. It doesn’t matter why our troops are fighting; they do not make the policies. They are far from home and family, risking life and limb to preserve our privileged American way of life. And as much as some of the know-it-all leftist celebrity and media America-bashers think they know why we’re engaged in war, and are SO sure we have no reason to be there, they have absolutely no clue what kinds of things may have lead to the decisions that have been made. How stupid and arrogant are they to think they have more knowledge about things than the people that are privy to top secret intel? And why would the average citizen be given ALL the facts about the decisions that are made? I’m sure there are many things that would endanger our troops, our allies and our way of life if they were routinely reported, just to appease the malcontents that are so sure everything we do is immoral.

Our military is comprised of some of the finest people our country has to offer, as has always been the case. Whatever reason a person initially has to join the service, it takes a special strength and character to be there. Just to make it through basic training and AIT is a huge testament to the commitment of these troops. Whether one is there out of sense of duty, love of country, need for adventure, or help with college tuition, these Americans have not chosen the easy way out. They could be sitting on the couch playing video games at home. But they’re not. They’re planning for their futures, and they’re keeping us safe.

Spring Break?

So, Youngest Son’s college has their “spring break” at the end of February.  It starts tomorrow, which is also supposed to be the day a snow storm moves in.  They’re calling for about 3 inches of the white stuff by morning, followed by a possibly treacherous morning rush hour with freezing rain and ice.  Then another round of snow later.  Lovely.

Now, being that a college dorm is somewhat like a cocoon, I’m thinking Youngest Son didn’t hear the weather reports or see all the panicky people stocking up on milk and toilet paper today (like we’re gonna be holed up for a week?).  He texted me tonight to see if he could, instead of coming home to see his adoring parents tomorrow, drive to Pittsburgh to visit a friend.  Of course, he texted me.  Not Big Daddy.  Because he has Big Daddy’s beloved truck, for one thing.  Because I’m the softie that usually says “yes.”  And because he seems to really want to go.  Unfortunately, he miscalculated because he didn’t have all the facts.  If he knew they were calling for a big storm, he would have never asked me.  Because I am the world’s biggest worry wart, especially when it comes to the kids.  So even though I find it very hard to say no to them, I would never want them to be out driving in a big snowstorm.

I had Big Daddy call and break the news about the big storm coming.  Of course, dear son was in denial saying that the weather guys are always wrong.  Well, he does have a point…but I think this storm’s been hyped up enough to have some substance to it.  They’re going to play it by ear and see how the weather is, and switch out the truck for Big Daddy’s car if he decides to go.  I’m betting Youngest Son has other plans lined up also for his week off.  I’m hoping he’ll maybe squeeze in some time for me to whip his butt at Scrabble!

Kids in the Office

Most people would probably think that kids in the office, especially in a CPA office in the middle of tax season, would not be a good idea.  I could tell them from experience that actually, it can work.  In fact, it kind of adds a dimension of fun that most accountants don’t usually get to experience from number crunching.  I find myself smiling several times a day at the cute things they do and say, and best of all, the rare times they’re tired or cranky, I don’t have to deal with them.  I’m like a surrogate aunt, there to enjoy all their youthful exuberance and charm but safely busy in my own little office at potty time.

Of course, not just any child would be a welcome addition to the staff.  These girls have been coming to the office since soon after birth.  They are the boss’s granddaughters, and they have been taught acceptable office behavior.  They are well-loved and well-disciplined, which is the main reason why they are so well-behaved.  But they’re still kids, which is what makes them so cute.  They help their mommy do her job by running down the hall with a paper for “Pa-Paw,” and look really proud when we tell them what a good job they do.  They run to each of our offices to do little swirly turns to show off their new dresses that they’ve just tried on.  The three-year-old is quiet and a little shy, and looks very serious when she sits at her computer and “works” at her computer games.  The almost two-year-old has a little round face that is always smiling, even when she’s sick.  She’ll run to my office and show me her little princess collection or her new “big girl” pants.  When they talk to each other, negotiating kid-style, it reminds me of my boys when they were little.  They’re very close in age like my two younger boys, and they remind me how much even very young children are so much like grown-ups, with the same emotions and feelings, but just a little less life experience and vocabulary.   I used to love listening to my little boys playing together, making plans or trying to negotiate who would play with what toy.  When I hear the girls’ Pa-Paw talk to them in that gentle “grandpa voice,” it reminds me of how much my dad loved his little grandbabies.  He would find an excuse almost every day to come up and visit with the boys, and most of the time would take at least one of them home with him to play and talk about silly things with them, and then, of course, stick them with my mom when they got crabby.

My own kids would have been good little office buddies.  They could all sit and play quietly.  They were always the teachers’ pets in any daycare they attended.  I’m sure my future grandbabies will be just as awesome.  But boys, notice the word future.  I can wait for a few years until you’re married and are ready to support a family.  In the meantime, I’ve got kids in the office to play with.

Smooth Monday–With A Little Toe Cramp on the Side

You know how they say good art and literature come from pain?  You ain’t gonna get that here today.  I can’t really focus on anything to write about because I’m just kinda boppin’ around, not in any emotional pain or turmoil, not even really ticked off about anything.  The only pain I’m suffering at all right now is my usual tax season affliction, the dreaded TOE CRAMP.  This is because this is the only time of year I get dressed up enough to wear any kind of heels.  For some reason, my feet rebel terribly against high heels. About an hour or two after kicking the things off my feet, my toes spasm so bad I can hardly catch my breath.  It’s painful and scary because it feels like it’s never going to end, and all I can do is bend my toes backward which helps until you have to release them, which brings on a new wave of pain.  I don’t know if my feet are rebelling against the absurd shape of high heels, or if it’s just my psyche rebelling against the girlie thing.  I say this because, even though I may look feminine, and I certainly enjoy being of the feminine persuasion, in many ways I am the anti-woman.  Cases in point:

I have to force myself to go shopping.  I only shop when I really need to.  The only time I get a rush from shopping is if I score a phenomenally great money-saving deal.

I hate pink.  The color generally makes me puke, although I can handle hot pink.  I look like crap in pastels and I do not like them.  Nor do I like floral prints, especially on me.

The worst kind of shopping is shoe shopping.  Not just because the damn things cramp up my feet.  I just don’t get the fascination some women have for shoes.

I don’t think I’d be a very good girl mom, unless I had a daughter that was either an intellectual or a jock.  I just don’t know how much I could handle sitting through dance recitals or worse yet, cheerleading.  And the drama!  Boys are noisy and a little smelly and they sometimes break things, but they are so blessedly drama-free.  And waaay cute.

So how can I complain? I live in a house full of THE cutest guys.  I only have to wear heels  maybe three months out of the year and I can shop online.  On top of that, Soldier Son has been getting his packages delivered to him in Iraq in record time.  Tax season has been going very smoothly so far, and my big project for the weekend, filling out the FAFSA forms for the two college boys, is done.  A Monday like this may not inspire great writing, but I’ll take it.

Working Mama Is A Grouchy Mama

It’s Saturday, the day of the week that working mamas and papas have to spend squeezing in all the housework and projects they didn’t have time to do during the week.  It’s constant motion.  It’s not fun.  It’s just a sad fact of life for full-time working couples (and probably much worse for a full-time working single parent.)

By the time you both get home from work in the evening, make dinner and eat, try to clean up and maybe read the paper or watch a show, it’s time to go to bed and start the cycle all over!  Lucky for me (and my marriage), we only live on this roller-coaster ride for a few months a year since I only work full-time during tax season.  We’d have a lot more money, perhaps, if I worked year-round, but my family will tell you that a working mama can occasionally be a grouchy mama and sometimes, there’s not enough money in the world worth putting up with that!

Here’s another thing.  I will never have any regrets about being there for my kids.  I almost always worked part-time which was good for my self-esteem AND my sanity because I could contribute financially and emotionally toward our family’s well-being.  It’s the perfect compromise if you can afford to do it.  I don’t think it matters which parent works part-time.  I’m just certain that in most cases, it’s good for kids to have at least one parent that can spend time taking them on picnics, splashing in the pool with them, and not rushing them through a conversation.  And the parent with the full-time job doesn’t have to spend so much of his or her precious free time doing housework or running errands.  But today, the busy mama is snapping at people.  And the guys are just kind of grinning because they’re used to it.  And they know that in a few months, when mama has time to do her crossword puzzles and try new recipes and can stay up past midnight, we’ll all be happy again.

Let’s Look at the Bright Side

I had to go back to that den of illness and disease today–where everyone is STILL sick and in fact, Ron is even sicker than before.  But so far, my megadosing on Vitamin C is keeping me not quite sick.

The roads absolutely sucked today–like the road crews only had a whole day of warning that some big snow was coming?!  But somehow, Big Daddy and I each managed to get home in one frozen solid piece.

Youngest Son’s educational experience has taken a nasty turn in forcing him to snuff out the lives of the little lab rats that he started to become attached to.  In fact, they used to peepee on his hands in excitement–little knowing that he would someday become–their executioner.  But, he was the only one in his class to get a 100% on his Calc test today so the grief hasn’t eaten away at his brains.

Soldier Son had to see a doctor because he has some goiter-like swelling on his neck.  They said if it’s not better in a couple weeks to get it rechecked.  Hmmm.  But being he’s in Iraq, I’m just happy to be able to chat with him, goiter lump and all.

And my darling Middle Son, J, I haven’t talked to him since the weekend.  But, knowing my J, sometimes it’s better to know nothing.


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February 2008

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