Almost Paradise

How many of you saw the blog post title and thought of the song?

We’re knocking on heaven’s door
How could we ask for more?
I swear that I can see forever in your eyes

Ann Wilson and Mile Reno. That is such a high school flashback. I remember slow dancing with my then boyfriend to that song and my heart nearly beating out of my chest. Plus, it reminded me that my alter teenage ego wanted to be a dance partner to Kevin Bacon in Footloose. What the hell ever happened to Mike Reno anyway? Did he lose the headband? Is he still “working for the weekend”? bwahaha.

I’m off track now, aren’t I?

Yes, it’s been pretty quiet around here, and I am sorry for that. The summer is still in full swing here in the Northeast. Many of the kids are back in school already in other areas of the U.S., but we just finished up tutoring classes and finally can start having fun.

David is quite happy, but I am realizing more and more that the power to curb boredom and burnout is keeping him busy, and thus far it’s not been a problem. Now that he’s home with me (while I am working), it is VERY hard to keep him in a schedule.

Most of the days now are like this…

me working in my office for 30 minutes, then tending to him to get him set up with an activity, me working for 30 more minutes, getting him a snack, working, activity, working, outside for 30 minutes, working, cleaning up Play Doh, working, finding him a movie on Disney Channel, working, sorting crayons, working, channel surfing (YES!  I am trying to find Phineas and Ferb! be patient), working,…

you get the idea.

Paradise?oh right, where was I?

Soon we leave for an extended vacation in Hilton Head, SC.  I may not come back.  Every year S. and I stop and look at houses while we are down there, and one of these days…..

So, no matter how busy or frantic I am right now, or how many times I have to say “Shhhhuuusssh!” when David interrupts a conference call for work (DAMN, I can NEVER hit that mute button fast enough), I know that there is an end in sight.

Almost there…

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29 Again

David has been attending a summer reading program at a local university, 4X a week in the AM. The class is geared for kids that need a little extra help with reading, and the goal is to bring them up to grade level (or exceed, which most of them do by the end of the clinic). The program is one of the best in the region where I live, and it’s not that easy to get into it.

To get David in, I basically had the program’s secretary on speed-dial from February onwards, and literally hand-delivered forms to ensure our paperwork was first in. Once accepted, the children are tested, and then separated into small groups (not more than 2 kids per tutor). The tutors are graduate students, mostly, and they work under several professors.

You may be wondering, “hey Shelli, how are you working if you are taking David to this class?”  Let me tell you, it puts a serious dent in my working schedule. I am basically M.I.A. from 8:30am to 11:15am. I’m sure my co-workers think I am working on a tan in the mornings.   Bonus! Major university.. no public wifi. That’s right, no Internet connection. The closest wifi is at McDonald’s about 4 miles away. Thank goodness I have a boss who understands and likes me.  Maybe she won’t after this summer.

So I download my e-mail before we leave in the AM, and just spend the time doing what I can do offline while I wait.

The reality… I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure David is successful in school. He had a rough year academically, and we are just catching up to grade level with the help of this course.  I am grateful every day I walk onto campus that David has this opportunity.

So, it’s been three weeks into this course, and I am getting to know and talk to the other parents that are there.  Mostly moms, a sprinkling of dads.

Some observations:
1. Most of the moms that wait with me in the waiting area are teachers themselves, that is perplexing to me, somewhat, but I do get that they are hooked into the latest and greatest, and this is it. I guess even Moms who teach have their limits. lol.

2. The other moms are SAHM’s and bored to tears. They are there because they just want their child in an activity that is learning focused. They make me jealous talking about their large swimming pools.

3. The tiger moms. I say “tiger” because, if I said “cougar” you might think they were there to troll for hot male grad students. But no, these are not older women (like me?) they are simply barracudas when it comes to their kids. By “barracuda” I mean, their kids already have reading skills above average… but they want their child to be THE BEST. IN. THE. UNIVERSE!!

That last observation sets me off. I mean, there are people who COULDN’T get in the program because these jack-o-lanterns (that’s Mom speak for jackasses) push their kids way beyond center.  Argh, they are on the soccer field AND here too!!  groan………….

I am just so perturbed by that.


So, here’s a funny story about today in the waiting room. A dad sat down next to me… I thought he was a student, but he’s like 30, with 4 kids…. hmmmmm…. did I mention he was extremely good looking? Anyway… we got to talking about what we do for a living, he saw my laptop, and eye-rolling commenced. I thought he was aiming at me (what did I do NOW?!), but he was actually eye-rolling the barracuda mom on the other side of the room PAINTING HER NAILS IN THE PUBLIC WAITING ROOM. To which he whispered, “are you the only normal mom here?” LOL.

It gets better.

He asked me about David, and then the loaded question… “do you have any more kids?”

Oh, no he didn’t!  I was just starting to like this guy.

I evaded… no I didn’t really… I think I just said… “no, but we wanted more.” Then he started talking about someone he knew that just had twins and added “get this, can you believe she is 44 years old????”

I smiled (ok, I laughed in my head and almost peed myself). The I said, “well, I wished that had happened to me!”

To which he replied, “well, gosh your so young, you have time!”


OMG. What did he just say???

This guy has NO FLIPPIN’ IDEA that I am 42 years old.

Dude, you made my day….


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Photo Friday: Unexpected Love(s)

Last Friday, the family made our bimonthly expedition to the holy land, otherwise known as Target.

Let me tell you something about Target, it is pure shopping crack. You go there with a list of 3 items, and you leave with 23 items. I can get lost in the seasonal aisles for hours. I am pretty sure that the employees know me on sight, and FOR SURE the Starbucks guy in Target does. Please tell me your Target stores have Starbucks like mine….? it’s heavenly. One of these days I am going to suggest they put my picture on the wall next to the store manager.   I’m that important to their monthly sales.

You wait and see.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, so we were shopping last Friday, and on a whim S. and I spotted a fire bowl. Truth be told, S. was looking for it. I was like, WHY do we need a freaking fire bowl for the patio? What IS a fire bowl?? Why not a chiminea?

Wait, what the hell is a chiminea?  Nah, we do fire bowls here.

Dude, it was ON SALE for $49, so we bought it! And I laughed thinking it was the most dumb, impulsive purchase ever from Target.

And you know what? It was the BEST money ever spent. We fired that baby up at 9pm Saturday night, and beers in hand (David had root beer) we toasted to our most AWESOME patio purchase.  We relaxed by the fire, sang silly songs, and pretended we were stranded on an island with just us and the mighty fire bowl.

We made wishes as the embers floated up to the heavens.

Most unexpected.


If you would like to join in the fun of Photo Friday, catch the theme post for the week, and then post your own photo on Fridays and link back @ Calliope’s blog.

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1. Don’t make lists


I feel like I am running on a treadmill with the steepest incline and getting nowhere. And the effort isn’t even shrinking my ass. Talk about useless!

Every time I sit down to write this month, my eye wanders to a to-do list that gets longer and longer. I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. I’m all about lists and completing them. Or I used to be. Nowadays I scan the list and become so overwhelmed I shove said list under a book and sit staring into space with no purpose.

ARGH! It’s so frustrating.

I have four doctors appointments I need to schedule, and that’s just for me. Somehow, I manage to get S. and David squared away with doctor visits, just not my own.

Summer… is a hot topic for me. No pun intended. I decided to NOT enroll David in a summer day camp program this year. He’s had a bit of a rough year with school, so we decided to enroll him in a reading clinic at a local university. It’s just an hour and a half in the AM for five weeks. Challenging for my work schedule as it’s hard for me to just drop offline in the middle of the morning and be M.I.A. for a few hours. And you might be wondering how on earth I plan to work for the rest of the days… I am envisioning my laptop on the patio and buying dozens of outdoor games for David to occupy his time in the backyard. This summer I will be the Mom with the laptop and cellphone trying to juggle two months of a flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants schedule. I don’t want the boy sitting idle, summer should be about FUN after all, so I am a little nervous how I am going to swing it.

Adoption topic… is still a work in process. I am still investigating, interviewing with a few local agencies. We know for sure that our sights are set on a domestic adoption. At least we narrowed that down.  I have another appointment this month with an agency recommended to me. My stress and fear level goes through the roof when I think about this topic. Fodder for another post, because frankly…. it’s too emotional to just pay lip service in this post.  So you must wait for news on that.

S.’s job… still up in the air. S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L. He has one, at least for another 30 days. By the end of summer we could be up the creek. I am being supportive for now. Big changes are coming whether we like it or not. We just don’t know how it will flush out… yet.

Meanwhile, the house is in disarray. After 10 years in this house, we are forced to start upgrading all the builders-grade crap this house came with. And some.  Things are starting to fall apart, and we’ve been spending a lot of time at our local home improvement center. Some of the projects were willingly started by us, like the new front door we have on order (the current one is so warped I can see outside from the INSIDE!). Other projects are the result of things just breaking- the air conditioner, attic fan, bathroom fixtures. Oh, and a bundle of cash dropped last month for termite treatment. Yes, new houses can get termites. Think of me when you see the Termin.ix commercial with the bugs knocking on the door.  Hopefully, they won’t come for YOU.  heh.

Fortunately, not a penny has been spent this year on infertility treatments. I am going to take that as a blessing that instead of trying to fix a broken ME, we are fixing a broken house instead.

At least that money is well spent.

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