Monthly Archives: March 2012

Like I Don’t Have Enough Paperwork Already

I sat down tonight to fill out my 18 year old’s FAFSA application. For those of you who don’t know what FAFSA is, here you go…

Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Like anything else that comes from the government, there is paperwork involved. Lots of paperwork. It’s similar to doing a 1040 long form. Lots of hair pulling, cursing and a bit of crying.

I know what you are thinking, “The boy is 18. Have him fill out the application.” I thought about it and then quickly decided against that idea. For one thing, it requires LOTS of information on income(not his, by the way). What might look like more money than he has seen in his whole life, He Who Has No Motivation to Get a Job doesn’t realize that 90% of that $number$ goes to the roof over his head, food, activities, food, clothing, food…you get my point. Another, the boy has trouble filling out a job application. One wrong answer on this bad boy is like forgetting a zero on the income line of your tax return.

As I’m slaving over the pages of this document, my mind wanders to an article I read on Huffpost yesterday. It stated that getting a job prior to attending college may hurt your chances of getting financial aid. Seriously? So, in order to get, say, a student loan or a grant, a teenager may harm their chances by actually working to save money for college?!?!? This is NOT the article I want my 18 year old reading. I’m a big believer in the school of “things are appreciated/valued more when you pay for it yourself”. I don’t mind helping the kiddo out, but I do think that said child, er adult child, should take some responsibility in his newfound adulthood.  Hell, when I was a kid it was never expected that the parents foot the whole bill for college. I was fortunate enough that they helped me out, but then I had a job from the time I was 15 through college. Every summer, I would find a job in some dismal factory that paid a whopping $7.50/hour to cover most of my expenses the following term AND I had a job all through the school year. You know what, I DID appreciate it more when I had to pay at least some of it. I don’t think kids these days(god, I sound old) get it. Come May 20th, I hope to God my oldest starts to get it.

So, filling out the FAFSA. Basically, it asks for income of both parents(or a parent and stepparent), any income earned by Jr., which schools you might like to attend, blah, blah blah.

If I were in charge of revamping the form, here is a simplified list of the things I would want to know in order to grant someone government funds/loans etc.

1. Contact information-self explanatory

2. Do you intend to a)actually study and graduate from college and contribute positively to society, or b)are you going to to school in order to escape the parents and binge drink/sleep through classes/chase girls/guys?

if answer A, we approve a loan in the amount that your parents are willing to co-sign with you. If you fail to pay it back, we will have no choice but to make you work at the DMV until said loan is paid in full. We feel this is a fair and equitable trade.

if answer B, sorry we cannot at this time extend a loan to you, but we will hire you at the DMV for the rest of your natural life.

So much less paperwork. Cut to the chase, I say! Will keep you posted on when He Who Has no Motivation to Get a Job, gets a job! And here’s hoping he also gets a scholarship or loan or at least the amount of money that I would have earned had I filled this out on the job.

Delivery vs. a Zombie 5K

So, I’m training for a 5K in May. I haven’t run since high school cross country except for that one spring break in Daytona nor felt any inclination to do so since then.

Until my sister e-mailed me a link to the Run For Your Lives 5K run and obstacle course.

Fun With Zombies

It’s 3.1 miles of cross country like running with a few obstacles thrown in to keep you from getting bored. The thing that inspired me to start training(besides my 40 year old sagging, paunchy body) is the fact that you have zombies trying to suck your brains take your flags(kind of like flag football). Yes, I said zombies.

I ❤ zombies.

Finally, some motivation to get my ass to the gym. You would have thought the muffintop would have done it a few years ago, but what can I say…

I started training January 24th, which means I’ve been at it for a little over 1 month. It’s getting easier to run and I’m not talking about lung capacity. My old ass knees can only take running every other day so I’ve resigned myself to weights every other day to give them a break. Apparently, this is also supposed to increase weight loss as it improves metabolism while building muscles. Yeah, whatever. I’ve gained five pounds since I started, which is also apparently normal. I find it contradictory, but ok. I’m determined to stick with this working out stuff if only to ward off the ravenous undead in 2 months time.

So, as I’m slogging around the 1/10 mile track yesterday, I start comparing running to delivery. Yeah, the kind where you squeeze a bowling ball out of your nether regions with much pain, agony and stitches. They have a lot of the same attractive features. Here are my top 10:

10) You feel lighter when you are finished. Delivery: You just released 5 pounds of water weight, 8 pounds of wrinkled human and a couple of quarts of blood and gunk. Yeah you! Running: You sweat off most of the Diet Coke and/or Rum water you consumed that day.

9)It’s a marathon, so pace yourself. Delivery: Unless you are one of those bitches who didn’t know you were pregnant and drop the kid while you are taking a shit, be prepared for a long haul. Pace yourself and turn the pit drip down when the Dr. isn’t looking. Running: 3.1 miles is a LONG way to go. Two breaths in, one long breath out.

8) It’s gonna hurt, but you won’t remember it in the end. Delivery: Whoever said this was LYING to you. I remember every stinking, puke filled, contraction upon contraction filled minute. Yes I would do it again, but I also remember the pain. Running: You will remember it if you are as old as I am. Even booze won’t dull the throbbing ache of two busted up knees after your run.

7)Drugs are optional, but sometimes necessary. Delivery: I have the utmost respect for  women who forgo drugs or an epidural during labor. I am not one of those women. I would have french kissed the anesthesiologist for putting in the epidural except I’d been puking all morning from the IV drip. Running: I’d really like some of those labor drugs, but, alas, Ibuprofen and Icy Hot are about all I get after a run. Still, dull throbbing is better than all out stabbing pain shooting up your legs all day.

6)You get to eat after your finished! Delivery: It’s like you win a prize…on top of a prize. They feed you 10 seconds after you deliver. Running: You can, or at least I do, eat pretty much anything right after a run. I don’t know if this is scientifically proven that you are still burning calories quickly, but I’ll do anything to justify a cheeseburger and fries!

5)You have an audience. Delivery: I was determined to only have my husband in the room with me during delivery. Who wants your Mom/Mom-in-law/Dad etc. to see that? Well, after the first few cervical checks and a couple of puke sessions into the day you just don’t give two shits who sees your vagina. By the time my little bundle crowned I had my husband, my Mom, my husbands Mom, a doctor, 10 nurses and the maintenance man cheering me on! And you know what? It’s kind of cool to watch all of their faces as you push your baby out. You know they’ve seen(at least the Dr. and nurses) hundreds if not thousands of babies born, but it’s like their first rodeo. Everyone is cheering you on and grinning and crying. You are the belle of the ball… bloated, sweat stained and blood soaked, but still the belle of the ball! Running: Race day usually finds a crowd of onlookers smiling and cheering you on as you run/limp through the 3.1 grueling miles being chased by ravenous zombies…sweat stained, blood soaked and possibly bloated!

4)Crying, lots of crying. Delivery: Pain, Drugs, more pain, drugs, tearing, pushing, cursing, 7 pounds of wrinkled squawking baby. Running: Pain, Ibuprofen, more pain, cursing, more Ibuprofen chased with a beer.

3)The thrill of accomplishment. Delivery: I have a hard time finishing anything, be it a half written novel or doing the laundry, but if you are knocked up you kind of have to finish what you started. When you are done, there is a sense of accomplishment like no other except… Running: Running fast enough not to be eaten by zombies and actually finishing a 5K race.

2)You get a prize! Delivery: A tiny bundle of joy. Running: a tiny “still human/sorry you’re a zombie” medal!

1)You are embarking on a lifetime of joy. Delivery: You’ll have 18 11  years of love, adoration and affection from your new offspring. When they turn 12, they’ll forget that you endured 36 hours of labor to push their sorry asses out of your vajayjay. I’ve been told that the love, adoration and affection returns once they get out in the “real world”, but as the oldest is just now 18, I cannot vouch for that! Running: You’ll enjoy a healthy relationship with your streamlined body for the rest of your life, unless the zombies get you!

It Really Pays to Rent if You Have Kids.

The hubby and I are on our second house together. We purchased it four years ago after adding a fourth clown to the circus darling child. I bought the first house on my own when we first started dating and he and the oldest kidlet moved in about a year later. It was an awesome house. For one person. I had an extra room for nothing but storage, the basement had a disco ball and fresh carpeting for those Dancing Queen moments you have when you live alone and I could fit my mid-size car in the 1950’s one car garage with no problem.

Fast forward one year and we both had to park in the driveway due to all the shit he transported from an overstuffed apartment, all the bedrooms were taken up and all the storage was moved to a once pristine laundry room. It was quite a shock to go from living alone(with two cats) to three people(five on weekends, two other kidlets), 2 large dogs and rooms that looked like they were from the latest episode of Hoarders! Then my sanity left me. With good reason.

Fast forward another three years and we added our youngest, my first mini kidlet. Every room in our tiny house was packed. The baby’s room was next to our bedroom and right off the echoey living room. Every time the baby went down for a nap I turned into the Shush Nazi. Clearly, we would have to find larger digs. So we did. Brand spanking new four bedroom house with a full basement and a three car garage, moderately priced to be paid off when we went to the nursing home. Maybe.

So, the point of all this is to dissuade Moms and Dads from buying a shiny new home if you have kiddos. Rent if possible and definitely plan on losing that security deposit. You’ll thank me later. Here are the top ten house disasters that I have encountered from having kids and shiny new houses…although one of my favorite top three is actually from the old house but did involve a brand new sliding glass door.

10. Broken window number one thanks to a soccer ball kicked through a basement window exactly 3.2 seconds after oldest was told not to kick the ball towards the house. $100

9. Front door lock thanks to 100000 slams and/or forced openings with one kid inside leaning against to keep out kid #2 on the outside. $150

8. Mystery hole in the boys bedroom behind the door conveniently hidden with an old Xbox game unit, thanks to “I don’t know how that happened”. $??? not fixed yet.

7. Mystery crack in the boys bedroom window thanks to, again, “I don’t know how that happened”. I see a trend here. $???? not fixed yet.

6. Mystery paint scraped off of the hallway wall thanks to “soon to be announced” after kidlet interrogation.

5. Plugged up garage drain, which may or may not have been caused by the hubby, but since I always err on the side of caution, we’re gonna go ahead with one of the kids did it.

4. Mystery red stains on the floor of the boys room along with mystery brown, black and fluorescent green stains on same floor. Boys are icky. Luckily, they used my brand new vacuum to suck up some sick smelling nastiness that I have yet to get out of the damn thing. So this one counts as two…my damn brand spanking new carpets and my damn brand spanking new vacuum.

3. Staircase railing crashing down into the living room (almost landing on our then two year old) from rocking a leg back and forth forcefully on in while getting yelled at for breaking something else. $165

2. Sliding glass door…death by dart, 4.5 seconds after yelling at the oldest not to touch the darts. $1000

1. Garage wall, powder room, framework…death by automobile “mistakenly” driven through by throwing on the gas instead of the brake, again by the oldest. $500, thanks to insurance.

I didn’t even mention all the plugged toilets and sinks, fingerprinted walls, doors that don’t work properly, broken bed frames(no, not from the adults). I could go on and on. Half of the list is thanks in part to the oldest who is either unlucky or bent on leaving his mark on each house in which we dwell.

It really pays to rent if you have kids. Not only are they costly in diapers, clothing, schooling, toys, toiletries etc., but the repair bills will kill your bank account and your sanity.