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October 14, 2013 / jenwithboys


What would it be like to spend your day doing something that you really loved? 

Last night, my boys asked me what my favorite thing to do was. Without looking up from Kindle, I answered, “play with you guys”. 

“Ugh”. They said in unison. “We knew you would say that.” they again said in unison. After a well deserved shaming of “Jinx”, and when they were again free to talk, they both started asking what I would do if I could do anything in the world. 

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I mean, if we’re talking anything, it would probably be to drive around Europe on a Vespa, occasionally stopping to have a latte, food or glass of wine at an outside cafe. Or to read books laying sprawled out on a blanket in the sun. Maybe owning a home in the Tuscan countryside, spending my days painting and shooing chickens out of my kitchen. -Wait, I think that was a movie. 

So, this begs the question–do we work to live or live to work? Because right now, I’m living to work, and working to survive. And it’s hard. And I’m tired. 

But I haven’t the faintest idea how to change any of it. 


October 14, 2013 / jenwithboys

I mean…

I mean...

July 25, 2013 / jenwithboys

Is this what I’m supposed to do?

I’ve made peace with my life. That is, I understand that there are certain limitations in place that are natural for a person who decided to live her life backwards. I mean, let’s not go crazy–“decided” is sort of a strong word. No, it really wasn’t a decision, more like an acceptance. Like, “Oh, dear–that happened”.
Anywhoo, this is not meant to be a vague diatribe on the single mom life. No. Rather, I want to be clear. It’s weird. It’s so weird in so many ways. But, right now, I’m thinking of my “lower class” status and how, truly, I don’t think I fit in. Now, I am going to try really hard not to be judgmental. It’s just that I’m tired of sticking out like a sore thumb EVERYWHERE.
For instance:
1. Am I supposed to have bright blonde striped highlights?
2. ” paint my eyebrows on?
3. ” encourage my children to live at home with me forever?
4. ” have a profile?
5. ” think the guy at daycare with a silver tooth and a no hubcaps on his Crown Victoria is cute?
6. ” stay at the “All Star” hotels?
7. ” curse like a sailor?
8. ” stop going to the dentist?

Just wondering.

June 22, 2013 / jenwithboys


I’m fairly certain that one of my boys is a hoarder. I will not name names. He knows who he is.
I’ve begun noticing that more often than not, we are low on forks. Knives? Plenty. Spoons? An overabundance. But forks, where are they? I mean, the quantity of forks has always been equal to that of the other utensils. Until recently.
Needless to say, the last several days have been frustrating regarding eating; and this is mainly because I’m the only one who acually uses utensils to eat. In fact, I’m really the only one who has any contact at all with the utensils here. I eat with them, wash them, put them away. That is, until now when the only things I’m washing seem to be knives and spoons.
So, while spending the morning watching episodes of Portlandia and meticulously cutting split ends out of my hair, I made the connection. You see, I had a similar problem in the summer of 2005. It was then that I had two toddlers in diapers. It was also then that my house took on a putrid odor of ammonia. After being confronted of the smell by my mother who nearly passed out during one particular visit, I began investigating. Low and behold, I stumbled upon multiple (multiple!) hidden spots where diapers (diapers!) had been apparently ripped off and stashed away. Full diapers. Now before you start judging, these were the days that have mostly all been blocked out of my memory. I think this was my brain’s way of sparing me the expense of thousands of dollars in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) therapy. One memory of this incident remains: Alone, sifting through toys and clothes in the bottom of my oldest child’s closet (NOT the diaper wearer, mind you), the smell of ammonia became increasingly overwhelming. And there it was–ground zero. Two or three old, full diapers squished into the corner, having existed there for probably days, maybe weeks. I’m going to stop this story now, because I’m starting to feel my pulse race and my head start to spin. Dang PTSD.
Back to the forks.
So, now I’m certain that the forks are being intentionally pilfered and hoarded. And it’s not a question of who. I know who. But where? There is no distinct fork smell to lead me to the stash. And anyway, what’s he doing wih forks? My first guess, knowing the culprit, is that he’s making shivs for camp. But surely I would have received a call about that by now. Alas, there’s no discussing the hoarding. No, that would only anger him more. All I can do is keep asking vague, rhetorical questions out loud, like “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to pierce this food I’m eating with something other than a dull semicircle?”–and hope the hoarder is listening and that he has a modicum of shame/guilt.
Until then, I guess the mind of a hoarder is a complexity that must remain unknown. And probably I can only hope for the best outcome in this situation–that the pilfered, hoarded forks are clean, wherever they may be. God rest their souls.

June 21, 2013 / jenwithboys


While I’ve always known that I’m a freak for being so young, having a thousand children and no husband, I only recently discovered that since I had those children in my late teenage and early twenties years, that now, at 34, I am approaching a mid-life crisis. Balk if you will, the timeline is accurate. I’ve been a mom for 15 years. Sixteen if you count pregnancy. I’ve married, divorced, bought (2) homes, lost one to foreclosure, driven a minivan (twice) and have joined and quit Weight Watchers several times. I will extol the glory of prunes, pretend the more coarse hairs are just “bleached out” rather than gray, am totally on a first name basis with my handsome gynocologist and quite frankly, I enjoy the pair of jeans that I have that button above the belly button. I enjoy Ladies Home Journal, cooking with my crockpot and getting to bed at a decent hour. I think those things more than qualify me as regular 50 year old woman.
Having said all that, I think you will understand if you see me this weekend, wearing my USF Bulls T-shirt, hair in a high ponytail, driving fast, blaring Lil Wayne. In my minivan.

I mean, it’s perfectly natural to want to reclaim your youth. Especially if you’ve never actually had one. Right?

June 20, 2013 / jenwithboys


If I’m being completely honest, I’ve got to tell you this blog is going to change direction asap. I’ve been reading over my posts, all six of them, and frankly, they suck. I mean, they’re not me. The harsh reality is, I’m not a sweet, nice mom of boys who loves crafts, maxi dresses and cooked fruit desserts. No, that’s not me.
It’s just, as much as I love reading blogs from women my age with their cute haircuts gushing about their babies and their recent trips to Costco with their hapless husbands, I am not one of them. Heck, I don’t even have a husband. And I used to have babies, now I have short people. Strike that. Two short people and a teenager. And unlike all these crazy goofs having children in their thirties and forties, (while married!) I chose a much more unique path. Well, chose is kind of a strong word. Heh. Heh. Hey, as the popular saying goes, I didn’t choose the single mom life, the single mom life chose me. (Insert another round of awkward, self conscious laughter here _____.) And as I’ve told myself countless times, there may be something said for doing everything backwards. There must be.
Anyway, my blog will be more of the oh crap, can you believe that happened?! Rather than Hey!Look at the cute pictures of my babies and all the crafts I’ve made!
But oh, the laughter. In fact, I’ve learned that sometimes the hardest way to do things produces the funniest stories.
So there.

June 19, 2013 / jenwithboys