Candy Fundraisers: Do you eat the candy? Or sell it?

There is a debate going on in our household…

Katie: We’re not making any money from this fundraiser.

Me: The school isn’t making money?

Katie: No. WE, as in our family, aren’t making any money towards my trip. We’re just buying the candy we’re eating.

Me: Everybody eats the candy.

Katie: No. They sell it.

Me: I really think other families eat the candy…

Katie: We eat the candy. Other kids SELL the candy.

Back when my brother and I were children, he sold candy bars to support his Little League Baseball Team. Every summer. That was back in the day where there was NO choice. No option NOT to take part. Little League sold candy bars. So my brother sold candy bars.

My parents cringed when they picked my brother up from practice and he was carrying those boxes of candy bars. They understood that they were sort of ‘snacks.’

Our entire neighborhood played little league. Which meant, we were just buying each others candy bars to be ‘nice.’ Either that, or eating them.

We grabbed one here and there. At some point, it was time to turn in the money and I went door-to-door, selling what was left of the candy. At least to recoup some money, so that my Dad didn’t have to pay for ALL of the candy. My brother wasn’t into selling candy bars, so he begged me to sell them–And I always did.

Back to our house last week as the kids were getting ready for school…

Katie: I am missing 2 Kit Kits and 2 Reese’s cups!! And I ate a Hershey’s bar.

Yes. She inventoried contents of her box of candy. She is organized like that. 

Me: I ate a Reese’s Cup.

Nick strolled out of the bathroom with his toothbrush shoved in his mouth. He made eye contact with us, held three fingers in the air and shuffled back into the bathroom.

Katie: Come on!!

I handed her the cash to cover it.

Which begs the question.

Are we the only family eating the candy?  

On motherhood..

If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.  ~Jackie Kennedy

Hmmm… There is truth there. Without strong ties to our children or kind, responsible and loving children–there is very little materially that matters, as we get older.

My mother truly believed that raising her children was her greatest accomplishment.

Since having children, I must say that I come at most of my decisions with an eye toward their afffect on my children. I had a wonderful childhood and I’ve always felt that my children deserved one, as well. Because children only get one childhood…if possible, some magic and lots of love should be packed into it.

My children & I

And so far, so good.

I have two happy and healthy children.

And I hope they would look back and say they had a joyful childhood, filled with laughter, love and fun.

Because, that’s all I’ve got at this point in my life.

After being a longtime homemaker, I ended up divorced. I’m now a single parent of two teenagers, trying to set up a career—he%&, I’d be fine with having a steady job!

This is not an economy in need of more single mothers, with little formal work experience to be seeking employment. The upside is that I have a college degree and good technical skills thanks to a two-year job drafting in CAD. Also, I’ve written freelance and been published over the years. I’m not the village idiot, but it would be a stretch to call myself a ‘Career Woman’ just yet…

Further, I rent my home, instead of owning one. My trusty Honda is almost 13-years-old. And because my ex-husband was the ‘breadwinner’ for many years, he had the stock options and retirement plan—along with all the financial success that goes along with the career he spent many years building.

My priority was to make sure that the children cared for.

But now, I must focus on my future, find a career and begin building a life for myself. One that makes me happy, when the children fly the coop.

No small task.

But as I read that quote, I felt a sense of accomplishment in that I can at least look back and say that I was a good mother and that I did okay by my children.

Kids? And yes, this is a message to my kids…

Please do not screw that up for me!!!

At least not yet.

If you are going to mess up, can you please wait until I have a solid career, a new husband, have purchased my home—or until I can use another yardstick to measure my success??

I know this is a lot of pressure and maybe a lot to ask. But you guys are all I’ve got just now. So please carry on being responsible, kind, hard-working children.

At least for a little while longer.

The first time you marry for love, the second for money and the third for companionship  ~ Jackie Kennedy                                            Onassis

                        

Don’t make me consider the benefits of that quote, which might send me looking for another Aristotle Onassis to be Husband #2.

Birthday Party…For One?

Yesterday was my 41st birthday. And it was a wonderful day.

What did I do?

Nothing.

Who did I spend it with?

Myself.

And, no. I am not a complete loser. (Or at least I don’t think I am…)

But I am completely fine when left to my own devices. I am comfortable in my own company.

Holidays, birthdays and other special occasions can foster anxiety, tension and/or unrealistic expectations. Many times, the celebration cannot possibly live up and what started with good intentions ends up a mess of hurt feelings, disappointments and arguments.

As my birthday approached, I wasn’t dreading it—nor was I overly excited. It was just another day.

My father and his wife ended up out-of-town on my birthday weekend. They attended a child’s birthday party—I told my Dad I’d had plenty of birthday’s and to please go celebrate the child’s birthday. That we would get together soon.

Aunt Kate lives in Virginia and often comes up to Ohio for my birthday. This year, she will be coming to town the week after my birthday. It just worked out that way.

My kids? It was their father’s weekend…

I had a weekend to myself, so I embraced it!

I slept in. I lounged on the couch, until I felt the urge to move. I ate birthday cake for breakfast–from what was left of the cake that I ran to the store and bought the night before. Because it was my cake, I had a slice when I got it home. And a little more after midnight with a glass of milk–to mark my ‘official’ birthday. Why not? My cake. My birthday.

As the phone rang, I caught up with friends and family who called to offer birthday wishes. Some of the calls were completely unexpected. Some were more typical. In my family, we have this habit of calling to sing Happy Birthday to each other. And I am going to tell you—we CANNOT sing. And yet, we try.

I put the message from my Dad and his wife on speaker phone, so that my dogs could enjoy the song with me. And the dogs LOVED it!! Not sure what that says about Dad and Jannie’s rendition of Happy Birthday…

My daughter and son stopped by for a visit. We grabbed lunch and chatted about their weekend and such. Had a few laughs. Then visited our favorite vintage store just around the corner, before the kids headed back to their Dad’s house. It was more of a ‘mini-visit’ and it was just fine.

I was footloose and fancy free again. I decided to do a little shopping…for me!! Something I don’t often get to do. The best part? There was no plan. No timetable. No place to be. I wasn’t looking for anything specific. And I got to stop wherever I wanted to stop and stay as long as I wanted to stay.

Next? Home for a late afternoon nap. In a silent and CLEAN house. 

For dinner? Popcorn. Because that is what I felt like eating. Or at least, what I felt like cooking…

I could have gone out that evening…and yet, I was very happy lounging on my couch in my comfy fleece pants, fuzzy socks and soft cotton shirt. My dogs were happy, too.

And so I read magazines. And then I watched a movie, curled up on my huge sectional in a blanket—flanked by my doggies. Grace snoozed at (actually on) my feet. And my Golden Retriever stretched out at my other side.

So I wasn’t ‘technically’ alone—because I had my dog ‘friends’ with me. They are great company, because they don’t expect conversation.

There were plenty of phone calls, texts, Facebook greetings, etc. to keep me feeling connected to family and friends.

Though one text read:

“Another year has disappeared, hope you enjoy today.”

Huh? Like, were they trying to inspire me to jump off a bridge?

Those particular birthday wishes could have been delivered via Eeyore. I got a giggle every time I thought about that text–all day long. (Still do…)

My family will gather for my birthday and my daughter’s birthday in a couple of weeks. Today, I got to go to lunch with a lovely friend. There will be an outlet-shopping trip with another group next weekend. And a trip downtown this week, among other things.

But the real birthday…no plans. And it was quite relaxing.

I am often on a tight schedule, rushing from one place to the next–which makes a day with no plan a treat.

Be honest. How many felt sorry for me in the first few lines?

Then ended up being a little jealous of my low-key birthday celebration by the time I finished describing it?

I’m sure that I wouldn’t want to fly solo every year on my birthday. But this year, it was just Perfect.

I’m Posting Every Day…in October 2011

I’ve decided that I’d like to start blogging more, instead of thinking of writing…spinning words in my head that never quite reach my computer.

And so I’ll be posting a blog per day this month. My plan is to keep my posts light and fun–and likely short.

In posting each day, I am participating in an experiment in blogging motivation from the folks at WordPress.com. The plan is for WordPress bloggers to post every day with ideas, suggestions and inspiration. If nothing else, it promises to be a fun ride–and I will be in the company of (at least) thousands of other bloggers in accepting this challenge…

For those who already read my blog, I hope you’ll continue to do so and that you keep letting me know how I’m doing with feedback, comments and encouragement.

Unless, I post something that is just horrible. In that case, please tell me so. ALL feedback is welcome, the good AND the bad…

It will be interesting to see if I run out of things to write about…God knows I never run out of things to say!

Today seemed a good day to start, as it is my 41st birthday. Stick with me this month and we’ll see how it goes…

Let the blogging begin.