Who Packs The Heat in Your Home?

If you don’t hear from me in the next week, don’t panic. I’ll be revisiting the Beach House With No Internet. I’m hoping I’ll be able to at least post from my iPhone, but without 3G service that may just be too annoying to deal with.

I was up until Midnight packing for the trip. It took MrZ 15 minutes to pack. Because he packs his suitcase. And that’s it. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way because I feel more confident everything makes it on vacation if I’m doing the packing, but it had me thinking: Are we the only ones that do this?

Do you have kids? When you go on vacation – who does the packing? Are there lines that divide the two? MrZ is in charge of his shoes and clothes, but I do pretty much everything else. And if he tried to help? I’d just follow him around crossing things off a list to make sure we didn’t forget anything important, so what’s the point? I just do it because I’m annoying.

What about you?

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Best. Face. Ever.

Random Bullets of Randomness

  • I’m reading James Rollins’ Doomsday Key currently and it’s good and suspenseful like all of his books, but everytime I think, “I’m ready a thriller/suspense about genetically modified corn…” I crack up. I think that’s probably a sign of a good writer that can build a suspenseful storyline out of agriculture.
  • I wrote the Dalai Lama quote I found here on a “NOTES” file on my iPhone and have been trying to read it everyday, maybe even several times a day. I’m not sure if it’s helping me recenter my mindframe around The Positive instead of The Negative, but it is making me feel quite enlightened because everytime I do it I giggle and think, “Dude. I just read a Dalai Lama quote out loud.” I mean, only grownups do stuff like that, right? Does that mean I’m a total grownup now?
  • LilZ and I have been working on a project together every night this week. Just the two of us. It’s been quite a nice time and I’ll be sad when the project ends. I find myself trying to think of other things to do together but then remember that my husband, who has been on single Dad duty every night, would rather me take a break first.
  • We leave for vacation on Friday. I’m very happy about this vacation although it reminds me how much I had wanted Dad to come this year. I had talked to him about it already at Christmas time and he said he’d be up for it. It’s totally his type of place and I hate that I never got to take him there.
  • My husband has a new schedule now. He’s waking up at 4am every morning and alternating between going for a long run or going for a swim at the YMCA. He’s been doing it for a few weeks and it’s the best thing that every happened to this family. He is now home every night for dinner and for helping out with the kids. To tell you that this change of schedule has made me less insane would be an understatement. We even have time alone sans kids in the mornings now to hang out. He and I chatted just this morning for about 20 minutes without kids interrupting. It’s amazing what a difference a shift like that has made.
  • I almost bought a New Moon puzzle at Barnes and Noble yesterday. Then I remembered I’m not 14. But LilZ is so I asked him if he would got back and buy it for me. That’s logical, right?

I’m a “But…”-head.

I am not very good at apologies. Both with my children and my husband I am guilty of the, “I’m sorry, but…” technique of apology. And it – I know – is the worst way to apologize. Sometimes, it’s necessary. “I’m sorry, but I thought your head was a my pillow!” when you accidentally grabbed your husband’s face and clawed his eyes in the middle of the night. (What?) There are those rare times when adding a reason why you did what you did may make someone feel better about your behavior. But for me? Often it’s more phrased like, “I’m sorry you’re angry at me but here’s why my actions were justified.” Which, in reality? Is NOT an apology for those actions. It’s actually quite insulting. I know that, yet I do it anyway.

The most common variety is, “I’m sorry I was a bitch, but you deserved it.”

And you know? Why waste the time? Just so I can say, “What? I apologized?!” Because that is NOT an apology and probably means I’m not really sorry for what I did, I’m just sorry that the other person is angry. I’m really, really bad about this (if my husband read my blog he’d be nodding his head so hard right now he’d be getting whiplash) and I’m very, very aware of it. MrZ does it too sometimes (although not as often as I do) and it bugs the shit out of me. For example, this is a cycle in our house:

MrZ can’t find item X.
MrZ assumes I’ve thrown away item X.
I assure him I didn’t and get mad he thinks I did.
MrZ finds item X.
MrZ says, “I’m sorry I thought you threw X away. But, you throw everything away!”
And I spend the next hour defending that accusation.

9 times out of 10, when I do an, “I’m sorry, but…” apology to either MrZ or LilZ, they end up doing the same thing – turning around and defending the “but…” part of the accusation. If your apology causes someone to say anything other than, “Thank you for your apology…” then you might be doing it wrong. And I do it wrong all the time.

I think that it’s because the “but…” part of my apology is a point I really want made. What I need to understand is there’s a time to bring up that point that is not part of the apology. Thrown in with the apology just makes it like I never said I was sorry. Whereas, if I bring it up during calmer times not associated with that specific apology, then the “I’m Sorry,” is truly sincere and very appreciated. And more often than not? The “but…” part is already in their mind. I know that MrZ accuses me of throwing stuff away because I’m kinda the opposite of a packrat. I really hate keeping things that aren’t immediately useful or necessary. I give shit to goodwill all the time that we end up replacing a few years later. So, I know that when he thinks I threw something away, he has a good reason. He just doesn’t need to remind me of that.

So…I’ve been thinking about how, once I put my mind to it, I was able to make lifestyle changes and fashion changes (I’ve looked nice for work everyday for TWO WEEKS now) in my life then maybe I should work on things that affect other people as well. First up? My method of apology. I’m going to try to practice the art of the Sincere Apology. The one that I truly mean so much that I don’t try to redirect that blame to the other person with a “but…” statement. Sincere apologies go so far. If you’ve ever received one, you know how much of a difference it makes.

What about you? Are you a “But…”-head? Hee. How do you let go of your pride (because my GOD that’s the hardest part) long enough to give a sincere apology? Or to even ADMIT one is needed? (Because, you know, I’m never wrong and am perfect in every way.) Even better, are you the victim of a “But…”-head? If you are often the victim of this type of less-insincere apology, I’d like to hear from you too. Does the apology even mean anything with the “but…” at the end? I’m betting 90% of my apologies are null and void because of that wonderful, “but…” I always throw in.

We now open the floor to our first ever “But…”-heads anonymous meeting:

Optimism

A friend of my teaches at my old high school (and if she’s reading this she’s cringing thinking, Oh no, what’s she going to say now…) and I was reminding her for the millionth time the other day that OHMYGOD…my son starts high school in TWO WEEKS. She’s reassured me a few times in the past but yesterday she said something completely enlightening. Something along the lines of you’ll love this phase (as will he). High school is soooo much better than middle school, and you’ll love watching his transformation.

WHAT?

It had never occurred to me that things might get better…not worse. And you know…I think she’s right. I look back at my own high school career and while I rebelled more and broke more rules, I was probably a much easier person to be around. Junior High me was very depressed and kinda hated my life and my father. High School Me asked him to chaperon field trips and enjoyed trips to the Art Museum. As a matter of fact, we started a tradition in High School of going to the art museum every Sunday that I was with him and not my Mom. That’s a GOOD thing. And that occurred in High School. We had some of our best trips together in High School, including driving around the South looking at colleges.

I think she’s right.

LilZ and I hung out alone quite late last night (translation: 10pm, late for ME…not HIM.) just chatting and hanging out and you know…I think it’s already better. I’m learning to give him a little more space and freedom and in the process I’m finding that the times when we hang out just occur naturally. I think I was so worried that he’d want to hang out with me…NEVER…that maybe I was trying to hard to force time with him. But as he gets older, I think we settle more into a working relationship we both need – so the bonding time occurs organically.

In other words…I’ve learned to just bribe him with Pizza. He’ll hang out with me for pizza.

I’m just really glad she phrased it like that because I think it reminded me of the good that’s waiting for us around the corner. While I’m terrified of the next four years on many levels, I’m also starting to get…excited.

That is…until the first time he takes the car without permission. Then I’m swearing off high school forever.

LilZ's Art
One of the LilZ’s friends took this picture and he did the post-processing which I adore.

From Gate 2

Well. Here I am waiting at one of our 10 gates in our very small airport for my unaccompanied minor to board her plane. I found a WP app for my phone and am testing it out. Just wanted to tell you that I am also wearing leggings! iPhone and leggings? I am officially too cool 4 school. In case you were wondering.

That is all.