Rachel, Mommy Matchmaker.

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One of my good friends is moving away.

I’m not happy.

Her moving date is over a year away, granted, but I’m still not happy.

However, luckily for her, and thanks to all of you random people who befriend me in other cities, I happen to know someone in the city/state she’s moving to. A blog reader – one of the ones that I’ve actually met in real life while passing through said other city. Because I genuinely do love getting to know all of you – even if I don’t always have time to chat as much as I used to.

(So much angst and guilt about my inability to do so. SO MUCH.)

Anyway. Blog-reader-in-other-city who is now future friends with my friend who is leaving me for other city (are you following so far?) suggested that I become an entrepreneur. That I should open up internet shop – mommyfriendsonly(dot)com.

I mean there’s Farmers Only and Christian Mingle and 420 Singles (because it’s SO hard for pot smokers to find fellow pot smokers, apparently) and even Ugly Schmucks (for people who feel unattractive and/or those who value personality first.)

And, since we’re making a list, here are some other specialty dating sites you can join:

Trek Passions – so that you can find that unique someone that prefers Star Trek: Voyager over ST:TNG. There’s gotta be one out there.

Mullet Passions – Because two Mullets make a right.

Meet an Inmate – In case you’ve always wanted to find yourself an incarcerated boyfriend or girlfriend. According to the website description,

Even though these men and women are in prison, it doesn’t mean that they are bad individuals. The majority of these inmates are loving, clever, reliable, sexy and very passionate. They enjoy sports, music, arts, etc., just as you do. However, they are convicted felons and caution should be used.

Opposite of the earlier mentioned Ugly Schmucks, there’s Darwin Dating. Described as,

Darwin Dating was created exclusively for beautiful, desirable people. Our strict rules and natural selection process ensures all our members have winning looks. Those strict rules ban, among other things, saggy boobs, sweat patches, nerdy glasses and cackly laughs.

I mean, who has sweat patches on their Match profile pics? And no saggy boobs – I guess post-breastfeeding moms are no longer natural-selection-appropriate. EVEN THOUGH WE’RE THE ONES PROPAGATING THE SPECIES.

But I digress.

Salad Match – to help you find a date that likes the same salad toppings you do!

…which is ridiculously inefficient, since Chris and I are perfectly salad matched because of our opposite tastes. He gets all the croutons, bacon, and peppers, and I get all the tomatoes, olives, and onions. Salad Match would have never let us find each other!

So why shouldn’t Moms have a website where they can find compatible Mom Friends? And also girlfriends in general, for those who aren’t Moms?

There is no good reason. I am not going to be making this website, but there is still no good reason.

But here’s the thing. By the fact that all of you are reading my blog, you are, already, matched up by your twisted and kooky sense of humor. And you’re a little dark, too, as you apparently don’t mind all of my train wreck stories. I mean, how could you not be compatible with one another when you enjoy reading about someone else’s colonoscopy and multiple poo disasters?? Not to mention roadkill photography

Anyway. Between your already identified darkly entertained side and the fact that I’ve gotten to know so many of you over the years, I could totally match-make many of you – especially since some of you live in the same cities.

So I created a group.

I’ve been meaning to make a group for other reasons for a while, now – and actually I did make it last August and just never used it – and now I kind of feel like giving it a whirl. Both because I think that many of you would like each other very much, and because I have some stories I want to share that I don’t necessarily want sitting on the front page of my blog for all the crazy commenters out there to find. Or my Dad.

(Sorry, Dad – there are just some things you don’t want to read about.)

So here it is. A Facebook Group. (I know, I know…Facebook is the worst. But it’s kind of the best for groups.) So if you’d like to join, just click and request. I’ll approve you all (after I stalk you thoroughly to assure the group that you’re not an ax murderer or if you are that you only chop up non-bloggers or non-friends of bloggers,) and within the group we can discuss all sorts of fascinating subjects. I can answer questions easily, I can share stories I can’t share otherwise, and you can get to know each other. And maybe, I’ll even match a few of you up to your new best friends.

I can’t wait to get to know you all better! Click here to join…

Disclaimer: Due to the nature of the posts I plan on sharing, I highly recommend this group only for women. If any three of you loyal male readers want to sue me or just blast me in the comment section for sexist-group-creation, I get it. I’m an awful human. As a sincere apology gift, allow me to send you my very detailed 3,000 word post about the new way I’m dealing with my menstrual cycle, and after reading, you can decide whether or not you still care about being in the group. If so, come on in. 

A Bathroom Conundrum Worth Discussing.

Saturday afternoon, Chris took me out on a date.

He arranged babysitting, made reservations, gave me specific instructions (put your hair up and bring your camera), and that’s all the information I got. I had no idea where we were going or what our date entailed.

I WAS surprised when I was still in the car an hour and a half later, but hey. One must go where the date takes you. And the drive was lovely – fields of flowers with cows idly grazing, baby foals being nudged along by their mothers, the occasional cluster of goats being herded by giant white dogs, Alabama mountains, and fantastic rural haunts like “Hick’s Poor Man’s Store” and “Mister Willie’s Family Restaurant”.  All of these would have made lovely photos for this post, but apparently that wasn’t on the date agenda, and anyway there weren’t exactly shoulders on this two-lane country road.

There were also lovely smells wafting into his convertible (hence my hair being up) – until we passed a pile of manure and then not-at-all-so-lovely smells.

But anyway.

We arrived at dinner in a small lakeside city a couple of hours north. The restaurant chosen was one we’d never been to, but had both heard of from prior trips to said city. It was one of those quirky, small restaurants that’s located in an old house. Do y’all have that type of restaurant outside of Alabama? I know Georgia does, because we had one of our quirkiest meals ever at The Olde Pink House.

But that’s not today’s story.

In this house restaurant, there were a couple different very small dining rooms (I think we ate in a bedroom), a cozy feel, and very winding hallways.

Since we had driven two hours to get there, I of course needed to visit the restroom immediately. It took me a minute, but I located it down a hallway that also housed a very squeezed-in-the-hallway bar. Because it was an old house, there were two choices, both individual bathrooms, one down the hall from the other. The one I went in was the bigger one – big enough that you assumed it used to have a claw-foot bathtub or some other sort of antique bathing option. The other bathroom, down the hall a bit but still in view of former-clawfoot bathroom, was clearly the old house’s pocket bathroom. It barely had room for a toilet and a sink and the leftover floor space for a very careful turnaround from the sink to the door when it was time to leave.

I headed back to our table for a lovely, lengthy meal at this tiny old house.

After our dinner of potato croquettes and filet mignon with a coffee rub and all sorts of deliciousness, it was time to go. Chris had sunset plans (hence the camera), and the meal had taken slightly longer than he had anticipated. But because I have the bladder of a 5 week old bunny, I hurried back to the bathrooms for one last visit.

When I arrived, both were occupied and there was a gentleman waiting. The bigger bathroom opened up, so he took it. Shortly thereafter, the tiny bathroom became available, so I turned sideways and squeezed in.

As I walked out of the bathroom, there were two more people waiting – older ladies – I would guess in their late 70s or early 80s, chatting as women do.

They saw me exit the restroom, and the woman that was first in line headed toward it and said,

“Hey Judy if you want, you can just come on in here with me.”

I was passing them as this offer was made, and I whipped my head around with an eyebrow raised.

Judy shook her silvery curls and quickly said, “Oh but I think it’s just a single…”

Judy’s friend interrupted. “That’s okay! You can still come in here if you don’t mind.”

I watched as Judy, clearly the non-dominant friend in this situation, sadly followed her friend into the bathroom.

Now.

I had just come out of the tiny bathroom. The one with NO room for an audience. And I understand that women like to go to the bathroom together and it’s what we do and all, but pure logic here makes the presumed assumption behind the offer make zero sense.

I had no indication at all that Judy’s friend, this delightfully blue-haired 80 year old woman, was making anything other than a helpful offer to Judy. The tone in which she invited Judy into the bathroom was obviously one of convenience. As if to say “Hey Judy to make sure you get the next bathroom available, just come on in here with me.”

Which is where I got completely and infinitely confused, as her opportunity cost and game theory and all that was seriously off base.

If Judy waits outside the bathroom, she gets two options – because maybe the guy who went into the big bathroom would get out before Judy’s friend does – in fact, it’s probable that he will. Judy’s friend has pantyhose to try to wriggle back into, after all.

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But instead, because Judy obeyed her friend, not only does she have to squeeze in the impossibly tiny bathroom, watch her friend pee, and awkwardly not notice if any passing of the gas slips out (and what if Judy knew that SHE had passing of the gas that needed to happen?? Now she has to hold it forever?!), but she loses the opportunity to relieve her own bladder even sooner – because the big bathroom option is now off the table.

 

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I DO hope her Depends underwear survived her plight. And I hope that Judy NEVER EVER finds herself chatting with her friend while waiting on a Port-A-Potty.

So. Lest you miss it, the moral of this extremely important opinion piece is, friends don’t pressure friends into joining them in one-hole bathrooms. And also, #PrayForJudysPantyhose.

Finishing by the Skin of my Teeth.

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We. Have finished.

Like the Loaves and the Fishes, God somehow multiplied our days and we got in not the 165 required minimum, and not the 175 recommended, but 176 school days. One hundred seventy-six days of school since I took this picture.

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Despite the wreck.

Despite spending a full week and the better part of a month in bed.

Despite 44 trips to the Physical Therapist.

All of the good in this school year is owed to Ali’s ridiculous sense of responsibility, which translated into her deciding she’d get up early every day and try and finish as much school as she could before I even got out of bed. She’s the teacher’s pet for sure.

Noah’s 4K education might not have been as stellar as it could have been, but I’m not too sad at what we accomplished. He can do basic addition and subtraction, and miraculously, the kid is actually learning how to read – despite how adamantly it goes against his belief system.

But, because pictures are more fun than words, before I continue, let’s look at a few more before-and-afters. Because they make me happy. And maybe at least one or two of you happy, too. (I’m looking at you, grandparents.)

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That last picture may disprove my statement of “Noah is beginning to read” but I swear he does know how to tell whether letters are upside down or not. I think.

And yes, in other news, Ali went from being a kid to a tween this year. For sure. (And I never blogged about her getting braces? Yeah I missed that somehow.)

But at any rate, these students are ready for summer. And so is their teacher.

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Despite us getting in our recommended number of days plus one (an extra day is like a piece of flair in the homeschool world) AND our registrar emailing me back to congratulate me on being the FIRST mom to get ALL my paperwork filed for the school year,

I kinda bombed as a teacher this year.

I mean, it’s not totally my fault and I shan’t take the blame for it. But even after the recovery, I never could get back in control of my organization. My school records that I so lovingly keep? Uh, yeah. I think that stopped around October. Science Experiments? Not a one. Fun craft projects? Zero.

I get a D- in Fun for the two-turd-fifteen school year.

But because of that, I’m obsessively determined that next year is going to be AWESOME. And so, three days before the last day of school, I was organizing and researching and making decisions and ordering textbooks and creating my own hands-on Alabama History curriculum and….

Y’all really might want to consider getting me committed for a psych eval. I think I’m manic. I’m certainly not myself.

 

(No but really I’m super excited about my Alabama History plan. Ali is fascinated by Birmingham and Alabama history, and I don’t want to kill her interest by shoving a terrible textbook at her. If anyone else really hates the awful and sparse Alabama History textbooks, comment and let me know. If there’s enough interest, I’ll share my plans later in the summer, and perhaps blog them separately throughout the school year. So far, the plan includes a vast number of field trips, a good number of library books, historical photo books, biographies, and interviewing some of our older friends and family to see what Alabama was like while they were growing up. And also we’re studying Botany for Science, so that our hikes can serve as history and science outings since most of our hiking destinations are at old iron mining sites. I told you I’m manic.)

Anyway.

Friday was the last day of school, and as such, we planned a family celebration and secret family meeting for that evening.

We ate at one of the kid’s favorite restaurants, La Paz, then guided them out to the ever mysterious and magical clock tower in front of the restaurant.

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…It wasn’t that creepy outside when we had our meeting – but it was slightly raining.

 

We had prepared a two page secret meeting agenda: “Rules of Summer” and “Summer Fun” sheets to inform the children of all that the summer would contain.

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Chris and I took turns making their eyes light up,

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And hands scramble to write down events in their planner.

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They were even excited to hear about the rules of summer, because although we’d been telling them that we were going to have an iPadless summer like last year, we changed our minds at the last minute and decided that they could have limited iPad time during quiet time so that I could actually have time to write and work and stuff without (maybe) Noah constantly begging me to play with him.

As the last item on the agenda, we set them to work making their Summer Wish Lists – what would you like to do this summer?

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(Thankfully neither of them is smart enough to request a trip to Europe, but we did decline a request for a trip to Disney World.)

…And then we went to get FroYo. Because that’s what one does after a Secret Family Meeting under the Clock Tower.

Hallelujah for Summer.