Rules for Life

Welcome 2018! Happy New Year!

Dear Kid,

Did you blink? 2017 was here and gone in an instant that felt like a decade. Each minute dragged on and on yet as a whole the year whooshed by.

Happy New Year! DearKidLoveMom.comI will leave it to others (like the great historian Dave Barry) to remember enough of what went on in 2017 to write year-end summaries and reviews.

I’m looking forward.

Forward to friends having healthy babies and sending me videos of babies laughing (not kidding—I expect a ton of happy baby videos, L).

Forward to weddings and anniversaries and birthday celebrations. And to spending time with the people celebrating them.

Forward to spending time with friends I haven’t seen for a while.

Forward to trips and forward to staying home.

Forward to reaching new levels in Word Cookie (it’s my new addiction—don’t judge).

Forward to an even bigger and better Cincinnati Coffee Festival. (Is that Possible? Yes—just wait).

Forward to the Olympics and Olympic achievements by all.

Forward to listening to the Puppy snore. (Cutest noise in the world.)

Forward to new adventures and comforting sameness.

Forward to spring, and summer, and fall (and not so much winter).

Forward to sharing others’ joys and finding some of my own.

Forward (with highly mixed feelings) to graduations and new starts.

Happy 2018.

Love, Mom

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The Flu, The Shot, The Opinion (and Grateful for Friends Even 20+ Years Later)

Dear Kid,

Let’s face it: Pretty much no one likes getting shots.

On the other hand, given a choice between a shot and death, most of us will choose a shot.

Given a choice between a shot and being ridiculously ill (with potentially long lasting side effects), most of us will choose a shot.

On the other hand, given a choice between a shot and death, most of us will choose a shot. DearKidLoveMom.comGiven a choice between a shot and making other people ridiculously ill (with death a potential side effect), most of us will choose a shot.

Which makes the political situation even weirder than you might think.

There is a discussion (and by “discussion” I mean all out fight) in Columbus (the capitol of our Great State) over whether businesses (including hospitals and other healthcare facilities) should be allowed to require employees to have a flu shot as a condition of employment.

I think the majority of the problem stems from the use of the word “flu.” No one confuses “flu” with “flew” or “flue” (or if they do, they’re wise enough not to mention it to me). But the number of people who confuse “flu” with “a bit of a cold” or “the sniffles” annually astounds me.

The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses A or B. Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. Includes body aches, fever, sore throat, vomiting, and other assorted nasty symptoms.

You do not get over the flu in 24 hours any more than you pop two Advil and get over a migraine.

If you’ve had the flu, you understand the difference (still grateful to Gloria for bringing me apple juice and graham crackers). If you think I’m exaggerating, you’ve never had the flu. Or a migraine.

Having had the flu (once was enough, thank you very much), I get a flu shot every year. The pain of twenty-plus years’ worth of shots doesn’t even begin to compare to the death wish that is the flu.

And now there is legislation about the right (or lack thereof) to require employees to get a flu shot.

While I am all for individual responsibility and decision making, this seems beyond ridiculous. People who hang around people who have a lot of germs (young children and the elderly) and/or the vulnerable (young children and the elderly) should have the flu shot. It’s not risky, it’s not particularly painful, and it can save lives.

Yes, I think everyone should get a flu shot every year. No, I don’t think we should legislate that. Yes, I think some employers should be able to require the flu shot (and other delightful preventative measures) as employment requirements. No, I don’t think everyone has the right to make other people sick.

And Yes, I got my flu shot months ago.

Love, Mom

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The Laws of Holiday Music and Cincinnati Cyclones

Dear Kid,

There ought to be a law.

There should be a deadline for when Christmas Holiday Christmas music needs to stop. And that time should be (according to my very scientific calculations) the Day After.

Congrats to the #CincyCyclones on their win last night.

It is now officially time to pack away the tinsel drenched songs until next year. Yes, we can wait until October (seriously? Not even November?) to celebrate Rudolph, the partridge, and all bells (jingling or silent).

Especially at the gym. It’s hard enough to work out to I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas prior to the holiday. It’s virtually impossible now. And now they seem to be playing more of the dirge varieties. Knock it off, people!

Also, I have now officially heard the Worst Ever Christmas Song. Worst. Ever. It’s called Text Me Merry Christmas. The title should tell you all you need to know. I’m including it, but I don’t recommend listening.

What a sad commentary.

I’m hiding under my pillow until Groundhog Day.

Love, Mom

P.S. Congrats to the #CincyCyclones on the win last night!

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The 7 Most Important (New) Rules for Cleaning Up

Dear Kid,

‘Tis the Day After the Day After and somewhere in this house there is a piece of floor that isn’t covered by clothing, boxes to go back to college, boxes to go over to storage, random pieces of paper, or dog toys. I’m convinced there is a piece of floor. I can’t prove it, but I believe.

and somewhere in this house there is a piece of floor that isn’t covered by clothing, boxes to go back to college, boxes to go over to storage, random pieces of paper, or dog toys. I’m convinced there is a piece of floor. I can’t prove it, but I believe. DearKidLoveMom.comSomehow, the elves have not appeared to clean up. I’m confused, because I know they are on holiday from the North Pole now that the annual delivery chaos is over. Perhaps they are all sunning on a beach (that sounds smart). I know they aren’t busy picking up at our house.

Amazing as it sounds, I am cleaning up and clearing things out. The only problem is I seem to (in some ways) be making an even bigger mess. Everything out of the closet! Sort through everything that was in the closet and is now on the floor! Dispose of or donate many of the aforementioned items! Check, check, and check. But when it comes to Replace in closet or Reorganize or Whatever, I lose steam. I invent Declare the floor the new storage place! Done and done.

I’ve come up with some new ways of deciding if I should keep something.

  1. If the rubber band holding things together is dried out, you don’t need anything it’s “holding” anymore.
  2. If the business card doesn’t have an email address, recycle it.
  3. If it’s been broken for 5 (or more) years, you aren’t going to get it fixed and you don’t need it. (3a: If it’s technology that can’t be fixed, waiting another year or two isn’t going to make it any more fixable. Get rid of it now.)
  4. If you have a discount to a business that no longer exists, get rid of it.
  5. If it’s patched with duct tape and you haven’t used it in 2 years, it’s time to let go.
  6. If it would embarrass you for your best friend to know you still have it, throw it out.
  7. If you have no idea what it is, enlightenment is not going to arrive. Toss it.

Using this method, I’ve gotten rid of 2,347 business cards, an unidentifiable piece of plastic, and a pair of boots. Progress is progress.

Love, Mom

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Winter Solstice | December 21

Dear Kid,

Today is the Winter Solstice, otherwise known as the shortest day of the year.

IMHO, that is good news.

“What?” you say. “You hate when it gets dark early. This is the worst of all possible times for you!”


And then I will snuggle down into my scarf and mittens and hope tomorrow comes quickly. DearKidLoveMom.comStarting tomorrow, the days start—ever so slowly—getting longer.

We get more sunlight and we have more to look forward to the next day. And the next. And before you know it, it’s light at 5pm.

Other people can whine about how short and dark and cold today is. I am going to grin and think “Yippee! Tomorrow begins the upswing.”

And then I will snuggle down into my scarf and mittens and hope tomorrow comes quickly.

Love, Mom

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The Blue Screen of Random Restarts and Techno Superpowers

Dear Kid,

I am not a techno-geek. In fact, I have the superpower of being able to stop all technology within a five mile radius just by waking up in the morning. Eyes flutter open and all computers instantly slow down, wondering if I will turn my death-ray eyes in their direction. Those spared go back to work. Others give up their ones and zeros until I leave the state.

The Blue Screen of Random Restarts and Techno Superpowers. DearKidLoveMom.comNot only am I the DeathStar of technology, I’m a little excessive when it comes to using my laptop. Which is to say I generally have about 43 files and 287 internet tabs open at any given time.

I get that I set myself up for problems. I get it. Really, I do.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop me from losing my mind every time my computer decides to restart (this instant! No warning! Just “Don’t close your computer or the world will implode” messages.).

I shouldn’t be surprised. But I am. I should take it in stride. But I don’t. I should wait patiently. Instead, I spend my time explaining to the laptop that it would be fine with me if it would just hurry things along and update the minimums—I’ll pass on the premium offer.

Doesn’t matter. I am ignored (as I knew I would be).

I thank my computer for still working hard, and assure it that if it would just update during the day while I’m at work I won’t feel left out. My computer says it likes having me around as it goes through its routine. I give a long explanation about the opportunity to grow and advance. My computer says that’s the definition of restarting and it’s happier when I’m around.

I point out that I’m less productive when it won’t let me work. It points out that it is ones and zeros and I can talk until I’m blue in the face and ain’t nuthin’ gonna change.

I scratch the Puppy’s head while I wait. Silently.

But in my head, I’m hoping it will just hurry up and restart.

Love, Mom

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