My enormous grocery bill

I have kids.

I have three boys.

I have three teenaged boys.

They eat.


Most people go to the grocery store on a weekly basis.  Their grocery store is the Piggly Wiggly or the Food Lion, or Grand Union, or Farm Fresh…you know a regular grocery store.  Not me.  My grocery store is BJ’s, Costco, or Sam’s Club. You know, the huge wholesale clubs.  That is my weekly grocery shopping store.  I need to buy things in bulk.

For example, last week I bought a beautiful 6 pound London Broil.  I put it in the oven with some roasted garlic tomatoes and served it with macaroni and cheese (a family favorite), and mixed vegetables. When the kitchen was cleaned there was a small piece (about 6 ounces of meat) to be put away in the fridge for “leftover” night.  “Well”, you might say, “there are 5 of you eating, I could see that.”

I might agree with that also if  Bluebell and I had actually participated in eating the beef with the boys.  In fact, she and I are not big beef eaters, so we had grilled chicken.  That means that my three sons ate over 5 pounds of meat for dinner.  Besides the fact that their bellies must have been totally weighed down by all that beef, is the bigger concern of how eating all that beef affects my grocery bill……

Besides BJ’s, I also shop my local Harris Teeter almost weekly.  I am an E-Vic member, so I get weekly emails with their specials.  They very often have cereal, steaks, chips, bacon, etc as a “buy one get one free” item.  They also frequently have items on sale for “buy two get three free”  I have saved over $1500.00 already this year.  Yes that is one thousand five hundred dollars.  1 5 0 0……not 1 5 0.  I buy whatever is on sale that I need, and nothing more.  It is pretty bad when you walk into your local grocery store and the cashiers and management staff know you by name, and also know the fact that you are feeding three teenaged boys.

Thank god Bluebell has a great job as a Civil Service employee and we are both retired from the military and receive pensions.  Otherwise I might have to get another full time job just to feed my boys.

It is possible I have some passive aggressive bones in my body, and somewhere deep inside me I must have some subconscious resentment about my enormous grocery bill, because I feel the need to get back at my kids through food.
For example, I do my grocery shopping after lunch, so I can time it just right to get home right as their buses have dropped them off from school.  I require them to help me carry the groceries into the house, and then because apparently I must be a descendent of a torturer from the Inquisition (according to my kids), I make them carry the cat litter and feminine hygiene products up to my bathroom.  (Just imagine all of the groans I get about THAT……. it does my heart good)

I have to say though, that I was impressed my kids knew what the Inquisition was. So instead of  being angry at their comment, I was all, “Wow, you learned about that in school? I am so proud of you!  So glad you are using your education…even if it is to malign your mother.  Oh, you don’t know what that means, well, look it up sweetie…..”


So while my boys are still teenagers, I will be forced to continue to work, because as hard as I have tried, I just cannot get them to stop eating…….and don’t think I haven’t tried……..because I have……just sayin’………

Help I can’t find my son’s bedroom floor

I recently wrote about my son Joe Cool, who suffered his first break up back in February.  The Ginger really stomped on his heart, and he was crushed. She started dating another boy with in a week or so and that just added more injury to my poor Joe Cool’s heartbreak!  Since then things for poor Joe Cool have gone from bad to worse.

I have always done the best I can with my boys.  I am NOT a perfect mother by any means, and I have made TONS of mistakes.  However, I have always been very good about talking with my kids, and explaining things before I lose my cool, and I have always tried to reason with them.  I was always able to reason with Joe Cool, that is, until he became a teenager….

That doesn’t surprise me too much.  Joe Cool is not what you would call an “responsible” teenager.  He does not like to do his chores.  He does not like to clean up his room. He does not like to do his homework.  He does not like to take the trash cans out on Wednesdays.  He does not like to put his clothes away.  He does not like to wash his clothes.

Joe Cools room

Which leads any sane parent to the question:  so what DOES Joe Cool like to do???  Well, the answer to that is easy.  He likes to text his friends on his iPod and play Call of Duty on the PS3.  That is about it.  Oh, and sit in his room and play his guitar.

You might be wondering how all of that “does not” attitude affects our household?  I will tell you it affects my relationship with Joe Cool in a negative way.  I never wanted to be “that” mom.  You know the one.  The one who yells at their kids, and says bad words, and sounds like a screaming Mimi. Well, I guess that is a misnomer.  I have not become a screaming Mimi, I have become a screaming mommy!

Joe Cools room, a different angle

I wonder what my neighbors think.  I wonder if they can hear me when the windows are closed.  I am sure they can when the windows are open.  I am at my wits end with this kid.  I have grounded him, taken away the PS3, taken away electronics, yelled, screamed, talked, bribed, begged, cried.  I just don’t know what else to do.  He will be turning 15 tomorrow.  Yes, 15.  For the love of god, he is supposed to get a driving permit in 6 months.  There is NO WAY this kid is ready to get behind the wheel of a car….. especially MY car!

I know there are some people who read this blog who are parents. Some of you may even be the parent of a teenager.  If you are truly lucky you have survived he teenage years, and are parents of a young adult. A responsible young adult.
That is my dream.  My dream is to be a parent of a young adult who is mature, kind, caring, considerate, productive, responsible and NOT living in my house.  Is that really so much to ask for???

If you have successfully traversed the teenage years with your kid, I am open to ANY advice you can give me!

Popsicles and alcohol… mommy’s little helper.

If you are a parent to a kid younger than 13, I will be praying for you!!!!!  And if nothing else, I may end up going back to the idea of pudding shots turned into popsicles.  Summer is right around the corner.  So if you see me eating a homemade chocolate pudding pop, you know why.

Heartbreak Virgin

(This is a reprint of a post I wrote in Spring 2012)

I love Spring!  It is my favorite season!

Birds chirping, trees budding,  flowers blooming,warm days and nights with the windows open.  What is not to love?  Well, if you ask Joe Cool there is NOTHING to love right now.

I recently talked about Joe Cool and the quips he comes up with.  However, right now he has no quips.  He is mopey, and moody and downright droopy.  Why you ask?  How is it possible to be droopy during this fabulous beautiful season?
After all, this is the season of LOVE?  Spring fever, when everyone comes out of their little boxes called houses and starts to enjoy the warm weather.  Humans, animals, everyone gets in on the  emergence.  Bears hibernate in caves, and I think sometimes humans hibernate in our houses during the winter. When the weather gets cold we hunker down and sit tight.  Until Spring, then we come out of our caves blinking our eyes and shedding our layers.

But that is not this story.  This story is about Joe Cool and why he is so mopey. He is mopey because he has recently suffered his first heartbreak.

Yes, my own sweet son is just plain heartbroken.  Sad, mopey, droopy and just plain moody.  In a word, he is just toefog.

He and his girlfriend (I will call her Ginger) of 16 months broke up the weekend after Valentine’s day. Although it was a mutual decision (according to Joe Cool), he still has feelings for Ginger and he just can’t seem to shake them. On a good note, I have raised a kid who is NOT a player and is true blue.  On a downward note, this means he has a hard time letting go.

This is my first time dealing with teenaged heartbreak that isn’t my own. I have two biological children.  Joe Cool who is almost 15 and The Genius who is almost 13.  Lovely Bluebell has two biological children, The Girl, who is almost 20 and The Hunter who is 17.

Neither The Girl, nor The Hunter have had relationships while living with us (The Girl moved out on her own last summer after graduation).  The Hunter is shy and hasn’t had a girlfriend yet.  So we have not yet had to deal with our kids having a broken heart and the angst it brings.

I have tried to be supportive and explain to Joe Cool that yes it sucks, but in time he will feel better.  I have encouraged him to invite friends over to play video games and have promised to feed them pizza and brownies.  I have tried to keep him busy to keep his mind off of his broken heart, all to no avail.  Yesterday when he came home from school he was particularly mopey.  On the drive to guitar lessons I was able to pull out of him what was bothering him.  He is very upset because Ginger apparently is interested in a new dude.  Joe Cool has been “hanging around” her hoping that she will give him the time of day, but apparently she has moved on more quickly than he has…..

I remember being a teenager and all of the drama, angst and difficulty it brought.  I remember having my heart broken.  I remember being in love.  I am one of those adults who believes teens can love each other and be in love.  Granted it may not be a mature love, but I believe it is love nonetheless.  Think about it those of you who are naysayers….your teen knows how to love you, and family members. So they know how to love.  Why can’t they have those same deep feelings for a boyfriend or girlfriend their own age?????

I shared with him the story of my “first love” and how that boy had broken my heart and dumped me for a girl named Jill.  (Those of you who went to school with me get three guesses who I am talking about).  I told him how I had my “revenge” when after I graduated I ran into First Love boy and he wanted to date me again.  I had the karmic joy of telling him, “dream on buddy.”  That felt good.  (He liked that story, he even had a little gleam in his eye.)  His response was, “Yeah, when I am an Aerospace Engineer making the big bucks, she will be sorry.”  I did NOT dissuade him, who am I to steal his dream?????  (Ummmm, if she even remembers you dude, but okaaayy)…..

Using my most encouraging tone I talked to him about “giving Ginger her space”, and “hanging out with his bro’s instead”, and even “give it some time and it will get better.”  He did seem to perk up.  Especially when I pointed out all of Joe’s cool points and reminded him that “karma is a bitch”, and one day he would be on top of the world and Ginger might not.  However, in my Glenda the Good Fairy way, I reminded him that if he truly is Ginger’s friend when she is down he will be there for her in a “friend” sort of way.  He liked that.  I think he liked the part where in his mind he had one up on Ginger, and she received her “comeuppance”, but whatever works…..he is only almost 15.

Cross your fingers this awesome weather and the sheer joy of Spring brings him out of his blues……..  I will let you know how it goes…….