Quarterlife+


Making a GoFundMe Account was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Posted in Family,Life,Life changes,Random Experiences by Ashley Franklin on March 14, 2016
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Let me say this: I don’t come from a lot. In regards to a conversation I had with my grandma one day about our family not having much, her response was this: “Much? All most of us have is our blackness!”

Obviously, my grandma is a tiny comedian. This basically means that working hard and doing what we need to do to get things done is a lesson that we learn early. It’s not a lesson that was lost on me. I’m someone that stretches every penny to make it go further. I stalk sales and coupon codes. I don’t believe in paying full price for anything.

Last week, my home was flooded and we had to evacuate. The flood water wasn’t just around our home. It was coming in, so we had to get out. We got out with a plastic bin, a suitcase, and a couple of trashbags of assorted things.

When you live from “check to check and a half,” as I say, missing days of work are few and far between. When the breadwinner of your household can’t get to work for a spell, that puts a major wrench in things.

I don’t like asking for help. I’m one of those “If I’m supposed to have it, I’ll work for it until I can eventually get it” types of people. You’d be surprised how quickly you go through money after staying at a hotel, buying essentials, and buying food to support a family of four (w/ 2 kids under the age of 5) without depleting all of your host’s resources. My mother-in-law has been wonderful, but this is all still unexpected.

I’d had several people suggest that I make a GoFundMe, and I didn’t like the idea of seeming like a beggar. Is that pride? I’m not sure. I don’t consider myself to be a proud person. I am blessed that I am still able to do a little online work, but reality set in that this is bigger than me. There’s that old saying that “Into every life a little rain must fall.” I just got a lot of rain at once.

 

 

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I finally decided on a topic!

Posted in Family,Writing by Ashley Franklin on October 26, 2015
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To know me is to know that I am horribly indecisive. I ended up with two solid contenders for NaNoWriMo. I had one outlined and another in a pretty solid concept stage. Yeah…I”m not going with either of them. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to dive right into them, but one requires a bit of word building that I don’t want to rush. I keep changing my mind about the point of view that I want to use for the other one.

So, what’s my final decision? I”m actually going to write a parenting book. Shocker! Speaking of parenting, I hear the sound of someone trying to force himself awake. He must sense that it’s been quiet in the house for too long. On that note, more on this parenting book later!

Why I should never have writer’s block: A trip to the doctor gone terribly wrong

Posted in children by Ashley Franklin on July 24, 2015
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My kids are a gold mine for ideas! They are truly ridiculous, and it’s natural. I am known for getting into ridiculous situations for no reason whatsoever (like the time a deer almost ran me over as I sat in the front yard). Surely you recall some of the foolishness that I’ve tweeted or posted about on Facebook.

Well, yesterday was absolutely AWFUL. It was so bad that the Twitter character restrictions wouldn’t suffice. I’ve got to be able to pull a story out of this foolishness. Here’s how it all went down:

The appointment was for the middle of the afternoon, so that should’ve been a clear indication that we were doomed. Nevertheless, I remained optimistic.  We were all set to be 5 minutes early, and then the universe remembered that it was my family. We spent ten minutes looking for my shoes. I’ll admit that regrettable things were said like:

“Dear God, you’re gonna force me to be that parent that takes a kid out in slippers.”  and

“but my feet have socks though” and

“I wish you and your 3-year-old feet were with your father right now.”

and “Find em Mommy, you can do it!” and

“Obviously I can’t, son!”

The shoes were eventually found (mysteriously under my bed). Skipping past the inevitable fight over doctor’s office wooden toys, things were good for all of twenty minutes while we waited to see the doctor. Two minutes later, the baby threw up because it was hot in the room.My 3-year-old conned a nurse our of some lollipops and continued to run in circles after seeing how much of the pointless table paper he could unroll while I cleaned up hurl in shame.

[Enter the doctor] The baby channels the Jack-Jack attack, freeing her from her doctor tools. More pointless table paper is shed with my 3-year-old laughing gleefully at the scene. The doctor comments on the baby’s brute strength, he hurls again, and she quickly leaves. I cannot describe to you how I smell. I could, but it wouldn’t be fair to you.

[Enter unsuspecting woman]  She pricks his finger to collect some blood, which promptly infuriates him all over again. Naturally, he snatches the blood catching device and flings it across the room. I apologize yet again as my 3-year-old looks on as I hang my head in shame.

He still went on to get his immunization shots, as he was only hurling because it was sweaty-crotch hot in there. One lollipop later, we were scurrying to the car.

Oh, and not to leave without a lasting impression, the 3-year-old bangs on the receptionist’s window to get her attention: “Hey, I got a lollipop!”

Here’s a better question: Why didn’t anyone give me a lollipop? Needless to say, I am NOT looking forward to the baby’s 15-month checkup. But hey, things can only get better. Right?

Breastfeeding: Cheap and Lazy

Posted in children by Ashley Franklin on May 29, 2015
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I used to go on Cafe Mom. I was a part of a few groups. You know how some online groups can be-full of drama. I can mass produce my own drama at will, so I don’t have the time for it. Every now and then I get those emailed updates that try to bait you in. I took the bait.

There was a very upset woman whose friend called her cheap and lazy because she breastfed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have friends that agree with every little thing that I do. In fact, most of my friends and I have gotten into it at one time or another. Isn’t that to be expected with any type of relationship? (If not, let me know. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.)

Everyone’s situation may be different. I can only speak on my own experiences. I have bottle fed, breastfed, pumped, used powdered formula, and used ready-made formula. Yeah, so where do I fall on the breast is best spectrum?

How did I end up using all of these combinations? Easy:

My first kid was a preemie and in a hospital over two hours away. I had to pump for over a month. While my supply was getting established, was I going to tell the nurses to simply let him starve because I was ride or die breast milk? Ummmm…no.

Then, he was so small that he easily tired out when I put him on the breast. As a result, I had to pump and put it in a bottle for a few months more.

With both kids, for random and separate health reasons, I had to take medicine that wasn’t good for them at all. I had to pump and dump. They had formula. (The hospital gave me ready-made. The doctor gave me powder.)

Is breastfeeding cheap? I am cheap. When I had to buy formula, I literally shrieked in the grocery store. Formula is expensive! The longest I had to buy it for a continuous duration was for about a month and a half, and I was not amused.

Is breastfeeding lazy? Getting up to make bottles? Give me a break. That’s wasted energy. Keeping track of how long the formula had been in the fridge and wondering if I had water on hand for powdered formula were time-consuming and a headache. I longed for the days when I could simply flip out a boob.

Would I have been upset if my friend had called me cheap and lazy for breastfeeding? No. I would’ve called her a wasteful overachiever and laughed it off.

I don’t know about you, but for me, breastfeeding is cheap, lazy, and genius.

Pregnancy glow or fire hazard?

Posted in children,Family,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on January 27, 2012
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I’ve heard about this elusive pregnancy glow for years. What a load of crap! I don’t know if I”m glowing wrong, but something is terribly amiss. The other day I was attacked by a sneaky afternoon nap (I swear I thought I was blinking) and when I woke up, my glasses were literally sliding off my face! I went to slide them back up, only for them to slide back down.

Seriously?! My skin has always been on the oily side, but never has it displayed the superpower of turning into an oil slick. Every few hours I can literally wipe my face and see oil. Isn’t that outrageously sexy? Speaking of sexy, I guess I better stay away from open flames. No mood candles over here. Surely, “Honey, your face is on fire” can’t be considered a sweet nothing no matter how you spin it.

Honey, your face is ablaze?

My darling, your fiery complexion? 

Yeah….there goes that!

It could all be so simple

Posted in children,Family,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on January 11, 2012
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…for someone else maybe. Like….aside from the fact that I watched Alien the other week on tv (don’t ask me which one because I don’t know!) I swear I’ve seen my shirt moving around ever since. I don’t want to think of tiny child as an alien, but the nurse telling me I”m so sickly all of a sudden because my immune system is compromised so my body doesn’t attack what it thinks is an intruder doesn’t help. I”m just saying…

Anyway, let’s talk about eating. I am now eating like a champion! Those weeks of soup and liquids and medication are finally behind me, so I’m making up for lost time. The kid is hanging right in there with me. I’m growing a snack champion–which seems to be when he wakes up-for meals and to play around at night. Have you ever tried to sleep while your stomach is moving around? It’s…different.Awesome? Awesomely different! Yup, that’s a keeper. 

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #4–Not adhering to family nomenclature

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on November 14, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #4 Not Adhering to Family Nomenclature

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve seen Star Wars maybe a half a time. But, that does not keep me from knowing Darth Vader’s overused line: “Luke, I am your father.” (Aside from the baffling point that I never actually hard Darth Vader say that exact line, let’s use the willing suspension of disbelief. Let’s pretend like he said it for real.) Now, what if Luke’s response was, “Father? Well, I guess technically that works if you had something to do with conception; now if we’re talking nurturing and actually raising me, I think not.”

That’s not all that exciting, huh? Well, that’s because you don’t know MY folks. If you aren’t familiar with my family structure from some of my other posts, technically speaking, I have a step father and siblings from that union with my other (and he also had his own kids). I love all my siblings dearly, and this post isn’t about them. We’re an odd bunch, but we bring the funny. 

Anyway, how big of a deal is naming? Oh, it’s almost reason enough to break out a Bible and some holy oil! My mom gets super bent out of shape if I refer to my step dad as anything other than dad or father. If you squint, I think you can actually see her body temperature quickly rise, fire spark in her eyes, and smoke come from her ears. Is my biological father dead? No. I talk to him pretty regularly-now. So what name does that leave for him? None. This leaves him with no name, like he’s a figment of my imagination. Last time I checked, Mary wasn’t the prototype of more immaculate conceptions to come. So, my dad isn’t imaginary. 

For identification purposes, I will toss around dad, biological dad, father, real dad, step dad, etc. depending on if I’m talking to someone who knows my family history/ structure or not. This, to me, is no big deal. It isn’t an attempt to undermine who may have taken care of me or who didn’t.  It’s like a name tag. If I was making a family tree, I wouldn’t change it so that it looked more nuclear. Is it a case of wanting to be more like the Huxtables instead of the Bradys? I’m not sure which family I liked more, actually. At any rate, good luck with that. Why? Because trying to make your family something it isn’t undervalues what your family really is. 

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #3–Getting Married

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 31, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #3-  Getting Married 

Ah, marriage. What a joyous occasion, right? Well…maybe. All of the plotting, planning, prepping, and primping that goes into pulling off a wedding takes a team effort. Who better to help you through such a joyous time than your family? The months of anticipation lead to such a big build up of emotions! Yeah…who’s really ever in the mood for all of that? 

Having already known we were going to get married, my (then soon-to-be) husband and I asked ourselves one crucial question: Why wait? After all, who is a wedding for, anyway? Let me rephrase that, who is a wedding supposed to be for? I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “The marriage is for you; the wedding is for them” (them meaning your parents/ family).

So, how much of a ripple will it make in the family pool if you decide to forego the long wedding planning process? Probably a tidal wave. How much bigger of a ripple will it make if you decide to get married whether the majority of your family can make it or not?  I’m not even sure of the proper weather category to use for that one!

You robber of memories and destroyer of social envy! Despite the fact that you saved everyone from being forced to travel, dress up, possibly buy new clothes, eat questionable food, and socialize amongst rogue relatives, it wasn’t your choice to make. Family first, of course (Not your new family, your old family-duh.) By all means, go into unnecessary debt to impress your friends. As a matter of fact, go all out if the marriage doesn’t work out to well either! Throw an even bigger get together. After all, you owe it to them. Since such a big deal is made about the beginning, surely everyone should be there for the end. Bring gifts! After all, where’s the fun in a quiet, successful marriage? I’m all for it, but maybe I’m just lame.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #2

Posted in Family,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on October 17, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #2-  Not including them in your relationship

Do you remember the day you were born? I dare you to lie and say that you do. You know who does remember the day you were born? Your parents. At the very least, your mother does. (She is the one parent who HAS to be there by default.) Maybe it was after this moment of your grand arrival that your future flashed before her/ their eyes. See, you were screwed from the beginning. 

Maybe that defining moment came later in life, like after your first crush, first date, or first whatever it is seemed supremely important at the moment. Whether you like it or not, your ideal spouse has likely been a fixed vision in the minds of your parents long before you even thought about it.

Imagine the day they realize you have been stealthily chipping away at their dreams by 

  1. Being in a relationship they know little to nothing about and
  2. Declaring that this same UBR (unidentified blossoming relationship) is serious.
My friend, you are now in trouble…uber trouble. How serious could the relationship be if you never made it a point to divulge pertinent details? Perhaps you wanted to make sure the relationship would last before involving the parental figures. Once it proved to stand the test of time, perhaps you didn’t want to involve the parental figures for fear that they would now scare the person away. Regardless of the reason, you have prohibited your parents from the right to grill your significant other, tell you all the things they don’t like, question your taste, project how well your life could possibly turn out with that person, or  find a potential person of their approval to usurp that person’s place. How dare you! 

Nevertheless, there may be one all-encompassing reason why this is so disappointing to some parents. They may feel like they had no active role in making a decision that may very well change the dynamics of your relationship for the rest of your lives. Some may be able to get past this; some may not. Whatever your case may be, good luck with that.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #1

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 10, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure that there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, I’ll just give you one.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #1- Not making money after college

 

They throw you a huge graduation party, brag to all their friends about scholarship offers, dutifully boast about your grades each semester, and now what? You’re sitting at home on their couch. Way to go, you! 

So, what went wrong? You picked a major you loved (likely where you went wrong if you chose something from the liberal arts), went to class (whenever you weren’t hung over and had actually done your homework), and participated in campus activities (that happened on nights when you had nothing better to do).  Is it possible that you did the college experience wrong?

If your parents sent you money during college, co-signed for student loans, or helped you to perpetuate the look of a self-sufficient adult, they’re probably disappointed if they haven’t seen a return on their investment.  After all, how well can their conversations go now? There’s nothing to brag about if you have a low-paying job, are employed in a job that has NOTHING to do with your degree, or are creating an unforgivable indentation in their furniture. At least they got their money’s worth from the furniture. You-not so much. 

Until you once again prove to be worthy of tabletop discussion, you might want to look into getting those shingle-looking gadgets that are supposed to give new life to droopy furniture. But, then again, that would require money.

Good luck with that.

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