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The Pumpkin Text Fail - TheDustyParachute.com

My Pumpkin Text Fail

By now, most of you are familiar with the crazy baby-care instructions that I left my poor (forgiving) in-laws the first time they came to care for our (then) 1 year old daughter.  That post outlined what I imagine was going through their heads as they read my insanely detailed (6 page) note.

This post once again involves my in-laws, but mostly involves me and some poor, confused shop owner in Weatherford, Texas. It outlines what I know was going through my head as I had a lengthy (about 2 hour) text conversation with someone I thought was my father-in-law.
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Why I Have a P.O. Box in Manchaca, TX

I’m one of the most trustworthy* people you will ever meet. Probably the most deceitful thing I have done this year was substituting ham for turkey in the kids’ lunches last week while still calling them ‘turkey sandwiches’.

So, I felt positively Gone Girl’esque yesterday as I drove to the next town over and got myself a super secret PO Box. Okay, so it’s not super secret since I’m telling you and the first thing I did was text my husband a picture of it telling him:
po box
Why do I need a PO Box? Am I having a scandalous long-distance affair with someone from the 1850’s? Do I ……. okay, that’s about the only reason I can think of that I would need a PO Box.
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Care Instructions for a 1 Year Old (Interpreted by the Grandparents)

I was just digging through some old photo albums today and this folded up note fell out.  It’s a six page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious words) that I wrote up for my mother and father-in-law when they offered to care for our daughter so that I could take a once-in-a-lifetime ten-day trip to Italy with my mom.

This was eight years ago.  My daughter had just turned one and we had just moved into a new house the week before.  There were boxes everywhere and the normal craziness of living with a one year old.  Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.  I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and now I am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
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LEGO Friends Want Short Sassy Hair - TheDustyParachute.com

LEGO Friends Want Short, Sassy Hair

Last spring I got a big surprise when I took my daughter to get her hair cut. She had been talking about wanting to go shorter and with the “it’s hair, it grows back” mentality, we chatted with the hair stylist about lightening things up for the hot Texas summer.

As I was sitting in the lobby trying to keep my 4 year old from hoarding all of the good trains at the train table, I kept hearing her little voice in the distance saying “Nope, shorter.” When she came walking around the corner to grab her post-haircut lollipop, I barely recognized her.

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Another ‘Leg’itimate Reason I Can’t Go Back to Work

One of our many family outings involving crutches.
One of our many family outings involving crutches.

My daughter just got her leg cast removed a couple of days ago. She had to wear the cast for a month after breaking her foot exactly one week after the first day of school. To most people this sounds like a rough way to start the school year but to of our friends and family betting over/unders on her next injury, that sounds just about right, because I have ‘that kid’.

In the past year, she has been on crutches three times, (this time we even upgraded to a knee scooter.) She has also had a broken arm and even decided to add some flair and go for an eye patch once after catching a basketball with her eye.*
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My New Geriatric Pet-Proofing Service

After months of deliberation, I think I have finally uncovered my perfect new career – an intersection of my natural gifts, MacGyver ingenuity and my true passion: Geriatric Pet-Proofing.

It’s like one of those baby-proofing services, except instead of protecting babies who poo and pee all over themselves and fall down the stairs, it will protect your senior-citizen pets who also poo and pee all over themselves and fall down the stairs.

Just a few of my services will include:

C.C.C. (TM) – Cat-litter Coat Closet

IMG_5948
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My #2 Reason For Not Going Back to Work

bathroom signEver since my youngest started full time school I have felt an overwhelming pressure to immediately go back to work and “do something with my life”.  The only thing as strong as this pressure is my equally powerful dread of heading back to an office job. Sure, it would be nice to have the extra money, see other adults during the day and make a contribution to society, but there are many compelling reasons for me to stretch out this stay-at-home gig as long as humanly possible.

1. I’ve f*cking earned a sabbatical.  When I left my career to become a stay at home mom, I genuinely felt that I had earned a break (that’s back before kids when I still thought that becoming a stay at home mom would be a ‘break’). I had just spent the past decade in the crazy land of advertising, the most recent 7 of which were in the even more crazy land of a start-up digital marketing agency, surviving the dot-bomb crash and working on two of the most high-profile, demanding clients around. I feel like I’m in a similar situation now.  I’ve dedicated the past 10 years to two even more demanding clients, sustained by the vision of someday being able to dump them both off at school and enjoy a few complaint / demand / whine / “he took my ______” / “have you seen my_____” free hours.  In many companies, it’s customary to offer employees a sabbatical after 7 years.  So let’s just say I’ve been offered a belated sabbatical.
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I’m an Enigma Wrapped in a Mystery, Wrapped in Comfortable Mom Pants

The first time I took a Myers-Briggs test was at my first job, almost 20 years ago.  I was 23 years old, working 80+ hours a week as an Assistant Media Planner at a big ad agency.  Our Media Director had just returned from some management training session and was very enthusiastic about us all gaining a better of understanding of how to work with each other based on our personality types.

This was going to be interesting.

My direct manager was a professional/executive type by day, but at night he would transform full goth, put on vampire teeth and go to rave bars, often coming in the next morning with traces of eyeliner and drinking near-lethal amounts of coffee to survive the rest of the day.
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My parachute is dusty, and so is my ‘Parachute’ book.

IMG_5007You know that my job search procrastination has reached a special level when I’m willing to go out and start cleaning the garage.  And you know the world is trying to guide you back to your job search when among the piles, you find a dusty copy of “What Color Is Your Parachute?”

I immediately note two things about the book: 1) It has clearly never been opened and 2) It’s the 2004 edition.  I try to recall when and why I acquired this book.  By 2004 I was already pregnant and I quit my job in 2005 with no intentions of working again for at least 4 years.  I can only assume that I bought it around my 3rd month of being a stay-at-home mom, when I was still building Excel worksheets to analyze feeding times, duration and volume consumed, (oh yes I did). Without a doubt, not working was a much bigger shock to my system than that tiny baby was and I have a feeling that even then, somewhere in my sleep deprived haze, I was anxious to start figuring out what my post-kid phase would be.
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Things I do to avoid starting my job search….

My goal for today was to figure out the WordPress format for my blog.  Instead, after 2 hours of trying unsuccessfully to get thumbnail images to show up on the IMG_5228homepage, I decided to redirect my energy to something much more pressing….determining the temperature inside my bathroom cabinet.  This became important after I happened to glance down at the box of my kids’ allergy medicine and see that it should be “stored at under 77 degrees”.  Considering I set the thermostat at 77 degrees…and this cabinet is on an exterior wall…and it’s August, I figured some research was in order.  We’re currently at 78 degrees which can only mean that all of our medicine has been rendered useless, yet I will continue to give it to my children, counting on the placebo effect.  In better news, I did finally figure out the thumbnails so that you can enjoy the photo of this little thermometer girl smiling while $100 worth of Claritin explodes in my closet.
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