Today when I went to pick up the 120 pictures that I had printed out at Costco for $0.13 a photo that I had planned to include in the 120 Christmas cards that I wanted to send out tomorrow, I was asked if I had a copy of the CD that relinquished the photocopy right to me for the 120 pictures of my children that were sitting right there, just a few inches away.
And of course I said, "Huh?"
So it turns out that what I should have done is purchase the $25.00 CD and not the photo sheets for $50.00 because legally, I am not authorized to reproduce any of the photos without the copyright relinquishing code, that comes on the CD. Considering I've done it this exact way for the past three years, I had no idea that I was breaking the law.
Did I mention that we spent more than four hours yesterday getting those pictures taken?
Did I mention that we drove to hell and back through Southern California traffic IN THE RAIN because we were too ignorant to drive five minutes down the street to the new mall and Santa that is just as "photogenic" as the Santa(s) the mall an hour north always hires and that we've visited for the past three years?
Although I am extremely sensitive to issues of copyright infringement, instead of driving an hour north to pay the $25.00 for the CD so that I can "legally" print out pictures of my children, I instead, uploaded the photo on to my scan disk - took it to a local photography shop and tomorrow at noon, will hopefully pick up the 120 photos that I need for our Christmas cards.
And if they ask if it is a professional photograph, so help me I will LIE and tell them that NO, it's a photograph that was taken by a friend from a neighborhood Christmas party.
Go ahead, judge me. Tell me how lame I am. Tell me that even though I gave the photography company $50.00 when I could have only given them $25.00, I will burn for eternity.
Regardless of whether or not I am successful in the illegal reproduction of pictures of our family, I'm feeling the burning fires of Hell on my feet. It seems that on the way home from Costco this afternoon, I flipped out on the kids.
It was raining. It was pouring.
Henry was strapped in my baby carrier on my back. The triplets all want to carry our one umbrella. They are running away from me in the parking lot. Not intentionally, probably - but because they were so distracted by the gargantuan black umbrella that they were carrying that they couldn't pay attention to me. They couldn't see me. They are walking behind cars, staggering about like a bunch of small drunk people, until I finally take the umbrella away and listen to their cries of protest the rest of the way across the parking lot.
I load them in to the car, quickly, quickly I plead. The baby is getting wet and I am getting drenched. They are so slow. I've seen snails move faster. They climb in to the car and promptly begin fighting over which seats they are going to sit in. Someone is in the driver seat. Someone is trying to climb in to the trunk where they spot several of the Christmas presents that I had bought for them while I was at the neighborhood mall earlier in the day (Which is also where I spotted the awesome looking Santa Clause. Five minutes from our house. You can probably guess where I'm going next year.)
The baby starts wailing. I'm already agitated because I have to figure out a Plan B for getting my 120 pictures without spending three hours driving back and forth to the mall north and buying a CD. Or, printing all of them out at home which would take no less than fifteen hours and $200.00 in print supplies.
But now, as they are in the trunk and picking up presents and saying "WOW! LOOK AT THIS!!" I'm furious. I start yelling at the kids and people walking by are undoubtedly thinking, "Damn, what's HER problem? Relax lady!"
We drive 15 minutes home and three of the four children are asleep in their seats. I bring Carolyn in to the house (who had received the brunt of my anger in the car - quite possibly a manifestation of the frustration that had been building when I discovered that she was trying to flush a poopy diaper down the toilet this morning) and I notice that UPS has dropped off a package by our front door.
I pick it up and see that it is from the Catholic Supply Store.
How gloriously timely!
The nativity set that I had bought for the children for Christmas has arrived. I decide that instead of waiting until Christmas morning to present the gift - I will give it to Carolyn, now. She will have some quiet, undisturbed time to play and I will have a chance to play with her while repenting my sins of motherhood to the small Holy wooden figurines.
Less than five minutes have passed and the children in the car all wake up crying. I bring them in to the house and they immediately rip things apart.
Bed spreads are being pulled out of rooms and dragged across floors, drawers are being emptied of clothes. They are running around bouncing off the walls. I do my best to restore order and then remember that the reason my mother use to threaten us with the BLOOD spatula is because hitting us with her bare hand hurt too bad.
For the first time in my life, I find myself threatening my children with a BLOOD spatula.
My mother calls and I tell her that I'm losing my mind. How am I supposed to home school our kids? Maybe if I was medicated, I could handle it. Or maybe if I had a lobotomy. Could I call DSS and ask for help??
Mom tells me that my Aunt Barbara did that once. She actually drove to DSS and told them that she couldn't handle her children any more. Could they please take them.
I'm in awe.
Really?? That's an OPTION??
Charlie comes home. Instead of staying for the pathetic looking turkey dinner I had started earlier in the day, I tell him that I need to run off to the store and see if I can get pictures printed.
I knew that if I didn't get out of the house, I'd lock myself in the broom closet and start sobbing.
I am sick. Again.
Our children's last day of school is on Friday.
We have no backup plans for child care if our homeschool strategy tanks.
I am being forced to return to work full-time in a few months. If I keep my job and bring in full-time help, I will miss out on the "joy" of raising our children that I waited so long and worked so hard for.
But to give up my job would be to give up 75% of our income; benefits; pension. But if I stay home with the children, maybe I'll have more patience. Maybe I'll be a better mother if I'm not torn between family life and work life. Especially if I do have a lobotomy and am medicated.
I reflect on the heated conversations I've been having with my various siblings over the past week.
My father has been divorced for less than two years and has now settled in to a relationship with a woman who is living with him. As my father's health continues to fail, she takes care of him, completely. She dresses him, washes him, shops and cooks for him.
Over the past few months as his relationship with his friend has continued to evolve, my father no longer wants my sister - who has been his closest ally for the past 30 years - to be his health care proxy or power of attorney. He wants for my sister to return all of his checkbooks, credit cards and financial statements. Not only is this a kick in the teeth to my sister that has been there through everything for my father and handled his recent divorce completely, there is concern that my father might not have the mental capacity to know what is happening in his life.
My sister, who holds the titles of chemist, pharmacist and attorney is questioning his competency and in my opinion, rightly so.
As much as I appreciate that my father has a companion in his life - is it really wise for him to assume complete control of his financial matters when his health is clearly slipping?
I want to support my father and have him live the best life he can. But I also feel that it is important that he be protected. And what if. WHAT IF. What if Dad is led not once but twice in to a relationship with someone who is after him only for money?
It certainly appears that way from the outside.
Dad is in denial about the whole thing. He just wants for everyone to support him without question. But why haven't any of his assets been tied up in a trust yet?? Why does Dad keep stalling?! He just lost 40% of his estate. The rest may be gone soon if he isn't careful and it really doesn't seem like he cares. But we do. Is that wrong??
To care about Dad's finances makes us appear like we are money grubbers.
Honestly, if Dad spent every last dime on a life that made HIM happy, great. But to potentially funnel everything to a woman who he just met seems irresponsible and well ... stupid.
Meanwhile, there is a battle brewing between my father, my sister, and my brother - who has been called in by my father to serve as his "advocate".
The whole thing is a nightmare.
I come home from ordering the pictures where they will charge me $0.27 per print (more than twice the cost from Costco) and the house is even more upside down then when I left. I start cleaning up and am requesting our children to help. I spot that parts of the nativity scene are scattered in different rooms and although I shouldn't be bothered, I am.
I mean, it's just a toy.
But it seems like sacrilege.
I find Mary and Joseph underneath the changing table.
The donkey, lamb and ox are under the couch.
I find the three wise men in the bathroom sink.
The angel of the Lord and the shepard are on top of the trash can.
I can't find baby Jesus.
I'm looking and looking. Then I start yelling, "WHERE IS JESUS?! WHERE THE HECK IS JESUS? WHO LOST JESUS?! FIND HIM!! I NEED HIM NOW!!"
Please Jesus. Where are you?
****So. Let's see. What was the purpose of this post?
Oh yes. How are you doing with your goals?