Sunday, December 28, 2008

Can someone please explain this to me?

Let me preface this by saying I completely support fathers rights. To a point. Case in point: My ex only wants the kids because they're "his". Whenever he has them, he takes them to his incredibly dirty and cluttered house and he completely ignores them. He rarely actually interacts with them and never holds them or shows them any love. So of course they don't want to go. And I have to force them. Then I get phone calls like I got tonight with them crying, begging me to come home. And I have to say no? And expect them to say for an entire week.

I don't know what to do, my ex won't send them home early, and them getting upset just makes him angry, which makes them more upset, and so on.

Anyone have any ideas?

If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour

Friday: 17 degrees

Saturday: 60 degrees

Sunday: 32 degrees

Makes choosing clothing a little difficult...

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best Christmas Ever

After opening the two beautiful handmade ornaments, reading the poems and cards my kids made, Shannon came and sat next to me.

"Mom, was this your best Christmas ever?" she asked.

"I think maybe it was" I replied, "why?"

"Because that was my wish when we broke the wishbone at Thanksgiving, that you would have the best Christmas ever" she said.

Trying to not cry, I grabbed her, hugged her and said, "There couldn't have possibly been a better Christmas".

How lucky am I?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby, it's cold inside!?!

It was a balmy -5 when I got up this morning. I don't know what the windchill was, but the wind was definitely waaay down from yesterday. Anyway, I turn the heat down at night, only to 65, but that drops the temp in my bedroom down to about 61. But then it goes back up about 1/2 hour before I get up. At least that's the theory. I got up this morning, it still seemed cold, but I've been known to override the timer and forget to reset it.

I took my shower, and when I got out I thought I was going to turn into an ice cube. So I pulled on my robe and ran down to the thermostat. And it's reading 61. Which means it's about 57 upstairs. I hit the run program button and the little system on light comes on. But the furnace doesn't turn on. Uh oh.

So I push the button repeatedly (cause everyone knows that if it doesn't work the first time, surely the second, third or fourth time will fix it). Then I go over to the furnace closet, open it and stare at it. Yep, it's still there.

I check the breaker box, flip the breaker, cause really that's about the only technical skill I have. Then I stare at the furnace some more, willing it to awaken. After a couple of minutes, I look at the directions for resetting the pilot light. And step by step, I do it. But still the beast will not wake up.

I sigh, grab the phone and call the maintenance line and wait for the return call. This complicates my day greatly. I have a babysitter coming to watch the girls. I explain to her that there will be people coming to work on the furnace, that it is cold and tell her that it's ok if she wants to cancel. But she comes anyway because she's the babysitter sent from heaven and not only bakes gingerbread men to both distract the girls and keep them warm, but deals with all the workers (there were four separate people that came over) and calls me regularly to update me. And she's only 16!

So I needed a new thermostat and they put in a new one that doesn't have a timer and is significantly smaller so my wall needs repair and painting, but at least I have heat!

Of course, now that I have heat, in the next 24 hours we're supposed to go up more than 30 degrees...

Can see it now :Honest Officer, I wasn't drinking...

...I was looking for eagles!

I spent several hours sitting in forest preserves and driving around looking for eagles Saturday. No luck. However, in the process nearly took out another car, a fence, a tree and a snowbank.

Perhaps birdwatching and driving not a good mix?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I think I must have awakened in North Dakota

Wow, -35 with the windchill. That will separate the men from the boys. And blizzard conditions. But the best part is, even though the news is telling us to stay home, EVERYONE is out and about. In fact I just got home. But I also have a Jeep.

The good news is that the sun is shining. Of course you can't really see it when the wind picks up, but at least it's there!

And for some reason I keep hearing "Mr. Heat Miser" in my head....Not exactly your average Christmas carol....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now, this is cool!

Look at what was spotted less than a mile from my house! They disappeared from here a long time ago and only began reappearing in the last few years (but not in this town). One of my brother's friends took it. I had heard there was one spotted in a town near here and I have been watching for them, but now I think I might go down there tomorrow to see if they're still hanging around.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Walking in a winter wonderland (or sliding)

The snow outside my window is sparkling like diamonds. We're expecting nearly a foot more tonight. They keep pushing back the time the storm will hit. I figure any storm that makes it snow on Vegas has got to be bad. Which almost certainly will result in a snow day. They define a snow day as a day that is too dangerous for kids to travel too and from school. And what's the first thing kids do with a snow day? My kids can't decide whether to build a snow fort first or go sledding.

Me, I vote for the sledding.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The same lesson over and over and over and over....

Christmas. That wonderful time of year when you worry about making sure your kids get gifts just as good as their friends. I know what you're saying - no, that's not what it's all about. But any parent who has seen the look of disappointment on their child's face when you couldn't get them what they truely wanted or had to explain why Santa brings all the good gifts to the really wealthy kids knows exactly what I mean. Plus there's the whole stupid competition with the Ex thing. And yes, I know that's stupid. Even more so if you knew my Ex (atory about him next time).

This year I knew it would be tight, but I had planned it out carefully. Grandma had gotten us a Wii, which was one the list (big surprise there - and in case you can't tell, my eyes are rolling). I would be able to get one of the expensive items on their list (Wii fit) and then a few of the less expensive things.

I had it planned out perfectly. Perfectly. Except for one thing. I failed to plan for my car breaking down and having to spend $300.00 on it. And I didn't expect to get hit with a $30.00 mandatory (and by mandatory, I mean strong arm like the mafia) contribution to by boss' gift. I managed to pull out of the office grab bag (which has a limit of $25.00). See, only one other person here is self supporting and her kids are grown and gone. Everyone else works to "make things easier" for their families. Oh yeah. Then there was the ATM withdrawal that I ADDED instead of subtracting. Which puts me roughly $400.00 in the whole.

So now my kids wonder why I'm rationing the milk.

And the worst part? I have no one to blame but myself.....

Saturday, December 13, 2008


So my kids are with their Dad this weekend. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finish up most of the wrapping, get the stocking stuffers organized, etc. But I was also in need of some relaxation. Relaxation won out, at least at first. I lit some candles, put on a movie and wrapped up in a cuddly throw I have. Then suddenly it was an hour later. I fell asleep. Got up and ran around to check the candles, being very thankful I didn't burn the house down. Now it was time for work. I went up to my bedroom, pulled out a couple of presents, brought them down and went back up for the wrapping paper. I dug it out of my closet (my bedroom is home for everything unloved, unwanted and without home, stumbling over presents, etc, when suddenly the smoke alarm goes off. Which is not a big surprise since the shower occasionally sets it off. I grab the stepstool (see? has no other home, so it's in my room) and climb up and push the silence button. Which causes a blinding light to suddenly shine in my eyes like the inquisition and a much louder, piercing alarm starts sounding. Which of course makes me jump back in response. Which wouldn't be a problem except I'm on a step ladder. Amazingly I don't fall, and after righting myself I push the silince button again and this time it works.

But strangely, I still hear a smoke alarm coming from downstairs. Wow, I didn't even know that one worked! But the real question is why is it working? It has never gone off since I've lived there. It's just outside of the kitchen and I have burned plenty of things. So I run down stairs and I smell this awful smell, like melting plastic. Now I'm a little concerned that my house might actually be on fire. I don't see any smoke tho. And the smoke alarm has gone off. Then I see this small tealight lamp I had lit and it looks a little odd. When I pick it up I realize why. The tealight is completely melted. Not just the candle, but the entire thing, even the container. It has dripped all down the side and has hardened. And I can't get it off. No matter how hard I try.

The thing is, I never burn candles when the kids are around because I'm always afraid they will knock them over or get burned. Apparently they are the ones I need to worry about.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Thanks Jean! Wow, now I am depressed..... : )

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid
  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid
  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often
  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don't fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents
  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children's creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mom, Is he the Real One? Is he?

"I think he is" Emma says excitedly. I try to look through the sea of people, but all I can catch is a small glimpse of red.

"I don't know hon. I can't see him".

"It is him!" Shannon squeals, "You can just tell! It's not one of his helpers."

Finally we get to the front of the line and I can see him. The Man in the Red Suit. And wow, he does look like the real thing. The girls run over with their lists, both so nervous they can barely contain themselves. He takes a look at Emma's letter in which she explained to him that she has had a hard time behaving because she misses her cat too much, and he says, "I remember your cat. He was a really great cat. Of course you miss him." And then he talks to them for a few minutes, gives Emma a hug and they get their picture taken.

"It is, Mom! That is the real Santa!" Shannon exclaimed, running over.

"You know, I think you might be right."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Change can be good, right?

Well, like several of my friends, I'm am migrating over from another site that has changed a little too much for me. It's turning into something that I just am not. So here I am!

But onward to other things.

Last night I took the girls to the Daddy Daughter Dance. So it was me and 100 Dads. There were a couple of moms there serving food, but I was the only one actually attending. At first I was a little uncomfortable, but then a mom told me something that made me feel so much better. She said her father died when she was a young child and she never got to go to any of the Daddy Daughter events because her mother wouldn't dream of going. And then it occurred to me - not only should I not be uncomfortable, but I should feel priviledged to be there. No other mom was. How cool was that? So we ate fattening food and danced the night away. By the time we left I could barely walk. Maybe next time I should wear sensible shoes.....