Monday, September 21, 2009

These boots are made for walking....and walking...and walking

Friday Emma had a field trip. It was was walking trip, from the school to the library, library to a park, park to a statue, then back to the school. Approximately a 6 mile walk. We left the school without incident, walking to the library. The teacher's cell phone rang when we were about 2 blocks from the library, and the principle tells us we have to return. The school is going into a "soft lockdown".

I should mention that on the way over to the school, I had heard over the radio that this man who had escaped police custody the night before was on the loose and had stolen a car. Schools in the northwest suburbs had locked down. But that was still pretty far from us.

Anyway, we get almost all the way back to the school and the teacher's phone started ringing. She answers it, talks for a minute, then looks at us and says "I don't know how to tell you this, but it's over. If you're up for it, we can go back. " We all look at each other and shrug. So back we go.

Of course, now we're running about 45 minuted behind, so we're walking really fast. But we made it to everything. Then on the way back, we went a different way which left us no choice but to climb this REALLLLLLY steep hill right near the end. And by this time all the kids are whining and complaining. But as soon as the teacher yells, "Kids, run up the hill! We'll meet you at the playground" the kids start screaming and running up this hill. About half way up they starts slowing down and by the end they're pratically crawling. We adults are still at the bottom, just gazing up. Then we climb. About two thirds up, I look at this woman next to me and say, "I feel like a contestant on the biggest loser". Which gave us all a laugh. And the energy to keep going.

Turns out the escapee was heading our direction and in fact was stopped in a town pretty close to us.

It was a lot of fun, learned alot about the native americans in this area and boy, did I sleep well that night!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Picture this

In the news: A couple of people are walking near the Chicago River when they see an alligator sunning itself on a rock. Yep, that's right. An alligator. Initial estimates had it at anywhere from 2-4 feet, but once caught, it looked more like 12".

My favorite explanation?

It was one of those mythical sewer 'gators that escaped.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wow, good customer service for a change

So, I had some phone trouble a few weeks ago. The lines were so static filled I couldn’t hear anything. My internet kept going in and out. I called the phone company, they came out and of course, it turns out to be an interior problem so I will have to pay for the repair. As I am signing yet more of my life away, the repair guy tells me to call after I receive my bill and they will spread the payments out over three months. I get my bill and call them fully expecting a hassle. I explain to the person on the other end of the line, he looks at my account, not only spreads out the payments, but knocks off 2 weeks of internet charges for my inconvenience. Without me even asking.

Seriously, how cool is that?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gotta love your neighbors

My house overlooks a playround/park area. 99% of the time I love it. The other 1% usually involves swearing teenagers after curfew on the basketball court. But I like being able to keep an eye on my kids when they’re outside without really having to work at it.

There is this girl that I have been watching for awhile now – we’ll call her Ellen. Ellen is a bully, plain and simple. I see her picking on the other kids, pushing them, screaming at them, calling them names, etc. For some reason she targeted Shannon one day, calling her names and teasing her. Shannon came in very hurt, but didn’t want me to handle it. The kicker is, Shannon doesn’t even know her. They don’t even go to the same school. But Ellen lives next to one of Shannon’s friends.

Anyway, from that point on, I noticed Shannon steering clear of her at all costs, even going around the block to avoid her. So I sat her down and had a little talk about how she’s giving Ellen all this power, blah blah blah and wouldn’t she just let me talk to her mom. And Shannon said no, it would just make it worse, she could deal with it on her own. Ok, fine.

The other day Shannon came in and said that Ellen just threw a rock at Emma’s head. And not a small one. Fortunately, she missed. I threw down the dishtowel and headed for the door telling her I had had enough.

Shannon stopped me, saying she wanted to go talk to Ellen’s mom. I agreed and said I would come with her. And again, she said no. She wanted to handle it. I told her I thought it was a bad idea, but she could try. And off they went.

After a few minutes, I decided I couldn’t not go. So I started over there. A woman comes storming past me, screaming at the top of her lungs, “You f*ing threw a rock at a little girl?!?” And I just closed my eyes and thought “crap”. I saw Shannon walking towards me with Emma, her friend and her friend’s mom Daisy. Then I see the parent of another girl, “Lizzy” walking over. Lizzy is also at the park playing with Ellen. I see her face go from happy to confused to angry in about a millisecond. Double crap.

I turn around and walk over to the playground, listening to this lunatic scream at Ellen. “I am getting so sick and tired of being called over to the playground all the time!” “I find it hard to believe that it is always Ellen’s fault!” (Mind you, I have never had a parent come and complain about my kids). She then starts to yell at Lizzy, who starts crying and I say, “Wait. Shannon did Lizzy throw rocks at you?” Shannon, now crying, shook her head no. And this crazy woman starts screaming about how now the story has changed and my daughter’s a liar and her daughter never does anything. And I lost it. Taking a deep breath, I calmly (on the outside anyway) said that I had observed her teasing and picking on numerous children, my own included, and she starts yelling at me for confronting her at the playground instead of coming to her door. By this time Lizzy was sobbing and her mom had taken her home. I tried to explain that I actually was on the way to her house when I saw her on the playground, but she had already turned her anger back on her daughter, telling her that if she didn’t go straight home and stay there she would spank her right there in the playground in front of everyone. Then she stormed off.

I stood there kind of dazed, trying to figure out exactly what had just happened. And why Lizzy got sucked into the middle of it. Turns out my child didn’t go to Ellen’s mom. She went to Daisy, told her what happened and had her go talk with Ellen’s mom. And When Daisy asked her who Ellen was with, she said “Lizzy” and she assumed Lizzy had been throwing rocks as well. So, Shannon and I had a little conversation about how it would have perhaps been wiser to not involve Daisy, just to have let me handle it. And Shannon is crying hysterically because now she thinks Lizzy will hate her. I thought it best to just let everything cool down, and the next evening I went over and talked with Lizzy’s mom. She said Lizzy had been crying all evening because she was afraid Shannon thought she was throwing rocks at her. So that all was smoothed over. And the girls are at their Dad’s for a few days now, so hopefully everything will have blown over by the time they get back.

But wouldn’t you know? I looked outside last night and saw Ellen and Lizzy throwing apples at one of the neighbor’s pools.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yet another update (no disturbing dental stories!)

Summer continues to speed by at our house. And no, I’m not complaining about the cooler weather. I LOVE IT!!!!!

Shannon’s softball team finished up in second place for the season, with her salvaging a couple of games right at the end, so apparently she’s quite the talent. Or so the coaches keep telling me. Which, of course, immediately switches on my “sportsmom” switch, which is dangerously similar to my “stagemom” switch, and I instantly start thinking about trying to get her into a traveling team, etc. When I bring it up to Shannon, she just looks at me and says, “no”. Fine. Spoil my fun.

The saga of my tooth continues, but suffice it to say, it’s icky enough I’m not even going to share.

I started filling out my new planner (I’ve discovered that planners that run August – July work much better for me), and wouldn’t you know it, every festival, etc that I want to take the girls to they are scheduled to be with their father. And I can’t really justify switching any more weekends with him because I just asked him to basically give up the month of October so the girls could be a part of this Haunted House contest thingy with one of our neighbors. It runs the last three weeks of the month. No answer yet, but he’s been pretty good this summer about changes, so I’m really hoping he’ll do it.

I’ve discovered a new author. In the summer I really enjoy reading mindless fun books like Sophie Kinsella, Sue Grafton and Lauren Weisberger write. And I just found out that Madeleine Wickham is in fact the same person as Sophie Kinsella! Yippee!

And, I got a new neighbor! I’m so excited! She’s a single mom, about my age, has a 14 year old son, a 10 year old son (who my daughter has a crush on-can’t say I blame her, he’s adorable) and a 4 year old daughter. Plus, she’s as chatty as I am!

And, for those of you that have known me awhile, it’s time for the Margarita party this weekend! Woo hoo! The Fairie Queen does a great party with more flavors of margaritas than you can imagine.

So, pretty much, other than the whole oral surgeon thing, this summer rocks!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My new best friend (insert sarcasm here)

Major ick warning.

Went back to the oral surgeon to have this bone, or as I like to call it, my little shark tooth, removed. First the surgeon tries to pull it out. Doesn't come out. So then he says they will have to file it down. I expect a giant emery board or something, but I really can't see anything. He says "I don't want you to be startled at this loud noise." Ok, must be a sander-type thingy. Imagine my shock at the unbelievably loud snap. I must have jumped a foot. He was using some sort of bone cutting thing.

A short time later I was shark tooth free. And someday my mouth will not hurt anymore.

And no matter how cute the surgeon is, I really don't want to see him again. Ever.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summertime and the livin' is hectic

Haven’t been around much, and even when I have been, I really haven’t felt like writing anything. Not for lack of stories. Always have those. It just seems to take more brain power than I have left late at night.

But here’s my summer in a nutshell:

Got a HUGE new patio, unfortunately the patio guys dug a larger hole than the patio, so I now have a moat (which would be nice if I was a princess living in a castle, but I’m not and I don’t). In the process of putting in the new patio, they apparently dug up and killed a mole. How would I know this, you ask? After all, I work all day. BECAUSE THEY LEFT IT FOR ME, along with their lunch discards!!!! Nice.

Got a new roof. They somehow broke my grill. Also left lunch clean up for me. They also got caught stealing from my neighbor, which was nice.

Got my kitchen rewired for the new dishwasher and built in microwave. They only left dirt and wires.

We also have new lighting outside and a new cctv security system. I have to wonder, where is all this money coming from? Not that I’m complaining, just curious.

In between cleaning up the messes left by workmen, I am busy shuttling Shannon to softball games or practice. She loves it and is pretty good. Everyone else on her team has been playing for 3-4 years and she’s easily as good or better than most of her team. Apparently she’s a natural when it comes to pitching, so she pitches pretty often. It doesn’t surprise me. She doesn’t believe in failure. Period.

My children have also suddenly forgotten how to pick up after themselves. They will eat something, drop the wrapper wherever they happen to be and walk away. What is that about? I have told them if they don’t knock it off, I will make them eat in the kitchen, standing over the garbage.

I had a tooth break, it wasn’t salvageable, so I had it pulled by this oral surgeon who was so unbelievably good looking I almost forgot the pain. But because it’s me and nothing can ever go smoothly, my sinus cavity was perforated in the process, so now that has to heal. And I have to go back next week because I now have a jagged piece of bone sticking out. Sorry. TMI. Emma was a wonderful caretaker for me. If she doesn’t become a vet she should be a doctor or nurse, cause she is a natural.

Emma also taught one of her friends (a year older than her) to ride a bike. It gave her such a sense of accomplishment, it was great.

So, that, along with three (I know, I’m an idiot) sunburns and lots of time at the pool sums up the summer so far.

Hope everyone's summer is great!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a good thing she's cute

At work, 4:00 pm. Phone rings.

"Maria! phone. I think it's one of you kids."

Well, that's never good.


"Mom? I forgot to tell you. I have a recital tonight."


"It's at 7:00"


"I'm sorry! I forgot to tell you!"

"What time do you have to be there?"

"I don't know, a little before"

"Was there perhaps a note you forgot to show me?"


"Shannon, do you have any idea how mad I am right now?"

"Sorry! Oh yeah, we have to go buy cookies too."

Of course we do.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We haven't heard from the local wildlife in awhile...

I got a new patio this week. There was nothing wrong with the old one, but someone on the board thought it would be a good way to spend our money. Don't get me wrong, the new patio is beautiful. It's three times bigger than the old one. Big everything always has to be a saga.

We got a letter several weeks ago, saying they were going to be redoing all the patios, and that we would receive notice before so we could have everything cleaned off. So imagine my joy when I came home last Tuesday to a note that said they would be starting by us THE DAY BEFORE and that as soon as I saw it marked I had to clean it off. The thing that makes it irritating is that I didn't get home until 8:30 that night and still had forms I needed to fill out for the school. I looked outside and my yard wasn't marked, but the sidewalk had been marked by the utility company. It just gave me a bad feeling, so out I went, moving furniture, grill, bikes, etc. into the grass.

My neighbor told me not to worry, since they hadn't marked anything. But I'm really glad I didn't listen to them. At 7:15 the next morning I look outside and see them removing my old deck and digging up my yard. My neighbors who had not moved anything just about had a stroke.

When I came home, I started to go into the house and a note falls out. It says any writing or footprints, etc found on the patio will result in the unit owner being fined the cost of replacing the slab. With a sick feeling I realized Miss Emma had just run around back, I yelled at her and ran over, getting there just before she carved her name for posterity.

Then I looked around and my yard is covered with trash. Mostly drink containers. Then as I walk over to the deck I notice something gray and furry on the ground. The workers had killed a mole and left it there! Hello, I have children! Fortunately, my neighbor took care of it while I was cleaning up the yard.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed something in the far corner of the new patio. So I went inside and looked through the patio doors. One corner of my new concrete patio is covered with squirrel prints. And the way they wove around, it must have been drunk. But of course they would find my patio. None of the neighbors, just mine. It seems fitting.

I hope they don't try to charge me for this, no matter how hard I try, I can't control the local wildlife. And believe me, I have tried.

Now this is something you don't see very often.

Driving through town today, I saw a man walking down the street with a backpack on, strumming a guitar and singing.

Not something you see this far from the city...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Roughing it

I just got back from camping with Shannon and her Girl Scout troop. We were at a Girl Scout camp just far enough away but not too far. Being the avid camper (not) that I am, we had absolutely no camping gear whatsoever. We went and bought chairs, a sleeping bag for me, two pads for underneath the sleeping bags and a plethora of other things. It was like we were moving.

At least we were going to be in a cabin, which seemed preferable to a tent. And you know what? I think I would rather have been in a tent. The ground is definitely softer than that tile floor was. I think I might have gotten a little over 2 hours of sleep. 16 giggling/arguing girls does not make for much sleep. And what does it say about the water when we all preferred the smell of fire smoke and deodorant failure to the smell of the water in the showers?

This camp is really big. It's owned by the girl scouts and in the summer they have this big program where you can stay there for several days ($$$$). But there is a pool, dining hall, pond for canoeing, outdoor stage, etc. They even have those permanent old wooden frame tents with the wood floors. This is in a different section that is closed this time of year but when we were walking around we ran across it and it was like walking onto the set of Friday the 13th. CREEPY!

The girls also ran across a dead possum, a couple of baby birds that fell out of their nest and get this, A really large set of hawk feet and legs - all the way up to the where they attach together - hanging from a tree branch.

Had some good conversation with the Barbie moms, I kind of think I misjudged most of them. Spent some really nice time with Shannon that I think we both desperately needed.

We had great weather and great food (ever had walking tacos?), so other then the fact I only got 2 hours of sleep and it took two washings to get the smoke smell out of our clothes, it was a great time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reality Check

I drove past a funeral home yesterday and was startled at how busy it was. The parking lot was full, as were the surrounding business lots, the side streets and even the driveway. It was so chaotic traffic was disrupted on the main road I was driving on. There was a line of people more than two blocks long waiting patiently to be allowed in. Who was this for? I assumed some local dignitary or bar owner or something.

When I got into work this morning, I grabbed yesterday’s paper and looked. It was a 14 year old boy who had lost his long battle with cancer. And I started crying for the family of this boy I had never met. He was obviously so loved by so very many people and had touched so many in his brief life. In a few short days, it will be Mother’s Day, and no matter how blessed she feels to have had him in her life, that days is going to be empty.

There was a line in a movie once, “When you lose a spouse, you’re widowed. When you lose your parents, you’re an orphan. But they don’t have a name for you when you lose a child”. It’s too horrible to think about.

This Sunday, I’ll be hugging my kids a little harder, thanking God a lot more fervently, and praying for this mom and all the others that no longer have a child to hold.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a haunting at work

I'm sitting at my desk, working on my computer. Now, the first thing you should know is that I am the only one with a computer. Actually, I have 4, but that's an entirely different story.

Anyway, doing my work, minding my own business when suddenly my mouse pointer starts to move around my screen. I grab the mouse and move it back. And it then moves around some more, opening Word Pad. Then letters slowly begin appearing on the screen....


I need what? To take over my body? To drain me of my blood? What? (Yes, we have already established my tendencies to overreact)

I need to access a database. I'll let you know when I'm done. J


J is our programmer who lives in another state.

It was better when it was a goblin.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Deep sigh of relief

Well, the police officer talked with my ex-mother in law. Apparently she started screaming at him about what a bad, evil person I am, etc. and he very calmly explained to her that if she felt she had been treated unjustly, she needed to follow proper channels, like the court system. At this point she started mumbling and backed down. He explained that she cannot call me again or they will issue a warrant for her arrest.

The officer called me to give me an overview, he was very nice, but it kind of cracked me up when he said, "If she shows up at your door, don't even open it, just call us."

Well, duh.

It's nice to not feel ill everytime the phone rings.....

Friday, April 24, 2009

And the fun continues.........

I can't wait until tomorrow when the officer finally calls her. Four more calls Friday, none yesterday, one so far today. My answering machine is actually full! And only with messages from her. It seems like she's escalating. She is now calling my ex and his wife as well - but still targeting me. As obtuse as he is, he's starting to worry. I contacted the schools and the daycare, because she had mentioned both in her rants. The school I'm not worried about since it's kept locked down and you have to be buzzed through the office. Afterschool care is going to make sure they have an adult with the girls at all times.

She's never threatened me with taking the girls, but she did say something about it to my ex. This is so surreal, I'm really having a hard time wrapping my head around it. And while I'm not very confrontational, she brings it out of me.

Like one of the calls - she was ranting and raving about what a bad person I was, how I'm white trash and she was born in this really affluent suburb, and I nearly picked up just so I could point out that I could trace back to two presidents as well as the british royal family (although in a very convolluted way) in my family tree while she could claim an uncle who worked for the mob. Just to push her buttons. But thankfully I listened to my not stupid side and didn't. Then she called me something so obscure I had never even heard it before and had to look it up. It's a slur that questions one's enthic background as well as insinuating infidelity. Why she thinks that would bother me, I don't know.

Did I mention I can't wait for Monday?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why can't you divorce your inlaws when you divorce your spouse?

Most everyone knows the circumstances of my divorce. I don’t really like talking about it, but I don’t hide it either. Anyway, when I first got engaged to my now ex, he used to tell these crazy stories about his mom. Drunken, violent stories (yes I know, the nut didn’t fall far from the tree). I didn’t really believe him, because the woman I saw drank too much, but was as nice as can be. But not long after we got married, she would call us, over and over, calling my ex names and ranting and raving. Sometimes she would call as many as 20 times in a night. Then nothing for weeks. It was crazy and always directed at her son.

Then we got divorced and I had no contact with her for some time. The girls would see her occasionally when they visited with their father, but that was it. But after he got remarried, she started calling me, asking to see the girls, saying she didn’t want anything to do with her son (a feeling I share). OK. I wanted them to be able to see her. So she came over around the holidays to see the girls. Then she wanted them (just them) to go out with her. No. And they didn’t want to. Turns out my ex will no longer have anything to do with her.

Around this time, the crazy phone calls started up again, only this time they were directed at me. About what an awful person I am, how she knows I’m crazy (Me?), etc, etc. So I talked with the girls and it turns out they don’t want to see her. They were doing it for ME.

Well, that makes the decision easy. The next round of calls, I tell her she can’t see the girls anymore. Period. And she goes off the deep end. And calls. And calls. And calls. She starts leaving messages on the answering machine that a vaguely threatening, extremely profane. Now, anyone who has children knows, the first thing the kids do when they get home is run over and push the answering machine. And they would hear this. I finally tell her if she doesn’t stop calling, I will call the police and have her arrested. And the calls stop. For months. Then around holidays she would call a few times, leave nasty messages and then poof! Stop.

Until recently. Around Easter she started calling. She stopped few a few days, then started back up. Only this time it’s different. Last night she started threatening me directly. Fortunately, the girls were not home. On my way to pick them up, I called the police to inquire as to my options. They offered to send over an officer. I then called my ex for his opinion. He said to do whatever I felt was necessary (wow).

When the officer arrived, I sent the girls out to play and explained the situation to him. I played the two messages I still had on the answering machine and he stood there shaking his head and smiling. As the second message plays, it gets interrupted by a new call. From her. The officer instructs me not to pick it up. And she starts her ranting and raving. And this time it’s even worse. Then she calls again. And again. By this time the officer is no longer smiling. He says that ordinarily he would pick up the phone and talk to her, but she’s so drunk he thinks it would just make things worse, and because she drinks all the time, it wouldn’t do any good to call her and warn her off. He writes down all the times from my caller ID, takes some notes about what she said, then looks at me and says there are two ways to go. 1) I can change my phone number and keep it unlisted, which seems very unfair to me, because of all the people I would have to remember to call with my new number, or 2) he can issue a warrant for her arrest and she would have to be processed, post bond, etc. I don’t want to do that either. So I tell him I will think about it and let him know. He leaves and I call my ex again, because frankly, whatever I do will directly affect him, as his mom will then re-direct her anger at him. And believe it or not, I wouldn’t wish that even on him. By the end of the conversation, I have decided to ask the officer to call her either at work or at home as soon as she gets off work to give her a verbal warning and if she persists after that, I will proceed with the warrant. So that’s what he’s going to do. The only problem is he’s in training today and isn’t sure if he can get to a phone and then he’s off until Monday. But, I’ve been dealing with this for so long, what’s a few more days?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A brief (at least for me) update

I have sat down at my computer at least a dozen times in the last two weeks to write, just staring at the screen. Not because I didn't have anything to say, but because I've been so overwhelmed and tired I didn't even know where to start. So here is a brief summary of the events of late.

My boss, T, quit. T's stepdad owns half of the business (in addition to several other businesses), and T was being groomed to eventually take over. But D, the other owner (who is the active partner) runs the business extraordinarily poorly and refuses to retire. He's 76, lives with his 101 year old mother, is very forgetful, rarely showers, keeps all documentation at his house, would come into the office at 4:00 pm to work (which I liked because that meant I really didn't have to deal with him), etc. But worst of all, he won't give up ordering supplies, but he can't ever remember to order them. And not office supplies, the supplies we need to do what we do.

After too many years it became to much for T to handle. And he took a job in another state (except for college, he's never lived anywhere else) and he left. Which meant we had no buffer between us and D. But it was a really good decision for T.

Then D makes the decision that he's not going to replace T, so the rest of use have to pick up the slack (which is kind of difficult when there are only 4 employees left to cover), but what are you going to do? Even a crappy job is better than no job.

Then D gets really sick with some virus and his mom passes away. So he's a mess, of course. Not even able to make the necessary arrangements. Needless to say, we start running out of everything. And literally can't work.

Then, two days later, T calls (he's been checking in alot, apparently letting go is harder than he thought). But he's not checking in. His stepfather died. Which may or may not mean T has to move back to take over the businesses, I don't know. It was just awful, he and his stepdad were so very close.

The next day Shannon got her tonsils and adnoids out. They were HUGE. The doctor took a picture for her (which I will spare you) and they measure 1 1/2 inches! So she is in alot of pain and not sleeping well, but she can BREATHE!

D's mom's funeral was today, so we closed the office long enough to go and pay our respects. 101 - just think of all she saw, all she experienced.

And lastly, let's not forget me waking up in the middle of the night to find Emma standing at the foot of my bed fully dressed. When I asked her why, she started crying and said she didn't know. Apparently she was asleep.

Well, that's what's up here. Sorry it's so blunt and short, but I desperately need some sleep.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I just can't seem to get that "L" off my forehead

Sorry - I know I haven't been a very good blogger lately. We just had this domino effect with this virus in our house. Why is it the same virus that lays a kid up for 3-4 days lays me up for 5-6 or even 10? So not fair. But we are now healthy (more or less).

Poor Shannon. She got sick and came home early on Friday. For her to leave school she has to be really sick. The bad part (other than just being sick and miserable) was that she had this incredibly busy weekend planned. And it was all once a year kind of stuff.

First up was this district wide stringed instrument festival thing that Shannon was waited two years to be a part of. So I drugged her up sent her to bed for a nap, when she woke up her fever was down almost completely, so we went. And we watched her slowly get more and more pale. When we finally got home, her fever was back up so more medicine and off to bed.

Saturday she woke up and her fever was almost gone, so we decided to go to the school's pancake breakfast. Then it was off to watch a dance competition with the girl scouts. After that, it was across the street to a restaurant for pizza (which is supposed to be haunted, but that is an entirely different story). Now, I should point out that is was raining off and on all day and the temperature is in the low 40s. After lunch she begged me to walk in the parade. And even sic'd the other girl scouts on me! So I relented and told her we would walk as long as it it wasn't raining. And of course it didn't start raining until we were about 1/3 through the route. You've never seen such a quick parade. We practically ran. By the end Shannon was crying, saying her feet and hands were freezing (which they were). Back home, we took her temp and it was...

wait for it....


So, lots of tylenol and ibuprofen for Shannon


Yes, another parent of the year award for me!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Survived 9 tweens, only to be felled by the common cold

Shannon's b-day party was a blast. We transformed the house into a tiki hut! It looked pretty cool, if I do say so myself. It even impressed the Barbie moms!

We also got some great pics of everyone posing as surfer dudes:

Even the cake turned out pretty well.

Now, I have a horrible cold, and I'm going to bed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Swap!

My swap partner was Angie, who I really didn't know before this. I have never done this before, so I was a little nervous. I am so glad I had her! Now I'm getting to know a really nice person and received some really wonderful gifts.

She sent me a photo album (which I desperately need), beautiful windchimes (which I love), coffee (yum!), two wonderful scented candles, and best of all, a candy making kit to do with my kids! How thoughtful is Angie to remember my kids?

The whole thing was topped off with a Texas scarf (and ironically, I was born in Texas and have nothing from there).

This truly is the best Valentine's Day I've had in a long time. Thanks Angie! Thanks Becca!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bang head against wall, repeat as needed

Ahh, it’s that time once again. Time to put together the pages for the yearbook. I’m doing the 4th grade pictures this year. Why, you might ask, would I put myself through this again this year? Because apparently, I’M AN IDIOT!!!

I got two weeks warning that the pages are due, and so far, only two class moms have responded to me. So, I’m thinking it’s going to be just as aggravating as last year and post luau this weekend I’m going to have to hunt them all down. The kicker is that two of the moms I haven’t heard from are/were Brownie Leaders for my kids. They know me – wouldn’t you think they would contact me?

But at least I get to keep the cool collage software…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pre party panic

Or PPP as I like to call it, has set in. I have so much to do and 90% of it can't be done until the last minute. I am baking at least part of the cake tonight, cleaning the bathroom, etc and then tomorrow night doing the floors and finishing the baking portion. I've decided to take 1/2 of the day off from work on Friday to finish the cake, go to the store and start taking down pictures, etc.

Then Saturday I can put up the "walls" for the tiki hut, do touch up dusting and vacuuming and decorate (Have I mentioned Auntie Di Rocks? She gave me a TON of Hawaiian decorations) before the screaming tweens show up.

Then Sunday I get to take it all back down. Seem a little anticlimactic. Maybe we'll just have to live in a tiki hut for awhile...... fruity drinks with umbrellas anyone?

Friday, February 6, 2009

I scream, you scream, we all scream for.........

Shannon is having trouble sleeping. She has, in fact, had trouble for quite some time. She can't breathe. We went to the doctor who said she thought it might be allergies that were causing the trouble and put her on medication. It didn't really get any better, in fact got worse, so much so that Shannon was having to sleep propped up. And she snored so loudly I could literally hear her at the other end of the house on the other floor. Then one night when I couldn't sleep, I happened to be walking past her room when she just stopped breathing. Then she coughed and choked and woke up (sort of) and went back to sleep.

Needless to say I was on the phone with the doctor the next day. She suggested I record her snoring and then bring her in. So I did. And when the doctor looked into her throat she said, "Wow, you have the biggest tonsils I have ever seen!"

We were promptly referred to an ENT who she says is conservative with treatment, someone she would take her own kids to.

Today we went to see him, asks me a couple of questions, looks into her throat and says "Yeah those are pretty big. I think this a pretty straight forward case. She really needs to have them removed. Her adnoids are probably also really enlarged which is why she can't breathe and has trouble talking (she sounds like she has a cold all the time) so we should remove those as well." Then he looks at Shannon and says, "You'll be able to talk alot easier".

Shannon looks at me and says,"I wish I cold have the surgery today."

But first we need to see an audiologist to check her hearing, because she also has fluid behind her eardrum and he wants to make sure it's not an issue, which I don't think it is, because the only time she doesn't hear me is when she doesn't want to.

But mostly I think she's excited about the prospect of ice cream.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

At least it makes no difference to them

Walking by the room where the girls were playing and dividing up the Littlest pet shop animals:

Emma: This one should be a boy.

Shannon: No, it's a girl!

Emma: But we have don't have enough boys!

Shannon: It doesn't matter.

Emma: Yeah, they can just be gay.

I love that it was no big deal to them!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Miscellaneous grumblings

Well, I began working on the “Hawaiian” cake. Actually, I just started working on the palm trees. First attempt was less than successful. I used pretzel rods for the trunks and royal icing to make the palm fronds. Looked OK but shattered when I looked at them. Alright, I touched them, but just barely. So I have moved on to making them with fondant. If that doesn’t work, I’m screwed. Thanks to Auntie Di, I have everything I need for the party, from blow up palm trees to coconut bras and everything in between! So, thanks Auntie Di – you rock!

Then there’s work – so bad I’m not even going to talk about it. Except to say I hate my boss. No, I don’t really hate him. He quit and left us all (well all 7 of us) to deal with the owner who is a total a**. He’s 74 years old and he lives with his mother, who’s 102 and sweet as can be. He’s too cheap to hire help, so he leaves her unattended (and she really can’t be) saying she has one of those alert bracelets so she’ll be fine. He’s rude and demeaning, mostly to our boss. He was our buffer. I imagine why he stayed as long as he did, but he’s only been gone two days and already we’re all ready to quit. BUT, oddly, he does let me leave whenever I need to, let’s me bring in my kids when I have to. When it comes to family, he never complains. So we all stay, because we either have kids or health issues or family with health issues. I guess I shouldn’t complain, because few places would be that understanding. But then he’s just so mean! He’s condescending and demeaning, and just mean. He actually stuck his tongue out at an employee that complained to him about something. His standard response is always “oh well” when you try to talk to him about anything.

So really, deep down I really am happy for my boss. After everything he’s put up with, he really deserves it. I guess I’m just jealous because he has options I don’t have right now. I need the flexibility here. So I guess I should stop complaining. Sucky tho it may be, at least I still have a job.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's once again time for me to lose my mind

Shannon's b-day is coming up and this time around she wants a Hawaiian themed slumber party. So, in my grand tradition of attempting cakes that are way beyond my skill level, I am going to make a tropical waterfall cake.

How, you may ask.

My answer? I dunno.

Actually I do have some ideas rattling around in my head. Just not sure how to make them work. So, it will either be a total disaster or really great.

No pressure.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

A little cold, even for me

It was -18 when I went to work today, -40 with the windchill. It was so cold my car actually screamed when I started it.

But not to worry, a heat wave is on the way. They're saying we'll hit 11 tomorrow! Get out the bathing suits!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What a sneaky child

Last Sunday after Church we went downstairs for Sunday School. How it is that they let me teach Sunday School is a great mystery. Anyway, Emma tells me she forgot something and asks if she can run back upstairs. I say yes and away she goes. 10 minutes later she is still not back, so I go looking for her. I find her in the coffee hour, selling girl scout cookies to all the adults! The problem with this is she is doing it so she gets the sales and not her sister. Smart and sneaky, if I wasn't so mad at her I would almost have to admire her...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Note to self

Leaving a Diet Coke in the freezer for 9 hours is a very, very bad idea.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Amending previous post

My "heartless" daughter came into my room at 4:00 am this morning crying about Marley. Talk about a delayed reaction.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

If Flicka was bad, why would I take her to Marley

Remember when we watched Flicka and Emma ran crying hysterically from the room and I had to drag her back so she could see Flicka was OK? Well, apparently I didn't learn very well.

I took the girls to see Marley & Me. I had read the book, so I prepped Emma and Shannon about the sad part (spoiler - don't read the rest of this paragraph if you haven't seen it, want to see it and don't want me to spoil it). But even I got caught off guard. When they put Marley into the car to take him to the vet at the end, it was so much like when I took my Rott to be put down, it just snapped me back to that time. And I started crying. Shannon kept looking at me and asking if I was OK and trying to make me laugh. Didn't work. Every time I gathered myself together, something else would trigger my tears again. I kept glancing over at Emma and she seemed to be doing OK, right up until they buried him. And she started crying. Sobbing.

That of course was enough to pull me out of it, and I put her on my lap and tried to make her feel better. Shannon just kept looking at us like we were crazy. Walking out, Emma is still crying, I'm still struggling to pull myself together and I look at Shannon and said, "How did you become so heartless living in this family?" and smiled and gave her a big hug. And she just shrugged and laughed.

But poor Emma. She was still crying an hour after we got home. I know I said it before, but NO MORE ANIMAL MOVIES!!!

Welcome to the New Year

Or as I like to think, just get everything bad over right away so you can go on to enjoy the rest of the year.

The new year was ushered in by a migraine, which was pleasant. So the bottle of chocolate wine I was going to share with my neighbor is still in the fridge. Then the girls come home from their dads (finally) with clothes that are covered with tomato sauce. They then proceed to tell me they think their Dad is drinking again (so very bad) and that his wife is pregnant (from fertility treatments).

I'm having some problem with that. First, what if she has multiples? He couldn't handle one at a time.

Second, and I know this is stupid, he's remarried and having kids and I've been on exactly one date since the divorce. And it wasn't even a real date. Now largely this is self imposed but being rational doesn't help.

and Third, how will this affect the girls? I'm really worried about the drinking. They can't be around him if he's drinking. I unfortunately think it's time for a visit to the lawyer.