Thursday, December 23, 2010

Window Shopping

The girls and I went shopping (or looking) on Tuesday. What a great time! We did eat at the Walnut Room (screw it - what's paying one more bill a little late?) and we got to go see Santa. At Fields (Macy's - ick) to see Santa you have to wind through this workshop with things to keep the kids busy so you don't realize how long you've been waiting, so there is very little whining. So they got to see Santa, and on the way out, Emma looks at me and says, "That must have been a helper Santa." When I asked her why, she replied, "Did you see that wig?"

Here is the spectacular tree in the Walnut Room.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have some Christmas Whine

I love the holidays. I really do. But I'm so angry and frustrated I wish it was January. I try to give my children a good Christmas. And I think I manage to. I don't do it alone. My mom and brother always help.

Presents are really just a small part. Emma is huge on tradition, so we have many. We always build gingerbread houses, pick someone off the angel tree at church to give presents to, ring bells for Salvation Army (which, btw, we have discovered that if you sing carols people give more and if you attempt the 12 days of Christmas people give even more). We open one present on Christmas Eve and they pretend to be surprised every year when they turn out to be pjs.

For them to get presents for me gets a little tricky. I usually can find a friend to take them shopping, or my brother.

Now, this really shouldn't be an issue for my ex, because he's remarried and they could very easily handle it. But I found out today that they never take the girls shopping for Christmas, so the girls don't have presents to give them. The girls never told me because they know money is tight. But it obviously bothers them, so today I took them out to buy presents. To make matters worse, it turns out they don't even buy presents for the girls. All the presents they get come from their stepmother's parents. Now money shouldn't be an issue, because they make at least three times, maybe four times what I do. They have three cars, one of which cost more than I make in two years.

Now, maybe this is selfish, but having to spend this extra money means that I can no longer do the one thing that I wanted for Christmas. I just wanted to take the girls into the city to look at the Macys (Marshall Fields) windows and then to lunch at the famous Walnut Room by the tree. And I know it is really stupid to let it bother me, we're still going to be able to go and look at the windows, we just will have to skip the lunch.

And I do understand how lucky we are, so I guess I should just shut up, get over it and move on. Hopefully at least I'm setting a good example by doing this and not complaining (in front of the girls anyway).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

more middle schooler headaches

The middle school Shannon goes to has a myriad of activities after school. Primarily on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So on those days there is a late bus to take kids home. But it doesn't take them home, it drops at the grade schools. So the theory is they can be dropped off there and then walk home. The only problem is it leaves the school at 4:30 and in the winter it is getting dark by then.

So Shannon was auditioning for something and I couldn't get there quite in time to pick her up, so we decided she would take the late bus and I would pick her up from the grade school. She asked me to pick her up at a different grade school from the one she attended, one that is actually a little closer to our house.

I went to the school and was talking on the phone while I was parked, waiting. After a minute or two, I started to wonder where the bus was. So I hung up and started to dial her number when she called me. I answered and she says, "mommy, I tried to walk home and now I'm lost." which of course made my heart sink. I should point out that we live in a very safe area, but there had just been two armed robberies in the area and in one of them someone got hurt. So I immediately started the car and asked her where she was, all the while praying that she's one a street I know. But she said, "I don't know. There's no street sign close by." Now, I have a rough idea where she is, because where the school is, there really is only one direction she can go in. I told her to walk toward the closest corner and read the sign to me, and I took a guess and started down a street. I told her what street I was on and she said she was on the same street but she couldn't see me. Probably because it was totally dark by then. I told her the name of the cross street I was approaching and she said that was where she was. I finally see her, pulled over and she got in. And I read her the riot act, asking her what she was thinking, etc. And she started crying and said she just wanted to see if she could find her way. Which I explained was an incredibly stupid thing to do AT NIGHT.

Later, she had church club and we picked up her friend. Her mom said, "You're not going to believe what my daughter did. She was supposed to call me from the school to pick her up, but she walked home alone in the dark!" Of course she was smart enough to get dropped of at the grade school she went to, so she knew the way home.


Oh, and they caught the robbers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl, kind and considerate to all she met.

Then she turned 11 and went to middle school.


'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

To my Good Friend

I miss you. You know where I am if you want to talk.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

And the beat goes on....

So, I had my visit to the cardiologist, where he basically said that if the palpitations were bothering alot (as in making me faint) he could put me on medication (which I really don't want unless necessary) but it was nothing dangerous. I could expect the palpitations to go away and then peak from time to time.

Then they did an echo, where I managed to annoy the guy so thoroughly with my questions every time he switched to a new view that he started saying "I suppose you want to know what that is too?" every time. Waiting for those results, but it looks like I'm fine.

So I guess you can say that I dance to the beat of a different drummer!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adventures in Cleaning

I have emerged victorious in the battle to reclaim my dining room! After tackling the huge pile of paper, I have discovered a beautiful table underneath. I have cleaned out cabinets and drawers in the kitchen, baskets and shelves in the living room, pulled out all the furniture and dusted baseboards, vaccuumed crevices and scrubbed spots out of the carpet. Two large bags of trash, another (and a box) for donation. You know that cabinet you have you never go into? You know, the one that has all those weird vases and dishes that you don't know what to do with. Well, I went into mine, and found a bottle of white grape juice from when I moved in (3 years ago). Ewww. It was brown. Why was it there? I have no idea. I don't keep food in there.

Among other things I found when cleaning? A piece of mail from last December.

How come I never find a forgotten stash of money?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Complete lack of organization

The girls are going off to the State Fair with their father and stepmother tonight. I'm kind of excited about it because, wow, do I need to clean. Not the scrub it down kind of clean. The purge kind of clean. I have so much paper laying around the house that it might even be a fire hazard. And I can't find anything! I haven't even gone through all the papers the girls brought home at the end of the last school year! So those are my big plans.

If I don't update soon, call the paramedics, a big pile of paper fell over and buried me!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Better Now

So I wore the crazy heart monitor for about a week, decided that I needed to work on this myself and did some research. I just had a feeling that somehow my stomach issues and palpitations were connected. I called the doc's office (I think I make them crazy, I know, hard to believe) and started asking all these questions. I also talked to them about the killer heartburn I was having. So they prescribed a medication for the heartburn. They got the transmissions for the heart palpitations. I have premature ventriculation, which apparently is annoying, but that's it. However, they were a little concerned about how quickly it came on and got worse, so they want me to see a cardiologist.

I took one of the heartburn pills and noticed that the palpitations weren't quite as bad. So the next time they started, I took a couple of Tums right away. And the palpitations went away within minutes. So needless to say I was back on the phone with the doc's office asking if there was any way the heartburn could be causing it. And they said yes!! But they still want me to follow up with the cardiologist.

So Yea! I'm feeling much better.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This is just craziness

So, a few months ago I started having these heart palpitations. Not bad or often, so I didn't really worry about it.

Then about three weeks ago, I woke up with terrible heartburn. Terrible. And nothing helped. So I eventually called my doctor to get something stronger. But she wasn't in so I ended up seeing her associate. He is convinced I am having a heart attack, even giving me an EKG. Which of course, came out fine. Then he proceeds to tell me this story about a man who came in with the same symptoms, had a normal EKG and refused to go to the hospital for further testing.

Then he went home and died.

Needless to say, I went to the hospital where they took blood, gave me another EKG, did a chest x-ray, and gave me an ultrasound of my gallbladder and liver. Big surprise, everything was FINE. And no palpitations. Until I left.

I had a check up scheduled for last week, so when i went to see my doctor, I mentioned the palpitations (which were getting stronger and more frequent) and it actually happened WHILE I WAS THERE!!! So the nurse grabbed my wrist and felt it. I have never been so happy to be validated in my whole life.

They decided it was probably my Thyroid, took more blood and check that. Nope.

Now they have me on this 30 day heart event monitor. Basically I have this little box attached to leads which are attached to my body. When I feel the palpitations coming on, I push a button and it records it. And if the event is strong enough the machine will start taping it by itself. Then I call it in and transmit the data over the phone.

The first day I had it, the thing was going off so frequently I couldn't keep up with it. Then the next day it was much better. The day after, not so much. Back and forth.

My mother emails me today and says she has been diagnosed with Hyperparathyroidism, and oddly, I have almost all the symptoms. One of which is heart palpitations. So now I have a call into my doc about that. I na way that would be nice, cause it's easily fixable.

But I guess we'll see.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A fun new hobby

Well, most everyone knows my exhusband is not one of my favorite people. Duh. Otherwise we would still be married. Well, the town we live in, like most of the towns near here, have alot of free concerts in the summer. And they happen to fall on the night the kids have dinner with their Dad. They run about 2 hours, which is about an hour later than his visitation time. Because some of the girls' friends go, they never like to leave. So I usually go with a neighbor, kind of sit separate and after they leave the girls come and sit with me. But last week, my neighbor wasn't able to go. So I took a book and thought I would just sit and read. But I got there at the same time as the ex and his wife, so I ended up sitting really close to them. And then his wife (who is very nice) started talking with me, so I had to move over to hear her. Awkward. And she proceeds to show me these pictures of her parents and then she show me pictures from the wedding, which was weird. And then out of the blue she says that she saw this picture of him when I was still married to him and she really liked his hair then much better than now. And I agreed, saying that I didn't really like his hair now. Noticing how uncomfortable this was making my ex, I then proceeded to tell her how one of my co-workers had mentioned that he looked like Piers Morgan (and he really does). And he's trying to laugh it off, but his pinched smile makes the resemblance even stronger. So now were on a roll. And the conversation moves onto how he's a total gagnet. It's amazing. Gay men seem to fawn all over him. And she's noticed it as well!

By now he's really squirming, and then his wife says, I think we should go shopping some time. And I add that maybe we should go to lunch. And I thought he was going to keel over dead! A great new pastime for me!

Then is wife emailed me wanting to know if I would go (with the girls) to a minor league baseball game! It's weird and uncomfortable, but the torture of him makes it kind of fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

still sick

After three trips to the doctor, six different meds. Still not much of a voice, still talk anyway. But most of the other symptoms are gone. Just cough and no voice.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stupid viruses!

Last week I caught some sort of stomach virus. Totally wiped me out. Lasted a full week. And as the symptoms were easing and I was almost free yesterday, I woke up with a slight sore throat. Ahh allergies. Or so I thought. By noon, I had completely lost my voice. Which you would think would make me stop talking. But no. I kept right on going with people just looking really puzzled cause they can't understand what I'm saying. Then last night I began coughing and this morning I have a head so stuffed up I feel like it might explode just like the aliens in Mars Attacks.

The kicker of this is that my boss is ungoing chemo so he can't be around anyone who's sick so he can't even come to the office. Which, actually I guess is a plus.

Tonight is the first night I don't have anything planned, or should I say, there's nowhere I have to chauffuer the girls too, so I hoping I can sleep it off and be miraculously fine by tomorrow morning.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More animal tales (tails)

OK, so last fall (October, I think), Shannon brought home two fish from school. A platy and a guppie. We went out, brought a 6 gallon tank and all the necessary accessories. Then we put in a couple more fish. And the original platy died along with one of the new platys. We now have one platy and one guppy. Always the one guppie. Then in February, as we're leaving for school, the girls start screaming about babies. I assumed they meant baby bunnies outside. Well, you know what happens when you assume.

We had a tank full of baby guppies, which I found quite confusing since there one only one guppy this whole time. What is the gestation period for guppies? Anyway, I grabbed a large measuring cup and a net and scooped out the platy and adult guppy, gave them some food, stuck a plant in the measuring cup and went to work. While I was there, I did some checking and found out that I need something called a floating grassmat for them to hide in so they won't get eaten. Now the adults can go back in the tank. But I still don't understand how it is she gave birth.

One of my friends came to the rescue and explained that guppies only need to do the big nasty once, and then can store sperm and impregnate themselves later. Repeatedly apparently, because the original group of babies numbered 8, of which 6 survived, and now we have 15. And there is a major difference in their size.

Now I'm left with the choice of finding homes for these guppies or getting a bigger tank. Or both if she keeps giving birth.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Animal tales

My kids are with their Dad this week, so I'm getting to enjoy alot of quiet time. Really, only the first 24 hours is nice. But what is nice is that I can sleep a full 45 minutes later and still get to work early! Except today.

The weather has been so nice, I opened up all the windows this morning while I was getting ready. I sat on the couch to watch a little of the news, when I hear this muttering outside. It seriously sounded like someone having an argument with themselves or imitating someone under their breath. Being that it is quite early, I went to the deck and look out. Just in time to see two little ducks waddle past my door. Muttering to each other.

I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a piece of bread to give them and ran to the front door where I promptly terrified them so badly so took off flying. Oops.

So I stood there a minute, and movement in my neighbor's yard caught my eye. It was three little bunnies chasing each other around a bush. Even though I'm sure it was some sort of territorial dispute, it looked just like they were playing tag. Around and around until one of them smartened up and turned around. The bunny and his friend both jumped and ended up high fiveing each other in the air. Then the third bunny apparently had enough and ran over to my yard to hang out for awhile. And while it was a fun way to start the day, I find it hard to believe that my boss would be amused if I told him I was late because of the bunnies and duckies in my yard.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

If I'm this stupid, perhaps I shouldn't be allowed to drive

When I was growing up, my father was in the military police. Then he was Provost Marshall. I point this out because it goes a long ways toward explaining my breaking the law paranoia.

Last week I was talking with a woman at work and she mentioned that her license was expiring this year and how she hated having to renew it. I agreed and said that mine was due to expire this year as well. I was pretty lucky tho, I hadn't had to go the the driver's facility for 8 years because I had received at geed driver's sticker that extended my license for 4 years.

That evening, I was paying some bills and pulled out my license just to confirm that it did in fact expire this year. The date on the front of the license said 2005. Hmmmm. I flipped over the license and looked at the sticker. Uh oh. Four years from 2005 is not 2010. I instantly panic, because I have been driving on an expired license for 4 months. And you know now that I know, I am going to be sending out some vibe that says "pull me over, I'm driving illegally". Getting to the facility while they're open tho, can be kind of difficult. The girls' schedules don't make it any easier. I pop online to find out exactly how much trouble I am in and what I need to do, and the Secretary of State's website is of absolutely no help - thank you very much for that, but I do find out that the office that is not too far from where my kids have to go that evening is open til 7:00. One catch, I don't really know the area that well and the timing will be very tight.

Then I start to what if. What if I have to take a test? What if I fail? I won't have a license. How will I get home? Ahhhh!

I drop off the girls and speed (not really, I'm too paranoid) toward the town the facility is in. Weirdly, there are two towns right next to each other, they have the same name, just one has a directional designation, like north, south, east, west. And I have to go through one town to get to the other. I see the sign for the street I need, I turn and go about two blocks down and suddenly it's residential. What? So I start calling around, trying to find someone home to look up where I am. And the first person I can find is a friend in Georgia. For directions in Illinois. She looks it up for me, and yes, I am in the WRONG TOWN. Now time is even tighter.

She gets me going the right direction, points out that I have to pass the local mental health facility and everyone knows where that is - it's huge. I finally get there, it's about 6:40. I park and run in, explain that I'm an idiot, and literally 7 minutes later am back in my car driving legally. With the WORST picture possible.

Now I'm going to sign up for a remedial math course...

Monday, March 15, 2010


Got a call from the Principal today. After watching every recess, lunch and stalking my daughter around the school, they found "there was no inappropriate behavior".

Well, duh.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March in Chicago (area)

Well, today was the St. Paddy's day parade, 45 degrees and raining. Not a hard rain, just really heavy misting with strong breezes. And not the city parade, but our town parade. Which by suburban standards is usually pretty big. We had to be there, both the girls were walking with their Girl Scout troops. But in this weather, who would be insane enough to go and watch by choice? ALOT of people. Line up was 45 minutes before the parade started and people were already waiting.

People are nuts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Where to start..

I took a step back for awhile (obviously) and discovered it's really hard to come back.

I've recently run into a situation that I don't know how to handle. My kids used to go to a woman's house before school because I start work fairly early in the day. We'll just call her M. M's kids were friends of my kids, one is the same age as Shannon (A) and the other is one year older than Emma (C). Shannon and A are in the same class, and when Shannon did better than A on something, A would get really upset, and when she would do better than Shannon, she took great pleasure in rubbing Shannon's face in it. And when Shannon had some sort of major accomplishment, the mom, M, would call me with some behavioral issue with Shannon. But stupidly, I just blew it off.

Then, Shannon had an article chosen and published in the local paper. And the next day, M sent me a series of text messages (13) that upset me beyond words. They talked about how there were these rumors circulating about Shannon that I'm not going to go into, but then she went on to say that S (with another girl) had insulted and demeaned her daughter C until she cried. Now, I don't want to sound like one of those parents that is clueless about their kid, but there is no way Shannon would do that. None at all. Then she starts saying that Emma is afraid of Shannon. Also not true. So I'm receiving these texts over and over and getting more and more upset and I kept texting her back, please call me. And I'm at work. She replies that she is in the doctor's waiting room and she can't talk and in fact is being called into the exam room. And she says she will call me after.

Awhile later I get this text saying she's home, but she doesn't feel well and won't be available when I get off work. Convenient.

So, I talked to the girls and mulled over what I was going to do over the weekend (Monday was a holiday). I decided to text her in return, mostely because I was so unbelievably angry at her I didn't think actually talking to her was a good idea. So I texted her and said I was very upset over the way she chose to handle it and as such, the girls would no longer be coming to her house in the morning. And thanked her for her help in the past. And that was it. Then she made the mistake of calling me. She claimed that other mothers knew about the rumors, but chose to not be involved. When I pointed out that I had made several phone calls and no one I had talked to had heard these rumors, she said it was because they didn't want to get involved and she was doing me a favor. I then told her I had talked to a number of people that were there when Shannon supposedly demeaned her younger daughter and no one knew anything about that, she said it was because no one was paying attention.

So I told her off and called the school and talked to the principal. And that was it. Or so I thought. There was a fundraiser/performance for the school that alot of the kids are involved in, including mine and A and C. So M was there, I was there, but I stayed as far away from her as possible. But I wasn't going to let her ruin my time or the girls.

Then, a few days later I get a phone call from the police. Yep. And they want to meet with me. So I go. Apparently M went to the police department and told them that I was harrassing her (even thought I had not spoken with her for more than 2 weeks), is bullying her daughter by following her around the playground. And here's the real kicker - supposedly at the fundraiser I blocked her daughter from going up the stairs. Hundreds of people standing around, I have to help my kids change clothes several times, and I take the time to block a small child from going up a 5 foot wide staircase. Really?

So the officer advises me that I need to contact the school and inform them of the bullying allegations for Shannon's protection. I did so, which was beyond awkward, and now Shannon is living in a fishbowl at school. And every day I walk around feeling like I'm going to throw up because I feel so awful for her and honestly, I'm a little afraid for her. I should also point out, that I am not delusional, I have talked to teachers that know her and many other adults, and none of them can believe it.

And Shannon's reaction? While she's upset, she says she feels sorry for them, that it is so sad that they are so unhappy they have to hurt others to make them feel more important. And she's 11.

I really hate that my child is more evolved than me.