Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

This is the last day of 2006. And I feel like it should be more special or something. But it's an every day kind of day, very un-special. And I think tonight will be spent just like every night around here - we'll put the kids to bed and maybe watch a little TV, I'll read a book and fall asleep, and we'll be lucky if we see the new year in.

But who knows, we may decide to be wild and stay up late...

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Whatever it is you are doing tonight, I hope you are enjoying yourself. Stay safe and warm. And best of luck to you in the coming year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Did somebody say 'pictures'?

The cookies, they are for Santa! They are all for Santa! And the kids, they are excited!


The boy and his loot.



The girl and her loot.



And no, he didn't fall asleep here (because he was up at 2:00 AM checking to see if Santa had come,) he just looks like he did.



That, my friends, is a Hot Wheels Radar Gun. Now he'll know if you're speeding down our street. (You may also be able to find me outside playing with it, because that's one cool toy.)
Hot Wheels, Beat That.


A study in concentration.



That crazed look in her eyes is from the unbelievable high provided by lots and lots of Littlest Pet Shop animals.


Eh, an ornament.



Yeah - eh, an ornament.



Easy Bake, baby! That's her first cake. It was hard as a rock and the frosting looked like, um, looked like nothing like frosting. But we ate it. And I made all the right mmmmm noises.

The kids were overwhelmed by Christmas, as always. They received a lot of presents, and were, overall, very pleased with what they got. I think Santa would be better off not going with the misguided notion that the boy needs less video game time and stop trying to get him toys that are not video games, already. Because the boy is happy with video games. Santa just needs to deal, and it would save Santa a ton of money on toys that he doesn't like as much as he likes his video games. Just a small hint for Santa.

But this, people, is one happy boy.



Have a good Christmas?

Kids, while looking at the front of a gift bag: "Mom, what's NOEL mean?"

Me: "Um... you know, I don't know."

Daughter, grinning triumphantly: "Oh, Oh, I know! It's the alphabet, without the 'L'. No-El."


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I'll post pictures sometime, um... soon? I uploaded some from the camera, but the work required to post them here seems to be more than I can bring myself to do right now. I'm too busy playing referee to the children and all the friends that are spending time over at my house. (Let me tell you, they are all crazy.) And also, I am busy driving around in the little Equinox the Chevy dealer gave me to drive while my van is in the shop, yet again. (Crappy Chevys.)

SO... pictures. Soon. Sometime. Sometime soon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My wish...

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

There's nooo day like an off-work Friday.

I am off of work today. (WooHoo!) In fact, I am off of work until January 2nd. That makes me oh so very happy. The kids are off of school until then also. We're finally off at the same time. (And this is going to make me feel very sad come January 2nd, I think, when I realize how much I enjoy hanging out with my kids and having free time.)

My poor husband, however, is not off until January 2nd.

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My van - oh lord, that van - is back at the dealership today. It's making a thwump thwump sound, and it's more than likely got something to do with the tires. We had them balanced and rotated, but that didn't help. So the darn thing is back in the shop.

You know... I know that I shouldn't make sweeping generalizations about automotive companies based on one single vehicle, but I'm not thinking I'll buy another Chevrolet (or GM). Who knows, maybe I will, sometime further down the line. But this particular van is a dud (I had piece of sh*t written, but felt dud was nicer. Then I thought about and still felt like I should tell you I think it's a pieces of sh*t. What can I say, I'm not feeling very polite regarding this van.) I want to take it back to the dealership and tell them to shove it in a very unmentionable place. That's how much love I'm feeling for it right now.

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Enjoy your Friday. I hope you have off of work today too. I also hope that if you go out into the fray today, you manage to enjoy yourself. But for God's sake, stay away from Walmart. It's too crazy out there, people, and I fear for your safety.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oops.

Um... yeah...

The whole previous post? Ignore it. Evidently, I am an idiot. I think that the whole lightbulb issue is really a non-issue. According to what I read online, the new oven don't even use a lightbulb anymore. Which could be why it doesn't come with one.

That's what I get for listening to someone I don't really know well. And then not looking it up for myself.

Shhhhhh.....

Don't say anything, but I think my little girl is getting an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. I'm not ruining the surprise, so don't tell her, okay? But the reason I'm telling you is because I just found out that the oven does not come wtih the lightbulb it needs to bake. And I want to rant a little about toys not coming with all the supplies needed. I understand the whole 'batteries not included' thing. And that's fine with me. I buy lots of batteries, and always check the boxes to make sure I have the correct size on hand. But there are some toys, like the Easy Bake, that do not come with other items.

We were looking at the different remote control flying/racing vehicles out there for my son for Christmas. And there were several that were very neat looking. They were, however, very expensive, and I was on the fence about whether or not to get one. Then I noticed that most of them did not include the battery pack needed to use 'em. And I'm not just talking about a few 'C' batteries, I mean the special, use only for this toy, rechargable battery packs. It seemed ridiculous to me! And then the battery packs were fairly expensive to boot, pushing the cost of the toy up into stratospheric proportions. So we abandoned the idea, for now. I'm hoping something good comes around that includes all necessary items.

So today my mission is to go buy a lightbulb (for the Easy Bake.) And do it without tipping off the girl, because she's smart, and will figure out what it's for.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This is where I say 'mattresses' a lot.

On Monday morning I told you that I had ordered new mattresses for the kids. As of Monday afternoon, when they hadn't called me to arrange a time for the delivery, I called them. And the folks at Sears (yes, today I'm naming names) told me that my order had been cancelled because they ran out of stock. However, they did not call me to tell me. Nor did they even drop me an email. They, I guess, were not planning on telling me at all. Because it wasn't until I called them that they even looked up the order and said, "Oh, it was cancelled."

What made me even more angry (and believe me, I was ready to blow steam out of my ears) was that when I asked the customer service rep what they did have in stock and available for delivery before Christmas, she said she didn't have anything available for Christmas. I should have ordered "yesterday if I wanted a delivery by Christmas."

This was on Monday. She said I should have ordered on Sunday. In fact, I had ordered on Saturday. Saturday morning, to be exact. And if someone would have been nice enough to tell me that they were out of stock, I probably would have then gone ahead and ordered something else on Sunday!

I was fuming for a good long time.

(That's the last order Sears gets from me.)

Oh, but anyway, last night we went down to the local mattress store and bought mattresses. They only had one of the style we wanted in stock at that particular store, but they are getting the other one in this afternoon. (Keep your fingers crossed, our luck with mattresses has not been very good lately.)

So mattress dilemma solved. And the kids' beds are now nicer than mine.

But stores who sell you items that they say are in stock, and then cancel your order because they are out of stock, and then don't tell you about it when they do - well, they suck. (I'm looking at you, Sears.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

He comes through for me yet again.

Guys, you remember when I was so unhappy about buying a new washing machine because mine finally gave up the ghost? Well, this is why it's handy to have a husband who works in the laundry equipment industry. The company he works for builds laundromats and dry cleaners and sells equipment to places that need industrial washers and dryers, etc... So that's how I've come to have this in my laundry room:



It's brand new (never mind the duct tape mark on the top, a little adhesive remover is going to take that right off) and it came at a much lower cost than a new washer. And we have it set to $0, so that I don't have to pay to wash clothes. I do, however, have to slide the little coin slot back in order to start the washer. (And doing so makes me giggle every time!)

Although, maybe we should charge money for every load of laundry. By the time the kids are 18, I'd have their college paid for. Hmmm...

Monday, December 18, 2006

I was having a productive day...

So this morning I was all, "La, la, la, la, la... I'm cleaning and doing chores... la, la, la, la, la." And I was sort of enjoying myself. I mean, as much as you can enjoy yourself while you're cleaning. I cleaned the oven, and was very satisfied at how well it turned out. (So shiny!) I swept the wood floors, and wiped down some of the baseboards. (So clean!) I put a load of clothes in the wash... and this is where it all went to hell.

After the washer shut off, I went to transfer the load to the dryer. When I reached in to get the clothes, it looked a little like it hadn't been rinsed. There were still soap bubbles sitting on the top of the clothes. Hmmm, I thought, I hope the washer is rinsing okay. So I turned the rinse cycle back on and stood there for a minute to make sure water was going into the tub. Satisfied that it was indeed filling, and thinking that it just might have been a case of too much soap, I went back to my cleaning.

And that load of clothes turned out fine after the second rinse. I put it in the dryer, and started yet another load. (We have at least a couple of loads a day.) Once that load was finished, I opened the washer and saw soap bubbles again. This time I was sure I didn't use too much soap. And I noticed that the clothes still looked really, really wet. So I thought, oh no, it's the spin cycle that's not working. And I turned the little knob to spin, shut the washer, and listened to it buzz. It was not spinning, it was buzzing. Okay, I thought, I'll just rinse these and then I'll have to just squeeze them out and put them in the dryer for longer.

So I started the rinse cycle yet again, and stood there to watch the whole process start. That's when I found out that my washer not only didn't do the spin cycle, but had also decided to just sit there and buzz instead of agitating the clothes. My clothes were just sitting in a big tub of water, listening to the washer buzz.

I had to wash those clothes by hand. By HAND. And let me tell you , that is not very fun. And then I had to squeeze them out before I could put them in the dryer. That, also, is not very fun. (And it's hell on the skin. My hands are dry. My wrists itch. And even my nails look dry.)

I guess I should count myself lucky that at least the washer was filling and draining. But I may just weep a little at the thought of buying a new washing machine.

Weekend wrap-up.

  • I ordered the children new mattresses. Because, apparently, having crater-like mattresses is not good enough for them. (Kidding!) My son came to me one day, after jumping on his bed, and said his mattress make a big "cracking" noise. Their mattresses are the bunk bed types that have the boards at the bottom of them. Well, his board broke. Now maybe they'll listen when I tell them not to jump on the bed. Maybe.

  • My daughter attended her first birthday party yesterday. Well, the first party for one of her school friends. And she was so shy she sat in the corner, in my lap, the whole time. The. Whole. Time. And the party was at a gymnastics place, which she would have loved had she actually gotten up off of my lap. It was so frustrating for me. This girl is so confident at home - she is loud, silly, and sure of herself - yet she just locks up when she's somewhere new. (And I swear I have no idea where she gets that from. I was nothing like that, right Dad?) ( I was everything like that, actually.) But that doesn't make it any less frustrating.

  • I am now going to go clean my oven.

  • It's good to be me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm dangerous with a library card.

Early one weekend morning, in a fit of boredom and misery, I ordered some books from the library. You see, I have a couple of favorite authors, and there were a few books from one in particular that I hadn't read yet. She writes in a series, and I wanted to read the missing books so I could 'fill in the blanks', if you will. (And, yes, I will.)

I found out how easy it was to put a request in for a book and have it delivered to your local library from other parts of the county. It was very easy. And that is how it came to be that I ordered a whole sh*tload of books.

There were many I hadn't read. And I kind of figured that I would put the request in, and the books would trickle in from parts unknown, giving me a book or two a week. That makes sense, right? Because other people would have some checked out, and some would be in and some out - giving me good selection to last a month or more. But, holy heck, my reasoning must have been flawed.

The library called me to tell me a few of the books I had ordered had come in. So I made my dear, dear book-hating husband* take time out of his Saturday to drive us to the library. (We were already out, so I figured we would just stop by. He hated the idea.) And you can just imagine my surprise when the librarian emerged from the back room with a stack of books. And then, then, she went back for more. People, I got stares from passers-by when I emerged from the library carrying what is, in fact, a whole sh*tload of books!

So I have a stack of books to read. And while I'm enjoying it and reading my little heart out, I'm a little afraid I won't have them all read by the time they are due. And I'll feel like I've got some sort of book monopoly going on if I renew them. And I'm also afraid that I won't remember to bring them back on time, and at $.10 a day, per book, I could be very much in debt to my local library.

This is where my dear, dear husband interjects with, I knew those darn books would be trouble.


*He doesn't hate books per se, he just hates all the time I like to spend reading. Which may or may not be all my time. I'm not admitting to anything here, folks.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We went to the hospital...

Last night we went to see my sister-in-law, her husband, and her new baby. The baby's still in his little bubble (not really a bubble, but I don't know the name of those bed/pod things they put the babies in.) He's hooked up to all sorts of machines tubes, and he still has a ventilator on. But even through all that I could see how gorgeous he was. And y'all, he's so gorgeous. I can't wait to get my hands on him and snuggle that little boy. I'm hoping it'll be soon.

On our way to the hospital, we made a pit stop at a store to buy them a car seat and stroller combo. The baby came so unexpectedly, they didn't even have a car seat yet! So my SIL called me yesterday and asked if I could go buy her one and bring them the car seat so they would be prepared when the baby was healthy enough to go home. She told me the couple of designs she had looked at (which, she had only started looking the day she went into labor!) and told me basically what she wanted. So me being me, I set off to find her the exact one she had mentioned. (Because she deserves the best, of course!) After several phone calls dealing with overworked and grumpy store clerks who I'm sure thought to themselves, lady, just come down to the store and look at what we have, I managed to track down the design at a store between here and the hospital the baby is staying at. So I bought it - and mission successfully accomplished. (Phew!)

Once at the hospital, (and after getting lost and circling the area, then finally being talked in by my SIL via phone) we went to the cafeteria to get something to eat. And let me tell you, this cafeteria was big. And confusing. I barely knew where to go or what to do. I just think we're lucky that we managed to find things for everyone to eat. When my husband was offering cake to my daughter, I panicked and said, "I only got $40.00 from the ATM! Don't get too much!" (Which, what's up with the hospital cafeteria not taking debit or credit cards??) My husband found my panic very hilarious, but I maintain that it was justified. None of the prices were well labelled, and I didn't know how much we were spending as we loaded up our trays. I mean, I didn't want to get to the cash register and find I had to start taking food off of the trays because it was too expensive! "Let's see, I'll take off one chicken leg, the kids can share a drink, and we can do without the ketchup packets..." He says that if I thought $40.00 wouldn't pay for a simple meal at a hospital cafeteria, I am crazier than I thought. He found it funny, I found it panic inducing. (The total cost of the meal? Less than $16.00. But it could have been much more!)

I was very glad to see everyone, and very honored that my sister-in-law took me through all the washing/gown-donning to see the baby. They all looked tired, but very good. (The woman had a baby, was discharged a little more than 12 hours later, and has been busy, busy, busy ever since!)

So please keep up those prayers and kind thoughts. Think of our little baby O, and all those other little babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. And donate to the Ronald McDonald House, which is where they are staying while the baby is in the hospital. You never think about those places until they're needed by you or someone you love, but they really are a lifesaver for tired, stressed parents and families.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Inactivity drives me crazy.

I'm finally going to get my Christmas cards out today - it is my goal for the day. (I know, I aim big. Go me!) Also, I'm going to do laundry and more laundry. (Fun!) And also, I am going to wander around my house looking for something to do until I can go see my sister-in-law and her husband. I heard I won't be able to see the baby, but that's okay, I'll have plenty of chances to see the little guy later.

(He's still in the little baby-bubble. His lungs are still not doing well. But we have every reason to believe they will do well soon.)

But this non-ability to do something for the baby and his mom are driving me crazy. Me, who needs to be doing something, anything.

So no real post today. My mind is too busy to slow down and think of anything.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy, sad, and everything in between.

Y'all, my sister in law had a baby last night! A little boy - right under 6lbs.

He came a month early, and right now he's not doing as well as they'd like. He's been in a little oxygen booth-thingy (that's the technical name for it, I'm sure) with a little breathing mask over his face and an IV drip. And now they're moving him to another hospital, one that has a neonatal intensive care unit.

They haven't been able to hold him.

So say a little prayer for the little guy, please.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

One dirty sock and one frustrated mom.

Son: "Mom, I got my breakfast on my sock."

Me (upstairs, brushing my hair) : "If your sock's dirty, take it off."

Son: "Take it off?"

Me: "If it's dirty, take your sock off."

Son: "My sock?"

Me: "Yes! If your sock is dirty, take it off and bring it up here. Put it in the dirty clothes basket."

Son: "Take my sock off?"

Me: "YES! Take your sock off and put it in the dirty clothes! Then go get yourself a clean pair of socks!"

Son: "I spilled my breakfast on my sock. I need to take it off."

Me: "YES!!! Take off the sock! Now!"

And while I was practically foaming at the mouth with anger and frustration over the whole take-off-your-SOCK(!) thing, he calmly came upstairs with the dirty sock in his hand and went to get a change of socks. By this time I had abandoned the whole trying-to-look-like-I-at-least-tried-to-fix-my-hair thing and was on my way downstairs to see what in the world had happened to his sock. He walked past me nonchalantly, and then said over his shoulder, "Mom, I took off my sock because it was dirty. And I got a new sock."

I wonder if he possesses some sort of genetic mutaion that prevents him from hearing my voice. I'm thinking that this may be the case, because his father (love you, honey!) has a mild form of this and hardly ever hears my voice.

My daughter, on the other hand, hears my voice every single time, and can do a so-real-it's-scary imitation of what I sound like (complete with nagging tone and hands on hips stance.)

She'll make such a good mother one day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Progress?

My son's progress report came home the other day. He's doing well, but needs to improve his "reading strategies" and also "get more help at home."

I'm not going to lie to you, that last one really upset me. Especially since it came the day after I spent an hour with him helping him do his homework, and then even more time helping him practice writing neater. I mean, shit, how much more time can I spend with a 7 year old? Especially a 7 year old who has the attention span of a gnat. (Do gnats have short attention spans? I'm just assuming that they do indeed.)

And then I thought, does she think I'm not helping him at home? Does she think he just sits down to do all of that homework all by himself? Does she think we don't want him to do well?

Now before you get the idea that I do not like this teacher, let me tell you that I do. I like her very much. She is enthusiastc and patient. She gives my son the attention he needs, yet still leaves him to do things for himself. She's made math not such an enigma for him, and recognized that he's a child who needs his routine in order to function. She's also nice. But I was still upset with her (and at her.)

So I emailed her and asked specifically what more she would like me to help him with at home. And I got a non-specific answer. Which kind of irked me. Because now I'm feeling like she thinks I don't help him enough at home, and I am also not smart enough to know what to do to help him (should I actually decide to offer him help.)

Overreact much? Maybe I do. Just a little.

(I do not envy the position of a teacher trying to deal with parent's pride and feelings. Just saying.)

Also, I do not know what the heck "reading strategies" are for a 7 year old. So maybe I'm not smart enough to help him.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm giving you excuses.

I've actually been... wait for it... too busy to post today. Not that I've been busy doing anything productive, really, but I've not had a chance to sit down and type because I've had a lot of children-in-my-lap time today. But I have had a few minutes to look around a little at some of my favorite sites (besides sesamestreet.org, which is not really my favorite, but is a big favorite of the 1 year old.)

Over at Awesome I found a link to a site that literally made me laugh at loud. Literally. Check it out - especially if you are someone who gets a giggle and/or nervous twitch when people misuse words.*

*(I'm thinking about you, Melissa. I don't know how you can stand to read what I write. It must pain you at times. But I'm very glad you stop by!)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Health insurance has not been my friend.*

I wrote a post for you on Monday that was all about yet another round with my health insurance company but I did not post it because I am either very lazy, or very busy. I'll let you determine which one it was. Also, I did not post yesterday for the same reason. But here it is, a post written two days ago:

Hi there!

How are you?

I am writing this whilst on hold with my health insurance company. And, amazingly, I am not having fun.

So far, the recorded voice that periodically comes on between the music has advised me on how to remember to take my medication daily. (Get pill holders with separate compartments for each day of the week.) Also, I've learned how to quit smoking. (I do not smoke, but if I did I now have helpful hints on how to stop.) And I've heard music. Bad music. Fun!

Once the music cut off again for yet another round of 'helpful hints', I was informed that I should help my children stay healthy during cold and flu season. (Who knew! I was trying to keep them ill. Silly me.) Then, oh then, the operator came on the line and it took me a minute to realize that it was an actual human being speaking.

Operator: "Thank you for calling Blue Cross and Blue Shield. My name is Heather, last initial J. May I have your name?"

Me: [...]

Operator: "Hello?"

Me: "Oh....sorry"

SO I found out that my health insurance company (Hello! I do not like you! But please continue to pay for our doctors visits and prescriptions, and please do not cancel yourself again! Thanks!) is screening all of my doctors fees from my bought with kidney stones for pre-existing conditions. Because there is a pre-existing clause in my policy, and they may be able to get out of paying it if they find sufficient cause. I'm just hoping they do not list having a kidney as a pre-existing condition. Because then I'm totally screwed. Also, I found out that my son's allergy medication will be expensive, no matter how much I try to talk them into paying for it.

Did I mention how much fun this is? To be not covered, cancelled and otherwise told to 'shove it' by your health insurance company? Yeah. You wish you were me, don't you.



*I'm done now. I won't talk about this anymore because I'm taking a deep breath and moving on from it all. And everyone's taking vitamins and walking around in full padding and helmets because we must stay healthy!

Monday, December 04, 2006

If you are a kid, do not read this. (And maybe some adults shouldn't either.)

At what point in time does Santa no longer become the person who leaves you presents?

Now, I'm not going to give away any sort of secrets here, because you never know the severity of heartbreak one may cause by 'outing' Santa. (And you never know who can read, and who can't.) But for those of you who know what I'm talking about... well, explain to me how this is all done. How does the 'outing' happen?

(Oh, I just know someone out there is going, "Santa's gay?")

(And if you are thinking that, my only reply can be - it depends on your Santa.)

I'm a little disturbed by the lengths some people go to during Christmas time. They get phone calls from the big guy, letters, pictures, etc... And not that I think anything is wrong with that, but I'm a little worried for the psyche of the child who believes with all their heart. I'm worried about the horrible feeling of betrayal they'll feel when they find out that Santa may not really be magical. (Not that I'm saying he's not! I'm not ruining anyone's Christmas here, guys! I said he MAY not be magical. MAY not be. Which means he MAY really be!)

I don't remember a definitive moment when it all came together for me. I don't know if it just wasn't a big deal for me, of if maybe I'm just blocking it all out because it was so mentally scarring. Regardless, I don't know how it happened in my childhood. Do you remember? Was it awful? Or was it just like, eh, whatever?

Because I'm a little afraid of getting myself in too deep around here, and stomping my tender-hearted children's hearts into the ground. I'm avoiding putting our name on the phone call list, and I sure as heck don't want to do personnal correspondence, lest they develop a deep relationship with someone who will later be 'outed' as not being anything close to what they thought 'he' was.

Or maybe I will never tell them the, um, secret, and put them in an isolated bubble for the rest of their lives.

Option two is sounding very good to me right now.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Amazing is

...Watching your son do jumping jacks perfectly, when in September he couldn't seem to get the whole hands-up-legs-out, and all-at-the-same-time thing down.

...Seeing your son go through his Tae Kwon Do routine without missing a beat.

...Witnessing your son breaking a board with his tender little foot.

Amazing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Pictures and daily news.

I'm a little late in posting these pictures...


Here are the kids decorating the tree. Every year I string the lights and let them decorate the tree. And I think they do a wonderful job - I only have to rearrange a few ornaments. They've come a long way since the times when they would hang all of the ornaments on one or two branches. (And they used to laugh and laugh when I would get frustrated!)

And here's my ham of a girl and my ever-patient husband. (I swear she looks like she's much older than 5 here. And I don't like that one bit. Quit getting older, missy!)

And here is the living room during Decorating-Fest 2006. That's me over there - barely in the picture. And I'm sure I'm giving orders and bossing the kids around - because that's what I do best. (And Dad, note that white box down there. It has been with us since we moved from England.)


Pictures of the outside will come soon (maybe.) They are pending on the arrival of one inflatable snowman (or not.)

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Today's my daughter's Star Student day. She's actually been Star Student of the Week, but today is the day her Daddy goes in to talk about his job and eat lunch with her. And then, because he's a good Daddy, he's also staying to eat lunch with my son. (Their lunch times are back-to-back.) Also, my little girl is Student of the Month at her school. Not that I'm bragging or anything... but I think she's absolutely wonderful and I'm so proud.

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My son is testing for his new belt tonight in Tae Kwon Do. He was so excited, he couldn't sleep last night. So I'm a little worried that he'll be over-tired and sick to his stomach by the time 7:00 rolls around and it'll be time for him to test. So cross your fingers for him. And I think he's absolutely wonderful and I'm so proud of him too. (Not that I'm bragging or anything...)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Candy cane visions.

Okay, so you remember when I told you about the candy canes in my front lawn? Remember when I told you that I had bought more for the yard, bringing the candy cane count up to 20?

Well, I had a definite vision about where exactly to place those extra 10 candy canes. They would (of course!) go on the other side of the front porch to bring balance and symmetry to the display. Because the 10 we had out already were only on one side of the porch. So (of course!) we needed to put the other 10 on the other side.

Only (of course!) my husband did not share my vision. And so when I left the house to take my son to Tae Kwon Do last night (in his newly be-patched uniform) and said to my husband, "If you feel like getting ambitious..." and gestured to the new boxes of lighted candy canes, he took that to mean he could put them up wherever he wanted.

And he did. Wherever he wanted. He put the candy canes wherever he wanted. Which is exactly the opposite of wherever I wanted them. (Of course!)

So I tried to be a big girl and not whine about the candy cane placement. I am, actually, still in the process of trying not to whine. But there is no symmetry, you see, and I cannot take such madness. It is eating away at my very soul. Eating away at me, I tell you.

Edited to add: I did it. I changed them. (Of course!) I couldn't help it. I tried, I tell you, I tried really hard. But the part of me that wanted to just let it be was overpowered by the part of me that needs things to be balanced and symmetrical. (Let's hear it for OCD!)

(Sorry, honey, for what I've done to your candy cane vision. But remember, you married me willingly. And you knew about my craziness - or do I need to remind you about my cows?)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

There are some things money can't buy.

Four patches for my son's Tae Kwon Do uniform: $8.00

Specialty sewing kit (because I can't find the needle and thread I already own): $5.00

Bandaids: $2.00 (for the sewing related injury)

Look of pure joy on my son's face when he saw that I had finally sewn on his patches: priceless

I'm hating the sewing, but liking the lights.

I'm taking a break from sewing my son's patches onto his Tae Kwon Do uniform. For the record, I can't sew, and I dislike it very much. Also, I dislike it very much. Ooops, did I say that twice? That just goes to show how much I dislike sewing. And I said it again. So there.

Also, for the record, we now have plastic candy cane lights on our front lawn. And some spiral-y tree thingies. Four of them, to be exact. And 10 candy canes. But we'll soon have 20 candy canes because I went to the store and bought more for the other side of the house.

Whooo, boy, we sure do know how to decorate for a holiday around here! Maybe if you're nice, I'll post pictures.

Did I mention candy canes? On my front lawn? Yeah baby!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What's happened during your day?

My day so far...

  • We left the van door open last night. All night. And not only was there frost on the outside of the glass, but also on the inside. And a weird smell. I'm thankful that we live in a fairly safe neighborhood and that the van was still out there and in one piece when we woke up. But I'm not thankful for whatever it was that deposited that weird smell inside my van.
  • I seemed to have lost one baby shoe, brown, size 12 months. He had it on when we went to drop the kids off at school, but I don't know for sure if he had it on when we came back into the house. All I know is that when I put him into the highchair for breakfast, he only had one shoe on.
  • My friends Sara emailed me and told me to check Ebay for that Star Wars ship we didn't get last Christmas. And she was very nice in that she refrained from going, "Duh" in her email. Because, duh, who doesn't check Ebay for these kinds of things? But she did include a nice link to a specific auction, lest, duh, I can't find my way around Ebay.*
  • I have forgotten to eat. Anything. And now I'm chewing on my own lip and wondering if Chapstick has any nutritional value whatsoever.

So... I'm off to scrounge for food in the kitchen. And I'm going to try to gather my wits and proceed on with my day in a calm manner. (I just love saying 'gather my wits', although I'm not even sure if I can use it correctly in a sentence. But you don't really care, right?)

*Nah, Sara would never say "duh" to me. And I don't really think she thinks I'm stupid. She just knows that temporary lapses of rational thought go along with the whole having kids thing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Who knew - spending money makes me happy.

Yesterday made me so happy. So, so happy.

What did we do yesterday? We went shopping and bought our children's Christmas presents.

Every year I get stressed about what to buy them (and what to recommend to Santa) and we usually end up waiting until mid-December and have to run all over town to find what we want. And like last year, we end up emptyhanded; without the very coveted toy. Well, this year we had a good idea about what to get, and decided to, what the heck, go ahead and buy it all.

So we went shopping. At Target, nonetheless. We found gifts for the kids, and we helped Santa with his gift choices too. And now we are done, and I am peacefully, blissfully happy.

(Well, after I got over the sticker shock, that is.)

(Wow, how expensive can pieces of plastic get? I mean, really?)

But my husband, who should henceforth be known as spoiler of all children, is a little worried we didn't get enough. Because there is more out there that the kids would like to have. There is a lot more that we would like to buy! So I am trying my best to resist his brand of reasoning and stay strong. But sometimes when he argues that maybe they should have this-or-that, I want to give in.

Don't tell him that though, I've got a reputation as a mean-ass mommy to maintain.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving, a story in pictures.*

*Mostly because I'm too deeply ensconced in my post Thanksgiving sugar coma to come out and write much of anything.


Here is my first-grade pilgrim before his class's big feast. And at said big feast he ate exactly one portion of turkey and one roll. Feast on, big guy, feast on.

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Here is my kindergarten pilgrim at her class's feast. And feast she did, with a good portion of ice cream and apple pie to top it all off. And I'd like to take a chomp out of those cheeks, because they are so, so delectable.

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Here they are displaying the 'thankful turkeys' we made the day before. You can't get any better than crafts made from brown paper sacks.

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Hers says she's thankful for, "Family, friends, and my heart."

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His says he is thankful for, "All my teachers, family, friends, sunlight, electricity so we can cook food, video games, and stores."

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And here are me and my girl, as seen through the eyes of a 7 year old with a digital camera and an obvious desire to not get too close, lest the shine from his mother's forehead blind him permanently.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Enjoy your day.


There are so many things I am thankful for. I could go on for days if I truly got into the things that have blessed my life. So I'll leave it at this - I have wonderful people in my world (both close and far) who make my life something to be thankful for.


Thank you, you wonderful people, you. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sensitive.

My daughter has a big heart. She's a nurturer by nature, and she absolutely, positively loves things when others may just mildly like them. She's also tender-hearted, and yelling at her at the wrong moment may just cause her heart to break from the sheer meanness of it all.

So it should come as no surprise that she cries at sad movies. But she also cries at Spongebob movies. And that Arthur movie that came out recently. And a lot of other things that other people do not find sad in the least.

Well, yesterday before their Thanksgiving feast at her school, they sat all the children in a darkened room and turned on a movie to watch, as sort of a special treat for the children. And do you know what movie they chose to show the children? An American Tale. You know, the one with Fievel - where he gets lost from his family, and he is left all on his own to find his way? You know that one? Well, it is sad. And I arrived at the school to see my husband (who arrived earlier than me) out in the hall comforting my daughter. She was a wreck. Apparently, he peeked into her classroom to see her, and found her sobbing at the teacher's desk while they tried to make her feel better.

They're going to have to warn us if they're ever going to attempt to give my daughter a movie 'treat' again. Because this is a girl who cries every time Spongebob loses Gary, no matter how many times we've seen the episode - you can't break out Fievel on her without making her fall to pieces.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I feel like I'm famous.

A question of mine is featured over at Want Not today. And it makes me as giddy as a child who's getting candy.

(Speaking of candy... I'll be right back.)

(Mmmm, candy.)

Okay, back to what I was originally saying. Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda, has a site called Want Not. She keeps track of sales and special offers and lists them throughout the day. If you've never been over there, go on and check it out.

I've gotten deals on several things she's written about, and there are several times that I'm tempted to buy things, but manage to restrain myself. (But you, you should totally buy all those cool things she features because I would like to enjoy a good deal vicariously through you. Thank you.)

Oh, anyway, if you are looking for a good gift for your children's teachers, go see her answers to the question that I asked. Now excuse me while I go do a little dance because she answered my question, y'all!

Grumpy.

Sometime in October I must have really pissed off someone important. Because I had that episode with kidney stones and an infection, I got a flat tire the day after Halloween, my health insurance was cancelled, and just yesterday my car battery died while I was waiting in the pick-up line at my children's school. (That was not fun.) Oh, and don't forget the rampant pink eye infections. Sheesh.

It's all managed to work out one way or another, but I still can't help wanting to just call it a do-over and make it all go away.

I wonder what else lies in store for me...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend wrap-up.

This weekend we went to an IGA in a small town close to here. (Independent Grocers Association, for those of you who don't know.) There aren't many IGA's left out there. But we had a hot tip that the meat prices at this particular one were awesome. Like so awesome that it was worth a little extra drive once a month to buy a freezerful of meat. So we decided to check it out.

And, by golly, it was worth it. The meat was half the price of the stuff I buy at the local WalMart. So we bought some. Not a freezerful though. Our freezer is too busy being full of pizza and chicken nuggets to be bothered with something as trivial as good quality meat.

And folks, that was about my weekend in a nutshell. That was my excitement. Meat.

Oh, I also went out Christmas gift shopping. I wanted to get the friends and family who are far away all shopped for, so I managed to convince my daughter to go with me, and we hit the stores on Saturday. (I bribed her with chocolate. Works every time.) I did manage to get the majority of everyone shopped for.

The major success was the fact that I got over my obsession with gifts that have to be useful to the receiver, and I just bought some plain old frivolous things.

But you know, I still feel like gifts should be useful! Should be practical! Should have a purpose! (I think that being practical must be ingrained in my very being. That's how everything should be to me - practical.) I'm not so sure, however, that others feel that way. So I bought something pretty, with no practical use whatsoever, for someone. And I'm proud.

Friday, November 17, 2006

We're contagious.

Our house may have to have a quarantine notice posted on the front door. In fact, there may very well be one posted there as I type this.

[note to self: check front door for official notices]

Why the quarantine? Two words. Pink. Eye.

Oh yeah, the contagion of all contagions has breached our doorway and settled itself comfortably in my son's eyes. Both of them. (Fun!) And it looks like the 3 year old I babysit has got it started in his eye too. In fact, when I took my son to the doctor yesterday afternoon after having picked him up early from school, the doctor took a look-see at all of the children's eyes, just to be on the safe side.

[another note to self: try to refrain from taking 4 small children to the doctor's office again, as it was decidedly not fun.]

So if you're looking to get yourself out of any work/school/social obligations, stop on by our house and rub your hands on various child-height surfaces and then rub your eyes vigorously. Just ignore the quarantine notice on the front door.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Busy, busy, busy.

For those of you who are sitting around going What the heck, woman, why haven't you posted yet? Don't you know it's getting awfully close to lunch time? Well, y'all will have to wait. Because I just haven't had a chance to write anything. I've been too busy taking care of kids and doing some online browsing (time well spent, if you ask me.)

So in lieu of any actual writing, I'll leave you with this link: Typhoon. Go there. Do a little looking around, and check out there oh-so-cute pink vintage kitchen ware. I'm telling you, it almost makes me want to don this apron and a string of pearls and be a happy homemaker. Almost.

Anyway... another post to follow. Maybe this afternoon. Maybe tomorrow. Who knows?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The reason for my hissy fit yesterday.

So... What do you do when you realize that your health insurance company has cancelled your and your kids' policies? And that they've cancelled it before you had to go to all the doctor's appointments and receive that very expensive CAT scan? What do you do?

If you think you should call your husband in a panic and maybe yell a little and then maybe cry a little, then you and I think a lot alike.

So... Big surprise. My health insurance company cancelled my policy. And yes, they did it before my medical crisis.

And what's funny (but not so much HA HA funny) is that I did not get any notices that this was taking place until tonight. Which is after I found out by calling them this morning. Thanks for keeping me in the loop, you big doofus of a health insurance company!

But, don't fret. I think we've got it all straightened out. I'm not positive though, so don't breathe your big sigh of relief just yet. Just keep your fingers crossed that the lady on the phone who said it would be no problem to fix, we just needed to send in a letter and then they could reinstate our policy and back date it to cover all of my medical crisis bills, is correct. (Well, the percentage of the bills that they would have paid before, anyway. Sure do wish it would cover them all, though.)

But you know, it kind of irks me that they make the mistake, and I've got to be the one to write a letter to fix it. Also, I've got to deal with all the doctor's offices who will inevitably be calling me because I obviously lied about being insured. (Well, that's what they'll think, won't they?)

Stupid, dumb health insurance!

(And I'm using my nice words.)

Also, thank you to Sara for sending me an 'I'm being supportive' comment. She's the kind of friend who will join me in my name calling fest before even knowing why she's doing the name calling; the kind of friend who just needs to know that you are upset and she will stand by you, and it doesn't even matter why. That's a good kind of friend to have.

Today I'm trying to be diplomatic.

I don't think I can write a post today without starting to yell. And also I'd probably start foaming at the mouth, and sputter and spit. So I'll save you the grief. I'll just say that I really have a very strong dislike for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. A very, very, very strong dislike.

Monday, November 13, 2006

He loves him some games.

My son, who could easily start a club called Future Gamers of America, has discovered Video Mods on MTV2. They're music videos using video games instead of the band. As in, sometimes they just use scenes from the games, and sometimes they make it look like the characters are actually singing/playing the song. I have to admit, some of them are pretty cool. If you've got some time to kill, go see some of them. My son's particular favorites are "Save Me", "I'm Not Okay", and "Take Me Out". Oh, and also "DOA", which I've managed to find on YouTube:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Let the frantic begin.

So... Have you looked at a calendar lately? You, you probably have. Or you are at least aware that because it is November, the month of December will be coming soon. Very soon, in fact.

But me, I had no idea. I mean, yes, I know that December follows November. And I've been aware of that fact for a good long while now. But what I didn't realize, in my head-in-the-sand sort of way, was that we are practically in the middle of November, and that (holy crap!) Christmas is only a couple of pay days away.

Let me say it again: Holy crap!

I haven't even started shopping yet. Nor have I even made a preliminary list of things to shop for. I haven't even begun looking. Unless you count seeing an item on sale and idly wondering if so-and-so would like that particular item. Otherwise, I am wholly unprepared.

And my kids would graciously like one of everything, please. Which leaves me with the decidedly un-fun task of weeding through all the crap (oops, I mean new toys) available. Curse you Nickelodeon! You and your darn commercials!

So wish me luck. I am going to start with Toysrus.com, and work my way through all the 'must haves'.

P.S. - Curse you too, Lego, for making all those Star Wars ships in teeny, tiny Legos and then charging an arm and a leg for them. I mean, I would love to buy them for my son (even though I seem to be the only one physically able to put the darn things together here in our house) but you make it very hard on me when you price them like this.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Luckily he does the sprinkler.

Do you remember when I wrote about the baby who likes to throw remotes into various household receptacles? (No? Then go here.) Well, the baby struck again. Let me backtrack a little...

Sometime yesterday morning I noticed that the remote for the TV was missing. No big deal, I thought, I'm sure I'll run across it later. But as the day went on, I didn't find it. So I started to worry. Because while that specific remote is not necessary for our daily TV watching (the cable remote is responsible for that,) it is necessary for switching the TV to 'Video 1' mode so that we can watch DVD's.

I eventually found myself crawling around on my hands and knees, searching any nook and cranny available to a 1 year old looking to stash a remote control. I looked in the pantry, the closet, under all the couch cushions, the furniture in both the front room and family room, under the oven, in the toy boxes, and even in my purse. No remote.

It was then that I stood up, very frustrated-like, and eyed the kitchen trash can. No, I thought, surely not the trash can. But because I had nowhere else to look, I decided to dig in. Literally.

At first I merely lifted the trash bag from the can and tried to see all it's contents by peering through the white plastic. Unfortunately, I couldn't see everything, and I was getting more and more positive by the minute that this is where the remote was. So I placed the bag on the back patio, and with an audience of two (one 3 year old and one 1 year old who, I swear, smirked at me,) began to dig into the trash bag.

Luckily for me there were no dirty diapers in there, Also, no leftover oatmeal. This bag contained mostly school papers. (By the by, do not tell my kids that I threw away some of their school papers. They want me to keep every single thing. Every. Single. Thing.) And also, it contained one TV remote, slightly soiled. At the bottom. Of course.

This baby is going to be the death of me. None of my kids threw things into the trash can. Or into the toilet. Lucky for him he makes up for it by periodically doing a little dance that looks an awful lot like 'the sprinkler'. And how can I resist little baby sprinkler dances?

Morning news - in order of priority.

What does it say about me that when I logged on to the Internet this morning and saw that Britney Spears filed for divorce from her husband, I wanted to call someone up and tell them the 'good' news? How does that little tidbit of information reflect on me personally? Oh, who gives a flip how it reflects on me. Let us be happy for Britney and hope that she can claw her way out from the pit of doom that marrying that, that, man (let us call him that to give him the benefit of the doubt) thrust her into. Let's rejoice, people, because this is the kind of news I can get behind.

In other news, we had an election. And if you'll excuse me, I will now go find out who won.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thank goodness they'll finally stop calling after today.

*phone rings*

Me, checking caller ID: "Ignore it. I think it's another one of those political recordings urging us to vote for them. You know the drill, "the fate of the country rests in your hands and you will ruin everything if you don't vote for me."

Husband: "You know what we did wrong, don't you? We registered to vote. That's how they got our phone number. No one ever called us before, when we were unregistered."

Me: "Well, damn, if I'd have known it would mean several phone calls a day, I never would have registered in the first place."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bullets on Monday.

This Monday snuck up on me. I really wasn't ready for it. I feel like I skipped a weekend day, and was just thrown into Monday unprepared. Although, I'm not really sure what kind of preparation I needed - I knew it was Sunday yesterday, and that today would be Monday. But still... unprepared.

Also, I am unprepared for a blog entry today. I have a couple things I think I could tell you about, and have even started a couple of different entries, only to erase them. I just can't find a way to string the words together to tell a story. My thought are jumping all around and it all comes out in a very jumbled and uninteresting way. So today - bullets:

  • We decorated a paper turkey this weekend. It was supposed to be a "family project" for my son's class, but my husband and I did it all. Well, we let my son put the googley eye on the turkey. But that was it. In fact, my husband and I not only worked on the project all by ourselves, but we also whisked it away from the kids once we were finished, lest they put their little fingers on it and mess anything up. If his teacher was hoping to foster family togetherness with this project, boy did she miss the mark here in our house.
  • The time change has really screwed with my sleep/wake rhythms. As soon as it is dark, my body wants to go to bed. Seeing as how it's dark here a little after 5, it really is not working out well for me. And I'm waking up way too early. It's messing me all up, to say the least.
  • I'm sick of taking my daughter to dance class. And she's sick of going. But neither of us wants to be the first one to say "quit" because I don't want to disappoint her, and she doesn't want to disappoint me. And also, I want her to learn to see things through to the end, not just quit things as soon as she thinks she may be bored with them. But honestly? I'm bored to death with it and want her to quit.
  • And the fourth thing, well, is that I don't have a fourth thing. I just feel like I should have more to tell you.

I hope your Monday didn't sneak up on you. It really sucks when it does.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I guess I have to say no to drugs.

The doctor gave me a prescription for pain. Perc0cet*. And seeing as how I've been in a lot of pain recently (see: kidney stones and infection of something-or-other,) I've taken it a few times. But only three times, to be exact.

Why only three times? Because the darn stuff gives me headaches.

Yes, headaches. I wake up in the morning feeling like I want to die. The pain from my abdomen isn't bothering me as much. No, the throbbing, head is going to explode feeling distracts me from any other pain that may be lingering. So in that case, I guess the perc0cet is working well - I'm not even feeling the kidney stone pain.

I'm disappointed because there goes my life as a suburban mom hopped up on painkillers. There goes my appearance on Oprah where I talk about how addicted I was and how the one time I endangered my children lives while high on painkillers made me realize that I needed help. There goes my stay in rehab. And also the book I would write explaining my horrible descent into the drug trade and my subsequent rise above it all. I get none of that now.

And you know, part of me wonders why it is I cannot even take a simple painkiller without having some sort of reaction to them. What is up with me?!?


* I spelled it like that - with a zero instead of an o - because I don't really want a lot of hits on my site from people google-ing names of painkillers. I averaged 3 hits a day from google searches of being Boo-ed, so I can't even imagine what kind of hits drug names will get you.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Random-y randomness.

You know, I have to say, thank God for my husband. He's the one who, while going through a very stressful time at work, took the time to handle the whole flat tire debacle for me. (Which happened because of a rock. Evidently, it was a very sharp, very determined rock that left a hole in my tire that was too big to be patched.) He soothed me when I was at a breaking point, called a company to come get my van, and handled the subsequent phone calls from the tire people. He even talked them into delivering the van back to my front door once it's all finished. When I'm down for the count, he steps in and gets things done. What more could I ask for?

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Anyone out there want to buy cookie dough? My kids are selling it for their school. And it looks like I'm going to have to buy a whole bunch of it. My husband has already taken it to work and strong armed people into buying some. (Oh, did I say strong armed, I meant asked nicely.) I'm turning in the order forms tomorrow, so let's get those orders pouring in quickly people!

And don't be surprised if you get cookie dough from us for Christmas.

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The one year old I babysit has figured out that things dropped into the toilet make a very satisfying ker-plop sound and a giggle-inducing splash of water. It's fun for him, but not so much fun for the person who has to fish various things out of the toilet. That person, of course, being me.

His latest victim? The remote control to the TV upstairs. And I'm thinking that its time to go buy a new remote because I'm not lying in bed watching TV while using a remote that was recently brought out from the depths of the toilet. Also, do they make any waterproof ones?

I have since learned to keep the toilet lids down, and he's moved on to the kitchen trash can. Which has a lid that swishes back and forth whenever he throws something away. He's learned (smart boy!) that the heavier the object, the more swishing the lid does. And his favorite victims? Guess. Yes, remotes.

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So far today is coming along nicely, and I hope your day is too. I think there was a rash of not-so-great days yesterday, based on emails and a comment I received. Here's wishing you a better day today! And if all else fails, I recommend my husband as the man to call if you want to get things done.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And now, the pictures I promised earlier...

Medieval Princess Extraordinaire:

And Darth Vader:

Worst Day Ever and cute pictures.

Well, it's November 1st and I'm going to officially name this the Worst Day Ever. (Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a little... But not too much.) Why is today so awful? The list is long. First, I still feel awful. In addition to the kidney stone and infection pain, I now have a migraine headache. But wait, there's more. Also, I drove the kids to school with a flat tire. Yes, you read that right, a f*cking flat tire. So now the van is sitting in the driveway (because I drove the damn thing all the way back home) and I am just seething. Because all I can think is that it was some sort of Halloween prank and it's going to cost us more money than we have. And the seething is not helping my headache. And let's not forget the kids, who are all crazy and grumpy and suffering from sugar hangovers. (Except my son, who does not eat candy. He's just grumpy from lack of sleep because he seems to have decided that sleep is highly overrated and he does not need any. I beg to differ.) Oh, and my poor husband is working on a project for work that has everything going wrong, and has him tossing and turning at night, dreading going to work the next day. He thinks this could be the Worst Day Ever too.

And now it won't let me post the pictures. Apparently, my day will suck even more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Party at the Clubhouse.

They look so calm...

Okay, that's more like it!

The two E's


Monday, October 30, 2006

Come back.

The kids are off of school today. And I've got lots of halloween related crafts that I want to do with them. If I was smart, I would have written a post this weekend to put up here today so you wouldn't have to see the I feel bad post from Friday. But I'm not that smart. And I have nothing for you today - but I didn't want anyone to think that I was huddled in bed clutching onto the last little bit of life left in my pain-ridden body. Nor did I want any are you okay phone calls, so I'm posting this bit of midless drivel to say, in a long-about-way, that I'm okay (still hurting but not dead,) and I'm busy.

Tomorrow, though, I've got pictures for you. So come back then.

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's back.

So you know when I had that fever and back pain or the second time this past weekend and ended up at the urgent care clinic and also got sent to get a CT scan that said it was maybe a kidney stone that they think has already passed? Well, the fever and backache were back last night. So that kind of blows the whole it-was-a-kidney-stone-that-caused-the-pain theory right out of the water. It looks like something else is still infected, hence the fever.

So I've made an appointment for next week at my regular doctor and my husband and I decided that if the fever is back today or tonight, it's back to urgent care for me - we won't even wait for the appointment next week.

But rather than turn this whole blog into a How I'm Feeling Today blog, I'm just going to leave it at that and hope I can come up with something totally off of the subject of any illnesses to blog about later.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Test results.

After much hassle and a phone call in which I may or may not have called someone incompetent (in my defense, I didn't really mean it. I just wanted to get her to, you know, do her job,) I have finally found out what is wrong with me. A kidney stone. Which, y'all, seems to be the thing around here. I guess I didn't want to be left out.

At least, that's what they think it was. Because there seems to be a small something-or-other mineral in my bladder. I'm holding the results of my CT scan here in my hands, and it says, "The possibility of a recently passed stone within the bladder must be considered." So it's a possibility. Bah.

But here's something interesting, the results also show a "low density area in the anterior spleen." Which means I'll have to go get my spleen checked out. Because while it most probably is nothing, there is that darn possibility that it could be something.

Additionally, the results say that my lung bases, liver, pancreas, adrenal glands, kidneys, abdominal wall, lumbar spine, aorta, retroperitoneal structures, and uterus are "unremarkable". What I think would sound much nicer is if they would say they are "quite remarkable indeed, and thankfully they have absolutely nothing wrong with them." Heck, I'd even like it better if they said they were just "normal". But "unremarkable" makes me feel kind of sad.

So now I've got to go back to my doctor and get my blood and urine retested to make sure I don't have any more signs or infection.

Now excuse me while I go google 'spleen' because I have no idea what in the heck that particular organ does.

Mmmmm, candy.

Recently I ate enough candy pumpkins (think candy corn in pumpkin form) to make myself sick. You would think that being an adult would prevent me from making such an error, but no, it did not. However, like a rat in a science lab that avoids the lever that gives him an electric shock, I did draw my hand away quickly today when I automatically reached into the cabinet for some more of those pumpkins. Ah ha (!), I have learned my lesson, I thought. I know better! So instead, I reached for the candy corn. Eh, I never said I was smart.

While we're on the subject (said subject being candy, not my lack of smarts)...

I've been browsing the Halloween candy aisles as of late. I've been doing what I call a 'pre-shop' in that I am seeing what is available and how much it all costs. You see, I have a dilemma on my hands. Should I buy the cheap candy and go for quantity - to be sure I have plenty of candy for the millions of trick-or-treaters that will descend upon our house? Or should I go for quality and bypass the Smarties and Dum-Dums (Ha! Those names! Do they cancel each other out?) and instead buy good chocolate? I'm not sure which is the graver offense - not enough candy or crappy candy. The decision making process has my mind just plain shutting down, and I have yet to buy anything. I'll be the lady who goes out on Halloween night and buys whatever the heck they have left. That is my lot in life.

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And for those of you who are interested (Hi!) I have yet to get any results back from the CT Scan. So I'll let you know when I hear something.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pumpkins.



That's my boy (in the middle) on his field trip to a local pumpkin farm. They also had a place where the kids did gemstone mining, a huge slide and a children's play area, an obligatory hay ride, and ponies.

He had a wonderful time and came home with a very nice pumpkin that is now sitting in the front yard. However, the whole trip was like taking a weeks worth of allergy medicine and throwing it out the window. He was red and itchy and runny-nosed when I picked him up from school that day, and is finally just getting back to normal.

Well, his allergies don't seem to be doing that badly, but the cold that he's catching from his sister (who swears she's on her death bed) is making him runny-nosed and red too. I tell you, I can't win.

Oh, and I've got that pesky CT Scan today before lunch. And I can't eat anything and have to drink 40 oz of water before the scan. Talk about kicking a person while she's down.

(That enough complaining for you today? If not, I think I could do more...)

Monday, October 23, 2006

How I spent my weekend.

So what did you do this weekend? I hope you enjoyed yourself.

Me? Well, I had a good Friday evening - we had my husband's little sister (I say little, but she's 21) over for dinner, and played XBox and laughed out hearts out.

Then by the time she left, I was feeling a little feverish. And the back pain that had plagued me a couple of weeks ago was suddenly back, along with the fever. It was then that I knew that something was wrong.

Saturday morning I felt a little better. I decided not to go to the doctor, but promised my worried husband I would make an appointment for sometime this week. Because sudden back pain (so low down on my back that he jokingly called it my a** pain) and a high fever are not just normal occurrences. Anyway, Saturday we went about our day and had a nice time.

By Saturday night, I felt terrible. The fever, it was back. And, oh boy, did my back hurt. I awakened several times that night in pain and tossed and turned. When I took my temperature at about 6 AM and it was way over 102, I knew I was not doing well. And I had the worst headache ever. Oh, and then I threw up.

So Sunday was spent at the Urgent Care getting x-rays, a urinalysis, and blood tests. They confirmed that I seem to have a bacterial infection in some sort of organ in my lower abdomen/back. I also had blood in my urine (didn't you want to read that? Too much information?) but they didn't know exactly what was wrong. So they are going to make an appointment for me to get a CT scan, hopefully today.

They also told me that if it happens to be my appendix, and it bursts, to go to the emergency room. (Really? I wouldn't have guessed that.) And I got a prescription for Darvocet. He didn't want to give me anything stronger in case I did have something burst/break and I was too out of it to know. To which I say, Ha! Also, they didn't give me any antibiotics because he didn't want anything to get less inflamed until they did the CT scan. Hmmph.

So I had fun. Did you?

Friday, October 20, 2006

For. Real.

So I found myself over at mimi smartypants catching up on all the posts I've missed since I last read her hilarious writing, when I came upon a post written at the beginning of the month. I didn't even finish reading the post, because she linked to this : abstinence outlet, and I clicked my way on over there to see what the heck it was all about. I mean, with that title, who could blame me?

What did I find? A site that I truly thought was some sort of joke at first. (And, oh, what does that say about me that I thought this could only be the work of some comic genius?) But after clicking my way around the bestsellers and gift items, it slowly dawned on me that they were serious.

Seriously, people are walking around with things called, for example, the VD Mood Pencil, STD Crab and Eros Eraser. And with (my goodness) the Single Woman's Prayer Mug in their cabinets. (Don't worry, there is also a men's version.) Oh, and of course there's the bestselling Abstinence Rose Pin.

Wow.

I mean, for real?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Now without extra teeth.

Here he is - the boy who lost his first tooth at age 7.

(he's punching the air, which seems to be his new favorite photo pose)

And he was not going to pull that sucker out, no sir. He didn't want to wiggle it in the slightest. Instead, he waited until the permanent tooth he had growing behind it pushed that little baby tooth right on out. Literally. I saw the tooth barely in his mouth on Sunday, and we bribed him with lunch at a restaurant if only he would let me pull that tooth. So I reached in there and gave it a gentle tug upwards. And it just lifted right out. I do not think it was even still attached to anything.

And you can finally see it in this blurry close-up - [mental note: learn how to use camera correctly] the shark-like tooth that was growing behind the baby teeth. It's still got another tooth in it's way, so it cannot move up, front and center, until that tooth is gone too.

(notice daughter's perfectly perfect teeth (the dentist told her so!) in the background)


At this rate, he'll have all of the baby teeth out by the time he's 16 or so.

Oh, and the tooth fairy did visit him. We convinced him he should put the tooth in a ziploc bag so it wouldn't get lost underneath his pillow. We were thinking it would be easier for the tooth fairy to grab if it was in a bigger container of some sort. But the tooth fairy cursed a mean streak when she went in for the child's tooth late that night, and instead of a nice quiet retrieval, she was met with a noisy plastic bag. A bag which caused the child to toss and turn and mumble things in his sleep. And the tooth fairy was madly trying to come up with excuses for her presence if the child indeed woke up. Thankfully, he didn't awaken. Yet the tooth fairy feels that we should come up with a better tooth container so as to avoid the problem in the future. I'm wondering if it would be a major faux pas if the child put the tooth in a box, say, on the bookshelf. Or maybe just outside his bedroom door. I need to check into that...

My son awoke on Monday morning to see that the tooth fairy had turned his tooth (ziploc bag and all) into a dollar bill. When I suggested that maybe, just maybe, she traded his tooth for a dollar, or maybe even bought it off of him for a buck, he scoffed. "The tooth fairy," he explained to me, "is magical and she magically turned my tooth (ziploc bag and all) into a dollar." Then he nodded his head as if to say, yep, that's the only explanation possible.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Links suck.

Well, I was going to give you a little something this morning - in the form of a Get Fuzzy comic - but Blogger wouldn't let me upload pictures. (F you Blogger!) So I'll give you a link instead. I know, I know, it's not what you were hoping for, but at least it's something.

(I could identify with Satchel on this one - just replace kids with Bucky, and you get the idea.)

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The boy lost his first tooth on Sunday. And I have pictures of his mouth! Aren't you excited?!? But, alas, the whole not letting me upload photos thing is keeping me from posting them. I'm going to keep trying (because I'm a sucker like that.)

Coming Soon: Photos of the Boy's Mouth

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Because sometimes I feel like I take a hundred steps back for every one I take forward.

So, how do you deal with problems that bring you down? (Besides, well, solving them.) How do you deal with the things that life throws at you that can't be solved, just endured? Oh heck, how do you also deal with problems that can be solved, but you just don't feel like putting forth the gargantuan effort it takes to solve them? How, I ask, how??

I deal with them by sticking my fingers in my ears and lalala-ing until the problem is not standing right in front of me, waiting to be dealt with. In short, I ignore. And ignore. And ignore.

The only problem with that tactic is that there are some things that do not solve themselves; Some things just don't get better with time and lalala-ing. And those things have a way of compounding, and then before you know it, you are shouldering a mountain's worth of problems on your very weary shoulders.

And sometimes that mountain's worth of problems will make you ache. Or it will give you a raging case of insomnia. At least, that's what happens to me. Take right now, for instance. My back is aching. (Other times it has been my head. And my wrist. And even my neck.) Also, I have been using copious amounts of Tylenol PM to get a little bit of sleep at night. And being the astute person that I am, I often don't realize I am lalala-ing my problems until my body comes forth with a new ache and I suffer from many sleepless nights.

So, you know, I have found that ignoring things is not really the way to go.

Nope, not so much.

(Who would've thought?)

What do you do? How do you keep the bad things that happen from getting to you? How do you deal with being just plain unlucky at times? I'm asking because I really don't think that Tylenol PM will be the answer to my problems for the long term.

No more mornings.

Tuesdays and Thursdays have become crazy days for me. No, not mentally, although if you think I'm literally crazy on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you may be on to something. No, I mean crazy as in I drive all over town and have a lot of things to do.

On Tuesday and Thursday I take the little boy I babysit to preschool. He goes for 3 hours in the morning. Why would he go to preschool when he has a perfectly good babysitter? (Yes, that would be me, and I am good, so hush.) He goes so he can experience the whole socializing thing. You know, spend three hours whining with other three year olds. Oops, I meant playing - playing with other three year olds.

During that time he's in preschool, I just have the one child with me. (Just one child is so nice; so freeing.) And since he's barely walking, I can strap him into a stroller or shopping cart and head out to get things accomplished. (I can get things accomplished!)

But throw in all the time required to feed a one year old, the time required to get all the children out of the door in the morning, a nap time or two, afternoon lessons, and way too many potty trips and all of a sudden you have a crazy, hectic day. So there it is: the reason why I haven't been posting in the mornings.

Phew. All that typing to tell you not to expect morning posts on those crazy days. I really must look into learning how to be succinct.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Boo!

I've been spending way too much time on the computer lately. The weather has turned cooler (if you count being in the 70's cooler) and I told myself I would get out more; spend all the time I could outside before it turned rainy and cold.

And that's what I did this morning. That is, until the children I babysit grew very tired of walking and riding in the stroller and begged to go back home. Well, one begged, the other fell asleep in the stroller. These kids nowadays, they have no stamina! No grit!

So now I'm back in front of the computer while one child sleeps (comfortably in his crib now) and the other catches up with his missed TV time. But not me, I will not give in! I have the windows open and am enjoying the lovely little breeze that is blowing through the house.

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This weekend we had the strangest thing happen to us. I say strange because it is very out of the ordinary in the world that my husband and I are from. Some of you, on the other hand, may think it is very commonplace and maybe even fun. My husband says Bah! to your fun.

You see, we were Booed. That's right, Booed.

What's Booed? It's when someone rings your doorbell and runs, leaving a Halloween treat bag on your doorstep. With this treat is a little paper ghost that says, "I've been Booed," and a note telling you that you have been visited by the Halloween Phantom and that you must post your ghost on your door to ward off more visits from the Phantom and, also, you must Boo 2 other people within 48 hours.

That's right, it's a chain letter in candy and prank form.

When our doorbell rang at 8:30 at night on Saturday night, we were immediately suspect. No one rings our doorbell at night. It's just not done! I was upstairs assisting my son with his various lotions and such (see: eczema, the suffering of) and left my husband and daughter to answer the door. Well, when the doorbell rang my daughter yelled, "I'll get it!" To which my husband replied, "No! It's late! I'll get it!" And he opened the door.

There on our doorstep sat an orange plastic pumpkin with a note sticking out of the top. Upon seeing the pumpkin, and no accompanying person, my husband immediately thought it was a prank; a bad prank committed by teenagers (and we all know teenagers are the dregs of society.) (I jest.) (But I'm still scared of them.) Anyway, my husband sent my daughter back inside while he patrolled the front of the house. He didn't see anyone.

Had he seen anyone, they surely would have been sorry for ringing our doorbell. I think he would have chased them down and maybe even beaten them to a bloody pulp. For you see, ringing a doorbell and running is not a good thing where he comes from. It is a thing that means someone is sure to meet you at the door with a shotgun and you would be very lucky if they even opened the door first instead of firing a shot right through the front of the house. It's a good thing we don't have a shotgun handy, is all I'm saying.

Soooo, anyway... he finally saw that the plastic pumpkin was indeed not a bomb (or filled with, um, anything icky, but instead candy) and brought it into the house. He read the accompanying note and saw that it was meant to be a fun thing; a nice surprise. (Okay, maybe he didn't see it that way at all. Maybe he was very angry and worked up and maybe even scared my daughter so much about the whole thing that she burst into tears. And maybe I had to calm him down by telling him it was supposed to be fun and maybe I shot him evil looks over the children's heads.)

But maybe it would not be a good idea to Boo us next year. Maybe.