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Saturday, January 31, 2009

So...What's happened to manners?

Seriously, I want to know! I mean I understand that our country as a whole is in a funk right now but does that mean that we no longer have to use basic good manners or teach them to our children? What's up with that?

Example number one: You're on the phone with someone - who has called YOU - and they spend a large portion of the conversation talking to someone else in their home; a child, a spouse, a dog. You know, you sit there thinking "Um, hello? I'm still here on the phone, can you possibly talk to them when we're done?" Apparently not. And on the flip side of that, if you walk in to a room and see someone talking on the phone, does that not signify to you that they are busy speaking to someone else??? If there is an emergency, then by all means speak up. But if you are just breezing in to a room wondering where the damn Fritos are, shut the hell up! Look for them yourself!

Example number two: You have guests over for dinner. You are engrossed in "grown up" conversation and one of your children come in and the conversation is not for their ears. The adults stop speaking because there is a child in the room. Do you ask the child to leave or do you just let them sit there and make everyone else wait? To me, this is rude. There is a time and a place for children and if you invited guests over then your children need to respect that and allow you to have time with your friends. When they have their friends over do you sit there and listen to - or butt in to - their conversations? I'm thinking NOT.

Example number three: You're at home relaxing. Someone shows up uninvited to your home. You're not dressed - because it is your home and if you want to be in your jammies without showering, that's your prerogative - and one of the other members of your household goes to answer the door. You say to them "Hey, I'm not dressed. Don't let them in." Then you turn around and guess what? YOU HAVE COMPANY! This brings up many, many issues. First, why don't you call first? Is it that hard in this world of cell phones, to dial up and tell someone that you are wanting to stop by? Second, why can't we just say to someone "This is not a good time right now, can you come back later?" TWICE in the last 10 days I have had this happen to me! Apparently while in my own home I need to get up at the crack of dawn and get showered and dressed and have my house Mr. Clean-clean just in case someone wants to come by - uninvited - and hang out! RUDE!

Example number four: Your child is openly rude to your friend. Do you correct their heinous behavior or do you laugh about it? If you even have to think about an answer to that one, well...there are no words.

I am just amazed at what I am seeing around me. It's not right. I am not perfect and my children are not perfect but when someone calls me, I speak to them. I call before showing up at someone's home. It's called common courtesy. I think that THAT should be a subject in school and something that most adults should have to go back to school and refresh themselves on because apparently it's a lesson that a majority of the people need to learn.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What exactly does cancel mean?

Okay, so today is my day off and I am trying to take care of some business that has been put off for way too long. The first three things on my to do list are canceling useless memberships that I belong to. Two of them were for savings on travel but cost me almost $10 a month! Each! What was I thinking? I don't even TRAVEL that much!

So I pick up the phone and call membership number one. I give them my account number and after around 5 minutes some guy named "Manny" with a heavy accent comes on the line to get the rest of my information. I tell him I need to cancel my account. He then goes on to a three minute shpeel (Yes, it's a word!) on all of the wonders of keeping this account. He took no breaths because otherwise I would have stopped him, and ended with "So I will keep this account active for you so that you do not miss out on any of these great deals, okay?" NO! Not okay, Manny. I tell him to please cancel the account. He asks why. So I gave him the whole "husband was out of work", "Need to cut down expenses" blah, blah, blah. This guy, this MANNY, then has the nerve to go on to tell me of all the ways I can save on TRAVEL...AGAIN...if I keep this account. I'm like, "Dude, if I can't pay my rent, do you honestly believe that I am even THINKING about going on a damn vacation??" And before he could answer, I demanded - nicely - that he cancel the account. He finally complied. Thank you and good bye.

Phone call number two was to number one's sister company. It was a two for one deal, I was confused. Don't judge me! So I dial the number, give them my account info and wait. Three minutes later a guy comes on the line - who sounds suspiciously like Manny, btw - named Jess. I tell him that I'd like to cancel my membership. "Okay, I understand but..." Then he goes on to tell me the wonders of eating out and shopping that I can enjoy with keeping this memebership. Again, never once stopping for a breath so that I cannot interrupt him and at the end says "So I will keep this account active for you, okay?" NO!!! What is it that you don't understand??? I mean, I'm having trouble understanding YOU with your heavy weird accent but I think I'm speaking pretty darn clear here! He offered me many other kinds of coupons and incentives and you know what? I was a little bit tempted but because of the simple fact that these people do NOT respect my need to cancel and are basically just talking over me, I'm ticked. I did FINALLY get my cancelation and now feel as if a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

Membership number three I probably could have kept. It was with Microsoft for my own domain name but I am just not tech savvy enough to be bothered. It was only $14.95 per year but I haven't touched the site in almost a year and I'm having just too much darn fun here on the blog! I tried all week to cancel the membership on line and always ended up at some weird location somewhere in the depths of the Microsoft site and I was determined that it would not happen to me today! I approached the computer with a full head of steam and a boatload of attitude, punched in a slightly different web-address than what was sent to me and VOILA! Canceling was a breeze!! I think that the directions that they sent to me for cancelation were designed to make you too crazy to quit. So I just went a different route and got the results that I want.

I feel as if I have climbed a small hill. I won't be dramatic enough to say a mountain because really this stuff was pretty tame. Annoying, yes, but basically tame. Still, I feel the need to reward myself with some take out. Have a pleasant day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun ways to mess with your teens...

I am a big believer in the family dinner. We (all four of us) eat together every night. We are not formal about it, sometimes we eat at the table, sometimes we eat in the living room in front of the TV. Okay, we eat in the living room a LOT more than we do at the table. Now before you get in an uproar about that, understand that my house is tiny and the dining room table tends to "collect" a lot of stuff that is not easily put away.

Well, yesterday the table was fairly clear and so I decided that we should eat at the table. This put my teen in to a near panic. "Why? Why are we eating at the table? What do we need to talk about?" Clearly the dining room table has come to signify serious family talk time. So Frank and I tried to put his mind at ease and say that we just wanted to eat at the table. No big deal. This answer was not sufficient because he kept looking at us as if waiting for the bomb to drop. Well, Michael finished dinner first and got up to do...whatever, and it was just the three of us at the table. Now the boy got nervous. So I looked at him with all seriousness and said "Well, I guess we can tell you now". He visibly swallowed and waited.

"We're having a baby," I said (and yes, still with a straight face). Frank was not in on the joke but covered it well.
"Are you serious?" Nick squeaked.
"Yes."
Now he's almost choking and is turning 27 different shades of red. "Really?"
"Yes." Then I stopped for dramatic effect and then said "That's right, your parents had sex and now we are having a baby! Oh, and he's due on your birthday."

Now to understand why this is even funny, you have to get the fact that the boy has never really forgiven us for having Michael and he's 9 now! So the possibility of another sibling is so NOT funny to him. I have a devious sense of humor. We played it out for a few more minutes, the boy's face was in his hands, he was near hyperventilating and then I fessed up. Laughing my butt off the whole time. His response?

"You are evil."

Am I? or justifiably snarky?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why were we even AT the doctor's?

Okay, a follow up to yesterday's blog. We were at the doctor for that A.D.D. follow up. Remember the infomercial type meeting Frank and I went to a couple of weeks ago? Well, this was the first time we actually met one-on-one with the doctor. Frank could not be with us for it because he is finally back to work and could not take the time off.

So we go to this appointment with mixed emotions. Apart from the infomercial aspect of that meeting, I felt pretty confident in this doctor. He was not all about the medication and seemed to truly be passionate about helping kids with A.D.D. I think I may have mentioned this before but I was never a big believer in the whole A.D.D/A.D.H.D thing. I always felt that it was over-diagnosed and a way that teachers tried to control their students. Well, after doing some research on my own, I see that that is not REALLY the case but it is diagnosed a bit too quickly. But back to our appointment. We got there and I was unsure how I felt. I had talked to many friends about the whole thing and I've met many people who have gone to this doctor and each of them had different feelings about him. Seriously, no two opinions were the same. So it was a little perplexing.

Well, beyond the hair fondling that went on, he was rather quick with the prescription pad. I told him that this was not the route I was looking to take right now and he explained to me that when working with kids with A.D.D, it is a case of trial and error. We've already tried working with him without medication and his behavior/anger issues have not gotten any better. Now we'll try the medication route. It all made sense and while it wasn't what I was expecting, I am willing to give it a try. Now while we were talking, he tried to draw Michael in to the conversation. My normally chatty child sat there and replied "I don't know" or "I forget" to just about every question. So he was not helpful to the diagnosis at all!

I called Frank when we left the office and filled him in on everything and to say that he was not on board would be an understatement. I had the prescription filled but I was told not to give it to him yet. I guess he needs more time to think about all of this. It is only for two weeks and then we go back for an evaluation. I'm willing to try something for two weeks. Sure, I'm not thrilled but the bottom line here is that we need to help Michael. We need to do what is best for him and all of the things that we have tried and his teacher has tried are not working.

Sigh. I guess saying "Because I said so" really DOESN'T work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Okay, that's just weird...

So I had to take my child to the doctor today. Nothing serious, just a check up type of thing. The practice that we go to has many, many doctors and today we got to see the "head honcho" of the group. I had only met him briefly once before and he seemed nice enough.

We walk in to his office for a consultation, we shake hands and he turns to me and asks "Did you just get your hair done because it looks fabulous!" And no, I am not making this up. Those of you who know me know it is a long-standing joke about my hair and its smoking hot highlights, but this guy basically JUST met me! So I smiled and mentioned that I did just re-do the color and he reached around and ...

RAN HIS FINGERS THROUGH MY HAIR.

Not just a quick touch, but a long, full-handed run through my hair. Repeatedly. I was thinking "What do I do?" I mean, do I slap him away or do I just smile and pray that he'll STOP? Again, my lack of confrontational skill had me politely smiling and praying for him to stop. But the damage was done. I couldn't focus too much on what he had to say at first because all I'm thinking is "Creepy guy ran his fingers through my hair!!"

Ick...I need a shower.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh, There's a Phone Slap Coming...

Okay, I learned something very important not too long ago. I learned that it is OKAY to be alone on vacation. It's true. There is something to be said about having alone time even if you are travelling with a group - say like your family. When I was in Florida back in September I ended up spending a LOT of time by myself. Was it what I planned? No. Was it what I envisioned my trip to be like? Heck no. Is that how it ended up? Yes.

So this last week my sister has been on vacation. She went away with a friend and her family. I think my sister sort of ended up being the fifth wheel because he boyfriend couldn't go. Yes, he's finally gotten a job. Can I hear a "Hallelujah"? Anyway, the boyfriend could not go with her but the trip was already paid for so she didn't want to lose her money and decided to go on her own. If there is one thing I have learned about my sister, it is that she HATES to be alone. She never really has any down time just for her. I don't get that. But then again, she probably looks at me and thinks I'm some sort of freak because I actually ENJOY being alone. It's been forty years and I still don't get how we're related.

But back to the slap...so she goes on this trip - somewhat begrudgingly - and up until the time she left, she was asking other people to join her. First she asked my mom. Mom can't just pick up and go on a moment's notice. Most people can't just up and go to Mexico - there's no disposable income in most homes these days. When mom said no, she asked her son. His passport did not get to him in time. THIS is where the slap comes in. The slap that I will virtually be delivering to her tomorrow night - Wednesday at the latest. In her desperation to not be alone...she made a call to...oh, it makes my stomach hurt just a little...she called our DAD to join her in Mexico!!!!

!!@#*?!!!

There are just some things that are NOT done in our family. Inviting my dad to join you ANYWHERE is one of them!! I don't care how desperate you are, I don't care how little it will cost him, you DON'T INVITE DAD TO GO ON VACATION WITH YOU!! EVER!! One of the last times I invited dad to join us somewhere on a vacation - and this is where the rule originated - he met us in Disney about seven years ago and showed up the day we were at MGM Studios. He arrived dressed more for a night of clubbing than a day at an amusement park, he whined about the parking, the lines, the heat, LIFE, he gave my 18-month old child four tubes of M&M minis which melted EVERYWHERE and just, in general, was not pleasant to be around. He made me feel BAD that he had driven all the way to Disney (it was a three hour drive) to just see me. It's like getting a hug, isn't it?

So just know that tomorrow night when my sister gets home from her vacation I will call her. I will inquire about her week and then I will phone slap the crap out of her and mock her for getting to that low point in life. Grab a good book, join a sight-seeing group, heck, take a Vicadin and catch up on your sleep. But, never, ever, ever invite dad and his unusually awesome wife to join you on vacation. It's just not done!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

And it only took four months!


Okay, so you know my love of all things Disney, right? And you were all right there with me as I prepared for my trip last September. I don't know if I ever mentioned this before but I also LOVE to scrapbook. So what better way to spend my time that doing Disney Scrapbooks??

On the family trip we took in December 2007, I took well over 200 pictures and it took two full 12x12 albums to complete. They came out fabulous, by the way. So when I went on the trip in September 2008, I also took well over 200 pictures. Now, whenever I go to Disney with my sister, because she usually takes care of some of my expenses so that I actually CAN go, I make her a scrapbook as a thank you gift. She's not in to crafty things like this but she seems to enjoy it when I make them for her. Well this time, mom wanted me to do an album for her. Since she and my sister live together, they'd both get to enjoy the gift.

Well, I blazed through their album. I did not include all 200+ pictures because a
lot of the ones that I had were of me - ALONE - and taken of places that I went to - ALONE. So that eliminated at least half of the pictures that I had and I was able to fit all of their shots in one 12x12 album. Then I had to start on mine. You know, it was almost as if it were my first time scrapbooking! I didn't do the pages in order, I didn't have all of my pictures developed. I was very poorly organized and I believe that THAT is the main reason that it took me four stupid months to get it done! Well, that and the fact that there were so many pictures that it took two 12x12 albums AND one 8x8 album to fit it all! Besides all of my pictures from my camera, there were also the Disney PhotoPass pictures that their photographers took. To say that there were a lot of pictures to go through would be an understatement.

On the plus side, now that I am done - and it took several marathon scrapbooking sessions to do it - you know where that leaves me, don't you? I need another trip. OR I need to start a Disney scrapbooking business where I put together peoples albums for them! Now THAT would be fun! I wonder if there'd actually be any money in that? I think I'd be pretty good at it because I just love it so daggone much!

Okay, so if you went on a trip to Disney World, would you let me do an album for you?


Please?


Pretty Please?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fwd:...

You know you've seen this in your e-mail in-box. The dreaded "FWD". Okay, it's not always dreaded, but usually you see those letters and just don't have a warm fuzzy feeling about it being there. Attached to that little title is usually some ridiculous e-mail (which is the equivalent to a chain letter, in my opinion) and you have to then forward it to ten people or terrible things will happen to you, your family, your neighborhood...on and on it goes.

Other times it's just something laugh-out-loud hysterical that someone wanted to share with you. And then there are times where it is just a little prayer of some sort that someone is sending your way to let you know that they are praying for you and if you pass it on, you'll be praying for somebody else...and on and on it goes. And then finally there is the kind of 'forwarding' that I have to do at work. When I send out a newsletter, there are just too many e-mails on our mailing list and the only way to send it out to the masses with our server is to use the forward option.

As the receiver, you have no idea until you open the darn e-mail, what kind it is. The newsletter is usually self-explanatory in the subject line, but the others are not. So now you have to take your chance with opening the e-mail. Will you be threatened with bad news, given a big prayer-hug, or just a chuckle. YOU JUST DON'T KNOW!!! Then if you ignore the chain letter type one, you'll question yourself at some point with "Maybe I should have forwarded that?" and ponder the possibility of an Acme Anvil landing on you at some point during your day. OR (and this one I think is funny) you realize that you don't have enough friends to forward it to. But you put in the effort "just in case". Maybe I'll only get a LITTLE bit of bad news if I send it to six people instead of 16.

The worst, and I mean the absolute WORST part of these e-mails, is that they are usually sent to you from people that you can't even get to return a PHONE call to you - but they seem to care (and I use the term loosely and dripped in sarcasm) enough to email you the threat of a horrible day. Oh, thank you, friend. What a lovely way to say that you're still thinking of me, even though I've called you 14 times in the last six months to see how you're doing and amazingly you haven't found the time to call me back. I feel so loved. Sniff, sniff.

It's not even 8:00 in the morning and have already had two "FWD's" in the in-box. Luckily they were both funny but both were from friends that I don't even speak to anymore - not from lack of trying on my part! So hey, next time you get one of those forwards, it's really, really okay if you don't send it to me and I, responding in kind, will think twice before passing one on to you.

Deal?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Relinquishing the Control

I'm stressed. I think that has come across loud and clear lately. Yesterday all of my stress came to a head. When we were all at home together last night we had a fairly calm discussion of all that is wrong right now. And I don't mean "wrong with the world", I mean "wrong in MY world". My relationship with the teen has completely shattered and I am now at the point where I feel beaten and broken. I have no strength left (or desire) to fight him. I guess that means that he's won.

I have a stronger bond with Nick than I do with Michael. Nick is me. I understand him. I GET him. I have fought for him and for his rights with a fierceness I did not know I possessed. But time after time I have been lied to, manipulated and just plain disrespected. No amount of discipline, discussion or punishment has changed anything. I know, I know, no one can manipulate you if you don't let them. I guess I just refused to see that I WAS being manipulated.

Now don't get me wrong, Nick is really a great kid. He's not doing drugs, he's not drinking alcohol. He is not sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night and stealing our car to go out with his friends. He comes home at a reasonable hour every time he goes out. He cares about people. He is respectful to adults. He truly loves his girlfriend. He loves the Lord. He clearly does not care about his family. This is something that I can no longer deal with. And again, I know, he is doing what most teenagers do. All kids are great for other people and at home show their rotten side to those who love them the most. I KNOW it, but I do not have to LIKE it or ACCEPT it any longer.

I've had a lot of people offer advice on what we "should" do or given us ideas on what to try to get things back on track but in all honesty, I just don't want to do anything. So last night, the wonderful man that I am married to did something amazing. He said it was okay for me to not do anything right now. He is taking over some of my responsibilities. He understands that I am a broken person right now who has hit her limit on what she can take. He is now the homeschool teacher. I was willing to let the boy just go for his GED but, as Frank reminded me, HE was a rotten student who hated school and even HE graduated high school. He is determined to see our son do the same. I wish I shared his sentiment. He also does not want to send the boy back to the public school because it was such an awful experience for him. I'm mad at the boy, I do not wish to see him tortured daily. But I guess he will be a little bit because dad is a whole lot tougher than mom. Dad has a lot more rules. Mom has fought dad a LOT over what is right for the boy. The boy will soon discover how good he had it.

As for me, I feel as if a great weight has been lifted. I know that by lifting my weight a heavy one has been placed on my husband's shoulders. I am forever thankful that he loves me enough to take on that weight. I've said it before and I'll say it again, God may not have blessed us with great wealth and material success, but He has most definitely blessed us with a great love and a strong and wonderful marriage. In my mind, there is nothing better than that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Okay, I need more than a snow day...

So I wished for a snow day and I got a snow day. But I did not get the snow day that I had wanted. My version of the snow day involved sleeping in, having a yummy breakfast with the family while watching the snow fall. I'd stay in my jammies all day. I'd bake cookies and we'd have some sort of home-made soup for lunch. Together. We'd maybe watch a movie together and the snow would continue to fall. And everyone would be happy and thankful that we had a warm house and food to eat and enjoy one another's company.

Are you all laughing with me at this point? Because that is SO not the day that I got. Not even close.

Without going in to detail, suffice it to say that I feel thoroughly jipped. Last night I was talking to my sister in law about our upcoming beach trip for April and she had to tell me that they couldn't do it! I'm bummed, for sure, but totally understand because finances are tight for us as well. Okay, for those of you keeping count I've lost my peaceful snow day AND a beach vacation all in one day. Now what do I have to look forward to???

Oh, I know...NOTHING!

Nick was saying yesterday that he wished we could do another Disney trip before he turned 18. True, he just turned 17 like two weeks ago, but the boy likes to think ahead. And while I am all for it, I know that Frank will not be. This year was supposed to be the year of the beach. Frank's choice. No Disney. No castle. No Mickey. No magical memories. No skipping down Main Street U.S.A. No pictures with the characters. Sigh. But on the upside, I CAN have sand in my shoes, sunburn, and dead clams rotting in drawers (remember when Michael did that?). Oh, the fun. I don't know when we'll get to the beach, but that is our vacation this year one way or another.

Sigh. It's just not fair.

M-I-C....see ya real soon (maybe...)
K-E-Y....why? Because we like you (and want to hang with you again!)
M-O-U-S-E..........Stupid beach! Stupid not good snow day!!

Where, oh where, is the Disney lottery and why can't I win it??? How cool would that be?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And the bad mother award goes to....

ME!! That's right, me. In my mind this award looks something like the Oscar but at the base of it are two mini-Oscars with very sad faces. The bigger of the two mini's is quite possibly giving me the finger (at the very least, a nasty scowl). Allow me to step up to the front of my living room to give this acceptance speech:

Thank you, really, for bestowing this "honor" on me. While I know that I am SO not your favorite person right now, I mean, with all of the caring about your safety and all that. I know, I know...what was I thinking? Of COURSE you should have been allowed to go out in the snow storm so that you could have a snowball fight with your girlfriend. I mean the roads are normally so SAFE on slick, snowy days. So on behalf of all of the moms out there who kept their kids off the road when there are dangerous conditions present, I thank you. Please, please...no applause. You sad, pouty face says it all. Be safe people!!

SNOW DAY!!


It was a day late, but it's here!! YIPPY! You know, I'm not sure why I was so desperately wanting one of these but now that the snow has arrived, I just feel giddy. I woke up at my usual 6:15 just in case it DIDN'T snow and we had to get ready for school. But after a peek out the window, I knew we were home for the day.

What surprised me the most was that the kids weren't up yet. I mean, they were both pretty antsy last night about the possibility of snow and yet they slept until 7:30 and only got up then because Nick's phone rang - possibly his girlfriend who was equally excited about the snow. By 8:00 both boys were out the door and running around the yard with barely contained glee.

As for me, I'm pretty content right now. We just had a family breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. I made cocoa, too. I'm still in my jammies and just loving life right now. At some point today I plan to actually GO outside and experience the snow for myself - but that will be later on in the day. For now, I'll live vicariously through the kids and watch them having fun.

Actually, right now the teen and his girlfriend are trying to find a way to hang out today. Um...are you crazy? Nick asked if he could go over to her house if her dad picked him up and then Frank would have to go and get him tonight. Apparently the reality of snow-slick roads and the dangers of said roads after dark are not clearly defined yet. Personally, I am unwilling to go out and drive just for funsy sake, you know? I'd rather hang at home where it is safe and warm.

How about you? Are you out frolicking in the snow yet?

Monday, January 19, 2009

For the Love of Lists...

Yet again, my funny friend Dena at Happily Every After gave me something that made me chuckle. I love finding out that I am not alone in my love of list making. This is a combination of her post with some of my own commentary. Love you, Dena! You Rock!

I love lists. I love making lists. I love, even more, crossing things off that list. The longer the list the better. My mother taught me the fine art of list making. My sister and I have refined our talent at list making to incorporate pile making. Because what is a pile, but a list of things to deal with and put away. Isn't it?

Well, in this months favorite magazine 'Real Simple' they had a whole article about lists. I just loved it. Loved seeing everyone else's lists and even made a list from some of the lists. But then I turned the page to see this and just laughed...because it's realistic and pretty much sums up my day, everyday. It doesn't seem to matter what I put on my list I have more days that look like this than anything else that might be productive.

I tweaked it (just a bit) to fully portray me.
THE TO-DO LIST YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO...
1. Roll over and snooze some more.
2. Wipe mascara from under eye with wet q-tip.
3. Forget to floss.
4. Scarf down my lone egg for breakfast while fantasizing that there is bacon and homefries and a buttered biscuit along side of it.
5. Forget to put laundry into the dryer, leave them there in the washer till they start growin' a stink.
6. Screen phone calls.
7. Decide NOT to mail bills since mailbox is too far from front door.
8. Get sucked into some sappy love movie on Lifetime TV.
9. Grow anxious as the guy seems to not really like the girl.
10. Put off remaining daily duties to read blogs and entertainment news off internet.
11. Wonder if Brad really does love Angie.
12. Skip my daily walk, because, oh I might feel my back is a little sore, I think I need to lay down.
13. Eat potato chips and a cookie for lunch with a cheese stick and 2/3 of a diet Coke.
14. Ignore the pile of schoolwork that needs to be gone through - the kids seem to be doing fine.
15. Make my kids clean up the kitchen, not to train them, but because I'm too lazy.
16. Leave the day's makeup on because I'm just too tired to think about doing all those steps.
17. Ear plugs in and lights out.

What's on your list?

It's Monday, Let the Drama Begin...

I have to be honest, I did NOT want to get up this morning and come to work. Monday is usually a high-drama day and I just couldn't get up the energy to want to deal with it. I always laughed at those teen dramas on TV but I have learned, first hand, that they are not that far off the mark.

I lucked out first thing with the fact that our resident crier was not in class today. THAT was a huge relief for me. It's pretty much been a pleasant day without having to start it out with high emotions. So where's the drama, you ask? Well, just because one member of the cast is out does not mean that the rest go quietly, you know? Actually, some of the drama began last night. Nick was out all day yesterday with his beautiful girlfriend and they met a former "circle" member for coffee. During their time together this circle-girl told them of all of the inappropriate things that Little Koresh (remember him?) did to her and one of the other circle girls. I wasn't surprised by this revelation but it was nice to hear someone else freely admit what I had been seeing all along. This boy should not be allowed to be alone with any girls of any age. I felt bad that this girl had to have such an experience but when I tried to talk to her AND her mother about what this boy was doing at the time, no one wanted to listen to me. Oh, well, there's only so much I can do.

I didn't get my snow today like I wanted - but it's in the forecast for tomorrow and I cannot wait. The crier wasn't here this morning. The sticky-fingered teens behaved themselves today - I had a team of people on look out with me. The next drama came in the form of a young lady who takes classes with us who has a highly elevated sense of self. I mean REALLY elevated. She is isolating many, many people with her condescending tone and she doesn't seem to care. Today I had four separate individuals complain about her. Tomorrow - if there are classes - she will be here and there are at least three students in that class who complain about her each week. I'm trying to figure out how to approach this girl with love and explain to her that she is hurting many feelings. I don't know if I will be able to actually do it. Again, not big on confrontation - even in love. Perhaps I should go back to school and get a degree in psychology - apparently it's in big demand.

So here I sit in the store during a quiet time. I think the drama wave has passed for the day. I will have peace until Wednesday. I skip Tuesday NOT just because I am hoping for the ever-elusive snow day, but because Tuesdays are just normally quiet.

Oh, how I long for the quiet!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Praying for a snow day...

You know what the number one down side is to homeschooling? No snow days. I mean, you don't have to travel. You're already home. Life goes on as usual. But in light of recent events, I find myself PRAYING for a snow day. Tomorrow, specifically.

Why?

Okay, let's start with the fact that it's a Monday. No one really WANTS to get up on a Monday. Add to that fact that Michael - who I don't homeschool - is off from school. Now I can sleep in a little bit. Now add to THAT the fact that Monday is a day that the boy who cries over everything has a class at the bookstore. Now I have to work up the enthusiasm to deal with that. Top THAT with the fact that there is also a class that meets on Monday where we have known thieves. I am going to have to be on hyper-alert at all times and not let my guard down for a minute. My inner-Rambo is dying to come out and knock some sense in to these kids. I'm a little stressed to say the least.

So while it is snowing like wild all over the country, I can't seem to get a flake to stick here in North Carolina. And I really need it! I mean, I'm only asking for an inch or two; everything closes down when snow starts sticking around here because we don't have the equipment to deal with it and the majority of the people don't know how to drive in it. Snow is the perfect solution to my problems. But am I going to get snow? No. I've crossed my fingers and said a prayer but I don't think it's going to happen.

So while you're all sitting at your computers having a peaceful Monday morning, think of me, holding on to my sanity by a thread. Trying really, really hard to be pleasant and not go all Dr. Phil on anyone.

Just another reason to hate Mondays.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We said goodbye


Today was a day of celebrations. It is my husband's birthday, Michael's birthday, and we went to a birthday party for a friend's daughter. It was a festive atmosphere all day. When I got home from the birthday party, we held a small memorial service for my grandma.

Grandma donated her body to science so there is no body for a funeral. A big family and friends memorial is planned for the summer but I wanted to be able to say goodbye to her now. So the four of us plus Nick's girlfriend went out in to the yard this afternoon with balloons and a rose of grandma's favorite color. We each said a little something about her, said a prayer and said goodbye as we released the balloons in to the sky. Frank said the final goodbye for all of us and as we watched those balloons go higher and higher in to the sky, I could almost picture grandma waiting to receive them.


On a day full of celebrations, what better way to say goodbye then to share it with someone you love - even when they aren't right there with you. It wasn't much
in the way of memorial services, but it was short, sweet
and sincere. A simple tribute to a woman who meant
so much to our little family. She will be missed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

All about memememememememem.....

I got this fun little meme from Dena at "Happily Ever After" ...thought it sounded like fun. Copy and paste the following into your own blog and then bold face any that are true for you. Taking a cue from Dena, I added a little bit of commentary for your entertainment. Enjoy!

1. Started your own blog (Um, hello?)

2. Slept under the stars On a weird girls-night-out-gone-wrong in high school

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world Um...have you MET me?

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo Tried out for the chorus in the 5th grade and didn't make it

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning So NOT fun

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - You know, having grown up in NY you'd think I would have done this!

18. Grown your own vegetables Some rather small and pitiful bell peppers

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort Yes, with my good friend Linda - I think we were in third or fourth grade!

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29 Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset Both

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise - and I have absolutely NO desire to ever go on one

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person Senior year!

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community - according to my godchild Justin, I live in one!

36. Taught yourself a new language (yes, but not a real one)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied Yes, but VERY briefly!

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41 Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45 Walked on a beach by moonlight Jones Beach was always good for this one!

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted Well, it was more like a charcoal thing that my parents had done of me and my sister when we were little in Disney

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater Oh, those were the days!

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business Does selling Tupperware count?

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60 Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies Yes, but to help a friend's daughter out - I was never a girl scout

62. Gone whale watching

63. Gotten flowers for no reason Always a treat!

64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma no. Yes and it always makes me loopy.

65. Gone sky diving

66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67 Bounced a check Yes, but not on purpose

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy My Cabbage Patch doll is currently being held hostage by my mother's ex-husband! Bastard!

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square Yes, but before it was all cleaned up and I wasn't impressed

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone Yes, my ankle when I was in the 7th grade and I think my collar bone when I was four

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle Once. Never wanted to do it again.

79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book - Not yet, but I'm working on it!

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car Yes, my senior year of high school I bought a brand new Nissan Sentra

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the paper Yes, it was a lovely shot of me and my cousin Michael for my uncles photography studio. I was in possibly the 5th grade and had braces!

85. Read the entire Bible. Yes! In only one year!

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating Does lobster count?

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous We met Michael Eisner at the world premier of "Pocahontas" in Central Park

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one Grandma, Nana, Grandpa, Aunt Jo (2 of them), Uncle John & many more

94. Had a baby Two; one c-section, one regular

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit Yes from when I broke my ankle due to slipping on the ice.

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Wow, this seemed like a good idea when I began...now I'm depressed! I've done NOTHING apparently. I've got to spend less time blogging and get out in to the REAL world.

How'd you do?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm ready to beat him with a box of Kleenex!

So there's this kid that takes classes at the bookstore. Nice kid. Sweet. Funny. I was really psyched when he and Nick got to know each other and began hanging out. Now? Not so much.

Okay, a key element to this story before I go any further is this...my biggest pet peeve is men who cry. Oh, don't get me wrong, if someone dies or something really horrible happens then go ahead and cry. But if you are just crying because it's a Tuesday, then I'm going to want to hurt you. So things were going along well and then one day this kid came out of his class and just stood by the front desk weeping. It's not something you see everyday so I was intrigued. If I'd known that this was going to become a weekly pattern, I would have NEVER opened this door. Crying spell number one was because his parents and his girlfriend's parents felt that he was not motivated and needed to grow up a bit. Being that he was standing there soaking my shoulder with his tears, I was most definitely agreeing with them. After a few minutes he calmed down and went back to class. I was pretty uncomfortable with even LOOKING at him then but he left and I was okay.

The next week he came in looking all sad. He went in to class and then came out mid-way through and started to cry again. I don't even know why - he just stood there and silently sobbed. I tried to look busy while conversing with him but seriously, I felt like he was being a bit of a drama queen. The NEXT time he came in with that look I was like "Are you freakin kidding me???" I really was busy that time (thank GOD!) but what I really wanted to do was yell at him to knock it off. Then his girlfriend broke up with him. Why? Because he's a CRY BABY!! Well, duh! No big surprise to me.

When he came in on Monday I was in no mood at all for him. He walked in, I had people at the desk and he walked right behind the desk and stood behind me and I looked at him and said "No, absolutely not. I don't have time for this today. Go to class." He came out several times in hopes of talking to me but luckily my friends had my back. Honestly, even without knowing his pattern of behavior they could SEE that this was a problem. At the end of class he came and stood at the desk and put his head down on it hoping for attention. He got none. He left, came BACK, put his head down on the counter again and after a few minutes left. I mean, is his life so heinous? NO! Is he just an 18 year old who has no motivation what so ever to grow up? YES!

The boy came in yesterday for a class and as you know, having just lost my grandmother that morning, I wanted NOTHING to do with him. I refused to even make eye contact. I felt a wee-bit bad about it but I just can NOT handle all of this crying and drama over nothing. So I asked Nick what this kid's deal was and even HE is getting tired of all of the crying. The kid shows up at my house now, unannounced might I add, and just comes here to sob and cry!!

I honestly do not know what to do. I don't like being this mean, I'm normally a nurturer but this kid is sucking my will to live! I dread seeing him. I'm starting to keep the blinds closed so that if he does show up, I can pretend that we're not home! When I asked Nick to - as a friend - tell this kid that he needs to, you know, Man up, do you know what he told him? "Dude, my mom doesn't like people crying around her."

???

That so does NOT mean MAN UP!!!

Tomorrow's another day. Hopefully this kid knows that Nick will be out. Maybe he'll be out with Nick, at this point, I don't know. All I do know is that I don't want to be around it. I mean, I'm pretty weepy right now too, but I just lost my grandmother. I'm not crying because I can't do my math homework! There has GOT to be a solution to this or you'll be seeing me on the eleven o'clock news:

"Local woman beats teenager up with box of tissues. News at eleven."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And now she has peace...


As a child, I saw her as this whirlwind with red hair. She was the person who let me bang the pots and pans outside on New Year’s Eve. She was the voice of reason when I wanted to sleep with my shoes on.
She always had Snack Pack pudding on hand.

As a child, she was my grandmother. She clearly had no other role in life except that in my young mind. As I grew older, I realized that she was also somebody’s child; she was a wife, a mother, a sister, a career woman when it was not ‘in’ to be one.
She was a widow.

As a teen, I watched this amazing woman care for her aging mother as well as a handicapped brother. All four of her children came back home to live with her at different points in their lives and she always had room for them (and their children).

As a girl verging on becoming an adult, I forged a relationship with this amazing woman that I never thought possible. In the wee hours of the night when it was just the two of us at home, we would talk – not granddaughter to grandmother, but woman to woman. At a time when I needed a non-judgmental ear, there she was.

As a woman, I watched her red hair fade and various shades of gray emerge. Somehow, it never made her look older. She swam in the pool with my children and was unafraid to be silly and play. My boys cherish their time spent with her because she always made each of them feel special.

As a woman living far away from home, I see her looking frail. Her gait is slower, her pains are greater. She overcame the loss of a husband, the loss of her parents and most of her siblings, but it is the time spent watching the loss of her own life that is the hardest.

As a woman, I cling to the child that I was and the memories of a lifetime being blessed to have this wonder woman in my life.

This morning at 3:40 a.m. my sweet little grandma went home to be with the Lord. I know she is at peace now. Selfishly, I wanted more time. I wanted her to rally once more and to have the chance to see her again. Her last words to me when I saw her in October were "I'll see you again". I know she meant that it would be in Heaven but the little girl in me wishes I could see her now.

I love you, Grandma.

In loving memory of Ida Maddox - August 9, 1923 - January 14, 2009.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Glad I Didn't Strangle Him...

I got up this morning as I usually do - 6:15 hit the snooze button, 6:30 wake up Michael and watch "Wings" on the USA network, 6:45 send Michael to get dressed, 7:00 begin the long and painful task of waking Frank up, 7:15 yell at Frank that he really, really, REALLY needs to get up NOW, and 7:25 send both of them on their way to get Michael to school. Then comes the hard part...waking up the teen. This is never an easy task because he does NOT want to get up but on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he HAS to get up for classes.

So I go in and wake him up. Five minutes later I wake him up again. By the third time I'm quite snippy and remind him that he needs to shower (which he finds enough strength to argue about) and then I end up yelling. Not a good way to start the day. He finally does get up and gets ready, I get ready and we leave. He has a British Lit class at 9:45. He's not acing the class but he's not failing either. He's just sort of middle-of-the-road. While waiting for class I get an e-mail with his Algebra 2 grades - same situation. I'm not impressed. I share his grade with him and then remind him that he has a British Lit test today. "Yeah, I know," he says while blaring some music from his iPod. "Well why don't you study?" I ask. "I already did," he replied while starting to bang his head to the obnoxious tune.

Now, don't get me wrong, parents, it's not that I DOUBT that he studied, it's just that...well...if he were acing the class then I wouldn't care about his wasting time listening to music but he's NOT. I'm thinking the extra study time would be a GIFT. I point this out to him and he's like "You know, I'm getting really tired of you always telling me that I'm not doing enough."

Excuse me?

Um...YOU'RE tired of ME?

This would be the point where I was ready to leap over the counter, tackle him to the ground and choke him senseless!!!

But I didn't. I refrained. I held it together until he went in to class and then called my buddy Michelle so that she could talk me down from the ledge. Both of our first-borns are the same - they want to put in as little of an effort as possible and yet be praised and worshiped just because they breathe. HA! So not gonna happen, kiddies! Anyway, she did calm me down and I was able to go about the rest of my business with happy thoughts in my head.

After class my mom called from the Hospice and we decided to let Nick try and talk to grandma and see if she responded. So far I think I am the only voice on the phone that she has responded to but we wanted to try. Nick was not handling it well. I handed him the phone and sort of prompted him on things to say and all the while he held my hand...tightly...so tight that I still have not regained full use of it! But grandma did respond to his voice - she blinked! I thought it was cool but he took it pretty hard. As soon as he got off the phone he walked away. I found him in the back office with his girlfried, clearly upset. I had to remind him that he did a good thing and that it meant a lot to grandma to hear his voice. I appreciated his willingness to leave his comfort zone and do something selfless.

It's good to see him do that once in a while.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sticky Fingered Teens...

Okay so I'm here at work today and it's been a relatively normal day. Well, as normal as can be around here. I've learned that for the most part, normal is full of teen drama that I could gladly live without.

I had a young man come up to me this afternoon 45 minutes after his class had ended to tell me that he witnessed two of his classmates stealing from us. Nothing major - candy and soda - but who knows how long it's been going on! The boy is clearly one of integrity and it bothered him greatly to see people doing this. He told me that his mom was out in the car and wanted to come in with him but he told her this was something he wanted to handle himself. That is the good side to this story. The bad side is WHAT IS UP WITH THESE KIDS????

You know, I am fairly active in the homeschool community. I've homeschooled for eight years and I hear nothing but how bad public school kids are and how people who homeschool hold their children to higher standards and don't want them around the public school kids. Well, FYI parents, some of your little home schooled darlings are thieves. They are thieves. They are liars. They do things that you would not be proud of. The flip their classmates the finger. They use foul language. They are disrespectful to their peers as well as the adults around them. I no longer am of the belief that homeschooled kids are the better group. I mean, what kind of kid comes to a Christian bookstore and steals? Clearly one whose parents have not taught him any better.

My heart is broken by this. This was the only incident that was witnessed but how many others were there? What does this tell you about our children's hearts? The argument for the pro's of homeschooling is getting muffled. We have the gift of having our children home to educate them and teach them character and we clearly not.

I have no idea how we are going to address this problem. We are a little mom and pop company. At this rate we are having to practically install metal detectors at the door and lock up what's not nailed down! Soon I'll be sitting behind bullet proof glass and need a security guard on duty full time to stop this. I don't even think that this is an over-exaggeration. I think that at the rate that these kids are going right now, it won't be long until the store will look more like a low-security prison and less like the inviting, customer friendly place that we are.

What are you teaching your children? What are you NOT teaching your children? Whether they are homeschooled or go to public school, it is OUR responsibility to make sure that we are raising children of good character! Our kids are a gift to us! Don't neglect them and send them out in to the world to inflict their nastiness on everyone because you thought they should know better.

Clearly, they don't.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year, New Look, All Stace...

Hey, Everyone! I spent the better part of today re-doing the blog. For those of you who come here frequently, I hope you like the changes. It was just time for something new and fun and not quite so generic. Here are some of the new features:
- There is now a playlist on the site. You should be hearing some Bon Jovi right about now. If you choose NOT to listen to the music, please feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the page and pause/stop the music. It's just something that I always wanted to do and I plan on switching up the music once in a while but I wanted fun music to be playing - it makes me feel happy.
- Some new pictures have been added. Not too many but just enough to keep things fresh. Plus, my friends informed me last night that one of my pictures sort of repels them so I took it away.
- Counters. Two of them. They're really for my own entertainment but I always wanted one directly on my site. And now I have them! Yippy!
- A bookshelf. This is just a small selection of some of my favorite books. You'll notice a lot of Nora Robers, Sandra Brown and Debbie MacComber. I just found this gadget to add to the site and I'll be adding to it more as time goes on. You can click the arrow at the bottom of the bookshelf to see more books.
- A blog list. This is a listing of all of the different blogs that I follow and it shows you the title of the last post and how long ago it was posted. Just another way to promote the blogging world.
- A Facebook-type link to get people to join/check out the blogging community on Facebook. It's all good.

I think that's it on the new stuff. I do have a favor to ask of all of you who are frequent readers and part of blogger...if you could click on becoming a follower of my blog, I would greatly appreciate it. It's just another gadget I'd like to add to the site. I would like to thank my dear friend Carol from "A Second Cup" http://asecondcup.squarespace.com/ for lending me her daughter Stephanie for the afternoon. There is no way that I could have done all of this without her. Thank you ladies!

Happy reading everyone!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Swapapalooza!!

Okay, like most people we are on a budget. We don't go out a lot and don't get to do a lot of things. I am an avid reader and I enjoy a good movie. The library is fine and all, but I enjoy buying books so that I can read them at my leisure (sometimes more than once) but then when I'm done, they clutter up my shelves. Same thing with movies - I enjoy buying them, watching them a few times but then it's time to move on. If you are like me then check out these two web-sites: www.paperbackswap.com and www.SwapaDVD.com.

Paperbackswap.com is great for posting all kinds of books. You post books that you want to get rid of - there is no limit to how many you can post. Then when someone requests your book and you send it out to them (you are responsible for postage) you get a credit to request a book from someone else! I have posted homeschool books, fiction books, children's books, etc. and in return have gotten books that I have wanted - all for the low cost of shipping. In the last two months I've swapped around ten books. Some I have decided to keep, while others I have posted again on the site so that someone else can enjoy it.

SwapaDVD.com is the same thing except with DVD's. What they do is when you post ten DVD's you automatically get one credit. I posted 15 DVD's this morning, got a credit to pick a movie and in less than five minutes, I had four requests for movies that I had just posted. I'll mail those out on Monday and when they arrive at their destination, I'll get credit for them and be able to chose four movies for me and the family. You don't have to chose something right away - browse at your own pace. I am a fan of romantic comedies. When I went to browse their selection, they had over 500 to chose from! Not too shabby.

So in these hard economic times, rather than spending $10-$15 on buying a DVD or spending anywhere from $5-$20 on a new book or having to be limited at the library, check these sites out. I'm telling you, their selections are amazing.

Happy reading and viewing! Enjoy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

And then she blinked...

We're still on Grandma watch. Her health is deteriorating rapidly and she is hardly awake anymore. After her near-death the other day, she has rarely talked. I have to admit that, selfishly, I was kind of hoping that maybe she wanted to talk to me one last time. I know, that is completely self-centered, but it's how I feel. Day after day my mom updates me on Grandma's condition and she tells me who came to see her, who talked to her and so on. Everyone got to say good-bye. I don't feel like I did. I mean, I sent her a long letter about a month and a half ago that really said it all, but we didn't ever TALK about it - just me and her. When I saw her in October and I was walking out the door of her apartment, her last words to me were "I'll see you again". I kind of took that as we'll see each other one day again in heaven. But being that she has not let go yet - even while at the gates of heaven - I thought that maybe it was me that she wanted to see one more time.

Today my mom went to go and visit Grandma and had promised to call me while she was there so that I could talk to her. I knew that chances were slim to none that she would be alert enough to talk but I wanted to try. So when mom called and told me that Grandma was in a truly deep sleep and completely unresponsive, I was disappointed. We talked for a few minutes and then I asked her to put the phone to Grandma's ear anyway. I just wanted her to hear my voice. So mom put the cell phone to grandma's ear and you know what, her eyes blinked the whole time I was talking! Mom got back on the phone and told me and then said to try it again. So she put the phone back by grandma's ear and I talked some more and she tried to talk. Not much, only a sound but to me that sound meant the world. My grandma heard me. It may not be what she needed to let herself go, but to me, it was a gift.

A very heartfelt gift.


Where there's smoke, there's stupidity...

Yesterday Nick had a friend come over to hang out. I like this kid, he's nice enough and though a little scatter-brained, he's relatively harmless. It's nice that I'm liking my son's friends again. The dark days of 'the circle' are gone and some really nice people are being introduced into our lives.

So they're here not doing much of anything when Nick says that they're going to go out for a walk. Okay, not a big deal. I'm sitting on the couch vegging (and FYI, LOVED it!) when I start hearing firecrackers. Not once. Not twice. We're talking a lot in a ten minute time span. I walk to the back door and look outside and can see the boys in the field. I call out to Nick and ask if they are the ones with the firecrackers and he says "yes" - apparently Ben brought them over. I ask him to knock it off but he can't hear me over the sound of yet another firecracker being thrown. I repeat myself and then he says "okay". Fine. We're done.

Ten minutes later the back door opens and I hear the sound of BOTH of my son's voices plus the friend. Then I hear water running and the voices lower. My curiosity finally piqued and I asked them what was going on. It turns out that not only did they have firecrackers, they had smoke bombs too!! Oy! When I told them to knock it off, apparently Ben (the friend) put a smoke bomb in his pocket - feeling secure because they had all been duds. Well, guess what? The one in his pants wasn't!! As I approached the boy the first thing I notice is the smell of smoke. The next is the big black mark on his pants. And you know what? It actually did look a little like a Wyle E. Coyote Acme bomb mark! Who knew?

Luckily the boy was fine. He wasn't hurt in any way, shape or form. His pants on the other hand are probably done for. It was kind of funny. An hour and a half later I could STILL smell the smoke on him. It's things like this that tell you WHY you need to read the warning labels on everything!!!

Stupid, stupid, stupid...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Okay, what is the universe trying to tell me?

Did you ever do something that you really shouldn't do and then something BAD happened? Why don't we ever learn from that? Case in point, I am back on my diet. Notice that I didn't make a big deal out of it by blogging about it? Wait, it's coming. Well, I no longer have the treadmill but I am doing my Power 90 DVD. It's a 30 minute workout where one day you do cardio and the next you do strength training. It's a great workout. So today is day four. Frank left to take Michael to school, I set up my little mat, got out my weights and stuck in the DVD. I was SO not in to it and after about 45 seconds I decided that I could take the morning off and went in to my room, grabbed my MP3 player and decided to just listen to some music for a little while. You know what? The battery died!! And you can't just replace it and be on your way, you have to plug it in to the computer to re-charge. So now I had no reason to skip the darn workout and went and did it.

I eliminated coca cola from my life this week and was doing really well with the whole thing. I mean, I craved it but I knew it was way better for me to not drink it - it gives me terrible heartburn now. So last night, what did I do? I had a tiny glass of soda. Guess who woke up at 1 am with heartburn?

These are just two examples of me clearly making the wrong decisions and it coming back to bite me. I'm not a smart person. Seriously. I wonder what form of stupidity will come over me next? Maybe I'll cut my finger with a big knife and try to clean it out with some lemon juice!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now Appearing in an A.D.D. Infomercial Near You...

So yesterday Frank and I went to an A.D.D. workshop at Michael's pediatrician's office because the school has informed us that clearly the boy has issues. They hinted at anger management, A.D.D. and even the possibility of mild Autism. I was not happy with all of the stuff that came home and went in to panic mode and so I called the doctor's office to see where I begin. They suggested this workshop and so last night we went.

This thing should have come with a warning label. By the end of the meeting, I felt like I had A.D.D. or possibly ADHD because I found myself fidgeting in my chair and wanting to get up and run around the room just to make the talking stop! Don't get me wrong, this doctor is fabulous and CLEARLY he is at the top of his field in this area. BUT this guy was self-promotion run amok. He did a LOT of name dropping - mostly athletes that I had no idea who they were - and he liked to talk a lot about himself. He used a LOT of sports metaphores that were lost on me because I don't follow any sports. I learned that he plays with tennis pros, that his kids went to Clemson, he's spoken at Yale and Harvard, one of his kids played a championship basketball game at Madison Square Garden, he's in the process of getting a book published, he had trademarked his work on A.D.D. research, his latest project has him in touch with Oprah and her school, I mean on and on and on it went and that was just in the first hour! The whole workshop was only supposed to TAKE an hour but ended up lasting 2 1/2 because this guy was so in to himself.

We were given an exercise to do that was never discussed or gone over. It was never explained to us what to do with the paperwork that was in the handouts he gave us. I mean, what in the world??? On the positive side, when he did speak about his program and how they diagnose A.D.D. and the treatment options, I was very impressed. He was not all about just medicating the kids and I think that he truly can help us figure out what is going on with Michael. I'm filling out paperwork, his teacher is filling out paperwork, I'm faxing it in to the office when I am all done and taking it from there. Supposedly the next step is going to be a one-on-one session with us, the doctor and Michael so that he can examine Michael and get to know our personal situation. I am looking forward to that.

I just hope that I don't strangle him with a sports metaphore before all is said and done!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

16 Random Facts, habits and goals...

My son's girlfriend sent me this last night via Facebook and I thought it would be pretty funny to post here too...

1. My grandpa used to call me any time there was a Peanuts special on TV. It makes me sad that no one did that for my kids because that phone call always made me smile.
The memory of it still does.
2. The only pudding I enjoy eating is Snack Pack chocolate pudding because my grandma always used to have it for me when I slept over. I miss that it's not in a can anymore.
3. I can easily eat a foot long, fully loaded sub (or Hero as it is called up in NY). The six inch ones just seem wimpy to me but seem to be politically correct for a woman.
4. I want to learn how to shoot a pistol.
5. I always have to stop myself from crying when I enter the Magic Kingdom and walk down Main Street - I just have so many childhood memories - most that involve buying blown glass figurines for my Nana.
6. I once ran my friend Kerry (a guy) over with my car on a night out and then made him buy me Burger King afterwards.
7. I still wish I could have coached a kickline.
8. I have to have something to read whenever I go in to the bathroom - no matter how fast I'm going to be!
9. I wrote my first book in the third grade (it was a short story) and wrote my first novel in the 9th grade and still can't get it together to find an agent. I always thought I'd be a real author by now.
10. I have no desire to ever go on a cruise.
11. I have an inappropriate crush on Joe Jonas.
12. I used to love to draw. My favorite thing to draw was Snoopy from the book "Happiness is a Warm Puppy"
13. I made eye-contact with Gene Simmons at a Kiss concert and thought for sure that he was going to invite me backstage!
14. I am a total food snob - I prefer my own cooking to anyone else's
15. I love to listen to music - my favorite is still 80's big hair rock bands. And to quote my friend Dot, if my life story were to have a soundtrack, it would be performed by Bon Jovi (with a touch of Poison thrown in for fun)
16. My biggest pet peeve are parents that include their children in everything and don't take other adults in to consideration. I mean, if there are 6 adults sitting around talking, your kids can find something else to do. I find it rude when parents let their kids sit there and listen to our conversations or let them continually interrupt. Somethings are not meant for young ears.

Don't be afraid to let your randomness show! If someone is going to judge you for something that you do that they don't agree with or like, then that is their problem, not yours, and they really aren't your friend. What's random about you that you haven't let be known?

Today's thought for a rainy day...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jesus Sent Her Back...

My mother called me tonight and said "Your grandmother died today." Then she paused and said "But she came back." I never had the chance to let my emotions fully deal with that first sentence but I was intrigued nonetheless. Here's the day's events as explained to me.

My mom showed up at the Hospice Care center this morning around 11. Grandma's nurse explained to her that grandma was having some issues today. Every day is a new adventure. When mom sat next to grandma, grandma turned to her and said "I died". Mom tried to explain to her that she didn't die, that she was still here with us, and that it must have been a dream. Grandma persisted and they 'discussed' this for several minutes. At one point, the nurses had to come in and clean grandma up because she had had an accident. Once she was showered, dressed in a hospital gown and back in bed, she turned to my mother and softly said "Take off my glasses. Jesus is here." My mom was taken aback a bit and asked her mother "Where, mom? Where is Jesus?" "He's here," grandma replied.

What happened next just confirms so much that it gives me chills just to think about it and how I wish I could have been there. Suddenly, grandma started to drift off but was still talking and was describing to my mother all of the beautiful things she was seeing - her sisters, her brothers, her parents! "It's so beautiful!" she said. Then she turned to my mother and began listing all of the things she wanted her to do. Things like take these pictures when I'm gone, don't forget that there's money in the drawer...I mean, here she was at the end of her life and she was still trying to tell someone what to do and how to do it! Her voice was very frail and small. She asked for each of her children and so my mother promised to call them all and get them there (my one aunt lives in Florida and when my mother reminded grandma of that she was okay with it). With that, she went in to a deep, still sleep.

My one aunt arrived and tried to talk to grandma, no results. She and my mom knew this was the end. Then my uncle and his wife showed up and all of a sudden, grandma was wide awake. Talking. Like a chatter box! She asked for ice cream! She told her children of the heaven that she saw. She said that her husband, their father, was calling out to her and how her whole family was there and how beautiful it was but that Jesus sent her back. Jesus sent her back! The woman spoke to Jesus and he told her that she had to go back. So they all asked her "Why? Why did Jesus send you back?" She doesn't know.

Do you have any idea how frustrating this is? We are all racking our brains trying to figure out what exactly it is that has to be done to bring this sweet little woman the peace that she needs so that she can go and be in heaven with those that she loves! Personally, I don't think we are ever going to know for sure what it is that she needs. That is between grandma and Jesus. I just love knowing that for even that brief moment, He was there with her. She saw Him. She spoke to Him. And even though he sent her back, I for one am comforted in knowing that beauty and love await us.

It's About "Time"

I am a stickler about time. I hate to be late for anything and am a perpetual clock watcher. I married a man who never wears a watch, has trouble identifying a clock and is late for everything. Boy, that opposites attract theory is wild, isn't it?

Anyway, yesterday was my son's birthday and he had told all of his friends that the "party time" was from 3-9. I am amazed what his generation thinks of the whole "time" thing. One friend called to say that he would arrive around 4:00. Bless you, Alex, for being considerate. He was the only one. One boy showed up around 2:15, another didn't arrive until around 6:00 and the only reason we knew he was going to be that late was because we called HIM when he hadn't showed up!

People showing up late is irritating but showing up early pretty much is like lighting the match to gasoline for me. My grandmother used to show up early every time we invited her over. Oh, not just a few minutes early either, her record was an hour and a half early. No apologies, no "oh, I hope I'm not too early", nothing. Just...there she was. Sometimes it wasn't a big deal but when you have small kids and a husband who doesn't get ready until the very last minute, we would all normally be running around half dressed when she arrived. My son was not even home when this first kid arrived! I mean, I like all of my son's friends but I don't want to sit and entertain them. How hard is it to read a clock? Five minutes early I can see but 45? Not necessary.

I deal with this at work too and it just about makes me want to scream. The teenagers who drive themselves to classes at the store will show up 30-45 minutes early for class. Why? No one knows. Nothing burns me more than arriving to work (sometimes 30 minutes before the store is even open) and finding people WAITING! Not shoppers, students. It used to be that parents would just drop their kids off and go - knowing full-well that the store wasn't open yet. What are they thinking? There's never a reason. Nothing like they needed to speak to the teacher before class or...well, anything! Just there! Early. Really early.

This boy who was early for the party is also a student at the store and yes, he shows up 45 minutes early for his classes too. I don't think he has a particularly happy home life and I do sympathize BUT...I need to have my time respected, too. Remember the days when you couldn't get a teen to show up anywhere on time? I LONG for those days! Truly I do.

Watch the clock! Pay attention to the time! And for the love of it, don't show up at my house ridiculously early. I will so NOT be happy.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who's Idea Was This?


Seventeen years ago today, I became a mom. Weird, right? I hardly look a day over 20 and yet here I am with a 17 year old boy! But seriously, it was an amazing time in my life that I remember with such clarity - trying to wake Frank up and convince him that I was TRULY in labor this time (there were 3 other false alarms), getting to the hospital and finding out that I was going to have to have a C-section - FAST. The fact that my husband would NOT get off the phone and help me with anything. Ah, good times.

Here's the condensed version of January 4, 1992:
I woke up around 8 am with bad back pains and knew it was labor. I was two weeks over-due. I finally convinced Frank that it was real this time (plus, being two weeks over-due, SOMEONE was delivering this baby today!) and we left for the hospital. Now, my sister was my back-up coach and her only instructions to me the day before was "Don't have this baby on Saturday because I have catering." You know I how I hate being told what to do... We called our landlords (we rented an apartment in their home and they were expecting a baby too) and told them what was going on, and they wished us well. Once at the hospital, Frank went in to phone calling mode while I was quickly being prepped for a C-section - the boy was leaving my body THAT DAY or else! Now, while I am in full blown hard back labor, Frank is lounging in the corner of the room asking stupid questions like "Hey, do you think your sister should stop cooking and come down?" My only thought at that point was that I need to hurt him. I don't even remember my answer. Then he called our landlords to give them an update and was sitting having a casual conversation with Bruce! I'm like "HEY! Do you think you can get your ass off the phone and give me a hand here?" His response? (Brace yourselves, ladies) "Do you have to be such a snotty bitch?" Oh, I so wish I was kidding. But I'm not. Sigh. He did get off the phone and informed me that Bruce was on his way. Oh, joy. Like I cared at that moment. The anesthesiologist came in to give me my options and I grabbed him by the lab coat and said "SLEEP! I want to be put to sleep!" Now Frank decided to get involved and was like "Really?" I'm sorry, but I don't care how 'numb' they claim to make you, if I hear someone say "scalpel" I'm going to know that they are cutting me open and freak the hell out. I was whisked away and they did not allow Frank to come with me - or maybe he chickened out - to this day I don't know. As soon as Nick was out, they cleaned him up and took him out to Frank. They had just placed the baby in his arms when my sister swooped in, grabbed Nick and said "Take my picture!" So the very first picture we have of Nick, is my sister holding him. She even had on a hospital gown and looked frazzled so anyone looking at that shot would swear that she was there the whole time doing all the work! When I got wheeled down to recovery, a nurse stopped me to tell me that our landlords were on the way to the hospital (not the one I was at but another one) because THEY were having their baby! How weird was that? So Nick was born around 11:30 that morning and their daughter was born around 4:30 that afternoon! Two families, one house, two babies in one day!

The hospital stay was really uneventful except for the fact that the boy was so alert and trying to speak (a phenomenon, the nurses say). What I remember most is bringing him home from the hospital - Frank worked a 3-11pm shift and after he left for work that first night and everyone had gone home I remember looking at Nick sleeping in his cradle and thinking "OH MY GOD!! Who's idea was this? I am not going to be alone again for the next 18 years!"

I guess it wasn't such a bad idea. I'm glad he's here and I'm glad to be his mom (most of the time). Happy Birthday, baby! I love you!