Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sample schedule: This week, the only night I will have at home with no running around will be tonight. That's it. And if Evan doesn't finish his homework before I pick him up...well, I won't have time to get anything done tonight. Monday night Evan had a project to complete - and part of the project included ME making a cake and cupcakes. Tuesday was the band concert - beginning band. Yes, it was bad. Tonight? Free. Thursday, basketball practice - 7:30 to 9:00. Friday, I can't remember, but I'm sure there is something. Saturday, 2 basketball games and the Christmas Parade.
But that activity part of being a parent. It wears me out, but it's worth it.
Family gatherings. I love them. Except for the drama. My sister is trying to plan our family's event at her house on Christmas Eve. That's all well and good for me. But my brother has issues because they have small kids and have to get home in time to do Santa and their Christmas Eve traditions. We can't do it earlier in the day because my husband has to work. So, how are we going to compromise? Sister already feels like Brother doesn't love her, so if they just don't come then Sister will wind up in tears. Then we have to deal with Hubby's side of the family. This year we are doing it at our house on the 23rd. I don't work that day, so I can get the house ready and cook dinner. And now hubby's sister-in-law informs me that she's bringing her brother. Truthfully, I would rather have him there than her. But, does that also mean she is bringing her dad? So he won't be alone? Because, if that's the case, I may get "sick" and not be able to have it at our house. I can put up with a lot, but he is an ass. I will not allow him to act in MY home the way he does in hers (goes through everything - drawers, cabinets, mail - complains).
But I love seeing Evan's face when he opens his presents. I LOVE taking pictures of everybody. I love watching my cat go crazy with the paper and bows. I love cooking breakfast Christmas morning. Which reminds me...anybody have any good brunch type recipes?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But this dog is determined to escape. I think I've talked about that before. He learned how to open the gate. When we chained the door in the middle, he put pressure on the bottom of the door until he could fit through. So we added a second chain at the bottom. Then he put his nose through the chain link and wiggled it back and forth until he could fit his head through. So we covered that hole with smaller wire he couldn't get a hold in. Then he moved to another pannel and worked it until he bent the clips holding the chain link to the poles enough that he could get through. We fixed that. Well.
Yesterday I had to leave work at 10 AM to go to the SCHOOL to pick up the dog. We live right behind the school. A few weeks ago when I was out of town, Mike took him out to do his business and he ran away to look for Evan because Evan hadn't spent any time at home. They found him at the school.
Well, yesterday the damn dog broke out and went to school looking for Evan again. A kid in Evan's class heard something outside and looked. Wags was jumping up and looking in windows. The teacher was kind enough to let Evan get the dog and bring him into her classroom until I could come home to get him. Of course, the phone call I got was 'Please come get your dog, he is in Evan's class' with no explanation of how he got there...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
First, let me say that traveling with my mom is a blast. She is always up for a road trip. She packed a cooler of drinks (non-alcoholic, of course), snacks, etc, because the place we were going was so far out in the country, she was afraid that the Wal-Mart would close at 9 and we wouldn't be able to find anywhere to get snacks. There were 2 hotels in this 'town'. The closest we could get to the actual site of the wedding was 30 minutes away.
We drove down Friday afternoon, checked in, drove 30 minutes back the way we came to find a decent restaurant. Then we went back to the hotel and relaxed all night and the next morning. She stayed in the room, I went to the pool. Which was empty, except for me. Score!!!
Went to the wedding. It's so far out in the country that mapquest and Mom's GPS let us down. It's a good thing we left the hotel early and remembered to bring the map that was included in the invitation. Always remember the homemade map. It won't direct you to the middle of nowhere and tell you that the barn you are looking at is the church!!!
The wedding was very simple. These kids are 27. They have been together since they were 16. It was sweet. He cried. She cried. His brother cried. Everyone cried when she lit the candle in honor of her sister that died 3 years ago.
The reception was at her grandparent's farm. Again, very simple. Tables outside, tents with food and drinks and dancing. Lights and paper lanterns, candles in jars hanging from trees. We saw people that we haven't seen in years. People that we dearly loved. People that I still dearly love, even if I can't see them often.
All in all, a fabulous trip.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
It has been YEARS since I've worn a dress. It isn't required for work or church. So, I don't have any in my closet. A few weeks ago I started looking. I found a shirt/skirt combo that would do in a pinch - they are both black, so to me it doesn't really say 'wedding'. But I also found 2 dresses online that I ordered. But I don't know how they look, since I haven't tried them on.
I order things online a lot. I track the packages religiously. Well, as soon as the dresses were shipped, I started tracking. They were shipped via UPS. I was home all day yesterday (Evan was sick). I tracked. Got the glorious status: Out for delivery!!!!! I waited. And I waited. Around 7PM I checked the status. Delivered to the Post Office. Are you kidding me??? I was home all freaking day. Never a knock on the door. So now, I have to wait and see if the Post Office delivers it today. I just hope they decide to leave it...and not wait for a signature. Because I won't be there today. And then I'll have to make a special trip to the Post Office - and it closes at 5. So, not convenient in any way. And the departure time draws closer and closer.
But here is what bothers me... It was to be delivered by UPS, but they leave it for the USPS to do??? When did that crap start?
Thursday, September 9, 2010
About a month ago, my sister-in-law and I got together to have the kids' pics made. I was introduced to an AWESOME photographer that I now adore - this was our first photoshoot with her, but it will not be our last. We do this every 2 years as a present for our Mother-in-law, but I usually take the pictures. There is NOTHING she loves more than her grandkids and pictures of them are always the best present. Here are a couple of pictures from the day:
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday started off normal enough. Got up, went through the normal routine. But right before I dropped Evan off at school I realized I had left my cell phone at home and so had he. With the morning school traffic, there was NO WAY I was going back to the house to get it. We laughed about it. I told him to call my work number when he got home. Since he walks home every day, he is supposed to call me the minute he walks through the door. Well, 3:05 rolled around. No call. So I started calling the house. Nothing. No answer. By 3:30 I was in a complete panic. I work about 45 minutes away, so I called my parents to go check out my house. They did. The front door was unlocked. The dog was still in his kennell. No backpack to be seen. They started driving around the neighborhood. No one had seen him. I didn't call Mike - I knew this would all be resolved and he would have left work for nothing. By 4:00, I couldn't stay at work anymore. I flew home. It took 30 minutes - but I was home by 4:30. I grabbed my cell phone and checked messages. There was one - from my sister-in-law. Then I saw the texts.
I had one from Mike to call Evan at a number I didn't recognize. He had gone home with a friend. But Mike didn't know I had left my cell phone at home... Evan had gotten permission, but the info never got to me.
When he got home I hugged and kissed him like never before. I think my blood pressure is still a little higher than it should be.
Next time I forget my phone, I don't care if I'm half way to work. I will go back and get it.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
When I was a kid and had a fight with a friend, it was up to me to solve the situation or take the consequences. Outside of our immediate neighborhood, my parents knew very few of my friend’s parents. So if we had a fight, the parents didn’t get involved except maybe to say “If you can’t get along, then you can’t go there anymore.” But today, if you don’t know intimate details of the parents of your friend’s kids then you are being a negligent parent. This has brought a new set of complications that is driving me insane.
NOW, if kids get in a fight, it demands calls between parents trying to work it out. And here is my problem with that – the kids lose the opportunity to learn how to deal with each other. They don’t learn how to take up for themselves when parents step in over every hurt feeling. This is creating a bunch of whiny kids that run to mom to solve their problems. Yeah, I believe that adults should step in when a child is being a bully. But just because one isn’t getting his way? Or was called a name? Or was ignored? Come on. Give the kids a chance to deal with it.
Friday, July 23, 2010
- I noticed that I have stacks of books in various places around the house. Large stacks in danger of falling over and hurting someone. The stacks are still large despite the fact that I have a ton of books loaned out to different people.
- I admitted last night that my bookshelves have become the local library. Need a book? Call Lisa and see if she has it.
- I can't keep up with what I have read (or what I own) without a spreadsheet.
- I am considering purchasing a Nook. I compared Nook and Kindle and decided that the Nook fits my needs a little better. Because I can still share my books with other people. I like sharing.
- I looked at my wishlist at Barnes and Noble... 12 honest-to-goodness paper books with covers and 20 e-books. And I have another wishlist @ Amazon with completely different books - another 9 books.
So, what am I going to do about this addiction? Not a damn thing. There are worse addictions.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I January of '09 I turned 40. In March '09 I had my much dreaded mammogram. And we all know how that turned out. So, next year was filled with doctor's appointments, chemo, radiation and all the fabulous things that cancer entails. Well, here it is, July 2010. I've finished everything except for the final reconstruction. We (my little family) made it through the mess, and we are in a much better place than we were before. I know what I can expect from Mike - he really stepped up. OK, it took a little prodding. And for reality to set in. And Evan - what can I say about my little man? He is a strong little boy.
All I have left to do is the final reconstruction - I get rid of these funky shaped tissue expanders and get REAL implants that look like REAL boobs. I'll probably get to do that in September. Yea! Perky boobs! With nipples and everything!!!
To celebrate, I want to get my first (and probably last) tattoo. I want a phoneix - this was a suggestion from Miss Grace (who has one of the most awesome tattoos of all time). I don't even know if she remembers the suggestion, but it stuck in my head. I want something feminine...and it took a while, but I think I've found what I want to use for a pattern. Except I want the body shaded in either a crimson or pink.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Friday night Mike and Scott were pulled over 1 block from Becky's house. Because Mike had his hand out the window and Scott had on the bright lights (trying to find street signs). They were accusing Mike of throwing something out the window? Anyway, they weren't doing anything wrong and were released. Whatever.
Then Saturday morning someone broke into the cars. If it was unlocked and had anything of value, it was stolen. Our car didn't get hit. George lost his satelite radio and his wallet. Had to spend Sat morning with the bank getting that worked out. Becky lost a bag of sunscreen, sunglasses, MP3 player... So, not as bad as it could have been.
Oh, and I hit a grill with my car. That's the second one I have hit. Mike is threatening to get grill stickers and put one on my car every time I hit one. Like a WWII bomber. But he wasn't mad - that in itself is a miracle.
We spent the rest of the day at the Bay getting hammered, um, I mean working on our tans. Then we came back to the house and grilled steaks, boiled shrimp and had a blast by the pool. There was a house full of people - 7 adults, 5 kids, you get the picture. Everybody was having a great time. All of the adults had washed off the Bay and were dressed - just hanging by the pool. The kids were all inside watching TV and playing video games. And then Asshole Neighbor showed up - a good combination of hammered and baked. He decided to tackle some people into the pool. Which is all fine and good - when people don't have cell phones in their pockets. And of course, he refuses to help pay for a new one.
I have to admit something. Last year, there was a person that I referred to as, well, something not really nice. She was abrasive and I could not escape from her. And I think that was really the problem. Not her, but the fact that I couldn't escape. Last year I couldn't get in the water - I was still healing from surgery, so when you are trying to avoid infection, Mobile Bay is not the place to swim. So I stayed under a tent all day. This year? I could go wherever I wanted - and I did. She's OK in small doses. And I think Evan has a crush on her daughter.
Fireworks were wonderful, food was great, kids were great, made a lot of new friends.
And the Anti-BP sentiment is strong...even with the kids. I didn't get a good pic of his sail, but it says: BP lies
Sunday, June 13, 2010
This weekend I had a couple of hours that I didn't have something to do, somewhere to be or someone to take care of. So I went to Mom's to get some sun. I spent 2 hours in the water. One on each side. I used sunscreen on the front...OK, it was only a 4 SPF, but that's better than what I ususally do. On the front I got a little pink. Not bad, just a little color. But the back. Well, I was alone, so I didn't have an assistant. And I don't really have all my range of motion back in my arms. Who am I trying to kid? I just plain didn't put any sunscreen on my back. At all. And then I fell asleep, face down in on the float. The only thing that woke me up was breathing in a little water when my face slipped on the float. All the skin on the backside that was showing was red. Not just pink. Red.
Today, the red is fading and turning brown, like I was hoping. By next weekend, I'm hoping that I will remember my lessons...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” - Henry Miller
“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” - Cherie Carter-Smith
Monday, May 24, 2010
What has kept me so busy? Well, my oven went out a few weeks ago. It was a drop in combo. I really didn't want to replace it. When my parents bought their current house, Mom didn't like the oven. So she replaced it. And THANK GOODNESS, she put the old one in the garage. It still works just fine, it just isn't pretty. So, this past week Dad and my husband installed it. Honestly?? Dad installed and Mike was the errand boy. And, by the way, not one single man involved in this knows how to read a tape measure. They all took measurements, but the oven was too big. There was sawing of countertops and cabinets. It all made me very nervous. But I don't care. Especially since I didn't have to buy a new one. I just had to buy a new washer and dryer, a new oven was not in the budget.
On top of that, I had a Pampered Chef party. May is Whip Cancer month, so I held a fundraising party. Instead of getting all kinds of free stuff, 25% of the retail sales will go to American Cancer Society. So. There was the prep work for that and grocery buying. I had 11 people for the event, which is a pretty good turn out. We had it at my Mom's due to the construction mess in my kitchen.
Wags is still holding his own. A little too well. This past week Mike has been bitten twice, the cat has been pinned against a door once. Don't feel too bad for Mike - knowing how protective Wags is of Evan, he went into Evan's room in the middle of the night, didn't turn a light on, and tried to kiss Evan. Yes, I said tried. I think he finally understands what I've been trying to tell him about dogs and territory and the one they have chosen to protect. We have decided that Wags will have to sleep in the kennel when Evan has company. No way would I risk a child being bitten. Evan is doing a great job of taking care of him. Very responsible - no complaining.
I am very thankful for Mike's new job. But I had forgotten how it is to have to deal with a retail schedule and no vacation time when you are trying to take a trip. We had an opportunity to go to our favorite place next weekend...but Mike has to work. I am not complaining. Much. Evan and I could go alone, but that wouldn't really be fair since it's HIS family that we would be going to visit. So I guess I'll try to find something for Evan to do so I can enjoy some alone pool time...
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
But, he and Evan are tight. He is very protective of Evan, especially when it comes to men. I can do anything I want to, but Mike has to be careful. Like, Mike gets growled at when he goes into Evan's/Wag's room. We're working on Mike spending more time with him.
Choc is getting used to him. They aren't friends - but at least Choc isn't barking every. single. breath. Daphne (cat) still hides. I don't blame her.
Other than that, not much is going on in our neck of the woods. I have a box from Amazon sitting in my living room - books, of course - and another on the way. So, as soon as I get the house cleaned up, it's reading time.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Guess who is taking him in? We are picking him up Friday... Meet Wags.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
- I have awesome things planned this weekend - a mini-reunion of people I was in marching band with in high school, a book signing for a high school friend that has written a book and seeing my nephew in a karate demonstration!
- I'm getting to spend a lot of time with my sister's kids.
- Evan is doing well in school and has made friends with some new kids.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Yesterday she wore Mom out. My sister-in-law and I did dinner/desert so Mom didn't have to. Dinner was waiting when she got home with the 2 kids and their stuff. We helped unload the car and get things set up. Earlier in the day my brother-in-law had brought the crib. He recognizes that this will not be a short term situation.
Some of what Mom and BIL went through:
- She was completely ignoring the kids
- She wouldn't bathe which is VERY unlike her - she is usually dressed to the "T", make-up and hair perfect
- She would talk obsessively about what she had done (won't go into that) and that the police were coming to get her (there is no reason...just paranioa)
- When not talking, she would look off into space
Today I went over to Mom's to help her out. She needed to sort through what she brought to see what she still needed. About noon, Little Sister decided she needed to see her kids. So BIL brought her over. Truth be told, I think BIL just needed a break, because she ignored the kids unless they were shoved in her face. But I don't begrudge him that break. He SO needed it. But by this afternoon she was trying to convince us she was fine and didn't need to go to the hospital. Um, too bad and none of us are stupid. She tried to keep talking to me and I had to tell her that the didn't need to be talking about this in front of her 3 year old daughter.
Anyway, she is where she needs to be, safe, getting the help she needs. And maybe THIS time she will stay on her meds. Maybe. But probably not.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Yet again, my sister has gone off the rails leaving her husband and my parents to deal with the mess. She is being committed today. Again. Thoughts and statements of suicide. I know she can’t help what goes on in her brain. But she knows that medication helps and she refuses to take it. And knowing that she had these problems, she had 2 children that are innocent. One is 3 and very smart and intuitive– she knows exactly what is going on around her. The other isn’t a year old yet. Oh, and mom found an ovulation kit by her computer today. So is she planning number 3???
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
- I need sunscreen, but not much, when it's 70 degrees and sunny. We sat by the pool all day (5 hours) and I didn't even get pink, except for the few places I didn't get sunscreen. Apparently, SPF 8 was more than I needed.
- Evan (11 yrs old) is now old enough to get a girl's phone number. A 13 year old girl. Whom he promptly ignored after getting said number.
- Boys will play barefoot in the sand and water even when it is 50 degrees. They just can't resist.
- Boys will climb trees even if the tree branches out over Mobile Bay and there is a very good chance they will fall into the freezing water.
- Short hair is awesome. I may never let it grow out again. I never would have cut it this short by choice...and it may not be the best look for me. But I don't care. 5 second hair care is under-rated.
- Giving Evan a cell phone has made things so much easier and so much harder at the same time.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Fastforward to today. I work for a pretty large company. We have an electronic 'bulletin board'. Glamour Girl knows what I'm talking about. It's a pretty neat tool. If you lose something, a ring, a watch, earring, whatever, you can put up a little post and hopefully someone will find it and return it. If you are having to do a school/scout fundraiser, just post it out there and interested people will make a purchase. If you are participating in a marathon to raise money for whatever cause is near and dear, post it and people will donate.
Today I was picking through it and found a post that just pissed me off. This is not a rant against social programs - believe me, I know those are needed. So don't twist what I'm about to say into me being 'anti-helping people out'. I believe in working for what you want. So when I came across a post asking for donations to fund a student's $6,500 trip to Europe (Spain, France, Italy) I was shocked. When did students start asking total strangers to just donate cash? Is this the norm? He may have participated in fundraisers, but that was not mentioned. Just a straight out request for cash.
I honestly believe that kids who are given everything lose the ability and will to work for things on their own. What is he learning if people just hand him cash in exchange for nothing?
Monday, February 22, 2010
I've always loved music. Always. And I've always had a few bands that just rocked my little world. But. Nothing has ever made me as happy as Blue October. I found them at a time in my life when I was a little down. Depressed. They have a song for every situation, every mood I have. And really, how can I resist that face?
But last March when they released their latest CD, Approaching Normal, there was one song that just blew me away. See, that's when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And I needed an anthem in a bad way. Because with the right soundtrack, I can deal with anything. They delivered. Jump Rope (lyrics below). It set my attitude. It reminded me on a daily basis that things suck, but I can deal with it. Make the choice to deal. The end. No moping, no pity party. Well, maybe a pity party here or there. But they had to be short.
And that's when I decided if they EVER came close to B'ham, I was going.
So I'm going.
To Atlanta, GA. On April 7, a friend and I are going for a girl's night out. Tickets purchased, hotel booked. It's something fun to look forward to - and it came at the perfect time!
Here is a link to the song on Youtube...
Remember how you used to say
You couldn't wait till tomorrow for a brand new day?
And no fuss when you had to ride the bus
You just add a little blush
To paralyze your school crush
Now you're older and the weight is on your shoulder
Make the world a little colder
No more hiding in the old day
Don't you give up hope
It will get hard
Life's like a jump rope
Up, downUp, downUp, downUp, down, yeah
'Cause it will get hard
Remember life's like a jump rope
Up, downUp, downUp, downUp, down, yeah
It will get hard
'Cause it will get hard
There'll be a bump and there will be a bruise
There'll be alarms and there will be a snooze
There'll be a path that you will have to choose
There'll be a win and there will be a lose and
You gotta hold your head up high and
Watch all the negative go by
Don't ever be ashamed to cry
You go ahead
'Cause life's like a jump rope
I want to tell you that everything will be okay
That everything will eventually turn itself to gold
So keep pushing through it all
Don't follow, lead the way
Don't lose yourself or your hope
'Cause life's like a jump rope
You stomp your feet so hard you make it pound
Raise the bottom to the top
And now we're never coming down
Up, down, stomp your feet spin around
Clap hands to the rhythm
Then you slip down
Friday, January 29, 2010
The desktop needs to stay in the office. Many reasons - it's hooked to the printer and my Cricut. Plus I need an office space where I can close the door. So, I will be getting a keyed lock for that door. Guess who will have the key?
The laptop. I have a corner of the living room that is unused. It's a little area by the stairs - completely unfunctional space. I'm going to get a little mission style desk that he can use for homework and put the laptop there. I can look over his shoulder at any time.
I know kids are curious, but there is TOO much he doesn't need to see yet!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Last night E was in his room - it was way past bedtime and I wanted to make sure he was in bed. We had a lot to do this morning, and I didn't want him any grumpier than he had to be. So, I went in to check on him. I opened his door quietly because I honestly thought he might be asleep. Well, I caught him off guard. He had my laptop in his room and had the earphones on. When he saw me, his eyes bugged out and one hand immediately went to the power button while the other hand tried to close the screen down. I immediately went into 'interrogator mom' mode. "What are you looking at?" He was caught so off guard, he couldn't even lie. "Boobs - I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry!" and on and on it went. When he finaly calmed down I explained the best way I could. "E, it's only natural that you are curious, but there are viruses on those websites and I need this computer for work."
I mean, really, I don't want him to think he's a freak for being curious. But I don't want him surfing the net for it either because the net holds a lot more than boobs. Where did the good old days go when boys would innocently find their dad's porn stash, or their mom's Victoria's Secret catalog???