And be sure to check out Tracey's review blog so your kid can get this excited on a regular old weekday too. Who knows? You might even win the cool Squeeballs Nintendo DS game giveaway she's doing right this very minute. You know, if you want to ruin Jacob's day and keep me from winning it.
We had one too. Last Friday. In Houston. It was cold. The Christmas party I'd been looking forward to for months was cancelled. Schools dismissed early. Milk and bread flew off the supermarket shelves. The local networks ran a constant feed of breaking snow news all morning.
If you look very closely, you'll see my boys through the near white-out conditions. This was at it's very worst.
Seriously, though, Houston got some snow last week. Twice I looked out the window and saw huge falling snowflakes, I think you Yankees call them "flurries". Places west and north of us got a little accumulation too. We. Did not. Too close to the coast, I guess. Too warm for anything to stick. We. Were very disappointed.
I used to live up north. I twice missed school the entire month of February due to snow and ice and then some ice and snow. One year I drove home for Christmas across the southern part of Virginia through the Appalachians with the radio announcers telling me if I didn't have anywhere to be not to venture out. My car spun five circles that day. I made it home though. I still don't know how. Dear Mr. Channel 2 Guy, what I witnessed THAT day was a white-out. There was no white out here, but thanks for staying positive.
I chuckle a little when I watch Texas prepare for snow. It's sweet, actually. When I was a northerner I took for granted every year that it would snow. I knew we'd get a day off eventually. Non-sticking flurries were old hat. Accumulation meant shoveling and the thought of driving anywhere in that would evoke grumbles from all around. Here in Texas, EVERYONE gets excited for snow. Any snow. Or even sleet for that matter. It just so rarely happens.
Yes. We were disappointed to have no tiny snowman. No weak snowballs. But we revelled in our ten minutes of flurries. Because that's all we could get.
I'm thinking of all you blizzard survivors today. Been there, done that. Just not in a very long time so I am quite jealous. Be safe. Stay warm. Enjoy your piles of snow for me.
And I'll enjoy my 65 degrees and sunshine for you.
*Read quickly because I'll be erasing this soon. My kid knows how to log on and access my blog. And he can read, dammit.*
Before we started a family, Derick and I discussed how we'd do holidays. Basically, all the holidays would be spent with my family since his family doesn't really care and we would not insult the intelligence of our children by introducing them to imaginary figures such as The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. I mean, what decent parent LIES to their child?
That was before we passed St. Nicholas in the mall with our eight month old baby. That colicky, unhappy baby who lit right up seeing him sitting there all ho, ho, ho jolly and stuff.
So we figured, eh, he's little, we can do it this year.
And then we remembered my sister's kids, well, they also loved Santa so we kept it up, you know, to keep peace and harmony in the family.
And then the second child came and, well, how unfair would that be to let the oldest one enjoy Santa and not the youngest one, I mean, we are all about the fairness.
And the third one came, and although Santa's lap is quite full, we couldn't deny her either so here we are. For a family that wasn't going to do Santa, we sure have done up the Santa. And the Easter Bunny too, but that's an entirely different story.
But. The kids get older. And smarter. And they start to listen more. And then Mommy starts to panic.
So Jacob goes to a Christian school and most of the families there have chosen as we once did not to celebrate the secular themes of the holiday and instead focus on the true meaning of the season. There's a reason for the season? Really? I kid, I kid.
Anyway, these kids are starting to talk. In the past month, my son, my tiny baby son, has come home feeling so very sorry for three different boys who say they do not believe and he fears they will wake up with nothing on Christmas morning. He wants to buy them some Legos so they'll have something under the tree. Isn't that sweet?
While walking through the Wally World last week, one nasty old bitty had the loudest phone conversation about whether or not the person on the other end of the line should tell her child THERE IS NO SANTA. I bumped her a little with my cart. Did I mention I HATE listening to others talking on the phone. Go home. Talk there. Bah.
And now Target has this stupid ass commercial on all day where the dad gets upset at the mom when she unwraps her big screen tv and goes on and on incessantly about Santa not realizing there's a recession and Mom tells him that Santa knows how to shop.
Um, yeah. My kid. He gets innuendo. Who'd a thunk?
I see him standing there watching it. I see the gears moving in his head. I watch him stop what he's doing to catch again fifteen minutes later. The gears....still moving.
Why do that Target? Everytime I see it, the less I like you.
My kid. He doesn't ask any questions. I think he already knows the answers. It's sad really.
Sometimes I regret our decision to just go with it.
Then I see the delight in their faces when they see Santa every year.
And clear a path away from the fireplace.
And leave cookies and reindeer food and, for the past two years, a gift, bought with his own money because Santa needs a present too. FYI: Santa's getting a Lego Santa keychain. For the sleigh keys. Or the workshop. Whichever.
Santa will bring everything my kids have asked for this year. Even the very expensive Lego set he can't really afford. We're going to do it up this year. And we're going to enjoy every minute while we can.
If you find yourself in a salon and you notice your stylist smells a tad bit like stale beer and a funny kind of smoke and if she happens to say "I think I did it right?" when giving what should be the world's easiest hair cut....
Run. Take the hair cover smocky thingie with you if you must.
After falling asleep watching Toy Story 2 for the five thousandth twentieth time, I woke up just in time to find we needed to get in the car QUICK to pick up Jacob. Thank you Elizabeth for writing on my face with the blue ball point pen or I might still be lying there.
By the time I strapped my two diaper/underwear clad preschoolers into their safety seats, I was already ten minutes late. The light at the middle school up the street put me behind another five. Dang kids wanting to GO HOME by CROSSING THE STREET!
When I pulled into the school I was already late enough to have to wait for every. single. highschooler to cross the driveway or just stand their gabbing while I wait-wait-waited and I swear I never thought about plowing them down inching into them little by little to MAYBE get them to mosey out of the fricking street.
As I finally pulled around the back of the building where my child should have been seething waiting, he wasn't there. I quickly scanned through the eight kids left sitting and he was nowhere to be found. I pulled my car up to see if he was sitting behind a pole. Wasn't there either. The duty teacher came over panic-stricken and asked if Jacob had rode home with a friend by mistake. I proceeded to flip out and wonder out loud, DID YA'LL JUST PUT MY KID IN SOMEONE ELSE'S CAR? And my heart started to pound through my ears and that Frito chili pie I had for lunch started moving on up.
So I parked my car, released my almost naked children, and headed for the building, or the office, or the classroom, or who knows where I was going? My kid was MISSING!
And as I blew past that duty teacher, she just happened to say, "Could he be in a help class?"
And then it dawned on me.
I signed my kid, that one I was so worried about, the one I apparently remember nothing about, up for the after-school algebra (seriously, algebra, in third grade!) help class his teacher offered in a note the night before.
I wasn't late. He was late. And now I was early. So. Very. Early. Standing like a crazy person with two almost-naked children out in the kinda-sorta-you might say it's chilly weather. With blue pen marks on my face.
And I wonder why some of those mothers make fun of me.
I had planned to take pictures of the entire cooking process but my MIL was pretty much all over me the entire time and since she called and told everyone back home how I took photos of my finished meals making me sound like a complete doofus you're all lucky to get this one.
But I really wanted Sherry to see what Tall Corn Pork Chili (a.k.a Iowa Chili) looks like.
I'll post this recipe, and all other chili recipes, on my recipe blog. You can find it here.
This chili was a hit with everyone at the table* except me. I couldn't even finish the bowl. The chili had pork, which I love, but also corn. Lots of corn. While I LOVE corn on the cob and completely separate as a side dish on a plate, I DO NOT like corn in my soups or chilis. I don't know why, I just don't like it that way. Everyone else, though, thought it was awesome and my MIL took the recipe home with her.
Next up, after Thanksgiving: Wisconsin Green Bay Chili for Kelly.
*And by everyone at the table I mean everyone except Adam and Elizabeth who pretty much exist only on yogurt and very rarely eat an offered meal.
I am glad to say she no longer smokes which has really, really made her stay a tad more bearable. But. She's my mother-in-law. She doesn't like me. She tolerates the children. And quite honestly, it's a little like living with my grandmother. When she was 90. And sort of senile.
She does things like leave her fifteen or so non-childproof lidded medicines all over the house. She tries to let my INSIDE cat out. She takes Elizabeth outside and then comes in without her. She hovers over me while I cook, tastes my creations without being offered, and then puts the spoon back into the pot. Yum. She takes my wet laundry out of the washer and piles it in a basket so she can push hers through (now I see where her son gets it). She barges in my room when the door is closed demanding things...pencils, soup, toothpaste, and now this very time, rubberbands.
She also uses every. single. bathroom. in our house. Now, I set her all up in the main upstairs bathroom when she arrived and pretty much made it clear that, hey now, this is where YOU do your business. WE. Will use the other THREE bathrooms. Why yes, I am a wonderful hostess for assuring your absolute privacy during your stay.
One day this week she walked in on poor Adam and demanded to know if he was done yet. He now calls her Stinky. The boy does love his privacy.
She walked into our master bath right past me Farkling on the Facebook last night in bed. I'm guessing I should have said something, but she's done this before and I figured my husband would just get mad if I said anything to her, so I let it go. I mean, it's weird, but harmless, right? RIGHT?
This morning my husband was taking a shower in our master bathroom. I was lying in bed twittering and Facebooking and generally hiding out from HER, when she came shuffling right into the bedroom. Our bathroom does not lock as it has two push doors that rate a ten in attractiveness, yet two on functionability. I mean, I have three kids. I WANT my bathroom to lock, but I digress. It will never lock and I want to finish my story.
So, anyway, where was I?
Oh, SHE came shuffling into my bedroom and I knew where she was heading so I kindly told her that, "Um, Derick's in the shower right now. You can't go in there." to which she replied, not even looking at me, "I won't look at him". And I'm guessing at that point I should've gotten up and led her out of the room or something but I was just so completely dumbfounded I just sat there. And then she did it. She opened both doors and waltzed right into that bathroom while my husband was naked and whistling.
And then he was screaming.
But you know what? She didn't leave. She went into the separate toilet room to do her business and then walked right back out completely oblivious to all the four letter words coming out of her son's mouth directed right at her.
And I. I had to pull the covers up over my head because I could not stop laughing. In fact, when I think about it now, four hours later, I laugh some more, because Oh. My. Gawd. It was just that funny.
Awww...What happened to my sweet little baby girl?
She's been overtaken by demons or aliens, that's what has happened.
Elizabeth is two and a half now. She hit them a little late, but the terrible twos, oh my dear Lord, the terrible twos are soooo terrible!
Yesterday I ran into the store to pick up only some sour cream and it was a full out fit from the time I loaded her into the car until she conked out in the pick-up line at Jacob's school. I'm still waiting on the CPS to arrive as the man behind me assured me he'd be calling them because, obviously, he's never had any children.
Today, I so stupidly took my three little devils angels to get their pictures taken. Christmas pictures. In the most beautiful little Christmas outfits. In front of the sweetest little Christmas background just so I can show every one I know just how gorgeous my children are we can spread lots of Christmas cheer this year.
You know it's bad when the nice photographer lady refers to them as hellions.
Oh, the boys were pretty good, I got a couple of nice shots of THEM together. She even asked if maybe I wanted to send a card out with just the boys. *sigh*
Elizabeth = Birth Control
She would not sit, she would not stand, she would not smile.
And then she threw a fit. The holy mother of all fits.
In front of the eye-rolling lady who swooped in and took my 10 a.m. appointment and then still hadn't chosen her pictures during our FORTY-FIVE minute appointment making us stand and wait with our screaming child that. much. longer.
I mean, really, an hour to choose your pictures? How hard can that be.
That was three hours ago. I am still shaking.
But at least I have some lovely Christmas cards of my boys.
And my boys and my MIL. The MIL who so elegantly wore her PAJAMAS to the photo shoot even after we bought her a new outfit to wear for them.
Just drop me an email with your home address if you'd like one in your mailbox this year.
Because, there ain't no way in hell I'm attempting this again.
I have so much I want to write and so little time to write it. I considered doing NaBloPoMo, but I KNEW I'd NEVER be able to keep up with it, so I'll just touch on some of it in a condensed post.
*Jacob has really matured this year. We're still dealing with anger issues and that whole meds-wore-off business at the end of the day, but at school he's stellar. Last night was the third grade musical (I made it this time!). It was nice and he did well, but I was more impressed with the new boy who approached me at the end to introduce himself and tell me how glad he was that Jacob was his friend. Last year, his friends hid from him because they didn't want the others to know they were friends. This year, at least five kids made an effort to tell Jacob good-bye or give him a high five and one made plans to meet early today to discuss all things Mario. You know I cried on the ride home. I credit his teacher. She has really boosted his confidence and just boosted him to all those around him. She's making him cool. I love her.
*My MIL arrives on Sunday. Time to get out the Febreeze. I think God has a sense of humor because Hurricane Ida is heading our way also. And don't forget all the swine flu she's bound to come in contact with on her three day train ride. My husband came home with a large bottle of scotch. Enough said. (You can read my past MIL experiences in November 2008 and 2007. Please pray for me)
*My friend is doing okay. She's getting things together and figuring out the next steps. Last night she logged into her husband's computer and found a ton of pictures of him and the boys from a few days before his death and it hit her hard. I want to fly up RIGHT NOW and be there with her, but as she only got three days bereavement leave she had to use the rest of her vacation time and she wants me to wait until she's accrued some more to fly up. I'm just trying to do what I can through the phone and computer. If anyone has any suggestions on what else I can do, pass it my way, because I feel like a useless friend just sitting here.
*I'm having a jewelry party. I hate those things, but my friend is just starting out as a consultant and I wanted to help her out. I am pretty put out, though, at all those "friends" I bought Pampered Chef, Discovery Toys, USborne Books, Stamping Up, Longaberger, Homemade Gourmet, Tastefully Simple, Premier Jewelry, Tupperware, and Creative Memories from who won't even respond to me. So far...no sales whatsoever. Thank you fake party friends.
*This is how Elizabeth entertains herself these days:
*Christmas is 49 days away. Any suggestions on a "big" girl gift? I am lost on the whole girly thing. Once I find it, I'll be done with my kid shopping. Of course, my boys changed their lists now, but, oh well. They're just going to have to take what they get.
Do you know what it's like to have another mother tell your kid he's too weird to play with her kid?
Do you know what it's like to have another mother yell at your kid because he "just won't shut up"?
Do you know what it's like to be asked to leave Gymboree because the other mothers are "scared" of your kid?
Do you know what it's like for your kid to be kicked out of Mother's Day Out because the teachers "just can't handle him"?
Do you know what it's like to lose "friends" because they no longer want their child exposed to your "weird" child?
Do you know what it's like to have adults laugh at your kid?
Well, I do. And it's not fun.
But today was full of the fun. I turned around and looked at some of those mothers while doing a little dance when my son was called up to accept his award for second-highest average in his class this grading period. After missing it by a point the past two years, he finally made it.
I've always known Jacob was smart. Now the rest of them know it too.
I love chili. Love, love, love chili. If I go out somewhere and they offer it, I'll usually order it, at least a small cup just to try it. There are some I like more than others, but really, all chili is good.
Ten years ago when I had tons of extra throw away income I joined a cook book club. I had to buy SIX in a year, but I got, like, eight free. Most of those I've given away or sold in garage sales, but I still have my very dog-eared copy of Chili Nation. . Chili Nation has a chili recipe representing each of the 50 states.
I haven't opened it in a while, preferring to find my chili recipes online, but when I unpacked it from a long lost box a few weeks ago I got to thinking. In all these years I've had that book, I've only used three of the recipes. Three? How can it be? So I decided then and there that I was going to try every. single. recipe* in that book. I was going to make chili once a week, but my husband, he doesn't like chili as much as I do. So, I'm just going to wing it and make chili when it sounds good.
Two weeks ago was one of those times.
I made the Arkansas chili because I was craving McClards BBQ and that recipe was a copycat on the Tamale-BBQ spread that is so absolutely fabulous.
Mmmmm. McClards. There's nothing else like it, but it takes nine hours to get there. Seriously. If you ever find yourself driving through Hot Springs, Arkansas. You MUST stop there. You won't be sorry.
Anyway. A couple weeks ago I set about making the Hot Springs Chili-Tamale Spread. The recipe called for homemade tamales and I was like, BWAHAHAHA! I live in TEXAS. There's plenty of tamale trucks and authentic Mexican grandmas who KNOW how it's done. And, low and behold, HEB had fresh ones on sale that week. So there ya go.
So I had my tamales. Check. Then I needed to make the chili.
After the chili was done, 45ish minutes later, I made the spread.
I spread the tamales in a row in a casserole dish and covered them with the chili. I then topped that with a ton of shredded Cheddar and chopped green onions. Then I baked that for 20 minutes and then served each portion with a huge helping of corn chips. Just like McClards. Mmmmm....McClards.
But. I have no pictures of my actual very beautiful Chili-Tamale Spread. Because as soon as it came out of the oven my husband cut into it and it was pretty much completely devoured in a half hour. Nothing left. Nothing.
It wasn't McClards, but it was good. Oh, it was good.
So, Chili Experiment State One, ARKANSAS, was a four thumbs up. Adam gave it a thumbs down, but Adam eats only sliced ham and yogurt without a fight, so he's not a good judge.
If you want the recipe, let me know and I'll add it in a separate post.
Tonight I'm taking my chili journey to OHIO. Cincinnati Chili. Mmmmmm.
If there's a state you want me to try, leave a comment. *The only states I refuse to make are Colorado (venison, no access to that) and Maryland (crab! Ewwww.)
Why do I keep going there? Oh sure, they have double and triple coupons and sometimes I can come home with some free food, but is it really worth the hassle that I get every. single. time I go there?
I'm starting to think that's a no.
I am on a grocery budget and I follow it carefully. I buy what is on sale and we go from there. It makes life interesting because the kids never know what kind of snacks they're going to receive and Jacob rarely takes the same lunch twice.
Although I am not allowed to grocery shop until October 15th, I went today anyway because Kroger had some produce on sale and I needed two cans of beans to make some chili. I figured I could use my birthday cash and get out of there under thirty bucks. It was more like fifty bucks and I stuck to my list. It wasn't until I returned home that I realized all that produce I thought I was getting at the sale price, was priced wrong. All of it. My 87 cent red leaf lettuce was $2.49. My 99 cent green beans were $2.49 a pound, 4 buck for those beans. My 88 cent apples were $1.49. And my $1.77 strawberries were $2.99. That. Is just unexceptable.
I know you're wondering how I missed all that. Well, Kroger has some weird wonky computer check out system where the item rings up at full price but then it subtracts the amount you should save. It is extremely frustrating trying to do all that double and triple digit math in my head while the checker is scanning fast enough to beat Mach 1. And? I had two cart diving kids with me. And I had to bag my own groceries. So, yeah, I missed that intentional error blunder.
I swear, I've gone to Kroger since we moved here, although rarely more than once a month just for this reason. I even go to a different Kroger now that we've moved and it's the same damn thing. I admit I've gotten sucked in to their coupon/sale deals, but I don't think I can do it anymore. I mean, it's now pouring down the rain outside and I need to drive all the way back to that place, take my kids out of the car, drop them into another swine flu laden cart, and attempt to get my bill fixed. I've done this before. They usually fight with me. Or give me a load of shit for not catching it while I was in the store to which I say....UM...isn't it Kroger's job to get the prices right?
My guess? They misprice the things on purpose. Most people don't go through their receipt with a fine tooth comb like I do. I've even been in the check out and pointed out to people in front of me that their items are ringing wrong and they just don't care. Must be nice for those people, but I don't have hundreds of bucks available to just throw away once a week. I think the stupid computer is part of their plan and the fast checkers are taught to go that quickly so you can't catch the mistakes.
I love HEB. The checkers aren't running a race. Their computer shows only the price they are going to charge you. I have never, NEVER, had anything ring up wrong there.
Sorry, Kroger. I know some people think you're the best grocery store ever, but I've given you a butt load of chances and you're just not doing it for me. Maybe you're meant to be with someone else. I just can't continue feeling this way every time we get together. I tried, really I did. But it's time for me to move on and commit to HEB. Yes, I'll miss those 49 cent Vitamin Water weeks and it will be hard to live without my Big K Vanilla Cola, but I can do it. I HAVE to do it. Not only for me, but for my budget. And my sanity.
Thank you for being a good husband to my best friend and an even better father to your children. You are loved and missed.
Richard E. Robinson, 40, of Fairmont, formerly of Charleston, passed away on October 4, 2009, the result of a motorcycle accident. He was a regional sales manager for Chick Packaging and a graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School.
Rich's goal in life was to bring joy to others; in doing so he was rewarded by the pleasure of helping those around him. Rich had a wonderful spirit for living and always saw positive opportunities under every circumstance. Rich's laughter was contagious.
Rich's true love in life was his wife, Jennifer, and their children. Jennifer helped him appreciate life to the fullest and to become a better person. His best friends were his sons, Nathan and William, who looked up to their dad as being their “hero.”
He was preceded in death by both parents, Richard and Orma Robinson; and his son, Jack.
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Robinson of Fairmont; two sons, Nathan and William; and sister, Susanne Cole, her husband, Steve, and their daughter, Sydney, of Pittsburgh, Pa. Also surviving him are his mother- and father-in-law, Nelson and Joyce Jennings of New Martinsville.
Memorial service will be 1 p.m. Thursday, October 8, at Barlow-Bonsall Funeral Home.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Thursday.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Richard Robinson Memorial Fund for his two children, c/o Jennifer Robinson, P.O. Box 3220, Clarksburg, WV 26302.
I think the universe is trying to tell me something.
Yesterday as I sat down to type the my-husband-does-me-wrong-when-did-I-become-a-single-parent? post, an email came up from my good WV friend. I'm always happy to get an email from her, so I clicked to read what antics her crazy kids are into and instead read that her husband had been killed in a motorcycle accident the night before. She was sorry for telling me in an email, but she was worn out from the calling. And the crying. And then I cried. Most of the day.
My friend was single for a long time, thought she'd be alone forever until she stopped in a restaurant for dinner on the way home from work one day and her future husband saw her sitting alone and offered to keep her company. They were married a year later. When I called to tell her I was pregnant with Adam, she came back with her own news...she was too. In fact our due dates were the same. I was so excited when I saw the caller ID the week after Adam's birth waiting to hear all about Baby Jack but I threw up when she told me instead how he'd been stillborn. Her husband really took care of her during all that even though he was just as distraught. They went on to have two sons who are now three and six months. Their oldest is a self-proclaimed Daddy's boy. Telling him was the hardest part, she said. Now she can be strong and make arrangements and do all that needs to be done. That. Is just how my friend rolls. I know she is sad, devastated even, but she's a rock I tell ya. Those boys are so lucky to have her.
Her husband was lucky to have her too. And vice versa.
I am so, so, sad she's dealing with this. I mean, my goodness, can't she catch a break? Isn't it bad enough her son is dead?
I tell myself that now Jack has his dad and that's a good thing. But now that Daddy's boy is going to have to learn to be Mama's boy and that is a very sad thing.
I don't get it. Just yesterday some angry husband stabbed his wife twentyish times in a fancy neighborhood across town. My friend's husband is in a box. Why does that horrible husband get to go on surviving while a good one doesn't?
The last time I visited them he took me down to his garage to show me his other "baby". That motorcycle. That stupid, disgusting motorcycle. The last thing I said to him in person: "You're going to die on that thing! Why don't you take up fishing instead? HAHAHAHA" And everyone thought I was super funny.
It's not so funny now.
At the end of my friend's email was this: "I know Derick makes you mad. It's okay to be mad, but PLEASE, for me, tell him you love him every day and try to let go of the small stuff. Do stuff together. Enjoy each other and your family. You just never know what will happen tomorrow."
I pass that on to all of you, because I know she'd want everyone to do the same.
I wondered last night, in the middle of another insomnia episode, how I ever kept up with this blog. I remember posting at least four times a week. I look over at my side bar and I see I'm lucky to get four times a month now. Why is that? The third child? The bigger house? The four-trips-a-day trek to school? Have I just run out of things to write about? Bwaahhaaa. No. I have plenty to write about. I just have no time or real motivation to sit down and take an hour out of my day to churn it out. I hate to say it Blogger, but Facebook usually wins the computer wars around my lap-top these days. I mean, there is Bejeweled there. And Farkle. And no real need to find something interesting to say all the time. And if I'm not on Facebook, I'm on Twitter. I never really got Twitter, until, well, last week when many of the Guiding Light actors decided to play out their characters there. I'm still sad at 2:00, but it's better than nothing. And I know you're totally snickering about that, but I don't care, because now I know that Lizzie had a boy and Josh and Reva are still happy, so THERE.
I do have half posts all over my draft file, but until then, maybe some bullets about what's happening will suffice. You know, if I knew how to make my computer make bullets.
*Jacob is doing well in school. His teacher is awesome and she really motivates him to behave and learn. Only one demerit all year long. This from the kid who previously got at least one per day.
*The bullies seem to have slacked off some. I've only heard a couple complaints about them on the playground and the teacher quickly dealt with them. Of course now, he's being bullied by A PARENT. Yes, you read that right, a parent as in ANADULT. If you've read me for a while you read about my dealings with Big Hummer Mama. Well, it's come to my attention, that although Big Hummer Mama (who shall now be known as Big Mercedes Mama)and her kid have not been in the same class since first grade, she has still felt the need to belittle and berate my child to pretty much every other Mama in that grade. This will be getting it's own post soon. It's been very hard to write because it just really pisses me off. I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle this without likely being kicked out of school (at least this year because he is THRIVING) because Big Mercedes Mama is the rich Queen Bee who is keeping that school in new high school buildings and football fields.
*We were exposed to Swine Flu on Sunday. I'm a little pissed off about that too. Mom was already sick but Dad took the kids to the same birthday party we attended. Kids were sick the next day. They all seem to be doing allright, no complications, but how can I be sure it would be the same for my kids? This is the third day. Supposedly we'll get it by Friday if we're going to get it. I'll let you know. Loudly.
*Elizabeth sleeps in her crib. Since March. She's the only one of my kids to ever do so. Putting a clean sheet on the mattress is pretty hard. I guess I'm glad I haven't had to do it until now.
*The Fresh Beat Band really, really, really gets on my nerves. Can we just have one sing-dance-hip-hop-nerdy-cool teenager show? I want my Blue's Clues. And the old Noggin. I may seriously move to Disney Channel, Nickelodeon
*I am now 41 years old. This doesn't really bother me. But I am already freaked out about being 42 next year because I remember when my high school friend's mom got pregnant at 42 and we were all like, EWWWW.....she's 42!
*For my birthday, my husband bought me a new cell phone. It is capable of taking pictures and connecting to Facebook. But I can't use those things because that wold cost extra money. So I pretty much have a new phone that does nothing but take calls and it will probably take me until next year to figure it out. At which time he'll likely by me another one, because this is what he does. He did buy the watch I'd been wanting, but I had to pull the website up on the computer and get it out of the mailbox all after my birthday, but hey, I got the watch I wanted.
*I am not allowed to spend money until after October 15 because after paying all the recent medical bills we are broke, broke, broke. This will be okay, though, because someone in Minneapolis hacked my credit card account and charged themselves and ton of plane tickets and my card was cancelled. I won't get another one until, oh, October 15.
*Remember when I took Elizabeth to the ER? In total, not counting that $150 co-pay, we owe very close to a thousand bucks for that. And the doctor did nothing more than look at her, poke around on her belly, and then tell us to watch her for signs of internal bleeding. I fully intend to show that bill to our pediatrician when we go in for flu shots since she insisted when I called that day that she needed to be in the ER that there was nothing they could do for her at the office, but since she also works at that hospital I'm sure she knew the rule about not giving x-rays and cat scans to tiny children. Grrr...pissed. I am happy, though, that there was nothing wrong because if you'd seen that drawer jabbing in her belly you'd have freaked out too. It will have to be very, very serious for me to ever walk into the ER with any of my kids again. And that is so very sad, because one day we may need it and we won't be able to use it. We just can't afford it. Gawd. I hope we don't get the swine flu.
*My husband has not eaten a weekday meal with us for almost a year. Now it's been weeks since he's been here for bathtime and he misses a few bedtimes too. It's getting old.
*Laura died four years ago September 22 and I totally missed it. That's the first time I've missed it. It's really sad that we're getting used to it. Seems wrong.
I was going to write a post about my hard and stressful life. How I have essentially become a single mom caring for three energetic children from sun-up until sun-down due to my husband's extremely long work hours. Oh, the boo-hoo fest.
I know you'll all think I'm a bit loony when I tell you that I've spent the better part of September in mourning. No, no one has passed. No one is ill. My husband isn't leaving me yet. I am in mourning for Guiding Light. Guiding Light the television show. . If you happen to see me around 3:00 each weekday afternoon, you'll probably find me crying. Over a television show.
See, CBS has decided it's in their best interest to cancel the show I have adored for over thirty years to replace it with a remake of Let's Make a Deal. Hey, I LOVE Let's Make a Deal too, but on Game Show Network with Monty Hall and all that retro 70's stuff, not at 2:00 in place of The Lewises, Spauldings, and Coopers.
I started watching Guiding Light around 1981, I was in the sixth grade I think. Don't try to do the math it will hurt you. And scare you. For my 41st birthday, I'm having my favorite show cancelled. Good times. Anyway, I spent many nights that summer with a friend who along with her mother were addicted to the show. Having no other option, but to sit and watch with them, I began liking the show as well. The first story line I saw was two high school couples going to the prom, and being 12ish and just beginning to like boys and school dances just on my horizon, I was hooked. Oh, Phillip....how I loved you.
For the longest time, I was going to name my children Hart and India because I'd heard them on the show. Can you imagine?
My grandmother lived with us at that time and I was never home when she was watching her show of choice, Days of Our Lives, but I made it home just in time every day to see Guiding Light. She started watching it with me. My mom laughed at us. Eventually, though, she watched it too. My Granny died in 1982. I was out of school for a week watching it by myself.
We moved to West Virginia in 1984. We left everything and everyone behind. For a month I knew no one, but Reva and Josh kept me company until some future friends knocked on my door.
I frequently skipped my last period class to sit in my boyfriend's basement to watch the show. He thought we were going there to make out before his mom got home. HA. Got that boyfriend hooked on it too. When we reconnected as friends five years later, we did it over show recaps over the phone.
I never scheduled a college course at 3:00. On Fridays, I'd watch before beginning another drunken weekend. My roommate would always sit and watch while waiting for me. She died in 1999 right before I got married. I hadn't talked to her in a few years. I wonder if she was still watching.
When I taught, I'd get home just in time to catch the last half hour. Those last six months I worked, I'd come home and head straight to the recliner with my hand on my belly the entire time. My son seemed to like it too.
Maybe he missed it when he spent a month in the NICU. I didn't though, because watching it every day before I made the second drive of the day for the evening shift of force-feeding/staring in awe/professing all my love to my pitiful looking newborn, helped me through the longest time of my life.
For the past eightish years, Guiding Light has seen me through colic, teething, defiance, the terrible twos and threes and fours, sleepless nights (thank you, Tivo), a nasty neighborhood, and MIL visits. I was watching when they called about my mom's heart attack and I was glued to the screen while I was left alone in that waiting room while she had her surgery.
I don't know what I'll do every day without my Springfield family. I'm so very sad. Over a television show.
I still look for my childhood friend on Facebook now and then and wonder if she still watches. Watched. I'd like to thank her for introducing me to my favorite daily weekly pleasure.
So Jacob starts his fourth week of school today while Adam starts his second. I still feel like I was cheated out of half of my summer, but what can you do?
Jacob seems to be really enjoying the third grade (just typing third grade hurts my heart, HOW is he in third grade?) His first weekly report was so positive with phrases like, "I love him already" and "He's such a good listener" and even "eager to learn" that I had to look up at the name on it three times to make sure he brought the right one home. Eighteen days of school and no demerits. He's like a new child. He still sees his bullies on the playground and they've recruited some new blood, but he's learning how to ignore them and it's kind of helping. He doesn't seem to be too put out about it. Yet. His urge to be homeschooled was squashed completely when his teacher broke out the science experiments and daily art lesson.
Adam didn't even want me to walk him into his classroom the second day. He's a big school boy now he tells me, he doesn't need his mama to walk him inside. Aside from the huge hole he drilled in my heart with that, I'm glad he likes it. I was sure he'd be lost without Elizabeth but I think they are both enjoying a little individuality for those three hours/three days a week. I explained to him last Thursday that his school week ended then and he wouldn't be going to school on Friday. He didn't like that. When I picked him up seems my good boy Adam got himself into a heap of time-outs. He was even pretty proud of himself for being the only kid to ever be in time-out. I was dumbfounded. My well-behaved boy had apparently sprouted horns over night and splashed others, threw trucks, and generally didn't follow many directions that day. After some discussion I found out that cute little boy thought Thursday was not only his last day of the school week, but his last day EVER. Because bible school was only one week, he guessed preschool was only one week too. And because he didn't want to let an opportunity pass him by, he figured he'd have as much fun as he possibly could because what's a little time-out if you're never going to see those teachers again.
I finally get one straightened out and now I have to start all over again.
Elizabeth was really lonely at first, but I think she's easing into her new morning normal.
Of course the morning walk/picnic always helps too.
I miss my boys, especially Adam since having him in school is so new, but I'd forgotten what it was like to have only one little one around. It's kinda nice.
My sweet little brown-eyed baby boy started preschool today.
I thought I'd cry, but I didn't. Poor middle child, he doesn't even get my Hallmark tears. I think I've just always known that Adam would thrive in school. He's a social butterfly and he just gets others in a way that Jacob never could. I'm sad he's going to be away from home three mornings a week, but I just know this will be a good experience for him. He's ready for it.
Of course, when I asked him about his day he said there was a kid in an orange shirt that wasn't nice to him so he was planning to "kick his butt" and his teacher's name is apparently Mrs. Puff. So......we're going to lay off the Spongebob this afternoon and review optional tactics for dealing with meanies.
A toy website called ebeanstalk has a group of child experts that help select great learning toys and toys for kids of all ages, from baby toys, toys for 1 year olds, toys for 2 year olds, etc. I recently received the Activity Bus from Plan Toys who makes green developmental toys.
Elizabeth likes buses. We have two Little People ones and a big plastic one we bought in Arkansas one year that used to live in the garage sale pile, but was rescued by my sweet Libby to add to her collection. She has also commandeered all of the Matchbox/Hot Wheels/cheap dollar store knock off buses as well. Sometimes, I might get lucky and hear her singing The Wheels on the Bus song while she's playing with them. She loves her buses.
So when I opened the package amidst my salivating children and saw a bus, I thought, DANG, a bus? We already have buses! I guess I'll have to run a giveaway on this here bus.
But don't think you might get a chance at this cute little bus. There's no way in the world Elizabeth is parting with this bus. You might be able to negotiate a deal with one of the others, but not this one. No sir.
I like this bus too. It's just....cute. It's constructed entirely of wood so it's pretty sturdy and it opens up allowing for easy access to the four removable seats, chalkboard, and two children. Sometimes the children ride in the bus, sometimes they sit in the pretend classroom outside of the bus and sometimes I step on them and it really, really hurts, but that would be the only downside I see to this toy.
Now I'm going to look to see if there is a school to go with the bus. Christmas is coming you know.
Who the hell thought it was a good idea to start school before Labor Day?
I don't get that. I don't like that. I'm entitled to three more weeks of summer.
It's 100 degrees out. I should be sleeping late. Not fair.
And my kid's not happy about it either.
It was really nice to have the break from the bullies this summer. Jacob was mostly pleasant these past two months. No doubt because he wasn't being scared on a daily basis. The past few days, though, have been a little stressful. There were a few tears. The uncertainty of all that would be third grade took it's toll.
We spent the last day of summer at the arcade and the cinema and, of course, Waffle House. We were rebels and skipping the open house. NO WAY were we spending the LAST DAY at SCHOOL! But then the lightning came as we were crossing the street to the pool and we didn't have anything better to do right then so we went. Begrudgingly we went. Dang. We weren't rebels after all.
I am glad we went.
Finding out he was in class with last year's best bud, first grade's best bud, and many of his kindergarten buds really eased his mind. That and seeing that two of his bullies are in different classes and the other doesn't even go to school there any longer made his day.
And the teacher seems really nice.
She looks nice. Right?
I feel a little better about it, too. A little.
I didn't want to take him to school today. I feel worse about it this year than I ever have. I know how bad it was. I know how bad it can still get. Also, I just like having my kid home with me all day. I liked knowing him during the day. In my heart I'm starting to feel like a homeschooling parent. I'm just a homeschooling parent who isn't allowed to home school her kids. This makes me sad.
I want those three weeks.
So my baby started third grade today.
I taught third grade. Those kids were big. I have a baby. How can this be?
I can't believe summer is almost over. School starts on Tuesday. Big. Fat. Bummer.
Where did the summer go? I had big plans. We were going to museums and the beach and I was going to SEW! And I was going to teach my kid to SEW! Ummm.....yeah. Well, we did go to the beach. Once.
What did we do all summer?
We swam. That's what we did all summer.
Every day that it didn't rain (only 3 days of rain) or we weren't out of town (about a week) we were at the pool. The pool right across the street. Man, I love having that pool across the street.
I was really good at keeping the kids and I slathered with sunscreen. We never had a sunburn. But it never dawned on me that I should probably keep their ears dry until I got a message from the people at EarBandIt. I hadn't even thought of ear plugs for my own kids, but when I was nine or ten, I remember having the WORST case of swimmer's ear EVER. I got it in early July that year and couldn't swim the rest of the summer because my ears hurt SO. FRICKING. BAD. The next summer I tried ear plugs, but they'd always fall out to the bottom of the pool and I could never find them and eventually my mom quit buying them.
So when EarBandIt offered to send ear plugs with head bands to keep them in place, I took them up on it because I figured better late than never.
And they even sent the right colors.
I really thought I'd get a fight from Jacob, he hates tags in shirts and his hair getting long so I thought something in his ears and over his head would send him over the edge. I was wrong, though. Jacob thinks the band makes him look cool and I think the ear plugs actually help his ADD by blocking out excess noise. He loves them.
Elizabeth kept hers in for a while, but eventually pulled the plugs out. Play-doh she told me. I never can keep the plugs in because all she wants to do is play with them. She does love the head band and I figure that keeps a little water out of her ears.
I gave Adam's plugs to my friend whose son has ear tubes and is required to wear them every time he's in the pool. He seemed okay with them that first day, but never would use them again. My friend's son, the one who has used plugs all his life, uses them without complaint. His mom really likes that they don't fall to the bottom of the pool and she doesn't have to buy anymore.
If your kid needs ear plugs to swim, these are a good product. They keep the plugs in the ears and the band even helps keep the sun off their ears, one place I always forget to slather.
I can't believe I have only two more days with my ear-banded, coconut-smelling boy. It's 100 degrees out. Who thought starting school in August was a good idea?
Remember when I got the duvet cover? The 75% off duvet cover that I'd been coveting for months? Two and a half years later and I still love that duvet cover, which will now be known as the comforter because, well, because I hate the words: duvet cover.
I like my comforter. I don't want a different one. I matched my bathroom to it. I've looked at other comforters, you know, maybe since we've moved I might want a new one, but no. I only like this one.
I love that comforter.
I also love Adam.
But I was very close to selling Adam on Craig's List yesterday afternoon after I saw this. Anyone in need of an in-house artist? He also does wall murals. Typically in the nude.
As if I haven't had enough of that damn Spongebob this summer, now I can keep him forever enshrined in my bedroom lest they ever cancel that wretched show and I should happen to *gasp* forget about him.
Because no. It won't come out.
For the record, I adore Spongebob like this:
On my linens, not so much.
When I attempt to clean or cook, things like this happen. For my birthday, I want a maid. Or *sigh* a new comforter. And maybe an art tutor for my obviously artistic, creative, seemingly paper-deprived children.
I do realize it's Tuesday. I tried all day to find a name picker doo-dad-a-mathing to choose the winner on Monday. Well, all day when I wasn't scrubbing my bathroom walls after my middle child covered every inch with very greasy, hard-to-remove bath crayons. The boys now have a pink toilet. Sweet justice, I think.
I didn't get any pictures of that. I was too stunned to use the camera.
I was too lazy to get the camera to catch Bethy choosing the winner also. In fact, we are all still lazing in the big bed enjoying seeing Diego again. We've missed him. That dang Spongebob. But I assure you, she was completely fair. And now if I don't get up and make that baby some breakfast she will eat all your names. Hmmm....that might've been a good way to pick the winner.
Amie: Send me your email again and I'll forward it to Jennifer at Jump Start and she'll get you all set up.
If you didn't win and still want to check it out....Go here.
All my life I thought I'd be the perfect mother. I even majored in it. I aced all the child development classes I took toward my degree in, wait for it, Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education.
And then they were born. First Jacob, who is 8, then Adam, who is 4, and our biggest surprise, Elizabeth who is 2.
As much as I really wanted to be, I am finding out I am no June Cleaver. For starters, The Beav never had a baby sister.