Feb 23, 2009

What?? I can't hear you.

I have been sick since Monday.

Last Monday.

That seems like an eternity to me.

It started with typical cold symptoms, runny nose, fever, aches. By Wednesday I knew I had an ear infection. I called at 8:01am Wednesday morning to get in to get checked out and she has two appointments that week. One is at the exact time I have to be at my son's school to pick him up, the other is Saturday. At that time I scoff Saturday, I just *know* I will be better by then, or I will just go to Urgent Care.

I take it as easy as I can the next few days, which of course is not easy at all. On Friday I tell myself I *will not* leave the house under any circumstance, except to take Austin to and from school... and then fate intervenes. An angel from heaven swoops down in the form of a tax refund. The tax refund I did not think I would get for weeks because I forgot to add the kids' social security numbers to my rough draft in the tax software and it showed me getting almost nothing.

So of course my promise not to leave the house is broken by 9 AM, the time the Mac store opens. I gather up all my paperwork, and by noon I am am not a PC anymore. I am a Mac. I will refrain from gushing, because if you were like I was, a die-hard PC lover, you won't want to hear it. But I will say, all my misconceptions of a mac were wrong.

Friday night around 5pm, I go check the mail and I got a shocker. It was a letter that made absolutely NO sense. It was from my insurance company and it seemed like it was proof of coverage, until I looked closer and it said "Covered until 1/31/09". Holy crap, I am sick, and I don't know who my insurance company is! A little bit of research yielded who I think may be my insurance company, but without proof, no one would accept it. Thankfully I knew that we have one public hospital that will bill you if you have no insurance, instead of expecting payment at the time of service like a lot of private Urgent Care centers do. So Sunday afternoon I head to the Urgent Care and I have a double ear infection! The one that hurts really bad was just starting to get infected, where the one that had not started hurting until that morning, figure that one out.

Anyways, it took about 15 minutes on the phone this morning to get the mess sorted out, I am holding now to pass the information on to the hospital now.

I just hope that the 60 pills I have to take over the next 10 days clear this mess up!

Feb 18, 2009

When it rains...

Lately I seem to have days where everything all comes crashing down all at once, and usually it is at the worst time. Last night was that night.

It was 7:30 PM, we were starting the bedtime routine. Sophie had just porked down about 5 slices of mangoes, a few hash browns, and nursed. She was over tired and probably over-stuffed. I lay her down for the night and she is just not. happy. at. all.

Austin and Christopher were picking up their belongings before bed and I about lost it when I saw Christopher's library book on the ground. We currently owe our library $25 for a book Isis mauled and I was NOT about to owe the school library also. So I tell him for the 238,028,102th time to "put your book away NOW!!" and turn my back to deal with Sophie, who now sounds like she is slowly being murdered in her crib.

Matthew was being a pill and decided he wanted to get out of bed and trash his room instead of going to bed. I punish him with certain death if he leaves the bed one more time, and turn my attention back to Austin and Christopher who appear to be doing their chores in either slow motion, or even in reverse motion. I am loading the dishwasher when I hear Christopher yelling at Matthew. Of course this reignites Sophie's ticking time bomb and she starts wailing and I go up to see what the issue is.

Matthew has decided his toys are dirty, and along with Christopher's library book, he has decided to give them all a shower. I think I either blacked out at this moment, or just could not see through all the red I was seeing, but somehow I managed to calmly instruct Matthew to get in bed and STAY there, get Christopher to put his book in my bathroom so I could dry it, tell Sophie to shut her pie hole and go to bed, and scare all the animals at least 50 FT from me at all times. I don't know how I did it, but I did not see any bruises, broken glass (or bones) duct tape, rope, or a blow horn anywhere, but somehow all of the kids realized that mom could snap at any moment.

Christopher and Austin decide they can finish their chores in 2 minutes flat and I take the book into my bathroom and attack it with a blow dryer, while keeping an eye on Matthew's room to make sure he does not sneak out and get into any more trouble.

Just when I got the book where I wanted it to where I could shut the door and let the dryer run on low heat for a few minutes, Austin decided to inform me that "Oh, by the way a pen exploded in my pocket at school, can I just put it in the wash with spray and wash??" "No dude, here is some hair spray, go use it and soap and wash and rinse it out." "What about my cell phone, do I just spray it and rinse it off too?" "No dear, use a rag."

It's now 8:30 and my mind is GONE. My house smells like hair spray, the hum of the blow dryer in the back ground is about to drive me insane, and I need either a hot bath or a pint of Jack Daniels to put the day behind me. I wish I could say this was the only difficult part of the day, but Matthew has been very trying since Bobby left, and I find myself wanting to pull my hair out about 55 minutes of every hour that he is awake because of his shenanigans.

I quickly finish up my chores and fall into a hot bath and just when I can feel my muscles relax... the phone rings. Only Bobby calls me that late, so I fly out of bed and get to the phone right when he hangs up. I get online and shoot him off an email to tell him to call me in the next 20 minutes so I can say goodnight. Just then he logs on and tells me he is heading to work and to wait for him to get across the street so he can call me again. About 20 minutes later he calls and decides he cannot hear me well enough and tells me to get on Yahoo and we will chat. I tell him about my day and just get a series of one word replies about 5 minutes after I write up a long sentence.

It is now midnight and I am dead tired, and getting mad at his lack of replies. I tell him I will talk to him later and I am going to bed and he replies "Sorry, am working". Ugh, you could not just say goodnight an hour earlier????

So this morning at around 6:15 am the phone rings... it is Bobby. I am exhausted and not feeling good at all. I tell him goodnight (it is night for him) and I will talk to him when he wakes up and that I am going to get another 30 minutes of sleep before I have to take Austin to school, then I am going to take it busy because I think I have an ear infection and I feel like I am on death's doorstep. I get Austin off to school and crawl back into bed and just start to drift off to sleep (the two little ones are still sleeping), he calls again. I think I was polite when I told him to go to sleep already and leave me alone to suffer in peace. Of course now the babies are up and wanting attention.

I pull them both into my bed and nurse Sophie while Matthew nibbles on a snack and we all cuddle together and watch Go Diego Go. I fell back to sleep sometime during his cartoons and find him downstairs sitting on the counter finishing off a half a box of thin mints girl scout cookies. I can already tell that today is not going to be any better at all.

Feb 15, 2009

Neighbors From Hell: Part 2, 3, & 4

2:00 AM Monday night- the music is so loud I put a pillow over my head and cannot drown out the bass, I am so tired I don't feel like getting up to find the non-emergent police number. I finally find ear plugs in my night stand, and I can still heat it, but it is quieter.

10:00 PM Wednesday- I try to go to bed early because I am exhausted from lack of sleep. The music has been on for an hour and Sophie is awake because she cannot fall back asleep after being woken up several times by noise. I find the non-emergent number and call the police if it is late enough in the evening to make a noise complaint... they say we do not have a specific time, any time it is loud I can call. I try to sleep but Sophie is so tired and fussy, she normally goes to bed around 7:00 PM. About 45 minutes later I call the police back to tell them that the music has stopped and they can cancel the complaint, the dispatched relays the music has stopped because an officer has already been out and told them to shut the music off.

I got a video today of the dog, just in case it tries to hurt my dogs or anything.
It barks at the littlest provocation, lunges at the fence, etc. I don't feel comfortable letting my children play in their own back yard when the dog is out. They don't seem to be bothered by all the barking. The bag of garbage out on the back porch is a nice touch.

Feb 11, 2009

Payday

Today was payday, so it was a busy day. I had to go to the bank to get my two weeks worth of cash for groceries, pet food, & a little spending money and to pay my car payment. I also needed to notarize a contest waiver for a Denver Bronco's football I won back in December... oops!

After the bank I met my friends & their babies for lunch, Sophie, as usual pigged out. She also blew out of her diaper, right after my friend's baby spilled soup on herself, and both of us forgot to bring a change of clothes. Thankfully, one of our friends had two changes of clothes for her son, and so Sophie and winter had clean clothes. What a mess! I am so glad she's in cloth, as I remember this happening all. the. time. in paper diapers.

In her stylish new duds (the shirt read "Dude, your girlfriend keeps checking me out" LOL), we then split up and I headed to the Mac store to get an estimate on my Mac once I get my tax refund and pay bills, and then on to Best Buy. My GPS I got last week went on sale and the price dropped by $40 PLUS came with a free $25 leather case, so I got the case and stood in line with customer service for around 30 minutes, it was crazy!

While we were waiting I got to watch a mom royally screw up her children. I try not to be judgmental, but seriously, supervision and structure (and a 2 second trip to the bathroom to wash faces) go far! The thing that struck me is this woman appeared to be well educated, was well into her 30's and well groomed herself. The children, who were under 4, had speech delays (the younger one, who was 2-3) still had a pacifier. They were out of her sight for about 10-15 minutes while she talked on the phone, and were encouraged to play with the queue stands and got hurt as a result. I was never so happy to take my own child, who up until then, I thought was majorly acting out.

I was so impressed with my own little guy, I took him to get a fruit & yogurt parfait at McDonald's as a treat for waiting so patiently at customer service.

Feb 10, 2009

Changes to be had

Over the next few days I am going to be changing some of the formatting of my blog. This probably mostly has to do with OCD issues of needing to make sure I am sorting out some of the new features Wordpress has recently added.

Feb 5, 2009

Austin & the Bully (different one)

Austin had an altercation at school today. From what I understand, some kids accidentally pushed him up against a stall in the bathroom, the kid inside freaked out on Austin and pulled him under the stall, another kid tried to pull him back out. Austin got mad and threw his shoe at the boy and the boy tossed his shoe in the toilet.

The kids' mom was FURIOUS at her son, I have no doubt that this will be dealt with at home. He was also suspended and will have to write an apology letter to Austin and to Bobby and I. I feel so much more confident about how this school is handling this problem, and how well the parents are cooperating.

Feb 3, 2009

Passive Agressive Post #1: Neighbor's from Hell

Back in August, our old neighbor's moved to another state and decided to rent out their house. In October or November, in move the renters, who have since been named the Neighbor's from Hell (NFH for short).

I tried to be nice, I waved and said hi, any exchanges were ignored.

In comes the beater... the beater is a big boat of a car on super thin wheels, raised up with HUGE rims. It's like a granny can on stilts. Drivers side window is nothing more than a plastic bag and the paper tags on it expired sometime last year. The thing leaks oil like an oil tanker in Alaska and when it gets started, it sounds like a dozen Harley's starting at the same time. I had to get my alarm desensitized because the vibration was so intense it would set my alarm off.

Then the loud parties started, sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning, at least once or twice a week. On the eve of Thanksgiving, we finally had enough and called in the local authorities to stop it. They turned it down, but I still got to lay awake for another two hours listening to base. Same thing on Christmas eve, but they turned it down before midnight so we let it slide.

Throughout the week, we have other minor annoyances. I put my trash out and they park one of the 4 or 5 cars that frequent the house in front of it, making the garbage men to have to manually dump my trash instead of using the lift. They also have a habit of parking in front of my driveway, leaving just enough room for me to get out as long as I back out at an angle, drive back up, angle out again, drive up again, angle out across my grass & sidewalk. Not cool.

Garbage day comes again, we go to put out our wrapping paper and boxes from Christmas, but our can is full with THEIR garbage! I give them the benefit of the doubt and pay the extra $2 for extra trash pickup. I call the agency who handles the rental, and she defends the tenants making us sound nit picky and like all the problems our our fault for not having a lot of parking between our driveways..?? (We have invited them to park in front of our house to solve the parking issues). Bobby goes next door to be neighborly, not bringing up any of the problems we are having, but just being nice and she seems nice enough... but things just get worse. Now excuse me for not running over to be the welcome lady, but I am not about to go out of my way to be nice to someone who cannot keep her household from being disrespectful.

I start trying to call and email the owner with little or no response about fixing the fence that borders our property. I figure I will get around to it in the springs, but then the NFH bring home a "puppy", puppy is Cujo on crack and loves to hear his own voice. All day and all night long. Cujo likes to charge the fence barking at my kids, my dogs, me, my guests, anyone walking down the streets, etc. Apparently Cujo's owners are deaf (explains the loud car & loud parties) and blind, as it does not bother them that Cujo is sticking his head through window screens to bark at the outside while inside. Did I mention Cujo is a freaking PIT BULL???

Tomorrow is garbage day. I take out my trash knowing it will be a tight squeeze because it was half full from when I forgot to take it to the curb last week. However what I don't expect is that it is full....? Odd thing is, the trash is not my own, it appears to be from a birthday party. I let it slide, take Austin to school, clean house a bit, take more trash out and I notice their two cans are already down on the curb. As usual, it is two full cans, but also a bag and a box all overflowing with trash. Odd, same bags as the bag in my can, same plates & party ribbon, etc. I know I will be stuffed full by the end of the day, and I am not about to pay another $2 for their trash, so I take it out and set it next to their house, in plain sight. 12 hours later, it is still there.

Tonight I am having major concerns about the fence. Yes it needs replaced, now more than ever, but Cujo scared the holy hell out of me. I am thinking of just putting up a second fence right next to it just to have a second layer of protection between us and Cujo, also, I don't feel like dumping a couple thousand dollars on wood, if Cujo is just going to ram it down. So I emailed the owner again telling him this, but I really don't expect a response. I have also made a report with the city about the unsightly, unregistered car, but again I am not holding my breath.

I am not about to go over and try to be their BFF, and I am not wanting to waste city resources by placing the police on speed dial (old Bewitched television reference in 3, 2, 1...) and establishing myself as Mrs. Kravitz. So how have you guys dealt with NFHs? Did you make nice nice, strike out, or flood the neighborhood PD station with complains? I am sure this is going to be a regular feature, these guys are clueless!

Mom on strike: 24 hours later

It's 4pm, 24 hours after I broke the news to the older kids that I quit, and that it was every man for himself. All but one load of laundry has been washed, the rest is put away, except for a basket of the little kids' clothing.

Tonight I bit Austin's head off at pickup, he did not get out to the car until 3:40, school releases at 3:15. Turns out the kid we take home had to stay after school, and they announced it on the intercom, but Austin was more worried about hearing his own name and not paying attention that his friend was called.

Anyways, we get home, I am in a foul mood because of waiting in the hot car, drama from the neighbors, working my ass off on laundry all day, and just general moodiness. Matthew was tired, Sophie was tired, I am tired and I just did not want to deal with anything more. I later apologized because I did not need to be as snappy as I was, but when I went downstairs to check on laundry, Austin was obviously upset. I asked him why he was crying and he said all day today he felt really bad for not helping when he was asked to. I also had a talk with Christopher, who was not as remorseful, but he said he did not like the idea of having to earn "privileges" (I was going to require that they do extra chores to earn "credits" to use much like change would at a laundromat).

Well tonight, they actually *asked* if they can work together to make dinner for the whole family as a peace offering. As soon as my jeans are in the dryer I will let them put their clothes in the hampers and I will combine their clothes with my 1/2 loads and start a few more loads tonight. I am hoping with some gentle reminding that we will make life easier on everyone if we work together, that we can keep up this rhythm and become a cohesive unit again.

This afternoon we all went in the back yard together and Austin helped me fix the fence and clean up, Chris cleaned up dog poop, and it was so nice to have my boys back.

Mr. Funny

I just have a moment to enjoy my last sips of coffee & write this down before I forget before the little miss is tired of eating Kix in the kitchen.

This morning I was making my rounds, emptying the dirty clothes hampers in the bedrooms into a basket to take them to the basement to sort and wash, when I smelled pee in Matthew's bedroom. He was hot on my heels, curious about what I was doing so I asked him if he had an accident in his bed. He told me he did have a "water dream" as he calls it and did pee in his bed. I told him that it was okay and all that jazz while I stripped his sheets. I finished getting the rest of his bedding and dirty clothes and moved onto my room where I started stripping my own bed.

Matthew lit up and got a huge smile on his face and asked me "Mommy? Did you have a water dream too??" I told him that no, I just needed to wash my sheets because it had been a while since I washed them and he puts his hand on my cheek and said "It's all right if you had a water dream, no one will be mad if you went potty in your bed, accidents happen"; then he leaned forward and hugged me and patted my back. I was laughing too hard to convince him that I did NOT pee in my bed, but what does it really matter if he believes me anyways?

Feb 2, 2009

What a day

Those who are on my facebook have heard this story... and they may see it again when this feeds to my page, but here is the full story in full. My day started off a little rocky this morning (as demonstrated by my earlier rant), but this morning when I went downstairs to start some laundry I BLEW my stack.

See, Austin and Chris, who are almost 13 and 11, have chores. Their main chore is to feed the animals, but they are also required to help me with laundry and dishes. Most days, the most I will ask them to do is start a load before school, and fold it and put it away after school. I also am very strict about sorting (darks, whites, and reds) and I wash everything on cold, except whites. This weekend, with me being busy getting Bobby ready, I asked them to do the laundry, and did not have time to help; so I was planning on catching up this morning.

When I came downstairs, it was utter chaos. Mount washmore was overflowing. The three hampers were packed with a mixture of all colors and stacked up to twice their height... there were no less than 4 baskets with wet or damp clothing, all of which stunk like mildew and cat pee. My dryer was empty, my washer was full of stinky clothes, and all my light colored and white clothes had been bled on by the dark clothes. I easily had 10 loads (and I am talking HE/front loader loads, not top loader loads). I think they were just starting the washer, but then never putting the clothes in the dryer. I also had about a foot of wet clothes piled in front of the washer.

More than an hour later, but less than two hours later I finally had all the clothes sorted, a load in the dryer, another in the washer, and I am having to use double the soap, bac-out & vinegar in each and every load, with bleach in my light towels/rags & my 100% cotton whites. I have washed, 6 loads of laundry already today, and I still have about four left. I tossed all of Austin & Christopher's dirty clothes back in their room, I was too mad to wash it... but here is the stunning part of it... Bobby has been gone 3 weeks, I wear my jeans twice before I put them in the dirty clothes, but we had 10 loads of clothes to their 1.... so it looks to me like the kids are picking out their own clothes and only washing it.

Needless to say, I was either going to send them to boot camp or shake them up a bit, so I went on strike. I told them they are on their own for everything I did for them in the past. They have to cook their own meals, wash their own dishes, wash their own laundry, etc. If they want to use my stove or my washer or dishes, they need to "pay" for it, not with money, but with "hassle time chores" as my sister calls them. Basically if I have to do your work, you better do something for me. So they got to clean Matthew's room, tidy the house, hand wash pots & pans, etc.

Tonight for dinner they made themselves baked potatoes and leftover stew, and I ordered a pizza for Matthew and I. I am really hoping that they get how much I do for them soon. I don't like them being in trouble, but I just cannot carry the weight of doing absolutely everything in this house. I can't spread myself four ways picking up every crumb they drop, and expect to have time to do the important things like help with homework, take them to the park to play, have family game nights, etc.

I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have only about 2 1/2 loads of laundry to start, one of which is my bed sheets, which I am dreading. They smell like Bobby, and I just cannot fathom washing his scent out of our bed. I have not cried about him leaving, but just the idea of washing our sheets makes my eyes well up with tears.

Oh, and as a cherry on top. Both kids have detention this week! Austin for being late to a bunch of classes "due to GI issues", which sounds hokey to me. And Christopher because he "got a 4 out of 14 on an assignment", which sounds even hokier to me. I think I have a couple phone calls to make tomorrow.

I need to teach a class!

I will call it "Drop off your damn kid like you have a brain, 101".

Austin goes to a charter school, it is an amazing school, it is free, but it comes with a price. The price is that it is a commuter school and most parents must drop off and pick up their kids. I think there is something about this parking lot that turns normal people into complete idiots. The school parking lot is designed very well, I think my 3 year old could figure out how to navigate it, however some parents seem to regress to the wisdom of a newborn babe as soon as they cross the thresh-hold.

The parking lot is laid out simply:
You enter, you pull into bay A or B depending on which one is empty, you pull your car up to the front of the line, you kick your kid out the door and leave.

Simple huh?

Yeah, one would think so but this is what I see on a daily basis:

  • Bay A is full, Bay B is empty, and cars are backed up to point C so no one can get into bay B because heaven forbid we let our little prince or princess walk TWO full freaking car lengths more to get to school! Let everyone behind us be late, we MUST wait to get to Bay A!

  • Kid sits in the front seat, backpack goes into the trunk, so in order to kick the kid out of the car, we must make a fiasco of kid out, unlock (or pop) trunk, rifle through the crap in the trunk to find book bag, binder, lunch pail, coat, etc. What happened to putting your coat on, your crap inside the backpack and put your junk on your lap or feet so mom or dad can pull up and you can move onto class.

  • This is my favorite, I love it when mom makes a HUGE production of sending her baby off to school with multiple hugs and kisses and the line is backing up around the block. I feel like screaming "GET A ROOM!!" I can understand this if little Johnny is going off to kindergarten for the first time. But this is middle school! for shit's sake people, your kid is TWELVE! You are humiliating your kid into lifetime therapy!

  • I love it when cars stop directly in line with the door instead of proceeding down to the end of the line. This prevents about 6 more cars from entering the drop off line and slowing the whole process down.

  • Same goes for the people who stop one or two car lengths between the car in front of them. We are not driving at highway speeds here, 15 second rule need not apply. Guess what, at ZERO miles per hour, you can be less than a foot from the car in front of you and STILL be able to stop in time!


I am sure more topics to my class will come up as time goes on. Props will include gestures and words not suitable for young children, so if you wish not to attend, pull into the first available bay (yes B is just as good as A) pull up all the way to the numbered line, kick the kid out of the door with no more than a wave or a "have a good day" and then GET OUT! If you do wish to attend, please arrive between 7:15-7:35, and behave like your IQ is the same number as the temperature is outside. This seminar is complimentary and includes a free birdie, multiple four letter words you may not have ever heard combined before, and if you are lucky I may just get out of my car and smack you upside the head!

Have a nice day! :)

Feb 1, 2009

366 more days

Bobby left this afternoon. Poor guy won't land until 10:15 am tomorrow my time. 21 hours of traveling, ack, I feel so bad for him; that is just when he lands too, who knows how long it will be before they let him retire to his quarters for the night.

I am not sure when I will be able to talk to him, I don't expect to be able to hear from him for a few more days, but this time I am not feeling as paranoid as I was last time.

The kids are doing OK, Matthew misses daddy the most because he does not understand where he is, when he is coming home, and why he left.