Apr 30, 2009

NFH: Stupidity, the one thing you can depend on

Tuesday night, around midnight, I head a loud ruckus of heavy items being drug across the sidewalk, people talking loudly, and similar noises. I looked out the window and the NFH's were parking at the end of my driveway, loading tons of people and stuff into a SUV. I rolled my eyes and headed to bed. The next day..... nothing. I see the person in the NFH household take the two trashcans to the curb, and about a dozen bags... but they were facing the street the way the trash company requests for easy pickup. I can almost envision the waste management person grinning, as I see them out there almost every week trying to get the cans turned around and picking up all the stuff overflowing.

It was a gorgeous day outside yesterday, absolutely beautiful, so all day we worked in the yard getting it cleaned. Only once did I hear their dog barking in the back yard. It stopped almost as soon as it started as he was brought into the house. Then last night, no music, no visitors, no parties.... I was in shock!

However, stupid and inconsideration are qualities you can depend on. If the expected parties don't offer it, you should expect someone else to, and that is just what happened.

Around 7pm I hear a dog barking, deep throaty LOUD barks. woofwoofwoofwoofwoof. The dog is not even taking breaks to breathe. woofwooofwooofwoofwoof. After 3 hours of it I am starting to slowly feel my soul dying. woofwoofwoofwoofwoof. I go out in the front yard to see if the pitbull is sticking his head out one of the bedroom windows next door and is causing all that noise. I go out front, I see nothing... no cars, no dog, nothing. But I still hear the dog; woofwoofwoofwoofwoof. I go out in the back yard, the noise is even louder. We had some people visiting my neighbors on the *other* side of my house that had two large huskies that would sometimes bark, but those neighbors would never let any of their dogs bark 3 hours. I turn on my floodlight in the back and there it is. Directly behind the NFH is the person who volunteered to pick up their slack. Locked onto the back deck, these new idiots had trapped a 150+ male Great Dane who was not too happy about being confined. woofwoofwoofwoofwoof. We are not on hour FIVE and I am wondering two things... why have they not brought the dog inside? and how is the dog not hoarse??

I figure I will just go to bed, since my bedroom is in the front of my house, no way it will bother me, right? Wrong. woofwoofwoofwoofwoof. His voice carries through three back yards all the way to the front of my house. I turn on my fan, turn my TV to a music channel and set the sleep timer. I still hear him, but it does not bother me anymore. It does however bother *my* Great Dane who is downstairs, in her crate that she sleeps in, barking back!! Her bark is her insecure, whiny bark. I yell at her the few times she does it, and she finally gets the hint.

What gives? I *finally* have all four kids healthy, no coughing child across the hall, no parties or 7-11 type traffic next door, and someone leaves their dog outside all night? Is this karma for flipping off that little old blue haired lady??

Apr 29, 2009

Supersleuths and the Thief

A couple months ago I banned a certain friend from the house. I never really cared for him, but I could not put my finger on it at first. In time I REALLY did not like him because when I would say no to almost any request, he would try to change my mind even though I never once went back on my initial decision. He was always also trying to stay the night, and when I would say he had plans, he would respond that his parents had plans and he could not stay home alone so he *had* to find a place to stay.

Well two months ago I was about to slice some mango for fruit salad, and one was missing. I blamed my own children, but the next day they said they saw this boy with a mango. Then he was bragging at school that he had gotten a mango from our house and it was the best ever. I was furious and told the boys I did not want him in my house anymore. Bobby thought I was being harsh, but I refuse to allow liars or thieves into my house. A few days later he apologized to Christopher and admitted to stealing the mango.

Then it comes out that some of the kids in the neighborhood as missing games, and this boy has stolen them and he was in a lot of trouble at home. Austin admits to me that he thought the boy had stolen his game, but had no proof. Christopher also was missing a game. Austin & Christopher went to his mom and told her that they felt he had their games and she said she did not see them.

Well a few weeks ago I see the kids looking through Matthew's room, they told me he had Christopher's gameboy last and they don't know where he put it. I immediately think of the boy, but they sort of dismiss it for a few days until Austin says "you know, the last place I saw his gameboy was when Matthew had it in the bathroom, and the boy used that bathroom too.

So today the boy says at school he is going to come over and talk to me about a game he accused Christopher of stealing, a game *we* gave him that he lost. I was really hoping he would come so I could ask him to get the gameboy and games now. Instead, two neighborhood boys show up. They say they they have seen the boy with a lot of new games lately and they mention the two pokemon games the boys were missing. Then I ask if he had a DS, and they said "a silver one? With a ton of scratches??" and Austin was like *I* scratched that gameboy, on accident!!" so together they went to talk to the boy's parents.

Well I guess the apple does not fall too far from the tree. The mom was pissed, at MY kids! She said she was going to call the police on my kids for harassment! WTF!?! Hearing this, I called the police and asked him to write down the boy's address, as well as addresses and phone numbers of all the witnesses who saw our games and gameboy. The dad started yelling at the boy and amazingly enough, the gameboy appeared, and it was being used by none other than the mom. Another one of the kids admits they know who has the game, and he traded the boy his own games for the pokemon games. That child let Austin look at the game, and sure enough, there is the the pokemon he misnamed, "Charmandy". That child gave back the one game and asked me if he could borrow the other game for a few weeks so he could beat it. I told the kids to make the decision, but I had to problem with it because he had been super honest in returning the game, even though he had traded it for one of his own games. They like this other kid, so they are letting him borrow it.

I decided since the games and the gameboy were returned, I would not involve the police, but my friend suggested I make an appointment with the principal since he was threatening to beat up my son, and I agree that I probably should involve the school for that reason alone. If that boy as much as sets foot in my driveway, I will have NO issue telling him to get off my property.

Tonight I took my kids out to dinner and ice cream for standing up for themselves, choosing better friends (at least 3 kids were willing to help them and were honest about the boy having their games), and for being thorough in making sure he had witnesses' names and addresses. I was also impressed that he was still polite to the boy's mom, even though he *knew* the boy had his stuff and she was protecting and bullying him. I am glad this family lives about 4 or 5 blocks away.

Apr 25, 2009

NFH: Where do I even start?!?

I am SO insanely pissed I don't even know where to begin.

Ok, Wednesday at 10pm I am in bed trying to sleep and the music next door is pounding so loud I am getting a major headache. I call the non-emergent police number and report it. The music stops so I call back and cancel my report. I guess they were changing a CD because 2 minutes later it is back on and I give up and stick a pillow over my head. At midnight I guess the CD was skipping or something because I wake up to BOOM-BOOM-BOOOM-BOOM-BOOM. It sounds like rockets going off next door. They finally turn it down and I get what little sleep I have left until kids are needing to go to school in the morning.

Thursday I pull up into my driveway with my kids to unload them out of the car to be greeted by a cloud of cigar smoke. Austin is gagging and hacking while at least 7 or 8 guys stand about 10 feet away all puffing on cigars. I get the kids in the house as quick as I can. I forgot to mention I had to pull in at an angle to make sure I did not hit either of the cars that are literally right at the edge of my driveway.

Last night the music starts up again. It is SO freaking loud I literally CANNOT hear my TV or a word my children were saying in the same room. I have two glass cups on a shelf on the wall that I had to pull down because they were vibrating so loud I was afraid they were going to break. I could see the pictures on my wall moving and I was just waiting for them to fall down. Two hours into it I call the non-emergent number. They tell me someone else has already called and that they will be there as soon as they can. It takes me forever to get the two little ones to sleep. My four year old tells me "Mommy, my room is so loud I cannot even hear my dreams!" I had to shut off Sophie's jumparoo because it kept going off on its own thinking there was a baby jumping in it.

At 11:30 I decide I will just put a pillow over my head, I am so exhausted I feel like I am going to pass out. I hear a ton of commotion even louder than the music outside. There are two people revving their cars up outside and a group of about 11 children and adults talking super loud at each other. Someone else in a car is honking their horn. I call back and update that they have now become even MORE obnoxious.

At 11:57 the music finally stops and I take the pillow off my head. Ten minutes later my room fills with light as the police pull up in response to my complains and the other neighbor's call.

So today at noon my doorbell rings and someone I don't know is outside. I step out and she explains to me that she is either a friend or a relative of the woman next door. She explained that her 18 yr old son died of a heart attack and that is why there were so many cars. She stated the police had told her that "the lady next door called to complain of the noise and traffic". I told her to let the neighbor know I am sorry for her loss and that I have kids that cannot afford to lose a night's sleep because the bass is louder than their own thoughts. She tells me she cannot attest to the noise because she was not even THERE!!! I explain again that this is an ongoing thing and most of the neighbors either have small babies or are retired and we are all tired of 2-3 parties a week since OCTOBER.

Here is where I am pissed. When I called I stated I would like to remain anonymous. *IF* the officers really did say "the lady next door" that is hardly anonymous. It is quite possible that the person at my door this morning made up that the police identified who I was. I was not going to lie and say it was me, but I was not the only call last night either.

This is getting so old. I HATE living next door to party central.

Apr 22, 2009

Tracie took some adorable shots of Sophie today. Like this one:

FairieSophie 13

To see the rest of them, visit my Flickr page:

Apr 20, 2009

Oops, going to hell!

I flipped off some little old blue haired lady when her husband almost side swiped me on the way to the ped's office. I don't even think he heard me leaning on my horn, he did not even seem to notice that he almost hit me. If I had not slammed on my breaks he would have hit me and Matthew's side of the van.

I hope god forgives those who flip others the bird when they deserve it.

Apr 11, 2009

Taking a step back

When Bobby went to Iraq, he had to put his degree on hold. That also means student loans that were on deferral until graduation, will soon be activated and moved into our debt snowball. I was so excited to be at 15% repaid, and now that I have added in this other debt, we are not only 10% repaid. This is very sad news to me. I was really hoping to pay off everything but the van before he returned from Iraq, but now it looks like we will still have the van and student loan debt.

Oh well, this only strengthens my resolve. What is another couple years of working hard to get debt free when the end result is the same. I am really hoping that when we sell the house we are able to make enough of a profit on it to pay down more debt, or at the very least not need to use the money we are saving for any shortcomings we will have at the time of sale.

We can do this. We will do this. We ARE doing this!!

Apr 10, 2009

Psychological Warfare

There are days when I struggle with motherhood. I mean REALLY struggle. Just today I was telling my husband how frustrated I am in my kids' lack of responsibility with the animals. We have a horrible mean pitbull living next door ripping holes in my fence and it is just a matter of time before it gets through and kills or harms one of my dogs. So the rule is the dogs can be out for 2 minutes max until I can get the landscaping company to come out and replace my fence. So this morning I hear the dogs barking while I am nursing the baby. Ten minutes pass, still barking, 15 minutes. I finally hit the conference button on the phone and broadcast that the dogs are STILL outside.

Also, the cats. Christopher's job is to feed the cats and clean the litter boxes daily. Yet if I don't nag, it does not get done and then they seek out my towels. So now every time I think I have a "clean" towel, I discover it smells like cat urine. Nice. Also, when I am trying to feed Sophia, I have three cats underfoot circling around my ankles because their food bowl is empty.

Bobby called today and I vented, I vented good. I told him how frustrated I was at their total lack of responsibility, how Austin pulled out a progress report while we were walking out the door and asked me to sign it because it was due today and I refused because we would have been late if I had to stop everything and look it over before I sign it. I am just plain sick of it.

So I told my husband how I was half tempted to load up the three cats and two dogs in the van and take them to a kennel for the weekend and board them. How tempted I am to tell the kids that I got rid of the animals because I found them families that would take better care of them. How tempted I am to tell them that if they did not love the animals enough to feed them, water them, and provide them with a clean place to poop and pee that they will go elsewhere.

BUT that would be mean. I am not about to punish my pets, or my four year old because of something my teen & tween did. I am a mean mom, but at the same time I don't want to teach them that lying and trickery is OK. I struggle with where the line in the sand is sometimes. I struggle daily with trying to be effective without being too mean or too nice. I struggle with making the punishment fit the crime. I struggle with too many chores vs. too little chores. I have very good kids, and I believe I have good kids because my husband and I have always worked together and tried to be consistent, we have always given them responsibility, and we have never spoiled them with toys or candy because they held their breath or stomped their feet at the store.

I think with our family spread out like it is right now we are all feeling the stress and I feel less effective because I don't have my partner here to back me up. I think he feels helpless because he wants to help and he wants to put his foot up their butts, but from that many thousands of miles away, what can you say? "Just wait, in four months, you are going to be sorry!"? And I think the kids are struggling too, they miss their dad and it is hard to stay motivated when you are sad, I get that. I just wish they would see how overwhelmed I am carrying their load on top of my own. I need to heal this fracture, or I will crumble under the weight of it all.

I don't think this weekend is going to be a fun one, I can tell you that! Hmmmm, I wonder if I can figure out how to set up the parental controls on the TV??

Apr 7, 2009

It's fun to play at the YMCA

Friday my friend and I joined the YMCA, we want to take the kids swimming, use the gym, and get a discount on swim lessons. Friday we played in the pool all afternoon, the babies had a blast. Sunday we splashed in the pool some more. Monday we started our routine with walking & equipment... we could not get a spot in the daycare, so we went later in the day to another center. This morning we arrived at 8am and got a spot pretty quick. Both babies did very well, they actually let us get a 45 minute workout in.

My legs are so not used to being used yet. Ouch!!

Apr 2, 2009

How long does it take to warm up a car?

Well apparently, according to my observations this morning, it takes ONE HOUR. NFH (neighbor(s) from hell) started the car around 6:50am this morning, and when I got home from taking kids to school at 7:30am it was still running, no one was around, and I could not imagine it needed *that* much time to warn up.

So at 7:40 I decided to call our cities finest and they immediately dispatched a patrol car. As luck has it though, the NFH must have heard his ears burning because he decided to stroll out, scrape the snow from every surface of his car (why the roof needs de-iced is beyond me) and finally left.

The dispatcher I spoke with when I called back to cancel the patrol was super nice. She told me to call *more*, and that things I considered nothing more than a nuisance, could be more serious (heavy traffic all hours of the night, loud parties, unattended vehicles, etc).

My other neighbor has cameras on the front of his house, he states he has seen enough stuff going on next door to conclude our neighbors are more than just inconsiderate. Next time I won't be waiting an hour.