Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Someday we'll get a dog

We have been worried about the cat's sanity as summer comes upon us. The first really nice day we had around here had all of us outside for basically the whole thing.
Our poor cat was so needy that night, we began to wonder how he will handle the summer when we are outside considerably more.
Mom sent down the harnesses and leashes for her cats (who are now dead and gone, thus no longer using them.... not that they ever did anyway!) so we can take him outside with us during the summer.
Ashley has been dying to get a chance to put Jack on the leash and take him for a walk.
Today I put the harness on and she clipped on the leash. She had all these really big dreams of proudly walking her cat round town. What happened was a very different picture.
Jack sat there. He plopped his little furry behind down and refused to move.

She gave gentle tugs on his leash.
"c'mon Jack"
"Jack, come on"
"Jack, Come On"
through gritted teeth she then told him, "Jack, you are embarrassing me".
I couldn't stop laughing but I did keep it quiet. This led to tears running down my cheeks.

He is not amused.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

I have two sisters. One of them I idolize and one that... well, I don't.

Well, today is her birthday.

Last week we had gorgeous weather. Even yesterday was decent. Today I woke up to this:

I'm pretty sure it's her fault.

Bob Veela didn't build this one, either.

When we lived in Spo-kompton we lived in low income housing. I think they build them with materials on par with the income of the people who are going to live there.

For example, the cabinets were made with pressboard and held together with spit and a fleeting hope.

We were SOOO glad to move to our new place in a whole other city. They did not use pressboard and the cabinet doors don't fall off nearly as much.

Granted, when the bathroom one did come off it took about 8 months to get it fixed (and it sticks) but at least they are not falling off every week.

This is an improvement.

And our landlord is fantastic (I'm NOT just saying that because she reads this). She gets things taken care of.


The little piece of wood that goes around door jams? you know what I mean, right? The little 1 inch piece in the middle. Yeah... that one.

One piece of the one around our bedroom door was loose. From the looks of it the little brads holding it to the rest of the wood were just letting go.


And I couldn't just fit them back on the holes.

Weirder. (because I have done that in many doorways)

Today Annie pulled on it and informed me it was coming off.

"Well, stop pulling on it."

"Okay" she said. She let go and thunk it hit the floor.

I went to pick it up and found myself looking at the door frame.

It wasn't nailed in there. There are 2 pieces of what look to be staples coming out of the frame but they clearly had no purpose with this thing.

How was it held on, you ask?


Not even wood glue, it's got the unmistakable line left behind by a hot glue gun.

No wonder it fell off.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Because I need to remember that I like her

Today at preschool all the older kids were talking about who they were going to marry when they are older. One of the pairs is that Ashley and CJ are going to get married.

Tonight I teased Ashley about kissing CJ on the bus (again. Because it came up today at school) and I sang the song I learned from her at her.

She just smiled really big.

Then she sang it back about "Mama and Aiden". Then she said we were kissing for 100 years. (Frankly it's impressive she added 'years' since usually things are quantified as just '100' or '20' but never units )

I asked how long she and CJ were kissing.

She paused... then she got on her wiggly eyebrows Wiggly Eyebrows Pictures, Images and Photos and a Great Big Smile smile Pictures, Images and Photos and said "for infinity and beyond years".

My Kid's Family Grapevine

I don't know what it is about me but I marry people with strange family trees.

Aiden is adopted by his aunt and uncle thus making his aunt his mom and his mom his aunt, his cousins his brothers and his brothers his cousins.


Brandon's is worse.

I was married to him for 7 years (give or take the proceedings) and I'm still not sure I have it all figured out.

Brandon's dad, Jim, was adopted by his aunt and uncle. They had also adopted Claudia, a non-blood related member of the family. Claudia has no kids.

Jim has 2 kids with a woman named Linda (who then had like 8 more with some other guy) and had Brandon with Laura.

Meanwhile, Laura had David with some guy from Othello.

Jim and Laura got divorced and Laura married (after an apparently looong line of dating interesting men) Leonard.

Leonard had something like 6 adopted kids from his first wife, and 1 biological kid from his second wife. He and Laura had no kids together.

In case you're feeling lost and have skipped, pick back up here.

So Brandon and I have 3 kids and are divorced. Brandon is now with a girl named Morgan.

Morgan is probably the best thing to ever happen to Brandon. She's whipped him like heavy cream. (I don't know what it means, either, it just sounded good)

The kids went to see them this weekend. Yesterday when we were picking them up in Ellensburg, Ashley got out of the car and announced:

"Morgan is having a baby and I'm gonna be a big sister."

I have a lot of issues with this (not that she's pregnant but that the kids know at 4 weeks. Seriously, she's due in December. Why not wait until after the chance of miscarriage goes down to tell them? I don't want to have to explain the whole thing about why Morgan's NOT pregnant anymore).

Then Annie made it perfect:

"I hope it comes out with a big head like Alex"

Um, Alex's head was 16 inches around when he was born. As far as I can tell (HERE) that's beyond what anyone expects.

I'd only wish for that if Brandon was delivering the baby.

I actually like Morgan.

But the kids' family tree is getting more and more strange!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our Son is a Ladies Man

Alex has a little crush on this girl in his class named Taylor. We harass him from time-to-time about it, but for the most part take it easy on him.
Taylor apparently overheard Alex telling their teacher that he would be gone for awhile on Friday. As Alex tells it, Taylor seemed very concerned that he would be gone for a long time and was very relieved that he would be back on Monday.
I went to pick up Alex up from school on Friday so we could head off to their dad's house. We found his class playing outside, after much running around the inside of the building trying to locate them. We were trying to find our way back into the building (darn security measures and the locking of all but the front doors) and passed Taylor and her two little friends sitting on the ground watching the class play.
"Byyyyyeeeee Alex," they all sing-songed in unison whilst waving their little hands and batting their little eyes at him.
I giggled.
Alex said, "I'm glad she doesn't seem so worried that I'm leaving now. Now she just wants me to safe a trip, I think."
After gathering his things from the classroom we headed to the car.
"You want to know what I've been dreaming about lately?" Alex inquired.
"That Taylor is kissing you," Annie and I both joked.
"No. But I have been dreaming that she loves me. And I think she does."
Ahhh, to be in "love" in grade school again. How fun. And cute. And sweet.

"Oh, You're SO Cheesy!"

I have an addiction.

Well, several, actually. But this particular addiction is to Qdoba's 3 Cheese Queso (and their overly salted chips but that's different).


I get PMS and waaaaaant it.

This is better than chocolate (don't send out lightening bolts, Traci!).

I like other food there, too, don't get me wrong. But if I can only have $4 to eat out on, a side of Queso and Chips and a Large Coke to share is good for me!

I looked online to see if the recipe is listed. I'm sure there's a lot of fakes to weed through, BUT, Aiden printed one of them out, went investigating and shopping (it called for Pablano peppers which are AKA Pasilla or Ancho. It took some digging to know what to buy at Safeway).

He roasted the peppers, fine diced tomatoes, those peppers, and a bunch of other stuff. He learned there's a difference between heavy cream and whipping cream ;), and he made me an entire crock pot of knock-off 3 Cheese Queso from Qdoba.

It wasn't the same. We both knew it. But it was still really good. AND it was better since he made it for me.

and then I ate the entire thing of it in 48 hours.

We don't have the kids this weekend so we spent the entire day today watching shows, sleeping, and just taking it easy. We are totally broke but we scrounged up $6 and went to Qdoba for 2 sides of Queso, chips, and a large Coke to share.

I inhaled my Queso. I pointed out that I deserved applause for NOT licking out the bowl as I sat in the corridor of our "mall".

Aiden took his time with his bowl of cheesy goodness. He calmly placed the lid back on his bowl.
While it was half full.

I couldn't believe what he was doing! My eyebrows must have shot up high enough to tip him off.
"I'm saving it so you can have some later," he told me.


Romance on a dime (or $6) is so fantastic!

Traveling in Eastern Washington is SCARY once you get off I-90

We had to drive the kids to Ellensburg to meet up with Brandon yesterday. We got everything packed and off we headed on our way.

About 5 miles out of town we ended up going 20 in a 60 zone because there's tractors on the road. The windy road where no one can pass. Luckily, we were going slow.

We got a flat.

We pulled off and realized we had NO idea where the spare was in the van. Or the jack.

Aiden whipped out the owner's manual (thank heavens we have that!) and found the jack was under the second row captain's chair. We had to tilt the base of the seat forward (I'm not sure we knew it did that before) and pull up some carpet. Then we had to figure out how to finagle it out of the dang holder.

Honestly! Who puts things in these locations? The red circle is the spare tire (under some layers) and the yellow arrow is the seat the jack hides under.

Whew! Okay, now where's the spare? And where's the tire iron that will double as the jack handle?

Hmm.... consult the book. Flip the chair back down. Now lift up the removable carpet from between the first two rows. Locate the flap on the carpet under the rug you have just flung onto the shoulder of the road. Lift that flap, and see a piece of plastic. Lift THAT up and find the spare. But you have to figure out your own method of un-twisting the stupid thing holding it in there. (the jack handle/tire iron was also in there).


We put the jack under the car (yay! An easy part) and Aiden started to jack it up. But it's one of those retarded jacks that come with Nissan cars so you have to do a lot of "half a circle turn, now flip the handle back to the other side... annnnnd.... half a circle turn, now flip the handle back to the other side..."

Aiden has changed one tire in his life. I have witnessed Brandon try to change one tire (badly... a whole other post. I'll have to remember to write it sometime). BUT!! There was a rule in our house that if you wanted to get your driver's license you had to know how to check the belts and fluids (which I promptly forgot), change your own oil and filter, and change a tire. I was SOOO unimpressed that I had to learn it. (not as unimpressed as I was 8 years later watching Brandon F*** it up so badly that I had to flag down a motor home to save us from his stupidity).


While Aiden fumbled with the jack, I got tired of watching him be frustrated. I took charge and jacked up the car. It seemed easier than explaining it. Plus, I kinda like getting my hands dirty on stuff like that once in a while.

(and yes, I loosened the lug nuts before jacking it up)(because I also watched/helped Valerie change a tire in The Fair's parking lot once)(Even she was better at it than Brandon)(which makes sense since she's SUPERWOMAN and can do ANYTHING/EVERYTHING)

While I was sitting there jacking up the car, three different people stopped to offer help. Including one very nice looking, clean cut college aged boy in a Camaro. (Oh, if only it were 1986!) We assured all of them we were just fine, finished the job and headed on our way.

But what was our way?

It's about 20 miles between here and the next city and because we had been going so slow for so long, and because there's nothing to make any one curve look different from the others for about 15 miles, we had no idea if we were closer to our town or the next one.

We decided to try going forward and luckily we were right. We found Les Schwab (the only tire place in that town... and we were lucky there was ANY) and they promptly informed us the hole was in a good place to be fixed. But they couldn't fix it because it was too big.

Now I was pissed. We bought these tires 13 months ago at Discount Tire. So of course we had to buy the new one (if you buy them from Les Schwab and are in this situation, they just give you a new one for free!).

The underlying problem with this entire trip is that I am broke. Like all the way broke. No way could I buy a tire or drive the remaining 160 miles on the spare.

The kids started freaking out so I called the "Bank of 'Miff" and got ahold of Dad. I explained the situation and asked if he could loan us the money to get the new tire.

He did. And we got all fixed and on the road. (my dad is better than yours!!!)(Unless you're Valerie because, well, it's the same guy. duh.)

The whole time I was calling Brandon with updates. His biggest concern was if we didn't get to come we would need to pay him back the gas money he had lent us to get there with.

So we got on the road and headed to Ellensburg.

And we were making really good time (considering the stop for the whole tire thing was an hour or so). Then we came upon the interchange between our highway and a North/South highway. That particular bend in the road always freaks me out but THIS time, there was some 6 car caravan with flaggers, flashing lights, lead cars forcing oncoming traffic to stop until they had passed, and an immensely over sized vehicle. Not so much wide, but it was, but LONG. It was a long flat bed with another flatbed behind it with some HUGE blue thing on it TOWING another truck that looked like a milk truck.

I didn't know that was even legal, to be so long.

We followed that circus train from there to Othello where we gave up and pulled off for a potty break. What would have normally been 65 mph was 30-45 mph. On the flat parts. Which are few. Mostly we followed uphill so it took even longer.

Eventually we got to Ellensburg, dropped off the kids, and headed home.

The trip home was a whole other experience but this is long so I am going to have to save it for another time.

Try not to cry about it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Because I have no other outlet

Ashley needs a haircut. There is ONE place in this stupid town to get a haircut that is not a kitchy boutique or in someone's house where you wait until their hours to finally make an appointment for sometime in early 2013.

Supercuts opens at 9 a.m. In a college town where everyone takes classes from 9 to 12. So coming in at 10 should not be the end of the world, right?
Twice we have gone in at 10 and been told there's a 45 minute wait because there is only one person working.

The kids are heading to Brandon's today so we wanted to get Ashley's hair cut. Knowing they open at 9, and since I didn't have class this morning, I arrived at 9:10. Seriously.

The only woman working looked at me and informed me it would be an hour and a half wait.

People must be lined up outside the door when they get there in the morning. What time does the queing start? I should get in.

I put our name on the list and came home to wait until an hour has gone by. Because the extra half? Sometimes it doesn't exist and sometimes it is another hour and a half. But if you are not there, they cross you off.

Here's my problem with all of this: it cannot just be the mornings we show up that are crazy busy in that place. WHY is there not two people there for opening? It's not like they can't afford to pay her.

Although seeing as they have the corner on the market for hair cutting, I guess they can afford not to.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Man I Want to Be

My grandparents on my mom's side are getting up in years. I heard awhile back that my grandmother was not doing well. I don't have a relationship with my parents and one of my brothers, so I'm kind of out of the loop where family is concerned. Curiosity got the best of me and I finally e-mailed the one brother I maintain a relationship with.

His wife e-mailed me back promptly, as he was away on a business trip. My grandmother is doing okay. My grandfather, however, recently developed Alzheimer's. It's hit him hard and fast. He was just recently diagnosed and is already struggling to recognize his own family. I read this and my heart broke.

My grandfather has always been my hero. If there was one person I ever aspired to be like, it was him. The last two nights (since getting the news) I've stayed awake thinking about this fabulous man and why he means so much to me. I've also been thinking of what I need to change in my own life to honor what I've always respected in his life.

My grandfather had 6 children. He worked as an electrician for years until an accident on the job nearly killed him. He was working with 2 apprentices and heard a noise from a breaker box they were working on. He flew across the room and dove onto the two men just the box exploded. The two men (who otherwise would have died) were saved, but he suffered 3rd and 4th degree burns over most of his body.

He spent a year in the hospital getting skin grafts and recovering. Although a truly horrid event, he would make jokes about it (even to us kids). These are the two I remember clearly:

"I just kissed you with my butt," he'd say, referring to the fact that the skin grafted to his lips came from his butt.

"That just might have been the most painful way to remove a tattoo, and look, it didn't even get rid of all of it!" he'd joke, pointing to the green and fading remainder of a tattoo he got while in the military.

My grandfather was also a clown. Literally. He had a registered name and face (a big deal in the clowning world). He would travel, mostly with his Elks Lodge, putting on shows. Mostly they performed at Native American reservations, in poor communities or at the children's hospitals. I don't remember a single Christmas morning with him, as he would put on his clown suit and head off to cheer up the children that were too sick to be at home on Christmas morning.

The burn damaged his skin making it very difficult for him to wear the make-up or costumes. But he would still visit the children's hospital on Christmas morning.

My oldest uncle came out as gay in his twenties, during a time when it was NOT acceptable to be so. My grandpa and grandma still loved and accepted him, just as they always had. He was never unwelcome in their own.

I will always remember these, and so many other, amazing things that made my grandfather the wonderful man he was. And while he has not passed, I believe he is in the process. He won't be able to finish the crossword puzzle in his Lazy Boy every morning, or beat the pants off everyone on Wheel of Fortune. He won't remember the stories surrounding his courtship of my grandma. He won't get to know his great-grandchildren. He'll never remember the jokes he told at his 50th wedding anniversary. He'll never recall telling me that I was his favorite grandkid ever as he slipped 5 bucks into my pocket (as I'm sure he did to all the other grandkids). And I'll never stand in awe at the quarter he found in my ear.

If I ever manage to be half the man he was, I will have done extraordinarily well in this life.

An Otherwise Boring Afternoon...

Alex came home yesterday with a joke:

What does a dragon call a knight in shining armour?

**answer at the end of the post**

After they got their snack I took Alex and Annie out to play. Apparently I had forgotten how windy it was earlier. There was one other kid outside. Alex ran off to play with him so Annie was stuck eating her apple with me.

She informed me that the boys were playing some game with Zorro.

"... and he's the... well, like the villian or something." she told me.

I LOVE that "villian" just rolled out of her mouth as she was searching for an even better word.

Then she danced on the bench and sang a little song about the "tragic plank".

I don't know where she's coming up with these words, but I love hearing them come out of her mouth.

When Ashley's bus got here we had to head to her doctor appointment.

We took her prescription (YUP, she's got the pink eye) to Rite Aid and headed to the Dollar Tree while we waited for it to be filled.

Alex looked at the empty store front between them and said, "Dinner in Minutes seems to be desserted."

I told him that was funny and he didn't know why that was funny. I restated it to him so he could hear it.

The rest of the day I asked him to tell his funny joke to people and he kept thinking I meant the one about the "dinner thing".

No, I meant the other one. But I'd make him tell both since he's SO proud of the accidental funny he made.

Then we had to try to explain to him what a pun is. Have you ever tried to do that? I still haven't managed to, but I tried. When you need an example, they are no where to be found.

***The dragon calls the knight in shining armour a foil dinner!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

But the Cat Came Back, The Very Next Day

More Cat Drama...

I had to wait until later today to make this post. See, the damn cat came back. We went outside the morning after he left and he was nowhere to be seen.

I broke the news to all the kids and informed them that Crook would be unwelcome back in our house because of the fleas that would bite us and the other germs he may have picked up.

(Yes, I know a lot of cats go in and out of homes all the time. But not here. And I REALLY don't like this cat!)

So when we went outside to get in the car later that morning, there was Crook's face, staring us down from between the top two stairs of the stair case that runs above our door.

He was cussing us out.

I was faced with this cat, my statements to the kids about not letting him back in, and the reality all right in one fell swoop. In front of the girls.

I had to get to class so I threw him in the house and off we went.

Annie told me that we should vote about what to do with Crook. She voted to NOT let him stay in our house. (She also said she thought he HAD picked up some germs because her throat felt a little weird, but whatever)

Jack, the good cat, did not like that Crook was back. He spent the ENTIRE day following Crook around. He generally stayed one half a cat-length behind him and kept shouldering him. Then there was the smelling. I think Crook may have had a good time that night, ifyaknowwhatImean.

At one point Crook was sleeping on the chair Jack likes to sleep on, too. Jack couldn't get Crook to wake up and respond with a fight from the razor sharp claws to the side of the head so he went to the other end and bit Crook's manly pieces. Clearly Jack was out for a fight.

After dinner Jack escalated his disdain. He puffed up his tail and ROWRRRRRED at Crook. Then he followed him all over the house. Every time Crook sat down, Jack was claws out batting at him, biting his fur (and actually getting skin) and there was all kinds of hissing/spitting/low throat growling.

Since Crook had spent the day running back outside at every opportunity, and since I like Jack and want him to stay and feel good about it, I loaded the dumb cat into the van.

We drove out into the country a bit and I stopped the van. I opened the door, he stopped crying, and took about 2 seconds to judge this new idea.

Off he ran. I have never seen a cat go so fast.

If I had any second thoughts, I would have been out of luck as he was gone gone gone.

So now I am the culprit but the kids all know what happened. Alex "woke up" when I was heading out the door and was ready to fight on Crook's behalf.

I explained the thing about wanting Jack to like his home and feel safe. Alex didn't believe me about all the cat drama. Jack started cursing out Crook right then. It was AWESOME timing!

I guess I drove him far enough away (and past the bears where he started crying differently like he could smell the danger... he SO won't cross that line of the space between here and there). He didn't make it back this morning.

Old Mr. Johnson does not live here!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

To Clear My Name Up Front

It is not a secret that I like one of our cats better than the other one.

It is a running joke that I am going to give him away.

Last night Aiden opened the door and the cat ran out.

Nothing new about that part, at all. But normally he stops under the stairs and is too chicken to go on.

Last night Aiden managed to grab his collar, which came right off, and the cat kept on a goin'.

Of course this was after the kids went to bed.

Now when they wake up they are going to think I got rid of him (I've been threatening since Christmas or something).

We stayed up looking for him for too long. I got up this morning and looked for him some more. Jack is freaking out. That part is actually kind of cute. And sad. He keeps sitting by the door. Either that or he's sitting in my bed rowr-rowr-rowring. Which at 2:30 a.m. is NOT cute.

And the great part now is this: even if he comes back, I cannot let him in. Who knows what bugs/fleas/etc he's picked up by running around with the random cats and bunnies and such last night?

The girls would LOVE me for that. "There he is, Mom!!"
"I can't let him in"

That would be all they hear. Not the reasons WHY.

Anyway, when my kids show up at your door asking to to move in because their mom gave away the cat, it's all a lie.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Sun Made An Appearance

I drank up lots of sunshine today. Too much Vitamin D has made me hurt.

The thing about sunburns is that they can only be felt a little bit until they are all the sudden really bad.

So here's my skin now.

I'm not complaining, btw. I am happy I got a jumpstart on my tanning for the summer. See, I have to burn several times, then peel, and then I get a deep tan that will last until November. I'm the only tan person at Thanksgiving.

My Four Year Old is Getting More Action Than Me

In the middle of eating lunch today Ashley decided to interrupt what conversation was going on.

"I have something to say" she informed us (this is her new thing, I guess she feels like no one listens otherwise).

She waited until Annie stopped talking and all eyes were on her.

"Annie and Lu-uke sittin' in a cupboard, eatin' peanut butter, all I hear is *kissy sound* *kissy sound* *kissy sound*"

Aiden and I thought we were going to hear "sittin in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G" so when it was SO different we both started laughing.

Then we kept laughing because Ashley didn't realize she was being hurtful to overly sensitive Annie. We stopped laughing when Annie ran down the hall to her bedroom crying.

Ashley apologized and all is better.

The funny part is she learned it from Annie who learned it from Alex.

The funnier part is that Annie blabbed to Taylor, the girl who makes Alex's heart beat, that he liiiiikes her. So she has kept Luke's name VERRRRY secret from Alex. And Ashley ruined all of that secrecy and gave her taste of the teasing all in 4 lines of song.

Annie decided to sing it back at Ashley with "Ashley and CJ". She is so tough, she just laughed and her little eyes twinkled for a second. I asked if she LOOOVES CJ (I'm just as bad as the kids, I know) and she just replied "we kissed once. We both kissed on the lips at school"

Aiden reminded her that we can hug our friends at school but no kissing. Especially since she can't date until she's 23. Annie can't date until she's 30. This is due to the fact that she got caught several times (in preschool and kindergarten) hiding with Wyatt behind an oversize book in the corner of the library.

Alex has not kissed anyone yet, thank goodness.

At least not that he's fessing up to.

The Golden Rule

golden rule Pictures, Images and Photos

Aiden and I approach a lot of things differently. Bathing the cats is one, dealing with crying kids is another.

Aiden got hurt when he was a kid. A LOT. At one point his face looked like hamburger from faceplanting and sliiiding off the front of his bike. Half his nose came off, teeth knocked out, etc. Plus, he's been hit by a car. TWICE. Once in 2nd grade and once as an adult.

I managed to get through childhood in one piece. Not that I don't have a fantastic scar on my knee from Brandon Milsap chasing me across the gravel driveway and me finding a sharp rock to fall on (stupid freeze tag), but I was generally unscathed.

So when the kids come crying and there's no blood, Aiden's approach is more "should we cut it off? Are you going to make it?" and the like. Mine tends to be more of a "c'mere, let's look... I don't see any blood... want a kiss?" type of approach. (this does not mean I am always this way, for the record).

Today we were all piled on the bed and the cats were being petted. Annie and Ashley got slightly wild for a minute causing one of the cats to run across Aiden with the claws out.

"OUCH!!" said Aiden.

"heee heeee heeee heeee heeee!!!!!" said the girls.

Ashley ran off while Aiden said "I love how they laugh at people getting hurt"

Annie reached across me and patted his shoulder. Very sweetly she said "You're okay"

I started laughing SO HARD

When I get scratched they are always "oh, are you okay Mom?".

Maybe I need a Kit Kat. Maybe I need to get over it

This wonderful college I am attending does this really awesome thing: They give you a month (more or less) between Fall and Spring Semester. They give you Spring Break (while it's still snowing, of course!)(AND not during the same week the school district has their break.) for a week.

Then comes the best part!!!

Are you ready?!?!?!

Spring Semester ends on the Friday of Finals Week (dun dun dunnnnn). DUH! But then Summer Session?

It starts the next Monday!!

They wait until the weather is getting nice (FINALLY) and then they give you NO MORE BREAKS!
Technically I could wait until B or C session and take a couple of weeks off, but all the *good* classes (meaning ones I need) are in A session.

It does get better. Oh yes it does: Because Summer Session is so short (not even long enough to be called a SEMESTER) the classes run EVERY SINGLE DAY for about 3 Freakin' Hours.


So I have two classes. I will be spending May and half of June in class MORE than I am in class now. The difference will be I have 13 credits now but only 6 then.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Children aren't the only thing that got in anyway

gummy worms (: Pictures, Images and Photos

The other morning I woke up, came blindly down the hall still rubbing my eyes, got a drink of water, and went back to bed.

About an hour later the kids were up so I got up, went down the hall to get them some breakfast, and got stopped by Annie.

She was sitting on the living room floor. It's not where she was sitting that stopped me. It's what she said.

"Why is there a giant WORM in our living room?"


That's me, in case you didn't know.

I stood, frozen to my place, 5 full feet from the offending creature that was wriggling on my carpet.

I wanted to scoop it up and throw it outside. I could not move.

I used to be the girl who would throw worms at people (namely Lisa) while we were weeding Dad's Eternal Garden. (It was eternal because the weeding never ended. In fact, my fingers keep making Freudian slips and typing WEDDING the garden. It's totally what it felt like)

I was NOT afraid of worms. Somewhere in the years after that, where I have not touched worms, I lost my ability to touch them. Darn.

Alex saw me standing there petrified and asked if I would like him to pick it up and put it outside.

"Yes, please" was my answer. What I wanted was to offer him $20 to get the !$%#( WORM out of my house!

So he did. It was that easy.

Now, I know we have a good amount of air that gets through around the doors and one window. Since I'm pretty sure worms cannot crawl up the building and get in the dryer vent, I'm assuming that is how it got in. The door, not the dryer vent.

BUT- It was still alive so it couldn't have been inside for very long, right?

And the cats didn't eat it. Of course this means nothing since our cats don't know they should eat other strange things and turn up their noses at even tuna.

But I would have expected them to have played with it had it been in very long.

But HOW did it get in? And WHY did it come in? And how can I make it NEVER happen again?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Did you just hear what I heard?

Last night at dinner Alex was telling us the best part of his day (maybe you'll remember this is something we do every night, or close to, to foster gratitude and optimism).

He really enjoyed playing a new game at recess. It's based on a book series he's reading (the name escapes my brain for a minute. It's early).

He was telling us how you can go from this level to that level. Then he threw in a word which sounded suspiciously like some dirty Spanish word I may or may not have heard in high school.
He told us you can be come "duh Pooty" (phonetics, people).

Aiden and I looked at each other and tried really hard not to laugh.

"What was that last level?" he was asked.

Suddenly he knew he was saying it wrong.
I didn't know he was saying it wrong but I DID know that word was NOT going to be okay. At least not the way he was saying it.

"Deh Pooty" he again said. "it's spelled D-E-P-U-T-Y"

DEPUTY!! Oh, the world was right again.

It makes me wonder what he has thought his deputy badge from Texas (ala grampa 'miff) said all this time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fill a Bucket

There's a contest here to win a teacher appreciation kit for the end of the year. It clearly states that you can keep it for yourself.

Well, as someone who is going to be a teacher, I would LOVE to win this and get my very first start on stuff for my classroom.

It's all about a book where you talk about filling your bucket (and the buckets of others). Basically, you can do nice things for others and they can do them for you and you all get your buckets filled up.

One person who has filled my bucket is my seester, Val. Valerie is a great example of a person. When I was going through my divorce, I was a full time student, working 20 hours a week, dealing with three kids on my own, and my house was a pit!! To top it all off, Annie's birthday was around the corner and I was stressing out!!!

Valerie put the offer out to host the party at her house. Then she proceeded to throw the coolest birthday party ever. She did the goody bags, the cake, and a super cool Dora party for all the kids to enjoy. She even enlisted Mom to be Swiper (thus scaring the crap out of Annie, but that's besides the point).

I have always looked up to my big sister and I love her more than I think she knows. She and I may not be super close or talk very often, but when I get to spend time with her, I always feel uplifted and better about life.

There are many many other people who have filled my bucket. To name a few:

Check out Traci's blog. She doesn't update it very much but I love it for keeping me entertained with the goings on of her life and family. I also love it because it's genuine Traci. She is like a sister to me and I am SO glad I get to know her.

I also LOOOVE reading The Meanest Mom. She posts almost every day so I get to have something fun in the morning (she's 3 hours ahead of us). She keeps parenting real and has an excellent use of snarkiness and sarcasm, two things I enjoy thoroughly.

Obviously I love Tales of an OCD House Husband. Not only is it written by my lovely, wonderful husband, it provides him an outlet for all things clean-y (and that means I don't have to listen to him rant about the Alka-Seltzer toilet cleaner)(even though I thoroughly enjoy his ranting in real life). It also gets him to write. He has always wanted to be a writer and I believe he is good enough to be published over and over. He just doesn't have the time or motivation to actually write anything. This keeps his feet in the water, as it were.

Just for Fun

How it looks at our house:
Alex sat on my legs so I made him fall through and then caught him. He is the incredible folding man-child!!

Ashley was adamant that the picture be taken this way. So she's a supermodel in training.

And Annie. This is the second picture since the first one, of course, has her head at a 45 degree angle. She's so freakin' cute with pigtails!! I love that she lets us put them in her hair. And that her hair is long enough to have them, again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dinner

Annie was swinging her leg in some pretend fit and almost kicked Aiden.

Aiden: If you kick me, I'll kick you.

Annie: Okay.

Me: Maybe we should all get in line and kick her.

She knew I was kidding.

Ashley: I have to tell you guys something. That, Annie is my best and my funniest and my funnest. And I don't want to kick her.

Then she leaned over to me and whispered: But I would get in line to kick Alex!

Alex: Hey!

Annie: I don't want to kick Alex. Maybe we should all get in line to kick Ashley.

Me and Aiden: We're not going to kick anyone.

Me: Ashley did not want to kick you, you cannot kick her. If I catch anyone kicking anything...there will be problems.

Alex: You mean any people.

Annie: And not the cats.

Alex: well, yeah, not the cats. So no kicking anything.

Alex: Well, except for balls. Because balls were made to be kicked.

Annie: Yeah.

Alex: Well, some balls.

Alex: Most balls are made to be kicked. So no kicking anything but the balls that are meant to be kicked.

Me: OHMYGOSH! Enough!

I feel like I have had Easter in Monte Python's Search For the Holy Grail.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maybe Jeff Dahmer was just misunderstood

I decided tonight was the night.

The cats really needed baths. (Yes, they did.)
cat55 Pictures, Images and Photos

The only other time we gave them baths we found that Crook (washed by Aiden) hated it and Jack (washed by me) was more tolerant, although far from happy about it. We had approached it differently and so it was unknown whether the difference was from the cats or the person washing them.

Tonight we found out.

It's the cat.

I decided to start with Crook since he was such a beast about it last time.

We walked into the bathroom and I shut the door. This was his first clue that something was awry. Then I took off his collar, opened the shower curtain and turned on the water.

After I peeled him from the ceiling I got him back in the tub and started to attempt the washing.

About 2 seconds into that I could see I would need help. I had run an inch or two of water into the tub so I could avoid his exposure to the shower head (that was Aiden's gig last time. Cat's don't like water and REALLY don't like it coming out of a shower head on a hose at them, FYI.)

The entire contents of the tub ended up on my shirt, including the cat. Aiden came to my rescue and while I attempted to hold the cat, claws, and jaws away from me (and keep his fierce crying/growling/faked asthma attacks at a minimum) he washed the parts he could reasonably reach.

The rinse cycle was severely short and may end up making the whole dandruff issue worse. I decided it was most definitely over when he bit through my finger. In two places.

Aiden asked if I needed anything and I composed myself enough to say "a hammer".

Jack's bath went a WHOLE lot better. He's just a better cat, in general, although the kids all call him the mean one.

The whole thing got me to thinking about two things. First, we should zip-tie Crook to the chain-link fence and use the hose next time he needs a bath.

Second, maybe not everyone who kills cats is going to become a serial killer. Maybe the cats have it coming.

***I would just like to explain I would never actually kill a cat. The zip-tie thing would only work if Aiden was helping and since he's morally against it, I can assure you, the cats are safe.

The Joan Rivers of Chocolate Bunnies

As the Easter Bunny was doing preparations for tomorrow's festivities, he came across a bag from Rite Aid in the storage bin used for Easter decorations. It was nestled all snug in there among the baskets. Apparently I was mad at the kids last year and would not allow them to eat their chocolate bunnies. Or maybe we bought extra and never gave the other ones out. I don't know. What I do know is that the Easter Bunny came down the hall with the bag asking if I was hungry.
Turns out chocolate bunnies do not like to spend a year in a non-temperature controlled storage unit where they subsequently freeze and thaw for 12 months.

They do not age well.

I question the validity of their claim: TOTALLY DELICIOUS!

Does the Easuh Bunny do this?

"I can't get my tights, Mom."

"I didn't throw them up on the top of...."

We went down the hall so she could show me.

"They just landed there. Really."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Annie's explanation would have had ME sold.

Aiden subbed at Head Start a couple times this week including this morning. Yesterday he needed to be there by 7:30 and we were fully fed and dressed and ready for our day before we walked out the door. Today he needed to be there at 8:00 and we were mostly dressed, half of us had brushed our teeth, none of us had eaten, and we straggled out the door.

When the girls and I got home from dropping him off I asked them what kind of cereal they wanted. Then I whipped out my big surprise: I went to the store last night and got a few things including cereal. This may not sound too exciting but they were forced to eat Malto Meal yesterday because they were refusing to eat the Cheerios which have been around for a couple of months.

Not only did I get cereal, I got Cocoa Nuggets. See, I have this thing about Cocoa Pebbles. The other day Aiden had a coupon for a really cheap box so he brought me some home (to feed the PMS monster). The girls were not supposed to see the box but they did and they were SO mad that I would not share with them. (no excuse here, just sometimes I am mean like that!)

So I got them all excited in the car. Well, I got Annie excited. Ashley kept saying "Co-Coa mfmfmffffs" and I would say "Yep, Cocoa Pebbles".

Finally she managed to tell me she did not WANT Cocoa PEBBLES, she wanted Cocoa PUFFS. Her bargaining power/reasoning was "I had them at GRAND-ma's one time!"

Okay, so I fell short on the Puffs, but they were not on sale! (somehow I have it bad for chocolatey cereal. I don't know why. I will mention I also like OTHER kinds)

Annie walked into the house SOOOO excited for her Cocoa Pebb---

"That does NOT say Pebbles," she informed me. This was based on her trying to sound it out and not being able to make the N in nuggats say Puh like Pebbles.

I came clean about them being knock off (without saying "knock off") and she was appeased.

Ashley, however, was further put off by the NOT Cocoa Puffs somehow being one step further from the truth.

Annie decided she did not want milk on her cereal. Normally I might fight it (might not, too) but I just said, "okay, but when you put milk on it it turns into CHOCOLATE MILK!"

Thus, I poured the milk on Annie's cereal.

Ashley was still standing in the corner regarding the whole scene with doubt and wonder.

"Are you going to eat it, Ashley?" Annie wanted to know.


"BUT IT'S CHOCOLATE!!" Annie explained

Ashley hemmed and hawed and mentioned several more times that this was NOT Cocoa Puffs like she had been served at gramma's house.

Annie said they had it at their dad's house.

Ashley still wasn't sure.

She finally did eat it. She liked it. She asked for seconds. She was denied. She was happy once again as she had a new thing to have a fit about.

Maybe later I'll post about having to take Annie to one of my classes and how she dropped the pencil box of colored pencils on the floor to scare the crap out of everyone. And how I had to take Ashley to another class with me today where she informed me (and the rest of the class) that she was bored, this class is boring, and she wanted no, needed no, HAD to go potty again RIGHT NOW (we had gone right before class... and she did make it without any accidents).


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

And on a side note...

I have to have a minor with the major I changed to. I did not want to spend the extra time to finish any traditional minor. I found out I could appeal and be awarded a minor area of concentration instead of a minor.

Basically the same thing but saves me a LOT of time.

I had to fill out a form stating all the classes I took under that heading. I wrote down my science classes and asked for concentration in science.

The requirements state you have to have 15-18 credits and at least 3 must be upper division (300 and up)

I ended up putting down like 29 credits in science ranging from chem 100 to mbios 305.

They approved it.

So now when I graduate my diploma will say "Human Development, Early Childhood Education with a minor area of concentration in Science".


Also, it saves me a year.

If only there was hidden cameras to see it happen.

A few months ago Annie started having nightmares or at least claiming to have nightmares. Mostly this was occuring about 30 minutes after having been put to bed.

I decided to fight fake with fake and started placating her and Ashley with "happy dream" powder when they go to bed. (baby powder sprinkled around)

In the past we have also used "ghost be gone" spray. (Febreeze, air freshener, sometimes good ol' fashioned water sprayed around)

There is a picture in my mom's possession of my older sister standing in her crib next to the dresser on which the baby powder was kept. During nap time one day she woke up early and decided to decorate her nursery. It's a great picture.

I have flashed to a mental shot of that picture many a night as I set the container on the dresser while I kiss the girls. I have always been very careful to not leave the powder in their room.

Aiden did the powdering of the room last night. He is not aware of this picture. He has memory issues. I don't know if that came into play last night but the baby powder got left on their dresser.

I left the house this morning to go take a test. The girls were watching an Arthur DVD and reading books in the living room. Aiden was nursing a headache and laying in bed.

I was gone for 45 minutes, tops.

As I walked up to the door when I got home Annie was ahead of me. She pulled open the door and was SOOOO happy to see me!

I set down my stuff and looked at her. I couldn't put my finger on it but something was... off.

And what is that smell?

And why does she look like she's been drawing with the sidewalk chalk and then rolled around in it?

I started to ask her what was all over her (and I do mean ALL over) when she cut me off with "Ashley did most of it!!"

Oh crap.

I spied the closed door to their room.

I heard the gleeful laughter through the door.

I opened the door.

I shouldn't have done that.

I saw...

I saw white powder. Everywhere. The floor was kicking up little puffs of baby powder with each step Ashley took in her dance of the baby powder fairy. The part that could. Most of it was covered so thick it had died of suffocation.

I almost did. The air was so full of baby powder... it was actually foggy looking in there. There is sure to be lung infections coming up. I swear...

I closed the door and went to my room.



"Are you aware of what these girls are doing in their room?"



He got up and was greeted by the ghosts of two little girls standing in corners. At least, they looked like ghosts.

We took them outside and made them brush themselves off. It was enough to make them look like they were peeling out down a country road. And that didn't even get half of it out of their hair.

Aiden threw them into the shower while I vacuumed their carpet. (CPR)

While I was at my afternoon class Aiden wiped the rest of the powder up. It was on their dressers, their nick knack shelf, their bookcase, Annie's top bunk, Ashley's bed (on the side by the wall), crammed into the cracks of the bunk bed ladder...

I think I hate the smell of baby powder now. Aiden says he knows he does. I guess that's too bad since the WHOLE place smells like a baby's butt. And our vacuum will be pumping out the smell for years to come.

I think I am now going to find something for "nightmare powder". Maybe it will be thumb tacks scattered around.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Dream dream dream Dreeeaaammm

That's my sad attempt at the song. Now do you hear it?

I've been having all this drama with my hair lately. I ran out of the shampoo/conditioner I liked and forgot I had more of another kind I liked so we bought some that I found out I hated. So my hair was feeling really dry and icky. Plus I need a trim but can't afford one so my split ends are pretty wild (to me). Then there's the part where I keep thinking I should just cut it but I don't really want to, just tired of the scraggly, flat, dry, gross hair I think I have, some of the time.

Anyway, the other night I had a dream that I was pulling it back into a ponytail and twisting it and all the hair broke off from the ponytail point into my hand. Turns out it was a cute new 'do but I was freaking out in my dream. (In all honesty, I don't think it's THAT dry).

So that was strange. Then last night I had a dream that I was at my Grandma's house. I was like 14-ish and I was going to spend the night. Grandma was showing me how she brushes her hair before going to bed. Then she let me comb it for her. Then she combed my hair and was telling me all about how to style it. (this is funny because she had short hair when she was alive. That's right! I was dreaming about spending the night with my dead Grandma- who was very much alive in this dream. Oh! it's all complicated in my dreams)

Later I was walking down the hall and saw this big wide bowl on top of a dressing table. In it was a bunch of hot dog buns and some nut crackers. I was confused for a minute and then I realized it was so she could break off pieces off the dried up buns to throw to the birds who she'd let in to fly around her two story high living room.

That's just to let you know, I KNOW it's a strange dream. But I had to look up what it means to dream about hair and dead Grandmas.

Dreaming about hair means stuff about thoughts and feelings. Like, tangled hair means you can't organize your thoughts. If you want to know more, click the link.

Dreaming about dead Grandmas is harder. But you can sift through all the dead information (information about dreaming of dead people, is a better way to say it) and pick out what you will.

Apparently I am being influenced by negative people, am about to suffer material loss, cannot organize my thoughts, and am having a loss in strength.

Or I am abnormally preoccupied with looks.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

What is that up in the sky?


It's the sun!

And it's surrounded by blue!! I was forgetting what blue looked like. I only remembered gray.

We took the kids outside today for 4 hours. Awesome goodness of all things holy!- it was great!

There was no screaming or crying or fighting or killing of the siblings/parents/children. How do you argue with that? You don't.

Alex's sense of humor was on point, as well. The kids were riding bikes and playing Batman. Them playing Batman made the bikes transform into cars. As one of the neighbor girls pulled off to the side to stop she announced she was going to get gas. Each of the kids who rode past her while she got gas were told she is getting gas.

When she told Alex she was getting gas he said, "oh, I didn't see you eating any beans!"

That boy, I'll tell you what.

He is SO my kid.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Posted today but still true...

My friend, Amy, and her family came over for dessert the other night. Somehow we got around to strange stories. First it was how a friend of hers used to put the cat in the freezer for a minute to get it to calm down when it was way out of control. Sounds bad but it is strictly funny when she tells it.

That reminded me of the joke about the guy who gets a parrot but finds the parrot to have a foul mouth (not FOWL. ha ha ha). As a last ditch effort he puts the parrot in the freezer to chill out. The parrot sits in the freezer cussing him out for a few minutes and then gets REAAALLLLY quiet. The man lets him out and the parrot is all "thank you, sir" and "maybe we got off on the wrong foot". The man is happy with the new leaf from this parrot but wonders how it was so successful. The parrot then says, "Can I just ask one question? What did the chicken do?!"

Amy, as usual, can top this joke with a true story. She's known all kinds of people in her life and I am betting, based on the stories, that either she met all of them during their padded cell days or they were all on their way there.

Her friends decided they were going to buy a live turkey, raise it, and then eat it for Thanksgiving. They had had it for enough time that it became like a pet when it was time to butcher it. "good luck" said her husband and headed off to work. (I think this was part of the original deal. Otherwise, he's lucky it wasn't HIM who got butchered.) She found that she just couldn't whack its head off no matter what she tried to tell herself.

So she got her hands on some chloroform and held a rag over the turkey's head thus causing the turkey to pass out. This made it an excellent victim for kidnapping but since she already had it she continued with the master plan. Did she cut off it's head? No. She plucked the feathers from it and popped the passed out, LIVE turkey into the freezer hoping this would be the way to deal with it.

When her husband got home from work she figured it had been in the freezer long enough, surely it had died. She opened the freezer to show her husband the result of her efforts.

Out came a bald (featherless anyway) turkey who was fit to be tied. It ran all over their house until it was finally caught and beheaded. I don't know who finally did the honors. I don't know if Amy told us. I couldn't stop laughing at the mental picture of a bald turkey running around the house.

If you think THEY were stressed out about it, how do you think the dang turkey felt?

One Down, a Whole Bunch To Go!

cheese to my macaroni :) Pictures, Images and Photos

Things I love about my husband, on our anniversary:

  • He loves our kiddos as if they were his own.
  • He is my best friend.
  • He does the laundry.
  • and the grocery shopping.
  • and the taxi service.
  • and he rarely complains about it.
  • He makes me happy even when I am feeling totally down. and don't want to be cheered up
  • He proofreads all my papers for me.
  • He lets me practice my speeches on him and is able to give excellent feedback.
  • He thinks I'm pretty.
  • He loves me.
  • He thinks he is the lucky one. (ha!)
  • He does 97 % of the cooking.
  • and 99.9% of the cleaning.
  • He takes the kids out of the house so I can sleep the day away (occasionally).
  • He tells people (and me) what a great mom I am. even when I don't believe it.
  • He goes to class for me when I am sick.
  • He gets excited about all the little things I might forget to notice.
  • He has introduced new traditions to our family (like St. Patty's Day celebrations)
  • He loves Christmas.
  • He covertly got my friend to babysit tomorrow night so we can go on a *free* date. It is not sad and pitiful, either. We are going to eat a picnic and watch a movie in the van.
  • He's romantic like that.
  • He knows not to buy fake diamonds.
  • He knows I would wear them anyway.
  • He is everything I ever wanted in my husband and I am excited each day to spend another day on this spinning rock that's hurtling through space with him and the kiddos.
  • There is no one else I could laugh this hard with.
  • We're stupid in the same ways (nerdy stupid). Like, we critique our arguments by how well we obeyed the rules taught in every communications class across the land.
  • He served his country in the Coast Guard and has MANY stories to share about it.
  • We got married on a Tuesday at some random time in the afternoon JUST so we could be married on April Fool's Day. It fits us.
  • We're cheesy together.

These are some of the bazillion reasons I love my Aiden. My midgety, crippled Aiden.

Mac   Cheese Pictures, Images and Photos