Friday, November 6, 2009

I really shouldn't be doing this, but....

Anyone remember that business that the hubby and I started last year in Michigan? I don't remember if I blogged about it, and honestly, right now, I don't have time to re-read all my old posts to see if I did. Anyway... the exciting news is all of a sudden (and I mean that in the nobody knew we existed one day and the next day our phone was ringing off the hook kinda way) we started actually conducting business. What this means is the rest of my life got turned on it's head when this new 40 hour a week job fell in my lap. You see, I am the magic behind the scenes that makes sure that people pay us, that we pay the people who are expecting money from us, and that everything is legal. I already had a pretty tightly packed schedule with the job at the restaurant, parenting three kids, and being VP of their school PTA. So some stuff, ok a lot of stuff, has been being ignored while I try to figure it all out. One of those being this blog. And really seriously, I shouldn't be here blogging right now. I should be getting my kids ready for school, but I missed you my dear readers, all 17 of you.

So for now, I have this little snippet:

Conversation I had this morning with my daughter as I was trying to wake the kids without actually going upstairs to do it.

Me (yelling, but in a cheerful morning voice) : Little people, it's time to get up, time to get out of bed

Her (in a I'm faking being offended voice) : I'm not a little person

Me : Well not in the midget kinda way, but in the you aren't a fully grown human kinda way

Her : Okay, but I'm still not little

Me : Would you rather I told you to get your BIG butt out of bed?

Her : That would be kinda funny

Have a great Friday all, and I'll try to come back soon

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And in other news

A couple of months ago my dog Max was finally successful in his attempts to lose his doggie virginity. After several failed attempts, he finally figured out where to put it, (not in her ear, not on her hip, not in her face), and ended up doing this....

Tiffany said they looked like Catdog. Anyone remember that show?
It was hysterical, because, she was right, they totally did.

So like a month went by and my little Roxy doggie did not seem to be making any womanly changes so I pretty much figured that Max hadn't been successful in his attempts to create an heir.

I went to Hawaii for 9 days to help my family, and when I returned, I found that my little doggie looked like this....

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what she looked like 9 days prior, well, let's just say she was about half that size.

So a little math was done with the help of that picture I took of them when they looked like Catdog, and it was determined that she would be having puppies this week.

Mind you, I never had dogs growing up, and certainly never had one have puppies so this was all new to me. Have you gotten a whelping box? Have you done this? Have you done that? Don't let her to this? Make sure she does that? OK, Ok, my head is spinning. So a week and a half ago I got busy building a whelping box. It was made out of cardboard because I'm currently pretty poor and I have an abundance of cardboard boxes left over from all the moving we did this year. I was all proud of myself for getting it done early since I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator. It totally had one removeable side so I could close them in or access them as needed.

The kids were all impressed with mom's mad cardboard carpentry skills.

So I'm thinking I have another week when last Tuesday Aimee calls me when she gets home from school and tells me "Roxy had her puppies!!" Wha?? That wasn't supposed to happen for another week! She tells me there are four and they all seem to be doing good. There was a black one, a tan one, a brown one, and a brown and white one. Aww.

Then. Like two hours later. After I had picked up Kimberly and Tiffany from school, Tiffany comes to me and says "Mom, now there are TWO tan ones. I just saw the other one come out of Roxy's BUTT." Holy cow. Five puppies were in my little doggie. FIVE. And they all lived. Everyone had told me that there was a good chance with it being her first litter that one or more would die. But they didn't. I have five of the most freakingly adorable puppies I have ever seen.

Can you see them all? The brown and white one is under her ear.

Here's a picture I took of just the puppies while momma took a potty break.

This one is my fave. One of the tan ones was totally laying on it's back to nurse.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Today is my first day off in a week. I had plans for today. They involved me and a big body of water in my backyard spending some quality time together. I got up at eight a.m. and went outside to admire the beauty that is my swimming pool. There were some leaves and dirt in it from the storm we had the other night so I set to work cleaning it. I noticed a strange smell kinda reminiscent of pond water and a few little spots of algae starting to grow. Ruh Roh. When is the last time hubby tested the pool water? Before I went to Hawaii like six weeks ago?? Is there any chlorine in the floaty thingie? Nope?? What time does Leslie's open?? Not until ten!!!

Ten a.m. finally arrived and I took my pool water sample to Leslie's. Which is a pool supply place for anyone that doesn't have this particular chain in their state. A helpful but stillness challenged guy named Mike tested my water. It made me a bit uneasy watching him as he rocked back and forth and seemed to be doing some kind of intricately choreographed dance with my water sample. Really I think Mike is in the wrong line of work. Exotic dancer maybe would be more up his alley the way he was moving and grooving while adding drops of this here and inserting a test strip there.

His conclusion was that I needed thirty five dollars worth of chemicals and crap in addition to the small stockpile of chemicals and crap I already had at home. And the kicker? I can't swim in it for two days!!! Two days!!. Asking if I could swim in it today and start putting the chemicals in it after actually got Mike to stand motionless for half a second while giving me a disgusted look. "I wouldn't recommend that, it's not safe" he said. Fuckstockings!

Plans for the day ruined I returned home with the chemicals and a sheet of instructions that Mike had printed for me, where he carefully highlighted all the parts that say add this crap, wait 12 hours, add more crap, wait another 12 hours, add even more crap, wait another 12 hours, and then you can swim. He used a sharpie to cross out all the other stuff that I'm sure included the location of the magic wand that would make my pool swimable today.

First step, backwash the pool filter. Have you ever back washed a pool filter? This is similar to making the vacuum blow and not suck and forgetting to take the dirty bag out first, only with water. Lots and lots of water. Where does this water go you ask? All over the flipping yard! Unless you are my husband. He likes to direct the hose over our back wall and into the church parking lot behind us. However, today being Sunday, and church being in full swing, I was afraid someone might notice the bright blue hose spewing dirty pool filter water all over their parking lot.

So with my backyard resembling a swamp, or a rice field maybe, it was on to the next step. Add some algae killer stuff. The kids commented on the beauty of the blue crystals as I sprinkled them into the pool. Pretty and functional, that's my kind of product! That was followed by some shock. A nifty name for a crap load of chlorine, I think. Boring, unpretty, white powder. Then, nothing, until 11 p.m. tonight when more shock goes in. So all afternoon I've been looking at my pool, which looks deceptively clean and sparkly but which is either still a pond in disguise or has enough chemicals to eat your skin off, I'm not sure.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to School

Today my kids started school.
My oldest... officially a high schooler.
My little two.. sixth and third grade.

It really seems like we just did this. Hard to believe it was a year ago already.

They say time flies when you are having fun, but I think time just flies. Every year that goes by seems to go by at a rate exponentially faster than the one before. I remember with my first I couldn't wait for her to reach the next milestone that "What to Expect the First Year" told me she would. With the second, I eagerly awaited the next step in hopes that the screaming would stop (if only I knew she would be 9 before she could effectively use her words). With the youngest, I had finally learned to stop looking forward, and just enjoy NOW. I relished every moment of what she was doing right now, without being in a hurry for what would come next. Of course right now she is going through that inquisitive phase where she asks a bazillion questions a day, and well frankly, I wouldn't mind THAT being over.

Today my littlest one got up at the same time as her big sister the high schooler. The high school starts two hours earlier than the elementary school. Meaning that my little one was up, dressed and ready to go THREE hours before school was going to start. So for three hours I endured her endless questions about everything from lunch, to when the puppies are going to be born. She asked about a hundred times when we were going to leave for school. She asked about her birthday that is still weeks away and why mommy likes coffee so much. She asked and asked and asked, and finally I smiled thinking that today, for the first time in two and a half months, for 6 whole hours, she'd have someone else at which to direct her questions.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Homeward Bound

Today is my last day here in Hawaii. Most people would expect that I would be sad about going home, but it hasn't been beaches and mai tai's. The only water my feet have touched is in the shower, and I'm losing my tan from spending my days inside the hospital. It's been a rough nine days. Not only have I cooked and cleaned more than I ever do in my own home, it's been emotionally draining to be the only one thinking rationally in a house full of people grieving over a sick family member. My mother in law is a wreck. My sister in law is emotionally vacant. I worry about how they will cope when I'm gone. I've suggested they find some kind of therapy or support group so that they get the emotional support that they need when I'm gone. I hope they do, because they will need it, but I'm not holding my breath. I love them because they are my husband's family, but I miss my own kids and my own bed. It will be so good to be home.

Once I get home I need to get busy getting everything ready for school to start. There are backpacks and crayons to buy, doctor's appointments to attend, prescriptions to fill. Not to mention the meetings with the PTA to get everything ready to go the first week of school. I've got a lot to do over the next two weeks to get my house in order to start school. I still can't believe that summer is almost over. It feels like we haven't done anything.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Right where I need to be

Again with the writer's block. Blech.

It's been almost two months since I've posted. I just haven't felt like I had anything to say. Overall our summer has been pretty uneventful. Mostly I'm happy about that, but it does keep me from having fodder for my blog.

The kids start school in two weeks. I wonder where my summer went. Sure we've been to some movies and I'm rocking a pretty good tan, but I still feel like we haven't done anything. Our summers used to be busy with swimming lessons and other activities. The past two summers we've spent them mostly at home doing nothing. Not to knock doing nothing. It's good to relax sometimes, but I feel rather unproductive.

For the past five days I've been in Hawaii. Not for a vacation, but to help my mother in law since my father in law is sick in the hospital. A week ago he almost died. The doctors told MIL that she needed to call her kids. It was bad. My husband was conflicted, he wanted to be here to comfort his mom, but he also needed to do some work to provide for our family. I suggested that I could come in his place. And just like that my plans for the next couple of weeks changed drastically. Immediately I was packing and getting on a plane, putting my entire life on hold for 10 days to come out here and do whatever I can. The night I arrived I looked up into the night sky and saw the big dipper. So close and so bright I felt like I could touch it. In that moment I knew, I was right where I needed to be. The big dipper has always been my personal compass. Any time I've been at any kind of crossroads in my life, and wanted reassurance that I was on the right path, if I saw the big dipper in the sky things always turned out okay. This may seem silly to you reading this, being as how the big dipper is pretty easy to recognize in the night sky, but I can tell you, there are times when you can't. Whether it is a matter of the tilt of the earth, or clouds, or whatever, there are just times that it is not there to see. And it's not as if I go looking for it either. I just happen to see it while thinking about other things. Like this time, when I looked up to the sky it was just there, the only thing I could see in the patch of sky I could see between the houses and the trees that obscured my view. So for the last five days I haven't worried about all the things at home that need to get done, or the money I spent to fly out here, or anything other than helping my MIL. All those things will work themselves out, because I am needed here, so this is where I am.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

This past weekend the hubby went out of town and my mom took my younger two giving me the rare opportunity to spend some quality time and talk with my teenager. It's not often that I can really talk to her. Whether it's my hubby chiming in finishing my sentences with what he thinks I'm trying to say, or her little sisters being nosey, it's hard to finish a thought, let alone a whole conversation.

We spent all day Sunday together. We had lunch, saw a movie, and went out to dinner. At lunch, we talked and I learned some amazing things. I started off by telling her that I was completely clueless about how to relate to her new teenager self. That I couldn't decide between punishing her for failing two classes or rewarding her for being so responsible around the house. I told her that I felt I was out of touch with what she liked and disliked, but that I realized that the punishments we were using such as taking her phone away, really didn't seem to bother her and therefore weren't motivation to do better. I asked her what kinds of privileges or possessions she wanted and would be upset if they were taken away as punishment. She shrugged and said I don't know.

We continued to talk and little by little the picture became clearer. What I figured out is she really doesn't like her sisters. I mean she loves them, they are her sisters after all, but they annoy the crap out of her. Even though my middle one is only 2 1/2 years younger than her, there is a huge gap between what she wants to do and what they want to do. Everything she said seemed to center on the same theme, "All they want to watch on TV is baby shows" "They're so annoying" "They always come in my room and get into my stuff". When I asked her if she would be motivated to do better in school if I offered her $100 for a straight A report card, she shrugged and said "Not really", but after a pause she followed it up with "If you gave me $100 for each report card with straight A's, I'd save it so I could go to Hawaii and visit grandma (hubby's mom) for a week without my sisters."

So now I'm able to formulate a plan.

First, I need to give her more opportunities to do stuff without her sisters, like offering to drop her and her friends off at the movie or at the mall for a few hours. This is going to be a struggle for me. Up until this point, if they haven't been in my sight, they were always in the care of some other adult I trusted or at school. Yeah I'm a little a lot overprotective. I just think I would DIE if something ever happened to my kids that I could have prevented if I was watching them. So just the thought of letting her go off on her own and not knowing her exact location for a couple of hours makes me literally nauseous. Do they make lojack for teenagers?

Second, we need to give her more control over her room and her ability to keep her sisters out of it. Now this one is going to be harder for my husband. I have no problem with her shutting her door or even locking it. He on the other hand hates it when the kids shut their doors, and comes unglued if one of them locks it. He sees no need for it, but then again, he grew up in a house with no doorknobs (I won't even begin to get into that). I told him he's going to have to let up on the door locking thing, because I think THAT would be a privilege she would work hard to keep.

Third, we are considering getting her a TV and DVR for her room so she can watch the shows that she wants to watch without her sisters interrupting her or bugging her to put on a "baby" show. Screw up at school and it's back to preschool TV with your sisters.

Finally... that trip to Hawaii... I think if she brings home straight A report cards, we can put $100 in a savings account each time towards her ticket. Maybe by next summer I'll be over my fear of letting her out of my sight enough to deal with the thought of letting her navigate the airport and get on a plane by herself.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Snap 2 Twitter FAIL

Snap 2 Twitter is a pretty cool app I downloaded on my blackberry. It allows you to take a pic with your phone and then tweet about it and upload all in one step.


I just was on twitter seeing what the pic tweet I just sent looked like(Kimberly's little stuffed dog on the pony wall with a creepy note). Followed the little mini url to my pic. It totally worked, pretty cool, but then WHOA!!! There is a pic on there that looks like cleavage or ass cheek or something. No wonder I've had so many new twitter followers this week! They think I'm some porn twitterer or something.

And the picture. Yeah, totally my knee. Took it by accident. So totally not porn. Totally didn't mean to post it.

The problem is the minute you snap a pic it goes to this Snap 2 Twitter app. Gives you the option to "save and tweet" or "save only". You have to hit save only in order to go back and delete the accidental knee pics. Apparently I hit save and tweet by accident.

Don't bother going to look for it now, I deleted it.

How to parent a teenager

If you are looking for an answer you are not going to find it here. Look me up in 10 years and maybe I'll have a clue. Right now what I have is a girl who just turned 13 and not a freaking clue of what to do with her. I'm swimming in self doubt and totally scared that I'm screwing up royally.

She is still screwing up in school. Despite my best efforts, grounding, taking away all her cool stuff, lectures on why she doesn't want to end up a drop out, etc., she still managed to fail two of her classes last quarter.

I really don't get it. She's really smart so it's not a matter of the subject matter being too hard. Plus she's really super responsible about other stuff. She cleans her room, does her chores, helps with her sisters. Why can't she do her homework too? I have a really hard time punishing her because 98% of the time she is an angel. She's just doesn't give a crap about her grades. I don't get it.

I don't know what more to do to motivate her. Last summer I started paying her for babysitting her sisters. She gets paid per hour whatever her GPA is. I explained that if she got straight A's that would be worth a bonus dollar for a total of $5. Right now she's earning a whopping $2.33. I tried explaining to her that this is just like life, the better you do in school, the more money you can make. One quarter this year she had a 3.o, but now we are back down to 2 and change.

I asked her to write an essay on the importance of education citing at least 6 statistics. What I got back was an essay on why she "thinks" the high school she wants to go to is superior to the one she is going to attend. She totally didn't read the explanation of the rankings she was citing and got it completely ass backwards.

I get that this last quarter has been an emotional roller coaster for her. First we have to move, and end up in a different high school boundary than where we started, then we try to keep her in that high school by applying for two different programs that would allow her to stay (she doesn't get accepted to either), followed by not making the cheerleading squad at the one she is going to attend. I totally understand how craptastic that is for a 13 year old.

HOWEVER. We now live in a nicer neighborhood. The high school she is being "forced" to attend turns out more college bound kids than the other one. It's students consistently score higher on the state standardized tests. I'm totally not brokenhearted about her having to go there. She doesn't care at all about any of that though, she just cares that all her friends are going to the other school. And in true 13 year old drama queen form, she is POSITIVE she will NOT be able to make ANY new friends at the new school.

I am left confused with how to proceed. On one hand I want to spoil her with fun stuff this summer to cheer her up since I know in her 13 year old mind she thinks her world is ending, on the other hand I want to ground her for the whole summer for getting two F's, and bottom line, I have no idea if EITHER strategy will improve anything.

I had my chance..

and didn't take it.

What you ask?

My kids are going to a new school next year. This whole moving thing has thrust us into the boundaries of a different school and despite my best efforts the kids will not be able to stay at their old school. Budget crisis' suck, but that's a whole other post.

Leaving our previous school prematurely ended my term as PTA Vice President. I could have gone to the new school and pretended I didn't know what a PTA was. I could have laid low, bought my catalog crap and cookie dough, and left the work to some other sucker. But NOOO.

The day after school ended I went to the new school with the kids withdrawal paperwork from the other school and got them all signed up. She took me and the kids on a tour of the school and I got a little giddy about all the cool things they have at this school as opposed to the old one. It's a technology math/science concept school and beyond awesome. As I was preparing to leave, I heard myself say "so how do I get in touch with your PTA?".

I wasn't planning on asking about the PTA. Where those words came from, I have absolutely no clue. The very nice office lady took this opportunity to tell me that the newly elected PTA was short a few officers, a VP, treasurer, and secretary to be exact. Yeah, they're just short 3/5ths of their board. They NEED my help. And so it starts again.

I don't know why I can't just run away from the PTA. I've spent eleventy billion hours this last year alone doing PTA stuff. I should be a little burnt out on it by now. It's not like I have an excess of time on my hands as is evidenced by my lack of blogging for the last month. I have other things I like to do with my time and PTA cuts into that, but I still can't seem to walk away.

It's like Stockholm Syndrome, even when I have the chance to leave, I don't because I identify with my captors. I feel bad for them. They NEED me. So I have a meeting next week to meet with their two members and compare notes. To tell them all about what I know that works and to find out what they are planning. I'll probably end up involved.

The fact is, I like being on the PTA. I like the Principal knowing me by name. I like not having to show my ID when I pull my kids out for a doctor's appointment because the staff knows exactly who I am. I like it when the teachers take the extra bit of time to listen to my concerns because I'm the one that hooks them up with money for field trips. I like that my kids know that I value them and their education enough to give my time to get involved. I like the fact that they, and all the other kids, get to have cool things like Holiday Shops and Carnivals that I put together.

I'm pretty sure if I don't do it, nobody will. The fact that this board only has two out of five members just goes to show that not many people want to devote their time to a job that only pays in kid's smiles. This has been my experience with every school my kids have ever been to. The same eight people show up to every meeting and the other thousand parents take the attitude that someone else will do it. I want my kids to have the things that the PTA provides, and I'm willing to work to make sure they have it.


A long long time ago, on my first wedding anniversary, my husband and I celebrated by going to get tattoos. He chose a baby blue hammer head shark on his shoulder and I got a gecko on my leg. I teased him mercilessly about his cute little baby blue shark. It really wasn't very manly, and it was small. Like cover it up with a quarter kinda small. I liked my gecko but the artist had messed up one of it's feet so it had this whole "one of these things is not like the others" think going on with it's feet. Lesson #1 of getting a tattoo, check around and find a good artist, just don't walk into the first shop you see in Hollywood that doesn't have a wait. Lesson #2 a good shop will have a wait if you don't have an appointment.

Several years later we were at a party for our friend Mike's 30th birthday. Mike was a little drunk and said "Hey I think I want to get a tattoo". Of course we were all kinda shocked especially since Mike always hassled his wife over her tattoos that she had gotten before they had met. She was sure he'd sober up a little and back out, but figured if he got one he'd have to stop complaining about hers. So off we went in the middle of the night to get Mike a tattoo. He ended up going through with it and my hubby came home with his little baby blue hammer head shark covered up with a big very manly black shark.

Fast forward to my 30th birthday. We were in Vegas, such a perfect place to celebrate, and I wanted a tattoo for my birthday. I wanted to get something on my lower back but didn't know what. We ended up at Ironhorse Tattoo which came highly recommended and of course there was a huge wait since we hadn't made an appointment. We waited and waited and the whole time I was looking at all the pictures I still couldn't figure out what I wanted. Hours later when it was finally my turn I decided that before getting another tattoo I wanted to get my gecko fixed. So I did. Here is the end result.

Notice the matching feet. Ya. Good stuff. A good tattoo artist makes all the difference.

In the years that followed my hubby has added two more tattoos. One on his forearm and one on his calf. I still have not gotten my lower back done. At this point I really don't want the "tramp stamp" as it's a little overdone. A couple of years ago I decided what I wanted was stars. I saw a couple of different star tattoos and really liked them. I also saw a couple of tattoos that went down the side of the ribs and really liked that too. What I really want to do now and have been decided on for about a year is a trail of stars that goes down my right side, around my back, and ends on my left hip. It's a pretty big piece and talking my hubby into it has been a challenge. He's not that into lots of tattoos on girls. Especially his girl.

Now I don't want a bunch of dark black stars all over me. Don't want to end up looking like a leopard when I'm 80. I'm going for subtle. I'm thinking white and just the outlines of the stars. It's going to be cool. I like the idea of having a huge tattoo that nobody will know is there unless I decide to show them. I think it's kinda funny that most people who meet me think I'm very conservative when I am in fact pretty crazy. Even with the tattoo on my leg, most people don't notice it because they aren't looking for or expecting to find a tattoo on me. I've almost got the hubby talked into it. We got some star stencils and I'm going to get a white eyeliner pencil so we can draw it on and he can see my vision. I think he will see that it won't be that shocking even though it will be pretty big. Then I can finally go do it. I'm pretty excited.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This and That

A lot has happened since I last posted.

Here is the rundown.

We moved. Yes again. For those of you that don't know, we were forced to move out of the house we had been renting back in January because it was getting foreclosed on. We looked and looked and couldn't find anything that we liked. Well we found a couple but we were turned down. Each one we liked had several applications. All the others were dumps. Finally we found one that was only month to month (because it too was getting foreclosed on too). That gave us time to find the one we just moved into a week ago. On the hottest day of the year so far. Yeah, that was fun. So for the last week I've been playing, "Which box did that get packed in?" and trying to get unpacked and organized. Little by little it's coming together.

I've had to shop and buy some things for the house. It never fails, the little things you need to make a house livable, how the things that worked in the last house don't work here. Like the basket that I keep all the medications in. I keep all the meds in the cabinet above the microwave. Out of reach of little hands. Well the basket that I kept them in for the last 5 years, the one that worked in the last 4 houses we lived in, didn't fit in this cabinet. So I had to get several smaller baskets to hold the meds.

Then there is the guest bath. I've always wanted a guest bath with a pedestal sink, and I finally have one. Of course I haven't had a guest bath in the last couple of houses, so I had to figure out how to decorate that room. On a budget. Not having a cabinet in the bathroom makes storage more interesting too. I had some silver candle holders in there that my aunt gave me for Christmas several years ago that really didn't match anything in any of my other rooms. I decided to use them, get some white towels, and go with a clean spa like theme for the room. I found a spare toilet paper roll storage container in chrome, as well as an artificial calla lily arrangement in a silver colored pot. I picked up a chrome wire basket to hold the extra towels. Somewhere around here I swear I have a white bathroom rug, but I have no idea what box it's in. If I don't find it by next weekend, I'll probably go buy another one. (then I will find it, LOL) All that's left is to find something to hang on the walls. As soon as it's done I'll post some pics.

I finally got a new phone. After the insurance sent me two more Frankenstein phones, my husband finally got them to agree to send me a BRAND NEW PHONE. The catch, they don't make the pink ones anymore. They still have them in the store, but the insurance does not have any. They tell the hubby they will send the silver phone and maybe the store will trade it for a pink one. Ya, the store said no deal since it wasn't from their inventory they couldn't swap it. So he made yet another call to the insurance, and after they tried to extort another $50 deductible from him, he finally got them to pay for a brand new pink phone for me. Wow, it's only been like 3 weeks now. I tell you one thing. I'm not keeping my phone in my back pocket any more.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Close but no cigar

Here is the latest offering by the Verizon insurance people.

As you can see, they at least got the right screen on this one, but it still has the wrong navigation buttons. Of course it's too late to call now, but I'm making the hubby call first thing tomorrow. I bet you he gets me a brand new phone, not any more of this refurbished crap. He's good at things like that.

Friday, April 17, 2009

F#&king Frakenstein Fone Friday

Monday morning my phone took a dive into the toilet. Brilliant, I know. It's KARMA biting me in the ass for laughing at my husband for fumbling his brand new Blackberry Storm into a sink full of water. I called him "Fumbles" for days. That will teach me.

So of course the hubby was in no particular hurry to call the insurance to get me a new phone. He did turn on his old Curve for me to use and he finally called the insurance on Tuesday. Wednesday my new phone shows up. I haven't even touched it yet and he's already on the phone bitching about the trackball not working right. Fabulous.

He gives me the phone and tells me he will go to the Verizon store the following morning to get it swapped out for me. I finally get to try and use it and I immediately see what the deal is. The trackball works only about one out of every three times you push it.

So yesterday I had to work, so I left without my phone so he could take it to the store. I get home from work and he tells me that, of course, the trackball didn't act up at all in the store. Figures. He did however get the insurance to agree to send me out a different phone. It should come today.

SO last night I'm looking at my phone, and something just doesn't look right. I look up on Verizon's site and find this picture. This is what my phone is supposed to look like. This is what the one that went swimming in the potty looked like.

The phone the insurance sent me looks like this.

Notice something wrong??

It looks like they took pieces from this Blackberry

and mixed it up with a pink one.

No wonder it doesn't work right. F#&king Frankenstein Fone.


I don't have the time or energy to write a long post tonight.

Here are some completely random things that are on my mind.

Tomorrow we get the keys to our new (rental) house.

I haven't packed anything.

Unless you count the fact that I only unpacked half the stuff we moved out of the last house.

In that case you could say I'm half packed.

Or half baked.

I have been feeling yucky all day.

Like I'm getting sick.

I don't have time to be sick, since I am:
Moving this weekend.
Working a crapload next week.

So I keep telling myself I'm not getting sick.

And I should go to bed early tonight.

But I need to take a bath before I go to bed.

I wore flip flops all day.

My feet feel dirty.

I can't sleep when my feet feel dirty.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Is it summer yet?

This happens every year. The day when the kids (or namely just the kid, you know, the ADD kid) just give up for the year. Classwork gets blown off and homework is a nightmare. It's like they know that it's ALMOST summer, so it should be goofing off time, right?

Yesterday I get an email from the teacher. "Kimberly refused to do ANYTHING today, I'm sending all the work home [for you to deal with]." Fabulous. Because I had soooo much extra time in MY evening to deal with homework PLUS three assignments she didn't get done in class.

Yesterday after school we had a meeting to review Kimberly's 504 plan. It went well. We made a couple of changes, took out some stuff that was outdated, and looked at what would need to be done differently for 6th grade. They start switching classes in 6th grade, so things are going to get interesting. Some things were rephrased, much to my delight, since I was a little miffed that the previous teacher's label of "disruptive" had remained in one section. All in all a good meeting, but because of it we had an hour and a half less time for homework and stuff that should have been finished in class.

Needless to say we weren't able to get it all done, so it carried over to today. When I picked the kids up from school Kimberly was rambling on and on about some video assignment she had to do. Now I have to admit I wasn't completly listening. For one thing, I have ADD too, and for another, Kimberly loves to talk. I swear she talks just to hear herself talk. Really. Like she will read the makes and models of all the cars we pass on the road. So I kinda tune her out sometimes. So I'm all whatever, she has some kind of report, it will probably be due in a couple of weeks and we will have some time to work on it. I tell her that we don't have a working video camera and I'm thinking to myself maybe some kinda powerpoint presentation will suffice.

We get home and I tell her to start on her homework, that she has a lot to do, because she has to get the rest of the assignments done tonight too. She asks "so you want me to do tonight's homework first, then work on the assignments from yesterday?" I tell her yes. She goes off to her room. An hour later I go to check on her thinking that she should be done by now and I need to prod her to get to work on the other stuff.

I find her sitting on her bed watching tv. I ask her where her homework is and she pulls her assignment sheet out of her backpack. Wanna take a wild guess what it said?? "Read for 20 minutes. Timeline - didn't do in class. 10 events in her life. She wants to do a video instead of writing." So not only has she wasted an hour doing nothing, we have last night's assignments PLUS now a timeline video thing that I don't have a video camera to do.

So I tell her "guess what? since you spent an hour goofing off AND this timeline thing could have been done in class to begin with, I'm not going out of my way to help you do a powerpoint on it, you are just going to write it." I'm such a mean mommy. For Kimberly writing is the most difficult thing on the planet. Not that she isn't incredibly creative, it just requires the kind of sustained attention that she is so terribly lacking in. So it's in her 504 that she can do alternative assignments that don't require as much writing.

Now it's time to play "let's make a deal". Kimberly loves to try and bargain. Someday she's going to make a great lawyer or snake oil salesman. After 15 minutes of her trying to bargain, now I'm getting frustrated. "YOU AREN'T GOING TO CHANGE MY MIND CHILD, NOW GET TO WORK, YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO GET THIS DONE".

Finally she sits down to work. On one of the assignments from yesterday. Answering 3 questions about a chapter in a book they are reading in class. Five minutes later she's whining about how she can't answer the questions because she didn't read the chapter, because she was still working on one of the other assignments that she didn't get done yesterday. ARE.YOU.FREAKING.KIDDING.ME??

I tell her to go work on the timeline and I start thinking of how to solve this little dilema.
I search online for the answers.
No luck.
Maybe the library that is 3 minutes from my house has the book.
Call Barnes & Noble.
They have it.
Hold it for me, I'm on my way.

Forty five minutes later I'm back with the book. She's finished the timeline and showered. She reads the chapter. She answers the questions. It's 10:15 and she finally goes to bed. Bedtime is supposed to be 8:30. Tomorrow she will be tired. When she's tired she has bad days at school. So her inability to get her work done yesterday is going to snowball and ruin our whole week.

I just want it to be summer. No more school. No more homework. I'm done too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The cure for what ails you is candy.

I have this thing about taking the kids to the doctor. I pretty much try to avoid doing it as much as possible. Not that I don't believe in modern medicine, but I also believe in my mother's intuition and the knowledge I have gained by the umpteen thousand trips to the doctor I have already made with my children. Sometimes it's better to just wait it out.

My husband however thinks that they need to go every time they sniffle. "That's why we have insurance" he says. He's gone a lot though, so usually I let things ride. If they have a cold, they get tylenol, fluids, and rest. Why should I go pay a $20 co-pay to have the doctor tell me that. And why would I want to risk exposing them to something even yuckier while we are there. Like the time Kimberly thought she had scurvy, and I thought it might be strep. I took her to the doctor to find out it was just a plain old ordinary sore throat and you know what happened? She picked up pink eye from some other kid in the waiting room.

Last week Tiff had a little bump on the underside of her tongue. She showed it to me and I pretty much ignored it. It looked like she had just irritated it, and besides, things in your mouth usually heal pretty quickly. I figured it would go away on it's own in a few days. Then a couple of days later she showed it to her dad. He flipped out. "We need to get her into the doctor today." "what do you mean she showed it to you days ago and you ignored it?" So the next morning I'm sitting with her in the doctor's office. The diagnosis - blocked salivary gland. The prescription - sour candy. Yup. Candy. So like she would have been cured come Sunday anyway, without the trip to the doctor? So we go to CVS buy every kind of sour candy they sell and I take her to school. I write a note to her teacher saying "yes the doctor really did say she needed to eat this candy" and go about the rest of my day.

Then Saturday right after the carnival, my mom notices that the topside of Tiff's tongue is looking odd. Starts saying stuff like Scarlet Fever and my hubby is eating it up. That night he went out to run some errands and while he was gone she starts complaining that her mouth hurts and shows me that she has several canker sore looking things inside her lip. Crap. Urgent care here we come. He comes home, we eat dinner, I tell him about the latest developments in her mouth and he says call the quack doctor back. Because of course this has to be some case of the doctor misdiagnosing her the first time, even though the candy totally made the bump go away. It couldn't possibly be that she caught some other thing while we were there. So after dinner it's off to urgent care.

Now one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my entire life is a Pediatric urgent care that is open every night and all weekend long, because you know your kid never gets sick during regular business hours. It's always at 5 pm on Friday, or 9 pm Saturday like this was. Even all the regular urgent cares were already closed. It was a bit of a drive but way better than the emergency room which would have been the only other option. There wasn't even anyone else in the waiting room when we got there.

We see the doctor and he says it's a virus. Very common in kids but usually seen in ones a little smaller than my 7 year old. Of course she sucks her thumb so I totally get how she's getting things that little kids that can't keep their hands out of their mouths get. Being that it's a virus there is nothing to do but wait it out.

My husband totally doesn't get that antibiotics don't work on viruses. If they have a cold, he thinks they should get a prescription. No matter what is wrong, if you don't have to go to the pharmacy when you are done at the doctor's office, the doctor is a quack. In the car on the way home after trying to explain to him why this doctor did not give her any medicine I thought that I should just start asking the doctors to give me a prescription for something harmless that I could go to the pharmacy and fill because as long as I came home with that amber bottle, my husband would be satisfied and wouldn't even notice if it was filled with vitamins.

This morning he tells me he wants me to her back to the pediatrician. "Why?" I ask. "To get a second opinion" is his reply. Really, how about to waste a third $20co-pay and maybe get yet another nasty germ. No.Thank.You. He wasn't too pleased with my answer and we pretty much didn't talk all morning, but I didn't take her to the doctor either, so I guess I won that one.

Why do I do this to myself?

I have issues with saying no. Either that or I'm way overcompensating for my own childhood. My mom worked all the time when I was a kid. Every day I came home from school to an empty house. She had no choice. She was a single mom and if she didn't work, I wouldn't have a house to come home to, or condo as it was. She was never on the PTA, I never played soccer, or took gymnastics. I always wanted a playhouse, a dog, and to learn to do cartwheels, but those things required a yard.

So I have this compulsion to do all of them now. My kids have a yard and two dogs. They had the playhouse and the little tykes slide tube climby thing before they outgrew them. They've done dance, gymnastics, guitar, swim, children's theatre, girl scouts, soccer, you name it. And as if that's not enough, I'm the freakin VP of their school PTA too.

My absence from bloggy land is explained by the event that I organized last Saturday. Our school had it's first school carnival in 3 years. And it was awesome of course. Sure there were some bugs that needed working out. We ran out of prizes halfway through causing me to have to make a mad run to the party store and throw toys in my cart like I was on a game show. We ran out of cotton candy and the dunk tank broke on the second dunk. Considering that I had absolutely no clue how many people were going to show up and no previous experience with a carnival at this school, I think it turned out pretty good. The kids had fun and that's what it's all about. Of course I spent every waking hour for the last two weeks working on it. I'm glad it's over, but part of me is thinking maybe we should have a fall carnival too. I didn't get any cotton candy.

Monday, April 6, 2009


**Due to the fact that my router decided to stop sending signal to my computer the other night when I was in the middle of writing this, it sat in my drafts for a couple of days. **

I figured I needed to balance the negativity of the last post with something positive about Easter.

I like Easter, but since I'm not very religious, it isn't about celebrating Jesus' resurection for me, it's all about the candy, coloring eggs, and the Easter Bunny. Totally commercial and sugar laden.

Easter is the time that my very favorite candy comes out, PEEPS. Now I know that you are going to say, "Oh, but they have peeps for every holiday now, pumpkins for Halloween, trees for Christmas, hearts for Valentine's Day..." and to that I say no way. Peeps are for Easter and Easter is for peeps. I will not eat a peep that is shaped like anything other than a bunny or a chick. And I'm a purist when it comes to my colors too. No friggen green or blue bunnies, OK?? Pink and yellow only. **Eww yuck, I was at Target today and they had orange and red bunnies and chichs too. RED like bloody bunnies and chicks. That's just wrong.**

Easter is also the time that I get to get all artsy with egg dye. I'm particular about dye too. It has to be the kind that needs vinegar. The others don't make colors as vibrant. I'm all about leaving them in there forever and making the colors REALLY dark, or making rainbows on them by carefully dipping them in all the colors starting with yellow on the whole thing and then dipping each end until I have a complete rainbow.

OOOh, and don't forget chocolate bunnies. Now I'm not big on chocolate any other time of the year, but at Easter I have to have the biggest chocolate bunny they make, Bunny Big Ears. Maybe this is why I don't eat much chocolate the rest of the year, I get my fill on Easter. I'm in love with Bunny Big Ears for very sentimental reasons. Even after I was too old for Easter Egg hunts and baskets full of candy and goodies, my dad always got me a Bunny Big Ears on Easter. In the years since he passed away I have always bought myself one. You would think that maybe my hubby would catch on and surprise me with one, but just like the hearts at Valentine's he just doesn't notice that kind of stuff.

My kids, even though they are 12 (almost 13), 10, and 7, wake up Easter morning and want to hunt for eggs. Of course this might be partially due to the fact that I've been known to put spare change in plastic eggs.

I'm also super excited that we are gong to do an Easter egg hunt with my friend Maria again this year. Last year's egg hunt was super fun.

**Check out the latest!! Mom calls yesterday morning before I left for work. Tells me that her brother is going to be in town this week and is leaving Saturday. Due to that she's decided to do Easter dinner on Friday night. The Friday night that I.HAVE.TO.WORK!!! since I took off Sunday because I expected the invite to be for EASTER Sunday, not the Friday before. Can you hear me ROFLMAO??? Yup, LIFE IS GOOD!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I have a love hate relationship with holidays. I love them for the candy, presents, and cute decorations, but I hate being required to go to dinner at my moms for every one. Sometimes I just wish that we didn't have holidays at all, or that I lived on a different continent than my mom when they come around.

Yeah, it's that bad.

Since I was young, I remember my mom being a raving bitch for every single holiday. She gets up at the crack of dawn to start cooking and tries to get all Martha Stewart for a bunch of people who would be happy with a hot dog. There is the inevitable trip to the grocery store that I have to make to pick up the one item she forgot to purchase when she did her shopping for the event. Yup, even if it's just me and the kids coming, it's an event. Following that comes the bitch out for taking so long at the store, what did you do that it took so long and now everything is going to be overcooked by the time the whatever was missing the ingredient is done. Somehow she forgets that there is only ONE store open on major holidays and that everyone forgets one thing and they are all at that ONE store which is horribly understaffed because they gave everyone the day off because it's a HOLIDAY. Then there is the obligatory oohing and ahhing over the overly fancy food, because if you don't you are an ingrate, followed by the mandatory cleaning of the kitchen and washing up all the dishes because it would be just rude to make your hostess feed you and clean up after you too.

So here I am with Easter a week away, already having panic attacks about the upcoming event.

I thought about trying to weasel out of it, making other plans and telling my mom "Oh sorry, I didn't know you wanted to do something and so I made these plans", but I know she would see right through that one. If I was ordered to come over for dinner for a minor holiday like St. Patrick's Day, of course I should know without being ordered that I am required to be in attendance at Easter. So I'll keep my afternoon open and wait for my marching orders which I'm sure will arrive sometime next week.

Unless I could move to Australia before then.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I think I'm addicted to my job

Really, seriously, I like it that much. I haven't blogged in a week because I've worked so much. And you know what else? Last week I averaged even more than my highest paying job ever. Now that I'm getting the hang of it more, I'm making even MORE money. When you have a hubby that hasn't worked since November, money is a really good thing. So I can't stop myself. Every time I have an opportunity to work, I do. It's crazy that I can go in for a few hours and walk out with a wad of cash. I still can't get over it.

I had to take today off because we were getting our taxes done. Yeah, I know, way to leave it to the last minute. In my defense, we didn't have the money to pay the tax guy, and since he kinda wants to get paid for his work too... it had to be left until now. Good news is we will be getting some back, even after sending a chunk to Michigan and paying the tax guy his rather hefty fee. Gotta love having to file federal plus three different states.

They gave me tomorrow off too. Two days off in a row. I was really tempted to try and pick up a shift or two, but I decided that since these were my first days off in 8 days, I should maybe take them and relax a little. Absense makes the heart grow fonder and all that stuff.

Tomorrow we get to go see the house we will be moving into in a couple of weeks. We've seen it once before, but that was before new carpet and paint. I took some pictures, but not enough. I have great pictures of the closets, but couldn't tell you what the rooms look like. It's got fabulous closets. I'm actually going to have my own linen closet in MY bathroom. For a packrat like me that is beyond awesome. Unfortunately the house was designed by someone who doesn't cook because it is lacking a pantry. Really? Like it didn't occur to this person that people might actually need to store FOOD somewhere in the house? So the hubby is going to have to build a pantry into one of the closets off the kitchen. We need to scope out the particulars of that little project. We also forgot to take a tape measure last time. Our couch is rediculously huge and we need to figure out how it's going to fit.

After that, one of my friends is taking me to lunch for my birthday. Yeah, my birthday that was over a month ago. The last time she offered I ended up picking up a shift and working instead. I swore I wouldn't flake on her again this time. I am kinda thinking about having her take me to the restaurant where I work though. I think I'm having withdrawls.

Hopefully I will have time to blog about something other than my fabulous job tomorrow too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I don't often talk politics or religion on my blog. They are two subjects with a high likelihood of pissing someone off, so I shy away. Tonight though, I'm inspired.

*and yet, this post sat in my drafts for over a week while I contemplated publishing it or not.

Here's the deal. I have faith, but not religion. My mom moved around a lot when she was growing up and every new town they lived in, she and her siblings got baptized at whatever local church there was. So since she was a Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, she decided to go the absolute opposite way raising me. I was never baptised anything and left to make my own decisions regarding what I wanted to believe and which church I wanted to join. I attended just about every kind of church as a child with my friends, and I came to some conclusions of my own. I decided that it didn't matter which religion it was, the end message was the same. Be good to your fellow person, treat others in a way you would like to be treated, don't lie, cheat, steal or murder. They might take a different road to get to that conclusion, or have differing claims about what the punishments would be for failing to abide by those values, but the in the end, I really felt that they were all saying the same thing. I have spent countless hours studying all kinds of different religions. I'm fascinated by all the rituals, customs, and beliefs that each one holds, but I can't pick one that I can honestly say I believe in completely. Even though I can't say I fit into any of the major world religions, I can say that I have faith.

I know G-d exists. I see it in my children's faces, in the sunsets and the stars, and I feel it deep in my heart. Even when things in my life seem to not be going right, I have faith that there is a reason even if it isn't apparent to me right then. For that reason, I also don't have regrets. By this I mean I don't regret any of the choices I have made in my life. I try to live my life in a way that I should never need to regret my actions towards others. Every single time I have ever thought back on various turning points in my life and wondered what if I had done ________ differently, I'm faced with the realization that I would have missed out on meeting some of the most amazing and influential people in my life as well as learning from those experiences to become the person I am today.

I also have faith that I will always have everything I need. Now I'm not talking about having everything I want. I want a flat screen TV and a hot tub, but I need food, clothes, and shelter for myself and my children. The last few months have been difficult with my husband being out of work. At times it seemed that those basic needs might not get met. Every time I would start to despair, I would close my eyes find peace in knowing that although I might not be able to see the way, my needs would be met. I may not be able to see how the electric bill is going to get paid next month, but I know it will. It's amazing how when you stop expecting the answers to come from a certain place, and just have faith, that different paths open up for you that you couldn't see before. Over these past few months our needs have been met in some very unexpected ways. For that I am forever grateful, and my faith is renewed once again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Totally Awesome

I've worked at a restaurant for over a year. After conquering my fear of dropping things, I finally moved up to serving food. I've been doing it for a few weeks now, and I'm pleased to report that there haven't been too many mishaps.

I've put a couple orders in under the wrong tables again, but luckily realized my mistakes before the food came out and was able to intervene and fix it. I've been working really hard on trying to not make those silly kinds of mistakes. Then last night I dropped a burger. It wasn't in front of the whole restaurant, but the sad thing is, it wasn't even my burger. I was trying to be helpful and run the food out for one of the other servers and didn't realize that the one burger wasn't on the tray very well. He said it was ok, but I still apologized profusely.

My first full week went super fabulous. Each day got progressively busier, and by Friday I was amazed at the number of tables I could juggle at one time. I've managed to take a couple of large parties, but none as large as that 18 I almost got my first night, and I'm not afraid of the 18 anymore. I'm really getting the hang of it.

Last week I worked a lot. That would explain why I haven't been blogging much the last few days. I kept picking up shifts and ended up working 40 hours. Several days I worked the lunch and dinner shifts. It was crazy, but so much fun. I came home each night with very tired tootsies, and one night even passed out at 9:30. Yesterday I had to be at work at 8 am for a meeting, then I worked the lunch shift, and after a short break, I worked the dinner shift too. I didn't get home until 9:30. Amazingly my feet did not hurt as much. I think they just needed to get accustomed to getting so much use.

When I got home last night and calculated how much money I made (tips plus hourly) I discovered that this job now qualifies as my second highest paying job EVER. Back in 2000-2001 I made a dollar more an hour at a 40 hour a week job that was an hour and a half commute, one way, wearing business suits and heels, and dealing with high stress and drama every day. So considering that this is 15 minutes from my house, I can wear jeans and comfy shoes, and even though there is some drama, I can easily avoid it, this job is WAY better. Add to that the fact that at that other job I couldn't just call someone else to cover for me at work if I was sick, or something fun came up that I wanted to do. In fact they preferred if I took my 2 week vacation in 1 and 2 day increments since nobody else could perform my job.

That is what makes this totally awesome. Times like this that my hubby is not working, I can work everyday and bring home decent money for my time. When he goes back to work, I can go back to working just a few mornings a week. In the summer when the kids are out of school, I can work a few nights a week so we can spend our days by the pool. If I want to go visit my hubby out of town, I can take a week off. If I fall in love with something at the store, I can work a couple extra shifts to make the money to buy it. How cool is that?

I think I may have found the perfect job for me. With all the self reflection I was doing several weeks ago, I think I've found my answer. Making this one change at work has made everything fall into place for me. I don't have to tie myself down to a set 9-5 Monday through Friday job in order to earn decent money and I can have a job that not only pays well, but that I enjoy too. I was always jealous of the fact that my husband had found a good paying career that he LOVED. One where he could get up every day and be excited to go to work. I've always said that the right job should be like that, not a chore you HAVE to do just because you NEED to pay your bills. It's taken me 19 years of working to find it, but I think I finally did.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to ruin St. Patrick's Day

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a year or more know that St. Patrick's Day is one of my most favorite holidays (after my birthday and Christmas because those involve presents). I am Irish after all. What a wonderful holiday to celebrate my heritage, eat one of my favorite foods (after lobster and cheesecake) corned beef and cabbage, and maybe ingest a green beverage or ten.

So you want to know how this St. Patrick's Day got ruined? My mom. My mom who's universe revolves around me, who lacks any friends of her own to invite over to her St. Patrick's Day dinner, tells me that I AM to come over for dinner tonight. Not an invite. Not, "hey would you like to have St. Patrick's Day dinner at my house?". Nope. These were her exact words. "Don't buy a corned beef brisket because I already got one". Oh. So with that I was EXPECTED for dinner at her house tonight. I've been dreading it since she dropped that little bomb a week ago.

SHE isn't even Irish. I got all my Irish from my DAD who was BORN.IN.IRELAND. I want to cook my own corned beef damn it!!! I want to have my own family tradition with MY kids. She already has laid claim to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Can't I have freaking St. Patrick's Day??? Crap.

Then to make matters worse. She has to go and try to make some fancy corned beef recipe. Put a bunch of extra garbage in there like cloves and G-d knows what else and you know what it tasted like?? Brine. It was so freaking salty all I could taste was SALT and more SALT. Irish cooking is simple. You boil everything. And corned beef is one of those few things that isn't ruined when you boil it. The flavor from just peppercorns, the cabbage, and some onions is all it needs.

So next year, I'm buying my corned beef brisket in January and inviting all my friends over well in advance so if my mom tries this stunt again, I'll be ready with. "Oh sorry mom, you should have asked me first. I ALREADY have plans OF.MY.OWN."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Name Game

I am asked frequently what the difference is between ADD and ADHD. The short answer is nothing.

The long answer is:

The disorder currently labeled by the psychiatric community as ADHD has been called many things over the years.
1902 Defects in moral character
1934 Organically driven
1940 Minimal Brain Syndrome
1957 Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder
1960 Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD)
1968 Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood (DSM II)
1980 Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD (DSM III) with-hyperactivity without-hyperactivity residual type
1987 Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Undifferentiated Attention Deficit Disorder (DSM III-R)
1994 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (DSM IV)
Broken down into 3 categories ADHD, Combined Type ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive type ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive Type

Many people like me grew up in the 80's and learned to call someone with these symptoms ADD. It's like if you have a friend named Bertha who decides she wants to be known as Brittney. Even though you know she wants to be called Brittney, she's always going to be Bertha to you. Now some of these changes are good. I'm sure glad they don't call it Minimal Brain Dysfunction anymore, but personally I think it went all down hill after the 1980 name.

I don't like the term ADHD mostly because I feel that it implies hyperactivity. My daughter and I are both technically ADHD predominantly inattentive type. We are not hyperactive. If I tell people that we are ADHD, the usual response is "but you aren't hyper at all". Just saying ADD is easier for the lay person to understand. It's also a lot shorter for me to say ADD and not ADHD predominantly inattentive type. I mean come on, I have ADD, I don't have the patience for wasted syllables.

I expect in another few years the psychological community will probably change the name again to further confuse people.

Monday, March 16, 2009


My friend Beth and I talked a couple of times today on the phone trying to brainstorm ways to help her with her son after she posted this. She's in the middle of trying to get a correct diagnosis for him and figure out how to manage his behavior. Different doctors have told her that he's a little ADHD, mildly Asperger's, and now ODD. Of course figuring out which one, or combination thereof will help considerably. Since so many of the symptoms overlap between them though, there were some strategies I was able to share with her, things that work for my daughter.

We got to talking about how punishments don't work with these kids. They just don't respond to taking their toys, tv's, video games, trading cards, privileges or allowance away. They definitely don't respond to spankings. The only thing that I have found that works with my daughter is rewards. Whether it is simply thanking her for doing what she was asked, acknowledging the fact that she controlled her behavior instead of melting down, or giving her a treat for her good behavior, she thrives on success.

I think these kids have so many situations in which they feel like failures, that punishing them just reinforces their feelings of not being good enough, and I think that's why they don't work. If you already feel like you are worthless, having your things taken away must just reinforce that belief. Can you imagine what this must feel like to the child? That they aren't worthy of having their toys, etc? On the other hand, they light up with the slightest success. They like to help. They love to be appreciated. They need to be told that they did something right.

S0metimes it's hard to notice the good that your child is doing when you are so frustrated with their misbehavior. It's hard to rearrange your own attitude to focus on the good instead of the bad. There are times where you have to focus on the bad. When your child is doing something destructive or hurtful to someone else, you have to step in to stop it. Other than that though, you need to look for the smallest of their successes.

With my daughter, we have rewards instead of punishments. Instead of "If you don't clean your room, I'm taking away your toys" it's "When you get your room clean, we can go to the park". I also choose words very carefully to try to foster that success. You notice I said "When you get your room clean" not "If you get your room clean". This gives her the subtle message that I know she can and will do it. In school she gets a sticker for every assignment she completes without goofing off. When she gets 10 stickers she gets to pick a candy from a jar. I reward her for good behavior with extra time to play on the computer or Wii, or getting to do something with just me (without her sisters). It doesn't have to be something expensive, she loves to bake cookies or watch a tv show alone with mom.

There were a couple of things that came up in our conversation about rewards. She and I both have tried elaborate reward/sticker chart systems in the past. Often they are hard to keep up and be consistent with, and if the parent doesn't keep up with it, the child gives up on it too. Also, Beth's son is 13 and my daughter is only 10. The little candy rewards my daughter loves may not entice her son to strive for good behavior. Baking cookies with mom might not be his idea of a good time. So my question is this, for those of you with older kids and especially boys, what kinds of rewards work for them? Has anyone developed a good reward system that isn't too difficult to keep up with?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finally a swap I can participate in

I am always seeing this swaps on other's blogs. I always want to join, but most of the time they are for crafty or sewing things. Not that I'm not crafty, but there are certain things I'm good at, and some of these, well... I would just be afraid of disappointing my partner. I saw a really cool apron swap a while back and even though I really wanted to join in the fun, I didn't think my partner would appreciate something made with my mediocre hand sewing skills since my machine is still broken. So imagine my excitement today when I found a swap on one of the new blogs I'm following since the SITS spring fling the other day.

Mommy Holly is hosting a bright and happy swap. You can check out all the details about it here mommy holly: bright and happy swap!!. This looks like so much fun. I'm so excited to find out who my partner will be and start finding stuff to send. I've really been needing something bright and happy in my life right now and it will be just as much fun to send something bright and happy too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Glass Half Full

There are times (trust me, there are a LOT of times) that I and start feeling sorry for myself and situations I am in. However, I think that it really doesn't make matters any better. I actually think that it's bad karma to sit around wallowing when there are others who are way less fortunate than I. Whether it's the state of my finances, situations at work, or the behavior of my children, I try my darnedest to always look on the bright side of things.

At work today, my first table was 4 young men. They were super polite and had these adorable almost Southern accents. When it came time to pay their bill, they wanted individual checks. This is a lot more work as I had to try and remember exactly which meal went with which drink. I managed to figure it out and gave them their checks. After they were gone and I went back to collect my tips, I found that they had each left me a dollar. Their total bill was over $56 and they left me $4. That's just about 7%, about half of what is considered a minimum tip. If I had screwed up something or somehow given them bad service I could have understood, but that wasn't the case. For a few hours it really bugged me. Then after work I was telling a friend about them, and she said that she had served them before too, and that was just how they tipped. Then she said, "but you almost don't mind because they are so polite, not like some of the jerks we have to deal with". And you know what? She's absolutely right. I think I would rather wait on guys like that all day long for $4 a pop, then deal with jerks for twice as much. Suddenly I was glad I had the pleasure of serving those guys today, and hope they come back with their sweet little accents and good manners.

Then there are things like this that my children do. Remember in the movie Meet the Fockers when they go to the Focker family residence and Dustin Hoffman says "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."? I don't know why, but that line has stuck with me. It might have something to do with the fact that every day I come across things both brown and yellow that the kids have forgotten to flush. Sure it's gross, but every time they do it they probably save me a gallon of water. And then, when I go to do laundry and find something at the bottom of the hamper that I know they haven't worn or just wore for an hour, I don't have to be mad because I'm using the water that should have already been flushed.

See how it works?

So if you are having a bad day, remember, there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for, even if it is just someone's good manners or something your kids forgot to flush.

Room Clean Up Game

When you have ADD sometimes you have to trick yourself into doing things you don't want to do. We have an overdeveloped sense of procrastination, so by the time we HAVE to do something, like clean our rooms, it's one step away from being condemned.

When I was a kid my mom would send me to my room and tell me that I couldn't come out until it was clean. Wow, thanks for the life sentence there mom.

Here is a little game I made up as a child to help trick myself into cleaning my room.

Write the numbers 1-10 in descending order on the left side of a sheet of paper.
You get the point right?

Then you play.
Start by picking up 10 things. It helps if you make this the 10 BIGGEST things also. Picking up 10 pieces of lint isn't going to make a big dent in it. When you are done put a big check mark next to the number.
Then pick up 9 things. You just got through picking up 10, so 9 is less work. You've done the worst of it. When you are done, put a big check mark next to the number.
Pick up 8 things....

By the time you get down to the bottom of the list, you have actually picked up 55 things. 55 is a big number. 10 is a little number.

If you have a child that struggles with cleaning their room (or if you struggle with cleaning/organizing) try this game to make it a little more fun.

Who says cats don't make great companions?

You might remember a while back I posted about my cats here. Sadly my cat Gargamel passed away about a month ago. I had no idea when I wrote that post that I would only have a couple more months with the most amazing kitty ever. He was fine one day and the next day, not so good. I think he had a seizure and then it was all downhill from there. Within a week he had lost a significant amount of weight and when we took him to the vet, the vet said that he had a large mass in his belly. We brought him home for a few days so the kids could say goodbye, and then it was time to put him to sleep so he wouldn't suffer.

We got Gargamel when my oldest was three. He was so good about letting her carry him around. When my daughter or I got sick, he would stay on the bed with us until we were well again. At bedtime he would hop up in the bed wanting to be loved on. He would nudge my hand if I wasn't petting him enough. He had a knack for getting right between my head and the TV. I can't tell you how many times I told him he didn't make a very good window.
When he passed I was worried that I would be missing this nightly kitty love. Kasey has always been the loner kitty. Sure she'd let you pick her up and love on her and wouldn't run away, but she's never really initiated contact. And Mystery, well we see her every once and awhile, but she pretty much lives under my youngest daughter's bed. She used to come hop up on my bed and push Gargamel out of the way to get all the lovin, but since he got sick, I haven't seen her.
Imagine my surprise when Kasey started coming in at bedtime and getting in the way of me watching TV, nudging my hand, or my nose, if I didn't pet her. It always amazes me how intuitive cats really are, and how even though they may seem to be aloof and not care about their owners at all, they really do.

Custom Binder Winner

Wow, what a fun day. All the contests and excitement. I hope I win some.

But now it's time to announce the winner of my giveaway!!

I'd like to congratulate Terry from Cherished Treasures for winning my Custom Binder Giveaway.

Email me with your mailing address and what you would like your binder to say on the front.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Giveaways Giveaways Giveaways

Oh my goodness. What wonderful things are being given away over at
The Secret Is In The Sauce today. You must go check them out.

I've entered so many contests I'm having a hard time keeping them all straight. There's Cheesecake Factory, Outback, Target, Macy's... Too many to count.

Here are some of my faves:
Tattooed Minivan Mom is giving away a Starbucks Card
Susie's Homemade is giving away cookie dough balls that look yummy
2 under 2 is giving away Cheesecake
All In a Mom;s Life is giving away a Starbucks or Target gift card
Carma Sez is giving away a McDonalds gift card
Theres Always Room For One More is giving away a Chili's Gift Card
Janana Bee is giving away a Cheesecake Factory card
Aubsfamfive is giving away a COACH wristlet
Melanie is giving away the cutest cupcake magnets ever
7 clown circus is giving away a $10 Target gift card
I'm not your average soccer mom is giving away a $20 Target gift card
It really is all about me is giving away an Outback gift card
A Trucker Wife is giving away a Target gift card
Sweet Home Amy is giving away a Nantucket Tote
Jam Jar Boogie is giving away a beautiful apron
One Crazy Kat Lady is giving away a $50 Target Card
It's a Wonderful Life is giving away a $50 Macy's card
Snarky Much is giving away an AMC gift card
Stilettos and Diapers is giving away a Snuggie

And that is just a fraction of the giveaways. Go check out the full list here. And don't forget to enter my contest for an awesome recipe binder HERE.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Fling

The girls over at SITS are hosting a Spring Filing Tuesday. Everyone is encouraged to give something away on their blog, and SITS is hosting lots of awesome giveaways on their blog every hour as well. I wanted to participate in this, but until yesterday was at a loss about what to give away. The rules state that it can be anything new or used and doesn't have to be elaborate at all. Anything from a purse you don't use anymore to a batch of chocolate chip cookies. This doesn't help me much. Anything is just too many things to consider for someone with ADD. So for the last couple of weeks it's been on my mind.

What should I give away??

True to my ADD fashion, I had an epiphany at the 11th hour. Well technically I guess I had about 12 hours to spare since I figured it out around noon, but you get my point. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to come up with something.

So here is what I came up with.

Now I'm not giving you my recipe book, but what I am going to give away is a binder, with a custom cover, a few of my favorite recipes, and a lot of empty sheet protectors.

What is this good for you ask?

Well let me tell you a little bit about my binder.

I'm a bit of a pack rat. I hold onto all kinds of things because I never know when I might need them.

Craft supplies for umpteen billion different craft projects - Check
Enough scrapbook supplies for an entire lifetime - Check
A tote box full of socks in case I decide to start crocheting beads on them again - Check
A tote full of patterned socks, buttons, and embroidery floss to make sock monkeys waiting for my sewing machine to be fixed - Check

One thing I don't hang onto, or have cluttering my house anymore, is magazines waiting for recipes to be pulled out of, or loose papers on which I have printed out recipes from the internet.

I keep lots of extra sheet protectors in my binder just waiting to be filled with that loose paper. Now if there is a recipe I want in a magazine, I don't have to hang onto the whole magazine waiting for that someday that never comes to tear it out and do something with it. I save myself the time and energy of writing them all on recipe cards, and can chuck the rest of the magazine into the recycling bin without a second thought. The recipes from the internet go right in there too. The sheet protectors also mean that my recipe for pie crust isn't covered with actual pie crust from Thanksgiving pie 1994.

I also used to be a Tupperware lady, which means that all my pantry items, flour, pancake mix, instant mashed potatoes, sugar, pasta, beans, etc. are neatly stored in Modular Mates. What does this have to do with the binder, you ask? Well for years I dealt with the issue of while the pancake mix was all fresh in my Modular Mates, I no longer had the instructions on what to do with it. Even though I'd cut them out, somebody would always see that cut out piece of cardboard as garbage. Or I'd fold it and put it into the container, which would mean spilling some of the contents onto the counter when I removed it. So now, thanks to the greatest home printer/scanner/copier ever made , I copy the instructions and put them in the binder.

My binder has made my life so much simpler and allowed me to get rid of a little bit of my pack rat tendencies. Now if I could only figure out how to make everything else fit in the binder.

So my gift to you (assuming you are the lucky winner) today, is your very own binder. No having to make a trip to Office Max to get a binder and sheet protectors. Just a couple of days for it to come in the mail, since I haven't figured out that teleportation thing yet. The Modular Mates and the copier you are on your own to get, but I would highly reccomend them.

How do I get to be the lucky winner, you ask?

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win my binder for one entry.
Follow my blog for a second entry, leave a second comment telling me you are following.

The lucky winner will be picked at random (using, I have a feeling that site is going to get a lot of traffic today) Tuesday March 10th at 9 pm, Arizona time (which is MST all the time, no daylight savings bull puckey here).

Good luck everyone, and don't forget to check out all the awesome stuff over at SITS today!

Daylight Savings

I never really got the point of Daylight Savings Time. I mean, i get the line they feed you about giving you more daylight to bring in the harvest, but come on REALLY??? How many of us are actually harvesting anything nowadays? Then there is the whole thing with stretching it out an extra couple of months to help save electricity. So what's next? Pretty soon they'll tell you that Daylight Savings Time is the new TIME, and then will they create a Daylight Daylight Savings Time.

All daylight savings time is, is a government sanctioned way to f*#k with people's heads.
"Oooh, let's give them an extra hour so their kids will stay up way past bedtime and be all jacked up because they can't fall asleep because the sun is still out."
Insert sound of people who make black out shades cheering.
"Then a few months later we will take that extra hour back so they can spend a week trying to get the kids all adjusted to normal time again.

It's all a complete waste of TIME. You wanna know how I know this? It's because I've been off the Daylight Savings treadmill for the last 5 years. If Arizona has one redeeming quality, something so awesome it makes up for dealing with 120 days in the summer, it is the lack of Daylight Savings Time. We just don't do it. Maybe it doesn't stay light here extra long in the summer, but it still stays hot (100 degrees at midnight kinda hot), so I really don't miss that extra hour of sun at all. So the only effect Daylight Savings Time has on me is having to remember what time everyone else is now. When it's DST, California is the same time as us and it's now 2 hours later in Texas where my best friend lives. Other than that, life goes on like normal, no clocks to change, no trying to get the kids adjusted to the new time, no being late for church Sunday morning (not that I go, but there are a LOT of people in Arizona that do), no having to remember what day you are supposed to switch the clocks and which way you are supposed to switch them.

So yesterday and today when I read everyone's blogs and facebook posts about f*#king Daylight Savings Time, I consider myself very lucky to live in Arizona.

Cornflakes taste like corn, duh

A few weeks ago I had this conversation with my oldest daughter.

Aimee "Mom, don't we have any cereal?"
Me "Didn't your dad just buy some cornflakes?"
Aimee "Yeah, but they're gross"
Me "Why are they gross?"
Aimee "Because they taste like corn"
Me (after spitting coffee out my nose) "Um, yeah genius, that might be why they call them CORN flakes"

In other words, they weren't Frosted Flakes and therefore tasted like cereal and not sugar.
So for weeks they have been in the pantry and have become a joke around here. "Where is the lemonade mix?" "Behind the cornflakes that taste like corn". I've been trying to figure out what to do with them since it's painfully obvious that none of my kids, or my husband are going to eat the cornflakes that taste like corn.

Yesterday I remembered having a couple of recipes that called for cornflakes as an ingredient that I had learned to make back in either junior high or high school foods class. Amazingly they are a couple that I have already typed up and put into my recipe binder. One of them is for Christmas Holly Wreath Cookies, and since it's a little past Christmas, I didn't want to make those. The other one was for peanut butter bars. They came out just as yummy as I remembered. Here's the recipe.

1 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups of corn syrup
2 cups of smooth peanut butter
7 cups of cornflakes

Melt the sugar and corn syrup. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add cornflakes and mix it all up. Pour into a wax paper lined 13x9 baking pan. Smoosh them down (I wrap my oven mitt with the Glad cling wrap and then smoosh). Cool. Once they are cool, you can cut them into squares.

Let me just take this moment to mention that it's a really good idea to measure out all your ingredients BEFORE you start the sugar and corn syrup melting. When you are ready to throw in the peanut butter is not really a good time to discover you are about a quarter cup short. I went ahead and made them anyway, but in retrospect probably should have reduced the amount of cornflakes a tad. They came out a bit crumbly. Either that or I didn't smoosh them down enough.

Of course I also forgot that Tiffany is the weirdo kid that doesn't like peanut butter so she was a little disappointed come snack time, but the other two liked them, and I used up most of the cornflakes that taste like corn.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spell Check

I am completely paranoid that someone will think I'm stupid if I misspell things. Like this whole part of my self image is caught up in correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Not that I always use correct grammar and punctuation here in my blog, but here I try to write as I would speak to you, and that is not always in proper grammar. I sometimes worry that I use commas a little too liberally, but I want to be clear that wherever you find a comma in my writing is where I think the pause should be in the sentence. On occasion I leave commas out too, usually when I'm passionate about something and if I was speaking to you I wouldn't have stopped to breathe.

Which reminds me of a time, I think in junior high, when a friend (who will remain nameless) made a sign for her bedroom door that said "Stupid people shouldn't breath". I'm sure I made fun of her about at the time, which was mean, but it was kinda funny, and it kinda still is. Isn't it She who will remain nameless? It does prove my point though. One little letter can make the difference between you making a statement or making a funny.

Now that I'm done giggling, there's the whole topic whether or not to place a comma before the final item in a list. I was taught that it is necessary so that you can distinguish whether the items before and after the "and" go together. Otherwise you end up with "The restaurant serves several sandwiches including tuna salad, turkey, liverwurst and peanut butter". Is that three kinds of sandwiches or four? Now if you punctuate it this way "The restaurant serves several sandwiches including tuna salad, turkey, liverwurst, and peanut butter", it's clear that the liverwurst is not going to be sharing the cozy confines of two slices of bread with the peanut butter. Whew! Now I know there are many people who will still disagree with me, but I insist it makes way more sense my way.

I'm usually pretty accepting of other people's grammatical and spelling errors. One of my best friends was dyslexic and everything he wrote was phonetic with a dash of transposition mixed in. I didn't think he was stupid at all, in fact I knew that he was probably the most brilliant ever person I had ever met. Let's just say he WAS a rocket scientist. I learned how to read his writing and could always understand what he was trying to say. That taught me not to make assumptions based on people's writing.

There are a few things that still bug the crap out of me no matter how hard I try to just overlook them. The biggest one is the There, Their, and They're mix ups. I have a friend that ALWAYS mixes them up. It makes me absolutely nutty. I just want to fix them for her. The thing is, she's really smart too. I think it bugs me so much because I worry about how people reading it might think she's uneducated because of it, but yet I struggle with how to tell her that she's doing it wrong. People don't always respond to that kind of criticism well.

When we were first married, my husband really didn't like me correcting him when he was writing letters, but I did it anyway. You see, this is different than the situation with my friend because if people thought my husband was stupid (which he isn't) it had a direct impact on me. It took some explaining, but I was finally able to convince him that it wasn't a bad thing that I was correcting his mistakes. I just felt that as a married couple we should support each other in areas that we are weaker so that together we are stronger. There are things that he is way better than I will ever be, building things, fixing things, driving really big trucks, and there are things that I am better at, mainly the written word. He finally got over feeling like I was trying to prove I was smarter than him and now asks me to proofread almost everything he writes.

So I struggle with telling my friend about her There, Their, and They're mix ups. I don't want her to think that I feel that I am somehow superior because I know how to use them correctly.

And LOOK a Kitty!!!

I sometimes also get off topic and end up writing about something completely different than I had planned. ADD can be fun like that. It's a fun game of follow the train of thought.

You know what inspired this post?

Why I hit the little button that says create new post?

I forgot to spell check the last one.

I do this a lot.

And there is usually an error or two.

The most common ones are because I type really fast and my fingers don't always end up on the keys that they should. Occasionally it's because I don't remember, or care to waste brain power, figuring out if a word has a double letter. Sometimes I really don't have a clue how to spell something obscure and figure if I can get close the spell checker will be able to give me the proper suggestion. The spell checker has become a crutch, and yet I hobble around without it and hit publish post without using it more than fifty percent of the time. I found this ironic and decided it was worthy of a post. I now realize that post would have been really short, and you would have missed out on the amazing mental picture (or would it be mental taste) that is liverwurst and peanut butter. Not to mention the lesson in how to convince your husband that your criticism is really a good thing. Informative stuff tonight folks! I hope you enjoyed it.

Now it's time to spell check.

I spelled punctuation puncutation
Proper accidentally got two p's
Liberally ended up with only one l
and I really did think that liverwurst was liverswurst
(but I don't eat the stuff, so how should I know?)
but they are all fixed now.