3.29.2006

I'VE NEVER

The other night we were talking about drinking games. Of course the usual ones surfaced – Quarters, Bizz/Buzz, Bullshit, Spades, Chandeliers. And then there was the the horribly famous I’ve Never game. HATE. THAT. GAME. Yet – love it secretly. Based on that, here is my list of I’ve Nevers. These are things I have never done. Ever.

I’VE NEVER:
Been in a band
Been back stage at a concert
Ridden in a hot air balloon
Traveled to Europe
Sung karaoke
Been fired from a job
Had my picture taken while naked
Made out with a member of the same sex
Hitch-hiked
Been arrested
Snuck out of the house
Fallen asleep at work
Gotten a tattoo
Served detention
Been suspended
Pole danced (professionally or for fun)
Run over an animal
Worked in a bar
Dressed up as a man
Had sex for money
Had sex at work (not in the building anyway – although I have always wanted to on one of those really huge conference room tables)
Met my biological parents
Run from the police

And the more interesting (and condensed) list of things I have done (not all of which am I proud of):
Gotten my navel pierced
Had a party when my parent was gone
Drank before I was 21 (contain the shock)
Told a lie
Slept in a bed with a member of the same sex
Seen someone die
Been in an earthquake
Been in a car accident
Asked someone to kiss me
Broken a bone
Fired a gun
Had an affair (welcome to my closet – meet my skeleton)
Drank a whole 1/5th of alcohol (Seagram’s Gin via beer bong…and then threw up for 3 days straight)
Assaulted a pizza vendor for not having pepperoni
Gotten drunk on 2 glasses of wine (fairly recently in fact)
Gone skinny dipping
Pierced my own ears (that hurt a bit)
Had a fake ID (oh so many, many years ago)
Dated someone at least 10 years older than me (the guy, who owned a bar and was 16 years my senior, actually worked part time WITH my mother in real estate – imagine her horror…she was happy not much came of it)

Your turn!

3.28.2006

My Heart is Aching

Today my husband and I went with my daughter to her school. We sat down with her step-mom, dad and the principle and discussed the problems she is having with this boy. She is the only girl in this class. He sits next to her. He has been touching her and when she told him to stop, he told her that he knew she wanted it. What in the hell? Seriously!!! Where did he learn this? We had her pulled out of the two classes that she has with this kid. We also talked with the police and are taking her to have a statement video made with CPS this evening. I am in shock to be honest.

I asked the principle if they have a formal education program / event / discussion regarding this type of thing…”NO means no” or something similar. They don’t, which is a shame. Companies and colleges have a zero tolerance policy about this type of thing, and I think high school should be no different. Students should be told that this is not acceptable. And my daughter should have known that this was not tolerated and felt comfortable doing something about it LONG ago. And – for the love of god, why was there a class with only ONE girl in it?

There are many things swirling in my head…some about her, some about me, and I don’t know where to begin.

About me:
I am a part-time mom. I spend time with the girls every other weekend and one night a week. We split holidays / vacations, and they are here a month in the summer. It is not perfect, but it works for us. I have had a hard time adjusting to her having a step-mom. I am glad that the girls like (even love) her, and they are happy with their lives. Yet, at the same time I have a hard time sharing things that I just feel should be mine as their mother. The things that have happened with my daughter have exposed my issues even more… During this mess I have wanted to be with her, to talk with her, to spend time with her. I want to be there for her and share my experiences with her. I want to hold her and make her feel safe, let her know she is doing the right thing and that nobody should ever treat her that way. I want to be her mom. However, I don’t get to do that.

Yesterday when I found out about what was going on, I couldn’t go scoop her up and spend time with her. I had to wait until it was time to be with her. Then today I would have loved to spend the day with her, just hang out after all of the crap she had been through, and I wasn’t able to. Instead, she spent the afternoon shopping with her step-mom. Ouch. Tonight we are going to CPS to record her statement and I don’t get to take her, or be with her after. I am an observer in her life during times like this and it is hurtful and leaves me feeling like I am not getting to do what I should as a mom.

And then there is the fact that her step-mom is a pure busy-body and turns everything into something about her. She wouldn’t shut up in the meetings this morning – kept trying to tell the story for my daughter. She kept trying to be the center of attention – which seemed weird to me. She cried when talking to the principle, although my daughter didn’t get nearly that emotional. She interrupted to interject her thoughts continuously and made it difficult to hear my daughters recount of what took place. She also kept touching my daughter and playing with her hair – and it drove me nuts. Just NUTS.

About her:
I hope my daughter doesn’t regret telling us what happened. I hope that she sees the value in standing up for herself and not letting someone intimidate her, or bully her. I hope she doesn’t look back on this and wish she had simply kept her mouth shut.

I hope that she knows that I love her and wish I could take this away from her memory. I want her to feel safe. I want her to know that I would give my life for hers. I want her to feel good about who she is. I want her to stay outgoing, and bubbly, and friendly. I want her to feel OK wearing a skirt, or something that makes her feel pretty. I want her to know that it is okay to be who she is and not feel that she brought this on herself. But most of all, I want to turn back the clock and make this never have happened. Who wants their child to understand what a sketchy world they live in? Not me.

3.27.2006

Psycho

Love You Forever is one creepy book. What in the world was the author thinking writing about a woman sneaking around trying to rock her grown child? That is considered stalking in these here parts. That book has the makings of Norman Bates. And that is really all there is to say about that.

iTunes is on my Hate List. I cannot download the songs I want from Hustle and Flow without buying the whole damned album. There are about 3 songs that I want – and I am not about to pay 10.00 for them…what a racket!

My daughter has apparently dealing with inappropriate behavior from a classmate of hers. She is in 8th grade and there is a kid in one of her classes that keeps trying to grab her butt, touch her chest, and other awful things. Needless to say when her dad found out, he went crazy. He heard what had been happening when he overheard her step-brother talking about it… not sure if he knows the kid, or how that came about but it is a good thing – because I don’t think she would have told us. I don’t know if she felt like it was her fault, or if she was just scared of getting that kid in trouble…or even afraid we wouldn’t believe her. We are all (myself, my husband, her dad and his wife) going to meet with the principle tomorrow and have her taken out of that class. We are then starting a formal investigation with the school system and will press charges if we can. Things like this are what lead to problems in the work place. There is NO reason why she should have to put up with that behavior from anyone – and it blows me away that nobody did anything about it yet.

Not sure what can possibly follow that up – so I am out.

3.20.2006

Da-Da

We were all sitting around the table last night eating dinner, as we do most every night. The boys were getting tired of eating and had begun whining and playing. Suddenly, Cole began a rhythmic chanting of “Da-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da” and I do believe that the skies opened up and a ray of sunlight shone directly down upon him. My husband turned to him and immediately asked what he wanted…as in “I will buy you whatever you want because, oh dear god, you said Da-Da!!!!!” It was cool. And he continued to Da-Da himself silly until bedtime. He says other sounds like “nanana” and “nmnmnmnmn” as well as other little noises…but they don’t have the impact that Da-Da does. So now Cole jabbers and Roark crawls. They are almost 10 months old, so it is not like this is setting any records, anywhere. But – to us they are fantastic accomplishments.

3.17.2006

Life in the House of Chaos

Here is a glimpse into what our lives are like:

5:00am (on a good day, although if it were up to Cole, this whole mess would start at 3:30): Wander sleepy-eyed into babies room where they are typically both hollering to be picked up, and fed RIGHT NOW DEAR GOD, FEED ME NOW!!!!

We then change the babies, heat up bottles in microwave (GASP – you are going to BURN the baby!) and commence feeding, burping, and cleaning up spit-up. Yes, they still spit up. Yes, they are 9 months old. No, I have NO idea how long this is going to last.

5:30am: Change babies AGAIN because they love a good poop after their morning coffee bottle, and then lovingly stuff them in the nearest bouncer, jumper, exersaucer to entertain themselves for as long as possible. This is the point where I usually go back to bed, as I am typically the one up with them the most at night. And I am lazy. And love to sleep. So I go back to bed and my husband reads them the news, eats his breakfast and does morning kinds of things until a little after 7:00 when his mom takes over. At least this is how it is during the week. On the weekends we handle all of this...and since I am a slacker at my job, I do much of this during the week as well.

7:30: Sometimes the boys will take a nap here, sometimes not so much. I think it has to do with the distance of Mars from the Sun or something more random…

9:00am: Change and feed boys breakfast (oatmeal, fruit, and cheerios), followed by dressing them for the day and playtime. Or, if there was not any morning napping they may fall asleep during breakfast and get put to bed mid-eating.

12:00pm: Change and feed boys lunch. Lunch consists of many things such as grilled cheese, mac and cheese, Canadian bacon, chicken & dumplings, ravioli or spaghetti, rice, vegetables (mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, peas, black beans, etc), goldfish, apple sauce, graham crackers, jello, fig newtons, butter cookies, or simply leftovers from the night before if they are baby-friendly. For Roark baby-friendly means pretty much anything he can stuff in his mouth. He loves our food – hates baby food. For Cole, he is the less adventurous eater, sticking to tried and true items he is familiar with.

12:30ish: Clean up boys and lunch disaster that they have created by dropping food EVERYWHERE. Get dogs’ stomachs pumped because they have been fed crazy amounts of goldfish. And let boys play either in a toy or on their play mat. Although this may change now that... (wait for it…)

Roark is CRAWLING!!!!

It is true – the monkey has arms and legs that work together to propel his body toward danger at an alarming rate. We are doomed. Doomed I tell you. Thankfully Cole is lazy and in no hurry to even try to crawl. I cannot imagine the exercise we will get when he is mobile.

3:00pm: Change diapers followed by snack time. The boys will eat fruit and crackers of some sort and drink water, followed (hopefully) by a nap. This is typically their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th nap depending on….hell, we don’t know what it depends on. So random.

5:30pm: Dinner consisting of the same kinds of things they eat at lunch. How boring, but they don’t seem to care, so why get too creative?

6:30pm: Bath time (every other night), followed by mostly failed attempts to entertain boys until they can have a bottle. We always push for 7:30, but we never succeed. NEVER.

7:00pm: Give in to whimpers and cries and break out the bottles. They will usually fall asleep mid-bottle and give us a false sense of accomplishment. I say this because Roark will, at this point, engage in a never-ending stream of waking up, eating, and falling asleep – intermixed with yelling and screaming, and some cuteness to keep us from killing him. I think this is where he makes up for his shitty eating all day long – packing in the calories at night.

9:00pm – 10:30pm: Somewhere in here both boys are settled, in bed, and actually asleep. But not for the night – oh no. That would be EASY. Instead we can expect to be up at 1:00, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30 and sometimes even 4:00. We are trying the CIO approach, and it was working before they got sick, however since they are starting to recover it does not appear to be working so well. And then I always think to myself ½ hour into the screaming in the middle of the night that it would be easier to just give them a damn paci than listen to this god-forsaken screaming for one more minute!!!! So, I am an enabler.

And every morning we start over. Sigh.

Things are so much better than they were in the early months. No more feedings EVERY GODDAMNED THREE HOURS. No more endless bouts of Roark screaming until my ears bleed. And no more crazy-ass continual spitting up by Cole - he is much, much better with this now. Now they are funny, and silly, and turning into real people. There are the smiles, and the laughing, oh - and Roarks Chicken-head. He will do this little chicken-head thing when you give him food he likes - and heh - it is so damn funny! And then there are the Satan eyes...where he will drop his head and look up at you with demon-looking eyes - and what he wants is for you to touch your nose to his. And then he will giggle. And then there is Cole's foot-eating. He is obsessed with his feet and will try to constantly eat them...cute, cute, cute. I just hope he doesn't get a good bite out of them, because - HIS TEETH ARE FREAKING SHARP. I know this because he keeps biting me. Little bastard.

3.14.2006

Who Wears Short Skirts?

It has been crazy here…sick kids = no fun. Also, I found out that a sales project I have been working on for a year was a bust. So there is that. No moving to Austin. No big job on the horizon. Just a lot of time to find something new to do. Not ideal, but not a total loss. At least I have a job if I want it – it is just going to take some time to figure out if the job available is what I want to do.

I spent some time this past weekend (in between dealing with crazy-sick babies) cleaning the girls’ rooms. Oh dear god they were AWFUL. Messy, messy, messy. I washed every piece of clothing because I couldn’t tell what was clean and what was dirty. I washed the bedding. I dusted, vacuumed, and shampooed the carpet. I organized their dressers and even moved around the furniture. And I must say that I hope to NEVER NEVER NEVER do that again. I am not sure they appreciated the work done, but I was glad not to have the mess in the house again…

Not much else going on around here. Roark is testing out his crawling skills though. He takes a few little crawls and then ‘turtles up’ flopping onto his back and waving his arms and legs. Cute. Very cute. Cole is nowhere near interested in the crawling. He doesn’t like to work that hard. He seems content to lay on the floor playing with the edging from the play mat foamy things. That is his favorite toy. Figures doesn’t it? We spend crazy money on toys and he picks edging on a mat to be his new best friend. I imagine when he does start crawling he will make friends with dust bunnies or furniture legs.

I bought my youngest daughter some clothes at Hollister the other day. After going through all of her clothes I realized that she needed a few things – so I picked up a skirt and a few shirts and two jackets to replace some that had seen better days. Last night she tried the skirt on and declared it “WAY TOO LONG”, which – HUH? It is a SHORT white skirt. SHORT people. We had a few unkind words and she stomped upstairs. I told her I would take it and everything else back based on her attitude and I meant it. She of course claimed to be sorry…but we all know how that really goes. Either way, advantage – me. I will not be an enabler, allowing her to dress that way.

3.10.2006

The Virus... It LIVES!

Insanity. Puking, pooping, feverish, whining, crying, clingy insanity. The rotavirus or some other relative thereof has infested our home and both boys and the dog (for God’s sake – why the dog?) are emitting substances from both ends.

Cole started the fun and spent two full days and nights demanding to be held. All. The. Time. He would not let us put him down…and if we tried? Oh my god, the hounds of hell would have felt sorry for the whimpering that he threw at us. And the fever? 103. That is HOT people. It was so, so sad. His fever is down a bit now, seemed to get better around 6 this morning (after a LONG night of holding and movie-watching) and he is right this very minute asleep in his crib.

Roark started the power-puking this morning, so we are expecting the fever and all of the other fun by evening…oh man, won’t that be FUN? OOOh - he got his first teeth last night!!! And now his first sickness. Pray for us.

3.07.2006

Eating Calories Increases Calorie Intake

Wow – breaking news! I quote: “Study helps obese teens lose weight by getting them to trade sugary drinks for some noncaloric beverages” This is not news, it is simply obvious information, and is hereby nominated for the daily “NO SHIT” award. Also, Banging your Hand with a Hammer Hurts. They should write an article about that. Oh – and lets not forget Water is Wet.

3.06.2006

Snot and Jeans

One of the boys is sick. We think that the girls passed it down – they have both had upper respiratory infections and have been feeling crummy for about a week. Now Cole is sick. He has a runny nose, watery eyes, a red face and is … wait for it … cuddly. Unbelievable. He is NOT the cuddly kind. He is the laughing, playing, silly boy most of the time, but apparently not when sick. Now he is whiny and cuddly and just plain sad. We expect that behavior out of Roark. He cries all the time. But it is heart-wrenching to hear Cole so upset. Breaks my heart. I brought him into our bed around 3am because he couldn’t breathe through his nose and was all upset, and well, I was tired. As soon as I put him down he scooted over to my husband, put his face on his arm and went to sleep. It was about the sweetest thing I have ever seen. I hated putting him back to bed after that, but knew he would sleep longer in his bed than in ours. He is already on his 2nd nap today and it is only 9:30 – whatever he has, it is kicking his poor little baby butt. Roark on the other hand is fine. I wonder if he will develop this snot-producing ick or if he will be lucky enough to escape it?

When did blue jeans get to be so expensive? Have you seen that commercial where the girl asks her dad for $80.00 to buy jeans? I used to laugh and think “my kid will buy jeans THAT expensive when hell freezes over.” Let me just say that Satan and all of his damned souls are in the market for a new winter coat. I had promised each of the girls a new pair of jeans, which I try to do a few times a year so that they have a few new things every now and then, and so that they have things that fit through the year. We went to the mall and bought the younger daughter some jeans from Hollister. I was a bit shocked to see that they were $60.00. I was thinking that they were over-priced and that I was insane to buy them, but they were exactly what she wanted and by forking over the money, I would be out of the mall more quickly… I should have been happy they were so inexpensive.

My older daughter is HARD to shop for. She hates the mall. She hates shopping. And she is crazy. Oh wait – that isn’t important in this story. She won’t shop anywhere popular, and she won’t buy the clothes her friends wear. She will not go near Hollister or Abercrombie. She hates Pac Sun. She will not touch Roxy with a ten-foot pole. American Eagle is the Devil. And the Gap makes her squish up her face and demand to go home. Add to the mix that she is a bit height-challenged, and you have a very difficult shopper.

So we went into Lucky (some store that sells jeans) and the people there helped her find some that fit, and that she liked. How much? Over $100.00. For jeans. INSANE. I had two choices – 1) buy them and go home or 2) keep shopping with the child who HATES shopping. Guess what I did? HATE BUYING JEANS FOR TEENAGERS!!!

3.01.2006

I wasn't tagged, but answered anyway.

Things that maybe you didn't know...

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Night-time Nanny (3 nights a week my senior year of high school)
2. Fine Jewelry Saleswoman (until the store was robbed and I had to pick the thief out of a lineup)
3. Starbucks Barista
4. McDonald’s Worker (2 weeks was all I could take)

Four movies you would watch over and over:There are hundreds in our movie collection that I LOVE…
1. Crash
2. For Love of the Game
3. Grand Canyon
4. Life as a House

Four places you have lived:
1. South Bend, Indiana where I grew up in the worst neighborhood ever…
2. Mishawaka, Indiana in my very first apartment, which I loved
3. Overland Park, Kansas where we bought our first house, which I also loved
4. Plano, Texas which is so far my favorite part of the country to live

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. American Idol
2. The O.C. (I blame my teenage daughter)
3. House
4. – can’t think of another.
I used to like Scrubs and also Alias, but they have gone downhill. We tend to watch the shows on DVD through netflix more than during the actual season…

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. St-Sauveur, Qu├ębec
2. Carmel, California
3. Santorini, Greece
4. St. Criox, U.S. Virgin Islands

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Google News
2. Dress Kevin
3. Electric Boogaloo
4. Pandora

Four of my favorite foods:
1. My husband’s Italian meatloaf
2. Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
3. Texadelphia Cheese steaks
4. Sushi (Toro is my favorite)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. I am pretty content hanging out at home watching the boys play at the moment
2. Whistler, Canada - skiing
3. Key Largo, on the beach petting the Manatee
4. Key West, at Blue Heaven eating breakfast