Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When *good* isn't really good at all

My husband just got off the phone with his brother. His brother also works for the same branch of the government. His brother was called into the big district boss's office today. He was told that my husband would keep his job...with a lot of pressure to perform better.

On one hand...thank God he still has a job. On the other? Classy, right? Tell my husband's brother before they tell my husband? Really? Uncle Sam knows how to set a good example. The professional in me is irate.

But...but, for now we still have a job. We still have a paycheck. We still have insurance. Thank God for that.

I knew when my husband decided to fight this, that the 'good outcome' could be no better than this. I knew that it was unlikely that he would prevail. This is a victory, per se, for my husband. I just failed to recognize how bittersweet it would be.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When is a child no longer a child?

This is a post about children. Not my children, my husband's children. My two step sons are 20 and 22. Last Friday they burned their bridges with their mother. They are no longer welcome at their mom's house. A big fight, the police were called, etc. They spent the first couple of nights in the car. Then Sunday they came by for dinner, but were gone by the time I got home. Monday they were back about lunch time. Tonight, they are gone again.

These aren't children. These are young men. Who *should* be old enough now to know better. My husband is upset that they left. I'm not. I'm a bit upset that my oldest step son left. While I love both of the boys, S and I have always been closer than his younger brother and I are. N is moody and difficult to live with. S is easy going, fun, and loving around his younger siblings. N is just totally out of his element here.

N is one of those kids that can make it. He'll find the path and figure out a way. S is the one who'll obscure the path for N as long as they are together. I wish that my oldest step son had chosen to stay, let his brother figure out how to pick himself up and fly.

S is the more handsome of the two, charming, very likable. N is taller, thinner, and always appears to be thinking...making him hard to read and a little bit mysterious. N is a careful and dedicated worker. S is a reluctant worker at best, he has yet to find a job that he really likes and wants to apply himself at. When I look at S, still, all I can see is the little boy who came and sat on my lap and asked why I didn't come to visit him more often...because he "missed me." When I look at N, I am reminded of all the the family pictures we have with him holding his middle finger up. The comparisons I offer so freely about my step children are not unlike the comparisons I make about my own children, but, I am loathe to offer those for some strange reason.

I wish both of the boys the best. I love them both more than I can easily express. I hope that they find a way to fly on their own, even if it isn't this time, when they are so eager to spread their wings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why I need coffee in order to live

Lots of random thoughts which I have attempted to at least put in complete sentences...

Today I managed to go until almost 4:00 p.m. without coffee. All day I felt awful, horrible, terrible. I dragged myself to the coffee bar. I ordered a blended beverage with six shots of espresso, ten minutes later I had regained the will to live. The expensive B vitamins I bought? Nada. Coffee, people. Coffee is where it is at.

I did the unforgivable today. I spanked my child in public. Yes. I did. On his hand, at the wholesale club. Why? For spitting soda in his sister's eyes just for the hell of it. I'm not proud of myself...I am even less proud of him. His antics are getting old and I am quickly tiring of the games.

My husband got a call today...a concerned call. The guy he worked for when he was TDY called to say that he had received several calls in the past few days asking about my husband. He just wanted to let him know that he and the Resident Engineer told the callers that my husband's work was exemplary and that they would love to have him back. He called my husband in case he wasn't already aware of the shit storm brewing. To me this says that at the very least HR, and most likely HR and the district boss man are actually looking into my husband's claims and that maybe...just maybe, we are still in the game. After the call came in today, for the first time since walking through the door Friday, my husband stopped clutching his chest and actually smiled. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The guy also inferred that if it came right down to it, that he would hire him to work for their district. I am cautiously optimistic.

It is time for me to fess up. One of the things that has bothered me most over the past year is that my husband's boss reminds me of me. Little patience, very structured, the 'book' is gospel, can't see shades of gray, a micro manager, total workaholic, doesn't settle for less than perfection. I was that kind of boss lady. I can usually tell when my husband is going to have a problem at work. The indicator tends to be when I like the boss. My own kindred spirit is my husband's worst enemy. Who knew?

My oldest child brought a friend home with him last night. I like this friend. He is a respectful, kind young man, or at least that is my impression of him. Last night though, he came over with approval from his mom to spend the night. On a school night. Huh? Apparently, when his mom called to ask when he was going to come home, this young man told his mom that he wasn't coming home because we had invited him to spend the night. He was joking with his mother and assumed that she was going to tell him that he had better think again, or something along those lines, but, instead she said 'okay' and he was too embarrassed to tell her that it was supposed to have been a joke. I didn't want to make him feel any worse than he already did, so I let him stay. I am floored though that his mother would approve of anything like that, and without speaking to me, or even ever having 'met' me as opposed to waving as she drives by. I am choosing to believe that maybe there was something going on at home last night that this mom would have preferred her son not be a part of, and that she trusted that if we were awful people, that she would have noticed a couple of years ago when the boys first started hanging out.

Today Whole Foods put a whole bunch of organic clothing on clearance. $10 for sweatshirts, tees, polos, and pajamas. Anticipating my husband forgetting my birthday tomorrow, I treated myself (and him actually) to a couple of new things. I saved $70 on the pajamas alone. I love, love, love a sale!

I got a Halloween door hanger today in the dollar section at Target that is in the shape of a witch's hat. It reads, "the witch is...," and can be changed to read "in" or "out" and my children are greatly amused by it. Each time I've slipped into a grumpy mood, one of my precious offspring has brought the sign indoors and dramatically changed the out to in.

My husband fixed the deadbolt on our front door. Today when we got home from Costco, my husband had to lift our seven year old through the kitchen window to let us in the house because our keys wouldn't undo the lock. I assure you all that he is much more handy with duct tape than with any other tool. Bright and early tomorrow morning he will have to overcome his ineptitude with all things 'hardware' and change out our locks. He pleaded for just one more chance to fix the lock, but, I vetoed his pleas and bought a new one at my least favorite store...Lowe's. Not that Lowe's has ever done anything to me. They just happen to be the closest hardware store, and me? I hate them all. I am a woman though, so unlike my husband, I can get away with it.

My social life begins at the elementary school and ends at the grocery store. I have been hugged most recently by a cashier back from medical leave and a lunch lady. I know whose husband is celebrating a new job after two years out of work, I know whose son has a football game, and who will come cut my grass because they feel sorry for me. I. Need. A. Life. I need to converse with people that aren't getting paid for the pleasure. Seriously.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Scary stuff and stupid stuff too

There is very little new that I have to post about today. My husband is home right now. He drove up on Friday complaining about feeling ill and having chest pain. He saw his doctor this morning who wrote him out of work (if he still has a job I suppose) for two weeks and made appointments for my husband to see both a cardiologist and a psychologist for his concerns about the way stress is affecting him right now.

I am just angry and hurt looking on. I know that there isn't anything that I can do to make this situation right for my husband, but, I am frustrated by that. I. Am. Mommy. Therefore, it is my job to fix things. I seriously hate not being able to wave the magic wand over this whole mess and make it go away!

I am hoping and praying that the biggest thing we can lose out of this whole big mess we find ourselves in is a job, and not my husband, with all this stress that he feels his is drowning under right now. It is like all the nerves and worries about my husband's heart are constantly on my mind now.

Okay, as you all can see, this quick update is VERY optimistic, right?

On another sore father made my son an email account without my knowledge or permission. In addition to the email account he set up a PUBLIC profile for my son, listing his full name, picture, age, grade, school, and address. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I am livid. Scared and livid. I have since deleted the account, but, please explain why an adult would expose a child to potential internet predators and real life ones that way? Grrrrr!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

And the other shoe dropped

So...on the topic of my husband's job? Today his boss laid out some options for him. A.) Take a $10,000-$20,000 annual pay cut, with no details as to how that would actually work B.) Resign his position for an *almost guaranteed* position with a private company contracted to work on the same project C.) Wait to be dismissed. While I've been trying (really freaking hard) to watch my language, can I please get an 'Oh, Fuck' in here? Sorry.

I hate to admit it, but, I'm terrified. My husband is really upset which concerns me because of his heart. Two prior heart attacks and four stents aren't really a plus when dealing with this kind of stress. He is on the road driving home from Miami right now and my prayers are with him.

I am having a full blown panic attack. I haven't had a full blown attack in YEARS, so Fuck again! Sorry! Again.

At this point I am hoping that an appeal to Human Resources will help something. Maybe they will be able to find some way to move him laterally??? Even if it means that stint in Afghanistan. Fuck!

Where the hell do we go from here? We've already been in Hell and I'm in no hurry to go back.

Shit. Fuck. Damn.

(and yes, sadly it does make me feel better when I curse...years of on the job training at play)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hair loss and possible job loss

In the event that I haven't mentioned it, my hair is falling out. Since Labor Day, I estimate that I've lost half the hair on my head. I intend to see a doctor about it before I'm completely bald, but, it hasn't made my to do list yet this week.

The stress that is my life is pressing down on me very hard just now. My husband's one year is up on September 29. The 29th of this month marks the end of his probationary period at his new job. It is going to be a tough couple of weeks until we get there. There are several factors at play that make me extremely apprehensive about this upcoming anniversary.

Once he is out of the probationary period, we will be able to breathe that deep sigh of relief that government employees are privy to in these dire economic times in respect to job security. My biggest concern though is that my husband and his immediate superior are at odds with one another.

My husband is if you don't know, Iranian by birth. He learned English as a second language after he came to the States to study. His intention was to take his degree and return to Iran to work for the government there, but, while he was here the last revolution took place and the Shah was overthrown. My husband stayed here. He married an American citizen and became a United Stated citizen and then spent the first 15 years after he graduated working in restaurants because his English was so poor.

Finally, a few years after I met him, he managed to break into the engineering field. He held his first position for seven years, until, the carrot that is his current job was dangled in front of him. Ever since he graduated from college, my husband wanted this job, and 20 plus years after he initially applied for it, an offer was made. I was so happy for him, that he had met one of his big life goals, that I gave him my blessing (if you will) to take the job even though it would mean separation for our family.

Now, after 342 days of our current living arrangement, as we approach his one year anniversary I am scared that this very fragile wall we have built to support our family will crumble. My husband and his immediate superior are constantly at odds. His boss is probably a very talented engineer, but, someone who should never have been put in charge of a field office. His management skills are non existent. It is my belief that managers should have patience. His has none. It is my conviction that managers should set the stage for professionalism. His boss does not. In fact, my husband's superior could stand to have some type of review. Anyone in a professional position, a management position no less, that can't go five minutes without raising his voice to outright shouting, without dropping multiple f bombs, and without belittling the people that work for him, should unequivocally not be a manager.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that my husband can be frustrating. I know him better than anyone else. I also know that as soon as you raise your voice to my husband, he stops listening. Therefore, it doesn't really surprise me that his boss thinks that my husband doesn't listen. He does, he can, just not if you are trying to convey that information at the top of your lungs.

I also know how rough my husband's English is. I know how poor his computer skills are. I know that the reason he was offered this particular position was because he was very forthcoming about his lack of computer prowess. I know how dedicated and loyal he is. I know what pride he takes in his work. I know how genial he can be. I know how smart he is. I know that he really doesn't stand up for himself.

I know that his name was left off the email in which the new time sheets were sent. I know that the time sheets were due back yesterday. I know that my husband was told by his boss that he shouldn't worry about it. I know that this is the first time sheet for the period after his one year. I know that I am freaked out. I know that I am not going to be able to breathe freely until the 30th or until the other shoe drops.

My husband just returned from 90 days TDY to another district where they absolutely loved him and appreciated his work as well as recognized him for a job well done. They asked to extend his TDY period and the request was denied because my husband was supposed to report back to his home office and then work on a new out of town project. My husband was supposed to report to his new temporary duty station today, but, was told to stay back by his immediate superior.

I am all kinds of nervous and terribly apprehensive. Perhaps I am seeing mountains where there are just mole hills, but, I used to be a part of that big bad workforce. I remember how things worked with my employer...and pulling the rug out from under someone's feet was just how we used to roll. I realize that lots of people and many companies are far more ethical than what I am referencing, but, from what we've seen so far from my husband's boss, I am not inspired that he is one of the good guys.

Keeping my fingers crossed while googling hair restoration products.

LB with Jasper the class pet and Dodger II

Jasmine, JB, and LB

Baby Girl and The Little Lady at the zoo

Hercules feeding a giraffe

Baby Girl...isn't she sweet?

Monday, September 14, 2009

What? You mean you don't have a scale to weigh dirty laundry too?

Hubby left in the wee hours of the morning to go back to work down in Miami and the babies and I celebrated our first day back to normal with a trip to the zoo. My aunt went with us and I for one had a great time. We got to feed the giraffes again this year. I love the giraffes with their big liquid eyes, long lashes, and blue tongues licking my fingers. We actually spent $10 on lettuce today so that we could feed the mommy giraffe for about 15 minutes. Good times. Good times!

This year was the first year that I have owned a decent camera so I was enthralled with trying to capture all our favorite animals in pictures. I was using my son's camera actually because my batteries are still dead, so the results were good, but, not great. Today made me wonder just what we have been waiting for all these years to buy a camera...silly parents that we are.

My oldest son did not have the stellar day that he babies and I did though. We had an incident the first week of school with a child that lives in our neighborhood picking on him. The whole, "I'm a big eighth grader, you're just a lowly sixth grader," bit. I rooted the kid out about five minutes after my son got home, I had half the little kids in the neighborhood trailing behind me by the time I found the right house. Sadly, his father is twice the bully his son is and a total jerk. Nevertheless, I thought that we had managed to establish that our children would keep their hands and their belongings to themselves. It appears I was mistaken. Today this young man took my son's back pack and refused to return it. Honestly? I want to kick this kid's ass. Also? His father is about a foot and a half taller than I am and meaner than shit, so I'll try to restrain myself.

LB called from the clinic today in the hope that I would pick him up from school with his ankle/side/headache. He was not in luck, though I was reminded of last year's zoo trip which also included a call from the school nurse. These kids have ESP, I tell you!

Cheese pizza was on sale at Whole Foods this weekend for $5.99. My kids have a whole bunch of pizza to eat before I'm going to cook again. I heart sales on stuff that I buy anyway! Also, grilled corn on the cob, on sale for $1.50 for three ears. My freezer is bursting at the seams with corn and pizza. What? You don't eat pizza and corn together?

My birthday is this month and my husband asked me what I wanted. I told him that I wanted to send all of the dirty laundry that is threatening to overtake my home to the laundry service to be washed, folded and possibly pressed without any involvement of my own. My husband suggested that I just aim for the Hope Diamond. Seriously though, he groaned loudly and agreed to let me do that only IF my oldest son who was offered half the going rate per pound for laundry services fails to earn his new Xbox. My new dilemma is whether or not to just go ahead and buy more underwear to bridge us through to my birthday so that I get my money's worth out of my gift this year. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A few gems from our weekend

A phone conversation held in the car...

Me: Where do I have to turn again?
Hubby: At the bank.
Me: Where is the bank?
Hubby: Ugh! The first turn after the bowling alley.
Me: Nifty! Thanks, see you soon, bye.
Hercules: Who exactly is Nifty? What did he say to you and WHY are we going to see him?

Trying to eat a slice of pizza while guzzling a beer...

Jelly Bean: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...........blah, etc.
BB: *softly whispered in my ear* She's talking about her emotions again, just nod and smile and maybe she'll finish soon.
Me: *blood flooding my mouth while trying to stifle laughter*
JB: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, etc.
BB: *still whispering softly* I used to try to listen when she talked about her emotions, but then I realized that she just has too many of them.
Me: *gasping for breath and grabbing my sides from painful fit of laughter*

We really did have a great week. My husband took a week off before he had to return to the wilds of Miami and I took full advantage of it. I had lunch with my two elementary school kids twice this week. We had a blast with my son's class pet. I took my daughter shopping at the outlet mall. I took my two oldest boys to see GI Joe which was the greatest kiddie movie ever. Sadly, we didn't do a whole lot as a family with the exception of the trip to my mother's house, but, this week was totally awesome, I had so much fun with my kids. Of course, taking a week off from being the Mom-On-Duty also means that my house is totally wrecked, in a way worse than usual sense, but, that is okay because it'll probably be Christmas before I can hang out with my big kids one on one again. The mess is way worth it!

I hope that all of you had great weekends too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jasper, the class pet

My second grader was nearly shivering with anticipation before his Open House because we were going to talk about his class pet there. I had no idea what to expect and I was terrified. I'm sure you guys read Diagnosis: Urine and remember Ice Cream*. I sat on the floor next to my son's desk praying I wouldn't totally lose my stuff when the teacher made the announcement. "Please meet Jasper our class pet," she said and I sat still staring at the floor unable to look. "Each of my students will be able to take Jasper home," my heart froze, the moment I had been dreading had arrived. If Jasper was a fish, we would kill it easy. I mean we do have one fish that has been with us for a couple of years now, but, he is a freak of nature, a survivor that has managed to stay afloat after several visits to our carpet and more than a few pets, but, that fish is definitely not the norm around here. We had a hamster once, I took the kids out of town for a few days to visit with my sister, my husband forgot we had it and, well, let us just say that it wasn't pretty. I watched a friend's guinea pig one summer when I was a little girl and my dog tried to eat it. I myself have two dogs now and two cats that I know in my heart would love to sink their teeth or claws into something small that would 'eek' in fright. I was was frozen to the spot while memories of furry (and some scaly) companions that had passed overloaded my brain. My heart pounded in my chest, blood poured into my ears and I could hear no more, until my son took my face between his hands and pointed it in the right direction and whispered, "don't you want to see him Mommy, our class pet?" I opened my eyes and saw him. Jasper the class pet is a stuffed bulldog.

Yesterday was an early release day and my second grader bounded in the house apparently weightless under his book bag and what looked on him to be a giant dog carrier. My young man had won the right to bring Jasper home last night. As he pondered what he would be able to write about in Jasper's journal, I was inspired. Granted, my inspiration was in part to due my relief that Jasper was stuffed, but, I decided that we should take Jasper on his first train ride. We got ready, LB, JB, H, Jasper and I. We went to the mall to ride the train, but, once there my son urged me to go to Build-A-Bear to maybe find a treat for Jasper. We went and we found what I think is a perfect accessory for a class pet, his very own book bag complete with pencils, books, and a great report card. Then my son spotted his 'pet' dog Dodger's brother. A dog the very same as Dodger, but, chocolate brown. Then my son explained that Jasper was lonely, he needed a friend to have fun with. I tried to explain that we were Jasper's friends and that we would keep him company, but, it was clear that my son wasn't buying it and that I soon would be, buying Dodger the Second that is. Of course, since Dodger II and Jasper are school friends, I also had to get Dodger II a book bag so that he and his friend Jasper would be ready to learn. Finally we got to go on the train. I took pictures for my son's 'writing inspiration book' at school of the dogs and their special first moments and we rushed off to get them printed.

Today is picture day and my son can hardly contain his excitement to share with his class how he and Jasper spent their time together. I know that yesterday was a good day because before going to sleep, my son came and gave me a special kiss and thanked me for the best day ever!

*Jen's family welcomed Ice Cream into their home and hearts with open arms to stay. Further proof that she is a much more awesome mom than I*

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There is no place like home

First, I would like to say that I am really happy that we decided to go down to my mother and father's house for a day last weekend so that they could visit with the children and we could all visit with my oldest sister who lives out of state.

Now, let me share ten things that compelled me to make the above statement.

  • Three hours in a car with six kids is no joke. Forty five minutes of non stop screaming by a certain one year old princess who wants to make sure that her parents are aware of her disdain is an excellent reason NOT to make a three hour car trip. Once you are three hours away from home though, you know that you must do it again on the way home. A benefit to the hour and a half of terrorizing screams on the return leg of the journey is that you will NOT be able to fall asleep at the wheel, cry perhaps, but, not sleep.
  • After laboring for two hours to make her vehicle presentable to the paternal half of the parental unit, a mother can hold a grudge for days (maybe weeks, we'll see) when that same daddy dumps a can of soda on her floorboard.
  • Those children that you couldn't wait to show off as the light of your life? You so don't even want to take them home with you. Another three hours cooped up with them will make you wonder if a really, really late term abortion would fly.
  • "Why in the hell did I marry this man?" Is a question you will ask yourself over and over, especially if he spills something.
  • You still can't eat anything acidic because of the chunk of your cheek that you bit off trying to restrain yourself when your father threatened to spank your son at dinner.
  • Your mother waited all of twenty minutes before lamenting to your husband about her daughter denying her of her grandparental rights.
  • Your mother will try to force you to try on bathing suits that have not fit you since you were seven. Demeaning? Just a little.
  • You will spend a good five minutes wondering if someone were to actually use on of the decorative soaps that have been in your mother's bathroom for the last twenty five years, would it kill them?
  • Then you will wonder if your sister had also wondered about lethal soap, but you will be unable to find a way of asking because your mother is right there.
  • Why do old people have so many pictures of Jesus and rosaries on display? You will ponder this because there are far more crosses/Madonnas/baby Jesus(es)/rosaries in your mother's bedroom than there are in the National Cathedral?
A few pictures to share...

Grandma, BG, Me, JB, H, and Aunt S

Uncle P, LB, JB, and BB

Hubby and TLL

Hubby and BG

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fungus for me, fungus for you?

As a mother of six I have always said that there is nothing (short of illegal) that I wouldn't do for more energy. I mean seriously, wouldn't you? Do anything for more energy than your kids have? Except for maybe this one thing that someone suggested to me today...cordyceps. Cordyceps is a Chinese tonic, a fungus that grows on Tibetan caterpillars. I am totally NOT kidding. I have found where I must draw the line in the sand, and a fungus that grows on a glorified worm is where it's at. EEEEeeeeeww!!! For those of you that are made of stronger stuff than I am, it is 2g with meals, and you may expect a noticeable difference in 3 months or less.

Speaking of needing more energy, we are driving down to my mother's house for the day. My sister and her husband are already there. For our little day trip I have packed 8 bathing suits, 7 pairs of flip flops, swim diapers in 3 sizes, 12 outfits, 6 pairs of pajamas, one diaper bag in size Extra Grande, my trusty Vera Bradley purse, 18 baby bottles, 1 portable bottle warmer, 2 laptops, 3 gameboys, 1 DVD player, 7 lunches, 7 dinners, 1 tote of snacks, and three coolers of drinks. I am freaking exhausted and I still have a ton of stuff to do before we leave. My sleep will probably be nonexistent and then I'll be miserable all day tomorrow. Such is life, or more accurately, such is my life. Six hours in the car with six bad can it be?

*I eat mushrooms, could caterpillar fungi be that much worse?*

Friday, September 4, 2009

Open houses and some good natured finger pointing

Yesterday, thanks to a cruel twist of fate, we had two Open Houses to attend simultaneously. I'm good people, but, I'm not that good. I managed to lug my six kids, my huge Vera Bradley purse, my ginormous diaper bag, a double stroller, a single stroller, and myself to the school on time for Open House. *Did I mention that it was raining? I didn't? Good, I wouldn't want it to sound like I was inviting you guys to a pity party or anything.* We decided to go to my younger son's classroom first. His teacher is very nice. She had lovely things to say about my boy, but, I expected nothing less, because LB is an awesome kid. Then we made the trek to JB's class just in time to hear her English teacher ask us to address with our children the issue of too much "conversating" during class. I. Really. Wish. We. Had. Missed. That. Part.

Other random things about Open House include being able to talk to LB's teacher about one of the second grade spelling assignments called "Back-To-Front" in which they want the children to spell the words out backwards for homework. I will admit that I was annoyed about the assignment. I mean, there is nothing like teaching your kid to spell a word THE WRONG WAY to eliminate confusion. Imagine my delight when the teacher explained that it was a grade level thing and that she agreed with me. Out the window went that assignment, to be replaced with whatever works. I also found out that JB's teachers, the ones of 'conversating' fame, are using the card flip system for conduct. However, the first time they flip their card, it marks the student down to a B for the whole week. So, talk out of turn twice in a week and you have earned a C for the week. Ouch! In my other children's classes they start new each day and the grade for the week is an average, so in either BB or LB's classes, those two strikes for talking out of turn in a week would still average out to an A. Same with homework, if JB misses a homework assignment, her grade drops to a B immediately and of course she also takes a zero in that subject. My opinion is that their expectations are too high and the consequences too harsh for the fourth grade. Granted, this is my baby girl we are talking about, so I am trying to stifle the urge to rip hearts out of chests until it is absolutely necessary.

I would still love to hear from my quiet readers (Pompano Beach, I'm talking to you...and KY I'm talking to you too :) ) If public comments aren't your thing, everyone feel free to shoot me an email, my contact info is on my profile page.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

C'mon guys!!!

A bloggy pal of mine (and many of yours too) posted yesterday about lurking or skulking, or whatever you want to call it. Her post got me thinking about Delurking Day (which apparently is long past for '09) and how I would love to know who some of you guys are that are reading. My oldest child is particularly fascinated by my StatCounter. He is quick to update me each day as to who has read what/where/when. This week he has been practically doing cartwheels over a couple of hits from Iran. He has it in his mind that it must be one of his dad's relatives, which alternately thrills and intimidates me. It does occur to me that I have voiced a bit of frustration about my hubby on here (these translators are pretty unreliable, I'm sure you've heard) but, that his family might be using my blog as a link to stay connected with us over here is a pretty cool thought.

Then I realized that there are a few folks that are reading pretty regularly, but, I don't know who you are. I figure that if you keep coming back, there is something about my family that you find enjoyable, if not and you're just stopping by to see what I've put out there for you to disagree with...then you're my mother. Kidding, sort of.

Okay, so after a lot of rambling and babbling, I'm pitching the idea of an unofficial Delurking Day and I'm asking those of you who don't usually comment to say 'hi' to let me know that you're out there. If you have blogs, I'd like to be able to check them out...we might just have something in common! If you would even consider letting us know what part of the world you're in, you will also make my son's day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For those of you that are interested in being clean and 'green'

If you've checked in with me before, you know that my household is a medium shade of green. We eat organic whenever possible, we recycle, we use natural health and beauty products, and that we use as many natural cleaning products as possible. It has then become a sort of experiment to find the most efficacious products to use. I love trying new things that are better for my family, better for the earth, and work better than what I am currently using. EcoStore offered me a couple of their products to try in exchange for my honest opinion. I am happy to say that both of the products I tried have their merits, and that I am probably forever sold on their whitener, or bleach alternative as the case may be. The other item we have been using is the 'Nappy Balm' which comes in a glass jar that I think is so much better than a plastic tube. It is a product that is so natural that I was even willing to try it out on the wee little one.

The whitener rocked my world. I had been waiting patiently for a good occasion to try it out though. I figured a week's worth of back-to-school socks was a worthy test subject. The socks came out of my dryer actually white, which is something that has been eluding me with the hydrogen peroxide based bleach that I have been using for a year or so now. I also used the powder as a stain remover scrub. While that was not a use sanctioned by the packaging, it worked really well, and took out some of the set in greasy pizza stains from my oldest child's new polo shirts.

I understand that their products are available at Meijer stores and on their website. I know that I would love to see Whole Foods carry their product line. You guys please check them out if you are like me and looking for 'green' clean, the company is serious about the environment right down to their packing materials (soy cool is that?)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where I realize that I am not the only parent who accidently wears shirts with booze logos to school events

Why, when eating these last five or six pints of Purely Decadent's Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl in the last few weeks did I never once consider having to actually sit behind one of those minuscule middle school desks? Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about a wake-up call! I have never been a thin person, I am big boned, big busted, and definitely not dainty, but, my new workout goal is to be able to nimbly slip into my son's desk at the next parent/teacher function like that one lady in my son's second period, the one EVERY other mother snickered at while baulking at their own assigned seats. Her. I want to be her. I never again want to have visions of me standing up with the desk still attached trying to break free competing with my child's teacher for my attention. Strangely, my panic from earlier and my resolve to do better in the future aren't hindering my ability to work through yet more of the same frigging ice cream while I type these very sentiments though. *Willpower, like patience, I'm afraid I never knew you!*

Middle School's Open House wasn't bad. I was especially appreciative of the dad in the 'Mike's Hard Lemonade' polo, He made me feel better about this morning's school run in my SoCo & lime tee. I did change before Open House, into a pair of linen slacks from Banana Republic, which I was too lazy/cheap to dry clean, so I hope nobody noticed the small hole in my derriere where the stitching came out in the wash, good thing I was wearing my good undies. My children were too busy saying things like, "LB you were too young to remember, but I've seen Mom dressed like this before, back when she had a job and made money." LB countered with, "you look like a lawyer, not a mother." BB iced the cake by contributing,"yeah, I like it when you do your own make-up, this way you don't look so bad." The latter being a reference to the facial and make-up session I had done this past weekend. Nothing like kids to boost one's self confidence!

Then there was the actual class like atmosphere while taking notes about the different teachers and their class objectives and expectations. I was kind of a little bit of the class clown in school which morphed into a sort of dry mockery of my teachers when I got to high school. I had a real hard time NOT being like that tonight. I reserved most of my comments for the hall between classes, but, others were just bursting to break free. Like for example in his health class, I couldn't help but mutter under my breath while reading some of the 'Drug Projects' hanging on the wall, that I was unsure whether they were promoting the drugs in question or educating about them. I mean, a giant piece of poster board on which was written an ode to 'Magic Mushrooms' gave me the impression that someone was trying to sell me something. Of course, my little comment drew the attention of a couple of parents who really flipped out about the whole thing (meaning the posters) and really threw the teacher (who I would have carded for an R rated movie) off her game. Oops, sorry about that, I just thought the whole thing was kind of funny...some people have no sense of humor though. *Humor I have in spades, if I could just swap for some patience and willpower, I'd be set.* My son was still admitting I was his mother by 7th period, so I must not have been too bad.

My babysitter let my three year old go to sleep at dinner so he should be ready for bed about the time the bars close around here, perhaps I should have hit the 'Mike's Hard' dad up for free samples. I'm afraid that tonight will be an all nighter. *Sigh* Two more Open Houses to go, of course they are at the same time on Thursday night. Fun, fun, fun.