Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So I am really behind on my posts

Sorry, I know I owe you something long & chatty for being a loyal reader, but it may not happen today.  My brain is still recovering from the mediocre school carnival.  It was an adequate success, by the way.

What is currently on my mind is a note a got in the mail today.  It is from a teller at my bank and says "Jennifer, Thank you so much for stopping by.  It's always a pleasure. R Zachary -Teller-"

I think I will reply.

Dear Bankers, 
I realize your note was an attempt to personalize my banking experience. However, I switched to online banking in order to DEPERSONALIZE my banking experience.  I go to the bank once a month to cash a particular check that doesn't arrive via direct deposit.  I do not have a personal relationship you because I do not want one.  I did not feel appreciated when reading your note.  I felt creeped out.  Please go back to ignoring me.  
J Collins

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So I have been vindicated part two

In a nutshell here is my Heater and Air Conditioner Repairman Conspiracy Theory:

They break your heat when they come to fix the air and then they break the air when they come to fix the heat.

On November 10th I called a repairman to fix our heat.  Before he arrived I posted my theory. Big mistake.  They must have seen my post because they sent over a repairman who reminds me of my Papaw (God rest his soul).  How could I possibly not trust my Papaw?  This is how they get you!  I have fallen right into their trap.

So Papaw reports that he cannot duplicate the problem I am describing (this is repairman for "you are an idiot").  He believes that it must be the control panel which will cost $250 plus labor and tax.  I am cold.  I say "fine".

Then the heat stops working again.  Conveniently on a Friday night so we have to go all weekend without heat.  I decide the heat & a/c mob is more pissed off than I originally thought. I resolve to be more wary of Papaw this time.

Crap!  He is super nice and apologetic and returns my check for $306 to me un-cashed so I can void it.  I decide my theory might have been wrong.  Such a sweet old guy!

Papaw tries another part, but it is not quite the right part for my heater model.  He says that he "shoehorned" in a pressure switch and if it works consistently he will order the correct one.

The heater works fine for many days.  I decide I really was wrong.  I almost post a retraction.

Papaw returns today to remove the "shoehorned" in part and install the correct part.  I happily write him a check for $196.  I am HAPPY to spend $196 because it is significantly less than $306. That should have set off some warning bells for me, but I was trusting Papaw.

About 4 hours after Papaw leaves with my $196.... the heat stops working. I am kicking myself. Why did I not question the un-cashed check?  Its like it was planned!  Should I call some people to report my schedule for the next couple of days in case I turn up missing?

When I call the repair place they say that they don't have any experienced guys available currently.  Because my "problem has been ongoing" I am given the option to wait for Papaw to come tomorrow or I can have a less experienced guy right now.  I am not really trusting Papaw or his kind so I take the newbie.

Newbie shows up 20 minutes later (some sort of repairman record I am certain).  He has a pierced lip and visible tats.  It is 38 degrees so visible tats in that temp means in the summer he probably looks like a piece of scratch paper after a budget meeting.  I am comforted by his appearance after being burned by Papaw.

So I explain the entire saga to Newbie as matter of fact as I can.  I certainly don't want to tip him off that I am onto the game.  He says there is a rod that sometimes acts up in the cold weather when you have a digital thermometer.  I am glad to hear he has a theory.  I love a good theory.

Ten minute after he ascends to my attic, the heat kicks on.  Ten minutes after that he pops down and gives me a full report.

He says that the rod was fine and at first he was not sure what the problem could be but then he poked farther into the machine and noticed...........................wait for it........................................ 



He explained there was a wire that someone had pulled loose and then stabilized back with tape and a twist tie rather than really repair it.  It was not always connecting properly, hence the occasional working heat.  He said that he properly repaired it and that should do the trick. I went so far as to confirm that there were no pieces of twine, bread ties, electrical tape or chunks of chewing gum acting as parts in my heater.  He gave me an eyebrow raise, but he answered the question with "No, not to my knowledge."  In my head I am screaming I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

He assured me that he would clarify in his report that the new pressure switch for $196 was probably not necessary.  I guess I will be hosting a final visit from a repairman to remove the new pressure switch and put the old one back on.  I pray they send Newbie back because he apparently has not been inducted into the repairman secret society yet. 

Maybe I should ask him to take a look at the a/c while he is up there.


So I have been vindicated

If this is your first visit to my blog, or you are a regular reader with a bad memory, please re-read the November 10th blogs.  Actually, you can skip the Tootsie Roll rant (unless you too think TRs suck, then go ahead and peruse that one for fun).  The post you should re-read is titled "So I am a Crackpot."  Go ahead and do that now, I'll wait...

Actually, I have to go do some stuff now.  You have about four hours to get to that and then I will make a new post explaining my glorious vindication!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So I really want a beer

My kids are in bed.  I cannot leave the house. I am pretty sure it is illegal to leave your kids home alone when they are sleeping (or awake, of course!).  Even if it were not illegal to abandon your children for beer, something in me cannot leave my kids alone while I make a package run.

Making a package run is what we called going to the liquor store when I was in high school. I went to school in CT and in some parts of New England they call the liquor store a "package store".  Once a boy tried to impress me by bragging that he could get all the liquor he wanted because his dad owned the package store. I had images of the kid breaking into the local Fed Ex and ripping open boxes until he found a potent potable.

I have always had mixed feelings about the phrase "package store".  On one hand it does sound less crass than liquor store.  However it is ambiguous enough to lead some folks to think you're acquiring a package of something infinitely worse than booze.  

Generally I just say what I mean and call it the liquor store.  But on nights like this when I want a beer and cannot have it for reasons of legality (just like high school!) it is the package store.  I cannot make a package run because my kids are in bed.  I will not make one tomorrow because I will not think about drinking a beer until my kids are in bed.  I will not make one Friday night because I will be PTAing it up at the Harvest Hoedown.  I will not be able to drink another beer until the Huckle Cat & Lowly Worm have moved out of my house.  Being a mama rarely sucks, but tonight is kind of does.

I'm going to go kiss my sleeping babies to cheer myself up...

So its time for Random Thoughts from Huck

On the way to school Huck breaks through the Wiggles DVD and says "Does Santa speak baby so he will know what [Worm] wants for Christmas?"  I say "Of course!"  He then says "Yeah, but does he speak Japanese?"

What?  Where did Japanese come from?  We don't know anyone who speaks Japanese.  In fact, we don't even know anyone who looks Japanese. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

So I was dying to hear what Huck had to say about his sub

When I picked Huck up from school today I immediately asked,"How was your sub today?"  He said, "I think he was stressed out."

I had to work so hard to hold my laughter in that I think I killed a few brain cells.

So I said "Really? What makes you think he was stressed?" Huck says, "Well a couple of times he went HEY!! in a really annoyed voice."

He also explained that Mr. Sweaty told them they were going to "mix things up a little today". "They were REALLY mixed up", said Huck.  He also reported that the only time Mr. Sweaty wasn't stressed was at recess.  So I asked if that was because he had fun playing with them at recess.  Huck said, "No, I just didn't see him that much at recess."  

That time I did blurt out a laugh before I got myself back under control.

I know I shouldn't take this much pleasure in what was obviously a very tough day for someone else, but I am.  It didn't hurt Huck to have an unproductive day.  And I suspect it was quite a learning experience for Mr. Sweaty. I am guiltlessly going to enjoy the mental picture of Mr. Sweaty cowering behind a tree while 19 kindergardeners run around the playground.  I hope he is back tomorrow!

So I stuck around at the school a bit because Huck has a sub

This is not the first time he has had a sub, but this is the first time I felt worried about the sub. Actually, let me clarify, I felt worried FOR the sub.  

I generally pop into Huck's class around 8:05 after his teacher (Miss J) has had a few minutes to get everyone settled.  She usually can spare me a few minutes to chit-chat at this time because the kids are pretty subdued and are all sitting quietly and working at their tables.  This morning it was chaos!

When I walked in, I saw a large man with a terrified look on his face and sweat running in buckets off his head.  Without even asking if he minded, I dived in.  

First I took a head count. There are currently 19 kids in Huck's class.  Out of 19 kids, 4 are sitting and working at their tables (Huck was one of these because he is an unequivocal rule follower).  Three are in the hallway, lingering at the water fountain.  Two are standing outside the bathroom, one is in the bathroom.  Two are fighting over a notebook.  One is crying.  Three are playing with the toys that are designated for certain times of day (8:05 is not one of these times).  Two are in the book nook.  And one is nowhere to be found, I shall now nickname this kid Nomad.  He and Huck are big buddies so he is likely to be a blog regular.  

I immediately break up the fight by taking the notebook away. Then I pop right back out the door to round up Nomad.  I know these kids pretty well so I had a good idea where to find this one.  He was right where I expected him to be, so we head back to the classroom. By now the crier has calmed down and the water fountain and bathroom kids are all back in the room.

Next I summon my very best Miss J voice and loudly say "Boys and Girls!  One two three, eyes on me!"  I have heard her say this about 100 times already this year so I know it works.  It does and 38 little eyes are now trained on me.  CRAP! Now that I have their attention, what am I supposed to make them do?  

So I look at Huck and shoot him a "help me!" look.  He just opens up his poetry folder and starts coloring.  So I say, "Everyone sit down and work on your poetry folders.  I am going to pick whoever is the quietest and they can be it for the quiet game."  Mr. Sweaty looks at me like I have fallen straight from heaven into the classroom.  So I pick a quiet kid and they get started on their game.

Now I have a minute to talk to Mr. Sweaty (and show him where the paper towels are because when I said the sweat was running in buckets I was not exaggerating).  Turns out he has never subbed before.  Gee, really? He was called in because Miss J's daughter had an unexpected medical emergency (nothing life threatening, but still kind of serious).  He was trying to do the lunch count when I showed up, but he has just realized he didn't do it quite right and needs to correct his mistake. 

He has asked each kid if they want option 1 (hamburger), option 2 (chicken sandwich) or have brought a lunch box, and has dutifully written a 1, 2, or LB on each little hand.  However, he didn't record the count for the cafeteria ladies.  

Now that he can reasonably get everyone's attention he mops his dripping brow and says "If you chose option 1 raise your hand."  No one raises their hand.  So I say "If Mr. Sweaty (I didn't actually call him that) wrote a 1 on your hand, hold it up so I can see it."  This time 14 little hands go up.  Teaching certificate or not, grown men just don't know how to think like kids.

Nomad is trying to leave the class room again, so I call to him and say "Do you think you could come show Mr. Sweaty how Miss J chooses the class leader and table helpers each day?" Mr. Sweaty and Nomad seem happy with this assignment and they head to the front of the room.  

Meanwhile I round up Worm (who has been surprisingly good this morning) and start to head out.  But on the way out the door something hits me.  I go back in and call to Mr. Sweaty "Hey, the thermostat is on the wall by the sink, partially hidden by the paper towel holder."  I think he would have hugged me if it wouldn't have been completely inappropriate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So a stranger read my blog

How AWESOME IS THAT?  She googled "Sirius 6116 is gone" and found my blog!  She left me a comment about her dismay at having to resort to the sucky kids music channel.  I tried googling "Sirius 6116 is gone" myself and it worked.  It was the third site on the list.  It is weirdly validating.  

So here is a personal note to my unknown reader: Lisa, if you ever read my blog again, thanks!  I do think we should do something about getting Kid Stuff (Sirius 6116) back on dish network. Maybe we could stand outside their windows with boom boxes and blast toddlers singing The Wheels on the Bus until they pay attention to us (anything John Cusack did is cool and worth trying).  I have some particularly annoying children's CDs that would drive any programming director screaming from the office.  If you want to work out a strategy let me know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So I extended Huck's bedtime ritual considerably tonight

My kids go to bed early.  Worm at 6:30 and Huck at 7:00.  I realize this is not the norm, but it is necessary for their health and my sanity.  Tonight I didn't make it out of Huck's room until 7:28.  That probably sounds like no big deal to you, but it REALLY is.  

He is 6 years old.  6 year olds need 12 hours of sleep a night.  He will wake up no later than 6:30 tomorrow morning no matter what time he falls asleep.  Since we instituted the 7 p.m. bedtime he has been a noticeably happier & healthier kid.  He truly does not get sick as often.

Worm gets 12 hours at night and at least 2 during the day.  He is 18 months old and has never been on antibiotics.  I have only taken him to the doctor one time outside of well baby visits. I thought he had an ear infection, turns out he was just teething really early.

Sleep is vital for kids, people.  If your kids don't get enough sleep consider changing that.  The long term benefits are worth the short term hassle. You are not doing them any favors by letting them stay up late. The key is consistency in your routine starting as early in the day as you can.  Our consistency starts at 3 p.m. for Huck (I keep Worm consistent all day since he still naps).  We do pretty much the same thing at the same time from 3 p.m. until lights out, even on weekends as best we can.

Anyway, we hit a snag tonight.  After we brush teeth I turn Huck's TV to channel 6116 Sirius Kids Music, we listen to this while we read books and I leave it on all night for him.  But tonight it WASN'T THERE!  There was no channel 6116!  

He began to cry.  Huck in crying mode, especially at bedtime, is very hard to recover from.  It can last hours if you don't nip it in the bud.  I scurried around and found an alternate kid music channel.  Then, to distract him I read two chapters from a new book and two chapters from another new book (he likes to have several stories going at once just like me).  He is not stupid. He can hear the music in the background and he knows it sucks.  It's the kind of music that gives kid music a bad reputation. He may not be sophisticated, but he knows crap when he hears it.  

It is now 7:14 p.m.  Normally I would do the kissing & hugging thing and walk out of his room, but he is on the verge of tears.  So I lay down next to him and we tell each other a silly story.

It is now 7:25 p.m.  He is looking iffy and I think I hear Raffi coming from the T.V.  Raffi?  Is this 1983?  Okay, I cannot let my kid fall asleep to "Baby Beluga".  Seriously, I consider it child abuse.  So I do the unthinkable, I let him play with my hair.

It is now 7:28 p.m.  I cannot take the hair twirling any longer.  Three minutes of having my hair messed with is like three minutes of the emergency broadcasting test signal.  I just pray for it to be over from the first second and it never gets any more bearable.

I peel myself away and assure him I will figure out a solution.  I suppose I will call Dish Network tomorrow and see what happened.  I hope the channel is not gone for good. We have considered switching back to cable in the past.  If there is a decent kids music channel on their line-up they will probably have a new customer by the end of the week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So I had a funny conversation with Huck

Huck thinks like me.  He has odd logic, flight of thought, wild theories and I LOVE IT!  

Tonight at dinner he says, "Rhinos always look like they are smiling, even when they frown." Then he demonstrates a rhino frowning (see photo).  I never realized how hard it was to frown with the upper half of your face and smile with the lower half.  You read lines in books that say something like "the smile didn't reach his eyes." Previously I would have thought of that as just an insincere smile.  Now and forever I will think of it as a Rhino Smile (also a good nickname, any takers?)

So I checked the poll again

I think that more than 2 votes per visitor have been allowed.  It is now up to 12 votes and I am pretty sure I don't have 6 regular readers.  It looks like Dumptruck in pulling ahead.  All I have to say is: Hubby, you must have made my readers really mad at some point.

I would like to point out I did say hubby could suck up to me and I would ignore the poll results and go with the name he prefers (Catfish - whiskers, white belly, smells gross - I think it suits you).  In case you need help, here are the things that qualify as sucking up to me: Buying me those Ugg sweater boots (light brown NOT purple), buying me an awesome new laptop, unexpectedly taking me out of the house without the children (and I don't mean a tour of the backyard - I mean you plan childcare and take me somewhere for several hours or even days)... oh hell, I would settle for a six-pack of Sam Adam's light and box of Hot Tamales.  This is why I should never run for public office.  

Since the poll ends before Christmas and hubby is not likely to do these things I am tempted to drop the poll and begin calling him Dumptruck.  However, I will keep it going.  I suspect my two regular readers will continue to skew to results toward Dumptruck.  At least I am giving him a chance.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So I'm still feeling like a whack-a-doodle

Worm did give the heater repairman the baby evil eye, so there's still hope for him.

Apparently the repairman underground knows I am on to them.  Today our "control panel" needed to be replaced to the tune of $300.  I am afraid to say more for fear they will sneak in at night and switch my clean filters for dirty ones.

If I start finding Tootsie Roll wrappers strewn about my yard I'll send out a secret signal to let you know the kids and I have moved to a safe house.  All I can say is it is located in a moderate climate where space heaters and box fans will get you comfortably through any season.

So I fed Worm a Tootsie Roll

He likes them.

So I am a crackpot

If you didn't already think I was cracked after the Tootsie Roll rant, let me convince you of my whack-a-doodleness with my "Heater/Air Conditioner Repair Man Conspiracy Theory".

Every winter when we first turn on our heat, it does not work properly.  I call a repair man.  He fixes a "loose wire".  It works perfectly.

Every summer when we first turn on our A/C, it does not work properly.  I call a repair man. He fixes a "loose wire". It works perfectly.

So I now think that all the heat & a/c repair men in Northwest Arkansas have a racket where they mess with the a/c wires when they fix the heater and then mess with the heater wires when they come back to fix the a/c.

Anyone want to come live with me on my compound?  I have a bunker full of semi-automatics and a pitcher of electric kool-aid.

So I was thinking about Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls suck.  

When I sorted the halloween candy this year, I divided it into two piles.  

Chocolate and everything else.  

When Huck saw this he said there was chocolate in the wrong pile.  I went to investigate and he indicated that there were Tootsie Rolls in the non-chocolate pile.  I explained that Tootsie Rolls are not chocolate, they are just chewy things that are supposed to be chocolate flavored.

Funnily enough, I had the exact same conversation with hubby a few days later.  Is it a male thing that they don't know the difference between chocolate and weird poser candy?

Here is why Tootsie Rolls suck:
- they pretend to be chocolate, but they aren't creamy and delicious
- they pretend to be caramels, but they aren't buttery and delicious
- they look like cat turds 

What has brought on this Tootsie Rolls rant you ask?  

The halloween candy is all picked over and there is no more chocolate.

So I hung out at Huck's school again this morning

Do you remember a few weeks ago (October 28th to be exact) when I described my days as having a quiet rhythm?  Throw that out the window. Worm has marched fully into toddlerhood and I believe it will be an entirely new experience for me.

Let me describe Huck as a toddler: reasonable, easy-going, quiet, cuddly, kind, polite, communicative in a way even strangers could understand. Are you rolling your eyes yet? Seriously, he was soooooo easy.  That's not going to be the case with Worm.

If you have been paying attention you know I frequently hang out at school in the morning doing odd jobs for the PTA or Huck's teacher. Usually Worm sits in his stroller, eats snacks and watches all the activity. But recently something clicked with him and he realized that screaming, crying and kicking are a good way to get out of the stroller.  Had I known I was setting a precedent, I never would have let him out of the stroller at school.  But that pig is already a BLT, so there is no sitting in the stroller at school now.

So what happened this morning that is blog-worthy?  I enjoy making lists, maybe it will be less painful to recount if I do it as Worm's TO DO list. Keep in mind, this list is only for 7:45 to 8:45 a.m.

1. Throw brand new hat down in parking lot.
2. Get mad when wheeled back out into cold to retrieve hat.
3. Immediately say down, Down, DOWN, DOOOWWWNNN! upon entering building.
4. Continue to scream DOWN while mama navigates crowded halls with stroller.
5. When allowed out of stroller in Huck's classroom, scream NO at anyone who comes within three feet of me.
6. Empty drawer full of blocks onto floor.
7. Rip open ziplock bag of crayons while mama puts blocks away.
8. Color on table with crayon.
9. Scream when mama takes away crayons.
10. Holler NA! NA! NA! when mama opens supply closet to get replacement ziplock (he knows the snacks are kept here).
11. Get a snack from Huck's nice teacher.
12. Pull books off bookshelf.
13. Say DOG and very sweetly hug stuffed dog (not everything on this list is horrible).
14. Take someone's pencil.
15. Panic because cannot see mama. Insist that mama pick me up and holler BYE-BYE repeatedly until she leaves the classroom.
16. See water fountain, squirm to get down and play in fountain.
17.  Play happily in fountain for five minutes while mama conducts PTA business.
18. Realize I am very wet from playing in fountain and decide this is unacceptable.
19. Toddle to mama and insistently say BAH, BAH, BAH while patting my diaper.  
20. Confuse mama when she checks my diaper and sees it is clean and dry.
21. Continue to say BAH until mama realizes that I am using my "change my diaper" signal to mean "change my entire outfit, it is wet".
22. Settle for mama removing my wet sweatshirt.
23. Head back toward water fountain.
24. Get really mad and throw temper tantrum when mama won't let me near it.
25. Need another snack, and my cup, and a pen, and a rubber band, and the box tops for education collection container, and some coffee stirrers, and my favorite toy car, and whatever is in this trash can, and the other pen that mama is writing with, and a pencil instead, and these boxes of cereal in this cabinet, and that kid's book, and that kid's animal crackers, and NO I DON'T WANT BACK IN THE STROLLER.
26. Kick and hit mama.
27. Very sweetly babble to myself and push my stroller around in the lobby.
28. Try to put my fingers in the paper shredder.
29. Find the on button for the paper shredder and try again to put my fingers in.
30. Lose interest in paper shredder now that the school principal has unplugged it.
31. Need another snack.
32. Say no to all snacks mama offers.
33. Decide to wonder down the hall to find Huck (or possibly just looking for better snacks).
34. Bang on Huck's classroom door while yelling his name.
35. Hang out in Huck's classroom while mama reads a story to the big kids because the teacher has a sick child of her own to deal with and needs to call the doctor's office.
36. Play with dry erase markers much to the amusement of big kids.
37. Write on my beautiful blond hair with black marker.
38. Throw fit when mama takes away marker.
39. Climb on chair and bang computer keys very loudly.
40. Get down, sit with big kids, listen to story for 30 seconds.
41. Go to supply closet and yell NA! NA! NA!
42. Allow Huck's teacher to hold me while mama finishes story. Act very sweet and lay head on her shoulder.
43. Throw fit about leaving Huck's classroom.
44. Try to make a break for the water fountain.
45. Completely stiffen body in a way that makes it impossible to put me in stroller.
46. Very sweetly walk to car holding mama's hand.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So I can't think of anything to post

I had a pretty full weekend so you would think I could pull a story or two out of it, but I just can't think of anything witty, funny or even interesting. I guess I'll just get started and see what comes out of it...

Crap, I just wrote two paragraphs, read them, dozed off because they were so boring, and deleted them.  Apparently I am not going to be blogging about my weekend.  Maybe I could explore some other topic that has been on my mind.  Mind blank....house too cold....want to take warm bath....need to read books....

Sorry folks, ain't happening.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Basically, re-read yesterday's Sam's & Wal-Mart posts. Now add being accosted by pushy kiosk salesmen and replace Worm's breakdown with Huck's breakdown (Worm had one today too, but it was minor by comparison) . Okay, that's it. I just had the exact same day two days in a row. 

I know that you visited the blogosphere for a funny little story about my day, but I just can't relive it. I am going to just go to bed now and start over again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So I comment on my readers' comments

If you comment, I will read it and usually comment back.  Bring it on, I can take it.  If I couldn't, I wouldn't be doing this.

So I made a list

I LOVE to make lists. Imagine my joy when I saw that I could add lists to the margin of my blog! I also love to read, so my first list is about books. Feel free to comment on what I am reading and suggest books I might enjoy. I also love suggestions.

So I did a little cleaning in the kitchen of the teacher's lounge

As you know I braved both Sam's Club and Wal-Mart yesterday in order to purchase pots & pans for the teacher's kitchen.  This morning I merrily brought them into the school and decided to wash and put them away so everyone would know they were there for them to use. However, on closer inspection of the kitchen, I could not in good conscience wash any item in it until I did a bit of washing of the actual kitchen.  

There is a "keep the kitchen tidy" schedule that rotates to a new group of faculty each week. But I have worked places with this sort of schedule and I find that unless it is only ONE person's responsibility at a time it doesn't really get done.  I am a take charge kind of person and I also don't mind doing a bit of grunt work when necessary, so I think keeping the kitchen cleaner will be my gift to the teachers this year.  

Let me just say that I am neither a neat freak nor a germaphobe, but I don't want to be grossed out by my surroundings either. There are a few folks who really don't mind clutter and dust and that's okay with me, but understand that when I come to your house I will probably clean something.  I am not judging you, I just need to do it.  My sis-in-law (still need a nickname) recently said "If a gorilla was in the middle of my living room floor but I could still walk around it, I would leave it there forever."  She is not exaggerating and my hubby is just like her.  They were raised in a clean house, it just didn't stick.  Okay back to the teacher's kitchen...

It was adequately clean, however, I refuse to wash dishes with a sponge that USED to be yellow or a dishrag that smells like vomit.  Yes, it really did, and I did not have to actually sniff it closely to determine this.  Luckily there were fresh sponges, so problem solved.  Except that the dishtowel was printed with a dark pattern so I couldn't tell if it was clean or not.  Based on the state of the dishrag, I decided not to use the towel for drying. No sense in washing with a clean sponge only to dry with a possibly dirty towel.  No problem, I found paper towels.  Time to wash the pots...

Uh-oh, the sink is a bit grubby & the countertop under the dish drainer is definitely funky.  So I find some bleach, wipe out the sink, clean the dish drainer and wipe the counter top under the dish drainer.  NOW I can wash the pots & pans.

Needless to say, I brought the vomit dishrag and questionable dishtowel home with me to run through the laundry (or burn if they don't smell better). Tomorrow I am going to take a look at the coffee pot and microwaves and bring some back-up rags.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So I went to Wal-Mart

I said to stay tuned.  After his trip to Sam's, Worm slept for over three hours!  That would explain how I had time to actually blog about the trip to Sam's.  

Because he slept so long, there was not time to hit Wal-Mart for the pots & pans before Huck got out of school.  That means I got to take both boys to Wal-Mart, oh joy.  

First let me just say that Huck hates Wal-Mart.  I'm not sure why because he always comes home with a toy or candy. Nevertheless, he hates it.  When faced with a task that I know he is not going to like, I try to trick him into liking it more by giving him some choice in the matter. For example, do you want to wear the khaki pants or the grey pants (because sweatpants & jeans are not appropriate)?  Do you want carrots or tomatoes with your dinner (because you haven't eaten a vegetable in four days)?  So when he got in the car I said, "We are going to Wal-Mart!  Do you want to go to the close but not nice one or the further one that was just remodeled?"  He replied, "What's the difference?"  Crap, he is figuring out the trick choice thing.  I should be proud of his intelligence, his Daddy still falls for it sometimes.

I decided we should go to the nice one.  This time I am on a mission, I vow to not leave that store without pot & pans.  

The first thing Huck wants to do is go to the toys.  Meanwhile Worm begins saying NA! NA! NA!  If you have been keeping up, this means snack. Unfortunately he depleted my snack supply while in the after school pick-up line.  So we veer toward the food section and grab a bag of dried strawberries & bananas and rip that sucker open.  Okay, on to housewares!

But wait, toys is before housewares.  "Can't we just look at stuff for my Christmas list", asks Huck.  Oh, what the heck.  So we turn toward toys and I remember that we have a birthday party this weekend and a baby gift we never bought.  Okay, toys is a good idea, right?

Immediately Worm begins to yell MO MO! (Elmo) Sure enough, there is Elmo Live, the exact toy Worm is already getting for Christmas from one set of Grandparents.  So we go to check out Elmo Live and Worm is thrilled with it.  Unfortunately he is not thrilled to be pulled away from Elmo.  Huck is two aisles over, which completely freaks me out and now Worm is screaming MO MO and is working up to real tears that will include snot and hitting.

I catch up with Huck who informs me he has to go poo, now.  So I wheel the still empty cart (except for the half eaten bag of na), screaming toddler and desperate boy to the front of the store and park in front of the restrooms.  Huck then informs me that he will not go in the women's restroom, he will just "hold it".  Holding it is a bad idea for him because it might be three days before that poo decides to make a second showing.  I relent and walk him as far into the men's room as I can without scandalizing myself.  The entire time I say LOUDLY "I'll be right outside the door.  Don't talk to anyone.  Don't even wash your hands, I have antibacterial stuff (gross I know, but those extra few seconds in the bathroom will take years off my life)."  I then stand outside the door and stare at the pictures of  abducted children.  Longest five minutes of my life.

Meanwhile Worm has gotten over Elmo so we head back to toys.  Yes, back to toys.  At this point I realize I have to get the gifts now or relive this experience again in a few days.  So we manage to bypass Elmo and get the gifts in the cart without further incident.  Then I decide that Worm needs flash cards because his vocabulary isn't as big as Huck's was at this age (for the record, Huck had the vocabulary of a three year old at 18 months, he was a freaky little blabber mouth).  Then I decide that Huck deserves something too because, so we get a 100 piece pirate puzzle.  Then I realize that a cool puzzle for Huck and flashcards for Worm isn't fair, so we head to the cars.  Worm likes Lightening McQueen from the movie Cars, so he gets a little matchbox sized Lightening McQueen.  Then I see these adorable red cowboy hats and Worm says "HAA" (hat).  He is actually willing to wear the hat, so I get two.  Harvest Hoedown is the elementary school's big carnival and they need hats for this, right?

Alright, we're done, let's head home.... WAIT!  Pots & Pans!  Yes folks, I almost forgot the pots and pans.  But I didn't.  They are in my car and the fabulous teachers at Huck's school will be able to heat up their lunches without all waiting in line for the microwave.  Good thing I'm really not that busy.

So I went to Sam's Club

Worm and I went to Sam's this morning after dropping Huck off at school, hanging around the school office to see what's up, and then going to the bank to get my name on the PTA bank account.... the pieces of my plan are falling into place, they know me now & have given me access to their funds, taking over this school will be a piece of cake - insert evil laugh.  

Okay, back to the trip to Sam's.  First I have to say this: if your membership to Sam's is not a business membership, figure out how to get one.  You get to go early when the lines are short and the cashiers are cheerful (seriously, those cashiers are pretty moody come three p.m.). They also provide coffee & little muffins for the business shoppers, score! Plus the food hander outers are all fully stocked - vital when at Sam's with children.

So I went to Sam's to get a set of pots & pans for the teacher's lounge (there is a stove, but no pots, go figure).  My newly acquired PTA checkbook in hand, I was ready to get those teachers some vessels to heat up their soup.  

But first I had to check out the Christmas items.  Look, a cute gift-wrapped box of truffles that would be just perfect for a hostess gift or last minute exchange, so it goes in the cart.  Okay, on to the kitchen aisle... wait, Worm sees food being handed out... we are now in the food section, might as well have a look around.  Hey, True North has a new snack with dried cranberries and almonds.  I love cranberries & almonds, lets get an institutional sized bag of those!  Now, what was I here for, oh yeah, pots. Let's cut through the clothes section to get there faster.  Hey, that sweater is kind of cute.  Nope, too scratchy.  Hmm, an orange jacket, I love orange, nope too boxy.  Wow, these jeans are a great price, ten minutes later my size cannot be found.  Crap, why did I come to Sam's?  Wait! Diapers!  Must go back to other side of store for giant box of diapers.  Uh-oh, back in the food section & Worm is hollering NA (snack) and pointing at a guy with some sort of shrimp appetizer.  Worm doesn't care that it is 9:30 a.m., anytime is NA-time.  He tastes the shrimp, he thoughtfully chews the shrimp, do you see where this is going? Yes sir, he spits the shrimp down the front of his shirt.  Nummy.  Now he is hollering CUH (cup) because he wants the shrimp taste out of his mouth, but he has already drained the cup I brought.  Must get Worm a drink before his yelling enrages the cheerful cashiers so we hunt down a water fountain...

To make a long story slightly less long I will cut to the parking lot.  After loading the diapers, cranberry-almond snacks and truffles into the car I realize I have not purchased any pots & pans.  Looks like we are headed to Wal-Mart after nap.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So I have been spending more time with the hubby than usual

First I have to apologize for getting behind on my blogging.  The thing is, hubby has been home a lot lately which means he is in the office.  For some reason I can't put my thoughts together when he is in the room with me.  Yes, even after twelve years, his presence is a distraction to me.  He is here now, watching election results, so I am sorry if this post turns out sucky.

Because he is in the room, it is only fitting that I recount a hubby story....

One night a few weeks ago I was ready for bed, but when I entered our bedroom I was faced with a mountain of forgotten unfolded laundry.  So I hollered to hubby & asked if he would help me tackle it so I could go to sleep.  He agreed and we set to work.  However, after only a few minutes he walks away.  So I ask: "what gives?" He explains that he had pulled out all of his stuff and already put it away, so he was finished.  I immediately jump in with my argument: but most of what you wear goes to the dry cleaners, of course most of this is my clothes.  I close with the certain guilt inducing "I have washed and put away almost every piece of laundry this family has had for 12 years, don't you think it is unfair of you to refuse to put away my clothes." His answer: "Yes it is unfair of me not to put away your clothes." Then he leaves the room.  And I just let him.

So, am I a doormat?  Maybe.  A realist?  Usually.  Storing this incident in my mental "crappy stuff you do" file to pull out during an argument three years from now?  Duh, I'm female.  No really here's the deal.  He works and I stay home.  Period.

Still writing me off as a doormat?  Okay, I'll explain where I'm coming from.  Lets go back about seventeen months to the day I decided I could not work outside the home and maintain my sanity.  

The day Worm was born, hubby received a promotion that took his travel schedule from heavy to "wow, the baby has changed so much since I last saw him".  A month later Worm was smack in the middle of a big ol' love affair with nursing, yet not a big fan of sleeping. I  had not slept more than two uninterrupted hours since he was born and I was facing returning to work.  With no preamble, no prior discussion, and no room for debate I announce "I have decided I can't go back to work."  Hubby just looks at me and says "Okay."  

There was no discussion about what expenses we would cut, no budgeting the necessities to stretch our dollars, no re-delegation of household duties, and no timeline for my future return to work.  He just jumped right on board and said we would make it work.  I know he was terrified to be a single income family, but he put those fears aside because the kids and I had a need.  Never once has he indicated to me that he is not 100% on board with the way our family is now structured.

He now works 80 hours a week at a job that makes enough money to comfortably support four people, but misses all sorts of cool things in his kids lives.  I now work 80 hours a week at a job that I can rarely take a break from, but I get to experience every wonderful nuance of my kid's lives.

So is it fair that he didn't stay and help put away all the laundry?  No.  But would it have been fair of me to lob a laundry basket at his head?  No.

It is never going to be fair.  One of us will always be getting the short end of the stick.  The point is we are both still holding on to the same stick so when we get to wherever our lives are going, we will get there together.

Got to go now, the laundry's piling up.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So I decided to just post the individual pictures that I was going to slideshow

Worm found Huck's wrist bands from tee-ball and brought them to me saying "Whoo-ah". Whoo-ah means shoe in Wormainian.  So I put them on his feet & he had a blast wearing them.  Then Huck put them on.  Worm thought this was funny so he did what any little brother would do to show his appreciation, he knocked Huck over and sat on him.

So I spent entirely too much time trying to put a slideshow on my blog

As you can see, I was not successful.  Anyway, I spent so much time messing around with the slideshow thing that I don't want to sit in front of the computer any longer.  Also, I didn't leave the house or even shower today so my trove of incidents to blog about is a bit dry.  PLUS, I am spiraling into a depression that my poll has held steady at 5 votes for a full day.  I can only hope that my readers are waiting to catch up on my blog and place their vote while at work.  That really is the proper way to enjoy my witty humor, while you are supposed to be doing something else.  It makes me seem funnier.  

Tomorrow hubby & I are going to do some early voting.  I suspect I will get a good story out of it. I will try not to disappoint.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So I checked my poll results

I got really excited because it showed 5 votes.  I really didn't think 5 people read this.  Then I realized one vote was my own.  Okay, so four is still good.  Then hubby admitted that he had been able to vote twice.  Okay, three is respectable.  Then I considered that one other person could have voted twice as well.  So basically two people read my blog and one has to because he is legally obligated.  It was actually in our wedding vows: "Twelve years from now your wife will start a blog, do you vow to read it?".  He replied "It's 1996, I have never heard of a blog, but sure what the heck, I do."

Anyway, Catfish is winning based on hubby's double votes.  I'm cool with this, but if you're not get some other people to log in and vote.  I don't have to know if they actually read it or not, I will assume they did and my ego will be boosted.