Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ramblings: Bleh

Haven't felt like writing nuthin' lately. Nuthin fun going on. 

We finished Alex's science fair project yesterday. Getting that kid to sit down and focus on anything (except games) is like pulling teeth. So finishing all of that was a major accomplishment.  If you'd like to know if temperature affects magnet strength, give me a holler and I'll report the results of our experiments.

I've gotten two car repair estimates and I've scheduled my kidney removal operation for this weekend to pay for it. We're looking at about $2000. For someone's totally irresponsible action that we had no control over. Grrr.
Got the boys signed up for "school" next year. WHOO-HOO!  They'll be going to a little preschool/mother's day out program right by our house on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-2:30. I gladly handed over that $300 check for enrollment. They got to tour the place while we were there and sit in on a music class. They are SO excited. It's the same place I've taken both Alex and Maddie, so everyone there knows the twins and is excited to have them start there. I'm definitely the MOST excited to get them there next fall. But that just means we have to attack the process of getting them potty trained pretty soon because it's "encouraged" before they start. 

Did I mention that our single garage door also bit the big one last week? In case you were wondering, garage doors AREN'T supposed to move horizontally as well as vertically.  A few months ago we had them fixed but the guy warned me that they may not last much longer because the builder used cheap ones and didn't install the right number of something-or-others and so they are stressed every time they are opened and closed. Well, now I'm stressed because it looks like we get to replace those, too. There goes a lung. 

And because I feel like Debbie Downer only writing about dead rodents, smashed cars, and broken doors, I need to post something non-depressing.

After our Disney trip, I had to return some things that I didn't end up needing. We were at Ross and we passed by the shoe section when Aidan started hollering about "those shoes! those shoes!" He had found a pair that we had laughed at a few weeks before--the HUGEST shoes I have ever seen in my entire life. These bad boys are men's size 18 4E and they weigh about 22 pounds. They were as long as Aidan is from the waist to the top of his head. They were on clearance for $17--go figure--there aren't a lot of NBA players or big-footed Sasquatches shoe shopping at a Ross store in suburban Dallas. Avery was terrified of them. I tried to get him to slip his foot inside to take a picture, but I think he figured he'd never get his foot back out from that giant black cave.  Aidan wanted to bring them home--I'm sure he was dreaming of all the stuff he could load inside of them and then haul around the house.  Or he's planning on finally doing away with me and he's gonna bury my body in one of 'em.  

Happy Tuesday.  Just enjoy that you don't have the problem of having to find shoes this big to wear. And if you do, I'm really, really sorry. But you must have enormous calf muscles to lug these things around. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rant: Stinkin' kick in the pants

The gods of irony took a poop on me yesterday at approximately 11 am in the Lowe's parking lot. 

After trekking around the store for 1/2 hour looking for a variety of odds and ends and a shelf to finish organizing the dreaded craft closets, I came out to find (after unloading the boys from the giant two-seater cart and loading them in the car) that someone had backed into the rear of my car with what appears to be a large utility vehicle or assault tank or something. No note, no "whoops. sorry. call this number" card stuck on my windshield, no NOTHIN. Nothin' but my crunched up car. The rear hatch door is now concave all around the license plate and various metal panels are bent and raised in all the wrong places. The bumper is wiggly and has a 1/2 inch deep black gash in it. Whoever, or whatever, hit my defenseless little minivan was hauling some serious tail and HAD to realize from the crunching that must have occurred upon impact that they had damaged another car.  And yet, NO NOTE. No taking responsibility for his or her reversing at 90 mph without checking that odd little contraption called the REARVIEW MIRROR. Isn't that what they brainwash you to do in driver's ed? LEAVE A NOTE! USE YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR!

So I reloaded the boys back up into the cart, strapped back on their shoes (which they remove the instant they get in their carseats), to go back inside and find out if the surveillance cameras might have caught anything. After speaking to the manager, I was annoyed to find out that they only cover the entrance, not the parking lot, so the tapes wouldn't help me. But they were all really nice and gave good "oh no, that's terrible" and "And they didn't leave a note?" comments. Then we went back to the car, unloaded and REloaded everyone again, and went home. 

And yes. I am fully aware that I am using alot of CAPITAL letters. I'm still THAT ticked off almost 24 hours later. 

But wait, it gets better. Besides all the hassle and crazy logistical arrangements that have to be made to drop off the only car we own that fits all 6 of us at once for repairs, we get to pay for it. Because upon calling our insurance, we (Jeremy) absentmindedly declined the uninsured motorist coverage when filling out all the paperwork. Freaking fabulous. 

I never would have done that, because the only other time that I've ever been in a car crunching situation has been when a toothless uninsured dude hit me while he was pulling his Dodge Dart out of McDonalds. I was STOPPED at a red light and couldn't go forward or backwards. He pulled out and smacked right into the side of me. Perhaps the grease from the fries made the steering wheel too hard to turn? Don't know. All I know is that me and my friend Andrea freaked out. 

Did I mention I had only had my license for about 18 minutes? And that cell phones were practically nonexistent then so I couldn't call anyone for help? And that the whole time I was dreading going home to tell my dad that the right side of the car we had just gotten was now a giant crunched mess?

I have vivid memories of Andrea getting out a pen and notepad and giving Mr. and Mrs. Toothless the third degree while taking notes like one of those crazy Dateline investigative reporters. He gave us a (fake) insurance card and promised that it would be no problem getting my car fixed, blah blah blah. Apparently he had done this alot before because his car was smashed from more than just hitting us and my insurance said he had no coverage, but there was a list of people that had tried to make claims against him, and it wouldn't do much good to go after him because he probably had no money. All I know is that he had enough money to hit McDonald's pretty hard and stuff his face with it the whole time he was getting interrogated by my sidekick.  Since then I ALWAYS get uninsured motorist coverage. 

Anyway, now I'll get to spend the next week hauling the boys around auto-body repair shops to get estimates and eventually have it fixed.  That should be fun since those places are SO kid-friendly and NEVER have dangerous or precarious displays in their greasy waiting rooms. Like huge tire displays that are balanced in such a way that one touch from a two-year old would send eight GIANT heavy, rubber tires cascading down to crush said two-year old and his brother, and then careening around the room to take out anything else in their paths. Or the disease infested Lego table from the late 1980's. You know what I'm talking about. The ones that Moms look at and cringe because you can see the 30 varieties of bacteria multiplying in those dirty little crevices right before your eyes. And one of those yellowed-because-it-used-to-be-white legos inevitably ends up in someone's mouth. Or the disgustingly greasy rotating red metal candy and gumball machines, the ones that have old stale nuts and M&M's missing half their shells. And the boys will cry and scream about "TREATS!" until I finally give in and dig up 2 quarters from the crumbly pit of my purse, only to have the machine take them but only dispense half a mangled bit of ancient candy residue. I'm so excited. Could someone poke me in the eye with a screwdriver please?

And anyone that comments that I had it coming for making fun of the blue car with the Holy Spirit protection plan, I KNOW. I GET IT. But if you rub it in, you will receive my little friend from the craft closet in a nice bubble wrapped envelope casket. Just ask Jessica if you don't believe me. I shipped her a dead rodent all the way to the East coast. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ramblings: Holy Roller

Either this guy applied this sticker after his bumper got all jacked up, and is now hopeful that no further damage will befall his car...

Or he is now having a post-accident crisis of faith regarding the evident lack of Holy Spirit Car Protection.  I hope someone didn't sell him a monthly service plan or something. 

I just love irony in the real world. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ramblings: Eek.

For the past few months I've been planning on attacking the disorganized mess known as my craft closet (a.k.a. the twins' "closet") in the exercise room (formerly the twins' room). It has been getting worse and worse by the day, to the point where I just stack stuff outside of it so that I don't have to open the doors and deal with things tumbling down on top of me. So while the boys were napping, I got started and made some pretty good progress sorting through everything. Things were getting a tad bit organized. I was seeing things that had been hidden for a long time by other junk thrown in haphazardly on top. Things with similar purposes were placed together, unnecessary items were chucked, and drawers were sorted. 

See this little part of the double closet..not bad, right? I was making real progress.

Then Aidan woke up and came in to "help" me. He did some stamping, paper punching, and looked through a giant stack of pictures. He was fairly entertained and managed not to make things too much harder. But then....Then...THEN... IT HAPPENED!

I moved a bag of the kids' school papers and projects that I hadn't yet filed  in their school "keeper" boxes, and I found a little friend. So I said, "Why, hello there little friend."  

Translation: I screamed and slammed the door. And then I ran away. 
Oh, what's that? You didn't get a close enough look? Ok. Here ya go. Take a gander at that little rotting guy. He will remain there until Jeremy gets home and I force him to remove it. 
I hate mice. I hate all mice. I hate all the mice in the entire world. (Nacho Libre flashback, anyone?) And if you don't believe me about my rodent hatred, just ask my friend Mary Ann how she helped me kill a giant one we caught on a sticky board in our garage. Of course Jeremy was out of town, and the nasty thing was still alive and thrashing and squealing every time I went out there. The kids were terrified.  To make a long story short, we managed to get the flailing thing into a garbage bag and into a dumpster at a nearby strip mall--cuz neither one of us wanted to know that thing was in our garbage bin. But because we're not heartless, we couldn't throw it in there alive to suffer until it died on its own. Instead we drove over it in the garbage bag about 5 times with her giant diesel suburban. Instant (and flat as a pancake) death, I'm sure.  It was all very traumatic for both--scratch that--all of us (me, Mar, and particularly the rat). 

Man I need a diet coke. And some leftover chocolate sheet cake from last night. And maybe I'll feel better. Bloated--yes, but at least not consumed by thoughts of dead rodents infesting my house and my scrapbooking supplies. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ramblings: Do Disney with a Soprano

One of the sole, and definitely biggest reason, that our Disney park outings were so successful is that we went with my Orlando-local friend, Stacy.  Her husband is a Disney employee and so she knows all the parks backwards and forwards, which rides to hit when, the sneaky routes that are the least busy, and was nice enough to guide us around so we looked like Disney pros, too. She was a major hookup for us and saved us tons of cash, which is why we had to listen to Jeremy's hourly jokes about her having "connections" and being in the Disney mafia. She was called a member of the Soprano family at least 10 times. 

Jeremy took this picture of us in line at the Toy Story ride--and I only posted it cuz she looks good even though I'm looking horrible.   It appears that Hulk Hogan and I have just about the same size biceps. Yikes. It's the only picture we got with both of us and I should've been smarter than to trust Jeremy that it was a good one of me. 

She managed to snap the only picture of the entire family that we have from our trip.  I think Maddie was in shock from seeing a talking 6 foot tall hat-wearing potato that could tell jokes. 

We met her and her husband Morgan during our yearlong stay in Mississippi. (He will be forever called "MO-GUN" in my book because that's how his daughter used to say his name. But after this trip we'll be calling him "Wolverine" for his incredibly speedy healing abilities. That, and the fact that I think he really, really wants people to start calling him "Wolverine." )
He and Jeremy got really involved in a conversation about something and then took off walking at 90 mph, forgetting about those of us with midget legs running behind them. 

When we moved to Mississippi, Maddie was about to be born, Alex was 2 1/2 and they had a daughter, Hailey, that was about 1 1/2. So Stacy and I would haul them around and try to entertain ourselves in the booming metropolis that is Jackson.  If you've ever been there, you know that basically means the zoo, the Walmart, and the library. Oh, or one of the three parks. 

They have another little girl now that's 3--several months older than the boys in real time, about 3 years more mature in every other way. She wasn't so sure of these two crazy, immature little boys being around her all day. But the girls and Maddie had a fabulous time--and Hailey is the only reason that Alex rode ANYTHING in any of the parks. We had to swear each time that Hailey--who is "TWO WHOLE YEARS younger and a GIRL" rode it all the time and wasn't scared. Then he'd do it. Barely. It was fun to see them playing together again. And I was able to mortify Alex by telling him I had pictures at home of him and Hailey in a bubble bath together when they were little. 

See--she's even cute enough to pull off the dorky yellow 3-D glasses. And if that isn't enough, she even has little mini feet and can always find all the really sweet deals on the size 5 1/2 shoes.  Dang her and her tiny petiteness. And Maddie--she was just fed up with the paparazzi. 

It was super fun to reminisce with them, let the kids swim and play together again, and of course, reap the benefits of hanging out with a member of Mickey's Mafia. And I'm pretty sure we convinced them with our crazy chaos that perhaps two, cute and calm little girls might be the perfect place to call it quits. 

Thanks y'all! Till next time!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rant: Pain in the neck....I mean ear.

My list of things to accomplish today got squashed by a last minute dr.'s appointment for Maddie. She had a rough time with the airplane landing yesterday and woke up in the night with a hurting ear. The kid's been congested for so long that I don't remember what her normal voice sounds like.  We figured it was probably an ear infection and we were right. 

Luckily since all the kids were up at about 6 today--still hating daylight savings and the hour time difference we adjusted to in Florida--we were all dressed and ready to leave as soon as the doctor's office was open and ready to take us. 

But because it's still Spring Break here, I got to load all the crazies in to that tiny little exam room and then to the store to pick up her medicine.  But also since we just got back yesterday, I (being mentally insane) decided to accomplish the much needed grocery restocking as well. Plus the doc wanted me to give her DanActive yogurt so she wouldn't get diarrhea (the boys would love it if they knew I just wrote that word) from the antibiotics. It's a good thing that after last week, they've all gotten used to being hauled around when they are cranky and tired and the boys didn't even try once to escape the car part of the grocery cart. All that time living in the Disney double stroller paid off.  Plus, there was a beer display near the pharmacy that had a basketball hoop attached and they discussed that at great length while we were waiting. 

I will be finding some time amidst the stacks and stacks of clean clothes waiting to be put away ( I HATE that part) to mail off the 'guess where we're going for Spring Break' contest prize to a certain winner in Colorado. Yeah, I forgot to take your address with me so you'll be getting it a bit late. And NO, even though I wanted to get the Tinker bell lingerie that said something about Magic Happens across the front, I did not buy it for fear that your husband will think I'm a complete loon instead of just a slightly insane person from your past. Plus, it looked like it might fit a seven year old, which is disturbing on a number of levels. 

In a happier non-ear throbbing moment--here's Maddie at Disney sporting some of her gear that she picked up on the trip. Today she's currently wearing most of it and is almost entirely pink from head to toe. She looks like Minnie Mouse's closet threw up on her.  Aidan's favorite color is pink (which drives Jeremy absolutely crazy) so he snatched it to jazz up his upside down Wall-E shades. He didn't find our laughter amusing. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ramblings: We're baaaaaaack.

Dear blog,

Sorry for the long absence. We were off spring-breaking it and I paid the lady that owned the house where we stayed extra to disable the internet so Jeremy couldn't do any work while we were gone. Shhhh--don't tell. He still doesn't know. But sadly, that meant no daily blog updates. When I get finished unloading all of our suitcases, dealing with overtired and schedule-challenged children, and cleaning up around here, I'll add some of the nitty gritty details of fun. But for now, a brief summary:

We went. We flew. We did Disney. We beached. We swam. We sun-burnt. We visited with our Florida friends. We missed naps. We threw tantrums. We partied with Simba, Belle, Buzz Lightyear, Mater, and the rest of the gang. We loved and hated GPS. We shopped. We ate. We wore Mickey ears. We visited with road-tripping siblings. We loved the perfect weather. We watched the space shuttle launch. We DIDN'T break ANYTHING at the house. We were attacked by seagulls. We searched for shells. We dueled with light sabers. We ate Starburst. We bribed Alex to ride Space Mountain. We woke up way before the sun to catch our flight, and now...

We need a vacation to recover from our vacation. I'm estimating it'll take a good four days to recoup on lost naps and readjust to all the time-changing we've been doing. 
Oh, and Avery learned that licorice+sand= a bad idea. Aidan discovered one more reason Diet Coke is awesome--the bottle's a great sand toy after you lose your bucket. 

More pics to come when I recover from waking up at 4:45 this morning...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rant: Time for Hate Mail

Dear Daylight Savings Time change,
There are some things that must be said. Firstly, I hate you. It's harsh, but true. You mess with people and you whack out their internal clocks. It is your sole purpose and I resent it. 

Secondly, you are impossible to explain to little kids. They have questions about you that I cannot figure out how to answer. Why? Who? What? But what about....? They think I have just randomly decided to alter time. And they're convinced it's a trick so they have to go to bed earlier. Though that part's not a bad idea, it only comes back to bite me on the rear in the morning when the alarm clock goes off an hour earlier than I feel like it should.  

Thirdly, you are to blame for the cranky children that I had to pry out of bed this morning. HUH? WHAT? BUT IT'S STILL DARK OUTSIDE! NO, MOM, LET ME SLEEP! Also, for Maddie missing the bus as she sat in a sobbing heap on the floor because she could only find one of each of her sixteen different pairs of shoes.  No matching shoes, shorts that she "hates," and the "worst snack ever"packed in her backpack--and yes, daylight savings time change, I blame you. Because you stole an hour of my day and our quite necessary sleep, and probably all of the missing shoes, too.  It just seems like something you'd do. 

Till next time,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ramblings: Long Lost Tiff--Busted

I, like every girl I knew at the time, purchased this fine cd with hard earned babysitting money as soon as it came out and spent endless hours dancing around and singing to "I Think We're Alone Now" and "I Saw Him Standing There." As you can see from all the scatches, mine endured alot of abuse.  But come to find out, various members of my family have STOLEN it over the years (from me and then each other, I guess) and I just recently regained possession of it. Both of these people should be horrendously embarrassed--not because of their blatant thievery, but because how many GUYS do you know that will swipe a Tiffany cd? Tiffany? Come on! 

I have pretty concrete evidence on the first suspect. But I have to preface it with some background info. Besides our nail-biting habits, flat bums, and love of Blue Bell ice cream, my dad and I share some similar habits. One being list making. At either of our houses, you will find lists near any writing surface. Lists of things To Do, things to pick up at the store, random ideas, phone calls to make, etc.  

1. Lists are awesome 
2. Lists Rule 
3. You can't have too many lists.

I have clear memories of one of my dad's favorite lists when I was younger.  It was The Ultimate List that puts all other lists to shame. But it was more than just a list--it was actually a list beefed up on steroids. It eventually ended up as a spreadsheet made on the computer listing all the cd's he owned--in alphabetical order (of course)--and containing all the necessary info, like date purchased, genre, track titles, etc. I think there was even some cross-referencing between artists and stuff. Anyway, every so often when he'd buy new cd's and consequently have to update The List, my job was to take the new list and make sure all the cds in the cd storage drawers were in the right cases and in correct alphabetical order. I gained a fantastic grasp of A-B-C order at a young age. 

The other OCD trait we share is labeling. We love to label. All things. Any things. Things of value. Things of minimal or no value. Things just look better labelled. Even my kids are labelled. Like Cabbage Patch Kids--right on their rears in scrolling cursive. With permanent marker. Silver--my favorite. Don't worry, my silver sharpie is labeled too. 

Anyway, so as soon as the cellophane wrapper came off the cd, out would come his fine point red sharpie and the cd would get labelled with his initials. Each time. Every cd. Same initials. Same place. Same size. And it's a good thing he did, or I wouldn't have my crystal clear evidence against him. 
What's that? WHAT? My dad's initials on MY Tiffany cd? Now you may say, "Perhaps he bought his own copy." Doubtful. What grown man buys a cd of a 17 year old teeny-bopper singer? I think it would be less shameful to just admit stealing it and absentmindedly labeling it without realizing which cd it was. It is hard to control the labeling obsession, I am quite aware of that. And besides that, most of his cd collection was honky tonk country western singers like Alabama or old folks like Neil Diamond. And then there was the George Michael cd I bought him when I was 10, containing the song "I Want Your Sex." Yikes. I'm sure I had no idea but I am totally mortified now that I ever gave that to him.  I'm sure he was more than a tad mortified then. But it too got labeled and added to The List. 

Now that brings me to Thief #2. I was at my brother's house a couple of weeks ago and his wife hands me Tiffany and says, "Todd wanted me to give this to you." AHHH! I was so glad to see her too-big black sweatered hand caressing her face again.  It had been far too long. I have NO idea when or how my older brother ended up with MY Tiffany cd. Or why he would even want it. Or why he has clung to it all these years. But it's ok, cuz she's back with me now and I am going to relabel her with MY initials, so take THAT red sharpied MRL.  And I think my brother and I are even now, because I'm pretty sure I stole and then lost a Depeche Mode cd while he was hanging out in Brazil for two years. Too bad I hadn't labelled it so whoever found it could return it to me. 

I'm starting to wonder where my New Kids on the Block tape went...? Boys--I'll go easier on you if you confess now. 

And now I can cross "Make fun of dad on blog"off of my list.