Friday, May 30, 2008

How to Mother a Tween for Dummies

Well I'm on a Reese Cup and Ruffles binder right now. Out went the good ole water and fruit diet, in exchange for my beloved Reese Cups and Ruffles potato chips. Why you ask? Why? Because there is a tweenager in this house that is driving me batty. Where oh where has my child gone? Abducted by aliens? Nope, although sometimes I wonder. No he's right here, but all of a sudden he's changed. My once happy go lucky go with the flow child, has now turned into a sometimes irritable, lazy and must have something to say about EVERYTHING young man. I know he's growing up. I know he's trying to assert a little independance. I've read, I've googled, I've explored...... Oh if only they came with instruction manuals!!! Ahhhhhh! This entire week has been an uphill battle. It's one thing after another, and I am not ashamed to say, I am worn out. waving little white flag I know I know, I need to man up here, this is but the beginning of it all! I have a whole new respect for what my mother must have gone through with me. If only she were still here to talk to! First she would laugh hysterically before offering any sort of comfort or ancient chinese secrets. I remember the curse she placed upon me, I believe I was 13 though at the time. Well that Mother's curse works! I am reaping the rewards as we speak!!! For every unkind argumentative hard way to go that I dished out to my I have a mouthy, sometimes downright obnoxious tween in my grill, wanting to protest, correct or debate every thing I say. Ahhhhhhh! I hope to survive and be able to go on and pass down what lessons I learn through this trying time, but if I don't make it out least I gave it one heckuva try.

The Hundred Acre Woods......

Our house is surrounded by woods. This is some of what I have the awesome fortune to step outside and see on any given day: I present to you Hootie, the owl that lives in our forest, hootin loud and proud! And then to our suprise, a little ducky lost it's Mommy and showed up at our doorstep!! James got it back on it's reminds me of the Dr. Suess book "Are you my Mother?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive......

Today began like any other, as I got my coffee the phone rang and I talked to my best friend on the phone, as we often do just like "old times" when instead of phone chat over coffee, I would just make the 3 minute drive to her house, jammies an all. I began multi-tasking and moved down into the basement to see about sorting and organizing and preparing for my garage sale. Everytime I go down there, I see it. The big monstrosity that someone, some previous owner, thought it would be a good idea to build. It wasn't just a work bench, it was a workbench with a makeshift cabinet/dresser thingy underneath. I've never seen anything like it. It was huge, wasting space and it downright irritated me everytime I went down there. So today I decided it would be gone. My husband got home early, looking bright eyed and energetic, and so I moved in for the sneak attack. "Honey, how much do you love me?" I said while batting my long eyelashes. "What do you want?" he said. "I need a little help" I said, smiling coyly. "With what?" - okay so he's not so clever and wordy as me. He pretty much cuts to the chase. "Well, before you say no, hear me out Buttercup". He looks at me with his classic one eyebrow raised. He has perfected that look. I point him towards the monster and asked him if he could show lil ole me how to disassemble that big beastly giant? pause for laughter He couldn't help but crack a smile, and then much to my surprise, my wiley ways worked, and so the whip was cracked. Off he went to hunt and gather tools. I love to watch him at work, there is something about manual labor that is so romantic and flirtatious, if you will. lol Hey, some women have a thing for guys in uniform. And some love the tooling types. I love the looks he gets on his face as he's intently wrenching or sawing, hammering or crowbarring, fixing or demolishing. And well lets face it, the muscle definition doesn't hurt either. And the know how, oh my, I swear he has been blessed with endless talents! I have never quite seen a guy like him, he is very good at everything he does. I am not just saying that because I think he might read this and earn me brownie points towards that picnic table I've been wanting. HA! No really, he is very smart and always willing to learn more. Now THAT my friends, is a total hottie to me! But somehow I've got off the beaten path here.....I digress, yet again. So at some point, the day carried him away. Or the basement perhaps. Or maybe it was my compliments that motivated him? I don't know. But nonetheless, he demolished the beastly eyesore and then some. See we've been talking about finishing off a room in the basement. He's been planning and mapping (he's a little anal that way) and doing calculations....but I really couldn't envision it happening anytime soon. He's a dreamer of sorts, and on some days, I truly love that about him. On others, I want to squash that like little ant. LOL So the next thing I know I hear loud bangs, a random boom, thump, buzzzzzzzz and so I knew he was getting into something other than taking apart the beast. Perplexed, I go down to check out the ruckus, and find him taking walls down. Yes, that's right, he demoing the walls. They weren't huge, more like partitions really, but it was laid out a little funny and we had discussed the possibility of "opening it up a bit". I knew of the "plan", but again, I didn't think he'd move forward so soon. So my friends, we now have a big honkin pile of rubbish to deal with. I guess be careful what you ask for huh? And still the garage awaits him, but do you think I mentioned that today? Oh no, I asked him to focus on the basement and so he did. And now we've got a heckuva mess to clean up. So maybe tomorrow I will woo him with my compliments into clearing out the garage???? I will seduce him with his favorite steak dinner and flutter my eyelashes while I tell him how wonderful he did on the yard. Or the basement. Or the bathrooms. Or any number of fill in the blanks he's done to our new home. Oh the things that can be accomplished by simply stroking a man's ego. If you haven't tried it, you don't know what harmony you're missing!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Parking Lot Rage

You've heard of road rage, but there's a new occurance of epidemic proportions sweeping the nation at a Walmart near you. It's called Parking Lot rage. If you haven't heard of it or experienced it, consider yourself lucky. Yesterday was a lovely day, the weather was gorgeous, especially for Michigan, which normally doesn't see summer-like weather until oh, August. lol I enjoyed much of the day outside playing with the kids. After our fun in the sun filled day, I decided what better way to top the day off than to head to Walmart? LOL I had procrastinated this trip as long as I could, but there are just some items I do normally buy there because they're cheaper there than anywhere else. I rarely go to Walmart anymore, it is much too frustrating. But once or twice a month, I bravely go where no man/woman should go - to Walmart. Walmart is very different up here than the one I was used to in Ohio. I am not caught up in a romantic fantasy here, it really IS different. In fact when I go back to Newark, I actually DO like to go back to my old shopping haunt. I recognize people, they recognize me, the greeter is the same happy old guy that I remember when Brandon was just a tot. Oh the memories..... And so, before we moved, my store of choice was actually Walmart. I never feared for my life or that of my children's in their parking lot. However, we moved out of state, but as luck would have it, we're within minutes of a local Walmart. Oh thank God! We can't be too far from civilization if there's a Walmart! At first, I was jubilant at the familiar sight, and made it top priority to learn my way to our local Walmart, even before the local hospital or my son's new school. lol Now I can say that Walmart is no longer what it once was for me. The one that I live by has completely soured my once fine bargain shopping taste buds. I have heard stories of other Walmarts 'round the world, so I am fairly sure the one in Ohio was a rare exception. Lets begin with the parking lot. I've had many a bad experience even before I step foot in their store. Yesterday however, I rearranged my thinking and chanted in my mind "this will be a positive experience, this will be a positive experience". As I pulled into the parking lot first I get nearly side swiped and cut off by someone leaving, doing what seemed to be 80 mph. This is nothing new, people act as if it's a speedway for some reason. So I breathe a sigh of relief that our first near death experience has passed, and we pull in to find our usual good spot. Ahhhh not to be had. But hey, it's warm, we can walk can't we? So not to be deterred, I go very slowly up and down a couple isles, until I hit a road block. Why oh why do people leaving the store have to walk directly in the middle of the parking aisles? Why? So we come to a hault and wait and wait for several people and their brood to pass, and then round another corner to have what looks to be a whole family reunion look directly at us, and then procede to walk, as if daring us to run them over. Not only that, but they walk as slooooooooooooowly as possible, with smirks on their faces, as if to say "go ahead, run us over, I'll sue". Oh if only I had been PMSing....they might learn not to tempt fate in such a way! HA! I always look both ways, and taught my kids to do the same, didn't we all learn that in kindergarten? Well maybe some parents and schools skipped that lesson. The Clampetts, all 32 of them, finally all made it across and we finally get a spot and make our way into the store. I have my list in my head and try to make my way through there in record time, but I have my kids with me. We go over the rules, as we always do: me: "Look but don't touch, got it?" kids: silent pause, spacey looks in eyes, then "Mom, can we get icecream?" me: "No' Hailey: "Mom, I'm huuuuuuuuuuuuuungry" me: "we'll be eating dinner soon" Brandon: "Can we get corn on the cob?" me: "we'll see" Hailey: "Mom, my butt hurts" me: "Hailey, behave yourself" Brandon: "why's Hailey's butt hurt?" me: "Be quiet" Hailey: "can I get outta da cart?" me: twitch twitch twitch and so forth and so on We dash through the store like we're on Supermarket Sweep and make it up to the checkouts. We wait in line, and finally get to the belt to load our fruits and veggies and charcoal and pay the cashier. And here we go..... Me: "Uh, what did those grapes ring up?" Cashier: blinks and keeps ringing Me: pause....wait for response....."excuse me, but what did those grapes ring up?" Cashier: heavy sigh, "I don't know, let me check" Cashier: $3.79 Me: "Was that the total? or price per pound? They were on sale for .99/lb" Cashier: "I'll have to call Management on this" She keeps ringing while we're waiting for the big cheese to arrive, and then I notice something else rings up wrong. I interject and tell her to put that on the list to discuss with management. And then a third before you go poo-pooing me, I'd like to say that I do not get great joy or pleasure from correcting these errors. I feel rather stupid for holding the line up, however, if something says 1.50, then it better not charge me 3.02. So the manager comes over, he is an awkward short skinny fellow with what looks to be a bit too much V05 hair product going on in his 'do. He slips his key in the register, types in some very secret and official code, and tells her to call each department and verify the prices before she does an adjustment. Meanwhile there's an angry mob forming behind me. So I tell her to just put these items back if it will take much longer, but she insists on paging departments to call one lady behind me moves out of line muttering something, I'm sure something unflattering about me, and moves to the next line. Finally we get it all figured out and as it turns out, I wasn't lying about the pricing after all! I love it when they need to "verify", because if I were going to lie and try to make a profit, I'd at least go for a bigger profit than .50. Oh well, anyway, we get our bags and our receipt and we're in the homestretch. We go out the doors and I huddle the kids close to me, and we scan the lot. There are cars whizzing by after they make it over the tallest speedbumps I have ever almost lost an undercarriage to. However strange these mammoth speedbumps seemed to me at first, now they make perfect sense at the Walmart Internation Speedway. So we wait until the cars are done ramping the bumps, and we cross, then I begin doing a run/skip/jog to the car, because we've almost been hit twice now in this parking lot. I'm happy to report, yet another trip to Walmart and we made it home alive!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now...

Dieting and public restrooms. Now how can those possibly coincide? Well they don't. That's just it. I've been trying to "diet" so to speak, nothing drastic, just more water and fruit and all that jazz. I have to say, if you drink the water the experts recommend, you gotta go......and go........and go. The story of my life lately can be told in the restroom. Ugh. And if you go out of the house, you're at the mercy of the dreaded public restroom. I gotta say, I have a small phobia of these places. Everytime I open the door to a public facility, I hear the Jaws theme song playing faintly in the distance. I mean I know there's a lot of "traffic" in and out of these places every day, but really, couldn't they send in the forces more than once a week to mop, sanitize, unclog toilets and the like? There is nothing worse than having to pee so bad and having all the stalls full except that one that got clogged a month ago and has flies swarming around it. So you stand there doing the pee pee dance, hearing that stupid commerical "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now....." play in your head. Ahhhhhhh! So you stand there and cough, so that the ladies in the other stalls will know you're there waiting. As if your tap dancing hadn't alerted them. Then you let out a heavy SIGHHHHHHH, as to impart the urgency. Let's get a move on ladies!! Come on! And then finally, one opens up and you about knock the poor soul down to get in there and do a very precise squat/hover over the germ infested toilet. Ahhhhhhhhhh yes, there we go. Whew. Now that spells relief. And don't you love their toilet paper? You have to take the whole roll and wad it up, because it is the thinnest most non absorbent paper substance they could come up with. This might be why the toilets clog so frequently. Ladies need Cottonelle people! We're not built with the equipment that you can just hang, shake and go. And now it's time to flush. So you lift your foot up while propping yourself with your elbow against the side of the stall so you won't fall in. You push the lever and a violent WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH lets you know that it's time to go. Then you go to wash your hands, in this God forsaken "sink" that no water comes out of. But you didn't figure that out until you pushed the sudser and got your hands nice and gooey. So now you move over to the next sink praying it works. And with a lot of enginuity and upper arm strength, you push and pry the lever until it spits out a trickle of water. Just enough to lather with. Now you have a nice lather going, but can't get sink #2 to work. And as luck would have it, there is no sink #3. Hmmmmm. Meanwhile other ladies are moving in and out, with the same frustration, and some not even trying. Can we all make a collective GAG? Oh Lord. Now I not only have to think about my own hands, but those of whom just vacated without proper hand washing techniques. Okay, so I struggle to put that out of my mind and not go into violent shudders, while moving back to sink #1. Sink #1 is not cooperating so I have no other option but to towel dry the lather off my hands so that I can move on with my life. Normally when I am not gulping down my daily recommended dosage of H2O, I can go about my outtings without such plight. However, this is my story, my plight, and my phobia, as it stand right now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Big Debut

Yesterday I made my annual yardsaling debut. I LOVE yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, you name it, I love it. You know the saying...your trash may be someone else's treasure. It's the most cost effective way to get your shopping fix on while also buying things you may need for home, kids, sports, etc. I mean really, it makes perfect sense to me. So normally my strategy is, if I hit the mother load, so as not to freak my husband out at the mass quantities of other people's junk stuff that I have purchased, I stow it away in the trunk and sift it in little by little when he's not looking. hehe Hey, don't roll your eyes, you know you do it, and if you don't, then you should try it and save some of the banter that goes like this: Husband: "Honey, do we REALLY need that?" Me: "Why yes schnookems, we DO need a set of 1970's tupperware, the mustard yellow brings back such fond memories" or Husband: "Honey, why is a bike tied to the hood of the car?" Me: "Well honeycakes, you see I found one dirt cheap at a yard sale today, thought we could use a spare with rising gas prices and all." or Husband:"Why did you get another printer, we already have one". Me: "Well shmoopie whoopie, it was only $5.00 and it's only been used once, so I figured why not have two so I don't have to run clear downstairs and mess with your irritating tempermental printer that NEVER works for anyone but you, sweetie pie". And here is the $5.00 printer... So you see, there IS a method to my madness here. I try to be sneaky avoid that unnecessary interrogation banter and slowly but surely hide find places and uses for all of my newfound treasures. Much like how a small child, when asked to clean his room, will tell you they're done in record time. And at first glance it looks great, until you peak under a bed or open an armoire, and get smacked in the head with an avalanche of Star Wars action figures. I blame it on my kids for teaching me such devious tactics. What's funny is, my husband will once in a while take notice of something, at random, that I've actually had for quite sometime. He'll get a puzzled look on his face, like he's thinking "Heyyyyy, wait a minute here....". Yeah he's pretty fast on the uptake. He'll ask me "uh honey, where did that disco ball come from?" "Oh hon, I've had that for awhile, you're just now noticing?" LOL Ohhhh okay okay, so I made that up, but it's half true. He WILL notice things, it just takes him a minute. Anyway, to the beginning of a new and wonderous yardsale season, and to the endless opportunities to buy things we need and sometimes we don't, at a fraction of the cost! Every summer I have my garage sale as well, at least that is the plan. I give myself "rules" about the mass piles of junk I can accumulate. You see, for every load of crap bag of goodies I bring in, something must go out. I must purge, otherwise we'd be bursting at the seams here, and then I'd have to have an intervention. I could see it all now. Friends and family gathered 'round, looking solemn with lone tears rolling down their cheeks. And I walk in, unsuspecting of course, high from my latest binge on yardsales, dragging a tote of barbies and a basket of oven mitts along for the ride. I look strung out, sweaty, hair pulled back, cotton mouth, and then I look up. And there is the "specialist". He would stand up and offer his hand and tell me "your family loves you Elizabeth, they want you back...they feel they're losing you in all these piles..." hehehee Okay well that's a stretch, but I have actually known a couple people who probably could've used a good intervention. no, for real Anyway back to business here. So I am having a garage sale myself soon, well hopefully it will be a "garage" sale and not a sunporch or deck sale. This would depend upon my husband and how readily he rids the garage of his mass quantities of construction crap stuff. Just a few short weeks ago, a dear friend of mine offered her time to come and lend a hand and totally gut the garage. yes it was gleaming by the time we were done, organized, beautiful! And then just days later, my husband saw this as his opportunity to stuff more towering piles in there. I will give you a glimpse of my predicament: This is why I can't park in there, have never parked in there, and am wondering if I will EVER park in there, let alone host my big garage sale???? I suspect he will clear it out, but he will procrastinate until the night before and be up all hours dragging in insulation and drywall, shuffling piles from garage to family room. I've already threatened him asked him not to pile any family space we are currently using. But really, where oh where would he put 45 bundles of insulation? Oh you mean where it's supposed to go? In the attic you say? Oh heck no, God forbid he ask a friend to help him and knock that off the to-do list HA! I think he rather likes his piles, I think it makes him feel all warm and gooey inside, much like chocolate or a good Lifetime Movie does for me. He can be a bit of a pack rat, in case the picture above doesn't illustrate that clearly enough, let me invite you for a short visit inside the mind of my husband. You open a box, go ahead, any box. big or small. What have we here? In one hand I hold a dilapidated wallet he's been hanging onto since 9th grade. I kid you not people! And in the other hand we have 12 old door hinges masking taped together. Why? Why are we saving these? Well HELLO! Just in case all of our door hinges spontaneously combust and need replaced? And the wallet, who knows when that could come in handy! maybe, if Brandon is real lucky, he'll pass it on to him! Okay aside from the sarcastic spin, I ain't makin this stuff up! The difference between our piles? I don't stare at the same piles for months on end and get the same glee as he, oh no, that's not how I roll. At least there is a fair turn around with my piles, and my piles are better concealed. I can't wait for his man cave, den, whatever you want to call it, to be done so I can start shovin his beloved piles on in there. He is lucky he's so darn loved and pretty handy to have around, or I'd roll him in the insulation and store both in the shed!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gimme back my spoons and I'll hand over the forks

I have been noticing a strange occurance in the Storey household. We seem to have a shortage of spoons and an influx of mismatched forks. What is this about? First of all, our forks used to match, so where are these other forks coming from? Are my kids pilfering forks from neighbors, restaurants or other places? Well school can be ruled out, plastic sporks are their utensil of choice. Still I am left puzzled. We are overrun with forks and the spoons are dwindling. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to get a spoon for coffee and poof, gone. Yes that's right. Poof gone. lol That means I open the drawer and there isn't a spoon in sight. Could it be that wherever the lost socks go, they are also now capturing my spoons?

Me a writer?

So I've been told by the masses I should write a book. By masses, I mean friends, relatives and teachers. So they're kinda biased, but hey, my ego will take what it can get. I think the first time I remember writing and enjoying it was in 7th grade. I wrote poems endlessly, but they were rather angsty and depressing at the time, as my poor 13 year old heart had had it's first wound. I remember being in 7th grade Algebra and my teacher, a happy plump white haired lady, had confiscated a love note I was working diligently on to my then one true love. HA! After reading it and berating me for not focusing my energies on more important matters such as quadratic equations and square roots, she gave me a compliment. She told me I was good at writing. Hmmm really? I can't for the life of me remember what that note said, but it must've been quite something. Then later, in high school, I took creative writing and while others balked at our assignments and poo-pooed writing about "The most significant person in my life has been..." or "A Major Life changing event would be...", I relished these easy assignments and would often have them done in 30 minutes or less. And not sloppily or with details left out. Then I wrote a poem for my Dad one year for Father's Day. I had no money to get him a gift, so I gave him the only thing I could think of, something from my heart. And he still carries it in his wallet to this day. And then in college, I had to take a writing class and my teacher came up to me after class and told me how my writing had moved her asked me what my major was in? I told her and she said, "if that doesn't pan out, you should definitely become a writer". I never really gave it much thought after that. And so here we are many years later, and here I am, still pecking away at it. I would love to become a writer, but where oh where to start? I would love for my ramblings to read by the masses. To have induced laughter and joy by the millions. But hmmmmm what to write about, what to write about....... well lets see, there's my perfection and expertise in parenting. hehe There's my life story, but oh my, that would be a little depressing until around chapter 19. Buy bulk supplies of Kleenex for that one. HA! Of course I could also write a manuscript for a Lifetime Movie of the Week. What would it be called? Cease and Desist....a Mother's Tale. Or One Huckuva Desperate Housewife; A tale of one Manic Mom and her quest to conquer a neverending laundry pile, softening hands while I do dishes, keeping bottoms dry while teaching son to put lids down or build outhouse and to find all the missing spoons, wherever they may roam. Hmm maybe too wordy? Okay well maybe this: a self help book! Loving Husbands through the good, the bad and rennovations. Well okay maybe not. How about: DramaTweens: How to Love your Tween, even through random bouts of obnoxious behavior. Okay one more: WhineyTown: Where Toddlers can be themselves. Okay so I have my work cut out for me. Stay tuned, who knows what else I'll come up with!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Dental Patient

So I had my big appointment today. As odd as this may sound, I haven't been to the dentist for a cleaning since I lived in Ohio. I had not established any doctors up in my new homeland until now. I figured I might as well go all out, since I now am proud to say I have a Michigan Driver's license! It's official! So I made myself a couple appointments for things I'd been procrastinating on, and one was of course the teeth cleaning. Today they called me first thing and told me there had been a cancellation and I could be seen today at 3:45. So I took it, and bravely went in to establish good dental health. I walk in and it's a very small office, from the outside it almost looks like a house, so this made me a teensy bit nervous, I wasn't sure if I was going to some back alley dentist or what. But I found him to be quite legit, and so began the process of xraying and cleaning my teeth. They did a wonderful job and the staff was the most friendly dental folks I've ever met. So do you want the good news or the not so good news? Hmmmmm? Okay good first. The good news is two fold. One is that my xrays came back with no new cavities. Yay I've been a brushin fool and it's paid off! The other good news is that the price was lower than what they'd quoted me over the phone! Double yay! The not so good news is...... I have a very small mouth that is very over crowded. I have an impacted wisdom tooth that will need removed :( Booooooooo! And then there's the more costly news. I need braces. No I mean I NEED braces. See I should have had braces when I was little, I've always hated my teeth because some are in front of others and my smile just looks like one hot mess. Well my parents could never afford this, they were doing good to cover the basics, and braces wasn't on that list. So being that my teeth are so crowded and therefore hard to clean and floss in some spots, it's a matter of dental health at this point. I either get this taken care of NOW and suffer with metal mouth at 32, OR in the next 10 or so years, I will need some removed, temporaries put in, and eventually, falsies. The idea of that horrifies me. I have a small mouth and falsies, even properly fitted ones, would still be quite distinct in my mouth and change the whole shape of my pretty petite pucker. So they referred me to an orthodontist. Oh my. How will I break this to James? So as I leave the dentists, the load me down with toothbrushes (and oh you'll just LOVE this! Since my pucker is petite, they gave me a toddler Power Rangers brush!! That one's to reach the back teeth, and they gave me a youth brush to do the rest, and plenty of Sensodyne and flossing tape). So there I am, arms loaded with dental supplies and pamphlets about my new Orthodontist. I drive home, wondering all the way home if I should just wait or go for it, how to bring it up to James (because this is a very big expense AND he's already done so much for me and for our stomach was in knots). So I get home and go looking for him, still struggling to hold a bulk supply of toddler brushes and dental tape, when I hear a chain saw. Hmmmm that's interesting. Then as I walk through the garage, there it is. He chopped down a tree. Yes you read right. He chopped down a huge tree in our backyard. Now before you gasp, he's done this before, but never in our yard, so I wasn't as shocked, I knew he knew HOW to cut a tree down, but just didn't quite know this was on his to-do list today. We'd been talking about getting rid of some of the trees closer to the house for safety reasons, ant reasons and to let more light into the house. So there ya have it folks, there was my husband, the lumberjack, in full lumberjack gear, safety glasses, weilding a chain saw cutting up branches. This was the tree I most hated, because it had, of all things, a street light wired into it. Yes, you also read THAT right. The previous owners, or the owners before them, or some random ninny, decided it would be a great idea to get a huge honkin street light and wire it up the tree. You can imagine how pretty that looked. And my how functional too! So I was rather glad that he chopped that sucker down. I was kind of amused at the whole scene, walking up on it. But I digress. So I waved and flapped my floss around until it caught his eye and he shut off the chain saw. He came over, we chit chatted about dinner, but I did not tell him just yet what the dentist recommended. Why was I so afraid? What would he do say "NOOOOOOO! Absolutely under no circumstances are you getting braces! I want my wife to have dentures and look like Mr. Ed!" So I came inside and put away my dental paraphenalia and loved on my Hailey while she admired my brighter smile. She said "Mommy you're teeth are pretty!" Awwwwwww. So later, not much but a little, i went out to bother him again. I made him sit down and told him exactly what the Dentist said, and told him if we couldn't, or if we need to wait, that would be fine too. He said, exactly, word for word, "Do whatever you need, this is your health honey". Awwwwwwwwwwww. Two ooey gooey gushy moments back to back. First of all, I had wanted braces desperately growing up but, as I stated before, it just wasn't in the cards. I just gave up on that dream, because now I'm in my 30's and we have bigger and more important things to spend money on, like our kids teeth! So I explained that the Ortho will let us do payments, and again, he told me to go for it. So a part of me is excited about the prospect of having that smile I've always dreamed of. And a part of is nervous about the discomfort and length of time they will need to be on. The dentist thinks 2-3 years. My son will be in highschool, and there will be metal mouth (that's me) in the stands cheering for him, at least he'll be able to see me, as the light reflects off of the shiney metal protruding from my mouth. But hey, who knows, maybe my son and I will have braces together. People mistake us for brother and sister frequently anyways. We can mess with them and say we're twins. LOL I am just so thankful. I never thought my smile would get better. My family (mother, father, siblings) all had poor dental health, so growing up, I just figured this would be my fate someday too. But not so! Although I am nervous about this sudden change, I am excited too. Not only will it ensure good dental health and longevity for my pretty pucker, BUT I will one day have straight even teeth. To those of you without a crooked tooth in your head, you may read this and think I'm a loon. And that's okay, just thank you're lucky stars you were born with a bigger mouth and straighter teeth. Because never having that has deeply effected my self confidence and esteem. But no more poor me's, because when it's all said and done, you'll never get me to stop smiling! My new hero......Joan Cusack

Doctors and Dentists, Oh My!

So yeah I haven't really been on much lately, I figured I would just write a few updates, in no particular order. First of all Hailey had to go to the Dr. and the Dr. freaked me out! I thought we would go in, get an antibiotic and be on our way to the pharmacy. No such luck. This particular Dr. is not one we usually see, and from what I hear, she loves to offer the worst case scenarios to parents up front. But I have to say, she successfully scared me last Friday. She wanted lab tests, other tests, and an ultrasound done, depending on what the results say from her urine sample. I was supposed to receive a call today but of course they love to keep you in suspense, that's what they get the big bucks for right? So I called in and the lady I spoke with didn't seem to have any information but is going to talk to our regular Dr. (yay!) and I am supposed to call back in 30 minutes. I am thinking positive thoughts that all is well and that our regular Dr. will have good news when I make the next call! Next is that I have a dentist appointment today. It wasn't supposed to be until June 4th but they called because they had a cancellation. Lucky me. Yay. I really dislike going to the dentist but it is a necessary evil I suppose. I am reminded of this dose of humor from Bill Cosby about dental visits: I will have more to post soon, I've written several blogs but my ADD kicked in before I had the chance to finish them, so you'll be bombarded with some serious entertainment soon!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Can someone get Mommy a booster seat please?

So my daughter had to go to the Doctor yesterday. There in the waiting room I see the new child booster seat law posted. Here is what it states: All children in a motor vehicle, under the age of eight and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall, to be securely fastened in a child safety seat. The law takes effect July 1, 2008. So then technically I am only 2 inches too tall to be legally bound in a booster seat!!!! HA! My son pokes fun at my height, reminding me I am only 1 inch taller than the tallest midget. He stands head to head with me now, if not an inch or so taller, and has much bigger feet than me (my shoe size is a 5 1/2 so it's not hard to beat). Amazingly enough, I've never felt awkward for my size. I rather enjoy being short. Oh there are times when I wish I was leggy, but most of the time the short stature suits me just fine. Call me lazy, but it gives me an excuse to delegate a lot of chores. "oh Honey, can you come pull the casserole dish down for me dear". "Oh honey, while you're up, can you carry the 17 baskets of laundry upstairs for me sweetie pie honey lovins?" See how that can come in handy? And if you've ever seen Little People Big World, the episode where the mother is at the store and she has to climb the shelving to reach the Doritos? I am not ashamed to say, if Brandon or James is not with me, I climb those shelves like Mount Everest! This world wasn't made for the vertically challenged, BUT if you're determined enough, and motivated by Doritos just out of reach, then NOTHING my friend is out of reach!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Twas the day after Mother's Day......

when to my surprise, the mail arrived with a card from my Dad, playing the song "My Girl" in it. So after I mopped up the tears, I called him and thanked him and not to be outdone, will be sending him a "care package" with some pictures and a couple sweet treats in it tomorrow. After losing my Mom, this seemingly small gesture of sending me a card on Mother's Day has become of HUGE importance to me and I am so grateful for him. This song will forever hold a special place in my heart.....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Take my hand and come out of the closet

Well Brandon is due home tomorrow morning from a fun and active week at 6th grade camp. His grandma asked me several times this week if I missed him, which I found humorous, almost like she doubts my sincerity when I say "uh, sure I do". But of course I missed him, he is most definitely the life of the party here at the Storey household! He has a big personality, and even bigger dreams. And even though sometimes his argumentative nature can wear a Mom down, yes I DID miss him. But for some reason, I am reminded of a different time and be patient while I explain. Let me take a trip down memory see when he was born, I was a young and clueless mother, who believed that babies ate, pooped and slept. At no point in time did ANYONE including my own mother warn me, that perhaps there would be ear piercing blood curdling crying. So I brought my new little bundle home and my heart never knew such love as this! I was bursting with joy and emotion. And then, 2 weeks later, he began to cry. And by cry, I mean you could hear him out on the street, shrieking cries. You see, out of the blue, he developed colic. Let's look up colic and see what exactly that means, especially to those of you with quiet (well is there really such a thing?) babies: Definition of Colic: Colic consists of recurrent paroxysms of apparent abdominal pain starting at about the second to the sixth week of life and usually ending by four months. These cycles last from three hours a day to 12 to 15 hours a day in severe cases. The child becomes hypertonic, sometimes alternating body posture from contracting into a little ball (thighs flexed up against the abdomen and arms drawn tightly inward), while beet red in coloration, to suddenly stretching out and stiffening almost spastically. Description of Colic: Infants cry, it is their means of vocal expression. There is, however, a group of infants who are healthy but show irritability, crying, and signs of discomfort to a greater extent than others. These infants have colic. This is a common problem arising in the first three months. Babies with colic are prone to lengthy bouts of crying which may or may not stop when the baby is picked up. The definition and description really doesn't do it justice. You really have to be there, experience it to really grasp what a nightmare it can be. Now just humor me here. I am sure you have no idea where I'm going with this. His grandma would take him on occasion for his 1-2 hours of happy time out of the 20+ hours of side splitting window shattering crying he would do. After she left with him, I would do whatever needed done around the house (I know this sounds crazy, but for the people who know about my ex husband, nuff said) and then I would lay down for a much needed coma hibernation nap. As soon as I passed out, the phone would ring, and it would always be my mother in law asking the same haunting question. "Do you miss your little punkin?" Which brings me back to the beginning. Remember now, this has been the question of the week. Now how do I respond to that? Truthfully? Um no. Because the truth would sound cold and make me look like the worst mom on earth. I was already on the verge of tears from the constant incessant crying, coupled with the lack of sleep, but add in a label of cold hearted mother and that might've just sent me over the edge. But honestly, no I did not miss him. I was so exhausted, often going 2 days straight with no sleep at all, that when I did get a little break from the constant crying and projectile pukefests (he had some digestive issues), that uh no, I rather enjoyed my brief siestas. Now this is not to say I didn't love him! But oh if you only knew....the odds were stacked against me from the get go. Now I don't go into this to gain sympathy because well c'mon, lets face it, he's way past the colicky stage now. I survived it and I am proud of it! I did it alone and I came out alive! But whether the kids are colicky or not, whether they're 2 weeks, 2 years or 12, don't we all love a break from time to time?! I know mothers who almost go into depression over being away from the children overnight. Now I just can't grasp that. Not only does it make ME look bad for actually enjoying the occasional break, but what did these people do BEFORE kids? Don't they enjoy having adult time, time with your spouse, time out with the girls...or even time alone with a good book and some Ben and Jerry's? Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I am in the minority on this. I think there's a whole lot of Moms in the closet on this one. Perhaps you are afraid of seeming unloving and uncaring if you admit it, but I am here to say lets stand united and sing Hallelujah for occasional "breaks" we can get! I challenge you to enjoy a stolen night away from the kids, just you and your husband, go have fun (remember? that thing you used to have together before the kids came along and started pecky away your sanity? ha!). Now this is all meant in fun, but isn't there but an air of truth to it? I love my children and I don't know what I'd do without them...but call me selfish, call me stressed, call me crazy, heck call me Conchita if you want, but I CAN however manage to occupy myself for an hour or a day while they're away, and even like it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sleep? Who needs sleep?

So after sending my daughter off to take her nap, and thinking she had complied...this is what I find standing so sweetly atop the stairs: She was playing dress up quietly in her room!! How could I ever get mad at that? Then Dad stepped in and took control:
Quite the disciplinarian huh?

It's not about football! It's about the license bureau!

Well today was the day...I went to the License Bureau AGAIN in hopes of gaining a legal Michigan driver's license. So how did it go? Well, lets see. You want the good, the bad or the ugly? The good is that in about 7-14 days I should be legal with driver's license in hand to drive in the state of Michigan. The bad? I'm not legal to drive anywhere right now! Ahhhhhhhh! They cut and punched a hole in my old Ohio license. Now really. Was that even necessary? Okay you already clipped it...did you really need to punch a hole in it as well? I mean really. The ugly. Well more like stupid. I go in there, by this point I carry a file folder with me with all my documents that they supposedly need so that I won't lose anything in between trips. Because (refer to previous blog) there have been plenty of trips. So I step up, same lady as last trip waits on me. I give her the folder with marriage license and she flips through it and asks where my proof of residency is. Trying to maintain my ever so calm cool and collected demeanor, I simply state that the last trip in, I had these documents, and she made copies and told me she would have to file them until I returned. Okay so she pulls my file. Nothing. Oh there's SOMETHING in there, but it's not the copies of my 2 credit card statements! So she says no one made copies...blah blah blah, and I interrupt with a "yes you did, I watched you do it". Now at this point might I remind you that I'm still collected. She then replies "Whatever". Yes she actually said whatever to me. Are you kidding? Isn't that a little immature? Are we in highschool here? So I ignore that, for now, and she starts checking off boxes and asking me to fill out what I already filled out 2 other times......okay so once again, I fill this form out. Then she asks me to step aside to get my eyes tested. I politely tell her I already took the eye test and passed. She then says "no one checked the box, so we have to do it again". Well that's a shocker, I mean they're so organized, I can't hardly believe that SHE didn't check the box last week. So I play along, take my eye exam and pass AGAIN. Alrighty....then she flips through my documents and I have a question. I ask her why is my marriage license important to transferring my license from Ohio to Michigan? She looks at me with total disgust and says "well M'am, the name on your birth certificate doesn't match the name on your Ohio license, that's why". Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Um of course it doesn't match! I wasn't born married to my husband! Not only that but my old license was in my married name and all my other documents were. But oh no, that's just not gonna do. So okay, I suppress my desire to choke her, and we move on. Step to the side, look up, click. What? Did you just take my picture without warning me? "Yes, that's correct". Um wait a minute...let me see that. Oh Good Lord...I demand a retake! So she humors me and retakes the photo. Okay now this is further than I've ever gotten in this process. I'm almost losing the attitude and converting to relief. Then I go to pay. I hand her my check card. "I'm sorry m'am, we only take cash, check or Discover card for your convenience". How is that in ANY WAY convenient to me? I didn't have my checkbook on me, and cash? I had a grand total of $4.52, not quite enough to cover it. And who even has a Discover card? She is grinning by this point so I'm fairly sure there is a conspiracy going on. Conspiracy? Yes. A conspiracy to drive me mad! So I tell her with increasing aggravation in my voice, that I am NOT coming back in here. She then points me toward an ATM at the back of the room. Ugh. Okay, so I pack up my folder, grab my purse and go to the ATM which of course charges you a fee because it's not compatable with any bank I've ever heard of. I go back and stand in line. I finally make my way back to her, then she asks for my old license again. I give it to her. And she takes a pair of scissors, clips it AND as if that wasn't quite enough, then she grabs a hole punch and punches a hole right through the middle. Okay, THAT'S a little dramatic, but okay. She then hands it back, with my receipt and tells me I'm done. Um. No. I'm not. Where's my license? "That will be sent to you by mail in 7-14 days". Ahhhhhhh! Okay 2 problems. 1. Is it just me or does this not really sound secure? What if it gets delivered to the wrong place? and 2. They still have copies floating around somewhere in that place of my credit card bills. She says they don't, but they do! How can I trust that I'll EVER get my license if they can't even keep track of a person's proof of identity? Ahhhhhhh! But what can I do? Nothing. Not a thing. So I walk out, not skipping with glee as I should, but slightly more upset than when I arrived, if that's even possible. Because now, I've gone through ALL this, paid them money, sacrificed my sanity....and for what? To be handed a mangled up gnarled version of my home state's driver's license. This is why the rivalry exists between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. No no no it's not about football, that's just a front. It's about the license bureau. You see it's so simple. Because my husband moved from Michigan to Ohio after we met, and had to go through this same process down there. Although I must say, they're smarter and actually give you the license right then and there and skip losing it in the mail, but he too had to make more than one trip in to changes plates and get a new license. I'm telling you, there should be one driver's license that you need that would cover you in any state. That would make much more sense and then maybe, just maybe, my two beloved states could coexist in harmony.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just call me Kleenex

So being a Mom, I have my weeks days where I feel like a human kleenex. My daughter seems to have caught a bug, it's one of those lovely kind that has her going one way or the other, if you know what I mean. If it's not one bodily function, it's another. And to top it off she has a runny nose. Being the little lady I have worked hard to raise, she has taken to grabbing whatever is nearby to wipe her nose on. Now this is not because she sees ME wiping my nose on the arm of a chair or her brother's clean shirt. So I am not sure where we went wrong with her manners. Anyway, that being said, we've got a mess on our hands. She will seem fine for a few hours, and then whamo, one end or the other will blow. She rarely gets sick, but when she does, she does it up right! Brandon caught a lot more "bugs" when he was her age, but he also went to daycare. So what to do what to do. I find myself running in circles between keeping her clean and making sure there isn't a catastrophe lurking...such as throw up on the furniture or snot dribbles on the clean towels. I am a huge fan of germ gel. I have germ gel stationed throughout the house in hopes that when the kids catch the crud, I won't! Because lets face it, Moms just don't have time for it! And kids don't take a break for us to get sick, oh no. Far be it from them to behave for a 24 hour coughing sneezing aching stuffy head fever...blah blah blah..... So off I go to restore my house to anti-bacterial glory while the poor little thing takes a nap. Heading for the hazmat suit......

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Devil's Armpit

So I'm going to attempt, for the 4th time, to go renew my driver's license tomorrow. I have lived in Michigan for 2 1/2 years now and I still have my Ohio driver's license. And honestly, if it wasn't illegal, I'd keep it that way and just make the 4 hour drive back home to renew it. It'd be so much less of a hassel!! I am trying not to freak out inside to think positively and create positive vibes so that I can just breeze in there tomorrow and breeze out with my new Michigan Driver's License in hand, skipping with glee and waving it for all to see. Hey that rhymed. lol Okay enough nonsense. I have really been procrastinating for a few years a month or so about going to the Devil's Armpit License Bureau and getting this taken care of. Apparently it's a little illegal to not change your license after having moved a few years ago. So I went in like the upstanding citizen I am to make this thing right with the law. I walked in, and at first, there was no one else there except me and the people at the counters. I faintly heard angels singing "Hallelujah" in the distance. I thought this would be a snap. So I hurry over to the counter, and display all of my documents and verification onto the counter for the kind gentleman to see. Lets see what we have here. We have a birth certificate. Check. We have a social security card. Check. We have the old license. Check. We have a JC Penney bill aka proof of residency. Check. Then it goes to silence. He seems to be studying something. Maybe he's having one of those quiet seizures? I start to wonder if I should shake him, when he comes to and says "uh oh M'am". I say "What?". He says, in a very official voice, "you'll need one more proof of residency M'am." At this point, I was still calm and thought this could all be worked out. So I state that I live 30 minutes away, gas is almost 4.00 per gallon and don't I have enough proof at hand to get me licensed in the state of Michigan? And to that my friend replies, "No M'am, I'm sorry, you do not". Okay, so I procede to make the trek back home and get another bill to prove that I am me. I return an hour later, get back in line, and procede to the front, whereupon a kind looking lady in a cheerful voice says, "Next!". Okay so I take out ALL my proof and my old license, display them proudly for her, and she moves me over to the eye exam station. Yay!! I am on my way! So I read the second line from the bottom, eyes squinted, then I tell her where the red light is flashing. She's says I passed. Then I move back over to fill out a form, and in the middle of doing so, I hear her say "Oh no". My eyes glance upward, squinting, not wanting to believe she was saying that to me. So I look back down and finish the form. I look back up and she has a frown. She then tells me that I will need my marriage license to complete this process. So I scream. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! In my head. Not out loud. Then I politely say "are you kidding me?". Nope she's not, and then I get testy. She cheerfully tells me that there IS indeed a silver lining. She hands me a yellow sticky that will let me secure first place in line after I drive another hour to and fro to go get my marriage license. Why do I need my marriage license? I have no idea. See we didn't get that far, because my attitude wouldn't allow it. I then respond to her that it would've been helpful if the gentleman that helped me earlier had actually told me I needed to bring that in addition to the proof of residency. She says "oh, well yes, I imagine so". Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Then I ask her if there is ANYTHING ELSE that I will need? A kidney? Shot records? First born? Blood sample? What? She stares at me, bats her eyelashes and says "no, that should do it". Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! So I storm out and that was last week, Tuesday I believe. I haven't made an attempt since then. And so tomorrow I will torture myself once again in hopes of being a legally driving Michiganian. Or is it Michigander? Oh who cares, just give me the damn license!

Just another manic Monday...whoaaaaa whoaaaaa....

.......wish it were Sunday.....whoaaaaa whoaaaa.... Today is the day.....THE day........I am cutting out a very bad habit for good. I am quitting smoking. And so begins my day, the alarm goes off, I come down and start the computer, write a few bills out, then go wake Brandon up. This week he's going off to 6th grade camp (that is why I set this week as my quit week, so he'd be out of the line of fire). Hailey gets up shortly after and so far the morning seems to be running smoothe. And I'm rushing around to get Brandon's last few things ready for camp, I see him sitting idly by clicking away on the computer. Excuse me? Since when did I become his servant? Just as I was about to enlighten him, I hear Hailey upstairs throwing up. Oh no. Is this some cosmic joke on me? Okay, deep breaths, I can do this. So I go upstairs with my Hazmat suit on ready to clean up the toxic spillage, when the bi-polar cat whizzes past me and picks a fight with Hailey's Dora that she'd left on the hallway floor. I offered to catsit for a friend for a few days while she was away, little did I know what unspeakable joy we'd be in for. This is the feline version of Cujo. She's extremely fickle. One minute she's purring and prancing in front of you wanting attention, and then next, she's hissing and growling. I think some Prozac or Lithium might do this cat a world of good. Anyway, so back to Hailey. I get her and the floor cleaned up, and send her into her room to get dressed. I come downstairs and check the time, 15 minutes til his bus arrives. Okay I think we're packed, I go down my mental checklist, good. I ask him if he's had breakfast and he replies "I don't know what to have". Really? Because we have a cabinet full of cereal, bread, I direct his attention to the breakfast food and he half heartedly makes a piece of toast before leaving for camp. He used to love breakfast, but in this last year, it's nearly a fight to get him to eat a good breakfast in the mornings. But choose your battles, and so I do, and I rarely make that one of them. And so I am off to brew some coffee, listen to the Today Show and attempt to balance the checkbook. Wish me luck on my first of many smoke free days.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wild Kingdom

For those of you curious at how my ant problem is going, we did get an exterminator in last Friday! I am seeing less and less of the little pests, and I was told that it would take 7-14 days for them to be gone. She (yes the exterminator was a she...people gasp everytime I say it was a woman) said that this was the worst case of carpenter ants she'd seen in a while. Great. Anyway, she sprayed the outside, and did a gel bate with syringe to the inside of the house. So far so good. She said it would also take care of the stinging insects outside the house, which I am most relieved about. We couldn't go out on our sunporch without at least 10 bees of different varieties buzzing around us. While we're on the topic of Wild Kingdom....we are surrounded by woods and we get the good fortune to see a lot of deer around our house. The other evening, just before sundown, my husband and I were out back and saw 8 deer scampering through the woods by the brook. It was amazing. This coming from a girl that was raised in the city and until moving up here, I had never seen a deer except on TV or well as road kill. So this is why I especially enjoy my surroundings. I wasn't raised around anything like this, in fact when Brandon was little we lived in one apartment near the highway and then moved to an apartment by a railroad track, and then by a Firestation. HAHAHA Yes it's true! So I was used to the sounds of the city and it didn't bother me a bit. When we moved up here it was so quiet! You could actually hear was nothing like what I was used to and I have to say it takes a minute for a city slicker to make friends with nature. Now however, we live in a quiet setting that comes alive at night with the sounds of crickets and frogs, and an occasional Mooooooo off in the distance. I must say the scariest thing I've encountered since the move from the city to country life is what I found in our shed. Long story short, my friend and I were cleaning out the garage and I went back to the shed to put some things away...where I found, upon moving the wheel barrow, a half of a red squirrel. And by half, I mean HALF. The butt half. I let loose a scream and made a run for it! I've never been back there again. Now I'm sure there are those tough as nails women who've been raised on farms that would've just grabbed it up by the tail and flung it into the woods. Um no, not me. I won't even take a shovel and throw it into the woods that way. Again, nope, not by thing. So as we speak, that butt end of a poor unsuspecting squirrel lay in my shed for my husband to deal with. Because there are just some things, no matter what kind of equal opportunity feminst bra burner you are, there's just some things that THIS woman ain't touchin! My hats off to those women who could, but to those whose gag reflex wouldn't allow it, kudos to you too!