Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meeting with the teacher

I emailed TB's teacher the other day because I had some questions about his report card. At the end of the first quarter, he was a level 6 in reading. At the end of second quarter he was an 8. I emailed to ask what that meant, where he should be, etc. When I dropped him off the next day, I got told "it is time we had a meeting about his reading. Don't worry, it isn't all bad" Um, ok, seriously not confidence inspiring because that seems to indicate that it is mostly bad. I had my meeting yesterday after school.

First she told me that the end of second quarter benchmark is a level 10 and he is an 8. However, he is 93% accurate at level 8, so he isn't grossly behind. His word test score was 16/20 for knowing sight words. His writing vocab (they give them words to write in 10 minutes) was 41 (43 is grade level) and his dictation (copying sentences) is 28/37. Nothing, in my mind, is tragically low. A little behind, sure and obviously we don't want him to fall further behind but nothing to freak out over, like her "don't worry it isn't ALL bad" suggested. She told me this morning that he qualified for reading recovery so he will go a few days a week to work one on one with a reading teacher, who will help him get back on track. He did RR last year with a different teacher and it was great for him. He did something (I thought it was RR but apparently it was reading support or something and was small groups, not one on one) with one of the teachers (who was a first grade teachers and the one he most desperately wanted for this year) and that is the best part of his day. He just adores her and I have a feeling he will be sad when he finds out he won't be seeing her anymore.

The other stuff she wanted to talk about was the fact that he doesn't stay focused in class. Ok, first? 7 year old boy. Anyone that has met this child knows there is no keeping him still. Second? The classroom is so cluttered and there is so much stuff everywhere that during our meeting, I felt my attention roaming. I'm an adult and it was a topic that I cared about and I STILL couldn't maintain focus because there was so much stuff (and there weren't even any kids in the room, it was just stuff), how can they expect 7 year olds to manage it? She mentioned that she was having him evaluated by the school's OT for his cutting (apparently, he doesn't cut well, looks like it was done by a 7 YEAR OLD to me, but what I know, my training ends at 5) and for his inability to sit still. Apparently, they have these rubber air filled pillows that the slightest wiggle makes kids feel like they are moving alot so they don't have to move as much to get the wiggle sensation. That keeps them in their chair and less fidgity. After the evaluation, I will talk to the OT and see what she recommends. I'm all for helping him but OT slaps a special ed label on him and I'm opposed to lables. We'll see.

The final issue was partly his lack of focus and partly his reading. He isn't doing his work in class. He doesn't want to do it, he can't read it to understand how to do it, so he just isn't doing it. He says that no one will help him when he doesn't understand things and I told him that if he doesn't understand, he is better off not doing it, than learning it wrong (because the stuff he gets wrong, doesn't get corrected, they just hand it in and it comes home in the folder so the kid has no feedback about is and isn't working). It seems like he has taken my suggestion to the extreme and isn't doing any work. She is going to be sending home the things he doesn't finish as homework. My issue with that is I feel 99% of the paper he touches in a given is just crappy busy work and I wouldn't make him do it. I've decided to pick and choose what I will make him do. Handwriting practice sheets, reading and math all get done (mostly, some of the writing stuff is just garbage) other stuff, I really look at to see if it is something that I see value in. His "daily sheets"? They are nothing more than a ploy to give the kids something to do in the morning when they first come in while they wait for the rest of the class and for everyone to get organized and settled. And I refuse to force him to do busy work at home. He is plenty without it, thanks.

Out of all of this came a new afternoon schedule. The rest of our day is fairly well schedule, why not those 2 hours in the afternoon? From now on, we play at school for about 20 minutes (if at all possible, weather will sometimes impede this), then we come home and have a snack and watch TV until 3. At 3 pm, all electronics get shut off (yes even the adult's, which nearly killed RF this afternoon) and we have homework/reading time. TB can do his work and read his books. MT can either look at books quitely or I can read to her (I may throw in puzzles or quite drawing for something else for her to do) and I can read my book. At 3:30, it is chore time. We all get up and clean something. Even though MT doesn't have chores she has to do everyday, there is always some mess she made that she can pick up during that time. TB can do whatever his "chore of the day" is and I never lack for things to clean, unfortunately. At 4, we can do something else (actually, if they get done with the chores earlier, then we do things earlier). Today we went in the backyard and played in the snow. I built a sad little snowman and we had a snowball fight. Other days we will go to playgroup or FCC or parks (if spring would ever come) or whatever. Something active and unstructered is going to be the name of the game. That is going to force me to drag my butt out of the house every afternoon but I'll deal with it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New resturant Review

See my review of Houlihan's over at Freaky Travels

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pretty Girl had her tubes put in this morning so we watched Bubba for Quigs. Having done the adenoid surgery with MT, there is no amount of money in the world that would have convinced me that taking a second child with you to wait at the hospital was anything short of cruel and unusual punishment! Besides, we like the Quigs family and were happy to help out because that is what friends do. Of course, the surgery was at stupid o'clock because she is so young (our doctor schedules surgery by age so the younger you are, the earlier your appointment) but I only had to get up a few minutes before I normally do, so it was no biggie. I hung out at the Quigs house waiting for Bubba to wake up, then I fed him mass quantities of waffles (seriously, that kid can pack away the waffles like no body's business!) and brought him home with me. MT was STOKED to see him and has been within touching distance all morning. Here is a picture that I got after she convinced him to sit and watch Scooby-Doo. :)

The kids have the best seat in the house for Scooby-Doo watching.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New living arrangment

MT told me today that she wants to go live with Quigs. She said I yell too much and it makes her sad and that Quigs would be nicer to her. I pointed out that Quigs is a yeller too but she said she would listen to her and she wouldn't need to yell. She said that on Saturday morning, she is going to have her daddy call Quigs and see if she can live with her. Why Saturday morning? I have no idea but that is D-day as far as she is concerned.

She has it all planned out too. We told her that Quigs doesn't have Mario Party (her favorite game) and she said that was fine, she would just take our copy with her. TB went on and on about the things she couldn't do if she went to live Quigs and she blew each of them off.

Later in the evening, with a stuck out lip and big, dramatic eyes she told us that she would miss us a lot when she went to live with Quigs and I pointed out that she didn't have to go. She said "yes I do. I don't like it when you yell (which has already been established in this blog that I'm aware of the problem and trying to correct it) and I miss Bubba and Pretty Girl" Ah. That makes sense.

So Quigs, if my little stray shows up at your house (I told her I wouldn't take her over because you don't like strays so you don't feed them), don't feed her but do be sure to let her see your kids for a few minutes before you call me to get her

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My weekend

Saturday, we got up and hunted around the house for TB's new glasses (yes, you read that right, he had the 2 days and managed to misplace them). For the record, they were found in the cushions of my dad's chair. Once we found them, my mom said she wanted to take the kids to the pool. I told her they opened at 12 and I needed to go to the library so let's go. She needed to take a shower and do a couple of other things so it was a lot later than I wanted when we left. We got to the pool at 12:10 to see a flood of cars pulling out of the parking lot and a bus sitting by the front door. As we got to the door, a wave of teenagers came out the door, got on the bus and left. We pulled up and Mom went in to find out what was going on. They told her that there had been a swim meet and they were closed for the day. The swim meet had gotten over at 10 minutes after they were scheduled to open (in reality, they probably got done earlier than that because they were dressed and on the bus at 12:10) but they decided not to have people come in so they didn't have the staff to actually open.

Mom was really angry (especially after we got home and found out they are closed almost every weekend in Jan for swim meets) but we were trying to come up with something fun to do with the kids. We got home and all the ideas didn't really work. They were either stuff we do all the time or things I just didn't want to do. She says to me "we should go to Indy" I laughed at her and she jumped on the computer and started looking for rooms while I threw a bag together and packed the DVD players. She got us a room at the Econo-Lodge on Shadeland Ave in Indy (it is kind of old and a little run down but they are in the process of fixing it, it is super cheap and they have a nice pool area) so we grabbed the kids, the bags, and a cooler and hit the road for Indy.

We got in about 4 and let the kids swim for awhile. MT wanted to get out because the air was really cold so I took her back to the room. TB and my mom stayed in the pool for almost 2 hours, until I went and drug them out because MT was claiming starvation and exhaustion. We went and had dinner and came back to the room. In the room, we discovered that we had a whirlpool tub in the bathroom, so we filled it up and let the kids play in it for almost an hour.

Today we got up and went to the Children's Museum. Sadly, they aren't reciprocile to the Orpheum (they aren't to anyone and their membership isn't good anywhere else) but it is worth the admission price! Right now, they have a comic book exhibit complete with the Bat Mobile used in the movies. They have also opened a new dragon exhibit based on the DracoRex Hogwortsia dinosaur skull that was found. Coming in 2 weeks in a Lego Castle exhibit that TB is DYING to go to. They are also opening a new King Tut exhibit over the summer. Because of these new exhibits, the whole second floor was basically closed. They were setting up both the big side rooms and that is about all there is up there. We still managed to have plenty of fun!

They are also doing some major construction outside. The skywalk is closed and the whole front entrance area is a giant construction site. They have little Lego men on all the signs and the banners blocking the fences all have Lego blocks on them. Super cute :)

Then we came home and unpacked and I put the kids to bed and now I'm blogging and watching Rock of Love Bus (they were supposed to be in CU but are in Danville instead :( )

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Overheard at the Freak house

I haven't done an "overheard" for awhile and it is high time.

TB, peeking over my shoulder while I watched a junky post-teenage CW drama:
"Holy crap, she is going to shoot him in the face!"

MT refusing to go come home from Nonni's last night:
"Nope, Negatory, Not.Gonna.Happen"

Hey four eyes

We got the card in the mail today telling us that The Boy's glasses are in. I have to call to schedule a time to pick them up. So I called this afternoon and got a recording that said "our business hours are 8-4 M-F, please call back then to leave a message or talk to a person" Really, I have to call during business hours to leave a message?

Anyway, I'll call Monday morning and see when I can get him in for the final fitting. I also need to ask about what happens when (when, not if, because, hello TB we are talking about here) they break. Can we get more than one pair a year, etc? I know they are going to be a huge PITA but I'm kind of excited about him getting them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Operation: Clean the damn house (and a few other things)

As part of O:CTDH that I started before Christmas, I spent most of yesterday and part of today getting it back in order from Christmas break. Heaven help us when summer comes but hopefully by then it will be a habit to clean regularly and not such a dramatic thing. My house looked like wild raving animals took it over for awhile. But it is much better now! After I did the generaly clean up, I moved on to scrubbing the bathroom. Usually, I just wipe everything down with Clorox every few days and call that good enough. It disinfects, it gets the toothpaste out of the sink, it is good enough (no matter what, the bathroom with always be my weak spot in cleaning). But today I scrubbed the hell out of it. I got out the "soft cleaner" and attacked that mess. I climbed into the shower and went over every inch of it, getting it clean (don't get me wrong, it doesn't look clean because it is old and stained and I think I might have created some toxic gas trying to get it unstained when we moved in but I assure you that it is, in fact, clean). It makes me smile a little every time I go in the bathroom and see the couple of unstained parts sparkle just smidge :) You know you are truly pathetic when a slightly sparkly shower surrond makes you smile.

Tomorrow, I finish the bathroom, which includes the sweeping and mopping, knocking down cobwebs, and scrubbing the outside of the tub and the walls with the Magic Eraser. If I can manage that in a reasonable amount of time, I'll start on my bedroom, which I'm not looking forward too. I have to move my bed and clean all the crap that has fallen under it over the past however many months. Not appealing in the slightest and a definate factor in saving it for last (and the fact that is has a door that I can shut so no has to see the mess when they come over :) ).

Wii Fit is kicking my butt. According to it, I'm doing nothing but gaining weight (which is somewhat odd, since I haven't gained any weight since I had the kids). I gained 50 lbs with The Boy, never lost it, had Ms Thang, lost a little from being sick but gained it back by the end of the pregnancy. Since then, my weight has fluxed a pound here or there but since I started doing the Fit, I've gained 6 lbs, with no change to my diet or activity level, aside from commiting to 20 on the board each day. Something fishy if you ask me! However, I'm a hula hooping champion and I rock the yoga. My sides are also sore (from hula hooping, I assume) and my let leg hurts so it is doing something at least.

TB was late getting out of school and when I asked him why he said "my teacher held me back and told me to talk to you about *sarcastic mimic*being responsible with my hair" He explained that people want to touch the hawk and he doesn't want them to so he was running in the classroom, trying to get away from someone that wanted to touch him. I told him that if someone wanted to touch it and he didn't want them to all he needed to do was say "do not touch me" at whatever volume he needed to use to get results. He said they aren't allowed to yell in school and I pointed out that he can't run in school or hit in school either so what other choice did he have, really? He probably shouldn't snarl, like I did in a pregnany hormone induced frenzy when some old lady that I didn't know rubbed my belly without asking "How would you like if I walked over and grabbed your boob? You wouldn't like that? Then keep your damn hands to yourself, you old bag" Obviously, I don't deal well with handsy people LOL

When I got home, I had an email from the teacher telling me her side of it. She said that "his hair is becoming a distraction to himself and others" She said that he is rubbing it in people's faces (he says this is in response to people pulling it) and letting some people play with it. I don't know if that meant that he is letting people play with it in class and it is disruptive or if he is only letting some people touch his hair and not everyone. IMO, he can't control what other people do, only himself, so disruptions to other people are not my problem. I did point out to him that he can't let people touch it during class and that he can't rub it on anyone, but that is rude and not a little gross. We shall see what the next few days bring. I get the impression that she doesn't like his hair and is looking of things to gripe at him about it. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe it will go smoothly and this will be the end of it. What I do know is that I won't cut his hair to please her. There is nothing in the school dress code policy preventing it (I checked before I ever did it, just to be on the safe side) and there isn't much she can do about it. Except make him miserable and he already hates school and begs me to switch him classes so I don't think it can get a lot worse.

Tomorrow, I get to go buy socks and a replacement bathroom step stool. I bought some at Target in the dollar section that are great. They cost $2.50, are plastic and are higher than average step stools. TB broke our bathroom one tonight and now has to pay to replace it. Any recommendations for step stools you like? I want it to be plastic (the wooden ones are great but I'm afraid they wouldn't hold up in the wet of the bathroom), inexpensive and tall. The tall was critical when we bought it because MT couldn't reach the sink at all. Over a year later, she is plenty tall enough to reach, even without the step stool, but now she uses it in the kitchen to help me cook and the tall is required again so she can reach the top of the counter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First words

What were your kids first words? Because my kids are DYING to know! They have been on this huge "first word" kick and I'm a little tired of talking about how TB's first word was "bye-bye" and MT's was "Ba-Ba" (what she called her brother).

So spill so we have new first words to talk about! :)

Having a screaming fit

So last night, after a big fat pity party, I decided that I yell too much. I yell all the time about everything and it isn't cool.

My New Year's Resolution is to try to chill out a little with the kids (RF is still fair game but he is a big boy and can't just deal). Will I never yell? Ha, fat chance of that! But I am trying to not have it be my first response to any negative behavior. So far today, I've been working on it, with mild success. Of course, it is the first day and it is just an anomoly that the kids have actually listened better and fought less but positive re-enforcement is positive re-enforcement and I'll take what I can get! :)

I called it a goal last year and I met both of them to some degree. I didn't lose weight but after I posted, I decided that I didn't care about losing anything, I just wanted to move more and I did. I also paid off the van and over half the student loan. The rest of it will be gone once we get our taxes back this year. So if last year's moderate success is any indication, hopefully this year will be as good (sad that I call less that 50% done success but again, I take what I can get LOL)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting Fit

I got my Wii Fit on Saturday. Of course, I was sick and couldn't play with it. Yesterday I felt a lot better so I was able to see what the big deal was all about. I did the body test and it determined that I was 25! Woohoo, go me. I did 40 minutes of various activites on it yesterday because I'm trying to unlock all the other activities. I may be unbalanced on the balance games, I can do yoga like nobody's business! I scored yoga trainer on all of them! Apparently, years of doing yoga on and off have done something for me. I spent 20 minutes on it today and would have done longer if TB hadn't been all in my face, demanding his turn. I also do a fairly decent job of hula hooping but the best thing I found today was a running game. You hold the Wii remote in your hand and run in place, trying to stay behind the lead runner. TB apparently loves this game and it is perfect for those days when he is crazy and needs to burn some energy. He has his little Mii and he can run wild on the fit. Who says that video games are worthless?

Quigs, my house has gone to hell with the kids being home. Give me a couple of days to get them back to school and get it cleaned back up and then you can come over and play on the fit with me after the minis go to bed :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


So I did 103 books last year. Here is my final list, including commentary on most of them. Some of them, the commentary is self explainatory. Like Twilight and HP need no comment. Others, I commented on the whole series instead of the individual books. And some of them there just isn't much to say about so I listed what topic they were. That happened fairly frequently with older books, since I can't remember much about them :)

Maid for Murder Barbara Colley Meh

The SPQ Field Giude to Men Jill Conner Brown May Funny, more fact than fiction

Really Unusual Bad Boys Mary Janice Davidson May Romance

The Royal Pain Mary Janice Davidson Feb Funny

The Royal Treatment Mary Janice Davidson Feb Funny

Valentine's Day is Killing Me Mary Janice Davidson Romance

Hot Mama Jennifer Estep Superhero romance better than Karma Girl

Karma Girl Jennifer Estep Superhero Romance

Wife for Hire Janet Evanovich Typical JE

To have and to hold Jane Green BORING

Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate Kyra Green Funny, like JE

Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights Kyra Green Funny like JE

Sex, Murder and a Double Latte Kyra Green Funny like JE

So Much For My Happy Ending Kyra Green Not as funny as other books by her but decent

Killer in High Heels Gemma Halliday interesting series, much like Kyra Green

Bloody Bones Laurell Hamilton Vampires

Circus of the Damned Laurell Hamilton Vampires

Guilty Pleasures Laurell Hamilton Vampires

Killing Dance Laurell Hamilton Vampires

Laughing Corpse Laurell Hamilton Vampires

Lunatic Café Laurell Hamilton Vampires

Dead Until Dark Charlaine Harris Vampires

Dead Witch Walking Kim Harrison Whiny witch, needs to change instead of bitching

Killer Insight Victoria Laurie interesting

Bad Boys in black Tie Erin McCarthy Romance

Bit the Jackpot Erin McCarthy vampire romance

Bled Dry Erin McCarthy vampire romance

High Stakes Erin McCarthy vampire romance

Chopping Spree Diane Mott Davidson cooking

Dark Tort Diane Mott Davidson cooking

Double Shot Diane Mott Davidson cooking

Prime Cut Diane Mott Davidson cooking

Sticks and Scones Diane Mott Davidson cooking

Sweet Revenge Diane Mott Davidson cooking

Tough cookie Diane Mott Davidson cooking

We Thought you'd be Prettier Laurie Nataro non-fiction, fairly funny

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire JK Rowling HP

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix JK Rowling July HP

Good in Bed Jennifer Wiemer Read for book club. It was fine but I wouldn't read any others by her. It took too long and didn't hold my attention enough

Barking Goats and the Redneck Mafia Dolores Wilson Funny

Jail Bertie and the Peanut Ladies Dolores Wilson Funny

Blue Moon Laurell Hamilton May Vampire

My son's goal in life… Dave Barry June non-fiction, typical DB, fast read

The book of bad songs Dave Barry June non-fiction, typical DB, fast read

The hipster handbook Anchor Books June Lame

Narcisuss in Chains Laurell Hamilton June Vampire

Cerulean Sins Laurell Hamilton June Vampire

Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris June Read for book club, it was ok, some stories were good but other were hard to get through. Won't push myself to read any of his others

Obsidian Butterfly Laurell Hamilton June Vampire

Cross my Heart and Hope to Die Nancy Martin June Interesting series. Good characters, good plots

Incubus Dreams Laurell Hamilton July Vampires

Micah Laurell Hamilton July Vampires

Danse Macabre Laurell Hamilton July Vampires

The Harliquin Laurell Hamilton July Vampires

Dead over Heals Mary Janice Davidson July Part of the "Undead" series. Not the best, too heavy

Some Like it Lethal Nancy Martin July Interesting series. Good characters, good plots

T is for Trespass Sue Grafton July Very dark SG book. Deals with elder abuse and stalking

Succubus on Top Richelle Mead July Better than expected with the terrible title.

Blood Noir Laurell Hamilton July Vampire

The Good, The Bad and The Undead Kim Harrison Aug Whiny witch, needs to change instead of bitching

Grave Surprise Charlaine Harris Aug Fairly predictable, not nearly as good as the Sookie books

Grave Sight Charlaine Harris Aug Fairly predictable, not nearly as good as the Sookie books

Curly Girl Aug BORING non-fiction about how to care for curly hair

A Fistful of Charms Kim Harrison Aug Whiny witch, needs to change instead of bitching

Dead and Dateless Kimberly Raye Aug Way too over the top and that is saying a lot since it is vampire romance

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince JK Rowling HP

Fearless Fourteen Janet Evanovich Aug Pretty typical number series

Every Witch Way but Dead Kim Harrison Aug Whiny witch, needs to change instead of bitching

A Charmed Death Madelyn Alt Sept No impression

For a Few Demons More Kim Harrison Sept Whiny witch, needs to change instead of bitching

The Other Bolelyn Girl Phillipa Gregory Sept Better than expected for historical fiction. Prompted other books to read later about real relationships

The Trouble with Boys Peg Tyre Sept FANTASTIC! A must read for any mom of boys

Twilight Stephanie Meyer Sept Twilight

New Moon Stephanie Meyer Sept Twilight

Eclipse Stephanie Meyer Sept Twilight

Breaking Dawn Stephanie Meyer Sept Didn't like as much as the other. The POV change ruined it for me

Midnight Sun Stephanie Meyer Sept Better, even, than original

Creation in Death JD Robb Sept Typicaly JD RObb

Living Dead in Dallas Charlaine Harris Sept Sookie

Undead and Unworthy Mary Janice Davidson Oct More "Undead"

Alibi in High Heels Gemma Halliday Oct interesting series, much like Kyra Green

Designed to die Chloe Green Oct No impression

Club Dead Charlaine Harris Oct This was a decent series. The early books were better than the later books but you have to read the whole, you can't quit part way through

Dead to the World Charlaine Harris Oct

Schooled Anisha Lakhani Nov Decent. About a Manhatten teacher turned high priced tutor and the moral delimas that go along with that

Trick or Treat Murder Leslie Meier Nov Interesting series. Nice that it doesn't HAVE to be read in order to understand what is going on, like other series

Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman Nov For the topic, this book was awfully dry. It was very fact based and only talked about a handful of European kings

Better Read than Dead Victoria Laurie Nov This series is another interesting one. It does kind of need to be read in order to understand but you can muddle through if you mess up like I did

Abby Cooper, Physic Eye Victoria Laurie Nov This series is another interesting one. It does kind of need to be read in order to understand but you can muddle through if you mess up like I did

Turkey Day Murder Leslie Meier Nov Interesting series. Nice that it doesn't HAVE to be read in order to understand what is going on, like other series

Too Pretty to Die Susan McBride Nov A little too predictable.

Father's Day Murder Leslie Meier Nov Interesting series. Nice that it doesn't HAVE to be read in order to understand what is going on, like other series

Runaway Ralph Beverly Cleary Dec Kids book. I'm reading it to The Boy and it is over 100 pages so I'm counting it

Have your Cake and Kill Him Too Nancy Martin Dec Interesting series. Good characters, good plots

Bake Sale Murder Leslie Meier Dec Interesting series. Nice that it doesn't HAVE to be read in order to understand what is going on, like other series

Sex with the Queen Eleanor Herman Dec Much better than Kings. More diversity and more details. Way better information

A Vision of Murder Victoria Laurie Dec This series is another interesting one. It does kind of need to be read in order to understand but you can muddle through if you mess up like I did

Birthday Party Murder Leslie Meier Dec Interesting series. Nice that it doesn't HAVE to be read in order to understand what is going on, like other series

New boots

My new boots are FAB!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Worst toy ever

A few months ago, my MIL said she wanted to buy the kids a trampoline for Christmas and she wanted my mom to go in on it with her. Fine, the kids would love that. Then my mom decided that she didn't want to get them a trampoline for Christmas because it would kind of suck to have this cool new toy but be unable to play with it for several months until it got warm enough to be outside. Fine that makes sense. My MIL asked what they would like for Christams since she wasn't getting the trampoline anymore. I told her that The Boy would like to have a Star Wars, The Clone Wars, Elctronic Battleship game. I even sent her a picture of the one we found at Toys R Us so she would know exactly what to look for. She called me a few days later and told me that she wasn't getting him that, she was getting him a remote control helicopter. I told her that was a VERY bad idea, that I wouldn't let him fly it in the house and that she should pass and get what I suggested. It was then that she told that she had already bought and I pointed out that stores accept returns because it was NOT A GOOD CHOICE for a gift.

So today was Christmas with the ILs and it went about as predicted. The kids ran around and made grandma and grandpa quite crazy. BIL and SIL were grumpy that they even had to be there and I was ready to tear all the freaking heads off. Of course, they insist on eating before opening presents, which is practically a hanging offense in our house. The kids refused to eat and then my MIL told them they couldn't have their presents if they didn't eat. That was when I stepped in and told her to back off, that wasn't going to happen. So eventually, everyone got done eating and the kids opened their presents. TB got a helicopter and MT got a "bounce back" remote control car. You run it forward, it runs into the wall, flips over and comes back. Whatever, not driving it in my house. H (RF's niece) a zero gravity car that runs up the walls. None of the toys were charged and the kid whose toy just took AA batteries was told she could drive her because it wouldn't be fair to the older kids who couldn't play with their toys. Good call, get kids toys with batteries, don't charge them and then don't let them play with them either. Super fun Christmas all around, thanks for playing!

The worst toy EVER award goes the helicopter that TB got. First of all, it is tiny, probably not bigger than the palm of my hand. Second, you put 6 AA in the control and hook the heli up to it to charge. You have to let it charge between 30 and 40 minutes and then let it cool for 10-15, so you are looking at nearly as hour of charging time. That's fine, you probably get a couple of days use out of like with the DS and the portable DVD players, right? WRONG! Way wrong, as a matter of fact. For every hour that you charge it, you get 5-6 minutes of flight time!! What a waste of $50! He was bitching and whining about how long it was going to take before it ever got plugged in. After about the second time, I'm going to be done with listening to that crap and I'm going to throw the whole toy in the garbage. Way to get a great a toy, grandma!

I told RF next I'm telling his mom buy only the gifts that I tell you to buy or don't bother buying anything. She can't make good choices on her own so I will give a list of approved items and that will be it. I will not have another year of this!