Saturday, November 27, 2010


I've blogged in the past Meeting with the teacher, Smiley face charts, Reading problem about issues we have had at school. First grade was a nightmare but last year was the best ever! This year, we didn't get the teacher we requested but I was ok with the teacher that we got. She is kind of quite and very gentle, which would be great, if she had control of her classroom. She really doesn't. Her discipline style is to say "ok, guys, now settle down, shh, quite now" quietly and repeatedly throughout the day.

WF is about where he should be academically, but is just barely holding on to grade level. He has also had an issue with a bully at school, who has gathered several other kids to gang up on him. They have been cornering him out of sight of the teacher and taking turns pinching him repeatedly, until he falls down on the ground crying. I talked to the assistant principle about it and he said he would "observe the situation", which he did for a few days. I also went to school for a week or so at recess to keep an eye on it. Nothing happened while I was there but the AP called the kids in and talked to them about it so they knew they were being watched and likely didn't pull anything. He also complains about not having any friends. He says that no one wants to play with him and he spends recess alone.

Besides all this, he has started getting in trouble at school. A few weeks ago, there was an incident in class where a kid was talking to him and he spit while talking. WF turned to the kid and said "don't spit on me" and apparently spit while he was saying it. The kid then spit on him on purpose and they both ended up in the principal's office. They spent the whole afternoon there, not getting any of their work done. Then a week later, there was a problem on the playground. He was apparently playing basketball and lost control of the ball and it bounced into another kid. The kid thought he did it on purpose so he threw the ball back and hit him in the chest. WF stumbled backwards into another kid, who thought he did it on purpose and shoved him forward into the first kid. Eventually, they all ended up on the ground rolling around, possibly throwing punches and elbows (no one was clear on the story at that point). Because the details were "murky" WF earned an in school suspension for his part in it. He served that on Friday of last week.

Then on Monday, he was playing with the girls who have been picking on him. We have pointed out to him a million times that they are not the right people to play with, no matter how popular they are. They aren't nice people, aside from being bullies and he should just avoid them. They were playing tag and when he joined in, they changed it from regular tag to having to hold the person on the ground for 15 seconds. Can you see how this is a HORRIBLE idea in the making? Well, once he held the girl down for 15 seconds, they decided to keep him it that the rule was actually 17 seconds. After he did that, they again changed the rule to 20 seconds. While he was holding her for 20 seconds, he was holding her by her neck and accidentally choking her. The girls were yelling at him to let her up but he didn't realize he was hurting him. Once he let her up, she ran off crying and the other girls ran to the principal to say that he was hurting them.

So because he has a pattern of bad behavior, he got in trouble. No one bothered to take into account that he isn't a bad kid and wasn't doing it maliciously. No one bothered to pay attention to the fact that he was playing by the rules the girls set out for him and had no idea he was hurting someone. Nope, he was automatically the bad guy and got suspended on Tuesday for it. Not only was he suspended, Tuesday was the night of the Third Grade musical. The only performance opportunity he will have in that school since he was in first grade and the last one until he is in 5th grade, because the music department in that school sucks.

So now he is a bad kid, with a reputation. I feel like the school is failing (and has been failing) him academically, socially and emotionally. I feel like he has a label now and anytime anything happens, he will automatically get in trouble. My real concern is that if someone is bullying him (which we know has happened as recently as a few weeks ago), he has to simply take it. If he fights back in anyway, he will be accused of fighting and will get another suspension. I asked the school to assign him and aide to accompany him throughout the day. He is struggling with direction in the classroom (he has always had issues with being overwhelmed with too many choices and his teacher doesn't seem willing to say to him "you need to do this, then this" so she lets him flounder until he gets in trouble for not making good choices) and obviously has issues at recess. I told the AP that he needs someone to sit on top of him and derail those bad choices that are leading to bad behavior, before they get started. I was told aides are only available for kids with IEPs that the law dictates must have aides. I was told that during recess he could "check in" with the recess supervisor, who would then help him get involved in whatever organized activity was taking place that day (usually either soccer or basketball) so that he "stays out of trouble"! Seriously, not the answer to the problem but all the school is going to give him.

I'm seriously considering pulling him out for the rest of the year and homeschooling him. I feel like he is immature both socially and academically. I feel like he needs time to get ahead on school work and mature a little bit. Ideally, I would like to pt him back in at the beginning of 4th grade and let him finish out school there before going to middle school. We are having the same impulse control conversations with him I have with my preschoolers. No, it isn't ok to hug your friend until you fall on the ground or grab someone's arm during a game of tag and swing them into the tree. He just doesn't get it, despite having heard those same kinds of things since he was 2. RF is pretty against the idea of pulling him but I really feel like he needs the extra time and attention. I need to call the district and get the details on a temporary leave but I really think that starting second semester, we will be doing school at home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It is like Planet of the Apes around here

MF and I had to run to the store for a few things tonight and she was telling me that she learned that farmers are important because they grow all of our food for us. So we were talking about where different things came from like cheese and eggs. I asked her were pork roast came from. She said "from Porks" Then I asked about coffee and bananas. She didn't know about coffee but said that bananas came from monkeys. I laughed and of course she got mad, telling me that the people that live with the monkeys climb the trees and pick the bananas to give to the monkeys. She doesn't believe that the monkeys can get their own bananas.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eating on Food Stamps

The question that Chambanamoms posed was "could your family survive on food stamp budget" because Amy is taking the Feeding Illinois challenge. The rules are pretty simple. You $4.50 per person day for your grocery budget. A family of 4 would get $18 dollars a day or 126 for a week. You aren't allowed to eat out, and you aren't allowed to use food already in your house, unless you cost out the portion that you use from your budget.

I don't know about your grocery budget, but the reality for me is that I would really like to have a food stamp budget. For our family of 4, we budget $300 a month for groceries (if you did the math, the SNAP budget is $504 a month), $150 out of each check. Occasionally, I go over budget (which I realize isn't an option for food stamps) like my last trip when I hadn't been for over a month because of the move. And we also eat out occasionally, which, again, I realize isn't a reality for food stamp participants. However, included in our grocery budget is our paper goods and cleaning supplies, which wouldn't be included in a food stamp budget and the food for the kids' packed lunches for school. If we were really on food stamps, we would also be getting free or reduced lunch at school and the kids would eat what was on the menu so those things would be slashed from my budget.

I understand the point of the challenge. If you have a $200 a week grocery budget, it can be pretty eye opening to see how little food stamp participants get. But I don't. I have an even smaller budget and I manage to eat just fine. None of us are going hungry, we eat meat, we get fresh fruits and vegetables and I even buy convenience foods.

My question to you is where is the break down? This budget is livable and workable with very little effort. I shop at 2 stores, both within a block of each other, I don't clip coupons and we survive just fine. I even kept to my budget while doing Weight Watchers, were I only ate low fat, high fiber foods (which is another point of contention. Why is my bag of spinach $1.99 but a bag of Doritos is $.99?).

The change isn't more money being thrown at the program. Perhaps the program should come with some basic budget, shopping, and nutrition classes to help the participants get more for their money? I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that not only will I take the challenge, I live the challenge every day and have for years and have no problem living that way.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kitchen remodel

Part of the reason we wanted to buy this house was that there was nothing that HAD to be done to move in. There were, and still are, things we want to do but we didn't have to do anything to be able to live here. The kitchen was probably the ugliest part of the house but it still wasn't that bad.

Because the living room and kitchen are all one big space, we had J and K Painting go ahead and do the kitchen the same color as the living room, which is Latte. As it was going on, I kept thinking "This is ok", then it started to dry and looked almost chocolate and I didn't like I would be able to tolerate it. Once it dried completely, it was a nice medium brown color that really looks great with the white of the cabinets.

You can sort of see the sink in the above picture but what you can't see is that it was a beat up, white porcelain mess that didn't have a sprayer or a garbage disposal. The faucet was too low to be able to fill my tea pitcher with and it was a very shallow sink. I was able to put one bowl and one plate in the sink before it looked like it was overflowing.

Somewhere along the line, I got signed up for ReStore newsletter and I told RF I wanted to check it out a couple of weeks ago, while we were looking for a table. Worst case, they had nothing and we had wasted 20 minutes. While we were there, we saw that they had some pretty decent stainless steel sinks. We ended up picking one up for $15. We got it all apart this morning and I threw it in the bathtub and scrubbed it clean. It looks almost brand new! We had planned to use the hardware that was on the current sink because while it wasn't the latest, greatest, it was here and it didn't cost any extra money. While we were out getting a few things last night, I ran across a nice high neck faucet that came with a sprayer. It was in brushed nickel so it looks like it matches the sink pretty well.

RF and my FIL spent the morning getting it all installed

And installing my fancy new garbage disposal. We run into old school copper pipe so FIL recommended a better grind and one that was safe for septic systems. We got it and are just waiting for him to run power to it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My super fab table

Since I haven't really had a dining room in 7 years, I haven't had a dining room table, either. The table that RF and I had when we were first married is s small, cafe type table, with a glass top that I never thought would work well with kids. We've just used TV trays or lap desks on the floor and it has been fine. Since our new house has an eat in kitchen, we decided we needed an actual table to eat at. I have a friend that owns some property and she said to me one day "I had a tenant move out and leave a bunch of stuff behind and one of the things is a table, do you want it?" I said sure since free is free, even if it is junk.

We picked it up and the side rails (made of crappy pressboard, you can see the cracks in the first two pictures) were cracked at the screw holes and the top was a mess. The top was real wood though and I decided that I could give refinishing it a shot. I called my FIL and got his electric sanders and RF and I went to town on it. This picture is right after we started sanding for the first time

When RF was dragging it out the second day, he pulled one of the legs off because the press board was cracked under there too. He sent me to Menard's to get 2x4s and have them cut to fit the table. He attached them for me and we were ready to paint. This picture is after the final sanding.

After it was completely sanded, I had to wipe it all down with mineral spirits to get all the dust off and then I put on 3 coats of varnish to the top and sides (I felt like it could use another couple so it was all perfectly glass like and smooth, but 3 was really plenty). After that was all dry, we flipped it over on some towels and painted the legs and the new side rails white. This is the final picture. As soon as I get all the boxes out of my kitchen, it is ready to be used. Total cost of the table: $15. Total time investment:5 hours.

Now that I have figured out that it is oh so easy to refinish a table, I'm having RF take apart my OLD ugly dark wood end tables that my parents bought when I was about 3 and then gave to me when I moved out 10 years ago and I'm redoing them in a nice light color.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Wild Freak's room

This is a view of the door of WF's room before we painted it.

Do you know how hard it is to paint for a little boy, who isn't a preschooler but wants something cool in his room? They make a ton of stuff with Disney characters, etc but not a whole lot for the tween set. After much struggling, we settled on green for the walls.

In a few weeks, he gets to put up stickers like these and he has a cool orange floor light to go with it.

PS, this is a nicely done J&K room, instead of the sloppy painting we did in the pink and purple room. They did such a great job on painting. We managed to get the entire house done in a day with their help. If we had tried to do it ourselves, we might still be over there painting.

Final picture

A couple of days ago, I posted pictures of MF's room in the new house and the new wall we had to put in. We finally painted it last night and it is ready to be moved into. It is pink and purple and she will be putting up pink princess and castle wall stickers like these in a few weeks. If you look over the door, you can see a little bit of the pink that we did 2 walls in.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The joys of homeowner ship

We closed on our house today. They said the closing would take about an hour but of course, that was a dirty lie. First they had the wrong number on some form so she had to fix it. While she was fixing it, the bank emailed her and said "oops, the closing cost you have is wrong, fix it and we'll approve it later" So it ended up taking 2.5 hours but we got it done and it was fine.

The plan for the weekend was to prep the kids' room for paint today, paint part tomorrow and the rest on Sunday, since MF wanted walls that were 2 different colors.

In order to do that, we needed to rip down the panelling that was in her room because it was UGLY. So we got in there and started ripping down the panelling about noon. The first wall came down, no problem. There were a million nail holes but I've worked mud before so I knew what I was doing with that. Then we got to the second wall. Evan started pulling the panelling down, to find that they used glue on it and instead of coming off and leaving a few nail holes, it was tearing off chucks of drywall with it.

I called my friend who is going to help us paint tomorrow and asked her if she thought the wall was salvageable and she said she really didn't think so, that when they have walls that look like that, they end up replacing the drywall. I decided that drywall isn't rocket science so we headed to Lowes and bought stuff to drywall with (including the knife, putty knife, etc because we really have nothing). We got started tearing down the old drywall about 4:30. We had it down to bare studs by 8

After we ate, we cleaned up some of the mess and started cutting and hanging the new. A few minor hiccups, like my not holding the top board tight enough so one side drooped a little and had to be moved, later and we had a wall. While Evan put in a million screws, I patched the nail holes in the other wall and then did the screws on our brand new drywall. We need to tape and mud and sand tomorrow but once that is done, the wall will be ready to paint. Since MF has now decided that she doesn't want 2 different colors on each wall, it will be a lot easier to do and we should be able to handle it ourselves. We finished all the mud up about 10, so a total of hour 6 hours work.

The new plan is to paint as much as we can tomorrow and spend Sunday cleaning the carpets and scrubbing the garage floor and so forth.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

They're so fluffy, I'm gonna DYE!

Back in April, we dyed WF's hair blond. He really enjoyed having the blond mohawk last year and thought it would be fun to do the whole head.

He said he was going to grow it out, but every time it got in his eyes, he decided he wanted it cut. In May, I paid to have it cut and was irritated that I paid $12 to have him look like Spock, I said "never again". Yesterday, he asked to have it cut and I said I would do it at home. I did, it was a fail!

This doesn't show the back that was bi-level, two tone mess. The only way to fix it was to buzz it all off. He was sad about losing the blond but his hair was pretty trashed from having the blond and swimming and sun so it wasn't the worst thing to get rid of it in favor of the healthier, un-dyed hair that has grown in since April.

BUT! He didn't want boring brown hair so I agreed to help him dye it BLACK! It is sure black too.

Because it isn't cool for her brother to get something and her not to, I agreed to put the pink streaks she has been asking for for months in her hair. I chose not to bleach it, to start, because I don't want her to have blond streaks forever in that hair we are trying to grow out. So, they aren't terribly noticeable and even less in the picture but she has 2 cotton candy pink streaks on either side of her face! She is going to be the coolest Kindergartener ever! :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things that are going on

I was looking back at my blog yesterday and realized that aside from overheards, I haven't posted anything much at all for a while. So it is time for an update!

Back in April, we started looking at possibly buying a house. We don't have a lease where we live, exactly. My parents rent this place and sub-lease us the basement apartment so we can leave whenever but they have another year on the lease. The plan had been is look casually for awhile and get serious about the search a little after Christmas. This would have put us a little closer to the end of the lease and allowed us some time to save a little more money for closing and down payments and things. We started looking and right away found a house that we really liked, in our price range. We called the realtor and started the process of putting in an offer. Apparently, right before we called someone else called and put in a higher, cash, offer on the house. We decided we were too early in the process to get into a bidding war and passed on it.

We kept looking and saw several houses that were so not right. I found one that looked good. It was listed for 109k and had 1500 sq ft. We looked at it and decided that we really liked it. Our realtor told us that if we wanted it, we needed to move on it because he had 2 appointments over the weekend to see it as well. We opted to put in an offer that afternoon and he said he would call the next day with details about signing the contract. They ended up accepting our offer of 106k. The next day (Friday of Memorial Day weekend), he called and said that something happened with the house they were supposed to be buying (apparently, the woman couldn't afford it so she was selling it but once she had an offer, she quit paying her mortgage meaning she couldn't get a loan to move so they couldn't move so we couldn't move). They ended up, despite some finagling with extended closing dates and things, deciding to pull the house off the market completely. We were pretty bummed but kept looking, at least sort of.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided we should start looking in earnest again and looked at another bunch of houses. We looked at one that the neighborhood was a little dicey. The house was decent enough but the surrounding houses were not great. We also looked at an older one near us that the porch was falling off of and everything inside was scuffed and scraped and creaky. Then we looked at a house near the pool. It was listed at 114k had 1063 sq ft with a decent backyard and an attached garage. As soon as we walked inside, I was fairly sure I wanted the house. It has 3 bedrooms and a kitchen, dining room, living room combo. It is 2 blocks from the pool, a park and the schools the kids will go to when they are older. It is .2 miles closer to the school they go to now. After haggling for what seemed liked the whole night, we got them down to 107k. We got a signed contract the next day. We've met with the bank lady to sign things and we have the inspection Weds at 4. Assuming the inspection goes well and the house appraises out ok (it should but you never know), we will close on July 30th. The plan is to do the painting (the house is a nice neutral color but to get the kids excited about the move away from Nonni and the only house either one has ever known, we promised they could paint their bedrooms) and some cleaning that weekend and start moving over the next week. RF has vacation the second week of August so anything not done by then will get finished up that week.

The long term plan is convert the garage into a family room, although I intend to use it as such right away. The kids can just deal with the concrete floor and avoid the door until we can take it out and add a real floor with carpet. Eventually, we want to move the door to the back yard over and add a second bathroom, at least a half bath, anyway.

That is the big news but other news is that we are out of school for the summer and spending lots of time hanging out at the pool. Wild Freak is doing College for Kids last week and this, which is cutting into our pool time but he is having fun with it. He is doing Lights, Camera, Action. So far, they have done an infomercial and a talk show. MF got into WF's school (not that siblings generally get separated but it can happen) We requested a different teacher for her than WF had. His teacher was nice enough but I think that MF needs a more consistent structure. We'll find out at registration who she gets so we are excited for that. DSD is also visiting this summer. She is staying with MIL during the week and visits us on Sunday and Monday when RF is off. Things are a little better than summers past, but I think it has as much to do with limited contact as anything else. She goes home in about 10 days. I've learned how to knit as well this summer. I made a skinny scarf for MF and I've started a scarf for WF. It is supposed to be ribbed, but I think I've done something wrong, since it has no pattern to it at all.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Overheard: That is NOT a good name for a band edition

WF: Hey Mom, do you know what my favorite "Black Guys Pee" song is?
Me: What?!
WF: I like that song by the "Black Guys Pee", you know the one about "I've got a Feeling"
Me: Oh you mean BLACK EYED PEAS
WF: That is what I said.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Overheard: Hey, I have a captive audience edition

MF: Mom, I think you should buy that house. I like it
Me: Yeah baby, I know but someone else offered to buy it and we don't want to spend that much money on that house
MF: Well, I have some money in my piggy bank. You can borrow that and then you won't have to spend your money on it.'
Me: Thanks but you don't have to spend your money on a house
MF: Oh, can I use it buy something for me then?

MF: Mom, sorry I'm mean sometimes. Do you know why I'm mean sometimes?
Me: I have no idea why
MF: Because I'm half girl, half evil
Me: Oh

MF: Mom, I miss Kalahari. I wish we could go back. Maybe we could live there. If I lived there, I would go every day and use that fun outdoor pool. But since we live here and not there, maybe we should just go visit this summer and use the outdoor pool.
Me: That would be fun but we aren't taking a vacation this summer because we are saving our money to buy a house.
MF: You mean if we don't buy a house, we could go to Kalahari? Then forget about that house. I like my room. We don't need to move, just Forget. About. It.

MF: When I'm grow up, I'm going to name my kids Flower, Rose Petal and Junior. But then the dog licked me and when you get licked by a dog, you get dog cooties and that means when you grow up, you have to married a dog and have dog kids. I guess I will name them Flower, Rose Petal and Junior but I don't really want to have doggie kids or marry a dog. I shouldn't let the dog lick me anymore so that doesn't happen.
Me: *thinking* Have you taken a breath yet and really how far away is this freaking store!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Overheard: Well she sort of reminds me of her

Tonight at dinner, I was telling RF about The Bloggess and how she got in trouble with eBay for trying to sell her cat with her camera that was damaged by ghosts.

MF started acting all weird and freaked out and crying about ghosts. RF told her that there were no such thing as ghosts. She looked at WF and said
Mom was telling Dad that Quigs had a ghost in her house and it BROKE HER CAMERA!
Me: Baby, I wasn't talking about Quigs. I was talking about a lady I don't know who was being funny. She wasn't serious about the ghosts.
MF: Oh, well, ok.

I told RF The Bloggess does sort of remind me of Quigs a little in her humor and writing style but I'm kind of wondering how MF made that leap.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bloggers without makeup

Starting with The Bloggess and following up with Heathen Family Revival, I've been reading about a new thing going around the blog world about bloggers posting pictures of themselves without makeup. I haven't decided if it is fair for me to participate in this because 99% of my pictures are of me without makeup because I rarely wear makeup (although my newest FB profile picture is of meaning wearing makeup and I look freaking fantastic). I've never really cared that much about how I look. I'm all about comfort and ease of use.

Pre-kids, I told someone that if it takes you longer than 15 minutes from the moment you wake up to walking out the door, you take too much time. Of course, no matter how simple your life is, once you add kids to the mix, you should figure at least 15 minutes per person. I like to go places, like the water park and laugh at all the women wearing piles of makeup and with done hair. The first trip in the wave pool and you are going to look like a fool and you wasted all that time getting ready.

Just for fun, I thought I would take a new picture with photo booth. It was surprisingly difficult to get a decent picture out of it. And I don't even mean a decent picture of me. I mean a decent picture at all. :(


For contrast, here is my user picture, where I'm rocking the makeup and I have good lighting with a professional photographer. See the difference? :) Don't get used to the second one, you won't see it very often :)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Party Time! Excellent!

Today was Magnificent Freak's birthday party. I know her birthday isn't for two more weeks but we had her party today because, as I may have mentioned, my friend Fearless Phantom, is a freaking genius! We had talked about having MF's party at the movie theater but back in March, I had no idea what was coming out when and I wanted to get it planned. I had pretty much scrapped the idea (as well as FCC since apparently, you have to book it 3-5 months in advance for parties) when FP suggested trying to have the party at the free matinee. I called them and they said not only, "no problem, why can do that" but also said "plus with that amount of people, you'll get a discount on concessions"! Score! Genius, I tell you! So we booked the theater and sent out the invitations and Quigs emailed this idea for a cake. Again, Genius!

It was super easy to make, even for me, and tasted pretty decent. In that email, she also told me that they had movie themed stuff at Michael's in the dollar section. Who even knew that Michael's had a dollar section? Again I must say "Score"! So I got some need popcorn boxes and filled them with tiny cans of pop, microwave popcorn and candy. Goodie bags, done.

We invited 10 kids and their families and ended up with 37 people, 19 of them kids! I got to the theater at 9:30 to be sure that I got enough seats. I took crepe paper and reserved signed and taped off several rows of seats so we could all sit together. My parents came out with the kids at 10:30 and helped save seats so I could wait for the kids in the lobby. As they came in, each kid ordered their drink for their munchie box and FP helped usher them all to their seats. They all did a great job hanging out and watching the movie. While the kids were watching the movie, my parents decorated the party "room".

When the movie was over, the kids all came out to the party room and had cake.


Quigs and Loosey showed up, all sweaty from running a FREAKING MARATHON! The kids got their cool goodie boxes and headed for home (or to run their part of the marathon, in some cases). MF was super excited to get home and open her presents. I was amused that Quigs and Loosey got her the same card. It seems that great minds either think alike or go shopping together LOL

Monday, April 26, 2010

Overheard: Maybe a little stalker-ish edition

WF and MF were talking about Justin "Beaver" today in the car.

WF: I wish I knew him, I would invite him to dinner so we could talk about his career

Me: Yeah? What would you talk to him about his career?

WF: Like when he learned to play guitar and how cool it is to be a rock star

MF: I wish I had a phone so I could text him. We could have a text chat

WF: You can't text him.

MF: Why not?

WF: You don't have a phone and he has lawyers

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Blogess

I used to read Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper before she decide to write a novel on her blog and lost her funny.

I recently discovered The Bloggess who is just like Boobs, before she got unfunny. The post I linked is about boobie mushrooms! You know you need to read this lady! LOL

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sleepy Chef

A few months ago, we have The Charming Phantom over for a sleep over. Friday night, her mom offered to reciprocate so WF went over there after Funfest. I fully expected a call in the middle of the night but none came so I assumed everything was ok. Saturday, I had a class all day, so my dad picked him up and my parents took him to his soccer game. I got a text from my mom saying "sleepover didn't go so well. Call me at lunch" On my lunch break, I called and she told me what happened. Apparently, The Fearless Phantom woke up about 4 am and heard talking. She went into the playroom, where the kids were "sleeping" and found them sitting on the bed, playing Sorry! She told them it was lights out and they insisted that they had already been to bed and were now up. She told them to get back in bed and they did so she went back to bed herself.

When she got up Saturday morning, she found 5 small bowls and a banana sitting on the table. At first, she thought someone had poured orange juice, but when she looked closer, she figured out they were bowls of uncooked scrambled eggs. When she asked WF what they were doing there, he said "well, when we were up this morning, I was hungry so I decided to make some eggs, but I can't cook them so I set them on the table. I thought I would make some for everyone. CP was there but she didn't have anything to do with it, she was mostly asleep the whole time" She thanked him for being thoughtful and as soon as he turned his back, she tossed the 4 hour old eggs.

When I got home, I was asking him about it and I asked if it clued him in that it was still dark outside. He said "nope, every morning when I get up, it is dark"

What were you thinking? "Well at first, I was confused because I couldn't find any bowls, but then I found some and it was ok"

Why 5 eggs? "Well, I made one for everyone that eats eggs"

Oh, did you not make one for AP?(youngest sister) "No, I didn't make one for CP, because she doesn't eat eggs, but I put a banana out for her so she could eat with us"

Ah, your 4 am foray into cooking all makes sense now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Overheard: Really? Edition

Tonight, I was watching CSI and the opening scene is of a dog barking. The man and woman are laying on the bed and he says to her "it is your turn to deal with that dog" She said the dog was probably tormenting a opossum.

I was planning to switch over the clothes and paused the show. As I got up, I commented to RF "This is CSI. If the dog is barking, you are probably going to fine a dead body on your lawn and it won't be a opossum" then I walked away.

RF: Well, the dog has quit barking and the lady hasn't come back yet
Me: Uh, I PAUSED it
RF: Oh. Shut up, I hate you


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oh, this old thing?

So my friend Quigs makes awesome purses. She made me this

fantastic purse for my birthday and I use it all the time. Talking to her is quite a hoot too because she is constantly saying "I could totally make that" and I believe her. For someone that had nothing to do with a sewing machine 2 months ago, she has turned into a regular Martha Stewart! :) However, when she gave me my fancy bag, her first comment was "don't look to close at the stitches". Of course, me being me the first thing I did was turn it inside out and check all the seams. I found one little spot that wasn't perfectly straight. Other than that, it looked fantastic and there was no way I could do something like that!

I started embroidery when I was a kid. I was about 12 when my aunt got pregnant with my cousin and I decided to make her a bear and bunny baby name sampler. Unfortunately, I'm tragically slow at the process so I never got it finished for him. I ended up finishing it for WF. Since then, I've worked mostly with cross stitch and WF took one I just finished for him, with tree frogs, to show to Quigs at lunch today. She looked at it and commented on how nice it looked and the very thing out of my mouth was, "don't look at the orange frog, he is all 'Picasso' because I messed up the counts". Then she turned it over to look at the back (presumably to see if she could make something like it LOL) and I said "the back of that one is so ugly, look at this other one that I'm working on"

She seemed fairly impressed with them and I can tell you I'm totally impressed with her sewing so my question is "why do we do that"? It isn't just us, either. I see so many people, when complimented about something they are capable of doing, even if it isn't perfect, saying stuff like "oh, don't look at that" or "well, it isn't the best". Is this a learned "skill"? Is this something that people see other people doing and assume it is something that they should do also? Is this something guys do? It doesn't seem like it, but then no guys I know really do anything crafty so I'm dealing with a potentially abnormal subset of the population.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm sure no one else is surprised

Tonight MF went to Bloomington with my mom and WF for rock climbing. I got home from PTA before they did and was watching Ru Paul's drag race on VH1 when they got home. She headed for bed and watched a few minutes of the performances while I talked to WF. When I came back she told me "those girls are SO pretty, I wanna do that when I grow up" So now, apparently her career aspirations have shifted from "disco dancing queen" to "drag queen". At least drag queens are in higher demand so maybe she could actually make money at it. Of course, there is the whole "not being male" thing that stands in the way, but you know, whatevs :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Overheard: Enough already edition

We have been going skating a couple of times a week for the past couple of weeks. MF really shows a talent for it and LOVES going. WF has always liked it and was disappointed when we weren't going as often as he would like. While we were there last week, I ran into an old friend of my brother's and we were talking while we skated.

After she skated away, WF skated up and said: Hey, who was that
Me: A friend of D's
WF: Oh yeah? Does she have a sister?
Me: Uh, no but she has a daughter your age
WF: Do you think you could introduce me?
Me: Dude, don't you think you have enough girl friends?
WF: Nope. So, you gonna introduce me?
Me: Fine


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Music to my ears

Back in November, I caused a stir by sending an unauthorized email to our PTA email list regarding the lack of performances for half the school. I was asked to resign moderatorship of the list, which I refused. Since then, my reception with the PTA has been "cool" at best (including several facebook unfriendings, which FB totally ratted them out about by offering them as suggestions for people I might know LOL) . Of course, having fans has never been my motivation in life and I have not let the subject drop( raise your hand if you really thought I would. I'm the person that wouldn't eat at Chevy's for 3 years because i broke my toe there and no one asked if I was ok).

Because of my persistence in the matter, the music teacher was invited to the November PTA meeting, where, after seeing it wasn't my own personal crazy and other parents didn't like it either, she agreed to schedule some in class performances for the grades not doing musicals. Lame and a total cop-out, when she easily could have put an additional grade on stage before the musical, had them sing a couple of songs and be done, however, after she made it clear that she isn't REQUIRED to do ANY type of performance, I figured it was the best we were going to get and decided to leave well enough alone.

Since November, I have emailed her at least 3 different times, asking when she plans to get the performances scheduled. At the meeting, we were told they would be in January, February and March, so they would be over by the spring musical in April. Well, as of today, not only have none been done, none are even scheduled. I emailed her again tonight, asking for a concrete date and not the blow off she has given me the other times I've emailed about it. Her previous email, sent Feb 1st, said she knew the "what" (inviting parents to join the class in their classroom and seeing music education first hand) but not the when. She assured me parents would have plenty of notice about it.

Tonight's email pointed out that we are near the end of 3rd quarter, that I'm emailing about this AGAIN and I'm afraid these things she promised, in the face of angry parents, won't actually happen because the end of the year gets crazy. I also cced the principal on this email, hoping to encourage her to get some concrete information to parents.

I really think she believes if she ignores this long enough, I'll drop it. Not only is she totally off-base with that idea, she is sadly mistaken if she thinks that once my kid in in a grade that performs, I'll back off about it. What she fails to realize, I'm certain, is that I have another kid coming in and they will be on opposite years. Until my kids or that teacher is gone from that school, I won't be letting this subject drop. She doesn't understand the mess she has unleashed on herself by tangling with me. I will NEVER let her off the hook.

However, I'm at the point that fighting the battle by myself isn't that effective. So, if I haven't heard from her by the end of the week, I intend to pull out my handy-dandy school directory and type in all the email addresses of all of the K, 2nd, and 4th grade parents (198 students out of 407 total) and encourage them to start contacting her and the principal. It is time this is taken care of. When I sent the original email to the PTA list, I was accused of "trying to start a riot" against this teacher and encouraging a "torch and pitchfork mentality" among the parents. Honestly, if that is what people want to believe about me, then I'm willing to make it a self-fulfilling prophesy. I will not use the email list to contact the parents because that is viewed as an abuse of my moderator powers. However, everyone in the school has the directory (I know, I made and passed out all the copies myself) and has the same ability that I do to contact other parents to take a stand.

On slightly more positive note, I'm willing to bet no one approaches me about being on the board this year. LOL

Despite this issue, I still love the school. I still think the administration and staff are among the best in the district. I think, in general, the teachers are hard working and really care about the kids. I think that the parents are involved and everyone is interested in making the school the best that it can be. This is a minor detail in the grand scheme of school choices but it is my current soapbox.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Overheard: what are they teaching you at that school edition

Little girl at school: Hey, do you know what x-rated means
Little boy: blank stare
Me: (thinking) holy crap this could get really bad, really fast but I don't want to make a huge deal out of it, in case it is nothing
LG: I was x-rated once
Me: WTF!
LG yeah, it was my ear, they took pictures of it.
Me: Oh, you mean x-RAYED, not x-rated! woo

Little boy: get out of the way, fat ass.
Other teacher: you don't say that, not nice, apologize, time out etc
Little boy called name: He didn't call me fat ass, he called me Fed Ex

Seriously, so going to be my new insult!

MT: I don't know how to play this game.
Non: Well let me look at the directions and I'll tell you what to do.
MT: I already read the directions and they didn't do any good.
Non: Uh, you can't read, that is why they didn't help.
MT: huh, maybe that's why


Monday, January 11, 2010

Fried chicken

Over the last year, we've gone down to Springfield to Kicks several times. They used to have an all you eat buffet with some really tasty fried chicken. Fortunately, for my weight loss, they have done away with the buffet and went to a pizza place with a salad bar. We went down over the weekend and my mom and the kids had pizza and cheese sticks and I had salad bar. But going down there really made me want fried chicken. So I got on Hungry Girl and found her Faux Fried Chicken recipe because all of her stuff is sensible points (and she includes point values on the recipes) and I made this tonight for dinner.

I don't use garlic salt so I subbed garlic powder and salt and it could have used a little more salt but really? Super good and only 4 points per serving (6oz raw chicken). I will be making this again.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My books for 2009

Some of these have reviews, towards the end, I gave up on that. Anyway, 127 at best count because I'm sure there was at least a few that didn't make the list because they were kind of forgettable.

Tippy Toe Murder Leslie Meier Jan

Too Many Crooks Tamara Myers Jan Good book. Quick read. Interested to read more

Mom, Apple Pie and Murder Nancy Pickens Jan Boring. Several short stories. A few were good and made me want to look up the author but most I just couldn't wait to finish

Star spangled Murder Leslie Meier Jan

High Heels and Homocide Kasey Michaels Jan This started off slow but wound up nicely and I'm looking forward to more

Crime Seen Victoria Laurie Jan Best VL book yet. Abby and Dutch weren't fighting the whole book and it was less creepy

Blue Blood Susan McBride Jan Took longer that I would have liked to read but it was decent. Read out of order but other than her relationship, I couldn't tell.

Just Plain Pickled Tamar Myers Jan Took a little to get into but it is quite funny once it starts

3 willows Ann Brashares Jan Continuation of the Sisterhood

Drop Dead Blond Nancy Martin Jan Anthalogy Well done books from good authors

Nothing to Fear but Ferrets Linda Johnston Jan Kendra Ballantyne mystery

Fine Feathered Death Linda Johnston Feb Much easier to get through than ferrets

Meow for Murder Linda Jonhston Feb More development of the story awfully predictable

Mail order murder Leslie Meyer Feb First book, many contradictions to future character development

A crazy little thing called death Nancy Martin Feb Not the best Blackbird book, a little crazy premise

Bubbles a Blaze Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Bubbles is quite fun.

Bubbles All the Way Sarah Strohmeyer Feb Good until the end, then it just got strange

Nursery Crimes Ayelet Waldman Feb Meh, decent story, bad characters

Murder of a Smart Cookie Denise Swanson Feb Totally out of order. Need to read the rest of the series to get a better handle
on where things stand

Murder of a real Bad Boy Denise Swanson Feb Follows right after Cookie. Starting to make some sense

Death Perception Victoria Laurie Mar Good whodunit but a little predictable

Don of the Dead Casey Daniels March Slow to start but a solid base to an interesting series

The Chick and the Dead Casey Daniels March Further charcter development, she seems to be getting in to her role as

Are you there Vodka Chelsea Handler March Way Funnier than expected. LOLed in many parts

Plum spooky Janet Evanovich March JE. Laughed so hard at parts, I woke up Lizzie. Super quick read

Nip, Tuck Dead Lori Avocato Mar Took some getting into but then was fairly fast. Main character was a little annoying and
the story was Predictable!

White Witch,Black Curse Kim Harrison Mar Resolved the mystery at the end of the last book. 500 pages, so took a little while
to read

On What Grounds Cleo Coyle Mar Quick read, finally first in a series. Interested in further developments

Killer Cocktail Sheryl Anderson Mar Second in a series. Seems to really need the other book to make sense. Main characters whines about guy too much

Muder with Peacocks Donna Andrews Mar Read fast and I was happy with the ending. Of course, I knew about the guy but it
was kind of obvious

Contents Under Pressure Edna Buchanan Mar Good book, good characters, fast read

Ice Maiden Edna Buchanan Apr Read out of order, already tired of her killing of characters

Miami, It's Murder Edna Buchanan Apr A little slower read, still good

Suitable for Framing Edna Buchanan Apr Good

Act of Betrayal Edna Buchanan Apr

Margin of Error Edna Buchanan Apr Suprising ending

Garden of Evil Edna Buchanan Apr Read fast, a change of pace because we knew the bad guy early on

You Only Die Twice Edna Buchanan Apr Sadly, predictable, especially given how well Margin of Error ended

Cold Case Squad Edna Buchanan Apr Not Britt and not nearly as good

Shadows Edna Buchanan Apr

Love Kills Edna Buchanan Apr Britt is back, sharing space with Cold Case. Not as good as the books that are strictly from her POV. Left open ended

Tombs of Endearment Casey Daniels Apr A little predictable.

Night of the Loving Dead Casey Daniels Apr Finally some resolution

Murder Melts in your Mouth Nancy Martin Apr New Characters, same plot line. Still decent

Legally Dead Edna Buchanan Apr Did NOT like the ending. No resolution. The rest of the book was good though

Sucker Bet Erin McCarthy Apr Vegas vamps. Only read because it was in the series. Mostly boring

Murder of a Small Town Honey Denise Swanson May First Scumble river book. Gives back story to characters

Murder of a Sweet Old Lady Denise Swanson May Scumble River Fast read, nice twist

Murder of a Sleeping Beauty Denise Swanson May Fast Read, not surprising

Murder of a Snake in the Grass Denise Swanson May Fast Read, typical ending

Murder of a Barbie and Ken Denise Swanson May

Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher May Read super fast. Very funny!

Murder of a Pink Elephant Denise Swanson May

Murder of a Botoxed Blonde Denise Swanson May

Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry Denise Swanson May

Murder Between the Covers Elaine Viets May

Dying to Call You Elaine Viets May

Pane of death Sarah Atwell May

Just Murdered Elaine Viets June

Murder unleashed Elaine Viets June

Murder with reservations Elaine Viets June

Clubbed to death Elaine Viets June

Shakespeare's Landlord Charlaine Harris June Quick read, straight mystery instead of her usual supernatural bend.
Nice surprise ending

Shakespeare's Champion Charlaine Harris June

Dead and Gone Charlaine Harris June I liked these books when it was just vamps and weres. Faeries are a little too

Shakespeare's Christmas Charlaine Harris June A little different from the rest of the series, also a little too easy to
figure out

High Heels are murder Elaine Viets June Decent heroine, interesting enough to read

Carpe Demon Julie Kenner June Adventures of a Demon hunting soccer mom. Funny enough to entertain, dark enough to thrill

California Demon Julie Kenner June

Demons are forever Julie Kenner June

Deja Demon Julie Kenner June

Shakespeare's Trollop Charlaine Harris June Last one in the series. Not so great

The Givenchy Code Julie Kenner July Espionage with a fashion twist

Manolo Matrix Julie Kenner July

Prada Paradox Julie Kenner July The people in this book are so stupid. The other books were decent but this was too

Accessory to Murder Elaine Viets July

Murder with all the Trimmings Elaine Viets July

Dying in Style Elaine Viets July

Shakespeare's Counselor Charlaine Harris July

Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club Susan McBride July

Finger Licking Fifteen Janet Evanovich July

After Birth July

Killer Cuts Elaine Viets July

Royal Scandels Michael Farquhar Aug

Blood lite Aug

Foolishly Forgotten Americans Michael Farquhar Aug

Breathers Aug

Demon Envy Erin Lynn Aug

Bloodsucking Fiends Christopher Moore Aug

You Suck Christopher Moore Aug

Royal Mess Mary Janice Davidson Aug

UnDead and UnWelcome Mary Janice Davidson July

Island of the Sequined Love Nun Christopher Moore Aug

Coyote Blue Christopher Moore Aug

Speed Demon Erin Lynn Sept

Lust Lizard of Meloncoly Cove Christopher Moore Sept

Practical Guide to Demon Keeping Christopher Moore Sept

Fatally Flaky Diane Mott Davidson Sep

Wedding Day Murder Leslie Meier Sep

Christmas Cooking Murder Leslie Meier Sep

New Year's Eve Murder Leslie Meier Sep

Did they really do it Fred Rosen Sep

Teaser Jan Brogan Sept

Vampires of Venice Beach Jennifer Colt Oct

Angry Housewives eating bon bons Lorna Landvik Oct

St. Patrick's Day Murder Leslie Meier Oct

Pride and Predudice and zombies Jane Austen Oct

Butcher of Beverly Hills Jennifer Colt Oct

Mangler of Malibu Canyon Jennifer Colt Oct

Mistletoe Murder Leslie Meier Nov

Con Artist of Catalina Island Jennifer Colt Nov

Tales from the Crib Jennifer Coburn Nov

Foul Play Janet Evanovich Nov

Promises in Death JD Robb Nov

Bite Laurel Hamilton Nov

Good Ghouls Do Julie Kenner Nov

A good ghouls guide to getting even Julie Kenner Nov

Prom Nights from hell Meg Cabot Nov

Maggie needs an Alibi Kasey Michaels Nov

Skin Trade Laurell Hamilton Nov

Maggie By the Book Kasey Michael Dec

Kindred in Death JD Robb Dec

The Lost symbol Dan Brown Dec

Grave Secret Charlaine Harris Dec

Maggie without a clue Kasey Michaels Dec

A touch of Dead Charlaine Harris Dec

U is for Undertow Sue Grafton Dec