Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It was (almost) a love story (or two or three). But not the fairy tale kind where everyone lives happily ever after in the end.

So...I almost had this incredibly beautiful love story to tell you about Lu. But of course it involved a boy so it didn't turn out that way. Instead it turned out with her vowing to never speak to him again and the rest of us talking in hushed whispers and calling him "he who can not be mentioned" or "that one guy" or just "jackass". I guess for this story you really need a little history, a roster of players and seeing as how the whole story is ongoing it may be a two (or several) parter.

Here's the cast of characters;

Jackass- this would be Lu's first love. They met at summer camp when she was 11 and he was 14. That year nothing happened. But she can still tell you exactly what he was wearing the very first time she met him. Fast forward a year and me telling her boys that age are dumb and he probably wont remember you. Man, did he prove me wrong. Not about being dumb, but about remembering her. Oh and did I mention that in the years time she'd sprouted boobs? May have jogged his memory somewhat. Anyway, they were instantly inseparable for the week. Then they went to a few movies, he came over to the house some and then school started and they stopped seeing each other because a.) he lives an hour away, b.) he was in high school and she was in middle school and he had older girls vying for his attention, and c.) neither of them was old enough to drive. But she had become best friends with one of his close friends, we had become friends with his parents and the other guys parents so we went to basketball games (both boys were on the team) and other gatherings in that town. So they still came in contact with each other and from time to time restarted their romance only to have it end by his bad behavior. (Did I mention the boy was really really cute and had girls falling all over themselves for him?) Both dated other people, a year went by and it's summer again. This time he's working at the camp and is there for the whole summer. They begin dating and spending every waking moment possible together. And then summer ends and so does their romance. Again. They never officially dated after that but there were a few times here and there that they went out or he'd come up to visit (as by this time he's practically part of the family). His mother even (still) has a framed picture of Lu & him hanging up in her house. He graduated high school and joined the marines. I mentioned him in a previous post, he called her from Iraq. Sometime while he was over there they had an argument and the emails stopped. Not sure of the details. I just know we didn't hear from him when he got back. Until December 12th.

Drunken Ex-boyfriend: Lu's second love. She met him about October of her freshman year. He was a junior. A year older than her. The cousin of one of her close guy friends. Lived on a farm not far from us. We should have known there was going to be trouble when he brought her home an hour late from their first date. And didn't come in to apologize. They had a dramatic off/on again relationship until this past may. They'd fight, they'd break up, we'd breathe a sigh of relief, they'd get back together. Now some of the problem is him...he comes from a family of alcoholics and a culture of alcoholism. His mother locked him in a closet when he was little. His parents fought constantly and his mother finally left the family, kids and all. His father isn't his biological father, his mother got pregnant during one of their separations. His biological father lives twenty minutes from him and never acknowledged his existence. I mean the boy had problems. And while I felt sorry for him (motherless boys are my weakness), my daughter has to be my priority. But we tried to help him. We tried to get him to quit drinking. I tried to get him to go to therapy. We took him in when no one else wanted to. We gave him chances. And the trouble we had with Lu during this time wasn't entirely his fault. She just turned into someone different when she was with him. She lied, she snuck around, she drank way more than she let on. We had horrible fights. (and yes, I do know this is typical behavior, but since we have an atypical household and parenting style, I guess I expected atypical behavior.) They separated for the final time in mid may when she kicked him out of our house and her life for falling off the wagon. They had a fight so he went to a party at his cousins and got wasted.

The Hippie- this would be Lu's current boyfriend. They met in June at summer camp. He's the handicraft teacher. He's fun, upbeat, artistic, sensitive and kind. But he's also irresponsible, lazy, and unmotivated. And smokes pot. And has a retinue of stoner friends. And blows off school, doesn't work much and lives off his folks. And Lu. She's been living in Iowa with him since end of September. She's been paying all the bills for the last two months because he has no money. They've been having huge fights. Now, don't get me wrong, I like him- as a person. And he's definitely done some good things for Lu. Her self esteem is up, he cooks for her, and he would certainly never cheat on her. But he's not settle down with material. He doesn't take care of her. She takes care of him. And so now this is wearing very thin and she's come to realize that it's not going to work...

Crap! That's really all I have time for because I have a busy day today and have to go to town. The way it's snowing outside I may need a sled and a team of snow dogs. Haha. Guess I'll settle for hubby and his truck. I will get into the meat of the drama tomorrow. Trust me, it rivals any daytime soap out there....

Tune in tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

She's Baaaaacccckkkk!

Okay so I'm back. To blogging that is. I didn't really go anywhere. I guess I took a staycation from blogging. Christmas was soooo hectic. Maybe if I hadn't put absolutely everything off til the last minute the total hecticness could have been avoided but um that was kind of an epic fail. So I spent the last week before Christmas frantically, shopping, wrapping, planning and crafting my ass off. Did it pay off? Was Christmas loverly? Indeed. But I'm definitely starting in July next year. Yes, I know I said that last year, but this year I mean it. Really.

It didn't help that I was very nice and offered to do Christmas morning at my house on Christmas eve so that Lu & Luke could go to his parents house for the real Christmas morning. I mean all my kids are old enough that it didn't really matter, but it did mean things had to be ready a day early. Which was tough this year let me tell you. Then there was the fact that Lu had major drama this year (which is of course continuing...). Then there was the fact that my sis (Hildi) got mad because I gave her husband a toaster for Christmas. Seriously. Because she didn't think they needed a new one and apparently this means I sided with him in implying that he does everything. The hell??! All that from a toaster?! Who knew they were little relationship landmines??! It was meant to be funny...

Then my hubby told me that he didn't have time to shop for a gift for me. Lu had done all his stocking stuffer shopping and wrapping, but he said he'd had no time or ideas for a big gift for me. I got him a new phone. At first I didn't care because I really am more about the giving gifts and watching others open them. But then I kinda got a little sad that he couldn't even go to the bookstore and pick up a gift card?? Was I that unimportant to him? So Lu & I load the stockings the night before and then the next morning we get up when CJ wakes up. On my way to the bathroom I mention making the bed and when I come out hubby says "c'mon woman, I'll help you make the bed." Now, this in itself is highly irregular because he never makes the bed. Second, it's really kind of a one person job. So I go to my side and then I notice two huge lumps under the covers. "The hell?!" I say and whip the covers back. And it's a Wii!! And the Wii Fit!! I have been wanting those for like a month. I just looked at him in confusion. Then I say "Thank you so much. But this is so unfair! I didn't have $300 dollars to spend on you!". And he says "22 Christmases and I have never ever gotten you a truly memorable gift. I wanted to give you something you really wanted but probably wouldn't end up spending money on yourself for." I cried. Now, to some of you a Wii Fit might not sound like a romantic gift. Or even a great gift. Some of you might be wondering if he's trying to tell me I'm fat. But no. I know him. I wanted the Wii Fit. I wanted to lose weight and have fun working out. I wanted to strengthen my muscles and feel better. And he listened to what I wanted and chose his gift accordingly. To me, that's the most romantic thing ever. To really listen to your mate and sacrifice to make that happen. And he spent money that he'd worked hard for and was supposed to go towards his hunting habit. So he not only listened, he gave up buying himself something. Wow. That in itself was the best gift ever.

But let me just say...I love me some Wii!!! The whole family is enjoying it. We love the competition of playing against each other. And I have been using it to work out. This thing is keeps track of everything for you...whether you're doing an exercise correctly, how many calories you've burned, how long you've been working out, ect. And I'm happy to say that I've already lost 2.3 pounds. Since the 25th. And I'm never bored with it. And my body is sore but in the good way. Not from the fibro, but from the exercise. Sean (who of course has a perfect BMI and weight) has also discovered a passion for tennis. I can't wait for warmer weather so I can take him to a real tennis court and teach him the game. My dad and I used to play weekly when I was a teen. And Lu...yeah you guessed it...her BMI is low. She had to make a goal of gaining a few pounds. Skinny little witch. So the Wii has been not just a wonderful gift to me...but to the whole family. We even get hubby to turn off the tv and bowl a few games at night. And he's addicted to the boxing.

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. All the kids were here on Christmas eve and it snowed so everything was pretty. We ate, we played, we talked, we enjoyed. And isn't that what it's all about?

Hope everyone else enjoyed theirs as well. Tomorrow I'll detail Lu's drama. Because I know you're all dying to know...


Thursday, December 17, 2009

So 40 is the new 20...

Or so I'm told. Between my sister and my J (my friend from high school) I'm pretty sure the entire universe now knows that I'm 40. Well, if you're expecting me to act like it, you totally have another thing coming because it ain't happening. They say your only as old as you act so I'm pretty sure I can stay in my twenties forever. =]

Oh my stars! Where has the last week gone?? I feel like I was caught up in some space time tunnel without a flux capacitor. Or a pulse phase converter. Yes, I did spend too much time with Sean and my brother in law last week. Actually, I'm really having a hard time getting "back to business" so to speak. With the rush on to finish Christmas shopping and decorating and the fact that my bday turned into a week long celebration in two states I feel kind of flustered. Or maybe it's just old age setting in.

So, I will finish up the Disco Chronicles in the next couple of days. But today I will update you on the last week. Our trip to Ohio was awesome. We had cold, but clear driving weather the entire time. I got to Christmas shop with my sister, which is something we don't normally get to do and it was so much fun! She threw me a party Saturday night with her friends and our cousins and it was great. We stopped on the way home from her house and had lunch with my friend J in Indy. That was two hours worth of amazing. I really wish I got to see her more often. Sean stated after lunch that he could totally understand why we were friends because we were so much alike. Then we stopped at my parents in Springfield and had an awesome dinner and presents and cheesecake! We got home Tuesday and Mo came down and we went to dinner, just the four of us then came home and watched videos. They got me awesome gifts and I will even forgive the black balloons. Luke didn't make it but he did send the cake, which he made.

Tonight we are having dinner with two other couples to yet again celebrate my birthday. And I'm supposed to go out with "the girls" for drinks on Saturday night for my birthday. Really, how much "birthday" can one person take?? Thank goodness I never turn 40 again. I might not survive.

In other news, I found my parents a condo for February. They are going down to Myrtle Beach for the whole month. Since my dad retired they've been talking about doing all kinds of fun things and this is only the beginning. Mo, Sean and I are for sure going to join them for a week. I can't wait!!

Do to J's posts on Facebook about having lunch with me, several old high school friends have found me. I think this is a good thing, but it does leave some explaining to do to Mo (who totally cyberstalks me). Like "what does this G guy mean about getting busted in the balcony at Prom junior year??! What were you doing??!!" She's not buying "I don't remember. That was a long time ago. I'm old. Leave me alone!" Apparently it was his now mother in law who busted us. Hmm. Awkward.

And speaking of old boyfriends coming out of the woodwork...remember my story about Mo's first love, the marine? And how he called her from Iraq? Well...guess who started texting us both last week? Yeah, okay so that was kind of a "gimme", just play along anyway. Guess who's dying to see Mo when he comes home next week. Yep. Zach. Well, things haven't been all roses in Iowa with Luke. In fact, they are having some huge issues. And let me be clear and say that I like Luke as a person. But hubby and I have been concerned about whether it was the right situation for Mo for a while now. And she's beginning to have serious doubts herself. How do ex bf's know this stuff?? It's like they have radar when you're unhappy in your current relationship. Three of her exes got in touch with me last week. Two marines and drunken ex. Anyway, she and Luke are "talking about the fate of their relationship" and she's going to come home and see Zach on Sunday. At my house, not like alone. Because, well, they've never been able to resist each other. But the bad news is...he's stationed in California and he goes to Afghanistan in July. I will have to give you a post on their history for you to be able to understand these two. It's a doozie.

Well, I'm going to go catch up on my blog reading and commenting and then I'm going to sew til my eyes cross to try to finish up some more Christmas. Hope everyone stayed healthy and happy while I was gone! I missed you!!

home again,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Disco Chronicles, part III

*Quick note~ I'm going to my sister's tomorrow in Ohio so I probably won't have a chance to blog. I am planning on blogging while I'm there though, maybe not everyday. Just wanted you to know that I didn't drop off the face of the earth! Lol!*

When we left off yesterday, Sean was homeschooling and gobbling up scout merit badges like they were M&Ms. And we did that for three years. And it was awesome. I wouldn't trade it or do things differently for any amount of money. There's no better way to get to know your kids than to spend 95% of your time with them. Like I said though, it's not for everyone. Mo had gone back to school when she started seventh grade and I will put the reasons and the power struggle with the school in her biography. So we decided to send Sean back for seventh too. It's a highly social age and we thought that it would be good for him. They took him back to school with no problems, of course we'd paved the way the year before with Mo's re-entrance. And there was no problem with him going right into the proper grade because they'd already been shown that my kids were up to speed school wise. He still had the IEP from before so to make the transition easier for him we put it back in place. This meant that he went to a "resource room" for literature and english. The resource teacher fell in love with him. (Not in a Mary Kay Letourno way or anything, just in a Sean's an awesome kid way). She let him come to her room any time he wanted to do homework or work on things. Socially, everyone already knew him because he was "Molly's brother". And once again, he had the most laid back personality ever. He got along with everyone. Although, he does have a very low tolerance for stupid people. Not unintelligent people (that's considered a disability at our house) just people who do or say stupid things. And he doesn't play games. If he likes you, he's the most loyal friend in the world. If he doesn't, he just straight up tells you.

He was doing great in school, even though he still hated going. About mid year the middle school starts gearing up for the science fair. Well we'd been initiated last year with Molly. And she'd actually gotten an honorable mention. She took off on her own project, with a friend. Sean and I searched the internet for something that appealed to him and found..."The Glowing Pickle" experiment. The idea behind it is that salt conducts electricity and since pickles are cooked and stored in salty brine, pickles conduct electricity. So he and his dad built a machine to generate the electricity. It had forks at either end that we stuck the pickle on (those great big suckers). And when you flipped the switch, the pickle glows orange as the electricity arcs through it. It also cooks and smokes and gets gross. Amazingly enough, Sean picked that project because he'd learned about the conduction of electricity and salt through a CSI episode. (The boy can learn through anything). And best of all, that same CSI episode was on the night before the science fair, enabling everyone to understand and be awed by Sean's experiment. He won the science fair!! This formerly homeschooled kid, with the learning disabilities. Take that public school!!!

He also got some awards at the end of the year for academic achievement and made the honor roll every quarter. At the end IEP meeting at the end of seventh grade it was decided that he no longer needed special services or an IEP. I know that this was due in part to the habits and coping mechanisms he'd developed during his homeschooling. So he was now switched to a 408 plan. That means all regular classes the only adjustments made are not counting off for spelling unless it's an actual spelling test and the handwriting issues. Sometime close to the first parent teacher conference that year Mo came home and told me that Sean had become a legend at school. She was attending the High School now since she was a freshman but it's attached to the middle school and one of her classes was in the middle school building. She said as she was walking to class a group of 8th grade girls had stopped her and told her the story. Apparently, during science class, the teacher was talking when Sean's cell phone rang. (Now the school policy is that cell phones must be turned off and placed in your locker. You can check them during lunch time only.) Well, instead of looking sheepish and worrying about it getting taken away, Sean fishes it out of his pocket and answers it!!! When the teacher says "Sean...", he holds up his finger in the universal "give me a minute" sign. The teacher stops talking and Sean finishes his call and puts his cell phone back in his pocket. And nothing happens. Class resumes. WTF?? I'm wondering why I haven't heard from the administration about this. I heard enough from them about Mo. So I get to the parent/teacher conference and approach the science teacher warily. Sean's doing great in science, he's a smart boy, blah blah blah. So, unable to hold my curiosity, I ask about the great cell phone caper. The teacher laughs and says "I know I should have been angry or taken the cell phone away and sent him to the principal, but it's Sean. He's just so unflappable and he looked so serious about the call. I couldn't help it. It was so funny. That's one cool kid you have there." Picture me stunned. Little did I know how much he would embody this persona in the future. Eighth grade passed much the way seventh had, good grades (except in english...still Cs) and no drama. Compared to his sister, this kid was a breeze.

So how did we get back to homeschooling? Well, part of it was on Mo's account. She had opted to come back to homeschooling due to health reasons and what she was finding was the growing incompetence of her teachers. And Sean, while doing well, really hated school. He hated "wasting his time". If they'd just give him his work instead of taking the whole class time to explain it, he could be done in half the time. So if I was going to do one, might as well do two. I guess what really sealed the deal for me was parent teacher conferences that year. I went round to the teachers and talked to them all briefly. There's really only two teachers in the whole school that are worth their pay. One is an english teacher and one a science teacher. The rest? My kids were beginning to run circles around them. This is what I heard from their history teacher~

HT: we just finished a unit on the civil war. Sean could have taught the class.

Me: He really likes history. And especially the civil war. We covered it when I homeschooled him.

HT: Yeah, well thank goodness he's nicer than his sister. He'd wait til after class to correct me. She always just blurts out my mistakes in front of the whole class.

The hell??? What mistakes?? You are the teacher. You should have the facts. My kids should not have to correct you. Although, if they do, I agree it's much more polite to do it in private. See what we were up against?? He further asked if both my kids had always been "history geeks". I responded with "well I guess so. As Molly says, history is easy. It's already happened. All you have to do is memorize it." Did I mention that he was also one of the basketball coaches? Yeah, here's hoping he knew more about basketball than history.

The last installment of the Disco Chronicles next time,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Disco Chronicles, part II

*Sorry about being AWOL yesterday. Mo came into town for a doctor appt. and drug me to lunch and shopping all day. I really mean all damn day. We even had to pick Sean up from where he was working with his dad because hubby had a meeting. So the three of us had dinner and continued shopping. We got home at 10pm and I promptly crawled to my bed. Mo made me a cup of tea and joined me for chatter until hubby kicked her out when he came to bed. This morning my body's all "the hell chica?? You were thinking what?? That you could abuse me like that and still expect me to function the next day? So not happening. Legs, show her we're not taking this. No walking for you today missy!!" If my story rambles today, it's the muscle relaxers I tried to appease my body with. Just for the record...Fibromyalgia sucks monkey toes. And by toes, I totally mean a**! On a good note Mo's platelets were still solidly in the normal range so she can stay off the meds. And doesn't have to have another check for 3 whole months. He did warn her however, that she's not cured, they will drop again. So she has to vigilantly watch for the signs that they're low. And she got fussed at because her hemoglobin had dropped even though she's on enough iron to choke a horse. Turns out she'd been a little forgetful about taking the morning dose. But overall, it was a good visit.*

So when we left off in the last installment, we had just discovered that our third graders IQ was higher than most adults. But he had some learning issues. I say most adults because obviously there's those freakish Mensa people (no offense if any of you are one) and rocket scientists and stuff. So there are people with high IQs. It's not that rare. And thankfully his mommy's IQ is way up there near his she just doesn't get all braggy about it. Because really? What does that prove? But it's just odd to get that kind of news about your 8 yr old. So I did what I always do...I researched. When in doubt, learn. And I try to read as much as I can and then interpret things in a way we can live with. I think the best book I read was The Edison Trait. Did you know that Thomas Edison was kicked out of school for being "dumb"?? I know right? How ridiculous. But luckily, his mama was a smart woman and she homeschooled him. What if she'd listened to the school and gave up on him? We'd totally still be reading by lantern light. Well, okay, someone would have invented the light bulb eventually, I guess, but still.

I'd also learned alot from the autism seminars I'd attended given by Barbara T. Doyle. The woman is amazing. She's a clinical consultant for many programs, state board of educations, she's written books, when it comes to autism, she knows her stuff! But in her seminars she also talks about the different ways people learn. I'm a visual learner. I need to see it. I need to read things to actually get them in my brain. I'd always doodled in school. And during lectures in college I'd take some notes, but they'd be surrounded by silly doodles. She explained that visual learners doodled to engage the visual part of their brain so that the information was processed. How cool is that? And auditory learners do best when they can listen to the information and then discuss it verbally. So it was a matter of incorporating different methods to help him learn.

Towards the end of his third grade year, hubby took the position with the boy scouts and we moved half an hour north and into the country. The move was awesome in many ways for the kids. Who wouldn't want acres and acres of timber to explore? They spent most of their time outside on adventures and since their dad is nature boy to begin with they learned alot. But it also meant switching school districts. They were now in a much smaller district with small schools and small class sizes. Sounds better right? Not so much. They started school in the fall and I liked both teachers. Sean's teacher was more than willing to work with his IEP and he was doing okay in her class. But he really didn't like school. And Mo, well I'll save most of it for her biography, but she was way ahead of the class and bored. We'd discussed homeschooling before and it just seemed the right time to give it a try. So I studied up on the laws and regulations about homeschooling in Illinois which are probably too lenient and we withdrew them from school. I was lucky in that they were only a grade apart so alot of classes I could combine. Obviously, Sean was no match for Mo in english so they had separate workbooks for that. I bought Sean phonics workbooks to try to help his reading and spelling issues. But we did science, social studies, and literature all together. We used our library alot. We rented and watched alot of discovery channel programs both for science and social studies. For PE I'd send them out to the woods to play or on the trampoline or we'd go for a walk. For literature we read books out loud and then discussed them. We also started doing books on tape in the van when we had to drive. One book I picked up about the time Sean was in 5th grade was Timeline by Michael Crichton. I wasn't sure if it would be too much for the kids but it wasn't. Mo and I listened to books on tape and we got the basic story and enjoyed it. We discovered that Sean remembered minute details of the story that we'd totally missed!! And he was the one who understood the theories of quantum physics that were explained in the story. In 5th grade!! I knew then that he was going to far surpass me in science. I studied my butt off in senior physics just to get a C+, when this kid seemed to just get it naturally. We loved homeschooling. I loved it. The kids loved it. Don't get me wrong, there were bad days when someone was out of sorts, or I had trouble getting a concept through to Sean. He's still very obstinate and sometimes we'd both have to take a time out and come back to it later. There were days I was sure that I'd end up screwing them up. One day a friend called and I was like what if I screw this up and ten years from now on Mother's day Mo calls me to wish me a happy Mother's day and she's got seven kids and the littlest one only speaks spanish and she works at a gas station??! And Sean can't even call because he's in prison? And it's all my fault??! She told me that the fact that I was worried proved that it wasn't going to happen. I still have my fingers crossed that she's right. We discovered that Mo can do work anywhere. Sprawled on the floor in front of the TV, in the van on the road, in the middle of a huge group. Sean has to be sitting at the table, in relative quiet in order to focus. He has to have all of the things he'll need in front of him so he doesn't have to get up and search for things and break his concentration. He can't have a radio or TV on. So mostly it was a matter of finding out what he needed to succeed and making sure that's how we set things up.

Because we live on a Boy Scout property and summer camp is just down the road from us, the kids and I spent alot of time hanging out down there. I got certified to be a lifeguard and helped out at the waterfront. Mo, being a girl, stayed with either her father or I. But Sean got to pal around with the counselors and join the merit badge classes. The summer before seventh grade he completed every single merit badge the program offers in the nature category. The boy is a sponge. He just soaks up that knowledge.

Next up...Sean's middle school years, in which he returns to school, becomes a legend and wins the science fair.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Disco Chronicles, Part I

*Quick update on the xmas party first- I went. I survived. It wasn't bad because K, my partner in wine, um crime drug me off immediately to a corner by ourselves so we could talk about everyone else. We were like our own snobby little clique. Except later, I felt bad and had to make sure I said at least something to everyone. Except boss guy and his wife, who I never even got introduced to. The party didn't last much after everyone finished eating. Oh. They did have one of those white elephant gift exchanges, only I'm pretty sure the boss and his wife didn't understand because they brought really nice things like a cordless screwdriver and a professional knife set. Yeah, hubby wouldn't let me near the knives. Hubby was all proud because I was the only woman who showed up wearing a skirt and heels. How that has anything to do with him, I don't know, but he was all proud about it. Of course, if he had his way, I'd always be wearing a skirt and heels, like some kind of 50's housewife. As if. But after the church party, we went to H & K's house and guess who also came? Yeah, boss guy and his wife. And boss guys suck up office lady & her hubby. Um. What? Oh yeah, H invited them because he's being a brown noser. In his defense, he really does need to keep his job. Luckily, they didn't stay long and then the real wine drinking, crap talking started. Lol.*

Okay...back to when we left off, Sean was getting close to his toddler years. And we'd already established that he was a pretty good baby. Ate well, slept well, wasn't a big time crier. He was an absolutely adorable toddler. All blonde curls, chubby cheeks and tubby little legs. He was the chubbiest of my babies, but not like super chubby blob baby. You know the ones I'm talking about? No, this kid was always on the go. It was then that his quirky personality started to come out. My friend J was living in St. Louis at the time and she brought her three kids down to stay for a weekend and she's the one who pointed out that Sean had quite the vocabulary for a 2 1/2 year old. I guess I never thought about it because I have never talked down to the kids. We didn't do baby talk and I just talked like normal, big words and all. (It's worse if I'm in an argument, the $5 words just fly, then hubbys all like, I can't argue with you unless you speak English, damn it). I think it was during dinner that she pointed out instead of Sean saying "this is good" he would say "mom, this is wishious (delicious)" or "tasty". And once while she was there he got stuck in the toy box and he said he was "trapped" instead of stuck. There were lots of little things like that. Then there was his propensity for wearing cowboy boots and talking about his farm in Australia. He could go on and on. About how he was a "stranger around here". Yeah, he was something.

He was also stubborn. If he didn't want to do something, you were in for a fight. I remember telling my dad that I was going to have him potty trained by his 3rd birthday. My dad didn't think I could do it so he bet me dinner. Well the month before Sean's third bday, I was getting him dressed one day and we had this convo~

Me: today you're going to wear big boy undies.

Sean: No! I want a diaper.

Me: Nope. It's time for big boy undies. You need to start going on the potty like mommy and momo and daddy. So we're going to wear undies.

Sean: No! Diaper. I take those undies off.

Me: well, then you'll be naked and you'll walk around that way. It might even make this easier.

I finished dressing his grumpiness and he immediately went upstairs to the playroom. He came back down a half hour later, naked from the waist down. "Okay" I said. "You made the choice." and I refused to put a diaper or any clothes on him. He tried to diaper himself so in a bold move, I threw the diapers away right in front of him. Well, naturally he threw a fit. Finally, I looked at him and said~

Me: Do you want to go to school in the fall? Do you want to go to preschool like Mo and CJ?

Sean: Yes. I wanna ride the lellow school bus.

Me: well, they won't let you on the bus in a diaper.

Sean: really?

Me: really. Momo wears big girl undies. You have to too.

And that was all it took. I pinky swear. We put the undies on and he never once had an accident. Mo had taken two weeks to potty train and had accidents sometimes. Not Sean. Once the kid had motivation, it was a done deal. He just took special handling. None of the disciplines we used with the others worked on him. I learned early on that swatting his butt only pissed him off and made him that much more defiant. But if I let him storm off and calm down, then talked reasonably to him, he got it. He's still that way. you have to wait for the initial anger to pass, and then he's more than reasonable. And man, was he a little hothead. Once, in an arguement with the sitter. He told her she'd better do what he said or he'd go to his room! Haha. The sitter just laughed and said "go ahead". What three year old times out themselves??

So at three, he went to a Pre-k program. He'd qualified for Pre-k because he couldn't catch a ball. I was completely unconcerned about that, I just wanted him to have some stimulation. His charmed his teachers and classmates. He made friends right away with a little girl who had muscular dystrophy and was in a wheel chair. They always sat by each other and he talked about her all the time. He also had a serious addiction to dancing. This earned him the nickname "Disco" from his teachers. He sang too. His choices were a tad unfortunate, but remember he spent alot of time with me & mo. Some of his favorite songs were "I'm just a girl" by No Doubt and "Man, I feel like a woman" by Shania Twain. Let me tell you there's nothing funnier than a chubby blonde three year old boy belting those songs out. Too bad it was before!!

By this time, I'd realized that he had some attention problems. And a tendency to fidget all the time. I was working in the field of children with disabilities and I knew from all I'd learned that he had ADD. Of course, it has to be documented in more than one setting so I had to wait for school to pick up on it before we could get an evaluation. Part of the giveaway for me was how easily he angered at home and how it emotionally overwhelmed him. He'd just meltdown. But at school he was Mr. Easygoing and Charming. He went through two year of pre-k and then we hit kindergarten. His kindergarten teacher requested a conference and asked if we would consider all day kindergarten. She was a fabulous teacher who'd had Mo just the year before so she was familiar with the family. She said his fine motor skills were off and needed work. Well, the other kids were already in school all day, so we let sean stay too. And she gave him exercises to do like pinching clothespins. We changed schools the next year and he had another wonderful teacher. He didn't like school but he did pretty well and he got along well with the other kids. In first grade he made a friend we'll call Javir. Javir was the only child of two amazingly smart parents. They'd moved to America from Pakistan and his mother taught computers at the community college and his dad was some kind of engineer for a large company. Javir had aspergers and talked (alot) in a monotone. Sean was the only kid who seemed to be able to spend much time with him. He went to Javirs house alot and Javir came to ours. Once, I overheard Sean say to Javir "okay, you just have to stop talking for like five minutes now. okay?" which was exactly what I would say to Sean when he was following me around the house chattering nonstop.

Second grade, the teacher finally noticed a problem. She had also had Mo the year before and oddly enough, she'd been hubby's 6th grade teacher along time ago. She noticed that he had trouble focusing on his work and that he fidgeted alot. Also, he was having some trouble reading. The fact is, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and since Sean was never a behavior problem at school, he'd slid by the other teachers. But finally, we got our evaluation. The diagnosis was ADHD. Which I'd already known. By this time his fidgeting had gotten to the point that it was driving me crazy. He was so distracting if you were trying to watch a movie with him, or read to him. We tried Ritalin, but Sean said it made him feel "not like himself". So we stopped it. We tried a couple of others before we settled on Adderall xr. It worked well to calm the fidgets and help him focus. I wasn't happy about the way it seemed to suppress his appetite though. He lost that chubby baby roundness.

Third grade was pivotal. Luckily, we were blessed with another wonderful teacher. She was a strict teacher, but a good one. She also noticed his issues with reading and writing. She asked to have another evaluation done. This time they would test his IQ and look at how it compared to the grades he was getting. When we went for the results meeting, the principal looked at us and said "we've never had a child's IQ come back so high". Were we surprised? Maybe a little, but even at that time you could tell he was intelligent. But then why was he having so much trouble? Learning disabilities. He has dyslexia which was hindering the reading. He also has no ear for phonics. You know how you sound out a word to spell it or read it? To this day he still has trouble with that and mostly guesses. He also has trouble getting his thoughts out on paper. If you ask him an essay question he can answer it at length verbally. If he has to write it down? Not so much. Somewhere in there it gets garbled. He's also a very auditory learner. He also has a benign tremor, that's what was screwing up those fine motor skills. His handwriting is still mostly illegible. We made an IEP (individualized education plan). These are exceptions to schooling that help him succeed. Like not taking off for spelling in an essay. Only if it's a specific spelling test. Or giving him a chance to rewrite or type an illegible assignment. Some small things that make a difference.

So now we know we have a genius on our hands. Now what???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So we interupt this program...

I'm interrupting the scheduled installment of "The Disco Chronicles" because today sucks so bad so far, with no promise of any redemption. I was awakened early this morning by my very noisy hubby and cats in my face. Why is it that when I'm sleeping they think it's an appropriate time to rub their furry little purring bodies in my face? (the cats, not the hubby)But I laid there for another half hour anyway. Then when I got up, I discovered that Bobby had missed his driving class (required by the courts because of his last speeding ticket) for the second time. Hubby had been called away by the deer hunters to help them with some deer so most probably he and Sean would be late for the meeting they had in town. I was supposed to have a peacefully, empty, quiet house today to work on some xmas projects. Foiled. Then I remembered that I had forgotten to take the meat and cheese out of the freezer to defrost for making the sausage cheese balls to take to tonight's Christmas Party from Hell. Oh joyful day. And then the absolute kicker...I retire to the family room with my tea, fire up my computer, and the little grey letters on the black screen inform me that the fan has failed and using the computer without fixing it would be detrimental. WTF??! How did this happen?? It was fine when I shut it off last night. I nearly teared up. My NOVEL is on the computer. (No, I wasn't bright enough to back it up.) I run to the living room to tell Sean who informs me he'll look at it when he gets back, but he has to leave in nine minutes. But, but, but...

Well, who knew that getting mad and kicking said computer would cause the fan to start working again?? I'd like to say I did...but really I was just pissed.'s working for now so I figured I'd take advantage. So let me just explain about the Christmas Party from Hell...

My husbands old boss retired this year. He was not the greatest boss ever, he had his faults, but he was pretty good. And he and his wife were really good people. Christmas parties were loads of fun. If it had been a good year for the council we were taken to dinner at a really nice restaurant and then to a community theatre production. We have to alternate towns where the party is held because one of the council offices is in Quincy and one is in Burlington. There's roughly a two hour drive between them. So some years the party is near Quincy, some years Keokuk (the half way point), and some years Burlington. If there's driving to be done, lots of times there was a passenger van rented so we could carpool. If it was a lean year for the council (remember not-for-profit organization), the boss and his wife would have the party at their home. They would have a catered meal, nothing fancy, usually from one of the grocery store delis, and we would all bring wine and dessert. While I didn't necessarily look forward to the xmas party every year, they were tolerable, and some were actually fun.

The new boss rubs me the wrong way. Quite frankly, I think he's an asshat. I have since the first time I was introduced when he came here for his interview. The spidey senses went off right away and I've learned to trust them about people. They interviewed several candidates for the job and he was the one they hired. My hubby even got to voice his opinion and let me just say, he ignored the spidey senses. I was re-introduced to the boss a couple of months later after he took the job. Same spidey senses. I have studiously avoided him ever since. He's made a lot of changes, some ultimately for the good, some horribly bad. He micromanages. He likes people who kiss his ass. My husband says he can't really tell but he thinks they are on good footing even though he's not an ass kisser. He's just very good at his job. And very good at defusing potentially bad situations. Sean met the boss for maybe the third time the other day. Sean's first words to me after this "he gives off a really bad vibe". Apparently Sean is developing spidey senses too.

Tonight is the annual Christmas Party. It is going to blow chunks. Let me explain by way of the conversation my hubby and I had roughly 3 weeks ago~

Hubby~ we need to RSVP for the xmas party.

Me~ Ok. Where's it at?

Hubby~ the winter cabin. (this is one of the cabins on the property. It's basically just a big room, with a tiny kitchenette, and tiny dining area. No furniture save a dining table and benches. no bathroom.)

Me~ WTF? (also, since it's on the camp property, there's no alcohol allowed.)

hubby~ apparently there's no money in the budget so they're holding it here. And it's a carry-in.

Me~ No free meal at least?? A carry-in?? *fake cough*, *fake cough*. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sick that day.

hubby~ it's three weeks away.

Me~ I know. I'll probably be deathly ill by then.

hubby~ it's practically being held in your front yard.

Me~ yes, but I might be contagious. I'm only thinking of everyone else.

Needless to say, this ploy didn't work and I resigned myself to my fate. Trapped in a cabin, with people I'm not particularly fond of, with no alcohol to offset my extreme boredom. But then the other day~

Hubby~ so they moved the Christmas party venue.

Me~ Really??? Mentally tallying up how many bottles of wine I have in the pantry that I can contribute to the now possibly a bit better party.

Hubby~ yeah. Some of the women have health issues and they were worried about the lack of a bathroom close by. So now it's being held in the church basement in (small town near us).

Me~ *huge sigh* again with the no alcohol. W.T.F??! And um. Oh. Wait. Me & churches. If you don't know what I here.

And to add insult to injury, they've now said it's okay to bring your children along. Now, I'm a huge fan of kids, but really?? Could the prospect of this evening get worse?? So then, there's this discussion.

hubby~ H & K (a guy he works with and his wife who we occasionally go out with) are heading to the winery at 3 Saturday before they go to the Christmas party.

Me~ yippee! That will be better.

hubby~ I told them we won't be joining them. I don't really think you and alcohol are a good mix for this party.

Me~ *staring at him blankly for a moment, like a kid who's just had candy ripped from their hands* oh. my. You are really worried I'm going to tell people exactly what I think at this party aren't you?

hubby~ well, you have been rather outspoken lately. And I know how you feel about the boss. Yeah, I'm a little worried you might tell him what you think of him. I'd like to keep my job.

Me~ I don't even see why it would matter what I think of him. I don't work for him. I didn't sign any contracts. Why does he care what the hell I think??

Hubby~ you know you could stay home if you want. I could say you were sick.

I know you're all thinking I should be insulted at this point. Like he doesn't think I can restrain myself. Like I didn't work retail for forever and learned to present a cheerful face no matter what. Like I didn't earn accolades and plaques in high school for drama? Like I haven't done community theatre and still went on with the show after learning my cousin and his wife died. Is he for real?? But in his defense...I will give you a glimpse of some scenes from past Christmas parties...

The very first year he had this job, 8 Christmases ago, the Christmas party was being held at a winery in a small town near us that did dinner theatre. I had to work at the bookstore all day. It was so busy, I didn't get a chance to eat any lunch. He picked me up, we met H & K and J( a 22 year old guy who worked for the council that year. He had also been the program director for camp so we'd spent the summer with him). We carpooled in H & K's van the half hour drive. The winery is right next to a plant or something I dunno. All I know is there is a five foot tall chicken statue outside this place that you can see from the highway. When we exited the van, J remarked that we should steal the chicken. We laughed.

Inside, we went to our table, and then split up. H & my hubby don't drink wine. But K & I went right to the wine tasting area. The deal is you get to taste all the wines and then you get a free glass of your choice with your meal. Well I flirted hard with the guy pouring the wine and K & I ended up getting full glasses instead of the measly bit they usually give you to taste. So picture us weaving unsteadily back to the table after having 7 glasses of wine on my empty stomach. Yeah, I was feeling good. Then we get our free glass and since H & hubby don't drink wine...we got theirs as well. The office manager & her husband were sitting across from us and her husband was feeling good too. As was J. We may have been a little loud. And we may have been a little inappropriate. I'd like to say I remembered. But I don't. Not by this time. H went and bought us another bottle of wine. Oh lord. When we finally left, I was leaning heavily on hubby's arm on the way to the parking lot and talking pretty much non stop. Well then I see the chicken. And suddenly, stealing it seems like an awesome idea. Possibly the best idea ever. So I drop hubby's arm and go running off across the lot (in heels, skirt, and long wool dress coat) and begin pulling on said chicken. Luckily, J (who is 6'4") comes and throws me over his shoulder and carts me back to the van. Yeah, probably not the best first impression on alot of people. In fact...good impression epic fail.

The next year hubby asked me specifically not to drink at the party. Okay. Damage completely undone. In the following years a few incidents have occurred. Most of them not noticed by many people. Like the year H & I fell asleep during the play. In my defense...we'd had wine with supper, it was really really warm in the theatre and I'd seen that play done the year before. At least we didn't snore. Although I think I ended up with my head on his shoulder. There was the year we went to the Italian restaurant and two of the men he works with kept insisting that I had to be Italian because of my dark coloring. I don't see how it's my fault, but the one guys wife got royally pissed at him and asked him loudly to stop flirting with me. But basically it averages out. Three parties where there Three parties i behaved well at. And one I missed. I don't know why he's soooo worried. I'm the one who's going to spend the evening bored and having to bite my tongue. Is it over yet???

promising to behave,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Disco Chronicles, Prologue

As starts the Disco Chronicles. An absolutely true but completely unauthorized biography of my youngest son. Completely against his will. Which only makes it better, no? And I will apologize as this first part doesn't contain alot of funny Sean, but you have to set the scene, don't you? So here's a tidbit of convo from this morning to make you giggle and start you off in a good mood~

Me~ Your cat is bugging me. He won't stop walking on my keyboard and purring in my face.

Sean~ so toss him out of the room and shut the door.

Me~ No. I couldn't resist him, he hardly ever comes to me wanting cuddles anymore. You seem to have enticed him to the dark side. He's yours now.

Sean~ It's true. You should come to the dark side. We have cheese. And wine.

Me~ Cats don't drink wine.

Sean~ No, but they love cheese.

Me~ (suddenly remebering my role as parent) Wait! How do you have wine??

Sean~ I don't.

Me~ but you just said...

Sean~ I was trying to lure you to the dark side. I don't have to be honest. In fact, honestly evil might be an oxymoron.

Me~ Your dad's an oxymoron. *we both start laughing*

Sean~ and yet another great display of your superior maturity. I'm writing that down for my therapist.

Me~ um. You don't have a therapist.

Sean~ no. But by the time I do, I'm going to be able to hand him a notebook and say 'here's my life. read it and weep. I know I did.'"

So I got to thinking about how much I talk about Sean on this blog. Poor kid, it’s the curse of being the one who still lives at home and spends the most time with me. Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. I love each and every one of my brood unconditionally and I love them for their uniqueness. And if I’d started this blog last year, Lu (Mo) probably would have been the one who figured the most prominently, simply because I probably spent the most time with her. It seems to me that every single relationship we have with anyone is a constant changing, evolving, growing or dying thing. And to celebrate my complete and utter adoration of my children…I’m going to write about them. Hopefully, it won’t turn into one of those boastful “mommy blogs”, but I am sorta biased you know. So I’m starting with Sean since he’s the one you probably know the most about anyway. And I’m calling it “The Disco Chronicles” and he’s going to kill me…

Sean was the last biological addition to our brood and like both his siblings, he was a happy accident. Well, depending on who you asked. Hubby did not want to have anymore children and was not pleased to find we were expecting another one. I, however had always wanted a large family and was quite happy to add to it. It caused some horrible friction right up until my six month. That was when we got CJ’s autism diagnosis and then we both just spent the rest of the pregnancy trying not to worry about the developing baby. Sean was a huge baby. By the time I was sixth months along, people were asking if I was having twins. This made me cranky. It also happened to be the summer of 1993, and if you’re from around here you’ll remember that this was a horrible flood year. Now, we were living in Quincy at the time, which sits right on the Mississippi, but most of the town is on the bluff and safe from flooding. We lived 17 blocks from the river and the first two blocks were flooded. You also had major trouble getting out of town, because there was water covering a lot of the roads and outlying areas. Luckily, my mom managed to make it to our house about 3 weeks before the birth. The airport she flew into didn’t want to let me go to the gate to get her (this was before 9/11 of course) because they were afraid I’d go into labor on their watch. Seriously, I was ginormously pregnant. The flood is important because it made it ungodly humid that summer, even worse than usual, which is pretty bad! I spent the last three weeks of my pregnancy sitting with my feet up in front of our window air conditioner and praying for labor. I actually went into labor about 3 ½ weeks before I was due, but my doctor was out of town so the covering doctor gave me drugs to stop the labor (I wanted to punch him). So about 4 days before my actual due date, I had my last doctor appt. I got into his office and told him that I was miserable. That some woman in the waiting room had stopped me and asked if I was having triplets. He asked if he needed to go out there. I asked why? And he replied that he was almost certain I’d hit the woman. He knows me so well. Actually, I threatened to shoot him if he didn’t induce me soon because I was done. He smiled and said to meet him at the hospital the next morning at six.

I’ve always wondered why he said six, because his ass didn’t get there until nine. But he broke my water and then we were off. Actually, the whole labor took another 7 hours but that’s not too bad. I had told him the day before that it felt different. That I wasn’t sure exactly what it was but something was different. And that I had a lot of pain and pressure in my right ribs. He said the baby was probably facing the wrong way like the other two and no worries he would turn during labor. Well, the pain only intensified with the contractions. At shift change, an older nurse came in to take over and when she checked my cervix she got a funny look on her face. I thought “shit! I’m not dilated. I’m gonna be her forever!” Then she asked “has anyone checked to be sure the baby’s head is down here?” and I said “um. Is that an issue?” and she left quickly. She came back with a portable x-ray machine and sure enough the little bugger was breech. Luckily, his butt was at the other end, and his feet were up near his head. The doctor assured me I could still deliver naturally. And so we did. And it hurt. A lot. But in the end it was only 8 pushes and 10 pounds of backwards baby popped out. No drugs of course. Why? Looking back now, I'd have to say I'm a glutton for freakin punsishment. Of course it nearly killed me. I hemorrhaged all night and had some emergency drugs and massive scar tissue that had to be removed at a later date. I guess in the old days I would have died. So, lucky for me, I live in the here and now! I was a total legend at the hospital. I can’t tell you how many nurses came by and asked to see my stitches and bruising. Yeah, that area got seen by more people than a porn stars that week. Funny how you lose all modesty after something like that.

Anyway, Sean was an awesome baby. Except for being hungry all the time. Because he was so huge. But he started sleeping through the night at like a month old. And he didn’t really cry a whole lot. He was the easiest baby of the three. The pediatrician said I deserved a good one. Too true! He learned to walk at 10 months. I don’t know whether it was all the time he spent in the “johnny jump-up” or all the time he spent chasing his siblings when he was in his walker, but he learned fast. And he quickly became Mo’s partner in crime.

Well, I’ll stop there. Tomorrow I’ll get into his terrible toddler years and the discovery of his genius. I hope no one’s bored. Just wait til tomorrow when we get into the development of his seriously quirky personality. And I’m sorry to any guys who hate birth stories. I tried to be clean and not gory. Promise…I’m done with the girl stuff part. Lol.

Missing those baby years,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

If it's Thursday, I must be spreading the word...

Aha! You guys thought I'd forget again, didn't you? Forget the very theme I made up. Which has happened, what, twice now? But no! I remembered. Go me!

First, I have to address some things from yesterday's blog. I'm still not really a paid writer. The amazon deposit wasn't from Kindle subscription sales. (Oh how I wish!) I, like Kathryn, have seen 0 pennies from that. The $11.51 was from referrals. I have amazon ads on my page and when someone clicks them and goes to and actually makes a purchase, I get a 4-6% commission. And that $11.51? Yeah, that was like the accumulation of a years worth of having those ads so don't expect big money there. But this time of year, I'm not going to turn down any amount of money, no matter how measly! I guess in a way, stay with me folks, this is a stretch, you could say it was from writing. If people didn't read my blogs they wouldn't be on my pages and wouldn't click through to, right? Believe you me, I can justify almost anything! Lol.

Second, to those of you concerned by Sean telling me I b*tch alot...I would say, at best, my parenting style is unorthodox. And some of it was situational. We were all having a joking conversation so it was okay. Had it been a serious conversation or had he been in trouble for something and he came back with that, it would have been treated way differently. I'm my children's friend as well as their mom. I know...parenting experts are all "you can't be both" blah blah blah. Since I'm pretty proud of my children and they're pretty damn good kids, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. We're friends until the situation warrants "momming". And then, they know the difference, trust me. I'm not saying it's for everyone. In fact, I don't even know anyone who parents like we do, but it has worked well for us. And it is the polar opposite of how my folks parented. I think I said the b word once to my mom when I was 16 and she backhanded me. They were the parents, we were the kids, and the lines were clearly drawn. In another post, I'll relate how I reacted to that and how it shaped the way I parent. But right or wrong, everyone does what works for them. You know?

Okay...on to the goodness of sharing...

1. After a trip to the library in which I realized the library here sucks...something good actually happened. I picked up a book by an author I'd never heard of...The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff. It was really really good. It was a ghost story, and while it didn't scare the sh*t out of me, it did make me pretty uneasy. The writing was good and it was very atmospheric and descriptive. No gore whatsoever. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars for sure. And then, quincky-dinkily, I found a link to the author's blog on Tina's blog. How odd is that?? Check out the book, check out the blog, check out Tina's awesome writing ability. You won't be sorry!

2. Funniest blog post of the week goes to Carolyn at Carolyn...Online. Read it, and prepare to be cool just by association. Seriously, this post sounds so much like something I would do.

3. Shout out to everyone who reads this blog, commenter or lurker, although of course, I like comments best. You guys have no idea how much you do to keep me inspired. So thank you!! And thanks to all of you who emailed, or facebooked me when I was absent over the weekend (you know who you are!). It's an amazing feeling to be that loved!

I will be beginning the "Disco Chronicles" tomorrow, much to the subject's consternation. Hehehe. That only makes it more fun for me. Hey, don't judge. After you read about his birth, you'll realize how he totally owes me. Forever.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unauthorized biographies and a dinner convo...

So I had a post all written for today. I wrote it last night because I planned to go to town today and run some errands. Then I decided to do that tomorrow. So I'm giving you this post instead because parts of it refer to that post and because well, it's just another example of my family's quirkiness. And by quirkiness, I of course, mean borderline insanity.

Last night at the dinner table, while feasting on deer tenderloins (lovingly hand rubbed with Kansas City spice mix and then broiled), homemade mac-n-cheese, peas (because they are hubbies fav and one of the four, yes four, vegetables he will eat), and garlic cheese bread, we had the following conversation:

me: Didn't I need more icicle lights for outside? I was thinking we didn't have enough last year.

hubby: yes.*grumbling about xmas under breath*

Sean: I refuse to help put up lights on the outside of the house this year.

me: Why? I mean how hard can it be? It's not brain surgery.

hubby: It's a b*tch. Trust me.

me: Really? Because Hildi's hubby puts up lights outside their house and I don't think he whines about it. And he's not as tough as you all sooo..(see my reverse psychology here?? Watch it fail miserably)

Sean: that's because he's scared of Hildi.

hubby: yeah. And they live in a neighborhood where people are going to see the lights. We live in the middle of nowhere. Deer do not care if you put up xmas lights.

me: I see them! Fine. Whatever. If you guys are going to whine and complain, I'll just do it myself. (at which point they began laughing at me). I think you guys are just whiny complainers and I'm sick of it.

Sean: well we think you b*tch alot.

me: well if you guys actually did things when I asked without blowing me crap about it I probably wouldn't have to b*tch so much and then we'd all be happier.

Sean: nah. We're pretty comfortable being lazy whiny complainers and we kind of tune you out anyway.

Hubby: What he said.

me: Well you guys are just spoiled. I do everything for you guys and you can't even accomplish simple tasks with out me nagging constantly.

Sean: Spaceships...I mean what? Were you talking?? (Spaceships is what he says when he's pretending to be not listening).

Me: Do you know how many moms cook meals like this now days?? And at least five nights a week no less? I mean most kids have to eat take out!!!

Sean: I like McDonalds.

Hubby: Don't forget Taco Bell.

Me: There are people in third world countries who don't even get to eat every night.

Sean: well you can't blame their mothers for that. I mean, they might want to cook, they just have no food.

Me: whatever. The point is I cook for you and I don't complain, in fact I'm pleasant about it. And I do laundry every day and I don't complain, in fact usually I'm humming while I do it. Cheerfully. That's cheerful service. I do things for you two in cheerful service. You know what I think??

Hubby: What?

Me: I think the two boy scouts at this table just got schooled in "cheerful service"! By a girl scout. Boo-yah!

Hubby: well I still think xmas sucks.

Me: well I think you suck. Especially this month.

hubby: It's only the first day of the month. I haven't even done anything yet.

me: oh, but you will. And you're already grumbling. And with all the crap leading up to Thanksgiving you were already on my list. In fact, you have all the spots on my list. Like in games, where you get to put your name in when you have a high score? And it lists the top ten scores? Well you have all ten places currently. Although Sean is definitely number 11.

Sean: I'm going to need so much therapy. I honestly thought that Mo moving would be a good thing, because I wouldn't have to put up with her anymore. But instead I'm left alone with the two of you who hate each other so much, but are still wearing the exact same t-shirt!!

me: *glancing at hubby and realizing he's right. We both have on the navy blue camp tshirt from several years back* huh. Well we have like 5 of these freaking shirts.

hubby: yeah. It's your mom's fan club shirt (long story).

me: that's right! So why aren't you wearing one Sean?

Sean: I don't have that shirt.

me: we have a zillion of them and you don't even have one? how weird is that? And anyway your father and I don't hate each other. I don't know why you think that.

Sean: maybe because you're planning on ignoring him for an entire month.

me: You've got that all wrong...I'm ignoring him because I love him. It keeps me from killing him or leaving him. See? We're all about the love.

Sean: So much therapy...

And then this morning:

Me: So I'm writing several posts about you in the next few days. And I'm calling it "The Disco Chronicles".

Sean: No. I don't want you to.

Me: I said you'd be mad. It's my blog. I'll write what I want.

Sean: You can't just write a biography about a person without their permission.

Me: Sure you can. It's called an unauthorized biography. And they sell like crazy.

Sean: Really?

Me: yep. So just sit back and bask in your famousness.

Sean: It's not like you have millions of readers.

Me: Whatever. Amazon might disagree with you. I got a deposit from them last month of $11.51. So there.

Sean: $11.51? That's pitiful.

Me: It's quality not quantity that counts.

Sean: how does that apply to this conversation?

Me: Um. I don't know. But it sounded good. There's a lesson in there somewhere. You should think about it. Grasshopper...find the true meaning.

Sean: what did you just call me?

Me: grasshopper. It's from...oh nevermind. Don't you have something to do? Evil plots don't hatch themselves you know.

Yeah, I'm posting the "Disco Chronicles" anyway. Prepare to be amazed. Or frightened. Or just awestruck by the evil genius that is my son.

xmas time is here again,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quiz results! And photos!

So business first...Only Tina and Brite played my game. But it was a Monday so I guess I'll let things slide...Brite played well, with 5 correct answers but Tina rocked the quiz and got all but one correct! Um...yeah...sorry Tina, there's no prize...just bragging rights. So the answers were:

1. Duma Key, which is one of my all-time favs of his.
2. Under the Dome. Which really wasn't fair since it's so new.
3. Salem's Lot. Very scary book.
4. The Shining. It was kind of a trick question, because it was a line from the Stanley Kubrick film version. But then again, who hasn't seen that? Even though the remake with Stephen Weber is way closer to the book!
5. Dreamcatcher. If you only saw the the book! They screwed up the ending in the movie.
6. The Shining, again. This one was supposed to be a gimme.
7. Duma Key, again. I threw this one in because I totally have to "sideways think" sometimes when I lose a word.
8. Misery.
9. Cujo.
10. Heart-shaped Box. If you haven't heard of it or read it, I highly recommend it. It was one scary ass book. Joe Hill is definitely a chip off of his dad's block.

So I kind of started on Christmas. I've got my basic ideas for gifts. I need to sit down and write it all out. And then I need to get my fabric out and patterns and look at what I have and what I need and go on a supply run. And yes, I know Christmas is only 24 days away but seriously, I work best under a deadline. And it wouldn't be Christmas if I wasn't sleep deprived and slightly deranged from all my holiday preparations. Hubby swears that I get a bad case of "Martha Stewart-itis" this time of year. That only proves that he doesn't really pay attention to me, because it's like a chronic condition. It never goes away. I'm constantly in Martha mode, unless I'm busy writing. It seems to semi cure the problem, or at least masks the symptoms. Anyway, for one of my projects, which I cannot list here because some of the recipients of said gift read my blog, but I found this charming graphic on photobucket and I'm pretty sure it sums up my attitude:

I found a whole bunch of these pics and they are perfect for my project! Score! I will post pics of the finished after Christmas. I'm almost excited to get started. I'm really bummed because it was so freakin cold on Thanksgiving that we didn't get to go outside and take any pics. I take pictures of all three kids together every year and this year due to illness, and Lu moving away and the weather, I haven't really managed it yet.

Here's last years photo~

And the year before...

How beautiful are they??! But as you can see, even at this age, they change so much in a year. I wish I could get it done before Christmas, but that's highly unlikely at this point. Ah well...there's always January.

I hope everyone else is well on their way to holiday bliss. I hope no one else is seriously contemplating bodily injury to their spouse. What?! Did I just type that?! Oh yeah. I did. No worries. It happens every year at this time. The man is such a bah humbug that I almost have to ignore him for a month to keep from wanting to strangle him. Really. He's very anti-christmas. Anti decorating, anti gift giving, anti shopping, anti house cleaning, anti visiting. It's bad. Because I'm the exact opposite. I loooovvvveee me some Christmas cheer. Seriously, I think out of the 21 Christmases we've spent together, I've threatened to divorce him at least 16 of them. Somehow, I never seem to get around to it. Ah well, at least there's that break at my sister's to look forward too!

candy canes and eggnog (and by eggnog, I totally mean rum),