Monday, August 31, 2009

Wow a busy week...

There has still not been a memorial service/funeral for my father. The last conversation I had with my aunt things were still in the air and they were trying to schedule it for this coming weekend though I haven't heard anything yet. I plan on attending, but I think it's more to close that chapter in my life than an actual goodbye to him - that happened many years ago.

Sonny Boy started kindergarten on Monday. His teacher Mrs. H seems really good though I haven't gotten to know her very well yet. Sonny Boy is liking school and seems content and asks if he will attend this school till he's in HS, the entire school district is on one big campus so he sees band practice and football practice on a regular basis out his windows. The kids don't interact of course with the older grades but they see the big kids around. Sonny Boy is also playing soccer in the local leagues as well. He knows nothing about soccer but likes the idea and runs around a bit, he got his t-shirt and game schedule today. I've got to hunt him a pair of black shorts, that should be fun to find this time of year.

Sonny Boy First Day of Kindergarten

This weekend we attended a fundraiser the next little town over with a guy Hubby works with. It was mouse racing of all things, seems to be quite the attraction for fundraising for the area I understand. Picture a large box with a plexi-glass front and runs about 10-15 feet long they put the mice (really rats) in the runs and open the door, the first one to the end wins and you place your bet. Not one of the mice we bet on won, or even went over the finish line for that matter, they would scurry half way and then hunch up in a little ball and just stop, maddening! However we broke even for the night with our admittance fee and wild betting when Hubby won a door prize for $50. It was really quite funny when he won the door prize as you could see looks of "Who the heck is that?" and lots of shrugged shoulders when the name was called through the hall. Though lots of people of were there It was the type of place where everyone knows everyone else. Hubby's co-worker's daughter babysat the boys. Igor showed the first signs of separation anxiety we've seen from him and when we explained to the kids what was going to happen at supper he pouted and told us "me stay home, Mommy!" even though he had been over to their house earlier in the day and was familiar with the place. He did good though but Sonny Boy got concerned when we were not home by 10:00 as he thought that was the middle of the night and shed a few tears. That's the first time he's done that. New place, new people, tons of new changes in their little lives but they did well. I also don't think the babysitter inspired a lot of confidence in Sonny Boy and that played a role in the anxiety as well.

We also attended a house warming open house for another co-worker of Hubby's who just built a new house near us. Let's just say I have a severe case of house envy. While the house wasn't terribly large it was very well thought out and had a closet any woman would kill for. Our rent house was the running joke with both couples over the weekend as the men had helped unload the moving truck, while they realize it's a temp measure being in that nicely decorated, designed new house made this one seem even worse.

I have an Eldin - you know Murphy Brown's permanent house painter. Well it seems I've gained John a live in plumber. Our landlords being forward thinking decided to have the boiler checked out before actually needed it and had John sent over last Friday. John went in the basement and fixed a couple of plumbing woes that have significantly improved the nightmare that was my basement (it no longer smells like sewer) and there is no longer a sewer smell in bathroom either because some numb skull did not put a p-trap on the bathtub and my friend John fixed that. Those were the quick fixes and he had those done by noon and then he started on the boiler and baseboard heat and ran into trouble - lots of trouble. It seems that the house froze last winter and there are at least 14 breaks in hot water line that runs in the baseboard heat. Two days he has been my constant companion, in and out, and up and down my basement stairs shoving my furniture around and has still not completed the job and is due back in tomorrow. Poor guy I can tell he's really getting aggravated with the process and he says it's the biggest mess he's ever seen. I'm just really glad this disaster is not on my dime. I know the landlords bought the place on a foreclosure so they were likely expecting these kind of issues.

Tomorrow along with John the resident plumber I also expect the school psycologist and social worker to be here in the a.m. to start writing Igor's IEP in the local dialect. I'm sure they are going to be impressed with all of my furniture shoved to the middle of the rooms, dirty wet carpet around the walls not to mention I still have boxes stacked here and there I haven't quite known what to do with due to the nasty smelling basement. All I can do is smile though and offer them a cup of coffee I suppose, at least they'll know we'll have heat (hopefully if John doesn't run away) when it gets cool enough to turn it on.

The house in Wisconsin still has no bites yet though traffic has picked up. Hopefully something will happen soon. I've told hubby we are going to walk the two miles to the mexican joint with Igor in the stroller when the house sells so we can drink LOTS of margaritas. Can you get a ticket for drunk stroller driving?

I suppose that's the scoop here in Kornfield Kounty, IL, Where the tires on the trucks are big and the women are too - I'm not exaggerating.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Have you ever wondered?

Today I am wondering just what goes on at the pearly gates. You see, today my father died. I can't say I'm in terrible shock, my aunt had told me at the first of the year that he was ill and would likely not live much longer. There was not a relationship between us. When I was 12 he basically walked out of my life and never gave me another thought. When I learned of his illness I extended the olive branch, but he never accepted, did not try to contact me when I made it clear I was open to contact from him.

My father hurt many people in his life, four wives, two sisters, a brother, his mother, two children and two step-children and many friends and acquaintances. I've always thought that there must be some sort of mental illness that drove the man to make promises he couldn't keep, lie, steal and alienate people around him all the while seeming like the most genial fellow in the world. Possibly it was a lack of moral character, but is that not a mental illness in it's self?

I have often said in my madder, meaner moments I hope he dies a lonely and painful death. He did. His wife would not even take care of him in the end putting him in a nursing home and not visiting. Why, I don't know I never met her. I do know there is such bad blood she will not hold a funeral for him and is simply giving the ashes to my aunts to do with as they wish. My aunt said they will likely hold a memorial when they can finalize some details.

Strangely I feel saddest for my half sister. She was about 1 year old when he walked out of her life. She has no memories of him though she kept his name until her recent marriage. Luckily her mother remarried and her step-father became her father and that is who she calls dad.

So today I wonder what's happening at the pearly gates......

please do not leave comments that profess your religious beliefs, I know the Christian doctrines but I must believe that he was judged by his life on earth, not some last minute conversion on his deathbed. Thank you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sorry for the long silence

I've been trying to post for a few days now and something has been happening with blogger and it's been giving me a hard time.

This was the first weekend in the new house. We did several small projects. Don't get me wrong there are still boxes everywhere but it's starting to get a little more manageable. This a.m. I told Hubby his job was to hang all the pictures on the walls. I had unpacked them and leaned them here and there but was worried the kids would eventually break them if they didn't get hung up. Well this job entailed getting out the cordless drill and the search was on. Five hours later Hubby found the drill in the garage - in the meantime he did unpack, shelve and general straighten out the nightmare that was that mess out there. In his un-earthing he found a shelf that must have been in the bathroom at one time so I painted it and it is now installed with towels on it which is a big relief as there is NO storage in this house beyond basement and garage.

As time goes on I am less and less thrilled with the rental house. The basement REEKS of sewer gas which brings instant flashbacks to most of the buildings I entered in Ukraine. The landlords seem to be disinterested in fixing things but told us we could fix things and they would repay us the difference. I'm beginning to think that's the better end of the deal for them after I spent the afternoon putting in a bathroom faucet on Friday as the old one was leaking everywhere both above and below the sink.

The white trash neighbors have a whole heard of boys across the street that want to be friends with Sonny Boy and he thinks they are super cool, however they seem to have little supervision most of the time and when they do it usually seems to consist of an overwhelmed mother screaming because she's outnumbered and not listened to. Also it's a strange living situation, nobody is married and the parentage of each of the children is not quite clear. The oldest child came knocking on the door asking if Sonny Boy could come play the other night at 7:45 - Sonny Boy was already in bed as he's had a host of behavior issues last week and the kid nearly fell out that he was already in bed. Hubby took him over to swim in their pool (a small above ground job) the other day and visit with the parents and at 8:00 said well time to head home and get to bed and they were just getting around to getting their gaggle of kids fed. I know we all run on different schedules but 8:00 seems to be a little late to feed 6 or 8 kids ages 10 and under.

Sonny Boy and Igor are now registed for school. Sonny Boy starts next Monday and his teacher seems nice. We had a little issue with getting Igor into the pre-school program and I had to have a "frank" discussion with the elementary principal about federal law and what Igor is entititled to having an IEP. However after my discussion Igor went from being on the wait list to having a spot in the PreK class. My only beef is that is the afternoon class which will conflict with his nap.
I'll have to figure out something there. They won't let him start until after his birthday which is only three weeks after the start of school but I'm not going to fight them on that as I figure there are going to be bigger fish to fry later in the year in regards to his services. My day is going to be busy being bus service it seems though. Sonny Boy will go to school at 8:00, Igor at 12:15, and they will both be released at 3:00, at least they have one time scheduled together. The preschool here is also 5 days a week. More than I had bargained for and honestly I think it may be a lot of Igor the first few weeks till he adjust and we settle into a routine. To add a bit of irony to the mix if we lived on the other side of the railroad tracks (less than 100 yards) the kids could ride the school bus!

Last weekend we drove back up to WI to clean and put the house in show condition. After much discussion we bit the bullet and lowered the price again on the house. It's painful but it's getting time to fish or cut bait on the dang thing. Hopefully the bait we are dangling is looking more appealing as our agent seems to think an offer is in the works but if it's acceptable is another story. If the offer is decent it will be coming from the very first guy who walked into the house in March for a showing. Go figure. Honestly now I don't really care if we make a red cent I just want out from under the mortgage and the worry that something major will happen to it in the meantime.

The house issue really gets my goat - here we are sitting in the same situation as many people right now through no fault of our own. We didn't over extend ourselves on on mortgage, in fact we purchased way below what our bank qualified us for, we were living within our means, no fancy cars, boats, or vacations. Our most extravagent expense was our adoption of Igor (honestly I can't call that living large or anything) and we still get kicked in the shins. I realize it's not a personal thing against us but it sure stinks. As the say "No good deed goes unpunished".

The kids are holding up well. Sonny Boy had a round of acting up last week for about three days that made me wonder if the IL authorities would come get him for a few days of respite without it turning into a nightmare. Thank God Hubby was making it home at night both to give me a break and to dole out punishment as I can only take away so many toys, games and sit the kid in his room for hours at a time. A couple of days without Wii (and he had a new game he hadn't gotten to play) TV, a very early bedtime and a few well placed swats on his rear seems to have straightened him out for the moment. I am limiting the TV and games drastically though and keep the controllers under lock and key. The new cable doesn't have the ability to block out TV by rating like the old so I'm on TV show patrol a lot now. It seems his attitude is tied strictly to how much sass he sees spewed forth on TV from kids to their parents so we are back to watching nicer shows.

Igor is a real trooper. I don't think the kid has missed a beat. A couple of nights of adjusting to sleeping in the same room as big brother and that's been about it. Right now we are working hard at potty training and he seems to be getting the gist of it. I'm the lazy one and have to set a timer to remind my self to remind him to go, as long as I do that he stays dry all day and he'll even go potty completly on his own sometimes as well. Knock on wood I hope things continue as well and he'll be out of diapers completly very soon.

Well it's late and the chaos will start early in the am again. As usual my to do list is longer than my arm and I won't get half done but will be glad for the things I do get done.

Know we are trucking along and I hope to be able to blog more in the next week or two.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Getting our Kicks on Route 66

more like a kick in the pants really. Though we do live 1/2 a block from Route 66.

The move was the pits. Stressful does not even begin to describe how the last few days have been.

Last Friday we were supposed to pick up our U-haul and a car dolly from a B-town dealer. Thurs afternoon they called me and told me that there MAY be a problem with getting a truck but they would call me back. At 8:00 pm they had not so I started ringing every phone number I could find on the U-haul website and could not get a hold of anyone who gave a damn and was basically told to wait until 7:00am to call the regional office. I did and was told my truck was in a town 30 miles away and would not be ready to pick up until noon ( I expected it reasonablly early in the am) I called around and the only comparable truck I could find to rent was literally triple the price without a car dolly. So we decided to just buck it up and go pick up the truck that we had reserved then U-Haul called and told us that the truck had mechanical issues and would not be available until SUNDAY. No, no, no this would not do at all. Hubby had taken Friday off of work, his cousin had driven up with him from St. Louis to watch the kids, we had people lined up on both ends of the move to help. U-haul actually had the gall to ask if we couldn't wait to move until the next week! Anyhow we decided to cough up the cash and go rent the triple the price truck since that was our only option. Well this put us about 4 hours behind on the loading plan at least and added considerably to our beer consumption which started as soon as the big yellow truck pulled into the front yard. To add to the nightmare we discovered our original plan to load the stuff hubby and I could handle wouldn't work as the heavy stuff needed to go into the front of the truck. Thankfully hubby's old boss and our associate pastor came over and helped load that evening and everyone worked until it was too dark to see into the truck anymore. The next am we started bright and early and had help from others packing and loading again but our hoped for plan of pulling the truck out of B-town around noon failed and it was closer to 5 pm with a 6 hour drive ahead of us, two DIRTY little boys and three adults exhausted. We ended up driving to a town just north of our destination and staying in a hotel for the night. Luckily Hubby's cousin was game for getting home a day later than planned.

The next am we drove to our new home (more on that issue later) unloaded the stuff in the van and I drove Hubby's cousin to her apartment - she's not a confident driver so we left a vehicle in B-town for the week - met The Flying Eagle who took Igor and Sonny Boy to the zoo for the day and then brought them home to us in the evening. In the meantime Flying Eagle's husband and several guys from Hubby's new job came over and unloaded the truck before I even got back. Who would have guessed that unloading would go at such a pace?

When I got back from dropping off the kids I start to work on unpacking but soon discover that the kitchen is disgustingly dirty. The interior of the cabinets filthy, the fridge so gross I still haven't completly cleaned it. I'm thinking monkeys may have lived here before, so I sent Hubby across the street (literally) to the dollar store to buy cleaning supplies, ours are all back in B-town as we have to go back and clean there this weekend. After a couple of hours of cleaning we finally begin putting the dishes into the cabinets. As of this writing - late Wed - I've still got tons of boxes to deal with and an odor in the bathroom I'm pretty sure is cat urine that has been covered with linoleum. Lovely. I guess it will no longer matter that the boys pee all over the floor. Anyways the house has some plumbing issues and the basement smells distincly like sewer gas (a lot like many buildings in Ukraine), only 3 of the 4 burners on the stove work, the oven is so dirty I'm scared to turn it on, it has a self cleaning feature but who knows if it works and it's too hot right now to run it. The A/C unit in the window doesn't work, thank goodness we brought ours, the yard needs mowing already and the list goes on and on and on. I'm really glad this is a temporary abode but it's going to be a long year.

To top the agravation we decided we are going to forgo cable here and just see what we can get on the TV. Well we thought our TV was digital and the reason it wouldn't pick anything up was a lack of antenna - nope our TV is apparently analog and we didn't take advantage of the coupon thing when it was available. I don't know if it still is but even so I want to watch the news now not in two weeks when the coupon comes in.

I registered Sonny Boy in school today, that's a whole 'nother post because I'm still trying to organize my rant about that. I'll just say that the school district here did not give me warm fuzzies as a first impression.

Well I guess that should be getting some bitching out of my system for tonight. Stay tuned for yet another saga of MOVE TO ROUTE 66.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Just a quick note.

We have moved. We are now Illinois residents, near St. Louis. Moving was a fiasco but we had lots of help from friends and family who saved the days - notice that was plural?

I'll write more about the adventure in a few days, quite frankly I'm surprised I know where the computer is right now as we had to hunt for the washing machine hoses for over an hour tonight.

Just want to send out a special shout out thanks to our church

Riverwood Community Church, you guys really came through. Rich, David, Shawna, Kaye and Carol you really rolled up your sleeves jumped right in and kept me from just sitting down and being totaly overwhelmed. We will really miss Riverwood and hope to find a new church home that has the same spirit and welcoming atmosphere.

Megan, thanks for the marathon road tripping to come and visit all the playgrounds in B-town with the kids. We couldn't have done it without you and knowing they were in good hands was a real load off of our minds. Monica, thanks for taking the kids to the zoo, and keeping them entertained while we dug through the boxes and put our beds together. David, thanks for driving all the way to our new town to do manual labor- sorry I didn't get there in time with the beer. I also want to thank the guys from Hubby's job who came over to unload the truck in what must have been record time. I didn't get to meet you but I hope to soon. Thanks goes out to Greg, his daughter Sarah and Scotty B for all of your hard work packing and loading as well. I think I got everybody, but if I didn't don't be offended, I'm a little overwhelmed right now.

Well at the risk of sounding like I won an academy award I'll quit. This was probably the most difficult move I've encountered so far in my adult life. TONS of stuff, no motivation and SNAFU's with rental trucks added to the stress. Hopefully by the end of the week we'll have things somewhat in order and we can eat a meal that doesn't either come from a sack or have lunchmeat as a main ingredient.