Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Boredom and Laundry

No new dramas here. I suppose that's good, drama in real life is usually never a good thing, though it's fun to watch on TV.

Mom has a job interview tomorrow in one the closer Milwaukee burbs. I'm hopeful, but not getting my hopes too high. It's the first job interview she's had since she quit her job in the fall. An employment agency is also excited to give her file to a client, so maybe something will pan out. Igor sure has his nose out of joint with her here and is very jealous of any attention she gets from me. He is doing some pretty extreme (for him) acting out which has floored Mom. Me, I'm not so flustered by it as it's still tame compared to the craziness Sonny Boy dished out at even a younger age.

I sent in a form and a payment for a CSA share. It seems crazy to hand over all that money at once for produce but I'm hopeful that the fact it is already paid for and here will force us to eat better. I don't think we eat horribly, I'm always trying to squeeze a vegetable in there, but we could do better. I would simply grow a small garden but it's pretty prohibitive in our yard. Living on a corner lot, on a hill, with many shade trees in the yard limits the only good space to grow to the only area of lawn the boys have to play on. Oh well the CSA share should keep us well supplied and it will be a lot less work.

Hubby was speaking to a higher up in his company the other day that was soon scheduled to attend one of the four week training schools (hubby has been to too many now for me to keep track of) and the guy was begging his bosses to let him split it up into two week segments and was told "NO" because he needed to know what it was like for the peons who are sent to these sessions often. Good for the corporate guy who made that decision. Maybe this mid level guy will get a good dose of four weeks away from home and change something so the training comes in more manageable blocks. I doubt it, but I hold out hope. Hubby's job is good, pays decent, easier on him and has the grand perk of a flexible schedule and working from home these training sessions suck. Hubby keeps telling me that these long stretches will soon be over and the travel will drop dramatically, however over a year and half into the job it feels like I've been single parenting without all the fun of having a job for quite a while now.

Well, I suppose I should cut this short. I'm not feeling well and a hot bathtub is calling my name.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stitchin' and a Bitchin'

Woke up the other morning to find this outside my door. Lovely 7 inches of heavy wet snow. Hubby reported it was a balmy 80 degrees in Dallas. I twisted my knee wrestling the snow blower to clean up the mess.
To keep my sanity lately (with Mom here it is sorely needed) I dragged out the sewing machine and have been making a few projects. There are a lot of tutorials on the web - some done quite well on how to make things, so I've been a little crafty lately in attempt not to lose my mind. The black bag is for me, the camo for Igor and the airplane is for Sonny Boy. The boys are excited about their money bags. I don't have the heart to tell them they are sorta like purses.
Saturday I took the boys to the Milwaukee Public Museum (I was going to put a link there but it won't work) I had cabin fever so bad I couldn't stand it, Mom was whining with a cold and the kids were climbing the walls, so to find some sort of activity it was. The museum has a butterfly exhibit where the little bugs flutter around, it's quite neat. They have some butterflies in there as big as your hand, that's pretty cool.
The museum has several different scenes set up from different cultures. For some reason the boys decided they must have their picture taken in front of the Guatemala scene. Horrible focus but it was just my phone.
Sunday Igor and I spent 4 hours in the local emergency room. The boys were sledding (yes another sledding accident) with the neighbor's 3 year old grandson. Igor was careening down the hill -just a small one really- right toward the little kid. Sonny Boy in and effort to keep the little kid from being crashed into jumped in front of Igor's sled and the collision resulted in Igor's mouth meeting Sonny Boy's knee. The result was that a tooth went through his lip.
You can see here the cut on the inside of the lip and the little hole where it came through. Nice huh? Three stitches later and he's fine, though he's a little swollen looking today. I think we might have to ban sledding all together after the last two winters.
Mom is still here and I've about bitten my own tongue bloody trying to keep my sanity. She has been good about exercising but honestly I've never seen anybody so content to sit on their keister in my life! I'm seriously thinking about hiding her Kindle (made the mistake of showing her how to download free books) and changing the code on the T.V. Today she has gone to a neighboring town to talk/interview with an employment agency. I don't really expect much to come of it, but she certainly needs to jump at all opportunities she can. I see I really have to get her involved in somethings around town. I've been watching the paper for clubs etc but honestly nothing really seems to fit her interest. You can bet as soon as one shows up she's going, like it or not, as sitting around here 24/7 is too much for anybody and bad for mental health. My last post I said she was a lot like having another child around. In the last week she managed to take a shower without having the shower curtain inside the tub, I caught her smoking on the front porch (it's more like a sunroom) when we have asked she smoke outside because it smells so bad, last week before Hubby left for Dallas she watched the boys while we went out to eat and when we came home she had let them each have a full can of Dr. Pepper because they had conned her. AGGGGG, I don't mind the spoiling by Grandma's when they are not seen often but when they live us they have to follow the rules too.
Honestly her job prospects don't look good. Two solid weeks of sending 4-6 resumes out a day and not a call for an interview. I've gone over her resume, Hubby has too. It's simply a result of few jobs, no education and a host of other factors. Stressful to think I might be living like this for the next 18 months until she can draw social security and pension and hopefully qualify for the senior apartments here in town. Anybody got any ideas?
Anyway, that's the stitchin' and bitchin' post. Some stitches were fun, some were not. Wish the bitchin' didn't come into play so much but I got to vent somewhere!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Something like having a third child...

Mom came in last Tues and settled in. For the most part it's gone pretty smoothly. Hubby I discussed last week that with Mom job hunting she really would need her own computer and we bit the bullet and purchased ourselves a new laptop. Nothing fancy, just a basic laptop, slightly more than a netbook. Needless to say the swap over of computer has had me digitally tied up for a few days.

The laryngitis I thought I had last post blew up into a full case of bronchitis. Nice (insert sarcasm) I've never had bronchitis before and don't care if I ever do again. Nothing like coughing till your sternum hurts like you've been punched in the breadbox. Seven days after going to the doctor I'm still rather full of mucous but at least I'm no longer coughing uncontrollably. Both Hubby and Sonny Boy seemed to come down with the same stuff as well. Hubby was starting to show early symptoms when I went to the doctor and she told me to have him either take a stash of Cipro I had or to call her and she'd phone in a Rx for him. Hubby opted for the on hand drug and seemed to avoid the worst of the plague. Sonny Boy was a few days later developing the crud and he was taken in to the walk-in clinic on Saturday morning and given antibiotics too, he seems to be on the mend quickly as well. I think I'm the one it knocked down the most. Igor hasn't even had a sniffle. I suppose it's some of that orphanage immunity kicking in, or possibly just dumb luck.

I have also been helping Mom google, set up an Amazon account so she can download the freebies to her Kindle. Checked out a couple of library books for her, and have bullied her into some form of exercise daily. Last week we walked to picked Sonny Boy up at school a couple of days and today I found a very beginner exercise video "on demand" and made her do it. She's threatening that I'm a drill Sargent, however I don't think 20 min or so of movement a day has really ever killed someone. Honestly I've never seen a person so out of shape under the age of 80. She did the Wii fitness test thingy and it said she was 84 and honestly that's about right. Her real age is 60. I think what drives me the most insane is her ability to perform basic tasks because she is simply so out of shape. Don't misunderstand, Mom is not overweight, in fact she could probably stand to gain a few pounds. She simply lost so much strength when she had her stroke years ago and never really worked to gain it back. Once she got on a semi-functioning level she quit and now cannot even walk a block or climb a flight of stairs much less lift anything more than about 10 lbs. Her hand strength also went kaput as well so I need to talk with my OT sister-in-law and see what she recommends to build that up, she's so weak in her hands she couldn't open the lid on the gallon milk jug the other day. Well enough of that grousing.

Sonny Boy had his last wrestling tournament on Sunday. What a fiasco, we will not go back to that tournament again, it was very poorly ran. Unfortunately Sonny Boy didn't do so well this trip and ended up in 4th place -out of four kids. He was rather upset yesterday but is game for more and saying today he wanted to do another tournament. We are not, but I'm glad it didn't kill the spirit for the sport. In all fairness two of the three matches could just as easily been his. One was tied at the end and the ref called next take down wins. The boys grappled and Sonny Boy lost the point, however even non-competing spectators were questioning the call along with the coach but what do you do, sometimes there are bad calls. The last match of the day was a kid who had pinned him two weeks ago, the same kid who has done something like 12 tournaments this school year. Sonny Boy was doing wonderfully, scored several points on the kid but the opponent is a one trick pony with a cradle hold and is very good at it and down went Sonny Boy. It's hard for him to see how well he was really doing, he just sees the loss. The club coach talked to him though and told him he sees potential and he looks forward to him coming back to the wrestling club next year.

What can I say about Igor? Well he's going through a spell and we all hope it passes soon. He's very needy of attention from everyone and is constantly in all of our faces. Honestly, I think he's bored to tears here all day and really needs to be in school. He really likes going to pre-school and is doing well there. I also think the the addition of Mom to the household hasn't helped a whole lot coupled with the extra attention Sonny Boy has received due to wrestling. Experience tells me it's a phase; though not a pleasant one.

Hubby is traveling again for work, this stint for three week. Yikes! Hubby left the wrestling match and directly to the airport yesterday after the last bout. Mom and I went and got his car out of parking today, not that I care a whole lot if corporate pays three weeks of parking, I just don't think three weeks of parking at the airport is wise. Hubby had a heck of a travel day yesterday with a flight cancellation, being bussed down to O'Hare, no chance to eat and a crazy rental car fiasco. I think I'd opt to drive back after all that.

Well, I guess that's all the news here. Needless to say I'm ready to drop by the end of the day. Sonny Boy is donning PJ's, and I'm about to prop up in bed and read/ watch TV until I unwind and can fall asleep. I hope to get back to my regular blog posting in a few days.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Say that title like your Latin American soccer announcer (but don't do it if your at work or anywhere else somebody might hear you) Check out the TOTAL on the following receipt.

Yes, that's correct $10.36

For this sporty new wool jacket. Rarely do I make such shopping steals but this one I'm proud of.

I saw a similar jacket at Kohl's early in the year, the best it was ever on "sale" was $80, not bad but more than I wanted to pay. I thought well I'll watch it and when they start clearance them out I'll snag it. I've been watching at Kohl's about once a week for a month or so now and today the coats were on clearance. Unfortunately the coat I'd been watching was only available in a size Large. I tried it on of course but it simply swallowed me whole. This one is similar is shape and is the same color, the other was a tad longer and had a tie belt with it. Just excited about the cool deal I got.

I also have a new addiction in Pinterest. It's like looking at lots of magazines without ever actually have to buy them or hang out in the library. If there is something you like you "pin" it and it will save to your board with links back to where the original picture came from. Cool for craft stuff and the like. Sucks way too much time though.

Mom will likely be coming up on Tuesday. She was planning Monday but it appears we are due for a little snow and she doesn't know how to drive in that mess yet. I've been sorting stuff here and there so we can keep out of each other's hair to some extent. I'm not sure how we are gonna handle the computer situation as she plans to use my computer for job hunting. I'm not sure about that as it's a cranky old laptop and doesn't cooperate well with most folks. Not to mention using somebody else's computer consistently is kind of invasive. You may not mind Uncle Bill checking his e-mail once or twice when he comes and visits, but browsing around looking at Pinterest isn't really cool. Damn, forgot to buy a data stick thing at Wally-World today. I want to make sure all the important stuff is backed-up before Mom starts canoodling around and downloads some virus of death to my hard drive.

I'm also fighting a case of laryngitis. A cold has been sneaking up on me the last couple of days, yesterday I couldn't even squeak out a sentence. BAD, could say about two words and then my voice was gone. Today, I'm better, but I still sound like I smoke three packs a day, at least people can hear me and I'm not using some crazy sign language.

Either way I gotta try to clean up this office room. Hubby has declared he will use it since Mom is going be hear (I may hide in hear too) Now it looks like some berserk paper flinging, clothes iron wielding dynamo has been loose.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monkeying around

Ignore this post, I'm playing around.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NOT a Coffin

But it may well become mine. It's an antique underbed storage box, has ball bearing wheels under it and all. We found two of these in our garage attic when we moved in. I don't know if they were left by the previous owners who had more junk antiques than the normal thirty-something couple or if they have been lingering in the house for many years. They are quite old, at least from the turn of the century (the 1900 turn) This is the one that is in better shape and that isn't good. The other we are simply going to salvage any hardware off of it and toss as the top is broken and missing on it. This one is drying after a scrubbing with bleachy water and a good dose of Fabreeze.

You may wonder why I (we) suddenly have the urge to rehab stuff we've had for 8+ years and have never had a legitimate use for. Well here's the kicker, Mom is moving in. I think I just had a heart palpitation typing that sentence. Mom will move into our guest room which does not have adequate clothing storage so I purchase some flower pots bed risers so this will fit under the bed. Mom may need to use a step stool to get in the bed, but she'll have somewhere to put her underwear. None of us are truly excited for this step. I guess that puts Hubby and I squarely in the sandwich generation - though I think we are technically 15 years too young for that. Mom lives (not much longer) down in Arkansas and was working for the city in the small town I grew up in. Mom and the mayor who was elected in January '11 did not get along and to make a very long and convoluted story short, she got mad and quit her job. Quit her job in this economy. Quit her job in such an economically depressed area that over 35% of the population lives below the poverty line. Quit her job two years short of drawing social security. Quit her job when she needs health insurance more than she actually needs a pay check. I could choke her. She quit her job back in September or October and has been living on a meager savings since. Unemployment was denied but she is supposed to have a hearing on Thursday but honestly I doubt that will go very far. Anyhow in an effort to get her out of the dump I grew up in, in an effort to at least give her a fair chance of landing any job, she's moving in. It also comes down to the fact she will have no utility bills, no food bills and access to a computer and internet (for some reason she seems unable or unwilling to use the public library) I also plan into whipping her lazy ass into reasonable shape. Too many years of sitting, no walking, no exercise and frankly she's useless. She can't walk 100 yards without having to rest, of course that limits her job opportunities as well. I think I may lose the van keys for a few weeks and we will have to walk to drop the boys off at school and preschool, go to the library and anything other errand that is on this side of town. I'm not a gung ho exercise person myself but honestly I can function where she no longer can. I do not expect her to suddenly pump iron and be Jane Fonda but she can certainly function on a better level.

I'm not jumping for joy, I'm not even amused. The only up-side I can see to this whole debacle is that we will have a baby sitter and Hubby and I can go be adults occasionally without having to pay a sitter. I see myself spending large amounts of time camping this summer. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Product Review - Ellis Faas Make up

A few weeks ago I happened to win a drawing over at In The Powder Room. I was excited, heck I never win any drawings on blogs or what have you and to win what I consider fairly expensive make-up made my little heart go pitter patter.

After exploring their website very briefly it seems Ellis Faas make up all comes in these nifty little pens with a brush/applicator attached. I'm not a big make-up kind of girl, usually some carmex and a squirt of hairspray will do me, but of course I had to try out this new stuff.

The gift package came bundled with three pens, a flesh colored eyeshadow called creamy eyes - which I realize is the consistency, not the color. A black pen called Milky eyes - again consistency, not color, and a lipstick called Milky as well.

The eye shadow I like, it takes a little practice getting used to as it goes on quite liquid and dries quickly. It doesn't seem to settle in the lid creases which is a good thing. The black tube of stuff is really supposed to be an eyeshadow, but I can't imagine using that much black around my eye, after all I don't want to appear that I've been in a hockey fight. I have been using this as more of an eyeliner and it seems to do well and lasts most of the day. The lipstick is OK. I wouldn't write home about it. It's not particularly long lasting or moist. The color that was sent isn't really attractive on me, so I might have a better opinion of it if I wore it more than just a couple of times to try it out.

I would recommend this make-up if you travel a great deal. The pen system seems like it would travel well without the nightmare of broken up pressed powder, or broken bottles of liquid make-up. It is a budget buster though. One of the tubes runs around the $40 mark which in my drugstore make-up budget is massive. I likely wouldn't buy the product simply because of the price point. If money was not an object (and face it there are women out there to whom it is not - though I doubt they read my blog) I would likely buy the eyeshadow.

I was not given any compensation for this review. The product mentioned was a give away with no strings attached and I am writing this review of my own accord.

Used to be that Teachers were ALWAYS Right

When I attended my small southern town’s public school district around 20 years ago it was ruled with an iron fist. Students who stepped out of line were punished, a paddle, a stint in “resource room” which in most places is called in school detention, or worse a phone call and meeting with your parents. It was the phone call home we all dreaded most. As kids we knew the paddle only stung for a few minutes, the in school detention was miserably boring, but there would be hell to pay if mom or dad had to come to the school and speak with the principal, and usually the punishment at home was way worse than the punishment at school.

Now of course there is no longer paddling, maybe the in school detention is still there – I don’t know- but I do know that students no longer fear that phone call home. I don’t think this is unique to my hometown, but is common in all areas regardless to the affluence of the school district boundaries. Why is this? Why is it that students no longer fear their parents being brought to the school for disciplinary action? Many people I know in the education field tell me it’s because suddenly a child can do no wrong in their parent’s eyes.

Why is it that parents would automatically assume their child in the right? Cripes, just yesterday my 8 year old wonked his little brother on head with a Wii remote – in front of me – for no apparent reason at all, and then lied to my face that he did not do it. Now of course if he’s going to lie when he knows I saw what he did with my own two eyes, don’t you think he’s going to try to squirm his way out of trouble and blame other parties if I didn’t see it? Of course he is, he’s a kid, and that’s is what kids do.

Sometimes there is the rare occasion that you have to play momma bear and stand up for your children. I will admit that occasionally teachers and school administration are wrong, but I do believe that those instances are not all that common, particularly when dealing with disciplinary actions. I also believe that parents often jump to conclusions before hearing the entire story – from an adult – and the child sees that mom is going to go up to the school with a snoot full of righteous indignation before the whole story is even heard. Don’t you think you owe it to the education professionals to work with them, and to not automatically take little Bobby’s side? Isn’t it simpler to just tell Bobby that you will discuss things with the principal before getting your dander up? Your child’s teachers deserve the respect of their students, regardless to your opinion of her/him, and by automatically believing an 8 year old over an adult erodes that respect immediately.
While my 8 year old is far from perfect at school – he does get into some minor trouble here and there, none of it has even prompted a note home from his teacher, he does get a stern warning from me and the promise that if the behavior continues he’ll have consequences at home as well as at school. Does his fear of losing screen time and an early bedtime keep him in line, I don’t know, but so far the bluff is in on him and as long as he assumes he’ll never watch TV again if I’m called to the school, so much the better.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The To Do List is Whittling Down.

Thank Goodness. I finished the Cub Scout cake late yesterday. A day ahead of schedule which is grand as things have gotten so bad around here the kids were actually asking me to do laundry.
The cake is far from being perfect, but I'm pleased with it. I have a very hard time getting butter cream REALLY smooth and I think that's what bothers me the most when I look at the cake. I also wish I'd taken more time with the layout of the scout promise on the bottom tier as it's not quite lined up like I wish. However I did my best, so that's good enough, especially when they are getting a very large cake for free.

I have also finally finished gathering the awards for the banquet. It has been such a task this time as stuff has been back ordered and screwed up like you wouldn't believe. As of right this minute I've done my prep for the banquet, I simply have to deliver the cake and show up. I know I'll likely spend some time setting up tomorrow as well, but maybe not.

We have a visitor in the house this week. "Spike" comes home from preschool for a few days and we record his activities in a little journal to be shared with the class. When Spike came home with Sonny Boy a few years ago, it was simply "write a little paragraph" kind of thing. Of course that has morphed into the realm of super parents who now take pictures and print them off to put in a little photo album. These aren't just printed on the printer either, they have like ran to Wal-Mart. Sorry, ain't gonna do that. I did snap a picture or three and printed them on standard paper and we cut them out for the book. That's the end. I don't get to wound up with the preschool stuff because I have now gotten wiser in my parenting. I have figured out that the boys do not remember this stuff for more than a few weeks. Igor is basically doing the exact same things that Sonny Boy did in preschool. Sonny Boy doesn't recall any of these activities. The $15 field trips - Nada, the Valentine parties - Nada, now I'll give you Igor does seem to retain more than Sonny Boy (Sonny Boy is too busy to remember details) but honestly I doubt he's really going to recall how much time and energy is spent printing pictures of him with the class stuffed dinosaur.

I get this is a totally lame post, but I bet you read it to the end hoping for something better.