Saturday, June 14, 2008


Summer is here.

The public schools all let out yesterday, complete with 8th grade graduation (which Rebi attended) and a pancake outing, pool parties, and high school graduation parties.

I can tell summer is here because in our safe, sleepy town, it is a given that teenagers will have nowhere to be except for hanging at the park and wandering the streets in packs. I lovingly refer to them as the Street Rats.

Last year, they got in the habit of setting trash cans on fire. With all of the vacant houses in our area, I wonder what kind of fun we'll have this year.

Ah, summer.

Bring on Wednesday Beach Day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bedtime Nazi

I believe I will try a new bedtime routine. Because bedtime around here is nothing less than exhausting. And, after they go to bed, I still have work that needs concentration.

Bedtime usually goes a little like this:

9:15- Ty,Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:18- Ty, Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:19- Ellie, Evan, get your teeth brushed and flossed and get to bed.
9:21- Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie!

Now that I have their attention, they all begin to whine that they are starving, and descend like locusts on the kitchen. At this point, everyone begins to whine about why don't I buy and how come we never have and Jamie's family gets and our food is so boring and there's NOTHING TO EAT!

Ty,Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:42- Ty, Nate, go brush your teeth and get them flossed.
9:45- Ellie, Evan, get your teeth brushed and flossed and get to bed.
9:46- Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie. Tyler, Nate, Evan and Ellie!

And this is where they all think I care about the funniest thing that happened on Sponge Bob today or how I should buy a timer so everyone can only play Wii for like 30 minutes because not everyone got a turn today. And oh yeah, did I mention that I have to babysit and the crack of dawn and I told them you would run me over and I forgot to tell you that _________ is coming over to __________ at 7am and I told her you'll be home so to plan on it. . .

And still, not one child has even thought of their toothbrush, let alone put paste on it and stuck it near a tooth.

Usually, at 10:15, I am finally able to manhandle children to the various bathrooms and drag them towards the stairs. I settle down to work and the noise upstairs gets higher and louder and more manic and I begin to worry because it sure sounds like someone is spinning someone else and haven't we had enough broken bones for heaven's sake? And I can feel myself coming unhinged, in a smoke blowing out both ears sort of way. Because let's face it, I'm exhausted. I am mentally and physically tired and there is nowhere I would rather be than in bed. And after I get done working, I really do have to pick mildewed towels up off of the new carpet and put another load of clothes in the washer and attempt to chip dried milk off of the counter and let the dog in and turn off lights and lock up and probably do one last load of laundry or dishes. And they have all of the energy in the world to scream around upstairs at 300 decibels. And I get cranky and mean with them every single night. And then we do it again the very next day.

So, because I can turn a sock into dental floss, I am thinking outside of the box. But not too far out, because I think I swiped the idea from a friend. From now on, I will give them one warning. If I have to tell them again, they pick up 100 things somewhere in the house. And trust me, on any given night, there are always 500 or more things that need to be put away. It's astounding. But that is a very depressing post for another time when I have less pride.

Tonight, I didn't really warn them what the consequence was. I just told them, go quietly to bed, or else.

Evan and Ellie earned it first. And it was a beauty in the art of sibling bickering that put them in my grasp. Evan had to pick up 100 things in the kitchen and Ellie had to pick up 100 pieces of laundry. After their arguments were met with an invitation to pick up 200 things, they did not utter another peep. Not while picking up, and not while getting their sorry little butts back to bed. Bliss.

And I think this will work at least another two days. I will get some quiet time at night and I won't even need to "hire" a "housekeeper". Or shave her chin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Outside of the Box

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I worked in an office. I believe it was Franklin Covey, but very well could have been Discover Card. It's all a distant hazy memory now. However, both of those companies were all touchy feel-y, object lesson-y, team building-y goodness. At one of them, there was a big object lesson on thinking outside of the box. We were divided into two teams and sent to separate offices. Upon arriving, we were instructed to pull an item out of a paper sack and then were given 5 minutes to think of any possible use for it.

The item was a sock.

After 5 minutes, we had the usual suspects of a cleaning rag, a bag, entertainment in the form of a puppet, a warmer of things, a bandage, and variations of those themes. The other group fared about the same. We failed. We could not think outside of the box. And when the facilitator gave us a bunch of other weird and unique uses for a sock, we all shook our heads and oohed and aahed and promptly forgot any but the most obvious uses. Clearly, none of us were innovators.

Which brings me to Nate and Ty. A few days ago, my friend gave me a basket of shells. I brought them home, intending to use them as decorations. Or, at the most bizarre, some sort of art project. I was a little mystified to see the boys like this :

"Roger, Roger! Come in 5 Star General, Tyler"

"Copy that. Proceed, 4 Star General, Nate"

Mom: Tyler, why do you have shells in your ears?
Tyler: These aren't shells, these are Conch Communicators.

It almost frightens me to think of what they might do with a sock.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I should be fired. . .

. . .from my job as a housekeeper.

I still haven't cleaned my nasty kitchen. I have been to WalMart 3 times in 3 failed attempts to make our new insurance pay for prescriptions before the insurance cards arrive.

I love benefits changes. They are always so much fun.

However, I am very glad we both have jobs. Unemployed would be so much worse than schlepping to Wal Mart all day.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I hate cleaning. I clean and 5 minutes later, it is dirty again, which makes me lose my will to clean. But tomorrow I have an appointment at the house and then a meeting south of here and then another appointment and then a meeting. . .

So, if I don't want to answer a lot of questions about the foul state of my kitchen after a weekend of baking, I should probably go clean it. Which I hate. It's a vicious cycle.

But the banana-pear-apple bread, the white bread, the brownies and the cookies were all delicious. I hate scales. I weigh myself and. . .

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quote of the Day

Rebi and Tyler are sitting next to each other, eating cake.

Rebi turns to Tyler and says, thoughtfully, "Ty, I love you like a fat kid loves cake."


"And I LOOOVE cake."

Because I LOOOOVE him

I'm a little bit in love with my boss. But now that I've annoyed him by calling him my boss, let me clarify. He's not. He's an owner of the company I work for, along with 4 other people. I happen to work with him quite a bit currently, but he's not my boss. I just don't know what else to call him. Maybe I can call him "My Don". Such a nice ring. And I love him. I love him so much that if he lived here, I would kiss him. Which he doesn't. So I can say that.

And since it's not likely that I'll ever actually meet him, I feel even safer.

To what does he owe the bestowing of my love? Last Friday, he fixed my SPAM problem. Because he's awesome.

Here's the chat that followed:

Me: I'm thinking I'll be dedicating a blog post to you tomorrow
12:23 PM Don: cool, maybe I'll get around to reading it. I had a lot of catch up to do.
me: Because I love you a whole whole lot right now.
Don: LMAO, why is that.
me:for the first time in months, I am not getting 300-500 (or more) email a day
12:24 PM Don: wow if i was that simple I would have stopped all of your email ;)
me: as far as I can tell, anyway. Maybe I should see what happens overnight before gracing you with my presence. . .
Don: yup
me: (by referring readers to your blog)

12:25 PM Don: ok, it wasn't creepy until after the disclaimer, but then I imagined you flying in and standing over the bed in the middle of the night ... then I got scared.
me: standing over your bed with what?
with a hatchet?
or a chainsaw?
but I LOOOOOVE you!
12:26 PM I'm a little giddy at the thought of leaving email hell
Don: as long as it's not a dismembered rabbit, it's probably ok to choose one of the other images.
12:27 PM me: you know, I never saw that movie. Maybe it's worth it to procure that from Netflix
12:29 PM Don: it is a little freaky. You could see it being a co-worker instead of a mistress.

Which makes me want to go to my room and die. Just a little, inside. Because I LOOOVE him and he only sees me as a crazy stalker. . .

But I can survive it, now that I don't have to wait an hour for SPAM to download every morning. And every mid-morning. And every noon. And every afternoon. . . A blackberry might even be a viable option now. Although come to think of it, I haven't been invited to update my penis for days now, which leaves me feeling hollow inside. What if I end up with the ONLY outdated penis in my circle of friends?

Is that worse or better than email hell?