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June 24, 2019

Reaching out 2019 style? please vote!

My name-tag - didn't think to take a pic
 of it until after I folded it up.
I attended Ed's orientation recently.  Seeing as Coach and I are lucky to go out to dinner once or twice a year - both of us at orientation was never gonna happen.

So, while Ed was off getting to meet new people and inquiring about their snap-chats, I was left to nod at lots of other parents and make small talk.   I scanned the name-tags for parents who might reside near me.  90% of the people hailed from the same state the college is in, which is not Illinois.

Let's face it, Ed might meet friends that he might hang out with once he arrives at school, but I did not plan on becoming buddies with anyone because unless our college students ended up being friends - there was not much point in newly acquainted parents building a friendship.  Right?  (as a side note: this college is enormous!)

Before I ask you to weigh in on how I should proceed if I met a parent that I wanted to keep in touch with, let me describe the social existence (or more appropriately: the lack thereof) that Coach and I 'enjoy'.

Coach works crazy long hours.  He HAS to talk to people while he attends to their physical therapy issues.   I am the chattier of the two of us (shock).  I am surrounded by tots during the day and I crave adult conversation by the time Friday rolls around, which is when Coach is all talked out.

During sports seasons at the high school, we might speak to other basketball player parents during half time.  We invite people over here -rarely, but by the time we decide we have the energy to whip the house into shape and create a few appetizers most people already have plans.  We strike out often.

Our Friday/Saturday specialty:  collapsing on the couch and putting on a movie that we have most likely already seen and then falling asleep.  We congratulate ourselves if we manage to stay awake until the credits.

So, hypothetically speaking:  if I were to meet another parent at orientation, who lives not far from me, would you urge me to 1.  send her a message on Facebook  2.  look up her address and send her a note in the mail with my contact information  3.  wait and see if her son ends up hanging out with my son?

Please vote in the comments below - come on, it is very low risk.  I will not blame you if I am arrested for stalking this hypothetical person.  I will share with you Ed and Coach's opinion on the matter, so you can look forward to their 'manly' approach.

June 22, 2019

least fav task, a loop comment, & girls ARE funny!

Tonight all the stars aligned and I picked up Tank when he finished at the legit landscaping gig without issue.  Next we headed to the golf course -which is very near the legit business- to grab Eddie from the caddy shack.  He had just finished his loop.  Lad had a car parked there, but he was still on the course.  I'm telling you, I run my own caddy Uber service.  Our family always has a vehicle in the vicinity. 

Both of these pick ups happened moments after I rushed from a building after having completed my least-favorite task of the year . . . (drum roll) my bikini wax.

I will not go into details - you're welcome- except to say that I totally appreciate the scene in the movie '40 Year Old Virgin' when Michael Scott's character gets his chest hair waxed.  I decided about 3 years ago that I could handle this 'thing' (after having tried it once a decade ago and bailing on the project indefinitely), because this 10 minutes of EXTREME discomfort makes the summer bathing suit season less bothersome.  Please do not be confused, I am not sporting a string bikini or anything that would defy my age.  Promise.

As I leave the building (or bolt for my car trying to put the entire experience behind me as quickly as possible), the receptionist always tries to set up my 'next' appointment.  'Not till next summer,' I assure her.  'Will be in touch then.'  I need 365 days to recover.

On the way home, Ed told Tank and I about his loop.  As luck would have it, his golfer is currently in physical therapy for his hip and already feels better thru his knees, blah, blah.  Pardon the shop talk - it comes with the territory of being the wife of a PT.

Ed to his golfer who has just revealed he is a physical therapist patient:  'Oh, where are you going for PT?'
In case you were wondering, this is what caddies
 look like when they come home from a loop -
 Curly in the background.  Dinner about
 to be served, but they feast on dry cereal as an
 appetizer.  Still wearing bucket hat.
 Still not finding me funny. 
How is that possible?

Loop:  'Insert name of Coach's clinic.'

Ed:  'Oh, my Dad works there.'

Loop:  'No way!  What's his name?'

Ed:  'Coach Shenanigan.'

Loop:  'Oh my gosh!  Coach is not my physical therapist but I have gotten on his schedule a few times.  He is soooo funny.'

As we drove along, Tank and Ed sat in silence for a moment mulling this one over.

Ed:  'I wanted to say to him "Oh, OK - I have never heard anyone refer to my Dad as being funny, but OK, sure.'

Me:  'Did you say "Oh, you should meet my Mom - she's the really funny one.'

Then I almost lost control of the great white in rush hour traffic, because of the look that Tank (aka the next Christ Farley) gave me that made me laugh till I couldn't see straight.  I am sorry I did not jeopardize our safety and take out my phone to snap a photo of Tank's 'seriously - you, funny?' expression.

Both of my sons assured me that I AM NOT FUNNY. 

Then Ed read us a tweet from his phone:  'If you find a girl who makes you laugh, keep her.  Girls are not funny.'

By the time we were home, they were still challenging each other to come up with one funny girl that they knew at school, or somewhere.  They couldn't.

I almost reminded them of the obvious choice:  ME, but we had just been down this path and involving other offspring in a discussion about my lack of funny thru dinner would only result in said offspring making fun of me until I laughed my butt off and inadvertently choked on my food. 

Step one to being funny, being able to laugh at yourself.  Am I right? 

What's not funny:  tomorrow I will be 364 days closer to my next bikini wax.  Ouch. 

June 20, 2019

caddies, Uber service, camp schedule, and hassle-texts

Tank does landscaping stuff on his own AND also works for a legit landscaping business here and there on top of caddying.  I think it has bugged him lately that his sibling-caddies have mentioned that country clubbers know all members of the Shenanigan fam except Tank, so he has been showing his face around the caddy shack on the regular.

The lady with the legit business met Tank on Next Door website last year, so this is his 2nd year working for her.  He enjoys it and honestly he might have a future in it, if his stand up routine doesn't pans out.

The landscaping stuff in general drives me a bit batty because we always have a car or two circling the golf course where Tank and the other kids (minus Curly) caddy.  It's like our own Uber service -minus the tips.  Plus (this is to offset the multiple minus mentions) caddies typically make a bundle in fewer hours than it takes to plant a row of bushes.  Mulching and mowing jobs that Tank cannot walk to throw a snag in my regular chauffeuring route. 

Exhibit A:  yesterday I had to drive Curly, Reg, and Mini to high school basketball camps 7 minutes or less from home, because when this crew isn't lugging clubs around a golf course, or snarfing down all food in sight, they are playing basketball.  Not necessarily in that order.  My pick ups/drop offs included:  9, 10:15, 11, 12:30, and 3.  Add to that Tank wanting to be dropped off to do his non-legit gig at some woman's house at 11 (at least he now knows to leave unwanted shrubs behind).  He wanted me to come back and get him at 3.

At 2:00 Tank started to hassle-text me:  'I'm done.'  The longer he waited the more aggressive the messages became.  I was also babysitting for the one baby.  Mini is technically handling this job 2 days a week over the summer, but I agreed to cover for her at our house during the hours when she is at b-ball camp.  Ask me if I regret this arrangement.

Ah, the Great White.  This bad boy can find
 it's way to and from the golf course
 blindfolded.  Picture me sitting in here tooling
 around listening to the radio and still testing
the lyrics of every song in case it is a good
 fit for the next grad video I make.  Nothing
 like making good use of time, right?  By the
 way, a lot of great tunes are centered around
 love stories - not applicable to grad videos. 
Such a shame.
Caddies have Mondays off, so I did have college kid drivers available - in theory (if you count Lad's noon wake-up time as 'available').  Add to all of this that Ed and Lad and I juggle two cars between us.  Yesterday morning we couldn't find the key to the car Coach left me, and three drivers were limited to one teenage car that I hate to drive due largely to the smell.  It's the little things.  Not to mention, I prefer my bird's eye view in the Great White.

A golf round is not exactly a science as far as what time it is going to wrap up, but it is typically easier to guesstimate as compared to Tank's 'prediction abilities' concerning how long a landscaping job might take.  I had a situation arise at home that involved a phone call, waiting on hold, and a hope to have it resolved as soon as possible.  Tank was not enjoying my 'YOU SAID 3:00.  YOU NEED TO WAIT' texts.

Tempting to text him:  'Rub some dirt in it', in response to his whining - since he always has plenty of that on hand.  I ended up getting him at 2:30, and then swinging by the grocery store before we circled back to get Reg at 3:00, which turned into 3:15.  This was my 3rd trip to a grocery in 3 days because NO STRAWBERRIES or other fresh fruit available.

Maybe if Tank plants a garden that offsets my grocery visits, I will be more forgiving of these landscaping inconveniences.


June 18, 2019

living with a landscaper, bush disposal, and timing of friend invite?

 I live with a self-appointed landscaper, but you would never know it based on the embarrassing disarray of our yard.  I mean maybe you would put two and two together if you drove by and saw Tank unloading someone else's shrubs from a pickup truck and tossing them under a tree in my front lawn.  But you would probably just think:  weird.  Not necessarily, 'Oh, look.  The Shenanigan kid is a landscaper.'

I also keep reminding Tank that he needs to be clear with people about his limitations.  He had Coach drive him to give an estimate one day.  The next day he has me drive to the same place to do the work at this same estimate house.  Um.  It was a million plus dollar home.  I was like, 'Coach  - you know he is out of his league, right?'  This million dollar baby wanted him to build a retaining wall.  He took a p;ass but did the other things on her to-do list. 

On the drive home I was like L-I-M-I-T-A-T-I-O-N-S!!!

Several weeks ago, I slept late.  This was a momentous occasion folks, because I NEVER sleep late.  I was enjoying lounging in my pj's with hair sticking out everywhere and my unattractive glasses (not my cheaters) perched on my nose while sitting at my desktop in the study.  That's when I heard it.

Teen.  Male. Voices.  In my house - not all of these voices were familiar to me.  Shit, company?  Now?  It is not even 9 am on a Sunday.  Me sleeping till a glorious 8:45 IS sleeping late, but it isn't so very late that I would anticipate visitors trolling around my house.

Tank burst into the study and his buddy started to follow him, but must have caught a glimpse of my  holy-Hell-of-a-mess-of-a-slept-in-self and suddenly jerked back into the hallway.  Yes, I was repulsive enough for a visitor to recognize my need for space and a shower and contact lenses and toothpaste, etc.

The round shrub was one of 10 initially
 left here awaiting official disposal.  The
 weeds in the background - those I can
 claim as ours.  Of course.  Honestly,
these shrubs looked better than most of
 the unloved and overgrown stuff in our yard.
 Still, I was not up for a replanting party.  I wish
I would have taken a photo before they were
in the middle of being hauled away . . . 
Tank paces after a big day landscaping.  It is unnerving.  So he was pacing around the study - not much room to pace in there.  He started telling me about all the shrubs he pulled out for a friend of ours.  I was unaware he was even doing work for her.  He meets most of his clients on Next Door.

He said he was starving and he and his buddy were about to head out to another job.  I offered to make them breakfast.  Tank does not bring friends around often - so I jumped at the chance to make his buddy feel at home, I mean how much more at home can you get if your pal's mom is wearing pajamas?  I ran upstairs and pulled a sweatshirt on and tamed my (thinning) mop.

A few days later my mom paid her lawn service
to come and grab the unwanted bushes.  It was the
 am before one of the last days of school.  I made Tank
 race out and help the guys load the truck,
  and pay Nana for her assistance.  (note:  Nana lives
walking distance from us, but she has yet to fire her
 well-loved lawn service.  She's not wrong!)
During the breakfast making, Tank came clean.  After pulling shrubs out of the yard of Mrs. Friend, she wanted to know if he would also dispose of said shrubs.  He said 'sure' and his buddy admitted to me that he was nudging Tank telling him, 'NO- WE DON'T DISPOSE OF SHRUBS.'  So- my casual ware must have made buddy-roped-into-landscaping feel at home enough to rat out Tank to me.  Welcome to the family, Buddy.  You are in good company.  Tank's sibs also often have stories to tell about messes he has gotten himself into, and I don't need to bribe them with french toast to spill the beans..

Tank swore that he would figure it out, but in the meantime all of the shrubs he yanked out of her yard were now tossed unceremoniously under a tree in our front yard.

And I wonder why our neighbors dislike us?

June 16, 2019

please weigh in & pardon excessive hyphen usage

Another comment that full out hit me in the face when I met with a potential childcare client for next year that might demonstrate the level of peculiarity:
the mom told me that she gets so full of breast milk sometimes that she can almost taste it.  
Riddle me this, 'Why do I attract the cray-crays of the world? WHY, WHY, WHY?'

Another interesting bit:  the woman's family believes that the 3 month old can say 'mama.'  Something about the way the baby gurgles or makes typical baby noises leads them to this conclusion.  If my family was that cocoa bananas (or joked about a baby 'speaking'), I don't think I would have chosen this time to reveal it.

Also entertaining and not at all whack was when the 15 yo asked her mom to tie her shoes as they were leaving my house because she has a strained ACL.  They went on, without realizing that I know my way around physical therapy lingo and the scope of injuries thanks to Coach, to say that she did PT all last summer and how she has another doctor's appointment this week.  Not sure how many times I can use the word 'weird' in one post.  My apologies, but are you noticing a pattern here?

The English?Arabic Montessori teacher who-tastes-her-own-breast-milk-almost left it like this:  she has a few other people to meet with and then she will let me know soon.

I quickly called Becky, my friend who also babysits but tends to attract the MOST normal of people.  I am part of a Facebook page where local babysitters offering services and moms shopping for sitters and nannies post things.  This is where I met one-who-tastes-her-own-breast-milk-when-she-feels-engorged.
Nothing like mixing a batch of my
 favorite protein balls
(not yet formed into
balls, but perfectly
acceptable to be eaten by
 the spoonful) to try to de-stress
from the vacancy situation.

I explained to Becky that there is another mom on FB who has expressed an interest in my childcare services for next school year.  She is a teacher.  Her baby is also currently 3 mos old.  I can probably not take both tastes-her-milk and still-messaging-me's babies knowing that I have a 10 month old (2 days a week) and a 9 month old (3 days a week) next year.  Where the Hell are all the 2 and 3 year olds of the universe?  Just wondering.

Becky advised me to reach out to the other potentially normal teacher and suggest that we get together sooner than later because I had someone else come and meet with me and that I only have so many available spots. I did this and emphasized my not-meaning-to-be-pushy mindset in my message.

Potentially-normal-teacher messaged me back and said that she and her husband talked it over and that they decided they cannot afford me.  I cannot wrap my brain around this.  Potentially teaches at a high school where she most likely makes around $70,000.  A. Year.  My rates are incredibly reasonable and I have not raised my rates in the 4 years that I have done this.

So perplexed readers who are wishing I got a run-of-the-mill job with run-of-the-mill coworkers, what would you do?  If sometimes-tastes-breast-milk calls me up and says:  'We'd like you to sit for baby-that-speaks-at-3-mos next year!', what would you do?  Take a pass, and hope something better comes along?  Or take the job and hope that we can get into a quick and painless drop off/pick up routine? 

June 14, 2019

coat hanger, oat squares, sherbet, suggestions?

Please pass the coat hanger.  I just want to take it for, oh - I don't know like 2 hours, and scratch all the skin away from the inside of my throat.  No big deal though.

Sweet, sweet oat squares
Any other seasonal allergy sufferers out there, who - like me, cannot get any fricking relief from the itchiness in the roof of her mouth and in her throat?  I have sores in the roof of my mouth, and I am pretty sure one of my family members might smother me in my sleep if I don't stop making repulsive throat noises as I attempt to itch my throat through noise and vibration.

Back when I could eat WHATEVER THE F I WANTED TO EAT (aka the good ole days before celiac disease) - I loved, I mean really, really loved Quaker Oat Squares.  Have you not tried them?  Well, you can go buy a box and thank me later.  Those dry oat squares could be positioned on my tongue and then harshly dragged back and forth across the roof of my mouth until (wish I was kidding) my mouth would bleed.

I HATE this time of year.  It is miserable.

This year I am struggling to be able to keep my contacts in for an entire day.  My eyes keep getting all murky and cloudy right after dinner when I start driving peeps all over tar nation, which seems really safe.  Blinking a ton and driving?  Try it - if you have a secret death wish.

I could handle a stuffed up nose or excessive sneezing.  I mean, sneezing is my jam right now, because it automatically itches the throat - at least a full-on, loud sneeze is capable of such joy.  So, what to do?  Carry around sneezing powder?  What is this the 1800's or something?

Real people take allergy medication.  There is no over the counter stuff that will help me.  Not even dent my issues.  Years and years ago, I decided to be allergy tested.  I was in college.  I was on my folks' insurance.  I scheduled the appointment, and went in for a scratch test.

The nurse actually let out a small scream when she came to check on me.  They tested me for like 100 things and I reacted to at least 95 of them.  I left the office looking like the hunch back of Notre Dame with a big swollen back.

I also left the office with the doctor's recommendations for treatment.  The parental units decided that his treatment seemed a bit over the top.  So, nothing.  They did nothing.

And here I am, begging for a coat hanger.  And also thinking this is the year I see an allergist after we've met our deductible of course.  When will that be?  Late October?  Then, when I am not in the throws of severe itchiness (like my eyes itch but if I leave them alone I can survive - but even the sides of my face around the corner from my eyes itch like a mother this year) my allergy needs become less urgent.

I had not had sherbet (I pronounce is sherbert -
 so correct me all you want, but I
 will stick by my original pronunciation. 
 
Last night Coach and I went for a walk after dinner.  We needed Bisquick.  While there, I remembered we were out of ice cream.  I grabbed some and then I saw it . . . rainbow sherbet.  It suddenly occurred to me that this little low-fat, frozen treat might aid my itchy throat and roof of mouth place with a little freezing cold assistance.  I bought it and I ate two bowls when we got home.

Coach called to me from the family room when he saw me scoop out my second bowl:  'Finish it, finish it!'  I misunderstood him and I thought he said, 'That's the shit!  That's the shit!'

Great, now my allergies are affecting my hearing.

June 12, 2019

openings, meet and greet, oddities, touring

Tis the season, to find new families to babysit for next school year.  In other words:  time to sift thru the oddballs and hope to find someone normal.  This is also known as:  'good fit.'

I hate that there was so much turnover this year in my little in-home daycare.  I mean, I guess I am relieved that I lost Narcey with her narcissistic tendencies, but if she hadn't turned out to be such a wack-a-doodle, it would have been a great thing.  I promise that I am trying to let her nut job issues go and be relieved that I didn't have to deal with her (or her psycho husband).

I am losing a few families to logistics/preschools, like the proximity of the willing-to-drive-to-preschool grandma, and the mom who can do one stop and drop both kids next year at a Montessori school near her home in the city.

At this time last year, I was panicked about openings- and it all worked out.  My kids are experts at reminding me of this.  I cannot even express my nervousness about my vacancies with Coach or I will get the loud exhale, shoulder slouch combined with the eye roll.  So, I am trying to remain chill.  It is complicated though.

I equate filling my openings to buying a house.  What if you put a bid in on a house you like, but a house you LOVE goes on the market the next week?  Huh?!  In other words, what if someone asks me to babysit and I agree, even though would-be-client is a bit odd.  Then next week I hear from queen-of-we're-on-the-same-page client?!  Huh, then what?  I can only care for so many babies, so I hate to give up a baby spot to a goofball.  Goofball tendencies obvious during an interview can only escalate during the day-to-day drop off routine, no?

I should add that because I take part time kids and full time kids, my schedule is a bit like a giant puzzle.  Who is going to be here on which days and what days does each family prefer?  This explains why some in-home daycares only take full time.

Not going to tour this wardrobe
bombshell - and this was on a pretty good day.
Today I met with a woman who teaches at a Montessori English/Arabic preschool who has a 3 month old.  First off, I am NOT a fan of the Montessori concept - hope that doesn't offend, but my experience with this educational approach has left me thinking:  huh?

Initial sign of off-the-wall tendencies:  she explained in messages prior to our meeting that she went back to work 2 weeks after giving birth, and took the baby with her to her one room Mont. school. 

See buried behind that chair stacked with
 clothes is a pack and play.  Proof that
little guys sleep in there -
 hidden behind the mess.
Anyway, she brought her 15 year old high school kid along today, which was unexpected.  15 yo was a bit attention seeking and mom and daughter had a couple of side conversations/debates while we were talking babysitting details.  Mini, whose maturity level made this 15 yo resemble a preschooler, was present during part of the meet and greet and afterwards she was like:  WEIRD!

Other signs of oddity:


The mom wanted me to 'tour' her.  She mentioned in our message exchange that she wanted to see my 'environment'.  Montessori lingo?  We chatted in the family room/kitchen (setup for babies/tots) where a big part of the day takes place.  I showed her my basement where I have a great playroom geared towards the preschoolers.  She then asked to see the bedrooms.

I guess if her kid comes here and she is going to nap here, that isn't totally out of the ordinary, but I have never shown a perspective family my bedrooms and no one had ever requested that.  I told her, 'Well, I didn't ask my kids to straighten their rooms (aka as bombshells), but I basically have a pack and play in each bedroom.'  Not sure if the lack of a tour is going to be a deal breaker.

And I am not sure that I care.


June 10, 2019

Stephen A. - if A is for ass

My boys like to keep the TV tuned to ESPN 24/7.  I win out in the mornings and I tune into my favorite news channel.  WGN - channel 9.  It is a local Chicago station, and I enjoy the antics of the newscasters.  Everyone knows NOT to touch the channel while I have Channel news on.

This morning there was a 'story' about how Zuckerberg invented a box for his wife that would help her sleep.  It wasn't a box that she gets into, silly.  This was a box she would place on her nightstand.  It seems that she wakes up many times during the night and wonders if it is almost time to get her children up.  She needs to have them up between 6 and 7 am.

So, this box assists her.  Her brilliant husband Zuckerberg created it so that a faint light shows from under the base of the box at predetermined times.  Instead of waking up and checking the time on her phone, she can go back to sleep if the light is not glowing under the box.

Robin, the female anchor, had a very valid suggestion.  'What if they got their hands on this other invention called a digital clock?  It can be set to dim, so it is not too bright.'  EXACTLY!  What in the world?
Typical:  mouth open, being loud. 
Who gave this guy
a job on television?

I digress.

Anyway, Ed has been home sick the last few days with a fever.  Today he has been fever free and hopes to go back to school tomorrow, which is good because tomorrow is prom.  I am relieved that he is better because prom is on Saturday.  Do you remember when Lad went to prom with mono?  (Well I just did a search for that post so I could link it here, but I never wrote about it.  I might have to do a retro, because it was interesting - to say the least).  We didn't realize that he had mono until AFTER the prom, where I suspect he kissed his date.  Oops.

So, while Ed was home he flipped on ESPN after lunch.  There was my least favorite TV personality of all times.  Claiming that he has a personality is being generous.  Stephen A. Smith.

If you are unfamiliar, and if that is the case - consider yourself lucky, allow me to describe.  He is a shouting lunatic that thinks his opinion mattes.  He talks nonstop and gets way too close to the television.  Ask the ESPN watchers in your life if they can handle Stephen A, or if they are like me.  I cannot have him on when I am within earshot.  'Turn this crap off!'

Reminds me of my Mom's reaction to the day she caught us watching Prince.  Now this is a link I know I have. (Two separate links).

I looked at Ed and asked the question that most people must wonder about, 'How on earth is this guy on television?  Who cares about his opinions?  Why do people call him Stephen A. instead of just plain old Stephen?'

Ed found my commentary entertaining enough to snap-chat about my strong feelings.  Any other strong feelings out there?

June 8, 2019

technology be damned, more cowbell, and Tank's own 'No BURGER!'

When the music I wanted would not upload to the movie I was making for Ed's grad video, I flashed back to the 2 hour wait phone call.  That could not happen again.  I think I stumbled on a different number on the internet - not even realizing it wasn't the same number.  This time this guy:  'Inder' answered.  He was a prince.  He heared my frustration in the 'we no longer support that software' and he rolled with me.  He remote accessed my computer.  he updated drives, changed my music to mp3 format and shazam - the music uploaded.

I was SUPER grateful, because what good is a movie without an awesome score?

That being said, I have to ask:  Whose idea was it to take photos with phones and ipads and share pictures with emails and downloads and Facebook?  Trying to collect all the pics and video from various locations- mind blowing.  To keep life interesting, our new computer decided to organize all of the photos and video clips in fun hiding places.  If I am anything, it is NOT a person who knows how to navigate computer files, update drivers (and why do drivers need to be updated if I just bought my computer) and hiding places and convert music from mp4 to mp3 formats.

Other highlights of the movie:  I have contacted a few of Ed's friends on the sly to request photos from them.  I have also edited a clip where my kids are dancing as if they are in band - part of a book report assignment that made me want to burn down the school.  I took out the audio and subbed it with the audio from 'more cowbell' - the infamous SNL skit.  Ed probably anticipates the video as I made one for Lad, but I believe that he will be floored by 'more cowbell'. 

I also went above and beyond with a little audio clip Tank provided that is hilarious.  Tank likes to imitate a woman who works at our local Dairy Queen.  He claims he once went in and asked for a burger.  Some Dairy Queens have food menus in addition to ice cream - but this wasn't one of them.  Her shock and disgust combined with her accent has proved to be a very entertaining imitation for Tank.  I insist that he share his:  'What?  We no sell BURGER!  We only sell milkshake.  No BURGER!' whenever we have a visitor.  And now - it is burned on the video file.  

Well, I am getting ahead o myself.  I have yet to successfully burn the movie work of art to a DVD. 

What a boring graphic.  Message from
Nero when it wouldn't upload. 
 
Why the Hell can I not get this mother to burn to a DVD?  Um, that is why I went to BB tonight.  I just bought a new DVD player so I can download the 50 minute (I know - ridiculous!) video to a flash drive and stick it into the USB port that new and improved DVD players come with.  Technically I think I bought a blu-ray machine. 

I mean the movie did burn to a DVD but the DVD won't play in our machine.  I called the 1-800 number again.  This time I got a guy who had some ideas
, but he was no Inder.  He suggested I export the file as an mp4 file.  (Yeah, look at me - with the lingo!).  I did that.  Success.  Then he suggested I download Nero software.  My file was too big for the free trial.  So, I bought $45 software - that wouldn't load.  Enter Mini's Mrs. Shenanigan loving cookie genius friend. 

Software uninstalled.  Then installed.  DVD burned.  Much anticipation.  Damn thing would STILL  not play in my DVD player.  Tehnology be damned.  So, guess who gets to hook up our new $80 blu-ray thing tonight?  Coach is gonna be thrilled.

This thing is costing a fortune, but hey - value of memories for a graduation party:  PRICELESS!

June 6, 2019

uncovering a gem of a photo, selective perfectionism, support your software, Adobe!

I have been trying all day to sit down and post something.  Instead:  I hauled piles of groceries home from two grocery stores, sweated my butt off at a workout class, and enlisted my kids to dismantle my daycare setting quicker than you can say poop-diaper.  I also ran into Best Buy followed by an unplanned visit to Party City - a place that always overwhelms me.  It was in BB's parking lot - power of suggestion.

All this because I am preparing for Ed's graduation party.  Did I tell you that almost no one has declined the evite?  Only out of town family like Coach's sis in KC who we knew would not be coming in town said no.  I think the guest list is around 80 adults (half of whom are Eddie's friends).  Then there are probably 40 kids/cousins - many of whom are hardly 'kids' anymore in the sense that they will probably eat a fair amount.

Anyway, I left you hanging about why this particular 1-800 number call was so outstanding.  I use an adobe product called Premiere Elements 14 to make movies.  Not like I am the next Steven Spielberg or anything, but the movies are cute - set to music, captions at times, transitions between slides, a mixture of photos and videos.

This is not my first rodeo - I know what I am doing, BUT I have run into issues in the past.  Like not enough space on my hard drive to allow the software to do its thing.  I have hired a classmate of Mini's in the past - he is a computer genius.  He has bailed me out in the past, and fortunately my warm chocolate chip cookies speak to him.

Adobe does not support the software that I use anymore.  I think this is lousy.  They want me to buy the updated version.  I don't make movies often enough to justify dropping $75 on an updated version.  Fortunately I found a loop hole, and managed to fudge my way thru the prompts to get in touch with a live person.  Bite me Adobe.  You should support your damn product!

This is a gem that I didn't know I had.  It is a photo
 made from a video file that I must have created when
 I made my folks their 50th anniversary video.  It was a
 video of me walking to work in my high school jacket -
 wearing, you guessed it - my Burger King uniform.  Note
 the visor and the MAJOR floods!  These p;ants were way too
short.  I suspect that the video was made beccause I was begging
 for a ride so that I didn't have to walk to BK.  Oh yeah, who's
 laughing now?  That would be me.  
A few weeks ago I called Adobe - and admittedly maybe the number I called wasn't the best number.  I found it online.  I was put on hold for 2 hours 15 minutes.  The background music sucked.  No one EVER answered the call.  I just needed someone to help me because I bought a new computer in October and the software didn't transfer to my new hard drive.  A few days later I tried again, and I got a guy.  He emailed me my link to get my software back.  Hooray!

That's when I began feverishly making this movie for Eddie.  I poured over old video and photo files.  I compiled a bit too much.  Hard to explain but with my new computer I could not upload the files the same way - the software forced me to go thru every file on my computer and save them differently so I could find them.  OK so it didn't FORCE me to go thru every file.  That process combined with my perfectionist personality, and my photos/video selections blew up.  What if I missed something great by not looking at my next file? 

My selective perfectionism is a sickness that unfortunately does not carry over into housework.  Had to mention that in case we ever meet.  (Kari, are you listening?)


June 4, 2019

weep-worthy 1-800 call, stressers, sitting gifts, & a plea for tune suggestions

I could weep.  No REALLY.  I could.  So many layers to this story.  I am wishing for a big conference call so that I could just share with you this elated feeling - I want to scream from the mountain tops:

I WAS JUST HELPED BY A PERSON NAMED INDER AT A HELP LINE, A 1-800 HELP LINE.  Like big time assistance.  It was AMAZING!  WEEP-WORTHY.

So, have you felt like I have been out of touch lately?  Have I not read your most recent post?  Did it take me forever to respond to a comment you were kind enough to leave on my blog?  Did my most recent posts seem like they were written a while ago, not fresh, up to the minute/news-breaking?  Well, I foresaw this giant busy stretch in my life - so I admit that I wrote several posts and scheduled them to drop - while my real life self was threatening to also drop.  As in me, drop down and thrash around like a fish out of water, or more accurately a woman out of her mind overwhelmed.

So the thrashing that could have taken place, but hasn't (YET) could be blamed on a number of things.  Some issues pending, that I will share later - if all the stars align, or I will probably share regardless if it doesn't happen because I do operate on an open book policy here.

Pile of books - with a copy for our house
so we can remember the cuties.
 Thankfully Snapfish had a
 $10 photo book deal going.
Other causes:  college kid cometh home.  Translation:  missing chargers.  Plus the current stresser:  a ginormous graduation party.  Sunday June 9th.  At my call-the-authorities level of filth house.  Where I make all the food for a lengthy evite list that frightens me - because . .  . kid you not - no one has said 'No, shucks, we can't make it.'  Ed is allowed to invite friends to come a bit after our huge family and handful of close friends come - his list sanctioned at 25 but ballooned to 40.  His separate evite has been receiving similar all-in responses.

AND -I have a few more days of babysitting, so I can only do so much party prep in advance.  Certainly I would be insane to prematurely Windex the family room and kitchen sliding glass doors because this short, diaper-wearing troop tends to smear and lick their way across the glass like it is a competition to see who can leave the most DNA.  I suspect filling poop diapers with impressive size loads is also an on=-the-sly contest.

I apologize for the teenage boys lurking in
my way - but this should give you an idea of
the multiple windows readily available for
snot and spit.  Remind me to tell you what the
 teenagers were up to when I snapped this.
Since three families aren't returning next year, I decided a few weeks ago to whip up super cute, rhyming, photo books at snapfish for them to remember us by.  In my spare time.  Not gonna lie - they turned out great.  Unclear whether or not the parents will realize the COUNTLESS hours I spent selecting just the right pictures for each book.  Thank God for 'save as' - since many pages shared the same group shots.  Mini weighed in on each book, and even my daughter who shares my perfectionist gene shook me a few times with a 'no one cares, just wrap it up' speech.   

The most time-absorbing project of late - while it should be clean the house so our guests aren't offended by our grossness - is making a graduation video for Ed.  Enter Inder my 1-800-number hero.  Sadly I have chatted too much.  More info on the big project soon in my next post - also known as a great way to procrastinate about housework even though other posts sit at the ready.  Teaser:  I cannot wait to share with you the photo of yours truly I uncovered in my data gathering.  Get excited.

Please do share your top song suggestions for my grad video in my comments.  Perimeters:  I do not like country music, and therefore will not attach it to my all-consuming project.  Not really into mushy tunes either.  Counting on you!

June 2, 2019

wait, I think I am old

My grandfather died when he was 97 or 98.  I was due to deliver my first baby about 4 weeks later (ended up being 6 weeks because Lad would not budge!).  My grandpa was quite a character. He survived the depression. Drank a small-ish glass of whiskey each day after running it quickly under the tap, which really only added a drop of water.  Back in his day, he had smoked a pack of lucky strikes a day. He claimed grandma’s cooking and his whiskey were secrets of his longevity.


Back when I was a college student and beyond, I used to call him and ask him the same thing:  ‘So grandpa, how are you doing?’ He always responded the same way, ‘Pretty good for an ole guy.’ He cracked himself up.  


So now suddenly I feel old.  Why? Well let me tell you before I struggle to think of the reasons I have gathered in my mind.  Get it, issue number 1- sometimes I simply cannot think of a word. Tip of my tongue and then it is gone.  I sit at my keyboard and think; what’s the word for (such and such). It often comes to me when I have typed a few sentences later, but sometimes I ask whatever kid is around.  ‘What’s the word for . . . . ‘. They give me a weird look.


OK, really, here is my list:


  1. I have managed to hang on to this pair for
    awhile now, but prior to that I was losing
    them and breaking them all the damn time.
      I hate being dependent on them.  Boo.
    Cheaters.  They suck, bad.  I hate taking my glasses on and off.  I got eyeglasses in 4th grade and have wanted to be free of contacts and glasses ever since.  Since I am a self-proclaimed old person, that is a long fricking time. I have the contact lenses thing down, and NOW I have to deal with glasses on top of my contacts?  No thanks. The minute I put my glasses down, I realize I need them again to read a recipe. To see my GPS, I have begun to drive with them perched on the end of my nose.  (thankfully I drive too fast to have fellow drivers consider me a grandma driver).
  2. The enamel on my teeth is wearing away.  Um, holy horrors. This is a nightmare. Can you say cold sensitivity?  Sweet sensitivity? Air sensitivity? All of the above suck, because I love to eat! I recently ate some popcorn and I thought I had a kernel stuck in between my teeth.  I worked on it all night. I adore those little floss sticks and I would not stop picking at my teeth. No improvement. I had Coach and Mini take a peek.  Mini was horrified when she told me that she saw ‘staining’ on my teeth. I don’t drink coffee., I looked myself. It is missing enamel along the gum line.  I do not have a corn kernel in there, I have worn down my enamel. I think by brushing too hard. It is the left side of my mouth, I am a lefty. I do most things in life quickly, and I suspect that brushing fast and furious is to blame for this sad but true sign of my old age.
  3. You should see me get up and down off the floor to change diapers.  I workout every day, but my hips have been complaining more and more lately.  My back is a train wreck with piercing sciatica pain. I have horrible tennis elbow and I don't even play tennis. My kids already imitate my slow and gradual straightening up process when I get up from a seated position.  
  4. My scalp got so sunburned in Florida on spring break because I didn’t wear my baseball hat one of the days.  My stupid hair is so thin. It has a lot to do with celiac disease and the years it went undiagnosed (could not think of the word ‘undiagnosed’ - see? Who struggles with that word?  It is so basic!). I wasn’t absorbing my nutrients and my hair suffered. It’s never coming back folks. Imagine the great look I will be sporting as my sunburn peels. ‘Hey old lady, there are big white flakes in your hair?  Maybe push your goofy glasses up a little higher on your nose so you can see it for yourself.’

May 31, 2019

other memorable Mini moments

I recently shared with you that when someone has a brain fart or a momentary lapse of brain function, we refer to it in these here parts as a 'Mini moment.'  They happen on the regular, and I thought I would share a few that stand out.

So, you know she left her coat at a babysitting job the other day, and didn't even realize she left it there.  The mom brought the coat to my house the next day, because I babysit for her little guy on Mondays.  That seems to be the most popular of all issues:  forgetting stuff.  

Mini got a phone after graduating 8th grade in May.  By the time Christmas rolled around, I could not deny the importance of including her phone forgetfulness, misplacement in the annual Shenanigan Family Christmas poem, where all embarrassing moments are fair game and whether you have been naughty or nice, your shit is going to be shared and aired (along with wishes for a very Merry Christmas, of course) with all of our friends and family.  
Part of the Mini stanza as seen in our 2018 Christmas card.
Nothing is scared.

Another Mini moment:  I randomly found a flower on the floor of my room.  It had a ribbon tied to it displaying our high school's mascot, but it is hard to see the ribbon in the pic.  The next day, Mini commented on the fact that she liked my flower that was now enjoying a spot on the kitchen table, where did I get it - she wondered.  

Me:  'I found it on the floor of my bedroom, oddly enough.  I assume it came from your last badminton practice.'  

Mini:  'Oh, yeah!'


Then it all came back to her.  As if she receives flowers so consistently, that this time it was hard to recall.  I didn't even ask why or when or how she dropped it on the floor of my room - yellow petals scattered around it.  

I sometimes wonder if she is a suffering from a vitamin deficiency or something.  Maybe too much team-building candy.  Who gets a flower, drops it on their Mom's floor, and doesn't recognize it the next morning when it is in a vase on the table?  She is a bright girl.  Gets great grades.  The spaciness is a mystery.  

I must add here that Ed (possibly Mini's biggest critic) recently raced downstairs after getting his fleece vest out of the wash.  He was struggling to work the zipper.  His face was concerned.  He caught himself a split second before he asked me if his vest had maybe been ruined in the washer.  The zipper pull was all the way at the top of the zipper - not where he expected to find it, at the bottom.  

Ed:  'Oh, wait.  Never-mind.'  Nervous laugh.  

I realized what the problem was and I called him out on it.  

Me:  'You thought the zipper was wrecked, didn't you?  Wow, Ed.  You almost had a Mini moment.' 

He couldn't deny it, but he kept repeating as he walked away:  'Yeah, but I caught myself!'

May 29, 2019

love taps, bumpers, and heavy duty transport

This happened a while ago, but I just came across this picture and realized I never shared the story with you, my sane, faithful readers, who have experience parking cars.  

Nothing to see here.  I could
 not wait for Becky,
 my other babysitting friend,
 to show up to
story time so I could describe
 the nuttiness to her.
I was taking the kids I sit for to the library for story time.  Whoopee!  It is a chore.  And I mean a chore to crawl in the back rows of seats in my big-ass, 12 seater, former-airport shuttle Chevy Express van to buckle the tots in their car seats.  

I am the queen of let-me-just-get-one-more-thing done, so I run late.  (me throwing my hands up with this proclamation like I am Italian, but I am not Italian).  Not to mention, I am working with eating, pooping, crying machines, so . . . they contribute to the lateness issue.

I pulled into the parking lot at the library and I pulled into a spot.  There was a car in the spot opposite my van, but the driver had chosen to drive thru the spot so that when said driver had to leave there would be no backing up involved.  Pull away to exit.  My front bumper was facing the driver's rear bumper, get it?

Let's be clear.  I drive a big ass van.  I need all the space I can get.  

I inched forward so that my ass (aka my van's ass - not my actual ass) would not dangle out of the parking spot.  I let my foot off the break.  Again.  Again.  A-g- . . . and I eventually touched, TOUCHED-so that we are clear, barely made contact with . . .  the bumper on the car in front of me.  No big deal, right?  This is why God created bumpers, or Henry Ford, or whoever.

I focused on grabbing the kids from the car and unloading the monstrosity stroller, Big Bertha, that I bought used last year- this thing makes me happy I married a physical therapist, because it is a killer.  It messes with my shoulder, my back, my patience, etc.

Before I walked to the rear of the car, the driver of the car in the spot in front of me hopped out of  her car.  She happened to be sitting in her car on this Valentine's Day when I gave her a love tap.  Swell.  

Just sitting.  I do sometimes get jealous of people who just sit.  She gave me a look.  Then she stood between the two cars and stared.  She looked too old for story time, but hey - so do I.  She had no kids with her.  She wasn't rushing like I was.

I KNEW that there was absolutely no damage done to either car.  I barely touched her, and bumpers function this way.  They touch.  No problem.  Right?

I hopped down from my big rig and said, 'Sorry about that.  I was just inching forward.  I barely touched you.'  I proceeded to unload Big Bertha- the stroller that serves a purpose but secretly hates me.  

'Hi.  I'll behave now,' said my people-mover,
cow of a stroller Big Bettha.
Notice a plethera of straps.
Just no strap to keep it closed.
Dumb.
This was the exact moment that Big Bertha decided NOT to unfold.  Understand, this stroller does not have a little latch that you snap so that it stays compact when folded.  The first several dozen times I used it I just assumed I was missing something.  Nope.  There is no strap or lever or latch that holds the damn thing closed, so usually when I unload it, Big B just opens.  Since she weighs about 175 pounds, it is a slight challenge to unload her and manage her unfolding into ginormous status in a crashing, back-breaking flash.  

Today one of the straps was stuck on another part of the stroller and I could NOT open the thing.  I knew I was being waited on to discuss possible but improbable damage, so I was just pleased as punch to be wrestling with Bertha who insisted on staying closed up and bitchy.  Eventually I discovered the strap with the snafu, untangled it, and she popped open while secretly laughing at me. 

Woman-who-likes-to-sit-in-cars was still standing there when I came around the passenger side (dripping in sweat in a Chicago winter) to unload the booger makers.  

Sitter was exasperated.  I humored her, but I made sure she knew I was not happy about wasting my time.  I bent down and got close to her car.  There was not even a bit of displaced salt on her fricking bumper.  

I should thank Big Betha for putting me in a don't-mess-with-me mood.  I just looked at her.  'That's what bumpers are for.  There is not even a mark on your car.'  

Then I pulled my own personal germ-fest out of their seats and marched into story time all drippy and pumped up and ready to do more than love-tap something.  





May 27, 2019

my name here on out: the reluctant candy shopper

Here I was just using Joann's to cover all of my needs for the evening.  B-day gift, team candy, and art project supply.  Things started to unravel when the checkout line was lengthy.  I had ventured further from dancing than I usually do for errands.  This might not end well.

At the front of the line, the young checker dude saw me fumble with my phone and he pointed out that the only way to call a coupon up on my phone was to download the Joann's app.  Shame on Joann.  I don't want an app to Joann's on my phone (yes, I am 80 - thanks for asking), plus my battery was almost dead.

This is the better wood that we
get at Micheal's. It's hard to see here,
 but it has some bark on
 the sides, which makes it look cool.
  
Kudos to this dude who kept trying to find a coupon that would work to no avail.  He never begged me to complete my order and get the Hell out of the store - even though I wish he would have.  People were sending me hate mail with their eyeballs in the line behind me and I needed to get back to dancing.  I opted to make a return trip to the store with the receipt once I found a coupon at home on my messy counter-tops.  Just what I love, another trip on another day.  I ended up putting some of the astronomically priced checkout candy back and left the store at 8:27.  Dancing would end in 3 minutes and I was about 10 minutes away.  Drat. 

I arrived at the studio to see the lights out and Curly waiting outside with a teenage assistant teacher.  I apologized profusely out the window as Curly hopped in the van, which was pretty much still in motion.

Then I sped away and instructed Curly not to talk to me.  I was now officially grouchy.  At stop lights I texted Mini to say that the candy crap was out of control.  I would be alerting the athletic director of my frustration.  Mini was good enough to point out that I was insane.

Mini did not like the wood pieces from Joann's.  I agreed with her.  They were lame and not like the ones we prefer from Michael's.  Oh well, I knew I was making a return trip.  Just leave that bag of wood to return on the counter with the rest of life's messes.

The next day at dinner Ed called out to Mini:  'Sorry about the candy.  Did you get it?'  Mini kind of mumbled something inaudible and I could tell she was flustered.  I was only half listening, but then a light-bulb went off in my dizzy-from-chasing-my-tail-around head. 

me:  'Mini did you forget that freaking candy at our house after I bought it last night?'
Mini (unable to look at me):  'Thanks,.Ed!  I told you in my text not to tell Mommy!'
Ed:  'Oh, sorry, I didn't see that part of the text.'

Mini had inadvertently pulled what we, her loving family members, refer to as 'a Mini moment.'  she babysat for a baby I sit for over the weekend.  When the mom dropped off on Monday, she brought along Mini's coat that Mini left at their house.

I just found Mini's bag of candy from her
badminton big sis.  Ridiculousness!! 
Am I right?
Mini had to be at school early the day after the candy buying emergency.  When she got to school she realized that she forgot the bag of big sis candy and texted Ed to bring it.  Ed didn't see the text in time.

I, the reluctant candy shopper, drove right past the school on the forgot-the-candy day with the tots.  I could have stopped and dropped the candy.  OR - I could have purchased not-ridiculously-over-priced candy at the grocery store, which is where I was going with the tots, and returned the other candy later at Joann's since I had to go back to Joann's anyway to do the coupon thing and return the yucky wood.

If looks could kill, Ed would not stand a chance.  And, if girl team-building could include colorful hand drawn notes/posters taped to lockers from well-wishing teammates, then I would stop threatening to embarrass the Hell our of Mini by voicing my disgust to the athletic director.

May 25, 2019

I will take a kitty gift, mega candy, and a wood board

I texted Coach during my down-the-street-from-volleyball away games to see if he could pick up from dancing.  Nope.  So, after watching some (not all) volleyball I ate my dinner in my car while reading emails, etc on my phone.  Then it was time to get a few things done.

I sent this text to Mini.  I bought the no-sew
blanket and the kitty coloring book and
passed on the weird key-chain making crap kit.
  Underneath the coloring book in the center
 is the weird wood that Mini did not like. 
The corners were sawed off
in a failed decorative attempt.  
You know I babysit in my house during the school day, so these after-hours are precious and I don't take get-things-done lightly.

Curly needed a birthday gift.  Can I tell you how tired I am of birthday gift buying?  Lad is almost 21.  You do the math.  I'm too tired.  My gift-buying instructions were:  cats and art projects.  Yikes.  I searched on my phone for a Michael's.  Not close enough.  I decided to go to Hobby Lobby.

Mini texted.  Her badminton 'big sisters' needed a gift by the next day.  She hoped I could buy some candy for them.  After having 3 boys play high school sports first, I cannot adjust to the team building mentality of high school girls' sports teams.  Call each other big or 'lil sis and then deliver a bunch of candy about 4 or 5 times a season.  These candy drops are always scheduled at the last minute, which does not align with someone who doesn't go to the store that often (anymore).

I wish this picture
 could convey my
inner frustrations that
they were closed.
My phone was almost dead.  I kinda knew where Hobby Lobby was, but I saw a Joann's first.  I pulled in the lot and almost went in, but I googled Hobby's location and pressed onward figuring they had a better selection.  I got out of my car as an employee left the building to gather carts.  She called over to me, 'We closed at 8:00.'  It was now 8:01.  Oh, it was going to continue to be one-of-those-nights.  Damn it.

Gift that Mini made for Lad since he goes
 to college in New York.  She used photos
 from images printed off the internet to spell
 out Chicago (captain obvious? not
 sure you could tell in this picture).
I booked back to Joann's.  Grabbed a cat coloring book, a cat no-sew fleece blanket, and a junkie art kit, texted a pic to Mini (I couldn't communicate with Curly at dancing).  Mini weighed in, and I told her I would do the blanket and the book and hope that a coupon would work to make it an acceptable birthday gift total.  Then she rattled off the candy I could grab that was available in the checkout line.  I told her that I was getting a few wood pieces for her.

Mini made a gift for Lad at Christmas and I suggested that she do some personal graduation themed boards in a similar fashion.  Maybe someone would buy them as gifts if I posted examples on Nextdoor.

I admit that I was feeling great.  Three birds with one stone.  What could go wrong?




May 23, 2019

evening chaos, thermos, and perpetually late me

My weeknight evenings are rarely calm and serene.  There's typically dashing in and out the door, dropping a kid here or there, squishing someone's dinner into a thermos, and trying to catch some part of someone's sporting event.  Thursday promised to be no different.

Coach worked late.  Curly had dancing class from 6-8:30.  Coach sometimes picks her up from dancing on Mon and Wed when class ends at 9:00.  Ed and Tank had away volleyball games not far from the Irish dancing studio.  Score!  Meanwhile, Reg walked home from track practice.  My mom agreed to pick up Mini and her BFF from badminton.

At drop-off in the morning, one dad said that they wouldn't be there to get their kids until after 4:15, which is fine - it just meant I would not be able to see Tank's whole volleyball game.  For some reason that escapes me, I cannot be ready to walk out the door the minute all of the kids are collected.  The dad ended up getting his kids before 4:00, so if I had my act together - well, I could have been ready to go.  In theory.  I spent the whole 25 minute drive to Tank's game frustrated with myself.  Why can I not be ready when the kiddos vamoose?

Problems?  1.  Dinner -rarely started early enough.  2.  Me being me.  3.  Messy counters that didn't start to tick me off until 4:00 when I noticed how gross they were.  4.  Inability to wave my magic wand and make time stand still.  .

Have I ever shared a picture of this Irish
 dance bag?  I made it for Curly.  It is like
 a duffel bag with a letter 'M' on it - her
real-life initial.  I even sewed a zipper
 in it - no easy task any non-sewing
types out there.  Plus here is her regular
thermos and my ceramic dish with a lid that
doesn't really keep food warm, but
 I'm a mom - so I am accustomed
to eating cold food.
Curly, her dinner thermos and her dancing shoe bag, and me and my dinner and my iPad (in case I had time to write something.  Someone might wisely call my 'iPad at the ready' - ironic, or foreshadowing or something)  raced to the away game, leaving the house at 4:45 - his game started at 4:30.  We missed all of Tank's game.

And then?  We watched Ed's team warm up forever, which would have been a perfect time to run to dance class but it was too early and no one would have been there.  Instead, we had to leave Ed's exciting game to drive to dancing.  I returned a bit later, but missed the end of that set where Ed scored the point to put us in extra points.  (Not sure how you say that.  I don't speak volleyball, ask me stuff about water polo- now that is my forte).

So my down-the-street-from-dancing-class night that seemed so aha-the-stars-have-aligned-and-life-isn't-totally-inconvenient was not turning out to be so 'oh I will just get there, see that, drop her there, and be back to see that - ish' at all . . . which was frustrating - (how long is this sentence, or are we calling it stream of consciousness) but so as not to be long-winded, even though that too is my forte, I will leave you hanging until I describe the next chapter in my oh-so frustrating evening.


May 21, 2019

metamorphosis into a teen as witnessed on a road trip

Something else happened on our drive to Florida besides Coach going all granny on me and my driving.  Reg became a teenager right before our eyes. No, it was not his birthday.  He turned 13 in January. You remember, the no gift birthday?

CLUE #1 of how I could tell my little boy had shed his little boy-ness:  His voice changed somewhere between when we backed out of the driveway and when we hit the palm lined expressway in Florida.  Like in the blink of an eye!



not sure if you can see the odd coloring
of Mini's legs.  Bright red mixes
 with swishes of lily white
.
Me, waking up from a little snooze in the car: 'Who got in the car while I was sleeping? Who is that talking like that in the back of the minivan? I do not recognize that voice. What just happened?' I mean, I was a little groggy, but his voice change was that sudden and drastic.
CLUE #2: Reggie's appetite is now bottomless. Some background: Reg is a kid that is known to throw up pretty regularly after parties or sleepovers - so maybe his appetite has always known no bounds, but he could not handle overload initially. Or, we are in deep denial and he really has celiac disease. That would suck, so we are better off in denial. I cannot cut a 13 year old off of sheet cake and mountains of cereal. I admit that his fixation on food has been ramping up a bit lately- not just on the trip (not the eat till I vomit ramp up - that was mostly reserved for parties). It became more obvious on the road when our well-stocked pantry was back home in our unfinished kitchen.  

CLUE #3: Reg's sense of humor slapped us in the face with a steady stream of wise-ass, goofy remarks - the kind that only a teenager would make.  Half the time we shrugged and looked at each other like, ‘What?’ At times our 'what' was in reference to Reg acting stupid, the rest of the time it was because Reg has a new marble-in-my-mouth form of speaking.  His comments and jokes consisted of a confusing mumble jumble of nonsense.

I was anxious for Eddie to arrive home from Europe thinking he would literally stop dead in his tracks and say, ‘What happened to Reg’s voice?’  It is that dramatic of a difference. Ed has not commented yet. Jetlag? Fixation on choosing a college?

CLUE #4: This one might not be a teenage thing, but based on Reg's sunscreen issues, I think I am on to something. Reg put on sunscreen. Coach applied it to his back.  Reg claims to have reapplied. This 13 year old with the new voice spent more time in the water than the rest of us, because we don’t all appreciate the adrenaline rush supplied by hypothermia.  (Each day the water got a little bit more tolerable as the days became warmer). Anyway, we wonder if maybe he hopped in the surf too soon after slathering himself with sunscreen? Or, is it a telltale sign of a teenager?
What happened to this guy?!
(update - he recovered after a few days)

The first day, Mini suffered some oddly shaped burns on the back of her legs. Results of lazily rubbing sunscreen (or maybe rubbing is too generous a term) haphazardly across her legs. She's a teenager too, so maybe their frontal lobes just isn't developed enough to focus on SPF.

The girls were both jealous of Reg after that first day claiming that he has better tanning capabilities.  

Well, the next day is when Reg either rubbed the protecting layer off with a towel after swimming or dove in too soon. His nose skin started oozing a strange orangish gel. His eyes swelled up. Now my deep-voiced teen started to resemble a puffy faced helpless infant.