February 20, 2020

circling wagons while hobbled

This has been a day . . .
Icing my knee and rocking
my Smart Wool socks. 
If I ever do a favorite
things post for winter
stuff Smart Wool socks will
be at the top of the list. 
Reggie's Bears
 throw blanket next to
 me is not all bad either.

I attended my early morning workout class (Wed., Feb. 12) today at 5:45 am.  During the class my newly recovered knee froze up a few times.  (It has been at like 85% but recently I have noticed a few ouch moments that have sprung up.  I have been back at full-on workouts since mid January.  Still cannot grab my ankle and pull it up to my butt from behind easily when I stretch).  I bent it back and forth and waited for it to snap back into good-to-go status then finished my workout.

Later walking in my kitchen my knee gave out on me.  BITCH!  It happened a few times.  I texted Coach.  Before he could respond, it clicked three times and then I had a new pain shoot down the inside of my knee that crippled me for a few minutes.  I had just told the preschooler to get his shoes on so I could take the gang to library story time.  I considered skipping it, but I limped my way through it totally distracted by:

1.  the realization that I might need to miss my workouts AGAIN, and 

2.  teenage crap that was making me nuts.

Backing up to the teenage crap . . . I have been pondering the Tank situation that I detailed a few posts ago.  I feel like his behavior started to unravel and gradually became the new norm since fall.  Us calling out corrections to him as he is racing out the door is doing no good.  Shock.

My timeline of his transformation into an ungracious pain in the neck:  I think that things shifted a bit when Ed left for college.  I don’t think Tank really misses Ed all that much (he found Ed to be a goodie-goodie who policed other people too much, whereas I found Ed to be a kid always willing to pitch in and always concerned about others).  

Instead I think t could be that Tank is a junior and he is not as goofy as he once was.  (Although I am CONFIDENT that he is goofy when he is with his friends).  He IS definitely more focused on school work.  Maybe it is stressing him out?  Trying to get good grades (a real struggle for him, but this is a new leaf and it is self imposed.  We don’t really obsess over grades) and be college ready, etc.  He has decided that he wants to do ROTC.  I suspect that this mission has prompted the new outlook on school.

Then last week he texted me from school that he was having his worst day ever . . . His case worker from school was helping him reach out to ROTC and ask questions.  Turns out they  don’t take students who have an IEP or who have been taking medication for ADD, etc.  The next day he learned about a possible waiver, so he is still trying to figure out if it will work.

I am not going to tell him that he cannot do ROTC but I have shared with him that I feel like that program might be a tad too rigid for a kid who is not one to conform.  Or workout.  Or eat healthy or be on time for school.  I have asked him to be open to other possibilities.

Other influences or contributing factors:  he decided to start working during the school year by skipping a season as an athlete.  Until now he had done a sport each season.  I like that plan for my kids - it keeps them busy and they all benefit from being part of a team.  Tank figured he would not make the varsity basketball team and he took a pass when they begged him to just act as the team manager.  (He is well known for his sense of humor and the coaches know him and really tried to get him to take on this role).  Instead he got a job at our friend’s family business.  Lots of teens from the high school work there (including his good friend) sweeping floors and packing boxes, etc.  We told him he could only work 3 days a week.

Well, Tank was already doing travel volleyball 8-10 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  He ended up deciding to work 5 days a week after school till 6 and sometimes on a Saturday.  I attempted to get his attention by saying he would have to miss work unless he took care of things at our home, ie:. Messes he tends to make.  No sense in sweeping up at work if you refuse to sweep up at home - my mentality.

Well, that threat turned out to be an idle threat because Coach is not on board with having Tank cancel out on work at the last minute.  (Coach has teenagers work at his office).  So, busy Tank rushes off to work right from school, races in after work at 6, rolls his eyes at dinners that I prepare, leaves a trail and then rushes out the door to volleyball.  When we try to argue that he is working more than we agreed to, he counters that if he was managing the basketball team he would be spending the same amount of time after school at practices.  He did make the honor roll.

I have a hard time punishing my teenagers, not because it makes me feel bad - just tough to find something that 'gets' them.  There is very little I can take away from them without totally inconveniencing me.  Last week I texted Tank and asked him where his whistle was because Reg was reffing a basketball game for adult with special needs group.  Tank's response:  “It’s in my fucking drawer.”  He was ticked that Reg was going to borrow it.  Um, who texts their mother like that?  I told Coach tonight that we still had yet to punish Tank for that infraction.

We had a pow wow with Tank tonight.  We have taken the car from him for a week.  When we pointed out some of the ways he has been disrespectful and unappreciative I reminded him of a time in 6th grade when he expressed concern about me spending money on something for him (adding him to the Irish dancing rip to Disney).

Tank:  “I was in 6th grade!”

Me:  “And now you are a junior in high school and you should have more sense than you did back then.  You should be more appreciative and gracious - not LESS.”

I was already on red alert with his attitude, but today my high school kids had a half day.  Mini had to take the bus this morning.  Tank left early for a meeting.  OH, and I got an email that Tank was late for school.  I texted him, what gives?  You were at school an hour early, how are you late.  

His  response:  “The bell rang before I was in class so I was tardy what’s hard to understand?”  Exhibit A!!!  

I get emails about his tardiness daily, but this one stuck out - he usually leaves late for school but he was there meeting with a teacher so . . .  get in your classroom you butt head.

I digress, Mini missed the bus this morning.  I had to leave Reg and Curly home with the babies when I drove her to school.  Mini got home late from an away b-all game last night, but I sensed she was ticked at us so I asked her what the issue was when I drove her to school.

She started crying.  Monday night (same night as Girl Scout cookie garbage littered the island) a kid left a dinner plate in the family room, where they are not allowed to eat.  This mystery person dropped Italian Beef on the carpet and on the end table AND WALKED AWAY.  Coach assumed it was Tank and texted him at open gym to say ‘Why’d you leave your plate in the family room?’

Tank later insisted it was not him and then threw Mini under the bus.  “Mini told me to just take the fall for it, because she didn’t want to be in trouble.”  Mini denied eating in the family room until I shared Tank’s bean spilling.  Then Coach let loose on her for lying.

Later that morning I texted both Tank and Mini.  “You are to leave your cell phones in the kitchen from now on.  They are not allowed upstairs.  If you need them to do homework, then do your homework on the first floor.  Serious consequences if you break the rule.”

There is a new sheriff in town.  A sheriff who in the quiet of a hotel room thought ‘we need to take back our fricking house.’  The rule has always been that they charge their phones on the first floor.  Never.  Happens.  Mini has a horrible habit of turning her room into a sty.  I believe firmly that if she spent 10 minutes dealing with laundry, it would not be an issue.  So, remove the phone that she claims she rarely uses and I still say that 10 minutes will be found to deal with the room.

Anyway, on our drive to school after the missed bus Mini explained that she thought the not-so-new but suddenly enforced phone rule was in response to her eating in the family room.  She was mistaken and that is why we were all getting the silent treatment.  

I asked her if she and her friends wanted to hang out at our house at noon today and then I could move my dermatologist appointment up to nap time and Coach would not have to come home from work early.

She texted on her way home with Tank that her friends did not want to come over, they opted to go out to lunch.  (These half days are e-learning days, so the kids are supposed to go home and get work done.  They sometimes go to one person’s house to study.)  I texted back that she didn't HAVE TO come home, and she should go out to lunch.

Knowing that she was not talking to us due to the phones remaining on the first floor rule, I gathered that she would come home and sulk because I 'made' her miss lunch with her friends.

Meanwhile I had instructed both of them to stop and buy me some chicken for dinner on their way home.  Tank was all eye-rolly and objecting because he wanted to hang with his friends.  I said you can do this quick errand for me.  

From the grocery store he called me while Mini sulked in the car.  They were out of the individually wrapped, boneless chicken breasts I usually buy.  I was giving him backup chicken instructions through his deep sighs and gasps.  

Finally I yelled into the phone:  "I AM FEEDING YOU!"  Because it wasn't as if I asked him to stop and get me by favorite chocolate bonbons or something.  This was a dinner essential and clearly an oversight on my part for running out of it.  I often send kids to the basement freezer and never getting a  low inventory message threw me off my A game.

Before Tank got home with the chicken I texted Mini's BFF.  "Where are you guys for lunch?"  When Tank got home, I ordered him to drop Mini at Chick Fillet.  He ranted.  I RANTED LOUDER.  Meanwhile Mini stood in my mudroom poised to pout all afternoon.  I HOLLERED AT HER TO GET RIGHT BACK IN THE CAR.    She tried to tell me Tank would never drive her.  I was all:  YOU WANNA BET?

They chugged away in the teen car shouting at one another and I hobbled over to the phone and called Coach in tears before I flopped on the couch to feed a wiggly baby his bottle while attempting to ice my knee.  

Curly is skipping dancing for a few days - story to follow - so we were home tonight.  At the same time.  Coach and I circled our wagons.  Agreed on reigning in the nonsense.  Tank tried to defend himself during our 'discussion' of offenses.  

Tank:  "I told you good dinner tonight."  

Yeah, I noticed.  It's a start.  

February 18, 2020

a plan that will NEVER work, plus sibling devotion

So, I am wondering how long the empty girl scout cookie boxes can sit on the island.  Will they still be there when we host a dinner for Reggie's confirmation in April?  How far will we take this?  

When I gave Tank his 'talking to' on my now infamous drive home from St. Louis I touched on a few things:

1.  Be prepared to pitch in more while I am taking this writing class.  Tank's idea is an interesting plan that will NEVER work, but it is so darn tempting.

Tank:  "Why don't you just stay in by your computer and NOT come out of the study to yell at us and tell us to clean up the kitchen and do jobs?"

Me:  "What the hell?  That will mean that we have no clean dishes the next morning because how will the dishwasher get loaded and  started?  What happens when there are no clean clothes?  How long do you think it will take before someone does something about the bathroom garbage bins that will undoubtedly overflow if I do not remind someone to empty them?"

I must admit that this plan is REALLY tempting.  We can go the way of the girl scout cookie boxes and just NOT say a thing to any of them and see how they hate living in the kind of conditions obliviousness creates. 

The only real problem I have with this plan is that Coach and I still have to live here.  

2.  As I touched on how annoyed I am that he is not kinder to his family members (particularly Mini) I reminded him of a story about Mini.  

He and Mini are only 16 months apart.  Mini has always been devoted to him.  When she was a tot she could not say  his name.  We called Tank by his first and last name all of the time.  It just has a nice ring to it.  Tank's real life middle name is Micheal.  Since Mini could not say his first name, she called Tank 'Michael.'  He would jump up and come running to her when she called to him:  'Michael, Michael.'  She was probably not quite 2 years old.    

We used to try to see if he would respond to us when we called him Michael.  I would call to him over and over and he would totally ignore me.  Coach and I just about died laughing.

Tank did not speak until he was almost 3.  Ah, the glory days.  Just joking.  He had a serious speech delay, but he would communicate with grunts and facial expressions.  I have hilarious home movies of him.  His big cheeks would shake as he ran across the room to see what it was that Mini wanted when she summoned him.  They were quite the twosome.

A few years later, Tank got in trouble for something.  It was shortly after Halloween and if the kids had behaved they got to pick a Halloween candy treat.  I put Tank's pumpkin head filled with treats on the fridge and said, "Tank you cannot have a treat because (insert whatever he did)."  

Mini:  With arms crossed over her chest, "If Tank is not getting a Halloween treat, then I don't want one either."

Fast forward to 2020.  Tank is rotten to his buddy Mini.  I cannot tolerate it any longer.  

A few weeks ago Tank was in the basement with his buddies playing ping pong.  I was about to go to bed, but I tossed some of my hot-commodity frozen cookies on a plate and carried them down.  

Tank objected to my presence in the basement.  I told him to stick it.  

Me:  "Hey guys.  Here are some cookies.  Now I just took them out of the freezer, but you can eat them in a few minutes.  BUT before you do, I invite you to have a cookie if you agree to one thing.  Only take a cookie if you agree that Tank needs to treat Mini better."

Tank's friends erupted in scoldings towards their leader:  "Yeah Tank!  What's your problem anyway?  You are so bad to her.  It's so dumb.  She's cool."  

Me:  "See Tank.  Even they agree."

Tank:  "Whatever, they just want your cookies."

In case you have not gathered what Mini is like, allow me:  Mini is hilarious.  She is NOT boy crazy.  Totally into hanging with her girls.  Surrounds herself with a close knit group of pure-as-the-driven-snow friends.  Doesn't do drama.  Makes for a very loyal friend.  Is friendly with various  groups at school and most kids greet her or know her.  I do not think anyone dislikes her.  Is interested in the happenings in the world, and understands what is going on in foreign places (unlike her mother).  Rocks the messy bun, or beautiful curly/wavy hair compliments of her towel turban depending on the day.  Fairly athletic in a not overly competitive kind of way.  She has only ever worn makeup for Irish dancing competition and has no interest in wearing it in real life.  Plays the fiddle.  Has serious artistic ability.  She is VERY devoted to her grades and is pretty dang bright.  Cannot keep a room organized to save her soul.  Never knows where her phone is.  Steer clear if she has not gotten enough sleep (just like her mother before her).  

Tank and his friends could hang with these girls and not act so superior because they could do a lot worse as far as buddies go.  His friends don't seem to object.  I pointed out what a great opportunity it is that they are so close in age.  They have always enjoyed each other's company.  

On Mother's Day Tank and Mini tried to recreate some fragrance or hair product commercial.  It was right before bed.  Early riser Coach was already in bed.  We laughed so hard as they tried to get thru their script with french accents without cracking up, that I feared we might wake Daddy.  I was about to wet my pants as I tried to video a perfect take with my phone.  Ed (in the background) could barely stand up, he was laughing so hard. Trying to insert that video here and yes, I have refrained from hiding their faces.  The video is just too funny to NOT share.

Both kids initially expressed an interest in hosting friends here for New Year's Eve, but when Tank caught wind of the possible sharing of space/overcrowding situation, he baled.  I even offered to have them rotate out of the basement and hang in the family room and kitchen while Coach and I and the younger kids scurried up to  my bedroom.  

Tank feared flaws to my plan that might lead to possible overlap, so Mini hosted her peeps and he went to a friend's house.

What I am saying here is:  This is not over.  

February 13, 2020

Taking a poll: Italy or skip?

Last year Ed went on a high school trip to Europe over spring break.  It was his senior year.  He was a 4th year Latin student.  He had a great experience visiting Paris, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.  The trip was not cheap.  It cost $3,500.  Ed paid $1,000.  My mom chipped in $500.  Coach and I paid the rest.

Photo of the Eiffel tower by Eddie.
Lad was a bit bent out of shape because he did not get to go on a Europe trip in high school.  He barely skated thru the Spanish classes he took freshman and sophomore year.  The Europe trips at our school are open to all students (I think), but students who are seriously studying a language are first introduced to the trip and they sort of get first dibs.  The trip Ed attended filled up fast.  

Translation:  we never really knew anything about these kinds of trips while Lad was in high school.  

Background:  not sure if you have caught on to my long-term, middle child syndrome issues since I keep that on the down-low.  Let's just say as a result of my upbringing, I try when I can to be consistent.  I desperately try to avoid playing favorites and I like to be as even-Steven as possible.  
Guess who got to see Notre Dame weeks
before it burned?  I am not 100% sure that this
 is Notre Dame in this photo from his
trip, but if not it is another cool church.  

I will not bore you with details of my brother, Pat, and his travels to Ireland for his music competitions when we were kids.  

Fast-forward to Curly and her international travels for dancing and I assure you that I struggle with leaving some kids behind on these trips.  When I just booked flights to go to Dublin for World Championships, I tried to bring Reg and Tank.  Reg assured me he could not leave the country during March Madness.  And Tank feared it would be an Irish dancing centered trip - even though I insist that the dancing will just be one or two days.  It is once again just the girls.  

A few years back, Curly was dancing in Orlando for July 4th.  Mini and Reg were dancers, but had not qualified to dance in the National competition.  I decided to take the two of them.  

Backstory to the backstory, Irish dancing detail:  They did not qualify because we got unceremoniously kicked out of our dance school since I complained about verbally abusive teaching methods.  Their age groups had to qualify, but we had to sit out of a qualifying round because of our transition to a new school, thus no Orlando.  All this to say, I felt bad that they were getting screwed in the school transfer deal and wished I had the foresight to ditch this school before it got so ugly.  It was a traumatic experience and I felt we all deserved a little Orlando amusement park fun.  

Tank was not involved in the dancing drama at this point.  So when recently-retired-from-dancing -Tank found out that I was taking the 3 littles, he seemed bummed.  

I froze.  Could not sleep.  I thought I had run the travel itinerary past him, and he had shrugged it off.  Now he seemed wilted and left out.  He was a 7th grader.  I drove up to the middle school midday and took him out of class.  I asked him in the school front office if he wanted to go to Orlando with the 3 youngest and I.  He sheepishly said he felt bad about the added expense.  I got all choked up and explained that I had planned to take the 3 dancers and thought he was initially OK with it.  He begged me to stop crying because we were IN THE SCHOOL FRONT OFFICE.

I came home and booked him on our flight.  Coach was a little miffed.  $$$.  My emotional state over-ruled all talk of the expense.  

After Curly danced, we visited the Disney parks for 2 days.  The heat of July was insufferable, but oh my gosh - we had a blast.  I would have felt awful if Tank missed out.  Lad and Ed were in high school, and were not overly sad that they did not get to go.  

Present day:  Mini is in her 2nd year of Latin.  Her teacher is taking a group to Italy over spring break of 2021.  I attended the informational meeting about the trip even though I already knew the cost was OUTLANDISH.  The trip is $4,500.  They are only going to one country.  Eddie told me that he didn't feel that it was worth it to only see one country.  The trip sounds amazing, of course.

Mini kinda wants to go, but she is more nervous about going without knowing friends on the trip.  Plus the cost.  

In the mumbled up files of my brain, last year when Ed traveled to Europe I justified it by saying to myself that we could send Tank and Mini on a trip together (I do not think we could send Tank to a foreign country without a responsible sibling tagging along on the same trip) when they would be senior/junior.  In the same brain waves, I insist that we will find a suitable Europe adventure for Lad to attend after graduation, so you know  - no one can point fingers and claim favoritism.  Not on my watch!

Well, hello very expensive trip!  Times two?  I guess it is out of the question.  Like Lad, Tank is not a serious language student.  He is in his first year of sign language.  

If we signed Mini up for the trip by Feb. 1st, she would be eligible for a $500 scholarship that they were going to raffle off.  We did not register her.  Coach insists that I have lost my marbles, and was not really all that interested in entertaining the idea of even one kid attending the trip.

I spoke to my mom about it last week while I was still grappling with the Feb. 1st possible $500 thing.  (by the way, we can put down a $200 deposit to hold a spot and then if she doesn't go we lose the deposit).

I lamented to my mom how I would feel bad if I sent Mini and not Tank.  

My mom:  "Well, I just think Mini would enjoy it more."  Translation:  Mini is smarter, just send her.  

I reminded my mom that Tank is crazy interested in history and the trip would include LOTS of history.   

My mom:  "Oh, well that's true."  

I don't think either of the kids are going.  Do  you think I am crazy?  Or just jaded by my middle child crap?  Do you think we should send one of them?  Both of them? (if you vote yes here, please suggest fundraising ideas).   Has anyone sent a post college kid to Europe? 

My brother, Pat, and I studied in Ireland on the same program while in college for an entire school year.  We traveled around Europe at Christmas.  It was amazing, but I do think there is something to be said for traveling on a tour with guides who know stuff.  We knew nothing and referred to 'Lete's Go:  Europe' like it was our bible.  The tour the high school uses arranges great meals and special tours, etc.  

Save me, friends.  My brain hurts.  

EDITING TO ADD:  Speaking of brain hurting, in my effort to schedule my posts on Tues/Thurs everything got mumbled and I inadvertently posted 3 things this morning.  If you were the one person that read all three posts, rest your eyes and hope you enjoyed your sneak peek of what is to come.  I have moved those premie posts to a bit later in the rotation.  Watch after all this the writing class will be a breeze and I will not have needed to be a busy beaver and stockpile posts like this.  (wishful thinking)

February 11, 2020

Tranquil plus rude, and then home to slobs

I wanted to stand on a chair to get a better
 photo of the many volleyball courts,
 but I think you get the idea.
Oh, and our team won its
first set and then lost every other game.
All weekend.
I was in St. Louis over the weekend.  Tank played in a volleyball tournament.

I found it crazy that they scheduled this 3 day event the weekend BEFORE a three day weekend.  This caused kids to be pulled out of school and worker bee parents to take Monday off.  I cancelled two sitting jobs for Monday and paid almost $700 for 3 nights in a hotel.  We are new to volleyball (still missing high school water polo) and I had no idea that there could be so many nets, like 60, in one giant building.  Tank said there were more at McCormick place in Chicago the weekend Coach and I were in Dallas and he went with friends.  

All I can say:  bullet dodged.  

Tank wanted nothing to do with me.  He hung with his friends in the room across the hall.  One of the boys brought an xbox.  They didn't play until 3:30 Sat. and Sun.  Translation:  I enjoyed LOADS of quiet time to write.  So different from an Irish dancing weekend where we are up before 5 am and losing bags in cabs and chasing cabs through Orlando, etc.  

The workout facility at this Marriott was top notch, so I put myself through the paces of rigorous workouts.  

On the drive home, I subjected Tank to a tongue lashing that spanned several hundred miles.  Ouch.  

I just want to know what happened to the kid who was incredibly sweet, kind, appreciative, and considerate?  I told him through tears that I felt invisible all weekend.  (To you I will admit that I relished the tranquil time -for real, but my son acted rudely towards the person funding this entire weekend and I found that unacceptable).  

Tank drove down Friday after school with another mom and two other teammates.  Coach and I attended Mini's basketball game that went into overtime.  We lost by a point.  It was tough especially for my kid who played GREAT, but who missed two free throws towards the end of the game.  From there he and I bolted - took a 30 minute drive to Coach's sister's 50th birthday party. 

This event was organized by her husband.  He communicated with Coach.  (anyone see a red flag here?)  We both initially thought it was a surprise party and worried we would mess up the surprise by walking in with her if we arrived late after Mini's game.   Found out the day before that it was NOT a surprise.  I anticipated a room in the back of a bar with tables of heavy appetizers.  Not the case.  It was just Coach's siblings and spouses.  They were waiting for us to order dinner.  Oops.  I told Coach earlier to text bro in law and say, Hey we're already eaten, but he too thought that wouldn't matter because he figured it was a group thing.  

We knew we would be super late, so we ate some leftovers before we left.  I eat an early dinner to avoid sleep issues, especially when I have a big drive the next day.  They had ordered appetizers and told us not to worry.  When the girls were chatting at one end of the table, I apologized profusely but we all agreed this is the kind of mishap that takes place when men do the communicating.  

The next day sister-in-law texted me:  "Tell Tank thanks for sharing you.  Thanks for rearranging your weekend to celebrate with me. "  

I was driving to St. Louis Sat. morning when I got her text.  I laughed.  Tank was living his best life at that point.  They did not give the other mom and I adjoining rooms, but her room was across the hall from my room where Tank stayed that first night.  I put her name on my reservation so she could check Tank into my room.  My room was the party room that first night . . . when I was not in it.  Party as in:  xbox, snacks, scary movie, etc.  

I pointed out to sis-in-law no need to apologize.  Tank was going to be grumpy when I arrived since I was bringing food (the hotel did not have a free breakfast, and I do not have an unlimited budget).  No more eating out every meal.  No more xbox till 1 am. 

On Saturday and Sunday nights, he still met his friends out for dinner, but he ate the dinner that I packed first.  I told him to go ahead and eat out for the team lunch on Sunday.  After one of his games, I headed back to the hotel that was across the street.  He had to ref a game and then he was done for the  night.  He asked me if I would heat up his dinner when he was on his way back to the hotel so that he could hurry and eat it and then go to the restaurant with his buddies.  I told him that I would.  The microwave was on the 3rd floor and we were on the 9th floor.  

He texted an hour later:  "Heat up my dinner right now."  

Um, come again?  How about please?  I swear I don't even know who this kid is.  Please do not comment and say this is typical teenagers.  I do not care how teenagers behave.  I have teenagers.  (For the record Ed NEVER behaved this way.  Lad had his issues and might have been unappreciative or embarrassed if I brought all kids on a college visit, etc.)  I do not tolerate being treated this way.  I admit this kind of crap slips through the cracks when we are busy.  Tank thinks he has the keys to the teen car (only because older brothers aren't home) and he leaves a mess cannot be bothered to help around the house and just flies under the radar.  Well, in the calm of this weekend I had time to reflect. 

I think he got the message.  Game over for the world-revolves-around-me-and-what-I-want-to-do attitude.  I instructed him to go to Curly's school volleyball game with me and cheer for her when we got home from our road trip.  No idea how many of his games she has attended over the years. 

Oh, and he tried to tell me that he was going to drive home in the other car from St. Louis because it would be more fun.  Bully for fun.  I pulled the plug on that idea in a heartbeat.   I expect to see changes really fast.  Or else. 

I ordered 5 boxes and they polished two boxes
off since they were delivered Sunday.  And no
 one can throw away the box and the wrappers? 
Am I raising animals?  Maybe we
should send them to animal
 trainers in lieu of college.
In the meantime, I noticed last night between 5:00 volleyball, 7:00 my writers group, driving to and from Irish dancing 6:45-9:00 that two boxes of empty girl scout cookies were sitting on the island.  No one bothered to throw them away.  

Coach worked late.  Neither of us had a cookie (only because I can't).  We are refusing to toss the boxes in the trash.  We invited each kid to admit to eating the last cookie in either box and to apologize for leaving it out.  All we got was:  "Not me."   Times 4.  It is hard for me to clean up the kitchen and leave the boxes and wrappers sitting there, but I am holding out.  Damn it.

Curly aka my-own-personal Velcro was very happy to see me when I showed up to the school for her 5:00 game.  All hugs and kisses.  

I admitted to her later that night when I looked around the kitchen (that was not in horrible going-to-buy-ping-pong-table condition, mind you.  Just regular clean up stuff) that I wanted to go back to my hotel.  

February 7, 2020

mane of hair coming soon, lost jeans sorta found, & a funny name mixup

This is essentially a post about random loose ends and bits not long enough to write a whole post about . . .  although knowing me, I can easily launch into a full length post about almost nothing.  

Curly's lost jeans/shirt:  Lost at the hotel over Thanksgiving.  They were never found.  Sad.  I had high hopes- what with the '' official website involvement and its places to include lots of information and details.  Curly is pretty bummed, and confused because if they have this giant lost and found site, then WHY have they not found her outfit?  

Photo of the new  jeans
future-Curly can wear.
Me:  'I think whoever found them decided not to turn them in.  Guessing it was someone who had a daughter who wears a size 14 pants (most likely not a 12 year old spawn of the Jolly Green Giant).  That can only mean that someone needed those clothes more than you.'  

I have been busy sorting LOTS of clothes that the kids outgrew over the last SEVERAL MONTHS, OK - maybe a year.  I tell them to dump their castoffs into the corner of my room.  Well, that pile of clothes took on a life of its own.  It became a wall.  When I sorted it, I warned Coach to brace for a cold spell, because said clothing-wall was REALLY chilled at the part packed up against the exterior wall of our room.  I believe it had essentially been acting as an added insulator.  

People, I don't recommend this clothes-wall building.  I don't care how cold you are, allowing a mountain of clothes to accumulate in your bedroom is not normal.  I have reasons doing it this way, that I will share another time.  Suffice it to say I ended up FINALLY sorting through all of the clothes.  Some were set aside for cousins, some tossed in the garbage, and most was picked up by Amvets.  

In this clothing organization process, I pulled down the bin of clothes where I keep items that will one day fit our Jolly Green Giant spawn.  I had a few things that I needed to stick in there.   Guess what?  In that bin, I discovered the exact pair of jeans that Curly lost, new-with-tags, but in the next bigger size.  Clever?  

I recall considering buying two pairs of these jeans.  One to fit now and one a size up, since Curly loved them so much.  I just did not remember actually purchasing them.  They were an awesome deal marked down 75% to $17, so why not?  

So, as bummed as Curly is at the moment - she is now looking forward to getting EVEN TALLER so that she can wear her lost jeans that her shopaholic mother bought in a size 16.    

Superbowl:  One bit here on the halftime show, well - honestly I felt like it was all of J.Lo's bits.  (I was not thrilled with the racy halftime show and thought J.Lo shoving her thonged butt at the camera could be considered yet another wardrobe malfunction).  

Anyway, when the singer Shakira was preforming, someone said her name and Curly asked for clarification.  

Curly: "Oh, I think I have heard of her.  Shakira O'Neil."  

What can I say, Curly is her mother's daughter.  I can think of no song's title unless it is playing on the radio, cannot EVER hum a song - even if it JUST finished playing on the radio.  I am clueless about who sings what except for the obvious- like Neil Diamond and U2.  Meanwhile Coach is not always successful at recalling the names of the people residing under this roof, but he can hear a few notes and name a song and artist in a flash.  What?

We got a good chuckle out of Curly combining Shaq and Shakira.

Nutrafol:  This is the name of the vitamin recommended by  my dermatologist to deal with my alopecia.  Such a pretty word for such an ugly issue . . . spot baldness.  Yuck.  

I ordered a bottle of these vitamins on Amazon.  It was not cheap.  $88.  But then I said, 'Oh, there are 120 pills in the bottle - that's a bit more reasonable.'  

I opened the bottle today to take my first pill.  That's when I read the directions.  Take FOUR pills at one meal each day.  What the what?! 

I am now expecting to grow a mane of horse hair (which I would not complain about, but if I start to whinny, well . . . ), since these are horse pills.  That means I really did only buy a one month supply for 88 bucks.  Not a good deal, unless of course my hair starts to look amazing (not holding my breath - or should I say my brush).  

I wonder what else I will grow besides hair?  Maybe a fur coat down my back?  I mean REALLY . . . four PILLS??!!

Editing to add in as gentle a way as possible - Peeps, I am not gentle - 

um, after 36 hours of use I suspect that these horse pills are causing me to emit a rather horrendous odor in an unrelenting gaseous escape that could be blamed for wiping out small house pets.  Reason 371 to be glad that we are not owners of small house pets.  

I did not sleep well last night and I now blame this Nutrafol nonsense.  I think it causes pipes to become blocked up.  I will go bald before I struggle with sleep.  There are always hats.  

Not going to give up after only two doses (yes, that is 8 pills - in case anyone is counting), but this might be a no-go.  Damn.  

Scheduling note:  I am going to adjust the frequency of my blog posts temporarily.  If my M/W/F posts are the only thing that gets you out of bed in the morning (highly doubt this is the case for any of you, but just in case), I apologize in advance for throwing you off.  I hope you can adjust to a T/Th posting schedule.  

I just registered to take an online writing class at a college.  It doesn't start until March 9th, but I am going to stockpile some posts to lighten my load during the 8 week class.  Supposedly I should anticipate 10 hours of work a week.  Yikes.  I am crossing my fingers that some of my written book chapters/stories can be utilized for assignments.  

Suzanne, I will not be commenting on your 'What's for dinner this week internet?' posts during this time, because I am predicting lame-ass meals.  Or lots of grilling by Coach.  I hope that the rest of the family pitches in more than they ever have.  I am guessing that it isn't going to be pretty, but I really hope to stumble across some additional tools to use in my book writing mission.