Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy days and an ode to the juicebox...

I didn't want to leave such a negative post at the top of my blog today, now that I am feeling much better. My sweet girlchild is no longer puking, I have someone special on my side helping me out with the snipey chicks, I slept last night...always a good thing...and I'm looking forward to a night with the girls tonight, looking at purty scrapping stuff and hanging out. Good times...

Which leads me to a completely disjointed, but must be shared anecdote: Yesterday afternoon Monkeybutt had book club at 4:30, I had to go pick my mom up from work at 5 then back to book club to get Monkeybutt at 5:30 and on to baseball practice by 6:30, which gave us a short time to stop off and get something for dinner. We chose Arby's, which admittedly was not the healthiest choice, but I thought I was craving it. I was wrong. But, anyway, we ordered our food from the frazzled boy at the register who needed a great deal of help because it was a brand new system. The manager guy came to help him out and everytime he completed a function for the boy he said, "Merry Christmas." It became seriously annoying. When he walked away I asked the boy if he always said that. He said, "Yeah, that and 'good times'." Well the boy had trouble cashing us out and called manager guy back to help; he completed the task, said "Merry Christmas", the boy thanked him and he responded with - oh yeah, you guessed it, "good times." This next comment is completely mean and judgemental but, holy crud, what a dork! But, entertainment for Missy.

My friend Erika sent me a link to a website yesterday called Momfidence! I was thrilled when I followed the link and found it was for a writer named Paula Spencer, who writes my favorite column and only reason I read Woman's Day magazine. She's this mom of 4 kids, she's completely down to earth and all about chilling out and truly enjoying your kids. Obviously they're not always so enjoyable, but I just mean - stop freaking out about parenting and enjoy what you can. They're not kids forever.

To illustrate my point: I recently joined a group of rather "crunchy" women here in my area. They are all about the attachment parenting, diaper-free baby, breast-feed ONLY, etc. Nothing wrong with all of this, my friends who are into these things. But there are so many other things to worry about as our children grow up, a little added sugar on occasion is not going to destroy them. One of the woman, a very nice woman, is fanatical about her daughter's diet. She is not to eat birthday cake, fruit snacks, and especially, the root of all evil...juiceboxes. Her daughter is very aware of these rules, and, apparently, will turn said items down if offered with a, "no thank you. My mother doesn't allow me to have added sugar in my diet." This story got me to thinking how much I adore the juicebox. And I don't buy the 100% juice ones either - I am particularly fond of Capri Suns. When I was a kid, the Capri Sun was a special treat...something to be savored. Now I try to keep them on hand. They have Vitamin C, for goodness sake. And it's fabulous to be able to grab one out and hand it to my kid as we're walking out the door instead of filling a bottle or something. And if said kid wants something to drink and I don't feel like getting up, I can say, "grab a juicebox." I would like to meet the inventor of the juicebox and shake his/her hand and tell them how fabulous they are. A whole box of convenience and fun for $2. What a bargain.

I will post the website I like so much in my links. I would highly recommend, if you are a mom like me and a little less than worried about a little added sugar, a scraped knee, or television, checking Paula Spencer out. She's funny, insightful, and she'll make you feel a little better the next time the mom next to you says, "oh, my son is not allowed to watch "Star Wars" or play with toy swords. Too much violence." Well guess what, honey. Your kid is beating on that other kid with a stick and taught my kid several different swear words even I didn't know.
Children are little heathens - we can only keep watch, give them the occasional Oreo, and hope they don't end up serial killers.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

More vomit...

Ugh. My poor girlchild. She has been spewing since 1AM. I hate these stomach sickies - they just spread and spread. I'm hoping it won't last long - Monkeybutt only threw up once and then felt ick for a few hours after.
And another post on the board I mentioned yesterday has been made that will likely spark off yet another flow of bickering. And yes I am complaining. Because everyone's points have been made and it's time to drop it. Which I said, rather like a strict headmistress. I wonder what will be said in response to that.
Alright, this is just not in the entertaining spirit in which I created this blog, so it's time to move on. The Backyardigans are distracting me, anyway.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Responsibility Sucks

With each passing moment of my life I find being an adult more and more irritating, and being responsible for the behavior of others just plain sucks. Here are some examples:

Yesterday, the girl child and I went to the park to meet some friends. We were only going for a short time so I didn't pack any water or anything. And it was late in the afternoon, around 4. Instead of running and playing and having fun like children should when at the park, she first whined at me that no one would play with her (in other words, the children were not gathering about her and proclaiming her glory), and then that she was so deathly thirsty. I said we would go on home; it was just about time anyway, and she starts whining even louder that she didn't want to but she was so thirsty. This is not typical behavior or anything, and I'm sure everyone has days with their kids like this, but it just added to my "I don't wanna grow up" attitude I had been feeling all day.

I moderate a group of women online. They are a fabulous group and we have all become very close. Right now two of the women to speak. Not out and out arguing, just sniping. A topic, which should have been dropped days ago, is continuing to be posted about, and people are starting to take sides and say snide little things like, "some people..." (Donna, I am not posting this specifically to you, I am just getting annoyed about it and want to vent somewhere I don't have to worry about people harping on it). Anyway, these women really should be above this sort of behavior. And I'm stuck wondering if I should jump in and tell everyone to just drop it, or just let it play out. Because I'm afraid this is going to continue for awhile. Again, responsibility sucks.

Well, now my train of thought is being interrupted by Spongebob's opposite day (and how many times have I seen this one?) See? See what snipey women do to me? I start attacking Spongebob, an innocent party in all this. Ack.
(Donna, again, please do not be offended by this one, I'm just feeling whiny and annoyed.)
Ah well, should get back to being an adult.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Small Rant About Home Depot

My family and I trekked to the local Home Depot today. We were in search of light bulbs, which were easily acquired, but I was also in the market for something far more exciting. I have been wanting a reel for my hose; oh, not just any reel. I wanted something that wound up 100 feet of hose, all by itself. I wanted it to be portable, preferably with wheels. And I wanted it to not be terribly hideous. A tall order, I know, but one I was perfectly confident our friends at the Home Depot, home of the slogan "you can do it, we can help", could fulfill.

Now, generally when I walk into a Home Depot and head directly for the department I need, I am accosted by any number of over-helpful employees, resplendent in their orange aprons, asking what menial task they could perform in order to make my visit more efficient and/or enjoyable. Whilst I appreciate their concern and attention to customer satisfation, I know exactly what I need and they are only slowing me down, getting in my way, impeding my progress toward home-maintenance perfection. However, and maybe you all have noticed this, the minute I need assistance, there is not an orange apron in sight. I spotted a hose reel, the only hose reel to even closely resemble that which I was seeking, in a box on a very high shelf. A nearby gentleman kindly went in search of an employee to retrieve a reel for himself, and the one I wanted to examine. It took him an eternally long time just to locate the someone, who was on a phone call, but said he would be along very quickly. 15 minutes later, (and we still haven't seen another employee, where was everyone?) the same gentleman decided to climb the shelves to try and retrieve the boxes, a rather dangerous feat, I'm sure you'll all agree. As he scaled the shelves, the employee finally approached, yelling, "sir, sir, please come down..." The gentleman muttered, "It's about damn time", and gestured to the product he wanted. The employee then had to search for a ladder (apparently the ladders were with the other employees...), and finally managed to get the reels down. He complained the entire time about the fact that he did not even work in that department, by the way. He was in lighting.

The moral of this story is, of course; if you must enter a Home Depot, grab one of those orange-aproned employees and hold onto them for your entire visit, just in case. Because if you actually need help, they will scatter like my kids when you mention cleaning. Or anything else vaguely productive.

Oh, by the way; I did purchase the reel he got down. It does not have wheels, but it is portable, and has a handle. Pretty nifty. My hose no longer lies dejectedly on the ground when not in use. So a happy ending all around.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Car Shopping Fun

About seven years ago, my husband and I bought our very first brand new car. A black-as-pitch, Oldsmobile Alero. Soon after the warrantee ran out, we embarked on an adventure of sorts, involving wheel bearings, suspension systems, air conditioner compressors, coolant systems...and the list goes on and on. Essentially, this car gave us nothing but trouble for the past 5 years. As anyone I speak to regularly can attest, I have been in and out of the shop more times than I can count in the last 2 years. To the point that the owner of my preferred mechanic shop recognizes my voice on the phone, "hey Melissa, sure, bring it on in, we'll take a look at it..." So, this week my husband finally tires of the adventure and suggests we shop for a vehicle today. He prefers Saturn, so we set out on a journey to the 3 Saturn dealerships in the tri-state area: Florence, Tri-County, and Mason. Oh yeah, folks, we put over 100 miles on our ailing Alero today. The first place offered us a vehicle slightly out of our price range, the second had just sold what we were looking for, and at the third we dealt with a man with a forked tongue. Well, he may have had a forked tongue. And rubbed against rocks to shed his outer skin...and the cars there were not exactly clean and ready to drive. I know, everyone has probably had to deal with his or her own variety of snaky salesperson, but I chose to document my experience for you all to read. One thing that amused me, however; we were offered a rather decent trade-in value for the Alero at the Florence dealership. The guy in Mason offered us less than half the amount. When we mentioned what the Florence guy offered, he responded, "Really? Did they drive it?" I held in the laughter until we left, because honestly, that was exactly what I thought when the Florence guy offered what he did. At any rate, the kicker is this: I was due to go to a friend's today for some cropping fun with the daughter and Mom. So my plan was to car shop in the morning, then crop in the afternoon. Well, by the time we got to Mason, it was clear we were not going to be done anytime soon. And we ended up purchasing first car we drove in Florence, anyway. It is lovely, though; a blue Saturn L300. We were driving it home as I noticed all the things that worked on this vehicle: the air conditioning. The power windows (yes, the air conditioning didn't work AND only the front passenger side window opened.) No huge rust marks on the front of the car. IN other words, do NOT, under any circumstances, purchase a black '99 Alero from the Florence Saturn dealership.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monkeybutt and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad...Writing Assignment

I realize I probably should update you all: Katie did very well driving, and we're both alive. Obviously. Good job, Katie.

I had an interesting parenting moment this evening. I've noticed that most people use pseudonyms for their children here (whether they be affectionate or not); I'll use my sister's name for my son here. So my son (we'll call him Monkeybutt) is doing homework this evening. Spelling, which means, of course, writing. There is little Monkeybutt despises more than writing, barring, perhaps, a poke in the eye with a red hot needle. So he tends to zip through his work with nary a care, or correction. In fact, when I question him, I find he doesn't even understand the directions, he's just writing random words in the slots. Now the fact that he had 80% of it correct didn't matter, he didn't actually know what he was doing. So I set about to explaining the assignment to him, he freaks and tells me I'm not supposed to help him (which actually means, "I don't want to know what to do here; just leave it alone so I don't have to actually think"), and then covers his ears and refuses to listen. A raised eyebrow and a mild threat later, he has uncovered his ears and begrudgingly listens (and understands, go figure) to the instructions and corrects his mistakes, then goes up to change for bed. Now my mother has listened to all of this, practically sitting on her hands to keep from slapping him one (admittedly, I had that same impulse, but quelled it as well), and wonders aloud why I would take that kind of disrespect from him. Now Monkeybutt has his moments, but has been growing into himself and truly has become a more delightful and respectful person to be around. I also recognized that his refusal to listen to direction stemmed more from his desire to be done with the assignment, rather than any disrespect. But, I admit, she has a point. It was ridiculous that I let him get away with that behavior. So I call him back down, say something to the effect, "I get that you hate your homework" which starts him anew on the unfairness of it all, etc...(like I never did homework), and Mom got up and left the table so she would keep her mouth shut. I then informed him that whether or not he cared for the assignment, the way he spoke and acted was disrespectful and should he choose to act that way again, he would learn a new meaning for "consequence"...(something like that.) He says he's sorry, goes back upstairs, and Mom comes in. She actually says she admires the way I handled the situation.

Why, you ask, do you bore us with this milelong description of a petty argument with your son? One: it was the most exciting thing that happened today. Seriously. It freaking rained all day and I babysat - whoa. Second: It illustrates two interesting developing aspects of my relationship with my mother and my son. My mom and I can coexist and I can parent - her input is certainly helpful, and she rarely criticizes. And I can surprise her with my own developing parental wisdom (and ability to hold back from whacking my kid upside the head). Oh - and my son can be a pain in the...

Sunday, March 18, 2007


My sister Katie

I am about to teach my sister to drive a stickshift car. So if I don't post again, you will all know why...Wish me luck...and patience.

No Corned Beef for Us...

Ah, sigh. My husband is a walking petrie dish. He had a nasty cold - which managed to infect three of us last week, resulting in one case of bronchitis and one sinus infection - and now has conjunctivitis...which is horribly contagious and I'm sure one of us will end up with it. I should just quarantine him in our room until he is better...

That said, a sick man is a very difficult man to live with. I spent most of the day fetching things for him, making him tea and sandwiches, taking him to urgent care...whine whine...but I had a sinus infection last week and I don't recall being "taken care of." I wonder; is it the "nurturing nature" of the female that lends itself to this particular phenomenon, or is my guy in particular a wuss? Inquiring minds want to know.

Right now I am reading a book by Silas House called "Clay's Quilt". It is set in southeastern Kentucky and written with the heavy "hill" accent prevalent in that area. Unfortunately, having never met anyone from the area, I can't really hear the voices in my head. But it is definitely interesting. If anyone actually reads this, I would love to know what people are reading right now. A friend of mine showed me a website that tells you the accent you have; it is
Good fun.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

Ok, so I have this incessant need to talk...and who better to talk to than someone who won't interrupt? I've tried journaling, but I feel more fulfilled when I am talking to someone...

Tonight I played "bunco". It was very good fun, and very enlightening to be one of two sober people in a room of very drunk women. Apparently...and this threw me a bit...I am not the only adult suffering from serious self esteem issues. Hmmm...

But it is late, and I will be suffering if I don't get to bed...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!