Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chocolate Milk is the Weapon of Choice

I just received a phone call from my 7th grader from the school office:

Hefty: "Hi mom"
me: "Hello"
Hefty: "I was sent to the office"
me: "why"
Hefty: "Because I spilled my chocolate milk at lunch"
me: "You were sent to the office for 'spilling' your chocolate milk?"
Hefty: "Yes and it got on a kid's shirt"
me: "spilling is accidental....are you sure 'dumping' isn't the term you're looking for?"
Hefty: "Well....I didn't 'dump' it....I kinda 'tipped' it"
me: "you 'tipped' your chocolate milk on another kid?"
Hefty: "yes"
me: "WHY?" *frustration rising due to his purposeful vagueness*
Hefty: "Well...I was sitting in that seat and I got up to throw something away and when I got back he was sitting in my seat and he wouldn't move so I 'poured' my milk on him"

That conversation was followed by a conversation with the principle which is when I was told that he was given lunch clean-up duty for his crime.

I believe I've just officially received an early initiation into the "mother of a teenager" club. His birthday is tomorrow. Assuming he lives that long....

On the one hand I'm laughing because dude....I will never have to worry about this child being picked on. He can hold his own. But patting him on his back for sticking up for himself is probably not the politically correct parental thing to do. So how exactly does one punish this type of infraction?

And I'm just realizing that I forgot to ask who he did this to. I'm praying it wasn't one of my friends' children.

Another parent of the year award down the drain....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There's Gotta Be A Book In Here Somewhere....

Stephanie Meyer was on Oprah recently and I just watched the DVRed version yesterday. I find her story incredibly fascinating. She's just an ordinary SAHM of 3 boys. She was at that crossroads in her life on the verge of losing herself (and her mind) in the name of motherhood. I've been there. Hell, I may still be there. She revealed that Twilight came from a dream. She had never written a short story let alone a novel nor had she any aspirations to be a writer. She is an avid reader but had never been into vampires or vampire stories. She simply had a dream one evening about a girl and a shiny sparkly boy vampire. She wrote her dream down and it became the 13th chapter of Twilight. She didn't even tell her husband she was writing this story. She told her sister. Her sister read it and encouraged her to try to find an agent and publisher. She was rejected by NINE agents before she found one that said "I'd like to read more".

And now 5 years, 4 books, and 2 movies later? She's an extraordinary SAHM.

I'm an ordinary SAHM.

I have lots of dreams.

And I read lots of books.

So lets analyze these dreams and see if we can't come up with a general idea for a book...

I used to have recurring nightmares about a certain individual in my life (whom will remain nameless). I haven't had one in a very long time but I've done horrible unspeakable things to this person. They say you never dream about doing things that you would never do in real life? I say an emphatic "BULL SHIT!" They were that bad. Each dream is a little methods of torture varied from dream to dream but the main character was always the same. I would wake up in a panicked cold sweat and it would take me several moments to realize that it was just a dream. It would take me awhile to calm down enough to fall back to sleep...but then the dream would always pick right back up where it had left off. They were always so real. And very vivid. I've never read horror stories. I don't do scary movies. Hell, I couldn't even watch Scooby Doo as a child. And the closest I've come to a scary book is the first four chapters of Patterson's Along Came A Spider. I read those four chapters three weeks ago and haven't been able to work up the nerve to go any further. Too dark for me. But maybe I could turn this dream into a horror novel?

Speaking of recurring dreams....I used to have another recurring dream back when I was a child. In this dream I walked through the front door of our house looking for my mother but had found the living room filled wall to wall, floor to sealing, with stacked washing machines and dryers. My mom, of course, was in the bathroom on the other side of the living room....and in order to get to her I had to climb through this maze of washers and dryers. Maybe I could turn this dream into a whimsical children's story about....?.....?......How to help out with the housekeeping??

I always have dreams about losing my children. Several nights ago I dreamed dreamt dreamted dreamed that my daughter and I were riding our Sea daughter was riding behind me when I hit a big wave and she flew off the back side. I was sitting on the strap to her life jacket so she flew right out of it. I turned around to go back to get her but she never came back up to the top of the water. I panicked and....woke up. Never did find out if she survived. Another horror flick.

And then there's the dream I had of walking through a meadow full of daisies (my favorite flower)...all by myself....happy as a clam....when out of nowhere a big ugly snake popped up, hissed at me, wrap itself around my leg and sank it's two inch fangs into my thigh. Ironically enough, this dream occurred during the Aunt CB drama.

I think it's safe to say the only story these dreams will ever turn into is as a case study for a Psychiatrist's Digest magazine.

Guess I'll just stick to my day job....SAHM extraordinaire....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Teenager And His Cell Phone

My oldest child is about to turn 13.

That deserves repeating.

I am about to become the mother of a teenager.

THIRTEEN!! This is huge.

This child of mine is a blessing (as are all my kids...of course....but this post isn't about the other two). He is a self motivated, responsible, hard working, and confident child.

He has been trying hard to spread his wings and begging us to unclip the tips. We have kept a tight reign. We are tight reign kinda parents. I don't allow him to ride his bike to 7eleven to get Slurpee's....which, according to him, is allowed by all his friends' parents. I don't allow him to wander the woods near our home by himself. I've only recently started letting him take bike rides in our subdivision by himself but only if he has a walkie talkie with him so I can contact him when I start to freak out he can contact me if he gets hurt or if some serial killer lures him to his car with the promise of a cell phone and then promises to chop him into little itty bitty pieces and feed him to his dog if he needs help. Up until now I've always required there to be a definite destination (within our subdivision) followed immediately by a phone call upon his arrival to said destination. And the pièce de résistance....we have not allowed him to have a cell phone.


Are we too strict? Are the reigns pulled too tight?

Truth be told, I remember being a 9 or 10 years old (I know I wasn't older than 10 because we moved from that house when I was 10) and being Great Scot! (remember that place??)...which happened to be about 1/2 mile away and required crossing a major 4 lane purchase a gallon of milk for my mom. My friend and I used to ride our bike there all the time. (*Reminding myself to tell you about the time I got caught shoplifting an entire bag of candy from the local Kmart with that same said friend....but that's a story for another day). I also remember being 13 or 14 years old and catching a city bus (by myself) to hitch a ride to my dance classes several times each week. The bus transported me about 6 miles and then dumped me off on a major highway road from which point I then walked another 1/2 mile to the dance studio that was my destination. My mom if I wanted to get to my dance classes on time after school this was my only option. I was even allowed to catch the city bus with my friends to spend weekend afternoons at the mall. The mall was 8 miles from my home.

But times have changed. (The fact that those words just rolled off my finger tips makes me feel really old!)

But it's true.

Times have changed. And he's my first child. It's to be expected.

But he's about to turn THIRTEEN! A TEENAGER!

And he is such a good kid. I mean....If you forget about the eye rolling and adolescent "tude" that has begun to emerge. He truly is every parent's dream child. He never has to be asked to do his homework. His school work comes easy to him. He always gives 110% of himself in everything he does. He is very confident and makes friends easily so I don't have to worry about him being bullied at school. And he is responsible. responsible as a thirteen y/o can be anyway.
He has been begging us for the past year for a cell phone. My answer is always the same. A resounding "NO"! What can you possibly need a cell phone for. You're in school all day. You're not allowed to have a phone in school. And then at gymnastics practice 20 hours each week. The friends he spends most of his "off" time with live within our subdivision. And....well....we have a phone! What would you need a cell phone for??
And all of that remains true. He truly has no need for a cell phone. But after long hours of discussion with hubby we have decided to relent. We have purchased our son a cell phone for his thirteenth birthday. If for no other reason than to acknowledge that he is now a teenage. And this is a major milestone. And to show our son that we are reluctantly trying to loosen the reigns (just an inch) because we trust him and, more importantly, he has never given us a reason to not trust him.
This cell phone comes with a long list of rules and stipulations...and he will be paying for a portion of his monthly bill in the form of added household responsibilities and chores....but we are still parental Gods in his eyes. At least for this one night. I'm sure he'll be back to rolling his eyes at our stupidity and cluelessness by tomorrow morning.
And here are the photos from our evening. We celebrated his birthday with a family dinner at a restaurant of his choice 5 days early because Papa Smurf will be away on a business trip on his actual birthday. He chose Kona Grill because he wanted sushi. My thirteen y/o ordered sushi and a rack of lamb! I kid you not!
All he asked for (besides the cell phone which as far as he knew was NOT going to happen) was a sling shot. To be used on our property up north. And here was his reaction to the $12.00 sling shot! Priceless!

He didn't realize there was another gift until Smurfette handed it to him.

Dude...have you lost your mind!!! THIS IS A CELL PHONE!!!! WEEEEEEEE!!!!

His reaction was truly priceless. He had no idea. Little does he know the phone came free with a new contract! =)

And now we enter a new phase of parenthood. God? Give me strength...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am not that mom.

We have been fighting the cooties in my house for the past 2 weeks. My daughter started 2 weeks ago with 3 days of fever. I sent her back to school fever free. 3 days later my son got it. After an entire day of trying to get his fever below no avail after 2 doses of Motrin, 2 doses of Tylenol, and a cool bath....we made a trip to urgent care where he tested positive for Type A influenza. Tamilflu to the rescue. 2 days later my daughter got it....again! I made a call to my wonderful ER doc neighbor who called in another prescription for Tamiflu to the pharmacy...saving me another trip to the urgent care. In the mean oldest son came down with an entirely different fever...but in it's stead a nasty upper respiratory and intestinal funk. And I wasn't feeling so hot myself. So, in dealing with all that funk....I was stuck in my home with various sick children for nearly 10 days straight.

I tell you that to tell you this....

I thought yesterday was Monday.

Yesterday was our first day in nearly 2 weeks where everyone was back to school and I was feeling myself. I had big plans for myself as I happily shoved all 3 kids out the door to catch the bus. With my to-do list humming through my head I got in my shower and sang happy tunes.

1st item to be tackled was to take the puppy to the vet for her bordetella vaccine....we're leaving for vacation (if visiting and staying with your FIL in Texas for the week of Thanksgiving can be considered a vacation....don't be jealous) soon and dogs can't stay in the doggie hotel without proof of updated vaccinations. On the way to the vet I get a phone call from Dreamy's sports medicine doc. He had his MRI on Monday morning and a follow up appointment to review the results was necessary.

Receptionist: "we had a cancellation for tomorrow Wednesday morning at 10am. Would that work for you?"


more silence.....

Me: "Tomorrow? Wednesday? Wait a minute......what day is today?"

Receptionist: " is Tuesday mam."


It was at that point (sitting in my car in the veterinarian parking lot) that I completely freaked out and told her I'd have to call her back as I had just realized that it was not Monday....but TUESDAY! And I was suppose to be in my daughter's classroom at that very moment helping out. And this is the SECOND time I've done this. I was.... for the 2nd time....a no call no show.

I. am. a. schmuck!

I totally thought it was Monday. It felt like a Monday.


I run into the vet's office and tell them I'm in a rush....they whip out the vaccination in 5 minutes flat. But, of course, puppy wouldn't cooperate....she wiggled and 1/2 the vaccine ended up dripping off her soft coat of fur. Take 2: 25 minutes later veterinarian has successfully administered the vaccine and I am rushing back to my car.

Puppy is in the passenger seat. I live less than 1.5 miles from the vet. But puppy gets violently car sick every time she is in the car and chooses to vomit all over herself and my seat as I'm turning down our street. I run into house, throw puppy in crate, grab a towel and disinfectant wipes, and clean the seat as best I could. I throw the towel on the floor of the garage, jump back in my car and rush to the school.

It is now 10:30. I was suppose to be at the school at 8:30. The teacher relies on parents to help the students with their "stations" so she can pull the reading groups aside and work with them. I walk into the room and find that teacher has decided in my absence to skip reading group.

So, let's recap.....

because of me, little Suzie and little Johny who speak very little English to begin with, whose parents don't speak English at ALL, and who can only recognize 1/2 the alphabet, and can only count to 30....did I mention this is FIRST grade?....will be missing their daily reading session. Nice. I beg for forgiveness and teacher is very very understanding. If not sympathetic.... In a "OMG who decided this woman was capable of being a parent cuz clearly she is in way over her head" sort of way.

An hour later: kids leave for lunch and recess and I decide to try to knock a few things off my to do list.

Birthday present for Hefty: check...this took way longer than it should have as I ended up spending an hour in Best Buy...but it is done and I am confident that I have purchased the perfect gift for my soon to be a teenage son.  =)

Groceries: We are all out of milk. Which, in my house? Is a catastrophe of epic proportions....melt downs ensue and panic becomes the general state of emotion when we are all out of milk. We go through nearly a gallon/day. We. need. milk.

So I go to Meijers. I load up on groceries, filling up on everyday staples and get side tracked by a bright sale sign hanging over a rack of tunic styled hooded smocky looking dresses. They were adorable. They looked comfy. And I was imagining how cute it would look with some smokey grey tights and my black knee high heeled boots. Did I mention they were on sale? But I don't have time to try one on. So a grab a looks like it will fit. I head to the check out. The cute dress I picked out? Was probably the one and only dress hanging on the rack that had no tag. I don't have time for this. Too much to do. So I sadly tell the cashier to forget it. I left without the dress.  =(

I leave the grocery store, and 3 miles from my home realize I forgot the one thing I HAD to get. Milk. Yes, I went to the store for milk....bought $120 dollars worth of groceries....but forgot the frigg'n milk. Made a quick left and ran into Walmart for the milk.

I get home and now have no time to whip up a dinner so I make some sandwiches, clean some grapes and fresh mixed veggies, throw them in a bag and set the dinner table load up the van before driving to the bus stop so the kids can eat their dinner in the car on the way to their gymnastics and dance classes. 

On the way to gymnastics I discover that Jordyn has homework to complete from her days of absence.  No problem.  She has 2 dance classes but an hour break in between.  She can complete her homework during that hour.  Except she doesn't have the pencil, glue, scizzors, and crayons that she needs to complete them.  We make a pit stop to the corner drug store to pick up necessary items. 

Fast forward to this morning.  I had high hopes of making it to the gym.  To try once again to get on a work out schedule.  I rely on my Kindle to get me through a treadmill run.  But my Kindle battery is dead.  And I can't find my charger.  No problem.  I'll just grab my ipod and run to some tunes instead.  But I can't find my ipod.  Where the f*ck is my ipod.  I cannot run without my Kindle or ipod.  And decide to wait and start my workouts tomorrow. 

And so I sit my computer....frustrated, disorganized, and feeling like I could really use an intervention of sorts.

I have a pretty calendar.  It's stuck to the side of my frig.  I diligently update it with our many things to do.  I also have a pad for grocery lists.  Those items do no good if you forget to look at them daily.  I've purchased a book planner..... a month later I purchased an electronic planner.... 2 months later I purchased the itouch.  All in an effort to improve my organizational skills.  I even joined FlyLady hoping she could help me in my tidy housekeeping efforts.   

I still suck.

Hello, my name is Mama Smurf, and I am a scatter brain and I suck.

I long to be the mom that has her shit together.  The mom that drops her kids off at the bus stop freshly showered and stylishly dressed.  The mom that works out regularly.  The mom that cooks 4 course meals filled with nutrition daily.  Even it is eat'n in the car.  I long to be the mom who's laundry is always caught up, and sink is always sparkling, and who's kitchen valences are clean from the inch of dust and cob webs. 

I am not that mom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our little piece of heaven.

My husband and I in the past 2 years have been tossing different ideas around. Do we want to move? Upgrade our home? We love our house but having a 4th bedroom would be REALLY nice. The boys share a room and their closet space is shrinking as their clothes get bigger each year. And a 3 car garage would be nice. We have a 2.5 car garage and can't even fit .5 cars in it. Sad. But true.

But we love our house. We've been here 10 years now. We love the neighborhood. We love the location of our sub. hubby's job is a 15 minute car drive away. We are less than a mile from major freeways. My parents live just one block away from us. I can see their home from my front porch. Only one side street and three homes separate us. I love that.

Do we really want to give all that up??

No. We don't.

And I won't even bother going into the whole "oh my gosh, we've put alot of money into this house and would probably just barely break even if we sold it right now" issues.

We decided that moving is not an option for us.

So, summer of 2008, we started tossing around the idea of purchasing a vacation home. We started casually looking at up north waterfront vacation homes listed online. And quickly discovered that vacation homes were not coming down in price like they were here in the suburbs. So we gave up on that thought.

Fast forward to August of 2009. We went on our annual 1 week trip to Higgins Lake with 4 families. We rented 2 homes side by side. 4 families, 8 adults, 11 kids. One week spent with our best friends and families. One week of jet skis, skiing, swimming, building sand castles, campfires, roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories, relaxing, drinking, playing euchre & kids will be the first to tell you that this is our family's favorite vacation every year. And we take lots of vacations. And this vacation is only 3 hours from our home.

The day after returning from this vacation...totally on a whim because Hubby and I hadn't even revisited the "should we buy a vacation home" conversation....I decided to do a quick google search on waterfront vacation homes for sale in MI. To make a somewhat long story short....I completely fell head over heels in love with the 2nd home I stumbled upon (online). The little yellow house. I spent the next several hours (while hubby was at work) searching. Am I being impulsive? I must have looked at over 100 homes that day. All meeting my search criteria but non of them made my heart go pitter pat the way the little yellow home did. I spent hours that day watching and re-watching the on-line virtual tour.

My husband called to tell me he was on his way home and I could barely get the words out. "Honey, You're not gonna believe the house I just found online". My husband was a little confused because "eh-hem...why are you looking at houses?"

And when he got home? He fell just as hard as I did.

*The covered front porch I've been wanting all my life? It's got it.

*The lined up Crackle Barrel Chairs on the covered porch that I've always wanted? It's got it.

*The price was right.

The house was beautiful.

The house was being sold fully furnished.

5 bedrooms.

5 bathrooms.


On a gorgeous 2 acre lot.

Almost new pontoon boat included.

On the lake.

It's only a 2.25 hour drive away.

We have friends that live a 5 minute boat ride away right on the lake.

We know the lake as we've gone up there with our friends several times.

And last, but certainly not least, it was the perfect home for our annual vacation with our friends.

And have I ever mentioned that my favorite color is yellow? Yeah, the house is yellow. Such a happy house. =)

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this house was destined to be ours since the day it was built 8 years ago.

The previous owners just walked away from the house leaving it exactly as it was. Every piece of furniture, every wall hanging and decoration left exactly as it was. We walked in and had to do nothing. It was home the second we walked through the door.

The photos below are all from several different sources...hence the different sizes.

Without further ado....

Our new love...

They even left the 6 Cracker Barrel chairs...=)

Check out my new professional grade Viking stove. I'm in love.

The built in griddle on the stove....we can fry 9 eggs or 16 pancakes at once. =)

My boys' ship themed bedroom. Is this the bomb or is this the bomb??.....

My daughter's bedroom has 6 beds (there's another single under another window on the right that you can't see in this photo) and the bunk beds each have a trundle under them...for a grand total of 8 beds!!

We hope to finish the basement one day...

Our best friends came to help us celebrate our first weekend up north.