Sorry I Missed Church, I Was Smoking Crack With Satan

Amen to that.

“I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.”-Amy Farrah Fowler to Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory.

I believe in a higher power.  I also believe in guardian angels.  I believe in miracles.  I believe in all that stuff.  However, what I don’t believe in is that you need to dress up and put your behind in a pew every Sunday just to show people that you are a Christian.  I know there are people who go to church religiously.  Every Sunday.  Rain or shine, snow or sleet, neither snow nor rain nor darkness can keep them from it.  Oh hang on a minute, that’s the Post Office.  I’m happy for them.  I’m really glad that they  do that.  I wish I could be one of those people but I am not.  And believe me, I feel guilty as hell for it.

I have had an on again, off again relationship with the church I attend.  It has nothing to do with the church itself.  It has everything to do with my life these days.  When you have other people who control the various aspects of your life, you don’t always go.  And for the record, it’s not MY church.  I am not  a member.  Neither is my husband.  We live in a very small town where there are only two churches.  Both are Lutheran.  I am a Methodist, currently without a church.  They disowned me.  No it’s not as bad as it sounds.  We don’t live in that town anymore and my husband does not desire to drive there every Sunday.  When they changed pastors, they basically threw out all the members that don’t attend.  Anyway, we attend the church a couple of blocks from our house.  It’s a nice little church.

I have two children (you knew that, right?).  When I have gone to church I don’t get to sit and listen.  I haven’t actually heard a whole sermon in years.  Most of the time I am dealing with my children, or really distracted by them (damn ADD).  I really don’t get a whole lot out of it.  It’s too small of a church to have a staffed nursery.  There is a small room that the children can play in, but I have to go with them.  It’s not like I can just send them down by themselves.  And there’s something in that room.  SOME. THING. In that room (just picture William Shatner saying it).  I get some sort of allergy attack when I go in there, in addition to the fact that I am extremely claustrophobic. When a room has no windows, I have issues with it.  I end up going home with a migraine every time.  So we don’t  do the nursery.

My husband has gone to church this whole time because he sings in the choir.  Is that weird?  The non musician sings in the choir.  And does solos.  I have recently started attempt #2 to be in the choir.  Princess Naughty pretty much put a stop to it last time.  Between the fact that we had to find someone to watch our kids during the time we sing and misbehavior during choir practice, it didn’t last long.  My choir career stopped the night during practice when she managed to empty the contents of the organist’s purse in between running sprints around the church like a maniac during practice.  Evil Genius can’t track all of her movements because tenors sit up in the back corner and he can’t see her.  This time, a year later, she is older and is semi well behaved during practice.  Sort of, at least comparative to last year. Last practice I missed quite a bit of what was going on-I dealt with her laying under the choir pews, hanging off the pews, and generally being a stinker.  When I threatened to take her out of there, of course she wanted to go.  I stuck it out, though.  I don’t know how long it will last.  Which is too bad, because I like singing in the choir.  I don’t get to do much anymore.

And then we went through a period where the kids only wanted to go to Sunday School.  Evil Genius didn’t want to make them go to church if they didn’t want to.  So I stayed home with them and he went.  Occasionally there would be a morning where both wanted to go.  One of two things would usually happen.  Like I assumed they weren’t going and therefore didn’t do something important like showering (trust me you REALLY want me to shower before I come to church.)  Then both kids would go with my husband and I stayed home, while people thought I was smoking crack with Satan.  Or my husband didn’t go, and therefore none of us went.  Now we’re to the point where they both want to go most weeks.  Which is good, since I have started singing in the choir again.

Where am I going with this?  I just get tired of people who have to point out that we weren’t there.  I know I wasn’t there.  You don’t need to tell me.  It wasn’t like I fell into an alternate universe that morning.  There was a reason why I wasn’t there.  I always feel like I then have to explain myself.  No, I really don’t.  I have literally had people come up to me at our Post Office and tell me that we need to come to church.  I live in a small town.  I’m glad that you feel so passionately about your church, but you don’t know what goes on in my house.  I’m not in control some days.  Most days.

This morning was particularly bad for me.  I have not taken my meds for a couple of days.  I had anxiety oozing out of me.  If you could see it, it probably looked like ectoplasm.  Anyway, I got up in plenty of time to get my kids up and around and get presentable and so forth.  I had just laid church clothes out for my daughter when Evil Genius called from the bedroom that we weren’t going.  The guy works the equivalent of two full time jobs, that’s like a zillion hours a week.  If he is tired and wants to rest, that’s ok!   He told me I could go if I want to.  No.  I have tried that before.  When my kids misbehave, I can’t stand people staring at us.  And they do that when their Dad isn’t there.  More the little one, but The Professor has his moments.  I don’t want to disrupt anyone’s church service.

Our church is a little different from others in that Sunday School is after church, not before.  I missed that meeting, not sure what the reasoning was behind that.  Anyway, I took the kids over about the time that church gets over in my yoga pants and hooded sweatshirt.  As we turned the corner, I saw a gazillion cars in the parking lot.  I so wanted to turn the kids loose and just let them go in by themselves.  But I can’t let my kids be unsupervised.  I see too many kids that just run wild.  So I went in.  There were people everywhere.  There was cake and a very formal reception.  Of course my children HAVE to go in and have snacks, because it’s all about the snacks, right?  Long time members of the church were having a wedding anniversary.  People were decked out in their finest, and I was in my sweats and my hair in a ponytail.  I stood out like a sore thumb.  I made sure they got their cake and their punch.  I know I got a couple of dirty looks.  I just wanted to run and hide.  “Missed you in church today,” was said by a couple of people.  I tried to defend ourselves:  “My husband wasn’t feeling well”. “I just live there.”  “Talk to my husband”.  I just wanted to run and hide. The Sunday School teachers were nowhere in sight.  Someone asked a question, I cheerfully answered it, and she acted like I wasn’t talking to her.  How dare I talk to anyone!  I didn’t go to church today!  I let the entire choir down because I wasn’t there!  Or something like that.

I finally was able to locate my daughter’s Sunday School teacher, to make sure I wasn’t just leaving my children.  And I literally ran out of there.  I felt awful.  I was just bringing my kids to Sunday School.  I guess I could have kept them home like I have so many times in the past.  There are so few young people in the church as it is, and I was horrible, evil, terrible.  As I walked home, my ears felt like they were on fire, tears welled up in eyes.  I wanted hop in my car and drive away from this town.  All because I was feeling bad for not going to church.

I walked in the door, told Evil Genius he was picking them up, took my meds, and took the dog for a walk.  I walked around town as far away from the church as I could, tears streaming down my face.  Why do I care what people think? I know my husband doesn’t.  I shouldn’t.  I know that I can’t please everyone all the time.  I know not everyone will like me.  But often I feel like people hate me.  It’s part of the anxiety.  But what people don’t understand is that I’ll just quit coming instead of dealing with it, because I hate confrontation.  And I feel bad enough, I don’t need more stuff to feel bad about.

It didn’t particularly end well.  Evil Genius went to get the kids.  He came back with one child.  Princess Tantrum was waiting just where she was supposed to along with her Sunday School teacher.  The older kids tend to run way over, and he couldn’t find the Professor.  So he brought the Princess home and went back for my son.  Who had been playing in the nursery for some reason and then tried to walk home by himself.  Apparently punishment for his evil mother who didn’t come to church. After everyone was home and lectured, I realized they had both left their coats there.  I wasn’t about to go back for them.

If you are one of those people who do actually get to church every week, I’m very happy for you.  If you feel welcome and accepted where you are, how does that happen?  What’s the secret?  Just do me a favor, if we don’t come that week, don’t mention it.  Because we’ll be back.  I just don’t know when.

I know he’s watching. He knows why we don’t come to church sometimes…

Indiana Jones and the Evil Couch of Doom (aka Crap I Found In My Couch)

Is it an eeeeevil couch?

Instead of going outside to play,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I decided to clean up my house today.

I took the vacuum and to my couch I went,                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a lot of time there I spent!

What to my wondering eyes should appear,                                                                                                                                                                                                          Was no miniature sleigh, but three bottlecaps from beer

A treasure trove of things that belong to my kids                                                                                                                                                                                                Such as seven different markers without any lids.

A miniature conditioner and shampoo,                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A DS Game, a Leapster game, a rawhide chew.

Black and white polka dotted underwear,                                                                                                                                                                                                               Three socks, none of them a matching pair.

Barrettes and rubber bands, a brush for the cat                                                                                                                                                                                                           A blue colored pencil, a red lego hat

Seven Lite Brite pegs, a crayon, some sand                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A lego Luigi who had just one hand

A spoon, a coupon, five pens,some rocks                                                                                                                                                                                                             Cheerios, a lip balm, green bristle blocks

A washrag, granola, kleenex times four,                                                                                                                                                                                                             Puzzle pieces, stickers, beads beads galore!

Magnets, a penny, a notebook, a race car,                                                                                                                                                                                                                My what a lot of things there are!

This is the crap that I found in my couch,                                                                                                                                                                                                               The only thing that rhymes is slouch.

Dog eating couch!
Disclaimer: No animals have actually been harmed by our furniture.

Ready for Fall

I’m ready for fall.  I’m ready for leaves changing color, weather cool enough to wear sweatshirts, and being able to put away the tank tops and shorts for a while.  But what I’m really getting antsy for is Fall TV.  Does that mean I need to get a life?

This has nothing to do with fall TV, but when I think of TV I think of this…

We don’t watch a lot of “new” TV in our house that isn’t sports or PBS.  My husband and I have a few shows that we regularly watch.  In his current mostly unconscious state, my husband doesn’t view a lot of TV shows anyway.

Let me state right now that we shun almost all things that are even remotely reality TV. If you want to quit reading my blog forever right this moment, I understand.  A couple of exceptions have occurred to this rule.  We watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” when it was first on, mainly because it reminded me of college (hey I was a music major, you figure it out.)  I watched one season of “America’s Got Talent”, simply for the fact that one of my good friends from school made the finals.  Then I lost interest in it after that.  We also viewed quite a bit of “Iron Chef America” when it was on at dinnertime, but it’s never been something we make it a point to watch regularly.  We have several episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” on our DVR.  Not sure if we’re ever going to watch them, at least not together.

I like comedies.  I really don’t watch anything else, except for a few older few sci-fi shows.  Maybe I’m just too ADD for dramas.  I like to laugh.  And by golly I’m ready for some new episodes of my favorites.  I’ve checked out a couple of the new shows that have already premiered.  I don’t know what to think.  They’re ok, I guess.  I know you can’t really judge a show by its pilot episode, but so far I’m not really sure if I’ll keep watching or not.

My husband’s and my favorite show on TV right now is “The Big Bang Theory”, in case you haven’t figured that out from reading this blog.  We understand a lot of stuff they reference on the show because we’re geeks.  It really adds to it when my husband will pause the show to read the formula written on some board, and he is able to explain it to me (he took Quantum Physics for fun you know).   My other favorite is “Modern Family”, but last season I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had.  I guess it really depended on the episode.  I adore Cam-I had some friends who are just like him.  We both really enjoy “The Middle”, because it’s very much like our family.  My husband is a geek version of Mike Heck, and our son is very much like Brick.  We are middle class people barely making it, much like the people on the show.  It’s mean sometimes but oh it’s FUNNY!

Some shows just have to ruin it for their fans.  We used to love “Bones”.  It is funny and witty and well written.  The characters are great, we are big fans of Hodgins- who else do you know who gets excited about fecal matter?  However, when Emily Deschanel became pregnant in real life they decided to write it into the show, but they went about it all wrong.  They had her get together with her partner.  Nooooo!  There goes all the will they or won’t they fun!  That very rarely works on a show.  We still watch, but it’s just not as enjoyable.

The only show that started last season that we really liked was “Whitney”.  She is one of Evil Genius’s favorite comedians.  The show is like a really warped version of “Friends”.  It’s very different from other shows-I know a lot of people DON’T like it, but I am very happy it’s coming back.  We tried to like “The New Girl”, because we love Zooey.  Some of it is very funny-the Thanksgiving episode was hilarious and we still refer to it.  But we finally came to the conclusion that somebody just decided to turn Zooey loose and let her get as crazy as she wanted.  As much as we wanted to like it, we quit watching it.

“Family Guy” is truly unique.  It really takes a certain type of humor to like that show.  My husband loves it.  I really like it, but there are some things that just plain go too far-which is exactly Seth McFarlane’s intent.  There are some episodes that I love to pieces, and some that are more disturbing than they should be.  We don’t watch it like we watch the other shows, but we do catch it when it’s on.  On that note, I must admit to laughing hysterically at “Robot Chicken”, but that show is so disturbing… yet some of it is sooooo funny.

The one show that I keep forgetting about that is really funny is “Raising Hope”.  I forget it’s on.  I even have the DVR set up to tape it, and I forget to watch it.  Then I’ll have a night with nothing to do and will watch every episode and laugh my butt off.

I have mentioned quite often that we are both geeks, as referenced in Embracing Geekdom.  We both love Sci-Fi, and are big fans of Star Trek.  There isn’t really a show on that is that genre that we watch at the moment.  We have watched “Being Human” (the American version).  Our interest in that show comes and goes.  We really like the characters, we just don’t always like where it’s going.  I’m not a huge fan of the really dark gloom and doom shows that tend to be on.  I watched the new “V” series for quite a while, then it just got depressing.  I wasn’t really surprised they cancelled it.  “Heroes” was good enough to keep my interest for quite awhile, but when Evil Genius got bored of it, I just quit watching.  It was just too dark and depressing.  I like to laugh!  Maybe those dark and gloomy shows tap into my anxieties a bit too much.  I like to look forward to what is going to happen.

I secretly view “Parenthood” each week on nights my husband is gone or in bed.  I get a little irritated at some of the stuff on it, like why does Lauren Graham play the same character in every show she’s in? But I genuinely like it.  The reason I view this alone is this:  if Evil Genius sees I’m going to watch it, he’ll watch it too.  And then he’ll make fun of it, because there might be some warm and human stuff going on.  We can’t have that in our house.  Or he’ll ask 5,000 questions about who is who, what has happened, why that happened, and THEN make fun of it.  No, I don’t go there any more.  I’ll save it for when I can watch it sans mockery.  It’s as close as I get to a soap opera, and I hate soap operas.

Our favorite shows in the whole wide world besides the ones I’ve mentioned are “Friends” and “MASH”.  If there is an episode on, chances are we’ve seen it.  Most episodes of Friends we can recite.  Is that sad?  I don’t think a day has gone by in our house that we don’t quote an episode of that show, unless we are sick.  We own seasons 1-7 of it.  Someday I hope to own them all.

Do you watch much TV?  Good for you if you don’t, you’re more strict than I am.  What shows are you looking forward to this fall?

A Zamboni Shall Lead Them: When Art Takes Over

Think you’re proud of your ride?  Look out, because we’ve got something better.  In addition to our 1999 Dodge Ram that doesn’t run, our 2003 Toyota Corolla with the front held together with a zip tie, and our new Nissan Altima, we have a zamboni.

Don’t you wish you had a zamboni too?

It’s pure luxury-100% recycled, cardboard exterior with high quality waterbased marker detailing, quad cannons, paper plate steering wheel, and plush pillow pet interior.  I bet you are so jealous!

I’m really not sure where the whole zamboni thing comes from.  It might have been from an episode of Sesame Street or something. One thing is clear, she has no idea what a zamboni is, she just likes the word.  Which is probably good, because I have never known a zamboni to have weaponry.  This box actually started out as a puppet theater.  She quickly grew tired of that, then it became a house for various animals in her bedroom, then a house for our cat (who was soooooo thrilled about that.)  Finally the zamboni.

My house is currently overrun with art projects. I tried to keep up with them but she is an art machine.  I really think she could run her very own site on Etsy and be able to keep up with demand.  We have paintings galore with many different types of paint (tempera, watercolors), various sun catchers that I can’t find the hanger thingies for, sparklies glued on paper, drawings up the wazoo using different media (crayons, markers, colored pencils, chalk), masks, crowns, you name it she’s made it.

The artist has been busy…

Some of the more recent projects include her bugs.  The other day she told me she wanted to make a ladybug.  Being the resourceful former preschool teacher that I am, I got construction paper, cut out the shapes, got googly eyes and then set out glue for her to glue it all together.  She cut out the legs with shape scissors, and turned out the cutest ladybug ever.  Then she wanted to make a butterfly.  Again I cut out the parts for her, and even found sparkly shapes for her to stick to it so it would be sparkly.  When she finished, I proudly displayed them on the wall.  That lasted a whole two minutes.

“I need my bugs.”  She demanded.  “Why?  Aren’t you finished?”  I inquired.  “No.  I want to make them fly.”

It’s a good thing I took pictures of them, because she spent the next half hour running around the house, throwing them in the air to make them “fly”.  I guess I can understand that.  What good is art that you can’t have fun with?

The bugs in their pre-destroyed state.

Which brings me to the zamboni.  It’s definitely a useful piece of art.  You can sit in it and pretend to drive it-that’s useful!  I can so see her father in her as she works on this project.  It keeps getting bigger and bigger, but hopefully not out of control.  The box is from an Amish grocery store that my family visits frequently.  It’s very sturdy and it has these large holes on each side, which she determined were the perfect size to stick a toilet paper tube in.  Hence the cannons.  The steering wheel was my contribution.  I had some of those brass paper thingies in my drawer-I poked a hole in the plate and the box and stuck it on that way.  It actually turns-she was thrilled. Now she wants wheels.  I told her I could only do wheels that look good, they won’t actually work.  She’s not very happy with me about that.  Even The Professor was intrigued.  He walked around it, looking at it and studying it carefully.  After a while, he asked if he could try it out.  Shockingly she said yes.  He barely fit, but he climbed in and sat anyway.  Being an expert on superhero weaponry, I’m surprised he didn’t have some ideas for stuff she could add to it.

We’re running out of room for all of this art.  I have artwork framed in the hallway.  It’s on the side of the refrigerator.  I made a display area in the living room.  I’ve given art to relatives.  She wants to do more, more, MORE!  I’ve tried reasoning with her that we can display some of it, that we can’t keep everything.  She disagrees.  Grandma even bought her a folder to put her artwork in.  She put drawings in it until it barely could shut.

One of our art display areas. I have to balance her stuff out with her brother’s art stuff.

I sat down to write this while she was eating breakfast and my hair was drying.  Breakfast is done now, and she is on to doing some more art projects.  This morning’s art is stenciling.  After library, I’m sure she will try out the Crayola pastels I got on clearance at Walmart.  It’s Crayola, so it’s got to be great, right?

If I turn up missing, don’t despair.  Just come to my house and find me.  I’ll be the one buried under all of the art projects.

There’s other stuff on our fridge besides her art, you just can’t see it.

Where Have All the Humans Gone?

I’d take Ernestine any time over these dang automated menus I have to deal with. I want to talk to real people!

All I really wanted to do was talk to a real live human being.  I just had questions.

Does anyone actually like the automated menus that most companies have gone to that supposedly help improve the customer experience?  I find that whenever I call one of these places, I never need any of the choices they have on their menu.  We have our mortgage through a major lender, and I have only had to call for things that the menu lady doesn’t recognize, so called “normal stuff”.  For example, I never need to check my balance when I call, because I have the internet to do that.  The last couple of times I have called, it has been about an overpayment.

The menu lady doesn’t understand that word, and there really wasn’t anything on the menu that really matched what I needed.  Anything about payments just was her reciting my balance and last payment received.  She kept telling me they needed more information to help me.  Like most calls with automated menus, I found my voice rising and almost yelling at the robotic lady voice.  “OVERPAYMENT!  CUSTOMER SERVICE (she didn’t understand that either)! NO!  YES!  SPEAK TO REPRESENTATIVE (nor did she understand that)!  I forget how I finally got to talk to a human, but it took a really long time to reach her.  I’m not really convinced the person I spoke to was a real human, because after all of that they still messed it up.  I waited almost a month for a check to arrive.  It didn’t.  So I had to call back AGAIN and go through the same thing to find out that all they did was apply my overpayment to my principle.  If I wanted anything else done, like making a smaller payment the next time, I  would have to call back yet again!  This was already messing with the little bit of sanity that I have that’s on shaky terms.

I have to deal with this pretty much any time I call, well, anywhere.  The student loan company is the worst.  I’m sorry, I don’t want to use your website.  I want people to help me, not a calculator.  My cell phone company website doesn’t work half the time.  For some reason I end up viewing a blank page more often than not.  If there’s a problem, I’d almost rather drive to town and ask at their store.

Adding to my frustration is the current state of my cell phone.  The phone still works, except the part you talk into.  I can hear the person on the other end, but they can’t hear me.  After some careful research, I did discover that it was usable on speakerphone.  Not exactly convenient when you are a Mom, and the kids are programmed to start making terrible noise/scream/talk to you/run out the door into the cornfield when you are on the phone (all of those things have actually happened to me, except that she didn’t make it into the cornfield).  I can’t use the landline phone because the only one we still have is a dinosaur phone that roars when it rings and is terribly uncomfortable to use, and every town is long distance from where we live.  I hope to some day be able to afford to get the phone fixed.

What would they think if Moms had an automated menu?  “Thank you for having me as your Mom.  If this is a life threatening emergency, please press 1.  For all other situations, please press 2.”  “Welcome to the Mom menu.  Please listen closely as my options have changed.  For food situations, press 1.  For sibling altercations, press 2.  For general complaints, press 3.  For tattling and all other situations, please remain on the line and your request will be processed in the order received.”  For those “other situations”, there will be the same elevator music over and over with “Your request is important to me.  Thank you for being a valuable child.  I am currently experiencing an unusually high volume of requests.  You can also visit my website at http://www.mom.com.”

If nothing else, it might buy me some time in the shower or the bathroom.  I’ll definitely have to look into it…

The ADD Leading the ADD: Is There Hope for the Future?

You know, this house is full of ADD people.  Many days I really think it’s the proverbial blind leading the blind.  I’m surprised we all get out of bed in the morning and get out of our house with clothes on, let alone function like normal people.

Case in point-lunchboxes.  It’s bad enough that the Professor is severely ADD.  What’s worse is that his Mom is right there with him.  On Friday he came home without his lunchbox.  I did not notice this.  I went all weekend and didn’t notice this.  On Monday we looked at the menu and decided that he would do his one day of hot lunch that day since it was chicken strips.  It was then that he informed me that he never brought his lunchbox home.  We talked about it, and he agreed that he would make sure to bring it home.

That afternoon he comes home and tells me that he still forgot to bring his lunchbox home, as well as his take home folder.  Ok.  Late last night I emailed his teacher and asked her to please remind him to put his lunchbox back in his backpack.  This morning I threw together his lunch in a Target sack-a peanut butter sandwich, raisins, and almonds.  Lunch of champions, I tell ya.  I open up his backpack to stick it in and find HIS LUNCHBOX.  Why did he tell me he forgot it?  And why did I believe him?

After he left I saw I had a new email. It was from his teacher, it said “I put it in his backpack yesterday, did it not come home?”  Ah.  That explained it.  He had no idea it was in there.  I’m sure she told him.  I’m sure he forgot since he didn’t put it in there himself.  I sheepishly fired an email back telling her that I did not physically check it.

This IS the child whose backpack I didn’t check for awhile because we have always had him put anything important in a folder.  After several reminders, he knows to bring us the folder.  And to put his lunchbox on the counter.  One day last year I noticed his backpack was getting pretty bulky.  I opened it and pulled out five sweatshirts.

There are a lot of things that happen that are purely my fault around here, simply for me not thinking to double check on stuff that he does.  One of the jobs we have him do around the house is take the frozen groceries down into the basement and put them in the big freezer.  That’s not complicated.  I assumed that he could do it by himself.  However, one time he left the freezer door standing wide open.  Overnight.  Thank goodness it was pretty much just bread in there.  I don’t know why I’m worried, I think that freezer has a force field around it.  This is the freezer that you bet I’ll climb in if we are ever attacked.  It survived the basement flood.  It floated in several feet of water, and somehow continued to work.

The kid gets it from both sides.  I was diagnosed with ADD in 2003.  My husband has never officially been diagnosed, but he’s a classic case.  Another absent minded professor.  You may recall a previous post where he had every lunch container we owned at work.  He brought home a bag full of them, finally!

I am really dreading The Professor’s eye appointment coming up in a couple of weeks.  He has lazy eye.  He has been wearing glasses for a couple of years to try to correct it, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  That might have something to do with the fact that he was without glasses on and off over this time.  There for a while we were going in to get his glasses fixed almost weekly.  Medicaid doesn’t exactly give you high quality frames.  My mother finally helped us buy a pair that was considered indestructible.  He broke those too.  At one point he had one pair broken and one pair missing a lens.  After a lot of stress, we were finally able to get the one glasses lens replaced and the other pair of glasses replaced entirely thanks to a very understanding lady at the eye place.  She took one look at the good broken glasses and said, “I’m going to replace those for you.  That shouldn’t happen!”  Now he has two pairs of glasses, and the replacement pair has remained intact.  However he looks right over the top of them.  He was also given an eye patch that he was supposed to wear for an hour a day at his last appointment.  That lasted a little while.  Of course now it’s lost somewhere in the house.  It has been for awhile.  I have looked EVERYWHERE.   I kept thinking that I needed to call the eye doctor and get a new one.  And I kept forgetting.  Now it’s been a couple of months and his appointment is coming up.  I am embarrassed to take him and tell the doctor the truth:  That I do not have a brain.

Glasses and our family are not friends.  I have needed glasses since the 4th grade.  I have a slight astigmatism/nearsightedness and basically need them to read stuff far away.  According to the DMV, I don’t even need them.  This is probably a good thing, since I can’t seem to hold on to a pair.  I calculate that I have lost at least five pairs of prescription sunglasses.  I also lost my favorite glasses.  These were a pair of nifty looking plastic frames that I got as a freebie with my expensive transition lens wire frames I got a couple of years ago.  Transitions are great, but not for driving, because they don’t really darken in your car. I have very light eyes, and get headaches when I don’t wear dark sunglasses.  So I also had a pair of prescription sunglasses for driving, which of course I lost.

I currently use a pair of purple plastic sunglasses that cost $5 at Walmart to drive.  And then I just forget to put my glasses on.  And I wonder why I miss stuff.

My wedding ring is also missing.  Again.  It’s in our house somewhere.  Since it is “pokey” (as my daughter would say) I have to take it off when I sleep so I don’t slice my face open when I sleep.  So I’m sure it’s either in my bedroom because it got knocked off the nightstand, or in the living room taken off when I attempted to take a nap.  I sure hope the dog hasn’t eaten it.  He eats dental floss and dryer lint, why not wedding rings too?  I am glad my husband isn’t easily offended.  Of course he can’t talk-he used to work in a factory where if he wore a wedding ring there would be danger of his finger being torn off.  So every day he would put it in his pocket.  And forget about it.  I would wash his pants and it would come flying out of the dryer.  It became the running joke between us for the duration of his time at that job.  If we had money, I’d ask him to buy me a wedding band for our anniversary, that way I wouldn’t take it off.  I want a Lord of the Rings looking wedding band, but I’m afraid of the side effects.

I’m thinking another great invention for ADD people would be things that you just can’t off.  Glasses, wedding rings, etc.  We sure would lose them a lot less.

The Princess may be our very own Obi-Wan Kenobi.  She may very well be our only hope. She seems to have escaped the curse thus far.  She’s pretty on top of things.  I’m not saying she’s not going to have other issues, but at least she may be able to not be distracted by everything she sees.  I hope she doesn’t “develop” it later on.

Sigh… oh to just be able to pass as normal.  It’s never going to happen.  So bear with me.  I really try.  I really will keep trying when I remember to.  Just don’t hate my kid.  It’s not his fault, it’s all mine.  Don’t worry because I worry about it plenty (anxety, remember?)

A Day in the Life of Me: Why I Never Get Anything Done

No one wants to pick up their toys. Or art. Or mousies.

Oh boy, it’s one of those days.

I had plans.  Not BIG plans, mind you, but stuff I really wanted to get done.  Like baking.  And getting my fall clothes out.  I had a whole list of things I was going to do.  Why do I never get anything done?  Just for fun, I tried to keep track of what the heck happens at my house all day.  As I look back at this, it’s all starting to make a little more sense…

4:45 am-My husband’s alarm starts going off at 10 minute intervals until he finally gets up at 5:30.  I am semiconscious for this, thanks to the power of Ambien.  I didn’t actually get to sleep until probably 1:30 am, so I’m pretty out of it.

7 am-My alarm goes off.  I rouse the Professor out of bed.  Princess Early Riser was already up and at em.  I fell asleep on the couch while he was showering.  Why was I up so late you ask?  I was up until after 1 am trying to pick meat off of boiled chicken bones.  So I’m pretty tired.

7:30 am-The Professor is finally ready to eat breakfast.  He is a very slow eater, so the next half hour is spent reminding him that he is supposed to be eating, not staring off into space.  I’m so mean!

8 am-My son leaves for the bus.  Since I’m up anyway, I put laundry that’s in the washer into the dryer.  A new load of laundry started.  This is an accomplishment.

8:15 am-Both the Princess and I are dressed and out of our pajamas.  This is also an accomplishment this early.

8:30 am-I am shocked that Princess Early Riser wants to walk the dog early.  I am very happy about this.

9:15 am-We get back home and I go downstairs to get the fall stuff out of the basement.  The dog somehow gets the front door open and escapes while I am down there.

9:45 am-I get the dog back in the house.  Brat.

9:46 am-Princess Early Riser wants to paint her newest suncatcher-a Disney Princess one.

9:50 am-She’s done and bored.

9:51 am-She gets out toys to play with.

9:53 am-She’s bored with all of her toys.

10:00 am-I give in and work on my daughter’s “school” stuff.  She wants to learn.  I had bought some stuff from the Target dollar store for 30 cents on clearance. This included a nifty pocket chart that we hung on the wall.  I also put an old dry erase calendar and another extra board I had lying around the house on the wall.  My Mom is a former 2nd grade teacher-we inherited a lot of her stuff.  I found the box of sight words she had given us to use, and put some in the chart.  The little stinker actually knew quite a few of them.  We spent a lot of time working on reading these words, not because I think she has to but because she asked to.

I am happy that my children love to learn. This is my daughter working at the “school” I set up for her.

10:50 am-I excuse myself from our learning session to change the laundry.  Laundry out of dryer, more put in there, another load in the washer.

11:00 am-She seems pretty occupied now, so I try to exercise.  As I get my weights, BOSU, and mat out, it’s apparent that the Princess is not pleased.  I invite her to join me, she refuses.  I try to help her find something to do.  She doesn’t want to.  She wants me to PLAY WITH HER.  I keep trying to find things for her to do, and she vetoes everything.

11:15 am-I give up trying to find something to keep her occupied long enough for me to do my weightlifting.  I just try to exercise with her staring at me.  (“I don’t WANT to do anything!” she growls).  She is rolling around on the floor, the dog is trying to attack me because I’m on the floor.  I wonder why I’m pudgy.  This is why.  I offer to sell her on Facebook.  There are no takers.

11:20 am-The Princess lays on the floor and screams.  And screams.  She doesn’t want me to exercise.  She throws stuff at me.  I finally end up carrying her to her room.  She screams for a few minutes and then finally calms down and plays ponies.

12:00 pm-The worst show in the world that is one of her two favorites is on-Caillou.  Let the whining commence (0n the TV).  Now I can make lunch.  I did finally get to do (and finish) my workout.

12:30 pm-Her other favorite show is on-Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Oh good, it’s all about going on the potty-that will keep her busy.  I can work on some blogging.

1:00 pm-I shut the TV off and she immediately is bored again.  This isn’t terrific because I really need a shower.  I can smell myself.  I would like to be clean before my son gets home, not that he cares but it’s a nice goal.  I also need a nap-I didn’t sleep much last night.  Lurking in my midst as well is a mountainous pile of dishes that I should at least get started on.  My husband had almost every food container we own at work.  He finally brought them all home this past Friday.  Add that to the fact that I was one load behind (due to limited drying space and no one willing to help me dry or put stuff away) and a big meal that required lots of dishes last night (I roasted three chickens, Evil Genius and the kids helped make mashed potatoes, we also made gravy and creamed corn.  Then I boiled the chicken bones)  I really can’t bake until I do some of the dishes.  Looking at the dishes makes me really, really tired.  I can barely keep my eyes open.

1:10 pm-Last load of laundry I am planning on doing today goes in the dryer.  I’m done.  I’ll do more tomorrow.

1:15 pm-Five hours of sleep is catching up with me.  I lay down and take a little nap.  Princess Entertain me has the Leapster out to play.  I am a very bad Mommy.  At least it’s educational.

1:30 pm-I may not be able to keep my eyes open, but I sure can’t fall asleep.  Might have something to do with the child chattering on and on five feet away from me.

1:50 pm-I give up on napping and do something more constructive-take a shower.  It’s a really quick one, as my daughter keepsrunning in and opening and closing the door yelling “Peek-a-boo Mommy!”

2:00 pm-In less than ten minutes, my daughter has managed to drag out half the toys in our house, even with the peek-a-boo in the shower.  Sigh…

2:30 pm-The dog gets out, again.  My fault.  I open the inside door to go out to get his lead and before I can react he runs into the screen door and opens it, running off into the yard.  I take the dog treats out again for a few minutes, then figure it’s not worth it.

2:45 pm-The dog comes back.  Stupid dog.  I take him out and put him on his chain. If he wants to be out that badly, he can be out.  He’s not happy with me.  I really don’t care.

2:50 pm-I spend the next 10 minutes trying to convince my daughter to drink her juice.  She has to have it-it has her medicine that makes her poop is in it.  She has been refusing to drink it all day.  Or anything for that matter.  She finally drinks it.

3:00 pm-I finally fold the laundry, all three overflowing baskets of it.  My daughter hides in it.

3:35 pm-My son arrives home. He forgot his lunchbox again, but he’s had a good day on his behavior sheet.  We talk, they eat snack.

4:00 pm-I watch “Wild Kratts” on PBS with the kids.  They love this show because it’s about animals. Shockingly it’s one I’ve never seen.  I fight the urge to fall asleep.

4:30 pm-CHORE TIME!  The kids are to go do their stuff they are supposed to do every day (feed pets, etc).  The Professor goes right to it without any fight.  The Princess fights like crazy, insisting that putting her laundry away IS NOT part of her chores.

4:45 pm-I finally get to put the grownups laundry away anyway.  She is still fighting with me.  Oh she is tired!

4:55 pm-I tackle the mountain of dishes.  Mainly food containers.  My son comes in and asks to play his DS as a reward for a super day at school. Sure!

5:30 pm-I sit down to glance at Facebook.  And write this.  And debate about supper.  Shrimp stir fry just does not sound good for dinner.  What to fix… what to fix…  I’m assuming my husband is alive since he sent me an email this morning.  Hopefully he is on his way home.  My daughter finally comes downstairs, done with what I asked her to do (put 8 pieces of clothing in her drawers and pick up the ponies.  Hard work…)

5:50 pm-I realize that I’m out of caffeinated pop.  I’m very sad.  We’re also almost out of American cheese.  We’re completely out of olive oil and peanut butter.  Almost out of healthy fats.  Not necessarily a good thing.

6:00 pm-It’s obvious that my husband is still at work, but hasn’t let me know this.  I text him and ask if he’s still there.  Yes. My kids are hungry.  Not like they’ll eat it, but I should start supper.  Chicken sandwiches and cheesy broccoli!

I stopped keeping track at this point.  I could go on with this until I finally go to bed, probably around 11:30 pm or later.  And I still need to do another load of dishes, pack lunches for tomorrow, make my husband supper whenever he gets home, walk the dog again, get kids ready for bed, etc, etc…  No wonder my days seem so long, and I seem to get so little done.  I did get some things accomplished, but not nearly as much as I wanted to!  Well perhaps tomorrow is another day… Of course I think that every night!

Eat, Pray, Eat

This is so cute, I couldn’t resist using it. Get it?

Is it just the church we attend or are all churches on a mission to feed us?

My children are apparently conditioned to associate our church with eating.  It’s a Pavlovian thing of sorts.  When we enter our church, my daughter automatically wants to know where the food is.  I noticed this at choir practice the other night.  We had just sat down and opened our music when Princess Gimme inquired “When do we get to eat snack?”

I guess it’s only natural, after I started to think about it, there is food at every church service we go to.  She’s all about the treats.  She has been known on occasion to take TWO treats from the pastor at the end of the children’s sermon (and has been made to try to give them back).  I’m surprised she doesn’t call it the “Treat Sermon”.  She always makes sure she sits right next to the pastor so she’s near the treats.  Sometimes her eyes never leave the container of treats.  Today she made darn sure he knew that she wasn’t leaving without a piece of candy-as if that would happen!

Communion happens every other Sunday, and it seems that we are up there trying not to laugh more often than not.  The kids just don’t really get the whole Communion thing-which isn’t unusual at their age.  The Professor is beginning to understand it a little better, but she is really struggling with the whole concept.  So we get a lot of interesting comments.  Usually she’s upset that she doesn’t get to have anything (I came up for communion and all I got was a lousy blessing?).  One time she looked at the communion wafers with very wide eyes and hissed “THAT’S NOT A BODY!” Apparently she thought the pastor was trying to pull a fast one on us.  (I’m a Methodist attending a Lutheran church-we always had the big homemade loaves of bread. I think that communion is sooooo much better with bread.  But that’s just my opinion.)

It’s not like we need to have the kids with us to make us on the verge of laughter.  We watch too much Family Guy.  I can’t take communion without thinking of the one episode where Peter takes the communion wine and then asks “Is this really the blood of Christ?  Holy crap, that guy must’ve been wasted 24/7!” Sigh… I really do take church seriously.  I can’t help it if my mind wanders.  ADD brain.

Anyway, back to the story at hand.  Today we walked up to take communion and she gleefully said “Oh look, there’s the snacks!”  No honey.

It’s not unusual for her to associate different places with food.  She used to call Casey’s “The Pizza Store”.  When I was addicted to Diet Coke and would regularly go to get my 32 ounce refills, Kum and Go was “The Pop Place”.  I’m waiting for her to just start referring to church as “The Snack Shack”.  Never mind that we’re supposed to be learning about God and Jesus and all that great stuff-when’s snack?

We have just the one church service, and afterwards we have fellowship followed by Sunday School.  The kids live for this time of day.  It’s always wonderful stuff-banana bread, brownies, cookies.  Naturally both children wonder often during the service when it will be time to go eat.  Today as usual it was good stuff- we had a snack mix and brownies.  However, instead of Sunday School they had a wonderful presentation by two girls telling all about their trip to India.  Naturally, she was confused and pretty upset when it was time to go.  Not to mention they had tomatoes from the church garden, and she wanted some.  Since the presentation had run over the Sunday School time and we were leaving, I felt really weird coming in and taking tomatoes.  But she WAS NOT leaving without some of those wonderful goodies.  I finally gave in, and we picked out a few cherry tomatoes and big ones from the box.  As we walked out the door, she began to get upset with me.

Turns out she wanted those tomatoes for a SNACK.  Because that’s what we do.  Eat, Pray, Eat… Hopefully she’ll catch on when she gets a little older!

Not only do I tend to think of Family Guy at church, this little gem pops into my head often. This really has nothing to do with this post, other than it has to do with a church.”Mawwiage is what bwings us togevah today.”

Observations of a Band Geek

Sadly, there was no grill like this… but it was still good tailgating.

I attended my very first college football game this weekend.  The very first one that I wasn’t in the BAND, that is.  This is very sad considering we live near a college town, lived in the area for 13 years, and my husband attended this very school up until the end of last year.  I went to a basketball game there once years ago, but the only thing I really remember is the fact that they had great ice cream.

I not only got to go to the game, I got to tailgate.  I got to do it all without children.  All of this because my brother in law couldn’t get a ride from my husband’s hometown in time (about two hours from here).  That’s ok-I don’t mind being the back up choice.  Once he found out his brother couldn’t make it, Evil Genius walked down the street with the kids while I was walking the dog and made the arrangements.  He went down to see a  friend of ours from church who lives down the street.  She was more than happy to watch the kids.  That was awesome-not only do they like going to see her, she likes to have them come.  By the time I had returned from my walk, the kids had their bags packed and were ready to go, though we weren’t actually leaving for three hours.

This whole thing was through his work.  They have tickets for every game that people can sign up for.  If more people sign up than tickets, it’s a lottery thing.  They not only have the tickets, but they have a very fancy tailgate vehicle complete with a deep fryer and beverages galore plus two big tvs.  It was a good time-I like getting to put names with the faces of all of these people that he works with.

So you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, she hates football.  Why did she agree to go when it goes against her principles of being against the sport?” Let me clarify, when I get to go somewhere with my husband with no children, I’ll agree to most anything.  We don’t get out together much.  And it was a good time.  I’d do it again if he asked me.  I’d even go with the children.  I still don’t like football, but it is more interesting when it is live instead of on tv.

That being said, since I was there without distraction, here are some random observations I made as a non football fan, band geek, and anxious ADD person:

  • They may think the cannon is cool.  I didn’t.  I have a thing about loud noises.  Every time there was a touchdown, I about hit the deck.  We left early because it was a blowout-the last field goal we witnessed they decided to shoot the cannon.  I thought I had been shot!  Does anyone else feel this way about large weapons at football games or is it just me?
  • Speaking of the cannon-how does one get the job of shooting the cannon?  I would like to see the application for that.
  • Do what everyone else does in your section.  I had no idea what was going on most of the time, I just tried to figure out who had the ball.  I stood when everyone else stood.  I clapped when everyone else clapped.  They kept yelling some first down thing.  I never did figure out what that really was.
  • If your entire dance squad is going to wear yoga pants, wear a top that covers your stomach.  Not flattering at all.  Wish I had been part of that meeting.  That is NOT how you wear yoga pants.  You’re supposed to have a frumpy shirt to go over it.  At least that’s what Moms do.
  • The down markers are not big upside down exclamation marks, or lowercase “i”s.  I asked Evil Genius what they were, and he explained it to me.  I remember they were called down markers.  The rest went over my head.
  • If you wear a stormtrooper helmet and a cape, you get on the big TV.  A  LOT.
  • I got reminded why I don’t drink to excess.  I saw a lot of REALLY REALLY drunk people.  And you can’t even drink inside the stadium there.  I even was flirted with by a really drunk creepy guy when I got up the one time I went to pee.  I’ll stick with my little bit of wine, thank you.
  • People get really irritated with you if you have to pee.  Thank goodness I only had to go once.  I think I was the only one who went to the bathroom so I wouldn’t miss the band perform at halftime.
  • The best hat I saw was a coonskin cap.  A REAL coonskin cap.
  • Silver tubas have to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  Even if they were in the opposing team’s band.
  • It’s best to put your memory card in your camera.  Hard to take pictures without it.  I forgot mine.  I took a couple of pictures with my phone, but I couldn’t get it to take a picture of Evil Genius and me together.  No proof we were there together.  How sad.
  • Band music has evolved quite a bit from “Land of a Thousand Dances” and “Hang on Sloopy”-the standards that I had to play back in the day.  This band played Metallica!  I would have given about anything to play Metallica in marching band!
  • Another fashion police comment:  Who decided that off the shoulder on one side shirts were back in style?  That’s not symmetrical.  If you see me wearing one of those, it’s because someone has ripped off that part of my shirt.  And that shorts that are so short that they show your buttcheeks are tasteful?  Nobody wants to see that.  I know I didn’t.
  • Park far far away.  And walk.  It’s worth it.  Not only do you get an hour’s worth of exercise in, you can get away much faster than if you parked close.  We parked clear on the other side of campus and hoofed it.  It was great-I made up the extra calories I burned with the cinnamon ice cream I still had in my freezer.

I had a good time.  I had some really good mozzarella sticks.  It was perfect weather and I got to see the band perform.  I even found a shiny penny.  Maybe it’s a sign.  And the best part was that my kids were good for our friend for that long of a time.  She even said she’d like to watch them again.  This is good news.  The last time we left them with someone else who wasn’t my parents was Evil Genius’s family.  (They said never again, something about them peeing too much.)  It’s always good to know that your children are wanted.  They had a good time, but were happy to see us when it was over.  I’d like to say that maybe Evil Genius and I will get to go out together again very soon, but I won’t hold my breath!

Princess Gimme and the Halloween Conundrum

And so it begins…

Target put out the Halloween stuff.  I suppose they are allowed since it is the middle of September.  I’m sure Christmas stuff will be out in a couple of weeks.  There should be a rule:  NO Christmas stuff until after Halloween is over.  They never listen to me.

Anyhoo…  Both children have already told me what their Halloween costume is going to be.  The Professor has known what his is for quite awhile.  He wants to be Iron Man.  He and Evil Genius have been drawing up plans for this fancy costume.  I can’t really say anything-the kid has chosen the same two costumes for most of his life.  He has been Jeff Gordon every year since he was two.  One year he alternated being a football player with the Jeff Gordon costume for two different events.  I figure we have spent less than $30 on him in costumes his entire life.  That’s ok.  Now I hope he isn’t disappointed if his dad doesn’t get around to making this costume.  I know it happens, I’ve seen him do it.  The Princess has had homemade costumes and borrowed costumes for the last few years-a fairy princess and a sparkly witch.  We’ve gotten off rather cheaply, which is a good thing.

Target happens to have an Iron Man costume in his size for only TEN DOLLARS.  I picked it up and eyed it, and cautiously put it in the cart.  I was thinking that we could produce it if the other one doesn’t ever get out of the planning stages.  A back up.  But I forgot who was with me.

“MOMMY YOU’RE GETTING MY BROTHER AN IRON MAN COSTUME!  I WANT A COSTUME!!!!”  Sigh… Yes I was shopping with Princess Gimme.

She has changed her mind about seventeen times already about what she wants to be for Halloween.  Most of that occurred today while we were at Target.  Originally she told me that she was just going to wear her Cinderella dress up outfit for Halloween.  I was all over that.  My aunt, who is in love with all things Disney, brought it to her a long time ago and she wears it quite often.

Then, the other day she announced that she wanted to be a kitty for Halloween.  I was similarly happy about this.  All black, I could make ears and a tail no problem, and draw on whiskers with eyeliner (wait… I don’t wear eyeliner).  We could even make a sparkly collar for her.  Oh this would be GREAT!

Then we went to Target today.  After her loud outburst about the Iron Man costume, she started in.  “Mommy look, there’s a Captain America costume.  I want to be Captain America for Halloween.”  I secretly smiled about that one. “We’ll see.” I told her.  She pouted.  We went around the corner, and there was a whole aisle of costumes.  “OH Mommy, there’s a Tangled dress.  I want to be Tangled for Halloween!  I love the dress, it’s PURPLE…”  “I thought you wanted to be Captain America?” I asked.   “Oh no, now I want to be Tangled.”

Two minutes later she spies a display of costume parts on an end of an aisle.  There were lots of different choices, including a set of ears, whiskers, tail, and bow tie for a black cat.  Only $5.  I could so do that…  She spied them “Ok, now I think I want to be a black cat again.”  Uh-huh.  I picked them up and put them in the cart.  Then she says “I changed my mind, I see stuff for a bee.  I want to be a bee.”  Then “I want to be a doggy.”  Then “I want to be a princess.”  And on and on and on…

I go back around the Halloween section and put the cat stuff back, and walk away as fast as I can.  I wasn’t so sure I should be investing ANY money into her costume choices right now, since she can’t decide.  She whines and pouts.  As we are coming into the beverage section, I see that my giant bottle of Sutter Home has been marked up almost THREE dollars.  Nooooo!  Maybe I should do without then.

Just then she says “How come you’re getting MY BROTHER a costume and not me?”  I snap “Because he made a decision!”  I pick up a small bottle of Sutter Home and set it in the cart.  I may need this after all…  Then I return to the costume section, and put the Iron Man costume back.  There was no way I was going to get it home discreetly, she was going to blab to her brother.

Perhaps I can make her a Princess cat dog with wings superhero costume, maybe that will make her happy.  Nah, she’ll just pick something altogether different at the last minute.

One thing she HAS been able to decide on is that she wants sparkly pumpkins.