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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I've been feeling like I have a permanent hangover these days, and it's not because I'm drinking a bottle of wine every night. It must be because I'm doing well to get six restless hours of sleep each night, commonly interrupted by Daughter, the Drama Queen, who cannot find her beloved Taggie Book that is twisted up in her sheets at 3 am. Or because she needs help going potty in the middle of the night. Or it could be because Son also recently came down with the barfy flu that Daughter just had a week ago, and although he did well overnight (all things considered), there were still a few incidents of waking up heaving stuff into his bed and filling his pants with poo.

Good news is that we have no roof repairs, and the sale of our house is on as scheduled. Other good news is that in addition to the profit off the sale of our current home, our new house appraised $25,000 above the sale price. We are going in with a generous amount of equity.

I'm hanging on, if by a thread these days. The packing is not going as quickly or thoroughly as it needs to. The wee ones don't make the process easy, especially when barf is involved. We sign papers Thursday morning and start moving Friday. There probably won't be any new posts for awhile.

Also, the forecast calls for MORE heavy rain for the next few days. We are already way too wet with way too much rain this season. If we do get lots of rain, I don't know how we are going to move all our stuff into the basement of our new home, including the entire room of new furniture (and a queen sleeper sofa) and the extra refrigerator. We planned on the 26' moving truck being able to pull up on the grass to make it easier to reach the basement through the basement entrance. I'm too stressed to think about the implications of what we may be dealing with if we continue to get rain.

Other dumpage...I tackled our .34 acres with the push mower last night. We always push mow. I needed some stress relief, and I figured it would be good exercise. It was really hot, and I thought I was going to completely melt away. As I pushed the mower and jammed to Casting Crowns (via Dear Husband's MP3 player--a birthday gift from me last winter), I pondered how many people we see in our subdivision riding around on tractor mowers in their postage-stamp-sized yards with their fat asses hanging over the seats. Husband and I are always appalled at this At .34 acres, I am certain we have the largest yard in the entire 350+ house subdivision we live in. Yet we may very well be the only ones pushing a mower while the rest of the neighborhood bounces around on their tractor mowers with their love handles waggling, struggling to turn around in their 10' by 10' patches of grass. Unbelievable. No wonder Americans are so fat! What happened to good ol' fashioned blood, sweat, and tears to get a job done? Part of the exchange of me mowing the lawn last night was that Husband agreed to first clean up the dog crap piles that Woolly Mammoth Dog continues to deposit. This leads me to the next "dump" (pun intended)...

This morning as I was loading up the wee ones into the family mobile to deliver them to Grandma's, I caught a strong whiff of dog poo. It's hard to know if it's just wafting over in the breeze from the crap bonanza next door, or if Woolly Mammoth dropped another doozer in our yard. I felt my blood boiling as I sighted the offending fresh pile next to our driveway. I've tried to confront The Neighbors about this, but they always run the other way when they see me (hmmm, wonder why?) I've called animal control (there's a leash law in our city). I've knocked on the door and requested them to clean up the crap piles in our yard and to keep their dog confined--to which I received a sheepish apology followed by willingly cleaning up the crap piles. Come on, people, aren't these messages strong enough? At least he finally mowed his lawn for the first time since Mother's Day.

I ended my work day feeling barely able to move. It's either all stress related or I'm getting my own turn with the bug the kids have each had. The best hope is that it's a fast-moving one. Son was back to near normal in less than 24 hours.

I'll end my brain dump with some more cutenesses, compliments of my sweet little boy. He is adding about three or more words to his vocabulary daily. Recently he added "fre fry" (french fry) in honor of the Ore Ida Crunchers I bought for the first time because I had a good coupon. He was all about them the first time he tried them. The second time he saw me get them out of the freezer, he started going nuts, "Fre fry! Fre fry!" He wouldn't stop until I stuck a frozen french fry in each of his pudgy fists. He scarfed them down frozen and pointed relentlessly at the oven while continuing to exclaim, "Fre fry! Fre fry!"

He also started to wave his little hand around and say, "Fry! Fry!" (fly). He is apparently imitating his big sister, who has a spasmodic episode every time a fly comes within 20 yards of her. She waves her hands like a child gone mad while screaming, "Shoo!" at the top of her lungs.
I don't remember if I stated previously that Son is also saying "Bloon" (balloon), shoes, "dow" (down), on, off, and most recently (and my current favorite), "butt-fry" (butterfly). That last one pretty much sums up how I look and feel these days.

Daughter also made me smile recently when we were heading home after running errands. I looked at her in the rear-view mirror, and her head was cocked to the side and her eyes closed. "You asleep back there?" I asked. Daughter responded (with eyes still closed), "Nope. I'm just thinking. I do my best thinking with my eyes shut!"

Indeed. I'm about to pop some Tylenol PM (first time in over a week), drag my "fried butt" to bed, and do some of my own "thinking" with my eyes shut.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dr. Doo Doo

Speaking of knee deep (see previous post), I can't EVEN believe that I forgot to post the update on The Neighbors. Almost-eleven-year-old practically pounced on me in my driveway last weekend and announced proudly that Woolly Mammoth Dog had given birth. Of course I questioned just how many little poop factories she produced. THIRTEEN! I gasped in horror and squealed something like, "THIRTEEN! I didn't think that was even possible! THIRTEEN! You must be joking! How can a dog have THIRTEEN puppies? Are you SURE there were THIRTEEN?" I must've gone on for more than a reasonable amount of time with this, as Almost-Eleven-Year-Old backed away from me slowly, never taking her eyes off me, and she didn't respond to a single one of my questions or exclamations. I was having traumatic mental images of a steam hot summer with a yard full of smelly dog poop piles and flies buzzing. Husband called on his way to work this morning to tell me that he just saw a billboard for Dr. Doo Doo (not the one in the link, but same idea) and that we should pass a business card to The Neighbors. We are celebrating like crazy that we are moving in 10 days.

Folks, we now have 14 dogs, 3 cats, 5 kids, and two parents living in the 3 bedroom house an arm's length away from our own house. And they are renting. This landlord must be absolutely desperate. The only other tenants for the past 16 months were illegal Mexican aliens who lived there about 2 months before they were deported. Oh how we miss the elderly lady who smoked like a chimney and her little yappy dog that lived there for several years before selling her house to a rental company.

I managed to go to sleep without the Tylenol PM last night, but I'm sure that bottle of wine helped a little. I can't decide if my headache is due to a slight hangover, lack of sleep, stress, or a combination of all the above. It's a great way to start my day of therapy with dysfunctional adolescents. Ya think I should teach them some of my great coping skills?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Knee Deep

My stress levels are off the charts these days. After a solid week of being unable to sleep without assistance from artificial substances, I am now finally sleeping again. Or, I should say, I am finally falling asleep again without help from artificial substances. Only now I snap awake in the wee hours of the morning and feel as though I've gotta get up and DO something. UGH! Neither of the above sleep disturbances actually happened over the weekend, but both Saturday and Sunday morning when I finally got to bed at about 1 am, Daughter decided she needed to be up at 6:45 am (and that Mommy and Daddy needed to be up with her). On the weekdays she frequently sleeps until 8:30am, of course.

Currently, I am knee-deep in boxes and puke, but since I managed to get caught up a bit on paperwork, I'm only about calf-deep in that right now. Daughter has apparently come down with a stomach bug as she carried on the tradition last night of puking at my parent's house on Father's Day. Two of the three Father's Days that we have celebrated since Daughter's birth have involved Daughter throwing up at my parent's house. The first year was when we discovered her peanut allergy after she had a wild reaction to a taste of cheesecake that had peanut butter in it.

Daughter has not had a throwing up illness in over 2 1/2 years. She's actually only been sick about one time in the past 2 1/2 years, but the other time was a nasty cold. Fortunately, she is a neater puker now, which means she can aim, and we've caught most of it in a wastebasket. Fortunately also, we escaped having puke in the car again as we were held up at my parents' house last night while Husband worked on building them a new computer. I had wanted to leave about 15 minutes before the puke event happened (and before we had any inclination that one would happen at all). Good for us that we were not in the car. Bad for them, as it happened on their carpet...and you know that the first round of a good puke-athon is always the biggest. I'll spare you any further description and just sum it up by saying that I'll be loaning them my steam cleaner ASAP.

Meanwhile, the moving plans are going fine except that we are not finding any time to get packed. I've compromised packing in the name of catching up on some paperwork. Now I'm really feeling things starting to close in on me. Also, we just ran into some glitches in the way of house repairs that the buyers of our house want us to fix for them, per their inspection. As part of their request involves fixing apparent hail damage to the roof, we are hoping they end up being minor. *sigh* I have a hard time believing there's hail damage to our roof as we park our cars outside and there has never been any hail damage to them. We'll be getting some roof experts to check this one out. We seem to have bad luck with roofs, as a big fiasco happened with the roof of the last house we sold. But that's another story, and I haven't time to digress that far today.

Oh, did I mention that in the mix of all this stuff, Husband got rear-ended in the car by some Bubble Head? The damage is minor, but we still have to make time to have the car in the shop for a couple days and deal with all the hassle of getting estimates, making phone calls, talking to her insurance, etc. in the midst of all the other business we are trying to tend to.

Furthermore, our weather pattern is starting to reach the nasty point in terms of hot and muggy. It's been suggested (even demonstrated) that violent crimes go up with hot weather and that 92 degrees is the ideal temperature for violence. Folks, our heat indexes are running around 92-98 degrees these days. I've mentioned in previous posts that I don't like hot weather. I don't like it so much, that I've thought myself capable of violent crimes. When the weather is too hot and muggy AND my overall stress levels are soaring, I really oughta just be locked up behind bars, as the potential for committing Harry Carry is great.

I'll end the random brain dump on a sappy note. I recently posted about Son's growing vocabulary. He's added a few more words in the past few days, but the coolest thing is that he is now correctly identifying the colors "lello" (yellow) and "blew" (blue). He's also taking the edge off my stress level by playing the most adorable renditions of hide-and-seek with me, which involve crawling around on the floor and ducking behind furniture and boxes. He also seems to think that he can effectively hide by just buring his face in a pillow or a giant bean bag chair, and since he can't see you, he assumes you can't see him either. It's so cute to watch his crooked little run as he works to keep his balance and hustle behind something to hide while he squeals and looks over his shoulder at me. Then his little "chicken head" pops out to see if I am looking for him. Wish I had a picture to post of his fuzzy little "chicken head" covered with fuzzy blond hair that is getting long enough to stick up all over.

And since I started out talking about puke, this is a good place to end.

Friday, June 15, 2007

On This Day Meme

Tagged again, by Jesse at For the Love of Peas and Monkeys. I learned a few things with this meme. The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday (only the month and day) and then note 3 events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and then tag 5 more friends.

Here's what I came up with for my birthday, January 26th.

Three events:
(My personal favorite) 2004 - A whale explodes in the town of Tainan, Taiwan. A build-up of gas in the decomposing Sperm whale is suspected of causing the explosion.

1837 - Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state.

2006 - Western Union discontinues use of its telegram service.

Two births:
1925 - Paul Newman, American actor

1955 - Eddie Van Halen, Dutch musician

One holiday:
India - Republic Day - One of only three state holidays in India, celebrated with pomp and a military parade in New Delhi.

I'm only going to tag 4 blogs this time though: Mrs. Flinger, In Search of Walden, Maternal Mirth, Life Turned Upside Down

Thursday, June 14, 2007

18 Month Milestones this will probably be a really boring post to anyone who is not a doting relative, but I had to post an update on Son's milestones. I noted from a post long long long ago, that when Daughter was 17 months old, she had a growing vocabulary of about 50 words and was beginning two word phrases. This prompted me to make the same type of notes for Son. He just reached the 18 month milestone yesterday, afterall.

Here are the words Son is currently saying (some have been in his vocabulary for a couple months, and some are really recent):

Momay (Mommie)
Baybay (baby)
Bubay ("Bubbie)
Sisshsish (sissy)
duh! (done!) also sign language
mo (more) also sign language
moowww (meow)
mi (milk) also sign language
dow (down)
jow (juice)
Uh oh!
Lou Lou (the nieghbor's dog)
wa wa (water)
nose (can point to it)
eyes (can point to it)
show (tv show)
hello (which sounds more like one syllable)
noonles (noodles)
lello (yellow)
ha (hat)
ope (open)
hel (help)
he can sign for "bath"
Grandma swears he said "Want down!" a few weeks ago

He also began blowing kisses several weeks ago and can now give great pucker up "slobber kisses."

So thereyago!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Brain Dump

Just checkin' to see what The Neighbors are up to. Do you see how close they are outside that window? Yeesh! We realized from our land survey (which we looked up when we listed the house for sale) that we actually have .34 acres at our current location. That's better than the .28 I thought we had, but nowhere near as good as the 5 acres awaiting us. Unfortunately our current .34 acres are all on the OTHER side of the house where the marginally less annoying neighbors live.

It's been a long time since I spent so little time reading my handful of favorite blogs and posting so few of my own. Thanks to everyone who has checked in and left me a comment recently. It's nice to feel loved!

...So here's the scoop: in a nutshell, I'm too exhausted to have many creative writing juices flowing. You'll have to settle for a few mundane details sans creative spin.

I worked two extra days this week getting ready to launch my dual anger management therapy groups. I spent seven hours on Friday meeting with seven emotionally and behaviorally disturbed adolescent girls. I've rarely spent that many solid hours on this particular population. It's exhausting hearing so many stories of parents who couldn't get their stuff together well enough to keep from neglecting and abusing their children in so many creative ways. It's also amazing how much money the pharmaceutical companies must make off our society's ills. I happen to think 12 different meds for a single teenage girl is a little much. No wonder these girls need anger management help. I've a feeling that by the time I get partway though leading this particular endeavor, I will have to abandon the role of "Group Leader" and re-enroll as a member instead.

My second extra day of work was today. If you are not a health professional in today's society, you may have no idea just how much paperwork and CYA B.S. we have to do. It's a big fat double whammy when you have to satisfy both HIPAA AND state welfare requirements with your paperwork. Fortunately, after seven hours of paperwork today, the migraine I had coming on did not fully materialize.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that somewhere in there we pulled a spontaneous shopping outing and our intended budget for new furniture was totally blown. We found a good sale. We couldn't pass it up. Our three piece room plus ottoman became a five piece room with two rustic pine end tables and then became a seven piece room with two of those massively huge bean bag cushion thingies. I wanted to get bean bag chairs for the kids--maybe for Christmas this year. But...well, did I mention that we found a good sale? So we ignorantly thought we would be able to drag both those bean bag cushion thingies home together in the family mobile. Turns out they looked much smaller in the showroom. We could only fit one at a time in the back of the Odyssey. I'm serious. When we got the first one home, we had to wrestle it to get it forced through the front doorway. And that's when it was still wrapped tightly in plastic. It expanded a lot more when we cut the plastic off of it. I was having visions of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when they cut the bands on their Christmas tree. (I just realized that this is the second time within a few weeks that I made reference to that movie. That's a little frightening!) Once the monster was unveiled, it competed in size with the overstuffed chair in the corner of the room. Really, I'm not exaggerating with this! We debated over the next 15 hours whether to even follow through with the purchase of the second one awaiting our pick up today. Or whether to nix the new overstuffed chair to go with the new downstairs family room ensemble in lieu of the massive chair bag we fell in love with. In the end, we decided that the dual massive bean bag "spring foam" chairs would be great pieces for the rec room/playroom. Good thing we've been saving our pennies for awhile!

Our kids were so well behaved on this shopping trip that I wish I could bottle and sell the experience. We'd be rich rich rich! We were being realistic when we spontaneously headed out as soon as Son awoke from his nape. We didn't even plan to buy anything. I've totally lowered my standards of expectations since adding children to our lives. We expected to visit one or two places before the kids started wailing and screaming and then give up for the night. The kids were doing so well that two places turned into four (with dinner at Fazoli's in between). Feeding your 3 yr old and almost-18-month old spaghetti in public is really not for the faint at heart, by the way. Not sure what we were thinking with that one. But it made them happy, so it was worth it, even though we were still trying to get the spaghetti sauce out from between Son's little fingers 24 hrs later. I'm not even sure the bath he got tonight got it all out.

At 8:40 pm last night we were just wrapping up our purchase, which wouldn't have taken quite as long if we hadn't found such a good sale. Did I mention that already? With a good 35 minute drive back home in front of us, we didn't get the munchkins to bed until 9:40 pm. They were happy anyway. They were busy robbing the showroom displays of their helium balloons while we shopped. They were pleased as punch holding their balloon collection all the way home. Are you picturing a Honda Odyssey stuffed to the brim with a massive spring foam bag chair and at least four helium balloons along with two wee ones and two adults?

In the end, we managed to get five and one half boxes packed this weekend. *sigh!* Two weeks and six days to go...and we have five and one half boxes packed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Welcome Changes

I've been busy. Quite distracted from blogging. And it's going to be that way for while, it appears.

First came the plans to launch two simultaneous 10 week psychoeducational and therapeutic counseling groups focusing on anger management for a total of 17 adolescent girls in a group home. This involves a whole lot of paperwork and planning in advance of starting the group as well as considerable paperwork and documentation during the process.

Then came our decision to finally purchase a small antisocial acreage, complete with house. That was followed by putting our own house up for sale, and that was followed by selling our home approximately 16 hours after it was listed for sale.

We are moving in 22 days.

I will try to post semi-regularly, but it's not going to be a high priority for awhile. I do, however, have some pics I will post later.

Here's to abandoning the 18 children (another one moved in) that run freely about our cul de sac. Here's to abandoning The Neighbors and their five children that take over our yard whether we are home or not. Here's to abandoning their pregnant dog and his humongous poop piles and their cat and her two new kittens.

Here's to a new chapter in the drama!