Friday, March 2, 2012

If You Are Crazy and You Know It HIT MY CAR!

The party was great. Twenty-two first grade boys - are we crazy? Yes we are. Everything went well. Some parents stayed and it was nice because the bowling alley is a public place, afterall - we were responsible for all these kids. I asked my cousin and her friend to help me watch them so they sat there and just watched the boys and told me if anyone was wandering off. Then after 2 hours we moved to the lounge where the breakdancers performed. They were very good. We ate cupcakes and I ordered pizza and drinks for the dancers. Then the breakdancers taught all our little guests how to dance. I told Ricky I expect to see some moves at home!

So it's official: I am not driving the first Thursday of every month if I can help it. Last month, on the first Thursday, that crazy woman hit me. Yesterday, I was ONE BLOCK away from my house with Ricky's BFF in the backseat on our way to pick up Ricky and I moved to the side to allow two cars to pass who were coming from the opposite direction. The man wanted me to go, so I went, and I had no idea that the black car behind me decided to just GO. So she crashed into me. We pulled to the side and she was older than me and crying and clutching her arm. She said she thought she was having a heart attack and was on her way to the hospital!!! I offered to call her an ambulance or to drive her to the hospital myself (even though I really didn't want to and would be super inconvenienced - but I can't let someone just die in the street!). So we exchanged information and went on our way.

My car now has a minor scratch about 4 feet long. Uggghhhhhh........we're not going to bother to fix it. It's not even that noticeable. I am surprised I didn't have more damage - it seemed like she really smashed into me. LUCKY in a very un-lucky situation.

The first incident a month ago happened about 5 blocks away from my house. This one was 1 block away. I have concluded that the women in my neighborhood should not be driving (crazy & thinking she is having a heart attack) and have poor judgement.

Anyway, at least we are all okay. I am excited about this weekend - seeing my cousin's play with my sister and BIL and taking the boys to the train show.

And now I have even more DVDs I have to watch and no clue when I will watch them:

Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
Friends With Benefits
Parenthood Season 2

Hopefully I'll be able to sit down with Mark tonight and watch one so we can return it to the library.

In other news, I've been asked to moderate a new book club aimed at hip-ish, young-ish people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. I'm excited about this and can't wait to get it started. We'll be meeting in restaurants and bars. Should be fun.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flying (with no broomstick)

Ricky's 7th birthday party is Saturday and we've been so busy getting ready for that. 23 first grade boys at the bowling alley - we will be wiped out for sure. Ricky loves to dance - a lot. He got it from Mark. I wish someone was getting married right now because Ricky sure can bustamove! So back in November he said, "Mom, if you and dad give me a birthday party, can I please have a breakdancer at the party?" So I started looking and found a group of 7 breakdancers to come and dance at the party before we have cake. They are very nice guys and will also teach the boys some dance moves - so they're not just bringing home a goody bag - they'll have some moves for mom and dad as well.

Then afterwards, we're having our family party back at our house. No idea what food to order for that and of course my mom asks me every 10 minutes if I've ordered the food yet. I should really bake more stuff for that - Ricky's favorite cookies and treats. Oh yeah, and clean the house.

I just have to find the energy to fill all those treat bags tonight. After work I'm going to get his birthday presents and I have no clue what to get. Maybe a Kinect game, some Star Wars stuff.

With Ricky's allergy, I am baking the cupcakes rather than ordering a cake he can't eat. Not sure when I'll have time to do that - will most likely be making in the middle of the night I am sure.

Ricky's gone to 2 birthday parties in the last week at different jumpy places and I've been meeting more of the parents of the boys in his class and they are very nice. Ricky also attended the birthday party of a set of twins from his old school. It was nice catching up with the parents I haven't seen in a while - the nice parents.

I just can't believe my baby will be 7! Time really flies.

On the domestic front, our water heater decided to die on Monday night. We were lucky that Mark happened to decide to take a trip down to the basement (at 2am) when he saw the water trickling on the floor. It just started. So we've been nomads all week - showering at my mom's every night - and washing our hands and faces with ICE COLD water. Plumber is installing the new water heater tomorrow. You really take all these things for granted.

Mark just finished our pantry. We bought all our stuff when Container Store had their sale earlier this month. It looks great and I spent many hours yesterday organizing it and I'm not done!

On the movie front, I watched Breaking Dawn part 1. I liked those books a lot. The movies, not so good. I still do not like Kristin Stewart as an actress. She always seems pained and constipated. She would have been a good Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days.

I also watched Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I read the book last year. I watched it with Mark and we liked it. It was odd that they used the same actresses to play the past and present though.

I still have Tree of Life but haven't had time to watch it yet. Waaaaaayyyy over due! Hear it's good.

It will be a great weekend to be sure. Then I will collapse.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where do you think you are

All has been quiet. No peep from the crazy woman. Hoping it stays that way. I was over due with having bad luck with a complete moron.

Teddy started preschool this past monday and we are so relieved that he likes it. There are 5 adults in a class of 20 kids. The class is blended, and there is one girl in a wheelchair and a few others like Teddy who have an IEP. The special ed teacher has been great. Today was tricky because my mom took Teddy to school and picked him up. So we'll see how he adjusts to the new routines. I will officially start potty training this weekend. That will be interesting. Hopefully he sees all the other kids going and that will inspire him. Because of his IEP there is a teacher's aid that changes his diapers. He is the youngest in class and all the kids have been so nice to him.

One mother approached me about running for office on their school board. I am very friendly at pick-up and drop-off. After what happened with the other moms at the previous school I would rather lay low. I feel bad because when Ricky was in preschool I was always very active - always the Room Mother, always baking, always the chaperone on every single field trip. Of course I would run for office, that's in my personality, but because of stupid people, I find that it's not worth the trouble. Let someone else do it.

Collecting rsvp's for Ricky's 7th birthday party. We're having it at a bowling alley and Ricky had asked us to hire breakdancers back at Thanksgiving so I started looking and found a group of 7 guys to do it. We invited his friends from his old school and all the boys in his current class in his new school. We didn't invite our friends' kids and I feel bad about this but it would be too many kids. Need to look for a cake and fill all the goody bags.

On the friend front, Mark and I have really not socialized all that much. It's been so busy with the kids that we don't see our friends as often as we used to. I have a friend from library school who I have grown apart from - not purposely. She lives about an hour away and is also busy with her 3 kids. I have tried to email her to get together and she doesn't respond (been a few times this has happened in the last few years) yet she still sends us Christmas cards. I can't understand where she wants to be in my life. If you send me a Christmas card, then you still want to be in contact. If you blow off my emails to get together, then you aren't interested in being friends. Which is it. Decide. Unless you just want me to be on your Christmas card list with no contact whatsoever. Kind of a waste and kind of stupid. I get the busy thing - but please email me. If not today or tomorrow, maybe in a few months? Just email me. Sometime.

My cousin was messing around with my facebook account last year and accidentally press "hide" on this friend's feed and her husband's - and a few others. I never undid the hide (no reason) so I don't see their feeds unless I go to their pages. So consequently I never "like" or comment on their facebook stuff and I wonder if this sends the wrong message. If something happens with them (birthdays), Mark tells me because they are on his feeds. It's kind of sad. I really liked her. She made me laugh a lot in library school.

We have a group of friends we probably see 6 times a year. The rest of our friends we probably see once a year if we are lucky. But we are busy and so are they. No hard feelings. We are probably the least social people lately because of the kids and the recent move. We used to have Halloween parties every year. We haven't had one in a few years - our friends have taken over. A few friends thought that *we* hosted the party and didn't invite them because they saw the photos on facebook. Darn facebook!

Anyways, busy weekend. Ricky has cello and orchestra. He's doing very well. Then he competes in his very first karate tournament on Sunday. He is a little nervous but he'll do well.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Watch Out for a Crazy Person Near You

I have constant reminders of the beauty of life in the faces of my husband and sons and family and friends. However, every once in a great while, I am faced with the UGLINESS of human beings. Unfortunately, it just happened to me a few days ago.

I was driving in my car, with Ricky in the back seat and we had just come from Target where I bought Teddy all his school supplies. I was driving in the right lane and there was a big black Suburban on the my left. The woman swerved and didn't notice me. I looked at her and she was on the phone and distracted. She was older - in her 70s. I honked at her - not to be a jerk but to say "here I am. Watch out. Please don't hit me." She got pissed off. The lanes were merging and I got ahead of her and started to merge in front of her in the left lane. She decided that she hated my gutts and sped up alongside me (into ONCOMING TRAFFIC) and crashed her car into my side mirror. I was aghast and stepped on the gas to get in front of her. I drove a few streets and turned down a side street - and she followed me - blaring her horn all the way. Ricky was like "what the heck mom!"

I am a great driver. Not one ticket since 1992! That's 20 years ago! So anyways, she parked alongside me and started yelling every swear word in the book at me. I stayed calm the entire time and told her to please stop with the bad language - my son is in the back seat. So the cop came. I was lucky - the police officer was a woman - maybe older than me. She saw right through this lady for the psycho she really is. The woman who hit me told us that she just came from her neurologist and was on many prescription drugs!! The officer asked for our licenses and insurance and the woman didn't have insurance. Then she told the officer that her husband was a cop. Turns out he is retired. Lucky for me, the cop was on my side. She was annoyed with this woman and gave her a ticket for no insurance. She listened to both our stories and believed my side (thank god). She even had the cop talk to her husband on the phone - TWICE. The cop was so angry and was yelling at the both of them.

The cop liked me a lot. I was calm, respectful, and even though I wanted to yell back at that crazy woman I was silent. Ricky was cold and had to pee. I wanted it all to go away and go home. I wanted to sit on my couch and watch the news.

My mirror folded and went forward when she hit me and it dragged a 15 inch line of paint on her car. Our damage is so minor that we aren't getting it fixed. I called our insurance company and told them everything and told them not to give that lady a dime. So far it's been quiet and nobody has filed a claim under my name. Maybe the fact that she had no proof of insurance gave her more to deal with.

Anyways, she is crazy. Literally. So of course I am freaking out that she is going to leave stink bombs at my front door. The crash report has our addresses. The cop let me leave and we didn't exchange phone numbers - the cop said "You don't want this crazy B**** to call you. You are free to go home." The crazy woman kept threatening me and telling me I was going to pay, that she was going to get me, etc.

I wish that besides a don't drink and drive law that there was one against driving while taking prescription meds because you are a lunatic and shouldn't be on the road where you are succeptible to road rage against mothers with young children who just want to get home and make dinner.

So thanks to the internet it's easy to find out where I work. So I warned my work associates to please not tell anyone when I work next in case someone comes in asking for me. I am praying she doesn't come in looking for a book or something and I have to HELP her!! UGH. I would rather steer her in the direction of the Self Help/you-are-crazy books.

Anyways, Teddy has his first day of preschool tomorrow. I am a total wreck. His Thomas the train back pack is ready, his school supplies and paperwork are ready. I just hope he'll be okay. I hope he doesn't cry and the 5 adults in the classroom catch any shenanigans before anything happens. Because if something happened, he can't tell me. Please let this be the right thing for him.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Now Eat This!

In between keeping my children alive and making sure our house doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders, I've been sneaking in a page or two of a book, or watching 10 minutes of a show while I fold a basket of laundry. It certainly helps I've been working much more now so I can grab whatever I want at the library.

Now Reading:

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

Now Perusing:

Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley - The Flylady

DVDs Watched this weekend:

Super 8 - Really enjoyed but thought the ending was too abrupt.

Parenthood - Season 1 - Didn't watch the whole season while it was on, so thought I would catch up on the ones that got away.

The final Harry Potter movie - Yes, we are *that* far behind. We tried to watch it last night and I fell asleep. Mark stayed up and watched the entire thing and said it was great. So much for watching movies together!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Mommy Banter About Stuff

Since Teddy finished Early Intervention and we had our IEP meeting, we've been in waiting mode for his placement letter. It's been a few weeks so I made a few phone calls and the letter is coming and they will need to "call me to discuss." I take that to mean that maybe since it's already almost February and the middle of the school year that there may not be openings in schools that are closest to our house. They told us he qualifies for bus service and let me tell you there is no way in hell I am putting my 3 year old who doesn't speak much on a bus by himself!!!

Since I am not running Teddy to therapy and therapy playgroup appointments, I've been spending more time with him at home while I organize our new place. I like not running around because the quality of time I spend with him is so much better. While I think the Early Intervention helped him in many ways, I was disappointed in the speech therapy. I think she could have come more than once a week but didn't want to. I loved her - she was a sweet person but it was hard to see much progress when he only gets it once a week. But it was free and nothing is perfect I guess.

I guess there would be nothing wrong with keeping him home and sending him to preschool in the fall. The therapists strongly urged us to get him in preschool right away for socialization, etc. I want him to go to Ricky's school for preschool and I think it's best to have continuity so after I see where the placement is, I'll call the preschool teacher at Ricky's school to see what she thinks of Teddy and if he would be okay to start in September given his speech.

I love Ricky's school. Transferring him was the best decision. The school just won the President's Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in the fall. Ricky is enjoying it and the kids are nicer than the other school (so he says) so that's great. They just had a standardized test earlier this month and Ricky scored in the 3rd-4th grade level for math (OMG) but he scored average for Reading and Phonics. The "problem" is that the average for the first grade kids at his school is well above the national average (40+ points above the national average!!) so even though Ricky scored 'average" it's below the average of the other first grade kids at his school. I guess they started teaching reading in kindergarten at his new school. Meanwhile, Ricky had a joke for a teacher who didn't teach and just treated the class like it was summer camp at his old school. So that means I'll be spending a lot more time on reading and phonics with him - which I love doing - so he can be "above average."

So let me brag about my eldest little boy for a moment. He is amazing at the cello - his teacher keeps telling me he plays better than the 4th graders he teaches. He is also doing very well in karate - he is now a Red belt with one stripe from his last belt exam. He loves it and just learned a new kata. He wants to compete in the next tournament in a few weeks. I will be more nervous than he will be! I am so proud of him and hope he continues to be so driven.

Potty training update - I read Teddy the potty books and talked to him about it and he doesn't seem to be interested. I asked Ricky to show Teddy when he pees and Ricky just says "No way Mom!!' Well can't say I blame him. Not sure I'd like someone to watch me every time I peed, but just thought it would be such a great inspiration for Teddy.... ok next on the list - dvds I guess...

On the home front, both my mom and my MIL will be having surgery next month. They will both need help so there will be lots of shuffling around.

Tonight we'll be seeing "Super 8" after the kids go to bed. I'm going to bake an apple pie and eat it with vanilla ice cream while it's still hot from the oven. Oh yeah, and we have tons of alcohol left over from the parties so it will be nice to have a lot of choices this evening!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hopeful and Sneaky

Happy new year and all that stuff. I am really happy to see 2011 go. It was a hard year for many reasons. The good news though is that we finally moved to our new house the weekend before Thanksgiving. It's a better house for us in so many ways and the kids are very happy there so we're excited about organizing and decorating our new home.

Christmastime was a bit stressful. The entire family got sick for 3 weeks - so much so that Ricky even missed the school Christmas pageant! He wasn't upset about it but it was too bad - you're only in 1st grade once. It would have been a good video to watch years in the future!

We celebrated Teddy's 3rd birthday the first week of January. I can't believe my baby boy is 3 already! His Early Intervention stuff ended and we had his IEP meeting last week. He qualified for a blended program in a preschool and now we're waiting to see what kind of a placement he receives. I hope the school is good, the kids are nice to him, and the school is nearby. We'll see. I am nervous every time I check the mailbox! In the meantime, I am going to start potty training him tomorrow - wish me luck!

Last weekend I pulled off 2 surprise parties for my husband's 40th. The first was a surprise dinner with our friends at an Italian restaurant. He thought he was just going to eat dinner with me (which is more than enough) but the hostess blew it when she said our name and "Party for 11" when we came in. I didn't warn her it was a surprise so I don't fault her. Mark was excited nonetheless.

Then after dinner, I had about 15 more friends waiting at our house to surprise him. He wanted to go out to a bar with our friends but I told him I had a cake and a party ball waiting for him at our house. So he agreed. He was shocked to walk in our house and see more friends. It was nice. It was tricky doing the guest list - I limited it to *his* friends - not mine. My sister and BIL did a great job being my secret helpers. I am a horrible liar and bad at sneaking around. I would never have an affair but if I did I would be busted in a heartbeat. I had to have all the party supplies and decorations ready and hidden for them. It was hard because Mark walks around every corner of the house. It was so incredibly busy the day of the party that when I picked up the balloons, I failed to notice that the $9.99 balloon that was a big 40 that I had ordered was actually a big 50!!! Our friends thought it was funny. I was kicking myself for not checking. Oh well.

My mom then surprised him a few days later with a surprise party with our family. She taught us all how to play mah jong and now I am hooked! Will need to look for a set at some point.

Anyways, I am very hopeful for a good year. Despite the forecast of the apocalypse, let it be a good one. I have decided to take my bucket list by the horns and try to do the things I want to do "some day." My husband agrees. Thank god we have good health insurance! Ice skates (and other things) here I come!!