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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

H E double hockey sticks!

Yesterday was without a doubt, a huge pain in my ass. It started with Logan deciding he needed to use the potty right as it was time to go outside for the bus. I should have known to throw in the towel right then.

I had several things to get done; A meeting with Vincent's teacher in the morning followed by a trip to Arwens school to read to her class and have a parent/teacher conference. I was running ragged, trying to finish up chores so I could finally get into the shower. I had Annabel on the middle floor asleep and Vincent in the bathroom with me. I get ready in under an hour and wait for Vincents teacher to arrive.

And I wait...
And I wait some more...
And I look at the clock...

I have to leave the house in 10 minutes and the teacher isn't here. My Mom arrives to babysit and I call the school. I'm then informed the teacher decided "to just come tomorrow and watch him with the speech therapist".

So I try not to lose my temper and get off the phone, kiss my little ones and head out the door. 30 minutes later I'm at the school, I go inside, get settled and am told I have to "quickly read the story, we don't have long" so I choose the shorter of the two books I brought along.

After reading (The Day the Babies Crawled Away, an awesome book) I got to sit and stare at the class as I had to wait for my meeting. I'm glad I got this opportunity. I can see now why Arwen dislikes her teacher and her class so much.

This woman runs a tight ship. Let me start by saying, I don't necessarily believe that is "bad". However, the things these children are expected to do is really quite alot for kindergartners. She expects nothing short of perfection from 5 year olds and we all know how I feel about perfection. I watched as child after child endured ridicule over unclear writing, unfinished work or talking in the classroom. Finally it was time for our meeting. The children were ushered out and down we sit.

It went decently. She was nice enough and said that my daughter is a sweet child. She said that Arwen is smart and bright but talks alot and always will. "Don't be surprised, she'll always have remarks about talking, it's just who she is." I was told.

There were remarks here and there that made me seriously repress an urge to reach over and slap the fire out of her though. Like this one for instance.

"Everyone knows who Arwen is, she's a topic at our dinner table pretty often."

Doesn't she realize this is a violation of privacy? Not to mention extremely unprofessional? Or does she not care? Not to be outdone I plastered a huge smile to my face and replied happily (and snarky).

"Oh I know how that is! It must be like when we talk about you at our table."

Boo-yah, eat that hard ass.

I took my daughter home with me and rewarded her with a decaf Pumpkin spice latte from starbucks which she sipped on and I finished off for her. I hugged her tight and was relieved to think that all we have to do is survive this year and Arwen will have a new class and new teacher.

I don't believe my daughter is the best child in the world. As her Mother I am well aware of how difficult she can be. But she is a child and children talk and play and laugh and have difficulty paying attention. They have to learn control and how to adapt to a learning environment. This isn't boot camp or college, this is kindergarten!

What do you think?

Oh and Happy Halloween!!!!

Sabrina and Mark Petition!

I've had time to cool off but I can say I got little sleep. When I woke I checked the ABC message boards and it appears I am not alone. There are online petitions to bring Mark and Sabrina back, fans are outraged.

I realize some will say "vote if you want your favorite to stay" but what if it's not that simple? I know I had problems voting online and have read similar things from other people. How can that not be taken into consideration for a show that is viewer and fan based? Isn't it apparent from the booing audience, petitions galore and letters to ABC that something doesn't fit?

In an effort not to offend fans of other dancers I will try to put this as eloquently as possible. Does anyone truly believe that Jane Seymour or Marie Osmond are better dancers than the rest of the competition on the show? Sabrina and Mark aside, look at those two women compared to the other contestants. (and please ladies, stop pulling the age card, you knew how old you were when you agreed to do the show.)

There are several petitions but here are two I signed. Please, if you agree with me or had issues in voting yourself, go sign the petition. Or if you're just super sweet go sign it for me! Here

And for these you need to be registered on the ABC forums. Here and Here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No More Dancing with Stars

I don't get it. The premise of the show is stars dancing with professionals. You are supposed to call in and vote for the best. I got over popularity contests in high school but I guess it still goes on in our corn fed reality television world nowadays.

The one show I'd hoped wouldn't be biased apparently is. I'm not sure if any of you out there are Dwts watchers or not but tonight was not only a shock, it left me speechless and angry.

So thank you ABC, voters, Len (yes you, not that you read this) for voting off the best person on the show. You just cleared up my Monday and Tuesday nights permanently. I won't be watching any ABC shows anymore.

/rant off.

For those curious, Sabrina and Mark were voted off tonight. They came in 7th place. Everyone knows it was the wrong decision, the cast and judges were all shocked beyond belief when it was announced.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mom confession of the Week


If I think one of my children has "taken a dump", I do the butt sniff. I don't even try to deny it anymore. I'm so shameless now I'll even do the sniff test in front of other people.

Personally, I'm a fan of this method. The diaper test has ended badly for me in the past. I'd rather sniff poo than have it on my finger from a diaper check gone wrong.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Spice Jello Mini Pies!


I admit it, I'm a pumpkin fanatic. I've stocked up on pumpkin spice coffee and creamer and when I saw this I couldn't resist bringing it home.
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The first thing I made is so simple.
~Mix Jello mix as directed on box.
~Add cinnamon/pumpkin spice to taste, if desired.
~Place Jello mix into mini graham cracker crusts.
~Refrigerate for at least one hour. For best results (and a thicker pie) refrigerate 2-3 hours.
~Remove to serve, top with whipped topping.
~Sprinkle top with cinnamon.
Serve and Enjoy!

This was a hit in my house (something not easily done with my picky eaters) and was so easy. I'm going to make a pie for Thanksgiving to share with family, it's that good!
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If you're interested, this jello is limited edition, so get it while supplies last. I personally bought 10 boxes and am going back for more.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Perfect Mom


Yesterday I received a phone call from an old friend. She needed to ask a question and during our conversation she relayed to me a talk she had with another mutual friend of ours. It appears the two of them were discussing me and how many children I have and how different I was from the girl in high school.

During high school me, Tanya, Sabrina, Melissa and Teresa were inseparable. We all got to know one another very well, I'd say at the time we knew each other better than our parents or families did.

Tanya said that she and Sabrina always saw me as having one child, or maybe two but never more. She said they both recalled how "picky and neat, organized and perfect" I used to be.

"You were so perfect, but I guess that's a good thing since your child is autistic, you can give him that structure." She hesitated before adding. "We both think you're a wonderful Mom, you're more patient that we ever could be, that is what we were saying."

This kind of thing isn't new. I've been told this before from others. Usually when they find out I have 4 children, 1 being special needs. I'm not sure if this is said in an effort to make me feel good but it is very strange how often I've been told these exact words.

I assure you, I am not perfect and being told so makes me very uncomfortable. Achieving perfection and living up to it after is a very difficult thing.

The truth is, I'm just a woman, who happens to be a Mother, who does the best she can. But I have bad days. There are days I have to drag out of the bed or walk into another room when patience is short. I have nights when I prepare pizza for dinner and give my children too much sugar before bedtime. I make mistakes each day and learn from them.

I work daily on being a Mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law. I make an effort each day to help my children become the most they can be. I maintain my home (and I don't just mean chores) because home is where the heart is.

But I'm not perfect, never perfect, you give me far too much credit. We all have faults, some are just harder to see. Especially from those who do not live the life of a person with them day to day.

So thank you for the kindness and the honor you bestow upon me. I'm glad you think well of me and the kind of Mother I am to my children. I promise I will do my best to live up to being a "great" Mom but I never want to be a "perfect" one.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dear Cook's Pest Control Man


Dear Cooks Pest Control Man,

I'd like to take a moment to apologize. I didn't realize my husband called you out to spray our back porch deck. Had I known this, I would never have been caught in the position of dancing around without my shirt, to the wiggles 'Big Red Car', with my children.

I'm sure the sight of a still slightly "poochy" baby belly, nursing bra and stark white skin have possibly caused irreperable damage. I tried to jump into the adjacent dining room as quickly as possible but by the shock in your eyes I'm fairly certain the damage has already been done.

I promise in the future I will never "take a chance" and dress in the living room again. Having two glass doors should have been reason enough but the embarrassment and shame will do a much better job of reminding me in the future.

Sincerely,

A Mortified Mommy
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P.S. Thank you for placing our billing statement on the door in the plastic baggie. You were correct in assuming we'd seen enough of each other for one month, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Man in the Mirror


Man in the Mirror (as told by my Mother and Aunt)

Many things happened to us while living in the house on Clinton Avenue. My brothers, sisters and I quickly learned never to wander the house alone. After the incident with the phone, Suzanne refused to take go into the bathroom alone. So each night we sat with one another when we showered.
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On this particular night, she said she would shower first. I sat on the toilet to talk to her. The bathroom wasn't very large, you'd walk in through the door and directly in front of you stood the mirror and sink. To the left was the toilet, followed by the shower.
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When she finally finished she slid the curtain back and stepped out. While she was drying herself I got my things ready. Just as I was about to step in, she removed the towel from her head to wipe away the steam collected on the bathroom mirror. I looked up while she did this, I guess force of habit to see yourself in the mirror when we both saw it.
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Standing behind us in the mirror was a old man. His face was white, he was balding and his face was motionless. It didn't take long for us to begin screaming, we bolted for the door.
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Suzanne grabbed the knob and began to turn frantically, it wouldn't open. She struggled with it, pushing and pulling, twisting right and left. We were too afraid to look back into the room and began crying for Mom. She knew something was wrong and had run up as soon as she heard our first cry. She was already at the other side of the door, trying to open it.
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She kept screaming back "what's wrong?? what is it??" and we yelled in turn, "get us out, please! open the door!"
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Then we heard Mom start praying. She was saying the lord's prayer, it came out jumbled because she was saying it so quickly. She stopped saying the prayer to tell us our Father was fetching a screw driver to remove the door off the hinges.
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It turns out that wasn't necessary because the door suddenly opened. I was left staring at my Mom, naked as the day I was born. I rushed to her in tears, my sister close behind me.
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When we looked into the mirror again, the man was gone.

The Message


I actually witnessed this myself. Not so much a ghost story per say but still amazing none the less.

The Message

He was only 45 when he died. A husband, father, grandfather and friend. He never made it out of surgery to repair his heart. His family was devastated.

The funeral was heart breaking. He left behind two sons and three grandsons. His wife sat to the far right end of the viewing room, constantly surrounded by some person or another. Each paying their respect to her and offering condolences for this loving man, gone too soon.

That night, Belle (his widow) commented that she missed him so much, she only wished she could see him one more time to tell him she loved him. The next day she dressed to say goodbye one last time to the love of her life.

After the funeral, she arrived home with her sons, grandsons, and a few other family members. As everyone climbed out of the car, Belle walked toward the front lawn. A balloon was tangled in her flower bed. She pulled the balloon free and looked down at it.

She began to cry and dropped to the ground. Everyone rushed to her side, her sons trying to lift her to her feet. But she pushed everyone off and motioned toward the balloon in her hands. Like most helium balloons the back was silver and the front was a mixture of green flowers. Written in cursive writing were three words.

I Miss You.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Midnight Visitors

Another story shared with me. This time by my Mom and Uncle. The house still stands, as does the one on Clinton. They both are in close proximity to the old cemetary I mention, established in 1822. Alot of the houses located here have a history of unexplained activity.

Midnight Visitors (as told to me by my Mom and Uncle)


*****
I was 19 when I went to stay with my sister. She had one child, was pregnant with another and my brother also lived there. The house was located on Wellman, close to the nearby Maple Hill Cemetery.
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The house was small, one floor, with an attic. Each night I'd make up my bed on the couch while my brother pulled out his own cot and prepared it to settle down for the evening. Johnny loved to talk to me late into the night, we talked until our eyes grew heavy and we finally drifted off to sleep. Each and every night he always told me there were ghosts in the house and I would tell him to stop trying to scare me. After our scare on Clinton Avenue, I didn't take the ghost thing lightly.
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One night I woke to my foot being shaken roughly. I didn't even realize I had fallen asleep. I struggled to open my eyes and adjust my ears to his whispering. His words came out rushed.
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"Marilyn, listen!" he shook my foot harder.
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"Stop it Johnny!" I hissed. I tried to pull my foot from his hand.
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"Shh!" he released my foot and leaned forward to place his hand gently over my mouth. "Listen!"
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I sat still and listened. I could hear the tic-toc-tic from the clock on the wall but other than that the house was silent. I was about to thank him for waking me up when I heard it. At first I couldn't identify the noise, it was creaky and forceful and very loud in the otherwise deafening quiet. It suddenly dawned on me, it was the attic hatch being pulled down.
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"Oh, real funny. Who's in on this? Is that you Marie?" I raised my voice an felt Johnny's' hand clamp over my mouth.
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"It's not Marie!" he tried to keep his words at a whisper. "I told you and you didn't believe me, just sit still and listen!"
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I looked into his face, it was a mixture of panic, nervousness, excitement and I could swear a twinge of fear. I settled back and listened as the sound of the attic steps came down, followed by very soft footsteps. I froze, fear and wonder overtaking me.
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The footsteps continued down the hall and into the kitchen. I gasped when I heard the chairs being pulled out from under the table. Johnny placed his finger over his lips and motioned for me to remain quiet and so I did. I was paralyzed in fear.
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Then I heard the faint voices. You couldn't make out any words nor any voices, just very soft whispers into the night. It was surreal and frightening.
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My brother and I sat there for a very long time, listening to those whispers, until eventually, they stopped. I sat there in the dark living room, huddled under my blanket, afraid to move.
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My eyes open as sun shone in through the window and I was glad for it. I looked to Johnny's cot and it was empty. I realized I had somehow managed to fall asleep the night before. Quickly I made my way into the kitchen, hesitating as I rounded the corner.
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I was greeted by the sight of my niece sitting in her high chair nibbling on dry cheerios, her Mother sat across from her drinking a cup of coffee. I stood staring for second before finally taking a seat at the large round table.
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"Johnny said you finally heard them." Marie took a sip of her coffee. I watched as she reached over to push cheerios back onto the high chair surface before they fell onto the floor.
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"I thought you all were playing a prank on me at first."
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She shook her head and smiled at the baby, she took another sip of her drink before speaking.
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"It started a few weeks after we moved in. Then Johnny came to stay with us. The first time it happened to him, he freaked out. He tore out of the house that next morning, we didn't think he was coming back. He didn't come home until noon and swore he'd never sleep alone here again. I guess it's a good thing you decided to stay awhile."

*****

That wasn't the last time I heard the Midnight Visitors and the nickname came as they always seemed to venture out around the midnight hour. My sister lived for another year or so in the house but my brother and I only decided to stay another few months. It was just too creepy for us to deal with.
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Once, just to see, we placed the chairs on top of the kitchen table before going to bed. The next morning we were greeted by all the chairs placed on the floor, partially pulled out from the table, looking as if someone had just sat down in them.


*please see Jayne's comment about the origin of this picture above. It is very interesting, thanks again Jayne!

The House on Clinton Avenue

I'll be sharing some stories I've been told through the years by family about the ghosts and houses in our area. I hope you enjoy them!


The House on Clinton Avenue (as told to me by my Mom)
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When I was 15, we moved into a house. Our family was large, 9 of us in all and even with 4 bedrooms each of us still ended up sharing a room and sometimes a bed.
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The first time I saw the house, I thought it was beautiful. An old Victorian, painted blue with white windows. It was 3 stories high if you included the attic. When we pulled into the short driveway to the left of the house, my Dad was sitting on the porch steps. Back then Dad kept his hair in the slicked, clean and combed back look. But that day one hair made its way down to curl on his forehead. He had a strange look on his face and I'll never forget his words to our Mother as we all piled out of the car.
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"There is something wrong with this house Helen."
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Many strange things happened in that house. Anytime we tried to go up to the attic we'd get tripped up on things. The cat refused to come inside and noises came from nowhere. One room in the house, the living room, always stayed very cold, even with the fireplace lit.
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A story that sticks out in my mind among several is the day your Aunt Suzanne beat us all of us home from school and decided to call a friend while she waited. She grabbed the phone in the kitchen (as we disliked that cold and creepy living room) and sat at the table.
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As she spoke to her friend she kept hearing the phone line being picked up. At first she didn't say anything, hoping her friend would tell whoever it was interrupting them to stop. After a few minutes of it Suzanne became annoyed and said something.
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"Tell Jon to cut it out would ya? We'll be off the phone in a minute!" (Jon was her friends only sibling)
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Her friend sounded confused and said in return, "what do you mean Suzanne? What is Jon doing?"
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"He keeps picking up the other phone, don't you hear it?"
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"That's impossible, we only have one phone in our house, Jon couldn't be doing it."
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My sister hung up the phone and rushed outside. She never stayed alone inside that house again.We moved shortly after.

Mom confession of the Week


If there were ever a diaper changing competition, I think I'd have pretty decent odds at winning it.

I can change a child in the car, in my lap, standing up, or laying down. I can change a child while they are sick, asleep, kicking, screaming or happy.

Just call me Super DM! (aka Diaper Mommy)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The day from HELL


Today started out normally but it didn't take long to spiral downhill fast. Logan and Vincent were both home, making mass messes and running me ragged. By the time my father-in-law arrived to watch the boys (they had been placed down to nap by then) I was frazzled and getting baby girl ready.

As I stood at the table, preparing her car seat he asked, "how long do you think you'll be Jaime?" I thought it over and answered honestly.

"I don't know, I'd hope I won't be in the doctor's office any longer than an hour."

His response pissed me off majorly. "Well, we all know how long your hours are Jaime."

...WTF????

Let me say this. Each time he has ever watched my children, it has been because I cannot find a sitter anywhere, I have to attend something that is important, and I come directly home. It's not as if I'm out spending time out with friends socially.

I replied evenly. "I can call my Mom to come here, I didn't realize I take so long when I'm away, but I'll hurry and try to return home ask quickly as possible."

He stood a minute before heading toward the basement. "Don't rush, it's fine." he answers. I count to ten in sync with his feet as they travel down the stairs. It doesn't help, I'm seething.
I call my Mother-in-law and ask, if he mentioned not wanting to watch the boys. She says he didn't say anything to her and asks what's wrong. I tell her and she says, "was it a joke?" I tell her if it was I'm not laughing.

I hang up, quickly feed the baby, get her packed and off I go. I grab my cell and do something I rarely do. I make a call. I ask my Mom to go directly from work in one hour to my home to watch over my children, she agrees. I then call my husband and relay what happened and explained my Mom would be waiting with our children when he arrived, not his father. Jimbo is pissed.

As I get off the phone it starts. Two things I hate more than the worst sh*tty diaper my kids can throw at me.
Rain+Driving=Hells No. I drive slowly, all the while nervous and terrified of the dreaded possibility of hydroplane and it's made all the worse with my infant in the back seat. Other drivers weave and bob, cut off vehicles and speed ahead, totally oblivious to people like myself with a child on board. It's nerve wracking.

At one point a woman in a Honda pulls in front of me, no turn signal, no warning and slams on her breaks to turn. I push on my breaks and yell expletives at the woman and give her the bird. I resist the temptation to turn around and open a can on her.

When I finally arrive to the surgeon all goes well. I go inside for my appointment and since it's in the same building as I delivered baby girl I decide to go see if my L&D nurse is there, she isn't. Sadly I make my way to the van. By now the rain is coming down pretty well and I begin to search for keys which I quickly discover are not there. Keeping Annabel covered I hurry back but a wonderful nurse saw my error in leaving behind my keys at the nurse's station and has followed me out. See, nurse's truly are angels and I tell her so.

I go and pick Arwen up from school before heading over to Hell-Mart for milk, coffee and creamer. This does not bode well. Arwen refuses to listen to me. She spots the pumpkins and wants one. I promise if she will be patient we will all go pick out our pumpkins this weekend. She doesn't listen and grabs a large pumpkin from the stand and drops it. Thankfully it doesn't crack and I can put it back. Annabel then begins crying.

I pick Annabel up from her car seat, try to hold her and push the cart at the same time and all the while try to keep an eye on my energetic 5 year old. It takes all my patience not to lose it as Arwen runs here and there shouting "I want this Mommmmmyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!". Thank god she doesn't manage to knock over anymore pumpkins.

When I make my selections and go to leave. I place Annabel back into her car seat. As I'm ringing up my things (whoever invented the self check-out is a wonderful, wonderful person, I thank you) a woman makes her way toward us. I know what she's up to the minute I spot her. Her eyes are totally fixed upon my infant.

"What a cute baby!" she walks forward, intent on touching my child. She reaches out her hand and my mind races. I don't know where those hands of hers have been! Not to be outdone my mouth reacts before my mind can, leave it to rubberlips.

"Please, don't touch her. It's cold and flu season and she is barely 3 months old." It doesn't come out harsh but kind of like a yelp. She looks shocked that I have the nerve to reprimand her and stalks off. I faintly hear her calling me a female dog as she huffs away. I shrug, better be called that than to have another sick child, especially a sick baby.

By the time I get to the van again, I cannot wait to get home. I quickly get the children into the van, unpack my few items and climb into the drivers seat. I'm exhausted. My brain wants to shut down, I want to sit in a quiet room.

When I got home I sat with the kiddos while they ate dinner prepared by my wonderful husband. I tell them what the surgeon said, kiss them all, and take the baby girl up to nap with me. I sleep for 3 solid hours and wake still frustrated but alot calmer.

Today was a day from hell but I remind myself it could have been worse and to keep perspective. I could be someone that has a home in the huge fire racing across California, or I could be a parent dealing with a terminally ill child, or my surgery could be because of a much more serious illness.

So I'm trying to be thankful and find forgiveness for my father-in-law. He says it was a joke. He needs to work on his delivery me thinks.
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**Edit** upon writing this I went upstairs and found a package awaiting me from my good friend LeeLee. She sent me several goodies, including some nail polishes direct from Canada. I knew I was a blessed person and I'm so very lucky to have a friend like her in my life. **SMOOCHES LEELEE!!!!!**

Mark's Blog!!


Today is a happy day. My favorite dancer on Dancing with the Stars has his blog up. It's still pretty new but you can still go over and check it out HERE.

Aside from being extremely multifaceted (he has his very own band, Almost-Amy ) he is also a total sweetheart and gentleman.
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And his partner Sabrina isn't too bad herself. She is the kind of girl I wouldn't mind my daughter looking up to. You can find her page HERE.

Go Team Sabrina (and Mark!!!)

**I shamelessly stole the picture from Mark's homepage site HERE. I hope he doesn't mind but if so I'll gladly take it down. I apologize if I violated any copyrights.

Monday, October 22, 2007

You know you're a Mommy if...




A fart to the face while changing a diaper makes you laugh instead of vomit.
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If you see a tiny stain on your son/daughter's shirt prior to going out and think "it's not that noticeable" and don't change them.
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You have more than 1 box of Hamburger Helper in the pantry for those nights you just don't feel like extra effort.
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You think there is nothing better than kissing someone who is toothless.
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You believe baby wipes can clean almost any mess imaginable.
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You believe 4 hours of sleep is a good nights rest.
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Instead of a fridge you see a box covered in artwork and various magnets or to do's.
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The static from the the many baby radios set up through the house are no longer noticeable to you.
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Your shirt at some point has been used as a napkin to clean a face or nose.
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You always make a grocery list.
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Using the restroom has become a social function.
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The words sale/bargain bin/closeout set you into a frenzy and get you excited beyond measure.
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You buy mostly in bulk and own a deep freezer.
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To hell with a new purse, jewelry or clothes. You want that new red matching washer and dryer set damn it!

*****

Do any of these things sound familiar?

The Lone Mommy


My boys are sick. Yesterday they returned home after a night at Meme's and she told me "Logan has a runny nose, I gave him some medicine for it." So I walk to him and feel his forehead, it's warm. After taking a temp. it was official, he has a fever.

Last night Jimbo and I rotated going into the boys room each time they woke crying, so this morning we are exhausted. I'm also dealing with a major case of irritable bowel and a crick in my neck. So things are just getting better by the minute.

When the boys woke, each had fevers and Logan was wheezing. After giving them Tylenol, cough medication and Logan a breathing treatment, Annabel woke. So I've been rotating between being with the boys and using the hand sanitizer to return to watching the baby girl.

As I was running back and forth this morning I suddenly realized just how true the saying, "Moms don't get a sick day" is. I'm not feeling well myself but that doesn't matter. Instead I'm pushing forward to care for the children who need it most.

Let's hope I can make it through the day and that they don't get worse. If so I'll be making a trip to the doctor with all 3 in tow, possibly 4 if Arwen has to come home (I called to forewarn the school that she may in fact be contagious but I did check her temp before she left the house and she didn't have one). I don't even want to imagine that task.

So today I'm the lone Mommy. Fighting germs, killer colds, blogging and changing diapers. Where did I put my cape?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

That's a'preggo!



She doesn't have to admit it. This photo reveals all. I do find it funny that they can't just admit it, especially now after it is obvious she is well past her first trimester. It's so funny how celebrities want you to know certain things to promote themselves but get feisty when you approach a subject they don't like. Then it's off limits. But I digress.

I've never been a huge fan myself, she seems too materialistic and self centered for my tastes. Maybe having a child will change that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Great Debate


I was checking out blogs today and as is the norm, I went over to read TheRagingServer. It seems that as of October 1st his business was made a non-smoking facility due to a change in the law.
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I don't live where he is and I considered posting a response on his blog but the Truth is as I see both sides of the issue I feel it's best to write on my soapbox in my own venue. I don't want to step on any toes nor take over any blogs (as I do respect Ribeye and his blog).
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Now on to the issue at hand.
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I picked up my first cig after high school but didn't become a "smoker" until college. I was in theatre and started hanging out with the smokers outside during rehearsals. I was offered a smoke and declined but finally started smoking for reasons I'm still unsure of. Soon I was smoking a pack a day, this continued for several years, stopping only when I became pregnant with my first child.
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At the time I smoked, I was very anti non-smokers. I felt that if they didn't want to be around smoke, they could just stay home. Why should I have to put out my cig, just because they don't smoke or like me doing it. I was very opinionated on the entire issue. Yet after I quit myself, I began to notice just how disgusting smoking has the potential to be.
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First there is the smell with engulfs your clothing, hair, shoes, and purse. The only way to remove the smell is a strong shower or wash. Then there is the yellowing from the tar, ranging from your fingers to the ceiling in your home and most notably, your teeth. There is also the hacking cough that some people experience. I had all of these things when I smoked, so this is from personal experience. I'm not talking about any other person but myself.
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I became aware of how much I disliked smoking after I started shooting APA pool. As soon as we'd return home my Mom would stop me at the door and say, "you really need to change and take a shower before you feed the baby". So I would go shower and change and place my clothes into the washer, this became routine. I learned quickly that if I left my clothing out and it didn't get washed immediately, the area surrounding it would also begin to smell of smoke. I would also use the same purse and wallet and jacket which were placed outside into the garage to air out until next time.
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During the time I shot pool I also became agitated by some of the smoker's themselves. My coach at the time was one of the worst. He would light up and leave his cig burning in the ashtray. For some reason the smoke always came in my direction. My nose would begin to run and my eyes would burn and water. On other occasions people would take a puff while in conversation with me only to exhale the smoke into my face. The ladder is the reason I finally decided enough was enough and I gave up a true joy in my life. I've not been back into a bar since.
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I actually wish our area would go smoke free in bars. We already are in restaurants. It really sucks to miss out on something I love but I couldn't handle the smoke anymore. I know smokers believe going smoke-free takes away their rights, but honestly, isn't it also taking away our rights to breathe clean air by allowing smoking? Yes I realize that it's your freedom to smoke but it's also my freedom to refrain from breathing smoke filled air.
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Ironically, making a facility non-smoking really just ends up placing the shoe on the other foot. Instead of the non-smoker having to make the choice as to whether or not it's "worth it" to enter an establishment and have to deal with the smoke, now smokers are faced with the question and are being left to do the same. Now the shoe has been placed on the other foot and smokers are angry. I'd imagine as angry as I was when I had to forgo shooting pool any longer.
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I will say this however. I would have been more than happy to maintain my pool life if there had been a bar that offered a smoke free night or area for APA members to shoot. I know that several bowling alley's do this and I think it's a wonderful idea. It's very unfortunate this situation is so black and white and so set into stone that compromise cannot be made.
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So that's my 2 cents.

Letter to my fellow drivers



Dear Sir or Madam,

To those of you in a hurry. Perhaps you are running late after not getting out of the bed on time, perhaps you have to get to a meeting or are late taking your child to school. Whatever the case, I ask simply this. Please do not tailgate me. This will only make me drive SLOWER. Yes, you heard me correctly. I will purposely let off the gas and slow down, just to piss you off. Riding my bumper is rude, give a gal some space.

To those of you piddle farting around. Please, for the love of god, get out of the left hand lane. That lane is for moving traffic, not a slow poke who doesn't do the speed limit. And it's people like you that usually cause wrecks due to the tailgaters mentioned above.

To those of you with a new polished license. I know you are excited. Driving is a huge responsibility and I'm glad you're becoming a young adult. However, please read your driver's manual and listen to your driving instructor. Trust me, that little arrow that turns green means you have the right of way BUT I have the right of way when it's a green light and I'm going straight as you need to turn left. Wrecks are no fun. Also, it's a car, not a party. Just because you can seat 5 people into your Mom's Camry doesn't mean you should.

To those of you in your golden years. I know it's hard to grow older. Giving up the freedom to transport yourself is hard but trust me, you're contributing BIG TIME to road rage. The majority of near accidents I've had all had one huge thing in common, elderly drivers. I know this is a harsh truth but as you age your reflexes slow down. If you're confused as to if this applies to you, please answer these five questions:
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1.) Do you look before you merge into another lane? and if so, do you indicate this by using the appropriate turn signal?
2.) Do you paitently wait for that car that is almost upon you to pass before you pull unto the road?
3.) Do you pay attention to what other drivers are doing around you?
4.) Do you move with the flow of traffic?
5.) Have you had your vision checked in the last year?
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If you answered "NO" to any of those questions, do yourself a favor. Put away the license and stop driving. You are going to kill someone one day.

To those of you who love to gab while driving. Please do not endanger my life or the lives of my children for the sake of conversation. I'm fairly certain if what you need to talk about is that important you can either pull over or call from home. If your call simply cannot wait, at least go into the right lane and move at a slower pace. Wobbling back and forth on the highway will generally prompt me to call the police and report a reckless driver.

To those of you who apply make-up while driving. I've heard that people have poked their eyeballs out doing this, or have gotten terrible lipstick on their teeth and went the entire day smiling and looking like a vampire without knowing it. It's worth waiting to apply correctly and neatly, believe you me.
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To those of you who gab on your cell while driving and also applying make-up. God help us all. I hope you have a living will made up.

And lastly, for those of you who love to drink and get behind the wheel. I know nothing I can say will effect this decision, some people cannot be swayed. But I do ask this, just in case you're listening. Just imagine each time you're leaving that the odds are 50/50 that your dearest love (be it family, wife, husband, uncle, Mom, Dad, child) is going to be on the same road as you, in the opposite lane. Are you really willing to take the chance you won't hit them? Or better yet, if they were in the car with you, would you still think it safe to drive?

With Many Thanks,
A Minivan Mommy

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anatomy of a Gallbladder Attack



Heated pressure in my abdomen. My eyes flutter and my pupils dilate as the wall of my room comes into focus. I look to my left and watch Annabel as she sleeps, the bathroom light casts a soft glow in the dark. Her little face is peaceful and I find myself wishing I had the same restful sleep she is experiencing. The pressure in my abdomen grows, reminding me what is coming.
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Gently, I pull the comforter away from my body. I lift myself from the bed, using my arms and legs to keep the bed from shifting and waking the baby. I cover Annabel and caress her tummy before walking to Jimbo's side of the bed. I shake his arm softly.
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"I'm having an attack, please take care of the baby." The words come out hushed but I'm close to his ear, to make sure he hears me.
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He opens his eyes, looking as if he's still in a dream and nods. I know that nod, it means to come and get him if I need him and he has the baby. As I walk out of the room I hear the bed shift, he is turning to face the baby and keep an eye on her.
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I walk downstairs and make my way to the medicine cabinet. I down my pain medication first, I say a small prayer that the strong narcotic will have time to absorb into my system before the vomiting starts. I reach for the tums next and make sure to chew several. The pain changes from dull to sharp and I begin pacing back and forth in the basement. I keep the TV off, the only light to illuminate my basement path comes from the hallway.
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Within minutes, the attack truly begins. I feel pain radiating through my stomach, out of my back. My shoulder gets sharp stabbing pains and I walk faster in my little basement circle. I try to keep my breathing slow and not to tense up as it only makes it worse. This goes on for 10 minutes but it feels like an hour.
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Soon I have to make my way into the bathroom, this is where things go from bad to worse. Each time I manage to empty my stomach, the pain increases. It feels as if I've been impaled upon a huge stake and with each heave that stake is being twisted. I feel trickles of perspiration on my brow and I start to shake violently. I try to keep quiet but can't help myself, I always break and begin saying over and over "oh please god, please".
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I rise and try to return to pacing. The pain makes me want to lay on the floor and cry but I know from past experience that the pain is actually made worse by laying down, so I make myself walk. My thoughts become incoherent as my body is immersed in pain, my mind refuses to focus on anything else.
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Thus begins a rotation. Pacing the floor, returning to the bathroom, writhing on the floor, couch or chair. I rock quickly back and forth, arms firmly wrapped around my self as if it will minimize the agony. I've heard other people have suffered an attack for up to 8 hours before. My personal experience has seen 5 hours but it seemed a lifetime.
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Three hours later, the attack finally ends. I am physically and emotionally spent. My entire body aches, my hair is wet and tangled, my throat burns and my right side is sore. I'm also very sleepy from the large dosage of narcotics used to help ease but not diminish the attack.
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I pray none of you ever have gallstones. I can honestly say that apart from the 3rd degree tear I received from having Vincent, this is the worst pain I've ever experienced. I could slap myself for eating that casserole for dinner but I think I've been punished enough for one night.
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I've decided to set up the meeting with a surgeon. I've been preparing for it for the last couple of weeks by pumping for Annabel. After tonight I know I can't keep doing this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

For Lucas



I was over at Will's page today, seeing how he and his family are faring (with a new arrival due very soon!). I was very sad to hear news about Lucas.

As I've said in blogs previous, hold your children and those you love tight tonight. Cherish every single moment, breathe it in, absorb it into you.

We never know how long we will be blessed with those we love most.

Mom confession of the Week


This year I'm putting my foot down. When we have our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas get together, I am not sitting quietly while my relatives allow their toddler to act like a wild heathen.

And if little Johnny decides it's a good idea to go around slapping the other children while his Mom and Dad look on and do nothing, I'm going to approach whichever one of them is closest to myself and return the favor. (I wonder if they'll continue to sit there after that!)

Sometimes tough love is the best kind, especially when you have relatives like mine.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Greatest Show on Earth!

I purchased our tickets tonight. We are seated in the VIP section, facing the very center ring.

I'm officially starting a countdown. This is the first circus I've been to and I'm sharing that first with my children. I cannot wait.

Movie Theatre Rant



Yesterday afternoon, Mom treated me and Jimbo to a date night. We wanted to see three movies but finally settled on one I wanted to see, Across the Universe.

Across the Universe, summarized in a nutshell, follows the story of youths in the revolutionary era, during the Vietnam war. It's a love story, a political story and a musical story. The entire movie is laid out and told using Beatles songs.

Now for the rant. There were groups of four, 2 couples each that sat to either side of us. The couple to our left decided to place their feet on the back of seats directly in front of them while the couple on the right chose to do the same but also decided to remove their shoes and have socked feet hanging in the air. Each group had one huge thing in common, they both had things of paramount importance they obviously had to discuss.

I let the gabbing slide during the trailers, hoping they would settle down. They never did. I waited 30 minutes after the movie had started, during which I got to listen to them talking (and I mean that literally, if the movie was in song, they would simply talk over the movie itself) and one of the girls to my left decided it would be a fantastic time during "With a little help from my friends" to start texting someone.

Frustrated, I stood and made my way to "tattle" on these people. Personally I wanted to call them out. I had it all mapped out in my mind. I would stand up and mosey on over to the couple to my left first. I would walk to them and make eye contact with a smile before saying, "Hi, I was wondering if I can sit here. Obviously the money I paid to see a movie isn't important and the conversation you're having is. May I?" But alas, my husband would have been mortified, so it was left up to the professionals.

I approached a girl that was checking tickets, explained exactly where I was sat, who was gabbing and asked her to send someone in. She motioned over to a guy and he promised to come check it out. I made my way back and sat down, anxiously waiting for these rude youths to be "busted". Yet even as they continued to gab on...nothing happened. I waited and waited. I tried to become emotionally invested in the movie and the characters but couldn't. It was too hard with the light from cell phones and laughter and silliness to pay attention.

Eventually I had enough, I told Jimbo I wanted to leave and get our money returned. We both stood up and I resisted the urge to say something. We exited the theatre and I didn't "ask" for my money, I told them I wanted my refund. I was nice but let the manager know how extremely disappointed I was. She apologized but I couldn't help feeling she didn't really care as I walked out the door, cash in hand and a movie running unfinished through my mind. We had probably 40 minutes to go until the movie concluded...you can imagine how disappointed I was.

This is why I don't go to the movies very often. Too many parents take their children to the theatre, choose different movies to "watch" and leave other innocent movie goers to suffer. In this circumstance they were teenagers, very young and very loud and very rude. I'm not sure why today's youth think that behaving silly to draw attention to themselves is cool or acceptable. It's rather arrogant.

So now I'll have to wait until the DVD comes out to finish the movie I started but at least I'll be able to do so in peace.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

End of my Rope

So far, in the course of 2 1/2 hours this morning:

I have went up and down the stairs 17 times.

I have made 6 drinks and 3 breakfasts.

I have done 1 load of laundry.

I have cleaned out the sink, emptied the trash and cleaned the counter.

I have taken the children on 3 potty visits.

I have had ONE cup of coffee.


And so far I still have:

5-6 loads of laundry to do.

A dishwasher to empty and dishes to put up.

A sink to empty out and dishes to place in the full dishwasher.

4 beds to make.

1 call to make to sort out a uniform order that has been ongoing since AUGUST.

Toys to either clean up or throw away (I'm very tempted to start chucking).

And various other things that need to be done but can't think of with so little sleep to run on.



I am already at the end of my rope.

Anniversary


It hit me today. The anniversary of the day I married the love of my life is coming up. My oh my how time flies. It seems like only a few months ago we decided to risk our friendship in hopes of something bigger and better. I still remember our very first kiss, the very first time we went out on a date as a couple and the very first time I told him I love him.

Remembering these good things helps out immensely. We've hit a bit of a rough patch these last few weeks. He's worn thin from all my medical problems and it's understandable. He picks up all my slack and runs the household and pays the bills. It would be enough to drive any man crazy. But through it all he still has that hold on me and our children. We are all drawn to him and the comfort and security he radiates.

So on the eve (we still have a couple of weeks yet) of our anniversary I am thankful. Reminding myself that he is here, he is ours and not that he forgot to run the dishwasher or didn't pick his dirty clothes off the floor. That is what counts and that is what is most important.

Beowulf

I cannot wait to finally see this movie. I've been excited since it was in production.

Hopefully the movie will closely follow the original tale, if so it cannot go wrong.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mom confession of the Week


I think I've become smart to the entire "fall and spring" breaks that schools give. What appears to be for the benefit of your children is actually a booster for the school itself. There is no better way to have parents realize just how wonderful school is than to send their children home to them for a full week to enjoy.

On a side note, I really wish I had more arms. Being outnumbered 4 to 1 just isn't right.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sad



This picture just upsets me. I'm not sure why I'm blogging it or talking about it other than I honestly just cannot seem to shake this image from my mind.

How can any Mother allow her self to come to such a low point in her life? I realize she is under intense pressure and is hounded relentlessly. I wouldn't want her life and I actually believe paps should back off. However, celebrities know exactly what they are in for when they sign on for fame and fortune and she isn't the only female superstar in the world.

I don't know, perhaps I'm too judgemental. I just know that I see this and instead of feeling sympathy toward Britney I instead find myself thinking of superstars like Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie who each have children yet make responsible adult choices.

It's just so sad.

Steve Guttenburg



I have a confession but not a Mommy one. I've been watching a movie from the 80's the last few days. I've watched it over 6 times now and can't seem to stop. It's like a weird addiction or something and poor Jimbo gives me the strange eye when he sees it on the television (yet again).

The movie is Don't Tell her it's Me. An old 80's movie (to be exact, it was released in 1990 but it's like late 80's) that has it all. Romance, comedy, drama and of course, a mullet. You simply cannot beat a movie that contains a leading mullet man, especially if that man is none other than one and only Steve Guttenburg.

I'm not sure what the pull is. Maybe it's Shelley Long (I'm also addicted to Troop Beverly Hills but thank god for Jim, I don't have the vhs of it) or Jami Gertz (nah, it's not her). Maybe it's just how adorable the movie is, or maybe it's because it takes me back.

Or maybe I just need to admit I've finally fallen off my rocker and need professional help. No matter what happens, at least I'll still have Steve aka Lobo Marunga.

**added** I read at the SteveGuttenburgProject this movie also goes by the title "The Boyfriend School".

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Stalker {Run Away!}

Today has been very interesting to say the least. I got a few hours worth of zzz's to combat this wretched migraine I can't shake. I woke up with Logan, got a cup of java and made my way downstairs to check my mail.

My first stop was MUA and I'm sad to say I've just now gotten away from there. Here's the skinny.

A while back, my super sweet Mom#2 was talking about ebay. She needed an buying account and was asking me about it. The one she has only had a few feedback and she wanted to make bigger purchases that required a more established feedback score. Another problem was she is a "check" person. Always will be and many people don't accept checks. So what's a Mom to do?

Simple, I handed over my account to her. It had over 70 positive feedback at 100%. I don't use it as my husband and I share one. I told her to take mine but to change the passwords and contact information. Since then it's been her account. I haven't even really thought much about it honestly.

Then last night I did a beautiful mani and posted a picture of it on MUA (the place to go for all your polish needs!) and someone inquired where it came from. As it was a gift I answered according to what the hubs told me. I also said I'd find out for sure and let her know.

So this morning, I have mail. I check mail and get a doozy. The person that sold my Mom the polish is a MUA'er. I was called a liar, was told I bought the polishes (which is an honest mistake, I mean my last name and MIL's last name are the same, hell we live in the same city too) from her. She also said a few other choice things, she's one super "lady" I'll tell you what!

So I called Mom and was dissappointed (but NOT angry) that she did make a purchase from this psycho. After doing some digging my dumb ass bought some from her as well back in the day (December of last year to be exact). As you can see I don't pay too much attention to these things unless they are smeared in my face. I wrote back explaining how she is "misinformed" but thanked her for being so polite and professional and promised I'd never buy anything from her again.


I know a house fell on her sister so she's entitled to a bit of anger but jeezus, I've never done anything to her. As for my Mom, I think the shrew barked up the wrong tree on this one. Mom is looking into her options for having her privacy violated.

Internet crazies...they are out there.