Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh Holy Hell

Did anybody else realize that our guests will be coming tomorrow night... NOT Friday night like Tom and I have been discussing?

Well why didn't you say so?!?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Party Planning At Its Least Finest

Ever decide to have a New Year's Eve party?  But then, because you live at least 45 miles from anyone, you open your home for a giant sleepover?  And as you're inviting people, you include some of your coolest, funniest friends... and also some of your sweetest, nicest friends... so you have people who don't miss the chance to attend a church function (I know!  These people talk to me.  I can't believe it either) and the ones who never miss a chance to drop an F-bomb or explain their latest theories on evolution, gay rights or why the book listing hundreds of terms for masturbation is a HI-larious must read.

Yeah.  Me too.  What the hell was I thinking?

So if all goes as "planned" we should have between 12 and 25 people here for the festivities.  What festivities?  Well, maybe some poker.  Definitely the drawing game and probably Boxers or Briefs. (I just found that the game is discontinued.  That's the only reason I can come up with for the insane price.  You can borrow mine.)  And I bought poppers to freak out the poor dog.

Introductions will be something like this: 

"People who named their kid Luke Skywalker, meet people who want to open their own accounting business."

"Person who became a minister for the sole purpose of performing gay marriages when they became (briefly) legal in California, meet divorced husband and wife, her boyfriend and all the kids these people are raising."

"People who remodeled their home to be nearly completely green, meet people who think WalMart is right up there with sliced bread."

I sort of want to cancel the reminder that's supposed to go out in two days.

I'll let you know how it goes.

***The drawing game is something we've played with a couple of the cool funnies.  Everybody has a piece of paper (preferably not lined, but whatever).  At the top of yours, write a common phrase.  "Out of the frying pan, into the fryer" is the usual explanation and the one you should definitely not write.  Everybody else does the same, but with their own phrases.  Don't allow peaking.  Fold the very tippy-top of your paper over so it covers the writing, but not much of the paper.  Pass it to the left.  Open the one you received.  Make a drawing to explain the phrase.  Fold over and pass to the left.  Check out the drawing - but not the actual phrase - and write the phrase you think it's trying to express.  Repeat until everyone's paper is returned to them or until you run out of room.  Much hilarity should ensue upon seeing what people wrote and drew.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home Remodeling... Er... Redecorating... Ah, Hell, I Smashed the Lamp

At our old apartment, we had more than enough lighting.  I guess we took for granted the 60's style ceiling lights, replete with gold flecks.  For the first couple of months we lived here, not every room even had a light.  In Madelyn's room we used a battery-operated camping lantern until a friend's daughter sold us one that's perfect for Mad's room.

One of Corey's gifts from Santa was a floor lamp.  He's pretty stoked about it. 

I might have been a little jealous.

In our bedroom, which about half the size of our old apartment, there is no ceiling light.  In fact, all we've had is a desk lamp sitting atop our dresser.  That 20-watter doesn't allow me to read at night, so I've become slightly addicted to games on my cell phone.  Scrabble anyone?

One thing we received was a gift card to Home Depot.  Now, we didn't buy a fixer-upper, but even so, there are about $15,000 worth of projects we'd like to get done around here.  Most of the big stuff is outside, and it's too cold to do much of it.  Inside, we can't see well enough to do anything.  At night, anyway.  We were pretty excited about the card.

This morning we headed over to our local HD and checked out their lamps (wohmps, as Mad calls 'em).  We found a cool table lamp.  Tonight I will be reading until I cain't read no mo'!
The other thing we found was a pendant light (yot, for those of you trying to translate Madelonian) to replace a rather hideous chandelier in what's supposed to be our formal dining area. 

Do we seem like formal people to you?  No?  Not to us, either. 

If we were, do you think this is what we'd have chosen?

The Before Picture
The only good thing about it is the photograph of Neil Young in the background... and without lights, you can't even tell how great it is.

So our plan was to pull the old one down and put the new one up, hopefully with as little trouble as possible.  Of course, nothing has gone smoothly for us since buying this home.  Here is the first in a series of "during" shots.

So much for our plan to sell this thing to someone with worse different taste than ours.

Who knew that the globes weren't attached other than if light bulbs were in place?  Okay, so you and everybody else knew.  Now we know.

To prove how hideous that thing was, here's how much better the area looks with a hole in the ceiling.

While I do have my doubts about whether or not we'll finish this without my dad's assistance, the doubts are waning.  Here's where we stand right now.
We've decided against setting up the dimmer feature.  Its a room with four bookcases.  And seriously, we're over dimly lit rooms.  Besides, we have zero electrical experience between us.

Well I'd love to show you more, but it's getting dark.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Best Parts of Christmas

A meaty bone

Getting steetoohs

And sharing them with Daddy

A bone and a bed?!?  Can it be Christmas every day?


Staying in touch with the ones you love

Friday, December 11, 2009

Breast Cancer Dance

My sister sent this to me.  I *loved* it, not only because of all the reasons I think you'll love it (like, it's fun, catchy and way better than what the "experts" proposed recently regarding breast health), too, but because I swear I recognize some people in there.  Like the first group of nurses... woman in green with white hair?  That could totally be my mother-in-law.  She's a nurse, too, only she works for some jerk of a corporate hospital that now requires everyone to have exactly the same uniform on at all times.

The janitor with the broom?  He's in there a couple of times.  Now, Tom has a lot more hair, and doesn't have that much white hair, but those are my husband's dance moves.  Don't laugh.  I love how happy he is when we're dancing.

There's a middle-aged woman later in the video, she's also wearing a green sweater.  That could be my friend, Evie.

The cool older guy with the dark shades?  Tom's uncle, Frendell, for sure.  (What's that?  You're wondering if his name is really Frendell?  It isn't.  It's a combination of his first and middle names.  He went by one for regular stuff and the other for stage work and his daughter got tired of it, I guess.  Now we call him Frendell.)

Anyway, without further ado, here's the video:

Who do you recognize?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

... the way Mad pats my arm or leg or ahm (yes, still... but now it's because she's a clown) when she gives me a hug
... the way Corey still signs I Really Love You when he gets out of the car at school
... the way Corey talks about how soft Lisa's hands are, "I was like, 'Whoa!'"
... warm little baby hands.  Madelyn grabs my hand when we're driving down the road.  She wants me to peel the banana some more, but if I'm not quite close enough, she'll move the banana (or "mi") to the other hand and then use her right hand to pull me closer.
... the look in Mad's eyes as she saw all the decorations in Papa and Grandma's yard, but especially as she saw the "twee" in their house.
... the times when Corey's response to a request he wasn't expecting is, "I already did that."
... the way Mad raises her arms when she spies me at her door in the morning, and how she makes sure Fwog is facing the window so he/she/Fwog (gender unknown) can see everything as we open the blinds and say, "Good morning cars.  Trucks.  Birds." or "Goodnight cars.  Trucks.  Lights."

Friday, December 04, 2009


Mad loves books.  One of the best things that happened before she was born is that my coworker asked me what sort of shower I'd like her to throw.  I asked for books.  Heck, by then we'd already had one impromptu shower from a class I work with and one given by a woman's group I am in.  And I knew we were having "the" shower after the baby was born, so I wasn't worried about clothes by then.  Just from that shower, Mad received almost 50 books.  They have just kept coming since then.

These days she has a few favorites.  Two in particular are "Aliens Love Underpants" and "How to Potty Train Your Monster."  (Notice a theme here?  Mama might be working on something.)  At this point, I could recite them to you, but I won't.

Most of our friends either do not have young children or they have children Mad's age or younger.  But one of my friends has a granddaughter who is just enough older than Madelyn that we have recently started receiving hand-me-downs.  I don't know how you feel about it, but since Mad went through about a year where every three to four months she was in a new size, I am thrilled to be getting them.  (And I'm not too disappointed that her growth rate is slowing down.  I think we might make it through winter in 3Ts and 4Ts. *fingers crossed*)

Jaylah's mommy has been sending over all sorts of stuff lately.  Most of it entirely usable; some that has gone to Grandma's house "just in case"; and a few things that have been donated (where, yes, I'm sure they'll toss it... I just can't do it).

One of the things Mad won't be using herself, but which I have kept is a bunch of little panties.  She's getting ready to figure out the putting on and taking off of clothing.  Why not practice... and encourage the use of panties instead of diaper?  Fortunately, most of the panties have been too small anyway.

We got another batch on Tuesday.  In it was one rather large (for Mad) pair of Blue's Clues panties.  I'd washed everything Wednesday night and was in the midst of folding it on my bed yesterday morning when Mad awoke.  We frequently dress her on our bed, even if there's a laundry project in progress.  Needless to say, she found the panties, exclaimed, "Unnoopaaans" and proceeded to work to get them on over her pants.  She needed a little help, but together it was a mission accomplished.

And then we went about our day.  At Grandma's house she proudly lifted her shirt to show off her unnoopaaans.  When Daddy arrived to pick her up, she did the same.

Last night was one of those nights.  She was tired, I was tired and lazy.  I'd taken her up to get ready for bed, already knowing that there would be no bath.  When I opened her pyjama drawer I realized that all the long-legged, long-sleeved ones were in my bedroom... and that the door was locked... and the key was downstairs.  So I did something I might have done one other time in Mad's life: I put her to bed in the same clothes she wore last night.

The downside is she didn't get changed.  The upside is I got this

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

And One More Reason I Won't Be Receiving That Award

Some of the calls I've received from Corey's schools over the years have begun like this:

Is Corey's mom there, please?  Yes, this is the aide in his (kindergarten) class.  Corey won't behave.  We've tried EHverything.  You'll need to pick him up.  Result = roughly 10 days off from school just to give the teacher a break.

Mrs. Corey'sMom? Corey was behaving very badly in chapel today.  You need to pick him up.  Result = three day suspension (from kindergarten), plus he was disinvited to participate in the Christmas pageant.

Uh, Mrs. Corey'sMom?  Yes, this is the school nurse.  Um... we've stopped the bleeding... (WTF? He wasn't bleeding when I left him with you!).  Result = One (kindergartner) head stapled back together.

Mrs. Corey'sMom?  Yes, this is the school principal, Sherry Rice.  Corey brought a knife to school.  Totally normal for first graders, HAHAHA, but we'll have to suspend him as a matter of protocol.

Shannon?  Yeah, it's Sherry.  Corey:
*refused to give the teacher her pencil back and he told her, "Listen here, Missy!"
*has been caught ditching... he told his (first grade) teacher he had an appointment with the counselor, who's not even here today, and he was found playing tetherball instead.
*pushed another kid down because he didn't like the rules the other kids were playing by.
*has the teacher so stressed out that she was in here crying today.
Results:  10-15 days out of school for bad behavior... oh, and the teacher quit to "go back to school" at the end of the year.

Mrs. Corey'sMom?  This is Mrs. Jones... the new principal?  Corey keeps going out to the field to play in the mud and pick up things.  Result = "Okay?  He's a third grade boy.  What do you expect?"

You get the picture.  These calls came with more and less frequency over the years, depending on how poorly or well Corey handled various aspects of life.  When I had a job that was more office-based (and before I had a cell phone), even the receptionist felt sick when I'd get a call.  Sometimes I got three calls in one day.

I moved him to an independent study program at the end of sixth grade.  He did 7th and 8th in one year and 9th last year.  Since I'd held him back for maturity/social reasons, this put him back on schedule.  In the past two years, I've had two teacher-initiated calls regarding Corey not doing enough work.  The rest of our contact with the school showed Corey to be a great student with whom the teacher enjoyed working. 

In August he went back to a comprehensive high school.  Three weeks later, I got the call:

Mrs. Corey'sMom?  Yes, Mr. Soandso, Assistant Principal.  Corey was in a fight.  He didn't do anything physically, but he provoked the fight.  Result = 2 day suspension and a return to feeling nauseated whenever the school calls me.

And today?  I'm at the office talking with two coworkers when my cell rings.  Caller ID says it's his school.

Oh crap!

(To my coworkers)  This can't be good.  It's Corey's school.

This is Shannon.

Mrs. Corey'sMom?


Mrs. Corey'sMom, this is Mrs. Whatshername, Assistant Principal from your son's high school.

How many freaking assistants does this principal need and why are they always calling me?!

Corey was in PE this morning...

I swear, if he didn't dress out for PE...

and they were playing hockey.

"Playing hockey"... sounds like he dressed out!

They had hockey sticks and...

Oh gawd... did he smash someone in the face?  Neck?  Anywhere?  On purpose?


What is taking this woman so long to finish her freaking sentence?!  WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?

we're not sure what happened, but Corey hurt his neck.

Is he okay?

He seems to be.  We're just calling as a precaution.  Do you want to talk to him?

Yes, please.

(To my coworkers) It's okay.  He's just injured.

Yes, my friends, that is how you single-handedly lose the Mom of the Year award.  On the other hand, maybe I still have time to be the Worst Mom of the Year!  Let's not ask Corey what he thinks, m'kay?


***Corey is fine.  He didn't need to be picked up right away... made it through the school day and just asked to have me pick him up after school instead of staying late for band practice... something he doesn't enjoy anyway.  He has declined a trip to the chiropractor and is now upstairs sleeping it off.
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