Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First time for everything

The two younger kids are on Spring Break, so I scheduled their dentist appointments for Monday so I could knock two birds outta the sky at once. After the Oldest's fiasco of an appointment, I kind of expected another round of expensive dental results. I was not disappointed. The Beast had TEN cavities, but that mess of work comes out to about six hundred out of pocket. The Clone has a few cavities, plus one molar needing a "baby root canal" because she's not brushing well enough. All this because I'm a slacker mom who doesn't get neurotic about brushing the "right way" and all. Then Clone has the same kind of gag reflex I have. Certain spots in my mouth are instantly gagalicious when touched. So those little films for the x-rays were making her gag and she'd push them out of her mouth. It took 2 hygenists a double team effort, a bribe to go home with a pair of gloves, and about 20 attempts to get the darn x-rays. Then because it took HALF AN HOUR to get them, the dentist she was scheduled to see had to move on to her next patient who needed a filling. As we waited for Dr. B, we could hear Dr. J. in the next chair area talking to his patient. Clone got impatient and ran away a couple times. We got her back to the chair and I told her she had to wait patiently for the dentist so she could come count Clone's teeth. Clone was a bit puzzled, having heard a male dentist voice next door. I told her that she had been hearing Dr. J, who also worked with Dr. B.
"Have you met Dr. J? He's kind of cute"
"EWWW! Gross!! STOP THAT! You're Married!!!"

and it starts.....

Urgent Call to Action for Floridians!

I got this email in my inbox from my son's teacher. The budget cuts talked about in the schools, is even hitting the cost saving charter school my son uses to avoid falling behind and failing 10th grade. If you have ever used Florida Virtual School, know someone who has, or planned to utilize this option, this is YOUR call to action to contact your legislators to demand that Florida Virtual School options remain as they are, not eliminated or restricted.
Now, for that email I was sent:

Dear Parents and Students,
I am aware that you may have received the following email last Friday from Florida Virtual School. Since this is such a serious matter that affects you directly I felt it was important to follow up and provide some updated information. Evidently the Senate Appropriations Committee is voting on the proposed bill this Wednesday morning at 9:00am (April 1st). Please read the email again and take action today. This is a message for both students and parents. Students need to make their voices heard. I know all of you take FLVS courses for different reasons. Some of you are working to get ahead to free room in your schedule for next year to give you more options... that opportunity would be taken away. Others of you are working hard in the course to earn back a credit that you may have failed previously... that option would be taken away. You may be working in other classes at FLVS such as Spanish, Latin, Personal Fitness, Drivers Education, any elective course... would no longer be
an option should this bill come to pass. That is why I say it directly affects you! Please read on and take action TODAY before its too late. I will be in my office all day. Call me if you need help with contacting your senator or representative.
(Signed by the instructor)

Dear FLVS Parent,
We have just had some alarming news from Tallahassee. The Florida Senate PreK-12 Appropriations Committee has adopted a series of budget and policy changes that will have a substantial negative impact on FLVS and the level of services it currently provides to students, parents, and school districts. The list below describes how such actions will impact you.
The cuts are more drastic than other proposed cuts to other Florida school districts. These cuts would eliminate 7th period course offerings and online elective courses, and they would limit student choice of online courses to the core academic courses.
What does this mean for you and your child if this bill passes?
If you are a student, .
. you will no longer be able to take the elective course that FLVS offers like AP Art History, AP Computer Science, web design, Life Management Skills, personal fitness, and maybe even foreign languages
. you will no longer be able to accelerate by taking additional courses with FLVS after school
. who has failed a required course in either middle or high school, and your public school offers no summer school option, you will not have access to FLVS and will likely to be retained and repeat an entire year of instruction
. you will no longer be able to accelerate via FLVS courses and enter college or the workforce early
. you will have limited access to FLVS courses that are not offered in your traditional public school
. your class size in the brick and mortar school may increase dramatically
If you are a parent, .
. your child will no longer have access to elective courses at FLVS, only core courses will be offered
. whose child is enrolled full-time in a public school, your child will no longer be able to take an additional course at FLVS, eliminating acceleration and grade forgiveness options
. with a child who has failed a required course in either middle or high school, and your public school offers no summer school option, your child will not have access to FLVS and will likely to be retained and repeat an entire year of instruction
. your child will have limited access to FLVS courses that are not offered in your traditional public school
. whose child is taking an FLVS course, his/her class size will increase dramatically
What does it mean for the state of Florida?
. It means that Florida will have to pay more per student. The Tax Watch study in 2007 estimated that FLVS saved taxpayers about $1000 per student each year.
. It means that Florida students will not be able to accelerate or take extra courses to prepare for college or careers.
. It means that Florida may lose its place as the thought leader in online education, and maybe even destroy the nationally #1 ranked on-line program in the country.
. It means that rural districts will be deprived of access to enhanced curricular choices.

FLVS cannot fight this battle by itself! Each of you needs to get involved. Please take the time to call and email your local legislators and tell them NOT to allow this proposed budget to remove the opportunities and choices that FLVS provides to you and your children, not to mention the cost savings to the state of Florida.
Tell your legislators your FLVS story. Has FLVS helped your child in certain ways? What did you think about the relationship your child, your child's FLVS instructor, and you developed? Have you ever spoken to your child's teachers that much?
It is not too late! Florida legislature will listen to you! Pick up the phone right now, and call your local legislators and the members of the four education committees. Tell Florida legislators to not single-out FLVS when making budget reductions.
Find your local legislators (Senator and Representatives) here:



Now, please get busy and help us keep this valuable resource. My son would no doubt be frustrated, failing, and I'm certain he'd drop out over it. This Virtual School has provided the opportunity for my son to avoid falling behind in his education. Help me help those who are helping my son.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pregnant - and with PMS

It's been one of those weeks for me, which is part of why I haven't been posting much. I have not had anything funny, snarky or even nice to say, so I have been biting my keys. I'd rather do that than need peppermint ones later anyway. The Clone has been cranking out her PMS, and the hormones are apparently contagious. I've warned the penis people of the house repeatedly that it's a crank-fest and just stay on my good side. The first trimester "bleh" has pretty much passed and the second trimester nesting has kicked in full force. My house reflects the fact that I had the first trimester bleh, and it's driving me nuts. My frustration at how little I can accomplish to quell the second trimester nesting instincts is compounding things. I have managed to clean a bunch of junk out of my daughter's closet to make room for baby stuff to go in there. She is not happy that things go in there that aren't hers. However, this 1100 square foot house has literally THREE closets and we need six. Hers is the biggest one, so it gets the most stuff by default. I'm repacking things into boxes I've brought home from work, and tossing the old ratty boxes.
In the good news department this week, I scored a plain exersaucer for $10. Yes, plain. As in, no fifty gazillion toys attached to it that require scrubbing with a toothbrush daily to keep it clean. We're prone to messes here, and simpler to clean means "good idea" here. Plus, my household is overly stimulating for the senses anyway, there is no sense in adding to a baby's (or the MOM'S) overstimulation. Three noisy kids and a baby. I'm first in line for being overstimulated by the chaos.
Second, I scored a Medela Pump In Style motor for $25. For those of you outside the mama-milk circles, this is presumably the 'mack-mamma' of breast pumps. And for you pervs googling that crap, I'm talking about lactating and feeding offspring with the boob-milk, not the hormonal crap you're searching for on the internet. Anyway, it's just the motor that does the pumping, not the tubes, connectors or parts that attach to the milk source, plus it's an older model. I am blessed to have a friend who has the same pump and extra parts that she's offered to send me, and then some.
Third, I found some fabric that said same friend is going to use to make a maternity top for me, along with some others out of fabric she found where she lives. I'm excited because the stuff loaned to me by another friend isn't exactly my style, except the t-shirts. And it's getting more challenging to dress for church because my tops are starting to not fit me in a few places. When I'm done with these clothes, I'll be returning them to the other friend, and passing along the additions I've acquired, thereby increasing and updating her wardrobe for her next pregnancy. I call it the "Circle of Giving", and I'm trying to stay on the good side of the equation here.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I have something needing to be done around here, and hopefully doesn't include yelling at unproductive, uncooperative, teenage boys. One of them wants to get on the computer and do some schoolwork. I just want my house clean. I won't even start ranting about my husband's freakish work schedule that complicates my life these days. I'm grateful that he even HAS a job. Now if I can just get the teenager who is old enough to work, to actually LEAVE the house and FIND a job of his own, it would be tremendously helpful to my sanity. God bless those homeschool parents who actually do the teaching themselves. I am not one such capable parent.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Unfamiliar Territory

The oldest is out at a friend's house helping them do stuff like Spring Sprucing and the sort. I haven't a clue what that would be, since we don't do that around here. It's one of the "perks" of not going to a brick and mortar school facility. The friend's child is homeschooled as well. I have not been ALONE in my house for MONTHS. I kid you not. In December, I had to go get the oldest from a relative's where he was living. Since early December, I have not had a single day at home without someone else up my posterior. I woke up this morning, severely sleep deprived, but excited. I can get stuff done, like mortgage and job applications, sorting through piles of clutter around my desk. Why? Because I'm not annoyed or interrupted by other people, and the boy isn't here to complain about my being in such proximity to HIS workspace. Yes, I'm having another child and will be interrupted by that one. It's different. This latest model will be dependent on me, and I will once again get into a groove like I did with Clone when she was a baby. But the oldest? Well, he has his own ideas and agendas and they don't cooperate with mine at all. I am looking forward to his finishing this stint as a homeschool student on the state's Virtual School. I love my children, but I also am one of those moms that literally NEEDS her time and space away from the family to clear her head. I practically turned a cartwheel in the parking lot when the Clone (previously the youngest) started kindergarten. I'd be one of those "ha ha! he he! ho ho! They're coming to take me away! HA HA! HE HE! HOHO!" people if I was constantly exposed to my family incessantly.
Oh wait...I am edging closer to that each day he's dragging along with his schoolwork.

I'm off to listen to the sound of NOTHING while doing SOMETHING.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I've succombed

First, let me just take a moment and breathe deeply. My 15 year old is at a friend's for a few days. My house hasn't been this quiet in ages. He has a large voice that carries, a demanding presence, and lacks the understanding that the rest of us have a strong need for quiet time. If you ever want to torture him, tape his mouth shut, and remove all sources of noise. Better yet, drop him on a remote mountaintop with no modern worldly stimulus. Indoor plumbing and electricity can be completely optional if you really want to just kill him.
My pregnant self needs a break from the constant overexposure to the boy. This baby bean can't develop appropriately with annoying stressed out hormones coursing through my veins and into the placenta. Placenta-brain/Preggo-brain is in full effect without Oldest adding to it. It's bad enough that I can't even operate a ziploc bag. I'm not kidding. I'm particular about how packaging is opened, and it's a genetic fault from my dad. So, that shredded cheese for tacos? Yea, I mangled the bag so badly the zipper thingy came off of it, the side of the zipper seal came apart from the bag, and the bag ripped below the zipper. I had to put the bag into another container so the cheese didn't dry out in the fridge.
Plus, I have been crazy busy with work this week, and was stressed out about it because I didn't read instructions early and plan appropriately. Then others dropped the ball too along the way. Friday was my day off, and I hogged the computer and really annoyed the Oldest. Then I "bed surfed" for a bit and after I got Clone from school, I decided to follow through with the threat I've been making since January. I went shoe shopping. It went better than today's house shopping adventure. I found something I liked at a kick butt price.

Meet Alice Peacock.
Yes, my shoes have a name. Crocs makes a style called Alice, in a color called Peacock. So why not? I can't talk baby names with Devildog. He refuses to go there till we have the big ultrasound in a couple months. Why waste valuable cranial energy coming up with a name we won't use for lack of matching gender right?
I have Persnickety to thank for sending me over the edge back in January when we went to Disney for my birthday. She loaned me a pair of her lavender Crocs that hadn't been on her own two feet yet. I walked all day in those shoes and didn't have the first bit of discomfort, save the stuff associated with being "freshly planted" with this stowaway. Oh yea, and the freezing cold that we actually DO get here in Florida. It was SUPPOSED to be nice that day. Hmph. But my body didn't ache from walking. So I finally made it to the outlet mall and stopped at Motherhood Maternity to see what they had. I did find a cute nursing top, but sadly, it displayed more cleavage than the world needed to see of me. I spent an hour in the Crocs store. I tried on several pair. Alice Peacock was an instant "ahh, comfy" I still looked for another pair, in something other than blue, because I wanted a brown or black pair, but the styles in that color I liked, were NOT available in my big honkin foot size. The ones that were remotely close, were too snug in key places. I'm picky about my feet touching the shoes in certain places. Across the ball of my foot and my toes are important places for shoes to fit properly. So, yes, I did succomb to the Crocs thing. But in my defense, I have wanted a pair for a while, I'm just a cheapskate and couldn't bring myself to spend the money on them. But it's a whole lot cooler to succomb on the cheap.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where was this cashier?

I have been out of shampoo and conditioner for I don't know how long. We've been milking the bottom of the bottles longer than any sane human should. So I broke down and took my tired hiney to the store for that and a few other things we needed. I also need a body pillow because trying to get comfortable with extra pillows just isn't happening anymore. I wandered Target on foot and found a few things I needed, and some I didn't. Then I headed to the Wally to get the rest, because I knew the boys wouldn't like the choices of shampoo scents available at Target. Well Wally's choices weren't much better but it was going to have to do. Because I wandered so much on foot at Target, I needed the fart cart at Wally. My tummy muscles don't like when I walk around as much as have been. I was seriously uncomfortable, combined with tired and at risk for cranky. You really don't want a cranky preggo on your hands. It's not safe for anyone in close any proximity.
I got my list of stuff fulfilled, and headed for the checkout lanes. I ended up in Valerie's lane. She was very friendly and another customer came up while I was unloading the fart cart to ask about breaking a $20 bill, and explaining she wanted to pay for her stuff part in cash and part with debit, but the self-checkout wouldn't do it, and the cashier over there wasn't helpful. Valerie told the customer how it could be done, and the customer asked if Valerie could take care of it because she did not want to curse someone out tonight. Valerie called for a customer service manager (aka CSM), and told the other customer to explain what was going on to the CSM and the CSM would handle it from there. The customer got her stuff off the self check out and brought it to Valerie's lane. I hate those self checkouts. They NEVER cooperate with me. I've had more eventful transactions than uneventful at those things. In any case, since I had the fart cart I asked if there was a regular cart nearby that my stuff could be put into so I woulnd't take the fart cart outside. Yes, I know people leave them out there, but my parents raised me better than that thankyouverymuch. Valerie ran to get me a regular cart, then called for someone to come help me get to the car with it, without even waiting for me to ask for help. I didn't need the help getting to the car. The fartcart was merely to keep my body from screaming at me for walking and being upright too many hours in a day. I could get to the car without incident. I dropped the fart cart at the door, and headed to my mom-bus. As I loaded my loot into the van, Valerie was RUNNING to bring me my receipt. Good lord the woman got a workout just taking care of me tonight.

I called the store when I got home, and asked for my cashier's name. The CSM that took my call, was wanting to make sure I wasn't going to ream a new one somewhere, so she asked "did you have a complaint?" I told her heavens no, my cashier absolutely rocked and I wanted to make sure compliments were paid when due. It's so easy to whine and complain about service, but completely forget to thank people when they do something right. It goes a long way to convey a "good cookie", and it doesn't take much. So starting here, I'm bragging on both Valerie my cashier, and Layne the CSM who went out of her way to get me my cashier's name because good cookies are due. Now on to figure out how to get word to Walmart that someone in their store gives a darn and shows it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My apologies

I have neglected you a few days. I've been busy, cranky, uncomfortable and short on wit. I have seen some stuff to post over on the Crazy Lady. That requires me to upload stuff from my phone and my camera and quite honestly - I'm just lazy this week. Plus I took the oldest to the dentist. His sugar habit and lack of tooth brushing for lack of leaving the house - EVER- has resulted in an estimate for six thousand dollars in dental work. I told him he needs to get a job to pay for it. On the bright side, I finally got more ink for my printer so I can re-print the mortgage application. I still have not found the first one I printed a month ago, and filled out, but never sent in to the mortgage broker. Devildog and I went grocery shopping. Ouch. It was a big bill, but we're fairly well restocked. I warned the teenagers not to get all food happy and eat everything all at once in celebration. Pregnant person needs food all the time, not this gorge now and starve later because we got too piggy business the teenagers are in the habit of doing. I can keep sufficient snackage in the mom-bus for those hectic days of no time to stop. Now if you'll pardon me, I need to go shower and get the day's pollen off me before I crawl in my bed. If you really want some entertainment, go read Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. That ought to hold you over for a few days till I can get back to "normal". Or at least till I come across something else blog-worthy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring isn't ALL glorious yet

Oh the joys of Spring. Oak Pollen rains down on my entire house, my vehicles and makes its way into my lungs. My neighbor has a 80 year old water oak right on the property line. I love Florida. There's no snow. However, in exchange for freezing temperatures and snow, we have lots and lots of pollen. My allergies are kicking my butt, and I'm more sleep deprived than normal because of it. I was just regaining momentum after dealing with the constant green feeling of early pregnancy. I'm basically relegated to my bed again, and I'd like to make use of the nesting urges that have begun to crop up occasionally. I have a house to pack, because we have a house to buy somewhere. My logic has now moved to "Pack it now, then buy the house, it will be faster and easier to move." I'm sure that by the time we finally buy a house, I'll be too big and whale-looking to do much, or I'll be interrupted every 10 minutes by a needy human. I may as well make use of the 2nd trimester. I'm just a tad shy of that milestone, but I'm feeling less like newly planted, and more like I'm "budding", as in my stuff is growing. I was feeling "human" for a few weeks. Now I'm feeling pregnant. I lost the battle to my waistbands a couple weeks ago. I'm not visibly showing when I'm wearing publicly acceptable clothes. At home, everyone can tell. At lunch last week, my lovely friend Persnickety pointed out that my backside is larger. I knew this already, as demonstrated by the carnage caused by my hips as I walk through the house, knocking over things that were previously minding their own business. Apparently my brain has not registered the additional girth back there. Don't lambaste Persnickety, she was only making an observation and no malice was intended or received. I'll be happy when these malicious allergens stop attacking my lungs and sinuses though. Of course when that happens, I'll be forced to whine and complain about the horrid heat of Summer. "Average temperature of seventy five" my big foot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My family needs prayers

The devil is throwing sand again. One sister is back in the hospital after a mini-stroke. That whole situation is a long term Series of Unfortunate Events, going way back.
My favorite Aunt R is hitting another financial roadbump, and has to turn in her van. At least she was able to hold out till her daughter had the baby. My Grandmere is 2 weeks older than my Dad and she's frail and hanging on to what she has left.
My father is approaching a year since his gall bladder gangrened and he nearly died, and he's kind of an emotional mess. Honestly he has been a mess since Mom died 3 years ago. But he'll tell you that no matter how many times he walks up and down the aisle at church doing usher duty, he has no pain what so ever. If that wouldn't mess with your head a little, I can't say what would.
My brother filed for divorce. My biggest concern is my niece. I won't go into detail but I have true concerns for her and if I could bring her to live with me during all of this so she doesn't have to be exposed to the chaos, I would. I just know it would be met with resistance and heaven only knows what else. It truly breaks my heart to know a child that has to live through this, and knowing other children live this hell daily.
All this makes me incredibly appreciative to have what I have, surly teenagers and whiny first graders, and unexpected, unplanned, un-everything pregnancy of a fourth child at my current age. I have a husband that respects me and would do anything for me. I have incredible friends in many places that I don't deserve, but they stick around for some reason. I guess I'm entertainment value or something. Meanwhile my Aquarian nature keeps kicking in high gear when it comes to my niece and I have to be careful not to let it get crazy on me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do I stink?

What happened? I posted a blog entry a couple days ago and got no comments. Was I too morbid or morose or pensive or what? Was I touting a food joint too loudly? It all started when Devildog watched his daily dose of SportsCenter and the ESPN blurbs of every show surrounding it. They all had their "experts" yammering about how Terrell Owens was released by the Cowboys, a repeat of the Falcons debacle centering around the behavior of the player. As it happens, I randomly stick post-it notes and file cards around my house with interesting quotes that I've collected. In my ADD laden brain, there was a connection between Shakespeare's quote and the news du jour. Plus I had a really yummy lunch and wanted to let people know about something that wasn't negative in this world. Lord knows, people have plenty to whine and complain about, but good grief, can we balance it with the good things going on around us.
I'll leave you to scratch your heads some more and your "*sigh* uh.. yea."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lunch with Shakespeare

I found a quote from William Shakespeare a while back. "What you are speaks so loudly, I can not hear what you say." I'm sure it was more Elizabethan than that, but it's pretty clear. Actions speak louder than words. And for those who have heard about the Dallas Cowboys (among other teams like the Atlanta Falcons) releasing Terrell Owens, you are well aware that Mr. Owens has indeed NOT learned this little philosophy, no matter how many times the lesson has been presented to him. Perhaps one day he'll shed the demeanor that has cost him numerous jobs. If not, I'm sure he can take some lessons from a few places. I've mentioned a couple of them before. Meanwhile, there are yet others mourning the losses of players being described as "all around good guys" by teammates, friends and family. Darwin just isn't cooperating.

Well today was the expiration date of that freebie from Moe's, and who am I to pass up a free lunch? I'm sure Moe's appreciates the good publicity too. (Sticky Fingers won't argue either). So, I stopped after work and made use of my freebie. They just rolled out a new menu item, the Phil E.
Oh. My. Word. YUM.O.LAH! I love a philly cheesesteak. One of my favorites came from a place in of all areas, Jacksonville, NC - home of Camp Lejune. There is (was?) a place in the "mall" (it was tiny) called Tony's Pizza. You got a 2 foot pie crawling up the edge of the pizza box. The Philly was handed to you wrapped in two layers of foil, still snapping and popping. I always got it fully loaded with cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms and mayo. While the Moe's Phil E. burrito is certainly "Moe'd" it's still right on par with my usual, the Homewrecker. I love it. I hope it becomes a regular menu item. Please go try one. You don't have to get the onions, peppers and mushrooms. They'll let you choose what goes on it, and what stays out of your burrito. They're better than the burger place that lets you have it your way. They let you watch them make it. Besides that really cool "Welcome to MOE'S!" you get when you walk in the door, they put out a quality product and their service is fast and friendly. Isn't that what anyone expects from a food joint anyway? So there ya go. Moe's learned from Shakespeare and puts it into practice. Perhaps football players who misbehave should take heed and find a good place for lunch.