RSS

Monthly Archives: May 2009

Camping

Camping slideshow.

Before making the mistake of mentioning it in front of the kids, Dan and I discussed camping out in the pop-up (pup) and he was willing.  I didn’t have to cajole for once.  Amazing.

I wanted to try it out before we actually attempted camping in public.  Wanted to get a feel for what we can do to make it go smoothly the next time out.

So Dan moved the pup to the back field and we set it up.  I won’t lie, it was a pain in the butt trying to locate everything we needed.  Of course most of it was left to me:  pillows, sleeping bags, s’more fixins, bug spray, on and on.  No big deal except that Dan always bitches that I never sit down and relax with everyone.  Ha, as if I could.  It was getting dark.

Around dusk, the wind died down and we were able to use the portable fire pit that we bought back in 2007.  Never used it before then.  Figures.  I didn’t get to enjoy it, but I did have some s’mores.  I plan on using it a lot more once the weather gets warmer.

As you can tell from the slideshow, we weren’t exactly “roughing it”.  I had Dan bring the TV/DVD out and we watched The Great Outdoors.  We all fell asleep toward the end.  Then the cold set in.  Don’t know what we were thinking.  Ughh.  It was quite artic.

The girls were supposed to sleep on one end in there sleeping bags and I set our end up with our sleeping bags laid out, not separately zipped.  Well Miss Morgan decided to crawl in with us.  I was on the end toward the inside of the camper, Morgan on the end near the canvas and Dan in the middle.  I had about 7 inches of mattress and could only sleep on my side.  It was a very long night and I saw every hour tick by on the alarm clock.  I couldn’t sleep and I kept dreaming and waking up.  Ashley had the single bed all to herself.

Around 3:oo a.m. I remembered that the canvas was not attached to the bunk end on either end of the pup.  Morgan was sleeping with all of her body weight on the canvas.  Meaning that she could fall through, four feet to the ground, hitting the hitch on the way down.  The anxiety set in and I kept pulling her back toward Dan and I tried to tell him about the dilemma, but he was cranky, half-asleep and poo-pooing me and my concerns.

Somewhere after 4:00 a.m. the birds started in.  It was horrible.  Then the crows started in with their version of dueling bangos.  I was cold, my back and neck were killing me and I had had enough by 5:00 a.m.  My bladder and I decided to go back to the house and stay there.  After checking that Morgan was still fine, I went in and after taking care of business, I crawled into bed.  Didn’t think I would get warm ever again.

About five minutes after finally dowzing off, the doorbell rang.  Freaking Ashley went to the front of the house instead of the unlocked patio door.  Ughh.  Luckily she went right to sleep again with me.

Around 9:00 a.m.  I woke up and found Dan and Morgan in the living room.  Morgan couldn’t wait to spill the beans to me.  Yup, Morgan fell through the gap and was being held around the shoulders by her sleeping bag.  Dan said she was still sleeping like that, bare legs dangling outside, when he finally noticed that 70% of her was not present and accounted for.  He couldn’t even pull her up, he had to push her out and set her on the ground.  I guess she panicked at that point and freaked out.

That boy heard “I told you so”, for about 20 minutes straight. 

I have no idea why the stupid pup is designed like that.  Very dangerous.  The kids will not be sleeping in the inside spots ever again and we will be making modifications to prevent anything like that happening again.

Oh yeah, I also dreamt that there was a bear outside the pup.  I could vividly hear it growling and rummaging around.  Somehow I made it to the house and got a gun (I don’t even know how to load one) and tried to shoot it.  My one and only shot ricocheted off the television screen.  Dan finally had to take the gun and shoot it.  Crazy.

Needless to say, we won’t be attempting that again until it’s much warmer outside.  My poor old body can’t take it.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2009 in Family, Funny, Kids, Photos

 

Memorial Day Parade 2009

Click here for slideshow.

The girls and I walked in the Memorial Day Parade again this year.  This was Morgan’s first year and Ashley’s second.  Morgan was thrilled that she got to carry a sign.  They sang their song, but it was drowned out by the big diesel truck behind us. 

One of the girl scout leaders bought red, white and blue hats for the whole troop to wear.  Yeah, um, that wasn’t such a great idea.  The hats had glitter all over them and the glitter transferred over onto the girls skin and hair.  It was quite the mess.  I gave them both baths after the fact and the glitter is still glued to their scalps.  I honestly think it will be there for weeks if not months. 

After the parade, Dan picked us up and we headed for the bazaar.  We did all of the things one can do at the bazaar:  ate fried dough, nachos, cotton candy, sno-cones, etc.  The kids only got to go on two rides each.  $10.00 for two tickets each.  What a rip off.  Those carnies are so nice, NOT!!!  One pissed Dan off and that’s hard to do.  Dan did quite well.  Sounds funny, but if you knew Dan you would know that he hates bazaars, carnivals and fairs.  I’m not fond of them either, but I like to please the kiddos. 

After the bazaar, we went home and had a nice BBQ dinner and decided to camp out that night.  More on that later.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 24, 2009 in Kids, Photos

 

The Talk

I just finished catching up on all my DVRed shows.  The DVR is set to record certain shows every week or every day.  For instance, Oprah.  I truly love that show when it is good.  That’s the nice thing about DVR.  I can just fast forward through all the crap or erase a show that doesn’t interest me.

I swear I cry over something I see on Oprah at least three times a week.  What a sap. 

Did anyone see her shows on when and how to talk to your kids about sex?  Wow.  I’m no prude, but I am seriously dreading having that talk with my girls.  I did not have the talk with my mom until the deed was already done and I was terribly resistant to anything she had to tell me. 

My mom was a terrible snoop back in the day and I wasn’t about to go to her with any questions.  Anything I would have told her would have been told to my aunts, sister, dad, etc.  How mortifying.  I didn’t even tell her when I got my period and she didn’t find out for six months after. 

All things reproductive embarrassed the hell out of me.  If my mom hung my bra on the clothesline, I wanted to die.  If a love scene came on Dallas or Falcon Crest, I ran out of the room.  So the lines of communication were not good.  I had a set of 4 encyclopedias, that I still have, published circa 1965, that taught me all that I knew back in grade school.

Just watching the mom on the show give the talk to her daughter, wow.  I don’t want to do it, but I know I have to in order to have a healthy relationship with my kids.  I want them to be able to come to me with anything and not be ashamed, embarrassed, etc.  My God, I was 26, married and having to tell my mom and dad that I was pregnant with Ashley was so embarrassing.  It was like stating, “Hey folks, I had sex”.  So I definitely want things to be better for my kids.  I also don’t want my daughters sneaking off to K-Mart buying “things” and hoping for the best or sneaking around and cutting class in order to visit a clinic to get birth control pills.  Thanks Michelle for driving that day when I chickened out 🙂

The doctor on the show has a downloadable handbook on Oprah’s website.  Gulp.  She’s got some controversial stuff in there for the teenagers, but I guess it’s better coming from a parent than a friend on the bus.  It’s not like they won’t find out about it on their own. 

I’ve got a few years before I have to worry (I hope).  So far the questions coming from my kids have been pretty easy to answer.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Kids, Life, Parenting

 

Neighbors

I don’t like neighbors. I like privacy. I don’t like noise and I don’t like that I don’t have control over that aspect of my life. I would like to have a house in the middle of 50 acres, all fenced in and wooded. Not wooded right next to the house, but all around so that I can’t see any other houses or junk behind garages.

My neighbor is a bored old man who doesn’t have any friends. He’s an asshole with a temper. We haven’t said a word to each other since the day I flew out of the house and chastised him in front of another neighbor for burying plastic garbage bags full of leaves in what is essentially our shared backyard. Not one word. We go out of our way not to make eye contact.

He mowed his lawn on Saturday, then again on Sunday and then again today. I think he is sick in the head. He has a four wheeler, lawn mower, tractor, leaf blower and tiller.  All of which grate on my nerves. He used the lawn mower, tractor and tiller today – brrrrr, brrrrrrmmmmm, brrrr, over and over and over. When one thing stops another starts. That man needs an effing job. If only he could keep one. 

Dan recently purchased some land in a nearby town for the sole purpose of hunting.  All land transactions are posted in the local newspapers.  Five people questioned us about it when it appeared.  I get it, it’s public record, but damn it’s annoying.  The neighbor’s wife asked Dan if we were going to build there.  Her husband, the asshole, must have been all excited at the prospect of us moving, specifically me.  Sorry, not moving next to another crazy bastard.  The guy who owns the property next to the land Dan bought is another dickhead.  Long story that I can’t tell on a public blog.

I’m constantly checking the local real estate listings and a realtor sends me stuff on a daily basis.  I know I should stay here and I do like my house, but man, what I wouldn’t give to get away from this particular neighborhood.  I live in a Village and the street I’m on is supposed to have a 30 mph speed limit – ha!  It’s more like 50 mph and dangerous for children and pets.

I lust after some of the houses in another Village near here, but I don’t think I could handle being that close to people again.  I went to a birthday party a few days ago that was held at a home in that Village.  There was no place to park, no place to turn around, so claustrophobic.  It just made me anxious to get out.  I realized that I need to stop thinking about possibly buying a house in that area.  It would be a possibility after the kids were grown up, but definitely not now.  I would be miserable.

I have a home.  I need to be patient and not so impetuous when it comes to a huge decision like buying a forever home.  It’s so hard because I want everything NOW.

Oh great, now he’s pounding on metal.  I’d like to pound on his head.  Where’s a home association committee when I need one?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Family, Life, Rants

 

Softball Season Is Here

Ashley had her first softball practice last night. The season is starting earlier, a month earlier, this year. I’m annoyed, but it will help improve their skills. Last year they had two practices before the games started. I must say it was warmer in June. The moms sitting on the sideline froze their butts off. I was prepared. I wore my parka and gloves.

There’s a new coach this year. A teamate’s mom. I don’t have enough information to form an opinion as of yet.

Having the kids throw to one another in the blinding sun when they could have simply turned to the side annoyed me. Another mother griped about the same thing and I told her, “You know her, go tell her to move them.” She said, “No way in hell, she was my daughter’s soccer coach and we had a tiff last year.” Great. That’s one of the reasons I don’t want to be a coach or girl scout leader. I would piss people off without even trying.

Ashley got hit by the ball twice. Poor kid. I didn’t see either time because I was busy yakking as usual. She was a trooper and after a few tears went right back out and continued. I probably would have quit after getting hit in the mouth.

One of the dads helped the coach and they split the girls up into two groups. The dad was batting grounders and the kids were practicing fielding them. The coach was batting line drives at her kids who were about 30 feet away. Great. Glad my accident prone kid was with the dad. Some of these kids have never played before.

Next practice is on Friday night from 6:00-7:00. That’s super. Just because I was actually thinking of making plans for that night.

This is going to be a long damn season.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 19, 2009 in Ashley, Kids, Parenting, Sports

 

D’s Birthday Party

Sunday started off as usual – kids waking us up way before we wanted and getting irritated at each other because neither of us wanted to be the one to get up with them. I should have been allowed to sleep for a variety of reasons, but I got up. Started a day filled with parenting, cleaning, laundry, etc.

In the afternoon I had to bring Ashley to a classmate’s birthday party in RP. Morgan was quite bummed, but not as hysterical as she had been on Thursday when Ashley received the invitation. The classmate’s sister is in Morgan’s class and told Morgan that she could come too. Well you know how little kids can be. She cried for 30 minutes when we explained that she couldn’t go blah, blah, blah.

After dropping Ashley off, Morgan and I went to a local store to buy Father’s Day cards and my mom’s birthday card. It’s her 73rd birthday today. We also went through the McDonald’s drive-thru for some McNuggets and milkshakes.

Two hours went by quickly and back we went to pick Ashley up. The party wasn’t finished when we got there. The hired clowns were making balloons and the kids were getting their faces painted. Morgan was included in this activity which thrilled her.

Yeah, I know, poor placement of the balloon in the following photo:

Cute faces, but washing it off, yeah, that didn’t thrill me.

Two happy kids, one ruined washcloth.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 18, 2009 in Ashley, Kids, Morgan, Parenting, Photos

 

Spring Concert 2009

Grades 2-5 had their spring concert on Friday. Ashley’s grade went on first and did a little number about caps for sale. It was cute and my kid was cute in her new outfit and pigtails. I even got to catch a glimpse of Morgan coming back from a bathroom break.

I stayed for 45 minutes and that was all I could endure. When it’s your own kid that’s one thing, but listening to 30+ recorders being played by children I don’t know, yeah, not my thing. I snuck out between routines and went downstairs to the art display. I took some photos of the girls’ artwork and then I left to do a few errands and race home before the bus.

Later after Dan got home from work, we went to a rummage sale of sorts and proceeded to obtain more crap than we needed, but got quite a few nice things as well (ornaments, tools, camper stuff, etc.)

We got back late and Dan even agreed to go get pizza at A*ngel*os. I’m sure he went along with it only because I used my gift card. The big cheapskate.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 18, 2009 in Ashley, Kids, Parenting, Photos

 

Camping: A Step Backward

Here’s our latest acquistion:

The Pop-Up

We had a 24 ft. Mallard camper a few years back. We went camping two times total. I really liked the camper and it had a huge bathroom compared to some of the newer models. Long story short, Dan did not like camping with babies and all the work involved in maintaining what amounted to another home (plumbing, roof, electrical, tires, winterizing, etc.) We sold it a few years back.

I have been hounding him since last year to let us get a pop-up. Cheaper, easy to store, easy to pull. Dan doesn’t do want Dan doesn’t want to do.

We were on our way to go bullhead fishing (you saw the photos earlier) and someone along the route was putting his pop-up for sale as we drove by. Dan turned around and we looked inside, talked a bit, took down his number and said, “We will think about it.”

The following day we discussed it and figured it was cheap enough, why the hell not? I called the guy and made an offer. He countered and I said I would talk about it with Dan. I was going to pay him what he wanted, but he called back within five minutes and said he would take my offer, that they needed the money bad in order to pay the next mortgage payment. From that statement on, I felt uneasy. I’m leary of desperation like that. Made we wonder if I had missed something.

So that night we went and were going to pay them and get the title, paperwork, etc. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Guess they didn’t bother to register it in the three years that they “owned” it. The title was still in the original owner’s name. Effing cute. And, it gets worse. They lost the release of lien for the first owners. Mother eff. I should have backed out then. I just said I would deal with all of it. The woman actually had the audacity to want the money right then and there. I was like you will get your money when I get the paperwork. Dumb B.

Luckily, I know the first owners and they were cool and we got the deal done. So many hoops to jump through. The people called me the next day and were like well did you get the release of lien, blah blah. I was like no, the bank isn’t run by magical fairies. The people called like three times wanting their money. The woman made the man call and was always in the background running her cheewee mouth.

I stood in line at the DMV with two kids on a Friday afternoon for 30 minutes. I got to the counter and the girl spotted one error (Dan’s error that I didn’t catch) and I was turned away. BTW, that was my second trip to pburgh that day. It wasn’t her fault, but I could have punched her repeatedly. Instead I slammed my folder shut and pranced out of there bitching all the way.

Saturday, I said screw it and made Dan come with me and we hooked up to the pop-up and towed it home, without a license plate. I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t “disappear” suddenly once my money was handed over. The people were lying dickheads and I’ll leave it at that. Hope they didn’t lose their purty double-wide and that my money bought them another month with it. Mean? Yeah, well I feel like being mean.

Dan was “nice” enough to wash the outside and the awning. The lovely interior will be my project. Should be great fun. I hope we actually get to use it after all of these headaches.

Now you know why the whole thing is bittersweet for me.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2009 in Hobbies, Photos

 

Mother’s Day 2009

Happy Mother’s Day (a day late). I meant to write yesterday, but yesterday sucked. Well, the first part did anyway. The evening was pretty nice. I found out this morning why I was throwing myself such a pity party yesterday. What a wreck. Oh well, it passed as usual.

Dan had to work until 4:00. In years past he would have gone turkey hunting, so he never did anything for Mother’s Day. No surprise there.

After a gloom and doom morning, I brought the girls to visit my parents. I got her the standard issue card and a big mounding container of impatiens. They always plant them in the antique caldron on the side of the house. The visit was the same as usual – mom annoying the hell out of me and me getting bitchy and bossy at her. My dad must love when I go over.

When I got home, Dan made dinner for us. He made venison tenderloin, stir-fried zucchini and boiled potatoes. It was quite good for a spur of the moment meal. I was supposed to get my make-up Mother’s Day lunch the day before, just him and me. Didn’t happen. The MIL was the cause. She is usually the reason we fight. So Saturday sucked too. That woman is a piece of work.

We even played a board game together. Shocker. We try to watch AFV as a family every night. The kids like it, we like it – win, win. They even went to bed easy for a change. To finish the night, Dan and I watched the Incredible Hulk. Hey it was on. It wasn’t bad. When I was little (circa 1978/1979) I used to watch the original television series. Yeah, um, I’m glad the hulk was just a big body builder in green makeup back then as opposed to the hulk of today. I once had a nightmare about the hulk back then and was found under the kitchen table crying in the middle of the night. I would have needed therapy had I seen the hulk of today at 3 or 4 years old.

Morgan & Mommy

On a brighter note, Morgan’s kindergarten class had a Mother’s Day Tea for all the mothers or grandmothers on Friday. It was nice. Morgan drew a picture of me and wrote all the things she liked about me, etc. They also had a little poem to read and a song. So cute. The written poem and the hand prints made me well up. It was about them growing up and looking back on their little handprints to see how small they used to be 😥 We were served cookies and iced tea. After a few photos, I got to bring her and Ashley home with me.

I went to the Tea that they had in Ashley’s kindergarten class two years prior. Big difference. Let’s just say that Morgan is a little more loving and friendlier and we’ll leave it at that.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 11, 2009 in Family, Holidays, Kids, Life, Photos

 

What We’ve Been Working On

I’ve been cracking the whip more than usual lately. What’s new right?

Here’s some photos of what we’ve accomplished so far:

The duck wallborder that went around the middle of the entire living room was removed (horrible task) and the ceiling and walls were painted. Most of the stuff shown in the photos was already on the walls or in the room with the exception of the new console table, pillows, runners, black and white tree print, collage frame, all electrical covers and switches (they were the standard beige type), thermostat and drapes. I also moved the girls school photos into the living room. They replaced the tree prints that I moved into the kitchen (last photo). I also need to paint the window sill and the closet door. Dan will be stuck with the task of spray painting the outside door.

Living Room 1

null

Living Room 2

null

Living Room 3

null

Living Room 4

Living Room 5

The dining room, ceiling and hall were painted and the chair rail and half tongue and groove wall behind the table were torn out.

I transferred the mirror, floor lamp and arched mirror from the living room. I transferred the fake greenery from the downstairs family room. I transferred the two black collage frames from the kitchen. New things include: the light over the table, the Pergo flooring, the green area rug, the wine table, the drapes, the clock, all electrical covers and switches, radiator enclosure and the gallery frames that need photos instead of the stock artwork. I also need to paint the pantry door and patio doors white. There is also a wall ledge that needs to be put up. And, yeah, the previous owners did not center the ceiling light fixture. Slight PITA. It’s on the “to do” list.

The dining room table clashes terribly with the room color and decor. Dan has forbidden me to buy another until the kids are older. He’s right, but I cannot stand looking at it. Maybe I should start buying some scratch off tickets.

Dining Room 1

Dining Room 2

Dining Room 3

Kitchen

Overall I’m pretty happy with everything. I even managed to order 9 5x7s for the new collage frame. I actually put photos into a frame within one month of purchasing it. Shocking considering Morgan’s frame in her room still has the stock images from 5 years ago 🙂

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2009 in Home, Photos, Projects