Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Daughter works for NASA and I Didn't Know It !

I printed out the phone bill today so that I would have ammunition when we talked to Rachel tonight about the long distance charges. The more I looked at it, the more mad I got. As was mentioned in my previous post, we had been allowing her to talk to the boyfriend for 10 minutes per day when we were home in the evening. This was a compromise because she was actually in trouble from a previous phone issue and we were trying to be nice and let her actually talk to the boyfriend. Well nice no more ! I looked down through each day on the bill and started adding up the minutes to see how long she was actually talking to him each day.

One day she talked on the phone for a total of 376 minutes. Over six hours of talking time. Six hours ! What the h*ll could they possibly be talking to for six flipping hours. Is she working on the global warming problem? Have they found a way to end world hunger? Is she working for NASA and we don't know about it? I couldn't talk that long to Oprah or President Obama. I just wouldn't have enough to say to spend six hours talking to somebody - anybody. I don't think that I could talk to myself for that long (and I used to be crazy - I know how long a person can talk to themselves). Granted this was not one continuous phone call that lasted that long. She did have the common courtesy to break it up throughout the day. One call was for 48 minutes then they must have taken a potty break and she called him back three minutes later. Then they talked for thirty something minutes - must have taken a snack break and then she called him back twenty minutes later.

Obviously by this point the President must have beeped in to put in his two cents about global warming or the recession because they then did some three-way calling with somebody else. The phone company isn't able to tell me who the third party actually was but I have to assume that for $2 per three-way call that it must have been somebody of extreme importance - possibly Al Gore. I guess we will never know.

The really scary thing is that the phone bill cut off on June 6th and I did not discover the long-distance usage until June 28th, therefore we now have another three weeks of unknown bill to deal with next month. Oh joy !!! I get to relive this feeling again. Well not only is she going to have to pay the bills back but she is also going to have to reimburse me for the box of wine that I am going to have to drink to keep me from seriously injuring her little dialing fingers.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Raising Teenagers is like being Pecked to Death by Ducks with Poor Depth Perception

I had already decided that I was going to try my hardest to make today a good day. Derek and I are both pretty upset about the fact that our deadbeat renters now owe us $800 and neither one of them have a job and they don't really seem to care that we are about to kick them out. So we are now late on some of our payments and are going to have to do some creative budgeting to get through the next month or two. Plus the renters are chain smokers (they can't afford to pay their rent but they sure can go to the smoke shop) and have torn up the carpet. That means that when we finally get them out then we are going to have to repaint every room in the house and replace all of the carpet. I just get so tired of nothing seeming to go our way.

Anyway - I sat down at the computer this morning to check the SSRI forum that I belong to, see what is happening on Twitter, and read my emails. In hindsight, I shouldn't have looked at the e-mail that told me that I had a new phone bill from AT&T. After that viewing, I can guarantee you that I am not going to have a good day. For those of you that know me, you know that I have 5 children who now range in age from 16 down to twins who are turning 12 next month. I am beginning to think that it was actually a lot easier when they were all little and were running all over the place like rabid monkeys.

Rachel, my oldest, has a boyfriend that she has had for 7 months (I know that it has been 7 months because I hear about how long they have been together at least once a day). Rachel also used to have full cell phone privileges and was allowed to text (up to 250 texts per month) and call people on her cell phone. However, with her last boyfriend her ability to do math went right out of her brain and she sent over 4,000 texts (mostly to him) in one month. Therefore, we took the cell phone away for quite a while and she basically ended up grounded for a year until she worked off the $1,200 phone bill. Evidently - she didn't learn. With this new boyfriend, she has already been in trouble once for sending texts when she wasn't supposed to and talking on the phone with him for too long. We have told her that she is allowed to talk to him once a day for 10 minutes. I guess that her telling time function has also been lost because when I got the phone bill today, those were not ten minute calls.

She has been calling him during the day while Derek and I are at work and talking for at least 30 minutes each day. We have a long distance phone package that has a certain amount of long distance minutes on it and she has passed that by a long shot. The bill is $100 more than it normally is and right now is not a good time to have to pay an extra $100 on a bill. I called Derek at the fire station and informed him and he agreed with me that we have given her chance after chance after chance and she is obviously not getting the message. So now she won't be allowed to see him for a month and she will only be allowed to talk to him twice a week for ten minutes each, with us in the room. She is not going to be happy but I really don't give a damn.

That little duckling has pecked us one too many times.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Burned the Rainbows and Stepped on the Butterflies

I don't know about you, but when I am in a bad mood I just can't stand chipper acting people. You know what I am talking about. The salespeople who say "hey there" or "howdy" when you walk into the mall - the person at the drive through that shouts out "have a good one" as you grab your burger - the reporter on the news who is smiling while she talks about the 12 car pile up out on the interstate. I am not saying that there are not times when I am not happy (did that make any sense at all?). I am generally a pretty easy-going person. However, there are days when somebody chimes in "Good Morning" right when I walk in the door, that I just want to kick them in the teeth. Some mornings are not good mornings. Some mornings are bad mornings. Some mornings are just ran over the neighbor's cat, the washing machine flooded the first floor, the kids won't stop fighting, and the checking account is overdrawn kind of mornings.

Of course we can't all wear little running screens on our forehead that say "don't be happy around me - I am not in the mood for it", but wouldn't it be nice if we could. I am all for being nice to people when the niceness is genuine but please stop asking people "How are you doing?" when you really don't care. I would love to tell somebody who asks me that open-ended question sometime how I am really doing. I can just see me now, standing in the middle of Bath and Body Works spilling out all of my problems to the college age twit who is more than happy to solve them all with some Warm Vanilla Bubble Bath. Well Sindy (with an S), since you asked "I have cramps so bad that they would bring an elephant to it's knees, my son just snuck out of the house and broke his arm at the skate park, my daughter wants to go on birth control pills so that she and her boyfriend can "express their love for each other", my husband is working another shift so I don't get a break from the kids today, and I hate my damn job !" After a long pause and a distant, almost scared look from Sindy (with an S), I would be forced to say "and I would love the entire collection in Warm Vanilla" to which she would reply "that is just super, can I help you find anything else!".

So for all of you "rainbows and butterflies" people out there. Sometimes the world has more pot holes than rainbows and more sewer rats than butterflies. So keep your chipperness to yourself.

Oh wait - Have a Nice Day !!! :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Abraham Lincoln in Chocolate Mocha Brown

Derek has been coloring my hair for me ever since we got married. It's not something that he really enjoys but it is something that he does because he loves me (and because I whine around about it until he caves). For years, I colored it a slightly reddish medium brown shade. Then I went completely manic on meds and starting coloring it myself pretty much every other weekend. I also cut it myself several times. There were days that my head looked like somebody had put a calico cat in a blender - not a pretty sight ! Something about going manic makes you crave change and you are never ever happy with how you look. So bleaching huge chunks of my bangs albino white and chopping off the back to look like Joan Jett was my way of expressing myself. I got lots of "that chick should be locked up somewhere" looks for sure. But when you are crazy you really don't give a rat's ace what everybody else thinks and you continue to color your hair every shade of the spectrum and ignore the strange glances.

Now that I am off of all of the meds and back to my semi-sane self, I have grown my hair back out long and naturally wavy. I used to love to paint that multicolored goo on my head and be shocked at what turned out. Now I hate the feel of hair color on my head and put off coloring it as long as possible. Well this week when I saw wiry, gray strands sticking straight up ala Alfalfa from The Little Rascals, I decided that I had to color. I informed Derek that it could not wait another second while we were swimming last night. He was so thrilled !

I have so much hair now that it takes 3 boxes of haircolor to color my whole head. I bought a box of medium brown (light chocolate) and mixed it with 2 boxes of dark brown (deep mocha). Derek raised his eyebrows when the colors came out - one had a eggplant tinge to it and the others were somewhat Ronald McDonaldish. I assured him that the color of the product was not the same as what my hair would turn out. I sat on the edge of the tub and awaited my "professional" hair coloring application. Derek then started globbing that goo all over my head. He started his professional hairdresser voice and said "dahling - your hair is going to be fabulous!". I of course started laughing and he scolded me and told me that if I didn't sit still then this was going to turn into a Jackson Pollock hair coloring application.

I really cannot complain about him doing my hair color and his technique because he is doing me a huge favor by doing it for me. Buuuuuuuuuuuut - he does have a tendency to do the glob and rub method where he puts a huge blob of hair color in one spot and then rubs it in to my brain. He was flinging that stuff like a mad man. After he got all of the goo all over my head he proceeded to make sculptures out of my hair. His favorite was when he made gigantic curls on the top of my head, scrunched up his face, and starting singing "we represent the Lollipop Guild - the Lollipop Guild - the Lollipop Guild" from the Wizard of Oz. I of course broke out in laughter again and was told "daaaaaaaaahling you must sit still". Which only made me laugh more.

After the application was done, I sat in the tub for 20 minutes waiting for my processing time to be over. I then leaned over the tub and washed the 50 pounds of nearly black goo out of my hair. It took forever. When I got it all washed out - I stood back up. Well all I can say is that the stains on the sides of my face and all along my neck looked nothing like a Jackson Pollock painting. They looked more like one of those images that people see in the water spots on their ceilings or in discarded socks on the floor. I think that one of them vaguely resembles our former president Abraham Lincoln. The one on the other side kinda of looks like Bozo the Clown. I yelled at Derek from the bathroom, "Honey - get me a piece of bread STAT - so that we can burn these images into some toast and make some money on EBAY".

It didn't work. Guess I am going to have to sell a kidney after all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Red Pepper Hummus was a bad choice

I was so out of it on Friday after my colonoscopy that I didn't eat anything other than saltine crackers that day. By Saturday morning I was feeling a lot better so we ventured to Wal-Mart with three of the five kiddos to get groceries. No, we did not leave the other two locked in a closet. One was spending the night with a friend and the other one was at my sister's. I still felt a little loopy but was able to hold myself upright so I considered that a huge accomplishment.

On the forum that I am a member of, I have been writing about little challenges each week for people to do to get them out of their comfort zones. Well this week's challenge was to try a new food. A friend of mine from the forum and I were talking about how she was eating hummus for lunch and that I had never tried it. So that was my new food choice. I was going to try hummus. I wasn't really sure what it was but I was willing to give it a go. I examined several varities and flavors of the hummus items in Wal-Mart and decided on the Roasted Red Pepper. It looked fairly tasty and I am somewhat adventuous with food so what could it hurt. So for dinner that night, I ate a pretty manly helping of my hummus with garden vegetable flavored crackers. It was quite tasty.

I didn't give it another thought until around 4 am Sunday morning when I was awoken by horrible nausea. I laid there for a long time trying to tell myself that I wasn't really going to puke - that it was just going to pass and that I would be okay. I was wrong. I almost didn't make it around the corner to the bathroom. Oh my gosh - nothing burns like red pepper hummus being regurgitated back up through your nose. I was on fire !! I yelled at Derek to bring me some water and he came flying in there like he was on fire too. I drank a whole glass of water without coming up for air. Another bad idea. Evidently water and hummus cause some sort of reaction similar to vinegar and baking soda. It ALL came flying back up. I laid in the bathroom floor for the next 3 hours just grateful that this had happened on Sunday morning and not Monday when I was going to have to go back to work.

So for the past two days, all I have had to eat is saltine crackers. I didn't pay attention when I bought them and accidentally got the ones with the unsalted tops. Um ... what the heck is the point? They taste like little squares of cardboard. I would love to be able to make a run to Taco Bueno but as the old saying goes "once puked twice shy". I will stick with my cardboard squares for one more day and see how that goes.

The good news out of all of this is that I won't be having any sinus problems for months to come. The hummus pretty much cleaned me out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Magnesium Citrate Martinis

Thursday was the day that I had to drink the cups of evil to clean me out for my colonoscopy on Friday. For those of you have never had Magnesium Citrate, it is the most vile thing on the face of the earth. Anything made for the sole purpose of "cleaning you out" evidently must taste that way. It's a rule. Not only is it lemon flavored and therefore ruins me for eating anything lemon flavored ever again, it is also carbonated. Yeah - those little fizzy bubbles almost had me fooled into believing that I was drinking a soda. Um ... no - the only purpose of the fizzy bubbles is to make it harder to go down. I was wondering if I could make some sort of cocktail with it to make it more tolerable. After all, vodka is a clear liquid. However, my instructions say no alcoholic beverages due to an increased risk of bleeding. blah blah blah

Like a good little patient I drank my dose (sans the vodka) at 2:00, another one at 2:30, another one at 3:00 and my last one at 4:00 along with 4 Dulcolax. Then I waited. and waited. and waited. Nothing. Around 10:00 pm I started yelling at my intestines, "Come on already - I want to go to bed!!!". Alas, my intestines had a mind of their own and I decided to just go to bed hoping that I would wake up for the "big event" and not have to wake Derek up in the middle of the night for a very disturbing sheet change. Around midnight the first explosion hit and I went racing to the bathroom. For the next six hours, I went through the cycle of the dash to the bathroom followed by about 30 minutes of sleep. Not the ideal way to spend an "all-nighter".

We had to be up at 6 to leave for the hospital anyway, so I decided to just stay up. I took my bath and got dressed - not even bothering to put on make-up. After all, they weren't going to be looking at that end of me anyway. Driving up there, all I could think about was food. I was soooooooo hungry. We got checked in in record time. They were on the ball yesterday for darn sure. We only spent about 5 minutes waiting at the outpatient center before they called me back to my bed. The nurse ran through all of the paperwork and told me to change into my lovely gown - open in the back (of course). I wasn't even completely changed before the RN got there to start my IV. That is the worst part for me but for some reason squeezing Derek's fingers to the point of leaving nail marks made me feel a whole lot better.

As soon as the IV was in, they wheeled me into the procedure room which had the temperature of a meat locker. It also looked eerily like the room on the alien autospy video but I tried not to be paranoid, after all I already knew that they were going to be probing in that area so I had nothing to fear. The nurse told me to roll over on my left side and I had to laugh at myself when I pulled the gown down over my bare bottom - they were going to be seeing it after all anyway. The last thing that I remember was the nurse saying "ok - I am going to give you some of the medicine now". Boom ! Lights Out ! Being put under is the strangest thing ever. No dreams. No nothing. Just black.

The next thing that I remember was waking up in my bed yesterday afternoon. Evidently, we even went by my work to get my paycheck and I went in to go to the bathroom there. I am sure that I was quite the sight to see. I could have talked to people, but I don't remember it. I could have gone to the bathroom, but I don't remember it. Heck - I could have done numbers from A Chorus Line all the way down the hallway, but I don't remember it. It's such a good thing that they don't sell that stuff on the street - people would be really messed up. Oh wait - maybe they do - it's call antidepressants. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

noodles, chicken, and non-fuzzy stuff surprise

I have officially declared this month in our house to be "don't buy crap that we don't need" month. This includes candy at the corner store, trips to the movies, going out to eat, movie rentals, etc. I really think that we can do it - even though it is only the ninth and I am already craving a Sonic cheeseburger for dinner. No - I will be strong. Must go on. Must pay off debt.

It's amazing how many meals we have just sitting in the cabinet waiting to be made. I told Derek that tonight we are going to make a meal out of leftover egg noodles, those other five chicken breasts in the freezer, and whatever is in a storage container in the back of the fridge that does not have a protective layer of green fuzz on the top of it. I am sure that the kids are going to complain but I have become so immune to their gritching that I probably won't even notice the comments such as "momma - is my tongue supposed to be going numb?" or "this stuff smells like feet". By gosh - if I have to suffer for my own cause then they have to too.

Keep in mind that I have five children (all of them at least preteen age). So when we go out to eat it easily runs us a hundred dollars. We have found a movie theater that has matinee shows for $3.75 a person but of course it is just impossible to watch a movie without a 55 gallon drum of the nastiest tasting popcorn on the earth and a bucket of flat soda, so we spend another forty bucks or so at the concession stand. A day out for us can hit the two hundred dollar mark in a hurry. Plus whenever we go to the closest shopping mecca, my husband is drawn into the Eddie Bauer store as if it is a crack hous and he has the itches. I worked so hard to get that darn EB card paid off but that rat b*stard snuck in there again for some more t-shirts in some awful colors when I wasn't looking. Don't even get me started on his Sam's club habit (see previous post about the fabulous deck umbrella).

So for this month - we will be spending a lot of time at home together. Which might be good in the long run because we might have a few less family members to feed next month after spending so much "quality time" in an 1,800 square foot house. Somebody is going to snap - it might just be me after I have a fit of Sonic cheeseburger withdrawal. You never know.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My 229 1/2 pound dust bunny

I have had this strange spot in my mouth for about two weeks now. I went to the dentist about it last week and he was pretty sure that it wasn't cancer - just a traumatized salivary gland (how the heck did a salivary gland get traumatized anyway - did it witness a murder that I am not aware of? - maybe it wasn't hugged enough as a child? who knows). The dentist wanted the other dentist in the office to look at it this week as a second opinion. When dealing with cancer and things of that nature - I concur - I don't want somebody to just be pretty sure. I want them to be beautiful sure !

So on Thursday I left work early enough to drive all the way back home to pick up Derek. I wanted him with me just in case the dentist wasn't beautifully sure that it was a trivial issue. It was a pretty uneventful day for me up until that point in time. I called the house and told Rachel to make sure that daddy was ready to go when I got there because we didn't have any time to spare. She said that he was outside working on something but that he was dressed and ready to go. Him tinkering on things while killing time is never a good thing. NEVER.

When I got home he was in fact ready but he was laughing. Also never a good sign. He told me that while he was waiting for me he went out and looked around the back yard just to see if there was anything that needed to be fixed. Something small. Something that he could fix quickly. The dryer vent has never really sat right in the hole on the outside so he decided that this was the perfect moment to tackle that project. He had just had a shower and was supposed to be patiently waiting yet he decides that the lopsided dryer vent could not wait one moment longer.

Derek has been shaving his head for years. It's a lot easier to maintain plus he sweats like a water buffalo so having a bald head is cooler for him. Well he hadn't shaved his melon in a few days so he had some head stubble going on. Combine this with the fact that it was pushing 95 degrees outside, the fact that the man can't even cross the threshold of the house without sweat beads popping up on his forehead, and the fact that the dryer was running while he was trying to fix the vent and you get the picture. The good news is that the dryer vent is now repaired. The bad news is that he had already picked all of the dryer lent out of his head stubble and off of his glistening face before I got home and had the chance to take a picture.

Men - can't live with them and they won't take pictures of themselves doing stupid stuff so that you can post it on the Internet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Men - You can't live with them and you can't beat them with thorny sticks‏

I am mad. Fuming Mad. Grinding my teeth as I type this mad. I just got off of the phone with home. Derek and the kids are all there and I was just calling to inquire as to whether or not we had anything in the house to eat for dinner. I have declared that June is going to be no take-out food month and that we are going to used up what we have in the pantry, cabinets, and refrigerator before we go on another big food shopping excursion. Rachel answered the phone and when I asked where Derek was she told me that he was out on the deck setting up the new umbrella. What new umbrella? Why did we buy a new umbrella? Did we NEED a new umbrella? Were we going to die without a fancy, new deck umbrella? Gosh - I have never seen reports on the news of "Man Dying from Lack of Deck Umbrella" so we were probably safe without it.

As the kids were scrambling to get Derek on the phone (they could tell from the tone of my voice and the snippiness of my questions that I was NOT happy about the purchase) they handed the phone off to Beth who promptly informed that Daddy had also bought new phones. I am sure that steam actually came out of my ears at this point. Unless the phone fairy paid a visit to our house in the middle of the night then I don't think that we had the money to buy a new phone system. Our portable phones had started to squeek the other day and we took the corded phone from the kitchen and plugged it into the living room. That worked just dandy. After all people have survived without a portable phone for years. I have heard of such people. In fact I kind of liked that the kids had to stay close when they were talking with their friends. It made it less convenient for them which as the parent of five is my ultimate goal. I don't give a damn if they have to sit in the living room with us while they are talking to their friends. It does not kill them - not a one has dropped dead yet.

Derek's excuse for buying the phones was that we needed them because his dad only calls us on the house phone not on our cell phones. Well honey - have you ever heard of the little cheap corded phones that they sell at flipping Wal-Mart? You know the ones like the one that we had downstairs that seemed to be working just skippy. Hmmmm ??? Heard of those critters before?

Maybe I am just upset because I have been eating bland frozen dinners all week in an effort to save a few bucks a week and not charge my credit card back up. Maybe its because I know that it is two more days before I can stick my mouth directly under the spigot on my box of wine and pour away. Maybe it's because I am going to have to sell a kidney to get us out of debt. But won't I look great as I am recovering on our deck under the new umbrella talking the pharmacist about my pain pill prescription on my brand new phone.