Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What is Wrong With People?

So, I'm at TKD last night when a girl and her mom walk in. We haven't seen them in months. Of course, I say, "Hey! We haven't seen you in forever! How are you?" The mom looks at me, starts crying and runs out. Everyone looks at me. Stephen says, "that was weird," and I ask, "what did I say?" He shrugs and walks to the back room. I ask everyone else if I should go out and make sure she's okay and everyone says yes (because they weren't going to do it). So, I take a deep breath and head outside.

I tell her I'm sorry if I upset her and asked her if she wanted to talk about what's wrong. That's when she tells me that she recently found out her husband's been cheating on her and asked for a divorce. She'd just met with the lawyer. Ugh. Not this again.

I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

When Is Summer????

It's been a long month. That's not to say it hasn't been good, but it's been long. Spring Break has come and gone, which is sad. Bobbi and Ed were here for the week and we did a lot of things that we never do on our own.

We visited the World War I monument and museum...the only one of it's kind in the country. We all enjoyed that one. The only problem was that there were so many challenges to my fear of heights.

Of course, the kids wanted to go up to the top of this. Okay. I've been up in the Arch. How bad could this be?'s open at the top. AAAAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!! But, I went up and even looked over the side. However, I did think I was going to be sick the entire time and the kids told me I was a buzzkill. Oh well.

Here's the view of downtown Kansas City from the top.

Oh, and when you walk in, there's this.

Pretty, right? Each poppy represents 1,000 soldiers that lost their lives in the war. Of course, that's covered with Plexiglas and you have to walk over it to get to the actual museum. And, it's fairly high up. Like a story up. *sigh* Is it sad that Hannah held my hand as I walked, eyes closed, over it? Oh well.

We also went to Kaleidoscope (a children's craft type thing by Hallmark) and Crown Center. It was neat to see the Hallmark Visitor's Center...we got to see them actually make a card. Jacob really liked that.

Interestingly, it snowed 10 inches at the end of the weekend. This weather never ceases to amaze me.

Jacob has started baseball and he loves it. His coach says that Jacob's already the most improved player on the team. His first outdoor practice (they've just been doing batting practice) is tomorrow. I guess it's a good sign that Jacob keeps asking to go to the batting cages. The last time he played, he wanted nothing to do with any of it.

Hannah started soccer again tonight. She just loves soccer. Half of her team from the fall left but there are still 12 girls playing. I have a feeling they'll be back in the fall. I think many of them are playing softball.

Daniel bought himself a pair of roller blades with his birthday money and I swear that's the best $30 I've ever seen anyone spend. That boy is constantly on them. He took them with us to Hannah's soccer practice tonight and skated around the playground for the entire hour. He's getting really good. He and many of his friends play street hockey after school, so he's been begging for a hockey stick. The trouble is, I can't find one. And I'm not spending a fortune on one at the hockey store at the ice rink. Someone suggested Toys R Us...eventually I'll get there.

Jacob crossed over to Boy Scouts last week. I cried the entire meeting. They had some boys from the Order of the Arrow come and help with the Arrow of Light ceremony, which was awesome.
Jacob with his Arrow of Light Award
Our former pack leader asks Jacob which Boy Scout troop he'd like to join
Crossing over
His new troop is there to welcome him. They outfitted them with their new neckerchiefs.

We also celebrated Hannah's 7th birthday on Sunday. I don't know where the time has gone. How is it that she's already 7? I think I'm being punked. I haven't uploaded the photos yet but I will soon.

Also, Happy Passover to all of my Jewish friends and family.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Need A Maid

It's that time of year. Weather's getting warmer, windows are open more and the heat's off most of the time...time to Spring Clean. I figured that this was the week to do it. Even better that Bobbi and Ed are coming in on Saturday...the house will be nice and super clean.

I've been cleaning like a mad woman all week. Last Sunday, Mike took a bunch of clothes up to Goodwill so that helped clean out a good chunk of our bedroom. Yay! No more bumping into stuff in the middle of the night. I just wish the kids could do a better job cleaning their own rooms. Oh well. I was able to vacuum in them, so I guess that's a win.

Today, I finally tackled that master bathroom toilet. It's always scary when you go to turn that water back on but I did the test like the instructions said to and everything seemed to be working great. No leaks. Yay! I put the little top assembly back on so the water wouldn't come out the top like it had been when I was checking for leaks (it's supposed to do that) and the stupid water wouldn't come through. What? I took the whole thing apart and started over. Turned the water on...same thing. No water filling the tank. Ugh. I accidentally pushed the little floating thing down and the water suddenly turned on. Silly me, I had the stupid thing locked in the up position and it thought the tank was already full. I must have flushed that thing 15 times, laughing each time it worked and didn't leak. Yeah. I rock.

Now if I could just figure out how to get the stupid cover off the light in the master bedroom so we can actually see in there.

I also bought a new coffee maker today. Yeah, I've gone these last couple of months without one. I've been making coffee in my French Press, which is such a pain in the butt. This one is awesome. It has a digital touchscreen that is only on when the coffee maker is on. It also has a built in water filter and delayed brew feature. I've already got it all set up to brew tomorrow. I'm excited to wake up to already made coffee! :) It also has a brew strength button so I can make "why bother" coffee and my "strong" coffee. Yay!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


A few years back, our school district decided it would be a great time to start building some new schools around our area. The high school we feed into was nearing capacity and there was a lot of potential growth in the area, so let's build a new elementary, middle and high school. Then, the housing market crashed. All of the new developments stopped in their tracks. The new subdivision slated for across from where the kids go to school currently has a lot of roads and streetlights but only two houses. And they are model homes. It's been sitting like that for two years. Of course, it doesn't help that those homes are between $500,000 and $750,000. I'm guessing there are at least 100 lots available. It's kind of sad to see everyday.

This school year, the new elementary school, TC, opened. It's at 1/4 capacity. Next school year, the new high school, BVSW, opens (this is where we will eventually feed into). It's projected to also be at 1/4 capacity and enrollment will probably open to anyone in the school district in order to fill it. The following year, what's currently known as Middle School 10 will open (when Jacob is in 7th grade). It's unknown what the enrollment will be at this point. I do know we will feed into it, so he'll go to PR for one year and then transfer over.

Shock of all shocks, our school district is $9 million short for next year. Do they delay the opening of the new middle and high schools? No. They decide to make massive cuts elsewhere.

Specifically, 4th and 5th grade band and strings is totally eliminated. I am more than unhappy.

Other cuts include: cutting 7th grade track (whatever) and all 8th grade sports (most kids play through the park district until high school here anyway). Cutting middle school French (they teach French?) and 1/2 of the full day kindergarten programs (they really need to cut them all and go to strictly 1/2 day, and get rid of the preschool program altogether, IMHO. There are no cuts slated at the preschool level). They also want to increase maximum class size at the elementary level by either 1 or 2 (max class size already is 26...and those classrooms are cramped).

I understand that it's belt tightening time but I just think cutting band and strings is unacceptable. I may not be popular for saying this but I've never seen a district that relies so heavily on paraprofessionals. I don't know exactly how many our school alone has but it's a lot. I get those that help with Special Education but there are several that just randomly help out with things like bus duty and making copies for the teachers. I never understood that. Yeah, it would suck for the teachers to actually have to do stuff for themselves. They get quite a bit of planning time per day (over an hour)...let them do it then. Or, do like Hannah's teacher does and ask a parent to come in and do it for her.

I'm quite sure band and strings will be cut, which will be a huge shame. I guess we'll have to go private for lessons for Daniel and Hannah when the time comes. And for Daniel, that's next year.

Monday, March 08, 2010


I'd had all these plans for today but my friend, Teresa introduced me to My Town on Facebook and all those plans went out the window. Stupid Facebook games.

My big win, however, was that I finally got the kids' bathtub unclogged. It's so nice to see water finally swirl down the drain and actually disappear. Yay me. I think Wednesday is toilet day. I need to replace the innards of the toilet in the master bath. It's just worn out and just runs and runs. I finally had to turn the water to it off. It's just laziness that I haven't fixed it before now. If I could just figure out how to get the cover off the light in our bedroom, I could actually have real light in there. *sigh*

We started plotting out our summer and plugging in definite dates. Daniel's Webelos camp is in July and Jacob has Boy Scout camp for 10 days in June. He's so excited...I'm getting seriously upset. It makes me sad. He becomes an official Boy Scout later this month. Where has the time gone?

I ordered a few plants from Spring Hill Nursery the other night. Of course, they won't be delivered until it's time to plant them but I'm excited. I ordered a coneflower grab-bag for the back garden. I'm really excited for that garden. This is the 4th summer for that garden and things have spread out so nicely. The black-eyed susans are the best part of the whole thing. They cover the whole middle. I've never been able to get daisies to grow so they died off a few years ago. The coneflowers have done well and they do well with very little watering. I can't wait to see how my roses do this year. I always get compliments on them. I just hope my Russian sages come back. I accidentally hit them with some Roundup last year and they all but died.

I'm also excited for the strawberry plants I ordered. I can't seem to grow a vegetable to save my life so I thought I'd try some fruit. My tomato planters from last year will grow petunias or something this year. Why can't I grow veggies?!?

We finally got the date for Daniel's second July. We're on the list to get in earlier, so hopefully we will.

Two more days until Spring Break. :)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday, Friday, FRIDAY!!!

My entire house had the hardest time getting up this morning. Mike was about 30 minutes behind where he normally is and the kids and I were running about 10 minutes behind. It's all okay, though, because I usually get the kids to school pretty early anyway (get there early and wait, right Dad?). We didn't have a lot of wiggle room since Jacob had hall monitor duty this week but we were okay on time.

I also couldn't come home and sit on my butt since today was South West Day in the third grade. I got to work in the Texas room, where they were line dancing and eating nachos and chili. Nice. We were all trying to remember the Boot Scootin' Boogie...I'll have to YouTube that one later. We did teach the kids the Cotton Eyed least a modified version of it. Some of the kids (mostly boys) were unwilling to participate but most had fun. After several hours of working at the school, I often wonder how in the world I ever taught all day. I'm always so wiped out.

I'm having a hard time believing we don't have much going on this weekend. We had nothing tonight, so the kids were outside from the time we got home until after 6 when they came in for dinner. It was so awesome to look around and see kids everywhere. I'm so excited for Spring! We also don't have anything going tomorrow, which is a first. I think I might break out the grill for the first time this season. That is, if it doesn't rain. :(

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hanging In There

It's been a pretty laid back week since the big ER thing on Monday. Mike went back to work on Wednesday, even though he probably should have stayed home another day. We decided to skip TKD on Tuesday but the weather turned nice so the kids finally got to go outside to play for an extended period of time. Jacob and I have been out playing catch in the afternoons, trying to get him ready to go for baseball season. He's so excited.

After his last season, two years ago, we never thought he'd want to play again. His coach was mean and was very hard on the boys. He also only played the best kids on the team (which is completely against the rules...each boy may not sit more than one inning and Jacob was sitting two to three innings at a time) and the coach didn't seem to care about actually teaching the kids the fundamentals. I recently found out that most of the kids on that team jumped ship after that season and after another bad season last summer, that team no longer exists.

It's shocking how competitive how these teams are...and they're only in the 5th grade. Many teams cherry pick their teams so it makes it hard for the kids that like to play but aren't very good to get on a team with their classmates. When I signed Jacob up this year, I specifically said I wanted him on a low to mid level team (there are three levels) and preferably with his friend, Jett, who goes to a different school. I'm still not sure what team Jett landed on but the team Jacob did seems wonderful.

First of all, you have to love a team that starts the year off with a pizza party. That was tonight. There are three other boys from Jacob's school on this team, one from Jett's school, two from another school in our district and the rest are from a local parochial school. It seems that all have had really bad experiences in the past with coaches so they are very sensitive to that. Jacob also really likes his teammates (they all sat together and were talking and laughing during dinner) so I think this is going to be great for him. I just wasn't ready for the season to start so early. Formal practices don't start until the end of the month but batting practice starts on Sunday. Jacob can't wait. Since the season ends at the beginning of July, it's going to be a long season.

Hannah starts soccer in three weeks. *Sigh*

Monday, March 01, 2010

March is Stupid

Today has simply sucked. No other way to put it. It started of nicely the kids off to school with no major fights and came home and cleaned up a little. My phone rings around noon and it's one of Mike's co-workers telling me that he had taken Mike to the ER and that he was having similar symptoms as last time, minus the 100 degree heat and basketball game. I was fine until I got into the car on the way there when my hands began shaking.

I talked to Dad until I arrived at the hospital and the nice lady in the front showed me to Mike's room. The guy that brought Mike in took off as soon as I got there and we hunkered in. We just didn't know we'd be hunkering in for as long as we did.

At the three hour point, we'd only been seen by a nurse twice and not a single time by a doctor. I went out and complained. This brings in a nurse who says, "so I hear that you're thinking of leaving." We really weren't but I did pull that card out of my back pocket. She and I get into a scuffle while Mike just sank deeper and deeper into the bed. I'm quite sure he was thinking, "just shut up. Just shut up." Unfortunately, I went into Mama Bear mode and there was no turning me off until I was done.

She tried to tell me that there were 5 more important cases that came in...I told her that, to me, there was nothing more important than the case in that room. I told her that I understood there were other people in there but it takes nothing for a nurse to poke her head in and just ask how we're doing. Two visits in 3 hours is unacceptable. I ended my rampage with a few surprise tears. I hadn't been expecting those. They added a nice touch because the nurse went from all pissed off to very apologetic. Wow...Mom would have been so proud. Fortunately for the nursing staff, I had to leave to pick up the kids. I had intended on coming back but Mike told me to stay at home with the kids (amazingly, a lot of times I had called, there was now a doctor or nurse in the room) because he had to have some more tests done and he didn't want the kids going out of their minds.

We get home and realize I have forgotten to put Alice in her crate. The one time I forgot. Ugh. Daniel says, "Mom, there's something wrong with Alice's eye." I take a look at her and her right eye is almost completely swollen shut. Seriously? I call the vet and they tell me to come right in.

I pull up to the vet's office only to discover that I'd forgotten my purse at home. We pull out and Alice begins throwing up all over my van. This is just getting better and better.

Back at home, I grab my purse, a towel and Oriana's leash (Alice's is now gross) and we head back to the vet.

When we get there, I explain that I don't know if she's gotten into a fight with one of our other animals or if she's just gotten into something. The vet tech comes around to take her back so they can test her eye for abrasions when we both notice the huge red splotches on her tummy. Fanfreakingtastic. After the abrasion test, they take us back and the vet says that her eyes and ears look good so we're looking at some sort of allergic reaction. They give her a shot of Benadryl and a shot of steroid and tell me to take her home and give her a bath. He also tells me to give her a children's Benadryl every 8 hours for the next 3 days and to give him a call on his cell at 7 tonight to let him know how she's doing. He gives me the receipt with his cell number on it and sends us on our way.

Back at home, I give Mike a call to see how he's doing (it's now 5pm) and he said he was still waiting on test results. About this time, Scott (one of Mike's employees who is also a friend of ours) calls to see what's up. I tell him that I'd been sent home (probably for bad behavior LOL!) so he says he'll head over there on his way home and give me a call. The two of them decide that Mike will catch a ride home with Scott (Mike wasn't in a condition to drive) so that I didn't have to hike up there. Nice.

Mike gets home a little after 6pm and tells me he has Mastoiditis, which is "an infection of air cavities within the bone behind the ear, called the mastoid It starts when germs from an ear infection move into mastoid air cells. Mastoiditis is much harder to treat and much more serious than ear infection." No wonder he'd been so freaking dizzy. They gave him a prescription for Cipro and a referral to an ENT. He'd better make that ENT appointment.

I called the vet a little after 7 and he thanks me for the call because he'd be worrying about her all night. Too cute. I love our vet.

We still don't know what she got into that caused the insane allergic reaction. Nothing was out of the ordinary (aside from a chewed up cardboard box) so we'll probably never know.

I'm so tired and the tension in my back is unbelievable. I've got some Peeps, some carmel cone Haagen-Dazs and a glass of wine. Hopefully, that'll help.