Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday Bites/Turkey Day Countdown

Since last week's inaugural Wednesday Bites post was so successful, I've decided to make it a regular feature.


The first season of Sesame Street has been released on on DVD but has been rated adults-only. Apparently Cookie Monster is an addict and Bert was too grumpy to be rated acceptable for children. How the hell did my generation survive such atrocities?


Speaking of screwing with my childhood, Monopoly now has a version with electronic banking. Let's not teach our kids to count, for the love of fiscal responsibility. And how are you supposed to hide your $500 bills under the board?


If you want to play Santa in Sydney, Australia, you need to learn to say "ha ha ha." Apparently the PC squad Down Under decided it was offensive to women to say "ho ho ho." Should we stop using red lights in our Christmas decorations because of the suggestion of prostitution?


For those of you keeping score at home, the Thanksgiving countdown is commencing nicely. All items on the list have been completed and crossed off. Tonight is the pre-cooking prep, such as pie baking, cornbread baking, assembling the potato casserole and slicing the ham.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. I'll be back on Monday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Countdown - Tuesday

Well, the countdown is proceeding on schedule (knock wood). Actually, I'm a bit ahead of schedule. My class ended early last night so I was able to finish up Monday's list and scratch a couple of things of Tuesday's list. The girls did a good job of cleaning the dining room while I was at class. They also did not kill each other. Tonight I will have one cleaning upstairs and the other cleaning her room. That should keep them busy.

Tonight's activities include: cleaning out the refrigerator (as tomorrow is trash day); sweeping and mopping my kitchen and bathroom floors (so a quick once-over with the Swiffer before the guests arrive should suffice); and steam cleaning the carpets. I'm also making my chex mix and then putting it out of sight because dude, that stuff is like crack to me.

My parenting class was better than I thought. The instructor said she knew we didn't want to be there, so we could skip the break and end a half-hour early. Yay!

We watched a DVD of some scenarios and then discussed what not to do. The scenarios were a bit overdramatic but I can see them happening with divorced parents - complaining about late child support in front of the kids; calling the dad a deadbeat; calling a mom irresponsible because she was late picking up the children for visitation. However, one scene involved a dad and his new girlfriend drinking and smoking pot while the kids were in the other room. The kids complained to the dad that there was no food in the house. I'm thinking "if you're going to smoke that much pot, you should have food to combat the munchies!"

The instructor did tell us that the number one thing kids wish they had more of was *drum roll* - time with their parents. So, in the spirit of that, I had Maddy read out loud to me while I was cleaning in the kitchen. Kelli and I stayed up until about midnight just talking about different stuff. I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger, and yeah, I'm a little tired today. But having that time with them was cool.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Countdown - Monday

T-minus four days until the main event. I have my lists of things to do and things to cook, and let me tell you - I'm going to be one busy little girl.

Apparently I felt I didn't have enough going on this week because I scheduled a parenting class for tonight and tomorrow from 6-8 pm. Our state will not grant a divorce until both parents have completed a parenting class. The closest one to my house is a half hour away.

So, tonight's agenda is: leave work at 4:30; pick up cheerleader child at 5; slow down in front of the house so she can tuck and roll out the door and I can speed off on my journey to being a better parent; come home and referee the fighting that has taken place while I've been gone; and clean up my dining room. You may ask why I need to clean my dining room? Well, the computer desk is in there, so that needs to be de-cluttered. My daughter built a magnesium model over the weekend, so the fallout from that needs to be removed. There is a box of stuff from my old office that I brought home in September and it's still sitting on the chair in the corner. I know, I know. I ground my kids for that stuff. I need to dust the chairs and the china cabinet.

I also need to review my cabinets to see if there is anything else I forgot from my two-page shopping list. I forgot evaporated milk for the chocolate pie, and a jar of turkey gravy. Yes, I admit it, I do not make turkey gravy from scratch. Reason one - because I don't cook a whole turkey and reason two- I'm making everything else from scratch, so I can skate on the gravy.

I think I'll have one child clean the desk and the other one do the chairs. Perhaps if I keep them busy while I'm gone they will have less time to argue with each other. (Ha!! I almost typed that sentence without laughing).

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Boys Allowed

First, let me preface this by saying I am not anti-men. I love men. I'm can change my own tire, mow my own lawn and kill my own spider, but I have no problem admiring a man who does it for me, especially without me having to ask. Quite frankly, I'm pretty impressed when they do it without expecting a pat on the head. Did I get a pat on the head when I cooked your dinner, washed your underwear, or birthed your child? Yeah, I didn't think so.

In the few months that I haven't had a man living in my house, I've noticed some things. My laundry piles have been cut in half. Who knew he wore that many clothes? Cleaning the bathroom is a breeze now. In fact, it stays cleaner longer now. Ditto on the rest of the house, and if I get the urge to vacuum at 9:30 at night, I can and not fear that I'm interrupting his TV coma.

I've also taken care of some a lot of little stuff around the house that we'd talked about doing but for some reason they never got done. Like sealing the kitchen door, re-grouting the bathtub and winterizing the lawn. I'm Annie Oakley with a caulk gun.

Don't get me wrong, it sucks sometimes that I now have to do all that stuff, in addition to the long list of mom stuff I already had, but I don't mind in the long run, because I have a sense of accomplishment when I'm done.

I'll be honest, I hired someone to clean my gutters. It's a two-story house with a pretty steep roof. In the end, I got it taken care of, so I can still claim a sense of accomplishment.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Vacation...All I Ever Wanted....

I recently started at my new job, so I don't get any vacation time off for a while. However, that doesn't mean I can't have a mini-vacay, so that's what I'm doing Saturday. I found a great rate on a nice hotel near the outlet mall, and I'm going to do some Christmas shopping Saturday and stay overnight, and maybe get up and do some shopping Sunday before I come home.

I like staying in hotels...nice hotels, that is. I've been lucky in that I've never stayed in a dumpy hotel. I've read hotel reviews online and sometimes the reviews are less than favorable. Some of them are downright scary.

I think my favorite hotel so far was the Marriott in Chicago. It had a comfortable bed, it was nicely decorated, and I could see part of Lake Michigan from my window. Oh, and it was a block from the Magnificent Mile and from Rush Street. That might have something to do with it being my favorite.

What's your favorite? Or your horror story?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday Bites

Not in the sucky "this bites" way, but more like little random bits of thought. I think I'm coming down with a cold and I'm tired and I can't really think of much more than two or three sentences at a time so...


I took my 8-year old daughter to see Bee Movie on Friday. If you liked Seinfeld, you'll like the movie. It seemed to me to be one long standup routine. I amused myself by guessing the voices. Oprah is a judge. Chris Rock is a mosquito.


Thanksgiving is a week away (technically 8 days but I have to start baking pies on Wednesday so it's a week to me). My dad and his wife are coming to my house. I'm very excited that I got my dining room re-decorated before they came. I was writing out my menu and realized we are having three kinds of potatoes - mashed, sweet and cheesy hashbrown casserole. Starch overload, anyone?


I can't find any casual shoes that I like. I can wear jeans to work every day, but on days I don't wear my heels I have either my boots or my clogs. I went shoe shopping at lunch and couldn't find anything. I don't want a ballet flat and I don't want a grandma heel. Suggestions?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Update - Still Angry, Still Irrational

My brother isn't coming. Bring on the disappointment.

Oh, and for those of you thinking "why don't you just go there?" - in order for me and my girls to fly to California I'll need $1200. I'm sure I can crap that between now and January.

Grrrrrr. Why does it have to be so difficult?

I'm going to drown my sorrows in deep fried cheese.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Irrational Anger

My brother is going to Iraq in January. He'll be gone for a year. He's currently in Virginia for training, and he'll be done this Friday. About a month ago, I suggested that he try to change his flight to stop over here for the weekend before he goes back to California. He thought it was a good idea, and he said he'd do it. Well, fast forward to T-minus 4 days and he hasn't done it yet and everytime I ask him, he tells me he'll do it later, or the travel agency said to call back in a day or two, blah blah blah.

If he doesn't come here, I won't be able to see him until after he gets back from Iraq. I can't afford to fly to San Diego, and it's not just me that won't see him - my daughters and my dad and his wife won't see him, either.

So, I'm angry at him for suggesting it in the first place and getting my hopes up; for putting it off; for not giving me a straight answer; and for making me so mad in the first place.

I'm being selfish and irrationally angry. I can't help it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


With the holidays approaching at breakneck speed, I'm thinking about holiday traditions, and how I've passed on some of what I did when I was younger, but added my own to be something special that my girls and I do.

Growing up, we had ham for Thanksgiving. I don't like turkey, and my parents weren't big on turkey either. We also had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, yeast rolls, and pecan pie. Now that I'm hosting Thanksgiving, we have the above, plus green bean rollups (green beans rolled in bacon and covered with melted butter and brown sugar - yum!), and Jessica salad (pistachio pudding, pineapple and cool whip mixed together). I only make sweet potatoes and cranberries if my dad comes for dinner. Otherwise, they're nixed because no one else likes it. I still don't make a turkey. It's not tradition.

When I was younger, my mom would put up the tree, and then she would string the lights and the garland. She used pearls for garland. I have a garland of pearls and gold cord that I use now. Once she was satisfied with that, she would let me and my brother hang the glass balls, but we had to make sure we didn't have too many of the same color together, or too many in one spot. Because she was anal that way. Then my brother and I would hang our ornaments - Snoopy on a sled for me, and a tiger in a circus cage for my brother. As we made ornaments in school, we would hang those, too. I still have my Snoopy (he lost his sled a long time ago), my brother's tiger, and some of my school ornaments.

Now for Christmas, I put on the Charlie Brown Christmas DVD and, I put up the tree, string the lights and the garland. I let my girls do the ornaments. Each of my girls has their own set of ornaments that they hang. Now that my oldest daughter is, well, older, she hasn't been around sometimes when we decorate, so she tells me to hang them. It's just not the same, so I wait until she is home and make her hang them. My kids hang some of my older ornaments if they want, but Snoopy is mine. I hang him, in the same spot, every year. It's a tradition.

As my girls have gotten taller, the ornaments have been spaced out more evenly. But I loved it when they were shorter - they would hang them all in one space, or all along the bottom of the tree. And yes, I would eventually space them out. Because I'm anal that way.

My girls get oranges in their stockings, because I did when I was little. Kelli doesn't even like oranges, but she gets one. It's just a tradition.

Finally, my girls and I get into the car, put on the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and drive to Our Lady of the Snows ( to see the lights. Last year was the first time that Jessica, didn't go with us. I may have cried a little, but don't tell her that.

I've kept some of the traditions from my childhood, but incorporated some new things that I hope my kids will keep doing, and add their own traditions. I bet Kelli won't give her kids oranges. Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Can Only Lead to Some Kind of Visit by the Authorities

Last February, one of my dear friends had a divorce celebration party at a spa. I met a wonderful group of ladies (girls, chicks, babes!) and we had a fabulous time drinking wine, getting facials and massages, and just generally being loud and obnoxious. All while wearing robes.

Now that I'm the divorced girl, I can't duplicate Tawnya's generousity, but I can cook. And mix a mean cocktail. So, we're planning a get-together for December. I hope we can all get together again and drink some more and be loud and obnoxious. We'll wear clothes this time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

All The Good Ones Are Gay, Married, Or They Take Visa

I was having lunch with my friend yesterday. She was lamenting the fact that, although she'd like to break up with her boyfriend, she doesn't want to be alone during the holidays. I asked her if being with someone who makes you miserable was better than being alone. Without hesitation, she said yes.

I told her that maybe a good money making scheme would be a rent-a-date business. We could sign up some single men and match them up with single women who need a date for a Christmas or New Year's Eve party. She said that had already been done, and it was called an escort service.

How afraid of being alone do you have to be to stay with someone who doesn't make you happy?

Monday, November 5, 2007

How I Met the Girlfriend

I went out with my ex-husband's cousin and some other friends on Friday night, and we wound up at a fun little bar in STL. My friend brought along his sister in law. After a couple of hours, he asked me if I'd seen his SIL. It's not a big place, so after looking around and not seeing her, I surmised she must in the ladies' room. Yep, there she was, hunched over the toilet. "You okay?" I ask. "uhh huhh," she replies. The bartender comes over to me and says "Your friend is pretty drunk, you need to take her home." Um, okay. Apparently at some point she became my responsibility, which I immediately passed back to my friend. She ain't my sister in law.

We pour her in the car, and my friends and I go to this dive diner, have ham and cheese omelets, and go back to the house to watch The Office. Funny stuff.

Fast forward to Sunday - the ex drops off our daughter and asks me "did you have fun Friday?" I say yes, figuring his cousin had said we were out. No big thang. He calls me later, around 9:45, and I figure he just wants to tell our daughter good night. Oh, no, he wants to talk to me. Yippee. The Cowboys are on, damn it! But I gave him the almost final draft of the divorce papers a few days ago and figured he wanted to talk about that.

He tells me he took our daughter to the park and that my friend and his SIL were there too. I say okay. He says "I just wanted to let you know." "Let me know what?" "That I'm dating her. What did you think of her?" I say, "Um, I drug her out of a bar after watching her puke. I'd say she needs to learn to hold her liquor." He thinks I'm kidding. Bless his heart.

So, yep, that's how I met his girlfriend.