Loaded up and ready to go!

We are still on vacation and this post (like the ones before it) were written in preparation of our trip. I should be home tomorrow and hope to jump right back into my routine!

In preparation for our 6-8 hour trek north I made the decision to load up my MP3 player with my ITunes gift cards. I had $55 to spend (man, I am really splurging on myself lately).

In the end I had 57 new songs and nearly 4 hours of new music! I am so PSYCHED to drown out the world on our ride up (and since we are heading up at night I won't be ignoring the kids...although I am not sure that would be a bad thing).

It was a process, however. I had to find and purchase all the music, burn it to CD and THEN rip it into MP3 format. Honestly, I am thinking an Ipod would have been SO much easier (yeah, thanks a lot SITS :). Ripping each song can take 5+ minutes each...what a pain in the arse!

I bought a WIDE array of music. And, in no particular order, here they are. I took many of your suggestions (as well as the suggestions of people over at Twenty Four at Heart's blog) and many songs that I just love. Some cheesy, some predictable, some crazy...

Rehab - Amy Winehouse
Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
Shake Ya Tailfeather - Murphy Lee, Nelly & P. Diddy
Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
I Will Survive - Cake
What's Up? - 4 Non Blondes
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel
American Girl - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Summer Love - Justin Timberlake
China Girl - David Bowie
Fire and Rain - James Taylor
America - Neil Diamond
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
Hallelujah - Kate Voegele
Swing - Trace Adkins
A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix) - Elvis Presley
I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry
Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
Stay - Sugarland
Viva la Vida - Coldplay
Violet Hill - Coldplay
Bubbly - Colbie Caillat
Realize - Colbie Caillat
Mercy - Duffy
Hometown Glory- ADELE
Ventura Highway - America
Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
Laid - James
SOS - Rihanna
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Jesus, Take the Wheel - Carrie Underwood
Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland) - Madonna
These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Jessica Simpson
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
What Hurts the Most - Rascal Flatts
Because of You - Reba McEntire & Kelly Clarkson
Who Knew - P!nk
Your Song - Elton John
Songbird - Fleetwood Mac
Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel
Faith - George Michael
Beer for My Horses - Toby Keith & Willie Nelson
I Don't Wanna Be - Gavin DeGraw
Strong Enough - Sheryl Crow
Wild Horses - The Sundays
You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
When the Stars Go Blue - Tim McGraw
You'll Think of Me - Keith Urban
Across the Lines - Tracy Chapman
All for You (Full Band Version) - Sister Hazel
Yellow - Coldplay
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
All My Love - Led Zeppelin
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
You're My Best Friend - Queen

Now, Nicki, I am sure that I could have gotten most of these songs from you and, if I wasn't such a loser that waited too long to make up her mind and then wants instant gratification, I would have...


Franklin Park Zoo

It has been raining here in Crazy Town for about 4 weeks. You think I exaggerate? Nope, not a bit. Honestly, I can't remember the last time we had two days in a row of sun. Thankfully, the day I chose to bring the kids to the zoo was ONE of the sunny days.

Kirby and decided to take them together. It is near impossible for me to take both boys to the library by myself, never mind a big zoo, in the middle of Boston, in one of the worst neighborhoods.

It was a nice day. There was no rain while we were there (although there were a few sprinkles on the way to and from). We had a great time.

Remember the camera that I have not been allowed to touch? Well, Kirby forgot it. The batteries died on the camera that I brought and my camera phone's memory was full....so we didn't get very many pictures.

Before we left the car. Just in case Andrew decided to run:




I took this picture with my camera phone:
















We met up with Josiah while we were down there (he lives right in that area of Boston) and went out for ice cream.

We were all exhausted at the end of the day but the kids had a great time.


Pictures - one of the only ways to remember the night.

Heads up, there may be a photo or two that some people may find offensive.

I finally got the pictures from my first weekend away from the kids. You know, the one that I was terrified of...

I had a great night and, thankfully, have been supplied the photos so I can offer you a play by play. Honestly, I didn't forget much about the night, but some things are a little fuzzy.

The night started with a round of these:


Can you say YUMMY??


This is my DD (aka Josiah). How good of a DD could he be when he is using the camera upside down???


This is the man whose one goal was to get me trashed. Mission accomplished.


We saw a few interesting sights on our way through Portsmouth:



The brothers:



The group:


The beads (Willie got them for me, I wasn't brave enough to show my boobies...this was before Vicky and I became friends):


The stairs (I tell you, they got scarier and scarier as the night went on):


The drunks:


My bestest male friend in the whole wide world:




The walk to the car (I doon't think he was holding me up but it is more than possible):


The DD who is, possibly, getting a little tired of the complete drunkards:


The drive home (I SWEAR he was sober)...he just doesn't drive much...really!


It was exactly what I needed for my first weekend away. It is not something I do often (honestly, in the past 10 years I have gotten intoxicated twice...this is a picture of the NEXT weekend I was out without the kids).


I don't remember this picture being taken....until I was looking through my phone.

I think I am over my drunken weekend state. Next time: spa weekend by myself?


Sunday Repost: The breakfast that nobody would eat and the pedicure that nobody noticed

Still on vacation. Plan on being back Monday or Tuesday. I have enough blogs planned to last until then...so I better be back.

Sunday Repost: The breakfast that nobody would eat and the pedicure that nobody noticed....

Gosh, it has been a little while hasn't it? I guess there is a ton to catch up on! Let's see...

Since last I wrote, the children have had an additional 2 snow days! Ugh! The day before Valentine's Day and today. I think we are at 9...but I could be wrong. It feels like 20 some days and other days it just feels like it is beginning to become normal, routine, almost.

One day last week I got a pedicure. Nobody noticed (aside from another woman in the salon who shouted "look at those toes" in reference to my bright red polish for Valentine's Day). I think I will share it here in hopes for a few comments (who says you can't go fishing in the winter).


I realize more every day that when you become a mom you tend to get lost in the crowd. That is mostly okay because the attention should be on my children. That is ESPECIALLY okay after receiving a Valentine like this:


Now, in case you can't read that it says:

To mom love zach
I love my mom. She
is nice. She
is grate!
Happy Valentins day

Nobody told him to do that, he came up with it all on his own...ain't nothing better than that! ESPECIALLY when you make this for breakfast and you are told that "I'm not really hungry" by everyone in the house aside from the human vacuum (Andrew):


I have to tell you, making heart shaped pancakes is no easy feat - at least not for me. Thankfully, the kids had a two hour delay that morning so I didn't have to get up too early to make a breakfast that nobody would eat...

It was also 100% okay because every time that Andrew saw me he would say "I love you, Mommy. Happy Valentine's Day." What a sweetheart :)

I had 4 clients on Valentine's Day, 3 of which are single women. I decided that I would buy them roses since they were very unlikely to get them from anyone else that day. It certainly warmed my heart to warm theirs. What wonderful reactions from every single one of them. That was also a PERFECT Valentine's Day gift!

Being the week of LOVE, I suppose it was fitting to read a couple of lovey dovey books. Both PS, I Love You and Sam's Letters to Jennifer were added to my "have read" list...

I have mentioned before how much I love Nicki and how she and I seem to run parallel lives in many ways...books are not one of them.

I love her to death (I think I need to make that more than perfectly clear) but, man oh man, we have different tastes in books! Neither book is awful by any means but they are sappy and lovey and, well, I think you get the point.

PS, I Love You was recently made into a movie starring Hillary Swank. I think it is probably a wonderful "chick flick". Sam's Letters to Jennifer was sweet and beautiful and makes you believe that romance like that can actually happen (if you aren't as lucky as Jessi and already have that on a daily basis, hehehe).

Nicki told me recently that I read really "heavy" books and I think she is right. And I think that "light" books are okay for me, every once in a while, but I can't do too many at once. On to The Time Traveler's Wife...

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and that you get millions of compliments on your pedicures, that everyone eats your breakfasts, that you heart is warmed from warming someone else's and that you read whatever books make you happy - and lots of them!


Please don't let the bears eat me...

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, last time we were up at camp we had a bit of an adventure in the woods.......

At the camp there is a journal. Before you leave you can write down your memories of your visit. I love it. It is a great way to see what everyone else is doing up there. It is a great way to share memories and remember things that you had once forgotten. It is also a great way to remember the neighbor's names (cause I am SO bad with names). And last year, it was a great way to discover new adventures.

In the journal someone made mention to the fact that Uncle Bruce had built a bridge somewhere on the land for Mad Max (Mad Max was one of my Uncle's creations...a cross between a bulldozer and a tractor with a plow on the front). They also mentioned that you could get to the bridge by foot following the logging path. Tom said he had been there and that he could lead us through.

So off we went on the trek to the bridge the Bruce built...

I had forgotten my sneakers so I was hiking in flip flops which wasn't a big deal until the "path" became a jungle. At first the path was nice and clear. Every few feet more brush would appear. Soon we were hiking in thick brush up to my waist. A had to be carried on Kirby's shoulders because it was taller than he was.

I was getting eaten alive. The bugs were horrendous and the brush kept ripping at my skin. After about 45 minutes I was done. Irritated, tired, hungry and hurting. I wanted to turn around. Kirby wanted to keep going. We argued (shocking, I know), I won.

There was a problem, however. We turned around and, somehow, lost the path. It could have been that the brush was taller than my children so the "path" didn't really look like a path. It could have been that in my bloodless, starving, delirious state I got confused. Whatever it was, we were lost. Badly.

I must say here that Kirby has NO sense of direction. He believes he does and for the sake of the next 10 months I would never tell him otherwise. But he doesn't. North, South, East, West do not make sense to him.

So Kirby kept telling me that the path I was choosing was wrong. "We couldn't have come from that direction" he kept telling me. "It must have been this path"...

I didn't freaking care which path we came down to begin with I just wanted OUT! We were walking by piles of bear and moose crap...the bugs were eating me...the kids were whiny...it was starting to get dark...I WAS SCARED.

Z was scared and kept blaming Tom for getting us lost...I was scared and kept blaming Kirby for not letting me turn around sooner...and I think a small part of Kirby was scared that he may not be able to get us out. And poor Tom was scared because he was the one that lead us out there to begin with...and did I mention that we kept walking by PILES OF BEAR CRAP?

This was about the time that Momma went PSYCHO. Between the lack of food, low blood levels due to mosquito bites, the dwindling sunlight...the whiny children and pissy Kirby....and the fact that I was TERRIFIED that we were going to be lost in the woods forever and get eaten by one of the bears (that I am sure were rather large judging on the size of their crap)....well, I lost it.

I don't remember what was said. It is too humiliating to look back on. I am sure that my complete meltdown did not help matters. I am sure that I only succeeded in terrifying my children more....but I couldn't help it. I lost it. Completely lost it. I am ashamed of the way I reacted in an emergency.

Then, in a moment of sanity, I regained my ability to function like the sane, rational, smart, independent woman that I am.

I stood in the forest, caught a glimpse of the sun and realized where I was. I remembered that sitting in the camp I faced the sun in that direction. I realized the way that we needed to go. And I started walking.

"This isn't the path we took to get in" Kirby kept saying.

I told him that I didn't freaking care what path we took to get in, this was the path that was going to take us out...

And it did. Because I am amazing!

This year we will be much better prepared for a hike...IF there is any hiking. I'm talking bug spray, water, sneakers, loaded pistol...whatever...


Vacation! and a thankful 13 :)

Today is the first day of our family vacation to camp. I wish I could tell you that I am blogging as we sit by the lake and enjoy the kiddos fishing...but I am not. Actually, what I am doing is blogging in the future - or would it be the past....You see, camp has no internet, no cable, no cell service - NOTHING! So, this post is actually being written in preparation for my vacation.

A bit about camp:

My uncle passed away about 9 years ago and his brothers (my father and my two uncles) took over his land and cabin in ME.

At that point in time there was no indoor plumbing...but there was an outhouse. Thankfully the women in the family put up enough of a stink that the boys did put in indoor plumbing.

It is a small cabin on an ENORMOUS piece of land that includes a good amount of lake property. There are few neighbors and even they are so far away that we could scream till the cows came home and they would never hear us. The land is so large that last year we got lost while hiking it (there were a few insane moments...I will save that story for another blog).

The lake is small, the fishing is tough but the kids have a blast.

I love that place.

It is too far for us to make the trek up regularly (it is about 6 hours from here but with two kids in the car the drive can easily turn into 8). In fact, in the 9 years since the brothers have owned it I have only been up twice.

Last year we decided to make it a yearly event. It was so much fun and such an inexpensive trip I couldn't see why not.

So, today, by the time you are reading this we should have arrived. We should have left very late last night (or very early this morning), made the trek while the kiddos were still sleeping, and arrived as the sun came up.

I won't be able to respond to comments and visit all my favorite blogs but bear with me....I will be back in full swing sometime next week. I have enough blogs written and scheduled to last through our time away so be sure to come back and visit!!

I can't wait to share all about our exciting adventures!

And, of course, it is Thursday (well, not really, but it IS, right?). Since I am doing this, almost, a week in advance bear with me :)

1) I am thankful that Kirby and I did not kill each other on either the ride to or from the zoo...and nobody was thrown into the Tiger's habitat.

2) I am thankful that we did not lose A at the zoo :)

3) I m thankful that we were able to see Josiah and spend some time with him. (Keep your eyes out for a post all about the zoo later on this week).

4) I am thankful for the rain. Because, honestly, it has rained for about 4 weeks and there is NO POSSIBLE way it can continue for our trip to camp...right?!

5) I am thankful for the white "punchbuggy" that has been sitting in the parking lot across the street for about a month now. Because A gets such a charge out of it every time we walk by (he has a thing for Herbie the Lovebug).

6) I am thankful that Mom took Z for a couple nights over the weekend. A is much better behaved without Z and vice versa.

7) I am thankful for Poland Spring Seltzer water because it makes it much easier to keep up with my water intake!

8) I am thankful that I did not break anything when I took a MAJOR fall down the stairs this week...home alone...at night...SCARY! (I am okay, think I may have chipped my tailbone but it feels MUCH better today than yesterday).

9) I am thankful for some amazing friends....I think I say this every week and I promise you it is NOT enough! They truly are amazing!

10) I am thankful that our Autism Awareness day will be August 23rd and almost over. Don't get me wrong...I have LOVED planning this and honestly LOVE the women that I am planning it with. It has been a lot of hard work and I am ready for it to be over.

11) I am thankful that I have all my blogs pre written and ready to posted during my vacation. I can't wait to come home and see all the comments!

12) I am thankful for good music than can help me drown out the world, sleep at night and get my groove on.

13) I am thankful that my life is good. There are rough times but I know that I will always make it through. Considering where I could be...my life is darn good!


Less TV, more sleep!

Kirby has a bad habit of turning the TV on in the bedroom, setting the sleep timer and falling asleep. I, unfortunately, am not able to fall asleep with the TV on. I watch it...many nights until 1am. I watch Will and Grace reruns, Sex and the City reruns, King of the Hill reruns, ET, The Insider, crazy PBS documentaries...you name it, I will find it.

One of the upsides of our separating (if there is such a thing as an upside to a separation) is that I have reclaimed the bedroom and reclaimed my sleep routine. After 10 years I have finally kicked the bedtime TV habit and I am LOVING it!

Kirby, unfortunately, has not kicked the habit. This means that while I am lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep, I can hear every word on the TV downstairs. It calls to me, I long to turn the TV in the bedroom on...I just want to see what is happening...but I don't.

I have started listening to music instead. I flip on my trusty MP3 player, turn it up if I need to, and drift into never never land, sleeping soundly through the night (well, as soundly as my lovely A will allow).

I've decided, however, that I seriously need a new MP3 player. You see, mine does not turn off on its own. I cannot create playlists. Therefore, I either wake up to turn it off again or get startled awake by A at my bedside having not heard him approaching.

It's official, the SITS automatic number generator thingy was wrong....it TRULY intended to pick MY number and award ME the Ipod. Seriously!


Good news and bad news

The good news is that my kitchen floor is clean.

The bad news is that A decided that he would help me clean it by standing IN the kitchen sink spraying water all over it.

5 minutes to take a phone call. Is that too much to ask?

Like I don't have enough to do today getting ready to leave for a week...

Facebook, you are killing me!

I thought having a MySpace account was enough. The small part of me that desires to be a teenager again was fulfilled with MySpace. I thought I was good.

I was wrong.

After much contemplation and much fighting, Nicki, Jessi, Josiah and Will talked me into joining Facebook. And now I am in trouble. Seriously.

The mob is after me and it's all because of Facebook.

You see, Facebook is an addiction waiting to happen. While it is much like MySpace there are many different things (like you don't get endless chain letter like bulletins and it is, a little, more grown up). Facebook also has applications (which MySpace started using recently but I never paid any attention).

One of the applications is called Mob Wars. You join a mob, place hits, do jobs, take over the city, make money, fight people, kill people...you invite more friends to join your mob and increase your ability to defend yourself against other mobs. You see, it is just like a real mob.

While I am incredibly wealthy, own a beachfront hotel, a yacht, a container yard and can fight most anyone at my level, I am in trouble.

You see, my Facebook friends were smart enough to recognize the risks of joining the mob. Now my mob is too small. I get attacked and can't defend myself. I can't do the jobs that need to be done because I don't have enough mob members. My health is dwindling, and those that I have fought and won are coming back with gusto....they have even put out hits on me!

I am scared for my life.

The mob is after me and I don't know what to do....maybe it's time to change my name and go into hiding just like the family in Goodfellas...

Total contest JUNKIE!!

Molly and Bunny over at The Rockapoodle Martini Company are having a contest to name their new Pear Martini. The winner receives some beautiful martini glasses from Swank Martini.

Honestly, I have never had a martini. Does that make me a loser? I think that I need to invite Molly and Bunny over to the East Coast to have myself a nice Martini Party...don't you?

So, I am working really hard to come up with a name for the martini which consists of Grey Goose Pear vodka, Van Gogh Vanilla liqueur and fresh pear nectar.

This is what I have come up with:

-Goosey Pear Martini
-Fresh Peary Goose Martini
-Goosey Fresh Pear

Boring? Quite possible...maybe I need a few of those martinis to be able to come up with some better names...

Anyway, go check out The Rockapoodle Martini Company, come up with a name and enter yourself. And, as always, let 'em know who sent you!

Oh, and Molly and Bunny, I tried to copy the code for the button...but the sides of your blog seem to cut off (something you might want to check out) and couldn't get the code correctly....


So, my twin west coast sister, Twenty Four at Heart (who isn't really my twin, but I think it's really funny to play up the fact that I think we are so much alike - what can I say, I am easily amused) is having a contest. The winner will get a $50 American Express Gift Card.

All you have to do is go comment ONE random fact about yourself. If you post a blog about the contest and link it to her blog you will get an extra entry.

Go check it out and tell her EricaB from Crazy Town, USA sent 'cha!


Vicky, you scare me!

Alex, if you are even thinking about reading this I encourage you to walk away right now. If you decide to read further just remember that you ventured at your own risk.

I have rather large breasts. When I got pregnant they decided that their (very barely) B cup was not enough. They turned into two full D cups...and depending on my weight they may even balloon up to DD.

Not only are they large but they have forgotten where they are suppose to be. Instead of covering my chest like they once did, they fall....to my knees. I am sure that the constant up and down of my weight doesn't help matters but they are not large and beautiful. I have realized that I could never be a stripper (crap, there goes my next career move).

With large breasts that need to be uplifted, you need a large bra that offers constant support. With my job I need something that is comfortable - I am constantly moving and can't be pulling it down and adjusting all day.

My Walmart bras were not offering that anymore. Not only were they not offering my breasts the support or flexibility but they were falling apart. Out of the two bras I bought a month ago the under wire had already fallen out of one and the elastic was near disaster on the other. I needed new bras. Period.

And since I am sick and tired of spending good money on bras that don't offer my boobies what they need and that fall apart within a month, I decided to head to Victoria's Secret.

So off I drove on Saturday morning, an hour away to the mall. I get to the mall, find a parking spot and head into the dreaded Victoria's Secret.

First off, they have THREE store fronts. Secondly, they no longer are just bras, panties and lingerie now they have lotions and clothes and perfumes and makeup. Lastly, I was SO terrified and SO overwhelmed that I didn't know where to go, what to choose or how to choose it.

I left. I just walked in and walked out.

WTF was wrong with me? I was so overwhelmed by every single decision that I had to make. My head was swimming with clothes and bras and smells and sounds and pretty girls that I would have to talk to in order to buy anything. I have been a bit of an emotional wreck lately...

So I did what any smart, independent, rational woman would do, I went back out to the car and cried. Then I called Nicki (who has seriously filled her quota of best friend related emotional meltdowns over the past month) who thankfully got me to call Kitty to come and save me (you see, Nicki lives in East ButtF%#k, ME and could never get to me).

My conversation with Kitty went something like this:

A near hysterical Me: "Where are you"

Kitty: "At lunch with my mom, why, what's up?"

Me: "I have an emergency"

Kitty with concern:"what's going on"

Me: "I need a bra and I can't get it."

Kitty now laughing: "What do you mean?"

Me: "Seriously, I am at Victoria's Secret and I can't do it. I don't know what to do. I am so overwhelmed. Can you come help me, PLEASE?"

Kitty now laughing hysterically (and her mom in the background also laughing hysterically): "Let me finish my lunch and I will call you when I am on my way."

Me: "Thank you so much...are you sure...okay, thank you, I LOVE YOU".

Seriously, I have the best friends EVER! Who else would have saved me in a bra emergency? Who else would have taken me completely seriously in a bra emergency (alright, she didn't take me completely seriously, but she did show up).

About an hour later (I sat in the car the entire time, terrified to move) Kitty shows up, laughing still, and walks me into Victoria's Secret. She marches me up to the lady and I explain that I need to be fitted (I figure I'm not getting any lately, may as well get my kicks from the fitting girl). Kitty even got fitted with me for moral support.

The lovely fitting girl shows me what will work best for me, picks them out, walks me to my dressing room and THEY FIT. They are perfect. They feel nice. My boobies are on my CHEST not my belly or near my knees. The look GOOOOOOD. I have fallen in love with my big, saggy boobies again.

$105 later (HOLY CRAP, I have never spent that much money on things that nobody will ever see), we head to Macy's where Kitty picks out clothes for me all afternoon and makes me try things on that I hate. I was even able to pick out a couple shirts and a pair of capris.

Thank god for Kitty and Nicki. I would never have made it through this day without them. Be forewarned ladies, I will call you next time I have to go, I'll give you a little more notice, though.


Sunday Repost: To make coffee or not to make coffee - the is the question

And here it is, my weekly Sunday Repost: To make coffee or not to make coffee - that is the question.

I love my coffee. However, over the past 5 years I have become, what I call, a coffee snob. I only drink it from certain places and it has to be done just right. It really isn't that hard, I drink iced coffee black from Dunkin Donuts. That's it, that's all.

I have run into some problems, however. Number one, different Dunkin Donuts can taste differently. Even my home shop tastes awful if the right people aren't working.

Number two, a large iced coffee a day costs me $2.69!! Nearly three dollars for coffee? Is that reasonable?

Number three, if I go to Dunkin Donuts with Andrew that means he needs to get something as well. The women from DDs have fallen in love with him. They buy him Christmas presents, take him on trips (or attempt, we tried to do the Mt. Washington this year in a rain storm) and come to his Christmas concerts! So, now we are running about $4 per day.

And lastly, if I go without my coffee I get a migraine to kill all migraines. Seriously, I end up on the couch crying, pulling my hair out (literally, did you know that pulling on your hair when you have a headache feels good and releases pressure). I suppose I could cut down slowly and deal with the migraines for a few days...but who wants a life without coffee?

For Christmas Kirby bought me two pounds of DDs coffee. I don't know why, I don't make coffee at home. But these past few weeks I decided it was time to start. Mind you, iced coffee can be tough to perfect. You can't just make a cup of coffee and pour it over ice - it doesn't work that way.

So, I've worked my best to perfect a cup of iced coffee at home. I have had coffee too strong and coffee not nearly strong enough. Since no one else in my house drinks coffee I have a small coffee maker. To make iced coffee you need to double the grounds and sometimes they spill over out of the paper and into my coffee...yuck!

Three weeks strong and I have figured it out! I am so proud. I can't remember the last time I had to go to DDs to buy my coffee. This saves me, at least, $21 each week! $21 is a half a tank of gas!

So why did I decide to blog about this? Why is this important enough to share it with all of you, my faithful readers?

Well, because the second I figured out how to make the perfect cup of iced coffee Andrew decided he likes to dump the pitcher into the bathroom sink. Meaning I lose my iced coffee and this is starting to make less sense economically.

Sometimes I believe that Andrew spends more time in the refrigerator than he does in bed. He takes bologna and cheese from the deli bags and takes bites - not bites from one slice he takes a bite from the entire pound, one single bite through every slice. He takes handfuls of peas (cooked and cold) and shoves them in his mouth, leaving stray peas along the floor. He drinks from the milk jug and runs through the house with strawberry jelly. And the worst of it? Lately he has started dumping my perfect iced coffee down the bathroom sink. Ugh!

We have tried everything. When me moved in the fridge was new and we switched the way the door opened - that worked for a few days - he was so confused. We have put locks on the fridge (he figured them out within two weeks - they were some of the best two weeks of my life). We have placed barricades in front of the fridge, we have threatened...nothing works.

Alas, I have figured out the perfect cup of coffee and I can't even enjoy it. I worry that it may be dumped within hours of making it...

So now I must decide if the $21 each week is worth my sanity...to make coffee or to not make coffee...that is the question.

Update: I decided to stop making my coffee. My sanity is worth more than $21 per week. Although, while we are on vacation I won't have a choice....mother crapper!!


Momma's Pissed!

I will forewarn you all that if you are not partial to foul language you better not read any further. I am mad and I am NOT holding back.

I am fucking livid. So far BEYOND pissed. Right now YOU are my therapy.

Back up....

We are heading up to camp on Wednesday. Camp is about 6 hours away (8 when you are traveling with children). Out of the vehicles that we have only one is reliable enough to make it that far and that one will not fit all of us and our stuff. What to do? Rent a car, of course.

I talked to my family and friends and they all recommended I go through Priceline.com to get my rental since I may be able to get it less expensive than the $500 I was going to pay through our local rental place.

So for the past 4 days I have been attempting to "bid" on my own rental car price. I started very low and slowly increased it. Finally today my bid was accepted. I was going to save about $100. I was psyched!

Now let me tell you, I do NOT use credit cards. I know myself and I refuse to get one. I don't believe in spending money you do not have and I am not interested in getting myself into a position I can't get out of.

I used my debit card. In fact, I checked the little box that said "check here if you will only have a debit card at the time of rental". I read the little line that said "you may be asked to show your round trip ticket if you are using your debit card" and I thought "I don't have an airline ticket, I already made that clear, no worries"....

I was wrong. SO fucking wrong!

As I was looking over my itinerary and reading over the "important information" from Alamo it says "renters with debit card will also be required to show proof of round trip airline travel in order to rent the vehicle". REQUIRED?! Now that is not what I understood from Priceline. They said they may ask to see it....

I called Alamo and was informed that it was REQUIRED. They don't give two shits if I am not flying. In order to rent a car from them with a debit card they require it. No, there is nothing she can do about it, I have to call Priceline. No, they will not make any exceptions. No, there is NOTHING she can (or will) do for me.

I called Priceline, I explain to Josie that I am not happy. She tells me she will cancel my order. Of course, cancelling my order could mean that they hold my money for UP TO 10 DAYS! I explain to Josie that this is NOT acceptable, that I will now need to rent a different car through a different rental company and that requires the MONEY THAT PRICELINE IS FUCKING HOLDING.

Josie transfers me to Alexandria who informs me that she needs to speak with my bank and ask them to release the hold. Alexandria then informs me that the bank will not authorize her to release the hold without my permission...could I please call them and call her back...well, not her because there is no way to get in touch with her but she has noted it on my account and I will be able to get right through....YEAH FUCKING RIGHT!

I call the bank, the woman on the other line laughs at me. She truly can't understand what the fuck I am talking about. It doesn't make any sense she tells me...they should have put it right through. She tells me to call my local branch.


I call my bank and get another banker who laughs at me. Obviously this is funny. There is absolutely no reason for Priceline to hold my money for up to 10 days. Seriously, computers talk, it should take seconds. Essentially, she tells me that Priceline is screwing with me. Thankfully she tells me that she will be happy to deal with the motherfuckers and call me back.

90 minutes later I had not heard from her. So I call her and she informs me that she can't get through to them. She keeps trying but they won't let her talk to anyone. WHAT THE FUCK?! I tell her that I will contact them and see if I can get them to call her.

It takes me over 10 minutes to get through (sure, Alexandria, thanks for all your fucking help).30 minutes after that I have explained to yet ANOTHER person what my fucking problem is and ANOTHER fucking person has put me on hold AGAIN. Carl comes on the line - I don't know who the fuck Carl is but I WAS talking with Maria. Obviously Maria couldn't handle me so she transferred me to Carl unbeknownst to me. Carl who speaks with a foreign accent and doesn't understand how to use a headset properly so you can barely hear him. CARL FUCKING TELLS ME THERE IS NOTHING HE CAN DO!


My bank tells me there is nothing I can do. Priceline FUCKING SUCKS and there is nothing they WILL do. So, I will await my almost $400 for the next TEN FUCKING DAYS!

Saving for this trip has been a big deal. I do not have expendable income. $500 was a lot for me to spend.

Now I am rational enough to see that I made an error in judgement. I should have contacted someone first, BEFORE I allowed them to charge my debit card. I don't know who or how because there is no way to contact anyone on the Priceline website...and I allowed them to pick the rental company...but I should have thought about it.

But tell me, what the fuck happened to customer service? Since when do businesses tell you "there is nothing we can do"...since when do people not have managers you can talk to? Since when do people no longer care who they are helping or pissing off?

It has been proven that people who receive good customer service typically only tell one or two people. People who receive BAD customer service will tell up to 10 people. I tend to do things in extremes...so there you go. I have told (potentially) the world.

Now we will deal with the LOCAL rental company. We will TALK to the people who work right down the road and there is no question in my mind that we will receive the customer service that you SHOULD get from ANY business - small or large. So much for trying to save a few bucks....$100 isn't worth the frustration or the knots in my back and neck...

And on top of it all, I have lost faith in William Shatner....GODDAMN YOU PRICELINE!!

Rediscovering my passion

I love my job. I am so blessed to be my own boss, make my own schedule and make my own choices.

Lately, however, I have started dreading going into work. I have been dreading working with my clients, listening to the same music, making the same strokes.

I couldn't figure it out. I was wishing for clients to cancel or no-show. I was hoping that I wouldn't book up for the week. I was hating my job.

This weekend, thankfully, I figured it out: I needed a change of pace. I needed to mix it up a bit. I was bored.

Recently, a good friend asked me to make a house call. I don't typically do house calls. I have an office, I pay to use that office, why would I work outside of it if I don't have to. But I agreed. I knew that he couldn't get to me and, besides all that, it has been a long time since I have seen him and wanted to visit. So I packed up my equipment (35+lb table, linens, music, lotions, etc) and made the 90 minute trek to his home.

Honestly, had one more thing gone wrong I would have turned around. I would have taken it as a sign that I was not suppose to be there.

My day was packed. I had a board meeting in the morning, the massage and dinner in the evening with a girlfriend in town from Chicago. There was no time to spare and I had to leave the house bright and early.

I got up late. I had been out the night before with another girlfriend who was visiting from NC and, honestly, I had too much to drink. I had left the van downtown (smart girl) and had to walk to get it. I realized at the moment I am suppose to leave that my linens are not dry and I don't have any clean ones. Later still. I get to my board meeting 40 minutes late (there was an accident on the way there and I had to take a completely different route). Still no time to spare.

On the way to my massage appointment I start to get nervous. Incredibly nervous (did I mention that this good friend is also an ex-boyfriend). I want to pull over and turn around. I call Kitty (she is my crisis counselor lately) and she talks me through it. I will not puke, I will make it.

On 495 it starts to downpour. I don't mean rain, I don't mean rain hard, I mean DOWNPOUR! I was doing 25 in a 65mph zone and PASSING PEOPLE! I should have pulled over but I was in the middle lane and couldn't see to safely do that. I had to put my hazards on because I knew that anyone coming up behind me would not be able to see my little Honda civic.

The rain slows down just in time for me to get off the highway and I get lost. Seriously lost. I end up heading into Boston...totally the wrong way. So lost that when I FINALLY get to his home I am over an hour late.

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, change of pace....

I asked him if there were any time constraints, he said no, I told him we were just going to work until we were done.

Seriously, it was one of the best massages I have ever given. Nearly 2 hours later we were done. I felt so rejuvenated afterwards. It was just me, the muscles and the music. I forgot about everything else and just worked. It was exactly what I needed.

I truly believe that if you find your passion and you make a career out of it you will forever be happy (that goes for you too Ms. Martini Molly). I was losing passion for my career...that can't happen. I need to not be bored.

I left there feeling so wonderful. I found my passion again and walked into work today feeling great about being there. I made a house call yesterday and didn't feel angry about it (of course, it was nearly a $400 day). I am looking forward to my three clients tonight.

I needed to mix it up. I needed to not talk and just work. I needed to remember why I started working to being with - I love the reaction. I love to make people feel better.

Thank god I found my way back.


Thursday's Thankful Thirteen

Just a minute ago it occurred to me..."OMFG IT'S THURSDAY". And that is exactly how the thought came into my head...OMFG. I am such a loser.

I can't disappoint on only the second week of my "Thursday's Thankful Thirteen". So here goes nothing, no preparation, no time to think...just do.

1) I am thankful that the boys were good for C yesterday while I worked ALL day.

2) I am thankful that Nana Sue came up and got those boys today to take them to see the submarine in Portsmouth.

3) I am thankful that A's ear infection seems to have cleared up.

4) I am thankful for tuna fish (one of the only things I have been able to stomach lately).

5) I am thankful for my Uncle Bruce who left his cabin with the family when he passed away.

6) I am thankful that I am allowed to make my own schedule which makes it incredibly easy when we want to go away for a week or so.

7) I am thankful for my bloggy award from Twenty Four at Heart!

8) I am thankful for belts. Or for the fact that I own a belt because I keep buying pants that are too big for me.

9) I am thankful for Kitty who save me from a bra emergency on Saturday when I called her in a panic from the parking lot of the mall (Victoria Secret scares me).

10) I am thankful that my children are bargain hunters and that Zachary will dig through piles upon piles of clothes at a street fair to find a shirt or a pair of pants that fit him.

11) I am thankful to have such an amazing group of women working with me at Embracing Autism. Our meetings last for hours because we love each other so much!

12) I am thankful for my sister Dana who works tirelessly as a social worker for the state. She does a job that I could never do (or I would become homicidal) and helps so many children. She also talked me through a rather difficult situation recently.

13) I am thankful for the sun that suddenly made an appearance. I have seen too little of it over the past 3 weeks and hope that it holds on through the weekend.

And one more just for good measure:

I am thankful that Blogger has a spellcheck button for my blogs. I can't imagine the errors that would appear if I wasn't able to check it!

There you are my lovely readers. Tell me what you are thankful for and share it on your blog too!


Thank you, thank you!

I worry that what I consider exciting news and what YOU consider exciting news are two VERY different things...

I have been awarded this:


My VERY FIRST bloggy award!

Twenty Four at Heart shared the bloggy love describing me as both a strange and awesome person all at once...I think that's nice, don't you?

Honestly, I can understand why she would have thought me strange. Each and every single one of her posts about her life in The O.C. remind me SO much of my life here in Crazy Town. Lots of people with big money, lots of gossip...lots of silliness.

Strange or not I am so excited about this award! Thank you Twenty Four at Heart! I love my new bloggy award!

So, as it seems to go, you are suppose to pass the award along to other deserving bloggers.

First Soy Sauce Packets and Epiphanies. Just when I was ready to give up on him Tony came back with gusto. His posts are often though provoking and other times completely hysterical. I encourage you to check him out.

And last, but certainly not least, is Have a Good Day Charlie. Sometimes Sophia and I live not too far from each other but have never met. She is such a creative person in her writing, her photos and her art. Her blogs often have me laughing until my stomach aches and you never fail to see a beautiful photo of the lake.

There are plenty of other deserving blogs out there but I know that many of the ones I read receive awards on regular occasion. And there are more than a few that I would nominate but they have their blogs set as private (you ladies know who you are).

Tony and Sophia, play along if you want, pass the award to other deserving bloggers. If not, eh, at least I had my 15 minutes (seconds?).


Nothing exciting...

I do HAVE something exciting to share but not enough time to sit down and actually do it...

A quick run down of my week thus far:

Ran the boys to my mother (and hour away) b/c the babysitter had to cancel and I desperately needed an appointment with my shrink (okay, she isn't really a shrink but I think it sounds WAY cooler than "Licensed Social Worker").

Swimming lessons, rec, school, swimming lessons, rec, school....WORK. Holy crap, I am working like a freaking crazy lady!

Doctor's appointment with A who has some goopie disgustingness coming out of his ear....EW! The doctor informs me he has no sense of smell..."does it smell fishy?" he asks. I inform him it smells foul, down right foul. Drops, culture...off we go.

Field trip this week for Z, last week of school for A (god help me). Trying to find a cheap rental car for our trip to camp....

Just craziness.

I DO have exciting news...I will do my best to blog about it soon enough!


Sunday Repost: "In the words of Sir Elton John"

Better late than never, right? I have had an incredibly busy weekend...but here's the Sunday repost. Enjoy! And be sure to come back tomorrow. I have some VERY exciting news to share!

In the words of Sir Elton John:

...the bitch is back!

Now I would never call any of my children that word - let's just make that clear right from the get go. But this morning, that song was playing LOUD and CLEAR in my head when Andrew got out of bed.

As you know, Andrew has not been feeling well. When I picked him up from school yesterday his aide mentioned that he was not himself at all. He was hiding behind her leg from teachers he would usually hug, he would be raging with anger one moment and happy as a clam the next and he seemed rather spacey all day. Of course, I attributed it to being out of school for a week (and of his routine) and coming out of this body draining sickness (even I felt spacey all day).

This morning the monster came out to play.

I got up and helped Zachary get ready for school. Andrew was sleeping soundly in my bed (on Daddy's side) so I left him there. There is no need for him to get up that early and I know he needs his sleep. I got Zachy breakfast and off to school and Andrew was still sleeping...

Come 9:30 I hear crying coming from the bedroom. I hollered up to him "I'm right here, baby". "YOU LEFT ME"...oh boy..."WHERE IS ZACHARY? HE LEFT ME TOO!". I explained that he was still sleeping when Zachary had to go to school. "HE DIDN'T SAY GOODBYE! WHERE'S DADDY? HE DIDN'T SAY GOODBYE EITHER" - everything was a pissed off scream...ugh.

From that moment forward, my sweet innocent child was exactly who Elton John refers to in that song..."The Bitch is Back". A line from the song: "I was justified when I was five, Raising cane, I spit in your eye" - yup that was him.

I got screamed at because I hadn't made him breakfast (in fact, I had made him breakfast just hadn't put it on the table yet). He yelled at me because he was cold (he refuses to sleep in anything but a diaper) so I got him dressed. Then he yelled at me because I wouldn't let him eat at the table (dressed) with a blanket covering him. And when I told him he was going to school - FORGET IT!

I finally got him calm enough to watch TV (quietly) and I jumped in the shower. Well, I don't know what happened while I was in the shower but soon he was in the bathroom screaming at me that there was something wrong with the TV and to "turn it off". I told him to turn the TV off himself, "I DID!! YOU TURN THE SHOWER OFF NOW!!". And then he told me he had cracked an egg on the floor. Oh man!

I jumped out of the shower, cleaned up the egg, saw that the TV was indeed working, got dressed and put him on the bus. No ifs, ands, or buts about it - he was going to school! Of course, I have to pick him up in about 15 minutes to bring him to a doctor's appointment (which he also managed to scream at me about this morning)...no amount of scrubbing my pedicurist did today soothed me enough to be prepared for him tonight...deep breaths...


And the big talk starts rolling in...

I was visiting with a friend the other day. I am going to call her Jelly (not because her name is Jelly or even her nickname...but I would rather not reveal my sources).

Jelly tells me that she was on the phone with someone from my town who wanted to chat all about me. Jelly, who knows everything, decided to pretend she had no idea what was going on. I have to assume it went something like this:

Townie who knows nothing of my life and conjures up truths to make everything sound much more interesting (we'll just call her Townie): "Did you hear about what is going on with her?"

Jelly: "No, what do you mean?"

T: "It is just so sad..."

J: "What?"

T: "Well, her husband left her for another woman, you didn't know?"

J: "No, I haven't heard that."

T: "It's just so sad, her having two autistic kids and all."

J: "Two?"

T: "Well, yeah, you didn't know?"


And this is where I have to assume that Jelly set her straight.

Freaking hysterical! Townie barely knows me. We have met a couple times through school and through a friend of a friend of a...well, you get the idea.

I told the person that I assume Townie got the information from. What cracks me up is the is NOT what I told that person. So either Townie feels the need to embellish the story (because it really isn't all that interesting) or the person I told felt the need to embellish (again, because it really isn't all that interesting and it would just be silly to pass along otherwise WORTHLESS information).

So those of you that may wonder why I posted THIS blog...wonder no more. The talk will ensue, I am sure this is just the beginning.

For those of you that wonder why I have started telling my clients...wonder no more. I know that they know (or will soon enough). I want to be the one they hear it from.

If you haven't heard the honest truth of the situation from me, well, it isn't all that interesting anyway...just listen to the townies, their stories are much better!