Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A funny thing happened this weekend....

Apparently if you leave a laptop out on the dining room table, your guests will help themselves to it. To check their e-mails. And not sign out.

I am now the surprised owner of the knowledge that Sam's cousin is not in the monogamous relationship that she thinks. Her dumbass boyfriend didn't think to sign out of his Yahoo account after he checked his e-mail. I had no clue until I clicked into what I thought was MY Yahoo e-mail.

He is still signed up for the Latin version of and is getting e-mails from women regularly. And doesn't delete them. A quick check of his sent items confirmed he is corresponding with several of them.

What to do, what to do.....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I love my friends but...

I am always amazed when I spend time with them at the differences between us. Yes, differences are good. They are why we seek friendships and relationships. But sometimes I am surprised at the way my friends act or respond to things.

We had friends over yesterday that we only see a few times a year. I mentioned them last week because their daughter and son came over for our son's birthday party. They came back this weekend for some swimming and grilling. In the span of 6 hours they had me pulling my hair out.

Some highlights of what bothered me:

They showed up starving. All 6 of them. We had barely started grilling and the swooped in and cleaned everything out. The kids were trying to take seconds before most of us had even had our first helping.

Everyone is eating the salsa. Don't let the 2 year old throw chips in the bowl.

Speaking of the 2 year old, don't tell my kids you are going to pull them off the trampoline so the 2 year old can bounce by herself because she's scared of being on there with so many kids.

Also on the subject of the 2 year old, why would you bring her over and let everyone kiss all over her before you tell us that the Tylenol is wearing off and her fever is coming back?

After searching the refrigerator my friend informed me that she was baking cookies and would I like some?

While baking cookies there is an uproar in the house so my friend comes to tell me that my daughter is crying and her daughter needs a band-aid. I go in to find my daughter with a bruised nose and red mark on her chin. I ask the girls what happened as my daughter sobs. Her daughter decided to push her way into the bathroom with my daughter inside and my daughter got hit in the face with the door. Did she mention that to me since she was right there or even reprimand her daughter? Nope to both questions.

Neither parent could be bothered to watch when their two kids were in the pool. Facing the other direction completely. Listen, I invited you and I didn't ask for anything other than fruit salad. I am NOT going to be soley responsible for watching 6 kids in the pool when 2 of them are yours.

When my friend got cold she went inside and spent the rest of the time texting. I understand its cold but its rude.

There was more and there were other annoyances from a few others who showed up (empty handed but drink like they are college freshman) but those were the major annoyances. I don't really feel much better about it but the weather is perfect, the pool temp is rising and I have the house to myself. I am sitting on the deck typing this in relative silence. Things are definitely looking up.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What the HELL was I thinking???

At this very moment, I am the 'mother' to four kids. Yes, four. The count stands at two 12 year olds, 1 ten year old and 1 six year old. I must have been smoking something mighty fine when I offered this deal. Too bad I used it all up before they took me up on the offer......

When my son was 4 years old, he met a girl in daycare. He was enamored with her from the beginning. He was always reserved and quiet and she was outgoing and loud. They were both only children and had doting parents who paid attention to their every sneeze, cough and hiccup. Her mother was soon to be married to a man with 2 sons and we were soon to give him a littler sister and then they moved away. The good part of the story is that our kids introduced us to each other and we have been great friends who stayed in touch in spite of their move 45 minutes away.

Fast forward to 8 years later. The former 4 year olds are now 12 and each has sisters now. She even has brothers. I give my friend a ton of credit because in addition to the 2 sons she has essentially adopted, they decided to have one of their own. Yes, that equals 4 kids under one roof. I question her sanity every time we talk but she handles it much better than I ever could.

Our kids have grown up very different but neither of them has forgotten the beginning of their relationship. She has turned into a beautiful pre-teen who is determined (read bossy), educated (read opinionated), and determined to be heard (read loud as hell). Even through all of that, I still see the gutsy little girl who stood up for my defenseless little 4 year old and I adore her.

My son's birthday party is tomorrow and the only way she could attend is if her mother dropped her off tonight along with her younger stepbrother. They live over 45 minutes away and their plans tomorrow could not include a trip here. My son has struggled with friendships since we moved here 3 years ago and doesn't have a lot of friends coming tomorrow. So I said ok and they came tonight. As soon as her mother left, 'The Mouth' started. She has taken control of the WII, questioned both boys on their manhood and told us when she was getting in the pool in the morning.

After tolerating all I could, I looked at Sam and asked if it was bedtime yet. He looked at the clock and sadly informed it that it was only 8pm. Currently, I am drinking myself into a stupor and praying for an instant pass-out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just in case you're the worrying kind

I haven't dropped off the face of the planet. I haven't moved to Tahiti. Although the move enters my mind daily. Who wouldn't love living in a grass hut on the water? Maybe not everyone but I would. It certainly appeals to me lately with the hectic pace of my life. Just a few updates....

We survived daughter's birthday. She turned 6 and it is a great age. She is very aware of her day and made the most of it. I ran back home from work to take her cupcakes and eat lunch with her. Can I just say school lunches still suck? Man those chicken nuggets felt like something that I fished out from underneath one of the kids' beds after 6 months of 'preservation'. We also had the pleasure of dining at McDonald's that night. I really tried to steer her someplace classier (Burger King would have done) but she wanted McD's.

We survived son's birthday/Mother's Day. Son turned 12 and was much more calm about his day. Once his presents were opened, he didn't really care about it. If we would have given him a loaf of bread, case of soda and a pot to piss in, we wouldn't have seen him all day while he played his new video games.

The weekend with the IL's was, well, as always it was interesting. Brother-in-law is feuding with Stepfather-in-law so didn't say two words to him in 24 hours. Mother-in-law is understandably caught in the middle. On the other hand, I had a great time with BIL's girlfriend. She and I had been e-mailing back and forth last week and I mentioned that I want the WII Fit. What do you think she got me for Mother's Day? Awwwww, I heart her ; )

On tap this weekend is son's pool party with his friends. It is supposed to rain again. What a shock. We got almost 5 inches of rain in 48 hours this weekend so of course we were all stuck inside. 10 people inside with 2 of them not speaking. You've got to love family get- togethers!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It takes so little to encourage me...

All props for this post go to a new commentor on my blog. Jess left a comment basically saying "if you're going to talk about it the least you can do is show us what the heck you are doing" ; ) I'm not sure she knows me well enough to know I am embellishing or taking artistic liberties with her innocent enough comment but it was all I needed to write this post.

I mentioned early on in my blog that we put in a pool last year. I don't write about it to brag but to merely state how overwhelmed we have been finishing off the landscaping and cleaning it all up after the winter. The pool was done at the end of July but what the pool company failed to tell us is that only the POOL was finished. We have done hours and hours of back-breaking labor since then to make it look finished. It is amazing how little tons and tons of money buys you. I won't shock you with the final amount the pool cost us but what would really shock is you is how much more we have had to do on our own to complete the look. Let me just say, Sam is from NYC where their idea of landscaping is asphalt and I lack in the inspiration department.

So we discussed it, talked to friends and went to Lowe's to figure out how we wanted to cover all the dirt that was left. The contractors don't throw even a seed of grass down on their way out with the final check. We decided on river rock around the retaining wall and on the side of the house so we wouldn't have mulch too close to the pool. It turned out really great.

But as you can see, we had exposed dirt very close to the pool. And what is worse is they had pressed it down hard so the only thing growing up was weeds. Here is a picture of the side you can't see (it would be left of where this picture is taken) where there was a huge drop-off due to the pitch after the grading.

You can't see it well because I didn't like that side so I didn't take many pictures of it. But this year we decided to sod the whole area in the spring so it wouldn't be all dirt and our landscaper said we wouldn't really be able to do sod on the grade so we needed to build another retaining wall. And we did.

The black dirt is where they planted shade grass because the sod won't take right under the tree. Here is another angle:

This was literally as they were laying the sod so it looks a little rough but it came in great and we are really loving the results. Don't mind the overgrown look. We haven't been able to cut it yet due to the fragility of the sod and new grass.

And there you have it. 60 bags of 40-pound bags of top soil to fill in that spot between the pool and the retaining wall. It was back-breaking and exhausting but well worth it. I am finally feeling like I can go out there and sit still without jumping up and down to fix this and that. Told you I had issues ; ) Thanks for the idea, Jess. If only I were so easily encouraged in other areas of my life.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I lied.....

We got up early this morning and went to eat breakfast. Even though the day was overcast and gloomy, I couldn't resist the pull of going to Lowe's and buying the rest of the top soil we needed. It killed me to leave the project we started last weekend unfinished. When we had the retaining wall built in March there was a large space between the existing landscaping and the wall. It had been impossible to plant anything there before due to the slope but in order to plant anything now, we had to fill in a ton of top soil due to the pitch.

Last weekend we started the filling but Sam quickly lost interest and we didn't finish. I planted two of the four plants we bought and put in 20 bags of top soil but it was still pitiful looking. Today we went and bought 40 more bags of soil and we finished it off. It looks a lot better and I am happy it is completed. Now we have to figure out how to cover it to keep the dirt from turning to mud everytime it rains or getting all dried up in the summer.

It is a neverending project and I am seriously wondering when I will ever consider it done. It looks so much better but I see so much more to do. Yes, I have issues. My lazy weekend has now turned into nursing a sore back and adding a nap into the schedule.

Friday, May 2, 2008

45 minutes and counting.....

Give me 30-40 minutes to get home from work and then it is ON!!!! Let the weekend begin.

The weather is gorgeous and I am dying to get out of these stiff work clothes. Not literally stiff but you know what I mean. I am ready to kick off all shoes that don't show my toes for 2 days.

No big plans but I can tell you what I won't be doing. I won't be doing research on employees 401(k) accounts. I won't be talking about death (part of my job) and I certainly won't be talking about divorce (yes, its also part of my job). Well I can't PROMISE I won't be talking about divorce. It really depends on how badly Sam gets on my nerves.

What I will be doing: reading my new book "The Quickie" by James Patterson and some guy who really did all the writing but his name is so small on the cover I can't remember it; reading all of my Runner's World magazines while not running; grilling steak on the grill (ok, Sam will be doing this while I criticize from the chair I have my ass planted in), and of course, catching up on all my favorite blogs.

To be fair, I am going to have an insane weekend next week. My kids' birthdays are within 4 DAYS of each other and all of the insane in-laws are making the trek down from NYC to celebrate their birthdays plus Mother's Day. I am not going to have a second to do anything for myself next weekend regardless of that stupid holiday for mothers.

Hope everyone's weekend is as productive as mine should be ; )