Tuesday, June 30, 2009

RTT: Craigslist, Darts and Mormons


Go get your button from Keely's place and play along. It seems all my thoughts are random these days so this shouldn't be too hard lol

Not too long ago, Andy made friends with the Mormons who visit house to house, ringing doorbells and offering their Lighthouse pamphlets. They know him by name and if anyone but Andy answers the door, they ask for him. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with these people in the least, and I get a kick of watching Andy squirm while he's trying to find a reason to tell them to scram. He's totally not into the whole "organized religion" scheme and avoids talk of religion at all costs. I like watching him squirm for a few minutes before I holler out his escape code, "Andy! You've got bacon burning on the stove!" I'm sure they've figured out that bacon on the stove, the kid with strep and mother-in-law on the phone are all excuses, nonetheless, Andy takes the pamphlet and wishes them a good day.

I'm addicted to Craigslist. Completely. It's hopeless. I love the feeling of a bargain, and this is almost as fun as yard sale shopping. This way I know what I'm getting, have everything arranged and just go pick it up. Sometimes they actually will meet you somewhere. When we moved into our new house, we sold half of our stuff on Craigslist and used the money to buy new stuff. Too much fun! Sunday I hollered to Andy, who was doing some light reading in the bathroom, that someone has just (and by "just" I mean only 3 minutes ago, b/c I'm a craigslist stalker) posted that the leftovers from their garage sale were all FREE and sitting by the curb. It was just down the street and around the corner from our house and they said there was a TV and VCR, some kitchen stuff, baby stuff, "and lots more". We scurried over there and looked like dumpster divers throwing everything in the back of the truck. But it was free, and even though we had to dig through boxes of someone else's junk, throwing away a lot of the stuff, we scored a small TV and VCR for the 3 and 4-y/o room, about 20 movies, 15 or so CDs, a lamp for the livingroom, and some arts and crafts stuff. FREE! I love FREE shit!

Pepsi is my friend and I will never foresake thee. Ever.

The oldest is gone all week to my friends house in the sticks and I miss her. I want her to come home so I can yell at her about how she lets her room looks like a pig sty and remind her she needs to rinse off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. :(

Oh - we also scored a wireless router in the craigslist dumpster diving escapade. How cool is that?!

Last Wednesday after dart league Andy and I decided to stick around for a tournament. There was a deaf guy sitting at a table who wanted to play, but nobody knew. I, being the uber-friendly drunk one, decided to fingerspell to him and use the little sign that I remembered. He said he wanted to play, held out his five bucks for his entry fee and we found out that they had already called teams. Well, being the pushy people we are, we forced asked the one running the tournament to let him in and redraw. All was good. He got a good partner (especially if you ask her) and we assured the other players that earth would continue to orbit now. We had done our good deed. Pfffffffft! That jackass decided mid-way through the tourney that he didn't want to play anymore and left his partner hanging. Being nice gets me absofuckinglutely no where!

I sprained my wrist somehow yesterday so I can't work without severe pain, however, I am able to type this long ass blog entry without a problem. Go figure. (I love you Andy and I promise I will get to work... as soon as I'm done here... honest honest)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Madness

Just some blurbs from me this morning... nothing special.

I've only got Baby K and Big K today, so things should be quiet enough for me to get some work done. I've got to have 2K lines a day until Sunday (end of pay period) so that our trip to Florida is filled with the knowledge that we won't come home to a house with no lights or water. I can DOOOOO it!

Summer has been filled, so far, with lots of activities. We are busy bees around here and I'm totally digging it. I do have a gripe though. Why can't I dislike Andy's ex? I mean, isn't that what is supposed to happen? The new girl isn't supposed to get along with the ex. It's just not natural. I find myself actually trying to find reasons to be pissed off at her. How stupid can I be? I should be elated that we have a great relationship, we get along and she's a great mother. I should be blessed that I don't have that added stress... and a birth mother constantly on my ass about how I treat "her" kids. I don't have those problems. I treat all the kids like they are mine all mine... I praise them, teach them, love them and beat them all the same. And I don't hear a peep out of her. Plans with the kids and schedules change all the time, which irritates me b/c I don't know which way is up on most days. But I should be ecstatic that the mother of Andy's children actually plays an active role in their lives and loves these babies to no end. I should be thanking God almighty that I can call said mom on a whim and have her hook me up with her hook up at MotoPhoto, who gives a big ass discount, so the kids will have a precious Father's day gift for Andy. Instead, I'm sitting here thinking... I don't want to like her. Stupid. She and her entire family have been nothing but nice to me. And I totally appreciate that... except that her mother and one of her sister's always want to hug me. Ack. I don't like people in general, and these people want to touch me? What gives!

Here's another gripe I have... why does my ex-husband still talk shit about me? I mean really... get over it. I talked to a friend who I lost in the divorce to my ex-husband. Really. He got the house, dogs and all my friends. Ok, I walked away from it all and didn't look back, but still, those were MY friends. Apparently he's a better party animal than I and they chose him. Whatever. Either way, I talked to my/his friend the other day and I'm not sure if she's just trying to start shit or what, but she says he still talks trash about me. Nothing nice ever comes out of his mouth about how I've raised her basically on my own for 15 years, how I've struggled as a single mom, took jobs I hated b/c I knew I could be at home with her, stayed days on end in the hospital with her each and every single year of her life until her brain surgeries, how I've never asked for child support until just last year when I finally caved and MADE him help. Never a nice word. Just what a bitch I am. And frankly, since Andy has been in the picture, I don't have anything to do with him. Andy handles it all for me. God I love that man. So why is he still talking shit? That irritates me.

One other gripe before I go on to more pleasant things. Is lap-band and/or gastric bypass the new "in thing" or what??? What happened to dieting and exercise? I mean seriously, you still have to diet and exercise after having those procedures... it's not like it's a miracle fix-all to obesity. And good God, someone needs to explain to these people that they CAN and WILL get fat again if they don't change their eating habits.... forever! Don't get me wrong... I'm not talking about the people who seriously need help, who are seriously overweight and have comorbidities compromising their health. I'm talking about the people who actually gain weight so they qualify for the surgery. People who will put on that extra 20 pounds so they are just overweight enough to get that surgery paid for. The ones who lie about having back problems and knee problems so the insurance will cover the cost, because they can't lie and say they have diabetes or hypertension. Take that effing cheeseburger out of your mouth and do some damn situps if you are so obsessed over your weight. Grrrrrrrr!

Ok. Rant over. I feel so much better.

We are planning our Florida trip and CANT WAIT! We are hitting the road near the end of July and driving straight through. The teen and tween are coming with us this year and we decided that spending 21 hours each way in the car and it costing $300 round trip was WAY better than flying all four of us out there and back for over a grand. My sister's kids will be there this year too, and we'll have the minivan with us, so everyone can fit in it while we are sightseeing and going to the beaches. Hell, that's if we can pry the kids out of the pool at the house long enough to get them in the minivan lol. I'm sure the jet ski will be enough to entice them. Then I'll be sitting in the pool drinking Corona while Andy and the girls take turns on the jet skis. Complete bliss I tell ya!

I lost custody of the garden. Andy has completely taken over. Don't get me wrong, I love it. He gets his "man time" out there, in complete solitude and quiet, watering and fidgeting with the plants. I do go out there in the evening with him while he watering to check it out, but that is "his" garden now. I remind him that it was "my" idea, but other than that, I just reap the rewards of homegrown veggies in our own back yard and listen to his plans of how he's going to make it bigger and better for next year. I.love.that.man.

Nothing else really exciting going on here. I suppose I should get some work done before I screw around so long that I've got to work this evening to catch up.

Happy Monday folks!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Here They Are!!!

The pics we took at MotoPhoto for Father's Day! Aren't my babies beee-U-tiful! I wish I could say I created all of them, but they are definitely mine through-and-through with their actions and attitudes lol!

We took several other shots, but I'm too lazy to put them up lol. The one with all five of us is for Andy's new office... and the rest are mine all mine! Ok, we got some of the oldest alone to go to her daddy for his Father's Day gift... and then the rest are mine all mine! Well hell, the one with the three smallest kids goes to their mama too... and THEN the rest are mine all mine!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Holy Cow It's Been A Hot Minute

Summer life has definitely taken hold of me! With four kids full-time plus the two little ones I keep during the week, I barely have time to think, let alone come up with funny stuff for my blog. I've totally neglected my bloggy world and bloggy friends.

Man o man, where did I leave off? My sister and her Dick have come and gone... another hilarious visit to jot down in the memory book of our lives.

Two weeks later we enjoyed a weekend in Noel, Missouri for the annual Chicken Coop... and outdoor steel dart tournament filled with camping, drunks and darts. Not to mention the occasional drunk streaker running through camp. This thing has been going on for almost 30 years, and Andy and I are proud to say this was our second year there, just the beginning of another Coop family. We were introduced to the Coop by our friend Chris, who has been a Coop family member since he was 17 when his father Leon took him. They are truly Coop legends and a blast to party with. Leon wasn't able to make it this year, the first one he's missed in over 17 years, but Andy kept the spirit going with Bloody Mary's every morning. He learned from the Master himself, Leon, and everyone really enjoyed them. So much so, Chris was a blithering idiot Friday morning by 9 am. The guys decided to take a bath in the river, bar of soap and all. Andy managed to make it out of the water before his balls shrunk to nothingness, but Chris on the other hand, barely made it up the bank, crawling on all fours, slobbering and laughing so hard he almost choked. I know CPR, but I sat back and laughed. Besides, he's a big ole country boy and there was no way I could drag him up the bank.

I played in my first steel tip tourney this year and I had a blast! I brought my tequila to the dart tent (looks like a huge circus tent with 30+ dart boards all lined up) and ended up playing until the wee hours. When I was put out of the tourney, Andy was still in and we didn't leave the tent until 4 am. Then we were up at 8 getting ready for the kids tournament. I'm pretty sure we were still hammered, but I don't remember much of that morning.

I also learned to "chalk" this trip. Because they are all steel boards, there are no fancy bells and whistles that tell you the score. You have to have a semi-sober person at the board with an erasable marker jotting down every mark on the white board... mind you, there are 4 guys behind you, drunk, with sharp, pointy, steel-tip darts hurling them at the board next to your head. Talk about anxiety! I turned into a completely tequila-induced state of dyslexia. Not a good thing when there is money on the line. All the guys were very nice and hollered out their numbers to me b/c for some tequila reason I couldn't subtract tequila 137 from 501 tequila and come up with the right answer. The lesson I learned from that was I should have never pretended to be smart while drunk... they make you chalk.

We ended the 4-day weekend on Sunday with the annual auction. Each year, the Coop families bring an item to be auctioned off and all the proceeds go to a charity. Come to find out, the charity is actually a Coop family who is in need of financial help. That gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling... and next year Andy and I plan on having something nice to donate to the auction. I think the Coop will be a tradition Andy and I will have a for a long time.

Another two weeks goes by and we are camping at Canton Lake for Father's day. This is the lake where Andy grew up. This is the lake where his grandparents lived, where his father took him and his brothers and sisters camping and fishing and hunting. This place has a million memories for him. The kids all had a blast and we enjoyed the company of Andy's brother and sister-in-law. Kye, the sister-in-law has taken me on as an apprentice to be an "expertive camp woman" and with her help, I'll be in tip-top shape before long. Andy carried the Leon Chicken Coop Bloody Mary tradition on to the family camping trip and everyone really enjoyed it. Sunday morning after we were all packed up and ready to leave, Andy took us on a tour of the lake and shared his most prized memories at the lake with the kids and I. He was totally nostalgic and it was a nice cherry on the Father's Day cake; we all got to see his face beam with pride and joy as he shared his childhood with his family. I hope we can continue the tradition and make this a sacred place for our kids, and one day they will share it with their families.

And that brings us to today! Andy started his new position on Monday. I'm so truly proud of this man. A year ago when he transferred to Headquarters, he said there was more opportunity for advancement... and boy did he find it! He's definitely moving up that corporate ladder and I couldn't be more happy for him. I think he secretly wants to be a Trooper, but I know the training is what holds him back... he doesn't want to be away from his family that long. They have strict no communication rules, and I don't think he'd be very compliant. So, to avoid that, I think he's unconsciously finding a way to reach his goals another way. Either way, I'm going to support him every step of the way. He's an amazing man and totally deserves it!

The kids and I went yesterday to have family pics made. Andy's ex-wife has a cousin who works at Moto Photo and she gave us a hella discount. No sitting fee (and there were 5 of us) plus 50% off everything I bought. Cool huh? I got 13 sheets for just over $100! The kids looked fantastic and did all their cutest cheesy smiles and poses without getting beat! I get to pick them up today after 5:30 and I can't wait! I'll have to scan them in and post them, hopefully tomorrow.

I think that about sums up the last month of our lives lol. It should be nice and quiet (HA) around here until I go back to school July 8th and we don't have anything else big planned until our end of July trip to Florida. We are driving this year and taking the two older girls with us... that should be an entertaining road trip. Then we are taking my sisters two kids home with us from Florida and keeping them for a week. So the ride back will be TWICE as fun as the trip there lol. I guess I should start looking for a luggage rack or I'm going to end up strapping kids to the roof of the minivan.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! I'm going to try and read up on some blogs that I've been missing out on for the last month!

Oh -- update on the possible adoption: The lady isn't quite ready to give him up yet, so we are sitting that one on the back burner. She knows she's got the option of a loving family if/when she gets to that point. Thank you all for your feedback on that one, we certainly needed an outside view!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's A Beautiful Monday Folks!

I'm soaking up the sunshine! I love summer! At least this part of it anyway.

I love that I can go outside without a jacket on at 7 in the morning for my routine cappuchino run to 7-Eleven.

I love that the kids can go outside and play from morning to night to wear themselves out instead of banging their heads against the walls in the livingroom dying for something to entertain them.

I love that we can go camping and wake up to an awesome sunrise just over the waters edge, really appreciating the beauty of nature.

I love looking out to our garden and seeing our veggies growing like crazy!

I love the smell of fresh cut grass and when you can smell the folks in the neighborhood firing up their grills!

Summer rocks! And it's finally here!

And now a side note: Looking for opinions here folks. Help!

Andy brought this up to me in random conversation this weekend. A lady he went to school with had a baby about a year ago. She's got two older teenage kids who are being raised by her mother, and apparently, she's trying to find a home for this baby. She's a party-girl and just doesn't want to give up that lifestyle... even for the sake of her own children. Judgment about this lady aside, there is a kid, a baby, a 1-year-old little boy, who needs a loving family.

First instinct: I want him. I want to hug him and squeeze him and be his mama. I want to raise him in our home, treat him as our own and watch him grow to be a healthy, strong young man.

***History lesson: Andy has been neutered. We have 4 kids, combined, but we wanted another one, maybe two. We love big families. So this fall we were going to get him a reversal and hump like monkeys to create a spawn of our own.***

So anyway, we hashed it over, a lot. We decided there would be ground rules if we decided to take this boy in.

First and foremost, I need to know about this kids' father. Obviously he can't be active in the boys life, or this boy wouldn't be nearly homeless. But I certainly don't want some angry dad at my door wanting his baby back.

Next, this has to be official and permanent. I'm all for fostering, and in fact, I've been to therapeutic foster parenting classes and the whole nine. Even so, and it may sound selfish, I don't want to place this boy in our home and she gets free reign... like she just needs someone to step in and carry the financial burden of this child until she gets her shit together. I want papers signing him over to us. I don't mind if she has visitation, but there needs to be guidelines. Does that sound horrible? Andy and I would like to raise him as a mother and father, not auntie and uncle.

There are too many if-then statements right now because we don't know the details of her situation. All we know is she's actively looking for someone to take her boy. He's making some phone calls today, and I told him that I'd like to spend some time with him. Like an interview. That's the only way I can describe it. I want to see if there is a connection. I'm a sucker for kids, so I know I'll fall in love with him, but I need to see where he is, physically, mentally, emotionally.

So my question is... do you have any adoptive stories that might help us with this decision? Horror stories and success stories. We want to hear them all. We want to be as rational as we can, and we need to know legal issues as well. My heart cries out for this baby and we don't want to just snatch him up without processing what this means for our entire family.

Side note: This sounds like it's all about me, but this is really Andy and I speaking. He feels the same way I do about this and we could sure use some feedback.