Monday, November 30, 2009

Blecchh Friday

November 30, 2009

Yeah, it has been awhile since I last posted, but did you know I worked in retail? I have been crazy busy at work and have found very little time for Call of Duty even. This time of year I generally have to choose between a relaxing family life or doing a good job at work. Doing a good job this time of year means dedicating yourself to long, thankless hours trying to satisfy both your boss and those pesky guests. It, unfortunately, means being tired and cranky with your family and not being around as much as you would like. It does, however, mean you stay employed and can afford to buy them lavish gifts and take them for outrageously expensive dinners.

Speaking of which, did you ever make a facetious suggestion that took fire and became the idea everyone adopted? Well, that is what happened for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. I was reading the paper one day and a Steak and Shake ad popped out. On it I saw that they were having their half price shakes and drinks happy hour special all day on Thanksgiving day. Wouldn't it be awesome to go to Steak and Shake for Thanksgiving was my suggestion. And that is what we did.

Beth loved the idea because it eliminated two of the things she dislikes the most about preparing the Thanksgiving dinner (or any dinner for that matter), the shopping and cooking. I KNOW!! Quite the catch!! Then the idea took flight as Beth's mom got involved. First, it was my idea, which carries a lot of weight with mom-in-law as I married her daughter when it appeared that no one might.

I do both like sex and dislike being suffocated in my sleep, yet I continue to give Beth a hard time in this post. This is mostly because anyone that knows Beth, knows that I am the one who married up, and because it is really cute when she stomps her foot and punches me in the arm...REALLY CUTE!!

Continuing on, the second idea that made mom-in-law go along with his idea, is that having my brother-in-law into either her house or ours may involve getting some bed bugs as new pets. As the daughter of the best man in my wedding once eloquently stated, "Bugs, sick!"

So there we were at Steak and Shake getting our chicken sandwiches and burgers and shakes for our Thanksgiving meal. The wait staff was SO excited to see us when we came in. There were six of them crowded around the counter and no customers. It was 5:00pm. I don't think we were the first ones in there all day, nor were we the only ones that ate there that night, but that did not stop them for showing their enthusiasm for our entrance. I heard one of them tell another after we ordered, "And they all want shakes". This was not said with joy as you might have guessed.

Anyway, we had a great time. I think it may become a tradition. We are all fancy like that.

So Black Friday was also great fun. I worked from 3:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon and watched all you crazy people go after the big deals. It was actually the best Black Friday I have been involved in and my store did its highest one day sale total ever. The top store in the company was in Delaware.

So House is on and we can catch up with the DVR (on our new tv, which is another story), so I will post again later (on our new computer, which is another story). Obviously, all the ads on my blog are generating scads of income. If you can't see them, make sure you take off the pop up blocker.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

November 17, 2009

Remember how scary the flying monkeys were in The Wizard of Oz? Well, now they just look like kids dressed up for Halloween in their flying monkey pajamas. Is it the colorization? I think so. We showed CJ a clip from the movie right before he went to bed last night (trying to give him nightmares, I guess) and he looked at us like we must of been the most scaredy-pants kids in the history of kids wearing pants. I explained that the movie came out in the 1960's, and then Beth corrected me that it came out in 1939. I was very close. He let this go as an explanation, but I do remember being rather afraid of these monkeys. "And your little dog too", still rings in my ears. No, the monkeys don't speak, but the bad witch says that, and the monkeys are her friends...duh.

As for the length of this post and the infrequency of posts in general, I have been very busy with work and Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2. I decided to buy the newest version despite the warnings about inappropriate scenes involving terrorists. I have seen this scene, and deemed the purchase okay for two reasons. First, the scene is in story mode, which CJ hardly ever plays. And second, there is the opportunity to skip this scene and CJ will be doing so if he ever plays story mode. Otherwise, I have found the language to be less offensive in this version than World at War, except from the on line players, but they can be muted. Therefore, I have taken to playing this game instead of posting more. I received no comments from my last post, even though there was some begging on my part, so this has returned to being my own personal journal.

The next couple posts will have something to do with The Bengals, Xavier basketball, or Modern Warfare 2, as none of these things have let me down of late as much as "my faithful readers". Sniff.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are you saying my kid's an idiot???

November 4, 2009

I just found out one of CJ's teachers reads my blog. She was out sick for our parent teacher conference, so I wanted to give her a bit of a start upon reading the title.

The most surprising thing I learned at the PTC, was...THAT CJ'S TEACHER READS MY BLOG!! I know, I am supposed to be way more interested in what the teachers had to say about CJ (and we will get to that), but the fact that I now know of 3 people that occasionally read this bit of frivolity intrigues me. Since no one ever comments (besides my favorite blogger, June Gardens), I had no idea that anyone besides Beth reads. Are there more lurkers out there? Hey, feel free to leave a comment every once in a while, just let me know you are breathing and I will make more of an attempt to post instead of taking free time to play Call of Duty.

So anyway, we did get good news and not as good news about CJ and his schoolwork. Sitting there with the teachers made me feel sorry for my parents at PTCs as they always had to hear about my behavior problems from the teachers. "He is really smart, but he gets so distracted.", or "He would get better grades if he quit pulling Lisa Child's hair and caused less classroom distractions." Well, sure, Lisa was not a big fan of the hair pulling, and I'm sure Billy's parents would have really liked it had I not pushed his face down into the water fountain and chipped his tooth. However, I think going undiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder could have been a problem for many kids of my generation.

Speaking of ADD, perhaps I should get back to the original point of this post.

My point of bringing up my own PTCs, is that it is a tremendous feeling to have never been told of any behavior issues from CJ's teachers in the 8 years we have been going to PTCs. He is a good kid at home, and apparently is a good kid at school. Mrs. Science Teacher told us how he helped some classmates understand some science they were having issues with, and Mrs. Math Teacher told us how he was a leader amongst his small group and she liked how his brain worked. (Fortunately, I don't think she has seen his brain work after a glass of Dr Pepper or too much sugar, yeesh!)

So he has a problem with his writing skills. If Mrs. Language Arts had ever read my blog, she would be more understanding of how genetically he has a lot to overcome. Thank goodness for spell check and creative license. I choose to whip out my license anytime you think the sentence I just typed is strangely structured (like this last one for instance). I think the reason Beth does not comment on my blog is that most of the comments would be something like "could you use a few more parentheses", or "how about finishing a thought, ya mo", or "you know a lot is two words, don't you? What exactly did your parents pay to send you to Xavier?"

Wow. Where is this hostility coming from?

So to attempt to wrap up (and I wonder why no one comments..too exhausted wading thorough the muck), we discussed with CJ how important it is to be able to communicate well through the written word. He gets it, and says that he will try harder and ask for more help from his teachers. "This is why they get the big bucks", I explained. If any of you are reading, he also says you are the best teachers he has ever had, and the funniest, and the smartest, and he hopes this year will never end. :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heavens to Mergatroid!

November 1, 2009

So, apparently sometime last night or this morning, I popped a hemorrhoid. One time in a Magnum P.I. episode, Thomas Magnum taught me that if you were scared of something-say being circled by a shark while treading water in the middle of the Pacific Ocean-and you gave it a silly name, it will swim away and leave you alone. Well, I would love for this thing to leave me alone, so I have started calling it an asteroid. Seems both appropriate and silly enough. Now if it will only swim away.

I just got finished raking the leaves after emptying the dishwasher. Beth asked me why I did these chores as it is football day. I had said earlier that my plan was to lay on the couch and watch football. However, I decided that to take my mind off of my asteroid, I needed some activity. It worked. The reason I decided this was the best course of action, was that the only other time I wasn't thinking about my asteroid today was when Beth and I were doing our volunteer shift at Kid's Club. This is the day care at our church. We take care of 3 year olds whilst there parents attend service. We chose the 11:45 shift today so we could sleep in, go to the 10:00 service, and then do day care. The original schedule showed them short-handed for this time slot, so volunteer we did.

At first it looked like we were not going to be too busy as kids were slow to arrive. Kid's Club has an electronic check-in system, so you have a screen that tells you who to expect. Then you use the touch screen to move them from "on-the-way", to "checked in". The supervisor said that with the time change, this service may not be too busy since most people had an extra hour to get to the 10:00 service. Then, they started to come. And come they did.

When the kid shows up, you check them in, give them a sticker to designate what room they are in (we are the snake room), and put a sticker on their jacket with their name to facilitate the parent pick up. All was going well. Kids were getting checked in and were joining in some activity. There are toys to play with, coloring to do, puzzles to build, and all kinds of things for a 3-year old to do. Then...the 8th kids came, followed by 9 and 10. The touch screen wasn't working to change the status from OTW to checked in. Then numbers 11 and 12, and 13 came. On the screen we could see 5 more kids were on the way. One of the new arrivals was crying for mom, and then number 14 started to cry as she was checked in. Beth called the front desk using the same tone I remember her using when I was fixing a faucet in the house and the water started to spew everywhere. It was if she were yelling to the front desk "TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF!!" This was not actually what she said, nor did she yell, but from my side of the phone, I could tell she wanted to.

Anyway, it was just Beth and I in this room, but they sent another volunteer down to help us out. We were outnumbered 18-2, so another helper would reduce the odds some. That is, if the other person could actually live up to the name "helper". Kid's Club has a system in place that you can alert the parents in the service by flashing a 4 digit number on the screen that corresponds to their child. The parent then leaves the service to retrieve their child. We did this with one of the girls who would not stop crying, and thought it would be a good idea to do the same with the other. However, our "helper" decided that she had calmed down enough to stay. She was wrong unfortunately, but Beth and I were involved in the large group activity already, and taking care of the other 17 kids, so the opportunity was lost. As those of you in child care know, two adults taking care of 17 3-year olds, is very similar to herding cats. You may be able to get them where you want them to go, but food better be involved. So we get them back for snack time, and our "helper" has prepared 17 Dixie cups full of pretzels for the kids.

The choices are pretzels, Goldfish, and Cheerios. Given these choices, which would you prepare? One other time, a "helper" had said that we could not mix the cups. I have heard about not crossing the streams when it comes to bustin' ghosts or peeing in a men's trough style urinal, but who thinks it's a bad idea to mix Goldfish with Cheerios?

So we sit 17 kids down in front of Dixie cups full of pretzels, two kids are now sobbing, and 10/15 kids are saying they want fish, not pretzels. Well, yeah, me too. So we started to switch things out. A calm came over the room for awhile. Our "helper" got a phone call and had to leave. However, the worst was hopefully over. We then took to having them make crowns for themselves as this was today's small group activity. It went surprisingly well as they stuck stars onto their "King David" crowns. Beth and I were holding our own. The one girl was sobbing, but doing so quietly while eating. The other girl was sobbing and crying for mom, so we took turns holding her. Yes, this made the odds 16-1 for kids to the other parent, but they really were doing okay. The room isn't that big, you have to get one down off a step stool or table every once in awhile, and only a couple of them had to go potty. We survived. God tested our mettle, and we survived the storm. We even got to appreciate how cute some of the kids were, and we even memorized most of the names.

Fortunately, today's parents have decided that naming any child Michael, Stephen, John, or Mary, is against the law. We had a room full of Devon, Justice, Jenesis (yes, with a J), Goddess, Shomfe, Grayson (2 of them), Marcus, and a Brenner. For some reason, I am blanking on the two girls names who sobbed the most.

Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, the church had an event for the volunteers of the parish that was free and rather extravagant. Food, entertainment, drinks, etc. Beth and I felt a little guilty for attending since we had only volunteered a couple of times each. We looked at each other after today's Kid's Club, and said we did not feel any guilt anymore for attending the event.

Thank you God for the opportunity, and for helping us help them. We will be back as we know that we love these kids and Your guidance will see us through. AAAmen.