Monday, August 31, 2009

Giving Homeschoolers a Good Name

Me, to Nate, who supposedly (long story there) starts his first-ever public school course tomorrow morning: "So, should I find the school handbook and make you read it so you don't break any rules?"
"Mom! NO! If I read it I won't have plausible deniability!"
"Nate, there is no such thing as plausible deniability in the public school system."
"Oh, shoot. I was hoping for some lag time."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aw, Shoot

Nate outgrew an entire wardrobe in one week. I knew he was an inch taller when I picked him up than when he left for boot camp, but we thought that might be attributed to his learning to stand up straight. But now all of his shirts are too narrow in the shoulders all of a sudden. Hand-me-downs? Not on your life. Not only does Brandon wear his clothes to pieces, he prefers jeans and button-down flannel shirts. Nate won't touch either and lives in cargo pants and crew necks (when not in uniform). Given his color preferences, I should probably shop some army surplus store. Anyone know of a khaki-olive drab-navy sale?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Work at Home, Finally?

Since I couldn't get them to send me overseas, I just turned in an application for my company's work-at-home program. It's a new thing, but it sounds like fun.

They say I need a 'dedicated, quiet space' and all I could think was...have you not actually been in my row? We are rowdy and noisy and there are more Transformers and Star Wars action figures than people!

Which might explain why they split my row up and spread us to the far corners (there are more than four corners around here). It's booooo-ring and depressing and I am sure we are weighing down the email servers trying to keep up the jumbled conversation we have been having for four months.

In any case, just to prepare, even though I haven't been interviewed yet, one of my goals this weekend is to set up said 'quiet, dedicated space', or some reasonable facsimile, along with pricing an upgrade to my internet connection and a landline, which I guess is required (two cell phones are not enough in case of emergency? I am sure they must have a reason).

I am working NO overtime next week and while my paycheck will suffer for it, I am so looking forward to three contiguous days of rest. (Days can be contiguous, can't they?) Ok, maybe not REST, but at least a change of pace.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Kid Has a Point

Nathan, watching an episode of Magnum PI:
"Mom, you HAVE to see this part!"
"Nate, I have seen all these episodes."
"Yeah, but your memory isn't what it used to be."
"Well, it's good enough that when Sensei asks me if you have been behaving tomorrow night, I will remember to say no!"
"Mom...karate is tonight."

Dang it anyhow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

He's Back

After ten very long and boring days, Nate has returned. My grandmother and I fetched him yesterday and I am very proud to say that for the first time ever, I went to the West side and did not get lost, not even for a minute! We even got off the highway at points on purpose! Yay!

Ok, so if you are done laughing at me...

Nate had a great time. He said he got enough to eat (this was a concern as they were limited to three meals a day and Nate eats 7 most days). His instructor told me that Nate was a great help to some of the other kids, one in particular who was quite homesick. Of course, he also said that Nate kept trying to teach the classes...which is reminiscent of the first parent-teacher conference my poor mother had during my school career. (Jenny does all right, but would you let her know that I am the teacher?)

He is still wearing Navy gear. It appears that it has become fused into his very being.

He ran (yes, ran) to the store last night to buy gummy bears. Not only were they not allowed at boot camp, the superior cadets WERE eating them, and apparently this was torture tantamount to that which the CIA uses for interrogation.

Now we are trying to move from recovery mode to useful mode. It isn't going so smoothly.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, She Was Sweet, At Least

I helped a....ahem...large-challenged, not-young lady this morning. (my grandmother objects to 'little old lady'). She was a sweetie, but she seemed to think I had some amazing magic. In any case, I had to re-set her password for her. I said, "I need you to give me a password that has at least six letters, that you have no used before." She gave me a series of letters and then I asked, "Any upper case letters in that?" and she said, "Not that I know of." Well, okay, then.

I really have nothing interesting to say. Between working tons and Nate being gone, basically I have become a big ball of boredom. This does not bode well for the day I have an empty nest.

Anyone who wants to pray, btw, I need to find a car by Saturday morning. No, that isn't a joke.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pride Going Before The Fall

While waiting for karate class to finish, I was singing in the car with the windows down. Granted, I can be quite loud, especially when moved.

I guess one of the other moms overheard me, because she went inside the building and said to my son, "Your mother has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. What must it be like living with her?"

Nate answered, "Annoying."

I believe this answer stems from an incident the other night when he was stranded in the bathroom with no TP and trying to get my attention. I was singing in the kitchen and didn't hear him until he started banging on the wall.

I will try to keep his answer in mind while he is gone for the next 10 days and I am missing him like crazy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Where I work, we sometimes have MOT--Mandatory Overtime. Now, I try to work overtime, but somehow, when it is mandated, it isn't nearly as appealing. I worked an extra eight hours yesterday and have to go back tomorrow and to be honest, I just don't wanna.

Actually, I am just very tired and fighting a headache and can't go to bed early tonight like I would prefer. It's a lovely night for a walk but I feel too rotten to go for one. I didn't even stay to watch Jukido.

I think I am going to go hunt up some Calgone-type comfort.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hear Me Roar

Best customer comment ever:
"What can I say about Jennifer. She was great and did an outstanding job on finally fixing the issue I was having with my [item]. All those involved with my issue for the last three days have been great and understanding. Yet it took a woman to finally solve the problem...LOL."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shoot Me Now

Nate got more uniforms today. That need patches. Oh, joy.

I had a customer today. Well, I had about fifty, but I had one memorable one.

"Push the 'ABCD' button."
"When I do that, it says X"
"That doesn't sound right. Are you sure you are pushing the 'ABCD' button?"
"Well, of course. Look, I will do it again. See? It still says X"
"Hmm, ok, push the 'EFGG' button"
"That seems to do the same thing as the other button."
"Odd. Ok, now push the button that says 'ABCD' on it."
"I did, and it now says X"
"So, written on the button, it says 'A B C D?"
"You mean at the bottom?"
"The bottom?, I want you to push RIGHT WHERE IT SAYS ABCD"
"Oh, know, you might have something there." !!!

It IS Saturday, right?

So, Netflix is now shipping on Saturdays. Only I didn't find this out until it was too late to adjust my queue! Argh.

I was up half the night sewing patches on Nate's Navy Leaguer uniforms. If I never see another name tape it will be too soon. This morning I said, "There, I am all done! Now you know your momma loves you!" Nate said, "Or you are just doing your best to get rid of me for nine days!" LOL, at least now he can go to boot camp, and I still say I will come out ahead since I don't have to feed him while he's gone. Gonna miss him, though.

A clue to Nate's sense of humor: On my way out the door I asked him to turn off the lamp. It's been acting funny lately and I am worried about hazards. So I said, "Turn off this lamp before you leave. I don't want it left on when no one's home."

"I know what you mean, Mom! It's been convicted of assault four times and in jail on possession charges twice."


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blessed Peace

For the first time in weeks it is cool enough to turn off the a/c. That thing, and the fans to circulate the cool air, are so LOUD! I am home alone and this is the most quiet that I have experienced in far too long.

It was a long and tiring day and I was not feeling well for most of it, so no walk this evening. Although, really, it is so nice out...maybe I will change my mind.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

File This Under...

'things I never thought I would have to say, prior to becoming a parent.'

"There is NO BUTT BITING in this game of Twister!"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pevensie Invasion

(Wherein I try to remember the Pevensie children's names...they aren't really Pevensies, you know. I am too tired to check Mrs P's blog, but I think they are, in order of age, Peter, Lucy and Edmund...the eldest I can't remember, but she was not among the troops.)

Mrs. P and 3/4 of her kids came to play today. Her children and mine have this rare friendship where they can fall back in like they never left off, even if for some reason it has been months since they saw each other. (Why would it be months? Well, we ask ourselves that and the answer is 'life'. It tends to mess up the best laid plans.) Come to think of it, Mrs. P and I have the same type of relationship.

Anyway, it has been a lovely day, though I am not sure our two households produce enough hot water for the now-needed bathing.

My Nate and the 3 Ps are 13, 12, 10 and 4. Since they have all been homeschooled all their lives, they don't realize they aren't supposed to enjoy each others' company.

We left the boys here to wreak havoc while Mrs. P and Lucy got hair cuts. The house was still standing when we returned, but the living room had been turned into a Nerf armory. Lucy is a pretty good sport, so they swept her into their war after we fed them. Once the battle died down to a low hum, we gathered them all up and headed to the park. We did a sort of rotation--wading pool (I promised Edmund an Edmund-sized pool, and it went over quite well), the river, where they took turns hauling one another around in a raft and forming a flotilla with floaties, throwing rocks, etc; then back to the wading pool (20 degrees warmer water in there!), then the playground, then the snow-cone booth (thank goodness!). Mine was pink lemonade, by the way.

Back home, lo and behold...the natives are hungry again. We head for pizzas and come back to find them googling us. Slightly disturbing.

Mrs. P is at a meeting this evening, so I am attempting to hold the fort down myself. The Nerf war is back on but the children decided it needed a plot. They camped out in the living room to divide up the duties. Poor Lucy kept aiming for a princess-kingdom-knights type of thing, while Peter and Nate were aiming for espionage of some sort and Edmund just wanted to shoot people. I believe they finally settled on Lucy being a computer programmer of royal heritage.

It's dark and I should call them in, but I hate to break up the fun. Besides, earlier when they were inside, Lucy bit Nate on the knee. Don't blame her, I think he stole her pocketbook. Edmund hasn't had a nap and is going to pass out any minute.

Speaking of Edmund, he was a great disappointment today. I have a stack of movies that I never get to watch because my kids think they are 'too old.' So I let Edmund have the pick of the entertainment closet, hoping for Nemo or Simba...and instead got roped into Star Wars! Good thing the kid is cute.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Scale Paradox

As a sort of compromise between the focus I used to have on the number on the scale and the Intuitive Eating and body acceptance lifestyle I strive for, I allow myself one weigh-in on the first or second of the month, if I bother to remember. Many months I don't. This morning I did. And now I wish I hadn't.

Why? Because I weigh less than the last time I remembered...which I think was two months ago, although I could be wrong. Not much less, and it is little enough that it could simply be a natural fluctuation. Really, statistically insignificant! But it has caused me to spend too much time today (read: more than five minutes) fighting the old diet mentality. Oh, gosh, what did I do to make the number go down? What could I do to make it go down more? If I lost x amount every y time period..I could weight blank by new year's.

Ugh. That is the mindset I happily gave up. That is the nasty psychological warfare of diet-shake companies and stupid women's magazines and such. I don't want that for myself.

Curiously, when the number is the same or above what it last was, I never have this problem. And that is the paradox.

Clean Naked!

This way, when you mis-read the directions on the bottle of heavy-duty mildew-killing shower cleaner with bleach and, instead of turning the nozzle tip 180 degrees, accidentally unscrew the whole nozzle component, dropping the bottle and being splashed, your clothes are safe and it is only you that needs hosing off.

I was glad I did!