Saturday, May 1, 2010

Amazing Saturday

I may have mentioned before that my son, Tyler, has special needs. When he was just a toddler, doctors threw out words like Autism and Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS. From that point on, physical, occupational and speech therapists have been just another part of Tyler's day to day reality. He has come a LONG, LONG way. His behavior is still a problem now and again, but I'm really proud of the progress he has made. My other two sons are typically developing. Tyler's 6 year old brother was in a T-Ball league last spring and it was hard on Tyler not being able to play. He didn't understand why he couldn't play baseball just like his brother. I had a hard time explaining it too. After all, they play together at home. He plays with other kids at school, so why on earth couldn't he play baseball just the same as every other kid.

Today I took Tyler to something called Challenger Baseball. Apparently some guy just saw the need out there and created this league all by himself. What I witnessed today was amazing. When Tyler arrived, he was given a complete baseball uniform; shirt, pants, hat and even socks. As he was paired with a buddy, I looked around at a sea of parents and kids. There were kids in wheelchairs, with walkers, kids with Downs Syndrome, kids with other developmental delays all together playing baseball. In a world where these kids struggle to fit in, they were in their element to be sure. Everyone fit in, no matter what their abilities. I was absolutely amazed. What a great Saturday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Song

Once in awhile there's a song that just hits the nail right on the head. It sums up your feelings exactly. In fact, you almost feel like the writer of the song has been spying on your life because how could they write a song that conveyed your feelings to such a degree of accuracy? Today I listened to just such a song. I dedicate this one to my ex-husband and to my mother-in-law....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Perfect Bathing Suit For My Mommy Bod

Being originally from the east coast, I used to worship the water and especially loved to go to the beach.  Since I have had children and blew up like a blimp, there are parts of my body that haven't seen sunlight in so long that I consider that skin to once again be solar-virgin territory.  I'm quite sure that if I ever did put on a bathing suit again, that there are laws somewhere that would prohibit such a display.  The reflection alone would cause certain permanent vision damage, let alone the emotional damage that would be done by my thunder thighs and cellulite.

I picture small children running for the safety of their homes and men suddenly changing their sexual orientation.  Young women without children, this is a warning to you.  This is an example of the type of bathing suit that I would have worn without any problems back in my 20's:

And this is the only suit that I would consider wearing in public now:

So if you're ever at a beach somewhere and you see a fat lady walking around with a bathing suit from the 1900's, come up and say "Hi!".  It'll be me....Spongemom Stretchpants!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just Another Road Rage Victim?

Yesterday my husband and I took my 16 month old for his very first dentist's visit.  The only pediatric dentist that we could find was about 25 miles away in an area I'm not that familiar with.  It seemed like it took forever to get there.  We missed our exit on the highway once and then got stopped at an intersection for a funeral procession.  We were late and I hate being late.

Finally we arrive in the business park where the office is located.  I'm driving through the parking lot "streets" in the business park.  There's a UPS truck parked on the opposite side of the road and a car coming from the opposite direction.  I went ahead and stopped so she could go by and so I could look and see if I could find any address on any building.  I'm stopped on MY side of the road and the woman passes the UPS truck on my side of the road and proceeds to yell out her window, "Watch out where you're going!"  What?  I'm not even MOVING!  I'm parked, woman!  I'm parked to allow your sorry butt to get around the UPS truck.

Somewhere there's a village missing their idiot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Makeover and A Meltdown

This week has been a doozey!  My husband has just been forced to quit his job.  We think that he can get with some of the contacts he's made in the car industry and do some work on his own, but that hasn't been set up as of yet.  The guys in the car industry around here are having a rough time of it.  Lots of the car lots are hardly selling anything.  I think in the month of March my husband made $300 and no that's not a typo.  It's not that he can't sell, in fact he sells when no one else is selling.

He told me that he used to work for a company that once flew him out to some convention to sell "talking heads" for $15,000 each.   What he was selling was actually a box which would make whoever was in the box appear to only be a head floating in mid-air.  I'm just telling you what he told me.  So, nobody else could sell these things so they sent him in.  He sold two in one day.  Suffice it to say that he can sell anything.

The Before Pic

So, stress is high and money is tighter than tight.  Honestly, it's getting quite tough to survive.  When I get stressed I stay busy doing all kinds of things.  This past weekend I decided that my 16 month old needed a haircut terribly.  Knowing that we could not afford to fork over $15 or $20 for a haircut, I saw this as my opportunity to save some money.  It wasn't like I was a total novice at this.  When I was a single mom some 9 years ago, I used to always cut my son's hair with clippers, especially in the summer.  I actually got quite good at it.  Most people even said that I did a better job than the people at the beauty shops.

The After Pic

I felt pretty confident that I could handle a quick trim, the only problem was I couldn't find my normal clippers.  The only thing I could find was a pair of clippers that my parents sent to me.  I figured, "What the hay, clippers are clippers", so I put on the number 4 spacer and went to town.  The first swipe or two I thought that the cut looked too short.  "Oh my Lord!", I thought, "I can see his scalp!"  This is cutting WAY too short!  I guess stress got the best of me and I just totally lost it.  You thought that my 16 month old would be the one to have the meltdown, but was me.  I sobbed uncontrollably for about 15 minutes.  The stress of my husband having no job and money being so tight really got to me.  Not to mention I had sheared my precious little baby.  I sent my husband out with some money that we scraped together to get him "fixed".
Poor little guy!  Everything turned out ok, though.  No permanent harm done.  Now if my husband can only get a decent job!  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm No Den Mother

About a year ago, my middle son joined the cub scouts.  My husband took him to most of the meetings and apparently on the first night they passed around a form and had all of the parents sign up to do a den meeting.  My husband signed me up for April's den meeting.  The theme was "Spring Into Action".  By the way, if you want to make a year go by REALLY fast, get your husband to sign you up for something that you really don't want to do.

 So tonight was the big "Spring Into Action" den meeting.  I worried about this meeting for an entire year.  A week and a half ago I began preparations for the meeting.  I wanted this meeting to be great.  If I'm going to do something, I never go at it half-ass.  So I trek on over to the Boy Scout store and buy one of their books that gives suggestions for things to do at the meeting.  I spent several days scouring the internet and putting together an outline of the events I had planned for the meeting.  The outline was written and rewritten several times.  I wanted to make sure everything flowed just right.

The plan was that I would put in all the preparations for the meeting and my husband would actually run the meeting with help from me.  I planned a cute little lesson involving the various meaning of the word spring and then got into the history of the development of the Slinky toy and various lessons we can learn from the inventor of the Slinky.

I planned fun events like an Inchworm Race, a Egg & Spoon Race, a Balloon Stampede, and a Marshmallow Kick, Throw & Blow Event.  After each event I would hand out little ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place then at the end of all of the events, everyone would get a ribbon for participating.

I planned to make little pinecone bird feeders and even was thoughtful enough (I thought) to buy $5 a jar sunflower butter just in case there was anyone there with a peanut allergy.  I handled absolutely every detail.
I bought 4 boxes of Kool Aid pouch drinks for 11 kids, just to make sure that I had plenty.  I even went so far as to freeze the drinks the night before so they would be nice and slushy and super cold for them.

This morning my husband says he doesn't feel well.  Great.  I'm thinking, he won't do the meeting after all of this, I'm going to have to do the whole thing myself.  I gave him a copy of the outline of the meeting this morning and the only thing he had to do all day was to read over it and get prepared to run the meeting.  We get there and unpack our van load of stuff and he starts messing up the meeting right from the get-go.  He has absolutely no idea what we are doing.  I cannot believe that I have gone through all of this preparation, gathering of supplies, planning every single minute detail and he can't even read over an outline and do the meeting!

Long story kinda short, I end up doing the whole thing myself.  Kids were running all around like lunatics not even listening to hardly anything I had to say and to top it all off this one kid kept coming up to me and lying and saying that he was 3rd in EVERY SINGLE EVENT even though I clearly saw that he was not 1st, 2nd or 3rd every single time.  I wanted to tell him, "Now son, you're darn lucky that you weren't born 30 years ago because if you had been I'd spank you right here for lying to me and your mom wouldn't even care!"  Back when I grew up adults made their kids mind and everyone else's kids too.  There was none of this running all around not listening to adults.  At least not that I can remember.  We were too scared of getting in trouble.

So now I'm absolutely exhausted and glad that the whole thing is finally over.  I have a brand new admiration for teachers who have to keep order with 20 or 30 kids on a daily basis.  I only had 11 and I thought I would pull my hair out!

Teenagers Annoy Me

Last week I decided it was time to get my 6 year old some swimming lessons. I went all out and bought the private lessons at a nearby community recreation center. The lessons are about $20 each and he'll be going once a week.

I was a little worried that he'd be terrified during the lesson, because he has this fear of getting water in his eyes. Go figure. When I was a kid you couldn't pry me out of the water, any water. Whether it was the bathtub, the sprinkler, a pool, the ocean, a lake, or whatever; if there was water nearby, I was probably in it. My son's aversion to water getting in his eyes has baffled me.

So with much trepidation, the whole family went to his first swimming lesson not knowing exactly what we were in for. The swimming instructor is a very young girl and a lifeguard at the pool. My son did everything she told him to, to my surprise and at the end of the lesson he told me that it was the "best day ever". Great!

I had scheduled the lessons months in advance because I'm a planner. I plan everything. I even carry around a calendar with all of the kids' appointments, just so I can keep on top of everything. We have an extremely busy schedule with cub scouts and two different swimming lessons. I planned my 6 year old's swimming lessons for Fridays at 6:30. Well after the friday lesson she decided she wanted to change the lessons to Mondays at 6:00. Ok, fine. I'm trying to be easy to get along with, right?

Monday at 3pm, she calls and tells me that she has a track meet and can't make the swimming appointment and wants to reschedule! What?!? Hellooooooooooooo, McFly! There's this thing called a calendar, honey, and I suggest you learn to use one!

You know, patience and understanding do not come to me naturally. Whenever I put forth the effort to have more patience and understanding inevitably someone walks all over me. This scenario is no different. No good deed goes unpunished. That saying rings true every single time. I'm thinking about having that painted on my entryway at home instead of "Home Sweet Home".

So I wait today to see if that pathetic little pipsqueak will even call to reshedule the appointment but I'm secretly hoping that she forgets so that I can move on to some other teenager that wouldn't mind making $40/hour! SHEESH! What has the world come to?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Free To Pee

The weather is absolutely gorgeous here today, clear blue skies and 75 degress. Now that's what I call perfect. It was so perfect outside, in fact, that I could not resist taking my two older boys outside to play while the little one had his nap. It wasn't too long before I noticed my 6 year old in the front yard standing facing a large evergreen tree. Then I noticed that he was peeing on the big evergreen tree. Great! Of course I told him that he was way too old to be peeing on trees in the yard.

My mother-in-law was the one who actually got the kids started with peeing outside on bushes when they were little. We have a big yard and the house is pretty well secluded; enough so that neighbors can't really tell what's going on. I was irritated slightly when she started the peeing outside thing, but it led to something way more horrifying.

My oldest son is 10 and has special needs. We've had a heck of a time trying to get him to not pee in his pants. He still wets at night and has to wear those Goodnight pull up things. Occasionally he'll get so busy playing outside that he won't even stop to pee. He'll just go in his pants. It's extremely frustrating and sometimes embarrasing.

Last year we all went to a festival at a nearby park. There were lots of people to say the least. Do you already see where this story is headed? Now we hardly ever go anywhere. My oldest son's behavior is not that great so unfortunately our outtings are pretty brief and infrequent. Whenever we get up the nerve to take a little outdoor adventure, we always seem to regret it. Either the kids fight or whine or misbehave in one way or another. My husband and I come back more stressed out than when we left.

So we're out at this park festival thing and I have my baby in his stroller. My 10 year old is with me and we're standing in the shade of some trees trying to get out of the blazing sun. We're waiting on my husband to return with some ice creams for all of us. My son is running around close by and I just happen to turn around just in time to find him with his pants around his knees peeing on a tree with people ALL AROUND HIM! I could have died. I yelled at him to quit. I would be lying if I said that at that moment I wanted to act like I was looking around for his terrible mother and pretend that I wasn't her. I will never forget that as long as I live.

My whole life seems to revolve around testosterone and pee in one way or another. I couldn't have called this blog anything but "Spongemom Stretchpants". First of all, I have blown up like a sponge since having kids. I retain water like nobody's business and my entire wardrobe consists of some type of stretchpants now. I have nothing decent to wear. My boys watch Spongebob all the time and I need to get someone to write a theme song for me. Like I've said before it should go something like: Who lives in a cul-de-sac and cleans up the pee? Spongemom Stretchpants!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Isn't Spring Just Awesome?

Took these pictures today because I wanted to get out and enjoy the flowering trees in the yard.  Happy Spring Everyone!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deep Thought Thursday

The other week, my husband and I started watching the show Destination Truth on the SyFy channel.  We are now addicted and have watched just about every episode since we discovered it.  We've always liked shows like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, etc.  You could say that UFO's, aliens, bigfoot, the jersey devil and anything strange interests us greatly.   We used to love to listen to Art Bell on his nightly AM radio show, Coast to Coast.  Just thinking of that show gets me excited!

Anyway, the other day the people on Destination Truth were on a hunt to find real leprechauns.  There's a couple of things in life that really scare me.  Leprechauns would be on that list.  A miniature verson of a human walking around gives me the creeps.  Now as soon as they mentioned the word "leprechaun", I immediately started saying in my best fake Irish accent, "You can't have me Lucky Charms!"  So since that day that we watched the show I have been craving Lucky Charms cereal.

Last night I finally went to the grocery store and bought the most gigantic $6 box of Lucky Charms cereal.  My husband then proceeds to tell me that he's losing his job after this weekend, the lot that he works for is closing down.  I sat down with a big bowl of my Lucky Charms cereal and told him, "Well it looks like it's time for some Lucky Charms!"  My deep thought for today is:  I wonder if eating Lucky Charms will actually bring good luck.  I mean I plopped down $6 for this box of cereal, the Lucky Charms leprechaun owes me.  The little swirly marshmallows are good and all, but not $6 good.  Wouldn't it be false advertising if the cereal did not actually contain anything that would bring you good luck?

So that's my deep thought for today.  Hey, I didn't promise that the thought would be intelligent, just deep.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Favorite Photos

These are my absolute favorite pics of my boys.  They look like trouble, don't they?

MckLinky Blog Hop

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing

My husband shared this video with me today. At first I have to admit, I thought it was a late April Fool's Day joke because I just could not believe how anybody could be so stupid. I can't remember laughing so loud in my entire life....then I wanted to cry. If you haven't seen this yet, please take a minute to watch it. Remember that this guy used to be a judge and a lawyer. Now he's a congressman from Georgia whose yearly salary is somewhere around $174,000/year. There just are no words for this. After looking for a t-shirt for this, I created my own. Check out this T-Shirt!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Deep Thought Thursday

If I can get some cooperation with a few of my brain cells, I'll make Deep Thought Thursday an ongoing theme on this blog, otherwise we'll have to call it "What's My Name Again Thursday". I'm starting to wonder if all of that drinking in my college days did away with all of my functional brain cells. I'm thinking all that remains are reject brain cells who make me watch Yo Gabba Gabba and lust after Jack Black, but I digress and no, that's not my deep thought for today.

Most mornings around here are total chaos. On school days from about 8am until close to 9am, everything is a blur. My husband and I rush around directing the kids to make their beds, get dressed, brush their teeth, eat their breakfast and help clean up toys. Today was not a school day but no less chaotic. Everyone was rushing around cleaning and getting ready and doing their own thing. My 16 month old snuck into his older brothers' room in the midst of all the chaos. He's not normally allowed in there because there's too many dangerous things for him to get into. Not that I keep knives, guns, and such in my kids room, there are just toys and things in there that are meant for older kids.

So in the midst of all of the chaos, the older kids' bedroom door was left open and the little tyke went right for the air purifier. There's a little bitty remote on the back of it that he loves to play with and pretend that it's a cell phone. He got it, ran around the house with it a few times talking to some imaginary person on the other end of the non-existent phone line. When he was done, he decided to try to put the remote back into the slot on the back of the air purifier. He successfully put it back in the slot and then proceeded to clap and cheer for himself. He was unaware that I was watching him the whole time.

It was at that time that I had my "deep thought" for today. I wondered what might we all accomplish in this lifetime if we were our own best cheerleaders. If when everyone else in the world lets you down or tells you that you can't do something that you do it anyway and then pat yourself on the back for doing it. If we could only focus and accentuate our strengths and focus on what we can do instead of all the things that we aren't or cannot do.

I still remember when my oldest son who is now 10 was an infant. Doctors began throwing out words like pervasive developmental delays, autism, and sensory integration disorder. Being a new mom and unexperienced with anything like that, I remember feeling disappointed that my son was not speaking or walking at the same time that every other baby was. I would stay up at night and wonder what his life would be like when he was older and how his delays would affect him. I became very focused on everything that my son wasn't doing instead of celebrating the things that he could do. I regret that to this day. It's so easy to get hung up on the negative and forget all about the positive. We could say the very same thing about focusing on what we don't have instead of all of the blessings that we do have. What good things are going unnoticed because all of our attention is on what is wrong with our lives? What is RIGHT with our lives? Probably more than we think.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What I'm Reduced To: The Diaper Saga Continues

I swear the other post about putting duct tape on my son's diaper to keep him from taking it off was not serious...well until now. After nap time today I found my son standing in his crib, no diaper and poo on the sheets. Break out the duct tape, baby! I cannot believe I actually did this.

Jack Black In Orange Tights Makes Me Hot

My 16 month old is obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba.  I was resistant to letting him watch it at first, but television as a babysitter is cheap, judge me if you want.   So the other day we watched the episode called "New Friends" and Jack Black was on the show.  At the end of the show, he dresses like D.J. Lance Rock.  Jack is rockin' the orange tights and orange shower cap and I've been watching this show over and over and over again and I don't think it's because my son likes it!  I'm sorry, but some perverted side of me is having secret fantasies about Jack in those orange tights. I can't help but wonder what his feelings are on mom jeans?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Earth Hour Smearth Hour

Last week I started seeing commercials on television for this Earth Hour thing.  Apparently everyone who wanted to participate would turn off lights, televisions and what-not at 8:30pm for one hour.  I didn't really give it much thought because I like the earth just as much as the next person but I like my television perhaps a little bit more than the earth.  I'm ashamed to admit that my family watches television almost all the time.  The only time that the box is off is during the day when I'm here alone.  I spend my time blogging, cleaning, or running errands.  I don't have a lot of time to spend finding out who the "baby daddy" is or to watch some woman flash the audience to get a two cent strand of "jerry beads".  So the question is, how do I know that that is what goes on on daytime t.v. and to that I must plead the fifth.

Anyway, I digress.  So earth hour started approaching the other night and there wasn't really anything that great on t.v. so I thought I'd turn off the t.v. and the lights just to see how long my family could make it.  The kids go to bed at 8:30pm, otherwise this whole earth hour thing would have never been possible.  So, earth hour at my house went a little something like this:

8:20pm   Me:  "Okay kids, time for bed!"
8:25pm   Me:  "Honey, earth hour is in 5 minutes, okay?"
               DH:  "You're not really going to do that are you?"
               Me:  "Sure, why not?"
               DH:  "Because I don't believe in all of that global warming nonsense."
8:27pm    Me:  (Going around the house and turning off all of the lights and television)  (I light some candles, put one in my kids' bedroom because they are scared of the dark and one in the family room.)
8:28pm    Son:  "Hey, turn on the lights!"
                Me:  "No, it's earth hour and I'll leave this candle in your room for an hour, then I'll turn the bathroom light on in the hallway."
                 Son:  "What's earth hour?"
                Me:  "When we turn off all of the things that use energy to help the earth.  Now goodnight!"
8:35pm    Me: "I wonder if anyone else in the neighborhood is doing this?"  I step out onto the front porch to see.  Everyone else has lights on.  Hmmmm.  DH falls asleep on the couch.  I'm alone with my thoughts for the first time in years.  This is scary.  What the hell am I supposed to do all by myself in the dark?  I need to do laundry, but I can't see to go downstairs.  I don't have anymore candles.

8:40pm  I'm hungry.  Would I be breaking the rules if I opened up the refrigerator and the light comes on?  Who's gonna know?  I open up the fridge quickly and shut the door feeling like I cheated.  I go back and sit down in the silence.  Everyone is asleep, this really sucks. 

8:45pm  Hey, I've made it almost 45 minutes, cool!  Oh wait, this thing started at 8:30 not at 8:00, CRAP.

8:47pm  Forget this crap.  I wonder what's on t.v.? CLICK

So, earth hour only lasted about 17 minutes and I have nobody to blame but myself.  Oh well, there's always next year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Can I Be A Millionaire When I Can't Keep My Toddler's Diaper On?

This is the question that has been plaguing me for the past couple of weeks. My 16 month old son is obsessed with touching his privates and will remove his diaper and/or clothes at any given opportunity. Changing his diaper is like trying to dress a baby pig / octopus creature who has been slathered in baby oil. I'm not by any means a novice diaper changer either. I have two older boys, but never have I ever had this much trouble.

Now I consider myself to be an intelligent woman and an experienced mother. Before my children were born I had a great job, making great money. When I decided to stay home with my kids, I built 100 websites that combined made up to $4,000 a month. I built websites and sold them for profits, now I can't accomplish a single productive thing at home.

My husband and I watch that show called The Millionaire Matchmaker. We laugh at all of the crazy millionaires. There was this one show with this millionaire that they called "Gummy Bear". He was filthy rich and even more eccentric. He had a monkey that wore a diaper and wore really dark, big sunglasses and walked with a cane even though he was not at all blind. The guy was STRANGE.

Now that I'm 39, I'm ready to be filthy rich. I want to be so rich that I'll wear a diaper and the monkey will wear a tuxedo. Everyone will just say that I'm "eccentric". My husband and I have developed a master plan to rule the world. It involves buying and selling real estate. Today was day one of our "rule the world" plan and the only thing that I was supposed to do was to email a guy on some property that he has for sale. I spent the entire day chasing around my toddler, trying like hell to keep his clothes and his diaper on.

I think that I may have a solution to the diaper issue that will allow me to begin my journey into millionaire-dom. I think I'm going to go by the hardware store tomorrow and buy a roll of duct tape. See, I'm from the south and if you can't fix it with duct tape, it can't be fixed. Will update you as to my progress on world domination soon. Looks like I'm not the first person to come up with this idea!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here Little Birdies....Tweet Tweet!

My 15 month old son started doing something so cute about 2 weeks ago.  We have a bay window in the kitchen and a few bird feeders in the yard close to the window.  He likes to pull out a chair from the kitchen table and position himself right near the window in the morning to watch the "birdies", as we call them.  Everything has a cutesy name you know.

So when I saw my adorable son sitting every morning in his chair to watch one or two little birdies, I figured that I must do something to make his bird watching experience an event to remember.  It started with a couple of innocent trips to the lawn and garden department at my local Wal-Mart superstore.  First, I purchased a suet basket and a suet cake along with a treat bell (which is nothing more than birdseed formed into the shape of a bell).  Those things set me back around $ biggie.  I put them on the pole which holds the bird feeders and waited.  No birds, no squirrels, no wildlife of any kind.

A second trip to Wal-Mart followed.  This time I bought a $20 mega bird feeder that you can put either thistle in or regular bird seed.  I bought a bag of not-so-cheap bird seed and figured this would do the trick for sure.  The bag of bird seed cost about $8.00.  Now I'm out $35 total and it's starting to get serious.  Still no birds and I'm starting to get mad.  Looking back, I should have tilled up the entire yard and planted grass seed.  My mistake.

A third trip to Wal-Mart followed.  "I need to get some thistle", I thought.  The finches will surely come if I put out some thistle.  I figured I'd outsmart the laws of murphy and just buy a sock of thistle which was only $5.00.  Ha!  I wasn't going to be suckered this time.  So I hang this hideous looking sock outside that is full of thistle.  It looks like I have a dirty sock hanging from the pole now...great.  The neighbors must be thinking we've gone mad or we're hanging our laundry out to dry now.

Day after day, my son sat in his birdie watchin' chair, and hardly any birds came.  What's wrong with these stupid birds!?  Don't they know there's a virtual smorgasbord of bird seed in our back yard and it's all FREE??  Are they too good for my bird seed?!  The war is on now.

Next thing I know, I'm visiting this Wild Birds Unlimited store in a strip mall.  My blood is boiling.  There's going to be birds in our backyard if I have to rent Big Bird himself.  Perhaps the birds do not like the feeders that we have or the seed.  So, I plop down another $30.00 for a recycled bird feeder that will supposedly last a lifetime.  They had their own "gourmet" blends of wild bird seed there.  I spent another $7.00 on a gallon jug of their birdie crack.  The damn "bird seed blend" has whole almonds, peanuts, fruit and sunflower seeds in it!  Hell, I might want to munch on some of this stuff!

Seventy-seven dollars later, we finally have birds.  The only problem is we have these huge big black ugly birds that scare off all of the little, pretty birds now.  LOL  I guess this makes me a bird racist or something.  At the very least I've created the birdie crack house in our neighborhood.  What we won't do for our kids.

Like A Kid At Christmas

My two older boys share a room and both have allergies.  Tyler (age 10) has severe allergies in the springtime to pollen and grass.  Ryan (age 6) has dust, mold, and pollen allergies.  Ryan also gets asthma and croup whenever he gets sick so by fall and winter time I'm pulling my hair out.  Ryan wakes up every morning and sneezes two or three times.  I've tried everything.  I have tried dusting and vacuuming their room daily.  I've tried not doing that.  I've tried taking all of the clutter/toys out of the room.  I've tried allergy bedding, vitamins, showers every night.  You name it, I've tried it.  When news of the swine flu came around I was just in a shear panic.  I just knew it was going to devastate our family.  A simple cold causes enormous problems.  We somehow avoided all of that (knock on wood) by dousing them with hand sanitizer, insisting that they take their shoes off and wash their hands as soon as they enter the house, etc.  The only other possible measures that I could have taken would have been to set up a decontamination area and hosed them down with hot water and alcohol.  That seemed a tad severe, so we opted not to do all of that.

So the only thing that I have not tried was getting an air purifier for their bedroom.  I researched those things for weeks and read customer review after customer review.  Having done so, I decided to fork over $330 for a RabbitAir BiosGS 421-A  (there will be a test later).  It took a week to get here and when it did I was like a kid at Christmas.  I thought, "now THIS is going to be the answer to all of our problems".  A tad hopeful I realize.  The air purifier had a lot to live up to.  So I opened it up and put the thing together like the instructions said.  The filters were quite impressive.  Very thick.  The unit looks great.  I got the metallic blue which I wondered if that would be a mistake but it looks quite good.  It comes with a remote and on the front of the unit has an odor sensor (which does work by the way and I'd rather not tell you how I know this LOL).  It also has a particle sensor which picks up dust, pollen, etc.  It's very quiet too and has lots of settings and options.

So, this thing has been in my kids' room now for 4 days now.  My son STILL wakes up sneezing.  The air does seem a little fresher in their room.  I'm pretty sure there's a LITTLE less dust in there but I do see dust on their television today.  My test to see if the thing actually worked or not was to see if my son still woke up sneezing and if we go by that test, the unit has failed miserably.  I feel like I've given it quite a fair shake but will continue to monitor how this spring goes.  I even tried to get on a live chat on the RabbitAir website on Sunday but it took so long to get a response that I just gave up.  I have to admit that I'm a tad bit disappointed.  The reviews on Amazon were amazing.  People kept saying how great their customer service was and how it was the best money they'd ever spent on their health.  You would have thought that this thing made Hellen Keller hear, speak and see.  I kind of hate to give this kind of negative review on my blog.  The thing looks great, it is very, very quiet, the filters are impressive, but I just don't know if it's working or not for my kids.  The unit I bought is the smaller one but it did say that it would cover an area of up to 300 square feet for an allergy or asthma sufferer, and I guess 600 square feet for everyone else.

I like that the unit is flat because it's easy to carry around (has a carrying handle on the back).  The air comes in through the front of the unit, through the filters (a pre-filter, a HEPA and an activated charcoal filter) and then the clean air goes up through some vents on the back of the unit.  I like that it's not blowing air directly at my kids.  The front part of the unit sort of prevents the flow of clean air from going towards anyone in the room.

I do want to give this air purifier a fair shake so I'll take some pictures of the filter pretty soon and post them on here. I guess that will be where the real proof is.

UPDATE:  I had to come back and update this post.  I started running the air purifier at  full speed during the pollen season.  Since I've up'ed the speed, the kids' bedroom smells a lot fresher than the rest of the house and my son hasn't had the morning stuffiness that he has always had.  Not only that, but he had some type of cold a few weeks ago and we did not suffer through croup and we didn't have to break out the nebulizer for his asthma cough.  I can count on one hand the number of times in his life that he has gotten a cold and actually was able to get over it without multiple trips to the doctor's office!  I would HIGHLY recommend the Rabbit air purifiers!  Yay!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Somebody Please Shoot Me

So the kids have been out of school for their spring cycle break for almost two weeks now.  It's been cold and rainy most days and I've had a hell of a time with them.  I'm about to pull my hair out and they know it.  When they smell weakness...look out!  They know I cannot possibly watch every move that I make and when I'm in the midst of doing anything, that's when the mayhem ensues...and I'm always doing something.  Today I got a jump on cleaning the house, I was so proud of myself.  It takes little to make me happy.  Anyway, so I cleaned the bathroom, poured some of that blue toilet bowl stuff under the rim and swished away.  I left the toilet brush under the rim to drip dry and continued on with my cleaning.  I came back about 30 minutes later and the blue water was green.  Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened here.  One of my darling little trouble makers came in and peed and did not bother to ongoing issue in our home.  I dream of the day that I won't walk into the bathroom and find a surprise in the potty.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who Lives In A Cul-De-Sac And Cleans Up The Pee?

SPONGEMOM STRETCHPANTS!  toot toot toot toot toot toot!  So who is spongemom stretchpants?  Me, of course.  Mom of 3 boys and now that I'm in my (ah hem) late 30's I have surrendered to stretch pants.  Yes, mom jeans.  Spandex if you will.  How I got to this place in my life is a complete blur.  I once was a hot lifeguard, tan, toned, driving a little red sports car blasting Van Halen as loud as it could go.  Now?  I'm rockin' the mini-van and the mom jeans with three boys driving me completely insane.  I feel like that woman on that mini-van commercial who says that she hears "hot babysitter" all the time.

A word of warning to all young, single women out there:
The road to mom jeans and a mini-van is not as long as you might think.  While you're busy looking the other direction you find yourself in love, then before long you find yourself married, then everyone wants grandkids.  BEWARE!  Girls, they want grandkids because they are cute and they can send them home and guess who they're going home with?  YOU my friend, YOU.  Next thing you know you have one child and you fall in love all over again.  You love that child so much that you decide, "Hey, I like THAT one so much, let's have another one!"  BEWARE!  Ladies, they don't stay cute forever.  Factor that into your equation!  They also don't tell you that after child #2, and yes, child#3 your body blows up like a blimp and no matter how many diets you try or walks with the stroller you take, you just keep getting fatter!  Before you know it......MOM JEANS!  Be afraid, be very afraid!

More to come from my crazy life....