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....