Monday, August 31, 2009

doing as I'm told

Yesterday, my hubby said something I never, ever thought I would hear him say.

As he was leaving for work, he yelled over his shoulder "make sure you blog today!" and then closed the door.

After I recovered my senses and picked myself off the floor, I felt a little lost.

See, dear Hubby has been "disliking" my new blogging "habit" since it began. I have many witnesses to this fact. He is pretty vocal about it. His coworkers know all about it, family, friends. They have all heard my hubby rant about my blog. One of my girlfriends didn't believe me, but after she spent a little time around my hubby she said "Wow, you weren't exaggerating about you Hubby!". But I've kept going, hoping that one day he'll warm up to my new hobby. There are so many good reasons for me to keep blogging.

Reasons why Tori should keep blogging:

1. It's cheap. When I compare his hobby of golfing to my blogging, well, that's a "no brainer"

2. It updates the family and friends back home on our move to Illinois (my original reason for starting this thing).

3. It gives him complete control over the TV remote in the evenings. I can sit and do "bloggie things" and he can watch whatever he wants (it is football season-hello?!).

4. It makes me happy and "if momma ain't happy", well you know the rest.

5. I could be doing worse like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex....wait that was one of
Mac's latest arguments, never mind.

So you're probably saying "He is giving you permission! Why are you giving us lists of why you should continue?".

See, I think dear Hubby is just being a little sneaky. After 19 years of marriage, I think he has finally figured out one of my, what I like to call, "little personality quirks" (I really do think it's taken him this long!).

I feel silly admitting this to everyone, because I'm sure I'm the only one out there that feels like this, but I have a problem with people telling me what to do. And it's gotten really bad. I originally thought it was something left over from my teenage rebellious years but then I began to notice it getting worse as I got older.

If you ask me to do something for you nicely, I don't seem to have a problem. But if I feel like you are telling me what to do, it's like a switch going off inside of me. It can be as simple as noticing a tone of the person asking or the way they word their request.

And it's not just dear Hubby that I have this problem with, it can be my kids, or friends, or anyone. It's definitely something that I'm trying to make better.

Now that I have completely made myself look like a nut case (what is it with me blogging about my previous well hidden quirks?), I think that is what dear Hubby is doing--pulling the whole "reverse psychology" thing.

Or he could just want me to post pictures of the living room paint job.

To show that the colors he picked were okay. (we still haven't got the curtain hung or the surround sound up but we are getting there)

And that I would like them. And he could say "I told you so" (which btw, is one of his "quirky little personality traits" that drives me crazy!)

We all have them. Right?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New readers! Yeah!

I love new readers!

I really love new readers who are young (like my kids age**Hi Sarah I.! Hi Katherine G.! Hi Laura Y.!**there are some others but, I don't want to embarrass them...)

I really, really love new readers who are young and know how to do fun computer stuff (dare I say, geeks? It's a big compliment in my book!) Welcome Caleb!

Caleb is a friend of my son Bud. He is the yahoo that I spoke of in this blog post

He is also pretty amazing with a camera and photoshop. I drool over his camera.

Caleb is just one of those all around great guys. The kind of guy who sees a problem and will help you fix it.

I was so thrilled when he read my post and saw the problem I have with my kids not smiling in pictures.

He came up with a great solution....photoshop!

I can just picture these framed above the mantle (so much better than a flat screen TV!)

Thanks Caleb! We all had a good laugh at these!

Have a great school year!

decorating hubby 2

We started painting the living room yesterday.

or I should say, dear Hubby started painting the living room yesterday. I painted my nails. That counts. Right?

Not sure if I like his color choice. When he reads this (which he doing now, btw--reading my blog, yes I'm amazed!!--it doesn't mean he likes it, but he's reading it) he will say that I chose it too.

But not really.

You know the story. And by now, I trust his decorating talents. Or maybe after this choice, I won't anymore. We'll see. I pointed out that the color matches my blog. Hubby rolled his eyes at me.

And Nae left this morning.

but not before I snapped a "first day of school" pic of her in front of the fireplace. Even though it won't be her first day for another week or so. I really did it cuz she was laughing at the other kids about having to get their pics taken on the first day of school. I told her she should stop or I'd do the same to her. She didn't so I'm just "making good on a threat" again. It's important to do that when parenting teens. Just so ya know.

*yes I know Nae isn't a teen anymore, but you have to be consistant for all of them*

....okay really I just wanted another picture of ya know!

Don't mess with mama when she has a camera in her hand! That's what I always say....or at least that's what I say now.

sniff, sniff. Goodbye Nae, have a good senior year at U of M!

Goodbye little dependable packed car, you've been good to us....

Oh and one more thing. I heard my first coyote last night howling! I went outside to listen better and then heard some kids laughing so I thought it was a mistake but then I saw one right across the street from our house. Pretty cool!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

sucker parenting 101

I'm just gonna say it before anyone else does.

I'm weak.

I've been manipulated.

I'm a horrible parent.

I'm a sucker.....

I'll admit it flat out....I let my younger kids do things I never would have let my oldest kid do (sorry Nae).

Case in point.

Letting Mac go with a bunch of girls and paint her belly with a letter for the first football game.

I can see all my old friends back home shaking their heads right now. I'm sure they are thinking that we let the Chicago burb thing influence us....I don't know, but I'd like to try and explain....
Mac spent the last two weeks begging us to let her do this.

When she first asked her dad, I think his exact words were "over my dead body".

Mac is good.....BUT....she gets her skills from her daddy.

I think I've told you before that my hubby is an excellent arguer. After 19 years of marriage, I have given up on ever thinking I will win one against him. That is why he is such a good sales man and is so successful at his job.

Poor guy, never did he expect to pass off that gift to one of his offspring....especially his BABY girl!

So I just stepped back and let them go at it!
Hubby and I would lay in bed and I would quietly give my input, but during the day I stayed out of it.

It was actually quite humorous to watch them battle it out.

conversation #1

Mac: "Please daddy" (Dear Hubby and I learned a long time ago that when the girls want something bad they resort to calling him "daddy". We don't fall for it anymore....well, at least I don't...he still turns to mush) "everyone is doing it!"

Hubby: "Well, I guess you'll be the only one not doing it then."

end of conversation

conversation #22

Mac: "Please's not like it's the worst thing in the world....I will cover up the rest of my body so you hardly will see any skin!"

Hubby: "You won't have to worry about covering anything up because you're not doing it!"
end of conversation

conversation #357

Mac: "Please daddy....I could be out doing other things like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.....but I'm not! You have no idea what a good girl I am!"

Hubby: "Yes and you won't be doing this either!"

end of conversation

Obviously, Mac was victorious. Some people out there will say that Mac wins a lot. But you don't live with her and see our daily victories....and hopefully they are the important victories. And hopefully the battles we choose to let her "win" won't mess her up for life. We can only try and do the best we can do.

I told you this wasn't a "how to parent your teens" blog.

Pretty tastefully done, if belly painting can ever be called "tasteful".

Thanks for checking in today. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2009

making good on a threat

We have one tradition that we do on the first day of school every year.
(unless you count spending hundreds of dollars on mandatory school supplies like boxes of tissue, dry erase markers, index cards, red pens, ect. ect. a tradition)

Sorry, still feel like ranting about all that.

Our tradition? We take a picture of each kid in front of the fireplace.

And wow! My kids love it!


I blogged a while back about taking pictures of my kids and getting that "look". The "are you done taking my picture yet cuz this is soooo stupid and such a waste of my all important teenage time" look. You can refresh your memory by clicking here.

So today I'm making good on a threat......

You don't smile nice for mom's camera......

if you give me that "look".....

I'm gonna blog about you.

this one is a little better....

that's a nice smile....

Uggghhh!.....this one is still not very impressive....but it's as good as I could get.

Look at those poor "I've been staying up till 2 am all summer and sleeping in until noon and I didn't listen to my mom and go to bed at a normal time over the last few days to get back on a normal schedule so I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night" red eyes.

Maybe next time they will smile nice for their mama!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

now this is terrifying!

Our footsteps echoed down the dimly lit hallway. My heart was beating wildly in my chest and by the look of terror on Tony's face, I guessed that his was too. A high pitch scream cut through the silence, followed by series of giggles.

Yeah....I said giggles. Tony and I were at the last open house for school on Tuesday. We had already been to one, but Tony was very concerned about not getting lost. We needed to locate his study hall and we still hadn't figured out where his gym class would be held (there are 3 gyms here).

Watching my baby struggle with his fear of being the new kid in school is tough. It's torture actually. But that's not what is scary. You know what is scary?

8th grade girls. They are terrifying!

Have you been in a middle school lately? 8th grade girls are everywhere! And they are all at least a head taller than the boys. And 8th grade girls look like women! Seriously. What's up with that? What happened to "late bloomers"? And 8th grade girls are all giggly....and pretty. And some of them were looking at my baby.

I wanted to say "Hey now! Back off babe!"

Frightening....absolutely frightening!

I just don't get it....I've never felt this way before. My daughters were 8th grade girls not too long ago. I didn't think they were all that scary. Bud was an 8th grade boy once upon a time too, I was ok then.

But walking into that hormone infested "institute of learning" with my sweet little baby boy, (who I was just changing diapers on his cute little bottom not too long ago---oh he's gonna kill me), was a whole new ball game for me. One that I'm not sure I'm ready for.

So I'm blaming 8th grade girls.

I'll let you know how I feel about 9th grade girls next year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things my teens can do but I can't

Our second world traveler came home last night (well maybe I should say U.S.A. traveler).

Bud, my 18 y/o son, flew into O'Hare at midnight after being gone for 3 weeks.
He was returning from his first big adventure away from home.

these three yahoos.....that's my yahoo, Bud, on the right....

drove this little car....without incident....

from Tennessee to Vancouver Island, British Columbia (they actually picked Bud up in Chicago) they could drop yahoo #1 (Caleb, on left) off at college.

And they did it with very little planning. They decided they would drive until they got tired and then camp.

I think this might be the route they took.

I'm just kidding, I just wanted to play with Google and Photoshop....I know, not my most impressive work. I still need help with my computer skills.

Right now you're probably amazed that I would let my high school senior go on a trip like this. Actually, I'm pretty amazed too. I never claimed this was a "how to" blog on teen's just where I make fun of them. Helps me to regains some pride after all the eye rolling, ect. ect.

Maybe it's because I'm getting lenient in my old age.
Maybe it's because he's my second (and compared to letting Nae go to Sudan for 3 weeks it was a piece of cake).
Maybe because dear Hubby and I are feeling really guilty for making him move his senior year.
Yeah, that's probably it....

Now he's home safe and sound. Bud came home with stories of sleeping on rocks and floors. Of getting lost and trying to figure out the public transportation system in Vancouver (I'm so proud...sniff, sniff).
But what struck with me most from his stories are the things they did while lost or trying to figure things out. Things that, if I were doing them, my kids would NEVER let me forget. If they were with me, they would curl up and die from embarrassment right there on the spot.
Here's an example. Bud and Caleb go to the grocery store in British Columbia. The check out lady asks if they would like to buy grocery bags. They assume she means those heavy duty recyclable bags so they say 'no thanks'. So she rings up their items and leaves all the stuff they just bought laying there. And they all just stand there looking at each other and the food and each other and the food. And then it dawns on them that you have to purchase the plastic bags to put the food in. So they look around and in a corner a few feet away, is a pile of garbage. They go over there and rifle through it and pull out some old, grubby banana boxes, walk back over and put their groceries in them.
Never! I would NEVER get away with that if my teenagers were with me. But Bud tells the story like they are geniuses for solving a complex problem.
I will just have to wait for them to have teens of their own...then I can laugh at them too....
I think I hear my Dad laughing right now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The world according to Mac...#2

This conversation occurred the afternoon of New Years Eve a couple years ago...

Mac: "Mom, the first part of the night we are going to dinner then you have to pick us up at 7pm and then we are going to Sarah's house until midnight and then you need to pick us up so we can come to our house to spend the night."

Me: "Mac! You know dad and I might have some plans tonight! It is New Years Eve after all!

Mac: in a whiny voice " But're old and you've already had all your fun"

Why can't I figure this stuff out by now?

Yes, there is a new post. It's just down there and I can't for the life of me figure out how to bring it up here. So please go a couple of old posts down and read. Thanks for your patience, and for putting up with one more reason why I suck...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The world according to Mac...

Mac enters kitchen where I'm fixing dinner.

Mac: "Mom, I can't find my phone. Where did you put it?

Me: "I didn't touch your phone. Why do you always blame me when you loose things?"

Mac: "Because I know that you are really just hiding my stuff to annoy me."

Me: "Believe me Mac, I have much better things to do than hiding your stuff."

Mac finds her phone sitting on the kitchen counter, right where she left it...

Mac: "Wow mom! You really suck at hiding things!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

a back to school rant..."Illinois style"

The kids are headed back to school the day after tomorrow.
Last week I finished all the paper work and made all the payments so they can go to school.

Yes I said "payments". I guess that's normal here in Illinois for public schools. I have no idea how it is in other states. All I know, is that in Michigan, I never paid anything for my kids to go to public school. I kinda thought that was why it was called "public" school.

I'm a little irritated by all the fees I've been charged. But I guess I need to get used to it because I will be paying them every year.

Here's a little breakdown for you. These are the mandatory fees...
Registration Fee (or they call it "Instructional Fee")
~Bud $105
~Mac $105
~Tony $85
Locker Fee
~Bud $6
~Mac $6
~Tony $5
Gym Uniform Fee
~Bud $24
~Mac $24
~Tony $23
Heart Monitor Fee (every kid needs one)
~Bud $5
~Mac $5
~Tony $5
Student Activity Fee (whatever that means)
~Bud $50
~Mac $50
~Tony $25
Assignment Notebook Fee
~Bud $6
~Mac $6
~Tony $6
Senior Fee
~Bud $40
Foreign Language Fee
~Mac $15
Drafting/ CAD
~Bud $20

Misc Optional Fees
~Bud $45
~Tony $22
PTO Donation (so you can get a directory at the middle school)
~$20 +$5 for directory
High School Directory
~$30 (this thing better be bound and with gold leafing!)
Parking Lot Fee
~$100 (this one really irritates me!)

Right now none of my kids are in high school sports that would cost me $140 per kid per sport
or art class $40 to take that class and $100 for AP. Want to be in band that would cost you an extra $60, choir is $10. Business $14-25, Health class $10, Home Ec. $12- $53 depending on the class. I could go on and on....
If you want to take the bus and you live in an area that the bus doesn't normally stop $350. (I don't even want to know what that means....)

Grand Total...I don't even want to add it all up( I know it's in the $800-$900 range). We did the private school thing for 13 years, so I'm well aware of those costs...but this is public school for goodness sake (and you would not believe the taxes we pay here--ughh!). We were spoiled in Michigan I guess. I'm just curious, if you are reading this and live in another state and suffer the same "nickle and dimeing" or not let me know. Leave a comment and tell me what state you live in and if you have to pay crazy amounts of money to send your kids to public school.
Thanks and have a great school year!

Reason #1 why I will die younger than I should

Tony has come up with a new way to take years off my life.
Cuz that's what teens do best.....torment their mamas.

He has set the trampoline next to our deck.....
and I'm sure you can guess what he is doing.

The first time he did it I was sitting at the kitchen table and he yells "look mom!!!!" then he takes a flying leap off the deck (with a smirk on his face).
yeah that's the smirk....right there....

I almost burst a blood vessel.

Then I almost strangled my kid.
Now he's doing it all the time.

But I'm getting used to it....or that's not really true....I just know not to look when Tony says "look mom!!".
I'm also not falling for "can you come out here for a second mom?" or "the house is on fire mom!!" or "Help mom! I'm really hurt!" So today when I heard Tony trying to talk Mac into taking the leap...I ignored it. And when I heard Mac finally giving in and agreeing to give it a try....I put my fingers in my ears, closed my eyes and said 'lalalalala'.

And when I heard a unusually large thud and loud moaning....I laughed and said "I'm not falling for that one!!" and went back to what I was doing.

Then Mac came in limping and sporting this....

I tried really hard to feel sorry for her....really, I did.

But this is my child who tries to tell me that this is safe....

And she thinks I'll be letting her drive anytime soon...HA!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blog infatuation

I know I have a lot of facebook friends who come over and read my blog everyday. (I'm forever grateful)

It's not that I want to you come over here and start a new addiction....cuz that's what this is....this bloggie world is addicting.

And I don't want to be know as a "supplier" for your addictions....a "blog pusher". I'll have to start looking over my shoulder all the time and saying "pist...come over here kid...I got something to show ya"

But I also love to share things with my friends.

I always got a "plays well with others" on my report card as a kid. Now, I know why. Whenever I see something I like, people start popping into my head "Oooo, I bet Jan would like this...." or "I just have to show this to Mike" or "I'm not sure I like that, but Pam would..."

So anyways, last night I found this blog and instantly fell in love! If I could marry a blog....this would be the one....if I could have blog babies....I would want them to all look just like their daddy (errr...umm....or this blog or whatever...). You get the picture.

This blog is by a guy who works in a rare, used book store. He buys books and finds things inside the books that people forgot about (the forgotten bookmark). He takes a picture of what he finds and the old book and puts it on his blog. That's it. The end.

But wow! I'm gone! I love it (I think I may have said that already)!

I'm not even sure why I'm so crazy for this blog. Maybe it's just a phase, an little infatuation, that I'll get over. Maybe it's my love of books and old things and a little bit of mystery thrown in. Maybe it's got something to do with feeling like your peeking just a little bit into someones private affairs (sometimes I think that maybe part of the draw for facebook).

But since I'm so head over heels, as you can tell, I thought I'd share with everyone in the bloggiedom (kinda fun making up new words). You can all think I'm crazy or a little weird...but I don't care....Ive found by blog paradise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

images of my past coolness

It takes a strong sense of self to parent teens.

It can get down right disheartening sometimes. The old self confidence can end up in the gutter.

Always being told you're "embarrassing" or "old" or "not cool".

Sometimes they don't need to say anything...just that look that they give know what they are thinking....the same thoughts we had about our parents.

But I'm not like my parents (sorry dad) they were not cool (and I'm sure never were)! I can remember my teenagers years clearly, and I've tried to stay up on the latest trends in movies, clothes, and music. I was cool once! I was....

I tried once to tell them that I was once pretty cool....first they told me normal people don't say "cool" anymore, then they laughed a lot....I can tell they didn't believe me.

So I thought I'd pull out some old pics of me to show them how cool I used to be.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Right out of high school I did some modeling....

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Played some professional hockey on the side....had to quit because it was hard on my teeth....

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I had a short but successful movie career....
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm sure you remember me in these blockbusters!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I dated Beckham for a while....but you know how it is....gets pretty old looking at someone extremely gorgeous day after he dumped me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Had an amazing career as a rap artist....this was after I popped out a couple of kids so the sweat pants look was a good look for may remember my hit "Ridin Dirty in My Mini Van"'s was pretty "gangsta"

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

then I decided I need to be doing something that really made a difference in this world (really... it was this or a Victoria Secret underwear model---that's the only pics they offered that I could paste my face on).

I did have those times that I'm not real proud of.....

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I don't know French and I'm a little frightened of what this sign might mean.

Oh and here is my all time low......

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

being Paris' BFF. I will never show my kids this one!

If you'd like some help in the "hip" department with your kids you can visit this site too.

Have a great day you cool people you!