Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In which I'm bitter

Dear Commonwealth Healthcare Connector,

I've been seeing your commercials for a year or so now. The one where the balding guy with the broken arm talks to me about the importance of insurance for my family? Just wanted to let your ad agency know that the casting kind of sucked because he looks just like a loser who's forty and out of work and is in his parent's kitchen, not his own. His flannel shirt doesn't help matters. I realize the whole forty and out of work/living with the folks thing is part of your target demographic but it only serves to cement just how pissed off I am that my husband is working for someone right now (50+ hours a week) and I have TWO part time jobs and we're still in the same boat as this schlub.

However, thanks to the downturn in commercial development and the law requiring all Massachusetts residents to have health insurance - no matter what the cost - I found myself in need of your services. Speaking of this law, how much did the insurance agencies have to pay to the "re-election committees" of certain politicians to get this beauty passed?

Your vague, user un-friendly website has cemented my need for insurance of some sort because my blood pressure, while trying to find if our doctor accepts the plans you offer? Through the roof. And no, the pediatrician has apparently opted out of these plans. Great.

Just so you are aware.... a link to an Excel spreadsheet that does not clearly identify the numbers being spread? Not helpful. Especially because this was the link that was supposed to break down the monthly payments. So thanks for that.

Oh, to be sure there are some easier options. For instance, instead of wading through the quagmire - I could just get sick and tired of it all and opt for the full price coverage. Or maybe the "bronze plan" that has a two thousand dollar deductable and is just slightly less than my mortgage payment. Sadly, we cannot afford to be so flippant and wading through the quagmire is a necessity.

Also, the whole 'no tax refund' thing? Kind of sucks, guys.



So, to those of you thinking that socialized medicine is a good thing? Just want to let you know that mandatory not.

But on the upside, as this sat in drafts, my husband got called back to work at his 'regular job'. For how long we don't know but we've dodged this bullet for now.

Monday, April 28, 2008

And so, with it being Monday I'll have you all know that I survived not one but THREE sleepovers this past week.

Can I say here, without sounding too weird, that eleven year old boys are kind of awesome? (When they aren't acting like their parents owe them uber-expensive birthday presents)

They play and they laugh themselves silly and shout out random phrases that are mildly annoying - until you hear the laughter. They make fart noises late into the night, giggling themselves right off the bed.

Also, the amount of gatorade they consume? It boggles the mind.

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I've been watching Survivor and um, just wanted to let you all know that I'm not at all happy with the the all girl alliance thing they've got going. Ugh, I can't imagine anything worse than being stuck in that type of situation with bitchy girls who think they're the shit. Poor James.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What I haven't been watching, at least since last week? The Red Sox. Seems like I haven't missed too much.

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It kind of irks me when a mom, who lets her son watch any and ALL war movies - from Braveheart to Saving Private Ryan - kind of gives me the "ohmygosh NO" when I ask if it's okay for him to play Ghost Squad with three other boys on the Wii.
Okay then.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tonight is the boy's last hockey practice until August. The girl? She starts skating on Saturday. No rest for the wicked.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Birthday? Not really.

A few nights before his birthday I had a talk with the boy about what he'd like for his birthday. After the litany of things that he wants but won't get (iPod touch, laptop) he moved on to things he has a chance of receiving (Mario Strikers, UnderArmor Sweatshirt, Boston College gear). I told him that I had picked up a few gifts and would probably take him shopping with me to get something else.

Fast forward to Monday morning.

I had only picked him up a few shirts, shorts and a BC hat. Nothing major, he needs summer clothes so these gifts fell right into the useful category. I fully planned on taking him to the mall that afternoon but hadn't mentioned it to him. He opens his presents minutes after his 7:36 a.m. birthday. He appears happy.

Fast forward ten minutes.

He's lying on the couch all covered in blankets for the next half hour and then proceeds to go to his bedroom and lie down for another half hour. So unlike him, I thought he was ill.

Turns out he was just pissed.

He makes a snide comment about how much we spent on all of his gifts ($10.00 was his estimate) and rolls his eyes. I sat in stunned silence.

I then proceeded to take the BC Hat, the shirts and all but one pair of shorts off of the table.

I took them away and left one pair of shorts. I told him that the shorts I left on the table cost $10.00 and that he could content himself with those. Which, naturally, left him in a foul mood for awhile longer.

Funny though, maybe because he's a boy, he's over it in like a half hour. He's moved on.

He's worn the shorts twice and only asked for his other clothes back once. Request denied.
He will probably get the clothes at some point (he's in desperate need of summer clothes anyway). Probably.

He's had such a bad case of the haves and havenots lately, the grass is most definitely greener over on J. Drive (where most of the spoiled kids on his bus live) - with their $300.00 iPods and cell phones and hundred dollar sneakers. He's spent the last few weeks letting us know just how badly we are failing him - I mean, why can't we just get him everything he wants? There seems to be no conceivable reason, in his mind, anyway.

I'm sure it's a phase. It's got to be a phase, right?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday's sleepover went off without a hitch. The weather was beautiful, they boys played outside and slowly my yard began to fill up with the neighbor's girls and some random visits from other neighbors and friends.

So, nine kids and a squirt gun/water balloon fight later....

The boys came in to dry off and wait for dark (they wanted to play manhunt) but ended up watching the Bruins game and making goofy videos that only eleven year old boys find amusing. They capped off the night playing Red Steel on the Wii until the wii hours of the morning.

One boy had to leave, because of a migraine, so the other three were all hunkered down in the living room covered with pillows and blankets and trying to hunt each other down with machine guns. Apparently, two versus one isn't as much fun as even teams so after the hockey game I hear one of them say "Ask your mom if she'll play." And my son, apparently not old enough to be mortified by the thought hollers up to me and asks me to join.

I tell them just how terrible I'm going to be and that they aren't allowed to gang up on me until I figure out how to use the controllers. Which, they paired me with the kid who can play anything and he just gunned them down until I got my bearings. Gotta tell you, somewhat strange hearing one of the boys say "Dude, you just shot your mom!" and watching them high-five. Although, revenge was sweet as I sniped him down from a little bunker I found.

Sick. And totally entertaining.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April vacation is breathing down my neck and things being what they are...

My girl is home sick with a fever, sore throat and mildly stuffy nose. Which, hopefully it will go away all on its own but, again, with things being what they are - it will morph into strep throat, but not until Saturday night after the doctor's office has closed for the weekend.

Plus, because I swore I'd never have another birthday party for my son after last year's lord of the flies behavior... he invited his three good friends from school to sleep over that night.
But, because my husband has a soft spot for my boy and his hockey friends there was a dilemma....because I? Wasn't having an eight boy sleep over.

So, in a stroke of extreme stupidity coupled with spinelessness genius we suggested two separate for school buddies, one for hockey. Because the two? Do not mix well in groups. They take sides, they argue, they are passively agressively possessive of my boy, each trying to prove that THEY are the best friends the boy could have.

Two weekends in a row with sleepovers. Have I mentioned how much I hate sleepovers? Well, I totally do. Our house is small and there is just nowhere to go to escape. I rented some war games for the Wii and we're having pizza and....that's it so far. No other plans have been made, no party favors (save some gum) have been purchased. I need to do something about cake/ice cream/dessert.

In other news I went up the stairs two nights son had some horrific music blaring in his room and I figured I'd find him drawing or daydreaming. Instead he was totally engrossed....he was reading his social studies book about the Revolutionary War and the Jamestown settlement.

For this boy I would suffer any amount of sleepovers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

So, I was tagged by the Fairly Odd Mother...For five random things and five place I'd like to go. Personally, I think she was just sick of seeing the whole wounded knee photo, which, okay I totally agree.

The Rules:

Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog. Then,share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.
Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

1. I cannot type 'blogspot' without screwing up. It's always 'blogsopt'. After almost four years you'd think I'd have gotten the hang of it by now, but nope. Plus I hate to type and even though it's partly my job - I'm not even good at it. And don't even care. I'll count it as a bonus that my bosses don't care either.

2. I used to cheat at the speed reading tests in seventh grade. Why? I have no idea. I read plenty fast enough but I wanted to beat everyone else and not just by five words. Or even worse, come in second. Oh, the horror.

3. Once, I called in sick to work and totally went to Martha's Vinyard for the day. By myself - with a beach towel, book and some sunblock. It was great until I couldn't start the rented moped, then I almost panicked and cried. Somehow, lord knows how, but I got it going again and cruised around Oaks Bluffs, half afraid to shut it off. I got over it quickly enough and spent the day reading and trying not to get a too obvious sunburn.

4. I love to plan trips. Or even just look at where we might go...someday. I'm totally a list maker when I'm getting ready... I cannot imagine how much I'd forget if I wasn't. Probably because I truly am a scatterbrain in real life but a smart scatterbrain that knows without a list we'd be bumming without toothpaste, socks and the cell phone. I love the whole process, well, except the packing.

5. My house needs to be vacuumed.

Five places I'd like to visit or visit again:

1. I guess I'd have to go with Alaska. I've been there, but don't remember it...And no, NOT a druken weekend gone wrong...I was born there and we moved before I turned three. I must've said this all before.

2. Game four of a Red Sox World Series...well...only if the Sox have won games 1-3. As an aside, Timlin isn't helping to make this dream location any sort of possibility with his ERA of 27.

3. What I really want to do in the next few years? Drive cross country. With the kids. Sick, I know...and there's no way my barely employed husband could ever take the summer off to come with us . Still, I want to do it.

4. I'd like to spend a few weeks on the Cape, in a house on the beach. Totally full of sand and smelling like sunblock and summer.

5. We'd like to take the kids out to some or one of the National Parks out west - Yellowstone, Glacier, Zion - I should start planning.

And tagging? I would and maybe I will edit this later on to include some random tagging but this post has sat in my drafts folder, half finished, for days now. Time to publish.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Why is it

that when the kids are watching a movie without me it goes by in the blink of an eye but when I'm sitting there with them, the movie drags on and on? Of course this is true for only crappy movies like Cars and such, but still. And no, I didn't like Cars. And yes, I do realize I'm in the minority.

My husband's team lost on Saturday, so the hockey season is done. Well, games are done...there's still ice time. I organized a big party for the team at a local camp/rec hall type of place and then I officially retired as team mom. *cue choir of angels*

On Thursday my boy accidentally tapped a water bottle against one of his teeth and if you have any idea of how our luck goes you'll be able to at least partly guess what happened next.

The composite part of his tooth? The fakey bottom half? Broke off and fell out of his mouth.

So, today? He got his stitches taken out of his leg and a new front tooth built. Plus he got a permanent filling where the root canal had been done. He's some kinda lucky ain't he?

And just in case you're curious, this is what the knee looked like the day after it happened:Click it to make it large...because gruesome details are much better when zoomed up big!

I haven't taken a photo yet of the stitchless assured - I will. And then it will take me two weeks to post it.

Friday, April 04, 2008

How entertaining!

So. Having my husband home, while it weighs heavily on my mind (read: full blown panic hits the week after April vacation), it has been kind of handy. He gets the kids on the bus, folds laundry, vacuums, cooks - basically whatever needs doing. (Okay, so I have a wife??) Pluse he's available to take the kids to appointments and friends houses - so that I don't have to miss work. So, moneywise - sucks. Convenience wise? Awesome.

And lookey. We went from this:
Not bad, basic entertainment center type of thing. I hate the curvy scalloped thing on the bottom molding piece but otherwise, it fit the room exactly where we needed it to go. But then Christmas day, the TV goes kerflooey and they just aren't making 32", 150 pound televisions anymore. For shame. (Note the glowing Wii controllers on top? Love that Wii.)

And then, some graph paper drawings and measuring tape magic later..... I got this:

Handmade, exactly to my notpickyatall design requests (yes, the depth of the dentil molding really DOES matter.) by my guy.

We were pricing custom maple trim boards and I , I mean, WE decided that it would be cheaper to just buy the router pieces and design our own. I can't picture in my head the type of cut each bit will make so I have to draw the profiles myself. And to the fella that buys the box of whatever in front of the router bits at Lowe's? I didn't copyright those pencil sketches you're seeing all over your box of whatever, so feel free to duplicate.

My husband never, ever reads this. But if he did? He'd be all fired up because he'd find major flaws in each of these photos. Flaws I didn't and don't even notice. Well, except for the bottom, tiny picture. Because those puttied up nail holes? They make him crazy. And I posted that one on purpose.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So, if I were any kind of blogger I'd be posting about my son's injury (healing well, minor swelling, stitches out next monday)

or the impending hockey playoff season that has my husband making a promise that makes me cringe (if they win it all - he shaves his head. Or rather, my boy does it for him)

or the fact that his team finished in first place (first year coaching, very happy man, big BIG trophies for the kids).

Or maybe I'd post some pictures.

The newly constructed entertainment center. Note that I didn't say FINISHED entertainment center. *sigh*


My girlie's new toothless mouth. That has her looking more like a jucket than anything.

Or maybe I could do a meme.

Like the movie one I have in drafts

or the

4 x 4 meme that I've been seeing in a few places.

But sadly, I've been the worst kind of blogger. Lurking, barely commenting and never posting. There's been a lot of working seeing as I'm flying solo in my office now and a lot of sleeping (think 8:30ish p.m.). Lame excuses, I know. I KNOW.

But I am making progress, I mean, look at this lame post :)

Plus I uploaded a bunch of pictures maybe, just maybe I'll have something new here tomorrow.

But don't hold your breath.