Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dishwasher Woes

Well I think we've reached a new low in our household. We have two teenagers and one of their chores is to load and unload the dishwasher. Now considering we've only had a dishwasher for the last 7 months you'd think they'd be so thrilled with being able to use it that they'd be very careful about running it with nicely scraped plates.

Ummmmmmm dramatic pause.....NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I'm quite shocked that loading a dishwasher is such a hard task. I'm wondering if they have to wash them all by hand for the next month that they'll realize what a luxury it actually is.

When we moved into our new home it was one of the appliances that hubby and I knew that we just had to have. Our kids did the dishes but it was always an argument about who would wash and who would dry and screams of horror after pulling out a cup out of the cupboard pouring a beverage and realizing that it had dried hardened milk at the bottom(it's true)! So we really, really wanted to get a dishwasher. We saved this delivery as a surprise for our kids, after all it would really benefit them the most. They were thrilled!

It was exciting the first few times we used it - I had never seen dishes so clean. Everything sparkled and shined like new. Everything got a good wash - all the dishes that were packed in newsprint came out gleaming. For months I didn't let the kids load it but they were responsible for unloading. Eventually I decided to show them how to load as well. This began fine, I mean there were times that they could have fit a lot more if they had been more careful with the placement of certain items.

Then it all went south. One day the dishwasher was started up and we could hear this horrible grinding noise. We ran upstairs and drained the machine, only to find that our dd had left a straw inside a cup and it was now being chewed up in the grinder. A few stern talks about making sure things were rinsed - items like 'straws' were not left in cups etc. etc. etc. A short time later I came into the kitchen to find our floor covered in bubbles. 'What on Earth'! Turns out our ds had put a cup in the dishwasher that had previously held our dishsoap filled scrubber....yep! We hunkered down and spent the afternoon scooping bubbles out of the machine!

All through this though the dishwasher was in working condition. Now I should have used my 'mom sense' and decided right then and there that the kids were obviously not capable of loading the extremely complicated machine....but oh no I continued giving them free access to my little dream machine. That there was my big mistake.

Yesterday I noticed the dishwasher hadn't drained all the way. Hmmm seemed a bit odd. We told the machine to drain and it did - must have been something caught in the grinder or such - seemed fine. Nope, we ran it last night and this morning we noticed it hadn't drained - the worst part it wouldn't drain even when we selected cancel/drain. Yeesh! So now we have to have the repair guy come out. I imagine he'll be pulling a chopstick or some other wacky item out of the hose or the's just crazy!!

You wouldn't think with two teenagers you'd have this problem. I mean I remember when our son was 2. He would put odd things in the oddest places. Little bits of ornaments into the vcr and toys and toothbrushes down the toiletbowl. Yes I had somehow assumed we were past all of these unfortunate little 'accidents' but it would seem that it is a constant concern.

The question remains though, once the kids move out of the house....who will we blame?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sleepover Survival Kit - For Parents

We've probably both fallen off our rockers and gone completely insane but we've agreed to let our daughter have another dreaded(cue scary music) - Sleep-Over.
Gosh, just saying that word is enough to give me an uncontrollable twitch.

Yes, we've finally caved. She's been asking for awhile now and I finally ran out of perfectly good reasons why it wasn't possible. I mean I could give a list of reasons why it should never, ever happen. I mean the whole title 'sleep-over' is soooo misleading. If you've never experienced this you have no clue. But, any mother out there with daughters has more than likely experienced this event at least once. Us courageous ones attempt it more than once....then we run directly to the hairdresser and make that grey wash away!

If you are one of us brave mom's or dad's out there you need some quick survival tips out there to make it through that critical 24 hour period.

Firstly, make sure you have plenty fo the kids to do. I mean stock up on the favorite girl movies of all time. Give them plenty of choices! Buy the jumbo size of popcorn and make a big jug of juice or give them some sugar-free pop. The last thing they need is more sugar.

I find if they have a plan of what they 'd like to do it makes it go a bit smoother. Have them select a few board games that they want to play and have them on hand. Cozy up the living room with plenty of pillows and blankets(be prepared to seek out another room of the house). Have them prepare a mix cd of their favorite tunes - dancing can keep them both busy and use up all that excess energy.

Now that you have the kids busy you can take it easy. You should make sure to have your plan as well. Pick up that latest video that you want to see, the one that isn't for the kids(I mean rated more than PG). Set the mood with dim lights and some incense. Make sure the dog has gone out for his final pee and curl up and settle in for the night. Don't forget that jumbo size popcorn you bought - there is plenty to go around.

That's it - or at least my survival plan for the next 24 hrs. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Let's Party...

Thanks to Five Minutes For Mom we can all party it up. Take a few moments to stop by and see what all the fuss is about. There will be prize give aways and much excitement.

Well thanks to all of you who posted comments on my Daughter From Outer Space posting. It sure felt good to know that 1.) I am not alone and 2.) There will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

In light of the party atmosphere I thought I'd share with you some of the things that are going good at the moment. Sometimes you do need to just get stuff off your chest and you feel better, but other times you have to realize that really, life isn't so bad.

I took DH last night to see the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, it was a bit of a spontaneous splurge...but as any good mother knows we don't do this enough for ourselves. I can't remember the last time we went out - then I knew it had been way toooooo long. I think Regan was still!

So we had a nice time - the show was fantastic. I had a great time being with hubby and then during intermission there was the most beautiful snow fall in a long time. We've had snow since before Christmas, but we haven't had a snowfall in over 3 weeks, so it was nice to see. There is something special about snow falling - just a feeling of peace.

On other good news, my foot is beginning to feel better. Although it's making me feel a tad bit old. The reason for that is that I now need to have shoes on inside the house in order to wear my orthotics more regularly. I always remember visiting my grandparents and they always had their sturdy runners on even in the house - as a kid I couldn't understand this whole 'shoes on in the house'! I did later on realize it was because they had some sort of 'old person' foot problems. Never, never think things like that. I now know the errors of my ways...hehehehe, as I'm sure as heck not old, am I?

And....last but not least - we are getting more daylight finally! We went to leave for work today and it wasn't pitch black....wooo hooo, spring is on the way. I always love when the climb begins toward more daylight - I don't know about you, but getting up at 7am and seeing the room so dark it's darn hard to get out of bed. So one more thing to celebrate, the coming arrival of Spring!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

5 Things (you may not) know about me - I've been tagged

Five Things (you may not) know about me! - thanks to Hubby for the tag!

1. I love to listen to POLKA music!
Now, quit all that groaning - some poor sap will blow his speakers if the www gets too loud.

Seriously though, every since I was a little wee girl listening to my Grandpa play his accordion I have loved this music. I remember many Saturday night driving home and listening to the Polka Party on the local radio station. When I hear it I can't help it my toes start a tap tap tapping and I probably get that little gleam in my eye as I remember the good ol' days when Grandpa used to play. I'm sure he's wowing a few folks in heaven with his toe tapping music.

My grandma gave me her old stereo when she moved into her senior's apartment - that's right the kind that plays those big things we call records and Oh My - even 8 tracks. Now I am showing my age.

Anyway, I also inherited all my Grandpa's records including some he and his band had recorded. I don't know how I'll ever be able to part with that bit of nostalgia!

The worst part of this secret addiction is my hubby's inability to dance to it - nothing worse than being a wallflower when a good two step starts a playing. One day I'm sure I'll have him dancing like a pro.

2. I have a bizarre fascination with yarn. I'm sure I was well into my adult years with one if not both of my kids already on the scene. My mom had given me a basket of yarn for my birthday and a crochet hook. From that moment on my love affair with yarn has been non-stop.

I can barely pass the yarn aisle of our local box store without a quick look and more often than not a purchase of some that I'm sure I just HAVE to have. This turns our home into a mini yarn shoppe.

Once I'd mastered the art of crochet I felt brave enough to take on knitting. God bless Granny and a lady named Judy for all their help, plus all those wonderfully illustrated How To books.

All that has led me to where I am today - a Yarn Addict! I constantly have a few projects on the go, and when a project is complete I immediately have to start a new one.

I woke up at 7:30 this morning and the first thing I did was wake up and you guessed it, began knitting! Then today my mom gave me a garbage bag full of wool from her private stash and it was like a kid in a candy store - all that yarn Oy, just think of the possibilities.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be cured of this addiction, but I sure hope not. Where else can you get hours of entertainment for under a dollar/hour.

3. I am terrified of basements!

That's right I said basements!!! There is nothing creepier than that dark hole underneath the house, where only the bugs seem to feel at home. The older the home the scarier the basement becomes. My sister was living in an old duplex that had been priests quarters and they were connected to the convent and the church through some underground tunnels. She tried to get me to go into that basement once, I couldn't even get myself to go down one step.

I remember staying at my Granny's house and she'd ask me to get some preserves from the basement - I don't think you ever saw a kid move so fast. I was probably just a blur. I guess I thought some basement monster was going to get me.

I don't know why I am afraid of basements, maybe it's because they're so dark or they have too many bugs or maybe it's the noises that the furnace makes as it blasts the heat through the house.

The ironic thing about all of this is when we bought our new home we bought a bi-level and hubby and I have the bedroom in the basement. Now sure it's a finished basement but sometimes when I hear that furnace groan or hear the ceiling above expand and contract I have my moment of being a kid in granny's basement once again.

4. I have two subscriptions to magazines but I never read them.

I don't even know why that is. I mean I will generally glance through them and see if there any interesting recipes or an interesting story but more often than not I end up piling them beside the bed until the stack gets so big I can't see out the window and then I'll generally give them to someone else to read.

The weird thing is I know all of this, but somehow I can't just seem to end the subscriptions. When the renewal form comes along, my evil twin must take over and fills it in once again. It's of course the only logical conclusion I can come to for such odd behavior.

5. Last but not least as previously mentioned by dear hubby - he kind of let my biggest secret out already but for me it's still a big thing. Not too many people I know would even know it. I don't know why I think it's such a big deal...

but I do play NWN and previous to that Baldur's Gate and I absolutely LOVE it! I used to laugh at DH playing it and then I got hooked. I think it's because it takes you so far out of your ordinary life that for that bit of time you can let all of the stresses of the day just subside and just relax and have some fun.

I also don't think many women/girls/mothers females even play, so I feel a bit odd that I am so intrigued with such a male dominated hobby. Why else do I feel compelled to keep it such a secret.

Anyway it's a fun game that I love to play with DH, in fact a few years ago we got his and hers computers so that we could play the campaigns together. Prior to this we had a much more primitive way of playing that makes me laugh just thinking of us co-sharing the game and keyboard.

Well it's our 'quality time' and we love playing it. Although, we haven't played in some time now. We'll have to get a game going again one of these days for ol' times sake.

There, 5 things you probably didn't know about me - just a wee glimpse into the many faceted sides of my personality. If you feel like sharing some of tidbits with the rest of us consider yourself tagged. If you do feel like sharing, leave a comment and I'll be sure to check out your blog.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Mom to a teenager from Outer Space

Oh Dear Lord,

What oh what has happened to the little precious bundle of joy, that you blessed us with some 13 years ago. She was so tiny and fragile and when she cried all I needed to do was to hold her and everything was alright!

Now I am bombarded with this beligerent, selfish, ornery girl with moodswings so severe she must be from Outer Space. I am absolutely not joking Lord! Within minutes she can be happy and telling me she loves me, to screaming at the top of her lungs how much she hates me and hates her life(and things much worse, that I'll leave out to be kind).

Fights that can start over the simplest thing, "Yyou left your cereal on the table all day." - "Oh, I ddn't see it"(she happens to be doing her homework RIGHT beside it! Of course she doesn't see it, what was I thinking. And she'll never admit she's WRONG....absoultely NEVER. I didn't realize but being wrong is something a teenager never is, how cool is that? Maybe I should go back 20+ years, just so I can be right for a change.

From the constant fights to the jugs of milk that drain faster than I can say "who drank all that milk", life is a constant battle! From the room that is in a constant state of 'Condemn' to the constant complaints that her brother is treated much better than her. So he's 17 going on 18 and has completely different rules and boundaries - why should any of that matter? Of course, what was I thinking?????

I pray that I will have the strength to get through all the I HATE YOU's to the grown up I LOVE YOU's - which will inevitably come many years from now when she is much more mature and a parent who can finally understand all that was done for her by us all because no matter how many I hate you's she screams or how nasty she ever gets....we love her...unconditionally and forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

TeaMouse Finds

I've suffered with 'winter skin' since I was a child. As soon as the weather changed so did my skin. From my grey, calloused elbows to my cracked and bleeding hands(this gets worse with knitting). Lovely eczema is my winter enemy. If you have eczema, you are well aware of the effects the cold dry weather can have on your skin. I've tried every cream known to man...I even slathered up my hands in vaseline and put on gloves at night, which would work in the short term. But honestly, who wants to sleep with gloves on all night! The only other option given to me from doctors is the good ol' cortisone cream prescription. I'm not a huge fan of using cortisone if I can avoid it.

Now I can. I discovered over the holiday's Alpen Secrets Goat Milk Soap. Using their soap and body wash has returned my skin to it's summertime beauty. No more cracked and rough elbows, bye bye bleeding and cracked hands. This stuff is amazing!!! I don't usually do product promos, but I had to get the word out about this stuff. I was lucky enough to find their bath sets on 1/2 price after Christmas, so I am stocked up for awhile.

If you suffer from this same winter skin, give the soap a try. There are even some generic versions of the soap if you check out your local pharmacy. I wish I would have found this stuff years ago.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I first want to say how lucky I am to be where I am at today. I have a wonderful husband who is my best-friend and we share everything together, without him I don't know where I'd be today. His support and belief in me is unwaivering. He is constantly reminding me that I can do you I say thank you and I wish for us another amazing year filled with God's Blessings.

Next, my kids....I know I give them grief and do a lot of nagging but I am so lucky to have you both. You both are really great kids!!! I don't know if I tell my kids that enough. It's difficult when I am after them for dropping things here and there and for having rooms that I literally want to condemn.....but aside from the typical 'messy kid' syndrom they are great kids. This New Year's Eve, hubby and I had thought for a change we'd go out. Our kids are now 13 and 17 and we were sure they'd had enough of our annual family game night tradition - but nope, they were adamant that we have our game night. How many parents today can say that their 17 year old would rather be with them on New Year's Eve? For all the goodness you bring into our lives, the music and the smiles....thank you! You are both so special, don't ever forget it and Dad and I are so proud of each of you. I wish you both a year filled with joy, peace and love.

Wow, 2007!!! I know a lot of people are making their 'annual resolutions' and that's ok. I suppose in some manner I am as well. I look at the New Year as an opportunity to reflect on what is really important in my life. I want to really try to focus this year on how good life really is. My biggest problem is always seeing the grass greener on the other side. I want to really become happy with what I have. A perfect example of this came to me the other day. When we moved into our home I bought brand new dishes and I absolutely loved them. It's been about 6 months and already I am eyeing up new dishes. Why? Well the new dishes are nice, but the dinner plates are large and they don't fit into our dishwasher. I was mentioning this to DH and he reminded me to be careful that I was going to fall into the 'happiness trap'. I realized then, that unless I became happy with what I have now - I will always be striving to 'be happy'. So that is my goal for the year, I don't expect tha it will be easy, but I am going to try very hard to work on this.

Blessings of 2006
1. DH - He means the world to me.
My kids
3. Family
4. Our Home - the sheer joy of this I hope to never forget.
5. Oliver our cute beagle boy
6. Health
7. No weight gain through Christmas - Yay!
8. Our DVR
9. My new Mp3, player and all the 80's music that DH downloaded.
10. Blogging - I never thought I'd be a blogger but I am really enjoying this journaling of my life.

I wish you all a Happy New Year filled with God's most abundant blessings!!