Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho.


Happy Holidays!!!

See why I cuss it out every year?  Go here and read about it.


Yes, our windows are still going in and that's just what things look like this year.  Please ignore it.  

I have one good day to wrap presents and I have to go and beat some sense into a child who's not listening because "Santa's watching" has totally lost its luster.  

The kids, they're all just like, "Fine, whatever.  I don't care if he is watching.  She started it."  

"Its MINE.  Give it back.  Mom.  Moooom!!!  Tell him to give it back."  

"OUCH.  Mom, she slapped me!  She full body listened with her hand.  That's not fair!!!" 

"But he took my wand.  I want my wand!"

"OUCH!!!"

"She full body listened with her hand again.  M-O-M!!!"

"WTF, a wand???  Really kids, all this over a wand???"  Note: I didn't really say WTF.  

"YES!"

They just don't care anymore.  It's cold outside.  We're inside.  There is no routine and we've done everything I had planned for them by 10:00 AM on day one.  Day one.  

I feel like I'm a caged animal at the zoo.  It's label reads, "American Family. We Aim Low."

Someone tell me again, why am I giving these kids presents???


In all seriousness, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year.  

I'll be back after the New Year.  


And don't forget to go to Cheesy Bloggers and read about my Damn Tree.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Open Letter to the App Store.

Dear App Store:

I used to like you, dare I say, love you even.  You gave me time that I once didn't have.  I loved that sense of stealing a little alone time while my kids played on their I-touches, all happy and full of contentment, mindlessly blasting away a few brain cells.  I didn't care.  I had a few minutes to myself and I was willing to sacrifice some of their grey matter to get it.

I was a desperate woman.  And I had to pee.  And I had the opportunity to pee in private.  A love like that comes but once in a lifetime.

Thank you Bridges of Madison County.  

But like in some relationships, I went from infatuation to loathing in no time flat.  Which amazes me really, since we never even had sex.  I digress.

My children are no longer happy with your free Apps and want to purchase new and improved Apps.  Ones that don't have adds popping up while they are playing or trying to direct them to a new site.

But the real reason I may have to break up with you is simple.  My son has found games that require two players.  Things like Chess, Words With Friends and Hanging With Friends.


And here's the thing, I don't even know how to play Chess.  I don't want to learn how to play Chess.  I especially don't want to learn how to play chess while I'm peeing.  And I'm over forty, I don't want to tax my brain like that.  It's too late for me.

It's kind of like downhill skiing.  I don't know how to ski and I'm quite happy to live my life without going down a steep snowy hill, with two wooden waxed-up sticks propelling me downward to certain death or at minimum a broken femur and a brain injury.

I'm OK with not learning how to ski, just as I'm OK to go my whole life without learning how to play Chess.

But then you came along.  And my son loves you.  He adores you and worships the space in the universe in which you reside.  And because of the love he has for you, I have become wrapped into his web and I'm being unceremoniously exploited to work your wiles.

Like crack, my son is hooked.  I took my free time too far and now we're in trouble.

See, it has to end.  I sent this word
to Alex to solve the other day.

I'm now being pinged with game reminders twenty-four/seven.  Alex is waiting for you to solve the game.  Alex is requesting a rematch on Hanging.  It's your move!  Alex is waiting for a solution.  You have seven Hanging updates.  

In one day alone, one game gave me over thirteen reminders that I need to get cracking.  Thirteen reminders!  From one game!!  Games that need to be completed, moves to be made, rematches to be started.  Ugghhh.

It's too much stress.

I can't keep up.

I'm exhausted.

And we never even had sex.

Its so unfair.


Note:  I'm over at Cheesy Bloggers today talking about our Christmas traditions!   

Monday, December 12, 2011

I caught a thief on camera..seriously, you gotta see this.

I swear sometimes this blog writes itself.  I think this post falls under the category of: Shit I Couldn't Make Up Myself, Even if I Tried.  

I'm not going to talk about Autism today.  Instead I'm going to talk about the douche-bag who drove up to my garage door and stole my shit in broad daylight.  That's right.  That fucker down there drove right up to my garage and stole my contractor's leaf blower. 

  
 

That was a big mistake, minster.  

See, we have six external video surveillance cameras at our house.  All motion detected.  So when you drove your sorry ass up the drive, two of the six videos started rolling.  And we caught you on camera. Red-handed.   

Like a good citizen, I turned the video into the police and filed a report.  After we had a good laugh at your expense I posted the video here and also to YouTube.

Your Welcome.  
 


I'm half tempted to bait you and see if you go Christmas shopping on my driveway again.  I want to put garden tools and shit out with a post-it on it that says "SMILE" just so we can get a better picture of your sorry ass.  Because I'm that kind of a girl.   

And to think I was vehemently opposed to having video surveillance at our house and fought my husband tooth and nail when it went in. I didn't like being video-captured all the damn time and felt like we had a real life sleeping with the enemy thing going on.  It made me feel somewhat violated and a little creeped out.

On occasion, I'd take my revenge and would go up to a camera and pull my shirt up like I was in New Orleans begging for beads.  I'd give the camera a free titty show and go about my business.  

Then I realized my husband never watched any of the surveillance footage.  Ever.  All the jiggles and wiggles I did were in vain.  Whatever.  

And then I got over it, forgot about the video cameras and moved on with life.  

Then the other day, we hit pay-dirt.  

Now what makes me feel violated is the fact this scum-bag came up to my house like he owned it and, in under a minute, walked away with something that didn't belong to him.   

You aught to be ashamed of yourself.  

The fact you couldn't back out the damn drive and gave me a lawn job was icing on the cake.  

Just for that, I get first dibs on kicking you in the nuts.  



Note:  If you want to go to YouTube directly and watch this douche-canoe, this will get you there: http://www.youtube.com/user/LizbethCole?feature=watch

Anyone who knows this scum-bag can report him to the Leawood Police in Kansas, 913-642-5555.  






Friday, December 9, 2011

I don't know how I did it but I did. That just sounds weird.

I don't know how I did this but I did.  Yup, still sounds weird.  

Anyway, take a look at that picture down there.  My youngest kid went and stuck her head in the corner after she did the same bad thing about ten times in a row and I got sick of it.  She self-cornered.  

After I got all pissed and blew it, I said something along the lines of, "Gurl, now you've gone and done it.  Momma's mad.  How many times do I have to say NO?  You get yourself to that corner this instant and take a time out."  

And damned if she didn't march her little diapered ass over to that corner and plug her head between the two walls.

I know, they are two of the shortest walls, ever.   Think support beam and open concept.  

Pink prison garb comes standard at out house. 

Like a good mom I took a picture to immortalize it.  Maybe use it as a hand-out at her wedding or something.  I don't know.  And yes, I already know I'm going to hell.  Those of you ahead of me can save me a seat, not too close to the furnace though, you know how protective I am of my face with those big sun hats and all.  Go here if you want to see what I mean (scroll down a bit) and for the love of all things good and holy, stop checking out my ass.     

Anyway.....

It would have been nice to know how I managed to self-corner this kid.  It would have been even nicer if I could have done this with my first two kids.  I'm a thinking it would have probably saved a good seven or eight years of fruitless yelling, bribing, cajoling and/or other awkward discipline moments but whatever.  

I'm still scratching my head.  How the fuck did I do that???

And that's how I'm going to end this post.  Just like that.  

I don't have anything else today except the start of a head-cold and the feeling that I have to go pee sooner than later.  

That should count for something, right?  

Right???

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birthdays, brats and just for fun--a little bit of snow.

My sweet little baby girl turned two yesterday.  Having an older brother and sister she's been in the terrible two's for a good nine months now.  Always desperate to keep up and not one to be left behind she's the one we've rushed to the Emergency Room, picked up out of the ocean and nursed multiple head wounds.  

All because she's the one the other two use as a toy when they get bored.  They have, in no particular order:
  • Stuffed her in a blanket, rolled her up like a burrito and then flung her down the hallway to see how far she'd go.  In case any of you are wondering, two feet.    
  • Pushed her down the slide outside and watched to see how high she'd bounce when she hit bottom.  They were not happy with the initial bounce so they added items of various thickness to see if it would give her "loft" as Alex called it.  Beach towels gave the most height.  According to Alex, a plank of wood was no different than the ground.  Always good to know.
  • Tried to feed her regular milk and cheese to "see what would happen."  Gracie's lactose intolerant.  She puked.  
  • Climbed into her crib and tried to shoot her out of it by bouncing the hell out of it.  Then they tried to see if they could get the crib mattress to fit under the slide outside.  It apparently has some really good bouncing ability.
  • Painted her finger and toe nails "hooker red" and then proclaimed to the free world, "We have a hooker in the house!  We have a hooker here!"  Yeah, I'll own that.  That was all me.   

Generally speaking she's aged me faster than any of the other kids combined.  

Gracie multitasking.  Yeah, the penguin
back there is in time out.  

Happy Birthday little one.  Your mama loves you and the other two think you're way better than having a dog.  As Lizzy summed it up, "I like her cuz we don't have to walk her and clean up her poop.  You do all of that." 

Cake.
Walmart style.  

On a totally unrelated note we had our first snowfall.

Dropping the kids off to school I slid down the street into oncoming traffic only to hear Lizzy exclaim, "Woooaaa!!  Woo Hoo!!!  Mom, that was great!!!  Can we do that again?!?"

And to hear Alex say, "Mom, did you realize you were in direct violation of about three safety rules?"  He never even bothered to look up from his I-touch.

Snow balls.
How can you not say that and get a giggle?
Go on, say it.
See???

I took a picture of our snow after I damn near killed all of us and calmed my ass down.

That would have been around noon.


Note: I have to thank Tulpen for the use of the words, "snow balls."  She mentioned a prolific use of balls in her Christmas decorations this year and I believe in giving credit where credit's due.  She's over at Bad Words and I love her writing.   


And the cake was five dollars cheaper at Walmart than at Target.  I hauled my ass to Walmart and snapped that thing right up.  I even sported for the sugar letters instead of having Granny back in the bakery write on it.  Cuz seriously, who wants to tempt fate like that?    

Monday, December 5, 2011

Behold the power of the Bar Code.

We have a new thing in our house as of last week.  It's called:  Scan a bar code with your I-touch and see how much it costs anywhere on earth and where we can find it cheaper.  Literally.  I can search the whole world and see the store that has the cheapest price.

Thank you Alex and the App Store.

See, this all started two weeks ago when Alex had a good OT session.  When he has a good session we have agreed that he can download one free App to his I-touch.  Yes, I bribe my kids.  It's horrible I know.  It works for us so I'm not stopping.  There I said it.

Anyway, it was great fun for the first twenty minutes but now everything in the house is being scanned including, but not limited to: tampons, toilet paper, a can of refried beans, a mechanical pencil, calculator, a game of scrabble and hand soap.  Anything with a bar code.

See, here's the game of Scrabble.  

Our Scrabble bar code.

And here's where we can buy it cheaper.

You got screwed if you bought it at Micro Center.

So on Sunday, stupid, stupid me, I decided we need some of the basic elements of survival including milk, eggs and bread.  I hauled the kids to Costo, two Sunday's before the Holiest of Holy Days on Earth.  Somewhere in the back recesses of my mind I thought that was a good idea.

Next time I come up with a gem like that someone, anyone, can you find a baseball bat and just smack me around a bit?

Stupid, stupid me.

Anyway, Alex was twitching before we even got to the car having a heenie since, "Costco DOES NOT have free wireless, Sam's has free wireless.  We should be going to Sam's Club NOT Costco.  Did I mention that Costco does not have free wireless?  Is anyone using their ears?  ACCCKK!"

"Yeah babe, I'm using my ears and I hear you but we need to get Gracie's milk at Costco and Sam's doesn't have it."

"Uggggh, but Costco doesn't have free wireless!!!"

"Uggggh, should we just let your sister starve then?  All because you want free wireless???"

"YES."

Mental Note:  Never ask a Spectrum kid a question you don't really want an answer to and a personal thank you to Sam's Club for stocking everything I need except Soy non-refrigerated milk that my daughter chugs by the gallon.  And yes she really does have a milk allergy.  I'm looking at you extended family.    

So anyway, we get to Costco and wouldn't you know they DO have free wireless.  Falls under the category of things that would have been nice to know yesterday, or forty-five minutes earlier, but I digress.

As we were walking in to Costco debating the finer points of free wireless Alex had an epiphany.  He saw Costco in a whole new light.  He made a connection.  It was like the pearly gates opened up and God smiled down upon us.

All the things in the store have bar codes.  Every last item had scanning potential.  And we were in a warehouse of scanning potential.  A warehouse.

Everything that usually hurt his eyes became something entirely different.  They became: The Ultimate Scanning Opportunity.

At that moment Costco was my boys version of Heaven.  He almost lost his I-touch he was flapping his arms so dang hard.

And for the next two hours we stayed in Costco scanning every frigging item he could get his grubby little hands on.  DVD's, games for Play Station, Wii, socks, books, meats, produce, Christmas garland, nativity scenes, jewelry, cheese, cutlery, soda.

You name it, we scanned it.

And because he was extra excited he was talking in his outdoor voice inside Costco the whole time.

He made friends all over the place.

In the DVD section loudly exclaiming, "WOW WALMART SELLS THIS MOVIE FOR NINE DOLLARS LESS.  WOW!!!  TARGET, WOMP, WOMP, WOMP, SIX DOLLARS MORE!!!"

In the toy section, "WOW, YOU CAN ONLY PURCHASE THIS ON-LINE.  AND THEY CHARGE FOR SHIPPING.  WOMP, WOPM WOMP...RIP-OFF!"

In the produce section, "A WHOLE CHICKEN IS WAY MORE EXPENSIVE AT PRICE CHOPPER.  WHO'D SHOP THERE???"

It's the season of giving all right and let me tell you, my son's a giver.  He was giving price advice all over the place.  And the thing was, for the most part people loved it.  Impressed that an eight year old was able to tell them the best deal from his I-touch.  They loved how he was sharing and giving unsolicited advice.  Because when it came to money, people listened.

And that my friends is the true story of how our weekly visit to the inner circle of hell turned into a two hour adventure on Sunday.  For the first time ever, we had fun at Costco and our meltdowns were at the beginning of the trip and not at the end.


Note: Alex uses the App called RedLaser.  If anyone's interested just click on the link.  I think you can also get it at the App Store as well, I don't know I'd have to ask Alex.  Anyway, enjoy your shopping and now you too can start scanning every frigging item Costco sells.  Have fun with that.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

One day down, two to go...

I've never been a big fan of the Venn Diagram.  I could never understand them.  But then I had an epiphany.  I finally figured it out.  It helped that we lived in the grey area most of the time.  I take that back.  Alex wasn't in the grey area the whole time.  I was.  


I've been on pins and needles trying to get the kids through this visit.  See, all of my husbands family traveled here and that makes the time spent together more intense.  I've been trying to give the kids breaks, walks and private time just so they can be better able to handle things.  

Alex finally lost it at diner time when it was time to come inside and eat.  He stomped and flapped the whole way in and I could just tell by looking at him he was imploding.  I hurried him to the laundry room, turned on the dryer and held him.  Scratch that.  I didn't hold him.  He wouldn't let me.  He quickly worked his way to a corner and started rocking back and forth.  Trying to calm himself.  Trying to block things out.    

Every fiber in my body wanted to reach out to him.  To hug him.  To hold him.  But I couldn't.  Touching him at that moment would have been like trying to hug a cornered panther.  He would have attacked.     

For as much as I wanted to hold him and tell him things were going to be all right, I didn't, I couldn't.  It would have helped me but not him.  

So instead I told him how well he was doing, how loud it was and how hard it was to just be in the same house with all the noise, smells and other kids.  That it hurt my brain too.  He just started crying.  Hot tears went streaming down his cheeks and he was still rocking and holding his knees, working himself into a tight little ball.  I slipped his headsets over his ears and we sat in silence listening to the hum of the dryer.    

And I think that was the worst part of the day.  Sitting in the laundry room, silently cursing the Gods.  Wanting to take it all away but knowing I couldn't.  

Normally there is all sorts of pomp and circumstance about who gets to go first with the food and all sorts of other BS and by the time they're all through patting themselves on the back, the foods all cold.  Not this year.  As we came out of the laundry room, I gave everyone a big fuck you, got my kid a plate of turkey, ripped open a baguette to get to the soft inner bread he likes and, with me as a human shield, we sat down at the table and he ate. 

With a wave of my hand I told them all to help themselves and to stop staring.  And with a look in my eyes, I dared them to say anything.  Anything.  I got him the remote and we watched re-runs of How It's Made.  And I dared them to turn it off.  

They didn't.

And it was at that exact moment I knew we were going to survive this.  


Note: We still have family here and its been it harder and harder to get a few moments to myself.  I am finding I simply cannot do everything so I'm going to take this next week off and get the kids sorted and take care of  them.  I will be back next Friday.  


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wiggle, wiggle wiggle, yeah.

I have so much to say and well, sometimes, life and rules about what I can and can't say just get in the way.  I'm not going to talk about Autism today.  I will give you what has been giving me a giggle when I need a break.

So I give you this.  A video from LMFAO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyx6JDQCslE

Now this is not for the kids or the faint of heart.  Click that Next Blog button up there and come back later.  But for the rest of you, I'll just say Speedo's, pelvic thrusts and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah.

Your welcome.

And thank you LMFAO for helping me survive the Holiday.

No go and crucify me in the comments for my music selection.
  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Puppets are the work of the Devil.

So my husband had the insight to tell me that sometimes I can, "Really put my foot in it."  And I can.  There are times when I can see myself, like an angel looking down from above, talking and I Can Not Stop.  I really want to, trust me.  For whatever reason I just don't have the ability.

Anyway, this all started when I got the release form for Lizzy's field trip.  They have this extra section that if parents want to come along you sign up.  The teachers pull your name out of a hat and off you go.  I signed up but never thought I'd be going since Lizzy goes to school with a bunch of overachievers.  The mom's that is.  These lady-bitches have beaten me out of every trip so far this year.  

Well, I got picked.  I had no idea where we were going but I was so happy I finally beat the lady-bitches at their own game.  We were going to see a puppet show.

I HATE PUPPETS.

EVEN WORSE THAN CLOWNS.  

I HATE PUPPETS. 

So there I sat on a bus full of screaming kids thinking to myself:  "Who in their right mind decides they want to have a career playing with puppets?  I mean, what in the hell would possess a rational, able bodied person to wake up and decide they want to make their life's ambition to provide puppet entertainment to the general population?  And that's assuming they're rational.  And in the ghetto, inner city or urban core, where ever.  But really, what kind of person besides Mr. Rogers, wants to go into puppet work?  For children??  Its just not right."    

So there I sat with a bunch of Kindergartners praying to get out of the place alive and unharmed by rogue puppets or snotty six year olds.  Speaking of which, all my friends who are Kindergarten teachers?  You ladies are Saints and should be Canonized or you're crazy.  I'm not sure which.  I just know I could not do your job.  

Look at these freaky-ass things.

Fast forward to later in the evening when I dropped Lizzy off at a birthday party.  The party mom's all, "How were the puppets?  It must have been soooo much fun!"

And I was all, "No, it wasn't fun.  It was downright unnerving.  Scary even.  I mean, there were freaky puppets looking down from the walls and everywhere.  It was the weirdest place I've ever been and I think I'm going to have nightmares and post-traumatic stress from the whole thing.  Gawd, just thinking about it now gives me the shakes.  Uggh, I mean a whole puppet show on Go Dog Go?  I thought time stood still and I was trapped in hell with some wacked-out puppeteer and bunch feral six year olds.  What time to I get Lizzy?  Seven o'clock, right?"

And she's all, "You don't like puppets?  What's not to like about puppets?  What kind of person doesn't like puppets?"  

That's when I realized I had said too much.  

She was looking at me like a deer caught in the headlights, looking into my soul and seeing Satan.  She was truly concerned for my well being and my utter disdain for all things puppets.  I even saw her flinch and take a step back.      

I'm sorry but I don't like puppets.  

And I hate clowns too.
  
Thank you Google Images and Steven King.  

Wonder what she thinks about that.  


Friday, November 18, 2011

Like a horse, I'm spooked.

Remember when I schlepped my whole family down to Sanibel last month to appease my shelling habit?  I'd like to say we went down there because the kids like the beach and it's a great family getaway but the stone-cold truth is that I like to shell and damn-it I'm in charge of this family.  If they want to come on vacation, they can come down to Sanibel and shell with me.  Or they can stay home.  Their choice.


Funny how they all came along with me.

Who wants to see a picture of me?

If you really want to know what I look like and how dolled-up I get to go shelling, go visit Pam's blog, here.  Scroll down, you'll find me.

Pam has this great shelling blog called i Love Shelling and I have been stalking her since, easily, last November.  When we went down to Sanibel this last time I met up with her.  Really, I think she only relented to meeting me in the hopes of serving a restraining order but strange things happen and I ran smack into her on the beach before we were to meet.  Since the cops weren't around and her husband was off too far to hear her screams she had no choice but to say hi.

All kidding aside, I really like her.  I was a little nervous meeting her because I didn't want to be too stalkish but I think I fooled her.

The other lady in the picture I'm with is a wonderful friend I met back in June and I talked about her here.  Funny how you can make such a good friend while looking for a few shells.  Anyway, she came down and we went shelling and hung out.  Can I just tell you how much fun we had???

Anyway, I tell you all of this now because I'm stressed.  Stressed about Thanksgiving and how Alex is going to respond.  And too, I'm worried about how my husband's family is going to respond to seeing the inner workings of how we live.  Because lets face it, our house is set up to live with Autism.  We have index card schedules at the table, taped on the wall where we do homework, where we load and unload backpacks and at the back door where we come in and out of the house.  We have certain times we do things and specific routes we take. We have routines.  We have preferred foods.  We have foods that cause puking just at the mere mention.  We have meltdowns, tears and then we have hugs.  We have a way to do just about everything and that's just us.  And the way we lives brings us peace.  But it's not the way everyone else lives.

Add school and the home construction and I'm a little spooked.

So when I'm stressed I like to go back and think of times where we didn't have any cares other than what's for dinner, when the dolphins going to arrive and how drunk I was going to get.

So that's why I'm looking back a bit right now.

So I can calm down to move forward.    

This little son-of-a-bitch is the reason I have crabs
in my house.  He was Lizzy's "pet" the whole time
we were there.  Serves him right.  

Some of my shells I keep on my desk.
That one with dots in the center?
Shelling Gold.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In our house it all comes out in the minivan.

So if you saw me on the other day in the car stopped at a red light and I was repeatedly banging my head into the steering wheel, there is a simple explanation.  Really.

We were in the car to go to therapy and Alex asked a very straight forward yet loaded question.

"Mom, did you bring the I-pad?"

Shit.  

"No hon, I totally forgot but you can use my phone, OK?"

"Did you bring my I-touch?"

Shit.  Shit.  Shit.

"No hon I didn't bring that either.  I'm sorry.  I'm really sorry.  Mommy got busy and I just plain forgot and I'm so sorry.  You can use my phone, right?  Right???"

Please God, just use the damn phone.  This one time, please.

"NO I CAN NOT USE YOUR PHONE."

Everything with-in arms reach was suddenly being thrust toward the front of the car.  Backpack, shoes, socks, headsets, yo-yo.  I know, a yo-yo.  You name it, it was being lobbed my way.

Thank God we were going to OT to work on gross motor skills because not a damn thing came close to hitting me.

"YOUR PHONE DOES NOT HAVE GAME SOURCE ON IT.  IT HAS TO BE DOWNLOADED AND YOU CAN'T DO THAT FROM HERE.  ACCCCKKKKK!!!!!!  HOW COULD YOU FORGET?  YOU NEVER FORGET!  I HATE YOU.  I HATE THIS.  I WANT DAD.  HE DOESN'T FORGET THINGS.  ACCCCKKKKK!!!!!  YOU DID THIS ON PURPOSE.  I HATE YOU.  ACCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!"

More things being launched from the back seat.  Sparkle nail polish.  A fake spider.  Pencil with an eraser chewed off.  Clearly I need to clean the minivan more often.

"I HATE YOU.  I'M NOT GOING TO LET YOU WATCH THE DVD.  I'M TURNING IT OFF."

And at that point I got a little reprieve as we've been watching Megamind nonstop in the car since we started school on August 17, no I'm not counting, and even thought I love hearing Brad Pitt, quite frankly his wily charms and his sinfully beautiful voice wore off way back in September.  And yes, I still think Angelina is a home wrecker.

I did find it interesting that with all the garbage being relocated to the front of the cabin he held onto the DVD remote.  Clearly he'd managed to hold onto a few marbles.

"I WANT DADDDDDYYYY!!!!!"

And so that is why I was sitting at a red light gnashing my forehead into the steering wheel.

In the hopes of feeling something other than frustration, anxiety and utter pissed-offedness being spewed in my general direction I opted for physical pain.  There was nothing left for him to do but yell.  He'd already lobbed his backpack, shoes, socks and headsets my way, the only thing he had left were words.

And sometimes those hurt the worst of all.



Note:  We made it out of that car ride just fine and he wound up having a good time at OT after all.  I write this as this type of situation plays out almost every single day.  We've learned to cope with meltdowns and have strategies and tools in place for just this sort of thing.  Oftentimes now we are working on preventative rather than defensive measures.  While I never get used to these meltdowns, I have found I have more patience and understanding than I ever thought I possessed.  I write this to let others know they are not alone.  Not by a long shot.     

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daylight Savings, oh how I hate you.

I swear my kids a Vulcan.  He called me on the carpet this morning about this rule we have.  Its like house rule number 22 or something, I don't know.  Anyway here it is.

All kids stay in their room until 7:00 AM.  Period.

I don't care if you're sleeping, playing chess or dismantling an atom bomb but you stay in your frigging rooms till 7:00 AM.

We were having this teensy-tiny problem.  The kids thought it was great sport to come pole vaulting into bed with us at the ass-crack-of-dawn.  So instead of sleeping, I wound up getting dive bombed by an eight year old, arm wrestling for blankets and getting kneed in the intestines for a better spot in the bed.  The whole time Alex was telling me to, "SCOOT OVER.  THAT'S MY SPOT.  I SAID SCOOT OVER!" in something that  I'm sure was an inside voice but at the ass-crack-of-dawn anything louder than a whisper in my book is an outside voice.

After a few months of this I went unhinged and proclaimed for all who would hear: THERE WILL BE NO MORE MINIONS IN BED WITH US AT NIGHT.  YOU MAY ONLY ENTER THE HOLY CHAMBER IF THE CLOCK SAYS ITS AFTER 7:00 AM.  OR IF YOU ARE DYING.  OR PUKING.  OR DYING AND PUKING.  IF YOU'RE DYING OR PUKING THEN GO SEE YOUR FATHER.

All three of my children scoffed at me and were in the bed with us at 6:21 AM the next morning.  I hauled each and every one of my little ass-holes back to their own rooms, stomped my way back to my own room, slammed my door shut and proceeded to stew and cuss until exactly 7:00 AM.

At which time I was met by Alex proclaiming, "IT IS NOW 7:00 AM.  SCOOT OVER."

After a few rough mornings I thought we were doing pretty well.  Sure there were a few mornings where we were stalked outside our door like wild safari animals but we survived and they respected the door to the holy chamber.

We had an ugly truce but I was happy.  I didn't care.  I was getting sleep!

And then came Daylight Savings Time.

I cannot begin to tell you the many and varied ways I'd like to slowly disembowel, skin, cook, torture, flambae, whatever the asshat who started Daylight Saving Time.

Now, every morning, I am told that at exactly 6:00 AM it is really 7:00 AM.

And to SCOOT OVER.

This has nothing to do with anything, its just a
random photo to give you something to "Ohh" and "Ahh" over.

Note:  They are working on the window's in the office and family room right now so I've been kicked out.  It's not yet topped 45 degrees so I'm off to take the baby to Target and keep warm...I'll pop by all your blogs as soon as I can get back in my house!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What do windows and Thanksgiving have in common? Well let me tell you...

We're well underway with Window Fest 2011.   Want to get caught up?  Go here and come back. 

It rained the first few days like a mother rendering me useless and screaming something to the effect of, "Now it decides to rain?!?  You have got to be kidding me.  It hasn't rained in a two Goddammed months and NOW we have thunderstorms?"  Fuck you universe."   All the while doing nothing and praying water didn't dare enter the house.  

It did.  

Then weather then decided to turn cold and now I'm freezing my ass off in my own home.  We've been relegated to wearing coats inside and Gracie's looked at me on more than one occasion like, "WTF?"


Bringing the outdoors in.


It doesn't get any better than that. 

I have all but given up trying to clean the house and I have grown accustomed to banging, ladders and man crack on a multiple of offenders and I am loving the sound of cursing from someone other than myself.  I have resorted to hiding in the office or pantry depending which is warmer.

And I was just given notice there is no way in hell the house will be finished by Thanksgiving.  I kind of sort of knew that was coming but like death, it's still a shock to have to come face to face with it no matter how much you knew it was coming.

But did I mention that every last person in my husbands family (all twenty of them and counting) will be coming in town for Thanksgiving and I kinda sorta wanted the house to be all pretty and perfect???  No, I didn't mention that??  My bad.

And I just got wind the scaffolding to work on the upper windows is coming on Monday and two of the doors and all the trim is back ordered.  

That pretty much guarantees they won't be done by Thanksgiving.  Not by a long shot.  

Guess who's going to be a drunk lush in a dirty house full to the brim with Asians in-laws while passing round the turkey dressing?

Yeah, you guessed it.  

Well at least we'll have scaffolding to climb on for sensory breaks and an extra toilet on the drive.  Who knows, we may even work in a game of dumpster dive if we get a free minute or two.  Not that we'll have to go all that far....
   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hi my name is Lizbeth and I'm a candy whore.

Halloween you suck.  No, not because my kid went out and under ten minutes decided his legs hurt but because for the short time the kids were out they hauled ass.  They banked more candy than I've ever seen.

People were dumping handfuls, handfuls of candy into their bags.

You would never know we were in the middle of a double dip recession in this neighborhood.  Never in a million years.

I even brought extra bags because last year we had frigging meltdown after meltdown when the bag was too heavy and all I heard was, "I can't carry it anymore...this is too much like work...I don't even like Starburst."  You could have followed our candy trail all the way back home from all the shit Alex unloaded just to get back to the house.

Being the smart girl that I am I actually remembered last year (pausing for a momentary shudder) and thought to myself, "hummmm maybe I should bring an extra bag or two."

It was a good thing I did as I was the one lugging the heavy bags home.

And here's what I don't get, I'll never understand.  The kids can have two or three pieces of candy and then walk away.  THEY WALK AWAY.  How do they do that?

I don't have the desire or, and this is the important part, the ability to walk away.

I have single handedly reduced their candy supply by one-third and I'm no where near close to being finished.  I have not seen a Twix or Baby Ruth since last year and let me tell you, it's been a long time coming.  A long time coming.

They used to have two more bags but yours truly ate that too.

And here's the thing, I don't do this late at night after everyones sleeping or when they're at school.  I'm working on this stuff all day.  Do you know how good Milk Duds taste with coffee?  Or how good a handful of Snickers are before dinner??

I made the mistake of counting how many wrappers were in the trash by my own hand and I counted nineteen excluding the one that I was currently working on.

NINETEEN.

And that was before I even went to pick the kids up from school.

The only thing that I keep thinking of is, "thank God I'm not diabetic."

And I'm too weak to upend the candy buckets into the trash.  The kids could care less at this point but I don't have the ability to pitch it.  I can't do it.  There are starving kids in China for Christ's sake.  Such a waste to throw it out.  But more than that, I want to eat it.  All of it.  Even those shitty lemon Starburst.

I'm loathe to admit it but candy is my crack.  And Mama wants her crack.  Mama needs her crack.  My God, I'm a slave to my kids Halloween candy.  I actually dumped a whole bucket out on the counter to ferret out the last Twix and then told the kids to back away, nice and slow.  I need my fix.

What the hell is wrong with me???

Wait.  Nobody answer that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our driveway now has dumpster and porta-potty. Try beating that.

Because I've not yet had enough fun and excitement in my life already, I thought to myself, "Self, what can we do around here to shake things up a bit?  You know, really get the kids upset and all bent out of shape?  Something that will maximize our meltdown potential.  What?  You think we should get all new windows and doors?  Well swell, that sounds like a GREAT idea!   Cuz you know, we've just finished with the last remodel and had the dumpster removed from the driveway and now I'm bored."

And that's exactly what we did.

We're replacing every frigging window and door.

So that's why we have another dumpster in the driveway.  This time we kicked it up a notch and have a porta-potty out there as well.  Nothing says, "we're good neighbors don't ya wanna come live next to us" like a porta-potty on the drive.  It also says, "we're going to take so Goddammed long we need our own crapper."

You know what pissed Alex off the most?
The porta-potty has a lady on it.
A LADY.
  Now where are all the workers going to go poo??? 

And nothing kicks off a meltdown or triggers an epic upset than a change in routine or a change in the house.  I just can't wait till the kids get home from school and see the cluster that is going on in their comfort chamber.  Alex is going to shit his pants when he sees all the mess and construction.

Even better, I am waiting with bated breath till they do the windows in his room.  Lord, Christ Almighty can you even begin to see that meltdown?  I shutter just to think on it.

Oh shit, we didn't need that part, did we?
Oh shit, did she just hear that?
And add insult to injury, I forgot there were construction people in the house and went to take a pee.  I always keep the door open as the last time I closed it my little wandering gnome, called Gracie, was out the door and half way down the street before I had my pants pulled up.  So anyway, there I was peeing only to see a construction guy walk by.

Great.

Just frigging great.

Good think he was speaking Spanish.  I have no idea what the hell he just said.

And that my friends was construction day one.

God Help Us All.

Friday, October 21, 2011

See, this is why I don't get drunk. Or maybe I should do it more often. Now I think I've said too much.

I had a complete meltdown about three weeks ago, right after Alex kicked me in the gut after a pretty rough day at school.  I came home and had a good cry in my closet.  Unlike my kid's meltdown there was no-one there to tell me things were going to be OK.  There was no-one there to make me brownies.  And most of all, there was no-one there to tell me they would kill that mean nasty teacher if she acts up again or, at minimum, threaten her with bodily harm or a good throat punch.

So like the big girl that I am, I made brownies for myself and had a glass of wine (or two or three) as soon as my husband walked in the door.

And since I'm a big girl and I was wearing my big girl panties, I figured the Gods of fortune were smiling down on me.  They were telling me something.

And because I know how to use the computer and a credit card and I could still figure out how to use the two simultaneously, I figured the Gods were really trying to tell me something.

So I got on the computer and went effing crazy.

I booked a trip down to Sanibel using all our frequent flyer miles.  Since I was still a little tipsy and still a little more than upset, I booked the condo I've had my eye on for over a year.  The Gods were really smiling down on me as I managed to score a decent price.  Gotta love Florida in the off season.

And its been one of the better decisions I've made all year.  I told the kids and my husband that we were going back to Sanibel and the smiles, oh the smiles.  Since then, Alex has been surviving school just to get to our trip date.


My husband told me it was the best way to celebrate our anniversary and I knew he understood my stress and how I've been hanging on by a thread.

By A Thread.

So that is how it came to be that we are going out of town in the upcoming week.  Unlike what I did last time, I will not be writing while we're down south.  I'm going to be spending the week with the kids trying to get them to de-stress, have fun and getting drunk.  I mean, me get drunk not the kids get drunk.  Oh hell, you know what I mean.

So when I go silent I will miss you all but I know you of all people will understand.  Understand what it means to get away.  To give the kids a chance to unwind.  To give them something to look forward to.  To give them hope.  And to give them a break.  For me as much as them.

If only I was sober at the time I would have known not to book the trip while Aunt Flow was in town.  Apparently the Gods have a sick sarcastic side as well.  

Feel free to yuck it up in the comments and have your own little party down there.


Note:  This could not be coming at a better time.  Alex punched his para at lunch yesterday and has been melting down both at home and at school more and more frequently.  He has taken to lying about doing things and is generally anxious and scared.  We are having another IEP meeting when we get back and I'm in the process of getting an advocate.  Sigh.   


And I have to find someone to watch our crabs.  See, that doesn't even sound right.  God, I hate those things.   

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Things I don't understand but I'm going to blog about anyway. Part 2.

Neighbor tailgaters.

And I don't mean the kind that show up before a Chief's game either.

So we were on our way to school and this ass-hat comes flying out of the subdivision and plants herself right on my back bumper.  She's all waving her hands, "I've got places to go, don't you know who I am," kind of deal, screaming at me, the whole nine yards.  Call it a physiological reaction, I don't know, but I slip right on down to 35 mph.  Every Single Time.  This woman does this same song and dance every morning and we're both going to the same place---school.  Knock it off and start acting like an appropriate role model for your kids.  You're embarrassing yourself.


People who jog in the road.  Against traffic.

There should be a law against that.  I mean seriously, you're running around in the subdivision where none of us driving are actually watching the road.  We're all yelling at the kids in the back seat, trying to see who has their jacket, who forgot lunch and for fucks sake, "STOP HITTING YOUR SISTER."  So, NO, I'm not exactly looking for you when you're running against traffic and I damn near kill you.  I wouldn't be so upset about it but then I just know you went ahead and procreated so now I'm responsible for killing you although technically you died by your own stupidity.  And what really pisses me off is that you passed your genes on to someone else.  Your line is not dead and they are probably equally as stupid.  Matter of fact, it's probably your shitty little kid that's poking fun of mine right now.


Old mean nurses.

I swear they all wind up at my OB's office or General Practitioner's office.  It's like they're put out to pasture and let loose on the general public.  Wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.  This old bat had the nerve to chastise me for being ten minutes early, not the requisite twenty, and then had the stones to tell me the doctor was running thirty minutes late.  To which I said, "Well, then I'm really right on time.  See how nicely that all worked out?"  To which she gave me the bitter lemon face.  You know, that face you make after you stick your mouth on a lemon, if you're stupid enough to do so.  Bitter lemon face.  She had it.  Bad.


The fact our crabs are still alive.

Can I just tell you, I'm totally over these disgusting little tarantulas in a shell?  Two actually had the nerve to molt and I found spare limbs and body parts all over the crabitat.  Yes, that's actually a word.  And you thought I was weird?  There pages and pages out there on crab love.  Check it out.  You'll have your hand over your mouth in horror, I guarantee it.

I checked in on them the other morning and one of them was eating all the other crab-molted body bits.  Disgusting.  Now one refuses to crawl back into its shell.  I thought for sure it was going to die and four days later it's still hanging on.  I've had to separate it from the other two and buy more shells than it deserves and the damn thing refuses all my offerings.  It won't die or get better.  It's just lingering.


These signs that are on all of our electric utility boxes outside:


See, this just makes me want to go put a stick in there and see what happens.  Aside from his frown it looks like fun.  At least that's what I think and it scares me more than a little.  My kids are just like me and I know it's a matter of time before I see one of them with a stick going for a green box.  Because how cool would it be to see your skeleton with all your clothes still on?  Pretty darn cool.


My mom still stalking me and all of you.

You are out of bounds.  You've still come back here and have gone to other blogs from the comment section and it's beyond frustrating.  STOP IT.  Other bloggers think I am stalking them since YOU are out on their blogs.  I'll explain it to you: since we both live in the same house, we use the same network.  So it looks like ME visiting other blogs when it is really you.  It looks like I'm the weirdo not you.

STOP IT.  Get your own friends and leave mine alone.

To my other blogger friends, please accept my apologies for my mother stalking you and hanging out on your blog and not leaving any comments.

Mom, if you want to find anything out about me walk your ass upstairs and ASK.  This is an invasion of privacy, its weird and I'm over it.



Epitaph: On the fifth, yes fifth, day the crab finally bit it.  Lizzy sobbed like she was up for an academy award and then promptly asked for a replacement.  



Now we have two new crabs, a ton of extra shells for them to do whatever they do in them and purple sand.  See Alex's great job of lining up the empty shells???  The middle-right one was really annoying him as the aperture is on the opposite side and it wasn't going the "right way."  And yes, he had a meltdown over that but it didn't phase him that the sand was PURPLE and they have a PUMPKIN.  Go figure.  



Monday, October 17, 2011

See, this is why birthdays aren't all rainbows and ponies.

Oh my frigging Lord.  It was Alex's birthday Saturday.  And in his mind that meant the sun was going to rise and set with him and he was master of our little universe.  We've been working up to this most holiest of holy days since last week and I knew, just knew, it was going to go pear-shaped.

And it did.  Let's work backwards, shall we???

Thursday:  He wanted brownies for his birthday treat at school.  Not store bought, had to be home-made by mom.  Check.  Brownies made and delivered.


Friday:  He wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  Also had to be home-made.  Check.  Spent all day making the damn thing and all day the day before making the damn brownies but check.  I made them.  And not to be outdone, Lizzy wanted a WHITE cake.  Homemade.  And I made that and checked it of my list too.



Friday:  He wanted a bouncy house.  Yeah.  A full fledged bouncy house that's like 50 by 100 feet and needs a small generator to run.  Um, yeah.  No.

But then the requests got more and more elaborate.

"I want to eat Pho for dinner."  Pho is this Vietnamese soup that takes like four hours to make.  Read: its a total pain in the ass.

"And then I want Spring Rolls too."  The spring rolls take an additional three hours to make.  Read: an even bigger pain in the ass.

Seeing how it was the day before his birthday and I needed to go to the Asian store to get all the supplies I was starting to get a little short of breath.  There was not enough time.

"And I want to go to Power Play in the afternoon."  Power Play is a kids zone that has bouncy houses and other stuff like shoot-em-up games, mini-roller coasters and a pizza place.

"And I want to go to Tae Kwon Do in the morning."

"And can I open a present now?"

"No, you may not open a present.  It's not your birthday yet.  We need to talk about how all of this is going to play out tomorrow hon, I'm not sure we can do ALL the stuff you want in one day.  Maybe we can eat something else for dinner?"

And then it happened.  Pear-shaped.  He had a huge meltdown Friday night.  I had hoped that Saturday would be a new day and his bad temper would pass.  It did not.

Saturday he woke up saying:  "It's my birthday.  I WANT PHO FOR DINNER.  If I can't then fine, FINE.  I'm going to take all the decorations down and NOT HAVE MY BIRTHDAY.  IF I CAN'T HAVE ANY FUN THEN NO-ONE ELSE WILL HAVE ANY FUN EITHER.  No-one else is going to have fun on MY birthday.  IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!  ARGGGG!!!"

And all the screaming, crying, yelling, hitting, kicking, stomping and banging ensued.  Along with all the streamers and other party decorations being un-ceremoniously yanked off the walls and torn to bits.  BITS.

And that right there is why we have every dresser, bookshelf and large object bolted to the walls in our house.  Had they not been secured, they would have come crashing down.  I am sure of it.

Its amazing how strong a newly minted eight year old can be.

Anyway, I'm not proud to say this but here it is: I snapped.

I yelled back at him something along the lines of, "I know its your birthday.  I get it.  But there are other people in this family.  Our world does not revolve around you.  You want to have a bad day?  Then FINE, have a bad day.  You want ME to have a bad day?  Well FINE, I'm having a bad day.  I'M HAVING SUCH A BAD DAY, I'M LEAVING.  LEAVING.  Your plan to have a bad day worked.  IT WORKED.  Are you happy now???"

And with that, I left.  Left him standing there in total shock, crying and not understanding anything other than I had snapped like a twig on his birthday.

I went for a run.  I damn near killed myself but I ran.  Ran from everything in the house.  Ran from him.  Ran from Autism and ran from everything that I wanted for him that didn't happen.  And most of all, I ran from myself.  Ran from my shitty temper, my anger and my own expectations I had for the day.  I ran.

And then I came back.

And we went to Tae Kwon Do.

And we went to Power Play.  We ate their horrible pizza, minus the cheese, with sauce on the side.


And we bounced in the bouncy house till I thought we were going to see the pizza again.


And OH MY GOD, they have Wheel of Fortune.  THEY HAVE WHEEL OF FORTUNE!!!


And lockers.  THEY HAVE LOCKERS!  LOOK MOM THEY HAVE LOCKERS!!!


And we had Pho.  And cake.  And presents.  No spring rolls though.  I know he knows we didn't have them but he didn't say anything.


And at the end of the day, the sun and moon did rise and set with my little boy, in our little universe.

Happy Birthday little one.

Happy Birthday.


 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A somewhat wordless Wednesday.

 For as much as I am loathe to admit it, the seasons are changing.  We're out of summer and into the shorter days of fall.  Here are some images from the park that we go to on a pretty regular basis.


We are slowly settling into the routine of school and getting used to the sun setting earlier and earlier.


And taking breaks outside when we can as I can see the window on nice weather coming to a close.


I tried to get Alex to come.  He didn't want to go as he's not fond of the outdoors.  I think he said something along the lines of, "I can see nature perfectly fine from the kitchen window.  Thank you."

It was a little moment of alone time with Lizzy.  We managed to find fish and snail shells in the pond and spent a few precious moments together.

Sorry, no pictures of me almost falling in the pond or the foul language that accompanied it.  I'll leave that to your imagination...

Friday, October 7, 2011

I knew I should have buried it in the garbage...

I've been relegated to eating pretty bland and tasteless food since the antibiotic I've been on has torn through my gut like a twister through a corn field.

Nice visual, eh?

Anyway, I was eating mashed potatoes for like the fifth time in three days and even though I'm Irish, I was getting pretty sick of them.  So I made some of that Country Gravy that Wal-Mart sells.  It's that white gravy with pepper in it.  Pretty easy to make, just add water and well, that's it.

So I was eating my mashed potatoes, this time with the gravy, and as I swallowed it I was all, "Oh holy hell, the pepper in this shit-gravy is burning my still tender, not quite fully healed esophagus.  Holy shit balls of fire, I think I'm dying all over again and it may be very possible I choke on my own spit and gravy.  Aggggghhhh."

I swallowed down that horrible bite and grabbed the next thing I saw that was edible, because unlike the rest of you guys, it never occurred to me to make a drink.  I grabbed this banana cake my mom had made earlier in the day.

Not the actual cake in question but you get the general idea.

I took the first slice and choked down a bite or two.  Heaven.  It took the pepper out of my throat and for a brief moment I was happy.

And then my gut kicked in.  Uh-oh.

Oh Lord, I don't think I've ever had to clench my ass-cheeks together as much as I've had to this past week.  And trying to cough and clench?  Now that just ain't pretty.  I keep thinking back to those potato chips that had the warning: may cause anal leakage.  I know, I know.  It's just where my mind wonders sometimes.  Your welcome.  

Anyway, I threw the rest of the cake in the trash and ran upstairs to spend a few quality moments catching up on all my reading.

I forgot about the cake and potatoes and everything else and went back to sleeping cleaning the house and later my mom was all, "How's the cake?"

And I'm all, "Hum, what?"

And she's all, "I see you managed a bit of the cake but I guess it wasn't that good because it looks like it all wound up in the garbage..."

And I'm all, "Oh for fucks sake, I knew I should have hid it in the garbage..."

And that is just one of the many ways I'm sure you're glad you're not me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I've come back from the dead.

My husband tells me I'm over the worst of things and I should be feeling better soon.  He has it on good authority that I'm on the mend because after coming downstairs yesterday I exclaimed, "Lord, this place looks like a dump," and immediately started to clean up.

And then almost passed out from the exertion.

I feel like an animal in a zoo relocation project that's been tranquilized in the ass and am just now beginning to wake up, wondering where in the hell the last week went.  I have no idea.  I am still foggy.  I guess I was that sick.

I can tell you:
  • There is a horrible smell coming from my garbage can.  I have no idea what it is. 
  • My kids ate pretty much whatever they wanted for the past seven days.  And that included Cheese Balls for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  
  • Orange juice spilled on the floor does not just "wipe up" after a week.
  • My bed sheets should be soaked and sanitized in bleach or thrown out.
  • A head-rush is not nearly as fun when you are sick and standing at the top of the stairs.  It was much better when you were drunk and twenty years younger.
  • There is really nothing on tv at three in the morning.
  • There is even less on tv at four in the morning.
  • When sick, I stop shaving even though the hair on my body continues to grow.
  • The elixir that works best for knocking my ass out is a dose of Tylenol PM with Robitussin followed by an Ibuprofen chaser.
  • I may be in liver and renal failure from all the drugs.  It could go either way right now and was worth the risk.
  • There are two wall patches next to the toilet in my bathroom from the previous owners I never noticed until the other night at three in the morning.
  • And that circle-ring on your butt from sitting on the toilet lasts a lot longer than you think.  Don't ask.  

While I'm trying to clean and figure out what all I missed last week I'll leave you with some pictures of the kids from when we went to the zoo over the summer.  I actually have 9:00 written on the calender and I have no idea what it means.  Do I have to be somewhere at 9:00 or is someone coming over?  I just don't know....



Even thought they got me sicker than a dog, I'll still keep them.


PS--can you guys do me a favor and if you can't leave a comment shoot me an e-mail?  I'm trying to figure out how widespread the problem is....thanks!


Lizbethcole29@yahoo.com