Thursday, September 30, 2010
Not sure how to deal with your teens and texting? A bunch of bloggers are contributing posts to this very subject HERE. Last week's topic was "Mobile Meanness". This week is "Decoding Your Teen's Texting Lingo" or as the teens would say "DYTTL". Ha, I just crack myself up!
And you have to check out my latest article at DontFretTheSweat.com. Well, I guess you don't have to, but I'd really, really, really like you to check it out. I have no comments over there and you know us writers with our fragile egos. We thrive on comments. So, pretty please! And while you're there, browse around and check out the other articles by the talented Denene Millner and Rosalind Wiseman.
Posted by Dawn at 7:40 PM
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I asked her if she could do a little liposuction while she's in there. You know, suck out some fat, do a little tummy tuck, maybe remove my stupid tattoo... She laughed. I think she thought I was kidding.
Then I asked her my number one question. "Please tell me you can do this surgery without general anesthesia!" She told me, "No".
"What do you mean No?!", I asked. "You do c-sections without general anesthesia! Why is this any different?" I started hyper-ventilating at the thought of having to have general anesthesia.
She explained that during laparoscopic surgery, they'd be filling my abdomen with gas and they couldn't have me numbed from the diaphragm down or I wouldn't be able to breath properly. But she offered me some hope. "We can do the surgery without general anesthesia, but we can't do it laparoscopically. I'd have to make a larger incision across your abdomen and you'd have a two night stay in the hospital and a six week recovery."
Now most normal people wouldn't even consider having the surgery the old-fashioned way. But me? I thought that was the better alternative by far. I mean, six weeks of pain is nothing compared to six hours of throwing up from the anesthesia. I'll take the pain over the vomiting any day of the week! And a two night stay in the hospital? Hello? That's called a vacation! But unfortunately, I don't think I can get someone to help out with my kids for a couple weeks while I'm recovering.
Sooo, I have the number for the anesthesiologist. My doctor encouraged me to have a consult with him before my surgery. But I know what's going to happen. He'll promise to give me top-of-the-line, heavy-duty, anti-nausea drugs. He'll swear I won't get sick this time. He'll assure me he'll take care of me so I don't get violently ill. In other words, he'll lie. And after my surgery, when I'm forcefully expelling my intestines into the ridiculously small barf tray they give you, he'll ask if he can include me in his article about weird anesthesia reactions.
I really can't decide which way to go. That's how much I abhor throwing up. I detest it! It's the worst thing in the world. I would absolutely rather have more pain for longer than to vomit even once. I know that probably sounds crazy to 99.9% of you, but that's where I stand. :(
Posted by Dawn at 8:29 PM
My kids and I were invited to a media event at Legoland tonight. (It was a very cool place and we had a blast, but I'll write more about that later.) At one point, in the evening, there was a competition for anyone who wanted to participate. The goal was to build something from outer space with Legos. Jackson built a little green alien on a Mars rover. He won the competition and was awarded a Star Wars Lego set.
A little later, Jackson and I were hanging out, eating a piece of cake, when he off-handedly mentioned that he'd given his prize to a little boy who was crying. I looked at him and my heart swelled. My eyes filled with tears. Jackson is my kid who has precious little self-control. He's oftentimes belligerent and nasty. He inflicts his rotten moods on everyone around. He's put holes in his walls and floor. He's broken windows and doors. He has a horrible temper. I'm not saying this because he's a bad kid because he isn't. But the ADHD, temper, and impulsivity make it really hard to see the good sometimes.
Yet, paradoxically, he has the kindest, most compassionate heart. He loves to help other people and has real empathy for those who are suffering in any way. He didn't think that giving that little boy the building set was a big deal. He told me that the boy had been building a spaceship was really upset that he didn't win and he started crying. When Jackson saw how sad this little boy was, he handed him the prize he'd just won.
I told Jackson how very proud I was of him. And in that instant, I could see the kid that Jackson really is. Not the one who lacks self-control when his meds wear off. There wasn't a trace of Mr. Hyde in the kid hanging out with me, eating cake tonight.
One of the women who works at Legoland came by right then and asked, "Are you the one who gave that little boy your prize?" Jackson told her he had. She thanked him and told him he was a great kid. Then she went off and returned with an even cooler building set for Jackson!
It's time like these, when our kids surprise us with these amazing acts, that we know we're doing something right; that somehow, something is sinking in. That there's hope they'll turn out to be compassionate, well-adjusted, productive members of society.
I’m proud of you, Jax!
Posted by Dawn at 12:47 AM
Monday, September 27, 2010
Audible - this is when you can hear the coach screaming at the players from the concession stand. His voice was audible all the way from the parking lot.
Automatic first down - when the referee drops his yellow hanky on the field and the boys run over it and fall down on it, the ref gets mad because his hanky gets muddy and that's gross. Then he moves the football away from the players as punishment and says, "automatic first down".
Blocking - This is when a couple guys smash into each other. Sometimes it looks like they're dancing with each other, but don't say that aloud because shirtless, beer-swilling guys with their stomachs painted blue would be offended if you implied the players were anything less than manly. Unless they're on the opposing team. Then you can say what you want.
Bomb - this is why security has to check your bags before entering the stadium - to make sure you don't have any.
Carry - One of the cheerleaders on Lexi's squad.
Chain gang - sometimes prisoners have to be chained to each other and clean up the side of the highway as punishment for their crimes. If their crimes were really bad, they're chained to each other and forced to endure a football game while walking up and down the side of the field holding flags.
Completion - Something I'm still waiting for Austin to do with his homework.
Dead ball - if the players step on the ball with their pointy-bottomed shoes and it deflates, it's dead.
Down - goose feathers
Drop Kick - What Lucy did to Charlie Brown show after show
Eligible receiver - this is the term for the single, available men who catch the ball. This term could also be used for single women who line up to catch the bouquet at a wedding.
End zone - the place where the players spike the ball and dance
Extra point - it's like a game show - if the players answer the question correctly, they get an extra point
False start - When you tell all your friends and family that the game's at 2:00, but when you all get there, you realize you wrote the time down incorrectly and it doesn't really start until 3:00.
Field goal - The goal of the field is to...hmmm, I'm not sure what it is. I think it has something to do with kicking the ball.
Formation - See all the players in a bunch on the field? It's not totally random. I know! I was surprised too! It's actually a specific formation.
Fumble - This is what causes major booing from the crowd. You don't have to know what a fumble is. Just groan and shake your head in disappointment if you hear the word.
Goal posts - this is the thing that Mork is standing on at the end of the intro for Mork and Mindy. No, I have no idea how I remember useless stuff like this.
Gridiron - It's another name for a George Foreman grill. I'm not sure why it's in my glossary of football terms other than because George Foreman is a famous football player.
Halfback - Who is Quasimodo, Alex?
Hand-off - What I'm telling Savannah's homecoming date. What? Homecoming is the day after the big football game. See? It relates to football.
Hike - This is when the players walk the length of the field because 100 yards is quite a hike.
Horse Collar -
Huddle - This is what the parents do while watching their kids play. It usually involves warm blankets and coffee.
Interception - When the fans start groaning and the other side jumps up and down and screams in excitement and you try to figure out why everyone's moving in the opposite direction suddenly. See reverse.
Kickoff - When a player kicks the ball and his shoe flies off.
Offensive - This is referring to the smell that comes from the players after a game.
Pass - When a player hits on a girl
Pass interference - When the other players make fun of the guy making the pass - see above
Play - I know it looks just like a bunch of guys running around and jumping on each other, but it's actually a highly organized plan of Xs and Os moving in precise, strategic maneuvers called plays.
Possession - This is what overcame me when I agreed to let Jackson play football.
Quarterback - the guy who throws the ball and gets paid the most
Referee - the guy on the field in the zebra costume who always makes bad calls against your team and fails to see all the fouls the other team makes.
Reverse - when everyone on the field suddenly starts running in the opposite direction for some reason.
Right Guard - men's deodorant
Sack - another word for bag
Safety - This is what they call it when a player with the ball is tackled in his own end zone. It really should be called a screw-up though.
Scrimmage - I don't know what it means, but it's fun to say. Repeat after me, scrimmage, scrimmage, scrimmage...
Shotgun formation - See formation definition above, but this time the players have guns
Sidelines - Where the coaches stand to block your view of the field
Snap - The fastening device that holds up the players' pants
Tackle - A box of fishing lures and such
Touchdown - This is what the players spend two+ hours trying to do
Yard - It's the thing that gets covered in toilet paper for homecoming
Yellow flag - This is the stuff we spray to keep the bees away. Oh wait, that's Black Flag. Hmmm, maybe this is what the refs call their yellow hankies because it sounds more manly.
Posted by Dawn at 11:05 PM
Sunday, September 26, 2010
And now for answers to this week's questions...
Why do they [kids] do these [stupid stuff like sticking Tic Tacs up their noses] things??!!
Much like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.
Have you seen the new coconut M&M's? Saw them at Walgreens today and thought of you :)
Yeah, that was nice that you thought of me, but did you mail me a bag of 'em?
I am confused. You finally sent out a newsletter? I thought I had signed up, but went to sign up again, and it says that I have signed up. Yet- I still have never received one... what is going on?
It's one of my those mysterious computery things. But never fear because you can read a copy of my latest newsletter on my website DawnMeehan.com.
I feel your pain. We took our kids to our State Fair and took them to the DNR fishing pond on Grandparents Day when the Grandparents could fish with the kids.
Ok, there's probably a logical translation of what DNR means, but all I can think of is Do Not Resuscitate. I guess that makes sense because you probably wouldn't want to go to heroic measures to save a fish you just caught for dinner, but I'm pretty sure that's not what it means. My brain is already filled to overflowing with texting abbreviations so I can communicate with my teens. Someone help me out here.
Oh no she didn't!! And you do NOT look like a grandma!!I'm trying to decide if that's worse than when someone at my daughter's pre-school last week said, "So you're expecting another one...?" Ah, no... that would be the "baby weight" I put on five years ago!!
Ouch. Yep, I think that one is worse. I've gotten that one too. In fact, I wrote about it in my new book You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnacy and childbirth).
Good for you, for sticking through it! At least you can watch Savannah cheer them on! (Right, you did say she was a cheerleader? I'm just guessing she cheers for the same team Jackson play on.)
Savannah would never be caught dead cheering. Lexi's my cheerleader.
just to correct you...the white lines on the field are every 10yards not 5 (sorry)
Just to correct you, the white lines on a football field are every 5 yards like I said. Remember, I'm the football EXPERT now!
You have BEER at your games?? I'm so jealous!!
I had like 20 comments and emails to this effect. See? This is what I'm talking about! Football fans feel strongly about their beer. And noooo, there's no beer at Jackson's games. But I was talking about football, in general. Kids games, professional games, games on TV... I mean, heck, the only reason I even glance at the TV during the superbowl is for the Budweiser commercials.
Hi Dawn- I love your website... It's so real... Is it just a coincidence that your kids have names that are cities or did you plan that???
My kids are named after cities??? Oh man, how did I miss that all these years?!
For all you Lands' End fans, I've got a Friends and Family discount at Lands' End! Just use Promo code: LESHARE and Pin: 3171 for 25% off and regular priced items. It includes free shipping and is good Fri - Mon!
My latest article about the new PASS card from American Express is on my review blog. I'll be writing posts about helping teens to learn about and manage money. Join in the conversation HERE!
Posted by Dawn at 11:58 PM
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Posted by Dawn at 10:19 PM
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
So, I've been watching my son's games this year with very little interest. I spend my time trying to spot his number amid the jumble of boys on the field. I've had no idea what the boys were doing out there, nor have I cared. I've been content to look on in oblivion, however, the football-crazed fans in the bleachers feel this need to
"See Dawn, what your son did there is he broke through the line and sacked the quarterback. That means he ran past all those guys and knocked down that guy with the ball before he could pass (that means throw) it to a receiver. Did you know the term "quarterback sack" was first used by Hall of Famer, Deacon Jones? Dawn? Dawn?"
"I'm sorry. Did you say something?"
If you don't want to be forced to learn the game, do not let them see the glazed expression in your eyes because that just makes football nuts want to explain things to you in more detail. Instead, pretend to have a clue what's going on. When everyone else cheers, clap! When people stand up and shout, join them! When people look puzzled and start asking each other what just happened, loudly shout, "Aha! See? Even football fanatics don't understand this stupid game!" I mean, look confused and mumble something like, "I'm not sure what just happened," then look intently in the direction of the field as if you're trying to overhear what the refs are saying.
This is what I've learned so far (despite my most earnest attempts to ignore all the explanations.) If you don't understand football and for some deranged reason, want to know what it's all about, read on. Because I'm just so awesome and I love pleasing my readers, I'll enlighten you with my extensive football knowledge.
The game is played on a field that's 100 yards long and, hmmm, I don't really know how many yards wide it is, but it doesn't matter because the players only run back and forth across the width of the field to get drinks of Gatorade and to be slapped on the helmet and the butt by their coaches. There are white stripes every 5 yards that run the length of the field.
The whole idea of the game is for the team to move the ball down the length of the field. They're given 4 chances to move the ball 10 yards. They call these chances downs just to make things more complicated. The white stripes let you know how far they've moved the ball. Plus, they're helpful when you're trying to point out which player is your son. "He's the one standing there hugging that other player on the 40 yard line."
At each end of the field are end zones. The end zones are there so the players have a place to dance after making a touchdown. The end zone is also the zoned-out look that crosses my face at the end of the fourth inning.
A football game is divided into four, 15 minute long, quarters, but football games last about two hours. Now, I'm not mathy, but even I know that doesn't add up. The reason is because they stop the clock everytime someone drops the ball, picks up the ball, kicks the balls, looks at the ball, puts the ball down, throws the ball, runs with the ball, scores, goes out-of-bounds, gets hurt, drops a hanky on the field, wants to talk to the coach, or needs to tie his shoe. Plus there's a 15 minute break at halftime so the coaches can yell at the players, the cheerleaders can put on a show and smile and giggle at the football players, and you can grab another beer.
During these 4 quarters, the players try to run with the ball until the other team jumps on them and squashes them and covers their jerseys with grass stains and mud. Sometimes they try to throw the ball and catch it before the other team jumps on them and squashes them and covers their jerseys with grass stains and mud. Sometimes they try to kick the ball until the other team jumps on them and squashes them and covers their jerseys with grass stains and mud. (There's a lot of jumping, smashing, squashing, smacking, crunching helmets, and grass stains and mud.)
A team scores by running or throwing the ball into the end zone. That's called a touchdown. This is followed by a little dance. If the dance is good enough, the judges give that team an extra point. They can get points for doing other stuff too, but it's too complicated to understand. If you see your team's score suddenly jump up by another point or two, just clap.
Sometimes players do bad things and the referees throw their hankies on the field to protest. For example, when the players all line up with their butts in the air, the goal is to not be the first person to move. It's like a game of chicken and the first person to move gets a hanky thrown at them and then the ref moves the ball back just to tick off the guy who moved first. Sometimes players do other bad things. The ref will throw his hanky on the ground like a princess waiting for a handsome gentleman to pick it up for her. Then he'll make a bunch of gestures signaling the player to steal third.
In the end, the team with the most points wins. And now you know all about football. Check back tomorrow and I'll post a glossary of helpful football terms.
* I just had Jackson read my post. He shook his head and walked away, saying I could just drop him off at his game this weekend and I really don't have to stay.
Posted by Dawn at 8:53 PM
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
My little Brooklyn started preschool last week. She's been looking forward to it all summer.
"When do I start school, Mama?"
"Five and a half more weeks, Honey."
The next day, she'd ask again, "When do I start school?"
"Still five and a half weeks, Oat."
"How many days is that?"
She'd pout and looked bummed. Then she'd brighten and ask, "Do I start tomorrow?"
"Nope. It's still thirty-eight more days."
"Oh," she'd say, seemingly understanding that the first day of school was still several days away. Then she'd eagerly ask, "Do I start yesterday?"
"Uhhh no, but let's hope your teachers show you a calendar and work on the concepts of today, tomorrow, and yesterday with you."
So, her first day finally arrived and she very excitedly galloped down the hallway to her classroom. I put on a brave face and walked my little girl into her preschool class. I looked around at all the moms dropping off their children. I think the average age of these parents was fifteen. When did everyone get so young? Oh well, that’s okay, I thought to myself. I’m a very young looking forty-year-old. No one would ever guess me to be forty. Just last month, I was carded at the grocery store for buying a bottle of wine. (Nevermind the fact that I’d driven miles out of my way just to buy my wine in a neighboring town that has to card every single person by law whether they look eight or eighty.)
And then it happened.
A woman said to me, “I see so many grandparents taking care of their grandkids while the parents work these days. That’s so nice of you to help out like that.” She smiled sweetly.
Surely, she wasn’t talking to me! I glanced over my shoulder. There was no one behind me. Grandparents? GRANDPARENTS! Oh no, she di’n’t! If only I had a cane I could trip her with! But instead of showing her how my arthritic old body could still kick her butt, I looked at her point-blank and asked, “How OLD do you think I am?”
She mumbled an apology and said something to the effect that she hadn't been talking about me, just grandparents in general. Although, a minute later, I think I heard her whisper to her friend, “Stay away from that grandma over there. She’s touchy about her age.”
Needless to say, after I kissed Brooklyn goodbye, I hurried out to my car and sped to my local salon for an “age-defying” facial.
I know this is just misdirected payback for a comment my ex made to the mother of one of Savannah's friends years ago. When Ann's (name has been changed to protect the innocent) mother came to pick her up from our house after a play date, Bob (name has been changed to protect the stupid) introduced himself and asked her if she was Ann's grandmother. She wasn't. And she wasn't amused. I was mortified. To this day, I can't look at her without feeling pangs of guilt from the horrible faux pas that transpired at my house all those years ago.
I used to be the "young mom" at the preschool. I did. When Austin attended there twelve years ago, I was young! Now, people think I entered the preschool by mistake and they try to give me directions to the senior center. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to hang out at the high school more often where I'm once again the young parent. I can enjoy being the young one there for a few more years until Brooklyn starts high school. And then I'll have a t-shirt made that reads, "No, I'm not her grandmother!"
Posted by Dawn at 12:45 AM
Monday, September 20, 2010
I was so excited to get your first newsletter! Awesome!
Why, thank you. And it only took me what, two years to get it out? But now I'll be sending them out on a regular basis. If you missed the first one, never fear, I'll be putting a copy of it on my website this week. And you can sign up at any time to receive future newsletters and be entered for the drawings. Just fill out the form on the left side of my blog that says "Get book news and updates from Dawn". Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Also...ask for your old part (they should give it to you by law) and then go sell it and recoup some of your money. Sorry this happened to you....but at least you won't have to worry about THAT particular problem again for a while. Keep your chins up sweetie!
When I first read this, I was really bummed that I hadn't even thought to ask for my old catalytic converter so I could sell it. The thought never crossed my mind. I mean, what do I need with an old car part, right??? But when I got to the last sentence, I forgot all about the part where I was stupid and clueless about car repairs. "Keep your chins up..." Your CHINS? Plural? Now, I know I'm old and fat and my skin may be somewhat flaccid, but really, did you have to write "chins"? Excuse me, but I have to run to the store in search of skin-firming cream.
Go on ebay and get the CC for pennies on the dollar or Take it off, Beat it, Pour out what rattles, put it back on, reset the light and you pass. The CC doesn't make the air any cleaner, just different!!
I'm curious. After writing a post about how I had to get my car fixed and how I spent nearly $1000 doing so, why would you taunt me by giving me this advice? I can't turn back time and do this instad of taking it to the mechanic. And even if I could, how on earth would I go about taking the CC out of my car when I can't even tell the difference between a catalytic converter, a spark plug, a gas tank, or any other thingy that makes a car run? Remember my aversion to Home Depot? Well, car parts stores would fall a step below Home Depot on my list of hated stores. Heck, I don't even like to get gas for my car! Car maintenance is NOT my department!
Sorry for your troubles. Remember: if money can fix it, it's not really a problem.
But if you don't have money, it's a big problem.
Isn't it funny to hear yourself through your child????
Oh yeah, it's hilarious. <---read with heavy sarcasm Did it seem weird to shop with just 1?!?!
If by "weird", you mean "awesome", then yes, shopping with one child is weird.
I have a 4 year old son (going on 17- really, what's with the 4 year old teenager attitude?)
You can always tell which little kids have older siblings. They're the ones who sing along to the songs on the Top 40 station instead of singing along to the Wiggles. They quote iCarly and Wizards of Waverly Place instead of Dora and Sesame Street. And they're the ones who put their hand on their hip, roll their eyes, and give you that teenage attitude when you do something as horrible as tell them to put their shoes away.
Dawn - Have the 4 younger kids ever realized there is superiority in numbers and tied up the 2 eldest so they could eat ice cream for lunch, tear around the house yelling like banshees and do anything they want or do Austin and Savannah keep them in line by showing them what they did to the 7th kid that never listened?
No, no, no, no, no, you have it all wrong. The way it works is that Austin and Savannah let them eat ice cream for lunch to shut them up and keep them out of their hair. When the little ones run around, screaming like banshees, Austin and Savannah simply jam their ear buds in and lock themselves in their rooms with the music blasting. If the little ones ask Austin for a cup of milk, he tells them to go ask Savannah. If they ask Savannah to make them sandwiches, she tells them to ask Austin. Finally, they'll give up and destroy the kitchen. I'll come home to milk left out on the counter, peanut butter smeared on the walls, and potato chips crushed into the carpet while Austin and Savannah "watch them" from behind their closed doors.
So, ahm, Dawn... I NEED to know what the picture is that was posted on your blog. Please?
Ah yes, the picture...
Clay walked up to me and said, "My nose hurts."
He's been a little snotty the past couple days, so I brushed it off and told him, "Yeah, it's probably sore because it's been a little runny."
He walked away, but soon returned, saying, "Um, it feels like something's up there."
Again, I didn't think twice about it as I told him, "Well, go blow your nose then."
Once again, he walked away only to come back a minute later. This time, he said, "There's some orange stuff coming out of my nose." He sounded genuinely puzzled as to what it could possibly be.
"Let me see," I said, starting to wonder what he'd done.
I saw the orange snot on the tissue and immediately asked, "Clayton Reid, did you put a Tic Tac up your nose?!"
He looked at me guiltily without admitting to anything.
"Clayton..." I repeated slowly while giving him the You'd Better Fess Up Now, Mister look.
He finally admitted to shoving a Tic Tac up his nose. Sigh. I plugged his open nostril and had him blow through the orange flavored nostril. It took about five minutes of blowing, but the Tic Tac finally shot out.
I know better than to ask. I really do. But I asked anyway. "Why, Clay? Why did you put a Tic Tac up your nose? You're SIX YEARS OLD, for crying out loud!"
Of course, I got the universally accepted answer. "I dunno."
It was homecoming this weekend for our town's football/cheer program. That meant a huge tailgate party on Friday night, followed by the traditional TPing. The football players went out with a list of the cheerleader's addresses and TPed their houses. I loaded up my van with seven cheerleaders and high school coaches and went out in a caravan to TP the football player's houses. I'm the proud mom of both a football (he sacked the quarterback TWELVE times in Saturday's game) player AND a cheerleader. My house got TPed twice on Friday. It rained on Saturday. My house and yard are now covered in papier-mâché.
The cheerleaders painted their faces for the tailgate party Friday. Brooklyn joined in the fun today. Attractive, no? Oh well, at least it's not Sharpie this time.
Stop by my review blog for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card from Kellogg's and BlogHer HERE.
Check out my review blog HERE to win a cooler full of V8 V-Fusion + Green Tea!
And read about the new PASS card from American Express. It's not a credit or a debit card. It's a prepaid, reloadable card to help your teens manage their money. I'll be writing a series of posts about how I'm helping my teens to develop spending plans. The first one is HERE.
Posted by Dawn at 12:53 AM
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I had to grab a couple things from the grocery store yesterday, so Brooklyn and I stopped at our local Jewel. When we walked in, Brooklyn ran straight for the carts with the car attached to the front. You know, those carts that little kids like to "drive". I usually say no when she begs for one of those carts because the baskets are small and don't hold as much as a regular cart. Plus, they're up higher than other carts. I literally have to stand on my tippy toes to reach the groceries in the bottom of the cart when it's time to pay for them. And these carts are roughly the length of a football field, so it's hard to see around to the front of them and I inevitably end up running into shelves, displays, and slow-moving people. Okay, so maybe I hit the slow-moving people on purpose, but only when they're standing in the middle of the aisle taking up enough room for twelve elephants, and they're completely oblivious to everyone around them.
Anyway, since I only had to pick up a few things, I acquiesced and let her jump into the car cart. I guess Brooklyn was being British because she hopped in the right side to drive. Actually, "hopped in" probably isn't the best way to describe it. These carts don't have doors. Kids have to climb in through the window. So, to put it more accurately, she swung herself into the driver's side (if we were in England, that is) Bo Duke style, then she shouted to me, "Andiamo, Mama!"
"Andiwhat? You speak Italian now???"
"Mom", Brooklyn said in this patronizing tone of a person talking to someone who is completely stupid. "It's not Italian. It's Spanish."
"I see. My bad."
So, Brooklyn steered as I pushed the cart around the store. If anyone got in her way, she beeped her horn. I'd push her really fast toward a display and I'd shout, "Quick turn! You're going to hit the hamburger buns!" Now, she used to play along and turn the wheel really fast to "steer" around the burger bun road hazard. But yesterday, she wasn't in the mood for playing, I guess. She turned around and looked at me and in her best teenager voice said, "(Duh) I was turning (duh) the wheel (duh) to the left (duh) and you were still pushing the cart into the buns, Mom! That's NOT how I was driving!" She was most indignant. I stood there blinking. I was being reprimanded by a four-year-old for being a bad driver.
I finished shopping without teasing Brooklyn about crashing into any more items. When we got in line to check out, she turned around and excitedly showed me the cup holder in the car. "That's for my coffee!" she happily announced.
"Oh how cool you have a cup holder," I agreed.
"I have TWO cup holders!"
"Oh good! You can put your coffee in one and your chocolate milk in the other," I said.
"Mom!" she said as if I had suggested she put her sippy of arsenic in the cup holder. "That cup holder is for my husband!" She enunciated "husband" so everyone in the store could hear her.
I started laughing. "Your husband, huh? I didn't even realize you were married! What's your husband's name?" I asked.
"I see." I giggled to myself as I started unloading groceries from my cart. As I placed items on the conveyor belt, I overheard Brooklyn talking to someone.
"Get in the car NOW or I'm leaving without you! Why don't you have any shoes on?! You're killing me! Get in the car!" Brooklyn was yelling at, well, I wasn't sure who she was yelling at, actually. No one was around us.
"Who are you talking to, Brooklyn?" I asked tentatively.
"I'm talking to my kids. They never listen," she replied, sounding just like an exasperated parent.
I looked up guiltily at the cashier and the lady in line next to us. "I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff," I stammered.
I don't think they bought it.
Posted by Dawn at 11:26 PM
Monday, September 13, 2010
Anyway, I finally decided to just get the registration and worry about transferring the title later. So, I went to my local currency exchange and made a lame explanation as to why I hadn't taken care of my registration before now. The guy behind the bullet-proof window with the tiny mail slot told me, "My girlfriend left me for another girl, my son's in jail, and my cat was just run over. I don't really care why you didn't renew your registration on time. It's not my concern if you're a deadbeat and a menace to society, just give me your registration card."
"Ok then," I said as I slid the card under the thick glass separating this guy from the degenerate thugs like me.
He punched a couple numbers in his computer and uninterestedly informed me that I couldn't take care of my registration until I'd passed the emissions test. Great. Remember way back before I went to North Carolina and the service engine soon light was on? I was all concerned that my car would spontaneously combust or something if I drove across the country. Everyone reassured me that it was just the catalytic converter and it wouldn't affect anything until I had to pass the emissions test. So, here it was, several weeks later and the light was still on. I ran over to the testing station anyway just to see if I could pass.
I pulled up and asked the emissions guy, "My service engine soon light is on, can I still have the car tested now or do I need to have this fixed first?"
"I have to test your car or I'll get fired," Mr. Happy Pants replied.
Slightly confused, I asked, "So I can get it tested now even though this light is on?"
"Your check engine light is on," the guy stated the obvious.
"You've been inhaling emissions a little too long, haven't you?" I surmised.
"I said, go ahead and test my car please."
"I have to test it or I'll get fired," he repeated.
I made a mental note to suggest a job with the Air Team for Austin if he continues to get bad grades this year.
The guy completes the test and calls another guy over who tells me that my car can't pass because the light is on. (Yeah, kinda like I said when I first pulled up here?!)
So, I whined to my friend Doreen that I didn't know where to go because I've never had to take my car to a shop. I'll give my ex credit for that - he could fix anything on my car. She told me that one of her best friends owns a shop and he's a good, honest guy, and blah blah blah.
Why must car-fix-it-shops open so freaking early and close so freaking early? Why can't there be shops that don't open until afternoon and stay open all night? It would make life so much easier. But noooo, this shop opened at 7:30AM. So, after a whopping three and a half hours of sleep, I had to get up and wake my three youngest. My friend, Eric, followed us to the shop, I dropped off my car, and he drove us home. My kids only crushed half a dozen donuts into his upholstery. (Sorry about that.)
I went home, walked my kids to school, walked back home, then wandered around my house aimlessly because I was without a car. I mean, I didn't have any errands I had to run. I didn't have any appointments scheduled for today. I had nowhere I had to be. But still, I was without a vehicle should the need to go get donuts or something suddenly arise. I found that very disconcerting.
The mechanic called soon after I got back home. I believe he said, "Ha ha ha, hooo boy, you're gonna need to take out a loan to pay this bill! It'll be $920 for a new catalytic converter."
I said, "Only $920? Awesome! I'll take two!" Then I tried not to throw up. "Seriously? I need a whole new one? Can't you just duct tape it or something? Staples! Oooo! I know! Gorilla Glue! Can't you just glue it or something? Maybe it's not the catalytic converter. Maybe I just need an oil change or a car wash or something? How do you know it's the catalytic converter?" I don't know why I suggested these things. Like this guy, who went to school to learn how to repair cars, is going to take the "duct tape" advice from some weirdo babbling nutjob.
"Look lady, do you want us to fix your car, or not?"
"I guess I don't have a choice, do I? Go ahead," I sighed, defeated.
Why do expenses all pile up at the same time? COBRA payments, emergency room visit, surgery, and now this, all while my ex isn't working. (You know, because I wrote this, my furnace or something is now going to explode.)
So, fast forward to when my dad drove me to pick up my car. I looked at the mechanic and said, "Let me ask you something. If I lived in a state that didn't require emissions testing, would I eventually need this part replaced, or would my car drive just fine and I'd never know the difference?"
He said, "Your car would be fine. You'd never know the difference."
What's worse than paying huge amounts of money on car repairs is paying huge amounts of money on car repairs that you don't really need! I'll stop using hairspray to do my part in controlling air pollution, just let me keep my stupid broken catalytic converter!
Help Dawn pay for a stupid car part. Pre-order her new book HERE!
Posted by Dawn at 8:48 PM
From Chicago, the city made entirely of lime Jell-O, it's time for Sunday Sound Out with your host, the woman who is totally caught up. Well mostly caught. She's a little caught up. Okay, she still has a metric buttload of work to do, but she's got a list and a handle on things and a place to start now, Dawn Meehan! Now, without further ado, here are the answers to this week's questions...
Where have you been? I miss my daily dose of Dawn
Would you believe I've been on an Arctic exploration? Yeah, I didn't think so. I've just been trying to find my groove now that the kids are back in school. I'm just a little busier these days. And I'm still working on my manuscript. By the time I put that away for the night, I'm too tired to blog. But I'll have that finished soon and should be back to regular blogging next week.
Just noticed from the photo of the children by the tree that you have neighbours!I dont know why but I sort of got the idea that you lived in some sort of isolation - you know - away from 'normal' folk LOL!Seriously though, have you ever had any problems with neighbours poking their noses into your lively brood?
LOL! I don't know any towns in or around Chicago that have houses in isolation. Although, I wouldn't exactly call my neighbors "normal". Except for my neighbor, Laura. You're totally normal despite your penchant for calling 9-1-1, Laura! The rest of them, however...
I'm pretty sure I'll drive home one day and see news crews lining my street. As I get out of my car, a reporter will thrust a microphone in my face and ask me what I thought of my next door neighbor.
I'll answer, "I dunno. He was quiet. Kept to himself. Didn't see him outside much. Why? What happened?"
"Oh, investigators just discovered thirty bodies buried in his backyard."
And I'll exclaim, "I knew it! I thought he spent a little too much time with that chipper."
Gosh, I hope he doesn't read my blog. If you don't hear from me for a day or two, you know what to do, Laura!
Do you have any tips with getting a three year old out of diapers? Every time I even mention it I get a really loud "NO!" and he runs away from me. He won't even sit on either of the potty seats we bought, let alone the regular one. I'm thinking about just stopping buying diapers and dealing with the accidents. I think after a few days of all that yuck, he'll sit on the potty seat. At least, that is what I'm hoping.
Ever since signing on as a member of the Nite Lite Panel with Goodnites diapers, I’ve answered a ton of questions on potty training issues. Most of the questions pertain to nighttime wetting, but I’ve had a fair amount on toilet training in general as well. This is something I feel pretty strongly about now. I absolutely believe that kids will potty train when they’re ready. I pushed the issue of potty training with my first child. He wasn’t ready. It took years. It was not a pleasant experience for either of us.
After that, I learned. I let all five of my other kids take the lead in potty training. They all trained at different ages. Some were barely two, others were four. But the thing they all had in common was that they instigated it when they were ready and because I let them set the pace, they all trained in a matter of a few days.
Now, I understand that sometimes you need to get a child out of diapers in order to attend daycare or preschool. But, whenever possible, I really think it’s preferable to let your child decide when they’re ready. Sure, you can get a little potty chair, ask them if they’d like to use the toilet, but if they say, “no”, just drop the matter for a while. It’s no big deal. I promise you, they won’t go off to college in diapers. Relax. It’ll happen when they’re ready.
And if you want to read more about nighttime wetting, please visit Goodnites.com which has articles from me and other experts in the field, along with helpful tips, coping techniques, and copious information about bedwetting. It’s a great resource!
Sacking the quarterback is more than tackling the guy with the ball -- he has to end up a few yards behind where he started. One step forward then twelve steps back -- he shoulda quit while he was ahead.
I'm sorry, I don't speak Chinese.
Eww. Did you throw it [mac-n-cheese soup] out?
Heck no! Are you nuts? I just drained it and added a little butter. It may not have been "the cheesiest" anymore, but the kids still ate it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.... a new book, a great friend and some liquid motivation is great but let's not loose focus on what's truly important... coconut coffee?!?!? Canada does not have such a thing. Can it be mailed? (hint hint) ;)Seriously, though... awesome work on the manuscript. And you don't have to explain your MIA... I can't speak for everyone but we'll be here no matter what, waiting patiently. Mind you, some of us will be waiting without coconut coffee.
What, no coconut coffee??? Now that's just wrong. And here I was all set to move to Canada what with your healthcare and how everything's written in English and French and, of course, your bacon. But now that I know you don't have Dunkin' Donuts coconut coffee, I'm gonna have to rethink my plan.
That's awesome you have such a great friend.Now did Eric and his speed boat also clean your house?That's the kind of friend I need,lol.And they still need to bring coffee and donuts.
Clean my house? I don't think so, but in the past year and a half he's met me at Ikea to load heavy stuff in my car, cut down Austin's super-high loft bed to make it a regular bed, fixed my bathroom window, fixed a window screen, put new locks on my doors, lent me his pressure washer, edged my driveway and sidewalks, made us dinner, went with me to get my firepit since I was too wimpy and weak to lift it, given my kids a tour of the fire station where he works, given me directions more times than I can count, fixed my kids' bikes, accompanied me to a doctor's appointment, listened to me whine about divorce stuff a million different times, walked me through every step of the way the first time I took the L, taken my kids to the movies along with his kids, drove halfway across the world to rescue me when my car died (twice), drove me to the train station, fixed my disgusting clogged and backed-up kitchen sink, and at least a couple dozen other things I'm not thinking of right now. He's a good guy.
Is Eric single???!!!
Almost. He's in the middle of the worst divorce I've ever heard of. Why? Are you interested? He should be free from the queen of darkness soon. I went to high school with Eric and can tell you he's the awesomest!
If you find yourself in this "pull the covers over my head" funk much longer, please have you family doc check you out. What you are describing is often a sign of clinical depression.
Nah, I'm not depressed. Just freaking busy! Seriously, I get 4-5 hours of sleep most nights. I mean, thank you for your concern and for taking the time to leave a comment, but try running with my schedule for a couple weeks and see how tired and overwhelmed you feel now and then. It happens. Thankfully, I got a lot done this weekend and feel much better about where I stand.
do you know, since you've been divorced you've gotten prettier and prettier in your pics, its good for you, huh?
Nah, it's just smoke and mirrors. And lightning. And flattering angles. And my makeup artist and wardrobe coordinator. And the post-production team of airbrush artists.
So I signed up for emails a long time ago (before the first book came out)...I just double checked, and when I fill out the information it and submit it tells me that I am already signed up, but I have never received a newsletter... :(
:::hanging my head in shame::: I know. You haven't gotten one because I've never sent one out. But my first one will be going out before the end of the month, and I'll be doing regular newsletters from now on. It's not too late to sign up! I'm giving away a spa package and sharing some fun book news with subscribers in this newsletter. To sign up, just scroll down my blog until you get to the blue box in the left column that reads, "Get Updates and Book News from Dawn". Fill in your email address and you'll get a copy of my newsletter in the next few days. :)
Posted by Dawn at 12:51 AM
Thursday, September 9, 2010
On top of all the writing, I've just been crazy-busy. I've been so busy, in fact, that I've kinda shut down. When I get overwhelmed and I don't know where to start, I sometimes just kinda turn off, shut down, and do nothing. Do you know what I mean? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with all you have to do day in and day out without any help and without enough hours in the day to accomplish everything? Do you ever lie down in bed at night and go over a mental list of everything you wanted to get done and didn't?
Lately, I feel like I'm swimming and swimming, stroke after stroke, swimming hard against the current. My muscles are sore, my lungs feel like they're on fire, and yet I keep going, thinking - just a few more strokes and I'll be there. I'm almost to shore. And then I look up and the shore is just as far away as it was when I started. Some days, it's hard finding the energy to keep fighting a losing battle.
I don't know where to even begin on all the work I have to do and instead of making me want to tackle everything, it makes me just want to sleep in the hopes that it'll all disappear when I wake up. In fact, I'd probably still be sleeping right now, if it wasn't for my friend, Eric. Last night, I mentioned to him that I was out of milk and hadn't even had time to stop at the store for more, and the most tragic part about it was that I couldn't have any coffee today because I can't drink it without cream or milk or something. Ew.
So, this morning, after I dragged my butt out of bed and I woke up my three youngest (the older three had already gotten ready and left for school), I trudged over to the couch where I lay back down under a mound of blankets. Ten more minutes, I thought to myself. I've got ten more minutes to lie here like a slug before I have to get up.
Just then, I heard a knock on the door. There stood my friend, Eric with a cup of Dunkin Donuts coconut coffee with cream and sugar (my absolute fave, just the way I like it) and three cups of hot chocolate for my little ones. How sweet was that? Not only is he an awesome, thoughtful friend, he's my Handy Manny. AND, he didn't even make fun of me when he saw me with my hair all Medusa-like, make-up smeared on my face because I was too tired to wash it off the night before, and ratty old pajamas. You can't beat that. Seriously, if he hadn't shown up, I was planning on driving the kids to school in my pajamas and coming back home to take a nap. He inspired me to get off my butt, shower, and do something productive. So, thanks Eric, for the coffee, for being such a great friend, for making me get off my butt and do something, and for not making fun of my lovely morning look, and my even more lovely, morning, pre-coffee attitude.
So yeah, there will always be those times when we have to continue to swim against the current and struggle to get to where we need to be, but now and then, just when we're sure we're going to drown, a friend with a speed boat will come along with a hug, some coffee (or a margarita) and a little, much-needed break and it will be just enough to make us want to jump back in and keep swimming.
Creative Commons picture from Wyscan's photostream
Posted by Dawn at 8:42 PM
Monday, September 6, 2010
Posted by Dawn at 10:57 PM
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I'm so excited your new book is coming out in Kindle edition-any chance you can talk the publisher into putting your first book out for Kindle as well? I requested it on Amazon, but who knows if they see those things.
Yep, I just noticed that my second book is available for Kindle! You can preorder the Kindle form HERE and/or the book form HERE. And, as far as getting Because I Said So for Kindle, you need to sign up for my newsletter to get some exciting news about Because I Said So! Scroll down my blog a little ways and on the left, you'll see a blue box that reads, "Get Book News And Updates From Dawn". Just put in your email address and you'll get my newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Does Brooklyn go to school too, this year?
She starts this week! Two hours a day, three days a week. She keeps telling me, "Mama, you're going to miss me so much when I'm at school." She's not going to miss me. I'm going to miss her. And you know what? She's probably right.
And Jax! He's so grown-up looking! No more little boy! How old is he now?
He just turned twelve. In fact, we had his party yesterday.
Jax looks so different with his hair short. Is he going to grow it out again?
I'm not sure. He's got some crazy cowlicks that make him look a little like a rooster. He hates that, so he may just grow it long so it'll lie flat again.
How are you feeling by the way?
Eh, I'm still waiting to feel 100% again. The pain was pretty much gone until this weekend. I ate a couple slices of tomato and I had a scoop of this salad that was chock-full of slivered almonds and sunflower seeds. It was too late when I realized what I'd eaten. It's not that I can't live without seeds or nuts; I'm just not in the frame of mind to think about those things yet. I think it'll take some time before it's an automatic, unconscious thing to avoid seeds and nuts. But I'm still not digesting like a normal person. I may go back to the clear liquids for a couple days and see if that helps. Either that, or I'm gonna have to run back to Target for more toilet paper. Thanks for asking!
How the heck do you handle it when people say "Oh my you must have your hands full?" I have three boys and I hear that CONSTANTLY. I'm so tired of hearing people say that!
I don't mind that one at all. I usually just give them my best "duh" look and say, "Gee, ya think?" Then I pull Clayton down off the shelves he's scaling, tell Jackson to stop hitting his sister, and warn Brooklyn that if she continues to whine, I'm gonna duct tape her mouth shut.
Let me guess....... Brooklyn was the one in cowboy boots?
Brooklyn is always the one in the cowboy boots.
Yogurt will take care of the fast track digestive plan. Its all the antibiotics.
Yeah, but then I'd have to eat yogurt and I detest yogurt. I know, I know, I'm probably the one person on the planet (other than my dad) who can't stand the stuff. And I want to like it! I really do! I try it now and again, thinking that surely my taste buds have changed, but to no avail. It's still disgusting. Instead, I'm taking a cute little probiotic pill. It doesn't taste like yogurt.
Just one small question.How on earth did he [Clay] get up the first part of the tree without any branches etc.?
You're new here, aren't you? This is Clay we're talking about. He's building a rocketship out of a toaster, a broom, a pair of socks, and some toothpaste. And it'll probably work. Nothing he does surprises me anymore.
Forget how Clay got into the tree in the first place. What I want to know is how you got that first picture. It looks pretty much straight on & not like it was taken from a much lower level - like the ground.
Believe me, I wasn't climbing any trees! I just have a good camera!
Your target has wine!? I've been jipped.
Yep. I had them special order for me and since I'm there every other day, they were happy to oblige.
Dawn, I thought Brooklyn is off diaper, and I dont think any of your kids are still using it, why do you need diaper cream?
I didn't get diaper cream. I said I got diaper wipes, and the reason is because I use them to clean EVERYTHING! I wash my laminate flooring with wipes, I do quickie bathroom clean-ups on the sink and floor with wipes. When I pull up to the grocery store and go to take Brooklyn out of her car seat and I realize she still has lunch on her face, I whip out a wipe and clean off her mouth. I use them to scrub dirty footprints off the wall, and dust off the hood of my oven. I could on and on and on. Suffice it to say, I use them to clean everything.
Saturday was another fun-filled day of football and cheerleading.
Here’s my cheerleader and my um, Minnie Mouse.
And my football player who has been playing right guard a lot. And every time I hear the words “right guard”, I think of Bob Nelson’s FOOTBALL ROUTINE. The weird thing is – I haven’t thought of this guy since 1980-something, but just last week, my sister and bil saw him in concert in Missouri! Go ahead, click the link. It’s funny!!!
Yep, this is how we support our siblings. We cheer, cheer, cheer them on to victory. Or, you know, take a nap because we’re teenagers and can’t be expected to be awake as early as 3:00PM.
Posted by Dawn at 11:58 PM
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Let's pull back a bit and take another look, shall we?
And this is why the folks at our local ER know us by name. This same child (with more energy than should be allowed by law) made it one whole day in school before getting in trouble. sigh I think it's going to be a looong year of trying to teach him self-control. On the bright side, he read his homework story twenty times tonight. He thinks it's so cool that he can read now! I was so proud that I hardly even noticed the fact that he couldn't sit still and bounced all over while poking everyone who walked by while reading...
I know I haven't been around, writing as much on my blog lately. The good news is that I'm feeling much better now! I'm back to an almost normal diet and even though I seem to be on the "fast track digestive plan" (if you catch my drift), I'm doing really well. I'll break down and schedule my surgery in another week or two.
In other news - I'm working on a manuscript and have a deadline of this week. I really need to finish it before my editor hunts me down, but I'll be back soon. :)
And remember, in the meantime, you can help me finance Clay's therapy by pre-ordering my book HERE!
Posted by Dawn at 11:35 PM