It's time for Our Spring Break Road Trip to Texas

We are leaving tomorrow at the butt crack of dawn. Will not be back until the evening of Sunday April 6th. 4 days of driving in the car with two small children who can not make it from here to the grocery store and back without a potty break or to school around the block without arguing. Who the HELL decided this would be FUN?

I have two wonderful neighbors who are letting out our dog and feeding all our assorted critters for 10 days. Damn, I'm going to be scooping kitty litter and feeding dogs for the next 5 years to pay them back for this trip.

I left them only two warnings:
1. The critter cages are cleaned. Beware they are ALL sneaky little buggers, don't turn your back on a cage that isn't locked tight! :-)
2. My house will look like a hurricane hit it after we leave, do not be alarmed.

Here's where we stand on being "ready" to leave in the morning. (Did I mention we are planning on packing the car tonight and leaving at the before the butt crack of dawn? I did? No I am NOT a morning person, why do you ask?)
The girls are packed. All the laundry is clean, I just need to put our things into suitcases. DVDs and CDs are burned, ipods are charged, and game boys are charged. Brian and Breanna went out to get activity books, magazines and snacks. By the amount of shit the kids need to entertain them you'd think we were driving cross country or something.

I really am excited! We have a hotel in New Orleans booked for tomorrow night. Growing up we drove this same trip a every family vacation we took. We got up early drove all day. Stayed in a cheap hotel as close to I-10 as possible then stayed with friends and family in Texas or Oklahoma. And did the same on the way back. We always by-passed New Orleans, because we could go around it on I-12 in much less time. So now that it's MY family trip I am finally going to see New Orleans! (Sidenote: 4 years ago when we went to Iowa to see Brian's family we went to Rock City, because that's the place his parents always passed on their family trips that he always wanted to see.)

Then Saturday night my friend Tracy has diet coke (and hopefully something much stronger, cause I'm gonna need it!) chillin for me. We'll have a week with family and friends. Then lather, rinse, repeat for the drive home. What more could a girl want?!

While clicking from one blog to the next I stumbled upon The Great Interview Experiment.

Cliff notes version: The idea was that by being interviewed people are seen as special. So Citizen of the Month started sort of a rolling interview. Each commenter was to be interviewed by the commenter following them. "Not only will this give others a new way to know you, but we will sabotage the idea of an interview only being for “somebody.” Everyone is somebody."

My interviewee was Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease. As soon as I started reading her blog I saw what the true beauty of this experiment was (at least for me) and that was the interesting pairings of interviewer and interviewee. Odds are I never would have come across Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease without this experiment. Great thing is, I love her style of writing and I thoroughly enjoy reading her blog. Although I would've thought we'd have nothing in common, while reading her entries I found much I could relate to. And her perspective makes me think about things differently. Thought provoking, that's a good description.

After a short delay of absentmindedness on my part I finally got around to doing my interview.
Introducing Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease ...

Right now you are in school, where are you from? Be as specific or general as you care to be.

I was born in Jackson, TN, but consider myself as being from "the Memphis area", because I've lived in a suburb outside of Memphis, TN for 20 years of my life (from age 2-18, then again from 20-now). My family's from St. Louis, so I can get away with the nasal Midwestern accent - that's fun. I also have family from Massachusetts. Seeing as how I'm the only person in my immediate or closely-extended family that was born in the South, I'm pretty much the black sheep. Woe is me.

You are going to school for a BA in Psychology? What's after that?

Yep, that I am. I've considered several fields in many years I've been interested in psychology, but the one that stays consistent is teaching. I'd like to be a college professor, preferable in some sort of Social Psychology. Perhaps the psychology of religion? It's still kind of undecided at this point, because I haven't experienced all that there is for me to see in my undergrad, so I'll likely be changing my mind up until I am forced to make it up for grad school. I'd like to get a PhD - preferably with a combined program that has me earning my Masters and PhD within a 5-to-6-year period.

As far as I've read in you blog there has not been an official diagnosis but do you think you have Asperger's syndrome? You must have self diagnosed, what with all the medical journals? Right? And to follow up, what's with the medical journals anyway?

I'll answer the follow-up question first, since it wasn't through the content that I came to a conclusion, but the action of studying them - when I was a kid, we had a book that outlined common diseases and syndromes (mainly those that were caused by fungal, viral, and bacterial infections - no mental disorders yet), and I memorized the illustrations, diagnoses patterns, and the like. My dad noticed this and suggested that I become a doctor. The long story of that that can be condensed into one simple explanation is that while I'm great at recognizing patterns of symptoms and identifying where they're coming from, I hate dissection, and chemistry eludes me completely. Anyway, as I got older, I found myself just perusing magazines, journals, books, and later, websites that were geared toward medical talk. This brings me to Asperger's, in a roundabout way. I never thought I had it until I met with a counselour about another condition entirely - Adult ADD. I had trouble concentrating, had some very odd learning problems that were present growing up, but were only now becoming a problem in college, and while I didn't match all of the symptoms, I figured I was hyper-active as a child, so maybe what I had was just a run-down version of ADD that kind of diluted itself as I got older. In speaking with this counselour, I came to realize some other aspects of myself that I hadn't yet been able to put my finger on before then. The counselour was the one who suggested the Aspergian aspect. I did some research, discussed some of the concerns I had (again, I don't match all of the characteristics, but I match enough to be considered a mild case), and she and I came to the conclusion together that it might be prudent of me to seek the help of the local Autism Solution Center - I've contacted them, but to no avail. When I have time, I'm going to head down there and try to speak with someone about it, and see if there are any opinions for either an official diagnosis, or some sort of alternative. This brings me back full-circle to the follow-up answer: one of the hallmarks of an Aspergian (this phrase was coined by John E. Robison, btw, and I prefer it to the word, "Aspie", which just sounds like another way of calling someone a retard) is that they have a tendency to hyper-focus on one subject, which appears in childhood. Most cases focus on vehicles - trains are an extremely "popular" (or prevalent, as the case may be) focal point for male Aspergians. Statistics are another. I cataloged diseases in my head. Still do, sort of unconsciously, since I don't seek them out as often as I used to, but when I do come across something, somehow when it's brought up later, the information that I've come across appears in my head, ready to be cited.

Pronounced OCD regarding certain things, this tendency to catalog, emotional "oddness" (expounded below), difficulty focusing, slight dyslexia, and asocial tendencies all point to Asperger's.

On a personal note, I'm actually relieved that, through speaking to an actual licensed counselour, the possibility of any sort of sociopathic tendencies has been ruled out - I can't feel complex emotions (any negative emotion is "frustration", any positive emotion is "happiness", and then there's just flat-out "sadness"), and there are situations where other people are carrying on, and I'm wondering what all the fuss is about. This is called "flat effect", and because of the deficit of information I'd come across with Asperger's growing up (it wasn't even recognized in this country until 1994), this sort of emotional "lack" is most closely associated with disorders like psycho- and sociopathy, paranoid schizophrenia, and the like. The fact that I do have a sense of empathy saves me from those diagnoses, but still presents a problem in terms of WHY I have this emotional disconnect. Asperger's presents a possible answer. This characteristic was actually the first thing that tipped off my counselour that I may have a form of autism. I'm grateful to have been working with someone who was as willing to actually research and pay as close attention as she did.

I love the pictures of your hair, but I wonder, why blue? (Pictures of the blue here)

It's bright, it's fun...why not? Also, blue and orange are complementary colors. My other choice was green, but I don't want to look like a walking Christmas tree.

You have many creative outlets photography, painting, singing. If you could only do one, which and why?

Singing, because you don't need any equipment other than your vocal cords.

How long have you been singing opera? Did you take lessons to learn? How did you get into singing opera to begin with?

I've been singing, as my mom likes to say, before I could talk. I started both at 7 months of age, mimicking things. I don't ever remember NOT speaking in complete sentences, though I'm sure it must have happened. Anyway, my family always got a kick out of teaching me songs, and it came out that I had a knack for it. I participated in a musical (Hansel and Gretel) when I was 8, joined a youth chorus when I was 12, and took lessons for a year with a woman my dad would later date. When I was 14, I was passed over for re-admission in the chorus because growing pains and a voice change made me gawky-looking and an alto, which never sounds good in a group of kids. After that, I concentrated on band (French horn), finding out that I had a knack for that. I got into college in 2001/02, and started taking voice lessons again. I re-discovered my love and talent for singing, but dropped out of school for 4 years due to stupid things that I'm not going to go into right now. In 2005, I was working for a company as a receptionist, and a friend of mine that I liked to go to karaoke with suggested that we go to the auditions for Opera Memphis that were happening in April. She decided against it at the last minute, because she was going to be moving to go to law school, and didn't want to make a commitment like that without being able to back it up, so I went alone. I made it in as a mezzo (using material that I'd learned that morning at work - "No Good Deed" from Wicked - how's that for prodigal?), and proceeded to be cast in "Samson and Dalilah" as a chorus member. I've been in several operas since then, and have earned kind of a reputation for being one of the best younger singers they have. I took a couple of semesters of lessons at my current school, but I'm taking a hiatus from it in order to focus more on my studies - those lessons helped me to refine my technique, particularly in a higher range, and I can now proudly say that I can sing any part from lyric soprano to baritone.

I am very curious about the nature vs. nature aspect of political issues. And you have very strong political opinions. Are they like your family's or are you a black sheep so to speak?

My mom's an atheist both politically and religiously - meaning she doesn't believe in looking up to anyone to do anything for you in any way. I have to say, though, that given her situation (she's been forced by circumstance to depend on government assistance in some form), she definitely leans more toward Democrat. My dad's a "lesser of two evils" voter, but leans Democrat because of his hippie-ish country upbringing (odd as that sounds, it makes sense, but I can't go into that here). I used to be somewhat of a liberal, until I realized that whatever "help thy neighbor" and "save the poor people" plans that the politicians came up with, they involved taking more of my money in the form of taxation - and seeing as how I was one of those "poor people" who needed help, I thought about it and realized that I would much rather pay my own way (personal responsibility) for my health care and my own well-being (financially and otherwise) than depend on the government to decide where they want my money to go. I'm also pissy about the fact that whatever social security and medicare benefits I'm paying in, I'm NEVER going to see the benefits of. Sorry, but there are plenty of independent organizations out there that would be willing to help the less-fortunate, and that ARE helping. I'd be more than happy to donate to them, even, if something like 30% of my income wasn't taken out to benefit everyone but me. It sounds selfish, but if you think about it, I think a lot of us would be a lot better off without compulsory income taxation. To answer your question more directly, I'm the black sheep in my immediate family. My middle sister is liberal. My oldest sister is indifferent. I believe in self-defense, and my concealed-carry permit should be arriving in the mail any day now, while the rest of my family is mostly either scared or uneducated about guns and gun use. To be fair, my stepmother has been the only real dissenter to my "gunny" lifestyle, but my dad rolls his eyes every time it's brought up.

Speaking of strong opinions, you are now under "Gun Whackos Posing as Women" here are you happy now?

Yep. However, the suspicion is that this is a "gun-whacko" masquerading as an anti-gunner. Have you read any of the entries? They're ridiculous. There's absolutely no way this is written by someone with those actual opinions. The whole site is satire. Anyway, I do get referrals from that site, so yeah, in terms of the reader-introduction benefits I get, I'm happy.

I know you recently lost a loved pet Chewbacca. So sorry. Now who's left at your place? Who are the two cuties that were formerly in your masthead?

Those two cuties are Chewbacca and Lucy - Lucy's the smaller, less-fluffy one, and she currently resides at my ex-boyfriend's house. He's likely going to be getting her a companion soon, so perhaps there will be more piggy-interaction stories in the future. Chewbacca is buried in his garden next to his frog pond.

I live in a different house, and currently have 3 cats: Dammit, Pooty, and Sophie. My mother named the first two, and a former co-worker named and gave me the last one.

Let's finish this off with a few favorites.
Color

It changes. I like blue, green, and grey. I wear black tee shirts all the time, so I guess you could call that a favorite.

Movie

I don't have one. Every time I see a new movie that I like, it gets added to the list of favorites. I couldn't even begin to type that list out here, so I'll just say that I hate horror movies (I can't stand gore), so any of those would pretty much never be on my list.

TV Show

I don't watch TV. Back when I did, I liked things like "Rescue Me" and "24" and "The Shield" and "Chuck" - the sorts of "this wouldn't happen in real life, but if it DID, it'd be pretty cool, yeah?" sorts of shows. I'm not big on Sci-Fi, but "Battlestar Galactica" was fun. I don't have cable, and I feel really weird sitting down on the couch and just watching TV - it feels like an empty addiction, whereas even when I'm sitting on my ass and surfing the net, at least I'm picking up tidbits of information by reading blogs. Who can fathom how my mind works, really?

Book

Again, don't have one. I like realistic fiction (usually pertaining to someone having some sort of mental illness or family problem), biographies (of people who were royally fucked up, like Judy Garland), and hate Sci-Fi. Chick-lit is fun, in moderation.

Flower

Scent: Gardenia and Plumeria. Presentation: Sunflower and Lily

Animal

I think all rodents are the most adorable and hysterical things on the planet. I like cats, but as I get older, I'm becoming less "attached" to them for some reason (most animals, actually). Not a fan of dogs. I like horses...somehow (probably because I'm not around them all the time) my fascination of them has never wavered.

Time of Day

I'm such a night owl. If I didn't have to get up early for school, I'd go to bed around 3am every morning and not get up until at least 1pm every afternoon. I feel more productive when there's no sunlight coming through the windows. I have no idea why. I like to work alone, so the only theory I can come up with is that without me being able to see the outside world (i.e. the windows are either dark or reflect the environment I'm in), I feel alone, and can get work done more quickly.

And that readers is my entry into the The Great Interview Experiment. It will continue to go on as long as people sign up. Go on, be "somebody" and sign up. Or if you prefer, just check out other interviews.

Coming soon, Part II For the Love of Pete's Interview.

I just finished a good book so I figured I'd share with ya'll. 'Cause really, who else am I gonna tell?

If you are looking for a light, funny, quick read give "Bitter is the New Black" written by Jen Lancaster a try. It had me laughing from beginning to end.

How could I not love a book containing a reference to the Lifetime movie "Dying to Belong" with Hilary Swank and Six from Blossom about pledging a sorority? It's a wonderfully cheesy movie I have not only seen but tifauxed and had my hubby put on DVD in order to share it with friends. I had no idea anyone else had ever seen it, much less loved it as much as I did.

Then as if that's not enough within a chapter she professes her love for her stat counter on her blog. Dear gracious I have found someone new to stalk ... um idolize!

I can't wait to read her 2nd book "Bright Lights, Big Ass". Go check out her website Jenslyvania she is hysterical!

Disclaimer: I like to read. And I am not super picky. Much like my taste in movies and tv, all I look at is entertainment value. I'm easy what can I say?

5 Years Ago Today...

I was in the hospital having a baby. My 2nd baby. My last baby. I thought I had this baby thing down. After all I'd done this once before, and I had a beautiful 4 year old little girl already. This was going to be a piece of cake. Ha! Little did I know 5 years ago how much this 7 lb 9 oz bundle of joy was going to turn our lives upside down. She's had us all, big sister included, wrapped around her tiny little fingers ever since!


Now she's a whole hand of "this manys". And actually much too big to even use her hand to tell how old she is today, but I needed visuals, so she humored me, putting up that sweet little hand every time I took her picture this morning.

Brooke Marie is 5 today. Music and art and all things pink make up her world. She loves dresses, lip gloss, hair bands and nail polish. Such a little girly girl she is. Brooke is everything to the extreme. She loves with her whole heart. She is her own person.

Today I am sad for the baby that is no longer. I already miss the pudgy hands, rolls of baby fat and mispronounced words. They have been disappearing over the last year, and it seems like this morning, poof, gone. All big girl now.

Today I can not wait to see the person she will become. We have glimpses daily. There will be no peer pressure in Brooke's future. She can not and will not be convinced to do anything she doesn't want to. We have many hairstyles and colors to look forward to. And lots of fancy dresses to buy.

My baby she is 5 years old today! And she promises to always be, "Mommy's Baby".

Happy Birthday Brooke Marie!

Don't send a lame Easter eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Things I Need, um Want

a cute new key chain
a cute new purse
cheap cd case for the car (doesn't have to be cute)
a flat iron (but I'll probably wait until I get my new "do" Sat.)
shirts for us all the same color to wear in our family picture
a pair of jeans that fit (see above)
a cheap wii game to be "from the bunny"
fun new shoes
new outfit for Easter for any or all of us

I have three hours, less commute time to and from Brookie's school. And the kicker today? It's raining! Let the shopping begin!

Edited to Update: I had extra time because, lucky me, today was the day Brookie's class got to see a play after school. So I spent all my time and money at Kohl's. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to *GASP!* actually try on clothes. So I did get an adorable skirt and shirt for Easter Sunday for ME. And lots of other cute clothes too. However the rest of the list remains. Guess I might have to take my sidekick shopping for a bit tomorrow.

Edited again cause I did more shopping. My little sidekick and I kicked ass in the stores this morning! So here's what we found today:


Black, black or black and white for everyone (from Kohls $12-$24). I realize it's not exactly Eastery (is that a word?) but they serve dual purpose, new clothes for Easter and for family photos next week. Speaking of the family photos, see also the jeans tucked in there. Oh and BONUS that adorable toile black and white dress (from TJMaxx $17) has a matching doll dress with it, for um maybe one of the 6 (7 on her birthday) American Girl dolls she owns.







Cute (hey it's part pink) cd holder for my new car, it opens for 10 more cds on the inside. (from Target $10)












Freakin adorable pink dress key chain. (from Target $2.50 on clearance)









My new too cute pink new purse (TJMaxx $17). The new clothes I bought are black, denim and chocolate brown. Black and brown are so not fun SPRING purses. Then I found this darling! It's super soft leather, has lots of pockets and passed the shoulder test. It matches nothing, therefore goes with everything! It was my last and frankly favorite find of the day!





Daddy is purchasing the Wii game for the bunny. I couldn't find any shoes. Well I found some but I wanted a bargain, I have plenty of shoes, and with all the other shopping I couldn't justify another $30. Especially when I still have to pay for a hair do and hot iron tomorrow!

Shit To Do
this is my list

*I am supposed to get my car back this afternoon. I think I have the *nervous tummy* Messing With Texas often refers to. What if it's not right? For as full of shit as I usually am I don't really like confrontation, even if I am in the right. Edited to add: BritBrit is back. New seats all around. I am happy now. Whew, one thing to cross off my long list!

*Speaking of nervous tummy, I'm going somewhere new to get my hair, cut, colored, and highlighted. It's been about a year since I've had it done. I love my hair guy, but he is across town and doesn't schedule his first appointment until 10am. Which does not mesh with our three hour time block schedule at all this year. Many of my friends go to a salon much closer to our neighborhood, so I am trying out the girl who does Drama's hair, Saturday. Yes, the day before Easter and one week before we have our family pictures done professionally. This could be disaster or the greatest idea ever.

*I am a one of those people who will put off the one thing she should do, because there's plenty of time. Then before I know it I have eleventy million things to do, all at the same time. I tell myself, I am much more focused when I have a lot on my plate. This next week and a half may however make me eat my words.

*I used to work with a guy who would put things like solve the energy crisis or find a cure for cancer on his to do list, just so he wouldn't feel so bad about the things on the list that didn't get done.

*Tomorrow I need to go shopping for clothes. For the family for the aforementioned professional photos. My sister's family and my parents will be there and we should at least try to coordinate. I know this, but my mother keeps hounding me about what we are wearing, and I keep putting the decision off. I love her, but she sure can drive me crazy. Yes, I am still a rebellious teen inside, why do you ask?

*Friday I have one daughter off of school for Good Friday. This is a pain in my ass, for obvious reasons.

*Saturday after I am transformed into a new woman, preferably a size eight with no wrinkles. My FIL and wife are coming over as well as my SIL and her hubby. I've mentioned one of these couples before, and I love them. The others I tolerate, and they are enough for a whole 'nother blog of their own someday, maybe.

*Sunday morning, the Bunny Cometh. We will head to church, as we are faithful C & E attendees. The girls will hunt eggs in pretty outfits, we will take photos. Fun will be had by all.

*Sunday afternoon my MIL and hubby, plus SIL and hubby will still be here. We will have a traditional Easter lunch of Honey Baked ham and chocolate.

*Easter will promptly end after lunch and it will be Birthday time. My MIL, BIL and Brookie all have birthdays in March. So the customary exchanging of presents will commence. My youngest daughter will be spoiled and the other one will be green with jealousy as her birthday is still a month away.

*Monday is Brookie's actual birthday and we will be picking up some lovely sugary concoction for treats for her class on the way to school. They are in school from 9 to 12 and they get a snack everyday. Is this necessary? And do they really need cupcakes at 10am? Doesn't matter all the other mommies did it, so I must too!

*Tuesday and Wednesday will be laundry, housecleaning, making lists of things not to forget on our trip days.

*Thursday hubby is going to be home to help pack. This sounded like a good idea when he decided to take the extra day off. I'll let you know how it works out.

*Friday we leave for the road trip from hell, um I mean SPRING BREAK, WOOOO!

*So with all I have going on in the next week and a half you can count on me to organize world peace and cure the common cold.

Time for the WWC again. If you don't know about it, you must be new here. Go check out Tink's site to learn more.

This week's words:
Domestic and Foreign



15.5 Years!

Hubby and I will celebrate our 14th Anniversary in July. Yes, I know, practically illegal we married so young. Before that we *whisper* we lived together for over a year. This is 15.5 years of US! Here's what that gets you.

Actual conversation between us:
me: I called to ask a quick question. Member that green thing, cds, years ago?
him: Try the pocket on the cooler thing.
me: I was thinking there too.

Okay seriously people, who else would have any idea what the hell we were talking about? It's like our own language a shorthand only we know. They should use married couples to pass military secrets!

So many moons ago I had a green cd holder, you know the small ones you put the cds in the sleeves and take in the car? I got it at a trade show for free, hence, how I know it was before kids, when I got paid to do stuff like travel. In my memory it has all my best cds in it. Okay, they are obviously all the best of pre-1999. When I quit buying music for myself and started listening to Barney. If they were my best cds, why are they missing? Because no car I have owned until now has had a cd player. And everything we listen to now is on a computer or iPod, including the cds we own. Can we say iTunes?

So you know where the conversation went after that, right?
him: you know you can burn cds, right?
me: yes, but I've never done it
him: silence
me: maybe I should try
him: silence
me: but then I'd have to find the blank cds
him: silence
me: I know, in the office, they say CD on them.

This is what ya get for 15.5 years, someone actually knowing what the hell the 1o year old green thing is, and actually having a guess of WHERE it is and a conversation with yourself.

Muwahahaha

I know you will all be so sad, but the ongoing saga of BritBrit (my car not the person) is coming to end. Oh hell, I probably just jinxed it, didn't I? Quick everyone knock on wood NOW!

Just a small detail I didn't realize before. See, I sat my ass in the house and pouted yesterday. Oh poor me, my new car has dirty melted seats. I slept in, never got out of my pjs, and ate chocolate. This morning I am thinking, wonder what the backseat looks like? I never even looked Saturday because Josh get this customer out of here before she blows her top told me they started cleaning in the front seat. And we are all aware of how well that went! Well, in the light of morning, the back seat looks pretty damn good. And I started to feel a little bit better .

Boy oh boy, was my phone a ringing this morning. I went grocery shopping as usual after dropping the girls off at school. I ain't sitting around waiting on them to call me, I got shit to do. Apparently that's when they called the first time. Then I heard the phone ringing while I was talking to Drama and showing her my "melted/chewed" front seat, but I didn't answer it. I wanted them to sweat a bit, wonder why I wasn't furiously calling demanding they fix my car first thing. Anyway, first Greg Salesman calls, apologizes for all the screw ups. Really, even if he'd been there he couldn't have controlled the "When Steamers Go Bad" episode that took place Saturday. He told me Josh hates his life as a customer service manager was getting everything lined up and would be calling me shortly. Sure enough within 10 minutes Josh why the hell did I take this freaking customer service job calls me. He tells me he has a seat to replace mine and a driver who will come take my car and leave me a Rondo to drive until I get mine back hopefully tomorrow. I tell him although they did a pretty good job on the backseat, there is still a spot (thanks for seeing it Drama!) on the seat cushion and I want it replaced to. I explained I don't trust the "Hungry Steam Cleaner from Hell" (I may or may not have actually called it that) for obvious reasons. He agreed knowing he does not want to risk another "Attack of the Steamer" again. Josh I will do everything I can to make this almost over the edge customer happy says "mark any spots and I'll replace everything and make it right". Cue the evil laughter here. You people know what I'm thinking, PARTY in mommy's new car! Muwhahaha! My more devious side is thinking of taking a sharpie pen to the loaner car. Just tiny little spots, one per seat, just noticeable that won't ever come out. Muhahaha indeed!

New Car Part 2, Part 3, and Part 'Dear Pete Will This Shit Ever End'?

I tried to be understanding, I bought the car at night, we didn't see the dirty seats, and Greg Salesman promised to do whatever I wanted to get them cleaned. My choices? Take the car back to Lakeland and let them clean it or have it done here and he would reimburse me. Now I totally trusted he would pay me back, but I decided to take it back to the dealer for clean up, just in case. Apparently I have keen foresight people! You won't friggin believe!

But let's back up, you deserve the whole story. It's just not as freakin fun without the back story. First their was the joy of purchasing BritBrit. Yes, I have named the car. She is not a minivan, not yet an SUV. Confused just like Britney Spears (and looks like she could use a shower) you know the song "Not a girl, not yet a woman". The hilarity of 3rd row seating is optional was apparently just the beginning of what will surely turn out to be an epic story. I just pray it will not turn into a greek tragedy!

So back to cleaning the dirty seats. Obviously since my days resemble that of a mother of a newborn, with the 3 hour block timing the only day a 1.5 hour one way trip would be taking place was Saturday. My oldest had a Girl Scout outing at the halfway point. So in my infinite wisdom I planned to drop her off at 10am, take my sidekick with me and head to Lakeland. I had my SIL planning to meet us about 11am to shop and go to lunch. I was told to give 2 hours for the detailing. We would be home well before dinner. Oh optimistic me! First, Breanna's Troop Leader was 45 mins. later than she told the moms to be. What the hell? After I finally had my daughter in capable albeit late hands off Brookie and I went. Of course we couldn't turn left out of the parking lot, and the traffic was horrible. (Anyone who's never driven anywhere in Kissimme, FL imagine Hell only hotter and with more tourists!) Little did I realize this was foreshadowing of the way the rest of the day would go! We finally, after a pee pit stop, were back on the road again.

Did you all know it's time for Spring Training? Well, me neither until I got to Lakeland. My big clues? The horrible traffic when we got caught in the line of thousands of cars trying to turn left into the parking lot at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. By the time I got to the dealer in Lakeland it was after noon. Remember I was going to meet my SIL at 11am? Lucky for us the one thing we could count on yesterday was Aunt Michelle! Oh how we love Aunt Michelle! I can't even begin to imagine the hell I would've had to endure had she not taken pity on us!

After some reminding of who the hell I was. Oh did I forget to mention Greg Salesman wasn't in yesterday? Of course it wouldn't have made much of a difference in the final out come. (I know you are dying to know what happened. Stick with me just a bit longer... ) We went to lunch and shopping with my SIL, I got 2 cute shirts and 2 cute shirts for my MIL's birthday all for $27. Woo hoo bargains! I guess ONE thing went my way! Little Brookie got to buy a few things at the Target dollar aisle and I bought her a new pair of sunglasses for being so good all day! Really that kid is an amazing little side kick, guess that's the life of the 2nd child who's just been dragged around on errands her whole life. While shopping Josh Customer Service (soon to be know as man who wishes he'd never met me or BritBrit) calls and says your car is finished. Woo Hoo! We will still make it home before dinner.

Sos I get to loading my kid's car seat and all our packages into my shiny car, and I looks at the seats and damn, they haven't been touched! There is still brown goo in the side pockets. Well HELL they detailed only the outside! Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck, Aunt Michelle is already gone! So I gos inside and drag Josh Customer Service out of what I am sure was an important meeting of bored ass salesman eating chips (yes that's what they were doing, glass walls and all) And I shows him dirty ass seats and doors. Oh yes, he will take it over himself and make sure they work quick because he knows kids get bored waiting at the car dealership. Yeah, I'm sure it was us he was thinking of us not how a bored kid could ruin his quiet afternoon eating chips. Thank Pete Brookie is such a self entertainer that she doesn't need much to be happy. At the dealership she was perfectly happy to run up and down the same 3 stairs over and over again.

I hear the phone ring in Josh Customer Service's office, some hemming and hawing, and then, "well I have got to do something to make her happy". Oh dear PETE this can not be good. He comes over and tells me he has bad news, they "melted" my seat with the steamer while attempting to clean it. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Where are the cameras? And Ashton, where is he? I'd like to meet him, he's hot! Who knew I was famous and thus must be getting PUNKED? Nope, not kidding me. He was heading over to check the damage and would be back. More waiting, we found the room with the tv. Brookie now very tired from her stairmaster workout is happy to veg and watch Scooby Doo. The non-fat assed and actually good looking finance guy comes by and asks why in the name of all that is holy am I STILL here? I tell him of the "melted" seat and he says, looks like you'll be getting new seats. Sucks that you live so far away though. EXACTLY what I was thinking DUDE! This was supposed to be my last trip to deal with this shit. Damnit!

Josh now regretting the day he ever met this customer Service comes back to show me the "melted" seat which looks more like someone chewed it. Of course it's a weekend and there is NOTHING they can do about it, but Monday he will get on getting me a new seat etc. etc. etc. we'll give you a loaner to drive, don't worry, blah, blah, blah. This is where I decide to remind him I LIVE IN ORLANDO YOU DIPSHIT!

Here's how he left things. He is planning to have someone drive me a loaner take my car install new seat and bring back to me, so I don't have to make the trip again. He'll be in touch Monday.

The back seats never got cleaned they started on the front seat they ruined. So tomorrow I will be demanding not only the new front seat but that they go ahead and replace the seat cushions in the middle row too. They couldn't get the front seat right, they don't get the chance to do the others. REPLACE THEM ALL and skip the inevitable, we couldn't get them clean step, for Pete's Sake! And I expect pickup and delivery of my car. Oh and did I mention we are headed on a ROAD TRIP in 11 days and a major national holiday falls in between now and then?! Yah, I hear you internets, Good Luck with that Josh Customer Service!

From the beginning I joked I would like all new seats, preferably installed after the big Road Trip to Texas.
Lesson here? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!

ps We got home in time for dinner, only because Breanna and Brian waited for us.

Another Meme

My friend Star tagged me for this Meme. She's new here, so I'll humor her. Oh, and I'm bored this afternoon.

Name one thing you do every day.
1. check my email

Name 2 things you wish you could learn:
1. to use our scanner in order to post fun old photos and the girl's artwork
2. burn dvds from shows we've recorded on our media box, the tifaux is getting full of kid's movies and hubby doesn't have enough time to do everything

Name 3 things that remind you of your childhood:
1. above ground pools
2. little black poodles
3. Guiding Light

Name 4 things you love to eat but rarely do:
1. Bennigan's Monte Cristo Sandwich
2. Almost everything from Taco Cabana (especially when consumed around midnight)
3. $30 a dozen chocolate with peppermint cookies I learned to make myself, but don't except for Christmastime.
4. Chocolate amaretto brownies (I only make them for holidays, too yummy).

Name 5 things/people that make you feel good
1. My sidekick Brookie when she comes to snuggle out of the blue
2. Breanna when she comes home saying the test was easy peasy
3. Brian when he realizes I was paying attention to the computer talk
4. Late night emails from Tracy with random things only the two of us think are funny
5. Phone calls with Brit, venting to a trusted friend is so much cheaper than therapy

If you feel like telling us about yourself, tag you're it!

Seriously PEOPLE, those of you I call my IRL friends are soon to be disowned, if someone doesn't figure out #2! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
If those of you I love who are my cyber friends would like to replace one of my BFFs I promise the answer is easy to find without resorting to cheating.

Okay I saw this over at Juggling Life, and I just had to be cool and do it too!

Behold, the rules:

  • Pick fifteen of your favorite movies.
  • Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
  • Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
  • Fill in the film title once it's guessed.

This part is for the reader

  • No Googling or using IMDB search functions. (Don't be Cheaty McCheater-Face! You can look up those words at Dictionary.com if you must)
  • Leave your answer(s) in the comments.
Here we go!
*I have added second quotes to the ones no one has guessed yet.*

1. I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
Parenthood ... Jenn

2. Does Princess Sophia want to come out and play?
If you are gonna name my... member, you have to name it something hyper masculine. Something like Spike, or Butch, or Krull the Warrior King!
You're beautiful. The game, the whole thing. It's just... I wish I ate meat. Mary had a little lamb, little lamb. You have to take it away before I gag.
HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS .... ANONYMOUS (MY IRL FRIENDS SHOULD BE ASHAMED!) Oh and it's listed as one of my favorite movies on my profile! Matthew people, it's ALL about Matthew!

3. This morning, I delivered a set of twins to a fifteen-year-old girl, do you know what she said to me?
"I'm a crack-whore who should have made my skeazy boyfriend wear a condom"?
10 Things I Hate About You ... Drama

4. Look, you brought her here, and that means that you're giving her the shot. The day that I bring an OD-ing bitch over to your house, then I'll give her the shot. Give her the shot.
Pulp Fiction ... Tootsie Farklepants

5. Gimme back my hand... GIMME BACK MY HAND!
I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!
[Aims shotgun ] Swallow this.
Evil Dead II ... Raven

6. All I'm saying is, there's a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one without a fella!
Mother, just because I wear trackies and play sports DOES NOT MAKE ME A LESBIAN!
Bend it Like Beckham ... Raven

7. You let me talk to you about his penis?
His penis is so beautiful I just want to knit it a hat.
I'm 23.
No, you're not. I don't believe you. Let me see the license... Oh, my God! You're a child. Taxi! I have t-shirts older than you.
Prime ... Raven

8. Are you crazy? Nobody stabs my bus! I'll tear you apart! Do you hear me? You get down here right now!
Enchanted ... Drama

9. She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.
Say Anything ... Coffee Slut

10. Look at you, you have a baby... In a bar.
Sweet Home Alabama ... Tracy

11. I always *knew* he was a Republican!
St. Elmo's Fire ... Tracy (now aka Mrs. Judd Nelson!)

12. Naked blonde walks into a bar with a poodle under one arm, and a two-foot salami under the other. The bartender says, I guess you won't be needing a drink. Naked lady says...
Breakfast Club ... Raven

13. When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home.
The Outsiders ... Tracy (aka Mrs. Macchio)

14. He doesn't want us to cut through our chains. He wants us to cut through our feet!
Saw ... Tootsie Farklepants

15. Because they make you feel cool, and hey, I met you. You are not cool.
Almost Famous ... Raven

Start guessing!

This will have to hold (all 4, um I guess it should be 5 , as Raven seems to be a regular here now too ) you until I can get up a coherent (for me) blog tomorrow. I went to Bunko tonight, had a glass (or bottle) of wine to drink and had lots of fun. Such a Great Girl's Night once a month.

Anyway, here are a couple new car pictures for you. If you have a low gag threshold you might want to look away. The "twin" cars may be too much for you!


Brian's is of course the smaller sporty one, mine is the big butt "crossover" vehicle.
Not a Mini Van, Not Yet an SUV.

Later!

For those of you chomping at the bit to hear my car buying tales. Yep, same 4 stalkers that are always reading, I appreciate you coming back!

*I am not freaking kidding! Me, little miss I research everything online before I buy it, never realized that not all Rondos are made equal. Apparently they do not all have the 2 cute little seats in back! Are you shitting me? (that may or may not be an actual quote from me to Greg Salesman last night) It was the joke of the evening. Every time I get pissed in my new car I'm going to yell "THIRD ROW SEATS!" So after all the hemming and hawing over gray or blue, those two weren't even in the mix. I was moved onto the choice of Silver (same color as the hubby's Kia Spectra), Gold (color of old sad tired van I was trading in) and White (aka will look dirty all the time).

Okay, let me back up a step and tell you I was all alone to make said decisions. I dropped my little darlings off at daddy's office at 4:00pm (apparently they were angels, why don't they behave like that for me?) and I told him to tell everyone it was bring your daughter to work day as no one else in his office has girls, they'd never know. Aren't I clever?

So I get there and the finance guy says I can totally beat the deal you got online, I replied "Go For It Sucker", I may or may not have actually said sucker. But really that was the point, if I already have a deal, you are not going to give me a hassle. Seriously it was one paper, with here is your monthly payment less than $10 from what you said you wanted. So I signed on the dotted line.

Oh, I picked the silver one, it's cute as hell. I lurve it! And hubby and I have matching cars, ain't that too cute for words? Feel free to gag now. And damn if the whole friggin experience wasn't just almost pleasant. The finance guy even had me sign all said papers, highlighted the places for Brian to sign, sent it home with me and a DHL envelope to ship it all back to him. That way we wouldn't have to go back this weekend, and he could process our paperwork quicker.

Because I didn't get there until close to 6:00pm, had to do the finance dance, and look at a second set of cars because of the damn 3rd ROW SEATING issue, by the time I finally "bought" my car all the detail guys were gone. Now my salesman assured me I can come back and get the car detailed in the next couple of weeks. I was really thinking it wouldn't be worth the drive even though he offered me a tank of gas too. Let me remind you it was DARK out when I left. You know this is where we get to what I like to call the KICKER! In the light of day, the entire middle seat from door to door has had a drink spilled all over it. LOVELY, DAMN 3rd ROW SEATING! I have already sent a strongly worded email, and am waiting for Greg Salesman to get back to me about this very unacceptable turn of events. Obviously, I will have to make a trip back now, good think my loving in-laws are in town, so we'll have someplace to hang with the kids until I get that car cleaned to my satisfaction!

So here ends my story in a cliffhanger. Will my new car story have a happy ending? Guess the 4 of you will have to check back later.

This week's photos for the Weekly Words Challenge. If you haven't heard of it yet, pop on over to Tink's Blog and check it out.




Paper

World's most adorable notepads my friend made for me. I need new ones, as you can see I'm almost out. Hint!







This is what happens to any blank paper not bolted down in our house.



















Ceramic Easter Eggs

In honor of the upcoming holiday.
Don't mind the dust, these babies live here year round at my house. I actually have a much larger collection, but sadly not enough display space.

Buying a car is giving me way too much to blog about.

Our online loan has been approved, and as usual I ask for a certain amount and the bank says oh no you can afford more than that. Seriously this happened with our mortgage and equity loan too. I know how much money goes out monthly people, trust me when I say, I am only paying $300 a month for this new car, doesn't freakin matter how much the damn check you send is good for! I also asked for a specific amount so I would have a "bargaining chip" at the dealer. You know the "but I only have a check for X dolllars if you can't give it to me for that price I'll have to go" tactic. Well, that's blown to shit now. Thanks a lot eLoan!

I was looking at an Urban Gray (Does that mean looks dirty all the time? Awesome, 'cause then I'll never need to wash it!) and a Velvet Blue (obviously they had 2 different demographics in mind when naming these colors) Rondo. Damn if the dealer didn't sell the blue one today. Actually it was $1000 more for crap like extra special roof racks and a plastic tray for the cargo area that I didn't give a shit about. So now my choice has been made easier... um eliminated, same thing, right?

All this talk of new cars, had the girls and I talking about favorite kinds of cars. Sadly I am not buying my favorite, namely a Sahara Jeep Wrangler. But that's being a MOM! Anyway, my (2weeks shy of) 5 year old told us her favorite car was a LIMO. Yes, as a matter of fact, she aspires to be a Princess when she grows up. Thanks for asking.

Now for a rapid change of subject. Try to keep up people. Namely my same 4 stalkers, um readers. I should probably be nicer to you or I won't have any stalkers left.

This week is FCAT testing, starting tomorrow at school's all over Florida. Okay, I pulled that out of my ass, other counties may or may not be FCAT testing this week. 3rd graders in our county start testing tomorrow. The weather this weekend was cool, as in windows open, no a/c on. So when grocery shopping today, trying desperately to think of something other than chicken for dinner. I thought mmm chili is yummy and easy on a nice cool day. Of course that's when it was 51 degrees out at 9:00am. (At dinner time it was 71 degrees, not as great of an idea.) What does this have to do with the standardized testing that's ruining public education you ask? Well, one of Breanna's favorite foods happens to be my chili. So when she got home and saw it bubbling in the crockpot she asked if we were having it because it was cold or for her because FCAT starts tomorrow. Of course I took full credit for the brilliant idea of making chili for her tonight so she'd do well on her test tomorrow. The child was bouncing around the house over her chili. Seeing as almost nothing makes that child happy lately it was nice to see.

Subject change, yes again!

My husband is addicted to our new Wii game Mario Galaxy. I don't think I need to say anymore on the subject right now. Mainly because I can't see straight due to my annoyance with this new obsession.

That's it for now folks.

THISCLOSE!

Quick update, cause I am so excited and need to tell someone!

We are thisclose to buying a new Rondo. I found a dealer in Lakeland with a great price on them. And a great sense of humor judging by his email. I am waiting on his reply to a few specific questions, but if all is as it seems we will be headed over Saturday to sign the papers. At the price he quoted even Brian couldn't say no. The part of buying a car I can not stand is the fat-assed financing. I know I am generalizing here, but every finance person we have ever dealt with had an unusually large butt. Now I will readily admit I have a rather large butt myself, so maybe I missed my career calling. Anyway, the only way (besides of course being my parents and paying cash *eyeroll* for a car) we have found to skip the hell that is the finance office is to buy a car from Carmax (my current van) and pay a bit too much for it or get a check from eLoan ahead of time. So I am off to fill out the forms at eLoan tomorrow. The best part of the whole deal is my inlaws, the ones I love, all live in Lakeland. NO KIDS will need to accompany us on this little car buying adventure.

Oh and Brian would like to thank all 4 of my stalkers... um readers for their compliments on the new design!

I finally got my dear hubby to design my blog. And I lurve it! I have to go back and put back in my links now. Everything should be fully functioning by tonight.

Just a quick update, the new car hunt is not going so great. Starting to love my old van that is thisclose to being paid off more and more.

Don't the car ads always say that?

Okay I may or may not have mentioned something about mulling over the idea of a new car earlier (like this morning, maybe). Well, we (I use this term liberally) are looking at Kia Rondos. They are like a 'mini' minivan. Smaller than my current van, but still seating for 7. Sort of. As long as all 7 are not ADULTS. Really 4 adults and a couple of munchkins in the way back and it would be at maximum capacity. But seeing as 95% of the time it's just one adult (that would be me, mommy the chauffeur) and two rugrats, I think this is great for us. We would be able to take people with us if we needed to, but on most days we'd have lots of cargo space for groceries or * supplies from home depot. Brian is still against it, but I found one at the dealership where we bought Brian's car that I really like.

This one actually.















If the incentives I saw apply to that car "we"may not be able to pass it up. But you know how that goes:
Me: I saw the ad in the paper offering $xxxx cash back on any new car purchase, does that apply?
Mr. Eager Salesman: That offer you saw is only good for purple cars purchased on the full moon, the 3rd Wed. of the month. And it's only available to people who have served in the military who are over 65 years old.

Now this is not the car I originally posted about that was such a great deal, I was ready to buy it today. That car was the epitome of the "too good to be true" sales tactics. All the rebates applied, and yes I could use them all together. We are talking about $3500 off what I thought was a decent price to begin with. I was getting all excited so I emailed back and asked what the difference between said car and the one that was the same model but roughly $3000 more. Would you believe the sales dude tells me "oh that car has no A/C". THE HELL? Are you NEW here? We live in FREAKIN FLORIDA! NO A/C ? Ship the damn thing back, you won't be selling it here. Funny when he was making me this great deal on the car he didn't think to tell me it didn't have AIR? Can you IMAGINE what I would've done had I driven the hour out there and found that out?

So as my neighbor said "I hope the stars, moon and tides align for you and you can get it." Ain't that the damn truth!

*Added as incentive in case Brian decides to read my blog for the first time ever today.

The shit I am pondering this week...

*Why I am still filling out and copying info to our insurance and the doctors for bills for my daughter's stitches in NOVEMBER? Pain in my ass.

*My husband's boss and the office accountant are a PAIN IN MY ASS! We JUST this week got my husband's tax forms. I want my guberment monies people, is that so much to ask?

*We (okay, this is me and my daughter, Brian is desperately trying to put the kabosh on the whole thing) are looking into the possibility of buying a new car. Like, no friggin miles on it new. I've never owned a brand new car. Brian is on his second. I think it's my turn!

*My sister and niece leave tomorrow to meet my niece's birth mom. There's been much DRAHMAH lately concerning this, so my whole family will be saying a little prayer for them that all works out.

*Did I mention I really want a new car? And that I have one picked out online? And I am emailing the dealer trying to get a better deal?

*Did I also mention my hubby is not really on board with this new car purchase? YET! Cue evil laughter here. Muwahahaha.

*Lost actually answered a question last night! Who's boat is it? Well, now we know! Of course I lost track of how many new questions were posed.

That's all I got for now. Small child waiting at school for mommy to pick her up. Wish I had a new car to drive.

Little Animals

And I created them!
As I sat at the table between my 2 daughters, one crying and the other chewing with her mouth open, I'd had enough! Off to bed with the little monsters at 7:00pm with no showers, brush the teeth, put on the jammies and out of my sight! Then came down the new rules. NO MORE EATING OUT until you two can eat like civilized humans. NO MORE GETTING TAKEOUT until you two can eat like civilized humans. EVERYTHING YOU EAT IN THIS HOUSE WILL BE EATEN AT THE TABLE until... yeah you get the idea. Is it so much to ask that a (almost) 5 year old taste the food on her plate without a hissy fit of tears about how she doesn't like it? Really, you don't like it? How do you know, it hasn't passed your lips yet! And Breanna, dear gracious I PRAY the child does not eat like that at school, in front of other people! Between the mouth full of food I see as she chews, the slouching so far down in her chair that her hair hits her plate, and the lack of use of utensils I couldn't stand to sit at the same table with her anymore.

As usual this story has a kicker, and this one's good! I was driving Brooke to school and told her after school we were going to lunch with mommy's friend Barb. Her reply? "But last night you said no more eating out." Damn kid and her listening to what I said! I explained to her that I made plans to eat out today before last night and she should enjoy her last meal out. I CAN'T WAIT until Breanna hears Brooke got to go out to lunch today. Oh the eyes, they will be a rolling.

That Sound?

One Night...

And this could've been my story.
My niece turned 21 today. My sister and BIL brought her home from the hospital 21 years ago. It was an open adoption, they knew her birth mother. Recently my niece decided she would like to meet her birth mom. My sister always was open and told her they would find her if or when she wanted to. They are taking a trip to meet in person this week, but in the meantime they've been talking online, exchanging photos etc. Anyway, I found my niece's myspace page today and therefore found her birth mother's page. So here's the kicker, her birth mom and I are the same age! I remember meeting her when she was pregnant, which in retrospect I know was the most genius birth control ever for a 17 year old girl! Hi meet "Lost Pregnant Girl" who is your age, don't want to end up in this condition? DO NOT HAVE SEX...EVER! My sister is nothing if not smart and a bit sneaky. Anyway all day I've been stalking ... um, looking at her myspace page thinking how different our lives are. I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that I could have a 21 year old child! Just WOW!
PS Happy Birthday Jer!

I love to take pictures. Of course these days they are mostly of my kids. I have found some different blogs with photography challenges, but mostly they are more advanced than I have time to work on. Then I stumbled upon Tink's blog and the Weekly Words Challenge. She gives two words on Tuesday and you are to interpret them any way you want and post your photos the following Tuesday. This is right up my alley. Seeing as I am not putting photos of my kids here (well faces anyway) after I decided to just use their real names, I will be forced to take a few pictures a week of something else. Perhaps seeing the world just a bit differently than before.

This week's words:

Glass and Stone





Glass
My favorite glasses.















Did I mention, I love them?
















Stone
The gravel at the bottom of the freshly cleaned fish tank.

By George...

I think she might be getting it!

Ms. Priss, my 8 going on 15 year old got herself in a bit of trouble this weekend. The usual stuff, talking back, telling us no, throwing tantrums worthy of a 3 year old.

First, she ruined what was going to be a fun family dinner out Friday night for everyone. Daddy stayed home with her while my sidekick and I picked up said dinner from Chili's and brought it home to eat. Normally I would have expected yet another meltdown when we ate our take out and she dined on her frozen dinner, but not this night, she just accepted her punishment.

Then Sat. morning she was supposed to go with Brian and Brooke to build the free project at Home Depot. However, making a mess in the bathroom and then blaming her sister for telling her to do it got her a few extra chores to do instead. This time no meltdown, okay a bit of back talking, but none of the whining and crying (Thank Pete!). Again, she accepted her punishment, and even helped fold laundry without complaint afterwards.

The kicker is that she was a perfectly civilized kid the rest of the weekend. So much so that we rented movies later Sat. and Sun. night she got to pick what we ordered for dinner. I was retelling this story to a friend this morning and she said, sounds like she's "getting" it. What the hell? That hadn't even occurred to me. I've been living in this world of pre-teen drama so long I couldn't fathom that might be a light at the end of the tunnel I was seeing. Now by no means do I think it's smooth sailing from here on out, but I do think she's starting to realize that we will not give in to the hissy fits. And BONUS, when she is well behaved movies, candy and pizza magically appear.

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