Seriously, if I ever thought I was a bad mom before, that idea has gone right out the window over the last week or so.
It was about that time that these girls showed up in our backyard to play with my kids. The first two who showed up were 5 and 7 years old and they live about 2 blocks away. I absolutely cannot understand parents who let their children roam the neighborhood without having any idea where they're at. Even with J.R., who is 16 years old, I always know where he is and if he goes somewhere different, he calls me and asks me if it's ok first. I'd sure as hell never allow my kids to just wander around the neighborhood and go to stranger's houses.
But these girls started playing over here in our backyard, and two other girls started coming over as well. I have no idea what their names are, don't know anything about their parents and I'm not even positive which houses they live in. One day my kids came in wanting to know if they could go over to THEIR house and play in THEIR backyard and I gave them a resounding "Hell no!" Sorry, but for all I know their parents are cooking meth in the garage and having orgies in the living room. While that may sound like a fun Saturday night for some people, it's certainly not an environment that I want my kids around.
I've been getting rather annoyed at them showing up at my backdoor promptly at 3:15pm, especially since my kids don't usually get home until 3:45-4:00. And they don't ever leave until I MAKE them leave, usually around 7pm. I have to wonder, don't their parents make them dinner? Don't they ever wonder where their children are?
Today I made them leave earlier than normal when I found my 3 youngest kids in the alley with them (where they're NOT supposed to be) watching them try to fly a kite. Isn't that an awesome idea? Send your kids out to an alley full of power lines to fly a kite.
But then about 15 minutes ago, one of them showed up at my backdoor again, wanting Mikaela to come out and play. Even worse, she was standing there talking to Mikaela and in her hand was a DEAD hamster. She stood there petting the dead hamster while she told Mikaela how their cat killed the hamster awhile ago and she had to bring it out of the backyard because it was freaking her sister out.
Because, you know, when a family pet dies, we all just toss it in the backyard, right?
I think I may have to start banning these kids from our yard.
1. My professor apparently likes Paris Hilton. I tried not to jump up and knock some sense into him when he shrugged and said "She's blonde and cute. What can I say?" Does the man have eyes? Paris Hilton is so not cute. Puppies are cute. Babies are cute. The wrinkles next to George Clooney's eyes when he smiles is cute. Paris Hilton is....none of those things.
2. I found out where the term "dead ringer" came from. When people died, they'd place a string inside of their coffin and attach it to a bell that was next to their headstone. This way, if they really weren't dead and were instead..oh, I dunno, taking a power nap or something, and they happened to wake up buried 6 feet underground, hopefully they'd have the foresight to search for that string and ring the bell repeatedly until somebody happened to walk by and realize there was a live person inside. Neat idea I guess, although it makes me think two things. One: the idea that they buried enough live people to have a need for this is a bit unnerving. And two: I'd hate to be walking through those graveyards on a windy night. Also, this doesn't really explain to me why we use the term the way we do. Next time I see a "dead ringer" for my sister, I'll be sure to bury the lady in a coffin and see if she can indeed manage to ring the bell to let us know she's alive.
3. When you're writing on a white board, you really should make sure you've been working on your handwriting. Otherwise words like "rock" will end up looking like "cock" and have the whole class thinking you have a side-job teaching Pornography 101.
4. My professor had popcorn ceilings in his apartment when he was in college. Don't ask me why I needed to know this. I still haven't figured that out.
5. Spider poop (aka a spiderweb) on a projector lens is approximately 1 pixel. You don't want to know how this came up. Trust me.
So that was our class for the evening. Oh, there was also some stuff about rocks and weatherization, but who listens to that stuff really?
There are mice living in our basement. They're not rat-like mice with beady red eyes and scaly tails. No, they're fairly cute, furry little grey mice. I probably never would have realized they were there if it weren't for Oreo the Mouse Hunter cat who thinks it's great fun to catch them, carry them upstairs to the living room and play with them until she either kills them or they escape and run under the entertainment center only to jump out at us when we've forgotten about them and are naively watching the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where the cute little girl has cancer and wishes she could be a baby again so she had more life left to live. Oh, you know the episode. They're all the same really, designed to have you blubbering like an idiot while simulteously trying to figure out if you could withstand the pain of cutting your own leg off so you too could get a house with a dollhouse bedroom and a swimming pool in your backyard.
But I digress. We've gotten used to these little surprises that the cat keeps on bringing upstairs for us so you'd think we'd all be ok with it by now. Wren doesn't understand how a person like me, who used to have pet mice living in cages in her bedroom and would put her hand in the cage and let them crawl up her arm and then put them on her bed and lay there reading a book with 9 mice running across her legs and stomach, can freak out and scream like a little girl at the sight of a big black and white cat walking into the room with a tail hanging from her mouth. I guess he just doesn't get it. Those were pet mice. These are real mice. You know, the plague carrying kind. (And if you tell me that the plague was started by rats, I will personally send my cat to your house armed with 20 of these little mice to prove you wrong.)
The girls are afraid of them, of course, but so are the boys. That shouldn't surprise me since Hunter won't even pick up our little toy pomeranian-poodle and set her on the floor when she's in his way. He'd rather stand there and try to lure her out of his spot on the couch with a cookie (she's a weird dog and would rather eat sweets than hamburger, unless it's properly spiced, of course).
So yesterday when Boogie started telling me this story about how Oreo brought a mouse upstairs while we were sleeping and she locked them in the bathroom with her, then picked up the mouse (presumably dead) by the tail and threw it out the bathroom window, I really didn't believe her. I'm not stupid, I promise. I just had a hard time believing that she would ever pick up a mouse, dead or otherwise, not to mention the fact that the cat always tries to rip Wren's hand off when he takes her playthings away from her. I kind of just brushed off the story until about half an hour later when I went in to pee and I thought, well, you know, she could have been telling me the truth.
Sure enough, I opened the bathroom window and poked my head out to find a little, grey, fuzzy, quite dead mouse laying on the stack of chairs under the window.
And I couldn't help thinking about our old cat Lynx who used to catch mice and eat them but she'd leave the head behind as a "present" to us, usually right on the floor next to my bed so I'd be sure to step on a bloody mouse head when I woke up in the morning. And then I started thinking about how Boogie has started leaving me "treats" on my pillow so I'll be sure to see them when I wake up. You know, things like cookies or chocolate eggs or pieces of cheese.
And all I could think of was that I'm really glad that my 5 year old had the common sense to throw the dead mouse out the window because if I had woken up with that plague-carrying creature on my pillow, I may have thrown Boogie out the bathroom window.
Life feels like a giant roller coaster to me sometimes. As great as the highs are, the lows absolutely suck. I'd really just love to find that middle ground.
This week has been one of those weeks. Waiting on a check so I can have a birthday party for my daughter, whose birthday was LAST week. The check should have been here on Tuesday, so I planned the party for Thursday giving me one day to run all over town getting everything for the party. Instead, the check came today. And because my mailman is retarded, I didn't get it until 4:30pm. So much for a Thursday party. There's no way I'm running around in rush hour traffic to get everything.
But things were going pretty good this week. I finished writing my book and I'm really happy with it. I'm working on editing it now and want to get that done before the weekend so I can get some friends of mine to be my "test audience" and tell me what they think and if I should change anything. Then I'm off to the fun agent search again, but even that I don't mind this time because I think I can write a better query for this book.
Found out that I'm getting my financial aid back so I get to start school next Monday. But we still hadn't heard if Wren gets his back. I sat here making plans to pay for him to go if they didn't give it back to him, knowing it would mean we'd be strapped for cash this quarter, but also knowing if I did that he'd get his back in summer.
But then we found out, he's getting his back and gets to start on Monday too! Yay!!!
And then the furnace quit working.
No idea WHY it quit working. We tried changing the filter in it but no luck. I'm not about to call my mother and tell her that her furnace isn't working because I'm sure she'll blame us and it's not like she'll get anybody here to fix it. I figured, warm weather is right around the corner and by the time it gets cold again, we'll be moved out and my mom will be back here.
But here it is, April 1st, and it's SNOWING outside. It's so cold in this house that we're all bundled up in thick socks and hoodies, cuddling with the cat and dog under blankets.
Wren made a fire in the fireplace, but he used the last of the wood and since my check wasn't here yet, we couldn't really go buy more. So we turned on the oven, opened the door and set up a fan in the kitchen. lol Really, can you GET more ghetto than that?
Even with the furnace not working, I've still been in a great mood. Everything was starting to go our way.
Except for the mailman who hates us and seems to be holding all of our GOOD mail as long as possible, but that's for a different blog.
This afternoon I finally got my letter from the school saying how much I'll be getting in financial aid. And for some reason, they're not giving me ANY student loans. WTF? The amount of money I'm getting will barely pay for my classes and books, it sure as hell won't pay the other bills so I can actually GO to school instead of having to work. Oh, I know a lot of people go to school and work at the same time. I bet they also don't have 6 kids who go to 3 different schools clear across town so that they have to drive over and pick them all up at 3 different times each day. That, or they have REALLY good childcare.
Could you imagine the cost of childcare for 6 kids? I'd have to get a second job just to be able to pay it.
As anybody knows, though, when you're on a really big high, you crash really hard. So this letter crashed both me and Wren, who realizes they probably won't be giving him loans either because apparently we're both in default and didn't know it. Since when did they STOP sending out letters to tell you when a payment is due? I've never received a thing from them.
Or so I thought. I found some emails in my spam box from them, called their number and they're doing some forebearance thing to get me out of default and then I have to print off this application for deferment and send it to them along with some papers and my first born or something. And THEN I have to contact the school and hope it's not too late to get my loans back.
I swear, I had less problems getting into school than I'm having getting BACK into school. You'd think it would be easier since it hasn't even been a year since I was there.
I'm trying to remain optimistic. Even though my fingers are so cold it's actually becoming painful to type this, and my bed is covered in papers that I dug out of the filing cabinet to figure everything out, and my book is sitting here open in Word NOT getting edited, and Wren told me he doesn't WANT to make anything for dinner tonight (I'm mourning the homecooked meal, let me tell ya), and there are rather large snowflakes falling outside my bedroom window, I'm trying to remain optimistic.
Plus side: My book, Unrequited, is finished! Yay!!! I'll just focus on that thought for awhile.
First there was me. I'm 33 years old. Next came Mark, my ex-husband. We added J.R.-16 years old, Katie-14 years old, Dustin-13 years old, Hunter-10 years old and Mikaela-9 years old before we split up in August of 2002.
Next came Wren. He's 32 years old. We added one more to our bunch. Raven, AKA Boogie, will be 5 years old on March 25, 2009.
We are a very large, rather silly, bunch of people. Life is full of chaos. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Dustin, Hunter and J.R.
Katie, Boogie and Mikaela
My perfect world
5 Wrens to wait on me hand and foot. What could be better?