Friday, May 29, 2009

Life With Smoochie

Life With Smoochie:

A few weeks ago Smoochie and I were in my trusty family transportation unit together.  He happily rode in his booster seat behind me while I drove us on the "just the two of us" errands we were running.  I don't often get time alone with Smoochie, and sometimes I use errand time to get away, just the two of us. 

I made the mistake of removing a hand from the wheel (he could not see the other as it was in my lap by my knees on the wheel) and he freaked out.  "Mom!  Put your hands on the wheel!  On the wheel, Mom!"

To all mothers out there, I offer this advice.  Don't ever ever get in a car accident with your almost 4 year old in the car.  Avoid it at all costs.  One crisp fall day in November of 2005, I was transporting Smoochie to his Pre-K class for the morning and I encountered a pediatrician in a hurry to cross from the hospital side of the street to his office on the other side of the street.  And by encounter, I mean T-Boned, set off the air bags, Oh hi, how are you?  Yeah  I tried to honk to tell you I was currently occupying this space and I tried braking but realized what I really felt like doing this fine morning was racking up a $1000 dollar ambulance charge to drive us the remaining 300 feet to the hospital ER to be checked out and assured we were OK. 

The accident was seriously not my fault, the doctor did not see me.  I didn't even have time to hit the horn or brakes, I had no idea a Lexus could move that fast, my hand and foot were only partially to their destinations before I heard the crunch of car eating car.  And Smooch?

Has never let me live the moment down.  Heaven forbid I remove a hand to change the channel, or ask John to take the wheel for a moment so I can blow my nose.  The boy freaks.  But only with me, never John.  One accident, I tell you, and I'm still going to be hearing about it when the boy's in his 30's. 

I have to confess, after about the 325,876.728th time being razzed about my driving, I kind of lost it on the boy.(Isn't it amazing how clearly and loudly I can yell with my teeth clenched together and not moving?)   "Smooch!  I am driving!  You are RIDING!  Let me DRIVE!  I've got it under control!  Now knock it off and QUIT CRITICIZING MY DRIVING!!!"

Quiet erupts in the minivan and all of the sudden we're both listening to the music again.  My blood pressure goes back to normal, and my face looses some of it's purple tint.

About 10 minutes later from the back seat I hear the question, "Mom?"

"Yes, honey?"

"What were those words you taught me last night?  You know, to use when I didn't want to do something?"

"Oh, you mean the phrase I'd prefer not to?" 

"Yes, that's it.  That's the one!"



"I'd prefer it if you kept your hands on the wheel."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Copy of the Lovely E-Mail I Got to Send My Son's School This Evening

My son, Smoochie, came home from school and informed us that he was punched in gym class today. Upon questioning, he told us that he was punched not once, but twice. Once in the stomach, and once in the back- hard enough that he cried. We asked him what he did, and he said he told his gym teacher what happened, and his gym teacher said he would talk to the boy who hit him. According to what my son has told us, he did not hit the child back, and did exactly what he was supposed to do according to the school policy and rules.

Right now I am a very concerned parent. I was under the impression that there was a no tolerance policy regarding violence in the school system. While I do understand that there are occasions when boys will be boys, and that sometimes accidents do happen, I should be able to send my son to school without fear of his physical and mental well being. He should not be afraid of being hit at school, nor should he be afraid of being made fun of for crying because of this- both of which happened to him today.

A couple of things lead me to wonder if this situation was handled appropriately. The first and foremost being that no notification of any kind of the incident was sent home with my son to explain what may have happened. Does lack of notification mean that the situation was handled properly, and steps have been taken to ensure that it doesn't happen again?

I think the biggest thing I am looking for is assurance that this situation will not happen again, and that I can send him to school knowing that he will not be harmed again physically. As a mother, it is my duty to insure that the incident is only a one time thing, and is addressed before it has the opportunity to become a pattern. My son loves school, loves learning, loves attending, and it would be heartbreaking to see his attitude change because of something like this.

I did try to call the office, but by the time Smoochie got home today, the office was already closed. I felt an e-mail would be a much better approach than a voicemail message.

Thank you for your time,
Smoochie's Mom.

*I would like some input here, am I over reacting? Should I have just let the incident go? Because I have to confess, right now my Momma Bear Gene has been triggered, and I'm a little toasty under the collar. I can think of nothing more appealing than making heads roll. How on earth do you tell your kid to do the right thing if it happens again? To me, it's almost like telling the poor boy to be a doormat, especially if the school has done nothing. In all fairness, the school has not had a chance to respond yet, as I am sure they will do with all of the politically correctness they can muster. But there's a fine line here, really. At what point do you tell your children that violence never solves anything , and at what point do you give your child permission to stand up for him/herself?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh Why O, Oh Why O, Did I Let You Shave My Hair-O

I didn't originally plan to do this, but as I checked out FADKOG's blog this morning, I was inspired. And after having been through my pictures a couple of weeks ago for a facebook tribute to 15 years with Bonehead, I knew exactly where these little tasty doodads were tucked away. So inspired was I, that I ran to my scanner and began to work on this little dandy of a post. Thanks to an idea birthed by Stiletto Mom and Blissfully Caffeinated, I am sharing with you a blast from the past. It's the Flashback Friday Prom Picture Event...


Oh yeah, fasten your seat belts because I'm going to lay some prom pictures on y'all. I know that technically, my proms were both in the early 90's ('91 & '92) but really, must it be that they were in the 80's in order to be embarrassing? I'm pretty sure I'm about to prove that I think not. I'm an equal opportunity embarrassing prom photo believer.

This is a picture of me and my date at my Junior prom. Please note that my double chin did not just magically appear after I had my boys, I was blessed with the double - if I didn't smile, it might not be so prevalent, but that's like asking a rainbow not to be colorful. In general, I'm pretty chipper. Also, take note of my strapless dress, a perfect shade of teal green with sparkles and did I mention strapless? Because I truly knew how to rock a strapless dress, I don't think I removed my matching bolero jacket the entire evening. But there's something to note here that's even better than the chin addition and the bolero jacket I super glued on-

What-on-earth-is-up-with-that-hair? I'll share. A couple of months before prom (far enough before that prom wasn't even a thought yet) I allowed Bonehead to shave the bottom half of my head. Howie Mandel shave. As in with a razor and smooth as a baby's butt. By the time prom was on the horizon, I was busy trying to grow it out and there wasn't really a whole lot I could do with it. No sirree, no fancy french twists for me. It's a little hard to see from the picture above, so I've included a bonus photo below of me and my best friend at prom.

This is the side view of the lovely hair. I had sideburns, aren't they just lovely? Sideburns! Every time I see this photo, I immediately think the words mutton and chop. And this is my best friend, who I still love to this day. With permission, I am now going to share with you my best friends date to our Senior prom.

Ta Da Da Dah! Bonehead! Yes, he went with my best friend, and to make things even more interesting, that long haired dude with me in the first photo was Bonehead's best friend. Oh the days of teenage drama, you seriously couldn't pay me enough to go back and relive that stuff. Let's skip ahead a year to my Senior prom, shall we?

Me and the same long haired dude at my Senior prom. He didn't want to go, his mom made him take me. Please note the french twist you can not see, complimented by my look of constipation. In this photo, I am a shapeless black blob with no figure, and the bottom half of my body has completely been sucked away by the nothingness. We were all cool and rode motorcycles to this prom. My lovely date here ditched me and left in search of beer for the hotel room we had rented for us. I pretty much begged him to stay, because I wanted a date a whole lot more than beer, but he refused and left. I spent most of the night in the bathroom crying my eyes out, and had to ride in the car with another couple we went with to the hotel room. I seriously don't know why I didn't just call my mom and have her come get me. Love does weird things to the teenage mind, I guess. At any rate, there was one high point to my evening.

Bonehead felt sorry for me and asked me to dance. I danced my very first slow dance with him that night. How sweet is that?

So there you have it. Embarrassing prom photos with all the drama behind them. Have I mentioned I'm actually happy to not be a teenager anymore?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Passive Aggressive Much?

Before Smoochie was born, Bonehead and I lived in Southern Illinois so he could attend SIU.  One day while living there and being the 20 somethings we were, we decided that we each needed our ear cartilage pierced.

* Side note- before I go any further, I need to clarify a couple of things.  I have 0 tattoos and no desire to pierce anything that is not attached to the side of my head.  In general I try to give life an I'll try anything once attitude, but due to an allergy I have to any metal less than 14k gold and sometimes even that, there will never be anything pierced on my personal being beyond my ears.  I can't even wear a watch- the stainless steel on the back and the cheap clasps give me a major rash.  Nope, no piercings for me, sorry if it makes me look like a fuddy duddy.  For the same reasons, I hesitate to tattoo anything- what if I'm allergic to the ink as well?  It's not like I can just go take it out, if you catch my drift.

Now Bonehead owns a couple (meaning 3) tattoos, and once pierced his ear with a paper clip in high school, I believe.  Although I take first place in other areas of misadventure, when it comes to the body, he's always been just slightly more cutting edge than me.  Now, back to my story.

On this particular day in Southern Illinois before we were parents, we headed out to the little local mall to the piercing place to get our cartilage pierced.  After walking in and explaining what we wanted, Bonehead and I had a little discussion:

Bonehead: "OK, Chas, you go first."

Me: "Are you serious?  I think you should go first."

Bonehead: "No, that's OK, you go."

Me: (Completely not wanting to make a scene about this) "Fine.  I'll go first."

And with that, I went into super stubborn mode.  I climbed up onto the chair (yes, I'm 5'3 & 1/2" tall and so I climbed up) and provided my ear for the  teenage space cadet to attach the piercing gun to.  Being in stubborn mode, I put on my very best poker face.  And Space Cadet (quite possibly Sadistic Space Cadet) hit the shoot button.

Ouch, ouch, oh ouch.  Seering pain followed by a white hot heat smacked me upside the head.  Still, I kept on my best poker face- I didn't flinch or change expression at all- because by this time, I was pretty ticked off that my big strong protective MAN made me go first for this torture.

I hopped down and sadistically enjoyed his turn.  Oh yeah, buddy, TAKE THAT!

Once we left the store he looked at me and said, "Why the hell DIDN'T YOU TELL ME IT HURT SO MUCH?"

By now the whole side of my head was warm and tingly.

"Seriously?  You make me go first to face an instrument of torture, and expect me to share how painful it is with you so you can chicken out and make me the only one to endure this pain?  Think again, mister, think again."

I have recently negotiated Tuesday and Thursday evenings for a little me time.  On Tuesday, my beloved Bonehead was kind enough to get my bike ready for me to take my first solo ride of the season.  It involved running it up to the local bike shop because the brake wouldn't stop rubbing, replacing the battery in the computer, and making sure I had adequate air in my tires. 

"The wind is out of the South," he said.  So I planned to head South into the wind in order to have the wind at my back on the way home.  I soon discovered that he had failed to tell me just how strong the wind actually was.

1/2 an hour later as I was in full on granny gear painfully cranking out a snail's pace against the wind, I remembered our piercing adventure.

Touche, Bonehead.  Touche.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Diagnosis Chronic Clumsiness

I was cruising. Thoroughly enjoying my Mother's Day gift, I was busy pushing myself. Bonehead rode behind me in his patient and relaxed way, because in all honesty the man could ride circles around me if he wanted. But he's sweet, and when I requested a bike ride for Mother's Day, he let me lead and set the pace, which was a doozy for me, but kind of a stroll in the park for him.

My new SPD clipless pedals and shoes were clicked into my bike for the very first time in the real world and not on the trainer. I felt like a bike goddess. I liked them, I felt much more efficient.

I was thoroughly enjoying myself, biking around Busse Woods on the bike path, brazenly calling out "On your left" as I passed an assortment of rollerbladers and walkers. We witnessed a deer in the woods, and got closer than I ever had to one before. The wildlife was abundant and I was truly enjoying myself. Riding around Busse was much more exciting than the vast expanse of corn fields around my home. Truly, I was cruising and exhilirated and oh so happy.

I looked back for a moment to say something to John, and wound up off the trail in a swampy and muddy area. The water was not immediately trail side, but as I tried not to panic while whipping through the uber soft dirt on the side of the path I noticed its stale smell.

I tried to get my bike back on the path, and for some reason never ever thought to either unclip or hit the brakes.

I know, its like watching a horror movie unfold before your eyes, isn't it? At this point you're screaming at me, "Take off your freeking high heels and run you idiot!! Everyone knows if you keep them on you'll twist an ankle and lumbering dude with the chainsaw who never ever runs will catch you!!"

Yeah. So I'm trying to get my bike back on the path while tethered to it, going about 14mph and NOT hitting my brakes. Come get me chainsaw dude, I'm all yours.

Here's a tip in case anyone finds themself in a similar situation: turn your wheel at a 90 degree angle to the huge bump that is the side of the path. Because anything less, say 89 degrees perhaps, will have your bike flying and you trying to shoot off like the ball attached to one of those Paddle Balls. Only you can't shoot because you're permanently attached to your bike because you never ever thought for a nanosecond to unclip so you wind up attached to it mid air with your life flashing before your eyes.

I most certainly did. I flashed.

There wasn't much to see, really. Just a gag reel of trips, drops, spills, breaks, and knock overs. I caught a brief glimpse of my upcoming eulogy: "She was never known for her grace and had no business being on a bike to begin with". And copious amounts of tears from lots of guys who all looked suspiciously like Dwayne Johnson.

And then interrupting the stillness of the forest and quieting the chirping birds, along a well shaded path in Schaumburg's Busse woods not far from Woodfield mall where I SHOULD have been, a loud crash was heard followed by some skidding and the sound of my skin velcro-ing and unvelcro-ing across the pavement. There may have been a loud, "Oof," or a swear word but I'm not sure, my last coherent thought before the ground introduced itself to me forcefully was of my beloved grieving boy toy, Dwayne.

Struck hard by instant pain and thoughts about whether or not I should check for broken bones before moving, I opted for the jump up like a jack-in-the-box approach because i felt like the biggest idiot of the day. From behind me, people I'd just been all gung-ho to pass were yelling, "Are you OK?"

"I'm fine," I lied. Oh how I lied. My wrist screamed, my elbow was throbbing, and my leg looked like lunch meat that had been dropped in the dirt.

As the people I'd passed mere moments ago walked by me, I moved off to the side of the path and used the opportunity to drink some water. And pretended that I'd just wanted a water break all along. 2 minutes later, I let John know I was ready to continue, gingerly mounted my bike again, and pressed on to do the full 20 miles.

At my next water stop (because I'm 100% not coordinated enough to pull a water bottle from its cage on my bike frame, open it, drink it, and put it back all WHILE MOVING) I asked John, "Did I look like a total Jackass?"

He smirked his assurance and said, "Yeah, you kind of did, sweetie."

Then we continued on our way.

In retrospect, I usually really remember the first few minutes or the last few minutes of a ride, but mile 7.5 of my Mother's Day ride will be forever etched in my memory. And probably on my shin a bit, too.

Plus, it's going to be a solid two weeks before I can shave my leg again. Road Rash. Ouch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Long Overdue and Snippety

It seems I have neglected my blog for well over a week now.  It wasn't intentional, in retrospect, but has nonetheless happened.  I'm back, from the land of the busy, to scratch a bit at My Neurotic Spot.  While I was away, quite a bit has happened. 

*I feel the uncontrollable urge to confess that sometimes I avoid the blog strictly due to my foul mood (a.k.a. these days as hormones- the cause of beautiful female disintegration worldwide).  I try to keep things fairly entertaining and light around here, and I admit freely that sometimes my mood takes me to places that might (if you'll squint your eyes and tip your head to the side a bit) resemble Godzilla on a bender.  And by Godzilla, yes, I do mean a freakishly large lizard skinned rampaging she-beast who periodically switches from breathing fire to shattering entire coastal ecosystems with a laser beam gaze.  Occasionally, I might have an out of body experience while in this state and witness my beast of a mood in action.  It's like a runaway shopping cart in a wind storm- Oh yeah, I see it clear as day.  But can I get there in time to stop it? Uh, yeah, nothing short of a fire hose and a skyscraper size Swiss Cake Roll is taking that mood down, baby. Hormones.  Gotta love them.

* Last Friday was my 15th wedding anniversary.  15 years already, wow. It's still pretty hard for me to comprehend, and it's been here and gone.  It makes me feel both proud and desperate to stay young.  If 15 years can go by that fast, I will be in a nursing home next week.  Then comes the panic followed by my breathing exercises, yet another stupid craving for a Swiss Cake Roll, and the employment of my breathing techniques while muttering, "I'm only 34, I'm only 34, I'm only 34" and the deliberate oversight of the silver steaks that keep popping up in my hair.  Then I try to think happy thoughts and pop a multivitamin and a Low Sodium V8.

*I sometimes wish Critter was a girl, but not for the reasons that would turn him into a circus freak.  When I'm getting him dressed in the morning, and at night, and after each diaper change in between, he pulls a leg out of his pants immediately after I get it in.  It's perturbing.  Every time I dress the boy, I swear I dress eight legs.  If he were a girl, he would totally be in a skirt for the rest of eternity.  I foresee a randomly naked child for most of the summer.

*Saturday was the official one year anniversary of My Neurotic Spot.  I've been posting for a full year now.  I wanted to celebrate, but the lizard in me left me bereft of the ability.  In celebration, I will be posting the first ever included pictures of me on my blog.  You know, a little face behind the voice. If I can figure out flickr, I will also include the photo tribute to my wedding anniversary as well.  But coming from someone who came (holding pointer finger and thumb a smidgen apart from each other) this close to deleting her entire 41 plus day library of itunes music on Tuesday, it might take a while.  And yes, I did almost delete it.  While it was preparing and I realized there was no way to stop it, I panicked and turned the computer completely off.  I sweated a bit, then tried to turn it back on, and thankfully it was not still trying to delete an entire lifetime of music accumulation combined from both me and Bonehead. And speaking of Bonehead, he didn't know.  Until now when he reads my post, that is.  Sorry, my bad (sheepish grin).  I'm his worst nightmare when it comes to computers and related items. 

* I stopped my Weight Loss Wednesday posts a while ago, but I am still updating my side bar on a pretty regular basis.  To date, as of my weigh in on January 1st, I have lost 30 pounds.  Believe me, I am super excited about this progress, and will keep working toward my goal.  However, I figured out that I can only word "I need to drink more water and start keeping a food journal" in so many ways before it gets uber boring.

* I still have not caved and walked into (or drove thru) a Starbucks.  I seriously can't believe I've left it alone for 4 whole months now.  However, I am making it known that I am asking for a Starbucks Caramel Frappucino for Mother's Day.  Even if I have to go get it myself.  As long as I'm confessing today and disclosing my secret thoughts and horrid behavior and all.

* As part of our anniversary celebration, we went to hear some local music at a nearby bar.  It's one of the advantages of living in a college town.  Out of 4 bands that played Saturday night, only one was really worth listening to.  But I had an epiphany over the course of the evening that I feel the need to share.  You have not truly lived until you've heard Eddie Money performed as Thrash Metal.  'Nough said.

* And as long as I'm confessing today, I have never watched a Godzilla movie. Godzilla could very well be a man for all I know, but for the sake of today's post, she's a she.  And she can breathe fire and shoot lazer beams out her eyes. 

That's all I've got for today.  I think I'm good now.  Carry on.