Friday, September 28, 2007

Show Down In The Show Room

No, I didn’t go in there blazing mad or ready to scream and shout. I arrived at the dealership and walk to the plexi-glass window which separates the customers from the office staff. I even manage a cheerful smile.

“Hello, I would like to speak with your CEO, President.”
Happy, smiling blonde girl: “Can I tell him what this is regards to?”
“It is regarding a sale.”
“Can I tell him who is calling on him?”
“Yes, ….MommasWorld.”

All six of the girls seated behind the plexi-glass gasp. I hear whispers of “that’s the lady.” I almost let out a laugh. Wow, they are all afraid of me? Weird.
Blonde girl’s smile and cheerful attitude quickly vanished. “I’m sorry but he is in a meeting and we have no idea how long he will be. You can wait right here in the sitting area until he is finished. Well, if you really must speak to him.”

Great, I am getting the brush off. Just what I needed on top of everything else. I sit for a few minutes but with each passing minute my anger grows. I decide to walk around a bit and get rid of some of this energy building up inside.

Before I knew it I was walking around cars in the show room. Sean (my sales guy) comes up all smiling and super cheerful “Hey! How’s it going?” That is all it took.


As I take a moment to catch my breath I look around me and wonder…where did everybody go? All of the customers ran out of there. The only people left in the show room were sales people.

I think Andrea heard me way back in her office behind the plexi-glass. She comes out to the show room and says this…exactly this

“Because you think you are too good to drive on expired tags. {pause for her eye-rolling} We are going to give you a dealer tag.”

Oh. No. She didn’t!
“Me? I think I am too good?! Too good?! HOW ABOUT IT’S FREAKEN ILLEGAL! IL-LE-GAL!”

Every muscle in my body constricted and I was to the point of actually standing on my tip toes while yelling. I have seen this in movies but never in my whole life experienced anger to this extreme.

A quiet voice from beside me says “Um, you can’t tell her to do that. It IS illegal.” That was Sean, my sales guy. He couldn’t believe what Andrea had just said either.

Some where near the back of the show room a young salesman says to the guy next to him “I think she is Italian. Doesn’t she look Italian?”


“Dude, she heard me.” And then he runs off to hide in the back with the vending machines.

Ok, now I am really starting to scare people and that is frightening for me. A few of the sales guys and I walk outside. Some are holding on to my hands and some just have their hand on my back for support all the while saying things like… “Don’t let them work you up like this.” “This dealership brings on it’s own problems” “I can’t believe how they so royally screwed you. That is just messed up.”

I walk around the dealership lot and eventually calm down enough to go back in the waiting room to wait for the President.

I am trying to relax my muscles but they are not cooperating. My stomach feels like something exploded inside and then was set on fire. Is this what people mean when they say “bust a gut”? After an hour and no change in my muscles or stomach I decide to run out for Pepto-Bismol. Tony says he will put the dealer tag on for me right away.

Out of nowhere here comes the President. He immediately starts shaking my hand and saying something to the effect of ‘Sorry to keep you waiting and oh, you are on your way out. Maybe we can chat next time.’

Not so fast buster. “No, I am not leaving. I have time for you.”

He reluctantly lead me to his office where he explained everything they have done up to this point is “Normal.” “Nine times out of ten this is how things work out.” Yes, I met the king of stupid. He even backed up his employees saying they were right to tell me to drive on expired tags and registration. “I don’t understand why you think it is such a big deal. This is a minor problem which we are already helping you with.” Yeah, as if I was the one who caused the problems!

I listen to him try to put the best spit and shine on this whole situation and I see that he clearly admits they messed up ALL of my paper work. He also refuses to apologize or make it sound like they were in the wrong…for any thing.

He keeps talking and I keep listening. He looks at me quizzically from time to time. I imagine the thought going through his head was “Why isn’t she smiling and thanking me profusely yet?”

Finally, I have had enough. As I am leaving the President explains that the title and tags are in their name just for a little while. During which time their insurance covers the car. I give up on educating the office staff about the law and how to apologize.

Around 9PM my body is finally back to normal. My stomach is no longer on fire and my muscles have stopped trying to squeeze me to death.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tomorrow I Start My Criminal Life?

Yesterday, I received a letter from the company who administers my vehicle warranty.

Dear Mommas World,
We regret to inform you the car dealership has ignored our repeated insistance that they provide us with the correct information on your vehicle. Last month we gave up on them and sent them the $2,344 check you paid for your warranty. I hope you succeed in your next attempt to receive warranty coverage on your vehicle. Yes, this means you have no warranty and the dealership has pocketed your money.

T.Hought Yadwannano

Oh my goodness! I have been driving a vehicle for 3 months without a warranty! This needs to be fixed right away.

I call the dealership and speak to the finance department. "Yes, this is the finance department...I am sure they are misinformed. Our warranty guy is out on vacation. Let me call you back. Call me at 5 o'clock if you don't hear from me."

I call Sean, who sold me the car and he says "Gee Wiz! I worked so hard on this deal and everyone else is screwing things up. Let me talk to the finance and title people and call you back. If you don't hear from me by 5 o'clock call me."

Why the title office? I also explained I have a temporary tag and registration which expires TOMORROW! I have not received the permanent tag or registration yet.

Well, 5 o'clock rolls around and no one called me back so I call the dealership and guess what? They close at 5 o'clock! Every. Single. Day.

This morning, I sent an email to the dealership CEO, President, all the department heads, and the Sales guy. Lunch time passes and no response. No emails or phone calls from the dealership.

I am a bit fed up so I call and explain to the dealership receptionist that my temporary tag expires tomorrow. She transfers me to Tracey in the Title department.

Tracey pulled up my file (I am guessing on the computer) and said she is aware of the situation. She explained they are having difficulty obtaining the title.

I am completely STUNNED! Speechless! I think to myself…What?! They sold me a car without actually having the freaken title?! How is that possible?! Oh My Gosh, I have been driving this car for 3 months! Three months without a warranty. Three months I have paid for this car and the dealership who sold it to me doesn’t even have the freaken title! Deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Come on woman, Breath!

I ask her how soon will she get the title? Her response… “In a couple of weeks. Maybe longer but I really don’t think it will be too much longer than that.”

My registration expires tomorrow. I cannot wait a couple of weeks or longer. I cannot drive the car without proper registration. What if I get pulled over for an expired temporary tag?

“You will be fine. Don’t worry about it. If you do get pulled over have the policeman call us and we will explain everything to him.”

And head explodes.

In a sort of stupor I say “Are you kidding me?”
Tracey: “No, it will be fine. Just have him ask for the title department.”
Me: “Who should he ask to speak with?”
Tracey: “Just have him ask for me, Tracey.”

I can no longer continue this conversation with her. My mind is reeling and I have to find some dark corner to sit in the fetal position and regain normal heart rate and breathing.

After a few minutes I think I am stable enough to call the dealership again.
This time I ask for a manager.

I explained to Bud, my registration expires tomorrow and the first thing he says is “Why have you waited so long to contact us about this?!”

My thoughts were…Um, excuse me? I thought they were doing their job and I would receive the proper documents in time but now it looks like they dropped the ball. Oh silly me I forgot I was in charge of his employees. I should have kept them in line and on task. Wait, I do not work there. I am a customer.

He said he would pull up my transactions and talk with the title clerk. I explained I already spoke with Tracey who told me “You will be fine. Don’t worry about it. If you do get pulled over have the policeman call us and we will explain everything to him.” Imagine if you will a policeman laughing at me and saying “Here is your ticket. This is your fine. Take care of your business lady.”

Bud thought Tracey’s solution was “That is putting a Band-Aid over a difficult situation. This will not solve the problem.” Really? Ya think? Plus what about me being pulled over for something that is not my fault and so out of my hands? The embarrassment of being pulled over with police lights flashing and him finding out someone other than the dealership and myself are the real owners of this car on paper. Yeah, real treat for me. Cannot get enough of it.

I also explained the issue with my warranty and he said “I am hearing all sorts of problems that should never have happened to you.” He was going to talk to the finance/warranty department but I explained to him the man who handles warranties (right there in the same building as you Bud) is on vacation. Mmm, they really do not communicate there do they? Here I am a customer letting a manager know one of their employees is on vacation.

Bud again..."I just don't understand. They had 90 days, 3 months, to handle all of this and on day 89 I am left in the lurch." In my head I am thinking...Yeah, its all you Bud. The customer, me, would have no cause for stressing out at all. Bud interrupts my thinking process ... "I am here until 8 o'clock tonight. I will get to the bottom of this and call you back. If you do not hear back from me by then call me. Um, they close at 5 o'clock so he wants me to wait until three hours after they close to freak out again. Ok, sure Bud. Do what you need to do. I will be there tomorrow at lunch time looking for my free of charge loaner luxury car that will fit 5 Brownies scouts and two adults.

Ten minutes later Andrea, the dealership controller, calls me. In the voice of lawyer dude in commercials who speaks so quickly you might catch every other word....
"Bud just updated me on your problematic status. We are working on the issues. Warranty is being corrected. Something on the form was filled in incorrectly. We here will take care of any tickets, fines you might incur in the mean time. No points go against your license for expired registration/tags. Will try to get an extension on the Registration. The state does not normally issue an extension but I will try to cash in a favor. Any questions? I will call you by 5 o'clock tomorrow. If you do not hear back from me by 5 o'clock tomorrow call me."

It must be programmed in all of their employees to say "If you do not hear back from me by 5 o'clock call me." I suppose their thinking is if it is not fixed by close of business they will try again the next business day.

My head is spinning and I want to scream, yell and stomp my feet! But I don't. Instead my mind buzzes and I start to giggle. Yes, giggle. Then I start to laugh. I laugh at the complete stupidity that I have to deal with having bought a car out here in the country.

My plan is to call Andrea at 11:30 AM and check the status. If the registration and title issues have not been resolved I am driving over to the dealership with the phone number of the State Police and Licensing commission at the ready. If she does not produce a compilable vehicle before my lunch hour is over I will call the State Police and the Licensing commission. After which, I might have to borrow ManSon's new mountain bike to get too and from daycare and work. I wonder how Snow White will feel about riding on the handle bars until I find another dealership and vehicle?

I just called the state police who informed me it is against the law for me to drive my car after midnight tomorrow if I do not have the new tag (license plate), registration and tag sticker. The officer told me to go to the local court house and the local State Licensing commission office to receive something in writting explaining the details of all laws, fines, penalties, etc. related to driving with expired tags, registration and tag stickers. If that doesn't work with the dealership to contact my lawyer. The officer seemed to hint that I would most likely require the services of a lawyer.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Extra Terestrials in the Country

We were on our way to the store when I noticed how dark it was and how bright the stars were shining. Snow White thought she saw a flashing comet. I tried to explain it was an airplane but she insisted it was a blinking comet. Some how the subject of aliens came up. "Mom, you know they are evil. They want to destroy our cars, trees, houses and battle us for our planet." I couldn't help but laugh.

I tried to explain how aliens were made up due to the unknown, way out there. She thought that was pish-posh. I told her the simple story of how people from long ago thought the world was flat. She asked if anyone took on a dare to prove them wrong? I told her how everyone tells of Christopher Columbus setting off to sail. How he was to prove the world was round on his adventure to India. When his ship went ashore he thought he was in India but actually he just discovered America (I am not going in to a full fledged history lesson as to who came here when). I told her the Indians were called Indians since Columbus thought he landed in India. At least we were off the subject of evil aliens.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Girl Named Bunny - The Last Day


Sunday morning Pup woke up early intent on defending the house. I opened the back door and let him out. After he barked for more than 5 minutes on the back deck I went out to carry him back in. It was Sunday morning and some people do sleep in. I noticed the house seemed a bit cold. Fall is just about here with cool mornings and hot afternoons. I don't know if I should turn on the central air to heat or cool.

Given that it did seem a tad bit chilly, I went upstairs to see if Oldest Daughter and Bunny needed extra blankets. What I discovered was Oldest Daughter was in her room alone. I checked ManSons room and there he was sitting in his bean bag chair watching TV....and Bunny was asleep in HIS BED!

My blood went straight to boiling point! WHAT IS SHE DOING IN YOUR ROOM?! IN YOUR BED?! I am a mild woman even in the worst moments but I was ready to start knocking both of their heads together! "Mom, I promise. Nothing happened. She basically kicked me out of my own bed. I let her sleep there and I staid up all night watching movies. She is just an annoying little kid and she is Oldest Daughter's friend."

I start yelling at Bunny "You are only 16 years old! Sixteen years old! You are NOT old enough to sleep in a boys room!" She smiled and batted her eyes at me which made me want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her! I didn't but I really wanted to. "Get up! Get out of this room!" She took her sweet time getting off the bed and walking past me. I could see she still had on the same clothes as yesterday.

I went back down stairs to cool off. I practiced what I was going to say to Oldest Daughter. My reasons for why this little pain in the butt can never come back to our house. She is NEVER coming back to our house. Not for birthday parties, an afternoon or just to stop by and say hello.

Snow White was still asleep but I heard movement going on in Oldest Daughter's room. ManSon came down stairs to talk with me. I told him she was never coming back here. He thanked me. "That would be great. I can sleep in my own bed. She thinks like Snow White and acts like a little kid. I am surprised you didn't take her home right after dinner. She was rude." He went on to explain other things "She is my sister's friend. I don't want to be rude to her.

He also mentioned how it seemed like such a long time since he and his sister really hung out together. "It would be so much better if we didn't have to deal with such a fussy girl in the middle of it all. I forgot how much fun it can be to just hang out with my sister. We don't even have to finish a sentence before we both start laughing. It is like we have a secret language all our own. Other people get it but you have to explain a little. With my sister I don't have to explain anything. If she weren't my own sister I would still like to have her as a friend."

In our house it is normal to have half a dozen to a full dozen teenagers all at once. I suppose it has been awhile since ManSon and Oldest Daughter were together without each of their entourages.

I thanked him for talking to me now but scolded him as well. "You should have come to me. I would have picked her up or woke her up and made her to go to the room she was suppose to be in! This was a dumb move on your part. If there is ever a next time make the girl leave. It is not rude. If she takes it that way then she definitely has moral issues and you don't want to deal with that can of worms."

Oldest Daughter and Bunny pretty much staid in Oldest Daughter's room all morning. Eventually Oldest Daughter came down stairs. I explained to her this was Bunny's last visit with us. She was no longer welcome to come over to our house. Oldest Daughter also expressed some relief. "So I can tell her the reason she cannot come over is because you said so right?" "Yes, I am definitely willing to be the meanie."

The whole trip back to Bunny's house she and Oldest Daughter slept in the very back of the van. We even brought Pup with us. Snow White was put to sleep by the CD Oldest Daughter selected for the trip back.

On the long return trip home Snow White read out loud one of her Tinker Bell books. When it was too dark for her to read any more we sang along to the Girl Scout CD she picked out at the Girl Scout Council shop.

We are home and I am just glad to know ....I will never have to see Bunny again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Girl Named Bunny (2 of 3 days)

Saturday morning I wake to find Bunny asleep on the couch. I cover her up with a blanket and go about my morning. Later in the day we decide to do the malls and shops beyond this country place.

First stop the Girl Scout Council to pick up a few Brownie items for Snow White. We make our selections and head to the register. There are two little boys running about the store but not in a wild fashion. They are around 5 & 6 years old and asking their Dad questions. They appear to be waiting for the lady running the store. After we check out she locks the store up saying she needed to get ready for her other job. I apologize for not knowing we were keeping her and she shyly says it was no trouble at all.

Off to the big mall. We arrive and discuss how the first floor is about the same size as the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville which we truly enjoyed. The mall we visited today had two stories and easily twice as many shops. We made our way through half of the mall when I suggested we eat a late lunch at a stake house I had seen.

Another Bunny moment. Her nose came within an inch of my own as she barked out like a little yapping dog... "I HATE stake! I hate it! hate it, hate it! Lets eat at McDonalds!"

ManSon says "That is not a real restaurant in the way my Mom means."

Bunny "It is so a real restaurant!" and Snow White quickly agrees.

ManSon laughs and says "I told you, you are a little girl. An eight year old is the only one agreeing with you."

I am again shocked at the 3 year old that continues to burst out of this 16 year old girl. I wanted to slap her but I repeated those lovely calming words in my head ‘She is only here for the weekend. She will be gone tomorrow.’ I politely say "It will be ok. I am sure they have more to offer than just stake."

Bunny shuffles her feet as though kicking sand and trudges along. We arrive at the stake house. ManSon is leading the way with Oldest Daughter and Bunny just two steps behind while Snow White and I bring up the end of our little procession. Just before we reach the front doors a lady dressed in a football jersey shouts out "You are stalking ME aren't you?!" She laughs as we all turn to look behind us...all of us except Snow White who points to her own chest and mouths "Me?"

The lady laughs and says "I just saw you at the Girl Scout Council. This is my other job." We all laugh and follow her inside the restaurant.

The hostess seats us at a booth with two chairs on one side. Figuring Snow White might be too small to sit on the tall chairs the hostess sets the Child's menu and crayons at the booth side. Oldest Daughter and ManSon take their seats thinking Snow White will sit between them with Bunny opposite of Oldest Daughter on one chair and me in the other.

Bunny will have none of that and slides up next to ManSon. This pushes ManSon to the middle where the child's menu is and he laughs "It has been a long time since I had the child's menu."

Snow White is goodhearted and agrees to sit in the very tall chair. She almost toppled over while climbing up to sit on the chair. Bunny laughed at the clumsiness of it as I tried to steady Snow White.

The waitress comes to take our order. Bunny orders something similar to what ManSon orders but she is unsure what Chicken Parmesan is. After taking down her order the waitress says "Your Chicken Parmesan comes with the salad bar located down stairs behind you." To which Bunny promptly states "I HATE salad! I hate it! Really hate it!" The waitress looks at me and I just shrug my shoulders. All the while I am thinking "At least she has this 'Hate' issue with all adults not just me."

ManSon, Oldest Daughter and I make our way around the salad bar. Oldest Daughter laughs and points upstairs to our table. There was Bunny pressing her face against the glass making faces at us. Snow White just rolled her eyes as if to say “How embarrassing.”

We return to the table and tell Bunny about the non-salad items on the salad bar such as the bread, chocolate chips, trail mix and fruit. She asked if the grapes were green or purple. I said purple and before she could say it I sarcastically mimicked her "I know, you hate it, hate it hate it."

ManSon and Oldest Daughter were shocked and did not know what to say or do. They sat there with their mouths open. They just could not believe I would be so out right rude!

Bunny on the other hand was ready to embrace me. Like I finally got in the swing of things!

That was not the impression I wanted to give her. I wanted open her eyes to how rude she had been. It was totally lost on her.

We returned to the mall intent on going through every store contained in the second half of the mall. ManSon approached a T-Mobile kiosk in the attempt to add minutes to his phone. The sales people wanted him to sign up for a new plan for only $49.99 a month. He assured them he was very happy with his existing phone and only wanted to add minutes to his phone. They passes him off to another T-Mobile kiosk who also tried to get him to buy into another plan. Eventually they passed him off to the head office upstairs. We waited for about 4 minutes with no eye contact from any of the sales people. ManSon said he could load up his phone with minutes from a card at the gas station. Enough minutes to last him about 4-6 months for only $20 so we left the T-Mobile office.

We found a gourmet doggy store and Snow White picked out a few specialty treats made with yogurt and carob for Pup. Oldest Daughter wanted to check out the FYE store so we went there next.

I had not caught The Da Vinci Code movie on the cable channels so I thought I would buy that movie and the Disney Princess Enchanted Tales. ManSon and Oldest Daughter did not see anything they really wanted but Bunny did. Right in front of the sales clerk who helped us look around, Bunny begged and pleaded with me to buy her a $16.00 hat. I explained they have an FYE store near her house but she kept pleading for me to buy it for her.

I am not use to begging from my own children let alone someone else's child so I said "I will give you the same rules I give my own children. If it is Not Your Birthday, if it is Not Christmas and it is Not under $5 you are Not getting it." She smiled, and skipped off to find something under $5...anything under $5.

Oldest Daughter giggled a little as her friend skipped away. "I have not heard that speech from you since I was 6 years old." Oldest Daughter, the sales clerk and I all laughed while shaking our heads and watching Bunny skip through the store.

I Don't Wanna Go To School

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

When Recycling Goes Bad

It just occurred to me that I misplaced something, actually a few things. Now I remember where I put them and I am so sorry I did not keep them in my purse or anything other than what I put them in.

I have tried to break myself of this awful habit. I have numerous tote bags from so many places. Why on earth do I use grocery bags? I use grocery bags to sort out my car. What items need to go in the garbage are placed in a grocery bag. Items that need to come into the house are put in a separate grocery bag.

I have teenagers, weekly guests and a full house on other days. This means I have an abundance of grocery bags. I use them for sorting out things in my car, temporary replacement for rubber gloves when I had forgotten I used my last pair. I also use them for garbage bags in the small garbage cans located under the kitchen sink and every bathroom sink. On garbage day I collect the bags from under the kitchen sink and the bathroom, tie them up and leave them at the kitchen door. ManSon picks up the tied up bundles, places them in the garbage cans and puts the cans out to the curb.

There is a huge flaw in my system of “recycling” the grocery bags as garbage bags.

If I need to make sure I take a few miscellaneous items with me in the morning I leave them by the door. This is an attempt to make sure I do not leave the house without those items.

Some times I forget to tie the grocery garbage bags. I just leave them by the kitchen door. Most mornings we leave via the front door but there have been times I parked the car/van by the Sunroom which is off of the kitchen. I know at the end of the night which door I plan to exit in the morning.

Unfortunately, ManSon is not advised about what I am leaving in the kitchen. He is not aware most times due to sheer fact he is asleep when I am making last minute plans for my morning. He goes to bed around 10 PM and I go to bed around midnight. Thus a grocery bag at the kitchen door usually means it is meant for the garbage can.

The items I am currently looking for can be replaced…just not at the moment. Maybe not even tomorrow but I can replace what I am looking for. What am I looking for? Snow White’s Brownie tie and the contact information for her Troop. I had them in my hands last night and wanted to make sure I had them for night. The Brownie tie can be purchased again this Saturday. The contact information for the Troop Leader can be replaced at our next meeting. The problem is I need to have the News Letter ready to distribute at the next meeting.

Oh well, I can always leave a __________and write in the information before the end of the next meeting.

I should also learn NOT to use that abundance of grocery bags for toting things around when I have so many pretty tote bags. I might even purchase the “Brownie Volunteer” tote bag to keep all of our “must have weekly Brownie items.”

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Girl Named Bunny (1 of 3 days)

My weekend started off a little rocky due to a surprise resignation of a fellow employee. His departure left a series of waves crashing in our office but all worked out for the best. I think.

Friday after work I left to pick up Oldest Daughter. She invited an out of state friend to stay the weekend with us but this friend's friend was leaving unexpectedly. Mmm another surprise departure. Anyway Oldest Daughter invited another friend, Bunny, at the last minute. This particular friend annoys the heck out of me. She is not a bad girl nor does she get in to trouble or anything. It is just her complete lack of maturity that sucks the life out of me.

When I say it is ok to invite another teenager over to our house I am expecting a teenager...not a toddler. This young lady is 16 years old but acts like a tempermental toddler. She may think it is totally cute. I want to bang my head against the wall when she is around.

She is Oldest Daughter's friend and it is only the weekend so I agree to let her come over for another visit. Yes, she has visited once before.

During our drive home Bunny is very quite unlike last time where she rarely stopped talking long enough to gasp for breath. This time she was plugged into a DS game and totally oblivious to what was going on around her. I welcomed the change from not stop chattering. I think Oldest Daughter had a little chat with her friend after I mentioned how much Bunny chattered on before.

On her last visit Bunny sat next to me and talked NON-STOP through a 2 hr movie. She kept saying "What just happened? What did I miss?" My response was always "you already explained what was going to happen and that is what was going on while you were talking."

Since I had already seen the movie before I gave up watching and picked up my cross stitch. I was hoping to watch it with Oldest Daughter and get her take on the movie. She also gave up watching the movie due to the chatter and went to bed...leaving me to indure the not stop chattering for remainder of the movie with Bunny. At one point I almost said "Shut up! I need to count the spaces inbetween stitches!" but I sat silent. Saying to myself "You only have to deal with her for two days...just two days. She is Oldest Daughter's friend. Be nice. Smile."

After Bunny's first visit I chalked her insessive chatter to nervousness coming out but Oldest Daughter said she is always that talkative.

Anyway, the lack of filling all space with Bunny's words this weekend gave Oldest Daughter and I a chance to catch up, listen to a few CDs we liked and just shoot the breeze giggling here and there. Snow White even had a chance to join in on the conversation without the constant interuptions.

Instead of heading directly home we had to make a stop at the grocery store. We had just ran out of cat food and needed to replenish the food stock. It was a weekend and teenagers are normally in an abundance at our house on the weekends.

Have you ever been in a grocery store with a tired, cranky 3 year old? I have but it has been a long time so I was a little out of practice and did not have a 3 year old with me.

It is after 9 pm when we reach the grocery store. While making my way throught the produce section Oldest Daughter asked for a few items. I sent her on her way to gather them. No matter what age your children are they still ask for special things in the grocery store. They just ask nicer and understand why if you do not agree with their choice.

I was taken aback when Bunny very perkily says "What's for din-din?" I am puzzled as to why she has not had dinner. Does she really expect me to cook up a huge dinner at this time of the night? I motion towards the lunch meat in our cart and politely say "You can make sandwiches when we get to the house."

"Sandwiches?! Sandwiches?! I HATE sandwiches!" She crosses her arms, puts on the best pouting face I have ever seen on a 3 year old and even stomps her foot! Um, I don't know how to react or what to say. Even little Snow White is puzzled by this behavior. When I stopped stairing at Bunny I decided to move on down the grocery isle.

Oldest Daughter returned with her requested items and asked if she could also get a sub. Thank goodness she came at that time. I agreed to the sub and said "Why don't the two of you pick out something you might like to eat when we get home."

Oldest Daughter comes back with a sub but Bunny comes back empty handed. We walk through the isles and I pick up this and that. Eventually we make it to the frozen food section. Bunny still has not picked out anything. I pick up 4 pepperoni pizzas thinking Teenagers are always willing to eat pizza.

Out of the corner of my eye I can see Oldest Daughter making granduous hand jesters towards the cart while making a head jerking motion signally Bunny to "look". Sort of a "See, Mom is getting those for you." Then it comes..."I HATE Pepperoni! I hate it, hate it!"

I freeze not because she is displeased but she is just being down right rude. If she were really 3 years old I might expect her response but come on! She is 16 years old. Instead of repremanding her I simply reach for the cheese pizzas and she smiles. Then I say "If you wanted cheese pizza all you had to do was ask. There is no need to yell."

Bunny smiled, batted her eyes then linked arms with Oldest Daughter and attempted to skip down the isle with her. Oldest Daughter is not use to making a spectical of herself in public so she detangled their arms and left Bunny to skip through the isle on her own. Oldest Daughter, Snow White and myself stood a the back of the isle just watching Bunny skip up the isle as if she was skipping down the yellow brick road linked arm and arm with the Scarcrow and the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. We looked at her then each other and slowly made our way up the isle behind us. I think Oldest Daughter was keeping her distance so maybe no one would notice Bunny was with us.

We finish our shopping and head home. The girls and ManSon are all so wonderfully helpful unloading the bazzillion grocery bags from the van. I tuck Snow White into bed and the girls watch TV all night in the family room.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh the Fun of Fundraisers

Our packets included a few fundraisers.
  1. Address booklet which we are to fill in names and address of people to solicit for Magazine Subscriptions.

  2. Magazine Subscription catalog and order sheets for going around the neighborhood.

  3. Candy, Nuts and Candles order form.

  4. Flyer for the website and instructions for submitting 12 email addresses.
When we arrived home Snow White started on her homework while I started making a list of friends and family members. Next to their names I typed up their mailing addresses and email addresses. After Snow White finished her home work we called some people on our list attempting to receive permission for submitting their mailing and email addresses.

I do not know what came over me when I looked at the Magazine Subscription Catalog. For some reason it made a bad taste materialize in my mouth. The thought of asking people to sign up for magazine subscriptions made me feel like a leper. I decided to order the minimum requirement of 2 magazines (Girls' Life and Parents Magazine) so Snow White could receive the one-forth portion of the overall fundraiser badge.

The first person on our calling list was Auntie D. We chat on the phone every day anyway. While telling her about the many fundraisers I mentioned the magazine subscription catalog. She flipped out a bit. "Don't put my name on that one. Magazine subscriptions really freak me out! Either you do not get what you ordered or you get roped in to paying for them after they run out." I cannot disagree with her. The last time we ordered magazines I received my Cooking Magazine, Snow White's Highlighter books and Oldest Daughter's BMX racing mag came like clock work. Some how ManSon's Video Game Tricks N Codes magazine was switched out for ....Young Miss Magazine! What is he going to do with that? Even Oldest Daughter did not want to read it. I do have to say the magazine subscriptions we had did end when they said they would. The magazines stopped coming and no one contacted me to renew. (sold to us by a young man using the proceeds for college...not through the Scouts)

Auntie D decided to order the Chocolate Covered Raisins and Delux Pecan Clusters from the Candy and Nuts catalog. She also agreed to participate in the email and mailing address portion.

A few minutes after we spoke with Auntie D, Grandma called to check in. She and Grandpa travel so much they like to check in now and then just to let everyone know they are doing fine and what they have been up to lately. While catching up I told her about Snow White's fundraisers. To my surprise she said she would rather have a magazine than candy. So we put her down for Women's Day Magazine. Grandpa was all to happy to order the cashew nuts. They also quickly agreed to participate in the email and mailing address portion.

What kind of Mother would I be if I didn't order a few things myself? When I saw the first item on the Candy & Nuts flyer I knew I wanted it. This is the Chocolate Malted Milk balls in a tin that looks like a Girl Scout Handbook. It's not the chocolate I want, it is the box it comes in. Snow White said she wanted one too. "I would so use this to hide candy from ManSon. 'Oh, excuse me big brother, I need to go read my Girls Scout book. Page one...bite, bite, nibble, nibble.' All the deliciousness. Mine." I also orderd a few other items for ManSon and Oldest Daughter.

School fundraisers are sure to follow. Since school has only been open for a few weeks I have received one fundraiser - Scholastics Book order form. The only set in the whole flyer Snow White wants is the 40 book set of Magic Treehouse. It works out to $1.00 for each book. Who could say no to reading?

My grand total towards fundraising so far ( it is only Wednesday) is $28 Magazines, $32 Candy and $39 for books. Snow White still needs to sell 25 Candy & Nut items. We need to submit the 12 email addresses (do not worry none of the Bloggers will be used) and fill up the address booklet.

If you hear a knock at your door just after dinner...Hurry up and answer it! It's US, Snow White and Momma's World coming to your house to take your order.

Brownies On An Empty Stomach

We had our parents meeting at Brownies yesterday. I was so excited I forgot to eat…all day. No breakfast. Completely forgot about eating lunch. When I picked up Snow White at daycare she was equally excited but managed to remember to eat.

We signed the attendance sheet and were each given a packet of unknown material. The Troop Leader gave her speech on what to expect this year and a little history on Girl Scouts. After this the girls introduced themselves by saying their name and grade. The last little girl to introduce herself said her name, grade and “I told my Mommy that we just had to sign up for this Brownie Troop because Snow White goes here!” It was Lunch Girl. Snow White was thrilled to see one of her new friends in the same Troop.

The Assistant Leader asked the parents for volunteers for different things. One Mom was the Cookie Mom last year so we all thought it was fantastic that she wanted to continue this year. Why put some newbie in the position if we already have a tried and true expert, right? Four Moms, including myself, volunteered for transportation duty.

The Assistant Leader said she would issue a weekly news letter with pictures and event plans. She also said it would depend on her computer, her short list of computer skills and ….then I started waving both of my hands in the air while grinning from ear to ear. Sort of like "Pick Me! Pick Me!" She was so happy to pass off the news letter duties to me. I explained how I love taking photos “I have my camera with me all the time….see!” Yeah, I was acting like a kid on a sugar high. I will remember to eat breakfast and lunch the day of our next meeting.

I was ready and willing to volunteer for everything. So my list of Brownie Mom Duties are Photographer, News Letter, Transportation, Weekly Helper, and Snack Mom.

Maybe I was not the only Mom who forgot to eat. Lunch Girl’s Mom and I chatted briefly and she wasn’t making any sense to me. Or it could have been me…my food deprived brain not understanding what was said. She said something like “I am always at BJs. If you cannot find me _____ just go to BJs. It would be very likely I am there.”

I think she said her Mother-In-Law or someone lives on our street. Then she said Lunch Girl’s is named after her but it is her name backwards. I turn this over in a brain awhile and cannot figure out how in the world this could be possible. Eventually she spells it out for me. Lunch Girl’s first name is Mom’s middle name and Mom’s first name is Lunch Girl’s middle name. Awww now I understand. It turns out that Lunch Girl and Snow White both have the same middle name! Snow White’s middle name came from her Auntie D.

At the end of the meeting I was waiting my turn to speak to the Troop Leader. The Assistant Leader looked deep in thought as she watched Snow White. Then she let out a sigh and said “Wow, she is so beautiful.” Suddenly, she snapped to attention, her eyes grew wide as she added “Did I just say that out loud?” We all laughed. Snow White said “That’s ok. Its not the first time I have heard that.”

Mall Stroller - Put Baby Where? WW

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yeah Brownies!

Last week it dawned on me that Snow White never signed up for Girls Scouts. I was a Girl Scout and Oldest Daughter was a Girls Scout for two years.

The internet lead me to a site that says the closest troop is an hour away. Trying to keep everything local thoughts of "Yikes! I might have to become a Troop Leader!" I wanted us to be part of the Scouts but not incharge.

While surfing the net I checked out the uniforms. Uh, there are no uniforms any more. T-shirts and maybe some pants that look like PJs but a lot more comfortable than the old uniform.

Well, two days into the school year a flyer came home and they are starting local Troop sign ups September 4th. Yeah! I am saved! I wont have to start a Troop on my own and I wont have to be the Troop Leader!

Last week I came home, Snow White ate dinner while I changed and put on the make up I had not time for this morning. I found the Girl Scout flyer and called the number since I could not figure out the sign up location. It did say the name of the church but I still could not find it. I called the number and a man answered saying his wife, Troop Leader, had just left for a meeting. "Girl Scout meeting?" He gave me the best directions he could...without street names. Why could he not tell me the street names? He lives here! He does not need to know the names of the streets to figure out where he needs to turn. I was the same way in our old state.

Well, Snow White and I drove up and down a main street about 5 times before I found the church. It was not visible from the main road but it was off of the main road. After arriving at our destination I could see how the directions we were given actually made sense to someone who has lived here all their lives.

Anyway we were first to arrive. The front door swung open and a really nice lady with short blonde hair was holding the door open for us. Apparently she is one of the Troop Leaders. Yes, there is more than one Troop in this location. Actually, there are 4 Brownie Troops and 4 Junior Troops. They all meet in the same place but on two different evenings.

While registering Snow White they asked if I would also like to register. I explained that I was nationally registered and the eye balls bulged and their ears purked. "National...registered...among us...really...truly?" Um, Yes, really and truly.

The leaders were all Girl Scouts before so I was really surprised to find out no one else registered nationally. So here I was happy to not be the Troop Leader. They were thrilled to have a nationally registered Mom who loves crafts and has a Mini Van! Yeah for transportation and weekly support!

When I handed in Snow White's registration form they looked at me in surprise. "I don't have change yet. It is only $10 to register and we do accept checks." I explained the extra money was a donation and pointed out the check mark on the registration form. They giggled with glee.

Snow White had a few apprehensions about joining the Browines....

"I do not want to be a Girl Scout. Do you know they have to make ALL THOSE COOKIES!" Apparently up until now she thought the Girl Scouts was child labor for cookie making. (I almost peed my pants from laughing!)

"I would be ok with camp so long as we could make smores and there were no bears or wolves." The Troop leader laughed and when she finally caught her breath she said "We try to avoid bears and wolves at all costs."

Were you a Girl Scout? Camp Fire Girl? Brownie? Dasiy? Any stories to share?

Friday, September 07, 2007

What Goes Around Comes Around

While Snow White was just a toddler still a bit uneasy with her walking Easter came. In her basket was a cute little yellow wind up chick. I wound it up and placed it on the kitchen floor so she could watch it go. Big mistake. For some unknown reason she freaked out. I mean really freaked out! She was screaming and crying and clawing her way up my leg.

ManSon and Oldest Daughter sort of got a kick out of Snow White’s reaction to the little yellow chick. After all they are her big brother and sister. Some unwritten law regarding teasing, joking and tormenting the younger siblings seems to apply here.

One Saturday evening I was trying desperately to cook a large dinner. Snow White wanted to play and I really needed her out of the kitchen. Away from the stove, hot oven and basically out of the danger zone. I kept picking her up and putting her in the den which is right off of the kitchen. I could watch her play safely among her treasure trove of toys. She kept insisting on coming back to the kitchen. At one point she almost touched the hot oven window!

I tried putting her in her highchair but that resulted in screams and many tears. I was ready to give up on dinner and just call the pizza place…then I saw it. That little yellow chick from Easter was sitting on top of the fridge. I had placed it there out of reach from her brother and sister. I thought for a moment.

I snatched up the little chick. Took Snow White out of the high chair and into the den. I sat her down with her toys and a sippy-cup of juice. Then I placed that little yellow chick in the doorway between the den and the kitchen. She looked at the chick then she looked at me and started playing with her toys.

I went back to cooking, cleaning up the kitchen and setting the table. I looked over at her every other minute or so as she played with her toys. When dinner ready she was standing about a foot from the doorway of the den. She was so afraid of the little yellow chick that she would not pass through that doorway. She would not cry at it or scream at it either. She was just watching it from a distance.

What goes around comes around right? God has put a “little yellow chick” of his own right outside my kitchen door. I am not allowed in my sunroom until he says it is ok. Actually, it is not yellow…it is green and it is not a chick but a praying mantis.

I look out the kitchen door searching for it many times during the day. If I cannot see it that does not mean it has gone. It just means it is hiding, waiting for me to walk out into the sunroom and scare the bageebies out of me!

At lunch time yesterday I carefully looked around the sunroom from the outside. Since I could not see the giant praying mantis, I opened one of the sliding glass doors to the sunroom about 3 inches. Plenty of room for him to crawl out right? When I came home at the end of the day the door was wide open. ManSon decided the giant bug needed more room to make it’s exit.

This morning I was almost convinced the giant bug had left. Given how my week has gone I did not want to take any chances screwing up my mood first thing in the morning. We left the house via the front door. As I climbed into the van I saw something hanging off the top of the kitchen door! Yes, I was that giant bug! If I had opened the kitchen door the giant bug would have landed on top of my head. This would have set me off to screaming for the whole world to hear and flaying my arms about, throwing myself on the ground in true seizure fashion. This would have scared Snow White for life. My fear of bugs would not only be passed on to her but it would be intensified.

Thank God I did not go out the kitchen door this morning. I wonder when God will finish with the sunroom. When will he remove the “little yellow chick”/ giant bug?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Boulder Now ...Pebble Later

Today had a slightly rough start. I woke up at 3:30am for the second morning in a row. My first thought as I looked at the alarm clock was "Darn it! Auntie D must be up again." She is a few states away but seems to have the same affect on me as if one of my children woke up in the middle of the night with an illness. When I spoke to her tonight she confirmed that yes, she was awake at 3:30 am with Bear (he has a severe cough).

I laid in bed thinking I would eventually get an hour or so more if I really tried hard to clear my mind. Sadly I only rested my eyes a bit while resisting the persistent nudges of the cats to feed them right now. I was bent on trying to sleep some before the alarm went off. I even hit the snooze button which gives me 9 minutes. Why are digital alarm clocks set for 9 minute snooze when a little Big Ben wind up will give you 10 minutes. Of course a Big Ben wind up must be wound up and I would forget that part occasionally.

Ok so off we go,. I shower while Snow White gets herself ready. I make her waffles to eat on the way to daycare and let my hair dry via the open drivers side window. This means Snow White has extra sugar for her morning and I have extra curly hair for my day. I prefer my hair straight and Snow White unsweetened.

Work goes well for the morning then it happens. During my lunch hour I get a call from home. This warrants my going home. I was home less than a minute. I feel like I had been kicked in the gut and the wind knocked out of me. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to curl up in a ball in a quiet corner. Instead I blindly went back to work.

I tried to wrap my brain around what had just happened. I knew I could not handle it. I just could not. I had to try to push it out of my mind. Concentrate on work would do it...right? No. All I could think about was how much I wanted to go down on my knees, put my face in my hands and just cry.

No! I WILL NOT cry! I REFUSE to cry! Crying for me is the same as giving up. Saying nothing more can be done. I will not let this bad news take me down like that. There has to be something that can be done. I will NOT cry.

I busy myself with a project and make some headway from this morning. I want to bounce off my ideas with my boss before I send out an international email. He has out of country guests so I am put off until later. I am dead in the water with my work until I hear back from him.

As I make my way back to my office I find my face wet with tears. I am embarrassed thinking someone might happen along before I reach my desk. Thankfully, I reach my desk without having to see or speak to anyone. I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. I never knew before what that felt like...I had only read about that feeling. It was as though a bolder the size of a house was placed in my arms and I must keep it held above my head.

At the same time if a tiny breeze had come my way I knew my life would just evaporate. My body would lay limp and lifeless as my soul went on to be judged before angels or devils. At that moment I did not care which so long as this burden would be lifted. I was not contemplating suicide, I was only feeling as if my life were just about to be snuffed out like a candle dwindling down on the very last bit of wax left.

I thought of taking the rest of the day off in some pursuit of correcting the "problem" but what could be done? I could not even make my mind take hold of what had just happened in a brief moment during my lunch hour.

Just last night life was so full and although money was feeling a bit tight we had so much going for us all.

I felt a little guilty thinking of staying for the rest of the work day but nothing could be done if I left work. I couldn't even speak to my boss let alone ask him for a half day off for personal reasons. I could not move forward in my work until I heard back from him and he did promise to call me when he could.

I went to the ladies room. Splashed cold water on my face and ran the cold water over my wrists. Cold water running over my wrists always seems to give me a boost in energy. I glanced up at the mirror to see my eyes were blood shot from my constant reluctance to give into crying. I was angry to see how much I wanted to cry. I whispered to myself "This is not over yet. You cannot give up. Think of a plan. You always come up with a plan to accomplish things. You have never given up." I huge sigh comes out of no where and I realize it came from me.

I will figure out something. I will. Right now is not the time to be making those plans. I need to finish up with my work day and let this go for now. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it right now. Nothing. Let it go until the day ends. Yes, this day will end and tomorrow will begin as it always does.

I manage to muddle my way through the rest of the afternoon. My boss does call and he sees I was brilliant in my work plan. Now we need to wait for the other country to do their part.

I leave work, pick up Snow White at the daycare center where she is happily playing with 3 other little girls. On our way to the car she tells me what a great day she had and I softly say "I am so happy you had a wonderful day. That makes up for my not so great day." On the way home she sings to me a few songs she learned at school, daycare and one from a video game with la lah the "F" la lah. She actually said "F word" not the real word. I told her even saying "F word" is not acceptable and she agrees without hesitation.

We reach the house and enter in through the sunroom. Snow White starts SCREAMING!!! I am trying to unlock the door and the dead bolt as quickly as I can! Her screaming makes me loose track of the key I had and I inserted Grandma's house key in the dead bolt. While trying to fit the right key in the deadbolt I look at her feeling like I would just faint dead away and say "what?!! what?!!" She says "Big bug! Big! Giant Cricket!" I see it and it is NOT a cricket!

If you do not know already...I am terrified of bugs. Not all bugs but most bugs. The bug that was not a cricket is a Praying Mantis! An 8 inch, giant bug that can hold on to you, bite and can also fly!! I will hear nothing about them not biting. My mother was bitten on her hand and not only did her hand swell up like a parade balloon but so did her arm!

Before this my body was willing to just give out all together but I could not let that happen before my child was in the house! Away from that Giant Bug!

Yes, the silly giant bug staid still as we hurried into the house. It is quite likely giggling at us. After I had slammed the kitchen door shut I peered out the window in the door at it. I made Snow White look at it too as I told her "See how his hands are praying. That means he is asleep. He is so much smaller than we are and more afraid of us if we try to catch him."

Snow White lays her back pack down as I lean my whole body against the refrigerator. When I realize I am holding myself up by holding on to the handle I give out a whispered sigh. Snow White is looking at me and I realize I was going to start dinner. I pull out the baggie of chicken legs I cooked over the weekend, place them on a plate with frozen corn and microwave them for 2 minutes. More than the chicken needs but just enough for the corn. I hand her the plate which she heads into the dinning room with as I follow behind her with a fresh broccoli and a glass of milk. While she has her dinner I sit by engulfed in my fog of the fiasco that has just hit me today.

I have no appetite due to my fog so I make my way to the family room and call my sister. We go back and forth and I get loud as she comes at me with her plans help me. Eventually, she says "I know you might just want to blow off some steam. You might not be looking for a way to fix this and here I am trying to make you come up with a fix it way." It is true that sometimes people just want to vent but I truly appreciate her thoughts on how to fix things instead of stewing. I was just to over come, too consumed with the unexpected abundance of it all.

I told her "I am so lucky that I have you. Really and truly." She laughed as she has said this very thing to me so many times before. All of a sudden it really sunk in how wonderful it felt to say that out loud. I am truly lucky to have my sister to talk things over with. She is smart, rational, can come up with many ways to fix this or that and she is funny on top of everything else.

Everything seemed lighter. The boulder I felt I was carrying over my head was suddenly a pebble I could carry in my hand. The fog had also lifted. I even laughed while I told her about the "big cricket." I also told her to make sure Bear was ok though the night because his "Auntie" (Me) needed those three hours of sleep between 3:30 am and 6:30 am.

As all days good and bad come to an end I am really looking forward to tomorrow.

Toxic Paint - Toy Recalls

Click in for the larger view. Remember these are only a few of the recalled toys in the past 3 recalls this year due to toxic paint. I found three of the toys in my daughter's room from the 3rd recall.