Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Those Lazy Summer Days.....

Ah, summertime. School is out. No alarm clock. Pool is open. Playset in the backyard. What could be better than that?

Bet you thought you’d be seeing lots of pictures like these.....

Or these.....

Hmm. Well, no one told my kids that great news.

I hear……

I’m bored.

There’s nothing good to do.

I don’t want to go there.

There’s nothing good to eat.

I don’t want to.



And the list goes on and on.

Today, we had to leave both the pool and the library because the short people could not follow directions. Today, we experienced sassy and disrespectful kids during dinner. Today, we had lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth for not winning the battles. Today, mommy needed two cokes to get started with the day.

Today showed me that mommy needs a vacation.

All by myself.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Snacks and water? Check.
TV and movies? Check.
Full tank of gas? Check.
All the kids? Check.

Let’s rock and roll!

We hit the open road bound for South Carolina where we would visit with my grandmother, great-aunt, and parents for the day. Everyone settled in for the three hour drive. Alex played his guitar, Katie had her i-pod going, and the girls watched a movie---with headphones!

We happily sped along…..for ten minutes. And then traffic slowed to a crawl. Dave told me this is pretty typical on a weekday due to all our wonderful interstate construction. Okay. So we kept creeping ever so slowly knowing our time schedule has now been shot to pieces.

Finally, I called Dave at work to have him check the online status of the roads. He pulled it up and said, “Uh oh.”

Uh oh? That’s not good.

Nope, an accident one mile ahead of me was the cause of our issue. Yeah for me. But it was due to be cleared in fifteen minutes so yes, yeah for me.

Whew. Finally back up to speed but forty-five minutes behind schedule. And the questions start. Are we almost there? You said it would be a short trip. What does Grandma’s house look like? Can I watch another movie?

Now, my grandmother lives in assisted living. So, there was no house to describe. Or at least not one the girls would understand. Katie finally said, “it’s a hotel for old people”.

And that made sense to them. Go figure.

Three hours later, we pulled up at the center, unloaded all our stuff, and began our visit. Lunch was had, pictures shared, stories told,

yearbook poured over,

guitar strummed,

hide-and-seek and Uno played.

Katie spent time goofing with the camera…

Alas, our time had to come to an end as we still had a three hour trip home. A picture taken with great-grandmother

and grandparents

rounded out our day.

We loaded back into the car ready to make the reverse drive home. Movies, guitar, i-pod, pit stop for ice cream, and life is good.

Until we hit metro Atlanta. At rush hour. Yep, timed that one really well. Suffice it to say, we had a four hour trip home.

Eight hours in the car for a three hour visit.

Questions non stop on the drive.

Perhaps our last visit for a while.

Seeing Grandma enamored with the kids.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Should I Worry?

The other day, Katie and her best friend were in Atlanta at IKEA stocking up on supplies for their dorm room----well, actually their apartment. After spending all their money, they headed out to a local hospital to visit a friend who had been in a car accident.

Now, amazingly enough, they planned ahead and had directions to the hospital. Everything should have been peachy keen.

Ah, but things are not all that they may seem.

I got a call from Katie saying they were lost. They had stopped at a gas station to ask for directions but they didn’t believe the clerk. Then why bother stopping to ask??

But, no, I didn’t say anything. I just asked where they were and where they were headed.

A pause. Well, I think we’re on Piedmont.

Okay. Where are you headed?

Egleston Children’s Hospital.

Got it.

But in the back of my mind, I wondered if that was correct. After all, the friend in question is over 18.

However, I was a good mommy and mapquested directions for them. I stayed on the line and talked them through all the roads.

Until……uh, mom? We’re headed for the wrong hospital. She isn’t at Egleston. She’s at Atlanta Medical Center.

(my above deduction was correct)

Oh good grief.

Directions corrected, heading the right way now, all is good.

These are the same girls who will be living ALONE in Atlanta in just two short months.

So I ask you……….

should I worry?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bring Molly Home!!!

My friend Teresa at Continuing the Journey needs our help. She and her husband, Kevin, have three adorable kids. Meggie is in high school, a dancer, a driver, and an aspiring teacher. Carson, a preschooler adopted from China, is such a cutie! I love reading about mischieveous side. He makes me feel better about my antics with Anna Grace. Hee hee!

And then there is Molly.

Molly is currently waiting for her family to come meet her in China. Teresa and Kevin were told it would take 3-5 months to receive their LOA (basically, the form to say YES you want to adopt this child).But in their case, it took six weeks.

How wonderful!!! That means Molly will be home much sooner.

Except that Teresa and Kevin had planned on overtime and additional hours at work to help fund their trip. Uh oh. So wonderful that China was working faster than expected but hard when you had planned on having more time to save money.

We’ve all been in that boat at some point or another. If you look at my sidebar, you will see links to The Oatsvall Team and Help Bring Anna Grace Home. These are families who have also reached out for help to bring home their precious babies.

Well, Teresa has had the help of many friends to start a fundraiser for Molly. Every little bit helps. For $5 a chance, you may win one of these amazing prizes!!!

1) autographed copy of Silent Tears by Kay Bratt

2) Handmade Pirate and Princess costumes

3) 7" Sony digital picture frame

4) a Swarovski crystal bracelet with a bead that says "mom"

5) a Vera Bradly tote, your choice of color and pattern, courtesy of Meggie!!

6) an 8 pack of movie tickets to Regal cinemas.

Now, I’m saying right off the bat that I’d like the Vera Bradley tote or the movie tickets. Gee, or the bracelet, or book. Definitely the picture frame and costumes.

Hmm. Guess that means there’s nothing for the rest of you!!

Nah, seriously. Please, if you are able, help bring Molly home. She has an amazing family waiting for her.

Head on over to Continuing the Journey and Chip In. The drawing will be held in mid-July!

Good luck and..............Thank You!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ice, Ice, Baby!

When I last left you, I was battling my refrigerator to give me ice, water, and well frankly, freeze things. The local repairman quoted me over $400 to fix it.


So what do I do? I start searching the internet for possible solutions. One was to order the part myself for $125 and an easy fix. No problem. I can do that. Maybe.

Well, in my quest for information, I came across numerous sites talking about my particular model and others manufactured around the same time. Seems they all have issues with the main circuit board.

Gee, that’s what the first repairman said about mine.

As I continued to read, I saw that GE had issued a service bulletin regarding this particular circuit board which stated that regardless of warranty status, GE would replace this part for free.

Say what? I’m liking this.

However, the most recent postings regarding this was from September 2008. Well, even if GE would not honor the bulletin anymore, perhaps they would be sympathetic and fix it cheaper than I could do myself.

After plopping the girls down in front of the television, I picked up the phone to call GE. I was transferred around a few times but eventually reached a nice lady named Chiquita.

I kid you not.

I explained my plight to Chiquita, added the information about the service bulletin which I had found online, and asked what step we needed to take next to resolve my issue.

A service call was planned for today with the agreement that if it was the circuit board, I would need to pay $100 to replace it. So, not free anymore but still less than it would cost me to fix it myself.

And, it would be fixed by a professional. Works for me!

So today, I get a call from Bill at GE telling me he’s on his way. Yes! Let’s hope he can solve my crisis.

At 2:50, he rang my doorbell. I open it up to see Bill, a dad from my class! What a coincidence! His twin boys were in my class this past year. I knew he worked for GE but didn’t know in what capacity. Now I do. He rescues moms from going crazy due to lack of ice and freezering.

At 2:57, Bill is done. He has replaced the motherboard and said everything will work perfectly now.

Oh, and by the way, there is no charge.

Whoo hoo!

Thank you Bill, GE, and the internet for saving my sanity!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Refrigerator Battles

If you are here to read about Catlan and the MLB Draft, click here, otherwise stay on the line and the blog will resume its normal routine in a moment……

(Insert elevator music)

Thank you for holding, we will now continue with our regularly scheduled programming.

Just over three years ago, we moved into our current house and bought a snazzy new GE side by side fridge that gives water and ice through the door.

Well, it turns out our very cool fridge is temperamental.

Great, just what I need….another contrary person in my house.

About six months ago, it stopped offering us ice through the door. Just a short time later, it stopped passing out water too.

Now, this was something I could live with for a short time. It’s not convenient but I can certainly reach my hand into the ice drawer and get a handful myself. We did plan on calling a repair man but the months passed with no phone call.

Hmm. Then about a month ago, we started hearing odd sounds coming from the freezer. Shortly after that, it started tripping itself out completely. I’d open the freezer door only to find water dripping, squishy ice cream, and softening food.

Uh oh.

After a bit of finagling, I could usually get it back on so it was freezering again.

You like my new word? I think it’s cool. (pun intended)

But now this (fill in the blank) refrigerator only works about 8 hours a day. It picks the 8 hours it wants to work. I have no say in the matter.


So yesterday, I waited all afternoon for the repairman to come pay a visit. I was excited thinking about getting crushed ice from the door and being able to keep frozen foods, well, frozen.

I shouldn’t have gotten excited.

This nice little old man came, took apart my freezer, and after some testing, promptly said,

“It is the circuit board. It will be $428 to fix it.”

Holy Toledo.

Needless to say, our food remains in the garage fridge, the inside one remains on its contrary schedule, and I am scouring the internet to find the part ourselves.

The fix-it sites say it’s a quick, easy, $125 fix.

Hope they are right.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Icing On The Cake

Oh my. I am tired. School is out, so why am I tired?

Ah, it could be that the past month has been a whirlwind from which I have still not recovered.

It’s either that or I’m just flat out old. I’d rather go with the first choice, wouldn’t you?

The past few weeks have brought us prom, my ramblings about my baby leaving, kindergarten graduation, high school graduation, baseball, Alex and his permit, and college orientation.

So, now it’s officially summer and time to relax, right? Nope. There needs to be one more huge event to cap off the previous month.

What could it be?

How about sitting by the computer and listening to tons of names being read? Or, being stuck on a plane for hours when you know you are missing major news? Or sending texts left and right? Or freaking out and making tons of phone calls?

Or all of the above?

You would be correct if you chose all of the above. All of those things happened yesterday. All because of Catlan. Yep, blame it all on him.

Yesterday, I sat by my computer for as long as I could with the volume turned up all the way. I even carried it with me when I left the room.

Yesterday, Catlan’s parents were stuck on a plane bound for Oklahoma to watch their other son play baseball with Team Georgia.

Yesterday, texts were flying left and right between Katie, her friends, me, and tons of other people.

Yesterday, Katie and her friends did lots of screaming.


I told you. It was Catlan’s fault. Blame him.

And blame the MLB Draft.

Yep, you read that right. The MLB Draft.

(insert drum roll)

Catlan was drafted by the Texas Rangers!!

(and the crowd goes wild)

Now, you know Katie had to do something to mark this day, right? After all, this is Katie we’re talking about!

She whipped up a cookie cake

made signs

and had me pick up balloons while I was out shopping.

She even enlisted the help from the girls in making cards. Anna Grace drew a picture of Catlan hugging Katie. Check out how much taller he is than her!

Since Cat’s parents were out of town, I told him he had to take pictures so I could send them to his mom. Smart boy that he is, he did not argue with me.

Decision time is upon his family now. Play for the Rangers or head to college and play ball there? No matter what he chooses, we know we will be seeing great things from him.

Congratulations Catlan!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Me and the DMV

Oh my. Has it really been a week since I updated? How can that be? School is over, right? I should have loads of time. After all, there’s nothing to do except wake up, eat, and go to the pool.

(insert snicker)

Go ahead, laugh. I know you want to.

Feel better now?

It’s actually been really hectic. Take moving to a new classroom, toss in a few pool trips, college orientation, multiple trips to the grocery store, and daddy being gone all weekend, and perhaps you won’t be laughing at me anymore.

Thought so. (hee hee)

I craved excitement today so embarked on a journey to the DMV. Yes, on purpose. Alex turned 15 last week…..the magic age where in Georgia the teens may receive the treasured document….the learners permit.

Off we went armed with the necessary documents: birth certificate, social security number, my driver’s license, my debit card, and the certificate of attendance from the high school.

You see, there is a law in Georgia where you cannot be issued a permit or license if you are under 18 and not in school. Therefore, you have to have this document from the school proving you are enrolled. (remember this info….it will be important later)

We arrive, wait in line, wait in line, and wait some more. Yes, this is the DMV. Finally got our number and paperwork to complete. As I sat there filling stuff out, I questioned Alex again about being ready for the test.

I just got “The Look”. If you have a teen, you’ve seen it too.

Hey, just checking.

After a short wait (amazing!), we were called to the counter. The DMV lady reviews the paperwork ever so slowly. She documents everything. Whew. We’re clear.

And then she says, “I can let him test but not issue the permit if he passes.”

Say what? Why?

Here was the reason: on the certificate of attendance, the paper was signed one day by an administrator and notarized the next day by a clerk.

Yep, the dates weren’t the same. Therefore, according to the state of Georgia the stupid people at the DMV, his paper was not valid.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Imagine Alex’s reaction when he passed his test but could not receive his permit. Yep, he was thrilled.

Off to the high school we went to correct the error. Left the paperwork there, Katie picked it up a few hours later, and we returned to the (enter your word of choice) DMV.

Fortunately everything went well the second time.

Well, maybe not fortunately. I now have to teach Alex to drive.


Pray for me…..

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Let's Play Ball!

We leave your regularly scheduled blog post (ha!) for this slight diversion.

Yes, I know. Stop laughing. Me? Regularly scheduled posts? I know. Just go with me on this one.

Imagine months of practice, hours of sweat, many camera flashes, and lots of prayers. All for what?


Say what? You are a soccer family.

Yes, I know. But Katie’s boyfriend, Catlan, who has been mentioned and seen here many times is a baseball player. A starting pitcher for the local high school team. A team that won its way to a chance at the state playoffs.

I laugh at myself because I have gotten sucked into the baseball scene. I have been checking stats of opposing teams and players, looking up articles, and other such stuff. And I’m just the “girlfriend’s mom”!

I have tried to attend as many games as I could this season but missed many. Of course, I missed the ones where Cat hit home runs. Sigh. It seems they always played the best when I was not there. (hint to me: don’t show up!)

The boys pitched, hit, and fielded their way all the way to the State Finals…the final two teams…the winner of which would be the State Champs.

The finals were this past weekend----yes, right after graduation. It has been a weekend, let me tell you. Graduation Friday night and baseball all day Saturday.

Anyhow, it was a best out of three series. I took Anna Grace to the first game where she kept asking me the whole time why we wanted Catlan’s team to win. Guess she didn’t quite get it, huh?

Katie and her friends paint up for each game. It’s been different each time. Well, for game two, the girls painted their boyfriends names on their backs. But then guess who didn’t load up on the sunscreen?

With one win and one loss on Saturday (ugh!), the third and final game was held on Monday right smack dab in the middle of the day. Whose bright idea was that? I left school early to spend the next three hours sitting in 90 degree weather in the blazing sun.

Why did I do that?

This is why I sat there dripping with sweat…..

For the WIN!! Yes, the boys at Northgate hung together to get the win as the Georgia Class AAAA State Champs!!

Katie and Cat


Katie and Conner (Cat’s brother)

Katie and Kara (the two biggest supporters!)

Some of these boys have played together since they were five. Can you imagine? Starting off in t-ball together only to win the State Championships your senior year. Wow.

This is certainly something neither the boys nor their parents will ever forget. What a way to end the year……and, for the seniors, end your high school playing days.

Congratulations Catlan and the rest of your team! We are very proud of you!

(and thank you Tracy for putting up with all my questions and text messages!!)