Friday, March 27, 2009

Songs from my sons

Here is the latest song being sung by my boys.

My little pony
Skinny and bony
Farted on purpose
and blew up the circus.

Followed by unstoppable laughter.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Metal Mania

Yesterday the braces went on with success! He was in the chair with his mouth gaping wide open for an hour and a half. Yikes, that's a long time, but I think that's the longest he's ever gone with out talking, so it wasn't all bad. He wanted me in the room with him because he was a bit nervous. I brought a book with me, but only ended up getting two pages of it read. Oh well, it was worth a shot. The orthodontist decided to be a little Chatty Kathy. He must not get too much adult conversation as he seemed to be happy that he had someone new to talk to. We talked about reality shows and office pools, and poor Kevin couldn't get in one word. I bet that was killing him.

Kevin picked out camouflage colored bands for his braces. They have around 20 solid colors to choose from, and you could pick a color for every brace if you wanted to. Kevin picked green, black, and goldrush. Then they put them on accordingly. He was so happy. He can't wait to show all the kids at school his new grin. (The kids are on spring break right now.) The orthodontist told him he's the first kid to request camouflage. He thought he'd have to tell some of his other patients about that. Kevin just might have started a trend.

Kevin got all his instructions on taking care of his teeth and he got a goodie bag full of rules charts, floss leaders, mouthwash, wax, a travel toothbrush, and lots of other stuff. He got home and had that scattered all over the bathroom counter in a hurry. I'm glad he listened to them and I haven't had to nag about taking care of his grill.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Glasses shopping

Monday night I took Kevin glasses shopping. First we went to Wal-Mart. They didn't have much of a kid selection. They had four rows of frames and one of them was all Hannah Montana. We didn't like the rest of them, so we went on our way. The next stop was Vision World. They were having a two for $99 sale. Well, only on certain frames that is... Those frames were all throw backs from the 70s I believe. He tried a bunch on to be funny, and we really got a good laugh out of it. Who knew shopping for glasses frames was so much fun? Vision World had quite a good selection of frames. He tried on about 20 pair there. He had a possibility pile down to 8. So when we were all done trying on frames and being silly, we went back to the possibility pile. We ended up with three pair we really liked.

Vision World was insanely busy Monday night, so there was no one assisting us. I don't even think they saw us walk in. I told Kevin..."let's leave these three frames right here, and go next door to Sears Optical just to see what they have." We left the frames together on the side table. I figured they'd still be there when we got back. I wrote down all the numbers on them just in case they did get moved, we would be able to find them again.

We headed over to Sears Optical. Kevin didn't believe me that they had eyeglasses, because Sears is a home and hardware store. It was a good thing we went there. Right away we found a pair of glasses that looked really good on him. That was definitely the pair. Then he started looking at sunglasses while I was talking to the sales lady. Kevin comes running over with a pair of glasses. "These glasses mom, I gotta have these glasses!" Wow, they were really cool glasses and they looked really good on him too. They were so him. They were half rims, with camouflage bows. They were a bit too big for his face, but they still looked good. I told Kevin we'd order the one pair, and see if we could order the camo pair online in his size.

I've been looking online today and not finding those glasses in his size.

Sears was having a special, buy the frames and get the lens for free, so we got a really good price, especially since the frames are Ray Ban. We paid $135 for his glasses and they will be here next Monday or Tuesday. I'm going to keep looking for the other pair in his size, or something very similar.

When were finished at Sears, we walked passed Vision World, and the three pair of frames were still sitting right where we left them. Then we went and grabbed a bite to eat, to complete a successful night of shopping for glasses.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Newest member of the glasses club

Welcome the newest member to the glasses wearing club. Mr. Kevin indeed needs glasses. He needs them for distance vision, so he is near sighted. He won't need to wear them while on the computer or outside playing, at least for now anyway.

His eye exam went well. He was a little nervous about getting his eyes dilated, but he did really well on that part too. The doctor let him look at the pictures of the insides of his eyes. She showed it to me as well, and it was pretty cool. We got to see his retina, his optical nerve, and all the blood vessels in his eyes. He has very healthy eyes! His vision is 20/40.

He did try on some frames afterwards, but it was hard for him to see because his eyes were still all dilated, and he did look rather nice in them. They had neat signs up in the kids frame secion that said "You will look cool in these" and then had an array of frames, then the next shelf's sign said "All your friends will think you are smart wearing these" and another array of frames. Then Kevin said "Hey, so & so at school has a pair of glasses like this!" We didn't buy any there as we had to get home in time to get him dinner before going to the Gordon Lightfoot concert with his dad, plus we wanted to see if we could save some money by ordering them online.

I've been looking online for frames and have had no luck finding what we saw at LensCrafters. Shopping online for glasses is harder than I though. So, tomorrow I will take Kevin out to some eyeglasses shops and have him try a bunch on. If we find good deals, we'll just go ahead & buy it, otherwise we will write down the numbers, brand, and style of the frames and then order them online. I did find that Vision World is having a 2 for $99 sale, so we'll go see what they have.

He was so funny when we left the eye doctor. The doctor gave him a pair of those disposable sunglasses that you typically see on older people who just had eye surgery done. They took up most of his face, but he thought he was pretty cool. She gave them to him, so the bright lights of the mall and outside wouldn't hurt his freshly dilated eyes. He kept the glasses on in the parking lot (which you don't need sunglasses for). We got to our van and I unlocked it. He opened the door and then said "Hey mom, this isn't our van!" I cracked up so hard. Then he said "what?, my eyes are dilated, I can't see very well."

We got home and he kept the sunglasses on and he shut out any lights that were on. By the end of this week, he will look like a completely different kid.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Growing up changes for the oldest caveboy

Last week he went to the orthodontist and got 10 spacers put in his back molars to prepare for getting braces put on this coming week. He said the bottoms one bother him and get a bit painful at times. I imagine so, as he has pieces of plastic stuck between his teeth moving them apart from each other.

He went to school and showed off his new mouth accessories (the cool blue colored spacers) and everyone thought that was pretty cool. Lots of kids his age have braces, and he won't have to wear any head gear. He is now trying to decide what color of rubber bands he wants to have.

Tomorrow he has a full complete eye exam with the optometrist. He has flunked the school eye exam two times in a row, so we may be looking at glasses for him. Double whammy in one week! I hope he adjusts to both major life changes and doesn't get teased at school. Kids can be cruel and will find anything to pick someone apart on their appearance at this age.

My sister sent me a link to an eyeglasses website that has pretty cheap glasses. We will go that route. That way when he breaks them on the playground, sits on them, or looses them we aren't out too much money. Also, I can order them two at a time in different styles. Also, we can take some time to see which pairs he really likes as you can try the styles on using a picture of yourself and take the time to really decide. Choices are a good thing, and there seem to be so many these days.

He has been pretty optimistic about the new changes coming, and has been studying them online. He's officially hit his ugly duckling tween stage of life, and in a couple of years will be a teenaged swan. I look at the kids at his school, and they are all at the same place in life, bodies built like squares, needing braces or glasses or both, and still learning about hygiene.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mexico Trip Details....(finally)

Day 1

We left the Minneapolis airport at 8 am. It sure was an early morning, getting up at 5 am to get ready. We all met at my house as I live closest to the airport. The stupid cat escaped from the house three times. It is not fun chasing a cat around the front yard at 5:30 am.

Our flight took off on time and it was a packed airplane. There were lots of people escaping the miserable cold weather.

During the flight (apparently Mexican airlines have much different rules than American airlines), the flight attendants opened the door to cockpit several times to have a word with the pilots. AT one point the co-pilot got up to use the bathroom and the flight attendant took his spot in the co-pilot chair. Um....hello people, does this freak anyone else out here but me? I know they have the planes on auto-pilot but still....I do not need to be able to see out the front window of the airplane! I thought the cockpit door could not be opened at all. But it was a chartered flight, there were no stops, so maybe the rules were a bit more lax.

We landed in Cancun at noon. It was a pretty smooth landing. We arrived early, so we had to circle Cancun before we got clearance to land. Once we landed the pilot announced that it was 84 degrees. The whole entire plane cheered and clapped as we also got the news that a winter snow storm was hitting back home.

We went filled out our custom forms and went through customs without any problems. We then made our way to the bus that was to take us to our hotel. Outside the exit of the Cancun airport is about 100 people shouting and holding up signs "Pick me!". We were told by previous friends who have traveled through the Cancun airport to ignore those people and not make eye contact as they are trying to get you to go with them to sell you a time share. We found our correct people to take us to the hotel. We asked the bus chaperone if we could grab a drink at the outdoor airport bar before we got on. She said "you can, but it's $5 at the bar and only $3 on my bus. Shhhh...don't tell anyone" Ok, let's get on the bus!

Once we got going the bus chaperone got on the loud speaker and told us "you will be at your destination in 60 minutes, that's like an hour". We cracked up laughing and asked her for another cervaza.

We got to the hotel and checked in. Upon checking in, we were served a very tasty glass of champagne. We were taken to our room and our luggage was brought up for us. We quickly changed into our swim suites and made our way to the beach, stopping at each bar for a drink on the way. We got to the beach and we all went into the warm ocean water and laughed our silly heads off as back home they were getting pounded with snow.

After we were done with sun and ocean, we went to our room. Lisa and I took a nap, Jo & Nickie went out shopping in town. When they came back to the room, we all went down to the lobby bar. We enjoyed our free cocktails and watched the entertainment. One thing about all inclusive...the cocktails flow pretty freely.

Day 2

We slept in, then made our way to one of the restaurants for breakfast. After breakfast we got our suits on and went down to the beach. It felt so good sitting in the sun. After soaking up much sun, we got dressed and went to dinner at the hotel. The food at the hotel restaurant was so good. It was a large buffet and fresh grilled style. Everything was gourmet and the variety was fabulous.

After dinner we went shopping downtown. Lots of shops and lots of people wanting us to shop at their shop and spend our American money with them. We came back with our goodies that we found and then went to the lobby bar to end out the night.

Day 3

We got up early to catch our bus for our all inclusive trip to Tulum and Xel-Ha. It was an all day tour. Our bus chaperone was telling us all about our day on the bus ride down and we made a couple of stops to pick up more people. She explained in both Spanish and English adding her own flare of humor. At one of the stops it seemed like it was taking a long time for people to get on the bus, so a few people got out to take pictures of flamingos. Finally Nickie decided she was going to take photos to. Nickie got off the bus and was taking photos and then the bus was ready to leave. We said "Wait, we can't leave Nickie here!" So the bus chaperone yelled out the door "Neeckie, we are leaving now!" Nickie was quite embarrassed and when she got back on the bus Teri (the bus chaperone/tour guide) said over the microphone "Ok, we can go now, we have Neeckie".

We got to Tulum and we followed Teri for the tour. She walked fast and you had to keep up. The tour was very interesting and the Tulum ruins were more impressive than I had imagined. After the tour was over we did have a little time for ourselves to walk around the area. We walked down the stairs to the beach and it was so beautiful. The bluest of blue and the prettiest turquoise I've ever seen. It is just amazingly bright and beautiful. When our time was up, we went back to the bus making sure not to be late as Teri told us we were not running on Mexican time, we were on Teri time and she would leave us behind.

After Tulum the tour bus took us to Xel-Ha. Xel-Ha is a natural occurring inlet. We had 5 hours to tour on our own and it was all inclusive, so all the food and drink you could want. The first thing we did was have lunch. The restaurant we went to had mostly Mexican cuisine except I did find steak and chicken as I am not a big fan of Mexican food. I'm pretty much a steak and potatoes kind of girl. The steak and chicken was fabulous.

After we ate we walked around the park and looked in some of the gift shops. Then we decided to go snorkeling. Snorkeling was hard to get used to, and it was my first time. I'm sure I looked like an geek, but no one knows me there. I finally got the hang of snorkeling and it was fun. By the time we discovered where the fish were hanging out (along the edges of the inlet in the little reefs) it was time to swim back and venture on. We only had 5 hours to tour Xel-Ha.

After snorkeling we walked around, grabbed a couple of drinks, did some shopping, and watched people swim with the dolphins. As we were watching the people swim with the dolphins, a bird pooped on Jo's foot. We all got a big kick out that and we were glad it was none of us. So we laughed at Jo's expense.

We had a little bit more time so we ventured across the floating bridge that crossed where the ocean poured into the inlet. It's a good thing the bridge was as wide as it was. It was so hard to keep your balance and you staggered all over the thing. It was the kind that you felt like you were still moving after you were on solid ground.

We took a peek at the underground river system through holes in the walk path. There are no above ground rivers in that area. They are all underground, as there is only about 10 inches of topsoil and then limestone. We had to walk back across the scary floating bridge. I figured out the faster you walked on the bridge, the easier it was not to stumble all over it. We shrieked like little girls going across the bridge. We ran into a gentleman who was wearing a Minnesota Gopher's t-shirt and a Twins baseball cap. We said "Hey, Minnesota!" to him and he replied "I don't speak English". Indeed that was the only thing he knew in English.

We made it back on the bus on time and didn't get left behind. Teri our tour guide, asked before departure if Neeckie was on the bus. Nickie raised her hand and the whole bus laughed. Xel-Ha is huge and 5 hours was not nearly enough time there. We only saw about 1/3 of the area. What we did see was amazing, total paradise.

After we got back to the hotel we rested for a bit. We had room service bring us up some cold beer and then decided to hit the lobby bar again and then call it a night.

Day 4

We enjoyed our last day at the beach and the hotel. After lunch we decided to go shopping again. There was a whole area that we had missed. It was over a mile of shopping. Any girls dream. We hit the jackpot. Lots of good bargaining and lots of good souvenirs.

It was starting to get dark but we were having so much fun downtown. Then all of a sudden there was a parade. We walked right into it. I still have no idea what the parade was for and what they were celebrating, but they were sure having fun. Their costumes were over the top.

After the parade we found our way to Senior Frogs. We sat in their fun swing seats, had a couple of beers, and then the shot lady discovered us, so we paid 20 pesos for her. She gives you the shot, she rubs your temples, then she grabs your hoo ha's.

We made our way back to the hotel, then found our way back to the lobby bar for our last hurrah. It was our last night and we were going to make it a fun one.

It turns out that a large group of people from the Minnesota Vikings (one player, his wife, then the behind the scenes people, and their wives) had checked into the hotel earlier that day. So I got to meet Chad Greenway and get my picture taken with him. He was a pretty good sport and I had to stand on a coffee table so that I wouldn't get cut off in the picture.

We said goodbye and goodnight to our favorite hotel bartenders, then went back up to the room. We decided not to go to bed, but rather call room service for more cold beer.

Day 5

Time to go home. We had to get up early in order to catch our bus to take us to the airport. The bus didn't show up, so the hotel sent us on one of their shuttles. The shuttle was full, so I got to sit in the passenger seat and listen to the driver's favorite Mexican radio station and watch him drive. My right mom arm reached out many times as driving in Mexico is pretty wild. No lane markers, not many stop signs, and the ones that are there, they run. One road we took had a tree growing out of the middle of it. Instead of cutting the tree down, they just paved the road around it, so not only do you have to watch for other cars on the road, but you have to watch for trees too.

We got to the airport and checked in."Do you have the bottom of the form you filled out when you got to Mexico?" the airline counter guy said. I was the only one who didn't. It was a piece of paper that you wrote your name, your nationality, and your birth date on. Then you signed it. I ripped mine in half and threw it away back at the hotel. Extra stuff I didn't need to carry around with me, I figured. WRONG!

He told me I had to go to immigration and get a new form. I couldn't get my boarding pass until I did so. Really? For a stupid little piece of paper that had less info than my passport? Isn't that why you have a passport? Ok, no arguing. I went to immigration and the immigration guy gave me my new paper to fill out and then said it would cost me $35, but I can't pay him, I have to go to the bank next door and get a receipt, and then take it back to him. I had no money left. Not even a penny in my wallet. I told the man I had no money and his reply "That's a big problem for you." Yeah, he didn't care. I also had traveled with out my credit card. (Yeah, I know who does that?) So I had to borrow money from Jo in order to get back into America. The immigration guy could have made up any dollar amount and I would have had to pay it.

The line at the bank was long. Very long. There were only two tellers and they were S L O W! Finally, it was our turn. Jo paid the $35 and I got my receipt. I took my form and my receipt, and gave it to the immigration officer. He looked at it, stamped it, and sent me on my way. The whole process took a little over an hour. Good thing we got to the airport early. I took my passport, my stamped important and expensive piece of paper back to the counter man, and he gave me my boarding pass.

Then we went through the TSA checkpoint. The X-ray guy said "Whose bag is this?" I told him it was mine, and he pulled it out of the bucket and got out his little swipey cloth and swiped down the handles of my carry on bags. I got the all clear so I could get home now. Who knew I'd be such a problem child getting out of Mexico?

We got on the plane, they did one last boarding bag check and we passed that. Which is good as we'd already been passed the TSA checkpoint.

The plane ride home, the cockpit was more secure. No flight attendants opening the cockpit door, and no pilots taking a potty break. It was difficult to sleep as there was a very obnoxious mom sitting across from us with her two small children. "Are we in the air yet? Now, bout now?" After we were in the air, the kids were quiet but the mom went on and on to her kids. We could hear the mom over the roar of the plane engine. I'm actually surprised no one said anything too her. She was annoying to everyone around her as even the people ahead of me turned around and gave her the evil eye.

We landed in Minnesota. I got off the plane and had my cell phone out to let my husband know we had landed. I got yelled at for having my cell phone on, and was instructed to shut it off. Again, I'm being a problem child.

We were told our bags would be searched when we were filling out our customs forms on the plane, so be honest and claim everything you are bringing back and the value. Well, I know that customs people get really mad if they find something you didn't claim,no matter how small. I wrote down that I had $10 worth of prednisone. You can buy that over the counter in Mexico. Well, they didn't check our bags, so I didn't really need to claim it, but I was just being honest. Here's how the conversation went between the customs guard and myself...

Guard: You are bringing back prednison?
Me: Yes, I wrote it on the form, did I need to?
Guard: Do you have a prescription for it?
Me: No
Guard: Why not?
Me: Because I don't
Guard: Then why did you buy it?
Me: Because I could
Guard: Why else did you buy it?
Me: Because I'm a mom and when and if I get really sick with a cold or bad virus, it cuts the time in half and gets me feeling better faster. It's been prescribed to me before. My son also gets croup and they prescribe it to him for that condition, so I figured it will say me an ER trip or two at 3 am. Are you going to take it away from me?
Guard: Well, even though you can buy it over the counter in Mexico, you can't bring it into the states with out a prescription, but since you have such a small amount of it, doesn't cause me concern, so I'll let you through with it this time.

This time!? Ok, whatever...Not like I'm going to Mexico all the time for prescription drugs I don't have prescriptions for. Are they going to save my customs form and next time I go to Mexico pull it out of a file and say " I told you last time you were here about this." Ok, fine I'll behave next time.

Really, I had no idea I would such a problem child at both airports.

We do our girls trip every two years. This was our second time. We really loved Playa Del Carmen and decided we would go there again in 2 years, but next time we'll stay longer as we didn't stay nearly long enough this time. And now that I'm trained in on all the rules, I won't be so much of problem child.

Here are the links to the photos.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring has Sprung

It's official! Yesterday spring arrived. It was 63 degrees. The snow is melting, people are outside, and the sun was shining. Looking at the ten day forecast, it looks like spring is here.

Sam has a spring cold. He came down with over the weekend. It's not too bad, but it's enough to make him tired and cranky. Once he gets going in the morning he forgets he even has a cold until night time. When he is done and ready to be left alone, he will say "I have a disease!"

Kevin has been enjoying the past two days of spring. He has been playing outside from when he gets home from school until dinner time. Yesterday I had to flip his bike upside down and fix the chain as it had fallen off the gears. I'm not sure who was more impressed by my bike chain fixing abilities, my son, my husband, or me?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mi Vida Loca

Things are still crazy in my world here since returning from my trip. I'm thinking I almost need another vacation. Yep, four days was not nearly long enough. I'm thinking I should have stayed at least a month or two. Ok, that might be a stretch.

I did not clean my house before I left for vacation, because really, I was leaving the cavemen at home. What would be the point? I'm so glad I didn't waste my time. My house was more of a disaster than when I left. This weekend I spent an entire day cleaning. It feels so good to have a really clean home.

This weekend the oldest cave child was grounded from pretty much everything he knows as a life and was busy listening to me nag at him about homework. He somehow ended up being behind on homework from not turning assignments in, not doing homework while I was gone, and just plain old not doing homework at all. I need to send that kid to homework military. So he got the parental speech of how important homework is, and how next year in Jr. High if he doesn't do his homework, there is no free pass. I piled up any and all homework I could find for him. I even made some up. I'm so mean.

On Monday his teacher foiled my plans to forever keep him busy with homework by telling him he doesn't need to turn in this one and that one. Dang it! I should have called her and told her my evil plan. Turns out the child just likes to procrastinate (gee, I have NO idea where he ever got that from....Grandma Turney perhaps...yeah, I'll blame her...Hee hee...) Of all the good quality traits I could have passed onto my children, procrastination isn't one I was hoping for.

Turns out I had homework too upon returning from vacation. I had lots of forms to fill out for school and lots of checks to write. Lunch money, field trip forms and money, camp money...yadda, yadda, yadda... With in all the forms, not only did I sign the oldest cave child up for summer school, but I signed him up for the summer homework program. Oh, I am evil!

My youngest cave child has been obsessed with time lately. All of our clocks have to match and he is constantly checking the time. He's been able to tell time for a while, but he is obsessed with time, like a little Mayan ruler. Of course we had to "spring forward" this weekend, so he made sure we were on the ball with that. And we have all been instructed not to mess with the clocks. It was pretty upsetting to him that I have my bedroom clock set 25 minutes fast. He really didn't like that. I had to explain my reasoning for that. Not that it helps me any, but the logic is still there. Set your clock fast and you will never be late. Ha!

This weekend we also visited the library. This is now a ritual. We all have library cards and the kids are old enough to understand how the library works with out driving me completely crazy. Our library here isn't like the library of the old days. Sure they still have librarians, but I'm not exactly sure why. They won't help you find a book, every thing is computerized, you have to look it up and find it yourself. They have self check out. You scan your card on the scanner, then you scan your books, print out a receipt, and off you go.

I am still working with my vacation pictures. I do have all of them from all the camera's (we had a total of 6 cameras between us). I still have a few more to fix the brightness and contrast on, then I just have to organize them into photo albums in Picasa, and post them. This weekend...I promise. 1000 pictures is really a lot to go through, although, I have it down to about 600 now. Maybe less, I'm not sure, but it is a ton of pictures.

The last two days at work, I have been sitting in on software training classes. They've been very good classes, although they have kept me from contact with the outside world.

Hopefully this weekend I will have everything caught up and life will return to normal, whatever normal is that is, but I will take normal over crazy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back to Reality

I'm back from my vacation (I'll post details & photos at a later date) and back to reality. We left behind a sunny 85 degree place and came back to lots of snow on the ground and freezing temperatures. Why did I leave Mexico? We had a blast!

I have been plummeted back to the real world both at work and at home. At work I have been taking care of things that were waiting for my return, plus keeping up with my daily duties. I think I'll be able to breathe sometime next week.

Home has been just as crazy. I've been busy nagging and harping about all the things that the cavemen saved just for me.

I have returned with over 900 photographs from a 5 day vacation, so I have been busy putting them together, deleting the incriminating girls silliness photos (none of us could run for public office). I have some editing to do on some, fix the brightness, sharpen some of them up, and crop the land sharks out before I show them off to the world. Although, with the amount of tourists there it will be impossible to crop them all out. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get my head above water and have time to breathe. It's the usual vacation syndrome, you're going crazy with busy before the trip so you can get out of town, and you're going crazy with busy when you get home and then you wonder why you returned.