Sunday, January 31, 2010

McGregor The Pier Builder


There was mass held in your honor this morning.  We did not go.  I'm sorry if you are disappointed in that but a part of me knows you understand.

I could have pushed Darren to go, arranged for someone to watch the boys so he could go to be there.  But I chose to step aside and let him decide for himself.  I've learned that's what works best.

I can't speak for Darren but it's obvious to me how much he hurts.  He will for the rest of his life.  He told me he makes the choice to not feel down because in the grand scheme of things he could easily say how much his life has really sucked. The unfairness beginning at the age of 3 when he wasn't given a choice in growing up without a father.  He grew up instead with stories from his Aunts and Uncles that he weaved together to make up a life.  It doesn't quite come close.  His anger and sadness towards this unfairness is just a part of him now, woven in and between and around everything that makes him, him.  Growing up, you were the closest to him.  You were his person.  You left me with shoes I can never fill. 

You were the narrator of sorts, of his story.  I think he feels he is alone in the sense that his story has quieted now for there's no one to share his life with.  He knows he has me but I am not you. 

I am sad because our boys will only know you from the stories they will weave together to make up a life.  It won't quite come close but I know Darren will do his best, eventually, when the pain lessens more with time, he will do his best to share your life with his sons.  They will not remember your face, your hugs or your laugh but I think Darren will make sure that they remember who you were and how you could make their Daddy laugh.

I miss hearing Darren on the phone with you.  He never laughs the same with anyone else.  When he would talk with you I could hear his laughter through out our entire house.  He also spoke so much louder with you too. You were the only one he ever really wanted to pick up the phone for.  You were the lucky one.

I miss the way Darren would talk about you.  He was proud of you for your constant determination to make something of your life.  He hurt for you and still does when it comes to your daughter.  He is afraid she will never know who her Daddy really was.  I hope someday Darren gets to talk to her about you and the choices you made with her in mind.  I hope someday somebody at least tries.

Today, Darren would have tried to call you, most likely leaving a raunchy message of some sort instead. 

He drank a beer in honor of you last night.  He cried.

We miss you. 

If you can, please wrap your arms around your mother today.  She needs it the most but you already know that.

Some how.  Some way.  I know you talk to us. 
Some how.  Some way.  I hope we're listening. 

Happy Birthday Brennan,

Where ever you are.

An old timer is talking to a young man in a bar in Scotland.
"Laddy, look oot there ta the field. Do ya see that fence? Look how well it's built. I built that fence stone by stone with me own two hands. Piled it for months. But do they call me McGregor-the-Fence-Builder? Nooo..."
Then the old man gestures at the bar. "Look here at the bar. Do ya see how smooth and just it is? I planed that surface down by me own achin' back. I carved that wood with me own hard labour, for eight days. But do they call me McGregor-the-Bar-builder? Nooo..."
Then he points out the window. "Eh, Laddy, look out to sea. Do ya see that pier that stretches out as far as the eye can see? I built that pier with the sweat off me back. I nailed it board by board. But do they call me McGregor-the-Pier-Builder? Nooo..."
He looks around nervously and mutters under his breath, "But ya screw one lousy sheep... "
{insert Brennan's laughter here}

Saturday, January 30, 2010

100th post and A GIVEAWAY! Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

100 posts baby!!
 I think what I enjoy most about that number 100 is that this is the 100th time that I've shared something with whomever may stumble upon it.  That MY written thoughts, struggles, joys and journey can be searched for, accidentally found or added as an addition to someone's computer favorites is humbling and wonderful. 

Whoo hoo...go me!

While I vow to write for myself and myself alone I open myself up to the possibility that someone else will read it, relate to it and revisit. 
Being honest,  I admittedly write in hopes to connect.  My friends and family have begun to share stories with me in relation to things I have written.  This makes me happy.  The comments, the emails, your continuing return complete the posts in a very inspiring way.  While some posts may reach you others touch you enough to make you share in return.  For that I am grateful.  I hope I can continue to inspire you, enlighten you, teach you and share with you.  Thank you for walking with me.  I hope I continue to write openly and honestly for us both.

While all I get is this fancy ribbon you can all enter to get something
totally way better..I mean totally.

Here are the ways you can enter:
You must either be a follower or become a follower to enter. 
  1. If you are already a follower and leave a comment you will instantly gain 2 entries.  You have to be a public follower so I can see you.
  2. If you are not a follower become one by clicking on the follow button on the left hand side of my blog. Follow the instructions and then leave a comment.  You will gain 2 entries by doing so. Please email me if you have trouble or questions on becoming a follower. 
  3. If you have a blog of your own you can gain another entry by mentioning Kerri's Klutter and contest on your blog and linking back to me.  Please leave a comment to let me know you have done this.
  4. If you are a facebook user and a current facebook friend of mine you can gain another entry by reposting the link to my blog and contest as your status message.  Please leave me a comment here to let me know you have done this.
  5. Refer a friend.  If someone you refer becomes a follower please have them be sure to mention your name in their comment here.  They will get two entries and you will get another one.

I will leave the 100th post contest open for 1 week and close comments on midnight (EST) Saturday Feburary 6th.  I will announce the winner sometime that day by using Random.Org true random number generator. 

Oh.  I'm sorry did I forget something? 

My darn brain has turned to

What am I giving away?

I am giving away 3 things.
  3 things that are somehow related to
the following images:

So get commenting, blogging, following, referring, facebooking...



and thanks again to those who have been a part of my first 100 posts.
You know who you are

P.S.  The first person to comment (must be a follower) on this post will win SOMETHING regardless.  WHY?  Because they are the first to comment and that is just awesome. 

*Comments are closed.*

Friday, January 29, 2010

Five Question Friday 1/29/2010

I woke up at 4am with the becoming very familiar thought "I'm gonna wake up with a whopper of a headache".  Sure enough when I woke up my head was pounding.  It wasn't quite my normal migraine so I thought that perhaps it was a sinus headache so I happily swallowed a sinus pill.  Three hours later I was in excruciating pain.  I am not a baby by any means but the pain I had in my head, on a scale of 0-10 was at least a 7.  It actually made me cry.  I was useless to the boys and I felt terrible that I was so unavailable.  Things eventually got better but Aidan wouldn't nap and I never got to really rest.  I spent about 6 hours in a foggy fog of hurt.  Darren came home a bit early, bless his heart.  He made dinner.  We just ate.  I am taking the easy way out and jumping on board Five Question Friday.  My brain still feels very unstable.
1. Would you ever vacation alone? 
I like to think that I would.  I like to think that I would go somewhere for a couple of days to read and write.  But, I think I would miss my boys.  I think I'd rather go somewhere as a family and allow myself time alone to do some reading and writing.  That way I get the best of both worlds!

2. Do you go the speed limit?  
I try.  I'm much more aware of the pesky thing, the speed limit, when the boys are in the van with me.  If it's just me I tend to lose myself in the music on the radio and will glance down to see the speedometer and say "Oh shit".  It never quite feels like your going as fast as you are. 

3. Why did you start blogging/following blogs?  
I've always enjoyed reading and writing. 
With all the new technology these days it's a fantastic way to challenge myself and to step outside my comfort zone.  It has been an AMAZING journey thus far.  I enjoy the blogs I currently follow because either they are completely opposite of me or strangely the same.

4. Where do you shop for yourself?  
Last spring/summer I went on a crazy shopping spree at Forever 21.  I love their t-shirts and tops.  And honestly I'm a thrifty girl of late.  It's been awhile since I've paid for a "new" anything.  Second hand is just as good if not better.  Better because the item is already past the breaking in stage, things fit so comfy and the chance of shrinking it the first time you wash it, not a concern at all.

5. What was the song that you danced your first dance with your spouse to at your wedding...or...what song would you like your first dance to be to?
Come What May
- The Motto of our marriage.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I was in the neighborhood so I thought I'd stop by.....

My niece Ashley turns 13 today.  In honor of her I reflected back on my life and I had a conversation with myself, when I was 13.  
This 98th post is dedicated to Ashley May Sine.  I love you.  
For you I wish
A journey of good with bad mixed in so that the good tastes that much sweeter....
Happy Birthday. 

Hey.  It's me, I mean you...I'm you in 2010.  We'll be 33 in November.

Yes, I is smuckin crazy.
  Yes, smuckin unbelievable too.

I thought I'd stop by for a little bit.

See how you're doing with being 13.

 Yes, I really turn 33 this year.  Thank you....I think. I'm glad I don't look like you thought I'd look at 33.

So, what's going on now...1990 right?  You're upset with Mom.  She never lets you do anything.  You run your mouth and say mean things.

Listen to me, it may not seem like it right now but Mom is going to be one of your best friends.  Stop laughing at me.  Get off the floor.  I'm serious.  It's like all of sudden one day you get it.  You know she's not trying to ruin your life on purpose.  I know it seems like that now.  You're 13.  Believe me, Mom is on our side.  Always has been.  Always will.  Cut her some slack.

Do you marry Shawn?  Are you serious with this shit?  Shawn is a loser.  Get over it already.  He will get you to do some things you know you shouldn't do.  It's because he's a boy.  A 14 year old boy.  He's a loser.  He will ask you to the prom and then call you two days before the prom and say he is going with someone else.  You will hang up the phone in Mom and Dads room and you will start to cry.  Dad will hug you outside your bedroom door.  You will hurt and feel like a such a ugly stupid person but you are everything but those things.  At 33 we don't even remember ever kissing Shawn.  We did but really it's just not memorable or worth the tears we'll cry.

Do you make it through high school?  I'll be honest with you, our high school days are not easy.  Our emotions run wild.  We have zits.  We are fat.  The boys we like do not like us back.  Nothing will seem fair.

It's not until we are older that we realize life seldom ever is.   

Yes, we make it through high school.  Academically, we struggle.  Socially we wish for more but ultimately, yes we survive high school.  We take away some valuable lessons.  Our education level does not determine how smart we are.  Our circle of friends will always be small.  Our roots being planted in a small town do not hinder us from doing great things.

Making friends never gets easier but keeping the ones you do have does.   

You will miss the house you grew up in.  In weird ways and at times you least expect it.

Do you have sex?  HAHA.  Yes, of course.  Looking back I think perhaps we have sex a bit too early but we loved the other person.  No one can fault us for that.  The first time was amazing.  You will reflect back on it many times through out life.  We got lucky.  Really, really lucky.  No pun intended.

Do you marry your first love, the one we had sex with?  No.  We sure don't.  We do much better.
We marry our greatest love.

Who dies?  Well, that's a loaded question.  We lose Grandpa in 1997.  Yes, it really hurts.  No, it never gets easier.  Losing a loved one simply sucks.  Nothing you learn prepares you for it, for the emotional loss and detachment.  For the emptiness in the corner of your heart.  That empty chair at Mom and Dad's table.
We are however, very lucky as we have lost very few of our loved ones.  That time is yet to come.

Lets see, what else.  We hurt someone we never mean to.  An unfortunate part in us learning who we really are.  It almost seems necessary now. It still hurts to think about.  We will pull from the experience many times. We will always feel like "sorry" doesn't even begin to cover it.

The years of 1996 - 2000 are four years you will spend hurting.  I'm not telling you this to scare you.  I'm telling you this to show you how strong you are.  You are resilient.  Your un-returned adoration for your crushes, drama filled fights with friends and parent troubles are nothing compared to these coming years. You will learn what it feels like to be alone even while you are with someone.  You will feel ignored.  You will be beat down.  You will lose friends because someone tells you to. You will lose precious time with your family.  You will lose yourself.  You will struggle to pull your head above the water.   

But boy, when we finally take that breath, it's the sweetest breath we've ever taken.  That life quickly disappears.  We emerge strong and determined.  And not to get all old fashioned on you but, we take the bull by the horns baby.  We own that bull.  That's right!
We own that Mother Smuckin Bull. 

Yes.  You are still a dork.  At 33.  Not all wishes come true.  So Sorry. 

Oh yeah, one more thing...that feeling that you have, about never being a mother.  Can I just tell you how completely and utterly misplaced and so very thankfully UNTRUE it is. 

That's right.  You marry your greatest love and have two wonderful little boys.

Ain't that the shit?

Are we happy?
What do you think?
Do I look happy?

That's why I'm here.  Don't you get it?  We make it.  We make it through those years, all of them, even the ones when we thought we'd break in half.
We make it.

that's pretty smucking fantastic isn't it?

No, nothing really gets easier.  Things just change really and yes, sometimes life still really does just suck.

but when you hold your own newborn child for the first time, or when you are embraced in the arms of your greatest love...

sometimes all that other shit...just doesn't

So, hang in there ok?  Because the things that come in between all this shit is way to good to pass up.  Trust me, ok?

Yes.  Sometimes it might not always seem like I do but yes, I love you.  

Trust me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Man You Should Know

May 1987
Dad was 42
Today is his birthday.  He is 65.
Happy Birthday Daddy.

Below is something I wrote on Saturday June 16, 2007 and originally posted it to my then blog on

I wanted to make sure it made it into my first 100 posts on blogger.  Because it just should.

I could hear the tractor's engine so I peered out the window.  I had just come inside the house after playing outside for several hours.  I was hot and sweaty and covered in small blades of grass from running after and riding on my father's tractor.

I stood now, in the upstairs bathroom of our house.  Although my legs were itching from the sweat and the grass I was in no hurry to clean myself up.  I was fascinated.

My father, clad in his blue work jeans, white t-shirt and baseball cap was wearing his pride on his sleeve as he rode his red tractor around the yard.  Although at the distance I could barely make out the features on his face I was almost certain that a smile would be seen if I were a little closer.  He was in his glory.

The small bathroom I was in was hot and although there was a breeze coming through the small window where I stood, the room was still.

I could have sworn I heard my father humming.  Through the whir of the tractor's engine and the blowing breeze, it was there.  I swear.

Watching him, I was certain, that my father was indeed the one that had hung the moon.

In a single moment I saw my father for more then who he was to me.  I think as a child it's hard to understand that your parents are actually people, as ordinary as the strangers we pass on the street.  He wasn't only my father though.  He was a man who held important things close to his heart, who valued much more then I could ever imagine, and who had loved, lost and lived a life before I had even been born.

I grew curious about him and thought about things I would never know about him.  He had fought in the Vietnam War, which in my eyes made him a hero in just the simple yet complicated fact that he had served for our country.  I never once thought about how this dedication and servitude had changed him.  He was always, just my father.

I wondered about the day he met my mother, about the day when he first realized he loved her.  It made me think about my life and my undiscovered path.  It made me hopeful, thoughtful and I wondered whom I would meet and fall in love with.  I had no doubt that I wanted this person to be like my father.

I don't know how long I stood at that window and watched him.  I do know that that memory, that vision of my father has stuck with me for at least 20 years now.  In those 20 years, my father, that man on the tractor that day, has made me so proud to be his daughter.

His unnatural ease with strangers makes me envious.  His inability to say he's too busy to help someone is disturbing.  His hand gestures when he talks make me smile, especially now, as I see that I have inherited this curious trait.

And, as in life, there are always things we get handed that we may not be happy about.  As I have grown, and have become someone's wife, a mother and have had the daughter title drop down a few notches on my list of "who I am".  I realize that good or bad, I am my father's daughter.

While I may not hold the same things as close to my heart as he does, or act at ease when introduced to a stranger I have his strength and I have his love of nature and animals.  I have his nastiness, as my mother calls it, when it comes to my boiling anger but I also have his tenderness and allow others the benefit of the doubt, sometimes, too many times over.

That day as I watched my father on his tractor I saw him living his life.  I took the fact that he was my father out of the equation.  I was left with a man only few compare to and no one exceeds.

Funny, how some things, never change.

 Happy Birthday to a man anyone would be lucky to meet

even just


Not so wordless this time
but I just had to share the story too

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snot Rockets and Pound Cake

We are still sick.  Jacek is much better though, thankfully.  No fever, coughing less and has regained his appetite. 
Aidan had his worst day today.  He had these coughing spells where his eyes started watering and then he got nervous because he was coughing so much that he forgot to breathe.  When he finally did remember it was like a ragged haggard breath.  I hate seeing him so sick.
I also had my worst day today.  My right ear hurts.  I still have a low grade fever and I am stuffed up with

I wish I had more patience. I really do.  Granted, I'm sick with a low grade fever, aches, coughing spells of my own and a stuffy nose but still I know these boys are precious but let me tell you...I felt like a baby today with all the whining, yelling, and object throwing I did.  I surely did not teach my children anything valuable today, unless what they took away from today was to stay away from Momma when she don't feel good. 

Blah.  So, Totally Over This Being Sick Thing.

We did manage to have a few very nice cuddle sessions but Aidan's nose kept dripping and it was just gross trying to ignore the amount of snot that was coming out of it.  We are almost out of Kleenex and his poor little nose is red and right before bedtime I noticed it is now raw and a little bloody too.

Drum roll Please.  The highlight of the day....Breakfast.  I took my Aunt Mariannes suggestion and visited The Pioneer Womans blog and found this delicious recipe for Perfect Pound Cake.

Um.  Yup.  
Pretty Damn Perfect.  

Perfectly Perfect 
if I do say so myself.

We all ate it for breakfast. 

There's nothing wrong with that is there  

Having cake for breakfast?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Disgustingly enough the boys and I (remember, Darren is working way late) had breakfast for dinner tonight.  I knew the boys would eat and they would eat well because they just love to eat pancakes, eggs and sausage for dinner.  So, why deny them the yumminess of a warm meal that I knew would fill them up and hopefully help them sleep.

After dinner er breakfast? er now I'm confused......I did bath for the boys.  Bathtime is totally a Daddy thing in our house but tonight Mommy ruled the roost...well I always do....but...yeah, just sayin.....I knew it would make them warm and help them sleep.

They need sleep 
Boy do they ever.

So, my belly stuffed, clean and vicks vapor rubbed children are in bed. 
And it's not even Eight Zero Zero yet.

Now that


 Perfectly Perfect.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Burpies and Snot Bubbles

Burpies are what we call the boys lovey's or security blankets.  Burpies are nothing other then cloth diapers.  The boys each got 12 when they were first born.  The burpies have been washed a gazillion times.  They are beyond soft and some of Jacek's are starting to get holes in them.  We have rules that apply to burpies.  They are for bedtime only and stay in the boys bedrooms.  They are not allowed to be taken out of the house.  When the boys seem to be having a hard day, seem sad or down we bend the rules a little.  I have stashed one burpie each into the diaper bag for "nervous breakdowns" away from home.  The last few days with the boys battling their colds the burpies have been allowed down stairs.  We used them as tear wipers, snot swipers, and for easing coughing attacks.  It's a sure sign that the boys are not feeling like themselves if burpies are being requested at the dinner table or to hold while watching video.

Today there have been burpies in the kitchen, at the dining room table, on the train table in the playroom, around necks, on heads, used as pirate hats, scarves  

and I even caught a burpie sticking out from underneath the bathroom door.  
Burpies Burpies EVERYWHERE! 

I hope my boys get better soon so the burpies can go back to following the rules!

For this Not Me Monday I've only got one.  I was ashamed so I had to admit to not doing it.
Hopefully this in no way classifies me as a bad Mom. I just couldn't pass the opportunity up to get at least one good shot to use later in life as blackmail a bargaining tool....haha.

At the lunch table I did not try to take pictures of the snot bubbles that were coming out of Aidan's nose as he ate. 

I did not take these pictures in hopes I would capture just one bubble.  Never. I would never ever do something that rude and unsympathetic. Not to mention



Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Week Ahead

My glands are swollen and my ears hurt.  I can't remember the last time I had an ear infection so I'm not sure if that's what I'm feeling or if the swelling in my neck is causing my ears to hurt as well.

Darren has to work crazy hours Monday through Thursday.  He won't be home for dinner or the boys bedtime.  He gets to go in a little later in the morning but won't be home till 9 or if things are really busy maybe even 10.

With that said and the pessimistic attitude of mine suppressed I will focus on the fact that this week appears to hold some good possibilities.

I'm expecting a call from Stinky Joes tomorrow with the notion that we are arranging pick up of our van on Thursday.  This is beyond exciting.  Our van has a working radio or at least it did.   I haven't seen my Grandfathers owl in 5 months.  The owl is a purple stuffed toy I won at a carnival when I was a teenager. Despite the fact that the owl had his beak sewed on upside down, my Grandfather loyally hung it from his rear view mirror in his Cadillac for years.  I took it back when Grandpa passed and have had it in every vehicle I've driven since. I'm looking forward to seeing that Owls upside down beak.  I'm also looking forward to putting the boys back in bucket seats rather then on the adjoined seat they've become used to in the loner.  I think it might make for less screaming matches?  Probably not but a Mom can hope right? 

Wednesday is my Daddy's 65th birthday.  I'm hoping the  boys and I can go out to Mom and Dads for dinner.  Aidan hasn't been out there since before he could walk.  I doubt he remembers their doggies, Max and Mindy. I also want some meatloaf.

Thursday, hopefully we'll have our van back.  My niece Ashley turns 13!  Oh lordy lordy.  Kristen, what are you going to do?  TWO TEENAGERS?????  Bless your heart.

This week I'm also hoping to get some alone time with Candace.  It's so tiring having to scream our conversation at each other.  Screaming over our boys so exhausting and so frustrating. Grrrrr.

Friday I will be celebrating making it through the whole week with Darren's crazy hours.  I'm hoping we'll go out to dinner.  I'm hoping the boys and I will no longer be sick.  I'm hoping Darren stays healthy during his exhausting week.  

Darren has to work on Saturday and so do I.  Mom and Dad are coming to spend the day with the boys.  I am pretty sure they will spend most of that time playing with the train table.

I've got some good snacks to get me through the week along with 2 girlie flicks to watch in the evening.  And I have half a bottle of wine left in the fridge....just in case. 

Did I mention that Saturday should be my 100th post!!  What a great way to finish the week.   I'm thinking about doing some sort of contest?  giveaway?  something?  Either way, it'll be my 100th post and that is simply

But that's all for tonight.  I'm off to swig a bottle 2 tablespoons of Tylenol Cold, leaf through a magazine I stole found at work and drift off to a hopefully not fitful dreamy deep sleep.


Is it possible to be so over organized that it becomes overwhelming?  I feel a little frenzied.  While I don't have anything immediate on my plate to accomplish I have a bunch of things on lists that ideally I will be accomplishing this week, month, year. 
I don't seem to process well without an immediate goal or task at hand.  I am currently needing a big dose of self-efficacy.
I told Darren this morning that I think I'm going to focus on getting primer for the 3rd floor game room and start working on the room.  We've been in a slow process of moving the boys playroom up from the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor.  We've delayed because the 3rd floor is not heated and we don't currently have our space heater.  It is out on loan but we expect to get it back soon and I will begin work.  Hopefully. 

I think my other issue right now is the stand still were in on a few other pretty big issues.  I'm not a very patient person.  I know it and admit it but at leat I try to work on it.  We're waiting on the resoultion of our van and still waiting on the resoultion of our Mortgage Loan Modification.  I am no fool and realize that even upon completion those frustrations will be replaced with something else but the fact that they are just looming so close overhead and the end is in sight but not yet achievable is a dreaded position to be in. (that was a huge sentence) I feel like I can't move forward.  Hopefully those knots can be untied soon.

I finished Lisey's Story by Stephen King last night.  It was wonderful.  A great ending but it envoked vivid dreams.  Pair that with the beginning of my own cold as well as the colds of my boys and you've got a very restless sleep.  I am feeling it today.
T.  I.  R.  E.  D.

A lady I work with just brought me lunch from Burger King.  It's the little things that really get me.  How simple a gesture, how kind, how thoughtful? 

She just brightend my day.  Thank you Nancy.  I ate every last nibble.

I didn't post last night.  I watched "Worlds Greatest Dad" with Darren.  I lost interest in the movie about halfway through but I still didn't feel like writing.  I felt guilty, like I was letting myself down but I didn't feel like making myself write so I just didn't. This was also something that kept me in my fitfull sleep.   

That, and the fact that my dreams contained family members who were midgets and kicking at the backs of my knees.  Interesting how thoughts and feelings can be conveyed in our dreams.  I don't have to look very far for the meaning of that dream. 

Brings to mind the Chumbawamba song - I Get Knocked Down

I get knocked down

But I get up again

You're never going to keep me down

I wonder if anyone will bring me a chocolate milkshake.  Yum.

Friday, January 22, 2010

FAIR implies an elimination of one's own feelings, prejudices, and desires so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests

We've been driving a loner since September.  I have not enjoyed driving the loner but have tried not to complain too much since it gets us out and our life didn't have to change to drastically upon the news that our engine in our van needed to be replaced.

5 months ago I pulled our van into our driveway and funny enough shared a loving thought about the van to myself.  I thought "this van was a really great buy for us".

then I parked the van.

and less then an hour later Darren came home and saw fluid leaking from the "really great buy" van.

It didn't suck all at once.  It has taken its sweet time to turn into a piece of poo in our mouths.

Darren broke down the day he tried to drive the van out to the place we bought it from.  Short story version, the coolant lines burst and had sprayed all over the engine thus causing it to seize.

Engine no more.

For the last 5 months we have gone back and forth with the shop.  Our main contact is actually a friend which at times helps but has lately become a hard sharp corner to get around.  We don't exactly want to burn that bridge along with our kicking a$$ rampage at the shop.

Our main back and forth points have been

-Who is responsible for paying the work costs?
- Could we cash out our extended warranty to cover the rest?

They agreed to split the bill of $4000 in half, 2k a piece, which I now believe is totally jacked up so they are really still not paying anything and we're covering the whole cost.  We have asked Darren's Mom to lend us half the 2k, leaving us with 1k.  We went back and forth on cashing out our warranty and have been told if we cashed it out it would need to be applied to the principal of the loan and not used towards the repair costs.

After asking what other options there were, Darren was told :
"don't worry about the other 1k"

We were left to ponder that for a bit.

My chain snapped on Monday when I got the latest email or rather a disconnected update that contained information that I believe the sender thought would make us happy.  It informed us that a replacement engine (one I had requested the mileage on before it was placed into our van) had been put into our van already and that our van was being driven around, most likely being "tuned" up by the service department.  The sender wanted to see if I thought us paying the additional 1k by means of small installments sounded fair.

Yes...exact words used here were:

Does this sound fair to you?

I don't know who thinks information like that or dumb questions like that above are supposed to make a customer jump for joy or feel like they are being treated correctly because if that's what he thought was gonna happen
boy was he wrong!

It took everything I had in me to wait out the week and not send a hateful, filled with naughty words, email response back.

I carefully let my anger boil and then reduced the heat.

And this was the outcome: (names and places changed to protect my own a$$)


While this is great news I have to admit I was very disappointed and angered to hear that 1.) you believe the van has it's new engine and 2.) that you've seen it being driven around.  I asked you last week to notify me of the miles on the replacement engine.  I never heard back so I assumed that it had not arrived yet.  I am a bit surprised that the engine was received and already put into the van without us even being advised of such things. We should have been advised about where the engine came from, how it came to be (accident, flood, etc.) as well as the miles on it.  I don't understand how us being notified of these things was overlooked.  Do we not have final say on what engine goes into our vehicle?

I am beyond frustrated at this point.  I understand there is only so much you can do but to be honest with you I am beginning to think negatively toward Stinky Joes.  This upsets me because up to this point, myself, my parents as well as friends have all had great experiences there.

Another week has gone by, and this entire ordeal is now just a few weeks shy of 5 months! 

If there is nothing else that Stinky Joes can do for us in regards to the final 1k that needs to be paid and the only solution you can find is that WE have to pay little by little over a certain time frame then I guess we just have to be ok with that. The bottom line is that this has dragged on long enough. We have continued to pay the monthly payment on a van that has been in the shop for 5 months!  I have paid $944 towards a vehicle that we haven't driven since September.  We want our vehicle back.  Our vehicle, a vehicle that was sold to us by Stinky Joes with a pre-existing corrosion problem.  A vehicle that had already been serviced because of the pre-existing corrosion problem. A vehicle that was not entirely checked over by your service department upon being sold to us. Perhaps the truth was rather withheld from us? Our vehicle is now a vehicle with a replacement engine in it that we have no information on.  And you ask if this sounds fair?  Does this sound fair to you?

After 5 months of an ongoing issue with customers that have been nothing but patient and somewhat naive about the situation at hand I would hope that Buttface, the owner, would be slightly embarrassed.  I would hope that he'd be more then willing to just write this last 1k off as a loss rather then lose a customer that was happy up to this point.


If our only option is to agree to some sort of payment agreement for the last 1k then please proceed, get it done, and get our van back to us. 

I think we have done nothing but be patient and I am now entirely done with this entire situation.  5 months is a ridiculous amount of time.

With that said McFriend, we do appreciate the effort you have put forth for us.  Thank you.

Please get back to me with the final outcome. 


The woman who wants to drive certain said loner van into Stinky Joes

Thursday, January 21, 2010

All About My Gooberbutt

Aidan will be a year and a half on February 12th.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just a few months ago I was complaining about wanting him to walk already and now it's as if he always has.

He is into everything.  I mean everything.  He pulls things out left and right, plays with the remote controls, pulls the blankets out from underneath the coffee table again and again ( I sure do get tired of refolding them), he finds itty bitty pieces of things on the floor and will walk them to me and say "yuck" and just this morning he brought down every single blanket, pillow and burpie (lovey) that he could reach from upstairs.

He is finally becoming interested in books although he loves to rip out the pages so we stick with mostly board books.  He loves hugs but is not really a cuddly boy.  He says a lot of words but at times also speaks in a totally different language, I sometimes think it's Chinese. 

He eats mostly with his left hand but with other tasks he tends to use both hands quite equally.

He loves to brush his teeth.  He is scared of the train that goes behind our house.  He's fine from afar but get him close enough and he'll freak out a little.

                                                He doesn't like to wear socks.

He loves his big brother.  
He tries to copy everything Jacek does.  He knows what share means and does fairly well with it already.  He follows Jacek into the bathroom and watches him go pee pee.  As he's watching he holds his belly rather then the correct appendage.  This is mainly because he stands and watches while wearing his diaper but also because his belly is too big and he can't actually see his appendage while standing up unless he squishes his chin down to his chest and really bends over.  He's a chunk.

He loves to play and is already great with imaginative play.  He makes the sounds of the cars and trucks and will mimic other sounds he has heard Jacek utter. 

He loves our cat Nicholas.  He loves to kiss his fur but gets really frustrated when Nicholas does not stay still. 

He shakes his head yes quite often.  Sometimes it seems like he says yes to everything but other times you will ask him something and his head will not move and he'lll look at you with a very stubborn (not sure where he gets that from) look and you know he's thinking NO!!  He has shaken his head No, but doesn't do it often.

I have begun to send him to timeout for certain naughty behavior.  If I say to him "If you do that again you are going to go to Timeout!".  He will then stubbornly and loudly walk his way to the time out corner and I will chuckle as I watch him go and then I don't know if I should pull him out of time out or just let him sit there.  Most of the time I let him sit there.  Why ruin a quiet moment, right?

I think he looks like me.  I love that he has my dimples.  His eyes are like a very orange brown.  I took notice of them this morning when the sun was shining through the window and they are quite impressive. Very orange and brown with green speckles in there too.

When he smiles his whole face lights up.  I like to think when he smiles he smiles with his whole heart.

He seems like he might be on the shorter side.  He's short and stout, like a tea pot but built like an ox.  I wonder if our floors will hold up to the wrestling matches they will see in the future.  I know I think the house is loud now.  I know it'll get louder and louder and now that I think of it, smaller.

I am reluctant to see my Munchkin Man go to a full day Pre-K program next fall but I look forward to having time alone with my Gooberbutt.

I look forward to getting to know him better
one on one with
my stubborn dimpled Gooberbutt.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Queen's Meme #21 - The Wisdom at Twenty-One

This is a royal twist on an old meme. This is how it works: You must follow the directions to the letter.

1. Find the nearest bookshelf of your favorite reads, cookbooks, tech books, magazines. It doesn't matter. This will work for all print media. If you don't have seven books lined up on a shelf, grab the first seven you see around the house.
2. Book #1: Turn to page 21. Read the 21st sentence (you may have to turn the page).
Write it down.

3. Do the same with the first seven books or articles you see. The sentences will make a paragraph. You must write them down in the order you found them.

4. When you are finished, read over your "story" and title it.

5. Show us your bibliography at the end of this meme. 

 My result
Self titled: After It's Said and Done

This time a folded piece of newsprint fell out, yellowing and brittle to the touch.  My mother puts a hand on my shoulder.  "What do you know about that kind of stuff?" He was always ready to talk if anyone wanted him to, but no one ever responded.  But that would be a lot of trouble.  "See what happens when people do not keep their promises!" 
Where is my pain? he thought.

Biography (List of books and authors): 
  1.  Lisey's Story - Stephen King
  2.  have a little faith - Mitch Albom
  3.  She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
  4.  Astonishing Splashes of Color - Clare Morrall
  5.  Superfudge - Judy Blume
  6.  Best-Loved Folktales/Beauty and The Beast 
  7.  the five people you meet in heaven - Mitch Albom

That was fun.  Unfortunately touching books in the daylight hours is not a good thing for me.  Now all I want to do is curl up with a mug of something warm, a blanket and these fantastic books.  
This was no easy task for me, teasing myself almost.  Only allowed to open the books to page 21 and skim to the 21st sentence.  What should have taken me 20 minutes took me a few hours.  What is it with these things?  I just can't put them down and when I do...I'm on to the next. 
(Thanks, Mom) ♥

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mixed Monday Rant

My tummy has been bothering me today.  This horrible sounding stomach bug has been going around.  I don't think I need to really say this but I HATE PUKING and I really, really hope that what I'm feeling is not this horrible sounding stomach bug that has been going around.

Darren had the day off today and we thought, albeit briefly, that we might take the boys to The National Musuem of Play in Rochester.  We have a membership there so it would have been a "free" and familiar outing but we didn't stray from the house to do anything fun.  We stayed home, all day and played and tried to relax.  We ventured out for a quick jaunt to get a few groceries and odds and ends but home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Jacek has been saying "it's in my forehead" when referring to remembering something.  It's quite funny and he's said it a few times now.  We're not exactly sure if he heard something like it or just came up with it on his own.  We've told him that his brain is in his head so I guess he put the rest together on his own.  He's also asked Darren "When you and Mommy made me, did you use glue?" 

I'm currently reading Lisey's Story by Stephen King.  I bought it months ago in the super buy section at a local Barnes and Noble.  I figured because of the discounted price, I think it was like $5.98, that, it must not have done very well.  I had never even heard of it and I am a big fan of Stephen King, reading pretty much everything else he's ever written.  It took me about a month to "get into it" and now I can't wait to get upstairs at night to read more and now I'm dreading the end because as it normally is with King's novels I don't want them to end.  It is an amazing imaginative book, often reading like a love story.  The cover of the book is of Boo'ya Moon a place one of the characters visits to escape his reality.  The cover is amazing in itself.   I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in imagination and fantasy.  There's King's classic horror mixed in with a past of mental illness combined with what appears to be a deep love story.  It's truly a complex read. 

Time for a snack, I've got 2 frozen marshmallow santas left and then I'm off to Boo'ya moon.  On second thought, with the possibility of a stomach bug looming maybe I should skip the marshmallow santa?  Ya think?


Sunday, January 17, 2010

The role of possibility

I married into their family.  I was excited and nervous to become a part of such a large extended family because growing up my extended family was small and got smaller every year.

From the beginning, being that it is such a large family I happily assumed my role as "observer".  

For years I observed, remaining quiet and reserved at family gatherings.  To be honest, the first few years were spent trying like hell to remember who everyone was.  This family at first glance is just simply overwhelming.  To this very day I still have a moment of relapse as my brain stutters around the names as I try to match it with the face upon first walking into a room where everyone is gathered.

Danny was the first to make me feel comfortable. His awkwardness, his honesty and his "air-headed" appeal had me at hello.  Brennan made me feel reluctant to open up because he was so close to Darren I felt a sense of "level of approval" that I needed to achieve before he would accept me but he soon did. Uncle Brian in all his "bigness" made me nervous only because he was louder then them all.  After careful observation I realized he was just a "gentle" giant and I soon found myself looking forward to his next big all encompassing bear hug.

Those 3 men were my first real connections to this family and every one of them is gone.  Those 3 faces that I would immediately search for in a crowded room of polish in laws, no longer are there to meet my gaze to set me at ease.

Since their deaths the entire dynamic in this family has obviously shifted.  The roles that those 3 men played in keeping the family together and connected lay discarded and empty.

Last night my careful disciplined role of observer became that of an active participant. 

In a room with my arms around a grieving mother filled with anger and sadness, with alcohol raging through her veins, wiping tears from my own face and holding my heavy heart as well as hers I felt those 3 men.

I felt Uncle Brian's presence filling the space around us.  I felt Brennan's frustration and anger because he would have hated, HATED, the turn of events and somewhere in the chaos and the bitterness and the ill chosen words I could hear Danny's laugh, Brennan joining in, followed by Uncle Brian's bellow.   The three of them in a chorus of laughter, laughing at us?, with us?, at the irony of this life?, at the familiarity of sameness?, at our stubbornness to change in the wake of tragedy?  Did I hear them call us "POLAKS"?

The core of this family continues to disinegrate and we all fight to pick up the pieces and rebuild.  Some of us are in the middle of it all too engrossed in our grief to steal a peak at the sun and to realize we're doing EXACTLY the OPPOSITE of what our lost loved ones would want us to do. Some of us watch from the sidelines praying, cheering and optimistic, and others, like myself, watch with an entirely different view all together.

Last night I received hugs that my friend Candace calls "real hugs".  I received real hugs from this family, from MY family, to show support, to convey love and to speak words that sometimes are better not spoken.  I felt a part of the family, almost an integral part and I felt my role of observer slowly disappearing into the shadows.

I love this family that I laid stake to on March 8, 2003.  I love this family that is dysfunctional in every sense of the word.  I love this family because it's either you do or you don't.

Families have roles.  We aren't always happy with the roles that we get chosen for are we?  No, we aren't but  YOU. DEAL. WITH.  IT.  We don't get to pick the ones that stay or the ones that get taken from us.  We play with the cards that are dealt to us, with the hand we are given, with the cards that are discarded into the pile...we play.

And if someone should come along and play 52 card pick up we simply ask for all the cards to be picked up at the end of the game, stacked together, placed in the box as a tight deck, and the flap tucked in tightly.

Because you know you can't play a card game with a short deck.  You just can't.  Even the cards in the discard pile, the ones we didn't get to play with very long, remain a part of the deck. As long as they all get put back in the same box....

with the flap

tucked in


playing remains a possibility.

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
~ Jan Glidewell