Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Really Don't Have Much to Report...

To avoid confusion, I'll let you all know I wrote this Sunday morning about half past midnight.

... But I thought I would spare you the sight of my son's teeth right off the bat when you visit my blog. :-) I will tell you that Jamie's friend Spencer and his mom, Julie, (awesome, helpful people that they are) came over to the old house with us Friday night and put in three solid hours helping us organize, clean and pack. I was very grateful to have their help, let me tell you! This has been the job that seems never to end, and it's overwhelming me quite a bit. But Julie and Spencer helped us out a ton!

Today, I didn't do so much. I've been having a lot of pain lately, so it has been very limiting in my activity levels at times. It makes it especially hard when - at times - I can only stand for about 30 minutes before I have to sit down due to pain. Today, I only managed to unpack four boxes at the new house and organize my spices cabinet and the veggies pantry. This took most of the day. I also was able to make some chocolate pudding for Jamie. Didn't do any homework today, though. I guess I'll pick up on that tomorrow. I'm hurting bad enough that it is interfering with my concentration; but if I take something strong enough for the pain, it makes it hard for me to stay awake, much less concentrate. Damned if I do and damned if I don't.

Well, despite the fact that I didn't do much today, and the fact that I took a three hour nap, I'm really sleepy, and really hurting, so I'm going to take something for it and go to bed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Answer to Becca's Question

So, Becca asked a question about Jamie's teeth, making the comment that she didn't mean to be rude, but she didn't see why he needed braces on the bottom. You're not being rude, Becca, you're being inquisitive. To answer your question, if you look closely at the pictures in this post, you'll see that his bottom teeth are shifted about 3 mm to the left of his mouth (his left, your right)out of alignment with his top teeth. This has caused all the teeth on the left side of his mouth to be out of alignment with the top teeth. This in turn means his bite is off, which causes his teeth to grind together, triggering headaches, toothaches, and could cause premature wearing down of his teeth and breakage. In the pictures of the inside of his mouth from the orthodontist's website, his teeth don't fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, more like the points hit exactly on the points of his top teeth, and they aren't supposed to do that.

Jamie's teeth from the front. See how the bottom teeth are not properly aligned with the top?

Jamie's teeth on the right side of his mouth. See how they line up perfectly? Just like a jigsaw puzzle, they way they are supposed to line up.

Jamie's left side of his mouth. Wait a minute! What's this? What are all those gaps doing there? Why are the points resting on each other? That's not supposed to happen, and can cause lots of problems!

To fix this, all of his bottom teeth need to be in braces to be sure that they are lined up properly. There's a chance his chronic migraines could be far less frequent after his bite gets straightened out. His top teeth, of course, are crooked as all heck, as can be seen from the pictures. Also, if you look closely, you can see that his top front four teeth stick out at an angle; what may be harder to notice is that his bottom teeth also go out at an angle, just a lesser angle than the top teeth.

See? His teeth poke out at an angle.

By now, you should know more about my kid's orthodontia then you probably ever wanted to know. Sorry about that! (Actually, I'm not. I like to answer questions thoroughly. LOL!)

Oooooooo! Sparkly.... and Patriotic, too!

Went back to the orthodontist's office yesterday because *A* bracket popped off in the night. Come to find out, THREE brackets popped off! Jabberjaws here couldn't shut up and be still on Monday when they put them on, so he got the bonding stuff wet with his spit. When it gets wet, it doesn't bond. So, they had to take all the wires and elastics off, and redo the brackets, then put the wire and elastics back on. In a fit of patriotism, Jamie decided he just "had" to switch his previously much admired combo of sky blue and metallic ocean blue for red, white and blue in honor of Independence Day.

Yesterday, Jamie did much better at sitting still and not talking while they put the braces back on. In fact, he actually managed to fall asleep while they were rebonding the brackets! I think he was just exhausted from not being able to sleep the night before because of the pain in his mouth. Due to how much pain Jamie was in, they left off the itty-bitty wires that go around the brackets and force the teeth to move more quickly. Using just the big wires and elastics will get the job done, albeit more slowly. Due to Jamie's pain levels, though, I'm willing to take a slightly slower approach. They are going to check his pain tolerance next month when they put on the bottom ones.

Here are more goofy pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oooooo! Sparkly!

These are just the top braces; he gets the bottom ones next month. Last night, he could barely eat. We went to the store last night and stocked up on soft stuff like yogurt, mashed potatoes and ice cream, but he's still hurting. He woke up this morning, and one of the brackets had popped off. We go back to the orthodontist this afternoon for them to fix it. Hopefully, the pain will go away soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Feel Like a Jerk

I've been so busy with school, work, Jamie and stuff related to Dad's passing that I've been pretty incommunicado with my family, other than by electronic means. However, most of my mom's side of the family is made up of technophobes (one aunt and uncle don't even own cell phones, much less a computer!), so I don't speak to them as often.

Today, on my lunch break, I called my Uncle A. and Aunt J. The first thing Uncle A. said was "How's your dad doing?" Ummm.... "Actually, Daddy passed away in January, the day before Jamie's birthday." If it had been nighttime, I'd have been able to hear crickets chirping. For all these months, my mom's family didn't know that my dad had died. Yikes! They weren't close by any means, but they're solid people. The kind who - even if they couldn't stand the ex-husband/father who wasn't related to them by blood, they'd still want to pay their respects for the people who they are related to's sake. And I didn't even let them know.

I hate, hate HATE that I'm such a bad neice/relative. I just get so wrapped up in the five million things I have going on, and I was raised pretty much separately from my extended family, so my first inclination has never been to call/write them to tell them what's going on in my life - especially when it's so crazy busy that I don't even have time to breathe, much less have a conversation. Plus, although we're related by blood, I don't really know them, and they don't really know me. True, part of that is my fault. I allowed my standoffishness to get in the way of me knowing them now that I'm an adult, and letting them know me.

I feel like a real jerk, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I'll just make the resolution (once again) to be a better relative and keep in touch, so they don't worry about me. They don't have Internet, so they can't read my blog or get an e-mail from me that lets them know how we're doing. I need to pick up the actual phone more often and let them know what's going on, and find out from them how they're doing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Stink

So does Buddy, and Ziggy, and my whole house. Ever since we moved in at the new house, Buddy has been trying to dig his way under the concrete slab back porch, and paces back and forth near a crack in it, cocking his head this way and that, as though "listening" to what's underneath. I figured it was a possum.

Last night, I discovered differently. I let the dog out, only to see Buddy attacking a little black blob that - at first - I thought was a kitten. NOPE! Then I noticed the white stripe. Oh, crap! I started screaming at Buddy to get away from it and leave it alone. Just as he dropped it, the baby whipped around and sprayed him. Then Momma Skunk came charging from out in the yard, and sprayed Buddy again.

Buddy started sneezing and gagging, and rolling all over the ground. Then, not being one to suffer alone, Buddy ran over to Ziggy and rubbed up against him, spreading the stench. I put both dogs in the garage so I could do an Internet search to see what was the best remedy. Then I left Jamie at home sleeping (what else was I supposed to do at midnight when he was dead to the world asleep) and hurried to the nearest grocery store and bought peroxide, baking soda and dish soap to scrub down both dogs.

Now, take a moment to picture this. I'm a crazy woman, with my hair standing straight up, in my pajamas (a *nice* t-shirt reading "Do something with your life: Get me a beer!" and aqua blue shorts. Don't ask about the shirt. It was a gag gift for Dad I never got to give him and I hated to waste money by throwing it away, so I wear it to bed) and smelling faintly of skunk. Then, I'm muttering to myself, complaining about stupid dogs who don't know when to leave other creatures alone. Walking around the grocery store at midnight. In mismatched shoes. Oh, yeah, I was a sight! I'm sure they thought I was a bag lady.

I got home, to discover the stench had permeated the house. It seems the smell drifted in from the garage, and was also aided in spreading by the a/c. The incident in the yard occurred near the outside a/c unit, which then sucked the smell in and distributed it throughout the whole house. I trapped both dogs in the bathroom, opened the window in there, and proceeded to give them both baths in a solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. It got most of it out, but the house still stinks. Then Buddy went and rolled in the dirt where it happened first thing this morning when I let him out to pee.

On my lunch break, I'm going to PetSmart to buy some spray that everyone swears will do the trick, not only on the dogs, but on the whole house. And on my hair, that seems to have absorbed some of the eau de skunk. Every time I turn my head and my hair fluffs out, I smell it again. I'm getting a headache from it.

If it had been Ziggy, he probably wouldn't have even bothered the baby skunk. As a Bichon Frise, he very much doesn't give a flying flip what happens outside. He runs out, pees, and runs back up to the door to be let in. No hunting instincts. No desire to commune with other animals. He isn't an animal, in his mind, he's just a really short person - with four legs. Buddy, on the other hand, is very much a dog. He's a hunter, and he just can't resist the opportunity to tackle other animals. He just had to go and investigate the durn skunk. I'm realizing that I pretty much hate everything about terriers that make them, well, terriers. ARRGH!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Pretend it has the little ~ over the "n". I couldn't figure out how to do it in the title. Anyhoo, I wondered why my Spanish teacher is dumping tons of homework on us, and making us cover a chapter a week and take an exam at the end of every chapter. The class I signed up for was supposed to be an 8 week class, over on July 31. I got to looking at the syllabus today, and someone changed my 8 week class to a 6 week class, ending July 10! Holy crapola! Oh my stinkin' heck! Sweet niblets, Marie! On the one hand, this is bad. Because now I'm cramming in two classes in a very short amount of time. On the other hand, this ROCKS because now I get a month and a half off of school, not just a month! I think I'm going to look at this as a blessing (but still stress over tests and whatnot).

And now, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Buddy scared the poo out of me...

Handily, I was on the toilet at the time. See, Buddy (formerly my father's dog) has a new hobby - chasing the ginormous cockroaches (oh, excuse me, "palmetto bugs") that occupy this house. They are bigger than my thumb! I was minding my own business, well, doing my business, in the bathroom when Buddy started attacking the bottom of the bathroom cabinet. He then snorted, snuffled and picked up in his mouth the aforementioned cockroach. Apparently, the wriggling legs in his mouth tickled, so he kind of tossed it out with a shake of his head. Then he started chasing it again. Unfortunately, he chased it all the way around the toilet, under my foot and UP MY LEG! I screamed, squealed and swiped at my leg, sending that little sucker sailing into the study. Then Buddy tore after it, only to catch it again and then, you guessed it, again with the tickly legs in the mouth bit, and Buddy tossed it again. Meanwhile, I'm hastily getting off the porcelain throne and trying to find the alcohol so I can disinfect the bottom of my foot and my leg. Have I mentioned that cockroaches hit the top of my "oh, ICK" list? By this time, the stupid cockroach is streaking right back to the bathroom where it can slip between the cracks on the baseboards. I wound up jumping right over the durn thing, then hopping up on my bed where I would be relatively safe from the stupid bugs. Five minutes later, Buddy chased a cockroach, I assume it was the same one, into my room, then tossed it UP ON THE BED WITH ME! AAAAAGGGHHHHHH! That stupid dog is going to drive me insane, I know he is.

And where was Jamie during this whole exchange, you wonder? Only egging Buddy on, pointing out where the cockroach was, then laughing his fool head off at my antics. I didn't know who I wanted to smoosh more, the bug, the dog, or my kid. Yes, folks, everything IS bigger in Texas. Even the bugs. Damnit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Movie Night

Lately, the only "quality time" Jamie has gotten with me has been the few minutes when I come home from work, then start looking around at what he's done to the house between when I was home at lunch time and get home at 5. Then the scolding and yelling begins, for such infractions as:

  • Deciding to help Pablo finish painting the living room - WEARING A BRAND NEW SHIRT AND DRESSY SHORTS, then getting paint all over them.
  • Popping open his bean bag chair, then scattering the little styrofoam ball thingies all over the house as he drags the chair out to the garage - with the rip FACING DOWN.
  • Not rinsing food off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • and so on.

After that yelling and scolding is over, then I fix some quick dinner then escape to the study to try to do my homework. Which gets interrupted every five minutes with questions. "Mom, can I watch TV?" "Mom, can I call Remo to see if he wants to play?" "Mom, can I go outside?" "Mom, can I eat some pop-tarts?" "Mom. mom, mom, mom, MOM MOMOMOMOMOMOMOM"

Then I explode.


It doesn't help that it has been way too hot for him to play outside. It's been 100+ heat index here. It doesn't help that I have to leave him here alone while I go to work. True, it's less than five minutes away, but the kid gets bored. It doesn't help that many of his friends who live in this neighborhood have been away - either on vacation or visiting absentee fathers, or whatever. It doesn't help that this is a new house, and not all his stuff is here yet, and he isn't quite as comfortable here yet as he'd like to be. It doesn't help that he's off his medication for the summer. It doesn't help that there's so much new and he just doesn't handle new too well.

So, last night. I gave up on homework and took him to see the last showing of "Up" in 3-D for the night. This is a FANTASTIC movie. If you haven't seen it yet, GO! All Disney/Pixar films have been outstanding, but this one ranks right up there in the top 3, I gotta say. We had some much needed Mommy-son time. We reconnected by doing something other than working on one house or the other, or the whole scolder-scoldee dynamic. We snuggled in, had popcorn, and had some quality time. It was the best part of the evening, just being able to be with my boy.

As for Jamie's boredom, he will get some relief over the next two weeks. Monday starts his two-week technology camp at his new school. I have to get him there in the mornings, but his friend Spencer's mom is picking them up and taking them to do stuff - every day. Swimming, lunch, Six Flags or Sea World, bowling, library, Children's museum, or just back to their house to play. Thank you, Jesus, for the Mrs. D's of the world. Later this summer, she's also taking Jamie to VBS at her church. So we can get through this. And soon, this place won't be so new, and he'll settle down. We both will.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I’m proud to announce that I took Jamie in for a teeth cleaning at the dentist today, and he has no cavities.  I figured since he’s getting braces this month it might be a good idea for his teeth to have been professionally cleaned before getting the braces on.  Other than a bit of laziness when it comes to flossing, he has good oral hygiene.  The dentist also said that his 12-year molars are coming in early.  The kid was born with a tooth, and the others started showing up pretty rapidly after his birth, so early teeth are no surprise to me!


On a bad note, though, I’ve discovered the start of a cavity in a very ucky place in my own mouth, up near the gum line on a front tooth (very visible and breakable) and a “temporary” crown for a broken tooth that was supposed to last only six months (and has been on for FIVE YEARS) is failing, and old fillings need replacing, and just a general state of decay in my own mouth means I need some major work done at the dentist’s office.  I haven’t seen a dentist in five years (see above re: temporary crown), because my insurance has never covered dental work.  However, Jamie goes regularly because his cleanings and x-rays are covered by CHIP (thank you, Jesus).  So, since all my inheritance-type money is going into Jamie’s orthodontia, my own dental needs will have to wait until August when I get my school money.  Please pray that my teeth won’t get worse or have any more breaks before then!


On the home front, painting and repairs have temporarily halted in light of my school starting yesterday and having to finish getting everything out of the old house and it cleaned up before June 15.  That is taking all my energies right now.  I fully expect the house stuff to have to wait until July 31, the last day of my classes.  I will then have a whole month before school starts up again.  I hope to get all the painting and such done then, and I’ll post pictures of how I’ve fixed up my new home.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

We have enough stuff in the new house that it has become our new base of operations, while the old house is now in "holding the stuff we have yet to pick up" mode. The cable, phone and Internet are hooked up, so I can watch some TV tonight, and attend my classes starting Monday. Jamie and I had four hours of sleep last night, so now that everything is set up, and all the tech-type persons have come and gone who were required to get new stove installed and internet/phone/cable transferred, I'm going to take a nap. Jamie went to the movies with his big brother Bill, and I can just about guarantee you that he's asleep in the movie theatre even as we speak. Whenever I wake up, I'm going to hang some curtains so the neighbors won't see us nekkid or be able to watch TV with us.

zzzz zzzzzz z zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Less Progress

Jamie had a minor asthma attack during skating, and didn't feel very well afterward. We wound up leaving the rink early. I didn't think his lungs would do too well inhaling a bunch of paint fumes after all that, so we decided to forego priming and painting tonight. This means Pablo can't paint actual colors on the wall tomorrow, but he can finish the priming. While Jamie rests here at home, I'm working on something that I've been trying to do since Jamie's birthday - take down the Christmas tree. Yes, I know it's June 4. Yes, I know most sane people took their trees down SIX MONTHS ago. I've just been a little busy. I think the only reason why I'm working on taking it down now is because we're moving. Otherwise, it would still be up in August.

More Progress

Hired Pablo from work to come help us primer and paint the house last night. Everything that needed primering now has at least one coat of primer on it (minus edges that rollers can't reach). Several of the items that needed primering are now completely ready for a fresh coat of paint. Half the bathroom is painted. And tonight... tonight I am taking Jamie to the roller skating rink with his friend Josh. The rink closes at 9. Maybe we can squeeze in a couple of hours of painting after skating. There's no school tomorrow, so Jamie can sleep in some. Yep, I think some painting is called for.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


A bit of progress has been made on the house. My friend M.J. and her son Jack - who happens to be one of Jamie's best friends - came over last night and we primered the icky yellow bedroom. Well, we tried. See, the paint fumes got kind of thick, and we were trying to primer after dark, and the primer didn't coat very well, so it's going to need a second coat. We were some very giggly people last night, let me tell you! I laughed so much I almost peed on myself, and the stuff we were giggling at wasn't even that funny! I blame it on the fumes.

Tonight, it was back to just me and Jamie again, but we still made real progress. We bought a thicker primer designed especially to go over super-dark colors that eejits insist on putting on walls. (Oh, and it didn't really cost us anything. I had a can of ceiling paint left over that we never used, so I just returned the ceiling paint and used the $$ for returning it to buy the primer!) Then we got to the new place around 7 and immediately put one coat of primer on the fugly paneling in the breakfast nook and one wall in the living room. We had planned on doing second coats on those walls, but we ran out of time. But that's okay. We're still making progress.

Oh, and I made the executive decision that since all the other rooms are painted white, I'm only going to put primer on the patches where I had to fix holes in walls, or where obvious markings and such were on the walls. Since they are white, it will be easy to put a tan-ish color over top of them. This will save us lots of time.

I'm also mentally preparing myself for the fact that we're going to have to move in furniture before all the wall stuff is finished. At least we can kind of place the furnishings in the middle of the room away from the walls and I can try to paint around it. It isn't impossible - just frustrating. But if that's what it takes to get it done, so be it. I'm losing one night of improvement time because I promised Jamie I would take him and his friend Josh to the skate rink on the last night of school (this Thursday). But as hard as Jamie has worked, I think he deserves to have a night to play. Also, Josh's family has taken Jamie to the skating rink many times, especially at the end of last semester. They gave me important final exam alone-time many a night during those last couple of days of school. I figure it's about time I return the favor.

Oh, I almost forgot. Jamie picked out an end of the year "thank you" present for his teacher. She recently bought her first house, and has been having fun buying plants and decorating her first real "grown up" home (she's about 8 years younger than me). So he thought it would be nice to get her a Home Depot gift card so that she could buy plants, or paint, or tools, or whatever she might need to do what she wants with her house. He's going to make her a card to go with it, and he wants to present it to her on the last day of school. I've also been informed by him that he is going to walk up to the elementary school and help her move her classroom and decorate it for next year, when the time comes. Next time I start grousing about how selfish and "gimmee gimmee" he can be, remind me of his generous and caring heart, as evidenced by his offer to her, okay?

Monday, June 01, 2009

(Mis)Adventures in Painting

We finally got all the ceilings painted in the new house. I wanted to have all thepriming and painting on the walls done this past weekend, as well; however, that expectation was before I had ever painted a ceiling. Walls I have painted in the past. Sure, I'm a little achy and sore after painting walls, but not to the extent I was after painting ceilings. Everything hurts - neck, back, legs, feet, arms, shoulders - the works. All burned and ached after the contortions and pressure needed to paint 8' tall ceilings.

On Saturday, Jamie's friend Spencer came over and helped us paint the ceilings. Jamie and Spencer took turns painting the edges (where the walls meet the ceilings) with a 3" brush all the way around the room, while I did the roller. Both tried to use the roller, but neither was quite tall enough or had enough upper body strength the keep up the pressure needed for a smooth, consistent layer of paint. On Sunday, Jamie's friend Jackson came over and helped with more trim, and I turned the two of them loose in the whole house with my drill and a screwdriver (they took turns on using the drill) to take down all the ugly blinds on all the windows. Then they got to carefully wrap up and stack them on the workbench in the garage.

I also got to be a spacklin' queen yesterday. There were several places on the walls where previous tenants had knocked fist-sized or smaller holes in the walls and - rather than patching the holes as any sane person would - they merely placed a solid switch-plate (no hole) over said hole. When I had Jamie take down all the switchplates and electrical outlet covers in preparation for painting, we discovered the holes. So I got to learn how to patch holes. This is a useful skill to have, as I accidentally knocked a hole in the wall at the old house when putting Jamie's bed together for the first time. Now I can patch it and not lose part of my deposit because of a hole in a wall. I also spackled over the grooves in the fugly 1970s dark faux wood paneling in the breakfast nook of the kitchen, then turned both boys loose with sanding blocks and the step ladder. This way, I can paint over the ugly thing without it being too obvious that it was once paneling.

Unfortunately, we had a mishap of epic proportions yesterday, though. I was using the putty/spackling knife to scrape paint lumps and such off the walls. What I thought was a big long glob of dripped paint in the living room happened to actually be a wrinkle in the wallpaper UNDER about six layers of paint. So when I scraped it with the putty knife, it took a huge swath of wallpaper off with it. Too large a piece to just spackle over it and keep on going. In fact, it is textured wallpaper. So all the other walls in the living room have that orange peel texture, while there's a large section that is smooth where the paper and paint were removed. Luckily, it was the short wall in the living room, the one where the front door and double window are located. So I figure I can get away with just taking down the paper on that one wall, then sanding and painting over that section. Also luckily, it's coming off without me having to steam or anything. I just grab a piece and peel, and a large section just rolls right off. But still, it's frustrating that I've hit yet another roadblock that is delaying me getting the darn thing done. I still have packing here at the old house I need to do, and I'm stuck working on stupid mishaps at the new house.

Happily, though, Jamie and I are going to have some help today at the new house. Jackson and his mom and going to come over after I get off work today and help me and Jamie prime the walls. The walls are something that the younger ones can help with. I have five rollers, so there are plenty to go around. I'm hoping between the four of us we can get the whole house primed tonight.