Criminal Minds is an oxymoron…

Standard

Finally, I have managed to drag another police story out of Sir Smiley! It really could be entitled, “10 ways to get caught” or “crime fighting for dummies”. Two separate incidents, same day, where the crime practically solved itself.

Michigan calls and wants Sir Smiley’s PD to go find a guy at a specific address to extradite him. So Sir Smiley and some coworkers go to ring the doorbell. First they get the history on the guy. Then they visit the house. All was quiet, but there was the tell-tale foil lined windows. It was a typical CHUDly house (citizens having urban difficulties). No one is home so they pack it up to head out. Sir Smiley checks with the neighbor and she didn’t know anything about the house or its occupants. But she tells her son who then tells the occupant of the house, when he gets home, that the police were looking for him.
Fast forward to later in the evening and Sir Smiley is advised by the radio supervisor that the occupant may be home. It seems they had received a call asking why they were at the CHUDly house. When they asked for his name he promptly cussed them out and hung up. Apparently the house’s occupant called the police to find out why the cops were there. So Sir Smiley goes to check on him and sure enough the guy was trying to flee his home and they caught him. What better way to clue the cops in that your home than to call them and practically tell them?

Same night, shoplifting call comes through. The shoplifter fled the scene and was spotted first at a furniture store, then north at a trailer park, then south to another trailer, east over the fence…all the while slowly ditching stolen clothes…then Sir Smiley finally caught up with him a few blocks away. As they approach him he starts yelling, “I stole those clothes to give to my dope dealer!” (all but negating the need to have witnesses ID him) Then when they found his needles he freely explains that he used those to shoot up heroin, so no need to prove that he used them for drug use.

This only goes to show…Criminal Minds is an oxymoron.

When it Rains…it Pours…

Standard

Warning…this is a bit of venting. So if your looking for a post that is all warm and cuddly you should probably skip this one. That saying, “When it rains, it pours” is almost literal for our family recently…or the saying of “saving up for a rainy day”. The past two months have been a string of events culminating in the newest frustrations this week. First we had dealt with termites just a few days before we left on that little trip of ours over Christmas. Of course treating for termites is always so cheap. (that was sarcastic…in case you missed the subtlety) Then once we got back all the kids got sick and several of our friends were…injured. (basically we’ve spent quite a bit of time in hospitals recently visiting all our “broken” friends…Sir Smiley’s term, not mine). Of course during this time, the clutch ceases to function in Sir Smiley’s car so we were down to one car for our family while trying to visit and help injured friends and sick kids. Which took over a week to fix. Then of course there was the incident with Sasquatch and her ear which you can read about here.. We made it through all of this and seemed to be finally getting back into some sort of routine, Sir Smiley’s car was fixed for much cheaper than we expected and the kids were healthy. Then the kids start to get sick again. Small annoyance, but it makes them clingy which made yesterday morning especially fun when it starts raining…and not just outside. Seems our roof isn’t quite as functional as one would hope. Our friendly repair guy neighbor came over and fixed it with a quick patch job but the bottom line is….we need a new roof. So sometimes when it rains it pours…quite literally…and it’s a good thing we had at least some money saved up for a rainy day.

Quotables Part Two

Standard

So….it’s been craziness yet again (more on this in tomorrow’s post) so instead of an actual post I will now update my Quotables section. So for your enjoyment…some more of my version of Kids Say the Darndest things…

Urpling is picking the marshmallows out of her Lucky Charms cereal with her fingers and eating them… Me – “(Urpling), don’t just eat the marshmallows…use your spoon to eat.” Urpling pauses, then sets the marshmallow she was holding on her spoon and eats it. (2.5 years)

Sasquatch holds up a movie, “It’s Cars!”
Me, “No, it’s Madagascar.”
Sasquatch, “Yeah! My gas car!” (4 years)

(SPOILER ALERT)The evil stepmother falls to her death in the movie Tangled. Sasquatch looks at me and says, “and that’s the end of the story!” (4 years)

Grandma covers her eyes and counts for hide and seek, “…6, 7, 8, 9, 10! Where’s (Sasquatch)?”
Sasquatch jumps out of her hiding place yelling, “Here I am!” (4 years)

Sasquatch is talking to Sir Smiley about buying paints and painting him pictures.
Sir Smiley, “Someday you could be an artist if you like.”
Sasquatch, “Yeah, well it’s almost time for bed.” (4.5 years)

(for you Dora watchers…whether voluntary or involuntary) Sasquatch finds and old fashioned bike horn at the bike horn and squeezes it. Then she announces to the entire bike store, “That’s how you wake up the big red chicken!” (4.5 years)

While reading Goodnight Moon I point to the elephant and ask Urpling, “What sound does an elephant make?” She responds without hesitation, “Meow!” (2.5 years)

I look at Sasquatch and say, “You’re adorable, do you know that?”
She responds, “Yup. and pretty.” 4.5 years)

Me, “What do you want for lunch?”
Sasquatch, “A turkey sandwich with ham. But no ham.”
Me, “A turkey sandwich it is then.”

Playing Go Fish with Sasquatch…
Sasquatch draws a card and shows it to me.
Sir Smiley, “Don’t show Mommy your card.”
Sasquatch does it again.
Sir Smiley, “You can’t show Mommy your card!”
As Sasquatch draws a third card, Sir Smiley reminds her: “Remember, do NOT show Mommy your card!”
Sasquatch puts the third card straight into her hand and then exclaims, “Look Daddy! Now I have TWO fishes!” (4.5 years)

Sasquatch, “I’m nice!”
Me, “Yes you are!”
Sasquatch, “Mmhmm! I’m nice, and pretty, and funny.” (4.5 years)

At breakfast I glance over to see Sasquatch has her nightgown over her head.
Sasquatch, “Don’t worry Mommy. I’m only showing my panties to myself!” (4.5 years)

Urpling at lunch, “I don’t want peanut butter and jelly!”
Me, “Well, what do you want?”
Urpling, “Ummmm….cookies!” (3 years)

At the end of Aladdin, when the Genie is set free, Sasquatch looks at me and says, “The Genie can’t fit in his bottle anymore…because he’s three!” while holding up three fingers. (4.5 years)

Sasquatch looks at her hands and says, “I have extra fingers, but they match!” (4.5 years)

Sasquatch, “This house is a heaven house!”
Me feeling flattered…”Yeah?”
Sasquatch, “Yep, because it’s warm and happy…and it has fans!” (4.5 years)

During a wind storm Sasquatch looks out at all the blowing objects and says, “The whole world is dancing!” (5 years)

Sasquatch, seeing all the icicle style Christmas lights says, “Christmas lights look like pixie dust!” (5 years)

During the Advent service at church our family did the lighting of the candles. Sasquatch was supposed to say, “God is hope” but instead she grabbed the mic and stated to the whole church, “God is sin!”

Me, “Who would like to say grace?”
Sasquatch, “Me!”
Me, “Okay! Everyone fold your hands and close your eyes!”
Sasquatch, “Grace!”
Long pause…”Okay then…” (5 years)

Sasquatch, “Hy husband’s name is David!”
Me, “Really?”
Sasquatch, “Yeah! He doesn’t like to be my husband, but I like to be his wife!” (5 years)

Sasquatch, “Mommy, I don’t hate this dinner!”
Me, “Thanks…I think…” (5 years)

There. I am now caught up. Keep in mind, these are merely the comments my kids say that I actually remember to write down. There are plenty of gems that are lost in the craziness of each day. Kids do say the darndest things…

Dr Jekyll and Miss Hyde

Standard

Maybe those of you with three year olds can offer some comfort. Urpling is now three…and her emotions are all over the map. Now I don’t remember Sasquatch being this bad…but maybe I’ve blocked these episodes from my memory. Now Urpling…I don’t know what to think. She may be about to start her period soon because PMS is the only explanation I can think of for her wild and insane mood swings. One minute she is adorable, sweet, the picture of melt-your-heart cuteness and then the next minute she is screaming like she’s dying or whining in a tone that is similar to nails on a chalkboard or seriously she groans and grunts like she’s pooping. Why? No idea but even Ghandi would have problems keeping calm through this torture. Mainly her fits seem to be brought on by some weird OCD thing. Like, the fan isn’t on when she goes to bed…even though it’s 30 degrees outside. Her buckle isn’t buckled the second she’s in her seat. I put the wrong booster seat on her chair. I turned a light switch on that she wanted…no…needed to. She wants me to give her 50 million hugs throughout breakfast or she’ll sob like her dog just died. There is no reasoning with her. No explanation is adequate for her. She just screams and wails until your contemplating violence in ways you never thought possible before. So please…tell me I’m not the only one!

Note: Rants from Mommyland again brings me comfort with this post

The Girl Who Cried Wolf…or Sick

Standard

We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. Well…most of us do. Some little boy is supposed to sit around all day and watch some sheep. Being a little boy, and being that is one of the most tedious chores I have ever heard of, he livens things up by randomly calling “Wolf!” so all the townspeople come running. He does it so much, however, that when a real wolf comes no one responds to his calls and the wolf eats everyone…or something like that. Moral of the story probably has something to do with honesty and such.
My daughter has become that little boy. She has discovered the glorious things that happens when she is sick. She gets to watch more TV, have special treats, special dinners at her request…the world is her oyster. (I have often wondered where that phrase even comes from) She is a fairly intelligent five year old, so she figures it would be even more awesome to experience all that when she’s well enough to enjoy it. Let me tell you, this girl could win an Oscar. A well placed sigh, a slight whimper and grabbing her stomach. She doesn’t overdo it. Just enough to get me worried. I have fallen for it dozens of times. Magically she is always cured when it’s time to do something she wants to…like go to the park, or church, or things that require health. But each time she plays this up I think in the back of my mind, “If I ignore this…it will be the one time she’s actually sick.” Sure enough, the day after we get back from that ridiculously long vacation she starts wailing every thirty minutes about her ear. I ignore her. Now, in my defense, I was exhausted and barely functional. She would always start with her ear, but than randomly change to other body parts…her head, her stomach, her bottom. It was Friday afternoon and our doctor’s office was closed until Monday…meaning that a checkup would cost 45 dollars instead of 15. All this caused me to ignore her…for the first 24 hours. But after a sleepless night I finally went in to the Urgent Care. Sure enough…she had an ear infection.
So, there you have it. Murphy’s Law: if you ignore your kid’s complaints, it will be the first time out of a thousand that it was legitimate and you will feel awful for months to come.

Brrrrrrrrr…..

Standard

It’s been a few days since I posted, but my brain apparently needed a week or two to recover from my trip. Be that as it may, I have several ideas for blog posts so I may actually post more often this week. :

First of the random thoughts swirling through my thoughts is this: It has been unseasonably cold where I live. Of course, having grown up in MN and also having spent a week or so there, the complaints here seem humorous. There is a youtube video going around Facebook of a clip from Jimmy Kimmel that is similar to my Facebook feed (see it here…it’s hilarious.). At any rate, living for eight years in a warmer climate has caused me to forget a few things. Now that my brain is starting to function a little more normally I figured I would share that list with all of you.

Things I forgot about living in the ridiculously freezing coldness of the arctic north:

All the extra crap you lug around: Yeah, pretty sure half of my van was filled with just coats. Coats, and snow pants, and mittens, and hats, and long underwear, and waterproof boots. Even just a trip to the mall requires an extra stroller just for the gear.

Actually putting warm clothing on kids: No longer could I just let my kids slip on some flip flops and run out the door, frolicking carefree. Now we had to put on shoes. Oh, and coats and stuff. My kids are extremely uncoordinated when it comes to putting their correct arms through the correct sleeves. Even their shirts were always short sleeved. What was an already arduous process became my own version of Mission Impossible I had to perform multiple times each day.

Foggy glasses: I wear glasses, mainly because I am too lazy to wear contacts most of the time. But when it’s cold out you are temporarily blind every time you enter a building after being outside.
Oh, and also, those glasses suck the life out of your nose when you are outside, and if you wrap a scarf over your nose…the glasses fog up again and you can’t see. So you have to choose between blindness or losing your nose to frostbite.

Ice scrapers: Apparently it can snow when it gets cold…and that snow (or frost) will cover your car and windows. Usually right when you need to be somewhere. These little utensils (or tools if you prefer) called “ice scrapers” are actually quite handy in these moments. Crazy! (This all should be read with an extremely sarcastic tone…just in case you missed that).

You know what else is handy? Windshield fluid that doesn’t freeze: Forgot about this one. My father in law, Mr Optimistic had to take a blow dryer to my engine to thaw the fluid so it would mix with the more appropriate cold weather stuff. Yeah, seeing out your windshield is a definite plus to driving safety.

Cold hands: Never occurred to me to warn the girls that snow is cold. So first time they see snow they start shoving their hands in the stuff until they start screaming from pain. They let their hands get so cold it hurt. They did this multiple times, so apparently when God passed out Simon sense (or at least the ability to learn from past mistakes) he skipped our family. Oh, and also the idea that when snow warms up…it melts. This concept was also foreign to my girls. Sasquatch made the perfect snowball and was carrying it around outside like it was her new best friend. I find out later she brought it into the van to take home. I found it out when she started sobbing because her snowball ran away. Yeah, that was a long conversation trying to explain the properties of snow and how that puddle of water in her cup holder was her snowball…

Pulling sled uphill: Sledding is awesome. Fun, exhilarating, and fast. Well, at least going down the hill is fast. But then you have to drag the thing back up to the top. Yeah. Not as fun. Also not fun, storing your old boots in a 120+ degree attic for 8 years and then wearing them in snow. They crack and break leaving your feet cold, wet, and unprotected. Just FYI.

Ghetto car wash at the gas station: I am totally going to have to do a post on all the ways my family is so ghetto (yeah, yeah…not a PC term. But I have never been very PC so deal with it). One way is never using a car wash. Well, I now remember the joys of a car that is covered in sand, salt and dirt so that it looks white…no matter the original color. But the windows always look great. Why? Cause in snowy states you actually use those little window cleaners the gas stations provide. I don’t think I have ever used one of those here at home…but at every gas station I cleaned my windows up there.

Freezing hair: If you shower and don’t blow dry your hair…it freezes stiff. I think next time I’m gonna try to sculpt my hair. Now that would be cool.

So there you have it. Never fear my cold weather friends…come summer I’m sure I can post a list of things to remember when it’s “gates of hell” hot out. (Aka, hot as hell…and that’s almost literally.)

Next Time

Standard

I have had a day to recuperate from my long trip. Here are a few stats for you…

I visited a total of 12 different states.
I was gone for a total of 19 days.
Sir Smiley left after 4 days so I spent 15 of those days traveling with my three kids alone. (not that the people I visited didn’t help…but it’s never the same.)
I traveled a little over 5500 miles on this trip.
It was totally worth it!

However, pondering this lengthy trip there are a few things I’ve learned. I totally intend on doing more trips like this in the future (the far…far….far future). But I there are always things I can do to make the trip a little more bearable. So for your reading pleasure here are two lists…one of the things I did right, and one of the things I will do right next time!

Nailed it!
Packing a smaller bag for the days of traveling. So instead of lugging out all my luggage for a three week trip I only had one bag and the pack n play to lug in and out.

Having kids big enough to push a stroller. The last time I drove to MN alone, Sasquatch was teeny and so I had to try and drag the baby (Urpling) and all our luggage, etc up to our room by myself with another kid who could barely walk. This time Sasquatch could push King Toot in the stroller, leaving me both hands to haul stuff.

Getting motels with an elevator. Again, the last trip where I was hauling pounds of stuff and a baby…I managed to find hotels with multiple levels and no elevator. That was fun. This time I made sure no stairs were involved.

Marking our atlas. Every trip I’ve started marking our atlas at each rest stop with a smiley face or frowns face. Fairly elementary but it clues me in on where to stop or what to avoid. Helps keep my stops in bathrooms with three kids from being disasters.

Next time!

I want to make copies of the maps so Sasquatch (and maybe Urpling) can have their own copies and help navigate. That way the trip is a little less Survivor and a little more Dora.

I want to take time to check out fun stops along the way and make it a more entertaining and maybe even somewhat education experience. If we have to drive 5,000 miles through 12 states, might as well get some hands on experiences with geography and history while we’re at it.

Only go for two weeks at a time. Two weeks was long but manageable. But three weeks? The back seat was beginning to look like some animal show off National Geographic and I was about ready to taser the next kid that whined at me.

I prefer traveling in the summer. It’s not just driving in snow and ice. But there are so many more things to do along the way when the weather is nice. Next time will definitely be a summer trip. (besides, it’s miserable here in the summer so extra motivation to escape!)

So there are the things I’ve learned for the next time I am crazy enough to take a trip like this.