Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ian's no-good, very scary, not funny practical joke

Imagine you are 9 years old, home by yourself, at night, and it's dark outside.  Now imagine that after being home for about 1.5 hours, you start to hear voices come from your bedroom.  Men's voices.  And imagine, you are downstairs, not near your room and can't really make out what the voices are saying, just that there is definitely voices and its coming from your bedroom.

This exact scenario happened to Samantha the other night.  Unbeknownst to Jeff and me, Ian set her Alexa to start playing the "Hamilton" soundtrack at 8:00pm.  Can I just say I would've been creeped out at my age, let alone only 9 years old.

When I heard what happened, I felt so bad for Sam.  And I was very upset with Ian.  This was so not cool of him. 

Apparently Sam got even.  When she got confirmation that it was Ian behind this so-called joke and not the boogeyman, she went into action.  Very quickly, Sam went into Ian's bedroom and took a bunch of his stuff and hid it around the house.  She wasted no time knowing that Ian and Jeff could be home any minute.  Unfortunately for Ian (but for fortunate for Sam), she couldn't remember where she put some of his stuff, including his iPad.  Ha!  I got a call to remotely activate from my iPhone an alarm on his iPad so it would make a sound and they could locate it. 

I am not sure if Sam managed to level the playing field, but I give her mad props to being creative under pressure and do what she could, given what she had to work with.

Needless to say, Ian will not being doing this again to his sister.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It is The Greatest Show!

The movie that was so poorly marketed that I had no desire to see it?  The Greatest Showman.

The movie that created a huge buzz on my Facebook newsfeed by many of my friends and prompted me to want to see it?  The Greatest Showman.

The movie that had me running back to the theatre to see it again and again?  The Greatest Showman.

The movie I couldn't believe how many of my friends told me they went back to the theatre to see it again?  The Greatest Showman.

The movie that has us singing the soundtrack on a continual loop?  The Greatest Showman.

WOW!  What a movie!  This is my newest obsession; trying to convince everyone I know to stop what their doing and go see the movie ASAP.  It is amazing!  And totally lived up to the hype by my friends who had seen it before I did.

Gosh, I love a good musical!  And when you go to see it a 2nd time, you get a big smile on your face because you know how great it is going to be.

PS. I can count on one hand the movies that I felt compelled to see again in a movie theatre.  I believe the last time was "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".  And before that it was "Hidden Figures" and "Goodwill Hunting".  And before that "Grease".

Monday, February 5, 2018

Snow, please.

We are in that time of year when we closely watch the weather forecast and hang on every word the meteorologist says wishing to hear that lovely word "snow".   From Winter Break to Spring Break it's rare to have a full week of school.  There have been teacher work days, school holidays, and a string of two hour delayed openings having us be successful so far.

The county we live in is very quick to be overly-cautious and close school in a heartbeat if there is any sign of ice or snow accumulation. The kids wake up each day and ask if they have to go to school that day or if its opening on time.  It's pretty funny. We've had a string of chances of snow or a light dusting, but nothing report worthy.

We want a big snowfall.  A blizzard would be nice. Something that shuts the city down and gives us a chance to be stuck at home.  A chance for the kids to go sledding.  A chance to get sick of the snow.  This is what we all want. We have all these snow days built into the school year -- 13 of them!  We don't get them back if we don't use them, so let's use them!

The last two years have been disappointing on the amount of snow we've gotten.  Each year the kids and I get hopeful that this will be the year...another snowmageddon!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

New milestone.

Ian is in full Bar/Bat Mitzvah partying mode.  On average he is going to one every other weekend.  The majority of them Jeff and I are not invited to and we do a drop-off and pick-up for Ian.  Each party has its own uniqueness to it. 

This past weekend he attended one that was kids only and they turned the community center into a big dance environment, complete with DJ, loud music, and neon, strobe lights.  The DJ has an assistant or two and they orchestrate games, dancing, and lots of activities to keep the kids entertained. 

I picked Ian up and asked him if they played any slow songs for the kids to dance to.  Ian said "Yes."  Of course my next question was "Did you dance with anyone?"  Ian said "Yes" again.  You can see where this is going...I had to ask "Who did you dance with?".  Ian said it was with the Bat Mitzvah girl herself.  From the information Ian shared with me, all her friends came running to Ian and said, "You are going to dance with Andie, right?"  So Ian said yes. While Ian was dancing with her (only one other boy was dancing with a girl), all Andie's friends were circling around them taking video with their cellphones. 

Oh my gosh.  How cute is this??  One can only assume that Andie must really like Ian.  Aw.  I asked Ian if this was the first time he had ever danced with a girl and he said yes.  This was a milestone moment for Ian. 

I am begging Ian for someone to text the video they took of Ian and Andie dancing  Which by the way, went on for 3 songs!!!  Ian isn't going to any great trouble to get it to me.  Of course not, but I can hope.  I am just impressed that Ian even told me as much information as he did.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The end of crazy

I wake up each day with a sense of freedom that I haven't had in a very long time.  My part-time job with The Crazy Man has dwindled down next to almost nothing.  He has moved to his new place; a retirement community in Chevy Chase, MD.  This is a good thing.  However, he has abandoned his house he was living in and there is still a ton of crap all over the place that needs to be discarded.  It's either old furniture he no longer wants, or filing cabinets filled with old files, or shelves that hold a whole wall of books, or closets full of all kinds of clothing.  Its not pretty what this house looks like. So that is not a good thing. 

The realtor can't begin renovations to get it ready to sell until everything is gone.  Meanwhile, The Crazy Man is paying both a mortgage and a HUGE monthly fee to live in this posh community.  This is going to pose a pretty big problem for him sooner rather than later because he really needs the proceeds from the sale of the house to afford him the new place.  Not only does he not have enough money to keep this going for much longer, but his ability to check his balance on his bank accounts is not so easy for him to do anymore since I stopped working for him and gave him timely updates on what funds he has available. Again, not a good thing.

Randomly I'll get a call or two from someone he has hired to work for him looking for something specific. It's an easy question for me to answer and then I'm done.  I am intrigued by this because the person who calls me has a strong accent and I know for a fact The Crazy Man can't deal with people who don't speak English as a first language.

There are many more idiosyncrasies going on, but honestly, its exhausting to think about.  I do know I set up the appointment for Verizon to install his new phone, tv, and Internet, plus forward his new number to the people who call his old number.   He missed being there for the appointment and Verizon left.  The reason The Crazy Man missed the appointment?  Because he was busy visiting 3 different ERs and hospitals that week.  OY!  It only gets better when he calls Verizon to reschedule the missed appointment and the whole order is replicated as a new one.  There is now a completely new phone number assigned and no new number is being forwarded.  What a mess!  But you know what?  It's not my mess.

There is a weird void in my day and I often find myself wondering what new trouble he is getting in to and what off-the-wall stuff he has someone doing on his behalf.  I certainly don't miss working for him, but I have to think I have a bit of PTSD after 6 long years of visiting his brand of crazy.  It's a weird feeling to know that I am done.  I really never thought I'd see the day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sort of growing up.

Apparently its a thing for kids in middle school to meet at our local shopping center and just hang out.  I've heard about it from one of my mommy friends who have kids Ian's age.  Only her kids are a bit more popular than Ian and seemed to be moving at a faster speed in doing new things.

We recently had a teacher workday and the kids found themselves with a free day.  Ian gets a text the night before from one of his friends asking if he'd like to meet at this shopping center the next day.  Ian comes to me and asks if its ok?

Ian (totally nervous): So um, Brian texted me and would it be ok if I met Brian tomorrow at University Mall?

Me (not letting Ian know that I knew it was totally a thing for kids his age to hang at the mall):  What's the plan when you get there?

Ian:  What? 

Me: Yeah, when you get there, what will you do?

Ian: Um, you know, I'll have some money and my phone (saying this in a very nervous voice).

Me: Ok, fine with me.  Just let me know what time I should drop you off.

Ian comes back in my room 5 minutes later and says Brian just texted him and he is being forced to go ice skating with his younger sister and her friends so tomorrow is off.

Ha!  I had to laugh.  These kids are trying so hard to be independent and make plans.  But as quick as a snap of the fingers, their plans can change and they have to do what their mom wants.  This kid Brian sounds like a good kid. I haven't met him but I like him already.

Ian, Sam and I decided to go to Dave & Buster's during our day off.  As we are walking inside Ian tells me that if we see anyone we know, I shouldn't say hi.  He is torn between wanting to go to Dave & Busters and not wanting to be seen with his mom and sister. It's a tough age to be.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Dinner Fail.

Several months ago, I jumped in to the deep end with the Instant Pot mania that has taken over our region. I embraced it without hesitation and have had many successes to speak of.  Even Jeff is most impressed when I put in a bunch of uncooked ingredients and voila!, in no time, we have a yummy dinner and no pots or pans to clean. It's like magic.

This past week I found a recipe to make that had the most amazing comments describing it..."Best dish ever!"..."Everyone loves it!"....."So fantastic!!"  "This one's a winner!"  and "So easy!"  It had all the ingredients (chicken!, broccoli!, rice!, cheese!...yum, right?) that my family loves to eat and sounded like a no-brainer to make on a busy weekday.

So I loaded all the ingredients in to my magic machine and set the manual button for the required time.  It was so easy and so fast.  I felt like I was winning at this dinner thing.  The table was set, the family came home and the instant pot beeps it is finished turning my pile of ingredients into a fabulous concoction. 

As I go to scoop out a heaping spoonful I notice the rice is not cooked. Not even a little. Every other thing looks cooked perfectly, but the rice looks like it just came from the bag.  It's crunchy and the pieces are tiny; many, many tiny pieces.  Way too many to take out of the dish.

What can I do?   What options do I have with a family ready to eat dinner?  The only thing that comes to mind is to serve it anyway.  Everything else is cooked, it's just the rice that isn't.  Can't the majority on this be enough?  So yes, I gave my family uncooked rice to eat.  And not just a little of it, but a lot of it!

Each person in their own way, took a bite, made a face and then commented that next time I should cook the rice.  It was very funny.

Here's the thing...the dish was yummy!   We can all imagine just how much better it will be with cooked rice.  I've since tried to figure out where I went wrong and have come to the conclusion that using brown rice was the issue.  Brown rice takes a lot longer to cook than white rice. Even the easiest dishes can be a problem in the wrong hands.  Next time I will get it right.