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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tales from the Crypt: Fingers crossed!

I think we might be nearing the end of my work with The Crazy Man. I can't believe I even typed that last sentence.  It's been a long time coming and many hoops were jumped to make this a reality. I am pleased to report there is a senior living community in Chevy Chase, MD that has accepted him and gave him an apartment.  The Crazy Man has already signed the lease and started paying the monthly fee.

This could actually be the end this time.  Really.  He has begun moving stuff in to the new place and the movers are scheduled for this coming week to get the rest of his stuff.   I am not exactly sure when my last day will be.  There is still too much that needs to be done to shut down the office; change his address on a gazillion businesses, doctors offices and subscriptions, go through the files and pull the important ones that need to go with the move, and trash a lot of very old, nonsensical stuff.  Not to mention cancel his current service with Verizon, his gym membership, and get new service started.  It's exhausting thinking about it, but at least I am nearing the end and he can start driving a new person crazy.

I've worked for The Crazy Man for 6 years!  How I lasted that long is beyond me.  I am not sure what will become of him now.  Not that I am tooting my own horn on how great I am, but there is probably no one who would've lasted this long. He really is emotionally exhausting to be around.  And over the years he has gotten worse with his crazy ideas.

I expect at first there will be a ton of phone calls asking me questions and needing help.  I will do what I can over the phone, but as for going to Chevy Chase, I've said no, absolutely not. This is my chance to make a clean break.  Or, as clean as I can since he will still have my phone numbers.  But at least I can chose to answer the phone or not answer it.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving in two weeks and being thankful that I was able to get out while I could.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

10 very popular digits

It's quite apparent that Verizon has recycled their phone number a little too soon.  Ian's cell phone is seeing a lot of action these days.  We've determined that it must've belonged to an elderly woman who died.  A woman's medical practice called and said her insurance info is now out of date.  Another call came in asking if she'd be interested in a making her bathtub a walk-in shower. Ian receives a ton of calls from the Tampa, FL area.  Like up to 20 a day!  We think she must have moved to Florida at some point.

The funniest was a phone call from a landscaping company checking on the project they would like to start.  I told Ian to go ahead and ok the job. Start it immediately!  (Just kidding.  Ian never spoke to them.)

We've told Ian not answer his phone for any number he doesn't recognize.  And I've told Ian to block the number so he doesn't get bothered with it again.  But the calls keep coming. The woman gets more phone calls than Ian does. Actually Ian gets no phone calls.  Most of what Ian does is text.

I wish there was a way to ensure a phone number sat unused for a year or more to weed out calls like this. It would certainly make Ian feel more like a 12 year old boy and not get mistaken for an elderly  woman. :)


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lucy and the Halloween candy

We've had Lucy more than a year now and she is darn near perfect inside the house. She NEVER, (and I mean never!) chews on anything she shouldn't and doesn't get into any trouble in the house when we leave her by herself.  We've never taken the steps to put anything away or out of her reach before we leave her alone.  Well, knock us over with a feather on how shocked Samantha and I were when walked in the house Friday evening, just 3 hours after being gone.  Jeff and Ian were at the movies so they didn't see what happened and it was all cleaned up by the time they got home.

Lucy got into Sam's Halloween candy.  Sam had a pretty big bag full (I'm talking like a Wegman's recyclable grocery bag size).  The bag was located in Sam's bedroom.

When we walked into the house, it looked like a Halloween candy massacre!   There were wrappers everywhere.  Most of the candy she wasn't able to get into and gave up after smooshing the fun size bar flat in her mouth and spit it back out.  But the tootsie roll lollipop was 1/2 eaten and after finishing the yummy center, she stopped eating the rest of the lollipop.  I wonder how many licks it took her to get the center?  Hahahaha!

The candy trail continued up the stairs to Sam's bedroom.  That's where we found the biggest mess of her efforts.  She took the grocery bag and turned it on its side and got most of the candy to come out.  She apparently loves whoppers and once she opened the wrapper, she ate all of them.  But when it came to the peanut m&m's, she put each one in her mouth and then spit it out without even taking a bite.  How do we know?  Because when she spit it back out, each peanut m&m was left colorless.  Lucy also has a liking for 100 Grand bars.  That she managed to open the wrapper and finish.  On top of Sam's bed was a kit kat bar that was placed there by Lucy.

After Samantha and I cleaned everything up, we go into my bedroom and Sam notices that there is now a twix bar on Jeff's side of the bed by his pillow.  I guess she was bringing him a present. I am not taking it personally that she didn't leave me any candy.  We get a good laugh and are happy that she didn't manage to eat more of than candy than she did.  Dogs are not supposed to have chocolate.

The next morning, I go downstairs and see a 3 Musketeers bar in the middle of the room, on the floor.  I know for a fact that it wasn't there after we cleaned up the mess the night before.  The candy bar was smooshed flat, but she wasn't able to get in the wrapper.

About 3 hours after that, Lucy comes up from the family room and is carrying a Milky Way in her mouth.  WHAT??!?  I'm now thinking that Lucy has a secret stash of candy hiding in the house somewhere.  What a character!

Lucy must've been very busy as soon as we left the house on Friday evening. I would've loved to have video footage and be able to see her in action.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

187 days to go...

That's the number of days to go until Ian's Bar Mitzvah. I still can't wrap my mind around this upcoming milestone.  I remember every bit of mine like it was yesterday and now, I've got a son about to become a bar mitzvah.  Holy smokes!

187 days from now is going to be here before we know it.  We are approaching Thanksgiving and you blink, it will be January 2018. I have a master to-do list of all the items that need to be taken care of, and then small to-do lists broken out by months on when to do them. I've been made fun of because of all I am trying to get done as early as possible.  The more I feel I can accomplish now, the better I sleep at night.  I've become obsessed, really. And I see no plans of stopping until it is May 13th.  I am planning to take Monday, May 14th off from work and sleep the whole day.

I never intended to get caught up on all the traditional things that go into a bar mitzvah  (programs, slide show, personalized kippah, centerpieces, party, entertainment, hotel room blocks, etc), but our original plan of doing a destination bar mitzvah in St. Thomas never really took off.  Jeff, Ian and I fell in love with the idea of just going away and having the service in this really beautiful, very ancient synagogue, located in the Virgin Islands.  I especially loved the part of not getting caught up in having to plan and execute a gazillion different things.  The thought was, if you wanted to come, we'd love to have you, but we really wouldn't be expecting you to make the trip.  We knew the immediate family would go; it would be an intimate gathering and no crazy fuss.  For several reasons too long to go into here suffice to say we scrapped that idea and decided to keep it local.

Ha!  So now we've gone in the complete opposite direction and this evening event on Saturday night is growing bigger by the week.  It's going to be spectacular (we've got a very fun and awesome theme), and I am really excited.  Ian is putting in the hard work studying and this party (dare I use my most favorite word "Extravaganza!") later that day will be very special and joyous as we celebrate. I don't do anything halfway and I'm all in.   I've gone from one end of the spectrum to wanting to do the bare minimum and just show up, to already logging many hours of effort, planning, and worry on making this entire day a success.

It's funny, I am finding out a lot about myself that I probably already knew and its just become more apparent on this much bigger scale of planning needed, more than probably anything else we've done (other than our wedding). I have reconfirmed that my mind doesn't stop, ever!  Subconsciously I am always thinking and can't let it go.  For example, even after I invest more than 12 hours putting together a slide show and feel really great about it, I let it go for a week and find that in my sleep I am continually working on tweaking it.  A week later, I give it another 1.5 hours and have turned it into a masterpiece in my opinion. I am so, so proud of it.  Fortunately I have now viewed it more than a dozen times and no longer tear up watching it.  So there's that.  

I'm making progress on my to-do list and am now working on December and January's items. I'm still hoping for lots of snow days this winter to move things along.  I've only got 187 days and there is a lot to do!


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Girls with their dolls - Take 7

And rounding out the trifecta in Fall traditions, we celebrated being back-to-school at American Girl Restaurant.   I am pretty certain that this is something that has probably started to shift from originally being done for our daughters to now leaning towards more enjoyment for the moms.  We really get a kick out of our tradition and don't see it stopping even when the youngest of the girls heads off to college.  It is such a special thing we do each September.

Sam's very BIG milkshake - cotton candy flavored



The girls decided to see how many things they can balance on their dolls' heads.

Our wonderful group!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How do you like them apples?

We are knee deep in our activities involving our Fall traditions.  We managed to accomplish 3 (yes, 3!) of them all within the same week.  Right after Flu Shot Extravaganza we followed it with our annual pilgrimage to go apple picking. 

We had such a great experience last year that we returned to Marker-Miller Orchards in Winchester, VA.  While it was unseasonably hot to be apple picking (86 degrees!!), the orchard had tons of apples ready to pick and it was not overly crowded.  We arranged to go with our good friends who we go with each year and have our strategy mapped out perfectly.   Apple picking and then ice cream!  I am realizing that my kids don't lack opportunities for ice cream.  We seem to work it in most everything we do.

Jeff believes that the amount of time spent at our destination should be at least equal to if not longer than the amount of time it takes to get there and back in the car.  Unfortunately Apple Picking in Winchester (a 1 hour, 20 minute drive each way) does not fall into the equation of a worthy outing.  However, the apples are yummy and its a fun thing to do with the family. And did I mention that ice cream is involved?   So without questioning the amount of time sitting in the car, we do this and we enjoy it.

I think we've officially added buying apple cider cinnamon donuts as part of our apple picking outing.  A dozen of these way-too-yummy-to-stop-at-only-eating-one of the donuts found their way into our car as we headed home.  Just 24 hours later and we only have 4 left.  And, no, I can't even eat them.

I've been busy and already made 2 loaves of Apple Cinnamon Bread with the apples we brought back. Yum!   And we've put smiles on our neighbors faces and gave them some apples too.  Apples for everyone!


Quality control - it passed!





3 people stopped Samantha and told her they liked her shirt.  :)






Our apple picking crew

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Flu Shot Extravaganza 2017

Gosh, I love our tradition of how I get the kids (and myself) vaccinated from the flu each year.  Flu Shot Extravaganza has become quite the event.   Each year we meet up with our good friends, get the vaccination, do dinner and then get ice cream.  Can you ask for anything better when having to get a shot? 

Unfortunately the mist is no longer manufactured and therefore, it's the needle or nothing.  This doesn't sit well with Sam and I can never tell if she is going to go thru with getting it done, but somehow the idea of dessert at the end of our evening is enough of a motivation for her.  And we are making progress in Sam's resistance.  Last year I believe it took approx. 40 minutes of trying to get her to stay still before the nurse could stick her.  This year it only took about 10 minutes.  Albeit, it was a loud 10 minutes.  But she did it!

Ian was a rockstar and wasn't even sure the nurse stuck him.  Dinner this year was at Olive Garden and ice cream after was Baskin Robbins.   Flu Shot Extravaganza = best idea ever!



Don't let the smile on Sam's face fool you.  It went quickly downhill from the very next second.

Our very sweet ending!