So, I’ve been crazy busy the last few day with the Halloween Haunt and working. I’m a substitute teacher and because of Liam’s behavior issues, I can only work a day or so a week. My husband works out of town, not many people can handle Liam for long periods of time.

Anyway, over the weekend The Haunt began. Call time is 430 for our “house.” I have been getting home at 3 in the morning. I hit the bed and that’s all she wrote, I sleep hard until the damn alarm clock goes off the next morning. Liam takes his meds at 8am and 2pm, so I have to get up early for that (even on the weekends). AND I taught Sunday school at 10am on Sunday. But, you know what? As busy as I am, I’m happier. The more down time I seem to have, the more I stew on the woulda’, coulda’, shoulda’s. I’m not a morning, Oh boy, I’m not a morning person. For some reason, I’m a whole lot more productive in the morning and the middle of the night. (you know, when i’m supposed to be sleeping.)

Phillip has been in town for a couple of days, and he’s watching Liam so I can sub until he goes back. Monday and, so far, Tuesday, my classes have been fantastic. (knock on wood) At the beginning of class, I play: Guess why your teacher has no voice. They go to town. I’ve gotten everything from yelling at my family, yelling at the last class, going to a sporting event, and everything in between. They’re actually pretty creative. And they’ve, so far, been very understanding that I have no voice because I growled, yelled, and screamed at them, (those who went over the weekend) at the Haunt.


I took this picture in my car when I pulled into my driveway. I’m surprised my makeup lasted as long as it did.


Just another day… 1.2

I blog the good, the bad, and the ugly. Friday was a good.

Liam and I was house sitting for his grandparents while they were out of town last Friday. While they were away they gave us run of the house, including the pool. I knew that the new episode Paw Patrol was going to be on TV and we don’t have cable. So Friday we went over to the grandparents house.

His grandma has EVERY toy that has ever graced her doorstep stored in a closet under the stairs. Ever toy her sons had, every toy Liam has had. So the first thing we did was to pull out the marble run. If you’ve not seen one, it’s a series of interconnecting chutes that you drop marbles down. Each chute is different, some have waterwheel like spinners on them, some of them wind, and some of them divert the marbles to a different chute. Liam can and does spend hours playing with them.

Now I want to point out, Nick Jr. lies. They get a little boy’s, who can’t tell time, hopes up and then they don’t play the scheduled show at the time it is supposed to. They said that the new Tracker episode would come on at 12:00. I had planned the day around the assumption that the new episode would come on at noon. Twelve thirty rolls around and no Paw Patrol and they’re still advertising that it comes on a noon. I figured out that the episode that he wanted to watch came on at 3:00 just before I had to leave to go to work. *sigh*

So we went up to the pool to wait for the long awaited episode. Liam thinks he can swim and actually does a pretty good job. That particular Friday we came up with bubble kisses, where he would fill his cheeks up with air and give me a kiss. I haven’t hear this boy giggle like that in a while. We laughed so hard our sides hurt, and then laughed some more.


Just another day…

I started reading a book called Setting Limits in the classroom, which is a wonderful tool if you feel inclined to read it. I bought the book because, in the classroom, I’m a pushover and I knew it was a skill that I needed to work on. I don’t like to admit it but, I’m very permissive. A style which carries over to my parenting style. I don’t like to discipline, yet I despise the “discipline dance” and I’ve caught myself doing the dance over and over again, to be honest it just makes me tired. The dance ususally sounds something like this at home, it’s similar in my classrooms:

Me: Could you clean up your toys, please?

Liam: Yes, mommy.

(ten minutes pass and nothing has been done)

M: can you please, pick you your toys?

L: (if he acknowledges hearing me at all) I’m playing with them.

M: no you haven’t touched them since yesterday.

L: I’m playing with them. (moves toys around)

And so forth and so on, this interaction goes on until I crack and end up cleaning them up myself. Well yesterday, I told him he had until 12:00 to clean up his toys in his room or I was going to come in with a broom and some trash bags. I set the timer because I know he can’t tell time.  Ten o’clock rolls around, eleven o’clock ticks by, and 11:30 flies by and nothing. Not one single toy has moved other than to be examined played with and shown to me, almost in taunt to test my bluff. In the class, Liam would be several students who would prefer to talk rather than do their work.

12 o’clock: I walk in with a broom and two trash bags and start picking up his toys. I don’t say a word. Liam starts screaming because he has learned this is a sure fire way to get his way (though, not necessarily with me, but it’s worth a try.) I clean up the toys, some of them his favorites, and haul them down to the basement. Afterwards, I explain that in order to buy back his toys he has to earn so many stars for each bag.

Fast-forward to tonight, he tested his limits every which way we went out to City BBQ, on of my mom and my favorite restaurants. We ended up leaving with our dinner in a box before I was able to take one bite of it. Liam started in the car because I wouldn’t give him the IPad. I didn’t want him to run the battery down before we got to the restaurant. He threw his “I’m going to get what I want, and I’ll be darned if you’re going to tell me otherwise” tantrums. When he gets going on a tantrum it’s really, really difficult to calm him down. It’s almost as if he gets lost in the tantrum and doesn’t know how to find his way back to reality. He lost his computer privilages in the car, because of said tantrum. For once mom was in agreement that was the consequences for his tantrum. By the time we get to the restaurant, he had pretty much calmed down. We order our food, take our seats, and Liam, again, demands the IPad. I had left it in the car, I was going to hold my ground. He appeals to Gramma, to no avail and begins round 2. His screams reverberated off the walls. I knew the stares well from the other patrons in the restaurant, they ranged from 1. “control your child” 2.” your kid needs a good spanking” to 3. I understand whole heartedly.

Where am I going with this? I was very proud of my mom tonight, she stood her ground. She was the one who, for once, decided that she had finally had enough permissiveness and stood her ground. (I didn’t get permissiveness as a trait arbitrarily) I’m not saying we had to be mean to get our point across. Neither of us yelled, we boxed up our food quickly and efficiently and left. We got our point across to Liam, that this behavior was not going to be tolerated anymore.


I’ve been through many, many, many job interviews. To be exact, I’ve been to over thirty teacher interviews, I’ve lost track. And, I’ve been rejected over thirty times. That is to say, I don’t have a job per se. I work for a substitute teacher service and I sub when I can. My son is difficult to work a job around because of his behavioral problems and the potentiality that the school will call to come and get him. But I digress…

Yesterday I got a job. I’ve been rejected so many times, to hear an interviewer hire me was stimulating, a boost in self confidence. It was the oddest interview I’ve ever been on. I was asked to scream as loud as I could and prowl between two points.

Okay, It’s not exactly the job I was working my career towards. I will be a zombie. Not a zombie as in I’ll be tired all the time, I’ll literally be a zombie. A brain-eating, undead zombie.  But don’t ask my son about it, it scares him.

I am lucky to live in the geographic area of Ohio that I do because we have a many notable attractions and features in the area such as five dollar foot long Jesus, Kings Island Amusment Park, Miami University, Cincinnati University, and a vast array of art museums and sports statiums. I around Cincinnati, Ohio.

But as of Friday, I am the newest zombie at Kings Island Amusement park’s Halloween Haunt. I will be haunting every Friday and Saturday the end September through October.  Don’t worry, pictures and stories will follow because I’m sure there will be a few.


Five dollar foot long Jesus in the former spot of touch down Jesus. (I didn’t make up the nicknames, if you don’t believe me, Google it)


Touchdown Jesus was struck down by lighting.

My fur-ever friend


Liam and Toby building a snowman. I think Liam is eating the carrots that I was using for the face. Note: he’s tailless 🙂

Right before I married my husband, we bought a house. We spent, by we I mean my soon-to-be-in-laws,  spent the summer feathering the nest. The bathroom had to be refinished because the water didn’t run to the upstairs, as well as some other repairs such as glazing the windows. They really didn’t let me do a whole lot with the house, even though I was going to be the one to live in it. I worked a lot at the time, and I think they thought they were doing me a favor.


At any rate, a month after I married my husband I was getting lonely in my house by myself. We worked opposite schedules and we worked a lot. He was an electrician so his schedule was long and he was out of the house. I worked at a restaurant, mostly in the evenings. Cliché alert: we were two ships passing in the night.

I had been threatening/asking to get an animal for our house. I asked Phillip at first, he said no. I took his no as a soft limit. About a month later, a guy I worked with at the Olive Garden asked me if I wanted a puppy. He and his brother had went together and bought two puppies and his brother decided he didn’t want the pup anymore seeing as how he had broken up with the girlfriend responsible for getting the dog. Complicated, I know. He offered me the dog for $50. I said I would come over and see him.

I am one of those people who can look at an animal and instantly fall in love. Knowing this, I stopped at the bank on the way to his house and picked up 50 bucks from the ATM. Later that night I had to buy a dog bowl, food, collar, and a leash. I had bought the puppy. He was half Australian Shepherd, half Labrador Retriever. He had no tail. Though, in retrospect, I vaguely remember Mikey telling me the dogs previous owners had docked it or I might have made that detail up in my head, I don’t remember it was nine years ago.

I bought all of the accoutrements for the dog at target, I was in the store less than 20 minutes and the pup promptly baptized my car with feces. Give me a break, I never had a dog before, EVER. I was 27 and never had a dog.

I brought the pup over to my mom’s and visited my grandpa to show him my acquisition. He liked the dog as long as he wasn’t staying at grandpa’s house. My mom dubbed the pup Toby, after the cat we had that liked to knock olive jars off the table to eat the olives inside. I asked her if I was allowed to name my dog after a previous animal we had, she laughed at me and Toby stuck for his name.

I got Toby in November so he was probably born sometime at the end of August-beginning of September. So, it is Toby’s birthday, he is nine this year. My nine year anniversary to Phillip is Oct. 13 (not originally on a Friday, but occasionally it falls on one) and I always considered November Toby’s birthday because that’s when he came to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a strange greenish glow in his eyes. You could only see it at certain angles, I believed it to be the beginning of cataracts. My mother in law confirmed my suspicions yesterday. Toby is a good old dog and is wonderful around my son, even though Liam rough houses with him.

Inspiration struck

My son fell asleep on the couch last night, which is about the only time he is still. So, I drew him.


Black and white charcoal on paper. 2016: Liam asleep on the couch age 5



Years before when I was dating his daddy, before I married him :), I drew this picture of him.


Black charcoal on paper. circa 2001: Phillip age 18-21ish posing for me, because I was going to be a famous artist 🙂

The Country

It amazes me how going to the country can reset my whole outlook on life. Over the weekend my mom’s cousin, Bennie, threw an end of the summer, Labor Day party. Comparatively where she lives to where I live, she very much lives in the country. In my neck of the woods we can see the stars so I don’t live in an entirely urban area, but not like at Bennie’s house. When we arrived at her house, it was pitch, black outside.

My mom was telling me how when she was little and she would visit Bennie, and her parents, Aunt Pat and Uncle John, when she had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night they had to go outside to use the outhouse. Using an outhouse was scary enough, but it was hard for me to understand the ramifications until Saturday night. I have very rarely experienced the profound darkness that the country could hold on a moonless night. Though I still reveled in the stars, I tripped over a chair while walking down to check out the pig roast pit down the hill because I literally could not see my feet in the dark.

Back to resetting my perspectives. Every time we go visit Bennie, I wish I could stay in the country forever. When I come home I feel refreshed and re-energized; I feel like the world is full of possibilities.  I don’t know what exactly causes this burst in confidence, because in the same token I couldn’t imagine having to drive more than 20 miles to the nearest Meijer store. I do the same thing when we visit my Uncle Larry, who went out of his way to find the most country home that he possibly could, with the intentions of getting away from any city business.