April 30, 2013

Sleepless in West Palm Beach

I can't sleep again and I don't know why. It's not stress. All the big milestones have been hit. I won the election. The band trip is finished. My big deadline was met. (By the way, the cash award was really big...) My surgery is done, I lived, and although I still have this crappy 47 year old Mom body, I like my new navel.

But I'm not sleeping.

I went in for my pre-op a couple weeks ago and I was asked by three different people if I ever had trouble sleeping. With each of them I gave the same response: Yes. And each of them asked in turn: Have you ever taken anything for it?

It was like the automatic response.

And my answer is No. I never have. And to be honest with you, even when I took the one Vicadin after my surgery, I didn't sleep that great. I expected a four hour zonk-out and I was mildly aware of nearly everything that was going on around me... of the time escape.

I find it absolutely fascinating to be put to sleep. I don't know if it's because I struggle so much to sleep or if it's a science thing, but I think it's... freaky cool to go to sleep, know the entire world has been operating on all cylinders and you've time warped it.

I've done this twice and both times I've looked at the clock with a grin to see how much time I was unaware of losing. I can tell you what time the clock said both surgeries because I find it... absolutely fascinating.

As I was going under this last time, the Doc said, "Ready?" as he put the mask to my face and I said, "Go!"

I was ready to start the crazy lost time race. And sure enough, as soon as my eyes opened, I looked at the clock and started calculating time lost.

But that doesn't happen at night. The same thoughts should be applied in theory to every night, yet... I sleep so poorly, it doesn't.

I'm fine with not sleeping. It's not effecting me during the day, so I must be getting what I need. But there are times I think to myself, 'Wow, I remember what it used to be like... to be able to totally sleep and wake up so rested..."

Am I the only person who doesn't take anything for it? Because each time I've said, "No" when asked, each person stopped and said, "Really?"

Is there some great sleeping drug I don't know about?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:08 PM | Comments (15)

April 29, 2013

Projections

I was released Friday for all activity, except ab work. He said I might want to hold off on abs a bit.

One week and I was at nearly 100%. One week after some guy cuts into my stomach and I can do anything but crunches.

Crazy.

-------------

Am I the only person laughing at the absurdity of the whole ricin deal? From "Elvis impersonator trying to poison the President and others..." to "I don't even eat rice..." to "diabolical plot of someone trying to get even with Elvis man..." to on and on and on.

For the love of God. I'm always wondering what's going to come up next.

---------------

Ever have one of those days where its just... not good? I left today saying to my boss, "The bad guys won today. I'm coming back tomorrow..."

And there aren't any bad guys really (not today anyway), but just... things never really hit tap dead center.

One of those days. Ugh.

-------------

Bones had, however, a pretty good day.

It turns out that he was the ONLY kid in his English class to do their homework. Out of 24 kids... the only kid.

So as the teacher read the number, Bones raised his hand, said the vocab word and gave the definition.

Finally after #3, the teacher asked if there was ANYONE ELSE in the class that was ready. When there was no response, he shrugged and let Bones continue.

And that was when Bones got to #5 and sat there quietly staring at his paper. His teacher, realizing Bones couldn't pronounce the word said he'd say it and Bones could define it.

Me: What do you mean you couldn't pronounce it?

Bones: It was a tough word. Aqua something with an ess.

Me: *pause* acquiesce?

Bones: yeah, that's it. acquiesce.

Me: I use that word all the time. For instance, when they ask me at work about something at home, I might say, "Yeah, Bones wanted to do ABC, but I wouldn't let him. And he just hammered on me over and over and over and wore me the hell down until finally I acquiesced."

Bones, glancing sideways: *pause* Nice.

Me: But oh... so... true.

He knows that word very well now.

----------------

Bones can project. How well can he project? He projects so well, that now in Boys' Chorus, all the baritones have been moved to one half of the chorus while Bones carries the entire other half by himself.

Now it might seem at first blush that Bones should tone it down, but it would appear that the other baritones just flat don't sing. So Bones essentially sings the equivalent of 3-4 baritones that don't sing.

Occasionally Bones is moved to bass to fill out a weak section or a tenor that is not too strenuous to assist. (Tenor is becoming more and more of a challenge.)

Mostly he's a baritone, though, a kid whose voice started to change but never really finished. Fortunately he can nail most of the notes... although sometimes a bit flat... because everyone can hear him.

And this entire time, I thought the fact I could hear him during the performances was because I was his mother and I knew his voice. A month ago there was a big performance that a friend of mine attended. I got a txt from her.

GF: Hey! I'm here. Bones' group is performing. I can't believe how amazing they are.

Me: If you listen closely, you can hear him. But it may be just because I know his voice.

GF: NO. I can DEFINITELY hear him! And I don't even know his voice!

Just as I have said Bones' entire life, "Before Bones, life was black and white. He has added color..." so is his station in the choral groups. He adds that extra depth.

And he's not afraid to do it.

Bow tie pictures are coming. Evidently Ringo is a bow tie man now... even to school if a tie is required.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:21 PM | Comments (3)

April 26, 2013

Brought To You by the Letter Z

My eldest son is taking an AP Stats class that is totally kicking his butt. I mean, it's ugly.

The entire year he's said, "Mom, the teacher is smart, but he's terrible. He is a TERRIBLE teacher..."

Don't get me wrong, I have listened, but I'm one of these parents that isn't going to blame it ALL on the teacher. Take some personal responsibility. I know my son. And... I have said to him, 'you're going to have a couple crap professors in college. How are you going to handle it then?'

So I've been putting a 50/50 blame for the struggles of this class.

And throughout it he has said, "Mom, I think I might be doing better than MOST in the class..." and since he's been barely eeking out a C, I've been saying, "I cannot possibly believe this..."

Finally about 5 weeks ago he came home demoralized, flopped on the couch and declared, "I'm going to fail Stats..."

Me: You can't fail stats. That's not an option.

Ringo: I don't see how I'm going to pass.

Me: 1) We don't fail classes. 2) If you fail this class, UCF is going to send you a letter that says, "Ringo, thank you for wanting to attend our university, however, in light of your final transcript, we are going to have to rescind your acceptance. Thank you very much for thinking of us..." 3) If you are really going to fail this class, I need to get you a tutor and throw money at this and make it go away.

Ringo: He said that from now until the end of the year, we're going to have a quiz EVERY week. I can barely pass his tests. If I have 5-6 more quizzes, that could be 5-6 F's and I'm going to fail.

Me: I'm getting you a frickin' tutor.

And so I did. And the tutor has been a big help in getting Ringo prepared for the final, but exclamations such as the below, have not helped my feelings towards this class.

Ringo: Mom! I got a 9 on my last quiz.

Me: ?

Ringo: Out of 14.

Me: And... you're happy?

Ringo: YES! I got over 50%!

Me: Dude... it's still not passing. It's still a D!

Ringo: It's over 50%!

This has gone on for every week... with his waffling between 50% and 65%. On Wednesday he came home and this was our conversation.

Me, hopeful: So?! How as it?

Ringo: Miserable, Mom. Absolutely miserable. I got... a FOUR.

Me: *sucking in air* Out of...

Ringo: 10. I got a four out of ten. But, the highest grade was a six.

Me: So you essentially made one of the highest grades in the class... with a 40%?

Ringo: If he doesn't curve these grades, I'm so screwed.

Evidently, the teacher was going to add up these scores for a total of 100 points as one big test grade.

Ringo came home yesterday and said that the teacher threw out the two worst test scores, and added the rest, to give him one test grade. From there, he did a Zscore to determine where each student fell.

Ringo got curved up to a 97%.

So.

Here is a kid who never scored above a D on one quiz and he gets an A, because even though his grades reflected he had no clue what was going on, he knew more than 97% of the class.

I'm blown the hell away. Blown away.

I think that it is possible for me to say that my son is right that the teacher totally sucks, because let me tell you, there are some SMART kids in his class; smart motivated kids.

You know what bothers me? When you apply to go to college, the colleges don't know how bad your teacher tanked. They only see the grade. They don't see what went into that grade... the gradual demoralization.

Don't think I haven't let people know about this. I was told when I first complained, 'This is an AP class. It's supposed to be tough.'

I'm biting my tongue now, but trust me, I will not remain completely quiet... for long.

He's the smartest D in the class. Crazy.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:44 PM | Comments (8)

April 25, 2013

Not Quite the Right Answer...

We did 30 conversion problems last night. The first 15 were painful. There were tears of frustration involved.

His, not mine. I was the cheerleader.

The last 15 went pretty smoothly as something clicked.

Today in Math his teacher said, "And who can tell me how many seconds are in an hour?"

Bones said he was so excited because he knew that answer.

He raised his hand and was called upon, "Three thousand six hundred!"

His teacher replied, "Correct! And how do you know that answer?"

To which Bones said, 'Because my Mom and I did it like 80 times last night!"

And there was a pause and finally the teacher said, "Yes, there is that, but I mean... do you know how it is calculated..."

Everyone in his class now knows Bones Mom Knows Math.

I'm just waiting for the day that Bones does...

Posted by Boudicca at 02:56 PM | Comments (3)

April 24, 2013

As if.

Bones is doing conversions in Math. I'm being the cheerleader.

God help us.

Where do they get crap like this?

Charles ate 8.5 pounds of chicken in an hour. How many oz of chicken did he eat in a minute?

At this point, we agree that Charles can choke on his chicken.

And we really don't give a crap how many miles per hour Michael Phelps swims.

Really.

Oh... and Bones big feet... just an inkling. 10.5 shoe on a 5'3" body.

Bones Big Feet2.jpg

Posted by Boudicca at 08:54 PM | Comments (16)

April 23, 2013

Call Me Stay Puff

T is not too silver tongued. When he heard I was getting an award at work tomorrow (big deal being made), he said, very dryly, as he is the driest of all, "So, are they going to give you a raise or a plaque telling you how awesome you are?" (Neither. I think I'm getting $50 and I get to keep my job...)

Tonight I said to him, "This so totally sucks. My clothes still don't fit... I hate that very much..."

To which he replied, "You could wear comfy clothes like sweats and then say, "Sorry, I had surgery on Friday and I'm still puffy like a marshmallow." I'm sure they'd understand..."

I'm being presented this award in front of a lot of people, people high up, in a big office. I hear my customer may be calling in.

He knows this.

I know he was joking, but I also know he was laughing to himself at the thought.

Dork.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:00 PM | Comments (4)

April 21, 2013

Relaxing Friday Nights

Some people have boring Friday nights, wondering what in the heck to do. (Been there...)

Some people have Friday nights wringing their hands wondering where their kid(s) is(are). (Been there...)

Some people have kids blaring completely awful music through their home. (I don't tolerate that...)

And although I have been some people, on some Friday nights, I'm fortunate when a certain brass ensemble shows up to practice at my home. I buy pizza and bake brownies and throw them on the back porch so the music can waft through the Friday night air, hoping that others enjoy it as much as I do.

If they were beginners, I'd hole them up in the house.

But they're not. They're just a group of teenagers practicing. I'm sure after take 18 the neighborhood was ready for them to play somewhere else.

This is T's Quintet, minus the Tuba. He couldn't make it. (T is on the trombone.)

They will be playing at a local nursing home this week.

Posted by Boudicca at 01:56 PM | Comments (6)

April 20, 2013

Home Home on the Range

The staff at the hospital I went to is phenomenal. I hope I see my nurse again. She was very fun and we had a good time, both pre and post.

I was really afraid they were going to push me to take some nerve drug beforehand. She looked at me and said, "They have a nerve drug here if you need it, but you don't seem like you do. Are you nervous and hiding it?"

To which I replied, "hell no, I'm not nervous. If they were operating on my heart, that would be a different matter, but no major organs are involved here. I'm good."

When they tell you the drugs are in your system for 24 hours, they mean it. My throat wasn't scratchy from the tube until this morning.

Anyway, I'm good. I'm on advil only and may be able to stop that soon.

On to life.

Bones is a diva.

He is a high maintenance diva.

And he will keep at you until he wears you down. Since I've been out of commission the last 24 hours, I've been watching him work on his Dad like he works on me. It's been interesting to watch.

I now do not feel bad in the least that I lose it on him continually and say nasty things to him. Watching him in action working on someone else has made me feel very vindicated.

I say nasty things like, "I'm no longer listening to you. Bye Bye..." and I walk away. Or "You need to look in my face and see if you see any part of it that appears to be listening to you anymore or caring one little big about your sad sad story." Yup.

Anyway, I'll be good for work on Monday if I can find pants that fit.

And I appear to bounce out of anesthesia very well. My mind is on full alert as soon as I'm awake.

My first question was, "I'm awake. Can I go home now?"

My second question, following shortly thereafter was, "Did they catch his brother?"

Posted by Boudicca at 09:38 AM | Comments (9)

April 19, 2013

Repair work completed

We just talked to Boudicca. She is home from the hospital and back in command of her family and household. All hail!

Posted by TGOO at 10:06 AM | Comments (6)

April 18, 2013

Thursday Mornings

I spend Thursday mornings as a docent at the National Naval Aviation Museum, surrounded by aircraft that were flown in war and peacetime to keep this nation free. One of my favorite displays is a small observation aircraft, an O-1 Birddog. In 1975 when we were evacuating Saigon a young South Vietnamese Air Force Major crammed his wife and five children into that small two seat aircraft and headed west out over the China Sea. He spotted the USS Midway taking aboard helos, as we were bringing patriots away from the inevitable carnage. The skipper of Midway had some helos pushed over the side so they could get the Birddog aboard, and indeed, the major put her down on the flight deck and saved his family. The plane now resides in our museum. His family, as I understand it, lives down near Tampa. He comes back occasionally to reminisce.

Directly above the entrance to the building where I 'work' is a large two-engine R4D, a beautifully restored old bird that was the first to land at the South Pole in 1956. She's aptly named Que Sera Sera. Her 92 year old pilot, Gus Shinn, lives here in Pensacola and visits us from time to time.

One of the biggest attractions is President Nixon's helicopter. It's beautifully restored and many, many tourists stand in the hatchway and give Nixon's victory salute. Here is yours truly claiming "I am not a crook."

Nixon helo.jpg


Every Thursday before starting my day at the museum, I walk among the old airplanes and feel their karma. I touch them and whisper to them softly. I think of the pilots and crewmen who flew in these old war birds, putting themselves in harm's way again and again. I hear the rumble of the recips, smell the avgas, feel the vibrations. I feel the presence of some of the pilots nearby. I'm reminded of the Latin phrase displayed on the door of the chapel at the Naval Academy: Non sibi sed patria. Not for self, but for country.


Posted by TGOO at 09:40 PM | Comments (5)

Vocalizing

So tomorrow is the big day. Attempts to convince the surgeon to make my navel disappear fell on deaf ears as well as the push for any and all evidence of my child bearing years being eliminated.

Evidently the stretch marks and additional maternal fat store must stay. Fortunately, all my innards will be back in place, instead of trying to end up outside my body.

Always a pleasant thought.

So I've backed up my phone and now have a lot of video which is very fun. Unfortunately the video on my camera is not great, but you can catch the general drift.

This is Bones at Christmas with his current middle school singing group, that smaller group he auditioned for and made this year. You'll notice Bones in the center, just left of the director's head.

The video calms down, quits shaking so much, about 10 seconds into it.

I found out the high school he got accepted into doesn't travel nationally. However, they do singing around town.

If you happen to be in the DC area on May 10th and want to watch this group sing at the Kennedy Center, that's where they'll be. They are singing as part of the massive Festival Chorus, however, this small group is also performing by themselves. They really are excellent.

I'm off. TGOO, my Dad, will be posting. That's always a bit of an unknown... hmmm.

Ciao.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:14 PM | Comments (2)

April 17, 2013

Test Drive

While Boudicca's having her navel removed, I'll be in the left seat of the old Blogmobile for a few days. I'm just kicking the tires and taking it for a test blog.
The Great Omnipotent One

Posted by TGOO at 09:53 PM | Comments (9)

Highs and Lows and Suggestions

Today has been an odd day. I went in for my pre-op today for my Friday morning surgery. (I'm having a hernia repaired.)

Check in chick: OK, I see here they tried to get hold of you yesterday, but did not.

Me: I wasn't home. What for?

Check in chick: Oh, you owe us a co-pay before we can do your surgery. Your deductible. Hmm. That is $6000...

Me: *blink*

Check in chick:

Me: Uhhh... do you take credit cards?

Check in chick, cheerfully: We sure do!

Me: Ummm... well, let's see how this goes. I don't know what my limit is and I don't think I've ever even had a credit card bill half that. I think the most I've ever put on is a couple hundred dollars. So... let's see if it works... *inside I'm thinking, Holy frickin crap*

Check in chick: It worked!

Me: Great.

Lovely. I'd taken off of work, so at one point I sent a txt to my boss telling him of the bloodletting. His response was "Ouch" and my response to him was, "That's not the four letter word I was thinking of..."

Whatever. It has to get done. I wonder if my husband can stop payment if I die...

--------------------

Speaking of dying, my phone is. I'm waiting for the phone I want to go on serious sale... or to be free. Until then, I was able to back up all my contacts and videos and photos which means...

.... I'll be posting videos! I cannot believe how much Bones has changed. Good grief. In one year...

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The boys have decided they are hungry for cookies and since I don't have any in the house, they are baking.

Ringo: Mom, when it says cream, what does that mean?

Me: You're working with sugar and butter?

Ringo: Yes. Do I just do this *kneading motion* with my hands?

Me: No, that's called kneading... you need my mixer.

So the three of them are in there, laughing and carrying on, my mixer is going from fast to slow to faster to slow, like they are playing with speeds, and Bones is singing in Italian.

This should be interesting. I hear arguing about eggs too... and measurements. It's never a good thing when Bones is in charge of measuring...

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Lastly, this is my niece, the Wee Flambina, who just turned 2 last week.

I think if we had 'Bug Boot Day' and everyone in the world had to wear bug boots, we'd get a lot accomplished. How seriously can you take someone if they're wearing bug boots?

Or a pink feather tiara?

bug Boots2.jpg

If I were Queen, anytime two countries had to sit down together and sift out their differences, everyone would have to wear bug boots and pink feather tiaras.

And Congress would have to every time they were trying to pass a budget.

What they're currently doing is evidently not working. They should try my idea next.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:47 PM | Comments (8)

April 16, 2013

Mellow

Today is a hard day for everyone. We're all horrified as to what has happened.

And from a family level, the standardized testing for Florida is this week, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, and it's brutal.

So I've been going into my happy place, opening my memory box and taking out the memories of some fun things we've done. I love hearing my boys laugh.

We don't go to the beach during the day. Three of us are seriously white people who have no business living this close to the equator. We're supposed to be in the Nordic areas or on the Moors of Scotland.

So when we want to go to the beach, we go for dinner when it's cooler and we won't fry. We buy sandwiches and take a football or tennis ball for the boys to throw. This last time, we took kites.

This is mellow a few weeks ago. The temps were a bit cold for us and it was windy. Bones was flying a kite and his brothers were watching...

T and Ringo mellow.jpg

This is how we spend our evenings sometimes in the summer.

*sidenote, if you look at Mr. T's head, you'll see that patch of gray. The one he colored in with a sharpie, making his head smell.*

Posted by Boudicca at 09:44 PM | Comments (5)

April 15, 2013

Focusing on Bones

I know there are some bad things going on here in the US and I'm not posting on it because I have nothing to add that anyone hasn't already added. And this is my happy place... so I'm not going there today.

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Bones had the FCAT, standardized testing today. It was an entire day of Math. I don't know how they can expect two hours of math out of these kids.... and two sessions as well. I think it was a total of five hours of Math when all was said and done.

Anyway, Bones got in the car and I said, "So how did it go?"

Bones: Ok, overall. It was just... so... long.

Me: Did you have to guess on any?

Bones *wide eyed*: Of course. Oh you'll love this one... this is funny...

Me:

*Sidenote, this is not a good thing when he starts a story this way. It's akin to "Hey, Mom! Watch this!" No good can come of it...*

Bones: You know how you have those grids where you're supposed to actually grid in a number? Like you calculate the answer and then you grid it in.

Me: yes...

Bones: Well, I didn't want to leave it blank, so I made a J.

*Sidenote: His name starts with a J*

Me: I don't get how you can make a J...

Bones: Well, there is plenty of room, Mom. It's 5 columns of 0 through 9, so I just chose 1's all the way across for the top of the J. Then I chose 3's for awhile and then looped it up with 1's and 2's...

Me: But... baby... it will only read one number per column...

Bones: I know, but I didn't want to leave it blank...

I'm a bit lost. The computer is going to mark it wrong, but he has this aversion to leaving something empty, so he pretty much drew a picture.

This is Bones' new version of Christmas Treeing a test, but it was just on one problem. Thank God.

-----------------

So the moment we have been waiting for.

Bones... tying a bow tie like a shoe.

1) I've never recorded on an iPad before. I actually shun the iPad. I don't know why I don't like it. And I'm not very good at it. Which leads me to...

2) So I figured if I turned it so that they both showed up better in the screen, it would be fine. But it wasn't, so halfway through, you have to watch them sideways.

3) Yes, those are Christmas trees at the end. I won them at an Auction a couple weeks ago and I've not put them in the attic. So I'm half decorated for Christmas in my living room.

4) That's it.

We're still laughing.


Posted by Boudicca at 08:54 PM | Comments (7)

April 14, 2013

Funny Parents

There are some very funny and creative parents out there. I stumble on them by accident.

This one blog, it's all pictures, and absolutely cracks me up. Those of you who are not parents may not know this, but toddlers frickin' cry for no reason. I tell new toddler parents all the time, "Toddlers are bi-polar."

One minute they're happy, the next minute a complete total meltdown, and then literally laughing again.

My Mom and I still laugh at the time that T was about 4 (not a toddler) and had a freak out melt down because she didn't put the ketchup on his hotdog correctly.

Who knew?

That should have been a bit of an indication that my son was going to be the orderly type.

But my kids would freak, and I'd usually just roll my eyes and hum to myself a rendition of 'It had to be you' except I'd mutter words to my humming 'It's tough to be you...".

(Sidenote: I had a pre-schooler have a meltdown in a church parking lot once, the Presbyterian Church where he went to pre-school, and there I stood as he went on and on about the injustices of life, with tears, and as I opened the car door and belted out, "It's tough to be youuuuu... wonderful youuuuu...." I heard laughing and turned around to see the Pastor of the church witnessing my proud parenting moment.)

This Dad took it the next hysterical step and photo documented it. Now it looks like the kid is always on total freak, but he's not. Please. If you take ONE picture a day, and there are 365 days in a year, that looks like a lot of freak outs, when in reality, it's not so much, although toddlers usually freak two or three times a day.

From 15 months to nearly age 4, I tried not to go in public with my kids. I just never knew what the catalyst would be and since I couldn't control it, why bother? (And he is right... car seats... always a good catalyst in particular when you have a child who has just learned to walk, run or climb. They want to practice this new skill... ALL.THE.TIME... not be harnessed into a seat for an indefinite period of time since they have NO concept of time.)

So this is his page and I can't quit laughing because I swear to you, nearly each and every one of these events happened to us including an incident he hasn't had yet. We have a picture of my Dad with Ringo, flying a kite. My Dad is flying it and Ringo is crying hysterically.

To this day, none of us have any clue why he was crying. Now I wonder if it was a case of "He's crying because he couldn't fly like his kite."

And how many times did the milk go in the wrong cup? Or was it supposed to be water? Or did someone touch them and set them off? Gah!

Enjoy.

Oh and a gratuitous picture of my kids. I'll be posting these throughout the week as I finally downloaded some pix from my camera.

For those of you who have been reading me since Bones was 4, just entering kindergarten, he is now nearly 14, entering 9th grade. They were oh so very small then...

And odd as it is, do you know what I'm most proud of about this picture? All three of them insist on wearing watches. They're punctual kids. I love that...

Three boys 2013.jpg

Mr. T(16), Ringo(18), Bones(14 in June)- 2013

By the way, they don't have meltdowns anymore. Love that most...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (11)

April 13, 2013

A Clipped Conversation Between Mother and Son at Prom

I've posted before, we aren't big people. If I were going to describe our family, I'd say were were short, agile, smart, cerebral, quick thinking, and observant.

Tall didn't make that list, but as I've told Ringo in the past, "God gave us all a basket of blessings. Nobody gets everything. I like what I got. I'd not give up any of it to be Tall."

He has disagreed, being oh so very disappointed when he realized he was not going to attain his dream of being 6'4".

I never know exactly what to say. Let's look at Ringo's data, shall we?

Mom- 5'2"
Dad-5'5"
Paternal grandfather- 5'5"
Maternal grandfather- 5'5"
Paternal grandmother- 5'2"
Maternal grandmother- 5'2"
Maternal G-Gmother #1- 5'
Maternal G-Gmother #2- 4'11 (maybe)

So looking at the empirical data, nowhere in that direct line is there anyone who was going to offer any type of gene of the vertical kind.

Anyway, it bugs him sometimes, as it appears he's tapped out at 5'4", but the initial shock is off, and he's moved on.

For the most part, it's still not something to joke about and I suspect it never will be.

Most mothers at Prom, I suspect, get all sappy. But this is ME. And Ringo. Sappy will be Bones. Ringo and me? Not.so.much.

The kids all rode to Prom on a 'party bus'. So we met at a club of some kind 30 minutes south of us. We were milling around as pictures were being taken.

Me: Good Lord, these girls are tall. And, they're all wearing like 6 inch heels. I didn't know they made them that tall.

Ringo: They are.

Me: I swear these girls are all 5'10" to 6'4"

Ringo: I know...

Me:

Ringo:

Me: It's the hormones.

Ringo: Hormones?

Me: In the milk.

Ringo: I need hormones

Me: I fed you organic.

Ringo: Damn you.

Heh.

Ringo senior Prom2.jpg

Posted by Boudicca at 09:52 AM | Comments (8)

April 11, 2013

Let's Hear it for the Boys

First, let me get this out of the way. I have now watched multiple videos on how to tie a bow tie and whereas I think that it is not complicated and definitely 1) a skill my boys should know and 2) something easy to master, it is NOT like tying a shoe.

No.

At no point do you throw a shoelace to the side or over a shoulder.

Only that first part where you do the overlappy thing is it the same. After that, it is not.

So, getting Bones on Video doing his first experiment of tying it like a shoe has the potential of being very very funny.

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T's math class is kicking my ass. It's time for him to take Calculus. I might have a prayer.

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Ringo's Eagle Board of Review is Monday night.

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I'm obsessing about what kind of car I want to buy in 3 years. I'm pouring over Consumer Reports and what I've realized is that the auto industry is just not where I want it to be yet.

I really want a car that gets 40 mpg, is reliable, and is not a hybrid.

And I was going to buy new since I obviously drive my vehicles into the ground. I'm approaching 225K. By the time I get rid of it, I should be at 270K if my transmission lasts that long.

So I'm obsessing. Every time I park at work I look at the cars around me and see what everyone is driving. I come home and look things up in Consumer Reports to see what kind of gas mileage they really get and about how much they cost.

Scion has a cute little car now, an FR-S. It's too much money, but it's fun to look at. And I'm still playing with the little Mazda 3 in my head, although my mechanic told me not to and I'm not sure the gas mileage is worth the noise.

I'll be looking at used now as a crossover until the industry gets to where I want it to be.

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Ringo was in his car tonight coming home when T, Bones and I were coming home too. He pulled up beside me, looked into the car and grinned.

He has spent extra money replacing his tailpipe and all sorts of things. His car is loud and he and the boys like it.

I hate it.

I tell him when I ride in the car that I can't hear a damn thing and I think I'm going to have a notch in my hearing from that low rumble pitch.

So it was dark and he pulled up next, grinned, and slowly gunned the motor just ever so gently so it made it sound like he wanted to drag me.

And to picture this... there are cars all over, he and I are at a stop light, he in a muscle car that is sparkly clean and all dark gray testosterone, and I'm in a 2004 sand colored Toyota Sienna mini-van.

He a young 18 year old good looking man, grinning.

Me a 47 year old non-descript mom looking person, shaking her head.

And it completely looked like he was gunning me to drag... muscle car young man vs. asexual Mom-mobile Mom.

It had to look absolutely absurd.

I shook my head and said to his brothers, "Everyone around us has got to think he is the biggest a-hole."

Honestly, it was really funny.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:15 PM | Comments (17)

April 10, 2013

Like Riding a Bike

Ringo is going to prom in a couple weeks with a young woman with whom he is friends. She needed a date for her high school prom, he knows all her friends, instant prom date.

She happens to be from Great Britain, so with his tux, he got a red vest and my husband bought him a Union Jack tie.

As he was going through his tux rental for this weekend's prom, he picked up his tie. (Similar situation, except this one is at his school. ) The following conversation occurred:

Husband: You do know the tie I bought you is self tie, unlike the one you have in your hand that is already pre-tied, right?

Ringo: Yeah, I know. It's no problem.

My husband walked out. Bones leaned in to Ringo and me.

Bones: You know, I've never tied a tie, but I hear it's just like tying a shoe... (Shoe was said like shoooo)

Me, looking at Ringo:

Ringo, looking at me:

Me: You can't make this sh-- up.

Ringo, in his low amused laughter voice: I don't even know what to say...

Bones: It's true...

Me: I'm going to bed.

Bones: It is...

I'm picturing Ringo with this long piece of Union Jack silk on his neck and Bones trying to tie it around Ringo's neck like a shoelace. If it happens, there will be pictures.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:26 PM | Comments (7)

April 08, 2013

Getting Bones Ready for HS

Sometimes, being the parent means you see what's coming and you make the choice not to tell your kids. It's just easier not to deal with the constant diatribe of drama leading up to the event.

When Bones was accepted to the Art school, we got a packet for course selection. I read through it, trying to figure out what we're supposed to do. I'm trying to figure out their drill.

Some people think high school was a breeze. That will not be the case for Bones.

If you don't pass the FCAT, you have to take remedial math and/or reading, depending on which you fail.

Bones hasn't made above a 2 on the FCAT in math... ever. We're hoping he'll nail a 3 in reading this time.

The kid just doesn't test well, and it's pronounced in math and after going through the 140 word problems in math, I get it. I totally get it. By the time he's halfway through, he's done with all the dang reading and trying to sift through what they want. He's mentally beat.

Forget the fact he's so ADHD. At least he's aware. He knows now that there are good days and bad, which seem to be unexplainable. He'll get in my car and say, "I was fine until 5th period, then I just kept zoning. I couldn't focus to save my life."

It's progress. When he sees himself like that, he tries to find ways to focus, like asking the teacher if he can stand in the back of class or getting a drink of water.

Anyway, I'm not telling him about the remediation stuff because he'll freak during the FCAT. I'm praying he gets a 3 on the reading. I personally think he NEEDS remedial math at this point. But he needs to move on in reading. He doesn't need that...

With the struggles we've had this year, I just don't see how he's going to get through high school. If he can get through anywhere, it's at this Art school... but it's going to be a tough row.

And since we have to stay on top of him for everything, I am realizing... my husband and I are about to pass high school. Again.

I suspect it will not be as fun as it was the first go round.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2013

Who Knew There Was So Much Drama in Math?

This is the first day since October where there isn't something bearing down on me like a frickin' freight train. I'm sitting here thinking, "Hunh. What does one do with no stress in their life?"

Seriously, how screwed up is that?

Don't get me wrong, something will come up, I'm sure. I live a life. Bones will have a big math project due, T will have some big deal come up, Ringo will drop a major ball.

But today it was quiet.

Last week, Bones had a 140 problem math project due... all on line. He got it in November and told me it was due April 15. I believed him, because sometimes I'm stupid that way. We started it off and on in November, but getting him to actually PASS math became more of an issue. So we left it until 1 April, knowing we had two weeks.

Except when I pulled it open on 1 April and really looked at the directions, it was due 5 April. And about 100 kids now realized they had to get it done and overloaded the servers, so it would take 15 minutes to do one problem.

Did I mention it was 140 WORD problems? Of which we'd only done 15%?

This is the problem with Bones: when you give him a word problem, he gets too caught up in the drama of the problem. He can't drill down to what they're asking.

Case in point.

"Bill is in Washington DC and walks 5 blocks east and 10 blocks north to get to the Washington monument. If he were to walk a straight line, how many blocks would he have walked?"

I think, "Pythagorean's theorem"

Bones thinks, "Why didn't he take the bus?"

Case in point #2.

The Wright brothers build their first airplane... blah blah blah... they used self locking nuts. A self locking nut is a... blah blah blah... and will not come loose during vibration. If one were to draw a triangle from the center to a corner of each side, the center of the nut is x degrees, calculate the measurement of angle B.

I think, "Ok, the hexagon has six sides. We can calculate the measurement of one of the angles of the nut using the n-gon formula, half it, then we have two angles and we can subtract from 180."

Bones thinks, "Hunh. Self locking nuts. I didn't know they had those... I wonder why they work that way."

The day before this was all due, I realized we were in big serious trouble with system overload and decided to pull him out of school at Noon so he and I could sit down and work through them before everyone else got out of school. Evidently I was the only Mom who 1) knew this was due and could help or 2) thought of this.

I had to sit with him. As I said, he gets caught up in the characters, the drama, the story. He gets distracted by the blue triangle and the red triangle, forgetting that we're looking for similar sides and proportions.

So I let him get carried away in the story line, and then yank him into the math, "What are they asking? Let's look at the last sentence and forget that Sally has blonde curly hair..." which was the description of the girl selling tickets to the football game.

I picked him up from school and this was our conversation. It's not uncommon for Bones to ask what I do and really want the details. Since what I work is not classified, I speak freely, hoping he'll see how what he's learning in school has real world application:

Bones: How was work?

Me: Stressful. Lots going on.

Bones: What are you working on?

Me: Coating limits and repairs... it's kind of nutty right now.

Bones: How are those self locking nuts?

Me: No troubles today with the torque, that was last week. Wait. How did you know that?

Bones: I didn't. But if the Wright Brothers had self locking nuts, then I figured you do too. Hey. I don't remember anything about the math, but I know about self locking nuts now!

So Bones has become knowledgeable about lots of little things, but still doesn't know anything about Math. That's not his gig.

I wish they'd do things the old fashioned way and just write straight out math problems. Bones cannot be the only kid who can't get past the stories.

Posted by Boudicca at 02:20 PM | Comments (13)

April 04, 2013

IN!

Bones has been saying he's not nervous about whether he got into the vocal department at the local high school.

Not nervous at all.

Yet he's been checking the mailbox every day, which he never does.

Today he ran out and came in with a large white envelope that said, Congratulations! and has postage with the Celebration USPS stamp.

The kid is in.

Now let us pray... he can stay there.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:03 PM | Comments (11)

April 03, 2013

Company C

In the center of the pack and at 2:01, that would be the trombonist I know bestest.

In the back left would be a certain bass player I know.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:46 PM | Comments (7)

April 02, 2013

Conversations That Make you go *Blink*

My second son has a shot of gray on the left side of his head, just above his ear. It's about the size of a dime and anyone who knows him, knows this is his mark.

I poked under it recently and found a freckle/mole, so I think there is some sort of pigment issue going on since there is a mole under it.

Anyway, I was sitting next to him today when I looked over and jokingly said, "You know, you could color that with a sharpie..."

Mr. T: It makes my hair smell funny.

Me: The gray splotch makes your hair smell funny?

Mr. T: No... the sharpie does.

Me: You... colored the gray splotch with a sharpie?

Mr. T: yeah, I did. And it makes my hair smell funny...

Me: Hunh. I was joking.

Mr. T: Hey, it worked. It lasted three days...

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Ringo is going to Prom with two different girls, obviously different proms. Prom is really expensive now and what I've found with his friends is nobody really goes with a date. They all just pay their own way, but pair up in advance.

The girl buys her dress, her prom ticket, and his boutonniere.

The boy rents his tux, buys his prom ticket and buys her corsage.

All the kids meet a one home, the parents show up, pictures are snapped, and the kids go to prom, all hanging out together, but kind of sort of paired off.

The ultimate no pressure date.

"I'm not going to prom with anyone, are you? No? You wanna go? Great."

Pretty much sums it up.

So to his own high school prom he's going with a girl I've never heard of.

Me: You're going to prom?

Ringo: Yup.

Me: What's her name?

Ringo: Karen Smith.

Me: Hunh. Do I know her?

Ringo: No.

Me: In class with you?

Ringo: AP Stats.

Me: She passing?

Ringo: C's. Same as me. Tough class.

Me: Not her gig?

Ringo: Nope.

Me: She of the Smiths as in the granddaughter of Senator Smith?

Ringo: Dunno.

Me: So, where's she going to college?

Ringo: Dunno.

Me: *blink* She's a senior, right?

Ringo: Yup.

Me: And you don't know where she's going to college?

Ringo: Nope.

Me: What in the hell do you talk about?

Ringo, looking into space thoughtfully: I dunno. Not that...

Who doesn't ask where someone is going to college? Isn't that the big talk in the last two quarters of your senior year?

Hunh.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:33 PM | Comments (4)

April 01, 2013

Living with Fools

My two sisters in law are visiting. My husband has two older sisters... most of you know... one extremely right wing and the other extremely left. You cannot be with two people more polar opposite in their beliefs, yet so similar in personality.

I love them both dearly, but they cannot stay in my home at the same time. They make each other bat crap crazy and the fighting will escalate to stuff they make movies about on the Oxygen network. It stresses me out when they both stay with me, so we make sure each has a different place to stay.

Last time they both stayed with me, I told my husband I was moving out. When they realized I really was done, things calmed down, but it should never get to that point.

Anyway, so they're both here. God love them, they're probably two of the most neurotic people I've ever met, short of the dance teacher at school. My sisters in law are sane, just... neurotic.

Today Bones went to the beach with both of them. I begged off. I don't do the sun in the middle of the day and so since they didn't get off until 3 (don't go there with me regarding their timeliness issues) they thought I would go with them. I assured them there was no reason for me to go.

In reality, I knew I could not...

Bones told me tonight, "Mom. Oh my God. I went to the beach with them by myself. We were in the car and I thought, "what did I get myself into? I just wanted to go to the beach..." Mom, it was bad..."

But he had a good time and they calmed down. Evidently, he had to be the adult.

Bones.

So my one sister in law asked me if there were April Fools jokes in my home. I replied, "I live with fools all year round. My whole life is one big joke. Please..."

Bones decided, however, to play a joke on his aunts. He decided that he'd put coffee in the water tank of the guest room toilet so when the toilet flushed it would be poop brown.

I told him coffee was too expensive, so he used Nesquick and water.

Sure enough, my sister in law came out tentatively, "Bou... umm... at first I thought maybe someone needed to drink more water because the water in your toilet was dark, but after I flushed... I think you're losing your well..."

Of course this broke Bones up. He wanted them to think our water was contaminated.

He also wanted to replace Ringo's deodorant with butter. He had dreamed up some way to do it, but I nixed it. Ringo is like me. We don't do April Fools.

I can't even imagine what it would be like if Bones actually got a stick of butter in Ringo's deodorant stick. I'd be unscrewing him from the ceiling.

No thanks.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:00 PM | Comments (6)