Monday Stuff, random stuff

Bring On the Random

number1 Today was a busy day.

I’m sitting here, desperately trying to write this post before A. Kevin gets home (I will fail, I waited too long), B. dinner burns, C. it’s time to go tan, D. it’s time to go walk (HELLO poochy belly) and E. before the clock strikes midnight.

Because there is just SOMETHING about posting a little something something on my blog every day that turns my drive shaft — I must do it!

But back to my day …

Dude and I went driving. Actually, we had actual places to be today as opposed to just driving aimlessly around.

If you haven’t heard, (where have you been and will you come back?), Dude got his braces off last week. He had them on for a whopping three years and he’s been a DIFFERENT kid since they’ve come off.

Seriously. He’s like all pleasant and fun to be around now. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Where did the moody, and grouchy old Dude go and can we make sure he stays wherever he is??

I can not believe the change in Dude. I’m absolutely serious when I tell you, he has totally changed. I don’t know if his straight, pretty teeth have given him confidence or if he’s so relieved to have those stupid things FINALLY off, or if he has just reached a point in his maturity level that he finally feels comfortable with who he is, but whatever the reason, I’m in parenting heaven.

It’s been a very welcome change. He’s a real pleasure to be around.

I took him in to get his teeth cleaned at 10:00 a.m this morning. I’m happy to report, not a cavity in sight. Can I get a hell yeah?! That’s the good news. The bad news is that we don’t have dental insurance on the boys anymore (just on me and Kevin), so we had to pay for this cleaning out of pocket.

And they did x-rays. Which means it was TWICE as much as we were anticipating. *SIGH*

You might be wondering why we don’t have dental insurance on the kids. Well, the only time the boys are ever in the dentist’s office is for cleanings. And considering I only take them in to have their teeth cleaned about once every two years, we’re paying a bunch of money in premiums that we aren’t using. So even paying out of pocket, like we did today, we’re still coming out ahead than if we had been paying insurance premiums all this time.

And that’s the reason I just took Dude in to get his teeth cleaned and not Jazz, too. We have to space this expense out so we’re not overloading our credit card — it’s all about balance, my friends. I’ll take Jazz in next month for his cleaning, right before he has his orthodontist consultation.

Dude and I then went to Jiffy Lube to get the oil in his car changed. While we were waiting, we walked over to McDonald’s and I bought him a Big Mac (nothing for me, thanks. Remember the poochy belly?) While we were there, we talked about the possible reasons why he was feeling so brain dead and groggy lately.

It could have something to do with the fact that he sits at his computer all day long and never gets any exercise to speak of. But what do I know, I’m not a doctor. 😉

The bottom line? We had a really nice conversation. A grown-up conversation and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Like I said, parenting heaven.

We then walked back over to Jiffy Lube just as the guys were finishing his car up. They had to put in a quart and a half of transmission fluid, which I thought was weird, but they said he didn’t have a leak, so I was relieved to hear that.

That’s all we need right now, a blown transmission.

At 1:30, we went back to his orthodontist’s office to pick up his retainer. To my surprise, it wasn’t the traditional wire retainer at all, but one of those invisalign thingies. And to put the cherry on my surprise treat, they want us to come BACK again on Wednesday so he can have some sort of wire put on his top teeth. Apparently, his dentist is worried his teeth will shift back and do the overcrowding thing again.

Dude was disappointed, to say the least. He thought he was done, but apparently … no. At least the kid doesn’t have a mouth full of hardware anymore and he can take these suckers out from time to time. He has to wear the invisaligns for two weeks straight, and then he only has to wear them at night. It sounds like the wire thing will be on for a lot longer.

This all sounds like a major pain in the arse, and it is, but it would be so much worse if we invested all of this time and money into making his teeth straight only for them to revert back to the way they were.


*sigh* It’s always something.

number2 I stumbled across a new concept the other day on a site and I’m really excited to get involved. It’s called Say It Face to Face and the lovely sisters, Susan and Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom started it.

In essence, it’s a video conversation. Someone asks a question and you respond by videotaping your answer.

This is right up my alley! Though I’m not exactly CRAZY about putting myself out there for all to see and make fun of, it is fun to make videos and …. well, here is why I put myself in front of the camera for all the world to gawk at. I made this video in response to Susan’s question, “Do You Hate Being on Camera?”

I can’t wait to make more response videos and to pose my own questions. Come play! It’s kind of scary to do video at first, but I promise, the more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it and it really does create a personal and intimate vibe with your readers.

number3 I’ve been using my children as bait.

No, I’m not proud of this fact. But yes, I think it’s necessary, at least, in this case.

There are certain people in life who require a push now and again. They’re not exactly unmotivated, but they’re not exactly motivated either. They are sort of stuck in limbo between leaving an old life behind and starting a new one.

They’re at the crossroads and instead of making a decision on which road to travel, they just sort of set up camp and watch people pass them by.

Dude is one of those people. And so is one of my nephews. He graduated from high school this past May and he moved down here to live with his dad. The plan was for him to get his license and then get a job, or something along those lines.

The problem is, none of that seems to be happening. He is still under the assumption that I will taxi him and my boys all around town, that he can spend the night every weekend and that I will continue to pay his way to the movies, bowling, etc.

I feel like I need to put my foot down and gently “push” him into becoming an adult. It’s time. It’s past time, in my opinion. I can’t, and I won’t, play babysitter to boys who are old enough to drive and do things on their own. I feel like I’m only hindering the natural progression of things by being their taxi and event coordinator.

And yes. My nephew knows what’s going on. And he has assured us he is planning on taking his driver’s test, but to my knowledge he hasn’t yet. He’s also quite annoyed with me because I won’t take two hours out of my day (he lives 30 minutes away, one way), to pick him up and then take him back home.

And he’s further annoyed with me when he volunteers his dad (who works nights and I’m quite sure isn’t exactly thrilled about taking two hours out of his day, either) to drive him over and I say, “uh, no.”

He’s missing the point. The POINT is for him to grow up and get that license. Once he has that license, he’s MORE THAN WELCOME to come over, of his own accord, and hang out with us for the day (he’s still not spending the night every weekend. We have lives, after all). Then he can drive his dad’s car home in time for his dad to take it to work. He will have gotten his license and the ball will start rolling on him taking charge of his future.

Because if he doesn’t get that license, he won’t have the transportation to get to a job, or to drive to class, or whatever he plans on doing with the rest of his life.

Yes. I feel like the wicked aunt from the West. But I honestly believe I would be hurting him more if I continued to cater to his immature whims than if I put my foot down and, well, nudged him toward maturity.

It’s called tough love and fortunately, unfortunately (?), I’m quite good at dishing out the tough love. Just ask my sons.

Believe it or not, Dude has not been upset with me over this struggle with my nephew. In fact, he’s been quite understanding and I believe it’s because he knows, in his heart, it’s the right thing to do.

We have talked, at length, about why I’m being so stubborn on this issue. And I think it’s taught him a lesson that 1. I expect the same sort of initiative from him when he reaches that point (which will be very, very soon) and 2. that life IS scary when you reach that crossroads but that’s no excuse not to make a decision and travel down one side or the other.

My dad dished out a lot of tough love with me when I graduated from high school and though I was upset with both of my parents at the time, looking back, it was not only the right thing to do with me, but it made me grow up.

And Lord knows, I needed to grow up.

number4 Kevin’s band played at The New Key Largo this past Friday night and wow … they RAWKED the house. It was the best performance I’ve seen from them.

They all just gelled. And Kevin actually loosened up. He’s usually so stiff and awkward when he plays but he was really getting into it that night and I was so proud of him I thought my heart would break free from my rib cage and do it’s own dance on the dance floor.

I saw a side of him … well, that I haven’t really seen in the 21 years I’ve known him. And I’ll be honest, it was sexy as hell.

I saw him in a whole different light when he was up there and it wasn’t just from the colored spotlights, either. He looked … confident, yet vulnerable, sexy, yet modest, dangerous, yet safe.

I really can’t put it into words. All I know was that it felt like someone shot my relationship with a new awareness and I left feeling the way I did back when we first started dating.

It was a bizarre, yet … strangely satisfying feeling. I guess bizarre because I COULD feel like that about a man I’ve known half my life and satisfying because he belonged to me.

Little ole me.