Monday, June 29, 2009
UPDATE: I left out that her next victim was within my vicinity. The skincare rep. walked up to this woman with the same "DDF Free Sample Day" line and then said, "Oh, you look like you have some oil issues. Do you have a hard time controlling the oils on your face?" I wanted to lean over and say "Hey, she told me I have mature skin, so you got off easy," but the woman quickly admitted to having issues with oil control, so I minded my own "mature" business.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Here is the last photo I will post from our moms/kids trip to St. Louis. This was taken at the arch by one of those tourist trap photographers. Surprisingly, it turned out to be the best group photo we have ever taken!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
So the next step was to write an e-mail to the corporate offices of the hotel chain. I explained the situation, what happened and finished with "I would expect that if I end up having to have my house treated, that they would reimburse those expenses." Um, I doubt it, but it felt good telling them that.
Anyway, within a few days, I received a phone call from their customer service department saying they were sorry about my experience and they have filed a concern report and they gave me a file number. They said I would hear from the hotel by June 30. Well, I did hear from them. Here is the e-mail I received. I am NOT editing it in any way, shape or form except to put it in italics.
we are sorry for the inconvinece you had at hour hotel
There was issue with the room and front desk clerk try to moved you other room and since you decided not to stay at over hotel we had issued the full refund and we did not charged your card for the time you stayed at over hotel.
Hope we can serve you in the furture.
I can say this: good or bad English aside, this hotel will NOT be serving me again. My "issue" was not a drippy faucet or a leaky window; IT WAS BEDBUGS. Why on this earth would I want to be transferred to another room when those little shits are probably lurking there, too, just to hitch a ride home on our belongings and take over my house?
I will be following up with the corporate offices again. Depending on how it goes, I may just list the name and address of this hotel for all to see. Not that it will have a huge impact, but damn, it will make me feel better!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For all other times, I get a sitter. One of our sitters isn't too much older than Big E, so I use her only when I need a sitter for the younger two. Our older sitters are so damn busy, it's hard to get them. My college babysitter is going on vacation this week.
So what is a mom to do when she REALLY wants to go out with her friends while her husband is out of town and no one is available to watch this gang o' boys? She stalks the nannies at the pool in her subdivision. Yep. I walked right up to one of them today, introduced myself and asked if she babysits in the evenings. I then entered her name and number on my cell phone and voila, I have one more babysitting option! I AM resourceful. (And as it turns out, my neighbor boy/guy is available, so I will save the nanny for the future!)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Now on to my real post - I am blogging today at Wednesday Spaghetti; a delicious and very simple recipe for Linguini with Vodka Tomato Sauce. If you're really looking for a pick me up, just have the vodka and forget the linguini and sauce!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
A friend turned me on to Pandora. I love this! Check it out if you like to listen to music while you are on the computer. She uses it in her classroom - she teaches high school art and lets the kids select some tunes while they are working. Cool teacher!
This week at the pool I saw the brattiest kid I think I have seen in a long time. I don't just mean ornery or highly spirited, I mean BRAT. And his mom doesn't even notice because she is too busy reading her magazine. When he sprayed her with his super soaker, she finally noticed him and she told him to stop so he sprayed her again. She got out of her lounge chair and he ran and jumped in the deep end knowing she wouldn't go in after him. She walked about 1/2 way around the pool to the deep end, but decided to stop and talk to another mom. THAT will show him not to misbehave. That is one MINOR example of his behavior and he did that after he kicked Sous Chef in the stomach and pushed CJ almost to the ground and spent the day tormenting all the kids at the pool. I, however, did not let him get away with picking on my kids and gave him a talking to. I also told CJ the next time "Water Wings" (that was my name for him, even though I do know his real name) splashes him or pushes him and he doesn't stop when CJ asks him to that CJ should return the splash or push him back. Water Wings heard that and was really nice to CJ from then on. CJ, however, totally ignored him. I'm a bad ass like that and think "turning the other cheek" only goes so far. Water Wings is a fine example of why I don't really like other people's children (and don't think too highly of the parents, either).
I am having a fun day today. MG is out of town for work for what seems like forever. (No bedbugs in his hotel room, though, according to his search, which I am sure was not as thorough as my search would have been, but he is pretty grossed out by this whole thing, too, so I know he checked.) My friend and roommate from college is treating me to a pedicure today and then we are going out to dinner. Her husband is going to watch all of the kids (they have three kids, all about the same ages as mine and they play well together). After that, we are going back to her house and joining the block party on her street.
Friday, June 19, 2009
And did you know you can get 500 bites in one night? I am a little irked that they feast on human blood. Come on, now. Why can't they feast on human fat? Kind of like an organic liposuction treatment. Imagine, 500 suckings of fat each night. Now that would be something to look forward to.
I am still inspecting bodies on a regular basis. I have a bug bite. I am freaking. I keep reminding myself I was out in the yard and flower bed yesterday pulling weeds and trimming off dead flowers and could have easily been bitten by a mosquito or any other non-bedbug bug. I don't get many mosquito bites, but there was no one else out there for a mosquito to go to, so maybe it chose my sweet self.
My husband is out of town. I have confirmed that he has scoured the room. No bedbugs for him, thank goodness.
Check out this report from March, 2006.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
CJ, who's five, makes me proud. We were walking back from the Poultry Days Festival to our tent. CJ looks at me and says, "Is it just me or do I smell beer?" I had to chuckle, we had just passed an Ultimate player who had an open container. No surprise that all of my kids recognize the smell of beer. Big E, who is 12, was hanging with some college and older
We were exiting from the interstate the other day and CJ said "We're getting on the highway." I explained we were actually getting off of the highway. He argued with me for a second. As we were on the entrance ramp to the interstate, he said, "Now we're getting off of the highway." I am thinking, "hhhmmm...does this kid have 'off' and 'on' confused?" I explained we were getting ON the highway. His answer? "No, we are going down a hill, how can this be the highway? This is the low-way."
I was watching the finale for Desperate Housewives of New Jersey and Sous Chef came in the room during their big, profanity filled fight. He then says, "I hope that woman has a lot of money because she owes the swear jar some cash." Funny, we don't even have a swear jar and we never have. He then said, "Now that is what I call a heated discussion." Now those are some classy broads. I am reminded again that money does not buy class or good taste.
Monday, June 15, 2009
My husband is an "ex" Ultimate Frisbee player. He played in a league here in SW Ohio for many years and traveled to many tournaments, within the US and also England and Scotland. He has way too many injuries now that flare up and his body just says NO to playing anymore.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
The night I moved hotels and I was in our bathroom at 2:00 in the morning going through every stitch of clothing and luggage, I lost it. I was laughing so maniacally, so hysterically, that if anyone had heard me, they would have certainly taken me away in a straight jacket. The only good thing about that is that they would have sedated me! Part of the laughing was because if I didn't laugh, I would have run screaming from the building, even though I had thoroughly inspected the mattresses, floor boards and drawers in the new hotel and declared an "all clear". The other part of my hysteria was that I really did think it was quite comical, in a crazy sort of way. Really, what else could happen? Maybe having to outdrive a tornado when I have five kids in the car? Yeah, right. Like that would ever happen....
Friday, June 12, 2009
Let me give you a little history of our trips:
2007 - We head to Omaha, NE (we were living in Overland Park, KS at the time). Why, you ask? They have a wonderful zoo. We also found a children's museum that was good for the ten and under crowd. I think five moms, one grandma and 11 kids went on this trip. One of our kids throws up in hotel's indoor pool and closes the pool for 24 hours. That leaves 11 kids terrorizing a hotel with one our family's getting a call with a threat of being kicked out because her little one kept jumping on the bed and the people below complained. At the zoo, as we exited this awesome "swamp" area that was dark and had all kinds of bugs, owls, bats and stuff roaming around, my friend Robyn points at CJ and starts screaming. My reaction? Start screaming. She finally blurts out "BUG!" and runs away. I had CJ out of his stroller and down to his underwear in seconds flat, with the help of a stranger. He just stood there staring at both of us wondering why the hell I and a perfect stranger stripped him to his undies in the middle of a zoo exhibit. I emptied the stroller, bags, etc. with no bug to be found. We laughed all day about that and still laugh to this day. Robyn swears it was a hissing cockroach or similar bug crawling on CJ's leg.
2008 - We had moved back to Ohio so we met the KS families in St. Louis. Six moms and 12 kids. We had a vomiter again and also experienced tornadoes that forced us to take cover inside the City Museum. Hardest part was we had no clue where many of the kids were within the museum and we had to track them down. For more details of that trip and to see last year's pictures go HERE. (Don't worry, I won't be upset if you don't go!)
2009 - We go to St. Louis again. This year there were five moms, one grandma and 14 kids. Yowza.
St. Louis Arch was on for the first day. Check - no major happenings. About midnight that night, I get up to set the alarm on my phone and check a text message and discover a bug on my pillow. Kill it, blood spurts on the pillow case. Hhhmmm...odd. I've never seen a bug do that before. Little did I know it had been feasting on me or Sous Chef. As I go to get a new pillow, I notice a bug on the turned down bedspread. One bug, eh, two bugs, something is wrong. I call one of my friends who had a friend with bedbugs in her home thanks to carrying a few home on some luggage. She came up and confirmed that "Oh my god, those are bed bugs!" She checked under the mattress and there was another and some feces, too. She showed me, I fainted. Ok, not really. Instead I called the front desk, explained I was leaving due to bedbugs and that I wanted to make sure my credit card would not be charged. The guy at the desk didn't seem phased and wanted to know "if I would like another room?" Um, HELL NO! I"m out of here. Pack everything up, wake up kids, make them wear their PJs, leave the air mattress behind because there's no way on God's green earth I am taking that bug infested thing with me and off we go. CJ kept saying, pretty much in his sleep since it's about 1:00AM now, "Why can't I wear any pants?" He was in a t-shirt, underwear and shoes. We found a very nice hotel next door, did NOT mention any bedbugs for fear of being denied entrance and checked in. I inspected everyone head to toe before I let them get settled and I stayed up until 2:30AM going through every article of clothing and all of our luggage. I ended up washing everything twice before even checking out to come home. Once home, I left all of our stuff in the driveway and only brought it in to put it directly into the washer here. I'm sure my snotty neighbors across the street were thinking "there goes that Jo family, airing their dirty laundry out on the driveway!" Also, I make it a point to not say "fuck" in front of my kids. However, that rule was not followed on this night and I am sure Big E has never heard the word fuck - and all versions of it such as fuckity fuck, fucking, fuck it, fuckers - out of anyone's mouth as much as he did that night!
Day 2 we head to the City Museum. If you didn't read my other post, I will reiterate, this is the single coolest place ever for kids and adults. At the very least, I suggest you visit their site HERE and if you are ever in the area GO. Even if you don't have children with you. I am afraid of heights, but I forced myself up into the highest part of the outdoor climbing adventure, which is about five stories high. My kids were proud.
On the way back to the hotel it started raining so hard as we got to our hotel exit that I could not see the car I was following and I seriously thought the car was going to blow upside down. I'm pretty sure we might have been driving on only the two right wheels on one side of the vehicle. We got to the top of the exit only to see a swirling, twirling cloud of debris, AKA tornado. We made a turn and drove in the other direction all the while having lightning rain down all around us and watching out our windows to make sure the swirling, twirling cloud of debris wasn't coming our way. Thankfully it was all so exciting that no one was really scared. I had five kids in my car, two were not mine! We eventually made it back to where we needed to go, our hotels/restaurant area, only to find out all the electricity was out, trees down and the roofs were off some buildings in the area. My hotel had sporadic electricity in the rooms so they moved us down the hall to a room that had the electric working. That was my third room in two days!
Later that night the toilet clogged. Plunger didn't cut it and maintenance had to come the next day and fix it while we were out at the zoo.
Once the toilet was fixed, the trip remained pretty uneventful compared to the previous days. We are home now and still laughing at all the crazy shit that happened. And I am dead honest when I say we can't wait until next year's trip. We are thinking maybe Chicago or Nashville for a little change of scenery and to shake up a different city with our crazy crew of moms and kids.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- Bedbugs. In my hotel room. Checked out and found a new hotel at 1:00AM. With four sleepy kids in tow.
- Tornado. With five kids in the car. Right in front of us. I can drive really fast. So can my friends who were in the car in front of us.
- No electricity. See #2. Hotel moves me to a new room with electricity. Third hotel room in two days.
- Plugged up toilet. Apparently someone, whom I won't name, is capable of plugging a toilet no matter where we are in the United States of America.
We are having a blast. Really. I promise we are.
Friday, June 5, 2009
The concert was kick ass for lack of a better description. Though my husband and I agree we liked the venue in Kansas City, where we first saw Colplay, much better, it was fun to be back in familiar territory at Riverbend Music Center. My husband and I have been here many times over the years for a variety of concerts - all day music festivals like Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair; the Cinci Pops and a variety of our other favorite bands.
We have NEVER seen the place as packed as it was last night. To quote a friend who sent me an instant message that said "Are you in the compound yet? Where are you? We are in this cluster fuct of people and the masses! LOL" I was thankful we spent money for Pavillion seats. MG and I chuckled because the pavillion was mostly full of the over 40 crowd and families. We decided that was for two reasons: 1. the old farts can't handle sitting on the ground without a seat back to lean against and 2. the younger crowd can't fork out the $$ for pavillion seats. Two concert tickets for us were well over $200 and we bought the "cheap" seats. Add to that our drinks and six hours of childcare and it adds up to quite a tab. (I realize you east and west coasters are probably thinking we got a great deal, but here in little ol' SW Ohio where the cost of living is good...well, you get the picture!) I can say this, the next time I see them, I will be forking out the money for the even better seats.
There is one thing for sure. Coldplay LOVES to put on a concert. They seem to genuinely have fun and they interact a lot with the fans. They had two different "small" stages set up right IN the crowd. The one was about ten rows in front of us, which was great. The other was out in the lawn with the "cluster fuct of people and the masses." So cool. When we saw them in KC, Chris Martin came right into the audience, almost within touching distance for me and found an empty seat, got up on it and kept right on singing. The fact that he was within touching distance of me and I cannot link you to an article or police report about some crazy fan tackling him to the ground to smother him with kisses is quite an accomplishment for me! I would do him in a minute. For that matter, I would probably do Gwyneth (for anyone unawares, Chris Martin is married to Gwyneth Paltrow) in a minute, too. I kept hoping I would run into her last night.
There were tons of families there. Lots of dads and daughters. And I mean 40-50 something men with their 8-13 year old daughters, not 60 something year old Sugar Daddies with their 20 something babes! I am thankful, though, none of those families sat near us. Lots of moms and sons. The age range for the concert goers literally ranged from about 3 yrs. old to late 60's. I saw a couple of women who really could have been my mother!
There were so many good looking people at this concert. And I saw someone who looked like Wes from The Bachelorette. He was with some blonde hottie, so we can all rest easily knowing that Jillian boots him off the show at some point.
So that's the good.
While there were lots of beautiful people to look at and admire, there is always the other end of the spectrum. My husband and I cracked up when we saw a balding man with a mullet walking around. Really? Don't people know that neither of those hairstyles is attractive and he is combining the two? My husband called it the "combover mullet." After laughing and making jokes, about 15 minutes later that man sat right in front of us with his girlfriend! I could KICK MYSELF for not having my phone with the camera on it. I tried to get the guy next to me to take a picture and e-mail it but by the time he got done taking his own pictures and videos, the combover mullet left. Just picture this with long stringy hair going down the back and add a bald spot at the crown. Oooohhhh.
We had a blast. Concert over, we get to our car and the parking lot is not moving a bit. So what's one to do while just sitting there in a parking spot that you can't move from? My BFF will know what I am about to type, but for the rest of you, I will tell you. A little hanky panky in the back of the minivan. Stow and go seats were the best thing ever invented for mini-vans. I would have been quite embarrassed to have had to toss the back bench seat out of the back of the van into the parking lot. I'll leave out the details of me trying to find a private spot in the mass of cars to piss. I really needed this.
If you were hoping for a recap of the Howling Bells or Pete Yorn, I can say this. They were both good, though the Howling Bells only played for a 1/2 hour and we missed a good part of it. I don't know a ton about Pete Yorn and am only vaguely familiar with him and his music. He has only been on tour with Colplay for two weeks and last night was his last show. He is probably better to see in a much smaller venue/setting.
- I will start by saying the Coldplay concert was super. I didn't expect anything less, being that they are my fave. I will do a concert recap later today, when I am more awake and no longer emitting Captain Morgan's through my pores. I only had three drinks, but I didn't eat dinner and as MG said in a text to a friend who was at the concert "My wife is toasted." At least I don't have ashtray throat since the concert was outside.
- I've seen several reruns of Real Housewives of NYC and a few of the New Jersey version. When I watch either of these, I am reminded that money does NOT buy class or good taste. I am also a little confused about how a woman can be a houseWIFE (emphasis on wife) when she is a single and in one case, has a career in cooking/nutrition. That makes no sense to me.
- On the last day of school, CJ and I went to have lunch at Sous Chef's school. It was raining when we left and I told him to run as I took off. It took him a minute to get up the courage to blast into the pouring rain. Once he did, I hear this loud squeal followed by "my shorts are falling down." Indeed, when I turned around, he was holding his toy (a pinecone he had found at the park the day before) in one hand and trying to keep his shorts up with the other while bolting through the rain. We were both cracking up.
- Sous Chef sat down his Nintendo DS at the park while he played on the jungle gym. When he went to get it, it was gone. Hard lesson for him - don't leave your things laying around. However, I am pissed that some snot nosed kid/teenager/young adult stole it and probably sold it to Game Stop or somewhere for cash so their parents wouldn't see they had an extra one laying around. Sous Chef is now doing some chores to earn extra money to replace his stolen one, which he also used his own money for. Thursday, I groomed all of our bushes/shrubs and he did all of the clean up work!
- Big E invited a different friend on our St. Louis trip and so far, it's a go. The boy can join us!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I now have music playing from Colplay, Pete Yorn, and the Howling Bells. MG and I will be going to see these bands on Thursday. I had not heard of the Howling Bells, but what I have heard so far, I really like! This is an outdoor concert and as of now they are calling for beautiful weather!
Monday, June 1, 2009
We (me and my kids) are heading to St. Louis next week to meet up with mom friends and kid friends from Kansas City (for any newbies, we used to live in Overland Park, KS). The one family that has an older son who is Big E's age is not going and it will be mostly younger kids. I told Big E he could invite a friend. So he did. And after thinking about it for a week, last week they said yes. Last night, a week before we are supposed to leave, as they were dropping off Big E's friend for a sleepover (Big E is 99% back to health!), the dad told me Joe (not his real name) could not go after all because "The timing is really messing with his baseball schedule and missing some games and (gasp) he would miss a golf lesson. Joe is crushed he can't go."
I wanted to look at this man and say "What a bunch of bullshit." First of all, unless your child is on the verge of making millions playing baseball and/or golf, why don't you let him have a little fun. I get that baseball is a team sport and your team depends on you, blah, blah, blah. Really, I do. But I also acknowledge that there are more important things than sports. Especially when it's a one time thing that they have not experienced before. They're 12 yrs. old for goodness sakes. Big E will also be missing a couple of games, as will CJ (I would be downright looney if I scheduled around a five year olds t-ball game!). I doubt their teams are going to crash and burn in their absence. I am always shocked, and actually feel sorry for, families who plan all of their events around the often overscheduled activities of their kids.
Or maybe these are just lame excuses for the fact that they changed their minds after thinking about it for another week. Maybe they heard I am a maniac driver, maybe they have been informed about my penchant for muscle relaxers. Who knows.
I do know this. My son is now very dissapointed, too. He is trying to decide who to invite next. We have lived here less than two years. I know a lot of his friends parents, but not to the point that I think they will be comfortable sending their kid away with me and my kids for four days. Maybe they will, who knows. I have tried to explain to Big E, though, that just because the parents have been at our house and we see them at various functions does not equate to being comfortable enough to let them go on a little trip with us.