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Category Archives: The Kids

I swear that crazy little cat can disappear and then will appear out of thin air when he hears the snack box rattle or food hitting the bowl…….maybe I should name him Houdini.  (Although I love the names you guys came up with……my blog friends are so creative, I love it!)  Despite everyone’s great name ideas I have decided to call him “A.J” after my favorite former IU basketball player AJ Moye  I noticed this morning Taryn has decided to call him Sebastian.  I don’t think he cares as long as he has somebody to love him.


I hate to admit that he slipped out the front door with Acacia last week as she left with her Aunt.  She never mentioned it until I was looking for him the following morning for his treat.  He was gone……long gone by the time she mentioned it to me.  I went outside and called “kitty-kitty-kitty” over and over again, walked up and down the street looking for him……day after day.  Nothing……no little black and white cat.  I was sick.


I have always kept food outside for stray cats so I kept going out at odd hours hoping to see him eating from the bowl… luck… after day, nothing, then Sunday after returning from IU I decided to go out and refill the cat food bowl and there he was sitting there looking as me and gave me a long meow as if to say, “What took you so long….I’m hungry.”  I picked him up and I swear he was thin as a rail…..but he was purring and head butting me, he even gave me a few kisses on my cheek with his little scratchy tongue while I walked with him to the food bowl.  I felt a huge sense of relief….I called Acacia in Chicago to tell her the good news (She was worried AND felt bad)……phew……he is back at home and is okay.


Since his return he has been extra lovie-dovie.  He even laid on my lap for the first time yesterday.  He likes to be close to you, rub your leg, give you head buts but prefers to have a seat next to you as opposed to on your lap.  Yesterday, he stretched out across my lap as I watched TV for a couple hours… was nice and helped me to relax.  I was surprised when he started kneading on my leg, but after he got his fill of that, he sprawled out on my lap and we both eventually drifted off to sleep while watching re-runs of Americas Next Top Model. 




Taryn and I traveled to IU this weekend to visit Sierah.  Despite the fact I speak to her every day I almost forget how much I miss her until I see her.  I bought her a bike and a bunch of clothes and snacks and took them down…..I spent the night sleeping on her hard dorm room mattress while she, her friends and her sister went to the football game and some frat parties.  I didn’t really mind… was quiet and they had fun…..


Taryn and I tried to visit the Morgan-Monroe Indiana State Forest on our way home but we got so far into the boonies that we decided to turn around.  (I read on the Internet you can even go camping AND panning for gold there with a permit……wouldn’t that be fun?)  Maybe next trip…..

 I hope you all had a nice, long Holiday weekend……I did!  J 


In every young woman’s life there should be a night where she looks and feels like a princess….tonight was Sierah’s night.


You looked so beautiful baby.

I love you.




 Look at my baby………all grown up………
Makes Mommy feel old………

You folks with young kids might want to try this at home…..then again, maybe not.


When my kids were young and they would fall down and hurt a finger or toe (any body part will do) and they would come running up to me crying and say something like, “Mommy, I hurt my toe” I would say, “Go get a sharp knife.”(In a matter of fact voice….. and slowly shake my head from side to side)  They would immediately stop crying and ask “WHY?”  I would reply, “So I can cut it off and throw it on the roof” (or in the pond depending on my mood).  This automatically sends the child running away from not only you, but also any knife in the house…. And they are sure not to return for a good while.   Lol   (See how easy that is?)  Problem solved, no crying kid, no bandaging a boo-boo….just peace and quiet.


Even though my kids are ages 14-17 now, I still periodically say this when they get hurt and they either laugh or say “Mom!”… **eye roll**.(Cough* CanyousaySierah *Cough)……  (It still makes me chuckle to myself many years later, but then again I am easily amused.)





My night after work will entail picking up Sierah and Jenna from home, dropping Jenna off at the library, driving a couple of miles to the kids school, picking up the twins from tennis practice, going to look at and test drive a little Geo Tracker for Sierah, picking Jenna up from the library, going home, cooking out on the grill and then I guess…..phew…..relaxing.  (Yeah, right….no rest for the wicked… much for relaxing.)


But let me not get too far off of the true subject here.  The car.


Back tracking……


My Jeep (that Sierah now drives) now has a transmission that’s slipping.  The cost of replacing the slipping transmission is $1300……once I was told that bit of info I starting looking for a cheap car for Sierah…..I will sell the Jeep for what I can get out of it in the condition it is in…buy her something thing else…pay up her insurance for 6 months….and be thru with it……she started looking for something right away too….something way more expensive than I was able or willing to pay for right now……


Yesterday I saw a little red Geo Tracker, nothing grand, it is cute, convertible top, has some rust on the bottom on one side, but not in really bad shape either.  I stopped, looked at it, glanced over at Taryn and said, “Do you think Siearh would drive it?”  She answered a prompt “No.” and chuckled to herself…….




“NO?  Why wouldn’t she?”  Taryn says, “It’s not girlie enough.”  I reply, “Not girlie enough?  What the hell….not girlie enough?”  (It’s a car….that someone is buying and giving to her!!…….not girlie enough)…..


Lets not get me started….grrrrr.


I left Sierah a voice mail (She was working out at the YMCA) and I mentioned the car, where it was, said it had some rust but we could get it painted if the engine is good, etc, etc.  She didn’t mention this to me at all last night when she got home so this morning when I woke her up I asked her if she went past to see the car.  She said she had not.  I said, “Do you think it would be okay?”  She says, “If it’s not too “wraggly.”


 I said, “Wraggly?”


She says, “Well, if it’s real bad, I’ll just keep driving the Jeep.”  HELLO!  The Jeep is nice but it isn’t going to last forever with the transmission slipping, one day you are only going to be able to 15 mph all the home or worse yet, you might only be able to drive in reverse all the way home.  (This DID happen to me once many years ago!……and I was drunk to boot…..don’t try this at home folks…**clears throat**….moving on…..)  Trust me, I’ve driven my share of “wraggly” cars in my day.


So, last night we went to look at the “wraggly” Tracker.  We first passed the lot to get the twins from school, I slowed down, she kind of laughed about it…..instantly pissed me off…..she says something about Marcus telling her that his Aunt had one and they are bad on the snow, bla bla bla…..(HELLO Sierah….I use to have one too remember, it was NOT bad on the snow, just light weight….bags of sand in the back work wonders.)


Then she says, “It looks like the top doesn’t even come down all the way.”  I swear, it just rubbed me the wrong way instantly……We had a short argument and I basically said she was sounded extremely ungrateful and that I am NOT her wealthy Grandparents OR Father…..I am her broke ass mama who barely has 2 nickels to rub together and I am doing the best I can to be a single parent with 5 kids and a mediocre job…..


I said, “You know what, you don’t even have to get out and look at it, I will….” 


She still hopped out when I got to the car lot.


YUP…..It was “wraggly”……and Sierah and I both laughed as we drove it…….I guess it just needs minor stuff, breaks, a tune up, something with the exhaust….. It’s what we call “A to B” car.  (Gets you from point A to point B, but not much further.)  I wanted to drive it because mine looked bad but ran like a champ…….The lady came down on the price while I stood there and had not truly began negotiations…….I was just going down the list of what I found wrong……I am NOT a woman who knows little or nothing about cars…….I cant work on them, but I am able to tell lots of what’s wrong by driving, listening and looking…..


Marcus met us there to see the car and he and Sierah left together……the twins and I went to look at a couple other car lots.


There was another Geo Tracker down the street on another lot, but was in much nicer condition, also twice the price but I still went to look.  It was cute, clean, has lower miles and I imagine it is going to start up and sound just like my old one…….and the lovely part these little things, you put $10 in the tank and drive for two weeks……..The Jeep we put $10 in it every time she goes anywhere……literally.


Anyways, while we stood there I said, “I should buy this for me and give Sierah the Van.”  Acacia and Taryn both said, “You should buy yourself a car Mom.”  **Light bulb shines brightly over my head**…….hum……  “I should, shouldn’t I?”……..  (Chuckles to self…..)


Instantly I realized that IS what I am going to do…….Hell, I wouldn’t mind driving the “wraggly” Tracker, anybody that knows me knows how true that statement is, but I have wanted another little jeep that has a top that comes off since I sold my last one.  They are fun cars and I always enjoyed it…….I miss taking that top off on a hot summer night and driving down the road wind blowing in my hair……..  Its a great feeling……..


The Van needs some minor work, I had planned on getting that done this week….it is clean, runs good and is good on gas……


“Oh Sierahhhh……guess what?”…..  Ha Ha……


She is going to be…..well…..furious…….  lol  How do I know?  Cuz I was exactly like her at that age……but guess what kid-o, Its time to buck up, this is the real world……you better wake up and smell the coffee.  You’ll get what you get, and be happy about it…..It’s not every day that someone gives you are car…..good, bad or “wraggly.”     Deal with it!


End of story! 


I will be doing apartment inspections today.  This always brings me a mixed bag of nuts.  You never know if the people are going to be clean or dirty or if they are going to be happy or pissed that you are there.  I always expect the unexpected but the hardest thing for me is the fact that I have to deal with so many different smells……everyone’s home has it’s own smell, but I have an extra keen nose and smells often give me a headache.  Today will be filled with lots of scents and I hope most of them are pleasant……(Yeah, right… I look around for my nose plug)


My weekend was rather uneventful……that is always good.  Friday night was Sierah’s basketball game, (see photo below) Saturday brought dinner out to my favorite authentic Mexican restaurant with Laura ……Later that evening Jenna was feeling her feminine side and decided to paint our finger and toenails.  I obliged while watching Cops and America’s most wanted and at the same time trying to balance the cat and Murphy on my lap.  (HEY!  I CAN multi task!)


Sunday Sierah and I ventured out looking for prom dresses…….while together we didn’t find anything exciting but one of the prom dress places happens to be right down the street from one of my favorite little hole in the wall restaurants called “Coney Island”.  This place has been downtown forever and as a kid my Mom and I use to go down there, have a couple Coney dogs and drink the little Coca-Cola’s from the little bottle.  (They still serve those and I couldn’t help but stand in line and think of being in that same place with my Mom many, many years ago..)……of coarse we had to stop in and get a couple Coney’s to go.  (Stellar wont mind if I have onion breath…..)


Later that evening Sierah dropped me off and went on the drop dress mission alone….eventually finding “thee dress”…..she called and wanted me to get dressed and drive out north before the store closed in the next 15 minutes.  Uh, I don’t think so…..Sorry, baby but I will look at it tomorrow…….(Like I am going to burn rubber to get to a story to pay $300 bucks for a dress she is going to wear only one time…….gesh, kids!!)
PS…..Sierah is # 20 in this photo…..she made the cover of the sports page this weekend.  South Side had a great game and Sierah had one of those blocks where the whole crowd says "OooooOooohhh!" 
You go Sierah!  
One more game then they will be heading for Sectionals.

Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer


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Dec 30, 12:32 PM (ET)

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) – A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop, authorities said.

The officer suffered minor injuries, including bites to his ankle, Detective Bill Veteran said.

The five Chihuahuas escaped the 17-year-old boy’s home and rushed the officer in the doorway Thursday, authorities said. The teenager had been detained after the traffic incident.

The officer was treated at a hospital and returned to work less than two hours later.



I am sorry, but this is some funny stuff.  Just the mental image of a “Pack of angry Chihuahuas” makes me laugh.  Just picture them with little grimaces on their faces…… Lips curled up, brandishing their cracker crumb size teeth……. grrrrrr. 





Moving on: 


I have decided to go out with Russell…..the guy who I have no spark with……just as friends.  A NON date, date of sorts……I need to get out of the house and a steak dinner sounds good.  I will make sure he understands it is only as friends……although shhhhhh……*wispers*  don’t tell him but I do plan on having my eyebrows waxed, my hair cut and I will shave my legs…..! 


All to eat a t-bone steak, drink a beer and throw peanut shells on the floor at the Texas Road House.  Woo Hoo! 





Last night Devon wanted to sleep on the roll away bed in my room (Jenna’s favorite place to sleep).  Not a problem unless he has gas!  Conversation at 3:00AM between Devon and I as follows…



(Loud audio fart……ERRRRRRRT! From Devon)


Laura:  “Devon, goodness!!”  (Sounding all disgusted)


Devon:  “That was Tonka”  (Snickers to himself)


Laura:  “NO, it wasn’t.  Gesh!  What on earth did you eat last night?”  (rolls eyes)


(Another loud fart……errrrrrrrrrrrt!)  (I cover my head with the pillow)


Devon:  “Tomato soup and crackers”  (He laughs out loud)


Laura:  “Devon, get out of my room please before you sh*t your pants, I am trying to sleep here….”  (Glance at clock…..3:00AM)


Devon:  “I thought you said its better out than in.”


Laura:  “Yeah, just not out in my room.”  (Pull pillow tightly around my head)


*Make mental note to self……either check with Devon to see what he has eaten before you allow him to sleep on the rollaway bed in your room, or never buy tomato soup again……


Ugh!    Boys!



One of my BLOG friends (Mark) has asked me how it is Devon is misunderstood and I guess I could best describe how he is misunderstood by describing Tourettes Syndrome.


Tourette Syndrome is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated and involuntary body movements (tics) and uncontrollable vocal sounds. In a minority of cases, the vocalizations can include socially inappropriate words and phrases — called coprolalia. (Devon does have this too)  These outbursts are neither intentional nor purposeful. Involuntary symptoms can included eye blinking, repeated throat clearing or sniffing, arm thrusting, kicking movements, shoulder shrugging or jumping.  Often people are familiar with people who have tourettes who make strange noises like dog barking (Devon still does this sometimes) or shouting obscenities etc. 


I feel like he has been misunderstood his entire life.  It took me forever to get a diagnosis for him and even afterwards it seemed often some of the most important people in his life still didn’t understand.  (Teachers, etc.)  Saying they thought what he was doing was deliberate.


Devon’s physical tics have gotten much better with medication but his were so severe he often looked as if he was having a seizure, falling onto the floor body jerking.  I once remember someone coming over and putting hands on him and praying for him thinking he was having a seizure, but he was simply doing large body ticing because he was excited to be eating at Ryan’s buffet.  (It used to be his favorite.)  Often times something stimulating would cause him to tic.  This same visit he ticed and stuck an ice cream cone to his forehead…….his sister just looked over and popped it off.  We all laughed and went on eating.


Sometimes he would shriek with his voice and contort his body is a strange way.  Or at one point he felt he needed to jump from the top of the stairs to the bottom before he could say 3.2.1.  (Or he thought darts would hit him in his back.)


His ticing has changed over the years, plus he has multiple diagnosis, but currently he repeats almost everything I say some days (this grows old on Mom), he says “No” after everything I tell him to do, although he still does it, (ODD) he tics if something smells a certain way (he dislikes the smell of chocolate and magazines in particular) causing snorting sounds and face grimacing, and he still also does complex tics with his fingers and knuckles, cracking, bending, or cracking his back and neck, etc.  It is also rather common for people with TS to tic if they feel something really soft like cotton.  (I am still unable to buy him micro-fleece stuff because it really bothers him.)


People often assume because he does all of these strange noises and ticing that he is somehow not intelligent.  He actually does have a learning disability but I feel strongly that it is because of how Devon is or is not able to process information.  He has a hard time reading and writing because it will cause him to tic…blinking or hitting his head.  If something is read to him and he is interested he retains almost everything.  He scored gifted on some of his IQ testing and he is a total wiz at the play station.  People just often assume the worse……


Devon has learned how to cover up lots of the noises or sounds he makes….he will then either cough to cover it up or put the word he says somehow into a sentence.  It is hard for me to remember all the tics he does because it also often changes…sometimes from day to day.


There is a man with TS who eats at the Chinese restaurant near my job that has a wife who eats with him each time I see him……somehow this has brought me a huge sense of relief and helped me to remember that there will be some young lady out there one day who will be able to accept Devon exactly the way he is.  (Barking noises and all)


PS.  I imagine it is often hard for him when people stare and whisper about him, but he has always been really resilient.  For the most part he just ignores it.  I just want other kids and people to see past the noises and remember there is a young man in there, which is very much like them.  Open their eyes and see an animal loving, skateboarding, non-onion eating, play station wiz of a kid who asked that we all go out to eat at a Chinese food restaurant for Christmas.  (Maybe Christmas Eve guy…..) The girls and I just take what he does and says in stride.  It is a part of our life and often I guess we just don’t notice it.  I just wish more people could look past the noises and random stuff he says and see Devon…..for Devon.  They might actually see that he really is a neat kid. 

Sierah’s Dad and Grandpa are really hard on her.  I wish somehow I could change that but that is something obviously beyond my control.  They are the way they are….I dont think they will ever change.


It came to a boiling point after Sierah’s game Saturday night.  Sierah played a decent game, but I guess she didn’t have as good a game as usual…….not scoring any points but playing a good game otherwise. 


 Right after the game her Dad said something to the effect, “I thought you came to play….bla bla bla.”  (Failed to mention her team just beat the other team by 55 points, didn’t mention her blocks or rebounds she had…….)  Sierah got her feelings hurt and walked away crying. 


On her drive home her Grandpa called her on her cell and chewed into her too…….saying she was going to loose her starting position to a younger player if she doesn’t step it up, etc. 


She came home and balled.  It hurt my heart, but she knows how they both are.  Perfectionist.  The both of them.  It would seem her Father wouldn’t be so hard on her considering the cloak of perfectionism he grew up under…..but he still is.  I don’t understand it.


Last night one of her coaches took me aside and asked me to ask them to “quit being so hard on her.”  He said, “She is a good girl, and does the right thing all the time.  She always gives us 100% even in practice….we don’t want them to break her spirit.”  He was really angry when he found out (from another players Uncle) all that her Grandpa and Father had said (more than I mentioned here)……he even called me right after we had walked in the door that night and said, “Oh by the way…..tell them she was our leading re-bounder that game too.” 


It is hard on me to watch them be so hard on her.  I grew up with a Father who was a perfectionist who had a genius IQ and nothing I ever did was ever good enough for him.  I know how she feels……it makes you really hard on yourself too.


She told me this morning that she had the highest test scores on the last two tests in Micro-Biology…….I wanted her to call her Dad and tell him, but some part of me knows he would find something else negative to say.  That’s sad isnt it?


I just hope her skin will thicken and she will listen to me when I tell her nothing else matters than her being happy…….don’t worry about the dumb stuff.  At the end of the day, Dad and Grandpa are still going to be Dad and Grandpa…..she is the one who will have to learn to look over what they say when it is unnecessary, and know that doing the best she can do, is all she can do……


She will always be the best in my eyes!