Friday, August 31, 2007

Schools in....

Schools started Wednesday ... I have two challenging groups but fortunately I now know to be proactive in making sure the rules are enforced.

My junior high group is large and a bit smart assy, thinking if they told me that last years driver made special drop offs I would actually care  and do it also...NOT.  Kids today are way to lazy and a short walk to their homes from a bus stop is NOT unfair or child abuse.

The kids came over last night ... we went to the park and fun was had by all...

Tracey is learning to cut hair.  We are going to a wedding tomorrow and I really needed a trim.  This afternoon she trimmed my hair, next week she learns how to layer.  My hair needs some layers so next week I will have layers.  I have some pretty handy kids!  They make cute kids too!


Dakota, the kids never stand still enough for me to take any good pictures.  they will be back next weekend...I'll try again!

Friday, August 24, 2007

water, water everywhere....

We had major flooding in my part of the world this past week.   Chicago proper and the northern suburbs had many old trees down and loss of electric power.  Some of these trees are very old and landed on cars and people's homes.  I feel so blessed that our large trees did not come down.

As for us we only had a little water in our old basement.  Our basement is limestone filled with the height of the storm last night a big stream of water squirted in through the limestone.  It looked like someone stuck a hose in the wall and turned on the water.  Luckily it landed in the old water softener and only lasted a few minutes before it stopped.  We do not use our basement for anything of value so fortunately nothing was lost.

Today during my dry run for my new route, which is in my own neighborhood, I watched people walking around the river that is about two blocks from my home.  It is the Fox river and the park I take the boys to is underwater.  

This evening I took a walk to the library and took this picture of the pathway to the park.

On the right side of the picture is a creek that runs into the river.  Tomorrow I will go take some day time shots.  This pathway leads to the park.

It was too dark to take pictures of the park that was totally under water.  The Fox River is still rising so it will be a while before the park will be usable again. 

I have been very busy this week with trips.  Yesterday one of the two storms that came through hit just as I was getting ready to pick up my girls tennis trip.  It was canceled of course, but I was still paid for three hours. 

As I said we bid on our trips and I am pleased with the one I got.  The grade school kids are my own neighborhood so they shall be easy to deal with.  Kids usually don't like to misbehave when they know their neighbor is taking them to school.

Tomorrow I head toward the city (Chicago) with the freshman football team.  I know it will be a muddy messy affair and I will not be taking my own bus as it is down for repairs.  It sat all summer and the safety gate in the front of the bus has stopped working.  It's in the morning so I will have the rest of the weekend to relax.  School starts Wednesday and I am very ready for a routine.  Hope this rain stops soon so my son and husband can go back to their routine!

I hear the 10 year drought in Texas is over!!  anybody want me to send some water your way???!!!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

saturday...wish it was sunny

Yesterday was a glorious sunny coolish (high 70's) low humidly day & of course I was stuck indoors in an all day meeting for work.  That's ok though it was a paid all day meeting. 

I had trips early in the week and they all went well.  Today I went to our base/work and looked over the many routes for this coming school year.  I have about 10 picked out.  I usually get close to what I want as many driver do not like to drive junior high kids.  I prefer them to high school as they still have some innocence and respect for authority.   Bidding is Tuesday morning.  This process takes forever...but it's fair. 

Next week I have four trips again.  I am off Monday and Friday, but I will have to drive a dry run of my routes after we pick them on Tuesday, so I will need to fit that in.  And I work Saturday morning.  Three of the trips are for sports: soccer, tennis and freshman football.  I have no clue as to why none of the senior drivers bid on any of the trips this next week  except maybe they don't want to come off summer break early.

Again fine by's easy money.

Last night my son called me to tell me his 9th grade half brother got hurt in his football scrimmage.  The poor kid's arm was broken so bad it was shaped like an S.  Tim called me this morning and said his brother is doing fine, it got reset to the poor kid's relief and he will be in a full arm cast for 6 weeks.

I get along well with my son's father.  We have been divorced since 1985 and we both worked hard to get along.  His wife is fine too.   Forgive and good comes from holding grudges for things that have changed and are long over.  Their dad and I should never had been together in the first place...we are total opposites.  We are much better people apart.  We have both proved time and time again that we are good parents to our children.  They even used to invite Liz over when she was a wee one.  And after I got married to Mark his kids often went with my boys to their dads for visits.  There is a fine line that has to be kept to avoid weirdness, but things have turned out fine.

Tim is the one who was in the softball tournament last weekend.  They got third and are going to the State finals.

It's over Labor day, and we have a wedding to go to ... but I'd still like to try and go and cheer my kid on...I never tire of being my kid's number one fan!

Tim is in the front row third from the right behind the trophy.



Monday, August 13, 2007

The weekend

Hiccup boy did stop..& did go to sleep, but awoke at 6:00 am.  Thankfully, Liz had worked the night before and came home in time to give me a 1 hour nap. 

Saturday Mark worked so my mission was to play, play and play with the grandsons.

First we went to the store, then to the most favorite park...


Look closely and see baby Dayton's little size 4 black crocs!  He still hasn't mastered the idea to sit down and slide!

We then went home, ate lunch, took a nap, played in the pool...afterward we headed to my son Tim's softball tournament.  More playground and then home to another bath and bed...guess who slept 11 hours!???  oh I did too!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Did you know that a one year old can hiccup for 90 straight minutes?

Yes, he can, I experienced it first hand at 2:30 am....


Friday, August 10, 2007

2 snoring childlren

Two of the three grand babies are snoring away ... .  Mark's ex was at it again, knowing we were going to have the boys she tried to get Dakota and Jacob to come to her trailer ... Jacob refused.  She is a repeat offender and only asks for them on the weekends she knows we will have them here.  Oh well, Jeremy is going to bring Dakota over tomorrow as he feels it too hot for him.  They have a wedding that Tracey is in so the boys will be here until Sunday.

It was most likely for the best as Jacob feel asleep at 8:00 on the couch and after a walk/run with his short stumpy legs Dayton had a bath and a bottle and passed out. 

After not working all week my husband is working tomorrow...time and a half...weird, but I am thankful.  Seems a job they weren't going to do because of some union B.S. they are now doing.

I made a deal with my husband if he got a winter driving job (he gets laid off in January and we try and survive on his unemployment and my income) I'd bid on every extra trip at work...this week I did.  AND for next week I have a trip every single day!

So much for my summer off...that's ok, we really need the money and I don't mind.  One of the trips is to a water park, and another is to a mini golf course.  The other two are to nearby pools.  And Friday we have our all staff meeting for work.

I never turn down work.  now my husband has to keep up his end of the deal!

Better hit the bed, the boys love to be early raisers

Thursday, August 9, 2007

what day is it??

The biggest problem I have with not working a regular route is a routine.  I am a creature of habit, and tend to wander if I don't have to be anywhere at any certain time.  The weather has been down right tropical with rain everyday.  The heat and humidly makes for a sauna effect outdoors.  I don't mind. The other evening I walked to the library and pictured the downtown area as it would be during our annual Christmas walk.  It's usually freezing and/or snowing.   That thought cooled me right down and while I enjoy fall, winter in the Midwest is too long.  I am a more the warm climate type.  I am not whining about the heat, it's just the rain.   Oh well this too shall pass.

I worked yesterday.  There are six schools that house the day care groups during the summer.  Every Wednesday they all go to a nearby water park.  The kids love it.  During the ride there one kid decided to freak out after the teacher told another aide that he would be 'watching' over him during the stay at the park.  This kid screamed "I don't want anyone to watch me!"  Two kids nearby egged him on, which didn't help.  I just smiled, kids freaking out is not a bother to me.

On the way home though, the kid came on the bus with a big gauze patch over his eye.  Ooopsy, see kid that's what happens when you freak! 

Today, I am still doing some cleaning/throwing away of papers.  I tend to save papers, they have no use but I do come by it honestly, my grandmother was a hoarder, she came from the "old country" Czechoslovakia.  She used to save baggies of coins in her big bra.  Of course this is not the depression nor am I big enough to stuff anything anywhere on my person.

I even found an old 5.0 version of AOL in a box! 

Out with the old in with the new!



Monday, August 6, 2007


It's been hot and raining for the last two days.   The temp has been in the high 90's with heat index of 105.  My husband doesn't work when it rains.  So the never used brand new Air Conditioner came out.  It made a huge difference especially when there is soooooooooo much togetherness with me and hubby stuck indoors!

There's painting on the house to do, but it's outside and the rain makes it too wet to paint. 

I am just enjoying being off and doing whatever I want.

Oh and my mammogram that I had done today was NORMAL...YAY

Tomorrow's another day!





Sunday, August 5, 2007

give it a day or two things will change


I never get tired of looking at my little guys!  Above is an old one of Dayton, he's changed so much in just a few months. 


Right at this moment my hubby is talking to his step mom.  The step mom who said I was controlling, the one who was mad at him, the one who I think is just getting old, lonely, or just plain bored and like to stir up stuff....I did send her another card, one written by Liz thanking her for her gift, I also added that my husband enjoyed talking to her especially sharing stories of his dad...that must of worked because she called. 

Or  maybe Mark's sister who likes to have one too many Buds and has a few issues from childhood made up a lot of the stories. 

Who knows, I don't care, they are talking...a happy hubby know the rest...

Liz got registered for school Friday.  She only goes Tuesdays and Thursdays all day, great for the gas is about a quarter tank of gas a day so....I am happy about that.  She can change her work to days and still have time to do homework.

She went with her boyfriend and his family to Southern Illinois where he goes to school to move him in.  He is an R/A this year and a Junior.  We never allowed her to go before because we felt a high school child didn't belong at a college.  Now she's old enough.  Besides, they have been dating for nearly 3 years, there is no reason to hurry the process.  I still don't get why so many kids are in such a hurry to grow up.  I'd love to go back in time and do a lot over...but I suppose I wouldn't be the me I am now.

That is mainly why I have forced myself to slow down and enjoy life more.  Pay attention to what is going on right now and appreciate it.  I missed so much in my past because I was always looking ahead, worrying, never satisfied with where I was.  It took me to reach 50 to stop and realize this...Life is always subject to change.  We must do the best we can and believe that everything is as it should be.

We should never give up on our dreams...God is always in control, not me!

Next weekend we have the kids all weekend.  Tracey is in a wedding.  I am looking forward to it.  Next week I only have one work related trip on Wednesday.  Otherwise I am free....hopefully the rain will go away so I can enjoy!

I will anyway!


Thursday, August 2, 2007




Liz's biological father came into town this past weekend.  Just like he promised the judge and me, he brought the check for his part of her freshman year at the Junior College.  He works for a major airline so he and family members can fly anywhere the airline goes for standby/for free.   This was why I never pressed him for more child support I feared he'd cry to the judge about his "rights" and want me to send her to him because she is also able to fly for free.  I just couldn't see putting a 6 year old on a plane, and have him not be at the airport, he had proved how undependable he was in the past.

Her last visit with him was when she was 6.  I finally let him take her alone, before he only had supervised visits per my choice.  During support hearings the judge gave him very limited visitation, he only argued the amount of support, because he had so many other children.  To this the judge replied, "you make them, you pay for them, get another job"  After the day long visit  he brought her back and she promptly threw up and had a major asthma attack.  Then he disappeared for 6 months only to call me to tell me he was moving.

So as fate would have it Liz and her boyfriend Mike drove out to T's sister's house on Sunday.  The family was there, aunts, uncle, cousins...and the all smoked....well, not the 5 year old, but give her time.

And to top off the smoke feast they all bitched about how the state of Illinois has passed a law banning smoking in public spaces.  hmmmmmmm   how some things never change.

But Liz did say she got to see her half sister (the peacemaker who always tries to keep intouch with all the kids/ex-wives/ex-girlfriends).  She did get her GED and is going to nursing school. 

Liz is still in some sort of "I am giving the guy a chance" mode...that's up to her.  She is my daughter and no one can change that. 

She did get her college check, and some coupons to fly.  I told her she should go see grandpa in St Pete.....


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rosie the repairman


After the plumping mess we had over the Christmas holiday we had a huge water bill.  The village bills for both water usage and sewer.  Since what goes in must come out our bill was high on both ends (ha).  When trying to unclog the clog my husband ran the water out of ever faucet he could...hence the high water bill.

Shortly after this our never in 12 years used by us water softener which is still hooked up via the plumbing but not plugged in sprang a leak.  It was a big leak too coming out a hose.  Being the impulsive type I simply cut the hose off thinking it was just the left over water in the tank leaking.  NO of course not it was water right from the system.  Our stupid solution was to stick the hose down the drain and wait until we could figure out the problem....then I just pinched the hose hoping this would stop the leak, no it just dripped some place else.  My basement is old, limestone & is always damp in the summer.  later, my being too cheap to call a plumber made things worse.... our water bill continued to climb.  Now my village is very much into water conservation...there's water bans, water restrictions and that sort of thing.  Do you think said village could give us a notice on how high the water usage was??  nope, BUT after freaking out, I took action.  I looked at the mess of pipes in my basement and figured out how to by pass the old relic of a softener...deed done no more drips! 

Now I needed my husband to figure out these problems....well he did do the plumbing I supervised...

~emission light on car came on....eeeeeeeee ...  the car is due to go to the emission lanes and last time this happened to our truck (check engine light) itcost $600 to fix!

solution?  hubby tightened gas driver daughter had gotten gas and didn't tighten cap....fixed

Same for the sun roof, a piece of plastic broke off...hubby fixed it again....

I wonder if there is a business for this type of simple problem solving??