Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I smell a rat...

This past month, on a very chilly morning, I turned on the heater in our car.  The heat was kicking out of the vent, but the loudest cranking sound came out!  It scared me half to death so I quickly turned it off.  We froze the whole way to school and work, and I just had a bad feeling about the bum heater and how much it would cost to fix it.  Geez, it is always something.  So, the cold days turned into not so cold days and we did not really even need the heater that much.  I had found out that the blower and having it fixed would cost nearly $700... we just did not have that kinda money to spend on a blower (we have to spend it on bills and food).  A few weeks went by, and then a month.  No biggie.

Last week, when I was pulling into the parking lot at my office I had some paper work that I needed to place in the glove box of my car.  When I opened it up I was so surprised to see insulation oozing out... everywhere.  It was a bit of a mess.  Then I had a light bulb moment (heater, noise, oozing stuff), this is what is causing the loud noise when I turn on the heater!  Yay!!  I quickly came to the conclusion that something foam like, that was around my heater thingy opened up and pushed out into my glove box!  I just needed to clean it out and all would be fixed!  Yay!  (O yeah, y'all probably did not know I have an imaginary side job as a mechanic and I know car parts, engines, and car noises).  Ha, not really.

As I am moving some of the insulation stuff out of the glove box, I noticed that some of the papers in there looked a bit shredded and burned (yes, I thought that they looked singed).  Then I begin to panic... my car heater has been kicking out so much heat and the insulation is not there to keep the heat in, but pushing it out to my papers and they are getting so hot and almost catching fire and this could have nearly caused my car to go up in smoke!  Eek!  We coulda died! (dramatic yes... but a possibility- FOR SURE!)  After I cleared out a bit more, I decided I should go and get a second opinion, so I get my friend Morty (not his real name, remember folks, I must protect the identity of my people... I just cannot have all 10s of you seeking them out (haha))!  So, Morty comes out, I explain how I have figured out the heater noise, but just do not know what to do about the insulation, and he walks around the door to peek in and says, "you've got a rat".  Very matter a fact like.
Ummm, I looked at him like he was crazy.  Hello, insulation bag thingy exploded... it was being pushed into glove box, singeing my paper stuff.  NOT A RAT.  Super disgusting.  Then I show him the singed stuff and he says, "um not singe... rat".  He encouraged me to take it to the auto place across the street, and I did.

As I pull my car in over there I start thinking of mice.
Sweet little mice.

Mice that help clean... cook... drive cars... make clothes.

I wonder which one I will have?
Maybe I will name him Mr. Jingles or if its a her Mrs. Frisby?
Anyways, I walk in and explain my situation again (refer to paragraphs 1-3).  Picture me explaining this to 3 men... 3 men who know cars.... 3 men who think I am a dodo bird and think I know jack sprat about cars and their parts (not "their parts... car parts").  There were a lot of hand movements and smiling (all me) and it was almost like I was talking to a wall.
I think that they were so shocked with my wacky explanation of stuff, and the fact that I could talk this much without taking a breath!
Finally, I stop talking.  One of the men walks me outside to look at the car, I open the door and show him the mess.  He just looks at it and says you have a critter. 
(Me)- A critter?
(Nice mechanic man who knows about car stuff)- Yes, something is in there.
(Me)- Well, there cannot be a critter, because I cannot smell it.  Therefore, critter talk is no bueno.
So, I start picking up my singed burned stuff (which does not have any burn marking on it) and I show him.  See, look, singe... burn... no good.
(Mechanic trying to not laugh at this silly woman)- those are teeth marks, something has been chewing on that stuff.  Also, the reason you cannot smell it, well, it is not dead.  It is still alive in your car.

Totally disgusted.
I started shoving all of the "singed papers" into a plastic bag to get them out of the way and then I see my Michael Buble cd... it has been chewed up too!  Who chews up Michael Buble?  What is this world coming to?  Is nothing sacred?!  Geez!  How does this happen.

I am still thinking that this "critter" that has taken up a short residence in my automobile is of the friendly nature.  I go back in to the shop to talk about how to get this mess cleaned up.  I tell them if there is a friend in there, if they could just get it, possibly put it in a box I can show my kids, ya know.  They pretty much tell me that will be a no-go option.  Fine.
I then give the option of catch and release.  They catch the friend and release it into a heavily wooded area (or just outside the door) whatev, I cannot come up with everything.  They pretty much laugh and assure me that it will be fine and I should not worry.

I leave the shop and walk across the street to my office.  I try to think of work only things, but all I can think about are sweet mice.  Now I would be an accomplice to murder.  Not good thoughts.  Then this picture comes up....
he is obvi not super friendly (and must be destroyed... that's right, I wrote that!)
It looks as if he died under the hood of the car and then was jolted back to life with the battery of the car.  That my friend is the "Walking Dead Rat"
The next things are articles about viruses carried by mice and then how you can remove a mouse from a car and let it go..... but it will possibly come back!!
I suggested catch and release!!
Then I see that these things will chew up car wires!
WHA??!  This thing is a menace!!

After a few minutes I walk back to the shop, because that is just what I do.  I am a hover-er type person, and I just wanted to make sure they were not packing this thing in a to-go box for me to take home!  My mind has been changed!!
Turns out, it had really been a critter of some sort.  This critter was not in the car any longer, but had made a nice little home!  How you ask??  Well, it had chewed up that insulation pad that helps to block noise from the heater, then had a collection of chocolatey ball candies wrapped in foil, skittles, and chex cereal!
I was dying!  Of course my critter would have hoarding tendencies (now possibly a diabetic)!
I asked where it got all of the treats and they looked at me like I was crazy.
(nice mechanics)- from your car
(me)- Wait a second, this has been in my car??  I thought my Aron had cleaned all of that chocolate candy off of the floor??  My kids had trouble opening it.
(nice mechanic)- I do not think your Aron cleaned any of it up...
(me thinking)-  vomit... vomit... scrub with bleach... vomit.  bleach!
At the tune of $40, my car had been fixed up.  I was so very appreciative.

How does this stuff even happen?
Y'all!  I have had some super strange things happen to me in my days, but mobile mouse motel???
-This is my life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

That time that I owned a pizza joint...

Y'all know that Little Red has started kindergarten this year, and one of the fun things that parents can do at their children's school, is volunteer.  I try to help out as much as possible:  kids parties (I love a party), having lunch (I love food), volunteering to help at book fairs (I am a avid reader... of children's books), Tuesday folders (I love getting to drop in and see my girl with her friends, and I really like her teacher, and just want to help her out)!  I know, I know it may seem like a lot, but I feel like it is the least I can do to be a supportive parent.  I even joined the PTO (parent teacher organization).

Can I just be real with y'all?  This was one of the BIG things that I wanted to do at the school.  PTO- I thought it would be fun to meet other parents, help raise funds for the school, and even to be able to give funds to teachers, I could help out in planning lunches and other treats for the teachers and staff (I mean, these are the people getting to spend 8 hours a day with one of my very best people)!  They love on her, and it is the least I can do to thank them and do things that would to benefit them.

Now, I have friends who do this at other schools and their groups are not so welcoming.  I know some of you are shocked!  I have heard it can be a bit clicky.  If you are new, you may not be listened to (like the other old-timers).  I tried to go in with a open mind and a good attitude (because, that is kinda my thing).  So, first meeting I walked in at 9 in the morning (yes, I went to a morning meeting, I just took a super early lunch that day.... and starved the rest of the day).  I bounced in with my notebook and pen, ready to rattle off the list of fundraising ideas and things to do for the teachers and staff (I had a busy weekend of list making, could not wait to share).  I just knew the room would be packed full of fellow ma and pa volunteers... and I was surprised when it was a table of 6/7 (one did not count because she was a teachers aide just taking a break and she got up and left), but whatev... I figured other PTA peeps would show up shortly after.  As the meeting started, I realized this mighty group... well, it was a group of 6 (whomp... whomp)  I was sitting next to this one gal, she was very smiley.... not like creepy smiley, just friendly... another mom looked at me like I smelled (and I could tell that we were obvi not gonna be besties), and then there was our fearless leader (I am a bit obsessed with her).  I looked around kinda trying to feel out the room, are these happy people, funny people, or are these business people all about logging the minutes and get outta here kinda people.  It was def a mixed bag, but I stayed.

Our first BIG business was fundraising.  We were getting ready to put on a big ta-do at the school, a carnival!  Yes, I was so excited!  They began talking about the budget and what we were allocating to certain things when this lady.... we will call her Nan, begins to talk about how we will be serving pizza at the carnival, we have done this every year that she has been helping with PTO and it would be a few dollars a piece, and then she advised how we would be paying the pizza place pretty much 7-8 dollars a slice! Is Mr Tombstone Pizza coming to toss the dough himself?? (Y'all get that, it was a pizza reference to Tombstone Pizza, not my fav... we like Totinos).  Anyways, my eyes bugged out of my head, but I looked down quickly so no one would see it!  Wha??  Really, we are trying to make money here... for the school... that your kids go to.... #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHummmm

I was confused.  What do confused people do?  We ask questions.

What do confused new parents at a PTO meeting do?  Nothing.  You do nothing.  You are there to try to make friends.  You do not want to be black balled on your first meeting and never get to help again.

But what does confused Caryn do?  She asks questions.
First one.... ummmm, why are we spending so much money purchasing pizza, this restaurant is super expensive.  Would it not be better to save money and buy at the pizza place down the street?

It was a strange feeling.  One momma looked at me like... we were going to get out of here early if I would have kept quiet and shut her eyes... looking back, she for sure passed out.  Another momma... Smiley, kicked my foot, it was like she was giving me a little bit of encouragement, like she wanted to say that too.

Nan, who had almost gotten her 5 billion dollar pizza budget approved stopped speaking (oh, yea... I may have forgotten to say I interrupted her)... I am so stupid!!  She turns slowly, like she had a hurt neck (maybe she did I do not know), she is turning, and immediately poo-poos my pizza!

Oh- no, she di-ent!
If you poo-poo my pizza you poo-poo me!

Nan is all... that pizza place is gross...
I would never feed my children that pizza....
the preservatives
the sauce is gross
it is super cheap....
and I just could not take her poo-pooing any longer.  After she said it is poor quality food and cheap I totally Girl, Interrupted her!
I tried to think of something about the cost, we are raising money, save money and spend it somewhere else (I was thinking all of those thoughts, really, I was) until I said,

"my family owns that pizza chain down the street".

It was almost like the air got sucked out of the room, by those other 5 women.
Yea, I own that.

I look back and cannot even believe I said that.  Stupid.

Well, Nan, oh sweet Nan, her neck turned faster this time to me and she tried to shovel all of her poo out of the hole she had been digging.  I mean after all, she was talking to Little Mrs. Pizzaria.

She started backpeddlin' quick,
Oh, well, it is not that bad
We have eaten there before
I just went to a kids birthday party and they had that pizza...
It was funny.  I was laughing.  The other mommas finally started breathing again, I think I shocked them.  Nan was still a ramblin' and I told her I was just kidding.
Her face was priceless.  I mean now, it sounded like she owned it, she was talking it up so much.
She obvi did not appreciate my humor.
Needless to say, we are not besties.  That is okay, I do love all of the other parents I have been able to meet.  Some of them see me and ask if I am running any specials, or tell me that they had my pizza the previous week!
Fun times.
So, how has your experience been with your littles schools?  Good?  Bad?  Fun?  What are some of the BIG things your PTO is doing?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 is in the books...

The new year has started, only 1 more day until our Christmas break is over, and it is late Saturday night and I am up blogging.  This is so one of my happy spots... all is quiet (except for the man friend snoring and the background music of the Farmers Only Dot Com commercial).  The day has been so good.  It was a cold one today, but we ventured out to a local playground anyways! After that we went to have lunch with some of the fam, watched our Razorbacks play and WIN in the Liberty Bowl, and even went ice skating.  Now that I list all of that, it seems like an awful lot of things that we did and I am beginning to think, "why am I still awake"?!  Ha!

Anyways, y'all know I love to blog about all of the good, the great, and the not so great, and this would be one of those things .  This morning, after I woke up, I started to think about the month of January, day 2 of the new year, and how this year is just going to be so BIG for us, I can just feel it.  That is when it hit me... it is January, and that my due date for baby number 3 is quickly approaching.  I must admit, I have been really doing well the past bit, not sad, but good.  My anger in my heart has softened and my sadness has really gone.  I have finally found a peace, and have focused on ALL of the good I have in my life.  So, it was a bit strange to wake up and think about little number 3.  To think that if things had turned out differently our little one might have been here.  Yes, our due date was not until January 28th (which was funny, since that was the same due date for Brayden, and he came a month early, just as his sister did)!  I just know that baby 3 would not have come any differently than his/ her brother and sister.  I told Aron about my thoughts this morning, how if things would have worked out differently, that right now I would have been chasing my two with my third in my arms.  He could not believe that time has just gone by so quickly, and just smiled.

I just had a light bulb moment typing all of this... my third little has been with me this whole time (not in my arms) but in my heart

2015 was so very good to my family.  We had many happy moments, celebrated birthdays, Sophia graduating pre-school and starting kindergarten, Brayden playing baseball, the kids joining gymnastics, camping trips, time with family, happy holidays, choir performances at church, announcement of baby number three, Brayden was a "pil-drum"... so many wonderful memories were had.

We are a lucky bunch.  We have our health, a home, a job, and each other, and I  foresee BIG things for our 2016.