Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday

Today I am participating in a blog carnival hosted by Rocks In My Dryer. Every Wednesday people from all over the internet post practical tips on their blog and link them back to her blog. There are lots of great tips on her site every Wednesday so please, go check it out!

Here’s what works for me.

My kids love, love, love, LOVE popsicles and in the summertime I indulge them almost everyday. What’s a hot sticky day without a cool sweet Popsicle? Almost as much as they love popsicles, I hate the drippy mess they make so last summer I got smart. I took one O-Cel-O sponge for each of my kids and cut a slit in the center of it. Now when the kids want a Popsicle I wet one of these sponges, put the stick end of the Popsicle through the slit in the sponge and hand them their treat. In addtition to being a cheap, reusable and very effective drip catcher the kids also have something to wipe their hands and mouths off on when they are finished eating. Then they toss the stick in the trash and the sponge in the sink.

The kids are happy. Mom is happy. Works for me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

As if theirs doesn't stink!

We have a bathroom right beside the kids’ playroom. It comes in very handy for them as they seem to always wait until the very last minute to do their business. It also comes in very handy for me as it is also right off the kitchen and laundry closet which seems to be where I spend all of my time during the day.

A couple of mornings ago I went in to uh, er, well do MY business. Dan was getting ready to leave for work and as he passed by the door he muttered, “Oh! Wow!” and shot me a dirty look. Peter piped in with “Shoo! Mommy stinks!”

Dan left for work, Peter resumed playing and I resumed my post in the kitchen. Sarah woke up, came down the stairs and headed straight for the playroom. As she passed the bathroom door she crinkled up her nose, turned to look at me and said, “Ew! Mommy! Can you spray some of that nice, good spray! You made it stink in there!”

Geez! Everyone’s a critic!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Please don't make me wash the sheets!

It’s no secret – I hate to wash sheets. I’m not sure why but the whole process of taking off a set of sheets - tugging on the pillows until they come out of the cases, having to remove the comforter so I can get to the bottom sheet, blah, blah, blah – really drives me crazy. All the steps of getting the sheets off the bed are just a huge hassle and then having to stuff it all in the washing machine (we have an older averaged size washer/dryer…maybe one day we will get a new-fangled fancy set but not anytime soon as our old set works just fine.) and then having to put it all back on the bed when the sheets are clean….UGH! It is a process that just completely annoys me!

I’m not sure what was going on earlier this week but I think my kids were secretly conspiring against me to get me to wash their sheets. On Sunday afternoon my husband left for a business trip and things were going smoothly until about 3:00am on Monday morning. I woke up to Sarah screaming, “It’s wet in here! There’s water in my bed!”. I trudged into her room and was trying to quickly figure out why there was water in her room. My thoughts were garbled since it was 3:00am but I was trying to eliminate potential causes before I got to her room.

Hmmm…Water? Did it rain into her room? That couldn’t be it since it hasn’t rained around here since 1987.

Did a pipe leak? No there really aren’t any water pipes leading into her room. That couldn’t be it.

Oh no, I thought when I stepped into her room….she has peed in her bed! You have got to be kidding me! She never pees in the middle of the night. She always wakes up dry and of course, of course I just stopped putting her in pull-ups three nights before. She has been potty trained since January but I have always put her in pull-ups just in case she has a night time accident. But she NEVER does and she ALWAYS wakes up dry so I decided to stop wasting money on the pull-ups and just put her to bed in her underwear since she NEVER needs to pee in the middle of the night and since she ALWAYS wakes up dry.

But alas, 3:00am on Monday morning she had an accident. She was scared and she didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t scared. I was just annoyed. Now I’m going to have to actually wash her sheets. Grrrr…. Well, I’m not washing her sheets at 3:00am, I thought. My husband wasn’t at home. I didn’t want to have to turn on all the lights, go through the hassle of getting the dirty sheets off, put on clean ones and then try to get my daughter back to sleep so I did what any laundry hating, sleep loving mother would do at 3:00am. I cleaned her bottom with a wash cloth in the dark, quickly changed her pajamas, put towels down over the wet spots and tucked her back into bed. It was 3:06 am, she was asleep and all was well except that I knew that first thing in the morning I was going to have to wash her sheets. I tossed and turned for the rest of the night.

On Tuesday morning my son bounded down the stairs and into the office where I was reading email, paying bills, drinking my coffee, and he says, “Good morning!" Then he proceeded to take off his pajama bottoms and his underwear. I asked him what the heck he was doing and he calmly said, “My underwear is wet.”

“Your underwear is wet? Did you spill some milk or water on it?”, I asked with a sinking feeling knowing full well that he had not had any milk or water yet that morning.

“No. I think I peed in my bed. Can I have my breakfast now?”

What?? He peed in his bed?! This can’t be happening to me. Peter is 4 and a half! He’s been potty trained for the last two years and stopped wearing pull-ups to bed a long, long time ago. He’s great about getting up in the middle of the night if he has to go so why, oh, why did he pee in his bed? The kids must be conspiring against me. They must sense that I hate washing sheets. They know that Daddy is out of town and Mommy is already on edge so let’s see if we can push her over it. Won’t that be fun to watch?

Or maybe they both realized that wetting the bed is the only way to get clean sheets around here. And who can blame them? There is nothing nicer than sliding down into crisp clean sheets that have been tightly pulled into place. And who doesn’t love how hospital corners look right after clean sheets have been put onto a bed? Peter probably even got spoiled by staying at my mother’s house because my mom IRONS her sheets! IRONS her sheets, people!!! Come to think of it my mother-in-law irons her sheets, too! I don’t even iron my clothes much less my sheets!!

I know my husband likes fresh clean sheets too. I just hope he chooses a better way to let me know he would like the dirty ones washed!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Of pirates and princesses...

Overheard in the backseat of the car:

Sarah: I’m a princess and you are going to be a pirate!

Peter: (authoritatively) Well, I can be a pirate but you can’t be a princess and live here. We have a president in this land so you will have to go somewhere else if you want to be a princess.

Sarah: (defensively) Well, Mommy and Daddy call me “princess” so I am one already!

I chuckled for the next few miles. They are both correct for a change! There are still real pirates plundering and pillaging on the high seas so I guess if Peter really wanted to be a pirate he could be one. Of course they probably don’t wear eye patches and carry cool swords, but still.

And Dan and I do call Sarah “princess”. But why wouldn’t we? Her name does mean “princess” in Hebrew, she only wants to wear dresses and she has no less than 5 tiaras so it seems to me that she is destined for the monarchy! But it’s too bad she would have to live in another county since we “have a president in this land” because I was totally looking forward to babysitting the grandkids!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another Mommy?

Last Friday was one of those summer days that a mother dreads. We had no plans until 2:30 p.m. and both kids were up by 7:30 a.m. so I knew it was going to be a long morning. It was going to be in the low 90’s with high humidity so go to the park wasn’t an appealing thought to me or the kids. My parents who live right next door were both busy. We had already been to the Children’s Museum and Bounce U earlier that week. I needed to return something to Target but both kids immediately starting grumbling about that – even with the prospect of getting a hot pretzel. Target has really good pretzels and they keep my kids quietly occupied in the shopping cart for about 20 minutes. Since they weren’t thrilled at the idea of going to Target and since I didn’t absolutely have to go I decided we would just stay home and play. Great idea for the kids not so great idea for Mommy.

We ended up playing “pirate ship and baby”. How does one play pirate ship and baby you might ask? Well let me explain. Sarah and I toted three baby dolls (Stella, Riley and an unnamed naked doll with wild hair), diapers, bottles, baby clothes and several books around in our arms while we followed Peter from bedroom to bedroom. He informed us that he was the pirate captain and we were the first mates. As mateys we had to PRETEND to hoist flags, swab decks, throw anchors, prepare meals, etc. all while Peter was telling elaborate pirate stories. We did this for one hour.

One. Hour.

I thought I was going to cry at about the 15 minute mark but since we didn’t have anything else that we had to do and no where else we had to be I decided to just deal with it and live in the moment. Both kids were having lots of fun and I have to admit that I enjoyed it to up to a point. Sarah was even allowing Peter to boss her around for a change. That never happens. Ever.

So for one hour we played this and life was good until I casually said, “O.k. Mommy is going downstairs now. You guys can keep playing but I am going to fold the laundry.” And then all hell broke loose. There was screaming and wailing and whining and gnashing of teeth. There were red faces, tears, and snot. There were two kids jumping up and down on the beds, rolling around on the floors and general bedlam.

When my kids get crazy like this the only thing I can do (other than give in and play pirate ship and baby for another hour. Which was not going to happen.) is to tell them I love them and remove myself from the situation. I headed down the stairs and even though I felt guilt at ending the game after ONE HOUR I also was proud of myself that I played the game for ONE HOUR. I’ve mentioned before how much I don’t enjoy playing pretend games so I felt good with my accomplishment. My kids being kids however just wanted more.

They followed me down the stairs and as they began to stop their crying and whining and gnashing of teeth Sarah, my beautiful darling daughter whom I love more than the world itself, said to me,

“Next time can we have another mommy? I don’t want this one anymore.”

That stopped me in my tracks.

My kids have said mean and hurtful things before. Peter’s usual response when I tell him no to something is “I don’t like you!” or sometimes even “I don’t love you!”. I usually just respond with “But I love you” in an annoying singsongy voice and that just makes him huff even harder.

But to ask for another mommy. Because they don’t want this one anymore. Wow. I was floored. I don’t even remember my response but she must have realized she actually hurt my feelings because she started to backpedal.

“Well I mean we should have two mommies AND two daddies and blah, blah, blah, blah.”

I don’t remember the rest of her “explanation” but it was clear she was trying to cover her tracks. I like how she brought in Daddy as if wanting another daddy would make the fact that she said she wanted another mommy less hurtful. Even as I was standing there trying to figure out a response I was impressed with the fact that she immediately realized she hurt my feeling and that she was quickly trying to “explain” her statement.

I’m not sure why this statement hurt so much. Maybe it stung because it came from baby. My last baby. Maybe it stung so much because she said it so matter-of-factly so pointedly. I guess she is starting to take steps toward her inevitable independence. I guess I was hoping to wait until her surly teenaged years before I had to hear anything like that. I guess I was secretly hoping that she would always put me on a pedestal and always look up with adoring eyes. I’m her mother after all! I deserve that! Don’t I??

It’s been a week since she asked for another mommy and I’m sure she’s forgotten her request. I am over my initial hurt and realize that it was something said in the heat of the moment and not something she really meant. But we’ve turned a corner now and there’s no going back. She’s hurling down the road to being her own big girl and getting farther and farther away from being mommy’s little girl. I guess she can’t be my baby forever but I’m going to tighten my grip on her little hand for a little while longer.

Another mommy?? Sorry kid. You are stuck with this one.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

That Smell*

There is a lingering odor in my house that I can’t get rid of. It’s my own fault that it’s here and nothing I try will get rid of it! If there is any such thing as a smell exorcism I need to perform one!

Early one morning, several months ago, I walked downstairs to make my husband’s lunch and make myself a cup of coffee. As I was turning down the stairs a stink hit me in the face. (Our stairs are such that you come down one little flight, turn on a landing and come down them in the other direction. Hard for me to explain but I think you all know what I am talking about.) It wasn’t the smell of poop, or dirty feet or even skunk (living out in the country we get lots of that!). I can instantly identify these smells. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on this one. It was vaguely familiar but what was it??

The odor was very subtle. So subtle that my husband didn’t notice it and I never mentioned it to him figuring that it would just go away on its own. Odors do that right? Isn’t that called dissipation? Didn’t I learn that concept in science class? The odor was only in the stairway. It would hit me in the face at the landing of the first flight and then would get stronger as I would come down the final flight. The smell was driving me crazy. Not only the fact that it seemed stuck in my stairwell but also the fact that I couldn't identify it.

It is hard to describe this smell other than to say it is slightly unpleasant, extremely subtle and just not a smell that I want in my house! This smell hit me in the face for weeks and finally I resigned myself to the fact that I would never figure out what it was and that it was never going away. Then I made Adobo in the crock pot. Again.

After a couple of hours the odor started to fill the kitchen and I had a sinking feeling. I realized what the smell in the stairwell was. It was the Adobo! I recalled that I made Adobo right around the time I first started smelling the smell.

If you aren’t familiar with Adobo it is a dish prepared in the Philippines and basically is meat cooked in vinegar and soy sauce. The recipe I used called for the meat (you can use chicken, pork or beef) to be cooked all day in a crock pot. So I wasn’t just creating this smell again but I was reinforcing it ALL DAY in the crock pot!

And sadly enough the Adobo wasn’t even that good the first time I made it. It was just really easy. After making the Adobo I pointed out the smell to Dan and he agrees that there definitely is an odor in the stairwell. He doesn’t seem to be concerned with it because after all it is subtle and it usually only resides in the stairwell. But it is driving me crazy.

I have tried covering it up with potpourri.

Didn’t work.

We switched out our air filters. Not so much because they were really dirty and it was way past time but because I thought perhaps the odor was stuck in our air vents.

Didn’t work.

I even bought those air fresheners that you attach to the air filters. They smelled great for two days and now I can’t smell them at all. So much for lasting for 30 days. And as for getting rid of the Adobo odor…

Didn’t work.

I have thrown away the recipe for Adobo and have resigned myself to smelling this smell every single time I go up and down the stairs which as a stay at home mom means possibly 20 times a day. Maybe more. Sure feels like more. Perhaps in a few months the odor will be gone. I can only hope so but in the meantime I will take any suggestions on how to get rid of it.

*Everytime I come down the stairs the chorus of the song That Smell by Lynard Skynard pops into my head.
" Oooooh, that smell. Can't you smell that smell?"

Just realized. If you type smell enough times it starts to look mispelled.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mommy? Will you play with me?

It all begins innocently enough. After breakfast Peter will watch an episode of The Magic School Bus and then he will head into the playroom. I am usually in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee, washing the breakfast dishes and trying to scan the headlines from the morning paper so I don’t sound like a complete idiot when someone says, “So what did you think about the huge volcano eruption in Canada?” Too many times I’ve been completely unaware of some major world event and have had to politely say “Oh, yes, um, horrible!?”

Inevitably after he heads into the playroom I will hear a sweet little whiney voice call out to me, “Mommy. Will you play with me?” And so the day begins. I trudge into the playroom wishing there was more coffee in the pot and plop down onto the floor right beside him. He has dumped three Rubbermaid bins of Mega Blocks Pyrates toys on the floor and asks me to play pirates with him.

Peter got his first Pyrate toy from my parents in his Easter basket. Yes. In addition to chocolate bunnies the Easter Bunny brings toys. The Easter Bunny (especially the Grandma Easter Bunny) feels bad for Peter and Sarah because they don’t get any toys except on their birthday or Christmas. They get plenty of toys on these two occasions but the rest of the year is toy free except for the occasional minor gift giving holiday toy. (Minor gift giving holidays would include Easter and Valintine's Day.) I’m sure this is the case in many households and it is true at our house too. We have never given into requests for any new play things. We always answer with, “Put it on your list for your birthday.” Or with “Maybe Santa will bring it.” Luckily for Peter and Sarah they have generous relatives who like to begift them throughout the year. (Grandma, Aunt Cathy and Aunt Barbara immediately come to mind!)

Peter has been playing with these Mega Block Pyrate toys since March and his love for them has not diminished. When he finds a toy he likes he will stick with it way past the time that Mommy is completely OVER IT. For in stance on his second birthday we got him a set of cool blocks. He played with these EVERY DAY until around age four. At that point he started getting bored with them. He still brings them out but it’s usually just a once or twice a month now. (I highly recommend these blocks by the way! $25.00 well spent!)

Anyway, back to the Pyrate Megablocks. He creates little islands with the blocks and then starts making up very detailed stories about them. He always asks me to play with him and I’m never sure why because I never seem to do it right. I will always go into the playroom and ask him what he wants me to do. He usually asks me to build an island. But I always do it wrong. No matter what I do I get an emphatic, “You’re doing it wrong, Mommy!” So I will try to do it “right” whatever right is. After a few more failed attempts I will put together an island to his satisfaction and then he will start yelling at me to “Play, Mommy! Play with it!” Agh! Am I not already playing with it?? Have I not already been playing for 15 or 20 minutes?? So then I will start to take the little pirates and make shooting noises and will start to say things like “Arghh, Matey! Where’s the treasure!?” Sometimes this will appease him and other times not so much. I always say a silent prayer of thanks when Sarah comes downstairs asking for breakfast. Thank goodness for my other duties! No more pirates. For now.

But once she’s awake and fed I start getting requests to play “baby”. This game is a little less annoying for me since it only involves me sitting at her table and pretending to eat the food she has prepared for me. Many times it involves a tea party which is easy enough for me to pull off. I usually don’t get yelled at during these rounds of make believe play like I do when I am pretending (poorly) to be a pirate. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl and “baby” comes more naturally than “pirate”.

I didn’t realize being a parent would require so much pretend play. And I’m not sure why I dislike it so much. I can read them book after book. I can do craft after craft. I can push them on the swing for hours on end. But for some reason I can't get into the pretend stuff. In my head I imagine other parents playing happily on the floor with their kids for hours on end laughing and serving up another round of tea or engaging in yet another bloody pirate battle. Meanwhile I’m thinking to myself “how much longer do I have to do this?” I worry that my lack of enjoyment for these activities makes me a horrible parent. I keep telling myself that the kids need to learn to play by themselves. I think I’ve read that somewhere. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway…

I know I can’t get out of playing pretend games with my kids so I have found something that makes it a little more bearable. Luckily our playroom is located fairly closely to the family room which of course contains a TV. So now before a round of pirate or baby I make sure that the TV is turned to a Mommy show (usually the Today Show) and that the volume is turned up.

Way up.

For some reason as long as I can hear adults in the background having adult conversation I can suffer through the pretend games. And as an added bonus I can learn more about that volcano eruption in Canada at the same time.

Ahoy, Matey!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Family fun? Not so much...

I love Family Fun magazine and have been subscribing to it for over two years now. It’s really cheap and it’s loaded with lots of really cool crafts and other great ideas for family fun! The crafts look so cool but I never seem to get around to doing them. A lot of them seem a little too advanced for my kids but I found one that one I thought would be fairly easy to do. We made this birdfeeder!

And the craft was fairly easy to do for the kids because Dan and I did most of it. (Well, correction…Dan did most of it.) All I really had to do was buy the bird seed (the cheapest I could find was $1.87 at Wal-mart) and four wooden spoons ($1.25 at Wal-Mart - of course). Daddy took over from there.

Dan cut circles out of the plastic bottles while the kids pestered him to help. Of course Exact-O knives don't make great toys for kids so they just watched and whined (and hammed it up for the camera!) during this step.

The cheap wooden spoons I bought at Wal-Mart weren’t all the same length so Dan had to use his saw to shorten them. He was pretty excited about having something to saw and so were the kids. This extra step which could have been avoided all together was the most fun for the kids. They loved “helping” Daddy use the saw.

It was finally time to pour the birdseed into the feeder! The kids could actually help with this step. We filled Sarah’s inside and quickly realized this was an outside step due to the mess it made! I am still finding birdseed on my kitchen floor!

Then Dan inserted little hooks in the bottle caps and we hung them on a tree and ... TA-DAH! The finished product!

Dan and I were very happy with how they turned out. The kids really seemed to care less though. I suppose this craft is for older kids but it looked so neat and easy that I wanted to try it out. All in all the craft took about an hour to complete and the kids spent a lot of this hour complaining that there wasn’t anything for them to do and there really wasn’t a lot of hands on time for them in this craft. I really thought they would be more excited when we got to watch the birds eating from the feeders.

However, the birds weren’t thrilled with my cheap birdseed and aren’t coming to eat it. After a week of hanging in the tree all of the birdseed was still in the feeder so I reluctantly purchased a slightly higher quality birdseed. After a day in the feeder it too appears to be uneaten and completely ignored by the birds. Hmmm…wonder if it’s the design of the birdfeeder? I’m not sure what it is but we are very disappointed that the birds aren’t using it and I'm not going to buy any more birdseed!

This isn’t going to be the end of crafting for me and the kids. I am still on the look out for an easy and fun craft for the kids. They are getting tired of painting and coloring and there are still 4 looooonnnnng weeks left before school starts so leave me a comment and let me know if you have any ideas. And check back here because I have something up my sleeve for all of my left over birdseed! And no…it won’t be a recipe!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Do you want it done? Or do you want it done right?

Anyone who has driven past our house lately knows the sad state of our grass. And when I use the word grass I use it very loosely. I guess technically there is grass there but it’s mostly Bermuda and crab. Don’t get me wrong. There is also quite a bit of winter rye which is gorgeous grass in the winter but in the summer it turns into hay. Literally. Just ask my kids who can’t run across it barefooted because after it has been mowed feels hard and rough like…hay. So in a nutshell we have green weeds and brown hay and lots of bare patches in between.

My husband has spent many hours fretting over the state of our lawn. We had TruGreen Chemlawn apply two rounds of their wonder chemicals before we realized that even their lovely product isn’t going to help the hay. Any fescue that we did have in the early spring had long since been completely overtaken by the weeds so basically we were paying them for nothing. Shame on them for taking our money when it was apparent that there was nothing left to even salvage. And then they had the nerve to leave a follow up review on our doorstep stating that the condition of the lawn was “improving”. Ha! (In their defense, we did use them before at our other house on a lawn that was established and not planted with hay and after several visits from them we had the nicest grass on the whole street.)

So being the good wife and stay-at-homer than I am I started checking the phone book for reputable lawn care companies. We decided we need to have someone aerate and overseed in the fall. We wanted to start looking now so we could figure out how much money we were going to have to spend and get on their to-do list.

I found four places in the local phone book that I decided I would call. How I determined which four companies to call was based solely on how their ad looked in the Yellow Pages. That’s such a girly way to go about it. My husband probably would have just starting calling in alphabetical order but I spent a lot of time analyzing how their ad looked, what it said, where they placed the words aerate and overseed in the ad, what kind of graphics they used in the ad, etc.

There was one company that had a glowing cross on either side of their name in the ad. I decided that was a good sign. The company is probably run by good Christians if they have glowing crosses beside their company name in their Yellow Pages ad. I called them and liked the sound of the owner’s voice right away. I liked it even better when he said he would come out later that afternoon if we were going to be home. Great! Nice voice and good service! Those glowing crosses didn’t let me down! Surely I have found the company for the job! I said we would be home and for him to come on over at any time. That was five days ago and I’m still waiting. So, mark the glowing cross company off the list.

The next guy I called told me he would come out in a couple of days to give me an estimate. However as he was telling me this I heard a toilet flush in the background.


This guy actually did come as promised and gave me a very low quote…almost too low…but all I could wonder about the whole time I was talking to him was whether he was going number one or number two when we were speaking on the phone. I took his business card but for some reason I didn’t want to keep it. I guess it’s because after I heard the toilet flush I never heard any water running, any hand soap pumping or any towel drying going on in the background.


So, I marked the talk on the phone and then flush and then not wash your hands guy off my list.

The next guy I spoke to gave me a quote over the phone based on estimates of how big the yard was and conditions of the lawn as described to him by me. His price was about what I expected and he seemed nice enough but he didn’t want to even look at the grass and give me a firm estimate until we told him we were going to use him. The last thing I needed was to have someone come out in September and say “Whoa! This yard is bigger than I thought. That price I quoted you in July is waaaaay too low!” So I politely listened to him talk about the seed he used and the fertilizer he recommended and I silently crossed him off the list.

I called one more guy. He was all business from the minute he answered the phone. I was describing the grass and where we lived. He then declared that he saw the contractors planting the grass when they were building our home and that he has been by there recently and had seen how bad it was.

He then got very serious and said, “Do you want it done? Or do you want it done right?” I didn’t answer thinking that it was a rhetorical question but when he remained silent I quickly realized he actually wanted an answer. So I let out a little nervous laugh and then said, “We want it done right.” I mean what else was I going to say? His response was, “I only do high quality work so if you aren’t interested in doing it the right way then I’m not your guy. If you want it done the right way I’ll be out tomorrow to take a look at things. When will your husband be home? I’d like to talk to you both if possible.”

This guy knew what he was doing. He actually wanted to talk to my husband. In this case that’s a good thing because before my husband spends a dime he wants to know exactly what he’s getting. I had been trying to explain seed and fertilizer types, aerating methods and other landscaping stuff to him based on what the other landscapers had told me and we were both getting confused. It was going to take him talking to an actual landscaper before we spent any money. This landscaper probably knows that most lawns are managed by the man of the house. I hate to stereotype but I think it’s probably true. At least in this household anyway. I take care of the inside of the house. Dan takes care of the outside. This isn’t to say that we couldn’t switch roles if we wanted to or needed to but we tend to fall back on the 1950s method of division of household labor. It works for us.

After I hung up I started to become annoyed. Do you want it done or do you want it done right? What kind of a question was that?? I only do high quality work. Whatever! But the more I thought about it the more my conversation with him reminded me of a conversation I had with Ken Bloch. Before we moved here we had to sell our house. We had our house on the market previously and the house remained on the market for eight months with zero offers before we finally gave up. We used two different realtors both of whom came by word of mouth and neither of whom I really interviewed before selecting them. I wasn’t going to make that same mistake twice so when my husband got his new job here I actually interviewed several realtors before choosing Ken Bloch. I had it narrowed down to two. One was Ken Bloch and the other was a nice husband and wife team. They seemed so sweet but Ken was super confident. His confidence was almost off putting but I just knew in my gut he could back up the big talk. So we chose him and three weeks after we put the house on the market we had two full price offers on the same day! So I decided to meet this landscaper in person before I turned him away because of his bravado.

We met him two days later and he had nothing good to say about our grass. But I would have questioned his knowledge as a landscaper if he had. He recommended starting from scratch. He told us how he would kill the crab grass; how he would use a tractor to aerate and then have three people come behind the tractor with hand aerators. Then he told us all about the seed blend he would use and then he said, “If he (pointing up to the sky) gives me good rain then 14 days after I’m done you will have new grass!” He did a great job selling his service and we definitely believe that if he gets rain then we will have grass. Unfortunately he didn’t give us any suggestions on how to pay for his services. I’ve decided that perhaps the kids don’t need preschool next year and that maybe eating isn’t quite as important as it used to be. I am trying to loose a few pounds after all…