Some Tidbits: Landscapers, Freedom and Cookies (and answers to the quiz)

Edited to add that if you subscribe by email, something is wrong with my Feedburner and it alerts you to a post the day after I published it. I published this post at 7:15am on Friday, December 14. I had no idea the horror that would unfold in Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers are with the families that lost their loved ones in the senseless tragedy. There are no words. There is no understanding. Only sadness and anger that lives were cut short at the hands of evil.


Hmmm…how’s that for topics totally unrelated? Whirlwind of activity the month of December=jumbled thoughts.

We tore down our deck over a year ago. We have had landscapers come a year ago and clean out our yard…take down trees and bushes, cut a bunch of them, put mulch down…you know basic yard stuff. These landscapers were also going to put down a patio. I wanted a basic cement one (I know…not very cool but I wanted Gia to be able to do sidewalk chalk while I read a book). Leo wanted a brick paver one. He won because the amount of time I actually spend outside negates my vote. Plans were made and then nothing. Winter came and we didn’t hear from him. In his defense (and shockingly, he showed me the scar), he got sick. His health was not good so in the beginning of spring, he came back, told us what happened and we made plans. The patio would be in before summer. Nope. He never showed. We had siding put in and he came back. Always looking for Leo who was never home. He left a few materials at our house so I thought he’d be back. Nope. Summer came and went. Fall came and went. The mound of dirt in the backyard remained a hazard so we couldn’t go in our backyard (though the bees made sure we didn’t really care). Guess who showed up three weeks before Christmas to do the patio? Guess who started the patio without telling me only to scare the crap out of me because I was doing Zumba in the kitchen right in front of the kitchen window? Yep. The three landscape guys. They looked amused and scared. I was mortified. The thing about Zumba is that you think you look like a hot, sexy woman who has so much rhythm, you could be on So You Think You Can Dance but actually, you look like a sweaty, uncoordinated hot mess that might look like they are having a seizure. And on a side note, I have absolutely nothing against music in Spanish but the appreciation factor goes waaay down at 7:30 in the morning on the highest volume setting.

It’s great that it is getting done. It needed to get done but it’s hard to get excited about something you rarely use or won’t be able to use for a few months. Now if it was the kitchen or my bathroom…I’d be shouting from the rooftops.

Raising a teen is not without its stress. I have written about this many times so this is not new. What is new is that he is telling people he is grounded “forever” or “for the month of December” and that is not entirely true. Why is it easier to tell your friends you are grounded than “I don’t want to do that so I’m staying home”? I mean I know why but I wish he’d just say, “I didn’t like the way things were so I’m changing them.”  Sometimes you have to protect yourself from yourself. And sometimes we as parents need to step in and do it. It’s not fun and isn’t without its own blood sweat and tears. Freedom as a teen is earned and when it is abused, it can feel like it’s out of control and can be or should be taken away. Props to him for recognizing that when we talked to him about it and saying that to fix it, he should stay home. We are entering weekend 2 and his resolve is lessening. That’s okay. Leo and I are here to remind him of why he is not hanging out or going to parties. Sometimes it takes a hard truth to change things. It’s a good lesson to learn in any case but Nico is stubborn and these next few weeks are going to be tough. Send prayers or margaritas or both.

Last night, I went to our neighborhood cookie exchange. I wasn’t going to go, not because I don’t enjoy it, I really do but because Leo had a business dinner, Gia is still not sleeping, the house looks like a bomb went off in it, I hadn’t showered in I don’t know how long (how is that for attractive and I know there are moms out there nodding along agreeing), I wanted to get on the treadmill and I was carpool mom for dance. I.WAS.TIRED. But, my friend Kay was delivering cards (looking very urban chic while walking her dog which reminded  me that I was not fit for public) and when I told her I wasn’t going…well, I don’t get to see her very often so it is hard to say no to her. My kids were all for me going because they love the cookies I bring home so there was a mad dash of picking up for dance, baking 4 dozen cookies, getting dinner on the table, and showering. The house and the treadmill didn’t happen. And the sleep? I got home at 10 (2 hours after I said I would) and everyone was still up. I tried putting back the house back together but Gia, Gia, Gia. She is struggling so much to fall asleep on her own at night. I know. Tough love. I’m doing it with the oldest, I need to do it with the youngest.

The nice part about last night is I got to talk to my neighbors that I don’t see very often. All of our yards touch but because we are all so busy, we barely say two words to each other in real life. Through Facebook or email, we have spoken but it was so nice to actually chat. It’s funny and a little sad how life brings you to different places from year to year. It made me nostalgic for the cookie exchanges of the past and excited to make some new friends. It was definitely a mixed bag. I am not a good neighbor. You’d think I’d be better because I grew up in a townhouse where you have no choice because you share walls but I’m not. I stay in my house. I don’t go to a lot of neighbor things. Our yard in the summer is overgrown. Our sidewalks in the winter are never clear. Our boys’ endless playing basketball. God, how I hate the sound of  a bouncing basketball (if my kids are ever bouncing a ball before 10:00am or after 10:00pm, don’t worry about killing them, I will have already chucked the ball down the street). We kind of suck. I really want to thank my neighbors for not caring that we do (or if they do, they never show it).


Answers to the song quiz: 1. Up Where We Belong by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. 2. When You Say Nothing at All by Alison Krauss 3. Life After You by Daughtry 4. Before it’s Too Late by the Goo Goo Dolls 5. Breathe (3am) by Anna Nalick Challenge: Breaking Inside by Shinedown (LOVE THEM) and Friend of the Devil by Grateful Dead

If this post wasn’t already so long, I’d post videos.

So what about you? What thoughts are jumbled in your head today? How did you do on the quiz? Something going on in your life that you need me to either pray or send margaritas?


Related Posts:


  1. Personally, I like a catch-up post because I get to read about all aspects of your life! :) Lisa was the one from our crew actually taking the song quiz, but I totally knew the Breathe lyrics right off the bat, because I love that song! :) And the patio/deck story made me laugh out loud!!-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..We Are Giving It Up Because We Can…and ShouldMy Profile

  2. The Grateful Dead! I should have known that last one.
    I was one of the moms nodding and agreeing with all your words! (especially the haven’t showered so how can I go out part) but I really almost got a neck crick when you said you don’t get to see your actual neighbors much in real life. I have more talks on Facebook with my across the street neighbor than I ever do in real life. I don’t even know how she wears her hair right now, it’s been so long since I’ve actually seen her in person. –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..We Are Giving It Up Because We Can…and ShouldMy Profile

  3. Yes, tough love on the sleep for Gia. I know it’s really tough, but in the long run, it’s good for you and God knows it’s good for her. Hunker down and get it done. Forget the house for now.

    Totally laughed at the fact that 3 dudes spotted you doing Zumba. :)
    Alison recently posted..Beauty Is A Light In The Heart…. And Other ThingsMy Profile

  4. AnnMarie, I don’t yet have a teenager, but it definitely sounds like a challenge. Go you, Mama, for being a mom to a teen and taking care of everything else! Also, I loved reading about your neighborhood cookie exchange and how much you didn’t want to go. I have a book club meeting tomorrow, and know I’ll be feeling the same way, but you gave me a little push to push myself out the door–I’ll probably have fun, right?? 😉
    Meredith recently posted..Once Upon a CraftMy Profile

    • I always find that the things I dread going to, I end up having the best time. The things I look forward to end up falling below my expectations. So, if that rings true, you will have a blast. :)

      I’m not going to lie…it’s been the most challenging part of this job so far.

  5. I like reading posts like this because they allow me a glimpse inside someone else’s live. Make me realize that I’m not alone in this thing called motherhood and life. I want to write more like this and hope to accomplish that in the new year!!!
    Susi recently posted..Hubby to the rescue… and a few fill ins!My Profile

join the conversation


CommentLuv badge

© 2012-2017 Tidbits from the Queen of Chaos All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

AWSOM Powered