Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It's snowing. Falling gently from the sky. So soft. So beautiful!
AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

I get to sit here and type on my blog and watch the snow thru my huge window in my family room...... AWESOME!!!!!

Holy Smokes Batman....we finally have INTERNET!!!!

Red Alert!! Red Alert!!

We have INTERNET ACCESS and phone and cable!!!!! I do not know how we survived for over a week without the INTERNET!!!!! (aside from being tooooooo busy.)

I promise to post later about life in Topeka and update this BLOG!!! (but, I have to wait until naptime! :-)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jamie...the sanity saver!

This is the girl who just successfully talked me off the ledge. She doesn't even know she did it. That's the thing about good friends, they are there for you, even when they don't know what's going on. I didn't want to whine and moan and complain about how pi$$ed off I was, so I didn't.

To understand why I am seething.... go back 26's 12:15 and they are supposed to be showing my house. And yet again, they are cancelling at the last minute after I spend 45 minutes running around like a crazy person trying to frantically pick up and stack boxes, etc. Then, I find out they are not coming.

As the realtor tells me this, I feel the anger rise in my chest. I'm trying to be nice, after all, I want someone to buy my house. But, this constant rudeness and disreguard for my life is really starting to seriously HACK ME OFF!!!

So fast forward to talking to Jamie. First of all, she always makes me laugh. She calls me some silly pet name, which usually involves a combo of animals, food and body parts. (ex. Muffin Butt) So, immediately I am laughing inside at her latest pet name for me. And now I am starting to smile, even though I am bursting with anger at these real estate people.

Then, she tells me of the great plans for my "going away party" which sounds like so much fun, I can hardly stand it! Let's just say it involves the coolest scrapbookers I know, food and alcohol. What else do you need?!

So, needless to say, the anger for the crappy real estate people is fading into a distant memory and now all I can think about is my *killer* party crop tomorrow night!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!

Thanks Jamie, YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!!! :-)

(And now, after all that, they just called and they'll be here in 20 minutes. Yep, they are 1 hour late!!! Gotta go, gotta vacuum!!!!)

The CHA Fashion Show.....starring Amber and Rox

Well, Amber has to get ready for CHA, where she will debut her "open shelf" line of papers for Adorn It. She must look cool and classy, so she asked me to go shopping with her. And did we have fun!!!!
It was hard to pass up this look....daytime wear for the Las Vegas showgirl meets ridiculous. But we kept looking for just the right outfits! (Can you believe that actually sell this crap in Savannah, GA?!
What the heck is this delightful frock, anyway?!?! I'm still not sure. But we had the feeling it wasn't right for CHA.
Being that Amber will be going to a luncheon with Martha Stewart, we decided to avoid the black/white stripe combo, (ha ha ha!) but Amber was tempted by this black, beaded old lady frock. Hmmm....I'm thinking NO!
In true McMorman style, Modest Millie aka Amber was camera shy in the "try-on" process, so I was forced to take a picture of her feet next to the clothes we picked out. (I told her she didn't have anything I haven't seen before and even that didn't coax her into opening the door until she was fully dressed!)
It's hard to believe a girl who can make a face like this can actually look gorgeous in those clothes in her arms. We got several outfits, not bad for two hours work!!

Knock 'em dead, Amber!!!!!

Packing/ Moving SERIOUSLY SUCKS!!!!

Well, our life is in complete disarray.

The boys are sleeping on the floor since their beds are already torn apart ready for the move.

I'm so exhausted and frustrated by circumstances, that I've turned into that mom, the one who screams at her kids way too much.

(If your child is friends with one of my children, please invite them over for a sleepover, they will feel like your house is the Plaza Hotel in NYC!!)

I can't sleep since big daddy moved to Topeka without us.

I have had a migraine headache nearly every day for the past 2 weeks, some days I've had more than one.

I am so sick of having to have the house perfect for a "showing" at a moment's notice.

I am sick of worrying that this house won't sell in a timely manner.

I'm sick of going to bed, only to have my body hurt so badly that I can't get to sleep and a migraine that prevents me from passing out. So here I am at 1:36am, awake because the Excedrine Migraine I took to erradicate the headache has hyped me up with the caffeine it contains and now I can't sleep! That sucks! (but at least my headache is gone!!)

I hate not knowing how to decide if I should walk the boys to the bus stop in the morning, like big daddy has done every single day this year or watch them from the window, because the 2 little ones are still asleep. I can't walk them down and stay in the house to watch the little ones at the same time. This sucks.

And I hate being a single parent. There just isn't enough of me to go around. And at the end of the day....there's nothing left.

I hate this. It can't end soon enough!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Top Ten Things I WON'T miss about Savannah!

10. The crime in Savannah.

I can honestly say I have never lived anywhere that crime was such an issue. Yes, we had crime in Oklahoma, but not at a level like this! Savannah is one of the highest rated crime areas in the nation. Sad, but true. Such a beautiful city, tainted with shootings, car jackings and other various felonies.

Believe me, I freaked out the first time Ike called me from work and said, "Guess what -- there was just a shooting with a triple homocide on the next block over from the station. I could hear the gunshots." WHAT ?!?!?


I also hate it that because of this high crime rate, I feel like there are things we can't do...just because it wouldn't be safe. That makes me mad. I've been a victim of a violent crime before and I don't want to be again....but it makes me mad that criminals "keep us hostage" if you will, by keeping us in fear.

9. The traffic.

You know, I come from a big city (Tulsa) and traffic was something you could expect when you were in rush hour, but I'm here to tell you the traffic in Savannah is worse than anything I ever experienced in Tulsa. It can take me 45 minutes or more to get to work sometimes....and it's only like 10 miles away! Blah! I won't miss that a bit! Everything in Topeka is 5 minutes away, maybe 10 minutes tops if there were a little traffic.

Not to mention, I will not miss Ike having a 45 minute commute, one-way.

8. The road construction on HWY 17.

When I flew out here in February of 2004 to buy our house, we discovered all this horrible construction on Hwy 17 (about 2 miles worth) on the way to Richmond Hill. I thought, "well, that's annoying, but it looks like they might be done pretty soon, so it won't be too bad!" WRONG!!!! Here we are a few weeks short of 3 years later and the construction on that stretch of the road is STILL NOT FINISHED!! Can you believe that?! According to ~S~ who grew up in RH, this construction has been going on for like over a decade!!!! That is ridiculous!! Bye bye construction zone!!!!

7. The Smelly Marsh smell.

In the summer, when the conditions are just right, you can smell the reek of the marsh. It's not pleasant. Enough said.

6. The hospital's inconvenient location.

At this point in time, the best hospital in Savannah is a 35-45 minute drive (on a good day) from our house in Richmond Hill and there is no "really good" way to get there from here. The straight shot involves going right thru the above-mentioned constuction zone, then cutting off to hwy 204 (Abercorn Street,) which is the main vein all the way thru Savannah and also the street with the most heavy traffic.

Believe me, there is nothing worse than worrying that you may have trouble reaching the hospital in an emergency. (and with 4 kids, we have been to that emergency room more than once!)

And, there is nothing like being pregnant with your 4th child and wondering if you might actually end up giving birth on the side of Abercorn in the marsh. For several months, we had a joke that we might need to name baby ~M~ Savannah Marsha Smith, for this was my fear, that I'd give birth to her in the marsh! Thank goodness I had low amniotic fluid and they took her a little early!

5. The Bryan County school system.

Yep, I said it. I know some people are freaking out reading this right now, but this school system is not all it's made out to be and I WON'T MISS IT AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!

From the moment we set foot in that mid-elementary school to just this week, it's been a place where you are judged by your social class, where simple things are made into a big deal and finally, they don't live up to the fine reputation they somehow have.

Actually, when you compare them to the City Schools in Savannah, you can see why RH public schools are considered to be excellent, but trust me, that's not saying alot!

Have you ever seen a school where the counselor judged us for the neighborhood you live in?? Yes, it happened to us the first day we set foot into this school. And she did it right to my face. (don't worry, my husband eventually put her in her place and even made her cry)

Have you ever seen a school where they fail you by not placing your "gifted" child in the "gifted education" program, when he had been in it since 1st grade? Yep, that happened here too. (What? He's gifted in Oklahoma in 1st and 2nd grade, but not in Georgia in 2nd and 3rd grade, but then amazingly gifted again when he leaves the mid-elementary and goes to the upper-elementary for 4th grade!!!!) Can you say.....THEY dropped the ball?!?!? Yes, this happened to our oldest child, despite our best efforts to get him in the program.

Have you ever seen a school that when a father comes to the school to see his child and speak to the teacher about a misunderstanding, they tell him can't go to your child's classroom, even though the bell HAS NOT wrung. And when the father announces he's going to see his son, they call the police! Yep, this happened here, as well.

Last but not least, I hate their over-zealous dress code, which starts at Kindergarten. I understand the need for a dress-code. But, why not make the dress code, age appropriate????
I know they don't want the pants to touch the floor to avoid having boys wear pants that are 5 sizes too big, with their boxers hanging out of the top. I know we need to have rules that prevent a 8 year old from dressing like Britney Spears. And I welcome it. But, please, please, please make the dress code reasonable!!!!

According to my oldest, he says they showed them a movie about dress code, in which, it showed how a gun could be hidden by a student under clothes that are "too big." Well, that's just great!! Give them ideas how to do it.....give my child nightmares in the process, why don't you?!?! Idiots!!!!

Obviously, whoever made up this dress code has never been the parent of a child who is different than the "average" size child. We have a child who has a little roundness to his middle and requires bigger pants that are a mile too long. Shoot, this Fall, I could barely even find jeans that would fit him at all. And then, I had to pay over $20 a pair for them. (he only has 5)I'm sorry, but I can't afford to have every one of his jeans tailored to meet your ridiculous dress code....that pants can't touch the floor. And I dare you, just dare you to send him home because his pants are too long!!!!!

Then there is the whole..."tuck in your shirt and you must wear a belt if you have belt loops rule!" Now, I'm all for looking "put together," but when you have a boy....many of these shirts are made, tailored, if you will, to wear untucked. They have hems meant to be untucked. In addition, if your child has a belly, this can be very unflattering. But, is any of this taken into consideration, HECK NO!! So, my poor child is forced to follow these rules and even though it could be damaging to his self esteem, he has to do it for the sake of the DRESS CODE!!

Good bye sucky Bryan County School District.....we won't miss you at all!

(Ok, well, we will miss the good teachers we have had......Mrs. Seiler, Ms. Farthing, Mrs. Emerson, Mrs. Blocker, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Mozier, Mrs. Berry and Mrs. Howerton! And a special shout out to Joye Johnson, one of the best Principal's I've ever met! You guys are awesome!!!!)

4. The "ghetto" Wal-Mart.

Quite frankly, I am embarrassed for the Wal-Mart corporation that they own and run a Wal-mart that is this "ghetto." It is by far the skankiest, dirtiest Wal-Mart I have ever been in and I HATE IT!!!!!

For the first 2-3 months we lived here, I drove 16 miles one way down I-95 to get to the Pooler Walmart that wasn't quite so skanky. Then, when I was sick and pregnant, that stopped pretty quickly.

One time, I was here with a my friend Tammy. I accidentally barely brushed my Wal-Mart sack against an African American girls' 1999 Ford Bronco and she jumped out and threatened to "kick my ass!" Not very often do you have that pleasure, but at the ghetto Wal-Mart, it's an actual concern.

Right before we got here, there was even a car-jacking at gunpoint at the Wal-Mart gas station, at the gas pump closest to the bus stop at the end of the Wal-Mart building. I never forgot that story and even though it was cheaper...I almost never bought gas there. Just not worth it!!!!

The good news is....when I was in Topeka last weekend, I spied the biggest, nicest Wal-Mart I have ever seen. Seriously, this place had FOUR main entrances, with complete checkout areas at each one! Now that's crazy!!!! I can't wait to check it out!!

3. The BUGS!!!

Is this Savannah or is this Texas?! I'm not sure. Rumor has it that they grow everything bigger in Texas. I beg to differ. Texas has nothing on these Georgia BUGS!!!!

First of all, if you've ever been here, you most surely have met the Palmetto Bug. Well, let me just tell you, the first time I saw one of these, I about DIED!!!! Palmetto Bug, my ass! THAT'S A ROACH!!!!!! At least, that's what they look like to me. And the debate goes on! I don't think it matters, they are NASTY, whatever they are!!! I'm sorry, but that Palmetto Bug could have carried me off on it's back and I'm a big girl!!! GROSS!!

These darn things give me the heebie - jeebies and I want to kill them, but they are so big, I'm actually afraid to do it, for fear of them exploding all over the place! And nothing is worse than chilling out in your living room and all of a sudden catching sight of one of these nasty things high-tailing it across your wall or floor. BLAH!

Living here, I have seen mosquitos the size of a Buick, with a bite that will leave you a welp the size of a quarter!!! I've even had to take my kids to the doctor to seek medical treatment for mosquito bites that were huge and making them sick!!!

And don't even get me started on the SAND GNATS! Apparently, the problem with these bugs is so prevalent, they named their stinky baseball team after this lovely bug that bite's the crap out of you. These bugs are particularly pesky, because sometimes they are small enough you can't really see them. (hence: the nickname...."no see-ums")

The first few months we lived here, Ike and I got bit by these sand gnats and because we had never been exposed to them before, we had major reactions to them. I can remember laying in bed at night, itching all over, crying and miserable. Feeling feverish. It was AWFUL!!!!

I tried everything I read that might help....for the record, Witch Hazel seemed to be the most effective thing for relieving them.

In addition to these other delightful creatures of God, I'd like to complain just a little about FIRE ANTS!!! These little boogers I had not met until my arrival in Georgia. More than once, poor ~G~ has landed in a pile of these nasty insects and ended up eaten up and blister up by their bite! I hate these things. Every time I see one of their piles, off to Wal-Mart I go to get the fire ant killer.

(Since I don't have a mouse problem here, these fire ants are like then new "mouse" for me. And if you've never heard my mouse stories....just ask me, but be prepared to laugh your butt off!)

And last but not least, there seems to me to be an overabundance of little centipedes here, for I am always finding them in my house and yard.

And although these aren't bugs, they do "bug" me....all these tiny lizards. Being the mom of 3 boys, believe me, I've been UP CLOSE and PERSONAL to these lizards more times than I care to think about. They just "bug" me and secretly give me the heebie-jeebies, even though, I'd never admit this to the boys. They'd use that info against me, for sure!!!

2. The lack of Seasons.

In my opinion, everybody needs to live somewhere that you have Seasons. You know...Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Savannah doesn't really have that. There is basically one main season....Summer.

Just last week, it was 80 degrees and it was the end of December!!! Now, this isn't to say that it doesn't get cold. It's even been kinda cold (if 40's count) this week. But, it's short-lived.

I can remember being amazed that when we moved here on March 8th, 2004, people were swimming in the outdoor swimming pool in the hotel we lived in. Yes, I said swimming in the water in early March! That was weird.

According to my boss, Jamie, it hasn't snowed in Savannah since she was in high school like over 15 years ago. Now, that 's just a tragedy. I bet the city nearly shut down when that happened!

1. The Heat and Humidity.

Yes, my number one item I WILL NOT MISS is the heat and the humidity. When we moved here, I knew it was going to be bad. I had read about it. I had heard about it. I was not prepared for the reality of it.

When I first landed in Savannah, I learned first-hand, that you can actually experience humidity in the "Winter."

It's bad enough just normally, but what I hadn't counted on was getting pregnant in the first few weeks I lived here. And believe you me, every single pregnant woman who has been pregnant over the Summer in Savannah deserves a freaking medal for surviving it! Believe me, between the heat, the humidity and the bugs, coupled with having 3 kids cooped up in the house all Summer long and me nauseated and vomiting repeatedly every single day....those people on Survivor have nothing on me!!! After surviving the Summer in Savannah, circa 2004, I can SURVIVE anything! (Not like I'm asking to, though!)

Yep, She's TWO!!!!

"Who ya callin' Sassy?!?!"

Yep, this princess is TWO with a Capital "T." The little stinker has grown horns since last month!

When she doesn't like something, she screams at the top of her lungs or will turn around, give you "the look" and say, "No Ma-Ma!" It's in those moments I am in the purgatory of "don't laugh" or "how do I discipline this sassiness?!"

Luckily, she's gentle hearted and a lowered, gruffer tone saying, "NO NO, M.N." and that works quite nicely.

You should see the lip-out pout, right before the's a killer!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Top 10 Things I WILL miss about Savannah!!!

The Top Ten Things I'll Miss about Savannah:

10. Being only 45 minutes from the beach, so I could go any time I wish. (although, we don't go as often as I'd like to.) And the fresh seafood is to die for!!!

9. The Savannah Chick-Fil-A.

Yep, it was my home away from home when I first moved here. I would go there and sit and cry. Sometimes, I would sit there and secretly pretend I was waiting on someone to meet me, while praying I would make a new friend that day. (yep, i was a loser!) It reminded me of going there with my friends from Oklahoma and it was the closest thing to feeling like "home."

8. Driving around downtown Savannah, looking at the squares and the beautiful houses and buildings in the historic part of the city. It seems like everytime we do this we find things we hadn't noticed before.

7. Richmond Hill, the small little suburb we live in just South of Savannah.

It's a small town, a place where you almost always run into someone you know at the store, at a restaurant or at the school. I love how they have a classy entrance to our town with a 2 mile stretch of trees planted down the center of the road divider, really leading you to someplace special. And just yesterday, they put in a classy new Welcome to Richmond Hill sign.

6. Blocker's Barber Shop....I've been taking the boys here for nearly 3 years. The Blocker brothers are kind, good ole boys who are funny as hell. It's the first place I have actually enjoyed taking the boys to get their hair cut!

5. Bonaventure Cemetary.

This is the most beautiful place. Yep, I just used beautiful in a sentence describing a cemetary. It overlooks the Savannah River and again, is covered with trees drowned in Spanish Moss. It was one of the first places Ike took me the first weekend I came to Savannah and I've loved it ever since then.

4. Fort McAlister.

I love this place! This park was a place that offered us a "get away" when we were questioning what the heck we were doing in Georgia, after we moved here. It was quiet, peaceful and beautiful overlooking the Ogeechee River and through the Spanish Moss draped trees. It's the most beautiful park with a play area I've ever been to. We've even had 2 birthday parties there!

3. My pediatrician, Dr. Keith Seibert.

Any one of my friends can attest that I LOVE this man. Even my husband knows I love this man! He is the best pediatrician I have found in the 10 1/2 years I've been a mother. He's kind and attentive and he is respectful of my thoughts and opinions. I know you probably think I'm bonkers, but I truly believe he "loves" my kids in a loose sense of the word.

I'll never forget the first time Griffin got really sick after we moved into RH. It was a Friday and on Saturday morning, Dr. Seibert called our house at 10am to "check on his little buddy." I about fell over!! Talk about thorough!

Then, he came to the hospital on Christmas Eve morning to check out our newly born angel. (Leave it to me to have a baby at the most inconvenient time....)

One day when I ran into him at Tequila Sunset at lunch....I went over to say hi and he wanted to know where Marinne was (she was in her carseat at the table with my friend) because he wanted to hold her.....and he did. And when he kissed her head....I melted! (who doesn't love someone who loves your own babies?!)

And when Marinne turned one, he came to her party, brought his wife, Eve (who is completely delightful) and brought Christmas gifts for all my kids! I was blown away! What a great guy and a generous man!

I'm gonna miss the heck outta him and I kinda feel sorry for my next pediatrician....he's got some awful big shoes to fill!

2. My job at Savannah Scrapbooking! I am considering commuting to work, just so I don't have to quit!!! (now that would be one heck of a commute!!!)

I'm gonna miss the "girlies." Who am I gonna talk to about scrapbooking, s*x, poop and other various unladylike topics with?!?!

I'm gonna miss Jamie D., the best boss I have ever had! She's funny, kind and completely honest! She trusted me enough to let me plan and execute my "crop night plan," even though she barely knew me. Thank goodness it was successful!! She laughed when I called her 10 times a night in the beginning, because I didn't know how to do something on the computer. (In my defense, my training was a 12 minute speech!) She gave me the freedom to use my brain and make it up as I went, if need be. She's got so much talent... she amazes me every time she produces a new page!! She is truly inspirational!

I'm gonna miss Kristine's gentle spirit! I'm gonna miss her stories and I better be on the top of the wedding list when she stops fighting fate and settle down w/ Teddy! (She's gonna kill me for writing that!!!) She's probably wanted to kick my booty more than once from my computer missteps, but you'd never know it! She is my constant cheerleader, urging me on and repeatedly trying to convince me that I can't "blow up" the computer, even though, I'm still not sure that I can't. And she's an awesome scrapbooker, to boot!

I'm gonna miss Amber so much! She makes me (and everyone else) laugh! She's hugely talented and so crazy!! I can't wait to see how far she goes in the scrapbooking world...and I predict it will be far! She inspired me to not be afraid of circles and is teaching me to be more confident about my scrapbooking. I might even submit something for publishing, even though I have never before had in interest in doing it!! Maybe someday.....

I'm gonna miss Suzanne because she's so kind. She's sweet and down-to-earth. She's a really great scrapbooker and a good friend. I've enjoyed getting to know her over the past few months. Suzy, you're so silly!

And, finally, Lynn. Although, I haven't worked with her too often, when I see her scrapbook work, I am really inspired to push myself more. She is the first person I had ever known that had been published and that really impressed me, aside from the fact she's so classy!

And #1 thing I will miss is:

My Georgia friends~

Sherry, Mandy, Amber, Michelle R., Kim, Michelle D., Stacy A., Nicole D., Tammy, Tiffany, Stacia, Joy, Darlene, Beth, Trisha, Trish R., Tammy K., my Pembroke girls, Tara, Lindsey T., Cindy C., Laura G., Bonnie, Nikki, Karen, Dianne D., Joanne M., Tina, Kris and the above mentioned people in #2!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year, I guess......

Well, I want to sneak this in while it's officially still January 1st, so Happy New Year everyone! Here's hoping 2007 rocks!

I only wish I wasn't feeling sooooo lonely!

My Art