Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There's Gotta be a Better Way to Sell a House!

When I announced that I was putting my house up for sale, approximately 1400 people told me to bury a statue of St. Joseph in my yard so my house would sell. I had no idea that selling a house was that simple. And here I thought you had to stage a house, clear out the clutter, repaint, clean, fix stuff, and list it for a reasonable price. Silly me! But I tend to be difficult and contrary so as scientifically sound as burying a statue undoubtedly is, I opted to skip the saint burial in favor of simply cleaning and fixing up my house.

While I was in Florida house-hunting, however, my parents buried the statue in my yard because, bless their hearts, they were certain that good ole Joe would help get my house sold.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teaching Your Tween Responsibility so They Don't Have to Cross-Dress

“Oh my gosh! You are so irresponsible! You’re almost THIRTEEN years old! If I wasn’t around to remind you, you’d probably forget to wipe your butt! Grrrrrrr!!!”

What prompted this outpouring of frustrated rage from me, you ask? Let’s back up a few days to a previous conversation between me and Jackson. A conversation that went like this . . .


Monday, May 23, 2011

Then the Doctor Said the "C" Word

I woke up in pain on Saturday. I immediately recognized the lower abdominal pain as something I'd experienced before. I knew, even though I hoped I was wrong, that it was diverticulitis again. My plan for dealing with the pain was to ignore it until it went away. That's my M.O. My first course of treatment for anything that ails me is ignore it. It usually sometimes pretty much never works. But I do it anyway.

This morning, I had visions of my large intestine becoming so infected that I would need to be hospitalized. At first I thought it would be a nightmare, but that gave way to fantasy about lying in bed all day with people bringing me my meals while I did nothing more strenuous than change the channel on the TV. I'm sure the nurse would never run into my room, shrieking that everyone had eaten all the macaroni and cheese, forcing her to declare her undying hatred of her brothers and sisters. I snapped back to reality when I remembered that I had no one to take over for me. No one could step in and take care of my kids and everything else while I lounged in the hospital. And really, there is no resting or relaxing in a hospital. Ever. Between the annoying roommates, noisy hallways, announcements over the PA system, and the nurses who must take your vitals every twenty minutes, it'd be easier to get rest lying in the middle of the Kennedy during rush hour.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, the town that rhymes with . . . well, it rhymes with . . . um, well there's . . . Okay, apparently Chicago doesn't rhyme with anything. Anyway, it's your host, the woman who was not taken away in the rapture this weekend, Dawn Damalas Meehan.

One good decorating tip – put in the house what you like. What interests you, what colors, etc.
Hmmm, really? You think? Because I was kinda set on putting a bunch of crap I hated in my house.
Kidding. But I honestly don't know what style I like. I have no taste. I'm inept at decorating. I don't even know what I like.

You got the house you put an offer on?
Yep! Well, the seller accepted my offer anyway. The inspection's tomorrow and as long as all the financing stuff goes through, it'll be mine next month. Here's a picture of my new kitchen! I love it SO much!

This is what my kitchen looks like now.

And I still can't get over the fact that this house is twice the size of my current one for significantly less. It blows my mind!

The same thing happened to me; one day I woke up and my daughter was turning 9!!! Where does the time go??
Well, maybe the time is going faster than it needs to go because you're skipping ahead years. Or maybe it's just me who does that. A couple days ago, I was talking to Savannah about her upcoming birthday. I asked her, "You're not expecting a big sweet sixteen MTVish party this year, are you?"
She looked at me a minute, raised eyebrow, then slowly answered, "Noooo."
It took me a few more minutes before I realized that I'm an idiot. Savannah's turning fifteen this week, not sixteen. Of course she isn't expecting a sweet sixteen party this year. Duh. Chalk up another one for yours truly, aka: mother-of-the-year.

On a lighter note….how the heck are you, being the eternal night owl…ever going to drag your fanny out of bed to gt to work at the school next fall?!
My goal is to change the entire Florida school system so that the schools won't start until noon or so. I think it's gonna work. I have a good feeling about it.

Are you feeling any better today?
I woke up yesterday in pain. It's the same pain I had back in August when I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. The pain's a little worse today and I'm positive it's the same thing again, but I'm putting off going to the hospital because I know the cure (liquid diet, strong antibiotics that make me sick, and possibly surgery) is yucky. I'm going with the "ignore it and it'll go away" theory right now. Besides, I do NOT have time be sick now. Thanks for asking.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Top Ten Things to do Before the World Ends

I started thinking about all the crazies people running around, sure that the world is going to end tomorrow, and I laughed. I personally don’t care when the world ends. I figure I won’t have to clean my house anymore, so it’s all good in my book. However, it got me thinking. If God whispered in your ear and gave you a little inside information on the scheduled apocalypse, what would you do with your last day on earth? I’ve made up a top ten list for this very reason. I don’t want anyone missing out on any pre-rapture fun, so I’m generously sharing with you. Enjoy!

10. Change your answering machine message to, “You’ve reached [insert name]. I can’t answer the phone because I’ve been taken away in the rapture. If you’re calling me, apparently you were left behind. Hahahahahaha! I mean, ahem, repent and be saved.


Ask and You Shall Receive

The other day, I was having lunch with Savannah after her doctor's appointment. We were talking about the move and the new house. I mentioned how I have no taste. I can't decorate. I want my new house to look nice, but I have no idea how to go about designing it. I don't know how to put colors and accents together. I don't even know how to arrange furniture in a way that makes sense. Savannah told me, "You need a gay friend, Mom."


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The One in Which I Cry

My baby graduated from preschool yesterday. I was so proud because she’s mastered the preschool curriculum of cutting along a squiggly line, writing her name, and making “pizzas” out of clay. She’s brilliant! She knows her colors, shapes, and ABCs. She’s ready for kindergarten. Her mom is not.

I was fine when Austin graduated from preschool. I was fine when Savannah graduated from preschool. I was fine when Jackson, Lexington, and Clayton graduated from preschool. But this one hit me. She’s my baby. She’s the last of my kids to go to preschool. And now she’s a big kid. A sense of sadness hit me, knowing that I’ll never set foot in that preschool again. I’ll never go to another Halloween party there. I’ll never have candy cane punch after doing the S-A-N-T-A dance with my child.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

That's not a Toe; it's a Carrot!

I know I've been slacking off on the whole "blogging every day" thing. Ever since Savannah's surgery two weeks ago, I've been getting up early to drive her to school. Oh yeah, I let Austin come along too. Although it would be pretty fun to make him run alongside the van as I speed up and then slow down as if to let him in, only to speed up again as he reaches the door, all while laughing maniacally. I'm really not inherently evil, but I figure this would be good payback for all the bruises on my arm thanks to the larger than average VW Beetle population around here and Austin's need to punch me every time he sees one.

Anyway, getting up so early is doing me in. I'm drinking coffee and Coke nonstop. I hook up an IV drip of sugar-frosted caffeine around 3:00 every day. But still, when 11:00 PM rolls around, my brain turns off, my eyes glaze over, and I usually drool a bit. Charming, I know. I'm only getting up about an hour earlier than usual, yet I'm passing out asleep nearly four hours earlier. How is this possible?


Friday, May 13, 2011

You Know You're at a 5-Star Hotel When . . .

When I booked the airfare for my house-hunting trip to Florida, I had the option of adding a hotel stay for a cheaper overall price. Since it was just for me and I wasn’t going for a luxury vacation, I opted for a room that was inexpensive and between the airport and the realtor’s office. Well, it wasn’t the Bates Motel, but . . .

When I arrived, I checked in with the guy at the front desk who was friendly and efficient. I walked up to my room which smelled a little musty and was a little warm, but I honestly didn’t care because I was so tired thanks to my delayed flight and plane ride from hell sitting next to Frank the Flatulant. So, I threw on jammies, washed my face, and wait a minute, why is the sink filled? The sink isn’t draining. At all. Ugh. I was too lazy to get dressed and ask for a room change so I decided to deal with it tomorrow. I crashed (after checking under the bed and in the closet for ax murderers and dead bodies, of course).


Monday, May 9, 2011


I’m not sure if it’s laziness, or a strong sense of faith, but I’ve become very relaxed in my old age. (I’m going with the strong faith option because it sounds better.) I should be more stressed out than I am. But I’m not. I should be worried that my house won’t sell. But I’m not. I should be worried that I won’t find a new house within my price range. But I’m not. I should be worried that something will happen and my job opportunity will fall through and I’ll have moved across the country for no reason. But I’m not. I should be worried that Jackson and Brooklyn just ran inside, grabbed a box of baking soda, an empty bottle, and their bathing suits before running back out. But I’m . . . well, actually, I am a little worried about that one.


Happy Mother's Day!

I had a fabulous Mother’s Day. My kids made me homemade cards. Brooklyn painted a wooden pin for me in preschool. Lexi and Clay brought me flowers they’d planted in school, and Clay made me a dandelion bracelet. It was a gorgeous, 70-degree day and I sat my butt down outside and enjoyed the weather with my kids for a couple hours.

The kids offered to wash my car. I was thrilled because there’s so much disgustingness in there, I’m afraid a family of squirrels has taken up residence in the third row. You probably think I’m joking. But I’m scared. I just know I’ll be driving along one day when, much like the squirrel that leapt from the tree onto Clark in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, a squirrel is going to fly out from the back of my van and land on my head, causing me to swerve across several lanes of traffic while I scream like a little girl. I’ll slam on my brakes in the middle of the intersection and stumble from my car while running in circles, freaking out about the squirrel on my head. If my kids hadn’t cleaned out my van today, I have no doubt you’d be able to see footage of my squirrel incident on the news this week because it was only a matter of time until it actually happened.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, the town that tastes better with caramel (said carmel, not caramel because we're not pretentious) sauce, it's your host, the woman who received the most glamorous accessory for Mother's Day - the dandelion bracelet, Dawn Damalas Meehan!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! And happy Mother's Day to all the mom-like women! And prayers for all the women who are trying to conceive, and to all the women who have lost a mother. And now, it's time to answer viewer mail!

Dawn, is it no possible to get some kind of court order that he is not allowed within a million yards of Jackson?
Possibly, but the courts are big on visitation rights, and I don't have the money to take him to court and prove that he's unbalanced. And by the time I could get a court date, we'll be moving. The kids have a few more weeks of dealing with drop-by-dad until we move. It'll be okay.

How does he know when they have games?
I tell him and beg him to show up. Just kidding. All you have to do is look online to get the schedule.

One of your readers had a great idea about a POSTER over the hole. After all, how big could a little 12 yr old’s fist be?
Ha! I wish I'd taken a picture of it but I was too mad at the time. I put a piece of duct tape over the hole and then thrust a bucket of drywall patch goop stuff and a bucket of paint at Jackson with the instructions, "Fix it!"
I came back several minutes later and saw a huge, drippy glob of blue-painted spackle smeared across a five-foot wide circle on the wall. I guess I should've been more specific in my directions. Or, better yet, I should've thought of the poster plan!

do you think Savannah could swim? That would be easy on her joint and bones but still get her moving and exercising.
Yep! Savannah loves to swim (and she's good at it too) We'd already talked about having her join the swim team for those exact reasons. She had her surgery on Wednesday. It went well. The doctor had to take out the piece of her knee that was peeling away. It was a pretty big piece (about an inch by 3/4 inch). We meet with him and his collegue who specializes more in knee replacements next week. She's not happy about needing crutches again. Anyone who would like to send her a cheer up card, can mail it here -
Savannah Meehan
836 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

It’s okay to say life sucks. It really is. Every once in awhile you have to put your hand up and say enough! Momma needs a time out.
But I don't think life sucks. Sometimes, the situation sucks, but life is what you make of it.

I remember you saying you were coming to FL. Right now its Love bug season, it happens twice a year and they are very attracted to white (I did not know any of this when we moved here last year) so heads up and google it…
Thanks! Not thanks for the head's up about Love Bugs (whatever they are), but thanks for putting a Jonas Brothers' song in my head!

I don’t know where this idea that we’re supposed to do everything for our kids came from, but frankly i’m shocked when I read parents say things like, I don’t go to everyone one of my kids games. Is that really expected? My parents had 2 daughters, only one of us in a sport and my parents maybe went to 2-3 of my swim meets a season and that was normal. Sure there were some parents that went to more, but they were the unusual ones.
I don't do everything for my kids, but I can count on less than one hand how many of my kids' games that I've missed. I only missed one football game last season because I was out of town. I can't imagine not wanting to attend your children's games, concerts, and events. That, in my opinion, is not doing stuff for them; it's being involved in their lives.

Did you try it [the slide out the window] before ordering them to take it apart?
Oh yeah, I can just see that scene unfold in the emergency room. "Well, Mrs. Meehan, you seem to have broken your butt. How did this happen?"

Orlando is cheaper than here??? I guess I haven’t been paying attention because I thought you were going to NC.
Oh heck yeah. You go a couple hours away from Chicagoland in any direction and housing prices drop. I'm looking at houses that are twice the size and half the price, no joke. And nope, we're not moving to NC, but we did vacation there last summer.

Well look at it this way….instant fire escape route?? Oh come on, you know eventually Clay is going to microwave something that is going to cause the need for immediate escape and what better way to leave then down a slide :)
Hmmm, good point. {{{{{flashback to Clay's egg cooking experience}}}}}

What did you do for Mother's Day?
I did the same stuff I do every day, but I did it while wearing a glamorous dandelion bracelet and I did it in sunny, 70 degre weather so it was a good day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pass the Puffs

Most days, I go with the flow, looking at the bright side of things because, let’s face it, it’s way more fun to laugh than to dissolve into a puddle of tears, right?

And then there are days like today.

My ex has started showing up at my kids’ baseball/softball/hockey games lately. Not all of them; just now and then. He doesn’t stay for the whole game; just stops by and puts in an appearance. It’s a Hey, look at me, I’m a dad! act. Perhaps he’s only allowed to stay for half an hour because his dad drives him to the kids’ games and I’m pretty sure his dad doesn’t want to stick around that long. He doesn’t get out of his truck and say so much as say hi to his grandkids so I can understand his boredom. Then again, he really didn’t talk to or interact with my kids before the divorce either. But my ex has to be driven by his parents because after you’ve gotten three DUIs, the state doesn’t generally let you keep your license.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


My life is a triage. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of triage is: the sorting of and allocation of treatment to patients and especially battle and disaster victims according to a system of priorities designed to maximize the number of survivors

I don't like the whole "maximizing the number of survivors" part. I mean, I hate to think that if I make the wrong choice in attending to my children, some may not survive. That's pretty extreme. But really, this is how I feel most days. I can't help one with their homework, get a snack for another, drive another to their ball game, help another find their shoes, get medicine for yet another, and help the last one get the carrot out of his nose all at the same time. I feel like I'm always trying to figure out who needs the most attention immediately and who can wait a bit. Then I reassess and make sure I haven't shoved the same kid on the back burner too many times. I want to make sure I ignore each kid equally.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Chutes and Ladders

“Guys, get dressed for baseball and hockey!” I called to the kids as I walked through the house, picking up all the junk they leave lying around. You can’t really blame them for leaving wrappers and junk on the floor since we have no garbage cans in the house. And it’s no wonder they leave their dirty socks on the couch or under the kitchen table since we have no laundry baskets. Of course it makes perfect sense that they pile their dirty dishes all over the counter tops since the dishwasher is glued shut and can’t be opened. And since no one has a dresser or closet, it only stands to reason that they toss their clean, folded laundry on the floor.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, where it snows in April, it's your host, the woman who got a whole eight hours of sleep (in the past seven days combined), Dawn Damalas Meehan! And now, it's time for viewer mail.

Your house looks great.. hey I have a brother in Orlando.. Hmmmmm????
If he can fix stuff and/or clean up puke, send him my way!

Plant the statue....it works!
I cannot believe the hundreds of people who have emailed me/commented on Facebook that I should plant a statue of St. Joseph in my yard in order to sell my house. Oh, and apparently I can't just plant it in my yard. Oh no, there are very specific instructions for planting this statue. I need to bury it upside down, facing the house. And this is suppose to ensure my house sells. Call me crazy, but I just don't think a mud-covered statue is going to sell my house. I'm banking on the "clean up your house and price it right" method of house-selling.

I remember those days…not too fondly! Glad you seem to enjoy sleepovers!
Oh heck no, I don't especially like sleepovers! But my kids like them and they've only got a couple months to hang out with their friends before we move so I'm making every effort to let them spend time with their friends now.

That is great about the orthopedist. Are there OR charges, anesthesiologist, whatever? It seems like everyone and their brother charges me. I just don’t want you to get caught with your pants down, so to speak.
Oh yeah, of course there will be other charges, but the hospital accepts our insurance and since our orthopedist said he'd take it too, it'll be okay. She had an MRI on Friday and the doctor called me himself to tell me that she would indeed need surgery and it doesn't look like the piece of bone/cartilage will be able to be reattached again. It'll have to be removed which means another surgery in the future to insert some donor cartilage. Surgery's on Wednesday and prayers are appreciated!

Also, is there some non-sporting activity Savannah could do? So she could still feel like she was involved in something? A community choir, band, orchestra, community theater, ….? There’s got to be some other interest she can follow while sports are off the table.
Maybe, but I don't think she wants to get involved in something here when we're moving in two months.

Can we send this guy (orthopedist) a thank-you card on your behalf??
Um, sure. And if anyone would like to send Savannah a card, you can mail it here -

Savannah Meehan
836 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

How on earth do you do it? I'm a single mom of only two kids and my ex-husband is involved, takes them every other weekend, pays child support, helps drive them to soccer, etc. I'm not selling my house or moving across the country or writing blogs and books or dealing with car repairs and surgeries and I can hardly keep up. Seriously, how do you do it?
I don't know. I wake up, tackle as much as I can of my to-do list, thank God for the good stuff, take a deep breath and take a minute to enjoy my kids, pass out in bed, then wake up 4 or 5 hours later and do it all over again. What else can you do? It may be hard, but there's a lot of good in my situation too. I focus on that. I could be bummed that Savannah needs another surgery and I'll have yet another stack of medical bills that my ex will never contribute to, or I can be thankful that the doctor will accept my state insurance so Savannah can get the surgery she needs. I could be bummed that we have to move to a cheaper area, or I could be thankful that I'm able to get a less expensive place in a nice, warm area with endless possibilities.

Don't get me wrong, I venture into the Oh woe is me side now and then, but I spend almost all my time on the Glass is half-full side. Who wants to be depressed about things over which they have no control? Not me. I let that stuff go and work my butt off on the things I can change. It's all good. Although I could totally go for a little more sleep!

My good blogging friends, Janice and Susan, over at 5 Minutes For Mom are hosting a giveaway for two $500 gift cards for Walmart. Even I (a self-professed Walmart-hater) would love a $500 gift card! Who wouldn't, right? All you have to do is leave them a comment with your funny or creepy bug story. Visit HERE for all the details, but hurry because the contest ends on Tuesday!

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