LEGO KidFest New England 2016

legokidsfestlogoWe had the opportunity Friday night to go to the final stop of the Lego Kid’s Fest in Hartford, CT. We didn’t mention much about it to the kids prior to attending because in all honesty I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I just wasn’t sure I could answer all of their potential questions. So we kept it pretty hush hush. My husband came home from work Friday evening and we piled the two little ones in the car and left the two older ones to fend for themselves for the evenings. And then we got stuck in traffic on 84 heading into Hartford of course.

We finally arrived at the convention center about an hour and a half after it started. Honestly, I think it was good that we were so late. We weren’t fighting a crowd to actually get in. They sure made you walk to get in though. As soon as we walked in we saw life size figures made out of Legos in the middle of the room. Chewbacca was there. My five year old’s Kindergarten teacher loves Chewbacca and tells all the kids all about her love of Star Wars and Chewbacca so it wasn’t much of a shock when she ran up to Chewbacca and said, “Mommy, take a picture!”

Lego Chewbacca

Lego Chewbacca

It was all a bit overwhelming for the kids at first. My son didn’t want any pictures taken of him. We began walking around to see what there was. There were Lego battles happening and presentations and Lego building stations. Finally, my son decided he wanted to build a car and race it. Great! So we went to a station. Meanwhile my daughter was complaining about them being “boy” Legos. Yes, I apparently have failed as a mother because my daughter is one of those girls who actually likes the Legos that are designed just for girls. Don’t worry though, she still built with the boy Legos. Here were their first masterpieces:

Building the fastest race car

Building the fastest race car

Here's the finished product

Here’s the finished product

It's an ambulance

It’s an ambulance

After that was done everyone seemed a little irritable. We decided to grab a bight to eat and to regroup a little. Once that was done the kids were much more agreeable and really getting into it.

kids-lego-fest-colage

And then it happened. They wanted to go into the biggest parent nightmare ever. A mountain of Legos on the floor – Ouch!

That's a lot of Legos on the floor. Glad I didn't have to clean that up!

That’s a lot of Legos on the floor. Glad I didn’t have to clean that up!

But they built. We must have missed the rules though. Nothing higher than their waist – Whoops!

The tower's taller than he is

The tower’s taller than he is

And while he was building that tower, his sister (you know the one who wanted “girl” Lego’s was busy making a helicopter with missals on the front.

She built a helicopter and told me it has missals on it

She built a helicopter and told me it has missals on it

And since my son got busted for building his tower too high, he improvised and turned the one giant tower into two…

15272250_10153926470062653_3224310581506817094_o

Next, it was off to find those oh so coveted “girl” Lego’s. She built a house with some help from her brother and dad.

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She even saw a friend from school there. Once she completed it she brought it up for display and they gave her a choice of her own Lego pack. You know she could have gotten some of those “girl” Lego’s or Star Wars. She chose Star Wars as did her brother.

By this time it was after 8:00 and the place was closing at 8:30. We went to the little Lego store and purchased them each some Lego’s which they happily put together the next day. All in all it was a fun experience and the kids had a blast. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re playing with Lego’s. There was so much more to see and do, but we never got the chance. I know this was the last stop on the tour, but I do hope they’ll be touring again.

Make America Great Again

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Since the whole election circus of 2016 began I have been looking forward to it all just being over. Although, I suppose there’s never going to be an end to any of the madness that surrounds what happens in this day and age and I highly expect it’s because we have created this generation of entitled cry babies. Young college students in their hoity-toity expensive colleges that are likely being paid for by federal dollars in many cases who are too “distraught” to do much of anything I guess except burn a flag. Young mothers railing on Twitter and Facebook about #notmypresident as if that somehow makes the president elect any less the president of the United States. Guess what people, in all my years of voting not a single person I wanted to be president became president and I never ONCE was brought to tears or unable to function in life after an election because our country elected a president I didn’t want. And yes, two times over I said Obama was like a slick used car salesman and I could not vote for him because of that. He did not disappoint there in the slick used car salesman, by the way.

Now look, I get in this country we have the right to express ourselves. We can even burn our flag in protest if we want to and not get in trouble for it. You don’t have to respect the flag of our country at all. However, you better think long and hard about what you’re doing and what you’re saying when you do disrespect that flag like that. This isn’t about a president elect, that flag has a long history of people fighting for our freedoms and people who deserve to be respected for their service. People who deserve to be honored. People who put their lives on the line for everything that that flag stands for. One presidential election and a man who hasn’t even made any policies is honestly no reason to burn a flag. Admittedly I can’t think of any reason to burn a flag, but I sure as hell don’t think this is it.

So when President Elect Trump voiced his concerns of the flag burning, I got it. He’s angry. Half of this country is angry at the complete and utter disrespect an entire generation of people have been and continue to show to our country and everything it was founded on. Make America great again rang true to many people because when you look around today what we see is just not great. It’s not the America we grew up in. I’m not saying I’m a Trump supporter or that I even voted for Trump, but what I am saying is this is not the vision our forefathers had. And no, this has nothing to do with immigrants, black lives, gay and lesbians, that is not the problem. The problem is an entire generation of self entitled brats who don’t know how to lose and when they finally have something that doesn’t go their way they have to throw a temper tantrum about it.

Mike Rowe Speaks Eloquent Truths

Make no mistake about it, that’s exactly what’s happening here. Quite frankly Mike Rowe of the show Dirty Jobs really said it best on his Facebook post here. I am going to quote him, but I urge you to go read it all for yourself and watch the attached video as it is important to what else I have to say. Mike Rowe has this to say about the flag burning:

Last night on the tee-vee, as I flicked back and forth between my most trusted sources of cable news, I saw a number a college students setting fire to the American flag. Some of the students said they were “angry.” Others said they were “disgusted.” But many others were anxious to explain why they had become “fearful” of the American Flag. Interesting.

At Hampshire College, The President, Jonathan Lash, has actually removed the flag from his campus, in response to students who expressed “fear and discomfort” when confronted by the sight of Old Glory. He offered this explanation: “Removing the flag permanently from our campus will better enable us to focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.”

As I dropped one of those giant round ice cubes into a tumbler of Whistle Pig, I couldn’t help but wonder if President Lash was unaware that billions of people around the world are routinely subjected to horrific levels of racism, misogyny, and bigotry that far exceed any injustice in modern-day America. Furthermore, I was curious to know if President Lash really believed that removing our flag is a better way to assuage the fears of his frightened students, than simply educating them about the undeniable fact that no country on the planet affords its citizens more liberty than this one? Finally, I found myself wondering as to why the President of Hampshire College would allow his students to pay for their tuition with federal dollars – federal dollars provided by the same government whose flag was no longer suitable to fly at his school.

Here’s the problem. Tuition at Hampshire College is about $60,000 a year. That’s not a problem because it’s expensive – it’s a problem because 85% of Hampshire students qualify for some form of federal financial aid. http://bit.ly/2gsZxnk.

That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000. With $1.3 trillion dollars of student debt currently on the books, I found myself thinking how nice it would be to hear a more persuasive argument from those who will happily take money from a country whose flag they despise.

I turned the channel, and watched another group of students dance around another pile of burning flags at another expensive university. I couldn’t tell where they were, but occurred to me that wherever they were – it probably wasn’t a trade school. To my knowledge, no one has ever burned a flag at a trade school.

I wonder why that is?

I have no idea, but the thought reminded me that I had yet to post Episode 11 of Hot Under the Blue Collar. It features a graduate from one of those schools – a guy named Scott. Scott studied to be an electrician, and his comments, though not nearly as expensive as Daniel’s, are far more… illuminating?

Carry on,
and don’t play with matches.
Mike

Technical Schools

This I feel is a nice Segway into my thoughts on technical schools. If you know anything about Mike Rowe it’s that he is a great champion for those so called menial jobs that those people sitting in this hoity-toity colleges couldn’t be bothered to waste their time with. Now don’t get me (or Mike Rowe for that matter) wrong. Colleges have their place. I have a Senior in high school who is college bound. She just might be at a hoity-toity college this time next year and it’s totally what’s right for her.

We tell our children they can be and do anything they want and then we force them to go to college. From an early age my middle daughter had said she wanted to be a “hair cutting girl”. And I never did discourage that. After all when I was around 5 I was going to drive a tow truck, it was going to be blue. My parents encouraged me. Ultimately I did grow out of that, my middle daughter however did not. Even once she began school she still wanted to be a “hair cutting girl”. And school did not come as easy to her as it did her older sister. So from an early age I figured college might not be her path, she really might be on the path to being a “hair cutting girl”. By 5th grade when asked what she wanted to do when she grew up she usually replied with, “I want to be a hairdresser to the stars.” Yes, she had big dreams and aspirations.

As a matter of fact as the years have gone on my now 14 year old daughter has planned out her entire life. She knew she wanted to get into a local technical high school and study Cosmetology, she’d get out of high school and start cutting hair for a few years and save up money for college, go to school while still cutting hair and get her business degree, and then open her own salon. She’s 14 people, she has been talking about this for years now. How many college bound students have their life figured out like that?

She did get into the technical high school. They make them try out all the trades as freshman before making their choice. Her life may not be going exactly as planned, there’s a good possibility that she will not go into Cosmetology, it could be HVAC or Electrical even at this point. Yet her plan still is to come out of high school, begin working in her trade and then down the road go to college for business and open her own business. She might find she doesn’t need college, but whatever, she’s coming out of high school with a skill and employable and it’s costing me and her practically nothing. Okay, yes she has class dues I have to pay every year and I did have to buy her school uniforms and I’ll probably have to buy her some tool kit or something along the way, but at most this is going to be $1000 over four years of high school. Not $30,000 a year or more for college. At 18 she will be employable in a trade.

This Is What America Needs

We want jobs? Well, they’re out there. We need to stop telling our children that they aren’t going to be happy doing manual labor for the rest of their lives. Yeah, we want better for our kids than what we had, but don’t we also want them to be happy? Since my daughter entered this technical high school she has never been happier than she is right now. Honestly, if she could continue doing all of her favorite trades she probably would. The biggest struggle for her has been picking her favorite trade.

I never thought she’d be interested in HVAC or Electrical. Honestly, she didn’t think she would either. She’s the only girl in her grade interested in HVAC. She’s kind of a hot commodity in HVAC. Day one, her teacher told her because she’s female she has a good chance of being employed. And she also has a good chance of making more money than her college bound sister.

And you know what, those kids at that high school work very hard. They are doing a full four years of high school in half the time because the other half of the time they’re learning their trade. And they are doing this because they want to. When my daughter was applying at this high school they made it very clear what things would be like. Mind you this school has been in existence for a very long time doing things exactly this way. There are many very successful graduates who have been working in their trade. This is not a school for the “bad” kids who couldn’t hack it in a regular high school. This is a school for highly motivated individuals who want to be successful. They don’t have the time to burn flags or cry because the person they voted for didn’t become the president. They are too busy making a living or at least learning something so they can make a living someday.

My hope for America is that people wake up. That they remember what this country was founded on. That those jobs that are beneath so many people and believed to not be the path to happy get filled with people who are willing to stop crying and whining about all of the perceived injustices in their very protected and sheltered little lives. There are real problems in this world and our President Elect, as faulted as he may be, is the least of those problems.

No one is going to do for you, you have got to do for yourself. We live in the greatest and freest country in this world where we have many choices and rights. Burning flags and crying #notmypresident is a sad and pathetic way to spend that time which is not making any difference in your life or the lives of those around you. If you want to make this world a better place to be, then we all collectively need to become the hard working Americans that this country was founded on. Regardless of who the president is or isn’t. You want better pay? Learn a trade! Stop protesting in front of McDonald’s for a living wage. You know what the answer is to raising minimum wage? Finding ways to do it with less people. You know what happens if you learn a trade? You will work hard, yes, but you also might find yourself having pride in the work that you did and guess what? You’ll also be making a living wage while doing it.

I Want More Technical High Schools

It’s shocking to me that not every high school students has the same opportunities that my daughter has. We need more of this. We need less people seeking degrees they’re never going to use racking up mountains of student debt. Technical high schools are not for everyone, working in the trades is not for everyone, but it is and always will be a necessity to have people who are trained to fix your plumbing, keep the lights on, keep your car running, keep the house and business temperatures regulated correctly, and to cut and style people’s hair. These things are just never going to go away. And the more people who want to be trained to do these things the better. The more opportunities to train people to do these things the better. And the more people who do not look down on manual labor as being something that any buffoon can do the better. I know for sure the projects my daughter has come home from school with have not been something that just anybody can do. I love how her mind works and I admire her for putting in the effort and doing her very best. She has found her passion and her calling all because of a technical high school and I think that’s amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more as a mother.

So, not that our president or president elect read my little ol’ blog here, but if they did happen to stumble across this and read this far what I would hope they get out of this more than anything is the way to creating jobs is to train people to do the jobs that are already out there. Technical high schools and post high school trade schools are a wonderful start to making America great again. And the rest of you people, wake up. You want America to be great, then stop your crying and whining about every little thing and get up and work hard. That’s what we’re lacking in this country today. That work ethic that we were founded on.

The Loophole in DUI Laws in the State of CT

I know I said I wasn’t going to post anymore about the DUI driver who completely totaled our car last week to the tune of over $7500. Our insurance adjuster actually told us what he could actually see that needed to be fixed on the car was actually $7800, but the value of the car was only $7500. The speed limit on my street is 25 miles per hour. There is a stop sign that he had to have blown through just one house up from our house to hit the car, push it up on the curb and do over $8000 worth of damage to the car. He set off his own airbags which you have to be going at speeds of at least 35 mph. He had to be well exceeding that. And that’s part of what has me so mad.

This isn’t his first arrest for DUI though. Three years ago when he was just 18 he was arrested for DUI. And here’s where I get very irate, and this is at our judicial system. We went to court yesterday and spoke to a victims advocate to see what we could do here. She explained that we cannot get restitution because that would be only for any out of pocket expenses we incurred like if we weren’t going to get our deductible back or if there were medical injuries. Our lost wages mean nothing in the eyes of the law and making this kid pay for his crime. The real kicker of all of this is that there is a program that they offer to offenders that basically gives them a free pass for a first offense. As a matter of fact, for 10 years after a first offense. When this kid was arrested for the same thing in 2013 he ended up with no record. He took some drug and alcohol class, did a little community service, kept his nose clean for probably 2 years and then was free in the eyes of the law. It was like his first offense never happened. Which means that this is considered his first offense and it means that what he’s facing is a 6 month suspended sentence, either 48 hours in jail or 100 hours of community service, and 18 months probation. He will have to go to a drug and alcohol treatment program and listen to a 1 person victim impact statement and pay a $500 fine. He caused over $8000 of damage to us alone, to the city he caused who knows how much damage to fix the fire hydrant he hit, and he put our entire neighborhood in danger by hitting that fire hydrant and putting it out of commission for nearly a week until the city fixed it.

Okay, yes, this is on his record. His license should be suspended for 1 year. Perhaps he’ll have to put one of those breathalyzer devices in his car to prevent him from starting his car if he’s drunk. However, if they viewed this as it truly his, his 2nd offense then he would be facing 120 days in jail. What I want to know is why is the state of CT allowing someone who potentially could have killed someone the opportunity to have no record and a free pass on a first offense? I get that people make mistakes and should be given the opportunity to make it right. And yes, he was a young 18 year old kid whose brain is not fully developed the first time he did this. But given the nature of his crime he should have had to face the consequences back then. Maybe then he wouldn’t have done this to us if he had. He could have killed someone that night. I would imagine this is something he does quite frequently actually. It just so happened that this was the night he got caught and this was the night that he changed everything for us.

Driving while under the influence is a serious crime which has serious impact on people. So why are we coddling these people? Why are we giving them an opportunity to not have something on their record? Why are they not being forced to answer to people they have harmed? Honestly, I don’t even care if he pays us everything we’re out because of this. I just want him to be beholden to us for something. For him to realize that his actions have consequences and they go well beyond his own little world. Yes, we could sue him civilly and probably even get punitive damages, but there’s nothing much that will force him to pay and we’ll be out even more money at the end of the day. You almost have to sustain physical injury to get something. If we had sustained an injury then the judge would make him pay restitution. However, damaging property to the tune of over $8000 while being reckless you get a slap on the wrist.

This kid has another thing coming if he thinks that we will not be making sure he does do some jail time, even if it is only the 48 hours. Maybe that’s the wake-up call he needs, but truth be told I think it’s going to take a lot more. He will have to listen to what I have to say because I will be given the chance to write and read a victim impact statement. I doubt what I have to say will get through to him, but this is all I have right now since the state of CT cares more about making sure that the perpetrator of potentially deadly crimes gets a freebie than protecting the innocent people who were just relaxing on a Saturday evening inside their home. Something has got to change. These concessions being made to potential murders is not right. It scares me to be out there not knowing who else is out there with a free pass, it’s scary knowing that my oldest is about to get her driver’s license and is going to be out there driving along side someone who got a free pass. More of our time is now being taken up and consumed by this for who knows how long and at the end of the day justice is not being served.

We Have a Winner – Lego Kid’s Fest

legokidsfestlogoRemember a few weeks ago I had a giveaway on my blog for two local people to go to Lego Kid’s Fest? I received the winner in my email today. She has been notified and sent her tickets. I was asked to let everyone know who the winner way. Here’s the email I received. For the protection of the winner I have blocked out her contact information in the email, but other than that the email was not altered and this is exactly what I received.

Everyone please take some time to congratulate Nickie though. Check back after December 2nd. I will have a review about how the Lego Kid’s Fest was here on my blog.

lego-kids-fest-winnerI’m getting excited about this.  Can’t wait to share it with you all.

You’re Good Enough

coffee break with Monica's Mom Musings

Well, I did it again. I missed another day of blogging in my promise to blog every weekday in November. It has been such a whirlwind of a week here and I’ve been so overly consumed by something I wish I didn’t have to be consumed by. And I’m feeling like a failure in multiple areas. And then this morning, before most of the kids got up, and after one of them left for the school bus I was just skimming through Facebook and found something that brought me to tears, but not in a bad way. In an I so needed that kind of way after this week. A week where I literally have cleaned the bear minimum in my home. The laundry is overflowing. I’m trying to crank out work and be the kind of mom my kids deserve and yet I’ve been failing at it miserably because I have been snapping at them and haven’t cooked a decent meal for them and have been completely on edge.

And I know I’m not the only mom feeling inadequate.  When I saw this vlog from Mom vlogger Kristina Kuzmic it brought me to tears. Because the fact of the matter is we’re all good enough moms. We need a little truth bomb like this and because I think Kristina is so spot on and I believe that we all need to have this reassurance as moms from time to time I wanted to share this with you all and in the process bring back a little coffee break with Monica’s Mom Musings while in the process. So enjoy your quick listen to Kristina and give her a little mom love while you’re at it because I personally think she’s awesome and figured this is the perfect way to even get out of this funk I’ve been in this week in writing about the whole DUI saga I’ve been consumed with all week long.  Check her out over on Little Things. Come back and let me know what you thought of her truth bomb. I hope it helps even in a small way feel better about who you are as a mother, like it did for me.

A Letter to the DUI Driver Who Injured Us

Note: Sorry my blog has been overly consumed with the low life who decided to get behind the wheel while under the influence. I think this will be the last post (at least this week). I just need to say something to the punk who did this to us.

15000216_10153866602657653_3337676468621461077_oDear Michael,

That’s right, I’m using your name. It’s public record anyways what you did to us. And quite frankly you deserve to be called out for your actions.

You seem to have a long history of drinking and drugging. Maybe no one cared enough to tell you this needs to stop. Maybe they didn’t know what to do. But you’re 21 years old, plenty old enough to know better than to get in a car in all honesty. I imagine your parents have coddled you all your life and let you do what you want which is probably why you have zero regard for other people’s property. Here’s a little in your face truth about what you have done to us.

On November 12, 2016 when you and your buddy got in your car and barreled down our street exceeding the speed limit for sure and smashed into our legally parked car pushing it up on the curb and then proceeded to flee the scene you left us with over $7000 in damages. That doesn’t even include the untold amount of lost wages we have now lost.

My husband and I haven’t slept since this happened, or at least not slept well. Waking up in the middle of the night wondering how we’re going to afford this massive loss and be able to provide our children with a nice Christmas. Or imagining what would have happened if it was a few hours earlier when our kids and the neighbor kids were outside playing and you had hit them instead.

Our 17 year old daughter, who I can assure you does not have a history of drinking and drugging like you do and who will be going off to college next year, was supposed to get the car that you have now totaled once she saved up enough money to pay off half of that loan. Yes, we make our children work for things so they value their possessions and those of others. Clearly something you never learned.

Because my husband drives for Uber he can no longer do that because you have taken his car out because of your own disregard for the safety of yourself or others. I know you learned about drunk driving when you took driver’s education and I know this isn’t your first run in with the law on this. And this is exactly why you should have known better.

In dealing with insurance and figuring out what our rights are I have logged a good 32 hours in the four days since you came crashing quite literally into our lives. Time I could have spent working of course, but also reading to my children, playing with them, and tickling them. You have taken that time away from me because of your irresponsible selfishness. I can never get that time back and it’s absolutely priceless time you, Michael, have taken from me.

In the over 18 years my husband and I have been together, the fact that we were able to purchase this vehicle for him that my husband truly loved made me so proud. You see Michael, we are far from rich. Up until recently my husband was the sole bread winner of our family and we both have often had to go without so we could give to our children, because that’s what responsible adults do. Well, we were finally in a better financial position because I got some work from home work. It was nice to see my husband proud to drive around in a vehicle. After all these years he finally had something that was his. And now, because of your actions, you have completely destroyed that and it breaks my heart that I cannot fix this for my husband. And all for what? So you could get high, you Michael, are selfish and I absolutely hate what you have done to my husband. I HATE you, Michael! I’m sure that means nothing to you, but this is probably the thing that angers me the most, you took something good and something that was done out of love and appreciation for years of sacrifices and you destroyed it. I HATE you for that, Michael, absolutely HATE YOU! 

And you walk free, for now. But you hear this young man, we will be at every one of your court hearings. We will make sure that everyone is aware of exactly what you are. You are nothing but a low life selfish punk who values getting high and drunk over anything else, who doesn’t deserve to have a license. You are damn lucky that you did not hit those two good Samaritans who were on the street that night trying to help an injured animal. You are lucky that it wasn’t a few hours earlier and it was one of my kids who was outside playing that you mowed over because I assure you if that had happened you would have ended up with a lot more than a scratch on your cheek from the police bringing you to the ground when you tried to shirk responsibility yet again and resist arrest. This is how I know that I’ve got you pretty well pegged. Even in your inebriated state you were aware enough to realize you had done something wrong and to try to flee and to resist arrest. Because you’re selfish and only think about yourself.

I will do everything in my power to make sure you don’t do this, or worse to anyone again. You are a piece of trash and as far as I’m concerned you deserve to rot in hell!

Sincerely,

Monica

(victim of a DUI driver)

At Least Nobody Was Hurt

If I hear, “Well at least nobody was hurt.” One more time this week I’m going to scream. It was all well and good the first 24 hours or so post DUI incident (no, I will not call it an accident because there was a level of intent there when this kid got behind the wheel that night). Maybe he didn’t mean to hurt anyone else, but he made very poor choices and his decisions have now caused us harm. I imagine that from the looks of his history and his Facebook page he’s not suffering.  He was released from jail with a promise to appear. He even got his license back. He lives at home with mommy and daddy so he’s all good. No bills to pay or kids to feed.

And from where I sit right now, “At least nobody was hurt” means well there’s no victim here. The DA hasn’t called us up to inform us of what’s happening or to get any sort of statement from us about how we’re doing. Nobody seems to care that my husband and I haven’t slept for days. Nobody was hurt. Well, I guess that depends on your standards of hurt. Did we suffer any physical injury in this? No, probably not really. I mean I’m sure my blood pressure is through the roof so if you want to count that as a physical injury I guess there’s that. I also wanted to vomit when the insurance adjuster was out today to appraise our car and look at the damages. That’s pretty physical. But I get the impression that that doesn’t count. That doesn’t matter.

After the punk’s insurance company left and claimed that they would consider it totaled because despite a value of nearly $7000 and the inability to tell me what it would cost to fix it or what the value of the car had to be for them to not consider it not totaled they are refusing to repair the car. I lost it. I have been crying off and on all day now. Over a car mind you, yes. It’s not so much that I’m this distraught over the loss of a possession, I am grateful it wasn’t my children or my husband who was lost, but my mind can’t help but wander to the what ifs. I couldn’t imagine having to fight with insurance while grieving for someone I loved. And what all this means is we go back to being a one car family through no fault of our own. At a time mind you when we are on the verge of having a 3rd driver in the house. My oldest is moments away from getting her license. We lose income. We’ve already lost income. We are absolutely on the losing end of the stick here because we parked our car legally, in front of our home, just like we’ve done everyday for the last year and a half. We did everything right, but we have had nothing but stress and aggravation for the last several days.

I had no choice, but to involve our insurance company in this matter. I was getting no where with the punk’s. So this really drags it all out longer, but I feel like I have no choice. We cannot afford to have no car. We cannot afford for them to not pay for this to be repaired. I figured I had to try. I had to try to see if my insurance would view this situation differently than the punk’s insurance company does.

There are victims in this situation even if people did not get killed or injured, physically. His actions have done a great deal of arm to not only us financially, but emotionally as well. Just to have a consultation with an attorney we have to pay at least $300 an hour because they don’t consider this personal injury. If we want to file against him in small claims that’s $95 right there. I personally think we have a pretty good case for punitive damages, but we’d probably never see the money and we’d be out of pocket so much it’s not something we financially are capable of doing.

When I was probably in middle school I remember writing a paper about drunk driving and MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving). We’re talking over 20 years ago. From what I remember back then the laws were improving slightly, but here we are more than 20 years later and this kid who now has committed his 2nd offense that we know of is out of jail just a day later. How is this possible in 2016 in a DUI case? Simply because “nobody was hurt”? I’m just sick to my stomach about all of this. To add insult to injury I think I saw the kid at the grocery store tonight. I wasn’t sure that it was him, but it sure looked like him. If I could have positively known it was him I probably would have screamed at him. I want this over. I want to get back to life. My home and my work is suffering while I deal with this because apparently dealing with insurance claims is a full time job.

When DUI Affects You

So much damage, the pic on the bottom left is the shards of glass from the drunks car

So much damage, the pic on the bottom left is the shards of glass from the drunks car

I can’t believe I missed a day of blogging. In my defense last week totally threw me for a loop. Not only were the kids all home from school on Tuesday for election day, but then also Friday for Veteran’s Day as well. Plus my husband was home on Friday. I kept thinking it was Saturday. My apologies for missing a day. I have got a story for you though to make up for it.

Saturday night (the real actual Saturday night) we had just finished eating dinner. I was desperately trying to get in some last minute work and the kids were all horsing around with my husband. Suddenly we heard this huge bang. My husband got up to see what had happened while I continued to try to crank out some work. Shortly after my husband went outside he came in and said, “Somebody just hit my car!” My first reaction was to say, “Are you kidding me?” Frustrated, my husband responded, “No, I’m not kidding you.” I asked if the other car was still out there and he told me no it was down at the bottom of the street. I said, “Did you get the license plate? Get your phone, call the police!” He said, “It’s not going anywhere.” I got my shoes on and went outside to see what was going on. My husband followed. He pointed to the car down the street where there were a bunch of people milling about.

I walked down with my next door neighbor and began putting together what had happened. When I got down the half a block or so people were saying there’s fluids all over the road and telling me get back. We were asking if everyone was okay and another car was coming up the street stopped and told me, “He’s got a gun, he’s packing.” Some lady was on the phone with the police telling them all this. I ran back to the house to grab my phone for pictures and to make sure my kids and the neighbor kids stayed in our house. The police were there within seconds. We couldn’t see all that was happening because we were staying up by the house, but we could hear the police yelling at the driver. Telling him to stop resisting.  The next door neighbor said they threw him down on the ground. A bunch of the neighbors were out looking at my husband’s car. The two people who were telling us to stay back and who had called the police were actually almost hit by them while walking down the street! If he was out a few hours earlier then he could have hit my kids and/or the neighbor kids who had just been out in front of our house playing that afternoon. If my husband had just come home from work and pulled up and parked and was either getting out of his car or still in it he could have been seriously injured, or worse killed. There’s a lot for us to be grateful for here and I am, but I am pissed right now. Thinking about the could have been and thinking about what’s ahead for us now.

No matter what you might think of the police, I for one am glad they were there and took care of this reckless dangerous person, who as far as I can tell has a long history of drinking and drugging and driving. Everything was handled by the police extremely professionally and when you stop to think of all the what if’s in this situation this kid is damn lucky that he’s not facing vehicular manslaughter charges. He is a person of color. I mention this not because I think all people of color are drunk drivers. I know plenty of white people who are guilty of the same. I say this because I was told by the ladies who called the police that when they described the passenger and the driver as two black males that seemed to rile them up more as if they were in some way discriminating against them simply by describing what they look like. Granted, they were clearly not thinking straight, but it makes me think of how much the police have to deal with to keep the streets safe in this day and age. The mere mention of a descriptor like black male sets people off. Nobody was shot that night, thankfully. Given what I know about the situation the police were forced into an extremely volatile one. They believed there was  a gun in the car, two extremely under the influence individuals who were mad at the world, and yet the police made no hesitation to protect everyone. They were extremely kind to us and made sure it was notated that our now immovable car would be staying where it was for the time being so we don’t get any tickets. Yes, it’s their job and it’s what they are trained to do, but how many of us could work under these pressures?

As near as I can tell the kid was on something or very drunk or both and came barrelling around the corner, hit my husband’s parked car, veered off to the other side of the road (or perhaps bounced off my husband’s car which was now pushed up onto the lawn that’s how hard it was hit), almost hit some other people, managed to drive half a block more driving up on the curb and hitting some rocks before finally hitting a fire hydrant and coming to a stop.

Now here we are with a car that we’ve had for less than a year and a half that my husband absolutely loved that has at best a bent axle. Much to my oldest daughter’s dismay that night I got into it with the brother of the kid who was driving the car. He was walking up the street talking to someone very loudly on the phone about how embarrassed he was because there were all these people out there looking at what was happening. He was more concerned about himself. I have been embarrassed by my brother many times over the years, if he ever did something like this I would have been apologizing profusely to all of the people he hurt. No, it’s not his fault, but I was astonished at his selfishness in a time like this. I had no idea he was the kids brother, so as far as I knew when I saw him come running down the street, he was just another looky-loo like all the others that were coming by. He drew attention to himself and his connection and then couldn’t even show any sort of sympathy for what had happened to the innocent people in the situation.

I know we owe more on the car than it’s worth. We have gap insurance thankfully, but if this car is totaled then even with that we have no way of getting a new car. My husband is also an Uber driver so in addition we are now out income because of all of this. The holidays are coming and now we are going to have who knows how much out of pocket expenses that insurance is not going to reimburse us for and less income. We have been put in extreme hardship through no fault of our own. I hope these kids had that night. I hope that they are made to pay restitution and have to reap some of the cost of damage they caused through their own reckless actions.

While out assessing the damage better in the light of day one of our neighbors came over to talk to us. He kindly offered us an extra snow blower he has for this winter in the wake of this mess. That was very generous of him. It’s nice to know that while there are terrible and very troubled people in this world that there are still decent and nice people who will do what they can to help brighten your day or make things slightly easier on you.

We lucked out in many ways. No one was injured, no one was killed. That’s the most important thing. I have always detested drunk drivers. I’m relieved that my own personal experience with a DUI is property damage and no bodily injury, but the amount of time and lost sleep we’ve already lost in dealing with the complete and utter negligence of this kid just makes me so angry. I can’t help it. I can only imagine what would have happened if the unthinkable happened. He’s 21 years old, with a history already of DUI. And yet he’s out of jail free to wander the streets. Hopefully not driving, but according to our police report he only lost his license for 24 hours. He was supposed to be in court today, but I don’t know the outcome of that. I have spent all day talking with insurance and car rentals to get my husband set up with another vehicle. Someone is coming out tomorrow to assess and determine if it’s a total loss or not. The person at the insurance company I spoke to thinks the due to the age of the car and value and judging by the pictures he thinks it’s going to be totaled. I have the feeling that we are not going to be able to get made whole by the insurance company in this matter.

So many unknowns right now. So many out of pocket expenses already. Drunk drivers are the absolute worst. What bugs me is that this 21 year old kid has pictures of himself from 5 years ago drinking and drugging. That means he’s been doing this since he was a teen and publicly at that and he’s still doing it. I’m astonished that he’s out on a measly $5000 bond right now.

Coobie Seamless Bras Get 25% Off

coobie_logo_usfgBoy have I got a deal for all the moms. Coobie bras wants to give my readers a special deal. And keep coming back because I will also be giving away a couple of bras in a few weeks to two lucky readers. Be on the lookout for a review of Coobie bras to come along with the giveaway.

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Classic Lace Bralette (S: 28A-32D) (M: 32A-34D) (L: 36A-38D)

bralette

Comfort Bra (S: 30-34) (M: 34-36) (L: 38-42) (XL: 42-48

comfort

Nursing Bra (One size: 32A-36D) or (Full size: 38A-42DD)

nursing

Scoopneck (One size: 32A-36D) or (Full size: 38A-42DD)

scoopneck

V-Neck with Lace (One size: 32A-36D) or (Full size: 38A-42DD)

vneck

So cute and they sure to look comfortable.  So go check them out and don’t forget to watch out for the giveaway.

Stop Pointing Fingers

The presidential election is over and about half of the country I would say (maybe more) is disappointed with the outcome. The truth of the matter is November 9, 2016 was going to be a divisive day in America no matter what the outcome was of the presidential election. The thing is I don’t know what good finger pointing does. Calling out people who voted 3rd party or even those who didn’t vote at all. All of those celebrity pleas demanding that people just get out and vote, this is what happens. You ask people to vote and they do, then you really can’t get mad if the results didn’t go the way you wanted them to. And for those who didn’t vote, you can’t say for sure that if they had it would have swayed anything in another direction.

It is what it is, the beauty of it is there’s only 4 years until the next presidential election. If it turns out that Trump was not the right guy, then we don’t reelect him, it’s as simple as that. I get that people are scared, but there’s a lot of fear to go around on both sides. We don’t know what other people’s story is or what they have been through and it’s not fair to judge based on how they voted. I strongly believe a clear message was being sent here. People want something different. They think that’s Trump. It’s not for us to say that they’re wrong. It doesn’t matter if you think America has always been great with the exception of the need to make people be kind and accepting for once. Aside from the fact that you can’t make people do anything, you can’t ignore the fact that many people in this country do not feel that things have been great.

Everyone’s entitled to their feelings, but I think right now is the time to come together and try to understand where everyone’s coming from on every side of the fence. Now we need to be kind and pay it forward. This is not the time for finger pointing though. This is a time to come together. If we can do that, then maybe just maybe things can be great. Have a little faith and a little trust that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.

In all of the years that I have been legally allowed to vote, not once has there been a president in office that I wanted to see there. It hasn’t caused me any major issues in my life. It hasn’t affected my children negatively in any way. What the president does and the actions he takes does not affect how I raise my children and how I will teach them to be good, caring, giving, productive members of society. The president doesn’t have that power over me and my family. The president still has to work the system just like every other president has. So continue doing what you were doing. If someone is being hateful, well that person was probably hateful before Trump was president and there’s a good chance they’ll still be hateful after Trump is president. A different president just is not going to change that about a person. If you think the president wields that much power, control, and influence over a person’s free will, then I don’t know where you’ve been living, but it’s not America. There have always been hateful people in this world and there’s probably always going to be hateful people in this world. If you know in your heart of hearts that what you’re doing is right and good, then don’t let anybody take that away from you. You’re giving one person too much power over how you live and none of us should be living like that.

We have to give the president a chance. We can’t hope for failure on his part and we can’t walk through life thinking that every single asshole we run into is simply a byproduct of the president. That’s simply not the case and it’s just not going to improve our situation. So take it from someone who has never been pleased with the president in office in her entire adult life. It’s four years, we’ll get through it if we take a step back and realize that we still live in the greatest country in the world with the greatest freedoms in the world. That my friends is good enough to me regardless of who is running the country.