Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Chris!

This weekend we loaded up the camper and headed to Cedarbrook Campground. 

Dan and I have stayed here once before. Last time it was windy, cold, and Dan walked away with this.... 

Because no means no. 

JK, when we were packing up the camper, Camper Dan walked right into the back hatch of our car. 

We have associated Cedarbrook Campground as that place where Mommy almost had a nervous breakdown because she thought she was going to have to drive the camper home. Oh, and where Dan damn near lost his eye. 

I'm happy to report we now associate Ceadarbrook Campground as a wonderful place to spend time celebrating this guy... 

My brother turned the big 4-1 on Friday! 

I can't think of a better guy to have as a big (much older) brother. 

Chris is one of the best. Everyone who knows him loves him. He has watched over me and my sisters throughout our lives and continues to try and keep us in line. 

Before his own children I have watched him play and care for my boys. I once took a spontaneous trip to Florida with Chris, my mom, and my boys. Chris was single and the boys were four and five years old. I remember watching Chris in the ocean with Max and Tommy, ever watchful of them. It reminded me of a time when Buffy and I were in the ocean at the ages of twelve and thirteen floating on a raft. I specifically rembember cussing and yelling at him to leave us alone. We were really annoyed and couldn't understand why he wouldn't just leave. Years later I realized it was because he was so nervous that we were drifting down the coastline and pretty far out and didn't want anything to happen to us. 

Even when we were awful to him, he never left our side. 

My brother has put up with his three younger sisters. He has watched us go through heartbreaks, adolescence, pregnancies, managed our outrageous hormonal ups and downs... all of the typical craziness of being a woman... and never has he left our sides. 

I know I don't always say it to your face but I love you Chris. Thank you for always being our glue. 

So for his birthday weekend, we gathered the troops. 

We are missing a few faces but this is our camping family. I have so much love for these people. 

Note: this is the picture I posted on Facebook. When Dan woke up Saturday morning and checked his FB he said, "Wow, thanks for posting our camping on FB. Now 171 people know we aren't home." 

Me-"why does it matter, everything we love is right here. Who cares if someone breaks into our house..maybe they fix some stuff for us" 

Dan-"no, they will probably steal our "nice" shit instead of doing me a solid and burning the house to the ground after pulling the cars in the garage..." 

Me-"well I guess that's one way to look at home improvements" 

We had a great time hanging out. 

You are probably noticing that this cake looks different from the first picture of Chris's birthday cake and you might notice it isn't the cupcakes he's holding in the second picture. That's because he had three cakes.... that's how we roll.  He's a three cake kinda guy or maybe it's because we just like to eat cake... 

Here's a look around our campground:

Eating and watching football. 

Drinking and watching football. 

Cooking food and watching football. 

Hanging out with friends and watching football. 

It was a chilly weekend, we spent a lot of time standing near the fire...and watching football. 

Could it get any better? 

I'm sure they want to say it's because it's October and they are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness, but honestly it was freaking cold. 

It's never a fun weekend unless you get a field sobriety test by Camper Dan...

Nailed it. 

Walking heel to toe (the secret is keeping your legs bent, just my opinion) I demonstrated a much better way, it's a combination between the boogie bounce and imitating a chicken...with sounds, but Dan said, "No Kate! We actually don't want anyone to liven the situation up with a little pep in their step..." 


It was another successful camping weekend. Good food, good friends, good times. 

Thank you Jesus for heated campers. 

And Happy Birthday Chris!!! 


Friday, October 16, 2015

Data woahs!

Yesterday I receive this text...

This isn't an unusual text to receive because we have five iPhones on our account. 

1. My iPhone 6 plus
2. Max's iPhone 5
3. Tommy's iPhone 5
4. Shirley's iPhone 6
5. and Dan's shitty iPhone 4..... 

The unusual part is that we are only five days into our billing cycle. 

I started the following text...

I can only imagine Max's fear when he opened the courtesy "bahahaha we are about to take more money from you" text from AT&T... 

Now, we have only blown data a few times and the rule is, whoever uses the most pays the $15 extra fee. However, with the new Rollover Data we have been able to stay within our plan. 

Until yesterday. 

I get home from work and Dan is already pacing the kitchen. 

"Kate, check the app. I want to know right now who is using up our data!" 

Here is what I find:

7.57 GB have been used in five days.

Five days. 


All from Max's phone.

Disbelief set it next. 

"Max, how??! How does one use 7 gigs of data in 5 days??!! Kate something is wrong with his phone. There has to be something wrong right???" 

The great thing about our parenting philosophy is that only one of us is allowed to be "the crazy parent" at a time. 

Clearly Dan was up. 

I could see this was going to be a long night. 

I tried to be on the calm side of this but I was also in disbelief, so I do what every logical mother would do and call Tommy to the kitchen so that he can share in the wrath. 

We begin with "the lecture" of responsibility followed by the "you boys don't know how good you have it" and finish it with a "on paper you both are good kids". 

Seven point five seven. 

When you get to a point where you honestly have nothing left to say you have to dismiss your kids but not in a way that says "we are weak and are taking the easy way out" rather in the "we are so incredibly pissed the only thing left to leave our lips is fire and verbal regret, so go sit on the couch, which by the way, you're lucky to have and WAIT for the harsh punishment we, your parents, are about to bequeath upon you". 

Forty-three hundredths away from an even eight gigs. In five days. 

As the boys unite with one another...

I'd like to pause here and say, there is nothing in this world that unites our boys faster and stronger than when Dan and I become those asshole parents. You know, "the mean ones"... 

Even in this dire time it does warm my heart to know that when the shit show hits, the Hamlins will be fighting side by side. 

So, as I was saying, as the boys sat on the couch waiting for the final verdict, Dan and I stood in the kitchen to try and brainstorm how the hell this all happened. 

My sisters are privileged to have witnessed the video I took of Dan going through Max's phone and placing a call to AT&T customer service to cancel "any and all data usage for my irresponsible kids". 

If only I knew how to load them on this blog... 

To summarize it went something like this:
"F*#k, F*#k, F*#king... What is all this shit? Do these apps use data?"

All this mostly to himself and every now and then yelling to Max in the other room:


And then talking to himself:

"Unbelievable.... f*#king unbelievable, there must be over a hundred calls to Michael, what the hell do they have to say to each other?!!!!" 

And it went back and forth this way for a good 20 minutes give or take.... 

The disbelief was incredible to say the least. 

A near 8 gigs in 5 days. As in over a gig of data a day.... five times. 


The only answer to this puzzle is that there is obviously something wrong with the phone itself, a factory flaw.

The next day, Dan drove over to the AT&T store, which ranks up there with buying a car in his "top 5 worst places to go ever in life" list. 

The answer was in fact solved: there is nothing wrong with the phone, just our kid. 

On a group text Dan did share that everything takes data these days when using LTE. 

Guess who will be turning those features off? 

You will all be happy to know that this eventually died down and we are all living as a happy family now. As punishment we ended up buying Max a car for "almost" being sixteen and Dan has upgraded his shitty iphone 4 to an iphone 6. 

I know, we are flawed as parents. We do our best.