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Entries from December 2007

Fat Frog

Remind me that's the drink I want to order, next time I go out to a bar. I just want to say, "Gimme a fat frog!"

So nothing especially exciting happened today, except that I got to sleep in wicked late, after staying up knitting on teeny-tiny needles with itty bitty yarn last night. Cute, though. I'll show ye:

100_5050 That's going to be the back of a wee cardigan for  little boy. Then I'll make a matching hat and socks.

I haven't finished the sweater-that's-to-be-felted yet, because I ran out of yarn. Dang it. I need to get to the LYS (Local Yarn Store, in knitters' parlance) for more so I can finish that last bitty bit and felt it before we leave on Thursday morning.

Thursday morning!!! I ran her through her paces today, and Chlo is so ready to go. She's going to do great. I did a bunch of laundry today and will begin selecting her auditioning wardrobe tomorrow and Tuesday. I told you we went on a mini shopping spree so I have some decent clothes to wear to the thing too, right?  It's just a matter of time, now. We're so excited about our little trip together!

Oh, and Rob took Sophie to the ER today. She's okay, but she's got this booboo on her toe that she keeps picking at and bothering (along with the burn that she got from the iron the other day), and it looks infected and really nasty. So apparently she has cellulitis, and she got some abx. Guess she was a super good girl at the hospital, too. Very patient and never cried. That's my baby!

I've been scrapping into the wee hours and am just taking a mini break. I like to do that between pages so they don't look like each other. I'm getting used to the organizer Rob gave me for Christmas - and the little matching one I bought last night for the rest of it- and I think I like it. So Steph, whenever you're set up, I'm portable now!

Tomorrow that Jade comes back. I'm not looking especially forward to it. Glad I gave my notice!

Fin.


I'm Supposed To Be [insert just about anything else here]!

Welp, Christmas is over. It's good I told you that. Otherwise, you might not know.

My dad came in late last Sunday night - scared me half to death, even though I expected him any minute. We have cafƩ curtains in the bay window in the kitchen, where I was sitting doing my scrapbook. Next thing I know, 'tap, tap, tap' on the window, and I look up and see this big giant head. Ahhh! Thus it began.

The visit actually wasn't so bad this time. I had emailed him ahead of time that I didn't want any of that political, racist crap, and I wasn't going to wait on him hand and foot this time. Yay, me! Therapy's good for something. And he emailed me back without being all pissy and for the most part, he stuck with it.

So. Monday was Christmas Eve, and after we sat around (I watched Jade, who warmed to my dad instantly, and snuggled with him), we went to church for the singing and the candle-lighting that I so enjoy. Our attendance has been awful since we had Sophia - so, yeah, way too long ago to still be a good excuse - but the routine has just been all but shot since then. Oh, well. We try.

My dad, a steadfast Christian Scientist, seemed to really enjoy the service, although later he insulted my church as "harmless but useless." Shall I go there? Okay, at least I learn about what Jesus said there, intead of just what Mary Baker Eddy wrote. And after 65 years of going to the same church, he still hates every group who represents something he is not? I don't know if I'd call that harmless... so I guess we're even. BUDDOW!

But back to the Christmas spirit. ;)

We went home and had dinner - I'd stuck a frozen Smithfield marinated pork loin in a Pamper's Chef baker's stone before we left, turned on the oven, and bam! Savory smells greeted us when we arrived home. It was done!  Of course, I didn't eat it, but the boys seemed to enjoy it, as did The Human Garbage Can a.k.a. Sophia.

Then we opened our stockings, our Christmas Eve tradition. But we forgot our other one: Rob reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids! Just completely left it out. Whoops. The kids went crazy with their stockings, even though I had really nothing in there but different candies this year, having put all the stocking loot in the attic with the 'big' stuff. Even my dad had a stocking - albeit containing nothing but a lump of coal - but he seemed to enjoy that.

Bed for the kids, then hours and hours of wrapping presents, for me. I'm so freaking fat now, my feet go numb soon after I sit on the floor, so it was an arduous process. (I can't wait 'til January 31st!!) I bought one of those new zippy paper cutter things from Scotch, and it was a bust. I prefer my nice sharp scissors, TYVM. Maybe when I get thinner and regain some agility, but for a big blog with short limbs who's stuck mainly in one spot, it didn't really do the trick.

Tuesday, the big day! After getting to bed around 2:30 AM, the kids woke us up at 8-something. Aghhhh. I made some cinnamon buns for breakfast (love that pop-open can stuff when you're too tired to think!), and then we headed in for the big mĆŖlĆ©e. It was overwhelming. To me. And my dad kept saying the same thing. He was pretty much in a state of overwhelm during the entire visit, with the kids constantly crawling all over him, calling his name, wanting to show him something, tell him something or do something with him, and Christmas was even more so. He's a complete neat freak. I am, to an extent - but nothing like my father. No one is. I promise. He just kept looking at the toys (which are still there, by the way. Haven't moved. Well, to be played with, yes, but put away? Nope. Where?!) and paper and shaking his head, whimpering. I rather enjoyed his distress until he started bitching about it and yelling at the kids to clean up. 'Scuse me? Because I think it's my house, and those are my kids, and that is my job. And it's Christmas, for crying out loud.  Let them play with their new crap awhile! He caught me glaring at him over that.

The house shrinks a little bit every time someone comes to visit, y'know what I mean?

So Wednesday, Jade came back, and I felt like absolute crap. I had her in the bouncy seat for much of the day, so she wouldn't hurt herself with all the little toys spread everywhere, and I sat down on the couch for a breather. Rob and my dad were right there... next thing, I woke up to find Jade missing from her seat. Dad had picked her up and was napping with her on the couch. It warmed my heart. And not just a small bit because she's the brown baby. Who knew he liked little kids so much?? Between that Jade-snugging and the amount of time he spends playing with my kids, he really surprises me as a grandpa. He's definitely the fun one. He gets down. He gets into it. He only stops when he's really, genuinely tired. The man has some positive attributes, after all. (heh)

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I was supposed to have Jade, and all three days her mother called to say that her mother was going to keep her. Um, okay. (A) I really enjoyed the time I didn't have her, and (B) if I'm going to do this job, I'm going to want consistency and a constant paycheck. So that was the straw the broke the camel's back for me. I called her tonight and told her that it was no rush and I'd keep Jade until then, but she needed to find alternate childcare. It's a relief. I like Jade - love her, even - but organizing our schedule around hers has been a huge PITA.

So that's that. We did a ton of laundry, ChloĆ« and I. I swear, I cannot climb that mountain. Who's the dude who kept having to push that rock up the hill? That's me, with the laundry. It used to be something I just did on Sundays. Now it's All. The. Time. UGH!!  But ChloĆ« negotiated a $2 pay with me for helping with the laundry, and that meant she had enough money to buy another Webkinz when I paid her that and her allowance today. Cha-ching! She got the bullfrog and named her Lilly; that makes 12 for us. Do you know they don't give you a new room for your 10th and up - and you also can't use the pet's name when you buy a room for it and rename it? That's so annoying!!!  In other Webkinz newz, I gave her 9 charms and a bracelet for Christmas so we now have access - full, at that - to the Charm Forest! Fun stuff. (LOL!)

I took her to iPOP class today. She is so ready!!  I will be aghast if she blows it in Los Angeles. Just beside myself. She is doing so well, I would be shocked. Sean was really proud of her, and his wife came in and listened to her monologue today, too. She loved it and gave her muchos kudos.  Then she did her scene and her monologue again, for the ladies out front, and she did great. Good, good, good. We leave in four days!!! And last night, she was in the middle of saying grace when she switched gears and started saying the lines from her monologue. During grace!! It was pretty funny...

While we were at the mall today (for a lunch shop at Charley's Steakery or whatever), I looked in at both Gymboree and TCP for some cute clothes for her auditions - no dresses, or everyone will see her unnerpannies - and I was just so overwhelmed with the choices that we left. 'Sides, she's got lots of cute stuff. So we went to that boutique I love, the one that's going out of business, to see if there was anything, but they are practically empty. Bummer! I wanted to find a cute dress for Sophie too, but nothing. They have bitty baby girl clothes, and the only bitty baby girl I know is Lisa's Emilie, but she has no reason for a fancy party dress. Even a gorgeous little tangerine one. So I bought a bunch of hair doodles, a tiara, and a necklace-and-earring set, so we have lots of options for iPOP.

And that's my story, folks. Now to do those reports (oh yeah, we went to Bennigan's tonight for dinner. They sucked!!! as expected.)

Fin.


Chloƫ Time

100_4925_3Thursday, we had Chloƫ's Christmas party at Brownies. We had to bring a $5 gift to exchange, but I brought one of the Webkinz that I had stored in my closet instead because, uh, it meant I didn't have to shop for something else again! Rob got home in time to keep Jack, Sophia and Jade, so it was just Chloƫ and me at the party.

100_4928 First, the girls received all their Try-Its and fun badges from the work they've done in scouting so far this year. They got Try-Its for manners, Girl Scout ways, and pretending, and fun ones for early bird registration and winter fun (for going to the Polar Express). We're still waiting on a couple more, including the one she earned for selling 50+ items in the Fall Product Sale. Yay, Chloƫ!

100_4940 Then the girls each picked a number before going to the head table to choose their present. We definitely gave the 'best' gift, but I got in trouble for it! Not really, though. The girl who got the leopard Webkinz clutched it to her for the rest of the time we were there.  ChloĆ« received two puzzles (pandas and Hannah Montana) and proclaimed hers was the best gift. I'm glad she thinks so! Then we all had refreshments, and we moms chatted each other up. I love the Brownies moms. We all get along well, although there are a few new ones this year that haven't quite meshed yet.

Friday, I woke up sick a-freaking-gain, for like the sixth time this fall. Absurd! I'm going to start bathing in bleach, I swear it. And to make things even better, Rob had duty, so he wasn't getting home until 2300. Swell.

Jack came home from school so excited, because Santa had been to his school and brought him cars! He has been carrying all four of them around ever since. He got lots of goodies from school too and was very glad that he went, after pitching a fit about it that morning. Chloƫ also came home with treats from her Christmas party, and they all seemed in high spirits. After Jade was picked up, I asked Jack (my pickiest eater) what he wanted for dinner, and he chose Subway. Hoh, boy, that was fun. While I ordered our sandwiches, they fought and yelled and cried and hollered (okay, Chloƫ did) at the table. But they ate well.

100_4951we came home and decided to make one of the Christmas crafts Grandma had sent to the kids. Each of the three of them sat and put a lot of work in on it, and they all seemed proud of it and excited to show Daddy when it was finished. Jack's favorite part was the glitter, and Chloƫ's was the big snowflake. Sophie just liked sticking on the holly leaves. And see those fuzzy little pink balls? I superglued them (which you're not supposed to use, but I was too impatient for the regular glue on some parts) to my fingers and had to cut them off with scissors. The kids all grimaced at that, thinking I was hacking off my skin, but I just left some of the fuzzy bit on me. Why am I sharing? I have no idea. Diarrhea of the fingers...

Then we sat down and watched Chicken Run, even though it was past bedtime, because they napped late and wanted to see Daddy. It was a PITA to knit with that glue and fuzz on my fingers while we watched, I tell you what. But I managed. After they went to bed, Rob and I started watching A Prairie Home Companion, but he fell asleep, and I got bored and went to bed. I thought it would be more interesting.

Today, we slept late (yay) and then Chloƫ and I went to Chesapeake for her iPOP! class (second to last one before the trip, omg!) while Rob stayed home with the littluns. She did her lines and had great inflection and all that perfectly in the car, but then she got in front of Sean and the camera today and was just stiff as a board. Argh!! So frustrating. I'm going to be working with her intensely on that over the next two weeks. I know she'll do it for me at home. Will she do it at iPOP?? Time will tell.

100_4956 Then Chlo and I came home and decided to do some scrapbooking together! She had gotten this little kit from a boy in her class for her birthday and has been after me to scrapbook with her ever since. So we spent hours together at the table, just she and I, doing our crafting. She did a great job with her little book and loves showing it off!

Fin.


FIVE MORE DAYS!!!

It's almost Christmas. I'm very excited. Lots to do in the coming days.  Fun stuff.

But let's begin with yesterday. I sent the kids back to school and, surprisingly, nobody came home sick. Jade and Sophie and I just hung out, did some laundry, and awaited their return. After school, we got ready to go and took Chloƫ to her ballet class.

I have been to two LYS (Local Yarn Stores) here, both down the road from us (in opposing directions). But there is a much bigger one I'd heard about, and I decided to look it up. It's on N Lynnhaven Road. N Lynnhaven Rd? What? Wait a minute, isn't that...? Well, hold on here... Why, yes, yes it is the same N Lynnhaven Road that Chlo's dance academy is on. The same dance academy where she's been going for four years now. Serendipity! (And stupidity. Me.)

So we dropped the ol' gal off, and tottled down the road to Ewe Knits for a look-see. Oh, my heavens. Now, the other two stores are okay. They have some very nice stuff. But here, there was wall-to-wall lusciousness in a much greater square footage.  It was just too bad I only had 45 or so minutes to pet the yarns, choose some, and get back. Actually, that's probably a good thing or I might've had to break out the off-limits credit card!  If the words Koigo, Malabrigo, Cascade 220 and Noro mean anything to you, you know what I'm sayin'. (And y'all could consider that my future gift wish list if the need ever arises. Ahem.)

First I visited the cashmere. Rob has been after me to knit him a cashmere sweater since I learned to knit. It's $48 a ball. (And we estimated today I'd need about 16 balls. So. Yeah. Not happening anytime soon.) Then I visited the wools, and then the laceweights and sock yarns. None of that foofoo novelty stuff. I meant business.

100_4909 First, I chose this gorgeous fingering weight from Artyarns, which is exactly like Koigu (KPPPM) except that it's not. It feels amazing.

100_4910   Then I picked this worsted weight wool, Karaoke, with which I thought I was going to make another Booga bag - for me, this time. It's self-striping and would be so much easier than switching yarns alla time. (I know not everyone cares about this stuff, but notice the knitting icon thingy on the page!) I thought I should get some new pattern books to go with my new yarn, too, so I got a Debbie Bliss one for baby knits, and Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, since I have the crochet version. And I got a free ball of silly froofroo yarn for spending, well, a bunch!

Chloƫ was finished, we went home, had dinner, did the homework thing, bed, then Jade was picked up and finally, finally, I was alone with my yarn. Oh, I forgot to say. They were such nice, nice people in that store, and they were so welcoming. We talked about Ravelry, and it turns out some of them "knew" me because the local group on there is searching for a charity to make things for, and someone nominated CARE Package! And someone came into the store needing a knitted item fixed, and they fixed it, so I asked if they could fix the lacy sweater I've been working on (remember?) for Lisa's baby. I put a slight booboo in it the other day and didn't know how to fix it, so there it sat. They invited me to come in anytime and just sit and knit. It felt like home! *sniff*

So, like I said, it was just me and the yarn, and I couldn't work on my Lisa sweater. What to do, what to do... aha! I thought I'd play with that Karoake yarn that I was going to make into a felted (fulled) Booga bag but then decided not to just yet because I already have two undesignated ones at home (holler if you want one for the deeeeeeply discounted price of $15; proceeds go to CARE Package).  I decided to do something unheard of: make a baby sweater with it - and then felt it! Wha? I couldn't find any such patterns online, free or otherwise. So I opened the new Debbie Bliss book, picked a sweater, and started knitting. Obviously I wanted a very plain, basic one whose stitches I wouldn't mind losing in the fulling process.

100_4911 This is the back of the sweater, which I worked on between last night and this afternoon. Pretty, right? And so soft. I can't wait to see how it felts!

Today, I didn't have Jade (woot!) and Barbara was coming to clean (woot! woot!), so Sophia and I needed to get out of the house. So we went back to the yarn shoppe to have my Lisa sweater repaired and then do some knitting with the nice ladies.

It turned out to be a very simple fix that I'm now very glad I know how to do, because surely it'll come up again. I sat for a while, with Soapy in the umbrelly stroller, knitting on the above stripey sweater and chatting. I'm really so pleased I went. They didn't make me feel like an outsider at all. I just jumped right in. One of them is even ordering a book for me that they all love, full of patterns for knitted stuffed animals that are freaking adorable (a platypus!).

Back home, everyone was in need of a nap (even me, but I didn't), so I was again alone with my yarn. I finished knitting the back of the stripey sweater and then picked up Lisa's. I stopped to go out for a dinner mystery shop at the Silver Diner (yes, that of the Josie debacle, if anyone from FTC remembers...) with the family and then dove right back in. And I finished just a short while ago!

100_4919 The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks faboo, if I may say so myself! And it feels wonderful. So soft and sproingy and soft! I hope they love it. And not a moment too soon, either, because Lisa called me tonight with news that baby Emilie Joy was just born!

100_4921 I know that's a crappy picture, but at least you can see the buttons I chose better there. WDYT, they're okay? Yes? No?

So that's it! Now I'm going to go back and make up a sleeve or two on the felty sweater.

Fin.


Who Likes BJ's?

Sunday. We slept in 'til 11, which was grand because we'd been up 'til 4. Rob watched Thank You For Smoking while I finished cataloguing my yarn stash (yay! Finished it all!). Now that I wasn't medicated and didn't miss every other funny line, I liked the movie a whole lot better. Rob Lowe is particularly amusing in it.

Stephanie came, and we went out to Rockfish on the beach for lunch. We've been there several times for mystery shops. Good stuff. Rob had a breakfast quesadilla, and I had seared sesame scallops. Yum. It was cold and windy out, and I didn't bring my coat, so I had to pass on Rob's suggestion that we go walk on the boardwalk. I rarely give up the chance to be near the water, so he knew I was really cold. We ran across the street to get some kitschy beach Christmas presents for my dad's kitschy beach house (only because he'll be here for Christmas) and then went home.

More things happened on Sunday, but I'm hard-pressed right now to tell you what. On to Monday.

I kept the kids home from school again. Ugh! It's their last week, and they've both already missed SO much from all the illness they keep swapping, but they were miserable. Their coughing is just so bad. I think I will send them today but won't be suprised if either of them comes home early.

I had Jade, so we really didn't do much during the day. I am still so undecided about whether to keep her and take on more kids, or give up the daycare thing altogether. On the one hand, it's nice to get paid every week, but on the other, it really cramps our family style. It's just a scheduling thing. I adore Jadey, but I just don't know. Someone tell me what to do!

After Rob came home, we went to Jason's Deli @ Pembroke Mall, so I could do a shop. I'd never been to a JD before, but Rob hyped it up for me as really good. I was sorely disappointed. It's no Panera. The service was strange and confusing, and I do not like to go into a restaurant and be confused about what I should do. Hello, that's weird. Plus, like Schlotzsky's, they put egg in their tuna. Ick! If I wanted egg salad, I would order egg salad. And I wouldn't expect to find any tuna in it.

The soup was good, though. Rob ran into Sears to bring Ellie, our photographer, her Christmas card, and then we drove down to BJ's to do our grocery shopping. At my last therapy appointment, my therapist gave me her grapes that she'd bought there, and they were really good. So she sent a Christmas card with a BJ's coupon in it, for a trial membership. Thought we'd go and do our shopping there, to see what they have. We used to have a Sam's membership in Panama City, but I never renewed it when we moved back here from Guam, because I thought we spent more money than we otherwise would have.

Well, hallegeud, I was right. We spent about $300 more than I wanted to! Granted, we bought a booster seat for Chloƫ (wow! At six years old, she's finally big enough for one - but barely) and some other non-grocery things, and I shopped for a month-plus instead of 2 weeks, but dang. We'll be sticking to Farm Fresh from now on!

And the food is crammed in nooks and crannies all over the place. It's kind of rediculous. But at least there will be plenty to eat when my dad gets here on Sunday, so he can't say that he can't find anything to munch on!

Fin.


I'm a Loser Baby, So Why Don't You Kill Me

Don't freak out; those are song lyrics... ;)

So yesterday, I was sick, Jack and Chloƫ stayed home from school sick with fevers and coughing, and babies Sophie and Jade were coughing and sneezing and runny nosing and the like as well. It was a fun, funnish day for me. You know? Add Kleenex to the list of companies we should own stock in if we were ever to do something smart, like invest our money.

We watched Polar Express, The (thanks, Steph, for your lenditure of it) and laid around and felt like shit. Lay, whatever.

Rob worked overnight from 2200-0600, so in his absence I did some more Christmas decorating - stockings, outside lights, his crappy childhood ornaments that I hate am so glad he saved to put on our tree - and did some of my yarn cataloguing on Ravelry. Then I watched Thank You For Smoking (meh, it put me to sleep) while I worked a few rows of knitting until I didn't know what to do anymore because my effing pattern is missing. You can't keep a decent pattern in this house. So many grabby hands are happy to misplace things for you. Of course, I probably stuck it somewhere myself, but it's easier to blame the thigh-high crowd.

Confidential to Jurt Double Decker: Are you still out there? You haven't commented in a long time. Miss ya!

Today, Jadey was supposed to come at the buttcrack of dawn, but she didn't show up. I was knocked out on one couch, Rob was passed out on the other, and suddenly I heard Chloƫ hollering and pitching a fit upstairs. I woke Rob up to see what was the matter (not having remembered at the time that he had only been home and sleeping a few hours, poor thing), and it turned out she and Jack were locked in their room. Wonder how that happened? Rob thinks someone went potty in the middle of the night and did something to the lock on their way back in.

So it was 10:00 at that time. 10:00?!! Aaaughhh. We were supposed to be at the acting school at 10:00 for the auditioning class. The auditioning class that we have now missed for four weeks out of four. $%^(*&(!!! Oh, well. Now they'll have to drop us and we can start the next round when they hopefully reschedule it at a decent hour. No, 10:00 on a Saturday morning is not decent! :p

So I called Savanh, Jade's mom (not her real name, but she's Thai, and I think it's more like Phonesvanh - and don't ask me what her last name is), to see where my baby was. After all, I had depended on the doorbell to be my wake-up call, and it never came. She was running late, too. Her older kids would be strolling her down in a little while. Eventually, she arrived, snarfling and sniffling once again. Is it summertime yet??!!!

So eventually (yes, I'm aware I start sentences with "so" all the time) I made my way into the shower, and then Chloƫ and I rushed out to Chesapeake for her modeling audition with IMG Model Management from New York City. New York City?! (Does anyone else always say that, from that salsa commercial of awhile back?) Jade was sound asleep in her bouncy seat, so Rob kept her home with him. I have no idea what happened in that audition. In the queue, the other parents told me she was just so cute, she didn't have to say anything in there. The kids were in and out of the audition room so quickly, it was blink-and-you-miss-it speed. I never even saw the people. Odd, very odd.

Then we ran an unnamed errand, and I decided not to do a Footlocker shop at Greenbrier Mall that said it would pay $20 for an hourlong thing. Eh, no thanks. Wish I'd seen that before I printed out the paperwork.  So we drove out to Holland Road back here in town for a quick Sonic shop. I only had to buy a drink for it, but ChloĆ« kept squawking about being hungry from the back seat, so I got her some mozzarella sticks and cheesecake bites. She ate maybe two bites. Nibble, nibble, nibble! (from the LifeSavers commercial) Oh well, more for me.

Back home, Jade had already been picked up by her mom's friend, which gave us a couple of hours to coach Chloƫ on her monologue and scene before her iPOP! class. She needed it. I hadn't touched the monologue in a while, and man, it showed. I was getting pretty frustrated. I might have yelled. I probably did, since on the way to class, Chlo said, "Mom, I still love you, even though you yelled." Heh. I'm trying not to think of all the money we've spent on classes and this L.A. trip. I'm trying not to put that kind of pressure on the kid. I'm trying to just let this be about fun and self-expression and confidence and following her bliss. But gawd, it's frustrating when she keeps forgetting the same one line over and over again!

All the practice paid off. We went to class, and I got to sit in on it for once. We discussed all of my concerns (like, she doesn't project very well, and she is doing a lot of coughing which throws her monologue well over the one-minute allowance) and some solutions (she might be miked, and hopefully she'll be better in three weeks when it's time). She practiced slating and doing her commercial, monologue and scene for Sean and the camera. We discussed all those weeks that she missed audition class, which Sean is also teaching. He's going to spend a couple of hours with her after the new year, one-on-one, to get her caught up. She'll get a lot more done with individualized attention anyway. It'll be fine. And we decided to do a few different things with her acting. She's going to do her monologue lying on her belly! It should be cute. And memorable. It's good. And her scene was GREAT. She was charming and funny, and she made both Sean and I laugh even though we've both scene seen her do it dozens of times.

Phew. We'll be ready. I know we will. 19 days to go until iPOP! We'll be ready. She'll. She. It's her thing.

So I've spent the rest of the day cataloguing my yarn stash on Ravelry. Why? Because it's cool. All the "in" kids are doing it. Not really. But it's helping me get back in touch with some yarns I haven't met in a while, at the bottom of the barrel, and will keep me better informed about what I've got before I buy more! And I have a bunch of crap that I hate and want to get rid of. <gasp> I might even give it away without asking for any in return. I hate it that much. (Red Heart Super Saver, anyone?) Especially those variegated yarns. SO ugly. JMHO, of course.

That's all. I was hoping to watch The Human Stain with Rob, but he appears to have, well, disappeared on me. Y'all know he's narcoleptic, right? It's really irritating for me. I know the boy can't help it, but at least be near me when you fall asleep! Welp, as long as he's not driving...

Fin.


I'm So OVER It!

Nothing really defines this day so much as being sick. I'm sick, again. Yesterday it was just a minor cold that didn't bother me a-tall. Today started out the same, but I quickly deteriorated into a useless pile of poo.

I sent both Chloƫ and Jack off to school, coughing away but with cough medicine down their gullets, and I had to go pick up Chloƫ soon after Jack's bus pulled away.

Sophia's miserable. She rarely gets sick, but she just looks pathetic right now. True to form, though, she still bipped and bopped her way around the house, playing dress up over and over again, jumping on the bed when we were upstairs, and proclaiming "I LOVE X, Y and Z" all day in her congested little voice.

Jade's got a cold, too. I am so tired of hearing her little whiney cry all day. The poor thing, I know she doesn't feel good, but man! I just feel like shouting, "SHUT UP ALREADY!" I'm horrible, I know, but I guess I'm only human. I took a nap with her sleeping on me today, and it was good for both of us.

The only one who isn't sick is Rob. Knock on wood. I hate it when he's sick, because I need him.

Well, that's all. We really didn't do anything other than cleaning up some here and there, and I folded five loads of laundry with no end in sight. Where the heck does it all come from????

Fin.


We Don't Need No Cervication

As Wednesdays go, this one wasn't my favorite, speaking of surgeries... I had to go to Portsmouth Naval Hospital today for another colposcopy & LEEP. That doctor did things to parts of me I don't ever want to feel again. Ouch, I can still feel it, both fo' real and psychologically. I almost puked. I nearly cried. Seriously, it hurt and was uncomfortable. (Thankfully, Sophie was in the childcare waiting center having a ball, and Jadey was asleep in the stroller.)

So, since it's my third time dealing with this cervical cancer crap, if this one comes back bad again, I'm going to see about having all my lady parts removed. Whatever, we're done having children. As long as the ovies stay put and they don't have to feck with my hormones, I'm cool with it. I mean, how many times are we going to tempt fate here? Obviously it's just going to keep coming back.

Anyway, that was today's excitement. The neighbors got Jack from the bus while I was at the hospital (I made prior arrangements this time, so there was no pissy, bitchy bus driver to deal with), and he looked happy as a pig in shit when I came to pick him up.

Oh, and Sophia is obsessed lately with the dress-up box items, especially sparkly things and the tutu. She interchangeably calls them "my pretty," "my ballet," and, well, I guess that's it. I think it's sweet. She always puts on her "ballet" and comes running to tell us that she's pretty. That box is full, but I keep meaning to add or change out the items, and I never do. I should, she loves it. And she's so flexible and tumbly, she's definitely going into gymnastics when I find something for three-year-olds. Now to find the appropriate activity for Jack! I'm still thinking soccer, and Rob's thinking martial arts. Martial arts? He's so teeny! Maybe that's the point...?

Fin.


Defattening

I got the call I've been waiting for since May, today. My number finally came up on the Drastic Bypass list! I have an appointment for January 31st in the general surgery clinic. It's not the actual surgery appointment (I wish), but the pre-op to go over all my paperwork, bloodwork, and everything I've got to get done before then. I'm so excited! I hope I get the surgery done well in advance of the trip to Europe so I can enjoy all the activities we have planned. And not just be another fat American in France. ;)

I'm too tired to think of anything else to say about today, although there was plentiful much. We're buried under mounds of laundry, so now I have to go attempt to fold a bunch before I snug down in my pillow.

Fin.


As God Is My Witness, I'll Never Go Hungry Again

100_4763 This is the result of the last two days, and about 20 hours, of my  (not-so-) annual Christmas cookie-baking marathon. I use the same Crisco cookie book that I've been using since I got it in college, but since I always seem to make the same favorites, Rob and I culled some new ones to try. And some old faves. Here comes the parade of Fiestaw100_4764are:

NEW: Cranberry Nut Oatmeal Cookies - pretty good, even for a girl who doesn't much like cranberries.

100_4765_2NEW:  Orange-Glazed Date Nut Bars - Rob likes them; not my favorite.

NEW: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars - Really good. I've actually never made bar cookies before. OMGosh, so easy, I vowed to make all bar cookies next year!100_4766_2

100_4767 NEW: Caramel Nut Chocolate Cookies - kind of a PITA, but totally worth the effort. I made these first, and got my first bad burn so doing. The caramel burns right through the bottom of the cookies - and onto your hand - if you're not careful. I learned quickly, though, and they're sooo yummy.

100_4768 Cherry Chocolate Chippies - an old standby. I like these because they look Christmassy without being the obvious easy choice: red and green m&ms. And they taste good. I just realized how many fruity cookies I made this year. More to come.

100_4769 NEW: Lemonade Cookies, garnished with coconut - SO good. These are definitely on both our Top Three list and will be a repeat next year.

100_4770 Raspberry Linzer Rounds - another old favorite. I found a really fine seedless raspberry preserve for them this year, the rest of which Rob will enjoy (maybe on some scones I'll make after the cookies are all gone?). I'm not big on raspberries, but these are great. The speckles are chopped up almonds. I usually sprinkle confectioner's sugar over these, but I just didn't this time, for no particular reason other than I wanted to be finished, already!

100_4771_2NEW: Southwestern Bizcochitos - definitely the most unusual of the set. They're made with anise seed, which I had to substitute with fennel (thanks to MIL for the advice) since they were out, and topped with milk and cinnamon sugar. They're all right. Just okay. I mean, they taste good, I guess, but it's not my taste.

100_4772

NEW: Spritz Cookies! I admit, I didn't really know what that meant, I just liked the name. What it meant was Rob going to Wal-mart and then William-Sonoma to find me a cookie press. Find one he did, and these are the most fun to make, if not my favorite to eat. I'm just not a big sugar cookie fan. But I'll be making lots for the kids, who think sprinkles are the best, with my fun new kitchen gadget! And I can't wait to do fun hors d'oevres and canapes and stuff with it, too. Glee!

100_4773 Jammy Pinwheels - another old favorite. I screwed one batch of them up seriously, but only the way I put them on the sheet. They still taste great, made with strawberry jam. The kids love them, too. And they're fun to make.

100_4774 NEW: German Chocolate Brownie Cookies - except here, they look just like the Brownie Cookies I have made lots of times, because I hadn't topped them yet. :P Picture tan coconut-and-pecan stuff glopped on top of each one. I really like them; Rob, not so much.

100_4775NEW: Donuts! Not really. That's just what Sophia and Jack kept calling them, from the appearance. They're Pecan Cookies, rolled innumerable times in confectioner's sugar. I love these so much. I just wish I could, for once, get the balls to stop spreading so much and stay balls. This is the best they've ever come out, though. Chilling helps!

100_4776 And this, oh this, is the little boy who has been watching his mother bake for two days, sometimes patiently and sometimes less so, dancing around the house singing about cookies, telling anyone he knows about cookies, making up stories about cookies, and trying to find a way to get a closer look at each of the cookies. Cookies, Mommy, cookies! That is the reason I make the cookies. For the excitement on his face. After I had started to package and parcel them out for friends and neighbors, I invited each child into the kitchen to pick one before bed. He knew the one he wanted right away, and did his face light up when he got it! I hope it was his best cookie ever. At least 'til next year.

Fin.


Choo-choo!

Today, I was supposed to have Baby Jade, but her mother called and said her mom was going to take her for the day. Whee! I'm glad. Did I tell you that another mom called and wanted me to start watching her one-year-old daughter? So I'd have two of them. But I've been debating whether to even keep Jade, because it's rough on our schedule. After the relief I felt today, not having her, I think I'm going to tell her mother that when her spot opens up at the other sitter, to go ahead and take it.

Anyway, so we didn't do much today other than hang out, play, admire the Christmas tree, and I worked on building my Ravelry account. Are any of you on Ravelry yet? (It's a huge community site for people who knit and crochet.) It's certainly going to help me get all my patterns and yarns and needles and hooks and projects organized. Or at least that's the plan. When I have 50 hours to sit around and sort it all out. Heh.

Rob came home early from work (hurrah), and the kids came home from school, and we got ready to go to Norfolk Botanical Garden with the Brownie troop.

Gah! It's not letting me insert any pictures! Fricken fracken Ferris wheel!

So. First, when everyone got there, we went into a room in the main building and had cookies and hot chocolate. Hot chocolate for a 2yo, 4yo, and 6yo. Heh. Fun. Then everyone made a craft: a little mouse peeking out of a teeny clay pot, to hang on the Christmas tree. I helped (heh) Sophia make hers, Rob helped Jack with his, and then I had to help Chloƫ make hers, too. They turned out so cute. I'd show you a picture, but, you know. 'Sides, I don't know where Sophie put hers.

Then the woman in charge read us all The Polar Express. I'll have to rent the movie; none of us have seen it nor had read the book before. All the girls were sitting, mostly quietly and patiently, listening to the story being read, but Sophie kept exclaiming, "What are you doing?!!" "You have earrings!" "She has earrings!" and so on. The lady was pretty stern, so this was very amusing to me.

After that, we all lined up to go outside and ride on the Polar Express! Okay, it was actually just a tram ride, but we pretended. We rode through the beautiful displays of lights (I keep hearing Sophia announcing "I love Christmas lights!" in my head) that IMO were better than the lights on the beach, and we all sang "Jingle Bells" at the tops of our lungs. It was freezing out, but we had a really fun time.

We zipped home as fast as we could, to beat Stephanie to our house. We made it, but just. She was there to watch the kids, while we went out to do a bar and dinner mystery shop at Rudee's, on the waterfront. We'd never been there before and had a really nice time, although I wouldn't order what I did again: it turned out to be a bunch of lump crabmeat in a bowl. I mean, it was good, but it was just a bowl of crabmeat! Weird.

Off to bed with me. Nighty-night!

Fin.


Worldwide Candle Lighting

Candle_3 Held annually the second Sunday in December, this year December 9, The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting is a gift from The Compassionate Friends to the bereavement community allowing us all to join together in unity to remember and honor the memories of all children so they may never be forgotten.

Believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of special children to always be remembered.

We always just do this in our home, since there isn't one in Virginia Beach. This year, I added our own home to the list as a meeting place. Doubt anyone will show up, but at least we're representin'!

Anyway, light a candle in memory of Robby, your little one, or all the babies at 7 PM on Sunday.


Right Down Santa Claus Lane

Yesterday, we didn't really do anything. I watched Jade all day (I guess I don't have to say "all day" anymore, because if I'm watching her, it's going to be all day. There.), and she cried. A lot. She didn't feel good. And she's such a light sleeper. Argh. I was so tired out, I skipped taking Chloƫ to ballet or going to the PTA meeting. So that was it.

Today was busier and much more fun. I didn't have Jade, for one thing, so once Chloƫ and Jack went off to school, it was just me and my baby girl. And the cleaning lady came, which is always a good thing. She was off all last week, her regular week, so the insanity started creeping back in a little bit. I missed her!

Soapy and I started off by going to the grocery store for moolah. I needed cash for my shops. And I'd meant to buy some pasta salad mix to make for my Bunco group tonight, but I completely forgot to buy it. D'oh!

We went out to Laskin Road to do the first half, the drive-thru, of an Arby's mystery shop. I haven't done Arby's in a long time, since Rob quit eating beef, because the purchase requirement is usually a roast beef sandwich. This time - and you didn't hear this from me, because it's top secret (hehe) - it was a chicken parmesan toasted sub. That I can do. So Sophie and I munched on our sub and curly fries in the car.

Then we made our way across the street to do a shop at the Sonic there. We were already stuffed, so I just pretended to eat the food and took it home for Rob and the kids to eat for dinner. Then back to Arby's for the dining-in portion of the shop. Again, we were too full, so we just ate a couple curly fries and took the rest home to Rob and the kids.

After that, I called to make sure Babs (Barbara, Cleaning Lady Extraordinaire) was home and found the check where I left it. She did. Okay. I called to check on BFF Lisa, who is still pregnant and holding at 36 weeks. She's miserable but doing fine. Good, good. So we went to Military Circle Mall in Norfolk to do an Auntie Anne's shop (I don't feel like giving linkage right now, plus I know y'all never click on them anyway! ;P).

Before we got to AA's, we came out of JC Penney's and found the Santa display there. No Santa, but we rounded the corner, and there he was standing at the jewelry store counter, mixing it up with the girls. Sophia spotted him, dropped my hand, and ran over to him, giving him the "up, up" arms. Oh, wait, before that, she saw all the Christmas lights and shouted, "Christmas lights! Beautiful lights! I love Christmas lights!" in her little stuffed-up voice. "Beautiful," "amazing," and "I love you-name-it" are her words du jour. Pretty cute.

So Santa picked her up and carried her over to his throne, and I waited while she looked at him admiringly and expectantly, waiting for some magic to happen. The guys at the booth asked me if I wanted to buy some pictures, but at a minimum price of $26, I begged off that - I didn't even have my other kids with me! So Santa waved me over and told me they gave free pictures on M,T,W if you mention the radio ad. Gee thanks, Santa. So I strolled back over and mentioned the ad!

Santa_sophie_2Her hair was all staticky and she didn't smile, but she looked like his matching little elf, and it was a nice, free 5X7. Sweet.

Then we went and got our pretzel. Good stuff. Have you  had an Auntie Anne's pretzel before? Usually I do the shop at Lynnhaven Mall, so this was my first time at MCM. Both are equally yummilicious. We got the almond one today. But we were still so full from lunch that I didn't even get upset when Soap dropped a huge piece on the floor and had to throw it away.

Then I had to shop for my $10 gift exchange for Bunco tonight. I figured I'd either get chocolates or candles, but the pretzel lady said that no one sold chocolates there, so we turned back to the candle kiosk I'd spotted on the way in. They were selling candles in parfait glasses and dessert dishes, looking like fruits and caramels and ice creams, with drippy sauces and such, and they looked so good and smelled even better. I bought a strawberry-topped ice creamy one that smelled heavenly, got it boxed up, and headed home with my baby and my bag.

Sophie wore her new purple coat and soft, knitted rainbow mittens from The Children's Place, and she looked so adorable all snuggied up. She enjoyed wearing them, too, I could tell by the way she pranced around, demanding attention. She likes to tell us that she's pretty, and she likes to know she's wearing nice clothes, so every time I want to get her dressed in something, I call out, "Come get your pretty pretty clothes/coat/shoes/panties/you-name-it on!" and she comes running. She told me several times that she was pretty in her new coat. And she was.

So we made a quick run to the bank to deposit some of my paychecks (one nice thing about mystery shopping is the little checks that come peppered in the mail throughout the month) before going home to wait for Jack. Barbara was still cleaning upstairs, so we stayed down and fooled around, tickling and smooching and airplaning and being silly. Jack came home in a good mood - for once - and we fooled around some more. Babs left and ChloĆ« came home, so I decided to let the children help me decorate the Christmas tree.  We broke out the boxes of ornaments, new and less new, and each of the kids and I put ours up in turn. Our new tree looks so pretty all lit and dressed up! Sophie kept "just touching" the ornaments so we'd have to rehang them, and Jack was so enamored with the vision that he pulled up his little rocking chair and sat right in front of the tree to stare at it.

Another cute Soapism: "Those ladybugs bit me!" which she said when she touched one of the lights on the tree and it was a little hot. She said this several times because, of course, she kept touching. "Those ladybugs bit me!"

100_4721 Then we opened the Advent cup for the day. The kids wolfed down their candies, and we read the activity: Paint everyone's toenails red! Fun! Chloƫ ran up to get the red nailpolish, and then I plopped each one down on the table in turn to paint them.100_4722

Even Jack was excited about his pretty red toes!

Rob came home soon after, and eventually I had to take off for my Bunco group. I kissed my babies good-night and headed out with my now-wrapped candle, my potluck food, and... yeah, that's it.

Bunco was a lot of fun tonight, as usual. If you're looking for something to do, I strongly recommend finding a group! We were short a couple of people - what else is new? - but we managed to do our usual screaming and yelling and laughing. I didn't win any prizes tonight, but Gia loooved the candle and I got Gia's present of a cute picture frame and some body scrub that I like. Good stuff.

Well, that's it for now. I've got to get to bed and still need to check my shop requirements for tomorrow night!

Fin.


Santa Claus is Coming To Town

(Warning: this is super long!) Well, it's been a whirlwind few days around here. Friday, I had Jade all day. I got a phone call that day to do a car wash mystery shop, so the little girls and I went to do that. Sophia freaked out a little inside the automated part. Guess she hasn't been to one in a while. After Jadey went home, we went to Red Robin for dinner, for another shop. That's about it.

Saturday was kinda crazy. Jade was supposed to be with us all day, but thankfully, her mom called and said she wasn't. Good thing. 100_4688We got up early and went to Chloƫ's school for the big Breakfast with Santa event - our first Advent activity. The kids each had a ticket to see Santa, which got them a Polaroid picture, a candy cane, and a little present. Chloƫ told me she asked Santa for a guitar for Christmas. Keep dreaming, child! Then the five of us had a ticket for breakfast, which was basically a muffin, bagel or donut, and juice or milk. It was fun, though.

100_4694 Sophia and Jack each got a stuffed ball, and Chloƫ got a snowman. After breakfast, the kids ran around the cafeteria, played with their new toys, and greeted friends. We're getting to know so many people now, thanks partly to our PTA involvement and partly to everyone knowing who Chloƫ is at that school! She has a way of making herself known.

100_4698On the way home, we stopped at a church that was putting on a live nativity display. The players were all kids with no supervision, and I wasn't terribly impressed with their behavior, but it gave us another opportunity to talk about Christmas, the birth of Jesus, and, well, the reason for the season!

100_4701The kids crowded around to pet the sheep and goat, and then we headed home for Jack to get a much-needed nap. I think Sophie did, too. Anyway.

100_4709 Next, we went to Chloƫ's acting school for her final day of her TV Commercial Acting class. The kids demonstrated their warm-ups for us, and then they each did their commercials and took some direction to show their 'versatility.' I wouldn't say Chloƫ is any more or any less talented than any other six-year-old, based on that - so I guess she'll really have to work those curly curls and general adorableness! ;)

We drove to Moe's (Welcome to Moe's!) after that, in Norfolk, for a lunch mystery shop. Well, lunner. Dunch. Something like that. Now, we've never really had any reason to drive straight from downtown Chesapeake to downtown Norfolk, so I got us a little bit lost - twice - before finally getting on the right path. I don't like getting lost. I'm not the kind of person who just gets in the car to drive, without a plan. I don't enjoy it. (Nevermind the wastefulness and pollution, which are also on my mind...) So I was glad to figure things out for myself and get where we needed to go.

The shop wasn't that great, but as always, the food was. Seriously, you should go. Between Panera and Moe's, I don't know which "casual restaurant" we've learned about from mystery shopping I like more. See, that's how they get ya. You think you're getting paid to do these jobs, but really, they want to get you in the door to see how good their stuff is. Remember last year, I wanted to buy the $8G piano? And that diamond ring? And the massage chair? Yeah. But I digress.

So then we went home for Jack to take another nap (growth spurt, maybe?? His pants are fitting a little short lately), and for me and Sophie to take one, too. I crashed. Rob took ChloĆ« to her iPOP! preparation class. We just have a month left before the trip to Los Angeles! I've been thinking so much about the Europe trip that this one has completely slipped from my consciousness. We've really got to start getting ready. I need to find a *gag* dress for the big gala thingy. Oy. Anyway, so they went to class while the rest of us slept, and I really have no recollection of what we did for dinner. I do know that Rob and I watched Georgia Rule (we both gave it a 5 out of 5), and then he fell asleep while I watched Perfect Stranger with Halle Berry & Bruce Willis (eh. I give it a 3) and did a whole bunch of knitting on that lacy baby sweater. Then I set up the new Christmas tree. I haven't even fixed the branches on it, so it's not decorated or anything. It's just there. For the cat to climb in. Which excites all the kids to no end. I kinda like it, too. Especially when she falls. That's funny.

Sunday. I was so tired from staying up knitting and watching mervies that I didn't get up and do the Dunkin Donuts shop I was supposed to do. Well, I can do it up until Wednesday, but I really didn't want to have to wake up the Tots to go with me. I woke up just long enough to, I don't know, check my email and drink some juice, before I fell asleep again. On the fainting couch in the office, which was supposed to be mine where I could crash out anytime I desired, but which I almost never actually use except for dumping mail and stuff.

But then I got up, showered, and got my scrapbooking stuff out for my big scrapping date with Stephanie (the babysitter).  (I guess I probably don't need to say that anymore, since Stephanie who lives in Canada and I don't get to hang out very often. Ever.) (Speaking of which, are you still going to meet us in L.A., Steph?? :D) I set up my new Cricut, and my seven new Cricut cartridges, and I admired them and admired them until the shine wore off. Stephanie came, the kids sang a song to her for their second Advent avent, and we gabbed and exchanged ideas and worked very slowly on our actual projects and didn't get a whole lot done! It was fun, though. Being crafty is fun. Being crafty with a friend is even more.

And Rob called his dad for his birthday. Happy birthday, Al!

So after she left, I pretty much scrapped the night away - stopping only to do a quick shop at the Sonic around the corner with Rob and the kids - and got a bunch of pages done. I love my new toy! I definitely recommend it. The only thing is, I've put so much wear on it by now, I already need to replace the blade and cutting mat. Kind of a pain. At least it came with a couple replacements of each.

I took a break to type up Chloƫ's rƩsumƩ, since we finally got her head shots back on Saturday, get our Christmas cards out since Rob picked up the Sears pictures while we scrapped, and make Chlo's "team" t-shirt. Oh, and I went grocery shopping, too. I only saved $22 in coupons this time, which is the lowest in a long time. But, I also spent less than usual too, so I guess it's all good.

Today, well, I forgot to bring my cell phone up to bed last night, which is my main alarm clock (in the form of both the program on the phone and Rob calling to wake me up!), so I way overslept. Way. I slept all the way until I had to get Jack up for school. Oops-a-daisy, that's not good. So I got all three kids ready (deja vu; we just did this last week), got Jack off to school, and then Soap and I drove Chloƫ in. But not before we opened our third Advent activity: ride the rides at the mall! The kids were looking forward to doing that all day long and never let me forget about it.

I had Baby Jade all day again today, after the kids went off to school, and it was good to see her again. She's definitely used to us by now and just jumped right in. The little girls sat in the kitchen with me while I scrapped until Jack returned from school. I have a ton of pages from the family reunion trip in June, and I'm not even halfway done. Oy. I shoulda done another book just for that!

Jack came home, and I put him and Sophie down in their rooms for naps, and Jade zonked out in our bed while I took a shower. She was so sound asleep, so it was not a minor annoyance when Chloƫ burst in the door and woke her up. And she didn't go back to sleep at all. Argh!

So I brought her down and went back to my scrapping. Rob came home, and we got ready to go to the mall. He had an eye exam - for, yes, a mystery shop - and I had to go along to "observe". Four kids. It was fun. Not so much, so while he was in with the doc, the kids and I wandered across the hall to The Children's Place, where I did a bunch of damage. Chloƫ needed a scarf, hat and gloves, and I don't feel like knitting them right now, so I got her a cute stripey pink and purple set. And Sophia wouldn't take off the matching mittens, so I got her some of those, and a proper winter coat since she's been wearing Chloƫ's Mickey zippy hoody from Epcot last year. Well, today she wore her raincoat because that's what Chlo fetched for her, but I could hardly button her belly up into it! And it's practically new. Oh, well. At least one kid is growing. I gave the raincoat (also from TCP) to Jadey's mom for her, when she picked her up. And I got the girls another matchy-matchy outfit, plus a second one for Sophie, on clearance. Cute stuff. Nothing for Jack. He needs clothes, but 3Ts are way too big, and I hate to buy him more 2Ts when he's almost five. It's just the principle of the thing.

Anyway, Rob called and said he was done with his exam, so we rushed back and sat there so I could watch what was what.

Afterward, we were on our way toward the promised Advent rides, when my back just totally seized up. That's not uncommon; I've had problems with it since the nerve damage I got from Sophia's delivery. But, we happened to be right in front of those massage chairs, you know the ones? I looked at Rob, and he told me to go for it. A buck for three minutes! I had two dollahs, so I gave one to Rob, and we sat down and got our backs rubbed. Thing was hard! It hurt! But oh, did it help. I definitely got my dollar's worth out of that. My back actually felt good afterward. He asked me if I wanted him to buy me that massage chair (not the mall one, the one from the Relax the Back mystery shop I did months ago), and heck yeah, I do! But not for three grand. Not right now.

We went and did the mall rides. Sophie picked the school bus. Jack picked the jeep, and Chloƫ picked the rocket. She looked up and shouted, "Webkinz!!" so I dropped all the quarters I had into Rob's hand and darted into the store. I spent another small fortune on three Webkinz (did you know they had a German Shepherd one? I didn't! Had to get that one), a Webkinz mousepad that Chloƫ asked for, two Webkinz pet carriers that I know she would love, and a few other Christmasy knick-knacks. I should've stayed out of there.

And that's about it. We rushed home to have a very late dinner and get Jade's belly fed before her mom came to get her, and to get Chloƫ's homework done and the kids off to bed. Now I'm going back to scrap before I pack it in until at least next weekend.

Fin.