Yeah. *We* Made This. Honestly.
Sears Portraits Today

Apparently You Can Make A Post Without A Title

100_6166Chloë, thrilled to finally get to hold Bounce

100_6167Jack (eating Mr. Bun's food), showing how cute he looks in his new outfit from Steph and Tim

100_6168 Tonic immobililty - it's not just for sharks anymore!

100_6169Apparently we let the kids stay up a wee bit too late for Odette Family Day...

Well, Rob was home sick today for the second day in a row; he has pneumonia. I wonder if his treatments will help me any more than mine did me, which was not a lot. But I hope they do. I hate it when he's sick.

That didn't keep him in bed for much of today, though! He was out and about with us for a lot of it. And nay, I didn't have to twist his arm.

First, he headed off to the car dealership to get an estimate on his car, after the beating it took a week or two ago. Meanwhile, the kids and I went to Pembroke Mall for some heavy-duty shopping. Rarely have I had so much reason to go to a mall. Normally I hate them, but today, we had lots to do.

Our first order of business was kid clothes shopping at Sears. But not just any clothes. I wanted to get a couple of nice outfits for Jack and Sophia for their upcoming 3- and 5-year portraits, and maybe something nice for Chloë to wear to auditions. Well, lots of nice spring and summer outfits were on sale - Easter markdowns, don'tcha know - so I ended up with three dressy outfits each. That bag was heavy. Luckily, Rob showed up to meet us and carry the bag while I held hands.

By the way, do you know how complicated it is to hold three kids' hands whenever you're going anywhere, particularly across the street? You either have to hold two with one hand and one with the other, so the two are always tripping over each other and kiddie-cursing themselves out, or you have to have one kid hold another kid's hand. That makes you four across, which does not work in a store, and too, certain of them refuse to hold certain hands. Like, Jack won't hold Chloë's or Sophia's, specifically. Wait, I guess he is the problem there... Anyway, it's a pain, unless I have Soap in the stroller. Just thought I'd vent a little.

Back to shopping. What do you need after buying fresh new clothes, but fresh new shoes of course!  Jack's sneakers are good, so we just needed a pair of sandals for the coming warmth for him. We really wanted something, anything else, but he insisted on picking those with Diego's giant face plastered on them. Oy. But otherwise, they were of a good construction, so rather than fight the monster, we let him have them.

Sophia has been wearing her sparkly, pretty, pink dress shoes pretty much day in and day out since fall, and for once, a pair of shoes have been worn out before they were grown out. But, hey! I found a new, bigger pair of sparkly, pretty, pink shoes - these have sequins instead of glitter - and she instantly loved them. Of course. "Can she have them, Daddy?" "Of course, she's only three, who cares?" ("No, I'm two, Daddy. I'm two and three!") So into the cart they went. She and Chloë both got the same Reebok brown with pink sneaks - just one size apart. One. And they both needed summer sandals, too. But we only found dressy ones for Chloë, so she could probably still use some fun play ones for going to the pool and stuff.

That's a lot of shoes. Six more pairs. Fortunately, I'd just gotten my KidsAdvantage coupon (do you know about this? Sears replaces kids' clothes if they wear them out before they grow them out!) and took 15% off that purchase.

Then, Rob took Jack around to look for wallets. I thought it would be an easy trip, but the boy flip-flopped a la John Kerry and asked for a Cars one instead of a plain black one. Well, they didn't have one. So we're still on the lookout for that.

We went around to the side and stopped into the Portrait Studio to see Ellie, our beloved photographer of five years, and make appointments for the kids. I was hoping she was free right then - hey, I already had the shoes and clothes! - but we had to schedule for tomorrow. She was right happy to see the kids, though.

100_6170 Finally, we left Sears and stopped in at the pet store next door to get a new water bottle for Bounce. (Do you like his name? Jack doesn't!) His old one leaks like crazy, and he was a thirsty little rodent. These four puppies were the main attraction for the kids, as they frolicked and cavorted - and ate each others' poo. I loved watching them too - but no, none came home with us!

Our next stop was, um, the Nestlé TollHouse counter for, um... a mystery shop. Hey, I was going to the mall anyway, and I usually stop and get the kids a cookie when we go. I just had to sneakily take a picture of the display case, and I'll have to do the short report later. But it was good that I did it and got it out of my system, because now I know I don't want to do it anymore.

After we stopped and ate our cookies and cleaned up some very chocolately children, I ran into another shoe store. For the past few years, I have constantly worn my white Reebok slip-on sandals - even when the occasion calls for black shoes. Even in winter. I know, tacky, but they are so damn comfortable and convenient. So I've been on the hunt for black ones ever since. It finally occurred to me to go to the same store where I bought the black ones - even two years later - and see if I could find black ones. Well, guess what? The very first thing I saw in the store?  Black Reebok slip-on sandals almost identical to the model I was wearing now!!  That's what we women call a score, right?!! So I bought some black ones, and I bought some white ones for when the ones I'm wearing finally kick the proverbial bucket.

Still not done. Chloë had allowance money to spend, and she wanted - what else? - another Webkinz. My store of them in my closet has finally been depleted, so we had to go to the Hallmark store for this one. She had enough for a Li'l Kinz pink poodle that she named Mercedes, plus a small bag of candy to share with her sibs. I tried to steer her in the direction of the kangaroo or the raccoon - so cute! - but she saw that pinkie and wouldn't be swayed.

Now Jack. He had birthday money to spend, and he changed his mind about spending it on candy. A lightbulb went on, and he wanted something else - cars! Quelle surprise. So I took him to the toys and hobbies store, where he found a rack full of Matchbox cars. Hoo, boy. Twelve dollars goes pretty far with Matchbox cars, and he was able to get a nice handful of them to take home. He kept thanking me, and I tried to explain to him that it was his money, but I'm not quite sure he gets it yet. Hell, I'm not quite sure Chloë does, either - I can see them trading money in the near future...

One last stop before home. I try to read all the relevant tips posted each week on Works For Me Wednesday, and there was a great one posted today: use a plastic tool box for your son (or whomever) to carry around all his Matchbox cars in, for easy transport. I knew Jack would love this. He's always finding funny little things to carry his cars around in, up and down the stairs, from room to room, into the car and back to the house. Until today, the latest one was his treat bag from his school party! So we found a big, sturdy, but lightweight box in the tools department and picked up something that's going to make him very happy, for under ten bucks. And I was right - he absolutely loves it! Loves it. And I love that he's so happy.

Rob's feeling pretty crappy (obviously), so I'm trying to lighten his load a little bit. We sent the kids upstairs for quiet time, and I made him dinner. We had some beans and carrots, stuffing, and stuffed tilapia pinwheels. It was really good. Then I called the kids down and, after they shared an apple with Bounce, I made them chicken and cheese stuffed crescent rolls, which none of them touched. Well, Sophie would have eaten them all, but she fell asleep and didn't want to wake up when I called them down, so Rob carried her back to bed.

Afterward, Chloë and Jack tried on all their new clothes and then headed upstairs for a bath. We're trying to get Chlo to take her own showers so she's ready to go to sleep-away camp this summer, and so far it's not going too well! She just has too much hair, for one thing, and she needs a lot of practice. But she'll get there. And if not, we'll have a very stinky child when she comes home after a week!

100_6172 I'm feeling in a bit of a knitting slump - finally - so I just sat and worked on my blanket for a few colors before coming here. I guess I'll start on something new tomorrow. I know what it'll be and am looking forward to it, so I don't know what's taking me so long!

Okay, now, I'm going to try and get the ol' treadmill set up and walk on it for a half-hour or so. I haven't done so in, like, a rilly, rilly long time, so I'm feeling skittish.