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Entries from March 2008

Dents In My Head

Do you hear that thud? And that one? That's me banging my head against the wall. Why?

I love it when we spend good money to get this house ship-shape, only to have the dog run outside, go potty, and come back in with muddy prints everywhere. I mean everywhere.

Barbara! Come baaaack!!!


Catching Up

I guess I'm behind a little bit. Catching up...

So Sunday I went grocery shopping. My SIL gave me this great seafood cookbook, so on a lark at the store, I decided to pick up some tuna steaks and some tilapia, figuring for sure I'd find something in the cookbook that sounded good with them. We had leftovers for dinner Sunday, so Monday I flipped through every single recipe in the book, and nothing was right. But nothing.  MIL to the rescue! We talked about using pecans to bread the tilapia and grilling the steaks, and everything sounded so delicious, I wanted to make it and eat it all right then.

Instead, after talking to Rob about what and how to make the fish, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until 4 this morning. Not exactly conducive to cooking dinner. But Rob took it upon himself to make the pecan fish, and he tried to wake me up to eat it. Didn't happen, but he said it tasted great, and I dreamed about it, planning to have mine for lunch today. I lasted until about 10:50 AM, after getting Jack on his bus. And he was right, it was excellent.

Rob does almost all of our cooking anyway. I do the baking, he does the cooking. So when after I talked to MIL on the phone yesterday, Chloë, who was home sick from school, looked at me strangely and said, "Why are you going to cook dinner? Is something wrong with Daddy? Isn't he going to be home?" I just had to share. How amooooosing. I actually can cook; I just don't want to since having my first kid. Squeamish or something, I dunno. I'm still waiting for it to wear off. So, I'm sure, is he.

100_5894 Instead, I knit. I wanted a quick project after making the last sweater, so I cast on for this simple garter-stitch baby blanket in that wonderful Manos del Uruguay yarn I recently bought. No pattern, just straight knitting. It's so... woolly, I'm just dying to throw it into the washer and felt the heck out of it, since it would do so beautifully, but that would defeat my other purpose of having a blanket done, and one larger than teenie preemie size. It was very hard to photograph, though; I think you can see the stitches and color variations at the top. I've since started another sweater in pale green, but I think I've screwed it up and will have to frog it.

When Jack came home, I noticed the mailman finishing up across the street. When he left, I stepped outside and was greeted by some lovely visitors right in our "yard": 100_5896   

Two wee drakes, 100_5897

and a wee lassie duck.

This happens but once a year, and it means springtime is upon us! Joy, joy, joy, joy. That may be one 'joy' too many.


Of course, Miss Sophia, who had just gone potty and couldn't be bothered to put on her pants before squeezing out of the front door to see the ducks, had to run after them and chase them away. Then she came back to me, pouting, "The ducks are all gone, Mommy. We need to get some more." Ha! And do not her legs look fantastic in this picture? I am so jealous of my kids.

Well, Chloë's gone back to school today, and Jack's off, and I am just now, finally, hearing Soapy bumping around in her room. Time to feed breakfast for the third time today - fourth if you count my fish. Happy Tuesday.


A Little Night Music

100_5889_2 Today was all right, busy. We all woke up kind of early, and Rob fed the kiddies while I folded some laundry. Then Chloë and I showered and headed off to this weekend's first Brownies activity, a Science Try-It. I dropped her off and came home, since it was just down the road this time. (Gotta like that.)

When we all returned to take her to lunch, she took one look at me and burst into tears. I couldn't make out the first half of what she wasn't able to do, but she couldn't blow up her balloon, like all the other girls had, to fool around with static electricity.  Poor thing. I blew up her balloon, but she didn't want to rub it in her hair just then. We'll do that later. We picked up her jar of bubbles, and another jar that will turn into rock candy, and her patch.

The five of us drove down the road and ate lunch at Subway. They were in top form then, arguing over whose turn it was to share the drink (we just get them one sandwich meal to split), who got the last apple slice, who was going to sit with Mommy, who would sit with Daddy... I was looking off in the distance and started going, "Yip! Yip! Yip!" like I do when I'm imitating them, and then I caught this totally goth girl looking at me, watching the kids, and laughing. When we left and they were still squabbling, she was laughing some more. I had to chuckle, myself. Three little monsters. Cute little buggers.

Then we delivered her back to the church for her second activity, a Friendship Try-It. We went home and took naps, since she wouldn't be ready for two hours. I never woke up, though, and Daddy went to get her. Next thing I knew, it was like four hours later, everything was dark, and the house was silent. I found Rob and made sure he picked up the curly girly on time (he did), and then two more hours later I heard Jack crying. Dude. This thing has got me completely worn out, I guess.  Rob said I was talking a whole lot of crazy talk in my sleep, worrying about racial issues and other stuff.

In the meantime, Debbie delivered our dinner, Enchilada Pie. Now, I don't know about you, but that sounds like... something I would rather not eat. And when we peeled back the lid, there was a whole mess o' ground beef in there. Oy.  But Rob cooked it up (note: if you're going to use one of those newfangled plastic casserole dishes from Gladware or whatever, the lid is not supposed to be left on) and tried to feed it to the kids; only Sophia went to town on it. The others, not so much. So what do I tell Debbie when she asks if we enjoyed dinner? There is always the chance that she'll find out later I/we don't eat meat/beef, so I don't want to lie and say it was great and have her figure out I never ate it.

100_5890It was late by then, so we just decided to put in a movie for the kids to watch and settle down, Night at the Museum. Folks, this is not the movie to get your kids to quiet down to - first they'll be scared and holler a whole bunch, and then they'll be excited by the action and want to jump up and imitate it. But all you have to do is yell, "Sit yer asses down (kidding) and watch the movie, or it's time for bed!" and watch things calm right down.

I was able to get all the finishing done on this sweater, which meant picking up a lot of stitches for collar, cuffs and buttonhole edge. I hate picking up stitches; I think I have mentioned that. But that's because I sucked at it. I am getting better at it, and it's going faster. When the kids went to bed, I picked out the buttons and sewed them on:

100_5891 I thought the color and pattern of the sweater dictated the use of some rather elegant buttons, and I hope these fill the bill. What do you think?

I have no idea what we have planned for tomorrow, other than my resolving our dire need for groceries. I don't know what it is about these people, but they just keep eating all the damn food, no matter what I say or do. Sheesh. Sheesh!



Some of you will remember, from the old blog that's now locked & so I can't provide linkage, crazy child-abusing bus stop mom Jillian, who found out I reported her for child abuse and stopped speaking to me? (Duh, who wouldn't?)  Well, that was about eight or so months ago, and nothing has changed.

Until this morning. I said good-bye to Robert-Not-Craig, said good-bye to nice Japanese neighbor lady and the other parents, and headed on my way, when suddenly crazy Jillian looked straight at me and said, "What size clothes do your kids wear?" I was so stunned that she actually looked at me and spoke to me that for a second I couldn't even remember I had children, let alone figure out the answer to her query.

" which ones?" which was a dumb question, since she has four children and probably wanted to unload clothes from all but the baby.  But it turned out she had 9 bags of clothes she wanted to give me (me!) and would bring them by on Monday. And some shoes.

Anyway, I was so stunned by the whole thing, and I haven't given some of you the Jillian update in so long, I thought I would share.


In other news, I went to my OB-oncology appointment today. (It's just called the OB-Oncology clinic because it's at the back of the OB clinic I guess.) That was... interesting.

In the past, "my" oncologist has been Dr. West, who I liked very much but who could be rather stern with me for forgetting to come back in and be rechecked on time. He has since retired from the military, so today I met Dr. Michael Bidus, whose name I remember by changing it to "Mike'll Bite Us" in my head. He's very tall and handsome except for one wonky eyeball. It makes him lean his head back to look at you, and when he doesn't do that, you know, you check around to make sure he's speaking to you even though you're the only other person in the room.  I liked him, though. He was very straightforward, and he didn't treat me like an idiot - something I absolutely detest in anyone, but especially a doctor.

Since I've had four LEEPs and the bad stuff keeps coming back worse than before, and one LEEP is supposed to be a cure-all, he threw the question at me: "What do you want to do about this? I mean, how many times are we supposed to LEEP you - we're going to run out of cervix and risk damaging something we don't want to touch."

Heck yeah, that's what I've been saying! Cut it all out. Take it. We've made enough carbon copies of ourselves, and y'all have done more things inside of me that I would slap my husband for trying... take it.

So, we scheduled surgery tentatively for April 7th. Why tentative? Because Mike'll Bite Us read my file and saw I'm supposed to have gastric bypass. First he wanted to know if I was having it soon, so I could lose the weight and make things easier for his surgery, but I told him what's up with that, and he said we don't have that kind of time. (Oh.) Then he, on his own, for whatever reason, decided it would be good to have Dr. Mann come in after the hysterectomy while I'm still right there on the table, in the OR, and do the GB!!! {I even told him about the reasons I was denied by psych, and that I could probably get him a letter from my therapist and my prescribing shrink saying they approve me for surgery.} So he's going to email Dr. Mann, who he says he 'knows very well,' and try to get him to agree to this.

I was so excited about the possibility that I forgot to ask even one of my questions about having a hysterectomy. And I have many. Like, will I essentially be in menopause? Do I need hormone replacement? Does it affect my risk of breast cancer, which runs high in my family? And so on.  If anyone can tell me about this stuff, please feel free to email me!

Gotta go pop my last zithromax. Oh, let it do the trick on this damn cough.


Spring Is Less Than Two Weeks Away!

That oughtta make you smile; it does me. Well, let's recap, shall we, and see everything I've missed this week?

Monday: Psychiatrist appointment for med refills (bad. Must reschedule this immejutly). PTA Board Meeting. Knitting Guild Meeting.

Tuesday: Chloë's ballet class. Open house for Girl Scouts summer camp.

Wednesday: Erm, nada. Wow.

Thursday: Taking Chloë to Brownies.

But, things are looking up. For one, I do believe the fever has finally broken. It seems today I was sweating my bullocks off because it was actually warm out and I forgot to turn on the AC, and not because of the sickness roiling within.

For another, you find out you have friends who care. Robert-Not-Craig (don't ask), another bus stop parent, brought Chloë to the bus stop in the mornings for me so that I could stay home, out of the chill. The nice Japanese neighbor lady took Sophie over to her house today and yesterday, so I could rest. And Debbie, our Brownies troop leader, came to pick up Chloë and drop her off for their meeting today, and she also insisted on bringing dinner over on Saturday. I forgot to mention our non-meat-eating habits; would it have been rude to mention that? Anyway, I didn't. But isn't that so nice? There's another non-disease-related source of warmth in my heart.

100_5885After a few days off, I was able to pick my knitting back up today. Seriously, I was too weak and shaky to even hold the needles still; it was lonely and booooring. This colorful eyesore is the cotton blanket I'm making to overcome my afghan allergies. It doesn't look like much now; they never do at this stage. I'm hoping she'll be a beaut when she's finished, though.

Truthfully, I really don't like knitting with cotton. It's stiff and not stretchy - or my favorite, sproingy. It's unforgiving in showing any knitting mistakes, not that I ever make those. Heh. It's heavy, and it's not very soft. Or warm. So. I'm having a hard time garnering my enthusiasm for making this blanket a third time, when I usually hate to repeat a pattern even once. It'll probably take me a month. 

I am in the finishing stages of the plum-colored cardigan, though (the bumpy one, remember?) and hope to show you the completed project tomorrow. I really like it. It's soft and bouncy and pretty, and I just hope I don't screw up the seaming.

100_5888 So I gave Chloë my camera to take to the Brownies meeting today, which was held at BB&T bank, asking her to bring back some pictures for her scrapbook. This is what I got in return! Debbie took one picture of the girls in front of... a brick wall that you can't even tell is the bank. Hahahaha! That cracks me up. Oh, well. I can work with it.

Oh, guess what, guess what, guess what?? I got a call from Chloë's local agent today. She's been booked to do an ad for Dollar Tree next Wednesday!  We're very excited for her. She'll be doing swimmy stuff. They actually wanted her in January, but we were going to be at iPOP! then - and they remembered her and specifically asked for her! So with that, the modeling classes she's doing now and next weekend's performer's expo, there's a nice new bit of padding for her résumé. Way to go, Chlo!


Thanks for all the input on Jack's birthday party, both by email and in the comments. The winning suggestion came from MIL, and that's to bring the party to Jack's school. I like that because (a) it's not at my house, (b) I don't have to deal with parents, (c) all his friends will be there, and (d) Jack will be happy and in his element. So I wrote in his notebook to his teacher, and she said I could bring juice, cake and party favors, but no balloons or candles (surprise), and it had to be short and sweet. You know, that's fine. His birthday falls on Easter weekend this year, and there will be plenty of activities to make him a happy boy. We'll do candles and balloons at home, and it'll be great. Yay for moms!

Um, so since I haven't showered since I don't know when, I'm going to take my Smelly self upstairs and do just that. Smell ya later!


Second Verse, Same As The First

Want to know how I spent my day? Read yesterday's post.

So it dawned on me last night that I have 2½ weeks until Jack's fifth birthday. I have nothing planned, and he's actually got school friends this year. Aargh! Must. Act. Quickly.

Only, I'm not sure what to do. His preschool class consists of him and four other boys, and they're all developmentally delayed to various degrees. Only, I don't know to what degrees, and I don't really know what they're like or of what they're capable. I don't know how best to entertain them.

I did promise Jack we'd have a Cars birthday party this year, but we can either do that at home or just get a Cars-themed cake and bring it wherever we have it.  A party at home, especially for just five boys, would be a lot cheaper - but I'm really not a big fan of entertaining at my house. The cleaning up before and after, the decorating, the keeping the parents who stay happy and fed - actually, that does add up, too.

He really liked Kangaroo Jac's last year when it was just us family, but I don't know if everyone would be willing to drive out there since it's in Chesapeake... and they don't have party options that small. We'd have to pay for a bigger party in order to be able to bring our cake there.

Aack. I just don't know. What should we do?? Help me decide, I don't have much time to put this thing together. Thanks!


I Want My Mommy

There have been few times when I've wanted my mommy to come take care of me more than I do right now. Or at least my babies. I've been fighting a fever all day (my nasty, sweaty pillow will attest to that) and feel worse today than any day so far. But...

The Good News: The four of us survived the night, and no one got hurt and nothing got damaged. I only made scrambled eggs for dinner, but so what. And a lot of Noggin was watched. A LOT.  I could seriously use a sponge bath at the very least and probably will go outside like this to get the kids on their buses, but we made it. It was a very tough day for me.

Better News: I forgot to post on the weekend that I'm down another two pounds, for a total of 15. Yay!

BEST NEWS: Rob didn't get selected to go to Iraq!! I had to call him back and ask him whether he really told me that and it wasn't a feverish delusion.  That doesn't mean he'll never go, but it does mean he's not going right now, this time. Thank you, God, thank you, God, thank you, God...


Dead Man Walking

OMG. I feel awful. I finally went to the ER last night, and I have pneumonia. They put me on z-pack and rx cough medicine, but I don't have it filled yet. Rob has to work tonight until 10. My body hurts so much I'm shaking uncontrollably, I have a migraine, a 103-degree fever, and my cough is killing my chest. I just want to shrivel up and keel over. I'm amazed I was able to get up and get Chloe to her bus stop. I canceled my appointment with my psychiatrist this morning; just can't make it.

wah, wah, wah, I know.


We had a great day, Chloë and me. I took her to her Make It, Eat It try-it badge thing in the kitchen at A Place For Girls, the Girl Scouts place out in Chesapeake. It was a lot of fun and well worth the three-hour round-trip.

Then we went out around the neighborhood to deliver her cookies. The money's due on Thursday, and I've been to sick to go before this. Not that I'm great now, but y'know. Time's time.

Here's my rant: If you're going to f**king order cookies and I tell you when they're going to be in, have your f**king money ready! Don't be all shocked when we come knocking and go, "Oh, did I order those?" and tell me you don't have any money, can we please come back in an hour/tomorrow/next week? And do I look like a f**king bank? No, I don't have change for every single person's $20 - or worse, $50! Write a f**king check, then! "No, I don't write checks." What? You're 30-f**king years old, get a checking account already! I'm freezing my nipples off, and I really don't want to pay for your f**king cookies, and I really don't want to go around the f**king neighborhood two or three or more times!

Yes, I know. I should expect this, especially having done the same thing for the Fall Product sale. And I took this on.  But it's my party and I'll cry if I want to!


Git Along, Little Lassie

Still not feeling too well. As Rob is now about as sick as I have been, we are quite an ineffective pair this weekend. I am sure the poor kids are feeling somewhat neglected. Sometimes he is sleeping, sometimes I am, and sometimes we both are. It's a wonder they've had anything to eat, let alone much attention and affection.

100_5863_3 Here is the baby cardigan I have been working on. This is the back, and I now have half the front done, too. It's so sproingy and soft. I don't think I've ever knit (crocheted, sure, but not knit) a sweater with the sleeves right alongside the top like that. Yay for less sewing! It's a Plymouth Yarn Design Studio pattern, and I'm using Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK. The color is pretty true, for once; purples always seem to mess up for me.

Yesterday, for Leap Day, my LYS (local yarn store) was doing specials and sales from 10 AM 'til 10 PM. I wanted to go the whole day for the sales, while the Bigs were in school, and then go back again at night for the sit and stitch part. Didn't happen. I felt like butt and just sat around in my jammies with Sophia during the day, and then at night I didn't go until after Rob and the girls got back from Chloë's modeling class, so around 8 PM. Not much time left, but I did some MAAAAAAJOR damage in that short period.

I seem to be allergic to everything lately. This chubby girl does not come cheap! I can't wear jewelry made of anything but the finest metals, and now it seems I can't use any synthetic fibers, either. No acrylic or polyester for me - the acrylic blankets I made while pregnant with the twins and with Sophia now cause me major itchiness and red welts all over. I'm going through the Benadryl like it's the last day of production. (Even the elastic in my underwear is giving me trouble! How embarrassing.)

So I need to make a new blanket, and I went to the LYS last night with these criteria for my yarn: It must come in at least 10 colors; it must be worsted weight, and it must be a plant fiber (cotton, bamboo, corn, soy) because those are non-allergenic.  We searched around the entire store and found nothing. Nothing! I ended up choosing Butterfly, a Greek DK-weight cotton in tons of gorgeous colors, and I'll double-strand it for my throw. It was definitely not cheap.

100_5867 But, all wool, including this gorgeous Manos del Uruguay, was on sale for 29% off, and when you bought some wool on sale, everything else in the store was 5% off, plus she gave me $1 off each skein of the cotton. Don't know what I'll do with this one yet, but I like just having it!

So I spent a couple of hours last night and today winding all that yarn, and I casted on for the blanket this afternoon. I can't wait to use it, since I keep dreaming (really!) about sleeping under something that doesn't make me look and feel like the Giant Chicken Pox Lady. For now, I'm using Rob's baby quilt.

Rob took the kids with him for Chloë's make-up acting class this afternoon, and tomorrow I'll be bringing her out to Chesapeake again for a Brownies Try-It Badge in the kitchen. And since the money is due Thursday, I suppose we better finally get out and deliver cookies after that! (Note to everyone but G, who paid for their cookies but haven't received them: Uh, they have been boxed and in Rob's car all week, but he can't seem to remember to actually go to the P.O. And now that the APC units are closed, I can't just go there after hours to ship them. Monday for sure!)