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Entries from April 2008


Today, we're not feeling well. Jack and Chloë didn't go to school, and I had to rest for much of the day, myself. I can't quite put my finger on the problem; it's just a general malaise, I guess.

So imagine my surprise when this came in the mail:

100_6530 It's a Heartmade Blessings Comfortghan! I apparently let it slip, in a highly-vicodined state, about the surgery and everything, and the wonderful people at HMB set to work putting this together for me.

100_6531 I have made a few squares over the past couple of years for HMB, so it was very unexpected to actually receive a blanket myself. I'm so touched by their thoughtfulness and generosity.

100_6533 It all came packaged in this pretty tote bag - and you know I'll be putting that to good use!

Thanks, HMB. It's just the pick-me-up I needed today.


Dog Hairs In The Button Bag

Today was a busy one. After I got Chloë off on her bus, I came home and checked email and balanced the checkbook. Then I showered and woke up my two sleepyheads to get them dressed and ready to go.

Oh, Soap was so sleepy. Sweet and sleepish. I love that reluctance to wake up - even when we're short on time - because it means I can go in her bed, pick her up and have her wrap herself bodily around me, head on my shoulder. My old therapist, Jeff, taught me it was important to make sure I get my 'warm fuzzies' every day, and that's one certain way to achieve it. I just sat there and held her like that until she was ready to move again. Loved it.

We didn't have time for breakfast, so I filled two cups with Cheerios and buckled my babes into the van. They never complain about that - unless they drop their cups down the side! Fortunately that only happened today after Soap's cup was emptied.

We made it to the Naval Hospital, and our first stop was at Pediatrics for Jack's 5-year check-up. Daddy had to meet me there, because I had my own check-up to get to afterward, and I didn't think I'd be able to make both. Plus I wanted him to drive Jack to school, but we ended up having too long a wait in Peds.

For those keeping score, our little guy is now 27.6 pounds and 36.5" tall. Yes, he's tiny. Tiny but loud and proud!

Finally, just before I had to head upstairs to OB, the doc came in. I stood and fired a few questions at her before I left, but Rob was left to handle the majority of the visit. We talked about his bedwetting, and they're going to check and make sure he doesn't have a UTI or something, even though it's been months since he started doing it. We're all just guessing it's more developmental issues and physical immaturity, although it frustrates me that he was dry for so long before this started up. Just when we're finishing diapers with Sophie, the pull-ups re-emerge for Jack.

We're also going to get him to Ultrasound to figure out where his right testicle went! It's been a while since that guy's been found, so hopefully it's just deep in hiding and will come out, come out, wherever it is. Lastly, we discussed his snoring. He snores as much as any old man! Apparently this is very common, but we'll take him to ENT to see whether he has enlarged tonsils - also very common. I don't know what else was discussed, because details on check-ups are never forthcoming from the hub, but I guess it was all okay.

Upstairs, I met with the illustrious Dr. Bidus again. I'm loving that guy, truly. He's genuine, he takes time to really talk to me and connect with me, and he doesn't make me feel like a mental midget. I had Sophia with me, and he was also very sweet with her. He was pleased with my incision healing and the progress I've made pain-wise and cleared us to um, you know, *ahem* in another week or so. I'm a little panicky about that, but since my MIL reads this blahg, I'm not going to explain why! Hehe! *blush*

We also discussed my on-again, off-again gastric bypass surgery. He really wants to help me get one, in a nice and not 'oh-my-god-you're-so-gross' way. So he's putting in a referral for me to be seen 'out in town,' as we say in the ol' military, and hopefully I can get the deed done sooner by a civilian. Not Europe trip soon, but I've come to terms with being the chubbiest chick on the Mediterranean.  Anyway, all-in-all, it was a nice visit, and I was sad when he told me I don't need to come back to see him for my future annual exams.

Sophie and I walked right out of the waiting room, right past Rob and Jack without knowing it. I stopped in the main hallway to call and find out where my boys were, and they were in the OB waiting room with all the preggos! Didn't even see me. Speaking of which, it's really kind of difficult to be waiting with a room literally full of giant baby bellies. My uterus is gone, but my baby fever is not, and for the first time in my life, I actually felt pretty useless. It was a weird, uncomfortable feeling. Like, what is my function as a woman, if not to make people? What now, now that that ability is gone?  Guess I'll just have to deal.

We walked out as a family-minus-Chlo and parted ways in the parking garage. The non-twins and I headed home, and I had a nice long conversation with my dad along the way. It was a good talk, the kind that makes you smile and feel good after. I rarely have that with Dad; usually it's more of the eye-rolly variety. Good stuff.

At home, I ran inside to pack Jack's lunchbox, and then we headed back out to get him to school. Rob had commented, "He'll only be at school an hour and a half by the time you get him there!" Believe me, it's enough. It's a separation both mother and son need by this point. I've gotten over my guilt for feeling that way. He needs his space away from me, and I need mine away from him. Even for an hour and a half.

Sophie and I stopped at Subway again for lunch, because when I get on a tuna sub kick, it stays with me. We went home to eat it this time, and she gobbled down at least half of the footlong sandwich! My girl can eat!

I would have put her down for a nap at that point, but it was ballet night. So she relaxed in front of PBS Kids for a little while ("Mommy! It's SuperWhy!"), and I doddered about checking email and cleaning up my desk. I meant to have the whole thing done but did so much less than that. Oh, well. It's an ongoing process.

When Jack came home, I was ready for him. The kids had a fruit snack, and I decided to whip up my own bread recipe, just for kicks. I wanted something cinnamon and raisiny, and, while great, has mostly bread machine recipes. I started throwing ingredients together in the bowl just as Chloë came home from school. They all wanted to help with the bread again, but I thought since I was improvising, I better just do this one myself. So I set Chlo to the task of getting her leotard on, while I figured out what I was doing.

I goofed, though: to make sure I wasn't leaving out anything crucial, I grabbed the recipe print-out from the cheesy Italian bread I made the other night, and started reading down the ingredients. Completely forgetting what I was making, I did what the recipe said, grabbed the garlic powder, and dumped a hunk into my mix. Gah! I realized it too late, and the only thing I could think of to do was dump a huge amount of cinnamon into the bowl to counteract the damage. Hey, when I go in, I go all-in. No starting over for me! I kneaded away at my dough and after transferring it to a greased bowl to rise, I ate the sticky dough off my hands. Not half bad! I thought it would be edible after all.

We headed out to ballet, me with my knitting back in hand, Jack with his truck book, Chlo with her ballet shoes, and Sophie with... nothing, as usual. After Chloë went inside, I knitted exactly two rows before I realized I was going to mess up if I kept going, so tired was I. I leaned back my chair and closed my eyes, and before I knew it, Jack was hollering at me that Chloë was standing outside the van, trying to get in! Sweet. I should sleep through ballet every week; passes much faster that way.

My driver's seat was all messed up after that. I normally pitch a fit when anyone moves it, so difficult is it for me to get it exactly right, and this time I was the culprit. I moved it around and up and down and forward and back, and I still couldn't get it right. Hate that. Will have to fiddle with it more mañana.

Back at home, the chillens were just as sleepy as I had been, so I sent them upstairs to sleep, rest, relax, read, whatever they felt like doing. Jack and Chlo probably just played, but I knew Sophia conked right out.  I sat downstairs and went through the mail, cut coupons and made a huge mess of papers on my floor that I have yet to clean up. Rob came home and decided to do more work on his car, so I was surprised when Stephanie and Tim showed up as he left to get some oil.

Tim was there to fix my computer. Sorry Steph-Canuck, I just can't get used to firefox. Plus I wanted it sorted out back to the way it was before. Tim's in IT, and he fiddled around with it a while and eventually got it all cleaned up and back to normal. Yay, my hero! He's officially on the payroll.

Speaking of new positions, Steph was there to pick out buttons for the red cardigan, since I have bestowed upon her the title of Official Button Chooser for CARE Package.  She got down on the floor, dumped out my big ol' bag of buttons, and spent a good long time choosing just the right ones. After she picked, I quickly finished knitting up the buttonhold band and sewing in all the ends, so I could work on her selections.

100_6527 So what do you think? Cute, right?

That's finished now, and I've started right up on a pair of Saartje's booties to go with it. I'm now going to switch gears and work on putting complete packages together to get ready for another donation. That will take a while; I have my work cut out for me this time.

After the buttoning and the computering were all said and done, the seven of us were going to head out and enjoy Ben & Jerry's Free Scoop Day, but alas, we were too late. Oh, and I baked the bread and force-fed it to Steph and Tim. And the kids. And Rob. I'm the only one who hasn't had any, actually. The consensus: Not the best bread ever, but certainly edible! It will be good to try without the garlic next time.  And more raisins. Anyway, we were too late - the ice cream shop was closed by that point. Rats! We were all set on going.

So Steph and Tim went home, and Rob and I quickly made the decision to go out for ice cream anyway. But where? And what about dinner? We decided on Sonic for an ultra-healthy meal of tater tots and mozzarella sticks and hot fudge sundaes. Oh, well. At least the kids ate!

Rob bathed the kids and fell asleep shortly after, while I helped Chloë with her homework. As usual, the math was tough on her. She just doesn't get money math at all. It's frustrating for both of us. I keep hoping it will somehow just click, but we are not at that point by a long shot.

And then I fell asleep watching Law & Order, waking up at 0200 to the sound of Jack running around downstairs! Hello! Go to bed, you! I'm off to do the same, I hope, now that I've had a good long snooze of it.


WFMW: Wrap-n-Mat

Wfmwsmall My favorite way we've gone greener this school year is by using Wrap-N-Mats in the kids' lunch boxes.

Folding_wrap Made of colorful fabrics on one side and a plastic cover on the inside, these highly washable mats eliminate the need for using disposable wrappers or bags every day - plus it doubles as a neat little placemat for their food.

I use the mats for more than just sandwiches, although they are the perfect size for that. I've used them for a pile of goldfish crackers and other snacks as well.

Plus there are always different patterns on 'special,' so you can save a few more bucks that way. I never buy the full-price ones, only the sale ones. The kids don't really care since they're all fun prints!

Another quick thing that works for me: Google Reader. Most of you have probably heard of this or Bloglines, but just in case, it's a great way for you to keep track of all of the blogs you read in one place. Instead of clicking around on all your different sites, put your subscriptions here in one place to be notified when they are updated. If you want to go to the blog to post a comment, just click on the title!


Slight Recommendation

Here's a tip: When you've decided to throw together your own slapdash recipe for cinnamon raisin bread, it's best not to forget what you're making and dump a bucket of garlic powder in there. Throws the whole thing off, and your nose gets wicked confused.

(If you don't take that advice, heed this: after you've done that, you have to add a shitload more cinnamon to negate the garlic effects.)

So far, the dough I've eaten off my hands tastes good. Let it rise!


Oh, Yeah. Here's Your Title.


Tornadoes went through the area today. We're fine, though - it was out west of us. No damage here. Lots of damage there.

My tum was hurting a lot last night, and today, so we had a down day. I actually did halfway decent with the CPAP last night, so I managed to stay up and knit after getting Chloë on the bus. I did half the back then and the rest of the back in the evening while watching Dancing and Bachelor. Ohmigosh, who watches that?! I was crying along with Amanda - boohoo!

Rob came home early so we could go to the volunteer banquet at Chlo's school, since we did a lot of stuff with the PTA this year, but we ended up playing hookie. Who wants to go eat a bunch of crappy food with a bunch of people we don't really like? Not I. Plus I had a migraine. So I took a wee nappy-poo while Rob went out to run errands. It was a great nap, too, until my Freecyclers came by to pick up the shit stuff I'm starting to get rid of in anticipation of our Florida move later this year. Gonna be doing a lot of that in the coming months, I expect.

So, knitting:

100_6521 So here it is, all sewn up. I just need to make the collar and button bands. Geez, the bottom looks all wonky, but it's just the way I laid it out. I think. Seems fine to me. It's awfully red, huh? Any suggestions on button colors?
It's a really bright red, not like the orange-y red in the bottom picture I took for stitch definition.  A pretty plain, simple sweater for a little boy.  I'm glad to be almost done with it, actually, because it is so plain! Plain = boring in Smellyhead.

Edit: Oh, yeah. I forgot I was going to come back and tell y'all what I was using. It's a Plymouth Yarn Design Studio pattern  on size  5 & 7 needles, and I'm using Debbie Bliss "cathay" yarn. It's a DK weight made of cotton, viscose microfibre, and silk. So I was totally off on my last guess. It feels very cottony on the one hand but very soft on the other. I rather like it.

Well, I have some cherry vanilla gelato stuff calling my name... so hasta  la vista!


Big Fat Piggy

Okay, now I'm starting to feel like a giant oinker! I have won three more giveaways, for a total of ten!!! Whoa, man! I never expected to do so well, I was hoping for maybe two!  Guess all that time filling in my name and blog url really paid off, huh?

The new prizes:

  • An organizing insert for my purse
  • Ad space for CARE Package on another's blog for a week
  • A gorgeous beaded bracelet

How excited am I? Let me count the ways...

Edit: LOL! I just found out I have won another prize! A Balancing Monkeys eco-friendly playset from Plan Toys, courtesy of! This is getting crazy!


Newsable News

100_6498Jack helping his daddy wash the cars last night - see video of it here

When Chloë came downstairs and found out where they were, she told me, "I'm going to go sit outside and watch the boys work!" That's my girl.

We stayed up waaay into the wee hours this morning, Rob and I, joking around, watching telly and, for me, knitting the entire second sleeve in one sitting on the red cardigan. I know, woo, it's a baby sweater, but it's more knitting than I've done at once in weeks. The only piece left to do is the back, before finishing. Don't know if I'll get to start that tonight.

Rob woke up earlier than I would've expected this morning after being up so late, but I, well, I did not. I missed mucho daylight, unfortunately. And CPAP is still not going well. I just hate it. Hate it. I heard from someone who has been using it for two years and still hates it as much as I do, so at least I don't feel so crazy, hearing that. I just can not sleep on my back. Can't do it. I try to sleep on my side - and sometimes my tum - and the mask leaks like crazy. And, heh, I drool into it. *hanging head in shame* Which leaves all this wet on my face, and that is not comfortable. I end up falling asleep for a short piece, and then something wakes me up (often my bladder), and I end up ripping it off after only a few hours and not putting it back on again. I tried it again last night without the humidifier, and that was no good - won't do that again! But I'm going to keep using it and trying to make peace with it, no worries. Know this, though: It is not coming with me to Europe!

Ah, yes, Europe. Have I told you about that yet? It looks like the trip is on again, as per my blog post here. I'm so bummed about the changed conditions that I'm having a hard time being excited about the trip right now, but I know that'll change again. So come next grocery day (Thursday) I am going to go back on my strict diet and start walking like crazy, and I'm going to figure out a short-term goal weight for the trip.  I have less than two months, which isn't a lot of time, but I bet I could do some damage on my Ruben-Studdard-esque physique!

And here's some more news for you: It looks like we may be moving to Pensacola in the fall. The Navy won't move us to the Left Coast because we have more than two children (what's one more?), and there aren't any other shore duty orders available. But P-cola will be a good gig. Rob will be an instructor at Physiology, and he's always had wicked awesome hours when doing temporary stints at Phys.  I was upset at first about it not being anywhere near L.A. and a future for Chloë, but I've come around. It is Florida, after all, my beloved second-home state - even if it is the panhandle and the 'wrong' time zone.  So, back to the city where our first was so emergently born! We'll keep you posted.

100_6506_2This evening, we decided to bake some bread. It was all hands on deck, as the kids really love helping Mommy in the kitchen when it's time to bake something.

100_6514_2They all helped stir the yeast into the warm water, mix up the other ingredients, and knead the dough. But this was Jack's major contribution toward the process:100_6509

He kept pulling pieces off the raw dough and eating it!  And poor Jack, he is so impatient. He thinks that homemade bread should pretty much be ready the same minute you decide to make it. 



So this was entirely a communal effort.  Even Rob had his hands in it, since I was upstairs folding about nine loads of laundry when the dough had re-doubled and was ready to bake. Alas, he put the temperature a smidge too high, but it's only dark on the outside, all creamy goodness on the inside. Too bad the kids were in bed when it was finally done! Hopefully for them, I'll leave them each a piece... ;)

So guess what? I won two more giveaways, for a total of seven!!!  Sitting on my butt at the computer has really paid off!  Let's see if I can list all the prizes: A $15 iTunes gift card, homemade note cards, 2 six-packs of Yoplait yogurt, a tote bag, another set of homemade note cards, an m&m dispenser and green m&ms that are supposed to be a NYC souvenir(?), and a sample of LaundryTree SoapNuts! That sounds interesting. Did I get them all? I'm so excited to start getting all my prizes in the mail - and Erin, if you're reading this, your Microdermabrasion Kit will be in tomorrow's post!

I think that's all the news I've got to give y'all. I'm going to start watching Waiting For Guffman and doing a little knitting before my dryer buzzes again. Have a fabulous week!


Gone Giveaway Crazy!

Is this all getting to be a little bit much? Maybe, but who doesn't like to win free stuff? I know I do - and I was so excited to find out today I won another Bloggy Giveaway prize! My fifth one - more notecards, which I love so much.

Here is your chance to win some awesome prizes for Mother's Day. Just like the picture post I made last night, these contests are all on 5 Minutes for Mom. Today's giveaway is a really cool all-in-one photo printer that is exactly what I have been looking for. 

There is a button on my sidebar on the right, so you can keep checking each day for their next great giveaway prizes. Just remember: don't win what I want! ;)


What Motherhood Means To Me

Full disclosure: This post is for a contest here - and it's open to Canadians, my friends!

Motherhood This is my mother and me, in 1981 - two years before she died. I was five, and she was setting my hair in curlers for Picture Day at school.

I have so many little memories of my mom in the seven years I knew her, and they're all about how involved with us she was. She would get down on the floor and play house with my sister and me like nobody's business. She started a babysitting co-op with her friends so she could spend more time with us. She was there. She was present. I have nothing but fond memories, and yes, I have put her on a bit of a Mommy Pedestal.

If I could have anything I wanted in life, it would be to know that my children loved me as much as I loved my mom.  It would be to have them come home for a visit, after reaching adulthood, with happy anticipation and no dread. It would be to have a close, tight-knit family that enjoys each other's company always and forever.

Lala Land? Maybe. But for seven years, anyway, I had that. And I'm trying to create it again.



Have you ever been to Mamasource? I have been a member there for a little over a year now, and it's great! You get linked up to other moms in your area, and it's a great resource for finding out local information about places like businesses and schools. Also, you can ask the other moms parenting (and other) questions, and a daily digest comes out to the members with all the new questions, which they can then click on to answer. I have asked several questions, and always get lots of great responses to help me figure things out. It's even where I found my now-beloved Bunco group!

Check it out, it's my favorite mom website now. :)


"Being A Mom Isn't A Real Job"

Quoth the husband. Now, granted, as he says, "That's not what I mean and you know it," but the boy did say it. So, on with it, ladies - get 'im!

Thank you to Tammie - she got me back into Typepad by suggesting I use Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. This is after going through all kinds of hoops, including spending 43 minutes on the phone with a heavily-accented Indian and doing a system restore. Since yesterday, my computer suddenly thinks it is July instead of April, and I don't know if that has something to do with it, but I noticed it when I returned from our date. It has driven me to drink.  A very yeasty-tasting strawberry winecooler, to be exact. I'm tempted to dump it out, but I don't want to be called out for alcohol abuse.

So! Back to our regularly-scheduled posting!

Do any of you watch "Max and Ruby," the children's cartoon on Noggin and, I'm guessing, Nick Jr.? If so, do you crack up when Ruby talks about "grandma's special box"? This drives Rob and me wild. Wild, I tell you! {To Mom: This is akin to your Silver Beaver award!}

But I digress. Actually, I can't really digress when I haven't started yet, huh? Ri


 These are the little blankets that Samantha (who is pushing me to do this bake sale I really don't want to do) made for CARE Package. They're soft and cute. She's working on mo
re right now!

So yesterday, S
ophia and I went out to another LYS (local yarn store) here in town. There are a bunch, and we still have one more to go before we've hit them all. I don't think anyone here cares, but this one was the Knitting Corner in Kempsville. I went specifically for the Malabrigo yarn that I was told they carry. No one else in town does, and I've heard nothing but raves about it on Ravelry. Of course, being the yarn slut I am these days, I had to check it out and grab a feel for myself.

100_6472It was luscious! (By the by, I can't tell on firefox where the pictures are being placed, so I'm sorry if they're all discombobulated!)  I picked out these four colors (modeled by Steph) - aren't they rich and wonderful? It is merino wool and very, unexpectedly, soft. I love it. I don't have a project in mind yet - any suggestions? I'm thinking of trying my hand at modular knitting (don't ask me to explain what that is, because I am only just figuring it out myself) and making a wicked cool baby blanket for the charity with it. WDYT?

100_6493 For spending over $20, we were able to choose a free ball of yarn out of a basket set aside for such a purpose. I let Sophie choose, and this is the fuzzy pinkish ball she selected. She would not put it down! She charmed the shopgirls by walking around the store and putting it, for instance, on her head and saying, "I can keep my yarn on my head!" then "I can put my yarn on the table! I can put my yarn on your knee! I can put my yarn on the other yarn!" and moving throughout the store. They thought she was adorable and, when we left, complimented me on her good behavior.  Is there higher praise for a mommy than being told your child is delightful?

After the LYS, Soap and I were starving and decided to stop at Subway for a "shamwish" as she calls them. (Soap is Sophia, our newly 3-year-old youngest babe, for newcomers.)  This broke Rob's and my pact not to eat out for the rest of the month after our dastardly grocery bill, but, well, I have no good excuse. She asked for a shamwish for lunch, and my eyes alit upon the Subway marquee, and that's the way it all went down. We got a footlong tuna to share, and behold, it was good.

100_6484 We had just enough time to get home and settle in for five minutes (read: check email) before Jack got off the bus. He was in excellent spirits, which brought me great cheer because it is always great to see that oft-grumpy little boy with a wide smile on his face. He sat with  Soap at Chloë's little desk and goofed around, hugging and kissing her, and generally being a sweet five-year-old. I caught this picture just in time before they both dissolved into giggles. Adorable!

I had to lie down for a wee spot of time after that. It was my afternoon lull in energy, I guess, so on went Noggin and onto the couch went Mommy, for a short half-hour or so (thank goodness that's all it was this time). Chlo came home from school and watched with the kids while I rested for a spell, and then we jumped up and started readying her for her overnight trip to the zoo with her Brownie troop!

I sent her upstairs repeatedly to collect her pillow, her jammies,  her sleeping bag, Daddy's flashlight, and her toothbrush. She brought her new Build-a-Bear kitty along of her own accord. Then we stuffed everything into her backpack that would fit, which was all but kitty, to her surprise. Mom can make an elephant fit into a pickle jar! Rob came home early shortly after that, and I sent him to the grocery store for a disposable camera for her. Hmmm, I don't know what's become of that camera; I haven't seen it since her return! Daddy instructed her on its usage, and I instructed her on the types of pictures to take. It'll be interesting to see if there's one good one out of the 27!

We left to meet at the church where we normally do, and I expected to be back about two hours later after having to drive her to downtown Norfolk - where the zoo is - at rush hour on a Friday evening. Imagine my delight when troop leader Debbie told me she'd be driving her in and I could return right back home again! Sweeeet. We just had to procure a car seat for her, since hers is a built-in in my van, and we were good to go. We kissed goodbye a hundred times, hugged about fifty more, and then she was gone. Her first sleepover with other kids! *sniff* My baby's growing up. (This one, our oldest, is six and a half.)

So I called babysitter-Stephanie and told her we were ready to go out for the night, and she came over shortly thereafter. Rob and I had a quick - and I do mean quick - din at Panera, chugging down our soups and sandwiches with our eyes on the clock. We also got a bag of bagels and a cookie for the movies, and we only paid a few bucks since I had a MyPoints gift card for Panera! If anyone needs a referral to MyPoints, let me know! I love it: it's free money for just clicking on emails.

Then we went to Pembroke Mall to see Baby Mama, the new Tina Fey movie. Only, I drove to the wrong theater! It was now time for the movie to start, and our real destination was across the street. Oopsie. We huffed it back to the van and made the switch, sliding into our seats just as the last preview was ending. (Mamma Mia looks good, y'all. I want to see it.)

Well, the movie sucked. I mean, we both gave it about a 1 out of 5 stars, and we never score a movie that low.  It wasn't funny at all, unless you have a diminished mental capacity. Anything remotely funny was already seen on the myriad TV commercials, and we didn't laugh out loud once. There were a few snorts, but nothing worth busting a gut over. We left sorely disappointed.  After that, we wanted to go grab a martini at Ruth's Chris but were kind of dressed like dirtbags, so we skipped it and went back home. Steph and I shot the breeze for a minute, and then she headed out.

100_6496 So here is the front of the sweater I am knitting right now. Progress is surprisingly slow, considering the ease of the pattern.  I forget what it is right now, not having the ball right in front of me, but I think it's, like, a silk merino linen or something.  I'll post more details as I get farther along with it. Right now I have the first sleeve almost finished. I don't know why I can't just sit down and knit a whole big swatch of fabric right now.  I think  the hysterectomy took my powers of concentration out right along with my ute?

Oh, and the Bloggy Giveaways were a huge success. I picked a great winner, I think, from Rob's home state! I collected a few new readers from the carnival, and I'm so happy to have y'all here! I have a potential Jafra order, and another woman has pledged to support our charity with her church group. Most fun: I have won four giveaways so far!! I won a tote bag, 12 free Yoplait yogurts, a pretty set of note cards, and a $15 iTunes gift card!! How cool is that?! I can't wait until the next one, in July! Suggestions for my next giveaway?

So I'm off to putter around, clean up my desk, do a little more knitting, and probably take a Vicodin. My gut's hurting a little more than I like. Enjoy your weekend! Ours is a beaut.


Still Can't Get In

Okay, something is going wrong with my McAfee security stuff. It is telling me all the security certificates are bad on the sites I am always visiting, and it is not letting me log into Typepad at ALL. I'm going berserk here. If anyone knows how to fix this, please help a crazy girl out! *I did add Typepad to my trusted sites, and it is still not letting me log in.*



Computers Suck

I am emailing in this post because I can't log into my Typepad account! I know for sure I have the username and password correct, but it keeps just reverting back to the blank log-in page. Infuriating! Especially today when I actually have a *real* blog post to make, with pictures and everything.


Giveaway Winner!!

Random Integer Generator and I just selected a winner - out of 301 entries!!!! - for the Microdermabrasion Kit giveaway!!

The winner is "lovedandamazed" (no blog site given) who said: "This looks like an interesting product! I haven't tried Jafra but I am almost out of my current cleanser product and would like to give this one a try. You may throw my number into your random generator. :-)"

Throw her number in, I did, and she won! Congratulations to Erin, I believe her name is! You have 72 hours to contact me with your address before I'm forced to pick a second winner. Hurry, hurry, and please check your spam folders, everyone!

For anyone else who is interested in Jafra products, I am still offering the 25% discount to anyone who is interested, until further notice. Good stuff, check out the comments about it!


Slacker Mom

Today's post will be very short, since I'm being a major slacker today. I don't feel good: I didn't sleep well last night, I am covered in the itchy rash, my stomach is upset, and I have been exhausted all day.  Rob has to stand watch tonight and won't be home until late.

Soooo... Noggin has been on TV the entire day. I'm serving leftover pizza and ice cream for dinner. Chloë went upstairs to lie down and is still there at 8:30, and if she wakes up, I might not make her do her homework. We're not going to clean up the living room tonight, and I don't think I'm going to give the kids a bath.

Overachiever mom? Not me! Not today!

Oh. I will say this: Last night I finished both front halves of the red cardigan I'm knitting, and Juno was an awesome movie. I loved it, I want to own it, and I want to buy the soundtrack, too. Rent it today!

All right. Back to slackin'. Peace out.


Ebbs and Flows

100_6444 Rob disappearing behind the couch after Bounce the bunny went missing

Today was okay. Here's the rundown:

CPAP: Was a no-go last night, but only because I spent all night and half the morning running back and forth to the bathroom. I don't know what I ate, but it wasn't conducive to being strapped down all night. I eventually just cast off the mask and gave up. Back at it again tonight!

Allergy appointment: Successful! The rash started popping back up on the drive there. The NP who saw me tried insisting that it was the pollen and stuff flying around outside, but hello, this has been going on since at least the fall. Doubtful that's the (only) problem. Anyway, she gave me Prednisone, Claritin, and some spray-on itch relief that really doesn't work as well as just, uh, scratchin' and diggin' my nails into the bumps. So, yay, even more pills for me to take! Like 13 every night wasn't enough. Sigh. I am a walking medical dictionary.

Edit: Oh, yeah, and I had an allergy blood test done. Apparently they don't do the pin pricks on your arm with the different allergens anymore? She just drew blood and sent me on my way. I'll follow up in two weeks. Hokay.

Barbara: Came, saw, conquered the house that hasn't been cleaned in three weeks, since her last visit. Hey, when the doctor tells you 'no housework,' that's one order you follow! I always feel like apologizing to her for my house being a disgusting mess, and she always reminds me it's job security for her. It's our little dance.

Jack's cars: Found! No more little boy tears. That's a huge relief - for all of us. You've heard the saying, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? Well, it's truer with "Jack" in there. Buh-lieve me. You don't want to experience his misery.

I think I've mentioned Samantha before on this blog: the young, new mother who came by to pick up some yarn in order to knit blankets for CARE Package? Well, she returned today with two freshly knitted blankets and a lot of enthusiasm for the charity. She has managed to talk me into doing a bake sale next weekend! I guess I've gotten sort of complacent about fundraising and getting the word out there, so it's good to have some fresh energy injected into the project. She's very gung-ho, full of ideas, and has tons of drive. Just what we need! I told her she was in charge of the bake sale - she's going to make the signs, do the shopping, half the baking, and half the tabling with me. Her goal is to make $100 for CARE Package, so I guess that's my goal, too!

The kids didn't know what to do with a tiny baby in the house. Guess it's been a while since we had one here. Her son, Andy, is a four-month-old NICU survivor, and they just didn't understand - or want to - that loud noises, getting too close, jumping around and being fidgety, etc. are just not the sort of noises a li'l feller like that appreciates. I'd love to watch him, though. He has the most adorable smile I've seen in a while. Makes me miss my uterus!

After she left, the kids were cranky and irritable, and I marched them all upstairs for rest and relaxation. Shortlly after that, Rob came home an hour early. I teased him that he should have called, since my lover just left. What if he'd come home too soon?

We crashed together on our respective couches; I didn't know I was so tired, but I guess entering 500 (!) bloggy giveaways wears a girl out! I got up twice to make wizzy and then went back to my couch to dream about having a giant Barbie castle where you could never find the bathroom. Probably I good thing I couldn't find it, or I might have peed in my sleep again.

When we woke up, we turned on Jeopardy! and Rob made dinner. The kids got spaghetti-and-sauce, and we got whole wheat spaghetti with olive oil and Parmesan cheese, sautéed baby scallops and marinated artichoke hearts. Mmm-mmm-mmm.

Then we watched American Idol. Well, I did. Last night's Dancing elimination of Marlee Matlin, and tonight's AI removal of Carly both made me happy. I was ready for them to go. I think after tonight's Law&Order we're going to watch the movie Juno (yay! I've been looking forward to this one) while I catch up on some knitting. I have, like, eight rows to show for the two weeks since my hysterectomy, and now that I'm Vicodin-free and more mentally there than usual, it's time to get back in the game. I'll show you my progress tomorrow.

Oh, and some possible good news: Our trip, in revised form, might be back on! Stay tuned for deets.


I Feel His Pain

When I was little, we had a cleaning lady come in a few times a week. My sister and I had a lot of toys, and invariably that cleaning lady would put them away where we couldn't find them. We would cry about it each time until we found the item we were looking for.

My son is currently digging like a madman on a mission through all the toyboxes, looking for a few specific matchbox cars that he left out before school. I hate to say "I told you so" about cleaning up before Barbara came... because I remember those days myself!

I could help him. But who knows what he's looking for? I guess I'll just be here to wipe away the tears of frustration. Poor mini-me!


Doesn't That Just Figure!

We are heading out the door in a minute for my allergy appointment, and there is hardly a red bump on me! Usually I am covered in them.  I didn't take any Benadryl last night so I would be covered in them for the doc to see - so maybe it is the Benny after all!!  Oy!


WFMW: Organizing Front-Door Chaos

Here is what our foyer looks like after a long day:

100_6432_2 Not so pretty.

Now, there is a mirror with hooks on it on the wall right next to this, for hanging backpacks, dance bag, dog leashes, etc. And there are more hooks across the way for keys, hats, helmets, etc. But what about all the (&^%*(& shoes?!?!

100_6433_2 A few years back, I went to the unfinished woods store and got this big unfinished storage trunk. I painted it white and distressed it (perfect so you won't get distressed {har} when the kids -and life- make a mess of it) to match the shelf and mirror hanging above it on the wall. Then I went to... Michael's? I think? ... and bought a just-the-right size basket to fit inside, one for each member of the family. At least until that last kid popped out, but the girls can share. Everyone loads their basket with the shoes they wear frequently - and when the lid won't close anymore, it's time to get rid of some shoes, dudes. Because that is one big box. It even fits my rollerblades!

So how does it look now?

100_6434_2 Ahhh, much better. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser could clean it up even further - and some ice to pick off that melted candle in the back corner - but this, this works for me! {Now if I could only get hubs to put away that dang extension cord!}



Well, last night was much better. Sort of. I was able to sleep (thanks, in part, to the fact that Rob and not I spent the night on the couch) with the mask on and get back to sleep when he woke me up to say goodbye in the morning. And I actually kind of liked the feeling of, well, being oxygenated!  The mask started to leak a lot when I tried to go on my side, though, so it looks like I'm sleeping flat on my back for the next... oh, forever.

But the one thing that I'm hoping for didn't happen: I was even more tired during the day and even passed out in the middle of the day for about three unexpected hours after Jack got on his bus! I thought I was going to be getting better sleep and therefore be wide awake during the day, but no. And when I did wake up - barely on time for Jack to come home again and only thanks to the UPS guy ringing the doorbell - it was very strange. I was so out of it and couldn't quite 'come to.' I didn't like that at all, and that's not good for being a mom and stuff. So we'll need to work on that... but I'm going to keep using it and hope for better and better results.

We were supposed to go register Jack for kindergarten today, but we'd have had to leave right after I dropped Chloë off at school, and that is wicked early for the non-twins. (For newcomers, I call them that because they are 3 and 5 but roughly the same size, both blonde, and everyone asks me if they are. And since Jack, the 5yo, did have a twin, Sophie is his non-twin. See?) Neither of  them were ready to wake up at that point, so I didn't push them. The main reason to go - since we can go in and register any old day - would be for Jack to see the school and get to ride on the bus.

But he rides on his bus all the time to pre-school, and he has seen Chloë's school numerous times and will visit again in the summer for his kindergarten picnic, so I'm not too worried about him missing anything. Y'know? I can't fully register him anyway until his 5-year check up at the end of the month, so... we played hooky.

Aside from all that and taking Chloë to ballet after school, it was a non-exciting Earth Day for us. I had grand plans to take a nature walk with Sophia, but again, I zonked. And I can't blame the vikes, because I didn't take any since last night. I don't know.

So, tomorrow I'm going in for my allergy appointment, and I'm SO EXCITED, y'all. I have been putting up with this itchy rash for months with no real solution, and now finally I am going to get it taken care of. Not that I expect anything to happen at the clinic tomorrow - they are maroons. I plan to get a referral. But it's a start!

Barbara's coming to clean tomorrow (woohoo!) so I am going to do some picking up and then try for a few more giveaways before bed!


Um, Should I Be In Hiding?

This conversation, or one very much like it, took place in the van while we were sitting and waiting for Chloë at dance class:

Jack: "I want to go in your tummy, Mommy."

Me: You can't, honey. You've already been born.

J: No I wasn't! I was in my room playing!

M: {laughing} No, you were in my tummy, baby!

J: Was Robby in your tummy?

M: Yes, he was in there the same time as you.

J: Is Robby back in your tummy now?

M: No, Jackie, he's in heaven.

J: Where is heaven?

M: Oh, gosh, that's a hard one, honey. Heaven is where God is.

J: No! God is not Robby's twin brother! I'm Robby's twin brother!

M: You're right, Jack.

J: Why is Robby in heaven?

M: Because he died, sweetie.

J: Why did he died? Did you shoot him?!

M: {laughing but developing a headache} NO I DID NOT SHOOT HIM!! He was very sick!

And so on, and so forth, yadda yadda.

A little while later, I hear Jack conspiratorially whisper to his baby sister, "Soapy... do you want to go get back in Mommy's tummy with me?"



The Old Man Is Snoring

Oy, gefilte fish. What a day.

It has been raining pouring all day long. It had stopped briefly while I was at the bus stop with Chloë, and for a few short moments here and there, but mostly it has been coming down steadily. Which is good. We needed it. But, you see, I have these water balloons waiting on the counter, and no opportunity to use them!

I hope you've all been having fun at the Carnival, entering lots of giveaways for great prizes! I've been doing that as much as I can today, but there are over 500 (last time I checked, probably a gazillion now) and I haven't even gotten to look at half of them. I plan to keep up with it, though - last time, we had to leave for NYC, and I missed out on a bunch. And to my regular readers, you're eligible to enter mine, too! If you'd like to win, you just have to do the same stuff as everyone else. No special treatment, but you're not excluded, either. Just so ya know. It's a really good prize, so c'mon!

So I am trying to come to terms with not going on our big trip.  I was bummed pretty much all day and finally did a little boo-hooing about it when Rob came home from work, but for the most part I think I don't quite believe it yet. So I haven't made any of the necessary phone calls to start begging the various companies (hello, Delta) to return our money. At least it's for a damn good reason, and most people are willing to be understanding when it comes to the military.

Not that I didn't think about going by myself about a million and twelve times today. I mean, come ON. It's Europe, for Chuck's sake! We had a lot of really cool stuff planned - and paid for! So if they don't let me out of it, well, let's just say I have a good friend in Upstate New York who better be prepared to pack her bags in two months. Yoohoo, Erin!

Otherwise, it hasn't been a very eventful day. Sophia slept way late, and I napped while I waited because, once again, I got laHOWSy sleep last night. I was managing, albeit not well, to get along with the CPAP for a little while, but then Rob's alarm went off at 0400 and ruined the whole thing. I couldn't get back to sleep, I couldn't get comfortable, I couldn't figure out if there was water in my tubing or if I was somehow drooling while on my back into the mask...! Between feeling like Darth Vader and having this humongous booboo across my belly, I am still fighting like crazy to be able to sleep on my tummy. I'm like a baby that way, I just feel warm and cozy and protected in that position like no other. I feel exposed and open when on my back or side. I don't know, I don't know.

I thought about trying CPAP tonight on the couch, since I actually do sleep on my back there, but then what if I get used to it and can't get back into my own bed? but in the bed, am I going to be getting such awful, non-deep sleep every night? Ugh. It's been a rough week. Wait, it's only Monday. Ha! Ugh.

Anyway. So.

Stephanie and Tim most generously (aren't they the best? Thank God they entered our lives) came over tonight so that Rob and I could go grocery shopping together without the children, and Steph refused payment. I tried to get her to come to Europe with me, but she reminded me I'd still need childcare, and, well, that fell apart.

So we went grocery shopping, with me providing the brains and Rob providing the muscle. Well, the brains didn't work out too well and I majorly overspent our food budget. I mean, on the one hand, we were out of a lot of stuff and really needed things, but on the other, I was too busy commenting on blogs and trying to win giveaways to really try very hard with my grocery list and coupons. Talk about half-assing, that was me today. At least we have food now. The kids kept asking for things all day, and I kept saying, "We don't have that. We don't have that. We're out of that." I sent Jack to school with juice and carrots. Carrots! Jack! hahahah! But I hear he actually ate them. Hm, I might be on to something there.

Well, it's after 0100, so I need to take my meds and go back to the bloggy giveaways to bed and get some rest. Tomorrow we have early things planned; stay tuned!


A Dream Deferred

We're not going to Europe. At least not this summer. Fricking military. Why couldn't they have told him earlier - knowing he was taking this trip - that they wouldn't let him take more than 14 days at a time or go overseas? Now I have to begin the arduous process of getting our money back, for everything from plane tickets to childcare, from cruise fare to excursions. I'm distraught, to say the least. I can't think of a thing that would cheer me up about it. I wanted to go more than anything.

Damn it.


Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Is Back!

Bgs This contest is now closed. Thanks to all who participated - please come back and visit soon! 100_6440

So what am I giving away this time? This bag and its contents, which are worth $65!

100_6441 The winner will receive a brand-spanking-new tub of Jafra  Microdermabrasion Cream with Jojoba Butter Beads, and a Microdermabrasion Tool!

100_6442The tool kit includes your tool (the squiggly looking guy on the bottom), 2 brushes, & 2 batteries.

Everything is brand-new for you - I have only opened the boxes (and slightly torn one of them in the process, sorry) for taking these pictures.

Microdermabrasion helps slough off dead skin cells and promotes cell renewal. The cream is formulated to soothe and condition skin as it resurfaces over time, revealing younger-looking and more radiant skin. Please feel free to ask questions or visit if you need more information!

So how can you win it?

1.  You do not need to be a blogger or be participating in the giveaways to win!

2. You must be a resident of USA or Canada.

3. Get an entry by doing the following:

     a. Leave a comment below telling me why you would like to win!

     b. An additional entry is earned for each comment you make on non-giveaway-related posts on my blog!

     c. Blog about our charity, CARE Package, and then come back here and let me know you did it, for an additional entry!

You do not need to place an order with Jafra to win; however, if you would like to place a Jafra order with me, I will give 25% off to all carnival goers! Just shoot me an email!

That's it! Good luck and have fun - and don't forget to visit the other giveaways!


CPAP Smear

My husband is a half-asser when it comes to housework.

For instance, he'll take out some of the garbage but not all of it - on garbage night. He'll put out some of the recycling but leave some in the house. He'll make the bed with the fitted sheet but not put on the top sheet. He'll wash the dishes but not the table and counters. He'll wash a load of laundry but never put it into the dryer. And so on.

{Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all the hard work he does around here. I'm just trying to get to a point.}

But when it comes to me, he goes all the way, to the point of being an enabler.

For instance, he lets me sleep as much as I want when he's home, even though it means not sleeping well the next night. He gets me whatever I want to eat, and brings home little treats, even though we may as well be Jack Sprat and his wife. And when I bitch and moan about the CPAP, he tells me I don't need to use it if I really don't want to.

Here's the part where I bitch and moan about CPAP.

I used it for a short while last night before developing a really sore throat (only on one side, the most annoying kind) that has yet to disappear. So, I thought, I'll try it with the humidifier. I got my jug of distilled water and hoisted it up to the little tank, dumping a half-gallon on myself in the process. I overfilled the tank and tried to dump it back into the jug before having to stalk off to the bathroom to spill perfectly good distilled water down the sink. Eventually, I got the humidifier adapter all set up and attached to the main machine. Good to go.

Except water burbled down my tubing, even though the water level was now well under 'max,' and my face kept getting all wet. I finally managed to just deal with this and get back to sleep, but it definitely did not keep me asleep. I woke up again, with a wet face, a sore tummy from the position I had to use to keep the mask leaks to a minimum, the sore throat, and this time, a cough and a post-nasal drip.

Now, you may say I probably was going to get sick anyway, but I blame the CPAP for the sore throat. And the cough. And the post-nasal drip. Because I can.

And I don't like it, and I don't want it, and I don't care if I die! HUMPH. *Insert major pouty face here*

So I ripped it off and went contentedly back to sleep without it, and I expressed all of this to Rob in the morning. When he made the statement that I could stop using it if I wanted to.

This is where you, my friends, come in. You need to keep on me to keep going with it. Because I really do care if I die.