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Entries from June 2008

The Babysitter Reports: Day 7 Part 1

Well today has been a good day. 

The kids slept in and so did I.  I slept until about 9:15.  When I went to get the kids Sophia was in her pack n play, saying to herself, "I'm the only one up. I'm the only one up."  So I got her out of the room so Jack and Chloe could wake up on their own time and let Sophie watch Noggin while I browsed the net & woke up on my own.  After Jack and Chloe got up, I got all three kids into clean undies & let them play in their room.  I started cleaning then & boy was I on a roll.  I cleaned & mopped the entire kitchen (we kind of let it get out of hand over the weekend), vacuumed & straightened up the living room, and did a couple loads of laundry before noon.  Somewhere in there I gave the kids a snack of dry Apple Jacks.  Around 11:45 I fixed brunch for the kids.  They had Peanut Butter and Nutella mini bagels, part of an apple with PB & Marshmallows, and yogurt.  After lunch all three kids went outside with the dogs to play.  They played well outside for about an hour.  They even got to have a freeze pop while they were outside!  While they played I cleaned the back half of the house.  I swept their bathroom & put the rugs in the wash, vacuumed the hall & their room, and then brought them in for a snack.  Jack decided to spray Sophia with the water hose so she was soaked.  I stripped her down and gave the kids some mandarin orange cups with milk for snack.  While they ate snack, I vacuumed my room and cleaned up my bathroom. After snack, Jack went and took a "rest" in the bedroom while Soap and Chloe watched, "Me, Eloise" on my bed.  I took a shower while all three kids had quiet time.  It was about 3:00.  After that I sent the kids in their room to play so I could veg, get dinner ready, and check my e-mails.  I got my SOL score reports from school.  94% of my class passed reading (16/17 kids!) and only 59% of my class passed math (10/17!) The reading score ROCKS and was the best on the grade-level, but the math score sucks.  I was last on our grade level for math. 

The kids just had a snack of goldfish crackers and are back in their room. 

We are going to be having baked potatoes, catfish nuggets and canned veggies for dinner.  I am going to try something new with the catfish.  I am going to bread & quickly fry them & then put them in a baking dish & bake them a little too.  I like my fish DRY and I'm hoping that's how it comes out.  After dinner I'm hoping we can make it to City Park so the kids can go to the big playground there. 

The Babysitter Reports: Day 6

Today was a good day.

We got up kind of early (I was up with an upset stomach before 8!) to get ready for church.  The kids had a breakfast of cottage cheese with peaches, bagels with jelly (Grape for the girls & apple for Jack) and juice.  After breakfast everone got baths (first the littles then Chloe), baby lotion (because we didn't do After Sun yesterday), and dressed for church.  The girls wore cute dresses & Jack just wore play clothes at that point.  Then we went through the chore of actually getting out of the house. 

This involves packing sippy cups into a cooler lunchbox, packing a snack for each child, gathering quiet toys to entertain the children, making sure we have everything we need (which today included a lawnmower & change of clothes for Tim & Jack's dress shoes), putting the dogs in their crates, giving the dogs toys in their crates, turning off all of the lights, locking all of the doors, setting the alarm system, double checking everything, and then running out.  Then we buckle all three kids into the appropriate seats.  Chloe can't seem to buckle her seatbelt in the truck (even though she does fine in the van) so we're even helping her while Tim is home.  Then we get on the rode.

Our first stop was Rob and Melanie's house.  I didn't have any "dressy" clothes for Jack (I was looking for something with a collar) so I wanted to go by there and look around.  I found a 24 months "suit" in his closet.  It was cute with a button down, a snap on tie, and suspenders for the short-pants.  He looked SPIFFY! (Lots of people at church commented on how handsome he was.)

Our second stop was church.  Chloe wanted to know what the steeple on the church was & what it was for.  The Odette children have an AMAZING vocabulary, so add that one to the list.  (Their current favorite word is still 'overpass'.) 

All three kids were SUPER during church.  They sat quietly during the beginning of the service, didn't complain about going up front for the children's message, and their Sunday School teachers said they did AWESOME.  The children's church message was about Horton Hears A Who and basically loving everyone and everyone is a person, no matter how big or small, pretty or ugly, rich or poor, you get the drift.  I thought it was GREAT because we will be going to see Horton Hears a Who on Tuesday at the dollar theater! 

After church we had to go to Tim's parents house to drop off the lawnmower & help my FIL fix his lawnmower.  Tim got it working again after about 30 minutes.  The kids were pretty good while we were there.  They watched the Miss Spider show on Noggin.  There are a lot of breakable things in MIL's house so we couldn't really do anything.  They were quite tickled with the fact that Peaches (their 10 yo dog) was Blondie's baby (Blondie is my 16 year old dog) and that Mocha (There 11 yo dog) was Blondie's "husband". 

Around 2 we left there and headed home.  Lunch today was leftovers.  Chloe & Sophie had chicken tenders, Jack had pizza.  We all had yogurt & granola bars & an apple w/ peanut butter.  After lunch it was naptime.  I think we've worked the kinks out of that too.  Jack goes to bed in my bed & then I carry him in after they are all asleep.  After the kids were all settled for naptime (probably around 3:30 or 4) I went out & left Tim in charge.  I had to go to Kohl's to spend the Kohl's Cash Melanie gave me, Thanks Mel! I got a pair of shorts for $4 out of my pocket!  Then I had to go to the grocery store, for more food.  I got 2 more gallons of milk, 4 lbs of yogurt, a big box of granola, juice, veggies, fruit, and some fish.  We are set for the next week.  We're moving right through the food that Melanie left too. 

When I got home at 7 the kids were just getting up so I got them up and let them go out back to play.  They played outside for a little more than an hour.  I did take a couple pictures, BUT, I can't upload them because our servers (yes both) crashed & our computer network is seriously messed up now. 

Tim and the dogs hung out-out back with the kids while Tim grilled burgers and dogs.  Then we came in to eat.  Jack didn't really eat much at all, the girls both ate all of their food.  We had hamburgers (J) and hotdogs (C & S), french fries, corn, and a piece of baby bel cheese. 

After dinner the girls had some ice cream with Tim and then we snuggled on the couch while we watched 30 minutes of Nanny McPhee.  We put the kids to bed almost an hour ago (well that's when we started the bedtime routine) and the girls are still awake. 

I'm sick.  My stomach has been REALLY upset today & I've been having crazy hot flashes.  I can't go outside w/o breaking into an intense sweat & feeling like I'm suffocating.  I can't wear much more than a tank top & shorts or I feel overheated.  I don't know why I'm feeling this way, but after the fourth of July I might know more.

Tomorrow is going to be a boring day of me doing housework just to give you a preview.


The Babysitter Reports: Day 5

Well, today has been a pretty good day. 

We got up kind of late, around 9 am.  The kids spent the morning playing in their bedroom.  (I don't know if I've explained that yet, the kids have their own room which has all of their toys in it.  They can't bring their toys out of the room for 2 reasons.  Reason #1 is Wazowski & Rosie.  They have already eaten a Little People veterinarian doll and chewed on Penguin.  Penguin is ok, but he is in time out until I have time to wash the slobber off of him.  (for those that don't know, Sophie LOVES penguins & Penguin is her doll) Reason #2 is that my house is small & there are 4 dogs, 3 kids, and 2 adults living here right now.  So, they spend a lot time in their room or outside.)  Anyway, back to our day.  Tim and I had to balance our checkbook & take care of some business.  Then I baked a hot cake with butter for breakfast.  The kids were AMAZED that I could make something SO yummy.  Thanks to my mother-in-law for teaching me to make hot cake.  It's basically a cake that you slather butter on & eat hot.  The kids all gobbled it up.  Then we all shared a big bowl of grapes.  After that, Tim and I went to get dressed while the kids played in their room.  I walked by and overheard their play.  Sophia and Jack had the little people town set up (it was cute) and Sophie said, "Honey, I'll be right back, I'm going to Europe."  She had the same tone as someone saying, "Honey, I'm checking the mail, be right back!"  It's cute their idea of where Europe is.

Chloe just asked me to pronounce "orphanage" for her, she's reading Meet the Robinsons. 

After Tim and I got dressed & packed up 40 lbs worth of stuff, we got the kids covered in sunscreen and headed out.  We made a quick stop at the Dollar Store for some sand toys (I didn't know if Mel had any.) and I ran in, b/c Soap was asleep.  Then we went to Rob and Mel's so Tim and I could change and so I could take care of the animals.  We took turns going in, because Soap was still asleep.  I took care of Bounce.  He needed food, water, and his litter changed.  I also gave him some loving, even though I'm not a "rabbit person."  I also loved on Tinkerbelle, even though I'm allergic to her, because she seemed to want the attention.  I cleaned up her wet food bowl, shook down some more dry food for her & freshened her water.  (Then I washed my hands really well so I wouldn't break out.)  I also packed a cooler with some yogurt, some Apple Jacks, and some juice cups for the kids b/c I realized we were going to miss a meal due to our late breakfast.  After Tim ran in to change we headed to the beach. 

I took all three kids in.  We had water wings & a noodle.  I had 2 kids hanging onto the noodle while Tim held the third child.  (Does it bother you that I say kid instead of child?  If so, I'm sorry.)  They did pretty well.  Better than at the pool.  Jack actually enjoyed himself, even though he'll tell you he hated it.  He can float & even swim a little on his own, but he's so scared he doesn't know it!  I even laid on his back in the ocean with water wings all by himself.  Just floating over the waves.  The girls wouldn't do it.  Chloe is terribly afraid of the water.  She complained and clinged to Tim most of the time we were in the water.  Sophie was fine until she realized Chloe was freaking out, then she got scared too.  That's when we decided to head in.  On the way in, we got wiped out by a BIG wave and that really shook Jack up.  Sophie recovered quickly.  (Tim was carrying Chloe & he didn't get wiped out b/c he's a lot taller than me!)  Jack took a while to calm down and start playing in the sand but he eventually did.  All three kids played in the sand burrying each other's feet & throwing sand around.  Tim and I relaxed and enjoyed the sun.  Tim is really doing a lot better with the kids.  He's still a softie & they reach for him when they want held.  It's ok, I'm used to it by now. 

I don't know how you (by you, I mean Mel & Rob) feel about baring the kids' bits in public, but I had them strip at the little water fountain thingy so I could clean them with clean water.  I had Chloe put her dress on & lift it so I could clean her bottom half--so she wasn't COMPLETELY naked.  Jack and Sophie though, I just sat them under the water naked.  Then I had them put on their beach cover-ups and we walked to the truck that way.  When we got back I had them take off their cover ups, dusted the stray sand off with a towel & dried them & got them into nice clean, warm, dry clothes.  (By the way, Sophie's cover up is WAY too small.  It gets stuck on her head when she tries to take it off.)  Once we were all sand-free & dry we got in the truck with sippy cups in hand & headed home. 

I slept on the ride home.  I had been feeling queasy this morning & my upset stomach and headache were back.  By the time we got home (its a 45 minute ride at the least) I had a full on migraine.  I came in & laid down in the kids room while they played.  Jack had a bowel movement in his shorts so I had to clean him up too.  He's been running to & fro the bathroom since like 7ish.  (Is this normal for him Mel?  He hasn't had any other BMs since you left that I know of.)  Once all the kids had gone potty I sent them in their room so I could get a shower & so Tim could go pick up some pizza.  I ended up falling asleep in the tub & Tim woke me up when he got home with the pizza. 

We ate dinner, pizza followed by yogurt, and then I came to do our blog.  The kids are playing in their room (waiting to watch a short movie with us) and Tim is cutting the grass out front. 

Overall, I feel like I'm doing pretty good.  The kids are eating quite healthily.  (Lots of fruit, veggies, and milk, not too many sweets) and we aren't watching too much t.v. each day.  Nobody has had any tantrums of missing Mom & Dad, but I think they're almost too little to really express it.  I know they do miss them.  They ask about them a lot, how many more days, and where they are. 

I didn't take any pictures of our adventures today, sorry. 

One more thing worth noting, Sophie won't give me a kiss or let me kiss her.  This is not normal.  She usually gives me a peck on the cheek at bedtime at least.  I think this is her little way of saying, "I want my MOMMY."  She'll let me hug her & she even hugs me too.  Jack and Chloe are full of kisses & hugs, which is a little unusual for the Jackman.  He only gets kissy/huggy when he's in the mood. 

Ok, Tim's done with the lawn, time to watch Pixar Shorts. 


(Melanie, I need you to call or e-mail me about the shed.  It's really bothering me.)

The Babysitter Reports: Day 4

Oh boy, the babysitter is tired.  Today was a long day.  I woke up to 3 wet bums--I didn't get there in time for Chloe to make it to the bathroom so I started out the day cleaning up three kiddos.   We didn't have anything to do today, so we kind of took it easy. 

We had a bum day, breakfast was cereal and one of my favorite snacks, apples with peanut butter and marshmallows on top.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed that.  Then the kids played for a while and then they took early naps.  By 11 am, all three kids had thrown fits of crying & yelling over really tiny things.  Chloe's was because Jack pushed her chair.  So, we took a morning nap.  I think they must have gotten up during the night or something because they were SO tired and they shouldn't have been.  So around noon they got up again and we had snack.  Today's snack was goldfish, french fries (baked), and applesauce.  After snack we started a craft that I realized too late, the kids are too little for.  We were going to make jumbo crayons.  But, I didn't do the prep work and well, peeling labels off of crayons and sorting them by color is pretty boring.  If your 3, 5, or 6 it's REALLY boring.  We did manage to go through about 20 lbs of crayons, sort out the busted ones, and peel almost all the papers off.  We also sorted all of them except for yellow, green, blue, and purple.  (There are A LOT of colors of crayons!)  We finally put it away and had lunch around 2:30.  (We may or may not finish that project, we'll see how next week looks.)  Lunch was PB & Nutella again.  All three Odettelettes like it & it's easy to make.  They also shared 2 bananas 3 ways.  Chloe ate a fruitcup, Fruit Roll Up Stackers, Yogurt tube, and drank all of her drink as well.  Jack and Sophie only ate the sandwich and banana.  After lunch Jack laid down and Sophie, Chloe, and I went outside to play and watch a storm blow in.  We played with the new paddle ball velcro set.  Chloe was really good at it, if she stood still and I threw the ball directly at her paddle.  She had a funny way of keeping "score" too.  If I missed her paddle when I tossed it to her that was a miss for me.  If she threw the ball way over my head and it went half way across the yard (we were about 3 feet apart) that was also a miss for me.  So I lost big time.  Oh well.  We had fun.  When the storm got close we moved the yard stuff up against the house and ran inside as the big, fat, summer raindrops started. 

Then we all got loaded up and went to the pharmacy to get my Rx and to Farm Fresh to get groceries.  This is what Jack asked me as I placed 2 bags of groceries at his feet, "Stephanie, why did we have to go to the grocery store?"  "To get groceries, silly boy!"  This is pretty much how my entire day goes.  I never realized how many questions they ask when I was just babysitting for a few hours.  When we got home it was t.v. time for Jack and Chloe and  Soap needed a nap.  She had been asleep in the car and wanted to lay down for a few minutes when we got back.  I don't think she went back to sleep but she stayed in the room for about 20 minutes. 

Somewhere around there, Tim came home and took over so I could make dinner.  Chloe was being really bossy and kept yelling at her sister and brother.  She was super cranky today.  I think she's starting to miss Mom and Dad.  (a lot)  Tim tried to talk to her but he didn't really get anything out of her.  I made home-made Italian spaghetti sauce for dinner.  I burnt the first half of my loaf of Italian bread but the second half came out okay.  Sophia gobbled it up (made a mess in the process but gobbled it up, she did) and Jack ate pretty well too.  Chloe ended up getting sick at dinner and then went to bed.  After I got Chlo cleaned up, into p.j.s and tucked into bed, Sophie, Jack, Tim, and I took the dogs outside for some fun with sparklers. 

I'm guessing this was their first experience with them.  Sophia LOVED them.  Jack was a little scared but thought they were cool.  The whole time we were outside he ran away if you got too close with one, but when we came inside he ran through the house yelling "We made fireworks, we made fireworks!" 

Here are some pictures from that:

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OK, I just realized they are both covered in spaghetti sauce.  Don't worry I will get that out of the clothes! 

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After we came in, Tim and I cleaned up the kitchen and gave Jack and Sophie a freeze pop for dessert.  Then I gave them a quick rinse off in the tub and got them into p.j.s.  Jack does NOT like Tim giving him his shot.  Both times now  he has started screaming and crying before Tim even has the needle ready.  I don't think Tim is hurting him (any more than a shot in the butt does), I think he's just so used to Dad doing it.  But, he calms down quickly and then we get into bed.  So, that was our day.  I'm beat.  It's not even 11 yet.  I'm glad its the weekend and Tim will be here to help out.  I might actually sleep in a little tomorrow! 

I don't know if we're going to the pool or what, but we do have to go check on the critters tomorrow.  On Tuesday we are going to go see Horton Hears a Who at the Cinema Cafe for $1 each!  On Thursday we are going to go see Everyone's Hero at the Regal theater for FREE!  Sweet! We'll probably swim both of those days too, since we'll be near the house.  I also still have tie-dying, foam crafts, sidewalk chalk, and the playground in our neighborhood that we haven't explored/experienced.  So more fun to come in the next week! Night!


The Babysitter Reports: Day 3 Part 2

Phew, I got the kinks worked out.  Just a few more pics from today. Then I'm going to bed. (I've been working on this blog for 2 hours!)

Here's a wet Lily after her bath.  I'm hoping it helps with the shedding. 

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After t.v. time we had dinner.  We had tacos.  Jack asked for seconds!  Amazing.  So far we have tacos & cottage cheese (and of course cereal.) 

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Here's a montage I made of Sophia.  All of these pictures were taken with me standing in the same spot over the span on 1 minute.  It's easiest to see if you click on it & let it open in another window. 

Sophia in motion

And finally my last pic is one that I kind of hacked up in Paint that I snapped of Chloe.  Stupid me saved over the original too.  Urg.

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The Babysitter Reports: Day 3

Whew, another day down.  I've learned one thing, it is probably best to start with one child & learn how to handle that.  Three kids is a LOT of work!  I'm beat & its only 10:30!  I could probably do most of the evening with just pictures (and I might just do that) but I'll start with a bloggity blog.  The children woke me up at about 8:30 very politely BANGING on their door.  I got everyone up, on the potty and fed.  We had pop tarts, yogurt, and an apple with juice for breakfast.  (We ran out of milk & the other jug was at Melanie's house.)  Jack wouldn't eat on his own so I ended up feeding him bite by bite his apple and pop tart.  It took a LONG time, but I don't want him to be hungry when we're on the go and we had a busy morning planned.  After breakfast & checking e-mail, I sent the kids to play in their room so I could wake up & get showered.  We headed to Melanie's house way too late to meet up with my little sister but it was ok.  I took the kids to the house where we had a snack of cottage cheese mixed with fruit cups (for Jack and Soap) and mixed with grapes for Chloe.  Melanie said she bought cottage cheese for the kids but I'd never seen them eat it before.  I don't eat it, the only person I've ever seen eat it is my grandmother & she smothers it with peach slices & juice.  So, that's what I did for the kids.  It worked, Jack ate his without complaint, Sophie had seconds and Chloe finished hers.  (It might have helped that "dessert" was a 12oz. Slurpee split 3 ways.)  They also had a small bowl of dry cereal and some milk with snack.  After snack all the kids got sunscreen on and some t.v. time for the sunscreen to soak in, while I changed.  Then we went to the pool.  Whew, that was a lot of work.  The pool has banned "swimmies" so I have to hold onto the kids.  I pretty much made them go in, with a deal that if they did we'd spend the adult swim (the last 15 of every hour) in the baby pool.  They all started out scared but warmed up to it slowly.  We practiced floating on stomach and back, kicking on stomach and back, going under, bouncing, and riding on my back.  Jack was the best at floating.  He's very scared but if he actually relaxes he's pretty buoyant.  Sophia isn't scared at all but has to focus to float.  She'll ride on my back while I swim w/o holding on!  She's a little daredevil.  Sometimes she'll hold onto my shoulders but let her legs go out behind me and kick right along with me.  Chloe was pretty good at floating too and after a long trip of floating on her back (meanwhile Jack and Sophie were clinging to my back) she was able to float for about 5 seconds on her back all by herself.  Chloe was also able to let go of me and "swim" about 5 inches underwater.  This consisted of me getting her started kicking and laying on her belly & then letting her go & stepping one step back.  She'd kick and kick and reach all while underwater until she could grab my waiting hands.  It was pretty cool, since Tuesday she wouldn't even go off the wall without screaming.  After about 2 hours outside we were all tired, Jack was actually asking for naptime, so we headed back to the house.  The girls took a bath while I fixed lunch and tried to get Jack to eat it.  Then Jack took a bath while the girls ate.  I put After Sun lotion on all of them even though I think I'm the only one who actually got any sun.  (The kids had like SPF 4,000 on.)  After lunch we loaded up & went to the cleaners to get my comforter.  The cleaner's is about 10 minutes from Melanie's house & by the time we got there the girls were both asleep.  Jack was fighting it but he was close.  The kids got a good little 40 minute nap in on the drive back to my house, and I sent them to lay down some more when we got home.  (I needed a little break.)  After that Tim came home & started to cut the grass yay!  The grass getting cut meant we could break out the much anticipated "Bubble Mower".  Jack STILL thinks it really cuts grass.  It doesn't help that we have a mulching mower so there are clippings all over the yard which were flying up when he was running around like crazy.  The kids all three loved it.  We were outside for about 2 hours & I was directing the turn taking of the mower almost the whole time.  Anyway, from here on out I can blog with photographs, which will make mama happy. (Well and anybody who is tired of reading, too!) 

After he cut the grass Tim decided to brush out Lily for me.  She is shedding a lot right now & we have to brush her every day to keep it under control.  All that stuff on the ground is hair! 

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Here's Sophia walking up the wagon handle.  By the way, Mel, we brought the wagon over.

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Isn't she pretty?  She was playing frisbee with Wazowski. 

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Jack enjoyed the Bubble Mower, a lot.  Rosie liked eating the bubbles.

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Handsome Jack strikes a pose.

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This is the face Jack makes if you ask him to smile.

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So Sweet Sophia...

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Chloe helped with the massive job of cleaning up Lily's hair while Tim was brushing her.

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Isn't Rosie a photogenic dog?  I love her.  I know Mel does too!

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So does Chloe.  She loves to "hold" her. 

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Ahh, Lily after her brushing. 

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What a simply Sophia look.  She makes this face a lot!

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Chloe and Soph found a pill bug.  They were fascinated. 

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Here's Chloe holding it.  She loved how he'd crawl while on the ground but curl up when she held him.  I found out later that she tore him in half when she got tired of playing with him. Gross.

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Tim, the girls, and I decided to bathe Lily too.  She actually LIKED that.  She hates being brushed though.  Anyway we all get wet and sloppy bathing her.  Jack managed to get dirty too & he didn't help!

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So, into the tub they went.  (They'd already had baths today, but they were seriously dirty after 2 hours outside.  So we took a quick one with all three in the tub.) 

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Guess who's bum we're looking at?  This one is just for Melanie, because I know she misses her daily tooshie squeeze.

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After bathtime & P.J.s were on the girls struck a pose.  First Chlo...

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then Sophie!

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While Tim cooked dinner  & I cleaned house, the kids watched some Noggin.

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The Babysitter Reports Day 2 Part 2

Nothing much to report this evening.  We had good ole Hamburger Helper for dinner with steamed green beans.  Jack didn't want to eat his green beans (he loved the HH) but he gobbled them up when I got out the ice cream.  The kids played with Play Doh while I cooked dinner.  They enjoyed that, it didn't make a mess and they didn't fight.  It was GREAT.  We'll probably do that again. I did take a couple pictures of the kids, here they are in their unedited glory. 

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Here's some bed time pics.  Our routine while at my house goes like this: brush teeth, Jack gets his shot, pjs, story time, kisses and hugs, and lights out.  So far so good. 

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Guest Blogger: The Babysitter Reports Day 1 & Day 2

Introducing: Babysitters Steph and Tim:


Well, Rob and Melanie are off, so you've got me! I'm Steph, half of Stim.  Here's our picture (because I think I look goofy in most of the ones Mel has posted of me!)

'm counting today as day 2, even though yesterday was only a half day.  I'll preface this by saying I'm no where near as funny or as enjoyable to read as Melanie, but this is a way I can keep her & you all up to date on the Odettelettes, so here ya go.

We dropped Rob and Mel off at the airport around 1:00 yesterday & headed to run a couple errands.  First stop was the petstore for dog food & to look at all the critters.  All three kids really enjoyed the chinchilla and the fish.  We spent a LOOONG time looking at the fish.  They have like 400 kinds of goldfish, and the kids kept asking, "What is this one called?  How about this one?  And this one?  Steph what's this one?" And they were all GOLDFISH.  I never realized there was such a variation or that they actually come in several colors.  We did see a few cool ones, I especially liked Tequilla Sunrise Guppies.  They were bright yellow with an orange rim on their fanned tails.  (But $4.00 a piece & you need 3, according to the sign.)  The kids got a kick out of the "sharks" and the snails.  Chloe was convinced there was something wrong with a crab that wouldn't move & Jack enjoyed the frogs. 

After PetSmart we went to the dry cleaners but my comforter wasn't back yet (I just heard from them & it is in today, thanks to me fussing at the owner.)  so we went to McDonald's for my lunch and a snack for the kids, who'd already had Happy Meals for lunch.  Around about then, Mel called and talked with the kidlets. 

After that we went home & cleaned and played until Tim got home.  We got all the toys in the living room sorted & put away.  I checked out the luggage for the kids & gathered some things Mel didn't pack.  (Sippy cups, the "special kid" silverware, some small bowls, the kids' animal bath towels & shoes)  When Tim showed up, I had already started dinner (I really can be a good wifey) and we ate so we could hurry to the pool for Family Night.  We had chicken, fish sticks, scalloped potatoes and corn.  I thought it was a good meal & everybody ate except Jack, of course.  (He did eat some, I had to convince Tim not to watch him.)

Side note here: Tim is a big softie & will let the kids do whatever they want.  He sat down and fed Jack so that he would eat & then while I was in the bathroom he let him get down from the table w/o eating 3/4 of his food. 

After dinner we donned swimsuits & headed to the pool.  Jack decided he wanted to take a nap instead of go to the pool, so I brought his blanket with us, he didn't ever nap though.  Chloe is pretty scared of the pool, if you let her, but I convinced her to relax, close her eyes and listen to me "sing" to her while she kicked around the pool.  She did pretty good, we made about 3 laps back and forth from the "safe" 3 ft. to the "very scary" 5 feet sections.  Sophia isn't really scared at all.  She was pretty good at holding on to my back while I swam under water & we even practiced bouncing up and down in the water too.  I'd count one, two, three, and she'd puff out her cheeks and squeeze her eyes closed to go under.  She didn't really "like" it but she didn't dislike it, either.  When we got done with that, Tim asked her if she had fun, and she said yes with a big smile, so it couldn't have been that bad. 

We left the pool around 8:15 & loaded up the van & the pick up with the kids' stuff.  (3 suitcases, a toy box, a wagon, a chair from the kitchen, a children's chair, Lily's crate, groceries, blankets, 2 booster seats, and 2 car seats) and headed home.  Jack rode in the truck with Tim, and boy was he tickled at that.  (Both the truck & the one-on-one time with Tim.)  Both girls fell asleep in the van with me.  Tim babyproofed the guest room & I unpacked the kids' things before saying goodnight somewhere around 10.  I didn't take any pictures on the "real" camera, but I'll see if Tim can get the pics off of the cell phone. 

So far today  we have gotten up, played, I've cleaned a bit, we headed off to Wally World for some groceries, and the kids have had lunch and are supposed to be napping.  This evening's plans are for Tim to cut the grass with Jack's help with the Bubble Mower and to play the Monkey Balancing Game "as a family" as Chloe puts it. 

Another side note, I don't know the prompt for the umlaut in Chloe's name, so forgive me. 


Eyes Wide Open

What a surprise, I can't sleep.

So to keep myself from going mad, I have

  • vacuumed the foyer and office
  • filled the cat's food and rearranged the pet food for Steph's easy access
  • read nearly 3 chapters of my book
  • watched some TV
  • played with the bunny
  • done a little last-minute packing and organizing
  • replied to all my emails
  • eaten a milkshake
  • crocheted five rows on the dress
  • checked my Ravelry account, two hotmail accounts, and Google Reader repeatedly

What do you do when you're trying to pass the time?


Keepin' It Low-Key

First, a whine: I hurt my hand!! I don't what I did to it but it feels all twisted and tight and... hurty. Actually, I tend to sleep with my hand tucked under me when I snooze on the couch, and I think I did it then. But, owie! I hope the kinks work out in my sleep tonight so that I am free to do all kinds of crazy things with my hands when we're wrangling 50 bajillion suitcases at the airport tomorrow.

TOMORROW! Yeeee! By this time tomorrow, we'll be thousands of feet high over the Atlantic Ocean, taking an overnight flight to Barcelona from Atlanta. I don't know how, but I managed to get some sleep last night. I don't know how I'll ever manage that tonight!

So today, I'm sure you thought I was plenty busy, running around like a crazy lady, getting things done.



Not me.

I did that this weekend. The jobs are mostly done, except for the toiletries that I still need to pack after my shower tomorrow, and shoes! Oh, don't forget the shoes... and make-up. I still haven't decided if I am going to wear any make-up in Europe. It's just soooo frigging hot, y'all, and when you're fat like me, I swear, you feel it double. And that makes my face sweaty. And that makes my make-up goo up and slide down. You know? I may just take a little to wear to dinner and then whisk right off before we ... well, who knows what we'll do, of an evening, on a ship?

So instead of doing any mad dashing around today, and instead of taking on any projects with the kids, we mostly sat around, watched TV, read stories, and cuddled. Who knows, this may have been the last day I ever spend with my children, and I wanted to soak them up. But let's not talk like that... this is a happy time, not a sad, scary one!

I sent Chloƫ into the backyard with my camera, to snap some pictures of the wonderful lilies, and Rob's tree, growing in a corner there. Here are a couple:










We'd all gotten up around 0800, so by noon, we were all ready to crash. They had lunch, and were kissing me and going upstairs before I even sent them. Those are the days it's clear to me they still need their daily rest.

And I crashed, so hard, under my beloved new stripey blanket, on the couch. Oh, I love that blanket. Every night, when Rob is near me, I sit under that blanket and extoll its virtues. It just feels so good!!

When I woke up, it was just in time to get into the shower and get ready to go to my appointment at the nail salon. I was getting my first-ever pedicure, and a fill for my acrylics, and I had two nails that fell off and were in need of repair.

I tell ya, these things require some upkeep, and I may be a high-maintenance girl in some regards, but that's not one of them. I still haven't decided whether they're coming off when we get back, but for sure they're going to go shorter, at least.

Anyway, so I went.

Oh, the pedicure was nice. I wasn't at all squeamish about it, like I thought I'd be. Two funnyish things happened during it:

  1. If you've spent a lot of time in the ocean, like I have, you know that sometimes, things brush up against your legs when you're not expecting it. And no matter how much you might know about the things in the ocean, this still probably tends to make you  jump up and squeal. Well, my feet were soaking in the foot bath, one at a time, while she worked on the other. And once, while I was in the middle of crocheting on the baby dress for Stephanie and completely zoned out, something brushed up against me. I jumped and squealed, as if I had been standing in the dang ocean!! Everyone stared at me. Turns out, she'd left a foot brush in the water, and it was floating around. Hi, I'm embarrassed, go back to your magazines now...
  2. The chairs were like massage chairs, and they moved forward and back, reclined and upright. There was a remote control for doing so on my right armrest. Well, I was in kind of an uncomfortable, squinched up position, so after she adjusted my chair and went to work on my feet, I tried moving it back and reclining it. She reached over and moved it more forward and upright than it had been before! Every time she would stop and start chattering to the other ladies in Vietnamese, I would tap-tap-tap quietly on the buttons, inching my way back again. And each time, she would come back and move me forward. This went on about three or four times before I gave up. She never said a word to me about it.

We did talk, though. I hate hiring someone to do something for me (wash my feet, cut my hair, clean my house) and then acting like they are not there. [Although, now that I think about it, I am usually silent during hair cuts, because I'm reveling in the feeling of not hearing "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I'm hungry! I want a snack! I want some milk! I want a toy!" for that hour or so.] It's demeaning, isn't it? You pay someone for a service, but they are still human beings like everyone else, and you should acknowledge them. I know some people like to act like service people are invisible, but I am not one of them.

So anyway, Mimi and I talked about crocheting and knitting, and my children and hers, and it was very pleasant. She knows how to knit and not crochet, so we teased that she would give me free pedicures and I would teach her how to crochet. Hey, I'm all for it. I doubt it will work that way, though. Ours is not really a bartering society!

When it was done, I had 10 cute little bright red piggy toes and heavily lotioned legs and feet. I slipped on the disposable flip-flops and crossed the hall for my manicure with Amy.   We talked about my trip, and about their family-run shop, and her childhood in Viet Nam. She wished me a good journey and a happy Fourth, and I said the same... without thinking. Maybe they do celebrate it, I don't know? When in Rome...

I got back into my van, where the 'low fuel' light was flashing angrily at me. All right, all right... I went and filled 'er up again. $78, and I hadn't even reached 300 miles this tank. Sad. I really wish there were a hybrid minivan. I'd snap one up in a heartbeat.

Back at home, Rob was making Schwan's Cheesy Enchiladas for dinner, and singing a little song about them. I wish I could remember it; it was amusing. But then, he often is. Don't tell him I said that, though. I have tried to convince him he's not funny for years now.

We ate, and behold, it was good. That's one we'll order again.  A bit on the spicy side, but manageable for me. I'm not one for spicy. I just can't handle it Pain on your tongue is fun? I don't get that.

ETA: Here's what Rob does when he finds a piece of rubber cement lying around: 100_7133

I went outside, back to the van, to search high and low for the pool passes, so Steph can take the Odettelettes whenever she wants. I had left them in the car on Friday after we swam, I was sure of it! But they were not there. Stink. Just as I was convincing myself that the van repair people, where Rob took my van to be inspected and repaired on Saturday, had stolen them, I walked back in the house and spotted them immediately on the shelf by the front door, where I pretty much always keep them during the pool-heavy summer days. Duh! So much for that wonderful system.

Chloƫ and I did a bit (a very little bit, sorry Steph) of cleaning in the office, and I cleaned out the litter box so Her Highness would have fresh clay on which to poop, and then Rob set up the vacuum cleaner outside for me on an extension cord. We'd never cleaned out the van as planned, and looking for the pool passes made it clear how necessary it was before handing over the reigns to Miss Stephanie. How much I sucked up out there! It was so dark, so I probably missed a lot, but I know I got lots of goldfish crumbs, cereal, and whatever else I let my kids eat in the car for the past five years. So much better.

And here I am, indecisive about whether to try and go to sleep, or to go up and finish the little bit of packing I can do before tomorrow. Or fart around on the computer some more, oblivious of the few hours left before we get on that big ol' plane...

Fart it is.


It's A Penguin-Eating Laundry Dinosaur!

Saith Sophia to Stephanie on Friday night,"The laundry is like a dinosaur thatā€™s going to eat my penguin!"

See? Once in a while I do explain the randomness that is my blog title.

And, it appears, Typepad is not going to let me whittle the size back down to normal. Lovely. We'll all just have to deal.

So tomorrow, we are leaving for two weeks for our Mediterranean cruise. Can ya stand it?!! I can't. If it wasn't for my medication, there's no way I'd be sleeping before then! I am so damn excited, can't tell you how much.

Um, so speaking of sleep, I am suddenly exhausted. I worked all day getting ready for our trip on Tuesday.

{Ha, I have no idea why that line ended up so tiny. Or how to get it back. Stupid, stupid Typepad! Argh.}

I packed, did laundry, and shopped. I haven't cleaned, but I'm hoping to get that done, at least superficially, tomorrow, along with finishing everything else up.

I guess that really is all I have to tell tonight, anyway. Don't forget to check out the European Blog while we are away - Rob is bringing his laptop, and the ship has wifi! - and Chloƫ's summer blog!



Rock Me Like A Hurricane!


My monthly 24-hour crochet-a-thon was this past Friday and Saturday, and I stayed up on it all night Friday trying to win (still didn't!!!), so my schedule has been all out of whack because of it.

Did you miss me?

I sure missed you! And the comments. I keep checking my email for them, but duh, no new posts = no new comments. Silly moi.

100_7112 Is that not the best-lookin' tush you ever did see??  Sophia was headed upstairs to get dressed, but instead she climbed up on the outside of the stairs to show me her tuckus. I had to squeeze and knead it for all I was worth. I might have even taken a nibble... she's got the best bum!!

Here's some more fun the Littles were having:

100_7105 Giddy-up!

100_7106 100_7107 100_7108 100_7109 Up and down the hall, they went together, riding on their little zebra stick. They'd crash and giggle, get up again, run around, crash, fall down, giggle... it was hysterical.

Welp, I've got lots of work to do to get ready for our trip in less than 48 hours!! 

See you back here tonight,  y'all.


Thuper Thick Thummer Thurthday

No idea why I'm lisping. Random.

Nothing particularly spectacular happened today. We all woke up pretty early for us (around 0800) for a summer day, and we were all out of sorts because of it. I was too tired to do much with the kids, and they were cranky and irritable anyway. We got in each other's way until around noon when I decided all four of us needed naps. The kids seemed actually happy, for once, to be told to go to their rooms and rest.

We all took loooong naps, too. It was what we needed. We just aren't morning people!

I woke up to hear Chloƫ coming down the stairs, crying. I held her on top of me on the couch for a long time, as she whimpered about her headache. The child has been getting migraines lately. So I knew we wouldn't be going anywhere for the rest of the day. I canceled the two mystery shops (one was a Panera, dang it, and I couldn't reschedule) I had for today and just did the one phone-only shop while she rested some more.

When Daddy came home, he gave her some crushed-Tylenol and a little Coke, for the caffeine. Before she drank any, she was in the bathroom, vomiting her poor head off, with me holding up her hair. The headaches make her nauseous.

But then she drank. She hated it, but we made her - and it helped. Her headache was gone shortly after that. I'll definitely be bringing it up at her next check-up.

I did manage to make an appointment to get a referral to an allergist for myself. I tried just getting the referral over the phone, since I've already been in twice about it, but my PCP is away for an extended period, and I would need to see someone else. Bah! I wanted to get a neurology referral, too, for that weird eye thing I've got going on, but that would be a whole 'nother appoinment. *grumble*

There's not much else to report. At nine, Chloƫ and I hopped in the car and returned the kids' library books from last week, so they wouldn't be late while we're gone. Maybe I'll get a chance to take them for some new ones before we go.

I'm trying to work on clearing off my desk, doing all my paperwork stuff, getting papers in order for the cruise, etc. I've made up and printed out all the Bunco forms, since we're hosting it two days after our return. That's all ready to go... and I guess maybe I'll try to work on that zipper tonight, since it looks like Rob has gone to bed for the night.

Happy Friday, y'all!


Going Retro

100_7076 Last night - well, this morning - I stayed up until about 0500, just on a big sewing roll. First I made the bodice, then I attached the lining. Next came the skirt, with its own lining, and then the gathered ruffle. Then I put it all together and here it is! It totally doesn't suck at all! Now I need Rob's help putting the zipper in, so we'll tackle that mutha when the kids go to bed very shortly. I quit to go to bed when I reached that point, and I purposely hung up the dress where I knew Chloƫ would be able to admire it when she woke up.

When I asked her about it, she screamed! "That's mine? It's for me? It's beautiful!!!"  I'm sososososo thrilled that she feels that way about something I made for her. It's exhilarating!

I was able to cross off quite a few things on my pre-cruise to-do list today. It always feels good to be productive.

First, we went to For Eyes to get Chloƫ a new pair of regular glasses and a new pair of sunglasses. I just wanted the twofer $99 deal, but the lady talked me into scratch-resistant, polycarbonate, glare-resistant, what-have-you lenses. Uh. Well, these better last her a while. At least she looks pretty cute in them. And they may even be back before we go, so Steph won't have to deal with picking them up! She put a rush on the order for me.

Then we went to the bank, so I could empty out the contents of my trip savings account, and get some money orders travelers cheques.  I wanted dual signature checks, obviously, so either of us could sign them, but they messed up and gave me single signature, and it would have been a big to-do to fix them and get the right ones. Nah. It's not like we'll be apart anyway, so Rob will just have to deal! The kids had already finished their bank lollipops and were starting to inch away from my talons, so it was time to mosey on outta there.

When we were buckled in, Rob called to say he was home. Swell. I dropped the Littles off with him, and then I called for my Schwan's card. Did I mention this on the WFMW post? I think I forgot. It's a little Schwan's debit card, hooked up to your checking account, and when your order is delivered, they swipe it and you tell them what day to take the money out. You don't even have to pay the day it's delivered, which is great for us military folks who get paid twice a month. (I know, I know, I don't get paid, blah blah.) It's a good thing.

After that, I called my grandfather, since it's his 82nd birthday today. Happy birthday, Grandpa! He was not doing well at all. It's been 20 years since his heart attack, and the docs back then gave him 20 years on his new ticker. Well, it seems like his number's up on that, and he's having trouble getting down the hall to the dining room without having chest pains and losing his breath. And he's diabetic, and today his speech was very slurred. I told him to call the nurse to check on him, or I would. He promised to press the button after we hung up. I knew he wouldn't, so I called my sister to tell her to check on him, too. I guess the nurse was entering just as they were getting off the phone, so hopefully they took good care of him.  I will check again tomorrow. Man, I love that guy. I hope nothing happens to him while we're gone. My grandmother died while I was on vacation and couldn't get back, so I'm kinda paranoid about it!

Anyway. If you pray, maybe you could say a small one for him?

So, then, Chloƫ and I went to Kohl's so I could get two more Fiestaware place settings. I wanted a couple of new colors, but they only had a very limited selection. I ended up with another setting in yellow (buttercup? I forget its official name) and one in peacock (turqouise, for the little people). And since everything Fiesta was 55% off, I bought a salt-and-pepper set in cobalt and peacock. Love it, love it. I really wanted to get the pitcher too, in red, but I decided I'd be pushing my luck with Rob if I did that. (Probably would've if they'd had one in a box!) So now I have 12 place settings - enough to host Bunco next month and not have to use icky disposables!

After that, it was time to head to the skating center for Chloƫ's Brownies troop's end-of-year party. First, the girls climbed on their big bounce house/jungle gym thingy. It really looked like a lot of fun. I wanted to join them. They played a few arcade games, too. We ate pizza, and then Debbie passed out their new badges and patches. They earned four more Try-Its since the Christmas party (yeah, that's all... :{ ) and a fun patch for the skating party. Skating was next!

100_7082 Baby Vivian is getting so big!

100_7083 Chloƫ and her best friend, Brett, playing basket-ball.

100_7085 Time for the pizza! It was unlimited, with a $2.99 wristband. Not bad. Not bad at all.

100_7086 Chloƫ showing off all her new badges. Guess who's going to be doing more ironing tonight?

100_7089 The girls pose with their troop leaders. From front to back, left to right: Brett, Chloƫ, Claire, Lelia, Emily, Gabrielle, Danae, Kori, MacKenzie, Debbie & Karen

100_7090 This was Chloƫ's first time on roller skates. She was very nervous and very wobbly! She really didn't want to go on the rink floor, but I told her it was either that or time to go home. She opted to try the rink.

100_7092 Miss Debbie to the rescue! She came around to help Chloƫ get onto the rink. (I was babysitting everyone's cameras and purses and couldn't leave my post.)

100_7095 Finally, they made it to the floor, and Karen and Debbie helped her edge around on the wall. She hugged it the whole time, and it took her about 20 minutes to complete the circuit!

100_7098 Pretty Danae stops by for a snap.

100_7099 Chloƫ, absolutely screaming with delight that she had made it all the way back to Mama!

100_7100 For her second go-round, she let go of the wall and refused Debbie's help! Now that's progress. She was doing really well until she got to the far end and had to go potty. Ooh, there was some rush-rushing until she got to where I could grab her, and I raced her there as fast as I could. She fell into the toilet! Oops. I had to let her hold onto me while I whipped up her dress, down her undies, and lifted her little self onto the toilet. It was amusing. She was so afraid to go potty with skates on!

Man, oh, man, that place brought back memories for me. When I was a kid, say 8 through 12 or 13  years old, the skating rank was THE place to be.  And for some of those folks today, it looked like it still was. There were a handful of people my age - or older - who were still kicking it old school around the rink, doing the same ol' dance-skating I remember doing. What a riot.  I really wanted to get out there. Maybe next time, we'll go as a family and I'll bring my 'blades.

I do have to say that I was not being very nice. There is one girl in her troop, M, who I really cannot stand. She is just an uppity little snot, and she drives me crazy. So to find her being a total klutz on the skates and falling down over and over and over, well, I laughed to myself. No, I'm not right. I know.

So that was our day! Now I have to see if Rob will wake up to help me get that zipper in. Oh! What? What's that you say? You want to see a picture of ChloĆ« in the dress? Well, I can oblige!

100_7101 It's actually not swimming on her, like I thought it would be. She remarked that she felt like a party princess in it, and she was overjoyed that I made it for her.

Time to do the finishing!


Something Pressing To Do

Foiled again.

I tried to be good. I went to bed much earlier than usual last night, so I could get up early with the kids, go do my errands, and then take them to the pool until Daddy got home. We haven't swum since the end of May, so we're due for a pool visit.

Instead, I was up at 0600 with an upset stomach, and I was shivering and feeling awful. When it was all over, I went downstairs to rest on the couch until they got up. Only, I fell back to sleep. And it was late morning before I woke up again.


Oh, well. No sense berating myself for it; what's done is done.


I just love ChloĆ«'s profile, especially when her glasses are missing and I can see it.

I got right up with the kids and we sprang to work in the kitchen, assembling our ingredients, preheating our oven and preparing ourselves to bake chocolate chip banana bread.

100_7048 First, Sophia mashed up our three extremely overripe nanners.

100_7049 Next, Chloƫ whisked in a few eggs.

100_7050 Jack dumped in the shortening, and Chloƫ added the sugar.

100_7051 Sophia mixed it all up, after adding the vanilla.

100_7053 They added the rest of the ingredients, and Chloƫ mixed it all up.

100_7055 VoilĆ ! The kids dumped it into the pan {note to self: really must buy loaf pans!}, and their very own chocolate chip banana bread was ready to go into the oven!

100_7057 During the 75-minutes baking time, Jack played downstairs with his cars, and the sisters took turns perched atop the fainting couch and sliding down it. Then they all took turns cuddling in my arms and singing lullabyes with me. Sophia didn't know many of the words, but she sung along anyway. This caused mucho hysterics on my part, and she laughed as hard as I did. It was a fun time.

100_7058 It's ready!

100_7059 Jack was the first lucky boy to dig in, once it cooled enough. He gave it his stamp of approval and demanded some margarine.

100_7060 Any chance to show off the Fiestaware...

Daddy came home just as we were starting to dig in, so he enjoyed his piece, too. Then we showered and got ready to go out. We'd gotten some really good Moe's (Welcome to Moe's!) coupons, and ChloĆ« was asking to go for her special dance recital dinner, so I looked up online to see if there was a Moe's mystery shop available. There was! Score.

Dinner was great, even though there were still no tomatoes for salsa, and even though the smoke from the North Carolina wildfires was too overpowering to let us sit outside. They way overstuffed our burritos with yummy good stuff.

Jack didn't want to eat his quesadillas. Just chips. Nope, not this time. I told him if he didn't take at least one good bite of his quesa, he was going right to bed when we got home.

Guess who went right to bed when he got home?

That's right, it didn't work. He didn't eat. He cried a whole bunch about going to bed, though. Oh, well! One thing I'm adamant about is following through; no empty threats here!

Once home, I sat outside in the nice evening air and called my father in Ohio. I never did reach him for Father's Day. He's doing well up there, just getting used to life there as opposed to South Carolina. It was good to hear from him.

100_7061 Rob snapped this picture of Sophia once again up on her perch. She was also reaching back behind herself and licking her foot. Girlfriend is mighty flexible, which is why I'm going to go with the majority from the poll and put her in gymnastics this fall! I did manage to call and get the details from them about that; it's comparable in cost to dance class, and she can start anytime since it's a year-round program. Should be fun! Thanks for the help!

100_7075 Stephanie soon joined us to have some cheesecake, again in celebration of ChloĆ«'s dance recital. It was supposed to be Friendly's, but we had all these Schwan's desserts already and decided to save our moulah. It was pretty good!  (The slices are bigger than theirs, which I'd cut in half for them to share.) I should have made some strawberres because I'm God, to put on top.

After dessert, Rob took the girls upstairs to bathe and get ready for bed, while Stephanie and I drove to Walgreen's so I could pick up my prescriptions. We got there, though, and I realized I'd forgotten my checkbook at home! Gah!

So we drove home, picked that up, and ran to Farm Fresh. I'm out of salt and wipey-wipes, and she needed chicken and rice for her poor sick doggies.  Then we went back to Walgreen's. Now I'm stocked up on my drugs for the cruise. Another item crossed off my list. Whee!

She soon said goodbye, and I decided to start back in on sewing ChloĆ«'s blue dress. It was not off to an auspicious start, however, when I couldn't even thread the darn needled and had to call in the troops for support. Took Rob a while, too, but he finally got it after cutting that fat yarn at an angle. So I was on my way to press some seams when I realized it was time to post my nightly blahg entry.

Time to get back to my ironing. Oh, how I toil.


WFMW: Schwan's

Wfmwsmall Last week, for the first time, I placed an order with Schwan's Home Delivery. Maybe you've seen their trucks around town, or even in your neighborhood? I had never eaten their food before - though my husband had - and kept getting curiouser and curiouser.

Finally, the curiosity got the best of me, and I looked up their site to see what was what. The first thing I spotted was an offer: Free entrĆ©e (limited choices; I picked the chicken pot pie) with a  - what? - $30 order, I think.

I'm in!  I can spend $30 on food, no sweat.

Well... $360 later, I had ordered a ton of good-sounding food. I picked appetizers, entrƩes, desserts, ice creams, veggies... I just went crazy. I just did all my grocery shopping - except for, like, milk and nonfood items - right there in one sitting, and I didn't even have to leave my house!

I set up my delivery on a day and at a time that worked perfectly for me, and that was it! I didn't even have to pay for it then.

Sam, my Schwan's guy, called me up a day or two later to be sure I had enough freezer space for all this stuff. After all, he said, I'd placed one of the biggest orders he'd ever had, and he didn't want to get there only to find out I had just a side-by-side that was already half full. I couldn't blame him. We have a smally deep freezer, mostly emptied, so I assured him I thought I had the space.

Well, he was right to question.

I ended up having to do a lot of reshuffling in my freezer, eating a thing or two with my 3yo, Soap, well ahead of schedule, and freecycling the things we would probably never get to anyway, but then! I had two freezers absolutely stuffed full to the brim with food!

And not only that, but since I ordered a lot of entrƩes, I wouldn't have to make a lot of different meal plans this time. Just pull something out of the freezer, and voilƠ! Heat it up, and dinner is served. Plus, there are lots of great things in there to snack on, so when the kids get the munchies and I'm out of yogurt and cottage cheese, there is something reasonably nutritious in the freezer.

And the ice creams? Soooooooo good.

I probably won't order anywhere near that much at a time from now on, but I'm definitely hooked. Give it a try, I love it!


If My Dog Were Liquid

Okay, y'all didn't vote in the poll! There are only two votes, and one's mine, and one's Stephanie's. Y'all need to give me your input on this; I know there are more of you out there than that! ;)

So today, I had a whole heckuva lot more on my to-do list than there was actually time to accomplish. Perhaps tomorrow.

I tried to call for referrals to an allergist and a neurologist, but there was no answer after 20-odd rings at my clinic. Humph.

I called the cocky SOB who was going to paint our house, to see if he had a contractor's license or anything, and he does not. So I gave him the boot. Didn't like him, don't want to give him our business.

I did manage to (finally) make Sophia's 3-year well-child appointment. It'll be the day after we get back from Europe. No rest for the weary... traveler.

Tried calling the gymnastics place to at least get the deets for their 3yo program, but there was no answer. Yet another $#%(*& place that's closed on Mondays!!

Never made it to the bank to cash out our trip account and get some traveler's cheques. Never made it to the base to fill my scripts so I'll have enough meds for Europe.

Couldn't remember the name of the karate place, to get the deets for their 5yo program. Five years we've lived here, five years that we've been going to the same grocery store right next to the karate place. You'd think it would have sunk in by now.

Didn't do any sewing. Didn't have the desire today, after toiling on the floor with my fabric all laid out yesterday, cutting the huge pieces for Chloƫ's dress. But maybe I'll go do some after this.

Didn't crochet, either. No time. And we didn't bake.  I planned to make a new cookie recipe, from my Martha Stewart cookie book, with the kids... but we're out of flour and darn near out of butter. And dog food, not that that would make for great cookies. I sent Rob to the store for those three things tonight. He just got back. At least I cut out the coupons from yesterday's paper.

Oh, and I folded five loads of laundry and washed two more. I'm trying to really keep on top of it so there isn't a ton to do before our trip, and all my clothes will be clean.

After I folded all that, the Littles went down for nap, Chloƫ went downstairs to get ready and then play on Webkinz (finally, she knows how to log in by herself!), and I took a shower. I was going to do my make-up and, you know, try and look decent, but my face was so blustery and hot after I blow-dried my hair that it would have just slid right off. So I went nakey-faced. As usual. Oh, well. I wear glasses, anyway.

I didn't even really dress up for the Show. I'm wearing jean capris and a red polo shirt. Rob wore a polo and some khakis, but when we were walking in downtown Norfolk before the show, he noticed what I wore and cursed himself for not wearing shorts, too. Ha, ha. Sucka. I wasn't underdressed, though. Lots of folks wore dressy things, but plenty others went casual.

We forgot to take Chloƫ's earrings out when we dropped her off, and now they are gone. I am disappointed, because they were the little pink flowers with which she got pierced, and they were my favorites. Live and learn.

After she was backstage and taken under the instructors' wings, I drove around the corner to the market so Rob could run in and buy her flowers. We found a place to park nearby (there was a garage right there the whole time! Who knew?!) and then went to our favorite sushi place in the world, Domo.  We discovered it a few years ago when we went downtown for a Steven Wright concert. The food is out-of-this-world fresh, and so tasty. The service is good, too. If you're ever in Norfolk and like sushi, go!

Finally, it was time to get back across the street to the Roper and get ourselves seated. I was bemoaning having camnesia, so I wouldn't be able to get a backstage picture of Chloƫ and her teacher this year. So, I taught Rob how to use my phone's camera. Wouldn't you know, when he went around the block to get her at half-time intermission, he took a picture of her with her flowers, but no Miss Ashley! Just completely forgot!

The Show was great. Darlene did her usual introduction of all the graduating seniors, and for no reason at all, I found myself in tears. It's not like I know any of those girls! I guess it was just reminiscent of my years as a dancer. I just imagined my little Chloƫ, starting off at the age of three and, finally, still doing dance, graduating from high school. Imagine!

There were some pretty risquƩ moves going tonight, especially for some of the younger girls. Lyrics, too. I bet a few tongues were wagging!

There was one girl in at least four numbers on that stage tonight, who is every bit as heavy as I am, if not more. Rob can vouch. We talked about her afterward, in wonderment. She wasn't even good! I mean, I wasn't anywhere near that big when I danced, not at all, but I did the moves and then some. She barely tried. At what point does a parent look at that and say, We're wasting our money, let's get her into something else? I felt embarrassed for her. She just did not look good up there, nor did she look particularly enthused. Oh, well. Not my problem.

What is my problem: my own children's health. I can say, with a high degree of certainty, that I will never let them get that way as long as they are under my roof. Not that there's any danger of that anytime soon, but if one of them ballooned up, we'd do something about it, and pronto. (In a loving, we-want-you-to-be-healthy kind of way, not, ew, you fat freak, go to camp and lose it!) (I can say this all, because it takes one to know one.)

I looked at the lithe, flat-chested bodies of the 'serious' dancers, and wondered what my Chlo and Soap will look like at that age. Will they be like me? Will they be like their Dad? One of each? I think it's safe to say Chloƫ will be a skinny thing, and Sophia will be a bit more on the curvy side.

When we'd collected our Chloƫ, we sat back and watched the second half through her eyes. She wriggled and shimmied in her chair, copying the older girls. She clapped loud and tried to "wooo wooo" along with the appreciative audience. When I giggled, she looked up at me pointedly and said, "What!"

Normally, it's our tradition to go out for sundaes (again, stemming from my dancing days) after the recital, but it was 2200 when we got out of there! The Littles were put to bed by Stephanie, and we agreed to do it tomorrow, with Stim. Friendly's, here we come!

Hey, look, I found a picture of me when I danced - see, not so chubby (click to see it big): Dance


Bzzing: Ziploc BIG Bags

100_6942 My latest Bzz Campaign is for Ziploc Big Bags. I've actually had this one for a while, but because of the huge morass that is my desk right now, I don't know whether I've got something to offer you to try them out for yourselves, like coupons for freebies! Sorry about that. If I find them, we'll revisit this product.

Anyway, we have a lot of kids' clothes. A lot. This isn't even the half of them. There are a bunch unfolded here: 100_6943

and here: 100_6944

and that ain't even the half of it. There are tons more in their dressers and closets. It can be really challenging to keep up with all the laundry, as I've mentioned here time and again!

Enter Ziploc Big Bags. Just when I needed something to contain all the kids' winter wardrobes, they arrived in my mail. Perfect! They come in three sizes: Large, XL, and XXL, so you can choose the perfect size for your project. They are thicker and heavier than Ziploc Freezer Bags, so they're quite sturdy.

I even used an XXL bag to store and give away all of the latest CARE Packages I had. And there were a ton - over three dozen!

So they're really useful for all kinds of storage.  I will say this, if you over-fill the bags, they tend to open at the handle when you lift them up, and your fake nails, if ya got 'em, can go right through the sides. They're not a hundred percent perfect.  But don't overfill them, and you're golden!


Ah, Father's Day

Today wasn't especially awesome for the Daddy in the household today. He had to stand watch again from 0530 to 1730. Is it me, or does every stinkin' holiday fall to my husband for duty?

So it fell to me to bring the Littles along to the theater for ChloĆ«'s dress rehearsal today. At first, I couldn't figure out where to drop off ChloĆ«; she's supposed to go in the back, stage door, and no one else is allowed to enter except for drop-off and pick-up. The normal drop-off door was blocked for AC repair, though, and I didn't know there was another door. So we had to walk two entire city blocks to get back around to the front, in the heat, with three kids and only two hands, plus my magazine, camera, and her costume. We get to the main entrance, only to be told we have to go to the other door (there's another door?), where they're now letting people in. Gah. We trooped back around, dropped off our ballerina, and walked back to the front again. 

Meanwhile, I was illegally parked the whole time in a private lot, and there was no where to park my car on the street. So we dodged traffic to get across to the pilates store next to the lot, where I planned to ask permission to use their lot for two hours, only to find it closed on Sundays. I took that as permission granted, said a silent prayer that my van would till be there when we were all finished, and ran back across the street to the main entrance of the theater with the non-twins in tow.

Have I mentioned that this "June Show," as they refer to it instead of a "recital," is in a professional theatre in downtown Norfolk? They do things very classy-like at her dance academy. Lots of rules. No makeup, no jewelry, hair must be in a bun, arrive and depart only in street clothes, no flash photography, no pictures or video on Show night, yadda yadda. I actually like it that way. They pride themselves on providing a real dance education, and after all, that's what we're paying for!


100_7036 By the time we got ourselves seated, it was almost Chloƫ's turn to come out with her duet partner (that's right, there's only one other little girl in her class this year; guess they all chose Saturdays instead of Tuesdays) to check for positioning on the stage. This is Chloƫ with her instructor, Miss Ashley, deciding what tape marks to stand on for their dance.

Soon after that, a very tall 6-foot-plus woman sat directly in front of us. You'll see her getting up in the following video of Chloƫ's run-through of her dance. I'm sorry about the quality, my video doesn't like to focus properly when I'm zoomed in.


 Aren't they cute? Keep in mind, she's only six. I can see a lot of improvement, especially in remembering the dance, over last year when I was in hysterics over her little forgetfulness. It was a hoot.

While we waited, Jack and Sophia confirmed that it was a brilliant idea to hire Stephanie to babysit tomorrow night instead of trying to bring them along to the Show like we did last year. They weren't too bad for dress rehearsal day, but for Show night, they would have been far too loud and fidgety for anyone's pleasure. When the actual music and dancing started, Sophia went into the aisle and danced along. She was so sweet! She twirled and leaped and sashayed. Which brings me to my poll: We have long been planning to put her in gymnastics this year, because she loves to do tumbling and because she is extremely flexible (this is the girl who can lick her own elbow and almost kiss her own tushy!). But now she says she wants to dance like the girls on the stage. What do you think?


Day O' Beauty

Welp, I stayed up 'til 0500 attempting to sew three pairs of matchy-matchy shorts. Finally around 0200, I woke Rob up from the couch where he was snoozing, because I was absolutely losing my mind trying to follow the damn pattern. I stitched, unstitched, and restitched countless times, and it Just. Wasn't. Working. I emailed an exasperated message to MIL, who was probably throwing her hands up at my density from afar!  But Rob, my professional seamstress husband, couldn't figure it out either.

We spent over an hour ransacking the internet for something that would help us put together a simple pair of kids' shorts. We knew what to do. We had the pictures. We had the diagrams. We had the pithy instructions. We just didn't have the know-how.

Finally, I decided to make a teeny-tiny doll-sized pattern of the shorts. I freehand drew on some scrap fabric with a pencil and came up with a reasonable facsimile of the actual pattern pieces, minus the pockets. Screw the pockets! I started fiddling around with the pieces when it became absolutely clear: it was physically impossible to make the shorts the way the directions were written.  It just couldn't be done!

So I did to the pieces what it made sense to me to do, after reviewing instructions from MIL, Rob, and way, way back 20 years in home-ec class, and it worked! I made this wee pair of shorts that, incidentally, fit perfectly on my husband's schlong (yes, he tried them on "it," because that's just the way we are and just be glad I spared you the picture):

100_7035 Of course, no hems.

So within an hour, I had stitched together two identically-sized pairs of shorts for the non-twins and was debating what to do about ChloĆ«'s! Of course, we were quite pleased to finally have a resolution after hours of feeling like the dumbest people on Earth. It's not a feeling to which we were accustomed!

By that point, though, I was too tired to take out hundreds of small stitches, so I gave up and joined Rob on the couch for a few hours' sleep.

When I woke up, Jack was sitting next to me, and ChloĆ« and Rob were gone to her audition for a NY agent. It was a no-pressure try-out, since she already has a New York agent. She just needs the practice.

I was just getting into the shower when they returned. Apparently the woman told Chloƫ she did a good job and was going to be famous! We shall see about that...

100_7021 I left the house with instructions for Rob to give Jack these clothes and Sophia those clothes and take some pictures outside of them in their non-twin-set. The shirts are enormous; I'd bought a bunch of the smallest size they had at Michael's when they were 6/$10, with no real purpose in mind.

100_7022 So, yeah, though the waistbands fit, they are still kind of swimming in the shorts. That's okay, they'll have them a few years.

100_7023 Sophia loved her outfit and wore it all day long, but Jack couldn't wait to peel it off and get back into his beloved blue outfit he'd picked out for the day. He wants what he wants and he wants it now!

What do you think? I know, they are not exactly stylin', but I did the thing, anyway.

So my appointment was at my salon, where I was to get my most expensive 'do ever.  Normally I'm pretty cheap about taking care of my hair, although I would rather pay more for a decent cut, but I've always colored it myself at home. Not this time! I wanted something good for Europe.

Well, I was there almost three hours, and I wish I could tell you all the observations I made while there. I had good blog fodder, but now  I've forgotten it! Other than this: the woman in the chair next to me mentioned that she homeschools her children. But she was using the word "retarded" repeatedly in conversation, either blissfully unaware or not caring that it has become a major faux pas to do so in today's society. Is that really the sort you want educating their own young? Not for me. They are talking about it being illegal to homeschool unless you at least have a college degree, and I can't say that's the worst idea I've ever heard...

But enough about that; I know such an opinion will be controversial amongst my readers!

So after I was tortured pampered for so long, I went up front to pay my bill. I was so stunned by the cost (but of course, I didn't show it) that I forgot to buy the shampoo I needed. All I could think at the time was, Gee, I feel like the President or something...

100_7027But I did like the cut and color. See? I decided to go a little lighter, you know, for summer? I think it looks lighter IRL than in the picture. And ignore the silly look on my face; I was being goofy for Rob.

Afterward, I moseyed a few doors down to the ceramics studio, thinking it might be a good place to take the kids this summer, especially on a Monday when the pool is closed. Well, instead of answering my questions, the proprietor just handed me a sheet of paper, saying, "I think this will tell you everything you need to know." Not hardly! How exasperating. Can't you just have a conversation with me?? NO ONE else was in the store, after all. And come to find out, they are closed on Mondays, too. Ugh!

I called Rob to see how he and the chillens were doing, asking permission to go get my nail fixed. That's right, the superglue didn't hold and it fell off again that evening. Very annoying. Permission was granted, so I headed on over to that salon. I walked in and they were packed. Of course, Saturday afternoon! I was embarrassed to find myself flipping those fine ladies off when telling them the problem - it was my middle finger, after all! But they seemed to take no notice and told me to have a seat. It was another hour before I was finished, but I finally walked out, free of charge, good as new.

I was famished by then, since it was after 1600 and I hadn't eaten yet today. I called Rob to see if he wanted a sub or not, and he did, so I went in. The tomatoes were back on the menu, and I asked the guy if they were okay now. Duh, of course he was going to say yes, they put them out. But I'd been in a couple of days ago when signs were up that they weren't going to be serving them, so I figured if they had them, they were all right, right?

Rob was in the middle of eating his sub (his were the tomatoes; I don't eat them) when I got an urgent email about the Moe's shop (Welcome to Moe's!) I'm going to be doing this week, saying there must be no tomatoes behind the counter, yadda yadda. Were they safe after all? Rob did a little research online and finally decided to go ahead and eat them. Cross your fingers he doesn't get sick!

When I got home, after eating, I got back to work at the sewing machine. I finally decided, instead of ripping out all those stitches, to just cut the pieces apart and have the shorts be smaller and, probably, fit better. I had the shorts done in about 20 minutes, just in time for Chloƫ to wake up from her nap and try them on.

100_7032 I know, this is a ridiculous, hideous picture. We'd just given her her allowance, so she decided to pose with that, and her stance makes the shorts look all bunchy. But she was thrilled with them and decided to keep them on for the rest of the night. I love that my girls love their handmade clothes so much, regardless of how well they're made.

And yes, I continue to make stupid goofs. I have a hem on the outside of Chloƫ's freaking shorts!!! By that point, I just didn't care anymore, since it was obvious these were going to be relegated to the 'playclothes' category.

And I immediately started (I want to say 'casting on,' but alas, this isn't knitting and the term doesn't apply) cutting out the pattern for one of the matching dresses I'm going to make the girls (in the blue, if you remember it) - and I totally forgot to cut out the notches on the first piece of fabric! Gahhhh!! What is wrong with me? I swear, sewing turns me into a bumbling idiot.

But I'm still enoying it! I bet Rob can't wait until I go back to my hobbies where I'm not constantly calling upon him for help.

100_7026 Jack came down, wanting a snack, so he and Chlo were given an ice cream sandwich. We have tons of Schwan's ice cream in the freezer right now, and it's delicious! We've also tried the spinach artichoke appetizers and the cream cheese wontons, and we liked them very much, too. Just giving you a little update on how that's going, for those who were interested!

Edit to add: I got the book My Sister's Keeper in the mail today, a surprise from my MIL after talking about it but my not being able to find it at the library. Yay! I can't wait to read it; seems like I'm the last person I know who has. But I'm resisting the urge to stay up all night reading it. I'm going to save it for the cruise - well, the flights, anyway. Don't spoil it for me!

After dinner (frozen pizza, if you must know), it was story time for the kids. We read... oh, what is it called. That Enchanted Princess movie that came out a while ago, with Patrick Dempsey? But in book form. I so hate the children's books that are written after the movie. They are always so lame, and they skip so much anyway, it doesn't make sense unless you've seen the movie. But that's what they picked, so that's what they read. Ooh, I forgot to mark it on their sheets, thanks for reminding me. Summer Reading Program, we are still with ya!

The kids went to bed, and then Rob and I settled down to watch The Bucket List while I crocheted on Steph's baby dress. It's comin' along, my dear. And it was a good movie. We laughed, and I cried. Rob gave it a five; I guess I agree and can happily recommend it.

In health news, since you didn't ask, I had a lot of that problem with my eye today. I still feel like something is pressing on my left eyeball, and I couldn't help but think "brain tumor brain tumor brain tumor" whenever I had that sensation. I'm not joking around; two of my friends have actually had brain tumors, so the probability of my having one, too, has got to be slim! Like I said, it just better not strike me down during our cruise.

That's about all, folks. Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there!


TenThings About My Day

  1. We overslept and missed Chloƫ's bus this morning. Surprise! So I had to wake everyone up and drive her to school. At least she looked cute in her new outfit from Aunt Gail: 100_7017

2.  I sewed this head scarf for "Jack," which I say because although it's a one-size-fits-all kids pattern, clearly it's big on Rob: 100_7018
3.  But at least I followed the directions carefully, and it seems to be right, quality notwithstanding.

4.  I barely slept last night (hence the oversleeping), so I was excited when the kids all wanted naps. I took a long one. Now I hope I can sleep tonight. Vicious fecking cycle.

5.  Our freezer and deep freezer are now stocked to the brim with entrĆ©es, appetizers and side dishes, veggies, desserts and ice cream from Schwan's. I'd never ordered from them or eaten their food before, but I thought I'd give it a try after seeing their trucks in our neighborhood so many times. The guy called me up a couple of days ago, wanting to make sure I had enough freezer space for everything I ordered. I assured him I had enough. Heh. There were five ENORMOUS bags full, and I had to do about a half-hour of work rearranging things. In the end, everything fit except the three boxes of frozen pizza I already had, which I put in the fridge for dinner tonight, three packages of frozen pie crusts from Christmas-time, which I freecycled, and a box of microwaveable Monkey Bread, which Sophia and I broke down and had for breakfast.

6. When Rob got home, he cleaned the kitchen, the kids cleaned up their toys, and I vacuumed the downstairs. Looks much better now. Won't last the weekend.

7. I sewed while he cooked that pizza and the kids watched one of their new movies we won. They enjoyed having a pizza picnic in the living room, since my sewing was all over the kitchen table.

8. Think I'm going to work on Steph's baby dress and convince Rob to watch The Bucket List with me. Did you see it?? What did you think of it? We watched The Savages last night, and I thought it was just kind of eh. Mediocre. Although Laura Linney was good and I love Philip Seymour Hoffman.

9. The young man who I asked to come and give me an estimate on fixing up our garden (oh, it is a mess, y'all) came and did so. I nearly fainted. $150 to do a little weeding and pruning? No, thanks. It'll keep until we do it ourselves. He wanted the same to paint our outside trim, which is badly in need. I talked it over with Rob. He finds that acceptable. All right, then.

10. I forgot to make any phone calls today. Didn't call about the discrepancy in Jack's shot record, didn't call to make my appointments, didn't call anyone. I don't even know where my phone is.  Suppose I oughtta go find it...


You Know Things Hurt More In Your Shoe!

It's always crazy around here on half-days. Today and tomorrow are the last two days of school for my kids, and they are "adjusted dismissal" days. Half days. Just go on, you can say it.

I had no idea what time to expect Jack's bus this morning, given that she is so variable on regular days. I was thinking 10:15, so I was lazily checking email this morning at 9:38 when Jack shouted from the kitchen, "MOMMMMM! My bus is here!!!" Wha? Thank goodness it was only a half-day, as I hadn't bothered to put anything in his lunch box yet. I sent him out, for the first time, without his backpack. He was completely bewildered by this. I had to tell him three times that it was all right before he was convinced.

Of course, I should have sent it. He came home with his hands full of papers!

And his AM bus driver walked up to the door to show me she had a picture of Jack, and a picture frame, but his picture was too big for the frame. She wanted me to have it anyway. Which makes me feel rotten that I haven't gotten anything for the teachers and bus drivers. Wait. There is still time to run to Farm Fresh for some gift cards. Should I go?

Nah, I think I'll just have them write letters/make pictures like my friend Jen over at the Daily Mish Mash suggested. We need to save all our pennies for Europe right now, too!

Movie mosaic

So when Sophia finally woke up, I put her in her favorite new sundress before setting off for Chloƫ's school. We had to pick up the awesome movie prize pack we won from their Relay For Life raffle. It contained:

The huge popcorn bucket

Four new DVDs

Four boxes of movie theatre popcorn

Two bottles of Green Tea with Citrus (ick)

and substantial gift cards to AMC Theatres and Blockbuster!

Totally worth the $5 I paid for my six raffle tickets, I thought as we lugged our loot back to the sweltering van. I just hoped that chocolate wouldn't melt in the summer heat. I think it came out all right.

Back at home, Sophia insisted we open everything in the "party box," as she called it, right away. She was so excited about it and couldn't wait for Bro and Sis to get home so they could watch a movie and, of course, eat some snacks. "I loooove snacks!" proclaimed Soapy.

By the way, birdies of all shapes and sizes are her favorite animals. Jack's are bunnies and Chloƫ's are kitties. What you'll do with that information is up to you, but I just thought I'd share now that it's become so clear.

100_7007 Next things Soap wanted to do was color in her sister's new coloring book. I didn't see the harm, so I sat and watched as she oh-so-carefully scribbled with ten different colors all in the same spot and then declared that page finished. She did that on two more pages before she'd had enough with that activity. She wanted some "juice," and by that, she meant the green tea.

100_7012 I let her have at it, after I'd had a big swig and decided it was not for me, or, I was sure, her father. Here she was, sitting quietly drinking her tea at the table, so I got back to work sewing Chloƫ's shorts.

Y'all. I have made a lot of mistakes with these shorts. The inside-out and pocket mishaps of yesterday were just the beginning. I sewed the crotch all wrong, and now it looks like the wearer has been riding a horse for too long. I knew it didn't look right but figured it would just fix itself as I proceeded. The directions said nothing of the right way to do it, which I have since learned from my former home-ec teacher MIL, who is valiantly trying to teach my dumb ass to sew from halfway across the country! Of course, I'm now ten steps ahead of the crotch (that doesn't sound good), so I have a lot of ripping out to do. Sigh. It just doesn't come easy to me, this sewing business.

Jack's bus pulled up a mere two hours after he left, so it was time to stash the sewing for a while. You have to keep your eye on that one. Shortly after that, Chloƫ arrived, wanting to know what was new.

What's new?! What's new, you ask? I have new things for you today, my dear!

First, I showed her and Jack all the goodies we'd won from her school. She was just mystified that I could have snuck into and out of her school without her spotting me. I'm a sneaky one, my dear.

Then, I showed her the packages that their Aunt Gail had mailed from them, apparently just for some summer fun.

100_7010 Sophia received the most adorable outfit ever, which she insisted on changing into right away. Cuteness personified!! I want to make that!

100_7013 It always amuses me when two or more of the kids are opening presents at the same time, but they're so interested in what the other person got, they're not looking at their own goody! Jack's eyes were glued to Chloƫ's new outfit (which she dubbed "a China shirt," after the also-embroidered she-dubbed "China outfit" that we actually bought her in Morroco, in Epcot!), so much so that he nearly missed the fact that he'd gotten a new pair of Cars swim trunks! This brought much glee on his part.


Next, the kids gathered 'round as Chloƫ opened their group present, a summer catching toy for outside! I'm saving it for when they go to Stephanie's, so they have something new to play with and retain their interest.

Cookies Gail also sent this freaking awesome cookie cookbook, which has tons of mouth-watering recipes for every cookie imaginable. I haven't even used it yet, but I can already tell it's going to be my go-to book for cookies now! Mmm, I'm salivating. You must get this book!!

Thanks for our goodies, Gail! Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em (that's a quote from Chloƫ's monologue, btw).

Once that fun was over, the kids were clamoring for their promised candy. I let them pick the movie (All Dogs Go To Heaven, which is way more violent than I'd remembered from my own days watching it as a kid) and the candy (JuJubes, I think). They settled in, and I picked up my fuzzy yarn for the scarf that man had ordered for his daughter, and which I'd completely forgotten about yet again. Whoops. I used to be able to knock out the whole scarf in two hours. This time, being rusty and having fakety-fake nails on, I barely got past the keyhole before the movie ended. Oy. I'm not looking forward to finishing it, but I'll go do that tonight after I finish this.

Once the movie was over, the kids were acting ornery and bossy and pushy and not-so-nice. I gave them the choice: naptime, or clean up the living room time. They chose naptime, small wonder. Once they were in their rooms, I lay down "for a quick shut-eye," I told myself. I didn't wake up for hours! Way later than I'd planned, and Stephanie was on her way over to babysit!

I hopped into the shower as Rob was getting home, very late from work. Of course when we've got somewhere to go, he gets stuck in traffic. It's a rule, you know.

Anyway, we went out, had dinner, had some drinks, laughed a whole bunch and generally enjoyed each other's company. I'm so thankful for that. He didn't feel well, though, and barely touched his dinner. And we were stuck in a booth with an immovable table, and I barely had room to breathe. It sucks to be fat!

Back at home, Rob took the kids upstairs to get ready for bed, and Jack turned around and peed in the laundry! He was wide awake, so there was just no excuses for it. What the HELL?!! Why would he DO that??  I am just completely baffled by it. Completely baffled.

Oh! I almost forgot. I've had multiple requests for the bread recipe and for the story about why I deserved to be peed on. First, the bread. The recipe is from here, but I will post it below for those of you who are as lazy as I am:


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal


  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the sugar, salt, garlic salt, cheese and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each half into a 14-in. loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  4. Brush loaves with water. Make three diagonal slashes about 1/2 in. deep with a very sharp knife in each loaf.
  5. Fill a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan with 1 in. of hot water and place on the bottom oven rack. Preheat to 400 degrees F. Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes. Remove to wire racks.

And now, your story.

Rob hates to be poked in the sides. Haaates it. It makes him jump and squeal like a little girl. For that reason, I do it all the time. ALLLL the time. He asks me constantly to stop. I have tried. I just can't help myself. So one time, he was in the bathroom taking a leak, and I came up to him with my finger a-twitchin'. He knew that look, so he warned me, "If you poke me, I'm going to pee on you!" I laughed and poked him anyway. With that, he turned and peed up and down the whole front of me, clothes on and everything.

And that's the rest of the story.


Outed At The Bus Stop

I fell asleep in my Bunco clothes on the couch last night while watching a little late-night TV, and I woke up late to take Chloƫ to the bus stop this morning. So, I didn't change clothes.

In front of everyone, in a loud voice, Chloƫ says, "Mom? Why are you still wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday?!"

All I could do was giggle.



So I was just over on 5 Minutes For Mom again, and they're having some more really cool giveaways, in addition to the cookbook I posted about last night. There are some preschool computer games, and certificates for Giftventure, a really cool way for kids to get an adventure in their mailbox. I'd so looove to win that one; it sounds like it'd be a lot of fun for our kids as well as our neices and nephew.

Anyway, head on over to 5 Minutes For Mom to enter these and all their other great Summer giveaways from now until June 18th!