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Entries from August 2008

...But Who's Counting?

It's been a lazy birthday weekend so far. We did naught.

I stayed up until about 2:30 AM Friday night, working in my new craft room! I was finishing up my 2007 scrapbook, finally.

Apparently the children are getting used to waking up early, because they arose before 0700 and woke me up, wanting some breakfast. Argh! Sleep, children! It's Saturday, for Pete's sake!

So I got up, fed the three of them, and sent them to clean up and try and find Chloƫ's missing cupful of caterpillars - yes, seven-year-olds are as irresponsible as six-year-olds, who knew? - while I went back to work on my scrapbook. And I finished it!

The kids went upstairs to jump in the bed and say happy birthday to Daddy, and he came down grumpy and groaning about being woken up.  But he quickly chippered up enough to help me try and put the fat pages of my scrapbook together.

It wouldn't go. He kept asking Jack to be quiet while we worked on squeezing that thing together. No dice.

So, on his own birthday, that wonderful husband went to Michael's for me to get some extra posts for the book, and to Panera next door for our lunch.  I had another MyPoints gift card to use there!

He brought home the bounty, and after we ate, we fought with my scrapbook some more. More silence demanded of the noisy son.  We had to use actual tools to hold the flood of pages back from the screws. It was pretty funny. When we finally got the last post screwed together, we cheered!

Ah, simple pleasures.

I took a nap after that. I was supposed to go grocery shopping, but I couldn't keep my eyes open. Rob put the kids down and lay next to me on the couch. We napped as a family.

I woke up no fewer than six hours later! Oops. Too late to shower and go grocery shopping. And we didn't have enough eggs to make Rob's cake, so... we'll have to do that tomorrow.

For his birthday, he received (ahead of time) a new iPod, some pizza for dinner, and I rented the Bob Dylan biopic from Netflix for him to watch. That's about it. Oh, and he got a bunch of cards in the mail from both our families.

He seems happy with that. So, I am too.


An Open Letter To My Husband

You are the reason for my happiness.

Before I met you, I could not fathom ever feeling happy again. I tried to find it, in too many places and many different ways, and failed. But because of you, I know true joy in life.

The instant I read your first email to me, I knew you were The One. I knew I was going to marry you. I knew you were going to be my life, my heart, my everything.

It has not been an easy road that we've traveled together. We've already seen the sickness and health, the better or worse, the richer (not so much!) and the poorer. But through it all, you remain steadfast and true, honorable, and loving. We are a good team. I'm sure there will be many more bumps in the road for us, but I know that you will be there through thick and thin, never wavering.

You give and give of yourself, and you rarely take in return. It is so hard to get you to accept some token of my love and appreciation, and yet I want to shower you with them every chance I get. You deserve more. You deserve better. And yet you do nothing but make me feel as though I deserve you.

It's in the small things and the big things. The way you work a full day, a full week and more, and still come home and make dinner, put the kids to bed, and do the dishes - without complaint. The way you rub lotion on my feet just because I asked you. The way you fetch my pills and a drink at night, maybe because you know I'll be a looney-tunes without them? The way you work so hard to keep this house in running, working order. The way you willingly accept my demands about certain things, like no guns in the house, or what you're allowed - allowed! - to drive, or bringing "garbage" home to be recycled, or taking a bag with you to the store (even though it may be floral!), or going outside to sharpen your knives because it hurts my ears.

But mostly, it's the way you make me laugh. Whether you're poking fun at some ridiculous thing I've said or making a terrible pun, you keep me in hysterics. Not an easy feat! You know exactly what makes me laugh, and you go there every time. The happiest I can be is when we're sitting and talking into the night, both of us wearing enormous, cheesy grins on our face because we're just so damn fond of each other.

I love your mind. I love your goofy smile. I love your body. I love your heart. I love you. Happy 36th birthday, baby.


Sleepy Mama

Gah. Stupid Typepad ate my post.  I will try to redo it, but you know it's never as good as the first time. And that's not really saying much.

Chloƫ woke me well before 0700 yesterday, to show me what the Tooth Fairy brought her: four fat quarters. She was terribly excited about them, and kept fiddling with them all day before and after school. She just put one in her pocket this morning, to pay for Sno Cone Friday at school!

As much as I would have liked to, I could not go back to sleep after they left for the bus. I had to shower and get Sophie ready for her first day at gymnastics! As I've said several times before on this blahg, she's very flexible and tumbly, and I was interested in seeing how she'd do in a gym class.



She insisted on getting undressed and re-dressed in her leotard "all BY mySELF," as she is frequently fond of saying.


Kitty-bell looked on in interest as the long dressing process unfolded.



Whoops, starting out backward there, kiddo!



Finally, getting it pulled on the right way...



Oomfh, just one more tug!



Finally dressed and wearing her requisite ponytail, she remembered the craft table from the night before.



Alas, she could not get it opened. This was a very good thing.


(Sorry about the crappy picture; I forgot to take off the flash and she moved before I could do it again.) Things did not go quite as I'd planned at the gymnasium. After we waited our turn and the clock read 10:00, she ran to the back of the gym to visit with the big boys and girls. She had apparently thought she would immediately be doing tricks and flips like the gymnasts on the television during the Olympics. Oh, dear. We must start out small, my child.

So her class started with warm-ups. Only, there were about 30 kids for two instructors, and most of them had been there before, if not all year long. She was one of very few newcomers, and they did not take the time to make her feel welcome and comfortable with the procedures. She was very overwhelmed and kept running out and clinging to me. I tried encouraging her to go back in, showing her how much fun they were having jumping around, but she'd have none of it. *sigh*



Finally, after a quick trip to the potty, the group split up into beam, bar and floor exercises. Sophie's group went to the "beam," and she agreed to go give that a try. She was still feeling pouty, however, and would barely move until the instructor, with obvious annoyance, would bounce her down the beam to the next section. There she would wait, until bounced along again, while children piled up behind her.



I understood. She may not be ready for a class. But what broke the camel's back for me was when, after moving to the bar section, they lost track of my brand-new THREE-year-old. She wandered off and got hurt!! A little boy from another class - not even one of the instructors! - brought her up to me, crying (I couldn't see where she was, to know what happened.)

Oh, that was it. After consoling my poor baby, we put on her shoes and left. In the car, I cried hot, angry tears as I vented my ire and frustration to my husband. I was not upset about her lack of willingness, but I was furious over their shoddy class organization and ability to provide a safe, comfortable environment for my child. Thank God I didn't have any money invested in the class, other than her leotard, which I guess is now relegated to the dress-up bin. I know she'll wear it a lot; she loves it. But Rob and I agreed, we are definitely not bringing her back there again.

So, I called up Darlene at Chloƫ's dance academy and signed up Sophia for the 3- and 4-year-old Creative Movement class. She's been asking to go to dance like her big sis, anyway. We already have the leotard. I'll wait and see how she does with this class before I go out and buy her a pair of ballet slippers; she can probably get away with socks at first.

I guess we'll try the gymnastics again in a few years. We really feel that's where she should be. And I'll console myself with the knowledge that Shawn Johnson didn't start until she was six. Hehe!


After Jack returned from school and we had a quick snack, I took the Littles to Stephanie's school, where she teaches fifth grade. She wanted us to visit her in her new classroom, and I thought it would be a fun outing for the kids.



They immediately started finding toys to play with, although the biggest attractions were definitely the wheely chairs! Crash, boom, bang!


Steph kept working on her room, while I wrote out the kids' names for their desks, and we tried to keep the Littles in order. They played with toys on the carpet, drove the chairs around, and wrote on the chalkboard. It was fun for them.



The cutest part was when Sophia had to go potty and Jack, who had already gone, took her hand and led her across the hall to the boys' bathroom! I waited in the hall and listened as they pottied, washed their hands, and chit-chatted. So adorable! ā™„



Soon, we left, to make it home in time for Chloƫ's bus. The Littles needed something more to eat and were desperate for a nap, too. Chloƫ came home in high spirits, and insisted I take this picture of her and her new hairstyle, looking like "Wendy's," as she said.

The  mail had brought some interesting packages today, two of which could not wait to be given to their birthday recipients:



Chloƫ was thrilled when I pointed out a box for her on the craft table. She skipped over and immediately demanded to know what was in it. "Just look!" I told her. "Happy birthday!"


It's a butterfly kit!!



She was amazed as she pulled out all the pieces: butterfly habitat, food and dropper, and finally, the live caterpillars. She loved her present!



I paid for five live caterpillars, but we received seven!! Here's hoping for a few good butterflies.


The kit was definitely a hit with the birthday girl. She carried around those poor critters - and her Tooth Fairy quarters - all night. Fun stuff!



I knew Rob was eager for his present, too, so when it arrived, I had to give it to him instead of making him wait two more days! He had smashed the screen - and gotten chicken soup in it (don't ask) - on his old one, so I'd sent it in to be repaired. We got a brand-new one instead! He's elated, as his nano just doesn't have the capacity he needs for his gigantic music collection. Yay for happy birthday babies!


In the midst of all the excitement, the Schwan's guy came. Whoops, I'd completely forgotten to place an order. So I sat on the steps with the guy and went through the catalog, page by page, and he was utterly patient with me. Very nice. We got a few favorites, and a few new things to try. The entire time he was here, Chloƫ tried getting him to look at her new caterpillars. He played along well.

I did a little crocheting after dinner, making a dish towel to match the washcloth I'd made a few days ago, while we watched the DNC. Yes, we can!! But I was just too tired to blahg or do much else, and konked out well before midnight. Very unusual for me.

I'm still tired, and Sophie's not up yet, so... back to my couch I go.


It's Here! It's Here!!


First things first.

Chloƫ came home today, after her Vice-Principal left me a message saying they were not allowed to pull teeth, with her lower front tooth hanging on by a mere whisper. It hurt, she didn't want to touch it, but couldn't I please do something about it?

"Here, let me have a look," I said. I looked. With my hands. I gave a little twist and boop! Out it came into my handy little hand.



There it is! She didn't squeal or anything. See the pointy part? That was what was hurting her; her gums were bleeding and looked torn. But after it was out, she felt nothing but relief.


You can scarcely see where the baby tooth was, because the adult tooth was already half-grown in behind it! So it doesn't look to bad, not too bad at all. She feels proud. She feels excited. She feels grown. And she is!

The tooth fairy hasn't yet visited. I'm trying to make Rob go up and leave her a buck now...


She was all too excited to put it in the bag she labeled, "Tooth Fairy, this is for you," today at the nurse! She would have none of the idea of making something a little nicer. No. This was the bag.

So that was our big excitement for the day.

I napped after that. The Littles were down, Chloƫ was happily at work on her homework, and I have a cold, so I napped. A good, long one.

And I finished the third of a set of dishcloths for my Etsy shop:


Nice and strong and scrubby and durable, they are.

And then I talked to my gran'pappy. He was in the hospital for 20 days. There were a lot of problems. He ended up having to have some surgery to repair a wire or something in his defibrillator, so they opened up his chest. And put an umbrella stent in his groin, because he has blod clots in both legs. And his blood sugar and pressure were up. And the hospital lost his glasses - that was his biggest complaint! My biggest complaint is that I lost my Grandpa. He was moved to a different hospital, and no one would tell me, and I couldn't reach him. I hate that. He's my grandpa, dammit, and I want to know where he is at all times!

Anyway. He's home now and very happy about it. Sounds good, doing fine. At 82 years young, all he's worried about right now is getting back behind the wheel of his grandmobile.

So, more excitement! My craft table arrived today, more than a week ahead of my expectations!


Rob and I put it together after the big kids were in bed. In other words, he did all the nailin' and screwin' (heh heh), and I sat there and gave him directions. Sounds about right. ;)


Sophia finally woke up from her nap, at 9 PM. She must be growing or something. She's off her feed and sleep schedule. But she was in good spirits, being carried down and snuggled by her daddykins.


Tinkerbell also played a major role in supervising the construction around her.


"Hey! What's all that banging up there?"


Sophia flipped through workbook while the desk was being made. She didn't want to be too far from all the activity. She was an integral part of the process. Who else would have kept asking, "Is it done yet? Is it done yet? NOW??"


Yes, Sophia, now. It's done.


Here it is, with the sewing machine and Cricut on top, waiting for crafty action!!


Fabric on the top shelf, tulle on the bottom and middle shelves, along with the elastic waistbands. The ribbons in the middle will go on the wall rack when it comes. And my shipping stuff will stay hidden below.

100_8334  All of my sewing notions in the door. A place for everything, and everything in it's place.

Ahhhhh. I can't wait to get crafting. Maybe tomorrow, but we have several outings planned... Soon, though!


Chloƫ's Defunct Birthday Party

I guess I never mentioned this on here. Sorry! So many have asked me in emails and the comments, that I thought I should just make a post about it.

We only invited four other girls, to keep the party small and manageable and keep costs down.

Of the four, I haven't heard back from two at all, one can't make it, and the other can't spend the night because she broke her collarbone.

Sooo.... the one that broke her collarbone is going to come out with Chloƫ for dinner and the movies. Maybe ice cream after.

She's fine with that. We're thinking maybe 7 years old is just too young for some moms to consider a sleepover? So we may try this party again when she's about 10.


A Most Unusual Occurrence

Today, I did something completely, radically weird for me since becoming a mother. (Have you noticed I delineate my life like that? Pre- and post-motherhood? Am I alone?)

I got up before the sun this morning and took a shower.

Hold your applause.

Rob woke me up to say goodbye, and my stomach kept me awake, so I thought I might as well get it over with.

After my shower, I woke up the Bobbsey Twins for school, which really did not please them today. Whiny McCrankertons, they were! We all got dressed and went downstairs to finish getting ready. Jack actually ate breakfast! I just put it in front of him, ignored him (he does not like to be watched while he eats), and the next thing I knew, he was slurping milk from his empty bowl.

Think we'll do that from now on.

I waited for Miss Sophie to wake up, and then we went for a breakfast shop to Panera. I'd had three such shops, but I canceled two due to lake of awakiness. So I was patting myself on the back for actually making this one.

Little did I know, I was required to buy an egg sandwich and something off the espresso menu.

If you know anything about me, it might be that I don't eat eggs (except in usually-chocolate baked goods, because I am nothing if not a hypocrite), and I don't drink coffee products. Bwahahaha, joke's on me!!

So I figured on just feeding the egg sandwich to Sophia, who generally eats anything, and tasting a little bit of the caramel latte I chose. Ha. She wouldn't touch the sandwich, and there's nothing more I hate than waste, so I ate the thing!! Rob was in shock when I told him. It wasn't even gag-inducing. I would do it again. I could probably really use the protein, anyway.

And omg, the latte. It was freaking huge, with as much whipped cream on top as there was coffee in the bowl mug. Soap's eyes went huge and round when she saw it; I had to laugh. So I retrieved a spoon and let her go to town on it. Oh, how I wish I'd had a camera for that spectacle. She gulped and gulped, and her whole face showed it. Hilarious.

Not as funny as when she reached the coffee portion, though, and the expression on her face abruptly changed from one of pleasure to one of disgust. Poor kiddo! What a shock!

Come to find out, I actually enjoyed the thing. It was really good! Probably heavily calorie-laden, but I'm certainly not going to make a habit of it.

Anyway, so I let her go to the bakery and pick out a muffin and a danish for her own breakfast, and we took it home.

But not before stopping at Michael's to return all of the stuff I bought for Chloƫ's now-canceled birthday party. (No one is coming.) That took forever, so we wandered the store while they went through all the items. I bought a new scrapbook for my 2008 pages, a bunch of cute stickers for super-cheap, and a card-making guide.

We returned home to await Jack's return, and then the Littles played in the living room while I made some cards! They're really simple, cute, but kind of lame, I think. I listed them on my Etsy shop today. They're not selling any slower than anything else I'm making, at least! ā˜ŗ

When Chloƫ came home from school, she saw the cards and went nuts over them. I figure if they don't sell (and they won't), she can use them to write notes to people herself.

I did a little knitting, but for some reason, seeing all that yarn on the wall doesn't have me inspired to pick up the hooks and needles. I think I'm just antsy waiting for my new table to come!

Oh, and I cut a couple of inches of Chloƫ's hair today. I could see that it was badly knotted, and when I brushed it all out, the ends were completely fried. Oh yeah, I took some pictures of her huge hair:


Can you see how tiny the little Barbie-doll figure is behind that giant bush of hair?!




One of the Supremes?


After her bath, all stretched down to her bum. That last inch or so was taken off, so it's still really long, just... healthier.

Anyway, this has been a long, boring, rambling post, so good on you if you were able to make it all the way through it!


The Opposite Of Congress

Well, I hate to keep going on about this, but we still have the &*(*#@$  stomach bug. Rob and I do, that is.  Well, I guess the girls do too, although they haven't puked or had accidents this weekend, that I know of. ChloĆ« came downstairs at 3 AM last night and hung out for an hour, because she felt pukey. And Sophie cried and kept running to the toilet today, but she didn't throw up. Rob and I, though, have been sick, sick, sick. It's really getting old. Lysol City!

I have been working on the office/craft room some, though. It's really coming along.

Here is what it looked like after the recamier and the little trunk that we got in Panama City were taken:




Pretty gross!! There was crap everywhere. Boxes, junk, dog hair, dead bugs, rotten grapes... ew. We really oughtta pull out the furniture more often!

And here's how it looks now:


I got rid of some textbooks that I'll never use again, and all the old magazines (I had, like, a whole YEAR's worth of unopened, in-the-plastic Reader's Digests!!!). So I put all my craft books and patterns on the top shelf, all the scrapbooks in the jute newspaper/magazine box, and the black magazine boxes you can sort of see on the right there will house ONLY current issues of magazines and those I will use again and again, like for scrapbooking or knitting.  I'm sure things will get moved around some more before I'm through, but for now they're staying put.



The table looks messier here than it really is. And it will get better. I have a craft/sewing table on order from Target; it should arrive in a week or two and will house most of that junk. The sewing machine and Cricut will stay on top, and some of that is stuff I'm Freecycling.



My new yarn display! They are just milk crates from Target, tie-wrapped together for stability. The cat is going nuts with it, though. The first night I had it set up, she was dashing in and out, stealing balls of yarn and tearing around the house with them. It was funny but aggravating. I think she's gotten used to it now. If not, I'll have to find a spray bottle of water!!  I would need about 30 of these to house all my yarn, though, so I will have to still keep the majority of it in bins. I'm going to make a huge dent in my stash before I go buying any (or much, I should say) more.



So I really just have to clear off the desk and that one little corner behind Chloƫ's desk, and then it'll be all set until my new craft table arrives! I'm excited!

This is what I'm getting from Target:

Desk closed


That's it closed, except I'm getting the cherry and not the pine. The left side lifts up for extra table space.

Desk open


And that's the open version, in the cherry. Awesome, right?? I can store so many itty-bitties in there.

I'm also getting this railing stuff to put my ribbons and some smaller supplies on:


...but that will be the end of September or so, before it arrives, for some reason.

I'm so excited! I can't wait to get crafty. Chloƫ has been on me to start sewing again, so I hope to make her happy soon!


Don't Count Your Chickens...

So we're not done with that stomach bug, apparently.

Considering ChloĆ« pooped her pants at school, didn't feel like sharing that with anyone and sat in it for the rest of the day. EW! She told me about it when she got home, and I kind of flipped and told her how gross that was. She cried, I felt bad, but damn. Do NOT sit in messy, gooey poo at the age of 7 years old, girl! I sent her upstairs to shower, and then we hugged and talked about it calmy when she came back down.  Poor thing. I know her stomach was upset, but I just wish she'd gone right to the nurse so I could come and get her, or at least bring her some clean clothes!

And then Sophia pooped in her undies tonight, again with the liquid upset-tummy poo. I put her in a diaper after cleaning her up. No sense having a repeat performance.

My poor kids! They haven't been complaining, really, though. So it must not hurt them like it was killing me the other day. At least there's that.

We had a semi-busy day. Nothing in the morning, but when Jack got home, we went out  to Goodwill to see what I could find in the way of a craft table, or the two kitchen chairs I needed, or maybe a nice sweater to unravel for the wool, or anything, really. I found nothing. Jack and Sophie had a good time with all the toys until I made them leave them behind. I just don't like the idea of used toys from someone I don't know.

On the way out, I spotted the PERFECT table, exactly what I wanted. It was already sold, though. I even offered to give her MORE for it, but she wouldn't take it. Hehe.

So we went to Hancock's after that, because they had a craft table on sale in the ad. I found a different one there, with drawers in it, but they didn't have it in stock (just the display one). So again, we left empty-handed.

Oh, I lie, I found a shot glass rack at the thrift store. I'll use that to display my growing collection. ā˜ŗ

We headed home after that, because ChloĆ« was going to be back from school, but stopped at Subway for some take-home lunch.  Jack was again in a crybaby, whiny mood because he didn't get a car at the store (he thinks every time someone goes to the store, he gets a car), so I told him IF he took a good nap, actually lay down and went to SLEEP for once, instead of running around and playing the whole time, I would buy him a Hot Wheels car at Target when we went after he woke up. He agreed.

It worked! He slept and slept and was a total joy after he woke up. I know that's what his problem is lately. I just can't get him to actually sleep. I hate to bribe him every time, but man, he really needs his extra rest, since he doesn't go right to sleep on weeknights and that school wake-up comes too early for him. Anyway, I'm rambling. I'll have to figure something else out.

So after naps, we went to Tar-zhay. I wanted to look at their office storage supplies, see what they had for my new crafty room. I found nothing, again. But I did get Jack's car, and some waterproof mattress covers for each of the kids' beds (must have those, future parents!), and some milk crates from the laundry area for displaying/storing my yarn and stuff. Oh, and some Choxie. I have to get a little Choxie every time I go to Target, which is maybe twice a year.

Back at home, I gave the kids some dinner (they requested Easy Mac; could they have made it ANY easier on me? I don't think so) and cleaned up a little. Then they went down in the living room to play while I got started on the office. Someone came from freecycle to pick up the cool wooden trunk we got in Panama City (FL, not Panama!) but don't use, and my old filing cabinet. I vacuumed up and cleaned out all the crap (and there was tons) from behind the trunk and the recamier. (I keep saying 'recamier' just for you, E.)  Tie-wrapped together my new crates for the yarn....

And then Rob came in, chagrined that I hadn't put the kids down for bed yet. Oops. I lost track of time, between all that and my monthly crochet-a-thon thing happening tonight. And that's where I'll be tonight, until I win my first prize of the year, dangit!

So. Have a good weekend. I plan to get a swim in, by George!


Feeling Pangs Of Sadness

I'm getting rid of my old life right now. My old self is going to the recycling bin.

What I mean is, since I'm redoing my office into a craft room, I'm going through and getting rid of lots of things that we just don't use enough to keep storing. One of those things is my old filing cabinet, which I've had since I graduated college. It's filled with things from my old life:

- Scientific papers I read, discussed, taught about, sweated over... in graduate school.

- My acceptance into the most prestigious Ph.D. program on the planet in my field! (I still remember the day I got it, what a feeling!)

- My applications to grad school

- Transcripts galore

- Statements of my goals and dreams, applications for fellowships, all kinds of academic, intellectual hoo-ha

There's also mad, passionate love letters from the beginning of Rob's and my relationship, all kinds of cards and letters I've received since I was a kid, and information about having a baby from when I was pregnant with Chloƫ Raine.

It's bittersweet. If I could keep everything, I would. But I am trying to get out of that packrat mentality, because the inner me really wants to be a minimalist. I am keeping some of that stuff, of course - it's necessary to have the transcripts and rƩsumƩs - but I am dumping a lot of it right into the recycling bin.

I had a wistful thought, for a second: "Back then, I thought I was going to become something someday. Be someone."

But then another shoved that away: "You are. A mom."

And another: "And it's not too late..."

Time will tell what I end up doing with my life. If this is it, so be it. I am surrounded by those I love and who love me. And that, right now, is enough.



I am plagued with bad dreams, especially about losing my children. It's been happening with increasing frequency lately. I've been shouting out in my sleep, angry and scared.

It's 5 AM and I just woke up with two very bad back-to-back nightmares. In the first one, Jack was kidnapped. We later found him, but then I had a second one, where all three went missing after Rob left them in his car. We later found them, again, but in the interim were some very scary, sickening moments. I woke up shouting angrily at him about it, then sobbing while he held me. It was a really bad one; I wanted to throw up.

Both times, I was in the eye doctor about to get surgery on my eyes. The only explanation I can think of for that is that I've been thinking more and more about having LASIK done...

Anyway,  I needed to get up and 'talk' about it, get it off my chest, so I could go back to sleep. Hopefully I'll be able to now.


ABBA Cadabra

Day 34 of serious tummy upset...

So, I didn't do much other than lie down again today. I'm sorry, I had plans, I wanted to do things with the kids, but I was just completely wiped out. Rob, too, but he had to be wiped at work.

This morning, someone from Craigslist came over and gave me $45 for some of our Little People set. Hopefully I can sell the rest and get some more cash toward the Escalade. She was really nice, too; I'm hoping to hear from her again. She has twin boys - and two other kids - and told me she read about CARE Package from my emails. She hopes to help out in some way.

This evening, after I showered, and Rob was home, and Stephanie was here to babysit, the lady came to pick up the recamier. Only, she brought me a check for the full $300 because it was a day later than she meant to pick it up and for the 'inconvenience' of making me go to the bank with her check. Well, okay, fine by me! It cost me four minutes of time to do that, for $15. I'll take it.

The office looks completely different without it. Messy, but much bigger and more open. I'm imagining the possibilities. I can't wait to get it fixed up to be a full service craft room. Fun, fun.

Tonight, we had a date, The Bob and I. Stephanie came over, and the kids were so excited to see her. As was the dog. I guess it had been a while since she was here. We'll need to make plans to get together soon. Steph, you're invited anytime, you know that, dear! Rob has to work tomorrow night or I'd have suggested something.

Anyway, so we went to see Mamma Mia. "Total chick flick," in Rob's words. He gave it a 2.5, I gave it a 4.5. Pierce Brosnan definitely can not sing, but he's still handsome, so who cares? I loved Meryl Streep's acting in it. Some parts were iffy, but it was a fun  movie, and it made me laugh and cry. I'd watch it again if it were on TV or something.  Steph and Tim and Rob all I agree that I should have taken Stephanie with me!

It was eight bucks for the night, since we had no dinner beforehand, used that $20 AMC giftcard I won in the movie prize pack a couple months ago, and paid Stephanie in peek-a-blocks! Very budget friendly.ā˜ŗ

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get to the thrift store to find some sort of crafting/sewing table. Eek, I can't wait! Steph, wanna come with me?


Jiminy Christmas!

In the (almost) seven years that I have been a mother, I don't think I have ever looked forward to bedtime as much as I am right now.

It's past bedtime, but that's beside the point. They're still up. They're getting ready, but they're up.


1. Jack has been supremely whiny today. And crybaby. His cries and whines are piercing to the ears.  And he has been shouting and yelling. He is fighting nonstop with his sisters, especially Sophia. He is the loudest mofo you will ever meet in such a little, tiny package! I want to put my head through the wall tonight. Seriously.

2. I'm feeling quite a bit better, but not 100%. Rob has it, and Chloƫ ate a good dinner and then immediately yakked it up all over the kitchen. It's high time we kicked this bug to the curb. At least, since all three of my children have vomited and only one of them is prone to it at all, we know that's what it was.

3. I didn't nap. I've gotten used to my naps.

4. Barbara came today, and from the time Jack and Rob came home (almost simultaneously) until we had to be home for Chloƫ's arrival from school, we ran and ran and ran.

    a. First stop, the Post Office, to return Rob's iPod. He broke it, and I'm having it fixed for his birthday. I also had to mail out the last sample of Soap Nuts.

    b. Then we had to run home again, because I forgot to tell Barbara not to clean our shower (the leak), or warn her about the big pile of Sophia puke that we have been unable to fully get out of the carpet. Right next to me. Where my foot keeps wanting to go. {ahem}

    c. Panera!! I haven't been since we first came back from Europe, and since it was a Babs day, well. We just had to go, didn't we? Rob didn't eat at all, and Jack barely ate, so it was a pretty inexpensive visit, all things considered. We had to stop twice to rush Sophie to the bathroom to puke, but she never did. Hope she doesn't do it in her bed tonight.

    d. Toys R Us, to check out Power Wheels toys for Jack's big Christmas present. He asks about 400 times a day for a truck to drive around, and another 400 times he asks how many days until Christmas. I thought he'd pick the motorcycle, or the 4-wheeler, but he chose the Cadillac Escalade. We could scarcely coax him out of it when it was time ot leave! There was much ado. The girls won't nearly have as big of presents - we're severely cutting back this year - as we'll really have to save up for this one. But, that's why I'm selling older toys. If you find a good deal on the 'lade, please do let me know!

    e. Avenue, the 'fat lady' store. A friend on one of my message boards posted a coupon for $10 jeans from there! So I went and picked out a 'halfway there pair,' for when I'm halfway to my goal weight after having surgery.They're pretty nice, too. For ten bucks; can't beat that.

    f. Walgreen's, to drop off my prescriptions. And, oh shoot, I completely forgot about picking them up. Guess I know where I'm going after this!

    g. Farm Fresh (our neighborhood grocery store), to pick up milk, and a couple other staples.

We didn't have any milk for cereal this morning, and the kids won't eat anything else in the short time they have available before leaving for the bus. So I gave Jack a dollar and told the kids to eat breakfast at school (ChloĆ« has a lunch money account for that). Well, both Jack and ChloĆ« - whom I asked independently of each other, so that neither knew the other's answers - insist he did not eat breakfast. Nor did he have anything to drink. And yet the lunch ladies took his dollar anyway! WTF? Who steals from a five-year-old boy? So I will be calling the school about that tomorrow. This is not the first instance of this, either.

    h. Home, to wait for Chlo and give the Littles a nap. 

I was going to go to the thrift store, to see what I could find, but I wanted to look for tables and chairs, and Rob wasn't up to it. He took a long nap until his tummy woke him up, while I helped ChloĆ« with her homework. Then we photographed all the Little People, yet again, for the person who is interested in them.  We have a lot of those critters!

Well, I better get off to the pharmacy, then. Sure, now that it's all peaceful in the house. I couldn't have thought to leave during all the ruckus?


Baby Fever: Alive and Well

I have decided: I want another baby.

And we would get to work on that immediately, if only I had a uterus and Rob had the intact testicles to make one!

I don't think infertility treatments can overcome these obstacles, do you?


PS I'm still coming off the stomach bug (so glad my children didn't seem to have it as rough as I do), and now Rob is at the doc to try and come home, because he has it, too. Go the *^)(*&( away, germ-vermin!

Stomach Bug Redeux

I neglected to mention yesterday that, despite our pretty good day, both Jack and Sophia threw up. Jack puked in ChloĆ«'s bed overnight, and Sophie all over me while I was sitting here checking email. A huge amount, neither Rob nor I could even clean it all up! Poor things.

It came out of nowhere, and they both seemed fine before and afterward, so I was stunned and confused.

Until today. My turn again! Remember I had it last week? Well, that sucker whipped right back around and hit me hard again today. It wasn't just nausea and vomiting but excruciating pain in my abdomen all day. So much so that I was crying at one point. Eventually I had to call 'uncle' and ask Rob to come home to take care of the kids.

Fortunately, he was able. I tried to get in to the doctor (a stipulation whenever he has to come home for something like that), but they couldn't see me until Thursday! It definitely didn't feel like an ER moment, so I just went back to the couch and stayed there all day, all night.

I haven't even had the strength to pick up my needles. That's sad. I did get bored enough during the women's beam final to whip out a crocheted dishcloth, and maybe I'll go back and knit now. It will be my only accomplishment for the day.

Here's hoping tomorrow is much better.


Co-Ed Naked Olympic Water Balloon Throwing

I nearly forgot it was not still the weekend when my alarm went off this morning. I kept hitting the button, until it finally dawned on me that this was Monday and I needed to wake the children. But, they got off to the bus on time, and all was well. Actually, when I went into their room, Jack was downstairs watching TV already!

Sophie was still konked out, so I watched the Today show coverage from Beijing for an hour while I finished knitting another dishcloth. It's pretty cool. I'll show pictures when I finish the set of three for Etsy.

She continued to sleep, and by 9 I was nodding off, so I re-set my alarm and took a morning nap. I had to get up at 10, and she was awake by then, so it was time to start our day in earnest. I showered, got us dressed, fed, and out the door.

I had to go see my prescribing shrink about my bipolar meds. Last month, my doses were increased because I was having weird withdrawal-like side-effects even though I wasn't missing my dose. Everything's fine, so we decided to stay there. Normally, this guy is a complete ass about my having my children there, but this time and last he was actually kind of nice to Sophie. He even smiled at her sweet, intelligent little chatter today. She makes amusing, interesting statements all day long, and I imagine he could not help but be charmed by her, as I am.

We got home just before Jack did. I was nervous about the timing, but it worked out. Next time, I won't schedule the appointment so close.


Nice, right? You can laugh! I made these after the boy-child's triumphant return from school. These wings are harder to make than I imagined they would be! It's because I bought the wrong guage wire, thinking higher number would mean thicker. I should have known. I'll have to take the remaining wire back to Michael's and exchange it for something else, or all our birthday party wings will be wonky and crappy looking! Sophia and Jack both liked these, though, and clamored to wear them. I still need to decorate them and make the elastic harness to wear them before they can do so. Any suggestions would be most welcome.


While the wings dried - and the fumes aired out - I filled dozens of balloons for the children to throw.



Sophie's got quite an arm on her!



As usual, Jack's favorite targets were my car and his (Chloƫ's former Barbie) trike. He didn't want me to throw any at him, so I kept doing it just to make him holler. Heh heh. Hey, I never claimed to be the nicest mother in the world!



Sophie whimpering because Jack grabbed the last balloon in the basket away from her. Aw, there, there, sweetie - we'll just have to fill more!

And so we did.

After a few rounds, we had to go in and dry off. I had a woman coming over from Craigslist to look at our recamier. We bought it five years ago for $400. She arrived, looked it over carefully, felt it up and down, and proclaimed it to be perfect. She offered me $285 for it, and I readily accepted!! I was hoping for anything over $200. Not a bad deal. Now I can use that money to spiff up the office, which is quickly becoming a craft room. I'm going to miss that gorgeous fainting couch, and so will everyone else, but we need the space now for other things.

It's all about change, looking forward, not looking back right now!

I did a little knitting after that, while the Littles settled down and watched some Noggin. I love watching the two of them, lying next to each other on the floor, both with their left thumbs in their mouths and their rights twiddling their fair hair. It's not the greatest thing to do, encouraging crooked teeth and knotty hair, but it's still sweet to see.



Not so much, this! Sophia tackled Jack after he took a toy away from her. This happens ALL the time. It's pretty funny, though. And yes, she IS wearing the cut-off pantyhose from the wings! Silly girl.

Back to the Olympics. Nastia was short-changed, man.


Lazy Weekend

We sat around and watched the Olympics as a family for much of this weekend. I think it's important to watch; I want the kids to remember it being on and getting into it with us.  Sophia is now, finally, interested and excited about gymnastics. She has been begging to do dance with ChloĆ«, but we've been telling her to give gymnastics a try. She is just so flexible and tumbly, and we know she will love it when she sees what it is like.

Problem is, now ChloĆ« and Jack are begging to do it, too! I have already paid for ChloĆ«'s three dance classes this year (well, for September anyway), and all of her dance clothes, so that's not happening. We'll see how Jack feels about it this coming week, since the papers for U6 soccer haven't come out yet.

So far, in my opinion, ChloĆ« is not particularly talented in dance, but she is not even seven yet. But neither Rob nor I are very athletic, so it will be interesting to see how they do in their various physical activities. I was a good dancer, though; just wish I was allowed to stick with it!

We failed to meet my goal of watching all 3 of our Netflix movies this weekend. We did watch Oceans Thirteen, which was eh, okay. The disc for Hairspray didn't work, and we just didn't feel like watching A Mighty Heart. Have any of you seen it? Are we going to be emotionally distraught from watching it?

We also failed to meet my goal of going to the pool. Gah! I hate wasting an entire summer weekend, not swimming. It makes me really want to go on Mondays, after school, but of course the pool is closed those days. MUST. GO. SWIMMING. This week!

We did accomplish some changing around of the living room. Mainly the toys. I've gotten rid of all Jack's train stuff, and we are trying to get rid of Little People. Folks on Craigslist are really lowballing their offers to me for them, though, and we have a ginormous collection that I hate to just give away like that. I'm holding out... And Steph is going to take the Peek-a-Blocks, so that will really free up a lot of toy space. I'm just so tired of our house looking like a toy factory exploded in there!

And there is so much clutter. That is my next target. Papers, craft stuff, random little things that just pile up... go! away!

Back to women's gymnastics. Have a great week!


Pirouettes and Motorcycles


After he came home from school today, Jack was hot to trot to go out side and shoot waterguns. I figured now was as good a time as any to finally break out the Crayolaā„¢ toys the kids had gotten for, um, Christmas, as well.



It was blazing hot outside, so I was begging Jack to shoot me with his gun, along with his sister and - his main target - my car!



I thought it was hilarious when I was shooting Sophie "to make her dress black," per her request, and she started drinking the water instead!


Jack channels his inner Andy Warhol.



Jack really enjoyed the splatter toy on the chalk paint wand. We'll definitely need to buy more of that chalk paint. It was such fun. Sophie preferred to mix yellow and blue to make green, over and over and over. Try as I might to get them to branch out to the rest of the driveway, they really prefer to just stick with this one small area near the porch - until they spotted an entirely empty neighbor's driveway! Sorry, Miss Price...



My Summertime Girl.



Sophia was ecstatic when this little guy flew right up next to me. She tried to grab him, but he jumped off. Then a butterfly flew by, and she had a top-of-her-lungs argument with me, trying to tell me it was a moth. I never know whether to force the issue when I know she is wrong or just agree with her to get her to stop yelling!

After a while, it was just too hot to be outside any longer, so we went inside for ice water until ChloĆ« came home from school.  Then we were off again!


This time, it was for our FIFTH (!!!!!) annual pilgrimage to JetƩ, the dancewear store. Here, she gets fitted for tap shoes. She'll be taking Tap I again, since she skipped it last year, as well as moving up to Ballet I and Jazz I!



Trying on ballet shoes. We got both pairs of shoes, three leotards for her, black tights, pink tights, and a gymnastics leotard for Sophie, to the tune of $139. Whew! At least we get a discount for the dance school she attends.


Two little heinies, fighting over one small seat!



Sophia trying to peek in while her sister gets dressed



And speaking of astronomical expenses, Rob's nearly-$400 motorcycle helmet arrived today. I balked when he told me how much he spent on it, but he replied that he thought his head was worth that much to me. Well, when you put it that way... Dry


Thing is bigger than he is! He looks like an alien. It's really uncomfortable for him right now, especially taking it on and off. He better get used to it, the motorcycle should be here soon!

That's about our day. Happy weekend, everyone!



NOT Going Back To Cali


It's been a rough couple of days for me. I had to suck it up last night and go see my therapist for the first time in a while, and then go to my monthly Bunco night. I was able to eat a little bit there, and of course I really enjoyed myself as usual. We had several newcomers and lots of 'old' faces, so it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the one I can't stand wasn't one of the missing!

Today was worse, though, as I reported earlier. No need to rehash that. I barely made it off the couch before 6 PM. Fortunately, there was lots of fruit in the fridge for the kids to eat, and I just kept sending them in there to get it!

As an aside, I have a problem with that. I like to keep lots of fresh fruit on hand, and many times I want to eat it myself but don't so there is enough for the children. It can be hard to eat healthy myself when there needs to be plenty of good food for them. Do you have a similar struggle? I know I need to be a good food role model for them as well, but it's so expensive these days! Just something we have to work on, I guess. Wish there were one of those wonderful co-op farms around here that we could join.


So I've been getting call after call about taking ChloĆ« to the L.A. Casting Convention that's coming up next weekend. We finally talked about it and agreed to go, but I've just sat here and finished doing the bills and... it's just not possible.  Fortunately I discovered this before plunking any money down for airfare or anything. I just have to cancel our hotel reservation.  I'm disappointed, but that's the way it is right now. Gotta pay it down, gotta pay it down... it would have been a really good opportunity for her, though, to get in front of only casting directors - no managers and agents this time - and I know she would have been well received.

But she'll be doing tap, jazz and ballet, Brownies, and possibly a theater class. That's enough right now. Soon I'll put Sophia in gymnastics, and Jack really wants to do soccer.

I'm totally rambling, I know it.

I did do a lot of knitting tonight while watching the Olympics (Yay, Michael Phelps! Yay Nastia and Shawn!). I'm working on a baby dress in the same multi-colored Noro Kureyon Sock yarn that I made the booties and jester hat out of. It will be for sale on Etsy when it's finished.

Well, I guess I'll wrap it up here. Hopefully I'll have something a bit better and more coherent for you tomorrow.


I'm Dying, I Tell You!

OMG. I feel wretched.

All day yesterday, I had a migraine and was nauseous and vomiting. I didn't eat a thing, but I kept yakking up the tilapia we had for dinner the night before. (Sorry.) I thought I would feel better after that, but I don't.

Now, I still have a headache, and the nausea, and I have a sore, stiff neck and back. I'm thinking, "OH, it's meningitis, how lovely!"

As far as I can tell, no fever. So that's good.

Anyway, that's why I haven't blogged. I'll be back when it's over.


WFMW: Getting My Warm Fuzzies


I'm the kind of person who needs to de-stress on a regular basis. I don't know about you, but I'm a little nutty and can tend to get worked up easily. One of the ways I dump that stress is by knitting and crocheting, but a much faster way I can do it is by getting my warm fuzzies.

If you're a {good} parent, you probably get that feeling from holding your children, kissing their heads, stroking their backs, etc. I need to do this at length every single day, with each of my children. If one of them isn't in a cuddly mood, I just grab one who is! They need it, and I need it.

Another great way is from my pets! Studies show there are great benefits from simply having animals around, but actually petting them? Even better. Simply put, stress dissipates and happiness fills the void. If my kiddos aren't around or in a snuggly mood, I have a bunny, cat, and dog at my disposal! And they are all down with a good petting session. It really works, too. I can literally, physically feel myself loosening up, losing the tension, relaxing, and feeling better.

And that's important.  Does it work for you, too?


Major Brownie Points

Score two for The Bob!

Yesterday, Jack had an appointment with the pediatric endocrinologist at such a time that would have made it impossible for me to be home for Chloƫ's bus. At less than seven, we think she's still far too young to be a latch-key kid just yet, so... I asked Rob to leave work early to take him to the appointment. (Nice Japanese neighbor lady is on vacation.)

He did.

To give me a break, and also because I was unable to get Sophie in for her 3-year check-up just yet, he brought her along, too.  Both of them were weighed and measured, and he was able to catch her up on all her shots without an appointment! I'm not at all worried about her development, in any area, so that'll do for this year, IMO.


Jack is 3 'Ā¼" tall; Sophia is exactly 2" taller. She weighs about 31 pounds; he weighs just below 28.  He is obviously still below the 'normal' curve, but he is following his own curve just fine. No plateaus, no spikes, just a regular shape below the normal! The shots are doing their job, and we will continue. His dose wasn't even increased. Sophia cried when she was given her shots but stopped immediately after. Everything went well!

When he came home, I was napping, and he put everyone down for nap/quiet time. His computer battery died, so he was on my computer, and the mouse clicking woke me. I instantly had a migraine. And no migraine medicine (note to self: put that on to-do list).

That was no good, since it was Open House night. I was just NOT in a position to be able to go, and besides, the kids were all asleep. So again, Daddy stepped up and went by himself!

I really wanted to go, both to hear how the kids are doing in their classes (especially Jack, to see how he's coping despite his size and 'issues'), and to see how the gifted class is being run. I asked him to pay close attention, and he came home with a great report!

Jack's teacher loves him, and so does Chloƫ's. He wasn't surprised; people generally do love our kids! <beaming> He's coping very well, gets along great with the other kids, and is doing nice work. I have been giving him printing "homework" every day, which he cries and fusses about, but his schoolwork has been nicer than I hoped!

Chloƫ's class is being well-run, from the sound of it. The gifted teacher comes in for inclusion lessons a few times a week, but no one is pulled out. They learn the same things as the other kids, just a little faster and more in-depth. I worry about her with the math, as usual, but so far it's going well.

And, Jack's teacher is pregnant and due in October! I had NO clue. She is a tiny little thing but did not appear to be showing at the back-to-school picnic a month ago! Good for her.

And, regarding Sophia, she is learning to read! It's funny, because when I was three, I just started reading off the cereal box out loud one day, to my parents' astonishment. Well, a couple of days ago, Rob and I were in the kitchen, and she started reading off all the letters from her cereal box. One after another, she got them all right, and found more and more letters to decode all over the box. We have been working on the reading website, and I think it has been paying off! Maybe I'll move her up to the next level...

Welp, I'm going to go do some crocheting. I'm making some more washcloths, and a baby sweater, for Etsy.



So this morning, I didn't hear my alarm, and it was the one morning so far Rob didn't call to make sure I was up. I overslept by about a half-hour. Jack woke me up. Well, he woke up the dog, who woke me up. I sent him upstairs to wake up the girls and get dressed, while I finished waking up. We rushed out the door (Poptarts for breakfast, suck!) and got to school about 11 minutes late. Not too bad.

There is an old man, a volunteer, who sits at the front door every morning to help get the stragglers signed in and give them a sticker. Another lady actually does the signing in and gives out the passes to get into class.

I first started signing the book in front of the old man, who told me to get "her" signed in and give "her" a sticker. I told him they were both students. Jack was wearing a backpack. When he realized Jack was coming to school, too, he said with a smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eye, "Oh, I think you forgot his diaper bag!" because of his small size.

I said, "What?!" and he repeated it. I told him, "Uh, I don't think that's very funny."

When I talked to the Vice Principal on the phone a few minutes later, about the services Jack's supposed to get but not receiving, I complained to her about that. Jack heard what the man said! Do you agree I should be upset about the lack of sensitivity? Or am I being too sensitive?