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Entries from September 2008


I'm getting sick of tutus.

Sort of.

And then again, I'm not.

They're fun to make, and they're just so pretty. Each time I make a new one, when it's finished, I have to admire it for a minute or two and think, "Well that may just be the purtiest one yet!"

Good thing.

It's just over a month to the big holiday bazaar, so I have plenty of time to get things ready. In the meantime, I found a bunch of smaller shows listed in the paper, and I called them all up tonight to see about being a vendor. No one's gotten back to me yet, but if they do, I'll be doing that for the next two Saturdays and getting a feel for the tutu market! Fortunately, these are much much cheaper to enter, and I'd only need to sell one or two to make up my entrance fee.

The Bigs went to school today for the fall intersession classes. There are two sets of classes: "plus" for the kids doing well and "paws" for those that need a bit of extra help. Both of them were invited to the "plus" classes! Chloƫ's is about camping, and Jack's is about farm animals. It's like pulling teeth to get him to talk about what they did today, but I did hear a few times about milk coming from cows and eggs coming from chickens, and the like. Chloƫ had a ton of fun and is bringing a pillow and sleeping bag with her to school tomorrow. No more desks and chairs for the rest of the week! Sounds like a hoot.

I screwed up today, though. I thought they got out of school at 12:30 PM, when in actuality it was noon. So at 20 after twelve, the school called me to say the kids had been taken back there because no one met them at the bus stop. Oooops. Rushed right over and picked them up, looking like a big, fat idiot. I won't be making that mistake again!

They both needed to rest, so I played with Sophia while the Bigs rested, after lunch.  All she wanted to do was watch Noggin, but I tried to engage her in other tasks. We sang a few songs and read a couple stories, but she didn't want to do any arts and crafts with me. Bah. And we can't tomorrow, either, because it's a Barbara day.

After the Bigs got up and had snacks, we took ChloĆ« to Ballet. Again, I just dropped her off and ran to A.C. Moore to use my Tuesday-only coupon. I picked up a stamp set, because at some point I'd like to start making cards and need to stock up on them. I think I have all of three now, plus a set of alphabets. And three stamp pads. But one at 50% off a week should build me up!

We went back to the studio and sat in the van while the rain poured down heavily around us. Every time the thunder boomed, the Nons screamed in fear. Poor kids. Especially Sophia, who is terrified of thunder. Meanwhile, I crocheted and finished a project for a friend, which I can't show you because she reads this and doesn't know about it yet!

It was still coming down when we got home, so we sat in the car to wait it out. I normally just put ChloĆ« in her dance clothes - shoes and all - so I don't have to wait forever and a day for her to change, and I didn't want  her getting ruined in the rain and muck. So I finished my crocheting while the kids unbuckled and moved freely about the cabin, er, van. They love pressing all the buttons and moving things around, checking the lights, looking in the mirrors. It's cute and I like watching them explore and experiment, as long as they don't touch the no-no buttons like the ignition and my radio presets!

Finally it let up, so we moved inside. Rob came in just as the kids and I were about to start baking brownies for dessert. He cleaned up the kitchen while we baked. I forgot to take pictures; I have camnesia again lately. The kids did just about everything but the heavy lifting, this time! We just used a mix, so it was quick and easy. Chloƫ sprayed the pan. Jack dumped the brownie mix in the bowl. Sophia added the walnuts. Jack added the vegetable oil. Sophia dumped in the water. Chloƫ cracked the egg (in a separate bowl, in case she busted it all up - this was her first time!) and poured it into the bowl. She did a great job. They all took turns stirring, and when I got the bowl at the end to mix up whatever they didn't get, there wasn't anything! They did it all. Chloƫ helped me pour the mix into the pan. Jack got to lick the wooden spoon, Chloƫ the rubber scraper, and Sophia, well:


She got the bowl. She stuck her whole head in it, rather than dipping her fingers in and licking them like I would do! (Photo courtesy of her highly amused father.)

All three of them ate a really great dinner so they would be able to get brownies for dessert. They seemed to take extra pleasure in the eating, as well they should!

Well, I think I'm going to make yet another tutu and then hit the hay. That will be #32. Ay ay ay.


Hodge Podge

Here's a bandwagon I don't think I'll be jumping on anytime soon: the Twilight  series of books. I just don't have it in me to read about a vampire love triangle. Just tell me when it's over.

One I am jumping on: the mass hysteria about the country's financial wreckage. Scary!!! I'm afraid. Very afraid.

Today was not that special. The kids were off for their Fall Break, though they'll go for the remainder of this week for the Intersession program. (Both the same week, both mornings, yay!) So we got to sleep in a bit and play around and not do much. Chloƫ drew a fabulous picture of The Little Mermaid, and the three of them had a musical afternoon. One would take the cowbell, another the maracas, and a third the bongos, and they would just jam away. It was wonderful, and very loud. I thought I was being a very cool mom by putting up with it, but after about a half hour, I couldn't take that f*******g cowbell anymore and wanted to throw it out the window!

Ah, well, it was fun while it lasted. I wanted to do an art project with them, but I couldn't find a supply I needed. So maybe we'll try that next week when they're off again. Nor did we bake, my back-up plan, because it just turned out to be a much hotter day than expected, and I plain ol' didn't feel like it.

So I made a few more tutus (two dozen are now gracing various surfaces of the office), and then we went up and did laundry after my shower. Chloƫ remains a big helper with the putting-away chores, for which my back is extremely grateful.

I took her to tap class, and again Sophie cried out that she wanted to go dance, too. No tears this time, but I'm glad she's looking forward to it now. We just dropped her off and then went down to A.C. Moore's so I could get some ribbons I needed for the tutes. Only, I'd forgotten to bring my purse with me, so we had to run all the way home first. Gah. There's a half-hour waste of time.

Back at the store, the Nons were so cute running around excitedly telling everyone who'd listen that they wanted this! And look at that! And that! And that! I overheard Jack listing off for Sophia more than once all the things he wanted for his birthday from the store (which is a craft store, much like Michaels, for those who don't have one). I giggled, and the store employee near us giggled, too. I told her, "Hey, I feel exactly the same way in here!"

I collected my ribbons, and a little more tulle, and off we went. Two minutes late to pick up the eldest. Eh, she was fine. Peering out the window when I pulled up, happy to see us.

Rob got home shortly after us, so ChloĆ« and I went out to try and sell more Fall Product. We didn't get very far, though. For one, we ran into several very chatty neighbors this time. One even invited her to her son's upcoming birthday party, which was weird, since they only know us from Girl Scouts fundraising! Another lady was a big ol' whackadoo, obviously lonely, who just kept shouting at us over her mutt's incessant barking. By the time we got out of there, it was very dark, and we had to get home for dinner.  Oh, well, hopefully there will be time tomorrow.

So I'm back to making tutus and watching Dancing With the Stars. Susan Lucci is still driving me batty, with her very soap-operatic ravings even when she's not acting as Erika Kane. Chloris Leachman cracks me up, but she can go. I think I'm rooting for Warren Sapp, my fellow Hurricane! Woosh, woosh!

Rob is doing major surgery on our vacuum cleaner right now. I sucked up some red ribbon, blamed it on the kids (shh), and now it won't suck at all, or do the speedy turbo boost thing it does to save my aching arm. Please pray for Mr. Hoover. There just ain't room in the budget for a new one right now.


Still Making Tulle Belts

The frenzy continues...


Today I'm making more Infant-sized tutus, since I only had two on hand. Granted the show is more than a month away, but I don't want to be stuck at the last minute wishing I'd already made up all the tutes. This one is baby pink and white, and I love the pretty ribbon and flower.


Here's another one in Christmas, for the wee bebes, that just will NOT photograph. I think it's any reds. Weird. It really IS pretty IRL, though.

I'm on my sixth one but forgot to keep taking pictures of them. The current one is rainbow, but of course it won't have any jingle bells on it for baby to choke on. Too bad, I really love the bells and rainbow seems such an appropriate one to put them on!

Next I think I'm going to do an all-copper one, my first solid, because I can't figure out what else to put with copper. It just doesn't look right with any of the other colors I have.

Today, Rob had to stand watch (bah!) all day, so the Neptune Festival was out. I mean, I could have taken the kids down there by myself, but I could also stab myself in the eye with a sharp stick, and that would be infinitely more fun. So I guess we'll have to wait a whole 'nother year for Neptune. At least we know we'll be here.

Still thinking about that yarn shop. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually try and figure out some of the financial terminology my dad told me about, check out SCORE and see who can help me. Running the business, not so fun, but actually HAVING it? Would be tons.

The kids had a no-TV day until after dinner, so they made good use of themselves playing school and other fun pursuits while I played with tutus in the next room. Chloƫ was the teacher, and she worked on spelling and writing with the Littles! It was pretty cool, and fun to listen to. She kept showing me Sophie's amazing writing, which was actually just Chloƫ's holding her little hand.

Well, back to tulle-tying. Not a lot of bloggy variety this weekend, eh?


Tulle Frenzy

Again with the tutus and hairclips tonight. Well, I've only made one pair of clips and might quit; I'm suddenly feeling verah sleepy.


First came this rainbow one. I really like it, but Rob doesn't. What do you think? He's not sure what his problem with it is, but Chloƫ and I both think it's cute, so he can sod off!


Then this wine and black one. My camera didn't like to photograph it. I think it has a problem with tulle. This one's very dark and dramatic. It's pretty. Would be good for portraits.


And lastly, I made this all-pinks one for my friend A, who is going to buy it for her niece. I've been wanting to make one with all the pinks, and I'm glad with how it turned out. So cute!


I made these hairclips to match the last tutu, just in case she wanted some... ;)

I really need to find a big bag of plain, larger silver clips. I can find them online but not in person. All the ones I've found are colored and small! What is the deal? They used to be everywhere.

So have I mentioned here the yarn shop that's for sale in town? I would love, love to own it. It's a rather big store and does a brisk business, and today I had Robert call (because I'm a big chicken) and find out how much it was. $180,000!!!!! With a down payment of $100,000! Oy. I asked my dad for some business advice, because he's nothing if not full of that, and now feel even more completely overwhelmed and in over my head with the idea. I still have dreams and hopes of doing it, and now I know where to begin, but oh, my. I know nothing about business. Time for some swift training!

Today, we were supposed to go to the Neptune Festival down at the oceanfront, but it was rainy and we were tired and cranky. We went to Aldo's for a lunchtime mystery shop, and the kids would not keep still in their chairs at all. I mean, they weren't naughty, they were just bouncy. Rob and I were exhausted from the night before (me from CAT and him from???), and I had gotten up early with the kiddos while he slept, until we were all starving. There was no milk for cereal, and he'd buried the cinnamon rolls, so I had to finally wake him at 1100.

Anyway, so we all went home to nap after the shop and didn't go to either the Festival or to church. Bah. We did have a very nice dinner, though. (Chicken Kiev with wild rice and peas; Schwan's ice cream for dessert as usual.)

Don't know whether I'm going to do more crafty stuff tonight for the bazaar or just take my pills and crash. It's a toss-up.

{Oh, a note to my fellow bloggers: While I'm tying tutus, I'm reading your blogs, but obviously can't post comments with a desk full of tulle. Sorry! I am keeping up, though!}


CAT Scratch Fever


It's 10 AM.  I'm exhausted. Why? Because I was up 'til 0400 on my monthly charity crochet-a-thon thingy online. I haven't won any prizes yet but I'm back at it this morning. Here's hoping!

So yesterday, the big kids started their 2Ā½ week Fall Break, and yet I had to bring them all to school with me so I could have parent-teacher conferences. For the most part, they behaved well. The girls both decided to wear pretty, fancy dresses and got lots of compliments throughout the school. Mr. Timlin, the principal, was especially fond of ChloĆ«'s dress. But I digress.

First, I met with Jack's very pregnant teacher, Mrs. Swann. I love her. She's cute as a button, for one thing, but I also like her teaching style and methods. Jack's special whatchamacallit teacher, who pulls him out for 30 min per day, was also there. They said he has shown marked improvement from the beginning of the year, especially with his writing, and that he was on grade level for everything except that but they expected him to be there soon. I was really happy with his report and elated that he's on grade level for everything!

Then we met with Mrs. Duke, Chloƫ's teacher. She has also shown major improvement where she needed to, namely in math and in her work habits. Apparently, which I didn't know, she's had to sit out a few recesses to get her classwork done, and that's helped her hurry it up a bit! She knows what to do, but she is such a huge daydreamer that it takes her forever to get there. She is also on grade level for everything - even math!! - and only needs to work more on understanding coins. I made up a coin cheat sheet for both her and Jack, so I'm hoping that will help them both out in addition to what we already do with them. In the meantime, I just hope it clicks...

Afterward, we ran to the post office to mail a few packages and get some stamps. The kids behaved well, and Jack made the postal worker laugh when he asked for candy. She said, "I'm sorry, honey, this isn't the bank!" with a laugh.

Then, because I didn't have much in the way of lunch on hand and it was past that time, I took the kids to their favorite place for lunch: Panera! What, you thought it was for me? Noooo. Hehe. They love it, too. Everyone ate a fantastic lunch, and I was well pleased. Again, they were on their best behavior, and I had to remark on how well they were doing all day.

When we got home, it was time for naps. Even ChloĆ« took one - nay, even me - and behold, it was good.  Jack got up first, and roused me, but Sophia stayed asleep for a very long time. Until Daddy got home, I think, and he came in late after trying to bring my medical record to the surgery center.

Anyway. I'm rambling a bit in my tiredness, sorry.

I checked my email to find out whether I was accepted to the Holiday Bazaar for the local children's hospital, and I was! So soon I will be in a booth, selling my tutus and hair clips, and if they let me, my dish towel sets. I'm so excited! I started making tutus last night, and then more hair clips once Rob got back from Walmart with them for me.


Don't know why the picture is so overexposed, but anyway, the craft room was (is) a big mess of tulle and ribbons and flowers!


We're awash in tutus!! I can't figure out how to store them for the next month so they won't get covered in cat hair, or worse!


First came the gray and amythest one...


Again, the picture is more garish than the actual tutu, but I don't feel like fixing it. This is a Christmas one, red and pine green, with red bows and roses - and jingle bells!


And my absolute favorite, the Mardi Gras tutu, complete with gold ribbon, purple roses, and jingle bells! I love it. Can't take the credit; it was Rob's idea.

Back to my crochet-a-thon and making more hair clips!



What a wretched day, weatherly speaking. It was raining. Nay, it was pouring. That old man sure was snoring!

Stephanie was one of the first casualties of the day, unfortunately. It's her 25th birthday, but she wrecked her car and got injured. Thankfully she is okay, but sore and nursing bruised ribs at the very least. Sorry, Steph! Big hugs!! ā™„

Rob came home early today, so he could stay home with the kids while I went to my psychiatric evaluation up in Newport News. Yep, same city as the surgery center, another long trek, but this time in the downpour.

I was in good spirits and ready to take it on. I had convinced myself I was not going to cry and guess what? I didn't shed one single tear! She wasn't going to catch me on my weepiness, no sir, not today. We discussed Robby's and my mom's death and everything. We talked about a lot of things, and her main concern was my compliance with the terms of surgery. Am I going to eat right? Am I going to exercise? Am I going to take my vitamins? etc. I assured her I would do everything ordered of me - and I will.

So at the end, I asked her, "Did I pass?" And she gave me a big grin and said, "You passed." After I left, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face! I called Rob right away and told him the good news, and then I blasted my radio and sang good tunes all the way home.

What a relief!

Next up: My nutritionist appointment on the 2nd. After that, I have to check with the surgery center to make sure they received all of my lab results, tests, records, evals, and whatever else they need. Then they'll submit it to insurance for review and approval. After that, if I get approved, it's time to schedule surgery. I'm praying, hoping against hope, for an approval. I don't know what I'll do if they say no!!

That was pretty much the day. Schwan's came while I was out, and I had the Schwan's card with me, which left Rob in a pickle. I'd expected them several hours later, but they worked it out, and now we have a fully stocked coupla freezers. The kids really enjoyed their Schwan's chicken fries and kept asking for "more, please!" A rarity in our house. They ate all their veggies, too, which is not so rare. They love the produce!

I watched The Office and ER and bawled my eyes out over that one. Did you watch? Sad!

Guess what I'm going to do now? I don't know!! (I'm in a doofy mood, sorry.) But the kids are now on Fall Break for over two weeks, so we can sleep in a little later in the morning. I do have conferences with both their teachers tomorrow. Off to find something to make!


Another One Bites...

Ugh. I'm so unproductive lately, but this was the worst. I was nauseated and in the bathroom all day long, with an upset tummy, and barely moved. Sadly, we didn't even get to go to dance class today. I just couldn't be too far from my porcelain god for two hours! Here are a few bullets about what I/we did do:

  • Listed several new items on my Etsy site, both the scarves and the latest dish towel set
  • Helped the kids with their homework. Actually Rob did a lot of that tonight, but I did help Chlo with her math, which involved a lot of gnashing of teeth this time. Sigh. It's just not her thing.
  • Made a nice big bowl of exceptionally (IMO) good hummus; devoured it with some pita and cheddar
  • Made a huge Schwan's order online; it'll be here tomorrow and about damn time we got some more food in the house!
  • Spoke to the woman in charge of the CHKD (children's hospital) holiday bazaar about my application to be in the show. Re-sent the application, with a bazillion pictures, after she couldn't find it.
  • Cleaned out the kitty litter box and vacuumed the office
  • Uh, watched some shows we had DVRed?

Really, that's about all the big accomplishments. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day. It better. I have my psych consult in Newport News and am quite nervous about it!


Starlight, Starbright

Sophia was a major snuggle bug yesterday, so after she woke up and ate breakfast, we bedded down together under my fabu blanket and alternated between chatting, napping, and watching some Noggin. When Jack came home, he joined us! It was really nice, just cozying up to my two li'l ones, playing around sweetly, and just holding them. I enjoyed it immensely. Warm fuzzies!

When Chloƫ came home, she set to work on her homework while the Nons and I went upstairs so I could shower, do a smidge of laundry, and get dressed. That dang laundry is piling up again. Vicious, vicious cycle. I don't know why these people keep wanting to eat and get dressed all the time! ;)

Soon it was time to get dressed for and go to her Ballet class. Surprisingly enough, now when I drop her off for dance, Sophia cries because she wants to dance, too! It's a positive change after having to drag her into class the past few weeks. We'll see how she does today.

After drop-off, the Littles and I drove to BJs so I could do a mystery shop there. It was a quick and easy ten bucks, just down from dance class, so I figured it wouldn't hurt. The kiddos enjoyed being able to sit right next to each other in the front of the huge cart, and they got a lot of attention that way. Attention is like ambrosia to wee ones!

We hurried back to dance, and I looked over the latest fundraising material put out by the kids' school. Sigh. I'll probably email some of you with information about that later, just so I can say I'm doing my part. Not interested? Hit the delete button. I try to order one thing per kid so at least they can get the credit for participating.

ChloĆ« came out before I finished, so I didn't get any crocheting done today. Boo. But, I did crank out a very nice knit scarf of 100% silk on her knitting machine earlier in the day, to put on Etsy. It's not there yet but should be later today, along with a couple of others...

When we came home, I quickly fixed dinner for the kids and did some straightening up around the kitchen and downstairs. The pets all needed food and supplies, so I made a list and got my coupons together for that, and vacuumed the office/craft room. We changed Jack into jammies, and soon it was time to go to his school for his special kindergarten program!

Videos of his performance are here.


Jack was so excited to do his big show!

100_8579  We arrived very early in order to obtain good seats, and Sophia was restless during the wait. To entertain her, we played with my camera.


Playing hide-and-seek under my shirt!


First the fifth-grade orchestra performed. This was their first concert; the kids at our school don't start instruments until fifth. It was blessedly short.


Then the fifth-grade chorus. Also short. Which was good for us kinder parents!


Here come the little ones! There's a blurry Jack walking in! He was so excited to see us and kept turning around to wave and peek at us. I loved it. It was very hard to take decent pictures with Sophia hanging off my arm, sorry!


There's my little guy (see orange circle and arrow) waiting patiently for his turn!


He was so quiet and well-behaved during his wait. Phew! I was relieved.


Mrs. Henry, the guidance counselor, read a Little Quack book in between each of the kinder classes' performances. Sophie was thrilled to recognize a book we have at home!


Hehe, when my little guy went on stage, he stopped to inspect this package in the corner. There were giggles from the audience...


There he is, with his class, performing his first little number! I forget what it was called and can't find my program from last night, sorry! But it was adorable.


His Tininess, amongst his peers. Surprisingly, he didn't look all that small to me last night! We are finally growing out of 2Ts and into 3Ts, I'm happy to report, although he does still wear some 12M and 18M shorts!


Each class then did a rendition of "Starlight, Starbright" with the wooden xylophones. You can't see Jack here because he was directly behind another little girl. Bah!

Afterward, they turned off all the lights, and each little one moved around the cafeteria with their flashlights. It was pretty cute. They did a wonderful job with their little production, and I was in tears at a few points. Nobody noticed but me, thankfully! I was such a proud mama! ā™„


First Goal Met; On To The Next

Quickly, quickly, because it's the middle of the night, I woke up, and now I'm getting tired again:

Nothing doing during the day, just hanging out. Took Chloƫ to tap and the Littles hung out in the back seats while I crocheted on another dishtowel, green this time. (Still not done.)

Made our way leisurely back home, because Daddy had an 1800 meeting at the house and had gotten there way early, so I didn't have to tackle the clean-up.

Went out with Chloƫ to sell Fall Product. We got two houses down when Daddy came out to tell me Sophia was pouting the full-on lip because I didn't take her with me. I told him to have her get her shoes on and join us, so she did. Happy, happy girl.

Chloƫ did a great job and sold 24 items - four more than our troop goal per-girl (as designated by me) and one less than the second incentive item. She'll get a patch and, with one more item, a cool light-up pen. Whoopee! She's really looking forward to that. Of course, our main goal is 65 items to get her all the rewards, so we'll be out hoofing it again soon.

{I haven't offered it here, because it's not allowed. But if anyone wants to buy from her, let me know. You'll have to pay for shipping though, because sending out all those cookies last year was $$$$, and I can't do it this time!}

Ran into crazy bus stop lady, who as usual played her competitive whose-kids-are-tinier game, which I can't stand. It's like she's jealous my kid needs shots and hers, who go to the same doc, didn't get them.  Really, I wish he didn't need them, and I'm hoping Chlo won't need them, either. It's not fun. She also gave me a million scare stories, because I send the two of them down to the bus stop by themselves in the morning. I don't know what I'm going to do; figure I'll talk to the kids in the morning about it. I know she's full of shite, though, so ... I'll probably keep doing what I'm doing. She did say my kids behave very well, so that's a plus.

Watched Dancing With the Stars premiere tonight. It was good! Surprised by lots of folks. Anyone else watch? I love this show! I can't wait until it gets GOOD. Susan Lucci bugs the crap out of me, I decided. Jeffrey Ross impressed me. Hm. I LMAO at his joke: "Speaking of ballroom, these pants are too tight!" Hilarious. And how much do we love Cloris Leachman???


Wordless Sunday

I'm feeling rather terse, so I'm going to let the pictures tell the story today. In a nutshell, Rob took Jack to the air show today while I drove the girls to a playdate at Chloƫ's friend Claire's house. Camera was with me, so that's what you shall see:


100_8558    100_8559 


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It Starts With One

Today we were supposed to go to the NICU reunion.

However, like last year, I decided at close to the last minute that I really don't need to see the latest crop of newborn twins to get my grief fix in. I mean, yes, there will always be twins - even identical boys - but sometimes I'm not in a place where I purposely want to go to the venue where they'll invariably be.

So, eh, we didn't go. No big deal.

Instead, since I was up 'til nearly 5 AM doing things to my husband (Okay, Steph, even *I* was too embarrassed to put it on my blog!! LMAO), I slept until the afternoon. Since he had gone to bed much earlier and only woke me up to basically scare the shit out of me, he got up with the kids.

Finally, I woke up and took a shower, but only because Stephanie and I had a mani-pedi date as birthday presents to ourselves (hers is coming up this week).  Otherwise, well, I probably would have showered anyway to start selling Fall Product with ChloĆ«, but whatever.

So we met at Le Nail place and picked out our toenail colors: orange for her, brown for me. We had a really good time, with lots of laughing. The only thing that would have made our little date better is a glass of champagne or mimosas or something! The nail ladies were funny, too, and we were all joking around and just enjoying ourselves. It was a fun time.

I have pictures of our hands and feet, but my camera is refusing to upload right now. Bugger.

So then Steph came home with me and we waited for her other half, along with baby niece Carolynn, to meet us there. The boys stayed home with the kids while she and I took Caro to Michael's to do some scrapbook shopping. I got lots of great deals! I really shouldn't have, but I NEEEEEEEDed things to do my scrapbooking, and it was the best sale! :P

Oh, and before we left, we sang Happy Birthday to Tiger Lily (it's her fifth) and gave her a doggy ice cream treat. She was happy. We did not make her wear a hat.

When Stim and Caro left, we had a kind of hodgepodge dinner of whatever was in the fridge. The kids ate super well, though! Especially Sophia. We have discovered she has a fondness for itty baby corns. The Bigs had cake (yes, my cake is still around...) and she had a big ol' cone for dessert. What a mess. Dinner was really fun, too. Lots of silly things said by the kids. I could just sit and watch and laugh at Sophia all day. And one time, Rob asked Chloƫ a question, to which she answered, "Yo Mama!" I wish I remembered the question, because it was the perfect answer...

After they went to bed, Rob and I watched The Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. We really liked it. I boo-hooed in the middle for no reason. We both gave it five stars.

Anyhoo, that's our Saturday. Hope you had a good one, too.


The Butterfly Saga Continues

Okaaaaay, let's try this again. I forgot to blog last night. I tried tonight, and Typepad was down. Finally got in, and it shut down on me mid-blahg. Stupid site...


During the day, we mostly hung around, did Starfall, cuddled, and the like. Sophia was in a pouty three-year-old mood, so the crafting plan I had went out the window.


Then we had the Brownies meeting. As Fall Product Chair (I keep waving that around like it's some huge deal. Hey, I had to have a background check for it!), and since Saturday starts the annual sale, I had to give a meeting to the moms to tell them all about it and hand out the forms. Leader Nikki had emailed everyone - twice! - telling them I'd be taking five minutes of their time at the beginning of the meeting, but do you think anyone showed? No! Just Nikki and her co-leader, Karen. After all my preparation, psyching myself up for slightly-public speaking, taking notes, rehearsing my little dialog, preparing all the forms for everyone... it was a bit anti-climactic. One other mom was there, but as you can see in the above picture, she just grabbed her form and went anti-socially to a back corner for the duration!

Anyway. In the picture, the girls were teamed up to put in order the words to the Girl Scout Promise. It was a fun, worthwhile activity; Nikki's really getting back to the fundamentals, which I like.

Finally, Jack and Sophia were driving everyone crazy, so instead of waiting longer to see if anyone else would show up for me - and taking pictures of the girls - I took them outside to play.


This picture gave both Rob and me the same thought: I wish we had a yard! Jack really enjoys running around outside, free and uncontained, and we just don't get outside into the open space enough. I need to make that more of a priority, now that the weather will turn cooler.


My little girl, who badly needs a haircut (and those are 2T shorts and a 4T shirt, crazily enough), digging around in the dirt and picking up rocks. She kept delivering the nicest ones to me and ordering me to put them in my pocket. Whoops, I forgot to put them back, and later found a handful in there.


This one is a favorite of Rob's. He was smelling the leaves as if they were flowers!


"Look, Mom, I'm a statue!"


He just kept rolling and rolling ... I kind of wanted to join him! If it wasn't right in front of a very busy street during rush-hour, I just might have!


Meeting time was almost over, so we went back inside to get ready to go. I wanted to snag some of the moms and give them their forms at pick-up, too. The girls were busy making pictures about themselves, what they like, and also cutting out pictures showing people helping each other.


They got in a circle and discussed how their pictures helped people and how that related to the Girl Scout Promise.

When we left, I still hadn't heard from Rob, so I called. He was stuck at work, late. Like every other $#%^& day this week. (I wouldn't complain so much if they actually paid OT!) So, since the kids each had a free ice cream cone coupon from Sonic, I decided to head there. Oh, my. What a treat. Heh. Luckily the patio is contained, and was deserted, so they could run around freely without getting in the way of any cars. (My kids are generally good about not running into traffic, thankfully.) When the food came, it was quite windy out, and we had a big battle for finding enough things to hold down all their wrappers and napkins and sech. Then Sophia had to go potty right. now. And so did Jack. And so did Chloƫ. So we marched down there and had that whole fun. And marched bag to battle the wind some more. They did all eat great dinners, though, and everything I ordered was actually eaten for once!

The manager had come out to talk to us, give me extra Sonic candies for the kids, an extra Wacky Pack since I'd only ordered two kids meals, and just chit-chat with the kids. She was really nice. I'd asked her if it would be a problem to use all three ice cream coupons at once, and she said it'd be fine. So when I pressed the red button, she immediately answered with, "We'll get those cones right out to you!"

It turned chilly, though, and neither Jack nor one of the girls (I forget which. I want to say Chloƫ, since Sophia's the big eater) finished theirs. Jack actually ran back to the van to warm up before the girls were done! Poor feller. But they had a fine and dandy good time going out to eat with Mama, and I was happy to take home a carful of happy kids.

Rob was home when we got there, so we decided to let our three butterflies go. The night before, two of them had apparently "drowned" in the sugar water he'd given them, per the instructions. I dumped them out in the morning, though, and after drying off, despite the sticky wings (I wasn't about to try and wash them!) they managed to come back to life. Whew.


The kiddos crowded around outside as Daddy started to open the container. This has been a very interesting experience for all of them, at least!


First, Daddy put Butterfly #1 (who was the drowniest) on Chloƫ's finger. She's been anticipating this moment since the first caterpillars came, and she was so careful with the bug.


A butterfly on her finger, and her emotions written all over her face...


Even Sophia got to hold one! And then I did! What a trip!! Jack was too skeered.

When they flew away, one by one, I was breathless. We all watched them twitter around us for as long as we could still see them, amazed. My heart was pounding. Other than my own newborn babies, they were like the most beautiful things I'd ever seen.

Seriously. Get a butterfly kit. It's the greatest thing ever! I can't wait to get more kits for Christmas. Frogs, other stuff... great shit!


This will be quicker, because my pills are kicking in and I'm tired.

I didn't go anywhere today anyway, except to actually go get said pills from Walgreens.


I was requested to show my new over-dyed purple hair. Only, in every picture I took, it's bright orange. So, I don't know, but either way it just ain't natural. And this was pre-shower, so excuse the nasty. And no, I don't have baldy spots, even though it sorta looks like it!


Just the girls, having a blast together on the couch. Not a great picture, really, but I like something about it.

So the worst thing that happened, by far, is that we had a horrible mishap with the butterflies and they are all gone. No more. The remaining cocoons were unfortunately smushed by an unwitting Sophia, who did not realize that sitting on, and thereby collapsing, the container would actually kill all of the inhabitants. I was checking email, ChloĆ« had been examining her "pets" and walked away, and Sophia came in and not only sat on the kit but called me to look at her bouncing on them!!!!

I think my jaw hit the floor and stayed there for about five minutes. Literally. Five long minutes, during which Sophia jumped off the kit, came running to me, and stuck out her quivering bottom lip in realization that she had done something very wrong. Finally, all I could get out was, "Sophia!!" I did not want to yell. I knew she did not understand. I did not want to make her out to be some critter killer. So I waited until I could calmly explain to her what she had done, pointing out the bloody marks all over the mesh. Oh, did she cry. She sobbed and sobbed in my arms. Then we walked into the kitchen, where ChloĆ« was, so she could say "sorry."

Only, she had never actually said sorry before in her life. I could never get her to do it. She just pouted with her big lip and, when I finally relented, gave the recipient a hug instead. Even earlier today, she did something, and I told her to tell me she was sorry. She looked up at me plaintively and said, "How about a hug?" and I accepted.

But after me insisting on telling Chloƫ, and I think finally getting what exactly she had done, she took Chloƫ's two hands in hers, drew her into a hug, and said, "I'm sorry, Chloƫ." And then she sobbed in my arms a whole bunch more.

Thinking back, I can't believe I didn't cry over the whole thing myself.

I'm really sad about it. It was a lot of work to keep those bugs safe, from the Nons and from the kitty, and even from Chloƫ who wanted to swing them around and set them down roughly, so I was exhilarated when the three survived to adulthood. And now it's over, prematurely, because I didn't protect them enough and put them back in their safe spot.

Ah. Well. Life is short. Moving on...


See what she's wearing?! I finally figured out her new knitting machine tonight, and we all (except Rob) helped to make her a scarf! I cranked, she cranked, Soap cranked, Jack cranked. It was tons of fun, and very addicting (for me; the others all gave up after two or three turns)! I have since spent the rest of the evening finding yarns I don't mind cranking into scarves. I tried to "knit" a couple of dishcloths from my nice cotton for Etsy, but it's just not good enough for that, and I undid them. But it does scarves up real nice-like. I have a stack of them!


She was also so proud to change her earrings all by herself! These lovelies (butterflies, *sniff*) were presents from Stephanie for her birthday. Aren't they pretty?

So tomorrow is a busy day, and I really need to get some zzzz's. Have a great weekend, y'all!


Good Vibrations

It's been a day and a half.

I went back to sleep on the couch, after getting the big kids off to school, until I heard Sophia wake up (duh). Then instead of bringing her down, I brought her breakfast upstairs so I could color my hair, do some laundry and get ready to leave for Barbara Day.

Only, I got really into my rhythm of folding clothes and overdeveloped my hair. So now, instead of being a nice, deep auburn, it's... like... purple.

And then I was shaving my feet (ew) with my callous remover thingy, hacking along at things and getting off all the dead skin, when I went to the outside of my foot where I can't see and started navigating by feel. Only I didn't really change to more careful tactics and totally fileted myself. Blood was gushing everywhere. My hand was full of it, it was all over the bed, dripping into the floor.

I called out to Jack, who had come home by then and was playing elsewhere in my bedroom, to bring me some toilet paper, hurry, hurry!! Instead, he came to see what was the matter and, upon spying all of that blood, promptly burst into terrified tears. So I had to calm him first and then get him to fetch me something. He brought me wipes. Cottonelle wipes, for big people, not babies. Just sayin'. I soaked right through the first and went onto the next, and eventually used up seven. It was just not stopping.

Then Barbara came, and I sent Jack to ask if she had any band-aids. She did not. I told him to tell her I needed help. She came up, and I warned her I was not dressed, having just gotten out of the shower. She looked and gasped, and then rushed downstairs to find me some bandaids. Jack went and got them, and I tried to put them on, but they just kept soaking through.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Places to go, man, you know?? Plans.

So I called Rob, who told me to go to the ER. Psht. I don't need no stinkin' ER. I called my best friend, Dr. Lisa, who told me to go to the ER. Psht. I called my base clinic, who told me to go to the ER.

All right, I get it!

I sent the kids downstairs to get shod and then I wrapped things up as best I could and hobbled down the stairs. I told Barbara where I was going, and she asked if I was okay to drive. Did I want her to take me?

Um, okay, yeah, that would probably be best...

So I ended up bringing the Littles over to Satchi's house (nice Japanese neighbor-lady) while we headed to the hospital. Of course, you know, by the time I got there, the bleeding had temporarily stopped, and I felt like an idiot. But there was no wait, and I was whisked right in and taken care of.

They cleaned all the blood and brains and stuff off my foot (I have weird anatomy, whatever), put on triple antibiotic cream and wrapped it in about 3 lbs of gauze, telling me to leave it on for 24 hours. (Meanwhile, it came unwrapped and was exposed by the time I got back to Barbara's car.) Then they gave me a tetanus shot, in the left arm, warning how much it's gonna hurt tomorrow. I was just glad it wasn't in the butt like the one I got in '95. Hey, this is one way to get your shots up to date.

Back home in less than an hour, I picked up the Nons, thanked Satchi, and said good-bye to Babs. Sophia knows that Barbara Day means Panera, and who am I to disappoint her?  They didn't eat much lunch at all, but they sure were thirsty. It was a hot one.

Then we had to be home to wait for Chloƫ's bus and get the girls ready for their respective dance classes. Sophia ran upstairs and fetched her tights and leotard. Normally I dress her, but she shimmied into her 'uniform' all on her own this time. So cute, I love her little buns in a leo.

I still need to buy her some ballet shoes... she and Chloƫ have been sharing for these three weeks, which is bad, bad, bad if you know anything about dance! Since good, leather shoes mold to the dancer's foot... Must do that next week. Must.

Anyway, Sophia had to be dragged into the dance studio today, and Chloƫ again went with her. But not ten minutes went by before Chloƫ came waltzing out, telling me Sophia was happily dancing on her own and she'd been excused! I was delighted, so I went back to crocheting my dishtowel.

Eventually, the class ended, and Sophia emerged, sing-songing, "Hi, Mommy! I got a sticker!" which the girls always get for dancing. Hi signaled to Miss Jessica, and asked her if she actually danced, and if she was more smiley or more pouty. Evidently, she was smiley and happy and did all the moves with the girls. Yay!!! for Sophie!

Chloƫ went in for her jazz class then, and the Nons and I moved out to the van. I let them free of their carseats, and they were into everything, asking what everything was, pushing things, moving, touching, questioning, while I finished my towel. We turned up the radio and sang and danced and had a good time. Before we knew it, jazz was over.


The kids fooled around for a while, and I snapped a few pictures of them playing. Of course, there are 70 of these, and not one of them all have them looking in the same place or smiling at once! Oh, well. Oh, that reminds me, I need to get Chloƫ's Sears portraits done...


Then, before homework was started, we spent a good long time studying the butterflies and caterpillars. There are THREE adult Painted Ladies, now! And they are FLYING! I'm so excited, as are the kids. Did I tell you that Tinkerbell (our cat) was so naughty, She kept batting them around and knocking them on the floor? So I'm just happy they have survived. Chloƫ doesn't know it yet, but we're planning to let the three go tomorrow. They are hanging out at the top, and I can just imagine their high-pitched little squeals, "Let us out! Let us go!"


See all that gook on the bottom and walls? Who knew coming out of a chrysalis was such a messy process?! But aren't they beautiful? I tired to get pictures of them flapping, but they stopped doing it as soon as I grabbed the camera, natch.


This one's a girl, I just know it. Well, they all are. Painted Ladies after all.


The kiddies started their homeworks, and I sewed the button on my dishtowel. I took the pictures and listed them on my Etsy shop, if yo' interested!

Then I started working on a new infant-sized yellow tutu for my friend's baby girl. She bought a pink one for her preschooler and a yellow one for the baby, along with some pink hairclips for the older one. I'm so excited! It's fun to make things that other people want to buy. I just wish I could hit on something really special.

Let's see... I thought there was more, but I'm blanking. Rob's gone to sleep, and I guess I'll go join him. So, 'night!



Today was an exciting one here at Chez Odette! Why? Because...












I took pictures of the bugs in their chrysalises (chrysali?) and of the new Painted Lady butterfly, but they didn't really turn out. We didn't want to bother them too much while the others are still developing, so we'll wait to take more pictures until they have all emerged.

I can't even begin to describe the excitement both Chloƫ and I felt! I was so elated that "we did it"! We actually managed to keep one alive to adulthood! Eleven more to go... well, make that ten. Did I mention Jack smushed one? Chlo and I high-fived each other and hugged and were both squealing. It's very cool, even though I obviously know all about the process, to actually watch it happening step-by-step in our home. This morning, no butterfly; this evening; butterfly! And, in the other cup, they are slowly making their way to the top and one-by-one building their cocoons, too.

Pretty damn cool.

In other Chloƫ news, she suddenly has a second very loose tooth, with the adult one growing in behind it! There was no loose tooth when she went to school this morning, so it amazes me how quickly that happened. Ah, they're growing up.

So today has been a pretty good day. Stephanie came over after her doctor appointment and hung out for a half-hour or so, and we caught up with each other's lives for the past week since Bunco. Of course, we already know each other's lives since we both blog, but it's different when we're in person. And Sophia was being really cute and lovey while she was here, doing her little hands-over-mouth giggling that I love so much.

Then we raced to Chloƫ's ballet class and got her there just in time. We didn't go anywhere today. I pulled out my crocheting and worked on a dishcloth. One minute, I was working away, and the next thing I knew, Chloƫ and her teacher were tapping on the window to let her in. I'd fallen asleep, even with the Littles hooting and hollering in the back. Quite a surprise to me; oh well, that hour passed quickly!

At home, it was time to clean up so Barbara could clean tomorrow. Boy, did it need it.The kids and Rob took care of the living room and kitchen while I cleaned up all my scrapping stuff and put the office back together. I could barely vacuum the whole room; my back just seized up and I couldn't move. Guess I'll just leave the living room for her to do tomorrow. I can't wait.

Time to go put all the laundry away. Last time she barely touched the upstairs, and I want to give her absolutely no reason to do that again.


1,000 MPH

I really like the git 'er done style of the bullets posts, but I suppose I can't get away with that for long, can I?

It was our now-usual Monday today, for the most part. The Littles and I played some on the Starfall learn-to-read website, which Jack really enjoys. He's so excited whenever he finds a "J like what starts my name" anywhere. Sophia just likes to watch him play on it, but that's probably because I never remember to do it when it's just the two of us.

Chloƫ came home and immediately started her homework without being asked, while I took the Non-twins upstairs with me for my shower and to fold some laundry. It was done, but now I'm a good two loads behind again. Where do these people get so many clothes?!

Soon, we had to rush out the door for her tappy-tap class. She looks so cute in her tap shoes, black tights and burgundy leotard. There are only a couple of other girls in this class, and I'm sure she is by far the tiniest. Her tap teacher is Miss Jessica, who taught her last year and now teaches Sophia; Miss Sally teaches her ballet, and Miss Darlene, who owns the place, teaches jazz.

After dropping her off, I returned a couple phone calls, including one for my psych eval for the surgery. Turns out there is a waiting list just for an appointment for that! Ugh. I have calls in to two other places, so hopefully I can get something soon. I'm really worried about it. I keep telling myself I am just going to be as cheerful and positive as can be, and not cry like the last time, and I'll be good to go.

Then the three of us headed back toward home to go to Walgreens and pick up the camp pictures I had printed from her camera. The 13 I chose turned out pretty well! Apparently the zoo camera was printed out on another disk, so rather than buy it outright, I asked to open it on their computer and see if there were any pictures even worth having. There weren't. None from the zoo at all, and what was there was just horrible pictures of various areas inside our house! Saved myself five bucks there.

Then we had to skedaddle on over to the credit union to deposit her birthday check from her grandpa. Only, traffic was heavy, and we were stuck in it. I couldn't go left, couldn't go right, couldn't move, and now I was going to be late getting her. I started watching the clock every minute. Finally, we started moving, and I got to the bank, but we were still about ten minutes late to the studio.

Fortunately, she didn't berate me as she is wont to do. She just opened the door, saw me there, and came skipping out to the van. Whatever she might have said vanished as soon as I told her to buckle up and then she could see her pictures! She exclaimed over each and every one, and I was happy thinking that it must have brought back some happy camp memories for her.

We pulled into the driveway literally two seconds ahead of Rob, and then I remembered Chloƫ had a free birthday dinner coming from the Silver Diner. I really wanted to take just her, on the one hand, and not spend any money, but on the other, I really wanted to be with my family. So I asked Rob what he thought, and he decided we'd all go. So we did. I had to dip into Jack's Christmas present money a little bit, but I'll have long since replaced it before I do my shopping for his big Power Wheels present...

Dinner was good, and the kids ate really well. They each had a chocolate shake, though, and Sophia spilled on her pretty dress. That's what Shout! is for, I guess. Jack ordered plain spaghetti, which isn't my favorite thing for him to have, but when he wants to eat, he eats. Lately he has had a monstrous appetite, too! I kept telling him, "one more bite. Okay, one more bite. One more bite!" and he ate about ten more bites after he'd already eaten enough to satisfy Rob! This comes after eating several yogurts and a bunch of grapes for lunch. Now that he's back on his shots (we had a delay of a month or more when his prescription ran out and there was a mix-up with his physician), his appetite has returned.

When we came home, I reminded Rob that his niece's birthday was the previous day, so he quickly gave his brother a call and spoke to the two-year-old. Soon, Sophia got on the phone with her uncle and then her younger cousin. The conversation from our end was pretty darling as the two girls "chatted," each probably having separate talks. Elizabeth sure has changed since we saw her last June in Missouri!

I'm back to my scrapping now and am halfway through May. Cruisin' right along! It's my last night for a while, though, because Barbara comes on Wednesday and I'm going to pack it up tomorrow night.

Oh, and NOW I have seen everything, in the way of mystery shops! I received an email invitation tonight to do one for a Catholic church service! Mystery shopping church?! I died laughing.


Full Larder

Once again, because I want to get right back to my scrapping (I'm well into April now and have all the pictures printed out through the end of May!), here are some bullets about our day:

  • Rob finished his motorcycle safety course. Unfortunately, he did not pass the skills test because he went too slow! Aagh. I tried to be supportive, but thinking about the money it'll cost to redo the course got the best of me in these tough times. Sorry, honey.
  • We were supposed to go on a playdate at Claire's house, but her mother emailed me to say their air conditioning was broken and their house was VERY hot. I wasn't feeling good at the time, so we decided to reschedule for next weekend.
  • I made more cinnamon rolls for the kids for brunch. Oh, man, do my kids love them! Sophia ate even more than I did. Jack was pretty mad that she ate what he didn't finish. He's been kind of mean to her lately.
  • I did our grocery shopping. For the first time in my life, my coupons were not just doubled but tripled! I saved over $52, about 19% of my order. That was exciting. As usual when I returned home, Rob carried in the food, I scanned it, ChloĆ« stuffed all the bags into the biggest one, and the Non-Twins ran around exclaiming over everything they wanted to eat!
  • I made a few scrapbook pages, and now I want to go make some more. Try as I might to get this year into two books, I think it will end up taking me three...

Happy Monday, y'all.


Bullets Over Broadway

It wasn't a very productive day, but I did get a few things done:

  • Laundry. What else is new? Two more loads, or maybe three, and now it's done. Until tomorrow.
  • Finished what I can do with the Brownies scrapbook, even without the pictures from ChloĆ«'s cameras. Realized the zoo pictures were never going to happen anyway, because she couldn't get the camera to work.
  • Made cinnamon rolls for the kids for breakfast. ChloĆ« and Jack couldn't finish theirs; Sophia ate twice as much.
  • Napped. Of course. We all did.
  • Went to Walgreens to return my defective disk. Put it into their computer, and 192 (out of 48) pictures popped up: four copies of each one, plus a bunch of their photo products at the end. Annoying! Selected my 13 from her camp week to print; will go back tomorrow to pick them up.
  • Baked and decorated a cake, just 'cause. I'll show pictures on Wordless Wednesday this week. It could have been better because (a) I need more practice and (b) my cake and icing weren't cold enough and things kind of slid around, but I'm not concerned since it wasn't for any kind of special occasion, other than doing something pleasing for my husband and children. (I don't like cake.)
  • Um, showered, and I guess that's it.

Have a happy week!


Rise And Shine


So, yesterday, I already felt a lot perkier after going back on the iron pills. How annoying; I was hoping it wouldn't be that! 

But I was glad to be able to be more productive than the day before, when I was just a weak little mess. After Jack came home from school, the Littles and I ran errands. We stopped at Walgreens to drop off Chloƫ's two disposable cameras (and see if they had the latest Webkinz Cares stuffy; they didn't.) The cameras were from the Brownies' trip to the zoo in April and her Girl Scout camp in July, so it was about damn time. I decided to just have the pictures put on a disk, so I could print them out at home at my leisure and not be buying crappy pics I don't want.

After that, we went to Animal Jungle, where I took the kids for their Spring Break field trip and ended up with a bunny. I knew exactly what I needed (squirty stuff to add to Bounce's water and make him not stink, and a giant water bowl to replace Tiger Lily's rusty one) and refused to look hither and yon, lest I be persuaded to bring home another adorable critter. They had some Ganz stuffies at the check-out, but no Webkinz, so again we didn't buy any.

I am a sucker for Webkinz. Can you tell?

Then we stopped at Subway for lunch, because I had a free soda coming from their Scrabble game. I was peeved when they gave me neither a sandwich wrapper nor a cup with a game piece on it, though. I'm trying to win a trip! Or some diamonds! Or at least another free soda...

It was nowhere near time yet to pick up the pictures, so we went home to eat our lunch. Jack does not like the shredded lettuce, and Sophia prefers the very bready parts, so they are very particular about where on the sandwich they'll take their bites! But they ate very well, and then we went upstairs so I could fold some laundry. I had about 9 loads to catch up on! I did about three, before it was time for them (and me) to catch an afternoon nap.

Chloƫ came home from school, kissed me hello, and set to work straightaway on her homework while I dozed. At 7, even she could still stand to have her naps, but I have relieved her of that necessity. She's a very obedient child and rarely does things she's not supposed to when no one is looking ... unlike those naughty Littles who will get into things right in front of your face!

Finally, I woke up and needed to get right into the shower and get ready for my meeting. There was still no sign of Rob, so I called and found out he was just a short bit away. After my shower, still no Rob. I got dressed, still no Rob. I put away the Schwan's order that had been delivered right before my shower, and still no Rob...! I was starting to get very nervous. And kind of mad. But right when I was about to call again, he walked in. Apparently, traffic was a bear.

I left immediately, thankful that I was just a short drive from my destination. Everyone was waiting when I got there, but I was still a few minutes early. I decided to be the Fall Product Chair for our Brownies troop, and this was the training. I'm also the Cookie chair, so Fall Product will be good practice before the big-deal sale starts. We sat for an hour and a half going over everything, and man is there a lot to do! I am excited to do it, though. I like that sort of thing a lot. And I found myself volunteering to Nikki, our new troop leader, to be the troop treasurer if she needed help with that. She said she did. So!

We left, and I ran to Walgreens to pick up the disk of Chloƫ's pictures. At home, after eating the Schwan's frozen pizza Rob made for me, I tried to pull them up and see what was what, but they won't open! I put the disk in his laptop, and they won't open there, either! So I'm highly annoyed. I meant to bring the disk back today and have them just make prints for me, but now I don't know where the dang thing is. Oy vey.


My shelves and railing came in for the craft center, so after harrassing Rob for a while, he put them up for me. Yay, more storage for little supplies. Plus his tush looks cute in jeans... 


I woke up early, about 0530, and couldn't get back to sleep. So, I decided to pay the bills and see how much money we (don't) have. Nada. Not enough for a full grocery run and nothing for gas. It's going to be interesting. I don't know why it's suddenly so tight this month, but I better go find a corner to stand on or something! All the bills are just going up, up, up, and the income is not, not, not. Suckage. If it weren't for my back being horrible right now, I would defintely be going out for a nights-and-weekends job. Maybe after the surgery...

Speaking of which, I made my appointment for my nutrition eval, but still couldn't get anyone on the phone to make one for the psych eval. I hope that's not an omen; I've been trying for months! Frustrating.

And I spoke to my dad, speaking of frustrating. That's all I will say about that.

Then the Littles and I went upstairs to tackle some more laundry. I managed to get the last of it in the washer, and everything dry folded. They even helped me put some stuff away! Normally it's just Chloƫ who helps me, but they were able to put away socks and unnerpannies and jammies. I was glad for the help; the bed is sagging under the weight of all those piles.

We reached a stopping point, and they were fighting and cranky (so much arguing over stupid stuff with them, all day long! argh, it gets to be TOO MUCH), so we all had a nap again. I went downstairs to my couch but barely slept. When Jack snuck down, I was wide awake and caught him in the kitchen about to wreak havoc. Love that wide-eyed look.

So, we all went upstairs and did more laundry. Chloƫ put away the rest of the kids' clothes. She's such a great help. They were hungry by then, so we came down to make dinner. I had some broccoli- and cheese-stuffed chicken breasts from Schwan's that I thought they would like, and put those in. Boy, was I wrong. I ended up eating half of all their dinners.

We did bathtime and bedtime after that, and I should have taken a picture of my three soggy, towel-wrapped babies lined up for drying off. So cute were they!

Eventually, Rob made it home from work and his motorcycle safety class (where he'll be all weekend). I'm trying to finish up the Brownies scrapbook, although I'm annoyed not to have those other pictures.

Okay, time to go. I'm falling asleep again. Have a happy weekend!



You Dipchiller!

Today was hard.

I'm just ever so sleepy! I could hardly stay awake today. The Littles got into the red food coloring while I was chilling, and I thought Sophia had blood all over her. That woke me up, but not for long.

I was too tired to even shower before the girls had dance class. I tried, just couldn't make it. So instead of waiting in the studio while Sophia was in her class, I brought her in, put Chloƫ in there with her (the teacher had invited her to join last week, to make Sophie more comfortable), and went back out to the car with Jack.

After I talked to my grandfather - who is home from the hospital again, yay! - and called for a bulk pick-up for all the big boxes we have to get rid of, I napped. Jack was so good; he just sat there in silence, holding his truck.

When my alarm went off, I retrieved Soap from her nancy-dancy-prancy class and sent Chloƫ back in. Again, the children just sat in their seats while I napped. I brought my crocheting but couldn't do it. I had calls to make but couldn't stay awake.

{Apparently Sophie didn't cry and actually danced in her class this week! So we'll try it again next week, this time without her sister in the room. Good stuff.}

And then Rob asked me, when I got home, if I've been taking my iron pills. Um, no, actually, I haven't. Gee, could the two be related?! I guess I'll be popping those again, too. Ugh. I hate them.

I did manage to bake chocolate chip cookies for Bunco tonight. Jack always gets so pissed when I do that, because he doesn't think it's fair I should make any cookies for someone else but him and the girls. But it's what I had signed up to make; I had no choice. Which sucked, because I was out of brown sugar and had to use all white. Those suckers were hard. Not my best work. Oh, well.

Bunco was tons of fun, even though most of us were in a 'blah' mood, maybe because of the seasonal change. I played really well tonight (as if skill were involved!) and won the top prize! I chose a 'circle of friends' statue that's just like the COF candle holder my SIL gave me once. Love it!

So I think I'm burned out on the scrapbooking. I need to finish the Brownies pictures so I can bring the album to the next meeting, but I may take a break on the rest for now and get into something else. I really want to do some more sewing...


Here are the five cocooning 'pillars! One fell on the "floor" though. He'll be fine. The others are still crawling around.  I can't wait for butterflies!

And that was our day.


Short and Fat, er, Fast

This morning, Rob came home from work to keep Sophia and be there for Jack while I went back to the base clinic for my physical. I am so glad he was able to do that, and that I am really getting the ball rolling on this thing now. Tomorrow, I need to make a bunch of appointments, but everything checked out well today. My labs came back and were all good, heart and lungs are perfect, BP is fine, blah blah. My only worry is that psych eval; I've been putting off calling for the appointment, but now is the time. Prayers and good thoughts for that, please!

Before I went home, I stopped around the corner to pick up a crocheted blanket a Freecycler had received as a wedding present and didn't like. Figured I could use it for CARE Package. I was right; it's perfect!

At home, we decided to take the kids around the corner for lunch at Subway before Rob headed back to work. The guy - the owner, I'd guess - can't stand either of us. For some pesky reason, we think he should accept standard Subway coupons, but for some pesky reason, he thinks he shouldn't? So we have both argued with him about it. If it weren't five feet from our house, we'd definitely not go there anymore. Anyway, just to be a pain in his arse, we did separate orders and used winning tickets from the Subway Scrabble game, for our drinks and chips. And I refilled my Sprite twice, just to bait him. He didn't say a word.

Good story, I know. Fascinating.

So the Littles went down for naps when we got home, and I decided to take one, too. I was so tired. Chloƫ came home, bringing the UM & UM (U-Missouri and U-Miami) cups we'd ordered from their school fundraiser. 'Bout time they came in. We really needed the cups around here. Every time I host Bunco, we have to drink out of mugs!

So, today was Ballet night for Chloƫ. I had to wake Sophia from her nap in order to go, and she was NOT down with that. She was furious, really. Good thing I brought along snacks or she'd never have cheered up, I'm afraid.

It was so, so hot out when we were there. I just couldn't get comfortable in the car. I tried crocheting away the hour, but I don't like to just sit there and sweat. So I did something I never do: went for a drive. The kids were so concerned about leaving Chloƫ there, but she was in good hands. They don't let a kid leave until the teacher makes eye contact with the parent. So we drove, the long winded way around the Little Neck / Lynnhaven area of the city, where the big, gorgeous, palatial million-dollar homes are. I stopped every now and then to admire one and let the cars behind me pass. The kids had no clue what we were doing, but eventually they stopped "Mom! Mom! Mom!"ing me to death and chitchatted with each other, leaving me to my reverie.

I loved so many of those gorgeous houses. I don't exactly despise our house, but there are so many problems with it. It's too small. I prefer a ranch. The electrical system is messed up. It's a townhouse. There's no yard. There's no garage. And on and on. These houses had plenty of room to spread out, lots of nice yards... I was jealous, until we arrived at home again and then something just "clicked" for me. I felt appreciative of what I have. It was a good, warming feeling.


The new storage ottoman I ordered for the kids' dress-up clothes arrived from Target. It's beautimous; I ā™„ it! It's just the right color red, spacious for their whole set, and very comfy on top for them to rest on when it's closed or even when the lid is on the floor.


It's sooo much better than the trunk we have been keeping their stuff in all this time. That was actually a college-era side-of-the-road find that has long stayed past its welcome! I'll be glad to get rid of it, hopefully tomorrow.

So Rob made dinner - all Schwan's; he is digging the convenience - while I finished scrapping the month of March. My book is getting very fat; I think 2008 will be split into three books, potentially! :O  I'm starting to get a little burned out on scrapping, partly because I am quickly using up all my pretty-pretties (flowers, ribbons, brads, etc.) and partly because I have made dozens upon dozens of pages since starting this. I'm itching to move on to something else for a while.

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the cocoons. Well, I'll do it tomorrow, I'm getting tired and don't want to deal with the camera anymore tonight.

Guess that's it. Happy Hump Day (already?!)~!


Know When To Fold 'Em

Lowlights of my 32nd birthday include:

  1. Lots of people calling with well wishes, and I think I missed every single one of them! (Sorry Mom, Gail, Stace, Dad, Lisa...!)
  2. My grandfather being back in the hospital with chest pains, just after getting out of there from a 20-day stay.

  3. 100_8459  100_8460  My car battery dying at ChloĆ«'s tap class and waiting an hour to be rescued.
  4. Not having ice cream cake.
  5. Forgetting my Moe's (Welcome to Moe's!) free birthday burrito coupon, since it's just a short drive away from the dance studio.

Highlights include:

  1. 100_8458   Who isn't amused when a kitty catches a cricket?
  2. 100_8461 How adorable is my little 7yo tappy-tap dancer?
  3. Being rescued by the man I love, in uniform.

  4. Rob saving the day and going out to get my Moe's - and some for everyone else, natch - once we found the coupon at home.

  5. Dum duh de dah:I FOUND THE MISSING CATERPILLARS!!! And they are cocooning! I will take pictures hopefully tomorrow, hopefully when the last little holdout starts to build his. For the curious, they were on the treadmill. D'oh!! We should always look there first.

  6. I managed to make another dishcloth during the long wait at dance class, at least.

  7. 100_8463   Our little 3yo's hair is starting to get quite curly in its own right. Rob keeps reminding me that he was four before his curled, and now it rivals ChloĆ«'s when it's grown out. Whatever, I'm just happy for further proof that this child is also his! Hee.

All in all, it was a pretty quiet day. I was glad to talk to Grandpa, who is feeling fine and completely irritated to be in the hospital (apparently since Friday, and I'm just now finding out, grr). I got in a good nap. I made about six scrap pages. They were not my favorites - a little quick and dirty - but since the ones of Jack's 5th birthday made him exceedingly happy, I am happy. I am the family historian, after all, not just the Melanie historian.

So, back to the usual fanfare-free days tomorrow. Up next: Tiger Lily's 5th birthday on the 20th! Maybe we should have a puppy party, Steph! ā˜»


Le Birthday Weekend

Let's recap: Yesterday, we celebrated Chloƫ's and my birthday. Today is her actual 7th birthday, and tomorrow (Monday), is my 32nd (not ashamed!)



I stayed up until 0500 Saturday morning, baking this kitty cake for Chloƫ, scrapbooking, and then turning the came from the above into this:


It was very pink!! But she absolutely loved it. What I didn't love was when Jack woke up before everyone and did this to it:


Oooh, I was so mad!!! He received lots of stern lecturing over that one.

So I got to sleep 'til noon yesterday, and then I had to jump right into the shower and get ready. I had planned on helping clean the house before I left, but there wasn't time. Oh, darn.

ChloĆ« and I left to pick up her friend from Brownies, Claire, for the festivities. First, we ran home, because I forgot my camera. Then we drove just a short piece to the movie theater, to see Fly Me to the Moon. No one has heard of it, myself included before this day was planned!  It was eh, all right, for a kid's movie. Not one I'd have chosen normally, but Claire had already seen Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda, and I didn't want to take her to a repeat. FMthM dealt with the Soviet-American space race, which was a little weird for a kiddie movie, but it was cute. It lasted about 45 min too long and was only an hour and a half movie. The first time ever I nearly fell asleep in the theater, too. In other words, pass on it!

The girls enjoyed it, though. I bought them popcorn and a Sprite (well, I got that for myself, but they usurped it), and they crunched and munched through the first half. Then Chloƫ had to go potty, naturally, so I let her go alone with Claire. They came back about a minute later, not having gone, because Chlo fell and smacked her face. Uh! Poor thing. I comforted her and then took her myself while Claire waited in the theater. The whole last half of the movie, I could barely keep the girls in their seats. They wanted to dance to the music, go into the aisle, go up to the front, etc. Since there were only about four other people in there, I finally gave up fighting them and let them do what they want as long as they were quiet. But later, I lectured Chloƫ that that's not how we normally behave in a theater, and not to expect to be able to do it again!

They both came out of the theater exclaiming about all the best parts, with big smiles on their faces and lights in their eyes, so all-in-all it was a successful outing.

I had a birthday coupon for a free ice cream cone at Friendly's, so we drove there next.


The girls had fun deciding what to order, playing with puzzles until their sundaes came, and devouring their ice cream. They were quite silly at this point, and I was laughing a lot at them. Chloƫ had far too many M&Ms in her ice cream, so Claire kept helping herself to them until Chloƫ protested!

I still can't believe my child is seven!!

Anyway, after the sundaes, we drove home to wait for Stephanie and Tim to come over with their baby charges, Grayson and Spencer. The mailman came in the meantime and brought this:


Not the Romero Britto - hopefully soon for that!!! - but the other, smaller piece of art Rob brough on the ms Zuiderdam! He was very excited for it to come. We chose the framing style, and we think it turned out rather nicely!  The only problem is where to hang it?? We are quickly running out of places for artwork in our house. Our master bathroom, maybe? ā˜ŗ


While we were gone, Rob and the kids had gone out and bought these flowers for Chloƫ and me! So pretty. Yellow roses are my favorite color.



Claire was totally enamored of Bounce and kept begging to hold him. It was driving Rob nuts, but I kept reminding him this was Chloƫ's special day and not to be so tense. It didn't really work - he was in a pretty cranky mood all evening for some reason...

Finally, Steph and Tim arrived, and we moved down to the living room for presents. Chloƫ received lots of great gifts and was really happy. I'm pleased with what she got, too - good stuff! Here are just a few:


Claire gave her this cool beading jewelry kit, a journal with her initial on it, and a Webkinz figurine.



Steph and Tim gave her bunches of earrings! She's really excited about them, as she loves to change them out frequently. They were all so cute!



Aunt Stacey gave her a bunny Webkinz and a little Webkinz dress!


We gave Chloƫ this knitting machine, the butterfly kit, the Webkinz sailor suit, and...



a Webkinz bat!! That makes 38 and 39 for the collection. We do love them so.



Lots of awesome new books from Grandma!


While the kids looked over and admired ChloĆ«'s new swag, Tim and Steph cuddled Spencer and Sophia.



Aaack, Rob is being attacked by the bat!


Then we moved into the kitchen for Chloƫ's (repaired) cake. She loved it and squealed delightedly!


Make a wish, sweet baby girl!



Aww, Spence gets a snuggle from "Auntie Stevie."

Soon after they finished their cake, I took the girls back to Claire's house to return her to her family. Mom Debbie (our former troop leader) and I chatted for a while so the girls could play a little longer together. I really need to call and set up another playdate for them; they have such a good time together!

Eventually, I was able to oust Chloƫ from Claire's clutches, and we drove to Sonic to pick up her free birthday Wacky Pack (we're signed up for so many free birthday meals, it's ridick!). She chose a hot dog, which she didn't eat, a string cheese, and a strawberry slushie, which Jack and Sophie kept trying to steal from her upon our return home. Jack's been bugging me to take him to Sonic ever since. Wait 'til your birthday, li'l one!


After they ate, our kids went to bed, and my fat ass decided to snuggle Grayson to sleep. He fought like a champ but finally gave up the ghost! Boy, he is a chunker, too. My arm was dead asleep!


After the boys fell asleep, we broke out the big guns: my ice cream cake! No birthday is complete without it, for me. The four of us enjoyed a good hunk each, and then Stim went home with the boys for the night.

I did a little (very little) scrapping and then we knocked out for the night.


We had to get up earlyish for my doc appointment at the Naval base. It was for all my records and labs and referrals and everything I need to get done in order to have the drastic bypass. I needed Rob and the kids to drive me in his truck, because I don't have a current base sticker on the van.

They dropped me off and went to run around the track while I was at my appointment. No pictures, unfortunately, but Rob kept laughing at the way they run. Not good form! Oh, well, it really got their energies out; they napped for some SIX HOURS when we returned! :O

Other than les incompetents who mis-scheduled my appointment as a follow-up for after the gastric bypass, thereby ruining my ability to get everything done as needed today, everyone I saw today was actually, surprisingly competent. Usually that is not the case; I hate going to my clinic, but I was pleasantly surprised today. I did get my labs done, and will get an entire, huge copy of my medical record for the surgery center, and a referral to nutrition, but I have to come back in on Tuesday for a complete physical for the rest of the stuff. Ugh. Rob will have to come home from work so I can go without worrying about missing Jack's bus. What a PITA. That's why I scheduled it for a Sunday! Oh, well. At least the ball is rolling, and I'm hoping to get this surgery scheduled by the end of the month!

When we got home, Rob got ChloĆ« out of the truck, and I lifted out Jack. Then Rob and I stood and chatted for a few minutes until Sophia shouted at us, "Guys, there's another girl left!" It was cute.

At home, we all napped. I mean, we crashed. We were all so tired, for some reason.

Then, when we arose, there was a present on the porch from Chloƫ's friend Danae, who couldn't make it to her party! How thoughtful of them.


It turned out to be the game Mouse Trap, which she and Daddy immediately set to playing at the kitchen table. Fun game! I scrapped and listened to them, which was quite hysterical.

So now, everyone's back in bed, and I'm going to go back to my scrapbooking. I must have completed over 50 pages since I started this spree, and I'll keep going until I am unable to do it any more! It's been a long time, so I really need to catch up. I'm in March of this year...

Well, if you made it this far, good for you! Sorry for such a long post. Have a happy week, and happy birthday to me! ā˜»