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November 2008

Entries from October 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Oh, woe is me!!

I thought we were done with all the kids' hair-cutting incidents. I thought Sophia's pretty little blond hair was finally growing long and was going to stay that way.

I was wrong.

I had to cut out a second knot from her hair this morning. I did yesterday, too. I thought I hid well where I put the scissors afterward, but she found them, oh, yes she did.

Here's what happened:

I'm still sick, so rather than doing my running around and laundry and everything, I decided to sit on the reclining couch with the Littles and read stories for Jack's reading challenge until I lost my voice.

We were in the middle of the sixth book, the unbearable Disney's Prince and the Pauper, when I must have dozed. I remember both of them leaning against my chest, under their respective blankets, and I must have just read myself to sleep.

Next thing I know, it's about a half-hour later, and my phone is ringing, waking me up. I could hear the Nons but not see them. After my phone call, I called them to me. Jack danced in and onto  my lap, but Sophie was hiding behind the other couch. Finally I insisted she come over, and when she did, I gasped.

She. Had. No. Hair.

Oh, there were a few long strands here and there, but for the most part, her pretty locks were completely butchered. I wanted to cry! I still want to cry. Why? Oh Why, oh why, oh why, did she do this again?!!!

I didn't know what to do right at that moment other than send her to her room. It was time for a nap anyway, so I sent Jack, too. And then, still in shock, I called their father and reported the dirty deed.

I feel so bad. She looks so pretty with hair and so... well, right now things aren't looking so good.

I wandered into the office and found this scene atop my purse:


All my girl's hair, in clumps, hacked off onto the floor. Oh, I wanted to sob. Listen, if your kid hasn't done this to herself and you're thinking I'm over-reacting, then you just don't know until you have been there. Three and a half years, it has taken to grow those pretty yellow strands, and now they are gone.

Since they were now down for naps, and I felt like crap and had not much better to do, I chose to toss all the hair in the garbage and go lie back down, myself. Chloƫ came home, and I sent her upstairs to rest before the big night of trick-or-treating.

When everyone started moving around a couple of hours later, I called them downstairs to get ready to dress up, and I got the scissors. There was nothing to do but hack off the rest of the long bits of Sophie's hair. My one silly consoling thought was that she wouldn't have odd bits of hair sticking out of her costume hood like Chloƫ would.

Daddy came home while they were dressing, so after he helped everyone finish, I took some quick pictures of my sillykins. You can see they were way too excited for trick-or-treating to calm down and take any decent pictures!




And then we went outside for more of the same goofiness:




No, we never did get around to carving those pumpkins. Ach.

So off they went, with their dad, while I stayed behind to hand out candy and notify the winners of my give-aways. (Yay, fun! I haven't won any yet... rats.)

Oh, and the hair? Sophie fetched my camera after dinner so I could show you how she butchered herself:


Is that not awful?! Especially the look on her face, hehe. I made her smile for the next one so she wouldn't look like I'd just beaten her:


She insisted I take a picture of the back, too:



Staceeeeeeeeeeeey! Help?!



The winner of the $50 spending spree to Jafra is...


Suzie G.! She said: "I like how Jafra is helping to raise money for heart disease. If I won, I would select the 1-2-4 toddler calogne and detanglers for my daughter, and the massage cream and bottom balm for my son."

Great choices, Suzie! I always used the Tender Moments items on my babies and loved them!

If you didn't win but would still like to try Jafra, I'm offering 20% off your order (not including s/h and tax) throughout the months of November and December! Offer expires 12/31/08.  Just shop around on and then email me with your order information. We'll go from there!

Congratulations, Suzie!


WINNER: Etsy Money

And the winner of the Etsy Money giveaway is...




Jackie S.! She said, "I think I'd have to get a tutu for my little cousin who started ballet this year!"

Well here's your chance, Jackie! Go ahead and "buy" anything in my Etsy shop up to $20!

For those of you who didn't win, I'm offering you 15% off anything in the shop for the month of November! Just put "BG" in the notes section when you check-out, and I will send you an updated invoice! {The 15% discount does not include shipping.}

Happy shopping!



And the winner of my friend Gaddy's futuristic sci-fic book, Migration of the Kamishi, is...


*drumroll please*


Jacqueline in Atlanta!!

She said:"Always up for a good Sci-Fi read. When I am done I'll pass it around my circle. Thanks for having the giveaway!"

Congratulations, Jacqueline!  I hope you enjoy the book!

If you didn't win and still would like to read Gaddy Bergmann's amazing series of books, they are available on!


Freezing Their Assets

I had been feeling a lot better last night, but then I went to sleep and woke up miserable for today. And now I'm pretty sure I have pink-eye, too. So I'm in a bit of a craptastic mood. Plus I napped this evening and haven't quite woken up yet.

I lazed, miserably, around for much of the day, but then I had to get my bootay in gear around 1430 for another Fall Product pick-up. Sophia accompanied me out to the car to give Miss Debbie her items, and as usual she was quite the comedienne. At the end of our short visit, she bent down and stroked Debbie's tires, breathing deeply and sighing, "Ohhh, you have such beyooootiful wheeeeeels!" We broke up in hysterics and said something at the same time about making her day!

My house is a dismal mess right now, because I don't have the voice to bark orders to clean it up, nor do I have the energy to do it myself. I hate hate HATE a messy house, and we are constantly falling into such disarray. Barbara was supposed to come, but I canceled her on Monday because of The Sick.  Now I wish I hadn't.

Anyway. We went to dance class, and we actually arrived early for once. It must have been serendipity, because normally I get there just in time to scoop Sophia out of her seat and into the studio, and then I go back out to the car to wait. Today, though, we had five minutes, and I brought her in to sit and wait (with the Bigs in the car right outside). The topic at hand? Tutus! One mother was explaining her daughter's costume (I, apparently, was the only one who didn't get the memo that she was supposed to wear hers), saying it was supposed to be a ladybug, but she couldn't make the tutu. She'd tried and tried the night before, but it was a mess.

Ahem. I spoke up.

"I can make a tutu for you."

All eyes on me.

I smiled shyly and explained that I made them to sell and could get her one done for tonight. Red? Black? Oh, I have one already made in black and red, should I go get it? Yes? Okay! Be back in a jiffy!

So we rush-rush-rushed all the way home and back, a 35-min trip that must have left her wondering where the heck we lived. But when I produced the tutu, everyone gathered around to admire it. There was oohing, there was ahhing, there were compliments flowing, and the other mom, she was excited to be getting it for only $15.  Hell, I was excited  to be getting another $15 sale! And they asked me for my business cards, several of which I had had the sense to grab when I picked up the tutu, so I'm hoping for more sales! (It's the Paso Doble tutu in my Etsy shop, if you're interested in having a look.)

So that was a fun little part of my day. I was well pleased.

I read my book while Chloƫ danced, and the littles took turns singing made-up songs at the tops of their lungs in the back. I really enjoy it when they do that!

Rob was there when we got home, so I had him hurriedly help me (before the sun went down) get everyone into their costumes for a quick little photo shoot at the lake. I wanted to include a Halloween picture in with Chloƫ's 7-year portraits, which I have to mail, so off we went.

Brrrrr, it was freezing! Absolutely COLD. And all of their costumes, well, save Sophie's will require extra warming layers that will probably detract from the outfits. Oh, well. I didn't get the best pictures, because I had to be fast. I was losing them by the second.


Group shot - they were shouting, "Halloweeeeeeeeen! Trick or treeeeaaaat! Candy corn!"


Chloƫ the Toucan


Sophie the penguin


Jack as Diego, The Animal Rescuer!

We drove the P.O. to ship off a couple of sold tutus and my eBay auctions, and then, back at home, the kids started their homework while Sophia and I snuggled down on the couch. That's the last thing I remember...

And I think now I'm going to go find the remote so I can watch the Obama thing from tonight off the DVR while working on pictures.


WFMW: Portraits



It started when I was in grad school. The pictures would come every single month. I didn't know where to put them, in my tiny little apartment, but I sure appreciated getting them. My sister was so thoughtful, taking her new baby in to Sears every month to get her portraits taken. Every. Single. Month. And I'd get at least a half-dozen different poses, with all different outfits, of my cute little niece. I loved it, since she was so many states away! I was in Florida, she was in, well, at the time, Georgia, which really isn't so many states away, now is it? But too far to visit, and soon they were in New York. Stop it, you're getting me off track!

By the time I had my first baby, nearly two years later, my family was well ensconced in the monthly picture tradition. I had no choice but to carry it on - not that I minded. After all, I'd just birthed the cutest thing this side of Venus, and I wanted to share her with the world!

And, just like Stacey, our family and friends were spread across the country, too. No one came to see her for four months, for Pete's sake! We had to rely on those monthly pictures (and the monthly email update I would send out detailing all of her habits and progress).

And then Stacey had another kid, and then I popped out, well, three more.... and the pictures haven't stopped. Of course, they're no longer monthly, but annually, with a few more thrown in for good measure: Christmas, maybe Easter, maybe Halloween, maybe first day of school... if I have a good coupon for Sears, that is. They've gotten kind of chintzy with the deals compared to seven years ago.

And do you know what? I have ALL of those pictures hanging on our walls, going up our staircase and wrapping around the upstairs hallway. It's kind of ridiculous, I'm sure some people think, but I've always wanted a house full of pictures everywhere, and what else am I going to do with all those portraits? Stick them in a book, never to see the light of day again? I think not.

I love being able to look back at all those occasions, that first smile, the first rolling over, the first sitting up, standing, walking... and the kids love to point themselves out, too.

It's been a great tradition. I thank my sister for starting it.


Tylenol Sinus In The Hizzy!!

I'm still sick, but guess what? Rob had to work and children don't take a day off.

Well, actually, my chilldren DID take a day off - from school, that is - which made it even more work for me.

One thing I hate about my kids is that they don't know how to act sick when they are sick. KWIM? They were coughing like crazy and had fevers, so I dutifully kept them home from school (for the first time this year; there goes our perfect attendance!). 

I sent them back to bed, but they kept coming down every 20 minutes to see if they could get up yet. Argh! That's not the point of staying home sick, children! Finally I relented and let them "rest on the couch," when Sophia woke up, but they couldn't stick their tiny hinies to the seats and were constantly up, playing, running around, and making themselves cough worse.

I did think it was cute when three sets of eyes came pleading up to me to "please make chicken noodle soup for lunch to help us feel better?" Of course, I did. I mean, I opened a can of soup, I didn't just whip out some chicken and dumplings right then and there! But they actually ate it, so I hope it helped.

I started feeling better around noon, thanks to the titularly-mentioned meds, which was good because I was sorta sick of sitting on my butt entering all the giveaways! (I've been doing it all day and am somehow only up to #100! But then I have been doing, doing, doing, too...) Oh, so I needed Chloƫ to fetch me something. It went like this:

M: Chloƫ, could you get me a pen, please?

C: What's a 'ped'?

M: Huh? A pen!

C: What is a PED?!

M: Nevermind, I'll get my OWN ped. I mean, pennnn!

I hate a stuffy nose.

Where was I? Somewhere during naptime, Karen from Brownies called to come pick up her Fall Product order. Sure, come right on over. Except, whoopsie, I was sick and busy all weekend and forgot to sort it out. So I trudged outside in my slippers and bralessness and quickly put her order together, just as she was coming around the block. Whew!

Karen is always the picture of put-together glam mom. Me, not so much. She probably lives in a gorgeous house, too. That's why I waited outside at the van for her, so she wouldn't get a peek inside ours!

Oh, and I decided to bake a cake. The kids voted (chocolate beat out carrot; double layer cake beat out cupcakes), and I went to work at naptime. I got the cakes baked, and before we went to dance class, I got them sorta frosted in chocolate.

It kinda sucked when a side of the cake fell off, though. So much for perfection. Glad it wasn't anyone's birthday cake!

Chloƫ decided she felt well enough for tap class, but I suspect that's because she was allowed to wear her Halloween costume for it. But not this year's - last year's. She wanted to be able to dance, after all. I didn't take pictures. You remember the Kim Possible costume? That.

We didn't go anywhere during dance class, for once. Rob and I made a solemn vow to try not to spend any unnecessary money in November, and I decided to start this week. It helps that there was no AC Moore ad in the paper, but I didn't even go to the thrift store for Military Monday! 

I just sat there and read my book (DaVinci Code). I didn't get very far, only up to about Chapter 15 from 6 or 7, because it's the kind of book you really have to pay attention to - at least this part - and you don't really get to do that when Sophie's constantly begging you to turn up the radio, open the doors, turn down the radio, close the doors, etc., and Jack is looking at the Toys 'R Us ad and telling you "I want this and this and this and this. And then for my birthday I want..."

Twice today, we have had the lecture about kids less fortunate than him, and remembering that when he is "I want"ing me to death.

It hasn't sunk in. Rob cautioned me not to put the weight of the world on the five-year-old's shoulders, but dang. Stop telling me what you want all the time!!!

I'm glad he had that ad, though! I found that the $350 Escalade he wants is on sale for $299 and didn't want to miss out. I get our Christmas money on Saturday, so I told him to stop by on his way home from work to pick it up, and then I'd put that money... well, whatever, he stopped and got it. 

When we got home from dance, the kids went downstairs to play while I decided to both frost the cake and make dinner at the same time! That was interesting. I got the icing out to warm up to room temperature, then I started slicing up the chicken breasts. Icing was still cold, so I prepared the chicken (I made the French's onion recipe on the can - it's good!) and put that in the oven. I picked out my icing colors, mixed them up, then got out the corn and stuffing to cook. Filled up my decorator bags, then put the sides on the burners. Get the point, back and forth, back and forth.


Finally dinner was done, and I finished the cake. (Remember, this is just practice!! Not for beauty! LOL) Although you never would have known it, from the way Chloƫ was exclaiming over it: "Mom, that's beautiful! It's gorgeous! You should enter it in a cake contest! I know you would win! Will you show me how to make cakes like that when I'm 8? I love those colors!" and so on.

I took the picture so you couldn't see the piece that fell off, on the back. And I still really don't know how to finish the leaves to a point, even though I've tried every angle and technique I could think of. Guess I'll have to look it up on the Wilton site or some such. But the kids absolutely loved it, and I put it right in the middle of the table to point out to them when they balked over eating their dinner. "Do you want that cake? Yes? Good, eat your chicken!"

After dinner, I ran to Sears to pick up the portraits. Only, the back door I usually use was locked. I drove to the next door and parked - ahem, illegally - and then booked it through the store so I wouldn't get a ticket, or worse, towed. I was so out of breath by the time I got to the Portrait Studio! "Pictures...huh huh huh ... pick up! ...huh huh ...Please!" Embarassing.

But I got them, and high-tailed it back to the door, praying all the while that my van would still be there. And it was! With no ticket or boots! Yippee.

So now I'm back to the giveaways, but I might go have a second little piece of cake. Whether you think it's pretty or ugly, it sure is yummy!


Bloggy Giveaway: JAFRA

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Welcome, everyone! Thanks for stopping by my site. This is a small family blog to update our far-flung friends and relatives on our day-to-day life. I'd love to have you stick around and join us!

For this giveaway, I'm giving the winner a $50 gift certificate to shop with ME at Jafra! Jafra Cosmetics International is a top of the line, state of the art skin care and cosmetics company, for those who haven't heard of it in it's nearly 50-year history. It's all I will use, and I love it!
When you win, just select up to $50 in products that you'd like to have at and then email me with your choices and, of course, name and address. [Unfortunately, this prize is only open to US residents because of shipping, but my other two giveaways are international!]
So browse around Jafra, and let me know in the comments what you like about the company and what you'd choose if you won - that's it!
For a second entry, visit our charity, CARE Package, and sign the guestbook. Post about our charity on your blog and let me know that you did in a second comment.
Thanks for visiting and good luck! Be sure to visit the Carnival for the rest of the giveaways! 

Bloggy Giveaway: Etsy Money!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Welcome, everyone! Thanks for stopping by my site. This is a small family blog to update our far-flung friends and relatives on our day-to-day life. I'd love to have you stick around and join us!


For this giveaway, I'm letting you pick anything in my Etsy shop, up to $20, for your prize! That includes almost everything, so make sure you check out all the categories in my shop, and then come back here and leave a comment telling me whate your favorite item is that I have listed (even the ones over $20, if that's your favorite)! Let me know what you would pick if you won!

For a second entry into this contest, add me as a "favorite" Etsy seller and then come back here and leave another comment telling me you did and your Etsy user name (you will need an Etsy account if you don't already have one).

Winners will be chosen at 9PM EST on October 31st by using


Good luck, and be sure to check out the rest of the Carnival for more great prizes!


Bloggy Giveaway: BOOK

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Welcome, everyone! Thanks for stopping by my site. This is a small family blog to update our far-flung friends and relatives on our day-to-day life. I'd love to have you stick around and join us!


For this giveaway, I'm giving a copy of my good friend Gaddy Bergmann's book, Migration of the Kamishi. From the publisher:

Migration of the Kamishi by Gaddy Bergmann is the first novel in the Feral World series, a science fiction, post-apocalyptic odyssey set 3,000 years in the future. Humanity has barely survived a near-extinction-level event - the collision of a major asteroid on Earth in the middle of the Twenty-First Century, complicated by the vagaries of global warming.

In Migration of the Kamishi,, Blake, the storyā€™s central character, must lead the last remnants of his massacred tribe across North America in search of new lands. Along the way he encounters dangers, enemies and "Rubbletowns," the millenia-old ghosts of what were once gleaming cities.

The story is unique in that it offers an optimistic view of post-apocalyptic society, which has reformed into local tribes that depend on hunting and gathering. Gaddy Bergmann (Denver) is a zoologist and microbiologist, and he carefully crafts a world where the biosphere develops naturally in the absence of Manā€™s misguided management of the planet.

I know you'll love this book, so please leave a comment below telling my why you think this book is up your alley! That's all you have to do to win! Winners will be drawn at 12:00 PM on Friday, October 31st by using

Thanks for entering, and make sure to go back to the to win more great bloggy prizes!


In Which I'm Feeling Crappy

I was hoping tonight's post was going to be a glowing report full of wonderful pictures of our annual trek to the pumpkin farm.

Not so.

I'm definitely full-blown sick today, so the trip just isn't going to pan out. What with scheduling, Rob's work, being sick, and all, I'm afraid we're just going to have to miss the fun this year.

Or will we? Just because we won't get our pumpkins from the patch doesn't mean the place will close after Halloween. A-ha! We can still go on hayrides and do the petting zoo and get hot apple cider! Maybe in a couple of weeks.... Yay, I'm cheered.

So tomorrow starts the quarterly Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! I'm participating again, for the fourth time, so make sure to check back here and there for all the fun! Last time there were over 900 blogs giving away cool stuff, and this time promises to be no different. Have fun!


Denial Is A River In Egypt

For a while now, I've been pushing back the idea that I'm getting sick. It's been SO long since any of us have had the slightest cold, and it's been wonderful. I noticed myself loading up on the OJ lately, but I refused to feel sick.

Then Jack started his cough, and  he woke up croupy one morning. Thankfully, he didn't miss any school yet. Last night, ChloĆ« came downstairs at 0300, croupy and crying. Great, I thought. It begins. And then today, it hit me. Finally, there was no denying it any longer. I am sick. I feel like poo. My body hurts.

Too bad, so sad, though. Rob had to stand watch all day today {damn Navy}, and these kids just don't quit!

Thank God everyone slept in late this morning, because I was up 'til nearly 0500 on my charity thing.  When we were all up, it was nearly time to go to my appointment, so we dressed quickly and left. I was gross and didn't get a shower, which I hate. But no turning back, or we'd be late.

Our first stop was at the "cupboard" for Fall Product stuff. I had to pick up the remainder of our order - the stuff people had ordered from me after the deadline. That took only a few minutes, as the cupboard keeper lady is really well organized and prepared.

Then we drove all the way to downtown Norfolk to deliver 8 tutus to the dancewear shop! That was really exciting for me. Too bad I felt and looked gross and delivered my goods in a big, black garbage bag! The owner said, "That's okay, we don't stand on ceremony here!" She was super nice, and I really liked her. She was excited about the tutus and thought they were really cute. She loved how I decorated and embellished them, and I was proud, because I really like them, too. I know from crappy, and if something I make turns out crappy, I don't pursue it. So that was a nice little payment to get, and I've decided just to include that money as part of my table fee for the big craft show next weekend, which means it's almost covered! Yippee.

We came all the way back to town to deposit that, and more tutu money from a few other sales I've had lately, at the credit union. The kids are so silly: whenever we go to the bank, even though they know I go through the drive-thru, they start bugging, "Can we come in? Can we come in?" Just because that one time, we went in and they got lollipops... they never forget!

[Side note: I just washed my face in vinegar. Don't ask. Rob's dying of laughter.]

Everyone was starving by then, so I called out to ask what people wanted for lunch. The girls wanted Wendy's, but the boy wanted to go home and have yogurt. All right, good enough. We swung by Wendy's and got a hunk of chicken on a bun for me, and some nuggets for the girlies, and home again, jiggity jog.

Fast forward through lunch and naps and Rob calling to say he was on his way home, at last, and then it was time to go to the school for the annual Fall Carnival. Joy. I still didn't shower. Big mistake. I was - am - really gross, now. Remind me not to do this non-showering-and-going-out-in-public thing again. It exacerbated my not feeling good, of that I am sure.


I had already bought the tickets on Monday (AND Tuesday, did I tell you about that fiasco? Whenever I send money with my children to school,  they always come home shortchanged. Pisses me right the ^(*& off), so we marched past the ticket booth and headed for the food.

100_8882 Jack had a bag of popcorn, Rob and I had nachos, and the girls split a hot dog. Three sodas. Twenty tickets. That was a big wipe-out of our 50 total (but someone was nice enough to hand us some more later on)!


After the food, we headed into the cafeteria to play games. All games but the cakewalk were 1 ticket, so we had plenty for each of them. Here, they chose a lollipop, and the color of the stick determined their prize (hey, not a lot of skill goes into these kiddie games). They were happy just for the candy, but they got little toy pieces of crap, too.


The next line was super-duper long, so I suggested Rob and Chloƫ go do the cakewalk while I waited with the Nons. Sophia, who dressed herself in last year's Christmas dress for this occasion, spent the waiting time spinning and watching her dress twirl.


They didn't win the cakewalk, but after the littles played, Chloƫ came back and knocked over all the little bottles at miniature golf. Of course, all the games had cute little Halloween-themed names, but I can't remember them. More little crappy prizes!


The third game was tic-tac-toe. Of course, Sophia and Jack have no clue how to play it, so we had to coach them. More loot for their treat bags, win or lose. Everyone's a winner!


At the next table, there was coloring. No contest, they got to keep their pictures, and they also got a sticker and a piece of candy. They liked that!


Sophie loved being able to hold her own ticket for the games. "Mom, see me! Take this picture!"


At the next game, they had to throw a ball through these hoops, five times. The girls actually made a few, especially because the carnie kept moving them forward of the line!


Chloƫ just looks cute throwing. I had a picture of Jack, too, but it was really blurry.


The girls each won a necklace at that game (Chloƫ chose purple, of course), and Jack got a skateboard keychain.


This game was hilarious. They had to throw some huge coins into the bucket head for their prize. There was a tape line to stand on, but the kids kept inching forward until, finally, they were pretty much right in front of the table and dropping it in. Sophie would skip, hop and jump forward and then slam-dunk them in. Rob and I just stood there and laughed along with the carnie. He was a really nice guy, really sweet to them. I just love nice people!


(I don't know why all the pictures are of Sophia, I thought I had more of all of them, sorry!) The next game was a beanbag toss. Again, they all made one or two, even Sophia standing back at the line. That was exciting; she was so thrilled.


After all the games, we had enough tickets left for Rob and ChloĆ« to go through the Haunted House in the gymnasium. When we got up to the entrance, the Littles decided they wanted to go through, too. Ugh. So I had to go buy three more dollars worth of tickets, since it was a four-ticket event, each.  No sooner did I pay the 20 tickets than Jack and Sophie got a good gander at the spookiness and high-tailed it out of there.

"Um, we changed our mind," I told to an annoyed Kris B. "I'm so sorry," I said about 30 times while she handed me back our tickets. Oh, well. We went to the Boy Scouts booth while Rob and Chloƫ entered the Haunted House. There, I asked questions about signing up Jack, and we filled out a card for them to call us when it was time for him to join, or whatever. They gave us some papers and things, and Jack eyed the give-away truck on their table. He asked for it, of course, and I laughingly explained that it was a prize for a raffle or something, and he couldn't just have it.

Just then, Rob and Chloƫ reappeared, with him loudly telling anyone who'd listen that they got a quarter of the way through before she chickened out. Judging from the look on her face, it was scarier than she expected. Oh well, maybe next year!

So then we went to the Face Painting area, but the line was really long. My back just couldn't hack it, so I said we'd have to skip it. Oh, Chloƫ was so upset, but I just couldn't stand there for half an hour. (I'm actually feeling incredibly blessed with the way I was able to get around, doing so much walking in Europe this past summer, considering how bad it was before and since then. Thank God for such favors.) She teared up, but we were moving on to the next thing.


The next thing: more cakewalk. We had enough tickets left for us all to do it twice. Since we were all in it at once, the Vice Principal running it (same one we ran into at the store the other day) announced on her microphone that she would run it five times in one round, for the five Odettes. That was embarrassing; the whole gym was staring at us and I hadn't showered! Nasty. But none of us won it!

The first time, I had held Sophie's sticky lollipop hand, and Rob had held Jack's. ChloĆ« walked alone. The second time, Jack wanted to switch to me, and Sophia, well, she didn't. So in the picture above, she's calling out for Mommy and trying to break away from Daddy!  Jack ended up winning a brownie, and Sophie won three cookies. ChloĆ« lost again, and I could see the lip quivering.


We were out of tickets by then, but walking back toward the exit, I noticed the face painting line was empty. So I handed Rob a buck and told him to buy me more tickets. When he returned, I sent him and the Littles to the van, and told Chloƫ she could have her face painted. Oh, she lit up. She was overjoyed. The art teacher was doing the painting, and she made my little girl this butterfly:


She was thrilled with it, especially all the glitter. I had one last dollar in my pocket after that, so I let her go over to the PTA table and buy one thing, anything she wanted for a dollar or less. She chose a really cool pen with a jumping, moveable skeleton on the end.

So we went home after that, and Rob noticed he only had two bags with all the kids' loot and prizes and good stuff. ChloĆ« immediately remembered that she left her bag behind at the face painting, but it was too late by then - the school was closed. "I'm sorry," I told her. "You have to learn to hold onto your things and bring them home!" She is really bad about that. Lunchboxes, coats... things don't come home. She had a meltdown.  A real screaming, stomping fit. I'm kind of worried about her lately; she's not really in good control of her emotions. I've been talking to her about it, but I'm still concerned.

I'm hoping that, because her coloring picture with her name on it was in the bag, someone looked through it and will find that and return it to her on Monday morning. I know that would make her week.

Anyway, that was our day. Two more things:



These were the lemon cupcakes. I have about five super-huge cake tips that I wanted to try, so I just used them on these. Again, not for pretty, but for practice. Maybe the next time I'll actually make a cake that looks nice? Either way, the kids don't care and they taste the same!

Finally, don't be concerned about my "list" (did you go check it out?) - Rob has his own. It includes Tina Fey, Jessica Alba, Lauren Holly, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and, of all people, Annie Potts!!! Apparently she gave him major bonage during her Designing Women days.

That is all, folks.



Real fast, because I'm hosting the next two hours of our monthly crochet-a-thon for charity thing:

Check out the Daily MishMash, where Jen has MY Friday Eye Candy list published. See who is on my special list. Ahem, I'm talking to YOU, Rob. Who would be on your list?

The kids and I did a lot of laundry tonight, and I picked up our Fall Product order (have to go tomorrow and get more, though), went to the P.O. and mailed a tutu, and we had pizza and garlic knots for dinner. And cannoli for dessert. Yum!

Oh, and all the cupcakes are indeed gone. They didn't even last as long as the first batch! Think I'll wait a couple days before I make more. I have pictures but haven't uploaded them yet. They're not as special as the pink batch. In honor of my alma mater (U.Miami), I used orange and green frosting.ā˜ŗ I have some super-duper huge tips that I wanted to try out, instead of the smaller ones that work with the bag coupler thingies. Blah blah blah, the kids ate them all.

It was funny, because after Rob came home, he came upstairs to join me and Chloƫ in the bedroom, where I was folding clothes and she was running to put them away. Jack was asleep, and after greeting her father, Sophia disappeared downstairs.

She came up minutes later, with green frosting all over her face.

"Sophia," I giggled, "Did you enjoy your cupcake?"

She shook her head.

Daddy laughed and said, "Did you just eat a cupcake, Sophie?"

She said "no" and started wiping all the green frosting off onto her sleeve (*grimace*).

He kept grilling her, laughing all the while, as she furiously wiped away the frosting.

Turns out we were wrong! When he went downstairs later, he found a chair pulled up to the sink, where my cups full of used frosting still sat. She had eaten that out of the sink - even though they were filled with water!


Silly girl. I should just hand her the big bucket of icing, and a spoon.

As for Jack, he keeps pulling this most annoying maneuver: I'll put him and Soap down for naps, but they won't sleep. They'll bang through the walls and shout at each other. Finally, I'll give up and come get them. Jack will turn into a major crankypants, and I'll send him to his room to go clean it up. He'll have a meltdown, telling me he can't because  he's too tired. I'll say, "Fine, either clean your room, or go to sleep!" Within five minutes, he's out like a light.

Why doesn't he just sleep the first time, when I know he needs it?!! GAH.

Okay, this was longer than I meant. Back to the charity thing. And tell Rob to hurry up before I beat him to his cannoli.


One More Day

I had blissfully little on my schedule for today. No running around, no going, no being somewhere. {Well, aside from our appointment with the broker for the yarn shop, but I have thought it over and decided now is not the right time to pursue that.}

It didn't mean I had nothing to do.

The dance shop owner emailed me and wanted to order 8 tutus from me. I had three made for  her and made five more over the course of today, just finishing the last one.

I sold another tutu - for the second time - so I had to make up the second one and hairclips to match. That will ship out tomorrow.

I still need to make up the tutus for the big show, having sold a dozen or so and now knowing what the popular colors should be.

I made up another batch of cupcakes - lemon, this time - and am about to go frost them.  Rob went to AC Moore for me today to get some tulle I needed, and sweetie that he is, he picked up all the Wilton food colors for me! So I may play around a bit with color, too.

That first batch of cupcakes is ALL gone already! I let the kids eat them for breakfast. And snack. And another snack. Hee. Hopefully the second batch will last a little longer - but don't hold your breath.

I read a couple chapters in my book, The DaVinci Code. I'm only on Chapter 4, but it's already riveting.

I have a bid on one of my lots of eBay clothes. Yay! It's one of the last lots I expected to sell.

What else? The kids were really fun today. I can't think of a thing to share, though, even though I know cute things were said and done. Rats.

That's about it. Back to my cuppycakes.


All About Bob

I got this meme from An Iowa Mom, too, so check her out! She's hilarious!

1. He's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Either the history channel or the military channel. Unless I'm sitting with him, and then it's anything but that. Ugh.

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Oh, my gosh, I don't know!! What kind of crappy wife am I? Caesar? Italian? Thousand Island, maybe. Honestly, I don't know. This is a marriage of convenience, after all. I needed my Green Card.
3. What's one food he doesn't like? Frosting!
4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? If we're being cheap, a rum and Coke. If he thinks the bartender is a bit green, a Colorado Bulldog. Otherwise, it's anyone's guess - he changes every time.
5. Where did he go to high school? In Sedalia, Missouri. I don't remember the mascot, although I should...
6. What size shoe does he wear? 7. He has small feets. Don't worry about me, though. ;)
7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be?  Motorcycles and trucks! Old fishing reels. Books.
8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Anything with bacon. He likes ham and salami. And turkey. He likes everything MEAT. With Swiss cheese, please.
9. What would this person eat every day if he could? Heh heh heh. Me. *blush*
10. What is his favorite cereal? Cinnamon Life?
11. What would he never wear?  Clothes, if he could help it. My little nudist. No, seriously? Um, briefs. He's a boxers man.
12. What is his favorite sports team? Lance Armstrong :P
13. Who will he vote for?  Knowing him, Ralph Nader.
14. Who is his best friend? Me!! And Larry.
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do?  Swear at him when I'm angry.
16. How many states has he lived in?  Oh, gosh. Wisconsin. Arkansas. Missouri. North Carolina. Washington. Florida. Guam. Virginia. I'm probably missing one or two?
17. What is his heritage? Bohemian!
18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake?  Chocolate cake with NO frosting (although I do anyway, because it's prettier. I'm such a beyotch).
19. Did he play sports in high school? He ran track. And lettered in drama, he frequently reminds me.
20. What could he spend hours doing?  Sleeping. The boy is narcoleptic, I tell ye. That and fiddling with his boy stuff. Not that boy stuff. His helmet, his GPS, all his little toys. He likes to get them out and play with them.

I tag EVERYONE reading.  This is fun!

6-6 Meme

I got this Meme from An Iowa Mom. I was asked to go to my pictures on my computer.  Pick the 6th folder and then the 6th picture and post it. So, here it is:


LOL Well that didn't turn out to be too exciting, did it?? The folder was the toddler clothes I currently have listed on eBay! Booooring.

I tag everyone reading! Let me know in the comments when you post so I can come peek!


If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home By Now

I think that every single time we drive into our neighborhood after dance class. There are two lanes on the street leading into it; the right lane flies by and I can zip right home, while the left lane is slow and long and just sits there for God knows how long. One small blessing for me, with three angsty kids in the back.

I keep falling asleep during my normal blogging time. Last night, and the night before, I fell asleep before midnight, and this time I slept straight through! Which is good for me but maybe not... oh, who am I kidding, it's probably better for you, too.

So aside from the usual day-to-day and runs to dance class, here's what we've been up to:


Sophia's been rocking out lately on her Backyardigans karaoke radio thingy. Notice the rockstar combination of gymnastics leotard and Diego accessories!


I just love how it looks like she has a sweet little smile on her spaghettio-encrusted face, when really this was caught in the midst of some major head-bangin'.


My original intention was to use my AC Moore coupon for 25% off my total order to get all the Wilton cake decorating tips I didn't already have. They're like, a buck apiece, so no big deal. But I went a little crazy and got the toolbox to store them all in, too. I love it! Now I can see exactly what I've got (and you'll notice there's still space for more, I've just gotta find 'em!) instead of having a pile of tips in a box. I already had the coloring but got the extra bag couplers and tools on the left, too.


Plenty of space in the bottom to store cupcake holders, decorating bags - oh, and all the directions and tabs off the tips so I can remember what to do with them all! ā˜ŗ


Of course, then I had to do some baking. I also picked up this gigantic tub of Wilton icing, which I'd never used before, so I wouldn't have to worry about making my own. There's no cake in my immediate future, just lots and lots of practice, so I decided to have fun and make up a bunch of cupcakes for the kiddies to enjoy (okay, and Rob and me, too). We ran to the grocery store during Chloƫ's jazz class and bought four boxes of cake mix.

Two interesting things happened during that trip: (1) We ran into the VP of the kids' school at the check-out. She was very pleasant as usual; I really like her. She's the one I call when I have a problem, which seems to be often. Maybe she doesn't like me as much as I like her, but she doesn't show it! She was waiting for the cashier to come back, and when he did, he had her cigarettes. She seemed embarrassed for us to see them and threw them quickly into her purse. I only mention it because Jack was there, and if I were a school employee in whatever capacity, I probably wouldn't want the students to see me smoking, either.  (Not that I do.) Would you?

(2) When we were getting into the van, parked directly across from us were some people we had seen in the store. Two adult females, with a teeny-tiny baby. They were buckling the baby into the front seat of the car, with no carseat! They sat her up like an adult, but I couldn't even see the tiny girl, and I got up out of my van to watch them do this! There are just some things I will not stand by and watch, so I memorized the license plate and car make, and I called 911. They took all the information and said they would send a cruiser out. I have no idea whether they did, but for the life of that poor baby girl, I sure hope they follow up on it.

Anyway, cake.

I bought strawberry (that one's for you, C!), chocolate, lemon, and carrot. I let the kids decide which one to make first. Sophia chose strawberry, Jack chose chocolate, and Chloƫ chose lemon. Of course! In the end, somehow, we all decided on the strawberry.


Here they are with their crumb coating after cooling. Of course, there are/were more of them, but I had to get these done first so the kids could have one and then get to bed.


Now remember, this was just for practice using all the tips, not necessarily to be "pretty" or anything! My first choice was the "grass" or "hair" tip, and I just loved it! It looked so cool. At least up until I smashed the lid of the toolbox open on it. Isn't that rad?


The second one, I learned to do some petals. I should have done the whole top in one giant mum-like flower, but I'd already tried to do the ribboning on it first.


Next up, some cool stars. I love the star tips.


After that, I used a "leaf" tip. I think I need more practice with ending the leaves, but when I get good at it, they'll be so pretty!


I learned to make shells, and whatever you'd call the thingy in the middle!


At last, the basket weave tip. I don't know how well I did, but Rob really liked this one. It sure was fun to use. Which one is your favorite?


The elite six. Yeah, that's the ticket.


Of course, now the requisite four pictures of everyone enjoying their cupcakes...! Rob was totally posing in this picture. He doesn't like frosting at ALL and wiped his off! Argh. Save it for someone who wants it and eat a plain one, you poopster!


As with all her food (doughnuts, sandwiches, apple slices...), Sophia ate from the top down, rather from the side. She cracks me UP! (And yes, she does have a booboo eye. She and Jack were jumping on the bed and cracked heads. He's fine.)


And, no surprise here, Chloƫ licked off all the frosting before peeling off the Tinkerbell wrapper.


You never know how Jack's going to eat something. (Half-naked today, I guess.) You don't even know IF, half the time.


Of course, I had to go a little hog-wild and buy the cupcake caddy, too! That will come in great for bringing them to school. I really need two, though.

Next time, lemon - and yellow frosting! Wheeee.

Okay, I hear Sophia waking up, so I've gotta run and get her some breakfast and then get started on a bunch of tutus that have been ordered. Yes!


A Fortnight To Go

Are we all ready for Election Day yet? I am. On my message board, the arguments about the candidates have disintegrated into constant personal attacks. I am trying to stay out of all that while keeping my head up. Soon, either a woman or a black man will be in the Executive Branch, a historic change for this country either way. I'm looking forward to... um... Obama winning. Laugh 

Today was a pretty good day for us. Everyone got up for school on time, had breakfast (albeit not the most nutritious, but it's all I can do to get something in Jack's belly first thing in the morning) and made it to the bus.

Afterward, I chatted online with my friend C while listing a bunch of things on Etsy: another dish cloth/towel set, and more than a dozen of my frilly little headbands.  Suddenly, more people "favorited" my shop, and I got two orders right away for the headbands! It was exciting. I've been waiting all day for a third, but it hasn't happened. That's okay; two was great! Now I know to list things in the morning rather than late at night.

Sophie was still sound asleep, so I lay down for a couple of hours until I heard her and had to get up. We had breakfast, I showered and got us dressed. Jack came home, and shortly after, we jumped in the car. I had to go see my meds doc for refills. Bah. Not my favorite doctor. He never smiles, he's not personable. But the children behaved for me, and he gave approving glances their way.

Of course, as soon as we got into the hall to make my next appointment, they started shouting and stomping their feet, and someone got up and shut their door, down the hall! Heh. Can't win 'em all!

Next, I announced to them that I had to stop at the post office, to mail those two headbands (hey, when you sell two things - or fewer - a day, you have fast turn-around). Whenever I say we're going somewhere, they get all giddy and shout, "Can we come? Can we come? Can we come?" No, lovies, I thought I'd drop you off at home while I ran errands by myself.

In the P.O., Jack suddenly either remembered or invented a sock I'd never heard before, and he kept singing it in his squeaky little voice. I saw people exchanging smiles at that and Sophie's constant jabbering about "what's this, who's that, Mom look," etc. I love it when people enjoy my babies. It makes me feel like we're doing something right here.

I intended on going home after that, but my car drove to Wendy's instead. I'm really trying hard to kick this soda habit, but unfortunately, instead of buying a pack of Diet Coke for the fridge, now I can go through a drive-through and buy a Sprite instead! Gah. I'm working on it, I'm working on it... I have been drinking a lot more water and Crystal Light lately, and I know I'll get there before my surgery.

Let's see... after we got home, I checked email again and found that I'd just been paid for Jack's Nemo costume from last year, which I just sold on eBay. Argh. Of course she couldn't have paid me before I went to the post office... Good thing it's right around the corner.

The kids and I didn't do much for the next hour or so except have lunch and enjoy each other's company. Sophia was really into her penguin (Squawk) and duckie (Pansy) today, and Jack carried around a bunch of matchbox cars in a newly-rediscovered Jeep toybox of his. They latch onto a toy each day and can't bear to part with it.

When they started getting cranky, I looked at the clock and debated. We only had about an hour and a half before we had to leave for dance, but I thought they could use some rest. I put them down in their rooms and headed downstairs myself. I was going to go through the too-small clothes to see what to Freecycle and what to eBay, but I ended up falling asleep before I knew what hit me! Next thing I knew, Chloƫ was standing over me, saying, "Mommy, I'm home!" Whoa.

I kissed her and then sent her off to start her homework while I snoozed a short while longer. She woke me up at 1600, right on time. I had her go get the Littles for me, who definitely had not slept, and then change into her tap uniform.  When everyone was ready, off we drove to the dance studio.

Today was Military Monday at the CHKD Thrift Store, so I thought I'd check it out again and see if anything new had come in since last week. Oh, boy, howdy! I found a ton of great deals again, still for cheap. Pierre Cardin for $1.99, Ralph Lauren, lots more Gymboree... I got a humongous bag full of new clothes for the kids for $44, all name brand and in great condition. Think I'll wait a month before going back, though, or this new habit will kill us! I still didn't find anything great for Jack in 3T - maybe one shirt - so I'll have to shop for him.  I was only wishing I had a wee baby to shop for, since there was tons of great stuff in tee-tiny. {Steph, you should go!}

It was almost time for ChloĆ« to come out when we returned, so I didn't get to start my book, Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code (yeah, I'm late to that party, too). My phone rang, though, and it was from ChloĆ«'s agent in L.A. I was all excited for a moment, thinking they had something for us, but it was just to tell us about the casting convention they're holding in March, which we'd already decided to attend. So I went ahead and signed up for it, and we'll have to figure out what to do with the Littles. Unfortunately it's right on Jack's birthday, which I hate to miss... so, not sure.

When we arrived at home, Rob was there, and we just barely said hello before going out to dinner to to a mystery shop at Gordon Biersch. We have been there at least three times before, but I always answer "no" when they ask if it's my first time somewhere, to give them a chance to sell us on the menu and drop some knowledge. Chloƫ totally dimed me out, though, looking at me crazy and saying, "Yes, we have, Mom!" I did the only thing I could do, give her the crazy back and say, "No, we have not!" Hopefully the waiter bought that little charade.

Dinner was good, although we couldn't get the Nons - yes, even Soap! - to eat more than bread and butter. Chloƫ ate a great meal but mostly enjoyed the pine nuts and mushrooms off my goat cheese ravioli. We had a huge portion of carrot cake for dessert, and then suddenly their forks were flying. Of course. At least, uh, it had a vegetable in it?

We left Daddy at the table so he could perform the bar requirements of the shop for me (someone had to drink a beer, and it wasn't gonna be me!), while I walked the kids back to the parking garage.  A large group of men was at the corner, and when we rounded, they stared at the four of us. I debated for a quick second before deciding they were safe; I felt no fear. (Have you ever read the book The Gift of Fear? I highly recommend it for all women.) They turned away and went back to their conversation, crossing the street ahead of the light and leaving us alone. Whew.

Back at the car, I suddenly had to go to the bathroom now, and I started texting Rob like mad to hurry up so we could get home. (I don't go to the bathroom anywhere but home, if I can help it! I totally held it all the way home from Europe to Virginia Beach, not even going on our layover in NYC! It's a thing, for me. And not a germ phobe thing, either; I'm just weird.) He ignored my texts!  So we left the parking garage and drove around to the side of the restaurant, where I called him and said, "I am right outside and it's an emergency. CHUG!"

That worked.

So, we went home, did the homework thing and the bedtime, and then Rob and I watched TV and . . .


SeSaSoSwa Questionnaire

I stole this from Picperfic's blog.

1. What are your favourite colours and fibres?

I like anything but white, normally. As for fiber, it has to be natural and very soft. Of course, I loved working with cashmere best. But I also love Butterfly cotton, and bamboo, and merino... soft is key.

2. Anything that makes your toes curl? (fiber/color/other)

I have come to have an aversion to acrylic, not just because of my allergy to it but after working with all the beautiful yarns that I have had the fortune to use, acrylic is so scratchy and dry to me now. Although there are some beautiful blends... as for "other," I can't touch sandpaper or mustard or I will implode!

 3. Would you describe yourself as a beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter?

I would say advanced intermediate. I'm very good at what I can do, but there are a lot of skills I haven't taken the time to learn yet, and probably more I don't even know about yet. I'd love to take a master knitter course!

4. Do you have an online wishlist? (Amazon or other)

Nope, who am I going to share it with? Tacky.

5. Any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I think it would be fun to learn to dye and spin fibers. I don't know entrelac, I've never attempted multidirectional knitting, I don't think I've ever done short rows, but then I'm not a big sock knitter...

6. What is your favourite: Snack? Totally varies on my mood. Sometimes it might be something cold and sweet like Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream, but it would ultimately probably be Ruffles potato chips with Helluva Good French Onion Dip.

Book? Evergreen by Belva Plain 

Movie? Dirty Dancing or Grease, I think. I love lots of movies, but with those, I can recite most of the words.

Music?  I am unapologetically a big fan of pop music. My tastes are incredibly lame, but I like it because I can sing to it.

7. What are your favourite items to knit?

Baby sweaters, definitely.

8. Any patterns that are top of your queue?

Several baby sweaters I have the pattern and yarns for from Plymouth, yet another Booga Bag, a sweater for Rob,  My So-Called Scarf, ... and a number of things I'd like to make for myself should I become thin enough to wear them! 

9. Do you have any other hobbies?

Lots of hobbies, but my main one seems to be collecting new ones! I'm really into making the tutus and hair pretties for craft shows right now, I love to crochet, read, sing, scrapbook, bake, travel...sure I'm missing something!

10. Tell us about yourself. When did you first pick up your needles? Who/what encouraged you to start knitting? How would you describe your knitting style? Are you a process knitter or a product knitter, etc.

I taught myself to knit at the age of 26, from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits, which is a bad way to learn, IMO. Another bad way: being in Guam with few knitting resources and no knitting needles, I had to use my husband's screwdrivers until my eBay purchases came in! Talk about frustration. I decided to learn because we were moving back to the States in winter, and I was expecting twin boys whom I wanted to be able to keep very warm with my creations.  Things didn't quite go as planned in that department, but now I knit , sort of, for one of them all the time. My style? I don't know, I now know that I knit the European way, even though that's not the way the book teaches. I just did it on my own. I'm 50/50 process/product: I love to stop and admire my work and the feel of the fabric I've created many times along the way, but nothing beats the satisfaction of having a beautiful completed piece!



Okay, so it's long past twilight now, at 0300. But I just finished The Book, and I'm ready to see the movie now. I'm not obsessed with Edward Cullen like so many others are; to me, it's just a good book, no more. It was a fast, enjoyable read, and I'd like to read the rest in the series, but it's not going to make me crazy until I do, that's for sure.

It's just a book.

I don't have a lot to report because I seem to be back on a migraine schedule right now. I'm a little tense, and I've been waking up clenching my jaw, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. Rob was supposed to pick up my migraine meds yesterday, but he ended up having to work until 2200, so that was out.

That really sucks, by the way, having a migraine the same day he has duty until late. I was a terrible parent. The kids ate, like, apples and a loaf of bread for dinner while I "parented," and I use that term loosely, from the couch. I sent them to bed on their own. It was just awful.

Today was slightly better, headache-wise, although we didn't get to go to the Pumpkin Farm as planned because of the weather. It rained all day, and the fun stuff was canceled. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next weekend...

Instead, I shopped for groceries and spent a fortune. We needed everything. At least I saved fifty bucks in coupons. The people behind me were agog. There's just no way to do it without them; I don't comprehend not using them.

My book is over, I don't feel like crafting, I'm wide awake, and there's no one to talk to. Blah.



*I am . . . in need of a shower.
*I think . . . I will be SHOCKED if Obama doesn't win this election. McCain + Palin = SCARY.
*I know . . . that is an unpopular opinion around these parts, and I'm rather proud of it. No groupthink for me.
*I miss . . . my son, my mother, my kids when they were babies.
*I fear . . . losing another child.
*I feel . . . like I need to do more, be more, like I'm just not enough.
*I hear . . . Letterman and McCain!
*I smell . . . the inside of my nose.
*I want . . . to have this damn gastric bypass surgery already!
*I crave . . . carbonation.
*I cry . . . when Jack ruins Robby's baby book. :(
*I search . . . the classifieds for new craft shows to attend!
*I wonder . . . what I'll end up doing for work...
*I regret . . . doing what I did that I can't mention. Won't.
*I wish . . . I didn't drink that wine cooler.
*I love . . . my family. SO much. They are everything.
*I care . . . about the environment, but I wish "green" products weren't so expensive!
*I always . . . cry when I'm angry. It's embarrassing.
*I have . . . to go grocery shopping. Seriously. Being out of milk and cat food is a bad thing in this household.
*I worry . . . about FOUR MORE YEARS of the SAME DAMN THING.
*I am not . . . happy being so fucking fat.
*I remember . . .when we were finally holding Robby, and I wanted to look at his hiney and rub it, and Rob didn't want me to. He thought it was disrespectful. But that's MY baby, and I want to see what his tush looks like! 
*I believe. . . that rabid pro-lifers really don't have a clue what it's like.
*I sing . . . incessantly!
*I argue . . .often. I love to debate. Rob does not. Kinda boring.
*I write . . . less than I used to, now that I have my Palm.
*I lose . . . very little on my own. I know where I put my things. Just. Don't. Touch. It.
*I listen . . .not well. I could be a better listener.
*I don't always . . .want to get up and get the kids ready in the morning. Sleep is better.
*I don't understand . . . why my baby died. I really don't.
*I can usually be found . . . here, or on the couch, or somewhere on my way in between the two! 
*I need . . . to get skinny!!!
*I forget . . . all of the state capitals. I suck.
*I am happy . . . with my life. I'm very lucky.
*I stole this. . . from Steph's blog. Thanks, Ninnie! ā˜ŗ

Walk On By

100_8768 I've been thinking about this blog lately. It has become somewhat of a chore to come on every night and recount the day, and I don't really know how interesting that is, anyway. But then, it's what I've got. And the purpose was to keep in touch. So I guess we'll just keep on going that way and hope that you stick around through the weekly repetitiveness for the occasional point of interest!

Red for the color of the strawberry wine cooler I found at the back of the fridge and am now drinking in place of my precious Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, which I am making a concerted effort to give up for the second time. I am craving the carbonation something awful. It's terrible. But I've got to persist.

Not that I'll be able to drink alcohol after the surgery - which is why the sacrifice - but it what I found. We're out of everything else to drink except water, and I've had enough of that for the moment.

Yesterday was the usual, first dance for Sophie, then jazz for Chloƫ. School went well, as normal. Oh. Barbara was here, but we stayed home because I had a migraine.

I canceled my appointment for this morning with SCORE, the retired executives who help small business owners get started, because of another migraine this morning. Also, because of my back, which is getting so bad I finally called (futilely; it was after hours) the pain management clinic for the first time since Sophia was a few months old. Also, because I was nervous and found that I could get counseling online, which is more my speed.

So I did. I emailed someone from SCORE, a small-business "expert," with my questions. His response? Something along the lines of, "You should make an appointment with your local office..." Uh. Gee, thanks. Not what I was hoping for.

I haven't heard back from the shop lady about my tutus, but I'm hoping she was just busy today. I know she does plan to buy them from me wholesale and sell them in her shop, so... I guess I could pick up the phone and just call her. I'm kind of in limbo here because I don't know if she's going to want everything I've got now, or to order a specific type, or what, and I need to know what I'll need to make for her or the big show. Yeah. I guess I better call tomorrow.

We went to Brownies this afternoon. I sat in the car and read Twilight while the Littles sat in the back and whined about being cold, being hot, being hungry, being in their seats, being bored, being too far apart, being too close together, you name it. My head was killing me, though, and it was hot and sunny and I hadn't had a shower, and I didn't feel like chasing after them while they ran around screaming. So we sang songs to the radio and did our best.

Debbie, our former troop leader, came out with all the financials for me to take over as the troop's treasurer. There's lots I have to do that I didn't know about, but once the initial work is over, I shouldn't have to do much. It's mid-October and our new leader, Nikki, hasn't yet collected dues, so I'll have to put a bug in her ear about doing that. And I got another girl's delayed product order... I told them the due date until I was blue in the face, but no one seemed to care except me. Annoying. *insert eyeroll*

The book is good. I resisted and resisted, but Steph handed me her copy and ordered me to read it, so what could I do? I'm only on the sixth chapter, but I'm looking forward to the next time I can pick it up. Maybe tonight after I finish my grocery list...

OH! Good news, very good news. The kids' 1st quarter report cards came home today. They are both on grade level for everything, except writing for Jack, which is what he receives services for. He has made a ton of progress, though, so no one is worried. He got a perfect attendance award, as did Chloƫ - our first!!! I congratulate myself, or rather, I blame myself for them not having perfect attendance in the past. There were days we just missed just because, in the past two years, and this year I have refused to let that happen. I just hope we continue with the good health they've had so far.

But better than that, Chloƫ received a Panther Pride Award for her excellent, hard work this quarter. She's doing such a great job. We're so proud, and more importantly, she is very proud of herself. She even got 100% on her math test yesterday, and that's her difficult subject!!! It was really fun showing all those papers to Daddy today.

Their school pictures came back, too, so I'll be sending them out probably next week when the Sears portraits return. Keep an eye out!

All right, back to my bottle.


And Miles To Go Before I Sleep

100_8778  Yesterday, the kids went back to school, and Rob had the day off from work. He still went in, though, because he has a big report due on Thursday. He came home around noon or something, which was good, because I was super tired for some reason. And then I felt like I was coming down with something, but I feel much better now. Weird. Anyway, I spent hours upon hours listing all the tutus I have made in my Etsy shop last night, and I've been 'favorited' a few more times since then, which is exciting! Not as exciting as actual sales, but it's a little bit of progress, anyway, and I did get someone who wants to order four tutus from me soon... but that was yesterday.

Today, I vowed to myself that I was going to have a super-productive day, and I have.

It started out when Chloƫ appeared at my side at 0804, telling me they were running late for school. Um, yup, we sure are! I had them run and get dressed, get Sophie, and then we all drove in just a couple minutes before the parent drop-off period ended. Whew. I was kicking myself for not bringing a box of cereal in the car for them to eat, though.

Since Sophia was now awake, there was no napping, which was just as well. While she ate breakfast, I cut all the coupons and started on my grocery list. I really need to tackle the office and my desk and make it liveable again, as it has definitely becoming everyone's dumping grounds (mostly mine, but). I balanced the checkbook, went through a bunch of papers on the desk, and was about to go through coupons when Soap announced she was finished.

So we headed upstairs and into her room, where I started packing away all of her Spring/Summer wardrobe. We tried on a lot of things in the 2T range and took out what's too small for next year. I took a much-needed shower after her closet was emptied, while she kept me company in the bathroom. After I dressed, we went back to her room to take out her Fall/Winter wardrobe and meticulously try on everything to see what fits and what doesn't. She's grown a lot, so her wardrobe was about cut in half. She still has plenty, and that didn't count what I found later was too small for Chloƫ but would fit her. (She's between 3T and 4T and can wear some of both now.)

We went downstairs to wait for Jack's bus, and the doorbell rang. It was the mailman, delivering his Diego costume! Now we're all set for Halloween, unless I can find a brown/black shaggy wig somewhere for him. Do they make wigs for toddlers? (Not that he's a toddler, but he's that size!)

He came in, and I fed them lunch. While they ate, I started making another batch of cheesy Italian bread. Jack frowned and said, "Are you taking this to Bunco, too?" I smiled at my sweet boy and assured him that he could eat as much of he wanted when it was ready, because it wasn't going anywhere. He was so happy about that! (Later, though, he handed back what I gave him and didn't want it! It was good, though. Silly kid.)

Then I started making up a batch of hummus. Oh, yummus. My quick-and-dirty recipe, for anyone who is interested:

  • Throw two cans of drained chickpeas into a sturdy bowl.
  • Blurp a bunch (2 tbsp, maybe?) of olive oil into the bowl.

  • Add a heaping spoonful of tahini (sesame paste; you can find it in the organic section if nowhere else)

Juice an entire fresh lemon into the bowl with a fork

  • Press 2-4 (I like my hummus strong-flavored, can you tell?) cloves of garlic into the bowl

  • Mash it all up with a hand blender until there are no more solid chickpeas. Voila! Grab some pita and start dippin'! Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmmm....

  • It's even better the second day, after the flavors mingle.

    So I let the kids watch a little Noggin while I finally sat down to get a break and eat my lunch of pita stuffed with thin slices of cheddar (gotta get my protein!) dipped in the hummus. Oh, it was such a good batch, too. So good.

    We went back upstairs and tried more clothes on Sophia until all the winter clothes from her closet were tried on. Chloƫ came home, and I worked on the laundry while she snacked on grapes and did her homework. I didn't get much done then... but I forget why.

    Soon it was time to go to Ballet. ChloĆ« put on  her leo while I got the Non-Twins ready to go. I grabbed my book, (*ahem* Twilight, which Stephanie-Chesapeake is all into and is trying to get me into, despite my claims that I wasn't going to jump on that bandwagon) a couple necessities, and off we went. Oh, and none of my bras were clean until this evening, so my humongo teats were bouncing around under my thin t-shirt the entire time. Pretty embarrassing. I clutched my purse in front of me and hid as much as I could!

    After dropping her off at dance, we headed to AC Moore so I could use my %off coupon. We wandered around a while, looking at all the crafty goodness, before I beelined to the tulle aisle to get more pinks. Those seem to be my most popular ones, and I that dancewear shop owner is going to carry my tutus, so I need to start making a bunch of them! Yay!

    We hurried out of there and then stopped across the street. First we went into the Obama HQ to get bumper stickers. Only, they didn't have any. Wha?! So I got a sign to hang instead. Meh. I probably won't. Where am I going to put a sign? If they had the yard posts, I'd do that, but a banner? And they cornered me and asked me to volunteer my time to the campaign, which I would LOVE to do, but you see I have these three small children, and, uh, my husband is away, and... No, really, I would love to, and I want to. But I have a lot on my plate these days. I have been seeing more and more Obama/Biden signs around town this week, which is exciting. We are definitely not a blue state!

    Then we went next door to the CHKD Thrift store. (CHKD is the children's hospital for whom I'm doing the big craft show next month, fyi.) I really didn't know what I was in there for, other than to look around and see what was to see, but I started looking at the children's clothes and found lots of great items! For $54, I got Jack a great winter coat and pair of pants, a nice shirt for Sophia, and tons and tons of shirts, pants and jeans for Chloƫ! (They had very little in the Littles' sizes.) All name-brand: Gymboree, The Children's Place, Osh Kosh, Disney, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen (gag), etc. Oh, and a pair of jammies for Chloƫ, and three good books for myself! I really made out. Only, when I gave my military ID to pay with my credit card, the cashier looked at me and said, "You know Monday is military, right? You get 20% off everything in the store." So if I'd known, I could have spent $43 yesterday instead. Rats. I'll know for next time!

    We were five minutes late picking up The Chlo, who was oblivious to that fact as she was playing with another little girl when I peeked in to get her. Normally she berates me if I'm late. Hehe.

    Rob was home when we arrived back at the ranch, so I put in the overly-risen bread to bake and then Chloƫ did a fashion show for him, while I kept bragging about all the good deals I'd gotten. He's always so proud when I shop well. And all the clothes looked really nice on the kids! Here's one $4 three-piece ensemble I put together:


    Told ya the office was a mess. The outfit looks cuter in person, and her hair was a mess from all the changing. But it's cute! And did I mention name-brand?!

    Rob made dinner while ChloĆ« finished her homework, Sophia worked on cleaning up the living room, and Jack and I went upstairs to tackle his room (him) and changing out the wardrobes for the Bigs (me). Oh, that was an odious chore. They share a dresser, none of the drawers of which are big enough to contain all their clothes. First I did ChloĆ«'s, and had to shove and shove to get the drawers shut. That will be fun in the morning - well, Thursday morning, because I picked out her outfit for tomorrow. (A Gymboree sweater I bought  her today is the perfect top for Gymbo pants I'd gotten on clearance in the Spring!)

    Then Jack and I tried on all of his clothes that were questionable, which was about half of his warm wardrobe, and almost none of it fit!! My boy has GROWN, people!! He's not fitting any of his 2T pants anymore - they're all highwaters! And a lot of the shirt sleeves are now 3/4 length and high on his belleh, too! I was excited, even if it means I do now have to get some 3T shopping for pants for him done sometime soon. He's got enough to last him a week or so, though. Yay!!

    Then, lo and behold, I found yet another bag of Sophie clothes... they do not lack for threads, thanks to hand-me-downs from my sister. The girls, that is. And Jack gets clothes from my friend Ruby, too, so we do all right. After they ate dinner (I kept working through), I had to try on a whole 'nother set of clothes with Soap. Yet more clothes set aside to sell. Most are name-brand in excellent condition, so I'm hoping to make some money on eBay with them, enough to buy Jack's clothes.

    Blah blah blah, I'm sorry, am I putting you to sleep? Because I'm starting to doze.

    THEN, Rob bathed the kids while I folded four baskets of laundry and, of course, washed more. Lots of the clothes I put right into a bag to put away for next Spring, which was nice. I threw all the kids' together at that point, being sick of looking at their outfits!

    My back was killing me after all that, so I came down here to have a late dinner and go through the kids' school papers, pay the bills (yay for payday), and keep on cleaning in the office. Back to which I must go, so if you read all this, bravo to you!