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Entries from January 2009

The Burrito Has Landed


It's not the greatest art photo in the world, I know, but after a long wait, we just wanted to get the show on the road! We bought this on our European cruise, which ended 7 July, so we have anxiously awaited its arrival for the past 6Ā½ months.

It is Deep Night Romance by Romero Britto, though to me it will always be "The Burrito." Go have a look, and a listen. I don't feel like doing much right now, but the music makes me want to get up and boogie. Maybe you will; I'll just sit here and sip my sugar-free-apple-thinned low-fat-oatmeal lunch and watch.

I like it. No, I love it. We love. It symbolizes so much for us, words that don't come right now. (Sorry for the typing, I still can't see straight.)

I'm happy it finally arrived!


Way Out OF it

Sorry I haven't posted much. I am exremely dizzy and have spent almost the whole time in bed or on the couch since I got home. I know I'm supposed to wlaking, and I do when  I have to go potty, but I'd rather not fall.I'm proablt y not drinking enough to stay hdryated b/c i'm sleeping so much buut i do dirnk whenever i'm awake.Rob andJullie hae been takeng god carre of me.And MLI, IBIL and SIL even sent me some beuaitiflul flowers!

Can't do much else. not knttin or readingor swhoering, and of cosuse now driving. Rob took Chloe up foer her movie sootthoday, and she didd a nafastic ob w/o me..

Guess that'sit for nw.


WFMW: Pet Edition



I have a few pet tips to pass along that work well:

1. If your dog has eaten chocolate or some other substance known to be harmful, get a medicine syringe and inject a shot of hydrogen peroxide into his/her mouth. Watch out! S/he will immediately start vomiting.

2. Have an anxious dog? Give her a little cheap beer to drink. This tip came from a vet himself. Don't do this every day! It's a once-in-a-while type thing.

3. Did your dog cut his tongue? Give him an ice cube to lick to stop the bleeding.

4. Stinky litter box? Just dump some baking soda in there. My friend buys the really big box at the dollar store and uses that in the box instead of buying the expensive litter.

Have any more pet tips for me? We have a dog, cat and bunny, so we can use them! Please leave a comment below; thanks!

If you're playing along, link up here.



I'm Goin' In

We're leaving for the hospital in two hours. I'm kind of a nervous wreck right now.  So ready to puke! But feeling much better. Still, though: Aaaagh!

Julie got in just before 9 pm, and we've had a good time since then. I'm packed and ready to go. I'm STARVING and haven't eaten since Saturday night, but of course it's too late now!

I guess I'll post when I get home, maybe Tuesday, definitely by Wednesday. Thanks for all the support!

Peace out, my babies.


My MIL Rocks!

So I never got to post this yesterday, because I was doing my monthly online charity crochet thing and was too tired when I finished. Here we go...

Since Thursday, I've been having weird side-effects from my Side-Effexor, which helps control my bipolar disorder. Usually when I miss a dose or take it a few hours late (which I try never to do after the one or two times I have!), I not only become rapidly depressed and/or suicidal (hey, I'm an open book), but I have physical symptoms as well. Every time I move even the slightest bit, I get these weird shocks and twinges in my brain and upper body, and they don't stop when I stop moving. They interfere greatly in my daily functioning and throw me completely off balance.

Anyway, for some reason, that started (minus the depression/suicidal ideation - none of that, thank God) on Thursday and continues 'til now. The shocks are major and extremely disruptive. I HATE it and am really not looking forward to the day when I actually have to get off Effexor. BUT, I have not missed any of my meds, and have taken them completely on time, so I don't know what the deal is!

Also, I've been sobbing uncontrollably over every little thing. I mean, really, over non-things! The first time was watching Martha Stewart yesterday. She made a pretty greeting card, and I just burst into tears. Then, an audience member on her show was asking Martha's fitness trainer about pregnancy exercises, and I couldn't stop crying. WTH is that?! I'm crying right now just remembering it!

About eleventeen more times yesterday, I cried at the drop of a hat over who-knows-what. I couldn't even tell you. I do know that even though I'm sans uterus and one ovary now, I still get the hormonal changes and surges every month from my remaining ovary (TMI? Sorry). So, I attributed all the crying to that. It was - and remains - pretty ridiculous, though.

And to top it all off, I've come down with that cold! And so, it's been a very trying few days for me. But we'll get back to that.

In the afternoon, the mailman brought a delightful and completely unexpected package from my MIL. The first two things I pulled out were some lovely crocheted sets for CARE Package! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures for you, because I packaged them up and put them away already, and forgot to take them. But let me tell you, Rob's mom does beautiful work, and this was no exception!

Dollar tree ad 

The next goody in the box was Chloƫ's Valentine's Day Dollar Tree ad! I didn't even think to look for it yet, but it's OUT. So run, don't walk to your nearest Dollar Tree and pick up an ad; she's in there! Now both of my girls have had nationwide ads. Pretty cool, yes?

That wasn't it, though! She also sent an order for 10 boxes of cookies to send to our Gift of Caring organization, the USO for overseas military! Awesome, awesome - and it brings her total Gift of Caring sales up to 28 boxes! Go Chlo!! (For those who are interested, according to Rob, he can ship the boxes for free to Iraq or Afghanistan, so no worries about paying the shipping costs!) 

And there were the usual Box Tops and Campbell's soups labels for the kids' school, which help raise money for equipment and supplies.  Thanks, Mom! Great package, it made my day - really!!

In the evening, I had to once again make the drive up to Hampton's Sentara Careplex hospital campus. But this time, I was going to their Health and Fitness Center for a consult with a trainer. I was NOT looking forward. Not that I don't plan to exercise; I do! But for one thing, I am most definitely NOT a gym person. You either are or you aren't, according to the shrink who gave us our surgery class on Monday, and it's fine if you're not. You just have to figure out what you like to do. For another thing, I physically can not do much right now, because of the many-times-mentioned nerve damage in my back. I'm good for a maximum of two minutes in a vertical position right now.

The first thing I did, after finally tracking down my training guru, T., was inform her that I've been sobbing all day for no reason and to expect it to happen again. Which it did. Several times. Hello, embarrassing!

Then we sat and talked for a half-hour about all the expectations, goals, and exercises I can and must do after surgery, including the stretches I can start right away. I actually learned a few things, despite my snobbish "I'm a biologist and I know this stuff" attitude going in. Same thing with the nutritionist. But as Rob and I like to say, "I do fish," so I need to quit doing that and realize there are always going to be people who know more than me, particularly if that's their specialty!

T. was great. She was tiny and perky, and just exactly what I'd love to look like when I lose all my weight. Fat chance of that (seriously, she was as big as my pinky)! But she was also intelligent and knowledgeable, and that's something I can always respect and admire, of course. Plus she was nice, and not the "I'm in such good shape, and you are a mega fat ass and gross and I can't even stand to be in the same room with you" type that some gym-people definitely are!

Anyway, we made a list of all the kinds of exercise I like to do and have done in the past and will start doing again as soon as I'm able. Wanna see my list? No? Well, I'm gonna share that puppy anyway because I can do that:

  • Wii Fit (okay, so I don't actually have one and haven't ever done it, but Stephanie and my sister are loving theirs, and I plan to get one just as soon as we are able to swing it)
  • Walking - We have this big ol' family-room-taking-up fancy-schmancy treadmill, and I really should take advantage of it. It's easy, it's low-impact, and I can do it while watching TV, listening to my iPod, or even reading a magazine. And I can start immediately.
  • Rollerblading - More often than not, in college, I could be found blading around campus, and to and from work. I love it. I can't run for doody, but man I can skate! And I have a good pair waiting for me in the shoe box by the front door, so yay! Free!

  • (Windsor) Pilates - I used to do these before and after I had Sophia, and I got pretty good at it. Don't know why I stopped, but since I have all the stuff, I shall start it up again.
  • Yoga - Love me some yoga; same descriptor as the Pilates.
  • Biking - I used to ride my last summer after college, every day to work. My legs were fantastic then! I don't have a bike to ride now, but maybe by summer I'll be ready to get on one. 'Sides, the bike I rode in Miami was a men's bike borrowed from my  housemate, so maybe I can just ride Rob's. If he can bear it; it's his pride and joy. Hmm, maybe not...
  • Swimming. Y'all know I LOVE to swim, right? I tried going to the Rec Center down the road when my back started getting really bad, thinking the no-impact swimming would be great for it. I was wrong; it still wrenched up after just half a lap. So I can do some exercises in the water for resistance, and when my back is stronger, try laps again.
  • CORE workout, on the exercise ball - I own the whole set and actually like it, but I didn't really keep up with it. I'm ready to give it another go.
  • Kickboxing - just kidding. Me? Yeah, right. But who knows?
  • Stretching and Weight Lifting - I don't actually love this, but I am required by my docs to start doing it. And strength training, as we know, is just as important as cardio. We have 5- and 20-lb weights, and besides, I could always use water bottles or cans of soup.

So that's my list. It's not a short list, so I definitely should be able to find something fun to do a minimum of 4 days a week, and there's enough variation there to keep me interested. If you have back pain-friendly suggestions for me, let's hear 'em? [I've never actually been on an elliptical trainer, so if you're going to say that, my answer will be "I don't know" if it will hurt me. Everyone, but everyone, tells me to try it - but I am NOT a gym person! ;) ]

I was back home two hours after I left, feeling better about the fitness thing and more ready than ever to have this surgery and get started on my new life! And what's more, though what I really wanted for dinner was a grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's - and even had Rob's approval to get one - I resisted the urge and went home to see what I could find for dinner. No more fast food for me for the rest of my life. Ever, ever, ever. Does Subway count? Pizza? Panera??! Moe's? (Yeah, Moe's counts, because I can't have rice anymore.) I ended up having a Healthy Choice sweet and sour chicken entrĆ©e, and it wasn't half bad. It had rice too, though, so I can't have that either!


After I ate, Sophie insisted I take her picture with one of the Wall-E posters that came with their DVD. So, here's that... and see? Her hair is starting to grow out. It's pretty shaggy looking right now (not unlike mine), so she could stand a trim.

I spent the rest of the evening on my crochet thing online, and while I was there, I started a new craft I'll show you below. When I finished, I knitted about four rows on my green baby sweater - it's finally starting to look like one now - before putting on my CPAP and conking out for the night.

The kids woke us up earlier than I would have liked this morning, and I was definitely sicker. Major cold symptoms, and I had a sore throat and huge, swollen glands. Which made me think a string of four-letter words that would make you blush if you'd heard 'em. I started praying like crazy for that to go away before Monday, because they'd postpone my surgery for sure if I showed up like that. No fever though, thank goodness!

I didn't last very long, between being sick, not having had enough sleep, and the weird twinginess from my Side-Effexor, before I headed back to the couch for a good three-hour nap. I don't know how restful it was, though, because I was plagued with horrible nightmares as I have been for several days now. (And according to an extensive internet search tonight, that's another Effexor thing! Gah!)

I felt even worse, so I chugged a bunch of OJ, and then Rob brewed me some hot tea with lemon. The prayers were in full force! And before I knew it, the gland swelling had actually started to go down, and I was feeling better and breathing easier.

We were supposed to go out and have a tax-return shop this afternoon - I usually do ours, but it pays very well and we could use the extra money - but I canceled it. Just didn't feel like going. They called me later, though, and will let me do it after I've recovered.

Anyway, the only other thing on my schedule for today was selling cookies with Miss Chlo, and since I'm bound and determined to help her meet her 172-box goal by tomorrow night, I wasn't missing it!

We stayed out for two hours and only managed to sell another 20 boxes. She was really getting frustrated, I could tell. Poor kid. She is really trying hard out there, and so many people are saying 'no' this year. It's the economy, stupid! I figured, hey, Girl Scout cookies, everyone loves those! But not so much, not this year! She has managed to sell 117 boxes so far, though, which is 69% of her goal. Awesome job, my baby! We'll go out again tomorrow and try like the dickens to make up the rest of it. And as troop cookie chair, I can always fill out her order to make it to 172 (why that number? because she'll get a cookie credit that pays for her registration for next year) and use the extra boxes when we continue selling after the Initial Order is due, and at booth sales. Not stressing it. Much.

Mucho cleaning was in session when Curly Sue and I returned home. The kids have been cleaning their room ALL DAY yesterday and today, and they are STILL not clean.  Why? Because the are unsupervised while doing it, which just doesn't work for them. Our kids need to be told "do this, pick up that, put those away, throw it in the garbage, etc." or they just won't get it done. They'll play instead, or just sit there, or go to sleep! When it's me telling them to clean, I sit there with them and do that. Daddy, no. Since the goal is to have this house looking decent before Julie comes, they better get on the ball tomorrow! But I doubt she'll care either way, so again, not stressing it. Much.

As for me, I went upstairs too, to delve into the laundry. No surprise there, we had a huge mountain of it to fold and put away. Rob's been washing and drying it for me (us), but that's as far as he goes! I sat there for a couple hours folding it and putting as much away as my back could tolerate;  the kids will help me with the rest tomorrow, I suppose.

I had the brilliant idear to send Rob out for Panera for our dinner. Who knows if I'll ever be able to partake of the loveliness that is Panera again? And so, it was my Last Supper before Fat Me kicks the bucket and New Me emerges. And behold, it was good. Very, very good. I savored it for as long as I could.



This is the latest side project that I've been working on today: hand-sewn felt hearts with fiberfill stuffing. Why? I'm going to make a mobile or something for a Valentine's Day decoration for the kids. Not quite sure yet. The kids are having a ball with the hearts alone, so I hope they really love what I end up doing.  Cute, no?

Sorry this was so long. I'll leave you alone now and go back to my knitting and heart-sewing. Hope you're having a swell weekend!


Time Of My Life

I was listening to the radio today, and a song came on the radio that reminded me of a certain fun time of my life.  There are certain songs which, when they come on, transport me right back to the place in my life where I was when they first came out and were played all the time. Which got me thinking about other fun times in my life:

  • The first thing I thought of, from the song "3 AM" by Matchbox 20, was when I lived in Sarasota, FL, and worked in Fisheries Biology at Mote Marine Lab. That was an awesome couple of months for me (I was a paid intern). I lived in a house with two other girls, my wonderful dog Johnny, and their combined menagerie of 4 dogs and about 22 cats! No kidding, they both worked at the Humane Society and brought home all kinds of rescues  needing foster care.

         A friend of mine, a fellow Miami alum, from Mote and I also worked at The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, just down the road from Mote. We worked catering parties and had the time of our lives. Sometimes we wore tuxedos for fancy parties, sometimes we wore Hawaiian shirts and khakis for beach parties...  She, one of my housemates and I would go out to eat, to the dollar movies, out drinkin' all the time. It was a wonderful, carefree existence, and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

  • Another great time in my life was when I left the frigid temperatures (and my awful bitch-from-hell stepmother) in Central NY for good, to attend the University of Miami. I made some lifelong friends there, had a great time in my classes, and really enjoyed working at Publix. I just love being a cashier, I really do. It brings me out of my shell, and I like interacting with people. I'm good at it. If it paid well, I'd do it for the rest of my life.

         Miami was awesome, of course. Great nightlife, tons to do, and of course I loved going to the beaches. I would go there by myself when I needed to relax and do some meditation. My favorite places were Key Biscayne (not just because the Marine Science campus of UM was there, RSMAS, but also Bill Baggs State Park, Crandon Park beach, and the next bullet...); Coconut Grove's CocoWalk; the beautiful, public Venetian pool in Coral Gables (met one of my ex-boyfriends there, Alan); and of course, the world renowned South Beach's Art Deco district.

         I could go on and on (and on) about my time in Miami, but that would be a whole 'nother post and a half! As for the music that defined my college years, it would definitely be the music on 99 Jamz radio station, because of my then-fiancĆ©'s influence.


A third favorite time in my life was after I moved back to South Miami/Coral Gables from my time at Mote in Sarasota. Before I left, I had lived with and taken care of (as night nurse) to my friend Marc, a quadriplegic. Well, we had an awesome rapport, and though I sucked at first at the job, I came to really be great at it - and he wanted me back. So I went back to live with and take care of him.

         At the same time, I finally got my SCUBA certifcation from Diver's Paradise on Key Biscayne. I could tell that they were really in need of help at the dive shop, and so I finagled my way into a job there. I worked full time and pretty much ran and reorganized the whole shop. They were sad to lose me when I went off to grad school that summer, but my time there was just wonderful. I got to do a lot of diving, and I learned a lot from the owners and dive groupies that hung out there. I still have all of the equipment I earned there, too!

         I can't think of any specific music that defined my time there, but I know I got away from 99 Jamz and into the pop music that I still listen to. Lame, I know, but I own it!

  • My most recent favorite time in my life was when Rob and I were dating, and the months after we were married before ChloĆ« came along. Those heady, childfree days were so exhilarating, so fun. Not that being a parent isn't - I love it, of course. But we were still getting to know each other, and everything was novel and exciting. We were young and in love (still are!), and everything we did was fun together, from sneaking into Panama City Beach's private hotel beaches and driving around to the surrounding towns for various festivals and events, to the mundane things like going to the laundromat and buying groceries.

         The music that defined that period in my life were "our" songs: Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason," Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight," and Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had a Million Dollars."

So that's what's on my mind tonight. The "regular" post will be later, but what were some of your favorite times in life?


We Need A Heat Wave

So, let's see, Thursday, Thursday, Thursday...


Chloƫ had a dentist appointment with the kids' new dentist today. We switched. Don't ask me why; I don't want to go into it! Suffice it to say the old one pissed me off.

Oh, before that... Rob took off to go take his motorcycle permit test. He passed! So he's got that taken care of, and the next step, of course, is getting his license. Then we can get rid of that God forsaken truck.

So, the dentist. Chloƫ REALLY took a liking to him. She said, "I liked Dr. M., but I like Dr. Cox a lot more!" I'm glad. He's a pediatric dentist, while Dr. M. was for the whole familia. Her favorite part, though, was getting to pick out FOUR things from his treasure box: a toothbrush, a sticker, a pencil, and a bouncy ball. She loves that stuff.

She does have a bit of a problem with her teeth: she's got a cross-bite, related both to her thumb-sucking and the fact that her maxilla is smaller than her mandible.

After they came home, she and I went out selling cookies. BRRRR!  We hit a whole bunch of houses, stayed out for nearly an hour, and sold a grand total of eight damn boxes. Ugh! People just aren't buying this year. She's not going to make her goal of 172 boxes by Sunday night, that is fo' sho! And we froze to death. She was nearly in tears, she was so cold by the time we got home. Poor stinkerbean!

By the way, Sophia always pronounces "boogers" as "burgers." It cracks me up every time.  "I have burgers in my nose!"


Chloƫ wore the fishy hat today while she was doing her homework. Cute!

Oh, report cards came home today. Both did quite well, although Jack is behind on reading and writing. He's doing really well for ME, though, so I know there's a little smartie in there who just doesn't apply himself. At this point, it would not surprise me if he got held back from first grade, although I'm going to really work with him to make sure that doesn't happen and he catches up. He did another lovely job writing all of his sight words today, thought he fought doing it like the dickens. Frustrating, although somehow when it comes to helping him with his homework, I have the patience of Job.

As for Chloƫ, she got the 2nd grade equivalent of Dean's List this quarter! I'm so proud, Daddy's proud, and she was proud of herself, which is the important thing. Yay, baby girl! I'm glad all her extracurriculars don't interfere with schoolwork thus far.

Did I tell you I signed Jack up for Spring soccer? He starts near the end of March. It only lasts for two months! With all we have to do, though, I'll probably be grateful for that.


I started this baby sweater today. I'd be a lot further along on it, but I had to rip out all the way to the beginning and start over, when I was a goodly portion into it. Bah, I hate restarting. It doesn't look like much now, partly because there are too many stitches on the needle to spread it out for you, but it's now coming along nicely. I started out on the circular needles it calls for, which I don't recommend at all. That circ was way too tight, so I had to run to the LYS for a new bamboo Clover one. That one was too long, so I ended up switching to DPNs. That's when I realized it wasn't supposed to be knit in the round after all, but back and forth, so I frogged it (ripped it all out) and switched to my beloved straights. Exasperating, that!

But I'm using one of my favoritest yarns, Sublime DK Extra Fine Merino Wool. It's so lovely and smooshy and soft. I love to squeeze my work while I'm knitting it, and feel that delicious bouncy fabric! I could go on and on... but most of you out there are not yarnies!

Well, that's the end. Back to my sweater.



  Not a very exciting day in Chez Odette. At least for me. I went nowhere, saw no one, did nothing. Much.

No appointments for me today. And Rob drove the girls to their dance classes, while Jack napped nearly the entire time, so I had *gasp* free time!

I spent that couple of hours typing up first a log of information for Julie when she comes to help out with the kids while I'm in the hospital, and then a super-secret file of all our financial information for Rob, in case anything happens to me.

So now I'm ready. So ready.

Well, except for one eensy teensy little thing: I might not get to have surgery on Monday.


Yeah. That's what I said. Julie is coming up, Shana is coming down, Rob has this time off - it has to be NOW!

But apparently the anesthesiologists are stressing because I told the pre-op nurse that I had a heart murmur (which hasn't been detected in my adulthood, that I can remember) and occasional palpitations (really kind of a lot lately, but I didn't say that...).  I mean, I know it's my heart and all and I don't want to mess around with that, but things really are fine and all.

So Dr. Clark reviewed my EKG, which was perfectly fine and normal and didn't even reflect the right ventricular delay that was detected on my three prior EKGs, and is going to talk to the anesthesiologists on the morrow. Hopefully their discussion will resolve the issue and things will be a go, so if you could keep good thoughts for me, I'd really appreciate it.

And they do work, you know. Those of you who helped me pray for Vanna might like to know that the "check engine" light went off Monday and hasn't been seen since.

What else did I do? Let's see...



I helped Jack with his homework. He had to practice writing all the letters above. Didn't he do such a beautiful job? For someone who is getting occupational therapy for fine motor, I think he did excellent work here! I was holding him on my lap while he printed each letter, and I exclaimed after each nice one, gently correcting him when one was backward or something. He was so thrilled, but nowhere near as I was. He made me proud.

He was on a roll, so I decided to break out the sight words, which you'd think were physically painful for him, he kvetches so. But other than "at" and "the," he read them all without my prompting! Eventually he was able to read "at" when that card flashed up, but we're still struggling with "the." I went back to it over and over, but it's just not connecting. We'll just have to keep at it. So, go Jacky!!!


Then I switched out the buttons on the Philly Cowl. They just weren't working for me. They style was wrong, the color was off, and they were too small. I'm loving these silver ones instead; they really make it more modern-looking and just nicer. I'm wearing it right now; it feels so nice around the neck! I still don't know what I'm going to do with it, though! If you'd like it, step right up!


Please tell me these are better. I really don't want to sew them on a third time!


Finally, I received a custom order for another tutu on Etsy (yay!), so I made that up tonight. It's been a while since I had a sale, so I was only to pleased to whip one up for her.

Off to cast on for another project.


Don't Have A Cowl

It's finished! I did the edging on the cowl this afternoon and let Rob choose the buttons. I'm not sure about them, so let me know what you think.

The official color of this Malabrigo Pure Merino Worsted Wool is "Emerald," but to me it looks more like a deep sea blue-green than emerald. Like the color of these words.


Here it is blocking on the ironing board. I steam-blocked, added a little water, and ironed over it with a towel on top. Still not sure I'm satisfied, but it's much better now.


Close-up of the buttons The Bob chose. Tell me what you think: yay or nay? They are gold-rimmed with ivory enamel in the center.


The finished product. It was a fun and interesting project to knit, and super fast. I learned a new trick or two, which is my aim this year with each project I make. And I just adore seed stitch, so that was an added bonus.



I have Miss Chloƫ modeling the cowl for you, so I could take the picture, and I didn't figure you wanted Rob to wear it! The color is off; it's truer in the first three pictures. There are three buttons, and I left the bottom one undone.

There you have it! It's the Philly Cowl, for you Ravelers out there.


WFMW: Matching Socks



I have a system for everything, even matching socks.  Well, my kids' socks. Rob doesn't like his socks paired up, so I made him a white-sock drawer and a colored-sock drawer (he has a lot of both) and just throw them in for him to match them himself.

I don't wear socks. It's a very rare day when I put on a pair.

But my kids have oodles of them, and they take them off, willy-nilly, wherever they happen to be in the house. So of course, one is forever getting lost before they even hit the washing machine, and I am stuck with tons of matchless singletons.

What to do?

I have a box for those unmatched socks. An empty Pampers wipe box serves for now, although I could stand to go up in size. Everyone in the house knows it as the "sock box." All socks go into the box as I am folding laundry (although there are so many, they usually overflow and make a nice mound, but ykwim). After the rest of the clothes are sorted and put away, I tackle the socks.

I match up all the socks I can, and the rest without matches remain in the Sock Box until that one wonderful day when its mate finally shows up again. Voila! No more loose socks roaming around the house.

Works for me!



Six Days Left

Exhaustion. That's what I'm feeling right now. I've been on the run since 0730, and I'm wiped.

At 0600, Rob and I both got phone calls from the school's automated system, informing us that it was a snow day. So after a month of being out of school and really wanting to go back, the kids were a bit disappointed to find out they had yet another day off!  And what's more, no snow even fell, much less accumulated, in our town. Hilarious.

I awoke early, and jumped up to get ready for my day. After a quick email check, I downed a Slim-Fast and packed my bags. I was headed up to Newport News for a 9:30 class that lasted nearly four hours.

First, we saw the medical psychiatrist. She gave us a lecture about taking responsibility for making sure we are successful with our surgeries. It is a tool, not a "cure," and we still have to eat right and exercise in order to lose the weight and keep it off. She provided us with some coping strategies and really educated us about obesity and its causes, which are numerous. Genetics play a role (hello, every woman on my mom's side of the family was big), not sleeping well (hi again), stress (heh), skipping meals (oops), and other factors. It seems I've been really screwed on the fatty front. Pretty much every factor affects me! So... I've been feeling guilty for being so fat and needing surgery to help me, and I'm going to stop it right now.  I still need to do the "right" things to get healthy, and I'm so ready - but I need help.

Then the nutritionist came in. She was way cool; I liked her intensely. I think we'd be pals in real life. She taught us all about how to eat in the days, weeks, months, and years after our surgery. I'm really nervous; I hope I don't forget something! My food intake will change radically, and I've got to relearn how to eat, basically. 'Twill be interesting.

We took a break then, to watch Obama's swearing in. I managed not to cry, but I did burst into applause after he took the oath. I was embarrassed for a half-second until several other people joined in. That was a relief! It, and his speech, were all very moving for me, and I was glad we were given the time to watch it.

The bypass nurse educated us last. There were only two of us left, as the rest of the people from before were lap-band patients, and that's a whole different ball of wax. I'm so glad I'm not having one; they seem so ineffective to me, and the nurse shared that opinion. She'd had a bypass herself five years ago and looked great.  It's the ones who manage to keep their wait off that inspire me to do the same. I don't know who would shoot me first if I gained it back, me or Rob!

At last, we were free. Whew. What a long seminar. But definitely worth it.

I had two hours to kill before meeting with the surgeon later in the afternoon, and I decided to just go over there early and knit in my van while I waited. No sense driving home; I'd just have to turn around and head back again. The only other option was going to lunch, and since I'd brought another can of Slim-Fast with me, I resisted the urge.

I'm knitting a cowl that I started last night, in emerald-colored Malabrigo. I'm just about finished but have a few more rows to knit and buttons to sew on. I like it a lot; it's really nice. I'm not sure whether I'm going to keep it, sell it, or give it away yet, but I hope to get your opinions on it when I post pictures. So I made a lot of headway on that in the two-hour wait, and then went inside for my appointment.

The first thing I did was make the last payment. Anesthesia was paid, the hospital was paid yesterday, and now the surgeon is paid. Everything went through, and I'm so relieved!!!! Phew. This is really going to happen. I am on my way.

First, I had my last "before" weight taken. It was a bit depressing, because I registered 10 lbs heavier on the office scale than on my home scale. Argh. But oh well, it just means my final weight loss number will be that more impressive, right? ;)

The nurse did the usual vitals and questions and stuff, and then she gave me a sample box full of protein shakes. I have to get a lot of protein in, first in liquid form, then purƩe, then solids. It's about all I'm going to be able to eat: chicken, fish, cheese, beans, yogurt... probably with extra protein powder mixed in. Um, yummy. No more carbs. Even fruits and veggies will take a backseat to getting the protein in. I'm not supposed to stress about it if I don't get my daily 90 grams in, but of course I already am!


My surgeon came in after that. He's wonderful; I really like him. We have a great rapport, unlike the @$$ at Portsmouth Naval. He's patient and listens to all my questions, and he thoroughly answers them without making me feel like a dummy. Everything checked out well, and he seemed excited for me to have my surgery on Monday. This is it, we're a go!!

I raced home, because Chloƫ had to get to ballet, and I still had her booster seat in my van, so Rob couldn't take them. Argh. I got home way late, but we made it to dance class 20 minutes later than it started, which is much better than I expected. I'd already called them and told them she wouldn't be there, so it wasn't a problem. She was glad to go, and I'm glad not to waste that money!

I sat and knitted, of course, but I'd wished I'd remembered my New Moon book to read. I haven't picked it up in a few days and need to get back into it.

Rob had ordered a pizza - at my request - so we waited for that and filled ourselves up with it before heading to the grocery store at 1900. A bit late for a school night, but we were out of so many of the kids' things, and besides, the grocery ad changes tomorrow and I'd already made my list according to this week's ad!

I really dislike this new system of shopping that my back demands. I ran out last night to get milk and bread and stuff, and I decided to walk the store rather than drive the cart. I regretted it by the time I got to the cashier, and I really paid for it later. So, no can do. But Rob takes sooo long in the store, and I hate not being able to rush around and do my usual system. Ah, well. I'm glad for the help; at least he is here and able to go with me. And we saved fifty bucks in coupons, so there's always that!

When we got home, the kids ate a yogurt snack, Rob carried everything in and put it away, and I scanned it all or Nielsen. Points are racking up! Let me know if you need a link for that.

Ugh, sorry this is such a boring blahg, but I'm so tired. Guess I'll just stop here and go catch some zzzzz's.


Counting Down: One Week

Rob had to go into work this morning to finish checking out. I thought he was done, but he had some last-minute things to do.  He was home early, though - before noon. We'd stayed up late, so I was glad when the children slept until 10 AM to let me sleep in later than usual. I haven't been napping (thank you iron and CPAP!), nor have I had time to nap, much lately, so it was a good thing.

After breakfast, we pretty much putzed around for a couple hours. ChloĆ« did her thing playing Webkinz, and the littles and I watched Noggin while I worked on the right hand of the Fetching mitts. When Daddy came home, he took over, and I showered and left for my appointments.

First, I had to visit my surgery center to pick up my paperwork for tomorrow's appointment, and pay them their portion for the surgery. Only, I forgot where I stuck that same damn credit card that I lost and found the other day on my desk, so it'll have to wait 'til tomorrow. I'm such an airhead!

From there, I drove to the enormous hospital, Sentara Careplex in Hampton, where I'll have my surgery in one week. ONE WEEK!! Egad. The excitement is building, and so is the nervousness. My organs are going to be rearranged. I can't wait to speak to the anesthesiologist, about both my TMJ/inability to open my mouth wide/the problems with inserting the breathing tube during the hysto (I was awake when they inserted it - no fun!!), and the nerve damage in my back from the spinal I received for Sophie's delivery. That's where most of my anxiety lies. I don't want more damage...

The surgery pre-op area was fantastic. That hospital is amazing! Check-in was right by the front door, and I was ushered in just a few minutes past my appointment time. All of the testing was done right there, so I didn't have to break my back walking around the hospital, like I do for pre-op at Portsmouth Naval. I had chest x-rays, an EKG, blood drawn, and all my paperwork done in one little area near the front door, in less than an hour.

And the best part? Free valet parking at the main entrance! Not many people seemed to be taking advantage of it, and at 32 years old, I felt pretty lame doing so, but I needed it. I didn't see any empty parking spots and just could not have borne a long walk to the front door. But I'm praying and hoping that after next week, that will start to change.

Everything went well, and I was on my way home sooner than expected. Rob had taken my car seats out and put them in his truck in anticipation of taking the kids to Chloƫ tap class... I called him to let him know I was coming and make sure he was getting her ready to go. I knew - I just knew - that there would be some reason he wouldn't go, though.

And I was right. I pulled up five minutes before she was supposed to be at dance class, and his truck was still in the driveway. I was pissed! Probably more than was rational, especially after finding out that his truck wouldn't start, but this was one time I didn't want to be proven right.

And she wasn't even dressed for class!!!!

I threw her dance leotard and pants on her and whisked her out the door, after ensuring I'd gotten her booster back from his truck. We whizzed out of the neighborhood, and I got her to dance class just 10 minutes late.

While she danced, I knitted.


Obviously, these would look better on skinnier arms and hands... I'd finished the right one last night and the new left, during dance class.  I still kept the picot edging in, and I still wish I hadn't! The designer recommends a loose bind-off around the thumb, but I kept it nice and tight because I like that feeling, rather than a loosey-goosey floppy thing on my finger. I wished I'd brought the right one with me, so I could wear them both home, but even just wearing the left felt pretty good. Warm and cozy! A very good project for instant gratification. I even have enough left in the hank for a match for the "wrong" leftie, but I don't know what I'll do with that pair yet. Anyone interested?

Rob was cooking dinner when I got home. Shrimp for me and the kids, and the conch I'd taken out for him a few days ago. I bought it from Uncle Chuck over the summer and never got around to making fritters for him.

To keep myself from starving during dinner prep, I ran to the store to return Iron Man (I really can't give you my review because I totally didn't watch it, sorry) and rent Leatherheads with today's free rental code. I'm sorry I forgot to post it here, but if you sign up on with your mobile number, you'll get the code texted to you every Monday!

We sat down to eat. The kids and I doused our rice and shrimpies in soy sauce, while Rob broke out the horseradish for his conch. He took a bite...and then promptly spit it out. It had evidently gone bad, darn it. My fault for not cooking it up sooner. I hate waste!!


One time during an event at the local Michael's store, the kids were given a free bag of Peanut Butter Cookie mix. Neither Rob nor I are fans of PBCs, so I wasn't in any hurry to make them up. But now that I'm not eating that stuff anyway, and because I was out of milk for pudding (the kids love pudding, and since it uses so much milk, I love it for them), I decided to mix it up. I totally bribed them with the cookies to get them to clean up their toys in the living room, and I'm not ashamed.  Jack asked me if I could put chocolate chips in the mix, so I agreed.

Chloƫ asked, "Does the recipe call for chocolate chips? Are you allowed to put them in there?"

I said, "I'm the Mom, I can put whatever I want in there! I can put chocolate chips in there, I could put raisins or nuts or marshmallows or soap or that rotten conch or... " They giggled away, "ewwwing" as I got grosser and grosser. We agreed that I would just stick to the chocolate chips.

It was a good idea! I snuck one (okay, two, but they were small!) to taste, and right out of the oven, even these PBCs-from-a-mix didn't suck. I let the kids each eat three after the room was done, and then it was time for a bath. The night before school returns. Unless we have a snow day. Which we might, from the looks of things!

I think I'm off to the store for some milk and bunny food. Rob was supposed to go, but he is passed the eff out.  Ain't no use.

Hope your MLK Day was full of love, peace and understanding.


In Which We Froze Our Hinies Off

The Big Plan for today was to get out there and sell a massive amount of cookies!

In the end, we sold a grand total of six additional boxes. Whoopee!

Chloƫ was such a trooper today. (Get it? TROOPer? Haha! Okay, sorry.) We waited until afternoon to let all the churchfolk get home, but apparently we didn't wait long enough because there were a lot of unanswered doors.

When we finally did get to go out, it was raining.  A cold, bone-chilling January rain. Who wants to sell cookies door-to-door in that?!

Well, ChloĆ«, for one. Are you sure? Yes, she's sure. Crazy. So out we went. I stayed in the car once again, feeling quite guilty having my daughter standing out in the freezing rain, but it was her choice. I kept asking her if she wanted to keep going, and she kept saying yes. I just hope and pray that she doesn't come down with something.  At least she was bundled up in her warm two-layer coat and daddy's kooky hat.

One guy initially said no to her and then ran down the street after he'd changed his mind.  ChloĆ« looked at me quizzically and asked, "Mom, why is he buying cookies from our car?"

We would have stayed out longer than we did - the row of cars parked at the next batch of houses looked promising - but then a crappy thing happened. Vanna's battery died, and we were stuck. And to to things off, I'd forgotten my cell phone. Argh!

I snugged her down in the van and then ran to the last house that bought from her, begging to use their phone. They were quite nice about it, even though we were blocking their driveway and people were coming to visit.

I'm stressed because my "check engine" light is on, the battery keeps dying... and I'm just hoping we can make it until the tax refund comes in, because all our other available funds are going toward the surgery. Cross your fingers or say a little prayer for Vanna to keep on keepin' on!

Back at home, Rob made some hot cocoa for the girl, and I settled down for a nap. More like a hibernation; I slept past dinnertime.

I'm in the middle of knitting the right-hand Fetching mitt, but I can't yet tell if I'll have enough yarn to make the third. I think I may just make it the same as the first and then make a second pair in either teal or purple.

That's the news 'til now. Have a good week!


Opinions Needed!


So I just completed this left Fetching mitt out of the wonderfully yummy Malabrigo merino worsted wool, Cinnabar colorway. Rob chose the color from my stash, and I love it! Seems I'm on an orange kick right now.

Anyway, if you go to the Fetching link, you will see how it is supposed to look, vs. how I made it. I goofted a tad and left out the cable and four extra rounds at the top, by the fingers, so mine is shorter and less detailed. Oops, I skipped ahead in the pattern and missed it completely.

I had already bound off the stitches when I realized my mistake, and I was waaay not interested in doing all the work involved in undoing the undoing to repair it. So what should I do? What do you think of this mitt? Personally, I love it. It's warm and cozy, soft as anything, and I can still type and stuff wearing it (I have it on now!).  But I need to decide whether to do the right hand the exact same way, or do it the right way and hope I have enough yarn left to make a third mitt, for a correct left-hander. At this point, I really can't tell.

Also, I don't love the bind-off that the pattern calls for and would do a tighter one. It is lose around my fingers, and I'd prefer it to be snug.

I really love this fun pattern; it's quick and easy and just what the doctor ordered for my instant gratification need last night. So, I can see myself making another, correct pair in a different colorway.

Vote away, thanks (Google Readers, there is a poll posted below, please come vote)!




P.S. Chloƫ posted a letter to Stephanie on her blog; have a look!

The One That Got Away

This afternoon, Chloƫ and I went out to sell Girl Scout cookies. We were gone a while (not quite an hour, because it was freezing) and sold NARY a box of cookies. Not one! Not because people said "no," either. No one was home! I guess we'll just have to try again tomorrow and hit the same houses again. All that wasted effort, though! It sucked!

We turned around and came home when we did because Stim drove by on the way to our house. We had a playdate for today, scheduled way back. It's hard to find good times to hang out anymore, so we both whip out our Palms, check our schedules, and this was it.

One good thing from the cookie sale happened, though: I got a call almost as soon as we walked in the door from someone who received ChloĆ«'s "sorry we missed you" note on the door. He ordered three boxes, which brings her grand total so far to 65. We're trying for 172 by my surgery, which is the same day the Initial Order is due, and she'll earn another patch! (Think that's the fourth one I was missing yesterday. No, wait, if she sells 172, she gets a Girl Scout calculater and $12 credit for a free membership next year.)

Stim brought their Wii over to play, so they set it up, and we all played a little. Steph just got the Wii Fit, which I've really been wanting to get, because I've heard it's actually fun. I tried to do it, though, but the system said I was too damn fat. Too fat to exercise! Now that's fat. I laughed it off, but it really made me grateful my surgery is in 8 days! (Holy cow!)

Rob was next, and then Chloƫ tried it. She has a BMI of, like, 13, it said. Tiny little thing! Tim and I watched her do the yoga exercises, and it was so funny. Girl has no clue how to do a push-up!

That was not nearly as hilarious, however, as what came next. Jack and Soap played Mario Kart, and I vowed never to let them take my car when they turn 16. Oh, my, my, my. Jack drove somewhat decently - but backwards. Sophia was hysterical. She was all over the place. It seemed like a really fun game, though. I want to try it sometime.

Soon, though, it was time for dinner. When they first got here, Steph started making her homemade sauce for espagueti, and I started the dough for some rolls from scratch. I wasn't considering that they would take 3Ā½ hours to cook, though, so we didn't quite have them in time for dinner!


Sophia chasing cutie Caro around the kitchen, trying to "baby" her


Stepherneenie taking a break from stirring her secret sauce


A rare serious moment for the Soapster... it's times like these when I feel like I can start to see what they're going to look like when they're teenagers.


Time for dinner. At least it was the tongue and not the finger, Steph!


"Mom, did you get ME in that picture?"


No one over here wanted to pose for me...


Finally the rolls were done. They were, eh, okay, but not as good as I'd hoped. The dough was really tasty, so I thought they'd be sweeter and more flavorful like the ones at Texas Roadhouse or Golden Corral. I think I added too much flour, though. Next time I'll make them a little differently. There are still a ton left if you want to try one...


Sophie was tired after dinner, so Rob took the kiddos up to bed. Stim were, too, so they packed up all their gear, and their sweet niece, and took their leave. It was a fun night!


Circling The Drain

The highlight of my day was taking a shower.

Yeah. It was that interesting.

I had absolutely nothing on the calendar for today, and that's a rarity for us. No running, no rushing, no stress.

I spent entirely too much time with the kids playing Webkinz - we literally spent hours putting all 56 of them into their beds! Okay, maybe two hours. But it took a very long time, especially with all the interruptions that come with having three children at home. We didn't have enough beds and had to add two huge rooms of just beds for all the critters. Anyway, enough about that.

Chloƫ was also in a crafty mood. She wanted to paint rocks, but I was tired of her stealing from the neighbor's front yard to get good ones, so I vetoed that idea. So first she strung pretty beads on cord, from a kit her friend Claire gave her when she turned seven. I received a "necklace" that can't fit over my head (or theirs, for that matter), so it's a bracelet wrapped around twice. I may actually wear it out!

Then she got out the bag of pipe cleaners and started making the letters of the alphabet with them. That wasn't enough for her, so she painted them with glitter glue. Never mind that she got the glue all over the place... I'm glad she feels creative!

Jack played a little bit with the pipe cleaners too, but for the most part he stuck to his cars and trucks. I tried getting him reading so he would be able to do his sight words when he goes back to kindergarten on Tuesday, but he was having none of it!

As for Soapy, she did a lot of babying her various lovies today. She lays them down, covers them, and sings them sweet lullabies in her little falsetto voice. Her speaking voice is so deep that it makes us laugh, especially compared to Chloƫ and Mr. Squeaks (my dad's nickname for Jack), but her singing voice is high and pretty. She still struggles a bit with carrying a tune, unlike the older two who have a knack for it, but I think that's because the high pitch is unnatural for her. I do love to listen to the girls' made-up songs, though!



When I wasn't putting 'kinz to slumber, I worked on increasing my knitting skills a bit. I'm teaching myself Iris Schreier's multidirectional knitting method, which is knitting a flat piece in more than one direction without picking up stitches like entrelac and other hairier processes. It's very interesting, and will be useful to me in the future if I ever decide to design my own piece(s), I know. I just wish I could intuit such things on my own... but as with Elizabeth Zimmermann's clever patterns, I just don't see what I should do until I'm told to do it. I can follow a pattern with the best of 'em, but going off on my own way into the scary unknown? Not yet, for me.

Rob is all checked out from the ship and other than having to run into the new command here and there to meet the new crew, he is off for three weeks. Yay! Hopefully this time off will bring more news on the motorcycle-license-obtaining front!

We have Iron Man from another free DVD code (I couldn't give it out because I didn't know it; someone gave one to Rob at the Redbox last night!), so I guess I'll go watch that with Rupert and work on the roll-edge coat.

Have a lovely weekend!


Oh, Lucky Me

Chloƫ is making jewelry from a kit her friend Claire gave her for her birthday. Sez she to me: "Mom! From now on, you can stop buying your jewelry at a store, and you can just buy it from me instead!"

Awesome. Got any sapphires in there, kiddo?


Enough Whining!!

The highlight of my day was weighing in! Seriously! I gawked at the scale when I realized what it said, and then I quickly ran to my post-it note containing last week's weight, and my calculator... over seven pounds lost! For a grand total of 10.3 lbs since the beginning of the year. I'm stoked. Obviously, I'm not going to lose 20 lbs a month or else why have surgery? But it's a great way to jump-start the process, and I'm proud of myself for sticking with this Slim-Fast thing. It's actually not so bad; I feel like I could continue doing it indefinitely. Another 11 days at least!

Today I decided to get on with it and dig in for another one of my NY resolutions: decluttering this overstuffed house. It's not a big house, and we have accumulated a ton of crap in our almost-six years here. It is driving me INSANE, and you know that is not a long trip.


I decided to tackle the kitchen table first, for an easy job. Rob is wonderful - he cooks dinner most nights, is in charge of the dishes and everything - but he never seems to clean off the kitchen table. It drives me nuts to get up with kids in the morning and come to a dirty table. So I'm vowing to keep it clean, come hell or high water, myself.  ChloĆ« wanted to help me, though, and I let her, but it was all I could do not rip the sponge out of her hands or scream at her about all the spots she was missing. But we managed:


Yes, there are burn marks all over our finished wood table. But let's not go there. *ahem* And yes, all our chairs are mismatched, and I like it that way. Onward...


In the back, there, is the atrocious sight that is our baker's rack. Oh, my, it kills me to look at it. And what have we here?


Yeah. All kinds of crap that's been shoved back there because... why, again? Oh, I couldn't take it any longer. We got busy, ChloĆ« and I, while Sophie and Jack alternated between TV and "helping" us. I can't stand for long, so she was a great help in bringing me each item, piece by piece, while I discarded, recycled, put in the Freecycle pile (we gave away a LOT from that rack), cleaned, and/or organized everything.


It took us a couple of hours - partly because I stopped to feed the poor children, make them some blueberry muffins, throw dinner in the crockpot, and take a break myself - but we went from that...


to this! Ahhh, so much better. I can live with this.

Then I got started on my desk, because I had a very important surgery-paying credit card lost in the mess, but I have no before pictures of that. And no after, because it's not done and is perpetually a work-in-progress, anyway. I did find the card, though, and some more things that had gone missing, so it was definitely woth the time. I shall strive to keep it clean, too.


The Cupcake Hound

We had a Brownies meeting tonight. I gathered up children, Try-Its manual, all the cookie stuff, the banking stuff (because I am Fall Product Chair, Cookie Chair and Troop Treasurer - is that enough? I don't know how a Leader does it all by herself with no parent volunteers!), and my New Moon. Well, Steph's. I didn't get a chance to read it, though, because my smaller two children were in top form tonight. Uh. Muh. Guh. They exhausted me. Why do they always show that side of themselves in public??

The girls made bracelets with pony beads and elastic cords, representing different parts of the Girl Scout Law and Promise. Chloƫ's was beautiful; I loved it and admired it a great deal. I reminded her that it was special and not to lose it, but guess what? It's missing. Ah, Chloƫ. Just like her dad, forever misplacing things! Wait, I'm the one who lost her credit card on her desk... hehe.

Then they sat in a circle and let Sophie join them while Jack whined about wanting to be a Girl Scout, too. Next year, buddy! (They are lowering the age to kindergarten and adding Lions to the pack!) The girls all made a list of the Try-Its they wanted to earn and selected a few that would be doable over the next couple of months.

I'm glad we're finally getting back into the patch-earning phase, because I love sewing and ironing those things on the vest. I don't remember ever earning any in Brownies, so I'm excited to watch her progress! She has more than the rest because of the extra activities I took her to, and she earned more at camp that I haven't bought yet because, well, I just realized she had earned them. And she'll get at least four more for cookie sales - yippee! (For those keeping track: a Rally patch, Gift of Caring patch, a patch for selling 60+ and, oh, I'm going to have to break out my manual to remind myself of the fourth.)

We went home and picked up Daddy after the meeting, so he could run around and do errands with us. The kids are always so excited to see him; they miss him so much during the day and are forever asking when he's coming home. I love that they love him so.

Our first stop was to KFC to get the free Twister wrap that ChloĆ« earned, um, last year. I forget for what, but I think it was for a reading program they did. Luckily the coupon didn't have an expiration date; unluckily, I only had the one, so the other two were kind of grumpy about that. But learn to read, my babies, and you will also reap the rewards!

We went to the bank after that, to deposit ChloĆ«'s Dollar Tree check. Attempt #2, because the ATM was down the last time I tried. This time, there were no deposit envelopes, and I pitched a ROYAL FIT.  Ooh, I was so mad!!! Every single time, the ATM is either down or there are no envelopes. So unreliable, grrr! One time, I got smart and brought home a stack of envelopes, but they've run out and I keep forgetting to get more.

We drove to our Service Unit Cookie Chair's house after that to turn in the one permission slip I was able to get signed today, and pick up that girl's order form. I hate that they won't give me all the forms to dispense as they are signed; it's such an irritating system. And I'm a stickler for rules, so no one would be getting one without a form from me! Bah.

Lastly, we stopped at Farm Fresh to return the Redbox movie (21) a couple days late (so much for free) and get a few groceries with the last of the free $5 coupons. I stayed in the car with the kiddos while the Bob ran in. (Gasp, they had to stay in their carseats! And it had been over an hour since we'd left Brownies! What is the world coming to??) For six bucks, we got two gallons of milk, a jar of peanut butter (Smuckers Natural - BEST PB ever!), a pound of butter and the big refill pack of Cottonelle wipes. Not too shabby. (Was that too much detail? Oh, well.)

Dinner smelled great when we finally got home. I just threw some chicken in the pot with some garlic and onion powders, a bunch of baby carrots, and maybe some thyme, I forget. Rob made some dumplings to go with it, and we chowed down.  The kids all dug in and enjoyed it, which pleased me for something so simple. ChloĆ« preferred it over her Twister, which ended up getting half-fed to the dog! (Just the chicken.)

The girls helped me make some vanilla pudding for the kids for dessert, which they ate after cleaning up the once-again trashed living room. They'd just cleaned it last night, too. Sophie said, "I hate cleaning up! It's hard!" It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.

I'm off to vacuum. Probably. I guess I better, since I "fired" Babs. There goes my posh lifestyle!



On the one hand, I want to continue doing this blog as if nothing ever happened.

On the other hand, my self-confidence has completely been eroded. I feel like every word I say is going to be critiqued and mocked. That telling all the details is boring and stupid and not worth reading, or worse.


I hate this.