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Morning Wood

That title is apropos of nothing; I just think it would be a funny name for a band.

We were busy little bees on Friday & Saturday; not so much today (which is good for a Father's Day, no?).


I overscheduled. So I was stressed and probably not the most fun to be around. It's my fault, I did it to myself. So I'm trying to avoid that in the future.

It didn't help that I didn't sleep a wink, either. Not one minute of sleep. It's becoming a habit I don't like lately. Lately as in, my whole life...

It started out as a bad day on Thursday night, however, when Rob told me that in fact he was not going to be able to come home early to take Chloë to her Brownies end-of-year skating party. What to do? Well, the only thing we could do, since I had a host of other plans and really needed to have the car at my disposal: We woke the kids up at 6-something in the morning, gave them Fiber One granola bars for breakfast in the car, and drove him in to work.

Let me tell you what, when you have three small, very active little monkeys, the last thing you want to do is wake them up early on the very first day of summer vacation. But that's what we did.

So we drove him all the way up to northern Norfolk and dropped him off at the base, and then turned around and came home to get ready for our day. I showered, got the kids dressed (we'd left them in their jammies for the trip), and we cleaned up downstairs a bit.

At 11, we piled in the car for the short trip to the ice skating rink. Almost everyone else was already there, although we were not late at all. I was worried they were waiting for me, since I held the money for the event, but they were just waiting for the place to open. When it did, there was a massive inward rush of children, teens and moms, and my three got lost in the crowd.

You don't want to lose sight of Jack and Sophia. But I found them, climbing up on the big chairs to look out over the ice rink. Jack needed help, so I rushed over to give him a boost before talking to our Leader (that always sounds so cultish to me) to see what was what with the money situation. We didn't have to pay 'til the end. Which was good, because I had to leave Chloë there during the skating portion and go somewhere else.

Skating Party 6 

I had camnesia again! But this time the camera phone photos weren't so bad, I guess. The Brownies (and some siblings, although I kept my two peanuts out of the room, because it was small) were ushered into the party room when the pizza was delivered. They were all there at this point, although many were missing from the photo because they were up helping themselves to more juice and pizza. No matter, I got mine in there!

Skating Party 5 

For the first little while, I mostly alternated between sitting around, doing nothing, and running to the bathroom (with The Littles in tow) with an upset stomach. I think all the Crystal Light I'm drinking is making me sick, but plain water doesn't sit well in my pouch. Anyway, at the far end of the main room, you can see them climbing in and out of the chairs to look at the empty ice. They'd never been ice skating before. And this wasn't to be their first time, either.

Skating Party 3 

When all the Brownies had eaten, Leader invited us into the party room so  could feed the Littles some pizza. They were very excited by this, as they were starving. Then it was time to hand out all the patches and other recognition. Here's Chloë getting about 14 different patches, plus some other cool stuff from the past year. Right after this, I was called up to receive my rewards! I earned three volunteer patches, for Treasurer, Fall Product Chair and Cookie Chair, a sun patch pin, and a notepad and pen gift set from the Council for volunteering. It was pretty sweet. Not quite as cool as my MIL's Silver Beaver award (stop snickering) from the BSA, but still pretty neat. Now I  just have to figure out where I'm going to put my patches!

Skating Party 2 

After the recognition ceremony, Chloë was behaving and so was one of the first given her ticket to go rent her ice skates. We went out and helped her pick a pair, and then I strapped them on her before turning to Leader's little girl to give her a hand. She's five and wears bigger skates than Chloë. Chlo was really happy that she could stand up and walk just fine in the ice skates. I didn't remind her that the ice would be just slightly more slippery...

Skating Party 1 

Then I walked her over to and put her on the ice, reminding her to be very, very careful so she didn't injure herself and not be able to dance in the big Show this coming Tuesday. Mommy was a dodo and forgot that it would be quite cold, so I didn't bring her a jacket or anything! Duh. Luckily, Leader had an extra for her. We went out and put that on her, and then Mama and Littles left her in Leader and Co-Leader's capable hands while we rushed to meet Linda for our lunch date.

This was the lunch Rob and I were supposed to do last Sunday but couldn't because they were closed when they got there. I had to make it up this weekend, but there was no good time to do it. Fortunately, the skating party had another two hours to go, so I thought I could take Linda and cram it in there. I should have just canceled the thing.

I had to go pick up Linda at the library where she was having a test done, which annoyed me to no end because why couldn't we just meet separately at the restaurant? To have to pick her up and bring her back was not on my route, and I didn't have the time that day, and I was already stressed enough as it is. And unlike my normal no-in-person-confrontation, I asked her this as soon as she got in my car. She could tell I was stressed. She's very low-key. It was okay. We'll be okay.

Well, we got stuck in traffic. And then lunch took FOREVER. They didn't put our entrées in until after we waited an eternity and asked what the hold-up was, and they said they were giving us plenty of time. Hello! We don't have plenty of time, we're in a hurry, and we said that when we arrived. I was going nuts. I did not want to be late picking up Chloë from the party, and I still had to pay for the party, too. Ay ay ay.

Linda was good, though. She took the kids potty when they needed to go, so I could stay at the table and do my timings and other observations. She helped me get them to be still and behave, because they were doing anything but all through lunch. She said it was fine if we picked up Chloë before returning to her car, which was good because we ran into traffic and were running late again.

In the end, I got to Chloë with two minutes to spare. It was 100º or so outside, so I left the kids and Linda in the car with the AC on full blast while I collected Curly Sue. I quickly paid the checks, and we left. 

Next up was my eye appointment. I was taking Linda back to the car when she said, "Wait, who is going to watch the kids while you're having your exam? Are they going to behave?" Um, no. So she volunteered to stay and sit with them while I had my exam. This was for another shop, but for contacts instead of glasses. I haven't worn contacts in a few years, because I didn't wear them properly and they irritated my eyes, and also because there were never any shops that allowed me to get them. This was the first, so I took it. Why do something myself when someone else will pay me to do it, huh?

That visit went pretty quickly, and now I'm wearing the contacts. They feel good. It's much nicer than having sweaty glasses falling down my face all the time. The only thing is, I need non-prescription sunglasses now. It's killer to drive around in the Virginia Beach sun without them. My eyes are burning.

So. After the exam, I was finally taking Linda back to her van when Rob called. He couldn't get a ride home. Could I come pick him up? Argh!!! I was low on fuel, both literally and figuratively, and I still had more things in the schedule. But yeah, sure, what choice do I have?

The interstate turned into a parking lot on our way to get him. For two or three miles, it took us about 45 minutes. I was drumming my fingers anxiously, knowing I was going to be late for or entirely miss my bra-fitting appointment. And I could not afford to miss it: I was still wearing worn-out nursing bras, and I hadn't nursed a child in about three years!

Finally, I made it to my exit and was glad I remembered the way to his work. I sat and waited for 11 minutes (I counted) for him to come out. I was glad all three children were sound asleep in the back, because I didn't feel like talking. I was stressed. Annoyed. Frustrated. And sooo tired. Finally, he came out, apologetically. There is always some last-minute crisis at work, something he - the boss - can't avoid. What can I say? Nothing, that's his job, and he has no choice.

So I bitched about being late to my bra appointment. I didn't even know exactly where to go. I didn't have the phone number, or the address. Just the name of the business. (A Full Cup, if you're local and have a hard time finding decent brassieres. It's on the Boulevard.) Rob called 411 to get the number, and then he called them and begged them to still do my fitting. They agreed.

We ended up being about 20 minutes late, and they were gracious and pleasant and welcoming and nice. They didn't complain at all about my tardiness. Which was good, because I had gotten lost twice trying to find it, and was even more aggravated.

The fitting took forever. I have some really weird boobies, apparently. We tried on bra after bra after bra. Some of them were $175 or so - each. Ouch. I was hoping those wouldn't fit. They wouldn't. Finally, we found two that fit just right, and they happened to be the cheapest ones she brought me. Phew. But still not cheap, at over $50 each. Yowza. I've never bought such expensive unnerpannies. In the end, the bras turned out to be a size 38G. Which makes me wonder what the heck my cup size was before I lost 100 lbs and they shrunk?!!

I paid, and while I was waiting for Rob and the kids to return - they went to get gas - the ladies gave me a bottle of ice cold water. It was so good. I could only have a few sips, because as I mentioned before, plain doesn't sit well in the pouch. But it was so hot, I wished it was big enough for me to dive into.

Next up on the agenda was the free movie at Mount Trashmore park. It was about 1800 at this point, and the festivities started at 1930. We went home, planning to have dinner and get ready. Instead, I fell onto the office floor and fell into a deep, three-hour sleep. So we missed the movies. Thank God the kids didn't say one word about it after that, because I would have felt terrible. They must not have cared too much, because they don't ordinarily let such things go.


Chloë laid out all her (and my) patches and awards from the skating party so I could take a picture. The calculator was also from cookie sales, for meeting the 172-box cookie order quota. Missing are her $12 Cookie pass for free registration for next year for the same quota, and her $10 Cookie Credit toward camp, for selling over 300 boxes. Yay, Chloë!

The last thing I had to do was host an hour of my monthly charity chat online. I woke up just in time to do that, and it was a really fun chat. I told them all about my bra fitting, so tits were the talk of the town. It turned out I had the biggest bazoongas of the bunch. How could I not? I mean, 38G. Gee.

When it was over at midnight, that was lights out for me. The kids were long since in bed, Rob was at work standing watch until 8 AM, and I hadn't slept. Zzzzzzzzz....


Rob got the orders to stand overnight watch at the last minute, which sucked because I had lots of plans for the day that didn't include children.

I could have and should have done some running around in the morning, but I was still so tired that I decided to keep the morning free and stay home, ruminating on the rest of the day. When it was time, I showered and got ready for my haircut appointment. I don't know why I always wash my hair before these things, since I know they're just going to wash it again when I get there, but I can't help it. Who wants to go in with stinky bedhead anyway?

The haircut went great. I told her I needed more "oomph" in my thin, lifeless locks, so she cut in lots of layers. I was a little freaked at first, but it looks good, so I'm cool with it. Rob took pictures, but they're for when I hit the 100-lb mark (crossing my fingers it's this week!), so I'll post them later.

Linda met me at the house when I got home. We had more mystery shops planned, and she was riding out with me to MacArthur center to exchange her nonworking hands-free garbage can at the Sharper Image store.

Well, that whole trip was a bust. First, I couldn't return the stupid $40 Coach keychain at the Coach store, because I'd bought it with Rob's credit card after forgetting my purse, and of course I didn't have Rob's credit card with me. I had my card, on the same damn account, but they wouldn't accept it. Oh, I was livid. Linda said, "Don't cry!" which, of course, made me cry, so I rushed out of there.

And there was a way obvious man, in need of a shave, dressed up as a woman salesperson in Coach. That made me laugh a little. S/he made no attempt to hide his/her masculinity, what with the stubble and deep voice, but s/he was wearing a skirt, make-up and other womanly accoutrement. I have nothing against the transgender community, but I couldn't tell if s/he was just transsexual or just cross-dressing, really! It was kind of odd. Especially in that setting.

Anyway. Strike one for that trip.

Strike two was when I'd forgotten to print out my paperwork for the pretzel shop I had to do, and I hadn't even read it yet and didn't even know what to buy or anything. I  called Rob to read me the shop from my email, but he couldn't find the email. And I couldn't find the store on the mall directory to even fake my way through the shop! It was very weird. Later, when I got home, not only did I not have the email, but that store turned out not to be at MacArthur mall at all. I went through every single company's website for which I mystery shop - which is over 100 - and found no record of this assignment. Really, really bizarre. Don't know what happened there, but I just deleted it from my Palm and went on my way.

Strike three was when we discovered the Sharper Image store was no longer at MacArthur mall. Just gone, completely gone. Linda was pissed, after dragging this huge garbage can all over the place! We talked to a 6'8" security guard, who turned out to be way cool and got us free parking, and he confirmed that it was outta there. We chatted with him a while, and then returned to the parking garage, 0-for-3.

Our last stop was at the PetSmart at Military Hwy, for another shop. I hadn't read the assignment ahead of time, because I rarely have time to do that anymore, so I didn't know it was such a huge job. For very little reimbursement. Screw that, I said, and we left without doing it.

Home again, 0-for-4. Suckage. Linda left, and Rob and I got ready to go out later for our little date. He got the kids' bathing suits and towels ready to go swimming at Linda's house. At 1700, we dropped off three very excited kids with Linda and Tony. They wanted to jump right into the pool at their house, so Tony took them outside. We said goodbye to Linda and left.

Our first stop was a resort down on the oceanfront, for a bar shop. I hadn't done a bar shop in a couple of years, but this one went rather smoothly. Those are not the easiest evaluations and require lots of training, so I was glad that I couldn't actually drink (well, I snuck a few sips, including one of the best piña coladas I've ever tasted) and was able to concentrate at the task at hand.

The beach atmosphere was nice. I love being right on the water, next to the pool, with beach-dressed people and smells and sounds, next to the love of my life. We had a good time, lots of laughs. Rob got a little smashed and was saying some funny shit. He had me cracking up.

When we finished that, we drove to Lynnhaven Mall to do a Gymboree shop and buy some socks for our following bowling shop. It was hard doing Gymbo, since I wanted to buy everything in the store, as usual! They have so much cute stuff right now, too. Very difficult not to buy the adorable watermelon dress for Sophia; I wanted it so badly! Rob kept whispering drunkenly in my ear, "They have enough clothes. They have enough clothes." And he's right, which killed the temptation. So we bought our socks there, in the largest size they had, which was fine because we both have pretty small feet.

They didn't have the black socks I needed for Chloë's dance recital, so we stopped at Old Navy to pick them up for a buck and a quarter. Now, I don't know where in the house the kids put those socks, so we're kind of screwed if I can't find them in the morning. Her dress rehearsal is tomorrow, so she must have those socks!

Lastly, we went bowling down the road from the mall. I'm positive they realized I was the shopper, since they were totally kissing my ass the whole time. I wasn't taking notes or anything, so I don't know what gave it away! The only thing I can think of is that when they offered to put our names in the system and help us find a ball, I said yes, as per my instructions. Most people don't do that. It had to be that. Right?

The bowling was fun. Oh, we suck so bad. I got gutter after gutter, and Rob, well, Rob was drink bowling. Need I say more? Neither of us broke 100 for either game. Rob kicked my butt the first time, and I beat him the second game, after getting a last-minute strike and a spare. Whee! I wished we could have played more games, but it was time to go collect the brood.

At Linda's, I was wondering if they would be asleep, since it was almost 2200. But they were wide awake, bouncing off the walls, and the only tired ones were Linda and Tony! Poor them. Linda told me 100 times that they have a lot of energy, and I agreed. As I say all the time, it's a wonder I'm not skinny, trying to keep up with them!

They didn't even fall sleep on the car ride home. And Sophia would not go to bed. She was still up with me at 1 AM, while I was sitting here talking to an old friend on Facebook and trying to do my reports. At last, she started yawning and shimmied up the stairs to her room. I'm so glad she got some decent sleep.

I went upstairs and crashed next to Rob, where we slept and slept the good sleep.




Chloë woke us up around 0900, I'm guessing, to tell us she had finally lost her bottom loose tooth! (She has two top ones loose, too.) We'd been trying to pluck it out all day Saturday, to no avail. But she twisted and out it came, in her mouth! She was very excited. Of course, I need to play Tooth Fairy tonight now.I hope she remembered the tooth. I'm sure she did. What child could forget?

We went back to sleep, and I trudged downstairs later when my shops were calling my name. I worked on them for a little while, but then I developed a major headache and had to lie down. So I did. The kids were watching TV with me, and Rob was still sleeping upstairs.


We had no plans for the day, other than going to IHOP for breakfast. We skipped that, though, so we did nothing special for Father's Day. I gave Rob his concert tickets, for the Bob Dylan / Willie Nelson / John Mellencamp I'm taking him to next month. Bob Dylan is his favorite, so he's pretty stoked. We had to miss him a few years ago, so I didn't want to let that happen again this time around and never get another chance.  It's a month away, so after what they cost, I'm just worrying about not losing them! Chloë might go with us, since one child gets in free per paying adult, and Rob thinks she would enjoy it. I'm still thinking about it. What do you think, should we take her?

The only thing we accomplished today was Rob putting my new battery in the van, at last. That thing keeps dying, and we have to bum a jump off some poor stranger. I'm excited to finally have a new one, especially if I'm going to be driving up to NY next month!


Also, I sewed all the new patches on Chloë's Brownies vest. Better do it now, before we lose one. I didn't bother with the ironing-on at all, since half the time they don't stick and I have to later  sew them on anyway.


So colorful, so cool, right? She's thrilled with her vest and all the patches. I'm glad, since she's worked really hard for them this year!

After that, I took another nap while Rob made some shrimp and rice for the kids. When I woke up, everyone was in bed. And here I am, ready to go back to sleep again. At least the headache is gone.

So kudos if you got through this whole novel! Hope everyone has a great week!