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Entries from October 2009

Thoroughly Aggravated

I am so upset!!

The black-tutu girl never showed up last night, and around noon, I called and left another message saying how upset I was about the tutu.

She finally called me around 1330, saying she was sorry and had to work really late, but could she come get the tutu now?

I was elated! Of course she could!!

And then I went to get it. I had put it on the front porch for her last night, in the big Old Navy bag, in case she wanted it while I was out bringing Rob-and-crew their dinner. She didn't come, and I didn't bring it in when I got home, because I don't know why, so this is all complately MY fault.

But, I did ask Rob to bring it in last night when he came home from work, and he did not. So it's partly his fault too, yay! I'm going to dwell on the part that's his.

Anyway, he never brought it in last night, and I didn't wake up 'til noon today, so sometime between last night and 1330 today, someone came and took that bag o' tutu off my porch and stole it. It's gone. It's not anywhere. The neighbors don't have it, and Rob ran all around the neighborhood, looking to see if it blew away.


Who sees a bag on a porch, thinks, "Oh, I wonder what's in there?" and finds a tutu, that they NEED to steal? Who steals a tutu? And what are they going to do with it? It was huge, too!

So I called the girl back, and explained the situation, and I could hear the frustration in her voice. I offered her any other color tutu, but I just do not have enough black to make her another one in her size.

She and her mother came over to see what I have - which was completely mortifying, because they were nice, decent people, and my sick-haus is a DISASTER this week - but nothing I had would work for her. She needed black. Blaaaaaaaack.

She was so tiny, I thought I maybe COULD make her the tutu with what I have left after all, but she needed it in an hour for her thing that she had to go to. She's a dancer, so I guess it was for a performance.

I'm so upset!! Seriously? You stole a tutu? Tutu-stealer, you suck ass!!!!


Damn That Man

...Because it's easier to blame my day falling apart at the seams on him than it is to accept it myself, I'm going to go with that. Yeah.


Yesterday ended, and today began, here. Pretty much. Picture it: Living room, 0230, I'm lying there wide awake after having the fever-sleep off and on during the day, even having taken a sleeping pilly. Nada. Nope. Not happening.

So I decided to get up and monkey around in the office. I've been selling lots of tutus at the clearance price lately, which makes me want to make up more with the tulle I've got, and sell those, too. I just want to be rid of it all and make room for ... something else. Or nothing. Nothing would be great. Empty space, I dream of you.

And then, Sophie comes trotting down the stairs, wide awake, telling me that she can't sleep. Only, no sooner did I collect my sweet babe into my arms, than she fell asleep in them. Look at her. She is so big... but she is still little. I love that paradox of childhood. Big! But little!

I set her on the couch with her father and went back to the office to fiddle. First I made this tutu:


in charcoal and ivory, for no one in particular. Just for Etsy. I had many-hundred blogs to read in my Google Reader, and e-mails to answer, and, well, Farmville to keep me company while I made the tootie-toots. Because 0400 didn't seem late enough to stay up, I stayed right there and worked on this one:


in eggplant and ivory. Every time I finish a new tutu, I think, "Ohh, that's so pretty!" I think they all are. I wish I could wear one. I wish my girls wore theirs every single day. They used to. I think they got overloaded with tutus, though. But I digress.

So by the time I finished the second tutu and read about, oh, 400 blogs (mostly skimmed and deleted; I delete the fun and fluff ones like design and celebrity blogs when I have too many to read, but I almost always read all the parenting and knitting ones), it was well nigh on 0700. Time to get the kids up for school.

Oh yes, school. Remember that place? They didn't want to go back. Especially Jack. He pitched a royal fit. And neither of the Bigs knew where their glasses were. And Rob didn't want to get up and help get them ready, and I was beyond tired by that point, and and and. But somehow, we got them off in one piece.

Rob went upstairs to nap, while I read through some of my favorite blogs for deals and freebies and such. Today was supposed to be my day for sanitizing the house, but instead, I found rather a lot of good deals to be used at LH Mall. And I decided to take a fun day, a day for me, free of the house, free of the flu, free of work, free of the kids, free of the dreaded cleaning.

And why not? It would all still be there when I got back.

Only, it didn't quite work out that way.

I was hoping to be at the mall by 10:00 and home well before the bus came after 1500.  Instead, my husband woke up while I was showering, and overcome by the forces of attraction of my major loose saggy skin naked body, he sequestered me to the room for the next, um, two hours. Yes, two hours. Good times, good times. I didn't complain much.

TMI? Whatever. You know I don't shy away. 

I will tell you this, too: he had a fever, so his balls were hanging so low, I told him he should just go as a pair of nuts for Halloween. He was practically tripping over them! Wait, maybe that was TMI, even for moi.


My BFF Lisa, from New York, wanted a picture of my hair from all sides.  I semi-styled it and had Rob take pictures. They aren't great, but here's a current one of me. He insists I have a major wonky eye. Do I? If so, then my apologies to Dr. Michael Bidus (of hysterectomy fame last year) for mentioning his! (And eek, I look more like my dad all the time. Scary.)

So. By the time I got downstairs, it was noon o'clock, and the preschool was calling me to say Sophie had a sore throat and could I please come get her?

Here we go. Day over.

I kind of figured they wouldn't last, which is why I wanted to get to the mall so early. Damn that man!

Of course, I rushed right out to pick her up. She had a miserable look on her face when I entered, but as soon as she saw me, Sophia brightened right up and smiled the biggest grin ever. She jumped out of her chair, where she was NOT eating birthday cake, and ran over to me. "Mommy! Mommy!"

We collected all her belongings, and then, naturally, I though it would be a good idea to head over to the main school and check on Jack and Chloë. I didn't want to get all the way home and then get a call to come back for them!

Mrs. B., Chloë's language arts teacher, was right at the front of the school when we came in, so I got her attention . She took me into the cafeteria to find Chloë, but Curls wasn't there. Where could she be?

The nurse. She was already at the nurse. Good thing I arrived to swoop in and take her home!

Jack was brought in, but he insisted he was fine and wanted to stay at school. Major shocker there!! I said good-bye and then left with the girls.

The girls, at this time, both seemed more or less fine, just a little disappointed to be missing their Halloween parties. I had no clue they were really still quite sick. I am, apparently, pretty stupid. Damn me! It's the FLU, for heaven's sake, and they are little children. I should have given them at least a week. But I didn't. Sigh.

We went home to, I don't know, get my coupons for the mall and drop off their school stuff. We kissed Daddy good-bye, as he was headed to work, and left for the mall venture.


Our first stop - which, as warm as the day was, probably should have been our last - was to Edible Arrangements to pick up our free six-piece chocolate-dipped fruit sampler. Nice, huh? Did you see that promotion for becoming a fan on Facebook? Well, you know I had to jump all over that. Nice freebie! Too bad I couldn't partake.

While there, I got a phone call about doing a certain kids' shoe store mystery shop, at THAT mall. I didn't want to take it, but I can never say no, and heck, I was already there anyway. So I accepted it.

And then in the parking lot to drive over to the main mall parking lot, I got another call from someone who had found me via Google, needing a tutu TONIGHT. An all-black, ladies' size small, black tutu. I didn't have any black tulle, but she sounded absolutely desperate, so I told her I'd find some and make her the tutu tonight. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I only quoted her $25 for it, too, when in reality, I would have charged her more like $40-50 i f I wasn't clearancing! Dodo-head, I am!

Anyway, so the race was on to get our mall stuff done and then get back to get Jack. I was in a mad hurry. The girls were dawdling. I was pulling them along. That was the scene.


We went to Old Navy in the mall first. All Halloween items were marked down to $2 for today and tomorrow (Halloween) only, plus I had a coupon for 15% off that!   I managed to score these 14 things for less than $25. All of which we can use either now or this time next year. It won't be wasted. And hey, $2. Can't beat it. (Well, you can. $1, say, or 50¢. But just you hush.)


We hurried to the other side of the mall, where I had a coupon at Vickie's Secret for a free lip gloss with a bra fitting. Um, the girl wanted to measure me right in the middle of the store, over my shirt. I gave her a weird look, so she pulled me into the dressing room hallway and still measured me over my shirt. After my last professional fitting, which took about an hour, at the boob store, this was bewildering to me! (Before, I was a 38G. Now she measured me at "either" a 38DD or a 40D - my choice. Uh, I think I'll go back to the boob store.) All I really wanted was the free lippy anyway, and I got it!

Next up, I had a coupon for a free anti-bacterial thingy at Bath & Body Works with any purchase, and it was right next store. I scooped up some of the 5/$5 hand sanitizers - which turned out to be the free gift anyway - and was heading toward the cash wrap when we ran into none other but Linda!

After the initial recognition, she said to me, "Hey, you don't look sick." This was after telling me yesterday that, on the phone, I didn't sound sick. It kind of annoyed me. I don't care how I look, I don't care how I sound... I'm telling you how I feel, and how I feel is I HAVE THE FLU. Plus I was in a huge hurry to get back and get Jack, so I was maybe a little pissy with her. Or maybe not, I really don't know, but I'm kind of irritated with her about something else entirely and don't care right now! The girls saved me by saying they both had to go potty RIGHT NOW, so I threw back all the products and ran them down the mall to the bathroom.

And then I remembered that shoe store shop I'd taken on (which I still haven't reported, oops). We quickly did the purchase portion of the shop and walked out with a new pair of boots, "for Sophia."

Next door, I had a coupon for The Picture People, for a free session and 8x10. My very original plan was to bring Rob in there this morning, in his uniform, to take the picture his mom has been asking for for at least two weeks now. But he STILL didn't have the uniform ready. Then we, uh, wasted those two hours, and he didn't have time after that. So I decided to see if they had an appointment left for later in the day, to get the kids done in their Halloween costumes. They had one. I made it. We left.

It was time to go get Jack. We tore through the mall, and when we were almost at the van, I realized Sophie didn't have "her" boots with her, which she had begged to carry!!! Feck! Thankfully, I had the phone number to the portrait place on their coupon, and they had the boots and would hold them for me. Phew.

Traffic was major by that point, and I was pleading-praying to be home in time for the bus. It was already 10 minutes later than I'd wanted to leave... but we made it! Three minutes ahead of schedule, AND the bus was a few minutes late.

Jack, who had been quite the perky boy in school, burst into tears the minute he saw me. He was warm. He felt crappy. I could see it in him. I carried him all the way home, but sadly, we couldn't stay there. I'd promised to get that tutu done, I'd made the picture appointment, and we'd left the boots behind where I needed to back and return them anyway.  AND I'd promised to bring Rob dinner, meaning he'd left home without any food. Sheee-it.

So we went back out. At first, we stopped at Boston Market, where I had that coupon for a $1 chicken meal. It sounded good to me, and would feed all four of us! We waited in the long drive-thru line for half an hour, with all the kids coughing and finally, sleeping, in the back, before it dawned on me that my wallet was still at home in the Old Navy bag. Gah!


So I had no choice but to go all the way back home and get it. Forget Boston Market, that would have to wait. We went to A.C. Moore, where I knew they carried the tulle. In black. I'd gotten it there before. They turned out to only have ONE small roll of it, whereas I'd need at least four to make the tutu.  I picked up some other foofoo things for finishing tutus (it's a sickness, I tell you) while the nice lady called the other store to see if they had some. They didn't.

We drove to Michaels. They didn't have it.

Joann's didn't have it.

Party City didn't have it.

Hancock's didn't have it either, but they had bolts of black tulle fabric! I'll take it!! I knew it was going to be a lot more work for me, but I'd promised the girl I'd make it, and I didn't want to let her down.  We bought the whole bolt, all 8 yards at $1.99/yd, since I had no clue how many it would take in that form, and I could always use the rest in another tutu.

Then we headed straight back to the mall. I knew the pictures weren't happening, since they were all pretty cough-y and cranky and cry-y by that point, but I at least had to get the boots and finish the shop. So I rescheduled the picture appointment for Sunday afternoon. Hopefully they'll all be well enough by then to do it cheerfully.

Quick poll: Should I still do the Halloween picture on Sunday? Or just a casual one of them? Or maybe one of all five of us? Please tell me what to do; I can't decide.


B&BW was right there, so we went back to use that coupon. This time, I found a $1 bottle of lotion, and bought that to get my free hand sani. It smells GOOD, too! (The sani; not so found of the lotion, but it's okay.)


I had one last coupon, for $1 tarts and votives at Yankee Candle. I burn those tarts like a crazy woman, and they are normally $2 - and the kids had temporarily rallied - so we ran in and grabbed 10 of the three newest scents. I'd thought I wouldn't really like the Autumn Wreath one, but it turned out to be my favorite of the fall scents. It smells amazing!! I can't wait to burn it.

Finally, I grabbed my cantankerous crew and headed home. They were so relieved. Poor, poor babies.

They lay in the living room, sipping water, while I worked hard and fast on the black tutu for this evening. It took forever to cut all that tulle up into the proper-sized strips and then cut those strips into the lengths I needed. It was tedious, and this was the one tutu I didn't enjoy making. 


But I finished! At 2000 hrs, it was complete. I called the girl to let her know she could come get it.

No answer.

I left a voicemail.

At 2030, I called again. No answer.

At 2100, I called again. No answer.

I gave up after that. It's now 0030. I am seriously, seriously pissed. If she stands me up after all we went through to make this tutu for her - for so cheap!!! - I am going to hunt her down and beat her ass. (Never you mind that I'm a total wuss. I will do it.)

By this point, Jack was dead asleep on the couch, and the girls were pretty chill. Rob had talked me into getting not only HIS food, but food for his two night-duty crew members, too. Something about gratitude and loyalty, yadda yadda.(He's the boss, you know.) I had just gotten a MyPoints offer for Dominos pizza & subs, so I jumped on that. He didn't want the Bostom Market thing, so that'll have to keep 'til tomorrow. 


The food arrived, and I roused everyone to go out to the base. They were all sound asleep in the car when we got there. Rob came out and got all the food - including the chocolate fruit I brought along - and that was it. Gone in a flash. I felt a little underappreciated!

So now we're home, and that's that. The black tutu is still here, and I'm seething about it. But I had a fun day of "treats," and a miserable day of being a shitty mother to my kids.

Tomorrow, they are NOT going to soccer! Their whole job this weekend is to rest and get much better before attempting to trick-or-treat or go back to school.

Oh, and find those fricking glasses.


P.S. Sorry for the length. I never, ever start out intending it to be so long!

Friday Fragments


Link up with Mrs4444 of Half-Past Kissin' Time and
Friday Freewrite

Sara of Ordinary and Awesome

if you're dropping brain turds today!

I am sick AGAIN (flu, this time), so this will AGAIN be pretty short:

☼ Chloë, 8, had to do a sort of short-answer book report for school. One of the questions was, "How can you tell that this was a {insert genre here, I forget what it was} story?" Her answer was, "Because I read it." BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Duh, teacher! It kills me.

☼ At 0300 AM Wednesday morning, Sophie, 4½, was wide awake. She exclaimed, "NOT SICK ANYMORE!" right before a tremendous coughing fit. I replied, "Yeah, it sure sounds like it..." She defended, "That was Chloë!" (who was upstairs)  Hee.

☼ Sick as a dog, Sophia woke up from a nap, out of a sound sleep, to look at me and say, "Mom, when I'm a grown up, can I say a bad word?"

(I asked her if she wanted to say one, and she became very serious and wide-eyed, telling me, "Nooo... kids can't say bad words!")

☼ Sophie was leaning on me and said, "Thanks for letting me borrow your shoulder for an armrest!" Now that I type that out, you had to be there. It was pretty cute the way she said it.

☼ You know how you get excited when you manage to catch a fly that's floating around in the air? (Just say yes, even if I'm the only one.) Well, I just did that, and it turned out to be lint. Buzzkill!

That's all I've got this week. No deep thoughts here, people! ;)


Update From The FluHaus

So... after three days of cleaning up puke (not counting last week's Sophie episode), and a good day of rest today, the kids are going back to school tomorrow.


Unfortunately, now Rob and I have the flu. I've been throwing up - well, at lest dry heaving, since I rarely have anything in me TO throw up - and we've both had fevers. Rob, normally a weeny boy when he's sick, has had to suck it up and go to work anyway. He's the only inspector on duty at night, so they'd pretty much have to shut the whole hangar down without him. Poor guy.

I, on the other hand, have been lying around, saying, "yes" whenever the kids ask me if they can have a yogurt/juicebox/fruit snack/go at each other, not caring so much as long as they were taken care of.

Until this evening, when they all begged me for soup for like an HOUR before I got up off my sick bed and made it to the kitchen. Because they all wanted it, I made two cans.

And you know what? They didn't eat one single bite of it. It's all still sitting there on the table, for me to scowl at whenever I walk in there.

I'd eat it, but I can't have soup, or Oscar the Pouch will be sorely pissed at me.

So there it sits.

After the soup, I sent the troops upstairs to find Jack's long-missing glasses. Those things go missing every other fricking day. I'm SICK of it. Jack and Chloë fell asleep instead of looking for it, so Sophie hung out with me in the kitchen.

I had to bake something for Chloë's school party tomorrow, so rather than the cookies I'd planned on, I decided to use up the dozen or so overripe bananas sitting around.

Only, halfway through the process, I couldn't find the baking soda! Wth, who runs out of baking soda? Seriously? I must have used the last box to deodorize the litter box...

So we ducked out to the store, leaving the Bigs asleep upstairs, to go around the corner for the soda, some more OJ, and eggs. I was going to make up two loaves of banana bread, and that would use all my eggs. They are a hot commodity 'round these parts.

At home, I finished the first loaf, put it in the oven and eventually, took a quick taste of the dough left in the bowl. DRAT! That's when I realized, I'd left out the brown sugar! Bahahaha, I'm super-slow sometimes.

So I made the second loaf, making extra sure I put in all the ingredients, and listed the first one on Freecycle. Surprisingly, no takers! Hee.

My kids decided they wanted it, so I tried a little bit with butter to make sure it wasn't nasty. It tasted like banana crackers. Not bad, but definitely not sweet, despite all the bananas and chocolate chips. Oh, well. Fail.

At least there is one loaf to take to school tomorrow. I'd meant to send both, but they'll just have to take what I've got, right?!

I'm half-expecting someone to call home and need to be picked up tomorrow. Not sure who, though. Wanna place bets?


P.S. Thanks SO much for not ragging on me about quitting my job. I realize how it sounded... but I seriously hate cleaning! lol

Three Down, None To Go... school, that is.

We kept all three home from school today. Chloë was a given, after yesterday; Sophia was a pretty sure thing, and Jack was the surprise sicky this morning. All three had a fever, all three were coughing, and the girls were throwing up. Awesome stuff!

Chloë was much more chipper today, but Sophie took a nosedive and was about as miserable today as her big sis was yesterday. And it's a rare thing for Sophie to feel that bad, so I knew she was very sick. She rarely loses her smile, but today, it just wasn't in sight.

I had to go to work, so Rob pulled Dad Duty in the morning. Basically, feeling sick himself and having three lethargic little babies scattered around the various couches, that meant dosing them with meds before passing back out himself!

At work, I was scheduled to be a bagger for the day, instead of the cashier I was hired to be. That pissed me off. Strike one. (I freaking hate when they do that. And then expect me to do bagger duties like cleaning? I don't effing think so.)

Strike two was when I checked my schedule for next week and found I'd been given all of 8½ hours. What? That's bullshit. Clearly, they don't need me. I was supposed to work 8:30-11:30 tomorrow morning. What kind of shift is that?! Waste of time.

So I started thinking about quitting. I mean, the plan was for me to be subbing, not cashiering during the day - and cashiering late at night. Since I've been working, I haven't followed up with the system to see why I haven't moved to the next step in the long subbing process. Add to that my sick children at home, the fact that I may be battling a serious disease - which, I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but in my heart of hearts I feel like things are NOT going to be good when I get my boob-o-gram - and the lack of customers to keep me from thinking about all these things, and I had one foot out the door.

Strike three came an hour into my shift, when the customer service girl called me over, started to hand me a feather duster, and asked me to clean shelves. If found myself blurting out, "Um, no, I think I'm going to quit instead."

Her eyes got all round and she rushed around to hug me, asking, "Was it something I said?" I mumbled something about maybe having breast cancer (I am so dramatic!!!) and burst into tears, and she was like, "please don't quit, please don't quit, talk to C. tomorrow" etc.

I got my measly paycheck, punched out and left. I think I quit. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I did. Does this mean I can't go grocery shopping there now? Because that will suck, a lot.

I am so spontaneous sometimes. It has mostly been for the good, but, geesh! I drive myself crazy!

Anyway, so I went home to face The Sick. Instead, I found myself utterly exhausted and lay down for a nap with the kiddos. Rob napped upstairs with Sophia, and I slept downstairs with the bigs.

No sooner did I get up and come over here to the computer, then Sophie trotted downstairs, came over to me, and started to whine the sick whine, "Mommeeeeeeee!"


She opened her mouth and vomited straight into my face, all over my clothes, the chair, the floor, and herself.


Like I said the other day, this is a child who rarely vomits, so I knew things were pretty back. She generally has an iron stomach.

I picked her up and carried her upstairs into the shower with me, leaving my poor hubs to sop up the puke. Totally liquid, at least, no chunks. Thank heavens for small favors! But it was a bucketful. Why am I sharing the puke details?! Because it's 2:10 AM and I can, that's why.

She has a big booboo on her back, covered in a Band-aid, so she sobbed in the shower, telling me she didn't want me to wash her. I kept shh-shhing her, telling her I could put on a new band-aid, but she was pretty inconsolable. She kept begging me for water (while we were in the shower), but I told her she needed to wait a little while because her tummy was upset.

She wanted water so badly, I knew she was becoming dehydrated, so I decided on the spot to whisk the three of them back off to the ER. It was too late in the day to snag a regular doctor appointment, so I had no choice. We said good bye to Dad, packed them up in jammies and socks and comfy coats, and off we went.

Halfway there, I heard Sophie puking all over my car. Again, AWESOME. At least her coat and my huge bag stuffed full of canvas bags caught most of it, and can be easily laundered. She didn't get any on herself, miraculously, so I didn't have to go home and change her.

At the ER, we checked in, and all three kids were handed hospital barf bags. Both girls quickly made use of theirs, which I guess set off some kind of bells to move us up faster in triage, because we were abruptly taken to the back - ahead of at least two dozen people in the waiting room.

I kept hearing "where is the Odette family? I have the Odette family. Odette family this, Odette family that..."

Vitals were checked, and soon the doctor came in to check them. I'd thought it would be a couple hours' wait, but they were seen immediately! He didn't hear anything peculiar in Chloë's chest, but he sent her off for x-rays after I told him she was diagnosed with pneumonia yesterday. The x-rays came back clear, so the other two weren't checked.

I was sure he was going to put the girls on IV fluids, as he'd mentioned on his first visit, but for some reason I forgot to ascertain, he changed his mind and abruptly discharged them. He pronounced them sick with the flu, but too far in to be given Tamiflu.  Of course, he told me to give them lots of fluids, but didn't quite mention how I was supposed to do that when they kept puking everything up, other than to say "try to give it when their fevers are down."

Hm, great.

On the way home, I briefly contemplated calling in a cleaning service to sanitize the house from top to bottom, until I remembered we have no money for that. Crap. That means it's up to me!

I stopped at the store for some popsicles, OJ and goldfish crackers, which the boy requested. We got home at 1800, and Sophia ate a popsicle. I was at the stove, heating up a pot of chicken noodle soup for Chloë and Jack, when I heard a weird burping noise. I asked who that was and turned around just in time to see Sophie upchucking her popsicle all over the back of the dog.

It just kept getting better and better, folks!!

So I quickly cleaned that up, and was glad that again she didn't get herself. After realizing the futility of my instructions to run to the bathroom when she had to be sick, I fashioned her a barf bag like the one at the hospital. She hasn't barfed since. That sound you hear is me, knocking on wood.

She asked for some soup, so I heated up some broth, no noodles. She didn't touch it, but she did sip a little orange juice, and she managed to keep that down. Phew.

So after that, everyone was flopped back down on the couch, and I planned to start cleaning in earnest. Only... I fell asleep with them again! Lazy bones. I'm just so tired lately. And when I got up, I had the deep cough back in my chest that I was free of for the past several days. Great. If I get sick again, I will positively lose it!

We slept for hours, too. It was after 2200 when I woke up. I sent Chloë up to bed; she and Jack MAY go to school in the morning, depending on how they're doing. We'll see. Sophie is a definite no. The other two stayed asleep.

Rob came home, so I went out to Walgreens to do a little fun shopping. I say "fun," because I worked out some deals to get lots of stuff for free:


{For all that, I paid right about $20. I got $46 in free stuff!  Now I'm done with buying Halloween candy (we get a lot of ToTers), and I can use those three Mentos gums for Tooth Fairy gifts. Rob, of course, will eat the five Snickers I got free, and we really needed that toothpaste. I collect lots of chapstick, so yay, and the kids will drink up some of that Sprite tomorrow, I'm sure. So I only ended up with two things I can't use (the Dulcolax and Lysol refill I don't have the dispenser for), which I'll post on Freecycle for some other lucky soul.}

I could have gotten lots more, but they were out of lots of their advertised deals. That always drives me nuts, stupid Walgreens!

It's now 0230. I'm going to give the littlest another shot of cough meds and then try to get her settled down again. Ciao!


A Breakthrough?

Holy fuck.

I think I've finally had some sort of epiphany, and here it is: I don't believe in Christian Science.

I really don't.

(For those who haven't known me my whole life or more than an hour, I was raised a Christian Scientist. We didn't go to doctors and shunned the medical community. The idea was to heal as Jesus healed, through prayer. My mother died when I was 7; she was 33. I am now 33. Feel free to ask questions if this post raises any for you; it is more for me to get my thoughts out at this late - nay, early - hour, so that I can remember them the next time I talk to my father.)

I don't feel like Christian Science "works." I think even saying "this works" or "This has worked in the past" or "this will work for you," the word "works" as my father kept saying to me the other day, when talking about healing the lump in my boob, connotes some sort of magical powers instead of faithful, healing prayer. I don't know, enough about that part.

I feel like with Christian Science, it's more intellectualized, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, that has to be said just right, instead of straight faith and belief talking. I feel like I'm trying to believe what I say, instead of saying what I believe. Like I'm trying to convince myself of what I'm saying, instead of having the fervent belief that what I'm hoping for can be achieved.

I feel like it's trickery, like I'm trying to bed God's will to my own, rather than just surrendering myself to His will.

Aren't I supposed to surrender? Aren't I supposed to give it up to Him? "Thy will be done." Not MY will; isn't all this metaphysical wording basically a way of trying to inflict my desires upon the thing that isn't wanted? Whatever problem it is?

And if this worked... why is my mother dead? Why is my son dead? If this worked, she would be alive, he would be alive, there would be no war, no famine, no pestilence or pain, no sin, no disease, no death - and everybody would be doing it. Everybody. It would be a utopia.  No one would need glasses or a root canal. Everything would be... perfect.

But only One is perfect. We are all flawed. How can we bend these sneaky prayers into trying to make things perfect, when we are, by creation, NOT?

So I don't believe in it. I don't believe it, I don't believe it, I don't believe it. God damn it, I don't believe it!!!!!!!!!!

And I won't do it. I can't do it. I can't make myself believe what I know I don't. I would just be going through the motions, doing it for my dad instead of for myself, biding my time until I go do it my way, which is going to the doctor and praying. For God's will to be done.

I feel better now that I've gotten this off my chest. Maybe now I can get some sleep. Lord knows I need it.


One Sick Puppy

So much for a relaxing day off.Rob let me sleep in 'til 1100 or so, and when I woke up, Chloë was sound asleep next to me.

I got up and felt her cheek, and she was burning up. Took her temp and it was 103.2º. 

She's been coughing up a lung for two weeks now, and the cough got much worse over the weekend, with some throwing up added in there, just for kicks.

So, I called the doc, and they said to bring her in at 1300. I grabbed a quick shower, and when I called her to get dressed, she just flopped on the floor and wouldn't move. She was completely listless, unable to get up and get clothes for herself. Poor thing.

I knew she wouldn't be able to walk all the way down the long halls to the PEDS clinic, so I went next door and borrowed a stroller from the neighbor, to wheel my sick baby around the hospital. It was that or the wagon...!

At the hospital, her fever had come down to 99º after a dose of Tylenol. She was still barely there, though, with the saddest face ever. She was completely miserable. The doctor listened to her for a long time, and then pronounced her sick with both viral and bacterial pneumonia. My poor kid!

So, she had to get a shot in the thigh with some antibiotics, and then they sent her home with more antibiotics, Tylenol, Motrin, and Zofran for the nausea. With instructions to come back if she puked (or the other) too much and got dehydrated, for fluids. I'm trying to pump her full of drinks today, but she keeps falling asleep and lolling around, although she did drink a nice, big glass of milk a little while ago.

I went to the store and got all kinds of soups and broths for tomorrow. Rob is staying home with her while I work, and then I get home at 1500 so he can go to work. It's possible that Sophie may be staying home tomorrow, too - her cough is starting to sound just as nasty as Chloë's. If she does stay home, well, I don't know if Rob will take them both to the doctor. I guess it depends how miserable the older sicky is.

In Lump news, I called this morning and couldn't get an appointment until November 6th. !!!!!!! I was really upset about that.

So while we were at the hospital, I went down to the radiology clinic to beg them to squeeze me in sooner. Like, today. Their next available appointment was the 9th, so that didn't work out, but they said to call every day in case there is a cancellation. I think I might just go mad waiting for November 6th to roll around...

Anyway. Back to Farmville on Facebook. At least my critters there aren't sick! ;)


My Body Is In One-Derland

Well, I've done it.

Remember a month ago, at my 8-month post-surgery mark, I said I was hoping to be in "one-derland" (ie, under the 200-lb mark) by my one-year surgiversary in January, 2010? (I didn't make up that term, just go with it.)

Well here we are, one day before my 9-month mark, and I just weighed in: 199.7 lbs, three months ahead of schedule!!!

I've lost over 141 pounds in 9 months, and it feels fabulous. I'm feeling pretty awesome, actually. Go ahead and congratulate me; I deserve it. Hahaha!! (kidding, kidding)

My new goal is to be at 175 or less by the one-year mark. Now that I'm back to regularly drinking my protein shakes, the weight loss that slowed down over the summer has kicked back up again. I think it's doable. I won't be upset if I don't make it, but I'll be thrilled if I do!

At my check-up on Thursday morning, my doctor told me that HIS goal for me was to get down to somewhere around 150-160 pounds, and that I would look like "death warmed over" if I got down to 120. So if I hit 175 by the one-year mark, I won't be that far off "goal"!

Fan-flipping-tastic. I am so excited right now. If only I could get this saggy baby belly removed...then I really would be in Wonderland!

(And I know you want pictures - nine more pounds to go until I take and share them, okay?)


Other bits 'n' bobs of late, since I missed Friday Fragments:

Please pray for Stim and Baby Luke. I don't want to share details that she hasn't mentioned on her blog, so I'll just ask for prayers. He's okay, but things could be going better for them.


Just a random silly picture Rob set up and took of Chloë wearing her hair on backward. It's an iPhone pic, so the quality... but I love all those healthy curls! Too bad she doesn't appreciate them; she's always asking me to straighten her hair. She wants "straight, yellow" hair like Sophia's. Tsk, tsk.

Neither girl did that well at soccer yesterday morning. I bribed Sophie into staying on the field by telling her if she did, we would go to Fall Carnival at the kids' school at night. So she literally planted herself on the field and didn't move, simply repeating, "Fall Carnival!" every time the Coach spoke to her and asked her if she wanted to run after the ball and play. *Sigh*

Chloë's game was at the same time, so Rob and Jack were on her field while I was watching Sophia. When I got over there, they had split the teams into two games, one on each half of the field, like they do with Sophie's games. That was new. Rob was up front... but Chloë was playing in the back! I asked him why he hadn't moved to the back, and he said, "Because I can still see her." Yeah, but... she can't see you, and she can't hear you cheering for her! That's important. Well, I guess I got to another mom whose daughter was playing at the back, too, because she got up and went with us to the back field! Haha.

We had to bring the after-game snack for Chloë's team. Everyone else brings cookies and junk, but I wanted to do something healthier, so we brought 100% juice boxes, bananas, and string cheese. It didn't go over well. Those girls wanted their cookies! We brought more than half of it home. Oh well, my kids will eat it!

We got a note from the Team Mom telling us when the end-of-season party was, and that we needed to kick in $20 for it. Twenty bucks?! That seems like a lot to me, after paying for the season, cleats, shin guards, socks, a ball, team snacks... .and now this. So much for soccer being cheaper than dance lessons. Sheesh.

We had to stop at Wal-mart after the games, as I was out of printer ink and needed something disposable to bake for the Fall Carnival - and all the kids suddenly needed to go potty. I shopped while Rob took the kids to the bathroom, and then we met up outside. On the way to the car, we spotted this "wind-up" SmartCar. Can you see the turny-thing? How cute! I just love those SmartCars. There is a SC dealership just down the road from us. One of these days, I'm going to go over there and take a test drive, just for kicks. I can't wait!

Steph called me on the way home, asking why we didn't come see her and the baby Friday night as planned. I was waiting for her to call me, and she was waiting for me to call her! Oops. I really want to see the little guy, so I'm kicking myself! They might stop by after church today, and if not, we may go over there. Pictures for sure, if we do! (Well, maybe... my new camera isn't holding a charge, so I might get one or two before it dies. WTF.)

As soon as we got home, I had to start baking. I'd promised one or two things for the Cake Walk at the Fall Carnival. My plan was to make two chocolate bundt cakes, but I couldn't find anything at Wal-Mart but foil cupcake pans, so, change of plans. In the end, I ended up baking four dozen cupcakes. They had to cool before I could frost them, of course, so I left them cooling on the table, with strict instructions to the kids to LEAVE THEM ALONE, while I went upstairs to shower and get ready for the carnival.

No, they didn't touch them. They were actually good. Phew.

My dad called me while I was upstairs getting dressed. He wants me to go the Christian Science, prayerful, metaphysical route in taking care of whatever this lump is in my right breast. However, sobbingly, I told him that I can't do to my children what my mother did to Stacey and me (she died when I was 7, at my same age of 33), and that I had to go find out what this is and treat it medically if necessary.

He understood that, but he suggested we work on it and get rid of it before I even go to the appointment, resolving things before they even start. As he said, what could it hurt? What do I have to lose?

Okay, but if it's still there, and this doesn't work, then I'm going the other way. He told me that the practitioner who worked with my mom before her very sudden death couldn't "get past Karen's fear," and so they weren't able to have the breakthrough they needed to save her life.

Really? Fear killed my mother? I think it was the untreated diabetes...

The whole thing had me extremely upset, and after I hung up with my dad, Rob was there, and he held me for half an hour while I cried. I gave myself such a headache! But really, it was so unnecessary that she died that way. I needed her. I needed her!! I still need her. It fucking hurts...


So I got dressed, and guess what? Move over size 18, because I fit into the nice, new size 16 pants that Linda gave me last week! I looked pretty good, too. Maybe I'll wear that when I take my 150-lb loss pictures for y'all. Hot Mama! ;)

I went downstairs and used my cake decorating stuff to swirly-frost the cupcakes. Some in chocolate, some in classic white (whatever the hell that is), and some in white buttercream. I just used what I had in the pantry. They looked really good, though. I even dreamed of eating them, which is sad!

I told Rob it was his job to figure out how we were going to transport the things to school - I mean, four dozen! -  We decided to stick a toothpick in each cupcake to keep the Saran wrap off the frosting, and then put two six-packs of cupcakes on each of four cookie sheets. Then, against our better judgement, we had Rob and each of the children carry a cookie sheet in the car, all the way to school, on their laps. Eek! We told them a million times not to touch the cupcakes, just the cookie sheets.

Well, again, they listened, the cupcakes made it to school in one piece! All 48 of them, all 8 separate pans.

We got there an hour early, because I never actually confirmed that I would be bringing anything for the Cake Walk, and I wanted them to know that I did follow through on my promise. They were thrilled, and I was too, because every single cupcake got there in one piece.

For the next hour, instead of helping out with setting up for the Carnival - during which time my kids would probably just get in the way - we walked to the back of the school and let the kids loose on the playground. They ran and ran and exhausted themselves thoroughly, racing each other around the field and just generally having a grand ol' time. I had my camera in my purse, actually, but I completely forgot about it, so I have no pictures of this or the Carnival fun. Dammit.

That hour would have been a good time to realize that I didn't have my wallet - with the Carnival tickets - with me! I didn't check until we got back inside and the food was ready. You have to purchase the food you want with tickets, too. And... I had none. Argh! So I sent Rob home to get them, giving up our awesome parking spot to the crowds who were starting to roll in. We sat with our thumbs up our butts and watched, and waited. Yay, fun.

Finally, he returned, and everyone had what they wanted: hot dogs for Jack and Chloë, pancet and lumpia for Rob and Sophia, and, well, nachos and cheese for me, because there was nothing protein-y I could eat otherwise. Just a couple for me, and then Chloë devoured the rest. No sooner did we finish eating, than Sophie got a funny look on her face. I've rarely seen that look on her, but I recognized it well from the weak-stomached Chloë. I got the foil wrapper from the hot dogs just in time to catch the puke. Boy, she really lost it. I think that's only the third time ever in her life that Sophia has thrown up! Poor kid.

Then she said she had to poop, and I was figuring it would be upset-tummy ucky poops (sorry for TMI), so I had Rob race her to the bathroom while I sat with the other two. During their absence, Jack said, very loudly for the whole room to hear, "Mom, what does 'pussy' mean?"

I gasped and said, "Jack!! Shhhhh! Don't say that!"

We went 'round and 'round, with him continuing to say "pussy" (What does it mean? Is it a bad word? etc) and me telling him not to say it... until we finally got to the point where he was remembering a kids' song on one of their CDs about a pussycat! Hahaha, I was so relieved.

Rob came back and laughed his arse off when I told him that story.

Well, Sophie seemed fine and insisted she wanted to stay and play the games, so... we stayed. And played the games. They won a bunch of prizes and had a lot of fun, and she really did seem fine. And we all did the Cake Walk together, but we didn't win. Jack was really pissed; he wanted some of those cupcakes!

And I was happy to see that all of my cupcakes went first! All of them were gone in the first half hour, and all the other baked goods were left. Yay, me! :D

We left after that, when all our tickets were gone, and I went home and crashed. I slept for 12½ hours. I've been so tired lately, so very tired... and I have a huge, unexplained bruise on my forearm. I'm hoping these are not symptomatic of anything, you know? Fear.

Well, I need to go clean, clean, clean... hope y'all have a great Sunday!


Saturday 9: Hey, Jealousy


Link up with Samantha if you're playing along!

1. Tell us a story when you got jealous.

I don't really get jealous, actually. It's just not a trait I really have, for better or worse.

2. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

I have little self-control.

3. Who do you mess with the most?

Who do I mess with? My husband! In more ways than one ;)

4. Do you have any special talents? What are they?

I don't know. I knit, I crochet, I'm kind of crafty... I speak some Spanish... I don't know.

5. If you could have a secret fling that no one would ever find out about, would you?

If I'm married to Rob, no. If not, sure.

6. What's the furthest you've been from home?

I grew up in Syracuse and went to college in Miami. That was far. Oh, duh, I guess going to Europe was pretty far, last summer. And I would say Guam, but that WAS home for four months.

7. How many Saturday 9 player's blogs do you typically visit?

On average... none. I try to, but there's never time!! I do try to, though.

8. Some great bloggers lose their "mojo" and quit blogging. Could you see that happening to you?

No. I'm too babbly.

9. What's the biggest mistake you've made so far this year?

Probably trying to eat foods I'm not supposed to eat, since my surgery. Explosive you-know-what!

Eh. I have to get back to my monthly charity thing online. I just want to sleep, though.



I have a few minutes, so I thought I would post this now and get it off my brain, so I can continue with my day.

I had my dr. appointment this morning. During the breast exam, the doctor found a nickel-sized and -shaped lump on the right side. She seemed pretty serious about it.

I have to call Monday for a mammogram appointment and surgical consult. I'm pretty much freaking out. I cried my eyes out on my way to the next appointment for my check-up.




As in, quick. For me. We shall see...

I've jumped back into the grind at work.  The Z-pack has really kicked the pneumonia/sinusitis/pharyngitis/bronchitis' ass, and I'm feeling pretty good. Except for having to run to the bathroom every so often to hack up a lung, that is.

And three things have happened in the last two days at work that have me feeling pretty good about myself:

  1. A sweet old man, after telling me that he was doing "so-so," told me that if he was a "cute young chick" like me, he'd be doing fantastic. Did someone say "cute"?
  2. A much younger man, maybe five years older than Rob (so early 40s), told me today that I had a very nice smile.
  3. A much younger man, maybe my age, maybe younger, and sexy as hell, winked at me from three or four registers away. Take that as you will, but Rob's interpretation was, "Hey, you're a cute girl!"

So apparently, losing 140 pounds done wonders not only for my outward appearance but inner self-esteem. I'm liking things right now. I'm liking them very much.

When work is slow, and it often is, we are supposed to stand at the end of the check-out lane and wait for customers, to invite them in. Sometimes, 20 minutes will go by in the early mornings, with no takers. So I have lots of time to daydream. Thinking about my weight loss, and having talked to one of my managers about my surgery, I imagined a conversation wherein she asked me how I'd gotten so fat in the first place. And I'd give her the several reasons/excuses/explanations, not the least of which is that I really ate my way through my depression for the years following Robby's death. And that started me thinking about the depression and the suicide attempts. There were many. At least six, I think. And the kids remember the last one, although they do not know that that is what was going on. They bring it up from time to time, and it pains me. So then I was thinking about how, despite being broke as a joke, happy I am in my "new" body, how good I'm feeling (thanks in no small part to my bipolar diagnosis and nightly meds cocktail) mentally, and how awful, just how awful, it would have been if I had been successful.

How much I love those kids. How much they need me. How much I need them. How I would have completely devastated them, their lives, their futures...

So I'm grateful, very, very grateful, to have failed at that singular aim. I wanted so badly to take Robby's place. I was trying to die for the one I lost instead of living for the three I still had. I'm so thankful to have stepped out of that cloud and come back, if you will. I'm a lucky girl, in so many ways.

So much for this being a quick one.

So Rob is working nights now - did I mention that? He started last night - and it completely sucks. I was not cut out to be a single parent; I have said that before. I like sharing the duties, having someone to complain to and commiserate with about the hard parenting stuff, and you know, sharing the good, fun times, too. But mostly I miss having someone to split up the chauffering duties with!

Today, as soon as the kids got home from school, I had Chloë change out of her school clothes and into her dance leotard and pants. We headed back to HT (my work) to:

  1. Show my pre-surgery picture to my manager, C, whose jaw completely dropped,
  2. Buy the Pink Ribbon 99¢ cookies (which had been discounted 75% and which were apparently pretty nasty) for the kids' after-school snack,
  3. Buy Tic-Tacs and get a dollar back, for Tooth Fairy duties tonight (yes, she struck again), and
  4. Talk to same manager, C, about changing my availability, now that Rob is working nights.

That was a quick in-and-out, during which each of the kids acquired a free helium balloon. Two of them, the younger pair, let theirs go as soon as we walked out of the store. Scoundrels!

We headed straight over to dance class then. Chloë went in to dance, and Jack came up front with me to do his homework. From his homework folder, I pulled out his School PIctures and had the horrified-yet-amused reaction to this awful pose:

School Pictures

Uh.Muh.Guh. Is that awful, or what? I showed it to Jack, and he burst out laughing! I was amused at his reaction, but geez.... it's terrible! (And look how yellow his teeth look! They really are not that yellow IRL). Since I never took his 6-year pictures at Sears, I was just going to let his end-of-kinder pix and beg-of-1st pix suffice, but, holy cow. I think I will keep some of these just because Jack thinks they're so hysterical, though!

Chloë's is much nicer:

School Pictures1

I like it, although Rob absolutely detests that dress, and her face looks much rounder here than IRL. I can see Robby in her when I look at this picture.

So. Homework progressed, and he did pretty well. He farted majorly stinky farts the whole time and kept cracking up at himself. Ugh. Such a boy!! He couldn't decide what he was prouder of, smelling like shit or that awful photograph!

He still does NOT know how to write the numbers from about 11+, so I am constantly making him write them and then tell me what they are. It's just not sinking in and is becoming very frustrating for both of us. I'll have to come up with a much funner way to do it.

Anyway, dance ended, and we went directly to IH*P for dinner, for a shop. That went pretty well, although they seat all parties with kids in the same section, and some of the rowdier kids in the bunch got mine going, which annoyed me. My kids KNOW how to behave in a restaurant, but when they are hyped up, it all goes to pot. Guess I know why they seat them all together in the back!

There was a very nice family seated right behind ours, and there was a lot of cross-chat between our two families. So it was with no hesitation half-way through our meal that I got up, tapped the other mother on the shoulder and whispered, "Can you please keep an eye on my kids? I have to go throw up!" yeah, I'm still doing a lot of that. She was more than willing to help, so I went off to do that, and when I came back, after questioning me about my okay-ness, she informed me that they basically shared their whole lives in five minutes. Mostly about school, phew! At least no one blew our cover.

Back at home, I suddenly remembered the massive day I have tomorrow. I'll tell you about it now, just because I'm doubtful I'll have time to blog much about it after the fact:

  1. To my PCP for my PAP, the first one since my hysterectomy, to make sure the bad guys haven't returned. (I think I will absolutely scream if anything comes back abnormal again. Cross your fingers! Or your labia!)
  2. To Newport News for my 9-month post-surgery check-up, which will take an hour or so each way to drive, 15-30 minutes in the waiting room, and 5 minutes, max, with the doctor
  3. To the bank to finally deposit the remaining Brownie troop dues
  4. To the post office to mail three tutus I just made tonight after Etsy orders came in and re-mail Jack's 2T wardrobe (which was returned because I used an alcohol box the first time, wasting $12. Bah!)
  5. Home to bake something, anything, for
  6. Collect the kids and take them to Troop Leader's house for Juliet Gordon Lowe's birthday party (and bring my entire XXXXXXXXXXL wardrobe to M to try on later)
  7. Leave early to go to Chloë's soccer practice (which we missed on Tuesday b/c I felt like utter doodyballs)
  8. Leave early to go to Sophie's soccer practice
  9. Leave early to go to Jack's den meeting (or is it a pack meeting? I forget now, it's almost 2 AM), where they are NOT to wear class-A uniforms but instead must come in costume and bring their pumpkins from the pumpkin patch visit a couple weekends ago.

So. After we got home from dinner, Chloë started her homework while Jack, Sophia and I carved their pumpkins. I made them rip out the innards - which they hated and bellyached about to no end - before I would carve them. They did a half-ass job, though, so I found myself arm-deep in gourd guts anyway. I am a crappy jack-o'-lantern maker. Observe:


It didn't matter, though, because they were both thrilled with the results and said they were exactly what they wanted. Great! Who could ask for anything more? (Sophia went to the Farmer's Market with her preschool class last week, and they all got a pumpkin there. Chloë doesn't have one yet.)

After the pumpkins, they had a quick dessert, and the littles went to bed. Chloë and I finished her homework and worked on getting the soccer gear ready for tomorrow's tour-de-Virgina Beach, and had a conversation that left me in tears. She was telling me about a classroom assignment today, wherein they had to choose a word to describe themselves, starting with each letter in their first names. She chose caring for the "C" and loving for the "L" and I forget what for the "E," not able to think of anything for the "H" or "O."

I said, "What about 'happy'?" To which she broke my heart by replying, "But I'm not happy. I'm mad. All the time."

Oh, my God. I knew she was stressed out, but I did not think she was NOT happy. I don't care if my kids are cute. I don't care if they're smart. I don't care about any of that, as long as they are happy. Above all, I want my kids to be happy kids. My heart broke when she said that, it really did.

She came over to me, and we had a very long conversation about it, a heart-to-heart. There were lots of details, but basically it seems that the crux of the matter is that she doesn't like Sophia, wants to be an only child, and wants her own room back. When she said she didn't like Sophia, I bawled. Why does that hurt so much? I know it's normal. I know it is. But I'm pretty darn fond of the kid, and I want her older sister to be, too. Pain.

I told her I'd talk to Daddy about putting her back in her own room, and we'd go from there. I hope that solves things. She really is stressed out. Mommy yelling, Daddy yelling, problems with friends, problems with school/schoolwork/tests/the gifted class, etc., don't seem to be the matter. I worry about Jack and Sophia sharing a room, but I care much more about Chloë's mental health than I do about more destruction of physical property.

Phew. Heavy stuff.

On a lighter note, no sooner did Chloë go up to bed than she came running back down to tell me, "Jack climbed up on the dresser and then peed a fountain out into the room!"

Good golly, where is my husband when I need him??!!!?!

S'late. I'm out.



I like that word. Spackle. Say it. "Spackle." It's fun.


Let me (try to briefly) recap:


Still sick, still feeling miserable, I didn't accomplish much. However, I did transform this monstrosity:


into this beauty:


Looks good enough to dive into and start knitting, right? It took me two hours and the removal of lots of dog hair. The cat was largely responsible for the look in the first photo. She had a grand ol' time playing in my yarn while it was stored upstairs in the bedroom, out of my constant view. Naughty Tink! I have imposed a feeding strike on her for that. I jest, I jest. Not that her fat ass couldn't use it. 

When Rob came home, our plan was to go right out to dinner for a mystery shop. Instead, Jack snapped his glasses in half, right at the bridge, and we had to make a quick run to Walmart to replace them - free! In the space of 20 minutes, they'd looked at his glasses, pulled down the identical replacement frames, installed the old lenses in them, and sent him on his way. I don't know who was more relieved - me, at not having to pay anything and having him able to see without a wait, or him, for not being in trouble. Probably him. I've seen me when I get mad, and it ain't fun.

Since we were already at Wal-mart, and since Sophie was responsible for her soccer team's after-game snacks the next morning, we did a little shopping. Unfortunately, it's pretty much expected that we have to feed all the players' siblings, too, so I had a cart loaded with juice boxes, bananas, and Go-gurts, as they were out of string cheese. And I remembered I had but four pairs of undies at home that fit, now that I gave all the gigundapannies away (it's a word; Google it), so I got some of those, too. Knickers and 'nanners. I just wanted to say that.

I had Rob text me the three codes I had for three free Redbox rentals, having noticed the machine on the way into the store. I'd gotten them as a reward for some of my grocery purchases last week. It's been a while since we've had free movies 'round here, and I was ready for some TV time!

We rushed home in the rain and collected the rest of the Fam for our dinner out, at last. That did not go by without incident. MY children behaved, but one of the servers did not, and that will be a fun report to type. I wish I could tell you what happened, but I'd probably get spanked for that. Not that I don't enjoy a good spanking.

After the kids went to bed, we fired up the first movie: Management, with Steve Zahn and Jennifer Aniston. It was cute, and we both enjoyed it. The second movie was Sunshine Cleaning, with Adam Arkin, Amy Adams, and Emily Blunt. Great movie; I recommend it! But the best part was that I was able to get the second mitt done for Baby Luke's alpaca layette. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph it, so just look at this one and pretend there are two there:



The girls' soccer games ended up being cancelled, which means I'd bought all that stuff for... well, I guess for my kids, but will now have to buy it again next month for the make-up game. Bah.

The good thing, though, was that Rob was able to take Jack and the girls to the Cub Scouts' visit to the SPCA. First, they went around the neighborhood where his pack meets to collect supplies for the animals, and then they toured the SPCA. Later, they told me about all the animals they'd seen. Chloë, aware that I've wanted a Chihuahua puppy since childhood, is ever on the lookout for me; alas, there wasn't one there. It's probably a good thing, since we're not exactly in an acquisition phase now that Operation Sweet Pea (the boat plan) is in effect!

As for me, I went back to work, after four or five sick days. It didn't last long. I was there all of 2½ hours before I had to run to the bathroom to blow my nose. In there, I started coughing up more blood - I'd done it Friday night, too. Egads. That can never be a good thing, right? I went out to tell my manager, and she was kind of pissy about it, like, "Fine, leave if you want to." Um? Can it really be a good thing to be around customers - and their food - in that condition? So, whatever, I left. Now I'm probably the Problem Child at work, but truly, I felt like shit!

Rob was home when I got home, but not for long, as he and the Littles had to take Chloë to her friend's birthday party at the movie theater. I'd remembered to pack her gift before work, at least, but I'd forgotten a card. While they went to the party (she saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and loved it), I headed to the ER to determine the cause of my bloody sputum.

Tests upon tests were run. X-rays were taken. I waited for hours. I was asked a million times if I was a smoker. I slept. I emailed and texted and Facebooked on my iPhone.  Finally, my official diagnoses: Bronchitis. Pharyngitis. Sinusitis. Hemoptysis. (Don't ask me to pronounce that.) With a touch of pneumonia. Basically: Sick! They sent me home with Rxs for the Z-pack (antibiotics) and more cough syrup with codeine.

I went home and canceled my shops for the rest of the day, ready to just lie down and die. Rob gave me a shot of the cough syrup I already had, which, MAN, that gives me some crazy dreams, and I was out.


I slept late because of the drugs, entirely missing Stephanie's text message at 0245 saying that her water broke and she was in labor. Dammit, I missed the whole thing. Luke was born before I woke up! I wish I could have been at the hospital; the only births I've been present for have been my own children. It's just as well; I wouldn't have been in the OR anyway, and she needed her rest afterward. And family time. So, okay.

I woke up just in time for us to make it to my lunch shop at the Oceanfront. I know, I should have stayed home in bed, but I'm a stubborn girl. What can I say? The shops were low-key, anyway. Lunch went well and smoothly, and then we headed to the party store for another shop.

Sophie accompanied me while the rest stayed in the car. We looked at the jillion costumes on display, not intending to buy her one, when she spied the doctor get-up. Have I told you that lately she claims she's going to be a doctor when she grows up? So of course she had to have that one. I gave in, what the hell. My plan has been to collect "over the hill" and "40" themed merch at these party shops over the next three years, in preparation for Rob's next big birthday, but a little diversion from the plan won't hurt. And she was thrilled, so yay.

We had to go home between shops, because my phone completely died, and I couldn't take notes. Oopsie. We went home long enough for me to charge up a little and look at my shop form, and then I took Jack out to do the second shop. Rob stayed home with the girls to clean up their rooms and do laundry.

Jack didn't have a costume yet, so I fully intended on getting him one. Only, trial after trial, the store was out of the costume he wanted. Superman? No. Batman? No. Power Ranger? No. And so on and so forth. Finally he picked a Star Wars one (I have no idea what the guy is, but Tim would know), and they had it in stock. He was happy with it. Phew. We finished the shop and went home to, again, collect the rest of the family for another dinner shop.

Hadn't we just eaten? Yes, we had, it seemed, but here we were again, out to eat. I didn't touch a single bite of my food; too stuffed. The kids barely ate, either. But we had free meals for all three of them, and when they messed up our order, they gave us our drinks and appetizer free, too! Hey, hey.

I was all set to go home and chill for the night after that, but Steph wanted me to come to the hospital at that point. Of course! I finally got to see the baby. But all about that visit in the last post; I won't repeat.


Steph had planned to go with me on a lunch shop this afternoon, but when she went and had her baby, darn her, I called in Linda to substitute. She was game. I was going to bring Stephanie McDonald's, as requested, for lunch before I went out to lunch, but I way overslept. As in, I meant to sleep from 0800 to 10, but didn't get up until ten after noon. Oops. I needed it, though.

Lunch was fun, although drawn-out and much longer than it needed to be. It was fine, though. Good, fun, chatty company. We didn't eat much and took a ton of food home. The server must have wondered why we kept ordering more food we didn't eat!

Linda gave me a couple pairs of nice pants in size 16. Since the new 18s I just bought at the thrift store are already falling down on me, I'm hoping they'll fit when I try them on! I'm so close to being at my next goal... hopefully I'll hit it this week!

I went home just in time to collect the kids from the bus. I threw them in the rental car, and we went off to Progressive to collect Vanna from the repair shop. We waited a LONG time, but the kids behaved like perfect little angels. I kind of couldn't believe it, since it was boring and there wasn't a lot to do. Three Highlights magazines in the waiting room saved the day, and they all sat in separate chairs, reading quietly. Awesome.

Rob was already home when we got there, so he took the kids to go pick up my antibiotics Rx (yes, two days later... hush), while I stayed home to relax and work on all my reports that have been building up this weekend, unfinished. I got a little done, but I felt sick and lay down for much of the time.

We were going to go out to dinner for another shop tonight, but I just didn't feel up to it. I got back to work tomorrow morning, so I'm hopeful everything will go well and normally.

That's about it. Rob's starting nights tomorrow, so he's getting up with the kids tomorrow for school. yay, I'm off breakfast-and-lunch duty. Boo, I'm on permanent dinner-and-homework duty. We'll manage. Oh, crap, how am I going to get all three kids to their different activities at the same time, especially on Thursdays??

Not awesome. Once again, the Navy is royally screwing up my plans! ;)

Anyway, back to my reports. Ta.


It's A Boy!!!


Presenting.... Lucas Wayne G., born Sunday, October 18, 2009!

I'll let Stephanie share all the details of their birth story with you, but Luke was born this morning after an unplanned c-section, when it was determined that he was in the full breech position. Poor Steph! She had her heart set on a natural delivery and didn't want this at all. I've been telling her and telling her - probably to her utmost annoyance - to prepare herself and read up on c-s deliveries "just in case," because "you never know" - and I'm so glad she did do just that. So it wasn't the "perfect" delivery at all, and I personally understand how disappointed she is. (I've had three c/s myself, that I didn't want!)

I didn't get to see Steph all day, because she and Luke were recovering from their busy morning and I had shops all day. (I was supposed to be in bed - more on that in the next post - but I'm a stubborn ass.) So we were just sitting down to dinner, out, for a mystery shop, when Steph texted me that I could come visit now. Agh! And I had to hurry up before her parents arrived in two hours and kicked me out!

So we ate dinner as fast as we could, and then I dropped everyone off at home before taking off to the hospital. Kids under 18 are no longer allowed as visitors, and mine were very disappointed not to be able to see the baby. They were so excited about his birth, though!

As soon as I got there, I got kicked out by the nurse, who was helping Steph get up and out of bed to clean herself up and feel better. Her sister, M, and I went down to the waiting room and chatted a while, until Tim came back to get us. And when we got there, the baby was gone for some reason or other, I forget.

Finally, they brought Luke in, and I got to hold him. Oh, my. People, I have not seen such a cute, perfect little baby in the longest time. He's absolutely beautiful. He looks just like his father - except for the shape of his head, which is all Steph. I am in love with him!

Eventually, after I held and admired him for an age, Steph decided it was time to try nursing him again. I helped her as much as I could, but it's weird not being on the "mom" side of things. I kept having to pretend to nurse to remind myself how to hold the baby and the boob, so I could show her. I think, I hope, it helped. She was pretty stressed out, but I tried to assure her that it's a learning process for both mom and baby, and no one automatically knows what to do when their first baby is born!

A couple hours after I got there, Stephanie's parents and brother showed up from Pennsylvania, so it was time for me to go. Hopefully, I'll get to bring her some lunch and see the baby some more tomorrow. Steph, call me if you need anything, if you're being a naughty girl and reading this instead of actually getting some sleep! ;)


Congratulations, Mama!


Saturday 9: Inside Job

Done Henly

Link up with Samantha if you're playing along today!

1. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A marine biologist

2. Did you ever pursue that career?

I sure did, got my BS in marine science and biology, and pursued a PhD in biology (Shark Feeding Ecomorphology) for a year and a half

3. If you are not in that field, what changed?

Eloped after 2 months, got pregnant on the wedding night, and have been a stay-home mom ever since...

4. What is your current job?

I'm temporarily working at the grocery store down the road to make a little money toward paying off our debt. I'm a mystery shopper extraordinaire. I run our own non-profit, CARE Package, Inc. But most of all, I'm "Mom."

5. What's the best part of what you do?

Until I started this job, and only when I work on Saturdays, I haven't missed a single important thing in my kids' lives.

6. Do you have plans to do something else down the road?

Oh, definitely. I just don't know what yet. I guess now it'll have to wait after we get this living-on-a-boat, traveling-the-world thing out of our systems. I'm pretty sure I'll either go to law school or own a yarn shop. Nothing too disparate, right?

7. How did you get your present job? If you are a stay at home mom, how long did you need to plan that move?

I'll go with the stay-home mom thing. There was no real planning involved. We'd talked before marriage (that whole two months we knew each other) about it being the right thing for us. I tried to work a little after we got hitched, but before long, I started developing pregnancy complications and needed to stay home. It was just earlier than we'd planned.

8. Did your parents influence your choices of jobs over the years?

In a way. My dad's aorta would probably rupture if I decided to go into medicine (probably nursing, but who knows), which I'd considered for a while. He's a Christian Scientist...

9. What advice would you give your children on careers?

Do what makes you happy, and you'll never "work" a day in your life.


Fragmented Friday Freewrite


is hosted by Mrs4444, and

Friday Freewrite

is hosted by Sara

Be sure and check 'em out, linking up if you're playing along this week!

 { I'm sick, so this will likely be a short one for me. }

☼ First, I have to share that I'm a mere 5 pounds away from my next major goal of being under 200 lbs, also known as being in "ONEderland" in the chubby-chub world. So while at 5'2", I'm nowhere near thin, I'm ecstatic to be where I am after losing, oh, 136.8 lbs since my surgery 8.5 months ago! I was exactly 200 lbs when I met my husband nine years ago, so it's doubly a big marker for me. Of course, I don't plan to stop there!

☼ The other day, Sophie, 4½, started screaming and crying, because there was a big bug in our house. (I'd admit that it was a cockroach, but I don't think I want you to know that.) Jack, 6½ swooped in, saying, "Don't worry, I'm going to save the day!" He squashed that bug, put it outside, and trumpeted, "I saved the day! I saved the day!"

☼ For those who know that Sophia absolutely loves bugs and is greatly intrigued by them, to the detriment of her focus on other things like playing soccer... that only counts when they are outside. She's exactly like her mother in that regard. I don't mind bugs at all, but they are NOT allowed to touch or come near me without my express written permission!

☼ I was preparing chicken for dinner, and it was a very fatty selection of meat. Jack came in and saw the pile of cut-off fat on the cutting board. He asked me, "Ooh, are we having cheesy chicken for dinner?" Freaking gross!!

☼ We were driving down the road, and I was in the middle of a conversation with Rob, next to me. From the way-back seat, Sophia started hollering, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!" When I didn't answer her right away, she pulled out a new one: "Melanie! Melanie!" That brought loads of laughter from Rob and me, so she's been using it ever since!

☼ Oh, and what did she want? To tell me, "I saw a butterfly up in the sky, catching a star!"

☼ Conversation between Rob and Chloë, 8:

Rob to Sophia: "What are you, four?" after she did something four-ish.

Chloë: "Yes, she's four!"

Rob: "I was being facetious."

Chloë: "Oh, I thought you were being sarcastic."

☼ Chloë opined, after sitting and thinking a while, "If cats were herbivores, then we'd have to buy Tinkerbell a whole loaf of grass. Or weeds, or something."

Yup, a loaf of grass.

And that's all, folks! Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. Ff_fix Looky, Looky what Mrs4s gave me again for last week's Jack/Rob quote about liking being on the bottom! I'll have to collect those "dirty" quotes for y'all soon. ;) thanks, Mrs4444!

Aloha Friday


Be sure and link up with Kailani if you're joining in this fun weekly carnival!

You may have already read here that in a few years, my husband will retire from the Navy. We're going to sell our house and buy a boat to live on, traveling around the world as I homeschool/unschool our three children, currently 4, 6 and 8. I really haven't done a lot of research on it yet, and I need to get started. It's on my mind a lot, so my question for you this week is:

What's your opinion of homeschooling and/or unschooling? Have you ever done it? Share your thoughts and experiences, please!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!


Ayer y Hoy


I woke up, sick as a DOG, man. I think I already shared that with you? I called into work and was told that, since I was possibly exposed to the swine flu last weekend, I couldn't come back to work until I had a doctor's clearance.

So I went to the doc.

They don't even test for the swine flu in the military system, which seems strange to me, but what do I know? And they didn't test for the regular flu either, maybe because I hadn't had any fevers. I sure did all day today, boy howdy. (If you're wondering why I say that phrase so much, being a New Yorker, it's because that and several other "South Carolina-isms"  rubbed off on me when I lived with my dad there.) (He's still there.)

Anyway, they checked for strep throat, which came back negative.  I did have a huge ton of fluid in my sinuses and ears and throat, and in my chest but not my lungs, so my official diagnosis was a sinus and bronchial infection. I got all kinds of prescriptions (Claritin, Mucinex, Tylenol, Tussinex) to "dry me out" and help me sleep through the night without coughing.

It was going to be, like, a two-hour wait at the pharmacy before my scripts got filled, and I did not have the physical fortitude to sit around for that, so I left.  I drove straight home and slept for the next three hours.

Thankfully, I did not miss the bus this time. I woke up with eleven whole minutes to spare. Phew.

When Rob came home, he informed me that (1) He wouldn't be able to get leave to go to Missouri for his mom's 70th birthday party next month and (b) He will start working nights on the 20th. Wonderful. (Mom, I'm assuming he called you and told you this already today, like he said he would, and if not and you're finding out this way, I'm so sorry.)

So that bites, hard. I guess they are way short-handed at work right now and he had to deny someone else's leave, and no one will get to take any until at least the new year.

I wanted him to go fill my prescriptions for me, since I still felt like butt, but he refused to take any of the kids with him. You know what? That didn't work for me, so we ALL went. And I drove the "new white car," as Jack calls the (awesome) rental. I sat in the car with the sleeping Sophie, and Chloë, while the boys went in. I think I dozed; I can't remember.

I can't remember what happened for the rest of the night. I took my Tussinex, which not only knocked me out for the night, but for the whole day today, too. Wow.

For the first time this school year, I just didn't have it in me to make the kids' lunches this morning. I fed them breakfast, but I had to sit down and put some lunch $ in their online accounts. That was such a relief. I'll only do that when I *really* have to, because at two bucks a pop, PLUS service fees, it's not cheap.

After they got on the bus, I went straight back to bed and slept from 0800 to 1415. I tossed and turned, waking up periodically, but falling straight back to sleep. I had a bad fever and was sweating buckets. I dreamt some crazy, medicine-induced dreams. Be glad I can't remember them, to share with you. (I like sharing my dreams, but I hate hearing about other peoples'! Selfish, I know.)

Chloë's soccer practice was blessedly canceled due to rain, but since Sophie's team was having their pictures taken, we still had to go that one. Only I forgot the form, so we had to run home while her pictures were taken, and I didn't get to snap any myself. :(

There was no practice after that, so we left to go to one of the furthest-away S***cs for a mystery shop I'd signed up for for tonight, before I got sick. And when we got there, I realized that I'd forgotten my wallet for the SECOND time, even after running home for it and the picture form.


So that put me in a delightful mood, and I was already charming. Folks, when I'm sick, I hardly have the opposite of the patience of Job, whatever that is. Are you the same?

We went home, got the wallet and went back to do the shop. And since Rob was working way late, I accepted two more S***c shops - close by our house this time - when they called up and begged me. At least this way, I wouldn't have to cook the dinner I didn't feel like making.

Except I forgot that no one did their homework yet, because I sent everyone upstairs to play after school, so I could nap some more. Oops.

They're doing it now. It's late. Very late.


P.S. Oh yeah, I completely forgot that it was Bunco night last night, too. I went, sick and all, since the doc said I was not contagious. If y'all get sick next week, don't blame me! I wish I had known that there would be an extra there, because I would have stayed home in my bed. But it was fun, as much as it could be when you don't feel well, and I enjoyed myself. Pretty much.

Wordless Wednesday, Late Edition

So I'm way behind on getting this post up; I forgot it was Wednesday! But I just love so much this picture that Rob took of Sophie and me napping together, I had to share it tonight instead of waiting another week:

Sophie & Mommy sleeping

And here's the same thing in color, though I prefer the Black & White:

Sophie & Mommy sleeping 2

Nice job, Rob!

If you're playing along - and you probably already have - make sure to link up here.


Mixed Emotions

Welp, I'm still sick and still getting sicker. I was in a pretty cranky mood yesterday, for no other reason than that I just feel like total shit.

I was hoping that having a day off from work yesterday would give me some time to rest and feel better, but it wasn't to be. I ended up having to run around, which probably didn't help much.

First, after I got the kids on the bus, I had to get to work to pick up my paycheck, and then to the bank to deposit it. That was a #1 priority to make sure nothing bounced, eek.

Then, I had to immediately drive over to the Progressive (insurance) service center to drop off my van and pick up my rental. Have I mentioned that here? Progressive did some work on the van several years ago for a claim, and the piece wasn't painted properly. It has been bubbled up for months, until finally a week or two ago, the paint sloughed right off. There was a huge area of bare metal on the front passenger fender, so of course I needed to get it taken care of immediately. Thank goodness it won't cost us anything to fix or for the rental.

They said I'd have my van back possibly by Friday, and by Monday at the latest - but I'm kind of enjoying the GMC Acadia they gave me while it's in the shop! I'm not an SUV lover, and the only reason I drive a big, honkin' minivan is because our kids and their stuff just won't fit in a smaller vehicle - but, man, it is nice. I thought my seven-year-old van was still in decent condition, but the Acadia puts it to shame! I've rarely ridden in such a smoothly riding vehicle. It's like buttah, baby.

I went back home after that to relax for an hour or so, before I drove to the school to pick up Chloë for a big audition. Remember after she did the two movies in January and February, she said she didn't want to model or act anymore?? Well, I've been letting all kinds of opportunities pass by without doing anything, because I wasn't going to push her to do it if she wasn't into it.  So a week or two ago, she asked me when was going to start modeling and acting again! Um, hello?! She totally didn't even remember saying she wanted to stop. Rob and I just looked at each other and shook our heads...

So this audition came up, and it's a SAG job for a Colonial Williamsburg ad campaign. She'd just told me she wanted to start up again, so I submitted her for it, and they requested to see her yesterday (Tuesday).

I picked her up from school at lunchtime, and let her eat her food in the van Acadia on the way to Portsmouth, where the auditions were held. She has this one, majorly loose tooth hanging by a thread, sticking out the front of her face, and I was begging her to let me pluck it before she was seen! She refused to let me near it or try to pull it herself, so... in she went, looking like a jack-o'-lantern. Nice. Hopefully that won't be the thing that keeps her from getting the job!

She auditioned as a "family" with another little girl and a man and woman, acting as her parents. It was an improv audition, which is new to her, so she didn't have to remember her monologue. I couldn't go in with her, so I have no idea how it went, but when she came out, she just looked at me and smiled, saying, "FUN!!" Hope that's a good sign. Anyway, cross your fingers for her!

I took her back to school and, feeling completely miserable, finally crashed on the couch for a nap. Only, I didn't hear my alarm - or it didn't go off - and the next thing I knew, some kids from school were banging on my door. I woke up, immediately realized I was late for the bus, and ran to the door. The kids told me my kids weren't let off the bus, because I wasn't there. Crapola! Grabbed my shoes, my keys, my sunglasses,... and headed off to school to pick them up.

They were getting there just as I was. The busdriver hollered, "There she is!" and I rushed up to apologize and explain what happened. No one was concerned or upset, and the kids were happy-go-lucky, so it was okay. I certainly don't plan to make it a habit, though!

After we got home and the kids had a good snack, I had them start on their homework so it could be done before Chloë's soccer practice. Only, I completely forgot her soccer practice was changed from 6:00 to 5:00 starting yesterday, until my phone alarm beeped loudly at 5... telling me to be there at 6. I'd never changed it in the darn phone. Argh!! So we missed that, which annoyed the snot out of me, since I was irritated at Rob for missing Jack's Pack - or is it Den? And what is the difference? - Meeting last night.  Can't be mad at him, when I did the same thing!

The kitchen was in a shambles, and I will not cook in a messy kitchen, so Rob set to work cleaning it up as soon as he got home (something he'd meant to do on Monday before getting stuck at the Naval Hospital all day). I started dinner as soon as there was a clean spot for me to work: chicken thighs en papillote, yellow rice, and broccoli for dinner. "En papillote" simply means "in parchment," which for me actually means in aluminum foil. You make a sealed packet out of the foil and then add your food, which can be meat alone, or veggies alone, or both together, and probably other stuff to, but that's all I've ever done. I used to cook en papillote a great deal in our first year or two of marriage, before I got pregnant with the twins and had difficulty touching raw meats! You pretty much can't mess it up, and it has always tasted great.

Normally, when I cook the foil meals, I spray the foil with cooking spray, lay my cleaned-and-dried meats on the foil and salt-and-pepper both sides well. Then I'll put in a tbsp or two of olive oil to make sure everything gets moist and tender. If I'm doing veggies, I'll put those in there - but only raw, cut up veggies like onions, carrots and zukes; definitely don't use frozen or canned or they'll be mush! I wanted to use frozen broccoli to clear out some room in the freezer, so I just had the chicken thighs in foil this time. And instead of olive oil, I used some herbed butter (cilantro lime in one packet and wine something-or-other in the other) that I'd gotten for only 99¢ at Harris Teeter, on special. It was experimental; I had no idea how it'd turn out, especially since I hadn't cooked a foil meal in years and years.

(I put the oven anywhere from 350º to 400º, depending on the meat, and let it cook for an hour or so, give or take. You literally can't ruin it, other than not cooking it long enough. You don't want to be opening the packets and checking on the meat to see if it's cooked, so give it plenty of time. Opening the packets ruins the effect.) (And that's pretty much the only cooking lesson you'll ever get from me!) ;)


So here's how it turned out. I always take all the skin off, and yet it remains tender and juicy, moist and flavorful. SO GOOD.

I told the kids they had to eat all the chicken I gave them, which was not much, in order to get dessert. Little did I know, this would not be a challenge, since it tasted so great! My mood was instantly lifted when Jack told me, "I love this chicken, Mom. It's delicious!"

Score!!! It doesn't get much better than that. So you can bet I'll be cooking en papillote a lot more after this.

We folded and put away four loads of laundry after the kids had their well-earned desserts, and then we sent them to bed. I'd planned to knit, but again I didn't feel well enough to even hold up the needles, so I crashed. Ahhhh....

Only, it was a horrible sleep. I woke up half a dozen times, coughing, snot-nosed, and feeling like my body had been used for a punching bag. By the time 0600 rolled around, I could barely breathe. Since Stephanie told me that she potentially had the swine flu and we'd all been exposed on Sunday, I debated about ten minutes before finally calling in to work and letting them know I was sick, felt awful, and had been exposed. That raised alarm bells, and now I can't go back to work until I get a doctor's note of release.

Flippin' sweet! I'm off now, to call and make that appointment...

Hope you're all feeling better than I am! Except you, Steph - I know you're not!


P.S. If you try a foil meal for the first time after reading this, let me know how it turns out!

P.P.S. I didn't do a "Menu Plan Monday" this week because I don't know what-all we have now that I bought so many "real" groceries instead of just Schwan's. Hopefully I'll get that back on track before next week. :)

Why, I'm Honored

I woke up feeling sick with a yucky cold this morning. You know all the cold symptoms; I won't bore you by listing them. Suffice it to say, I feel like doo-doo.

Rob had the day off from work for Columbus Day (*eyeroll*), but the kids had to work, and I had to go to school. I mean, the other way around. I'm not in the mood to backspace. So, yay, a completely free day for Rob! Awesome, right? He could maybe get a lot done around the house that's been needed doing for ages, and get some nice relaxation in, too?

You'd think so.

Only, I'm almost out of my Effexor and asked him, if and when he had the time today, if he could run to the Navy base pharmacy and fill my prescriptions. It's certainly a better idea than letting me run out, as we both know well...

So he stopped by my work around 10 AM, to get my military ID. They won't let him fill my scripts without it. I sent him back home, where I'd left my wallet, to get it. That was the last I heard from him. I'm not allowed to have my celly on or out in the open at work, so it wasn't until 2:30, when I got off, that I got his phone and text messages and found out what a shitty day he'd been having:

- The base pharmacy was closed, for the "holiday"

- He went to the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth instead, only to find they're only filling prescriptions for post-op and in-house patients today

- He got back out to his truck, and the battery was dead.

- He waited for HOURS for someone parked near him to come out to their car, but no one came (until he finally left to use the bathroom, and one of the cars was gone upon his return)

- Parking security is no longer permitted to jump-start dead vehicles

- One lady he ran into refused to help him, because she didn't want to damage her precious LandCruiser. Really? Jump-starting a vehicle might cause damage? That's news to me. Snotty bitch!

- He couldn't get ahold of me and still had to wait for the kids to get off the bus before I could come get him.

So, yeah, he had a pretty sucktastic day. And on my behalf. Do I feel bad about it? Yes and no. Yes, because he was trying to do me a solid. No, because that damn battery dies ALL.The. Time. and he's constantly having to jump it off my van. Hello, fix the problem already!

I do feel bad that he wasn't able to chill and enjoy his day, though. Poor guy. He really needed it, too.

On the upside, the kids' progress reports came home today, and Chloë made the honor list!! She has an all-B average, which of course means there are no A's, but it's still honor-roll material. I know that she is doing her best, and I'm proud of her. Yay, Chloë!

As for the boy, well... he's not doing quite so well. He's doing below average in all areas except music, art and gym. The teacher's comments make it seem as though it's because he doesn't pay attention and talks too much out of turn, rather than that he is not capable of better. This doesn't surprise me. He is a bright little lad, but, well, he doesn't focus. Sounds a lot like his bigger sister in those earlier years. Maybe he'll get better as time goes on, as she has.

I took a nap after we went to pick up Rob from the hospital, and I slept about four hours. I'm ready for bed, too. I woke up feeling even crappier than before. I think the menfolk missed Cub Scouts tonight, because I wasn't awake to remind Robert, and he doesn't remember that stuff on his own. (Or use his calendar function on his phone, which is partly why he wanted it, gah!)

I would sit and knit right now, but I don't have the energy even for that. I'm going to go lounge around on the couch until I pass out, thanking my lucky stars that I'm not working tomorrow. Hopefully a good night's sleep will help kick this cold's ass.


A Four-Hour Tour

Oy, vey. I am so very tired.

Today has been a lot of running.

It probably wasn't a terrific idea to stay up until 0530 this morning playing the coupon game, looking at the ads for Harris Teeter and Farm Fresh, and planning my grocery shopping trips for later today. On the other hand, if I didn't do that, I wouldn't have saved about $215 in coupons tonight!

So I woke up around 10 this morning after the damn dog kept woofing to go out, and I farted around and got ready for my lunch date with Stephanie. Jack and Rob went on a pumpkin farm field trip with his Cub Scout pack, leaving me with the girls for lunch.

Our mystery shop this afternoon was at a Norfolk Mall, at a pizza place in the Food Court. So nothing too fancy or expensive. We had an enjoyable time chatting and hanging out, and the girls behaved pretty well. We hugged our good-byes in the parking lot, and I sent Steph along on her contracting way. (She may be in early labor!)

The girls and I stopped home briefly so they could change out of their dresses and we could all pick up some socks, since we had another mystery shop at the bowling alley for this afternoon. The boys weren't scheduled to be home for another three hours, and I didn't feel like sitting around and waiting, so the girls and I had more "Girls Day Out," as Chloë loves to call it.

Chloë bowling

Chloë and I played against each other for the first game, and then I played against Sophie for the second. We all scored over 100, which even I never would have done if we hadn't been using the gutter bumpers. And the girls used the ramp instead of throwing the ball, too. Made it much easier and more fun for them. However, I did manage to roll three strikes and a bunch of spares, which had nothing to do with the bumpers. I played well - for me!

(I completely neglected to get a picture of Sophia bowling. What a crappy mother. And though Rob had my camera at the pumpkin farm, he couldn't get it to work, so I have no pictures of that, either!)

Oh wait, he did email me this picture from his iPhone, of Jack whining, "It's too heaveeeeeee!":

Jack's pumpkin

Cute, right?

So we all got home around nearly the same time, and we rounded up the icky plastic bags to recycle at the store, and the canvas bags to use for our grocery trips. Our first stop was at Harris Teeter. We got two cartloads of stuff and spent just over $100, and we saved about $160 in coupons and VIC (Very Important Customer) sales.

We went home to put that away - well, at least the cold stuff - and Rob commented to me, "I sure hope you're not planning on buying more frozen stuff at Farm Fresh!" Our fridge-freezer and deep freezer were both jam-packed with food... but I did, in fact, buy a bunch more at Farm Fresh. The sales-and-coupon pairings were just too good for me to pass up! I saved another $50-60 there, and spent about $100, so it wasn't quite as good as at HT, but still very good.

And now we have tons and tons of food. It's all over the kitchen table. Somehow, some way, we managed to rearrange the freezers and get everything put away, but they are bursting at the seams.

I guess I won't be ordering from Schwan's anytime soon.

I guess I'll be doing some "real" cooking these next couple of weeks.

I guess I'm prohibited from shopping the deals next week.

I guess.

I'm yawning my fool head off. Time to take a "nap" so I can function enough to do my shop reports. I hope you had a good weekend. Well? Didja?