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Entries from November 2009

Saturday, What A Day

Not really.

But you know I'll still be able to find something to blog about!

It was a two-nap day for me yesterday. So that right there knocked out many precious hours of daylight, which will limit how much I can talk about. Breathe a big sigh of relief, folks!

Most of the rest of the time was spent doing laundry (me) or cleaning up (everyone else). The kids' "suite, as I think of the area of the back of the upstairs that includes their hallway, bathroom, and two bedrooms, is a disaster. It's always a disaster. They are forever having to clean it. Well, no more. After spending Friday and Saturday playing rather than cleaning, I am really getting on top of them today! I have my last load - of about 20!! - in the washer, so I will be back upstairs in a li'l ol' while to monitor their progress. We're taking it small chunks at a time, rather than try to eat the whole elephant at once. I know it's overwhelming for them.

After my first nap, I decided it was time to go take our Christmas picture for our cards. Vistaprint is running a 75% off special on all holiday items until Monday, making their 10-pack of photo cards only $1.99 - hello! I needed to jump on that.

I'd had my outfit picked out for weeks: red sweater, black pants, and I'd also long since decided that I wanted the girls each to wear one of the Christmas tutus still in my Etsy shop. So that made our wardrobe color options black, red, green, and white. It wasn't hard to find a sweater for Jack (I think the same one he wore last year; oh well) and black pants, and the girls found shirts to wear... but Rob had a dickens of a time coming up with something suitable. In the end, his shirt was burgundy, which made my eye twitch a little... but whatcha gonna do?

When everyone was dressed and we girls had our hair done, we headed down to the oceanfront with camera and tripod, to git 'er done.


I took a couple test shots to make sure the focus was right, the timer was working, etc. and then we only two took shots before we got one that we all liked! It was hard to tell on the small LCD screen, but when you see the final picture, you'll realize that Jack's goofy smile is back, like I did when we got home and I pulled it up on my computer. Eek! This picture, here, is just one I wanted to take for shits and giggles. So, giggle (or shit, but please, not on me).

It was FREEZING down there, so everyone was glad it only took a few minutes. Passers-by kept stopping and admiring our little family, smiling and pointing. That was kind of fun.

When we got home, I realized that I never put mascara on - my number one make-up "must." Oops. I asked Rob, jokingly, if we could go back and do it again... but I got The Look.

We went to church after that, and I'm really glad we did, because it was the start of a new series on analyzing Christmas carols. Last night, we - and I say "we" when really it was all Pastor Andy - talked about "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." It's a song I really don't know all that well, but now I'll be listening for it and really paying attention to the words. The music team - not what they're really called, but I can't think of the word right now - sang a beautiful rendition of it, and it made me envious of their ability to perform on stage. I can sing okay, but I'm too shy to audition!

Oh! One more thing. I can't remember if I mentioned here that I lost my engagement ring several days ago, while I was doing the laundry. I knew for sure it was in there somewhere, but I hadn't discovered it yet, and I was getting really upset about it. Welp, last night while folding, it popped out of a child's shirt and done got found! Yippee!! Now, I either can't wear my rings or will have to wear my one-size-smaller anniversary ring over the wedding and engagement rings, so I won't lose them. Time to get them resized!


Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along!

1. When is your birthday?

9/8/76 - pretty easy to remember, right? You'd think!

2. Where were you born?

Just north of NYC. Do you want my SS#, too?

3. Where do you live now?

Virginia Beach, by way of South Carolina, all over Florida, and Guam

4. What is your heritage?

I'm about 2/3 German, with some English and Hungarian thrown in.

5. Tell us about a weakness.

I've mentioned this many times before, but I'm very self-indulgent and have almost no willpower. I hate that about myself.

6. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve?

I would like to get down to ~150 lbs. I've lost 146.4 lbs as of this morning, so I'm well on my way!

7. What is the most overused internet phrase?

"I'm just sayin'," if we're talking about bloggers.

8. What was your first thought this morning?

"Is Rob awake yet? Can HE get up with the kids? That looks like a no..." (20 after 11, and he's still asleep!)

9. When do you usually go to bed?

Usually between 2-4 AM. It sucks.

10. Do you smoke? If not, did you ever?

No way, José. To both! I'd say more, but some of my readers would probably find my comment offensive, so I'll keep mum. ;)

11. Do you like your current relationship status?

Happily married for almost 9 years

12. Do you (or did you) get along with your parents?

My mother died when I was 7, but I'd like to think we'd be very close if she was still alive. My father, for the most part I do, but we have very conflicting views of the world, and only one of us seems to see the sense in not talking about certain issues... so things can get dicey on occasion!

13. How often do you drink alcohol?

A teensy-tiny bit every 2-3 months

14. Have you ever tried drugs (that weren't prescribed)?

Nope. Like smoking, I consider myself too intelligent to do that. Oops, I said that comment! ;)

15. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? If yes, do tell.

Sure I have. We had a pool growing up, and my three sisters and I would got out all the time and do it in the middle of the night. I think I've taken off my suit with a boyfriend or two in the middle of the ocean/lake/pool, too, but I really can't remember specific events.

16. If given the choice, how would you like to die?

Eaten by a shark! But please, make it quick.

17. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A marine biologist. I half-made it...

18. Have you ever been dumped?

Just once. I'm usually the dumper. I did not like it so much, I kind of went a little crazy that time! (None of you are surprised at that revelation, I'm sure!)

19. What's on your pizza?

Pineapple, mmm

20. Have you ever shoplifted?

Nope. Although one time, I was carrying around a koosh ball when they were new and popular, and I accidentally left the store with it. I went back and returned it, feeling pretty stupid!


Extreme Frustration

I'm in a severely pissy mood right now, because I'm trying to work on my 2009 digital scrapbook for the first time in months, so that I can finish it by the end of the year or soon after - and all of my content is gone from the software! All my photos, papers, embellishments, everything. And the Creative Memories helpline is closed until Monday. It's driving me absolutely apeshit.


Saturday, the kids woke me up around 0900 after a good, long night's sleep. I was well-rested. Rob must have stayed up late, because he was still asleep when I left at 1030 to visit my Creative Memories consultant. I was going over there partly to keep her company during her recovery from open-heart surgery, partly to see new products, and partly to show her my digital Great Wolf Lodge book.

She's pretty garrulous, so it wasn't surprising that I was there for two hours! She gave me lots of freebies, as she always does, so that was fun. And she gushed over my book; I could tell she really liked it, even though it was my first one and I've learned a lot since then. I didn't really buy anything, since I'm so into the digital stuff right now and am trying to de-clutter, rather than acquire (and we are in the po'house right now), but I did pick up a few really cheap things - at a loss to her - from her 50% clearance box. Yay for new toys. Yay more for new toys that cost next to nothing and are really high quality.

On my way home, which was just around the corner, I called my hair salon to see if they could fit Jack in this afternoon. They could, at 1400. So when I got home, I had Jack come down from where he and the girls were supposedly cleaning up their room, to get ready to go with me. I had to leave again right away.

My appointment at the Red Cross was for 1300. We made it just in time; traffic was a bear today, especially at the mall. Ugh, I hate Black Friday.

During the blood donation, from start to finish, Jack behaved like a complete angel. He really can be quite a good boy when he wants to be. He sat quietly and waited in the outside seating area while I did my hemoglobin test and interview, and then he perched on a chair next to me while my blood was taken, playing with my iPhone. Sometimes, he would lay his little head on my lap, and I would rub his long hair. He's sweet. I love that kid.

Thankfully, there wasn't a long wait (for once) to give blood, so I was in and out of there in just under an hour. We had just enough time to get across the street to my salon.  He really needed a cut, as his hair was out of control, and I want to try and get our family Christmas picture(s) done this weekend.

Again, he behaved like a perfect angel. T, the same guy who's been cutting my hair, cut Jack's. As with all kids, he pulled a dollar out of his pocket, put it on top of his station and told Jack it was his if he sat still during the trim. And so he sat very still, moving his head as he was told, and only speaking when he was asked. He was quietly interested. All the girls in the salon swooned over him. I must say, he is a handsome little laddie! ♥

The whole time I was trying to pay for his cut, he kept begging me to buy something RIGHT NOW with his dollar. He just couldn't wait! So we drove to the grocery store, where like most places, Hot Wheels cars are a buck apiece. He was too excited, and carefully examined each car before picking just the right one.

He was all smiles on the way to the check-out, where he threw his dollar up and started to walk out. Hello! That's not how it works! I had to yank him back so we could actually get the car scanned and checked out. Funny boy.

All smiles on the way home, too, and showing the new car to his dad. Boy was he proud. He tried to thank me, but I reminded him he paid for it himself. He played with it whenever he got the chance, for the rest of the day.

Shortly after we got home, it was clear I needed a nap. I had the chills again, too, so I went upstairs to our bed, where it was warmer. I didn't wake up for five hours!! I don't know why, since I slept well last night, so I'm guessing it had something to do with giving blood. Weird.

I've been trying to work on this scrapping software pretty much ever since, but none of it is working. I've been in a mood all evening, because of it!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better and more productive day.


Friday Fragments


Link up with Mrs.4444 if you're fragmenting today.

I'm going to jump right in with some cute Chloë quotes from the past week:

☼ Chloë, 8, was standing very close to me, and she stuck her nose in my armpit. I hadn't showered yet that day, so I was amused when she told me, "Mom, your armpit smells like stinky and deodorant at the same time. It smells like fart deodorant!"

☼ Chloë was telling me that she wanted to play a game on my computer the following day after school. She said, "Mommy, I'll remind you, because you'll forget. Daddy's forgetful, too - he always forgets to do his chores." Hee! Right, he "forgets."

☼ Chloë was checking out my new nose ring (not a new piercing, just a new adornment), and she was asking me about piercing all different parts of the body. She asked me, "Mom, would your eyes bleed if you pierced them?" Um, ew!


☼ I was talking to my husband, Rob, about him missing the girls' last soccer games for work. He moaned, "Oh, man, I hate this shit sometimes!" I agreed, "Me, too!" He shot back, "Well, at least the pay sucks!" Hee.


Really, that's all I've got. I didn't have much time to document the quotes and mindfarts this week. Hopefully I'll have more gems next week! Hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving!


Aloha Friday


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

Last Saturday, my 4yo daughter was playing with another 4yo girl, while we watched my 8yo's last soccer game. Sophia (my baby) kissed me on the lips, prompting the other girl to say, "Eww! Why did you do that?!" Obviously kissing on the lips is foreign to her, but I do it all the time with my kids! So my question for you this week is:

Did / do / will you kiss your children on the lips?




Since today is so much all about the food, I'll start off with that. I gave Rob the day completely off today, cooking-wise, because he has been working so long and hard lately. (Although, I confess, I did require that he clean up the kitchen before I would step foot in it. I just can't handle a messy kitchen, and he promised last night that he would clean it. Before he passed out...) Anyway, for breakfast, we had Monkey Bread. I bought the frozen kind, rather than make my own, because it's cheap, fast and good. The kids couldn't wait to reach in and grab theirs! I even had two pieces. Mmmm...


As soon as breakfast was over, I got right into the cooking and baking. I stayed in the kitchen the entire day, leaving only to run upstairs and do laundry. I must have done 10 loads in the past two days. Besides the loads in the washer and dryer, there is just one load left waiting to go in. At last! Our laundry area hasn't been clear in a loooong time. Anyway, I made pumpkin (no picture) and apple cream pie again. I should've used Splenda or Truvía to make the apple, because no one wanted it but me, and I can't have the sugar. Maybe I'll make another that way and see how it is.


As long as I was chopping apples for pie, the kids wanted some they could eat. So I sliced up a few and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I offered that or peanut butter, and the sugar won. Color me not surprised.


After the pies were in the oven - oh, and did I mention that I DROPPED the pumpkin pie as I was picking it up to put it in the oven? Pumpkin guck splashed all over the table, and I, um, scooped it back up with my hands and put it back in the pie pan, hee - it was time to make more snacks. I put out seven different kinds of cheese (left to right, there are pepper jack, mild cheddar, colby jack, sharp cheddar, colby, fresh mozzarella, and Brie) and four kinds of crackers. The kids never eat the cheese and crackers together, just one or the other depending on the kid. It kind of drives me crazy, irrationally! Those Pepperidge Farm Pretzel Thins crackers are the kids' new favorites. They didn't last but two minutes!


I couldn't resist this shrimp cocktail when I went Thanksgiving shopping with Sophia last night. I love it, adore it. And I was not disappointed. These shrimp were SO good, and the cocktail sauce was delicious, too! And, of course, it pleases me to use the dish I got in Pisa last summer whenever I can!


But wait, who's this? (Don't look at the filthy kitchen floor. I'll be remedying that later!)


It's Star! She came down mewing for some eats, and I was quick to grab her a can of something tasty. She rarely comes down to eat. Look at her cute little pink tongue! Unfortunately, I made the mistake of telling Rob that she had come down to eat, so the Littles had to come rushing in to see (it really is a big deal 'round these parts!) and scared her back upstairs. She was really hungry, too. :(


I tried calling her back, but my "Kitty kitty kitty"s brought the other fatass cat running. Hi, Tink! Yes, you can have a treat, too.


So we did end up canceling our reservations for dinner at Mahi Mah's on the oceanfront, to save money, but stupidly enough, I went out and bought tons and tons of food that cost much more than dinner out would have. But this way, we have lots more food for leftovers and stuff. We already had these Cornish game hens in the freezer, so we decided to have those rather than buy a turkey - you know, to save money. Heh. Some plan that was. I bought a turkey anyway, because it was super cheap AND I'll get a rebate on it, making it free. But still. The hens look good though, don't they? And I used my stone baker roasting pan and lid from Pampered Chef, which I don't get to use that often. 


Then the mashed potatoes. These are some of the best taters I've ever made, I think. Mmm, so good. It's times like these when it's hard only to be able to eat a bite or two!


I made the green bean casserole for Rob; no one else likes it. I think it's the first time I've actually made it - he usually takes care of that one. It's a snap.

Not pictured, from our menu: homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce, stuffing, corn, and of course, the brown-and-serve rolls. For basically only one person who could really eat, I made a huge amount of food!


Rob did me a favor and checked on the doneness of the birds. Whoops! Ten more minutes needed. Looking at them makes me salivate, though! (Some vegetarian I'm supposed to be, huh?)


All five of us had another little treat: sparkling grape juice. Everyone liked it but Chloë, who complained that it kept sparking in her mouth!


Rob's feast...


...and in contrast, my pitiful, paltry amount! I managed to eat it all, but I was stuffed. I hiccuped a little, and both Sophie and Chloë shot looks at me and said in unison, "Are you gonna puke???" I didn't, though.

So it was a good food day, I should say. And it's my 10-month surgiversary today! I lost those 2 lbs back down again, as of today, so that's good... but I think they're the only two pounds I've lost this month. My worst month yet. I'm drinking protein shakes like crazy and plan to start doing lots of exercise again, to get things moving. That scale WILL budge!

Before we ate, we went around the table and said what we were thankful for today:

Chloë said her mommy and daddy, Jack, her kitties and doggy, and going to Great Wolf Lodge for Christmas

Jack said Mommy and Daddy, his toy cars, and Star

Rob said "having a good job"

Sophia said Star and her family (aw)

I said my wonderful family, also that Rob has a good, stable job, and losing 144 lbs in these past 10 months!

So... I hope you all had a wonderful day with your loved ones, and lots of yummy food to eat! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.


Third Time's A Charm

Whew. What a whirlwind school day we had.

We had signed the forms allowing the kids to get the free H1N1 vaccine at school, and today turned out to be the day. The preschool asked me to come in and be with Sophia, taking her home afterward to watch for any reactions. And since Chloë and Jack were getting it too, I stopped in a the main office on Friday to find out what time I should be there.

I got ready to go and arrived at the school just in time for Chloë's class to be in the gym. Not very many kids were there to receive the vax, and no other parent was there to be with their kid. That kind of surprised me. If my kid is going to be injected with something, well, I'm going to be there for them, dammit! I mean... right?!

One of the little girls next door, the daughter of our nice Japanese lady neighbor, was in the gym at the same time as Chloë, since she's a 3rd grader, too. She was looking really scared, almost like she was going to be ill. I offered to hold her hand during the shot, and she readily accepted. She and Chloë sat next to each other, and then - surprise! - they were offered the choice of the shot or the flu mist. Of course, both girls chose the mist, and it was quick and painless for both of them. I hugged two very relieved little girls, kissed Chloë good-bye, and left to go to the preschool.

Only, when I arrived back there, one of the teachers said, "You know we don't go down there until noon, right?" Um, no, I wrote down 1100! What the heck is wrong with me? Oh well, at least I needed to be there anyway for Curls.

So I had an hour wait, and it's only a five minute drive home... so I left. I stopped at Rite-Aid on the way home, to use a $2 off any Rite-Aid beauty or skin care product coupon. I got a tub of dip-in nail polish remover for 21¢! Sweet.

I was going to do laundry when I got home, but I found myself terribly unmotivated to go upstairs and do that... so I didn't.  I just farted around and wasted time online until it was time to leave again, 40 or so minutes later. 

I arrived at school at five after noon, so I just went straight to the gym, thinking Sophie's class would already be there. But they weren't. They were waiting for me at the class! Oops. We finally realized and made our way down there, just as they were about to give up on me. Sophie was very relieved to see her mommy there again.

Now, I think I've posted here before, but Sophie gets extremely upset about getting shots. I mean, you have to drag her kicking and screaming, holding her down the whole time. It's pretty awful. So I was grateful not to have to go through any of that, right? Wrong. Even though she was getting the up-the-nose treatment, she still freaked out when it was time to sit down and git 'er done.

She cried, she thrashed, she ran away, she hid. I retrieved her and sat her on my lap, and the nurse and I soothed her for at least ten minutes, promising her that it absolutely WOULD NOT HURT. She didn't believe us for a second, and she was terrified. After a long time of trying to calm her down enough to try just one nostril, unsuccessfully, I finally held her arms down with one of my arms, and held her face still with the other hand. She screamed and cried and shoved against me. I hated it. I hate doing that to her.

Of course, it was over in a second, and it was completely painless. But she was mad! And still scared, so she kept bawling for a good five minutes after we went out to the main area to sit and make sure she didn't react to it. I tried to hug her, I tried to hold her and talk to her, but she wouldn't have me. She turned her back to me, wiping away her tears, and there was nothing I could do to console her.

And then, in an instant, her mood changed. She suddenly realized it didn't, after all, hurt a bit, and Mommy hadn't lied to her. She was smiling and playful again, huggy and kissy, cuddling and nuzzling. Phew. That's my girl. Hopefully she'll remember that in a couple months, when it's time to get the second round!

We walked back to the preschool to get her stuff and talk to her teachers. They gave me her progress report, and she's where she should be in all areas. Her behavior in class is excellent (shocker!), and she is well-liked by kids and adults alike. Another teacher, for the other preschool class, told me that she sparkles! That she is the most social, happy, cheerful little thing, and that everyone loves her. Gee... that sounds a lot like someone else I know. Her big sister, maybe? ;)

I took Sophie home (after stopping at Rite-Aid a second time, with a second $2 coupon and getting a huge bottle of liquid soap for less than a buck), and after giving her a series of snacks (that girl is a bottomless pit, I tell ya), we played and fooled around and enjoyed our special little time together. Especially now that Rob is working nights (which should be ending in a week, yahoo!!), it's rare that I get any one-on-one time with any of the kids, so I was grateful for the little bit of time we had.

Soon, it was time to go back for Jack's vaccination. Everyone laughed when I walked back in for the third time. The vax staffers, who don't know me or my kids, kept asking, "Got any more after this?" It seems like I am at the school a lot lately, and that makes me happy. The principal and assistant principal know me and my kids well, and I have a good relationship with both them and all their teachers, as well as many other people in the school. It's a good year, and it's a good school. I'm happy to be part of it.


Jack came in, and he, too, was clingy and worried. I couldn't promise him the flu mist, because I just didn't know their criteria for choosing who was eligible. But it turned out he was, so of course, we picked that! So none of the kids ended up getting a shot, which is great. He was a little nervous, and it was funny, because the little boy next to him was so brave. He actually CHOSE to get a shot and loudly declared, "I like getting shots!" Jack marveled at him; I kind of did, too. Afterward, the little boy was sitting next to us while Jack was watched for a reaction, and he was asking me if Jack was scared. I said he was, and that he wasn't a big tough man like that boy. He puffed up and seemed to enjoy that very much!

Jack wanted to go home with me, but I wouldn't let him, because he was fine and needs the time at school. He's always trying to get out of school, always asking me, "Why do we need to go to school?"

While he was "recovering," I went over and talked to the gym teacher. He and Chloë have had a great mutual admiration for each other, ever since she began kindergarten. So I re-introduced myself, because I don't see him often and probably don't look like the last time he saw me!  We chatted about Chloë, and he really seems to think the world of her. We talked about Jack, and he laughingly told me how Jack is not at all intimidated by the bigger kids and charges right into the pack.

After that, we talked about our Life on the Boat plan in a few years, so I could ask him - as I have asked many other people - his ideas for homeschooling the kids. Naturally, I'm concerned about their physical education when we're going to be confined to a small area. Well, he had the most positive reaction to our plans that anyone has had yet, and I was grateful for it. It's hard to constantly defend our choices with no one gung-ho about the idea. But he sure was, and expressed that that's exactly the kind of thing he would love to do, and how amazing an opportunity it will be for the kids. He even asked that, when we actually do it, I send him the blog link so he can see pictures from all our travels. Cool!

When he left to take a child back to his class - oops, I was monopolizing his time for much too long - the Special Ed teacher came over to introduce herself to me. I know the one who worked with Jack last year, but I hadn't had a chance to meet Mrs. S just yet. We talked at length about how Jack is doing, which, well, isn't too great in class, because he just can't seem to focus. He goes down to see Mrs. S with his classwork every morning, though, and gets his work done just fine without help, in a timely manner. He's having a lot of trouble still, with identifying numbers and other math-related stuff, so we're going to meet soon to amend his IEP to include more pull-out services for math and reading. Right now, he's just supposed to be getting help with writing, but he obviously needs more than that. So, we'll do whatever he needs to keep him on track. I got their report cards today, too, and he is below grade level in all areas. Except Art, which came as a surprise.

Sophie and I took our leave, arriving home just 25 minutes before the bus was due to come. The swine flu took up our entire day!

Chloë was terribly excited to show me her first quarter report card when she came home. She has a solid B average, with a B in every core subject except for her A- in Social Studies, of all things. (I say "of all things," because that is my worst subject!) Her teacher comments were lovely, expressing what a joy she is to have in class. Hm, I wonder why no one says that about Mr. Argumentative? Back to Chloë: She made honor roll, and she was given an Honor Roll certificate. Way to go, Curls!

She has a science test tomorrow, so after snack (I gave them some of Daddy's pumpkin pie, but I got permission after the fact, hee), I made them get right into their homework, so she wouldn't be up all night studying this time. Her test is on Simple Machines. She did her work, Jack did his, and I gave them pizza for dinner. I seem to be sticking a lot of frozen pizzas in the oven lately. With Rob away at night, there doesn't seem to be much point in cooking much else, that the kids won't eat.

Well, that paragraph was all over the place...

Anyway, Jack had his Cub Scouts meeting tonight, so we got him ready to go after dinner and headed over to the church. The Tigers meet in a small little room (small little?) at the back, and we arrived latish, so we kind of had to squeeeeeze our way into the room. That was enjoyable.

The first part of the meeting was spent going over the Immediate Recognition items, which include the Cub Scout Promise, the Motto, and the Sign. Rob worked with him on those things just ONE night, so I didn't really think he knew the Promise at all. Well, when the leader asked who knew it and could lead the rest of the Tigers, Jack said, "I know it!" and raised his hand. I was extremely skeptical, but he went on to reel the whole thing out, by heart! I could NOT believe it; I was beside myself. He is a smart little boy, but he Just. Won't. Work. Seriously, it was amazing to me!

So he knew the other two things and earned his Immediate Recognition badge thingy, and then he earned three beads besides. We are only behind on one activity - making a family scrapbook, which, hell, we can knock that out this weekend - and he'll be all caught up! I thought we had missed a ton of stuff lately, but apparently not. What a relief.

Cubs Jack pinecone 3

After that, they made pinecone bird feeders, with birdseed and peanut butter. The parents were supposed to help with the knife and peanut butter smearing, especially since we had some very prickly cones, but Jack was insistent on doing it himself.

Cubs Jack pinecone 2

See his little Immediate Recognition badge? It's the white thing there, with the paw print. Yay!

Cubs Jack pinecone 1

These are iPhone pics, so you can't tell how great his turned out. It looked mahvelous, dahlink. He can't wait to go out to the backyard with Daddy and hang it on the tree!

Cubs Jack cupcake

Lastly, another little Tiger passed out turkey cupcakes that he had made with his mother and sister. So cute! The girls were killing themselves trying to get a cupcake, so I was glad that there were enough for them to have one.

We left after that. I got the Littles ready for bed and sent them upstairs, and then Chloë and I did a bunch of review for her science test. She knows most of it, but I have a feeling that the stuff I had to re-teach her on the quick, she still won't know tomorrow. She didn't seem to really be listening.

And that, my friends, was Monday.


P.S. Here's the picture of Chloë's reaction to the Great Wolf Lodge news on Friday:

Excited Chloe

Excited, much?

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

Not to worry. I'm not going all Nostradamus on you or anything. That song just popped into my head while I was trying to think of a blog title for this end-of-soccer post. So I went with it.

By the by, I'm way behind on answering your comments, and some may not get answered at all, because my entire Yahoo email inbox disappeared on me the other day! Like, vamoose! I don't know what the hell happened to it, but it doesn't appear to be coming back. Color me perplexed.

And on another thought, I seriously doubt I'll make my goal of being at 175 by my one-year mark, because I'm almost at the 10-month point and not only have I not really lost any weight this past month, but I gained two pounds since my last weigh-in. What the hell? ("What the hell" is my phrase of the week, apparently.) I'm hoping it's just because I need to take a giant you-know-what (hee), but in any case, I am kicking up the protein intake. I'm trying not to eat ANYthing but protein-rich foods until my next weigh-in, so hopefully that'll make the scale budge in the other direction. I'm not getting stuck at 199, damn it!

Anyway. Saturday. Getting ready for soccer was a bit crazy, partly because I'd meant to get up a half-hour earlier than I did, partly because I still had to package up the soccer snacks and take a shower, partly because the kids were slow-moving, and partly because Rob had to leave for work at the same time. We both got pissy at each other, so that wasn't fun.

As for the snacks, I put a Juicy Juice box, a banana, and three wrapped "homemade" cookies in each white paper bag, which I had left over from some other project. Then I made tags that matched the color of the girls' game shirts, punched a star with a Creative Memories punch in each one, wrote their names in glitter pen, and added flower and brad embellishments. I hot-glued those onto the bags, packed them all in a big canvas bag, and called it good. I'd meant to do more, more treats, more fancy, but I just didn't end up having the time.


We got to the field first after Coach, and he was worried that no one was going to show up. But eventually, all 10 girls arrived, and the game was started. Oddly enough, the other team only had four girls, so four of our girls played them, and then the other six donned those green shirts to play against their own teammates on the back field. That's my Sophie in the green overshirt, pink socks and piggy tails.


Sophie was on the back field, not with Coach, but with another daddy (also a cutie!) who volunteered to help the back field girls. There's always a parent volunteer, because there are always two simultaneous games. Did I ever step up? Hell no. I don't know a thing about soccer! But Rob did, once.

Here's a video of Sophie in her game. That's how she is. She plays some, but mostly stands around and does nothing. It's actually kind of the way she helps clean the house, too!


Aaaand, then she decided to sit it out. She PROMISED she would play, so I was disappointed that she didn't. I guess the bottom of her shoe was more interesting than kicking the ball around.


Oh, but what's this? Back on the field? She snuck over to Coach's side and followed him around, trying to get on his team. Defector!


But no, Coach refused her, and told her to go back to her team. Instead, she went and sat down on the blanket between fields with K, who was hurt and cold. (We froze our arses off at soccer. Brrr!!!)


I guess she got bored of that, too, because soon she was back on her field and running around again! Yay for rallying!

I guess I forgot to take any more pictures, but in the second half, she DID manage to worm her way onto Coach's team, and as usual, she insisted on holding his hand while she ran around after the ball. He told me he was flattered that she liked him so much and wanted to be with him, and I apologized for her difficult behavior this season. He was nonplussed and just hoped that she enjoyed going back to her dance class. I know she will. She truly enjoys it, and she's actually good at it, too!

We made the parent tunnel for the girls to run through, and then I handed out their snacks. I was the only one who ever packaged them up like that, and put their names on it, so the girls were a bit confused at first. The parents complimented me on the idea, though, and several girls thanked me, saying they liked their pretty name tags. And the cookies were a huge hit! So although I didn't get to do as much as I wanted to with them, I'm happy they were so well received.

After that, we had about 15 minutes to kill before Chloë's warm-ups. Jack and Curls were both in tears from being so cold, so I hustled everyone back to the van to kick on the heat. Everyone was hungry, too, so I drove around looking for somewhere cheap to eat. I found a shopping center with lots of cool stores in it, and I felt a twinge of, I don't know, disappointment and frustration, I guess, that I didn't have any money to shop for the kids. But we found a Firehouse Subs shop, and I ran in to get a sandwich. By that time, it was
time to get Chloë back to her field, so we hurried back to the Sportsplex.


Chloë warming up with the team - she always has her hands in her ponytail during soccer!


Chloë in the air, making a goal kick


Coach C, the assistant coach, telling Chloë where to send the ball for her second goal kick


She actually made a pretty fantastic kick, and I was really impressed with her playing yesterday. She managed to get the ball a few times and took it down the field; normally she is very shy and intimidated by the other girls, so she doesn't really try to get in there and take the ball away from the other team. I was cheering like mad!


Meanwhile, Sophie made a buddy, the 4yo sister of another player on Chloë's team. They were so cute and giggly together. A's mom and I laughed at them frequently. They had a good time rummaging through my purse and finding fun things to use, like wipes, hand sanitizer and lotion. I wasn't loving that so much!


Come on, Curls, get in there and get that ball!


Finally, the game was called, and that was the end of our soccer career, I think. We made the parent tunnel for the players again, and Chloë and her teammates got their snacks. We said lots of good-byes to the girls and coaches. Coach told me to try and get her to come back in the Spring, instead of going back to ballet, but I think her mind is made up. If she really wanted to go back, she probably would have cried a little that it was over - but there were no tears. Only relief and joy.


When we got home, I noticed Sophie's crepe myrtle had turned colors. Pretty stuff, huh.


And on the porch, there was a package from my Canadian blogger friend, Darci, for CARE Package, Inc. She knitted a cotton ripple blanket for the charity. So pretty, so soft. I love it, Darci, thank you!!!


Darci also sent some Partylite candles, which I think I won in a contest she had on her blog a long time ago. Apple scented, my favorite! I'd never smelled PL candles before, I don't think, but they're fantastic!


I quickly lit some and put them in the downstairs hallway, where I could smell them the entire time they were burning. Mmmm, yummy.

We didn't do a lot in the evening, other than run out and pick up some more Fall Product, and then a Freecycle pick-up. I could NOT find the woman's apartment in the dark, so I was kind of grumpy about that. But it was worth it, because I got all kinds of crafty books and magazines, which I can't wait to paw through and be inspired by. (Plus there were three hot football players in the next building over, and they were checking me out after I asked them where to find her building. I heard something about "that white girl" as I was walking away... If I weren't married, I'd have gone back!)


When Rob came home, after I fed the kids dinner, I revisited the pie crusts. They'd chilled long enough, I should think. They rolled out really well, and I only tore one a little bit when I was unrolling it into the pie pan. Which is too big, it's a 10" deep dish, so I didn't quite have enough filling for this big guy!


For Rob, happiness is a pumpkin pie, all for him.

Today was really quiet and pretty lazy for us. Well, four of us. Rob had to work, again, all day. :(

I baked the kids a couple dozen muffins for breakfast and lunch. And brunch. And snack. They have eaten all but four, so I guess they were good. I chatted with my sister, and I talked to my dad for nearly an hour and a half. We went out and delivered all of Chloë's Fall Product orders, went and picked up some more that another mom ordered from me today, and received yet another mom who was picking up her order from last week. I made dinner - pasta, garlic bread and veggies - for the kids. I cut out a ton of coupons and read the Sunday paper. And beyond that, I accomplished not much at all. I just had zero motivation today, and I'm not bothered by it!

Hope you all have a terrific Turkey Week!


Sunday Stealing: The Party Mummy Meme

Yes, I'm wasting time again on a Sunday evening. No, I don't know what a Party Mummy is - I think it's a blog name... Anyway, here we go. Link up here if you're playing along!

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.

Chrissie Kays - we went to school together

2. Where was your first kiss?

Tri-County Mall in B'ville, NY

3. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? If yes, why?

Yes, I (playfully) hit my husband all the time. He hits me, too. But for real, I've hit back, especially when my ex broke my two front teeth!

4. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? When?

Yes, mostly in choir, in school. I also sung a few solos, but I get panic attacks now, so I can't do it anymore. :(

5. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?

Which way they hang

6. What really turns you off?


7. What was your biggest mistake?

Letting myself get giganta-fat!

8. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?

Yeah. When my stepmother used to scream at me, I would sit there and cry, clawing my skin off... fun question! Not!

9. Say something totally random about yourself.

I don't know how to knit entrelac. Yet.

10. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?

My friend Cheryl from Bunco keeps telling me I look like a certain movie star, now that I've lost a lot of weight, but she can't remember whom!

11. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows?

Of course, I have three kiddies!

12. Are you comfortable with your height?

Yeah, I like being short. (5'2")

13. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?

For our third anniversary, my husband rented a suite at a fancy hotel down on the beach. He arranged for overnight care for our two children, and then blindfolded me and drove me to the hotel. I had no idea what to wear or where we were going. When we got there, he led me inside and took off the blindfold. There was a fire in the fireplace (our anni is in Janny), three dozen yellow (my favorite) roses all over the bed, and a jacuzzi with lit candles all over it. It was amazing.

14. When do you know it's love?

When you know, you just know.

15. What's something that really annoys you?

I freaking HATE it when the car in front of me takes a day and a half to make their right turn. Really? You have to come to a stop first? Just GO, already!

Seriously, it drives me nuts. I bitch about it every single time I'm driving!

Have a great Turkey Week, y'all!


One Fine Day

Friday turned out to be pretty darn fantastic.

{The only dark spot was that Rob had to work early morning to late night, and then told me he had to work Saturday & Sunday, too. And of course, the Navy doesn't pay overtime, so we just get to suck it up. In Rob's words, "Welll, at least the pay sucks!"}

I woke up and, after putting the kids on the bus, checked out our bank account balance. Things were pretty grim. I had to cancel a bunch of bills I had scheduled to be paid, and I thought I would have to cancel our reservations for Thanksgiving dinner. And there wasn't going to be money to buy dinner, so we'd have to make due with what we had. Cornish game hens, pretty much. And there wouldn't be much for Christmas, either. I was nearly in tears.

And so, I prayed, earnestly, for some relief in our financial situation and for a better outcome than I was expecting for the two big upcoming holidays.

Then I started balancing the checkbook against the online statement, and I found a whopping $186 bank error in our favor! After I finished doing that, I checked another account and found several more hundred dollars I forgot we had. And then I started getting all kinds of emails from Paypal about mystery shop payments that were coming in, which I had been expecting on the 15th!

Prayers answered. I can pay those bills now, and.... dun duh dah, I also found a coupon for 20% off their best rate at Great Wolf Lodge, in my coupon box! And it expired on the 20th! Hello, was this a sign? I don't believe in signs, per se, but I took it to be one, anyway. So I called my husband, told him the great news that we could now book one night at GWL - which means two full days at the waterpark - for Christmas after all! He was delighted, so I went ahead and booked us Christmas Eve at the lodge. We'll be there all day on the eve and on Christmas, which sound pretty fun and exciting for the little ones according to their website!

I can't tell you how happy I was, after already telling Chloë a few nights ago that there would be no Great Wolf Lodge, and that there wouldn't be much of anything else, either. She cried, and I wanted to. I damn near told her the truth about Santa Claus, but I couldn't bring myself to do it just yet. She didn't even ask, "What about Santa?" when I told her we didn't have the money for presents, so maybe she already knows but doesn't want it confirmed yet?

Anyway. I could hardly wait to go to school and tell her the good news! (And yes, I know that there are better things we could have spent that money on, but I had been hyping up Great Wolf Lodge for months and months, before things got so bad, and their hearts were all set on it. So there.)

The first thing I had to do was attend Sophia's preschool Fall Festival at 1030. I got there a few minutes early, having no idea what was planned. I was sad that Rob couldn't go with me, because it turned out to be so cute!

I was the first one there, so Mrs. P and Mrs S put me to work right away, manning one of their activity tables. There were four or five stations, and the one I picked was making trees on paper, using stickers, tissue and construction paper, and paint pens. It turned out to be the most involved, but all the kids had a good time with it.

After everyone arrived, the kids sang two songs. You may remember, I got in trouble for posting preschool pictures from the last little shindig, so cameras and camera phones are now banned from the preschool. Heh. Here's the first little song Sophia and her classmates sang to us parents:

You'll have to turn your volume all the way up, I think; I do. So cute, right? She sings it all the time now.

Then they sang the Muffin Man, and we all clapped. It was adorable. The kids stepped up one at a time to introduce their songs and each other. I loved it. I totally ate it up.

When Sophie came over to my table, with three buddies, to work on her tree, I told her the news about going to Great Wolf Lodge. She was so happy! I don't think I ever told her and Jack that we weren't going, though. The kids circulated among their stations, making an AB pattern at the next table, designing their own cookies, playing "toss the pumpkin," and then playing Hot Potato with another small pumpkin.

When everyone had made their trees, all the kids and all the parents got in a big circle in the middle of the room, to play a giant round of Hot Potato. Sophie was shy to play, so she sad on my lap and we did it together. When it was all said and done, she and one other little girl were the last two people in the game! Alas, on the last round, the pumpkin was dropped, and the little girl claimed Sophia had it (neither of them did), so she was out! But she still won a little sticker for a prize.

After that, it was time to serve the kiddies their lunches. The teachers did most of the work, but I handed out their silverware and napkins. Sophie was upset that it was almost time for me to go by that time, so she pushed her lunchbox away from herself and pouted, near tears. I consoled her by telling her I would come back to visit her in class on Monday - but I didn't mention that it would be to hold her down during her H1N1 vax! She is going to throw a major fit when she figures that out, oh Miss Hater of Shots.

When the kids were eating, the teachers announced it was time to pick names for door prizes. They picked the first name, and it was me! Everyone clapped, and I went up to get my prize: a bucket of colored plastic teddy bears for sorting, counting, and otherwise using as an edumacational tool. Fun! I watched a few of the other prizes be drawn - mostly reading and math work books - before I kissed my little baby and took my leave. I was late for lunch with Jack!

I'd have taken pictures of that, but the kids watch movies in the cafeteria on Friday, and I only had my iPhone with me, so it was too dark for that. He was dumbfounded to see me there; he just gaped at me! I also told him the good news about GWL, and he was filled with glee. (By the way, do you watch that? I haven't caught it yet, but I hear great things!) He cuddled with me the whole time, refused to eat his sandwich, and begged me not to leave when it was time for Chloë's class to come in. I stayed a little longer, but then it was her turn. Love my little buddy! ♥

I couldn't find Chloë at first, but finally I located my little Curls. She was sitting with her best friend Samantha. I thought Brett from Brownies was her BFF, but apparently they're not so tight anymore. I'd heard about Samantha over the past couple of years, but I didn't know it was such a close friendship. It's mutual; they sit next to each other every day for lunch.

The first thing I did was break the news about GWL to Chloë. As expected, she screamed, she cried, she jumped up and down, she gave me the biggest hugs!! I have pictures of her huge smile on my phone, but again, too dark to really see it here. To put it plainly, she was ecstatic, and I knew she would be. Her joy just made my entire day. That alone would have been enough for me. I am so happy to have been able to make her so happy. Love, love, loved it!

Throughout the remainder of her lunch time, I chatted with her and Samantha about school, books, and stuff.  This Samantha turns out to be a lovely little girl, exactly the kind of girl I would hope for a best friend for Chloë. Rarely do I like a kid who is not my own so much, but I really do. She's a positive influence on my kid, very kind, very smart, very generous, very sweet. And, come to find out, she lives in our neighborhood! If we get a chance tomorrow, I may let Chloë call her up and invite her over to play. We exchanged addresses and phone numbers, too.

Then Samantha told me about a certain book series she enjoyed, that were also AR books. I can't think of the name of them right now, something "kid." So I promised to get a couple for Chloë. After I said good-bye, I ran down to the school library to see if the Book Fair was still open and if they had any more of these books. They didn't, sold out. Rats! I'd have gotten two on the spot. I'll have to order them from Amazon or something, I guess. Wish I could think of the name!

And so I left, walking on air, to my car, after having made all three of my kids deliriously happy about Christmas. What a feeling!

Back at home, I was trying to find my digital book from our last Great Wolf Lodge trip, because my Creative Memories scrapbooking consultant wanted to see it. She hasn't gotten into the digital scrapping as much as I have and wanted to see how I'd done with my first book. And she has new products - which I can't buy, but I can window shop - to show me. Plus she just had open-heart surgery, and is sitting home recovering, bored and lonely. I had promised her a visit, with the book. But I could never find it! The kids love that book, so I think they have absconded with it. I emailed her to let her know I'd look for it all weekend and then come next week. I hope I find it...

I didn't want the productivity of the day to stop, despite how tired I was. I'd promised Rob a pumpkin pie if he cleaned up the kitchen, and I wanted to keep my word. Plus I was in a baking mood, seeing all the lovely baking supplies in my pantry.


We didn't have any frozen crusts, so I had to break down and make my own. I have no problem with doing it; I just usually use the frozen as a major time saver. I haven't made one in a long time, so I broke out our trusty Joy of Cooking for a good crust recipe. Mix, mix, mix!

(Note to MIL: The Joy of Cooking calls a rubber scraper a "rubber spatula," and a pancake turner a "metal spatula." Hehe, I felt vindicated when I read that! Rob and I have been arguing over it for nine years...)


I hda to open a new can of Crisco for the pie crust's shortening. I don't care how gross the substance is, I just love seeing a clean new top like that. Peanut butter, margarine, it's all good. Don't you like it, too?

And so I made the crust, patted it into two disks, and put it in the fridge to chill.


I still had 45 min to kill before the bus came, so I decided to bake cookies. Saturday (today) was our day to bring the after-game snacks for Sophia's soccer team, and I wanted to go the homemade cookie route. Of course, I can't really claim that, as I used two Betty Crocker mixes: oatmeal chocolate chip, and chocolate chip walnut - but they don't have to know that, do they? They looked good, besides.

The kids came off the bus, and I let them eat their fill of chocolate chip cookies for an after-school snack. That only meant one each, funnily enough. Most normal kids, if you give them a heaping plate of cookies and say, "have at it" would eat a lot more than that, wouldn't they? Not my skinny minnies!

We ran to the store to get a few necessities - bananas and juice boxes for the rest of the soccer snacks, skim milk for my protein shakes, kitty litter for the two hoochies upstairs, and a block of cheddar cheese because I freaking wanted it, okay?? - and then came home to get down to business.

And that we did!

I have long been unsatisfied with the state of our house. I love my husband dearly, but he is a sloppy, slobby boy, and the kids take after him. No sooner do I clean something, than it is messed up again already. So most of the time, I haven't even bothered. But not Friday! I was in a mood to clean like a crazy woman. Only, I needed their help.

They unanimously decided to start from the front of the house and work our way back, so we started in the foyer. We went through all the shoes, boxing up summer shoes (um, 80% of which were my flip-flops; guess I could stand to pare down), trying on the remaining shoes to see which don't fit, and putting those that don't in the big Freecycle box in the living room. We got rid of LOTS of shoes, and put the rest that are still wearable in the bins inside the bench seat that I have for storing shoes but somehow never seems to get used.

We hung up a dozen coats that had been flung everywhere, put away backpacks, picked up recycling papers that were strewn everywhere, and so on. We put away, threw away, recycled, swept, dusted, and washed, over and over and over, in the foyer, the hallway, the office, and the living room. When I gave Jack a Clorox wipe to clean up a yucky spot on the wood floor, he loved it and begged to clean the downstairs bathroom. Um, okay! Have at it! And he scoured the sink, the walls, and the toilet. Even when I lifted up the seat to show him the yucky parts, he didn't complain, and now it sparkles. I couldn't believe it! Now to get him to do the two upstairs bathrooms, too...

Sophie's specialty was sweeping up the gobs and gobs of dog hair and backyard dirt into the dust pan. Chloë mainly helped me tackle everything else. The four of us worked our tails off, from 4 - 8 pm when we finally broke for dinner. They were so motivated and intense, it was like I had different children!

We even worked out a cheer for Daddy whenever he finally came home, that we kept stopping to practice to get them pumped up:


Who Do We Appreciate?

Daddy, Daddy, He's Our Man,

If He Can't Do It, No One Can!!"

The girls, in particular, had a good time with that and shouted it at him as soon as he walked in the door. I hope he enjoyed it as much as they did!

Then I got a text from Stephanie. Did we want some company? Sure, we did - they kids haven't met Luke yet, and I was anxious to see him again, too. So I fixed the kids some scrambled eggs - Jack's request - and waited. Oh, and put my pants back on so my arse wouldn't be hanging out when they arrived. I'd taken them off for cleaning the house.


After they got here and settled in, we let the kids take turns holding the baby. Chloë was first, and she was so sweet with him. She keeps telling me how adorable Luke is, and I know she loved him as much as I do.


Mister Cutie-Patootie Pants. Isn't he freaking cute?!?!


Sophie was up next. She was also quickly in love with Baby Luke and with holding him. Doesn't she look so big?!

After I held Luke some more, and got lots of warm fuzzies in - I love that boy, I love him almost as much as I love my own kids! - Steph took him to nurse him. I have pictures of that too, and even though she gave me permission to post them, I'm not gonna!  It was a beautiful sight, though. Ahhh, I love a breastfeeding babe, I do...


Time for a burping. Lucas looks bigger here than he does in real life, I think. He's still such a tiny peanut!


After she fed him and changed him, I made her keep his socks and pants off so I could see his bitty feet and legs. He didn't like my doing this so much - it was chilly! But aren't those the cutest little piggies?


Quietly alert after a good boob dinner. What big eyes you have!


Rob came home then, and it was his turn to hold the baby. He hadn't seen Luke before either, and he agreed that he was pretty damn cute. We tried to get Jack to hold the baby, but two seconds after sitting down with the pillow on his lap, he changed his mind. We realized he was afraid he might hurt Luke, so maybe we'll try again when Luke's a bit less fragile. He was really into the baby, though, and also keeps telling me what a cutie he is!


While we parents cooed over Luke, the four kids - including Steph's 2yo niece Carolynn - played with the teddy bears I'd won from the preschool party. They sorted, made patterns and counted, just like they were "supposed" to. Good deal!


Tim cuddled his baby before I took him back again for one last snuggle. I loved on the little guy, and then they went home, taking Sophie's SmartCycle with them. We don't really use it anymore, and I'm tired of looking at it!

After they left, the kids went to bed, and then I fell asleep. I never did get to make the pie last night.

Stay tuned to find out what we did on Saturday!


Saturday 9: Talking In Your Sleep


Link up with Samantha if you're playing along today. I almost forgot about it!

1. Has anyone in your life talked in their sleep?

Well, I do it all the time. Rob does it on occasion; I think everyone probably does sometimes. My quadriplegic friend M, for whom I used to be the night nurse, once shouted at me to bring him some cookies, in his sleep. I laughingly told him we didn't have any, and he kept insisting I bring them to him. It was funny.

2. What do you like about Fall?

I used to hate it, because I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it really pained me that summer was ending. But this year I seem to have come to terms with it. I like Halloween and Thanksgiving, and I like the pretty colored leaves.

3. Do you have an addictive personality?

I don't think so, although I do have food issues!

4. Who was the last person to do something extra special for you?

Darci, a bloggy friend who sent a blanket for our charity. It arrived today!

5. Would you ever take someone back if they cheated on you?

Would and have. Everyone makes mistakes; most everyone is worthy of forgiveness and a second chance.

6. Are you happy with where you are in life?

Yes and no. I love my life, but I feel unfulfilled, intellectually.

7. Do you believe that you can change someone?

NOPE! That person has to want to change, and most people don't.

8. Have you ever wished you could've had someone but you couldn't?

Oh, hell yes. 'Nuff said...

9. Would you ever fight someone over your significant other?

Physically? I don't about "over," but definitely "for." ;)


Friday Fragments


FF is hosted weekly by Mrs4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time - Join her if you're fragmenting along today!

I'll jump right in:

☼ My minivan has power sliding doors on both sides. Ever since I got it, seven (holy crap) years ago, it has always amused me to use the remote (which I call a "boop boop" - what do you call it?) to open the doors whenever we're in a parking lot and someone is standing next to my van. Especially if they're looking in/at it, which they sometimes will. They always jump back, and if there's more than one person, look at each other and try to figure out who did what. And I get a good laugh. Teehee.

☼ I caught Jack, 6½, dancing - no, he was definitely flitting - around the living room yesterday, singing, ♫ "I'm dancing like a ballerina!" ♪ Nice. Yeah, it won't surprise us if he turns out to be gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

☼ I leaned over to kiss the cheek of 4½-year-old Sophia's eye, after which she asked me, "Mom, did you smell my eye?" What? No, I didn't smell your eye!

☼ Rob (the hubs) jokingly told me that he was going to beat me up. Chloë, 8, overheard this and came running in, exclaiming, "If you beat up Mommy, it's gonna be like you murdered her!" Well, no... so then we had to explain that Daddy would never EVER beat up Mommy. Or murder her. Scott Peterson, he is not.

☼ Sophia was nearby when I was about to throw up, which I do often since my surgery. She was very alarmed and turned to her father to implore, "Do something, Daddy!!" It was too cute.

☼ Jack was near me at the computer and noticed that Farmville, on Facebook, wasn't working. He soothed, "Don't worry, Mom, you can still play Fish World!" Yeah, okay, so maybe I'm a little addicted...

☼ So we adopted a new kitty named Star this past week. Sophia asked if we could rename her "Sweet Love." I said no, because I don't think she's going to turn into a stripper anytime soon. (No, I didn't actually say that part to my kid!)

☼ And since I'm sharing cute kid quotes every week, I thought I'd go ahead and take this opportunity to share my Number One favorite kid quote, courtesy of Chloë when she was two years old:

She was newly potty-training, and usually she used the baby potty so she didn't really see much of what went in there. Then we switched the potty seat to the regular toilet, so she could start getting used to going on there. Well, she took a huge dump, and it was still hanging from her butt. I about died laughing when she looked down between her legs at the poop and came back up smiling, shouting, "Look, Mommy, I have a dog tail!!"

Freaking hee-larious!

Enjoy your weekend, y'all.


Aloha Friday


If you're playing along today, be sure and link up with Kailani - or visit her just to check out more fun questions!

Since it's baking season for me, and I feel like I always bake the same things, my question for you this week is:

What's your favorite kind of pie?

As for me, I can no longer eat pie since my gastric bypass surgery, but I seriously ♥ Dutch Apple Cream Pie. Delish!



We learned this song in music class in elementary school: "I am slowly going crazy, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - Switch!" Did you?

So both the crazy part and the switch part fit, in that this was another crazy evening, and I have switched something pretty insignificant but nonetheless mentioned here several times: My shower! Y'all might remember that I ♥ taking cold showers? Well, no longer! I have switched over to taking steaming hot showers. I don't know if it's because the weather changed, and I'll go back in the late Spring, or if it's because I get cold so easily now, but yeah. Hot showers for me!

Anyway, who cares? I only mentioned it because I needed a blog title. Hee.

I slept all day again today. Well, almost, it was after 1 when I woke up. I hadn't meant to do that, but it doesn't really matter, because I had nothing but more cleaning on my plate today. I think I'll do some later this evening... And I only woke up when I did because the Schwan's guy rang the doorbell. I was annoyed and foggy-headed, so I didn't even answer the door. I didn't want anything anyway, and he always tries to talk me into something. Can't stand that.

So, I promised bootie pictures:


I had planned on using clothespins to take a cute picture of the socks hanging from a tree branch, but I dug through all my yarn bins, where I know I put them, and couldn't find them. Okay, so I only pawed through the top three bins, and it's probably in one of the bottom three. So here they are on our front porch. Or stoop. Whatever it is.


So here they are! Aren't they cute? I messed up and made the cuff 5 cm instead of the prescribed 4 cm, but I figure that'll just help them stay up on widdle Baby Luke's legs better. Can you believe he's already a month old?!


Other than the cuff, I made no modifications to the pattern, other than to screw up the toe decreases on the second sock. It's minor, though, and I don't think baby boy - or his mother - will notice. (But if you do, tell me!)

And so they went. Hopefully I'll cast on for the pants before the weekend, knock them out before he grows out of them, and be on to something else. I'm ready for a new project!


While I was taking pictures of the socks, my reward package from the Nielsen Homescan program arrived, and I figured, what the hell? I'll throw pics of those on the ol' blahg, too. This here is a little something I redeemed my Homescan points for baby Luke. I'm calling it his Christmas present, although I'll give it to Steph as soon as I see her next, so he can start playing with it right away.


And this was a little somethin'-somethin' I picked up for Tiger Lily: a chew/pull toy by Coleman. Jack wanted to throw it around for her this afternoon, so I let him give it to her early instead of for Christmas. She seemed to like it. It held her interest, but only as a throw toy. When he stopped, she ignored it. But she's never been huge on toys, at least since she was a puppy. Seems pretty durable, though. If you want to become a Nielsen Homescan panelist, let me know and I'll hook you up with some linkage. They have decent rewards, and the points accrue quickly.

As I mentioned earlier, this afternoon & evening were crazy. Here was the schedule:

3:00 - 4:15 Math tutoring after school for Chloë

4:00 - 5:00 Brownies meeting for Chloë

4:30 - 5:30 Soccer practice, for Chloë!

5:00 - 8:00 Book Fair Family Night at school

6:00 - 8:00 Soccer party for Sophia

7:00 - 9:00 Cub Scout meeting for Jack

Well, we didn't make all of that, obviously. Some thing(s) had to go. At first, the only thing I crossed off was Chloë's soccer practice, since that's twice a week, PLUS a game on Saturdays, and other stuff is less frequent.

And so at 1600, the Littles and I went off to school to pick up Curls from tutoring and take her to Brownies. We didn't get there until 1630, so she missed half the meeting. I can't wait until this soccer bullshit business is over, and we can get back to our regularly scheduled lives! Not that it hasn't been fun. It has. It's just very take-overy, time-wise!

At the meeting, the girls spent time planning their holiday party. They're going to cook for us and entertain us, just like last year, so it should be fun. I let the Littles play outside while I talked to the parents about the soon-to-end Fall Product sale, and then I chit-chatted. I completely and totally forgot that I had two small children playing outside, in the near dark!!! OMG, as soon as I remembered, I raced outside to check on them. They were playing exactly where I told them to, calmly and mostly quietly, and were just fine. But dang, did I give myself a heart attack! Stupid, stupid, me.

One of the moms, who also had weight loss surgery before I did, gave me a bag of her grown-out clothes. I can't wait to try them on! I gave away my clothes to a different, pre-surgery? Brownies mom, so what goes around, comes around, I guess!


From Brownies, we raced over to the school to get in some Book Fair time before the soccer party. My plan was to let each of the kids pick out a special book, and then I was going to choose a book for each of them for Christmas, from their wish lists. And that's what we did. Sophie chose a Barbie book with stickers, Jack chose a Cars book about Mater, and Chloë picked something about Bad Kitty. I forget what it's called, but it's a chapter book. Then I sent them away to look at other stuff while I picked their Christmas gifts. And I got a few 99¢ stocking stuffers at the counter. Chloë saw me picking them out, the little stinker.


While we waited a few minutes for the door prize drawing - which we have won in the past but not this time - the kids harrassed Midnight the Panther, their school mascot. Sophie has historically been afraid of him, but not anymore! She was all over the poor blue beast.


We rushed clear to hell and gone for the soccer party at Chuck E Cheese, arriving only a few minutes late thanks to traffic. The kids played for 20 minutes or so before Coach corralled them to the table to eat their cake and get their trophies and certificates. None of the parents would move out of the freaking way so I could take a decent picture, so here's what you get - the side of Sophie's head and another parent's sleeve.


Yay, Sophie gets a trophy too!! She was so excited about it - much more so than soccer itself - and kept canoodling with it during the party.


The soccer cake - and is that Sophie eating her own cake, or a bite out of the main cake? Gosh, I hope it was the former, but knowing her...!


Soap pausing for a picture with her coach. Isn't he a cutie?


Sophie's soccer trophy, yay!


Our pizza took forever to come (yeah, they had cake first. Not my idea. Silliness), so I launched each of the kids into the play zone with their own cup of tokens. I only gave them five or ten at a time, so they wouldn't go crazy. It's a good thing, because once, I saw Sophie handing hers out to some other, random kids, and another time, I saw a little girl come along and dip into Chloë's cup. Um, no. My tokens!!


Sophie being Sophie


And a typical Chloë pose


Jack had a lot of fun tonight, and he scored the most tickets by far. One time, he came up holding a five foot long stretch of tickets from one token! I couldn't believe it.


This little teammate shares the same name as my kiddo, so they often buddied up together on and off the field.


No clue who this kid was. Jack just totally usurped his ride. He kept doing it to other kids, too. Every time I turned around, there he'd be, on this "ride"with some strange kid!


Jack was pretty pissed when I made them stop and come eat some pizza. "I don't WANT any pizza!" But when I told him he had to eat or I wouldn't give him any more tokens, well, boy howdy, he gobbled that whole piece down pretty quickly!

And then my camera died, so no more pictures. Really, how many do you need from CEC?

Oh, and both Jack and Sophie decided they wanted their next birthdays there (oh, yay), so I guess I'll try and throw them a joint one at the beginning of April or something. Of all the places...

By the time we got out of there, and would have made it to Cub Scouts, there would only have been about a ½-hour left, so we decided to skip it. Plus it was late, and Chloë still had a ton of homework! What the hell, she is eight, not sixteen!

We did Jack's homework, while I baked cookies for tomorrow's lunch snack, and sent the Littles upstairs for a shower before bed. Then Chloë, who had already done her language and spelling homework, sat with me to do her science work. We breezed through that pretty quickly, but only because I stayed right on top of her. Otherwise, she would have fooled around for an extra hour or two. That kid!

And so ends our busy Thursday night. I'm going to go clean up. And then maybe cast on for Luke's trousers. And then...

Slowly going crazy am I, 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1, Switch!


P.S. According to Chloë, she only missed three on her math test! yay!

P.P.S. Unbeknownst to me, she also had a science test today. We didn't study for that, but she says she thinks she got those all right. We shall see, Mom can dream, right?

Zero. Nothing. Nada.

That's pretty much what I accomplished today. I'm not proud of it, but there it is.

I woke up at the buttcrack of noon (and probably only then because I was having a dream about my grandmother burning me with her cigarettes), fooled around a little online, and by 1:30, had completely worn myself out again. Don't know what the deal is; I've been back on the iron wagon since the weekend. I guess the last few days of running around have taken their toll on this old lady.

What the hell? I'm not old. Why am I getting so tired??

So I took a nap, an hour and a half after I got up. At NOON. And slept 'til it was time to go for the bus. Pretty ridonkulous, huh?

I got nothing worthy of a post done today. I didn't clean, not one little bit. I'd planned to, it was all over my to-do list, but I glanced in the dirt's direction and then snoozed soundly.

Whatever. It'll still be there tomorrow, if the yesterday-to-today dirtiness continuum is any indication.

Right after the kids got home and had a snack, it was time to get Curls ready for her Jazz class. All the way to class, I made good and sure that the girls both wanted to NOT do soccer again in the Spring (it wasn't even a question for Sophia; she is all ready to stop now) and go back to dance class.

Well, of course, Chloë is all ready in dance, but she's only been taking one class - the Jazz - this year instead of three (tap and ballet). She decided not to do Spring soccer, since she misses her ballet classes.

So when we got to dance, I talked to Miss D about starting up Sophie's Creative Movement and Chloë's Ballet I classes in December. She was excited to have them back, and told me how much the monthly tuition would be: $130 dollars! Eep! Much more than the $53 I've been paying thus far.

And not only that, but the balance for Chloë's costumes is due in December, another 88 bucks, for a total of $218.

What the hell? We don't have that kind of cashola lying around, you know. I guess I better sell my other ovary, but dang, soccer really was a whole lot cheaper.

Speaking of selling things I shouldn't, I might sell my CPAP machine. I don't use it. Ever. Really, EVER. I just sold our seldom-used camcorder on eBay for a measly $49, which sucks. I should have set the reserve at fifty bucks and gone from there! But it's not digital, so I'm not terribly surprised.

Anyway. I'm rambling.

After I talked to Miss D about that, Miss S (the ballet teacher) came over and gushed about how "amazing" I looked, how I've lost a whole person, yadda yadda. She kept using that word, "Amazing!" I blushed and smiled and thanked her. It's hard to be complimented, y'all. But it does make me happy. Really, really happy. Like, I can't even wait to get our pictures taken for Christmas cards, with me actually in it and not trying to hide. I'm proud of how far I've come this year. It is amazing.

I talked to my sis on the phone after that, and we shared our kids' Christmas present wishlists and then shared how neither of us has any money for Christmas, so good luck squeezing something out of each other.

But we'll try.

And then I talked to my gran'pappy, who had a procedure yesterday for his enlarged prostate. He was really worried about the catheter, and it turned out to be just as bad as he'd thought. Poor old guy. But he's doing better now, and I'm most grateful that he's going to be fine. Plus it's pretty funny hearing my grandfather tell me "they put it on my, you know, private" and "they went up the rear" and all that. We are a TMI family, apparently!!

Home again, jiggity jog. Time for dinner. I hadn't even thought about it, in my sleepy stupor today, so I just put in a couple of frozen pizzas. Well, really, I put in one frozen pizza, they quickly gobbled that up, and requested another. I was happy to oblige. When your kids are practically  midgets, seeing them scarf down food is akin to winning the lottery, I swear.

Homework after that. Jack (ew, the dog is behind me, farting, and she smells like a dead skunk) did great again today. He was in a really whiny, fussy mood, so it was hard to get him to actually do it, but once he did, he was great.

Chloë had half of yesterday's homework to make up, plus tonight's, so she was up again until 2300 doing her homework. :( Poor kid. I made her stop then, even though she still wasn't done with her spelling homework. Although don't feel too terribly sorry for her, because she fooled around and played and acted silly the whole time, so it could have been done in half the time or less. She drives me crazy! Focus, child!

Yesterday, for her math test review, I showed her a conversion thing I learned in high school, to see if maybe it would help her with inches and feet and yards. It didn't. She came home today and said, "I couldn't do that college thing you showed me. I'm a kid, and you're a MOM, so of course I don't understand it!" Ah, okay, because I'm a MOM!

Oh well, I tried.

Oh, tomorrow, I will have finished Luke booties to show you. I worked on them after talking to Grandpa, but I don't like taking flash pictures with that POS camera, if I can help it.

And now, I wait for Hubs. He should be home soon. And I shaved my legs, so, you know...



Life, Reactivated

You may have noticed the relative blog silence since Friday night. Well, that's because life has returned to Chez Odette with a vengeance.


This is the lake that was our street (making our neighborhood name, K. Lakes, extremely appropriate), right in front of our house, around 0600 Saturday morning. I never went to sleep that night (what the hell else is new?), so I waited until daylight to be able to hike my pants up past my knees, put on my Crocs, and wade out into the street to take this picture for you. Nice of me, huh? It was f-f-f-freezing, too!


Walking up the street the other way, which is the way to get OUT of our neighborhood, was another lake. And then another one up further that way, making it next to impossible for those with small cars to get out of the neighborhood at all.

But I had serious cabin fever, and I was determined to GO.


Eh, but not before making these terrible-looking blueberry pancakes for the children. Jack requested them as soon as he woke up at 0900, followed shortly by his sisters. The pancake mix was Aunt Jemima; the frozen blueberries were Schwan's.  I can't remember the last time I actually made pancakes - that's usually Rob's job. I added FAR, far too many thawed blueberries to the batter, I think, making them unable to really hold together. Plus the berries were huge, and the batter was too liquidy. And I had to use the crappy pancake turner, since I couldn't find the good metal one. And, well, I just suck!

Fortunately, they tasted great. I sampled. Heaven!

On the last set of three cooking pancakes, I finally got it together and was able to flip them all without ripping them all to bits. Chloë was so happy for me! It was funny. She high-fived me, cheered, and sang a little song about how proud she was of me for making decent pancakes - all in earnest.  I had to laugh...


After breakfast, the menfolk went out for the Tiger Cubs' visit to the fire station around the corner from our house.  Jack had a fantastic time, climbing into the truck, visiting the firefighters' sleeping quarters, and whatnot. He was full of stories when he got home. I had Rob take the camera, and there were more pictures, but, well, the combo of my crappy camera and Rob's photography is not a very good one. Oh, well.

Meantime, the girls and I went shopping. I had done my usual coupon blog reading, and found some really great deals at Target (where I almost never go, since it's a bit of a distance) and Wal-mart.  I got $28 off the Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs of the movies Up! and Monsters Inc., for instance, paying only about $19 for both! That was exciting, and I'm going to use those for their Christmas presents. I know we weren't going to DO presents this year, opting instead to go somewhere and make memories, but I don't think it's going to be able to happen that way this year. Instead, we'll have a sparse Christmas at home, I guess. Money just isn't there. Again, oh, well.

But something really nice happened at Tar-jay. I got a free $5 gift card with all the smelly-good Glade deals I was doing, but the cashier said I couldn't use it on that order. I was bummed, because like I said, I almost never go there and wouldn't be able to use it anytime soon. The lady behind me heard this and offered me five bucks in return for the card, so I could go ahead and use that money on my order. Random acts of kindness, people. I love them!

After Target, where I got the movies, we went to Wally World. We spent a couple hours there, finding deals, mostly on baking products. I got a crapload of stuff free there, too, as well as some boring stuff we really needed, like printer ink. The girls were excited seeing all the baking stuff going into the shopping cart, knowing Mama's going to be producing lots of yummy stuff in the kitchen soon!

I had just enough time to drop off the kids - and the food - before heading back out in the Great Lakes of Virginia Beach to get my hair cut. I'd made the appointment six weeks ago, after my last one. Only, this one didn't turn out as well as the first, and I was disappointed. I didn't cry or anything, but I very nearly went back to have them fix it. Rob didn't like it either, and kept telling me so. I know, I know, honey!  Last time, T. gave me an outstanding cut. This time, eh.

Before I went into the salon, I had about 10 minutes to spare and used them next door at the yarn shop, petting the pretty fibers. Ohhh, my, I do love me some soft fluff.It's pretty silly to be so in love with string, isn't it?

At night, we once again braved the floodwaters to go out and do a dinner mystery shop at everyone's favorite boobs-and-wings place. It was virtually empty, no surprise. The server was at our table almost constantly, giving attention to the kiddies and bringing them toys to play with and treats, so they had a good time.  



When we got home, I fixed Rob and the kids these mini brownies, with spray-on frosting, both of which I'd gotten for super cheap at Wal-mart.


The boy ate, like, three. Yum.

And that was Saturday.

Sunday was crazy! We did nothing but non-stop, back-to-back mystery shops all day.

Oh, and the sun was out, and the waters in the top pictures? All but gone.  It was amazing! So impressive, what a strong force the sun can be.

So first, we went out to Chesapeake, to another Boobs-and-Wings, for lunch. Another good time. Except they had us seated on stools instead of in a booth, and Sophie kept falling off hers. She was okay, but gosh, I was nervous!

After that, we went two seconds down the road for a well-needed car wash. Another mystery shop.

We went back home, so Rob and the kids could take my van out and do doughnuts in the mud while I looked up the location for the next car wash mystery shop. I offered him that car wash for his truck, but he didn't want it. Whatevs. When Vanna was sufficiently dirty, we took off and did that one. My van sure was sparkly!

We had just enough time to get home, shower, and get dressed up for our fancy dinner out. Another shop.  We dropped off the kids at Linda's house - always a thrill for them - and then headed to the restaurant. Dinner was fabulous. Except for the crappy pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, which was gummy and yucky. Just as well; I don't need to be sampling that anyway!

And after that, we had yet another dinner shop (hey, lunch for Rob the next day) at a Mexican food chain. Take-out, this time, so it was a quickie. Rob loves their food, so I jumped all over that, and it was just a hop, skip and jump away from the nice restaurant.

After we got home and the kids went to bed, it became really obvious that I wasn't going to make it to Tuesday, when my side-Effexor refill would be ready. I had run out on Thursday night and suffered more and more every hour since then with the withdrawal symptoms. It's really a terrible thing for me to be without. By Sunday night, after a great evening out, I was suddenly and inexplicably sobbing uncontrollably. I just couldn't stop. Rob rushed out to the hospital to get me an emergency supply to hold me over. I took two when he got back, the pain and agony were so bad. Oh, what a relief. Within an hour, I felt "normal" again.

And that was Sunday.

Monday, Rob got the kids off to school - after five long days away, phew - while I got ready to go to school myself. I had signed up to volunteer for the Book Fair for five hours, helping the preschoolers, kinders and 1st graders write down their wish lists for books. The first class in was Sophia's! I got to help her, and another little girl, with their lists. That was so fun. I love my little girl; she's so funny and cute, and it was fun seeing her with her class. (Holy cow, she actually behaves!)

Later, Jack's class came in, and I got to help him, too. He was cute, but the whole time, he kept coming to me and whining that (a) he was hungry and (b) he doesn't want to go to school anymore. Typical Jack! Rob asked me later why I don't pull him out and homeschool him now, to get ready for boat life, but the truth is, I'm just not ready! I want to do lots more preparation and research before I jump into it, and I haven't taken the chance to do that yet.

Everyone broke for lunch in the library's back room; I just stood around and drank a diet soda instead. Principal T came in, and it's the first time he's really seen me since my surgery. He complimented me on how good I looked, and said he liked my haircut. Hee. I forgot to mention, when I did it myself for Sunday night, it looked a lot better than when T. did it at the salon. So it's okay; I'm keeping it.

Anyway, for working with all those cute kiddies at the library - and it was really fun; I'm going to do it again in the Spring - my reward was a free $5 book. I chose an adorable one called The Pout-Pout Fish, which I read to the kids tonight after homework. They loved it, too. I really had a hard time choosing which one to take home; I wanted half of them!  But in the end, of course, I had to go with the fish. Right?

We didn't do much that evening, and that was fine with me. Well, we didn't leave the house, that is. After dinner and homework, the kids and I spent 2½ hours folding and putting away a massive mountain of laundry that I had been avoiding. They were out of underwear and socks, though, so I had no choice!

And that was Monday.

Tuesday was pretty nuts, too. Except that I got some much-needed sleep until noon, thanks to Rob getting up with the kids again. But then it was go-go-go!

First, I showered. Yay. Then I read all my shop reports. I was supposed to do five today, but I ended up having to cancel three. The first was because I was supposed to pay with cash when I thought I'd read credit was okay, and I didn't have time (or the inclination) to run to the bank first. The second was because my computer was being an asshole, and the third was because the mystery shopping company was being an asshole. Assholes all around.

But I did have two for lunch. I went to the Chinese restaurant first and did that shop. Pretty quick, pretty easy. Pretty yummy!

Only, I didn't realize until I was on my way to the drive-in fast food mystery shop, next, that I had eaten slightly too much. And needed to puke. And had nowhere to do so. So I had to hold in that puke all the way through the second shop, the drive to the post office to ship out the giveaway tutu, the line at the PO, and the drive home, before I could let it out. I was kind of surprised it didn't make its way down my pouch by that time, so it tells me there was probably a blockage from not chewing enough.Sometimes that happens. It hurts like hell, too!

I had just enough time to catch my breath before picking up Jack and Sophie from the bus.

They had a quick snack and relaxed for a few before it was already time to pick up Chloë from school. Tuesdays and Thursdays are math tutoring. And soccer practice, to which we rushed from the school, while she put on her cleats and shin guards. Soccer practices are early and short these days, because it gets chilly and dark in the evenings. We weren't there long, which is a shame, because it's not nearby at all.

From there, we raced home to get the kids a little something to eat - not much at all - before heading back to the school. It was Parent Math Night tonight, and I'd responded that we would all be there, so I could get a deeper understanding of what the kids are doing in math class these days.

It was cool, because the Assistant Principal, Mrs. P., and the guidance counselor, Mrs. H., watched all of the kids in the cafeteria while I went to Jack's class first, and then Chloë's math class, to learn more. The presentations were really fun and informative, and I learned a lot to help the kids along. Both of them struggle with math, so I plan to be a lot more proactive - when there's time, which unfortunately isn't often - in getting them to play math games and stuff. There are a lot of online resources, so I'm hoping I'll find lots of great things to use both now and when we homeschool on the boat in a few years. 

By the time that ended, it was about 8:00. Late! And we hadn't even cracked the books yet. I gave the kids another small snacky dinner and then we dove in. Jack really impressed me with his work tonight. I was ecstatic, actually. His printing was so neat and organized - usually it's a disaster - and he worked really hard to get things right on the first try. Normally, he's pretty careless. Way to go, Buddy!

Chloë's homework was to study for her math test tomorrow, with a big review paper. That took HOURS. By the time she finished that and started on her Language Arts homework, it was midnight. Freaking midnight, are you kidding me?? And she still had spelling and science homework to do! Forget that, I wasn't letting her stay up another minute. She's 8, FPS. So I wrote notes to her teachers and sent her off to bed.

And that was Tuesday.


Sunday Stealing Meme

Once again I am using this weekly meme to proscrastinate and keep from doing what I should be doing instead. To join, link up here.

Part One - Describe:

Your hair? Chin-length bob with too-short bangs

Your mother? Died at age 33, in 1984. The perfect mother.

Your father? I don't know how he reconciles that which he does with that which he preaches.

Your favorite food? Hummus, pizza, sushi. You pick one, I can't.

Your dream last night? Since I've been throwing up so much lately, I dreamed that I was non-stop puking up rocks. It was troubling.

Your favorite drink? Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. Or a piña colada

Your dream/goal?  Right now, I can't wait to live on a boat with My Bob and my babies.

The room are you in? Messy, disorganized office in serious need of some attention.

Your hobby? Knitting, crocheting, scrapping, photographing my kids, mystery shopping

Your fear? Death of another one of my children

Your TV? Rarely on anymore

Your Pets? 6yo German Shepherd and two kitties

Friends? Lots, all over the place

Your life? Hectic and chaotic, but I wouldn't trade it.

Your mood?  A little weepy

If you're missing someone? My baby boy, always in my heart

Your best friend? Lisa, in NY, far away :(

Part Two - The Where's?

Where do you want to be in 6 years? On a boat, somewhere on the other side of the world in an exotic locale

Where were you last night? Stuck in our house, thanks to the flooding

Where did you grow up? Upstate NY

One place that I go to over and over? Hooters. LOL

Your favorite place to eat out?  The Town Point Club in Norfolk, VA

Wish list items? Yarn, yarn, yarn, yarn, yarn!

Last time you laughed? I chuckled a minute ago when Rob told me there's a place in Nepal called Poon Hill

Last time you cried? About an hour ago, reading about a good deed someone did, inspired by our charity

Part Three - The What's?

Something that you aren't? Low maintenance!

Last thing you did? Drank a protein shake. Blech

What are you wearing? Khakis and a sweatshirt we got in Nassau.

Something you're not wearing? My wedding rings. I have to take them off at night, because my fingers swell up.

Your favorite store?  Any good yarn store is my favorite!

Alrighty, back to wasting time some other way instead of doing my shop report. Or sleeping. Maybe I will go to bed, actually...


Life, Canceled

It continues to rain here. This was what it looked like outside our door at 0900 Friday:



Rob said it was about a foot deep in the middle of the road. How he knows that, I don't know, because he actually drove his truck across the street to get the mail! That cracks me up. His waders are buried in the shed somewhere. I told him he should have just gone out there buck nekkid, what the hell?

Cancellations continued Friday:

  • School
  • Rob's work (yay)
  • My lunch shop with Stephanie (and presumably, Luke) at a boobs-and-wings joint
  • My carwash shop out near where the Chesapeake lunch shop would have been
  • My Mexican food joint shop
  • My Chinese food joint shop (dinner, anyone?)
  • Both girls' soccer games for tomorrow

And, basically, life in general as we spent the third day in a row home-bound.

My sleeping schedule is all screwed up, now. I stayed up all night, doing nothing much but catching up on literally hundreds of emails, and crashed around 10 in the morning. Fortunately, Rob was there to step in and take care of the kids.

They worked during the day. When I woke up around 14- or 1500, the kids were cleaning their rooms (which they really probably weren't, since they never really do), and Rob was doing laundry and cleaning the dishes. I am so behind on folding laundry, it's not funny. Must. Do. Saturday!

We really didn't do a whole lot else. The kids watched TV, and I let them finish both pies. With whipped cream. And, I confess, I ate a teeny little bit of pie. BIG MISTAKE. Oh, how I retched. Oh, how I dumped. I was miserable, clutching my stomach and moaning on the couch, while Rob held me. It's my own dumb fault, of course, and now I add pie to the list of things I hate!


Chloë has been bugging me to teach her some origami. Starting around 6th grade, I got really into origami and have considered it an on-again, off-again little side hobby ever since. So I decided to teach her an easy crane, while we were just sitting around looking at each other cross-eyed.


There were actually a few tricky bits in this project, and she, being a bit of a perfectionist like her mama, got frustrated. She kept whimpering like a puppy, until I would step in and guide her little hands.


Hers is the blue, and mine is the orange. I think she did a fine job for her first try. After that, she wanted to make another pair, this time babies for the mama cranes. So we did. She chose foil paper that time, not heeding my warnings that it's a more difficult paper to fold with. She managed, but she had problems she didn't encounter with the flat paper. I forgot to photo those.


Then I wanted to surprise her with a fun little project that always amused me to make as a kid. I let her try to guess what it would be. She kept guessing different birds, and then different animals, but no. Nope!

Can you guess what this will be?


It's a balloon! This is actually the second one I made, the first for Chloë, the second for Sophia. I let Sophie blow up the balloon, which made her big sister burst into tears of envy. I had to send her to her room to cool off.


Just one more big puff, and there it is! Maybe I'll make up a few more tonight and let each of the kids blow one up tomorrow. That's the funnest part. And since Sophie promptly smooshed hers two seconds after blowing it up, that one is toast.


There has been knitting progress. In between all the silly Facebook games I've been playing (four, now, I'm embarrassed to admit) to while away this cabin fever, I've been working on the second of Luke's socks. That's a turned heel at the bottom, folks!

Hopefully tonight (this morning), I can finish it. I'm wide awake now, after another short nap in the evening, and there's nothing really else to do. Definitely by the end of the weekend, I will have a finished pair to show, and maybe the beginning of the trousers.

And that is that.


Saturday 9: Man On The Moon


If you're paying along today, be sure and link up with Samantha!

1. Do you think it was important to send a man to the moon?

Sure it was. I just think it's unfortunate that so many people (ahem) don't believe it even happened.

2. What is your biggest fear?

Losing another one of my children

3. If someone hung a sign around your neck today, what would it say and why?

"This person needs a shower!!" Um, I haven't taken one since Wednesday afternoon... yeah, I know. Gross. But I've basically sat around and done nothing for two days while the streets are flooded, so... sue me.

4. What is the longest line that you've stood in and was it worth it?

Hmm. I can't think of anything that particularly stands out, so I'm going to guess it probably had something to do with college, like buying books at the bookstore or registering for classes. So yeah, worth it. As someone said on TV the other day (I forget which show), "That's about as useful as a mom's college degree." Har!

5. As the holidays approach, what song are looking forward to hearing again?

All of them, I guess. But I love The First Noël. It was my mom's favorite, too.

6. Whose music do you think is the most important of your generation?

Far be it for me to answer that question; my musical tastes run toward the somewhat lame. The first name that came to mind, though, was Alannis Morissette.

7. Do you find it is to be kind to strangers? Give an example.

There's obviously a word missing there, and I'm not sure what it was supposed to be. So I'll just say that it's long been my M.O. to practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. When I drive, I try to let the other driver go first if there's any question. In a store, I hold doors open and always give the other shoppers the right of way. I try to be courteous and polite. I figure I only want nice back, so I try to only put nice out in the universe. Now as for people I know... that may be a different story. ;)

8. When do usually lose your patience?

When my 8yo is struggling with her math homework. Although I've gotten a much better handle on it now, I think. At first, it was maddening for me!

9. Is there a book that you're dying to see as a movie?

Ever since I saw "Her Sister's Keeper" as a movie, which completely ruined the book for me, I'm in no hurry to have my favorite books turned into movies again!


Tutu Giveaway: Winner


Welp, the winner is picked! Here goes nothin':

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-11-14 05:50:38 UTC

Which means the winner is:

Judith, who said,

"I would like to win the Medium Tutu - Reds and Pinks - Cherries Jubilee for my daughter."

Congratulations, Judith (and daughter)!   You should be receiving an email from me shortly. Please reply back and let me know you got it, and send your address.

Thanks all for playing!


Aloha Friday


Visit Kailani for more fun questions and to link up your post!

Right now, Ida is hitting our area, and 175,000 people are without power. So far, we are some of the lucky ones. My questions for you this week, therefore, are:

What's the longest you've ever been without power? What's your favorite way to pass the time (besides, ahem, the obvious)?

Between Supertyphoon Pongson'a on Guam in December 2002, and Hurricane Isabelle here in September 2003, I think we were without power for about 10 days both times. It was horrible, and I go back to those times every time the lights flicker, in my mind! My favorite things to do are: enjoy the candle light, sleep through it, knit - and go out for dinner, since cooking is out!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Hope you stay dryer than we are!


Friday Fragments


Hosted by Mrs4444, Friday Fragments is a nice way to wrap up the week, with all that miscellany clogging up our brains. I love it, since it gives me a chance to share all the funny things my kids say in one place (and find them later!). Join her here!

☼ Why do people compare their health problems and weather issues as if they're some sort of personal accomplishments?

☼ Sophia, 4½, wanted to play a game on my iPhone. She kept saying, "Can I? Can I, Mama, can I?" I told her, "Sophie, I don't hear the magic word...!" She looked at me quizzically and asked, "Abracadabra?"

☼ Chloë, 8, was with me in the car when we passed a "Deaf Child Area" street sign. She inquired what it meant, so I said, "What do you think it means?" She answered, "When people kill children?"  What! "Deaf," not "dead"!! Oh, my gosh... I'm glad she asked!

☼ Sophia made up a new song this week: ♪ Don't eat my muffin, or I'll eat your uvula! Don't eat my muffin, or I'll eat your uvula! ♫

☼ I was telling the kids to hurry up, and in response, Sophie kept running around and squealing, "I need to scurry! I need to scurry!" Yes, like a little mouse...

Aaaaaandd, that's all I gots. Happy Friday!