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Entries from August 2010

Sunday Stealing: The Majorly Personal Meme, Part Two

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

21. If you were to live your life without your best friend, what would change?

I've thought about this recently. My husband is my best friend, so everything would change. It would suck.

22. Tell us about a era of your life that you really miss.

College.  I loved (almost) every minute of it. Great memories there.

23. Have you ever been betrayed by someone that came as a complete surprise? Without revealing the person, if yes, tell us about it.

Yes. The person did something that I thought s/he would never do in a million years, and I was shocked.

24. Do you ever think that is a good idea to hide your feelings?

Maybe... I don't know. Yes.

25. Tell us about your favorite year when you were a student.

As an undergrad in college, all three years were awesome (I came in as a sophomore).

25. When was the last time you were in a very good mood? What caused it?

Um... I don't know, and medication. :P There have been good moods lately, but it's been a little while since I would say "very."

26. Have you ever had a romantic relationship with a sibling of a good friend?

Flirtations, but not a relationship. I hoped... but no.

27. Tell us about the last thing that you did that you truly regret.

Eating McDonald's for dinner. Blech.

28. When did you laughed today?

When Rob was asking me about Jack's ER visit, and he (Jack) shouted, "CAN EVERYBODY PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT ME?!!"

29. Do you trust easily?

I think so, too easily. And when I find out later that I shouldn't have, I'm always surprised. I'll probably never learn.

30. What do you care about that you wish more people would?

The environment. Recycling.

31. Is it easier for you to go without food or go without sleep?


32. What non-alcohol beverage do you enjoy drinking the most?

Lately, either a Diet Coke or a caramel frappuccino

33. When you walk into a room full of strangers, generally how is your confidence?


34. Does talking about sex with anyone but your lover make you uncomfortable?

Not usually. I'm pretty comfortable with it.

35. Do you tend to believe members of the opposite sex mostly behave the same way?

No, not at all.

36. Did you drink any alcohol this week? If yes, what?

I may have had a wine cooler. I can't remember. Oh yes, I did.

37. Would you ever consider being a vegetarian?

I was. Vegan, too. Now I'm semi-veggie.

38. Do you believe that there’s always room in your heart for someone?


39. Do you believe in the concept of soul mates?

In a way. I don't think there's just ONE right person for anyone. I think there's lots of people who could be the ONE, and we just go with the one we find first. The problem comes when you meet more than one of them.

40. Last week, we had a few players criticize our victim’s questions. Which is fine to do and we value your opinion. Would you ever consider writing questions for Bud and me to post on a Sunday Stealing? 

No. It's really not that important to me. If you don't like a meme, then just don't do it. Complain, seriously? Waste of time, energy, cyberspace...


Saturday 9: Little Miss Can't Be Wrong


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

1. Who was the last person you dealt with that felt that they could never be wrong?

Probably my father

2. Tell us about one person who is the most like you.

My BFF Lisa.... but not in *every* way ;)

3. What is something you really want right now?

To move out of this $%^&*( house! I hate it!!

4. What are you doing this weekend?

Lots of mystery shops, a couple of pool parties, cleaning house

5. Are you in a good mood? If yes, Why?

I'm kind of irritable right now. I think because I'm hungry.

6. Do you have an ex that you are pretty sure thinks about you a lot?

Yeah, maybe a couple.

7. What's one thing you wish you could do but can't?


8. What's one trait you hate in a person?

Arrogance is a total turn-off for me.

9. What's one thing you like to do alone?

Read. I hate being read to with a passion!


Oot And Aboot


Friday, we pretty much cruised aound in the Odyssey - which, by the way, now has a name: Penelope, thanks to the help of my friends - all day and all night.  We stopped at Starbucks for a frappucino fix, and we picked up all three of their low-fat coffee cake flavors to share a snack with the kids. We don't let them eat or drink (ahem, well, I guess we DO, but we're trying not to) in Penelope yet, so we continued our drive down to the oceanfront to find a stopping point and let them out.

It is next to impossible to find a public restroom on the VB oceanfront, though, and Mommy REALLY had to go, so we found ourselves at the VA Aquarium where I knew I could use the restroom. I pretty much squeaked to a stop and left Rob to park while I ran in. Ahhhh... Anyway, when I came out, he was sharing the cakes with the kiddos, above. And by the way, I think Starbucks is dead to me now. I've only been there three times in my life - all in the last two weeks or so - and the prices kill me. KILL me. Now that we are paying umpteen million dollars a month for Penny (hee), that's coming to a stop. Ouch.


Here's me at below-goal weight, about 148 lbs. Yay!  (I chopped my hair off last week, but I went in one day and got it "fixed," so it's now even shorter. I like it, but I don't love it, so I'm going to grow it back out.)


Garden progress. I'm getting impatient. Grow, mofos! Chloë calls the zucchini greens "lettuce." It amuses me. Just because it's leafy and part of a vegetable, she think it's lettuce. Hee.


Friday night, Rob went to a meeting while I took the kids to Mt. Trashmore for the free movies in the park. We watched Shark Tale, which is always fun to watch, and the kids conned me out of some cash for cotton candy AND popcorn AND drinks. Oh well, they were hungry, and what's money for if not to feed your kids totally crappy junk food?


I only have pictures of the Littles eating their spun sugar, because Chloë went down to the food kiosks all by herself to get that and then the drinks. I was pretty proud of her. Normally, that wouldn't quite be something she'd do by herself. She'd want Mom or Dad to go with her. At nearly nine, she is showing signs of emotionally maturing, but she goes back and forth between tween and little kid mode pretty darn quickly. Growing up is hard, and she says so herself!


This is from the other day. I was being silly and wearing a bunch of stuff I'd gotten for my giveaway blog, Fishing and Wishing: necklace was a review item, the make-up is a review item for an upcoming post, and so is the flower in my hair. I added more after this picture - earrings and a nose ring - and was told by Chloë that I had too much jewelry on. Pretty soon we'll be at the point where I'll be asking her if I look good or not. 


Sophia's 4th birthday Crepe Myrtle Hopi is growing like a weed! It's way bigger than even this, already. Do you know, can we clip the flowers off and put them in a vase inside, without hurting the plant? She always wants to do this, since seeing me do that with some of the lilies in the garden...


A girl I kind of know through blogging and Ravelry and Facebook posted on her FB wall that the 400th person to place an order through her Etsy shop would get a free gift with the purchase. So I quickly jumped on it and spent literally a couple bucks on the so-cute "geek" and "nerd" stitch markers (for knitting), and she gave me the "handmade" stitch markers, worth several dollars more, as a gift! I love fun stitch markers - and so does Sophia, who is always walking off with mine - so I'm glad to add to my collection. Thanks, Kala!


Before the doody hit the fan, Rob got me a new motorcycle helmet. I think someone he works with gave it to him? Anyway, it fits (even if it does squish my face up a little), so one of these days (weeks/months/years?) I might actually go for a ride with him. I'm skeered, though!

Welp, I guess that's all I have for pictures I'm behind on, so... back to work on Fishing and Wishing. Stop over and try to win some goodies from me, will ya?? ;) There's awesome alpaca yarn up for grabs right now!


Isn't She Lovely?


If you're just catching up, here is the new treasure in my life: we traded in Vanna for a new 2010 Honda Odyssey EX-RES. She has been 'home' since Thursday night, but she remains nameless as yet. It's really important to me, for some reason, to come up with the perfect epithet, but I have been unable to put my finger on it so far. I would prefer it to be something ocean-related, maybe something sharky, but I haven't come up with the right one just yet.


For now, even though CARE Package will be defunct by the end of this calendar year, I'm keeping the plates. I don't foresee giving them up, either, because the name has come to have a dual meaning for me: I mean, it's probably pretty obvious, since I'm driving around a minivan full of small children, right? Most people think that's what I mean, since they know nothing of the charity. And that's fine with me.


I LOVE this vehicle, which is why I wanted to drive and drive both Thursday and Friday nights after getting her. We spent hours Thursday and the ENTIRE night Friday (until 0600!) roaming around all of southside Hampton Roads, even considering going down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and back. Thank goodness we have the RES (Rear Entertainment System, ie, built-in DVD player with wireless headphones for the kiddos), because the children were able to sit back, relax, and watch a bunch of rented movies while Daddy and Mommy talked about a myriad of issues, both weighty and light. It was good for us.


Thank goodness Max, our beloved Hall Honda salesman, remembered to get my Navy Wife and UM Hurricane Alum license plate covers off Vanna, because I never would have remembered. Good ol' Max! I'm going to bake him something as a thank-you. He treated us so well; we couldn't have asked for better.


So there she is. Tried and rejected names so far include: Trixie, Ramona, and Sierra. I really love Trixie, but I associate that with a redhead, and since I didn't end up with the dark cherry red one after all, I can't use it. Ramona would be the new favorite, but I unthinkingly christened the white loaner Ody we had for a few days "Mona the Loanah," so that takes care of that. And I just don't like Sierra enough.


That's my seat. Don't get in it. Don't change my seat settings, don't move my steering wheel, and don't even THINK about changing my radio pre-sets!

The kids live back there. We'll be getting new carseats for The Littles, because booster seats just aren't cutting it for us. I can't wait. (Thank you to J, my carseat tech friend, for helping me figure out how to make my bebes ultra-safe on and in our new Odyssey!)


Look! The back floor is totally clean. I predict that will last for less than a week, which is why I took a picture of it.

So. Names? Help? 


Saturday 9: Welcome Back


I know I'm a whole day late, but I really love Saturday 9, and so I'm doing it anyway. Link up here if you're playing along, um, yesterday! ;)

1. Where were you the last time that someone welcomed you back?

Bunco, this past Wednesday night, I guess. We play monthly.

2. Tell us who is you favorite non-family member to hang out with?

Oh, gosh. That's a tough one, let me think... I guess I'd say Lisa. We just click on so many different levels, it's easy to be with her, even though we rarely get to see each other in person anymore.

3. What was the last thing that happened to anger you?

Someone abdicating personal responsibility for some really reprehensible actions.

4. What was the last thing that you saw that was shocking to see?

Messages I was not meant to read.

5. What is your favorite thing to do on Saturday besides Saturday 9?

Anything with mi familia.

6. Have you had your summer vacation yet? If yes tell us about it.

No, we're going for just a mini-vacay in a few days. I'll tell you about it when we get back. It will be a total immersion in family time.

7. Pick out one of your cousins and tell us about them.

Well, I only have three: Stef, Melissa & Laura. They are sisters, the daughters of my mother's younger brother. They're beautiful and growing up to be some really lovely young women. I am proud of them.

8. Do you have any special plans for next week?

Just that mini-vacay I mentioned, really. But that's pretty special.

9. At what age will you consider yourself old and why?

I guess I'll know it when I get there. When I was really young, I thought 30 was old. Now that I'm nearing 34, I feel anything but! So, hard telling when I'm not there yet.



Sunday Stealing: The Majorly Personal Meme, Part One

Sunday Stealing

Click on over here if you want to play along today!

1. Are you happier now than you were five months ago?

Hahaha. No.

2. Have you ever slept in the same bed with anyone that you shouldn't have?


3. Can you sleep in total darkness?


4. Your phone is ringing. It’s the person you fell hardest for, the one who got away, what do you say?

"Too late..."

5. What do you think about the weather this summer?

It's been really freakin' hot, and I love it (well now that we have AC in the house and car again!)

6. How many people do you trust with everything?

Right at this moment... just me. No, not even me. Right at this moment, no one.

7. What was the last thing you drank?

Half-and-half organic apple juice and water

8. Is there anyone you want to come see you?

Sure, I'd love for lots of folks to come visit. My sis, Erin, Gloria, Lisa...

9. Name one thing you love about winter?

When it ends

10. Have you ever dated a Goth?

Nope. Not my type.

11. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

Packing for our little trip to Williamsburg, maybe?

12. Name something you dislike about the day you’re having?

I slept way too long, way too late, and got a headache.

13. What's the longest that you have committed to one person and one person only?

Going on 10 years now.

14. What’s the first thing you did when you opened your eyes today?


15. Has anyone ever told you they never want to ever lose you?

Yes. Fairly recently, in fact.

16. Is there anybody that you wish you could fix your relationship with?


17. Could you go out in public, looking like you do now?

LOL No, probably not.

18. Do you think things will change in the next 3 months? How?

Oh, absolutely, they will. For the better.

19. Do you believe that you never know what you got until you lose it?

Not necessarily, but sometimes, sure.

20. Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?

Not anymore, but I did.


Sayonara, Señoritas

So, we gave up Vanna a week ago to the dealer where we're getting our new Honda Odyssey. (Which, by the way, will be green, instead of ocean blue, or dark cherry red, or, well, a different green... lots of switchy-switchy with this process!) We were put in a loaner Odyssey for a few days (I named that one "Mona." Monah the Lonah. Heh), and I really liked driving it. Not 100%, because I truly miss a lot of the features about Vanna that are missing from this new vehicle. She was a great van, and nicely appointed. Yeah, I might be a bit too sentimental about a dumb ol' minivan, but what can I say? I loved her. And she has some serious sentimental value, too, since we got her immediately after we found out we were expecting twins. We're in a Pilot right now (Mona got sold out from under us! Way to go, Hall Honda), and I absolutely despise it. If you're considering it, don't. I hate it.

Also, we gave up our pooch, Tiger Lily. We drove her up to PA this past weekend, to live at a longtime friend of mine's house with her family of six kids, another dog, a cat or two, a bunch of chickens, and lots of room to run. She'll be well taken care of and hopefully will put back on some of the weight she's dropped in recent weeks and months. She wasn't completely healthy, and we could no longer afford to care for her in the manner she deserved, so rehoming her was done solely with her best interests in mind. We miss her. There's not much more to be said, but I know she is in great hands. Thank you, C!

We've also drop-kicked at least a couple dozen other females from our lives (no exaggeration) in the past week, but that's all I'm going to say about that here.  You're welcome.

Life has been rough lately. Really rough. I've had a tenuous grip on it, but I'm still here, so I guess I'm coping okay. Some have said, better than expected. I - we - have a long, hard road ahead of us, but if the path we've traveled so far is any indication, we'll navigate it well together and come out on the sunnier side.  Thank God for my children, because I don't know where I would be right now without them.

There is a lot more I would love to say, much of it snarky, but I'll save that for a different venue where I know such snarkiness isn't going to come back to haunt me. Being with my Bunco pals tonight was great for me - such a supportive group of ladies who I know have my back. Thanks, girlies.

I'd like to leave you with one thought: The grass isn't greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it.


This New Baby Needs A Name


Tuesday was the big day, a day full of car-shopping for me. I went out to one of the local Kia dealers to look at the 2010 Sedona, but that didn't go so well. It ended, after two hours (!), with me passing over the numbers I'd printed out from and saying something like, "THIS is the number that brought me in here. Call me when you can meet that number," and walking out.



What I really wanted, and have for years and years, was the Honda Odyssey. Oh, I was looking at that too, but for what we initially got approved for from our credit union, we could only get the baseline trim with NO bells and whistles, vs. the higher trim level with the Sedona. So I was undecided until the bad experience from the Kia dealership. After that happened, I went right home and called up two of the five local Honda dealers - the two best in town. I pretty much told them, "Look, I've been going to lots of dealerships, test-driving different minivans, and I'm tired. I have XX amount in mind that I can spend, out the door, including my trade-in. Can you match it?"

Now, y'all know the Honda is a good make, and they really sell themselves. They don't have to offer the incentives and rebates that other makes do, because they're still flying out the door. The manager at the first dealer called me back and said, yes, we can definitely work with you, bring 'er on in. The second guy said, Whoa, now, not without looking at your vehicle first. Come in at 6 pm. 

In the end, I woke up Rob and went to the first dealer, Hall Honda on the Blvd here in town, and we never made it to that 6 PM appointment with the other guy, because we bought the Odyssey! AND we got the mid-level trim with lots of extras, 8 seats (just like what I was giving up with Vanna, yay), and better financing from them than we were getting from the bank! I'm excited. It's not the color I wanted (dark cherry red; we got the metallic slate green instead), because we would have had to wait until the end of August or beginning of September for that to come in, and I am not a patient woman, but that's okay. Truthfully, I don't care much about color.


Our experience at Hall Honda was spectacular. The manager, Travis, and our sales guy, Max, were amazing.  We love those guys!! I am so grateful for their work with us and their patience with all our questions and objections. I feel like baking them a thank-you something for when we go in to pick up our new 2010 Odyssey tomorrow night. Seriously, they were that great. Travis kept thanking ME and shaking my hand, saying I was great on the phone (I was all business and demands, lol) and to work with, and they made me feel like a valuable part of the process - not just my husband, like the @#$%^&* guys at Kia who kept asking me, "Can you make this decision without your husband?" Grr.

So, now I need a name! Not something silly, like the "Odie" that Rob suggested. Not that "Vanna" is so great.... hee.


Can't Unring That Bell!

So a few hours ago, I got a hair up my what? How does that go? Anyway, I decided to chop off all my hair. I skipped my May haircut, and then June... and then July, and here it is August and my hair is looking all ratty. See:


That picture amuses the poo out of me. It's my "stoned on coffee" look. Fo' real. Ignore the wacky eyeballs and look at the crappy hair. Now that I'm buying a new van, the haircut budget just flatlined, so I decided I would just go hack it off myself.

Eek! My sister is totally going to ream me (she's a stylist) for that, but I don't care, because after coloring it and chopping off my ponytail, I'm thinking it looks rather cutish:


So did I do the right thing? Or am I insane?

Oh, you're right. Those are not mutually exclusive. Whatever, I like it!


A Few Things

I've got, like, 75 different things to spew out and no clue what order they'll make it here, so this might be rather like a "Tuesday Fragments."

  • I'm sick. Being sick sucks, but especially in the summer. It's totally the wrong time of year and therefore extremely unfair. Plus I don't know whom to blame this time; no one around me has been sick. I have a raging sore throat that won't ease up, my ears hurt, I have a headache that won't quit, and today, I added a stomachache. I've spent vast quantities of time "in bed," and by that I really mean "on couch," since I seem to have given up on finding comfort in the bed anymore.
  • I still haven't bought a new van. I think I'm headed for a Kia Sedona, but the Odyssey is still in the running. It pretty much depends on who will give me the best deal first. I've laid my cards on the table: this is what I want, this is how much I'll spend, I have a billion choices in minivans, so what will you do for me? We'll see who wins.
  • I think I've pinpointed whyfor I have this latest bout of depression: Rob's schedule, which keeps changing, but particularly when he works nights. I'm freaking lonely without him. I miss him. I never see him, I never have him, and when I do, he is cranky as f**k. And he comes home, eats, sleeps, eats, and goes back to work, repeat. So nothing gets done, and I'm too depressed at the moment to be helpful in picking up the slack, which makes me more depressed and anxious, and there you go. Maybe it's lame, but I think that's what's what.
  • Big news! Because of the horrible way I've been eating lately (probably thanks in part to afore-mentioned depressive state), I haven't weighed in in a month. So I wasn't too hopeful when I stepped on the scale today, but lo and behold, not only have I hit goal, but I'm PASSED it! Woohoo!! Despite all those caramel frappés and organic milk chocolate with almond bars I've been consuming lately (and pretty much nothing but, it's true, but at least it's only ONE or less a day, spread out), I have managed to fly by 150 lbs and am now at a respectable 147.8 lbs. I'm excited! It doesn't give me an excuse to keep eating this way, and I'm trying to break out of it, I really am. At least it makes me SICK as a DOG to eat that way, so the calories really don't have a chance to stick. I know you're shaking your heads at me over this, and believe me, I am, too! I know what to do, and I'm not doing it. But I will. This month, I will get back on track. I promise... myself. (Psst, my BMI went from something like 65.4 to 27.0 - yeah!)
  • Rob brought Chloë to camp on Sunday. We were all going to go, but I got sick. She was dreading it for months. Every time I brought it up, she was upset. She did NOT want to go. But he said once they got there, she seemed really excited. What a relief. I hope she has a great time. I already had him drop off letters I wrote to her, one for every day. I'm wondering if this might be the year she finally writes back? The Littles miss their sister. Both keep asking where she is. Aw.♥
  • Shoot. I still haven't taken pictures of the garden. I've commandeered poor Chloë's camera, since I broke both of mine, and I haven't even taken it out there for pictures. Argh.
  • Jack slipped and split his head open AGAIN on Monday. We thought it wasn't too bad. Rob went off to work, and I sent the kids upstairs to have a shower. When he was headed for bed, I remembered to have a look at it, and it was pretty gaping, much more so than I'd originally thought. Rob came home and took him to the ER. He got two staples! Poor kid. That's at least the third time he's needed something done to his head, if not the fourth!
  • I'm looking for an assistant for my giveaway blog, Fishing and Wishing. It's a lot of work, most of which I can handle, but I need someone to do all the link-ups each day with the current giveaways. In return, I would send some of the review items your way, as they apply to your lifestyle. Interested? Email me.

I guess that's it. I thought I had a few more, but... I can't think what else. Might try to sleep, but I don't know. I did nap an awful lot today, thanks to The Sick.

Hope y'all are having a good week.  Oh, I know - at Walgreens on Friday, they were putting up Halloween stuff!!!! UGH!


The Way It Went Down

Saturday. What a day. I think it was the 7th of August.

It was a day full o' Scout activities: Rob and Jack were scheduled to spend the day at our local waterpark with th Cubs, and the girls and I were slated to attend the 2010 Girl Scout kick-off for our council, in Chesapeake.

There was just one problem: We girls had to be out there at around 0830, but the boys didn't need to be in place until 0930. I had to drive them there an hour and a half early, since the LandCruiser is currently inoperable (insert heavy eyerolls here) and we can't exactly strap the boy onto the back of the Beemer. It was a 40-minute drive from the Virginia Beach oceanfront - site of the waterpark - to the location of the Kick-off, but I made it there on time, with seconds to spare.

Um, except that I didn't.

I thought it was at council, but NO ONE was in the parking lot when I arrived. I goofed! Thankfully, I had the address entered into my iPhone, but I goofed again, because although the church where it was actually being held was nearby, I went south when I should've gone north. Twice. Maybe thrice. And then I realized I had the wrong segment of street. Argh!

So I finally showed up, with Curls and Soap in tow, about 15 minutes late. Have I mentioned that I despise being late?! I do not like to make an entrance, not in that way.

Bunches of people were milling around the large church compound, but not a single soul seemed to be able to help this poor mother frantically dragging two little girls around, trying to figure out where we were supposed to go. I finally found someone, who directed me to their check-in rooms. They ran in, I signed them in, and I didn't see them again until lunchtime.

It took another little while before I figured out where I was supposed to go, myself. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one late to my class (for new troop leaders, part 1), and another lady made the grand entrance with me.

Unfortunately, I was waved over to an empty seat in the middle of a crowded row, and I tripped and fell into the person on the other side of the seat, who was NOT thrilled about it. My face burned with embarrassment. Ugh.

The class went well and quicklly, though, and I picked up a lot of tips and even made friends (sort of, we didn't exchange numbers or anything, but I'd smile and say hi if I saw her again) with the lady on whom I so ungracefully landed.

After class, there was an assembly downstairs, and we listened to the council CEO, the new COO, and a former-turned-renewed adult Girl Scout volunteer ramble on and on and on. And on and on.  I really didn't get a whole lot out of that, and looking around, I could tell that not a lot of people did. I was pleased when my coach and the membership chair for our Service Unit found me and gave me a great, big, reassuring hug. I didn't see anyone else I knew from our Service Unit except for R, the lady from whom we got the kids' homeschooling desks last weekend, in Chloë's classroom.

The assembly ran really late, and unlike a lot of folks, I didn't have the gall to get up and walk out while they were still talking. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So by the time I collected my young ladies, we didn't have much time to eat. I hadn't purchased their boxed lunches for us, because you never know what you're going to get with those things, and I didn't want to pay $24 for food that might go to waste. I still didn't have my replacement debit card, so I had exactly seven dollars available for the three of us to eat.

Saved by The Bell - Taco Bell, right down the road. Hardly the kind of nutritious fare we're trying to fill their bellies with lately, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and they were ravenous. I got them each two mini-quesadillas, myself a bean burrito, a large Diet Pepsi (blech) to share, and we spent $6.90. And they were FULL. Phew!

We drove back and ate in the van, which was a sweaty proposition, but it let them be a bit more rambunctious than I'd have allowed them to be in the church. It was time to bring them back for the afternoon session as soon as they finshed, but when we got there, they claimed all the kids weren't supposed to be signed in until quarter past the hour. Didn't make much sense, since that's when our classes started, and wouldn't you think they'd give us a little time to go from one thing to the other?

I got them in and made it to class just as introductions were being made, which made it the second time that day I had to make an entrance. Hello, as much as I am the queen of TMI on here, I am SO SHY in real life!! At least until I get to know you. Unless I've had some alcohol or a good deal of caffeine, and then all bets are off. But never mind.

Class two, Leadership Essentials (basically part 2 for new leaders) was long but a lot of fun. I learned a LOT. Essentially, after running GSUSA about the same way for almost 100 years, they are completely revamping the entire movement and making huge program changes across the board. It's exciting, but for those of us used to the old way, it was also quite confusing.

The facilitator was going on and on about the new "journeys," and everyone seemed to be nodding their heads and going along with her, but I had no clue what the heck a Journey was. Finally, I raised my hand and said, "I don't GET it! WHAT is a journey?!!" and then half the class was with me, "Yeah, yeah, we're confused, too." She kinda treated me like the dumb one, but I think if I'm the only one who spoke up in a class full of people who were in the same boat, I'm the smart one. But that's just me...

So now, I'm clear, and I'm on board. I don't think Chloë's leader will transform, because she never attends Leader meetings, but I am definitely going to run the Daisy troop the "new and improved" way. It's just better and, when you understand it, much more sensible. I'll try to prevail on N to make the switch, but in the end, I am not their Leader, and that is not my troop.


At last, class ended, and I set off to collect the ladies again. Who, by the way, I'm going to have to start referring to as the NEW Non-Twins, in that they are the exact same size (with Sophia outweighing her older sister by a few lbs), and everyone constantly asking me if they were twins, both going into Daisies, or some such. Poor Chloë. Jack doesn't seem to care and gets angry when people assume he's a baby or younger than he is, but Chloë seems much more personally wounded by it. :( I'll have to talk with her about it, or maybe have her therapist do so ... if I can ever get myself to make another appointment for her!

When I found Sophia, she was lying with her shoes off under a table, sucking her thumb and twiddling her hair. She was definitely in quiet, nap-time mode, while the cacophony of girly antics raged on around her. I watched her, unseen, for a smidge, and then I called out her name. She was instantly on her feet, calling, "Mommy, Mommy!!" and rushing into my arms. When we left to get Chlo, the sign-in lady told me that she had been asking for me. Aww. She's still my Little Little, even if she's big. ♥

I collected Curly Sue, and then we texted Daddy that we were on our way. The boys were ready to go. Thirty-five sweaty minutes later, we pulled up in front of the waterpark, acquired our men, and set off in search of a Starbucks for a desperately-needed free cup of coffee that I was owed for having an empty bag of their java. I could barely keep my eyes open, but we planned to stop by either the Kia dealership to look at Sedonas, or the Honda dealer to look at the Odysseys, after the coffee stop.

No could do. I didn't like my coffee (iced), so I gave it to Rob and decided to give up and go home for a snooze. And then he remembered he left his backpack at the waterpark! Which, by the way, is not even remotely close to our house. Argh. So I got off the highway, flipped a U, and got back on. Thankfully, the pack was located, and nothing was missing, including all his cards - both financial and identifical. We have been lucky with the Honest Joes lately, in that regard!

Wow, so I didn't plan on being this lenghty about our day at ALL. I was actually intending to do bullet points! Sorry...

We stopped for frappés again, on the way home, and I kicked myself the whole time. This caffeine habit is expensive and must be stopped!

Speaking of which, I think I give up on sleeping regularly. At nearly 34 years of age, it's time to stop fighting it and realize that I sleep when I sleep, and it may not make sense to you or you, there, but it's how my body works. I'm nocturnal. I'm sure of it. I've always been.So if I manage sleep at night, awesome, but if I don't, well, I'll nap when I can manage. It pretty much sucks, but hey, now that we're homeschooling, if I have to teach in the middle of the night and let the kids sleep all day right along with me, at least it's an option! (Don't worry, I don't plan on making the children conform to my whacked-out rhythms. I'm just sayin' - I could...)

Tomorrow's another busy day, taking Chloë up to Williamsburg for camp. She's NOT looking forward to it. Here's hoping she enjoys herself despite her reluctance!


P.S. Oh, yeah - the boys had a LOT of fun at the park. Jack's face got sunburned, but he doesn't seem ouchy. He slept all the way home, and back, and home again, and he was in a joyous mood after. Rob just hung out with his little buddy all day and did what the kid wanted to do, and I think it was good for him.  For both of them.

Sunday Stealing: The Crafty Fifty Meme, Part One

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along this week!

1. Introduce yourself.

Hi, I'm Smellyann and I doubt you care about anything else I might say after that.

5. Did you ever get into a bar and drink before you were 21? (Some ##s are missing to make the meme less repetitive and more interesting, btw.)

Hell yeah, I did, starting from my senior year in high school. I was a lush that year...

6. What countries have you been to?

What was that I was saying about less repetitive? Uh, let's see. USA, of course. Canada. Mexico. St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Guam may or may not count, in your book. Bahamas. Cayman Islands. Costa Rica. Jamaica. Panama. Spain. Italy. France. Monaco. Croatia. Greece.

7. Do you watch MTV anymore?

Nope, sure don't.

8. What do you think about Oprah?

I rarely give her more than a passing thought, but I have no animosity toward her and think she's actually pretty great, really.

10. You need a new pair of jeans: what store do you go to first?

These days, probably the thrift store :P

11. Did you ever watch The O.C.?


12. What kind of car do you drive?

For at least today, a 2002 Chevy Venture. That will hopefully change very soon... deciding between a '10 Kia Sedona (semi-loaded) or a Honda Odyssey (base) is proving to be a tough decision!

13. Honestly, is that car insured?

Of course, why, are you going to pull out in front of me and stop?

14. Do you like sushi?

Do I!!

15. Have you ever been to Tiffany & Co. or Saks 5th Ave?

Saks, yes. Tiffany, no.

16. Did your parents spoil you growing up?

In a way, yes. We got lots of "things" but not a lot of love and kindness.

17. Do you like roller coasters?

Not terribly fond. I'm a chicken. Gee, I wonder where two of my kiddos get it...

18. What magazine(s) do you buy regularly or subscribe to?

I have a billion, trillion magazines subscriptions to a wide variety of magazines, most of which were free and most of which rarely get read. I do try to read Family Fun and Martha Stewart Living, though.

19. Do you remember the old WB show “Popular”?

No, should I? I barely remember the WB.

20. When you go out do you prefer to go to a dance club or to a bar?

It depends on my mood and what - and how much - I plan to drink. Used to love clubbing in Miami's CocoWalk back in the college days!

21. What do you think about gay marriage?

Live and let live.

22. Who do you think will be the next president?

I haven't even begun to think about it, and you can't make me!

23. Are you registered to vote?


24. Do you own an iPad?

No, and no desire. I honestly don't really see the point...

25. Is your bathroom filled with beauty stuff?

"Filled?" Eh... sort of. Yeah, I guess. I try to keep it mostly out of sight, though, in deference to the hubs!


And More On The Bipolar Front

So I dipped again a little bit on Thursday. Enough to make me feel ready to try a Klonopin, but not so much that I was desperate like two nights previous, thankfully.

I was exhausted, and the kids had behaved badly all day, so I handed them over to Rob at 8 PM, took my meds including a Klonopin, and went to bed.

Oh. My.

It knocked me OUT for no fewer than 21 hours straight, and I was still a wee bit dizzy when I got up. I barely stirred in that entire time; I don't even remember getting up to use the bathroom, although I may have???

Can't hardly do that as a mother, although thankfully at least Rob was home, since he works nights. I mean, he sleeps during the day, but he was THERE and able to feed and water the kids and pets as needed, at least.

So I won't be taking that again anytime soon. And yes, it did make me numb, and yes, I kind of did rather like it. I had a sense of mellowness that is not a natural feeling for me. Melanie is not mellow, generally.


Rob had gone out earlier in the day, Friday, to get my van inspected. Remember I got that ticket an hour after the inspection sticker expired? We wanted to avoid more of the same, and so he went.

Well, poor Vanna failed her inspection. Badly. It was a shock to both of us. I mean, we knew she had some problems, but not THAT many and not THAT severe. And not THAT expensive.

We're talking thousands of dollars in repairs, at least as much as the ol' gal is worth.

Rob was pretty stressed out about when he called me. I was out of it, still in my stupor, so I don't remember what he said. I just remember asking him not to yell at me, because it was hardly my fault.

In the end, we decided that it was time to buy me a new vehicle, two years earlier than planned. Bummer, because she only has not even 64,000 miles on her.


I went to and answered all the questions about what kind of car I should buy. Eventually, it came back with some answers, and I decided to go for the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander. We applied to our bank, online, for a loan, and about an hour or two later, we got it! WOOHOO!!!!!

So we made an appointment and oh, wait... this all happened THURSDAY, not Friday. See, my days are all screwed up. LOL The appointment to pick up the loan check, and to go for the test drive, were Friday. The failed inpsection and loan application and all that was Thursday. Capisce?

Anyway, whatever.

After Rob got back from his appointment Friday afternoon, he went to the bank to pick up the loan check. While he was gone, I finally managed to rouse myself enough to get dressed and take the kids out to clean all the crap out of Vanna. It took a while. I normally don't like to keep crap in my cars, but... kids. You know? I had at least a box worth of soggy Cheerios (oops, I left my windows down overnight, and it rained) all over the back of the van, AND I'm pretty sure at least one of the cats peed in there the night we were out roaming around while the house got bombed, so she smells lovely right about now.

What was I saying?

Oh yeah. So Rob got back with the check (WOOHOO, did I mention that?), and we went to the Mitsubishi dealer. The kids were beyond excited about getting a new car, especially - of course - Jack. Naturally, I was, too.

And then we were brought to the black Outlander I was planning on getting.

I hated it on sight. Okay, maybe "hated" is too strong a word, but I was immediately disappointed.

It's a huge step down from Vanna. Huge. Vanna seats 8 comfortably, is quite spacious, and has tons of cargo room in addition.

This car, which I named Monica (100 points and my total respect and amazement if you can figure out why, and no it has nothing to do with the TV show Friends), only seats 5, is completely cramped inside, and has virtually NO cargo room of which to speak. I'd have to shove my bags here, there, and everywhere if I wanted to get groceries when the kids were with me. Um, no thank you.

I test drove it with the sales rep next to me and the kids in back, and then Rob test drove it, same.

Neither of us liked it. I knew there was no way I was going to buy it. Sales lady pushed the sale. I asked her, can you just tell us how much you'd give us on the trade, at least?

So they worked out the numbers, and we were happily surprised with the amount they came back with (much of which had to do with the very low mileage on Vanna). And then we owned up: we hate the car, have no intention of buying it, BUT we will be happy to stay with the same family of dealers IF you give us at least that amount and a good deal.

So now we're considering the Honda Odyssey, which is truly what I want, but I don't know if we can get it. We may have to go back to the bank and ask them to increase the loan, and do I really want to do that? No, I do not.

It will have to wait 'til Monday now, because we have plans all day Saturday, and the dealer is closed on Sunday.  Bah! I am not a patient girl!

In the meantime, I guess I better reload Vanna with some of that crap. I mean, I miss my soggy Cheerios, people!


P.S. All varieties of our plants are up, in the garden. Remind me to take pictures tomorrow!

P.P.S. Notice the color is back in my posts? ;)

Friday Deals and Steals... Because It's Been A While


It's been a while both since I've posted my deals, and really since I did it regularly. I did it last week, on Monday after our trip to the beach, but not every week before that. I'm hoping to get back into it, because check this out: all of the above stuff is worth $96.50 PLUS TAX, and yet I came out AHEAD $2.73!!!

If you'd like the breakdown on how I did that, read on. If not, sayonara, baby!

I used Hip 2 Save to put together 100% of these deals this week, so if you're not reading Collin's blog, get thee over there pronto!

And now, in order of stores, and transactions (just one or two per store this time, phew!):



One transaction. I came in with $5 in Wellness Plus coupons from a previous week. That's important. Sign up fro that card, do those deals, save the receipts with those coupons on the bottom, and USE THEM before they expire!!! My order, above, was worth $23.83 + tax. I paid $5.07 OOP (out of pocket) and got back another $3.50 in Wellness Plus (or +UP, same thing) rewards. NET: $1.57!

Keep in mind, too, that you will not always get to do the deals at the store, that you've set up at home. Why? Well, for one thing, especially depending on what day of the week you get there compared to when the store sale starts, you might run into out-of-stock items. That's common, especially at smaller branches. For another, the prices and deals are often regional. So what you might find on H2S or DSM as being on sale for $3.99 might actually be $4.29 at your store, for instance. Which may still be fine - IF you need that item and never get it for free. But why would I pay even 30¢ for toothpaste one week, when the week before, I got five free tubes (example)? See what I'm saying? So here we go:

  • Scotch Pop-Up Handband Tape Dispenser: $3.29 minus $2.49 SCR (Single Check Rebate, Rite-Aid's "deals" program), minus $1 MQ (manufacturer's coupon) = 20¢ MM!! (moneymaker)
  • Scotch Donut Tape Dispenser: $2.49 minus $2 SCR - 50¢ MQ = 1¢ MM!!
  • Sensodyne travel-size toothpaste: $1.59 minus $1.50 SQ (store coupon, in ad) = 9¢
  • L.A. Looks hair gel: Reg. $3.69, on sale for $1.99, minus 99¢ SCR, minus $1 MQ = FREE
  • (Could have gotten 2 bottles of Nature's Bounty Potassium Gluconate 100ct, reg $4.99 each, and 2 bottles of Sundown Essential Magnesium 250 mg, reg $4.99 each, for FREE, BUT the cashier would only take one of the SQs I had for each. I didn't really need those and would given them away, so I had her take them off. YOU might have better luck at your store, though)
  • Herbal Essences Conditioner + Herbal Essences Mousse: Reg. $4.49 EACH, on sale for 2/$5, minus BOGO free MQ = $2.50 for both, PLUS I received a $2 +UP coupon for next time, so NET = 50¢ for both
  • Crest Toothpaste: Reg. $2.49 minus 75¢ MQ = $1.74, PLUS I received a $1.50 +UP coupon for next time so NET = 24¢
  • I paid 47¢ in tax.



Two tranactions. I came in with $8.98 in CVS ECBs (Extra Care Bucks - their rewards program) from before, which, by the way, expired on 7/23! I had lost them, and then I found them after they expired. Nine bucks! I was SO upset. I called the manager and told him what happened, and he said, "It's okay, you can still use them. Just give them my name at the register." How awesome is that?! I LOVE CVS! Rite-Aid and Walgreens would NEVER do that (and I've tried)!  Also, if you're new to CVS, make sure you get their CVS extra care card and then SCAN IT at the red machine at the front of the store every time you go in! It will spit out some coupons, sometimes for free or nearly-free items, and sometimes more ECBs that you didn't know you were due. Always do that - twice or even three times right in a row. I got more the 2nd time tonight and used them!


  • 2 Dove Milk Chocolate Almond bars: Reg. 89¢ each, on sale 2/$1, minus 50¢ SC that I got from scanning my card when I walked in = 50¢ for two
  • Gillette Fusion Power Glide Razor: Reg. $10.99, on sale for $9.99, minus $4 MQ, minus $5 ECB earned for future transaction = 99¢
  • 2 Caliber (store-brand) memo notebooks: Reg. $1.19 each, on sale BOGO 50% off, minus $1 SQ that I got from scanning my card when I walked in = 78¢ for two
  • PLUS I used $7 ECB from last time (expired) PLUS a 50¢ ECB that I got from scanning my card when I walked in
  • Subtotal: -23¢, tax: 46¢, OOP: 23¢!!


  • Thermacare Neck Wraps 3ct AND Thermacare Lumbar/Hip 2ct: Reg. $6.99 EACH, on sale 2/$12.98, minus (2) $3 MQs, minus $5 ECBs earned for next visit = 99¢ each (and totally worth it; we love these)
  • 2 CVS Menthol Cough Drops 10 ct (found at register, used for "filler" items because my subtotal was less than the coupons I was handing over, = not allowed): 50¢ EACH
  • I used the $5 ECB from #1, another $1 ECB that I can't remember now where that came from?? sorry, $1.98 ECB that had been expired when I came in, so:
  • Subtotal: 0, tax and total = 30¢! and I walked out with $5 in ECB for next week.

Walgreens aka Wags


I had NO RRs (Register Rewards, Wags'  rewards program) coming into this and yet I STILL came out ahead! I did find $4.50 in RR that I had earned from a month ago or maybe even June, but I knew from experience that they wouldn't take them even an hour after they expired, so I recycled it. :(


  • Alive! Men's Energy Multivitamins, 50 ct: Reg. $12.49, on sale for $10, minus $1 MQ + 50¢ tax = $9.50 BUT the register spit back out $10 in RRs for #2 (split your transactions up this way to optimize your deals but DON'T decide at home how you're going to do that, because you're just wasting your time. Invariably, they'll be out of something crucial or a price will be different than you expected)


  • Crayola Supertips Washable Markers 20ct: Reg. ?? $5 something maybe, on sale for $3, minus $3 MIR (mail-in rebate; the form spits out at the register; I have already put mine out in the mail. DO THAT IMMEDIATELY so you don't forget!!)
  • Visine Regular 0.5 oz: $4.99 minus $1 MQ minus $2 in-ad SQ minus $2 August Q Booklet SQ = 1¢ MM!
  • Crayola Crayons 24pk: Reg ?? (I usually write down the prices in my notebook as I shop, but I often forget like this time), on sale for $1, and it gave me a $1 RR for next time = FREE
  • Bayer AM Aspirin: $5.29 on sale, minus $2 MQ, minus $3 August SQ (find these at the front of the store in the same stand as their ads, new every month) = 29¢
  • Complete Multi Contact Lens Solution 12 oz: $7.99 on sale, and it gave me an $8 RR for next time, so 1¢ MM!
  • Subtotal: $2.27, tax: 40¢, OOP $2.67, but I walked out with $9 in RRs for next time, the $3 MIR, and somehow I got a $2 Visine MQ, so I'm going to go into another Wags tomorrow and make a buck off that same deal! :D

Okay, feel free to ask questions in the comments, but for details on where I got all those coupons, make sure you read Hip 2 Save - on her right sidebar, click on the store names for deal specifics!


Saturday 9: Friends


Link up with Crazy Sam if you're playing along this week!

1. How many of your friendships have lasted more than ten years? Which of your current friends do you feel will still be important to you ten years from now?

A good many of them, actually. I've got friends from everywhere I've lived, still. I'm not going to do something silly like list all my current friends that will be important in 10 years - who would actually do that?! (anyway, I hope the real answer is "all of them")

2. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what’s the first thing you look at?

If I'm wearing a nose ring, that. Unless I'm plucking my eyebrows, which I do at least daily... then I go right to those. ;)

3. Who was the most recent person on your missed call list on your cell phone? What’s your relationship with the person?

My husband, Rob

4. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say?

Rob telling me that Sophia painted her toe nails, too (she got into my nail polish earlier)

5. How would you “label” yourself?

I wouldn't, and don't you, either.

6. What was your favorite age that you’ve been?

I like right now.

7. What is your current desk top picture? What’s it significance?

The family portrait that Jeff and Lisa from JLKeeney took of us a few months ago. I love it; it's awesome (thank you, Groupon, for connecting us to them!!)

8. What was the last thing you said to someone that you‘d like to take back?

Oh, do I really have to tell you? It's pretty bad. I'm not going to say. But I've apologized and prayed to be a better person. I make that prayer a lot, actually. :(

9. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to go back in time and fix all your mistakes which would you choose?

The million bucks, easy. The people who love me will forgive me. The bank that owns our souls will not.


Well, That Was Fast.

I'm better.

A LOT better. I had a rough night after posting last time (so, Tuesday night), and had to go to the ER. BUT, they refused to treat me, and I just walked away.

Saw my doctor on Wednesday. He prescribed a new med, to make me emotionally "numb."

I don't know about you, but that scares the shit out of me. I don't want to be emotionally numb. I don't want to be a zombie.

Anyway, ever since walking out of the ER, I feel like that was the bottom of this manic-depressive cycle, and I'm bouncing upward again. I feel so much better.

Not great. Not like before. But I'm getting there. Going higher and higher.

See, normally, when I'm good and "stable" (I was told by a fellow bipolarator that stability is a myth with this disease. Whatever. Eff that. I WAS stable), I like to drive fast(ish) with the windows down and the tunes blasting. In the summer, when it's warm.

These last few days or however long it's been, I haven't wanted that at all. No music, no noise, just quiet. You now how it's a sign of depression when you don't enjoy the things you usually enjoy? That was a sign for me.

Today, when I went to pick up Steph, Tim and Luke from the airport, I turned the radio on. And up. Not as loud as I might, but louder.

So here's to that. Cheers


Did I mention these two sucky things that happened the other night down at the beach, when we were in the middle of bombing our house? I don't think I did:

1. I broke my new, crappy camera. The girls had to use the bathroom, and Sophia's stall was out of toilet paper. I bent over to hand her some underneath the door, and my camera fell out of my bag and smashed into the ground. It's done. Now I have no way to take pictures except the iPhone. I'm despondent.

2. My annual vehicle inspection expired at midnight that night. We got back to Vanna less than an hour later, and I already had a ticket for it. Dang! Those cops ain't no joke!

I haven't slept in two nights. I've snoozed for an hour here and... well, just the once, I think. Something's gotta give.


P.S. I enjoy color in my posts, too, but right now it feels like black is right. You'll know I'm even better when the color returns.

P.P.S. Crap. I'm out of printer ink and it's time to put together my printable coupons for the weekly drugstore deals. Anyone wanna make a Walmart run for me?!


So I'm not doing so hot lately.

It's rough, this being bipolar business. It pretty much sucks, actually.

I was diagnosed 4 years ago, and for the last 3 of those years, I've been doing extremely well, quite stable on my meds. It was great.

And now, all of a sudden, those meds just aren't working for me anymore. There's no explanation, they've just stopped being effective. My doctor even doubled my dose of Effexor, to more than the maximum dose, and it hasn't helped.

If anything, I'm spiraling even further downward.

I can feel myself falling apart. The tears are coming every night now, unbidden and unprovoked. I couldn't cry for so long, because I was too medicated, even when I was truly sad, that it's weird now to be crying all the time (at night, when the kids aren't around, thankfully) for no apparent reason. The "thoughts" are starting to come back and are picking up frequency. I'm not going to act on anything, but I have the necessary phone numbers if I need them...

I hate this. I don't have time for this. I have too much going on, too much to do, between needing to clean the house, needing to feed and maintain the kid and pets, planning lessons for homeschooling (we start in less than 2 weeks! Unless I can't get this under control, and then I'll push it back to September...), running the high-maintenance Fishing and Wishing blog... No time for depression.

Some people think it's something you can control, like you can just say, "I'm not going to feel like this. I'm not going to give in to this," and snap out of it. Well, those people can kiss my ass. They are clueless about depression and bipolar disorder, because I have been trying to hard to yank my head out of this fog, and it's been a wholly futile effort.  I want to be happy. I want to be content. I want to be stable and function normally. I don't want to wallow in misery. It's a terrible feeling.

I just needed to get it out. Please don't feel obligated to leave a bunch of "I'm so sorry" comments. I know you are. I know you guys care and want to see me get better. And I will.  Soon.


No Sacrifice At All

I guess I suck.

I'm way behind here. I'm sorry. I'm way behind in general. I was totally gonna post a Friday Fragments, but Rob accidentally sabotaged that (yes you DID, honey!!) and gave me a sleeping pill instead of a vitamin D. That's like, the third time. We should totally keep that Trazodone somewhere ELSE, don'tcha think?!

So here's some stuff that's going on lately, since I posted Wednesday. I'm kind of in a blah mood, because this has been a ridiculously crappy night for me, so apologies in advance if the writing brings you to the doldrums, too.


We went back to that "other" beach on Wednesday. I remembered the camera this time. It was a pretty awesome day. Like, perfection. I was grateful for that day, like all days, but especially that day. I had taken the kids to the free Regal Cinema movie that morning (we saw Aliens in the Attic, which was good but a bit too 'old' for the kids) and then went grocery shopping for our picnic at the beach. I packed a lunch for everyone, and we brought the cooler with us. The kids loved that.

Rob joined us later in the day, and we went and had a seafood dinner right at the beach. I wore my bathing suit there. If we could pick up and move to that area tomorrow, I would do it.

The only thing that marred the day was when both girls got stung by a jellyfish (we found it and some people dragged it up on the beach, so it's a certainty), and Chloë had a bad reaction. I had nothing with me but sunscreen, and she was in hysterics (Sophie too, but I think she was egged on by Chlo), so I had to call 911. Don't pee on a jellyfish sting, by the way: vinegar is the best solution. The girls calmed down, were soothed, and wanted to stay at the shore. So we did, for a total of about eight hours!

I like this self-portrait, from dinner at the Green Parrot Grille that night... even if my nose ring does look stupid! I have since taken it out, and ordered some more from an Etsy shop (Hotwire, I think?).


And I think I look pretty good in this picture that Rob took of me with his iPhone, too (holding a squirming, plump Tinkerbell).

Which brings me to my next thing: I've decided not to have my abdominoplasty.

For now. We just needed that money for other things, and I have waited this long - what's another six months? The house has been flea-infested for a month, and we have COVERED it with diatomaceous earth. That 'natural approach' didn't work, so it was time to do something drastic: on Thursday, we bought the pill that kills fleas within minutes for all three pets, as well as three months of flea and tick treatment, for all three animals. And we went to the Exchange and bought LOTS of bug bombs. Lots.

(Independence Day, 2009)

But, life has gotten expensive, and we have decided to re-home our dog, Tiger Lily. She's a great dog, and we love her, but we just can't afford to take proper care of her anymore. There's a family that wants her, and they sound like a great match, but now that I've told them about the flea problem, I haven't heard back from them. Which isn't terribly surprising. *sigh* But, I had to be honest.


But hey, look!! We have green things growing!! We are terribly excited. Whoopee!


So Thursday, I mentioned, we did a little shopping at the Exchange, after we stopped at the vet's office for meds. Well, a lot of shopping, actually.  We used a lot of that money earmarked for surgery. Jack needed a bike helmet, and we had looked all over for one that fit. Eureka! He's stoked.



Vacs were on sale, and we needed a hard floor one for downstairs, so we got this! We also needed one for the carpeting upstairs, since the kids just broke mine recently. Buggers.  That night, the kids and I cleaned up the downstairs, and I vacuumed, washed and dried the living room floor with the FloorMate. It looked AMAZING, like new!! I can't wait to do it again.



I found these great cubbies for storing school supplies, so I got one for each of the kids, and one for me. We LOVE them! Our little school is really shaping up!

We bought lots more stuff that we needed, but when the cashier gave me the total, I stopped him and said, "Uh, I don't think you scanned our computer. It's a $600 laptop..." and I was right, of course. There was no way he had. In the end, the total came to more than we could afford to spend at the moment, so we couldn't buy it. I was so disappointed. I knew I had done the right thing, speaking up, but I admit - I was kicking myself a little, too! I really wanted to have a computer for school and for fun, for the kids.

So anyway, I didn't get it.

Severe weather, including flooding and tornadoes, hit while we were shopping. The drive home was nothing short of terrifying for me. I gripped the wheel and focused on the road, begging the kids to just. be. quiet!! I'd thought we were going to have to drive Rob to work later that night, but he decided it cleared up enough to ride his motorcycle in. I sure was worried, but he got there safe and sound. Whew.

I might post about this a bit more on the homeschooling blog, but Friday was fun because we broke out all the new (and a couple old) musical instruments in the music drawer. The kids were allowed to try each instrument out in turn and make, basically, a cacophony, while I attempted to help them find my beat. Not much success, but they had a lot of fun. Jack's favorite instrument is definitely the harmonica, but I'm not sure yet what each girl likes best.




I *really* wanted to use the remaining tax/surgery money to get the kids their own computer, so I did a lot of resarch Friday night and found one for HALF the price of the Exchange one, a Compaq that has a lot of really great reviews. I bought it online and bing, bang, boom! we were able to go pick it up at (the evil) Best Buy on Saturday at noon. Whoop!

Also, someone posted on one of my homeschooling boards about a bunch of free student desks that were being given away here locally, so I decided to pounce on that opportunity and snag one for each of my kiddos. When we got there, after picking up the computer, the lady turned out be someone I knew from the Girl Scout leader meetings, so that was cool. She was super nice and glad to have a home for three of the desks. They were in great condition, much bigger and roomier than I expected, and just the ticket for finishing up our little living room-cum-classroom. Exciting!

After we came home, Rob readied the house for bombing, while I set up the new computer and instructed the kids on how to turn it on and off properly, log in and use their passwords, get online, go to their favorite sites, and other basic things. They need lots more practice, but I feel they'll be doing it like old pros in no time. And they're so psyched to know how to go to Starfall, Webkinz and other places. Best? They have another great way to spend their Dad Dollars (I told them 5DD for each 30 minutes of play), so they're eager to earn more.


I neglected to ever give Chloë the necklace she earned for selling Girl Scout cookies this past Winter and Spring, so when I found it on my craft table, I gifted it right over to her. Of course, she insisted on posing for a picture!



I found us a motel in Newport News that took pets and was pretty cheap, so Rob set up the bug bombs, packed up the children, and off we went. It was alread about 8 PM by that point, so we were tired and ready to bunk down for the night. Only, when we got to the motel almost an hour later, it was nasty and more bug-infested than the house we were bombing!

Oh, my word, we were disgusted. We managed to get a quick refund from Priceline, and we hightailed it out of that place. We had the dog in the back and the cats in the middle, with the kids, and they were stinking up the place. We have no AC in the van, and we couldn't roll down the windows because the cats kept wanting to get out, so we were suffocating. And then everyone *really* had to go pee. It was getting to be pretty miserable in there.

We drove back down to Norfolk, to Military Highway where there was a place that I knew took pets, since we stayed there with our old dog and cat when we first moved here from Guam in '03. Only, they had no vacancies. Nor did the next place. Or the next, or the next, or the next. I stopped for a potty break at 7-11, and we used the BOGO Free Slurpee coupons someone gave us on the 4th of July. Not without requiring some math problem work out of Chloë first, and she did a great job... But I ended up losing my debit card after that stop, which was not good.

I called the bank and ordered a new card, and then we went home. We still couldn't go back in our house for a few more hours, but I couldn't deal with the pet stink and windows up anymore. We put the cats in Rob's truck, the dog in the backyard, and flew down to the oceanfront to walk along the beach.


We stopped and talked to the police on horseback for a while, and the kids all got a major kick out of that. They asked a billion questions, but when the horses sped away after someone whizzed down Atlantic Avenue much too quickly, well that was just a big ol' hoot for them! (I kinda liked it, too...)

Oh, and when we had gotten to the beach, I found my card! But then I lost it again! So I called initially to report it missing and get a new one, then I called back to cancel that. I had to call a third time to say yes, it's defintely lost this time - and I was right, because someone had found it and called it in. Thank you, guardian angel! At least, if I had to lose it, an honest person found it.


We walked along the boardwalk some, and when everyone needed to potty some more, we stopped from shop to shop until finally the good people at Subway said we only had to buy a bag of chips in order to use their bathroom. Phew! I was emergent by then, myself. We stopped in our favorite kitschy beach store to get kickboards for the kids, since they've been envying the other kids' a lot this summer. They were pretty cheap, thankfully.

Lots of things went wrong for me tonight (most of which I haven't mentioned here), but looking back, it has been a pretty great week. I shouldn't complain.  I have a GREAT husband, three beautiful children (who fight a lot, but hey, what kids don't?), and the bugs are dead. LOL!

Thanks for cheering me up, y'all. Maybe now I can go get a few Zzzzz's.


Sunday Stealing: 28 Questions Meme

Sunday Stealing 

I hope this week's SS is a good one, because I've had a really rough night. Just sayin'.

1. Was your dad named after anyone?

Yes, his father. He's a junior, but he doesn't use "Jr." in his name.

2. What do you think is the minimal age to get married?

I don't know, forty?

3. What’s the longest time that you‘ve been involved with the same person?

Going on a decade now ;)

4. What actor/actress do you consider hot at the moment?

Meh, who gives a crap?

5. What is your favorite album by a band?

I don't even know, dudes. I like something different every day.

6. What is your favorite album by an individual artist?

Eric Clapton Unplugged

7. What is something that you‘d rather be a bit dirty?

My mind - and yours

8. What was the last TV show that you watched?

I have to think back to February... it was probably The Big Bang Theory

9. How many people have you met from the blogosphere? Who are they?

I don't think I've met anyone who I've only known through blogging - YET!

10. What's your philosophy on life?

I try not to have one, actually. I just do the best I can and hope you will, too.

11. Do you think prescription drugs are over-prescribed?

Probably but there are worse problems IMO

12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?


13. What is your favorite memory in the last year?

A couple weeks ago, when I was driving home with my three kids, from an appointment, and realized that I have a truly amazing, beautiful life. It was a nice feeling.

14. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Diet Coke. Shh. I haven't quite given it up yet.

15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:

I obsessively pluck my eyebrows. Like, every day.

16. You can have three wishes (for yourself, so forget all the 'world peace etc' malarky) - what are they?

I want to go to Australia. I want a new house. I want to be "comfortable."

17. Who would you want to get together with and make a cake?

Lisa. I think we'd have a fun time!

18. Which country is your spiritual home?

This one - the good ol' US of A

19. What is your big weakness?

I've said it here a hundred times: I'm too self-indulgent. I have no willpower.

20. Do you think Judd Corizan is a good person?

Should I know whom that is?

21. What was your best/favorite subject at school?

Biology, followed by Calculus and Spanish

22. Describe your accent:

Central New York, with a flat "a"

23. If you could change anything about yourself, would you?

Psht. Would I!! I'd change almost everything. I'm not a huge fan of the self that is me.

24. What do you wear to sleep?

Usually whatever I wore that day

25. What is your favorite casual outfit to wear?

Lately, a miniskirt and a tank top

26. Do you use cigarettes or alcohol?

Cigarettes, NO!!! Alcohol, yes! Very rarely, though.

27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together? (If you have no idea, just say something crazy, it'll entertain me!)

Pee in all the public fountains we could find

28. Rate the memes that you play generally. Use any scale or just in order.

No. I just don't feel like it.

Swing low, sweet chariot.