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Entries from September 2010

Sunday Stealing: The "I've Been Tagged" Meme

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. Where are you from?

New York

2. If you could live any place in the world, where would you live?

Wherever my husband lives is good with me.

3. What's your favorite blog? I'll check them out of course!

You probably won't want to. I like a lot of knitting and crafty-type blogs.

4. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?

I hate it when a blogger gets so 'big' and full of themselves that they can no longer take the time to answer their comments.

5. What's your favorite TV show this season? I need a new show! :)

Dexter! Watch it!

6. What's your favorite 'down' time {nothing computer related}?

Reading, sleeping, knitting

7. Are you a parent? If so, what's your favorite thing to do with your children?

Yes, I have three, ages 5, 7 & 9. I love to take them outside and just watch them GO.

8. What about your blog, have you considered changing?

Nothing, it is what it is, take it or leave it.

9. What do you do for a living (if you work outside the home or if you work at home)?

I homeschool the kids, so I don't work outside the home, unless you count all the mystery shopping I do.

10. What is your favorite song at the moment? What is your favorite song ever?

I love a lot of songs, too many to pick a favorite.

11. What is your favorite niche TV channel to watch?

If we could afford it, I'd love to watch Showtime, like, all the time.

12. If you could have any career, what would it be and why?

I'd love to be an international singing superstar. Haha, that'll be the day...

13. What is your favorite outfit?

Jeans and a tank top

14. If you could tell your teenage self something, what would you say?

Wait. It gets better than this.

15. What is your favorite recipe?

Our Thanksgiving turkey & gravy recipe kicks butt.

16. What is the funniest joke you've ever heard?

I am so lame at remembering jokes!

17. What is your favorite vacation spot and why?

I love taking a cruise, love it, love it, love it! Don't really care where. Well, except the Bahamas. I hate that place.

18. What are you most excited about with fall here?

Getting back into the groove, having the weekly routine, having a rhythm to life.

19. Did you envision yourself to be where you are today ten years ago? If not, what did you envision?

Sure, I guess I thought it would be something like this, although I didn't realize I'd (still) be a stay-home mom and homeschooling my kids.

20. If money were no object, what would your dream house look like?

I don't need anything palatial. Well, I guess if money were truly no object, I would have hired help to cook, clean and take care of all that stuff, so yeah, something palatial. If I didn't have help, I'd just want a ranch-style house, five bedrooms (one for us, one for each of the kids, and a spare room for company), and a humongous, well-equipped kitchen. There would be a pool in the back, of course, and a nice hammock nestled between the trees.

21. What is your all-time favorite Disney movie?

Finding Nemo

22. What blog do you think isn't getting enough notice?

I think most blogs probably get just the right amount of notice that they're due, although I do think some get surprisingly more than I understand!

So, have a good week, y'all.


Saturday 9: Just Like Me


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

1. Who in your life do you think behaves and thinks the most like you do?

Probably my daughter, Chloë, which is not necessarily a compliment to me. She has been emulating me in a lot of ways recently, and one of them is yelling. It's brought the need to stop being a yeller to my attention, among other things, and I'm working on it now.

2. As a kid, were you ever wrongly accused (and punished, if it went that far) for something you didn't do? If so, what was it? What happened?

OMG, yes, time and time again by my evil ex-stepmother. It was the story of my life. I really don't want to go into details of it, though. It's too painful to bring up that stuff outside of a therapeutic environment.

3. What about as an adult, were you ever wrongly accused for something you didn't do?? Do you think it's worse to be accused as a child or an adult? Why/why not?

When our son Jack was 2, he fell and, unbeknownst to us at the time, cracked his skull. We didn't discover that there was a serious injury until I was drying him off after a bath two weeks later, and my thumb squished in the side of his head. I called my husband at work, and he came home and rushed him right to the ER. From there, things went insane, as we were accused of some pretty horrific child abuse. We were interrogated separately by police, and Child Protective came in and threatened to take our 3 kids away. We had to be "babysat" by our (very wonderful) friends and family members for nearly a month, before the forensic pediatrician corroborated our story of what must have happened during that fall, and we were exonerated. It was one of the most absolutely awful things I have ever experienced, and I would not wish it on anyone who didn't deserve it. 

3. What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced?

In December, 2002, we were living in Guam. I was pregnant with the twins, and we had one-year-old Chloë. Then SuperTyphoon Pongsona hit the island; it was the worst typhoon on record. It made me so nauseous, all that pressure change and whatnot. I took a Phenergan (anti-nausea med) and passed out during much of the storm, but the aftermath was pretty terrible. We were without power for weeks; some people lost power for, I think, 62 days? There was no gas on the island, thanks to fires at the ports, so we couldn't even run the generators we'd bought in advance.  We couldn't cook or do laundry, and the temperatures were sweltering.  It was a pretty rough time, but we survived it. We moved here to Virginia in March, and less than half a year later, Hurricane Isabel hit. We went through many of the same conditions for the second time in 9 months, and I went through a little bit of PTSD with that. Thankfully, the living conditions to which we were/are accustomed were restored after about 10 days that time, but both storms really made me cognizant of what people in Third World nations deal with on a daily basis, and worse. We should truly be compassionate toward those people.

4. If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be and why?

Australia or Japan. I've been very interested in visiting those countries especially, for a very long time, although I would like to travel everywhere eventually! If I won a free trip to either of those two countries, though, it would be an extremely difficult decision for me to make. I'd have to throw a dart!

5. Instead of going to work Monday, if you could spend the entire day doing something else - any one or two things that you absolutely love doing - what would you do?

I don't "go to work" on Monday or any other day. I stay home and homeschool my children, and I'm enjoying it so much that that is really what I would like to spend my Mondays doing, thanks!

6. What sites (other than meme sites) do you use most to help you post on your blog?

Use? For my blog? Uh... none, I guess. I just type what comes up in the ol' brain.

7. Check out a post on your blog from six months ago (March 2010) and tell us what is different now about your blog and/or life?

Well, I went and looked back here, but I'm feeling too lazy to read all that stuff, so I'll just say the obvious: we're homeschoolers now! And honestly, I'm not just blowing smoke, but it's fantastic. We should have done it from the beginning. Woulda, shoulda, coulda...

8. What was the last photograph you took?
006 (4)

This one, of the sand art Sophia made the other night when she stayed up late with me. 

9. Which fashion trend do you believe is the most horrendous and why?

I'm torn between the obvious (saggy pants with underwear sticking out on 'urban' young men) (did I just say that? I'm all of 34 years old, but that just made me feel ancient!) and the one that drives me most crazy: young girls and women who apparently don't possess a full-length mirror, because they wear clothes that are way too tight, especially jeans, and their chubs hang over the top. And then they wear a tight shirt, or a cropped shirt, so you can see that nice muffin top. I mean, really, why? Why do that? It does NOT make you look more attractive, or skinnier, to have your blub on display. Go up a size or two, ladies!!! (And yes, I can talk.)


Dearly Beloved, Parte Uno

Dear Self,

Please remember to put clothes on the children - especially shirts on the girls - when you want to take pictures of them to post here on le blahg, so you don't have to do this in Paint:



Also, it's probably a good idea to start thinking about switching out the Summer clothes for Fall, now that it's almost October. Just sayin'.




Dear Navy,


I LOVE this uniform on the hubs. Thanks for making the switch.


Amorous Housewife


Dear Rob,

Wear the hat when you come home, too. I promise you won't regret it.


Heh Heh Heh


Dear ALL Men,

Was I invisible when I had an extra 200 pounds on me? Because I swear you all didn't run to open doors for me like you do now. I mean, I appreciate it and all, but chivalry doesn't stop over a certain BMI, you know?


Former Chubster


Dear New Therapist,

I can tell you're seriously great at what you do and all, but can you try to be a little less judgy in the process? It's not exactly what I'm going for.

Also, would it kill you to crack a smile when I'm making my stupid jokes, once in a while? I promise I don't really duct tape my children to their beds at night.

And one more thing: Seriously? You got stuck in traffic three out of the last three times I had an appointment with you? My time is valuable, also. Maybe leave earlier? Just a thought.


The One Who Cries Nonstop


Dear Beautiful Progeny o' Mine,

Honestly, we don't care WHAT you eat, just please, for the love of God, EAT IT IN THE KITCHEN or don't complain when you see bugs in your room!!!!


Exasperated Mom & Pop

I think this may become a new feature for me. I've been writing lots of mental notes lately.


Robbing Them Blind


Jack and I just went out and did the weekly drugstore deals (CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid), which I've been doing all along but not posting about. We made out like bandits, y'all!!

For all the above, which would normally cost a TON of money, the stores paid me a combined $18.86 to take this stuff home!! (click picture to embiggerate)

And I'll pocket some more dough if I can sell those three packs of Huggies diapers on Craigslist! Woohoo!

I'll spare you the details, but yay! Thanks to Collin at Hip 2 Save for helping me put together all these deals!


Sunday Stealing: The Threesome Meme

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along!

1. At what time of your life were you happiest and why?

The day I married my husband. Pure bliss.

2. Where and when did you meet the love of your life?

Oh. I didn't even read ahead! We met online, coming up on 10 years ago, and eloped after 2 months.

3. Favourite item of clothing ever or most treasured possession?

I don't really have a favorite item of clothing or a most treasured possession.  I do love my yarn collection, though. =D

4. Must-have makeup or beauty item?

Mascara and lip balm

5. What do you think is your worst vice or fault .. honestly?

I'm lazy and self-indulgent.

6. Would you tell your friend, if you knew her husband/wife was cheating on her/him?

I honestly don't know, but I would wrestle with the decision for an age.

7. What ambitions, wishes or desires, for your life, do you still hold close to your heart?

That has changed over the years. When I was in college, I convinced myself I would win a Nobel prize. Haha! Now, I just want to raise three great kids into conscientious adults and still have them love their mother.

8. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Doing pretty much the same thing I'm doing now, except maybe with my first few gray hairs!

9. If you had the choice of any talent with the penalty that you would lose a talent in exchange, what would you want to gain, and what would you be willing to loose?

Hm. I guess I wouldn't mind losing my... no, no, I change my mind. I wouldn't want to lose anything.

10. Name three things that you do want completed in your life before retiring?

I think I retired 10 years ago, didn't I? I would like to be out of debt, own a boat (for my husband's sake), and master a new skill.

11. Of all of the people out there who would have been your fantasy date? Date, not romance...

No one. I'm trying to think of someone who could make me laugh as much as my hubs, or at least as much, and I'm coming up empty-handed. So I'll just stick with him, thanks.

12. Google put another spell on you, you have just changed genders for 48 hours... what are you going to do with your 2 days?

Why Google? Anyway, other than the obvious physical things I could do as a man, I would get a dapper suit and briefcase and just play the part of a businessman.  I don't know why, I just love the image of that kind of man.

13. If you owned your own island, and got to make it your own country, what would you call it? And why?

Oh, who cares? Thinking about it is wasting my brain cells.

14. If you rubbed the lamp and got 3 wishes, what would they be?

Erase all our debt (and maybe have some extra), get Rob that boat, and be a skinny little waif.

15. What is your earliest memory of puberty?

OMG, when I was 8, I had dirty, dirty dreams about this friend of my older sister's! And now my oldest is 9! She is much more sheltered than I was at that age, though. I think...

16. If you got banished to your Island alone and could only bring 5 things, what would they be?

Knitting supplies, something to read, a computer with an internet connection, an endless supply of Diet Coke, and a comfy place to lie down.


Saturday 9: Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying


Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. When was the last time you cried?

Thursday morning at my last therapy session. I'm glad she gets the good tissues.

2. If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would it be?

I would love to be an incredible gymnast. (I think the hubs would like that, too...)

3. Who is someone (other than yourself) would you like to go back into your past and talk to and why?

My ex-stepmother. If I had the emotional fortitude, I would ream her up one side and down the other for what she did to my psyche.

4. What is your favorite meal eating out?

Scallops. I love those critters.

5. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend?

It depends! Like, on Thursday afternoon, I ran my first Daisy Girl Scout meeting, and it was absolutely exhausting. But when I'm with a group of my friends, like at Bunco night, I tend to get a bit hyper.

6. What word do you use far too frequently?

The f-bomb, I'm afraid. I have a pretty foul mouth.

7. What’s a word you’ve invented? (alternate question: What needs a word but doesn’t have one yet?)

Not really a word I made up, but you know that smell you get inside your head when you're sick? I call that "Gorg butter," because when I first got remember getting it, I was watching that episode of Fraggle Rock.

8. Pick out one of your favorite songs. Go to Song Facts and tell us about the song's history.

Tears in Heaven, by Eric Clapton:

"Clapton wrote this about his 4-year-old son Conor, who died when he fell out of a 53rd floor window in the apartment where his mother was staying in New York City. Clapton had one other child at the time: His daughter Ruth was born in 1987, the year after Conor was born."

More here.

We played this song at my son Robby's memorial service.

9. What is your absolute favorite piece of furniture you have and why?

Our couches. So comfy. I sleep on them all the time.


Sunday Stealing: Our Own Meme

Sunday Stealing 

Click on over here if you're playing along this week!

1. :::sniff, sniff::: Is the dog in the house?


2. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

WAEFRTGDQ (When All Else Fails, Read The ____ ____ Question!)

3. What's the worst experience you've ever had involving alcohol?

I drank half a bottle of Goldschlager after my supposed best friend became a bit too flirtatious with the guy I had a painfully huge crush on, in college. I ended up barfing out my dorm window, and because of the configuration of the windows, I couldn't wash it off. To this day, a strong cinnamon-y smell makes me nauseous...

4. What's the worst thing you've ever done to another person?

Tore them down instead of building them up

5. Who do you think started the concept of memes?

Don't know, don't care. Someone bored, I'm sure.

6. Give a song title or line that describes how you are feeling right now.

"Goodnight, Sweetheart, well it's time to go..."

7. What's your favorite search engine? Yahoo!, Google, Ask, Bing? or something else?


8. If Paul is the Cute One and John is the Smart One and George is the Quiet One and Ringo is the Funny One, which Beatle are you?

A little of each ;)

9. The democratic government decides that, not only do we have to share our money with people who choose not to work, we also have to share our children with those who do not want to ruin their bodies with being pregnant. Which child do you give up?

STFU, geez. Keep your damn politics out of my meme. @@

10. When should you procrastinate - now or later?


11. What is your favorite fast food?

McDonald's French fries - only the squishy ones, though

12. What was your favourite game as a child?

Uno with Grandma

13. Why terrible twos have to be terrible

Why your grammar has to be terrible

14. Describe your favorite family member.

Not gonna do that! Are you trying to get me in trouble?!

15. What does your favorite breakfast consist of?

I love a good cheese Danish.

16. What food is better the day after it was made?


17. What was your last big purchase?

My new Odyssey!

18. When was the last time you kissed someone and really enjoyed it?

About 45 minutes ago. mmm

19. Why are there memes?

Original, much?

20. Described yourself using two words that rhyme. (i.e. fuddy-duddy)

Silly Billy!

21. If you were given the option of a "do-over" in life .. would you take it?

Hell yeah. I'd fix a few things.

22. What movie makes (or has made) you cry? What touched you about it?

Steel Magnolias. Lots of movies make me cry, but that was the first one that jumped into my head. How could it not?

23. What is one big mistake that you did in your life? And what did you do to make it right?

I went to grad school to work on my PhD in a subject I had the passion for, but it turned out I didn't. So, I left and started doing something else.

24. When Life Gives You Lemons, What Do You Do With Them?

Bitch and moan until I can't stand the sound of my own whining anymore

25. How different are you in real life as compared to the online identity you have created for yourself?

I'm the same, just MORE.

26. Do you know what your parents would have named you if you had been born the opposite sex?

Yes, Clayton


Poor Penelope's Pains


Poor Penny got her first booboo already on Monday! We went for a lunch-time mystery shop, and when we got back out to our car, Rob exclaimed, "Somebody hit your car!" I totally thought he was pulling my leg, so I rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever." But he kept standing there and staring at my bumper, not saying anything, so I strode over and took a look.

Holy FECK!

Someone sure DID hit my car. My jaw dropped. I think I picked it up about two days later.

We found some red paint on my van. And the car next to us was red. And had a pretty well matching booboo of its own on the corresponding rear bumper.

The owner came out and saw us looking around at both cars, and she asked what was going on. I blurted out, "You hit my car!" and she pretty much went ballistic, vehemently denying it up and down, blah blah blah.

I'm not certain she hit my car. But something very similar to my paint rubbed off on Rob's fingers when he touched her booboo. I know, he shouldn't have done that. And I shouldn't have told her, or the policeman who arrived (and couldn't do anything, because it was on private property) at the scene, or our insurance companies, that he did that. But he did.

So it really didn't make sense when she said her accident was two years old, AND she'd just had a car wash. Really now?

So then, how did my paint rub off your scratch?

Just curious.


Live From New York


Aunt Stacey's presents for Chloë's 9th birthday arrived a few days early. I decided to go ahead and let her open them early for once, because, why not? The look on her face says that my sister nailed it. It's not hard to do (although I didn't get the same look when she opened her presents from us, so hmm), because she loves everything she receives. She is definitely a gracious gift receiver, unlike her little brother...


Obligatory "show me what you got!" pose


The Littles didn't miss out, since Aunt Stacey sent something for Surgery Boy and couldn't leave the Soapster out. 

I really can't call them the Littles anymore, since that implies they are both, um, little. And Sophia is now bigger than Chlo. The Youngies? Nah...


Each kid got a huge wad of Silly Bandz, and Jack got a Li'l Kinz (Webkinz) for his boy-pains. Aw.


This kid is CRAZY for Silly Bandz. Crazy.


This wasn't a badly-timed photo: Sophia really was that tired. Poor kiddo hasn't been sleeping well lately. It's actually been a problem for a little while now. It has me worried, naturally, given that I've struggled with sleeping for my whole life. I don't want to give her Benadryl every night. I don't know... Melatonin??

So, thanks for the pressies, Stace! They were enjoyed by three wee-wees!


Back In The Saddle Again


Chloë took off the better part of 3rd grade from acting and modeling, because she had about 8 teeth missing at once. No one would hire her like that. And she wasn't really in the mood anyway, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

But then her local agent called to see if she was available for another Dollar Tree ad.  Her permanent teeth are mostly all settled in now - in the front, anyway - so I let them go ahead and book her. She wasn't thrilled that I booked her without asking, but when pressed, she agreed that she wanted to do it.


She did an absolutely wonderful job at the shoot. They were very impressed by her and said they would put a star by her name, to remind them that she takes direction extremely well. I am so proud of her!

Look for her doing a Disney Princesses floor puzzle (or is it Barbie? Shoot, now I forget) in that shirt, in the toy catalog for Dollar Tree - maybe late November or early December. They couldn't remember the date when I asked. If you spot it first, give me a shout!


Bilateral Orchiopexy


On the 1st of the month, Jack had surgery to pull his undescended testicles (TMI? sorry) into their proper place. He was pretty nervous about it, and he asked a ton of questions, of course. Stupid me didn't read the hospitals surgery welcome packet until the night before surgery, so I didn't find out until about 2300 the night before that the girls weren't going to be allowed even into the waiting area with us at the children's hospital (CHKD).  Craptastic! So I emailed a few of my girlfriends and begged them to watch the girls first thing in the morning, and Stephanie came to my rescue. Phew! We parents both really wanted to be in the hospital with Jack, so it woul have been major suckage to not have been able to go together. In the end, we delivered the girls to Deep Creek, Chesapeake, and continued on our merry way to CHKD for Surgery Day.

Jack was pretty panicky about his poor nuts, up until we walked into the waiting area. When we walked in, there were toys galore, a painting station, a train table, and this, the game station. He played Nintendo for a while, really having no idea what he was doing at first, but before long, he was driving Mario expertly around the track. I have a feeling if we had a Nintendo, or more similar games for the Wii, he'd be a hardcore gamer by now. But we don't, and that's on purpose, so good.


The boys played on the train table for most of the time. I wish I had a better picture of Jack in his hospital jammies. He was absolutely freaking adorable. Just so cute! ♥

He was pretty cuddly the entire day, especially when nurses brought us back to take his vitals and ask him questions. Then he burrowed into my shoulder and refused to talk. I have said it before, but this is the little guy who hibernated during gestation in his little nest up in my ribs, like a bunny rabbit, and he frequently reminds me of this time now that he's here. He is the cuddliest of our children, especially when something is wrong. I love it. Just love it.

I didn't cry until they suddenly, after waiting for four hours, called him back for surgery. There was no warning, just, "Ready, Jack?" And that was it. They wanted him right away, and we couldn't even walk to the back with him. He clung to me, and I think I pretty much clung back. But I didn't cry even watching him walk, so tiny, through those doors. Not until we walked past another mother, sobbing into her husband's arms, into the parent's waiting area. Then I lost it. Seeing other people cry always makes me cry. You, too?

Then it hit me. We sat down across from each other, Rob and I, and I imagined what they were doing right now. Holy crap. It might have been a minor surgery, but it was still surgery. An OPERATION. On MY SON, for Pete's sake. Inwardly, I was freaking out. Outwardly, I was calmly blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, because for all I knew, everyone else in the room might have been going through a serious crisis, and of course our little boy's case was nothing like that, thank God. Thank God. Been there, done that.

We went downstairs to the café to get something to eat, and in our nervousness, we bought out half of the offerings. I got an egg and cheese sandwich, AND a drink, AND two cookies, AND a bag of chips, and do you know that I ate every last bit of it? Not all at once, of course, but eventually. I have no business eating that kind of crap. But, I did, so oh well.

Finally, Dr. H. came out to report on his surgery. It went very well, better than expected. They were going to have to go through the groin, especially for the right one, but the "boys" both ended up being lower than they were during the ultrasounds, and they were able to go through the scrotum for both sides. Yay! This, of course, was much less invasive than we'd planned for, so he would be in far less pain for a much shorter amount of time. Thank heaven for small miracles.

After an eternity and a half, we were finally allowed to go into the recovery unit to see our wee boy. Oh, my. He was not a happy child, not at all. He was shout-crying, in his loud litlte way, with his eyelids half-lowered and his mouth all bloody. Apparently something got cut during intubation (or extubation, I forget), but he's okay. He just looked a mess. He was in a TON of pain, though, poor thing. He wanted me to hold him, so I did, but we could not get him comfortable. Every time I tried to rearrange him, he just hollered out in agony. It broke my heart. They pushed more meds into his IV, three different times, after conferring with the anesthesiologist. Every time they came near him with a needle, he freaked out even more. Poor kid was so out of it, hurting, confused, and tired, that it took two hours for him to calm down.

Finally, though, he did, and was able to sit up to watch TV and take a little apple juice. He kept saying, then and for days afterward, "My nuts hurt, Mommy." I felt so bad for him. Soon, it was time for him to be released, and we had to get him out of the hospital jammies and back into his own. While doing this, he looked down and saw blood all over the area, including his thighs. (Why wouldn't they have cleaned this up?!) It looked much more gruesome than it actually was, and he freaked out a little about it. "Why did they do that to me?!" he demanded. I had to calm him all over again. There was lots of hair stroking, lots of shh-shh-shhing, and lots of soothing talk, softly into his ear. It made me hurt for him, but it's the kind of mothering I really like to do. Comforting. I like it.

He wanted to be carried down to the car, instead of pushed into the wheelchair, so I did. Good thing it was Jack and not Sophia, or I'd never have managed the entire trip!  I put him down when we got to the car, and he was actually able to walk, slowly and gingerly, from the hospital door to the car. I think he even climbed into his carseat on his own, but maybe not. I can't quite remember. I buckled him a little too loosely for my comfort, for the sake of his own. And off we went, with me cringing every time Penelope the van bumped a little too hard.

We stopped to pick up the girls and then headed home. The girls went upstairs for naps, and we lay Jack on the couch to recuperate. Rob gave him some Tylenol with codeine for his pain, which the hospital had given us. Rob fell asleep, and after holding Jack a while, I set him up to watch Home Alone 2. He was laughing his head off, so I decided he was well enough for me to leave him for a few minutes. I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I was starving, so I went into the kitchen to eat. I stayed for about 20 minutes, eating and then checking my emails on my iPhone. When I returned to Jack, he was still laughing and acting normal, but his face was bright reddish-purple!

I knew something was wrong, so I quickly tried to wake up Rob to let him know. He mumbled something about that being normal after surgery, but I didn't remember the nurse telling us that at discharge. I looked carefully over all the paperwork, but I didn't find anything about that, so I dialed CHKD. They asked me a lot of questions, and finally asked if his nostrils were flaring. They were! She stopped me and said, "Okay, bring him right back here, to the Emergency Room." Eek!

I woke Rob again to tell him we were headed to the ER, and he sleepily told me he'd stay home with the girls. Jakc and I raced to CHKD and got him checked in. We waited in triage for quite a long time, long enough for his color to go back to almost normal, before I remembered about the flaring nostrils.  I went up and told them, and suddenly we were whisked into the back.


He was pretty cheerful, but maybe because the doc set him up with Shrek, and gave him some Lortab after 2 hours of monitoring him for further reactions from the codeine. When he had none, they gave the new med and then monitored for another 2 hours. If I'd known we were going to sit in the ER for four hours, I'd have brought some knitting or something!  


He was pretty cold in the ER, so I bundled him up tightly. Everyone came to see him, because he was so little and cute. He wanted ice cream badly, and asked me about it every five minutes. I promised him we would go have ice cream as soon as we got outta there. He deserved it!

After his second release from the hospital that day, we were walking past the café to get to the parking garage. I asked him if he wanted a packaged ice cream from there, or if he wanted to go to Friendly's for a sundae, and he chose to go to the café. He picked a ginormous chocolate ice cream sandwich, and to my surprise, he ate every last bite! (I ate a Chipwich and yakked it all up when I came home, FYI.)

He's on he mend now, and he hasn't complained about any pain for the last two or three days. He doesn't want me to look at his booboos, but I've snuck a peek here and there, and things look good. Oops, I stil have to make his follow-up appointment with Dr. H. Remind me on Monday!!



Saturday 9: Tell Her No


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

1. When was the last time that you had to tell someone that you loved, that the answer was no?

A million times at bedtime every night lately!

2. When was the last time you visited a hospital?

September 1st. My son had surgery that day. (He's fine.)

3. If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?

NeverKnitters. People who love to knit and mentally do it all the time, but never seem to have the time do actually do it anymore. Wait, that's lame. Eh, whatever, so is the question.

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?

Psht, um, yeah.

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

The whole package

6. What really turns you on?

I'm not telling you that. You'll use it against me.

7. What was your biggest mistake?

I haven't made it yet.

8. Tell us something totally random about yourself.

I have a saggy pannus. I'm going to get it amputated.

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

Yeah. But they never know who. Apparently I look like someone a lot of people know, too.


38 Special


Rob's 38th birthday was a week ago. The kids made this, his plain, un-frosted chocolate birthday cake (his favorite), which I wrote about on the homeschooling blog a little while ago. 

They had gotten up super early that morning - around 0500 - as they were too excited about school starting. I knew they would need naps later that day, and I was right. After the cake was baked, three children marched themselves upstairs and crashed.

Only Jack was awake when Daddy woke up to get ready for work later that day. The girls never got up at all. So just the three of us celebrated together, while the ladies slept.


Putting 38 candles on the birthday cake seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm telling you: Don't do it. Just don't. 


Amazingly, he had the lung capacity to do it all in one breath. Guess he's not such an old fart after all. As for his wish, I'm never privy to that information.


I told you so! That was fun, cutting all that cheap melted wax off Rob's cake. At least we had a good laugh about it.


The kids each made Daddy a birthday card. Chloë wanted to know what she should write in her card, and I told her to write what was in her heart, what she felt about her dad. She asked me, "Should I write that I don't like it when he yells at me and sends me to my room?" Ha, yeah, I think that's really what your father wants to read in his birthday card, honey!


Earlier in the day, while Jack slept, the girls and I packaged up Rob's gifts. Sophia chose the first gift bag, and Chloë chose the tissue paper. Then they switched. They really enjoyed that part. Much thought went into choosing the color and amount of tissue paper. (I have a huge stockpile of saved up bags and paper; I'm a real packrat when it comes to thusly-wrapped getting presents!)


Doing the obligatory "just what I always wanted" pose for the wife. I got these for 'free' with my Swagbucks money on Amazon, off Rob's wishlist. Something he needed for the motorcycle. He actually was excited to get them. Nerd.


Have you heard of Eversave? It's like Groupon, with a different daily deal in your area posted, and you get five bucks off your first "save"! Anyway, the Nutty Guys were running a deal on there, and Rob LOOOVES cashews, so I snagged a great deal on this cashew gift pack for him. They were really yummy; I think that was actually a genuine smile.



P.S. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: Sophia snuck down in the middle of the night and ate the ENTIRE remains of Rob's birthday cake! Rob says there was "only" half, but I think it was more than that. And yes, she did have a bellyache the whole next day. I think for the first time in her life. I was not very sympathetic... Okay, maybe I was, but she is my baby! Also, a couple nights later, the kids polished off the rest of Daddy's cashews while he was at work, after asking me if they could have "one." I should have known better! Poor Rob...

Knead To Feed


Two weeks ago (gosh, I'm so far behind here), we were headed up to Williamsburg for a couple days of sun and fun at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, courtesy of their "Here's to the Heroes" program for military families. Between getting a hotel room up there, so we wouldn't have the hour-long drive home between park days, and spending $13 a pop to park at each venue (what a freakin' rip that is), we literally had nothng left over for buying the outrageously expensive - and pretty yucky, IMHO - food served there. So the plan was to pack a cooler full of food from home.

Only, we had nothing for lunches, so we had to get baking. I found a great recipe online for sandwich bread - highly recommended; makes 3 loaves and turns out much fabulouser than any bread machine bread I've made with the organic flours - and called the kids in to help make. Sophia helped, too, but I can't remember now why I didn't get a picture of her.

Of course, the kids LOVED the kneading part. They took turns, squeezing the dough until their muscles ached, before handing the bowl over to the nextly waiting child. Getting their hands in (of course, I made them wash their filthy paws and cleaned out their grimy fingerails first) was the best part, naturally. I told them to just go for it, and they really went for it, just ripping and tearing and pulling and pushing away the dough.

I think we'll only use the machine now for those times when we really don't have time to bake by hand. It just doesn't taste as good. Or look, either. We didn't even use the KitchenAid's dough hook this time. I wanted the children to experience every part of doing it "the old-fashioned way," although I have no problems with the dough hook. Love it, in fact.

Anyway, the bread turned out wonderful and made for some scrumptious sandwiches. Definitely a keeper.


P.S. We had a GREAT time at Busch Gardens the next day, and I intentionally didn't take a single picture of it. I just wanted to live in the moment and enjoy my family. We didn't make it to the waterpark that Wednesday, because I goofed, thinking we had one free day per park. It's actually one free day, period. Next year, we're gonna get wet!

Sunday Stealing: The Majorly Personal Meme, Part The Last

Okay, so I lied about going back to work. Might as well knock both of these out at once, eh?

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

41. What are your plans for this weekend?

Mystery shopping and more mystery shopping. Tons of laundry. Cleaning at least 2 bathrooms. Working on planning my Girl Scout troop's upcoming year. Doing some lesson plans for Sweet Pea Academy

42. Do you think someone might
be thinking poorly about you? Why might that be?

I know someone thinks poorly of me. That person basically said something recently to the effect of there being nothing good about me. I believe the words were, "She hasn't shown us a good side." I guess my actions with that person haven't always reflected a good side, and I've been dwelling on it ever since. I do plenty of good things, dammit. I have plenty of fine attributes. But if I haven't been showing them, to you or to that person or to people in general, well, that's on me. The onus is on me to demonstrate my good qualities and not misrepresent myself. Honestly, though, I really do think I am a good person deep down, and even not so deep down. I'm just damaged goods, and I need to fix myself.

Can you tell this has been stressing me out?!
42. What features don't you have that you would like on your cell?

I have an iPhone. I pretty much have everything I need. If only there was an app that cleaned my house, I'd be in heaven.

43. How many people can comfortably sleep in your bed?

It's king-sized, so you decide. We all fit.
44. What are you hoping happens by the end of 2010?

The kids and I get solidly into our groove with homeschooling, and I know what the hell I'm doing with leading the Daisy scout troop.

45. What was the last video you watched on YouTube?

Maria Callas singing "O Mio Babbino Caro," over and over, to my eldest child's extreme dismay. It's beautiful, though.

46. Would you ever agree to an open relationship with someone?

Maybe. There are worse things.

47. Is there something that you could never give up?

Diet Coke, apparently.

48. Would you, (or did you) prefer a small, intimate wedding reception, or a big-scale, over-the-top reception?

God, no way, with the big lavish (grotesquely conspicuously consumptive, IMO) wedding and reception. We eloped. I spent less than twenty bucks on my wedding dress. I don't regret one thing about it.

49. What’s bothering you right now?

See #42.

50. Do you hate anyone?

I try SO hard not to hate. So hard. Love thy neighbor, and all that.

51. What were you doing at 12 am last night?

Mystery shop reports

52. Was this summer a good one? How warm was it where you live?

It was definitely interesting, I'll say that. It was over 100º on many days...

52. Is the last person you kissed before your current situation mad at you?

I don't know, and I couldn't care less.

53. Can a man and woman be friends without having feelings for each other?

Of course.

54. Do you think long distance relationships work? If you’ve had one, tell us about it.

Yeah, I have. It sucked. Mine didn't work out, but I know one or two that have. (Well, I wasn't thinking about my 8-hours-apart relationship with Rob at the beginning, but we got married 2 months after we met, so does that really count??!)

55. Do you know why it’s called “Random Boredom“?

Why what's called? Obviously not.

56. Do you think that it’s always the man’s responsibility to initiate sex?

Hell no! The thought makes me laugh.

57. Have you ever made love while you were in the same room with another couple?

Couple, no. Person, yes.

58. Tell us the best thing about your current or most recent S/O.

He's got that intellectual sense of humor that I love so well. I could go on and on.

59. Tell us the worst thing about your current or most recent S/O.

He can be a true asshole sometimes, and smug as all-get-out. I couldn't go on too much more. ;)

60. Would you write one question in today’s comments so that we could have our followers allow us to steal their questions? We’ll need at least 15.

I'll try and think of something. I'm not promising anything earth-shattering here.


Saturday 9: Half The Man I Used To Be


Link up with Crazy Sam here if you're playing along today.

1. Do you feel that you are essentially the same person that you were ten years ago?

Well, let's see. I'm about to turn 34. Ten years ago, I was 24 and at the end of a damaged - and damaging - engagement. Shortly after that, I got married (to someone else) and had four kids in quick succession. I've learned a lot since then. No, no way am I the same person I was a decade ago.

2. Is there something that you have to give all or nothing to?

Pretty much everything I do. I don't half-ass. If I'm not going to do something "all the way," I don't do it at all.

3. Have you ever gambled? What have you bet on and for how much?

If we're talking money, no, not really. When I first turned 18, I played the Florida Lottery a couple of times. I even won a few bucks. But I'm not the (money) gambling sort. If we're talking about something else, well, that's a whole 'nother story.

4. Can you sleep anywhere or does it have to be in a bed?

Nope to the bed. I sleep best on the couch. I can't even remember the last time I slept in my own bed!

5. Tell us about the most disastrous or embarrassing first impression you've ever made on someone.

Oops, I skipped this question the first time through. I'm glad I double-checked. I've made a lot of bad first impressions, I'm afraid. The one I have dwelt on for almost ten years is with my husband's family. We met under terrible circumstances: his beloved step-father had suddenly passed away, and I traveled up with him for the funeral. Rob (my hubs) wore his dress blues (he's in the Navy) for the occasion, and his mother said something to me about how nice he looked. I replied to her, "Yeah, that does it for me," meaning, Rob in uniform turns me on. Well, she misunderstood me and thought I was saying he did it for ME, and she replied something to the effect of, "No, this time, I think he did it for me." I don't remember what I said back, if anything, and I have spent the last ten years wishing I just hadn't said it at all, because I regretted the misunderstanding so much.

So, Mom, you probably don't even remember that conversation at all, but just to set the record straight, I'm sorry if I offended you, but it wasn't what I meant!

6. Do you have a memorable "ripped clothing" moment in your life? No? How about in someone else's?

Yeah. Ha. Nothing sexy, though. One time, when I was in graduate school, I was working in the lab with my professor, and I bent over and ripped the butt seam of my (favorite) khaki cargo pants. I lived in those pants. He (the prof) saw my undies. It was pretty embarrassing!

7. What's changed on your blog since its inception? ...a redo? ...a change of pace? ...or is it about the same?

It's really the same, although I've been waaay lax about keeping it updated throughout the summer, haven't I? That is about to change. I know you're on pins and needles wondering what the heck we've been up to lately. Don't even lie.

8. If you could travel back in time and whisper something to yourself ten years ago, what would it be?

"This guy Rob, he's the real deal. DON'T f*ck it up!!!

9. Okay, let's have it! What's the craziest, most impulsive thing you've ever done?

Well, I'm freakin' bipolar, so I've done plenty of impulsive things in my manic phases. But craziest? I'd have to think. It might involve the opposite sex, or swallowing a lot of pills, I don't know. It depends on your definition.

Okay, back to work I go...