Entries categorized "Hey, Crochet" Feed

The "S" Is For "Super" And The "U" Is For "Unique"


I had to go to work to sign papers and get my schedule for the rest of the week (which runs Weds to Tues) as soon as I put the kids on the bus. I was there for an hour and was happy when I found out that time was on the clock. She scheduled me for all day Sun-Mon-Tues, so that's good! Hopefully I'll continue to get good hours.

I was on my way to my S***c shop afterward, the food from which I was going to bring to Rob. He, of course, didn't take anything to eat at work, as per usual. He called, though, and said not to come, because he was going to be somewhere else all day, running a training session. So after I did my shop and finding myself with the whole day ahead of me, I decided to skedaddle on home and bake brownies to take and eat lunch with the kids at school, for a surprise.

While they baked, Birthday Girl Steph and I chatted online, and she invited Chloƫ to come with her Girl Scout troop to Disney on Ice that night. She had a free, spare ticket; did we want it? Sure! I had thought about taking the kids, but the money just wasn't there. I knew she would be thrilled to go, so we made the arrangements.

I was so excited to bring the brownies to the kids and sit with them, because I think I only did that one other time - maybe when Chloƫ was in first grade? It's just too much confusion with a toddler in tow, I think. At least for me. I brought in an extra brownie for each of the kids' teachers, and for the security officer at the front desk. She (security) turned it down, patting her belly rolls. But Jack's teacher, quite rotund, was happy and snapped hers right up! Jack at school

When Jack saw me, he was so shocked and excited! He was already sitting down and eating his lunch, and the lights were off. On Fridays, they play a movie in the cafeteria. He snuggled up against me, but he didn't talk much because he was really into the movie. That was fine; I was happy just being near him and rubbing his sweet, soft head.  The cafeteria attendant turned on the lights to be able to yell at the kid to be quiet and watch the movie, so I was able to snap this picture real quick. I'm surprised he didn't hide under the table!

The other first graders were so cute, too. I really love the K-2 set (and younger kids); they are my favorites.  I just love little kids! The girl on my left was really chatty, and she told me her life story. When another girl across the table asked her if I was her mom, she laughed and then hugged me tightly, saying, "NO, she's my FRIEND!" I loved it; I'd never seen her before in my life! She kept offering Jack apple slices from her lunch, and to my surprise, he kept eating them. Sweet girl. I wish she was the one he had a crush on! (He likes a little girl whose name I can't remember at the moment...)

When it was Chloƫ's lunchtime immediately after that, I said good-bye to Jack, which was not an easy proposition. He did not want me to go. He held me tight and started to follow me out of the cafeteria. Poor guy! I hugged and kissed him, but of course I had to make him stay with his class.

Chloƫ at school

Chloƫ's class was lined up in the hallway, and I went out there and surprised the knickers off her, too. Her teacher informed me that they eat lunch in the classroom on Fridays, but I was welcome to join them. I told her I'd baked brownies, and did she want one? Turns out, she baked brownies for the whole class, too; I was a little disappointed at that, because naturally Chloƫ wanted one of her brownies and not the treat that I'd brought her. Hey, mine was three times bigger! But I tried not to let my feelings be hurt and just enjoyed her company. She was so excited I was there and kept thanking me for coming to see her. They watched a movie, too, so while she was engrossed in that, I asked Mrs. B. if there was anything I could do for her. She let me do some filing of the kids' papers in their folders, and I was glad to feel useful and do a little classroom volunteering. I'd have done more, but she couldn't think of anything else at the time.

I had a brownie for Chloƫ's other teacher too - Mrs W., who was in the math LD meeting on Thursday - but when I passed her in the hall, I decided not to give it to her. She's such a grumpy sourpuss face all the time, and those are not the nicest words I have used in reference to her. She just seems mean and cranky, and I keep forgetting to ask Chloƫ what she's like. At first I thought that she didn't like me, but why? What reason have I given her for that? So I've since decided she must be a mean ol' crankypants, and I don't like her. So there. (Yes, I'm 12.)

I think I went home and took me a little nap after that, but I really can't remember. The kids came home, and the Bigs were all atwitter about my visit to school. I was kind of sheepish about it, because I didn't want Sophia's feelings to be hurt, but I'm not allowed to visit her class until October to get them accustomed to preschool. No visitors in September, and I already blew it once!

When Rob came home, we took Chloƫ to the meeting point for Stephanie's Girl Scout troop. (Steph has been the leader of this troop for a few years now, and they convinced her to continue even though she's not teaching at their school anymore. I think she's nuts, trying to do that with a baby on the way, and then a newborn! But then, maybe it's just 'cause I'm not really "leader" material, I don't think.) Anyway. My kids were happy to wish Steph a happy birthday, and then Stim took our Chloƫ away to the Disney show.

Sophie and Jack had each saved up enough Dad Dollars for the Happy Meal/Wacky Pack-level reward, so they wanted to go to Sonic and get their prizes. I realized later that Jack just wanted the motorcycle toy and didn't care about the food, which he barely ate. Ugh. I could have taken him to Toys 'R Us and gotten him a Hot Wheels, saving three bucks. But Sophie ate every bit of hers, of course. Kid was born to eat!

We drove to another S****c for a mystery shop I had to do, which took care of Rob's dinner. Sophie mentioned a million times that she missed her sister, which was terribly sweet. Except that Jack mentioned a million times that he did NOT. Hee.

Rob went out to get Chloƫ later, because I was stuck at home doing my monthly online charity crochet-a-thon thing. She came home bubbly and full of tales, happy to have received a nice big Disney patch for the back of her vest.

Gosh, I'm tired. I am going to save Sat & Sun for tomorrow, because I can't stay awake. I"m a working woman now, no more naps! ;)


Working Title

We've been busy.

I was, ugh, up again (more than) half the night again Friday into Saturday, so I was pretty groggy when the kids woke me at ten or something. I found Rob was gone with my van, without his phone or a note left, and I had no clue where he went. I was exhausted and annoyed. This didn't bode well for the weekend... but it wasn't too bad.

Rob and Jack to the Lowes on Holland Road at noon, to sell popcorn with his Cub Scout pack or troop or whatever it is, for two hours. Apparently he did really well, politely going up to everyone and asking if they'd like to buy some. Probably because he's so tiny and cute, they couldn't resist! Overall, they sold $860 worth of popcorn, which is $10 for a very small canister - that blows my mind! People buy that?! Apparently they do. I never even heard of Boy Scout popcorn until maybe two years ago. Nuts.

While they were gone, I set the girls on various tasks around the house (cleaning up their room, or whatev) so I could catch a few zzz's here and there. At one point, I gave Sophie an entire M-shaped stickie pad that I was never going to use, and told her to go crazy sticking it around the house. So she did. Next thing I knew, I had two or three on my arms, face, you name it... and they were all over the house.

Did I care? Nope. Harmless.


So they eventually came home and we all went out to do a bowling mystery shop. We always play two games, with the kids the first game and by ourselves the second game. I had a picture of Rob helping Chloƫ bowl, but I can't find it, so you're stuck with this one of Sophie, 4, lifting Jack, 6, up to the water fountain. She's as huge as he is tiny!

Bowling was a ton of fun. Rob finally broke a hundred, and I bowled a much-better-than-usual 87! Not much to be proud of, but for both of us, it was an achievement.


Found it!

Sunday, we (I) slept in a little late and had to rush around to get to a popular boob-themed wings restaurant for a lunch shop. We got there in time, though, and it was fun. The waitress talked me into buying a themed "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" pink shirt for the girls, which is cute. It'll fit Chloƫ for a while, and then Soap.

Then we went over to the AT&T store to switch Rob's phone to an iPhone. See previous post about how awesome they are.  The kids did NOT behave in the store until they came to the big iPhone display, and then they were thoroughly engaged in playing with those so Rob and I could conduct our business. Phew.

When we got home, we were supposed to clean up downstairs (me, the bathroom; Rob, rip up the living room rug), but it was so late by that time that we didn't have time to do anything but get ready for our special date. We had a dinner shop at a fancy-schmancy steakhouse, obstenibly for Rob's "birthday," which isn't really 'til the end of the month.


They brought Rob out a special dessert for his birthday, and the server took our picture together with it. We had a really nice time, and dinner was absolutely perfect. It was the best visit we've had there so far. I absolutely love spending time with my husband, just the two of us. We had fun, lots of laughs, and I was just so happy that he was happy about his new phone. Makes me glad to make him glad, you know?

Photo(3) I ā™„ my Bob

After dinner, we went to the bar for a couple of drinks. Normally, there, I have the German chocolate martini, but this time I went for the pineapple upside-down one. Both are pretty damn good. Next time I think I'll have the mint chocolate martini - in a year when I'm eligible again. Of course, now I can only drink a sip or two and then I'm drunk - and done. Rob gets the rest, but it's nice to get a taste!

So that was Saturday. We were going to go get massages after dinner (for free!), but the place was closed when we left the restaurant. Bummer. Oh well, next time.

We went home to relieve Steph, so she could get home early and get to bed and off her feet to stop the painful BH contractions she's been having lately. Nobody better be having any preemies on my watch! The kids were just eating dinner when we got there (we'd gone to eat really early), so she helped get them fed before taking off. They went to bed shortly after, and Rob and I just played around with each other and our phones the rest of the night, not really accompishing anything. Oh, well.

Today was a lot of running. I'm so tired; I can't believe I'm still awake! I only got four hours of sleep or so before my phone woke me up with incoming text messages, and then Sophia was downstairs before I even shut my eyes again. Early.

But that was okay, because we had a fast-food breakfast shop again. So once the other two woke up, had a little something to eat and got dressed, we headed out for the day. We did that shop, and then we went to the library to return the 9 books they picked last week and rent out 10 more. I didn't get any new ones, because I'm still only four chapters into A Thousand Splendid ... oh, shit! I'm reading the Kite Runner, not that! Hahaha, I returned the wrong book. D'oh! Well maybe I can go switch 'em later in the week. Dummy. Ha.

Next, we headed out to Lynnhaven to do a pretzel shop at the mall there. I had a teensy-weensy bite (required) and split the rest amongst the kids. They were so thrilled to get the treat. I kind of forgot about lunch then, because Steph wanted us to come out and go the movies with her and her niece. So we got some gas and drove out to EBF to hang at her house for a while before the movie.

The kids started watching Night at the Museum, which we'd never seen before. Steph showed me how to do stove-popped popcorn, because I'd never learned. It was fun, except when we caught a potholder on fire! Hehe. I'm going to get some stuff and do it like that next time. Less waste!  The kids ate a ton of popcorn while I started teaching Steph how to crochet. She did really well with chaining and is now working on single crochet, which is going great, too. She's a fast learner!

Soon it was time to go to the movies. We loaded four kids and the crocheting into Vanna and headed to Greenbriar for the $1.75 movie at Cinema CafƩ. This was Night at the Museum II, which was really funny! We laughed a lot, Steph and I. The older two girls sat well and quietly, Jack was so-so, but Sophie was pretty restless until I let her play with apps on my iPhone. Thank God I thought of that, or I'd have had to take her out and have us both miss the movie we paid for.

Rob was home when the movie ended, so we said good-bye to Steph (whose husband, Tim, had joined her at the mall by that point) and headed home to Daddy. The drive took over an hour; traffic was so bad. I should have used the Traffic app on my phone to avoid that, but I didn't think of it. 20/20 hindsight...

So that's it until tomorrow, when the running begins again!


Fantastic Friday

Or something. Heh.

Well, I hadn't been getting any kind of sleep all week (we're talking up past 0500 and back up again as soon as the kids woke up between 0700-0900) and it showed. I was miserable, bitchy and out of sorts. Being stuck in the outrageously hot house with the kids who were misbehaving terribly didn't help, nor did my Thursday migraine.

But Thursday night, I managed at last to get some sleep, and it made all the difference in the world! Friday was, like, magical. It was just a fantastic day. {I have since resolved to take my sleeping pill after all, if I'm still not sleepy by 1 or 2 in the morning...}

Friday, we were all up before 0900, and I fixed the kids some breakfast. We hung out in the house, dying of heat, until 1100 when the pool opened. Then we hustled to don our bathing suits and sunblock before walking the half-dozen blocks to the pool.

Would that I'd brought my camera! Not that it would have made much difference, I guess, since I was involved in must of the kids' fun that day.  The kids were like natural waterbabies in the water for once! It was a great day for making pool progress:

ChloĆ«, who has always been s a major chickenshit when it comes to the pool, started jumping in from the side. Well, I use the term "jumping" lightly.  More like squatting down and falling in, but it was progress. And until now, all three of them have been clinging to the wall in the shallow water for dear life. Not anymore, now ChloĆ« comes about 10 feet out!

Jack, another chicken, also started walking away from the wall. This was HUGE for him. I would stand a foot away, and he would walk to me, and I'd back up and back up until he couldn't reach anymore. Then I'd pick him up and we'd start over. Eventually, he let me move out farther into the deep end and hold him underwater until he touched the floor. Even at 5+ feet we did this, which is about 3' down for him! Big step.

Sophia also came away from the wall as far as her big sister, and she let me start throwing her! I'd count to whatever number she told me to (usually she said, "Count to one two times, like this: 'one, one'," which amused me) and then throw her as high and far as I could. She would often dunk completely under and then come up laughing. It was great; we did that a lot.

So, big fun yesterday. We stayed for about two hours until the kids were hungry for lunch, and then I came home and cooked what they requested: scrambled eggs. They ate a ton of them, almost a whole carton! Must have really worked up an appetite at the pool.

By that point, I could see their sunburns starting to come out, even though we'd reapplied the lotion at the pool, so we stayed home for another couple hours to keep out of the strong mid-day rays. It was absolutely boiling hot in the house, though (no AC), so I agreed we could go back again at about 1630!

I was hoping Rob would get home, get his truck inspected and then join us, but neither of those things happened Friday. Instead, we swam for the second time on our own, having lots of the same fun we'd had earlier in the day, and he got home really late. When he finally texted me that he was home, we left to go see him.

He had some bad news: he didn't make Chief after all, and he had to stand watch overnight. Bah. He was really disappointed about the Chief thing, and I can't blame him. He's worked so hard for this, and it's natural to be discouraged. But, 2010 is another chance to do it all over again.


On the way home from the pool, the ice cream truck was rounding the corner. I normally buy the kids something from them once or twice a summer, but I hadn't yet this year. So when they started clamoring, as kids will do, I remembered suddenly that I happened to have a fiver in my wallet! I never do. Here you can see the ever-indecisive Chloƫ taking two lifetimes to pick her treat. They managed to spend exactly five dollars, too, which isn't necessary now that I see here in the picture that they take Visa. Shh, don't tell the kids that.


Of course, they must always sit outside when eating their ice creams, unless it's in a bowl. This pic is now my screensaver; it would be much better without the nice recycling bins in the background, huh? Note Sophie's classy choice of footwear. I guess she couldn't decide? That's my Soapy!


"Eat faster, Jack!!" This mess on Jack's hands was absolutely spoiling his fun! My kids are usually not fond of being messy, and they come by it naturally from their mama. I just wiped him down after with the pool towel and sent the three of them into the tub. Ah, much better, for all parties.


It was hot, and we had absolutely nothing else cold to drink. Yes, he really did drink the pickle juice. BLECK!!

After dinner, Rob took a little nap and we sent the kids to bed. Oh, Sophia had passed out shortly after the second pool trip. {It was an adorable scene, which I'd be happy to show you except she was nakey and I don't want her little hiney out for random strangers on the internet, y'know?} So she never had dinner, and we were going to leave her there, in the middle of the living room, 'cept she woke up right around 2200 when The Mister was leaving for work. Augh.

So she and I hung out all evening, me coaxing her to go to bed, she insisting she wasn't tired. She often tells me, "I want to sleep all day and play all night!" Where she got that, I don't know, but I completely relate.

In the end, we fell asleep together in the living room, both naked and curled up with each other. It was sweet. I love her soft, sweet tush and her blond waves against my face (her hair goes curly when it's humid, don'tcha know).


There was even a great package in the mail for me on Friday. The Loopy Ewe (an online yarn store) was having its 3rd anniversary sale in the form of a kit containing two hanks of a specially-dyed Lornas Laces colorway, a Loopy mug that Rob covets, and a Loopy carabiner measuring tape (I can always use more of those!) - so, I bit. I know, I'm not supposed to be buying yarn, but I loved the colorway and couldn't resist.


I mean, is that not seriously beautiful stuff there? I think I will actually make myself a pair of socks with it and wear them this winter. Oh yeah, because the kit came with a sock pattern specially for this yarn, too. We'll see. I'm not really a sock wearer...


Also, Stephanie reminded me that I never posted a picture of the finished Bandaid Blanket, which will go to wee Luke when he's born. I hadn't done so because I wanted to wait until I had crocheted on the edging, a simple 2 rounds of single crochet. What do you think? Does it look better finished than where it started? I think so.


I like it, in the end. It's hard to appreciate through a picture, though; way more than half the appeal is in the close-up details, which kinda get swallowed by the variegation, and in the texture, which is faaaabulous. (It's Artyarns Ultramerino 6 or 8, I forget which.) So I'm hoping she likes it!

Best part of the day, though? I didn't yell. Not even once. ā˜ŗ


Her Mother's Daughter


First, a special hello to Dion-le-mont, Brabant, which I gather is in Belgium. Hello! I see you reading all the time and thought I'd welcome you here. Say hi if you wish.


Sophia had a bit of a rough night, sleep-wise. She used to be an excellent sleeper, waking up in the late morning and then taking long afternoon naps, but I'm afraid that's long since gone by the wayside. Last night, she and her mother both stayed up all night. I fear for her. It's an awfully tough life, not being able to sleep at night. She's far too young to be doing that.  This was her at five in the morning.


I didn't know she'd been up all night, quietly playing in her room, until she came down at five and put her hand on her arm. She scared me half to death; I screamed bloody murder! Which made her stare at me like I was nuts... Poor thing. At that point, I heated her up some milk to try and help her sleep. I didn't know what else to do; it was too early to call someone. Around six, Rob came down to get ready for work, and he carried her back to bed. Finally, she slept, but only 'til about 10:30.  Tonight, though, she crashed immediately. Phew.


I got a lot of work done during my all-nighter. First, I pulled out some rough wool that I'd bought at MD Sheep and Wool last year. I'd originally bought it to make thick socks for Rob, at his request, but I just don't terribly enjoy making socks! So I started a diaper soaker in crochet. Unfortunately, it's charcoal-colored, so you can barely see the pattern... and I'll probably wash it (and felt it) to make it softer. Steph, if you want this for your wee babe-to-bee when it's finished, be my guest.

When I got sick of the rough wool and somewhat simple, boring construction, I started knitting. I wanted something a bit more complicated and challenging, so I chose the above baby blanket in cables and lace.  That yarn was donated to me by Artyarns. What do you think of it? The texture itself is divine, as is anything by Artyarns, but the colorway? Kinda makes me gag. It looks like a giant band-aid. Rob doesn't hate it, so I'm wondering if it's just me. Maybe it'll look better, too, when the thing is all finished and not so squunched up on the needles. I can't wait to see, but this is going to be a project long in the making. I've been working on it off and on all day, but it's going to take many more hours than that.


All life is beautiful, in Sophie's mind. I love that about her. She may follow in her mom's footsteps and become a biologist! Today, her obsession was with roly-poly pill bugs. She was in and out of the backyard all day, collecting them, showing them to me, and then dropping and losing them on the carpet. I didn't enjoy that part of it, so I kept ordering her to put them back outside! I don't mind bugs, but I don't want them in my house.

She and Chloƫ had a run-in last night, which caused Chloƫ to fall into one of the squared wooden posts surrounding our office. Her elbow swelled up huge and had a big cut across it. Ice really didn't help. This morning, the swelling was even greater, and it was extremely tender to the touch. So I called Rob to come home and take her to the ER, to make sure it wasn't broken or something. Which sucked, because today was Field Day at school, and she'd been looking forward to it for weeks.

They were gone, and Sophie was sleeping, so I took Jack in hand ("Why, Mom?" He's too grown) and walked him down to the bus stop. He didn't stay by me at all, preferring to run around with the other kids his age and forget that I existed. I called out a good-bye to him when he was lining up for the bus, but he didn't look at me or answer. Finally, just before he stepped up into the bus, he looked at me, smiled a small smile, and waved a quick wave. I was overjoyed. He loves me. I know he does. The little stinker.

At last, Rob called with the news that ChloĆ«'s elbow was just badly bruised, not broken. That was a relief. I wasn't looking forward to the annoyance of a cast all summer, for her.  He brought her home to get her things, and he whisked her back off again to play some field games. We forgot to put sunscreen on her, I just realized. Crap.



I took a break from the band-aid blanket to sew in the ends of the little sockies. Sophie claimed them right away, so I let her model them. I don't love the pattern in practice as much as I liked it in the pictures. The ankles are far too wide. I'd change that the next time. Though these are made of ultra soft merino (Artyarns Ultramerino 4 in blue and KPPPM in green), I plan on just throwing them in with the regular wash to see what happens.  Maybe they'll fit better. They are cute.

So the kids came home, exuberant from the fun at Field Day. Although Jack was instantly cranky, as he always is when he's hungry and tired, and barely ate any lunch. I sent him for a nap (that's a boy who still needs lots of sleep), and he was gone for hours. Chloƫ enjoyed her day, and now there are just four left before school is out. Yay! No more homework for the rest of the year.

We tried to watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 after bedtime, but the DVD wouldn't play. Grr. Back to Netflix it goes. So we started Harold & Kumar - Guantanamo Bay (I forget the actual title), but about 20 minutes in, I needed to sleep. So far, so funny!

Another busy weekend for us, so I better get some more sleep...


Sew What


I finally finished the baby blanket this morning. Well, I finished up all the crocheting last night while catching up with the DVR, but I did the seaming this morning.


The banket is almost perfect, but I left one tiny little mistake in it that I didn't catch until it was all finished. It goes along with the "only God can make perfect things" thing that I love.


I plan on crocheting a sweet little outfit to coordinate with this, but in the meantime, I have begun sewing.

Today wasn't that exciting for the kids. We watched lots of Veggie Tales while Mommy played the coupon game some more. Harris Teeter is going to be tripling coupons tomorrow, and I'm going to be getting tons of stuff we can use for free or almost-free.  I'm so excited, I can't stand it. I'm a dork, I know.

We're getting tired of the same half-dozen Veggie DVDs over and over (well, we haven't watched them in a while, but still), so I was glancing around on eBay to see what else was out there.  I found a discount coupon for movies and music, and then I realized I had an eBay gift certificate in my Paypal account from, like, a year or two ago...! So I ended up getting three new DVDs for practically nothing. A couple bucks, maybe. Sweeeeet.

But you don't care about that. You want to know what I spent the evening doing, yes? I'll imagine you saying yes.


Sewing! It's back! I'm doing it! The sewing machine was verrah dusteh.

I was reminded of a few things while getting from point A to point thing-on-the-door-above.  One, I hate ironing. Loathe it. And I hate that it's always called "pressing" in sewing. What on earth is the difference between ironing and pressing?

Two, I hate cutting out the patterns and fabric. I wish I could just buy the pieces pre-cut and immediately start sewing them up. Rob thinks there is a market for that and that I should fill the need, but hello! I don't like doing it for myself, so I don't want to do it for anyone else!

 Three, I love my seam ripper. 'Nough said. I don't know how many times (well, probably three, because that's all the times I've done sleeves) I've sewed my sleeve opening shut. Tonight, I did it again. Dammit.

It's not looking so bad though, I don't think? Definitely too big (this one's Chloƫ's), but she'll grow eventually. And if not, Sophie will. I'm too tired to finish it tonight, but I will do it tomorrow and then start on the jammie shorts. I totally meant to make them pants, but whoops! Swish, swish went the scissors, right through the pattern, making them shorties. Oh, well.

And now, I sleep.


I Get Around

Argh. I've tried to write this post umpteen times, but either IE or TypePoop keeps eating it.

Let's try one more time. (Maybe it's the internet gods' way of telling me I'm too verbose?)

The last two days have been busy.

Monday, FIL woke me up to get the kids ready for school, and then he walked them down to the bus stop. In the rain. They really enjoyed that. The accompaniment, not the rain.

When Sophie woke up later, she was full of hugs for her grandpa. They cuddled and played, and he listened while I read her stories. She read along, anticipating the words. My bet is she'll be reading before she turns five. I hope so. Grandpa took pictures while she did her morning yoga - she's getting good at it and has out-performed Chloƫ on a few poses!

When Rob came home around 1300, Sophie and I took a trip to Walgreens. I had been playing the coupon game all morning, figuring out their sales and specials, Register Rewards deals, and my own coupon stash. I'll spare you the minor details (unless you're really dying to know), but in the end, I got way more than half my stuff for free and saved about 136 bucks! Go me! 

I had warned the cashier ahead of time that I was about to be a royal pain in her butt, but she kept her smile on the whole time. Not so the customers behind me, but I don't care, because I was saving mucho dinero!

When Chloƫ came home from school, she was all about her Disney Hannah Montana MixStick, which I'd won for her at Bunco. Great prize! Rob loaded a bunch of music onto it for her, and she shared with the other kids as they rocked out to some kid tunes. Fun stuff.

I drove her to Tap class, so Rob and his dad could hang out together with the Littles. While she danced, I crocheted on that same baby blanket. I'm working on the edging now, and it takes forever. Of course, if I had a mind to, I could knock it out in one evening... but I don't have a mind to. I rather work on my digi-scrapping when I'm home and do the crocheting when I have to sit in the car otherwise twiddling my thumbs. Y'see?

Rob cooked an excellent dinner for his father and family, which FIL really enjoyed. The kids ate a great dinner, because they'd had the promise of the S'mores for which I'd bought the parts at Walgreens. (Free marshmallows, free chocolate, grahams on sale and with a coupon!) Jack ate two S'mores and wanted a third! Ha, fat chance there, Buster. Sophie - my little piggy girl - couldn't even finish hers. Shocking, and I'm not even being remotely sarcastic.

The kids said good-night and good-bye to Grandpa after that, as he left in the wee hours the following morning before they got up for school. They asked about him all day and have been missing him like crazy. There may have been a few tears.

Yesterday was on-the-go, too. It wasn't too busy during the day, because all I did was beg and plead and cajole the Littles to go upstairs and clean. To not much avail. I tried to get Chlo to clean the living room toys, but she was so dawdly. And I didn't work on the mess of a kitchen at all, so the place was just looking splended when Stim arrived at 1845 to babysit. Oh, well. It was clean while FIL was here, and that's what counts.

Rob didn't get home from work for another half hour after they got here, because he had some ... issues. It was a really, really tough day for him. And that's all I can say about that.

When he got home, he quickly dressed to go out, and then we hit the road. First, I had to do a couple of Sonic shops. Apparently they are testing a new company out, because... well, I probably shouldn't say anything more about it. They went easily and quickly, and Rob gained some food for today's lunch from that. Onto the big kahuna.

We dined at Mahi-Mah's on the oceanfront. It was superb, as usual. I'd made a major flub on a report for that mystery shopping company a year or two ago and have been locked out of doing assignments for them ever since. Rob asked me about it a month or so ago, so I humbled myself, sending a couple of grovelling emails about deserving a second chance, and they ended up agreeing and taking me back. I'm really excited, because they have the best shops out there, pretty much. And I'll never make that gaffe again!

We came home to find Steph sound asleep on the couch. She's about 16 weeks pregnant now and doing just fine. Thanks for keeping her in your thoughts! Tim was up, though, and had fiddled with my computer (at my request) to try and diagnose some of the problems I've been having with IE8.  He's my computer guy, y'know. Steph slept a while longer while the guys talked shop, and she looked awful (sorry, hon) when she woke up. She's been having those pregnancy migraines I used to get, too, so I feel her pain. And there's not a whole lot you can do about it when you're in the family way!

So that's that. I didn't sleep a single wink last night and am now dragging ass. I was supposed to go do a lunch shop with Linda from Bunco, but there's no way I could have gone today. We'll go tomorrow, I hope. I have to see my shrink, Dr. Pal, for more bipolar meds this afternoon, and he's right around the corner from dance class, so I guess I'm stuck bringing the girls with me to the appointment. Oh well, for their two hours I can either snooze or crochet, I s'pose.

Right now, Jack is lounging around on the top of the dress-up box (it's cushioned), watching Noggin and wearing his winter gloves. It's 85Āŗ outside, but he loves those things. Silly kid.


Miscellaneous Weekend Schtuff


So Friday (or maybe Thursday, I forget), I made these name bracelets for the kids with the beads I bought at the Beads & Rocks store down at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. The girls love theirs and wear them all the time (when they aren't lost), but Jack was completely ungrateful about his. I can understand that - he is a boy - but it hurt my feelings. I thought he might like to have it, but he pitched a fit and cried about it. So I sent him to his room, which made him cry some more. Oh well, too bad so sad.

Friday night, we got out of here very late (thanks to Rob's pre-Chief stuff at work) and made the 2-hour drive down to Corolla in North Carolina's Outer Banks. I was supposed to check into the hotel by 2100, but I took a crazy wrong turn and got super lost. I was in Nag's Head before I realized my mistake, so we didn't get there until almost 2130. Seems my report was accepted anyway, so that's good.

Everyone was starving by the time we arrived, so I quickly did the room and hotel portions of the shop, and then we went off to get some grub. Only, it's still not the "season" yet down there, so everything was still closed! I expected things to be open by May, but nope. So we went to the little convenience store in the hotel and stocked up on gross microwave food. Oh well, it served the purpose.

Everyone went to bed after that, but I couldn't sleep for anything. Even though I took my meds, I was wide awake until about 0500. That sucked. I begged a muffin from the breakfast lady, even though it wasn't open for another hour, and went to the room and read the paper before finally sacking out.  Everyone else got up around 0800, and my loving husband left me sleeping while he did the breakfast part of the report. I got up around 10or 11, so we packed up, showered, and left the room for check-out.

The hotel clerk said we could stay and use the pools (three!) and beach access as long as we wanted, and we wanted. We floated around the pools and used the hot tub until about 1400, and Sophie "swam" the entire length of the pool and back while sitting in an inner tube. Both the older kids tried and failed after she did that!


Soo... we drove home, but I stopped at the Harley store in Kitty Hawk, so Rob could add another t-shirt to his massive HD shirt collection. Even though he drives a BMW bike. Well, has a BMW bike...


The kids and I waited in the van for what seemed like ages while he shopped for just the right shirt. Luckily we had cold water from the cooler and toys to keep them busy. (This was before several things conspired to keep our money from us, like the hotel putting an unauthorized hold on our checking account, and Rob losing his card...) We had stopped in Duck (love that name) to shop for Bunco prizes. I found a few nice things, and some for the kids, too:


A gyrowheel for Sophie, which everyone just loves playing with


A slinky for Chloƫ, and a toy VW bus for Jack. He hasn't put it down yet, hardly!


While they played, I watched the bikers rev around the parking lot in an effort to intimidate me (or so I imagined!) and sent Rob multiple texts to hurry up!

Anyway, we got home around 5, and Rob worked on his truck while the rest of us played outside and kept him (and our next-door neighbor) company.

The next day was Sunday. Mother's Day. Always bittersweet for me, being a motherless daughter. But I still managed to have a good day. I slept late, received my sweet cards from the kids, checked my email, and then went back to take a long nap! I really caught up on some sleep, and it felt good when I woke up. I lost more weight, so I'm down nearly 82 lbs now.  I spent the rest of the day crocheting a baby blanket and watching the three-hour finale of The Apprentice. Which was eh, okay. From the middle of the season, I knew Annie Duke would be in the final, and I wasn't impressed with either her or Joan Rivers. (What a bitch!) It would have kicked ass if Jesse James won. Whatever. I still love that show.

Today was pretty boring.  I did a bunch of laundry while the kids cleaned their rooms,  drove the kids to ChloĆ«'s Tap class while Rob took the truck to get inspected (it failed, so I still can't get my m-f-ing van back) ... and I crocheted the blanket while we sat there. It's almost finished:


I just have two rounds of the edging, in the pink, to go and should finish tonight.

Well, dinner's ready (Schwan's stuffed shells), so I'm going to go eat a bite or maybe two.

Hope you're having a decent week.


P.S. I found out today that Jack has been recommended for promotion to first grade after all! (We'd been talking about retention.) Rob and I have talked about it, and we think we're going to give it a try. He made need extra special services, but if that's the case, so be it. Go, Jack!

P.P.S. Congratulations, Tabitha! Her sweet baby girl, Lily, was born this afternoon. I can't wait to see her!

Operation Dishcloth: COMPLETE


Rob horsing around with Sophie and Jack


The latest, and I think the last, ornament to arrive for our exchange. Definitely my favorite! A little felt and embroidery owl. So cute, already treasured. I'm definitely doing this again next year!

I'm kind of in the doldrums this weekend. I don't know why. I'm hoping it's not a meds thing. It's not the holidays; they don't make me glum even though my grandma died on the 23rd about... oh, wow, it's been almost a decade. I think I'm feeling kind of lonely. It just seems like everyone is so busy, and when I'm not, they've no time to talk to me.

So today, I threw myself into "my work." I picked up five shops for today and took the family along for four hours of tramping through Hampton Roads to get them done, along with some other errands.

First we ran to the grocery store to get more Cottonelle wipes (have you tried them? Way better than TP IMO) and some cash for the shops. I sent Rob in while I waited outside in the van with the kids.

Then, because my oil was down to a "6," which means, I don't know, but when it gets below 20 I really start getting nervous... uh, we went and got me an oil change. The oil guy was cute and authoritative, which I liked, so of course Rob kept making fun of him. We giggled and laughed in the car together. Oil Guy tried talking me into $100+ worth of extras that I probably would have agreed to if I were alone, so I'm glad Rob was there to pinch me and tell me they weren't necessary.

The first shop was at a Wawa about ten feet away from there. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes, but still long enough for Rob to be snoozing in the front seat. I had to buy a Jr. Hoagie for the shop, and we were all so hungry that Rob shared it amongst the five of us. Delish! We all wished we had more, but...

... we were headed to an IHOP out in Norfolk for another shop. Three people walked in behind us, an the man brushed past me and strode up to the podium, waiting for someone to appear to seat him. He was knocking on the podium, looking around all erratically, and then gave his seating preference info when someone showed up! I went over and said, "Excuse me, we were here first, and there are five of us," but they still got seated first. Then, of course, I was seated directly facing them, and they glared over throughout the meal. Too bad that doesn't count for anything in the report! It made me uncomfortable and annoyed, though.  And my chicken was tough, so there.

Time was running short, so we raced back out to Virginia Beach, where I did two more Wawa shops in the space of 25 minutes. They were all about the same, so I was glad I'd brought along three different colored pens to keep them straight.

Then we had to head way down past the Farmer's Market so I could do an hourlong audit (not a mystery shop) at a pizzeria. I had to take lots of pictures, interview the employees, and check virtually everything in the restaurant for safe and consistent practices. My back was killing me when I finished, but it paid really well, so I'm glad I took the job.

Our last stop was the post office, so I could mail my friend Nicole's tutu. Yay, another sale. Now, what am I going to do with the rest of the the three bags full? (Isn't that a nursery rhyme?) Rob's grand idea: "Sell 'em!" Gee, I hadn't thought of that, dear.

Back at home, I uploaded my shop pictures while Rob took the kids out to the backyard, such as it is, to play with Jack's Cadillac. That only lasted a half-hour, and then it was dark. Suddenly, I was winded and needed a nap. My catnap turned into several hours of crazy dreams, and I was annoyed to lose that much day. I still needed to go out and get some printer ink, but it's too late now. Tomorrow, I suppose. Always tomorrow.

Last, but not least, I set to work watching TV and making the last of the 50 commissioned dishcloths. I'm finished! It was such a relief and has taken me, what?  A month? I never expected it to take me that long, but I guess I don't often have 50 waking hours to string together, and when I do, I like to putter online.  So I'll call the lady tomorrow and hopefully get them out of my hands and cash in.


Here's what 50 crocheted dishcloths look like, ends all sewn in and pointing the same way. Now they're bagged up handsomely in the shopping bags I purchased for craft shows.

I don't know what to make next! I'm itching to knit something, I'm itching to scrap and finish my 2008 book, I'm itching to bake, I'm itching to clean this house! (Yeah, believe it.) Guess we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings!


Friday Finds

I got sick of all the crocheting yesterday (by the way, I cleaned off my desk at night and found the lady's phone number... phew!) and decided to get up and make some banana bread with the Non-Twins while Chloƫ was at school.

The first recipe I found in my little box of tricks had mayonnaise as a major ingredient. Gross. I don't care how moist that makes the bread (and I leave that up to the bananas, thanky), mayo just does not belong in a sweet treat. *Toss*

Finally, I found a good version, and off we went.


The Littles did a great job taking turns adding ingredients. Every time I turned around, they'd have their hands in the bowl, licking ingredients (yum, flour), but it was fun doing something for just the three of us. They begged and begged (Jack) for chocolate chips in the bread, like last time, so I relented. I have three big bags in the cupboard, anyway.


Jack, licking his fingers after yet another big bowl dive.


Our finished product! It looks so much nicer now that I've bought actual loaf pans. And it was sooo good. The Littles filled up on bread and then had themselves a nice nappykins for their effort.


Check out those killer legs! Not mine, I'm afraid - Sophie's! Whilst the baking was underway, two packages arrived from Grandma in Missouri.  I peeked through one box for treasures, deciding which to give when, but Sophia spied these flipper-floppers and had to have them right away! She wore them all over the house, and now they are added to the dress-up treasure box. They also each found the two books that were packed inside, and off they went to sit and read.


Isn't he CA-YUTE?!! I signed the kids up (which means me) for an ornament exchange on a craft blog. Eight of us per group need to send a homemade ornament to the other seven in our group by... Monday. I haven't done it yet, but the first two arrived yesterday. I love this one! It's wool felt and wonderful; the little hat comes off. It's so soft and perfect. Thank you!


The second ornament is a little homemade bread dough guy. Also very cute, and definitely more of the quality I was expecting! It will be cherished.


The Cake Leveler I won from the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival arrived, too! It looks like exactly what I need and is basically a giant version of the cheese slicer we have. I'm excited to use it!


Finally, I received this handmade thank-you card from my friend Nicole, for whom I made a dish towel recently. That's the gift I wanted to post but couldn't because she reads. I love my card and will cherish it! Homemade is the best!


Le Towel

Nicole, if you could let me know how it holds up for you, that would be great. I use this design almost exclusively for dishcloths and towels, and it'd be good to know if it didn't work out so well!

Okay, off to edit some pictures for the Saturday post.



Despite the emotional high from finding out about Stephanie's impending motherhood, I managed to get everything on my checklist finished today.

I woke up around 0530 (thanks to Rob making a ruckus while getting ready for work) and couldn't get back to sleep. So I farted around online a little, crocheted a little, watched TV a little, until it was time to get the Bigs up for school.

While they dressed and ate breakfast, I cooked the stuffing for Chloƫ to take to school for her Thanksgiving feast. (I found out later that the gym teacher was a guest at their feast and ate it all!) Bundled them up, and off they went.

I slept for a couple hours, until Jack returned from school. Then I sat with him, watching TV and crocheting until Barbara came in, set the dog to barking her head off, and woke Sophia up. Which was fine; it was 1100 by then and she'd have woken up on her own about then anyway.

Barbara was a little earlier than I'd expected, so Jack and I cleaned up the rest of the living room toys, and the three of us went upstairs. I made some phone calls (No, my insurance hasn't sent back approval yet for the surgery; Yes, I'm in our dance studio's craft show; No, the dentist office isn't open to make our appointments), picked up the bedroom a bit with the Littles' help, and took a shower.

We dawdled up there until it was time for Chloƫ to come home (they only had a half-day today, so it wasn't long) and then met her out by the van. Rob was on his way home from work, too, so I thought we'd go run a few errands and then meet him back here at the house.

My first stop, naughty me, was the Wendy's around the corner for a Sprite. I was thirsty, craving the carbonation, and happened to have a dollar and change in my purse. Oh, Sprite. Giving up carbonated beverages is going to be THE most difficult thing about having the surgery, for me.

After that, I realized I couldn't do my errands without Rob after all, because I'd lost my check card and had been using his until he needed it for gas today. We drove home so I could check the mail and see if my replacement card was in the box, but it wasn't. I was just getting back in the car when he pulled up. Serendipity! Once he changed clothes, we were on the go again.

We headed to Wachovia to deposit the rest of the Fall Product money due to our council and watch the box go zip-zip through the tubes. The rest of the day, we kept saying, "Hey, there's another Wachovia!" "Look, another Wachovia!" Turns out, they're everywhere around here. Who knew? I have options.

Then we ran across the street to our bank to deposit another mystery shopping check.

Back in the other direction, we went to a third bank to see about getting the new troop leader and myself, as Treasurer, listed as check signatories or whatever. Signals, I don't know. I couldn't do that without the missing letter from the council giving us permission, but Nikki has misplaced that. I could, however, deposit all of the troop's candy money and dues, so I did. I certainly don't want to hold onto the money any longer than I have to.

The kids were sick of banks by this point, so we changed directions again and ran to the Service Unit Fall Product Chair's house to drop off the final report for or troop's sales. That's where I kept having to go, time and again, to pick up everyone's orders - at least 8 times. Jack piped up from the back seat, "How come we keep coming to this house?!" Hopefully that'll be it for a while.

Next, we headed down the road some more to the DMV, to try and get Rob's motorcycle permit. Only, it was deserted, and the office was closed. What the? Guess they took an early hollerday. We'll try again on Friday, mayhaps.

Continuing up the road, we went to Walgreen's for my Side-Effexor rx, and yes, I picked up the highest-dose iron pills they had. I also snagged five Webkinz Cares Lil'Kinz for stocking stuffers and gifts for the kids' various exchanges, happy to have found five we don't already have after being away from Walgreen's for so long.

Way back in the other direction, because it's the only post office location I know, we mailed a couple of packages. Nicole, heads up!

By this point, everyone was starving, so we went and did Barbara-Day lunch at Panera. Everyone got their usual, and mm, as Sophia would say, it was "scrumptious!" Everything is scrumptious lately. Jack, or maybe Soap, complained that we didn't have dessert, but you know what? There isn't always dessert. Especially not at lunchtime. Deal.

Barbara had to be finished by this point, so we headed home. Rob quickly put the Nons down for naps and was sound asleep himself before Chloƫ and I left for her dance class a little while later.

I was going to do my shopping at A.C. Moore while she was in class, but the day suddenly caught up to me, and I decided to snooze instead. It was cold, though, and I was in short sleeves. I slept fitfully and was glad when the hour was up.

She and I went to the store together afterward. We picked up the rest of the yarn I would need - at 20% off, so I'll make a bigger profit than I planned! - and a few other things. I got a 2009 calendar for a dollar for the office. A bunch of yummy-smelling tarts for the tart burner for 79Ā¢. Notepads to go with those kooky pens the kids will give out for their teacher gifts, for 80Ā¢ apiece. Ornament kits for the online ornament exchange I signed the kids up for, for really cheap. Only Chlo will be able to help me make them, but that's okay. The other kids will still enjoy getting theirs in the mail.

The mail brought a few kids' movies, so the kids have been watching those ever since we got home. Garfield: A Tail of two Kitties was eh, annoying with a few chuckles thrown in, and The Wild, I didn't really pay enough attention to, but they did.

Also in the mail was the huge box of Gymboree clothes I just ordered, some clothes for this season and a lot of clothes, especially for the eldest child, for next year. The clearance sale was really good; I couldn't avoid it.  Jack and ChloĆ« tried on all their clothes so I could see what fits now and what will fit better in a year, and poor Sophie only got one little (but uber-cute) t-shirt that I found for practically free.

Finally in the mail was Rob's latest monthly shipment of his Beer of the Month club. One of the selections is blueberry flavored! That should be interesting. He's about three months behind on drinking all the beer, so we've got tons of it stacked up in the foyer. I'm really tired of it and keep trying to get him drunk, but he's past those days. Darn.

I'm going back to crochet until I either pass out or decide to get up and make the pies for tomorrow.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, everyone! Even you Canucks, enjoy your day. ;)


Tell Me A Story

The busyness didn't start, really, until Chloƫ came home from school. I was still tired and weak-feeling all day, so it was defintely a Noggin day for the kids. Finally, I pulled myself up and got into the shower, which I should do earlier, because it helps wake me up.

Today was Brownies. Fall Product money is due, which is why it's slightly irritating that three mothers called in orders today... but on the other hand, I'm glad the troop will be making more money. As long as they have their money in on time (but judging from the way ordering has gone...), I don't care.

Anyway, Brownies. I had to bring the receipt book and a money envelope and wear two hats, both as Fall Product chair and treasurer, as we're finally getting around to collecting some troop dues. Only two moms have paid dues and our leader doesn't seem concerned about getting the rest to pay, so I guess that will fall on my shoulders to chase everyone down, too. Oy. Well, whatever, we have enough money in the account, so it's good.

Geez, I didn't realize I was just going to come here and bitch. Sorry!

So the Nons and I stayed in the far end of the room while the Girls did their thing. Jack brought a car along, as he is wont to do, and Sophia just chased him around and giggled. I sat and crocheted on a dishcloth, as I've only gotten about 7 or 8 done out of the fifty!

When we were leaving Brownies, another mom reminded me that tonight was Family Night at the school Book Fair. Oops, I'd forgotten to check my Palm all day and would have completely neglected to go. Of course, both Jack and ChloĆ« chimed up about how they just had to go, that it was ChloĆ«'s homework, and Jack wanted a toy (not), so there was no avoiding it. Not that I would have, it just threw another wrench into my plans to get back home and do nothing. ā˜ŗ

The Book Fair was packed, but somehow I managed to find the perfect parking spot near the sidewalk. We ran into lots of people we knew, and the art teacher who signed us in told me what a great job Chloƫ is doing in art class this year. As a scientist, it's not my number one priority - although I definitely support the arts - but I'm always thrilled to hear that sort of thing! Not that I'm trying to turn her into a scientist; she can be whatever she wants, but it pains me to see her struggling with math!

Where was I?

Right, books. Jack was all about getting a toy, until finally I stopped and said, in the middle of the library and crowd, "Jack, I am NOT here to buy toys, I am here to buy books!" Lots of people looked over and smiled, so I knew they understood my struggle.

Our first goal was to buy a book to donate to each of the kids' classrooms, as we do every year. We quickly found those, and then I decided to let each of my kids pick a book. That turned into two books, as they all found lots they wanted, and how am I going to turn down books? After they picked theirs, the first door prize drawing was held... and the winner is... Chloƫ O! Yay, she won one of her books for free! Too bad it was a $5 limit or I'd have bought her the really cool $20-something raised atlas book she was hankering after.

Finally we got around to the adult books (I'm talking cookbooks, people, not p0rn), and I quickly spotted a cupcake decorating book. Hello, color me happy! I snagged that but nothing for Rob. I just couldn't find anything I thought would be up his alley.

Eventually I managed to wrangle my brood and get us over to the cashier to pay for our, oh, 9 books. I guess that's not so bad; I spent less than $50, and it is books. They were all ringing bells whenever anyone donated to Relay for Life, and since my children were dying to ding the bells, I had to pull out some change for each of them to put into the bucket. Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding! Everyone knew my kids were there, that's for sure!

Principal T (see how I'm getting savvier about not using everyone's name, so they can't Google my blog and see what I said about them? Hee) was there, and greeted Jack and Chloƫ. He loves Chlo, and she him, but Jack seems to be oblivious to him and his function in the school still, at this point. I know him enough to joke around with him, from my PTA Board days of last year, so it's always nice to run into him.

The third order was being rung into my phone as we were leaving, so I hustled the kids out into the chilly air and back to the van as quickly as I could.  Called voicemail for the message, called back and took the order, called the "cupboard" to place the order, all the while the kids were actually silent in the back. Never happens. They have terrible "be quiet while Mom's on the phone" manners. I was thankful.

I remembered Jack needed to bring in canned carrots tomorrow for his class feast next week, but I really didn't feel like going to the store with three kids in tow at this point, so I called Rob to do it. Check that off my list.

Only he didn't go. Bah.

We drove to the Post Office next, so I could ship the little sockies I made for my friend C.'s baby J.  Off they go! Back to crocheting.

Then we went back to our neighborhood to deliver the last five packages of Fall Product. I prayed that everyone was home, because tracking them down was getting old. They were! Rob found us and took Sophie home, but he left Jack with me because he was sound asleep.

All of our money is now in, and I'm glad for that. Now it's just a short two months until we start selling cookies. Oy. But at least I've had good practice for how things will go, and I think I've done a pretty good job of running things and keeping on track. I'm nervous about the money collections, but it's not entirely on my back if they don't pay, so...!

We went home, and then finally Rob went out to the store (the whole point was for him to go earlier while we were both out, so I could get a break when I got home, but whatev) and to Subway for dinner.

I fell asleep at the beginning of ER and woke up during Conan, so now I'm wide awake. Guess I'll get back to my stitching until I can doze again.



Manic Monday


I stayed up last night doing paperwork, catching up on the kids' school papers, and knitting the second of these little socks for my friend C's little baby. It's cold up North where they live, and she wanted something with long cuffs to help keep Baby from pulling them off. I hope these do the trick, C!

The yarn is the super-soft and squunchy KPPPM, aka Koigu Painters Pallette Premium Merino, which I think I mentioned the last time I showed the first sock. It's my first time knitting with it, although I have a small stash of it waiting to be used. Now, I can't wait to figure out what to make with the rest of it!

It's going to have to wait, though, since I have started on my next commission, the pile of 50 kitchen dishcloths for a customer at the big craft show earlier this month. I've only gotten one done today, but they go fast. Which is good, because so does my attention span.

Sophia and I had a quiet morning, as both of us were really tired. We snuggled on the couch, and she dozed off on top of me for a little while; I dozed right back. I love holding a sleeping child. It's so rare now that they're not tiny babies, I've really got to soak up the warm fuzzies while I can get 'em!

In the afternoon, I tried to get up and be productive, since Sophia had more energy and Jack came from school in top form. He'd had a good day and was raring to go. I didn't really get anything of note done, but we made quite a mess in the living room doing it. It was a busy dress-up day for the girl and still all about the Escalade for the boy.

When Chloƫ came home, I realized I better get in gear, so I hustled everyone upstairs while I took my shower and got dressed. She dressed for tap class, and then we left. We sat at dance class the whole time, instead of running off to shop somewhere, so I could do some crocheting. I only stitched for the first half of the time, and then I fell asleep for the second half.

At home, Rob was there, so we gave over the Littles and then set off to deliver more Fall Product. {Both kids are behind in homework from being sick and traveling, so I  nixed the skating party. Neither even mentioned it.} Only a few people were home, but a neighbor who we'd delivered to the day before found us and came up to the van to buy more candy from us on the spot! So then, of course, I had to call up and order some more to replace it. Easiest sale ever.

When we hit all the houses, still missing a few who weren't home, we returned home to find dinner on the table. Rob made a hodgepodge of garlicky shrimp, spicy tomato rice, corn, and biscuits. The kids ate really well; everyone was hungry. During dinner, the Schwan's guy who we didn't expect until Thursday arrived. Rob was P-O'd that he came three days early during dinner time, but we accepted the shipment. Half of it was missing, so now I'm annoyed, too.

I went upstairs to tackle the enormous mound of laundry that has once again built up. I manage to fold one basket before I realized I had to go pick up the Fall Product that I'd ordered earlier in the evening. Oops. So that was the end of the laundry, although I'm awake now and may go work on it some more after this. My main objective is making sure the kids have enough undies and jammies in their drawers, and getting together Chloƫ's wardrobe for the photo shoot on Wednesday afternoon for Dollar Tree. I'm supposed to bring a lot of stuff.

So in my braless t-shirt and shorts - way inappropriate for the freezing weather but, like I said, I'm down on laundry - I ran to pick up the Girl Scouts stuff. I shivered repeatedly while I waited for her to do the paperwork, and then I high-tailed it back home. Hopefully, we can deliver the rest of the goodies tomorrow. She's two away from the next reward plateau, though, so maybe we'll sell some more to get there! (Or, uh, order it ourselves...)

I didn't feel like more laundry, so I sat down to watch TV and crochet, and I've been back and forth between there and here ever since. Rob never came down again after putting the kids to bed, so I'm all by my lonesome.

And I don't like it.

Think I'll go up and join. Even if it does mean doing laundry, tossing and turning in the bed, and using that dreaded CPAP. My insurance apparently covers a change in mask, so I think I'll go for it. Maybe it's the mask that I hate so much?

[Confidential to MIL: Thank you for the card. I cried, of course. You made my day.ā˜»]



Real fast, because I'm hosting the next two hours of our monthly crochet-a-thon for charity thing:

Check out the Daily MishMash, where Jen has MY Friday Eye Candy list published. See who is on my special list. Ahem, I'm talking to YOU, Rob. Who would be on your list?

The kids and I did a lot of laundry tonight, and I picked up our Fall Product order (have to go tomorrow and get more, though), went to the P.O. and mailed a tutu, and we had pizza and garlic knots for dinner. And cannoli for dessert. Yum!

Oh, and all the cupcakes are indeed gone. They didn't even last as long as the first batch! Think I'll wait a couple days before I make more. I have pictures but haven't uploaded them yet. They're not as special as the pink batch. In honor of my alma mater (U.Miami), I used orange and green frosting.ā˜ŗ I have some super-duper huge tips that I wanted to try out, instead of the smaller ones that work with the bag coupler thingies. Blah blah blah, the kids ate them all.

It was funny, because after Rob came home, he came upstairs to join me and Chloƫ in the bedroom, where I was folding clothes and she was running to put them away. Jack was asleep, and after greeting her father, Sophia disappeared downstairs.

She came up minutes later, with green frosting all over her face.

"Sophia," I giggled, "Did you enjoy your cupcake?"

She shook her head.

Daddy laughed and said, "Did you just eat a cupcake, Sophie?"

She said "no" and started wiping all the green frosting off onto her sleeve (*grimace*).

He kept grilling her, laughing all the while, as she furiously wiped away the frosting.

Turns out we were wrong! When he went downstairs later, he found a chair pulled up to the sink, where my cups full of used frosting still sat. She had eaten that out of the sink - even though they were filled with water!


Silly girl. I should just hand her the big bucket of icing, and a spoon.

As for Jack, he keeps pulling this most annoying maneuver: I'll put him and Soap down for naps, but they won't sleep. They'll bang through the walls and shout at each other. Finally, I'll give up and come get them. Jack will turn into a major crankypants, and I'll send him to his room to go clean it up. He'll have a meltdown, telling me he can't because  he's too tired. I'll say, "Fine, either clean your room, or go to sleep!" Within five minutes, he's out like a light.

Why doesn't he just sleep the first time, when I know he needs it?!! GAH.

Okay, this was longer than I meant. Back to the charity thing. And tell Rob to hurry up before I beat him to his cannoli.


Second Verse, Same As The First


Yesterday was the second craft show. I heard last year it was packed. This year, DEAD. It was so slow. I managed to sell three tutus, but two of them were to other vendors! Actually, one of those was only a trade, goods for goods I liked but probably would not have bought outright.

I had one family that I was SO SURE were a sale. The baby girl liked one particular tutu, the mama liked another, and the daddy liked a third. They tried on at least half a dozen of them. I offered to measure the baby and custom-make one for them. I offered to reduce the price if they bought more than one. I tried so hard! But in the end, they took my card and said they would be back after thinking about it... and never returned. That one sucked!

At least I had fewer people assume they were for doggies this week, but several did say, "I'm glad you put the picture of little girls up, I thought they were for dogs!" I really need to get my other business cards in, though, because people still think they're for teddy bears. Not that I care what they buy them for. Put it on your head and go talk to yourself in public, not my business. Just buy them!

To the first lady who bought a tutu, I offered the hairclips I made specifically to match it, and she bought those, too!

At least I made up the cost of my table. But I am really, seriously sweating the big CHKD show in a few weeks. The cost of that table is not $20 but $125!!!! AND I have to provide a gift basket to be given away! I'm really praying hard about that one. I need to make up the money. Cross your fingers for me!

I did get another tip about a dancewear store, and I called up on it later in the day. She's interested! She wants to take half of what they sell for, so I'm going to have to increase the price of the tutus I put in her shop, but I do already sell them for the cheapest price I've seen for the quality I'm making them, so I'm not too worried about that. I sent her pictures of them last night and hope to hear from her this week.

Jim from the rocks and beads shop was my table neighbor, the one who traded with me for his little granddaughter.  He's a 61-year-old who owns four stores, two here, one in Richmond and one in *ahem* Berkeley, CA. A cool, old guy, if a bit odd. When it was slow, and it was always slow, he would come up to me and make comments about people to make me laugh. I'd be sitting there, all earnest and ready to go, and then I'd hear him say, "That lady has a really big ass...  but it looks good on her!" or "Why are 14-year-olds wearing push-up bras? I don't even like that on 30-year-old women, let alone little girls!" Had to agree with him, on both counts...

Finally, near the end, Rob and the kiddos showed up. The girls were in leotards as I'd asked, but I had hoped for them to show up some four hours earlier to model the tutus. By the time they got there, it was all but over.

Chloƫ was very excited about her visit from the tooth fairy the night before. They all came up to me, running and calling my name to the delight of the other vendors, and she shoved her bag of quarters in my face to show me her toothy bounty. She wanted to spend it at my table! She asked if she could buy a tutu, but I told her, sorry, honey, you don't have enough! She wanted to buy a tea towel and dishcloth set (hehe), but again, not enough. (I should have just sold them to her; she'd be my one and only sale for them!)

So I pointed out the hair clips and told her that normally I sell them for $2, but FOR HER ONLY, they would be $1 if she wanted to buy a pair. She carefully considered all of the options and finally selected a cute turquoise set with bows and buttons. We put them in her hair, and she admired herself happily in the mirror. Then she put on a tutu and danced around the church for a while, again, to everyone's delight (most of the women were older).

Eventually, she came up to me and said, "What else can I buy from you, Mom?"

I laughed and said, "Honey, you don't have any more money!"

She looked at me like I was born yesterday and said, "Moo-omm, FOR ME, what's free?"

I cackled hard and loud and then called my MIL to relate the story.

{She really wants to buy a tutu, but I do plan on making the girls special ones for their dress-up box, for Christmas at the latest.}

It was early yet when we got home, but I wanted a nap. I'd had little sleep and was out of awakiness. Rob was going to take the kids to Mt. Trashmore to fly kites, but they all protested and didn't wanna! So everyone, in the end, took a nap.

I was disappointed that we overslept and missed church, for about the 150th weekend in a row, give or take. At least it's on my schedule now. We're working on actually getting back there... maybe next weekend.

Today was not exciting at all. I had to cancel a Barnes & Noble shop because I had a severe migraine all day, and lie down. Rob was great at keeping everyone either upstairs or hushed when they were down. I had the blinds drawn, and I was on the couch until about 6 PM. Finally, meds kicked in, and it was gone. Hallelujah.

We went to IHOP for a dinner mystery shop. The kids were loud and rambunctious, and I was glad the place was pretty empty! Everyone who was there was well aware that they all wanted smiley-face pancakes. They gobbled them down pretty quickly and then pointed out the sundaes on the kids' menus in front of them, too. Sophia wolfed down hers and ate some of daddy's dinner and dessert. ChloĆ« ate everything and Jack ate all but the dregs of his ice cream.

Why they eat more when we go out than when we're home is beyond me, but I've been trying a lot of different foods for them lately, and we've hit on a few they love (especially Schwan's chicken fries).

It was bedtime for them when we got home, so I did my report and then watched DHW and Brothers and Sisters while crocheting. Rob went up and fell asleep, for the third night in a row, so I'm bored and lonely.

The kids are back to school tomorrow, and I have yet to pull their fall clothes back out of the closet. It's about time. It feels like I just put them away, though!

Happy week, y'all.


Good Vibrations

It's been a day and a half.

I went back to sleep on the couch, after getting the big kids off to school, until I heard Sophia wake up (duh). Then instead of bringing her down, I brought her breakfast upstairs so I could color my hair, do some laundry and get ready to leave for Barbara Day.

Only, I got really into my rhythm of folding clothes and overdeveloped my hair. So now, instead of being a nice, deep auburn, it's... like... purple.

And then I was shaving my feet (ew) with my callous remover thingy, hacking along at things and getting off all the dead skin, when I went to the outside of my foot where I can't see and started navigating by feel. Only I didn't really change to more careful tactics and totally fileted myself. Blood was gushing everywhere. My hand was full of it, it was all over the bed, dripping into the floor.

I called out to Jack, who had come home by then and was playing elsewhere in my bedroom, to bring me some toilet paper, hurry, hurry!! Instead, he came to see what was the matter and, upon spying all of that blood, promptly burst into terrified tears. So I had to calm him first and then get him to fetch me something. He brought me wipes. Cottonelle wipes, for big people, not babies. Just sayin'. I soaked right through the first and went onto the next, and eventually used up seven. It was just not stopping.

Then Barbara came, and I sent Jack to ask if she had any band-aids. She did not. I told him to tell her I needed help. She came up, and I warned her I was not dressed, having just gotten out of the shower. She looked and gasped, and then rushed downstairs to find me some bandaids. Jack went and got them, and I tried to put them on, but they just kept soaking through.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Places to go, man, you know?? Plans.

So I called Rob, who told me to go to the ER. Psht. I don't need no stinkin' ER. I called my best friend, Dr. Lisa, who told me to go to the ER. Psht. I called my base clinic, who told me to go to the ER.

All right, I get it!

I sent the kids downstairs to get shod and then I wrapped things up as best I could and hobbled down the stairs. I told Barbara where I was going, and she asked if I was okay to drive. Did I want her to take me?

Um, okay, yeah, that would probably be best...

So I ended up bringing the Littles over to Satchi's house (nice Japanese neighbor-lady) while we headed to the hospital. Of course, you know, by the time I got there, the bleeding had temporarily stopped, and I felt like an idiot. But there was no wait, and I was whisked right in and taken care of.

They cleaned all the blood and brains and stuff off my foot (I have weird anatomy, whatever), put on triple antibiotic cream and wrapped it in about 3 lbs of gauze, telling me to leave it on for 24 hours. (Meanwhile, it came unwrapped and was exposed by the time I got back to Barbara's car.) Then they gave me a tetanus shot, in the left arm, warning how much it's gonna hurt tomorrow. I was just glad it wasn't in the butt like the one I got in '95. Hey, this is one way to get your shots up to date.

Back home in less than an hour, I picked up the Nons, thanked Satchi, and said good-bye to Babs. Sophia knows that Barbara Day means Panera, and who am I to disappoint her?  They didn't eat much lunch at all, but they sure were thirsty. It was a hot one.

Then we had to be home to wait for Chloƫ's bus and get the girls ready for their respective dance classes. Sophia ran upstairs and fetched her tights and leotard. Normally I dress her, but she shimmied into her 'uniform' all on her own this time. So cute, I love her little buns in a leo.

I still need to buy her some ballet shoes... she and Chloƫ have been sharing for these three weeks, which is bad, bad, bad if you know anything about dance! Since good, leather shoes mold to the dancer's foot... Must do that next week. Must.

Anyway, Sophia had to be dragged into the dance studio today, and Chloƫ again went with her. But not ten minutes went by before Chloƫ came waltzing out, telling me Sophia was happily dancing on her own and she'd been excused! I was delighted, so I went back to crocheting my dishtowel.

Eventually, the class ended, and Sophia emerged, sing-songing, "Hi, Mommy! I got a sticker!" which the girls always get for dancing. Hi signaled to Miss Jessica, and asked her if she actually danced, and if she was more smiley or more pouty. Evidently, she was smiley and happy and did all the moves with the girls. Yay!!! for Sophie!

Chloƫ went in for her jazz class then, and the Nons and I moved out to the van. I let them free of their carseats, and they were into everything, asking what everything was, pushing things, moving, touching, questioning, while I finished my towel. We turned up the radio and sang and danced and had a good time. Before we knew it, jazz was over.


The kids fooled around for a while, and I snapped a few pictures of them playing. Of course, there are 70 of these, and not one of them all have them looking in the same place or smiling at once! Oh, well. Oh, that reminds me, I need to get Chloƫ's Sears portraits done...


Then, before homework was started, we spent a good long time studying the butterflies and caterpillars. There are THREE adult Painted Ladies, now! And they are FLYING! I'm so excited, as are the kids. Did I tell you that Tinkerbell (our cat) was so naughty, She kept batting them around and knocking them on the floor? So I'm just happy they have survived. Chloƫ doesn't know it yet, but we're planning to let the three go tomorrow. They are hanging out at the top, and I can just imagine their high-pitched little squeals, "Let us out! Let us go!"


See all that gook on the bottom and walls? Who knew coming out of a chrysalis was such a messy process?! But aren't they beautiful? I tired to get pictures of them flapping, but they stopped doing it as soon as I grabbed the camera, natch.


This one's a girl, I just know it. Well, they all are. Painted Ladies after all.


The kiddies started their homeworks, and I sewed the button on my dishtowel. I took the pictures and listed them on my Etsy shop, if yo' interested!

Then I started working on a new infant-sized yellow tutu for my friend's baby girl. She bought a pink one for her preschooler and a yellow one for the baby, along with some pink hairclips for the older one. I'm so excited! It's fun to make things that other people want to buy. I just wish I could hit on something really special.

Let's see... I thought there was more, but I'm blanking. Rob's gone to sleep, and I guess I'll go join him. So, 'night!


Short and Fat, er, Fast

This morning, Rob came home from work to keep Sophia and be there for Jack while I went back to the base clinic for my physical. I am so glad he was able to do that, and that I am really getting the ball rolling on this thing now. Tomorrow, I need to make a bunch of appointments, but everything checked out well today. My labs came back and were all good, heart and lungs are perfect, BP is fine, blah blah. My only worry is that psych eval; I've been putting off calling for the appointment, but now is the time. Prayers and good thoughts for that, please!

Before I went home, I stopped around the corner to pick up a crocheted blanket a Freecycler had received as a wedding present and didn't like. Figured I could use it for CARE Package. I was right; it's perfect!

At home, we decided to take the kids around the corner for lunch at Subway before Rob headed back to work. The guy - the owner, I'd guess - can't stand either of us. For some pesky reason, we think he should accept standard Subway coupons, but for some pesky reason, he thinks he shouldn't? So we have both argued with him about it. If it weren't five feet from our house, we'd definitely not go there anymore. Anyway, just to be a pain in his arse, we did separate orders and used winning tickets from the Subway Scrabble game, for our drinks and chips. And I refilled my Sprite twice, just to bait him. He didn't say a word.

Good story, I know. Fascinating.

So the Littles went down for naps when we got home, and I decided to take one, too. I was so tired. Chloƫ came home, bringing the UM & UM (U-Missouri and U-Miami) cups we'd ordered from their school fundraiser. 'Bout time they came in. We really needed the cups around here. Every time I host Bunco, we have to drink out of mugs!

So, today was Ballet night for Chloƫ. I had to wake Sophia from her nap in order to go, and she was NOT down with that. She was furious, really. Good thing I brought along snacks or she'd never have cheered up, I'm afraid.

It was so, so hot out when we were there. I just couldn't get comfortable in the car. I tried crocheting away the hour, but I don't like to just sit there and sweat. So I did something I never do: went for a drive. The kids were so concerned about leaving Chloƫ there, but she was in good hands. They don't let a kid leave until the teacher makes eye contact with the parent. So we drove, the long winded way around the Little Neck / Lynnhaven area of the city, where the big, gorgeous, palatial million-dollar homes are. I stopped every now and then to admire one and let the cars behind me pass. The kids had no clue what we were doing, but eventually they stopped "Mom! Mom! Mom!"ing me to death and chitchatted with each other, leaving me to my reverie.

I loved so many of those gorgeous houses. I don't exactly despise our house, but there are so many problems with it. It's too small. I prefer a ranch. The electrical system is messed up. It's a townhouse. There's no yard. There's no garage. And on and on. These houses had plenty of room to spread out, lots of nice yards... I was jealous, until we arrived at home again and then something just "clicked" for me. I felt appreciative of what I have. It was a good, warming feeling.


The new storage ottoman I ordered for the kids' dress-up clothes arrived from Target. It's beautimous; I ā™„ it! It's just the right color red, spacious for their whole set, and very comfy on top for them to rest on when it's closed or even when the lid is on the floor.


It's sooo much better than the trunk we have been keeping their stuff in all this time. That was actually a college-era side-of-the-road find that has long stayed past its welcome! I'll be glad to get rid of it, hopefully tomorrow.

So Rob made dinner - all Schwan's; he is digging the convenience - while I finished scrapping the month of March. My book is getting very fat; I think 2008 will be split into three books, potentially! :O  I'm starting to get a little burned out on scrapping, partly because I am quickly using up all my pretty-pretties (flowers, ribbons, brads, etc.) and partly because I have made dozens upon dozens of pages since starting this. I'm itching to move on to something else for a while.

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the cocoons. Well, I'll do it tomorrow, I'm getting tired and don't want to deal with the camera anymore tonight.

Guess that's it. Happy Hump Day (already?!)~!


Sleepy Mama

Gah. Stupid Typepad ate my post.  I will try to redo it, but you know it's never as good as the first time. And that's not really saying much.

Chloƫ woke me well before 0700 yesterday, to show me what the Tooth Fairy brought her: four fat quarters. She was terribly excited about them, and kept fiddling with them all day before and after school. She just put one in her pocket this morning, to pay for Sno Cone Friday at school!

As much as I would have liked to, I could not go back to sleep after they left for the bus. I had to shower and get Sophie ready for her first day at gymnastics! As I've said several times before on this blahg, she's very flexible and tumbly, and I was interested in seeing how she'd do in a gym class.



She insisted on getting undressed and re-dressed in her leotard "all BY mySELF," as she is frequently fond of saying.


Kitty-bell looked on in interest as the long dressing process unfolded.



Whoops, starting out backward there, kiddo!



Finally, getting it pulled on the right way...



Oomfh, just one more tug!



Finally dressed and wearing her requisite ponytail, she remembered the craft table from the night before.



Alas, she could not get it opened. This was a very good thing.


(Sorry about the crappy picture; I forgot to take off the flash and she moved before I could do it again.) Things did not go quite as I'd planned at the gymnasium. After we waited our turn and the clock read 10:00, she ran to the back of the gym to visit with the big boys and girls. She had apparently thought she would immediately be doing tricks and flips like the gymnasts on the television during the Olympics. Oh, dear. We must start out small, my child.

So her class started with warm-ups. Only, there were about 30 kids for two instructors, and most of them had been there before, if not all year long. She was one of very few newcomers, and they did not take the time to make her feel welcome and comfortable with the procedures. She was very overwhelmed and kept running out and clinging to me. I tried encouraging her to go back in, showing her how much fun they were having jumping around, but she'd have none of it. *sigh*



Finally, after a quick trip to the potty, the group split up into beam, bar and floor exercises. Sophie's group went to the "beam," and she agreed to go give that a try. She was still feeling pouty, however, and would barely move until the instructor, with obvious annoyance, would bounce her down the beam to the next section. There she would wait, until bounced along again, while children piled up behind her.



I understood. She may not be ready for a class. But what broke the camel's back for me was when, after moving to the bar section, they lost track of my brand-new THREE-year-old. She wandered off and got hurt!! A little boy from another class - not even one of the instructors! - brought her up to me, crying (I couldn't see where she was, to know what happened.)

Oh, that was it. After consoling my poor baby, we put on her shoes and left. In the car, I cried hot, angry tears as I vented my ire and frustration to my husband. I was not upset about her lack of willingness, but I was furious over their shoddy class organization and ability to provide a safe, comfortable environment for my child. Thank God I didn't have any money invested in the class, other than her leotard, which I guess is now relegated to the dress-up bin. I know she'll wear it a lot; she loves it. But Rob and I agreed, we are definitely not bringing her back there again.

So, I called up Darlene at Chloƫ's dance academy and signed up Sophia for the 3- and 4-year-old Creative Movement class. She's been asking to go to dance like her big sis, anyway. We already have the leotard. I'll wait and see how she does with this class before I go out and buy her a pair of ballet slippers; she can probably get away with socks at first.

I guess we'll try the gymnastics again in a few years. We really feel that's where she should be. And I'll console myself with the knowledge that Shawn Johnson didn't start until she was six. Hehe!


After Jack returned from school and we had a quick snack, I took the Littles to Stephanie's school, where she teaches fifth grade. She wanted us to visit her in her new classroom, and I thought it would be a fun outing for the kids.



They immediately started finding toys to play with, although the biggest attractions were definitely the wheely chairs! Crash, boom, bang!


Steph kept working on her room, while I wrote out the kids' names for their desks, and we tried to keep the Littles in order. They played with toys on the carpet, drove the chairs around, and wrote on the chalkboard. It was fun for them.



The cutest part was when Sophia had to go potty and Jack, who had already gone, took her hand and led her across the hall to the boys' bathroom! I waited in the hall and listened as they pottied, washed their hands, and chit-chatted. So adorable! ā™„



Soon, we left, to make it home in time for Chloƫ's bus. The Littles needed something more to eat and were desperate for a nap, too. Chloƫ came home in high spirits, and insisted I take this picture of her and her new hairstyle, looking like "Wendy's," as she said.

The  mail had brought some interesting packages today, two of which could not wait to be given to their birthday recipients:



Chloƫ was thrilled when I pointed out a box for her on the craft table. She skipped over and immediately demanded to know what was in it. "Just look!" I told her. "Happy birthday!"


It's a butterfly kit!!



She was amazed as she pulled out all the pieces: butterfly habitat, food and dropper, and finally, the live caterpillars. She loved her present!



I paid for five live caterpillars, but we received seven!! Here's hoping for a few good butterflies.


The kit was definitely a hit with the birthday girl. She carried around those poor critters - and her Tooth Fairy quarters - all night. Fun stuff!



I knew Rob was eager for his present, too, so when it arrived, I had to give it to him instead of making him wait two more days! He had smashed the screen - and gotten chicken soup in it (don't ask) - on his old one, so I'd sent it in to be repaired. We got a brand-new one instead! He's elated, as his nano just doesn't have the capacity he needs for his gigantic music collection. Yay for happy birthday babies!


In the midst of all the excitement, the Schwan's guy came. Whoops, I'd completely forgotten to place an order. So I sat on the steps with the guy and went through the catalog, page by page, and he was utterly patient with me. Very nice. We got a few favorites, and a few new things to try. The entire time he was here, Chloƫ tried getting him to look at her new caterpillars. He played along well.

I did a little crocheting after dinner, making a dish towel to match the washcloth I'd made a few days ago, while we watched the DNC. Yes, we can!! But I was just too tired to blahg or do much else, and konked out well before midnight. Very unusual for me.

I'm still tired, and Sophie's not up yet, so... back to my couch I go.


ā˜ŗYou Never Know Where You'll Find A Lava Rockā˜ŗ


First Day of School
So this morning was a little rough on my schoolchildren! I woke up just fine, thankfully (and Rob called me to wake me up, which makes him a heckuva guy), but the kids did not. I opened the door, sweetly called out, "Jaaaaack! Chlooooooƫeee!" and waited. No answer. I went in, started rustling up my boy, and he cried, "I'm too tired!" "Come on, buddy, it's time for school! Your first day! Kindergarten!" "I don't wannnnnaaaaaaaa."

I had less luck with Chloƫ.

When they were finally in a standing position, both buried themselves into my chest and sobbed.  I comforted them as long as I could, and then left them to get dressed while I called their father.

R: Hi, honey.

M: Hey baby.

R: What's up?

M: I just wanted to let you know, bedtime has officially been moved up one hour! These kids are whiny crybabies this morning!

Then, of course, came the flurry. Go get your socks, put on your glasses, let's eat some breakfast, who wants what? Nope, no sandals, you have to wear sneakers. Wrong feet, buddy, switch your shoes! Pick out a hair doodle, Chlo, we gotta do something with that hair. C'mon, finish your breakfast Jack, you won't get anything to eat at school today!

Finally, it was time to go to the bus. I forgot two things. My camera, as stated in the earlier post, and the name badge that Jack's required to wear around his neck for the first month of school. D'oh! I wouldn't have remembered, but we had a cute little girl kindergartener at the bus stop who was wearing hers. 

I gave Chloƫ explicit directions for where it was, and sent her running. One door down, two, three, uh-oh, there's a truck in the way, she doesn't know which way to go, "C'mon Chlo! Hurry up!" She made it around the truck and disappeared into the house. One minute, two minutes... still no bus, pleeease don't come... five, and she's out! And running this way! And she's got something yellow in her hands!

Whew. She found it. And then we waited another 15 minutes for the bus to come. Don't they practice the routes the week before?? It was already over 90 degrees outside by 8 AM. We were dying.

Finally, it showed. The instant it pulled up, Jack dashed ahead of everyone else and sprinted up the steps. He was excited! But I guess he got confused, not being on the special bus and having his own carseat, because he held up the line for a few minutes. Things got squared away, and as instructed, Chloƫ sat with her little brother. And off they went!

I shuffled back home and, because Sophia was still sound asleep, went to lie down on the couch. After checking emails, of course. The doorbell rang an hour or so later, the dog barked, and it was a freecycler to pick up all the small boxes I'd accumulated in the office. Still, no sound from Sophia, so I went back to sleep.

I dreamed about a certain cute boy I had a crush on in junior high (JK, Erin!). It was my first day of school, in 8th grade, and we were to choose secretly who we wanted to sit next to for the  year. I chose him, and he chose me! As soon as that was announced for seating, my alarm went off. Dang, I didn't want to goooooo.... oh, yeah, Jack.

I got up and waited and waited and waited, once again, for his bus. I waited 25 minutes, not having an exact idea when it would arrive and where it would drop him. I sat just inside the door to cool off in between going outside to check, and finally, I heard the rumbling of a school bus.

I forgot about the new little girl, so I was surprised when the bus stopped three doors ahead of mine, even though I was waving at the bus driver. Out Miss Cuteness hopped. Oh, yeah. I thought she was going to pull up, but then Jack came running out. No smile, no look in my direction, no 'Hi, Mom!' as he tore into the house. Just like that, he was gone, while I stood at the end of the driveway like a dumbass.

Good thing. The bus driver pulled up in front of me and told me she'd have forms for our cell numbers and such for tomorrow, saying something about Chloƫ, and mentioning she was glad I was feeling better now. Um? I swear I have never seen this person before in my life, but okay, yes, I'm feeling fine now, thanks.

Once inside, I had Jack go wake up Sophia, and she came down for breakfast while he had a snack. And then they had more snacks. And more. They were hungry little beavers. Some of it was healthy, and some of it was not so much, but whatev.

After a spell, I had Sophie run and put on some clothes, and we all put on our shoes. I had made an appointment for that afternoon with my prescribing shrink, because I was ... uh-oh, I still am, thank God Walgreens is open all night! ... out of my mind meds. We hustled out, got down the road, and made it just in time.

Dr. Pal was actually not an ass this time, even though I was bringing along twice my usual number of children. He kept his mouth shut, anyway, as I think he could tell I was not at all stressed out, and they were in good control today. At any rate, he quickly prescribed my meds, set my next appointment date, and sent us packing.

Back home again in the space of 45 minutes, well in advance of Chloƫ's bus, it was time for some fun. Dress-up fun! Sophia came running in with just unnerpannies, and I asked where her clothes were. "I'm going to put on my tutu, Mawm!"

Only, she's not the giggling little creature who came running out in the tutu!

Instead, she wore  one of Grandma's purty contributions to the dress-up box.  And she's looking so cute in ponies and piggies lately!

Today, on the message board I frequent, I was given a link for making a tutu. I'm so totally going to do that! If it turns out, I'll  make more. Maybe sell them! I can't wait. Tutus are very popular right now.

Let's see... soon ChloĆ« was running in from her bus.  I couldn't get a whole lot out of them about what happened in  kindergarten and second grade (!!!!) today. I still cannot believe that child is in second grade! And is going on seven! And has a loose tooth, and another growing in!

Anyway, Jack was in high spirits all day after school, so I'm guessing it was great, although he won't actually admit to having been there. "I didn't go to school! I went to the dentist," he says. The one thing he did say was that none of friends were there. Aw, buddy. He'll make new ones soon, I hope.

Chloƫ was in a great mood, too. She told me her favorite part of the day was lunch, because she was so hungry. She did eat all her breakfast, though. As for the rest, I have no idea what either of them did! Apparently no one went to PE, or art, or music, or the library, so your guess is as good as mine?

The kids went upstairs to rest after that, while I farted around all afternoon online, and worked on cleaning up my desk (a constant work in progress), and went through the kids' backpacks and folders. Daddy came home, but I can't remember anything special that he did.  Chlo soon returned from Quiet Time, and then Jack, but Sophia was sound asleep. Sleepy girl today!

Rob made dinner when I reminded him that they had to go to bed an hour earlier tonight. Nothing special, chicken breasts, mixed veggies, and tater tots, but they all ate a great dinner!  Rob gave them ice cream for dessert and then whisked everyone upstairs for baths.

I took that time to finish up the little dress for Carolynn, Steph's niece.  It has a few little imperfections (just in the evenness of the assembly) but for the most part, it turned out cute, right? I have a feeling it's going to be too small, though. I couldn't find a suitable stuffed critter in the house to model it, so we shall just have to see. I believe I made this dress for Sophie when she was  a tiny baby.
DCP_2178 Nope, but I  did make it for the charity, and here it is! Much tinier than the current one, though.

Well,  two weeks after we arrived home, I finished blogging the Europe trip. Check it out and leave comments, please!

That is all. Tomorrow, I will  remember to take pictures of the kids' , er, um,  second first day of school!


Keepin' It Low-Key

First, a whine: I hurt my hand!! I don't what I did to it but it feels all twisted and tight and... hurty. Actually, I tend to sleep with my hand tucked under me when I snooze on the couch, and I think I did it then. But, owie! I hope the kinks work out in my sleep tonight so that I am free to do all kinds of crazy things with my hands when we're wrangling 50 bajillion suitcases at the airport tomorrow.

TOMORROW! Yeeee! By this time tomorrow, we'll be thousands of feet high over the Atlantic Ocean, taking an overnight flight to Barcelona from Atlanta. I don't know how, but I managed to get some sleep last night. I don't know how I'll ever manage that tonight!

So today, I'm sure you thought I was plenty busy, running around like a crazy lady, getting things done.



Not me.

I did that this weekend. The jobs are mostly done, except for the toiletries that I still need to pack after my shower tomorrow, and shoes! Oh, don't forget the shoes... and make-up. I still haven't decided if I am going to wear any make-up in Europe. It's just soooo frigging hot, y'all, and when you're fat like me, I swear, you feel it double. And that makes my face sweaty. And that makes my make-up goo up and slide down. You know? I may just take a little to wear to dinner and then whisk right off before we ... well, who knows what we'll do, of an evening, on a ship?

So instead of doing any mad dashing around today, and instead of taking on any projects with the kids, we mostly sat around, watched TV, read stories, and cuddled. Who knows, this may have been the last day I ever spend with my children, and I wanted to soak them up. But let's not talk like that... this is a happy time, not a sad, scary one!

I sent Chloƫ into the backyard with my camera, to snap some pictures of the wonderful lilies, and Rob's tree, growing in a corner there. Here are a couple:










We'd all gotten up around 0800, so by noon, we were all ready to crash. They had lunch, and were kissing me and going upstairs before I even sent them. Those are the days it's clear to me they still need their daily rest.

And I crashed, so hard, under my beloved new stripey blanket, on the couch. Oh, I love that blanket. Every night, when Rob is near me, I sit under that blanket and extoll its virtues. It just feels so good!!

When I woke up, it was just in time to get into the shower and get ready to go to my appointment at the nail salon. I was getting my first-ever pedicure, and a fill for my acrylics, and I had two nails that fell off and were in need of repair.

I tell ya, these things require some upkeep, and I may be a high-maintenance girl in some regards, but that's not one of them. I still haven't decided whether they're coming off when we get back, but for sure they're going to go shorter, at least.

Anyway, so I went.

Oh, the pedicure was nice. I wasn't at all squeamish about it, like I thought I'd be. Two funnyish things happened during it:

  1. If you've spent a lot of time in the ocean, like I have, you know that sometimes, things brush up against your legs when you're not expecting it. And no matter how much you might know about the things in the ocean, this still probably tends to make you  jump up and squeal. Well, my feet were soaking in the foot bath, one at a time, while she worked on the other. And once, while I was in the middle of crocheting on the baby dress for Stephanie and completely zoned out, something brushed up against me. I jumped and squealed, as if I had been standing in the dang ocean!! Everyone stared at me. Turns out, she'd left a foot brush in the water, and it was floating around. Hi, I'm embarrassed, go back to your magazines now...
  2. The chairs were like massage chairs, and they moved forward and back, reclined and upright. There was a remote control for doing so on my right armrest. Well, I was in kind of an uncomfortable, squinched up position, so after she adjusted my chair and went to work on my feet, I tried moving it back and reclining it. She reached over and moved it more forward and upright than it had been before! Every time she would stop and start chattering to the other ladies in Vietnamese, I would tap-tap-tap quietly on the buttons, inching my way back again. And each time, she would come back and move me forward. This went on about three or four times before I gave up. She never said a word to me about it.

We did talk, though. I hate hiring someone to do something for me (wash my feet, cut my hair, clean my house) and then acting like they are not there. [Although, now that I think about it, I am usually silent during hair cuts, because I'm reveling in the feeling of not hearing "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I'm hungry! I want a snack! I want some milk! I want a toy!" for that hour or so.] It's demeaning, isn't it? You pay someone for a service, but they are still human beings like everyone else, and you should acknowledge them. I know some people like to act like service people are invisible, but I am not one of them.

So anyway, Mimi and I talked about crocheting and knitting, and my children and hers, and it was very pleasant. She knows how to knit and not crochet, so we teased that she would give me free pedicures and I would teach her how to crochet. Hey, I'm all for it. I doubt it will work that way, though. Ours is not really a bartering society!

When it was done, I had 10 cute little bright red piggy toes and heavily lotioned legs and feet. I slipped on the disposable flip-flops and crossed the hall for my manicure with Amy.   We talked about my trip, and about their family-run shop, and her childhood in Viet Nam. She wished me a good journey and a happy Fourth, and I said the same... without thinking. Maybe they do celebrate it, I don't know? When in Rome...

I got back into my van, where the 'low fuel' light was flashing angrily at me. All right, all right... I went and filled 'er up again. $78, and I hadn't even reached 300 miles this tank. Sad. I really wish there were a hybrid minivan. I'd snap one up in a heartbeat.

Back at home, Rob was making Schwan's Cheesy Enchiladas for dinner, and singing a little song about them. I wish I could remember it; it was amusing. But then, he often is. Don't tell him I said that, though. I have tried to convince him he's not funny for years now.

We ate, and behold, it was good. That's one we'll order again.  A bit on the spicy side, but manageable for me. I'm not one for spicy. I just can't handle it Pain on your tongue is fun? I don't get that.

ETA: Here's what Rob does when he finds a piece of rubber cement lying around: 100_7133

I went outside, back to the van, to search high and low for the pool passes, so Steph can take the Odettelettes whenever she wants. I had left them in the car on Friday after we swam, I was sure of it! But they were not there. Stink. Just as I was convincing myself that the van repair people, where Rob took my van to be inspected and repaired on Saturday, had stolen them, I walked back in the house and spotted them immediately on the shelf by the front door, where I pretty much always keep them during the pool-heavy summer days. Duh! So much for that wonderful system.

Chloƫ and I did a bit (a very little bit, sorry Steph) of cleaning in the office, and I cleaned out the litter box so Her Highness would have fresh clay on which to poop, and then Rob set up the vacuum cleaner outside for me on an extension cord. We'd never cleaned out the van as planned, and looking for the pool passes made it clear how necessary it was before handing over the reigns to Miss Stephanie. How much I sucked up out there! It was so dark, so I probably missed a lot, but I know I got lots of goldfish crumbs, cereal, and whatever else I let my kids eat in the car for the past five years. So much better.

And here I am, indecisive about whether to try and go to sleep, or to go up and finish the little bit of packing I can do before tomorrow. Or fart around on the computer some more, oblivious of the few hours left before we get on that big ol' plane...

Fart it is.


Day O' Beauty

Welp, I stayed up 'til 0500 attempting to sew three pairs of matchy-matchy shorts. Finally around 0200, I woke Rob up from the couch where he was snoozing, because I was absolutely losing my mind trying to follow the damn pattern. I stitched, unstitched, and restitched countless times, and it Just. Wasn't. Working. I emailed an exasperated message to MIL, who was probably throwing her hands up at my density from afar!  But Rob, my professional seamstress husband, couldn't figure it out either.

We spent over an hour ransacking the internet for something that would help us put together a simple pair of kids' shorts. We knew what to do. We had the pictures. We had the diagrams. We had the pithy instructions. We just didn't have the know-how.

Finally, I decided to make a teeny-tiny doll-sized pattern of the shorts. I freehand drew on some scrap fabric with a pencil and came up with a reasonable facsimile of the actual pattern pieces, minus the pockets. Screw the pockets! I started fiddling around with the pieces when it became absolutely clear: it was physically impossible to make the shorts the way the directions were written.  It just couldn't be done!

So I did to the pieces what it made sense to me to do, after reviewing instructions from MIL, Rob, and way, way back 20 years in home-ec class, and it worked! I made this wee pair of shorts that, incidentally, fit perfectly on my husband's schlong (yes, he tried them on "it," because that's just the way we are and just be glad I spared you the picture):

100_7035 Of course, no hems.

So within an hour, I had stitched together two identically-sized pairs of shorts for the non-twins and was debating what to do about ChloĆ«'s! Of course, we were quite pleased to finally have a resolution after hours of feeling like the dumbest people on Earth. It's not a feeling to which we were accustomed!

By that point, though, I was too tired to take out hundreds of small stitches, so I gave up and joined Rob on the couch for a few hours' sleep.

When I woke up, Jack was sitting next to me, and ChloĆ« and Rob were gone to her audition for a NY agent. It was a no-pressure try-out, since she already has a New York agent. She just needs the practice.

I was just getting into the shower when they returned. Apparently the woman told Chloƫ she did a good job and was going to be famous! We shall see about that...

100_7021 I left the house with instructions for Rob to give Jack these clothes and Sophia those clothes and take some pictures outside of them in their non-twin-set. The shirts are enormous; I'd bought a bunch of the smallest size they had at Michael's when they were 6/$10, with no real purpose in mind.

100_7022 So, yeah, though the waistbands fit, they are still kind of swimming in the shorts. That's okay, they'll have them a few years.

100_7023 Sophia loved her outfit and wore it all day long, but Jack couldn't wait to peel it off and get back into his beloved blue outfit he'd picked out for the day. He wants what he wants and he wants it now!

What do you think? I know, they are not exactly stylin', but I did the thing, anyway.

So my appointment was at my salon, where I was to get my most expensive 'do ever.  Normally I'm pretty cheap about taking care of my hair, although I would rather pay more for a decent cut, but I've always colored it myself at home. Not this time! I wanted something good for Europe.

Well, I was there almost three hours, and I wish I could tell you all the observations I made while there. I had good blog fodder, but now  I've forgotten it! Other than this: the woman in the chair next to me mentioned that she homeschools her children. But she was using the word "retarded" repeatedly in conversation, either blissfully unaware or not caring that it has become a major faux pas to do so in today's society. Is that really the sort you want educating their own young? Not for me. They are talking about it being illegal to homeschool unless you at least have a college degree, and I can't say that's the worst idea I've ever heard...

But enough about that; I know such an opinion will be controversial amongst my readers!

So after I was tortured pampered for so long, I went up front to pay my bill. I was so stunned by the cost (but of course, I didn't show it) that I forgot to buy the shampoo I needed. All I could think at the time was, Gee, I feel like the President or something...

100_7027But I did like the cut and color. See? I decided to go a little lighter, you know, for summer? I think it looks lighter IRL than in the picture. And ignore the silly look on my face; I was being goofy for Rob.

Afterward, I moseyed a few doors down to the ceramics studio, thinking it might be a good place to take the kids this summer, especially on a Monday when the pool is closed. Well, instead of answering my questions, the proprietor just handed me a sheet of paper, saying, "I think this will tell you everything you need to know." Not hardly! How exasperating. Can't you just have a conversation with me?? NO ONE else was in the store, after all. And come to find out, they are closed on Mondays, too. Ugh!

I called Rob to see how he and the chillens were doing, asking permission to go get my nail fixed. That's right, the superglue didn't hold and it fell off again that evening. Very annoying. Permission was granted, so I headed on over to that salon. I walked in and they were packed. Of course, Saturday afternoon! I was embarrassed to find myself flipping those fine ladies off when telling them the problem - it was my middle finger, after all! But they seemed to take no notice and told me to have a seat. It was another hour before I was finished, but I finally walked out, free of charge, good as new.

I was famished by then, since it was after 1600 and I hadn't eaten yet today. I called Rob to see if he wanted a sub or not, and he did, so I went in. The tomatoes were back on the menu, and I asked the guy if they were okay now. Duh, of course he was going to say yes, they put them out. But I'd been in a couple of days ago when signs were up that they weren't going to be serving them, so I figured if they had them, they were all right, right?

Rob was in the middle of eating his sub (his were the tomatoes; I don't eat them) when I got an urgent email about the Moe's shop (Welcome to Moe's!) I'm going to be doing this week, saying there must be no tomatoes behind the counter, yadda yadda. Were they safe after all? Rob did a little research online and finally decided to go ahead and eat them. Cross your fingers he doesn't get sick!

When I got home, after eating, I got back to work at the sewing machine. I finally decided, instead of ripping out all those stitches, to just cut the pieces apart and have the shorts be smaller and, probably, fit better. I had the shorts done in about 20 minutes, just in time for Chloƫ to wake up from her nap and try them on.

100_7032 I know, this is a ridiculous, hideous picture. We'd just given her her allowance, so she decided to pose with that, and her stance makes the shorts look all bunchy. But she was thrilled with them and decided to keep them on for the rest of the night. I love that my girls love their handmade clothes so much, regardless of how well they're made.

And yes, I continue to make stupid goofs. I have a hem on the outside of Chloƫ's freaking shorts!!! By that point, I just didn't care anymore, since it was obvious these were going to be relegated to the 'playclothes' category.

And I immediately started (I want to say 'casting on,' but alas, this isn't knitting and the term doesn't apply) cutting out the pattern for one of the matching dresses I'm going to make the girls (in the blue, if you remember it) - and I totally forgot to cut out the notches on the first piece of fabric! Gahhhh!! What is wrong with me? I swear, sewing turns me into a bumbling idiot.

But I'm still enoying it! I bet Rob can't wait until I go back to my hobbies where I'm not constantly calling upon him for help.

100_7026 Jack came down, wanting a snack, so he and Chlo were given an ice cream sandwich. We have tons of Schwan's ice cream in the freezer right now, and it's delicious! We've also tried the spinach artichoke appetizers and the cream cheese wontons, and we liked them very much, too. Just giving you a little update on how that's going, for those who were interested!

Edit to add: I got the book My Sister's Keeper in the mail today, a surprise from my MIL after talking about it but my not being able to find it at the library. Yay! I can't wait to read it; seems like I'm the last person I know who has. But I'm resisting the urge to stay up all night reading it. I'm going to save it for the cruise - well, the flights, anyway. Don't spoil it for me!

After dinner (frozen pizza, if you must know), it was story time for the kids. We read... oh, what is it called. That Enchanted Princess movie that came out a while ago, with Patrick Dempsey? But in book form. I so hate the children's books that are written after the movie. They are always so lame, and they skip so much anyway, it doesn't make sense unless you've seen the movie. But that's what they picked, so that's what they read. Ooh, I forgot to mark it on their sheets, thanks for reminding me. Summer Reading Program, we are still with ya!

The kids went to bed, and then Rob and I settled down to watch The Bucket List while I crocheted on Steph's baby dress. It's comin' along, my dear. And it was a good movie. We laughed, and I cried. Rob gave it a five; I guess I agree and can happily recommend it.

In health news, since you didn't ask, I had a lot of that problem with my eye today. I still feel like something is pressing on my left eyeball, and I couldn't help but think "brain tumor brain tumor brain tumor" whenever I had that sensation. I'm not joking around; two of my friends have actually had brain tumors, so the probability of my having one, too, has got to be slim! Like I said, it just better not strike me down during our cruise.

That's about all, folks. Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there!


Like Seven Inches From The Midday Sun

100_6951 Man, it was a hot one.

{Name that tune!} {Red for hot!}

We woke up at 0800 today, because ChloĆ« needed to be at the dance studio at 0915 for her ballet recital rehearsal. After I convinced Rob to drive her, and we got all the usual shenanigans out of the way about what to wear, they headed out, and I, well, I wasted time online. What else?  There was email to check, blogs to read, Webkinz to play... etc. I can always find plenty of ways to waste time online.

100_6963I eventually ran out, though, and went back to crocheting that shirt thing I'm working on for myself. I only got another two rows done before I was ready to konk out again. I don't know what it is  - yeah, I do, endless double crocheting - but I can't stay awake making it. I pushed through it and got back online so I wouldn't fall asleep and waste the day.

Then I went up to shower and fart around with Jack and Sophia while Rob was outside (finally!!! We were *those* neighbors) doing yardwork. The garden is still a mess, though. Shoot, I meant to take before/after pictures of our "yards," which I put in quotes because they are each, like, a square foot. I tried to get them to clean up their rooms, but it just wasn't happening today, so we played and fooled around and acted silly. Good stuff, makes them feel loved, and I got my warm fuzzies.

100_6962 After Rob went back to pick up her-Chloness, I left to obtain my new glasses from For Eyes. Whoa! It's always amazing to go up a step in strength; everything looks so clear. Do you think we have enough pairs? That's not even all of them, but we didn't feel like going upstairs. We could open our own mall kiosk!

100_6952 Afterward, I came home to get my family and my camera, and we headed back out. This time, to Red Wing Park for the Relay For Life event. Noo, no, I wasn't participating - not with my back! - but I had donated a raffle prize that I needed to bring out to Linda from Bunco, and Stephanie and Tim were there walking, too. Turns out their tables were right next to each other, out of a hundred or so!

100_6953 Stephanie and Tim, sweltering after doing another lap in the 100+degree heat. Crazy freggin' hot!

100_6954 Luckily, Stim had brought a cooler full of popsicles, and we quickly helped ourselves to five. Ahhhhh. That's relief.

100_6955 Grayson, Steph's charge for the day, was desperate for some cooling down, too. Oh, man, we just wanted to skedaddle on out of there and go to the pool!

100_6956 Poor Chris from Bunco, Linda's partner at the Relay, hurt her back! She looked much cuter than this IRL when not lying down!

100_6957 Heeeeeere's Linda! She's good fun, very caring and full of laughs. She was disappointed we left so soon after we got there, but it really was too much for us. And I forgot to stop for cash for the raffles, anyway. Shucks!

100_6961 After we left, we drove down to the Farmer's Market to visit with Uncle Chuck and score some of his fresh food of the sea. Actually, this was Rob's first time meeting UC, and he liked him right off the bat. I had him pick our selections this time, since I usually get to, and he chose crab cakes (good boy!), tuna, and frog legs?!!  I actually have eaten them before, on a previous cruise, but (a) they are not seafood and (b) c'mon, I'd rather do a muscular dissection than consume them. Blech. So those are all Rob.

That's all I have for pictures today, but it's not the end.

When we got home, the Littles took a nap while ChloĆ« and I worked on whipping her monologue into shape for her audition with some casting directors visiting her acting school from L.A. She studied and studied, and practiced numerous times for her dad and I, so all that was left was getting there and going through it!

We saw several people there from her January iPOP! trip, so I spent some time catching up with them while Chloƫ waited in line with the other auditioners. Auditionees? I don't know. Of course, since we are 16 days away from flying to Europe, I had to share about our upcoming Mediterranean cruise! Well, that got a lot of attention, and we sat down gabbing about all the places we're going to visit and promises to email all about it when we get home. I, of course, completely forgot that I have a blog for such purposes, duh! I'll just email her the link, I think. ;)

Anyway, eventually I went back to the line to keep my daughter company, and she was getting so much attention from the staff and other parents that she turned into her usual, most annoying hypercharged kitty cat self, and I had to take her aside to talk to her about behaving more grown-up in the audition room. I also had a plan for later, so I promised her if she did really well on her audition, we could pick out a new Webkinz. I'm such a sucker!

Well, I wasn't allowed in the audition, but she told me they said she did a good job, and she said she only had stage fright for a minute before she remembered her monologue and said the whole thing. They asked how old she was, and she answered, "six and a half," and they asked her favorite food, and she said, "fruit! apples!" and something else. I wonder how that will all play out. As always, we shall see...

I'd forgotten my purse, so we had to drive all the way home for it before going to Walgreens. I needed to fill a prescription there, and I wanted to check and see if they had the special Webkinz Cares animals that benefit their foundation for helping children. They did! But only one kind. She picked a certain (had to be that one) L'il Kinz Cocker Spaniel out of the lot, and then we grabbed what we needed, and my Rx, and headed home to adopt little miss Fluffy.

The Littles were up then, and we had our crab cakes, and some chips and dip, for dinner. Chloƫ developed a bad headache that had her in tears and nauseous (amazingly, our pukey girl didn't throw up), but Daddy gave her some elixir, and her mac & cheese seemed to help. She's passed out on our bed upstairs, though, not having made it all the way to her bed.

Well, I'm off like a prom dress. I'm going to try and work on that crochet some more while we watch August Rush.  Have y'all seen it?


Napping Is Da Bomb

Chloƫ has started a summer blog! If you'd like the link to her little story site, post to me in the comments!

Thursday, I was granted a reprieve from all the running about. Which is good, because I didn't get much sleep, and I felt awful again. I have decided lately there is a direct relationship between the hours of sleep I get and how good I feel. I managed to get the kids to their buses on time, and since Sophia was so tired from my keeping her up all night to try on the new dress, I decided to take a nap until she woke up. Well, it was almost time for Jack to come home before I heard a peep out of her. Quite a nice little snoozy for moi!

100_6939 Yes, I ironed the dress, but Sophia jumped and rolled around and climbed and what-have-you in it so much that you couldn't tell anymore, by the time I was able to take the picture.

100_6940 She was very excited to wear it again. I couldn't find the white buttons I had purchased for it, so I had to go through my stash for one. We decided together on a blue and pink butterfly that goes with the stripey colors. It fits through the loophole, so even though it was much bigger than the prescribed 3/8", it worked for me!

100_6941 We had this little new-dress photo shoot after dropping Chloƫ off at her last Brownies meeting of the year. Just one more skating party in a couple of weeks and that's it 'til September!

Rob came home while I was upstairs showering to get ready for our date and putting away all his laundry, which he is unable to do... so I had him go pick up Chloƫ while I continued working.

She came bounding up the stairs afterward to tell me about the meeting, during which she apparently made a bird feeder. I have yet to see this thing!

By the way, Sophia has learned to roll her 'r's and has been trilling away for the past three days. In a super high pitch! We keep trying to get her to stop, even for a few moments, but she loves it too much. She even trills when she says, for instance, "Dad" or "butterfly," but her favorite thing to say is "iArriba!"

The Littles were having fun on the floor, playing with empty laundry baskets and coming up with names for the games they were playing. Jack would say, "Mom, this is called circus robot game!" or some such. Before long, I lay on my belly on the bed to watch them but instead became their jungle gym. They were climbing onto my back, rolling off, taking turns, and I heard Jack say to Sophia, "Go around the butt. The butt is BIG." LMAO!

While we were getting dressed, Stephanie arrived, and the kids bounded down the stairs to meet her. They love their Steph. She was there because we were going out to dinner. I broke rules and decided to take a couple of Outback Steakhouse shops because they were new and we've never done them before, and I wanted to give them another try. Last time was in Panama City, and I was either newly delivered of Chloƫ or newly pregnant with the twins, and very hormonal and emotional. I couldn't find anything on the menu that wasn't either beef or mushrooms - two things I will not eat - and I sobbed, and we left. It was most embarrassing.

They have entirely revamped the menu since then! There were lots of things for me to choose from. In the end, we had the spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer (yum), Rob had the tilapia, and I had the grilled shrimp and scallops. No dessert, but then we had to go to the bar for a round of drinks. Rob had a Colorado Bulldog, which I partly suspect he likes to order to stump the bartender as much as for the taste, and I had an 'Aussie Skyy' with vodka and peach stuff and all kinds of tasty good things. Rob didn't like it, but it was right up my alley.

The restaurant was right next to, along with a lot of other really great shops including a knitting one and a sewing one, a Super Kmart, so Rob ran in there to look for water wings while I worked on the report in the car. No luck there, so we drove to the opposite corner of the lot and found a Dollar Tree! Gotta give the DT some love; they had a stack of ads with my baby's picture in them! I grabbed a bunch, if anyone needs or wants one! We found water wings there, and the very same swimsuits our daughter modeled. We ended up buying four new pairs of 6M swim trunks for our, yes, 5yo son, because they were only a dollar and they would probably fit better than the 2Ts he's always having to yank up now.  Then I grabbed a bunch of little-kid socks, since we're always losing them in the laundry.

Back at home, the kids were already in bed. Yes! We had planned on ... *ahem* ... but we both ended up falling asleep on the couch like a coupla old fogies. Oh, well.

Which meant I hadn't set my alarm and totally overslept for the umpteenth time lately. <Insert aggravated face here.>  Actually it wasn't too late this time, but having to get the Littles up to drive her to school when they'd rather be sleeping is annoying. Plus it was Field Day for ChloĆ«, and I didn't want her to miss out on the fun. We remembered her bathing suit and special shirt, but I totally forgot to send her with an ice-cold water bottle. Oh, well, I knew they'd have water sports.

I got Jack on the bus and then Sophia and I sat around, while I tried to figure out what to do with her today. I was going to take her to pick up my new glasses and then go to the fabric and knitting stores from last night, but in walked Daddy about 4+ hours early, and all my plans went by the wayside. Instead, I asked for permission to close my eyes for a minute, and I slept. For much longer than a minute. More like 240 of them!

When I woke up, Rob was napping next to me, Sophia was down for her nap, and the Bigs were quietly playing with (and eating the contents of) the big box of Laffy Taffy ChloĆ« won at school. More about that on her blog!

100_6945 100_6947 The mailman brought these little items for CARE Package from a lady who had found out about us from another lady on Ravelry. If you're out there, Cindy, thank you so much!!

In the end, I didn't get my glasses or do anything else, and the audition I was supposed to take Chlo to was rescheduled for tomorrow night. We ordered a pizza for dinner - and cannolis - and sat around watching An Arctic Tale afterward. I tried crocheting on my new top for myself, but again I put it down and fell asleep. I am a sleepy girl this week!  And that pattern is very poorly written. I'm not a fan of novicely-written patterns...

Tomorrow really will be a busy day, so I'm going to go get ready for it.


Ah, Food. It's Good You're Back.

Paint1 I just wanted to share more of the loveliness that is, officially, the "How Deena Got Her Oohs and Ahhs" Blanket from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits. I have finished the triple single-crochet edging and now just have to weave in thousands of ends on the back. Steph, sorry I didn't stick precisely to your color scheme on the edge, but the purple was closer, so it went on the inside! I think I like the turquoise (aka "cayman") better on the edge, since it's more prevalent in the afghan.  Sarri, if you're reading this, I need your collage/mosaic help! I just did this in paint, but how do you do the fine-looking ones you've been doing on your blogs? Help a girl out!

Today was quite active, though I just couldn't shake the sleepiness out and wake fully up until the evening. I way overslept this morning, waking up with just five minutes to go before we had to leave for the bus. I was like a marathon runner's coach, getting Chloƫ ready: "Come on! Let's go! Go potty! Take your clothes off! Hurry up, let's go, go, go! Shorts on! Here's your shirt! Get some socks! Here's your shoe! Here's your other shoe! Don't undo them all the way! C'mon, c'mon, you can do it, almost there...!" and so on. But, hallelujah, we made it with two minutes to spare! I call that a victory.

I came home, checked email, chatted online with a friend for a bit, and then lay back down to snooze for an hour until I had to get Jack ready. Well, I overslept again and this time had just ten minutes to spare before his bus arrived. And he was still in his jammies! Normally he jumps right up and dresses himself, but not so this a.m. So I had to do the whole marathon coach thing again, shouting up at him, "Your bus is here, your bu is here, get your pants on, let's go, buddy!" etc. At least this child had breakfast, since no one wrapped up the leftover strawberry biscuits and he'd eaten four of them! Rotten mommy, I know I am.  Thankfully, they both had a decent lunch, since I had time to pack him one and she buys at school.

I got Sophia dressed shortly after that and jumped into the shower, so I could go visit my nemesis Dr. Pal, aka my prescribing shrink. He tops my list of Medical Types Not to Love. He's just so... cranky! For no reason. It's not necessary. Sophia is a lovely, charming, ingratiating child, but he always glowers miserably whenever I walk in with her. Jerk. But then she starts chatting away while he's writing out my scripts (my visits invariably last less than ten minutes and go like this: "How are you doing on your meds?" "Fine, I feel good." "Good, here's your prescriptions, see you in X weeks") and he softens considerably. Finally today he acknowledged her by saying, "She talks a lot." Which, I think, was a compliment to her verbal abilities. In any case, I'm going to take it that way.

I've been seeing him a little more frequently lately because of the allergies. We have narrowed down another suspect: Trileptal. It's now eliminated from my medicine diet because, having gone off it, I'm taking far less Benadryl and having fewer reactions than before. So right now the Big Baddies are: Trileptal, Anceph, Percocet, chlorine, manmade fibers, and apples. Who knows to what else I will fall prey? Hopefully not strawberries, but either way, I'll no sooner give them up than I will my beloved pool time!

Anyway. So he's a jerk, but I can handle him for less than 10 minutes a month, right? At least he makes me laugh and not cry, with his crotchety self.

It's two weeks tomorrow since I got my nails done, and I definitely turned out to have fast-growing nails. Who knew? They break so easily. So, Sophia and I went to the nails shop for a fill, and OH. MY. LORD was I IN PAIN. She kept burning my nails with the motorized file thingy, and I kept having to jerk my hands away. This was a different nail tech than the first one, who was very careful not to hurt me. And oh! I can not stand all the filing and buffing and filing and buffing that it takes. I'm very sensitive to filing anyway, so getting my nails done is like pure torture for me. I very nearly gave up all the national secrets I knew, but she couldn't break me.

We ran next door to Farm Fresh to get the grocery ad, and then we went next door the other way to Subway for lunch. Sophie saw the marquee and wouldn't stop pestering me about it, and right now I am a pushover when it comes to a tuna sammy. But in the end, she refused to eat, having only one bite of sammy and maybe four chips, wanting instead to go home and have some juice. Uh. So we did just that.

I was going to go upstairs and tackle the laundry, but we had less than an hour left by that point before Jack's bus would come, and I didn't feel like going up and down, up and down. I was so tired, after all. So we watched a little PBS Kids while I completed the two edgings on the blanket to end all blankets.

The boy came home and wanted to finish watching Super Why! with his sister (they love, love, love that show). I agreed and told them it would be nap time when Chloƫ arrived, which appeased them. I kept my word, and as soon as they were all in their rooms, I finally collapsed under my loverly blanket for an hour. The dog wiggling around in her kennel woke me right up after that, and surprisingly, I wasn't tired any longer.

Good thing. We still didn't have any food in the house, and that's my job to rectify. I got out my previously-fetched grocery ad and wrote down all the sale items that we use on my list, then retrieved the Sunday paper to scour for coupons. I found a lot of good ones and saved nearly $40 this trip, 11% of my total. We were darn near out of everything except meat, which we rarely eat nowadays except when I go to the fishmonger at the Farmer's Market for seafood.  I shopped for an hour and a half; my cart was full before I even finished getting half of my list. For the first time ever, I tipped the bagboy who loaded up the van (hurts my back to do it) because it was so much. But the cashier forgot to give me my 5-cents-per-bag discount for bringing in my own. Grr. It annoys me that the policy isn't better known among the cashiers and isn't advertised to customers at all. Come on! That would bring more people like me into the store!

I'm starting to ramble, aren't I? I know some of you are saying, "Isn't that what all your posts are?" Yeah, it's true, I'm a babbler. And yet you stay!

We had dinner plans (by that I mean, I had picked out what Rob was to make), but the kids just kind of ended up eating as we unloaded and put away the food: some baby carrots (shared with the bunny), some Italian bread (still as delish as yesterday's), milk, Tic-Tacs. So they went to bed when they'd had their fill, and then we cooked our crab-stuffed whitefish pinwheels. They were good. Not as good as fishmonger food, but I'd had them in the freezer for a few months and wanted to get rid of them.

So do you want to know about our plan?

We've talked about this many times over the past 7.5 years of our life together, but tonight we really started being serious. Rob retires in five years. After that, we may just sell off a bunch of our stuff, put the rest in storage, and buy a boat on which to live. We'll travel around, bipping around the country, the Caribbean, go through The Canal, see where we go... and homeschool the kids as needed. I like to call it "worldschooling" them, because they'll gain such an education from traveling and meeting different cultures. Once our European cruise is over, I'm going to start putting us on a tight budget, so we can pay off our ever-accumulating credit card debt, start building a retirement fund, and see what it's going to cost us to live on this boat. I'm excited about it, and I know Rob is. It's his dream!  Sound fun?

Of course, there better be room for my yarn...


Welcome Back, Hurricane Season!

100_6880 At home last night, Jack came downstairs and went to sleep inside the cat scratching post tunnel thingy! So funny.

We were up late last night, so we slept late this morning. It still wasn't enough, and I was bleary-eyed for quite a while. Let me tell you, blear looks really hot on fat people.

I made my way downstairs where Rob was feeding the kids, and set to work sewing the panels of my stripey blanket together. I got about halfway through the first seam when I remembered Rob needed to finish his LensCrafter's shop for his new eyeglasses, ie, pick them up so I could do the pick-up section of the report. And there was no food in the house and he'd be right nearby, so I wanted him to go to Panera, too. Yum, yum.

Shortly after he left, Stephanie called me to say she and Tim were on their way over for our Day O' Fun. Rut-ro, Raggy! I was still in a nightgown, Rob was out, and the kids were in various states of undress. But we quickly got our bathing suits on, just in time for Stim (their name together, see) to come a-knockin'.

I kept on seaming my blanket while we waited for Rob, and then I gobbled down my brunch while he got ready for the pool. Mmm, mmm, Panera. Good stuff, man. We shared some cookies with Stim and the kids, and then scrambled to get our pool necessities together. You can't just go to a pool these days. Of course, there must be towels - five. Then there must be "some scream," no matter what time of day or how short or long your visit. And most importantly, there have to be pool toys for each child. We ended up bringing all the blow-up toy prizes from our night at Motor World last weekend.

The pool water was frrrreeeeeeeezing. Rob barely made it into the pool at all. No meat on his bones. The rest of us managed to acclimate just fine. We didn't have any water wings (must put those on the shopping list), so Chloƫ clung steadfastly to the wall as she played with Stim and her school friends. Jack and Sophie were in and out, in and out, cold and hot, up and down. Little monkeys, they are. It was a good time. The adult swims were very much welcome, as the neighborhood kids were there in abundance and got quite rambunctious. Can't tell you how many times I was pushed and shoved with a baby in my arms. Don't like that. Not a bit.

After a while, we left and came back to our house, where everyone changed and showered and dressed. Oh. Ask me what's the worst that could happen? I'll tell you: Being allergic to the pool, my oasis in the summer months. But not just allergic. Full-body-welt highly allergic.  The hives were huge and angry, and my face swelled up, and it was all very uncomfortable and unattractive. Once in the house, I chugged some four or five Benadryls and waited for the ugliness to depart. The ugliness caused by chlorine, anyhow. It took a while, but I'm back to "normal" now. I use that term loosely.

Then Steph and I took Jack to the grocery store for some dinner needs: Dog food for Lily's sup, and sangria, green beans, linguine, strawberries and Italian bread for ours. Jack picked out a new car (I'd promised him a few days ago for something), and I picked up some Cottonelle wipes four our tushies. I love those things. No more TP for me!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Rob was peeling and cooking up some shrimp scampi to go atop our linguini. Linguine or linguini? I'm too lazy to go look at the box right now. When we arrived, he set to work boiling water for the pasta while I sliced up the strawberries for our dessert. Those things were almost as big as my hand, look:

100_6881 Ginormalous!

The kids (and Rob) kept buggering me for some berries, but I threatened them with my knife and kept the thieves at bay. (Not really, put down the phone.)

Then I remembered I didn't have any whipping cream for the strawberry shortcake, so Stim took Sophie back to the store for some heavy cream and, oh, yeah, can you pick up some more Bisquick too?

Dinner was excellent, and we all ate our fill.  Even the kids did pretty well with no complaining, other than Jack repeatedly tell us he didn't want his shrimp even though no one was making him. I should have bought more than one loaf of the bread, though; it was awesome. I had two glasses of wine and got quite inebriated, and Stephanie soon joined me so we could be silly together. And we were. I said a lot of dumb stuff and giggled at myself. 

We went back to the living room to rest our bellies and let the kids play while I tried to show Steph briefly how to crochet. She did a stitch or two and looks like she's going to be an easy student, so we'll have to sit down together soon and do it fo' real. I had finished seaming up the second seam earlier and was working on the edging of my stripey blanket. We were also running back and forth, Steph and I, to the kitchen so I could show her how I make the biscuits (big tongue stuck out to Stephanie-Canada!). It was a lot of back and forth. I got a little dizzy. Remember, I was drunk. (Hey, let's call a spade a spade. I wanted to say 'a worm a worm' just there. I don't know why.)

Um, so, what else...

The shortcake (biscuits :P) were finished, finally, so everyone regrouped in the kitchen to down some strawberries. It wasn't our usual shortcake: I'd added more sugar to the biscuits than usual, and I didn't have milk so I used some of the heavy cream in them. And Rob whipped the cream and some sugar together instead of using the canned stuff. It was so-o-o good. We all scarfed it down pretty well. I never get tired of strawberries. Maybe I should think of some new things to do with them? I don't know, if it ain't broke...

100_6886 Rob made Tim give Jack his growth hormone shot after that, so he'll be able to do it while we're in Europe. It went as well as expected. Jacky cried, and it's sad, so I showed Steph how much he's grown since taking the shots for the past almost-two years, versus no growth over the previous two. They'll be fine. I'm sure of it.

100_6889 Drunken self-portrait of Stephanie

100_6890 Rob and Tim, overjoyed about sticking little boys butt's with sharp needles

100_6893 Stim left shortly after that, and the kids went to bed, so I finished up my single crochet edging. I have two more rounds of single crochet to do, and all those ends to sew in, but for the most part, it'd finished! Yippee! I've only been at it for a few months, off and on of course. It's cotton and really heavy. I'm loving the colors together. Steph really liked it, too, and she called it funky. I think. Now she wants one. A day after I told Rob I was never going to make another one of those again (it was my third). Haha! But of course I will, if she wants.

100_6895 I fell asleep under my new allergy-free blanket right after that, from the effects of the pool and too much good food and fun times with our friends. Very comfy. I love it!


Geek In The Pink

100_6619So this is the pink set to which I was referring last night - I couldn't find it on the blog, but I'm quite certain I've posted about it before, right? Anyway, this is the set that the Saartje booties completed. (Look, Steph - same buttons! Eight buttons that matched!)

Welp, I woke up on time - early, actually - to get Chloƫ up, dressed, fed, and on the bus. Yay! One small victory for Smellankind.

I was going to snooze before I had to get Jack up, but I was actually wide awake. What? Enough sleep, after snoozing all Mother's Day? We're sleepers here, I tell you. We're sleepers.

Good thing, though, because Jack woke up earlier than usual and came downstairs to sit with me during Ellen. He started asking about Robby and God again (he's got this jealousy thing against God having Robby and keeps trying to insist they're not twins and shouldn't be together, poor thing), and he wanted to see pictures of his twin. So I sat him on my lap and we looked at the pictures on the CARE Package site, first the two of them together in my belly, and then Robby all hooked up to tubes and monitors in the NICU.

He asked all about the tubes and what each one was for, and about Robby dying and stuff. And then he wanted me to scroll down and show him more pictures. Of course, the very next ones were of himself in the NICU, also hooked up to many tubes. He looked at me for a moment, frightened, and asked, "Did I died too?" And it made me feel something for him that I have not felt since he was in the NICU, the time I was sitting next to him and he started desatting after Robby died, and I freaked out and ran away, terrified I was going to lose him, too. So today, on my knee, I kissed his soft cheek and rubbed his sweet head, whispering to him how much I loved him and how happy I was to be his mommy.

It was a good moment.

And then he asked for breakfast.

So we did that, and I made his lunch and got him bundled up for school. It was another cold, wet, stormy day. What, is this not May?! In Virginia?!!! Come on, weather! Shape up!

After he hopped on his bus, while I was reading emails, I heard Sophia wake up upstairs. So I brought her a banana to eat while I was in the shower, getting ready for my appointment with that nasty Dr. Pal, who isn't mine. Pal. Get it? Ugh, I can't stand him. He's so unpleasant. But, he's in charge of my meds and literally keeps me sane, so we must deal with him.

As usual, at his office, I instructed Sophia to stay in her chair and keep quiet. She usually does very well, and today was not bad. She hopped into my lap, though, and chatted away, sweetly asking toddler questions while he wrote out all my scripts. He actually looked up and smiled at her, wonder of wonders, and commented that she kept me busy with her curiosity. Then he went back to his disdainful glare, which he usually carries when there is a small child (of mine) in his midst.

Leaving the building, Sophia asked for a Panera sandwich for lunch. Um, hm, let me think about it for a mi... okay, yes! Panera it shall be! She knows it's my weak spot, little devil. It was pouring when we drove the couple of blocks over there, so instead of taking her out in the yuck, I called my best friend, Dr. Lisa, to pick her brain about all the allergic reactions I'm having lately, since Pal was no help (other than thinking it's one of my meds). She didn't know either but is at least willing to look it up, and it was good to talk to her and hear about her Mother's Day with her two little cuties.

The rain wasn't letting up, so we finally went for it and dashed in. Sophie was so cute in her purple raincoat and blond hair that curls up when it's wet. She had her usual grilled cheese, and I my usual tuna and broccoli soup, and we giggled and talked and smooched our way through lunch. She's such a pleasure to spend a day with!

Oh, cute quote: At the drink station, Soapy saw the container of sliced lemons and said, "Can I have an orange? I mean, a yellow?" Hee.

Back at home, chores awaited, so we spent an hour and change doing laundry while we awaited Jack's return from preschool. Normally I let them watch a PBS show when he comes home, before nap, but she was rubbing her eyes and yawning. I put her down a little early, and she curled right up and went to sleep practically before I shut the door.

Jack came home and, not seeing his sister, asked me if he could go wake her up. As if she'd been in her room the whole time he was gone, ha ha! I gave him a quick snack and then sent him upstairs for quiet time. He seemed only too happy to go, for once. Tired kids! When Chloƫ came home, I gave her the choice of resting or starting homework. She chose rest, too. Yay, nap time for me! I was sooooo sleepy by then. Guess I didn't have quite enough sleep to make it through the day, after all.

100_6621   Chlo came down a long while later, so I got up to help her with her homework. This picture is before we got to the math part; then there was much clenching of jaw and gnashing of teeth. Actually, tonight's wasn't so bad. She seems to understand rudimentary fractions a bit better than monetary stuff.

100_6622While the rest of the family ate dinner (of which I couldn't partake, because I had lunch instead of a Slim-Fast shake, and I'd already had my dinner shake), I watched Dancing with the Stars and crocheted this onesie to complete yet another package for donation.

100_6624This is the set it completes. The blue is slightly off, but it looks better in real life than in the picture, I think.

I watched The Bachelor while I organized a bunch of loose patterns into my binder, choosing a pattern for one last set I'm going to complete tonight before donation.

Ohmigosh, did any of you watch that? Were you completely stunned he didn't choose Chelsea? I totally thought she was the one! That didn't stop me from crying my eyes out during his proposal to Shayne, though!

'At's about it for tonight. Are y'all having better weather than we are?