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The Blue And Gold Banquet

The Cub Scouts are celebrating 100 years of scouting this year, and we celebrated at the annual Blue & Gold on Friday night. We (the kids and I) got there about 20 minutes late, because of:

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my Girl Scout's first cookie booth of the year ending at the same time the Blue & Gold started. (The booth went okaaaay, but not fantastic. We barely sold half of what we did at our first booth at the same time and location last year!)

The Brownie and I ran home after packing up the booth, to pay the sitter (Linda) and collect the Tiger Cub and the little girl. They were, apparently, STARVING, as I'd left specific instructions not to feed them, since they'd be eating dinner at the banquet. Poor kids.

Dinner was in full swing when we arrived at Jack's old school (where he went to preschool) cafeteria. The Tigers had already gotten their food, and so had the other levels - whose names I don't all know yet - and the Webelos 2 (or is it II) were getting in line. So we joined them at the end and were among the very last to eat. I figured, since they were so hungry, of course they'd eat a really good dinner, right?? Wrong. The Littles turned up their noses at the chicken fingers that were served, though I made them take a piece anyway. Chloƫ took two pieces and ate it all, plus some of the other kids', at least. There were veggie platters, chips, something else I forget... and at the end of the table, scores of all different kinds of cuppy-cakes that the older dens had helped make.

Jack had spied a cupcake on the way in, that had a cherry on top, and he reeeeaaaaaallly wanted one of those. So I used that as leverage to get him to eat his chicken. Same with Sophia, who chose a chocolate frosted with multi-colored sprinkles. (And she's so sweet: whenever she gets any kind of treat, she tries to offer some to me, and then gets genuinely sad when I tell her I can't have any. Aw.)

Anyway, so we sat near Miss Beth, the Tiger Leader, and her son and husband, and the rest of the Tiger Den. (See, now I understand the difference between a den and a pack. At last!) The Tigers had decorated tin cans at their last meeting, to be used as the weights for balloon bouquets. As soon as Jack saw his, he wanted to take it. Right then. And not leave it for a decoration at the table. Hello, son, you must wait!

After the eating, the announcements began. Did I mention we signed him up for sleep-away camp? So there was talk about that, and the arena racing that's coming up in a week or two (hopefully Dad can take him to that), and the Districts for the Pinewood Derby. He'll go to that; I forget when it is.

And then the fun part.

010

It sucks, but I can't show you the pictures of the whole part where Jack earned his Bobcat! I had to get up on the stage with him and paint his face like so, and then he painted mine, so I had to leave my camera with Beth. Well, apparently she didn't feel like actually getting up and walking over to the stage to take the pix, so of course none of them turned out. I'm disappointed; that was a lot of fun. He actually made Bobcat months ago, in the fall, but we missed the Pack meeting where the Tigers all got painted up and got their Bobcat badges. Now he has to wear his parent pin upside down with it until he does a good deed, and then Rob will get to wear it upside-down until HE does a good deed. I figure Rob should do it, since he's listed as Jack's "official" parent scout or whatever they're called. Yeah, I'm still learning the lingo...

But we're so proud of him! He is confused, continually saying, "But I'm not a Bobcat, I'm a Tiger!" and really, I'm at a loss to explain it to him, other than being able to tell him he earned it for learning the oath and promise and all that good stuff. I'm sure Rob knows better, but he wasn't around to tell him!

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After that, the new Webelos got on stage to rip off the shirts they'd painted and show their new khaki uniforms!

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Jack paused for a moment to show off his face painting that Mama gave him. The newest little Bobcat!

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The Leaders all got up then, to get their awards for their various years of service to the pack. Here's Beth walking away with hers. She's a cutie-patootie!

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The Boy went to go get a refill on his limonada, and when he walked past the Webelos table, they gave him this noisemaker. I finally had to take it away from him, because he kept blowing it and disobeying the "quiet" sign. I don't think I've given it back yet...! 

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After that, it was time for the birthday presents. There was a huge stack of them on a table, and each Cub went to get one... but that wasn't all. Pack Leader Jeff read a fun story that used the words "left" and "right" a lot, and each time he said one of those, the boys would have to pass their present in that direction in a big circle. The little ones needed a LOT of help with this. We parents kept shouting "LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!" and everyone laughed a bunch. It was a huge relief when he finally got to the end of the story and the boys could rip into the packages they'd ended up with!

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LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!

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Jack ended up with a couple of construction crafts, and he was really excited to make them IMMEDIATELY. He ended up swapping the submarine one for a jet, with another Tiger, and he has been hounding us to make them ever since!

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More games ensued.  I didn't get a picture of Jack playing pin the tail on the Cubmaster, because he barely wanted to play, and I was too busy watching the hilarity of the older boys batting at piƱatas for candy. The sweets were flying everywhere, all over us, and we kept having to duck for cover to avoid getting hit in the face!  Meanwhile the poor cubmaster's nuts were covered in "tails"... hehe.

026

Then it was the little guys' turn to do their piƱatas.  Poor Jack had the weakest at-bat, and they let him take a few hits at it before moving on to the next kid. He didn't care. But another little guy ran up when a third Tiger was swinging, and he got a wallop in the arm. All the parents were shouting at Jeff, "WE'RE NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!!!" but he just laughed, saying the boys were having fun and that's all that counted.

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When the candy broke, all the boys - but ESPECIALLY Jack - dove in there and scooped up as much as they could into their paper bags. He really grabbed a bunch for such a little feller! I had "glued" my girls' tushies to their bench, because they weren't supposed to join in any of the reindeer games, but when Jack was finished, I looked up, and there was Miss Piggy Sophia scrambling to get some candy, too. I thought it was hilarious. Typical Soapy! (I didn't care, either, because I thought it was kind of unfair to invite siblings and then not let them do anything but watch for 2Ā½ hours!)

After that and a few more quick announceys, we were free to go. And go we did, because it was already half-past bedtime, and we still had to do a bowling mystery shop that night!

So, we went bowling, and that was fine. ChloĆ« and I bowled while the Littles played around the arcade games. Even though I don't give them any money, they still have fun pretending to play everything. I was lucky to get a lane right next to the arcade, so I could keep an eye on them the whole time. And they had hot dogs and fries and cookies, so of course they were content. After barely eating at the banquet, they were happy to get a  little more food in their hungry bellies.

So with the bowling, and the banquet, and the booth sale, and the party store mystery shop we rushed to do before meeting Linda at our house... Friday was quite the crazy-busy night!

Fin.

 
  
 
  
  
  
 
  

 

 


The Blue And Gold Banquet

The Cub Scouts are celebrating 100 years of scouting this year, and we celebrated at the annual Blue & Gold on Friday night. We (the kids and I) got there about 20 minutes late, because of:

001

my Girl Scout's first cookie booth of the year ending at the same time the Blue & Gold started. (The booth went okaaaay, but not fantastic. We barely sold half of what we did at our first booth at the same time and location last year!)

The Brownie and I ran home after packing up the booth, to pay the sitter (Linda) and collect the Tiger Cub and the little girl. They were, apparently, STARVING, as I'd left specific instructions not to feed them, since they'd be eating dinner at the banquet. Poor kids.

Dinner was in full swing when we arrived at Jack's old school (where he went to preschool) cafeteria. The Tigers had already gotten their food, and so had the other levels - whose names I don't all know yet - and the Webelos 2 (or is it II) were getting in line. So we joined them at the end and were among the very last to eat. I figured, since they were so hungry, of course they'd eat a really good dinner, right?? Wrong. The Littles turned up their noses at the chicken fingers that were served, though I made them take a piece anyway. Chloƫ took two pieces and ate it all, plus some of the other kids', at least. There were veggie platters, chips, something else I forget... and at the end of the table, scores of all different kinds of cuppy-cakes that the older dens had helped make.

Jack had spied a cupcake on the way in, that had a cherry on top, and he reeeeaaaaaallly wanted one of those. So I used that as leverage to get him to eat his chicken. Same with Sophia, who chose a chocolate frosted with multi-colored sprinkles. (And she's so sweet: whenever she gets any kind of treat, she tries to offer some to me, and then gets genuinely sad when I tell her I can't have any. Aw.)

Anyway, so we sat near Miss Beth, the Tiger Leader, and her son and husband, and the rest of the Tiger Den. (See, now I understand the difference between a den and a pack. At last!) The Tigers had decorated tin cans at their last meeting, to be used as the weights for balloon bouquets. As soon as Jack saw his, he wanted to take it. Right then. And not leave it for a decoration at the table. Hello, son, you must wait!

After the eating, the announcements began. Did I mention we signed him up for sleep-away camp? So there was talk about that, and the arena racing that's coming up in a week or two (hopefully Dad can take him to that), and the Districts for the Pinewood Derby. He'll go to that; I forget when it is.

And then the fun part.

010

It sucks, but I can't show you the pictures of the whole part where Jack earned his Bobcat! I had to get up on the stage with him and paint his face like so, and then he painted mine, so I had to leave my camera with Beth. Well, apparently she didn't feel like actually getting up and walking over to the stage to take the pix, so of course none of them turned out. I'm disappointed; that was a lot of fun. He actually made Bobcat months ago, in the fall, but we missed the Pack meeting where the Tigers all got painted up and got their Bobcat badges. Now he has to wear his parent pin upside down with it until he does a good deed, and then Rob will get to wear it upside-down until HE does a good deed. I figure Rob should do it, since he's listed as Jack's "official" parent scout or whatever they're called. Yeah, I'm still learning the lingo...

But we're so proud of him! He is confused, continually saying, "But I'm not a Bobcat, I'm a Tiger!" and really, I'm at a loss to explain it to him, other than being able to tell him he earned it for learning the oath and promise and all that good stuff. I'm sure Rob knows better, but he wasn't around to tell him!

011

After that, the new Webelos got on stage to rip off the shirts they'd painted and show their new khaki uniforms!

012

Jack paused for a moment to show off his face painting that Mama gave him. The newest little Bobcat!

015

The Leaders all got up then, to get their awards for their various years of service to the pack. Here's Beth walking away with hers. She's a cutie-patootie!

016

The Boy went to go get a refill on his limonada, and when he walked past the Webelos table, they gave him this noisemaker. I finally had to take it away from him, because he kept blowing it and disobeying the "quiet" sign. I don't think I've given it back yet...! 

019

After that, it was time for the birthday presents. There was a huge stack of them on a table, and each Cub went to get one... but that wasn't all. Pack Leader Jeff read a fun story that used the words "left" and "right" a lot, and each time he said one of those, the boys would have to pass their present in that direction in a big circle. The little ones needed a LOT of help with this. We parents kept shouting "LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!" and everyone laughed a bunch. It was a huge relief when he finally got to the end of the story and the boys could rip into the packages they'd ended up with!

020

LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT!

021

Jack ended up with a couple of construction crafts, and he was really excited to make them IMMEDIATELY. He ended up swapping the submarine one for a jet, with another Tiger, and he has been hounding us to make them ever since!

024

More games ensued.  I didn't get a picture of Jack playing pin the tail on the Cubmaster, because he barely wanted to play, and I was too busy watching the hilarity of the older boys batting at piƱatas for candy. The sweets were flying everywhere, all over us, and we kept having to duck for cover to avoid getting hit in the face!  Meanwhile the poor cubmaster's nuts were covered in "tails"... hehe.

026

Then it was the little guys' turn to do their piƱatas.  Poor Jack had the weakest at-bat, and they let him take a few hits at it before moving on to the next kid. He didn't care. But another little guy ran up when a third Tiger was swinging, and he got a wallop in the arm. All the parents were shouting at Jeff, "WE'RE NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!!!" but he just laughed, saying the boys were having fun and that's all that counted.

040

When the candy broke, all the boys - but ESPECIALLY Jack - dove in there and scooped up as much as they could into their paper bags. He really grabbed a bunch for such a little feller! I had "glued" my girls' tushies to their bench, because they weren't supposed to join in any of the reindeer games, but when Jack was finished, I looked up, and there was Miss Piggy Sophia scrambling to get some candy, too. I thought it was hilarious. Typical Soapy! (I didn't care, either, because I thought it was kind of unfair to invite siblings and then not let them do anything but watch for 2Ā½ hours!)

After that and a few more quick announceys, we were free to go. And go we did, because it was already half-past bedtime, and we still had to do a bowling mystery shop that night!

So, we went bowling, and that was fine. ChloĆ« and I bowled while the Littles played around the arcade games. Even though I don't give them any money, they still have fun pretending to play everything. I was lucky to get a lane right next to the arcade, so I could keep an eye on them the whole time. And they had hot dogs and fries and cookies, so of course they were content. After barely eating at the banquet, they were happy to get a  little more food in their hungry bellies.

So with the bowling, and the banquet, and the booth sale, and the party store mystery shop we rushed to do before meeting Linda at our house... Friday was quite the crazy-busy night!

Fin.

 
  
 
  
  
  
 
  

 

 


Friday Fragments: Happy New Year!

Friday Fragments

Fraggin' on Fridays is brought to you by the lovely Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin' Time, so be sure and visit her and the other lovely fragmenters for more fun on this special New Year's Day, 2010!

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FFF 

Mrs. 4444 gave me the FFF award again! This time, it was for Sophia's remark that I would never die, because she would take care of me. And that I wouldn't spin her around and throw her out into the world, blindfolded. Thanks, Mrs. Fours!

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001

I was in a bread-baking mood late last night. The first thing I did was mix up this beer bread mix from William-Sonoma, using one of Rob's special beers from his beer-of-the-month club box. I don't know why I got him that damn membership, and I'm glad it's long over. He's still got a ton left and never drinks it! Too bad I don't have more of this delicious mix...

003

Here's ChloĆ«, 8, enjoying the first piece of beer bread. Yum! 

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004

Last night, I started the dough for this challah - I wanted to make a French bread, but I decided to make a challah instead - but I fell asleep, and it rose all night. Whoops, it was mushrooming out of the bowl this morning like crazy! I really had to punch it down.

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Normally, I do a three-strand braided challah, but I wanted to attempt the four-strand braid this time. I don't think I did it quite right... but it still looked purdy.

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Right??

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Unfortunately, I forgot to set the timer on the oven, and I was enjoying the smell of the challah baking for far too long before it dawned on me - that smell means it's DONE, dude!  I ran into the kitchen, and sure enough, it was way past "golden brown." Oops. But it's not burnt, and it tastes awesome. I'm not really supposed to have much in the way of bread, but look at that gorgeous loaf! Who could resist?

I forgot the raisins I meant to add, too, though. Bugger.

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015

New Year's Eve was a pretty quiet day at the homestead for us. Our good neighbors, nice Japanese lady and her husband, Navy-turned-Army, moved away with their kids today, to Texas. Here is their last hurrah, riding Power Wheels cars around our driveway. There were lots of hugs and promises to write. And check it out, Sophia (not pictured) has been asking for  Barbie Power Wheels Jeep for a LONG time, and they had one that they were leaving behind - and gave it to her! She was ecstatic!

(Sorry for the crappy picture. Rob took it through the window! Why he didn't...oh, I don't know. Whatevs!)

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021

(Ignore all the boxes in the background, I have lots of packing and shipping to do!)

The kids have been bugging me to let them play the games they got from my sister, their Aunt Stacey, since Christmas Day. It just never seemed to be the right time, but today was the day! First ChloĆ« and Jack, 6Ā½, played Connect Four, and then ChloĆ« played it with Sophia, 4Ā½. Neither of the two little ones really "got" that the point of the game was to get your four in a row WHILE BLOCKING the other person from doing so, and poor Chlo was getting quite frustrated with it!

023

The next game, Chutes and Ladders, was more their speed. Except Chloƫ kept winning that, too! (How, I don't know - it's not like there is skill involved!)

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Shout out to my good friends Shana and Kevin! Shana dropped a New Year's Eve baby at noon! She had a little girl, 8Ā½-lb Jaden Heather, an absolute cutie. I'm thinkin' if the pink kimono I'm working on turns out really well, it'll be a present for Jaden instead of going to CARE Package. Since I won that yarn fair and square, it's not officially designated for the charity, and I can do that. ;)

Yay for newborn tax write-offs!

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After the kids' game-playing, I was really cold and had the chills again. Oh, did I mention? I woke up at 0600 Thursday to the sound of a helicopter landing in our backyard. Turns out it was the motor on the HVAC going crazy. Awesome, really awesome. Not.

So anyway, I went to take a hot-hot shower, and Sophia joined me for some sudsy fun. I love her soft, squishy little body, and I just held her and squeezed her tush for a long time in the shower. Then, like I used to do long ago when the kids were babies, I gave her an all-over massage. Got my warm fuzzies in for the day! ā™„

(Yes, I have an obsession going on with my kids' butts. So does my sister, with hers. We get it from our grandma, who used to be all over ours!)

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After the shower, I fell asleep, for, like, four hours. What a great nap! It was almost 2200 when I woke up. Time to prepare for the midnight festivities! Only, I came downstairs to find Rob hadn't even given the kids any dinner yet! Naughty Daddy. So there went my plans of midnight snacking (see yesterday's post for the foodibles), since he quickly cooked up some pasta for them that wasnt' ready until nearly 2300. Sheesh! I'd have still made the spanikopita for myself, but I ended up eating some unfinished pasta off their plates and then yakking it up. Not exactly tummy-ready for spaniko, nope, nope, nope!

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024

After watching the ball drop at midnight, and a nice long smooch with Rob, we took the kids outside to annoy the neighbors bang pots and pans and shout our New Year's greetings. Then we popped the top on the bottle of sparkling cider and toasted each other to the dawn of 2010. Cheers!

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Sophie getting silly on cider!

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And now, time for some cute quotes:

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I asked each of the kids, before handing over tonight's Dad Dollars, what they were most looking forward to in the new year. Their answers?

Jack: "Shakin' my booty!"

Moody and sullen 8-going-on-15 Chloƫ: "I don't know. Nothing."

Sophia, who practically fell asleep standing there waiting: "Zzzzzzzzzzz..."

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Sophia hurt herself. This conversation ensued:

Soph: "I think I spread my ankle!"

Chloƫ: "Sprained."

Sophia: "I think I sprung my April!"

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Jack, watching a toy store commercial, shouted, "Toys 'R Us! Toys are not YOU!"

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Chloƫ asked me, "Why do you do such crazy things like that, Mom?"

I replied, "Uh, like what?"

She rolled her eyes at me and answered, "Put my Finding Nemo shirt that's not fancy with my fancy pants!"

Oh, gee. I'm so ca-raaaazy like that!

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I overheard Chloƫ telling her younger brother, "I'm older than you, so I'm the boss of you. I'm supposed to be bossy!"

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Sophia coughed a little and then whined, "I'm getting the swan flu!"

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We were reading a book called Actual Size about the actual size of things, and the crocodile page said that the crocodile was a man-eater. Upon hearing that, a wide-eyed Jack queried, "Can it eat ladies?!"

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And with that, my friends, I leave you 'til another week. May 2010 bring the best to you and yours.

Fin.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  


  


 


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.

Photo(2)

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.

Photo

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.

Photo(4) 

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!

Fin.


The Game Of Life

Whew. It has been a busy day, fo' sho'.

I was up 'til 0600, knitting on the Bandaid Blanket. I could finish it in about 10 more minutes, but I haven't had the time. So, I woke up late this morning, which was fine because the kids were gracious enough to sleep really late, too. Thanks, kids.

After I got up and got the kids fed and settled, I got down to work. July is going to be an enormously busy month for me, both with mystery shopping and otherwise. I had a lot of work to do today, prepping for today's shops, travel planning, doing the bills, making calls and appointments, etc. I spent four hours at the computer, working nonstop except to feed and take care of the kids. Hated that. I wanted to finish my blanket.

I was still working when Rob came home at 1600, and I had another hour after that. After a quickie shower (and wearing more clothes I never have before!) it was time to hit the road.

Oh, let me backtrack a minute. Earlier this week, all three kids hit the 1,000-point mark in The Game of Life. They each got to pick a prize out of the bucket! Chloƫ picked $5, and she was thrilled with that reward. Jack earned a special date with Mommy, and Sophia won the chance to do some baking with Mom.

So.

 

When it was time to go out and do all my shops, I integrated that with Jack's Mommy-and-me time, and took him with me. I made sure that the kid CD was playing for him in the back seat, and he sang along sweetly to the music. I really need to get more kid CDs; most of ours are worn out and we've been listening to the same one over and over. I really want a Veggie Tales Silly Songs one!100_1232

Anyway, our first stop was at Pembroke Mall down the road, where he spotted this double-decker bus and wanted to take a ride. It was 50Ā¢, which I happened to have on me, so I agreed. It was his date, after all! He had a good ride, and then we continued on to my first shop at the cookie store in the mall. I let him pick the cookie he wanted, another thrill for him, and we went on our way.

I was going to stop at Zales and get my engagement ring examined (it's due in June and December), but we can't find the paperwork anywhere. Eek. I don't know what I'm doing to do now! So we skipped that, and went to Bath and Body Works. I had a coupon for a free anti-bacterial hand sanitizer with any purchase, so I picked up a teensy trial size item and gt my full-size product free! Woot! Cucumber melon, love.

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Jack happily skipped out of the mall with me, eating his delectable cookie and chattering away.

After that, we stopped to get an oil change. My oil indicator thingy had been flashing the evil eye at me for a week, so it was past time. Jack visited with an old man in the waiting room while I read my forms for the next shops. Well, more like, the man visited with him, while Jack tried to claw his way through me out of extreme bashfulness. So unlike his sisters in that respect.

We drove to the next two shops, both gas station convenience stores. Remembering my gran'pappy had a doctor appointment on Monday for the growth he's had in his throat for months now, I tried calling. No answer. Same with my sister's line, and then my dad's, and then Rob's. I was getting paranoid until Stacey finally called me back and confirmed my suspicions that it was she tying up Grandpa's line.

The news isn't good. They couldn't do a biopsy yet until he's off his Coumadin for a week, but they are pretty sure it's cancer. I'm trying not to cry thinking about it. He smoked a pipe for years but quit and threw away all his (expensive) pipes the day his dentist told him he was "working on 'the Big C'," as he puts it. That was 25 years ago, and here he is now at 83, staring throat cancer in the face. I'm trying not to worry. I eventually got ahold of him, and he sounded positive and upbeat, so that was a relief. We'll just take it one step at a time, I guess...

Jack and I did those two shops, during which he whined incessantly about wanting this or that junk food, driving me nuts. He'd just had a huge cookie and didn't need anything else to upset his little tum, and besides, I wasn't allowed to buy anything else but my required purchase.

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Finally, we made it to Toys 'R Us, where Jack has been wanting to go since we began playing The Game. I want to make playing it worth his while, so I relented on stopping there. Can you see the shit-eating grin on his face?? We walked in planning on getting a couple Hot Wheels cars,. but right inside the door were these huge "Battle Rigs" on clearance. Deep clearance. What the heck, why not?

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Jack could scarcely wait to get out to the car and buckle up before he tore into that box. He was beside himself with glee, which made me happy. I had promised him ice cream, since I had a shop for that tonight, too, but he didn't want it anymore. He just wanted to get home and play with his new prize!

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We stopped at home to switch out the kiddos. I told Rob to offer the ice cream shop to Sophie in lieu of her baking-with-Mom prize, and she happily accepted. What kid wouldn't? She waited patiently on this bench while I stood in line to reach the window.

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Sophie wanted chocolate AND strawberry AND a gummy worm, please. That thing was bigger than her head!

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I had a fantastic time watching her eat this thing. It was a hoot. And I was very grateful to have a pack of Wet Ones in my purse! Oh, the kid was filthy when it was all said and done. And she didn't even get down to the cone before throwing it away!

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Yummo!

Soap wanted to stay out and do something else after that, but it was nearly 2100 and we needed to get home. I had yet another shop to do, a pizza delivery for dinner.

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Jack was all into his new truck thing when I got home. He kept showing me all the bells and whistles. I had to admit, it was pretty cool.

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Chloƫ was delighted when I finally forked over her five smackers, even though it wasn't in the $1 denominations she requested. Best I could do, kiddo!

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At last the pizza came, and I did all the nitpicky steps required of me. The chillens were starving by that point, and they really dug in, thanking Mama for the pizza.

After Sophie ate, I ran her to the store with me to get some milk and a few things that I had coupons for, making them almost-free. She was hilarious in the store, yelling "Hi! I'm Sophie and I'm FOUR!" to everyone who passed us by. They were all charmed by her.

And I had a WOW moment at the register. I was wearing one of the new magical bras (of course; I haven't worn any others since I got them) and a tight t-shirt, my hair up in a ponytail for once. On of my Farm Fresh peeps, Nicole who always works there at night, came bounding over to the register, demanding, "Okay, girly, what's your secret?" I was confused at first, thinking she was talking about that weird girl who fondled my groceries that one time, but no. Nicole said, "You have lost a TON of weight, and you look amazing!" I was so happy!! That's the first time someone not "in the know" said something to me! I told her I'd lost 100 lbs, and she was stunned. I admitted to the surgery, and she said she had 3 family members who'd had it, and she knew what a lot of work it was. I was so excited, grinning from ear to ear for at least an hour after that conversation. She told me my face and body look completely different - and I have to agree!

We went home, and the kids took a bath while I've spent the last, oh, three or four hours working on my reports. I still need to get on the Wii tonight, since I've vowed to do the WiiFit every single night in July. If there's anything left in me after that, I guess I'll watch my DVR'd So You Think You Can Dance from earlier tonight while I finish that blanket...

Fin.


A Penny For Your Thoughts

Today was a really great day for Team Odette, save for one really dark spot that I'll get to later.

Well, I slept until after 1:30 PM, so I can't speak for the first half of the day, but Rob and the kids went out and played outside. You see, we were watching Harvey Milk late last night, and Rob brought me my pills. I haven't taken my sleeping pill in at least a week, because I've been tired and able to sleep without it, and I didn't check what he was giving me. You guessed it. So I zonked right out and didn't wake up for 10 or 11 hours!

Oh, before I forget, here's the picture I promised of the kids in their finished-thus-far jammies:

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I'm loving them - so cute! So I really need to do the shirts, starting tonight or tomorrow. Probably tomorrow.

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Sophie's Crepe Myrtle Hopi is doing really well, and there are a few flowers! She's so excited about that, being a major lover of both pink and flowers.

Anyway, after we got up and showered, we piled the kids in the car for a surprise adventure. They had no idea what we were going to do. I decided last night that I wanted to do this, but it was already late by then, so we had to wait 'til today: we drove down to the Virginia Aquarium and parked the van. Then, starting from the Marsh Pavilion and working our way northward on the beach, we rode the the busses and trolleys, stopping at all the penny presses on the oceanfront for those wonderful, cheap souvenirs that we (I) love to collect! (Holy sentence, Batman!)

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There were four pennies to make at the Marsh Pavilion. We'd gotten a roll of quarters - and the six bucks it took our family of five to ride the trolleys all day - at the store before hitting the beach. Here's Sophie with her hand out for the coins, so she could turn the crank next.

(By the way, now that I edit all my pictures with the Creative Memories software for digital scrapping, you'll probably only be seeing the unedited versions. Sorry!)

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Those hand cranks were really hard for all the kids near the end of the pressing process. Sophie, being the strongest, was the only one who could do it without help.

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While we waited for transportation over to the main Aquarium building, we spotted this little garter snake along the wall. The kids were fascinated, and I enjoyed telling them about serpentine movement vs. concertina, to which they didn't listen at all. Rob wanted to keep the little bugger. He checked back for it when we returned hours later, but it was gone, of course.

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The people on the bus go, "Shh! Shh! Shh!" *ahem* Sorry, we had to listen to kids' songs all the way down to the beach and back!

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Our kids really like taking public transportation. I do, too, although I'm kind of an airhead when it comes to figuring out the routes and schedules. I used to love riding the MetroRail around Miami when I lived there...

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We pressed four more pennies at the main Aquarium building.

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Rob had some Tic-Tacs in his pocket, so he told the kids to close their eyes and open their mouths. For some reason, they actually trusted him. Usually, he makes them smell his stinky shoes or some such!

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Rob took the kids over to the pinniped tank while I waited for the Trolley. Here it comes! "ROOOOBBBBBBB, come baaaaaaaack!!!"

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The kiddos really got a kick out of riding the trolley - their first time, I think? - and kept commenting on the old-fashionedness of it.

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Chloƫ, incessantly posing, on the trolley. She always insisted I sit next to her. I didn't mind. Sophie couldn't keep her butt in a seat for anything, though!

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This picture cracks my ass up! Here we are at the next stop, the 15th Street Fishing Pier. As you can tell, it was much too sunny for proper picture posing! Luckily the penny press was before the turnstiles, so we didn't have to pay to go on the pier to get it. Just one at this stop. Sometime, we'll need to bring the rods and crab traps and actually come back for a day o' fishin'.

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It was a hot, gorgeous day in Virginia Beach, so we decided to huff it along the boardwalk for the five blocks to the next stop, rather than hopping the trolley. There was a lovely, cooling wind coming off the ocean, so it wasn't unbearable at all. There were many swimmers and sunbathers down on the sand, and I yearned to join them. Well, the swimmers anyway. Of all the kids, guess who keeps asking to go back to the beach? Jack, surprise of surprises. We'll have to go again soon.

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The kids quickly finished off the water bottles I'd brought along, so it was a good thing we finally found a bubbler that worked. Until Jack's turn, and then it quit! He was miffed, but Daddy kept at it, and finally the water flowed again. Phew!

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Well, five blocks up, there was supposed to be an Oh! Fudge shop with a penny press. In its place was a sports memorabilia shop, but they directed us up to 22nd street where the other Oh! Fudge was located. And it had two penny presses, for a total of eight more pennies. I don't know what the kids were more interested in, though - the pennies, or the candy. We didn't buy any...

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And the penny press inside... By the way, if you're looking for the penny press at Beachland at 21st street, it's gone. I doubt any of you are, though! (And Steph, there isn't a single penny machine in Chesapeake. Bummer.)

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We caught the trolley again to ride the six blocks north to Forbes Candies at 28th Street. It was our last penny press of the day, so we had to make it a good one. We found penny collector books there, too, so we picked one up for six bucks.

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The Flower Girl was at it again - she picked someone's flowers! Rob tucked them behind her ear while we rode the trolley some more. Naughty thing.

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Unbeknownst to me, Rob never gave the kids lunch earlier in the day, and by this time it was dinnertime. So they were ravenous. Luckily, I'd brought along the Entertainment book, just in case. Unluckily, we chose to try Abbey Road on 22nd Street for dinner, with a BOGOF coupon.

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Daddy and Sophie goofing around during the interminable wait for our server to come

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My little buddy sat next to me, and we got in lots of cuddles.

So, the rant review of Abbey Road: It was horrible. Our server, Paula, was a huge bitch, and the service was abysmal. The food was only mediocre, so it really wasn't worth the huge shouting match we got in with both her and the manager when it turned out she'd brought the wrong meal to me, with an overcharge of six bucks. Which is a big difference when you're trying to keep the spending down. I ordered the Broiled Scallops - $12.99. She brought me the Deep Sea Scallops, $18.99.  Their argument was that they are both "broiled scallops," and if I'd wanted the $13 plate, I should have specified it was on the Lite Menu. Um, no. First of all, I pointed to the one I wanted when ordering, second, if I'd wanted the samn Deep Sea Scallops, I would have ordered "Deep Sea Scallops" instead of saying "Broiled Scallops," which is exactly how the menu differentiates between the two, and thirdly, I barely ate any of them, so take them back and eat them yourselves! (And she did take them back, hehe.) 

Also, you're not allowed to order sandwiches between 5 and 10 pm, which is stupid as hell. It specifies that on the adult menu, so fine, but not on the kids' menu, so I pitched a fit when my kids couldn't order the hot dog and PB&J sandwiches they wanted. The manager later told us that, in fact, kids sandwiches can be ordered any time of the day, so the server was wrong about that. And she was very inattentive - we waited over a half-hour for her to bring us the check, after we finished eating! Ridiculous. In the end, the manager gave us what we wanted and was very apologetic, but I was royally pissed. I will say that the bathroom is nice... but Steph, you'll probably want to cross that one out of your Entertainment book!

Ugh. What was supposed to be a wonderful, happy day was very soured by this experience. There was more, but I'm forgetting right now, and I don't really want to think too hard about it!

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Jacky-boy and his dad getting in a nice snuggle while we waited for the check to come

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All-in-all, it was a super fun day, and we really wore the kids out. (I love that Jack fell asleep with a shoe on his hand!) We have one more penny left in Virginia Beach, but it's not really on the oceanfront, so we'll save it for (hopefully) next weekend.  There was a free (American Idol winner) David Cook concert on the beach tonight, which I would have checked out if I was really a fan, but I'm not. So don't hate.

One more thing about today: We have begun something we call "The Game of Life" here at Chez Odette. I read it as a suggestion in this month's Family Fun magazine. The kids will be earning points for things like doing what they're told (the first time), cleaning up, helping out with other chores, eating healthy foods, etc. The point values are kind of arbitrary; we're just making this up as we go. But when they get to 1000 points, they get to pick a piece of paper out of the prize bucket. Those are things like "you get special time with Daddy," "you get to pick out a piece of candy at the store," and other fun stuff. They are really getting into this game! And incessant whining? Makes you lose all your points for the day. The kids were really fabulous today, and they earned an average of 95 points each! If you have any suggestions for the prize bucket, or anything else, please share!

Fin.


Smug

Today was A-OK, yo.

It didn't start off so great, though. I woke up 15 minutes late, and then I couldn't wake up the kids for school. They just weren't budging. I don't know what Chloƫ's problem was, but Jack? He was still up and playing with Sophia, who was in his bed, when I went upstairs at 2 AM. Rascals!

And then, I turned to go downstairs and stepped in a giant, heaping pile of dog shit.  My whole foot was covered, and it was in between my toes... ugh. So freaking gross. I hopped all the way to the bathroom and turned on the shower. It wouldn't knock off the poop, though, so I had to  yell for Chlo to bring me a washcloth. Then it wouldn't go down, so I had to scrub it off the shower floor.

And where was the dog? Why, she was locked up in her kennel. Which meant that she had already pooped there this morning before Rob left for work, locking her on her way out. Oh, yeah. I was MAD.

I napped for two hours (yay!) until Sophia woke up at 10:00. I hadn't slept long or well enough the night before, so I really needed that.  She had breakfast (oatmeal, which she somehow managed to get all over like a 10-month-old) and then was ready to play.

She colored. She played dress-up. She cooked in her play kitchen. We read several stories, until I lost my voice. Oh, she was into everything. I wanted to bake or something with her, but the kitchen was an absolute disaster.

Oh, speaking of that. Two things occurred to me last night: One, that Barbara is not coming back, and no one is going to knock on my door and offer to clean my house for free, and two, my children deserve to have a clean house. And so do I. 

I used to keep a clean place. I really did. But, as much as I love him dearly, I can honestly say that my husband is the biggest slob I've ever met in my entire life. I fought against that tendency for several years, and then I found my standards more and more relaxed until the low point they have reached today.

Well, no more. I am going to spend some time cleaning up this place, every single day, until it is no longer a source of embarrassment to me, or disgust, or stress. When Brownie moms come over to pick up cookies, I am ashamed to let them in my house. I can't have that anymore. The kids should be able to play in a clean environment.

Now, I'm not talking crazy talk here. I'm no germaphobe, and I'm not going to sterilize everything with which they will come into contact. It's not good for them to grow up that way, anyway: it jacks up their immune system (to put it scientifically). And I probably wouldn't ever pass a white-glove test, because I absolutely loathe dusting. But I will do my best to keep things tidy and clean enough, if it kills me!

Anyway.

So Jack came home, and after they had some lunch, we watched a little PBS Kids. They keep begging for Noggin, but personally I think PBSK packs more cerebral nutrition into a half-hour show. Even if it does mean watching that damn Sid.

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Darn him for blinking! This would otherwise have been a really cute picture. And he wouldn't stay still after that. Sophie wore the cowboy hat pretty much all day long, until ChloĆ« came home and usurped it.

Anyway.

So finally, I decided it was time to actually DO some of that cleaning, and I wanted to start upstairs. I didn't get as much done today as I wanted to, but then that is pretty much always the case, isn't it? To get started, I took my shower. I pretty much have to shower before I can be productive. I'm just not ready to start anything until I do. Are you the same way, or can you go out/clean/exercise/have sex/ etc. without showering first?

Then I sent Sophie and Jack in to clean their bedrooms, which always causes Jack to have a fit. "You want me to clean this mess by mySELF?!!"  Um, yeah. You made the mess by yourself, Buster...

I started in on the laundry. I folded about four baskets full and washed about three more loads. When Chloƫ came home, and when Sophie's room was finished, they worked to help me put kid clothes away. I had to make Chlo stop to change for Ballet, and then Rob came home and whisked her off to class.

Notice I never said I got dressed? Because I didn't. So when a Brownies mom came over to pick up some cookies (we had no designated time), I threw on the nearest pair of pants and a sweater, and hurried downstairs. "Sorry the house is such a mess! We were gone all weekend and I was sick yesterday and now I'm cleaning but I'm starting upstairs and blah blah blah" was my hello. I always  have to apologize for our house! Ugh, I'm sick of it. Anyway, we completed the transaction and I sent them on their way. Back to my laundry.

By the time I finished folding it all, Rob and the Dancing Queen were home again, and she helped me finish getting everything put away. Sophie, too. Jack had fallen asleep after cleaning his room, while searching for Chloƫ's missing glasses. Rob did some cleaning up on his atrocious filthy messy side of the room, and then I started vacuuming.

I did our room and part of the hallway. I'd have done the kids' rooms too - they realllly need it - but I didn't want to wake the sleeping monster. So I started the stairs. I'm still on heavy-lifting restriction, and our machine is not light, so perhaps I should have abstained. But they needed it, and, well, I'm stubborn. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs, I needed a break! But they looked much better.

Chloƫ was working on her homework then, so I helped her while Sophia, and then Jack when he came down, cleaned up the living room. It was a sty. Last week, the Littles had dumped Chloƫ's bowl of Perler beads all over the place, and since Rob never carried the vacuum downstairs for me despite mucho begging, they were still there. Driving me crazy. When Chlo was finished with her math, I vacuumed the office and then helped the kids clean the living room. Finally, I vacuumed that and... Gawd, what a boring, blathery blahg. I'm sorry.

But the point is: it's clean! Yay! Time for Wii!!!

I broke out the stuff and eventually got it all put together and set up. Then I opened the Wii Fit and set that up. Finally, it was time to get down to bidness.

I created my Mii. It's a short and rather rotund little thing, just like myself.  But that's okay. She will shrink, as will I.

And then! I got on the board. This time, it did not kick me off for being too heavy! This time, it was actually nice to me. Sure, it told me I was obese (pbbtthhh) and that I needed to lose weight to be healthy, but it wasn't snotty about it like I expected. But it also told me I weigh 12 lbs less than my kitchen scale says, so I wonder what's going on there. I wish!

I did the Body Test next. It measures your posture and stuff, and gives you a Wii Fit age. Guess what my age was? Guess! Really!! Okay, okay, it said I had impressive posture and... dun dun DUN... my age was 32!!! Which is my REAL AGE! I know some people (wink, wink) whose Wii Fit age is MUCH older than their actual age, especially on the first try, so I was really excited!!  When it told me I was in great shape, I almost fell over laughing. Noooottttttt!

I did some exercises after the test. I started out with Step Aerobics (ā™„loveā™„) and did really great. Lots of "perfect"s! I did that twice and actually found myself working up a sweat. (Do any of you that have Wii Fit know if the pattern, intensity and duration of the work out changes as you get into it more? Oh, I hope so.)

Then I did some hula hooping (pretty good), yoga (great!), and slalom skiing (suck). The worst for me was a game where you had to change your center of balance to get your little Mii balls through the holes in a table. I was SO bad at that, but at least I was laughing and having fun!

I worked long enough to unlock two new games, which I tried, and finally, when my feet were killing me, I quit. I can't wait to do more tomorrow! Maybe twice!  I want to rack up lots of time.

That's it for me. I was hoping to have an FO (Finished Object) to show you, but I still have to knit the sleeves of the kimono. I'll do that now.

Oh! Did any of you catch the Jimmy Fallon show last night? It was just okay for me - lots of room for improvement. Good guests, though I had not a clue what Van Morrison was saying.

I'm out.

Fin.


Denial Is A River In Egypt

For a while now, I've been pushing back the idea that I'm getting sick. It's been SO long since any of us have had the slightest cold, and it's been wonderful. I noticed myself loading up on the OJ lately, but I refused to feel sick.

Then Jack started his cough, and  he woke up croupy one morning. Thankfully, he didn't miss any school yet. Last night, ChloĆ« came downstairs at 0300, croupy and crying. Great, I thought. It begins. And then today, it hit me. Finally, there was no denying it any longer. I am sick. I feel like poo. My body hurts.

Too bad, so sad, though. Rob had to stand watch all day today {damn Navy}, and these kids just don't quit!

Thank God everyone slept in late this morning, because I was up 'til nearly 0500 on my charity thing.  When we were all up, it was nearly time to go to my appointment, so we dressed quickly and left. I was gross and didn't get a shower, which I hate. But no turning back, or we'd be late.

Our first stop was at the "cupboard" for Fall Product stuff. I had to pick up the remainder of our order - the stuff people had ordered from me after the deadline. That took only a few minutes, as the cupboard keeper lady is really well organized and prepared.

Then we drove all the way to downtown Norfolk to deliver 8 tutus to the dancewear shop! That was really exciting for me. Too bad I felt and looked gross and delivered my goods in a big, black garbage bag! The owner said, "That's okay, we don't stand on ceremony here!" She was super nice, and I really liked her. She was excited about the tutus and thought they were really cute. She loved how I decorated and embellished them, and I was proud, because I really like them, too. I know from crappy, and if something I make turns out crappy, I don't pursue it. So that was a nice little payment to get, and I've decided just to include that money as part of my table fee for the big craft show next weekend, which means it's almost covered! Yippee.

We came all the way back to town to deposit that, and more tutu money from a few other sales I've had lately, at the credit union. The kids are so silly: whenever we go to the bank, even though they know I go through the drive-thru, they start bugging, "Can we come in? Can we come in?" Just because that one time, we went in and they got lollipops... they never forget!

[Side note: I just washed my face in vinegar. Don't ask. Rob's dying of laughter.]

Everyone was starving by then, so I called out to ask what people wanted for lunch. The girls wanted Wendy's, but the boy wanted to go home and have yogurt. All right, good enough. We swung by Wendy's and got a hunk of chicken on a bun for me, and some nuggets for the girlies, and home again, jiggity jog.

Fast forward through lunch and naps and Rob calling to say he was on his way home, at last, and then it was time to go to the school for the annual Fall Carnival. Joy. I still didn't shower. Big mistake. I was - am - really gross, now. Remind me not to do this non-showering-and-going-out-in-public thing again. It exacerbated my not feeling good, of that I am sure.

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I had already bought the tickets on Monday (AND Tuesday, did I tell you about that fiasco? Whenever I send money with my children to school,  they always come home shortchanged. Pisses me right the ^(*& off), so we marched past the ticket booth and headed for the food.

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After the food, we headed into the cafeteria to play games. All games but the cakewalk were 1 ticket, so we had plenty for each of them. Here, they chose a lollipop, and the color of the stick determined their prize (hey, not a lot of skill goes into these kiddie games). They were happy just for the candy, but they got little toy pieces of crap, too.

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The next line was super-duper long, so I suggested Rob and Chloƫ go do the cakewalk while I waited with the Nons. Sophia, who dressed herself in last year's Christmas dress for this occasion, spent the waiting time spinning and watching her dress twirl.

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They didn't win the cakewalk, but after the littles played, Chloƫ came back and knocked over all the little bottles at miniature golf. Of course, all the games had cute little Halloween-themed names, but I can't remember them. More little crappy prizes!

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The third game was tic-tac-toe. Of course, Sophia and Jack have no clue how to play it, so we had to coach them. More loot for their treat bags, win or lose. Everyone's a winner!

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At the next table, there was coloring. No contest, they got to keep their pictures, and they also got a sticker and a piece of candy. They liked that!

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Sophie loved being able to hold her own ticket for the games. "Mom, see me! Take this picture!"

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At the next game, they had to throw a ball through these hoops, five times. The girls actually made a few, especially because the carnie kept moving them forward of the line!

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Chloƫ just looks cute throwing. I had a picture of Jack, too, but it was really blurry.

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The girls each won a necklace at that game (Chloƫ chose purple, of course), and Jack got a skateboard keychain.

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This game was hilarious. They had to throw some huge coins into the bucket head for their prize. There was a tape line to stand on, but the kids kept inching forward until, finally, they were pretty much right in front of the table and dropping it in. Sophie would skip, hop and jump forward and then slam-dunk them in. Rob and I just stood there and laughed along with the carnie. He was a really nice guy, really sweet to them. I just love nice people!

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(I don't know why all the pictures are of Sophia, I thought I had more of all of them, sorry!) The next game was a beanbag toss. Again, they all made one or two, even Sophia standing back at the line. That was exciting; she was so thrilled.

 

After all the games, we had enough tickets left for Rob and ChloĆ« to go through the Haunted House in the gymnasium. When we got up to the entrance, the Littles decided they wanted to go through, too. Ugh. So I had to go buy three more dollars worth of tickets, since it was a four-ticket event, each.  No sooner did I pay the 20 tickets than Jack and Sophie got a good gander at the spookiness and high-tailed it out of there.

"Um, we changed our mind," I told to an annoyed Kris B. "I'm so sorry," I said about 30 times while she handed me back our tickets. Oh, well. We went to the Boy Scouts booth while Rob and Chloƫ entered the Haunted House. There, I asked questions about signing up Jack, and we filled out a card for them to call us when it was time for him to join, or whatever. They gave us some papers and things, and Jack eyed the give-away truck on their table. He asked for it, of course, and I laughingly explained that it was a prize for a raffle or something, and he couldn't just have it.

Just then, Rob and Chloƫ reappeared, with him loudly telling anyone who'd listen that they got a quarter of the way through before she chickened out. Judging from the look on her face, it was scarier than she expected. Oh well, maybe next year!

So then we went to the Face Painting area, but the line was really long. My back just couldn't hack it, so I said we'd have to skip it. Oh, Chloƫ was so upset, but I just couldn't stand there for half an hour. (I'm actually feeling incredibly blessed with the way I was able to get around, doing so much walking in Europe this past summer, considering how bad it was before and since then. Thank God for such favors.) She teared up, but we were moving on to the next thing.

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The next thing: more cakewalk. We had enough tickets left for us all to do it twice. Since we were all in it at once, the Vice Principal running it (same one we ran into at the store the other day) announced on her microphone that she would run it five times in one round, for the five Odettes. That was embarrassing; the whole gym was staring at us and I hadn't showered! Nasty. But none of us won it!

The first time, I had held Sophie's sticky lollipop hand, and Rob had held Jack's. ChloĆ« walked alone. The second time, Jack wanted to switch to me, and Sophia, well, she didn't. So in the picture above, she's calling out for Mommy and trying to break away from Daddy!  Jack ended up winning a brownie, and Sophie won three cookies. ChloĆ« lost again, and I could see the lip quivering.

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We were out of tickets by then, but walking back toward the exit, I noticed the face painting line was empty. So I handed Rob a buck and told him to buy me more tickets. When he returned, I sent him and the Littles to the van, and told Chloƫ she could have her face painted. Oh, she lit up. She was overjoyed. The art teacher was doing the painting, and she made my little girl this butterfly:

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She was thrilled with it, especially all the glitter. I had one last dollar in my pocket after that, so I let her go over to the PTA table and buy one thing, anything she wanted for a dollar or less. She chose a really cool pen with a jumping, moveable skeleton on the end.

So we went home after that, and Rob noticed he only had two bags with all the kids' loot and prizes and good stuff. ChloĆ« immediately remembered that she left her bag behind at the face painting, but it was too late by then - the school was closed. "I'm sorry," I told her. "You have to learn to hold onto your things and bring them home!" She is really bad about that. Lunchboxes, coats... things don't come home. She had a meltdown.  A real screaming, stomping fit. I'm kind of worried about her lately; she's not really in good control of her emotions. I've been talking to her about it, but I'm still concerned.

I'm hoping that, because her coloring picture with her name on it was in the bag, someone looked through it and will find that and return it to her on Monday morning. I know that would make her week.

Anyway, that was our day. Two more things:

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These were the lemon cupcakes. I have about five super-huge cake tips that I wanted to try, so I just used them on these. Again, not for pretty, but for practice. Maybe the next time I'll actually make a cake that looks nice? Either way, the kids don't care and they taste the same!

Finally, don't be concerned about my "list" (did you go check it out?) - Rob has his own. It includes Tina Fey, Jessica Alba, Lauren Holly, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and, of all people, Annie Potts!!! Apparently she gave him major bonage during her Designing Women days.

That is all, folks.

Fin.


Opposites Attract


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Recently, I won this game of Jishaku over on CanCan's blog!Yippee, another win! (I haven't won any of this round of bloggy giveaways, though, so things evened out. Of course, I barely entered any!)

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The game was a lot of fun. It contains a tray and 18 powerful magnets, and you have to strategize how to put the magnets down in the tray without hooking them all together.

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Just when you think you've got it figured out, bam! They all start to jump up and attract each other! Good for some giggles.

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Rob really needs to work on his play. I won all five games that we played. Na-na-na-na!

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Chloƫ joined us after a while, and we let her play. Here she's bragging to her father about having more magnets than he does. She didn't quite get that that was the opposite of what's wanted!

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Soon she figured it out, though, and was having as good a time as the rest of us! She didn't think the girls would want to play it at her birthday slumber party, though. Which is fine, since it's for ages 8 and up, and they'll only be 7!  So there, Miss Party Pooper!

After we played, Rob tried to stick as many magnets together on his nutsack as he could. He got ten. I'm so proud of him. He didn't want me to put the picture on the blog, for some crazy reason.

Anyway, if you'd like to play Jishaku or any of the other games on the Jishaku website, you can get a 15% discount by entering "winner" under the coupon code at check-out! Let me know if you do. I'm a curious soul.

Off to go watch the rest of Season One of Californication.

Fin.


Already Falling Behind

Whoops, I'm a day behind already and we've only been back since Monday!

Wednesday was a busy one for me. We got up pretty early for us on a Wednesday morning (8:30 ish) and had breakfast. Afterward, since Barbara was coming, we had to do some cleaning up. Not a terrible amount, since Stephanie did an awesome job of keeping the place neat while we were gone, but we had gotten some toys out and had a lot to put away still from the trip. The kids were a great help. When they are in the mood to clean up, you can't beat them! When they are not in the mood, you want to! Hehe, kidding of course.

Barbara came while I was still downstairs in my nighty, picking things up, so we said our hellos and how-do-you-dos, and then I high-tailed it up into a shower. Oh, the cool water felt so good. I love a cold shower in the summer, especially after working up a sweat doing some cleaning or something. Do you? Am I the only one? My husband HATES them and will take the hottest shower possible, no matter how hot he already is.

So after my shower, I unpacked my suitcases and put them away, piddled around doing a few more things so she could clean in there, and left.  The kids love going for rides in the car, so I planned several errands for Barbara Day.

First stop: New glasses for ChloĆ«! The day we left for Spain (hi, my trip is over and I'm still excited about it), I had taken her to For Eyes to pick them up. Well, guess what? They were the wrong effing prescription!  Someone had put minuses where there should have been plusses, and my girl said, "Uh, these are not the glasses I ordered. I can't see a thing!" What?! Sure enough, when the tech checked them, they were for near-sighted folks and not my extremely far-sighted little darling. So, anyway, they never called Stephanie in our absence, and she was still wearing the old-old glasses (the old glasses broke) of yore.

[I'd show you a really cute picture of her in her glasses, because I think they look just DARLING on her, but now I can't upload pictures to the computer from my camera at all. Freaking technology!! I finally get Typepad settled down, by switching to Firefox instead of IE once again, and now the computer doesn't recognize that there are pictures on my camera to upload. Thankfully the Europe ones worked, but now I have to settle that mess. Another pictureless blog for you, sorry!]

After that, we headed to the library, to bring back the last book before it was due the following day. I don't relish paying those kinds of fees at all. Well, any fees, come to think of it, but certainly not something totally avoidable. Anyway, I let Chloƫ out at the curb so she could put her book in the drop box, a new 'chore' she loves to do. I also recently started letting her cross the street by herself, to put out the outgoing mail, and I know she feels so grown up doing it!

Meanwhile, there are kids younger than her doing far more adventurous things on their own, but ours is a busy street, and what can I say? I don't like the idea of a squashed Chloƫ.

The babies started yammering about being hungry (always wanting to be fed, that lot), so before I knew what was happening, Vanna started turning away from the grocery store and toward our favorite Barbara Day locale: Panera. Oh, Panera, how I missed you during our fortnight away!  Lunch was good, very, very good, and the kids ate all their food. Love that!

A silly old goose of a lady stopped by our table and said, "Look at all your children! They're all yours? Did they all come at the same time?" I just smirked and said "no," but Chloƫ felt the need to be more informative: "I'm six and a half. I'm the oldest. He's five, and she's three. And he had a twin brother, but he died." The lady looked at me, made a face, shrugged, and walked away, saying, "How nice." I had to laugh, before I turned to Chloƫ and, yet again, explained that we don't need to tell Every. Single. Person. that we meet about Robby. "But why?" she asked. I blurted out, "Because it's none of their damn business!" And you know what? It's not.

But I know I'll be explaining that one for a while.

I had planned to go grocery shopping, to get a few things in the house that we needed and in preparation for Bunco, but Jack was rubbing his eyes at the table. His father called to check in, and when I asked him if he'd mind going to the store for me when he got home, because his son was tired and needed a nap, Jack snapped, "I'm NOT tired!!"

In the car, five minutes later, he was sound asleep and snoring his little sweet snore.

So we drove home, where I chided the kids as usual for walking on my freshly-cleaned carpet with their shoes on, and settled the kids down for naps. They all must have been tired, because I didn't hear a peep out of them. Zonk.

I would have liked to nap myself, but it was time to set up for Bunco! It took me about 15 minutes, but I finally lugged the big-ass treadmill out of the middle of the room, to the side by the back door. I opened the two new packages of card table and chairs, setting one up on the living room and the other in the office. I took all the booster seats off the kitchen chairs, and set out the Bunco dice, pencils, and bell. Ready! Now I just needed that food.

I was hoping people would be late as usual to Bunco, but every single person showed up right on time! Gah! I was still rushing around, making the vodka punch for Drunko Bunko, and putting out the dishes and forks and server-ware stuff, while the house was filling up with food. I have decided, since we're not leaving this area, at least we need to buy a bigger house so I can properly host Bunco. There just is not a lot of room here!

No? You don't think so? Well, at least I have managed to talk my husband into new carpets. Ours are SHOT. Maybe we'll go for wood floors, though. We'll see. And kitchen appliances are next on the list. Ours SUUUUCK.

Anyway, Bunco was a lot of fun. If you remember my blogging about hosting it last September, I was a nervous wreck!!  This time was so different. I didn't have time to stress about it, Barbara had cleaned the place up, and there was just one issue: the litter box. Ugh. It was full to bursting after two weeks away, and though I emptied it, the smell lingered on. Even my new Oust Air & Surface cleaner didn't take the stench away, dagnabbit, and I found out from Stephanie that they were talking about it during Bunco! Ahhhh! How embarassing. I sent out an email after Bunco, apologizing to everyone about it!

I had bought enough Bunco prizes in Europe for everyone to go away with something. Usually, there are seven prizes, to split amongst 12 people. I bought extras, a little from Spain, some from France, from Italy, from Greece, and from Croatia, so that each person would get something. They loved this idea! They all oohed and ahhed as I brought the items out of the bag where I'd hidden them, and when I asked 15 times if they liked the prizes, they all assured me that they did. Stephanie won top prize, so she picked out a coconut necklace from Nice and a leather-and-beads bracelet from Croatia. Looks great on her, with her coloring, too! (Yes, I actually bought something leather. I know!)

Oh. Drunko Bunko: Steph and I had made prior arrangements to get completely smashed and have her spend the night. I was buzzed early on, but I get red-faced and sweaty when I drink, so I decided to save my drinking for the private post-party.  Stephanie, not so much. She was HAMMERED. And hilarious. We were all laughing at her, and she was laughing at herself. (Now that you know she won first prize, you can see how little skill this game requires!) When everyone left, she insisted on pouring me some more punch. Spiked with the Limoncello from Sicily. Ahh, good stuff. I was toast shortly afterward.  I haven't been that way since I turned 21 ten years ago, and we had a good time, just laaaaughing and laaaaaughing and being silly and raunchy. Rob joined in on the party - not the drinking, just the funning - and the three of us giggled ourselves into oblivion. I have a few funny pictures, but again, I can't show them tonight!

Soon enough, we were passed out on our respective couches, and Rob went upstairs to bed. When he got up at 0400 for work, Steph woke up and texted him that the shower and my snoring were keeping her awake! So he ushered her upstairs to our bed, where she spent the rest of the night.

This morning, I woke up first, when Sophia and Jack got right in my face singing, "Good morning, Mommy, we're hungry!!" ChloĆ« joined shortly afterward, and then Steph made her way down. We had a very unhealthy breakfast of Bunco leftovers, and then we sat at the new card table in the office and made a stickers-and-foam Christmas craft that my MIL had sent months ago (obviously) for project time. I have pictures of this, too, but alas...  We all helped, and it came together quickly. The kids did a really good job, even though Jack threw in the towel early to go play with cars.

After that it was lunch time, and I think I made five different things for lunch. But no matter. Everyone ate something healthy, and their bellies were filled. Time to go to the pool! We suited up the kids and sprayed them down with sunscreen, before getting ready ourselves. Of course, we neglected to use SPF on our own bodies, and that was our fatal mistake.

Man, after two weeks in the Mediterranean and no burn (and no sunscreen then, either, because I am apparently stupid), it was pretty annoying to get such a bad burn today after ONE HOUR at the pool on an overcast day!  Just goes to show you, you can never be too careful or sure where the sun is going to get you. But I am fried, and Steph got herself a nice sunburn, too, for the sixth time in her life. A couple of dumb bunnies we are!

Fortunately, the kids were unharmed. Sophie did get a little color, but Sophie always gets a little color. She tans, though - and yes, I know, even a tan is a sign of sun damage. But it's far better than a burn, especially on one so small.

Anyway, we came home, gave the kiddies a snack, and sent them down for much-needed naps. Again, they were quite worn out and didn't make a peep! Stephanie left then, and I tried a dozen times more to post on the European blog, with no success. But if you'll check, I have finished posting about Day One now, so go read!

Argh, I'm yawning my head off, so it's time to cut this pictureless saga short. Long? Not much happened the rest of the day, anyway, other than my getting the chills so bad that Rob had to lay on top of me to get me warm. I'm better now, and tomorrow is another day.

Fin.


A Long One, As Requested

Wednesday was such a busy day, I came home and went right to bed from exhaustion. This cold/whatever is still kicking my ass, and now all the kids are sick from it, too. I can not wait until winter goes away!

I got up early yesterday morning and took a shower with Chloƫ, so that her hair would be nice and curly for her Dollar Tree photo shoot. Then we woke up the rest of the children, got them dressed, and everybody fed. I had already spent an hour the night before getting bathing suits, sundresses, shorts and tees ready for the photo shoot - as assigned - and had the directions printed out. So, off we went.

We got a little lost in downtown Norfolk, and I had to call the studio for directions. Who knew there were cobblestone streets in Norfolk, Virginia? Not I. Sophia piped up from the back seat, "We're bumpin', Mommy, we're bumpin'!"

So we arrived at the studio, ten minutes ahead of schedule (hey, more time for the time sheet), and lo and behold, they were expecting much smaller models than ChloĆ«. Like one- and two-year-olds. To model their swimsuits and shorts sets; we weren't supposed to bring our own. Is ChloĆ«'s agent a dipwad or what?!  So I was all prepared to be very annoyed about having to get everyone up, miss morning school, drag them all out sick, etc. when they spotted Sophia in the stroller. "Do you think these 18M bathing suits would fit her?" they asked.

Well. Uh. We can try...

And they did! So in addition to the other two models there, Sophia had her pictures done in three different suits and outfits. She was a natural ham - we always say we've got the wrong kid in acting, because Soapy's such a drama queen - and she did a tremendous job. They were so pleased with her, they even sent the two other kids home and kept taking her pictures in another outfit. She would pose with her hands on her hips and turn to one side, then to the other, then blow kisses to the camera, and smile on command - she was great! At first she didn't want to do pictures at all - and she certainly didn't want to wear any make-up - but then we told her to pretend she was at the beach, and she jumped right in there and had a great time.

They even wanted Jack to do some pictures after they sent the other little (uncooperative) boy home, but Jack wanted none of it. He just huddled next to me and shouted, "NO!" I don't know if he would've done if if he weren't miserable, but I wasn't going to make him. So, the Dollar Tree ad will be out on May 18th; pick up a copy and see our newest little star! It'll be a nice little bit of money for her college account, and unlike Chloƫ, I probably won't even need to "pay" her a little something for doing it, since she won't have realized she was "working." I can just put it all in the bank.

We got out of there earlier than expected, so we raced home to beat Jack's school bus to the house. I was dubious about sending him, but he seemed perked up about going and didn't complain at all about not feeling well, so I made his lunch and got him into his backpack just as his bus pulled up. One kid down.

Then I threw Chloƫ's backpack and things together and drove her off to school. "Did you oversleep this morning?" the attendant asked when we walked in. "No," I stated, "she was at a photo shoot for..." "Mooooom, it wasn't my photo shoot, it was Sophia's!" Well. True. But she was there. Two kids down.

Then it was just me and Baby Bubba (she still loves that new nickname).  Barbara was coming to the house to clean, so we needed to clear out of there. I ran home to get my knitting, and then we drove to the new Panera for lunch. Instead of my usual You-Pick-Two half-sandwich and small bowl of soup, plus a kids' meal, I thought we'd just get a full sandwich and a bread bowl of soup, and share that. Oh, man, it was waaaay too much food. One thing I have noticed for sure since being on this starvation diet is that I can't eat nearly as much as once as I used to; I actually get full for once! And of course, while Soap can sure pack it away as compared to her sibs, she can still only eat a, well... she can eat enough for a small adult. So we threw away almost half a sandwich (I would've kept it, but she hacked at it and ate pieces of it from all different angles, and it was just a mess) and half the bread bowl. Wasteful. I hate being wasteful. We'll not do that again.

Then we drove to the yarn store. I wanted to do a bit of social knitting, plus I needed to pick out some cute buttons for the sweater set I'm knitting now, and I needed to get some items for the February prize pack I still need to mail out for my crochet list charity thing. We had about two hours alotted for the yarn store, which would have been plenty of time to get all that done. Only... no sooner did I get Sophie buckled into the stroller (to keep her from running amok and pulling balls of yarn out all over) and wheeled to the back of the store, but my phone rang. (And having your phone ring in a yarn store is similar to being in a library, or a fine restaurant, or the movies - everyone turned pissily toward me; oops.)

It was the nurse at Jack's school. He was running a fever, and doing a little coughing, and saying his throat and tummy hurt. Ahh, my poor little guy. I can't say I was terribly surprised. I told them I was down off Lynnhaven and would be a little while getting there, but I'd be there soon.

We rushed to Arrowhead, and I ran in to get my little sickie. One of the teacher's aides from his class carried him out to me, and he looked so tiny in her arms. She said he had been sleeping until I called. He just looked pathetic. Miserable. I carried him out to the car and took him home.

When we were pulling in, the nice Japanese neighbor lady (I suppose I could start calling her Sachi now, which is her name - will y'all remember that? Promise?) and her husband (who is African-American, and who has told me his name at least three times, and I still can't remember it), and their two little boys were outside with bikes and helmets and stroller. They called out that they were going to the park around the corner. Sophie ran over to greet the boys - her new best friends after playing together two days last week while Mommy ailed - and their parents. Did she want to come to the park with them? She sure did. After checking to make sure it wasn't too much of a hassle for them, I agreed, and they were off.  Too bad I had Jack, or that would've been three down, and free time for me! But alas.

Barbara was surprised to see us, and I apologized and told her I'd had to pick up m'boy from school, and I was going to sit on the couch and cuddle him. She said she'd clean that room last and went upstairs. So I lay down on my back, and piled Jack on top of me on my belly, and he fussed and whimpered and didn't want to lie down. And about three seconds later, he was snoring loudly and tucked down into my arm, dead to the world. He slept for a long time and sweated profusely, his poor little feverish self. He only woke up because the doorbell rang, announcing Sophia's return from the park.

I fed Sophie a snack and put her down for a nap. Chloƫ arrived from school shortly after, and she went to lie down, too. And Jack and I snuggled and napped together some more.

Daddy came home, and asked what I wanted for dinner. "Bunco! Bunco is for dinner!" I cheered. To be completely honest, I was looking forward to getting away from the sick kids and the sick house and the sick, sick, sick. Is that rotten of me? Too bad, I was excited about it.

So I did a little knitting for the hour or so before I had to leave. This is the hat that I made the night before, which matches the sweater dress I'm making now: 100_5902

It's made of Sublime cashmere merino silk DK and is just as soft and - yes - sproingy as anything. I adore this Sublime yarn; it's one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the hat wouldn't sit up nicely for pictures, so here it is slumped over on its side. I started the sweater to match last night:

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All of those bobbles at the bottom are a royal pain in the patoot; I hated making them. They wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to knit three together - and I've had to knit four and five together for other bobbles, so I've got no right complaining - but it makes the yarn split and the whole row took like an hour to do by itself.  But I like the Vs in the pattern and have since added on two more sets of Vs on top of this. And it's such a lovely color green. Barbara liked it, too. It's slow going, though. I can only do one set of Vs at a time before getting tired of it and putting it down for later.

Soon, it was time to head for Bunco. Oh, Bunco. Always fun. And everyone brought really good food this time, so I could eat plenty and not just fill up on junk. There were deviled eggs - I actually ate one, and I don't eat eggs! And it was good! - and chicken and veggie pizza and pasta salad and all sorts of good things. I didn't feel like cooking (shocking, I know), so Rob assembled small ham sandwiches for me to bring, and about half of them got eaten. He's a good Bob, he is.

Then we started the games. Carolyn, the one I can't stand, was in her usual form. Gah, she is so annoying. SO. She always grabs the dice when she sits down, so she can roll first. I mean, who the heck cares? And she started rolling last night before the head table rang the bell, which shouldn't count, but she insisted. WTF. And she took my score sheet because she couldn't find hers, even though I was RIGHT there and looking right at her. Hello! I know, all this sounds petty and stupid, but she does things like this constantly and is just so irritating, and it adds up. Plus she's just not pleasant and is a grump and I just don't like her. She tried to talk me into bringing her out to Stephanie's in Chesapeake for next month's Bunco, but thank God I have to go a different way, away from her house.

But the highlight of the evening was brought on by none other than Yours Truly. Jill, our hostess, had some lawn chairs around one of the tables, since you have 12 people and need 12 chairs to play. Fine. But these were some deeeep chairs, and I sunk far back into it and couldn't play very well. So as I was trying to get out of the chair and instead just stand on my knees at the table, it collapsed backward and threw my head and back into the corner of the bookshelf behind me, before landing me smack on my head on the floor. Oh. My. God. I was so mortified!!

I just sat there for a minute, stunned and unable to move, while the commotion flew around me. "Are you okay, are you okay, are you okay?" everyone asked. I tried to laugh through the humiliation, but I soon found that I still couldn't get out of the chair! Finally, someone's face (can't remember whose) was over mine, and then someone else's, and they were hauling me out of the chair onto the floor next to it. And I still couldn't get up. I'd hit my head hard.

Eventually, I made it onto my knees, and apologized profusely to Jill who apologized just as profusely back to me, and I joked about her homeowner's insurance, and we all laughed and got over it. But it was so embarrassing!!! Many people came to my rescue, though, and told me similar stories of a chair breaking underneath them. That made me feel much better. And I'm fine today, other than a big, sore bump on my noggin. And as predicted, Rob laughed his tush off when I told him about it.

The rest of Bunco passed quickly, and we all had a lot of fun. I didn't win any prizes, but the best prize for me is always just being there and laughing and being with my friends. Awww, puke.

Today, we're not doing much. The big kids are both home from school sick again, and Jack is absolutely miserable still, and sleeping on the couch. Chloƫ was probably well enough to go to school after all, but one extra day of resting won't kill her. And Sophie seems to be doing just fine. I've got a little knitting done, and more resting for me isn't a bad idea, either. We've got nothing at all going on today, thank goodness.

I'll leave you with this picture of Sophia pulling up her pant legs so she could check out her pretty dress-up shoes:

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Fin.


Reminiscing Baby Chloƫ

Sick again, I am. Two colds, back-to-back. I'm a little bit cranky about it. Rob's sick, too. And you all know what men are like when they're sick. Not a picnic.

Yesterday I woke up feeling crappy again, so I canceled my shops and just hung out with my baby girl all day while J and C were at school. After they got home and everyone had a snack, we headed out to babysitter-Stephanie's in Chesapeake.

She was hosting our monthly Bunco group, and since Rob had duty and has a whole bunch of work this week, I had to bring them with me. He was hoping to get out a little earlier and come get them - and he did. Leave early, that is. And immediately got a flat tire. Suckage! If it's not one thing with that boy and his car, it's another. They're like a comedic duo. Man vs. Machine, duking it out. Who will be the last one standing??  I vote for the Jetta.

So Steph's husbo babysat the kids in the back room while we girls laughed it up. It was a pretty hilarious night of Bunco, as one newcomer was over-excited about winning a prize and then we all copied her. Fun stuff. Love my Bunco.

We got home very late, and I was glad I'd had Chloƫ do her homework before the partay started, because the kids needed to get right into bed. I sat down with Rob to knit and watch a movie (I'm making a little baby girl dress in a smoky brown extra fine merino wool now), and before too much longer, I heard someone crying upstairs.

Well, the only one who really cries in bed, and like that, is Miss Chloƫ. Oh, no, here we go again. Rob went up to check on her and called me up to help. Yep. She'd puked again. She's in the top bunk, and she rained it down all over Jack's bed on the bunk below. It was pretty gross, although now that I'm typing it up, that's kind of funny.

Jack never woke up. Rob did the pukey laundry, whipping his sheets out from under him, while I bathed the sick girl. I held her up with my leg in the shower, and she clung to me like a little tiny baby, so fragile and small. I held her like that long after I was done cleaning her up, just enjoying the bond.

I dried her off and rubbed lotion all over her, telling her that I used to massage her every night like that when she was a baby - and Jack and Sophie, too. And that reminds me of Tuesday evening in the car.

The Styx (right?) song "Come Sail Away" came on the radio, and I started singing it to the kids. Then I lowered the volume and told Chloƫ that it was the song I sang to her Daddy when he entered the OR, before she was delivered. Some 10 or 11 months earlier, when we were "dating," if you can call it that, he had sung it to me as an invitation to join him and make a life together. Under all those drugs and lights and stress, it burst forth from me and I sang it right out loud when he came in, not caring who else was in the room. Come Sail Away on this new journey, into parenthood.

And then I asked the doctors if I could go swimming the next day.

********

Today was not at all exciting. I canceled/rescheduled my shops again and spent the whole day hacking and doing laundry. Loads and loads, hours and hours of laundry. I chipped away at that mountain, folding the huge piles of clean laundry, washing the huge piles of dirty laundry, and putting away giganormous stacks of the kids' clothes. I've been in transition between their summer and winter wardrobes, and I finally got everything squared away where it should be, six hours in. And I made Sophie's bed and our bed.  That's all I accomplished today.

Oh, and I/we just watched I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which was aiight. I got some knitting done, and the lacy pattern is emerging. Phew, it worked out. I was worried.

That is all.

Fin.


Gone Widget Crazy

Thankfully, Rob got off duty early enough today to take ChloĆ« - along with her brethren and sistren - to her first acting class. I felt like shiznat and fell fast asleep, until he called to tell me he was on his way home.  ChloĆ« was feeling a lot better, it seemed, so when they returned, Rob went to the school to prepare for his participation in the haunted house, and I took her to the second acting class.

I woke up feeling crappier than ever, so I reluctantly had to cancel my "job" helping to run games at the school carnival. I really hate flaking out like that, but what I hated even more was realizing that I had bought 50 tickets for the thing that would go to waste if we didn't go anyway! So I called the organizer back and told her that, saying she might as well put me to work, but she refused. Am I even making sense here? I feel like I am not, so let's move along.

At the second acting class, the kids waited in the double stroller, watching a movie, while I knitted. Knit. Knat. Whatever. They were exceptionally well-behaved... until. Three girls came in and, while their mother sat nearby talking away on her celly, they broke out a whole bunch of candy, right in front of my kids. Of course mine started whining that they were hungry, that they wanted candy, etc. Then they started asking the girls for candy, and I kept telling them no. Then the mom asked me if mine could have candy, and I grudgingly said they could have a little. They quickly ate that and then wanted more, and I kept telling them no, we were going to go eat after class - and the girls kept sitting there chowing down. Come on. That's not cool.

So after struggling through the huge door for the thousandth time with that humongous Cadillac of a double stroller, I decided I was done with it. I didn't want it anymore, I don't really need it anymore, and I'm sick of having it. Jack's almost five; he can walk. And if he can't, we still have two umbrella strollers and a wagon. I got Rob's approval, and then I came home and posted it on Freecycle. Two dozen replies immediately poured in. That thing is so gone in the morning!

So, I took the kids to the carnival. Fifty tickets was not nearly enough for three kids, I learned, to do the haunted house, face painting, concessions, and all those games. But they didn't even like the haunted house. That's an understatement. They were supposed to really tone it down for the little ones, and mine screamed holy terror and came out of it crying. They actually touched my children and got right in their faces and screamed. I wanted to punch them. I don't like that; why would a two-year-old?

So we quickly rushed away from there and got some snacks. Choices were limited, and the only real "food food" was hot dogs. Ugh. Major contraband in my house, but we didn't have much choice. Jack didn't eat it; he just wanted nacho chips, no cheese please. He didn't even finish his juice box. At least the girls chowed down.

They needed the energy. We went into the cafeteria and played game after game. The games were pretty stupid, and the kids got prizes no matter how well they did, but for the under-seven crowd, it rocked. They got candies and pencils and trinkets. Lots of fun. Next year, we'll do that first.

We stopped at the school spirit table last. All I wanted was a keychain lanyard, since I lost my Navy one about a year ago and have had to - gasp! - carry my keys in hand or in my purse ever since. If you have three small children, wearing them around your neck is ever so much more convenient, and I don't give a rat's hindquarters about how it looks. But they didn't have any. She even went to the cabinet somewhere else to see if she had one last one hidden somewhere, but no such luck. Rats. I plunked down five smackers for pawprint earrings for Chloƫ to wear to school on Fridays (the school mascot is a Panther), and we headed home. Finally.

Jack was complaining of a headache, and he felt hot to me by the time we arrived, so I was going to put him right to bed. He reminded me that we never got popcorn at the carnival, however, and he really wanted that "pockorn," so I put in Veggie Tales movie and popped the last bag. Then I cuddled my warm little boy on my belly while the girls went through their treat bags. Rob came home from his job much earlier than I expected, to my relief. So I handed the babies over and picked up my knitting.

He put them to bed, and I watched Dreamgirls. Then he came down, and we watched Zodiac. And that's it.

Fin.