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Sonfish Gear: The Son Always Shines

Disclosure: I was not paid for this post, but in exchange for it, I was entered to win a gift card. All opinions are my own and will always be.


Once again, the holidays are in full swing! Last minute shopping, out-of-town visitors, holiday parties and church functions are just a few of the things that keep us busy during this time of year. As if being a Mom (and, for some of us, a blogger) doesn't take up enough of our time! On top of that, there is that 2012 church or group fundraiser you have to plan! And for that reason, we are happy to announce the launch of www.sonfishgear.com, an online Christian apparel and accessory store.


As a mom, church member or community organizer, we know that you may be looking for fundraising opportunities. Sonfish Gear is proud to offer a unique fundraising program which allows groups to purchase products at wholesale prices and resell for fundraising. This is an exciting way to switch it up from the usual church car wash and bake sale, to offering a variety of quality Christian apparel and accessory products. To find out more about Sonfish Gear's fundraising opportunities, click HERE!


In early 2012, Sonfish Gear products will also be available for individual purchase! From hats and sunglasses, to iPhone cases and baby clothes, Sonfish gear has something for everyone on your 2012 gift giving list. If you need a last minute holidays gift idea, the classic Sonfish Car emblem is immediately available for purchase and would make a great stocking stuffer this year! The Sonfish emblem reminds Christians that Jesus, the Son of God, is always shining his love upon us. To check out Sonfish Gear click HERE!


So check 'em out, if this is right up your alley!




Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme, Part The Third


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

41. What is a quote that you love?

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that is my religion.
-Abraham Lincoln

42. Do you think of pure hate as something humanity created?

Yes, definitely. Or inhumanity, as it were.

43. When was the last time you wanted to scream?

About five minutes ago. I'm sick and my kids are driving me nuts. I sent them out on a ten-minute errand with their father so I could have ten minutes of silence. Ahhhhh... Hear that? Nope. Me neither.

44. Do you ever at times see the world in black and white?

Sure, if it's warranted. But my world is pretty colorful most of the time.

45. Have you ever thought that cell phones are too obtrusive?

Yeah. Then I got one.

46. In your life, where do you think the rainbow will end?

My pot of gold was found the day I met my husband.

47. What is something that you never want to do again?

Smell mustard. See TBFH, aka my ex-stepmother.

48.When was the first time you realized the world was small?

When I went to Miami for college and some people down the hall recognized my accent as Central NY because that's where they were from, too.

49. How do you spend your time contemplating life’s mysteries?

I do my best thinking in the shower, and in my dreams. And, when I forget not to, when I'm driving long distances.

50. Ever discuss your political beliefs with people?

Honestly, I try not to. I hate arguing over that stuff. Hate it.

51. Do you care about the environment?

Yes, deeply, and it makes me sick that other people don't. Like, literally, physically ill. RECYCLE at the very least, dammit!!!!!!!!

52. What’s your motto for life?

It used to be, "If you want something done right the first time, you've got to do it yourself." Now, I still believe that, but it's currently, "Anything's okay, as long as it's funny."

53. Is progress destroying the beauty of the world?

Pretty much, yeah. But there is beauty in much of that progress, too, so it's a fine line. The problem is overpopulation, more than progress.

54. Do you believe there is life somewhere else in the universe?

I believe it's possible.

55. Would you like to rule a country?

You couldn't pay me enough.

56. Do you believe everything has a purpose?

No. Sometimes, things just happen, and you either accept it or end up bitter. After my son died, 90% of people said, "Everything happens for a reason." I wanted to kill every single one of them.

57. Is war ever for the best?

I'm not for it. Call me Ghandi.

58. Could you kill anyone in defense of self or loved ones?

I would do ANYTHING for the people I love.

59. How do you react to people (Such as Governor Rick Perry) who don't believe global warming is really our fault?

I think they're idiots, of course. Because they are.

60. Does love conquer all?


61. Is euthanasia morally acceptable?

I think it should be legal.

62. Is world peace impossible?


63. Is pride a good or a bad thing?

A little bit goes a long way.

64.What do you think is the purpose of your life?

Make good people out of these little monsters I created. ;)

65. Do you believe in karma?

I believe that people will reap what they have sown... eventually.


Sunday Stealing: The Questions Galore Meme, Part The Second


Linky linky, don't be stinky! (Whatever. I like rhymes. Busta, too.)

21. What was the last song you listened to that wasn’t sung in English?

"Si No Le Contesto" by Plan B

22. One of our SS players generally leaves a critical comment on our memes. Which is fine. All's fair. Do you let meme authors know when you hate their memes?

In my own post, yeah. Not on their page. Why, who does that? And why do they keep playing if they don't like it? Dumb.

23. What TV show would you like to be on?

The Apprentice!

24. What was the last video game you played?

Eh. Gosh. I don't play a lot. Wii Fit, I guess, but even that's been eons.

25. Have you ever been in a musical? If yes, do tell.

Yes, in high school. Well, and in 5th grade, I played the part of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. I totally stole the show, too, between the costume my stepmother made (one of her few good qualities was she was an excellent seamstress) and my song and dance. I developed stage fright after that, and I never soloed in public again. I haven't even done karaoke.

26. Do you follow your own style or everyone else’s?

I dress how I want. I don't know that I have a style, but I definitely don't have anyone else's.

27. What’s the last store you bought from?

The "Rock Shop" in Hard Rock Café, D.C. I got a shot glass for my collection, and a magnetic can opener thingy for Rob's. It's shaped like a guitar pick, which he likes.

28. In retrospect, have you ever let a person use you a lot?

Yes. I've been known to play the doormat quite well, thanks.

29. What are you doing two days from now?

Probably shopping for the groceries I'll need for my co-op cooking classes. I tend to go in the mid of night.

30. Did you ever believe there were monsters in your closet?

I can't remember. I had real-life monsters to worry about.

31. When you graduated high school, did you let random people sign your yearbook or just close friends?


32. Would you consider adopting a child that had a mental illness?

Definitely. I have thought about it, actually. I would do that.

33. Does thinking about death scare you?

No. I think about it a lot. It doesn't bother me. I welcome it. When it happens, I'll be ready. Unless I'm being brutally murdered. I have a low tolerance for pain. But never mind that.

34. If you died, do you believe that you go to Heaven or Hell and where would your spirit go?

Really? Again with these kinds of questions, in a meme? I believe I would go to Heaven, and that would be my spirit. My body will be fed to the sharks, I hope.

35. Who did you last write a snail mail letter to and why?

Um um um... well, I write postcards to my friend Erin all the time. She collects them, so wherever I go, I try to get one or six.

36. Do you care what people say or think about you?

Yeah, but less so, the older I get. I always will somewhat, though. I mean, who doesn't, at least a little?

37. Have you ever been threatened?

Heck yeah, and then some.

38. Which side of your family do you get most of your qualities from?

I have my dad's facial appearance, my mom's (and her mom's) body, and probably most of my personality from my mom. The fun stuff, that's all her. And I'm pretty fun, I think, so thanks, Mom!

39. What was the last thing with alcohol that you drank?

I had a Cuba Libre with Diet Coke today. I don't normally like rum & Coke, but I think b/c it was Diet and not to sweet for me, it was all right.

40. Have you ever kept a relationship a secret?

Oh, heck yeah. Numerous ones. If you read my Saturday 9 meme before this one, go back to #5. I hid a lot of those from my extremely racist (but mellowing with age) father, back in my college and grad school days.

Guess that's it. Have a great week!


Aloha Friday


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

I saw this question on a friend's Facebook status update a little while ago, and it's been making me think ever since, so I thought I'd steal it for this post:

What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Now, I realize some of you may not believe in God, so apply it to your particular belief system and don't be offended, please. As for me, wow. What a heavy-duty question. I would be stripped of a lot of THINGS that make life comfortable and interesting, but I would still be super blessed. And now I'm making sure I express my gratitude, whether silently or out loud, for those "things" on a daily basis.

Happy weekend!


The Queen's Meme: The Afterlife


It's my first time doing this one, and I'm trying it out because I'm killing time whilst not getting the taxes done! Click here to play along. I'm doing last week's, because this week's is about football (the North American kind), and frankly, I couldn't care less about it!

So. Here we go:

1. Have you ever seen an angel? If not, do you believe in them?

No, I've never seen one, but yes, I believe in them. I think of my son as an angel. And my mother. And I believe in guardian angels... I'm sure I have one. Maybe it's my mom, I don't know...

2. Tell us a real ghost story. Ever seen one?

No ghost stories here. I don't believe in them (ghosts).

3. Have you ever had a near-death experience?

I have, but not like an out-of-body experience or anything like that. I was really quite sick with severe pre-eclampsia before my eldest was born, and it was scary for me.

4. It is midnight in Heaven. You have just arrived. You are told that you can choose any kind of "Heaven" you want. What would that be?

All my loved ones are there with me, and my long-standing questions are answered. Beyond that, I'm sure it will be amazing, and I don't even want to begin to guess how awesome.

5. You have come back to Earth as something or someone else. Describe that entity.

Hmm. Interesting. I would love to be the person who is able to convince the world's human populace to stop the destruction and devastation that we're causing Mother Nature.

6.  It is your first morning in Hades. What fascinating aspect of the underworld will you visit first? 

Suck. I don't want to be there! I don't even want to think about it.

7. Scientists have just created a new pill that induces immediate immortality. You can live forever! What are you going to do with the rest of your life?

Oh, please, no. I would not take that pill. I welcome death.



As this Easter dawns, I'm reminded of a very significant-to-me Easter seven years ago, in April 2003 (because apparently I couldn't count on you to do the math).

Our twin sons had just been born the month before, and Robby had died. Our other son, Jack, had spent a harrowing month in the NICU, mostly a feed-and-grow baby, before being released on Easter Eve. We had been invited to attend the new Saturday evening service of the church we still attend now, so we decided to take our newly-sprung baby boy, along with our 19-month-old Chloë, to Easter service.

In the month since Robby had died, I had been, of course, an emotional wreck. I still had to be Mama to Chloë at home, still had to run daily to spend hours at the hospital with Jack, still had to produce and express breast milk for him, which required regular eating, still had to communicate with and show love for my also-grieving husband... while at the same time, a big part of me had died inside along with my angel son. To say the least, it was not an easy time.

The first thing I noticed when we took our seats at the church, was that two rows in front of us, a couple was toting a pair of identical pink carseats, with two tiny baby girls inside. Yes, girls, but obviously newborn twins and, from the looks of it, identical ones, too. My fragile heart shattered anew.  Rob looked at me. "Do you want to leave?" I did, but I assured him that I wanted to stay. Somehow, I needed to be there.

And I did.

As the pastor talked about the events of that long-ago time when Jesus rose from the dead, inside I dwelt on the circumstances of his death. For the first time in my life, during which I had always been a Christian and had never stopped believing, the enormity and magnitude of what God had done for us struck me like a lightning bolt. I had just lost my own son, and here He had given us His only son, His only child, so that we might be saved. In the past, I could not comprehend how meaningful and difficult that must have been. At that time, seven years ago, I understood all too well. It was everything. It was sacrificing one's own self for the good of all mankind. 

I cried during that service and didn't care who saw me. I will probably cry again when we go to Easter service later this morning, after three Easter baskets and six dozen plastic Easter eggs filled with icky-yucky jellybeans are hunted and found, chocolate bunny ears nibbled, faces washed, and tiny bodies tugged unwillingly into pastel dresses and sweater vests. And I won't care who sees me.

I don't claim to be the best mother ever, or the best wife. When provoked, some horrible things sometimes spill out of my mouth; it's a learned behavior. But I love that man, and I love those three imps, more than I could ever try to explain to you in words alone. There is only One who knows, and He has given us the greatest gift: everlasting life.

Believe it.


Saturday, What A Day

Not really.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


A Breakthrough?

Holy fuck.

I think I've finally had some sort of epiphany, and here it is: I don't believe in Christian Science.

I really don't.

(For those who haven't known me my whole life or more than an hour, I was raised a Christian Scientist. We didn't go to doctors and shunned the medical community. The idea was to heal as Jesus healed, through prayer. My mother died when I was 7; she was 33. I am now 33. Feel free to ask questions if this post raises any for you; it is more for me to get my thoughts out at this late - nay, early - hour, so that I can remember them the next time I talk to my father.)

I don't feel like Christian Science "works." I think even saying "this works" or "This has worked in the past" or "this will work for you," the word "works" as my father kept saying to me the other day, when talking about healing the lump in my boob, connotes some sort of magical powers instead of faithful, healing prayer. I don't know, enough about that part.

I feel like with Christian Science, it's more intellectualized, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, that has to be said just right, instead of straight faith and belief talking. I feel like I'm trying to believe what I say, instead of saying what I believe. Like I'm trying to convince myself of what I'm saying, instead of having the fervent belief that what I'm hoping for can be achieved.

I feel like it's trickery, like I'm trying to bed God's will to my own, rather than just surrendering myself to His will.

Aren't I supposed to surrender? Aren't I supposed to give it up to Him? "Thy will be done." Not MY will; isn't all this metaphysical wording basically a way of trying to inflict my desires upon the thing that isn't wanted? Whatever problem it is?

And if this worked... why is my mother dead? Why is my son dead? If this worked, she would be alive, he would be alive, there would be no war, no famine, no pestilence or pain, no sin, no disease, no death - and everybody would be doing it. Everybody. It would be a utopia.  No one would need glasses or a root canal. Everything would be... perfect.

But only One is perfect. We are all flawed. How can we bend these sneaky prayers into trying to make things perfect, when we are, by creation, NOT?

So I don't believe in it. I don't believe it, I don't believe it, I don't believe it. God damn it, I don't believe it!!!!!!!!!!

And I won't do it. I can't do it. I can't make myself believe what I know I don't. I would just be going through the motions, doing it for my dad instead of for myself, biding my time until I go do it my way, which is going to the doctor and praying. For God's will to be done.

I feel better now that I've gotten this off my chest. Maybe now I can get some sleep. Lord knows I need it.


My Body Is In One-Derland

Well, I've done it.

Remember a month ago, at my 8-month post-surgery mark, I said I was hoping to be in "one-derland" (ie, under the 200-lb mark) by my one-year surgiversary in January, 2010? (I didn't make up that term, just go with it.)

Well here we are, one day before my 9-month mark, and I just weighed in: 199.7 lbs, three months ahead of schedule!!!

I've lost over 141 pounds in 9 months, and it feels fabulous. I'm feeling pretty awesome, actually. Go ahead and congratulate me; I deserve it. Hahaha!! (kidding, kidding)

My new goal is to be at 175 or less by the one-year mark. Now that I'm back to regularly drinking my protein shakes, the weight loss that slowed down over the summer has kicked back up again. I think it's doable. I won't be upset if I don't make it, but I'll be thrilled if I do!

At my check-up on Thursday morning, my doctor told me that HIS goal for me was to get down to somewhere around 150-160 pounds, and that I would look like "death warmed over" if I got down to 120. So if I hit 175 by the one-year mark, I won't be that far off "goal"!

Fan-flipping-tastic. I am so excited right now. If only I could get this saggy baby belly removed...then I really would be in Wonderland!

(And I know you want pictures - nine more pounds to go until I take and share them, okay?)


Other bits 'n' bobs of late, since I missed Friday Fragments:

Please pray for Stim and Baby Luke. I don't want to share details that she hasn't mentioned on her blog, so I'll just ask for prayers. He's okay, but things could be going better for them.


Just a random silly picture Rob set up and took of Chloë wearing her hair on backward. It's an iPhone pic, so the quality... but I love all those healthy curls! Too bad she doesn't appreciate them; she's always asking me to straighten her hair. She wants "straight, yellow" hair like Sophia's. Tsk, tsk.

Neither girl did that well at soccer yesterday morning. I bribed Sophie into staying on the field by telling her if she did, we would go to Fall Carnival at the kids' school at night. So she literally planted herself on the field and didn't move, simply repeating, "Fall Carnival!" every time the Coach spoke to her and asked her if she wanted to run after the ball and play. *Sigh*

Chloë's game was at the same time, so Rob and Jack were on her field while I was watching Sophia. When I got over there, they had split the teams into two games, one on each half of the field, like they do with Sophie's games. That was new. Rob was up front... but Chloë was playing in the back! I asked him why he hadn't moved to the back, and he said, "Because I can still see her." Yeah, but... she can't see you, and she can't hear you cheering for her! That's important. Well, I guess I got to another mom whose daughter was playing at the back, too, because she got up and went with us to the back field! Haha.

We had to bring the after-game snack for Chloë's team. Everyone else brings cookies and junk, but I wanted to do something healthier, so we brought 100% juice boxes, bananas, and string cheese. It didn't go over well. Those girls wanted their cookies! We brought more than half of it home. Oh well, my kids will eat it!

We got a note from the Team Mom telling us when the end-of-season party was, and that we needed to kick in $20 for it. Twenty bucks?! That seems like a lot to me, after paying for the season, cleats, shin guards, socks, a ball, team snacks... .and now this. So much for soccer being cheaper than dance lessons. Sheesh.

We had to stop at Wal-mart after the games, as I was out of printer ink and needed something disposable to bake for the Fall Carnival - and all the kids suddenly needed to go potty. I shopped while Rob took the kids to the bathroom, and then we met up outside. On the way to the car, we spotted this "wind-up" SmartCar. Can you see the turny-thing? How cute! I just love those SmartCars. There is a SC dealership just down the road from us. One of these days, I'm going to go over there and take a test drive, just for kicks. I can't wait!

Steph called me on the way home, asking why we didn't come see her and the baby Friday night as planned. I was waiting for her to call me, and she was waiting for me to call her! Oops. I really want to see the little guy, so I'm kicking myself! They might stop by after church today, and if not, we may go over there. Pictures for sure, if we do! (Well, maybe... my new camera isn't holding a charge, so I might get one or two before it dies. WTF.)

As soon as we got home, I had to start baking. I'd promised one or two things for the Cake Walk at the Fall Carnival. My plan was to make two chocolate bundt cakes, but I couldn't find anything at Wal-Mart but foil cupcake pans, so, change of plans. In the end, I ended up baking four dozen cupcakes. They had to cool before I could frost them, of course, so I left them cooling on the table, with strict instructions to the kids to LEAVE THEM ALONE, while I went upstairs to shower and get ready for the carnival.

No, they didn't touch them. They were actually good. Phew.

My dad called me while I was upstairs getting dressed. He wants me to go the Christian Science, prayerful, metaphysical route in taking care of whatever this lump is in my right breast. However, sobbingly, I told him that I can't do to my children what my mother did to Stacey and me (she died when I was 7, at my same age of 33), and that I had to go find out what this is and treat it medically if necessary.

He understood that, but he suggested we work on it and get rid of it before I even go to the appointment, resolving things before they even start. As he said, what could it hurt? What do I have to lose?

Okay, but if it's still there, and this doesn't work, then I'm going the other way. He told me that the practitioner who worked with my mom before her very sudden death couldn't "get past Karen's fear," and so they weren't able to have the breakthrough they needed to save her life.

Really? Fear killed my mother? I think it was the untreated diabetes...

The whole thing had me extremely upset, and after I hung up with my dad, Rob was there, and he held me for half an hour while I cried. I gave myself such a headache! But really, it was so unnecessary that she died that way. I needed her. I needed her!! I still need her. It fucking hurts...


So I got dressed, and guess what? Move over size 18, because I fit into the nice, new size 16 pants that Linda gave me last week! I looked pretty good, too. Maybe I'll wear that when I take my 150-lb loss pictures for y'all. Hot Mama! ;)

I went downstairs and used my cake decorating stuff to swirly-frost the cupcakes. Some in chocolate, some in classic white (whatever the hell that is), and some in white buttercream. I just used what I had in the pantry. They looked really good, though. I even dreamed of eating them, which is sad!

I told Rob it was his job to figure out how we were going to transport the things to school - I mean, four dozen! -  We decided to stick a toothpick in each cupcake to keep the Saran wrap off the frosting, and then put two six-packs of cupcakes on each of four cookie sheets. Then, against our better judgement, we had Rob and each of the children carry a cookie sheet in the car, all the way to school, on their laps. Eek! We told them a million times not to touch the cupcakes, just the cookie sheets.

Well, again, they listened, the cupcakes made it to school in one piece! All 48 of them, all 8 separate pans.

We got there an hour early, because I never actually confirmed that I would be bringing anything for the Cake Walk, and I wanted them to know that I did follow through on my promise. They were thrilled, and I was too, because every single cupcake got there in one piece.

For the next hour, instead of helping out with setting up for the Carnival - during which time my kids would probably just get in the way - we walked to the back of the school and let the kids loose on the playground. They ran and ran and exhausted themselves thoroughly, racing each other around the field and just generally having a grand ol' time. I had my camera in my purse, actually, but I completely forgot about it, so I have no pictures of this or the Carnival fun. Dammit.

That hour would have been a good time to realize that I didn't have my wallet - with the Carnival tickets - with me! I didn't check until we got back inside and the food was ready. You have to purchase the food you want with tickets, too. And... I had none. Argh! So I sent Rob home to get them, giving up our awesome parking spot to the crowds who were starting to roll in. We sat with our thumbs up our butts and watched, and waited. Yay, fun.

Finally, he returned, and everyone had what they wanted: hot dogs for Jack and Chloë, pancet and lumpia for Rob and Sophia, and, well, nachos and cheese for me, because there was nothing protein-y I could eat otherwise. Just a couple for me, and then Chloë devoured the rest. No sooner did we finish eating, than Sophie got a funny look on her face. I've rarely seen that look on her, but I recognized it well from the weak-stomached Chloë. I got the foil wrapper from the hot dogs just in time to catch the puke. Boy, she really lost it. I think that's only the third time ever in her life that Sophia has thrown up! Poor kid.

Then she said she had to poop, and I was figuring it would be upset-tummy ucky poops (sorry for TMI), so I had Rob race her to the bathroom while I sat with the other two. During their absence, Jack said, very loudly for the whole room to hear, "Mom, what does 'pussy' mean?"

I gasped and said, "Jack!! Shhhhh! Don't say that!"

We went 'round and 'round, with him continuing to say "pussy" (What does it mean? Is it a bad word? etc) and me telling him not to say it... until we finally got to the point where he was remembering a kids' song on one of their CDs about a pussycat! Hahaha, I was so relieved.

Rob came back and laughed his arse off when I told him that story.

Well, Sophie seemed fine and insisted she wanted to stay and play the games, so... we stayed. And played the games. They won a bunch of prizes and had a lot of fun, and she really did seem fine. And we all did the Cake Walk together, but we didn't win. Jack was really pissed; he wanted some of those cupcakes!

And I was happy to see that all of my cupcakes went first! All of them were gone in the first half hour, and all the other baked goods were left. Yay, me! :D

We left after that, when all our tickets were gone, and I went home and crashed. I slept for 12½ hours. I've been so tired lately, so very tired... and I have a huge, unexplained bruise on my forearm. I'm hoping these are not symptomatic of anything, you know? Fear.

Well, I need to go clean, clean, clean... hope y'all have a great Sunday!


Holy Saturday


Saturday morning, we all got up early and drove down the road to IHOP for breakfast. Another mystery shop. I didn't eat a thing, though, having been up all night getting sick after trying a tiny bowl of cereal. Cross another food 'attempt' off my list! Sophia insisted on wearing her birthday hat, and she got a lot of smiles for it.

I had posted all those free eggs I'd gotten free on Friday night on Freecycle before we left, o we had to get home to start doling them out. We certainly didn't need them all, and indeed we still have about 5 dozen eggs. I love and hate Freecycle; people are so rude on there, it drives me crazy. But I like getting rid of crap I don't need, and sometimes scoring something really awesome.


Rob took the kids to the van dealership to give me a break while I dealt with the Free-seekers and took care of some things. The inside of the driver's door was coming off, so he got the parts needed to fix that. He's so handy, and now it's all better. Good thing, I was going nuts with that. When they got home, I had just finished making the green icing for their Easter cookies (green because that's the only color they left me when they got into the food coloring, and I wasn't going to break into my Wilton colors for them!).


I'd picked up some cheapy Easter sprinkles at the store too, so each girl got two bottles of them. Jack didn't want to help. Rob was outside working on his truck, and he wanted to watch and "help." So I iced, the girls decorated, and Jack wanted to help eat.


Their finished work. Oh! While we made cookies on Friday, we talked all about Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and what Easter means to us as Christians. (They were especially impressed about Him being nailed to the cross and having thorns pressed into his head, and Sophia likes to solemnly tell me that part, over and over.) Well, when Daddy came home from work, they showed me that they actually, truly, really listened, and parroted back almost verbatim what I had told them. All three of them told the story. I was duly impressed.


Digging in


Jack, refusing to let me take his picture. What else is new?

So after that, I wanted to run out and do the three Food Lion shops I'd taken, and I was in  my car and just about to take off, when I remembered Jack's eye exam at 1230! Oops. So I stayed home instead and made a very sad CARE Package, for a little 18-month-old girl named Maddie. She died suddenly on the 7th, and her story has been all over the blogosphere ever since.  They wanted everything to be purple for Maddie, so I sent a giant, white baby blanket we'd been given for the charity (I think on Freecycle!), along with a dark purple sweater and soaker set I'd knitted a few months back, along with the usual supplements. I hope it helps them through this time, somehow. Very sad.

I drove to the Post Office and man, it was mobbed. I never thought I'd get out of there on time. But I got the package mailed at last, zipped home to pick up Jack, and fled to Wal-mart for his exam.


He did so well during all the parts of the exam! He followed directions, read all the letters that he could read, and just generally cooperated and actually had a good time with it. He seemed really excited about everything and was very curious about all the machines, but then he is quite mechanically inclined. He didn't like wearing the paper sunglasses after getting his eyes dilated, though!

So he definitely needs to wear glasses and is farsighted in both eyes, after all. Initially, the machines read him as far- in one eye and near- in the other, but she said they get a better picture with kids after the dilation because they lose the ability to focus. They aren't anywhere near as bad as Chloë's eyes, which are about as bad as her dad's. And the doc recommended Sophie get an exam too, but they don't do them there until the kids are six-years-old, and I really liked that doc. Plus the exam was free with our insurance!


We went next door to pick out some glasses while the dilation took full effect. There weren't a whole lot of options to fit his tiny face, but I knew this pair was The One as soon as I put it on him. This is a bad phone picture; he doesn't really look cross-eyed wearing them! So they'll be back in about a week, and he has talked about it constantly since then! He's really excited to "wear glasses like Chloë." I hope the novelty doesn't wear off too quickly and he does something to damage them!


When we got home, we decided to all go to the nursery to let Sophia pick out the tree she'd asked for, for her upcoming fourth birthday. I, of course, love that she asked for a tree. A tree! How wonderful! How cool, how unique, how utterly Earth-friendly. My girl!! Here she is, once again making nicey-nice with the statuary.


Although it was drizzling, everyone was in good spirits as they checked out all the sights at the garden center, a place where we haven't gone in a very long time. (I have no gardening skills whatsoever, and Rob isn't inclined right now...) Here they are playing with a bubbler, which one of them deemed a 'birdbath.' Whatever, enjoy yourselves, just don't break it! (Mom, as you can see from Sophie's hands, they received the Easter cards!)


We were helpfully referred to the tree and shrub guy on duty, and he asked us what we were looking for. We told them our 4yo wanted a tree for her birthday, and we needed something pink and low-maintenance.  He had what we needed. Sophie dutifully followed him over to the...


Crepe Myrtles! Sophia pointed out one after another and said, "I want that one!" She didn't seem to mind that they were mostly sticks with a few leaves at this point. I expected her to want some big ol' tree, already statuesque and thriving, but phew! She did not mind the littler ones in our budget.


"Mommy! I'm bigger than this one!"


The Tree and Shrub Man chose a tree in the Hopi variation, saying it would produce a nice, pink color and be in full flower already this summer. Perfect! That was the one.


On the way out, the kids stopped to admire the very large, very cool, but very expensive chimes. I love chimes. I just wish I had a place to hang them, here. Oh, how I miss living in an actual house.

So that was that. We went home, and it was time to shower and get dressed for church. We don't go a whole lot ever since Sophia was born and completely through a wrench in our previously-very-organized scheduling, but we do manage to go on the big holidays. I know, I don't want to be that Christian, but we are working on it.  We keep trying.



Before we left, we did a quick Easter photo op. These are  few of the funnier outtakes! I'm waaay behind on actually getting them into Sears for birthday pics, oops...


At church, the kid's program was having a Scooby Doo dinner, because we all know what that has to do with Easter: nothing. I still don't get it. But Chloë squealed and was too thrilled to go up and do her thing when she saw him.


Eventually, they all got into the groove, but the 'Doo was on the move to other kids.

So, we checked them into their respective rooms and headed into the sanctuary ourselves.  Ever since Robby died, I get a little tearful at Easter, because I realize just how huge a sacrifice it was, given to us. I cried as usual, but no one saw me. The only thing I hated was not being able to sing along -  my favorite part of the service - since I am still voiceless. I mouthed along, Britney-style.


Afterward, we picked up our progeny, went home and handed out a few more eggs, and then went out to Silver Diner for a late birthday dinner. Sophie had her free meal and shake coming, and they love to go. I don't remember what they're all looking out the window at here...


The cherry on top is always quickly scarfed up!


Chow time!

We went home, and everyone crashed after our long, busy day. I'm going to go take a break, maybe make some egg salad or have a popsicle, and then we'll see about Sunday...