Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time is Money

So tired. No time or energy to blog tonight.

Must get sleep and finish staging a house tomorrow! Already shaping up and looking fresh and ready to sell! : ) Good work, Mom!

Will resume normal life after this weekend. And laundry is semi-caught up.

I sent all my pictures into Wal-Mart that I wanted printed. It's $46.00. Ugh. That does cost more than making a video and burning it to dvd for the kids to watch. Maybe it'll be easier in the long run, and time is money.

Ps-Keep using your Clorox toilet tabs. Just believe me. You'll thank me later. Keeps funk from growing in your tank. And transferring to your toilet.

My baby got locked in the bathroom today. He did it himself, so I didn't freak out. The kids were running around trying to find a key. He was not panicked, so I kept washing dishes (well, my Paula Deen fancy skillet cooker) until the panic passed. They got him out, so no harm done. Is it a Moment? When you mature into Non-Panic Mode? I think I had a moment today. Or I rather enjoyed washing without help. Hmm..

Fit in some enjoyable painting time today to paint a canvas. Fun, relaxing. I should fit it in every day! I keep canvases in the closet for an emergency. You know, a decorating emergency when you can't find the perfect art. You just Make It! : )

Really gotta go to bed. I guess I did have time. ; )

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

Ok, guess what I should be doing now? Yep-Laundry! What am I doing? Not Laundry!

I'm back in my groove. I've checked Facebook, updating the blog, uploading pix to my computer, and Wal-Mary stuff! Not boring old laundry. There will be plenty of time for that. : )

I get my hair done tomorrow, so excited! That always makes a new me. Feels fresh and fun! So, woohoo, Me! : )

Ok, airplane toilets are not made for two people. Namely, a small child and an adult. Less so for a small person who the big person forgot took off their shoes. Ick. Big Time. Note to commercial airplane designers: make at least one combo bathroom. I know you want me to spend as little time as possible in there, and believe me, I will get out asap (except see below). It's just so hard to manage! The postitive in the tiny compact space. He could stand on the toilet and reach the sink-it was just the right height! : ) Small Thankfulness.

Ps-Don't take more luggage than you can carry. Even with all hands on board, i.e. everyone's hands maxed out. Adds to stress. And NO junk/boxes/stuffed animals to be carried on. More stress. Ps: and stuffed animals do NOT get their own seats and snacks (like today). It was a Special Occasion (Low Occupancy Plane and Patient Flight Attendants).

Vacations Add Weight. Yes, baggage. But body too. I always come home with more than I left with (baggage and body).

Edit your camera pix on the plane to take out the blurred ones and icky ones. Saves time all the way around.

Don't take more vacations (or vacations pix) than you can "Scrapbook". This trip, I'm printing the pictures, slapping them into a premade photo album, adding some comments, and I'm done. Really. This scrapbook thing is out of my reach at the current moment. And the video was a great idea, but I'm still not done with the Disney one, so nix that idea too. Maybe when they're older I'll scrapbook all these vacations. Yeah, I don't think so either.

Sides of the road are not meant to be bathrooms. And you should go when one (that is, a clean, flushable restroom with running water, soap, and a door) is offered to you (and commanded). No names, but listen up. Ps: helps if you have shoes on too. If you decide to totally take undies/shorts off, it sucks to have icky sharp, dried grassy bits stuck to the bottom of your feet, then transfer into your undies on redressing. Little Itchy. Just FYI.

Your extra admission from this mom today: I went to the bathroom on every flight. If only to sit there and look at myself (yes, spending too much time), just to have a break and 10 cubic feet of emptiness around me. Well, empty except for a tiny sink, mirrored walls, paper products, and a call button in case I panic. What exactly would I call her for? Hmm..thought on that one for a while in there. Ok, what's yours? Coolest (real) admission wins a 2009 JDRF Mary Claire's Friends Who Care (about diabetes, but your funk too) Team T-shirt. : ) How's that for prizes?

Ok, that's just about all the excitement I can share legally. Very thankful to be home (although I still feel like I'm moving after the 100 mile-an-hour headwinds we flew into and all the turbulence). Thank you for safe travel prayers. My family thanks you.

Ps-wanna pray for Ches? He hasn't ridden his bike in a week, and he's freaking out. He rode off into the *dark* about 40 minutes ago. An absolute no-no, but he's losing it. Please, God, help him find it . : )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lost and Honest (but not about being lost)!

I seriously need to be packing up for home instead of playing around on the computer. I have now caught up with my email, facebook, and here I am blogging. Maybe I'm procrastinating? I can't figure out how to get all the stuff we brought plus all our new stuff back in our suitcases. We almost always send stuff (like dirty laundry) home in a box via UPS. We planned to try to not do that this time. We exercised restraint. And still. The bed is full, the bags are full, ugh. But, the kids are *almost* asleep, and that counts for a lot!

(Philadelphia Center City, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Philly cheese steaks, gift shops, Love Sculpture in JFK Plaza, Chestnut Hill shopping, dinner at Rita's and more fun for the kids!)

Lost things:
1. Blow Up Toys:
We managed to retrieve the lost (new) floaties we'd brought, but didn't get to use. We left them last week when we stayed at this hotel (different room). I have asked about them a couple times, and got them back this morning!

2. Ches' iPhone:
At a restaurant today, my phone rang, and it said it was Ches' Cell Phone. When I asked him if his butt was calling me (not really), he said he didn't have it, so I answered it. It was a human. He'd found the phone and was calling the number most often called. Long story short (rare): Ches ran down to O-Doodles Toy Store where the guy was (I assumed it was an employee-not), Ches came back with no phone, I went down there, and got it from a customer who was reluctant to speak up about having it, or to even give it to me! Talk about weird.

3. Ethan's Beloved Kiki:
What a Potential Disaster! We were driving away from Ches' Aunt Rita's house, when we discovered Ethan's blanket missing (because he'd already kicked his shoes off, and he WaNtEd it!!)! We called her (she was driving us, leading us out of town), and then called the house, and Kelly, Ches' cousin, said she'd find it. We drove back by, grabbed it (thank you, God and Christian!), and then proceeded to leave. Funny. The big Leaving Party, and then we come back. heehee

Okay, must pack. Really. And get to bed. I talked to Mom last night till 12:51, and so I'm tired. I'll see you on the other side! : ) Pray for our safety on our drive, two planes, and drive home from Branson!

New Thing (and you can join in anonymously), Honesty 101:
Today, I had leftover chocolate peanuts from Ocean City, and I won't take them on the plane, so I tried to eat the remainder of a pound. By myself. While Ches was doing the first tuck-in of the kids. My gallbladder hurts now.

What thing do you care not to admit, but you will?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not Spoiling. Really.

We really don’t spoil our children. Really. Sometimes I even think we (meaning me) can be mean. We make them brush their teeth, wash a lot, fold their clothes, take their dishes to the sink, say “Yes, Ma’am”, help their little brother, and be appreciative. When we took the Crayola Factory tour today, they were good and took turns. Afterwards, we went to the Crayola Store, and we limited their treasures-to-go to $5. Why? I don’t know. It just seems like spoiling to buy them every little (or big) thing they want everywhere we go. I know we don’t go on vacation (that) often. But I think gifts every day (or every day of vacation) would spoil them. I want them to appreciate little things, and if you always buy the big things, they begin to expect big things. Then little things don’t matter. It’s a theory, and I’m taking a chance, but I like it. And that’s what’s important.

We drove to Easton, Pa for the tour (and learned how crayons and markers are made). And learned a few things:
#1: After a new marker is made, it has a white tip. It takes about 15 minutes for the colored ink to reach the tip. So you can’t use it right away!
#2: If you (well, probably your preoccupied child) leaves a marker lid off all night, you can soak the tip in water for 30 seconds, recap it, and it’ll work again after about 24 hours. : ) Handier to know Before you have thrown away scores of markers. But it’ll still save quite a few too!
#3: You can use white Model Magic (by Crayola) to make tons of things. We used tokens to buy white, and they taught us some tricks. One is to pull off a piece of white, color it with (preferably washable markers), then knead it to color it! You can keep it up to make it darker. Clay made a mushroom, and Mary Claire made a flower. Then wash your hands!
#4: They have a Dryer! After you paint, finger paint, and make prints, you put your art into this big pizza oven-looking thing, and it slowly runs your art through a heater/fan, and dries it!
#5: Crayons are completely non-toxic (so you can eat them). They are made of paraffin wax, clay (to make them stronger), and pigment to color them.
#6: The glue that holds the paper wrapper on is just cornstarch and water!
#7: They also make the paper long enough to go around the crayon twice, and that also makes the crayon stronger and less likely to break.

We are back on the road, planning to see the new Disney movie, G-Force at an IMAX theater near where we had lunch (kids made their own pizzas at Uno Pizzeria). Ethan’s been sleeping till now, and now he’s awake and mad! He gets so disoriented when he wakes up away from his bed. We’ll pull over, and maybe make the movie. It starts in 15 minutes.
**Update: We did make the movie, and it was cute (and compared to Transformers and Harry Potter, it was clean! No really bad language except, “Get your butt out of my face”). Ethan kinda made it through. He had to go to the bathroom about 10 minutes before the end, and then he was crawling around between the seats, but he made it. Tiny Success.

Tomorrow: Shopping in Philadelphia, Major Landmarks like these, and dinner at Rita’s!

We think Clay has dandruff. He was itching a couple nights ago, and his scalp had peeling bits of skin. Ches got him the nice (coal tar or something?) shampoo, and it’s helped so much. I washed it again today with the shampoo, but it says to only use it twice a week. How did I never notice? Or did I not know what it was?

AND, did I get to tell you about Clay’s ENT appointment? It went well, and the doctor was so nice and helpful. She’s going to take out his adenoids, and reduce his turbinates (the big ball-type things you see when you look inside his nose). He’s using a nasal spray to see if she can get the turbinates to reduce in size, if not, she can do it while she’s in there. The surgery is August 6th. It’s outpatient so it shouldn’t be too bad. He is frankly relieved that there is something to be done, and that maybe he’ll be able to breathe better, soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

DC: Metro, Museums, and Monuments (aka: Blisters, Boys, and Bathrooms)

We have Official Blisters to show that we saw Washington D.C. properly!

Saturday, Washington, D.C.
We got ourselves together, and made the drive to D.C. It was a longer drive than we thought due to traffic. On a map, it’s only 120 miles, but driving it takes much more than two hours! We arrived, checked into our very cool hotel (we were room 1001 on the tenth floor, and at the corner of the triangle shaped building overlooking Thomas Circle. A beautiful roundabout with traffic, people, and great architecture. I took pictures from the balcony, hope they turn out! I haven’t even started to upload the millions I’ve taken!

We went downstairs, walked two blocks to the Metro station, bought tickets, and made ourselves familiar with the “subway/train/monorail” as Ethan called it. Then got off at Smithsonian, and walked the Mall area. We just missed the closing of the Museum of Natural History, so we toured the sculpture garden, outdoor sculptures-very thought provoking, then the Air and Space Museum-out of this world! (heehee) We ate dinner there, then as we came out there was a huge storm blowing up! So we ran-walked to the Metro, took our train back, then had to walk in the rain back to the hotel. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be-we weren’t totally soaked.

We watched the end of the Hulk movie, ordered Chinese (at 9:15pm!), ate again, and then then went to bed. If the kids’ room hadn’t been facing the east, they might have slept in just a bit longer. They were just so tired! It is an invigorating, busy city though. I can see how they don’t want to sleep.

Sunday, Washington, D.C.
We rode the Metro into the Smithsonian Mall area again. We went to the Museum of Natural History first since it was closed yesterday when we showed up. Actually, it wasn’t closed, but you had to get in by 5 or 6, then you had to leave by 7:30 I think. I’ve already forgotten. It’s data you hold in your head as long as it’s important, then it’s gone.

What a fascinating trip. This alone was worth the drive/trip. We saw so much in one day, my head can barely hold it all. All I can say is Clay was in Heaven. He loved everything. He would run from one thing to the next, he made the volunteers and employee guides turn their heads, he couldn’t take it in fast enough. He was the perfect age, and just was amazed. I can’t say enough-I lost him twice and started yelling his name, then got downright mean. I was so worried, and there were sooo many people there!! He could only think of himself. He wants to be a paleontologist, and working for the Smithsonian preparing fossils would be a dream. We encouraged him, but then he’d be far from us. (Kinda scary not knowing what your kids will do when they are grown.)

Anyway, we saw dinosaurs, early plant and animal life, ocean life (and a 32 foot long squid *real* if you can imagine), rocks, minerals, land formations, the Hope diamond and so many more real gemstones it’d make your head spin (all more lovely than the last), insects, birds, ate lunch, saw more, gift shopped, and went out to sit on the grass for some ice cream and decompression.

What we consider relaxation, the kids considered playtime! Clay ran around and chased the pigeons (naughty boy), Ethan peed on the grass (I know, SO Not Okay-he started to have an accident, then sat, pants down (while I was changing his underwear, and finished on the grass), then I insisted on seeing the Lincoln Memorial.

We walked the very long walk from the National Mall past the Washington Monument (truly beautiful, surrounded by flags), and then past the WWII Memorial with the massive slabs for each state and wreaths on each. There is a long walk beside the Reflecting Pool before you actually make it to the Lincoln Memorial. I wonder if they planned for it to be so far away. Anticipation builds as you near it. We stopped a couple times to rest, as it was so very hot. There are some trees, but they only block about half the path from the sun. Clay walked along the water (to be able to tell us about all the duck poop along the sides), which only stressed me a little. After walking along the subway, it wasn’t as death-defying. He was fine (it’s just me). I know he’s growing up, and I’d hounded him so much in the museums, I just had to let his leash out a little.

Emphasis on Museum and Lincoln Memorial Restrooms: What is with the messy bathrooms? Why can’t women sit on the toilet properly? Could they avoid the messes/toilet paper nests (and newspaper nests)? When you balance above the seat, please be courteous and wipe it off afterwards (and flush or trash your nest). I don’t want to sit in the drips. If after I flush, there are no splashy bits on the toilet, that means what was there before me was not toilet spray. Ick. I’ve had to clean the toilets BeFoRe I use them! I’ve seen the nastiest bathrooms in the last day! What a pity for our national city.

We took the elevator up to see Lincoln. It was as great as I’d thought it’d be. He almost glowers over you! I took a close up of his face, and thanked him for all he did. I had to explain to Mary Claire all he did. There were so many people, so it was hard to explain in front of them too, but it was worth it. I photographed the walls, the pillars, the eagles, and then we took photos on the steps out front. It was wonderful. I just insisted, so I was thankful they’d all trekked that far just for Lincoln (and me).

Then we headed north back to catch another Metro towards our hotel. We’ve picked up the luggage, car, and now making our way back to Philadelphia. What a great day! The kids are sound asleep in the back seat, as I type away. The rain held off (but should hit later tonight). I’m just pleased with our trip. Valuable time with family, beach playtime, enriching museum time, and education to boot. Could it get any better? We’re only five days in, but precious time. Thanks for your prayers. I know God heard you (and me too!). I’ll keep you posted.

Tomorrow is Philadelphia-touring: Manayunk (my fave!!), Chestnut Hill, Philly cheese steaks, the Love Statue, Liberty Bell, and maybe Hershey or Crayola? We’ll see what gives in the morning. We can’t do it all. Tuesday night is dinner at Rita’s, and I don’t know about Tuesday day. Hmm..more to come! : )

Say a prayer of thanks for Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and all of our founding fathers for their time and dedication to giving us a land of freedom.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Could words really fail me?

I’ve finally gotten a few minutes (or 3 hours, whichever you look at it) to write a little. We are headed to DC now. We are getting ready to cross the Delaware state line on Hwy 295 (if you are mapping out little tour…).

Thursday, Ocean City, NJ
It rained on the drive to Ocean City, and Clay whined most of the way to the beach. He was so upset that the weather would ruin our trip. When we were stopped in traffic on the Expressway (ironic, huh?), we got to see the wildflowers growing in the medians and shoulders. They value flowers more than we do in Arkansas. Anyway, we prayed to be optimistic (and the kids prayed for the rain to stop). We drove to Ches’ Aunt Rita’s beach house (on Asbury and 14th, two blocks from the beach-just perfect). We had some lunch (Taylor Pork sandwiches), and hung out on the porch. Karen’s husband, Joe, played the guitar for us and we sang along. He plays by ear, so if we told him a song, he played along with our singing. He taught us some songs (he’s from the Philippines, and knows tons of Elvis!) and some of the old hymns and songs (like 16 tons and Michael, Row the Boat Ashore), and even humored me with Takin’ It Easy by the Eagles, one of my favorites.

I also went up Asbury with Karen and Suzanne (Ches’ Aunts) to some of the cute shops. There were 3 Ta-Da!s (resort clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc.), a chocolate shop, a jewelry shop, doll shop, decorating shop (this and the jewelry shop were my favorite!)… There were more, but we headed back to help with dinner. Clay was too busy having so much fun with his cousins-running from room to room playing chase, computers, videos, etc. He stayed behind, but Mary Claire went with me. Ches and Ethan hung out and went for a walk.

We had margaritas, more singing, chips and salsa, and then people started arriving. I didn’t know that there’d be so many! A lot of Ches’ family goes to the beach on the same week or two, and they are together on the beach, then together every night for dinner. They take turns at different beach houses, which is just genius. So, we had a great Mexican dinner, then we walked down to the beach as the sky finally cleared up. They just HAD to see the sand and beach! I got a few good pictures of the sunset and the kids playing in the sand. Ethan wouldn’t leave!! : ( We promised to come back the next day.

When we got back, there was a great game of Scrabble going on the porch, and of course, I went around to each player to help. And I did! It was great. Around 10 or 10:30, we gathered up the playing (but tired;) kids, and headed back to our hotel. It was about an hour’s drive, so the kids passed out in the car! We carried them in, and put them straight to bed.

Friday, Ocean Citiy, NJ
Again, we bathed everyone, packed swimsuits, picture clothes, and back to the shore! It was finally a beautiful, sunny day, and because of yesterday, the kids knew to appreciate today!! They were finally thankful. : )

We had lunch then changed into picture clothes. I knew there’d be no time in the evening to take pictures, and by then we’d be all dirty and not so cute. We met some more family at the beach, took our pictures (they helped!), and went back to change. I don’t even think we were there 20 minutes! The kids just wanted to swim and play in the sand, so it was heading south quickly.

Beach Time!
We played all afternoon in the waves (the tide was high!), the sand (and sand puddles), under the pier, and Ethan ran all over (big surprise!). He ran to other people’s sand castles/piles/holes, ran across other people’s territory, chased the seagulls, tried out other shovels, ran into the waves-scary, and only ran off once. Ches was gone to take Clay to the bathroom, and I was trying to get Mary Claire’s pump plugged back in (there was sand in it!). We were all busy trying to rinse out the site, and Ethan ran off-even with about 8-10 people around. Danger Boy we still call him. A stranger came up and asked us if he was ours. He’d ran off with a bucket in each hand, headed south on the beach! I ran after him, and carried him back. Thank God for other moms at the beach.

One heart attack later (and one coming on), we left. If I couldn’t get her pump to plug back in, we were quickly heading back to our hotel to change her site!! : O After the outdoor showers for everyone (and an intense headache), I got her pump in. It wasn’t tight, but it’d work. Next was medicating me, and feeding the ravenous lions. They ate everything in sight! Ches went to get more food and drinks, and they kept eating! Dinner was later tonight-around 6:30 or 7 (you lose time at the beach). We had spaghetti, salad, tons of parmesan (especially for our little cheese lover!), and French bread-just what we needed. Everyone else was planning to head down to the Boardwalk for a night out. We knew we were headed to DC in the am, so we left early-by 8:30.

Wednesday, Washington, D.C.
Here we are. Today. Currently chaos. We are traveling to DC. We’ve already been through Delaware and now Maryland. The kids are going crazy in a vehicle with no tv/video. Or should I say I’m going crazy? We pulled over for a Performance bike store and Ches got a new helmet. We stopped to eat at Olive Garden when no one was very hungry, and it took way too long. Now the kids are fighting, jealous, noisy, etc. Mary Claire is jealous that Clay’s seat will lean back, and that he got to play with games on Ches’ iPhone (even though she was busy coloring). Ethan has a broken pacifier that he chewed a hole in, and we had to pull over to get his blanket from a suitcase (I washed it yesterday and was trying to preserve the Clean Moment).
I’ve now (thank God for me) found a Christian radio station (the first), and yelled at the kids to be quiet/time out for 10 minutes (but not exactly in that order). I must get at least 10 minutes to restore my sanity!

Words are beginning to fail me. (Yes, surprising.) We are now navigating through lots of 95’s looking for 295 towards Baltimore. Confusing, and requiring my brain power, as I am our GPS (almost as good).

Prayers Needed:

Patient kids (and heck, patient parents too!)
Safe passage
Enriching museums
Words to Come (especially the right verses at the right times so as to soothe me)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Cows to Tides

We’re on our way now. We are driving to Branson. Not only did I not make it to Bible study, we barely made it out of the house by 11! We rushed around doing all the last minute things that come with travel. It’s interesting that the minute you are driving away from the house, your mind begins a mental checklist that somehow doesn’t work while you are scatterbrained and rushing. It’s an odd process. I wish we could “practice” driving away the day before, just to get it right.

List of things we went back for (and set off the alarm in the process):
Ethan’s blankie (Kiki) and pillow
Ethan back-up pacifiers (Didi)
New crayons (3 boxes)
More baby wipes
Pull-ups for nights/naps
Mary Claire’s bow for today
Ches and Ethan’s bike helmets (for riding at the beach)

Our current list of forgotten items:
Sippy cup for Ethan
The monogrammed cup I was making for Rita! (Arghhh! at myself, Ches politely *zipped* his lips and refrained from judgment, as I do enough to myself for both of us)

I grabbed all the stuff to take, and was busy packing my (mighty cute floral/green gingham with leather handles that my mom got me a few birthdays ago) behemoth carry-on for the first 30 minutes of our car ride. We just ran out of time. I bought fun snacks for the plane, brought the kids’ new toys, crayons, coloring books, play-doh, new card games, and now there isn’t much room in there for good stuff like my cutesy iPod, my backup sunglasses and watch, and new summery Southern Living!

We’re getting closer to the new airport we are trying out-Branson, Missouri. I’ll let you know how it ranks. I’m hoping well. We are really counting on a good lunch there before we take off. There’s a Dave’s BBQ there, and it’s our plan. Ches is still on edge (as usual on any trip). He obsesses about the car ride (#1 reason I’m really glad we are flying-44 hours of driving within 2.5 weeks is not my idea of vacation), about making it to the airport, about the weather for flying, about making it to our gate, whether the flight will leave on time, about us making our connection, about us getting our luggage, and the traffic when we get there. I think he must’ve missed a few too many planes in his lifetime (although I do remember the time our flight got cancelled from LA to Atlanta, the time we got returned to Atlanta when Clay was a baby and the runway lights at XNA weren’t working, the time his flight from Atlanta to XNA was cancelled due to ice…) I guess I’ll zip my lips on this one.

Too Much Info About My Tanning Philosophy:
I have a theory. When you are tanning, are you going for an awesome no-lines tan, or do you want a realistic tan? I go for realistic. I wear a swimsuit, and vary them each time. If I wear one swimsuit to tan, and then another to swim, I’ll have really bad tan lines, and get a burn on my unexposed flesh (geez, what I’m trying to prevent!). So, I rotate. It might mean there are light areas, strap marks, but I like it. When you can see the light spots, you can tell I have a tan.

Other bit of info: It totally dries your skin out!! Don’t forget to moisturize! : )

I’m SO sad about the sippy cup. I’ll have to get a new one, and it won’t be all cute and monogrammed. Sadness at uncuteness. : ( But you’d be proud of my growth: his paci clips totally won’t match his clothes! I was in a hurry!

Ok, more TMI:
We turned left onto Hwy. 65 (behind a cow trailer), and then the road narrowed (due to lovely construction), and we were trapped behind him, and the cows were literally scared shitless. The back one got squished to the back rail by all the other cows, and he started pottying (try to spell that one) all out the back, and it was dripping/splashing onto the front of my van! There can’t be a grosser thing to be behind! I was waving and yelling for Ches to get over, and there was nowhere to go, so then I had to yell to back up! He continued the pee/poop repeatedly every time the driver gassed it. All I can say is Watch Out for Cow Trailers. Can you even imagine what the front of my car will be like after a week of baking in the sun? (Since Of Course we can’t go by the carwash on the way to the airport.)

An Update! ...
We are here now! We flew into ACY (Atlantic City, NJ). We've ordered pizza, eaten, and we are now trying to get the kids to go to sleep. We know (due to too much experience) that it's always hard the first night. We'll make it. We've talked to Rita, and we are meeting them at Ocean City tomorrow for a day of swimming (weather permitting!) and dinner at her beach house at 6. A great day ahead! Say a prayer for weather, safety (as tides are high, :but I'm holding on, I wanna be your number one: ... entire lyrics here to drive you crazy for the next two days!), and that Ethan will either get a nap, or be okay without one.

ps-I've seen no cow trailers in New Jersey.

We miss you already! : ) Behave yourselves.

Monday, July 20, 2009

When we can say what we think

I took my precious Sunday off (from writing, not from life!). Ethan got up at 4:44a, busy morning (lots of laundry/packing!), we went to church, lunch at home, lazy afternoon (naps for some of us!), grilled dinner, Ches swam with the boys, and then I played outside till 8:45 with the kids on the driveway. Great day!

We are gearing up for our next trip-to Philadelphia, Ocean City, PA, and Washington, DC. We leave Wednesday, so I have to get busy. I've been doing the laundry, matching up outfits for the kids, etc. I shopped a little for the trip last week. I've got new floaties/rings for the kids at the beach, new small-size play-doh for restaurants and the plane, they each got a new toy for the trip, I have new crayons and coloring books, and I got them new chapter books to read on the way. Ches also got Ethan some new Thomas the Tank Engine movies stored on his iPhone for the plane. Ethan has this tendency to kick the person sitting in front of him, so we have to distract him.

I have such great friends! : ) I watched Kendra's dog, Mady, this weekend, and she's going to watch my pool next week! I love it. Actually, maybe she got the short end of the stick. We'll be gone for longer, so I hope it doesn't get to be too much work! We are forecast to have some storms, which means she'll probably have to drain some water off the pool on Thursday. : ( I hope it even stays warm enough for her and the kids to swim!! With the temperature dropping lately (in July?!), the water temp has dropped. We were swimming in 83 degree bath water, and now it's like cold again! It might be around 77, which is okay, but I like it around 80. Picky? Yep. But not being picky is just not making decisions. I'm trying to get out of that land. I was there for too long! : )

Alrighty, gotta get more packing done. I just finished this post that I've been working for a day and a half! It's only going to get busier.

*Just for fun:
I had an interesting conversation with my mother-in-law yesterday. We were talking about getting ready to go on the trip, and I was telling her all I was doing, and I was stressed, as usual. (I think I operate well in High Stress mode.) Anyway, she said what was that called, and I said, I know OCD. And she said that I could probably "see someone" for that, who could help me. I said, I know, but I kinda like me like this; I like my stuff all organized and clean (referring to my almost daily vacuuming...). So, she didn't say anything else. #1: Bravery on her part to say it. #2: Bravery on my part for saying I like myself how I am. What a great world when you can say what you think!! : )

Saturday, July 18, 2009

There's always a first.

About my dad's friend that's been helping, my dad says, "Of course he'll be back tomorrow, who wouldn't for 50 bucks an hour?!" to the sweet lady we're all helping for FrEe. She either didn't hear him, or chose to ignore his humor. I did think it was funny, but I know him. : ) heehee

What a fantastic day! : ) I got up early, and set right to work. I just love those feel-productive days! I really swear (not that I should) that I love to do stuff. If I got to choose, I would absolutely never lay around the house. Even if no one was home. I'd get the chance to MoP or clean windows, clean off the deck, water my flowers without some little person escaping out the door in his underwear! Geez, clean my van, vacuum, dust those icky spots, organize my desk, etc. I could literally go on for two days (well, if I had two days).

Anyway, I had the kids go outside (and watch Ethan), and they played sidewalk chalk, had snacks, drinks, I set them up a table, they drew on it, then they progressed to painting with water on the driveway (because I'm a neat freak. It involves a small cup of water and a paintbrush. They "paint" on the driveway, then it dries! Genius, if I do say so myself!), then the Biggie. They all got on swimsuits, and played with buckets of water, measuring cups, and even put on masks, and dunked their faces in the buckets! When they were good and soaked, I took them their lunch, and they ate outside. The entire time I was running back and forth (and obviously hyped up on tea), monitoring them and making dinner for the family with the precious new baby girl! I chopped veggies, cooked and diced chicken, made absolutely yummy brownies! and then cleaned up the kitchen and the hearth room which was destroyed again (takes only an estimate of 4 minutes with 3 children). Then by the time they had lunch, my dishwasher was busy, and I washed their dishes, and I was done! WooHoo! Ches put Ethan down (oh, are you wondering where Ches was all morning? Bed.), and then I got the kids washed and put together, and we headed out!

We delivered the dinner (ok, so it was early), and I got to see the absolutely adorable baby Veronica. She's still New Baby tiny-which only lasts a week or two (the time it seems to take their heads to grow). Ahhhh...just precious. Babies are just miracles. No more can be said.

Then we traveled not far down the road to Mom's friend's house. We stayed there till almost 5, not being very nice. Mom's friend is soooo very nice, sweet, best person she can be. And we had to tell her all the things we'd change/improve about her house to help it sell. How sucky a day could it have been for her? She was so gracious, even with all the honesty flying around. I told the truth, only because I really care about her and her house selling! One of my friends on Facebook posted yesterday that "Lies are ripples". It is so true. I don't want to make ripples. If I can't say it to her, I can't say it. So, I told her.

Then we ran to Target to let the kids spend their money (Tooth Fairy money included), and we were there for an HoUr! We'd forgotten Mary Claire's meter at the friend's house, so we did a little shopping for her! We found the most beautiful ripple-y turquoise-y shower curtain-just amazing. Enough so, that I wish I had a shower to hang one on! Then we added a shower curtain rod, some rings (cute ones!), a bamboo roman shade (for the bathroom too)...and then we ran all over the store looking for light switches, wire ties, etc. Fun!

The most amazing thing I can say about that trip (minus the AmAzInG shower curtain) was that my baby, my big boy, elected to not get anything at Target. He decided to save his money. For the First Time Ever. I kinda did use language like, "maybe you'll find something at the Museum of Natural History", "maybe you'll buy something down by the beach", "there will be lots of stores on vacation!" etc. But still! He actually went with it for the first time. Of course, Mary Claire loaded up on junk at the One Spot: stapler, desk set with protractor (well, it was red), and a little flower-shaped case with push pins, paper clips, etc.

Then we backtracked back to the 'house, and got MC's meter, went by our house, picked up Ethan, and headed to Kendra's to let out her baby to peepee. And she was so good! She ran right out and peed! We kinda cheered for her, and then she quit. Hopefully we didn't scare her! She walked around and peed some more. We took her in since she didn't really want to play, but Zoe wanted to play with her too! So, we all went out back, and the kids jumped on the trampoline (since we don't have one..) and they had fun! Zoe ate all her food, so I bugged Kendra to see if she should have more!

Back home, and busy snacks, jammies, brushed teeth, stories (more Pooh and the Princesses Are People Too), then put the kiddos to bed, late. I'm investing in the fact that maybe they'll sleep in? But then. There was the yelling that came from Ethan's room. He had made a train track all along (the inside of ) his bed! He was frustrated that he couldn't round the corner! I had to set him straight. We cleaned up, and I told him to go to sleep!

What a great day! I feel like I got a lot done, and it was all fun. I learned a lot (whole other story), and I felt blessed to be able to help others. What blessings we receive when we allow our spiritual gifts to function. It runs so smoothly. I'm still learning, and I'm having an amazing time in the process! Woo Hoo! : ) Bring it on!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Helpers Shall Be Bribed (Unofficially)

Enough groceries to feed an army (well, a small one). I got to grocery shop-AlOnE! heehee : ) It was so fun, but surprisingly, took just as long as it takes with three small kids attached to the cart. Hmm.. how did that happen?

I'm now thinking JDRF. Not panicking, just HaVe to get working on my letter to send out. I have to finish the t-shirt design (or be able to tell the designer what to do), reserve a time slot the week before for printing, and umm.. I'll be gone till the week after next. So, time's a wastin'. Why, oh why, haven't I had any volunteers for the shirt design? Some help would be awesome! : ) Hint, hint. Shall I pay for ideas? Host a design contest?
Ps-Mom, I need the letter you wrote! Can you type it, and email a copy? Pretty Please?
Would anyone like to make mailing labels, fold letters, stuff envelopes, or HeLp in general? I Love helpers! : ) And most of all, can you WALK with us?? Register by following the link at the upper right corner of this blog (just click on the words Register To Walk With Us!). We need all the people we can get at Mary Claire's annual Great-Day(only day it's fun?)-to-Have-Diabetes-Party!

I have started preparing for the trip: snacks for the plane rides, toys, coloring books, and cards for the trip, new books, working on planning clothes, new swimmy floaties (inner tubes/rings), sand toys, cameras, etc. Everyone is getting excited, so I need to get packing! I have Bunco the Tuesday night before and Bible study the morning of (if I'm not horribly behind by then!), so Early Packing would pay huge dividends.

New News: You can buy CoFFiNs online. Here. For only $1199. Just FYI.

Newer News: Tanning not so bad *thanks for the link, Mom!* Avoiding sunlight exposure can be just as bad (causes vitamin D insufficiency, and may cause breast and prostate cancer, or TYPE I DIABETES)! Ok, so he doesn't promote tanning, per se, but he does think you need sun. So my naps in the afternoon? Not helping my cancer risk, so I'm upping my every other day-ish needs for sunlight. Real or Recreated.

Newest News: Walter Cronkite has passed away. One of the most trusted television newscasters. He's in my top lineup with Peter Jennings and Dan Rather. I remember him from childhood. And we didn't watch tons of news. May he rest in peace, and may his name be remembered fondly. And that's the way it is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tooth Fairy Delayed. Again.

Tooth Fairy had a broken wand again. Or since she was sleeping on two pillows, the 'Fairy was confused. Or since she left her a dime (maybe hoping her generosity would be repaid with interest?) with her note (To the Fairy), maybe she was confused, and thought someone had already been by our house. To be safe, Mary Claire took out the note (and the dime), and only slept on one pillow tonight. Then I only had a twenty in my wallet. So inappropriate. I improvised. I found an unused church offering envelope of Clay's (from when he spent the night with Gigi and didn't go), so I took that dollar, and found a $2 bill in the junk drawer, tied them up all cute-sy, and snuck them up there. I checked her, and she was only 61. Dilemma. If I give her juice or sugar tablets to chew, she'll wake up, find the money (you KnOw she'll check under there!), wonder how the tooth fairy came with us awake (I'll have to make up more lies..), so. I reduced her basal rate to 10%, and it's almost time to check her again.

Very quick, as it's already 11:09pm...

Library, new books, a number 2 in the potty chair, lunch of veggie pizza, black beans, and apples, a NaP (even for me!), yummy stir fry dinner with my Jody's home-grown squash and zucchini, swimming, tanning for me (and Harry Potter for Ches..), tons of stories for the kids (including my precious Winnie-the-Pooh, two Maisy books, Rainbow Fish, Big Machines, and Vidia and the Fairy Crown), baby up till 10:10 playing "sleeping bag" in his pillow, and a dry pull-up after nap today (miracle?)! Oh, and Mary Claire low for the second time. ??

I'm exhausted, still very little voice (so I complained that Mary Claire's Ugly Unicorn book was too long), yet read Pooh's Chapter II (Clay reminded me it was old-timey number 2), Pooh in a Tight Spot (my title).

Not much more to say. Tired (did I already say that?). I should start earlier in the day.

I know I already told you this. But, it's for a friend, so bear with me. And it's a totally cute joke.
Q: What are the two dirtiest animals on a farm?

A: Brown chicken, brown cow.

And I have another friend who called her cute profile pictures on Facebook "Brown Chicken, Brown Cow". (We've done this, but it's like 70's sexy music bow chika bow wow.) Ok, she's really young, so it makes it even cuter! : )

ps-MC is now 129, so all's well. : ) Only one more check for the day: the midnight shift, and Ches shall do it.

pps-He says Harry Potter was good, and the mentor died. I have no idea what that means. I have not read/seen any of them. But apparently, it was tragic, but good. There was a kiss, an implied sexual encounter, some language, so it's a no for Clay. (Ches said it was milder than Transformers which Clay saw, and I have not been able to figure out how to suck the memory away in the name of Saving My Child's Ears, Brain, and Memory!).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are babies contagious?

Confessions continue. Clay has requested to go to confession a couple of times. We say we'll take him, then totally forget! Well, he told Ches of his big thing, and Clay feels an ounce better, but we still keep forgetting to take him! I know it's important to him and I have to make it a priority. Now, he's just come in to 'fess up again. He (in his teary, strained voice) just told me the Breathe Right strips don't really help him breathe better. They did the first night, but not anymore. So (since I'm a little busy/preoccupied), I asked if he was even wearing them all night (yes). He wanted to know what he could try next (like I know) (besides a little Benadryl nightcap). When I didn't have a new answer, he took off, all cleansed of "sin".

Clay wants a response to a note he wrote me a couple days ago (remember the scotch tape?). He really had written me, and wanted to know if he could have his Lionel (both birthday and Christmas) train early!!! Please? he wrote and drew a picture of a boy with Bambi-eyes. I'll post the pix of the note, it makes me laugh. He wanted me NOT to respond, but to write a response. He was very specific. I guess hoping I'd think on it longer than to just say, "No!"

Laundry is calling my name again. I'm playing Hide-and-Seek. If it doesn't find me, I don't have to play!

And just ask if in the crazy of my non-voice if I've had time to call Medtronic. So, that cute little bill is calling me too. I have half a voice today (rejoice!), so maybe I can call tomorrow. I keep forgetting until after their business hours!

So, today I've few moments to catch up with a great friend, Bible Study with all the pregnant girls and two moms with new babies (is it in the water?), and a wonderful afternoon sewing with Kendra! : ) I got so much done! I finished the pants for the first flower dress. They have three words (Mary Claire chose): flowers, polka dots, and unicorns written on them. Then I added a polka dot fabric ruffle to the bottom of the legs, and a big 3D flower to the back of one leg. It turned out better than I thought it would! I have the Paris ones to complete. I made them out of size 7 jeans, so I ReAlLy hope she can wear them till spring! I'd hate for all that work to be for naught.

So, I went back to my doctor, and got an antibiotic. He scolded me for the sunburn on my back (since I tanned last night for like, 11 minutes-which I'll explain in a minute). I told him we could not talk about it (for One, he shouldn't have been looking, for Two, it's none of his beeswax). Hopefully, the cocktail of meds will begin to work their magic, and I'll be shouting with the best of 'em!

Ok, so I tanned. Confession? maybe. It was wonderful, those few minutes alone in the sun with my iPod. Ahh, like the good ol' days. I dropped Ches and the kids at the park nearby, then headed for the (artificial) sun. I reviewed my account, the advantages of lotions (and which ones..), then headed off to grab some rays. I lotioned up with my brozer with tingle (forgot to wipe between my fingers), and pushed the button to start it up! Laid down, and. Forgot. the. fancy. goggle/glasses. I peeked my head out the door, and looked for Nice Helpful Girl. Nowhere to be seen. I called for her (missing my sunshine!), and nothing. I grabbed the towel, ran for the counter, and swooped some goggles, and ran back in to my room (2nd door away!). Thank sweet Jesus (really.) that no one was anywhere to be seen (or better yet, to see me!). I wasn't all Bare, but still. Embarrassing. Oh the things you forget. Anyway, we reviewed when I came out. I'd forgotten to wipe out between my fingers (see above), and now I had brown cobwebs between my fingers. Very uncool. She said to rub them with my towel after I took a shower. Yeah, that didn't work. So, I learned a lesson. The hard way. You can bet it won't happen again! : )

I'm making dinner for a family that just had a baby (rejoice! Another!), and I love Potato and Corn Chowder. I found tons of recipes for Summer Corn Chowder (using the In Season Corn along with red bell peppers). What do you think? We do live in modern housing with air-conditioning, but is it too hot for a yummy comfort soup (for a new-again mom)? Recommendations? Come around to my way of thinking? Indulge me? Convince me?

*If you read this blog, and do NoT reply, you may consider yourself fined $5 payable to JDRF in the next 24 hours. : ) Thanks and leave some great comments! : )

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I've grown as a person.

Three reasons:

1. After changing my sheets, and getting the bed ready so I could fall over in it, I realized I'd put the top sheet upside down, so when folded over, the scabby back of the monogram is showing. Ask if I care.

2. Mary Claire flooded/stopped up her toilet, ask if I've unclogged it.

3. I saw a spider, and squished it. With my bare foot. On the carpet. Just ask if I flinched. I think I'm just really tired.

Try your hand at guessing my answers!! Bonus points for proof of YoUr maturity. (Or caring less?) G'night!

It's a note. . .For You!

I'm in the office on sabbatical (except that it'll be a very short sabbatial). I've finished the hardest part of the second dress, and the computer I use for monogramming just died. I guess a day off of the cord was all it could take? Hmph. So, I plugged it in, and am waiting to design a monogram for this dress. It won't digitize as many fonts as my old computer would. Software getting old for its age, or less intelligent computer?

Ok, today is going to be my Gripey Day. It sucks. I can't talk, and that alone is enough to stress me out. I have SO much to say! So this morning, I asked Ches to call my doctor (read: nurse) since my throat is still in sooo much pain. (I think little knives are sneaking into my room, and cutting up the inside of my throat in the nighttime. I bet that turns into a bad dream tonight. Ahhh!! And I can't talk on the phone (second most stressful thing-I can't blather on about my misery to anyone!). So, back to the story..I asked Ches to call the doctor to tell him about my pain, and that I coughed up some stuff this morning. First, he's all stressed since he has to go to work (RiGhT NoW!) (on his vacation-yes, he doesn't get paid for summer unless he teaches or has grant money to pay for research, so you could call it unpaid vacation) for a student's dissertation defense (and can I ask why she couldn't fit it in in the regular school year?). Anyway, I follow him around, asking him to call, and he's all busy/ready to leave/annoyed, but finally relents. Then I go up to give the kids baths, and I can hear the tv in the office. What? What happened to In a Hurry? So, I say, just forget it, go to work! Then he comes out and he says it's (le Tour de FrancE) almost over. Ahh, time for TdF, but not time for my kniving throat? Ahhhhh!!! (See why I need to call someone who cares?) I go downstairs, and do the request again (more or less, "Leave for work, or Make the Call.") He is totally in a trance watching Stuipid TdF. Why did Lance need to come back? To torment me? So, I look at him, and say, "Are you even listening to me?" and he says,"Well, not really, it's near the end!" So, I walk off to get my shower, and forget him. So, later I see him in our room, and tell him I'm mad. Only two words since more would make the knife-y pains worse. It can only be infection, acid reflux, or cancer. And that is totally freaking me out! He made the call. He didn't say exactly what I wanted, but he did it. He left an hour and a half later than his "I gotta go!!" So, he must've planned to ride around a while on the way or something. I'm sure I'm hyper-sensitive *and in pain* so he was frustrating me today. I'll be better. I hope.

Mess #1: Ethan peed in the floor-upstairs.
Mess #2: Hearth room destroyed, popcorn all over floor, pee in potty chair, big box inside, more of my scotch tape all pulled out and used up (remember I cleaned, vacuumed, dusted last night?)
Mess #3: Hot pink room all messy-some dishes still on table, more popcorn on floor, towels everywhere, chairs all crazy everywhere.
Mess #4: Mary Claire's room-18 pairs of shoes all OuTSiDe the closet, plus tons of stuff everywhere that I don't even feel like taking the time to type about.

But, my kids are clean, and they are kinda napping. I had to go back in Ethan's room once, and Clay and Mary Claire have each come down once (once I heard my scotch tape being pulled out-when interrogated, it was a note "for me")

Yuck day. I did get a shower, but my crazy hair dried all goofy and wavy-curly and not in a good way. There's even a headband crease. I don't even care. Oops. Except today is gymnastics, and I'll have to take her. Shoot. One more thing to goof up my day! to make my hair mess (#5) presentable...

Monday, July 13, 2009

From Doctors to Dresses

My sewing machine needs a nap. It's so tired from all that I've made it do in the last two days. I'm trying to perform miracles and play the Good Mommy game, but I always come in last place (well, sometimes I make it in at 43rd place, when I make the expecially cool outfit, delicious dinner, and manage to clean toilets, all in the SaMe day!)

I took my boy-in-pain-yesterday to the doctor today, thinking he had the same as me: strep throat. Wrong. He only had swimmer's ear. He got an antibiotic (but the doctor said not to fill it *odd?* just to use alcohol since it looked like it was healing), and is absolutely fine. Hmph. So, we slightly overbooked, and I went to my doctor next. I thought I had strep throat (and was busy spreading it all over town). Wrong. I have acid reflux, and got some Protonix to keep my meals down where they belong. Apparently, you have to avoid citrus. Oh, that's where this stupid flare-up came from (let's new Sam's pineapple addiction, new Minute Maid Lite Lemonade *refrigerated section!*, all the fruit, and my newest Crystal Lite drink fix-with citric acid as the number one ingredient!). Now, what will I eat? I seriously left my coke and chocolate addiction at the door, and migrated over to the fruity addiction. Now what? Not Atkins. I shall pout. : P

For fun today, Kendra (and all our kids in their match-y outfits *really wish I'd taken a pix!*) and I ran around town: to Fabric Gallery for fun new fabrics for outfits, then to Chick-Fil-A for a great lunch (minus the kid who "pinned" Clay down inside the slide), then back on the run to Hobby Lobby-more fabrics and trims. I almost finished the second dress (So cute with Tres Chic fabric in pink, hot pink, lime, black and black tulle!) and haven't started matching pants yet. I got the cutest black ravel-y flowers to go along the pant legs-uber cute. Hope they are finished soon!

I'll work on getting a pix of the other outfit posted. What fun! I think I get distracted easily, but it's currently sewing! Tomorrow, who knows?

I'm considering doing a workshop, with proceeds all going to JDRF. I have been praying for God to show me what to do to help, and maybe this is it. I do know I have gifts to share, and I take them for granted, I guess. I don't realize that by sharing the things that come easy to me, that it really does help others. It just seems like they can do it too, since it's so easy! Maybe I'll teach the dress/jumper making, bow making, ribbon-ruffled socks, paci-clip making, changing your son's old jeans into precious ruffle-y capris for your daughter (my fun specialty!), I guess I could monogram their dresses if I knew in advance. Oh, there's so much I could do. I don't want people's money, but I could do it if they wrote checks to JDRF, and they'd get a tax deduction for a bow or a dress to take home! : ) Now there are two people who couldn't be uncheered! : )

So, back to the Good Mommy Game: Two doctors appointments, lunch and shopping with friends, sewing time, dinner with fruits and veggies!, vacummed downstairs (plus stairs!), dusted downstairs, cleaned downstairs bathrooms, blogged a little, caught up on news, (all without much of a voice) and shall drop from exhaustion momentarily. Good dreams of 6th place, as this won't happen again for a month or so...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Progress as Promised

Decided to make her a jumper/dress quickly this afternoon. It's done, but I'm monogramming it. Just a great finishing touch. Oh, I forgot to add ribbon to the shoulders. So, I guess it's not done. I still have enough of the coordinating fabrics (4) to make some matching pants/capris to wear this winter under it. Those take longer. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow.. Except tomorrow I'll have new fabric to work with! : )

I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

Ever have such a big decision? Like whether to make dinner or make a quick trip to Fabric Gallery? heehee Decisions, decisions... My kids (well, the big ones) have already had a popsicle and two Go-gurts each. Isn't that dinner enough? : ) I just asked Ches when dinner is, and he said, "5, 5:30?" Umm, it's 4:30. And I'm kinda busy. With thoughts of making a run to Fabric Gallery.

I'm planning to make Mary Claire a couple of jumpers and decorated pants/jeans to match. I always plan for summery (jumper only), and winter (jumper, shirt under it, with jeans!). So versatile. I haven't made anything in a while, and my machine is missing me. I'm planning to make some cups tomorrow anyway.

Maybe we could eat out again today? Then I could stop by there on our way out! Kill both birds with one stone! I am SO on top of my game! It's that power nap I got! : )

I am sad. They were closed. : ( Big, fat, pout-y, sad face. I ran out the door, took MC, ran a late book back by the Springdale Library, then hurried down there. But, they close at 4pm on Saturdays. Boo Hoo. I ran into WM for MORE batteries for a little girl addicted to a small cd player attached to her head, and then to Hobby Lobby for a small tin purse/carrying case (think metal lunch box, but purse-shaped that opens from the top). I didn't want her to see it since I'm making her a little kit (that I'll explain in a minute) that'll be for our trip. My sweet husband spoils our kids. It's tough to limit him, since it's so sweet and all. He already got Clay a new Transformer, level 3, Bumblebee, which is a Camaro (and have you seen the new ones, btw? They are sooo cool!) I remember there was a year where I wanted one, but I got a Mustang. Cool, but it was beige. My parents way of keeping me cool, but not too cool.

Ok, so we were at Pottery Barn again on Friday night (I think we go EvErY Friday night!), and Ches loves to shop too (Closet Shopper, though, unlike me-I'm totally out of the closet!). He found me some cute acrylic straws (only $10 for 12), and I found new deck chair cushions, but they were kinda thin. Anyway, he found a little (kinda cheese-y) kit for Mary Claire for her gift for the trip. (I know, I know, the trip is a big fat gift, but he likes for them to have something new for the plane ride(s). Anyway, it was a kit with gold ink, a stamp alphabet (so not cute), some twine, and some tags to make for place cards, drinks, or whatever. It was on sale for $14, but I just thought it was too much. Afterwards, we had a few minutes to run by Hobby Lobby ('cause I'm a do-it-now person), and since I had a *coupon*, I got her a new stamp alphabet in a tin box, some hot pink ink (So much better!), and then today I got her the little tin purse thing to put it in. I just have to make some tags (super easy with my cool Stampin' Up! punches!), and add some precut twine! See, super easy, and all for (let me do some quick math....) $12. So, not so cool, but it's a way-better set! : ) I'll post a pix when I'm done with it!

And. I got some fabric to make her a quick jumper (never quick in my book), but I'm still more excited about making one with fabric from Fabric Gallery, since it'll be less maintenance (probably non-iron!). Alright, gotta get to work on the cutesy set! : )

Friday, July 10, 2009

Toothpaste Glob? Chunk? Smear? Portion? Swoop?

Two things:

1. Brown Rubbing Off My Neck. Ick. Not even as good as it sounds.

I was folding towels today in the laundry room (with my recently cleaned off counter!), when I realized why my neck was so sketchy looking this morning! (ok, as I'm proofreading, I realize I didn't make the towel/neck connection for you. I fold them in half then half again, then tuck the top under my neck as I fold it into thirds.) Yep, can't think of a better word. Back story/rewind: I choose not to go to tanning booths (although, I deeply crave/love them) since I had a :growth: taken off my right hip/back two years ago in January (getting ready for a great trip to Hawaii, I over-tanned). So. No more tanning, much to my chagrin. : P Anyway, back to the current day. I use this relatively inexpensive self-tanning moisturizer daily. I love it, I was looking really dark, it's easy. Until. Uh-umm. Until the last week. I've over-used? My knees were bad (read: dark) a couple of days ago, so I scrubbed them with a washcloth, and then they were worse. Very white knees, and dark legs, creepy. So, I laid on the lotion before bed, then reapplied in the morning. It seemed to work, but then this morning, I had a peel-y looking neck. Very gross (and I had a date tonight!). So, I rubbed it really hard (with a washcloth again-I even have a very nice scrubby mitt I got for $25 at a salon-but I still use a washcloth, more gentle?), and reapplied lotion. Have I not learned? I'm sure I'm back on the road to peel-y neck and dark knees, but it's my fate. Even with the pool, I don't live out there. And it's Hot. I don't like to sweat so much. : ) Especially when I can tan in the air conditioning, and not get skin cancer. So, I walk the peel-y, orange-y walk, but with healthy skin. I'll see you on the other side. In 70 years! : )

2. Clean Underwear

Have you ever been thankful that underwear came out of the dryer clean? I actually said a prayer of thanks today. I got a gift of folded underwear on the laundry room counter (again-because the counter was clean?) yesterday morning. I already knew the back (heehee, no pun intended!) story, but didn't want to throw them away, since they were brand new (we'd tried a new style, and these didn't have exposed, irritating elastic like his other underwear). So, contrary to my usual, toss-and-buy-new attitude, I threw them in the wash (without checking out the racing stripes inside). Thankfully, when I checked the inside today (after the dryer), they were beautiful (or handsome, as the case may be). So, I was thankful they were clean. Should I appreciate my detergent (Tide), or my great washer (Whirlpool
-except mine is older now)?

Alrighty, hope you appreciate all the fancy links. : ) I gotta get to bed. Great date was had tonight, including PF Chang's and a movie (don't see I Love You, Beth Cooper, unless you are Prepared for it-full of language, sexual references, and more smut than the book : P ). I was shocked the movie was rated PG-13. What this tells me is that my thirteen year old will not even be allowed to see PG-13's! (ps-remind me in 4.5 years!)

Ok, and 3. Toothpaste (late entry)

Do you wet your toothbrush before you add toothpaste? Have you ever put toothpaste on your toothbrush only to discover it's Gone? I mean, MIA? I could not find the toothpaste chunk (glob?) I'd put on there to save my life, and I'm not crazy. Where does it go? The floor? The drawer? My hairbrush? My nightgown? I had to add more, and Where Is It? I'll find it all crusty and rubbery in a couple months when I don't want to find it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I now possess big hoop-y earrings!

Stuffing my face with Cinnamon Life (hungry!) after swimsuit shopping with Kendra! Fun! Most of the swimsuits are now 25-50% off, which means you can get a top OR a bottom. They don't have tons of matching ones to choose from. I did find an adorable floral one with a ruffle along the bottom, and it was 50% off! So, only $50. Then on the way to the back of the store, I got too distracted with cool new shoes and earrings! I have made it into the Summer of 2009 with no big hoop earrings. What is wrong with me? So, now I have some! And the cutest fancy, blingy silver rhinestone gladiator sandals. I'll have to show you their cuteness. I've been a little slow on the pictures, so Sorry.

Today was library day! We had fun, Ethan did the dinosaur march, and then had to go peepee towards the end. So much cooler than peeing his pants, so I was okay with skipping out. When we made it back, it was over! Sandra had gotten my purse and bag, so we were covered (Thank you, Sandra!)! We hung around while Ethan did puzzles, and I found Mary Claire a book about how to draw horses. Clay found the cutest book on a little mouse's fears, and we'll probably make him a little book on his fears (darkness, scary things, etc.).

When does your memory start to fade? My fading has already begun. I started a book, and I'm a good three chapters in, and I realized I've already read it. The worst part? I can't remember how it ends. Nothing better than a whole new experience, for free! So try rereading your own books! : )

Today we had a big crazy moment. The people who bought our last house called and wanted a copy of the plat map. Ches looked all over, and was late to his dermatology recheck (got two more places freeze-burned off, btw) because of all the sincere searching. He told me right before he left, so I took up the search. I had looked all over (files, drawers, tubs), then I asked St. Anthony (patron saint of lost things) to help me, and he did. I re-searched, more slowly, and found the OriGiNaL from the developer, with all the original signatures, and the stamp from the county, with the page from the country records written on it. (So, I'm feeling all in possession of an Important Document, hoping we don't have it illegally...) I called the new homeowners, and informed them (sadly), that there was a 20 ft. utility easement at the rear of the property, and they've already dug the hole for their new pool. Oh, I do not envy that position. Not only the wrong hole position, but the fun-ness of dealing with the city building inspectors. There are so many hoops to jump through! Anyway, I can plan for some things, and others you just take as they come!

Clay tried the new Breathe Right strips I got him, but tore it off after about 30 minutes. He just didn't like it. I sure hope the doctor can help him, 'cause I'm having no luck! : P

My battery is now down to 15%, so I'd better wrap it up, before I lose it all! Wish I had a warning like that on my real brain!

p.s. I'd recommend not eating like crazy after you come home from swimsuit shopping. It doesn't help so much with the fit. Just so you know.

p.p.s. I'm not losing it over Michael Jackson's death, just fyi. I am sorry for his family's loss, but I will be able to go on in my life.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My FaNcY new pan! Shopping for the coolest stuff!

Redundancy is not cool. Redundancy is not cool. (just had to, sorry!) I mean, everyday I feel like saying, "Today was so busy!"

Let's see. Bible study, laundry (between errands), made lunch for the kids, Ches came home, I ran to get Mom for the Friend Lunch Wednesday (her car is on the fritz, and she doesn't trust it), then lunch till 2:30, two quick errands and some ice cream, I ran her home, we took Italian Reading Room pix, called Ches to see if he could make it alone for dinner/evening, and we took off again. Sam's for groceries, shopping for lamps (entry way-to match the table we put together Monday afternoon!) and great greeting cards (I bought way too many-they were all so great), then WM for more stuff and groceries, then took Mom home, unloaded, set up lamps, then back home. : ) And here I am to greet you, sweet reader. : )

I was supposed to make some sippy cups, but alas, it's too late now. I have to get to bed so I can rest up for tomorrow's excitement! Tomorrow is library and story time for Ethan, (monogram sippys maybe?), pick up the order (that I was suppose to get today..), call Medtronic to argue about our latest bill. (insert much throat-clearing here)

How did our expected copay of just jump up over $500? Don't think so. We got the new pump (remember our fun Disney/Florida/tragedy-turned-relief shipment?), returned the loaner plus our old one, but I think they failed to give us the $500 credit for returning the old one. I'll get to the bottom of it tomorrow while I multitask: make dinner, talk on the phone (uh-I mean, stand on hold), hold a waking-up toddler, empty his potty-chair, demand the kids turn down the tv and put away their laundry, and possibly empty the dishwasher.

Ok, did I mention the FaNcY new pan I got today? It's a fabulous new saute pan with handles on both sides, and a glass lid. It's 5 quarts, which I can't even imagine! I could feed, like 3 more kids or something! Wow. I even bought a Hamburger Helper mix to try it out. I couldn't think of anything else to put in it besides stir-fry, and Mom kept naming fried things: pork chops, eggs, etc. I was thinking veggies, kinda like Chinese or even bell peppers for fajitas. So, I compromised, and I'll fill our guts with meat and noodles tomorrow (while I'm on hold!). Anyway, I shoud tell you why I got it. I had this shower last month (well, a had a few, but it was a wedding shower), and the bride got all these fancy new things that I'd never even thought about. I seriously take pans for granted. I've had the saute pan I use the most since before I was married, and never even think twice about it! But this one (I think) is magical! It'll make me a better cook! It'll be easier to wash! It'll last twenty years! It parted me with my money, didn't it? Sometimes you don't even know you need something till you take five minutes to think about it. I've been looking at them for a while, but today, I commited (it totally helped that it was on sale)! I'll let you know how well it performs. I shall go before you into Saute Pan World, and send word.

In other boring news, my baby peepee'd twice in the toilet while I was at Bible Study! Yay! I didn't take the potty chair with us, so that alone was big. I was so proud of him! I also checked out pull-up vs. diaper prices for our continued nap/nighttimes. If you would like the info, Sam's diapers (size 4) were 22 cents each, and their pullups (size 2T-3T) were 32 cents each. At WM, the diapers were 24.5 cents each, and their pullups were 35 cents each. I think I'll keep him in diapers for sleepy times for a while longer. Not a big price difference, but over the next 6 months, it'd be a $36 difference (two pullups a day x 6 months). I'm strange that way. I can blow $600 on shopping, and not blink an eye, but other things I totally evaluate. Must be my emotional connection at a clothing store. (and no attachment whatsoever to pullups)

ps-my fave button on my keyboard is the delete-x which deletes from the right. Super cool, and I miss it on my laptop. Useless info, but all in the name of knowledge. It's power, right!?

Love you! and I wish you happy shopping days, full-moon evenings with chocolate, sweet husbands who allow you to run wild, and people who care about your pullup prices! (maybe)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sleep Didn't Happen Here. : (

The Tour de France has invaded my home! I can tell you all about Ben Stiller presenting the yellow jersey for today, the race, how it repeats twice a day...It is background for us the first three weeks of July. Now, I remember. Why Ches teaches the first half of summer and takes off the second half. How do I forget? I always want him to switch it around, but THIS is why. Ahh, and Lance is back. : ) He's in Heaven. (Ches, I mean.)

Well, got Clay a poopy breath appt. with the ENT specialist in July, but not till the 21st, the day before we leave for vacation. He's all concerned, crying that he can't breathe. He didn't get upset till I said he needed to go to the doctor. Don't worry, I learned a lesson. He's also been down from bed three times. Prayers, more prayers, wants me to say more for him when I go to bed, poopy toilet problems, crying, "can't focus" (his exact words). He's tired! Like me. How can you focus when you are so tired?!

Speaking of. Last night, we stayed up until 12:30 to watch Last Chance Harvey (very good, btw). Then at 4am, I was awakened my screeching-crying. Ethan. I managed to get that his leg hurt, I think it was asleep, and then got tingly. I laid him back down, and he wanted to "Eat!" So, downstairs, tried yogurt, he refused after agreeing (particularly aggravating at 4am), then fed him, he peed, then back to bed. Checked MC's blood, then back to bed. To lay there. Ethan was playing, and I was just listening. I'd forgotten my Zyrtec, so I wasn't breathing so well myself. I finally drifted off, then at 5am, Mary Claire wandered in, and wanted me to pull her tooth. (Seriously?) I sat up, tried to pull it as she cried, then I refused. I mean, what? I told her to go back to bed (as I could hear Ethan awake again!), turn off all lights, and go to sleep! I finally went back to sleep. What a night. I didn't get much sleep. Then to top it off, I put Ethan down for a nap around 2ish, tried to rest, and he never went to sleep. He was screaming within an hour, and I went up there. He didn't calm down much. I think he was overtired. He didn't even want to play. I finally put him in the tub, and he sat so still. I washed him, then he seemed to perk up. He played, I dressed him, and he got better.

What a day. I worked on Clay's room again. He "confessed" to me what a horrible mess there was under his bed (and he wasn't kidding). We cleaned till 2! Mary Claire inherited some drawers from Clay's closet, so we did some organizing in her room too. She's been complaining about not enough room for her swimsuits. Poor baby. : ( There are too many to fit in her dresser drawer. So, now there's more room, and we moved her summer jammies in there too. She's all happy, and made these little labels for the drawers (lest she forget what goes in there!). She has one empty drawer, and she's just dying to put something in there! I have no doubt there's already something. Her wait a day? Not!

And did I mention I changed out a threshold in my spare time? I changed the seal on my back door (had to take it off its hinges, so Ches helped here), then pulled up the old wood, and replaced the wood, seal, etc. I still have to paint it and add silicone caulking. Not bad. When I decide to do something, I do it! Ches just stands back. It's easier to help me than argue with me. : ) I don't know why I'm this way. I'll blame it on my parents. : ) (ps-thanks for teaching me to do handy stuff!)

Tomorrow is Bible Study, and lunch out with Mom's friends, then pick up an order from a catalog show, then maybe make some monogrammed sippy cups. Should prove to be busy, never fail, I've much to do! : ) Now, I just have to do my bs homework.... and it's already 10:15pm....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Miniature Update!

Short post, good day!
Helped Mom decorate her Italian Reading Room (included a big, heavy pix falling off the wall, and getting a new hanger put on it, back to her house, and now it has stayed for 7 hours!), home, worked on Mary Claire's notebooks with all her bolus and correction ratios, then Ches and I went out to shop for the deck!

We need to make our deck last one more year... : ) Ches is ready to rip it out, and put in a stone patio. Anyway, good shopping, van got full, so we're at home, getting ready to watch Last Chance Harvey! (don'tcha just love redbox?!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Near 9 Day

Really poopy. That's how his breath smells. I thought I'd throw up in the middle of story time tonight. : P I hate to say negative things, but it is just true. He was eating cabbage (raw. He's a strange eater.) while I was reading. There were three kids around me, so I really had to ask what that awful smell was. I thought maybe it'd been too long since I'd smelled raw cabbage, and maybe it'd turned moldy? Nope. He's just been away from home since yesterday (without a toothbrush), and it's putting a serious cramp in his style! (and breath). Ugh. I can still smell it. I've been telling Ches for ever that he needs to go to an ENT to get checked. He can't hear, sleeps/eats/breathes with his mouth open, and always has allergies/stuffy nose. I KnOw it's a problem. I think since it's not life-threatening like diabetes, I tend to put it on the back burner. He's brushed twice and mouthwashed three times. Yep, can still smell it.

On another note (or is it similar?), my laundry level has been down. Small Cheer! The child who's been away wore the same clothes for two days (and slept in them), so that's half a load less, at least! Then Mary Claire and Ethan have been generally wearing their jammies till 3 or 4 when they switch to swim suits, then afterwards, put on clean jammies. Much less laundry! I can't say that it's super-hygienic, but it's nice to have a small laundry-vacation (Laundracation?) every now and then!

Funny: when I called Mom on her cell phone, she wanted to call me back on her land line so she didn't get cancer in her libido. : ) Heehee, she makes me laugh!
*Sometimes you really can hear a buzzing sound in your ear, and you can feel the radiation coming right into your head!*

I read this good quote, and maybe it sums up why I'm overwhelmed!
"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." -Gertrude Stein
I hear so much (books, tv shows, email, facebook, ads, magazines, junk mail, personal recommendations, news on tv or papers), it's real work to filter out the important things. I'm now trying to get enough calcium (since most women only get an average of 868 grams a day, but need 1200), eat more fruits and veggies (and less meat and Coke), treat every opportunity with my kids as super-valuable (lest it be their last), I have added earthquake insurance (just in case, since eastern Arkansas is on a fault line), let my kids play in the kitchen with food, pots, bowls, and spoons as I make dinner (yes, I got this in an email about two-year-olds getting too much tv as moms make dinner). You get the idea, I'm overwhelmed with recommendations! So, I guess I've lost my common sense. I'm going to work on that. I'm adding it to the list. It looks like this so far:
1. Work on memory.
2. Work on common sense.
3. Finish hanging curtains in breakfast room.
4. Stay on task.
5. Find church envelopes. (or call and ask for more)
6. Skip reading for a while?

Ok, need I tell you I had an awesome time in church today? I think I've already told like 6 or 7 people (maybe 3 before I left church even?). Ethan went to the nursery today, and I got to LiStEn in church today! : ) I mean pretty much. Aside from the running commentary on Bella. (the unicorn) She had a nap, then her momma woke her up, and told Bella she could sleep after church. She tried my ring on her horn, tried my bracelet on as a necklace, snuggled with me, had her diaper changed twice, prayed, kneeled, waited on us while we were gone, sang songs, etc. I told MC if Bella didn't reign it in, she couldn't come back to church. (Mean, wasn't I?) I was really trying to hear. Mary Claire just wants to know how many more songs till church is over, and asks at the most crucial parts of Mass. This is why seven year olds aren't old enough to receive (or respect) communion. Ok, so despite all the Bella-action, I still had a great church day! I didn't hear screaming (except from Other People's kids-doesn't bother me!), didn't have to wrestle anyone, had no choo-choo noises, and no potty breaks (except before and after church)! All and all, a near "9" experience. Pretty good in my book. I figure I'll raise my standards when my kids are older.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bath at Acambaro, Anyone?

A funny story about why Ethan had to sit in the car with Ches at Acambaro... Yum, first of all. We got out of Ice Age (#2?) after 7pm, and we'd not really eaten dinner. Ches said he was hungry for chips and salsa, and we were in Lowell, so I suggested Acambaro. He'd seen a story/ad in the paper about kids eating for free at the Acambaro in Springdale. So we drove there, all got out, hit the door, and there was a big sign that said Kids Eat Free Monday-Wednesday (yeah, it was Thursday). So that's why he sat in the car. Just kidding. : ) heehee I looked at Ches and the tired kids, and asked if he was still in the mood to eat chips and salsa, and of course he was. Bad Sign: when they seat you away from everyone else, 3 inches from the door to the kitchen. I kid you not. So, there was a huge three-layer water fountain about a foot from our table. (Yes, must be the table they reserve for big families-8 chairs-with little kids. Maybe the water disguises the kid noises?) So, Ethan ran over, and tried to strip. Yep, he was yelling, "Bath!" and trying to climb in because (1) he's never seen a fountain in a restaurant, (2) it was bubbling over since some crazy person put dish detergent in it (3) he loves water/baths, (4) why should we get to have a nice restaurant experience? So, screaming and crying ensued, and Ches ordered, then took him to the car. They came back a few minutes later when the food came, I held Ethan (restrained his screaming self while Ches swallowed his food), then Ches took him back out to the van. Lots'o'fun. Ask me if I'll go back there. Not.

Ask me if a two-and-a-half year old is ready to sit through a movie-even one with roars and dinosaurs? Not. Ask me if I've gotten my 6 new beautiful drapes hung up in the breakfast room yet. Not.

But. I HaVe been busy! I got all in the mood to have the house even more organized and easier to move around in, so I made a list. Of all the things I wish were done, the ones that have to be done, and the ones that maybe will still be on the list in a year. : ) 'Cause that's my life. Just keepin' it real.

Yesterday, I went to Lowe's (to Shop the List), and got to work. Last night while Clay watched fireworks outside the house (till too late, 11:30ish), I put up more shelves in the garage, organized the junk (just outside-the-door junk), moved stuff (including the painting stuff-spackling, brushes, tape, caulking, the hand tools, and the screws/nails/pads/Command hooks/drapery clips/rings/etc.) from the laundry room out to the shelves (in precious little boxes with lids and labels!). Then I transfered stuff from the laundry room closet (not dreamy-very shallow) to the cabinets, then put the kids' laundry baskets in the closet, and therefore, Da-Da! *I have cleaned off the laundry room counter!* Lots of work, to say I cleaned and shuffled stuff. Felt like a lot of work, but it's definitely cleaner! I'll tackle the entire garage if I get a chance.

Oh, I haven't written in so long. I'd let the guilt get to me, but I haven't got time for one more thing. : ) I had the best time Wednesday! I went shopping with my friend Kendra in Branson! She'd never been without her kids, so we had to do it up right! : ) I had to show her around to all my favorite stores (and hers too!), and show her how I shop the sales, and use my coupon booklet to save about half off on all the clothes I stock up on for the kids! She got to meet Dina and Sara, my pals at Gymboree. They are so sweet, and always helpful! We hit an awesome sale at Banana Republic (EnTiRe store 40% off!), and then I had a coupon for 20% off of your total. WooHoo! We did really well everywhere, and of course ran out of time. : ( We just can't do it all in a day. I don't think she understood the work that goes into shopping! We didn't eat dinner till the outlets closed at 9. We made up for our gum-for-dinner by going to Olive Garden, and really enjoying it. It tastes sooo much better when you are StArViNg! : )

Thursday was back to work. We went to story time at the library (in which Ethan showed the teacher/reader his Thomas train-in her face, while she was reading, then roared and walked like a T-Rex for her. All during a story about hats.) Then we went by Ches' office to bug him (I had left my cell phone at home and had to ask a ticket person-yes, he was writing tickets for expired meters-to use his phone.) then take him out to lunch to celebrate his Last Day of Summer School class!! Yay! : ) I'm SO Happy!

Then to Chick-Fil-A to let the kids run in and out of the play area, eat a tiny bit, and I got to see Kathleen! and tell her about my crazy hot pink room, that's still in the works... and see her Absolutely Adorable Baby!! Oh, is he precious. Anyway, when Ches could take no more running to make sure Ethan didn't get his fingers in the door, we left, dropped him at work, then went home to get Ethan a nap! The kids bugged me all afternoon, then we went to the movies (see first paragraph!).

Today was July fourth, Independence Day! We sang Happy Birthday to America (and to Ethan, and to the whole world...) on the way home from lunch at Gigi's house. Clay wanted to stay there, so I'll go back and get him when Ethan wakes up. For now, MC and Ethan are presumably asleep, and I think I could catch a nap too.

Wish your precious country a Happy Birthday, and I'll talk to you tomorrow, post-fireworks!