Thursday, April 30, 2009

Coke, Candy, Chocolate (This is Less Hormonal?)

Well, I'm better. And less hormonal. It just wreaks havoc with my system (and adds at least five pounds to my middle)!

I got to sew a tiny bit today and got one pump pouch made. I need to make a couple for two other girls. I can't decide which fabric for them, so I'm frozen in indecision. I'll get there, just tired, and my brain isn't functioning so well. A week of sick Ethan, not too much sleep (as he wakes coughing and wants company), and ongoing days. There is so much to do, and I dare not start a list, or I'll hyperventilate! There are things to get ready for girl scouts-scrapbook preparations, and a questionnaire, and pump pouches (which I find fun and relaxing, and rewarding-they bring joy to sweet kids who deserve a little something special), and groceries, a couple of birthday gifts, etc.

I updated the group I started for Mary Claire's JDRF Walk Team on facebook, and added the latest research. I receive their publication, Countdown to a Cure, about every three months, and sometimes don't read it till I have a pile of three or four! I caught up on all the latest research (you can skip it if it seems like TMI):

Newest Info (April 29, 2009):
Connection: About 15-18% of children who were exposed to the rubella virus in the womb develop type I diabetes by age 18. The data suggests that rubella exposure in utero potentiates an underlying partial genetic susceptibility for type 1 diabetes.

Hygiene Hypothesis: An exposure to an appropriate amount and variety of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms may be important to living a healthy life, and that type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders may actually be a result of lack of exposure to these agents (like when we over “gel” the kids hands, and are general clean-freaks, yep, this is us)….When raised in a germ-free environment, mice developed severe diabetes.

Real Clinical Trials: There aren’t enough volunteers to participate. Unbelievably. Sign me up! Three currently: Protégé-to see if a drug, teplizumab can protect the insulin-producing cells in newly diagnosed patients. Defentd-1: testing effects of otelixizumab, to treat early in diagnosis to preserve beta cell function (in pancreas). And Prochymal: preparation of adult “mesenchymal” stem cells, collected from the bone marrow of healthy adults. Patients receive three intravenous infusions.

SmartInsulin: designed to release insulin only when glucose levels are high-okay, this could change our lives! : ) It’d deliver near normal blood sugars, and prevent dangerously low blood sugars! A half-miracle. : )

Life For A Child: title of a new documentary coming out about the program ( that funds insulin for children in developing countries. It follows the journeys of children amid mountains and streets of Nepal, experiencing their life or death struggle to survive. It will air on the Sundance Channel in 2009.

Ok, back with you now...
I am most excited about the SmartInsulin-this would change Mary Claire's life. Really. She'd probably go to injections only, so no pump attached to her body, and then she could eat those carb-y foods like pizza, cake, muffins (you know, all the Healthy Stuff!), and not go high. Woohoo!

Ches is going to be working ALL day tomorrow (correction: in Meetings all day), so yuck. He's usually here on Fridays, so I'll be missing him. The good news? It's the last day. He'll be out for about a month-till summer school starts. We should be able to finish up the landscaping around the pool. I want to get some really big planters full of color for the deck, pool, and porch. I'm ready for spring! I hope we have a few nice days of sunshine, so that spring can really start. It's like Arkansas is just behind. And I thought the globe was warming?

My funny moment today (well, one of them):
Ethan got a bowl of rice chex cereal, and then, as if it just occurred to him, asked, "Where Daddy?" and when I told him daddy was gone bye-bye to work, he got all dejected, let his bowl drop down a little, and some chex fell out-I yelled, "No!" so that he'd stop, and he totally poured them all out (promise it'll get funnier in a minute) all over the kitchen floor. I told him to go to the Naughty Chair, and he did. I calmed down, continued to unload the dishwasher, then had him come back to clean up. He did, but took a few over to the Hearth Room, and put them on the carpet in front of his Tonka tractor/ride on toy. He pushed it forward, and it swept up the cereal! (funny part!) He'd cleaned up! You'd have to see the toy to understand, but there are rubbery fins that sweep up toys as he pushes/rides the tractor. He'd actually figured this out, and was "cleaning" up his cereal (well, after laying it out on the carpet...)! Then, he brought the cleaned up bowl out, dumped the whole thing, and ran over it repeatedly to try to get it all, and therefore crushed rice-y bits into my carpet. Least fun part: vacuuming up the bits that migrated all over the place! (but I DO love those fresh, clean lines in my carpet!)

We had cookies as a special treat for snack tonight. It's the night we change her pump site, so it'll keep her from going low. She's been going low on the site change night, but high on the other two. It's so hard to find a balance!

Ok, kids are tucked in, and I have to head to bed. I have to get sleep so I can function tomorrow. There's still a lot to do, and I can't have a repeat of today: Coke, candy, chocolate, snack, in an effort to stay awake. Must. Get. Sleep.

I do, however, have a date tomorrow night! Which will work wonders on my attitude and focus. Out of the house alone (without kids!) for the first time in a while! : )

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cranky and Hormonal

I'm sorry I'm neglecting you, dear blog.

I don't know where to start...I've been crazy busy (normal for me), Ethan has croup, but is sleeping, and I accidentally fell into all these websites/blogs for moms of kids with Type I diabetes. I'm just crying reading them all. Some are in the newest stages, and some are pro by now. I fit in the middle. Five years is rounding the bend. May 23, to be exact. I think I'm just hormonal, but I just keep crying today. Is it the daily work or just the knowledge of it, or the fact that her nurse has called twice-she got extra recess and played hard (and was lowish-80), then worked hard in p.e. and felt low again (only 91, but she must be headed down to feel low). I assigned another snack, so we'll see what we get when she gets home. It's just another job, and I can't quit that one. Hmph. Frustrating. (and hormonal doesn't mix well with it-it just produces yuck and tears).

I'm at a fork in the road, and I can't decide what to do. I've been blogging a while, been kicked off Google ads (ha, they think I was bribing clicks or something), and blogging is indeed work. I only started it to journal and get out frustrations so I could sleep (and get the garbage off my chest). Am I done? Did I get it out? Is it still helping? Or is it one more thing to do before I go to bed? I'm thinking about it.

I have found this whole other world that I didn't even know existed. I don't know how people keep up! There's so much to do and so many people to talk to! Maybe I'll just follow other people who blog. There are plenty of people who have things to say! : ) I love finding out about other people's families and how they keep up with kids (and diabetes)!

I have a wonderful life, and I'm so thankful for all of the sweet people in it. I don't know if I stress myself more by going over my yuck again at the end of the day. I'll mull it over, and keep you posted.

I'd wanted to make pump pouches this afternoon, but the day has gone so fast! I've done laundry all day, cleaned up all Ethan's messes after he had his Prednisone high, made him pizza (he ate three pieces!), and now I have to plan for when the kids come home. Mary Claire has gymnastics today, so I'll have to get her ready. I'm tired of this school year. I'm tired of taking her and Ethan to gymnastics, I'm tired of girl scouts, and tired of all the field trips. I need summer to get here. If just to stay home. I need my phone to not ring for one afternoon so I can nap. or sew. or have time to think.

I'm just cranky. And I've still got a long way to go in the next month. We have a couple of slumber parties, a few birthday parties, projects, trip to Disney, JDRF Family Team Kickoff, and that's just the stuff I know about coming to my May. Next year, I'm going to schedule a week to stay home (and declare it a vacation).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I got a nap. Big Headline!

Great day-included a nap (ahhh...), some gardening for girl scouts-lots of tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, and okra, baths for kids, more leftover pulled pork bbq, and catching up. It was so nice to read part of the paper this morning! Mom took the kids home with her last night-at 9:30! And they got to play outside, get dirty, and Clay played with a (gasp!) pellet gun! Only at her house.

I'm busy posting pix from Saturday night-Clay's First Communion.
Have a great week! Let's try to tone it down, watcha' say? Maybe have a wallet at all times? and no flat tires? Especially in all the rain that's headed our way! All Week. Hugs!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sigh of Relief

What I CAN say is that I am breathing a sigh of relief. Whewwwww..

We are one first communion down, two more to go. It was great-and my little man actually cheered at the end, and pumped his fist (at the end of Mass) at finally having received Communion (but did bless himself afterward). : ) I am proud of him. It just seems like so much work to get here. His third sacrament (after baptism and reconciliation), it's eight years in the making, and four years of pre moving him toward this point. Just amazing. Hope he can recall all he's learned! : )

I took Clay (and Mary Claire) to the church for Clay's individual pictures at four, and I realized his pants were too long. Ick. Like 3 inches or so. I called home and had Ches lay out another pair. It was not good, so I had the photographer (the same one that did our last family photos!) take his shots from the waist up. I didn't want those too-long pants in the memory photo-especially if they'd be exchanged in the next 30 minutes! We made it back home, changed him, and Ches took him back for the group picture. I can't wait to see that one! I hope he smiled. When we were taking our outside pix of just Clay and Mary Claire, he kept showing teeth (think growling), and pulling on his eyes making funny faces. He's just so excited, he can't hardly control himself!

I spent the day doing the usual: playing outside (in the amazing 65 degree weather!), cleaning up, cutting up fruit and veggies, making dip, making the bbq sauce and roasting the pork, pulling it, getting me and the kids ready, taking pictures, controlling my desire to take down all the Easter stuff and redecorate for late spring/summer, bathing the kids, ironing, wishing the three stacked tubs in the kitchen would disappear for so long that they finally did (when I carried them to the top of the stairs), changing Mary Claire's pump site, ahhh.. and cleaning up our fun afterparty. We had fun-and the kids were nice and wound up after our awesome cake. It was super-sugary like I'd requested (no wimpy whipped frosting for my precious boy!), but I was disappointed in the decorating. I think they let a junior decorator try their hand at a cake. Normally, I have very high expectations of Rick's. They always impress me. However. Tonight, not so much. It was white and ivory like requested, but very little swoopy frosting bits around the edges making it look very rectangular/box-like, and very PlAiN. I told them I TruStED them. Ha. I won't do that again. If I pay twice as much, I expect to be wow-ed. I was not. It was nice and sugary (with the chocolate mousse filling I'd requested), so I didn't call to complain. Happens again, and I'll call.

My baby is asleep in bed after a long day, and my big kiddies are spending the night at Mom's after talking about it just a little too much in front of their other gma. They just don't get it. It's just rude. Anyway, they are gone for the night, and I'm kinda missing them. I changed Mary Claire's pump site right before she left, because with all that food (and the aforementioned Sugary Cake), I can see her going sky-high tonight. At least with a new site and new insulin, she'll be controllable. Well, her blood sugar will be controllable. : )

I can't believe they are so big. It seems like yesterday I was rocking them, and they were wearing footed pajamas and learning new words. Well, that was kinda like yesterday: at least the footed pajamas and new words. We just talked about a new word in Junie B's Boo and I Mean It book, but now I forgot what it was. I just fell asleep, which means I must stop writing and go to bed! I'll try to think of the word later... and post some cutie pie pictures!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Time has more value than money now.

Well, I've snagged a few minutes to catch you up. It's been (needless to say), crazy. We got through last weekend, got the tire replaced (although now I'm doubting the reliability of the others-even the new one), and we're on to new things.

We were mired in the liquid diarrhea (try to spell that one on your own) coming from the rear of the littlest Jones, and it just transpired into days... He was pooping solid by Monday night, but more than one day of liquid is just TOO Much. He learned to stand while pooping so that it wasn't touching his skin too much, then he'd scream, "PooPoo Hurts!!" until we showed up to whisk it away (and pray that the germs were gone, scrub our hands/etc.), bury it in the Poopy Can (Diaper Genie), and wait for the next one. We were horribly afraid we'd get it (would we lose 5 pounds?, well, maybe we could try it...) and so we were spraying Lysol, and Clorox bleach-wiping all surfaces. Especially when the poop liquid oozed out. Out of the diaper, out of the pants, out of his socks, out onto sheets, or wherever he sat... ugh. Needless to say, our house is pretty darn clean now. I did more cleaning on Monday than in the past month combined! : O Whew, better lay off. We don't want to set those expectations too high.

Then Tuesday was Mother's Day Out with the usual errand-running with gymnastics afterwards (and the forgetting-of-the-wallet again). I'd been paying my cell phone bill (the $180 one that drafts? off my OLD debit card? that they didn't tell me wasn't working? Yeah, so now it's late?) So, I called in to pay it, and left the wallet on my desk. Then Mary Claire wanted a snack, and I had no money (why carry a purse if there's nothing in it?). Susan graciously paid for her a snack, and again, I'm indebted to her. : ) While I was at gymnastics (not watching), I was hurriedly (is that a word?) cutting Clay's questions out and gluing them to scrapbook paper that would turn into his Friday Vocabulary project. It's been one thing after another this week.
Then, again, with the no brain/wallet. I called Ches to see what was for dinner (Ha!), and I went by Eureka Pizza on Huntsville, and NO Wallet, so drove home. Called them, ordered, gave them debit card number from home, and Ches took the kids to pick the pizzas up. Then I headed out to carpool out to Bunco at Jodie's house. We got lost a few times, and made it a little after seven. I'd been in the car for an hour and 15 minutes. Too long. Then home late, and to bed.

So Wednesday was MDO again, and it was the same, quick errands, phone calls (no new paint on my ceilings yet!), I ran to Moser's in Rogers to get Clay's project on poster board laminated so the questions wouldn't all fall off, and the laminator wasn't hot. How can you run a business that laminates, and not keep it hot? Are teachers low on money too? And aren't laminating? Or is the electricity to keep it on just too much? Please, tell me. She said it'd be ten minutes. I didn't HAVE 10 minutes (I had to pick up the kids in ten minutes-including drive time)! Some days I think I could pay for time. I used to have more time than money, now has it shifted? More kids=less time=essentially less money, but is it less valuable than time now?? I think so.

Then Wednesday night Clay had pre and Mary Claire and I were meeting a group of girl scouts at the Disneynature Earth movie, so Mom came to watch the boys till Ches got home, then Ches took Clay, and Mary Claire and I picked him up. I got them happy meals on the way to get him (they don't make me happy though), and Sis ate hers up (she actually prefers a hamburger and nuggets, and no fries), so I ate her fries, good mom that I am to eat her leftovers, and we went to pick up Clay. He ate nothing, and never did (Ches said he fed him leftover pizza from Tuesday-see previous day of exhaustion).

Then, I was so kaput (think dead-on-my-feet) that I quickly got the kids to bed, and I went to sleep. By 8pm. World Record, I think? I slept till 6:15 the next morning when Mary Claire woke me up asking to watch cartoons in the office. Then she was back at 6:17 when she couldn't get one of the doors to shut due to the big Computer sitting in the way. (It's been there for a good couple of months-waiting to be moved to the attic.)

Then, I got up, got around, as I had a field trip (and so did Mary Claire-hence the Early Wakeup)! The Stick Horse Rodeo at Parsons Arena in Springdale, with all the other first grade students around our city! I made my lunch, and started some laundry (Ethan's poopy sheets, jammies, and blanket among other things), and got the day going. Then made my way to the rodeo grounds, and no kids yet! I called and they'd had to go back for lunches. Mrs. Collier had asked them repeatedly if they all had their lunches, but they were so excited, they couldn't access their brains (common even in adults, me included). So, they were late. It was fine, and they didn't miss anything! I even got to take some pictures of a little girl that goes to a different school, but she's in our gs troop. She was very excited that our girls were coming! : )

Then, long day of fun, and home to crash. Mary Claire had asked me to check her out and take her home with me, but knowing Disney is only a couple weeks away, I hate to add to her missed days. I went home, crashed (for 20 minutes), Ethan woke up, and I got to pick them up as car riders-her favorite, and my symbolic apology for not taking her with me earlier.

Then, I was exhausted (still), so Ches took them to Sonic and to Bethel Heights park, and I rested for about 30 minutes, recharged, and got up to make meatloaf and boil potatoes for mashing-I wanted a real dinner. We had baths, I laid out clothes for today (and made Mary Claire a new bow to match some new clothes-maybe I'll post a pix?), and crashed again. Maybe I'm getting sick again?

Today, back to work: getting ready for Clay's First Communion. I ordered a yummy cake from Rick's Bakery (the Best), and planned dinner. I headed to the grocery store with Ethan, and gathered meat, bread, fruits and veggies. (Ethan has been eating Non-Stop since the poopy thing, so he's had cereal this am, a bag of fruit snacks, an individual pack of Pringles, and just AT THE STORE, he ate two bagels, and a bag of Sun Chips, wanted a banana-but I said no, as sometimes they won't charge me for the missing banana, and I feel bad). When we got home, he had chocolate milk, chicken noodle soup, pretzels, etc. He brought me pudding while the Tru Green man was here (another whole story), but he forgot about it, and I put it away. So, put the groceries away, deal with weird man in purple banging on my door (INSiDE my garage), then at the front door, then rang the doorbell..I pointed to the Baby Sleeping, Please Knock sign, and said I wasn't opening the door. He said he was from Cox, yadda, yadda, yadda. I called them, they didn't know who he was, I called the police, reported Strange Man in LSU shirt, and they were going to check on him. Bizarre.

I lost a bet to Ches over our taxes, so we are going out to dinner at Chili's with all the kids. Should be a blast! Then Clay has First Communion practice (don't ask, I don't know), at 7, then tomorrow, back to work cutting fruits, veggies, and making bbq sauce (as I made the dry rub, and it's "marinating" in dry stuff now), and more cleaning? Nah.

Pictures at 3:30m or 4, group pix at 5, Mass at 6, dinner here afterwards, 7:30? Hopefully, everything will be done and ready. With a Hope and a Prayer. I have Clay's clothes almost ready, and Mary Claire is wearing her Valentine's Dance dress, I have a dress picked out (biggest accomplishment), and Ches a shirt, Ethan's...I'll get it together by drive-away time. Ches thinks his mom is coming early, so I may have to plan accordingly. The kids will probably have to have their baths early in the day (which marks off playing outside, boo...), and I'll have another work-to-the-bone hard day. Maybe Sunday will be better? We have a gs field trip to plant a garden in Fayetteville in the afternoon.

Then next week begins the packing countdown for Disney, and Mary Claire's birthday-she's requesting a sleepover (is she old enough?), and Ches has graduation (just has to escort students), Clay has a bday party on the same day MC does, and it gets faster as we head toward the end of the year! I feel like Calvin on the wagon as he races down the hill and over the cliff into the ravine hoping to time warp. He gets to the bottom, and it's two minutes later into time. I feel that way. I can do 80 things, and it's only been 10 minutes, and I still have 180 more to do! I have to work at warp speed to keep up. I don't know what I'd drop first if push came to shove. Hmmm....

So, see why I haven't had time to write? Yeah, I don't joke when I say I'm busy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jones' Believe It or Not

I can only say I stand amazed at what my day brings. Every day (and night) is truly an adventure.
Last night, we were up from 2:30 till about 6, then back up at 7 with Ethan. He had a tummy ache ("tummy hurt"), watery poop that was burning his bottom, then he threw up this morning. Ick. I was SO worn out. We tried to take turns sleeping till about 9:30. He just wanted to be most of the day. He cuddle up with me and put his head into my neck. So precious.
I was supposed to help Jenifer at her house this morning, but I was so exhausted, and had a clingy one, it just didn't work out. I'll have to go over there Monday or Tuesday or something. Angie came down from Joplin, and got me Sprite on the way for Ethan, and brought the kids gifts! Clay was amazed and entertained (even till 9:20 tonight!) with his Smithsonian dinosaur excavation kit. Mary Claire got sweet little poodle stationery, and Ethan got a backhoe that makes noises-he's in heaven! : )
We finished getting around then when Ethan went down for a nap, we took the kids to National to look at furniture for Angie, then Mary Claire was extremely low (52), so I gave her some glucose tabs and we got ice cream at Braum's-a special treat! : ) We went by the mall to get Clay shoes for first communion and pants. We went into Gap so I could use some of my reward dollars. Then we (didn't know it, but) made a life altering decision. We debated on eating at the mall and letting the kids play a little before they had to go home, or we could go to Chick-Fil-A to eat and let the kids play. Well...wrong choice, I guess. We took off for CFA.
We were on the bypass home, and heard a loud noise. We took our exit to home, and heard a loud noise. We pulled over, and my right rear tire was dead flat-it was sitting on the rim. I called Ches to come help, and (since a similar incidence happened about a month ago) I got out the jack, and started to lift it up. We had trouble getting the lug nuts off-I mean they were Impossible. A nice man (not scary) stopped, got out his "four iron" (or something like that) and loosened up all the lug nuts about the time Ches got there. He put on the spare so we could go home and get Angie's car, and Ches took Clay to Sam's to get the tire replaced. We traded out cars at home, and met them at CFA in Rogers, since it was on Angie's way home. Well, the meal was not-so-eventful if you don't consider 7 people at a four person table. But. There was this meanie kid in the play area. The kids came running out a couple times saying this kid had hit them-and hard. We were keeping an eye on things, then it turned ugly. The kid hit Clay in the mouth/bottom lip at the bottom of the stair thingies, then went up into the "car", grabbed Ethan by the hair (which is long, I know), and began to shake/bang his head onto the side of the wall of the car. All I saw was Ches sprint up the step things like mad (with Anger on his face-he Very Rarely gets mad-really!-but when he does get worked up-watch out!) I freaked out, and ran in there. Clay was at the bottom crying, Mary Claire was crying watching Ethan scream and be shaken, and the Meanie Kid Dad finally sauntered in there, and we were telling him what his son was doing-and he really didn't care. He'd heard the kids come running out before, and did nothing. So, Ethan made it down the slide, crying, and holding his head. I was so worried, because the doctor had told me that it's not so bad to have one head injury, but if he injured his head again soon after it could cause more brain injury. So, I rushed him out to the eating area, while he was choking and coughing, and he promptly threw his entire dinner up on me and him. I was crying (remembering that when he fell back on the bar stool, they'd asked me repeatedly if he'd thrown up), I just took him outside to calm him down in the cooler air. Thankfully, I'd packed extra clothes, diapers, and wipes in my purse since Ches had his backpack in his car earlier. I stripped the throw-up clothes off him, put on the clean ones, and stripped my top shirt off (luckily I had tank on underneath). Then I stood up, and the cup in my purse spilled all down my arm and into my purse (next drama). Just gross. I kinda dried it out, and we loaded up to get home.
Angie brought me a towel from her car, and we made it home. Ethan got a bath and some calm-down time, and I washed off too. It took a long time to settle everyone down. The kids were very upset, and we had a talk about what to do next time. Don't mess with my kiddos! They know they can defend themselves, and each other! Scratch, poke, pull, etc. Poor kids need options. Clay asked if we could pray for Ethan, and we did. Nothing as powerful as a car full of prayer-or a family united! : ) Makes me proud of them for caring.

Now, we are all ready for some rest. Long day. Unbelievable events. I should rename it as Jones' Believe It or Not. It does defy reality. I'm amazed every day-and it's MY Life! : O

ps-I can report that Ethan is okay. He had a great bath, and some play time with Clay, and is sleeping. I think he's fine. After discussing, we think part of the throw up could have been his coughing and choking to catch his breath: he could have gagged himself.

Please, Lord, give me the ability to handle what comes our way. Let me pray continually and be thankful despite my situation.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, April 17, 2009

Must. Sleep. Short. Post. (aka Cherries and Wine)

High Points: Decorating at my friend's house, pizza at Guido's, Dinner at Marketplace, short date, my sweet friend who shared her babysitter, good hair (thanks to wonderful wine salon), 20 minutes to lay down and rest, first rate parking at WM, dinner "party" with 6 beautiful kids, warm enough weather to wear short sleeves and sandals, termite man here and he sprayed (and found no termites-they die in the outside-dirt world-yay!), pool guy came and now the pool pump is working! and he saved us $232.74 on a new flow switch!

Low Points: Cleaning poop off a tiny male body part, cleaning poopy liquid off bedding, learning not to give large amounts of popcorn to a small child, traffic on Hwy. 412 at noon, Gogurt on my ottoman, my babysitter tired and in need of rest (love you, babe! Hope you slept!!), not enough time to help with stick horses at the school, worrying about my baby at school-high bs!, worrying about my baby outside by the pool.

Cherry on Top:
My kids went to bed late, and hopefully will sleep in! (That's okay, I really don't like cherries anyway.)

ps-in response to yesterday's commenT:
I was (visibly?) stressed, and:
Him: Do you want a drink?
Me: No, thanks.
Him: Wine? Anything?
Me: Yeah, red. (joking)
Him: Ok, Merlot, Shiraz, Chianti?
Me: Umm..Merlot.
Him: I'll be back.
(a few minutes later..) I have a huge glass of Merlot in my hand
Me: Oh my gosh, I thought you were kidding!
Me: Mmmm...
Sip, sip, sip..Oh, I forgot why people drink. Now I remember.
: )

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wine and Good Hair-Makes Your Day

All I have to say is today was a better day:

I got wine. While getting my hair done. Now that's service.

I can only say thank you, I needed that. I'll only tell you where I went if you promise not to tell. 'Cause I know you can't wait to grab an appointment! : )

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Manila Envelopes of Doom-Glad to be rid of them

All I can say about today is Thank You, God, it's coming to a close. I had a God-moment, tell you about it in a minute..

Let's see...where to begin. I got the call-F-I-N-A-L-L-Y that my taxes were done. I turned them in on February first and have called repeatedly to see if they were ready. This is our Monday conversation:
Me: Are my taxes ready? (since she told me last week to call the first of next week)
Her: No, but I'm sure they'll be ready in 2 or 3 days.
Me: Do you know that the 15th is on Wednesday? (meaning in TWO days)
Her: I know exactly when it is! I've been working for 21 days straight, and I KNOW what day it is!
Me: Ok (insert big pregnant pause), (insert you need a big fat night out then!), so, you'll call me when they're ready?
Her: Yeah.
Me: Thanks (NOT!)

So, when she called at 8 this morning, I was glad to hear from her (kinda), after having done some intense praying about the exact amount I'd be gifting the government later in the day. Then I got a call from the Actual Accountant to explain the return (big giant sum I owed). Then, off to get busy on errands, pick up the nasty Manila Envelopes of Doom, get a yummy paint sample (BM Peony-a luscious hot pink!), and to Fabric Gallery to check out some fabrics and trims (they have such cute stuff!!). Then to grab a burrito and nachos-it must be Mexican week-and to get the kiddos (again with the no bathroom break..I'm working on it!).
This is where my day/wagon began to go further downhill...
My gas light came on. I had to stop to get gas (five minutes to pick up the kids!), dropped my debit card (this is probably how I lost the last one, do you remember?), then got the babies. Then dropped Isabella off, dropped Ethan off with Ches (to sleep), and ran up to the school to make more stick horses. Then brought the kids home, got busy with snacks, playing outside, painting (and Mary Claire got acrylic paint all over her skirt, I washed it immediately, and NO, it didn't come out; it's making its second round currently), new pool guy trying to fix the pool pump, Ches working in the yard, etc.
Well. Hmph.
I'd forgotten to mail the taxes!! At 4:15, I remembered them, ran in the kitchen, opened the Envelopes of Doom, and didn't understand much. I read through them, signed (the first one I signed on the wrong line, in turquoise ink, and didn't want to white out so they wouldn't think it was fraudulent, so I scribbled it out, and wrote, "Sorry!"), wrote the icky checks, and got them ready to mail. I chased Ches down, got him to sign, and headed to the post office.
This is where my wagon really gains speed...
(Should I mention that Mary Claire is now in holey jeans, rolled up-because of the paint) I got to the post office, took her in to get my taxes mailed, and the lady told me my total, and put on the little pre-printed stickers, and then. I. Had. No. Wallet. It was still on the counter from when I wrote the checks. ugh. Illness washed over me. No. Money. So, she pulled off the stickers, and gave me my Manilas of Doom. And said, we close in 8 minutes, so if (If?) you come back, bring them to the inside dropbox-we'll take them inside until 6. (Can I just say what happened to them staying open on Tax Day?) So I went back out to the van, got in, started digging for money (found about a dollar and 42 cents!), and started praying. Then, it was hot so I tried to start the car. It. Wouldn't. Start.
My wagon is now hitting bumps and flying through the air-think Calvin!
It wouldn't even make a noise. NO noise. Ok, real praying for help, now. Called Ches, no answer. Again, and no answer. I thought to call Susan (first Miracle-thought to call her), and she was in south Fayetteville. She said to call her after I called my neighbor (who thankfully, was in her car, in the neighborhood-second Miracle) and her boys ran out back to tell Ches to call me. Then at the same time I'm trying to call Susan back, Kelsey pulls in the parking lot (third Miracle)!! I am so thankful that someone else is just getting here to mail their taxes!! and I get out and flag her down, hug her, then again since I need it, then ask for two dollars, then slowly find out that Susan called her to help me. I can't believe it. (After talking to Susan at 8 tonight, I find out that there are tons of other people she could've called, but Kelsey was the only one in her mind, and Kelsey was at Neighborhood Market in FRONT of the post office-fourth Miracle?)
Still bumpy ride...
So, Kelsey gives me money, she sits in the van with Mary Claire, and I go in to redeem myself. Not. The. Gates. Are. Closed. Humans are gone. It was after five. So, I go back out, and ask Kelsey to take me to Neighborhood Market to get stamps. We go, and long story short, they only sell books-$8.40 (and I have $3), so Kelsey paid for them. We went back to the post office (still no Ches and a drive-able car), and I mailed them inside. Task One completed-Manila Doom off my hands.
Ches showed up, and I gave my undying affection to Kelsey (and tried to pay her-she couldn't take it-sweet girl). She doesn't realize how she was part of my God-thing that had just taken place. She was happy to help, but I was soooo indebted to her for saving me (and my Doom and I'm sure a penalty on the Doom). I don't think she can understand how happy I was to see her-seriously. God gives us the most blessings in our friends. They are here when we need them, and I'm eternally grateful. My heart had grown three sizes (especially after my Very Long Day), and I really needed the reminder that God was still there, I just had to ask for help.
So, we are trying to jump start the van off Ches' car, and it won't start. I look up, and a sweet man from church is standing there (fifth Miracle), and moves the black clippy-alligator-teeth-thingie on to the black post, and.... It Starts!! Yay! There was much rejoicing!! In both vehicles! : ) We got everyone buckled up, I called Honda and said to Wait For Me!! (Oh, and Ethan has not shoes on, as Ches had to wake him up from a dead sleep) We head down there, get there at 6, and Jon had waited. I handed over my keys, so they could close, and went back to get the kids out. The door wouldn't open! (and the lights hadn't been able to go off, and the doors wouldn't lock.. and the dvd player went off, then came back on during the drive there!) So, I ran back to tell him to check the electrical system too!

We'd had a long day (and there was no dinner at home waiting for us) so we went to Chick-Fil-A to let the kids play it out while we discussed what had gone down. Come to find out, when I was trying to call Ches, he was out back opening a bag of mulch, and out came tons of termites (he thinks)! So we had more problems..
We got the kids home, and I fed them and got them into bed while he went out to spray them with all the buggy chemicals we could find. I offered bleach, but he didn't want to kill the grass. How kind of him. He'd slung the bag over the fence (into the empty lot), and had to go track down the little monsters. With poison!

So, the day has come to a close, and I can't say thank you enough to God for amazing mercy, and friends, and my church, and prepared food, and a beautiful day for the kids to play outside, and bug killer, and now, my bed. I'm worn out. Mentally and physically.

G'night, and we'll do it again tomorrow. Oh, and hair tomorrow-a bright, shiny spot in my week! : )

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lots of nails-in my couch cushions...

Is there any use having long, beautiful nails? Well, I'm not qualified to answer. My only answer would be a no, not with children. If I didn't have to wipe counters, wash and cut veggies and fruits, wash hair and bodies, etc. maybe I could handle beautiful nails... I used to get my nails done (acrylic), but I just can't do it anymore. It's partly because I don't have two times a month that I can spend on nails (myself), and I can't keep them. I'm in water so much, they start to pull off around my cuticles and under my nails. Ok, enough of that. I have to remind myself why I don't get my nails done (when I look down and see my yucky, gross nails, I must remind me that I have small children). I have small children, I have small children, I have small children...

Have you ever noticed (when you have small children...), that sometimes you don't go to the bathroom when you really do Need To Go?? I had to go, ohh.. about 11am, then I didn't go till about 2pm! I'd had juice, water bottle, and Coke from Taco Bueno...AAAhhhhh!! Pain, I could have done a nice bladder ultrasound, and successfully by then!! (haven't had one of those since I was pregnant with Mary Claire!) We just have to take a couple of minutes for ourselves. If not for nails, at least for a restroom break??

Well, messy house, bad dinner (everyone else liked it, but I wanted to File 13 the recipe. It was Chicken Tortilla Soup, but I have a better recipe, but I'm the only one that likes it. I'll have to combine them. PS-I have almost an entire pot of soup if you would like to have it! It made soo much! : )

We did make laundry progress, cleaned the kitchen (how DOES it get that bad EvErY day??), brushed teeth, ground pb crackers into the couch, clipped all finger- and toenails, read lots of Judy Moody, played sidewalk chalk, had gymnastics drama (forgot the meter, and she ran low at the end-68, not too bad), broke the fence gate, you know, the regular Tuesday night stuff.

Alrighty, gotta get to bed so we can do it again tomorrow! (I can have nails when they get big!)
Let me know about that soup....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Too busy, but paused to update you...

Let's see how totally brief I can be:

Baby Bookworms: fun

Dentist: my dental hygienist was NOT at my appt: I rescheduled, Big Story at 10

School: helped make stick horses for the upcoming Stick Horse Rodeo, next Thursday, only marginally burned my fingers with the amazing glue gun

Home: with kids, plus two friends over till dinner
made dinner, vacuumed half house, cleaned office, worked on bills/reconciling checking account, now off to monogram two things

See? I can do it when necessary. More info to come. When there's more time, and less midnight oil burning. : ) Hugs!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Only Jesus Could Wipe Away My Suckiness

All I can say is I suck, yet again. I totally forgot that we had Daisy Day yesterday. What kinda crazy mom am I? Busy? Sick? I had absolutely no voice at all. I had to answer in a whisper when Mom called to see when she should come to watch Ethan for the Easter Vigil Mass. Uh..can I text you? I missed about four phone calls. I just don't have the voice. So, I still feel just awful. I am hoping it went okay without me.

I laid around to rest, took a nap (so NOT the same thing), gave the kids a bath, rolled Mary Claire's hair, ironed their clothes, had continued indecision on my clothes (my planned outfit included a hot pink pair of linen pants that were cutting off circulation), then Ches decided at 4:30 that we should run to Olive Garden in Rogers for dinner before Mass. Umm..okay. Do I ever refuse Olive Garden? And I had no voice (I don't mean gravelly, I mean NO voice) to chastise naughty children, so what the heck? It'd be all Ches' job. I have to say, as far as being silent can be, it was okay. I had to whisper my order (and I'm sure the waiter thought I was mute or weird, but he was nice to me), and Ethan crawled from my side of the table to Ches' repeatedly. It was fine somehow. It's like I just let it go (yes, rare.) but good. We got home, rushed to get dressed in our Easter clothes (you don't Seriously think I'd let them wear their EASTER clothes to eat spaghetti, do you?), and Mom came a little early to take our pictures. We went ahead and dressed Ethan in his little matching shirt, you know, so in years when he sees the pictures, he'll know he was included, and not left out. For his BEHAVIOR. And his inablilty to sit and be good (read: quiet) in church. We won't let him in on that little tidbit till he's... oh, 30 or so with kids of his own! : ) Anyway, we got a few good pictures, so I'll try to post them over to the right. And we left the house with one more grass stain than is appropriate for NEW Easter dress pants.

Church: Excellent candle service (kids' favorite part, Clay even licked his fingers and touched the fire-thanks for that lesson, Gigi) two hours of kids' comments and requests, and some precious words by Father John about plain water, bread, wine, and oil being changed by faith into sacraments (Really Good Part).
(Begin theme music here.)
Cliff's Notes: Need a drink, Bathroom (gotta go bad!), return with front of shirt untucked (at least he really went), drink (again), thirty (high bs maybe?), where's meter?, text Mom, Ches gone to get meter, tell Jen what the hullabaloo is about, Clay chastizes me for whispering in church, try not to get candle wax on hymnal, text Ches to bring back Propel for Thirsty Queen, Mary Claire chastizes me for having my phone on in church, sleepy, can't see, sit on lap, drawing in notebook, notes to Mommy, notes back, Ches back with meter, check bs-high, insulin, thirsty, bother fellow pew-mates again to get out, remember that I forgot the envelopes, write a check, get out money for kids (no envelopes for them either), kids take up envelopes, bother 'mates for kids to get out again (they reassure me that they had young kids once-I say, please remember what it was like), more laying down and sleepy, baptisms and confirmations-very good, renewing our baptismal vows-more good, Fr. John sprinkles us with holy water from the aisles, Mary Claire gets missed, so I rub some of my sprinkles on her, she doesn't "feel them", so she licks at my hands and arms to get some water (yes, insert creepy here), communion (Most Holiest at Easter!) and Mary Claire is Goofy/Crazy/Noisy/Bad, so I check her bs again-high, again, give her more insulin, sing (lip sync), pray with my babies, sing some more (in my most brilliant whispery voice), and then it's over. Did I miss it? It's already over? Oh, my. Thank you, God for your gift to us all. Your son on the cross, dying for US, the absolute Sinners. And I didn't even cry this year. Was it all the hullabaloo? I'm sorry, I hope I fully understand and appreciate you this year as much as all the other years. Will it be this way from now on? Tell me there's life (and Life) after kids. I know you sent these precious gifts (named Clay, Mary Claire, and Ethan), but please help me not miss out on life. And your gift named Jesus. Again.

Ahh, where to go from there?
By last night, my voice was starting to come back. We got some ice cream, since it was about 9:30, and the kids were hungry again. They came in and went right to bed. Wish that was the end of the story. They came in at 1am (only about 20 minutes after Ches went to bed), then again at 4:30am. This time it was about the baskets again (the general can-we-play-with them, can-we-stay-up, can-we-eat-the-candy), and seeing people under Mary Claire's blanket (?). I did the Proper Mommy thing, and prayed with them that the things were cast out in Jesus' name, that they be protected and covered with the blood of Jesus (which can be scary to little ones in the dark), and that they go back to bed and sleep peacefully until daylight. Now, whether or not they saw things is totally arbitrary, but it's happened before, and if not dealt with, comes back in 20-30 minutes to bite my behind. So, nuff said. My kids need prayer.

So...I appreciate each and every sin Jesus has wiped off my slate. The biggies, and all those little I-knew-betters. He lives for each of us every day, we need only to ask him to heal the bumped heads, open our ears to the homily, and to drive out the weird people at all hours. Don't we all need Jesus with us?

Ok, last little thing. Wanna laugh?
Me: What were you doing in there (Hearth Room)?
Ches: I'm looking for places to hide the kids' baskets.
Holly: What? We've never hidden them before.
Ches: The Easter Bunny used to hide my basket, and I had always had to find it.
Holly: We've never done that, but you've never been up on Easter to see their baskets.
Ches: Huh. Guess not.

my note: maybe next year.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yelling Prevents Botox, Didn't Ya Know?

I have a crazy house. Or was that rhetorical? Or can a statement be rhetorical? I have now wikipedia-ed it, and can't tell. Stuff for you to ponder to get smarter. I don't have time to get smarter.

We have henceforth made eggs (and colored and stamped and stickered, and put on hats and bases) and packed them back up to live in the fridge till tomorrow. We've washed and cut and stacked our fresh fruit in a glass trifle dish. We have cut, rolled, and baked our sugar cookies, and they are awaiting various colors of frosting and a myriad of sprinkle shapes and colors. And then we've had spoons of peanut butter and learned that it's a wonderful *moisturizer* for my wood table. You know, since I was looking for a new conditioner for the wood and all. And then I learned that it is not-so-conditioning in clothes! Ethan (minus the paci) is quite the talker now! He came running to me and said, "Pea-n-butter, wet!" on his sleeve. I guess he'd wiped his mouth (FACE!) on his sleeve, 'cause it was up and down his entire left arm. That was the first shirt change. (The second was after he'd had a bath with Mary Claire, was diapered and dressed, and ran into Clay's room, and soaked his shirt/pants in water trying to get in the bath with Clay while Clay fought him off.) This was definitely NOT in the mothering manuals.

Oh, and did I mention I have absolutely no voice? In all the chaos? I have to clap a couple times to get attention, or click my tongue, then get them to come to me, have them turn their ear to me, and listen as I whisper in their ears, then tell them to Do It! while I can muster no real intensity except with my facial expressions (I am so going to need Botox when my voice comes back, and I can call out. On the phone). Try answering the phone. Or notifying everyone that lunch is ready. Or requesting dirty clothes. Or to tell one child to give the other the toy that is causing much screaming (that I'm jealous of), or telling the smallest kid to get down off the play kitchen (as he's hanging half over the rail since he's higher now), because he's about to hurtle down a good 15 feet. (Mom, no freaking out. Clay took the kitchen to Ethan's room, so it's no longer on the landing. And I can't defend their actions on the phone, so we'll debrief when I can show verbal exasperation.) I'm doing all I can. With no verbal weapons.

Did I mention that Ethan slammed my ceramic Easter basket on the floor and broke it? Or that now we have plastic eggs all over our house? That are hidden? And that I'll be finding them in July? and December?

And then there's the Easter Bunny. Clay asked me this morning if I dress up and bring baskets (why would I need to dress up? In case he wakes up and sees me?) at Easter. Umm..I said I don't ever dress up. When should I tell him? What should I tell him? Then, of course he'll tell Sissy. And she' s only 6 and three quarters. It'd save me a lot of stress (and sleep!) if I told them today, gave them their baskets, because then they'd SLeeP IN in the morning! Well, a little more than they will if they think they are waking up to prizes! So, we let the question hang one more year? And then will they associate it with Santa? Is that a bad thing? Then they'd sleep "in" on Christmas. NOT a bad deal. When is the right time? See, I can get a real rhetorical conversation going. When I get going. It just takes me some time to warm up.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Boinking, Beds, and Bathrooms

Big Boy Bed?
We tried Ethan in Clay's lower bunk tonight. And...after many lights on, noises, talking, playing, and general partying, he's back in his own bed. We let them stay up late (big 8:30!), and thought he'd make it after he tucked himself into Mary Claire's bed. And stayed for almost 10 minutes while we played hide-and-seek with Bella. Again! But, alas. He's still not ready. Which is FiNe with me since I like the "locked" in the bed thing, and the "can't come out till I get him out" (except for when he's willful and climbs out...)!

Ruined Bathroom Experience
Learned a lesson today. If you are headed to the bathroom for a moment (or a while, depending on the situation..), find a fun activity for your child! Give them play-doh, a happy show on tv, a sugary snack that takes a while to chew-any freaking thing that keeps them out of your potty area for long enough to go!! I was having a bathroom break, and Ethan came in (wanted me done, like 5 minutes ago), climbed on my lap, got bored, wanted the light on, pulled long pieces of tp and tried to shove them at my general crotch area, tried to play with the toilet brush (and I'm On Guard trying to defend my territory), then he began to open and slam my GLaSS shower door-Repeatedly! as I yelled for Ches to come help out (he didn't come), then he pulled all my magazines into a big piley mess all over the floor, as I forgot why I sat down to begin with and gave up. I get the opportunity, I don't know, once a day? And the moment was gone. And doctors wonder why women have systems that back up. It's called Kids.

Boinking on the Bed
Ok, so crisis averted, on to the next five minutes of my life.. Ethan is on my bed (I don't even really like him on it as it's high off the ground and ivory. All ivory.) He is jumping up and down (on my electric blanket), but I think hey-I'm getting to talk on the phone for five minutes, so I'll let it go (don't do this). He begins to do his "seat drops" like in gymnastics where you jump high, then fall on your bottom, and every time he does, he yells, "Boink!" Then laughs like crazy, doing it over and over. He finally says, "Boink on the bed!" Hahaha, more crazy laughter. So I confirm what he says, and laugh, since it sounds hilarious, and mom (on the phone) says, "You are the only one who should get to boink on your bed!" Enough said. Although not so much boinking right now. (Is there a chart that gives boinking rates?) Illness does seem to hamper the boinking. 'Snot good.

Green Eggs (Minus Ham, as it's a Friday during Lent)
Our eggs are now brightly colored! And decorated with hundreds of Hello Kitty, Batman, and Elmo stickers! Yes, quite the combination! : ) They are so cute-well, the ones that survived are. Ethan quite preferred to bang them on the table, which produced crack-y newsprinted eggs. After they crack, there is minute liquid, the liquid touches the newspaper (the only boundary between bright Easter colors and my wood table), then the spider cracks are coated in the black print-just gross, and un-cheerful. Clay's solution is to eat them-healthy boy. Mary Claire's is to wallpaper them with stickers. Can't see it, can you Mom? So, some are adorable, and some...well, they'll be good to eat. If they survive the Hunt!

One last thing...
My kids (of their own volition) have decided to set out Easter baskets this year for the bunny, to save having him bring all new ones. What to do? They are already prepared-and not in the bucket things they plan to put out. What? Have you EVER heard of this? Foiling the Easter Bunny? Isn't he a planner? The one year I really planned in advance? Now what? Fill the things with eggs? Trade the kids? Aaahhhh! Parenting is really Not Easy. They are ALL judgment calls! And now they want to leave him eggs. Are they confusing him with Santa? and cookies? My Easter Bunny likes cookies and chocolate. And whoever heard of a bunny eating eggs? Or delivering them I guess. Weird.

Strange Thing:
Today when I rolled up Ethan's too-long jammy sleeves, there was a big wad of chewing gum. Still freshly chewed and squishy. Um, who gave him gum? And didn't watch him? And how'd it get 3 inches down/up his sleeve?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Drumroll Please ............... Voting Results!

Best Children's Storytime Leader/Teacher: Ms. Shea
Thanks for playing, ladies! : )
Here are our choices, in a very subjective fashion:

Best Local Library: Tie: Fayetteville & Springdale Public Libraries
Best Spring Flower Show (residential): 3751 Laural Ridge (amazing pansies and tulips!)
Best Cheerful Early Morning Greeting: Any greeting from a precious baby, including: Good
Morning, Mommy : )
Friendliest Police Officer: Haven't met one yet (besides Dell), so I'll go with Officer Dan
Sweetest Friend Who Always Comments: Katie/Mom
Best Cake Blog:
Busiest Mom I know (not me, well, I'm disqualified): Sandra
Best Company to work for in NWA: Tie: Rick's (for the goodies) and UA (for workerly reasons, mainly being an income to keep a nice family afloat)
Best Egg-Gatherer: Emily (has a strategy!)
Best Spring Wreath: Ok, me only by two votes
Best Laundry Do-er: Mom
Fastest Responder on FB: Katie/Matthew

What is coming out of my mouth?

Do you ever hear strange questions coming out of your mouth? I have to admit, I do. I had to call around and ask if various stereo companies could indeed extract coins from my van's dvd player. I know it's wrong.
The day it happened, I was in the shower, Ches was loading the van for our last big adventure: Nashville. He lets Ethan "play" drive in the front seat to entertain him (and keep him from screaming bloody murder from inside the garage door, "Outside!!"). So, he was entertained. And ruined our dvd player. On the morning of our 9 hour trip (Yes, it's much farther than google thought it was).
So there was much drama, phone calls to Honda service. Only to find out they couldn't withdraw money from our van's piggy bank. They gave us a couple of places to call, and I asked why they couldn't do it. They said if they could figure it out, they'd be doing it and making lots of money (so this happens to other people? A lot?)! So, need a business? Learn to withdraw money from vehicles: highly sought-after and valuable!!

So, today I called to see if we could drop off the van a little late, and the man said that it was fine, and it'd "probably" be done today. What? I HavE to have my van to haul around small children and all their various sundry items! No, I need it tonight, whether it's fixed or not! Well, they could only remove coins, but if it was broken, it would require a longer stay (like when Mary Claire swallowed the penny, and was checked into the hospital for "removal"). No, no, I said, I have a bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers everything except tires, batteries, and spark plugs! So, he said to call to make sure that if he opens it the warranty wouldn't be voided. Ha-only in my crazy world do these things happen. So, a call to Joe (henceforth known as Wonderful Nice Man) said if it wasn't fixed by coin withdrawal, he'd have it replaced. See, WNM is awesome! And made my nasty, yucky, sick day. : )
I can only tell you this in hindsight, as now the van's dvd player is functioning!! The eject button wasn't working, and now sounds loud and scratchy (probably bad sign) when it pushes out a movie, but it works. I was ever-so-grateful as I drove home with three quiet kids to the sound of Desperaux. Magical. And we all stopped to thank God-yes, really. We'd prayed on the way there, and we had ourselves an answered prayer (although Mary Claire told God she liked it broken and preferred music, but she sure enjoyed that movie!). Nothing like quiet to cheer up a bad headache and stopped up nose. My illness worsens. Yuck.

Current pet peeve:
When my long distance phone company sends me a bill for my home telephone long distance on 8 pages of paper (8 fronts and 8 backs), includes an envelope, and the amount on the front is a whopping 3 cents. No, I could not joke about this. I can't make up crap that's as unbelievable as my reality. Maybe I'll post a picture.
Last month, it was 93 cents (which is just wrong), and I couldn't send less than $1 electronically (or my morals wouldn't allow a transfer so stupidly small), so I sent a silly dollar (almost as stupid). So, last month, my balance was 10 cents, so my credit paid for all but 3 cents of this month's bill. I'm sending another dollar (see above), and the saga continues. This has gone on for a few years, but it seems relatively inexpensive, so I continue. I know, next question: how on Earth is it so small? Well, we first: use our cell phones if it's after hours, and second: use a calling card, and only third (too lazy to type in the calling card number): dial the number direct, and pay the 10 cents a minute (or 3 cents for off-peak, out-of-state).
But let's not discuss my current cell phone bill. 'Cause it's $180 this month, due to the first thing up above... And my tendency to be a talkaholic. I'm admitting it, which is the first step, right? So what was step two again?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From Sweet Friends to Tantrum to Messy Desk-in a matter of hours

Well, after Oprah's cool show (which I was too busy blogging and parenting to see), I've decided to sign up for ads!! : ) Apparently one woman, an equally busy mom, is earning $40,000 a month. Her husband quit his job, and Ches thinks ads are a great idea now!! heehee : ) So, please see the messages/info below, it's kinda like bulletin boards used to be: extra information about the students' work! But now, extra info about blogging/parenting! : ) Be patient with me, as it is one more new thing I will figure out slowly, but surely.

I am thankful for my precious friends who think about me (and bring me cake, and strawberries, and books, and spend time with me (and my wild kiddos), and dvd players...). Sometimes I get sad if I think someone is mad, or we aren't having a connection/haven't seen them in a while. I love my friends. They are sweet, and have their own lives, I know. I think God just gives us friends as another way to wrap His arms around us! : ) Aren't they precious when we have time with them? : )

Today we carpooled with the MDO kids-they were so funny!! Because my dvd player is broken (still functioning as a piggy bank), we had lots of time to talk today! We pointed out all the things we saw (and didn't), and where everyone lives/goes to school/works, all the backhoes (thanks, Wagon Wheel expansion!), front-end loaders, dumptrucks, bucket trucks (on New Hope Rd!), big trucks, school buses, dirt, cows, stinky (what? Yeah, Isabella said that the poop was stinky, and laughed so hard!! I think she was laughing 'cause she got to say poop out loud!!), monkeys-yep, none of them, oh, what fun!! I remember that's how Clay was talking so much when he was that age-we named EvEryThiNG back then, made the noises, talked and did lots of praying (Lord, can I have a dvd player? just kidding!). Now, I don't think I'll tell them when it's fixed! It was so fun, they made me laugh out loud, and they didn't even come close to falling asleep on the ride home! It was great.

I was quite the pack horse coming out the door of the church: two backpacks, lunchboxes, Easter baskets, gift bag, dress/sweater, jackets, leftover strawberries and juice boxes-it was quite a sight!! I had to go back to get the kids-I couldn't have managed!! Crazy-but a sweet day!

I think I'm coming down with a cold. I'm sure it's all the late nights, not so much sleeping, and I haven't had my orange juice or vitamins for two days-I get preoccupied with all the lunches, notes, book orders, brushing teeth, backpacks, shoes, combing hair, etc. on the way out the door, then my mind gets back onto my work. My fault. Would the oj and vitamins have helped? Probably not. My throat hurts, and I'm sooo sleepy! I did take a short nap today, and it helped so much-then I wasn't quite the bear I could've been to the kids! We had dinner out on the deck-gosh, so perfect and beautiful-not kidding-it was about 65 degrees, and no wind!

After dinner, Ethan started for the pool. The dirty, filling-up, cold pool. He kept yelling, "Bath!" Crazy boy wanted in that thing! I don't think you could PaY me to get in there! Besides I know the chemicals it needs to be balanced, and it's wayyy off! We took him in, got him undressed, and he just screamed for the pool!! He kept throwing his body on the floor (yeah, kinda funny since he was naked) and screaming!! He was just insistent that HE GET A BATH IN THE POOL. OUTSIDE!! Ahhh!! He definitely began to try my patience. I finally let him put on a swimsuit (foolishly thinking it'd help the situation-WRONG!), and told him he could take a bath (of course, he thought I meant outside). I put him in the bathtub while he WAILED (no, I don't kid), hit the water, and screamed more. I quickly washed him (while he stood up), rinsed him, and got him out. He continued to throw himself around (Yes, a good 'ol fashioned Temper Tantrum). I got him a diaper, and carried him down *quietly* to the Naughty Chair. I had myself a seat on the loveseat, as I wanted a time out from the noise, while he yelled some more (but amazingly, stayed in the chair). They always surprise me. When I'd waited a minute or so, I put my finger to my lips, and he got quiet (but it NeVeR works in church), and he stopped. I walked over there, and got him. He was okay. We did some other stuff (he crawled all over my bed, ate pretzels in it-till it was good & crumby and uncomfortable), then got snack, stories, and bed. I was so tired (the one-two punch: sick plus tantrum=so very tired).

I have to wrap it up early-I'm off to bed. I don't want this to get worse (you know, tamper with my weekend!). I am hosting Easter (non-traditional lasagna) dinner-and we have to have an egg hunt and maybe I'll clean if I'm feeling better! I Clorox-wiped the bathrooms, and I've vacuumed/dusted, so I may call it good. Laundry is washing now, so I just need to work on towel-washing, wood floors, and deal with the pile of junkish-stuff called my desk. It ends up as the family catch-all (art, permission slips, assignments, computers, arty paper bits, pens, awards, library books, newspaper clippings, mail, magazines, baggy with ear tube that fell out-yes-gross, notepads, paper towel, calendar, pictures, oj glass, ribbon). You get the idea. It gets cleaned, and within 24 hours, it's a mess again! : O

ok, right now there are Pirates (real ones) who've tried to Take Over an American Ship. Does this STILL happen?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meaning of Easter (and thankful Clay knows!)

Ever think how much easier it is to give advice and recommend things to people when you are on the outside? I can deal out decorating/organizing/relationship advice like no one's business, but when it comes to me-speechless. Why is that?

I mull over ideas, or worse: don't deal with my own garbage until I have to! I have tubs sitting in my house. That've been there since Valentines. Why? I just don't know. I haven't carried them up, Ches hasn't carried them up, I haven't asked him to, one of them has Easter stuff in it, and he thought it'd be easier to leave it down till I'm done with the stuff, then load it, and carry it up... Then the summer tubs will sit at the bottom of the stairs till I'm done with them... Makes for a yucky house/bad feng shui. I'll work on it.

I did get Mary Claire's room changed up a little bit-maybe we can move it more this weekend if we have time. Mary Claire and I have Daisy Day, so maybe not. We seem to have more to do every day and every weekend now that the kids are older. Maybe summer will be a nice break? We'll see what we commit ourselves to!

I resisted joining another committee this week. I really wanted to help out (as I always do), but can't seem to get all my things done, so I can't imagine adding another thing. It's very hard for me to say no. I have good intentions, want to help a good cause, care about my friends, but it does add up. My first ministry is to my family, and I'm trying to remember that. It's hard when and adult says thank you (and you feel appreciated) and a child expects bedtime stories, snacks, lunches made, jammies washed, games to be played, etc.

And then there are the adults that don't appreciate you. It's a darn shame when they are rude to you. Sure makes you want to quit. Only for the kids, only for the kids. As if clicking my heels can make naughty people turn nice. What drives them? Insecurity? Jealousy? Just plain mean-spirited? I have to say I don't get that. Doesn't it make your insides hurt when you are mean? Don't you just Feel BaD? I read about bullies this past week. I learned that they don't feel bad. They get such a rise (physically release endorphins) out of being mean and belittling others, that there is no remorse. The only solution is to not let them win. Don't back down, not to let the verbal barrage continue, change the subject, throw them off. Isn't is sad that there are tactics? That humans can't be nice?
Last subject: When a bully is mean to your kids. And you watch it. You just want to punch them. And never let them near your kids again. How do you explain to an innocent child that that person was TrYiNG to hurt them? It's nearly impossible. Like letting them think the world is a happy place when you are finding out it's NoT.

Anyway, dirty laundry aired. I can move on. I resolve not to allow my kids to spend time around the bullies.

In other news, I've run my errands, and I'm getting ready for Easter!! Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for our sins! : ) Clay had a den meeting last week (that I had the priviledge of attending, if you recall). At the meeting, the leader asked what Easter celebrates, and Clay's hand was up high and wavy. He got called on, and *blush*, he told them about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins (and rising again after prompting...)! My baby has learned something important about life-thank you, God! Sometimes you don't know if you are making a difference, but then they go and make you proud! : )
Anyway, on with the show.. I'm hosting Easter dinner, and am going against tradition and having lasagna for dinner! It's easy to make in advance, and everyone seems to eat it! I do hate wasted food (or that's what my mom says, and I've adopted other things she says..)! We can hide eggs outside (away from the pool, as it's half-empty and a pipe is cracked, so the pump isn't working..) and hopefully get some sun and nice weather!! I got a beautiful pot of tulips coming up for Easter. I couldn't risk the crazy weather outside for the amazing show of color, but on my counter, I'll have flowers! Ethan has already taken the liberty of pushing his fingers down into the buds, so I hope they come up with less brown than I might imagine. I didn't realize what he was doing (since the flowers/buds are still so low in the big leaves) until he'd poked several. Well, I'll have a FEW nice flowers, and a reminder of my gift for Easter: my sweet family. They are all so sweet and adorable (and Ches too!), and always remind me to be thankful for even having them. My life could be so different, and I'm thankful for the way it is. I pray that you are thankful for your family-we could be so much worse off!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gazillion Things, Crazy Mind, and Voting

Hmmm...what to write. I have a million, gazillion things floating around in my head. From what I need to do tomorrow, to what I have to do to get ready, to my last three whirlwind days... Craziness! : ) and some fun!

Sunday was church (I laid out the cute new sundress, sandals covered in flowers, and a sweater in case it was chilly). HA! Mother Nature played a trick on me!! It was frigid!! Mary Claire had to add leggings, socks, and Keds (as the little sandals just wouldn't work. For more than one reason!). It was just sad. I had finally rotated her clothes, and not on the right day, obviously. I thought we had some serious global warming going on? What? Arkansas didn't get that memo! We've decided to have winter in April! We've seen snow in March, but ick. Down with snow (in April-but bring it on in December-when we EXPeCT it!!)!

Baby bookworms was today-and Ms. Shae was back!! She's just awesome. I love her. I don't think I can tell her that, but I came near it today. If I needed a nanny/babysitter, I'd pick her! She'd sing and be sweet, and read, and bring bells and books (and maybe wear a microphone?). She is just so in tune with the kids, adores them, and moves the class right along. Yay, Ms. Shae! She deserves a trophy. You know, if I was giving out awards. Maybe I'll have a ceremony, coming soon!!
Send in your votes:
Best Children's Storytime Leader/Teacher:
Best Local Library:
Best Spring Flower Show (residential):
Best Cheerful Early Morning Greeting:
Friendliest Police Officer:
Sweetest Friend Who Always Comments:
Best Cake Blog:
Busiest Mom I know (not me, well, I'm disqualified):
Best Company to work for in NWA:
Best Egg-Gatherer:
Best Spring Wreath:
Best Laundry Do-er:
Fastest Responder on FB:

Ok, copy and paste your votes. Voting ends April 8th at midnight.

ps-I just found out one of our sweet friends who has diabetes also has celiac disease (can't eat gluten: wheat, barley, rye, oats, etc.). Please keep them in your prayers as they deal with one more obstacle. When your immune system is compromised, it's very difficult. They are bravely facing one more thing, but it's tough. May you and your babies all be blessed this week. We can be thankful for what we have: each other. Bind, bond, and look up.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eat Out Strike!

Yesterday Mary Claire had her field trip to the ACO for Arkansas Storytelling, then she went to JB Hunt Park. I met them there, to check her blood and give her a lunch bolus on her pump. She was fine, but I did worry about her playing from a little after 11 till 12:30!! That's a super-long recess, and I didn't want her to go low! She ended up doing fine- I just worry about her a lot! She's been super-sensitive to lows-she's laid down on the floor probably three times in the last two days telling me she feels low. Once was 51-a true low, and today it was 72. I guess that'd be low for you or me, but not her. We were cleaning her room, so 'nuf said.

Ches and Clay went to the boy scouts' Extravaganza (and brought back a very loud neon yellow T-shirt) today. He got to shoot a beebee gun, shoot a bow and arrow, play flag football (and intercepted the football!), and goodness, had a great day! : ) They came home in time for dinner, but Mary Claire and I were not ready!! We'd debated on taking our baths, but playing was so much more fun! We made her a wreath for her door (which she's been waiting for about 6 weeks now?), changed out all her bedding and curtains (remember the PB ones we got in Memphis?) and moved the bed on an angle. It was all I could manage alone, but she's happy. Now I have little man unhappy since he wants to change his too (and he just got all new furniture and bedding last year!!). We had a great day together, and Ethan just played around us, causing general mayhem. Let's see... he: threw a car at my *glass* shower door, hurled a new box of Huggies diapers down the stairs (and hit the first picture on the wall as they went down at a break-neck speed) as I was screaming, "NO!!", slammed a huge yellow car into Mary Claire's glass dollhouse table (I know.), threw a toy at Mary Claire, threw a big block full of water all over me-my back, hair, and the toilet/bathroom!, should I stop now? This was all today. Yeah, only I'm not kidding. He was in the naughty chair each time. It shocks me that he stays there. And by the end of the day, my patience was a little thin. When he climbed up on a chair, pulling at Mary Claire's new curtains, I gave him a deep, "Get Down" kinda in a deep growl, I'm-gonna-get-you sound. I maintained eye-contact, and that kid got down. Go, me. Ahh, the two stage. Not the best, that's for sure.

Then we went to eat-after the speedy shower for the girls. We drove around: Olive Garden was 20-25 minutes (can't take a wait with the tiny one), didn't have a number to call in an order at Guido's (we call first, walk in, eat, leave-works extremely well: Tim's and Chili's are in my phone), Ches wouldn't go to Jose's (said he couldn't get in the turning lane. Likely.), Clay objected to Red Robin, so we went to Panera. We walked in, got food, and ate. Clay wasn't hungry, and ordered french bread and chocolate milk, and Ethan wouldn't eat anything, so we ordered him a strawberry smoothie (he drank a tiny bit), and Mary Claire gobbled up her pbj, rejected her organic yogurt (Clay ate it), then everyone had dessert (whether they should've or not). We all shared, so it wasn't so bad. (Then Ethan ran over to the seating area-read: couch by people eating alone), took off his shoe, and got comfy, then screamed when Clay tried to bring him back, therefore disturbing Quiet, Alone People. That's why I like to stay home these days. It's just too much work. Even if the food's good, it's just miserable (except sitting in the sun today at the high table, it was warm, and my soup was yummy). Ok, we'll try again next week. By then, amnesia will set in again!

I have to say that being home all day has its advantages: clean sheets, clean laundry (and put away), clean bathroom, clean towels, clean kitchen floor, clean carpet, and dust-free furniture! It helps that Ches drove the van away this morning! : ) I couldn't do it every week, but it was nice. I'm planning to have EAster dinner (and egg-hunting) here next week, so maybe I was preparing??? So no one sees my dust and grime? and knows how it looks the rest of the time? ; ) heehee

It's already 12:23am. How does this happen? I just can't get it all in. What happened to post-France time schedule? I was up early, showered, before the kids got up in the morning, and was in bed by 9 or 10. I've slipped back into my real zone-late and later. Maybe a trip back East would get me back in gear?? : ) I'll work on that one! : )

Oh, I do sleep peacefully when my sheets are clean. : ) I wish you all clean sheets tonight.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

1-2-3 Magic!

I'm still waiting for my farm to load over on FB. I got a new banana tree! I have been playing diligently for a couple of weeks, and still I only have about 8 things open for me to send to people. What's up with that??
Ok, have farmed, and all my ground crops went to waste. It's been too long since I harvested. Boo. I'm losing points. What more could I do to waste time???

Ok, back to life, back to reality.
Today I debated on taking Ethan to gymnastics. I have already decided I'm not continuing to take him this summer. Can you imagine me taking the three kids-Clay and Mary Claire upstairs watching, wreaking havoc, and me and Ethan downstairs (me chasing him around)? No, not a pretty sight. So, I was ready to call it quits. I mean it was for him to expend energy, not to grow up to be a gymnast (although he is amazingly flexible: he can do the splits, lay his head down on his legs, do forward and backward rolls). So, today I stupidly paid for the next month (and he was horrible in class). Am I glutton for punishment? Seriously? I'll have to drop him soon, I'll see how I feel next week. I feel bad if I drop at the first of the month, and they are without the payment. However, if I quit in the middle of the month, they have time to find a newbie to fill the spot, and I've paid, so don't have any guilt. Be watching for my quitting-ness.

In other news, I had a head/brain/eye-crushing headache today. I've been CT-scanned a few years ago (with and without contrast: read IV!!), and they've found no big problems (although my stress level was through the roof since I cried the entire time (not knowing it was with contrast!!!). Anyway, they are migraine-proportion, and not much helps except sleep (read dark room, no noise). Ethan chose today to sleep (or just be quiet?) for under an hour. What happened?? Don't know-just didn't help the headache. It's partly tension (all that laundry/unpacking/mess all over the kitchen) and partly missing sleep. I need a vacation from all that vacation fun!

I learned all about 1-2-3 Magic as I read on the trip. I've been using it with the kids, and with progress!! The biggest thing I've learned is that I have to say what I need to say, then shut up. It's the arguing with them or explaining my point that is all wrong. You don't allow/listen to the whine/argue/begging/anger. You just dismiss it, as they are using manipulation. I read that if your kids use one kind of manipulation more than all the others, you're in trouble: because that technique must be paying off for them! So, no more after the counting for misbehavior. Then the time out/consequence after you've counted, and no sorry's or talking after it's over. They know what they did wrong (or you explain if it was a new misbehavior), and their sorry usually isn't very sincere. Just let them start over with a clean slate (kinda like God does with us! only we usually say sorry). We assume they are little adults and try to reason with them, but they aren't. More talking doesn't teach them. (I'm sure I'll still talk lots to teach, but not in the midst of misbehavior!) I actually didn't get very ruffled today making dinner with one trying hard not to do his homework (got counted, then went to room to finish), another whining didn't want to do her hw, and one throwing a fit on the kitchen floor after repeatedly opening the refrigerator and door and screaming for cheese!!! He also got in the naughty chair (his time out), then in the high chair for blueberries (another book I read-if they are truly starving, set out fruit or veggies and if they get full before dinner, they've eaten healthy!). I'm a winner today! : ) ...Funny thing is, I had a friend ask me if I'd read this about 4 or 5 years ago. Why didn't I listen more carefully and read between the lines??

Then took Clay to boy scouts. Another life experience. They kept laughing all night about tooting (one kids walked off, and the leader *his dad* told him to come back. He brought back stink, and the little meeting broke off *ran off* for a few minutes and laughed so hard! You'd never see this with girls!!), and they were so loud and crazy. Unbelievable. When I have more time, I'll do more storytelling.

I must get to bed, as I'm trying to avoid the headache tomorrow-busy day ahead!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Travel (with your family) is not for the faint of heart

I’m stressed, and stress brings on writing-I guess it’s therapeutic, like journal writing. I’m hungry, the kids are hungry, and we are driving on. We are in the middle ground-between decent places to drain our excretory systems and feed our digestive systems (too many museums in one week) and nothing. It’s wide-open (but nice) highway out in Tennessee. We’ve stopped at two gas stations to let Mary Claire go to the bathroom. The first stop was McDonald’s (decent) and we got apple walnut salads for snacks, and the second was awful. It was a gas station (opposite a truck stop) so of course I chose the gas station. It was dirty: the bathrooms were dirty, no locks on the doors (so Clay accidentally walked in on someone and started crying), there was a bar of soap (like Underwood’s bathroom-which I told them about), and the food had DUST on it. Gross. I dug down to the bottom of the box to get a non-dusty (if not old) bar of chocolate (Special Dark-when I mean business, but with the fewest possible number of calories, FYI), and a bottle of my fave: Aquafina (know it’s wrong to have a crush and water-favorite, but I do!). I went to check out, and the guy was watching me (maybe he’ll dust the candy!). I gave him a five, and he went to hand me my change, then popped the change in the air, caught it and handed it to me. I don’t know if this is a rare skill he chose to impress me (or cheer me since he’d seen me in and out of the restroom with three kids barking not to set my dog-gone purse down on the floor AGAIN! while I was going since there were no hooks/locks/shelves free of bar soap slime). I was freakin’ out, people! So I laughed at his impressive flip/catch/handoff and was thankful for the break in tension.

Then more driving, and lunch. We stopped at a relatively decent place on the east side of Memphis (only a couple miles from Wolfchase Galleria, if only we’d known…) and Ches went in to do the exam (to see if he approved of the food-relatively free of food poisoning after him not eating with us the other day!). We got the nod, and went in. Ethan ate standing up, as usual. He only sits to eat if belted in his booster seat at home or if eating in his car seat! The kids had pizzas and we had sandwiches. When we were ready to go, Ethan sat on his drink (on the table), and it crushed the sides of the cup-it went all over Ches’ shorts and Ethan’s pants. Heh heh heh. Sorry. Anyway, we have clothes! Ches put on a new T and new Nike shorts he bought yesterday and Ethan has on a new pair of capri/pants from Carters (so versatile!). We are back on the road. We are hoping for a great nap from Ethan, and no stops till we are on the west side of Little Rock. Clay is still wii’ing with Mario Kart, and Mary Claire and Ethan are watching a movie. Ches is the only one plugged into reality, as he is our designated driver (his position of choice. I’ve volunteered to drive so he could stomp Clay at Mario Kart, but I think he knows he’s too competitive and it’s crampy back there!).

He admitted today how mad he got yesterday when he lost at the laser shoot-em-up game where you get the pathogens with the gun. He said he just knew he was ahead, so he laid off on the fourth round (that’s what they all say..), and that GiRL next to him beat him 21,000 to 19,000 points! He was ahead of her by thousands, but she took over! He was so mad-it was funny (only to me, in a quiet kind of way)! He says he never thought he’d be like his dad-fiercely competitive, but here he is. And he’s trying not to play Clay too much, cause it comes out! I worry about Clay-we have very competitive family on all sides. I have laid off in the last few years, figuring if I win it was meant to be (and playing with kids drains the competition, you just know you’re smarter and don’t need to prove it). Anyway, it’s in our blood, so he’ll get there, good or bad.

Well, it’s therapeutic just to write it all down. Maybe that’s why I keep it up. An online journal, or just a debriefing. Or a way to get it off my chest. Almost like writing it down and throwing it away-except for the publishing it on the internet part. : )

Now I’m releasing all my stress, and planning my next few moments and days. Tomorrow we’re home and back “on”. We have Ethan’s gymnastics in the morning then Clay’s boy scouts in the evening (and I must return the two Red Box movies we rented today and get groceries as I’m sure our milk is chunky by now). Ches has a meeting tomorrow night, so I’ll have to take Clay to scouts. Then Friday Mary Claire has a field trip so I’ll meet them for lunch at the park so I can check her blood and give her a lunch bolus. I’m ***stress as Ches is following the truck in front of us too closely!!**** not planning to go into Clay’s class to help with writing since they have a Husky Howl this Friday. Okay, I must stop. This could go on all day!!