Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hollister, right outside Branson

Let's see..where did I leave off?  I had an amazing time in Branson, spent a day at the outlets, then a day down on the Landing. : )  Excellent girl-bonding time!  We adopted some friends a few years ago, and they live in Branson.  So..whenever we are there, we call them up and spend some time together!  We took Dina to lunch and did some shopping at a little purse/wallet/watch/jewelry boutique next door.  (It was overwhelming...even to me!)  It was full of stuff wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling!  And the colors..turquoise, orange, red, black and white, purple, leopard, and tons of silver.  A real girly-girl place...and they were getting ready for Christmas!  Ornaments and MORE color.

Down at the Landing we went to a bunch of stores that aren't at the Outlets (some of them are though, strangely enough).  And I checked out another "cool" store, at Dina's request.  Her son shops there, so she's in-the-know!  It was Hollister (please ignore the kissing couple on the website).  I know a million people already shop there, but I'd never been in.  I thought it was just a man's store, or for teens.  After all, the shopping bags look like Abercrombie, all chesty guys with low pants!  How on Earth could that be for ME?

But, aloha!! It was for me. ; )  It was first of all, Dark.  Second, it was 9 or 12 little rooms..trying to remember.  The employees (guys leaning on tables with no name tags looking "cool") couldn't leave their Rooms.  (hahaha!)  So, when I wanted to try a shirt that was on a mannequin, first he told me to check the back room (Sale).  Then, when nothing resembling the shirt I wanted was back there, I went back to His Room.  He yelled to the next room (over the super-loud music!) to ask someone else (Manager, maybe?) if he knew where a shirt was.  Let me tell you, it was a creamy white shirt with some ruffles and buttons.  They had a table full of about 8 designs of creamy white shirts.

Mangager Man came, and they looked all over.  (kinda funny that they work there, and don't know where stuff is!  Maybe it's because they aren't actually looking at the stuff in Other Rooms?  Or they are too busy looking cool to actually work?)  (And I have to tell you..there are two young guys parked in the big leather chairs in the entryway.  They.  Never.  Moved.  There when we went in, there when we came out.  Are they paid employees too?)

So..back to my shirt.  I finally found it..Myself!  (Yes, they are only paid to look like they are hanging out there.)  It was cute, and I found some shorts to go with it.  BUT you can't take accessories into the dressing area.  I had to come out, try on the belt (Braided is Back, BTW!!  Do you remember it from the late 80's, early 90's?  I had a homecoming date wear the matching braided Polo belt and braided suspenders in the Fall of 1988!)  Crazy!  Anyway, I took it off, went and tried another pair of shorts, and retried on the belt.  Weird rules.

Then.  The checkout.  We had gotten in a hurry since Angie's husband called to say that her dog had fallen down the stairs, and he might have broken his hip!  She had to get home fast (it was already 7pm!)  We found a Manager Man, and he came to ring us up.  I loved the smell in there so much...I bought the perfume at the counter.  It's very light, smells store-y, and very fresh.  Not musky, not too floral, but perfect.  I also got the little old-fashioned squeezy ball that mixes the perfume with air as it comes out.  It even wheezes a little. ; )  Very Audrey Hepburn.

I have to thank my friend, Leigh, for keeping me in the game.  I've had some really Off days lately.  Mary Claire is now in the school choir, and has to be at school at 7:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Ethan has to be in Rogers by 7:55am (25 minutes north of here), and my van is getting the hail damage repaired, so we are sharing a van till Friday.  It means everyone leaves at the same time, so we are getting up really early!  We've also had boy and girl scouts, and the boys' baseball/t-ball teams are just starting up.  Overwhelmed yet?  Add to that the JDRF Walk (and tshirts!), planning a baby shower, I'm teaching PRE this year (helping my friend Tiffany with the First Communion class!), getting ready for our school's Husky Hoedown, and finish our Bible study's book group book (Come Be My Light, by Mother Teresa..she's SO humble, and begging to help the poor, and they won't let her yet-it's slow, but good reading)..none of it is too big, but all together = A Lot!  Trying to Keep Calm and Carry On.

And Mary Claire gets her braces off Thursday! and we see our endocrinologist on Friday! : )  Pray for a great a1c! : )

I have some other stuff brewing...but it's not time to talk about it yet. : )  We'll get there, slowly but surely.  God is good, and He hears my heart.  He knows I'm trying to take it day-by-day, and I'll make it.  I just have to keep my expectations lower (like Homer Simpson) so I can reach them easier ; ) haha!  ..I'm a virgo, it'll never happen.  Oh!  And my birthday is coming up, and it's a dilemma!  I have about 4 choices of what to do over Labor Day weekend, and do I:
a.) grow up and do what they want me to do on my day/weekend?
or
b.) enjoy my day and do what I want to do?

Growing up sux.
And to answer your question: Hollister is a real city just south of Branson, in Missouri!  So, I always thought it was stuff from Missouri, didn't know it was a Store. ; )
And to answer your other question: 38.


Sending you hugs!  (and S.W.A.K. mail!)  Hoping to get caught up on thank you notes today!! : )


Friday, August 26, 2011

Yelling and Whispering

Hey ya'll!  I'm coming to you L-i-V-E from...Branson, Missouri! : )

We've shopped till we dropped, and we've dropped at the hotel for the night.  We always take a shopping trip around my birthday..woohoo! : )  We found some good deals (Polo was 30% off the entire store, and then I had a coupon for 20% off my purchase ; )  Good thing..since Ches asked for 4 white polo shirts!!  What?...Yep.)  It's been a great day.  We also got to see our friends Dina and Sara who live here! : )


I've accepted that my kiddos are growing up..I made my maiden voyage into...Aeropostale!  The music was sooo loud-it was like being at a concert.  I actually had to yell at the employee and lean my ear to listen.  I wanted a size chart, and they didn't have one.  I had NEVER been in there, but heard from the "cousins" at the shore that it's a cool place to shop.  And it was, but there was a learning curve.  (for my fellow unexperienced Aero-shoppers, they only carry juniors sizes!) (so..your young child, 9 or 10-ish, will wear an X-Small, FYI).  I was totally asking if a Medium was 7-8 or 8-10.  They couldn't figure out what I was talking about...now I know why. ; ) haha, what an experience.

And tonight we went to the IMAX to see Tornado Alley.  It was not as emotional as I thought it'd be (especially seeing it with Angie, my friend from Joplin).  It brought up so many memories, both of tornadoes we've lived through, and the ones that have taken lives in ou lifetime.  They are still doing research to give us a 15-20 minute lead time to take shelter.  I'm thankful for the time and energy the TIV and VORTEX2 group has put in for our safety.  And thankful for the National Science Foundation for giving them a grant to continue their research.

and Tomorrow, more shopping! : )  I'm so thankful for our families, and the time they gift us with each year.  It's a restful, recharging, verbal catch-up : )  I love it, and need it.  I'm praying for you to have a recharging weekend too!  Call, visit, or email a friend and talk about your life.  Sometimes we have to share a whispered secret. ; )  ..maybe I'll share one with you?  heehee  Sending you big hugs! ; )


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Preschool Stripey Sheets

I finally got my new blog layout! : )  Erin with Designer Blogs did it, and I love all the color : )  The stripes kinda goes along with the little project I just finished..

Ethan started a new preschool (yes, he's still in his Mother's Day Out on Tuesdays where he started two weeks ago, but this is a three-day-program! Yay!)..and he had to have a flat crib sheet for the cot he sleeps on for naptime. (have you ever heard of such a thing?) So, we inquired... and found out that it's half of a twin sheet!

I found a super cute stripey one at Wal-Mart (for $5.00! ..now that's cheap fabric!), and cut it in half.  I ironed it, put a new seam down the cut side, and ironed it all.  Then I added his name to the big wide hem, and voila: Flat Crib Sheet!

And then..since I had extra fabric (half a twin's worth!), I decided to try to make a matching mini-pillowcase for the pillow he loves for school.  It's just a boudoir pillow filler from Hobby Lobby (I think it's 12x18), and a little pillowcase.  We got the original pillowcase from Pottery Barn, but had his name added after we purchased it..and it was coming off! : O
Can you see the top left of the 'E' missing?
Anyway, I wanted a new one to match his stripey sheet. : )  So, I laid down the pillowcase onto the fabric, and cut about 1/2 inch all the way around it.  On this side, I added an extra 4" so that I would have the little "tuck" feature (where you tuck in your pillow so you can't see the filler).
This cut side is 12.5" W x 26" L

And this cut side is 12.5" W x 22" L (just enough for a turned-under hem and a 2.5" end to monogram ; )

Then I ironed down the seams, pinned, sewed the end seam and folded..remember it has to stay open for the "tuck" inside the pillowcase.

I placed right sides together, and sewed the three sides together.

Finally, I kept it inside-out, and sewed a line all the way around the pillowcase making the "end"..turned it right side out, and monogrammed it! : )

Here is the "tuck"..see how you can't see the filler? ; )

And here is his matching set.  All ready for preschool.  (and his kinda-matching Toy Story blanket in the background!)  Yep, all for $5!
And?  He loves preschool-totally makes my day. : )  I told him we had all day together tomorrow (doesn't school make you appreciate the home days?), and he just whined that he wanted to go to school!  (I guess I should be thankful?)
 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Making of an American Girl Bed

So..yesterday we had a little extra time (no, my baseboards aren't dusted or my laundry put away..but it was Sunday! haha!) (and they never are and it never is!)

Anyway, we've had this piece of wood for a while..and Mary Claire finally figured out what it was for.  I'd bought it about a month ago with the intention of making her an American Girl bed..but then it got SO hot!  (My tools are outside..and the large amount of wood shavings keep them outside.)

But, even in the 100 degree heat..we persevered (and dripped).  First I measured her doll.  We determined we wanted her bed 12" wide x 24" long.  (She has a little room for a buddy in bed and a dog at the end.) ; )  Then, we decided it should be 4" off the ground.  (Easy math, people.)

So, I drew all the dimensions:

Then I added a rounded top to the headboard and footboard (I folded a piece of paper in half, cut it till I was happy, then traced the paper.)

Then I cut a 2x4 into a 12" length, cut it down the middle lengthwise to use to nail my pieces to.  Obviously I didn't take pix of me all sweaty over the saw..but here are all five pieces together.

Then, I covered the headboard and foot board with batting and stapled. (with my regular stapler-the wood was too thin for my big staple gun!)

Then I monogrammed some fabric (Too Tiny), and made a slipcover for the headboard and foot board.

Finally I added a sheet/bedskirt (the two are connected together, and it just lays over batting stapled to the bed like a mattress: three layers.) and a quilt. : )  (The pieced quilt-looking fabric came all sewn together..I'd bought it to make her a dress, but never made it!  But..it matches her bedding!)

Oh..and a PiLLoW! : )  See how tiny her name is?  Poor planning...

But she likes it just fine. : )

So..an American Girl bed, and Mary Claire is happy.  And I think it cost about $5.  So much better! : ) heehee  ...and we can change the bedding and headboard covers! : )  (..and there's actually enough wood for one more..do you need some wood?) ; )

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back-to-School Top Ten

There are things I *love* about back-to-school time, and things that make me not-so-thrilled.  Let's see if I can sum up the greats in just ten:

10: Buying school clothes!
9: Buying and organizing back-to-school stuff (I really like it..sorry!)
8: Seeing friends and other parents! : )
7: Writing those first-day-of-school notes for their lunch boxes!
6: I'm up and moving super early.
5: The laundry is more likely to get finished (and put away!)
4: The kids are passed out by nine. ; )
3: They are so happy to see me after school!
2: Grocery time alone. ; )
1: They have AMaZiNG rules! : )  All thank you's, yes sir's, and no bragging:




And the not-so-greats for people like me?
Yep, read the starred area entitled Late Fees.
Late Fees do not apply to paying your (automatic draft) late.  No, they mean if your four-year-old is late to preschool!  Can you read the print?  50 cents/minute/student (thank goodness it's only one!) for the first ten minutes, then $1/student/minute after ten minutes!! Umm..maybe we'll be on time?

And tomorrow?  ...an American Girl Bed! : )

*I remembered another one... #11: Sometimes I can sneak in a nap! : )  Do you have any more to add?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

She's Growing Up

My little girl is growing up (heck, all my kiddos are!), and I'm all emotional.  There are sure signs..like her getting taller (and when she stands on the kneeler at church, she's taller than me), and wearing older, less ruffle-y clothes, and wanting to carry a purse.  Then, there are the days she doesn't wear a bow..that make me cry.  Not because she wants to spread her wings (although she does), but because her hair looked better that way..and it did.

And..earlier this week, we got to go with friends (Leigh and Emma!) to get Mary Claire's first real pedicure and manicure!  She's had the little painted nails (even in a salon) before, but never the Real Deal.  She got it all..while enjoying her royal seat watching 3-D Tangled.   How much more spoiled can you get?  ; ) (I must admit Leigh and I were across from them watching while we sat in our warm massage-y chairs getting our own nails done!) Absolutely the best of both worlds! : )  Here they are:
talking and smiling, and doesn't that foot scrubbing tickle!?

She could totally be a princess full-time.  (Next time she will wear shorts.) ; )

They are drying..

Check out the blue/white zebra with silver sparkles along the edges!

And the pink/white zebra with silver sparkly edges too.  Pretty.

Sweet, sweet girls...glad we all got to go together! : )

And then..(because who wants to mess up your nails cooking?) we had dinner at Olive Garden together!  Yum!  They practiced good manners and everything. ; )

And then reality..Ethan started school Tuesday morning.  We were all r-e-a-l-l-y sleepy, but we made it by 9..he was so excited!  (and I was thrilled he was excited..I never know!), Mary Claire had dressed herself and done her own hair (and she always chooses ponytails):

And then, the very next day, my big kids started school.  And they look amazingly older than last year.  Really.  (It's partly the no-bow look, and partly that they just aren't those squishy-cheek little kids anymore.)
*Love* these kids.
And..bow or no..still beautiful.  And Clay in his clean hair with those glasses?  Adorable!!  Can you love them more as they grow up?  I think so. : )

And for fun..an old first-day-or-school picture:
I know..it's only from 2009, but that's as far back as my digital pictures go on this computer. ; )

Gosh..in TWO years!  I am so thankful to God for watching over us, and getting us this far.  Parenting is not an easy task, and I'm not the best, but I'm thankful God's graces are new every day! : )  I pray they all have an awesome school year, that they learn, and that they impact their classes in a positive way.  (and keep growing..but slower?)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Diabetes Gets Ready for the First Day of School-Nothing like a deadline to motivate you!

Hey ya’ll!  Sorry it’s been so long-it’s crazy as usual.  I have been getting the kids ready to go back to school (thought I was ready...), and I had more to do than I thought.  : )

To start, I had to work on Mary Claire’s diabetes care notebooks.  I update them every year with all our current information (emergency numbers, ratios, corrections, how to operate the pump, etc.).  I have three notebooks: mine (of course!), the nurse’s, and the teacher’s.  I also made some new tabs and changed up the Table of Contents to add our glucagon instructions and to make things easier.

Here are some pictures of my notebooks if you want to see! : )
(and I hyperlinked them with my 4shared account if you want to see them larger or download them for free!)
We're up to...three notebooks! : ) We buy the white notebooks with clear overlay..and scrapbook the outside and decorate the inside with stickers!


Her Table of Contents



Glucagon Instructions..page two was fuzzy : (
I have three (for each blood check), but this is her Lunchtime Blood Sugar Chart-takes the thought/human error out of "What to do if..?"  It has her bg in the first column, then tells what to do.  No error. ; )

And this is her Afternoon Chart (2pm check)

Her current Bolus Ratio Chart

Her current Correction Ratio Chart
This is just an extra page on what to do if she's below 70 (technical Low), above 123 (upper level of our target range), and over 240 (ketone level)

A few snacks in case they have snack in the classroom together.

These are little 4x6 cards I make (9 altogether-with her picture!) for her grade level, substitute and special teachers, offices, etc. with her low and high warning signs and our contact info on the back.  Here is the large one you can shrink.

I also updated her tub of snacks, and her drawers for the nurse’s office.  I got the plastic set of drawers when she was going into kindergarten at Wal-Mart..and they’ve been so handy! (I think they were meant to hold scrapbook paper and cardstock) : )  There are three drawers: one for lows, one for highs, and one with supplies.  The “Low” drawer has stuff for lows: glucose tabs, fruit snacks, cake gels (can be rubbed between their teeth and gums if they have a low and pass out-it absorbs into their cheek-no swallowing required!), and glucagon.  The “High” drawer has mixes for water bottles: Propel, Crystal Light, and she likes Splenda in water too!  The “Supply” drawer has extra meter and pump batteries, extra strips, lancets, alcohol pads, and ketone strips.

The tub of snacks (not an accurate name, BTW) is full of stuff for highs and preventing lows.  (Too long to write on the tub!)  There are water bottles, 15g and 17g juice boxes, applesauce, more fruit snacks, peanut butter crackers, goldfish, Cheez-it snack mix, and Teddy Grahams.

I usually print (address) labels with the name of the food, the carbs, and the bolus (during school hours) for each..but every time I have to reload the tub, I make all new stickers, and I’ve decided that’s a lot of work! : )  So, this time I made a 4x6 card that shows through the front of the tub, shows all the foods in there, and the carb counts and bolus for each.  Much easier!

And..for the first time I wrote out the instructions for the glucagon.  I think I thought that by not reading it or touching it, I was denying it would ever need to be used.  I like that it’s never been opened when I throw each one away on it’s expiration date.  But...it could happen.  And if it happened at school...I’d want them to be prepared.  So, I read and typed, and cried, and got it done.  Now there are two pages (BIG print for shaky hands!) with exact instructions.

I went back to my 4shared account to add all of these files.  If you can't read the pictures, you can go to the site, enlarge, and/or download the file to make it really big!  Bonus! ; )

I hope this helps at least one person. ; )  I'll get back to life in a few days..I have so much to tell you about!  We've had some fun...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TShirt Design, Anyone

Thank the Lord!  My letters are done...and in the MAiL!  (they won't actually go anywhere short of that big blue box on Joyce Blvd. since it was too late..but still..In. The. Mail!)  Yay!

It's a lot of work with the writing, printing, copying, pulling sticky labels off the printer wheels, matching the labels to the stamp colors, and kissing them goodbye!  It's a monumental task, that I'm so thankful to call it done. ; )

And now..on to t-shirt design.  Every year we do a new t-shirt design for our team to fit the yearly theme.  This year's theme is "Lights, Camera, CURE!" so I'm a little..stumped.  I first tried to go with the movie angle..thinking of a movie to illustrate on the front (Forest Gump's 'Life is like a box of chocolates', Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, Chocolat, etc.) and now maybe I'll just do the theme with some illustrations?  Although Ches just had a good idea: Mary Claire Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Cure! : )  I think it's great, but now I have to figure out how to throw in pink or something to pitch it to the girl! ;)

And here are my other ideas...
Gnomeo & Juliet...find a CURE!





Mary Claire Jones and the..Raiders of the Lost Cure!





Finding (a) Cure!  (Nemo)





Cure Story (Toy Story)





Curable Me (Despicable Me)





Kung Fu Cure!





Adventures in CureLand! (Wonderland)





Peter Pan: Finds a Cure in Neverland!





Princess and the Cure (Frog)


Any ideas?? Please?  I'll send you a free shirt if we choose your idea! : )

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sick Day

Today was a Sick Day.
Ethan spent the night with Gigi (his first night away from us!), and this morning..he got SiCK!  He threw up at her house, then in the car on the way home..then all day. : (

It is never fun when someone you love (especially your baby!) is sick.  He had icky poop and threw up every hour or two.  We'd wait about an hour or two after the last episode and give him a couple sips of Sprite..and then he'd throw up.  He consumed only about 4 oz. from last night to tonight at six.

I called the doctor's office, and they said I could give him one of Mary Claire's zofran dissolving tablets to help him with the nausea and vomiting.  While he was sleeping, I g-e-n-t-l-y put it under his tongue.  (he never woke up!)  Then, when it had been about 30 minutes, I went to check the tablet progress.  He had some white foamy stuff, so I used a dropper to drop a teensy bit of water onto the foam..I know chancey, but it helped wash the stuff down his throat! ; )

By the time we woke him for dinner (three hours later!), he was fine.  He had a tiny bit of Sprite, some rice, applesauce, and a bite of plain potato.  I gave him a bath (I'd used so many baby wipes on him..he needed a wash!), and then feeling really brave..we went to Ches' office to finish up.

He changed offices in 2007 (and I thought it'd only been two years, boy time flies!), and I've never been back to help organize.  We hung his diplomas, pictures, and more stuff..I cleaned out his fridge, then the kids and I cleaned out the "busy" desk drawer-it was full of super-old calculators, hardened rubber bands, old coins (Clay found a 1954 penny, and was so excited!), and even those old mini-tapes.  Mary Claire wanted them for her American Girl.  ha!  I can't believe I haven't been there in so long..and that he never felt it was time to clean. ; )  We left piles of stuff in the hall for trash..and shredded bags worth of student papers.  (and bags..meaning the big clear, shredder bags-50 gallon bags!  He was holding on to old tests!  He actually had reused them with some scan-trons, but Hell-o!  Some were written on, and I bet some made it back to dorm rooms!  You have to change up the tests, every year!)  He is so sweet, and thinks no one would cheat.

Alright, I should go..I have to check on some babes!  Praying that God heals my children, and praising Him that Aiden finally has his pump!  God is good.

*and see?  I didn't say the words "green throw-up", "undies straight to the trashcan", or "letting him use my pads in his undies".  So..it's all good! : )  Now, he can't say I embarrassed him when he was little. ; )

Oh, and ps!  I found my thingie!! Yay! : )  (it's an ipod/heart rate monitor..gone missing!)  (Get this.  I'd taken it on the trip, but found it when I cleaned out my car today.  I should celebrate..with some chocolate ice cream...filled with Reese's.  Isn't it appropriate?)  Yay!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

JDRF Walk Letter

I'm a-l-m-o-s-t done writing my fundraising letter for the Walk to Cure Diabetes 2011-I usually have it mailed by now...but I'm working on it.  When you have a child who has been recently diagnosed, it's still at the forefront of your mind, your writing is fresh and raw, your family is still shocked, and people want to help.  Once you've dealt with it for a while (seven years..) they think you have the hang of it, and don't really worry about you or your child anymore.  No offense to me, but they think I've "got" this.


Even on vacation, I had some really surprised questions when I had to plug Mary Claire into her pump to have a snack while swimming.  They asked if I had to do that every time she ate.  Umm..yeah.  Every thing that goes in her mouth is counted, as precisely as possible, and then the insulin ratio is figured based on the time of day.  And yes, having her pump off during swimming is a car wreck waiting to happen.  Of course she's going to go high-but I can't keep her from fun.


I also get that I make it look "easy".  I've been doing it for long enough, and I just don't talk about it a lot.  I used to, but then it's all that I could think about.  Now, if I get some time away with friends, I am vacationing from diabetes for a little bit.  I don't want to talk about it-I live it.  That's why I'm having a night out-to get AWAY.   To take time for myself.  : )  And..it'll be there when I get home-and it always waits up for me.


All this to say writing a letter is one of the hardest things I do.  I have to admit, every year I want to vacation away from the Walk (not do it..), but I can't.  I think even some friends would like us to take a break..but we can't.  We need research funding, and my daughter needs that tiny celebration that she's special.  I just have to get my act together, face the keyboard, and do what has to be done.


And then take it to be copied..and then review my address list..then print labels...then label envelopes..and stuff and label return envelopes..and then stamp them all..and take a breath...and get my t-shirt design done!  Ahh..walk time. : )


ps-haven't found my thingie yet..but I've thrown away an entire trash bag of stuff in the hunt!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wal-Mart. Hmph.

Ahh..with antibiotics and Advil Cold and Sinus on board..I feel 85% better! : )  I went to the doctor yesterday to get a prescription (because of the new rules!), and come to find out..it's just Wal-Mart that requires the Rx!!  Collier's and Walgreen's still sell them over-the-counter.  Guess where I'll be shopping...

So..I've been cleaning.  I had so much to do!  I even cleaned out the play-doh tub (you know all those hard, yucky bits that fall to the bottom of the tub?), and sorted all our crayons, markers, scissors, and glues.  We must have at least a hundred new pencils.  We buy new ones every year-they ask for 24 every year-but we get at least half back.  (Good, I guess?)  We also buy new school boxes every year, so I had about 15 in the cabinet.  I threw away four-and it felt so good to have more space in there!

I also cleaned upstairs (I don't think I've been up there in a couple days!)...and then I saw Ethan's baby monitor out from under his bed.  I picked it up, unplugged it, and put it away.  We haven't turned it on in at least a year, but I keep it for "just in case".  I think it's time to let it go.

Ethan, however, didn't feel the same way.  He got all upset, saying he needed his walkie-talkie!  He insisted I give it back, and then insisted he have the cord.  I don't know if he realizes he has to have the other one to communicate with anyone, or if he's just playing!

All the cleaning isn't necessarily in vain.  I have a horrible memory (can't remember a movie a couple months after I've seen it), and I've lost something.  I hid it, but can't remember for the life of me where I hid it!  I'll find it..I just hope it doesn't take a year!

Last night, we went to Wal-Mart (I know..but it was post Advil) to stock up on a few groceries, and mostly ice cream bars (the 100 calorie minis!), ice cream, yogurts..I think I was feeling chocolate dairy-ish!  Anyway, we heard an enormous clap of thunder!  We looked at each other, and I was worried.  Ches went to get the van, and I finished up quickly.  I went to the check out, and the checker started scanning.  We got about five bags in (and I'd scanned my debit card) when-Bam!  The lights all went out-I. Mean. ALL.

They came back on in about three seconds, the registers restarted their systems, and a manager came along to tell us everything would have to be rescanned.  I put all the bags back on the conveyor, just in time to have all the lights go out again.  This time there were a few light bulbs on throughout the store.  I'm guessing emergency lights?  It stayed that way for 15 minutes-no registers, no lights-and they locked the doors.  The managers told us to stay at the front of the store, they opened flashlights and batteries, and swept the store to get everyone to the front.  I was worried there was a tornado, so I started calling Ches and our babysitter-the kids were at home!

Then I was watching the weather-the checker didn't have her phone, and everyone was calm, but near panic.  Ches said the parking lot was dark too, so he couldn't tell what had happened.  After about 20 minutes, the managers told the workers to front candy and magazine shelves, and I was left at the checkout-Weird!  I asked another employee how long it'd be, and she said she'd overheard that the electricity had gone out, then backup kicked in, then it had failed.  It'd be at least 30-45 minutes for more power, and if it took longer, they'd send all the employees home till morning. (!)  I'd had enough-I left all my chocolate dairy goodness and called Ches to pick me up since the rain had let up a little.  


I stepped through the four people guarding the door (door=singular!), and tried to stay close to them since there was a light coming from the entry-so Ches could see me-we're talking blackness!  He drove up-seemed like forever waiting-and we left.  I'm not traumatized, but it was weird.  Seems like they should have a back-up plan for their back-up plan.  I mean, they are Wal-Mart!  I have such high expectations. : )


Now..it is the next day..and I still need groceries.  Think we'll eat play-doh and drink glue.  I have plenty.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prescription for Quiet

I don't like to use OMGosh, so I won't ...but what a couple days we've had!

On Friday, we were going in all directions.  I had an appointment at the new Premier Dermatology and spa (ahh-mazing decor..very beachy with silver!) for some treatment (we already had the talk, so I won't go there.  Second verse, same as the first!), and I got a new piece of furniture delivered!  Just beautiful.  I'll try to take a picture. ; )  It's the one I showed you a picture of back in early June I think?  Love it.  Very big though..I totally visualized inaccurately!  And now?  I need other new furniture..it's a cascading effect. : )


This weekend in Missouri and Arkansas it's Tax-Free Weekend on school supplies, clothes, and computers.  I was really going to skip out, but yesterday around noon...I decided I really should take advantage. ; )  A girl can't miss a sale.  We loaded up in the van, and went to Branson!  It's only a couple hours away, and it gave the stores a chance to thin out (along with the sizes..but that's another story).  Ches and the boys went to the movies, and Mary Claire and I went to shop!  We went so quickly through the stores.  (and I called my sweet friend, Dina, and we got to see her too!)  We got some new clothes for the kids, some shoes, and me a jacket (super cute with a neck ruffle..you'd have to see it!)

I've been so worn out-can't imagine why-and now I've lost my voice.  I was supposed to teach Children's Liturgy in church, but I had to tell the priest I couldn't talk. (and I couldn't talk to tell him.  Irony.)  I was really hoping to trade days with someone, but no one emailed me back! : (  I guess three hours before is not enough.  I wish I'd known yesterday that my voice was about to vanish.  The hardest?  Not being able to freak out when Ethan was using his bean-y napkin to wipe his face, to be able to talk at lunch, or explain things.  Apparently I talk a l-o-t...I'm really missing it!

And the next worst thing?  I went to the store to buy some Advil Cold and Sinus (since it clears up drainage after you forgot your Zyrtec for a few days..), and Get This.  You can't buy it without a prescription now!  That Sux.  I hate that we have all these meth makers that have ruined everyday life for the rest of us.  Now it requires a trip to your doctor, an extra copay, and my valuable time.  Pfffftth.

Glad I can type about it since I can't rail on about it aloud!!  Haha!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vera Bradley Winner!

And the winner is...AMY! : )  Congratulations, Amy from Three-Thirty-Three!
You have won the Vera Bradley Clip Zip ID in Imperial Toile! : )  Woohoo!
Would you like the Leaf one or the Floral one?  Your choice.  The other side is a clear pocket for ID or business card. : )  Hope you enjoy!

I don't have much to write...I'm home, tired, and stayed busy today.  I had laundry, Clay had a doctor's appointment, we restocked with groceries, the kids swam, and I got a nap.  I'm getting ready for a blog facelift (I've been on the waiting list..), so I'm excited.  I know they will do a great job! : )

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Feeding the Mouth Parts

L-o-n-g driving day..or it seemed that way! : )

We drove from Pigeon Forge to Memphis, Tennessee.  We stayed last night in Germantown-on the Tennessee side.  It's a beautiful little city (and has shopping, heehee!).  I swear my husband is trying to get in good with me.

Yesterday morning (in Pigeon Forge), we were in Outlet Land (even Champion and Under Armour-we don't have those at home!) (and since we lost our Nautica-I went there too!).  Anyway-I discovered the kids were out of clothes, as in..they'd worn them all.  Unless they were going to wear their beach cover up shirts (with choice of red Arkansas or red Phillies), and I'd have to do laundry.

He said we should buy them some clothes. : )  This is always good, but I'm a sale girl.  I have coupons for my coupons-I plan with online discounts (this coming weekend is Sales Tax Free!), and it's a total game for me.  I got my coupon book (since I'm a lifetime member), and went in the first store.  I didn't want to do big shopping since our van had NO extra room, and our driver insists on a clear back window. : )  You usually have to spend at least $75 to get the first level of discount (other than store rewards), so I didn't do as well as I'd liked.  I did score $25 in Gymbucks though! : )

We just love the lobster tank : )

Check out those tail flippers!

..and he had a little claw broken off one of his smaller legs.
We also played around at Red Lobster with the very black and blue lobsters.  We examined their mouth parts, claws, little secondary claws, touched their eyes (I promise we disinfected!), and did you know they have bristles like a whale and teeth-they appear to have three mouth parts! (not googling..still tired!) They also have to be "burped" before they go back in the water!  Apparently the air in their tummies can kill them.  You hold up their big claws, kinda shake them up and down (and they flail and splash water a-l-l over you!), then you drop them back in.  And..he didn't die.  (He crawled to the window to give us the evil eye us for having him out so long!)

Anyway, I continued and we got the kids some tennis shoes, and the boys some shirts.  By lunchtime (we couldn't have been there more than an hour...maybe an hour and a half?), we left and ate in the car to make up the time.

..We've had this awful trouble with Mary Claire's blood sugar for the past two days.  I'd already set her basal up to 200% of normal, and was checking and correcting every hour, but we weren't getting anywhere.  We are talking units of insulin at a time..not tenths of units.  I was starting to get panicky.  I'd just changed her site the day before, so I was assuming it was good?  But yesterday, somewhere along Interstate 40, I changed her again.  I was so worried-it was my last full insulin pen.  It had to work, or I was going to get desperate.

I am also down to my last alcohol pads.  I don't count when I pack for a trip-I just pack them in her supplies case as tightly as I can.  But we've never been gone this long!  I know I can buy some, so that's not scary.  It's her site I want to hold on.  I do have one more set for changing her site, thank goodness.  I'd have to use the bottoms of some insulin pens or reuse a cartridge though!  (Goes without saying..no hotel swimming till we get home!)

Today is our drive home.  We are going to the Pottery Barn and William Sonoma outlets (the originals!) in Memphis before we hit the road.  They always have some amazing deals I can't live without.  (Last time they had the pink and lavender chenille raised dot drapes for $14!) (I didn't get them..but want them now!)

I think we have five hours of drive time?  I never remember.  It will turn into seven or eight with all our bathroom and snack breaks.  I know, I know..they cause each other-it's a vicious cycle.  But when your child cries for a drink, you can't resist. : (

I have to tell you..I'm SO excited to be going home!  I miss my house, with room for us to all move around.  Rooms and beds for everyone.  My own laundry room.  (I know, weird, just go with it!)  ahh..home.  I'll have to remember how to cook!  Ok...we should plan to get home after dinner so I don't have to turn old food into a miracle in under an hour!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hey there, it's Yogi Bear!


First things first!  I got all the pictures from DC “scrapbooked” on My Digital Studio!  I didn’t quite get them the way Amy had them, but I gave up-it was too hard to get the different sizes to fit together like puzzle pieces!  I have already scrapped most of the trip/pictures as we’ve been driving.  What else would I do as we drive? : )  Here are the DC (quickly put together!) pages:






Second...what a gorgeous drive today!  We left DC, and traveled down Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway towards Tennessee.  We took the scenic route..and paid fifteen dollars for it..I had no idea!  It is a national park (Shenandoah), so there is maintenance I guess.  I will say the roads were perfect, some newly paved.  And the views?  Amazing is not adequate!



I also learned a little about mountains. : )  When you stand near the top of Skyline Drive, you can see two mountain ridges-both part of the Appalachian Mountains.  To the west you can see the long, straight, parallel ridges of Massanutten Mountain.  To the south you see the ragged, jumbled Blue Ridge Mountains.  The geologic origins create the contrast!  The mountains of Shenandoah National Park contain some of North America’s oldest rock formations-and are home to more plant species that ALL of Europe, including 100 tree and more than 900 wildflower species!
Blue Ridge Mountains

Massanutten Mountain
**Ok, after a little research..I found out that the Massanutten Mountain is made of rock layers (think piled up deck of cards or wrinkled throw rug) that are folded downward in a “U” shape (called a syncline), which accounts for it’s double ridge shape.  And ..the ridges are capped with sandstone, which is resistant to weathering and erosion.  So they aren’t likely to weather anytime soon.  (csmres.jmu.edu/geollab).  So, they stay relatively flat, unlike the Blue Ridge Mountains which are older (the oldest mountains in the world!), and have been weathered much longer by the constant wind blowing across the exposed ridgetops, torrents of rain, freezing and thawing water in crevices, and chemical decomposition to reduce them from Sierra size (up to 14, 000 ft) to their current low profile (at an average of 3-4000 feet).  (from virtualblueridge.com)**  You are SO welcome for your geology lesson for today. : )

..We always rent Redbox movies while we are traveling.  It makes for a super-pleasant car ride!  Today, the kids were watching Yogi Bear (you’ll remember I didn’t love this movie) while we drove through the parkway and through Virginia.  It seemed campy/woodsy and apropos.  Well..guess what we drove by?  Jellystone National Park!  Seriously.  I couldn’t make this up.  The kids had asked me a few miles back if Jellystone was a real place-and I said, “No-it’s just a pretend park similar to Yellowstone National Park.”  Eating.  My.  Words.  Haha!  There are apparently lots of Jellystone National Parks (yes, we stopped to get more info and shop the store, which had CLeaN bathrooms!).  They are campsites plus pool, waterslides, parks, etc.  Very  nice!


I even got Mary Claire a patch for her brownie vest with Cindy Bear on it!  It seemed kinda scouty there. : )

I must give out a Cleanest Rest Stop Restroom Award.  We visited it today.  I’m never impressed with a rest stop (it’s usually only used in desperation!), but today-Bathroom Nirvana! : )   First, it was clean.  No tp on the floor, the trash can was recently emptied. There was no bad smell.  It had a clean window with bright light.  The stalls were white and clean (free of graffiti!).  The floor was clean, mirrors clean, toilets clean.  (I wouldn’t be surprised if it only opened a few days ago.)  Congratulations, Virginia Rest Area Mile 158 South on Interstate 81!  You deserve kudos!  I must contact Virginia now.


*PS-Yes, we come to Washington, DC, and single-handedly impacted our country.  The budget crisis is averted (debt ceiling raised)-we only had to be here for the weekend to impress our strong dissatisfaction with the unmeeting of the minds.  Now for it to pass congress.  You are welcome (I think..).


**Don’t forget to register for the contest!  Up for grabs: a Vera Bradley (Imperial Toile) Clip Zip ID Tag!  You have your choice of the two prints I picked up : )  Leave a comment with your name before Wednesday, August 3 at midnight! : )  (..it's not letting me add a picture!  I'm having internet trouble, so I'll try again tomorrow..I'm sleepy!  They are both chocolate brown with ivory, one is leaves, one is floral!)