Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cart full of suitcases

Still in Dallas...
We got up (early, of course-with 3 kids!), ate breakfast, all had baths (Ethan-2!), and headed out to Bass Pro Shop and the Grapevine Mall. By the time we made it to the food court, Ethan LaiD down on the tile floor at the mall. He was so tired, and didn't even know what he wanted.

We brought him back to the hotel, and tried to make a decision about staying. We could stay, have electricity and internet, or go home and chance it. We already know that our neighborhood is still blacked out. We made the decision to stay down here one more night since the hotels at home are booked. When we did, Mary Claire came running in to say she slid on the carpet, hurt her elbow (and she was all wet). I asked about the wetness, and she said it was the carpet. Huh? We checked it out and ALL the carpet in the closet and out into the room was SoaKeD! We called down the the front desk to tell them, and they brought us room keys to the room we were in Monday night. So we moved (with a sleepy kid) and tons of junk. The manager brought us a bellhop cart, and Ethan put down his pillow on the cart, laid down, and covered up. He was that tired! We got his pack-n-play set up, and he's sound asleep. Ches took the kids to see Hotel for Dogs at the theater next door.

Next situation: Lexi. She's peeing and pooping on Mom's floor, and she does this only when she's not being held. We just can't hold her all day. Christine's mom and stepdad said they could hold her all day since they are retired, so Mom may take Lexi over there tonight. We talked about it, and we all just adore and love her. She is precious, adorable, and just so sweet and loveable. I mean really. I searched for a pet we could have: hypoallergenic fur, good with kids, small, indoor dog, etc. She's just perfect: calm, loving, and Does Not Shed-seriously. I brush her hair every day, and even then, there is NO hair in the brush. She's perfect. Just maybe not for us. It makes for a hard time, this decision to keep her or not. My parents love and adore her too, but they can't sit and hold her all day either. It has helped that we've been apart from her for a few days. I haven't talked with the kids yet, but I'll have to. I want to inform them of our decision, rather than ask them about it. They are kids, and are emotional. They don't spend their days holding her, or cleaning up the pee/poop (on the newspapers OR on the carpet). We'll see how the weekend goes. We aren't even home yet.

So, our house is still damaged. No progress. I'm getting more and more concerned about the refrigerator. By now those three gallons of milk in the garage fridge have to be stinking to high heaven! I can't even imagine all the meat, eggs, produce, and cheese rotting in there. Grosses me out! The ice all melted in the door, I don't know if it is running out or what. It may be better that I'm not there! Mom had to write down all the stuff in her fridge-I can't imagine doing that! I mean-ketchkup, mustard, salsa, cheeses, meats, there are a million things in there-not to mention our insulin! Ugh-and I'd just been to Sam's for milk, dino nuggets, etc.

Well, today is a new day. We'll enjoy our time in Dallas. We may visit the IKEA this evening, shop for clothes for tomorrow, or find some laundry supplies and wash what we have! But, maybe not. What an adventure! I'm still looking at a cart full of suitcases!!

Only if you don't have a weak stomach:
Ethan was in the tub for about 45 minutes, and I'd reran water a couple of times. He started yelling, "Yucky, Out!" We went in there, and he'd pottied in the water! We got him out, dried him off, cleaned out the potty, washed out the tub, and got him dressed. What do you suppose? He started yelling that he wanted a bath. It is sometimes easier to give the other kids a bath (in the other bathroom), dress them, pack up, etc. when he's happy, so we ran another bath, and back in he went. I think he was in that tub for almost an hour and a half. Really! He loves the water! Just not with poopy in it.

My life is never boring. Thank you, God! For kids that breathe and love and live and laugh. What a life!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Me? Missing Laundry? Can't Be.

Something's up with my background! I'll have to do some mechanical work...
Well, it works on mine, but not Ches' computer. Weird.

We are back in Dallas after a very long day.
We got up early (in Houston), got around, and Mary Claire and I ran to Target-more clothes shopping (undies, socks, clothes..), then back to the room. Ches and the boys had been playing ball outside, so I had to pack up all of our mess. Try fitting twice the stuff into full bags! Work. (but no laundry!)
Ethan was sooo crabby, and really wanted to get into the van, and now we know why! He cuddled up, and went to sleep just while we loaded the van! : ) Sweet boy. We headed south to the Houston Zoo (about 45 minutes maybe?), got out, and guess what? Mary Claire didn't have her meter. We recalled the last place we'd checked her was in Target, back up north. Ugh. I had to go to the bathroom sooo bad, we went on in, had to pay for Ethan (second place after they told us he didn't need a city pass), then had an expensive ($34!) lunch, looked at a very few animals, and back on the road to get the meter!
We got it, and Ethan kept saying, "Get out, down? Get out. Peez?" So we went to Chick-fil-A, grabbed a snack, and got back on the road north to Dallas. Newsflash: There is Nothing between Houston and Dallas, I repeat Nothing. It is vast open land with the Adult Video here and there. That I don't want my kids reading. So it was the video changing time-constant changing of the videos-the new ones we've bought in the last few days: Milo and Otis, Tom and Jerry, Strawberry Shortcake-some princess one, Baby Einstein-Numbers Nursery, and we rewatched Wall-E. I'm tired of videos!!! Livestream tv is GooD!
So, we pulled into an Olive Garden, I ran in and ordered, we made it to the hotel, ate, and all kids are asleep. They couldn't wait for bed-seriously. All of them. Mary Claire is still in her clothes (and that's another story), and Ethan just wanted his bed set up so he could roll over and go to sleep already!!

Biggest Funny Thing, One Sad Thing:
Well, in the vast Nothingness, we decided to pull over at a rest stop (no restrooms), but they could play with their balls (yes, made Ches laugh like no tomorrow!) out on the grassy plain. Mary Claire just HAD to pee. So, I held her up, told her straighten her legs and go. She was freaking out (as all good girls should), and then bent and tucked, and got her socks in it, and got her pants all wet. Insert proper grossing out, and eewww! So, we changed her (to yesterday's clothes all folded in her suitcase) and she's okay. Now she knows why we fold our clothes all nice even after we wear them-you might need them again!!! Lesson learned. The Hard Way.

Bad: Didn't get to see as much of the Zoo as we wanted
Good: Thrilled we located her meter!

Bad: Drove thru Nothingness
Good: Our van led us to an Olive Garden!

Bad: Looked Stupid in dress/leggings from Target with my tennis shoes (I only have brown heels, tennis shoes, and Black Mule-type shoes with me), looked kinda pregnant, like I-don't-care-how-I-look
Good: Got opportunity to go back to return them!

We may get power back tomorrow. We are checking out the power restoration map for our area at home (who can see these? Not people with no power!) and some areas are scheduled to have power by noon tomorrow, some midnight tomorrow, some Sunday noon. Our neighborhood has no color. So are we getting power restored? Did they run out of fun Easter-y colors? Do they not know we have no power? Umm, power please.

We have this room reserved for tomorrow also-I really hope to be home though. It's been a fun week, but even the kids are tired. (Yes, me too.) I kinda miss my ol' pals in the laundry room. I'm sure we'll be reacquainted awful soon! I've got about 6 loads staring at me in these little laundry sorters called suitcases. Ahh, to have my own bed with my warm electric blanket. Ahh, my balance board is probably missing me, and will ask where I've been for the past few days! He'll tell me that to stay in shape I have to use him frequently, and I'll roll my eyes, but then Super Hula and Rhythm Box for an hour! I hope Lexi is missing us too. Mary Claire cried for her two nights ago. We aren't sure if she was just tired or if she really wanted to go home just to see Lexi. Guess what? The kids haven't missed a thing in their rooms. Surprised? Yeah, me neither. It's just all junk. Accoutrements of life. (Or barnacles?)

Tomorrow, we set our sails toward home! Yippee!
I'll see ya on the other side!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More stick. Oh, and the licking of the shoes.

Space Center Houston and the Galveston Coast/Beach were priorities today...We saw a jellyfish, gathered lots of shells, sand, sand dollars, wrote our names in the sand, it was great! Then at the space center, we rode the flight simulator, played with lots of expensive toys, and played together in the Martian Matrix with the kids. Even Ches and I went in and made it down the slide (barely!).

We also went to a small shopping area and bought some more clothes. It's pretty warm here, so we got some shorts and some short-sleeved shirts. Clay is out of clothes, Ethan has one more set in his backpack as back-up clothes, and Mary Claire wore her Valentine Target outfit today. We had no idea we'd be gone this long!

Dad went by the house today, and the stick/spear goes into the house about 16 inches he said. We are still working on getting it removed and repaired... Our State Farm agent is getting someone to come and repair the hole. There is water on the floor, so that'll have to be taken care of too (shall I insert, Woohoo, new carpet!?). We have an adjuster coming when we get back-she said to call her when we get home, and she'll come over to check out our house. There's fencing broken, guttering bent and hanging, about 4 feet of deck rail busted, tons of huge limbs down all over the yard, and STiLL no electricity.
We've heard that after 29 hours food in the refrigerator is bad, so we'll be doing lots of grocery shopping. We also learned that if your fridge leaks out water, mildew can build up, then you shouldn't use that fridge anymore. It's all just new to us.

Well, let's see, funny things today:
*Ethan now eats piles of blueberries. From measuring spoons. While in the tub. And pistachios.
*He has learned to tease today! He was licking (did I stutter?) the bottom of his shoes (to get the sand), and saying, "Mmmm, good!" So, I started grossing out, saying yuck!! and took off his shoes. He kept saying, "Mama?" and when I'd say, "What?" he'd say, (Slurp noise) "Mmm, good!" over and over and over. He thought he was so funny. Yeah, the Bottom of his shoes.
*My kids now have a breakfast routine. They put on their shoes (yes, with jammies) and we go downstairs. Today, they told me what they wanted on the way down. Ah, but they change it up every now and then. No pancakes today, just french toast! Mary Claire was very sad.
*Ches had a conference call today at 7pm, so we were driving back from the Space Station. Our hotel has dinner available most nights. So, I called the hotel from my cell phone and when the receptionist answered, I asked, "What's for dinner tonight?" I wonder if they get that call often! (She didn't even ask if I was staying here!)

Weird things today:
*Mary Claire went higher aFtEr I changed her site! Scared us-we would've had to drive home I think!
*Every time we come back to our hotel room, our kitchen sink is Super Shiny. Housekeeping must clean, polish, and dry the sink. Really Super Shiny.
*I'm in the dressing room trying on clothes, and my insurance claims guy calls. He's talking to me about my stick/hole (heehee), and I'm all huffing, trying to hurry to try things on, and get back to the car where Ches and the kids are waiting, and he wants me to write his number down, and I don't want him to know I'm trying on clothes while my Roof Is Punctured.
*Does a stick through your roof count?

Bad things today:
*Grey's Anatomy was a rerun. : (
*Worse? They promised a crossover event (Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice), and I watched the whole next show waiting for more of Grey's Anatomy-Not. It's not till next week, AAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
*Lexi is now peeing/pooping at Gigi's house. And not on papers.

(ps-no dinner tonight at the Residence Inn-we had to grab dinner at the mall-and ride the carousel. Ethan chose a frog.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Through the Roof!

Houston was a little cooler today-high was around 55 degrees. Still better than home-only reached about 20 degrees.

Well, the biggest news is that we have a big limb (not human. . . relax!) sticking out of our roof. We've now had two neighbors confirm this. We just couldn't believe it. It defies reality. It's only about 3 or 4 inches in diameter (or estimates tell us...), so I guess it was built up with ice, and dropped from high enough, that it speared the roof. Of course, we have the usual worries..Water damage, sheetrock, carpet, etc. but ALsO! Squirrels! We haven't had squirrels in the attic since I've been blogging, so I've probably failed to mention the miserable little things. They get in and scratch around, jumping, having babies, eating at my storage tubs, the usual. Ches is humane, so we have a trap (yes, they make such a thing). You put peanut butter on the little lever inside, and when they lick it, the trap door slams. It's a big cage. So then they have to be driven away (in your car!) at least 10-15 miles away or they'll find their way back! So, he takes them up by work to the hills, and releases them. We've also tried the sticky traps, but you can't get them off, and have horrible guilt when you sling the things off into the high grass...and the cats eat them (I'm just guessing).

I digress, sorry. Anyway, as the ice around the stick/spear melts, I was worry about squirrels getting into the cracks/openings around the spear. I called my insurance agent and he's put a rush on the claim, and is having someone cover the hole asap to prevent further damage. So we are managing from afar. We also called the security system people since the battery power ran down (bad news of course, but when the power comes back, it'll be set again). So then we called the Springdale Police and asked them to patrol the area more closely, and they said they would do extra patrol till we get back, Saturday-ish. Woo-hoo! So that's where our tax money goes!! : )

Ok, so fun trip so far. We spent the majority of today at the Houston Children's Museum. There was plenty to do (our favorite is still the St. Louis Children's Museum) and apparently they (HSM) are having a grand re-opening (with cooler stuff) in March. So some of the displays were closed off and "under construction". They loved the balls and motion stuff, building area, grocery store, post office, bank, art/masks, etc. It was fun-so fun that Mary Claire went low again
running around today. It is so hard to control blood sugar with all these other factors! Eating out is scary business-just lots of guessing! Then we have to take into account all the extra exercise driving her blood sugar down naturally.

Tomorrow is Galveston, beach, and the Space Center, with Friday planned to be the Houston Zoo. We're staying here another two nights since power won't be restored to NWA until Saturday around midnight.

Should I update on conditions back home? Miserable destruction. War Zone. Hideous and Depressing were the words I got today. It looks like a wasteland, trees shattered and broken, no one on the road or even out at all, most businesses and all schools closed. Houses are down to around 40 degrees inside-where people are living. All refrigerator/freezer foods have gone bad, so people are eating canned foods or fresh fruit that's left now. (I'll be making a huge trip to WM when we get home) Even the ketchup, butter, insulin are ate room temperature now-which is low, but not low enough to preserve all the frozen food. I worry about all the ice cream, ice pops and ice melting-will they leak out? Or will they when I open the door?

All sorts of problems. I'm glad we took off for the South. It's a fun vacation, even if unplanned/unexpected! School is closed again tomorrow, probably Friday. How can the kids or even teachers get ready with no hot water, or no hot food, no alarm clock, no tv to tell them school is open or closed, and some have electricity but no cable tv, so no news. It's just terrible. A natural disaster.

Mom's neighbor's large old oak fell through her (the neighbor's) roof today. There were two men trying to help clean up and get out branches and sections of trunk, but they both were injured, and quit. It's just unimaginable for us. Say a prayer for them all.

Good night, and maybe better news tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

80 Degrees in Houston, 3 Inches of Ice at Home

Okay-it's a good thing we went on to Houston today! It was cold and drizzly with mostly rain in Dallas, and we were hovering at about 30 degrees. Amazingly, the farther south we got-the temp reading on the van got warmer and warmer, until we got into northern Houston-yep, it made it to a BiG, fantastic 80 degrees! It was awesome! We rolled down the windows, yelled, waved our arms around, and said, "Thank you, God!!!" (yes, Really!) We were so excited!

We stopped by our new room, yes, Residence Inn again-if you can believe, it's the same layout, but a little nicer/newer! As soon as we got into the parking lot, we all jumped out, grabbed Ethan's new ball (remember from Wal-Mart?), and played on the tennis/basketball court. We kinda played volleyball. We got so hot! I was thrilled to be sweating! : ) Clay even whined about being hot! Wow, in January. We were so glad we drove farther south-even the kids were thankful now for that extra four hour drive! : O They've decided they want to move to Texas-near the Children's Museums and the warm weather.

First, we got to our room, devoured 2 quarts of strawberries we'd gotten at Sam's, then changed into the coolest clothes we had. Then, we went into downtown Houston and visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science-uber cool! We took tons of pix of dino skeletons, geodes, all sorts of exhibits (power/electrical, oil/drilling, energy/motion, rocks/sediment, Earth changes/geology, etc.), the kids outside by the beautiful pansies and waterfall, etc. I will post after we get home as I don't have my power cord to upload my photos. (I actually ran my camera battery down today
-shock, shock!, and started taking fewer pix) Next, we went a little farther north to the Downtown Houston Aquarium. We went in to the Aquarium restaurant, ate-ohmygosh-amazing and beautiful! The restaurant is a circle around the tanks in the middle (3 stories), and entertained the kids with sharks, huge mammoth fish, stingrays, etc. The food was good, and Ches says expensive. Well, we'll only go once! It was weird to look at/appreciate the things we were sitting there eating. One of our appetizers was calamari-and it was all still in the shape of the squid-body and all-I mean legs still attached. It was weird. I was grossing out (in my head). They just fried the whole darn thing. Ugh. And Clay was making it walk around-disgusting.

Then we got the little extra armband to go and do all the outside stuff at the Aquarium: train, ferris wheel (scary!-up over Interstate 45), the carousel, etc. Finally at dark we went into the actual Aquarium (they're open till 10pm) and explored! There are fish (of course), a python that I was actually scared of (I think his biggest section was bigger around than my body-I knew he could swallow me easily-yep, that'll scare ya!), piranha, crocodiles, sharks-several types (including the most aggressive-the White Tip Reef Shark), sting rays (we touched), horseshoe crabs (touched, and Clay got to bring home one of their old shells-they molt), poisonous frogs, birds, and two white tigers-Ethan's favorites. He kept saying, "Open, open". He wanted to go in there with them!

Last, we headed toward the hotel at about 8:15, stopped by Target to refill supplies (food, videos for the drive, and another set of clothes for each child), then back to the hotel. It took them longer today to settle down. They are asleep now-11:18pm. Finally.

I only packed three outfits for each child, thinking we'd be back on Wednesday. But, seeing how conditions are not any better at home (see below) we'll be staying down here a little longer. Maybe we'll drive back on Thursday or Friday. We reserved this room in Houston for one more night (there's so much more here to do, and it's warmer!) and changed our Dallas room reservation for Thursday night, just in case.

Back home, it appears to be devastation. Mom is now on her rotary phone only, since the power went out early this morning (after she made her coffee, thankyouverymuch!) and her cellphone has gone down. She's using her gas logs in the fireplace, and seems to be quite happy. They have food, are warm, and she's perfectly fine at home! I'm sure Dad is going stir-crazy! : )

We've been watching the 40/29 News on the internet and getting the weather and pictures daily. It's just awful. Out of the 47,000 AEP customers in Washington County, 40,000 don't have power. It's expected to be back up by Wednesday night at midnight. People can't get out for all the ice (3 inches!) on the roads, and all the trees/branches in the roadways that have broken off due to the heavy ice. Mom has talked to lots of family and friends, and each is making it in their own way. One friend is in the bathroom using the heat of the water in her bathtub
(repeatedly filling it as it cools-gas water heater) to keep warm, another is using their stove burners (gas, again) to keep their kitchen warm...Another is running the car in the garage to use a nebulizer, and some running cars to charge their cell phones. She's invited them to stay with her, but they can't get out. It's just crap there.

I'm glad we got out when we did-we knew we couldn't keep much space warm with our fireplace. We have high ceilings, and it just wouldn't work. It's hard to have lots of fun down here (yes, really) knowing most everyone back home is freezing. We just all have to do what we can when we can for our families. Fortunately, Ches' classes have been cancelled (at the UofA), and he can work online from anywhere. He wouldn't have had internet (or have been able to keep his computer charged!) at home. It just worked out for us. The schools have also been closed, and it was posted this morning that they wouldn't have school tomorrow either. Thursday is up in the air for us. We will drive back towards Dallas that day, and we'll see whether we drive on home, or stay in Dallas until Friday. We'll probably go home by then since it's forecast to be 19 degrees on Saturday, and we should get back in by then. We don't mind being home, but having no heat or power with three young children isn't so wise. We will probably cut our summer vacation a little shorter, but it's been fun. Nothing like a surprise vacation to keep you warm! : )

**New info: As of 8pm, AEP has over 200 lines down in NWArkansas, has called in extra help, but even with all the help, they only estimate having 95% of the power restored by SATURDAY at midnight instead of Wednesday midnight. Looks like we may be here longer than we thought. Maybe we'll avail ourselves of all the shopping in our free days-for more clothes! We'll keep calling our home phone until our machine picks up-then we'll know we have power!**

Houston, Here we come!

Deciding what to do...
It's 33 here in Dallas, all schools are closed, lots of businesses are closed also. They are closed In ANTIciPaTiON of snow coming this afternoon. They freak out! So we may have to go on to Houston (66 degrees right now!)
They've already all had baths (Ethan-2, total of 3 so far since we got here!), are dressed, had breakfast, playing ball, watching Sesame Street...
We are watching weather, and deciding. Since we are all ready to go (with no where to go right now), we may drive on.

Decision made. We'll drive on to Houston-240 miles. Visit the 5-star Children's Museum, stay till tomorrow, then drive back to Dallas tomorrow (hopefully get our same room again tomorrow night!) and maybe drive home on Thursday or Friday. We'll have to see when the ice will be more melted. We've read that some areas in NWA got 3 inches-of ICE. We know that 3500 Washington County customers have no power, and Benton County hasn't reported yet.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 26, 2009

On the ice? No thanks!

When we were in France, I'd ask for ice with my Coke. They'd look at me and say, "Ice Cream or Ice Cubes?" I don't know if it doesn't translate well or if lots of Americans like Coke Floats!


Another exciting day! To avoid the ice and impending missing electricity, we decided to head south to Dallas. We can be impulsive, no? We packed, checked the kids out of school, and took Lexi to Gigi’s for her to babysit. We are now in Texas after a long trip. We’ve enjoyed driving in borderline temperatures-it’s quite the adventure! In the 28 degree zone, we had icy windshield wipers and side mirrors (meanwhile wondering if we’d made a mistake). We’re now into the warmer 33 degree zone.

Clay and Mary Claire have done well (as long as they are fed, watered, and entertained!), but Ethan has had finer moments. He had about an hour of crying, saying, “pee, pee!” Of course, I wondered if he had a urinary tract infection as we were driving away from the only doctors we knew… We changed him a couple of times, and he seems to be better now. We stopped off at a Wal-Mart in Durant, OK to let the kids run around for exercise(no Chick-fil-a in sight!), bought a movie, and tiny toys to entertain them, and got a few snacks and drinks. We got gas, and headed out on the road again. I guess this is a preview of what’s to come when we drive to Nashville at the end of March. This is only six hours, and it’s eight to Nashville!

We have talked to Mom several times since we left; she’s keeping an eye on the weather (and temperature) for us! We have the phone numbers for the Arkansas and Oklahoma road conditions at our service. We discussed going on to Houston since it’ll be a sunny 71 degrees tomorrow, and they have the space museum! We also considered San Antonio for the Alamo, Sea World, and the ( rated) five star Children’s Museum! We decided we couldn’t take another four hours just for the warmer temps. We are really just getting out of ice, and Dallas will get us there (plus we already have reservations!).

We’ll see how the evening goes… We have to find dinner, check into our hotel, and get ready for bed. Ethan only slept for one hour (hence the crying!), so he should go to bed easily (knock on wood).

Tomorrow our plan is to explore Dallas’ Children’s Museum, check out the Aquarium, maybe the Railroad Museum, Science Place Planetarium, or the Museum of Nature and Science. We know we can’t do it all. We have half the day on Wednesday also-we’ll see how the weather at home goes. If there’s still no electricity, we may stay another night. Heck, we could go on to Houston then! : )

Well-we had dinner at Chick-Fil-A, so the kids could play then made our way towards Dallas. We are here now, Ethan had an hour bath (surprised? He came in, located the tv, played with the dishwasher, then made a beeline to the bath, and started stripping off his clothes!), the kids are all in bed (none are asleep!). I’m really not surprised! It’s been an adventure, and it took a while to settle down. Ethan is still getting out of the pack-n-play, coming to see us, playing with his new ball…. We tried letting him sleep in our big bed (with the ball) but that didn’t work either.

We actually have a nice room. We always stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott since they have separate rooms and a kitchen. I think they gave us a larger room though! We have two bedrooms (with doors!) with two bathrooms and the middle area is a living room (with fireplace) and a kitchen/eating area. It reminds me of adjoining dorm rooms. Clay and Mary Claire are in one room, and Ethan is in the other in a pack-n-play (well, sometimes). We’ll go to sleep in there when we wind down. There is a fold-out bed in the sofa-but they always suck-they are so thin. And there’s a big king size bed with 6 pillows calling my name…

Or is that Ethan? “Da-ee? Mama? Da-ee? Mama?"

Update: They are now all asleep! : ) Goodnight!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is there a fireman in your jammies?

At it again today:
I've cleaned up a spilled bowl of Cookie Crisp (only on weekends) from my kitchen floor, stabbed my knee on a carpet tack in the process-yes the mess extended out to the hearth room-of cleaning it up on my hands and knees (note to self: must get one of those cool cleaner-bot-things), I have started monogramming fabric soon-to-be-pump-pouches, I have fought with the machine since it mangled the thread the first time, then knotted up (and had to get new fabric/new stabilizer on back, new thread...), now it might be done with the first one (I set a strangely lofty goal of making 8 or 9-ha!), and because it was Hobby Lobby fabric (think thin-not interior fabric), some of the bobbin thread came through-ugh. It was white. On red dot fabric with navy monogram. So, I've been stressed. Self-induced, but nonetheless. Next, was Ethan complaining and pulling at his jammies, only to find a FIREMAN in his leg down near the footie. So, I yelled up the stairs to Clay, "Did you put a fireman in his jammies?" to which I received silence. Again with the yelling up, again with the silence. Confirms a solid yes. Eventually he came to the door and said no. Still a yes.

Then Ethan and the bath, again. He wanted into the gated area (with me and Lexi) then wanted into the tub. Of course. So then while I was in the closet, he started screaming, "No, no pee-pee!" so I ran out there, and Lexi was eating her poop, again. (Way to tell Mommy, Ethan!) She loves to do this. Does she think I hate the actual poop when she does it on the carpet, so she thinks she must consume it? Ugh. Poop breath. At least I can let her run around the house now, since threat of Poop is gone. Now the rule is
she has to be held by someone in their arms or she's locked up in the laundry room or my bathroom (yes, with food, water and a bed). I can NOT have poop and pee in my carpet. I am fReAkiNG out, people!!!

Ok, it's now a few hours later...
We made it to the JDRF family event at Fast Lane, and met quite a few new families! They were so sweet. I remember being sooo new at this. I think I cried for a year. It seems so much more stressful/life-changing for the parents than for the child. It's just tough to adjust and to learn to give insulin, count carbs, and change your life-meal schedule (keeping with a time schedule), meal planning (getting in all food groups each day), cleaning out your house of junky food and candy (or hiding it), getting faux excited over the NeW Cinnamon Streusel Mini-Wheats (woo-hoo!), finding ways to make insulin cool (not many) (except cool meter purses and fashionable, monogrammed pump pouches!), etc. Anyway, I'd like to make the new kids each a pump pouch as they transition to pump therapy. I'm working on two new ones, and the others don't know which pump they are getting-each brand is a different size. It's like a right of passage to transfer to pumping. I couldn't explain it-it's like being in a club you don't want to be in. We have new stuff to talk about, and now I get to teach! I had so much trouble being new, and no one to talk to when Mary Claire was diagnosed. I got one person's name and phone number, and that person was too busy talking on her other line about what she was going to wear to lunch (while I could hear the whole conversation). It was so rude, and that was my sad introduction to life with diabetes. I hope to make it better for other new kids and parents. It sucks all the way around. For life.

Anyway, I talked for so long and so much, that we left late. I called Ches, and Ethan was still asleep. Since he's had a runny nose, I figured it was better that I not expose all the kiddies at the party to our nasty germs. I dropped off Nora's gift (a dress-up dress! So adorable.) and picked up my new Stampin' Up! catalog. I've been too busy to check it out yet, but I'm excited. Those ladies are creative!! Just the pages fill my head with ideas! : )

So, we ran by Sam's and got milk, eggs, and gum (Ches' third favorite thing in the world) for the big snowstorm. You know, just in case. We'll be storing them out in the ice if the electricity goes off, but we'll have frozen eggs if you're hungry! When I got home, there was more poop in the living room, and Lexi had dried poop around her mouth-well, matted around her mouth. Again, with the poop-eating. Ches gets so grossed out (like I don't!), so he saved it for me. I cleaned up the carpet. Then we made dinner, Ches and Clay went to church, and I gave Mary Claire, Ethan, and Lexi baths-not all together. We watched a little Annie, read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Curious George, and off to bed. Now, I'm still working on pump pouches. My iron was heating up, but I bet it's kicked off by now, being all safe and everything.

There's a big storm coming tomorrow around noon. There'll be freezing rain, sleet (not the same thing?), some snow, and maybe an inch accumulation of ice. That'll break off trees and limbs, and maybe shut down power for up to a week. If so, we'll be traveling south for a small vacation when it's safe to drive. We don't suffer well. If you don't hear from me, you'll know we lost power, and I'm missing my internet! Have a great week if I don't see you!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hiring Babysitters, No Hair Cutting Required

Did you miss me yesterday? Cause I can ‘xplain. Cleaned three messy kids’ rooms (took pix, but may be too embarrassed to post), vacuumed all upstairs, stairs, half of downstairs, washed/changed all bedding, reconciled my bank account with Quicken (on the day the statement came-go me!), and Vanessa came to visit us. We ran to Harp’s to get more dinner ingredients, made Philly cheese steaks (Ches is VeRy good at making!), homemade fries, and strawberries. Yum! Then we cleaned up, Vanessa left, and the kids jammied and got ready for bed. I vegged for at least 20 minutes on the couch, before moving to the bedroom to Wii for a little bit, then laid in bed reading my new Storage (I know, but I LoVE it! By Better Homes & Gardens), then knew I was headed south. I brought Lexi down, washed my face, and crashed. I was so very tired. Cleaning is draining. And when I was wii’ing (three i's in a row just look wrong), the Wii lady voice/trainer said, “I bet you’ll sleep well tonight,” and it was Suggestive Psychological Babble (that worked).

So today, guess what? Yep, busy! I had an appointment for the kids’ haircuts at ten, so I got ready, then we pulled it together and left. We were on time, but she was still busy. We waited a minute, and the kids were really very good (small cheer!). Mary Claire was first, and was fine. Clay was second, and was a little fussy-he doesn’t like even ONE hair on him! He had some hair on his face and kept using the(incredibly hairy) cape to wipe his face, thus making it Worse. Ethan was last, and The Worst!! He screamed, yelled (not the same thing), fought me, kicked, snotted up, teared up, swung his arms, yelled some more, and generally wore me out! When he was done (or when we just quit), he looked at me and said, “Night, night”. He was equally tired! On the way home, I called Ches, and my hand was shaking from muscle fatigue! My body was so sore, I can’t even imagine little Ethan’s.

Next was a quick lunch together, then Mary Claire and I were off to Kiersten’s birthday party. It was very cute-a rocker/karaoke/guitar theme. She had fun, got a blow-up guitar, worried about a few things, but thanked me for taking her(!). We didn’t really have time to run home before church so I called Ches, and we Made Plans. Sis and I ran into Fabric Gallery and bought some fabric for new insulin pump pouches (I wanted her to pick some fabrics/colors), then we hurried off to church. Our bishop, Anthony Taylor, was there, so it was CroWdeD! There were lots of extra chairs around the sanctuary, and they were full! It was an extra long Mass. And she complained about her shoes hurting, and her tummy hurt (she was 127, then 220 just 30 minutes later!), and how many more songs…

Afterwards, we went back to the house, picked up Ches and the boys, and went to eat, which I was not looking forward to at all (for good reason-I am psychic). We went to Jose’s, which was an okay choice. We got there, they didn’t take our order for forever (10 minutes with children is toooo long), then Ethan started his “Get Down” stuff. He got out, was screaming, trying to climb over our booth, etc. Ches took him to the car, and I called him when the food came out (only about 4 minutes later). Then before we were done, he started it again. It’s just a big ol’ waste of $45. Yep, it’s not cheap to eat out with 3 ordering kids anymore. We have made a Decision. From now on, we will save the $21 it takes to buy their kid menu items, and use the $21 to pay a babysitter once a week so we can go out alone for 3 hours ($7 an hour-wanna take a turn??) and eat slowly so we can digest our food before we leave (and maybe order dessert and have meaningful conversation?).

So then Ches dropped me off at Hobby Lobby (more fabric pieces), ran to get gas and a Dt. Coke at McDonald’s (his second favorite hobby), and then back to get me. Then home, kids jammied, and into bed. Well, Mary Claire was 336, so I had to change her site really quick. Then I had to prewash the fabrics to start pump pouches (I predict sewing is in my future…).

Now that I’ve had a few minutes to catch you up, I have to get ready for tomorrow! Agenda follows:
11:15am Lunch together, clean up
12pm Ethan down for nap
1-2:30 JDRF Family Event at Fast Lane (bowling & games)
3-4:30 Nora’s Bday Party
4:55-5:05pm Eat dinner together
5:15-6:15pm Ches and Clay to Church
6:30-7:30 Kids bathed and to bed, and we get ready for another day: make lunches, pack backpacks, lay out clothes

My new blog title will henceforth be: So you wanna be a mom?

We had a discussion about only children (no siblings). They must never argue with their siblings, never fight about who got more jell-o with Cool Whip (tonight’s snack), who got to go to a party today/who didn’t, they want sibling (which one changes day-to-day) to get out of their room, someone touched them, they want different crayons (at Jose’s), who drew better, how realistic (or Not) the other person’s drawing was, who got more reading time (just guess). Is it quiet at your house? Then you need more kids! You haven’t experienced full-on parenting! (ok, sometimes we’re jealous)
Maybe you could try rent-a-sibling for a day. Or we do a three-for-one deal for three hours for $21. Have you heard about it?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Post Comment Broken!

For some reason, I can't post comments back you today! The little white box is GONE! MiA!
I read the news article, and I really tried to help out their sales volume last weekend. I can't do it EVERY weekend! : ) But I can't believe that 1/3 of women are buying NO clothes. What if they get a new job, lose weight, win the lottery, etc.? I mean, who can plan to buy NO clothes? Whatever. And BTW, Gap is not closing. Old Navy is very likely to disappear, but they are referring to the Gap company, not Gap store. Gap owns Banana Republic, Piperlime, Gap, and Old Navy. We'll see what happens.

Hope you have a great day, Sandra! Remember they will party and mess your house up, so don't clean too much, you'll have to do it aGaiN after the party! : )

Thanks for the comments, Mom. Yeah, they would get hungry for dinner and come looking for me! Today is a new day, and already have dealt with puppy pee, child poop, messy breakfast-milk mess, child obsessed with messy ice cream seatbelt from last night, cleaned out van of litter, puppy who WoN't poop (therefore has to stay in my arms/lap), small child already requesting bath "get in, get in", Post Comment box not working, daughter who wanted her hair BrAiDed, and a small Yay!: Clay called, and Mrs. Gawf didn't need me to help this week. I have more vacuuming to do, gather tax stuff, get ready for parties this weekend, hang up the clothes they got in Branson (must get more hangers...), WM for hangers, clean other bathrooms, kitchen, persuade pup to poop, wash sheets, make bed, should I go on? NOOOOooo!

Ok, must go take phone away from Ethan. He's dominated my conversation with Gigi and has disappeared into another room. Hopefully she won't be dumped into bath with him!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rent-a-Friend's Popularity!

My mom sent this article from the BBC that is all about Rent-a-Pet and Rent-a-Friend in China, so I did a little research. Come to find out, it's very popular and has even started in the US. There are rent-a-friend and rent-a-pal websites, and there are many people who've started comment services (my words). At Rent-a-pal, you can rent him for yourself for the evening, or one girl rented him to take her elderly uncle to the movies (he tells all about his adventures on the site!). For the comment services (kinda like anonymous therapy!) you tell them your problems, and they respond based on the price you pay ($25 for short responses, $50 for longer, and $75 for lengthy, detailed responses). I told Mom she should so that! She has lots to tell people, and always has advice! She said if I'd set it up, she'd do it. I'll have to see about that...
One of the articles I read said that it began because people have less time to make friends, and they pay until they become friends, then it's free. It is a way (for the rent-a-friend) to announce they want more friends, then when the "customer" is not your type, you just don't go again. Easy. If you like them, you keep going out with them. I guess it's easier than saying you don't like someone and don't want to spend time with them! Anyway, I'm always surprised by what's in the news. Especially non-US news. : )

This morning I had to wrestle into his clothes. When I say wrestle, I don't mean like he's wiggly, I mean we were full-on fighting. I don't know why I made him wear clothes. I guess if I let him have his way too many times, he'll be spoiled, and won't do the important things I tell him. Somehow, I feel it's important for him to know I'm in charge. I hate being run over by a child. : ( I think he's against clothes for a couple reasons: he's been home for over a month, mostly sick (he has a cold again right now), and wearing mostly jammies since he doesn't go out and then there's the potty-training he's pursuing. He likes to be naked (well, except for his shirt) and take baths a couple times a day (or more)...
Anyway, I forced him into clothes, and we headed to Collier's (our pharmacy). I had to get Mary Claire's refill of her meter strips and lancets. We were on the last vial, and it was morning, or nothing (well, except bust into naptime-Absolutely Not). So, I got him a snack, juice, and took Lexi. On the way home, he spilled his juice down his clothes and kept telling me, "Wet". At home, I took his clothes off (he turned into Happy Child), and he ran for the tub. He took a long bath upstairs, then I just put him back into jammies. Sometimes I wonder what Ches thinks when he comes back home to a still-jammied child. I'm sure he doesn't care, I just feel unproductive when it seems like he hasn't made it out of his jammies all day! It's me.

Then, I had to choose between two children this afternoon. Yuck. Mary Claire had asked me to pick her up at school, and I told her if Ches could come home to watch Ethan while I got her or if he got an early nap and was up by the time she got out, I would get her. Well, Ethan didn't go to sleep until after one o'clock. At 2:30, I raised the garage door (under his room-usually wakes him up), and nothing. I called the school at 2:50 and asked if they could tell Mary Claire to be a car rider. I went into his room and stood by the bed. Nothing. I rubbed his back. Nothing. I felt sick-I just wanted to let him sleep, and I wished I hadn't called the school (Note to self: don't call the school unless he is Really Awake!). I patted him, and eventually I woke him since I had to get Mary Claire and it was almost 3. We drove to the school, waited in the Very Long Car Rider Line, claimed my sweet child (Clay will only ride the bus-picky children-see why I make Ethan wear clothes?). She doesn't realize what I deal with (maybe if only in my heart) to get her.

We played outside all afternoon. It was 63 degrees here today with no wind-just perfect. And I learned more good news! Can you guess? My little pup really does like Outside! She ran around and really enjoyed it! She ate cat poop twice, ate a dried up worm skin, hopped around the grass, chased leaves, smelled all sorts of new smells, and trotted down the driveway and back. I think she was really happy! This is GREAT news for me! It gives me Hope that one day she may actually bathroom OUTSIDE!! No windex required! : )
Clay rode his bike to a friend's house for a while to sit with them till their mom came home, Mary Claire played on her swing, snacked, worked on the monkey bars, and played in the sandbox with Ethan for the longest time! I ran to get my camera, as it felt like a Moment to capture. (See below!) In the pictures, Ethan is in his second pair of jammies, will need another bath, and has one pant leg pulled up due to a driveway boo-boo. It's our life. : ) When Ches rode in, I went in to start dinner (Southwestern Soup-yum!-from Southern Living Nov. issue maybe?).

We got Mary Claire changed into her leotard for gymnastics, ate, and we all went together-leaving the kitchen and table in mess. It felt like another Opportunity. We dropped Mary Claire (she's newly independent and wants to come out on her own-scary, but she's gotta learn somehow!) and headed to Fayetteville to pick up her GS cookie form from Ches' office. On the way back, we got ice cream (Ethan dropped his down the door/seat, and we had to pull over to clean...), then waited patiently for her to come out. It's a madhouse there with TONS of people, so it is actually nice that she wants to come out alone.

We came home, bathed the kids, watched a tiny bit of Peter Pan during snack (yogurt, banana), brushed teeth, little bit of the current Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book, prayers, and off to bed. I am tired today after a late night with a friend last night, so I washed up early. I had to be ready for Grey's Anatomy!

I'm blogging in the commercials, and I'll say it's hard. It's a tough show to watch tonight. And you'll be glad to know that Christina and Meredith are friends again. I just cried-it was a very emotional show. So, I'm less focused-sorry.

Ches is power-bowling, and just getting warmed up for the evening! He gets going at night and eats, works, watches tv, more eating, plays, more eating. Lots of eating. He's brought me a quesadilla roll-up thing (so sweet. He doesn't know we had them for lunch.) and I don't think I can eat it after my single scoop of cappuccino chunky chocolate in a waffle cone at Braum's. (footnote: they have jr. cones now! I'll have to get the smaller size next time.) It's hard not to eat when he does: ice cream, cottage cheese with salsa, pb/jelly sandwiches, butter sandwich, chips and salsa, pretzels, popcorn... This is every night. Yep, when you ride your bicycle to work (avg 2 hrs a day!), it seems you get to eat whatever you like and keep your perfect figure!
*ok, had a bite of quesadilla-it was saying my name..* (So that's what I'm doing wrong!) *have now had 3 bites-I have no willpower* but, on the upside, once it's gone it can't talk to me anymore! *Gone!*

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comment Challenge on Crazy Morning

Ok, so this morning-a Little Stressful! So, first I get Ethan who's yelling, "Momma! Da-ee!" He's pottied, and stinks! I get him changed, and then to Clay's room...Don't try to paper train your dog. Lexi is sooo small, and hates Outside, so the breeder told us to paper train her inside (and it'd keep her white fur cleaner...). She's pottied in TWO places in Clay's room (he's trying to get her to sleep on the floor so he can get back to the top bunk soon-since I said No Lexi On The Top Bunk!). I tell Clay to take her downstairs to the laundry room to see if she needs to go more. So I get my pet oxygen cleaner stuff and get to work on the spots upstairs, then tell him to look for pee (and yes, he found some). Then to MC's room to wake her up. She's all warm and cuddly. She is slowwwwly getting dressed. Then we all head down to the sound of whining/barking downstairs. All our arms are full-laundry (that's where it comes from!) child, her glucose meter, my oj glass, hangers, etc. The to the laundry room where there are TWO poops AGAin! and a pee. So, Mary Claire is starving looking for food, decides on Rice Krispies (which I have to measure-she can count out Mini-Wheats), so she starts looking for the measuring cups, I'm on the floor picking up poop with tissues, depositing them into the toilet (not in my trash can, no Way!) Cleaning the floor underneath them (steamy, gross), clean up all the pee paper, clean the floor some more, while Ethan climbs on my back and wants a horsey ride. He's so sweet, and he's hugging my neck. I could get crazy, or stop and love on him. I made the right decision! : ) Yay, me! Then back to work...Cereal, Clay decided on a pomegranate (but I only let him have half-other half for lunch as it's not filling and takes eternity to dig for your little seeds. He was using a toothpick-it's why he's so skinny). So I had to add mini-wheats to his breakfast, comb hair, add icepacks to lunch boxes (meanwhile Ethan is balancing-standing up-on a barstool eating messy Rice Krispies-Ches came in and I asked him to man the 'Krispies and Child)-ahhh! So, in the craziness, Mary Claire forgot her meter. I got back from taking them to school (sans makeup and cuteness for that extra bit of sleep), and there was her meter on the counter!!! I sat with Ethan a little (huggy thing) and watched Curious George, then got to the makeup/hair stuff, then the phone rang-8:45 (she doesn't get checked till 9am, so I was taking my time, thinking it wasn't even missed..) and she was in the nurse's office feeling LOW! More guilt, heaped on. I raced to the car, raced to the school, getting the meter ready on the way, parked, ran into the school, bypassed the sign-in in the office, checked her, and she was 236. High. AAhhhh! again. Gave her more insulin, left, back to the house.

New paragraph, finally. (Don't think I don't know they run on. I do.) So, now I'm readying 3 bday gifts for children, finding gift bags, tissue, now I was on to the card-making. But, Ethan got into my paints, so we took a side street and he painted a beautiful canvas for his bedroom. I'll post a slideshow of the Ar-Teest. Messy, but fun. I needed the artful diversion. I have had a few canvasses just waiting! I want to paint, but haven't had so much time... But I left some out, just in case... Now, I'm back to the cards. I printed them, and now I'll stamp, add embellishments, etc. to make them cuter. I'll try to post pix of these also. You know, in my free time.

Ethan is off to take one of his daily baths. He'll be in there for ever! He loves water. He likes 2-3 baths a day-Not Kidding. (If he comes to your house, makes a beeline for your bathroom, and tries to pull his clothes off, cries, etc. You'll Know Why.) And it's good Water Play for him. We are well-rounding him today. Painting, water play, dry play with cars (heehee), tv, snack, story time, classical music at nap... Okay, so it happens rarely. But the stars are lining up today!

Must go make new slidshows for my TWO fabulous readers. I'd like to issue a CHALLENGE! If you've Never left a comment, let's Practice today. Hit the pencil (or the word comment) at the bottom of my post, write a tiny little, "Hi! this is a Challenge Met" or "Love Your Blog!", or advice for the wildly crazy mom, etc. Then choose Name/Url: and just pick a name-any name. Cinderella, Dora the Explorer, Beyonce, whatever-it doesn't verify. Just leave Something (nothing to lower my self-esteem, please). So I can get feedback. Sick of hearing about Poop? No more messy house pictures? You have to say so (not that I will necessarily comply, but there's hope!). I will give you a Hershey's Miniature if you comment (the Krispy, Mr. Goodbar, or Hersheys's plain only, Darks seem to have mysteriously disappeared!). I can be bribed with chocolate, can YOU!?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snotty Raisin

I'm very tired of seeing the Popcorn Balls and my sideshot from Sam's. I must post new pix soon! maybe I'll take random pictures around the house and you have to guess what/where they are! Lots of fun for you! : ) Do I smell a contest??

Really happened: Ethan kept toying with the idea of sticking a raisin up his nose.. We kept telling him "No!" and before long, he was yelling and screaming (yep, it was stuck). So, we tried to pinch/push the side of his nose to no avail. Finally, we held his napkin up to his nose and said, "Blow!" and he did! We got excited over a snotty raisin. Ever happen to you?

Ever go in my mom's bathroom and wonder why she's painting again? If I tell you, do you promise not to tell her? She keeps telling me not to put it in my blog, but it's too funny I tell her! Big Dog (yes, her name), the big black lab, likes to chase skunks. It's a country dog. She backs them in a corner, and they have one defense: to spray the living daylights out of her. So, she saunters back to the house stinking to High Heaven. Well, the old cure is a bath in tomato sauce (do you see where this is going?). Mom was out of tomato sauce, but had tomato paste (same only more concentrated, yes?). She (after much work, and one leg at a time) got Big Dog in the bathtub, then wet her and proceeded to rub her down in TOMaTo PaSTe! If only I'd had a camera (and been there). So, she tried to rinse her down, to no avail. Paste is pretty thick. So she pulls the curtain, tells her to "Shake!" and SHAKE she does! All over the walls, ceiling, everywhere! But, there's a little less on the dog. Insert happy face. She finally gets the dog cleaned, but now there's a paint job coming to the sweet dog bathing area. See, now you know why she paints. Things happen.

Ok, my personal best at Super Hula Hoop is 1067 *Calorie Incinerator*! Woohoo! What's yours? I can't make it to four stars on Rhythm Boxing. I think my batteries are starting to wear down (imagine that!) in my controller. When I'm punching with my left hand with the nunchuk, sometimes it doesn't score me. So, I'm sure I'm truly four star, if only in my mind. What's your best game??

Ok, my new favorite thing: Satellite Sisters. Hilarious, pee-your-pants-great! : ) They are five of eight sisters who are so funny! They have news, hilarious stuff, and lots of talk. EVery day they have Comfy Couch, Entertainment, Int'l News, Lab Rats (new products tested)-I just LOVE IT! I downloaded about 50 of their podcasts last year, and have only just started listening to them all (on the trip to and from Branson)! Now, I'm addicted. They feel like my new best friends! : ) They even tell you not to listen if you are driving (of using for an alarm beside your sleeping husband like me...) because of wrecks in ditches and alarming your spouse!! I got a new alarm (iHome from Target), and it's great to listen to these awesome ladies in the morning! I don't want to hit Snooze! : ) And you can use your computer like a Radio if you have no iPod! : ) Here's there website: You can click, copy, and paste. You'll be pleased, I promise! : )

Tonight is Bunco with my church ladies! : ) They are so fun, and we add wine to our menu-making for a very adult evening (No pacis, no kids, no spit-up shirts-we're fancy!) You don't know fun till you put 12 ladies together with dice, great FooD, chocolate always, and wine! It's like the best party every month! I've been getting ready...Laundry almost done, bathroom cleaned, blogging early, already Wii'd, already registered to win the Bag Grab with Banana Republic ( and registered for the $25,000 Room-a-Day Giveaway on the View's website ( and the instant win game! I just have to call the 800 number to get all my peanut butter crackers refunded. I shop at Sam's and therefore have tons that have to be thrown away!

ps-Happy Birthday to Renee today! : ) My childhood friend is 36! Sure she'd love that posted... Hope your day is wonderful!

One more piece of useless info: Guess what I found in my washer drain? I stencil and a Bend-a-Roo! Sometimes it's baby socks, rocks, coins, lego men, etc. Guess where they are now? Have you lived to find Bend-a-Roo pieces all over your house? Then you haven't lived (a crazy mom life)! I even have a 'Roo butterfly on my desk this minute (very pretty, minus attennae-they didn't work well). Do you need some for your home? I can oblige (sample sizes only!). See them here (or get your own great set!) at:

Ok, must get nails shaped up for dice-rolling excitement! : )

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Appointment

I feel somewhat more caught up today! I'm still working on takes me about 6 loads now to do all our laundry-too much! It used to be about three! Do I talk about laundry a lot? I guess it's because it's MY LIFE. And vacuuming. More today...

As you know, today was my ladyparts doctor appointment. Ahem. I took longer than usual to get myself all ready (washing, shaving and all) so I panicked when I had to get dressed. I had worn all my workout clothes (think light clothes and shoes!) so I had to find something light to wear!
I hadn't unloaded the van YET so I didn't get to wear anything new. I picked a white thin long-sleeved T with a cute shirt over it and jeans. I had no idea how cold it was, but I was relatively light. So, I froze outside! I only took a vest to wear-it was 31 degrees outside! Freezing cold! But it kept my mind occupied! ..I even started to worry about my jeans leaving marks (you know, the button imprint on your tummy that reminds you of all the dessert you had this weekend?) on me as I drove. Then I worried about me getting nervous, sweaty, and clammy, all at once . What causes this crazy obsession? I'm normally so sane! (Ha.) I'd already had the crazy issue with my toenails-I'd forgotten I had an appointment till Ches reminded me last night, so let's just say my last pedicure has been a long time ago... So, I took my sweet little tiny socks to wear for the stirrups (and keep my feet warm while waiting).

I didn't cry till I drove away, and I didn't have a darn phone to call anyone. It woke me up at 5am beeping low battery, so I plugged it in and there it charged all day. I made it alone. I returned a couple things and picked up a few groceries. I kept reaching for the phone, but had none. It was hard! I'm used to using it for every little thing. Consulting with Ches over groceries we need, checking on the kids, seeing what Mom needs and how she's doing (waiting till she asks about the Appointment), complaining and getting reassurance about my trauma (not too bad), etc. Anyway, the Appointment went okay. My doctor is always soooo nice, but ugh. He has to touch me-which, of course, is uncomfortable. I don't know why I have to go every year. I even had to pay a CoPAY for a WELL visit! Whatever. I don't think that's right, but I just wanted out of there. So, I paid. Can't say more. HIPAA laws and all.

My cute story of the day: Mary Claire came home from school Friday, dropped her coat and backpack, and told me that everyone told her that Jacob hearted her. And she wanted to know what that meant. What would you say?

Ches got some of his payback for watching the kids this weekend. He went to see Defiance tonight, well, just got home. He said it was really good. He saw Valkyrie last week, and Mom is asking him now if he saw The Boy In the Striped Pajamas. I don't know what these movies are all about-I haven't seen the previews, and can't make it to see all these! Ches loves movies, and they are a great "time-out" for him and he likes to learn. I have stuff to do! We go see the funny ones, but movies for me are for fun-entertainment only. I have enough real life! I'll learn when the kids are grown. : )

When we were in Branson, we closed the outlet stores at 9, then made our way over to Target (both nights!) to help close them down! After the final "make your way to the front of the store as your local Target store is now closed" I finally found an employee to get my last prize! I found one of those great little yellow men with the red flag that stand in your street and have "SLOW" on their chest. I call them the slow kids. The guy thought it was funny, and retreived the prize. It's sooo immensely satisfying to leave with sale things! Did I mention it was on SALE?-only $15! Woo-hoo! I think I've mentioned that we live on a cul-de-sac. Pretty short street-with two houses and all. I got it for my mom's street-maybe to save my kids' lives? They play Nascar on her road. It's "How Fast Can We Get The Car Going Before We Have To Slam On The Brakes For Our Driveway" over there. I mean, it's a dead end street like mine. They either have to pee really bad-every time they come home- or they are in a race against the clock to beat yesterday's time. They are crazy! Mom has taken to throwing a ball out in the street when they get up to cruising speed (about halfway down the street/in front of her house). They slam on the brakes, turn the wheel, and look for the kid following it. Highly Effective, but I'm hoping the kid with the flag hanging in the street helps some.

Again with the "Must hit the hay!" It's 11:30pm, and my significant other has (for once ever) beaten me to bed!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Didn't Plan Well-Shop (Feast on Desserts) All Weekend and Dr. on Monday?

Goodness-what a weekend! I've officially Dropped from Shopping. Even this morning I was starting to seriously slow down-I was really getting tired! I drove back this afternoon just in time to work on the Daisies' scrapbooks-well, get them ready. I cut paper for the backgrounds (they are making 6x6 books), make page titles, journaling spots with lines (they are in K and 1st grade!), and some added details... I didn't get all the pictures cut before I went, so I had to work on those a little at our meeting. The girls did an awesome job! I just gave them the stuff and told them to put it together, and it was amazing! They cut on the pictures (which I don't do too much), but they made all the pictures fit, and it was so personal. I was excited. We only did two layouts, but we'll keep working on it! : )

Well, WhAT a weekend! It was so much fun!! We definitely got amazing deals. On one of our receipts, it said we'd saved $319. Ha! With all the 70% off sales at Nautica, the 50% off clearance prices, 30% off new stuff at Gap (plus our 10% off coupon from the booklet), etc. We did well! We were getting shirts for $2-$5! Well, winter stuff. We found winter coats at Osh Kosh, Gap, and Nautica for $21. Crocs were buy one, get one half price (yes, they are ugly and awful, but my kids like them and they are fast). I got jewelry at Old Navy for $1.75 each (originally $14!). Okay, so I got tons of stuff for spring that WaSN't on sale (except for my Tanger coupons)... I got a lot at Gymboree (they have a coupon in the booklet now!!), did I say a lot!? I got tons of stuff for spring, but not so much on sale. They are lines we've already had, last year, but I got different stuff. The sweetest manager, Dena, wasn't there Friday night when we marathon-shopped, but we ran into her the next night at Gap!! So we still got to see her, and we made a new friend at Gap too! We've gotten to be regulars. We even know the lady at the Tanger office now. (She's going to Florida on Tuesday!!) It may be crazy, but we love it. I even got some stuff for me-adorable new capris, pinstriped pants (navy/white), a hot navy/cream silky top-for dress-up (don't know when I'll wear it, but you gotta be ready for anything!). I can tell you that navy and yellow are the Colors Of The Year!! They are everywhere-Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, Nautica, and right on down to Old Navy and Target! I mean LOTS of Navy, LoTS of Bright Yellow. Get Ready. Do you have the must-have colors of the season? I'm not a style-watcher, but I do like to have a few things (okay, twenty) that are current. My style is pretty classic, but I can update each season with a few of the new colors or new jewelry. I love white, black, pink, and blue (and red..). I just throw in other colors each season. Denim? My fave! I always have plenty of denim-from dark trouser pants to long, cut off, frayed favorite jeans (mainly because it's faster than getting them hemmed!).

Extra Info:
We stayed in the hotel that was hosting most of the ice carvers (yep, you heard right) for the big competition this weekend outside the Titanic attraction. We first saw a massive (frozen) anchor with rope on Friday night, and as we got closer we could see a quarter moon wearing a stocking cap. That night we ran into lots of over-dressed, friendly, bearded men in the lobby jof our hotel. We were just being polite, but when we saw their Plans (!) and big boots, and then Machinery!! we had to ask what was going down! We learned of the big competition, and it became the conversation-what're you making?, are you amateur or pro? (pros had to be done by 2:30-we're good listeners), etc. Then on Saturday when we stopped for our lunch break at 2:50, we drove over to see how it was going. There were so many people there to watch the amateurs finish up, and to see the judges making the rounds. When we stopped back by about 10:20pm (on the way to dinner), some were melting, but others surprisingly made it! (Friday the high was about 23 degrees, but Saturday it got up to 50.) They were all just amazing-the most astonishing to me was that these people do all that work, then their statues melt, and their art is gone. We saw the marlin and lizard on a tree (from our hotel friends), a boy, a beta fish, a dragon sitting on a ball, a big phallic symbol of some sort, and a Marilyn Monroe. It was very neat, but we never got to tell them 'good job'. I guess it goes with Disappearing Art.

At dinner tonight the kids asked me why I never call them names anymore, like sweetie pea, honeybun, cutie pie, cutie patootie, etc. I didn't realize I'd stopped. I made it a point to call them lots of names this evening (heehee). I'm so glad they felt confident enough to ask me why. I guess I just phased it out as we had Ethan, and I thought they were too old for little names. I was wrong. They want cutie names just like a little kid. Just as much as I don't want them to grow up, they don't want to grow up. Precious. Yeah, I don't want to grow up either. : )

We've begun the planning for our summer vacation. We plan to go up to Philadelphia, over to Ocean City, NJ, and down to DC for a couple days. We've decided to drive (gas, van, time, and all) so that we can let the kids watch videos, stop off at the Indianapolis Children's Museum (been there-about 5 or 6 stories of pure *learning* fun!), then we can take our time, stay at the beach, then let Clay see the Museum of Natural History in DC, take in the sights, and make our way back home. We've never taken Ethan on a big trip, so it'll be interesting. We're making a practice run at the end of March. We're driving to Nashville for a Lifesavers Conference (not candy, real Life Saving Safety), and some entertainment. We'll see how the drive goes! : ) Say a prayer for us!

Just mopped the bathroom, wood floor, and part of the kitchen. Seems Lexi only partially understands about peeing ON the papers, not just near them (and in other rooms if the need arises). Oh, and the orange juice accident in the kitchen. I actually made dinner (absolutely wonderful pork chops-from Sam's, peas, and Twice the Blueberries muffins). It counted as cooking, so I was feeling pretty good! I'm worn out now after all my magic-making. It's very hard and tiring to be a (try to) do-it-all person. And tomorrow is the big Yearly Doctors Appointment. Scary. I used to cry every year, I hated it. I like my ob/gyn now, so it's not so bad. I can't say I don't cry at least sometimes, but less so. I'm getting back to normal, hormonally speaking, after last week so maybe I'll be sane tomorrow. The receptionist at the doctor's office wanted to make my appointment last week-Can I say, "Gag me with a spoon?" And I said, "ABsolutely NOt!!", and she said, "Why? It doesn't bother him." Ok, creepy. Creepy that he doesn't care, creepy that she doesn't. I'd never schedule someone that week! The week of the blood bath? Are they crazy¿ (hey-how'd I make that?) Not only would it be Gross, but also I'd weigh more, feel self-concious, be unreasonable, irritable, angry if he was running late (delivering a baby downstairs!), and be quite tender. No. Way. José. Ok, must work out, lighten up (yes, literally), and get some sleep (Angie woke me at 8:30am to get to the outlets by their 10am opening time!).

Must begin the Unpacking of the Van-it seems to be littered with shopping bags. Let you know how the dr. goes tomorrow. (Thinking of Light Clothes to wear...)

ps-Krispy Kreme in Branson only has Hot Now from 6:15-9:15am and 7-9pm. Just FYI.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is your life like peanut butter? Recalled Peanut Butter?

I'll tally up the votes in just a minute, but I think I'm at around nine to two! So...Fresh baked cookies are officially better than cookie dough! ..I should have voted more myself! : ) Thank you to my greatest fans-heehee-who voted! And if you didn't-You Missed Out! You could've donated to JDRF on Mary Claire's behalf! I'm donating $11 on another page, and I'll post my receipt link when I get it finished. : ) **My receipt page won't come back up, but you can see the donation on the page below. I must have accidentally pushed the button twice, since there are two donations posted! So, each vote was worth $2!**
Here's our website for 2008 after-walk info (well, our total raised was about $2400, but this was my personal page, since I don't have a "team" page):

What do you do when you have a (kid's) birthday you didn't make it to? I like to send a gift anyway, but Ches thinks not. He says our kids didn't avail themselves of the amenities, so they shouldn't send a gift. Hmm...I think if it was my child, I wouldn't care to not get a gift. BUT, it is not about the parent. It's about the birthday child! The birthday child (and my child!) doesn't understand why that kid's parent forgot about the party, so should they suffer? I used the back of the sweet child's invitation to take notes on for about a week, then forgot the card had a back (front!). Now I feel awful, and want to send a gift to make up. I shouldn't admit I took notes on it (oops!), but it was there, and it was Blog Background Code-Muy Importante! So-gift, or no? Hurry and advise-time's a tickin'! The clock's running out on Late Gift time-more than a week is Really Rude.
Oh-and on that subject... how late is too late to give Christmas gifts? I have been delivering very late ones (not quite a month..), and is it just Too Late? I care about these people, and I just don't see them very often (or am busy and/or forget and/or haven't wrapped them. YET.). It's January already. I have lots of calendars telling me this. I have to move on! It's now a Resolution! : )

It's Thursday again, and Meredith and Christina didn't make up again this week-but Christina did tell Meredith that her high ponytail looks stupid. So they are making progress I think. Sometimes nothing is something. Like when you aren't speaking, but want to, so you make up something dumb to say. Or fumble like when you first got to know each other. It's obvious to the other person, so they take the bait if they want to make up. Life is crunchy, a bit like crunchy peanut butter. And then it's Recalled.

Yep, had to call the school nurse today, and ask her to pull MC's Austin pb crackers from her lunch and trade it for a bag of Ritz bits (thank you, God!) I'd put in her tub last Friday! Since they are pulled from shelves due to a recall of the pb paste they use made by PCA. You know, if you were wondering. Here's the link, and I'm not skilled in linking it yet, and can't figure it out tonight, as I'm tired. Click and paste in your browser, people.

Ok, more exciting news! Did you hear about the plane that landed on the Hudson River (Landed, not Crashed!) and all 155 people lived!? I want him to fly MY plane! That's skill! Ok, and can we get to the problem? A BIRD flew into the engine and caused it to fail. Have we NOT figured this one out yet?? Could we put, oh, I don't know, netting/caging over the intakes or something? Kind of like the netting around the Empire State building-to "protect" suicidal jumpers and people on the ground from evil falling trash? At least they are all safe. Can we all say a big, "Praise the Lord!" and "Bless their Hearts"? I mean, can you imagine? My life would have passed before my eyes. I always think I'd be calm, but I probably know better. I'm thankful I was at home playing games (Connect 4, Whac-a-Mole, Cranium Caraboo, Legos, Color Tiles, Hard Cracker Barrel Triangle Game, and coloring!), instead of flying out of New York!

If I don't talk to you this weekend, I hope you have a good one. We pray for each of you daily on the way to school (well, sometimes we ask Him to bless all our friends and family-that's you!), and we hope you have a safe and fun January weekend-whether with your family or shopping in the sun!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, the Hammering! and Vote Today!

I am sooo glad we are not having our roof replaced! Everyone else in our neighborhood is, but not us! We did call our insurance agent and have it looked at, but it was okay. We had the most horrible hail storm on Halloween morning (Pix posted to right!). I think what happened is one person called their agent (we have one agent who lives here), then when we saw roof upon roof -now close to 25- roofs (just try typing rooves-it just looks funny!) being replaced, we called our insurance company too! Ours is newer that the houses right around us since our street was developed a lot later (phase IV), so we got a "no". (Ours was turned down because we still have a lot of "sand" or grain on our shingles, meaning it still has a lot of wear to go.) I guess it's good, cause then you have to pay the deductible-$500- for something you never really get to see.
Anyway, the noise for the past few months is getting old!! The hammering is atrocious! I guess Ethan is getting used to it too, since now he sleeps thru it.

Okay, what's better-cookie dough or really warm cookies right out of the oven that just fall apart on you? I watched a Curious George episode (yes, with Ethan!) about a pie made by Mr. Psketti, and it put me in a dessert mood (what wouldn't this week!?), so Ches suggested chocolate chip cookies. He's so smart! So, I made the easy break-n-bakes (Nestle Toll House-yummmm), barely waiting until they were off the cookie sheet to put them in my mouth!
So anyway, I'm having a contest (really I was in the contest, and it's a tie). Tell me your favorite-cookie dough or freshly baked cookies. For every vote, I'll donate one dollar to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The voting closes tomorrow (January 15th) at 10pm. I'll make the donation on Friday and post a link or picture.

On with the excitement! I have done something extra special! dum, da, da, dum... Laundry! Don't you wish it came with applause and cheering? And my dryer started the beeping and blinking again yesterday-in front of me! It's getting pretty bold! Ches says to call a repairman. I just can't do it till it stops working. I don't know why-is it admitting defeat?

What should I do next? I have a good couple hours till Ethan wakes up (maybe
more if he sleeps till the kids get home). I could finish the scrapbook layout, sew-and make Mary Claire new pump pouches, wash my sheets-woohoo! (No.), or print the labels and journal spots for the Daisy Girl Scouts to work on their scrapbooks this Sunday (Maybe.), Wii Fit, or try to spread myself really thin and do all of the above (Yep, that's what I usually do!).

Hope you are havin' a great Hump Day! Maybe I'll think of a contest in which YoU take home a prize! What prize would you like??

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spring Shopping is Coming (am I ready?)

Busy day, but fun! I got to scrapbook, but didn't finish a whole layout, so no pix to post. Maybe next time.. I had lunch with my friend Carla at US Pizza-it was sooo good (Veggie Pizza with such a chunky sauce, crunchy crust, and hot stringy cheese, mmmmm!), then ran by Rick's Bakery for some sweets for my sweet mom, then by Harp's to pick up her blood pressure medicine. I'm sure she needed it with Ethan! I don't think he took a very long nap-he was already up when I got back!

I've printed the coupons I need for this weekend (I'm meeting my friend Angie in Branson Friday. We'll shop-til-we-drop till Sunday. We get away twice a year to clothe our families and feed that shopping dragon that lays dormant most of the year!). We have a sophisticated (or so we think) system of shopping so as to cover all territory. We shop both Tanger and Factory Merchants Outlets and then we also make it to Branson Landing and the P. Graham Dunn gallery! Sometimes we take the girls, but then we go slow and leave out lots of stores. They are sweet, and giggle, and pick out clothes and jewelry, but we don't get much done!

My strategy is this: Beforehand, I go thru their closets to see what they can still wear from last year, make a list of the kids' measurements (I even made a paper cutout of Ethan's foot to try in each shoe for him!), their sizes, and a list of what they need for the next season (I'm working for spring and summer now). We get our returns together with our receipts (which live in a special Receipts box), print out our online coupons from emails or factory websites, and rest up! Then when we get there, we write down our favorite stores, number them based on importance, then compare notes, map out a list according to location, then get to work. We ALWaYs go get the coupon book-we joined at Tanger about 6 years ago for $10, and we save probably $100-200 per trip! At Gap alone, we save about $60-$100. If the coupon requires a minimum purchase, sometimes we put our stuff together to get the higher % off. If we need to shop for different things, sometimes we split up for a store or two. We always get dessert (most often Coldstone Creamery-on the way to Branson Landing!) and discuss our fabulous finds!
I have already gone through the closets, printed coupons, gathered returns (actually they live in one of those blue tubs in my under-the-stairs closet!), and made a list of what they still need. I have to work on measurements and finding receipts...
I've almost got the house all clean, and I have to keep up the laundry, then make some food for the weekend. I'll probably make tuna salad and banana pudding (not together!).. Stuff that'll keep for a couple days. I can't wait to go, but I have guilt while I'm gone! It helps if I feel like I worked really hard earlier in the week to make the weekend go smoothly. Ches doesn't mind (althought if he misses his workout on Saturday, it's painful..) as long as he gets to ride Friday before I leave and Sunday when I get home. Can I just say that I don't think Angie and I have ever spent two nights? We usually go early on Saturday and come back at midnight that night. SoMeTiMes we spend Saturday night, but not very often. Angie and I decided it'd been soooo long since we'd had any time together (since we don't see each other much in between), that we needed a little more time. We won't get started till late on Friday, and we'll leave early on Sunday...Well, that's what I'm telling myself! : )

Well, my 6 hours of sleep a night aren't working out so I must retire early tonight! Let me know if you need anything in Branson! (I'm looking for Susan a big Alpha/Omega sign thing like one I got a year ago-it's a cool, cut-out of letters at P. Graham Dunn!) Do you have a request? I can add your stuff to the list! : )

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Post, Long Day

8am: I have started laundry, half-cleaned two bathrooms (Clorox tabs!), am working on sending photos to WM to pick up to go with thank-you notes (already written-we rock!), but I can't find my password, so they are emailing it in 5-10 minutes (eternity when you're waiting!). I'm also on my way into the school to reload Mary Claire's snack box and drawers with waters, Propel mixes (both for highs), and applesauces, fruit snacks, juice boxes (14g and 24g) for lows. And other carb-y snacks (some with pb) for after she's back up, and has a while till she eats. The pb helps keep her from crashing again right away. It's a slower carb, so it slows down the juice-fast carb. Enough info! I posted a pix of one of the bags of labeled snacks that are headed to school. And, noooo, I don't do that at home. : )
Anyway, still waiting on that email from Wal-Mart...
Got it! -Commercial Break while I upload cute pix of my babes!-

Tomorrow we are scrapping again! I'll see how much I can get done. I don't know how long I can stay though.

9:50pm: I'm just now getting back! See how busy I can get? I got the floors mopped FinaLLy! after the kids went to bed. Ethan dumped the pencil sharpener, so I felt it was a great "opportunity" (silver lining and all).

The other HUGE thing I've been doing (most of the day!) is putting my receipt amounts onto my Quicken software. I also have balanced two months' worth of income/expenses-umm..October thru December! So, I'm a little behind... We had a busy Christmas season, and who wants to bog down the fun with checkbook balancing?? NOt me! : ) So, in the melée, I had to put on the charges for going to France. Okay, ya'll-if you've been, you get it, if not-aaahhhhh! For every charge at a restaurant, grocery, etc. there are TWO charges that you have to locate (usually 5-8 transactions away from each other!) and add together to get the real charge. (This is why I put it off for so long. I've already taken two stabs at that first statement, and failed miserably. Today, I was ready!! I have a new pink Pilot Precise V5-from my stocking!-and it was awesome!) (They come in a three pack of Turquoise, Hot Pink, and Purple. I use up the first two super-fast, and the purple gets relegated to the kitchen drawer...I have more favorite-er colors than thee, oh-no-so-pretty-one!)

So, Wii Fit got ditched today in honor of Bank-Ish-Reconciliation Day. I worked out enough on my floors! My back was really starting to hurt! Feel sorry for me... : ) I even left the chairs out so that when Ches got home after class he'd ooh and ahh. Well, maybe in hopes that he'd wipe his shoes and Respect the Work.

Last bit of news-Patty. Yes, she really had a heart attack! She was getting a stint/heart catheter put in this am, but I got an email update this evening that she didn't have to have it! Prayers Worked (thank you!). She was released, and is resting at home. Take your 81mg aspirin tonight! And thank God for the medical knowledge He reveals! : )

New background again, you like? I do it for you. : )

Ok, maybe last thing! I'm going to be taking a month (February) to host a catalog Stampin' Up! party if you would like to faux-come to my house, and order. Or you can really come over for chips and (Sam's awesome) salsa and we can chit chat. There's a new catalog -gasp!- and I'm so excited! They have the most adorable stuff! Do you remember my crafty book with cutest tabs? I used the tab punch? Have you seen my cutest tags? I use the corner punch and oval punch, then tie in ribbon on ANY gift, or make a tag, attach it to cardstock and make a card (need pix of that one?) or I type my scrapbook journaling, then make a tag of it, tie ribbon, and mount it in my 'book! So cute! Okay, and they have stamps! I have 19 sets. I have to admit, I don't use them ALL the time, but the ones I use, I LoVE! : ) I'll make it a goal to add a pix tomorrow.

I must go to bed, for tomorrow, I get a MOTHER'S DAY OUT!!! I haven't been able to take Ethan to MDO since Thanksgiving-well, the week before. He's been sick, have I mentioned that?? Anyway, mom is coming (Yippee!) and I'm headed out into the world, sans kids! Woo-hoo! What shall I do? First, is scrapbooking! Tiny bit of shopping (for I'm going to Branson on Friday-tell ya tomorrow), nails done possibly? Lunch out? If I call you, please say yes! : ) And we shall order dessert!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Workout Clothes and Dates Don't Mix

I spent all my time tonight working on another background that I'm not thrilled with. Mostly I was adding the quote. I had cuter backgrounds, but couldn't get them to work properly after I added text. ?? So, now I have less time to post.

Interesting, Useless Fact:
We wash the kids' toothbrushes every time they use them (in the dishwasher). We also have tons of them, I am going to count them for you (there are 42 in the drawer plus 3 in the dishwasher from tonight = 45!).

I've noticed that the more I play the Wii Fit, the more likely I am to dress comfortably, knowing I'll work out later. You just can't properly yoga with jeans on. So my standard dress on an average day is yoga/workout pants, tee (could be short- or long-sleeved) and a matching jacket. Not so stylish, but my shirt, jacket, and shoes always coordinate! My newest Nikes are white with reddish pink. They are cool-if I wear red, they seem red, and if I wear pink, guess what? They look hot pink! They are magical. And they make me run faster!
If I am wearing all blue or something, sometimes I'll wear the next newest pair which have blue and pink. I can dig deep into the older ones for red, navy, or silver and baby blue. I am not a packrat, but I have a shoe purgatory. The newest ones serve me daily. The next oldest pair are backups, and maybe get to be worn once a month. The third pair are usually for work outside. The fourth are workers, like to clean the garage or do gross stuff, in case they must be trashed! The fourth are currently the lowest on the totem pole. I used to have piles in the garage that I would choose to work in, but it was too much! Now I've narrowed it down. If I get another pair, the oldest will go to Salvation Army. They are still nice, I promise. Especially since I don't do yard work but twice a year or so.

Do you notice that as you are married longer, your date-y places are a little less cool? We used to go to a restaurant, sometimes a club, go out with friends, go to the movies, go to other cities and go out on their town? Well, now we still travel, but when we pay a babysitter and go out ("real" date night) we go eat and go to a movie, sometimes go to church alone together. Then, if we have time in between those two or three, we go to Target, WM, Sam's, etc. When you pick up milk and dental floss, and get gas, is that still a date? Or have you taken a commercial break in the middle of your date? It just happens, you are still thinking about home when you're out!
It does help when we're out of town-but we still check out their Target and take back snacks to our hotel room! Maybe every couple is different. We just aren't partiers. We've taken in our share of cities and excitement...We just do better in our groove. What do you do when you date your spouse?

Just a sidenote: I'm currently enjoying Dale & Thomas Popcorn (Dark Chocolate Popsters). Just 12 of these are a serving! So, you have to have serious self-control. They are caramel covered mini popcorn balls (1 popcorn in the middle of each) thickly coated in dark chocolate. They should be criminal...But I'm in the few days before that time of the I have serious cravings and need chocolate to function! It's like my blood requires more caffeine and chocolate. There isn't an i.v. for it, so I choose junky chocolate food that when looked at in two weeks will make me want to throw up it's so rich. But now, I'm living it up! And, I just had a bowl of *new* Cinnamon Honeycomb! It's really good! The color is lacking-it's the color and looks of Cheerios, but looks fail it. It's cinnamon-y, crunchy, and you can still taste the honey. See why I need the Wii Fit and workout clothes? I enjoy my food!
Yes, I had a pretty healthy dinner (garlic and pepper-crusted pork loin, mashed potatoes and gravy, and brown beans) and drank a full bottle of water during workout to avoid the carb and chocolate desire. I'm even eating almonds and walnuts to fill me up. I'll get there..
Gimme a week, and all will be welll! : )

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies, Heart Attack, and a Recipe-though not necessarily related

I've spent all my computer time (and cleaning time, and cooking time, and laundry time..) on my background research (heehee) to work on making new backgrounds. Finding them isn't just enough, but aquadots will do for a few days till I can spend a little more time on it. I made a cute faded dot with Pooh quote, but I kept getting the quote too big, then Firefox shut down on me. Yes, really. I only had 11 tabs open. It was just too much. So, I updated to version 3, and here I am!

Things I Never Thought I'd Say:
No! Don't get your blanket in your poop! (And worse: Then it'll take an hour to wash and dry it and you won't have it for nap!)

I survived yesterday's small crisis, and slept hard last night. I thought we weren't going to keep our puppy-Serious. I was upset, we were all upset, long story... So I was taking her over to Gigi's to let her spend the night, but then I stayed, calmed down, baked Pumpkin Spice Muffins (see yummy recipe below!) and decided to take her home. It was traumatic. I just wasn't sure the kids were ready-they've been rough with her, and I was thinking only of her. And, thinking of her, I didn't want her to have to get used to another home when this is what she knows. So, I decided to keep her with me even more.

Lexi is doing better-she's already made 3 pees, and 1 poop-on papers! Yay! I should just figure out how to make tally marks. : ) She's getting better, and I'm getting more attached. I was trying to leave me out of the equation yesterday, but maybe I can't!

We went to the Girl Scout Cookie Kickoff! So, today is the first official day we can sell cookies! (and I left the forms at Gigi's) We'll get right to work! If you want any, let me know. We also have service organizations to give the cookies to if you don't eat cookies (Our troop is sending them to Support the Troops-NWA and Shiloh Health and Rehab). You still buy them, but we give them away. They have a new baker-I think I mentioned it.. Anyway, they have the really old names: Caramel Delite is now Somoa, the Peanut Butter Sandwiches are now Do-Si-Do's, the old shortbreads are now Trefoils, the yummy peanut butter patty (with Chocolate) is now Tag-a-long. But good ol' Thin Mints get to keep the same name!

Do you ever wonder about your friend's health, but you can't say anything? It's a catch-22 (or 44!). If you notice them looking poorly, and ask them if anything's wrong-there are four things that could happen: One, there is something wrong, and they are so relieved you know them well enough to notice. Two, they don't know you well enough, and are offended you'd ask. Three, there is nothing wrong, and they are mad that you think they look "bad"! Fourth, and most rare, they don't think they're sick, but admit they should get more sleep, or have a physical. So, do you ask them about it, or wait-and-see, hoping they don't die? Seriously.

I was helping Clay's class with writing yesterday morning, and I was working with a sweet little girl. She was writing about her cat, Mouse. It was very funny-she showed me how Mouse runs on the wood floor when she chases her! And she wrote all about what she liked about Mouse and about her favorite paw. Isn't is precious how little kids can focus their thoughts on one tiny thing for a long time? I have trouble focusing without my mind jumping to the 18 things I could or should be doing at any one time. I think that's why I like to go-to focus my mind off myself for a little while. It's like Simpler Times.

Well, the other big thing that happened, is Nurse Patty probably had a Heart Attack! She couldn't get up, was in excrutiating pain-like a knife stabbing her!-when it happened, so she couldn't check Mary Claire (she checked herself, and was fine). The biggest shocker was that she didn't call 911-nor did anyone else! She stayed there, scheduled a dr's appt, and was planning to stay until Nurse Tracy got there! Was she MAD!? I came in about 11am, and she was STiLL there! I asked if she'd had any aspirin yet, and how did she feel? She said that the pain wasn't too bad-She's A Nurse! I ran to the gas station and got her some BC powder, which she took, and I made her leave. What's with women? Why do they have to care for everyone else and put themselves last??!! If you don't make it, you can't serve everyone anymore! Ok, so has anyone heard how Patty is? I'm so worried about her!

Lesson Learned: I left the school, went to WM (always WM-everyday for something), and got aspirin for the school, aspirin for home, and baby aspirins for me to take every day. My family has heart disease and high blood pressure, I'm not taking any chances! So, I had one of the little gems today. At first it's candy-like, and I could see why kids could OD, but then the bitterness kicked in. Nope, one a day is enough.

Please pray for Patty and her heart. And my beloved: take a baby aspirin every day. If only to live to serve others for another day.

Here's your recipe, that's not guaranteed not to cause heart palpitations!
Pumpkin Muffin Recipe:
Can Pumpkin
Box Spice Cake Mix (think Betty Crocker)
Bag MINI Chocolate Chips

Mix together pumpkin and cake mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Mixture will be thick like cookie dough! Put into mini muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Makes about 48. Yummy! : )