December 29, 2008

Christmas, Birthdays, the Wii Fit, and Recurrent Croup

No harm done here...really! We were just singing 'Happy Birthday' to her and we all know how painful THAT can be....

In the history of mornings, there has never been a morning that lasted quite as long as this morning did for me. I'm sure of it.

Christmas was awesome. We really tried to cut back on the 'crap' this year and only get things for the kids that they could actually use or want. It's amazing how many things that don't get bought when you don't throw it in your cart because 'so-and-so might like one!' The majority of things this year actually had a need or a purpose and that felt good. 5YO loved her Barbie Laptop, 2YO loved her scooter, and 'Santa' found a good sale and was able to get TWO pairs of boots for 12YO for the same cost as it would have been for one. SCORE!!!

The grandparents got the girls a Wii my parents got us a Wii Fit. The Wii is so much fun! I can't remember a Christmas where the whole family has had so much fun with the same one thing. The little setting that records how long it's been played told me that we had played the Wii 10 hours and 42 minutes that first day. And that was 10 hours of 42 minutes of laughing, trash-talking, and cheering each other on. All of it. The Wii Fit can be a bit on the insulting side, but I think that we'll get a lot out of it too. I actually like the games and have been waking up a bit sore the past few days. I call them my 'Wii muscles.'

Right now, 12YO is attempting 'Advanced Step Aerobics' for the first time on the Wii and, let me tell you, this is way more entertaining that TV!

2YO is no longer 2YO...she turned THREE yesterday. Hence, she'll now be called 3YO. She also came down with one heck of a case of croup last night. Thankfully, we were able to see a huge difference in her breathing once we got the humidifier going. She was a little 'rattley' the rest of the night, but her breathing wasn't interrupted anymore. I didn't go to bed until about 2:30 last night, checking up on 3YO to make sure she was breathing okay. David then got up and slept in the floor of her room so he could hear her breathe the rest of the night. Actually, he didn't seem to get much sleep after that, so I think we're both pretty much zombies today. I would really love to catch a little nap, but it probably won't happen. My children are programmed to automatically need something or start fighting the second my eyes try to close. Aren't yours?

I have the kind of headache that one gets from staying up too late and drinking too much. I get the feeling that the drinking wasn't really what made me feel so crappy when I'd had too much. It was the fact that I wasn't sleeping, I think. I get my 7-8 hours a night because that's what I need. If I could cut out some of those hours, I know I'd get a lot more done! But, it ain't gonna happen, because I feel like the freaking walking dead today.

The laundry can wait...Momma needs her sleep!

December 23, 2008

Soccer Claus Says...

"HO! HO! HOOOOOO....I'm SO gonna pee in your shoes the first chance I get!"
I'm not sure when I'll log on much to do! I hope everyone has the
Eventually, we're hoping that Soccer can forgive us and have a merrry Christmas as well....

December 22, 2008


Apparently, my girls take after me a bit more than I thought...
We went to the snow on Saturday. I'd only ever really been in the snow once before. Nothing like walking in snowshoes uphill for two or three miles! Wasn't the most fun I'd had, that's for sure! (At least I'd remembered my INHALER for that trip!) I came away from that day knowing that snow was cold, wet, and made simple things like walking MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than they needed to be! It doesn't help that I don't like being cold.
Not one bit.
Sooo, I wasn't quite sure what the girls would think of the snow...they are, afterall, HALF ME! 12YO had been to the snow with friends a few times, but we had never gone as a family. 5YO and 2YO had never seen snow. My BIL and niece went along and we went as prepared as we could be. We bought snow boots for all the girls, along with gloves and mittens intended for the snow. We borrowed snow suits from our neighbor, who has four kids and goes to the snow pretty regularly. Basically, she had all the sizes that anyone might need. We layered them accordingly, not putting the suits on the until we got there.
The drive took about an hour or so, and the beauty of it all really did take my breath away. Snow is so fresh, so clean. It's so hard to believe that snow can cover homes and trees so perfectly, so evenly. Everywhere I turned, it looked like it could have been a postcard!
Then, we got there and stepped outside.
I'd like to say I have more pictures, but I was delaying taking my gloves off to operate my camera as long as I could. I grabbed my camera toward the very end and snapped two pictures before the battery died. Figures!
2YO got snow inside her mitten within the first 15 minutes or so, and then she was DONE. She cried and whined the rest of the time until we put her in the car, stripped off her snow stuff, covered her with blankets, and handed her a bag of Cheetohs. After that, she wouldn't go into the snow again. 5YO had a BLAST, while she was actually playing in it! We brought some sleds and she was actually crawling on her hands and knees at one point to get up the hill. She actually got 'air' a couple of times on her way down and she took her fair share of tumbles too. That didn't bother her at all. About an hour after we got there, we stopped to eat. We'd picked up Subway sandwiches to eat while we were there. Once 5YO had warmed up in the car, she was done too. She had no desire to go back out there again. 12YO and my 9YO niece had fun, but they got cold and tired pretty quickly too. They went out for a few minutes after we ate, but the didn't really do much but try to make a couple of snowballs.
We ended up driving both directions longer than we were actually in the snow. We'll definitely do it again, but maybe not until next year.
In the meantime, I have a whole new appreciation for where we live. I am NOT cut out for living in snow, no matter how pretty it is! I could live there, if I never had to go outside!!!
I just wish I'd taken more pictures....

December 17, 2008

The Three Women Who Saved Christmas

See this little thing? Looks harmless enough, doesn't it?
Well, I happen to know that this little piece of plastic could possibly be causing a lot of distress this Christimas. It almost did in my house!
Apparently, the Barbie B-Smart Learning Laptop has flown off the shelves in all the stores. And, it can't be found online either. That is, unless you want to pay more than $70.00 for something that went for $50.00 everywhere else. Amazon dot com was selling one for $159.00. And I'm sure that some poor, desperate soul out there will pay that, too.
And I'm happy to report that I WON'T be one of them!
I was telling a friend of mine today about my search. She said that she thought she'd seen one at Sam's Club, but it was in the back with all the clearance stuff. She said there was only one left when she was there. I called them, and the nice lady on the phone checked for me. There was one in the back and it didn't have a box. I don't even CARE about a box and asked her if she could hold it.
Did you know that they are not allowed to hold something for you at Sam's Club?
I started to call my neighbor to see if I could drop my kids off there for a bit. When they didn't answer, I remembered that my mom should be close enough to possibly pick it up for me. The lady told me that she couldn't hold it, but she could put it back there where is wasn't really going to catch anyone's attention. My mom was there within twenty minutes and I can now say that
Soooo.....I want to say THANKS, DEBBY! Thanks, nice lady at Sam's Club! And, last but not least...
My 5YO will continue to believe in the magic of Christmas because she told Santa what she wanted and she'll get it. To me, those little memories are the best! To feel like someone listened to you is all anyone really wants anyway.
Isn't it?

December 16, 2008

Luck and Earaches...with an UPDATE

Not much to report around here.
5YO is home sick today. She had a couple of bloody noses yesterday and is complaining of ear pain today. Her upper lip is chapped, giving her a little, red 'Hitler' moustache. She has an appointment this morning to see what's infected, if anything. My money's on her ears, but a sinus infection would be a new twist! She hasn't had one of those before, but 12YO has had many. So, it's not completely out of the realm of possibility.
In other news, I won the UK, yeah, that's pretty cool I guess.
Just in time for Christmas, right?
Well, I have about 25 minutes to get myself and 2YO dressed and ready to leave. 5YO will stay ready...if I have to duct tape her shoes to her feet!
She made the above letter this morning after it was decided that she'd not go to school. I helped her with the spelling from across the kitchen. I'm not sure how she thinks the letter would get to her friends to get to her teacher before I was able to make the phone call to the school, but she did think that the letter was completely necessary.
And that boy, the one who has taken a liking to 12YO....he doesn't give up too easily. Rumor has it that he plans to ask her out again today, despite the fact that she's already clearly explained to him that she's not allowed to 'go out'....whatever that actually means! I asked her if she wanted to and she told me, "NO!" Apparently, she finds him more annoying than cute now. GOOD. I hope she finds all boys annoying until she's at LEAST 45....but that's just a number I'm throwing out there because I'm comfortable with it. I'm sure I'll let her date by the time she's 30.
Have a great day!

Okay, so we raced to the doctor and were only about ten minutes late. If you actually know me, you know that that's not so bad! We had quite awhile to wait, and I worked on a knitting project. 5YO has a double ear infection AND a sinus infection! She's on a 10-day course of antibiotics, which means that she'll take her last two doses on Christmas day. I have to take her back in two weeks to make sure the sinus infection actually went away, since it was so bad. We went shopping afterward and 2YO and 5YO danced around the store like a couple of loons. It's amazing how resiliant kids are! She's already asleep now, but that's normal for her. She likes to go to bed early.
David and the girls want to go to the snow on Saturday, so we had to get them snow boots. UGH! Snow is cold and wet...what else is there to know about it? We'll go, because snow is usually less than an hour away from us and we've NEVER taken them. I know, bad parents. But, 2YO is almost three now and this is the first winter that I think we'll all really enjoy it. Well, THEY'LL enjoy playing. I'll enjoy it for a bit, but plan to sneak off to the car and knit the first chance I get! We'll only be there a couple of hours, most likely. Just enough to play and get cold, then we'll come home.
We have a power inverter that we can plug into the cigarette lighter and plug in actual appliances and use them. We'll bring a big jug of fresh water and my electric tea kettle. Hot cocoa and tea will warm us on the inside....mmmm!
Well, I have some straightening up to do, along with some present-smuggling so I can wrap them and get to bed at a decent time. I simply cannot stay up all hours of the night. It is SO catching up with me!
OH! And if anyone out there can find me a Barbie B-Smart Learning Laptop that I can actually buy and have before Christmas, I'll send you a cookie!

December 13, 2008

More Proof that Mom is Invisible

See these two pictures? Notice any differences between the two?
You see, we had family pictures with Santa last night. David and I decided that we might as well, as one of us usually has to be in the picture anyway since my children are BORN TERRIFIED OF SANTA CLAUS! All three of my girls started out that way. 12YO has gotten past it to the point of adoring him, 5YO will tolerate him, but with her guard up, and 2YO still wants nothing to do with him. (At least she didn't cry this year, but it's taken a lot of preparation on our end!)
We've been talking to 2YO for months about Santa and how she's big now and there's nothing to be afraid of and he'll give you a candy cane and bring you presents if you sit on his lap and...
GOODNESS! This must be the only time in our parenting journey when we'll try to push our kids to sit on a stranger's lap so he'll promise them toys and give them candy! No WONDER our kids are so easily screwed up!
Anyhow, we've been 'coaching' her for a couple of months. We looked at the pictures from the previous years and talked about why they cried when they were little and why they DON'T cry, now that they're big. We even stopped by there an hour or so before David would be there to let her watch the other kids visit him through the window. We went in for a few minutes and Santa was more than happy to visit with the girls before we were getting actual pictures. He really is a sweet Santa, and he's the same one we see every year. first, 2YO was less than excited at the prospect of seeing Santa. I told her she needed to see him to tell him what she wanted for Christmas. She then started to say that she didn't WANT presents. It must not have been worth it to her! I told her that, if she talked to him, he'd give her a candy cane.
"I don't WANT candy!"
"But, won't Christmas be sort of sad if your sisters get presents from Santa and you don't?"
"I don't care. I don't need presents!"
This took a lot of negotiating. She and Santa forged a bit of a friendship and, when we waited outside afterward, they would wave at one another through the window. At one point, I even think that she might have been flirting with our jolly friend! She would smile and lean her head against my shoulder, just like she does when she's trying to control her daddy's every move!
One day, she plans to use those dimples to rule the world!
So, in all that was going on, do you think anyone bothered to tell me that I had mascara smeared across the side of my face? ANYONE?
I've decided that all of the pictures make me look fat and drunk. I've picked the best picture of the rest of them and cropped myself out!
DID NO ONE SEE ME? DID NO ONE LOOK AT ME? It was pretty obvious, all the black streaks. WHAT THE HELL?
So, I'm glad I bought the cd. And I'm glad I know how to crop pictures! So much for making a family picture out of that one, huh? I should just go and do something drastic to my appearance.....
Think they'll notice? Yeah, me neither!

December 9, 2008

A Tag and an Update

Wow...this is a rare occurence! I don't usually get tagged...

I've been tagged by Jolene from The Little Things in Life. HI JOLENE! I'm supposed to list 7 random things about myself. That's gonna be a tough one...Random, Sporadic, Inconsistent....these are all words that describe me pretty well!

Okay. I'm a flake! Happy?

1. I have this thing about spoons to stir coffee. Actually, it's not really about spoons. I will use just about anything to stir my coffee. (I just stirred my coffee witha steak knife, so there!) The thing is, I won't just use a 'community spoon' to stir my coffee. I won't even use the same spoon again for my own coffee. I use a new spoon every time I stir my coffee. I just get grossed out by the idea of the coffee just sitting there on the spoon, getting old, and then mixing it in with my new coffee when I need to stir a fresh cup. If I'm only going to use one spoon, then I just leave it in my cup. I'm not really a germ-phobe...but that really creeps me out!

2. I had a horrible fear of green people as a kid. All the characters in the 80's that were green gave me horrible nightmares. The Incredible Hulk and the Wicked Witch of the West kept me awake many-a-night. I even had nightmares about random people who I knew were evil because they had a green face. Does that make me a racist of some sort?

3. I seriously think I may have ADD. Really. I am so scatter-brained that I often find myself pacing to deal with all information running through my head when I have a bizillion things to do. I'm the only one that's usually stopping me from doing it, too. I don't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt most days and I'm positive there's gotta be a pill to fix that! I get distracted from certain things and fixated on others. Finishing a task is physically painful for me. Does that make sense?

4. I have holes in the iris' of my eyes. Really, I do. See my eye in the above picture? See all those white lines scattered throughout the iris? Those are weaknesses, or holes. I am using a flash in this picture, along with the several I took right before this one in an attempt to get a decent one, yet my pupils stay large. My eyes don't bother dilating much because the light floods in no matter what. I am really sensitive to light and you'll rarely ever see me outside without my sunglasses. I had this quacky eye doctor who gave me colored contacts to cover the holes and make my eyes dilate more efficiently. They worked, but not for long. I worked in a dental lab where there was a lot of acrylic and plaster dust in the air and they kept getting scratched. They didn't make opaque disposable lenses, so it wasn't really worth it. Plus, my insurance had a hard time covering colored contacts because they've always been considered cosmetic, even though I chose the closest possible match to my own eye color. However, the only blue I could get was this creepy, bright, alien-looking blue. People used to cross the supermarket to ask me about my eyes and I had a hard time dealing with the fact that they might have thought I was doing it for attention. Honestly, I just wanted to protect my eyes!

5. I flushed a hamster down the toilet when I was three years old, and he lived to tell his story. It was my cousin's hamster and we were pet-sitting. I was playing with the hamster and following my mom around while she was cleaning the bathrooms. As she moved onto the back bathroom, I stayed in the front one and decided that the hamster should go for a swim in the clean toilet. I wanted to see him swim under the water, yet he kept swimming back up. So, I flushed. I found my mom and told her, "Cleo swam away." Being Supermom, she reached into the toilet and found that he was caught in a small air bubble in the trap. She reached her arm as far as she could and rescued the poor critter, who's eyes were as big as saucers. Brandon never let me play with Cleo again.

6. I've only broken one bone in my life, and it was my pelvis. It doesn't tickle. I was in a car accident. The guy ran a light and hit the driver-side door as I was crossing the intersection. I was in a wheelchair for almost a month and used crutches for a couple of weeks after that. I later found out that I was pregnant and I'd been so since before the accident. I'd had Cat Scans, X-rays, demerol, and lots of Vicodin. I was 22 weeks along before the doctor bothered confirming this. (Stupid, #@&$% HMO's!) And that's how I got 12YO. She was perfect from Day 1, even with all the stuff that went wrong.

7. I married the captain of the football team, my daughter has been a cheerleader for four years now, and I know VERY LITTLE about the game of football. It drives my husband crazy! I get the main idea, but it often confuses me when the same play can have everyone cheering one minute and getting all pissed-off the next. At least, it seems like the same play to me! That shows you how much I know!

Now, I know I'm supposed to tag seven people, but I just can't right now. I don't even have seven people I COULD tag, I don't think! I would always love to read more quirky info on you, so feel free to play along! If you do, leave me a comment and I'll check it out! If you're still reading mine, I plan to call my doctor really soon. A few of mine sort of scare me when I see them in print!
Meanwhile, on the homefront:
WE HAVE WATER!!! The guy checked it out yesterday, confirmed that it was, in fact, the booster pump, and went back to his place to pick one up. He brought it by later, and it was no longer under warranty. $475.00 and a lot of bad words later, we had running water. We could have paid the extra $125.00 and had them install it, but what would have been the fun in that? When David came in and told me that we had water, I had the washing machine going before he even finished his sentence! I think I have one more load to do and we'll be all caught up there. The dishwasher had two load's worth waiting for it. I ran it once last night and the other load is running this morning. The guys didn't finish it until about 8:30 last night and I ended up borrowing two gallons of water from my neighbor to get us through the day.
My mom came out yesterday and helped me with the upholstery on the storage bench. Okay, who am I kidding? She totally did it ALL! I had quite a few other details to work out yesterday and a whiney 2YO, to boot. I'm really glad I didn't try to do it myself because the corners would have been SO UGLY! My mom did a great job!
Just after she left, I started getting a migraine. GREEEEAAT. That one came out of nowhere. I took my Maxalt right away and then did my best to go about the rest of my day. Toward the end, I was still feeling pretty crappy. I put some chicken on the stove while 12YO sat at the kitchen table and worked on her homework. Every ten minutes or so, I just had her flip it over for me. I think I was able to nap, on and off, for about 25 minutes or so. I know it sounds silly, but that made a huge difference in the way I felt! Just as I was perking up and the water was back on, 2YO started fussing. She still feels pretty bad. She fell asleep in my arms but spent several hours tossing and turning. I dozed while she tossed and turned in my arms. It was about 1:00 a.m. before I woke up and decided to get a few more things done. I ran the dishwasher, threw in another load of clothes, cleaned out the fridge, took out the garbage...all the things I'd been waiting two days to do! David got up with me and helped me give her some more ibuprofen. She's not really getting feverish, but she acts like her whole body hurts. I've been there! By 2:00 a.m, David went to bed. 2YO wanted to watch Max and Ruby, so I decided to let her. She'd been napping most of the night and was just starting to feel a bit better. I honestly think that all she really ate yesterday were Goldfish crackers...but that's all she wanted and at least it's something. She's also been complaining about a sore throat. But, her fever hasn't come back today, so I don't think it's strep or any other sort of infection.
So far, she's eaten grapes, Goldfish crackers, and an egg. She's been drinking apple juice and hasn't had any medicine of any sort. I guess I'll just have to watch her for awhile, since I can't really see anything in her throat myself. She's not crying, so whatever it is can't be too bad.
Well, I have another load of clothes to do and I need to make a list of things that need to be done. Everything in my house is a half-finished project. The only thing I ever usually finish is laundry...and we all know how long THAT lasts!!! The weather actually got sunny and a bit warm yesterday. So, we left the back door open for a few hours while we were in and out. BIG MISTAKE. This morning, I woke up to FLY WORLD IN MY HOUSE. They were EVERYWHERE! I think I killed most of them, but they have a way of hiding when the flyswatter comes out! I have to disinfect my kitchen counters and sweep and mop the floor.
WAIT! Why am I telling you guys this? I should be telling my LIST this information. I still think that Ritalin could help, though.....

Can I borrow a cup of water?

This is what I've been reduced to.

Day 2 of little to no water has made everyday tasks seem even more daunting than ever before. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have a pile of laundry that's taller than I am. Both sides of the sink are full of dirty dishes. 5YO was overjoyed at the prospect of no shower last night or this morning, yet 12YO was disgusted. It's just a day. She'll live! There is a small part of me that wants to drive 30 minutes to our gym and take advantage of the fact that I keep forgetting to put our membership on hold. Therefore, our membership is still current. Our gym really does have awesome showers. Heck! If I bothered to drive to the gym, I'd probably at least spend an half an hour on the elliptical machine first, which I should probably do anyhow.

Sure, Leann! Use your gym membership when you're about to give it up!

Tomorrow is garbage day, yet I'm not ready to clean out the fridge just yet. While there's nothing in there that's THAT OLD, I still can't stand the thought of cleaning the fridge out and not being able to at least fill the containers with water until they could be washed. There are so many things that require water and we just take it for granted most days.

5YO didn't make the bus this morning. She was hungry and had a couple of extra bowls of cereal, which took more time. I called our next door neighbor to see if she could catch a ride with them. I asked her if she had a pot of coffee made yet, to see if I could possibly steal a cup. She didn't, but I told her that I was just asking because we don't have water right now. They just had to dig a new well recently, so she knows better than anyone how it feels to not have unlimited water. She picked 5YO up on her way to school and dropped off a gallon of water in a pitcher. Good neighbors really do make the difference. She's also offered to let us use her shower. We might take her up on that tonight our problem isn't fixed. It should be, but it's nice to know that we have options. It seems to be the booster pump that pushes the water from the holding tank to the house. That's the one I had to keep turning off and on yesterday to get it to turn on. The water pressure never really got to be more than a third of what it should have been. The stupid thing wouldn't run for more than four seconds before it would turn off. When David got home last night, he drove out back to check it out. He said that that pump was HOT. So, it's probably trying to burn out completely. He turned it off to be on the safe side, so we have absolutely no water right now.

Our well guy is supposed to come out today and check it out. Yes, you might remember that I mentioned that he was supposed to come out yesterday, but that never happened. We are at his mercy and I get the feeling that he rather enjoys the power. Living where we live, a lot of people's well-being are in his hands. And he's known to take his sweet time getting somewhere.

That's it! I'm going to take a class on well pump repair! Can you imagine how well I'd do if I knew how to fix these things AND I was nice?

I hate nothing more than seeing an unflushed toilet, but's that's where we are right now. 2YO and I had quite the scuffle earlier when she insisted on flushing the toilet and I wouldn't let her. I guess I've raised her right in that aspect, but I'm paying for it today! OH! And, speaking of 2YO, remember how I wrote yesterday that she was the only one that wasn't sick? Well, by the end of yesterday, she was the only one that WAS SICK. She began running a fever and getting cranky a couple of hours after I took 5YO to school. Ibuprofen makes her better within 20 minutes, but you're only supposed to give it to them every 6-8 hours or so. She, apparently, LIKES Ibuprofen. Not five minutes after last night's dose, she sneezed, told me she was sick again, and went straight for the bottle of medicine that was on the counter. Thank God for childproof caps because she's a sneaky one! She was still a bit warm this morning, so I gave her one more dose. Once her fever is down, she's absolutely fine. I'm sure it's just some virus that needs to work its way out of her body. Every time her fever comes back, it's a little less severe than before. In any case, it's progress.

Well, my mom is coming out this morning to help me upholster the tops of the storage bench. I'd better straighten up around here, change my clothes, and maybe even microwave some ice cubes so I can brush my teeth.

What? You think I'm kidding?


December 8, 2008

Three Whiney Girls, Too Much Laundry, a-and Now We-e Have No Wa-ter!

Now, that's one version of 'Tweleve Days of Christmas' that I sure haven't heard!
The above pictures are of my new storage bench to keep inside my back door. David built it on Saturday. I bought the upholstery to go over the top of it, along with some padding foam stuff to give it a little 'cush.' It was on sale for $2.00 a yard, so I stocked up! This thing is six feet long across the back, three feet along the right side, and 21 inches deep. David bought this oak veneer stuff to match most of what we have. It needs another coat of something, from what he tells me. Then, I can attempt to put a cushion on the top!
I know I married a cheap man, but at least he has some skillz to still get things done....when he wants to, that is!
12YO is home sick today. She didn't feel well last night and kept calling me while I was out shopping to keep me posted. Isn't she sweet? David was here, but she had to tell ME. Many times. She still felt yucky today, so I let her stay home. 5YO tried to stay home too. I'm not sure if it was some sort of sick chain reaction or what, but I didn't quite buy it. I let her stay home, but told her she had to stay in bed and do nothing in order to 'rest.' She came out to eat breakfast and went straight back to bed. I told her that if she was well enough to play, she was well enough to go to school.
I was signing her into the office at her school by 10:10.
Well, all this talk of sickness also has 2YO claming she has all sorts of symptoms. Funny, her symptoms seem to be cured by a new episode of Max and Ruby. And a peanut butter sandwich, go figure! 12YO is a little better at this, and knows to stay in her room if she doesn't feel well. I'm not letting her read, though. She enjoys it too much. She might really feel yucky, but she's already wandered over to her desk and started to study, so she can't feel that bad!
I tell ya, all this talk about them having 'headaches' is starting to give me one!
Just after David left, I noticed that we didn't have any water. I went out to the well and pushed the normal 'reset' buttons. That didn't do anything, so I flipped one of the breaker switches and the pump that pushes the water into the house started running. Since our holding tank is full, at least we know that our well isn't dry! But, the pump that sends the water into the house seems to not want to cooperate. It runs for a few seconds, but the pressure into the house is only getting to be about 1/3 of what it should be. That's enough water to flush the toilet a few times and wash our hands, but that's about it!
Ahhh...the price we pay for having a bigger yard and being able to see the stars at night....
I've decided to get the flour and sugar out of my diet again. I've fallen off the 'carb wagon' and the downward spiral that has since ensued isn't pretty. I've gained about ten pounds and I feel like crap. Plus, the migraine I had last week was a real wake-up call. I've since been to a baby shower and a birthday party and have managed to pass on the cake at both. That's a start!
December is a tough month when it comes to time and money. I know most people feel that way. For us, however, it's brutal.
Here's a little rundown for ya: shower
12-7...birthday party
12-13....birthday party
12-17....birthday party
12-19...last day of school for the Christmas break and 5YO's class party WITH a gift exchange
12-22...David's birthday
12-28....2YO's birthday
12-29....MIL's birthday brother's birthday cousin's daughter's birthday
Factor in that David is at his busiest time of year at work and won't be getting home until almost 10:00 every weeknight, and I'll be lucky to have hair come January. Plus, 5YO has a birthday January 11th and this is her first birthday party she'll have when she can invite actual friends from her class. It's a big deal to her, which puts a little more pressure on us.
My head is spinning just from reading all that.
Well, 12YO is paranoid that she won't get credit for something she's missing today and she needs to email a couple of teachers. I try to tell her that she's not in college yet and won't be held quite so accountable for missing a day, but she IS 12. Her job is to not believe me and I can't take it personally. Plus, at least she's taking some initiative!
I need to make myself some eggs and wait for our 'well guy' to come and check things out. It's funny how, now that I don't have much water to use, all I can think about doing around here are things that take WATER.
Deep down, I'm still a spoiled child who hates to be told 'NO.'

December 5, 2008

"You're not the boss of me!"

Cute, isn't she? Don't let the sweet smile fool you. After 8:00 at night, those bright eyes become dark and sulky. By 8:01, she's sure to insult everyone she comes into contact with.
I dropped 12YO off at her youth group last night and took the other two shopping. I knew I had something to buy at Sam's Club, but I decided to stop by Costco first to see what they had.
OH! And on a side note: It only took seventeen dollars and some change to fill up the Saturn at Costco. From empty to full! David took the Tahoe to work yesterday and had to fill it up on the way home. From Empty to full, guess how much it cost? Forty-four bucks. YEP! That's what it used to cost to fill up the Saturn when gas was $4.15 a gallon! Times, they are a changin'!
As we walked through Costco, it suddenly occured to me why I don't prefer Costco: I just don't like people all that much. Really, I don't. No matter what time of day it is, Costco is crowded. There are people everywhere you turn. Now, in this day and age, it's actually good for Costco that they get so many customers. Good for them, bad for my anxiety levels. Plus, I think Coscto actually stacks their shelves a bit higher than Sam's. I felt like they were trying to swallow me up as I passed some of the huge displays. I'm glad that 5YO and 2YO wanted to ride in the cart, because they were sure to have been run over by the crowds. Hmmm....7:00 on a Thursday, what's the deal with that?
The thing I was hoping to find wasn't there, so I had to go to Sam's to buy it anyway. I could actually breathe at Sam's Club. The center aisles weren't stacked as high and there weren't as many people there. It's just different. I guess I'm probably the perfect candidate for online shopping, eh?
So, it was just after 8:00 when we pulled into the driveway. Ten minutes after 8:00, and 5YO had been asleep for exactly ten minutes. I'm telling you, I could easily set my watch by this kid! I reach back and give her knee a little jiggle, trying to gently rouse her out of her slumber. I say, "We're home. It's time to wake up and go inside." She tosses her head from one direction to the other, without ever opening her eyes, and says, "I'm doing THIS right now!" I keep trying, telling her we need to go into the house so she can go to bed, hoping that I didn't have to lug her little, limp body into the house myself.
"You're not the boss of me! You can't tell me what to do!"
If she weren't mostly asleep at that point, I might have threatened her life a little. Instead, I just laughed. She was clearly not understanding what she was saying. Either that, or she was new here.
Once she was awake and unbuckling herself, I reminded her to grab her jacket out of the car and bring it into the house.
"I don't have to! I just want to leave it here! I will put in on when I come out to the car tomorrow."
I then reminded her that she wouldn't be coming out to the car, but would be heading straight out to the bus the next morning.
"I don't have to!"
A couple of YES YOU DO's and a brief stint of the evil eye later and she grabbed her jacket from the seat next to her and stumbled into the house. She woke up enough to be mildly pleasant until she had her PJs on and teeth brushed. And that's about all I can expect from her at that point.
Is it possible that she's just not physically capable of being friendly or cooperative when she's tired? And how old is old enough to start drinking coffee?
Maybe she just doesn't like people either.

December 4, 2008

Some Highs and Lows for Today

I'm not drunk here. Really, I'm not. Boredom and digital cameras really shouldn't mix!
Since I started coming down with a migraine, took my trusty meds, and am now feeling no signs of the migraine but the overwhelming fatigue that goes along with the meds....let's just say I don't have much to say. I baked some cookies. They were good.
And that's about it!
12YO, on the other hand, came home and summarized her day with the highs and lows. (This is probably the first time she's ever really summarized ANYTHING in her life and, given my exhaustion level right now, I'm pretty grateful!)
The good things:
1. She is the only one in her class that scored 100% on her last pre algebra exam. SCORE!
2. She got her best time on the 'mile run' today. It's still over nine minutes, but that's pretty good for her age!
3. She gets to go to a friend's house today before church.
4. She gets to go to church tonight.
5. I baked cookies...and she's totally excited about that.
6. She has no homework.
The bad things:
1. She was asked to paint a cookie for a poster or something in her Leadership class. She was really proud of it and got a lot of compliments. Another girl came by, didn't think it was very good, and painted over it. She was really bummed. I just think it's a great life lesson.
You can't please everyone, and everyone can't please you. Knowing that sort of takes the pressure off. At least, it does for me!
Well, I have to get 2YO up from her nap. We need to leave soon and she really shouldn't sleep any later anyhow. I do NOT plan on staying up until midnight with her because she got a long nap!
Have a great night!

December 2, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: My Milk Came Down PRICE, that is!


I did my weekly shopping last night. At both of the discount supermarkets that I frequent, milk has been $2.60 a gallon for the 2%. (Which is what I buy.) No, I do not buy organic milk. My family goes through FOUR GALLONS A WEEK, PEOPLE! This is no joke. I don't even really drink much milk myself, but the other four drink a LOT. Soooo, my milk was down to $2.13 a gallon! That's pretty significant, considering I just bought milk a week ago! I spent $125.00 on groceries for the week, even though I bought extras of things like cheese and lunch meat. 2YO has been on a kick where she just wants cheese and lunch meat, yet she won't eat something in the form of a SANDWICH! She also likes bread, but won't eat them together. I know, that would just make things TOO EASY.

Basically, I'm seeing a little bit of relief in the grocery stores. I've seen gas around here for $1.69 a gallon. It actually makes me excited to fill up my tank, whenever I see the price drop even more.

With the temperature cooling the way it is, I think our cat is pretty much going to be a permanent fixture on my lap until spring. Apparently, Soccer rather enjoys being warm and it seems that we can hug him as tightly as we'd like, so long as we don't put him down. Lily has become more of a lap dog than she ever was before, and I'm assuming that it's for much the same reason. From what I can tell, Lily doesn't enjoy being cold or wet. Silly doggy wouldn't go outside with me the other night when it was raining. Seriously, I had to threaten her a little bit. Then, she ran back to the door, saw that I was still halfway across the yard, and hurried down the house and through the cat door as quickly as possible. She wouldn't allow a single drop of rain to fall on her if it didn't need to! BIG CHICKEN!!!

Now, this has nothing to do with anything else I've rambled about today...but does anyone else HATE the lady from the Glade commercials? Why is she so fake? Here's on they've been playing lately:

It's like they make the one housewife out to be some frivolous, fake person. Are her friends really that judgemental? Does someone really have to try THAT HARD to fit in? Since when is buying your candles at Target or (GASP) a supermarket such a bad thing?

And on that note, I'm going to end this. I need to go straighten up my house so I can pretend to be more organized than I really am.


December 1, 2008

Warm Thoughts on this Dreary Day

The tree is up, the lights are on. Outside, the weather can get as crappy as it wants to. Nothing can get me down now.
What does it look like from your front window?
We have just stocked up on hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, and whipped cream. I still have to put all the boxes away that held the decorations. Some stuff still needs to be put in place and the fall decor is in a small pile in the floor of my living room. Isn't it amazing how much more Christmas stuff most people have than autumn stuff? One of our cable channels plays nonstop Christmas music, so we had that on quite a bit this weekend. We've already watched the Boris Karloff version of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas.' Okay, so I might have actually lost consciousness during that one, but the kids saw it.
I don't know if it's the weather, the chaos of the season, or the combination of both, but I'm starting to remember the fatigue. It's a happy sort of fatigue, however. It comes from all the extra good things that are happening. Even standing in line at the bank can prove to be a good thing when there are lights everywhere and Christmas music blaring over the speakers. Just don't let the broke, grumpy gal in front of you ruin your buzz. And try not to consider yourself that broke, grumpy gal either. I'm giving more presents this year that require time rather than money. It takes some planning, but actually seems to be more rewarding on my end. I just hope they like them.
Christmas is coming, ready or not.
For now, it's time to head to the library. 2YO is beginning to really look forward to storytime. Of course, she still prefers the coloring page they give her at the end. She is getting better at staying still. Then again, she will be three at the end of this month.
Can you believe it's actually December? Two weeks ago, we were wearing shorts around these parts. Today, we might not even see the sun.
And time marches on....

November 27, 2008

I woke up this morning much earlier than I had planned or wanted to.
I actually got out of bed this morning much later than I had planned or wanted to.
In between it all, I had a bad dream.
5YO's internal clock is just so set in stone since she started school. No matter what, she wakes up around 6:00 a.m. and her eyes start to get heavy around 8:00 p.m. It doesn't really matter where we are or what she's doing...she hits her wall and is OUT LIKE A LIGHT. I have pictures of her when she's little sleeping in the tile hallway against a wall, or in the middle of the living room floor that she just happened to be walking across when she decided she was done with her day.
Anyhow, so the past few days have had me busier than usual and up later too. We don't eat our Thanksgiving dinner early, so it wasn't necessary to get up and get the turkey going at the butt crack of dawn like so many other people across the country. But, like clockwork, 5YO had other plans. She wakes up early and HUNGRY. I try to put her off a little while to get a few extra Zzzzz's in, but she tends to be pretty persistent. And, once 5YO is awake, it's usually only a matter of minutes before 2YO is up too.
Sooooo, they are both up and I'm rolling away from them and begging for a couple of more minutes. They both scoot across the hall to their room and play for awhile. In the meantime, I fall back to sleep and have a rather odd dream.
In my dream, it was Thanksgiving morning. The girls were in to wake me up. Sound familiar? I thought so! So, they are doing everything to annoy me from poking and prodding me to going through my jewelry box. That part also seems strangley familiar to me. Next thing I know, I'm getting out of bed. Only, my floor is littered with the last load of clothes that was in the dryer, dirt, crumbs, and some stuff from my jewelry box. One thing in particular that bothered me was my 2nd favorite ring being amongst the wreckage. Once I located the ring, I realized that the stone was missing. Now, this is not really an expensive ring at all, but I think the stone is pretty and I wear it almost every single day. Aside from my wedding ring, it's the only ring I wear.
I dropped to the floor to look for the rest of my ring. I was sobbing out of frustration. How could these kids make such a mess? Who took the laundry out of the dryer without folding it right away? Why did they think they could just dig through my jewelry box and ruin things? After all, it was still Thanksgiving morning and I had a busy day ahead of me. First, I had to find the stone and sweep my floor. (Which was wood in my dreams, though my room is actually carpeted!)
I woke up about then and, started my day. The day actually ran a lot more smoothly than I'd thought. The kids were noisy, things took a bit longer than we'd hoped, the television blared and the men yelled over was PERFECT, as far as our Thanksgivings go! I've been wanting to fall asleep for hours now. I blame the turkey. Or, it could have been the pie. The pie was good.
For now, I'm finishing my peppermint tea and going to bed. I will not be shopping with all those brave/crazy/violent people in a few hours. I plan to sleep in, drink hot cocoa, listen to Christmas music, eat leftovers and decorate for Christmas.
I hope yours is a wonderful and successful Black Friday, whatever you choose to do.

November 25, 2008

The Twilight Bandwagon, Rip-Offs, and Drunk Turkeys

I have a confession to make: 12YO and I checked out the first two books in the 'Twilight Series'...okay, so they were the audio books, but still.
I'M HOOKED. I listened to the first one last night and today and I truly believe that Edward is just another character that is cocky, yet awesome and makes us a little sad that men aren't really like that. For example, I can't read a Nicholas Sparks books without getting just a leeeeetle bit irritated at my husband. You know, because he's not THAT GUY. The hero in the book who says all the right things and...
I know it's not real. I know that I have a good husband. I guess I just get so absorbed in the stories (the ones that are well-written, anyway!) that I temporarily lose touch a bit. Plus, a good book can take over my life. Everything else goes to the back burner until the book is finished. Needless to say, I don't read too many books! Audio books, on the other hand, allow me to live my ordinary life and still get the story. I still like to read, but don't have the time that I wish I did. Who does?
I'm a little proud of myself right now. I just paid a credit card off (which is good, but not what I'm actually bragging about!) and the finance charges they tried to charge me after the payment had gone through didn't make any sense. True, the payment posted the day after the due date. I had already made my regular payment for that billing schedule, so I wasn't worried so much about the day. But, apparently, there is a window of time you can make a payment and it won't apply to the previous month OR the new billing schedule.
Does that make any sense?
Basically, the bill was due on the 13th. I made my regular payment on the 4th, so all was well and good with them anyway. Then I made another payment of the entire remaining balance a little more than a week later, but it didn't post until the 14th. Since it wasn't applied to the balance for the previous billing period, I'd expected that there would be a little interest to pay this month. What I didn't expect was that, while the balance on my statement DID reflect both payments, I still had a minimum payment due for the next month. I called them and talked to some guy SOMEWHERE who told me that, while the payment was accepted and the balance reflected it, that payment didn't apply to the last billing period OR to the current one. For one day, they charged me a whole month's worth of interest.
I'd sort of expected that, since most credit card companies are usually jerks anyway but are now more desperate than ever. I was just wondering why, if I had to pay more interest because the payment didn't apply to the previous billing cycle, then why did my payoff amount not apply to the following one?
Does this even make sense enough to not make sense? I'm really tired...
Anyhow, I called and some guy from some country other than the one I'm from and I talked circles around each other. I finally asked to speak to someone else. I was on hold for a few minutes, but I was then greeted by his supervisor who told me that she'd taken the finance charges off as a 'one-time courtesy' thing.
YEAH, THANKS A LOT! The card is paid off now and we have no intentions of using it anyway. And, if we do grab a card later to use, it will NOT be this one! 12YO had David on the cell phone (he had called and was waiting to see what would happen with me and the credit card people!) and he tried to give me a high-five through the phone for my effort. It's not often that I don't back down for people like that. Normally, I'm more worried about being nice. I never like to go into any situation as if I've been 'wronged' somehow or trying to get something for nothing. I think there's a certain karma that comes along with people like that and I want no part of it.
Well, I need to give my turkey a sip of wine and get it back into the outside fridge. That bird won't feel ANYTHING by the time I put him in the roaster! Just the same, I hope he saves some of that wine for me...I could use a sip (or six) myself!
Have a great night!

November 23, 2008

Have you hugged YOUR panda today?

OMG...this is just too entertaining for words...

Apparrently, some college student in China decided that a PANDA BEAR in an exhibit there NEEDED A HUG. He climbed the fence and attempted to hug the panda.

And what do you think happened next?

YEP! You guessed it! The freaking panda bit him. A LOT.

I especially like the part where they didn't think that the panda had suffered any negative psychological effects.

I'm sure we'll see a clip about that on the next episode of 'When Animals Attack.' (Otherwise known as WHEN STUPID PEOPLE LEAVE THE HOUSE.)
And that's all I have to say about that!

November 22, 2008

Don't cry over chopped onions...

David is making breakfast this morning. He's now on a mission to find the best way to chop onions without shedding a single tear. As you can see, he starts by using his face shield he wears to protect his eyes from flying debris while doing yard work. That not only didn't work, but concentrated the fumes once inside. It made things worse.
He tried using swim goggles next. They actually worked. But, in the end, he spent a good 30 minutes or so chopping up the onions when he could have just sucked it up for 90 seconds or so to get them all chopped and be done with it. Sometimes, it's best to just power through it!
While frying bacon, he had 12YO stand against the door frame in the kitchen where we've been keeping track of their growth. In less than three months, 12YO has grown almost and inch and a half! (See? THIS is why I chose not to buy her any pants until it actually became cold outside!) Darn kids!
She's also been pushing to be able to drink the occasional cup of coffee. I drink coffee, and I have since I was small. My mom sees nothing wrong with the occasional cup of coffee for kids (especially since it's barely considered coffee once it's diluted with all the sugar and creamer!) and neither do I. David, on the other hand, is totally opposed to the idea! So, she has to work that out with him. I'm staying out of it, they both know where I stand. My experience as a parent is not better because I get to choose whether or not my kid can drink coffee, nor is her childhood affected. I'm just glad we usually agree on the big stuff and we're disagreeing on something trivial like COFFEE.
12YO has been having more stories as to the drama going on amongst her friends. Poor David told me that he's not sure he can do this three times, because we all know how girls can be! I know it's so not a big deal that 'so-and-so' doesn't like 'so-and-so' and 'so-and-so is only nice to 'so-and-so's' face when those other people are around. But, that is about the size of her world right now, so it's huge to her. I will probably spend the next few years trying to put it all in perspective for her without belitting the size of her world. Not that I'll be able to, and she's sure to hate me as much as all of her friends will hate their parents.
Isn't that why the teen years are so bloody difficult anyway?
I get to have an evening out with the girls tonight, and not the ones that have bedtimes. Actual grown-ups! This could be fun.
If anyone has any better suggestions for dealing with onion fumes, David is really curious. I think he may actually be gaining a better understand for this whole blogging thing. He did, afterall, let me take the pictures AND ask me to blog it to see if anyone had any better suggestions! So, don't let him down!!!
Have a great weekend!

November 20, 2008

Reality and the Price of Cheese

I'm starting to get that knot in my gut again.
It just seems like so much is crumbling around us. Bad things can happen to anyone. No one is immune. While I'm only talking about money now, it really seems to be able to make or break a big chunk of our lives. I have two good friends whose husbands are both out of work. Nothing they did wrong...sometimes crappy things just happen. Another good friend, who seems to have it all together and taken care of, is thinking of trying to wait tables once or twice a week just to be able to have a little more money. I was feeling like David and I were in a pretty good place financially, but it still seems like there is barely enough to cover the necessities. His workplace normally has to lay off a few guys after the holidays, until business picks up. Most of them are able to work in a different area for a little less money to fill in the gaps and are back to full time work in no time. The list of people that could be laid off is significantly larger this year. While they say that David's job is safe, we still understand that there are no guarantees.
It's funny, because we've all been so focused on the price of gasoline and how much that was affecting our lives. But, gas is under $2.00 a gallon in some places around town, yet I just paid almost 40 cents more for the same bag of cheese I bought the week before. That's a pretty big difference once you really count your pennies. I was lucky to happen upon a 24-pound Thanksgiving turkey for just over $7.00. That's probably the best deal I've ever gotten and it's a good thing because of how much more we'll probably be paying for the rest of the feast.
I'm actually a bit proud of myself for all the ways I've learned to cut corners and save money. That's a nice feeling to accompany the knot that currently resides in my stomach. We've been living so much more responisbly these days and the only thing we have to show for it is that we're a bit less strained than we would be otherwise. I guess we're still pretty lucky.
The word 'lucky' takes on a whole new meaning now, doesn't it?
It's probably going to get worse before it gets better. Before you know it, we'll all be living on Ramen noodles and washing and reusing our Ziploc bags. At least we'll have them.
In the meantime, I have a whole new appreciation for the 'free' or 'paid for' things in life. My ten-year-old Saturn Wagon has never looked prettier.

November 19, 2008

A 5YOism, Jonestown, and Bags of Crap

"Home is better than school because school doesn't have anywhere to sleep."
-5YO, November 19, 2008
5YO had that to say this morning as she was trying to convince me that she shouldn't go to school. She was in bed and asleep by 8:00 and even woke up on her own. Yet, she wasn't sure she wanted to go to school today. She was bitten by an ant yesterday on the foot and believes she is, in fact, handicapped now. She even said that! I'm assuming it was an ant because it didn't swell up like her spider bites do. She didn't even need Benadryl with this one, but is convinced that she cannot walk because of the small bite on the top of her foot.
She'll live. In the end, she decided that she really wanted to play with her friend at school and that helped move her along to get ready. I had David help her shower. He doesn't get to help her shower that often and she's nicer to him than she is to me because of this. It works when it needs too!
When will this kid be old enough to drink coffee? She SO needs it!
Did you know that yesterday was the 30-year anniversary of Jonestown? I could have been quite happy not knowing that, but David and I fell asleep in front of the television last night and a documentary about that awful day was on PBS when I woke up. Once I started watching, I couldn't turn it off. I had to watch it to the very end. I was fortunate to be able to see actual pictures and video from that very day....oh yeah, really fortunate. Thanks to the awful images in my head, I knew it was going to be very hard to get back to sleeep. I put the movie 'The Truth About Cats and Dogs' on in my bedroom and was asleep within ten minutes, sans those awful, horrible pictures that I was trying so hard to escape from.
It's so weird....I was three years old when that all took place. The same age of so many of those children that were taken before their time. I asked 12YO if she had heard of Jonestown while she was getting ready for school this morning. I explained a bit about what I'd seen and told her to ask her history teacher about it. Her eyes became wide as I described a few of the things I saw, even though I left out the parts that might really upset her. She's intrigued and wants to know more, but I warned her that she probably didn't want to know.
Ummm...yeah....I don't really have anything else to say about this.
In less important and more frivolous news, I think the television in our living room is on its last leg. We have a 60-inch big screen projection set that's about 15 years old. Apparently, they are not supposed to last that long. David got it from BIL before we'd ever met. BIL is still amazed that the stupid thing still works at all. Suddenly, the picture the tv displays is actually bigger than the screen. It's not really obvious until you notice that the top of someone's head is cut off when it shouldn't be or you can just see the edge of the station logo on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. From my estimation, we are missing about six inches of the picture all the way around. Who needs to read subtitles and credits anyhow? I can miss those for awhile.
We have a big living room. Too big, in fact. I like the big tv because I can see it from far away. I can't imagine getting one much smaller than this and I really don't look forward to paying for what we really want.
Maybe Santa will put us on his list this year....maybe I can just keep an eye on today's WOOT-OFF and find a 52-inch plasma in a Bag of Crap...
...or maybe monkeys might fly out of my butt! I've never been quick enough on the draw to actually be able to purchase a Bag of Crap, though I have come close.
Have a great day! Happy Wooting!

November 18, 2008

Homework on vacation? Please share your thoughts!

Does this kid look like she could use a little more homework?
As most of you probably know, I have a 12-year-old daughter who is in the seventh grade. Junior high.

Now, those of you who remember junior high (or middle school, as many of you may have called it!) might remember that is was a bit of a change from the hand-holding and coddling that elementary school provided most of us. The teachers have room to be a bit more eccentric or picky than those who teach younger students. I mentioned a bit about it HERE at the beginning of the school year. These kids are going to be dealing with people with all sorts of quirks for the rest of their lives and there's no time like the present to prepare them for such.

Sooooo, that being said, 12YO has a math teacher that is famous for giving homework over the vacations. All of the vacations. Now that they have a full week off for Thanksgiving, they have a homework packet to work on that week as well. I knew that was what he did and I really don't have a problem with it. Granted, we don't usually travel over the holidays, but even those who do travel should have a few minutes a day to set aside to work on homework! I mean, budgeting your time and making school is a necessary life skill, is it not?

That being said, I'm sure I would be one of those students that would be groaning and moaning about having to work on my math over a vacation. I didn't do well with the whole 'homework thing' when I was in school. 12YO is not like me in that way. She loves to learn, to study, to master the knowledge available to her. I am well aware that she is on the verge of a huge amount of hormones surging through her body and she could wake up a totally different person tomorrow, but this is how she is today.

Also, the kids who have better grades in the class will have less work over the break. His theory on that is that the kids with bad grades in his class have already HAD their vacation and need the work even more than the ones thriving. The students will be getting their homework packets tomorrow and will have two full school days before they are on their own for next week's vacation. To me, that is plenty of time to look it over and ask the teacher about whatever they don't understand. By this age, I believe the kids should be more proactive about their schoolwork when they don't understand something. I know that some are not, but it's sort of turning into a 'sink or swim' situation as far as I'm concerned. Plus, the teachers are all available through email for questions and things. 12YO has already emailed her teachers quite often and enjoys the access she has to them. Now, I'm not sure if this teacher will be checking his email over the vacation, but I'll be even more okay with the homework if he's willing to do that.

Anyhow, I received a call from a parent of another one of his students last night and she's not happy about the homework. She and another parent (she happens to be a teacher at the elementary school and the other parent happens to be the prinicpal at said elementary school!) both have students in his class and neither of them agree with the idea of homework over the break. They are calling other parents and trying to get as many to complain as possible to try to stop him from giving their kids homework next week and over the Christmas break.

I didn't want to ruffle any feathers with her, but I don't personally have a problem with homework over vacation. I'm assuming it's all review and it's nice to know that their little brains won't turn into mush with no stimulation. It's not like they will have to work on it six hours a day everyday to get it all done. I can't imagine it would be anywhere near that much work. I spoke to another parent whose daughter had this teacher last year and asked her what she thought of it. She said her daughter had about 50 math problems to work on over Christmas vacation, which is three weeks long. That doesn't seem so unreasonable to me, even though she thought it was.

So, here's my question: Do you think this teacher is being unreasonable for giving homework over the vacations? Do you think those other parents are overreacting? Do you think it should depend on the student? Am I just being too harsh for thinking it's not that big of a deal?

I WANT INPUT HERE!!! At this point, I'm choosing to not jump on the bandwagon and complain about something that will seem to work for me and my child. I'd like to hear from people, whether they agree with me or not.

Give me your best shot.

November 14, 2008

Not Necessarily the News

Has anyone else heard the story about the pregnant man? Okay, so maybe you might live under a rock or something. Barbara Walters has gotten ahold of him, so that must mean it's big news, right?
I'm not judging them for their choices. I happen to be a woman who's married to a man and that works for me. I live in a yellow house. That works for me too. I can't judge someone else (especially someone I don't even know) for who they marry as much as I can judge them for the color they paint their house.
However, I can't help but groan and roll my eyes when I see the commercial for this Barbara Walters interview with the pregnant man, who is pregnant once again, for the umpteenth time today. It's not really all that huge that someone born with female plumbing chose to change their sex but keep their girly bits and remove their breasts and....get knocked up? Women everywhere suffer from horrible infertility and go through numerous treatments and painful procedures to try to conceive. When they do, that is miraculous! That's awesome and beautiful and scary and WHY THE HELL ISN'T BARBARA WALTERS TALKING TO THEM?
Yeah, I must say that if I were to see a dude walking down the street with a giant swollen belly and a five o'clock shadow, I'd be curious. Wouldn't you? But to make it national news? Now, that's a stretch!
Well, I must sign off now. My youngest miracle left another puddle on the couch.
Potty training sucks.

November 12, 2008

Next time, I'm gonna lick it! I swear!!!

12YO is a straight-A student. We were a bit confused as to when report cards actually came out. Our district just can't seem to decide if they want to go by a semester schedule or a trimester schedule. I assumed we were on a trimester schedule, but apparently we're not. Official report cards don't come out until Christmas break. That just seems like a little too long to make 12YO wait for her cell phone. Her second progress report came home this weekend. She has straight A's.


Yes. We're a bit proud. She works her tail off and loves every minute of it. I never have to argue with her or nag her about doing her homework. She just always does it. (The dishes? Now, that's another story! But she loves her some homework!) I'm sure the other two will be exact opposites and fight me on their homework every step of the way, so I'll count my blessings with this one.

Anyhow, her phone is THIS ONE and she's a super-protective phone owner! Every time she hands it to me (which isn't all that often!) she has to yell, "Don't touch the screen!" like I'm some sort of child or something! It's actually very easy to hold onto this phone without touching the screen. Soooo...

We're in the cell phone store last night to check out their memory cards for this phone. The internal memory is so measley that you basically HAVE TO purchase a memory card for it if you ever want to use the Mp3 player. (She's 12. She SO DOES!!!)
So, we see what we need and realize we can get it cheaper somewhere else. My mom was picking up her phone there and we were just waiting for everything to go through. Just as we were about to leave, a boy from 12YO's school comes in with his mom. Before my mom knows he's there, she asks 12YO if she would take 2YO to the bathroom for us. 12YO wanted to die, from what I hear. Talking about the bathroom in front of a BOY!!! THE NERVE!!! As she was heading that way, I asked her if she wanted me to hold her phone for her.
She said, "NO!" as if I were some child with sticky hands. I teased, "Oh come on! It's not like I'm going to touch the screen!!!" She had this look of sheer embarrasment on her face. Wanting to end it on a high note, I yelled, "Next time I get your phone, I'm gonna LICK THE SCREEN! I swear!" She was already on the other side of the boy in question when I hollered that, and it was nice and loud.
I feel like I'm already reaping the rewards from this parenting gig.

November 8, 2008

Where did the rest of the week go?

I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but did you know that our school district only has thirteen days of school this month? And five of them are already behind us. They have two days off next week, one for Veteran's Day and one for a teacher inservice thing. Unlike my childhood schedule, these kids get a whole week off for Thanksgiving! The normal school month typically consisits of 20 days. Take away seven, you get thirteen. DAMN.
Like the picture? We do a 'Donuts with Dad' thing at our school every year. They take a complimentary picture and send it home with the student a few weeks later. Pictures like this make me realize just how much my younger two resemble David. The smile, everything. Except, my BIL made a comment that David looks more like he works for IPS rather than UPS here. Then again, that's a brother for ya, huh?
I'll take that as a compliment to my cooking, thankyouverymuch! Plus, he STILL looks like I could have won him in a raffle! I got me a hottie!
We are watching Tinkerbell in the shop tonight. It's too cold to have our 'Lawn Chair Theater' outside in the yard, so we're taking it inside! It should be fun. None of us have seen that movie yet and what better movie could a house full of girls watch?
5YO had her first birthday party to go to today that wasn't someone she knew from family. She met this little girl at cheer practice and plays with her during recess sometimes. The party was at the Build-a-bear workshop and she had a blast! What a great place to have a birthday party! Just 5YO and I went to the party, and that was really nice. She's the middle child and we don't get as much one-on-one time as I'd like. She was soooo good. She was even nice and calm and helpful when I stopped by Joann Fabric Store on the way home for some more yarn. Yes, I needed more yarn! I have more Christmas knitting to do! I need to finish the baby hat I'm making, then I can cast-on something else. I've finished up two hats in the last couple of days and am eager to make more. I have so many ideas spinning around in my little head and not nearly enough time to undertake them all. I actually get very little knitting time at home and knit better when I'm out of the house. I'm halfway through a baby hat that I started at the party today, so that's encouraging!
I sort of wish I had some sort of timer that I could punch on and off when I was knitting so I could see how long it actually takes me to knit something. I've never been able to knit anything from start-to-finish in one sitting, not even a dishcloth!
Well, that's my life right now! I'm sure I'll be bored when the kids are older and I have a lot more time to myself, but I can't wait to see if that really happens!

November 5, 2008

Putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it

Let's just say that this election did not turn out the way I'd hoped it would.
At least now I feel like I can voice my opinions. Democrats aren't so scary when they're happy....
My name is Leann, and I'm a Republican.
No, I don't agree with every right-wing conservative decision out there...but I can identify with most of the views and believe that they are the best for me and my family. Tomorrow, who knows? David and I agree on most of this, too.
I'm not saying that BO is a bad choice. (But I do like using his initials! *giggle*) Maybe he'll do some good. In all honesty, I don't think that any one man really has all that much power, even if his name IS on the top of our letterhead. I've said it before. Today, in fact. I don't think we can blame or credit BO for things any more than we can blame or credit GWB for where we are right now. How much power does the man in charge really have? Everyone acts as if the president really does have a giant red button on his nightstand labeled 'BOMB SOMETHING.' Someone had to agree with him on what's been happening or nothing would have ever happened in the first place. And we had a say, as a country, as to so many of those people. And I cannot help but believe that things are happening for a reason.
12YO said that she didn't want BO to win because she worked hard to get all that candy while trick-or-treating and she didn't want to have to come home and give a chunk of it to some other kid who didn't bother trick-or-treating at all....
Kids say the darndest things....