March 30, 2009

What exactly am I getting myself into???

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It'll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Heck, I might bake (!!) something for you and mail it to you when you least expect it. I may even create something totally unbelievable and surprise you at work!! Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your note.

7. Send your mailing address via private e-mail (ruralsuburbanhousewife at gmail dot com) if you don't live close to me!

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own note to pay this forward. When you repost this, be sure to send me the link of your post!


March 28, 2009

Polar Bears, Swollen Ankles, and Chinese Buffets

My husband has all the doors and windows open right now. At 11:00 at night. I. Am. FUH-REEZING! I'm not sure if I will ever really be able to come to terms with the fact that I married a POLAR BEAR.

This week has been a real whirlwind. So, I guess it was pretty much the same as all the other ones! 6YO had her first softball game Friday evening. The girls on her team that are returning are showing more confidence and abilities, 6YO included. That being said, they still have to be reminded when to run and in which direction. I swear, softball, soccer, and any other sport that includes little ones is as much for the parents as it is the kids. It's stinking adorable and hysterical to watch the kids try to play. Just the excitement of not knowing whether or not they will remember what to do and where to go is TOTALLY worth the price of admission!
We're watching the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards right now. Technically, I guess I can say that I'm the only one watching it. 13YO and David have lost consciousnous. I just don't see how this awards show is actually for KIDS. They had the Pussycat Dolls sing a song and there were a few 'off' comments and things that I'm not sure were totally 'kid friendly.' When 'The Rock' came out wearing the same dress as Miley Cyrus, the camera went to the audience and I noticed a few of the kids looked a little more confused than they should have at a KIDS' award show.
I've gotten into a bad habit of staying up a little too late the past few nights. I was still waking up at the same time every morning and I don't nap. I've been tired, but what's new right? I was up until 1:30 last night, knowing I could sleep in a little bit this morning. And sleep in I did! 13YO was up with 3YO and 6YO, so she helped them with their cereal and all that. I remember 3YO coming in to give me a picture she colored. I remember thanking her and telling her I would be out there in just a minute. I never even opened my eyes. By the time I did, it was 11:00!!! I can't remember the last time I slept in so late! Sleeping in for me is usally about 8:00 or so on the weekends. All I can say is that I must have needed it!
And here it is, 11:30 now and I'm still awake. GO FIGURE!
I'll get to sleep soon. I just finished playing with my digital scrapbooking program. I've had it for a couple of weeks and haven't had much of a chance to really play with it. It's AWESOME!
I've been having more trouble with my ankles swelling than usual. I mean, my stupid feet and ankles ALWAYS swell, but it's been more uncomfortable than usual lately. My feet swelled up like slippers each time I was pregnant and they didn't ITCH like they do now. Maybe I'm getting eczema or something, because the skin around my ankles feels like sandpaper and I can't figure out why.
That being said, the day I stayed home and knitted and watched movies all day they didn't swell or itch at all. I guess I need to go to the doctor to find out what's going on. I need to tell him to either FIX ME or write a note for my husband and kids that I was really meant to be born into royalty and be carried around on a velvet pillow my entire life, my feet never touching the ground!
Which of those scenarios seems more plausible to you?
The days where I can actually sit down and put my feet up for any length of time are few and far between. I've been to several doctors and they've all just sort of shrugged their shoulders and offered me water pills if I kept complaining. Ever since I had my first daughter (13 years ago) I've had this problem. And it's worse than ever before now.
Okay....I'm done complaining now. The next person who should hear me whine is my doctor!
I'm sure it doesn't help that we went to the Chinese Buffet tonight for dinner. I have a love/hate relationship with places like that. My inner child loves being able to pick and choose all these odd, random things that would never constitute a meal in my house. I also feel like a child in the sense that there are signs all over the place to remind you not to waste food. When they come to clear the dirty plates, I always wish they'd tell me that I did a good job of finishing my food. I've even found myself spreading the remains around on the plate a little so it doesn't really look like I'm wasting food. (More for the kids than myself, though! As sporadic and easily distracted as I am, I can almost ALWAYS finish a meal!) All I know is that the crab meat that's covered in cheese and the stuffed mushrooms will NEVER go to waste on my plate. I'm sure all that stuff has more than its share of sodium in it. I haven't noticed a big difference in the swelling when I eat something salty, but I tend to avoid it since it certainly can't help matters.
I left that buffet feeling a bit sick, but you couldn't have have wiped that grin off my face if you'd tried. I think I had what Juno's best friend would call a 'Food Baby.' (If you haven't seen the movie. you really should!)
And now it's time to close up this house and GO TO BED. I guess I should wake up the couple of chumps that are passed out around my living room, huh? I've been trying to tidy the rooms up on my way to bed. Bodies just look like clutter!!! Seriously, it really does make it easier to start the day if I've put the shoes away and straightened up the toss pillows and such the night before. I've always known that, but it took reading it on the new blog of the awesome Crockpot Lady to make it seem simple enough. She makes it seem less daunting that a lot of the organizational gurus out there. And, it's working. SO FAR, anyway! My lack of ability to follow through on things is what I seem to be most consistent with.
But I can still finish a meal....

March 21, 2009

Running on Empty

Sometimes things get so crazy and hectic that I almost WISH I were really sick, if just for a day. What does a mom have to do to get a day off around here???

Softball season has officially started. Hold me.

We were at softball-related stuff from just after 9:00 this morning until 3:00 this afternoon. I stayed up until after 1:30 making hair bows. They just go their uniforms LAST NIGHT and had pictures today. How could I let them go without a little sumpin-sumpin purdy in their hair? I couldn't.
Therefore...I. AM. POOPED.

David stayed the night at a sleep disorder place. They were testing him for sleep apnea, because he snores like an angry bear. The snoring doesn't bother's the NOT SNORING that gets me concerned. At least I know he's BREATHING when he snores. We hope to get the results back from that really soon. I sleep like a rock either way, but it would certainly be nice to know that he can continue to breathe and might not always wake up so many times during the night. (Which I really only know because he tells me he wakes up because HEY....I'M SLEEPING!!!)
The little time I have spent on the computer has been devoted to playing with a new program. Like my picture? I had a few minutes to play and just grabbed an older picture of the girls that I love. Just knowing what I was able to do in a few minutes with no experience makes me excited to spend more time with it. It's actually a Creative Memories program...and I'm not even a scrapbooker! Then again, I could TOTALLY see myself scrapbooking on my computer! In the meantime, I plan on using this program to make cards and things.
I've been absent, to say the least, from the blogosphere. Life has a way of getting the the way like that, doesn't it? (Or, does blogging get in the way of life?) Anyhow, the week has been crazy-busy. Is there a point where it's supposed to slow down? You know, life in general? Aaaahh...just forget it. I'd probably just get bored and complain then too!
Speaking of excitement, my COMPLETELY FILTHY 3YO just came in and hopped on my lap, all the while informing me that it's starting to RAIN. The dirt on her shirt, face and arms is turning into MUD before my very eyes! David and 6YO are still out playing in the back...which means two more of my family members will be coming into my house bringing some mud. I need to get dinner going and chase after the majority of my family with a pressure washer.
Just another exciting Saturday night around here.....

March 13, 2009

Teenagers, the Mall, and the People Who Go There

I had to go to the MALL today.

Shutup! That's like the WORST place in the world to spend time at! SERIOUSLY!!!

Tomorrow is 12YO's birthday. (So, I guess as of THEN she'll be known as '13YO.' Like you hadn't figured that one out! HA!) Upon asking her what she wanted for her birthday, (why do I do these things to myself?) she told me, "ALL I WANT is something from Hollister!"


The only Hollister we have around here is in a mall. (Or, as a veeeery wise lady I know online calls it, 'THE MAUL.' I knew I liked Lisa for a reason!) I had a few errands to run and my mom was gracious enough to take 3YO for me so I could get them done more easily. (Okay, so she got something out of it too, but she's GRANDMA so EVERYBODY WINS!) I dropped 3YO by Grandma's house and to my first stop: The bank. That was done quickly and easily, which was good because my next stop would be the DREADED MAUL.

First of all, where on earth do all these people come from? It's the middle of the day and the parking lot is CROWDED. I have to drive up and down many aisles to find a spot, and not because I wouldn't settle for anything but a front spot. I didn't care. I actually prefer to park toward the back of the lot so I can make a quick getaway.

Like I said, I HATE THE MALL!!!

Okay, so I'm annoyed that there are so many people and cars there and I'm annoyed that so many of them just pull out in front of you without even looking. I'm glad that ONE OF US was paying attention, and that I hadn't actually been INSIDE the mall yet so I wasn't all shaky and tense.

Now, who of us actually GOES to the mall in the middle of the day, anyway? Bored housewives? I mean, they do have a play area....but still. I guess I just have so many things to do before I'd sit in a mall and watch my kid climb on some giant structure riddled with influenza and other various cooties. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, people! Most things are so expensive that I don't see how people can pay for them with a clear conscience. Even if you have the money, do you really need that stupid shirt that costs a hundred dollars? I mean, really?

And the people are HORRID at the mall. Not all of them, but so many of them are just wretched. They are grumpy and selfish and many of them have way more time and money than they have sense! And to be there in the middle of the day, one would either have to be a stay-at-home-mom, one who works the night shift, independently weathly people who aren't tied down to a 9-5 job, or a teenager who's ditching school.

I gotta be honest, I didn't see a lot of strollers.

Another thing I cannot handle about the mall is the SMELL. I know I tend to be a bit sensitive when it comes to perfumes and colognes and such, but that place gives me a flippin' headache! Not only does the mall, in general, reek of cheap cologne, but they strategically place these men all over the place who wear enough cologne to fumigate a small town of all their pests. I can't get that stinking smell out of my nose! I swear, my nosehairs must absorb it or something! I walked past this one guy and got dizzy for a minute. I think he has his own theories about personal hygiene and WHETHER YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY SHOWER OR RATHER JUST APPLY MORE COLOGNE. I believe this guy chose option 'B.'

Once I get in the mall, I don't actually know where Hollister is. HEY! I seriously never go there!!! So, I start at one end and am relieved when it's less than halfway down the stinkin' maul. I almost missed the store because the storefront looks more like a tiki hut or a bar than a clothing store. It's dark inside, as if it's empty. But, it's not empty at all! In fact, it's CHOCK FULL of merchandise that very few of us can afford! I walked straight to the back and had no idea where to start. On my way back to the front, I found a salesperson who greeted me immediately. She was actually very sweet and helpful. After she greeted me, this is what I said:

"Um, yeah hi. First of all, let me just tell you that I HATE the mall so I've never been here before. My daughter is turning 13 tomorrow and ALL SHE WANTS is something from 'HOLLISTER.' Unfortunately, she was cursed by being born to a CHEAP MOM. Do you have a clearance rack?"

She was more than accomodating and took me straight back to their clearance section. She pointed out all the racks and tables that were reduced and was really very gracious about it. She offered to answer any questions I had before she left me to look around. Now, their version of 'clearance' isn't exactly what I'm used to. But, it wasn't too bad. I was able to get her a few shirts. And yes, they say, "HOLLISTER" all over them.

The salesgirl was sweet, but the store was probably what it's like to drop acid in the Tiki Room at Disneyland. A bad trip. It's like a cave in there! Pitch black. They had track lighting (at least, I think that's what it was) set up and aimed at all the merchandise. You could see the merchandise, but really nothing else. Plus, the music was blaring so loudly that I couldn't hear myself think! It was all just too much, between the dark corners and the bright lights scattered around and the loud, booming music. And the SMELL. I guess I got a little used to it for the 20 or so minutes I was in there. After I left and pulled my 'finds' out of their bag to show my mom, I realized that they SMELL LIKE THE MALL. UGH! My head still hurts.

HEY...maybe the mall owns stock in Advil or something. That place certainly makes me need a couple!

Heading back through the mall was also a bit of a challenge. People tend to travel in large groups at the mall, and they all seem to want to walk shoulder-to-shoulder. I guess they think that they are 'mall pace cars' or something. No one can pass them unless they are willing to dart over a bench or around a kiosk or something.

How is it that these people seem like they have all the time in the world??? Do they have nowhere else to be???

When I was almost at the exit, I realized that it really had been a good idea to pull my knitting project out of my purse and leave it in the car. I might have been tempted to STAB SOMEONE with my DPNs.

See? The maul brings out a side in me that I really don't care for! My mind wanders in some dark, scary places. I was shaking by the time I got out of there. Partly because of my nerves, partly because I hadn't had lunch yet. I hit a drive-thru and continued my errands.
The rest of my stops were uneventful. And the voices in my head are calming down a bit now. YAY!!!
WAIT! I have a child that's turning THIRTEEN tomorrow. CRAP! I just might be seeing the last of 'uneventful' huh? That reminds me....I need more Advil...

March 10, 2009

Sparkly Shoes and Budding Photographers

Who knew that these pink, sparkly shoes would cause such a heated battle this morning? I wish I could put them on and click my heels together three times and...
6YO didn't have the best of mornings. I bought her these shoes last week. They were at Target. They had the bright orange sticker on the price tag (CLEARANCE! SCORE!!!) and they were just about the right size for 6YO. They are probably about 1/2 a size too big, but that won't take her long at all to grow into! It might seem like forever, now.
She wore them to school once last week. She came home telling me that her shoes came off a couple of times when she was running. They don't come off when she's walking and they didn't feel that loose when she was just standing there, but we can't have shoes coming off at school. NOT OKAY. Her feet just need to grow a wee bit more before I let her wear them to school again. Which brought us to this morning:
I picked her clothes out and got her up for school. She drowsily stepped into the jeans and brown turtleneck that I'd selected without issue. I'd figured she would wear her brown boots, as it might still be a bit chilly today and they will keep her nice and warm.
That's when the fight started....
Suddenly, I was the meanest mommy in the world. Having a good reason is no excuse for making her wear boots instead of her new SPARKLY HELLO KITTY SHOES. I was just doing it to make her miserable. That is my job, you know! I went ahead with my morning routine, brushing her hair and pouring her cereal, taking no time out to worry about the sobbing that ensued. Having warm feet instead of having shoes that come off of cold feet was NOT BETTER. Just ask 6YO.
David stumbled down the hall and asked what was wrong. I told him. He giggled, rolled his eyes a bit, and went about his morning stuff.
I'm sure she's over it by now.
In the meantime, take a few minutes to enjoy the shots that 3YO took with my camera. Kids are so lucky to be able to dabble in photography. I used to think photographers were the coolest people in the world because they could just take shot after shot without their mom yelling at them about wasting film...
I think that this is David's and 12YO's gloves. It's softball season, and 40% of our house is playing. We see a lot of these lying around!

3YO had to take a picture of 6YO's Barbie Learning Laptop. And her toes.

This 3YO's toy laptop. When Grandma heard that 6YO was getting one for Christmas, she had to make sure that 3YO had one too!

And, last but not least, the beloved 'Nigh-night!' This thing is dingy and will be falling apart very soon. I don't look forward to the day that she loses this thing or we have to take it away. It's hard enough to convince her to let me WASH IT once a week!
I am happy to say that my migraine has gone. THANK GOODNESS!!! I was so tired yesterday. Every time I tried to nap, the phone would ring when I was JUST ABOUT ASLEEP. Every. Single. Time. In a way, that was good. I went to bed at about 10:30 and slept like a ROCK until 7:00 this morning. I needed it. We had THIS for dinner last night and it turned out really well. Don't tell David, but I chopped up a whole container of mushrooms and a whole Italian squash reeeeeeally small and simmered them in the sauce before I put it all together. He hates it when I do that, but he didn't seem to notice last night.
For once. Sometimes I feel like I have FOUR KIDS....

March 9, 2009

This is going to be interesting...

Just so you know, I'm practically blind right now. I am in the proces of getting a migraine headache. I can't see SQUAT right now, so please forgive the typos!
It's been such a busy week. It feels good to have my eyes closed right now...and I can't see much anyway so that really works out well!
On Friday, 6YO woke up and told me that her head hurt and it felt like someone was pushing on her ear. Given her record with always having some sort of infection brewing in her ears and/or sinuses whenever she so much as points to her head, I took her to the doctor. Surprisingly, this was the first time that she has ever mentioned pressure when it wasn't actually a serious infection. I'm really glad she's becoming more sensitive to what's going on because I wasn't really comfortable with the fact that she's had her eardrum rupture without mentioning any discomfort. She did, however, have a cold. Since she's had three pretty significant infections in her ears in the past four months, we need to be careful. If she gets one more infection in the next two months, she'll probably be a candidate for getting tubes in her ears. If that happens, then fine. I'd rather her have tubes than more reasons to take antibiotics. This kid has taken antibiotics quite a few times in the past year or so. The spider bitres in August, the ear infections, and the couple of sinus infections have all been really good reasons to take them. I feel very fortunate to have a pediatrician that is very practical. She won't just give antibiotics for every little sneeze, but she will when she deems it necessary. Plus, she has given her different ones almost every time, so that she doesn't build up a resistance to a certain one. As far as that goes, I feel we are in good hands. Rgardless of that, however, I'd like to do what I can to prevent the need for as many antibiotics as possible.
Her doctor knows she has a cold right now and is pretty sure that 6YO has allergies. Through the end of April, 6YO is now to take Zyrtec and Nasonex every day. Hopefully, that will keep her sinuses and ears as clear and dry as possible through the season. After that, Dr. A feels that we will be in the clear. She doesn't really have a history of getting them in the summer, which is ironic since she spends so much time in water...but whatever!
WOW...I think I'm doing better than I expected typing without being able to see much! As much as I hated my high school typing class, I'm so grateful to that drill sergeant of a lady who taught it.
I'm pretty sure I know why I'm getting a migraine. I haven't been sleeping as much, I've been cleaning more, and my eating habits have been HORRIBLE! I need to try to cut out sugar and flour again. It's amazing how much better I felt and how the migraines basically vanished from my life. Headaches in general were rare on that diet....and I lost SO MUCH WEIGHT! That alone should be enough to make me do it....but you didn't taste that coconut cake I just learned to make!!!
There's always something, huh?
Saturday was busy. 6YO had her first softball practice at 10:00. 12YO was SUPPOSED to have her practice at 3:00, but I took her all the way out there and there was no practice. This coach isn't really good at communicating, I think! I even called on Friday to see if there was practice. I left a message. David called Saturday morning and left another one. Obviously, he didn't get back to us! He didn't even show up to Tuesday's practice, so I'm not really getting a very good vibe from this guy!
The time change has us a bit screwed up, I think. PLUS, 12YO had a ski trip to go on today. She had to be at the school by 6:30. So, guess who got up at 5:00 with her to get all the stuff together? That's RIGHT! Luckily, my neighbor offered to drive her to the school. She was going there, anyway! YAY! It's just after 10:00 now and I've already been up for 5 hours. WEIRD. I'm already showered and dressed and so is 3YO. That's good, because we need to be at the library by 11:00!
HOORAY! I CAN SEE AGAIN!!! (For now.) I took my Maxalt and I'm hoping that helps me get through the day. Well, that and a nap this afternoon! I'm sooooo gonna need a nap today!

March 3, 2009

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but did you watch 'The Bachelor' last night?

Let me start by saying that I didn't actually follow this season of 'The Bachelor.' I knew who the Bachelor was and the whole single dad schpeel because I don't live under a rock, but most of that stuff doesn't interest me. Reality TV is like a car wreck that happens over and over and that crap just gets old.
David, on the other hand, has caught the show whenever he could!
In between wrestling with our crackling and popping cable box that was about to drive us insane, David hooked the line directly to the television so he could watch 'The Bachelor.' Apparently, he and 12YO have been watching it together regularly. Where I was during all of this, who knows? I could have just been knitting or something and never realized what was on. Either way, David and 12YO had watched the show enough to pick their favorites and everything.
I wonder how many other things go on arond here that I'm completely clueless about? Then again, they say that ignorance is bliss and I'm all about bliss...
SO....we tune in last night and all watch the show together. Since I hadn't really watched the show, I had no real opinions or attachments to the characters. Being as we live in California, David asked me if I'd Google the show to find out who he'd picked. we cheated! What of it???
It only took a few clicks to find a blog about how ticked off people were that he picked Melissa, proposed to Melissa, jumped in a pool in formal wear with Melissa and his son, went on the 'After the Final Rose' and dumped Melissa only to turn around and ask Molly if he could get another chance with her.
Did you get all that?
It was even better knowing what was going to happen while I was watching it. No surprises, no real investment in the possibility of disappointment. Between telling them what was going to happen next and my snarky comments, it almost felt like we were doing our own episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000! (I love that show, by the way!) What I really want to know is:
Seriously, she had that crap PACKED ON and NOT ONE SMUDGE was visible during her limo ride/getaway from the scene. I was impressed, to say the least. She could seriously sell whatever she was wearing because I know I'd look into buying long as I didn't have to take out a second mortgage or something. We all have our limits, right?
So, a good chunk of the world has just put Jason Mesnick on 'their list.' Ten or so years from now, his son might watch some old repeats and say, "DUDE...Dad, you were an ASS!!!" Maybe not. I was reading all these angry comments during the commercial breaks and we were getting quite a few laughs. I'm sorry, but when people get pissed they are usually at their funniest! And pointing that fact out usually just gets them more pissed. (And I think I've just explained every argument David and I have ever had. WOW.)
Hmmm..if only angry people knew how funny they were!
The absolute best was that Molly kept looking around during the 'After the Final Rose' show like she was expecting to see Ashton jump out and tell her she was being 'PUNKED.' I guess we can't really blame her for just taking him back so easily...she was 'shell shocked.' I wonder if they have some sort of support group for women who have been on that show and had their heart run over by a MAC TRUCK for all the world to see.
Oh wait...they's called 'The Bachelorette!"
Anyhow, David and I ended up staying up way too late last night because we absolutely had to watch Jason Mesnick's interview with Jimmy Kimmel. That was seriously one of the funniest interviews I've ever seen! I'll just have to drink a bit more coffee to recover. I woke up feeling a bit hung over this morning and I can't figure out if it's from the sleep loss or the coconut cake that I made last night. My stomach hurts right now and I have only myself (and that cake!) to blame. I got THIS RECIPE from MY CROCKPOTTING HERO and totally intended to make this in the crock pot. But, my procrastinational skills got the better of me yesterday and I still wanted the cake soo....I just made it in the OVEN like a normal cake! ACK! I didn't have the coconut extract and I accidently bought coconut JUICE instead of coconut MILK...but it came out absolutely scrumptious! I could eat this cake every single day of my life, though I'd have to get somebody to roll me to the kitchen to get some before long.
Anyhow, I'm off to try and start my day....and grab another cup of coffee! I would love to read any comments that you might have about the car wreck so many of us stayed up to watch last night. I haven't seen such big flip-flopping since the Presidential Debates of 2008!