Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I've been a really good girl this year. Except for that one time when I was screaming and yelling at the children for screaming and yelling. Anyway, I'd like the following for Christmas this year:
** A $3,000 gift card to AutoBell. I know it seems like a lot, but those guys will vacuum out the van for me and I need it done at least twice a week.
** Unlimited hours to that drop-in child care center around the corner. (No explanation needed.)
** A spa visit. Just an hour will do... every week.
** Patience. I know you gave me some last year, but I totally ran out. In fact, could you double what you gave me last Christmas as that stuff was completely gone about six months ago.
** Housekeeping. Now this one's a little tricky. I need a thousand hours. However, I need it broken up into three 1 hour trips a day. Preferably after each meal to clean the floor.
** Gourmet food delivery. That's actually for me and my husband. I can handle cooking up the chicken nuggets and jelly sandwiches for the kids. But I would really like to slop up some epicurean delights with the hubby and I just don't have the time to whip it up myself.
** Clothes. I need lots and lots of clothes for the entire family as one of my new year's resolution is to no longer do laundry.
Oh yeah, one more thing,
** Peace on Earth. I know that's a tall order. And I totally understand if you can't do the whole Earth thing. But could you at least concentrate on the 3500 square feet under my roof?
Thanks Santa!! And I promise to leave out more cookies for you. I left a whole plateful last year, but I think my husband ate most of them before we went up to bed.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Check out my article titled "I Want, I Want, I Want..." and then if you like, bookmark the site and also look for us on Twitter and Facebook!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Then there are those of us who go all out. You know who you are, present company included. The Christmas Card photo must depict your little *angels*, all decked out in Holiday appropriate matchy matchy (or at least coordinating) attire, hair perfectly groomed, and just the right background setting. If you will notice, most families that attempt these photos have children under the age of 5. Why? Because parents of young children are naive, no brave, no, they have too much time on their hands (Ha!) and need to spend hours of prepping and planning for the perfect photo.
But shouldn't we want our photo to be more realistic? Why stage it with all the fluff and stuff? Because nobody wants to see my real life children. That would be a photo of three runny nose kids with crazy wake-up hair, still in their breakfast stained pajamas sitting on the floor in a big pile of messy toys. We'll just hold onto to those photos for screensavers and emails to the grandparents thank you very much.
So, as this story is going, the story behind the photo is not at all about the perfect children in the picture. It is the story of what it took to capture the image. My first attempt of this year's Christmas Card photo was at our Fall beach trip. I got all three kids up and dressed and out on the sand. After my sister-in-law and husband jumped up and down and did every trick imaginable to get the kids attention while I clicked away at my shutter approximately 400 times, I got nothing. OK, maybe one or two that might work - with lots of help from Photoshop. Ugh. I will have to try again.
So this past Tuesday, the weather forecast was sunny, not too cold, and no wind. None of the kids had runny green noses or scratches on their face. Perfect! I'll pick the boys up from preschool, change their clothes, bribe them with a trip to the park, and get this task crossed off my To Do list. It took me approximately 45 minutes to get all three kids dressed and cowlicks combed out and crust scraped off their face. We jumped in the van and drove to a nicely manicured green space in our neighborhood. Lots of room for the kids to run off and not get too bored with my "photo session." I reminded the boys about 6000 times about the trip to the park if they cooperated. Do they even know what that words means? Apparently not.
So, I get all three kids sitting on a pretty little iron bench, remind the boys, "Hands to ourselves," (never works BTW), get myself into position, and then pull out my secret weapon - wait for it - the rubber chicken. Say wha? A rubber chicken. Shh! It's this gross looking rubber chicken that makes the strangest noise - Bagaaawww - or if you squeeze it really hard - Bagaaaaawwwwww. The best part? Kids think it's hilarious. I got the tip while attending a photography session with Sandy Puc. And it works. At least for 1-3 photos. Then I learned it backfires. After I squeezed that bird about 6 times, my boys wanted it. That is when our short lived session first began to unravel.
Then they came. The landscapers. Or better described - the leaf blowers. Our neighborhood is about 1000 acres with tons of greenspaces and parks and they choose the 20 foot radius near me and the kids to blow leaves. Are you kidding me? So Princess starts crying from the noise, which then makes her nose start running. And the boys jump up and run away. Far, far, away, down the greenspace. They can't hear me yelling to come back because of all the leaf blowing noise polution. So I just decide to put my camera down for a few (count to 10 before I lose it) and let the boys roll around in the wet grass to work off some energy. When we finally regroup, I get the kids posed once again, and what's that? A lady. A curious lady and her granddaughter. Standing dead center in the background pointing at us. "That's so cute!" I see her mouth to her granddaughter. Big sigh. The thought of photoshopping out this lady and child is not appealing to me at all. So I dismiss the idea of another group shot and send the kids off to play while I bury my head in my lap. We're done.
Below are a few "Best of the Worst." These (if any) won't be making it on our 2009 cards.
"Mommy, I want to hold the chicken, now."
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Hey! Wait a minute! That's not turkey!
Would it be so hard to get both boys to look at the camera and smile? I know, you're thinking, "Hey, you should thank your lucky stars they sat still!"
I purposefully waited until their cousins wore them out running up and down the stairs, wrestling, searching for leaves, and throwing rocks in the creek!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Now she looks "oh so cute" getting around like a little Frankenstein (as she doesn't bend her knees and simply sways from her left flat foot to her right flat foot). The only difference between her and young Frank, is that rather than holding her arms straight out, she bends the right one at the elbow with her hand up in the air - as if she is carrying a phanthom purse.
Now to the Talking. Currently, she is making lots of noises, but not a single audible word. Just sounds. Weird sounds. In fact, I have dubbed her the Princess of Eghh Neghh. There must be somewhere out there an imaginary Land of Eghh Neghh's. That's the kind of stuff she says all day long. From the moment she wakes in the morning until the time she is ready to turn in, she talks to the Eghh Neghh's. In the morning, I can hear her in the nursery. She sits in her crib with Dolly, Lamby, Bunny, Bear, and Froggie and hams it up. "Eickk neck whick yock." "Gaah gaah yaah yaah." "Leck ik nyick yock."
The phonetics are quite strange. It's not a Mork from York Na-noo Na-noo kind of thing. Instead, everything ends in ck, gh, or ah. The only distiguinshible sound that anyone has been able to discern is "Keeck." Her version of "Thank you." At least she has manners about her.
Am I worried... you know... that someone may think she is a little slow? Oh to the contrary! This is a sign of true genious. How many 15 month olds have created their own language and rule over so many (I count them 8) stuffed animals?
So, with hesitation, I wish to hear just a "Mama" or "Dada." Or anything that consistently refers to the folks that care for her on a daily basis.
I know, I know. Be careful what you wish for. I've already got one that says "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" about 5, 364 times a day. And another that says, "Ma-e, Ma-e, Maaa-eeee" just under 400 times a day. Who knows, maybe soon I'll start hearing "Magh-magh, Magh-magh, Maaaaagh-maagh".
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I go to crank the van and Rerrr, Rerr, Rer as the dashboard lights slowly fade to nothing. Are you kidding me? NOT a dead battery. I jump out of the car as the boys let me know that the movie is not on. Duh! More than likely, THAT is the reason for my dead battery. I had noticed the sliding van door was open as we entered the garage. Most likely that means one of the boys had gotten in the van yesterday while we were home all day for Veteran's Day, left the door open, which lead to the quietness of my engine this morning.
Ugh! I opened the hood, grabbed my charger pack and hooked it up to the battery. Tried the starter and Rerrr, Rerrr, Rerrr. Nothing. OMG. Seriously? I grabbed the house phone and tried my next door neighbor. "Are you busy? Can you please drive over?" I frantically start moving all the stuff, no junk, ok, I admit, its just a bunch of crap out of the way, so that my neighbor can pull her car far enough into the garage for my jumper cables to reach.
She opens her hood and I am surprised by the size of her teeny little battery. Hmmm. That's odd. Oh, well. Let's get this going. I hook up red to positive, black to her frame, then red to my postive, black to my frame. We start her up, then me, and again - Rerrrr, Rerrrrrr, Rerrrrr. It's getting worse. My neighbor then says, "I think the black on mine is supposed to be hooked to the negative charge." Duh. Ladies rule. We can do this! I'm sure that's the problem. We try again, same thing. Uggh. Then she mentions that maybe it has something to do with her car being a hybrid. Hmmmm. As we stand out in the driveway discussing, we see my otherside next door neighbor out in the yard with his dog. We yell him down, explain my dilema and have him drive over. Somewhere in all this, I called my dad a few hundred times who makes sure I have connections in the right place and wonders if my starter could be loose?
While all this is drama is going on outside the van, I've got even more drama inside the van. My screaming kids, all still buckled into their seats asking "what's wrong with the movie", "why aren't we moving", "why is the car broken", "mommy can I get out now", "mommy are we going to preschool", asking my neighbor they've seen a bagillion times, "What's your name again?"
So my other neighbor pulls in, verifies with me that red is positive, black is negative, hooks up to his battery, then to mine, again n.o.t.h.i.n.g!!! What the heck??? In fact, it is getting worse!! So I politely thank a second neighbor and send them both back to their days and resolve to being at home with all three kids for another day. My dad on the otherhand, has plans to drive almost two hours to come help me, because he can't have his baby and her babies be without a motorized vehicle in the event an emergency were to arise.
"Wait" I say. You see, I have one more trick in my back pocket. Not my husband...are you kidding? He is in meetings from the time he enters his work premise until the time he leaves. And because I have emailed him way too many full size 8 MB pictures of the kids, my email and full i.p. address (so I can't make up new emails - trust me, I've tried) have been blocked so that I basically cannot call him or email him the entire work day!
My last option, is my surrogate husband - A neighbor friend, golf buddy, and co-worker of my husband. One of those "Jack of all trades, master of none" kind of guys that can rig most anything to work. So I give him a call, thinking maybe he is off work today or working from home? Turns out he is off on vacation, and currently leaving BJ's wholesale club, headed home.
While I wait, I let the kids out of the car. The boys start playing in the yard in the windy and drizzly remnants of the nor'easter that has lingered for DAYS. I then call preschool to let them know we aren't coming today (since they are more than an hour late into a 3.5 hour school day.) Just as I'm getting off the phone, Big Sticky announces that Little Sticky has pooped in his pants. Well that's just what I needed right now. And to top it all off, I'm about 2 hours past a good cup of coffee. So I get Little in the house, take his dirties off, clean him up, leave him bare bottomed as my third neighbor has now pulled up.
He opens his hood and I gasp with excitement at the size of the battery under the hood of his SUV. It's twice the size of the hybrid, and a third as large as my own. He hooks the cable to his battery with the car cranked, I walk over to my battery and ZAPP!! I squeal as sparks fly. Apparently, I crossed my positive and negative, a big no-no. Anyway, we get it hooked up, and VOILA! It works first try! Yipee! I am ecstatic! An hour and a half late, but ecstatic!
I then run upstairs, get Little some clean pants. Get all the kids back in the car as fast as my arms and legs will allow me and we are off with the movie now playing. I call preschool back to sing, "We're com-ing!" I know they will only get to stay at school for just under two hours, but their lunch is packed and two hours is just enough time to drink a suuuuper large cup of coffee, head to the tailors, and the grocery store, all without preschoolers!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
We have hardwood floors downstairs. Dirty, sticky, and scratched, hardwood floors. I started out using Swiffer Wet Jet. The product claimed to be safe for hardwoods and it came with appealing disposable pads. After going thru two bottles of the stuff, my floors started looking incredibly dull. Almost as if they had been stripped of their varnish.
So, I switched to a new product. Orange GLO Hardwood Floor 4-N-1. This stuff is awesome! Not only does it remove the sticky spilled orange juice residue but it leaves my floors quite shiny. Polished, if you will.
The only thing I didn't like about this product is it recommended using a mop head with a micro-fiber cloth. The cloths need to be laundered after using which I felt was a waste of a precious (I've got too many dirty clothes around here to be wasting a) wash cycle. I went ahead anyway and bought a couple of the cloths. I noticed after a few cleanings and subsequent runs thru the washer, they turned crunchy on me. And crunchy cloths no longer make for a nice polished floor.
Hmm. What now? I didn't want to spend more money on cloths. So, since I had a few of the Swiffer Cloths remaining, I decided to try one on with the Orange Glo. Voila! Shiny floors AND disposable cloths. The best of both worlds!
There are a few more tools in my floor cleaning gear bag. They include a broom and a dustpan (duh) and baby wipes and a pizza stone scraper. ???? No explanation needed on the broom and pan. On to the baby wipes. They are for getting up the stuff that doesn't sweep... noodles, lettuce, pop-tarts, sticky buns, you name it. And the pizza stone scraper? That's for when I miss the stuff that doesn't sweep and days later find it adhered to the floor like super glue.
Happy Mopping to you!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday night we went to a Halloween carnival at the community center at Emerald Isle. The kids got to don their costumes again and play games for candy which included bowling with a decapitated head, a cake walk, and a donut eating contest. Lots of sticky sweet fun!!
Saturday we headed home, arriving just in time to unpack the car, find our costumes in all the mess, and redress again. By now the Rocket costume was getting saggy, the Angel's tights were tattered, wings were floppy, halo was crooked, and the Dinosaur, well, actually the Dinosaur was fairing quite well. However, Big Sticky, after seeing his cousins dressed twice as pirates wanted to change his costume to a Dinosaur Pirate. Hmm. So, we added a foam swoard and voila, a Dinosaur Pirate! Roaarrrrgh!
Since we were returning from an extended family vacation, my nephews stayed over for Trick or Treating. Another neighbor came over, so we had a good group of seven ready for Trick or Treating.
It was quite funny watching the kid's different personalities come thru as they Trick or Treated. The pirates (my nephews, ages 9 & 10) would grab handfuls of candy. On the flip side, Big Sticky was a total candy snob. If he was handed a particular piece of unwanted candy, he would say "No, I don't want that one." And would reach in the bowl and make a trade. Little Sticky (Mr. Personality), seemed less interested in actually getting any candy, and more interested in greeting everyone. He would yell out "Happy HALLO-ween!" to the generous homeowners. And then would always follow with a "Tank-koon!" as he struggled to reach around his costume and put the candy in his pumpkin. Princess (dressed as an Angel) kicked back in the wagon and carefully watched everything that was going on while she gnawed on a lollipop.
The youth in our neighborhood sponsored a Haunted House. Since it was a sweltering 80 degrees, the pit-stop was a nice little break. While the mid-kids waited in line for the Haunted House, the little kids jumped in a bounce house & the adults took in some much needed food & drink .
After making our way home, my husband pried a sticky eye from the wall (an obvious trick from one house) while I ran bath water for all the kids. I'm not sure if the kids had more fun getting candy or diving thru the bubbles.
Since Saturday, the kids have been going thru their candy stash singing the "I don't like candy corn" song from Nick Jr. I'm right there with them... never been a fan of the candy corn. Oh, and to keep the kids from "suffering" from more sugars highs and crashes, I've limited them to one candy per age per day. So 4 for Big Sticky, 3 for Little, 1 for Princess. Don't worry, with this low rationing the piles and piles of candy won't be around 'til Valentine's Day. Afterall, mommy's ration is 40 pieces per day, so this stuff won't see the end of next week!
A donut eating contest. Big Sticky getting very sticky!
The only time we saw Little Sticky in full costume. The paci wasn't part of the original costume. However, it was the only way we could get him to put on the glasses without screaming.
The whole gang ready for Trick or Treating. Well, actually, we had a Wow!Wow!Wubzy! that had already escaped at this point.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
In looking at the Pumpkin Farm photos, I was surprised at how much the kids have grown in a year. I recalled our Farm excursion and remembered how the boys had lots of fun milking a pretend cow, running thru a corn maze, riding the hay ride, and picking their own pumpkins.
While we had a great time, I have to admit, I got a little impatient with Big Sticky as he kept rejecting every pumpkin we chose. I searched and searched for a pumpkin with no blemishes, the brightest orange color, perfect symmetry, yet none of them were good enough. Finally I asked, "Buddy, why don't you like any of these pumpkins?" Through his tears of frustration he said "Mommy, none of these pumpkins have faces on them!" Preschoolers are so cute!! :-)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Question 2: What household appliance would you most likely use to exfoliate your feet?
Before you ask, why would I crush Cheeze-nips or why would I use an appliance to exfoliate, work with me. The correct answer to both questions is the Dyson. You mean, Dyson the vacuum cleaner? Yes, THE vacuum cleaner. I learned yesterday while trying to vacuum a half a box of Cheeze-nips off the floor, that not only will the Dyson pulverize the Cheeze-nips into a bagillion micro pieces, it will spray those same pieces out the back of the machine and exfoliate your feet and ankles! A two for one!
And if you were by chance wondering why there was a half a box of Cheeze-nips on the floor to begin with... Little Sticky, who lives in the pantry, pulled out the box to snack on while I was trying to figure out how to light the burner to our furnace. Apparently, he pulled the foil bag out of the box and laid it on the coffee table. Princess, who was making her way around in her walker, was obviously attracted to the shiny foil substance, picked up the bag, and accidentally dumped it all over the floor. Not yet knowing that she should pick up her own mess, she instead decided to roll over and over and over the Cheeze-nips before getting stuck back behind a chair in the family room.
Hearing her cries for help and unknowing that Cheeze-nips were all over the floor, I ran to her aid and was quite surprised by the crunch, crunch, crunch, under my feet. Trust me when I say, it was a big fat yucky mess.
And in all fairness to the Cuisinart, I guess the Dyson's abilities cannot be accurately measured as the Cheeze-nips were considerably crushed before I tried to vacuum.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
And it wasn't just me. The kids needed more clothing covering their tiny little bodies. The challenge(s)? Big Sticky is tall and skinny. The new athletic pants I just bought him this weekend had a "fake" drawstring? Who makes a fake drawstring? They fell half way down his legs! Luckily I had bought him a pair of adjustable waist jeans this past Spring. I just had to find them. And then I had to actually "adjust" the waist band. Not an easy task when the clock is tick, tick, ticking as you rush to get everyone out the door.
Moving on to Little Sticky. He should be a little easier since he can wear Big Sticky's long pants from last year. I just needed to find a pair of elastic waist band pants so he can be Mr. Independent in the bathroom at preschool.
And Princess should be a total piece of cake. After all, I had just bought her some long sleeve tees and tights that I could layer with the clothes already packed into her closet. I just needed to find that Target bag. I did get the bag out of the car, right?
If I were more organized, I would have watched the 11:00 evening news, realized the change in weather, and searched high and low for appropriate clothing the night before. But NO, I waited until the 7:00 morning news and in a panic started tearing through the house searching and searching and searching for proper attire.
Adding to the chaos, we dropped my husband's car off for service last night so that it could be worked on while he was travelling for work - like 10 states away. Meaning, I had to get him to the airport as soon as the kids were dropped off.
So after finally getting all of the kids and myself appropriately dressed for the weather I got them into the van and at the last minute remembered to throw into each of their school bags a pair of long pants that will probably not fit. All by myself mind you as Sticky Daddy was responding to urgent emails on his blackberry.
As we head down the road (very late I might add), my husband who is flying to the Northeast for a three day work trip says, "I probably should have brought a jacket?"
And I was worried about the kids.
Monday, October 12, 2009
In this house, there would be no squares to spare as Princess has likened to unravelling the entire roll. What toddler hasn't squealed with excitement as they spin and spin and spin and spin (all of) the paper off that tiny little roll. Even more fun is when mommy magically transforms the empty roll into a telescope, or microphone, or a rocket ship.
So, after tiring of throwing away perfectly good tissue (and expensive, as we get the kind with added aloe and lanolin), or instead rolling it all back onto the roll, I decided I was going to show little Princess who was THE REAL BOSS around here. I did like any normal man does, and simply set the roll on top of the tissue holder. Hmm! Showed her.
Well, not exactly.
PLAN B: "Boys! We need to close BOTH lids!"
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The jewelry was mostly from the late '80s and early '90s. Pretty stuff - you probably have it too - the Shrimp Dome Ring, the San Marco Bracelet (the one that ALWAYS broke and had to be repaired), the super large Herringbone Necklace and Bracelet SET that would grab at your hairs and make you wince, a most attractive rope necklace, a Gold Coin Ring (is it all coming back to you?). I've seen all the commercials and ads in the paper about selling gold for cash. So I started researching the idea.
I had heard from Dateline or 20/20 or one of those shows to stay away from the Cash4Gold and Hotel Dealers so I immediately marked them off my list. I saw RedSwan on Rachel Ray which is a similar concept of sending in your stuff, except, you have a party at your house and you get a portion of your invitee's proceeds. That sounded attractive, but I couldn't find any reviews on it and didn't want to expose my friends to a bad deal. However, I did think it would be super cool to host an 80's throwback party and have everyone show up with way high hair, acid wash jeans, ruffled shirts (yes, they've come back minus the shoulder pads), and wearing all of their gold jewelry to sell. Fun huh?
Anyway, back to reality. So I simply started going to different local jewelry shops with my bag of stuff and my mom's bag of stuff. The first place carefully separated the pieces into 10K and 14K piles, weighed the separate piles, and then offered me $700 for my stuff and $650 for my mom's. OMG, did he say $700?? I tried to act really cool like I didn't even NEED that kind of money. I then scribbled down the total grams per karat he had weighed and the price per gram he offered me. This is important, because I learned that not all jewelry stores weigh stuff the same.
When I went to the next store, I got excited because they offered "home parties." While he was weighing my stuff, I started thinking of who I would invite to the party, what appetizers and drinks I would serve and all of that fun stuff. Then he came back with his offer. $450. Did I hear him correctly? Thanks but no thanks. Once again, I wrote down the calculations (which he rudely took from me!)
No more business with these guys!
The third place offered me $750 and I immediately took it. Interestingly though, he weighed one of my pieces with the 14K stuff instead of the 10K. This is why you should write down their weights.
A couple of additional notes:
- Call first and ask what they are paying per gram before driving all over town.
- Let them know you are getting other quotes.
- Don't bring your silver, 'cause it is currently not selling at good prices.
- They base their price solely on weight, not craftmanship.
- Some shops pay per penny-weight instead of grams.
So, I took my $750 straight to the bank. I was so excited. I haven't had this much money that I "earned" on my own since I was laid off two years ago! So what did I do with the money, you ask? I bought more clothes! :-)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Little Princess has a Big Gianourmous case of Separation Anxiety. If ever I want to please, please, please, let someone else hold her (since she is still not walking) just for five minutes, so I can rest my aging and aching back, I must sneak away. Just this past Sunday, I dropped her off in the nursery at church, crossed my fingers, said a little prayer, and whispered in her ear "If you please don't cry, we will take you and your brothers to McDonald's after church." (in case you were wondering why she would fall for that one, she is already addicted to fries.) The caregiver handed me the parent pager and off we went to "preaching" (as we call it in the South.) Two minutes into the sermon, and I hear buzzing. As I arrive at the nursery, the caregiver says to me, "She did good until she just 'come apart' on me." "Come apart" being another phrase one might only hear down here in the South.
Not only does this anxiety make it hard for anyone else to hold her, it makes it a little difficult to get her in the bed at night. In fact, my husband has not yet been able to get her down successfully. Until now, I have not let the secret of my success out of the bag. You see, without a trap door in the floor, or a hyperspace button, or training by the master Houdini, or the ability to twinkle my nose and bewitch myself out of the nursery, my husband has been amazed at how I get out unnoticed.
The trick is, I give her a bottle with 4 ounces of milk in the left hand, her paci in the right (so she has another plug when her bottle runs dry), tuck her blankie under her right arm and then - drumroll please - I crawl out. On my hands and knees. Say wha??! Yes, I must craaawwwwl out. At times I feel like a Tiger on the prowl, or a contestant on Survivor - working my way thru an obstacle course to win one for the team, or an aerobic instructor who has created a new exercise for toning the buttocks (only wish it worked).
This bedtime technique works 90% of the time. The 10% of failures are usually caused by one of my knees cracking, or my hand landing on a squeak toy, or my stomach growling, or when Princess decides she doesn't want her bottle and instead jumps up in the crib, drops her paci onto my head, and looks over the crib railing at me as if to say, "Mommy, what in the world are you doing down there?"
So there you go. Another parenting tip for you.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It started out as a group of co-workers getting together once a month for dinner. A few dropped out early on and a few were added a little later. But for the past several years it has been the same 9 friends and former co-workers getting together. Only 3 still work at the same company. So now the evening gives us a chance to keep in touch with each other.
The "Club" started out very official. We rotated homes, had a spreadsheet of who was bringing what and when, and exchanged "Ooh, that was SO good" recipes. As friends, we have been together thru marriages and new homes and divorces and remarriages and babies. LOTS of babies.
So many babies it has changed our club over the years. We no longer get together at someone's home - that would mean one of us would have to clean for a month. We no longer bring dishes - that would mean juggling food prep along with school and ball and dance.
We do however, still get together choosing a different restaurant each month. We meet for good food, great fellowship, and most importantly, a night of no picking up sippy cups thrown to the floor, OR taking a pre-schooler to the bathroom just after your meal has arrived, OR asking the waitress for another red crayon because the kids are fighting over the one, OR eating at a particular establishment just because they have chicken nuggets on the menu or arcade games in the waiting area.
Better yet, we get to lose the sweats, play dress-up for an evening, and carry that cute little bag you just bought from TJ Maxx minus the baby wipes, the extra diaper, and the cell phone you purposely left in the car so daddy can't call and ask what time you will be home.
At our latest meeting, we decided to go "family" style. No, that doesn't mean we met at Golden Corral and had huge bowls of mashed potatoes and country style steak. We decided to get together and include husbands AND children! The end result was 16 kids under the age of 7!! (Two girlfriends were not able to attend and one other child was sick.) So it would have been 20!! WOW!!
The kids had a lot of fun playing together and at the end of it all, we moms were so happy that only one band-aid was required. Our next change of venue? A girls weekend AWAY!!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Top 10 potential dangers associated with this photo:
10 - No helmets or elbow pads or knee pads.
9 - Bungee cords as tow gear.
8 - A covered swimming pool.
7 - Night-time scene lit only by the occasional flash from the camera.
6 - No brakes on the scooter.
5 - Roller blades a little too close to the grass.
4 - Non-attentive "I'm in my own little world" 4 year old behind the wheel.
3 - Mischievous "what's he gonna do next?" 3 year old riding shotgun.
2 - Imaginative "what's his next bright idea" 8 year old on the scooter.
and the number one potential danger in this scene...
1 - Fearless "hey ya'll, watch this" 10 year old on the roller blades!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The one thing that stayed constant about our afterschool television viewing, was that the Guiding Light was on from 3:00 - 4:00. Because we lived out in the country, had no "cable", and CBS was the only channel we could pick up without fuzz or speckles or wavy lines, we really had no other choice. On most days we could get ABC. NBC, however, was a trickier beast and was dependent on the weather. And just forget about anything on the UHF dial.
Like most people 30 years ago, we had a "console" TV, which was more like a piece of furniture. On top of the TV you would find a lamp, a candy dish, a plant, and this plastic box with a big round dial that resembled a compass in the middle. For those of you who were too young to remember or too city-fied to know (because you had cable), that big round dial helped you get your picture less fuzzy. You would turn the dial to the correct direction - NNW, or maybe SE, or maybe just to E, and wait for the Chi-clunk, chi-clunk, chi-clunk as the lightning rod antenna on top of your house turned to just the right spot. Bringing back memories?
Anyway, I got a little distracted. Back to the Guiding Light. My brother and I would sit and watch these characters day by day. A lot went on with their stories, but not a lot changed. People loved, they lost, they died and came back, they were born on a Tuesday, went to boarding school three weeks later, then returned in another month to run their daddy's corporation or perform brain surgery at Springfield General. My affection for the show carried over to college when I watched it along with the other soap favorites - The Young & The Restless, The Bold & The Beautiful, and As The World Turns.
So, I was very disappointed to learn that after 72 years of story-telling, the Guiding Light would end this coming Friday. "Ohhh, that's so sad!" I thought, "What a shame." So, for nostalgia purposes, I decided to use modern day technology and DVR this entire week of the show. Last night (after the kids were finally in the bed) I turned it on. I was pleasantly surprised to recognize 75% of the characters. And honestly, the story hasn't changed much. Vanessa and Billy are getting married again. Alan Spaulding is in the hospital - don't worry, I don't think it's anything serious. He didn't have an IV, or an oxygen tube, and was wearing Ralph Lauren navy pajamas. He was also sitting up in bed talking to some lady that I didn't recognize while she introduced her, er, life partner, to Alan. OK, so the story lines have changed a little bit in 20 years.
The character recognition, however, is where my pleasure ended. The show looked as if it was filmed in the producers backyard, and in a local grocery store parking lot, and in front of a run-down country club. All the while being recorded with a hand-held video camera. The actors weren't wearing the glamourous Lillie Rubin costumes from days of old. They all seemed to be sporting their own "duds." And what about the other 25% of the characters that I didn't recognize? I believe they were all high school students that had just been picked up at a nearby bus stop. Seriously. It was that bad.
As bad as it was, I will still be watching on Friday to see how this one ends.
Look everybody. It's Phillip Spaulding. He's still there, looks exactly the same, and I believe Princess is developing a quick crush on him just as her mommy did back in the 80's.
Look closely in this photo. The woman pictured is Jeanne Cooper, aka, Mrs. Chancellor from the Young and the Restless. She is 90+ years old. You should remember her, she (and her character) had an actual face lift on the Y&R. Apparently, she is making a guest appearance for Guiding Light. She's still going strong after all these years! Bless her heart!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Later (after bribing him with cookies, donuts, and Skittles), he gained his composure and we were able to capture this sweet shot.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
As I said, we have not used the lock. The boys use it all the time. It's so cute how they think they are locking me out of the room so they can secretly jump on their beds. Or how Big Sticky will "lock" Little Sticky out so he can play with the trains all by himself. Tonight, Little Sticky used it on me. I was reading Big Sticky a story before bedtime. Little (who took a late afternoon nap and was not interested in going to sleep) came in, interrupted the story only to announce that he was "going down-tairs to be wif da-ye." On the way out, he locked the door, and then slammed it shut. Just like in prison.
I kept my cool and finished reading to Big Sticky. Once he fell fast asleep I started thinking how I was going to get out. I didn't want to bang on the door or scream call out to my husband only to wake Big Sticky (and most likely Princess). I recalled predicting this scenario to my next door neighbor. I warned her that if she ever heard me yelling or saw me hanging out from the second floor window that I probably needed assistance in getting loose. But it was dark out. What were the chances that she would actually be out working in her yard? Although she does live so close that I could probably throw a HotWheel (or two) at her windows. I then remembered that I had "hidden" a wire hanger behind one the boy's headboards. Ah Ha! It was still there. I poked and poked, and poked and poked, (and cursed) and poked, and turned the hanger around six different times, and poked (and cursed) and poked a few more times before it finally popped. Whew! That was a close one. I felt a little like Andy Dufrene from Shawshank - minus the digging thru miles of stone walls, and swimming thru sewage, and the weeks in solitary confinement, the clever framing of Warden Norton, and of course the escape to a peaceful, white sand beach somewhere in Mexico.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Reasons I dress them alike.
Safety Reason #1 - It is easier to train my eyes to look for one outfit. With two boys, they will dart off in a milli-second.
Safety Reason #2 - If one were to get away, when asked "what was he wearing?", I can always show the exact outfit.
Timesaver #1 - I only have to choose one outfit in the morning.
Timesaver #2 - I only have to choose one outfit when shopping.
Copycat Rule - Little Sticky will do anything that Big Sticky does. I always dress Big Sticky first, then I do not have to worry about Little deciding he doesn't want to wear something. To keep Big Sticky from not wanting to wear what I pick out for him, I give him a choice, Red Shirt or Blue Shirt. He has yet to respond with Green Shirt.
The next question I get is, "But can't Little Sticky just wear his brother's hand me downs? It seems like you are wasting money."
Defense #2 - I buy almost all of their clothes at Target, KMart, & Wal-Mart. I also hit the sale and clearance racks at Old Navy, Children's Place, and Gap. I can buy CUTE stuff at these stores for sometimes less than consignment prices.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
As soon as I opened the dishwasher, Princess toddled over in her walker. Miss Curious needed to see what was going on. She immediately started pulling out all the colorful plastic forks and spoons. Before I could get them out of her hands, she started putting them in her mouth. When I finally pried them from her tiny little fingers, she began wailing her head off started crying. I closed the dishwasher and set off to find her an appropriate "chew toy." After searching thru the playroom, I finally found a gi-normous plastic spoon that came in an egg & spoon race game. That should keep her busy for a few (and its big enough she can't gag herself or poke her eyes out.)
Back to my task. I slide out the upper basket and start pulling out the tons of sippy cups and lids and bottles and nipples and tiny plastic bowls. While the three blue Lightning McQueen sippy cups with twist on lids look identical, they are actually ever so slightly different. If you don't get the right top with the right bottom, they will leak - everywhere. Keep this in mind the next time you are out purchasing sippy cups. Either buy enough at the same time and better your chances of them all being made from the same lot - OR - risk it and buy more later only to find out they were made in three different plants somewhere in China and have the slightest difference in the groves around the lids. While screwing and unscrewing, I am distracted by Big Sticky who has found an old Lightning McQueen push button night lite (do we have enough Lightning McQueen stuff?) that he insists needs new batteries. I reluctantly replace the 4 AA batteries. I say reluctantly only because I am sure that after running off with the night lite, he will turn it on, immediately put it down (with it still on), and forget about it. I will then find it (with the batteries now burned out), hide it, only for him, or them, to find it again later.
Back to dishes. I finally get the upper drawer unloaded and move on to the bottom when Little Sticky announces that he needs to go pee-pee on the potty. I am ecstactic to assist him as this gets me ever so closer to having only one baby in diapers. He asks for privacy on this trip (which sometimes indicates a #2) so I linger around the hallway waiting for him to finish. When I return to the bathroom, I find half the roll of unused tissue all over the floor. I guess since he can't read magazines he needs another way to occupy his time in there. So, after getting him cleaned up and the floor cleaned up, I return to... oh yeah, the dishwasher. It's been so long now I forgot what I was doing.
Forty-five minutes later, I finally get the dishwasher unloaded and all the dishes put away in their rightful spot.
Now, to reload with all the stuff that has piled up in the sink. Get your stopwatches ready...
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Er, just not yet like a human. It seems that she is a little confused and has started this new milestone on all fours. I haven't figured out where she got the idea since we don't have a dog, or a cat, or even a turtle. (which is what she looks like). She is excited though and knows that she is really doing something special (Most likely from all of the stares that she's getting).
I guess I should ditch the legwarmers for a pair of gloves.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
From the looks of this photo, one might think that Princess just danced her heart out in an audition for the toddler remake of "Flashdance."
And if you can't possibly believe that she just finished sliding across the floor like Jennifer Beals, then you MUST be thinking, "It's August, It's HUMID, my goodness, why the legwarmers??" Well, you should know that like every real Princess, my baby girl has suuuuuuper sensitive skin - just like her bigger brother, Little Sticky.
If it weren't for the legwarmers, her knees would look like, um, well her feet. See the red marks on the tops of her feet? The red blobs are from crawling on the floor. The red lines are from where mommy tried to put some adorable little pink leather slippers on her piggies to keep them from getting even redder. Apparently, the elastic in the slippers dug into her pudgy little feet causing the red lines. What's a mommy to do? I guess I'll keep slathering her with lots and lots of creams and lotions and moisturizers. Afterall, a girl's got to start primping sometime.
As for the nap? Well, she just wore her cute little self out eating lunch. I think the world would be a much happier place if we were all lucky enough to make time for siesta everyday. You think that's why little ones are oh so happy? Something to think about...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I have finally made a game of it with Big Sticky. It started out with us sitting at the craft table and we would "snip" his nail and see how far it would fly. Even though it was totally grossing me out, it worked for a short while. Now we play Snip, Snip, Tear. I make two snips on each nail and then he tears it off(you can read that as "tares" or "teers" because he is doing both at the same time). Anyway, it (kind of) works for him.
Nothing seems to work for Little Sticky. I literally have to straddle him like you would a horse with the hand that I am not cutting between my legs. This is the only way I can keep him from hitting and kicking me. Yes, I said kicking. Then there is the screaming. The decibels measured may equal that of one stranded on a deserted island, bitten by a poisonous spider, facing inevitable amputation without anesthesia or whiskey. Perhaps I should try cutting his nails next time from an interior closet... to minimize the sound to the street.
Princess on the other hand doesn't kick and scream (yet anyway.) The only problem with her is that her hands are so wet and slippery from teething, that it is not only hard to get a grip, but it is hard to tell what is nail and what is not. A friend once tipped me to place baby powder in the palm of your hand and then rake your child's fingers thru the powder. The powder gets stuck under the nail making it easier to see for cutting. This works especially good for tiny little newborns who don't have much of a nail to see. Just remember to wipe the powder off their fingers once you are finished.
Happy Clippings to you!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Note: Her lashes have not been surgically enhanced, the child is not taking Latisse (the latest craze in Hollywood), I did not tape these on, I did not use a lash curler, I did not put mascara on her, nor did I paint, darken, sharpen, or otherwise enhance these lashes using Photoshop. These are the REAL DEAL!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
20 minute Play by Play:
* Get all the kids out of the van from running errands
* I place Princess in her high chair and give her some (store brand) rice chex to snack on until I can fix her lunch.
* Big Sticky climbs into the pantry, he also wants cereal for lunch.
* I throw a Hot Dog into the microwave for Little Sticky.
* On the way to get Big Sticky a bowl, I realize Little Sticky has gone back out to the garage.
* While in the garage convincing Little Sticky that it is too hot to ride his Gator and that he needs to come in for lunch, I hear china clammering and the microwave beeping in the kitchen.
* After running back in the house I find Big Sticky on a step stool that he has taken from the hall bath and is climbing onto the counter to get his own bowl, "No, No, No" I say.
* Little Sticky has followed me back into the house, I remind him for the 1000th time that we close the door when we go in and out.
* I pull the hotdog out and start cutting it into pieces.
* Big Sticky states that he needs his milk for his cereal.
* Crunch! Upon approach to the table, I step on a piece of cereal that Princess has thrown onto the floor.
* "Mommy I want some OJ" exclaims Little Sticky.
* He opens the "plastic" drawer, pulls out, and then drops the entire stack of sippy cups. OUCH! as they land on the bone on the top of my foot.
* I start to pour Little Sticky some OJ. "NO, I want to do it!" he exclaims as he tries to pull the carton from my hands.
* I reach for the wipes to clean up the spilled OJ.
* By this time Big Sticky wants another bowl of cereal. He tries to pour it himself and surprisingly misses the bowl.
* I go into the pantry to retrieve the dust pan and small broom to clean up *all* the cereal off the floor.
* "Down, down, down" I yell at Little Sticky who has now climbed onto the coffee table with his sippy cup.
* Big Sticky reminds me he needs more milk in his bowl.
* Back to the fridge for more milk.
* Princess starts crying. She is ready for her lunch, pl-ease!!
* I mix up her oatmeal and grab her jar of peas.
* I ask Little Sticky to sit down and eat his lunch. "I don't want to eat." he claims then jumps on a push car that I had "hidden" for a consignment sale.
* Big Sticky is finished eating and jumps up to push his brother.
* Round and round they go while I feed sister.
* The joy ride ends when Little Sticky spills onto the floor and starts crying.
* I quickly put down Princess' bowl to take Little upstairs and place him in sisters jail cell to lock him up crib for a nap.
* When I come back downstairs, Princess has completely excavated her bowl, the contents now in her hair, eyelashes, and nose.
* I clean Princess, change her diaper and lie her down in the pack-n-play in the former office switched to playroom.
* I realize I haven't seen Big Sticky since I took Little Sticky upstairs. I find him in the bathroom. "Mommy, I need some privacy please." Know what that means, I'll be back to check on him shortly.
* Sister is now up and crying. Really? It hasn't been 5 minutes. I can smell why she is crying. I pull her out and change her business. Lie her back down.
* Head back to the bathroom to check on Big Sticky and make sure he is "clean."
* Walk him upstairs for "quiet time." Turn on his TV to Noggin, and get him under the covers.
* Back downstairs, I finally sit down at the island to edit some photos for a friend. Realize I forgot to put the milk back in the fridge. Crunch! I obviously missed a piece of cereal when I swept earlier.
* At least all is quiet... for the next 20-30 minutes or so... Uh-oh. Only seconds later I hear Big Sticky coming down the stairs, his easily identifiable cadence on the hardwood risers, already?
* "Mom-my, can I have some straaw-berries, pl-ease?"
Game Over, Final Score
Kids: 36, Mommy: 0
Monday, August 17, 2009
But the best products of late involve potty products. Yes. Potty products. Lightning has helped get Little Sticky to use the big boy potty by donning the #95 and his signature Lightning Bolt on Pull-ups and big boy underpants. We have made it several days now with little or no accidents. This is very important, because he has to be trained before starting pre-school in the next three weeks. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Ca-chow!
Now, if we could just work on the broccoli thing...
Little Sticky spitting blowing out his candle on his "Madagascar 2" cake. (or Madagascartoon as he calls it.)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I'm ready now for a bath and a (sigh) nap...