Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spooky Couture

Halloween is almost here! This is a picture of Princess from a year ago. Our little "Boo Bunny!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Fall is here! The boys were recently playing on my computer looking at videos of themselves. I think there are no other children more interested in themselves than my own. They love to watch themselves in video just as much as they love to look at themselves in every mirror in our home. With Halloween quickly approaching, obviously we turned to the folder from last year's Trick or Treating and our visit to a Pumpkin Farm.

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 1: What household appliance would you most likely use to crush Cheeze-nips?
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

Climate Confusion

The weather this time of the year is like a roller coaster. Take for instance the past two days. Yesterday's high was 76 and sunny. I nearly broke a sweat after a shopping trip to Walmart while loading the van with kids and bags of stuff that I don't really need. Today, completely different. High of 53 and drizzly. Not enough to really need an umbrella, but enough to make your hair a raging mess. Yesterday, I wore short sleeves, capris, and flip flops. Today, I needed more. I needed stuff that about a half a year ago I had tucked away. "Tucked" into the top of my closet, and under the guest bed, and into some bins stacked miles high in the garage.

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

Could you Spare a Square?

"Could you spare a square?" A famous line spoked by Elaine of which an entire episode of Seinfeld was written.

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

Cash for Gold

While cleaning out my closet, not figuratively, but literally. Well, actually it was figuratively related considering it is my constantly changing figure that prompted me to clean out my closet. The closet was full of pre first baby clothes, winter maternity clothes, post first baby spring and summer wear (which were BIG), spring and summer maternity from babies two and three, and fall and winter post baby two and three clothes. And sweaters. Tons of sweaters. Sweaters I hardly ever wear because I am almost always so darn HOT (literally not figuratively). And now that ruffles and straight leg pants have made it back on the scene there was a ton of out of style clothes. And then there is the accessories - shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Most of the jewelry is costume, but I came across a bag full of REAL GOLD jewelry.

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

On My Hands and Knees

Separation Anxiety: The smiling infant who would happily be passed from lap to lap at the family reunion just a few months before, now becomes visibly anxious and fretful when Mom or Dad hands her off to someone else. Until the infant develops the realization that Mom and Dad are permanent figures, known as object permanence in developmental terminology, she will continue to cry or fuss when she cannot see them.

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.