Sunday, November 16, 2008

Here I go again!

On Friday I lit a candle to remember a sweet baby girl who passed away. A friend of mine's baby was stillborn, and Friday was her due date. I know that this weekend has been really tough for the baby's parents. I did ordinary things that day, like go to the grocery store, and clean house thinking about the grieving family the whole time. Y'all know who you are and I hope you find peace this weekend.

Today was Jon's birthday party. I made the cake he wanted, and bought the party stuff in the theme he chose. We invited his friends for a sleepover. We ordered pizza and we were supposed to go bowling. We have only seen that bowling alley full on league nights, and tonight was glow bowling night. Everyone and their dog showed up and so there was no bowling for us. The boys weren't too bummed about it. They came home and played video games. They went into Jon's room and we haven't seen them much. Lots of laughing, and the occasional run for soda and pizza. I hope they're having a good time.

As a party favor I made Tshirts. I bought some iron-on letters and they told me how they wanted them, and also some little iron-on sports balls. One child wanted his name vertical, one straight across the front, the other straight across the back and Jon wanted his diagonal. Two boys wanted their shirt cuffs adorned in the balls, one wanted just one on his shirt, and Jon wanted two footballs. Each shirt was unique and they loved them. I'd no idea it would go over so big. They were quite specific with the letter and sports ball placement.

So now it is after midnight, so it's Sunday the 16th and I feel like a loser, big time since I *just* remembered that today/Saturday was my parents anniversary and I feel like a huge tool for forgetting to call them. Yes, I was busy, and yes, I sent a card, but still. Duh, me! I will call them in the morning. What's on the agenda for Sunday? Sleep. As soon as I offload the sleepover invitees, and the baby goes down for a nap, so am I! I am so very tired. I am only staying up for 20 more minutes and then I'm off to bed.

I stayed up for a while hoping the boys would settle down. I finished off and fringed one scarf, and finished off a second. Both had been languishing on my needles for awhile. Now I need to fringe the second one but I don't feel like it right now. Well that is about it. I'm so tired. Night, y'all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A few days' recap

Eh, I got sidetracked. I did attempt to make the covered wagon. No pictures were taken because I was so discouraged by the fact that the finished product did not even come close to resembling the image in my head. I baked the cake, then layered the pound cakes on top. I baked pie pastry draped over an upturned loaf pan to make it look like the cover part, and it did. Sort of. But I didn't trim down the cakes and the pound cakes stuck out the front, and the bottom layer was way too big. The donut wagon wheels were cute, but just not cutting it. I didnt even attempt the graham cracker driver's seat. My son came home and laughed at it, and on Saturday we had company come over and they couldn't tell what it was. I just had this perfect image in my head, and it fell horribly flat. No way am I taking pictures and posting my shame for all to see!

Like I said, on Saturday some friends came to visit and see our new house. We enjoyed having them. One of these days we will make it down to their neck of the woods!

On Sunday, Steve slept on the couch and watched football. This is nothing new, but he has been getting migraines lately and was feeling like crap so I didn't bust his chops for "wasting" a Sunday on the couch in front of the TV.

Steve was at the lodge for a late meeting Monday night and I took a bath. Shhh, don't tell the kids, since I tell them they must take showers since taking baths wastes water. I sneak my occasional bath in after they are asleep. I left the lights off, (because of the obnoxiously loud automatic fan) lit some scented tealights, scattered them around the bathroom and soaked away, re-reading Harry Potter.

Tuesday the kids were off school for Veteran's Day and this sparked a discussion about the military, wars and also the Holocaust. Jon hasn't heard about it in school yet, so we told him about it. We told him of the gas chambers and of six million Jewish souls exterminated. He couldn't wrap his head around hating someone for their religion, and he didn't understand hte gas chamber. He asked us why the Jewish people didn't grab a gas mask? As if any person has a random gas mask hanging around, much less a prisoner in the camps, right? We tried to explain and ended up just looking it up on the internet to show him how they slept in bunks, and weren't properly fed or clothed, how they were cold, hungry, used for slave labor, hideously maltreated and murdered. Those pictures said more than we could.

Wednesday was a short day at school, which the kids love. Yay for early dismissal!

Today is Thursday. I took the baby to one of the playgroups that we go to. She wanted nothing to do with singing songs. She was crawling all over, happily ignoring me until the leader brought out the musical instruments. Stephie loves to shake bells and rattles. She also likes to see the other babies there, even if one did use her head as a drum, bonking it with a maraca. Stephie looked puzzled until she decided it hurt and started to cry as me & the other mom raced over to help. You really can't move too fast in a room with 15 crawling babies.

So what's on my agenda? Cleaning. Some maintenance tidying for the main floor of the house, and soem continued in-depth cleaning of my front room. Jon's slumber party is in two nights, and also we have my parents coming for Christmas. The house needs to be cleaned and kept up. Tonight I am undertaking the scintillating task of making the grocery list, to include two weeks worth of food, plus party snacks for two slumber parties (Jon's *and* Katie's) and Thanksgiving. I love that I have a second fridge to thaw my turkey in! Whee!

Well I should shut up and go clean. I will keep posting regularly, I promise!

Friday, November 07, 2008

And now, today!

The PTO is hosting a Barn Bash tonight. We don't own any western wear but we are going to go. We are supposed to bring a handmade covered wagon for a wagon parade. Last night I was crabby and was NOT into trying to create a damn covered wagon. I was leafing through a catalog when lo an behold, they had a covered wagon kit, to build. Of course I coudln't order it in time but I stared at it and noticed that the covered part kind of draped like pie pastry or fondant and it came to me: Food! Make a food wagon!

So I baked a 13x9x2 for the wagon part. Pound cake will be the covered part and I draped a pie pastry over an upside down loaf pan to hold its shape and be the actual cover. I have icing set aside to cover the cake and vanilla breadsticks to be the railings. Graham crackers will be the driver's seat. And for the wheels? Donuts, held in place with extra vanilla breadsticks as axles. It won't be functional, but they said to be creative, so I was.

Time to get the baby up for lunch! Chicken and black bean tacos for dinner!

Thursday Nov 6th

Hmm, let's pretend that's what day it is. I got my blood drawn to check my cholesterol. I put the baby down for a nap. I got her up and fed her. I got the kids from school. It was cold and rainy and lousy weather. Dinner was shrimp & broccoli alfredo. The kids ate the last of the ice cream sandwiches. Last night I made Jon's birthday invitations. He likes them. Katie is excited for me to make hers. That's about it. :-)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I got my flu shot today

I told the nurse that I am a huge needle baby and so she was smacking me on the arm to desensitize my nerves, kind of like my dentist does by flapping my lips or cheeks when he is shooting me up with Novocain. Sending too many confusing messages from the nerves to the brain, so it hurts less. Or something. So I got my flu shot. Stephie has had hers, and the older kids are getting theirs with their well child visits in a few weeks.

Tomorrow I get my blood drawn to check my cholesterol. I had it checked ten years ago, so I guess I am due. I am trying to cut back/eliminate caffeine, so I am off soda again. You know it is one thing if I have a soda on the occasional trip out, but I was sucking down the Pepsi at home. Talk about a waste of money, too! Water is free and I have reuseable water bottles, so I've no excuse. In just 24 hours of no soda, I have ankles again. Yay for less water retention!

Now, onto the election. My kids were rooting for different candidates. Katie wanted McCain, since he was in the Navy like Steve is. Jon wanted Obama like the majority of his classmates. The new president was declared so much sooner than I expected--I thought the results would take hours and hours to come in, but no, at 11PM it was all over. I went to check on the kids, turn off lights, cover them up (yes I still do it) and of course, they popped their little eyes open. Jon was happy, and Katie was most certainly not. It was funny to watch.

I had previously told the kids that no matter who was elected, we would be making history. If Obama and Biden won, we would have our first black president, and if McCain and Palin were elected, we would have the oldest President as well as the first female VP. I told them it was exciting to be old enough to remember living through history as it was being made. Katie was interested but Jon was not. He said he has had too much election overload. Two years, little man. We've all had enough campaigning and we are all glad it is over!

Tomorrow after my blood draw, the baby and I go to playgroup. Yay! We go to two, and the other one was canceled so we have missed going and playing with friends.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A quick post before bed

OK, it is after midnight, so here is a quick post for today. Lately I have been watching shows on BBC America, like How Clean Is Your House? It has a pair of ladies who know everything about cleaning. I watch and see some positively filthy houses. Dens of squalor, I tell you. It makes me feel better about my clutter. At least it is clean clutter. Just a lot of stuff, not unwashed items or rotting food trash all over, with a house that crawls with pests and smells awful.

These ladies also know tricks with everyday kitchen items to clean the house. They use the phrase "cheap and cheerful." For instance one house was infested with flies because of hte state of the rotting food trash. She said there was no reason to buy fly strips--and then she took painters tape (for easy removal from the window where she hung it) and painted it with a thin coating of honey. Then she stuck the long strip of tape on a windowpane. She said the flies would be attracted to the honey and then get stuck. They checked a short while later and then strip of honey tape had six flies on it.

They also said once to stop buying your trash, meaning quit buying expensive, chemical laden products with tons of packaging that you just end up throwing away. They use housey things like lemon juice, plain salt, warm water, dish liquid, plain white vinegar and sometimes household borax, and something called "biological washing powder." I have to look that up. They make cleaning even nasty filth seem so easy.

It has inspired me to do the small jobs that are most likely to get put off for later, washing walls, scrubbing out trash cans, scrubbing baseboards, dusting all over. It has opened my eyes to the fact that dust accumulates all over.

About the buying your trash thing, though, I am torn. I'd love to spend less money on household cleaners. I'd love to use less harsh chemicals around my home and family. However I love the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Wand with its disposable scrubby heads. I despise using a traditional germ-ridden toilet brush, and keeping it in its drippy holder, in my bathroom. What a nasty eyesore. I love the toilet wand so very much, and now, I love the toilet gel they make. You press a dollop of the goo under the rim on an already cleaned toilet, and it keeps it clean for a week, and smelling fresh. Love it, love it, love it. I am conflicted about the trash & chemicals versus ease, convenience and being more sanitary though.

I should go to sleep now. I have a bit more cleaning to do in the morning and I need to get up early. I am watching Young Bess, though, and it is intriguing. I'm recording it, so I can watch it later.

Monday, November 03, 2008

And now, today.

I woke up on time, got the kids off to school and settled in for a phone session that left me spent. I have such a headache.

I had to call to get the baby an appointment at the eye doctor for her annual check for ROP. Then I had to call the ped to get the referral sent over. I left a message for a potential therapist for Jon. I called my health clinic so I can actually go and get in their system, get a doctor and perhaps a flu shot. I called my insurance company only to find out they do not cover something I want them to cover. Buttheads. I have been on the phone with WIC, and will be again soon. For the last place I was supposed to call, I am opting to email rather than call them. I have been leaving messages, getting callbacks and playing phone tag and I am just exhausted.

Everything is mostly sorted out but ugh. I'm tired. I also put dinner in the crock pot. I am serving chicken in a creamy sauce over either pasta or mashed potatoes. Side of sugar snap peas, which shockingly, everyone ate the last time I served them, and did not complain.

I washed dishes and cleared the kitchen counters while I was on the phone, now I just need to wash the floors. I have to tidy the main floor since Stephie's eval is tomorrow for her Early Intervention services. It is also Election Day, as well as parent-teacher conference day at Katie's school. Then, Steve goes out of town tomorrow afternoon for three or four days. Busy busy, busy.

I have my doctor appointment on Wednesday, early since it is early dismissal day. Fun, fun, fun.

I refilled my birdfeeders yesterday because there is a huge flock of about a hundred tiny brown birds that come around if there is food. They hide in the bushes near the feeders and pop out, taking turns to eat. There is also a beautiful male blue jay who is a lazy little man. He sits on the ground and eats what they brown birds drop. He is also a loudmouth bird, screeching at the two squirrels who think it is a good idea to eat the pickin's from the ground also. He is all bluff though, since the two fat squirrels ignore him and scurry over. Then he backs away, complaining noisily. Oddly, all of this did not make my headache worse. :-) They are cute to watch.


I forgot day two. Oh well, I'll do two posts today.

My dream last night was so weird. I dreamt that our neighbors had a candy apple red station wagon. (They don't.) And while I was watching, it sank into the ground because all of a sudden we were living on houses built over a swamp???

Inside our house, which had a banquet room, we were hosting a dinner for Steve and his coworkers, and during the dinner he was told he had been promoted. I can still see his face because with this promotion came more responsibility and he is already stressed as it is.

I went over and told him, "Congratulations on your promotion" in a breathy, Marilyn Monroe-style voice. Then I told him that the neighbor's car sank and the swamp water was oozing through our walls. Our house ws next. He had to break up the party while I packed the car.

I ran to the other parts of the house, grabbing stuff to take. The kids, the dogs, some clothes, etc. I kept running back and forth. I was exhausted when I woke up.

The dream kind of broke up oddly. Our house was starting to sink slowly, but not as a whole. Just one corner, one side. The wall disintegrated. It was kind of crumbled like a soggy cookie to reveal our backyard. The carpet was getting wet also, and more of the house was going to sink, and that was when we got out of there. Then I woke up.

I think the whole sinking house thing was because I was looking at, at their "the big picture" feature and it showed before and afters of this city in Yemen whose houses were washed away and crumbled due to storms and flooding. They were tall buildings, not just huts, but they were just turned into goo because they were made of mud bricks. Just add (too much) water, and the whole city was demolished.

Odd dream.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


So I am doing NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month. Try to write a 50,000 word (minimum)novel in a month. An average of 1,667 words a day. I tried in 2006 and failed, and was too busy last year. I tried NaBloPoMo last year, and almost got it. It stands for National BlogPost(a-Day)Month. Try to do a blog post per day. This year I am trying to do both and since I wrote my quota for today in NaNo, here my requirement for NaBlo.

So we had a nice Halloween. Jon was a Lego Bionicle, Katie was a devil and Stephie was a baby duck. The dogs wore hot dog suits. I was a Rubik's cube. I decorated the outside of the house with spiderwebs and we passed out some candy before going out ourselves.

Now we are moving toward Thanksgiving, and the kids' birthdays. Jon wants a sleepover and a Lego brick cake--I have a cake mold to do this. Katie changes her mind daily. Today's event is bowling. I can round up a few girls and take them bowling, no problem! I can even make her a bowling pin and bowling ball cake! Hee!

All the leaves fell off my tree and I need to refill my bird feeders. I also have to knit a minimum of 5 rows per day on this one project and I can finish it in 18 days, but I didn't do any rows yesterday and I've only done 2 for today so I better sign off. I have to catch up on 8 rows! TTYTomorrow!