Friday, August 31, 2007

Is This Heaven?


I think I must have died and woken up in Heaven. After several months of my family room TV not working (except for movies), not only am I watching it...but I'm using a remote instead of a mouse and keyboard. The real issue is that my "TV's" are not TV's but really giant flat screen monitors which require their accompanying "media pc" to be working.

Daniel is what you might call a "home electronics enthusiast". What that really means is...we have mountains of computers, audio components, miles and miles of cables and wires, and nothing ever works. Sometimes things work for a few weeks, then he cracks them open and completely reconfigures them to be supposedly "better". By "better" he usually means worse. For example, even though I am thrilled to have something resembling a normal TV in the family room, it still crashes every 20 min. Then I have to push a couple of buttons on the remote to make it restart. I'm sure he'll say that he's almost done working out the bugs (I've heard that before). On the boards he visits to commiserate with other insane husbands like himself, and find new ways to break things, they have a term called WAF. Wife acceptance factor. From what I understand this involves making things user friendly enough that your wife doesn't want to kill you in your sleep. He's achieved a very low WAF over the last 12 months.

So, I am unashamedly watching too much TV today. I'm sure the novelty will wear off after a day or two and we'll return to our low intensity TV usage. Otherwise, we'll have to take a lesson from our favorite bear family.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Soothing the Savage Beast

You know you must be a reliable blogger when your mother (who lives 3 miles away) worries about you when your blog isn't updated for 24 hours. I folded a lot of laundry yesterday, and princess L was being a royal pain in the hiney.

I have been craving caramel popcorn for weeks. I finally got up the mojo to stand in the kitchen and make some yesterday. No sooner did I sit down with my bowl, when B and J showed up and asked for some. I said ok and suddenly the whole bowl disappeared into the kitchen. After a few minutes, I recovered custody of the bowl. Then, the little grouch monster climbed up on my bed and started gorging herself with handfuls of sweet caramel goodness. In her defense, she did jam a few handfuls in my mouth while she was at it. The good news is, she was much less grouchy after she was finished ravaging the popcorn bowl. I did finally get a little bit of popcorn, after everyone else was finished.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of Preschool

Why is motherhood so hard? Why can't they just stay home with me forever?

Here's a good quote for today:
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. –Elizabeth Stone

Surprisingly my delicate little J did fine going to school this morning. After her unpleasant reaction to meet the teacher, I was concerned. Daniel brought her and said that she put her things in her cubby and went right off to play. He asked her if he could leave and she said yes. I knew it was a better idea for him to take her. She feeds off of my anxiety. So, without further adieu, here are the obligatory photos...

She hates eating breakfast. So, having to do it right after waking up was her least favorite part of the morning. (I hate eating breakfast too, I know how she feels.)

That is a Tinkerbell backpack. I would put up the photo of the back, but then I'd have to photoshop her name off, since it's embroidered on the backpack. Too lazy. What you also can't see in this photo is the piece of masking tape with our phone number on it that I put on the top of her skirt (where the shirt covers), in case she gets scared and needs to call home. That was probably a touch neurotic.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Finally Did It!

Ok, those of you who know us personally have probably heard about our ongoing problem with people completely butchering our very simple last name. Their eyes play tricks on them and they add a letter which is completely not there and turn it into a man's first name. We get this all of the time. So, all through Kindergarten the lady who directs traffic for the "back car rider" line has been calling B by this name, which does not sound remotely similar to our actual last name. Ok, maybe it's similar, but I'm so sick of it that I'm dramatizing.

So, today opportunity finally struck. Now last year I rewrote our name sign 3 times writing our name first in all caps, then as a hyphenated word to illustrate the simple pronunciation. Nothing worked. As I pulled through the line today, my sign was difficult to read for some reason. I heard her start to make her usual mispronunciation, so I rolled down the window and explained in my nicest voice that she was misreading the word. I told her I had been meaning to tell her for the last year. She said, "OHHHH, now I SEE! I've got it now." Yay! Let's hope she really does. I know people mispronounce last names all the time, and I don't mind when people mispronounce our last name. No biggie. The problem is when you are adding letters that aren't there, a little kid doesn't even know you are talking to them. Please, oh please let this stick. I spent every afternoon last year feeling aggravated every time I drove through the pick up line. I know, there are bigger problems in the world. But, everyone's got pet peeves right?

First Day of First Grade


As usual B was calm and collected and happily went right into her class this morning, sat down, and started socializing with the little girl next to her. I on the other hand, hovered in the doorway and tried not to cry. I'm fairly satisfied with the class size of 20 students (the school I taught at kept the the class sizes to a max of 18, but 20 is not too bad). The room is much bigger than her Kindergarten room, so it makes the same number of children look like a lot less. I'm going to be thinking about her all day and wondering what she's doing the whole time. She's been gone 2 hours, but it feels like 6. L is napping and J is enjoying playing peacefully in her room (no one is bossing her around). You could quite literally hear a pin drop in this house. I'm finding the sound of the ceiling fans is actually catching my attention. Don't ask me what I'm going to do tomorrow when J is at preschool.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Eat the Rainbow

I've come up with a new phrase to rebut the question, "Do I have to eat this?" . "You have to eat the rainbow". Ok, I totally stole that from someone's blog, I can't remember where. So, I didn't really "come up" with it. I explained to the peas that they need to try to eat as many of the colors as possible everyday. And, candy and junk food doesn't count. I just used the argument a few minutes ago to explain why B had to eat her orange sweet potatoes before she gets dessert. It's an interesting idea, and I'm hoping to use it to introduce some new foods into their diets. They do fairly well with red, green, and blue. They do not do well with orange, yellow, or purple though. Time for some new inspiring foods.

This Sunday I am grateful for:
1. Surviving this challenging week. And having a mom nearby and a husband with a flexible schedule.
2. Getting to do some cross-generational socializing with the older ladies at church yesterday during Super Craft Saturday.
3. As always, 3 sweet peas and a patient husband. He's been enduring my grouchiness this week quite well.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Projects Mounting, HELP!

Well, I won't be able to do much with this new project until my "restricted activity" is lifted. But, we got a free desk and hutch today from a friend at church who was trying to get rid of it. B needs bedroom furniture, and we need bedroom furniture. So, I'm going to refinish this desk for B, and refinish my current nightstand to match. I'm going to put her cheap ugly white fiberboard style dresser inside her closet (so it doesn't matter that it's ugly), and probably do a padded fabric headboard for her bed (it's queen sized) once I get Daniel to cut me a piece of plywood. Now, the only question is what colors to paint them, and whether or not to modify the bottom shelf of the hutch to allow her computer monitor to fit more nicely on the desktop.

So what color(s) should I paint this furniture? Her walls are Behr Brown Tepee (sort of a light brownish tan). Here is her bedding...
As the peas were wiping them down for the move into the house, B said, "Daddy is the best power tool user I've ever seen in my entire life!" I thought that was hilarious.

Now I can look toward finding some master bedroom furniture, for a bargain of course.

More Movies

Thursday night we watched Charlotte's Web. The kids seemed to enjoy it. The funny thing is that we bought a sectional and a recliner for the family room so that our growing family would have enough room to spread out (plus we've got a Grammy & Grampy who are close). Well, let's just look at what happens when we are watching a movie on the couch...What is the point of all that couch? And why am I the only one who knows how to close drapes properly?

The Pragmatic Programmer

Someone is winning a special spot in Daddy's heart. Of course as soon as I tried to get a picture of her looking at this book, she got distracted and then I had to help her hold it to recreate the amusing scene. So picture me not in the picture. It was more funny that way, but sadly I don't have a digital camera implanted in my head.L has been spending longer and longer bits of time playing independently with her toys.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fun Links

I've been having some minor health issues the past few days and the Dr requested that I try to restrict strenuous activity. So, I've been online quite a bit, and Daniel has been home helping out with the peas. Plus, my mom has been here some. Here are some new places that I've been enjoying the past few days...

Pandora: Leslie blogged about this today and I'm totally digging it. It's like your own personal radio station. You type in some music that you like and it selects other similar music and plays it for you like a radio station that knows what you like. Since my musical tastes border on schizophrenic, it's interesting to see what it chooses for me.

A couple of fun craft blogs that I found while looking for a project for the PIF gift exchange...Creative Little Daisy and Sew, Mama, Sew! I wandered to these blogs from Craftster, which is a fun site. I did end up finding a project for the PIF gift exchange. Hopefully I'll get around to putting it together in the semi-near future (thank goodness for the 365 day rule, I'm sure it won't take me that long to get to it, but it may take a month or so)

Meet the Teacher

J had meet the teacher yesterday. She was a bit reluctant. You can see by the photo, she is not so keen on this preschool idea. I wish I could just keep her home and snuggle her for another 4 years, but I don't think that is in her best interest. So, we shall part ways for a few hours 2 days a week. Hopefully we'll both survive it.

B had meet the teacher this morning. Daniel took her, so I do not have a picture of it. We still don't really know who is in her class since only a couple of kids were there at the time that they were. It was an informal thing where you go in anytime between 8-9am. I guess we'll find out for sure on Monday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Random Comments...

1. L said 3 new words today..."paper", "uh-oh", and "puzzle". She dumped a folder out of Daniel's backpack while he was in the shower this morning and brought him some "pay-poor" (while he was in the shower). She dumped out a box full of puzzle pieces in the toy room, then looked at me and said, "uh-oh" followed shortly after by "puz-zoe".

2. B has now become obsessed with playing the card game War. Or as I like to call it..."the longest card game ever invented". I'm sure whoever invented it scrapped that name as too long and decided War was more catchy.

3. Remember when I got that awesome diaper deal at Target? Well, I accidentally bought Pampers Baby Dry, because I don't know the hierarchy of Pampers products since I always buy Huggies. Well, I've been suffering through the Baby Dry usage (yes I am dramatic, but I'm picky about certain things) and have finally gotten to the last bag today. So, I put the rest of those in our room (we have to keep diapers upstairs and downstairs), and opened a bag of Huggies for L's room. "Hallelujah", it was like angels singing when I put a nice soft, flexible, impressively absorbent Huggies diaper on her lovely little rear end, and fastened it with the nice soft tabs. I will not make the mistake of buying Pampers again. Well, I am really cheap...so maybe if they were like $2 a bag...but, I wouldn't use the Baby Dry again.

4. Yesterday I said I had heard good things about CVS brand wipes. Well, they are not as thick as the old school Huggies wipes that we used on baby B six years ago, but they are nice. Much nicer than the Kirkland brand wipes we've been buying at Costco. They smell good too.

5. One of these days I'm probably going to get sued by someone for blogging my disparaging opinions about their products.

Books on CD

Our family is addicted to books on CD. We need an intervention. Right now we are listening to Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo. The peas are loving it. Whenever I try to turn it off, like when we are pulling into our driveway, they start freaking out. "WHY DID IT STOP?! WHYYYYYYY?!"

Speaking of which...I am SO tired of spending an hour searching my house for library materials every time we need to go to the library. It's like my house eats library books and disks. When, oh when will my house be organized enough to stop eating these things? I'm guessing never, because the kids will never be able to keep the upstairs clean and organized. It is against their basic psychological makeup.

P.S. There have been somewhat new updates on Tinkerbell's blog and Princess Pea's blog, in case you are interested. They don't update very often.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Memory Lane Monday

This is going to be a picture heavy Memory Lane Monday. B was born just before the digital age struck our house, and I wanted to get some of her age 0-2 pictures scanned in. We got a digital camera from my parents just before J was born, so all of her pictures are digital. Note to self, scan in more B pictures from 12-18 months. Let me preface the pictures by saying...Yes! She does look almost exactly like her baby sister.

B's first day home from the hospital. You can't tell from this picture, but she was orange like a pumpkin.
B's 4 month portrait (I think this was 4 months, not positive)
B in the tub (approx 4 months old)
I think this was at Six Flags (in Atlanta). B approx 11 months old.
B showing her true personality at the park in Wellington FL. 12 months old.
B at the park in Wellington FL. 12 months old.
B and Daddy at the park, Wellington FL. 12 months old.
B's 1st Birthday. Disney World. Can you say spoiled? This was her 2nd Disney trip. The first one was when she was only 2 or 3 months old.
Vacuuming at Grammy/Grampy's old house in Florida. Approx 1 year old.
B and cousin C sharing a Birthday cake at Grandma A's. 2 candles for B, 3 for C
B's 2 year old portrait. I've fallen off the formal portrait wagon with J and L.

My CVS Deals of the Week

So, we've established that I am a CVS freak. I won't go into the boring story of how fabulous Extra Care Bucks are, yet again. But, I did want to post my obligatory bargain photo. I think I finally understand why people who hunt and fish take pictures of their "catch/kill". It's so satisfying.
I'm so angry that I forgot to bring with a $4/$20 purchase coupon. I usually always print one of those off when I go to CVS (if they aren't all expired). So, I spent $19 today, but would have only spent $15 if I had remembered that coupon. I also have $8 in new ECB's.

We don't drink very much soda, and I only buy it when I can get it for around 16 cents a can. I'm cheap about soda. When it's cheap, I buy around 5 boxes and they last us at least a couple of months. Also, I've heard good things about the CVS supreme brand wipes. They are supposedly nice and thick like Huggies wipes used to be.

The List:
5 Cases of Pepsi Brand soda (I prefer Coke, but there hasn't been a coke sale recently) (5/$11)
8 boxes of CVS supreme wipes ($1.99 sale plus coupon for $5 off CVS brand purchase of $15 - 8 boxes for $10.92)
4 Arm and Hammer Advance White toothpaste (.99 after sale and ECB's)
1 Mentadent toothpaste (.99 after sale and ECB's)
3 Pack of Dial ($1.99)
1 Sea Breeze Astringent (free after ECB's)
2 packs of tropical skittles for the big peas .50 each (not pictured)

I need to use my $25 gift card one of these days too. I'll probably use it next time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend/Sunday

This weekend we tried to tame the monster that is our garage. It's shameful really. The shame has been spreading into the laundry room. With an air compressor, drop cloths, paint supplies, etc in the laundry room for over a month, I just gave up and let the washer and dryer pile up with towels and clothes. It's hard to keep things clean when there is so much clutter. I couldn't even tell what was in the pile anymore. I totally lost my will to keep up with it. So, we spent most of yesterday cleaning out the horrifying mess in the garage, and installing shelves and hooks and things. We still need a lot more shelving/hooks to finish the job, but it is a vast improvement. Here are some pictures (don't judge me ;) ). I don't have an after picture of the garage, because it's not finished yet.





This Sunday I am grateful for:
1. 3 sweet peas and a husband on the same continent with us.
2. A slightly less horrifying garage.
3. Being able to open both doors to the laundry room without hitting a large air compressor and suitcases.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Car Conversation

Here is a sampling of our car conversation...
B: Mama, why can't people go down to the bottom of the ocean?
Me: Well, they can in a submersible vehicle....blah....blah...blah
B: Well, why can't they go to the way deep part in a diving suit?
Me: The pressure is too much and it will crush a person...blah...blah...blah
B: Why can fish go to the bottom of the ocean?
Me: Their bodies are built differently than people...blah...blah...blah
Then J chimed in
J: B and I were looking at fish, they breathe water in their gills and it comes out the back. I saw it on the PSYCHO-pedia!

On a side note, we got the letter about B's teacher for this year. Apparently, her new teacher just had a baby and will be out the first "few" weeks of school. Not happy about this at all! Daniel says I'm overreacting. But, this is my child's education we're talking about here. Now she's got to get used to one teacher, and then get another one a "few" weeks later. Tell me again why I don't homeschool? Why am I even bothering to send her for the first "few" weeks? (sigh). Maybe Wendy will come talk me down from the ledge on this one. If this particular teacher is really awesome, then I suppose it's worth the wait. But, what are the chances of that? I wish we could just have our Kindergarten teacher back (wink, wink)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Movie Review

Thanks to our new Netflix membership, the peas and I have been catching up on movies lately. Last night we watched The Last Mimzy. It was a bit mature for them, but overall we enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't prompted so many plot related questions from the little people. We definitely liked it better than Bridge to Terabithia. Despite the adult level plot line, it kept their interest, and was visually quite entertaining. On a scale of 5 peas, we give it 3.5.

Reunion

Daniel finally got home yesterday afternoon. He was warmly received by the peas. They even made him a crown. He fell asleep at 6:30pm last night and woke up at 4am. He worked from home until noon, then we went out together to Home Depot, Arby's, and the library. He will be going in to work tomorrow, then probably taking Monday and Tuesday off in comp time. Since he worked 24/7 the whole time he was in India.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pay It Forward

*Update: 1 spot left

I'm too lazy to type this out in my own words. I was the first one to comment on Leslie's post, therefore, I'm in the game now. So, I'm totally ripping off Leslie by quoting her post in it's entirety below...

It's the Pay it Forward Gift Exchange! (PIF) I've seen this little crafty/gifty/goodmailey idea on several blogs already. I actually tried in vain to find the source of the PIF exchange, but ended up looking at blogs in Hungarian and gave up. BUT since I was quick to comment on Kelly's blog, now I need to pay it forward, too! Here's how it works...

I will send a handmade gift to the first three (3) people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. You may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. (So, you must have a blog to participate.)

How fun! Now let's all pay it forward, give each other gifts just for the heckuvit, and comment away!

If you are one of the three, I'll contact you to get your mailing info (if I don't already have it.) If you're not one of the three, hurry and click over to the winners' blogs to see if you can make it!

Floors Are For Babies

L has decided that playing on the floor is beneath her (pun intended). She now takes her toys and climbs up to sit on chairs and couches, like a big kid.

D-day

Today is the day that Daddy comes home. Yay! I will be so glad to stop sleeping with my cell phone in my hand, and checking the locks 3 times. I'm such a wussy about being alone at night with 3 kids to protect.

I went grocery shopping this morning. It was a little busy since we are supposed to have heavy rain for the next 2 days. I'm glad Daniel is not coming home tomorrow during the storms. Not much else going on here. Hopefully, I'll have a better blog topic tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stupid Wasps

There was no Memory Lane post yesterday due to a series of frustrating circumstances. You may remember, I hired a pest control company a few months ago. Well, despite their supposedly thorough "not toxic to humans" treatment, our insect issues are not being resolved. I say, "not toxic to humans" must equal "not toxic to bugs". Granted we don't have major indoor bug issues, but we have had 3 roaches in our kitchen. That makes me completely crazy. I think they are entering through the hole where the stove vent goes into the ceiling. It is not properly sealed. Also, we have a huge wasp problem outside. We literally can't even get in and out of our front or back door. I called for a respray to solve the kitchen issue and redo the wasps. They said they were overbooked and couldn't come until next Thursday. Then, yesterday J walked outside and was instantly attacked by 3 wasps swarming the back door. She got stung twice, and was screaming her head off. After 30 minutes on the phone with the company, demanding a manager, and demanding they cancel my contract without penalty, someone is coming out today. Hmm....I thought no one was available for the next 10 days. I told them that if I have any more problems, they WILL be canceling my contract, and I WILL NOT be paying a penalty for canceling early. They are in breach of contract to me for not solving my problem and not doing requested resprays in a timely manner. Mess with me, ok. Mess with my kids and I will ruin you Preventive Pest Control!!! Grrrr.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It Should Be Illegal...

to be this cute.L using her towel that "the cousins" got her for her birthday.

Saturday Night/Sunday

The peas and I are home from church today. L has been ill for the past few days. She's been spitting up/throwing up quite a bit. She's also irritable and not sleeping well. She woke up at 1am, 2am, and 3am last night. She really needed to be in her bed for her morning nap instead of fighting with me in the hall at church.

We watched Bridge to Terabithia (Widescreen Edition) last night. It was ok. I didn't love it. It was a little too sad for small children, in my opinion. L went to bed half way through and the big girls and I finished watching it. We wish Daniel had been home. Family time isn't quite the same without him.

This Sunday I am grateful for:
1. 3 more days until Daniel comes home.
2. The prospect of getting a decent night's sleep when Daniel comes home.
3. The natural compassion that seems to be built into my children. B and J had a little spat this morning. J was crying on her bed. I tried talking to her and cheering her up, but she wasn't being cooperative. L seemed deeply disturbed by this and got her tiny little body all the way up onto J's bed, sat next to her and patted her arm. So sweet.
4. The smell of the roast cooking in the crock pot. Slow cookers were made for Sundays.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Geo Trax & Polly Pocket

The peas and I set up and played with the train set this afternoon. They never get tired of Geo Trax. I think we may get some more components soon. We've had this set for 2 or 3 years already. As you can see B has recently added a new element to playing with the train. J drives trains around the track, while B sets up an intricate storyline involving Polly Pockets and the miniature Disney Princesses (just like Polly Pocket). In this part, Ariel (aka the Little Mermaid) has fallen down on the tracks, while I might add, wearing a lovely little black cocktail dress. Just before the train hits her...B knocks the train off the elevated track into the "water" below. L is doing her part by chasing the train around and "off loading" the cargo at every opportunity. We highly recommend Geo Trax. It's a sturdy toy with a nice age range of fun. In our experience ages 1 to...30.

Friday, August 10, 2007

You Know Who You Are!

I made a new friend today called Google Reader. I was starting to get tired of checking certain blogs in my sidebar daily, when they were NEVER updated with new posts. You know who you are! It was a waste of time. Daniel tried to convince me awhile ago to do the RSS feeds on the blogs I read. I was reluctant. I didn't see that it was any more convenient than clicking on the sidebar links. Well, I was wrong. With Google Reader, it is WAY EASIER! It looks sort of like my email and just shows the blogs down the side with the number of new posts in parentheses. So, now I don't have to check the blogs of those serial offenders every day anymore. You've got to love efficiency!

P.S. My only complaint is that it doesn't work on private blogs.

Wanted...Dead or Alive

After giving me false hope that he may return early, Daniel called this morning to say that he is not. Not only is he not coming home early, but the woman who he is over there working with wants him to stay an extra 2 days. Well, that's not going to happen. But, now he's stuck there until Tuesday night as originally expected. Thanks for the false hope Daniel. Maybe you'd like to kick me now, while I'm down.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Party...My Crib...2am


The big girls had a sleepover at Grammy and Grampy's house last night. They had dinner at Chili's, and went miniature golfing. So, it was just L and I here at home. She was not happy about her sisters being gone. I think she may be coming down with something. She woke up at 2am screaming, and wouldn't go back to sleep until 4am. She rolled all around my bed and laid on top of my back like a giant barnacle for two straight hours. I'm really, really ready for Daniel to come home now.