Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter praises and flu phases

It has been a less than ideal Easter, but what is an ideal Easter? I'm sure any third day, regardless of the weather, was fine with Jesus to get up out of the tomb and see His people. So who am I to complain about a gloomy, rainy Easter? Well, friends, I am going to have a tiny pity party and then wrap it up with some sort of revelation I hope will come to me during the writing process. G started coughing Thursday night. S started coughing Friday night. The hub started coughing some Friday, but reached a noticeable yuck state by Saturday morning. G was told by the Take Care clinic that she had a cold. I wasn't convinced. The hub wouldn't go to the doc on Saturday, against my begging, so he woke up extra crappy this morning. I woke up the kids for the traditional Easter pics, heard G's cough and her daddy's cough and realized they would not be coming to church today. So mean mother that I am, I asked the kids to get into their Easter finery and had the hub take pictures while I left for work. He dropped S and the boy off and he and G went home to bed. After a very frustrating work day, which I won't bore you with, I came home to hungry, whiney people. The hub got an appointment to be seen by the doctor. After our meal, he left and we rested, or attempted to rest. Then the hub sent a text that he had tested positive for the flu. Excellent. The rest of the afternoon just followed the suit of that diagnosis.

Wah, wah, wah. Woe is me. Life can always be so much worse than it is. To throw out any "why me's" is to really thumb my nose at the one who sacrificed the most for me. And if you want to remove religion out of the whole conversation for a minute, there are so many others suffering in silence or suffering much more unsettling circumstances that three sick kids and a husband with the flu. Shame on me for thinking I am so important. Rain or shine, sick or well, what a beautiful morning indeed to wake up and know life changed on the third day. What a beautiful morning....

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday blahs all around

My last words to the kids, well second to last words, were, "Sleep in as long as you can. You need to sleep these colds away." Then I told them I loved them and then they went to sleep. This they chose to take to heart. THe boy woke up at 8, G at 9:20 and S at 9:50. When the hub went to wake her up, okay really check and see if she was still breathing, she said, "I'd like to finish my dream first." That has never worked for me, but more power to her if she can pull it off. She said it worked. After breakfast, well brunch, the kids went to enjoy a day of sloth. So sad for them. When I saw the state of their closet and blew a day before Easter gasket, the happy lazy day vibe was gone. Threats were leveled and the boy and I left the house. He needed an emotional break from the drama and I needed to not be a homicidal mother. Upon our return from Target , or as I'd like to call it the "Land of Crazed Bunny Busters", we found contrite girls and an exhausted dad. What a perfect time, then, to dye eggs. The kids grabbed the crayons and I got the dye. We didn't want to freeze outside, so we put newspapers out and decorated inthe floor:

They turned out nice. We seemed to have a lot of mustachioed eggs this year. Must be a new thing.

As the kids were getting ready for bed, the excitement was palpable. Sure, visits from a bunny are exciting. They are kids and enjoy that excitement. But all of them expressed excitement about hearing all the music and seeing the butterflies released and the general celebration of what Easter means to us. Sunday's almost here, friends. Sunday's almost here.
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday TB ward

Well, the aftermath of enjoying fuzzy, slobbery exotic animals is upon us. One child went to bed last night coughing. One went to bed at a sleepover, so I don't know how she was. The boy has coughed for two weeks, so naturally he was coughing. G woke up did the boy. S came home from her sleepover...the hub woke up coughing. We sound like a southern TB ward, nestled safely in the comforting atmosphere of a neighborhood. Because S is waiting on allergy testing, the doctor kindly provided us with a list of all the medicines that are no-no's before testing. Let's just say that there were at least 63 medicines she could not take. Motrin and Tylenol were basically it. Well and vapo-rub for her feet. Should be an interesting night tonight. I gave all of them instructions before bed to sleep in as long as they could. If they woke up and debated about going back to sleep, they were told to turn over and go back to sleep. We'll see.

G and I attended our Good Friday tenebrae service this evening. She had been asked to assist the pastors in the stripping of the altar. Her role was to carry out the Bible that was almost as big as she was. She took her job very seriously. This is the first year she really followed along in the Bible with the readings, showing shock at Peter's actions, hurt at what people did to Jesus. The look of disbelief in her eyes was heart wrenching. It seemed she was understanding just exactly what happened...and for the very first time. As a grown up, I can't hardly wrap my head around it all. As a mother, I think of Mary. Her knowledge of her son's fate...her instincts as a mother to fight every bit of what was happening. I cannot imagine....

As a user of social media(Twitter), I have already seen the jokes and warnings from those who fear or live in disbelief. A mother of one of the kids' classmates keeps putting up tweets about decorating eggs even though they don't celebrate "zombie Jesus day" and making fun of the "barrage of 'He is risen' announcements" she is going to have to endure. I have no right to judge anyone. It is a big enough job taking care of myself. It does make me sad to read those things when I have such a different perspective. I just pray for her and that is all I can do.

For now, I sit and wait in anticipation of the Resurrection. I look forward to hearing the Easter hymns and singing at the top of my lungs. Hopefully all the sick lungs in my house will be healed and ready to sing their loudest as well.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mutual of Omaha's...okay, safari time again

Seeming to be a Spring break and Summer break and relatives in to visit kind of tradition, we took the children and found ourselves at the Briarwood Safari again today. It never ceases to amaze me to see these animals that I have seen on the Wild Kingdom and other shows just walking right up to be us. I was a bit disappointed that our timing was off with the bison and they were never where our wagon was on the trip. We fed them through the fence instead. For whatever reason, the elk loved S. All she has to do is sit there and they flock. You get the image of Snow White with all the birds landing on her hands and head and shoulders. S gets the slobbery elk right in her ear:

They have lost their antlers and are currently in the season of growing them back. Fred Two Feathers said the antlers will grow an inch a day. They are so fuzzy and soft. I think that was Dakota who was loving our girl. I'll take an elk over crazy eyes any time:

Those darn ostriches are a bit demonic looking. Loose cannons, I tell ya. The trip finished up with seeing baby fainting goats and a two day old Four Horned Sheep. Cutest thing ever. Looked like a stuffed toy. The boy has a bit to learn, even on his fourth trip there, about how to call animals over. He kept yelling, "Come to daddy! Come to daddy!". Oh my.

Well, as I have said before, if you need a neat place to visit and get an education go to Briarwood. It is our family's favorite special luxury daytrip. I'll leave you with my favorite picture of the day:

Everybody needs a water buffalo. How can you not love that face?
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mother of the year...infinity

With the week of ill children last week and Spring Break this week, my during the week presence at work has been a bit light. Luckily, a phone and a computer connected me to the outside world and allowed me to get my hours in and get things done. But today I had to get in that office and get some things done. The only problem was that I had three young people with me who make things a bit difficult when it comes to concentrating on, well, anything. Luckily, the boss lady was there and had many tasks to keep them busy for a long time. You'd think that would be all I needed for some peace and quiet, but I was so very wrong. Even when kept busy with lots of fun stuff, fights still manage to break out. "She won't let me do anything." "SHE keeps hitting me and stomping on my feet." "He keeps talking in that weird language he made up." After the fourth interruption from a girl, I gave up and accompanied said child on her journey as she did chores for my boss. Most of them she could do by herself, but one was in a far enough part of the church that I felt the need to supervise. In a church of our size, well a church of any size, growth is a great thing. Who doesn't want to have a growing church? But with growth there are pains and our church has had to deal with a few minor blips along the way. Some of the Sunday school classes have experienced a fruit basket turnover of sorts, sending classes from one side of the building to another. While all the classes were given a generous amount of consideration as to how the move would effect their members, change is hard and the older we get the harder it is to adapt to change. One of the older classes moved from one end of the building to another. Even though there was a great amount of grieving involved in the move, the class did it and are realizing that the closer parking and newer classroom may not be as bad as all that. Our children's worship closet is in that room and G had been charged with taking items down to be place in that closet...located in the newly occupied classroom. She placed the items in the closet and then decided to read the class announcements on the whiteboard to see what they were planning. I was checking an email on my phone and heard her say, "What on Earth do they do in this class?". When I looked up at her, she was pointing to a list on the board. Decipher it if you dare:

Can anyone tell me what the last line means? Do I really want to know? I now know the reason they were reluctant to move from their previous location. The old room could hide their strange plans. I don admit that I told one of the pastors I just wanted to hide behind a tree a watch the show that would be attached to that list. Anybody want to join me? Yeah, I didn't think so. I'll add it to the list of weird things I found at work....
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sad soccer-less girl

Okay, so the yucky stuff out of the way first. Went to the allergist and sae a NP we have never seen before. Nice enough lady, but you get used to certain people, you know? The boy has been going to that office since he was 2.5, so we have our favorites. Anyhoo, the NP said we have to bring the girl back in two weeks to have the superdy duper allergy testing. They need her to get all the antihistamines out of her body and some of the histamines to build back up. I find all of it very confusing, but I didn't get the medical degree and she did. S asked a question and regretted it the moment it came out of her mouth. "Can I still play soccer while I am waiting to come back?". We all know the answer to that question. Since she is at risk to inhale the same irritant again, she got a big, fat "no". Luckily, she'll only miss one game seeing as how we are off this weekend for Easter. I know lots of people have their issues with soccer. I get it. Lots of parents are anti soccer for all the reasons we see on TV every day. They push their kids too much and expect the sport to turn into college scholarships for their now 5 year old. We told our children they could have one sport for now. They need to be kids and have a life outside of practices. S lives and breathes soccer. She is a student of the game, lover of the strategy, competitor at heart. She lives and breathes the sport. I like to kick the ball hard and keep it out of the goal. This is where the two of us differ. Because of all these things, we are in for a long two weeks.

The two youngest went with me to do a little birthday shopping for a relative and a little sale shopping for next year. The Gap was a lively place to be this morning. Normally it is too rich for my blood although I love their clothes. Today I found a few clothes for the boy and got yet another chance to teach the children about staring at people who have put themsleves in odd situations. Mainly I am speaking of the robust woman, and I am not a small person myself, who walked into the store with a good three inches of where the good Lord split her showing. Ironically, they were looking at belts for their baby girl. I thought G would break her neck from turning her head away so quickly. But she followed one of the big rules of "Do not stare at people". Oh well. It all worked out. The boy is getting a Who t-shirt. No self-respecting fan can allow her son to go without one. Problem solved. Tomorrow holds work and a little Easter prep. Thursday and Friday will involve church as the girls will be participating in the services. S will be singing with choir on Thursday and G will be helping with the removal of the paraments on Friday. It's Tuesday...but Sunday's comin'.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Spring Break...I think....

We have needed Spring Break for a good while now. The kids have just been tired. Just worn out, you know? So we had many plans, nothing big, but plans for fun little things here and there. Maybe the zoo, another Tennessee safari trip. Nothing extravangant. Then I woke up this morning and looked out to find this white stuff on the ground. Not lots, but enough to make things messy and possibly construct a foot tall snowman. Maybe. If it had been a little colder, the snow could have been more significant. Those were some pretty good sized flakes. So our plans turned from zoo into pancakes and a trip to church and Target. The pancakes were tasty and the Target trip got a copy of Wreck It Ralph which helped occupy the cruddy afternoon. My children got very excited about finding a One Direction toothbrush that plays while you brush. S said, "Those are the best toothbrushes. When you brush, you can hear the music in your mind." I think some of the steroids are still in her bloodstream. Uh, cuckoo. That is pretty much how the rest of the day went. Child makes an out of left field comment and then the others fall into a puddle of hysterics. I spent most of the afternoon shaking my head and smirking. Hopefully the day will be a little less cruddy tomorrow. One of the girls' friends sent a message from Florida. "It is 90 degrees and we are swimming!". Yeah, but did they have trips to Target to buy Charmin? Jealous yet? We have a good three hours to spend at the allergist's office tomorrow, so things are a lookin' up. With an ipad, youTube and Gordie Tapp(look him up), we'll be set. "I searched the world over and though I'd found true love. You met another and pfft you were gone."

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Forcing Hee Haw on my children

Sunday numero dos for watching Hee Haw, only this time the kids watched with me. Let me say up front, watching it fresh after watching ParaNorman was probably not the best move. Season one of Hee Haw, circa 1969, compared to stop motion animation funy kids movie...insert sad trombone music here. Their first comment was, "Why is that doctor smoking a cigar?". I tried to tell them to look beyond the cigar and listen to the funny songs. I did get a smile after this one:

They liked the "Psssfffttt you was gone...". I know that a large majority of my three readers are carefully considering dropping this blog as reading material. I come from country redneck stock, I love it.

It was a nice, lighthearted ending to a pretty okay day. The kids and I went for the "tomb emptyinhis afternoon after church. Every Lent, our church does "Kids Cans for Christ". The church sets a goal to collect cans for the Fountain CIty Ministry Center, which provides food bags and other services for needy families in our area. In the narthex of our church, there are some small alcoves. A "tomb" fron has been constructed out of 2x4's, burlap and other materials. Each Sunday, the children take a wagon around the church and collect the cans that have been placed in the collection boxes. They then deliver the cans and place them in the tomb. Each Palm Sunday, we empty the tomb of cans and deliver them. Easter Sunday arrives, families arrive to find the tomb empty. The cans have gone to their destination to do their job. This year is the second year it has been made into a bit of a competition, with the winning Sunday School class getting a class trophy for the most items donated. Our church goal this year was 3,000 cans. Our small group packed and delivered cans for two hours, but we felt so happy about all the families who would be benefitting from the cans.

So Hosanna, can collection and Hee Haw. I'd call that a well-rounded day.
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lots of questions and a dopey kid

First off, let me apologize for the weird state of last night's entry. I was writing it on my iphone and it made strange symbols between sentences. I could not see those on the tiny little screen. When I become a bit more lucid, I will carefully try to remove all of those.

Today was just kind of foggy and odd. We got up 7ish, which was way too early seeing as how I think I went to sleep at 2:30. The hub got G and F ready for a morning of soccer and I got S an appointment at the pediatrician's office. We were greeted by our favorite nurse and the doctor, who we rarely get to see anymore. She basically said we need to carry the epi pen around for the next 6-9months and make an appointment with the allergist first thing Monday morning. While she didn't see S in her distressed state last night, she has to believe that an allergic reaction was present, but she also felt that panic and anxiety from breathing distress probably didn't help. The whole situation is just terrifying to me because we have no idea what caused this severe episode. None whatsoever. So, when will it happen again? Will we be there to help her? We've been told the reaction will be more severe next time. Today finds her dopey from the Benadryl she takes for being so itchy and angry and short tempered from the steroids she is taking to help swelling to stop. What a mess! I will say that in the midst of all the worry and fear, that child was cracking us up. She got so tickled about the weirdest things, was sure a fire sprinkler on the ceiling was a unicorn and yelled out a request to Pastor Melissa to please bring her some milk. She was conversing with her popsicle and calling the throw up dish a "wiener bowl". It was bizarre, but it broke the tension a little.

I just ask for your prayers as we investigate this mystery and attempt to solve it. Prayers for S that she can not be so fearful. Watching a DVD about how to inject oneself with an epi pen is a bit unnerving. She is scared that last night will repeat itself an no one can help her. Typical 11 year old worries.

Just know that if you ever spend time with her in the hospital when she's been medicated, bring some popcorn. You'll be in for a show. I'll be passed out in the corner from stress and shock.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Scary night

So, I was at dinner learning some interesting information from a friend when the hub calls to say S is having trouble breathing.  Thinking she was having asthma attack, which she has never had, he contemplated taking her to the ER.  She started calming down a bit, so he chose to wait.  My phone was acting up and I was in a loud place, so I did not hear the two calls he placed.  When I looked, he had called twice and texted three times.  They were headed to the ER and so we headed there as well. When I arrived, the hub was carrying her to a triage room and she was crying and coughing and looking rough.  The doc came in, along with three other people, and started looking down her throat.  They immediately gave her meds to open her throat back up and a breathing treatment to help her respiration.  The doc said that he thinks she is having an anaphylactic reaction based on throat, respiration, swollen lips and puffy eyes.  "Looks like she'll be carrying an epi pen around from now on."   She has calmed down some and said some pretty amusing things under the influence.  The hub and I are terrified about what will happen again or what has caused this.  Please pray for her and that the doctors and allergist(when we go) can find out what is wrong.  So very scared.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dividing legos is exhausting

Day three of Fever Girl and Crazed Mom stuck at home. Last night, the hub was trying to do some division with G to catch her up on her schoolwork. This, while a good idea in theory, did not turn out well. She was not feeling well and was exhausted. He, stressed and overworked, was exhausted as well. I finally called them both done and sent her to bed with full confidence that she would be learning all she needed in class the next day. Oh woe be unto those who are overly confident. I got her up this morning having the same complaint of a headache. The hand on the head fever detctor was not feeling accurate, so I got the thermometer. 100.3. Dadgumit. While our pediatrician's office treats that as though it is almost normal, our school crosses its arms, shakes its head and says, "Uh uh. Go home." So we didn't even try. We, instead, came home from dropping the others off and set to work on the small mountain of papers she had missed doing the past two days. After doing grammar and reading comprehension, my forte', it was time for math. This is is what separates the public school moms from the home school moms. God bless those who can and I would if I had to, but me teaching math would drive my kids back to public schol every time. But I decided to press on and get through these six pages of division. Holy moly. The next thing I knew, we had the legos out trying to make a point:

Did we need them out? From the incredulous look on her face, probably not, but I couldn't stop. By the time those pages were done, I was sweaty and she was probably questioning the future of our relationship. I think I'll stick to baking and my job. Math teacher I am not. Let's just pray she wakes up 98.6 tomorrow. Normal temps save lives.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

He's not one hand anymore

My boy, the boy, had a birthday today. I don't know about other moms, but I do not handle my children's birthdays well. His traditional blind birthday picture was very revealing to me:

My baby wasn't there anymore. The little guy with the sweet baby fat on his cheeks, stumbling over everything and wearing little Stride Rite tennis shoes was not there. A tall boy with a close cropped haircut, Avengers sheets, holding up two hands to show his new age greeted me this morning...and it broke my heart. When that little squirmy kid emerged six years ago, I took a long sigh of relief and thanked God for giving us a healthy little baby with the sweetest face and demeanor. We gave him a name that brought with it more questions than compliments. He had two big sisters who loved him so much they brought new meaning to the possibility of "loving someone to death". He has grown not only into a spunky boy, active and athletic, silly and smart. But he has grown up to be a kind little guy...and I am so grateful to know him and his tender heart.

Each passing year, a little more of my baby boy leaves and a bit more of a young man emerges. Six is still very young, but time flies and I know sixteen is just around the corner. No matter what age he is, whether he is sleeping in a crib or king sized bed, he'll always be that ball of pure grace that was sent to us 6 years ago today. And I am eternally beyond thankful to be his mother.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Fevers make math worse

Well, friends, cover your face or don't breathe while you are reading today's post. After ear infection boy started on his antibiotics, G started a headache. A super bad headache. Mother of the year though it was drama and then I woke her up this morning for school. She sat up and immediately started to cry with the pain in her head. Maybe she's just avoiding Monday, I thought. Then I took her temperature. 101.7. Well, oops. Go ahead and hand me my medal for MOTY right now. So I packed the two youngers in the car in their pj's and took S to school. As we arrived back home, we opened the garage door to see a mouse run from the top of one side of the back garage door to the other and then down the wall. G, sick as she was, saw it and immediately wondered if she was hallucinating. Oh no, honey, you so weren't seeing things. We ran like idiots the two feet from the car into the house. I texted the hub and begged him to call our friend Kevin at the pest control place. By now, we all know that mice and I are not friends. I can't recall if I have shared the Christmas Eve mouse story, but I will someday. I will. Scarring childhood memories.

We motrined the girl up.  She did her best to try and do her schoolwork from today, but when your head feels like it is in a vise grip you forget the difference between division and multiplication.  We didn't push it.  I have made and decorated a cookie cake for the boy's birthday tomorrow. We have wrapped his presents...he is having a David Macaulay heavy birthday this year. What can I say, the boy loves good drawing. The breakfast in bed tray has been readied and the cinnamon rolls have been baked. All we can hope for is that the birthday boy's sister will wake up fever free tomorrow. And that the mouse will have met its great reward at the bait station in our garage. Birthday excitement all around!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Egg hunts and Hee Haw honeys

We were all worried about the rain holding out, but hold out it did and our Easter egg hunt after church was a roaring success.  The weather was absolutely beautiful.  I chose poorly and wore the wrong shoes for an extra busy day and have the blisters to show for it.  The kids were very efficient and got every egg put out there.  The boy missed his last year with his icky ear, so I saved a few out for him.  I felt a bit guilty about that...but not for long.  It was fun to watch the different egg hunting methods.  Some grabbed as fast as they could.  Some would pick one up out of a group of ten, then walk twenty feet to another egg, leaving the other nine behind.  One little guy shook each egg.  If it didn't sound and feel like it had the right filling, he dropped it back.  It was so funny to watch.  As much preparation it took to get ready, it was done in an instant and was time to go home.  My feet cried and took a bit of a nap.  Kids were fed and put to bed.  We came downstairs so the hub could get some work done.  I chose the tv program to watch.  I happened upon a channel I was not familiar with, but Hee Haw was playing so the decision was made.  I love me some Buck and Roy and the whole gang.  The hub, who did not grow up with such television gold was somewhat mesmerized.  It was not his first time viewing, but he still was unsure as to what to think.  I mean, when you view entertainment gold such as this, your life is changed.  I leave you with this, my favorite running skit:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Soccer, weddings and an icky ear

Soccer Saturdays have started up again, gentle readers. And wouldn't you know the first of these crazed Saturdays fell on the same day as my nephew's wedding. So last night the hub and I mapped out such a detailed Saturday strategy that you would think we were making plans for some major undercover operation. We would go to game one at 9, I would then take one child to a game across town, dropping G off at home to get her hair washed and ready, while the hub would watch the boy's game and then we would all meet at home for the frenzied showers to be cleaned, dried, dressed and at the church by one. It was going to take a miracle. Then last night, a reprieve. S's team's field got double booked and through a complicated and stupid series of rescheduling attempts, the game got cancelled. Whew. So two games, new strategy....we got this. We were walking out the door to leave and the boy casually mentioned a sore ear. He went on his merry way to the car and chatted happily all the 2 minutes to the fields. Chatted and ran with friends a bit. Then I became involved in watching the game. I suddenly realized I had not checked on him in about 10 minutes and turned to find him covered up and conked out in our other soccer chair. The other mothers looked over and shook their heads. "That's not good," they said. They were right. After G's game was over(they won), we went to the van to have a little talk. The boy could barely hold his head up, but insisted on playing. We pulled the parent card and nixed that. The cries that came from that child tore your heart out, but it had to be done. We went home and I carried him in, stripping his underarmor off in hope that it would cool him down. It almost opened him up to get hotter. I stripped him down, put his short pj's on and put him to bed. B checked about doc appointments and then we redressed him and they were on their way. The girls and I got ready for the wedding and left to get them there for pictures. The boys were waiting at the clinic for two hours. Diagnosis? An "icky" left ear and antibiotics. "Icky" is a technical term. No ring bearer duties for him. The girls did a fantastic job and looked beautiful:

The wedding was sweet and the happy couple is honeymooning in a cabin in the mountians somewhere.

Mazel tov to the happy couple...yummy food from Romanian chefs...beautiful flower girls...pitiful little boy...tired parents...busy, happy weekend. Night all.
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Cabinet doors and soccer roars

Oh to have a designer's skill for an hour...just an hour. SInce my parents are in town for my nephew's wedding, I asked them to accompany me to the kitchen design shop to look at the different cabinets, countertops and sinks we were considering. I broke down a few weeks ago and had our guy, Kevin, price out my dream cabinet color called "Kelp". It is kind of a greenish gray color. I love it so very much. But I fell somewhat out of love whe I saw how much more expensive it was than the Cocoa on maple that is my close second. We then took several other types and colors of cabinet doors home to check out. Now i am beyong confused. Having knotty pine walls and trim makes for difficult decisions. I am not the one who makes those decisions easily. I wish I had a special red "Kevin" phone that I could pick up and have him quickly arrive with three choices he feels are appropriate for the space and help me pick out the best option. That's not going to happen, but he did say that, when we make our fortune and ask him in to design everything in our dream home, he promises to have three choices for every room there. Promises, promises. Here are my two favorites, although they do not translate well in photographs:

This is the kelp, but it doesn't look right in the picture.

This is cocoa on maple. I love it. I cannot make a decision. I hate this. Just give me a big, deep farm sink, and tall faucet, cabinets with doors and a counter top that doesn't move.

After our stint at the kitchen shop, we had an evening of soccer practice. The soccer Saturday wheels have started turning, friends, whether we are ready for them or not. I approach the season with both anxiety and excitement. Outside time and exercise is needed around our house, but knee injuries and concussions are not welcome. The ER is going to dedicate a room to us if we don't slow the injuries down. Good grief.

Time for bed. Big weekend of games, wedding, church, egg hunts and more soccer. Hopefully sleep will get in there as well. Please.
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lame, lame, lame

I had a really nice post written just two minutes ago and then POOF, part of it was gone.  In the past when this has happened, I have hit the "UNDO" button and whatever stupid thing I did is repaired.  Well, not today.  Instead it kept erasing until the entire post was gone.  So for that reason, instead of trying to lamely recreate what I said, I will give you this instead:
Also, if that wasn't great enough, I will show you our favorite clip of late.  A little inappropriate...little bit:

Why no caffeine free coffee?

I am a coffee drinker. What I am not is a coffee snob. But, alas, I cannot handle caffeine like most people. My Granny used to give me spoonfuls of her strong, sugary tea while my parents weren't looking. They always wondered why they needed to peel me off the ceiling every morning. So as an adult, I have had to learn to harness and control the evil power. Some days are better than others. As I have gotten older, I have found that I envy those people with the ability to consume their java java in the evening. If I committed such an act of insanity, I might as well pop some corn and watch an Andy Griffith marathon because I will not be going to sleep. So as I sit here and watch Jase, Jep and the Duck Dynasty gang go in the afternoon to drink double shots of espresso. I really want a nice warm cup of coffee to settle down with as I write, read my book or watch my formulaic cop drama. Decaf will not work, I'm afraid. Tried it. Watched infomercials until 3:30am. I think the hub would put his foot down in protest, because I am pretty evil when I am lacking sleep. Shocker, I'm sure. You know me...I'm all puppies and rainbows. Ahem...cough cough. No comments, please.

I will have my Tervis tumbler full of Keurig something tomorrow and will just have to dream of a day when caffeine free coffee can be sipped casually by yours truly while I read a book that my sixth grader has probably just finished. Living the dream, friends.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My son is a fox

I had my big first dental appointment today. It is a story rich with funny stuff, but I am so tired right now I cannot form rational thoughts. So in place of dental stories, I will tell you a quick boy story before I collapse from exhaustion. Our dog is getting beyond old and, therefore, has many accidents. She also eats copious amounts of hickory nuts and shells, causing her output in the house to be of the same consistency. He went downstairs with the hub to help him pick out clothes and make coffee. When he finally returned, he informed me that they had been cleaning up Cosby's "poop pile" from the floor. I apologized to him that she had done that. I said, "We'll feed her when we go back down and then we'll let her back out so she won't have another accident." He said, "Well. I'm sure when we go back down we'll find one more poop to grow on down there..."...shook his head and walked off. Where does he get that stuff? When we do birthday spankings, we do the last pop and say, "And one to grow on!". But a "poop to grow on"? Boys. They say the darndest things.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spinning away.....

Butterfly update time, everybody. When last I updated you, I had experienced a less than ideal caterpillar transplanting process last Tuesday. Lacking directions and patience, I had been on hold for excessive amounts of time with the company until I was faxed directions even Superman with his laser vision couldn't have found legible. Using a paint brush, I shook and smashed those poor things into their communion cup sized homes full of baby oatmeal. Neurological damage must have occured and the probability of flying impairment is quite high. Sorry, church kids. Blame the drunk butterflies on me.

Today I went to check on them and found them all tripled in size and attached to either the sides or tops of their cups. Wispy strands of floss are starting to surround them as they build their chrysalis homes and prepare themselves to emerge in all of their painted lady glory. It is an amazing thing to watch such a small creatures engineer such a complex dwelling, sealing themselves carefully away to transform into something so delicate and beautiful that it seems almost impossible. I mean, not to be gross, but when they arrive they are about the size and shape of jimmies one would put on their ice cream. Enjoy that visual the next time you dip up some Moose Tracks, people. Nom nom.

My paint program is acting up, but you get the gist. I cannot stop staring at them and I'm afraid this will scar them and give them nightmares as they are spinning. Guess I'd better stop or it might be a really interesting release come Easter morning. Get you Nikons ready, folks.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

To tip or not to tip

Today I could be described as dragging through with a daylight saving handover. No amount of naps could get me to be completely awake and I am a morning person for the most part. I dug our family out from under an immense pile of laundry. I am ashamed to say how long it has been since I actually put the laundry away. You can all take your fingers of the the phone to call social son has easy access to many pairs of pants now. When a consignment sale happens, your boss goes on vacation and soccer season starts all in the same week, laundry gets washed and dried. It just stays in the sad little laundry basket until we finally reach the need for underwear for at least three of the five of us. Mind you, this does not happen all the time. Just on super crazy weeks.

This afternoon after laundry and grocery shopping and dinner prep, I went through the usual routine of picking up the children. My car was getting pretty thirsty and I needed to fill it up post haste. And it was pouring the rain. Yuck. So I went to the only full service gas station around to get the car filled in the laziest way I knew how: I had the poor man with the Kenny Rogers hair fill my car up. I felt really bad for being so lazy, but I knew that I was paying extra for the service. I realized that I had no extra cash, so when he brought me my receipt, I gave him a hearty thank you and smile and he walked away. I have now felt guilty for the rest of the day wondering if I was supposed to tip him as well. And along those lines, do I have to tip the girl at Sonic when I go through the drive thru? The lady at the bakery when I buy a dozen cookies? The bartender at Cheddars who sells you the gift cards? All of these, with the exception of the gas station, have a place for you to tip. I don't want to be cheap, but why should I have to tip the guy who takes my credit card and fills up a gift card with it. I'm a 15-20% tipper normally, so I don't feel I have the right to be called cheap. Just my question for the day.

Lastly, this is one of the cuter kids I know. And, yes, I am a little bit biased.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Enjoying a gorgeous day....with whiners

We had an absolutely gorgeous day today in Tennessee. After a somewhat somber morning at church, we needed some pep. As Methodists, we all know that with Methodism comes the itinerant aspect for our ministers. Every 3-5-7 years, our ministers are moved to new locations to grow in their own ministries and help others in theirs. After 12 years of having our dear Pastor Melissa(7 as pastor and the others as youth director), her time to move has come. As much as it hurts my heart to know that four months from now she'll be moving, I am excited for the new opportunities she has ahead of her and am so happy for the people who will be blessed by her ministry. That being said, I came home in a sad mood and was ready for the sun to perk me up. We had one child who had been to a sleepover last night and, as I have stated on numerous occasions, my children don't deal well when lacking in sleep. At all. So, after battling with our dishwasher that decided to flood the kitchen, we picked ourselves up, grabbed the soccer balls and water bottles and headed down to the fields. Soccer season is less than a week away and the kids are severely lacking in the cardio department. The kids and the hub started running around and messing with the ball. I went for a walk and ran into friends and their children out on a bike ride. The kids played together, but when one child was called back into practice, all hell broke loose. At one point, my sweet husnband was running the perimeter of the field while the child was tagging along behind, sobbing uncontrollably. Sunny day joy, all day long. Finally, the sobbing stopped. We got in the car, drove to a playground where we saw other people from school and the kids played the rest of the afternoon. Lesson learned: we will never mix sleepovers and Daylight Saving Time again. Bad idea. Horrible.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

And no one called the shrink in to talk me down...

It was d-day today, my friends. D-day. Dress day. With an upcoming wedding and Easter close at hand, the girls needed to get new dresses. The conundrum was that if we waited as I would have preferred, all the nice dresses would be gone and would be forced to find the best in the "Preteen Streetwalkers" collection. If we went today, the bitter tears of anger mixed with being defiantly uncooperative might push me clean over the edge. Soooo, we went with today. This was not received well, as you can imagine, but what do I expect being a hater of shopping myself? As I mother, I realize that there are times I am not above bribery. Today was one of those days. I extended some verbal currency to them, they took the bait and we went on our not so merry way. I said a little prayer and hoped for the best. We went to the mall and made our way through three stores before we finally hit some possibilities. The fifth store was the jackpot and we found some dresses to try on. A strange phenomenon occurs when girls get into the waiting room and start trying on clothes. They get wiggly and start to dance. Fashionshow-itis, I guess. I was trying to send pictures of them, in the various dresses, to my mother for her opinion. Most of the shots ended up looking more like flashes of color. That's it. When I finally said, "Stay still or I promise you I will cry," they got the point. We found two that were acceptable, I paid for them and ran. We then found S some new tennis shoes and some new ballet shoes. We then had a nice lunch and got the heck home.

We returned home to find a tired hub and a happy boy and a package from Amazon. The hub assured me he had nothing to do with it, so I opened it up to see. My angel friend, Margaret, sent me a tagging gun kit to make consignment sale tagging easier. You want to talk about making my day! Thanks, M! And all ten of my fingers and the hub's ears(from my complaints) thank you, too! The day ended nicely with a trip to the local soccer field to watch some of S's guy friends from the middle school team play and take a walk on this gorgeous day. The kids dressed up in their pajamas and went to our Bruster's ice cream shop for free ice cream night. Half the town was there and it was like a little church/school reunion. They are now blissfully wiped out....until tomorrow when they are rudely awakened an hour early since we are Springing forward. So, time for bed. Night all!

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Good start, crappy middle, bittersweet finish

Today was my last day to work the consignment sale, thank goodness. It was an enjoyable morning, I must say. I got to be in charge of social media, taking pictures and posting them online, answering questions and generally making statements designed to encourage people to come to the sale. The hub was somewhere in a bunker at his job laughing at this. His computer illiterate wife in charge, for an hour, of social media. When the venue's wifi kicked her ipad off he network and wouldn't allow it back on, I was then hastily trained to work one of the "registers" so to speak. It was scary, but I survived three hours of it.

I have found that on Fridays, the children are tired and just done. The bickering and fighting started within five minutes of the three being together. A bit deflating as a parent when you want just one large block of time when they are loving and nice to each other. The attitutdes were in the toilet...homework was a battle to get done...hands could not stop hitting. Mother of the year, I am.

By the time the hub arrived home, I was heading to the corner for some thumb sucking-fetal position time. He made a decision about dinner, we ate and made preparations to relax for the evening. Then drama ensued which is too involved to go into at this point, but snowballed due to exhaustion.  Needless to say, sitting on the couch watching Sugar Dome with your parents on a Friday night not the coolest thing for kids to do.  But when they can barely keep their eyes open, we are not going to invest time and money in expensive activities when they'll either start fighting or conk out a third of the way through.  Sorry, kids.  You got stuck with the dud parents of the bunch.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Numb fingers and pudgy penguins

If this offering is full of more typos than usual, I have numb fingers this evening. I knowyou all are going to be sick of hearing me say it, but I worked at the Picky Chick sale again today. Tomorrow I work a shift and take lunch and then my commitment will be complete. For all those who wonder, I work this sale for a couple of reasons. One, I enjoy seeing familiar faces twice a year. It is like a biannual homecoming where you clean out your basement, work a few shifts and make some cash. Some turn that cash into more clothes. I usually make that money our splurge stash. It pays for movie theatre trips and special tickets to shows, etc.. So because of that, I worked in check out tearing about 3 gajillion tags for the register ladies. It went okay, although I did have one customer talk trash to me for ten minutes and tell me that if she was late for her noon meeting it would be my fault. Okay...if that makes you feel better, lady.

After finishing up the morning duties, I got the children, went to the grocery store and came home tostart dinner and Operation Dress Like a Penguin. G's class has been all penguin all the time this week and tomorrow the exciting conclusion involves dressing in some sort of penguin garb. G did not want to go full penguin, but rather the CEO of everything penguin. She found a cartoon picture of the chilly bird and I did my best to recreate it in felt and put it on a shirt:

She gave it two thumbs up, so I'll take it. It's about bedtime...night all!
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Who says moms can't be sick and twisted?

I worked the Picky Chick consignment sale today. Gotta get my shifts in so I can get some mad money. There are some people who are so hardcore and I tend to just step aside and let them do their magic or whatever it is they do. I straighten up books or rehang clothes on the floor or help tear tags at check out. No big whoop. Today I was walking and straightening with my friend, C, who was working as well when we came upon a peculiar sight. Cover your eyes, small children and those faint of heart:

Strange things are afoot in the rocking horse section. I'm asking no questions....just walk on by. It would be interesting to know who set it up like that. Sorry I can't take credit.

I wish I had more to say, but I don't. I work the sale again tomorrow and Friday and then my commitment will be complete. Thank goodness. It is a great sale and I am glad to get rid of stuff and make some cash. On a completely different note, G drew this picture on my paint program. I think it is pretty darn neat:

Have a good one!
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

That butterfly sure does fly funny....

It was Tuesday all day today. As my three readers know by now, Tuesdays are always on the very busy side. Today was no exception for sure. For today....the caterpillars arrived. My boss is, unfortunately for me, feeling the sun on her head and the sand between her toes on a trip this week. SHe is the CBO...Chief Butterfly Operator at our church. Every year, we order caterpillars that will become Painted Lady butterflies and will hopefully emerge from their chrysalis homes in time for an Easter morning release. In years past, she has always received the caterpillars and performed the necessary duties to ready them for their chrysalis building process. Uhhhh, not this year. While she might have been enjoying a much deserved umbrella drink, I was desperately searching through the huge mailing packet for instructions on how best to keep these little things alive. No luck. Nada. I looked on the website, nothing. I called the company. After being on hold for 45 minutes, I finally got someone who was kind of nice and super clueless to have her supervisor fax me the instructions. Here is what I had to do:

The food they came with and provided in jars smelled like baby oatmeal with apple juice in it and had the consistency of thick tapioca. Talk about having food issues after that experience. Our IT support guy was in the same room as I struggled to coax a caterpillar onto a paintbrush and then carefully get it into its little cup of food and not slam the lid on and decapitate it. I could tell he was stifling laughs and I don't blame him. I'm not bug phobic. When I was little, I used to take the worms from the garden and give them baths in the, I was not dropped on my head as a child. These are just so fragile and when you have to violently shake the paintbrush to get them off. The other option was to smash the brush into the goo. Death vs dizziness. Good choice, I hope. I just ask that no one judge these poor butterflies if they look a bit drunk on Easter. Just traumatized and filled with the Holy Spirit.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Time to pull out my rare, um, stuff....

Whilst waiting for "The Following" to come on Fox and make me nervous, I am currently watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS. Sorry, but I couldn't stomach "The Bachelor" tonight...or ever. I was confirmed in my decision when I turned on and saw one of the Keno brothers, who are apparently like the twin studs of the antiques appraising world:

Tonight they are in Wichita, KS and have had several $2000-$10,000 items. Kind of sad when that kind of money draws yawns out of anyone. I want some little old man, about to have his house foreclosed on, bring in a $4 garage sale knick knack and Leigh Keno tell him it is worth a staggering $700K. Then they take it to Sotheby's because, well, it's Sotheby's and it goes at auction for $1.2 million dollars. Leigh Keno and Sotheby's help save little old man and he can live out his years being fed peeled grapes, bon bons and umbrella drinks by island women in coconut bras and grass skirts. Whew. I really need to either get a life or call the PBS phone bank and donate some money so they can keep this show aaroung for-EVER! I did find out they are coming here in July, actually on G's birthday. I guess it would be wrong to make her go sit in the audience on her birthday. Come on, mother of the year, it would be wrong. My question is this: when people are fortunate enough to have an item that is appraised for a ridiculous price, are they then assigned armed guards to escort them back to their vehicle? Have people been assaulted over rare Hummels? There are sick people out there. Here is my stern warning to you Knoxvillians: if you have anything you were given that was handed down from someone with multiple greats before their name, find a friend who works out a lot and is in to Terminator movies with you. One can never be too safe. Then head straight for a Keno brother. Tell them their number one fan sent you.
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is it the Milky Way...or the Whatchamacallit?

Glory be the blasted solar system-planet project is done. I was worried it was going to be the death of us all. The hub helped S finish up the rest of it. I let him guide her with power tools and spray paint. There is one final touch to be put on it, so I'll post pictures tomorrow. She wants it to photograph perfectly. I just want it to make its way into school incident free. With a backpack that weighs as much as she does and a planet model that is 2/3 her height, this may be a legitimate concern. Let's all say a little prayer that it makes it into the building unharmed.

Besides work and a planet project and choir, there is not much else to my day. I am currenty avoiding anything responsible and am watching the updated version of 'The Omen", because what better way to enter into a night's slumber than with demonic spawn of a jackal in HD? Llev Schreiber makes it a little bit easier to take since he is one of my favorite actors, but creepy kids and I never mix too well. Maybe I'll flip over to "While You Were Sleeping" again. Holiday romances seem a better lullabye, don't you think?

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Deep freezer foot bath....want one?

It has been a bit on the nippy side of things today. The pull towards hibernation has been strong, grasshoppers. My urge to nag my oldest about her planet project has been somewhat squelched by the overwhming weakness I feel when I see a pillow and blanket. But, nag I did. She is now about 85% done and my participation in it is finished for the most part. The hub must help her by using his wookworking skills to complete the orbits and placement of the planets properly in the sky. I helped drive the child to the store for replacement glue. Her planets are as dry as they will be and the sun should be dry by morning, I hope. Please, sun. Please. Our family needs for this project to be done so we can reclaim our kitchen counter and sanity.

The boy had his first laser tag experience today. The hub took him, since I was in the solar system and boys should get to do some things like that with their daddys. Between the tag and helping line soccer firelds in the horrible weather, the hub has been conked out on the bed since about 7:15. Party animal he is not. But yet I sit here blogging because what is more wild and crazy than that? Well, okay, solar system construction, but other than that. And women who carry "Kitty with a dagger" purses. But after that....well, bloggers are the wildest.

I think I'll go to bed now.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Kitty with a dagger...

So today was a relatively good day with some sad sprinkled in to make it interesting in a bad way. I am not being coy, but I cannot the sad details at this time. Give me a bit...but nothing tragic. Just a sad heart. ANYhoo, it was a mostly good day. My master decorator and I worked in my office for several hours today. I have hesitated to do anything to the space. My dear friend was my predecessor and I wanted to show her the proper respect. Most of what I did involved winning the battle of the crap that appears in the office. People are in and out of it all the time so things appear and disappear off the floor and desk and bookshelves constantly. I dealt with the appearing stuff. Sorry, environmental people, but I added to the landfill today...but I made sure to recycle what I could. We put up a dry erase board, a cork board, a coat rack and some general decor. I am pleased with the outcome. It looks homey but, as my father warned me against, not like someone's den. My word is "inviting".

After office completion we lunched at Litton's, a symbol of dining traditon in our neck of the woods. That is not really necessary for this blog other than to make people go, "Mmmmmm. Litton's." We left with full bellies and walked off our meal at Target. The boy is going to his friend's birthday party tomorrow. It is a major milestone in his life: a Laser Tag party. He is beyond thrilled. So we had to get a present for his friend. Hex Bugs. I don't get them, but little boys love them. When we went to check out with a cart containing HexBugs and Target brand UnderArmour(soccer practice started today), we got behind another mother-daughter team. Lots of laundry detergent and catfood on their part of the counter. The daughter was kind of dressed in emo/goth clothes with super pink hair. I admired her sense of fashion. Her purse was by far the best part of her outfit. I couldn't get the camera activated on my phone fast enough. What a pity. It was a huge, black leather purse with cats all over it. Pink cats....with daggers...being used in a stabbing manner. It was spectacular. They were in a hurry and I was too big a chicken to ask where she had gotten it. Not that I like cats, but I figured maybe I could get a change purse with, I don't know, dogs with swords or revolvers? It could happen.

Soccer practice started tonight in the wind and spitting rain/snow/ice. The kids were bundled in about 6 layers each. They had trouble moving, but if the ball hit them they didn't much feel it. There were familiar faces and some new teammates to break in. I think it is shaping up to be a good season. But for now, I'll just try to fight off soccer related pneumonia and get some sleep. Have a good one!

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