Monday, September 30, 2013

I need peanut butter

So, my sinus crap that I had two weeks ago and thought was on its way out has come back with a vengeance. East Tennessee is not kind to those people who have allergies...but the leaves sure look pretty when they change. So, again, I sound like one of Marge SImpson's sisters except with the extra added snorting slurping sound that comes with ultra attractive congestion. That along with the added feeling that my teeth are going to fall out from the sinus pain. Living the dream, cats and kittens, living the dream. I basically went through this day in a fog after having taken whatever kind of Mucinex you take where you still have to give your birthdate to buy it, but they don't make you sign for it cause you can't use it to make meth. My stomach is a bit out of sorts what with all the sinus meds, Airborne drinks and zinc lozenges. And yes, before anyone else says it first, I could stand to miss a month of meals. But in order to keep myself energized enough to get kids to and from school and soccer, etc today, I needed to have some sort of something in the tummy. I have turned myself into an anaphylaxis inducing nightmare for a big chunk of the population. Just like Winnie the Pooh with his honey pot, I wish it were socially acceptable to walk around with a jar of peanut butter. Bill Engvall did a stand up bit about flying with the Blue Angels. When he asked what he should eat before flying, they told him peanut butter because it tastes the same going down as it does coming back up. TMI, I know. But with a stomach already rumbly, peanut butter seems the right choice. But then again, doesn't it always make things better? Yes, I am a weirdo.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Diorama ding dong

Today started as all Sundays do with me stumbling until 9am when my coffee kicks in and I get my second wind. I got to play with a little Russian child visiting this morning. His mother was fascinated with some of the other children in the nursery, especially with their thick East Tennessee accents. It was entertaining to watch. The hub stayed home with G and F who were recovering from ear infections and soccer injuries. He got the exciting task of starting school projects with them. His favorite: dioramas. Cue sad trombone sound here. He hates having to do those things. I, on the other hand, love to do them. But I have to reign it in and not get crazy. Teachers these days. They are all about "let them do their own work" and "it's their project" and all that baloney. I kid, I kid. I do love to make little shoebox models for whatever they are studying. So when I got home, G had somehow convinced the hub to let her make a paper mache' round house for her study on the Cherokee. She was covered in newspaper and goo when I walked out on the patio. I'm proud they did it outside. G was ready to let the goo dry and her daddy's back had decided it was time for him to have a rest, so I started helping the boy with his diorama: sharks in an ocean habitat. Mercifully, he did not have a desire for gooey projects, so we pulled out the Shrinky Dinks instead. I drew in pencil what he wanted and he outlined and colored them. I will be baking them tomorrow. Pictures will follow when both projects are done...if we survive it.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Crazy day of birth day

My sweet S turned 12 today. I honestly can't believe it and do not know where the time has gone. It breaks my heart. But time marches on whether we want it to or not. So does "Soccer Saturday". S's birthday started off in the traditional way with breakfast in bed and the traditional bedhead picture. The siblings wanted her to open their presents early, so she started the day with a new compact umbrella and CD set on learning French. By the time she changed into her soccer uniform, she was prepared for rain or a chance meeting with Daft Punk or Gerard Depardieu...she can ask them for directions to the post office. Always handy. Luckily she needed none of those things for her soccer game. They won, but G's team did not. S reffed that game until her poor sister got brutalized by a psycho player who tried to break her back. They left quickly after that little stunt, both for G's well being and for the hub's legal well-being as he was going to brutalize someone. Next came showers and first aid and sad faces for the change in the tenor of the day. Then peanut butter birthday cake and presents came. G's back felt much better and who, well except for those with allergies and extreme dislike, who doesn't like peanut butter cake? The hub and the boy stayed home recuperating from earaches and back aches and the girls and I went to help with Community Meal. S helped deliver meals with her great aunt and uncle and G and I ran the dishwasher for those eating in house. I was very proud of my girls for wanting to help, especially on a birthday and on a significant injury day. Cool kids, the both of them. After we left from helping at church, G went home to eat with my brother and sister in law and S and the hub went to the Apple Store for the second time today. Always a story and always exciting. But that's a story for another day. The new 48 Hours is on for this new season and I am ready to watch. Sweet dreams, sweet S. We are so proud of the young woman you have become. But you can slow the growing down just a bit...

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Sleep talking signs

Well, friends and neighbors, it has been a really strange day that followed a pretty outrageously strange and bizarre night. The kids were out of school today, thank God for random off school days. I was able to snooze the alarm for almost a half hour. It felt good. It felt realy good. The boy came in and snuggled with us for a while, but the quiet couldn't last long. Because of the day off, we had a breakfast meeting, room setup at church, back to back dental appointents scheduled, several haircuts, birthday cake baking and soccer practices all shoved into one day. At 8am, we went our separate ways: I went to church to set up the baby room for Sunday and the hub with the kids to Panera for a meeting. After I was done, I met the family at everyone's favorite bagel bistro for breakfast and planning. As soon as I sat down, the boy came up to me saying he needed to go to the potty. I sent him on his way and went to get my first cup of dark roast. By the time I got back, he was teary and holding his tummy. We took another trip to the facilities where the truth came out. His ear hurt every time he swallowed and his head hurt so bad that it made his stomach hurt. We washed hands, obsessively used paper towels to open the door and headed down the street to the walk in clinic. As I held him for 40minutes, I watched him go downhill health wise in the course of those 40 minutes. The kid sitting across from us spent the whole 40 minutes abusing a Rubik's cube, complaining about what a waste of time it was, all the time lacking the ability to complete even one side. One side! When the NP mercifully called us into the exam room, the boy hopped on the table, told her exactly what hurt and stopped talking. She is not my favorite person as we had seen her before. When she took a little thing and jammed it into his ear to move some wax aside, my son lost his mind. He burst into tears, grabbing his his leg and squeezing it while she looked in there. As a mother, I wanted to throat punch her, scoop my baby up and flee. But I didn't. Double ear infection with a 103.5 fever. Hanging head in shame. Next came getting the prescription which ended up being handled by the hub. The poor kid was so dizzy and feverish, he couldn't stand upright so we went home. Sweet G played nurse like a champ. I went in to find her changing him into his pajamas, giving him some crackers for a snack and rubbing his feet. She held him while I put some vintage(I say that because they were on our beds back in the '70's)Star Trek sheets over the couch cushions so he wouldn't be so hot. After leaving the room for a minute, I heard him start crying about his head. Fever had spiked again and his head was killing him. I soothed him and got him comfy again. After leaving a second time, I was summoned once again by Nurse G to tell me he had spewed. I went in to find hell hath no fury on vintage Spock and Kirk sheets like ginger ale-saltine barf. Set phasers to stun, I was impressed. So we had to strip him down, strip the sheet off, strip the couch cushion. Yuck. I have learned my lesson. He is just one of those children who will always get sick with high fever and the headache that accompanies it.

The pieces all fit together once I thought about it. The past 3 or 4 times he has gotten an ear infection, the strangest thing has happened. He gets uber chatty in his sleep. Sounds crazy, but it is almost clockwork. Sleeptalking, two days later, ear infection. He just didn't show pain until this morning. I know. Add it to your file. Hopefully we will have an uneventful night, but I have the rice bag ready to microwave and put on those cute little ears if necessary.

Thanks for listening to every gory detail of a strange day. Lesson learned about vintage Star Trek sheets. My son is a great patient. My daughter is an even greater nurse. She even wiped stuff off his hands and face. And not crackers. Well...crackers in some form. Live long and prosper.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Poor woman's cocktail needed

Thank you, God, that school is out tomorrow. Thank you that I made it through this hellish day. Thank you that my daughter got to score a goal in her game tonight. Thank you that I have a husband who is my rock. Thank you for the strength to keep my cool in a very upsetting situation. Thank you that my children are kind, caring people. Thank you for dogs and the uconditional love and forgiveness they give us when we do not deserve it. Thank you for the possibility of having another fuzzy canine heartbeat in our home one day. Thank you for G hugs and S smiles and F kisses. Thank you for friends who flash gang symbols to you while driving by. Thank you for funny coworkers who yell silly things at you across Kroger's parking lot during the height of the lunch rush. Thank you for belly laughs, for healing cries and for cathartic fights. Thank you for brothers who have your back and draw inappropriate pictures on your notebook during church meetings. Thanks for friends who listen when necessary, council when necessary and follow you as the muscle when you need backup.

Most of all, just thank you for allowing me to live this never dull, frantic, beautiful life. There are no words...

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Yet another Wacky Wednesday is drawing to an end, thank goodness. This has been a rainy day and with rainy days come dreary sleepiness. My cousin was having neck surgery today, so I had to do what every member of my family always does: I went and sat with my cousin in the waiting room. She and I kind of have a tradition of bringing trashy celebrity magazines and snacks to each other in the hospital waiting rooms. The surgery went well and we had good conversation while waiting. He may be going home tonight. Just hoping for good pain control.

Had a meeting today that I will discuss another time. Full of lots of information. To say I'm overwhelmed would be an understatement. We are truly blessed to have so many talented and caring professionals in this town.

Tomorrow brings with it preparations for S's birthday. She has given us two suggestions and just tonight told me what kind of cake she would like. This is going to be a very lackluster birthday. Hopefully after soccer season is over, she can celebrate with friends. That black and white ball messes up her social life. Oh well. Night all.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The time has come...

Have you ever watched someone just mentally check out before your eyes? In this time of overprogrammed, overactivitied, overworked kids, I have seen more "checking out" than I care to on a weekly basis. It's all "That poor kid" and "Why do those parents do that to him/her" until you sit and watch it happen to your own. It is almost October...and my kids are done. While they love the thrill of a soccer game, the culmination of all the moves into one graceful dance and the assembling of notes into the perfect guitar piece, they still have projects and reading/math logs and crazed math teachers to deal with. Not to mention the emotional exhaustion from just trying to relate to their peers, navigate the awkward feelings of growing up and still maintain their manners and kindness at home. It's enough. But at what point do you as a parent switch from "You made a commitment and you will carry it through to the end" to "You must choose between activiies because you can't handle everything on your plate"? It is a horribly difficult call to make...or is it? What a horrible feeling to see your child with a blank look, emotionless or emotional to the point of no control; the weight of life too much for their little bodies and minds to bear. Our oldest will be 12 on Saturday, but I still feel like she is baby. They require more sleep, more food in frquent batches. They still want to have their moments to be little and snuggle with their mom and dad. In my mind, there is no decision to make. I will cut every activity out except school and church to insure that they don't burn out on life before they reach their teens. Am I saying that is what I intend to do tomorrow? Not at all. But don't ever forget that the mother bear in me will jerk them out and back into the protective womb of home if necessary. I can't do that forever, but you can be d%$# sure I will do it now without blinking an eye.

Hopefully something funny will happen tomorrow so I can work myself out of these depressing posts. Where's a good "Pizza Inn" moment when we need one?

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Hits and runs and wheezy ones

This day started off innocent enough. Took the kids to school after breaking up their Monday morning fights. Sat down, covered myself with a blanket to read some emails and woke up an hour later. Cleaned the kids' room, set their commission up for the week and then deducted cash for my "bouncer" and "maid" duties of the morning. Once I picked up the kids from school, the race began. We had a 5:30 soccer game, so we had to get homework and guitar practice and drum practice and snacks out of the way. Arrival at the fields was set for 5 and we got home at 3:55. Sigh. Miracle of miracles, we got there on time only to find out the ref would not be arriving until 6. ALl this minutae is riveting, I'm sure, but I'll get on with the story. The field S's team was playing on was parallel to a death trap of a busy road, obscured by lots of trees and brush. During the game we heard a sickening crash, followed by the obvious sound of one of the automobiles driving off and away from the scene of the accident. They were dragging a bumper or their undercarriage of something. You could follow their path by the scraping noise and burning smell they left in their wake. The hub ran down there, but couldn't get through. Some walkers on the greenway called 911. Immediately our friend's phone rang and we found out that the people in the hit car were people we of G's good friends, in fact. Luckily the kids were okay, even though the car spun and was thrown into a ditch. Everyone at the fields were in a flurry, a wave of concern washing over the place. I was visiting with a friend and discussing different middle school teachers. When I looked up to check on the progress of the game, we were winning, I saw the hub running with S in his arms off the field. Crap. Not again. G and I went over to the sideline and found her with labored breathing and a pale face. She took two hits off the inhaler and was feeling the effects of that. She doesn't use it like she should, so when that albuterol starts a-workin', well her heart gets crazy and she starts looking for a wall to climb. Luckily the game was pretty much over, so she didn't miss much. We got home and she was bandaged up with the healing powers of Italian meatloaf...she said it herself. She still looks a bit pale, but is in much less distress than before. That kid. She can't do anything half way. Ever.

I'm so glad the evening ended on a good note. I will now find the poor woman's Xanax(melatonin)and pray that blessed sleep will come and take me on to a new day.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Awards show hell

Tonight as I type, I am watching the Emmy's. With the exception of a very few, I love awards shows. Well, I love the TV and movie ones. I can't help it. The fancy clothes and the silly production numbers and the stars we love and, well, kind of don't. The hub, on the other hand, HATES awards shows. Hate, hate, hates them. He is currently downstairs probably watching some sort of sport involving a ball and running. Poor guy. Through the years, he has tolerated my Oscar checklist and recording of the red carpet presentations. I know I need to get a life. But at least they aren't on all the time.

On a completely different note, we went to Agape Fest at the Agape House today. Agape House works with and houses men with persistent mental illness. Our church supports them through our missions outreach monies. We also take leftovers from our church meals to them as well. My brother, the hub, the kids and I went to their little festival, played some games and met some residents and employees. The boy got very competitive with some ladder ball:

We had a good time and the kids got to meet some people who needed some extra smiles. A win-win for all of us. Happy Sunday.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rainy Day Bonding

I hang my head in shame when I say this. It has been years since I did this, but I slept in until 9:00 this morning. That is not like me at all, for I feel that I have slept away an enormous chunk of my day when that occurs. But the rain was coming down on the roof in such a soothing way. S was super conked out in her pre-teen way. After unfogging with coffee and bagels, we entered the dark cocoon of the basement and set to work making sock creatures. ABC Family was showing a John Hughes marathon, so we watched The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. I felt like I had slipped back to 1985 what with the hairstyles and the clothes and the Molly Ringwald dancing. My middle school daughter enjoyed them both and I enjoyed the fact they were cleaned up for network television with the best parts still remaining. I will still always have a soft spot for the bad boy Judd Nelson and a sincere appreciation for Molly's hair.

After a loud dinner at the Downtown Grill and Brewery with lots of angry football fans and a big plate of fish and chips PLUS a trip through Mast General and a peanut butter and bacon shake, the girl is safely tucked into bed and listening to a book on CD. I'm watching Gable and Colbert in "In Happened One Night". Doesn't get much better than that. We'll be glad to have the traveling portion of our family back tomorrow. They are glad to be dry after sitting in the pouring rain and watching the Hokies try to lose the longest game in ACC history. A good weekend was had by all...

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Girl's weekend

The hub and the youngers have left for the weekend. S has to sing in youth choir Sunday and I had no one to work for me on Sunday. So, while G, the hub and Pops go cheer on the Hokies in a potentially very soggy game and the boy spends the day with Nana, S and I will have our first ever girl's weekend since, well, since her sister was born. We have already had dinner at Litton's(her request) and picked up ice cream for later. We are pajama'ed up and ready to watch the first Star Trek movie(new edition). We wanted to go see our favorite drum major direct the band for homecoming, but since we have had such bad colds this week, we will go to another game. We can't wait!

So girl's weekend has commenced. It is 6:52 and we are in our pajamas. She is knitting and watching and I am bloggin and watching. Party animals living the dream.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pirate pastry predicament

Who reading this likes doughnuts? Anyone? I enjoy one every once in a while. In my hometown, we had a Krispy Kreme downtown. That was during the days that a dozen glazed came in a square box with the pastries on end instead of flat like today. My friend Sarah and I would go sit in there, have a doughnut and a cup of hot chocolate and listen to the little old men visit with each other. It was the hub of the 80+ crowd activity. Today the KK seems to cater a bit more to the younger crowd:

Today in particular was National Talk Like A Pirate Day. If you walked into the the doughnut shop and spoke like said pirates, you got a free doughnut. If you dressed like a pirate, you got a free dozen. I did neither, but my friend R did and this is what they came back with:

Arrrggghh, doughy scalawag. When he talked like a pirate at the cupcake eatery, he came back with this:

The guy doesn't play. Need a pirate to get you pastry? I can hook you up. Until then, find an eyepatch and hook and rehearse for next year...ya scurvied scalawag.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I have little time to write tonight. My oldest is still hard at work doing homework and hasn't even made a dent. Her head and her dad's head are both about to pop off. I am currently trying to remedy a problem with some school supplies. The kids at school all have an agenda, a little spiral noebook planner thing, that is like their hall pass/schedule/calendar/life in middle school. If you lose it, major crap hits the fan. If it isn't taken care of, major crap hits the fan. So today in Beta Club, a "friend" took the agenda out of S's backpack and wrote her name on every single page of the agenda. 128 pages worth of agenda. S is now mortified to have a teacher or administrator see the agenda with someone's name written completely through. SO while she sorts through 4 hours of homework, I am running through pencils erasing this girl's name from the important office supply. I can't help but think of my father's words about things like this..."Fool's names and fool's faces are often seen in public places"....or agendas. Seriously. Get a grip, vandal.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall of the House of Snot

You it too much to ask that only one family member at a time gets the snotty allergy plague? Just like putting a seashell up to your ear to hear the ocean, put your ear up to our front door and you'll hear a TB ward. When investigating hoarders, they often find them buried to death under a pile Time-Life books and ShamWow's stuffed into pizza boxes. I feel strongly that during Fall in East Tennessee they will find our family buried under a massive pile of Puffs Plus, Vicks VapoRub and Breathe Right strips. Our eldest came home early today, choking on her excess drainage...TMI, I know, but 'tis true. She was promptly Mucinexed and introduced to the tasty fizziness of Airborne Strawberry. I left her to pick up the youngers who entered the car sounding something akin to Marge SImpson's sisters. Needless to say, they were Mucinexed as well and told to blow their noses and wash their hands in case they brought the plague home from school. Not that it matters...I have it too. One can sit through major high and low temperature changes on the soccer fields only so many times before the sinuses cry "UNCLE!".

Anyhoo. I took the least plaguey of the children to her guitar lesson today. She has progressed enough on "Ode To Joy" that he has decided to add "Amazing Grace" to her repertoire. If only her teacher saw how she demonstrates her cool dance moves whilst playing hymns on her classical guitar. Somehow "The Sprinkler" and Beethoven are somewhat of an unholy pairing...but maybe Ludwig might dig it.

Well my three gentle readers, I am off to use my genie lamp, as S calls it, and neti pot this gunk out of my sinuses. Again, TMI, but it is my life. LTD.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Cleanest ninja ever

Day number, um, I don't know of this flipping cold. I will admit that after I dropped the kids off at school, I drove right home, plopped down on the couch and conked out for an undisclosed amount of time. It felt good, but I didn't feel so great waking up from it. The fog of sleep took a good two hours to burn off. I know I went to Target and JoAnn's, but I can't tell you what happened there. There are some random bags of stuff on the counter...I'll look through them later. I do know that I got a magazine called "Soft Dolls" as an impulse buy. This magazine has mostly patterns for and articles on really goopy, creepy dolls that I would never want to make. Every issue does have a lady who helps give you tips on sculpting heads for different kinds of stuffed animals. I know, riveting stuff. But for a creature maker like me, the information is helpful sometimes. This particular issue caught my eye as soon as I opened it up to a random page. My heart skipped a beat and I knew I had to purchase it and make one of their ideas post haste. What was so exciting, you ask? Washcloth ninjas. The boy is going to be so excited if I can figure out how to make these guys. Washcloths, ribbons, crochet string and wire? A little bit of sewing and some glue and velcro. I cannot wait.

But for now, I will let the ninjas wait until I get some meds and a decent night's sleep. Constructing ninjas with a runny nose just isn't right.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm a trashy mom

Typical Sunday here at the ranch. I contemplated getting out of work this morning since I feel like I'm the grease spot on the road after a truck runs over a squirrel. I love living in East Tennessee, but the allergies kill me every Fall. I wasn't the brightest bulb in the pack not wearing a mask to mow yesterday, so I'm paying even more of a price today. We found ourselves, yet again, at the soccer fields today. S had practice for middle school which also provided a perfect time to wear some siblings out. When we arrived, the trash from yesterday's games had been knocked over, decorating the fields like confetti of shame. B got me the rubber gloves out of the first aid kit and we started cleaning up the mess. This was the time when the stuffy head paid off big time. Those dirty diapers covered in soured ice cream were no match for a major congestive episode. No feast for the eyes...after the pile of rejected onions covered in ants and baby formula from someone's rejected Sonic meal, well, I was done.

After practice came bells and choir for S, who is feeling a bit on the stuffy side herself. I stayed to be the second adult and worked on sock bunnies. Here are the latest in the ever growing litter:

I ended up giving them to two sisters who needed some pepping up. They seemed to be pleased with them. They are so easy to make, why not? We arrived home to find that the hub had "lost" the boy. Where on earth he could have gotten to, I don't know. I walked into the living room and found this:

If you notice at the bottom of the picture in the sleeve, you might notice some digits attached to, um, a foot. He truly is a trickster.

I'm hoping for a less hectic week this week. They are all hectic, but not as many obligations this week. Hopefully we won't lose the boy anymore. But if we do, I hope he'll be this easy to find.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Parenting an Extreme Couponer

Today was a typical soccer Saturday. Lovely day and very busy. S actually played in two games, the second being an extra person for a team of boys that was short some players. No nerves for mom there. Their team lost 7-5, but the girls controlled the game in the second half. Nice. We went our separate ways after the game, I to the grocery and the rest to get showered and relaxed. As usual, everybody in town had the same idea about the store, so that was a bit of a nightmare. They seemed to be moving lots of ribs and bread today. Not sure what that means. I got home and unloaded the groceries. The kids were all draped on pieces of furniture, hair wet from fresh washings and faces pink from the wind and sun. I looked out the window and saw our lawn that really looked like one step from having a "Condemned" sign in it and felt deep shame, so I changed clothes and mowed. Showered then, fixed dinner and picked up my remaining Picky Chick items with my friend A.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I've kind of had a ful and tiring day. Because as A and I were chatting in her driveway, I received a text from the hub stating that our oldest was chomping at the bit to capitalize on a sweet deal on mustard at Kroger. I bid her farwell and told her I would share the riches of our condiment bounty and left. S met me in the driveway with her coupon notebook, ready to go. We arrived at the store 5 minutes later. She made sure to fill me in on her strategy on the way. When we got there I said, "Listen. I have to go to the bathroom and I'm not going here. Get your mustard deal and your cereal deal and let's get gone. I'm running out of steam, kid." The mustard deal was not as wonderful as she thought, but we still got plenty. We spent a good 15 minutes in the cereal aisle figuring out the deals there. I really did not care if we got Vanilla Chex or Honey Nut Chex. Get the d&%^ boxes of cereal included in the deal and let's go. Apparently cereal deals were a gateway drug into shampoo deals...which led into laundry detergent deals. "S. I am so glad you are finding deals, but if we don't leave soon I am going to collapse in the floor and leave a mess. Please." "Okay, mom. I just need to look about this deal on Mentos-"..."WE DO NOT NEED MENTOS...I NEED A BATHROOM AND MY BED." We checked out and she did well, which I knew she would. Just was afraid I would have to buy some of the Central Bobcat pajama pants they sell over in the pharmacy area if we didn't get home soon. We loaded the car, I helped a man in a wheelchair load his car and we were off. I helped her organize her little stockpile, which is respectable for an 11 year old. I left the basement, ready to get a bath and my Saturday night ice cream when, "Mom. My Pantene conditioner is missing. My three bottles for the stockpile are missing." Missing deal panic psychosis was hitting her hard, so I tore up the car looking for it. Nada. So, here I go back down the hill for the blasted conditioner. It wasn't in the shopping cart. So, at 9:45 at night, I went back in and talked to an employee about my missing items. They were kind and let me go get three new bottles. Let's remember, friends, that I still had not been able to visit the little girl's room. Apparently that time of night is a popular time to get groceries. I saw several neighbors and waited in line for 10 minutes. Kroger was very nice to give me the $10 worth of conditioner again. Once again I arrived home with a bag full of treasures. Thank goodness, after the natural childbirth of three children, my bladder held fast. I got my bath and my Saturday ice cream. All is well...until tomorrow's paper arrives with more coupons and deals. I'll load up on 5hr Energy next time...and visit the potty.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Stuffy day

This will be short. I have placed a Breathe Right strip on my nose and have take a muscle relaxer for my jaw. Doesn't get much more exciting than that. I worked a shift at the Picky Chick consignment sale today and brought lunch for a shift. I helped my friend D sort some of the rejected clothing. Lots of stains and rips. This tag got us tickled:

They should maybe have spell check for the tagging system...just saying.

Picked up the kids, helped with homework and sat at soccer practice. My head feels about as heavy as a lead balloon. Not too fun. Tomorrow has three ball games and picking up the remaining items from the sale. Hopefully we'll sell it all.

I hope to have a clearer head and a funnier post tomorrow. My apologies for tonight's.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Middle school merriment

Today was a busy day. I had a work meeting(story of my life), laundry, cleaning and baking all before school pickup time. S's school soccer team had a game way out west and we had to get things done lickety split. We also had the bonus of having two extra girls with us. I decided to get myself extra organized with labeled bags and a snack line they could choose their own food and have it to take with them after they changed into their uniforms. I made brownies and krispie treats and had fresh fruits to choose from. I ate some sort of homemaking Wheaties this morning. I had the three players plus two more crazies in the back and we made our way through heavy afternoon traffic to the fields. I got a good parking space. Everything went fine. Of course, this was the time the boy decided he had to go to the bathroom and grabbed an empty coke bottle. The car cleared out really fast. Hopefully one of S's friends who is not used to little brothers is not irrevocably damaged from that. Then a random mom in the parking lot, who had been watching us file out and prepare ourselves for the evening, came over and informed us that a flash storm had come through earlier. The fields were closed. Wha-what?? More of the team arrived in time to hear the news. My girls were bummed they weren't going to play, especially after they got so pumped up in the atmosphere of our car, what with my playing Jim Croce songs the whole way there. I'm sure that was it. Cough cough. So, we loaded them all back into the car. This time we traveled back in lots of heavy going home traffic. I had mercy on the girls and turned the station to XM's broadcast of Ryan Seacrest's station. Lots of current hits. No Leroy Brown. The car united as one chorus singing Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors". I got a glimpse of slumber parties and craziness to come. Clapping and singing and dancing. And they didn't tell me I had to stop singing. It was a win-win. There'll be plenty more soccer games. But they'll only singing top 40 hits with you for so long...

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I need to grow up

The other night, I was having a discussion about school with my oldest. I have often wondered what kind of discipline methods they have in middle school that they may not have in elementary school. Luckily for her, she is in honors classes and there aren't quite as many issues in those classes. But they still exist. So, do they get written up? Do they get sent to the principal's office? They certainly do not get paddled like they did in my middle school. That would equal instant lawsuit these days. When I asked S what they do when you act up in class, she said, "They put you in the box." WHAT?!?! I tried to understand what "the box" was. "Is it like a real box? How is that acceptable." "No, mom." "Is it like a masking taped box on the floor?". "No, mom." Insert eye roll here. As she described it to me, I realized it sounded like a "carrel" like we had in the library at school. A desktop, chair and walls on three sides. But at that point, I could only think of Clifton James' character in "Cool Hank Luke".

"Last bell is at eight. Any man not in his bunk at eight spends the night in the box." Everything resulted in a night in the box. Sooo...I started applying it to middle school. "Tardy bell is at 8:30. Anyone not in their seat at 8:30 gets a seat in the box." "Stick bag has to come to band class. Anyone who forgets their stick bag gets a seat in the box." "No tank tops or hats allowed in the school. Anyone wearing tank tops or hats in the school spends the day in the box." My child was not amused. Maybe if she had seen the movie. I showed her the boiled egg scene. She can see the whole thing when she's a bit older. Every self respecting movie lover needs to know plenty of Paul Newman. Throw some George Kennedy in there too. Anyone who doesn't see a Paul Newman movie gets a night in the box.

And the girl continues to roll her eyes and shake her head. Oh well.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh my gosh, where to start...

Oh wow, people. It has been one heck of an evening. Well, afternoon and evening. After school pickup was complete, we went straight to church for G's singing group practice and the to a receiving of friends. Afterwards, I took G across the street to her guitar lesson. We then quickly headed home, shoved cereal dinner down our gullets, fancied ourselves up and headed back to church directory pictures. If I haven't mentioned it before, I will now: I HATE having my picture made. The women in my family all feel the same and I liken it to people in days of old when they thought that having your picture made took away your soul. I get that. We got in there and filled out all the paperwork. Easy enough. Then we went into the photographer's inner sanctum, dreading what came next. I'm sure she obably dreaded us as well. Three kids and two parents who looked as thrilled to be there as ones who are in the ER waiting room. Poor woman. Standing on boxes with heads tilted like creepy mannequins, we slapped on the permagrins and did our best to hold still. The boy got a case of the giggles and the ants in the pants all at once. Then he had glare on his glasses. Then the hub's stool was up too high so the lady, fully aware of his back issue, went behind him and pressed the button to immediately lower him a foot. This caused him to jerk, almost fall of the stool and cringe in agonizing pain. That took a little while to recover from, so the kids started dancing and making gang symbols at each other. Proud moment for me as I wonder if there is an airplane bottle stashed somewhere in the room. THen they decide to do a mom and dad shot. Both of these were very awkward. "Act like you like each other!". I do like the hub, however, I do not normally express my feelings for him by sitting in front of him, head tilted as though I am listening for a distant train and flashing a permagrin. The kids had their turn, which was fairly uneventful especially considering the time of night and their lack of a substantial dinner. The boy stood in the middle of his sisters with his arms crossed and it looked like some sibling fight club poster. Then, she led us into the room where they turn up the thermostat and the guilt. They start showing you pictures and pictures and more pictures, telling you not to miss out on perfect Christmas presents, asking which looks better, left or right. This process was comparable to the eye doctor trying out lenses. They all started looking the same. He was looking away, she was squinting. I was not smiling, she looked like someone had pinched her rear end. We were trying not to openly mock some of the pictures, but.... One of the mom/dad poses required me to stand behind him with my hands on his shoulders, leaning forward close to his ear. When we saw the image of that on the screen, the family exploded in laughter. I looked like I was Frankenstein in this:

We couldn't breathe. I tried so hard to stop. B got himself together the fastest, made the decision, paid the bill and we got out of there. We are awful people.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Time to get nervous, friends

Today is the first soccer game of the middle school team season and, of course, we are starting against one of the powerhouses in the county. They are traditionally always top in the state, at least their high school, and are bred to be little Pele's from birth. So here we sit, eaten by bugs and awaiting a slaughter. Gladiators vs Admirals. I know who I think sounds tougher. The game is starting and I can't type and cheer.


Well, friends. They did it. It was a beautiful thing to see. The mighty admirals fell as the Gladiators were determined to not go down without a fight. They all worked so well together. They talked to each other. Our goalie got switched out and sent to forward. She scored two goals fairly quickly. First game of the school year a success. I am proud to say S scored one herself. She looked like a pixie wearing a black halo. She has a special headgear she wears to absorb the shock if she gets hit in the head. Two concussions are two too many. Gots to protect that noggin.

On a completely different note, Monday hit the kids hard. G succumbed to the lull of the car quickly after being in school all day:

Yes, she is asleep. I'm about to be too. Night all.
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dressed for success...or not

After a long and interesting morning at work/church, I returned to the ranch tired and ready for a nap. Then it hit me, not unlike the feeling when you look at your clock in the morning and see you've overslept by 15 minutes. We have church pictures on Tuesday. GAH!!! The boys can always be in a shirt and tie, zip zap you're done. The girls have grown and, according to the picture people rules, have to wear color and solids if possible. We have off whites, creams and light pinks. So I changed into my Chucks, got the girls to change out of lazy afternoon clothes and we dashed out to shop. You can only imagine the excitement. First store? A bust. Second store? We just had to make do. What I have pictured in my mind for an 11yr old and a 9yr old to wear is shattered and stomped into the ground when I go to the store. Somewhere between grades 3 and 7, the clothes go from cute and neat to streetwalker collection. How annoying. We found something that I think will do. Now I have to find something for myself. Oh well. Afterwards we went to our favorite, Kroger, to get salad fixin's and saw Mr. Don. The girls love him dearly and love to give him a hard time. After an amusing discussion about the benefits and risks involved with the consuming of tofu. If you know Don, you know where he comes down on that one. We finished up our shopping and wanted to get home before we had to leave again for choir. I noticed the car next to us had already gotten to celebrating the upcoming(in a month and a half)Halloween season...I did not know the Steamroller liked the ghoulies:

It was in the seat of a Subaru station wagon with a dog gate for the back. What that has to do with anything, I do not know. It gave me a chuckle. Night.
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Too tired to puke

The first games of the season came and went today. The sun was blazing and the heat was to the point of almost instantaneous dehydration. S started out the day playing an out of town game in the morning dew and fog. She drew first and second blood, which made her very excited. We drove, um cough cough, "quickly" back to town just in time for the boy's game. The energy and craziness that comes with those boy games is exhausting, but very amusing. S reffed that game. Why not? She needed the practice and why not ref for at least one team that won't verbally abuse her from the sidelines. He was able to score a couple of goals. G's game was last to be played. She also drew first blood and made some great saves in the goal. They did not come up with a win, but it was a good learning experience...that she will appreciate in ten years or so.

After playing, the boy went swimming with some of his buddies. They had a wonderful day to do it for sure. After all that, we had yet another activity planned where the kids were worn out for the evening. When we went to pick them up, they looked absolutely beat. I have not seen the boy that exhausted in a while. On our drive home, he started coughing and trying to throw up. Then he just put his head back. I think the mixture of soccer, pool water and overstimulation was more than he could take. But he was just too tired to get all that pool water out of his belly. Poor little guy. It was a nice day all around, just a little too busy for some tummies.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Another Friday night at the fields...

Forgive me for the late post and lack of brain cells used in the writing of this post. The smell of pumpkin muffins is wafting through the house. I'm not a bit hungry, but it is very distracting, I must say. I am trying to have something easy for the kids to eat for breakfast tomorrow. Three games, one being played at another set of fields. We were chuckling at practice tonight that the U5 parents, the ones just starting out, were walking away from their games with the looks of "What have we gotten ourselves into" as they headed to their cars. I'm sure we looked like that a few years ago. Now we just turn into soccer machines, carrying our chairs and coolers and bags of sunscreen and bandaids.

Totally unrelated to today's post, this is the product of braiding G's thick, wet hair:

It did alright. The picture doesn't really do it justice. Her friends liked it and so did she...that's all that really matters.

Lastly, in the post of random thoughts, I'd like to leave you with one last thought. I think many of us could relate to this:

Jenny out.
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Thursday, September 5, 2013


I have hit a writer's block in a big way. The past two days have been kind of lonesome, boring days sprinkled with upsetting incidents, grumpy emails in my inbox and my obvious inability to cope with the rigors of the school year and their effects on my children. The more I get into it, the more I realize that maybe I was mistakenly given children seeing as how I can't seem to handle the bad times with the good. Small victory, in the midst of this, is that I sat down and heard the boy read three books and we finished his reading log. AND I was able to avoid having to help with the math homework...the hub took that one for me. He also took all the kids to soccer so I could sort a mountain of socks and underwear without scarring little ears when I wound up with an odd number of socks...again. Once the kids got home and the rush of showers had passed, I spent a little time with my sweet G braiding her hair. She wanted to wake up with wavy hair tomorrow, so we'll see. This is what the before looked like:

I realize that it looks like a disorganized mess, but I didn't want to be braiding all night. That kid has so much hair! If I am awake enough tomorrow and it turns out, I will take a picture for you.

Tomorrow is a new day filled with consignment tagging and baking and who knows what else. Hopefully it will unblock my noggin. Hopefully.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A day of blah

This has been a day of blah. Nothing of great excitement to note. Laundry, Target, tagging items, general nothing. Took Gracie back to the "Polish Consulate" for round two. My sweet friend, A, got S from school and fixed her breakfast for dinner and chocolate pie. She probably isn't too thrilled to be back in her blah house. I'm glad she's home, but I'm also thankful she was taken care of so we could get G where she needed to be. I cussed at clear packing tape that kept picking off in the wrong place and messing up consignment items. I cried at a 10 minute short on the making of "We Bought A Zoo". I need to get a life. Maybe I'll get better sleep tonight, get early caffeine tomorrow and be ready to tear it up. Tonight will be a new Duck Dynasty and a soft pillow. Night all....

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Father Daughter Bonding

Since it is consignment sale time in Tennessee, the family has had to suffer the horrors that come from a mom who is rabidly trying to hang and iron and sort and prepare clothing all while they are trying to enjoy a semi-relaxing Labor Day weekend. So when the holiday was over, everyone went their separate ways and I was left to deal with the straightening of the house, the preparing for our crazy evening and the tagging of these clothes. For years, and I really mean years like, um, 10 maybe, I have been using safety pins to attach the clothing to the hangers and the tag to the clothing. This process is absolutely maddening and painful. This may come as a shock to you, but there are pain receptors in your fingertips and when a safety pin goes through that fingertip it hurts. Bad. My dear friend, Margaret, felt our pain...or maybe she got sick of hearing me complain about my sore fingers...anyhoo, she bought me a tagging gun. God bless that girl. I was so excited to use it. So today, my father was looking for some way to help me out. We decided to fire up the tagging gun. I did not understand the directions, so dad figured it out. After taking an awl and a hammer and punching holes through the cards, we got serious. So for the next hour, he and I tagged clothes. I never in my mind thought that I would ever be tagging clothes for a sale with my father. And it was great. We laughed and joked and spent quality time with each other. And we got a lot of work done. What a lovely afternoon. Thanks, MB, for providing the gun and the subject for a fun afternoon. I think I know what I might get Dad for Christmas....

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Monkey with a Mohawk

S and my dad arrived this afternoon bearing many gifts from my parents' garden and from their attic. My parents are making it clear that they won't take it with them, so to speak, and we better start clearing stuff out now before we are forced to do so when they enter the "home". So three shoeboxes with fragile contents were carefully placed on our kitchen table. S was especially excited about one in particular and she carefully unwrapped it. I inhaled sharply. "Isn't it cool?", she said. "I made middle school art class," I said. She knew and was beaming. Let me show you a picture and tell you a little story:

When I was young, I LOVED art class. I had the best art teacher you could ever hope for in elementary school. A dream who made you feel like you could paint the next Mona Lisa even if you were awful. Then came middle school. Art class stepped up a notch and it wasn't just manilla paper, clay and paint in old hamburger styrofoam plates. We did alot in grades 2-5, but it was a higher difficulty level in 6-8. I did a color valued painting of the Hushpuppies basset hound. My teacher was not a fan. We then had to make a clay box and embellish it somehow. No parameters other than the box better be right. I was running out of options, so I decided to make it like some weird idol off of some Indiana Jones movie. Why not, right? She HATED it. She crushed my dreams in front of the class, said art was not for me and I needed to give up. I am 41 years old and I have never forgotten that. For many years, I believed that to be true. Then I decided to make my own art in my own way. Sewing creatures and creating paper art. But I still never forgot her words. I felt somewhat redeemed when my children thought my mohawk monkey box was cool. I don't know what I'll do with it, but at least he's in a place where he's three kids. That's all I need.
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Can I skip tonight and sleep?

I apologize ahead of time. I am exhausted. Sleep is not coming easy these days...even more so than usual. Last night I had corn chips with our meal and they just about killed me. Between drinking a liter of water and chewing Tums all night, I got about three hours of sleep. Today was a bit stressful at work. The holiday/post football game/communion Sunday slump hit hard and attendance was way down. Grown ups forgot to let me know they would be absent, which in turn threw the whole flow of the hallway off. Some creative assembling of classes happened on the fly. I was just fried and tired by going home time. A tiny power nap did little except left me wanting more sleep. We took the kids to the park to ride their bikes. I think I had about 14 near heart attacks watching the boy ride. His style is akin to that of a baby giraffe riding a unicycle. Wobbly and spastic. He can ride in a straight line...I've seen him do it. He just chooses not to do so. The heat and humidity finally got the best of us and we had to leave. Dinner came and went. Homework was finished and now the family reading of "Superfudge" is continuing. If only you could hear the verbal equivalent of my would all be slurred. Barely holding on, frinds. Night.

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