Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloweenies all of us

I have failed lots of ways during this ghost and ghoulie season. No carved pumpkin. No pumpkin toast or pancakes for breakfast...although I did have a box of Frankenberry that they did not eat. I did not have little buckets full of Halloween goody favorites for the teachers. Bleh. I did, however, do a few things. I sent 3 bags of little powdered and chocolate doughnuts to the boy's class(per teacher's request). I helped with Art Masters with his class and helped get special snack set out for the hungry little costumed kidlets. It was dress up like your favorite book character day today so, like I said last night, I worked all day mostly on the boy's hat. G had her idea picked out and wanted to do it all by herself. Fine with me. She is very creative and who am I to stand in the way of all that? We also figured that they would wear whatever costume they wore during the day to Trick orr Treat that night. G decided to be Junie B. Jones and the boy was the Substitute Creacher. S dressed up as a witch and G did her makeup. So, this is who the boy was wanting to look like:

This is who G wanted to resemble:

This is what we got when I did a roll call for the Halloween picture:

I'll show you a picture of the boy's hat, because I thought it was pretty funny:

The kids had a good time and got some loot. Sometime in between getting them dressed and locking up the house, the kids had been warned not to eat any of the candy until we checked it for razor blades. This started an evening long conversation about razor blades and why they end up in Snickers. I never came up with a good answer, but it could have easily transitioned into cyanide in Tylenol capsules. Luckily, everyone who gave us candy was a family friend, so there was no real threat of sketchy confections.

Have a good rest of the evening...I am tired and in a very minor sugar coma. Time for bed.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Almost dress up day....

I have been fashioning a book character costume for the boy today. Maybe, contrary to what I thought, I do work better under pressure. He finally decided what he wanted to be, so I went into panic and scramble mode. Just like with the dioramas, I take this book character likeness thing seriously. I cannot show you the pictures of the final products until tomorrow whent the kids are in them, but I have to say that I am pretty proud.

Rain is supposed to be on the horizon for Halloween this year, so we will be working fast and getting in before the kids melt from either the rain or the heat. Tomorrow will also an anniversary for the hub and I. 21 years ago tomorrow, we started dating. I think within just a few weeks of dating, if that, I knew he was the one. I am honored and blessed to have such a kind man with such high character as my husband and the father to my children. I certainly got the Halloween treat to beat them all.

Have a good night....

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mom fail #98765432

After three loads of laundry, homework, dinner prep and cleanup and bedtime, I decided to sit down and take a few minutes for myself. I should have thought about it a little harder...sitting down and relaxing was too easy tonight. What's going to happen? I'll tell ou. Our oldest is super snorty and we have a broken vaporizer, so the hub ran to the store to try and locate one so our child can breathe in the night. He also removed the dead mouse from the garage that was pleasantly giving off the putrid smell of death. And he helped S to neti pot this evening. He's winning best dad ever award. As I sat on the couch to blog for a minute, I realized that I had not gotten a pumpkin to carve this year. G decorated a pumpkin at a party, but nothing was Pumpkinmastered up. Hanging head in shame. There is really no time to do one anyway. D'oh.

Go ahead and add it to your know who you are.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

I was done in an hour...

So, the boy's glasses broke Saturday afternoon. He was not being reckless, although he had been at a birthday party in a bounce house for two hours. There is a possibility that the very expensive Spiderman glasses fell off in mid jump. That was not anything he admitted to, but I'm a mom. I know how the kid works. Anyhoo, the glasses were broken in a spot that was going to be hard to remedy with some extra sticky tape or some gum. After a call to his eye doctor, or the eyeglass place attached to his office, we found that his glasses were out of warranty. The next available appointment for him to see the doc was scheduled...a very close Dec.17. Wow. His teacher told us today that he was already complaining that his head and eyes hurt. Soooo, this afternoon we got to go to one of my least favorite places on the planet: LensCrafters. I giant rip off, but pretty much the only game in town if you need to get glasses quickly. And we needed them quickly. With a prescription like the boy's, he needs to have them on as much as possible. We found some new frames. They were no Spiderman frames, but the saleswoman/optician made sure to show the boy how you can twist the frames around without breaking them. Why, lady? Why did you think it was a good idea to show him that his glasses can do that? Some people don't think. Maybe she's inhaled too many lens cleaner fumes. The frames were chosen, the measurements taken and the return time given. It was actually an hour and ten minutes. By the time we walked around the deadest mall on earth, only to see this exciting shop that we did not enter:

I was ready to be home. We got back at our appointed arrival time. Um, yeah. Twenty minutes later, still waiting. Done in about an hour? I was done long before then. I turned around to find this:

These frames were a big no, especially since the frames had already been picked out. Meanwhile, the girls picked these out for me:

I am not an old lady in an Old Navy commercial or a intellectual looking chipmunk who has two brothers:

Thanks children that I labored and "birthed". Got the glasses and, ting tang walla walla bing bang, finally broke out of there. Let's hope these hold until December...especially if he tries the twist trick demonstration with them. Eek.
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tired and...tired

I will give you the run down of our day, because I just know you are on the edge of your seats wanting to know.

1. Got up to find I had three people sick or injured who were supposed to be teaching. Scramble time!

2. I got to hear my sweet 9 year old and her friends in their singing group sing with the choir today. It was absolutely gorgeous. I cried, of course.

3. Went to watch S's team play in the championship game in their division. The game was rough. The opposing grown ups rougher. The game went into sudden death overtime. Then into PK's. Our girls won. It was a beautiful thing to watch. They all worked so hard all season. I am so proud of all of them.

4. I broke several speed limits to get back to the other side of town in time for our church's Trunk or Treat. We had scads of people there. We were so pleased to have so many people from the community to come and play for a few hours.

I am now calling my cousin and going to bed. Good night, friends.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bubble wrapped kid

The day started out smple enough, dress in 17 layers of clothing and fill every Tervis Tumbler in the house with coffee and hot chocolate and run across town to be a half an hour early to warm up for an 8am soccer game. Our girls were playing a team we had beaten before, but it was so cold that they all were a bit frozen and dull. But they woke up and won. One of the girls from the other team decided to play American football instead and wiped my oldest out. Same story, different day. That girl got a yellow card...she deserved more. My girl got a trip to the Ortho ER and a cracked growth plate in her shoulder. Nice. She may be small, but she is a tough cookie, but in a fair amount of pain. G scored the only goal in her game and her team won to close out the season. The boy's team ended with a loss, but they played hard! We almost made it through this season without a major injury...almost.

Oh well. Hopefully all the children and the hub will rest comfortably tonight. We are all wiped out!

Night all.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

And when I die...and when I'm gone...

Today is one of those days that has made me think deeply about life and death and how so many things are related and how much more fragile life is than we think. And, no, it was not because we were picking out floor and tile and fixtures and Home Depot for two and a half hours and I was on the verge of a mental break.

Since kindergarten, G has had a good buddy, M. She is pit bull spitfire of a girl, the only child of loving parents. My brother still talks about his conversation with her when he went to have lunch with G as her "bring a special person to school" person. M corrected him on how to pronounce her name, talked his ear off and entertained him for the whole meal. She an G have competed against each other in soccer for several years. Fierce competitors both, but always starting and finishing their match with a hug and a high five. M's parents have been equally supportive, cheering for G when she saves a goal or makes one. Yelling words of support to her when a goal gets in or she gets hurt. The last game they played, M's dad yelled at G to keep her chin up and said he'd buy her an ice cream for the next saved goal. Pure kindness. Monday, after lunching with his girl at school, he left not feeling well. Just hours later...he was gone. This precious man who has been so kind and involved is gone. And so very young. For various reasons, I did not find out this news until this morning. It wasn't widely publicized and, since our girls aren't in the same class this year, G's class was not informed. The hub and I have gone through the day numb, knowing we would have to discuss it with G, a kid who loved her friend's dad so. At first she was stunned...asked a lot of questions...wanted to know when she could see her friend and wondered what she could do. I had no answers other than prayers and hugs.

This evening we received emails and texts from the hub's cousin. He and his wife have struggled for years with infertiity. Who have fought with the adoption system. Two people who have yearned so for children of their own, who have wept heartbroken tears for unfiulfilled hopes and dreams. Today they sent us pictures of their two foster siblings. A brother and sister, exactly a year apart, yes sharing a birthday. The looks of absolute and pure joy on their faces gave me chills and tears. For the second time today, the husband and I sat speechless and filled with emotion...obviously different this time.

Biblical the band Blood, Sweat and Tears are not, but situations like this always make me think of them. "And when I die and when I'm gone, they'll be one child born in this world to carry on, to carry on." This precious father passed from this life to a new one in Heaven, leaving behind a grieving family. I wish I could reverse take away the pain. At the same time, two children who so badly needed a stable family and parents to love and care for them, have in a sense been reborn in their new family with my husband's cousin and his wife. I wish we were closer to celebrate.

Tears of pain and tears of joy...two families in need of lots of support and prayers. Hearts too full emotion to know how exactly to separate all the feelings out.

Bless them all.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gearing up for the crazy

Soooo, Soccer Saturdays are going to be coming to an end after this weekend, but to get through this weekend is going to be in-SANE. Two children have games at the same time while one is in a tournament on the other side of town. Sprinkle in there two different birthdays and then a Sunday with two more games possibly and a Fall Festival at church. I am not a fan of playing sports during church times, but I will make an exception once a year. Now is not the time to be having a bad case of insomnia....even more so than usual. I'm just hoping that I don't take the kid playing soccer to the birthday party and vice versa. I'll sew emergency numbers into everybodys' jackets this weekend. If you are a grown up receiving one of my children, just look there if I screw up.

On a completely different note, say a prayer for the friend of one of my children. Second or third trip to ER this week. They cannot figure out what is wrong. We know how that feels.

Night night.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thinking pink tonight...

It was a run of the mill day today. Laundry, straightening, a little snooze to try and catch up from the two hours of sleep I got last night. While doing laundry in the basement, I turned the radio on to my morning show with Marc and Kim. I had read on Twitter that they would have an announcement in the 8:00 hour and that it was something Kim would be dealing with for the next several months. In my gut, I had a feeling I knew what it was, but I hoped I would be wrong. As I listened, Kim announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be undergoing a double mastectomy next Tuesday. I cried at the announcement, at the callers giving support, at Marc showing love and compassion for his friend and partner at work. We have been listening to their morning show for 10 years, I think, and they feel like part of our family. We've met them at various appearances around town, but don't know them personally. Her announcement has stayed with me all day. Breast cancer has touched my family and friends in too many ways. It is a horrible disease...just horrible. I am so very thankful for the medical community and their tireless efforts to find a cure.

Tonight I will add Kim to my prayer list and say extra prayers of thanks for the strong surviviors whose lives inspire me and prayers of remembrance for those who we lost too soon. Night all...

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Disappointment and muffins...what a combo

Wellll, the morning started off as one would expect for the Monday after Fall Break...lots of moaning and groaning. And that was just from me. Our house also felt like a meat locker. Well, more like a deep freeze. With cold mornings and Spring like afternoons, we cannot justify turning on the heat. The thought of leaving the warm cocoon of the bed is a less than savory one, but one that has to be done. My Wisconsin relatives are surely laughing at my complaints of a 42 degree morning, but the lack of heat and not having switched over to the Winter bedding yet make for quite the challenge in waking young people up. The 70-74 degree afternoons are nice, but these blasted temp differences and the lovely East Tennessee pollen/crushed up leaf dust count will be the death of our family's respiratory system as a whole. Due to the huge meth problem in our state, I feel we are already on a watch list of some sort for all of the sudafed-esque/mucinexy stuff we have purchased in order to breathe without sounding like some sort of obscene phone caller. Anyhoo, got the kids up, dressed, fed and dropped at school. I went to church and got my Tuesday work done on Monday since the hub was going to get an injection in his back tomorrow. Notice I said "was". The poor guy has a sinus infection and is on antibiotics. No injection when on meds apparently. So this possible relief to his back pain will be postponed another two weeks. He is so disappointed and so am I, but life goes on and so will we. Because of the change in plan, I will be going to work tomorrow. This also means, because I work at a church, that I will again be on the list to bring a baked good offering for Pastor Appreciation Day. I was supposed to bring sausage balls, but I accidently made those two weeks early. So pumpkin muffins were the next easiest breakfasty thing. Done...and the house smells lovely.

We'll get through all this mess. I just want my husband to finally feel good and enjoy a life without constant pain. He carries quite a heavy load. But he's a trooper and my hero.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Torture by vanity shopping

So in my haste to rail on TLC and their Extreme Couponing show, I totally forgot to tell of our day in home improvement land. Our oldest had cleverly escaped the fold and went to sleepover land, leaving her poor siblings at the mercy of their mean parents. The morning started out harmless enough, sleeping in since all our soccer games were cancelled(thank goodness), snuggling up to watch mindless television for a few minutes and then going for breakfast at the bagel place that starts with a "P" and ends with an "ahhh". The kids had no idea. They quickly caught on when we pulled into the Lowe's parking lot. The smiles quickly sagged, the shoulders dropped. We chatted with a guy in the bathroom department who seemed about as thrilled with helping people as he would have before a root canal. He was as helpful as he wanted to be that morning and we felt there was no need to tax him further by asking him to look else anything up. Also, the kids had become unhealthily entranced by a video presentation on shiny Delta shower heads, only after trying out all the bathtub displays, and we needed to get them out of there. And where did we take them? Home Depot. I know. That was mean. But we had to check out their stuff. Whilst there, we met our new friend, Randy, who I had actually worked with a few years ago. While he is a bit intense and way excited about woods and finishes and door styles, I like a person who is passionate about their job. We designed our vanity, ordered it and the "Pebble" counter and sink. The children opened every appliance with a door, calling us to come inspect every exciting refridgerator with extra doors and compartments. The boy came back to report that he had found candy in one of the dishwashers. Even Randy warned him against the temptation of dishwasher candy. While we did leave there with a new vanity and top ordered, the kids hit their mental limit. I walked around the cornere to look at sink hardware and found this:

He was playing with her hair, trying to talk her down from her emotional ledge. What are little brothers for anyway? We got out of there, they got a special lunch and an afternoon of playing out in the yard. All is well and I think they've forgiven us. I think.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Things do go bad at some point

Okay, friends. I have to step up on my soapbox for just a couple of paragraphs. Deals are great and I am all about getting a deal. My oldest has, as I have talked about for a bit, gotten in to couponing. Being the cereal eating, leg and face shaving, yogurt eating, hair and face washing, laundry doing and toilet cleaning family that we are, coupons are very handy to defray some or all of the cost of any of these items if we buy the right amount on the right day or week. But I have a terribly huge problem with this blasted Extreme Couponing show. During a marathon this evening, S was watching and getting tips. I was watching and yelling at the television. Here are my issues with this program in no particular order:

1. Why did one woman have over 50,000 sanitary pads that she will never use because she had a hysterectomy? She did not speak of donating them. Just had them in her outdoor stockpile shed. I have two words for her: mouse bedding.

2. Do these people ever listen to the news about toxic cake mixes or poisonous Tylenol that was taken after they had expired? While some items are fresher if used before the date on the box, some of these items can be downright deadly if used when out of date. I used to work for health department, people. These are not a suggestion. The razors and paper towels? Hoard away...but watch for the mice looking for bedding armed with sharp objects.

3. Why does this show have to make all southerners look like inbred weirdos who are cheap and only to be understood if they put subtitles to "translate" their coupon talk? Wasn't Honey Boo Boo damaging enough to us?

4. How messed up are some of these children going to be who have to go on 10 hour shopping trips with their coupon extremist parental people? Shouldn't these kids be playing outside...with their parents...with a ball and not inside clipping coupons with their mom's industrial Fiskars scrapbooking cutter? As a 41 year old person, I would be in the fetal position tucked carefully under one of the organic cucumber displays, praying for it all to be over, but never to be found again since the couponers are not buying anything healthy...which leads me to my final complaint...

5. Someday, we all have to grow up and stop eating like Buddy the Elf or college students who are living on a quarter a day food budget. Between the half a cart full of bags of fun size Snickers, the pallet of Yakisoba noodles with enough sodium to take down a medium sized country or the tons of sports drinks that will hydrate the entire Premiere League team lineup or constipate all the teenage kids in a small town, there is enough unhealthy food purchasing going on to make Dr. Oz clench his heart in fear. I know there is a fair amount of laundry detergent and paper product stuff flying off the shelves on this program, but have you ever seen someone get a cart full of zucchini? A pallet full of kale? Seven baskets worth of bags of baby carrots? Yeah, I didn't think so.

There have been a few who have taken the coupon challenge on to get a cart full of toothbrushes or a truck full of cereal to donate to local charities that help the needy. I applaud them for that. But when, by their own admission, people have more Listerine and Tucks pads than they could ever use in their lifetime, I just have one thing to say...why? If you want to find that out, I'd tell you to tune into A&E's Hoarders. But they cancelled it. Interesting.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

What day is it again?

The day started off a little better today than the first day of Fall Break. The boy still got up way too early, but this time he crawled in bed with me and fell back to sleep. Oh blessed sleep. We then got dressed, ate breakfast and ran some errands. Nothing too terribly exciting although who knew that three children would find Bath and Body Works so terribly exciting. Sniffing different fragrances was great until my 1st grade reader sounded out a fragrance called "Intimate Amber" or something like that. It got really awkward fast. Questions happened, the sales associate was way too forthcoming in defining words with a six year old and then, mercifully, one of the girls distracted him with a bottle of hand sanitizer called "Jelly Donut" or something like that. Saved by pastry scented alcohol.

After we finally escaped the mall and embarrassments galore, we got home in time for a little light straightening up and lunch before dashing out to an appointment with the allergist. After S's significant health event, we needed to let her body recover from all the stuff that attacked it and was pumped in to fix it. The allergist needed to do some testing and figure out exactly what she is allergic to and what made her poor little body look so bad. Unfortunately, the records were not read prior to the appointment, so I overwhelmed the poor NP with enough medial history for five children. What did we get after THREE hours in the office? A flu shot that may blow her leg up, an appointment for a month from now to test her for a vitamin K injectible allergy and orders to go have yet another 30th blood panel drawn at the hospital. So day 2 of Fall Break's meat was spent in a windowless room for 3+ hours until we started doubting what day it was and whether we were on our own version of LOST.

The evening ended nicely enough. The weather was perfect, just lovely for a sweatshirt and jeans. Our dear friends came over and the kids played and ran and jumped in leaves and threw balls around until they were in need of baths. S went to her friend's for the night and the youngers, the hub and I snuggled on the couch. Everyone was happy. Go out and look at the moon, everybody. It is beautiful and a perfect way to end your evening.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cloudy with a chance of flu shots

The first day of Fall Break got off to a pouring and groggy start. The boy got up, raring to go, exactly 15 minutes to 6...15 minutes earlier than he gets up during the work week. Really? My dream of getting to sleep past six would have to wait for yet another day. He took the hub's place in bed and proceeded to flip and flop until I finally gave in and started a movie for him. His sister, G, wasn't too far behind him to crawl into bed as well. S didn't get up until I gave a 10 minute warning to pancakes and that was at 9:00. Middle schoolers. I have misplaced my special bottle for making fancy faced pancakes, so they just got round ones today. Since there was a good and steady rain coming down outside, plans to go to the pumpkin patch were nixed quickly. Blame it on me. I had no desire to look for pumpkins in a mud hole today. Instead I made the decision that we would go to the movies, probably along with 7,000 of our best friends who also don't want to be in a mud hole. Unfortunately, I didn't feel I could take them to see what I want to see, Prisoners, so we saw Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 instead. I cannot deny, I conked out for about 10 minutes in the middle of the film. Since the temperature was the equivalent of the walk in beer cooler at our old grocery store, S and I cuddled up under a sweatshirt and then zzzzzz. The movie was pretty good. It was no Despicable Me 2, but you know. Afterwards, to complete the super fun afternoon, we went to my uncle's CVS where he gave me a flu shot. The kids enjoyed that even more than the movie, I think. Relative on relative violence is good entertainment, I guess.

Currently, S is hand weaving rubber band bracelets. The boy is alternating between eating fruit as a snack and rubbing his dad's feet. G is waiting for her foot rub and watching Holmes on Homes. Ah, the exciting lives of the Tennesseans on Fall Break. I may just go to bed. The excitement is just too much to take. Night all.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Loom"-ing eye strain

With Fall Break officially upon us and most people traveling to exotic locales, I have, as usual, fallen short in the "making the most of the break" department. Mother of the Year once again. As luck would have it, I had to take a friend to the western part of town and was a stone's throw from Michael's. I never go there, partially because it is always kind of a mess, but they had been the only place in town to carry Rainbow Looms. I was not aware of these things until I was informed by another mom that they were all the crafty rage in the preteen set. My girls love to be crafty, so I thought that this loom might be something to pass the time while they relaxed furing the most boring break ever. Once G got home from her field trip with school and the hub, she found the loom and got to work. He showed her how to set it up and she took off. I was gone for about an hour getting S and going to the grocery store and when I came back, the bracelet factory had opened. Seeing G weave these rubber bands together with the loom right up to her eyes, I sense that her eyes may need some rest over the break. Then, when they wanted to take their weaving to the next difficulty level, the hub had to get involved once again. He is the technical guy, the idea man:

The girls are now deciding how to design a website to sell their bracelets. Oh dear. As often is the case, these things tend to add lots of extra work for the mommy. Sigh. If you get a link sent to your inbox, don't automatically think it is linked to a Nigerian prince who needs help securing his fortune. It may just be two eye strained girls and their little spectacled brother trying to make some money for buying Christmas presents for family or helping buy Angel Tree gifts for kids in need. I am sporting one right now out of their "Blue Sky" collection. Yes, they have already started naming each piece of rubber band jewelry. Stylish AND if you are in need, you can take it apart if you need to bundle up a mess of newspapers or Campbell's labels for school.

The ideas are overwhelming...must go to bed.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One day more...

Yes, that is a song from one of my very favorite musicals. But it is not what I am thinking of at this moment, although Hugh Jackman's singing is a nice thought. No, friends, it is one more day until Fall Break. Blessed two day relief from the general bull butter that comes with having three children in school. I clearly remember how ugly girls could be at the ages my girls are now, but it seems like girls these days are even uglier...and their mothers are worse. I'm no picture of perfection, don't worry. I'm more of the hermit mother that my kids' friends see at drop off and pick up, most of the time in my driving uniform of a tshirt, comfy pants and Chacos, ready to go to a soccer game or music practice of many varieties. I have yet to resort to going in curlers, but I keep that in my back pocket if I ever need to teach a Roseanne-esque lesson to a wayward child. Of course, I would have to grow my hair out a bit to get any size curler in there...and that will not happen any time soon. So I'll choose a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers instead. I digress. Squirrel! I guess I got hurt enough as a girl by mean girls that I am extra sensitive, to a fault, and that isn't good. As I have said before, I wish I could wrap these heartbeats of ours up and protect them forever. Each hurtful event puts a little scar on their hearts and takes a little more of their innocence away. That just plain stinks. Okay, hopping down from my soapbox for the night.

The hub is accompanying G on her first field trip of the school year. This should be very interesting, especially due to the fact that there is a 60% and growing chance of rain for the outside field trip. Last time he went on a "fort-like" or "settlement" outside field trip, he and S came home soaked to the bone. Record rain for that particular day, of course. He called ahead, asked me to run a hot bath and carried her upstairs to get in immediately. At least when they get home, Fall Break will officially be on and she has the rest of the week and weekend to warm up and recover. The hub is supposedly getting a group of 12 kids which really kind of is a big number. Especially outside in the rain around a fort with who knows what going on. Sounds like excellent material for tomorrow's entry. Let's just hope it is good material that doesn't end with, "And then I had to take him for emergency surgery on his back." That would take the fun out of it for sure.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Those who can't play coach...those who can't coach, uh, ref?

S's last game of the regular middle school season was tonight. A team we had beaten handily earlier in the season was back for a second try. They were gunning for us for sure and were not going to go down without a fight. Really, we should have known bad things were afoot at the Circle K, I mean USC Field complex. Unfortunately for us, their idea of revenge involved elbows, tripping and all around unsafe brutality in any way they could exact it. The AR was a parent from the other team, our own fault, and the ref was someone of their choosing since they were the home team. Either the sun was in his eyes or he just chose to be blind for his team's sake. I know 4 of my 5 readers get very tired of my soccer talk. Hold on, friends, for November is a comin' and outdoor soccer will be done...thank goodness. But a good ref is hard to find. In any sport. S has taken the classes and is certified to center ref games in the division beneath hers. She has studied and knows the rules. This poor gentleman was very confused about the rules of the game. He had lots of angry parents on the sideline, which may explain why he did not tarry on his way to his vehicle. Our fans know better than to do anything bad, but not all do. The hub and our other coach shook their heads, praised their girls for their hard work in the wake of an impossible game to fairly win(due to officiating) and left. They will have their traditional post game coaches' wrap up texting session. One said he needed a few beverages before discussion and I needed to get some chili in the hub's belly.

In other news, the boy's class was down several children today as, people call it around these parts, "the strep throat" is taking people down left and right like some of the players in tonight's game. And, yes, "the" must be used when describing the throat illness..."the strep throat", along with "the Kroger" and "the Target", etc.. Maybe it is a southern thing, I'm not sure, but I think it is a very funny. Anyhoo, my children will be bathing themselves in "the hand sanitizer" on their way home from school until they can wash with "the Soft Soap". I'll stop now. Time to play this awful "Cookie Clicker" game that someone told me about. It is pointless and evil and a quick pathway to carpal tunnel syndrome. Don't download it. You've been warned.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cough drops and mental flops

Sunday is almost over and the kids are tucked safely in bed...early. Sleepovers and marathon soccer days left them exhausted and super grumpy today, so much so that I was tempted to be the "send them to bed without any supper at 6pm" kind of mom. But before bedtime arrived, we had to make it through the day. They sat relatively still during church service this morning, only squirming when our poor pastor got a tickle in her throat and needed a cough drop. The kids were determined that they would find one lying around in the pew and help her out. Afterwards we went to my office and got her a whole ziploc bag's worth to help her make it through the rest of the day. Seeing as how I have sounded like a chain smoker for the better part of a month with all this sinus/allergy crud, I come prepared. Sadly, that is the only way I was prepared this morning. I forgot to put the money jar for offering out and totally missed putting the pagers out for the parents. I think my boss was concerned I was having some sort of mental lapse. She wasn't too far off the mark. Dinner on Saturday night did not agree with either the hub or myself, so we were up chewing Tums like candy. Sleep was rare, but heartburn was plentiful. Yuck. Hopefully I can redeem myself on Tuesday when we have staff meeting.

On a completely different note, my favorite Twitter account, Cute Emergency, had the best picture today. This dog looks like a deboned chicken. So funny. Enjoy!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

My skin is Octoburned again

The countdown is on Two weeks left...I think. While I love soccer, this Fall season is going to be the death of us all. Again, as I stated last Saturday, I find it absolutely absurd that in mid-October I am getting burnt in June-like weather. Today I walked to my children's games with round sunglasses and a bucket hat. I looked like a 41 year old reject cast member from The Breakfast Club. If I had worn some Jellies on my feet, held a boom box and had my asymmetrical haircut from high school, it would have been '80's throwback day at the fields. Luckily my children were too busy actually playing soccer to be potentially embarrassed by me, thank goodness. Oh well, girls just wanna have fun.

The hub and the boy are extra tired tonight after their Father-Son camp out adventure. They had a great time, but are looking forward to their comfy beds tonight. Actually, the boy is already in his and I imagine that he was conked out after head met pillow.

I'm going to put some green stuff on this sunburn, get some ice water and go to bed. Tomorrow is a work day for me with all the little guys and gals at church, so I need to get in some z's. Hopefully sleep will happen tonight. If not, I'm sure Sixteen Candles or some other 80's jewel will be on ABC Family. Night...

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Jam packed, er, pumpkin packed day

Presently, I am sitting with my girls watching "Oz The Great and Powerful". I am really not paying too much attention to it at this point...just glad to be clean and comfortable. This morning I went to the Fruit and Berry Patch and accompanied a bunch of little preschool friends and their grown ups on a hayride-sheep feeding-pumpkin picking-corn mazing adventure of fun. It started with directions and stories from the owner, Dennis Fox, about the dangers of eating odd and random berries that can kill you:

He is a treasure in our community with his kindness and his incredible horticulture education and knowledge. In the Spring, he has a wonderfulway of talking to the children about strawberry picking and which strawberries not to pick. "If their tummies are still green and you pick them, you'll have to sleep with them on your pillow because they aren't ready to leave their mamas yet." A fruity cautionary tale. Store that little fact away for later. Today's visitors got a pumpkin, a coloring book and a little plastic pumpkin sipper full of fresh apple cider. So good. A glorious day made for a wonderful time. I love it every year!

The hub and the boy are at a Father-Son campout for the night, so the girls and I are enjoying time together. The moms and daughters got to go to a Cupake Camp at church where they had some dinner and learned how to decorate cupcakes in fancy ways. Mother of the year here sent one child there in the care of friends while I sat at S's make up soccer game that was, quite honestly, one of the weirder experiences I have had during my "soccer mom" career. If I could adequately describe it, I would. But I can't and the light got so dim that I could not get a good video of the antics. We played a team, good hearted though they were, who just were not used to playing games with teams that had been together for a while. Their coach was a bit overzealous in his expectations and our girls played a glorified game of detailed and instructional keep away for the next hour. For the parents, it was more a psychological observation of a coach under pressure vs a coach who could order a player to break out and score a goal at any time. Very Karate Kid-esque..."FINISH HIM!!!", but replace the evil Martin Kove sensei with a 6'5" barefooted friendly coach who just likes to play soccer. But even he has a patience limit. Luckily the game ended shortly after a rough play that left one player on the ground for a minute while her coach asked ours if our player deserved a yellow card. "Uh, no. Accidents happen and people fall down." Patience ran out and so did the clock. Now all parties from my family are home and conked out in their warm beds. I will be as well as soon as I hit the publish button. Night all....

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

People don't think sometimes

As the three of you who read my blog know, I do not sleep well. I haven't for many years now. I am blessed in many ways, but being able to shut all the baloney rattling around in my brain for the night is not one of them. So on certain occasions, I may be known to do one of two things. One, I put in a load of laundry(trying to be useful and productive)and then sit in the comfy chair in our basement with the lights off, listen to the hum of the washer, curl up under a blanket and nod off for a while. My own personal dark cave with a wonderful sound lulling me into sleep that so rarely comes. OR, I go to the pickup line at school early, find a show to play on the iPad, get myself settled comfortably in a sunbeam after setting the alarm clock app on my phone and conk out to the sound of The IT Crowd until the sound of my alarm or children loading into their busses womp me out of my slumber. Today was no exception. It was a sleep in the school line day, but more of the sleep where you are resting in some altered level of slumber but still can hear life going on around you. I had my new pair of cheap Target sunglasses on and was very relaxed. I think I was actually pretty asleep because I did not realize the show I had on was over. All of a sudden I heard, "I'm going to need to see your license and registration, ma'am." I turned my head and opened my eyes to find the father of one of the girls' friends had his head in my window and was almost nose to nose with me. Needless to say, I jumped high enough that I bumped my head on the roof of the car. Yeah, I did. People? Listen to me, people. Think about people near the front of the pickup line. For whatever reason, no matter how idiotic it might sound, the people who are at the front of the line have been there a while. These people may be asleep or engrossed in a great book or frantically answering emails or clipping coupons. Approach carefully or you may just cause a mom or dad or grandparent to have a heart attack and that will cause a back up in the line and your child will be waiting for you to pick them up and will get worried and may cry and then everything will be awful. Do you really want to scare someone in the pickup line? Think about it. I'll take a little nap while you do.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cookoff'ed out

I am currently sitting with my dogs up and viewing Modern Family. I need to clean up the kitchen from baking dessert entries and cooking chili. But one can get worn out from the enthusiasm of 3-5 graders who are determined to win first place. I may be paranoid, but I think I may have to check my tires and brake lines for a while. My G can talk some major smack...and lots of these people know where we live and where I work. Actually, I didn't realize she could talk smack that comfortably. Just a little bit concerning. I'll just have to remember to always be on her team. It was exciting to have a great turnout and to more than double what we made last year. Hopefully that money will send several kids to camp this summer. And I will say one thing, my lemon pound cake got first place People's Choice award. It's my mom's recipe, but I'll claim the award for her.

In other news, S got elected secretary for the Beta Club. She was very shocked and flattered. It was funny to hear her talk about it.

Enjoy the night, friends. I'm going to bed.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cake watching duty

Tomorrow is our annual district Chili Cookoff at church. Each year different groups and individuals and Sunday school classes set up a table, decorate it as much or as little as they like, make their best chili offering, up its ante with extras(cheese, sour cream, peppers, Fritos, etc) and compete for several different places. Votes are made by monetary donations, all of which benefit Wesley Woods, the camp where our children attend every summer. We rang a cow bell every time a donation was given. The FISH class rang a gong. The competition got fierce. There is the Judges' Choice, taste tested by appointed judges. There is People's Choice, taste tested by the people attending the cookoff and voted on by their donations. My friend and I won People's Choice last year. Our badge of honor. The FISH Class won Judges' Choice. There was a lot of smack talk and there were many accusations of results fixing between our two teams. But this year they will be competing against a formidable opponent. This year G and her cohorts in the 3-5 grade group are having a table with chili. Ummmm, I cannot compete against cute kids. That would be a chili suicide mission of total failure. Their chili could taste like dirt and the people are still going to drop cash in their bucket for their effort and "Oh aren't they sweet!" and "That's my grandbaby" and "We don't want the kids to feel bad." If I had a table next to them, the response would be, "I'll pop a penny in her bucket so she won't feel bad...what idiot would compete against children?". Not this idiot. So I am choosing to compete in the dessert competition. I am currently cake watching whilst writing this drivel. I may make another offering tomorrow if I have the energy. But laundry and clean bathrooms take priority in a house of 5. Last year I got an honorable mention in the dessert category with my "Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Icing". Since lightening never strikes twice with the likes of me, I shall be trying something new. I never learn. Ever. Either way, Wesley Woods will benefit from the competition. The FISH class is bringing their big stuff tomorrow. We can't let the "childrens" lose. No sad faces on the kids. Last year the cookoff made $800 for camp. Let's aim higher this year, friends. Let's make enough to send more than one and half kids to camp. Throwing down the challenge. Eat up and pay up!

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Lessons on being pushy

Forgive me if I write very little tonight. Just baked a batch of sausage balls, cleaned up the kitchen, did a homework check and took a shower all after going to S's middle school soccer game. There is a stomach virus going around and we have friends who fell prey to it...well 4 out of 5 of them, and we were in close proximity. I have also been trying to mentally prepare for the "I threw up!!!" 1am wake up call that I pray will never come. So here I sit, writing and preparing to go to bed early. Okay, earlier than yesterday. "Sleepy Hollow" is on, so I hope that I can go to sleep without being too creeped out.

Like I mentioned earlier, S had a middle school soccer game against the Catholic school girls they beat a week or so ago, but on their turf this time. We handled them even better this time than last. I'm not sure if it was because we knew what to expect or if it was because we were playing on what felt like a miniature field. Either way, the girls did a pretty darn good job. 4-1 if I am correct. My girl had one player, number 14, up in her business the whole entire game. I wasn't even playing and it was making me crazy. She was also a tripper, elbower and pusher, so it got really annoying quickly. At one point, she got knocked pretty hard and the look on my baby's face was one of complete rage and psychosis. We all saw it and laughed a bit, because she is not really a rage-y kind of kid. It made her mad enough to get teary, which made her even angrier. So after dinner and homework, the hub gave her lessons on being pushy towards pushy people without getting a penalty. Pushy lessons. Kind of funny.

Going to bed now. Ichabod Crane has helped save the day again. Night.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

They are finished...and so am I

Ding dong the dioramas are la la la. By the time we stood over one child to write shark facts and another to type up a "short report" to go with the project, we both needed a mid-afternoon beverage. His? Coffee. Mine? Strawberry Airborne fizzy water. We go for the hard stuff in the hard times, friends. The result was a stark, but lively vision of sea life and an honest glimpse into the reality that was Cherokee life back in the day. I'll give you a taste of the Cherokee life...just a glimpse of dinnertime preparations:

And, yes, go ahead and say it. Wallace and Gromit's creators would be proud. This Cherokee family is apparently having "Were Rabbit" for their meal. Shrinky Dinks are unpredictable in their shrinking percentage. One quarter sized piece may shrink to the size of a dime and the same sized one might shrink to the size of a pencil eraser. Who knew that the rabbit we drew would shrink to the size that was taller than the two people who were having it for dinner...and ten stop. I was too tired to force the issue of drawing and coloring another one. Hopefully fourth grade won't count off for incorrect proportion.

Afterwards came a trip to the grocery store for emergency sausage ball ingredients and meat for the hub's wonderfully grilled burgers. I left just in time to see a man, who was a size akin to that of Santa, hop on the shopping cart and attempt to ride it through a busy and dangerous parking lot. He narrowly missed a car that was backing up and bit it right as he reached the cart return. His assumed significant other followed him several steps behind, shaking her head and eating a freshly purchased banana, unaffected by the spectacle he was creating. Whatever gets 'em going, I guess.

Enjoy what remaind of the evening, my friends. I am heading towards my nightly cocktail of grape flavored Delsym, Mucinex and various herbal supplements. I am the definition of living on the edge.
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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Soccer Saturday Sunburn

Okay, people. This is a bit much. It is the month of October. A month that is full of pumpkins and scarecrows and hot chocolate and hay rides and flannel shirts and colorful leaves. Why am I experiencing weather trends that are akin to June and July? I wore a tshirt, flimsy workout pants and Chacos to the soccer fields today and got burnt to a crisp. A crisp. I've got those zig zag lines on my feet from the shoes. I watched several soccer games, including those of G and F. S and the hub traveled to Harrogate, taking their lives into their own hands, and returned victorious. Her team has a history of being physically brutalized by the girls up there and our parents get brutalized by the parents up there. I forgot to slip cash into S's bag in case someone needed to be bailed out, but luckily it was not needed. The boy's game was a different story. With no ref(since S was at her own game), anarchy was king. Everywhere else in the world, it is called football. American soccer today turned into flailing about like banshees and whomping and pushing and rolling all over the field. I was exhausted watching it, holding my phone in my hand in case I needed to call 911.

I now sit with my feet up, feeling as though steam or smoke or the sound of sizzling is coming from my skin. I'm going to slather up with aloe gel and hit the hay. Living the dream, friends.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Light at the end of the glue gun...

After cleaning and straightening and cleaning again, I went to work on doing the grown up stuff for the dioramas. Lots of hot glue-ing and Exacto knifing and baking of the Shrinky Dinks. My fingers are now the color of a horribly sunburned redhead at the beach in July. Luckily they aren't red with blood from cutting myself with the knife. These darned dioramas make me get so flipping detail oriented that it goes from elementary school level material to beginning art class in high school. The boy wrote out his facts about sharks for his diorama. We have still not decided how to display those facts in a way that is fitting for his tastes and age. His request for a Great White with bloody remains in its mouth will probably be nixed as it may be deemed too Speilbergian for the First Grade. They need a bigger boat. But here it is as best as I could take. A bit spartan, but I think the shark ate most of the living things:

If you will notice, the mustachioed fisherman is riding in his boat and has caught a Clownfish. No, things are not to scale, but I cannot control the rate and amount at which Shrinky Dinks shrink. I drew the animals, but the boy outlined them and colored them in. I hope he gets an "E". I think he did a good job...with mom's help on the dangerous and possibly scarring parts.
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

School project torture

As all three of you know, I have been battling this blasted sinus/allergy/snot assault for the past three weeks and I am really done. It makes things awkward when you get a good coughing fit going in the middle of Hobby Lobby, have an armload of diorama supplies and have to run to the bathroom so your bladder, somewhat compromised after three pregnancies, does not decide to unload in the wood cutout aisle. Luckily there was not a major run on flat wood cutouts of people, so the bathroom didn't mess things up. I left them to work on their projects while I was mowing the lawn and getting the stink eye from a neighbor...another story for another time. Upon lawn completion, I came in to find a straw roof on the Cherokee roundhouse and lots of drawings of sharks. The boy and I worked on his facts about Great White sharks. Let me say I am so proud of how he wants to write everything out himself and do the spelling himself, but for the love of everything holy, there is not a silent "e" in every word. He asked me that for everything. "Mom? I'll bet that 'shark' has to have a silent 'e' in it." " No. No it doesn't. Nor does 'hear' or 'teeth' or 'meat'. Those e's are pretty loud." G, on the other hand, was writing her report about how the roundhouses were constructed. She went in to great detail about how they sometimes lit fires inside the roundhouse and, if improperly ventilated, could kill everyone inside rather quickly. We felt this was not necessarily what her teacher really wanted to know, but she's insisting on keeping it in there. We might get some questions during the parent teacher conference if there is one. Or they might go straight to the family psych eval. Either way, at least they are all in bed now and I have a little break before we have to hit it again tomorrow. Thank goodness.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thumb tacks and mental cracks

If I could slur in my typing, I would. I am tired and feeling sloppy in my keyboarding skills right now. The hub is currently working with a teary S on proportions. She is exhausted and angry with math right now. It is has always been her favorite subject, but at 10:12 at night, she is over it. She really needs to get to to bed, but the hub will not let her go up until he's sure she understands. I am so glad we have someone in this house who can explain this baloney to her. I know it is important for something, but I have never had to use that stuff in my adult life. Although one could argue that I would be using it right now with the children. I get it...don't get technical on me. I think she almost had a mental crack a couple of problems ago when it was determined that she had not been distinguishing enough of a difference between her "4's" and her "9's". This caused her mathematical errors which then caused a minor mental break. Meanwhile, on the second floor of the house, a mental break of a different type was happening as I heard about one of the mean girls of G's grade who has been repeatedly kicking her under their desks, stealing her school supplies and repeatedly attempting to poke through her arm with a thumb tack before then going out on the playground and picking fights with various kids from other rooms. It has been an insightful evening to say the least. I am hacking like a carton a day smoker, the hub is groaning from his poor back and the boy is itching from the little hair pieces on his back that he didn't thoroughly wash off after his visit to Jerry the Barber this afternoon. So between coughing, groaning, tears and the constant "I'm so ITCHY", silence is but a distant dream. I plan to chug a lug some grape Delsym(they shouldn't make that stuff so tasty) and at least eliminate one of the issues. S has turned on the boy's music that puts him in a sleep trance and G finally passed out from the exhaustion that comes only from avoiding flesh wounds in the fourth grade. Once again, living the dream, friends.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book fair-a-holic

So it's Book Fair time at our school. Evil, evil bookfair. My children have almost driven me to the point of vacationing in a rubber room with their hints and not so subtle suggestions and recommendations for books they want out of the Scholastic ad. They are very diverse in their tastes: everything from "Captain Underpants" to books on shark attacks. Uhhhh, yeah. After every activity we did this afternoon, I got a "Annndd, now we're going to the Book Fair?". Finally, the long, torturous nightmare of waiting was over. We got to the school parking lot and BOOOOOK FAAAIIIIRRRR!!!! Right off the bat, G was disappointed because the one book she had coveted from the start was already out. Newman! She immediately went to the teacher wish board and found a book request for her teacher. The boy wanted anything that had a person or creature with some sort of weapon/lightening bolt/creepy animal on the cover, anything about science experiments or anything that involved setting some sort of a record or that involved Legos or superheroes or ghosts or dogs or origami or ninjas or skateboarders or athletes or Darth Maul. As you can probably guess, he was a little bit of a challenge to rein in. We ended up with a book on presidents, a Fly Guy book or two and one on sharks for him. G got a couple graphic novels and is waiting on one to come in later on in the week. I was sad that the newest Weird Al children's book was not included this year. We got his last one and love it. I got out of there without having to get another job to stop the bleeding. I also got out of there without the inexplicable stick with a pointer finger hand on it. I will never understand the erasers, weird pens and pencils and piddly stuff at a sale of books. Never. I also managed to get out of there without a poster of something weird. One year we got High School Musical 2 or 3 posters. One year S was convinced she needed the poster of the surfer girl who had her arm bitten off by a shark. That one didn't come offense to her. So we got out with lots and lots of books and no piddly stuff. Now mom needs to go to bed.

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