Thursday, April 30, 2009

That's some mighty fine parenting


Hopefully it was mostly empty when his dad gave it to him.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Inwardly raving psychotic lunatic

Today was flowing along like any other day. The Big Guy and I ran errands in the morning and came home at noon after picking up Spunky Girl at preschool. So far so good. I make the kids lunch and start cleaning. I clean and clean and clean and a hour later, you can't even tell that I've made an effort. I've got the laundry folded and put away, but the rest of the houss is still a disaster.

Hubby calls and asks me if I'd rather him come home for a quick lunch or pick something up at a fast food place on the way to the hardware store. I encouraged him to come home and I'd make him lunch. I start to work on his turkey sandwich and iced mocha. He gets home while I'm still making his lunch and sits down to play a computer games while he eats.

Meanwhile, it is time for the Big Guy's nap. The Big Guy has been resistant to nap time lately. The "scream-my-bloody-head-off" kind of resistant. Today was no different. I tried rocking and singing to him before bed, but he continued to scream and pitch a fit so I just dropped him in his crib and shut (okay, I slammed) the door. So my frustration meter has climbed a little...

Hubby has finished his sandwich and helps himself to chips. He makes a joke to Spunky Girl that his crunching will probably annoy me, but sits down to eat them anyway. I look around and the dishes are piled up to the ceiling and the Big Guy is still screaming...and now Hubby is crunching on chips. Frustration meter climbs...a lot.

I start working on the dishes, but the sound of chip crunching coming from the other room is echoing around, bouncing off the walls and driving straight into my ear drums. "Come On", I think to myself "get a grip...the guy can eat a few chips without you getting annoyed". Somehow, that fails to stop the irritating noise. Hubby invites Spunky Girl to have some chips with him. I'm sure at this point he can hear my slamming around grumpily in the kitchen and it just trying to keep her out of my way, but it doubles the chip crunching. I soooooo badly want to tell him to STOP CRUNCHING, but I can't because it simply isn't reasonable.

My mind scrambles. I realize that I shouldn't be mad at him for the chip crunching, but surely I can be mad that he's playing computer games and I never get a break from the endless workload. Ah, yes, something else to fixate on. The frustration meter rises even higher. Mentally I know I'm not mad about the computer games, I'm really mad about the chip crunching. But I can't be mad about the man coming home for lunch, saving us cash, and eating chips IN THE OTHER ROOM. What is my problem?

The Big Guy screams on in his crib. I'm gonna lose it. I bark at Spunky Girl to come help me clear the table. Apparently I know it is okay not to yell at hubby for crunching chips, but think it is okay to bark at my kids to make them stop the irritating behavior. Hmmm. She drops a plate, making a bigger mess. It is just pushing me over the edge.

A bolt of lightening to my brain. A solution appears. "Honey, could you go pick up our daughter from the busstop?". Spunky girl asks to go with him.

< quiet >

3 blessed minutes of quiet. No chip crunching. No children talking. Even the Big Guy takes a momentary break from screaming.

My breathing starts to return to normal.

I eat a piece of cake. A 450 calorie hit to my day (which will be glaring on my new calorie counting exercise), but so worth it. Sanity returns.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Calorie Counting and My trip to Costco

At first glance, it seems like there ought to be a connection between the two items in my title "Calorie Counting" and "My trip to Costco"...but there isn't.

1) Hubby, a few friends, and me are starting a new calorie counting effort today on Anyone else interested? Come join our group. My profile name is LisaSanford (tricky, I know). The site is free and we'll probably be dedicated to it for at least a couple of weeks. =)

2) Today I took my kids on a Costco run. Lucky for us, there were food samples spread throughout the store. Lucky for us, that is, until we ran into the Otis Spunkmeyer cookie sample lady. We stopped by to get our samples and gave her our best smiles (after all, she has the power to give us big or small cookies). She struck up a conversation with the kids, asking which child was the oldest. Suddenly she locks eyes with Spunky Girl, my middle child. The lady launches into a spiel about how being the middle child is the most special. She told Spunky Girl, in front of her younger brother and older sister, that the other kids get all the attention in life but the middle child is really the one that turns out a success. The middle child, in her long-winded opinion, learns so much about how to interact with people in her "special" role as middle child that she instantly becomes a successful and highly-loved person in life. She tells her that middle children turn out to be lawyers and other highly successful adults. (It was clear that cookie lady was also a middle child and I found it a tad ironic that she was describing the successful career jobs that magically exist for middle children while she was serving choco-chip cookie displays at Costco. I've got *no* issues with being a display person as a way to earn money, but it does kind of water down the "middle children end up highly successful" argument.)

I think at some point she realized that she was being really rude to my other children and tried to redirect some of her attention to them. Her attempt was something like "you kids know what I mean, right? You (pointing to my eldest) get all the attention for being the oldest and you (pointing to my young son) get all the attention for being the baby." And then she went right back to my Spunky Girl and told her the rest of her life would be her turn to shine.

The lady talked so long that I kept edging farther and farther away and had to turn around to keep her from talking to my back.

Really, I think Spunky Girl was the most confused of all. I don't think she ever gave her middle child status any thought. My eldest, in her sweet way, said as we finally broke free "Well, she was certainly bragging". I thought it was a funny way to end the moment.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An acurate reflection

Hubby and I watched Marley & Me last night. Overall, we gave the movie a B. While the story was neither fascinating nor surprising, it was fun to watch and had the expected tear-jerker moment at the end. We've found ourselves bringing up little parts of the movie today, remembering specific scenes and commenting on them. The movie reminds us of ourselves and our marriage.

I think what we liked the most about the movie is that it validates what we've got going on. Yes, we love each other. Yes, life can be CHAOTIC and STRESSFUL with three kids (and no dog) and yes, sometimes we take it out on each other. But we love each other and are thankful to be together. We're thankful for each child that God gave us to love and raise.

There is one scene in the movie where Jennifer Aniston's character is overwrought and says "I know I chose this, but I didn't expect it to be this hard. Nobody told me it would be this hard." I can totally relate to feeling that way. There is just times when you feel like there is no way one person can possibly manage all that is coming at her and yet this is what you chose for your life and you don't want to give it up for someone else to do.

She has another line that says something about "I've given up all the things that made me me" and that line resonates too. Especially in the baby years, I found it challenging to maintain any part of my life that wasn't related to child-rearing. It is comforting at that time to think that it is only a temporary suspension of those things...that you can add some of those things back in when the kids get a little older and you can carve out more time for yourself. Sometimes I think that and then I catch myself just looking forward to when my kids are older and I have more freedoms. I don't want to miss out on what is good about this time in their lives because I'm focusing on what's coming next.

I like that the story ends with both the husband and the wife looking back and realizing that what they thought they needed (i.e. the things that made them "them") was not what made them happy and what makes them happy is the things that perhaps they thought were burdens. I love the love they shared between them and the love they had for their family and that stupid-but-adorable dog.

BTW, anyone who things that someone should have actually warned them about how hard marriage and child-raising can be is on crack. What do they really expect us to say? "Oh congrats on your know that both good times and tough times are coming...right?" or "Oh, a new baby is coming, I hope you enjoy what time you have left before you give up life as you know it for your child". Yeah, that's just not going to happen.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Punk Kids

While in the car yesterday, Hot Daddy was telling me about some punk kids that were fooling around on the road. They were passing each other on curves, racing up and then slowing down, and generally trying to kill them selves and any other unlucky people in cars. At the end of his story he got quiet for a second and then said, mostly to himself, "I wonder when they became punk kids".

I know he wasn't wondering at what age those boys became miscreants, but rather at what age he began to see them as miscreants instead of his compatriots.

I laughed a little bit at him, but I think the answer is "when he got smart enough to really see the possible outcome to their antics." When we got married, it was definitely the back of the bus kid marrying the front of the bus kid. He liked to misbehave, I liked to behave. He and his friends suped up cars, skipped school, and misappropriated their parent's alcohol. I think I glorified his pre-me lifestyle. I thought his antics made great stories. Now...not so much.

Now defacing park benches seems like a waste of taxpayer money and a financial burden on parks that are already facing closure. Now reving engines on the street seems like noise pollution and makes me fear for the little children that might dart out. Now wrecking a restored 914 by taking a corner too fast and driving it into the rail seems like a ridiculous waste of time, money, and behavior that doesn't take into account the suffering one's family will endure if you are hurt.

Now the quippy little sayings, like "you can look but you can't touch" and "it doesn't hurt to get your appetite out as long as you remember to eat in", aren't funny in the face of the never-ending stream of broken marriages. I'm so tired of telling hubby that "so and so is getting a divorce".

I guess the good news is that Hot Daddy shares my perspective and gave up all his bad-boy behavior while he was dating me (with the exception of the motorcycle). Hmm. Now that I think of it, perhaps those teenagers became "punk kids" when he began to see them through my eyes.

Now it is time to go do the dishes. Ughhh.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

He's got the whole world in His hands

Today I had 'Toddler Tunes' playing on the TV. With our Comcast digital cable, there are a set of music channels and Toddler Tunes is one I turn on for the Big Guy. I was singing along, of course, and I realized that they had changed the words to the song. The song was "He's got the whole world in His hands". They took all the He references to God out and put We in its place.

I felt a flicker of annoyance that the channel felt the need to strip God out of the song, but I understand that they are trying to appeal to a large audience of people that may not believe in the Creator. The more I thought about the song, though, the more I hated it.

"We've got the whole world in our hands"??? Why that is just simply not true. "He's got the whole world in his hands" means that God is in control. We don't have to let the world's problems (AIDS in Africa, the sex trade, the violence seen world-wide) overwhelm us. We can trust that our loving God loves every person around the world and is in control of their situation. That is what is comforting about "He's got the little bitty baby in His Hands, He's got the brothers and the sisters in his Hands, He's got the Mommy's and the Daddy's in His hands, He's got the whole world in His hands".

I think even those who don't have a faith in the loving God would still agree that we don't have control of every situation that occurs around the world. We don't have the ability to stop the drug trade, or stop violence, or stop diseases. We do our best to change the world, but we certainly are not in control. I can't sing "we've got the whole world in our hands" without being reminded that I don't have the ability to fix the world's wrongs.

I think they either need to play the song as it was intended or not play it at all.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Shopping BLITZ

I don't think I ever got around to blogging about my shopping challenge. Perhaps that is because I think most people couldn't care less...but when has that stopped me from blogging about something?

The gist of the shopping challenge was this:
For 7 months, I committed to not shop for myself. No clothes, no shoes, no accessories, no jewely, no extraneous facial products, no fancy shampoos. I joined this challenge with 6 of my friends. We all committed to a number of months by paying in advance $20 for each month. Any person failing the challenge, by purchasing something they shouldn't have, forfeited all of their cash. The winners at the end of the challenge not only got their cash back, but they got to split amongst themselves the cash of those who didn't make it.

In addition to these rules, I had a special rule. Since I'm not the type to spend "too" much (whatever that is defined by) shopping, I had the extra rule that at the end of the challenge I needed to go on a shopping blitz and buy the things I liked WITHOUT worrying about the price tags. Since I am a budget-freak, I have been putting aside a little money each month during the challenge to add to my winnings so that I could afford the little blitz.

The challenge ended March 31st and I think it surprised no one that I was successful. I won $200 bucks from my friends (thank you very much for your contributions). I also have budgetted $40 per month for shopping in my household budget, so $40 x 7 is $280 more. I think I set aside another $100 during those 7 months, so my total available cash for my blitz was $580.

My first act of shopping after winning my challenge was to look through my friend Melissa's clothes that were headed for the consignment store. She was willing to sell me her designer clothes at a third of their original prices. I spent a total of $270 on her clothes, but I purchased around 15 items and she threw a few things in for free. I got several pair of designer jeans (Jeans for all Mankind, Big Star, David Kahn, Kut), several pairs of slacks, a few pairs of capris, 4 blouses, 3 dinner jackets, 3 skirts and a long dress jacket. When I started the challenge, I was wearing size 10/12 and now I am wearing a size 8 so the new clothes really helped my wardrobe.

I spent some of my blitz money on shoes. I purchased three pairs. The first is a pair of brown heeled sandals from Union Bay. Those cost me $35. My husband took me down to the Famous Brands "buy one get a second pair half off" sale and bought me a pair of Rocket Dog sneakers and a pair of wedge sandals from Sketchers. I'm including that in my shopping blitz totals, even though it was a gift from hubby. I think the bill there was $109 for both pairs.

Last night I went on the last part of my shopping blitz and blew the rest of my money. I went to the mall with Keri and Melissa for Melissa's birthday and bought some makeup at Sephora and Clinique. 3 eyeliners at Sephora was about $35 and powder and lipstick at Clinique was about $40 (but I got a bonus gift too!).

Then the girls went their seperate ways and hubby joined me at the mall where we did a little more shopping. We went to Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and then to American Eagle. Of those 3, AE was a clear winner. Hollister and Abercrombie have the music up way too loud and their clothes are way too small for my body... and their prices were too high too. American Eagle has enjoyable music playing in the background, but not too loud that you have to yell at each other to converse. They actually have the size XL (unlike Hollister and Ambercrombie) but the Large size fits me fine. I picked up a pair of knee length shorts, 2 polo shirts, and a hoodie that will match my new Rocket Dog sneakers. It is so fun to shop with the hubby. He's great at handing me new things to try and he encourages me to get what I like (who wouldn't like that in a shopping partner!). We signed up for the AE store card to get another %15 percent off, so our total there was $109.

My last purchase was at the juniors department at Macy's. I know I'm not a "juniors" and haven't been for a decade or two...but the prices are so much better in the Juniors dept. I got a DKNY white sweater for $15 on way I could have bought anything DKNY upstairs in the ladies dept for $15. I also got a blue/green blouse for $20. I got an extra %20 off for charging the purchase to my Macy's card, so I think my total there was only $30.

So, drum roll is time for me to add up my spree:
$270 for Mel's clothes (a great deal!)
$144 for 3 pairs of shoes
$75 for makeup
$109 for AE
$30 for Macy's
Total of $628 (as usual, nearly 15% over my budget. It is funny how it always seems to be 15%)

That feels like a really, really large amount of money to spend on oneself, but the shopping challenge was an extraordinary event and so the post-challenge blitz will not be something I make a habit of. Now I'm back to watching my $$ and trying to stay in my monthly budget. Hopefully no shopping for me for awhile!

Hope I haven't bored you too badly. Lisa OUT.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2 Year Old Woes

I took the Big Guy, my little boy, to the doctor for his 2 year old well-care appointment today.

My pediatrician, who I swear is the BEST pediatrician ever, asked me if he's been difficult lately? Ummm...lemme think. Yeah.

Yes, he's been a big ole pain in the butt lately. He cries ALL the time. He cries because he wants waffles and I'm serving cereal. He cries because I cut his muffin in half and he wants it whole. He cries because I say no. He cries because I refuse to hold him while I'm drying my hair. He CRIES.

I've tried to give the guy a little space. We've got a lot of chaos around here lately. A friend and her 2 year old little girl have moved in with us for a bit. He has to share his toys more than he's used to. He gets in trouble for hitting. But, he still has to cope. I don't know how to stop the crying (and I've tried everything), so I have to cope. So I do cope...and I wait for this phase to be over. So when the doctor asks "has he been difficult lately?" I had to stop and think. Is he difficult...Yeah, he's difficult.

"Well, maybe it is because he has a sinus infection" she answers.


How did I not know that? Because he's always been a cry baby; it has just been worse lately.

The doctor went on to check his private parts, like she always does. I commented to her, a little embarrassed, that there was a speck of something on his scrotum that I could not get off. I thought it was a bit of feces that was being stubborn, but I really scrubbed at it and it stayed there. "Well, that's because it is a mole" she responds. Wow. Could I be any more of an idiot today? It didn't occur to me that a mole starts out tiny, like a spec, and could just appear out of nowhere. Instead I just scrub my poor boy's scrotum trying to get it wonder the boy cries.

I've been taking the Big Guy to swimming lessons twice a week. He cries every time the instructor touches him. It has been 6 weeks of lessons and the instructor has been accepting of his screams of protest, but I think she's getting tired of it. Today she asks me "Does Cade spend time with anyone else? Does anyone else ever take care of him?". I started to tell her that he occasionally is babysat by his aunt or grandmas...but I knew that wasn't really what she was asking. What she really wanted to know was whether Cade was a cry-baby in swimming class because he was unused to anyone else interacting with him (or commanding him around) except me. Somehow that makes me feel like I've ruined my kid by spending too much time with him. Well...I guess I'd rather ruin him by too much of my attention than by not enough.

Wouldn't it be nice if Cade stopped crying when his ear infection clears up? That would be amazing, but I'm not going to count on it. I think I'll just buy the swim instructor a set of ear plugs.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Musing about my masseuse

Today I booked a massage appointment for Friday. I will be looking forward to it the entire week. Almost a month ago now, I woke up with a stiff, painful neck and it still has not entirely recovered. My chiropractor does a great job and he is unconcerned about my neck, so I suspect it must be a muscle issue more than a structural one.

Of all the masseuses that I've ever visited, Hugo (whose name I've changed) is by far superior. When I started to see him a year ago, I felt guilty about seeing him. I liked him that much. I like that he is a big man with great big hands. When he lays his hands on you, just one of his hands covers a great deal of space. The sheer weight of his hands is comforting. My hubby sees a female masseuse at the same office. He feels weird having a guy rub his hands all over him, so he prefers female. I've got no problems with a female masseuse, but I think I prefer men.

Having declared my preference for men, I don't want to see a male masseuse that I find attractive. I don't want to have any train of thought about how I feel about having him touch me. I don't want to wonder if he thinks I'm cute. I don't want to giggle if he touches the sides of the mountains or if he works on my butt muscles.

Hugo came dangerously close to becoming "a guy" when when he lost 100 lbs on Medifast. Suddenly, my gentle giant of a masseuse was a real person. I don't think I had noticed that he was overweight before, but I did notice that he lost a bunch of weight. 100 lbs is quite an accomplishment and it seemed natural to chat with Hugo about his weight loss during the massage, but it was less relaxing for me to talk about exercise and food choices than it would have been to lay there listening to wave sounds and zoning out. Now we do chat during my massages. I know about his kids. I know about his family. I know more about office politics.

Lucky for me, Hugo will definitely follow my lead when it comes to talking. He's happy to work quietly if I stay quiet, or happy to chat if I keep up my end of the conversation. I sure am grateful that my health insurance covers this. It feels like an amazing luxury and I'm glad to be going this week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What's a little anxiety worth?

Spunky Girl is having a birthday in a few weeks, so it is time to plan her party. Natch...I start by going to the yearly budget to see what funds I set aside for her party. $100. Sounds quite reasonable.

Then I work on the guest list. I really need to invite all her preschool class if I'm going to invite any. Spunky girl plays with the boys in her class more than she plays with the girls and I think it would look WEIRD if I just invited the boys to her party to keep the guest list reasonable. So we start with 19 kids and work up from there...add 6 kids from her bible class at church...add 2 cousins...add 3 friends that we really her brother and sister...30. Really? Yeah. 30 kids. Too many. Way too many for the home party that I had in mind. It might be possible in the summer, but I'm not locking 30 kids in my house for 2 hours.

So a new venue is needed. We did McDonalds last year (delightfully cheap and easy). There just aren't that many options out there if you are trying to keep the cost down. I decided on a local park. At $80 to rent the picnic shelter, it makes coming in under budget difficult. I could chance it...not rent the shelter and just hope and pray that it is free the day of her party. That will make me anxious. For the next few weeks, I'll be worrying about what I'll do if someone else rents the shelter or just gets there before me to camp in it.

So, the $80 goes into the birthday party budget. A quick budget breakdown:

Evite invitations -- FREE
park shelter and playground -- $80
cupcakes and ice cream, drinks -- BUY w/WEEKLY GROCERY BUDGET
face painting -- $15 FROM DISCOUNT SCHOOL SUPPLY
party bags -- $20 A NECESSARY EVIL
cups, plates, banners, etc -- PREBOUGHT ON SALE

Total: $115 -- $15 over budget. Seems like I'm always 15% over on everything. I still think it is worth it to rent the picnic shelter, though. While it is nice to dream about not paying the $80 and having more cush dollars to spend on the party, it is better to have a solid plan in place.

I do like that my $80 goes to support our local parks, which I use often with my family. I should pay to support that. Of course, using that logic, NPR should get a check too. =)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What will people say at my funeral?

I went to a memorial service today. The man that I knew was a sweet, child-loving, grandfatherly type. His son spoke at the service and presented a different man...a man who was difficult...a man who didn't provide his kids with a home environment where they could thrive.

I find myself in analysis mode. How does the son's reflections today change my view of the man I knew and his lovely wife? Maybe it doesn't. I didn't have the illusion he was perfect before, but I was still surprised to hear his son speak so poorly of him. I think my impression of the deceased is unchanged, my adoration for his wife is increased, and my view of the son has taken a nose-dive.

My analysis is quickly becoming self-focused. What would my kids say about me? Would they remember the book reading and the snuggling or the times that I lost it and said things I regretted? Would they recount the mom who taught them to cook and to manage their money or the mom that freaked out at them when they made her late?

Hopefully by the time they are speaking at my memorial service, they will be complaining about my old-age refusing to bathe and hitting people with my cane. In a weird WEIRD way, it is almost comforting to picture them as my adult children. They turned out just fine! And they love me! and I sure did love them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

What have I gotten myself into?

Soccer. I thought I was just signing up my eldest for a sport, I didn't realize that I was signing our family up for a new lifestyle.
I previously worried that my darling daughter would feel left out because all the other kids on the team already knew each other. Now I fear that my child might become one of them. Not that they don't seem like nice girls, it is just that the other girls seem like soccer players. Not girls who play soccer. Soccer players that happen to be girls. Their moms looked like they could personally take the field at any moment. The older sisters and brothers hanging around the field were clearly also soccer players.

And the coach...

The first game the girls played in this spring league they beat the other team 13 to 1. One of the league officials visited the coach to make sure he knew that "this wasn't the kind of a league where we run up the score on the opposite team". Our coach told the official that it wasn't his girls scoring, it was the other team knocking the ball into their own goal. Funny, but not truthful. Nor did the coach ever suggest to our girls that they should let up a little.
The coach also let me know that the girls on his team play together year round...Spring league, Summer league, Fall league and apparently 2 Winter indoor leagues where they play "up" against the older kids.

I just wanted to sign my daughter up for a sport. I didn't want to commit to a lifetime. I thought "maybe if it goes well she can play in the fall too". Arena indoor soccer against the big kids never crossed my mind.

There is something entirely seductive, though, about putting her on a team that is clearly going to win, win, win. She will excel at soccer if she stays on this team. The coach accepts nothing less (and it appears already that this talent may be within her...thinks her mom who is clearly biased). But will she know that winning at soccer isn't everything? This coach has taught the other girls to have GAME and they seem to really enjoy playing for him. Will it be the right experience for my sweet girl?
Oh, and one more thing...
I think "Coach" on Survivor is so icky that he might be putting a bad taste in my mouth about the entire game of soccer. So icky.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Yesterday was simply delightful. It was one of those days that I looked like the quintessential stay-at-home mom...the kind they put in the magazines. I was the mom reading her fashion magazine while she cheered her children on from the side of the pool (Hot Daddy was in the pool assisting the Big Guy with his lessons). I was the mom watching her kids play at the park while she munched on her Southwestern Chicken Salad from the sidelines. I was the mom making chocolate chip cookies while her kids played outside on the deck with their water toys. Ahhh...back to reality.

Today is zoo day. 8 kids. There will be no illusion of "calm mom". There will be no illusion of peaceful serenity. There will be yelling. There will be panic: "Jackson, get your hand out of that cage." There will be frustration: "Why can't you girls ALL hold hands?". And, hopefully, there will be sleeping children on the way home.

There had BETTER be sleeping children on the way home.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"I think of you all the time. Sometimes I even think of you when I'm with you."

Today was date afternoon. My sister is very nice to me and often watches my 3 kids for me. Today she watched them while my husband and I headed out to the movies, to get some lunch, and then to exchange some of my hubby's birthday gifts at the mall.

We went to see the movie Duplicity at the Lincoln Square theater. I liked it. It has my new all-favorite romantic line. Way better than "you complete me" or "Its you...its always been you". Clive Owen said to Julia Roberts "I think of you all the time. Sometimes I even think of you when I'm with you." I love that. Of course, I loved all the snarky, not-so-nice things they said to each other too...that's what makes it a good movie!

After the movie, we headed to the Express store. Hubby spent a VERY long amount of time deciding what to purchase in his exchange. Or perhaps it just seemed like a VERY long time because the music in the store was so loud. I must be old. I hate going into the stores where the music is blaring. Express, Abercrombie, Hollister. All cool clothes...all loud music. I think this must be the reason that old people start dressing all fuddy duddy. We just can't take the music in the cool stores anymore and we're left with the Charter Club section of J.C. Penneys. Thank goodness for online shopping. Now I can get that cute shirt I liked from Express without having my ear drums blown.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Well, hubby's birthday on Thursday went great. I was exhausted by the end after catering to the guy all stinkin' day. =) Vanilla French Toast in the morning, Steak Oscars in the evening, Strawberry shortcake for dessert. Presents, Presents, Presents. Bringing him coffee, snacks throughout the day, cleaning out his closet. Exhausting...but he seemed to love it.

Today it is my other "baby's" birthday. My Big Guy. Hard to believe my baby is 2 years old, although I'm glad for it. I think I may have enjoyed more of those "baby moments" with him than with the girls because I knew he was going to be my last baby, but the cold hard truth is still that the baby stage isn't my favorite. I'm so glad he's becoming a kid. Soon I'll be able to have real conversations with him.

It is funny how I'm always complaining that there is always too many people trying to talk to me at once, but I look forward to when the Big Guy can join the fray. That makes no sense.

I have a family get together planned for 4 pm today. We'll be celebrating the Big Guy's birthday, his Daddy's birthday, and his Aunt Tory's. Luckily it will be held at Mom's house, so I don't have to clean mine to get ready for it. I do need to get the food organized, but Dad volunteered to run to Costco this that will be a huge help. I'm supposed to go to a bridal shower this morning too, but the Big Guy was throwing up last night so I'm not sure how that will work out.

Wow, this is a fascinating post. It turned into more of a list of what I need to do today than a blog post. How self-indulgent of me.

Happy Saturday everyone.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A great way to start my day

This morning I woke up early and got up to spend some quiet time alone before the rest of the family got up. This is a great time for me to study my Bible and so I was enjoying that time when my Sweetness (eldest daughter) came down from her room. She is on spring break this week. I don't know why this phenonemon happens, but she wakes up early when she is on vacation. She normally wakes up with her alarm clock at 7:05 for school. This week she has consistently gotten up earlier. Doesn't make sense.

But, I was blessed by her early arrival this morning. We sat on the sofa together and just talked for 20 minutes. Life is rarely slow enough to just sit down and talk with her. Not that we don't talk, but we do it while I'm trying to make dinner, or trying to watch a toddler, or when her sister also wants to chat. Rare is the 20 minutes of Sweetness chatting without being interrupted.

We realized today that we'll be on a family vacation this summer when her birthday comes around. She'll be turning 7 years old. I told her all about when I turned 7 years old. I too was on vacation with my family and another family, just like she will be. My sister Erika and the other family's children (Sunny and Lisa) decorated the cabin while I stayed secluded and waited anxiously for my party. I remember the paper plates with the number 7 on them that they hung up. It is a great memory in my life and I'm glad for my Sweetness that she'll have that same experience. I hope it is as meaningful to her as it has been for me.

The family friends that decorated that cabin for me also read my blog. I'll take this time to tell them I'm grateful to have them (and my sister) in my life and thank you for that birthday party (over 29 years ago!). There is something extra special about friends that last a lifetime. We got back together last year for another vacation, 20 years after we'd all been together. Here we are:


I probably should have asked them before I posted their picture, but I'm the one that looks the worst in this picture so I went ahead. From Left to Right: Me (althought I'm 10 lbs lighter now), Sunny, my sister Erika & Lisa (

Now I need to go start showering my hubby with birthday specialness! I'm off for the day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wouldn't it be nice...

Wouldn't it be nice if I could think of a good April Fool's Day blog post? But I can't. I spent so many of the last years being pregnant or having infants that I've used the "I'm pregnant again" April Fool's Day joke too many times. My family is tired of it, I'm tired of it, and the rest of you simply don't care if I have too many children.

The fact that it snowed again this morning feels like an April Fool's Day joke. I worked in my Spunky Girl's (daughter #2) coop preschool classroom today and it was all about Rainbows and Spring...not a single craft dealing with snow. Why is that? BECAUSE IT ISN'T SUPPOSED TO SNOW IN APRIL. At least according to me. God, clearly, knows better.

I thought about posting a joke blog saying that I broke down and went clothes shopping last night, the day before my 7 month no-clothes-shopping challenge ended. But, after 7 long months of the contest, losing it on the last day isn't all that funny. It would just be very, very no joke blog about that. I intended to post a real blog today about my success in the challenge but find that I have little to say about it. It feels a little bit mean to cash the checks of those people who lost the challenge (but I intend to do it anyway), so gloating that I won through a long drawn-out blog posting seems wrong.

That's all I got for you today. Hubby's birthday is tomorrow. I think I'll go try to book him a massage. Happy April 1st everyone.