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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Drive

We woke the children up at 4:00am, put the snacks into the cooler, packed the last minute things like toothbrushes, drank copious amounts of coffee, and loaded everyone up into the van. We pulled out of the driveway at 4:30am.

At 4:35 we realized we left something at home and turned around.

At 4:50 we were on our way again.

Around 9:00 we stopped at a rest area on the side of the highway and ate breakfast. The kids also ran around on the grassy area and climbed the lone tree, proving that we can have fun anywhere *and* make a spectacle of ourselves at the same time.

We stayed there for an hour before heading back out onto I-95.

The kids played with their new gameboys, something I had previously sworn off but bought especially for the trip, their leap pads, colored with their new twist-up crayons, listened to their CD players, read some books, ate some snacks, played with their "travel" Light Brite (which mostly involved dropping the little colored pieces), used their view masters, and then 5 minutes passed.

Okay, not really.

Finally some of the children drifted off to sleep.

Some more peacefully than others.

And on we drove. And drove. And drove.

And to answer the question, "Did you drive at all, Chris?"

I did for about an hour of the trip. Rob complained that I did not know how to drive "right". Huh. How do you drive wrong? Wouldn't driving "wrong" imply that you were crashing into things or else swerving all over the highway? Neither of which I was doing.

Personally I think it was just an excuse. He would rather drive the van than have to fetch the dropped toys, entertain the troops with engaging games of 20 questions or ISpy, dole out snacks, or comfort the wee ones.

This trip did remind of why I want a wife, or a slave, either would do.

It would be nice to have someone other than me working behind the scenes making sure things ran smoothly. I packed everything for the children and myself. I bought and packed all the snacks and toys. I loaded everything into the van. I researched the best places to stay. I read all the books about touring Disney.

Rob packed his own bag.

On the second morning we were in FL, I took a picture of Rob laying in bed asleep. I had been up since the alarm went off at 5:30am, fed and dresed the children, got all the snacks and water ready and packed for the day ahead. We just needed him to get up and get dressed.

The flash of my camera woke him up and he asked what I was doing. I told him I was going to post the photo on my blog with the caption "Why I Need A Wife". I won't really post the photo since he was neked, even though he is a hottie ; -)

Later on in the day he was doing something useful, can't remember now what exactly it was so I am not sure how useful it really was LOL, but he told me that in the interest of fairness I should take a picture of him and post it on my blog with the caption "Why I Need A Husband".

I had to tell him that the more appropriate caption would be "Why I Keep Him Around".

We made another one hour rest stop and bought messy snacks.

We also looked at all the redneck paraphanalia that was for sale and made fun of it. I know, we are not really nice people, but we have to have some fun. Toto, we are not in the liberal north anymore.

I also came to the conclusion that I could never live in an area where a fringed leather jacket and sequined applique jeans are considered the height of fashion. Or where men would actually buy and wear a t-shirt which references the "crack of Dawn". Dawn being a woman depicted on the t-shirt in very uncomfortable looking small shorts.

Around 7:00 pm we stopped for the night in Sumpter, GA. We managed to get just one hotel room. Rob lied about how many kids we have, much to the horror of my rule following 9 yr old who was certain the police would be banging down the door any minute and carting us off for lying. We did have some fun with that for while though... "What's that noise?" "I think it is a policeman" "Uh-oh, turn off the light pretend we aren't here." See, I told you, we aren't nice.

We ate dinner at a really nice seafood buffet place next door to the hotel. I had fried chicken since I have a deadly seafood allergy, and wow was it good. I could feel my arteries clogging as I ate it. Toto, we are not in the north anymore ;-)

The kids and Rob were excited by the tv at the hotel and the fact that they could watch baseball and that guy hit his 700th homerun. My family is going to disown me if they find out I can not remember his name! LOL. There was much rejoicing, screaming, yelling, and jumping up and down on the beds. The kids thought I was a bit nuts and should restrain myself better ;-)

Everyone finally fell asleep around midnight, and at 6:00am we woke up and began driving all over again. Luckily it was only about 6 hours of drive time until we arrived in Orlando. the condo we rented wasn't ready for us to occupy yet, so we headed over to the Super Duper walmart and went shopping. We were blown away by how inexpensive the groceries were. I am not certain if it is a result of the location of the store of the fact that it was a Walmart, but I was wishing we had one of these stores near us.

Too Much To Ask?

Our Laundry room/ mudroom addition is still not done. A project that was supposed to take weeks has dragged on, and on, and on. Frankly, I am tired of it.

The contractor had promised he would come and finish it about 6 weeks ago. My new dryer wasn't yet hooked up, the cabinets were not yet installed, the bathroom sink and laundryroom sink were not working yet, etc. He then promised he would be at our house 4 weeks ago, even bringing over the new countertop and leaving it leaning up against the wall, like that is smart thing to do in house filled with monkey children.

Then when he found out we were going away on vacation he said he'd be at our house that week to finish up while we were gone. Since we postponed our trip, we were home that week and he didn't show up. He did come to the house the week we were away and called us with a question, but I tried not to get my hopes up that it would be done when we got home.

Well, it wasn't complete. And not only that, the work he did looked like crap. I almost cried. I told my husband I thought I could have done a better job with a hacksaw and my glue gun, and while that might be an exaggeration, it wasn't that much of a stretch.

I would have cried, except I was too angry to cry.

He unhooked the gas line from our old dryer and hooked it up to the new dryer, but didn't turn the gas back on. So I had no working dryer. We just came home from vacation, I had stuff I wanted to wash. And I am so NOT a clothesline kinda girl.

He also had made the countertop 6 inches too deep and then tried to play it off like he had done it that way on purpose. Who has a counter that overhangs their cabinets by 6 inches? Not to mention the fact that when I opened the drawer up on my front loading washing machine to put in the detergent it was blocked by the countertop overhang. He then said that I was being difficult. Imagine that... actually wanting to be able to use your applainces the way they were intended.

He ended up coming back after receiving a not so nice message from Rob and I confronted him about the shoddy work, and then after he "fixed" it re-confronted (is that a word?) him about how unacceptable the fixes were.

The sad irony about the entire thing is that we hired someone to do all the work thinking it would be done "perfectly" and in a timely manner. We could have done it ourselves in the same amount of time, done a better job, and for a lot less money.

Oh well, live and learn.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

We're Home!

We had a really great vacation. The children behaved incredibly well, especially on the L-O-N-G car ride. Rob and I kept looking at each other wondering when the angels in the car with us were going to be replaced by our real children ;-)

Disney World was much more fun that we had thought it would be also. The only park we didn't like was the Magic Kingdom. We think the "magic" is that walking through the gates turns seemingly ordinary adults into pushing, obnoxious, lunatics and their children into tantruming brats. I have never before in my life seen more unhappy children and stressed out adults in one place.

I'll write more about our vacation later, but I'll leave you with some random thoughts about the trip in no particular order:

Whenever the baby falls asleep in the car it will be time for one or more of the children to immediately need us to stop for a potty break.

Once you hit South Carolina on the I-95 corridor, you can buy fireworks, cheap cigarettes, and see naked women 24 hours a day, or alternatively *read* about being able to do these things on billboards every 100ft or so.

New Jersey is my least favorite state, and even though I have not been to all 50 states I maintain the position that I will not find one I hate more.

Palmetto bug is just a nicer sounding word for BIG FREAKING COCKROACH.

All buildings in the south are required to set their air conditioning temperature to match that of their refrigerator.

Slinkys are not the best in car toy, unless you like getting hit in the back of the head with them.

Never point out anything you see on the side of the road, no matter how big and obvious you think it might be, because one or more of the children will invariably NOT see it and be very upset.

Hotels off of I-95 that advertise their weekly rate are not somewhere you want to spend the night, neither are the ones that offer an hourly rate.

By the time you get your rain poncho on in the driving FL rain, you will be soaked. Don't even bother.

I am not impressed that you can count the number of children I have outloud while pointing. I am even less impressed when you count wrong.

Taking my tantruming fighting children out of line for a ride to regroup themselves is not "mean" nor does it make me a "bitch". It is called good parenting. Try it sometime.

Never put your 8 yr old ADHD child in charge of gathering up all the music CD's in the house and putting them into a CD binder for the trip. You will end up with all the reject music you didn't like enough to unpack from the moving boxes and every CD of annoying children's music you own.

Making fun of other people with your spouse really is a fun pastime.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Ode to John Denver

If you know the tune, please sing-a-long (now that I have dated myself horribly)

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go,
I'm sitting here to let you know,
Ivan and Jeanne better stay out of our way

But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn',
The kids are waitin', they're blowin' the horn.
Time for family togetherness to begin.

So kiss me and smile for me,
Tell me that you'll think of me,
As I test the limits of my sanity.

'Cause I'm leaving in a packed van,
with lots of Benadryl on hand ;-)
Oh boy we have far go.

They've brought every toy I think they own,
And I'm really thinking we should have flown,
For the hundreth time I'll say we're not there yet

Ev'ry mile I travel, they'll be here too
How many kid tapes can I listen to.
we still haven't left the state of Connecticut.

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that I'm not crazy
Pray for the children within my reach ;-)

Cause I'm leaving in a packed van
A 20 hour drive across the land
Already they are asking to stop and pee

We've been driving down the road since 4
I don't think I can smile much more
All the toys have been dropped or cast aside

How much longer 'till we see the Mouse
Has it been only an hour since we left the house
Why don't you children all take a lovely nap?

Cause we're leaving in a packed van...

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Things We Say

Since I have become a parent, there are many things I have said and done, and conversations I have had with my children, that I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined.

For instance,

"It is not a handle, please let go of your penis.", or

"Well, I don't have one, but I think if you pull on it too hard it might just come off. I dunno.", or

"No, that didn't happen to me.", or

"I guess cannibals think people are tasty or they wouldn't eat them.", or

"Please take the pencils out of your nose, they do not look like tusks.", or

"You are banned from using the indoor facilities today for peeing all over the wall *opposite* the toliet. Find a tree.", or

"No I did NOT tell the 3 yr old he could poop on the front lawn.", or

"Candy corn is not really made out of corn and therefore does not count as a vegetable."

But tonight I said something that even shocked myself.

"You will put on the clothes you are going to wear tomorrow and go to bed in them. And yes you have to keep them on in the morning."

Yes I have sunk to an all new low in lazy parenting ;-)

Packing... again

Well tomorrow morning at 4:00am we are getting into our van and leaving for our fun-filled vacation of family togetherness. God help us.

Packing wasn't that big of a deal this week since, true to my word, I kept everything from last week packed up. The boys loaded everything into the back of the van this afternoon so when Rob came home he only had to worry about packing his *own* stuff. Must be nice, huh ;-)

The only thing really left to do it pack up the toothbrushes and fill our cooler, both of which I will do right before we leave in the morning. Oh and clean up all the miscellaneous crap that is laying around my house so I don't have to come home to a disaster area.

And hopefully that newest hurricane that is a-brewin' in the Atlantic stays away.

Picky Eaters

When I had my first child, I thought I had this parenting thing down. He slept through the night at a very early age, loved to take long naps, ate only healthy organic sugar free food and LOVED every bite of it. Even though I didn't verbalize it, I would look at other parents who had baby's the same age who didn't eat or sleep or do any of the "desirable" things, with a smug superiority. Yup, I had *all* the answers.

Then I had my second child. He never slept. He cried constantly, even in the car. He projectile vomited all the time. There was nothing I could do to calm him down. And then I realized, I knew nothing. I couldn't make him sleep. I couldn't make him stop crying. I couldn't make him eat. The only thing I could do was control the way I reacted to him, which in those early months (years?) was to refrain from tossing him out the nearest window. At 8 yrs old he is still a high maintenance child. I recently asked our pediatrician when the colic would go away, all the baby books say 6 mos, but we were working on over 8 years here.

And now I have many children and the feeling that I know nothing has grown exponentially.

Currently I am dealing with a very picky eater. I always said that I had good eaters. I cooked a meal and that was what there was to eat like it or not. Sure I had some complaints at times, but basically if they were hungry they would eat.

Now I have one who refuses. Not only that but he takes it personally that I make foods he doesn't like. I try to explain to him that we cannot eat hot dogs for dinner every night. He is very vocal in his complaining.

I am not sure how he lives, but I think he photosynthesizes. Luckily he seems to be getting enough sunshine since he is tall and rather stocky.

I try to sympathize with him since I am a picky eater also, but the randomness of his food choices baffles me. He hates tomatoes with a passion, will not eat red pasta sauce, or chili. But he does LOVE ketchup. My 9 yr old told him that ketchup was made out of tomatoes and he almost cried. He will eat pasta, but not if it is shaped like spaghetti. The shape the pasta takes determines it's taste... Everyone knows that. His eating habits have been very annoying to me lately, mostly because if I have spent time cooking a meal I don't want someone collapsing to the ground crying.

The other night I made lentil soup for dinner. My 5 yr old, who is always sweet and diplomatic, and more importantly *LOVES* all the foods I serve, looked at the soup in the serving bowl and said it looked like dirt with snail guts floating in it. But being the "perfect" child that he is, told me he would 'eat it anyway'. God, I love that kid.

He sat down at the table with a bowl of it and began eating. The Picky Eater came walking into the kitchen and my 5 yr old stood up on his chair, waved his arms around and began shouting, 'It isn't dirt! It's soup that just looks disgusting. It actually tastes good. And Mom says those aren't snail guts in it.'

Who could resist eating it after that ;-)

Despite that rave review and being repeatedly assured that it was yummy, he wouldn't even try it.

Then this past weekend I was at a party. My friend was raving about this pork stuff she had cooking in her crockpot that you make sandwiches with. She wanted me to have one. She lifted the lid of her crockpot and I have never in my life seen something that looked more revolting to me. I could not believe she was going to put that stuff that looked and smelled like vomit on a roll and want me to eat it.

I am 35 years old and I could not control myself. As she scooped it out, I gagged.

Really, I don't know where my son gets it from ;-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Joy of Books

My daughter has discovered the joys of reading... one book, over and over and over again.

If I have to read "Curious George Counts To Ten" one more time I think my brain may ooze out of my ears.

Here is a picture of her, clutching the beloved book, when I dared to get up and get the camera and take a break in the book reading marathon. I am half tempted to hide the book tonight while she is sleeping. She wanted to take the book to bed tonight with her, but being the mean mother that I am I didn't let her. All I could imagine was being woken up at some ungodly hour by being hit in the head with the book and demands to begin reading it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

My Aching Back

Warning: Huge whine alert, read at your own risk ;-)

I have so far refrained from complaining, but I can't do it any longer.
My back hurts.

No, it HURTS.

I have not had this level of back pain in any of my pregnancies. My butt hurts and the pain radiates down my leg to the back of my knee.

I have not found anything that helps to alleviate the pain. I don't like to take anything when I am pregnant, but I have been forced to take tylenol now a few times or else collapse in a worthless heap on the floor.

The sad irony in all of this is that I am probably the thinnest and in the best shape pregnancy wise since my first two pregnancies. I am not used to being a "wimpy" pregnant woman. Usually I do all the things I normally do... hiking, running around with the kids outside, carrying babies and toddlers, up until I have the baby. Now I feel like a lazy sloth, constantly ordering my minions, errr I mean children, to fetch me things, grab the baby, pick stuff up off the floor.

And I still have another 12 weeks (assuming that I don't go past 38 weeks, which I haven't yet) to go, in which I will just get larger and presumably more uncomfortable.

Today we went for a walk to our friend's house and the post office, which is about 4 miles round trip. It was attempt number two to mail Sue the fabric for her quilt. The first attempt failed when I forgot to bring the fabric with me. Attempt number two was a bust since I forgot to bring my wallet and the post office has this annoying habit of wanting to *charge* you to mail things. I may just get a big box and mail myself clutching the fabric. Surely relaxing on the beach in Hawaii, with nothing heavier to lift than my virgin fruity drink with a little umbrella, would cure my aching back ;-)

But I digress. I felt great walking most of the way. But the way home is mostly uphill and I was pushing a stroller with the baby and a big box of books I had ordered from Amazon. I also had a whiny 3 yr old who kept grabbing the handle of the stroller and wanting me to propel him up the hills. By the time I got home I was not feeling so great. In fact if I could have laid down in my driveway and not gotten up ever again, I would have.

Sigh. my whining is over. If anyone has any advice on how to "fix" my back I'd love to hear it. So far everyone has told me that it won't go away until I am un-pregnant.

Oh and if anyone dares to mention that I am going on vacation where I will be standing and walking around for DAYS, all I will say is that I can not be held accountable for my actions ;-)

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Weekend

Another weekend has come and gone here.

Rob got plywood and put down the new subfloor in our family room (or at least will one day be our family room). We have someone coming out this week and next week to remove all the trim and windows and strip it, put up the insulation, and basically get the room ready for hanging sheetrock. Rob has promised that the room will be done and we will be using it before the weather turns cold. I am looking forward to it.

The house next door to us is a summer house for the owners. We don't see them all winter long and the house seems all but abandoned. This past weekend they had an extended family member staying there. They were on holiday from England, a 93 yr old man and his wife, I am pretty sure she didn't say how old she was like the man did over and over again, but she looked much younger.

The man, Evan, had come over to our hosue on Saturday and introduced himself and sat around chatting with Rob and the children at our firepit. The children had told him about the trail next to our house and how it was a nice hike to the water tower way in back.

The next day the man apparently decided to go for the hike alone, without telling anyone where he was going. About 4:00pm his wife came to our house asking if we had seen him since he had been gone since 11:00am and she was worried. Rob immediately thought of the conversation the day before and sent our 8 and 9 yr olds to run up the path. Within minutes my 9 yr old returned saying he had found him laying in a "ditch", a 3ft or so drop off on the side of the trail, and that he was unconcious.

Rob ran up the trail to him and sent our 9 yr old back to tell his wife. When he got there the man was laying face down on the embankment. He said later he had tried to claw his way up out of the ditch for hours until he lost conciousness. He is too old and frail to have walked out through the wooded area. Luckily, he was fine, albeit a little muddy and shaken.

The children were so happy that he was found and was alright. They are still asking me questions about him. They really don't understand why he couldn't get up the 3ft embankment when our 1 yr old could have. It is hard to explain aging to them.

As the man got into his car with his wife to drive away, he promised to come back to our house before he left and give us his address in England. He told the children that if they were ever in England and got into any trouble that they could call him and he would help them. My son confided to me later that he hoped he never fell in a ditch in England and needed that man's help to get out because he was pretty sure that there would then be two people who would need rescuing.

Life In A Small Town

I live in a town that looks like it came from a Norman Rockwell painting.

Living in a small New England town does have some advantages when it comes to raising children. My children can ride their bikes to town without me and go buy gum or candy at the Corner Store. They can go to the post office and pick up our mail.

If we have packages the postal worker will help the child put them into their backpack. When the child forgets the keys in the post office, I'll get a call to let me know. And I'll tell them to hang onto them until the next day, because no one is going to take them and rob our house. And actually no one even locks their doors around here, so keys or actually "breaking" in anything wouldn't be warranted anyway.

The children can go to the library, where the children's librarian knows them all by name and remembers them from when they babies. The town is home to the summer art/music school of a college. There are free concerts on the green all summer long and free art lessons for adults and children.

It sounds so nice. It really is a great place to live. I should really like it.
But why do I find it so stifling?

The gossip and everyone knowing your business, sometimes before you yourself even know it, annoys me. The sameness of all the people living here in town, or at least them all trying to be the same. I just don't fit in here, but I am not sure where I would fit in either. LOL

I guess wherever you chose to live there are pros and cons. Right now we are at the time in our lives where we are raising children, and so it is "perfect" place to live in that regard.

I try to ignore the cattiness, but this past week has really gotten to me. I didn't even want to sign the children up for soccer this fall since I knew we would be the gossip du jour.

It has gotten me thinking... are there any perfect places to live? Is there a place to live that has all the things I like about this town, but with nice people, people who are respectful of others life choices? Or are people just gossips everywhere? And nicer weather wouldn't be bad either.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Since We Don't Have A Death Wish...

we postponed out trip for a week.

I really cannot believe that there is another hurricane on it's way to Florida. All those poor people. I think I'd be feeling like I wanted to move out of that state.

Since the van is already packed up, I am going to try to leave it that way this week. Isn't that one of the benefits of homeschooling that they can wear the same outfit all week ;-)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tying Shoes

My 5 yr old told me that he learned to tie shoes today. He said he does a really good job and they will not come undone.
So I let him "show" me on my sneakers.

He is right. Don't have to worry about them coming undone... ever.

Tracking Ivan

Ofcourse after I publish my last post, and more importantly PACK, I look up Hurricane Ivan on the storm tracker.

It's not looking good for vacationing.


We are going to go on our vacation to Florida and hope that Ivan stays away. Rob talked to the condo association and they said that everything was fine there. And Annalise posted in my comments down below that things had pretty much returned to normal there (Thank-you Annalise!!!).

So now I pack.

I am sure I don't have to tell anyone with children what a chore packing for a trip of any length is. It is just that when you have a ton of kids, it becomes a chore of epic proportions.

Make a list. Walk around the house gathering up everything we need. Containerize (is that a verb?) all the crap. Put it all into the van, where you hope that the things you need on the trip are accessible. And during all this explain to the kids over and over and over again why they cannot bring some huge thing or bag of things they insist they need.

Explain to 3 yr old that popsicles are not a good thing to pack for a snack in the car. Explain the difference between a COOL-er and a FREEZE-r, but such distinctions are lost on him. As he tantrums be silently thankful that he is only 3 and has a rather short attention span and will hopefully soon begin tantruming about something more reasonable. Alternately hope he is stricken with laryngitis.

Tell 8 yr old no he may not bring that.

No. No. No...

No. No you may not.



I said no.

No ...

Oh just put it in the damn van.

Overhear him tell another child that if you just keep asking she will say yes. Stop what I am doing and go over to the 8 yr old and tell him that it would be in his best interest to at least *pretend* along with me that I am in charge.

Inform children that the adults on the trip will have a turn to pick what music they want to listen to also. Have 9yr old tell me 'you always do what you want and it isn't fair'. Fall to floor convulsing with hysterical laughter. After I recover remind 9 yr old that we are going to DISNEY WORLD, not a European tour of gothic architecture.

Try to find all freezer pack ice thingies (surely they have a name?) and put them in the frezer.

Put my own clothes in the washing machine before I pack them. I don't have very many maternity clothes so I need all of them clean.

Look for umbrellas. Wonder if we own umbrellas. Ponder the fact that most normal people probably own a few.

Tell children to stop stomping in puddles and then walking all over the van seats with wet muddy feet. Yes I know the van is going to get dirty, but how about we at least try to keep it clean before we leave.

Ditto for muddy feet on the front porch.

Ditto again for muddy feet in the foyer.

Yes, that goes for hands too.


Try to explain to 1 yr old why she can not unpack everything. Put a pillow under her head as she bangs it on the floor tantruming. repeat scenario several times.

During all this question own sanity.

Have 3yr old and 1 yr old tantruming at the same time.

Question will to live.

Finally get everything packed in the van or staged in the foyer to put into the van.

Flop down on couch.

Have the phone ring and husband ask 'so,what are you doing?'

Answer, 'not a damn thing'

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

An Excuse For Cake

Yesterday afternoon my 9 yr old son came to me and told me he had just discovered that it was his favorite Beanie Baby's birthday. He had made him a party crown and wondered if we could bake a cake for him and have a party. LOL

And since I need little reason to have cake, I said it was fine as long as he made it himself. I supervised the process and helped a bit with reading the measurements.

I was surprised by how much trouble he has visualizing math concepts such as if we need 1/3 of a cup of oil and you are holding a 1cup measuring cup how full do you have to fill it to make 1/3? He has alot of trouble with mathematical concepts in general and we are still struggling along trying to find some kind of math curriculum that makes sense to him. I am leaning towards buying Math-U-See, but waiting until January when my 8yr old will be at the same level level as my 9 yr old and I can work with them both together.

My 8 yr old, despite his pretty severe ADHD, thinks in very much the same way that I do, so I have an easy time explaining concepts to him. I am not sure what exactly that says about my brain though, LOL. He taught himself multiplication, not by memorizing the times tables, but by playing around with the calculator and a number chart. He understands how and why multiplication works and has the tools to figure them out because of this, which I think is probably more important than rote memorization. Anyway, I hope to find something that will help my 9 yr old achieve this also.

Despite his mathematical shortcomings, my 9 yr old made one good cake :-) And he frosted and decorated it himself also. Everyone made party crowns for themselves and their own Beanie Baby and we sang Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Nursery Rhymes

We were just singing nursery rhymes and my 5 yr old insists that the song "Mary had a little lamb..." is actually "Mary had a little man" LOL

Of course the song becomes slightly disturbing once you sing all the lyrics through ;-)

But It Sure Feels Like A Monday

Ways to annoy me today:

- Be our contractor and promise to come and finish up the laundry room and bathroom *last* Tuesday and still not show up at my house a week later.

- Put the porkchops from the grocery store on the floor *next to* the freezer instead of inside of it, where they sit for the entire night going bad

- Call me up to complain that no one has RSVP'd to a huge party you are throwing; a party that you didn't invite me to since there are *so many* of us. Refrain from saying that I would have RSVP'd if I had been invited. Bite tongue so hard that I think I am now missing most of it.

-Have a rolling on the floor tantrum because you want bananas on your cereal for breakfast, even though there are NONE in the house and then continue to scream that none of the 5 different choices of breakfast cereal are acceptable, nor are the spoon or the bowl in front of you

-Fail to tell me when I call to inquire about gymnastics for my son last week that the classes are almost filled, instead leaving me with the impression that I can register and pay immediately before class. Now I have a crying cartwheeling 5 yr old who doesn't understand the concept of a waiting list

-Call me on the phone and let me know that my pregnancy has become the towns newest gossip and the general consensus is that I have too many kids already. I, on the other hand, am much too nice to tell you the gossip going around town about you

Monday, September 06, 2004

Should We Stay or Should We Go

What to do?

As the second hurricane slams into Florida this month and a third is forcasted to possibly hit on Friday, we are wondering what to do about our travel plans. We are supposed to leave our house very early Friday morning and arrive in Orlando Saturday night. Even if the third hurrican does not head towards Florida, I wonder if things will be back to normal enough or will there still be food shortages and power outages and long gas lines.

Rob think we should just go anyway. He is of the "how bad could it possibly be" mindset. I, on the other hand, am more of a realist and realize that it could totally s-u-c-k (for lack of a better word).

I should probably apologize to the people of Florida because I am sure that it is my rotten luck causing all these hurricanes. Decide to take the kids to Florida for 12 days....nope hurricane after hurricane will slam the destination spot. I feel like Mother Nature is mocking me, "just how badly do you want to go on vacation?"
(Remember I got the kids a pool this summer and as a result it was the coldest rainiest summer in , well, forever.)

And yes, I know that there are people who have actual real problems as a result of this bad weather. Things like no electricity, food, shelter, water, flooding, no gasoline. And I feel for them, I really do.

But that doesn't diminish the fact that I want to go on vacation, dammit.

Rob is going to call the place we rented the condo though tomorrow and see how they fared through these storms. I suppose that has the potential to make the decision for us.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

And Today We Ate...

I feel like I have been talking about food way too often lately. It is very uncharacteristic of me as I 1) hate to cook, and 2) don't have a particular fondness for eating other than for survival LOL.

This morning I decided to make use of the roughly two hours I have alone before the children wake up to make a coffee cake. It is one of the favorite breakfast items at our house. The children are all really cute as they wake up and come down the stairs and ask if it is coffee cake they are smelling.

It is just a simple Bisquik coffee cake that I modified from the one on the side of the box.

6 cup Bisquik
4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
4 eggs

1 stick of butter
2 cup Bisquik
2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

This fits nicely in a 12x18 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 375. It feeds all of us (more than one serving) with a tiny bit left over.

I'd like to just skip over lunch since I served PBJ again. Monday thru Friday I really very rarely make anything else, especially in the warmer weather. I did serve it with potato chips and carrot sticks today, although I am fairly certain I was the only one who ate the carrots.

Dinner was stir fried beef with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and water chestnuts served over rice. Everyone loved it except my 9yr old who had to be excused from the table until he stopped crying. Only one complainer is a success in my book. For dessert the children had the rest of the cupcakes.

I have to admit that it is nice to know in advance what I will be making for dinner and that I have all the ingredients I need. I have enjoyed seeing other people's recipes and grocery lists. I sometimes feel like I get stuck in a rut making the same stuff over and over again.

We will need to go to the store tomorrow for more sandwich bread and soymilk, so I will add that to the running monthly total I am working on.

24 Weeks

I haven't done a belly shot in awhile, so figured I was about due for one.
This one is courtesy of my 5 yr old.

And for those of you playing along at home, it now takes 8.5 squares of toliet paper to make it around my belly.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

So What's For Dinner?

Kim asked me if I was sticking to my new meal plan. Since it is only day two and my interest has not yet waned, the answer is yes LOL.

Yesterday we had bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, PBJ for lunch (as usual), and grilled chicken cesear salad with homemade bread for dinner, and chocolate cupcakes for dessert, which were mostly made by my 7 yr old.

I marinated the chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs) for the entire day in:
1c white wine vinegar
1c oil
a few generous splashes of Worstershire sauce
freshly ground pepper
a few good shakes of garlic powder

Then I cooked them on the grill.

Today the kids had cereal for breakfast, PBJ for lunch, and I have chili in the crockpot for tonight. Chili is the children's favorite meal as long as it is served with Tostitos; they are the most important part of the chili recipe LOL.

The kids have soccer practice tonight so we will be eating dinner later than usual and I will have the pleasure of hanging around the soccer field with all the gossiping gooses from around town. And since today was the first day of school in our town I am sure I will be asked numerous times if we started school today also and all the other amusing homeschooling questions I am asked on a regular basis.