Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm SUPPOSED to be stitching...

I really am.  I keep telling myself I'm going to spend all day stitching while Steve is at work so I can actually make some visible progress on each of the projects I've been plodding away at.

I did have four going.  Then I completed one and got down to three.  Then I found an awesome image that just screamed "Gift me to this person! It was meant to be!".  The image got charted into a pattern and the WIP count went right back up to four.  I showed off my discovery to a friend who mentioned another cartoon character her husband is just nuts over and within two days I had another chart waiting to be stitched.

WIP count: five. 

Of course, I can't do one for the hubby and ignore the wifle-type person, so her gift got tacked onto the back of the list as well.

WIP count: six.

Steve calmly listened to me ramble on and on to myself about the materials that I'm gonna need to round up from their various hiding places in my craft storage corner.  He managed to stifle a snicker when my monologue to myself stumbled into the recollection that another close friend just announced her engagement and will need a sampler before the wedding date they've already set.  He settled in a little too comfortably and watched quietly while I ran myself in tight little circles trying to figure out how in the world I'm ever going to manage to get any of this stuff done before I stress myself into a local asylum.

Eventually I ran out of steam and glanced suspiciously in his direction.



"Bullpuckey.  What?"

"Oh I was just wondering when you thought you were going to get around to doing that wedding sampler for us.  Or that haunted house chart you just got.  Or that "really cute" baby sampler you were going on and on about for a newborn that's about to turn four.  Or the Christmas pattern you wanted to design and stitch up. Or that new collection of seasonal roses.  Or the calendar snowmen that were gonna go on an afghan.  Or the-"

"When do you have to be back at work again?"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Remember, as far as anyone knows we are a nice normal family."

That was printed on a little wall hanging gift a couple at our church gave us a few months ago and it almost applies to our family.

I say 'almost' because it takes less than 15 mins for us to completely shatter any illusions of normalcy. Even our cats seem determined to guarantee we make prime candidates for a Jerry Springer show.  But they're no competition for my offspring.

Let's see. Sarah's in 7th grade now. She's acutely aware of boys and of the fact that they look at her. This, of course, means that the natural course of teen evolution known as 'puberty' had to choose this point in her life to attack in all its oily, patchy skin tone glory. She, predictably, thinks the world has officially ended because her complexion is no longer clear and it's up to me to snap my fingers and fix things.

Sorry kid. If I was able to survive my freshman year of high school looking like Mother Nature had slapped me across the face with a terminal case of chicken pox and a side of the facial measles, you'll manage to get through one grade of middle school with a minor constellation tucked safely under your bangs.

My advice to her has always been "scrub your face twice a day with these facial cleansers and let your skin breathe for awhile." Apparently, when this is entered into the Parent to Teen translator, it comes out as "Slather three inches of makeup over every pore in your face and suffocate the breakouts to death."

"Mom! It's not working! I just found four more zits! OMG!! Kill me now!"


The other day my two little ones started arguing over what to watch that evening. Sarah suggested "Bambi 2" and was met with "Yeah! Let's watch that!" Okay, normal enough right?

A few minutes later, Heather and Sarah were parked on the couch snuffling back tears as the movie rehashed why Bambi suddenly finds himself raised by his father instead of his mother. Hunter was rather agitated as well.

Hunter: "I don't want to watch THIS. I wanna watch 'Bambi'!"
Me: "This is 'Bambi', it's just the second movie."
Hunter: "No! Not cartoon! 'BAMBI'!! Daaaaaaaaad!!!"

Not a cartoon? There's a live action 'Bambi' movie? When did this happen?

Steve came into the room to investigate the ruckus and listened for a minute before this devious little grin snuck across his face and he reached for Hunter's hand.

Steve: "You want to watch 'Bambi', huh? Alright, Buddy. Let's go watch 'Bambi'."

Then they headed toward our bedroom. Ermm... We don't have a DVD player in our room. Confused, I followed along behind them and watched as they settled comfortably on the bed and turned on the TV.

The DVR fired up.
Steve flipped through a myriad of shows that had been recorded while I was lost in my homework these past few weeks.

TV: "Welcome to the latest adventure of Whitetail Hunters of America! Join us as we go in search of our biggest trophy since we started filming our hunting trips!"
Hunter: "Yay! BAMBI!!!"


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bappy Hirfday, Studly!

Yep!  It's Steve's birthday today!  He's thrilled.  I think his big plans involve coming home and collapsing with the remote and a pack of hunting shows that were DVRed all week.

At least until I drag him out to softball practice.

He only had one birthday request.  He wants a Tres Leche birthday cake.  Awesome!!


What's a tres leche cake?

Look, by now it's no secret that I'm about as domestic as a bulldozer.  So anything that requires more work than upending a premade mix into a bowl and tossing an egg or two in is waaaaay out of my realm of expertise.

No problem.  I can figure this out!


I headed off to Wallyworld yesterday to round up ingredients.  The first sign that I'm probably in trouble?  My 4 yr old was holding the computer printout of the recipe and "reading" things off the list.

Would you believe that tres leche cakes apparently have M&Ms, Oreos, and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in them?  Heather was absolutely insistant that they were all included in the recipe.

"See, Mom?  It says right there!  'M and Ms'!" 
"Hmmm... are you sure that doesn't say 'milk'?"
"Of course not!  I read it!  Look right here.  'M' and there's another 'M' over here.  M&Ms!"

And once that was announced Hunter was all over it.  "The M&Ms are over here, Mom!  Let's go get them!"


Eventually I found myself standing in front of the dairy section with the recipe in front of my nose and a thoroughly confused expression plastered all over my face.  The recipe calls for "whipping cream" in one part and "heavy cream" in another part.  Could I find "whipping cream" or "heavy cream"?  Not a chance.  All I saw was 4 or 5 different brands of "Heavy Whipping Cream".  No problem.  I'll call my friends who have all successfully raised full households without any food poisoning incidents. 

Hey, I've only had a couple... and my family still lets me cook.  Once in awhile.  When they're desperate.


Would you believe that not a single one of the people I tried to call was available right that second?  I mean, really.  Just because they have jobs and it was right smack in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday... that was no reason to not be waiting with bated breath for me to suddenly have a completely unimportant crisis to drop in their laps.  Honestly.  Some people.


So, I guessed and grabbed some stuff and we'll just wait and see what happens when Steve tries a piece of his cake this evening.

Of course a few hours later, when the work day ended, all those friends I'd pestered were finally able to get a breather and call back.  All at the same time.

My sister on one line, a friend on the other line, someone else called in and got routed directly to voicemail, Steve sent a text, and every one of them suddenly got hung up on when I had a typical Kiri moment and hit the wrong button which made my phone vomit and curl up in the fetal position.


Now it's time to get started on the cake experiment.  I'm assured it will all turn out just fine.

Although I'm still a little confused about how the ice cream and M&Ms are gonna handle being baked for 40 mins.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is the sky leaking?!?

Yeah, it's been that long since we've gotten rained on.  There were even times when they promised we were gonna get rain and we saw the storm clouds coming but then, for some odd reason, the clouds just kinda went around us.  I think we've gotten dribbled on three or maybe four times since June.

So the other night while I was trying to finish up the last of my homework before midnight and Steve was watching his shows featuring the mass slaughter of anything with antlers, there was a bright flash outside followed a few seconds later by this strange noise rumbling around and throughout the house.

Steve:  Did you hear that?
Me:  Uh huh.
Steve:  Could it be?
Me:  More than likely.  Hunter did skip lunch and refuse to eat dinner tonight.  He's probably starving.

Well last night found us in our usual places on the bed:

Me on my side with tax books and charts spread all over the place and a few forms across my lap as I filled them out.
Steve on his side eyeing the clock and wondering if he should take sedatives to help him sleep with the lights on.

He ended up playing games with his phone and at some random point got a weather alert saying we were under a flash flood watch.  Riiight.  At this point, any water dropping onto the ground vanishes instantly as every root system in the county senses moisture two time zones away and attacks. 

I bet if you stood in my yard with a drink and the glass sweated, you'd hear a slurping sound start before the condensation even hit the ground.  I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you looked down and saw little root ends staring pitifully up at you out of the soil in their best imitation of baby birds expecting a worm.


I got rolled out of bed this morning in the usual fashion,  stumbled upstairs in the dark to chase the two littles off the computers and downstairs for breakfast, and squawked in a most unladylike manner when I spotted three HUGE rats sitting in a line outside my patio door staring inside at my two cats who were sitting on this side of the door staring right back at them.

I brought my pulse back down to a rate somewhere in the triple digits and started toward the bedroom to roust Steve out of bed so he could shoot the economy sized rodents when it slowly dawned on me that I could hear pounding rain outside.

Oh no.  The poor things.

Upon returning to the patio door to take a closer look it became painfully clear that the "rats" were actually three of my ferals sitting in the downpour waiting for me to feed them.

With a perfectly dry shelter lined with warm towels and blankets sitting unoccupied next to them.

Survival instinct my fuzzy patookus.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hunter!! Unlock this door or I'll...


Yeah, it's been a week.  For some reason I just haven't had much of any desire to be sitting on the computer for even a few minutes.  I've checked Facebook all of three times and one of those times was to try to find someone who seems to have dropped off the face of the planet since Friday evening.

Things have been pretty normal around here, actually.  Of course, by default, that means things have been very abnormal, cuz no one in this family is ever normal, so for things to be normal to us they'd have to be abnormal to everyone else.  Thus, normal for everyone else is most definitely NOT normal for us.

... if you followed that, you should probably be worried about your mental wellbeing.

Sarah's back in school so she doesn't get much at home time anymore.  Especially as I finally have my own vehicle and she discovered she now has built in transportation to all the afterschool activities she's been missing out on for the last five years.  Of course, being back in school means she's being inundated with classmates asking her to draw pictures for them.  She's begun accepting donations from the kids and at an average of a quarter a drawing, she's not doing too badly.

Yep.  My kid is making more money than I am these days.  I think I'm going to ask her for an allowance since I'm forced to do her laundry and feed her and such. 



Steve's on leave this week because he needs a break and has "Use it or lose it" time to burn.  So he's spent the entire weekend and the week so far running around town trying to find parts to fix our neighbor's car.  Today I'm gonna drag him around town so we can go grocery shopping, but I'm one of those people who can't just go to one store and get everything there.  We get our meat from the commissary, anything even remotely bulkish comes from Sam's club, sugary/bakery goodies come from Kroger, and pretty much everything else comes from whoever has the best prices.  They're building a Publix about 5 miles away and I'm chomping at the bit to see if they're as good as the one down near my Dad.

*reads over her babbling*

Dear God, I've been domesticated.


Anyway, this morning Heather came running into the kitchen asking if she could water the grass.  Since it's actually cooler than 90°, I didn't see any reason we couldn't go out in the yard for awhile.  So I found myself listening to the littles arguing over who got to dump the water into which kid-made mudhole while I tidied up the petunias in my pitiful little flowerbed. 

As usual I spent 90% of the time yanking weeds out of the ground, 5% of the time griping at myself when I accidentally pulled up something that should have stayed where it was, 4% of the time staring blankly at some green growth and desperately trying to convince myself I might actually know if it should be spared or not, and 1% of the time pulling dead leaves and blossoms off of the petunias.

That's me.  Gardener extraordinaire!

Eventually Hunter got bored with being ordered around by Heather and stalked back into the house.  As expected, I heard the deadbolt fall into place and calmly continued what I was doing while listening to Heather pound and push at the door while Hunter giggled maniacally from the other side. 

Then it happened.  The most dreaded ultimatum known to mankind issued forth from my darling 4 year old's mouth:

"HUNTER!!  Unlock this door or I'll ring the doorbell again!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homework can be done anywhere but home.

Ask me how I know this...

My class was on Saturday.  By the time I got home Saturday night after class and running back out for extra supplies, I had a houseful of kids who were demanding attention "right now!" and a hubby who had spent the entire day turning the garage/warehouse-with-no-room-to-take-a-step-safely into a garage.  Apparently he pulled everything inside the garage out onto the lawn and driveway, built two workbenches and one shelving system, threw away a bunch of stuff (my personal favorite), repaired a few broken things, reorganized pretty much everything, and neatly put it all back into the garage. 


Except that he was too exhausted to watch the kids, so there was no way I was gonna get anything even remotely constructive done.  Unless you count undoing everything the kids had done to the house while Steve was busy.  So I did the next best thing... well, you read about that on my last blog.

Sunday is church.  NOTHING else gets done on Sundays.  We like it that way.

Monday is my catch up on the weekend's housework day.  By the time I'm up to where I should be, it's lunchtime, the kids are in full swing, and I'm worn out and not the least bit interested in concentrating on anything other than a chart and pretty colored threads.

Tuesday was the day I wanted to do my homework.  As soon as I pulled my books out, the kids were curious and in the middle of everything.  "What's this?" "Can I read this?" "Ooh highlighters! Can I color on these pages?" "We can help you do your homework!" "Why are you putting everything away again?" 

Poor Steve had a meeting Tuesday evening and probably didn't get to pay much attention due to the texts he kept getting from me begging permission to teach the children how to play chicken out in heavy traffic. 

It was a bit odd that he was home about ten minutes after that particular message was sent, though...

Anyway, we got the kids into bed and he let me pretend I wasn't a mom for the rest of the evening while I did three chapters worth of homework.  I had another chapter to go, but four hours had gone by and he was glaring at the clock as it announced it was midnight, so I figured I should probably quit for the night and let him sleep.

What?  I'm kind of an overachiever when it comes to doing homework.  At least for the first month.  Since this class only lasts for four months, I stand a great chance of getting 25% of my work done for the course.


Yesterday just wasn't going to be a homework day.  The kids had filled their weekly quota of behaving themselves and were anxious to go back to church in the evening and see their friends.  Starting at about 9am it was "Can we get ready for church?"  "What time are we gonna leave for church?" "Is Daddy coming home soon? It's almost time for church!" "Can you make dinner now so we can go to church?  I'm hungry!" "Is that dinner? Yay! It's almost time for church!" "I don't wanna eat this.  I'm not hungry now.  Can we leave now?"

Let's just say that by the time we actually got to church, I was in real danger of getting struck by lightning just by attempting to open the front doors.

So now it's Thursday and I still have a chapter to do before class on Saturday and there's no chance at all that I'll be able to do any schoolwork tomorrow.  Fridays are just too jampacked with my online updates and wrapping up the week before heading to our church softball games.

I have to do my work today.  *whimper* 

So I pulled out my books and of course the kids attacked.  But I won't be overcome this time. I will prevail!  I know!

Me: "Hey, you guys sit here and make sure my papers don't get up and leave while I read this chapter out loud.  Okay?" 

Kids: "Okay!" "Yay!"

Me: "Chapter 4: Dependent Exemptions and Support.  Taxpayers who have children have an opportunity to qualify for many tax benefits that may .... "

Heather: "Mom, I think 'Phineas and Ferb' is on now.  I'm gonna go watch that.  Coming, Hunter?"

Hunter, curled up on Daddy's pillow: *snore*


Why didn't I think of this before?!?!

Monday, August 22, 2011

We're Going Back! Back! Back to School Again!

Whoa oh!  I gotta go!  Back to schoooooool.  Again!


Sorry.  Flashback moment there.

What can I say?  Michelle Pfeiffer made being a Pink Lady the ultimate girl goal.


A few weeks ago Steve brought home a flyer for a full scholarship offered to military spouses as long as we took a specific course.  Most people would look at the course, roll their eyes, and mutter "I can see why it's free.  ICK!"  I looked at it and thought, "That'll be fun!"  Steve's in the first camp, but knew I'd be in the second camp, so here I am... going back to school.  I will admit to nearly whomping Steve when he handed me some cash, snickered, and said, "Don't forget your lunch money."


What class?  Oh yeah.  Forgot that part, didn't I? I'm taking a tax preparation course through H&R Block.  And if I can somehow convince them that I'm not a walking catastrophe they might even consider hiring me if I score well enough on my final.  Here's hoping!

So the first class was Saturday.  Well, actually, the first two classes.  Because of the schedule for the course we're actually having to take one class before lunch and the next class after lunch.  Which, for obvious reasons, makes homework a challenge.  The instructor feels we're being cheated a little, but she assures us that if we just take a few hours and carefully read the material a couple of times we should have minimal trouble figuring things out. 

A few hours of study time.  In my house.  Bahahahahaahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

That's okay.  I'm an academic overachiever.  Or so the myth goes.  I'll manage to get the work done, even if it means caffeine pills and a few sunrises.  Better get my books torn apart and organized before the next class.  Gotta make a run to Office Depot, then!

Wee!  School supply shopping.  For me!  Why do I feel like I'm a teenager again?  *cough*  First things first.  I need to get them to punch holes in my textbook and workbooks so I can get the pages put into a binder the way I want them.  BUT!  The holes have to go on the outside of the perforation, not the inside. 

When the kid at the counter gives you a look that is a combination of a deer in headlights and "You're completely nuts, you know that right?" it's highly unlikely you're gonna get what you want.  I know he was looking at the book and the perfectly good perforation and wondering what was wrong with just ripping the pages out of the book as I needed them rather than what I was trying to describe to him.  Since I didn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of explaining what my intentions were, I just thanked him for his time and headed farther into the store to spend money on yet more school supplies while plotting how I could bring my plans to fruition myself.

Wait.  I have a three hole punch at home!  It'll take several hours to punch each individual page the way I want, but it can be done!  Success!  I'll do it myself.

Once I got home, I bolted up to my desk to retrieve my hole punch.  Only it wasn't there.  Why wasn't it there? 

"Who took my hole punch and didn't put it back?!?" 
"Not me."
"What's a hole punch?"
"Can we have some ice cream?"


Cue the temper flaring, the tyrannical and irrational rant about people taking my things and not bothering to ask permission or even put the items back where they belong so I can actually use my stuff myself once in a blue moon.  This is the part where the kids find some corner of their playroom to entertain themselves, Sarah disappears into her room with artwork or a book, and Steve suddenly finds either the television or a computer game absolutely fascinating.

About forty minutes later, I finally found my three hole punch.  It was tucked into a box up in the storage area. 

Where I had hidden it. 
So I'd be able to find it whenever I needed it. 
Without having to do the scavenger hunt thing.

Epic fail.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It be Friday again, and I have a finish!!

Yup!  I actually have a stitching finish to show off!  Well...  it's almost finished.  I forgot to sign it, so I'll have to stitch that in later today, but it'll get done before it's handed over for framing.

Lookie, lookie!!

I'm so glad I was able to add something to the 2011 page on my website.  Granted, it's a relatively little project, but that's okay.  I still have the three monsters I'm working on.

I actually finished Garfield on Wednesday night so I got a headstart on Cinderella, not that I was able to take much advantage of the extra day.  I've been fighting off fatigue for quite some time and yesterday I lost in a most spectacular manner.

Hunter absolutely refused to stay in his bed and take his nap, so after a couple of hours of "Go get back in bed!" "But Moooommmm!" "Now!" (wash, rinse, repeat) I lost my temper and ordered Hunter down to my room. 

See, when my children decide they're not tired enough to sleep when they're told to, they run the risk of me snapping completely and making them stand up in the middle of the floor for ten to fifteen minutes.  If they move from the spot for any reason other than a potty run, the time starts over.  Usually, they don't make it the full fifteen minutes before one or the other of them has cried themselves into a stupor and is in danger of keeling over.  By this point, laying down doesn't seem like such a horrible idea. (Hey, I've got a friend who makes her boys run laps around the house when they misbehave.  I'd do that, but then I'd just end up with a houseful of track stars that can outrun me rather than get punished.)

Yesterday, Hunter found himself in this predicament while I folded the laundry that had just finished drying.  The boy is pretty darned stubborn and he stood right where he was supposed to with minimal complaint and only one attempt to sit down.  It was clear that he'd be there for an hour if I tried to have a battle of wills with him and I just didn't have that much energy or patience.  So, I planted him on Steve's side of the bed and made it clear that he couldn't talk or touch anything and he was going to watch the news with me.

Within three minutes he was out cold.

Apparently, within three more minutes, so was I.

Sarah came home from school about twenty minutes later and said she found Heather happily watching Looney Toons in the livingroom, Hunter drooling on Daddy's pillow, and me sitting upright with my cross stitch in my lap, a needle in my hand, and as comatose as Rip Van Winkle.  I'm lucky she didn't take a picture.  She owes me some serious blackmail fodder.

In classic Mother of the Year fashion, I turned off the news, tucked the boychild under a blanket, told Sarah to go do her homework and keep Heather from blowing up the house, curled up into a ball and went right back to sleep.

As if it wasn't painfully obvious that I am no June Cleaver...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday was rough....

I meant to add another blog yesterday.  I really did.  But I got sidelined with startling news that sent me into one of my typical irrational rages that serve no real purpose other than to wear me out emotionally and entertain anyone who can see me without being within reach.

I went to the eye doctor yesterday for an eye exam and since my prescription hasn't changed in the slightest, it was a very quick exam.  I asked the doctor if she had time to do a quick check of Heather's eyes since we were there.

See, Heather has this annoying tendency to stand with her nose quite literally touching the television when it's on.  No matter how many times she gets yelled at to back up and sit on the couch, she invariably winds up right back at the screen.  I have asked several eye doctors over her 4 years if they would check her and all of them said it's perfectly normal behavior for a small child and since she isn't tripping over herself or bumping into things, she must be able to see just fine.

Well, okay.  But it still bugs me no end, so I didn't see any reason not to ask this civilian doctor about it on the off chance that she wouldn't glance at her watch and shoo me away like the typical military doctor. (No, I'm not bitter.  Why would you think that?)

Anyhoo...  Dr. Jones immediately said, "I don't mind at all!  Just fill out the paperwork for her so we can get her into the system and I'll get started."  It took less than 5 mins for it to be determined that Heather was failing to see anything below the second line of letters on the chart.  Yes, I said the second line.  As in, she was only seeing the giant E and the SL that were nearly as large.  Just to be safe, Dr. Jones distracted Heather with more charts and set to peering into her eyes with magnifying lenses and flashlights.

Can I just say that hearing the doctor say "Oh my God" is NOT condusive to keeping a parent calm?  I had to step out into the hallway and call Steve at work to keep from panicking.  I know, I know.  Panicking over an eye exam is just stupid, but how many of us are absolutely convinced that our babies are perfect in every way?  How many of us feel like we failed somehow when we're faced with the realization that our children are not guaranteed lives free of ailments or physical challenges?

Once I was convinced my voice wasn't going to crack the moment I tried to speak, I snuck back into the office and watched my daughter struggle to see any of what the doctor was trying to show her.  There's nothing quite like seeing a full grown woman holding up a book and pointing at what should be a 3D picture of a rabbit and having your 4 year old glaring back at her and matter of factly stating "There's nothing there but an L and an R!"   Heather looked like she honestly thought Dr. Jones was completely bonkers.  And given the contraption Heather was currently wearing, that's saying something.

Long story short (anyone says "Too late" and I'll turn this into something to rival War and Peace) Heather has no depth perception and would be considered legally blind were she of age to drive.  But Dr. Jones says it can most likely be corrected because she's still so young.  Yay!  Off to buy the girl child glasses.  Not so yay.  I think I heard Steve's wallet burst into tears.

When we left the office without the glasses she'd chosen, Heather was thoroughly perturbed.  "When do I get my glasses?" "It'll take a couple of weeks.  You have a special prescription and it takes longer for your lenses."  "Oh.  Okay."

We got to the car and started to leave the parking lot.  "Wait, Mommy!  You forgot my glasses!"  "They're not ready yet.  We'll come back when they are."  "Oh.  Okay."

She asked at least four more times before we got home.  She asked several more times throughout the afternoon.  She ambushed Steve at the door with "Daddy, you're home!  Can we go get my glasses now?"  She asked a few more times after that.

This morning she woke up and bounded down the stairs and straight into our bedroom with a bright and cheerful, "It's morning!  It's time to go get my glasses!"

*mutter*  "Your glasses won't be ready for a couple of weeks.  Go back to bed."

A few more demands to go get her glasses and one colossal waterfall in the bathroom (yet again) got them both exiled to their room for the duration of the day before I ran the risk of using every scrap of duct tape in the city to stick them to the walls.

Finally!  It was time for church and a wonderful distraction to take her mind off waiting for her blasted glasses!  Three hours later, it was time for bed and I was looking forward to a peaceful night of sleep.

"Mommy!  I can't go to sleep yet.  I still don't have my glasses!"


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Very funny, Lord. Really.

Okay so maybe I've spent the last few blog posts bemoaning the fact that I haven't had a whole lot of interesting things happen that are worthy of tossing out there to the internet world.  I'm sorry!  I take it back!

UNCLE!  Hear that??  I'm crying "Uncle!"


My first jolt into the waking world this morning came when Hunter let out an angry screech of "I WANNA WATCH 'DINOSAUR'!!!" followed by an equally angry Sarah snapping that she didn't have time for him to be picky as she still had to shower before school.

Maybe if I find something with T-Rexes in it, my kids will get eaten...

I stumbled into the livingroom and planted Hunter on the couch with his pillow, blanket, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Sarah ran for her shower, and I collapsed back into bed.  I think I managed to miss Steve when I keeled over, but I'm not certain.  If I didn't miss him, well... he's a tough guy anyway. 

Not long enough later, we were startled awake by Heather wailing "Sarah come back!  Sarah! Sarah!" and when I stormed down the hallway to shush her up she turned a tear-streaked face up to me and informed me that Sarah ran away from home.  I was entirely too sleepy and irritable for a 'Full House' awwww moment and told her that Sarah didn't run away, she ran to the bus stop.  The tears stopped instantly and without missing a beat, Heather snuffled and asked, "Can I have her DS anyway?"

*twitch*  I wanna go back to bed.

...Now, I need to stop and insert a smidgeon of backstory...

Last night we had nachos for dinner.  It's a great way for us to sneak meat and veggies into our kids and who doesn't like chips and cheese?  Anyway, while preparing the food we discovered a couple of bags of thoroughly stale chips.  Steve mangled the chips into crumbs and tossed them out into the grass in our backyard for the birds to eat, despite me pointing out that what he was actually doing was feeding the feral cats under our deck as the adult female is quite an accomplished hunter.

...Back to this morning...

Not ten minutes later I heard Hunter's angry little voice echoing around our room.  Only it wasn't coming from inside the house.  *growl*  Our neighbors are gonna start shooting at us.

Of course I bolted to the back door which was standing wide open with Heather staring outside and yelling for Hunter to come inside.  Hunter was standing in the middle of the deck shouting at the top of his powerful little lungs, "Birds!  Come eat your chips.  Right now!  Birds!  Where are you?!?"


To my credit, I didn't explode on the spot.  I simply put my hand over Hunter's mouth, told him that the neighbors already had their own alarm clocks and didn't need his help waking up.  Then I tried to explain that birds won't answer to loud shouts anyway.

That's when Heather piped up with, "Look Mom!  There's a bird!"  I looked at what she was pointing at and quickly ushered my children back into the house.  "Yep, you're right.  That's a bird."

Well.  Sorta.  I'm sure it was a bird when it landed on the chips last night.  This morning it's leftovers. 


Oh yeah.  Did I mention that it's just now 8am?


So!  Who wants to babysit??

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mundane Mondays

The weekend is over.  Woot?

I can't even remember what we did on Saturday, so it must have been absolutely rivetting.  Oh wait, now I remember.  I hauled everyone out of the house early so we could run a couple of errands and be home before lunch so the day could be properly wasted.  We had to go to the Post Office and stop at Lifeway for a little kids' party they were hosting.  We ended up going to the Post Office, getting Hunter a haircut, letting Steve get a damaged toolkit replaced, running over to Lifeway and staying for an hour, raiding Hobby Lobby, visiting our favorite waitress at Ryan's and THEN heading home to relax for the rest of the day. 

In other words, I chased the littles around the inside of the house while Steve and Rona did two house's worth of yardwork for a couple of hours.  Then I threw together some pitiful excuse for a dinner while Steve and one of our other neighbors finished putting a bedliner in his truck until the sun started to set.

I think I got some stitching done, but I'm really not sure how much since I had been fighting off a migraine all day and was by that time feeling pretty good with the help of a dose of medications, if ya know what I mean.

Yup.  A totally wasted and relaxing day where no one had to do anything.


Sunday means church from 8am to 9pm; two morning services and an evening service.  We attend every service because Steve works in the AV department while I volunteer by gophering around the building running messages or errands from one department to the next as needed when I'm not scheduled to be on stage singing.  I love doing it and on the days I have to dress like I have some semblance of fashion sense, it becomes a game to remember where I tossed my heels before darting barefoot throughout the halls. 

Understandably, thirteen hour days can wear out anyone and by the time the kids were all in bed all I wanted to do was collapse and go to sleep early.  So what did we do?  We sat up and watched half the America's Got Talent season on the DVR.  Can I just say that the Russian Bars trio is stunningly beautiful, breathtakingly talented, and COMPLETELY off their rockers?  Just thought I'd point that out.

Anyway, today I'm dragging pretty badly and even finding it difficult to force my brain to crawl out of its cocoon and put in an appearance, as is likely evident by the endless babbling you've already waded through.

Hunter and Heather were up and moving a little before 6am again.  I'm giving serious consideration to velcro sheets and duct tape comforters...

Sarah seems to have finally gotten the hang of being awake and functional before her bus arrives and helped me out a ton by getting breakfast for the kids and putting a movie in for them so I could stay in bed a bit longer.  If only she hadn't picked a movie that sent both kids charging into our bedroom wailing about the big mean dinosaur that was chasing all the rest of the not-so-mean dinosaurs.


Fast forward to lunchtime.  The littles wanted to be helpful so they got all the ingredients they could reach and put them on the counter for me.  Once I'd put away the sugar, the cookies, the cake frosting, the carton of ice cream, the brownie mix, and a candy bar I think he found in Sarah's room I made them sandwiches and left them to watch Mickey Mouse while they chowed down.

Not too much later, sounds of giggling and stampeding feet ("pitter patter of little feet" my fuzzy patookus) made it fairly obvious that they were finished with lunch so I started to collect dishes. 

Odd.  I was sure I fed two kids.  Shouldn't I have two sets of dishes?

"Hunter, where are your dishes?"
"In the trash."


"Why would you throw your dishes away?!?"
"So you don't have to wash them."


"Thanks, sweetie."

Hey, he was thinking of me and being courteous to my needs.  I'm sure Steve will be totally understanding when we start buying new sets of dishes every month.

Dontcha think?

I should probably go fish those things out of the trash now.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WIP Friday and borderline sanity issues.

It's too soon.  I'm not ready to for it to be Friday.  I didn't get enough stitching done. 

Oh well, here's my progress on Call of the Wild for the week. 

Not even remotely close to as much as I'd like to have shown off, but what can ya do?  Now it's time to get back to the little Christmas Garfield project.  I'll finish that one this week even if I have to disconnect every clock in the house at 11:50pm Thursday night.

I can just see Steve trying to explain to his superiors that he was late to work because his wife wasn't done with a stitching project on time.  "Riiigghhhht.  We'll see you at Mental Health first thing in the morning."

Speaking of.  Steve I mean.  Not mental health.  Hey, let's get one thing straight right now:  I do NOT suffer from insanity.

I enjoy every second of it.



Steve got home last night!  Yay!  He was only gone for four days, but it still felt like forever for me.  We've been through enough deployments over the last 5 years that I'm of the firm belief that we have filled our quota of "alone time" for the rest of our lives.  Every time they send him somewhere, even stateside, it feels like they're stealing time they're no longer entitled to and I begrudge them of that.  I know all you other military spouses feel the same way.

If I want time away from my husband I can go upstairs or turn on a television show I want to watch.  Nothing will clear that man out of the room faster than hearing one of my forensic shows firing up.  Muwhahahahaaaaa!

This morning I was taking the trash out and I spotted my friend Rona out with her dogs.  She was about as awake as I was, so of course I trekked across the street so we could revel in the fact that we each looked like we'd just stuck our fingers in a light socket.  After we finished giggling at each other, she pointed at Steve's car and mentioned that she was glad to see he was home.

"Yeah.  He got home last night."  *yawn*  "Sorry, I'm tired."


I hope our laughter didn't wake any of the neighbors...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cats are always so regal and dignified.

And if you believe that, you've just betrayed yourself as someone who has never owned a cat in your life.  Ever.


My cats are awesome.  At least I think so.  Steve tolerates them because it's easier to put up with them than to deal with that whole "Hell hath no fury like a woman whose beloved furry speedbumps have mysteriously vanished off the face of the planet" thing.  But as cool as they are, "regal" and "dignified" could never be included in any list of adjectives that might be applied to Cali and Lea.

Cali has no interest in dignity.  Dignity would mean that she couldn't follow me around the house howling and hollering every fourth step until I picked a spot to sit down in so she could immediately invade and flop onto her back demanding a tummy rub.  If I fail to provide the appropriate attentions, she makes it abundantly clear that my priorities need to be straightened out.

"Put down the camera and rub the belly.  Now."

"No bellyrub; no stitching."

Lea has never been regal, despite being named because she had the potential to look like a lion when she was a kitten.  Oh she THINKS she's regal.  But any creature that consistantly falls asleep looking like she's been thrown out of a moving vehicle is automatically disqualified.

Backbones are totally overrated.

Okay, so bones in general are overrated.

From what I've been told about dogs, when an owner calls a dog, chances are that dog will get up and come to the owner to see what reward is waiting.

When an owner calls a cat, that cat will generally look up in irritation and make it clear that she will answer when the continental drift gets to wherever said owner is standing.

My cats are no exception to this feline rule of thumb.  Even when they do deign me worthy of getting up and inspecting whatever I might be offering they do it slowly, taking care to ensure that I'm fully aware of the fact that despite being the one who is "in charge" I'm really on THEIR schedule.

Today, both girls were sprawled at the foot of my bed diligently depositing liberal amounts of fur all over the sheets when I made the mistake of opening a canister on the other end of the house.  I heard and felt the dull roar of a speeding locomotive bearing down on me and barely had enough time to scramble out of the way before a fuzzy boxing match broke out where I'd just been standing.

Gimme gimme gimmegimmegimmegimmegimme......

Mmmm..... My Preciousssss

Right now, my two darlings are racing each other up and down the stairs, and up and down the stairs, and ACK! WHAT'S THAT?? Oh it's my shadow, and up and down the stairs, and doh! missed a couple of steps there, and up and down the stairs, and up and down the stairs, and hey! no fair biting my tail!, and up and down the stairs, and up and down.....

Ahhh.  Catnip.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So Steve's out of town again and Sarah started school today, which means it's just me and the rugrats at home.  Piece of cake, right?


Sarah spent all day yesterday with a friend at a wave pool.  By the time I was called to come collect my daughter, it was nearing sunset and she bore a striking resemblance to a boiled lobster.  It was actually rather difficult to resist the urge to waltz up to her and smack her across the back of her shoulders just to see the stark white handprint that would have been left there.  Apparently she figured that picking up the bottle of sunblock and reading the directions would have the same effect as actually APPLYING the sunblock.   After the 25 minute drive home I was stunned to see that her skin was even redder and threatening to start going purple. 

When I tried to put aloe vera on her I quite literally burned my own fingers, so I chased her into the bathroom for what she said was her second cold shower hoping that would it ease some of the heat radiating off of her skin.  But when she came out of the shower sobbing in agony and complaining about a headache that was moving down her neck, it was time to beg the neighbor to watch the littles while I dosed Sarah with pain meds and we made a beeline for the ER in the middle of the night.

Four hours later we were back home, Sarah was slathered in a green aloe vera cocoon and trying to sleep on her stomach, and Cali was standing over her with her nose twitching in fast forward and a look of "Eww, what IS that??".  Every few seconds or so Cali would carefully lift a paw, delicately poke at Sarah's back, and snuffle her paw. I assume she repeated the process until Sarah lost her patience and suddenly exploded into rather loud writhing which sent Cali scrambling into my room with every hair standing on end.

Where was I?  I was laying in my bed and staring at the ceiling wondering why this sort of stuff never seems to happen when Steve is home to enjoy it with me.


And what have Heather and Hunter been doing for their entertainment?

Well, Hunter decided to see if he could climb the curtains in his room, provided the anchors holding the curtain rod in place on the wall were strong enough to hold him.

He could.  They weren't. 
Hunter bounced.  The curtain rod (and chunks of the wall) didn't.


It turns out Heather decided her stuffed animals needed a bath in the bathroom sink upstairs while I was doing laundry downstairs.  My first clue things were not as I had left them was Heather running down the stairs and racing down the hallway past me screaming "Why does this always happen to me? What's wrong with the world??"


As I stood there trying to remember what she might have watched recently that had those lines in it, Hunter zipped past me leaving a trail of soggy footprints and wailing "They're drowning!  They can't swim!  We have to help them!"


They were only alone for ten minutes.  How much damage could they have possibly done?!?  Oh wait... Curtain rod.  Chunks of plaster.  Holes in wall.


I raced upstairs to find the bathroom sink overflowing as it appeared Hunter failed to turn the water off before bolting after his sister.  Bobbing up and down in the basin were the obviously swimming-challenged corpses of several stuffed animals. 

Why didn't the water drain through that hole at the top of the sink designed to prevent kid-made waterfalls?  The stuffed snake with its tail crammed into said hole might have something to do with that.


I'm beginning to wonder if Steve is somehow figuring out ahead of time what the kids are plotting and making himself conveniently scarce.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Concert Night!!

Yeah, I know.  It's been 3 days since my last blog.  As most of you already know, I got the phone call that my Grandma passed yesterday, so it's been a bit of a challenge staying positive enough to make fun of the people around me.  Wait... that came out wrong.

If there was anyone in the world who could make you smile just by walking into the room, it was Grandma.  She was amazing.  I never saw her be anything but loving to everyone she ever came  into contact with and she was easily a bigger kid than any of us grandchildren.  And that's going some... I think I got a fair amount of my screwballness from her and I'll be forever grateful for it! 

For example, when I was about 7 we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa and ended up at the grocery store.  At some point I threw a temper tantrum when Mom said I couldn't have some treat or something.  Mom rolled her eyes and pointedly ignored me, Dad threatened my life as soon as we were someplace that didn't have witnesses, Grandpa shot Dad a "Better you than me" grin, and Grandma calmly sat down in the middle of the aisle.

...and threw a knockdown, dragout, feet kicking, arms flailing, top of her lungs temper tantrum right there on the floor.  Once she had drawn a sufficient crowd of people with jaws hanging slack, she abruptly stopped howling, stood up, smiled sweetly at everyone and asked if I thought I'd looked any less ridiculous.

I never threw another fit of any kind.  And she became my role model.  Which probably explains alot, actually.

She's definitely going to be missed, but if she caught me wallowing in misery I'm sure I'd get an earful and I'm not about to find out how big a temper tantrum a ghost can churn up. 

Well, today's Sunday and as always that means we're busy busy busy from 6am to sometime around midnight.  And tonight was a concert by the Katinas.  It was an amazing show and very moving!  I can't wait until they come back again.

I had originally intended to stay home because a concert with two small children in tow is rarely any fun, but they both insisted they wanted to go to church.  So, they went.  Steve works in the AV department which means we had to be there at least an hour before start time.  Sarah was meeting a friend at the concert with plans to go home with her family for a sleepover.  Just me and the rugrats until the show began. Yay.  Bored children.  For an hour.


"When's it going to start?" "I want to hear the music!" "Can we go get something to eat?" "I'm bored." "Mom, where's your word game?" (Kindle) "Why won't Daddy let us play in the spotlights?" "Is it starting soon?"

I wanna go home...

Finally it was time to begin and the lights went down.  There were two performers before the Katinas took the stage and throughout the duration of each of them, I was unable to really pay attention because I was dealing with a litany of "Is that them?" "When do we get to hear them?" "Isn't it starting yet?" "Where are they?"

Heather refused to sit still and started trying to run laps back and forth past the stage.  I discovered it was rather difficult to keep up with her with Hunter in my arms sabotaging any attempts to grab at her, so I plopped him in my seat and said firmly, "Stay put."  Yeah. Right.  Fortunately, a really great friend who was sitting behind us reached out and nabbed Hunter so I could go retrieve my daughter who was now quite happily trying to her darndest to steal all attention from B. Reith as he performed his last song for the evening.

Once I'd caught the girlchild and planted her back in our seats, it was time for the Katinas to come out and sing.  There was cheering, shouting, clapping, singing along, drums, keyboards, guitar, and great vocals.   Lots of people jumped up to dance to the music.  I thoroughly enjoyed their first song and turned to Heather and Hunter to see what they thought of the group they'd been fussing and nagging about wanting to hear.

Heather was sprawled out across four seats and fascinated with the lights in the ceiling.
Hunter was comfortably snoring in Tanya's arms.

Ermm... I suppose everyone enjoys concerts in their own way?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Peace is overrated...

or obsolete. or pointless. or passively aggressive.

Depends on who you're dealing with I suppose.

For example:

This morning, little Hunter shouted at me from the bathroom "Mommy!  I'm making bubbles! Come look!"  I bolted into the bathroom fully expecting to see my child up to his knees in bubble bath. It didn't dawn on me that I never heard any water running until I rounded the corner and found the child standing on the toilet seat (with remarkably good balance, I might add) peeing into the water and getting the biggest kick out of the bubbles that kept appearing in the bowl.

Well, at least I don't need to spend money on Christmas gifts this year...

This afternoon, Sarah was taken to a friend's beauty shop to get her hair cut for school.  When she was all done and Crystal asked her if she liked it, Sarah tilted her head back and forth and kind of mumbled a little bit to herself before saying that no, she didn't really like it.  She got up and shook her hair out, then very carefully put it back EXACTLY the way Crystal had styled it and turned to us with a grin.  "That's better."

Crystal and I just looked at each other and silently took bets on which of us could kill the girl first.

Afterwards, it was time to make a quick jaunt to the store because I'd seen an advertisement for something called Granola Thins from Nature Valley and anything claiming to be healthy while having dark chocolate slathered on it is going to be purchased by me.  I told the kids that if they behaved themselves, I'd consider stopping at Dairy Queen before going home as a treat.  Heather promptly started grabbing everything on the shelves she could reach while reciting a steady monolog of "Can I have this? Can you buy me this? I want this. This looks good. Can we get this?" followed by miniature temper tantrums each time I said "No." and put said item back.  After 5 straight minutes of this, she finally let out a screech that made people around us jump out of their skin and demanded a box of cookies.  It was Hunter who turned on her with "We already have cookies at home, Heather!"  (What can I say?  The boy was faster than I was.)

I snarled out, "Why are you acting like this?!?" Heather calmly glared up at me and said as matter of factly as you could want, "Because I want ice cream!"


Well, now I'm home, sans ice cream, and had been looking forward to a quiet evening of the kids being exiled to their playroom while I spent some time on the internet relaxing before going to cross stitch.  My favorite message board was the first place I went to visit.  Usually I'm rather adept at avoiding the threads that are ticking down to their own little armageddons.

Today...  errm... not so lucky.  

Someone upset someone, who went to someone else, who charged in with blaring trumpets and upset a whole lot of someone elses, who brought in reinforcements, who called in more cavalry, who discovered the battlefield simply wasn't big enough and claimed more ground, which caught the attention of still more someone elses, who ....

I'd get popcorn and sack out to watch, but these gals would give a maximum security prison population a run for their money and I'm just not that interested in being a guinea pig for amatuer acupuncture.

Think I'll go take my chances with the 4 year old and her temper tantrums.

wait... I hear water running.  Oh no.  They've made a swimming pool for the Care Bears again.  The PLUSH Care Bears.

*twitch twitch twitch twitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitchtwitch*

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Somedays just suck all around...

Today hasn't been the greatest day for me so I'm having a hard time finding something to make fun of.

I suppose I could poke fun at the hard working roofers across the street at our neighbor's home, but it got over 100° again and quite honestly I'm fairly amazed I didn't see them taking turns slip sliding down the steep grade of her house in a desperate attempt to find some moving air of any kind.  Although I suppose trying to create waterslides on the roof wouldn't be overly effective when the water boils into steam on contact...

I could try to squeeze a little giggle out of the fact that I made Sarah put her movie in upstairs so it wouldn't disturb my stitching downstairs, and then found myself staring at the closing credits of said movie 90 minutes later while Lea happily burrowed into my cross stitching thread and shed all over my project. 

Or I could mention how Steve called me on his way home like he always does, then my Dad called me, and I managed to hang up on BOTH of them while trying to answer the calls.  Twice.  I swear that blasted phone snickered at me while I sheepishly called each of them back and tried to explain that I really wasn't a complete moron.

Then there was my doctor's appointment to draw a skin sample for a biopsy. After the "little bee sting" prick of the needle and the lovely sensation of Lidocaine systematically searing any and all unfortunate nerve endings within reach to a burned out husk, I was in the oh-so-dignified position of lying flat on my back with a less than flattering portion of my body being sliced into while my doctor did her best to help me feel a little less like a test subject in a mad scientist's laboratory.

That wasn't nearly as entertaining as it was to discover, after I was already driving home, that apparently I don't react to Lidocaine like most people are supposed to.  I spent the entire 30 min drive home praying that everyone else on the road was also suffering a delay between their brain issuing a command and their body getting around to recognizing and following through on said command.  My children were a smidgeon alarmed when I came through the door, shuffled straight to my bed, and collapsed face first into my pillow. 

At least, they were alarmed enough to follow me into my room, stare at me for a second, take turns poking at me until I growled at them, and then go back into the livingroom to finish watching their show.


Like I said...  Today just hasn't offered up much to muse about.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Insert clever title here.

It's Monday.  Normally I'd pull a Garfield and glare out the window muttering sweet insults about the first day of the work week since I'm one of those clingy wives who absolutely hates having her husband gone, even if it's only for a typical workday.  But last week was nonstop running around, followed by a payday weekend with a ton of errands on Saturday and a particularly busy day at church on Sunday.

Today it's gonna take a crowbar and a wheelbarrow to get me off my backside.  Or maybe a couple loads of laundry.  *mutter*  But at least I don't have to leave the house. 

Yesterday was our church's Christmas in July celebration for soldiers who were deployed this past Christmas.  We were to dress as if it was a frigid winter night and after the gift giving, there was hot chocolate and cookies in the gymnasium.  I believe the high temperature yesterday was 97°, but on Christmas you have hot chocolate and cookies, so that's what we did.  I'm told it was a big success! 

I spent the evening in the kitchen unwrapping cookies and setting up hundreds of cups of hot cocoa while Heather and Hunter did their all out best to trip up Sarah, me, the lady I consider to be in charge of kitchen volunteer stuff, and the two gals that got ambushed when we discovered there were ALOT more people in attendance than we'd anticipated.

We managed to get the cookies and cocoa cups ready in time, if only with seconds to spare.  A few minutes later there was a panicked "We're out?  Really?!?"  Of course, the first thought that came to my head was that somehow my children had attacked and wiped out 1,000 cookies all by themselves in under 4 seconds when we weren't looking.  Then I realized that they were right behind me and innocent for a change, even if they were cranky for not getting such an opportunity.

So what could we possibly be out of that would cause chaos when all we're serving is cookies and hot cocoa?

You guessed it.  No hot water.  *twitch*  Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel like you've been basted in tangy BBQ sauce and dropped in the middle of a room full of half-starved wolves?

So we commandeered a couple more volunteers who found themselves running pitchers of scalding hot water from every coffeemaker in the building back to the kitchen where three of us were frantically pouring and stirring as fast as we could manage.  No worries!  We've got it all under control!!  No, really!  Why are you looking at me like that?

All in all, it was a fun evening that of course flew by because we were kept so busy for the entire duration.  But next year when we do this, I think we should scrap the hot cocoa idea.  Instead, we can have chocolate milkshakes made to look like mugs of hot cocoa.

Assuming I don't eat all the ice cream when no one else is looking......

Saturday, July 30, 2011


*cough*  I mean... erm... yeah.  Don't worry, I'm over the PMS thing.  It's safe to keep reading.

Relatively speaking.

We have survived our week of self-imposed exile from all things monitor-ish.  I realize I'm late with updates again, but I honestly didn't have a huge urge to get online the last couple of days.  Kinda weird considering I thought I was gonna cave on Wednesday.

Yesterday was the first day everyone could get back onto the internet or turn on TVs.  I heard the littles pop out of bed with shouts of "It's Friday!  We can watch TV!"  *groan*  Oh well, guess things are back to normal.  I made them their breakfast and they sat at the table and watched a "Your Baby Can Read" DVD while they ate.  When their dishes were dumped into the sink, Heather turned to Hunter and asked, "Wanna go play upstairs?" "Yep!"


Even today, they ate breakfast while watching "Little Einsteins" and are now happily playing in their playroom with no television.


Wait...  Hunter just howled in outrage.  Heather snatched a toy out of his hands.  *shrug*  At least the television's off!

Sarah's on her computer of course.  I suppose it was too much to expect a teenager to decide the internet chat rooms aren't as interesting as a good book or new drawings.  But I do need to point out that the chatroom she's in all the time has this thing where the kids draw pictures while everyone else watches in real time.  Usually there's some nuisance person who will "scribble" on the drawings while they're working, but whenever that happens to one of Sarah's pictures the chat erupts into vehement objections and threats to boot the offender.  It would seem she has something of a small fan base already.  I love it!

Since I missed yesterday's WIP update, you're stuck with it now. Muwahahahaaa!  But, I'm too lazy to type up a fresh schpeal so I'm just going to copy over what I posted on SapphireDreams.  Again, I say Muwahahahaaa!

"FINALLY! The ribbons and the border are DONE! I absolutely refused to put this down and consider the week finished until I'd managed to stitch the last of the gold into those little corner decorations. I have discovered that gold cord and I do NOT get along. When I first started trying to use it, I wasn't entirely convinced I was using it correctly and I honestly believe it could smell my fear. There was much snarling, frogging, cursing, breaking, frogging, threatening, knotting, and frogging to be had the first few days of this week.

Eventually I swallowed my pride and went to beg knowledge from my usual source of stitching expertise and posted a "Someone please help the stitching idjit!!!" question on the 123 Stitch! board and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was actually doing everything correctly.
*throws knowing glare and slightly maniacal smirk at the spool of gold cord, which looks for all the world to suddenly be cowering*
The remaining time spent stitching went remarkably more smoothly, when I was able to actually sit and stitch. Our church hosted a basketball camp and I found they needed more help with the daily lunches. Plus I decided to impose a seven day blackout of all televisions and computers. It was a VERY active week here and my alone time was decimated, but I don't really mind. I've enjoyed the past few days immensely, even with the occasional fit of totally unnecessary drama that somehow always manages to weasel its way into a gathering of three or more females."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No TV or internet; Day 6...

And I'm PMSing.  Awesome.

The littles woke up early this morning and snuck downstairs to try to turn on the TV.  They got into an argument over the remote which got them interrupted before they could manage to actually make anything come on. 

I'm not a morning person on a good day.  A day that starts an hour earlier than it should with a screaming match over something they aren't supposed to be touching does NOT constitute "a good day".

Yesterday was pretty mundane, actually.  The kids got along and didn't torture each other too terribly badly.  Sarah spent most of the day drawing and bemoaning the lack of television.  She's determined to prove to her older brother that she can do this, though, so the whining is minimal.  Especially when I threaten to let her give up and we'll just post it on Facebook so he can see.  *cackle*

I got a little bit of stitching done on Cinderella but it's slow going on the ribbons.  I don't know why but I'm finding them tedious to work on and it's hard to stay motivated.  I'm really REALLY hoping that when I finally finish the last one today or tomorrow that I get my spunk back and can get moving on the castle.

Steve's been lost in his Kindle all week, so I'm gonna assume that he doesn't miss the television or internet in the least.  He's devoured at least two books and I think he just started a third since Friday.  Don't ask me what time he's going to sleep though.  I keep giving up around 11pm and he's still going strong every night.

All in all, it hasn't been too rough a week.  I have decided that I absolutely MUST design a cross stitch chart to stick in my front window, and I must do this as soon as I possibly can.  It's going to read something along the lines of "Solicitors cost less to shoot at than targets at a gun range."

Yeah, it's that time of year again.  Everyone and their mother's second cousin's uncle's kid seems to need to sell stuff.  Yesterday we had some college kid show up with cleaning stuff and he actually started marking up my carpet with a black sharpie to prove how well this cleaner works.  (No, I hadn't let him inside, thus the need for my sign.)  As if that wasn't enough, he kept drinking it to show that it was safe for kids.  My personal opinion is that he'd probably been drinking the stuff all day long and it wasn't quite as safe as he thought...  just sayin'.  He did finally get the hint when I asked him how well his cleaner worked on bloodstains. 

Subtlety has never been my strongpoint.

This morning I found a note asking my opinion on some new movement to ban children from public places across the country.  Say, HUH??  Sheesh, turn off the TV for a few days and your whole world changes on you.  So, I had to break my internet fast and go see what this was all about.  It seems childless people are tired of having to share their public buildings and parks and planes and .. well, oxygen... with small children.  So now, some restaurants, movie theaters, vacation spots, airlines, and even amusement parks, and public parks are giving serious consideration to banning any child six years or younger in order to cater to the larger population of people who don't have smaller versions of themselves in tow. 

When I read this I was, of course, horribly offended.  But then I started to think about it a little.  I admit, I'm one of those rare parents who will still turn my kid over my knee if he or she acts out in public.  I will not tolerate my children throwing a screaming fit because they think being in public keeps them safe from a whomping.  Umm.. no.  It doesn't.  As a result, I tend to expect the same sort of standards from other parents.  If there's a child screaming at the top of its lungs that it wants something and the parents are doing their best to shush it, or vacating the premises as fast as they can haul the squalling mass of attitude away, then I shrug it off and wish the kid luck once mom and dad feel safe to discipline without having handcuffs slapped on them.  If that child, however, is being ignored by said parental unit, or worse, being given what they want in order to shut them up... yeah, that gets on my nerves and I don't want to be around that anymore than the next guy.

I avoid most places that "trap" me and my children for lengthy durations of time.  Steve and I haven't gone to a theater to see a movie together in years because Heather and Hunter are too young to be expected to sit still and quietly for more than 10 minutes, much less two or three hours.  We don't go to nice, quiet restaurants because we know darned well that either Heather or Hunter is going to randomly shout at the top of their lungs that they don't like something on their plate and where's their dessert.  *THWAP!!!*  We don't go to amusement parks because, let's face it, those places aren't for little kids, they're for the adults who want to pretend they're still little kids.  I even hesitate to take my children to sporting events around town because I know that my littles are never going to stay in one place on the bleachers for 9 innings or 2 halves or 4 quarters, etc etc, and who wants someone else's kids running laps around them and being distractions for that long?

As a matter of fact, the longer I thought about this new "Every Child Left Behind" movement, the more I kinda liked it. 

Because once they make places off limits to me and my kids, the people who like to shoot judgemental glares at my child when she falls and shrieks in sudden pain will go there.  The people who can't seem to express themselves without using vulgarity every other syllable will go there.  The people who believe that the less clothing worn the better will go there.  The people who have never had, and never intend to have, a child but somehow still know more about MY children's needs and therefore know how to raise them better than I do will go there. 

That leaves the places that I really want to be able to take my children vacant and kid-safe again.  No more worrying that going to a playground is going to be a new experience in lousy vocabulary, horrible dress code, amateur pornography, or lectures about everything I'm screwing up in the world by having children in the first place.

In my opinion, please bring on this new legislature.  Maybe then our kids will be safe from the people who don't actually know the first thing about children despite all their degrees awarded by other people who have never had children.  Maybe then our kids will stand a chance of being raised with manners and consideration for others rather than learning that growing up means you can demand your way all the time and some fool out there is going to make sure you get it.  Maybe then parents of small children won't be made to feel like inconveniences to society just by daring to step outside their front doors.

I just have one question for all these people who hate having younger people around them.  When you get old and need to be taken care of, who exactly do you think is going to be there for you?  All those other elderly folks who aged right along side you making sure the younger generation knew darned good and well that they weren't wanted? 

Awesome.  Just who I'd want overseeing my sunset years.  People who were taught during their most formative years that I thought they were a colossal waste of space and now have every reason under the sun not to give a flying fart what I think or how I feel. Way to plan ahead there.

What?  I told you I was PMSing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No TV or internet; Day 4....

No update yesterday as Sundays are always pretty well jam-packed for us and by the time Steve and I get to sit down and inhale, we're generally 8.4 seconds from slipping into an 8 or 9 hour coma.  If anything entertaining happened, I don't remember it.

As for today.... *twitch*

The day started well enough.  The kids woke up and seemed to realize that the television wasn't going to be turned on, so they actually stayed up in their playroom until I got around to wandering up there and offering them breakfast.  I was thoroughly impressed!

When 8:00 rolled around, Sarah got rousted and I got the evil eye.  *insert overdramatic shudder of terror*  But at least she got up with minimal griping.

Of course, once Steve left the house the acts came to a screeching halt and reality set in.  Sarah headed for the diningroom table and sacked out with one of Heather's puzzles.  Heather wanted to help, Sarah said no, Heather commenced to wailing like a banshee, Hunter promptly one-upped her by screeching that she was too loud, and once again it was my duty to give whole new meaning to breaking the sound barrier...


Some time later my stitching was interrupted by Heather and Hunter getting louder and louder while engaged in a classic battle of wits:

"Did too!" "Did not!" "Did too!" "Did not!" 

I feel I should point out that Sarah is well on her way to being a great mom.  Somehow she tuned out their voices completely and was totally unphased by the shouting going on not four feet away from her.  I finally gave up on it ending peacefully or at least going on at a lower volume and told them to stop arguing.  Heather looked up with a grin and waved one of two stuffed dogs at me, "We aren't arguing.  The puppies are!" 

Hunter scowled and said, "They are not."

"Are too!" "Are not!" "Are too!" "Are not!"


Sarah got to escape for awhile today due to basketball camp starting at our church today.  She gets to go every day this week, which makes losing her computer alot easier I'm sure.  While she was gone, the littles and I ran out to the store to grab some bread.  We passed a display that had an Elmo piñata and they asked about it.  In a typically naive fashion, I explained what piñatas are and what is done with them at parties.  Let's just say that the cashier was highly amused when I had to snap "No you can NOT see if your brother is really a piñata!"

Once again... *twitch*

Fast forward to after dinner.  Dad's home and that means playtime!  The kids wanted to go outside and play ball, but the mercury is still happily sitting in the 90­°s and Steve's not a fan of miserably oppressing heat and humidity.  So what do you do when it's just too hot to play ball outside?

Play ball in the livingroom and diningroom of course!

*sigh*  I'm gonna go cross stitch.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No TV or internet; Day 2.....

Welp.  I've been cheating.  Steve's cheating.  The kids haven't been cheating, though not for lack of serious trying.

I've been peeking at my email and grabbing those game credits on Facebook when I log in to update my blog, even though I said I wouldn't.  But I haven't been playing any of the games and I haven't spent more than ten minutes beyond the time it takes to blog on the computer, so I'm not beating myself up tooooo badly.  I think it shows that I can probably handle it just fine if internet time were to suddenly get rationed.

Steve is on the net right now.  Granted, he only does it when I'm on my computer blogging, and he only takes about ten minutes, but he's using my internet time as an excuse to get some of his own.  I'm not sure I wouldn't be doing the same thing...  In his defense, he hasn't gone anywhere near Facebook since Friday and doesn't seem to be missing it at all.  In fact, I'm pretty well convinced that Steve would be in seventh heaven if the world suddenly lost all access to electricity and he had free rein to live out that song "A Country Boy Can Survive".  (No, Lord... that's not a dare, HONEST!)

The kids have begun a mantra at each meal.  "Can we watch a movie while we eat?"  "Can we watch cartoons while we eat?"  "Can we watch ANYTHING while we eat?"  Yep!  You can watch me glare at you until my eyes fall out while you eat.  Whatcha think?

For the first time in nearly a year, Heather was awake and downstairs before Hunter woke up.  She woke us up by saying "Where's Hunter?" I popped straight up in bed and squeaked "Oh no! My computer!"  Steve said "Go tell Hunter to come here so we can talk to him."  Heather bobbed her head with a grin and piped "Okay!"  She then darted down the hallway and I scrambled out of bed to follow her and minimize the damage he could be doing to my machine.  Apparently unaware that I was behind her, Heather bolted straight to Hunter's bed and started chanting "Hunter, wake up! Mom and Dad want to talk to you.  Hunter, wake up! Mom and Dad want to talk to you."  So, naturally, Hunter woke up cranky.


Sarah tried to sleep in, but since school starts in a couple of weeks, we've decided to wean her off of her "I'll roll out of bed when my stomach starts to growl too loudly to sleep through the racket" schedule.  Once 8am made an appearance, she got rousted.  To my shock, she quietly gathered the necessary supplies and went straight into the bathroom to shower.

Observation:  Take the computer away and a teenager rediscovers personal hygiene.

Typically when Steve's still sleeping, I would kill the morning time on Facebook since I can't really turn on all my stitching lights and expect him to be able to continue slumbering away his Saturday.  Hrmm.. not today.  What to do instead?  At which point I stepped on something sharp and took a long overdue look at my carpet.  Ah hah!  THAT's what I'll do this morning!

It completely escaped me that revving up a full power Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner would probably have the same result as flooding the bedroom with a dozen 100 watt lights.

But the carpet is safe to walk on again.

Steve gave up on sleep and took a shower.  Then he went outside in 94° heat to mow three lawns.  Yes, I laughed my backside off at him needing to be freshly cleaned before he sat down in his prized lawnmower to get covered in sweat, grass clippings, dirt and dust, and whatever transfers onto skin and clothing when men work on engines and tools.  He failed to see what I found so amusing.

While Steve was busy doing what guys do, the kids entertained themselves by playing a Justin Bieber CD over and over and over and over.  The only thing that kept me from killing them was knowing that Sarah was teaching Heather and Hunter some dance routine she'd made up.  That lasted almost two hours.

If I hear "Baby, Baby" one more time SOMEONE is going to die.  Just sayin'.

Now it's evening and dinner has been devoured and cleaned up. 

Hunter, who refused to eat, has been sent to bed and is repeatedly trying to sneak around his room to play.  Fortunately, he hasn't yet figured out that sound travels.  Well, not so fortunately for him I suppose.

Steve has finished entering contests for hunting gear, fishing gear, handyman tools, and assorted other guarantees that, should he win, I won't see him for days at a time and has pulled out his beading supplies.  He's working on a cute little bracelet for Heather. When he finishes it, he'll go back and try to fix the first bracelet he ever made (which was gifted to Sarah) as he doesn't like that some areas are tighter than others.  I think the clasp on it broke as well, because he had to make a special trip to the hobby store for higher quality clasps.

Heather and Sarah are downstairs bickering at each other about something or other.  I'm not sure but I think it has to do with who gets to play with Heather's babydoll. 

I think Sarah may be suffering from withdrawals more than we anticipated.

As for how I'm handling things?  Well, I have to admit that I miss turning on the TV to let a 9 hour marathon of forensic shows drone on while I stitch.  Instead I'm letting audiobooks drone on for hours upon hours.  Currently it's "The Word of Promise" which is 79 CDs long and is an amazing performance of the Holy Bible.  Today has been the books of Samuel and Kings and if I can fend off sleepiness, I may get to start 1 Chronicles before zonking and drooling on my pillow. probably didn't need that image.


Friday, July 22, 2011

No TV or internet; Day 1.....

Well, we survived.  For the most part.  I'm a bit dismayed at how little stitching I was able to do today.  Apparently, when my children aren't sprawled in front of a television, they become aware of a need to be otherwise entertained.... by me. 

Not long after Steve left for work our demonspa - *cough*  our children scattered and settled into their usual places. It would seem that they weren't terribly convinced that I actually MEANT what I'd said about no computers or TV.  So I had an economy sized conniption fit. 

What? The monitors were all turned off, which was the desired result.

Sarah promptly flopped onto the couch and stared at a blank screen for nearly an hour before she gave up on me taking pity on her and started suggesting activities like amusement parks, zoos, playing sports in 100+° temperatures, or going to movie theaters.  I suggested she go downstairs to her room and read one of the dozens upon dozens of books she's collected or use some of the myriad of art supplies she owns.  She immediately went into a classic teenage sulk and waited for me to give in.

"Alright then.  Grab a box out of the storage room and go pack up your bedroom."  "Say WHAT?!?" "Well, if nothing in there is of any interest to you any longer, there's no point in having it taking up space.  Let's get rid of it."

It's downright amazing how fast she got inspiration for drawing again.

Now while this was going on, Heather and Hunter were downstairs sprawled on the floor in what could only be a toddler's idea of dying of boredom.  I pretended to ignore them, so they both rolled over and their sighing and huffing got louder, if a bit labored since they were now on their stomachs.  At some point, Hunter noticed a small bit of pillow or cushion stuffing on the floor.  (Don't ask. Around here, most furniture is leaking innards.)  I got curious when the sighing and huffing sounds evolved into deep breaths and whooooooshing.  What I saw was both my children turning various shades of red and purple as they moved across the floor, still on their bellies, blowing that fluff as hard as they could across the carpet.

What does one say at this point?  I just went back to baking cookies and told myself this is normal child behavior.

Not long afterward, the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies began to waft through the house and Heather attached herself to my hip wanting to help.  Loosely translated: "I'll help make sure they taste good!"  It was a few more minutes before it dawned on me that Hunter wasn't with her.  About this time, Sarah pops into the room and comments about the "colliseum" on the couch.

...the what?  ...where?

I tentatively peeked around the corner and about cried.  Every shoe in the house was stacked up in a corner of the couch.  Mud, dirt, dust, grass, insect carcasses, and all.  Hunter was very proud of his admittedly impressive feat of balancing.  The pile of shoes was taller than he is.  I told him to put it all back and he immediately moved to obey... by grabbing a shoe out of the bottom of the stack.  It took a few seconds to find my son again.

Not even lunchtime yet....

It's gonna be a long week.  *twitch*

It's Friday! Let the family torture begin!

First order of business:  Work in Progress update.  This week it was the Garfield wreath and I'm now nearly finished.  I'll complete him the next time I pick this up, but that won't be for another month.

Until then, you'll just have to imagine Garfield happily flopped across the wreath in that less-than-subtle Garfield shaped hole there....

Next order of business...

Remember Wednesday's blog about computers and television in today's world?  Well, I got alot of emails and messages telling me what a great idea I had, so Steve and I have decided to go ahead and see if we can manage this.  Of course, yesterday when we were discussing starting today it was all "Wow, this is gonna be great! I can't wait to see how we bond without computers getting in the way! Everyone's gonna have such a great time!"

Fast forward to this morning.  I roll out of bed and get breakfast taken care of for the little ones and then break the news that they can't watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while they eat.  Cue the high pitched caterwauling we knew was coming.  Once the food is snarfed down, everyone stalks upstairs to the disaster area locally referred to as the "playroom".  The kids are told to find their floor as I am fairly certain it was there last week and if they hurry, it might still be there.  I turn toward the computer room to update my webpage and blog to let people know that if I don't respond to emails it isn't because I hate them. (Well, most of them, anyway.)

Sarah spots me and points at my computer.  "How come you get to use the computer????"  While I'm sorely tempted to get all haughty and snipe "Because I'm special" I just know she'll finish the thought with "Ed" so I resist the urge.  Instead I point out that there are a couple of things that need to be taken care of first and then I'll be on the bandwagon with everyone else.

That's when I hear Steve mumble under his breath that he'll be fine.  He has his Droid.  CHEATER!!!!

Okay, so Steve's failed within the first few hours.  Just as I'm about to gloat at his total lack of will power, he points out that his job kind of requires him to be available 24/7 if I don't want people with large weapons showing up at the door demanding his location.  *sigh*  Yeah, I'll concede that.  But once he's home, NO INTERNET! 

I mean, if I can do it, so can he.

This is when he points out that I'm not really "fasting" the internet anymore than he is.  After all, I'm still going to be expected to post updates on my blog to keep people abreast of how fast our children are deteriorating into the cast of "Lord of the Flies".  Plus, we were going to have me log into Facebook regularly to get our game credit bonuses that are given out every few hours, and that HAS to count as failing a virtual pee test.


Fine!  I'll ixnay the game credits thing.  Facebook will just have to do without me for a week.  How will you all survive?!?!  I know it'll be tough, but I'm sure you can manage.  Just take it one day at a time.  *end sarcasm*

As for the daily blog updates.  I'm afraid he's right on that count.  An entire week of my children actually having to interact with each other and not relying on the boob tube babysitter HAS to be documented.  The potential for blackmail material to be used in the dating years cannot be ignored. Not to mention the fact that there's no limit to the amount of chaos that is guaranteed to ensue.

Speaking of which.... there are no kids up here anymore.  And I don't hear anything at all.

Hey! Does anyone else smell smoke??