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??

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No internet?!?! What ever will I do?????

Am I the only one who has noticed that losing WiFi access or internet access has apparently become cause for local governments to declare a State of Emergency?  Not to mention the whole "I called you seventeen times and emailed you eight times in the last 10 minutes.  Where have you been?!?!" phenomenon.  Errm.... I had to pee and didn't think it was necessary to bring my computer with me?  My bad.

The other day I decided to spend the entire day with my children.  We ran errands, we played games, we took Sarah to softball practice, we went shopping, and we didn't go anywhere near a computer or the internet.  My cell phone doesn't support WiFi and doesn't surf the internet.  I have a computer for that.  So when someone sent me an email about ten minutes after the family left the house and didn't get an immediate response, it was assumed that I was ignoring this person and therefore deceitful and untrustworthy and it was their duty to make sure the internet world knew what a horrible person I am.


Fifteen years ago if someone was driving home and realized that they absolutely HAD to talk to their best friend RIGHT NOW they kept driving and picked up the home telephone once they'd arrived at their home.  Now, if you suggest someone not use their phone in a moving vehicle you get glared at like you're some kind of primitive while people wail "What if there's an emergency???"   Umm... you drive home and pick up the phone once you've arrived at your destination.  Just like people did for nearly a century without there being mass deaths or worldwide catastrophes.

Fifteen years ago if someone called someone else and they didn't answer, they left a message and waited for them to call back sometime that evening after their daily responsibilities had been attended to.  Now, if someone calls someone else and they don't answer, they leave a voice mail, send a text, send an email, text common acquaintances, and start tracking the GPS signal of the other person's phone, and put out a missing person bulletin via Facebook all within ten minutes of the original call.

Fifteen years ago if you wanted to bond with friends or schoolmates you went out and played sports or met up in person for board games or had coffee face to face while taking turns talking politely to each other.  Now, if you ask someone how many friends they have and what they do together you'll have to wait while they log in to Facebook and check.  Odd, I remember knowing what my friends looked like and what their REAL names were.

Fifteen years ago if the power went out during the day people went outside and struck up a football game or a BBQ grill and cheered being unable to do technology related work for awhile.  Now, if the power goes out people grab their cell phones and join hour long "on hold" lines waiting their turn to cuss out the electric company because they don't have anything else to do.

Fifteen years ago if the internet went down no one except CEOs and government leaders noticed and they simply said "Oh darn.  Who wants to play golf?"  Now if the internet goes down there is at least one family member who will sit at the computer for hours refreshing their browser window over and over and over and over until the computer either loads up the internet or the little gremlin living inside crawls out and beats them to death with their own keyboard.

How did I get on this longwinded high horse?  Well, we were out and about and stopped at one of those "I'm entirely too tired to be bothered with thinking up dinner ideas and here you can all grab whatever you want and I don't have to wash dishes afterward" places.  The instant everyone got back to the table, every head swivelled to stare at one of several big screen televisions hanging from the walls.  Not a single word of conversation was spoken.


So, I casually suggested to Steve that we should accidentally cut the power lines to the televisions and computers.  ALL of our kids, even the three year old, looked like they'd just been sentenced to an immediate and painful execution.

"But we won't have anything to doooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!"

You could play board games with each other.  You could read.  You could draw or color or play with the millions of toys you've accumulated over your lifetimes.  I know!  You could clean your rooms. 


Yep.  If we were to suddenly lose all access to televisions or the internet, my children would be found centuries later mummifed in their seats... 

One with a mouse attached to her hand, the other two with remotes in theirs while they clicked over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and..........

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dinner at the Dodos'....

A couple of days ago whilst mucking around on Facebook and managing to completely obliterate several hours that probably should have been used doing housework, I spotted an ad for some food company.  They were running a contest where people were to write in about their dinner time routines to win something or other.  I don't remember the details as it was one of those flashes you get between Facebook games loading up. 

What?  Like you don't have that one game on your phone, computer, or Ipad that seems to make your clocks speed up when you're not looking?  *twitch*

Well, last night while trying to calm down and think of ANYTHING that wouldn't make me injure the poor man trying to sleep with one eye open next to me simply because he was the closest target for my rage (funny how they fail to mention this sort of thing in the fine print of the marriage vows, isn't it?), I found myself remembering that advertisment and it got me wondering what kind of entry I'd be able to supply.

So what would I write?  I think my entry would look something like this... 

Heather and Hunter bound down the stairs and zip into the kitchen: "What's for dinner? We're hungry!  We want pizza!"
Kiri dodges one child then the other as they dart through the kitchen in obvious attempts to trip anyone holding boiling water: "I already told you.  We're having spaghetti with lots and lots of cheese on top just the way you like it."
Heather: "Yay!  That's my FAVORITE!"
Hunter watches Heather for his cue: "Yay! That's MY favrit, too!"
Sarah meanders down the stairs and cautiously peers into the kitchen to make sure there are no dishes in the sink and the table is already set: "Can I help with anything?"
Kiri eyes the oldest child with a resigned sigh: "Nope, everything's all set.  I just have to dish out the food."
Sarah turns to head toward the livingroom and the remote.  Kiri calls her back: "Oh wait.  You can get their hands washed and then into their chairs." 
Sarah looks suspiciously like someone just cancelled Christmas and her birthday for the next couple of years: "Okay, come on guys." 
"Wash our hands! Wash our hands! No, I wanna get the stool out!  Move over! Sarah, he won't let me stand on the stool too! Mom, Heather splashed me! Sarah, I wanna get the soap MYSELF! Hey, you two stop spitting at each other.  MOOOMMMM!  They just threw the soap at me, now I have to change shirts again!"
Steve gets home from work and quietly sneaks into the back room hoping no one spots him.  No such luck.
"DADDY!!! You're home you're home!  Hey, why'd you lock the door?"
Kiri loses her patience and manages to make her voice carry over the cacophony, throughout the house, and probably down the street: "Food's ready! Plant one end of your body in chairs so we can cram food into the other end!!"
Everyone takes their place at the table and Steve calmly suggests that someone pray over the food.
Heather jumps up and down in her seat, nearly knocking her drink over: "I will! I want to do it!"
"Dear God, thank you for our food.  Thank you for the pretty day.  Keep us all safe and together.  Make Hunter stop taking my toys.  Oh, and I still want a Tinkerbell Barbie. Amen."
"Errmm... Amen."
The family starts to dig in.
Heather and Hunter finally look at their plates and wail in unison: "I don't like this!  I thought you were gonna get us pizza!"
Kiri glares at Steve: "Tell me again why I'm not allowed to eat my young?"

Yeah.  Normal Rockwell we ain't.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Poor Sarah.....

She has a bit of a dilemma.  Well, for her it may very well qualify as a full blown catastrophic event, but for the rest of the world it has serious potential for quality entertainment.

Sarah, my twelve year old, wants to play softball.  On a co-ed team.

Now most of you are sitting there thinking "Yeah?  And?  What's the big whoop?"  It's like this...

Sarah is rather intellectual.  Almost annoyingly so.  She is the reason my little snipe "If you're gonna be a know-it-all know it all" is getting so much use these last few years.  She's quite a bit more advanced in reading, grammar, spelling, and some science than anyone her own age.  If she could just get around hating math (and thus, refusing to try) of any sort she'd be guaranteed a scholarship to nearly any school she might want.  When it comes to artistic creativity... well just take a look at some stuff she's done this year:

A Liger she threw together at bible camp.
A stylized cat that she was churning out by the dozens

She was working with some fancy type of crayon and playing with the colors here.

Her first day playing with drawing on a computer.

Testing out chalk pastels.

A doodle done when she was supposed to be listening to the teacher.

A quick doodle creating new "characters"

More of the new creations.

One of her first attempts at a more realistic style.

I rescued this from the trash pile.  She hates it.

One that she's actually rather fond of.

She can also turn Play-doh and sculpting clay into some of the most amazing things you'll ever see...

Her elementary school mascot.
A Mother's Day gift from a couple of years ago.  Our family turned into swans.

This is actually about two inches big at most.  She made it out of an artist's moldable eraser, when she was 10 years old.

As you can see, Sarah's totally in her element when she's sitting in one place creating or reading.  It's quite a treat to see her sit down to draw or sculpt and walk past her every 20 or 30 minutes to "ooh" and "ahh" over whatever she's dreamed up.

Softball, however, does NOT involve sitting in one place.  Now I was a very active child and teenager.  Sports and coordination came naturally to me and softball in particular was one of my favorite activities.  I'm not saying I was any kind of an all-star or anything, but I could usually avoid making a complete fool of myself on the field.  I knew I'd never be able to convey instructions from my active point of view to my child who tended to look like a deer in headlights when you told her to chew gum and walk at the same time.

So I enlisted the aid of two of the ladies on our church's league softball team.  These two sweethearts also happen to be on the city's women's league and one of them is the team's coach.  Like I said earlier, poor Sarah.

I kid you not, Shirlene tossed the first ball toward Sarah and my beautiful, intelligent, creative daughter squealed and tried her darnedest to retract every limb into her body ... at the same time. 

I honestly don't know what was more comical;

Sarah apparently believing that gravity would forgive her curling up into the fetal position while still upright
or Shirlene standing there with her mouth hanging open and obviously wondering what in the blazes she'd just gotten herself into.

This is gonna be fun. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday again. WIP me!!

We'll wait a couple of seconds while the folks with the dirty minds calm down.... I can't say too much, I used to have a whip some friends gave me for my 25th birthday.  It wasn't a real whip, of course, and it had a string attached to the end of it that left red dye all over everything it touched.  As a matter of fact, it got passed around the club so much that I actually had to go looking for it before our party broke up and we went home.  It was a cool gag gift!

*looks around*




I didn't get wolfie-poo done this week.  (I know.  Shock all around, right?)  But look at how much progress I made on him!!!

I'm very pleased with myself, lemme tell you!  And I'll tell her over there.  And my buddy that I just spotted.  And that complete stranger who just noticed me and suddenly looks rather alarmed.....


This coming week will see me working on the little Garfield project I'm stitching up for Christmas.  Once I complete him, I think I'm going to take a week to "design" a small Christmas ornament suitable for singers and band members.  Loosely translated: I'm gonna find something relatively simple but obviously Christmas-y and chart something equally simple but obviously musical on top of it.  If I can manage to pull this off satisfactorily, I'll stitch up a bunch of those for the folks in our church choir for Christmas this year.

.. or more likely next year.  We all know how fast I actually manage to complete any of my endeavors.  About the only thing I can consistantly complete on time or even early is sabotaging my attempts to complete things on time.

Oh well, this way I can hold out hopes that I'm guaranteed to be late for my own funeral.

Monday, July 11, 2011

So I'm late... again.

No, I'm not late like THAT.  Trust me, the breeding program ended quite some time ago and there are no plans of any kind to undo that decision.  I'm discovering that parenthood should probably be left to those people who are more mature than their toddlers.

A bit late for me, I know, but at least I can get the warning out there for others who may still benefit from such knowledge.

It's been a very lazy week for me which means a lazy (or boring) week for the kids.  It also means I happened to glance up at a calendar and only then realized it's been several days since my last update.

Steve's out of town and it's still summer so there is no reason to look at a clock for awhile and I'm taking full advantage of that fact.  I have no idea what time I decided that Heather and Hunter should probably crawl into bed, no inkling of when Sarah came to the conclusion that she needed at least a few minutes of sleep, and absolutely no clue what the clocks said when I eventually gave up the fight and turned out the lights.  If my eyes hadn't mutinied and refused to focus properly, I'd likely have stitched my way into this morning's sunrise.

Normally I'd have to schedule in some outside time for the rugrats but, since the average temperature this week appears to be somewhere in the general vicinity of the sun, they haven't been overly interested in testing the theory of spontaneous combustion.  I managed to get them out there for a little bit by bribing them with bubbles but within ten minutes or so Hunter was doing an amazing job of convincing me he was literally melting.  I figured it was probably a bad idea to see how close he could get to reenacting the Ark of the Covenant scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and brought them back into the air conditioning.

Heather promptly asked for some hot chocolate.

That's my girl!!

One lovely benefit of having absolutely NOTHING pressing to do for the next few days is that I get to stitch like a mad woman for as long as my back can stand it.  And when one has a bottle of pain reliever readily available one can convince one's back that it can tolerate an awful lot of horrendous posture.   Since this is what I'm currently working on...

...there's plenty of hunching over to be done.

If I get my way Steve's gonna come home and find a completed wolf project spread out on the bed. 

Granted, I may bear a remarkable resemblance to Gollum by then but it'll be worth it!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Should I ever get delusions of normalcy....

... they never last long.

As is typical, my alarm clock went off while it was still dark.  That is, it rolled out of bed with a thud that reverberated around my room and gave my wall hangings anxiety attacks, scampered loudly down the upstairs hallway, thumped down each.




into the livingroom,bounded back up the steps for a couple of minutes, and then thumped down





back into the livingroom before realizing I was awake and cheerfully offering to get breakfast without any help. 

*insert slightly panicked "No, I'll get it for you!"

By the time Hunter was fed and I was finished gathering the trash for trash day it dawned on me that today is Friday and that means WIP reports.  Only, I didn't do mine last night before bed as I was supposed to do.  Doh.  Grabbed my camera and sat down to upload and edit the photo I took this week's stitching.

Errm?  I don't remember this picture


Doesn't look much like stitching to me.

Doesn't look like ANYTHING to me.

This explains alot.

Once I solved that mini mystery, I managed to get my WIP report finished.  You'll have to go over to my website to see it though.  Yup! Shameless plugging of my page in progress. Predictably, the most recent stuff is at the bottom there.

By this time, Heather and Sarah had rolled out of bed and were wanting to know what the day's agenda is.  Nothing.  Zilch.  Nada.  Ain't doing a thing!  The littles started to look all brokenhearted so I tried to cheer them up by telling them that tomorrow we get to go over to Sam's so they can get their ID kits done. Of course they didn't know what this meant so I explained that they'll get to go talk to a police officer and a nurse and get their fingerprints taken.

Hunter burst into tears.  Huh??  I asked him what was wrong and he wailed out in classic 3 year old flawed english, "I doh wan*gasp* go do chale!!!"  (For those who don't speak Toddler Howl-inese: "I don't wanna go to jail.")

Why on Earth would he think that???  Wait...

I managed to catch a glimpse of Sarah discreetly making herself scarce.  *growl*  As I turned toward her room to clear this little ... misunderstanding... up, Heather decided to help comfort her little brother.

"Don't worry.  We'll get to come visit you sometimes."


I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's my birthday. Ick.

The one day of the year I could cheerfully yank out of every calendar in existence.  I'm one of those people who honestly hates her birthday.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I have to stop and do math to remember how old I am and the idea of creeping closer and closer to needing a scientific calculator to work out the algebra isn't overly appealing.

I don't want to get old.  Sorry. That's just the way it's always been for me.  Of course, the alternative isn't exactly at the top of my "Things I Wanna Do" list either.  So my remaining option is a simple one.  Ignore it and maybe it'll get the hint and go away.

So far it's been a colossal failure, but I keep trying.

I'm relatively new to Facebook. I think I opened my account about 9 months ago, but I'm not sure.  Much to my chagrin, it appears that Facebook announces to everyone on your friends list when it's your annual turn to step closer to needing Depends.  Now my page is crammed full of these lovely little messages wishing me a great day and much laziness.

Nope.  Not giving in.  Still hate my birthday.

Steve snuck out of the house with a hasty peck on the cheek and one of his "I'm up to something" smirks.

Well... maybe it's not all bad... 

No.  Not gonna crack.  Hate hate hate.....

Oh geez.  Sarah just sent Heather and Hunter up here one after the other to say "Happy Birthday, Mommy" and give me hugs and kisses.  Awwww!!

Oh phooey.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eep.. it's the 5th already?  It's been a busy week, so I'll use that as the excuse for not updating in so long.

We drove down to Dad's to pick up the rest of Mom's things.  That means I stood around Mom's craft room for several hours, pointed at things, shook my head at other things, and Steve broke his back packing and then moving a ton of boxes into a U-Haul trailer.  After that was done, Dad directed us down to the garage and we repeated the process with dozens of boxes of holiday decorations, books, furniture, and pretty much anything else Dad could coerce us into realizing we "needed".

After cramming a 5x8 trailer full, we turned around and drove back home.  Since we got home at around 10pm and had to be up early for church, we ignored the stuff and pretty much collapsed where we stood until dawn.  If anyone had happened to walk by the house, they would have seen what likely appeared to be either a family that succumbed to mass amounts of chloroform, or a family that had a REALLY good party....
Even Hunter looked like he'd had a few too many cups of apple juice.  Just sayin'.

After Church ended and we got home to the patiently waiting trailer, it just happened to be the hottest point of the day.  Steve took one quick glance up at the sun, gave a sharp shake of his head and stomped into the house muttering something along the lines of "..ain't no way, no how.."  So, we waited a few hours in the hopes that it would cool down enough to not wilt after picking up the first box.  It did...sorta.

It got down to the low 90s.  PERFECT!  At least, perfect for me.  Everyone else was giving amazing impressions of Death Valley victims.  Oh well.  It was getting close to dinner time and we HAD to unload that trailer.  Then came the realization that we had just moved an entire room and half a garage worth of things up to our home and we were already in the process of trying to clear things out because we have too much stuff.  Now what??

Well, we got it all in.  The kids have half a playroom left, but it's all in here.  We'll unpack and organize it after we clear out some of the original clutter around here. Or maybe we'll just move it all into Sarah's room when she leaves for college.

Whichever comes first.