Friday, October 31, 2008

Sugar + Toddlers = CHAOS!

Happy Halloween! The kids went to bed after ten o'clock, following a long night of trick-or-treating. Why is it that when you are doing something fun and enjoyable, the night flies by, but taking a bunch of hyper, excited, sugared up kids to people's non-childproofed houses and trying to chit chat with the relatives while keeping your kids' little hands off of everything in sight makes the night soooooo loooooong? Just curious....

We usually go trick-or-treating with a caravan. We had my parents and Auntie Kelina join us for trick-or-treating in downtown Bellingham earlier in the day. My parents followed us to meet up with the rest of the group where we joined Marty, Auntie Holly, Uncle Dan, cousins Nate and Lily, and Auntie Amy. We drove around the county going to all the relatives we could fit into one evening. It definitely makes for a long night to drive to a house, unload all the kids, go in for a few minutes and try to keep them in line, then load them back up in the van and drive to the next place. Eight times. Marty and I kept thinking that next year, there will be one more kiddo to load in and out every stop. We may have to make some adjustments to the plan.

The costumes all turned out well. I completely scrapped Ben's original Santa Pimp hat and made a new one, a nice, red, pirate looking hat with a big white feather in it. He looked so non-santa-like that I was thrilled with the outcome, till we went up to a door and another parent commented, "Look, it's Christopher Columbus!" You have got to be freakin kidding me! Just because he liked to stash his hook in his trick-or-treat pumpkin did not make him a 500 year old explorer following Tink and Pan around.

By the time we got home, the kids were so hyped up that they just ran and screamed for quite a while. The boys don't eat much sugar, so the two candies they each had did a number on them. We knew there was no way we could put them to bed right away, their insane energy levels would have had them high-jumping out of their cribs and turning their bedroom into a WWE style wrestling ring. Instead, we let them burn off the energy by wrestling in the living room, under our supervision. Not that supervision was much better, since we were both so exhausted that we were half-dead on the couch and would not have had the ability to move if the house were on fire, much less have gotten up to stop an out of control wrestling match. After about fifteen minutes of extreme energy exertion, they had calmed down enough to read books and put them to bed. Ahhhhhh, sweet silence. This is my favorite part of Halloween. The time where I get to raid the kids' candy, taking my favorites out and hiding them for future chocolate cravings. Eating a few, knowing that the kids will never notice the missing treats, as long as I do not take the last of any particular kind. Emma's pumpkin was so full by the end of the night that she could not fit all the candy inside, and was stashing goodies other places. I will have to check her shoes tomorrow....

I hope you all had a good night. I have to go to bed now, I am pretty sure falling asleep on the keyboard would make for some pretty funky imprints on my cheek. I'll post pictures tomorrow, frankly, I am just too tired to do it tonight.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who's That With Tink And Pan?

One thing I do every year is put the kids' Halloween costumes off till the last minute. This year, I bought everything early so that I might just get them done before now, but that did not happen. As of now, midnight, Halloween eve, I have Grant's costume done. He has his Peter Pan shirt, his hat, and his sword. Ben's Captain Hook costume currently includes his shirt, his overcoat, his hook, and his sword. His hat, however, is leaving much to be desired. For some reason, I thought I could make the hat by covering his winter hat with red fabric and then adding the brim by building it with wire and more fabric. Instead of a fabulous Captain Hook hat, it more resembles the Gordon's Fisherman. Or a big red pimp hat. Marty and I can't decide.

The really bad part is, Ben's overcoat is not quite up to Captain Hook standards, either. I made the red coat with the gold trim along the front, and the black belt. Although side by side with a picture, it's a dead ringer for Hook's coat, on it's own it looks like Santa Clause. My poor youngest child is going to be the laughingstock of the Pan world if I don't fix things tomorrow. Once again, on the day of Halloween, I will still be busily sewing away, trying to complete things so I don't go trick-or-treating with Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, and Gigolo Santa.

Things They Should Teach In Nursing School

I completely forgot to write about my doctor's appointment on Tuesday! I went in for a check up after having all the contractions last week, and subsequently being put on Ibuprofen. They did an ultrasound to double check everything and it all looks good. After the ultrasound, they wanted me to meet with the doctor, so I was put into an exam room. I had the boys with me, and Marty had an appointment at work, so I was on my own with the twins in a teeny-tiny room. I was trying to keep them entertained with crayons and paper, I was feeding them crackers and I had candy ready in case I needed it. They kept dropping their paper out of the stroller, and I was having a hard time picking it up with my ginormous belly and the fact that there was not much room to move around in there. This is when the nurse walked in. "We got the results of your blood work back, and everything looks great, except we see that your iron counts are a little low. Have you been feeling tired or run-down lately?"

Luckily, I was able to stop the thoughts that went through my mind from becoming words that might have gotten me kicked out of the office. I simply stood there, staring at her, my mouth hanging open, until I was better able to communicate in a manner that did not involve quite as many four-letter words. "Um, I don't think I would even notice if I was more tired or run down than usual." She looked a little embarrassed, and mumbled something about me probably being busy and left. Thank God my actual doctors have a clue.

Emma's First Blog

I am a little short on inspiration this morning, so I asked Emma what I should write on my blog. This is what she came up with, word for word:

Dear Everybody,
I love everybody, I really love them. Emma loves her friends. Monsters had a red monster and a blue monster, and the monsters had was playing on the couch. It's a funny, spooky story. And this is the end, The End!

I think she has a future, folks!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Emma Code

Today has been filled with crying. Not by me, for some miracle, but the kiddos are driving each other up the wall. They all want the same toy, the same book, the same baby wipe that Ben pulled out of the box. (Don't worry, it's a clean baby wipe.) I suddenly heard Grant crying and saying "Owie!" through his tears, and when I looked over to see what happened, Emma saw me and immediately said, "I'll go say I am sorry." OK, so she's guilty of something. This was our ensuing conversation:

Me: "Emma, what happened?"
Emma: "Um, I was just very gently guiding him to go over there, and he tripped all by himself and hit his head on the wall."
Me: "So what you are saying is, you were being rough and pushed him down and hit his head on the wall?"
Emma: "Um, yeah."


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Got a REAL Award!

Lookie, Lookie! I got a real award! This isn't even one of those silly here's-an-award-for-making-the-worst-chili awards, it's a real award! My very first Bloggy award came from Melissa over at Full Circle. I love her blog, and it was very exciting to find that she likes mine, too! Thanks, Melissa!
The rules are these:
I must:
1. Place the logo on my blog.
2. Link to the person who awarded me.
3. I can nominate up to 5 blogs.
4. I can then add their links to your blog.
5. Leave a message in the comment section to each nominee on their blog.

I hereby pass the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 award to:

Kadi at A Womb at the InnSane
Dawn at Because I Said So
Tricia at Pure Chaos

Tricia, I know you have already gotten this award, but you are now a two-time winner!

Congratulations, everyone!

Peter Pan is Poopy

My master plan to finish the boys' Halloween costumes did not quite go as planned yesterday. I forgot that my sewing machine was in the cedar chest in my bedroom, and being that it was my Grandmother's machine, it weighs about 700 pounds. OK, maybe not quite that much, but when you are seven months pregnant, it sure seems that way. I had to wait for Marty to get home to get the machine out for me and carry it into the kitchen, it is currently on the table waiting for naptime today. I did accomplish the beginning of Grant's costume, he is going to be Peter Pan. When the boys got up from their nap, I put the movie in so I could be properly inspired as to just how Peter Pan should look, and got his shirt cut up just right. I had originally planned on making the entire costumes from scratch, but inspiration struck last week and I went to a consignment store and bought a plain green shirt for Grant and a red shirt for Ben, with the plan to doctor them up to look like their characters. Kind of cheating, but I don't care. I will still make their hats and swords, but the shirts will be cheater-homemade, and I do not feel even the tiniest bit guilty about it.

I love Halloween. I really like the decorations, and the kids enjoy the ghosts in the windows and spiderwebs and giant spiders on the furniture. We call everything spooky, not scary, to make it fun for all of them. Grant is usually pretty good at pronouncing things well, but spooky is pronounced poopy to him, I don't know why. Anywhere we go where there are decorations or costumes or anything having to do with Halloween, Grant points and yells, "Ooohhhh, Poopy! Poopy!" It's really funny. Anyway, after I finished his Peter Pan shirt, I wasn't entirely sure he would get the concept of a costume, so I explained it to him. "Hey Grant, see peter Pan on TV? See how he has a green shirt with the bottom like this one? Do you want to..." I was interrupted as Grant saw the shirt in my hands and put it all together. "POOPY! POOPY!" He giggled and laughed as he tried to get the shirt out of my hands. I put it on him and he immediately stuck his little arms straight out and pretended to fly around the room, laughing and yelling "Poopy!" all the while. I think he gets it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Productive Day

Whew! It's not quite one thirty, and I have gotten a lot done today. I am currently working on our Christmas card list, and once again, I cannot believe how big our family is. I have put together a list of our family and close friends, and I am already at 92 cards. I still have to get the list from my hubby of the people he knows and his business contacts, thank goodness for Costco and their cheap photo cards! Another reason to do Christmas cards early, you have time to hand deliver them, and can save a ton on postage. HeeHee! I also have put together my gift list, so I can start finding ways to creatively give gifts that are cheap, um, I mean, meaningful and home-made. I usually start this in August, but this year has gotten away from me. Saturday is November, can you believe it?

I made the boys doctor appointments for their two year check-up, it's ridiculous that we have to book so far in advance, but at least it's done. The kids are down for their naps, so I am going to get started on the boys' Halloween costumes. Yes, started. I haven't done them yet. Hopefully I will be able to get them done in the next two hours, and that they don't destroy them by Halloween. Gotta go, wish me luck!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I cannot believe how fast this weekend went. I haven't had a chance to sit down on the computer since Friday, so to sit down today was like coming back to an old friend. I had 82 new e-mail messages, but I only went through a few of them before checking my favorite blogs. I can't believe how it almost seems like having withdrawls to not know what is going on in the bloggy world! I know, I'm pathetic.

We spent Saturday helping our friends, Trevor and Teresa move into their new house. Let me tell you, it is GORGEOUS! I am extremely happy for them and a teensy bit jealous all at the same time. There is so much space! Don't worry, I did not carry boxes or lift anything, I just helped with little things and unpacked the kitchen in the new house. It seemed a little strange to set up someone else's kitchen, but Teresa and I have been best friends for... let me think... fifteen years now (wow, that's a while!) and we pretty much share a brain, so I know that what makes sense to me will be what makes sense to her, too. And she can always change it later if she wants.

We got home a little after eight last night, and even though I took it easy, we were both completely exhausted and did not do much for the rest of the evening. This morning after church we had our favorite photographer and little sister, Amy Parsons (shameless plug, see her fantastic work at take family photos for our Christmas card. I am trying to get everything done early this year, since at some point I will procrastinate some part of the process, so maybe if I start early enough I will get the cards out on time. I also did not want to wait till the very end and look like a whale in the family pics. Anyway, after pics we went home, got lunch, put the kids down for naps and headed outside. I wanted to do a little cleaning up of the yard, the leaves are really coming down now and we have to rake in stages. For those of you who have never seen our house, we have two acres of mostly lawn which is completely surrounded by trees on all sides. There are many, many acres of trees on three sides of us, and our yard is fenced. What this means is that when the wind blows, all the leaves from all the neighboring trees get stuck in our fence line. And we are not talking about a few leaves, last year, after a big windstorm, we had a long pile of leaves five feet out from the fence and two feet high, running the entire length of the fence. We were pretty ticked off that we had just raked two days before, so we left them there for a while and it rained a lot (shocker!) and the leaves on the bottom of the pile rotted, I mean, composted (that sounds nicer) and got stuck in the gravel of the driveway. It was nasty.

This year, I decided that we would not let the leaves get that deep, so we picked up what was along the fence line so they wouldn't stick to the gravel in the rain. I wanted to do my fall pruning, but a lot of stuff is still in bloom. This year has been so strange, summer seemed to start late and end early, but the flowers are still in bloom and it's almost November. I still have my clematis, daisies, sweet peas, roses, and hydrangea in bloom. I pruned what I could while keeping the blooms and new buds, so we will have to do more later, but at least it's started. I wanted to make sure and not over-work myself, so we were only outside for about an hour, then came back in and I took a nap.

Tomorrow, I will try and resume my regular blogging. I'm sure someone will pee somewhere, and you will all have a laugh at my expense. Until then, have a good night!

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Day Out!

I had a great day by myself today. It took a little while to get it going, but that is alright. The boys were having a very fun time trying to prevent us from getting out the door this morning. I had put my shoes by the front door to make things easier, but by the time I tried to put them on, one was missing. While looking for the missing shoe, the boys got into the bag that I had packed all their naptime stuff in and had spread it all over the house. I gathered all of it up, but forgot to find binks and ended up leaving without them. Ben got into the little box with all the notepaper twice, so I picked it all up both times, and finally just went out the door. I figured that if I had forgotten anything, I would end up missing five things in the time it would take me to find the one thing I was forgetting, so we were just fine with what we had.

Grant started down the front steps and suddenly was enthralled with the pumpkins on them, but did not stop his whole body, so he tumbled to the bottom and landed on his face. Meanwhile, I am still on the top step, arms loaded with the diaper bag, a bag with four blankets and two teddy bears, a cooler, two booster seats with trays, and my purse. If I just ran to Grant, I would definitely knock Ben down the stairs, since he was next to me and I was about fifteen feet wide with everything I was carrying. I managed to make my way down the steps and dropped my load to pick up the poor, crying boy off the concrete. I hate the crying that sounds so pathetic and is mixed in with "Owie! Owie! Owieeeeeeeeee!" All he seemed to need was a good hug and some kisses and was fine, but during the consoling process Ben had decided to go for a fun ride and had sat on the wet push-tractor seat. Any responsible mom would have taken him back inside and changed him, right? Well, then I fail the responsibility test. I put him in the car wet. I don't think it was too bad, though, by the time we got there, he had dried off most of the way. Anywhoo, we were very late getting to Dan's, but since nothing was actually scheduled, it was fine.

After dropping the boys off, my first order of business was going to the hospital to have blood drawn for my lovely glucose tolerance test. I started drinking the nasty stuff right after I left Dan's, and headed into town. I needed to have my blood drawn exactly one hour after finishing the drink. If any of you have never had the beverage they give you, picture orange pop. But not real orange pop, think of it as the syrup that they make orange pop out of before they dilute it with the soda stuff. Yup, it's reeeeeealy nasty. I headed into town and got stuck in construction on the way to the hospital, which was fine since I had plenty of time. I debated stopping to vacuum my van on the way, but thought I'd better just go there in case I had to wait in line. I got to the hospital with 25 minutes to spare, but there was not a parking place to be seen. I drove around for a while, then finally found a spot to realize that I had made my way to the complete opposite side of the hospital. I am pretty lazy lately and did not feel like walking seven miles to the lab, so I decided to drive around some more, since I still had time to spare. Fifteen minutes later, I found someone leaving, and got their spot right up front. Sweetness and sunshine! Life is great! I had ten minutes till I had to be stabbed in the arm, so I went in and went to the lab. Well, I went to where I thought the lab was, and couldn't find it. No lab? Back to the front desk to be told that they moved the lab out of the hospital and it was down the street. Crapola! I drove through the parking lot for fifteen minutes to find a parking spot and I was in the wrong place?!? I suddenly went from having plenty of time to being at risk of screwing the whole thing up by missing the one hour mark. Luckily, my car was close, so I booked it out of there as fast as I could waddle and drove to the lab. Ran in just in time and was stabbed, I mean, had my blood drawn from a fabulous gal who got it right away and it barely hurt. Finally, something good!

I left the lab and called Marty and he met me for lunch. I ate good food while it was still hot, and did not have to stop eating because someone was screaming. It was awesome. A conversation with my hubby, uninterrupted, and while we were still coherent and not completely exhausted from it being after 9 pm when the kids are in bed. I discovered I still kinda like him. Pretty cool!

The next stop was a local consignment store where I got great deals and just wandered for a while, without having to say "Don't touch!" Fifty bajillion times. Mmmmmm.... serenity!

I picked up Emma from school and we went to the craft store to get some things for Halloween and spend a little one-on-one time. I really enjoyed the conversation with my daughter, and got some more good deals. Back to get the boys, and then met Marty at McDonalds to get dinner. I cannot normally stand McDonalds, so we do not go there very often, but today was a special day, so we went in and let the kids play after dinner. Emma had a run in with a little nasty boy who was not playing very nice, and he called her a baby. She responded with, "I am not a baby. My name is Emma. Now you can call my Emma and not baby, since you know my name." Impressive for a four year old! Grant decided to be a bully and pinched a little boy who was probably 11 months old, so after apologizing to the boy's grandpa, we packed up and left.

Overall, it was a great day. Everything worked out just fine, I got good deals on things I needed, and we all enjoyed time together. Dan, you are truly my hero for giving me this opportunity. Thank you! If you want payment for your services, I have a lawnmower I can give you... :) HeeHee! Just kidding, unless you actually want one. Anyway, I owe you!

Dan is My Hero

Today, I am off to do some things by myself. That's right, folks, errands alone without the accompaniment of screaming children. How is this possible, you ask? My fabulous brother-in-law, Dan, called this week and offered to take my kids for the day so I could do whatever I wanted. Yup, he volunteered; nope, his wife isn't even home, and his kids are in school. He had the whole day to himself and decided to take on my children so I could have the day to myself. What a guy, huh? I am off to have my blood drawn (how exciting!) and meet me hubby for lunch and maybe even hit the grocery store ALONE! Yippee!!!

Thanks, Dan!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tiff's Tips on Cleaning

I know, I know, I am not the most logical person to give tips on cleaning. I do have a bit of knowledge on the subject, it is just not always put to use in my own home. However, I thought I'd share with you a few tips to save money and time doing household chores.

1. I try not to use chemicals whenever possible. The warning labels alone freak me out, and I do not want my kids breathing that stuff. Also, chemicals are pricey. I use vinegar and water for most cleaning, vinegar is a natural disinfectant and the odor goes away when it dries, so you do not smell vinegar all day. I mix a spray bottle with about one-third vinegar to two-thirds water. You can dilute it more, but I like the ultra-strength. A gallon of vinegar is $1.99 at the grocery store, and will last a long time.

2. Windows and glass do well with ammonia and water. Wipe with newspaper instead of paper towels and there will be no streaks! Ammonia is cheap, too!

3. Wooden cutting boards can absorb a lot of stains and odors, to remove these, sprinkle a liberal amount of table salt on the wood and scrub with a sponge soaked in the hottest water you can stand. Scrub the salt in circles and the stains and odors will go away. Salt is a natural disinfectant, too!

4. Cleaning the stuck on junk in the microwave is a cinch, all you have to do is take a lemon, cut it in half, and nuke it for thirty seconds. Let it sit in there a minute, then open the door and take the lemon halves and wipe the inside of the microwave with them. Wipe it all with a paper towel and it will come right off. Yes, even chili will come off super easy this way.

5. Shine copper by taking a lemon, cut it in half, and dip the open side in salt and scrub in a circular motion. Super easy!

6. Come Halloween, decorate in that fake spiderweb stuff. Use a lot and do not worry about dusting the entire time it is up, no one will know the difference. HeeHee!

7. I love the swiffer wet-jet. I know, the rest of this is about using less chemicals, but when you mop every day, you go for convenience.

8. Swiffer dusters are great for dusting. Kids love them, and love helping. Let them do all the lower shelves and surfaces, and expect to vacuum afterwards since they will inevitably shake the thing out over the carpet. Or each other's heads. You can vacuum those, too, with the little hose thing.

9. Kids also love taking the hose of the vacuum and doing the edges of the carpets, where it meets the wall and dust collects. pay them a dime to do the whole house. If you decide to pay them more, do not let them tell my kids how much they get, mine are happy with a dime.

10. Keep an old toothbrush in the shower and scrub a little every day during your shower. It only takes about ten to fifteen seconds a day, and you never have to worry about the thorough cleaning, unless you have friends coming over who might be looking for the ultra-shower-shine. If this is the case, get new friends. Seriously.

11. Make bets with your husband for chores you normally do yourself. For example, bet cleaning the fridge on who can get closest to the actual amount of the grocery bill. If you lose, you would have cleaned it anyway, but if you win, hubby does it. He really can't complain, since he lost fair and square.

12. Maxine once said to buy several Get Well Soon cards and keep them on your mantle. That way, if someone comes by unexpectedly, they will think you have been sick and unable to clean. HeeHee!

Hope you have found something useful here, and happy cleaning!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where Are the Gypsies When You Need 'em?

Today has been one of those days. You know the ones, where you just might sell your children cheap, or maybe even give them away. The last several days have been filled with relatively good behavior and sharing, so I knew today was coming, I just didn't realize that all the kids would hit the same low point at the same time.

This morning, I was trying to have a simple phone conversation with my sis-in-law Holly, since I hadn't talked to her in DAYS. There was a lot of catching up to do! I was in the kitchen, and could hear the kids giggling in the hall. Pretty soon the giggling turned to two kids giggling and one crying. I turned to find that Emma had set her little chairs up to block the hallway, Ben could not get out, and Emma and Grant were throwing toys at him. Really!?!? We have a strict no-throwing-anything-in-the-house rule, and throwing things at another person is strictly prohibited. I moved the chairs to free Ben, and sent Emma to her room with a scolding. Continue phone conversation. More screaming as Ben steals Grant's favorite teddy bear and is running away as fast as he can go. Save Ted (the bear) and let Emma out of her room. Continue call. Grant hits Emma, she hits back, Ben joins in and starts hitting both of them. I guess he didn't want to be singled out this time? Separate kids, try to resume talking. Hide in the boys room, putting laundry away, to try to hear Holly. Hear loud screaming coming form outside the door. Find Emma and Grant pretending to be babies, laying on their tummies and kicking and screaming, just for fun, you know, those games are always best when Mommy is on the phone. Pick Emma up and send her to her room. Again. Find a TV show to distract the boys so I can actually understand what Holly is saying. Holly has to go. Crapola! Holly is one of the only people I know willing to have a conversation with me while kids are screaming in the background! I swear, some days she keeps me sane. Well, that might be going a little too far, she keeps me close to sane.

The rest of the day was not much better. I don't know how the boys turned into pushing, shoving little monsters overnight, but they did. If one brother was in the way of another brother, the first brother would simply get shoved out of the way, and often, stepped on, too. I would return form one of my many daily trips to the bathroom to find kids jumping on the couches. This was not OK! I do not allow my children to run rampant through the house, causing whatever mayhem and destruction they choose, no sirree! Then why, today, do they think that none of the rules apply? Do I have a sign on my back that says, Push Mommy's Buttons? And if so, when did they all learn to read?

My parents used to threaten to sell me to the Gypsies when I would get out of line. I seriously considered it, but them realized, are gypsies still politically correct? Would I be teaching my children outdated terminology? Will my child be ostracized in school for not referring to them as "Eclectic Transients" or "Traveling-Americans?" To whom can I threaten to sell my children to in this day and age? I tell ya, when you aren't even sure how you can properly threaten your children anymore, things are getting out of control. Stupid political correctness.

Our Big Night Out

We had a good time at the Chamber of Commerce Meeting last night. Hey, any place with food and door prizes is on the top of my list! I got to talk to a lot of business owners in the area, and they were all so sweet, I did not feel at all left out by being a stay at home mom. I did feel left out, however, by the door prizes. I am one of those people who always wins drawings and raffles, so to walk in last night and see a table filled with a TON of door prizes was a thrill for me. There was everything from gift certificates to local restaurants, stores, golfing, candy, yoga lessons, camping gift certificates, wine, a chocolate house, and even a cat condo. They drew a few numbers at a time throughout the event, and left the biggest prizes for the end of the night. Towards the end, my number still had not been called, so I was getting excited at the aspect of one of the bigger prizes. Alas, no win for me. With all the people there last night, and at the end, they said that there were only about six tickets left in the bucket. Congrats, I was one of only six non-winners. Whoopee-freakin-do.

Marty accepted his nomination for Board of Directors, and was voted in by a unanimous decision! Well, the whole running uncontested thing might have something to do with it, but we can still say he was voted in unanimously, right? I do feel bad for him, he is severely out-numbered by women on the board. That oughta be fun!

I did not end up wearing the sarong, I had already packed away all my summery clothes and did not have anything appropriate to wear under it. I had a pair of capris in mind, forgetting that they are already in the shed. Oh, well, I did have a floral shirt that fit the tropical theme. I still think the coconut bra and belly painted like a beach ball would have been cute, but I would have been cold, so it's probably for the best. Regardless, we really enjoyed the night out, and are looking forward to it next year. Although, next year, I'll be able to sample some of the wine, so it might be even more fun than this year!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some People Have No Sense of Humor

Tonight, we get a night out with grown-ups. Yes, that's right, folks, a night void of pee-pee, num-nums, and screaming. I hope, anyway. Tonight is the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. Marty told me last week that it was a tropical theme and we were instructed to wear our favorite beach-wear. Sweetness and sunshine! I have always wanted to go to an event where I had an excuse to wear a coconut bra and paint my belly like a beach ball! I was excited at the thought, until Marty put the kibosh on my idea. Seriously, just because he is being nominated for the Board of Directors, I can't have a little fun? Fine, but I am still protesting.

I will be going in my favorite Hawaiian shirt and possibly a sarong, depending on if I look like a beached whale in it. Regardless, I am looking forward to a night amongst grownups, it has been a long time!


The Prognosis

This morning, I had my regularly scheduled checkup with my OB. I am grateful that it was today, with everything that has been going on the last couple of days, I was glad to get in to see the Doc today.

Our OB/GYN office as four Docs, and we rotate through each of them, since we do not know for sure who will be available when we deliver. I know all of them pretty well, since this is my third pregnancy in this office, and with the twins, I practically lived there. I was thrilled today to find out that my nurse was Kim, who was one of the nurses I had while in the hospital with pre-term labor. I did not know that she was working at the office, too, but I was very glad to see her.

The doctor gave me very reassuring news. She was not too concerned with my symptoms, said it was definitely something to watch, but not to get too worried about. She gave me a prescription for ibuprofen which will "inhibit prostaglandins to reduce the contractions," and wants to see me in a week for another checkup and an ultrasound to make sure my cervix is not thinning, but otherwise, did not seem to concerned. I was so relieved, I just remember being pregnant with the twins and the doctor telling me, "Any type of pain and you come in. You get a hangnail, you come in, OK?"

Seeing Kim made me excited for the aspect of going back to the hospital. I got to know a lot of people there, and am so looking forward to seeing my favorites again. Today, I asked Kim if she remembered me, and her response was, "Of course! You were there for a very long time." Yup, I was admitted for a total of 13 days, the boys an additional 8 days, and I came in for non-stress tests every other day for four weeks. You get to know the staff pretty well under those circumstances!

Well, I am off to lay down for a while. Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers this week as we calm down the contractions. Have a great day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Enchilada Day!

This weekend, I made enchiladas. To those who don't know what I mean by that, you are probably thinking, "So what? You probably cook every day!" And yes, I do, but Enchiladas are different. I created a recipe a few years back, and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger. I now make a massive amount of enchiladas when I do, and they go into the freezer for future numminess. This weekend, since I was having problems with contractions, I made a smaller batch than normal, only seven 9x13 pans worth, but oh, are they good. They take a while, but that is seven to 12 dinners taken care of, so it is worth the time.

I will share my recipe with you all as long as you promise not to make fun of me for not ever measuring anything, OK?

Start with 3-4 pounds of chicken breasts in the crock pot the night before. Start it just before bed, add anything you want. I usually add some salsa, stewed tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set on low and let it cook all night. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover it most of the way so it doesn't get dried out on top.

The next day, cook 4 or 5 cups dry rice in a big stockpot. When you add the water to the dry rice, add one package of taco seasoning and salt and oil. While that is cooking, take the chicken carefully out of the crock pot and set on a plate to let it cool. Let the chicken rest for ten minutes or so, then shred it with two forks. Return the chicken to the crock pot and it's liquids.

When the rice is done, add three or four big handfuls of whatever cheese you like, I use cheddar and Colby-jack. Add two cans refried beans, two big jars of chunky salsa, one can of enchilada sauce, a half a jar of Alfredo sauce, and the chicken and all of it's liquids. I usually also add whatever I have in the fridge that looks good, the chunky salsa has lots of good stuff in it, but I'll add chopped onion, bell peppers, whatever. Stir really well. If you have vegetarians in your family, don't add the chicken right away, and use vegetarian refried beans. You can make a couple of trays of vegetarian enchiladas and then add the chicken for the rest.

Fill tortillas with a little bit of cheese and the mixture. I use Guererro white corn tortillas, they come 90 to a pack and are a lot cheaper than others I have found. You can fit 12 enchiladas to a tray, then drown them all in sauce. I like mixing about 12 cans of enchilada sauce with one and a half jars of alfredo sauce. Cover with saran wrap and freeze the trays you are not gong to use right away. Refrigerate the rest.

A word of advice, do not use disposable aluminum baking trays. The acids in the enchilada sauce will leech the aluminum into the food while it is in the freezer. I have collected glass 9x13's over the years from garage sales and second hand stores, and I cover them with saran wrap or Glad press and seal to freeze. I bake them with aluminum foil over the top, but I don't store them that way.

Thaw the trays before baking, then cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 mins. When they are just starting to bubble, top with shredded cheese, olives, and green onion, if desired. Bake another 10-20 minutes till cheese is melted and they are bubbling well. Yummy!

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And So, It Ends...

I am being forced to slow down. Yesterday, we slept in after our fun but exhausting pumpkin carving party, the kids did not wake at their usual time, so Marty and I were not going to get up, either. We finally rolled out of bad, and it wasn't very long until I noticed that I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. If you don't know, those are "practice" contractions that are painless, but can be very uncomfortable. Anyway, I laid down for a while, but no mommy can lay down in the same room as her kids and not be a human trampoline, so the contractions did not go away. When I started to feel a little twinge in my back (Warning! Warning! Huge red flag!) I finally had Marty take the kids out of the room to give me some peace, and they slowed down. I stayed vertical for a bit longer, but as soon as I got up, boom, they were back.

Normally, Braxton Hicks are nothing to worry about, but since I went into pre-term labor with the twins, I have to be extra careful as this means I am more likely to do it again. That time I spent in the hospital and on bedrest was relaxing and fun for about a day, but the following six weeks were really hard. I do not want to go through that again. I am still very, very grateful for everyone who helped me during that time, and certainly do not want to put all them through it again. So, we cancelled the dinner plans we had with our friends last night and I spent the day on the couch.

Today, I am feeling much more confident, however, I know that my horsey-riding days are over for a while. I am going to be taking it easier than I have been, and putting my feet up more. I feel sad that me window of feeling good is closing, I don't feel like I had a very big one, but that is OK. This kiddo is way too important to risk having him come premature. Today, we are having some of Marty's former co-workers over for dinner, and i am not going to clean as thoroughly as I normally would, and I am not going to feel bad about it, either. If anyone complains, I'll just hand them a rag and a bottle of cleaner. That'll shut them up!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Won!!! I Won!!! I Won!!! Whoopee!!

Last night we attended Little Bearfoot Farms First Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest and Chili Cook Off! We had a blast, the party was held in our friends (Gordon and Tracie, of Ribeye fame) shop. We all started off with the chili, each family brought a different chili and we all had an official blind taste testing and voting. There was a prize for the best chili, and a "Boobie Prize" for the last place chili. I made a new Rachael Ray recipe that I really liked, called Autumn Harvest Chili. It was a little different, including mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, a jalapeno, black beans, corn, onion and beer. I knew it was a little bit of a risk bringing veggie chili to a gathering of farm guys and firefighters, but I thought it was good and wanted to give it a try. During the taste testing, I heard several comments like, "Wow, the vegetable one is really good!" Along with, "I don't like mushrooms, so I skipped it." Darn chili discriminators. I am very proud to say, I now hold the distinction of having the worst chili in the chili cook off! Woo-Hoo! Seventh place out of seven! I won the boobie prize! The prize wasn't new boobies, though, and I have to say, I was disappointed. Hey, you can't nurse this many kids and expect things not to... deflate, if you catch my drift. I did win a can of Dennison Chili and a huge eraser labeled, "For Big Mistakes." The winner was Tim (Congratulations, Tim!) and I told him that he needs to be prepared, he is going down next year! Check out my prize-winning chili, doesn't it look good?

We all carved pumpkins with the kids, the boys really liked carrying their pumpkins around and dropping them on the floor. They were so proud to have their own little pumpkins, and by little, I mean, pumpkins the size of their heads. Ben's hit the concrete about eight times before it busted open and we gave it up for pig food. Emma enjoyed scraping the guts out of her pumpkin and even made up a little guts song that she sang for a while. The boys joined in on the messy guts action for a little bit, but got bored quickly and wandered off. Tracie had some spray in hair color, so of course, the boys could not escape! Ben loved getting his hair sprayed red, and giggled and ran his hands over his head till the red dye had stained his hands and was caked under his nails. Grant was not as thrilled about the green 'do he received, but Emma loved her pink and purple stripes.

I, personally, am the kind of mom who thinks that filthy kids are kids who have had a great time, so bring on the dirt! According to this rule, the kids had the greatest night they have ever had last night. They came home so completely covered in grime from hair dye, pumpkin guts, hay, and general dirt from being in a shop on a farm that you could not see their skin tone. Unfortunately, we got out late last night, and the boys were melting down before we left, so since we arrived home an hour after bedtime, we just gave them the good ole baby-wipe wipe down, changed them and put them to bed, filth and all. Today is forced bedding washing day, since they woke up a lot cleaner than they went to bed, so I can only imagine the grime covering their sheets.
Well, I am off to do laundry and try to work on our next year's chili entry. Tim, love ya buddy, but it's on, now!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

The boys are getting into it full swing. As I type, Grant has an armload of Thomas the Trains, and is chasing Ben around the kitchen, because Ben has one. That's right, ONE. Grant has recently discovered the joy of building a fun track and connecting all the trains together, and wants them all. Poor Ben just wants his one little engine, to push over the hills of the track, but Grant is hell-bent on getting it. I have to say, it's pretty entertaining to watch Ben running away, his one little train clutched tight in his hand, grinning because he knows if Grant does get his one train, he will be able to get three from Grant in the process; with Grant chasing him, arms loaded full and crying. Grant drops about six trains on the chase and steps over them to get to Ben, but Ben is getting fast and Grant can't catch up anymore. At least all the chasing will wear them out and they will nap well for me today!

The interesting thing is, they are really starting to look out for each other, too. If Ben loses his bink and wants one, Grant will actually take the one out of his own mouth and give it to Ben, then go looking for another one. If they are both sitting on the couch and one wants to read, he will go get two books off the bookshelf, give one to brother, and climb back up with his own. I love to watch them share and take care of each other, it really makes up for the times that they hit each other over the head with toys.

I often wonder how their friendship will develop over the years. Will they continue to be best friends/worst enemies? Will the addition of another boy create the Three Musketeers or total chaos (or both?) Will they team up against their poor, defenseless little brother, or will one become closer to Emma while the other bonds more with the new one? I am sure there will be stages of all of the above, it will be interesting to see how the family changes over the years, if anything breakable survives, and how long it will be until I need to be medicated. I'm guessing not very long at all!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This Old Mare, She Ain't What She Used to Be...

A word of advice to anyone who might be six months pregnant with three small children at home. Do not offer to give one of your children a horsey-ride around the house, chasing the other two kids. First of all, if you are six months pregnant, you have no business giving horsey rides in the first place, but to give one kid a ride means you have to give the other two kids rides or reap the consequences. By the time you are done with all three horsey-rides, you will be completely exhausted and having a LOT of braxton-hicks contractions, meaning that you have just riled your children up and then left them to go lay down so that you will not go into labor, and your now-wired children will be running wild and trying to give each other horsey rides and you will be powerless to stop them. Don't ask me how I know this, just trust me on this one, OK? Thanks.

A Great Halloween Idea

This is a morning of stolen ideas. This is an idea I have ripped off from Dawn over at Because I Said So, find her at

Anywhoo, we bloggers have the ability to see how people find us, Google blogger will tell us what people google that brings them to our site. Being that this blog is new, I don't have that many yet, but I wanted to share them with you anyway.

Ate by Shark Custume
First off, custume? Maybe you should trick or treat for a dictionary. Secondly, I have to say, I would like to see that costume.

"""in a cast"""
What's with all the """? And what does that have to do with my blog?

long pee
HA!!! Of course, anything googled having to do with pee would bring people here, it's all I talk about. I sure hope this person was looking for a movie clip or something, I don't think I want to know why else anyone would be googling long pee.

That's all for now, I'll do this again another time! Have a great day, everyone!

I Stole This One!

I was going through my morning routine, looking at the blogs that I enjoy, and found this entry over at the Womb at the InnSane. Go to if you haven't checked it out yet! Anyway, this is what I found:

If there is righteousness in the heart
there will be beauty in the character.
If there be beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
~Confucius (551-479 BC)

To which I say:
People who have time
to sit around
and think this philosophical stuff up
obviously don't have kids...
and without kids
there would be no world.
~Kadi (1978-present)
I love it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not Quite Roughin' It

Emma has a responsibility chart that we use to reward good behavior. It has topics like eating her dinner, showing respect and not whining. She gets smiley face magnets on each category that she earns in a day, and if she gets all her smileys for the day, she gets to sleep with her door open. Two days in a row, she gets her little tent set up on her bed and she sleeps in there, seven days in a row and she gets a special treat. Yesterday was day seven, which she earned, so her special treat was camping in the living room.

We put the boys to bed early to get everything set up. We moved the furniture around to make room, set up our big tent in the middle of the floor, and because I am a whiner, I mean, pregnant, we pulled our mattress off our bed and put it in the tent. The only casualty of the night was the tent pole that snapped while the mattress was going into the tent. I will not stoop so low as to place blame as to who broke the tent, but just so you know, I was in the other room when it happened. Anyway, we got the tent pole taped back together, and the bed set up, Emma wanted to bring all 54 of her stuffed animals in to camp with us, but I told her to pick six. We sat in the tent and watched Brother Bear while Marty got a good fire going in the wood stove. And by sat in the tent, I mean, I laid down and Emma laid on top of me. An entire queen size mattress between us, and she wants to be on top of me. We took a break from the movie to roast marshmallows and make s'mores, but Emma being Emma did not want to call them s'mores, they were shmarshmallow and chocolate sandwiches. Oh, well! After s'mores and cleaning up all the sticky marshmallowey goo that covered her, we all snuggled in the tent to watch the rest of the movie. Yes, Brother Bear is a long movie, we hadn't watched it in a while, so I had forgotten. Emma was on a sugar high from the s'mores, and couldn't make up her mind if she wanted to lay down between us or at the entrance of the tent. I had chosen the spot closest to the entrance, since I was the one who would have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, so every time she changed her mind, she would climb over my belly to get out or in. I was starting to get cranky, it was getting late, and we needed her to calm down.

We finally told her to pick a spot and stay there, and eventually the movie was over. By this time it was 10:30, and we were all tired. I should say, Marty and I were tired, Emma was still would up and having a great time. For those who don't know Emma well, let me fill you in on a little secret. The girl loves to talk. And talk. And talk. This child will talk all night long if you will let her, and about the most random things. "I love camping. Next time we go camping, can we invite Chloe?" (Chloe is her cousin that she sees camping on Memorial Day weekend, and talks about her the rest of the year.) "I love you, Mommy and Daddy. Why do we say, goodnight I love you every time?" "I want to sleep in the tent every single night!" She had to go potty at 11, and while she was in the bathroom, I got a few minutes to snooze. She came running into the living room, announcing in her loud, excited voice, "I'm done!" and scared the crapola out of me. I think she finally fell asleep around 11:20, but the girl won't stop talking, even in her sleep. Midnight: "Oh no! The thingy is going to do that!" One am: "I really want to go over there!" Two am, Grant is awake, and needing his bink. Two thirty, I am cursing myself that I didn't pee when I was up with Grant. Three: "My blankie is missing! Oh, it's just on the pony." And on and on. Finally, she was out completely and not tossing and turning between us, when Grant was up for the morning. Sleep is over-rated.

Overall, we all had a blast. She is already talking about next time we camp in the living room, and we have put the tent away, but our mattress is still on the living room floor, which is making for a thrilling new toy for the kids. I am just waiting to see which child is going to hit the wall with their head first. I am very grateful that she did not want to camp outside, and I wonder what the next request for day seven of smileys will be. Have a good day, everyone, I am going to take a nap.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our Dog Teddy

I wrote last week about our wonderful cat, Teddy. I still swear he is actually a dog stuck in a cat's body. God does not make mistakes, but Teddy is proof that He has a sense of humor. As I type, Teddy is on my lap, chewing on my necklace. He just finished giving my hand a good cleaning, and while cat's tongues are drier than a dog's, they are rough and not as pleasant on the skin. Yesterday, in classic dog mode, Teddy decided to follow me everywhere I went. Yes, to the bathroom where he jumped on my lap while I was peeing(I have no peace in this house!) and outside to the garden where I went to get carrots, weaving between my legs the whole time. I (accidentally)kicked him a few times, but he won't go away.

This all reminded me of a funny thing that he used to do, before he was banished form being in our bedrooms. In the morning, the kids usually join me in my room and watch a show while I shower and get ready. This was before the boys were in ultra-destruct mode and I could trust them to be absorbed in the boob tube long enough for me to scrub the nastiness that accumulates on your body on a daily basis when you have a lot of young children. Anywhoo, one morning I finished my shower and went out into the room to see everyone lined up on my bed, eating cheerios. Emma had Teddy pulled into her lap. Teddy was sitting on his rear like he was one of the kids, with Emma's arm under his front legs to prop him up, which of course, made his legs stick straight out. It was a sight, I still don't know how he puts up with all of the abuse. They were all sitting peacefully,watching TV, and slowly, Teddy leaned over a little and ever-so-gently bit Emma on the arm. I was wondering how she was going to react, so I just watched. Emma reached into her cup and fed him a cheerio. Seriously? The cat eats cheerios? I stood there a while longer to see the cat finish the cheerio, go back to watching TV a while, then bite her arm again. At this point, I could stand it no longer. "Emma, why is he biting you?" "Oh, he's just saying he really wants more cereal." To prove it, she fed him another, and he ate it happily and went back to cartoons. At least in this house full of insanity, our cat fits right in.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Memories of Spring...

This is a blog post that I wrote back in May, and put on my MySpace page. I thought I'd re-post it here, to keep everything together.

Here is how today is going. First of all, I'll give you a little background. In our house, we have two bathrooms. When we moved in, we noticed that the main bathroom floor was a little creaky, we knew it was going to need to be replaced eventually, but put it off. The floor is actually uneven all the way into the kitchen, but did not seem major. This week, it has gotten a lot worse, I think the dry-rot has taken most of the floor in the bathroom, and the toilet seems to be only held up by the linoleum. Since this is the kids bathroom, we don't use it that often and didn't realize how bad it had gotten.
This morning, I went to go into the other bathroom to find a MOUSE SCURRYING ACROSS MY BATHROOM FLOOR!!!! I now have NO usable bathroom, but I really had to pee, so finally I went into the bathroom with the bad floor and did the hover thing that you do when you're in a gross public restroom and there's no seat protectors. Do you all know what I'm talking about? When your thighs start to ache and you think you are going to fall before you get done? Except this time, instead of falling onto germs, I might have fallen all the way through the bathroom floor. Can't you just picture that 911 call? "Help, my mommy fell in the toilet! I mean, through the toilet and now I can't find her!"
My next step was to figure out what to do. My first thought was to throw the cat in the bathroom and leave him in there for a couple of hours. I shut the door and put a towel across the bottom of the doorway so no little escapee would find his way into my bedroom. Our cat is fabulous, however, since he was locked in with no way to escape and he had to pee too, he just peed right over the drain in the shower. Good cat. The cat was unable to catch the mouse, however, but I did find the hole in the cabinets that he came in through. Not going to block it yet, though, cuz I'm gonna kill the sucker. Not that I have anything against mice in particular, but if they come in my house, they are gone.
All the while, my kids have been running rampant throughout the house. I was not too worried, I could hear the boys screeching and laughing the whole time, and everyone knows that it is when they are quiet that they are getting into trouble, right?
I was wrong.
Grant (who is 16 months old, by the way,) has now discovered that he is tall enough to reach the water dispenser lever on the front of the fridge, and was thoroughly enjoying the ice-cold shower he was giving himself. Now, remember how our floors are off? In this part of the kitchen, the floor slants back to the wall. So while at first I didn't think there was much of a mess, in reality all the water had run under the fridge to the wall, and was in a big puddle back there. I need to move the fridge to get to it, but it is too heavy to move full, so I am going to have to empty it first. And with all the floor problems we have right now, I'm not willing to leave it alone.
Marty came home this morning to deliver mouse traps for me, so I've set the traps and I'm waiting. The good news is I have the best husband and cat in the world. I would prefer not to have pet mice, however, so I have some work to do.

That night, we caught three mice, one the next day, and none after that. After setting traps for a week, we fixed the hole in the cabinet that they were getting in, and found where they were coming in under the house and fixed that, too. We have not had any mice since, but I think that since mice do not like the smell of urine, we won't have a mouse problem again for a long, long time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy 70th Birthday, Da-O!

My Daddy has always been my hero. Unlike a lot of fathers, he was very involved in my life. When I decided I wanted to join 4-H, he became the project leader, eventually the club leader, and then the fair barn superintendent. Any project I wanted to take on, he was beside me and we did it together. I learned a lot alongside my dad, from building rabbit cages to changing the oil in a car, from shooting rifles and pistols to baking fabulous bread the old fashioned way (no bread machines, you gotta knead it yourself!) He taught me how to read a map by giving me the address of where we were going and a Thomas Guide and left it up to me to tell him where to go. He let me do just about anything I wanted, without judgement, like when he would butcher chickens and I would use the heads as finger puppets (I know, it's really gross, but I was only four!) My Dad is the one who found a dead bat and put it in a jar to bring home to me, I still have that bat in my laundry room. It sounds gross, but the bat is still in perfect condition over 20 years later and it is really cool.

We have had a lot of inside jokes over the years, from "Feed Big B Antiques" to "Bunk Foss Road, Old Bunk Foss Road, no New Bunk Foss Road!" (Say that five times fast!) There's the espresso stand in Lynwood that still to this day, whenever I drive past it, I remember when Dad and I ran out of gas there and went across the street to a convenience store and bought Chinese barbecued pork for dinner, because that was the only thing that looked remotely edible. I remember the night when my mom and brother were out doing something and he let me have eight cookies after dinner. I must have only been six or seven, but that night stands out in my mind for some reason.

As I grew, and did not make the wisest choices, I still knew that no matter what, he was there for me and loved me, even if he did not agree with what I was doing. He has always been there to catch me when I fell, but I think the most important thing is that he let me fall first, learning the lessons of life and growing stronger with the experience, but always being there to pick me up. Thank you, Dad, for that. I know I am a much stronger and confident person today because of how you handled me during those years.

He has always supported my hubby and kids, when Marty asked him for my hand in marriage, my dad told him that he thought that Marty was the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I think he was right. He and my Mom have been married for 40 years, giving us a great example of making a marriage last, no matter how tough things can get in life. When we told him of our first pregnancy, I swear I caught the traces of a tear in his eye. He has been a very devoted grandfather, an the kids love wrestling on the floor with him, or playing in the backyard. When the twins were in the hospital over Christmas, he cooked an entire Christmas dinner, packed it in a cooler, and drove the 100 miles to our house so we could enjoy Christmas dinner without having to go too far from the hospital.

Dad, for all these reasons and many, many more, I love you more than you know. Happy birthday, Da-O, you are a wonderful father and grandfather, and I look forward to sharing many more years with you!

I love you, Be-Bo

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pregnancy Insanity

It is a commonly known fact that pregnant women are, well, forgetful, to put it lightly. The truth is, we are complete idiots. I had a lot to do yesterday, the most important thing was to go to the post office to mail a package. I needed to do it last week, but due to other circumstances (pee), it didn't get done. Yesterday, I made to post office a priority and made sure it was my first stop. I had everything I needed, the gift was wrapped as well as I could wrap it without a box, but I knew I could buy one there, I had the card that went with it, I even went so far as to go into town to see if my hubby could meet me there to watch the kids in the van to make it as easy as possible. I pulled up, and suddenly realized... I did not bring the address I needed to mail the gift to. What an idiot! Who goes to mail something and forgets the address? Since I am sending cookies, I cannot just wait and mail them later, I want them to be fresh when they get there. So, I ate them. And they were good.

My husband said about four times yesterday, "Is this a pregnant thing? Cause you're kind of, ummm, not yourself today." "What do you mean by not myself?" "Well, umm, you're kind of... dumb." Yes, he was right, and he said it with respect, but I hit him anyway. Just for fun.

To my cookie friend, and you know who you are, I WILL get cookies to you, and they WILL be fresh, and it WILL happen soon. I am sorry for the delay, but I am pregnant, after all. I hope you understand!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ahh, The Good Old Days...

Last night, Marty was playing with all the kids in Emma's room to keep them out of my hair, when I came in. This was our conversation.

Me: "Honey, have you ever wanted to feel like a newlywed again?"

Marty: "Duh, yes!"

Me: "Well, tonight's the night. You get to feel like a newlywed all over again."

Marty: (Pauses for a moment, then looks at me skeptically) "What's going on, hon?"

Me: "I burned dinner."

Yep, last night's dinner was an utter failure. I am getting tired of our go-to dinner of chicken breasts, some side, and some veggie, so I thought I'd give it a little Asian twist. I cooked rice with coconut milk and water, to give it some great flavor, but I did not add enough water and the rice was crunchy. I made pot stickers but forgot to turn the heat down while they were steaming and all the water evaporated too soon and I burned them. The chicken turned out really, good, at least, I have to remember salt, pepper and ground coriander is a great combo.

Luckily, I have a very understanding, not very picky husband, so he ate it anyway. Maybe it is just that rice in now super expensive and we were not willing to waste any, I don't know. A few minutes into dinner, I asked him how everything was. He responded, "I'm sorry, honey, I can't hear you over the sound of crunching rice." Not my proudest moment.

Update (Yup, Still Talkin About Pee!)

A few days ago, I asked you all to give me your two cents on whether urine needed to be disinfected or just wiped up, since it is considered sterile and all. Honestly, it was not going to matter much what you all said, intelligent as you are, since I don't think I could ever just wipe up pee and not disinfect the area. Luckily, you all agreed with me, so I don't have to worry about hurting any feelings! Yay for all of us! Kristl freaked me out a little when she said it was only sterile to the person who made it, so Grant's isn't sterile to Ben and Ben's isn't sterile to Grant. I am definitely going to take Amy's suggestion and go pick up some Clorox wipes, I have not had them in a while due to budget cuts in or household, but I think they are needed now.

This morning, Ben went pee on the potty, and not on the floor! We did the "Ben went pee-pee on the potty" song and dance, and he was so excited that Grant wanted to try and sit on the potty again. He was not successful in going, at least not till he stood up and within twenty seconds, was peeing on the rug. Oh, well, it was all contained to the rug, so it's easy cleanup. I know that you are all going to get sick of me doing nothing but blogging about pee all the time, but lately, that's all I got. Hopefully, I'll get a life soon, and have something else to talk about.

Today is errands day. I have to hit the post office, the grocery store, Macy's, Target, and Marty's work, with all the kids in tow and hopefully be done before lunch and nap time. Not going to happen, but denial is kinda fun sometimes. Ooh, I just discovered something, never blog while cooking a big batch of pancakes, thinking that you will remember to flip the pancakes when it's time. I just smelled burning and had to think about what it might be for a minute. Wow, I'm a genius. Anywhoo, have a great day, everyone, I'm off to get some Clorox wipes!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why Halloween Will Not Go According to Plan

My dear sister-in-law, Holly found a Tinkerbell costume for Emma. She was thrilled, it is not the typical Tinkerbell costume, I think it is actually one of the other fairies, but it is purple, which is Emma's favorite color. We got it home and she wanted to carry it around with her wherever she went. "Mommy, I love this costume. It's very beautiful. I really like the wings. I'll be able to fly real good with these wings!" Uh-oh. So that's why she wanted to be Tink, to be able to fly? "Honey, these wings are just pretend wings. You will only be able to pretend fly with them." "What?!? I wanted to fly!" "Well, if you run real fast, and flap your wings, maybe it'll feel like you are flying." "OR, (that 'or' is always big and dramatic with her) I can run real fast, flap my wings, and really fly. I'll just try and see if it works." Full of new-found confidence, she seems to have solved her dilemma. Halloween is not ruined after all. "OK, sweetie, you go ahead and try, but make sure you don't jump off anything the first time you try, OK?" I can just picture her on top of the porch railing, ready to fly, and we spend Halloween in the ER.

So, Emma is still Tinkerbell, Grant will be Peter Pan, and Ben is going to be Captain Hook. As long as no one ends up in a cast, I think things will go fairly well this year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why We Are So Broke- Reason #152

There are many reasons why we are broke right now, the main one being we are a five-and-a-half person, one income family. However, there are a few underlying reasons why the measly funds that we do have so not stretch as far as they should.

One of those reasons revolves around our cat. Our cat is a fabulous cat, and I myself am not a cat person, but Teddy seems to be a dog stuck in a cat's body. He comes running to greet us when we come home, he does not do the stand-offish cat thing, he will sit in your lap and let you pet him whenever you want, he is basically an all around great cat. Before I retired from the world where you get lunch breaks and a paycheck, I worked at a pet store that specialized in healthy cat and dog food. I am very convinced that the food that we are feeding him is the best, this food is very digestible, meaning he eats less and it costs the same as grocery store food on a daily basis, but will keep him a lot healthier overall. This is the idea, but great ideas do not always work the way you want them to.

About a month ago, we noticed that Teddy was going through more food than usual. A LOT more food than usual. During the summer, he was banished to the great outdoors due to a massive flea problem that was not to be controlled by anything, and the kids were being eaten alive. So, we fed Teddy on the front porch. I would usually fill his bowl once a day, and it would last till the next day. Suddenly, I would fill his bowl at noon, and it would be empty by two. I could not imagine critters getting into it, since it was the middle of the day and our front door is a pretty noisy place with the kids and all, so I thought our dear cat might have worms. Promising to look into it when we returned, we left for our trip to Vegas and asked the neighbor to feed the cat. Upon our return, our nice neighbor informed us that yes, raccoons were eating the food from our front porch, and Dearest Teddy was not eating our food at all, but was dining with the neighbor's cat. We have been working on getting our cat to eat our food, and bringing it in at night to keep it from being eaten by anyone but him.

The other night, I was sitting at the computer about 8 o'clock, and our motion light went off on the porch. Curious, I got up and peeked out the window to find a raccoon on the porch, not six inches from my front door, munching happily away. I opened the door to scare him (hoping he wouldn't turn on me and attack) but by the time I got the door unlocked and open there was nothing but wet, raccooney footprints on the porch. Here I am, buying a six pound bag of cat food for $18.99 and all I am accomplishing is attracting disease-carrying meanie-headed ornery, angry, attack varmints to the area that my kids play. And if you think that raccoons are timid and run away, you are not from around here. We must breed a different kind of raccoon, raccoons that are trained by Michael Vick, I have heard numerous first-hand stories from highly reputable people about raccoons that charge unprovoked. Anyway, I called to Marty to come see, and we looked a little closer. Those raccooney prints were the same size feet as my size-seven toddler boys! That must've been a freak of raccoon nature! I had only seen his head when I peeked out the window, and he looked pretty big, but I had no idea. Now, I realize that I am attracting disease-carrying attack creatures that are probably larger than my children. Crapola, what do I do now? I want to make food readily available to my cat so he eats at our house, not the neighbor's, but he spends a lot of time outside. A cat door is out of the question, I can just imagine one of those over-sized sewer rats coming into the house. They make doors that have sensors on them so only your cat can come in, but puh-leeze, like I'm going to spend a hundred bucks on the cat when all the kids need new coats and the boys need shoes. Either the kids need to stop growing, or the raccoons need to start dining elsewhere. If you see my kids wandering around in coon-skin coats, you will know how I've solved my problem.

I Need Your Opinion!

Potty training boys is sure a challenge. Potty training Emma was a cinch, we started her early and did not push it, she was potty trained at two and a half. It would have been sooner, but we were just finishing it all when I went to the hospital, in pre-term labor with the boys, so we fell off track for a while. I thought it would be pretty easy with the boys, too, just plunk 'em on the potty every so often, let 'em go if they wanted, and having both of them do it at the same time would encourage them to go. Keep it low key, and have them potty trained before we go broke buying diapers for three kids at the same time. Well, that might be unrealistic, we'll be broke before the new baby comes home. OK, fine, we're broke now, but I'll save that for a later post.

Naively, I really thought that the little raised edge on the front of the potty seat was there to catch any wayward pee that might shoot up when boys were going. Now, I know that it serves no purpose whatsoever, since when the boys start to go, they get the giggles and their little tummys contract which pulls everything up and it's fire hose time. I am still shocked how far little boys can pee, and how a small bathroom is worse since the spray hits cabinets and bounces off and goes all different directions. I'm thinking of installing a drain in the middle of my bathroom floor so I can just hose the whole place down every day and call it good. I'm pretty sure my bathroom scale has started to show the effects of being peed on so often. That must be it, there's no way my nightly bag of extra-butter microwave popcorn is the culprit in why I am not following the guidelines for healthy weight gain in pregnancy, right? Yup, gotta be the scale.

Something that was brought up to me, if urine is sterile, do I really need to disinfect every time? Or can I just wipe it up with a wet cloth and call it good? A little part of my brain says that if it is scientifically proven to be sterile, all I would need is a damp rag, but the whole rest of my body says to disinfect the whole place after every pee episode. What is your opinion?

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Circle of Life Explained

Last night, we watched a little of the Planet Earth series that was playing on TV. Emma has always been intrigued by sharks, the first time she saw a documentary where a shark was hunting and ate a seal, she decided she wanted to eat a shark. "But not the eyeballs. Or the head. Cut off the head, oh, yeah, and cut off the tail, and I want to eat the rest." She had just turned three. I tried getting her gummy sharks at the gas station, but she insisted she wanted to eat a real one. This girl's gonna be an expensive date someday.

I have always been really open and honest with her about where our food comes from. "Mommy, what is for dinner?" "We're having steak. Steak comes from a cow. We are eating cow tonight." Growing up, I always knew when we were trying something new or different, my Dad would get vague. Maybe it was because I was already incredibly picky, I don't know, but if he told me it was "just meat" or "just a vegetable" I knew to steer clear. I decided that with my kids, I would be up front from the beginning and hope it would not bite me in the rear later on. So far, so good, but I know I have a long way to go. Emma will eat just about anything, she loves shrimp and crab, asparagus, tofu, Thai food, Chinese food, the list goes on and on. She really wants to try lobster after seeing some in a tank at the grocery store, "But not the pokey part (antennae), or the eyeballs, just the rest."

In the movie last night, it goes through the squid laying eggs, then the seals hunting the squid, and to get to the hunting area, the seals have to swim through a shark infested canal. It shows the Great White devouring a seal, and Emma thought it was pretty cool. This morning, she wanted to talk about it. "Mommy, I really like where the seal was swimming along and the shark just came up and ate it! Why did the shark eat the seal?" "That was the shark's lunch. He eats seals like you eat quesadillas." "He doesn't cook it first?" "Nope. He can't make a fire in the ocean, so he eats it raw." "Oh." Suddenly, after spending her entire life in complete acceptance of the way things work, the realization of it all hit her. "Wait! That's bad! The shark can't eat the seal, the seal just wants to be with his family and he can't be with his family if he gets eaten!" Crapola. I was hoping we could just skip this part. "Well, honey, the shark needs to eat to stay alive and he eats seals. The shark needs to eat the seal, it's not too fun for the seal, but that's just how life goes. It's how God made the world to work." I watched to see the thoughts working in her little brain, and I could tell the moment she had come up with a "better plan." Excitedly, she explained. "Mommy, if the shark eats the seal's whole family, then it's OK, cause they will all be together in the shark's tummy!"

I love the thought process of a four year old.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Nice, Boring Day

Today is laundry day. Well, actually, every day is laundry day, I have to run at least one or two loads a day to stay caught up. But today, I am catching up from only doing one load a day all week, plus, I went through all the boy's clothes and pulled stuff out for fall. Being the cheapskate, I mean, frugal person that I am, I like to buy clothes ahead of time on clearance, plus coming from this huge family we get lots of hand-me-downs. I had four large bins to go through, and pulled out the boy's entire fall wardrobe from storage. Of course, it all smells like Grandma's Nasty Attic, so it all has to be washed. (OK, neither of my Grandmas had attics that I ever knew of, but it smells like I imagine Grandma's attic would smell like. You know, like in the movies where there are bats flying around and it is dark and musty and filled with cobwebs and mice, there's usually a little kid with a lantern looking for Grandpa's long ago stored away treasure map of the nearby mine shaft.) I did the same thing for Emma earlier this week, and add the fact that I had to basically wash my entire bathroom full of towels on Wednesday due to what has become known as the "Day of Pee" and I have Mount Kilimanjaro of laundry in the hallway.

The great thing about mountains of laundry is that they make for a really fun and exciting jungle gym. True, I don't ever have to subject myself to the germ-infused McDonald's play area, but I end up with clothes strewn all over the house by the time I am done. It usually takes a while to find them all, and inevitably some of the clothes are found by the kids when I have guests over. There's nothing better than having small children pull musty smelling shirts from under the couch while you are trying to hold the first adult conversation you've had in a year and a half.

Today has been productive, so I can't complain (too much.) I went to JoAnn's Fabric store this morning and found fabric for the boys' Halloween costumes out of the remnants bin, and only spent $11 on all of it. I can hardly wait to get sewing! Of course, I never use patterns, I just make it up as I go along, so I'll probably need more things I am not thinking of right now. Regardless, I am on my way to staying in my $50 budget, so I'm happy! Sorry this post is so boring, but it's been a boring day. Which, in this house is really kind of nice. Have a good evening, everyone, and have a happy Sunday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Confession Time!

In my first post, I told you all that I would be honest as I write. I was informed yesterday by my dear friend Tracie that I have not held true to that. The only way to rectify a lie is to confess, so here is my confession.

I said that we do not have a name for the new baby that is coming in January, but a while ago, I asked Tracie to help me with a name, and she did. Let me give you a little background on Tracie. She lives on a twelve acre hobby farm, where she, her husband, and two fabulous kids currently have 9 cows, 12 pigs, 5 pygmy goats, a crapload of chickens, 5 dogs, 2 cats, and who knows what else. Her kids insist that they name the animals on a regular basis, and some of the names can be quite appropriate for their final purpose in life, if you catch my drift. As you can tell, Tracie's naming skills have not been best utilized for naming children, and she decided to name my third son Ribeye. Yup, that's right, Ribeye. Her entire extended family has jumped on board with this, so every time I see them, numerous people rub my belly and say hello to baby Ribeye. So, I apologize for the lie I told a while ago, baby Ribeye does have a name (at least until I can come up with another name that won't get him beaten up every day in his school years.) I will try to do a better job keeping my promise to be honest, and I sincerely apologize for trying desperately to forget the thought of naming a poor, defenseless child Ribeye, er, umm, I mean, for lying to you all. I hope you can all forgive me, and a most sincere apology to Tracie. I love you, you crazy girl!

Ahhh, sweet bliss...

This morning dawned grand and beautiful. OK, really, it's overcast and dreary, but that's not what I am talking about. Let me back up a little.

I'm sure you are all aware of the lack of sleep in our house in the last couple of days. If not, you can read the last few posts and catch up. Yesterday, I was really looking forward to naptime, it is my favorite time of day anyway, but yesterday was going to be especially nice. Grant was so tired that at lunch, he asked to go night-night as soon as the last bite of apple was in his mouth. Of course, he will not go to bed without Ben, but Ben seemed ready to go, too, so they both went down about 20 minutes early. I spent a little one-on-one time with Emma, playing Don't Spill the Beans, and then she went down, too. Ahhh, the sweet sound of silence. It lasted about 15 seconds till I heard Ben cry. Not wanting him to wake Grant, I went in, gave him his bink, and laid him back down. He proceeded to cry for the next hour and a half. I tried everything to lure the little stinker into slumber-land, but to no avail. Ben did not nap at all, which meant that at about 4 o'clock, the meltdowns started, and it was a long night.

My greatest moment yesterday was when my sis-in-law (and knight in shining armor) showed up to play with the kids so I could get stuff done. I actually got to run to the grocery store all by myself, and prepare dinner without little hands trying to take everything off the counters. Thank you, Amy, you always show up just when I need you most!

After a fun evening with my in-laws, having dinner and watching Survivor, I went to bed hoping above all hope that I could get at least a little sleep. Ben woke at 11:30, and I binked him and went back to bed praying that it was not going to be a long night. I fell into a nice deep slumber and woke to the sound of crying at... 8:00! Holy Crayola, that was eight and a half hours of sleep! The new baby must have realized my need and stayed off my bladder all night, since I skipped my usual 3 am jaunt to the bathroom. Today, I thank God for sleep, He always provides what we need, we just need to know where to look for His miracles. And in this house, 8 hours of sleep is, indeed, a miracle.

Today, my task list is long, but I am off to a good start. I hope you all have a lovely Friday, mine is going to be grand!