Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I paint . . . .

Came across this picture of Dora and had a reminiscing moment.  I just finished painting silhouettes of gymnasts in Middle's new "big-girl" room.  Ahh, this Dora was in her room when she was but a wee-one!

I want, I want, I want . . . .

This picture has been on my desktop for ages.  It's how I really WANT to finish the upper-pointy-parts of our house.  Eventually.  I'm putting here so I'll know where it is.  Funny how my blog has become "that spot".  I wish I could put my glasses and my car keys here, too.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Outside . . .

My daily mission:  go outside.  I found this awesome little back-woods, open-space trail that's right in the middle of the city.  When I'm out on my own, I like to run up to the top of it through the adjacent neighborhood, then come down through this canyon of open space.  I've been taking the kids to run off steam in this space for several months now, but lately, Mimi can make it there and back as long as there's a fun game to play.    She likes this one best:

And she loves to be "POLO" when the other kids are "Marco".  
Ah, mission accomplished. We've been outside.  Every day.   A lot.  
It sure doesn't feel like December right now.  We could use some snow.  Lots and lots of snow!! 

Busy, busy, busy

I've been far too busy, busy, busy for personal and extracurricular activities like blogging.  Oh, sad, sad me.  My days go by and I think, "I should blog that", but by the time night falls and the children and snuggled all warm in their beds, I simply don't have the uumph to carry on, knowing it starts over in only a few short hours.

At any rate, today, I'm at the keyboard with a post window open and I have random revelations in list form to share with all of blogger-dom.

1.  The "W" on my keyboard is sticking and boy is that ever pissing me off.
2.  The kids are all out for winter break.  Duh.  Obviously.  It's Christmas Eve.  The big kids finished last Thursday and Mimi had her final day on Friday.  Their report cards are fabulous; they are ready for break and I'm ready for a couple weeks of slow & easy mornings.
3.  Meal planning.  I've been sucking the big genitalia in the sky on meal planning.  I've been throwing things together last minute or making a half-baked effort to put all the food groups in front of the angry butterflies.  On some nights, I fail miserably.
4.  Homestead visited.  We had a couple of glorious days of chatting and reminiscing.  It was lovely.  We stayed up until midnight one night talking.  Just talking.  I felt hungover the next day.  Gawd.  I'm getting old.  We didn't even drink anything fun or fruity.  MOTH was wonderful and didn't freak out or make odd comments when he came to bed and we were both in our bed, talking like college girls.  All that was missing was the crackers.  We ate crackers in college.  What a weird memory.
5.  Christmas.  And birthdays.  We've been on a notable spending freeze since 3rd quarter this year.  Well, a spending scale-back.  It shows under the tree, for sure.  We're at that critical junction with gift giving and Christmas where the kids really do want gift cards.  They really, truly WANT for nothing, so it's been difficult to fill the bill this year.  I have few gifts.  But the gifts that are there are quality, personal and meaningful.  I'm really kind of proud of that.
6.  Gifts.  I love giving gifts.  I really do.  I made 28 scarves this season and gave them away to friends, teachers and the like.  They were handmade.  Thoughtful.  I didn't give a pink scarf to a person who only wears black.  I had the recipient in mind.  I'm proud of that, and proud of keeping to the budget.  Also, proud of the mini-scarf business that sold over half of them.  That bankrolled the other portion of gift giving.  Yea, me. I was going somewhere with that.  Oh, yea.  Thoughtfulness.  I'm very into and appreciative of a well-thought-out gift.  For example, I'm an anti-clutter nut.  I don't really do knick-knacks.  They drive me insane, so when I get a gift and it's some piece of displayable, must-dust STUFF, it's not well-thought-out for me.  My pet peeve:  receiving gifts from people who don't really have me in mind.  I'd rather not get anything.  My goal:  not to do this to others.  There were four people on my list this year who fell into the "I-probably-should-get -them-something" category.  I didn't get them anything.  It's me.   I guess folks will learn that when I give you a gift, I mean it.  I mean that I'm thinking of you and I wish you the best; not:  "here-have-this-dollar-store-piece-of-crap-in-a-fancy-wrapper-because-I-felt-like-I-had-to-give-you-something."  Quality, not quantity.  Quality, not quantity.
7.  Work.  I've been working like a dog lately.  But wait.  I'm not complaining.  Now, more than ever before, I'm so thankful for the job that I've created with this company.  I am so, very thankful that I have a job, that it pays well and that it affords me the flexibility to manage the other things in my life.  Still, fact remains, lately, I've been working like a dog.  And there will be more where that came from in the first quarter of next year.  I've already braced my family and myself.  It's gonna be some long hours.

Wow, I actually feel a bit more organized and ready to tackle the day.

It's Little's birthday eve today.  We're having lunch with my mom.  We are baking cookies.  And I need to run to Costco to pick up pictures for a last minute grand-idea-gift.  The list is growing!

Merry Christmas Eve, all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Maternity clothes . . .

So I'm stuck at a traffic light in downtown Denver last week.  I'm waiting, waiting, waiting and start fiddling with the soft turtle collar on my favorite black tissue turtle neck.  Ah, I realize there is a funny seam in the front of the neck.  Odd. Stretching the neck out in front of me, I note two things . . . (1) holy shit . . . I'm wearing this shirt backwards.  Hmm.  I've been wearing it backwards all day and it never felt funny.  And (2) holy shit . . . the tag says Liz Lange Maternity.  It's been 5 years since I was last pregnant.

And a week later, I'm still wondering . . . . what does this all mean.  I'm still wearing maternity clothes.  I'm so wardrobe apathetic (and pathetic) that I don't care.  And I haven't noticed.    Also, exactly WHAT does it mean when a maternity shirt fits you pretty well backwards.  Hmmm . . .

Monday, December 17, 2012

One Last Thing . . .

Last Greeting Card I Sent . . . . was to Homestead, I think.  Or maybe to a gal that works for The Company who needed a little pick-me-up.

Last Time I Said I'm Sorry . . . tonight @ the dinner table.  I don't mind being the first to apologize.  I don't mind eating crow when the situation is justified.

Last Indulgence . . . . Nachos for lunch last Wednesday with Homestead.  Delish.

Last Time I Lost My Phone . . . today, I'm sure.  Actually, right now.  Damn, I need to find that before bedtime.  My trick is to find it before the battery goes dead.  I'm famous for calling my own phone or using location services to find it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Overwhelmed. And 39. And 5. And 4.

Well, sports fans, I've become overwhelmed.  I haven't posted in what seems like a million years.  I've been, um, very, very preoccupied with this little thing called work.  You know, the thing that pays bills and keeps food on the table for the swarm of angry butterflies.

I've decided to take it slow.  One post here and there.  I'm not going deep, because, quite honestly, I'm too fragile right now.

So, here's what I've got today.

Mimi and I had a birthday.

She turned 5.  I turned 39.  Or maybe 34.   I stopped aging when Mimi was born on my birthday.  In any case, it was lovely.   Moose also had a birthday.  He's four now.

Happy birthday, Big Dog!! 

MOTH brought her five peach roses, which she ADORES.  It's a tradition with the girls.
They think he is so cool. 

Middle made us a cake.
It was delicious!! 

Monday, December 03, 2012

The cupboards are bare . . . .

If you are wondering, "what's for dinner?"

Guess what?

I'm wondering the same.  Eggo waffles, I guess.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ah, Screw It. I'm back.

I'm back.
Blogging is the ONE selfish thing that an overworked mom gets in this house, so damnit, I'm blogging.

Nothin' too deep is coming from within.
I'm keeping a healthy distance from all taboo topics.

But, I'm back.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm done.

I'm checking out for a while.

Anything I say will likely be held against me by one of a million people so I'm done.

Over and out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 17th thru 26th . . . Super Thankful

17th . . . .

Thankful for success.  One meet.  One event.  The most important medal of the season.  Go Middle!  Third place on bars this weekend!  Whoop-whoop!!

18th . . .

Thankful for bags.  Who would have thought a little company that sells bags could make me so happy. Working for Thirty-One is the easiest job I've ever had.  It's a hobby.  It's a job.  It's such easy money.  I had two shows today.  Both were great successes.  I'm thankful for this hobby-job!  Thirty-One has had this great incentive running for the last seven weeks and I've hit several of them and I love, love, love the free stuff and incentive gifts!

19th . . .

Holiday Break.  I am so, so, so thankful for holiday breaks.  I can't wait to have several consecutive days off with my kids.  I'm looking forward to the rest!

20th . . .

Lists.  I'm thankful for lists and for how great I feel when I cross something off of mine.

21st . . .

Lifting.  I'm thankful I can lift stuff again. I think I'm healing.  The week after surgery, the hot water heater starting spraying water out of the top.  Awesome.  That meant clearing out the hoarder room.  Wait.  What?  You don't have a hoarder room?  It's that storage room-slash-deal with it later kind of room.  I call mine the blue room because it has blue tile in it or the hoarder room, because I feel like a hoarder when I walk in there.  Anyway, the long and short of it is that I'm thankful for being able to lift stuff so that I can start to pick up the basement and clean up the hoarder room.

22nd . . .

Thankful for Thanksgiving.  We had three guests at our house.  I did turkey.  MOTH is continually bitchin' about dry turkey.  So, I had a great idea this Thanksgiving.  You've heard of beer can chicken, right?  The moistest, most lovely chicken ever.  But there's no beer can turkey alternative.  But, I busted out a bunch of syringes on Turkey Day AM and gave them to the kids.  We injected the HELL out of our bird.  I taught the kids how to give all kinds of shots:  IM, SQ   . . . They had a ball and our bird was SO moist and delicious!

23rd . . .

Internet shopping.  I love the ease of internet shopping.  I'm never a black Friday person, but I do like a cyber-deal.

24th . . .

Hiking, open space and great parks.  I've taken the kids hiking twice during this holiday week.  The weather has been gorgeous and we couldn't help but go out and play.  We bouldered and climbed and hiked and ran.  One our first outing, we made it home with only one major fall.  Middle crashed into a ravine.  And on the second outing, we made it through the canyon, brush and trail with no falls and then Mimi crashed on the sidewalk right up from our house.   Still, bandaids and first aid kits aside, it was darn good to be outside.

25th . . .

Thankful for a birthday wish list that I can do.  Middle wants a room makeover.  I can totally do that.  I'm working on it and am almost done.   Mimi wants a new pink leotard.  Little's language of love is toys.  I guess he's little still.  I'm thankful for a do-able thing.  I think I can make them all happy.

26th . .

Thankful for the kids to be back in school today, too.  As much as I loved the break, I'm ready to get back into the grind.  Only four weeks until the next break.  I can't wait!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Olympic Toes & Itsy Dotted Fingers

November 16th

Thankful for blue skies in the crisp cool autumn air.
I love fall.
I love this tree.
I think I post this every year.
Fall is too short.  Between the time I took this picture and put it on my desktop to blog it and today, the leaves are all gone and the grass is dead and ugly.  Still, I love fall.

November 15th

I'm thankful for the idea of Thanksgiving.

I'm not a fan of the big holiday meal.  The best Thanksgiving meal we EVER had was in Breckenridge at a pizza place called Eric's.  If I had my druthers, I'd have pizza for Thanksgiving and forget the bird.  However, my sweet, sweet mother is a turkey lover and as long as she's sharing a holiday meal with us, it just won't be the same if she doesn't get the bird.

MOTH isn't a poultry fan at all.  He says he doesn't like the DRY.   That doesn't apply to me anyway, 'cause my bird is far from dry.  He doesn't like the stringy.  That I get.  I don't either.  I really despise meat that is on the bone.  It willies me out.  That's all.  I'm all for a good portion of protein.  I just prefer it to be without the infrastructure.

But I AM thankful for the IDEA of a holiday meal with family.  I am thankful for the break from school and the money it takes to buy all the damn fixin's for a holiday meal.

Bock bock.

November 14th

Thankful in photos.
I really love this dog.
Yea, he's hairy.  He sheds all over everything and he's a mess, but he is the kindest soul with the most gentle heart.  Of ALL the dogs I've loved before, I really love this one a lot!

November 13th

I haven't posted every gory detail about Middle, Middle's back fracture, Middle's emotional turmoil in dealing with the back fracture, shortened practices, not being able to do ANYTHING.  I've kept some of it inside, because, to be honest, it's been quite painful.  As a momma, it's been very painful to watch her in emotional pain.  The physical pain quickly abated with rest, but the emotional sting of being out for the season, feeling un-included and not a part of the bigger picture was downright dreadful.

For a ten year old gymnast, whose circle of comfort includes school, backyard & gym, having that chunk missing or altered for that much time was like a mid-life crisis for her.  I wish I could have bought her a tiny red sports car as a band aid for the pain.

But . . . .

I'm really proud of the growth and effort and the athlete she will be in the long run . . . learning to deal with a severe injury now is probably a good thing.

She's at 10 weeks, officially.  Ten weeks since diagnosis.  This weekend, Friday night to be specific, is the last qualifying meet of the season.  She won't qualify for state.  She can't compete all-around, but she's pushed through and gotten clearance to compete bars at this meet.  Just bars.  And she's happy with that.

I am too.   So, today's thankful challenge   . . . I'm thankful that Middle is getting better!

Here's her full set from the gallery . . . .

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12th

Little was up barfing 7 times last night.  Every 40 minutes, give or take a little.  Today, I'm thankful for coffee.  I'm thankful for running water and a flushing toilet.  I'm thankful for a washing machine so that I can wash stuff on hot instead of having to go bang sheets on a rock at the creek to clean them.  I'm thankful for the power of pharmacy.  I'm thankful for TV, so that his barfy little body can be stationed in one spot and occupied.  Watching The Avengers softens the blow of not being able to go rock climbing today.  Also, because I was up with him (what seemed a zillion times) last night, I'm thankful to not be having a new baby.  Clearly, I am TOO old for middle of the night waking.  I'm a freakin' zombie today.

November 11th

I'm thankful for veterans who have so bravely fought for our country.  I'm thankful for their courage and selflessness.  I'm thankful to know lots of veterans so I get to thank them alot.  And I'm thankful our country has a Veteran's Day.  Boy, do they deserve it.

November 10th

I'm thankful my son will still hug me in public.  Or in front of his classmates.  Like when I'm the mystery reader in his class and I get the kids all amped up by reading Skippy JonJones in my best Mexican accent.  They hoot and holler and laugh and then he hugs me to thank me for coming.  I'm thankful for hugs from my little man.  I love them.

November 9th

I'm thankful that the blasted election is over.

November 8th

I'm thankful for my health.  Well, I'm not exactly healthy quite yet.  I'm still squishy as heck and I haven't worked out since September 19.  My doctor still says not yet.  So I'm waiting patiently, but doing lots of walking.  Point is, I'm thankful for my overall health.  Overall, I'm super healthy.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

November 7th

I'm thankful for rawhide chewies.

They keep Moose and Tana so busy.

On mornings when the kids are all at school and I'm sitting at my desk pounding on my keyboard, there's a satisfaction I can scarcely describe that comes from the gentle hum of the dishwasher, the slosh of the washing machine, the tap of my keyboard and the sound of a satisfied pooch hunkered down under my desk working on a rawhide chewie.

November 6th

I'm thankful for tiny little elementary students in four classes at our local elementary school.  I'm thankful that they gave me their listening ears and were willing to hear about our local Veteran heroes.  I'm especially thankful for the beautiful handmade cards they created.  I'm thankful for their warm sentiments and the time they gave to making cards for all of the residents at The Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Walsenburg.  Mailing that bundle of cards made me feel like a rock star for orchestrating the program and made me think that my daddy might be smiling down on me from heaven.

November 5th

I'm thankful for being able bodied.  I'm thankful for being able to do things I want to do   . . . accomplish stuff I want to get done without having to wait for help.  Am I really thankful for my stubborn streak.  Here's what I'm getting at.  Middle is asking for a room makeover for her 11th birthday.  She's given me creative liberty and I'm working on it.  I really love how it's coming out, but I needed the bed that is currently in Mimi's room to go back to Little's and his bunks put back together.  I needed the bed that is currently in Middle's room taken apart, moved and put back together in Mimi's room.  Confusing, I know.  But MOTH has been working non-stop and has had late nights and early mornings this week.  I haven't seen him since late last week aside to pass like ships in the nights.  So I did it.  I moved mattresses, took beds apart, hauled what needed hauling and put it back together.  There.  Done.  Stubborn streak burning hot.  And I-am-woman-hear-me-roar blazing.  I'm thankful for being able bodied enough to get my shit done.

November 4

I'm thankful for Thirty-One.  I'm thankful for Cindy.  I'm thankful for the women who are making a difference in the lives of so many more women.  I'm thankful for paying it forward.  I'm thankful for their great attitude.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

November 3

I'm thankful for elements of a homemade Christmas.  I started knitting.  Yes, well, you know me and knitting.  I have a short attention span, so I make washcloths.  Really, it's just a ploy to keep myself from eating at night.  I tend to snack and ingest countless calories if my  hands aren't busy.  This is why I sketch and knit and paint and pick my nails.  It's all in efforts to keep food out of my mouth.

I set out to make a few gifts.  Not washcloths.  These:

It's this lovely, lacy, spiral scarf.  They are unbelievably easy to make and they knit up really quickly.  It's taking about three hours to churn one out from start to finish.  Well, it wasn't long after the first one was made that Middle wrapped her face it in and begged to wear it to school.  It's purple and pink with a little navy blue and it looked perfect with her peacoat.  Gift, schmift, I figured and let her.  By chance, the same day, I talked to four classes at school and wore in the one pictured above.  I just like this one a lot.  Great colors.  And in that day, I sold SIX of them.  Took orders for four more.  I'm supplementing holiday income with handmade scarves.  And in an October and November that are full of post-op appointments, orthodontics, physical therapy and asthma meds, I'm really glad to have the cash.   I'm really glad that I know how to knit and that something other than washcloths is adding a little zing to our holiday budget.

I haven't been reading much . . . .

. . .  so this is easy to keep up.

The last two additions are

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Postcards from Berlin by Margaret Leroy

I really liked both of them.  Those Who Save Us was phenomenal and I read right to the last page, including the acknowledgments.  It was a great book.  Postcards from Berlin was a slow start, a fabulous middle and the worst ending ever.  I finished it right before bed and I remember sitting up and ranting to MOTH a little about how much the ending sucked.  I couldn't believe it was over.  Just like that.  Bad, bad, bad.  So many loose strings.

I'm reading The Soldier's Wife right now . . . . and after this one, I think I'll give the WWII genre a rest for a while.  I have a long, long list of books I want to read right now . . . .

November 2

I'm thankful for work.  Perhaps I needed to see that in print to reset my attitude, but all in all, I am ever-so-thankful for my job.  In a world where so many folks can't seem to find ONE job, a fact that still kind of amazes me .. . . I'm very grateful to have income from my job.  Well, both of them.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Thankful Challenge . . . November 1st

It goes like this:  every day from November 1st until Thanksgiving, post one thing that you are thankful about. One thing.  

The first days are the easiest, and I'm not even copping out.  

November 1st . . . . my family.  I'm thankful for my family.  Instead of taking the whole first week to be thankful for each one, I'm just thankful for the whole crazy lot right here on November 1st.  I'm thankful for MOTH, my ever-so-grouchy husband.  I'm thankful for Big:  the easy way that giant tears fill her eyes and how they run down her cheeks in rivers when she's touched or hurting for someone else.  I'm thankful for her soft side and for the tough exterior that she's beginning to develop.  I'm thankful for her kick-ass attitude and for her commitment to working so hard at school.   I'm thankful for Middle.  Middle is a grump, like her dad, and I'm certain they are put in my life to help me learn to deal with introverted, glass-mostly-empty people who wake up with a scowl on their faces and go to bed with a thorn in their ass.  After all, could the world really handle us all if we were as happy as me?  I'm thankful for Middle's healing back and spirit.  I'm thankful that she MIGHT get clearance to compete bars at the next meet on November 16th.  Might.  I'm not holding my breath, but it would make her season.  I'm thankful, even after I drug my feet, that she joined the band and is playing the clarinet.  It is causing her to connect with other girls and broaden her net of friends, and I fear that she'll need that if she continues with gymnastics.  More friends in other arenas.  She'll definitely need that.  I'm thankful for the Boy.  God-bless, he's a lot of work right now, but I'm thankful for him anyway.  His volume is always up on six-zillion-decibels and I think HE thinks his name might be, "buddy-soften-your-voice."  I'm thankful that he's beginning to think ahead (well, sometimes) and I'm ever-so-thankful that he can amuse himself with a rock and a stick, a nerf gun or a tree.  The boy needs no toys, so he's happy with anything.  Thank the Gods.   And then there's Mimi.  I'm positively smitten with that little person.  I love her scowly face, just like Middle and I love, love, love that she is beginning to blossom in school.  She's a brilliant little girl that is joyful company.  I'm so thankful to have a little person in my life.  

I'm thankful for the bloody bunch of them.  Two nights this week, I made dinner for a family of four and it was painfully quiet at the table.  It seemed like the whole woodwinds section of our orchestra was missing.  It brought like to how much I love and value them ALL.  Collectively and individually. 

There you have it.  
November 1st.  
I'm thankful for my family. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Politics, Abductions and Generalized Har-Humph.

I haven't been blogging much lately.  I think everyone takes a break from time to time.  I think some reasons came to me late last night.  Or maybe it was early.   Point is . . . I miss blogging.  I really like blogging.  My cluttered mind needs blogging.  Or writing, at least, but I don't write with pen & paper anymore and have few fun projects for creative expression . . . so being a smart ass blogger with opinions is my creative outlet.


During my period of convalescing, I've been watching TV.  I love TV anyway, but I'm intrigued by creepy criminal shows.  Criminal Minds is what I'm talking about.  I love the psycho killer twist, but I'm intrigued, that's the perfect word with the WHY?  I would have been a good profiler.  Let me be clear:  I would have been a good guy. I think it's fascinating.  So a recent show was about these two families with fairly large social footprints whose lives appeared "perfect" thus making them a target for this deranged lunatic who kidnapped the entire family and revealed all of their secrets to each other, then spared the young sons but made the family watch as he murdered the rest of the family members.  Ooh-ooh, creepy.  Made me consider the size of our social footprint and therefore turn down the velocity at which I churn out blog posts.

And with that cheery bit of inspiration, I'll move onto politics.  Seriously?  I despise politics.   I also really hate the time around elections because everything media outlet is so chock-full of negative comments and mudslinging.  I'm tired of politics.   I'm tired of the name calling and mudslinging. It's a bad example for our young people.  It's bad, all of it.  It's a prime example of all the things I aspire NOT to be.  Here's my ONE political opinion, my ONE contribution to the Facebook community this week:

I'm still undecided about the election so if you wouldn't mind posting hateful half-truths from unverified sources about the candidate you hope will lose, it would really help me out. 

Again, I repeat.  I hate politics.  Even my innocent young son is beginning to spout the bullshit ramblings and quote his own father, who has a strong political view.  I'm fine with an opinion, even it I don't agree, but I don't usually like to hear it.  It's just not worth fighting over.  It's exhausting.

Cheery wouldn't be cheery without more, more, more . . .

I'm on to the Jessica Rideway case.  A suspect in custody.  He confessed to his mother and she turned him in to police.  He is SEVENTEEN.  Seven-friggin'-teen!!  What?  Isn't this the third recent arrest of a minor for a terrible, unthinkable crime?   I'm stunned and struck and amazed and frozen.  I keep thinking about Jessica's mom . . . . how her heart must have sunk when she got a voicemail that was, uh, 8 hours old saying her kid hadn't made it to school.  I keep thinking about the school system and how to fix that or upgrade it or make it better.  Surely that's coming.  I keep thinking about the bad-guy confessing to HIS mother that he killed a little girl.  Who does that?  I can't seem to keep my own projections of out it.  In  my house right now, my teenie-bopper girl is in a phase where she comes home from school and has a 15 minute confessional-slash-debriefing about her day.  She sits on the counter and eats peanut butter out of a jar and she verbally expels pieces of her day.  It's how she prioritizes her homework and takes a breather before she dives in again.  But I can't keep that image out of my head . .  . of the bad-kid, plunked up on his mom's kitchen counter, eating peanut butter out of a jar and saying in the same nonsensical tone that Big says, "oh, I need cookies for the NJHS bake sale on Thursday . . . and Mr. Miller said not everyone can bring chocolate chip" . . . . except this seventeen year old psychopath says, "oh, yea, mom, community college is great, I still want to be a mortician and I cut a little girl to bits this week."

In other not-positive news:
1.  It's snowing and cold.  That's not necessarily bad.  In fact, I rather like the weather.  What I don't like is (we can probably all chime in together since I bitch about this every year) . . . Halloween.   I'm not a candy fan.  I'm not a dress up fan.  I'm certainly not a fan of making the world any MORE full of creeps, zombies or scary things than it already is.  I mean, really, we have real life creeps dressed up like Romney, Obama AND that psycho 17-year old child butcher, so HOW can it possibly be fun to put a scary mask on and intentionally try to scare people.  Call me a cupcake, I don't care.  I don't like to be scared.   Oh yea, back to the cold weather.  I also don't like designing cheap Halloween costumes over snow coats.  Grrrr.  Let's all sing this song together now . . .  it's beginning to look a lot like . . Halloween.

2.  Christmas.  The whole damn idea of the season has me on edge.  I wish there were an opt out button.  I don't want to this year.  I don't want to buy gifts, I don't want to play Christmas.  I don't want company in my house, yours, mine, or otherwise.  Especially family.  I don't want to do, really, ANY part of it.  Well, except the pumpkin pie and the winter break from school.  That whole admission also has me on edge.  My mom is stressing me out a little over Christmas.  I know she may read this.  It's okay.  Remember, my honesty curse.  MOTH's parents are also stressing me out over Christmas.  That may wind it's way back to them.  It's okay.  Again, I say, remember my honesty curse.  We might all be a little more healthy if we had the free range to admit to each other's faces, "you're stressing me out."

Plus, I'm frustrated.

Have you ever met one of those annoyingly chipper people in your life?  The kind that just naturally makes lemonade when they are handed lemons.  I'm talking about the smile through excruciating pain, reframe the negative, game face kind of people that just never seem, well, for lack of a better word . . . down.

Well, I'm one of those people.  I'm aware of it.  I am annoyingly positive.  I am the constant reframer.  I'm the silver lining girl.  I just AM.  I don't try.  It's one of my most authentic traits.  I don't get rattled when things don't go my way . . . I just reframe, make a plan B and carry on.  Like I said, it's who I am.    In my tight little circle, however, are a handful of (I actually can't decide) negative nellies OR people who are NORMAL, it's just that I'm so annoyingly positive that their normalcy even seems negative.    At any rate, within my life of unavoidable people, there are at least two critical team members that are just bummers in most cases.  I'm thinking I should protect their names.  But suffice it to say, that last night, I finally got openly frustrated at being the bridge.  I'm exhausted and tired and bummed out about ALWAYS being in the role of re-framing, looking for positive, helping pull through.  I think I'll let my negative nellies stew in their own juice today.   I'm tired of giving, giving, giving and feeling the life is being sucked out of me every second of every day.  I want a break from giving.  I want to let myself heal . . physically and mentally.

That sums up my ick post.  I'll be back to the silver lining girl in a few hours and may try to churn out something positive.  Please, psycho killers inspired by Criminal Minds . . . stay away.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

One last thing . . .

Last prank I pulled . . . uh, I stuck a pantiliner to Big's butt on the way out the house tonight.  She had no idea.  We were on our way to dinner for MOTH's birthday.  I was kind enough to peel it off of her keester before we walked into Old Chicago.  Her mouth dropped and a "YOU!!!" got stuck . . . but it was worth every second.

Last TV show I watched .  . . The Good Wife.  I think.  It might have been Grey's or Scandal.  I love TV. 

Last thing I cooked . . . . eggs and Canadian bacon for breakfast this morning.  It was disgusting but the kids eat it and I feel good about putting protein in front of them in the morning. 

Last time I exercised .  . . coming up on 4 weeks ago now.  I have had, er, um, multiple complications associated with the removal of my baby-making parts and I'm still forbidden to do more than walk.  I'm feeling like a squishy cream puff and feeling emotionally low . . . . am hoping to get clearance to start yoga next week, but it doesn't look good.  Sad me. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Mimi is getting to be hilarious.  Just gut wrenching, knee-slapping hilarious.  She's the toddler queen of one liners and she plainly sees life and all that happens around her through completely different lenses.  I've started a list in my phone, that I'm now capturing here . . .

Usually, her most profound laughables being with a thoughtful, "Mom, did you know . . . "

She is having an internal rule voted upon, bill passed, or making a decision about something global within the confines of her own mind.  It's plainly visible on her face.  She'll be doing something like jumping on my bed, then suddenly stop stock still and say, "Mom, did you know  . . hippos poop super big."

Usually, my eyes widen and I just agree.

Of late, these have been chart toppers that have just caught me off guard.

"Mom, did you know . . octopuses and sharks have NO bones in them. How can that EVEN be?"

"Mom, did you know . . . if you had an empty tissue box, you could use it for a piggy bank."

"Mom, did you know . . . hippos poop super big."

"Mom, did you know . . . dad knows everything about nut sacs."

"Mom, did you know . . . ice melts into water."

"Mom, did you know . . . when it's day on one side of the world, it's night on the other."

Speaking of other side of the world, she also said, "Mom, I learned that in China and Japan, where is that anyway?  Well, it's on the other side of the world and they write upside down and backward.  Like, they right from crayon hand (this is what she calls her right hand) to bracelet hand (her left).   Is that because they're upside down of us?"   Insightful.

I'm alive . . . .

Holy tornado of time!
I'm alive.
I've been busy as heck but I'm alive.

I'll make notes on Fall Festival . . . mostly for my future reference.  I'll catch up on Big, Middle, Little, Mimi.  I'll make birthday wishes. I'll post these hilarious things that have been perfectly bloggable.  They may be random, but that's so authentically me, I think it requires no editing.  So, so, so many posts coming to What The Heck Happened Here . . . soon.

Monday, October 08, 2012

School Photos

I got this question from Homestead via voicemail . . .

(insert:  beep)  Policy on school photos.  Ready go.  Do you do school photos?  Do you make them dress up?  Do you make them not dress up?  Do you buy the fancy package?  Do you buy the cheapest package?  Do you scan them?  Who do you give the photos to?  How do you label the backs of photos?  Changes between when your kids are little and when they get bigger and they want to give them to their friends and stuff? At what point does that happen?  How much do your photos cost?  Holy crap!  They got expensive this year.  Yea, backgrounds .  . . do you let them pick their own?  Discuss.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Holy cow.  There's nothing like voicemail from a friend to remind you of how complicated something can be.

Here's my policy on school photos.  Ooh, wait.  First, results for this year . . . .

I like stats on the back.  It would say "Middle; Fall 2012; 5th grade; Mr. Mann
76 pounds; 53 inches tall"

Little; Fall 2012; 3rd grade; Mr. Norkoli
62 pounds, 49 inches tall

And now the answers.

School pictures happen here twice.  Once in the fall and once in the spring.  I usually spring for both photos.  I buy the cheapest package available.  Always.  One year, the school went with a new vendor and I got suckered into a more expensive package.  For the record, it was a good deal, and I loved the pictures because they did really hip digital editing to them.  But as a rule, I go cheap.   I let the kids pick it all. They pick their outfits and their backgrounds and I don't edit them in those choices at all.  For instance, Little picked a red background, and this year, he made a valiant attempt to match the background.  When he was picking the way-too small polo shirt, which he hasn't worn since, uh, kindergarten, I said, "are you sure you want to wear red and be against a red background?"  He replied, "yea, it will look more bloodier."  So, okay, there you have it.  Red on red.  Middle picked that shirt off of the clearance rack at Kohl's and she loves it.  It's so very touch-ably soft and comfy and it's gymnastics team colors, so she loves it.  She calls it her "droopy shirt".  She was more about accessorizing (see the handmade glass bead bracelet and the tiny necklace?) than apparel.  She's into details like that and she'll remember that she made that bracelet for herself forever.   I don't much care about the sizes of photos.  I don't give them to anyone.  They are for our own personal records and keepsakes.    Yes, I label the backs. See captions.  I like their height and weight on there.  Call me anal. I print extra labels so that I can put that info next to the photo in their school albums and in the school file box.   See, call me anal.  I missed my calling as an organizer.  It gives me a high.  Back to photos.   So far, and I'm not sure this will stay . . . . kids don't exchange photos like they did when we were little.  They just snap photos of each other doing stupid things on their phones, and a picture like this doesn't go into that special place.  It doesn't carry the meaning that it used to.  It's not signed and you don't have to spend time worrying if your message is stupid or delivering pictures to friends.  Thank God.  Middle school is complicated enough without school photo drama superimposed.  Big would rather have a picture of her bestie with  nachos hanging out of her mouth or of one of  her volleyball friends trying to balance a volleyball on her nose.  Anyhoo . . . . Eleven bucks.  Each of the packages above was $11.  Mimi hasn't had school pictures yet this semester.  Big missed her school picture day for an orthodontics appointment.  She'll also miss re-take day.  Hmm.  I'll try to snap a picture of her with nachos hanging out of her mouth to commemorate the semester.

What else, Homey?  Gimme another question . . . and answer the same.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Dear Homestead,

For the love of God, get texting on your phone.  I have things to report.  Get unlimited.


No, really, it's a real word!!

galump - /guh-LUMP/ -- a chunk or blob of something left over, as in, at the end of a sundae, or at the bottom of a dish, to run, but to do so in a clumsy and stupid manner, or (n) gurgling sound or (v) make deep bubbling noise that liquid makes when poured from a bottle

Or, in our house, the clump of spaghetti that comes through stuck to itself.  We consider it lucky.  To consume it is paradise.  Fights have broken out in attempt to get the galump.  Blood has been shed.

Monday, October 01, 2012

A little grumpy with a bone to pick

Okay, so here is what happened.

On Thursday, the 20th, I had surgery.
Thursday night, I spent the night in the hospital.  Friday, my husband came to get me and I got home.  I walked in the door and went to the couch.  That's where I stayed except for to take small walks until mid afternoon on Saturday.   Saturday night, I got in the car with my family and we ran a drive thru errand.  Sunday, I slept an hour later than usual, and moved from one chair to the next, spending most of my time on the couch watching a football game.  Well, and some time reading to stuffed animals and playing quiet games with my kids.  Cards.  We play alot of cards.

Last week, I took it really easy.  Really easy.  By Saturday night, I was done taking narcotics.  I'd be the worst drug addict ever because I despise the way medicine makes me feel.  I just hate it.  I'd rather be in a little bit of pain and feel "with it" than be pain free and a feel like a pile of garbage.    Because I was done taking narcotics and stir crazy as hell, I drove to pick Mimi up from school on Monday afternoon.  Safer than walking that far, I say.  I had made arrangements for someone to help me with that, but she forgot.  Ahem.  She forgot and by they time she finally answered the phone so that I could confirm she wasn't coming, I was already 20 minutes late.  So, yes, I drove.

Tuesday, I had driver plans to get Mimi to gymnastics but she forgot.  Again.  So another awesome friend came for transport.  We were out of the house for an hour.  The rest of the day and night I spent on the couch.  Or in the chair in the backyard.  Or at the computer.  Resting.  I rested.  A lot.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Repeat.  I went to school on Friday morning.  I was also there for a few minutes on Thursday afternoon.  Why?  Because it's not safe for my kids to walk home during a tornado warning.  So, yes, I was there briefly.  Very briefly.

On Friday, I had a follow up call with a triage nurse.  All's well.  Incisions looking good.  One seeped fluid for a day or two after surgery and then didn't approximate very well, but it was dry and looked alright.  Pain in good control.  Getting back to normal.  Good news.

Friday night, I started feeling crappy.  UTI crappy.  So I hit it with OTC and comfort measures that any well-trained OB nurse knows.  I hit cranberry tablets hard and treated with Uristat and fluids.  And rest.  

Saturday, MOTH took Middle to her meet.  I stayed on the couch and watched movies.  Several of them.  On Saturday, I sent a text message to my doctor and told him I needed meds for a UTI.  We're close like that.  I was out of the house for about an hour mid-day, but aside from that, was resting.  I did extra resting so I was in top shape to go see the Kellogg's Tour of Champions with Middle and Big. and the rest of the 50+ parents and kids that made group reservations.  It was awesome and I would not have missed it for the world.  I came home happy, feeling tired and peeing orange.  No biggie.

Saturday night, in the middle of the night, the scab on my one incision peeled up.  And it was nasty underneath.  Gross.  Nasty with a capital N.  So . . . . I changed my mind on the UTI meds and called in a broad spectrum antibiotic.  And a Diflucan for good measure.  And I started First Aid 101 with my wound.  By this morning, it looked like crap.  So I went in and had it looked at.

Yes, it's infected.  I could have told you that.
But it't not deep, which is what I was concerned about .. . that the whole shaft of the lap entry was infected. It's not even deep enough to pack.
He picked at it for a while and removed a bunch of soft tissue that I had peroxided the hell out of.  And a bunch of ooky gooky crud that was the end of neosporin gunge.  And I have to go back on Wednesday so that he can sew me back together.  So, for now, I have a gaping nasty hole in the side of my abdomen.  It's gonna scar.  Big Time.  It's totally gonna scar.  When this is all said and done, it's gonna look like an exit would.

The point of this rant is these words . . . .

Infections happen to anyone and everyone.  Anyone and everyone gets a UTI.  So my having these things is NOT because I didn't REST enough.  Seriously, I have never been more sedentary than in the days since September 20th.  I have not done a fraction of my normal activity.  Believe me, I am SO resting.  My doctor told me today . . . . you're fine, this is nothing, it's okay, this could have happened to anyone.  It's not because you walked to the mailbox, came off Vicodin early or drove a car last week.  Shit just happens.

That's it.  Shit just happens.  And with my shit, I get a cool scar that looks like an exit wound.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just what's not to love about this?  The white dane is blind.  The merle is his seeing-eye-dog. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Random Things in Photo Form

I like flowers.  These were a nice addition to brighten the kitchen in the post surgery window.
And, bonus!  They are still alive!  

Lids.  One of the smartest things I have EVER done in  my career as a mother is let my children collect trash.  Well, not all trash.  Lids, specifically.  We have hundreds of lids in cool bins and they use them for everything from horse tanks to animal fishtanks.  They make great manipulatives for teaching math, awesome paint reservoirs, perfect little pallets for painting itty-bitty projects.  Collecting lids was a really, really good idea. 

Middle is happy.  Well, happi-ER.  She got clearance this week to swing bars, so she gets to DO something at the gym . . . other than endless time on the elliptical, stretching & strength.  I picked her up on Tuesday and she was swinging giants (thank the Gods, she hadn't lost it).  On top of it, John Orozco was at the gym.  He's in town with the Kellogg's Tour of Champions and he stopped by to make some dreams come true.  He signed her sweatshirt and she was on cloud nine. 

Mimi wore Little's underwear to school on Wednesday.
Long. Awkward.  Pause. While you think about that. 

Dear Costco, If you fill the kiddie area up with stuff, my child has to either (1) stay with you in the store or (2) ride on the end like you keep telling me NOT to do.  I like her on the end.  She think the rumble strip is fun.  This is pre-surgery, by the way.  I'm not lifting.  I swear, I'm not.  

Isn't this spider cool?  This is Charlotte.  She got the bomb-diggity spot in our yard.  She comes down every night to chomp what's in the net, and spends the rest of the day up under the eve of our kitchen bay window.  The net is gonna look so cool with the first frost.  It's right outside the kitchen and we've had so much fun watching this spider! 

Inquiring minds want to know.  I want to know, but I really can't find the answer.
Why do some trees (this one is our Maple in the front yard) have a single branch that turns color long before the rest of the tree?   Someone please comment and tell me. 

It's official . . . .

. . . . I'm the mother of a teenager.  Note to self:  sending her a Dora card on her birthday every year did not work to keep her little and young.  Oh, no.  She's a teen.  But not a terrible teen.  She's a terrific teen.  Terrific, for sure . . . .

Drumroll, please. 
Here she is . . Big.  Now Thirteen. 
Oh, yea, welcome to the wonderful world of orthodontics. 
I'm pro-ortho all the way, especially in kids where you can use the growth of their jaw and mouth to prevent costly and lengthy adult oral appliances later.  

We're 6 weeks in to ortho with Big.  She's broken two brackets already. 
Awesome.  But that's another blog.  This is her birthday, for Pete's sake. 

Look, I'm sidetracked already.
Check out this awesome french fishtail that I wind into a conch shell looking bun.
It holds all day and all night and looks perfectly messy.
I should have been a beautician. 

Happy birthday breakfast muffin.
We're cool like that. 

Ooh.  I let the little siblings go ape shit in her room with birthday banners,
streamers & a portable helium tank.  Here's what they did in only 40 minutes. 

Happy birthday to you . . .
Happy birthday to you  . . .
Happy birthday dear Big Kid,
Happy birthday to you! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday, Monday, la la lalalah.

Or perhaps it should be blah-la, blah-la-la.

So.  It's Monday.  And I have some massive catching up to do.  Massive catching up.  My in-basket is full to the brim.  Overflowing.  Over-friggin'-flowing.  But I'm blogging instead.  As is my style when I have a scattered brain, I shall make a list.  Here are the things rattling around in the forefront of my mind.

1.  Anyone remember my rants about FlexSpending last year?  Yeah. I'm STILL trying to sort that shit out.  Bad word.  Bad word.  It's definitely been more of a pain in the ass than it's been worth this year.  And now, with Middle's fractured back and bills beginning to arrive for medical miscellany including a $580 MRI, I could really use that flex money that we so wisely set aside.  Ah, if only it were available and hadn't been taken from the wrong calendar year.  Grrr.  Hiss.
2.  Surgery.  I had surgery on Thursday.  It went well.   I think.  Obviously, I was out cold, but it really hasn't been that bad.  Yes, there is pain, but in my most honest moments, it's just a different kind of pain -- not really any worse than the every day pain I was experiencing before.   I had a partial hysterectomy.  My awesome doctor was able to salvage both of my ovaries.  He's awesome like that, plus he didn't want to pay for laser hair removal of my Mexican-teenage-boy-moustache if he had to take both ovaries, too.  Saving the ovaries was a miracle since they were infested (yes, infested) with ginormous cysts.  So, I'm on to a life with no uterus .  . .
3.  Middle's back is still broken.  Yes, it's been a full month.  We've been through the waiting game.  She is climbing the walls.  Meets are truly torturous hell.  She desperately wants to go and be part of it all, but not being in her competition leo and taking part in everything is a very painful reminder of all the things she cannot do.  I am doing my level best to embrace the life lesson.  Still, I have to admit, "this sucks."
4.  Big turns 13 this week.  Officially.  Thirteen.  Really?  Am I that old?  I guess I'm old enough to have no uterus, so that's old enough to have a teenager.  Still, ee-gads.
5.  Fall festival at school is still consuming me.  I have a lot  (A LOT) of work to do for it.  I'll start again today.  I needed a few days of nothingness post surgery.
6.  Meals.  Friends are bringing meals.  That is really, really helpful.  It's one of those things that I didn't really realize the value of until . . . . and now every chance I get to participate in an "I'll bring you a meal" program, I jump on it . . . cause it sure is nice!
7.  Hospital water pitchers are cool.
8.  Middle.  Room make-over for her birthday.  Start thinking.  Go.
9.  Holy cow . . it's almost October.  That means Christmas is right around the corner.  Panic is nearly setting in.
10.  The time goes so fast.  I have to go pick up Mimi.  Yes, I'm safe to drive.  Fear not.  I'd walk, but it's kind of far .  . . and I'm actually not sure I can make it there and back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm falling to pieces . . . .

. . . something happened when I turned 33.  I know it was thirty-three.  I just remember the year.  Suddenly, I felt achy and old and tired.  Not me.  I thought I had a thyroid problem.  But no.  It was nothing medical, just a redefined new normal for me.

And now, I think it's happening again.

Partly.  And probably, I'm just a little unsettled right now.

I'm having surgery tomorrow.  I really don't want to, however, I know it's necessary and I keep clinging to the silver lining and the "things will be better when it's over" line.  Still . . .  the simple truth remains. I don't want to do a bowel prep.  I don't want to have parts ripped from me, regardless of whether or not I really need them anymore.  I don't want to feel groggy and in pain.  I just don't want to.

To add insult to injury, I tweaked my back on Monday.  The kind of thing that just hurts . . . all over achy, difficult to change positions, can't get comfortable, and it makes me kind of cranky.  Damn.  And because I'm having surgery tomorrow, I can't take ibuprofen or naproxyn to help with pain.  So, I'm hobbling around trying to make it through the day with no pain meds or something left on board from the night before.  Ick.  Yuck.  Blah.

Suffice it to say, I'll be glad when it's over.

Planning this ginormous Fall Festival at school is on my plate and there is A LOT to it.  Like, holy crap, A LOT.  It's consuming me

Work . . . . heavy sigh.  Just a heavy sign.  It's so good and so bad all at the same time.  That's all I can say.  And give another heavy, long, sign.

Kids are great . . . kids are great . . . kids are great . . . . I think they are keeping me from truly falling to pieces right now.  Thank God for the direction and tasks and busyness that they provide.  Just thank God.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Last Thing . . .

Last Family Vacation . . . . We did Orlando, Florida in mid-June.  Disney, Universal Studios & the whole 9-yards.  It's good to have checked that box, but it wasn't our cup of tea and we likely won't opt for a Disney-type vacation again.

Last Thing I Cooked . . .  Well, there's a lasagna in the oven right now, but I didn't cook it.  I just unwrapped it.  I am making the breadsticks that are going with it, though.  Cooking and baking are different to me.

Last Game I Played  . . . Mimi is wild about card games right now, so every day, I play at least 100 games of Go Fish, Old Maid or War.  She's gonna be great at poker and I've started teaching her basics.

Last Time I Took Public Transportation . . .  Uh, the light rail.  Denver.  Probably two years ago.

Last Splurge . . . We've been on a complete spending freeze, so my last splurge was probably during that family vacation to Orlando.  I guess I splurged on school supplies, but I really thought Mimi needed a new box of crayons, too.  They were 24 cents, and I hardly call that a splurge.

The Last Ball Game . . .

Finally!! A picture with Sox.  The kids have practically been stalking him all season . . . wanting pictures and autographs.  Middle wanted to do a handstand on the dugout for a free t-shirt.  He is so fun to watch and has one bodacious bootie wiggle!  Check out Mimi's panicked get-me-away-from-him look!

The last ball game of the summer is sort-of a sad event for me.  I really like ball games.  Is that weird for a chick?  Anyway, over Labor Day weekend, we had tickets for two . . . the last night game where the Avengers were assembling and the last day game, on Labor Day. 

The night game was awesome.  Super fun.  I was bummed that Tulo and Giambi weren't playing, but we still had a really good time and the fireworks were Ahhh-mazing.  Absolutely amazing.

The last day game was HOT.  Holy hot.  The kind of hot that makes the air get stuck in your throat.  It was almost a two-snow-cone game for me and the kids.  Which means it was much, much more than a two beer game for daddy.  Combine beer with ball game and daddy and "happy daddy" made an appearance.  Happy, tipsy, borderline drunk daddy was hilarious and one of the kids even said, "was daddy like this when you guys were dating?"  Funny.

Anyhoo . . . . after the game, all the spectators are allowed on the field, which I think is SO stinkin' cool.  Just to stand in the batter's box or go all the way out to centerfield and look IN toward the stadium is such awesome perspective.  So we did . . .

Hot, hot, hot.  We all look a mess, but it was super-fun!! 

It's a long way from way out here!! That's one heck of an arm . . . 

Big planking in the middle of centerfield.  Nice. 

Oh Boy . . .

Could life get any crazier?  Be any busier?

I'm working on coordinating the main fundraiser at the elementary school.  It's absolutely crazy . . . lots of little things that I'm just hoping and praying come together for a perfect autumn night.  Hoping.  Praying.  Work is absolutely nutty right now.  Busy, busy, busy.

Big broke another bracket.  Seriously.  I think our orthodontist needs better glue.  Second one.  Already.  The girl has only had braces for a month.  And it's not like she's munching down on hard candy, carmel corn & gummy bears.  It's salad, for the love of Pete.

Middle.  Ah, Middle.  Broken back.  To be continued.

Little.  Thank Heavens for stability and predictability.  It's him, through and through.

Mimi.  Started school.   She's all kinds of big now.  Very independent.  Very full of herself.  Very worldly and knowledgable.  She'll be over-preaperd when kindergarten time rolls around next year.  She just will be.

I've been (cough, cough) sick again.  Allergies.  Then a head cold.  Then a chest cold.  It's hanging around.

MOTH.  Hurt his back.  He's been hobbling around, complaining very little but silently suffering in a very visible way.  Poor guy.  Three bad backs in one house.  It's a sad month around here.

I have pictures to post from this summer, when I have time to sit and catch up.  Right now, I just want to keep my head above water.  Ten days until surgery.  I'm getting a bit nervous.

Two hours until I pick up kids today -- early because they all have dentist appointments.  Two hours.  And I still need a shower and a workout.  Might not get it all done today.  Sad, sad, sad.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Granny Square Washcloth, to Crochet

Random.  I know.  But I really like this pattern and I'm afraid I'm gonna lose it if I don't put it somewhere safe.

Blogging has become so much more than it used to be.  It's also my gigantic digital filing cabinet.


5 mm; size 8 or size needed for gauge

Gauge:  13 dc and 6 1/2 rows = 4 inches

Ch 5. Join with sl st to form a ring.
1st rnd:  ch 3 (counts as dc). {3 dc. [ch 2. 4 dc]} 3 times in the ring.  ch 2.  join with sl st to top of ch 3.  2nd rnd:  ch 3 (counts as dc)  1 dc in each of next 3 dc {2 dc.  ch 2.  2 dc} in next ch-2 space.  * 1 dc in each of next 4 dc {2 dc ch 2. 2 dc} in each ch-2 space.  repeat from * twice more.  join with sl st to top of ch 3.
3rd to 8th rnd: ch 3 (counts as dc) * 1 dc in each dc to next ch-2 space. {2 dc.  ch 2.  2 dc} in each ch-2 space.  repeat from * three times. 1 dc in each dc to end of rnd.  Join with sl st to top of ch 3.
9th rnd:  ch 1.  1 sc in each dc around, having 3 sc in corner ch-2 spaces.  join with sl st to 1st sc.  finish off.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

A green belt . . . with a black stripe . . .

My son thinks he can be a black belt by the time he's in 6th grade, if he tests every cycle between now and then.  And guess what?  He's totally right.  Here he is at last testing . . . . my goodness, he looks little.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm sick.


Or something.

At any rate, I'm sick.  And miserable.  My head is feeling great big and I'm tired.  Really, really tired.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Mimi came in at 6:04.  "I'm scared of the branches scratching my window."
We snuggled and I told her, for about the 18th time, that I'd trim them today.  Yea, that didn't get done. I can't flippin' reach.  She went back to sleep in the crook of my arm, but my mind was wide awake.

So I got up.

And checked email.
And sent email.
Checked in on work.
There was so much in there I quit before I started and went to the school stuff.
Sent an email to all of Middle's teachers . . . . activity restrictions, back fracture, emotional stuff.  That was tough to write.  Processed a 31 return.  Went back to work.  Responded to a few things.  Filed a few things.  Tried specifically to do the things that wouldn't suck me in too far, since I'd have to abandon desk chair to get the kids up in short order.

Made coffee.  Made myself sit outside for five minutes and watch the squirrel. I do love the crazy antics of the little bushy tailed troublemaker we call Doorknob.

Came in.  Got the kids going.  Made breakfast.  Signed  planners.  Wrote notes.  Paid PTA dues.  Packed lunches.  Packed snacks.  Tied shoes and I was out the door with the elementary crew on time.  We walked.  It was already hot at 7:50 am.  I walked home.  Helped Mimi with her scooter and we walked Big to school.  I almost caused a crash from someone pointing out the window and laughing at me riding a scooter with Mimi down the street.  Whatev.  Speaking of which, I HATE the word whatever.  Laziest word in the world.  But I said it anyway.

Got home.  Started Mimi coloring.  Called the orthodontist.  Rescheduled Middle.  Rescheduled Little.  Called the pediatrician.  Rescheduled Middle.  Rescheduled Little.  I can't be on an operating table and at a well-child check in the same hour.  I guess well children will have to wait.  Called Middle's PT . .  can we get another pain patch?  Speaking of which, those buggers are a God-send.

MOTH texted . . . . work started rolling in.  Mimi's doing stickers now.  I needed coffee but opted for a protein bar and water.  Happy with my choice.  I took Mimi outside with a stop watch.  She times me and cheered me on while I did plios and a fast-at-home workout.  Not really that fun.  Had a long conversation with business partner.  Sigh.  We have a lot of things to do.  We are overwhelmed.  But we've identified some of the problem.  Now, if we could just find a fix.

Started receiving email replies about Middle's back.

Shower.  Quick get ready.  Puzzle with Mimi.  Another puzzle with Mimi.  Lunch.  Turkey wrap.  Happy with another good decision.  Made dinner.  Happy by feeling maternal and prepared.  Had a fundraising meeting with a bunch of awesome mom-friends.  We're getting a ton of things done and I'm so glad.

Put Mim on her bike.  Walked to get the elementary school kids.  They both looked terrible.  Little's frustrated with one of his pullouts, "We have to write an ESSAY . . . and I don't even know what that means!!!"  He's exasperated but effected enough to cry.  Sad.  Middle's at the kitchen table crying in frustration because she can't figure out how much fat is in 3 pounds of pastrami if it's 15% fat content.  Sad.   I did math.  With both of them.  I did homework.  They snacked.  On apples.  Happy with a good choice for them.  I loaded Middle and took her to pick up her new glasses, then zoomed back into the neighborhood to pick up Big.

Big's home and I realize I forgot to pick up french bread.  No time to make it.  Middle's bored to tears.  She can't jump on the trampoline.  She can't run in the backyard.  She can't DO anything.  She can't swing on monkey bars.  She's frustrated beyond words.  MOTH loads her back up and they go up to the Dollar Store looking for team building gifts for the first meet.  She wants to make something for each of her team mates since she can't compete.  I can't argue with that logic, even though we are on a spending freeze.  And they can pick up French Bread while I work with Big.  She has her first math quiz tomorrow.  On a sidenote . . . . I wasn't aware she was in 9th grade math.  Hmmm.  Again, lazy word.  Whatev.  But it's a fast-paced class.  Holy cow.  I'm a little worried about her missing all of 5th grade and all of 8th grade math.  Hmm.  I'm going to ponder that.  And she has fundraising stuff she wants to work on.  And science homework.  She spreads out and takes up the whole darn kitchen at homework time.

I'm still working.  Sending emails.  Dealing with some PTA stuff.  Texting the PA about Middle's back.  Aye, aye, aye . . . preliminary MRI results look like she already fractured her left side, too.

Dinner.  Was delish.  Middle's still restless and begging for some exercise.  I abandon dished, laundry and house clean up and take her to the pool.  We swim for 30 minutes.  I'll blog about swimming later.  This is what I know:  I needed it as much as she did.  When we get home, Big is done, MOTH has put Mimi to bed and is reading to Little, the dishes are done, the laundry is switched and there is a nice, cool breeze blowing through the house.  Hallelujah, I say.

I'm blogging.  Then tucking the big girls in.  Then sitting on my butt until I fall asleep and start this daily, crazy life again . . . hopefully tomorrow at 6:30 instead of 6:04.  Oh, and I've got to trim those darn branches!!!

This week . . . .

Meals this week . . . because I'm inspiring Homestead . . . .

Sunday . . . .  spaghetti night . . MOTH made it.  He likes to make spaghetti.  I just like it when someone else (anyone else) cooks.

Monday . . . . Crock Pot Lasagna . . . Oh, holy mother, it was wildly successful.  Leftover sauce from last night's spaghetti night, cheese mixture plus no bake lasagna noodles.  In the crock pot.  Fix it and forget it.  And it was delish!

Tuesday . . . . French Dips, also a la crock pot.

Wednesday . . . . BFD . . . That's breakfast for dinner.  This week, it's pancakes, hash browns & scrambled eggs.  We love BFD night.

Thursday . . . Fish . . . salmon with broccoli and quinoa.  Tragically healthy . . . one of my favorites.

Friday . . . Fend for yourself and forage night.

Saturday . . . . We have tickets to the ballgame, and after two weeks of home cookin', I'm kind-of looking forward to a pizza at the ballpark.