Monday, February 27, 2006

Blowin' in the wind

I HATE WIND!!!! A guaranteed, automatic, make-me-so-grouchy-I-could-scream mood inducer.

And now someone else I know is grouchy so guess I'd better go...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Something died in there...

So I'm not sure what it was but I suspect a raw chicken juice leak that turned rancid. In any case, I opened the fridge the other day and about passed out. Eeeeewwwww! What an awful smell! So I cleaned it out, bleached it and left baking soda inside. Still smells. Two days have passed and it doesn't smell as bad but there is definitely still an odor in there. Now I've got the fridge door open, the back door open, and a ceiling fan on in hopes of clearing it out a little more.

Made it to the bus stop on time today.

For the moment, the girls are playing happily outside. We'll see how long it lasts before someone gets hurt, cold, or bored.

So the cleaning bug must have been evicted with the spiders yesterday. My momentum has been lost and I've wasted most of the morning on the computer. Doing things but nothing of great importance. I even got up early to go work out. No boot camp class today so I decided to use my new gym pass I bought last week. Unfortunately the only class available on Thursday mornings at 6 is the cycle spin class. Not a lot of fun - may try to do that twice a month only. I told A just last night that getting up to work out makes me more productive (for the morning anyway) but apparently that's not completely true! The laziness of Tues and Thurs mornings without any engagements wins out (no school, dr appts, playdates, etc).

Guess I'd better go figure out what's for dinner because whatever it is will need to be thawed out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Spider Eviction

So I decided after a weekend of failed attempts to complete various projects that I was going to try very hard today to accomplish SOMETHING! (I have decided that laundry, dishes, etc. do not count since they are ongoing, won't be done until you die tasks! And even though some days they don't get done at all, they do not count for accomplishments on the days that they do.)

The lucky winner of the project lottery... Changing the lightbulb in the foyer. This bulb has been burnt out for quite some time now, possibly even months.... It bugs me that it is out since I used to use it a lot. Lucky for me, Ron left the ladder out in the garage where I could easily get it and bring it in to the house (we have one of those super-high foyers). And actually thinking ahead for once, I checked to make sure I had a replacement BEFORE I brought the ladder in (because with my luck we wouldn't have any replacement bulbs!). We had bulbs so off to work I go. While I'm up there, I decide to pull out my super-long duster and clean off all those thousands of spider webs (hence the title of today's post) though technically I think all the spiders had already vacated the premises. If the web is so dusty you can see it, chances are the spiders have moved on... :) And then I decided that I might as well clean the large mirror. And while I'm at it, why not get out the vaccuum and the water/sponge to clean the floor. Over an hour later... clean foyer! Woo Hoo!

For those of you wondering how all of this could actually be accomplished in a single stream of uninterrupted work... No kids in the house! No, I didn't lock them in the shed. Ryan was a school and stayed late for science class. The girls were at Grandma D's for a long visit (Grandma D and Bella missed each other over the weekend while Bella was in Alb.)

And now my "coffee break" is over... Time to go pick up Ryan then fix dinner.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Thrift Shop Treasure

We headed out to C today for a peek at the furniture outlet that is closing. It seemed a waste to drive all that way for only that one stop (still no couch for those of you following the condo couch saga!) so I decided to head over to another shopping center to see if I could find the children's thrift shop and used book store that were supposed to be there. I happened across a teaching supplies store so we wandered there first. Spent more than we should but it's all in the name of education so that makes it okay, right? The ladies there pointed me in the direction of the stores I was looking for and off we went.

First stop, kids' consignment shop. Dropped Ryan and Felisa in the play bin and took a look around. Picked up a pair of shorts for Ryan (can't remember what size he was wearing last summer so not sure how we're doing on that... but another pair of jean shorts never hurts!) and a box of six 100 piece animal puzzles for Ryan. 100 pieces seems to be a good size for him to do independently - challenging but not frustrating. Then I picked up Felisa and discovered her wet undies (that's right folks - I've given in and started the potty training officially. She really is doing remarkably well considering she's just turned 2!) So pay for the purchases then head back to the car to drop the bag and change Felisa. Then Ryan and I needed to go potty to so we went back to the kids' shop once more for a pit stop.

Second stop, the general thrift store next door. This was the best one of the day. Picked up 3 games, and a puzzle for $5. Ryan calls these stores "The Leftovers Store". I made sure to point out the low price we paid for the big stack of stuff and that our money was going to help families in need. Not sure if he was listening but maybe it will soak in subconsciously! Back to the car to drop the bag.

Last stop, used book store. Not a single Magic Tree House book - must be very popular! Prices seemed decent though you really had to search to find what you wanted in the kids' section. Didn't venture into the adult aisles since Felisa was about shopped out by this point. Did find though, amazingly enough, a video of The Witches by Roald Dahl that we had just finished listening to. So of course we got it then headed home to watch. As usual, the movie was a little different than the book and there were a couple scary parts that Ryan didn't like but overall it was nicely done. Perhaps we can donate it to the library for their video collection when we are done. It seems like all of their videos (at least at our branch) are short - no feature length films. We did get Mouse Detective though once, on loan from another branch.

So, all in all, I would say that it was a good afternoon.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Frozen diapers and coffee dreams

Morning already?!?!

Well when we finally made it home at 11 last night, it was so cold outside that I just grabbed the kids and left all the stuff in the car. Including the video I had promised Ryan he could watch this morning before church. Keep in mind that a week ago we had a foot of snow outside, but after a week of gorgeous 60 degree weather there are barely a few specks of snow left anywhere. The temperature this morning however is a frigid 11 degrees. Brrrrrr! Quite a shock to the system. And since it was so cold last night and I didn't bring anything in from the car, I had the pleasure of fetching the movie inside this morning. Along with 5 frozen pee pee diapers!

So you'd think I would be tired after a 2 hour drive and ready for bed. I was ready for bed - PJs on and under the covers right away. But that coffee I bought before we left M made me less than sleepy. Lucky for me it is Showtime Free Preview Weekend so I watched Guess Who with Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher until finally going to sleep at 2 a.m. And my sleep was of course peppered with the totally bizarre and never restful dreams that follow any too-late in the day caffeine I drink. Last night involved chasing bad guys after having been turned into a mouse. The mouse part is compliments of the Witches book we were listening to in which the narrator is turned into a mouse when he is discovered hiding at the Witches Annual Meeting.

And so now Ryan wants breakfast, as I'm sure Felisa does too, so I guess I'd better get cracking.

Our trip to M

Ron and Bella have gone off to Alb for the weekend. Leaving me with 2 little ones to entertain... didn't think bedtime would ever arrive last night!

Ran a few errands this morning then a 2 hour drive to St M. Probably wouldn't have taken too long but I made a few wrong turns. And didn't bring a map. But I willed myself there and eventually found the highway I was looking for. We were able to listen to 3 of the 5 disks of Witches by Roald Dahl. I enjoy listening to audio books while on a road trip - helps the miles to click by that much faster.

We had a very nice visit with our friends. Margo is so full of fun and life and energy and just craziness! Rick is goofy and fun too. The kids (4 boys and now a baby girl!) are sweet. But they are boys, so my sensitive self is often overwhelmed! Makes the Baby 4 and 5 campaign of Ron's a mute point. After today, no way Jose!

Rick, Margo and I played dominoes today. First time I've ever played - it was fun! While we played, the kids were playing. The same thing happened this time that happened on our last visit... their yard is not fenced and their kids have pretty much free reign to go anywhere on their court. Which means out of the yard and even out of sight. I let Ryan go out with them for awhile but I was completely nervous and stressed out the entire time he was gone. Luckily he went without a jacket so got cold and came back shortly.

So am I a bad mom because I let him go with the other boys alone or am I a bad mom, too overprotective? My vote today for the former rather than the latter. Only time will tell if I ever change my vote.

Friday, February 17, 2006

What is my passion?

So today I am reading The Circle of Simplicity, Return to the Good Life by Cecile Andrews. I am on the chapter, Finding and Living Your Passion. The book says that when you are involved in your passion, you become completely absorbed, losing all track of time and emerging with a sense of peace and fulfillment. So what is MY passion? I stopped to ponder this issue for a moment. And I have no idea! The only thing I could think of was reading. Which is all well and good but how does that affect anyone other than me? What good can come of reading? Sure, I feel great but there is nothing else to be gained by that. Which means I need to find my other passion. But I have absolutely NO IDEA what that might be.



Most of us would like to end our lives feeling both that we had a good time and that we left the world a little better than we found it.

-Philip Slater

He's baaaaack...

Another Friday, another Holy Hard Workout, Batman! John's Friday Fun workout today consisted of Suicide Drills (remember those?!?) and lunges. For like an hour... ugh. Jello legs once again and I'm sure sore legs will follow.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Quote of the Day

"All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Lucy Van Pelt (Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)

Nickel and Dimed

Over the weekend I finished reading the book Nickel and Dimed, on (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich.

It was an easy read, very interesting. A good personal review of what it's like trying to live as a minimum wage worker working in America today (published 2001). This lady, already a writer, in her 50's decides to see if she can live for one month each in 3 different cities working at any unskilled labor job she can find. She worked as a waitress, a maid, and at Walmart. Needless to say, she didn't really succeed in any location.

I like that it gives a personal view of what it's like. From the viewpoint of a "Have" on what it's like to live as a "Have-Not". A few statistics thrown in. But personal. I really enjoyed it at least as long as you discount the guilt that came with the reading. As a Have, it was easier to relate to the author's perspective. It also made the struggle that much more significant. Makes me want to do something. Not sure what, though.

Guess I'll start with good tips and good manners. Put things back where I found them. Be polite to those who are helping me. All things that I should do anyway. And I think that I do, pretty much. But with renewed vigor now. And of course, to teach the kids along the way, respect for others.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Felisa's diapers (or lack thereof!)

So once again we have made it out of the house and to a public place only to discover that Felisa has once again dressed herself but without a key element... a diaper! We are 2 for 2 in discovering this BEFORE she pees all over the place but I'm sure my luck is running out. Apparently she is ready for potty-training but it's just so cold I've been trying to hold off until warmer weather arrives, knowing how often she'll end up naked during the process. I may not be able to wait!

If only I were not so easily distracted and scatter-brained when trying to get 3 kids out of the house, I would remember to add the diaper after she gets dressed and before we leave!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The lazy way

So I have long been on a quest to find some activites to suggest when the kids say... I don't know what to do now... Activities that do not require any intervention or work from me. I was browsing the library the other day looking for a book I had read but couldn't remember the title(It was The Happy Family) and I found this book - Keep Your Kids Busy The Lazy Way. The summary on the back promises ideas for keeping the kids busy and happy, sans TV, and (I quote) "without having to turn yourself into a full-time coach and activity planner". Aha, I think - this is what I have been looking for. So I checked it out and read it. Turns out I'm already doing it the Lazy Way. That's not good news. Apparently I have reached the minimum level of parental involvement already. Which is too bad - I was hoping to find more suggestions for keeping them busy without needing me so I can do all those other things I have to do everyday (dishes, laundry, cooking, etc - you know the drill!) It is officially hopeless.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The snow has arrived...

Where are the snow plows?

I was supposed to be out all day scrapping. Went to church last night in preparation for being gone today. But then the snow started to fall.... and fall... and fall...

Such is life. I'll try not to dwell on where I could be but instead look for good things in where I am. We had an absolutely lovely spontaneous potluck last night with the G family. They were at church last night as well and we decided to hang out together, enjoying their fireplace while watching the snow and the Olympics. I had actually prepared ahead of time for a change so I had a pot of French Onion soup and ceasar salad to contribute. We made up some quick salami rolls and brought the Entemenns cake to round it all out. Walking home was magical. I love the calm the blanket of snow brings. No cars, no sounds, no one else out and about but our family, walking down the street, enjoying the snow. Warms my heart...

I also love the neighborly family feeling that comes out after the storm when everyone is out shovelling rather than rushing off somewhere or hanging out inside in front of the TV (or whatever it is other families do at home). We talk and laugh and shovel... Also warms my heart...

And now it is time to warm all of me in a round of shovelling. Ron had round one. He says the plow just came through so now I have to go dig out the ends of the driveways. We try to always do our 2 neighbors and the house across the street. Just the single women as Ron said this morning. :) Never mind that they are all retired or almost so... single is single. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Where's the snow?

So here it is almost noon, and we are still waiting for the 4-12 inches they have predicted. We have had freezing rain all morning. Time will tell if this is yet another case of the weather forecasters predicting a HUGE BLIZZARD that turns out to be 2 inches of snow. People freak out like crazy around here. The store was a zoo yesterday. I guess time will tell...

Bella got to spend the night with Grandma D last night. She has been asking off and on for awhile and with renewed persistance after Santa brought sleeping bags for Christmas! So we found a Friday night that she wasn't sick and there were no Saturday plans for either family and decided to go ahead and let her stay. Grandma D says she slept 10 hours straight through, no problem. The last time she stayed overnight was 2 years ago when Felisa was born. When she woke up that morning she said "Wheeeee!" Guess she wasn't too traumatized by being away from home... :)

And now I have received that call that Felisa is ready to come home. Guess I'll take Ryan up with me to fetch her.

The Pinkathon will have to wait... (Ryan is watching the Pink Panther marathon on Boomerang channel. He doesn't understand why the new Pink Panther movie coming out with Steve Martin doesn't have an actual pink panther in it. I don't know the story well enough to explain it to him so just said they were different versions of the story.) I do remember in 5th grade winning (or perhaps someone winning it for me!) a Pink Panther stuffed animal that was as tall as I was. Mom and Dad sold it at a garage sale. :( Somewhere though there is a picture of us together.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Another quote

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, What a Ride"

this one compliments of S... :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Stupid Dog!!!

I'm just so mad I can hardly type... Here I was feeling bad because Bailey had run out of water. I filled her bowl and she had a big drink. Then she came downstairs and PEE-D on the kids' pop-up tent. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

At first I thought she had an accident because she refuses to go outside for anyone but me (and sometimes Felisa) and I had been gone for a couple hours. If Ron opens the door for her, she runs the other way. But no - the girls say she just did it - while I was in the laundry room, with the door to the backyard OPEN.

Stupid Dog.

Monday, February 06, 2006

We are 19 seconds old

Ron was "watching" (that's code for: came home from work before 5 pm and dinner isn't ready yet so a nap on the couch will kill time nicely) a National Geographic show about the formation of earth. I was half-listening while cooking dinner and cleaning the kitchen. The show put the earth on a 12-hour clock. Starting with the formation of the earth until today. The dinosaurs showed up at 11:37 and humans came on the scene at 19 seconds before 12 (12:00 being NOW). Puts it all in perspective, don't you think?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The house is asleep

Saturday afternoon and everyone is asleep. Everyone but me of course! I just finished the latest from Diane Mott Davidson, Double Shot. It was good, just like all the others she wrote. I actually had a theory on the killer this time but I was wrong. As usual. But that's okay. I enjoy the mysteries more when I have no clue about whodunit!

A rainy Saturday afternoon... a quiet house... bliss. Probably won't last much longer though so I'd better enjoy it while I can!

Off to check my email and to decide whether or not to cancel tonight's Small Faith meeting...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A quote

"The ideal home: big enough for you to hear the children, but not very well." -Mignon McLaughlin

Something is Missing

Something is missing and I don't know what it is exactly... motivation? desire? energy? What is the magical missing ingredient in my quest to become a fully-functioning human being, wife, and mother?

I know what I need to do. I can see it. I could list it off to you without much thought. But I never DO any of it. Today was a fairly functional day. I only have about one good functional day a month. Which leaves 27-30 other days every month that I am getting by on the bare minimum (some days more bare than others!). As a result, the place is a mess. I can never find anything. A lot of things just NEVER get done. My business, if you can call it that, is struggling. The things that do get done are often at the last minute. Which means stress. No fun at all.

So, wise and wonderful world... what is it? Will I ever find it or am I doomed to live this way forever?

Little People

I had some little people here today playing with our Little People toys. I am amazed that between the four of them, there was over 2 hours of solid play. The babies of course come and go, as a function of their age (1 and 2) but they kept coming back. The older girls (age 4) stayed with it for the whole two hours with the exception of lunch break. Bella did say she was getting tired of it by the end but I think I would be too at that point! K, however, was pulled away before she was ready to go home. Amazingly dedicated to the People she was! The Little People have been high on the daily play list since Christmas and Felisa's birthday when our collection increased. I even went to the local children's consignment shop a couple weeks ago to see if they had any. We certainly don't need any more but I just can't help myself sometimes. Good news - they had pieces from the circus train and playground sets and I got them for FREE because the owner didn't feel like sorting through the bag to separate everything. She told me to just take it if I wanted it. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reply from TARGET

So that I can keep things fair and let Target tell their side of the story, below is the response I received to my email about the recycled bags.

We're always looking for ways to make the Target check out experience better for every guest. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't receive the type of service you expect at Target.
At Target we expect our team members to help you in a professional manner. The attitude and behavior you describe aren't consistent with our guest service philosophy. We also expect our team members to happily assist our guest with services such as bagging their purchases in the bags they prefer. Your feedback is very helpful to us and I'll be sure to make your comments available to the Store Training Lead for further review with the staff.
Great products. Great value. And a great shopping experience every time you visit our stores. That's what Target is all about, and we're glad you took the time to help us improve. I'll make sure to share your comments with our Store Operations team. Please let us know if we can be of any help in the future!
Thanks for shopping with us. I hope we'll see you again soon at Target.