Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review

Things have been typical of a household full of antsy kids so I decided to review last year, bullet style.


Bryce almost busted the toothfairy leaving his token for his tooth.

I was mistaken for a high school student while with Bryce.

I was encouraged to get a sledgehammer.

I admitted my addiction to the internet.

Hubby's truck went through a tornado.

Brady gave his thumbs up review.

The twins arrived.

I got a new look.

We acquired a Wii.

The Easter Bunny stopped by.

Brady gave me a unintentional April Fools Prank.

We had an earthquake.

♦ I realized that Mother's Day is a ploy to butter you up for summer vacation.

I admitted my addiction to caffeine.

♦ I let the kids go to my sister-in-laws house only to have punk rockers returned.

The kids, neighbor and I spent a day at the park.

We started digging for setting up a pool.

We went on vacation.

I got to see Ladybird.

I turned 31.

School started.

We adopted Callie (formerly known as Ernie).

I went swimming with my cell phone.

Gracie received a name.

Belle cheered at her first football game.

Brady turned eight.

Ike came by for a visit.

Bryce got stitches.

I got to meet EC.

Belle danced.

Belle turned ten.

Bryce turned eleven.

My stove died. On the day before Thanksgiving.

Callie found the Christmas tree.

I had a sleepover.

We had a talk with Bryce and Belle.

The kids spent three days out of school for ice.

We had a good Christmas.

We were busier than I realized. How has 2008 been for you?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cat Napping

Head in the crook of the couch and passed out cold. Wish I could sleep like that.

Come Home

Hubby is stopped just outside of New Orleans and is finished until tomorrow morning at 9am when he picks up his trailer and heads home. He's been complaining the last little bit about being bored and having nothing to do. So I offered a constructive idea.

"You could always come home and fold my laundry."

"You wait right there, I'll be right on it."

"Yeah. Right."

Hey, it was something to do, right?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Flashback

There is just never enough time during the holidays. Christmas eve, Hubby and I spent a big part of the day playing Yahtzee with the kids. That evening, after church services, we joined my parents and brother for a dinner of appetizers. Then the we moved on to gifts. The kids were ecstatic about theirs. Bryce received the art set he's been begging for. Belle received a jewelry and sun catcher kit and Brady got a rock polisher. The rock polisher has been running since Christmas eve. After getting to bed at 11, they were up bright and early Christmas morning.The kids have seen Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and all talked about the sock monkey in the movie. Santa couldn't resist bringing each of them one. I missed a picture of Belle's whose was blue and green striped. They also got new Wii games. While they think Big Sports League is ok, they love Playground Games. They've spent so much time on Playground Games that they really haven't touched Mario Party 8.

Hubby and I took advantage of bedtime to play a little bit of Wii ourselves. As we played Big League Sports, he took us into the tennis area. There was a game called pinball that is a mix of pinball and tennis where you have to return the ball to the back of the court and rack up points. This is the look I received after I whooped up on him big time.Callie was trying to help him by playing with his shirt through the chair. Or maybe she was trying to help me.

Overall, the kids had a wonderful Christmas. We pulled the decorations down on Saturday so that we could watch tv without having to watch through a tree. And so Callie would stay out of the tree while we were sleeping. Hubby was home until early Sunday morning when he left for Texas. Belle had basketball practice this morning, has it again tomorrow morning and Bryce has practice on Wednesday.

Did you enjoy your Christmas or holiday?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Wishes

You know it's Christmas eve when the kids do what they're told almost immediately or if they do it before they're told. Just a little bit ago, Belle was told to empty the dishwasher and she jumped on it. Bryce was told he needed to take out the trash and he had it outside before I knew it and Brady chose to get out the trash bag before he was told to do so. Too bad they can't act like it's Christmas eve year round.

Monday, I got up and went about my daily duties. Made sure the kids had breakfast and lunch. Washed loads of laundry. Baked a batch of Christmas cookies so there are some to be left for Santa. By supper, everything had gone downhill. Belle wanted the neighbor to stay with us and I refused. We had to go get Hubby from his truck early Tuesday morning and I didn't want to have to wake an extra child to do it. By sun down, I was freezing and felt horrible. I even took a hot bath hoping that I would feel better, to no avail. So I put the kids to bed at 9 and I was in bed twenty minutes later. By 2:30 am, I was drenched in sweat from the fever I had been running. I went back to sleep minutes later. Hubby woke me at 7:30 with a phone call on Tuesday, and I realized I had a headache rumbling just below the surface. Meds managed to keep it from coming on full force but I'm still not sure what brought on the fever.

Yesterday, I felt better after the medicine kicked in. When Hubby called, needing me to come get him, I got the kids ready and stepped outside to find a layer of ice over everything. I got a block down the street when I saw an accident in the parking lot of a group of duplexes. Then about a quarter of a mile down the road I found an SUV that had spun up a hill. So I called Daddy and made the loop back home. After a nap, I made one batch of chocolate and one batch of peanut butter fudge. I made a round of chocolate chip cookies. A pot of chili was put in the crock pot for supper and I even braved Wal-Mart. I washed lots of laundry.

This morning, it was dark when I woke up at 9. Keep in mind that I was up after 1am this morning struggling to get to sleep. It was pouring outside and I promise you could swim in my backyard. I've sent Hubby to the store for a couple of things that I would end up needing tomorrow when the stores are closed. And I've gotten a Christmas picture of the kids.Hubby was making faces above my head while Brady was determined he was not going to break.I told Brady for this one I wanted a real smile and not one of those fake ones he's known for. He finally laughed just in time.

We have plans to go to my parents tonight and I'm off to play Yahtzee with everyone now. Hope you all have a very wonderful and safe Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Surviving the First Weekend of Christmas Break

Well, the first weekend of Christmas break has offered us a typical weekend. Full of basketball games. Belle had her game first and they struggled all of the first half. They ended up losing in the end. Then Bryce had his game at their school and his team had no problem gaining a win. Brady's game immediately followed and they played a hard game to pick up a couple of points in the last couple of minutes in the game to ensure a win. Our running started with Belle having to be at her school by 10:30 for pictures. Then to be at the next school for her game, 30 minutes away, by 12. Her coach offered to let all the girls stay with him to support their friends playing in the gym and would bring them all to the school for the game. So she stayed. We finished our day around 5, after both boys finished playing their games. It was a very. long. day.

Today we made up for it. We were lazy today. Hubby had to be at his truck around 1 which made getting to church difficult so we stayed home. We ran to the store so that he could pick up a couple of things to take with him, returned a couple of movies and came home for lunch. When I returned home after dropping him off, I gave the kids control of the computer and tv, and hid in my room with a movie. I washed some laundry, fixed some supper, and cleaned up both bathrooms. Finally, I kicked Belle off the Wii, told Brady to get off the computer and settled down on the couch to watch the Giants play. Belle was stretched out on my hip, Bryce on hers and Brady sitting across my outside leg. We looked like dominoes that had been knocked down, the kids in their pjs, wrapped up in a blanket with pillows for padding. About 8:45, Bryce said, "Why don't we all just go to bed." And so they did.

We didn't get through the weekend without some serious discussions. Brady had his picture taken at Wal-Mart last weekend with Santa and Mrs. Claus (picture to come, my scanners down). He decided he had a question to ask while we were piled up on the couch tonight.

"Mom, did you see the reindeer antlers when I got my picture taken with Santa?"

"Umm, no."

"I did. And they moved, too."

"Umm, ok."

He's determined to make sure Santa is real. It really helped that this Santa had a real beard.

I mentioned here that Hubby fell and hit his head last weekend while working. Last night, as we were headed to bed I felt the need to inform him of some important information.

"Now dear, you do realize that there are clothes hanging in the door frame, right? And you do realize that there are solid walls on either side of that door frame? And that we don't need you to hit your head any more than you already have?"

"Shut up," was his sulky reply. And he didn't hit his head like he has in the past. Guess he learned. This time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Going to Extremes

Our yard resembled this last night as I was putting the kids to bed.I say resembled because Brady took that picture when he got a hold of my camera earlier. It had rained some but most of the snow remained at bedtime. This is lunchtime today.Zeus is in my window because they are open! It was 63 when I returned home from a morning of watching a Christmas musical and then grocery shopping so I aired out the front part of my house. It got cool about a bit ago forcing me to shut them again. Then I finished wrapping gifts. One needs a little warm weather to get into the Christmas spirit.

The kids returned to school today, of course, so they can say they went the last day before Christmas vacation. They performed their Christmas program and it was sweet. The kids (and teacher) did a wonderful job on it. I attended this mornings performance and they were still working out a couple of kinks after not being able to go through the dress rehearsal they usually have but it was still impressive. These kids had one day of school this week and came back to put on a show. Kindergarten performed Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer and it included a small boy and girl putting on a dance for the audience during the lull of singing and at the end. I was there early enough to see them perform the dance during a practice before the show and it was darling! But the great dance came during the actual show. For good measure, the class was wearing reindeer antler headbands. The young man was wearing his antlers while dancing (she was not) and not long after starting their dance, he lost his. So he stopped dancing to put them back on his head while she was trying get him to take her hand and start back up again. They managed to pull off the final pose of that section and the little girl started fussing at him. She eventually picked up singing again and then he dipped her at the end. As soon as the music stopped, she threw her hands on her hips and started letting him have it. The audience was enjoying the show that wasn't supposed to be. She's primed for marriage, let me tell ya!

Then came the first and second graders. All I can say is I love the dynamics of kids. Their second song (I don't remember the name) was fun to watch. They started of singing in normal kids voices, average for a group of children debating if they remember the words and movement, until you got to the chorus. Then they started to jump up and down on the risers. As they jumped, their singing got louder. They knew that part! It was very influencing as there were plenty of parents and grandparents in the crowd bouncing their heads with them.

Next were Brady and Belle with the third and fourth grades. I was excited to find that not only were they in the same section of the stage, but Brady was directly in front of Belle, three rows down. Made it easier for me to video tape their performance. I enjoyed watching them perform and really enjoyed the huge yawn Brady let out between songs. Belle got to sit down on the floor and perform their last song on the bells while Brady sang with his class.

Finally, Bryce performed with the fifth and sixth grades. He did very well on his songs and I loved watching him perform his moves to his final songs. I was also glad they didn't have the jumping song because I don't think the risers could've handled it. I don't think 5th and 6th graders when I was in those grades were as big as the ones in the kids school!

But the day didn't come without frustrations. Wal-Mart is a mad house! I fought a buggy with a mind of it's own while I was fighting the crowds. I trudged through, trying to get my grocery shopping finished, only to turn down each aisle and come to a stop. I thought I'd never get to leave.

Also, I amazed by the lack of consideration people have for others. I was one of the first parents in the seats for the kids performance. Having been through this the last three years, I've learned one thing. If you want a decent seat and a decent parking spot, then you have to get there early. I was there just under an hour early, found me a parking spot in the actual parking lot (compared with parking on the side of the parking lot in the grass and mud) and found me a seat at the back of the stands on the top row. This allowed me to see all of the kids without having to worry about if I'm on the wrong side. Shorty after I got seated, people started filing in. A couple of ladies came in and sat down at the end of the row I was on, to my right. Then another couple came in and came up the center of the stairs to sit at the end of the row, to my left. Before they could sit, the lady in the couple realized she recognized one of the ladies to my right and called to say hello before walking my direction with her husband to speak. The lady to my right also got up to speak with them and walked towards them. Then came the problem. I shifted so that the lady in the couple could get past me (her husband was walking a row lower), since they were moving first and I moved when they did, but instead of them moving past me, they met up with the lady directly in front of me! None of them moved one direction or the other and continued to stand there and literally talk over my head. If either one of the ladies moved their feet, they would've been stepped on mine. Was I supposed to move because they happen to reach each other in front of me? Was I invisible? Or are people so insensitive, they could really care less if they are treading on anothers feet and personal space? I was to the point of excusing myself and moving when they finished their conversation. What would you have done?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bring on Snow Day #3

We've survived day two and the 6:00pm news was nice enough to inform us that school has been cancelled for a third day. The kids have spent a good deal of time over the last couple of days playing outside in the snow, though today's snow was more ice after another light round last night. They've been sledding and had snowball fights with the neighbors. Of course I brought them in every little bit in order to thaw. They have also wreaked havoc on my stock of groceries. We've been through three gallons of milk since Monday. They've polished off a huge box of Lucky Charms, even with me fixing blueberry muffins on Tuesday. You can't forget the mountain of laundry that they leave behind when they finish their playing for the day. For example, Belle wore three different shirt layers to go outside today. I can't tell you the number of loads of laundry I've washed over the last couple of days trying to keep on top and I'm still not caught up.

The problem with snow days is trying to keep them occupied when they are inside. Bryce could be easy. Bryce would turn on a movie, get lost in it and then put in another when it was over. Or he'd play Wii. Or computer. Anything that has his face in front of some sort of screen. And only if I would let him. But that would mean I'd be a nice mom who would let him do what he wants to do, right? Too easy. Brady could compete for his time with the computer or Wii time but gets bored eventually with tv. Belle, however, is one who has to be active. She'll watch a little tv, play a little video games but she'd wants to be outside all the time or she complains about being bored inside. Unless she has a friend to play with. They have been through two movies today and Bryce had started a third when I finally told him to shut it off. I found Brady had occupied himself with my camera this morning and these two self-portraits were among the results.
I had a double-take at the last one. And for those of you who couldn't tell, he got a haircut this past Saturday. I don't believe he had brushed it by the time he got ahold of my camera.

We had a family game night tonight as well. I couldn't find my Yahtzee game so Brady wanted to play Monopoly instead. I put them in the shower before supper (Belle took hers after) to make sure that they were almost ready for bed when the game started. Makes putting them to bed later so much easier. Belle was trying to keep Brady from moving her car for her while yelling "STOOOOOOOOOOP" at him. Brady was very disappointed after coming out strong buying things left and right to end up broke by the end of the game. Especially after he landed on my yellow pieces that each held three houses each to the tune of $8,000,000. Did I mention he landed on them three. different. times? He was a very unhappy camper. Normally, I'd play nice and would leave the houses alone. But after an hour and a half of listening to "STOOOOOOP", telling them to wait until the previous person is finished before they roll and trying to get Belle to stop exchanging her smaller bills for larger ones, I was spent. It was time for bed. I declared myself a winner and sent them all to brush their teeth.

Also, this week has sent Hubby into the nice weather that has gripped the nation. He left Sunday for central Illinois and ended up in Chicago Monday afternoon/evening. They received a lot of snow over the last few days before he got to leave last night. Unfortunately, he got out of his truck Tuesday and slipped on an icy sidewalk landing on his upper back/neck area. All while I was on the phone (he wears a headset) so I got to hear the fall. He's pretty sore and I couldn't help but laugh, especially since this is not his first time falling like that. Don't get me wrong, I feel for him, but you just had to hear it. He enjoyed it tonight when I told him I have to wash my hair before bed. All because he cleaned up the shed and I hit my head on the weed eater he hung from the roof while I was trying to find the sled. I can still smell the gasoline in my hair.

I don't see the kids getting to spend a lot of day outside tomorrow. They are calling for rain and temperatures high enough to melt the mess. One can only hope that means they will be returning to school on Friday before having 2 1/2 weeks off. Then I can finish my Christmas shopping and wrapping around the time I spend attending their Christmas program. But for now, I'm going to go wash my hair. And go to bed. How has the weather been for you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ice Day

Yesterday was supposed to be the beginning of a very crazy week. Bryce and Belle both had basketball practice immediately after school. Then they were scheduled to have a strings concert at 6:30 at the high school. Today, Brady had basketball practice after school. Belle and Bryce are scheduled with ball practices again tomorrow after school and Brady has one at 4:30. Thursday, Belle has her class Christmas party. Friday, the boys have their party and it is also the day of the school Christmas musical. However, the meteorologists in this area have been spouting off terms like "Winter Weather Warning," "Freezing Rain," and "Sleet" for the last few days. The kids went to school yesterday, while I spent a big part of the day watching the weather and news to see if they were coming home early. The school eventually dismissed a whopping five minutes early. When I went to the school to pick the kids up from practice, there wasn't any form of precipitation in sight. When I left, my windshield had a nice, light layer of ice on it where freezing rain had dropped and it froze instantly to my van. Not five minutes after I made it home, the ice picked up and didn't slow down until sometime during the night. Bryce had informed me during his practice that the strings concert had been cancelled last night as well. While they were disappointed, I was excited to not have to drive in the mess.

Last night, the school cancelled classes for today. Those of you who know this school district know that they never cancel classes until the very last second. Ordinarily, I would've had to get up at six this morning to watch the news and discover that there was no school. I had intentions on keeping this tip to myself and putting the kids to bed at their normal bedtimes since neither Bryce nor Brady had wanted to get up yesterday morning. Unfortunately, one of Belle's friends called and tipped her off that school was out. And she shouted it to the rest of the house.

I awoke to find this. Notice that you see not one footprint in the mess. No kids prints, no animal prints because it is nothing but ice with a bit of snow thrown in for good measure. Not only are schools in the area closed but local libraries, colleges, banks, and the neighborly IRS office is closed as well.

I was prepared physically for today. I had spaghettios, hot chocolate and pizza rolls ready to go for lunch. I made sure that I picked up extra milk, muffins for breakfast and that I had plenty of bread. I was not prepared mentally or emotionally for today. I love snow but I hate that the kids feel that they can do whatever, whenever, however because it is white outside. They are just now headed back outside after spending an hour in their rooms, considering how they've behaved today. Now it's time to see if attitudes change over the next little bit. Oh, and it's snowing. Again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Talk

This weekend, Hubby and I decided to have the talk with the kids. We asked them if they believed in Santa. We called Brady into the bedroom first and asked him if he believed.

"Yes! I remember waking up on Christmas and hearing Santa outside and his reindeer on the roof and seeing flashing red lights out my window so I turned over and went back to sleep."

There was more but I don't think I could mock his rambling. I wasn't going to break his heart and tell him that the red lights he saw were probably brake lights or Christmas lights across the street. So we let him go on his merry little way, called Belle and Bryce into the bedroom and asked them the same question.

"NO!" was Belle's response.

"Yes." was Bryce's.

So we asked them why. Belle has been listening to our neighbor child tell her over and over again that Santa isn't real because she found the basketball goal Santa brought her last year in the back of her step-dad's truck. Long before Christmas. Belle had been asking me for around the last year and a half if he was real and I kept telling her yes. Then I stopped answering because I was tired of the question.

Bryce swore that he still believed. So I asked him how many kids in his class did.


"How many believed last year?"


So we crossed another milestone and broke the news to them. Bryce cried and said it was because he still believed. I think it was more that he realized the Nintendo DS he wanted wasn't going to come for this Christmas. So today I spent a part of the afternoon wrapping gifts to ensure that if they decided to get nosey and go looking for them they would find wrapped packages. We made sure that they knew they were not to tell Brady. Period. After asking them if they still believed when they were his age and getting yeses, I let them know that he had the right to still believe it, too.

This season is Santa. Will it take another lost tooth before we start confirming the tooth fairy isn't real?

Friday, December 12, 2008


I had to make a run to Wal-Mart tonight and pick up a few things that I had forgotten to get today. While I was there, I let Brady and Belle pick out their gifts for their classroom exchange and I thought Brady was never going to make a decision. I can't tell you how many times I told the kids to "come on, please" and "no, you can't have that." I was almost ready to leave, tired and frustrated, when the corner of my buggy bumped a cardboard box on an end cap, sending many boxes careening into the aisle. I felt like all the pieces in my life was crumbling with them. There were a couple of young girls, maybe 20, walking toward me that witnessed the many boxes fall. I was stunned when they stopped, helped me pick the boxes up and place them back on the end cap. One act of kindness in a fast-paced busy holiday season gave me a little bit of hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This holiday season has brought back one thing that I thought maybe, just maybe, we had finished with. Questions. A couple of weeks ago, a field trip took Bryce to see the play "A Christmas Carol" and since then the questions have been rolling in.

"What's a scrooge?"

"What's bah mean?"

"What's humbug?"

"Why did Tiny Tim have a cane?"

They have been going nonstop. I thought he outgrew this stage when he was a toddler, only to find him repeating it again at 11. I think it's time for me to find an actual book of the tale for him to read. Maybe then, the questions will stop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quirks Can Lead to Sleeplessness

Oh my gosh! I have so forgotten what it's like to co-sleep with an infant. I knew when Bryce was born that I had no desire to co-sleep with my children. I wanted him to be able to sleep in his own bed and I wanted to be able to sleep freely without worrying about if I was going to roll over on him or if he was going to crawl off the bed while I slept. So when I finally went to bed last night about 11, I couldn't sleep. And when I did sleep? It was a very light sleep and his every move woke me. Which was every time I turned around because he moved most of the night. And if it wasn't him waking me, it was Zeus. Or Belle. Or me. By the time he woke up this morning at 6am I had had two hours of interrupted sleep. He would've went back to sleep, too, if all three kids hadn't kept coming in to my room. Finally, when I decided I was going to get up with him (or let him get up with me) Brady came into the room and said something to him. And he smiled the biggest grin you've ever seen. I knew then it was a hopeless cause.

I got up and grabbed a shower before the kids got on the bus so that Belle could help me keep an eye on the baby while he ate his bottle in his swing (she was already dressed and ready to go). After they left, he let me dry my hair while he sat there in a daze. I knew then he was ready to go back to sleep. So we sat in the rocker and watched a little tv while I sang. He was out in no time and slept another two and half hours. I got another hour in, too. We got up and joined Belle for lunch, ran to pay my electric bill (because electricity is a good thing to have), and went to Wal-mart for dog food (dog's like to eat, too). Then we came home to play for a bit before taking another nap - him, not me. I love his giggle. It's so contagious. And he loves to laugh with/at me, especially when I laugh at him. Mom picked him up at almost 3pm, just in time for Brady to come off the bus. But this babysitting job had twists, too.

First of all, Brady is my baby. And he knows it which is not always a good thing. He usually isn't very jealous of my babysitting but last night was a different story. Last night, I put him to bed just before 8 and by 9pm, he had already been out of bed 6 different times for lousy reasons. I finally threatened to ground him for the rest of his life if he got out of bed again for him to finally go to sleep. Naturally, today he was grouchy. And whiny. And the world was against him. Good thing he didn't have basketball practice. I made sure that when 7:30 rolled around he was headed for bed. He got up once at 8, looking for Bryce and I haven't seen him since.

Also, Zeus is a very jealous kitty when it comes to his mom. When the kids come in from school, he comes to my lap. He stays near me after the baby goes home when my time watching him is over. Last night, he was sure to fuss because he wasn't in my room at bedtime. Then he fussed again because he wanted out of the room but not outside. The he fussed a third time to be let back into my room. Finally about 4 this morning he started to sharpen his claws on my hamper again. So I put him outside. Guess he figured he needed to compete for my undivided attention but he had to wake me to do it. After the baby went home, Zeus was in my lap every time I sat down! If he couldn't sit in my lap, he was on my desk just over my hand working my mouse. At one point, he even had his forepaws sitting on my mouse pad so I had to maneuver through him. Having little man here last night really set the jealousy streak off in him.

Oh and per Ladybird's question in the last comments, little man is 10 1/2 months old in case you missed it. One of my fears was that he would wake up and not make a sound before crawling off the side of my bed because he's scooting/crawling now. Now that is has taken me a good part of the evening to write coherently (I hope) I am going to bed and hope that I'm not too tired to fall asleep. If I'm really lucky, the kids will sleep, too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I was lazy today. Shocking revelation I know. It's very hard to get restful sleep after waking to a nightmare. It's exponentially harder to sleep after having two nightmares in an hour and what sleep you do get isn't very restful. That was me last night and the nap I attempted this morning after the kids got on the bus turned up empty. So I did nothing all morning except play pogo, check my email and watch Love Actually because I had never seen it. Just after lunch, I decided it was time to use the cookie dough that was in my refrigerator.I made the stockings for the kids after school snack and the bell was mine. I made them so it's only fair that I get to eat them. Then I reasoned it was time for a shower since I had to get Brady and Bryce from ball practice.

About supper time, my neighbor called requesting my assistance babysitting for her while she and her hubby worked on her father-in-law's floor. This is what is currently in my bed. They are anticipating on leaving again tomorrow morning about 4am (they didn't get home until 10 this evening and he was already sacked out) so they are leaving him here with me. Tonight. All night. It's been a long time since I've had one this little all night, but I'm definitely up for the task. Especially since mom believes he'll sleep all night because he dozed off so late.

Brady has been a little jealous of tonight's new addition. He went to bed just before 8 and was still getting up after 9pm. It amazes me at times to know that even though he's as old as he is, he still gets jealous when I babysit.

I'll be back tomorrow possibly with stories on how the night went. And if I survived.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Science fair projects were almost complete by the end of Saturday evening and Belle finished hers up Sunday morning when she put her display together. Words cannot describe the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders. I loathe science fairs. Brady has a book report due Friday that is completed and Belle has a science study guide due Friday as well. She will be bringing her science book home to complete it since there are no basketball practices for us tonight. I would say I don't have to run but that is not the case. I dropped the kids off this morning so their experiments got there in good form and will be returning to the school here shortly for the awards ceremony and to collect their items so they don't carry it all home on the bus. So much for an easy day.

All three kids had basketball games this weekend. Unfortunately, Brady and Belle's games were at the exact same time at two different schools. So Hubby to Belle to hers while I went with Brady. I got the good end of the deal. Bryce had his game at the same school Belle's game was to be held at. I got to attend this game since there was just enough time for us to get back to town, split vehicles and get to our respective schools. The referees at the first school left something to be desired, as they could not call a foul if their life depended on it. Or at least, not for our team. (Hubby said they had improved by Belle's game. Maybe too many angry parents?) We had a feeling things were going to get a little rough when a kid from the game playing before Bryce's took a ball square to the nose when he jumped trying to stop it from being thrown in. He stopped it all right. And the game for the next few minutes. He was fine and returned to the game a little later but Hubby had to make a comment about the kids that were got hurt in that game and were getting hurt in Bryce's game. So I told him to hush because it could be one of our three that got hurt. And it was. Belle's game was just as rough as the boys games. One of her teammates landed flat on her back when she fell on the floor. Luckily, she knew enough to hold her head to her chest and was stunned. Belle got hurt as well. Not sure of the whole story (good thing) but she ended up being tripped, there was a pile up of players and Belle caught a shoe to the back of her neck. We think. She's been sore the last couple of days but fine thank goodness. They went on to win their game, Bryce lost his game and Brady won his. Brady's game was uneventful since the team is a group of kids from 2nd and 3rd grades, most of whom have never played basketball before. Just like their opponents. He did receive a foul and got to make shots (he missed) and turned around in the next thirty seconds and fouled the kid who got his rebound. Yes I said uneventful. Compared to Bryce's, it was totally uneventful. I have to admit that out of all three kids, Brady is the one we didn't have to teach to be aggressive on the basketball court. It just came natural. Ahem.

It's been cold here, so cold that a coat is required. I've been wearing Hubby's (fits over my oversize shirts better than mine) and I have been known to come in and lay the coat on the couch when I need it later. Callie decided to take advantage one morning and used the coat as her bed. She climbed in just after I took it off and left the room. She is currently soaking in the warmth from my open laptop as she naps on the keyboard. Good thing I'm not wanting to use that one right now.

Callie and Zeus have been taking advantage of my love seat being left in the middle of the floor as a divider instead of against the wall. You can find them stretched out across the back of it regularly for one of their midday snoozes.And Callie loves the beaded garland that I have put up on my tree. If I have put that garland on the tree once, I have put it on 15 times. It goes back up at least once a day and is waiting on me to fix it now. Gracie and Cheech have been helping her with the task, as they have gotten in it a couple of times while playing with each other.

Hubby and I also celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary yesterday. To mark the occasion, we rented Wanted, put the kids to bed and watched it. Since my last pair of clean jeans were on my body (well I guess they weren't clean anymore since I had been wearing them all day), we had to wait until the washer stopped washing so that I could have them dried by this morning. So we finished off the night by watching the rest of the Ravens-Red Skins game and waiting on the washer. Full of fun, aren't we?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I've decided that I don't like myself. I don't like myself as a person nor as a mother and when I see the kids copy my patterns, patterns that don't work, then I realize that I have to do things different. Do them better. Tonight, I worked hard to keep my temper from flaring especially when telling the kids over and over and over again to do the same thing.

"Bryce, start your lunch. Bryce, start your lunch. Bryce, start your lunch before I sell your gameboy on e-bay."

Now don't get me wrong. I didn't yell that last time, but I was loud enough to get my point across. Brady has also shown me that it's not going to be easy.

"Brady, finish your supper so I can finish the dishes. You have five minutes to finish those peas or you don't get your cookie."

"But my stomach hurts a little."

"Then you don't need a cookie."

"Ten minutes."



"Five and your lucky to be getting five. You've been sitting here for 45 minutes now."

"But I'm afraid that a pea is going to get up under my loose tooth and get stuck."

"The chicken would be more likely to get stuck than that pea. Eat!"

He's determined to wear down my patience. But he ate his peas and I finished my dishes. Finally.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Running Around in Circles

You know those days when you have so much to do and so much you want to do that you jump from project to project, never actually completing anything?

I'm so there.

It is Tuesday and Sunday's paper is sitting on the couch waiting for me to take the time and read it. I have been working on getting the tree up so that the kids can hang the ornaments on it. When I went to bed last night, I still liked one string of lights and the garland. I just finished it a little bit ago so maybe the ornaments will go up tonight. I hope. Yesterday, I went up in the attic to get the boxes I needed to decorate only to forget one major box that was up there. So I must go back up in the attic when the kids get home. I can't put the boxes away that I have out until the tree is decorated so they are sitting in the middle of the floor, all up in the way. My living room no longer has room for my rocking chair until after Christmas, so I have been walking around it in the kitchen trying to find the opportunity to take it to my bedroom and then never taking it. I have cookie dough in the fridge waiting for me to roll it out, cut it and bake it. The oven is preheating so maybe it will be done shortly. Keep in mind that I brewed some tea earlier (I ran out of Sundrop *gasp*) only to walk into the kitchen three times to mix it and walk out forgetting to do it. It did finally get mixed. The fourth time I walked in the kitchen. I still need to finish sewing some odd projects that are sitting around the house.

But I have accomplished. A little. I'm blogging!! That's important!! My first batch of cookies are cooling on the table and the second are in the oven cooling. I have updated my myspace account with new graphics and music list (and we all know how important that is). The beds have been made the last two days. My laundry is caught up, my dishes washed and the bedrooms are still clean. Bryce's science project needs to be printed and taped to his board but almost complete. Brady's project has been done but we need to sit down and work on the information so he can type it out. Belle's project hasn't been started yet. Oh and I have an extra hour to myself this afternoon! The kids each have practices after school so I will be picking them up at 4ish. A whole extra hour so that I can walk around in circles starting project after project.

Oh and the rocking chair? Just made it to my room. One less thing!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tis The Season

We are busy as always. Thanksgiving always brings a flurry of activities to this house and this year is no different. What was different was Hubby got home last Monday evening and was home the rest of the week and that always keeps me busy. Last year, Hubby didn't make it home for Thanksgiving, so to have him home the entire week was a change. Thanksgiving here is also the beginning of little league basketball games.

Saturday was the kids first game. It wasn't actually a game as much as it was an exhibition. Bryce and Belle both won their games while Brady lost his. Brady wasn't as disappointed as I expected him to be considering his siblings won their games. Now maybe his coach will teach the teams how to run plays instead of focusing on certain kids? Maybe?

I spent Friday racking my brain trying to decide if the kids had everything they needed for the science fair that is a week away. I have salt, pepper, comb, balloon kit (with helium tank), string, cardboard, three different types of gum, construction paper and three display boards. If I need anything else, please put me out of my misery. I hate science fairs.

Today has been busy as well. We went to church this morning, came home for lunch and then loaded Hubby up to leave for the week. After coming home, I got busy. I vacuumed, moved my love seat and put up the tree. As of this moment, half of the limbs have been straightened while the rest wait for me to get up. They will be waiting until tomorrow. I will have to get in the attic for the rest of the decorations and can't do that until tomorrow.

Last Christmas was Zeus's first Christmas and this year is Callie's. She has spent a good deal of time bouncing around in the branches until she forced me to break out my spray bottle. She's given it a break for the last little bit and is playing with Belle's belt.

I also started other household chores when I got home this afternoon. I loaded and ran my dishwasher twice. I am now on my second third fourth load of laundry (and put away the ones I finished). I cooked the kids supper, got them in the tub and in bed. Now I unwind.

Because Hubby and I disagree on some television shows (I despise wrestling), I got some sewing done while watching The English Patient on the laptop in my bedroom. It was a movie that he was never interested in seeing that I wanted to see. While it was running, I fixed the head on a dog, an ear on another dog and sewed an arm on a santa claus. Bryce was nice enough to bring the dog with the fixed ear to tell me his arm is coming off as well so it has been put back in my bedroom until I can get to him tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow.

I never realized the power behind a new stove. I am still adjusting my timing because it cooks so much faster than anything I've ever used. Where I used to be able start hamburgers and have plenty of time to finish my fries is now changed. The burgers cooked faster than I've ever had them cook. I can turn my oven on to the recommended temperature without having to adjust it down 25 degrees because the thermostat was a little off. If I had realized the power behind a new stove I would've snookered one out of Hubby a long, long, long time ago. I did realize, however, that now my appliances don't match. I have a white stove with an almond hood, almond dishwasher and almond refrigerator. Looks like I'll have to remodel my kitchen sooner than I had planned. Hehehehehe.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

There are so many things to be negative about today, so much so that it seems almost everyone has something to complain about. I certainly have my fair share of complaints but I'll spare you those. Instead, bullets of things I'm thankful for.

►My wonderful husband.

►Three great kids.

►A house that is all ours.

►Food on our table.

►The true friends we have.

►Spending time with family.

While these are short, there is so much more I could elaborate. Instead, I'm going to spend time with my hubby. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


This morning started like most pre-holiday mornings. The kids got out of bed and fixed themselves a bowl of cereal (after watching a little tv first). I got Belle ready for basketball practice and dropped her off by the school at 9. I came home starving, because even though the kids each had cereal does not mean that I did. This morning, I decided that cinnamon toast sounded like a good way to start the day and went about fixing some for me and the boys. I started the oven, fixed my toast, placed the pan in the oven and walked to the living room to talk to Hubby for a minute. Then I started hearing noises. Popping noises. At first, I thought my cookie sheet may have had water in it, but didn't understand why because it had plenty of time to dry from the last time I washed it. I walked into the kitchen to check on my toast and found smoke rising out of my oven. I opened the door to find an oddly bright light, lots of smoke and a small flame. My broiler element was burning out and it took unplugging the stove to get it to stop burning.

Now is the time to put this situation into perspective. I burned out my stove. On the day before Thanksgiving! Words cannot describe the multitude of emotions that a person experiences when their stove goes out on the day before Thanksgiving. Upon further investigation, I found that the manufacturer of this particular dinosaur stove no longer sells the replacement element so I was forced to replace the whole thing. Hubby put her in this afternoon and she works much better than the previous one. I'm also appreciative that Mom is doing most of the Thanksgiving cooking otherwise my problem would've been much larger. Now if Santa will stuff my pocketbook to help cover her cost...

Monday, November 24, 2008


Brady got up yesterday morning and climbed in bed with me like he has been the last few weeks. Only yesterday, he started to complain that he didn't feel real well. And he seemed to complain at times that he needed to be doing something. Like hanging his clothes in his closet. Or putting them away in his drawer. So imagine my surprise when he did get sick a little later in the day. He spent all day not being able to hold anything down, causing me to make a last minute trip to Wal-Mart for 7-up, jello and popsicles, none of which would stay on his stomach. Finally about 11:30 last night, he held down a couple of sips of 7-up and went back to bed.

This morning, I was shocked to find him climbing in bed with me. I had made sure when I put them to bed that the alarm wasn't set because I knew that I wasn't sending him to school today. He set it last night when he got his midnight drink and I never knew it because I didn't put him back to bed. He went back by himself. I let him know that he wasn't going to school and regretted that decision almost as soon as the bus ran. He had so much energy! He was eager to play the Wii but refused to eat a piece of toast because that's what made him sick yesterday. I felt better about keeping him home though when he complained his stomach was aching a bit after lunch.What I didn't capture was him jumping up and down because he scored a goal on his game. I wish I had his energy, even on a sick day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Clean Your Room!

If I heard that phrase once growing up I heard it a thousand times. My room was very seldom clean when I lived at home. If I had friends coming to stay, then it might get cleaned. It might not. Now that I'm an adult, my room hasn't really improved. I admit that I am now responsible for much more than just my room. There's laundry to be done, floors to be mopped, bathrooms to be cleaned but last night and today?

I cleaned my room.

Don't get me wrong. It's still cluttered. Everything that doesn't have a place in the rest of the house usually ends up back there. As of tonight, you could walk through the room without tripping. Or having to step over mountains of debris. Or risk losing something just to make your way to the closet. It's straightened and you can walk without risking life and limb to do so. And now I can breathe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All in the Family

At least a couple of times a week, I talk to Mom around supper time and she will tell me what her and Daddy are having. A good bit of the time, my response is "Ewwwww!" and Daddy is usually pretty good about judging when that will be my response. Tonight, I had to go to Mom's house for a few minutes. I was expecting them to go to church and not being able to stay long, but unfortunately Daddy worked late they missed church. So we had dinner with them. Mom fixed chicken strips because she knew it was something the kids would eat but when she told Dad what she was fixing, he wrinkled his nose. So she offered to fix something else, with him turning down everything. So she fixed him a hamburger anyway.

He came to the kitchen when she called him for supper, he was surprised to find a burger. "I told you I'd eat chicken."

Mom responded with, "I saw you turn your nose up."

And I countered with, "Now you know where I get it!" which elicited a grin out of him. I knew it wasn't just me!

George and Tyler

I am a bargain shopper. I love end of season sales so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to find these little creatures on sale last week at Wal-mart! I found these while shopping with Mom last Thursday. They were originally $.94 marked down to a quarter. A quarter! So she bought two of them, one in purple overalls and one in green, and gave me the green one. Friday, I went to the store, bought another purple and found these two with denim overalls. Obviously I bought them too. Brady came in on Friday after school and immediately went to play with these two. I asked him to put them down, one of them belonged to Memaw. He decided he was to choose which one she got so she told him since he chose, he got to name it as well. He named the one on the left (Mom's) George and named mine Tyler (yes there is significance to the names there for those who know me). I forgot to take Mom hers this past weekend, so I've had it for almost a week now and Brady can pick them up and still tell you, "This one is George." George is going home this afternoon, but not before Brady wanted a picture of him with his twin.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chocolate Covered Randomness

To start, I must clarify something. I hate cherries. Could do without them permanently. I don't like them fresh, don't like cherry cheesecakes, and don't care for cherry flavored drinks. I do like chocolate covered cherries at Christmas. Or I should say I like the chocolate covered. I will bite open the chocolate and remove the cherry before eating it because in my eyes the cherry ruins the entire candy experience.

A couple of weeks ago, I stepped in dog doo. Yes, an astonishing fact considering I have three dogs but pertinent. That very same day, just before the mess, Hubby had picked up a new dispenser of toothpicks to take with him. After trying to clean my shoe with an old toothbrush, I asked him to give me a toothpick to finish the job. Instead of getting one out of the cabinet, he opened his package and then forgot said package on the counter when he left for the week. So the next day, when I noticed them, I let him know that he had left them.

"Oh, crap. Just don't use all of them cleaning dog doo out of your shoes."

"I'll just use them to eat your chocolate covered cherries."


"Nothing. I didn't say a word."

"Yeah, uh huh."

Now this weekend, Hubby had to have a new box of candies because I ate four while he was gone (and left him with one sleeve). And I say Hubby needed a new box because honestly? I don't need an entire box of candy that I'm going to pick the center out of. He handed me one of the five that was left in the first box and of course I took a toothpick to it.

"Just eat the cherry."

"Krista!" Then I motioned for her to come my way and I gave her the cherry. "See. I ate the cherry."

"No you didn't."

"I did, too. Mini me ate it." He didn't say another word.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Callie's former owner checks the blog from time to time and shows her kids how big Callie has gotten. I got this picture of her this afternoon and had to share.
I catch her in bags often when she finds one. She'll climb in full bags, too. Reminds me of kids with boxes. Always something to do with an empty box. Or bag.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sleep Deprivation Hurts

Lately, Zeus has decided that he must go to the door and meow to be let out into the house to use his litter box during the wee morning hours (we've hid the golf bag so he'd stopped sharpening his claws on it to wake us.) And he doesn't just meow. He screams with that tom cat meow that not only wakes me but can also wake the kids. Oh and Callie. Callie has to come down the hallway to my door and add her two cents. So I fuss at him to hush and eventually get up to let him out so that he can come back down the hall not ten minutes later to be let back in. Over the last week, I've averaged maybe 4-5 hours of sleep a night. For me, that's not good. I work better on eight hours.

After landing about 4 hours of sleep on Saturday night, I had to get up Sunday morning to go get Hubby from his truck. He had gotten into town about 3am and slept in his truck until we got there. He only slept about 4 hours himself when I woke him, so while waiting on me to finish checking my email when we got home, he and Gracie took a little snooze.That evening, Gracie and Callie played around Hubby. Who can resist that tongue sticking out?
One day Gracie will realize this isn't a wise way to sit.
The kids have also been keeping me super busy. Cheerleading season ended and we cruised straight into basketball season. Each of my kids are on their own team, practice twice a week, and Bryce and Belle are still going to strings practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If we are really lucky, two of the kids have practice at the same time. Belle usually has practice at their school for basketball at the same time Bryce is at strings practice at the middle school. It happens again when Bryce practices basketball and Belle is at strings. That leaves me with fifteen minutes to get from the kids school to the middle school to get them on time. This week we have had two basketball practices on Monday plus a cheerleading banquet all at different times, a basketball practice and a strings practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, and will have one more ball practice on Thursday and again on Friday. I'm not running ragged. Never. But it is taking a toll on my blogging topics.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Tom

The kids school hasn't held Halloween party since the year that Bryce started attending. Until this year, they usually had a fall party. Their fall party consisted of everything for a typical Halloween party but without costumes. This year, the school did away with the party all together and had a science day sponsored by the fourth grade classes. The fourth grade set up science "experiment" stations where they "supervised" and each student had to pay a dollar to be able to participate in the day. Bryce and Brady each paid their dollar to do these experiments and the second grade teachers held book character day for his class. I had less than a week to figure out a character for him that was simple enough to create with things we had here at the house. It had to be from a book that was a book before it was a movie and something his reading teacher would approve. While Brady talked about Dr. Seuss and other characters that he had read about, it dawned on me who he could be.
Tom Sawyer. At first it was a hard sell. Hubby and I took time to explain to him who Tom Sawyer was and about how he was a mischievous kid. How he wore plain shirts, cut off jeans or overalls and a straw hat and wanted to spend the day fishing. We even picked up a version of the book at Books a Million for the kids to read. Brady was sold at the word hat. If he could've gotten away with it, he would've went to school barefooted. I would've sent him in flip flops if he didn't have p.e. that day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sleeping Habits

Sleep is hard to come by in a house with three kids, five pets and a husband who snores occasionally. Thursday night, sleep was hard to come by for both me and Hubby. I managed to snag a couple of hours while he didn't get much more than that in his truck. Needless to say, after a long night of trick or treating, Hubby and I were both ready to crash by bedtime.

We take steps to ensure that what sleep we get is good sleep. We have fans running to provide white noise. We try to make sure the kids have been through certain steps before bed so that getting up during the night is minor. Hubby sleeps with ear plugs every night while I use them on the nights that he snores enough to prevent me from sleeping. Thursday night I didn't need them. And we crashed. Hard.

Around six Friday morning, Zeus decided that he wanted to go outside. So he started to sharpen his claws on Hubby's golf bag that sits beside the bedroom door. And the bag fell in front of the door, creating a lot of racket on the way down. Now I have learned to adjust to certain noises throughout the night and falling golf clubs were one of those noises. Zeus has knocked them over before so when they fell that morning, I held my breath and waited for Hubby to jump out of bed.

It took fifteen seconds for the noise to penetrate his ear plugs and register in his brain. Fifteen seconds for him to jump up and look out the blinds while trying to determine what it was he actually heard. So I asked him, "What are you doing?"

"I heard something."

"Zeus knocked over your golf clubs."


"Zeus knocked over your golf clubs."


Now a few hours later, after we had been up for a while, I took the opportunity to explain the time difference that it took from when it actually happened to when he reacted. He still denies it. But he knows it's true.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We have survived another Halloween! The kids loved their costumes, had a wonderful time trick or treating and collected a massive amount of candy. Brady went as a zombie.Bryce went as Jason.Belle went as a dead cheerleader.I couldn't look at Bryce with his sucker sticking out of his mask and not take a picture of it.The only thing I wore was some black fingernail polish, black lipstick and heavy eye makeup as I tried to pull of a gothic type look. Because my hair is colored from February, I couldn't spray it so I was an out of place blond goth.Hubby made it home this morning and got to go trick or treating with us for the first time in a couple of years. He decided he was going to dress for the occasion. I had to have a picture of him painting his nails because what photo album is complete without a man painting his nails. Here is the finished product. I should've had him paint mine!He had fun with the paint and enjoyed watching the neighborhood kids watch him until he was out of their sights.And no Halloween is complete without candy. Hubby and I bought some while in town today and while it wasn't a three pound chunk of chocolate that costs $20, it's a 2 1/2 pound bag of tootsie rolls for $5. I think it was a fine trade.We followed up trick or treating with dinner and my parents house. The kids enjoyed hot dogs while the adults feasted on a nice big pot of homemade chili. Perfect for the cold night out. I can't tell you how much effort it took to get the makeup off the kids and I'm going to spare you a picture of their bathtub and all of the black that is now left behind. But I can tell you that I am now ready for bed and to end this day but a question first. Did you have a nice Halloween?

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Eleven years ago today, I naively entered into the world of motherhood with the birth of Bryce. I didn't have a clue as to what was in store for me each and every day.
But I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Ten years ago today, I found myself in a hospital glad that she was finally here five days past her due date. She stunned us by being a little girl. I just knew she was a boy!
She says she had a good birthday today. She practiced hard at basketball practice after school, came home to carve pumpkins and eat grilled cheese sandwiches. She chose the evening meal tonight. And now on to the Jack-O-Lanterns. Brady's is first, Bryce's second and Belle's last.
My camera does not take pictures at night without a flash well so these were taking with the technique of my fingers across the flash. Not totally dark but not the strong bright light either. Oh and your missing my finger in the corner of the pictures that I expertly cropped out of the picture before adding it.

I had every intention on taking a picture of my twins today, but unfortunately I had all three kids in bed before I thought about it again. Today I have an eight year old and two ten year olds. Tomorrow it will all change. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Lazy Brood and Overloaded Truck

The animals here have been lazy lately and have been finding the oddest places and positions to sleep. Such as Callie asleep on the end of my ironing board.And in a strange position on the love seat arranged nicely between a Bible and the Sunday paper inserts.And poor Gracie just curled up and crashed in Hubby's lap just like the baby she is.I mentioned in my last post that Brady finally got a hair cut. Belle got a Bratz hair color doll set for her birthday and colored every child's hair that passed through our doors this weekend. Don't you love those beautiful eyes? I've missed them so.

And Hubby picked up the shingles needed to work on the roof. Here is all 18 squares loaded on the back of the truck.
I'm stunned he didn't blow a tire. They are now waiting impatiently in my way to be put on my roof. We've pulled out reinforcements to get the job done. My brother will be here Sunday to work and Dad will be here probably Sunday, maybe even Saturday if he isn't working. Gotta love family labor.

Bryce and Belle enjoyed their first basketball practice. They like their teammates and new coaches. Their concert went well last night, too. They had a blast dressing up so they could perform their "story." They are keeping me busy to say the least. Belle has basketball practice tomorrow after school, Bryce has it on Friday after school. Belle has strings practice today after school and Bryce tomorrow after school. Brady still hasn't heard from his coach about his team practices yet. Hopefully soon. Anyone think I'm gluten for punishment yet?