Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Medicine is an Awesome Thing

I wish I could say that I feel better today, but I definitely don't. The sudafed I bought to try to clear my head didn't really help. Last night, I struggled to get to sleep because my head was so stuffy. When I finally got to sleep good, the dogs barking woke me up again. I never did find out what caused them to start barking but Sophie was having a fit when I got up at 12:30. So I let them outside for a few minutes and put them back to bed. Just after 1, one of the kids got up and went to the bathroom. I never found out which one it was because they turned the lights out behind them and went to bed. At two, Sophie and Gracie had escaped from the laundry room where they sleep and Gracie began to bark in the hallway, waking me yet again. So I threw them outside again for a few minutes and put them back to bed. I finally got back to sleep before Zeus woke me at 5 to go outside. Then I didn't want to get up at 6 to put the kids on the bus. So after they got on the bus, I talked to Hubby (more on that in a bit) and went back to sleep on the couch. At 10, after I had been up for a bit, I got up and grabbed a shower so that I could go to the store. The longer I was up the more I realize that sudafed is not going to help everything that I was suffering from. So off it was to Wal-Mart for some serious drugs. By the time I left the store, I had things in my buggy to make enchiladas for supper, kleenex, orange juice and a box of Dayquil/Nyquil. Right now I am doing good on my Dayquil but that should be wearing off in the next hour or so. My ears aren't hurting, my teeth aren't hurting and I finally got rid of the headache that has held me captive all day. This mornings nap was not the only one I took. I also grabbed one about 1:30 this afternoon before the kids got home. When this dose of meds give up here shortly, I will be taking my Nyquil. Then I'm going to call it a night.

One thing I don't understand about medications is why they feel the need to adjust dosages. Dayquil has 325 mg of acetaminophen in each capsule. Two means that you are taking 650 mg of the same medication as tylenol. Extra-strength tylenol is 500mg and it is recommended that adults take two or 1000mg. Why then is the amount of acetaminophen in Dayquil/Nyquil is the equivalent of two regular strength tylenol?

Hubby is still stuck in South Dakota. He is fine, thank goodness, but the interstate he really needs to take is closed and the second round of snow has moved in but is expected to move out overnight. He made the mistake of turning off his truck last night, and by morning he was freezing even though he has a generator on the truck to keep it warm. He finally got it warmed back up this afternoon and I told him to leave it running. His company can eat the cost to keep him warm after sending him up there. The truck stop he is at is still open so he has been able to go in and move around as well as eat and warm up. He has gone to bed for the night hoping he can move at some point tomorrow. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

The kids are sleeping, finally but I'm afraid that Belle is attempting to come down with the same thing I have. They are excited about getting next week off for spring break and are antsy awaiting the end of this week. So much so they are driving me crazy with the things they are wanting to do. Hopefully, I will be over this before they go on spring break. It's so much easier to take care of the kids when I'm not sick.

Now I'm am going to finish my oj and get ready to take me some Nyquil. Hopefully the animals will sleep tonight.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Dream, a Cat and a Blizzard

It's funny how pets and dreams can make your life interesting. Early Saturday morning, I was in the middle of a dream, and while I honestly don't remember who I was talking to, I do remember telling them that when a cat rubs it's nose on you, it was loving on you and wanted you to pet it. While informing them of this bit of information, I had a cat in my arms who was rubbing it's nose across my cheek. Slowly, I came to realize that it wasn't just a dream. Zeus was sitting on my chest and was rubbing his nose across my cheek trying to wake me up. Funny, I didn't feel much like being loved on at 3am.

Hubby called the company he is driving for (not the company he is actually employed with) and informed them of his fears of getting caught in the blizzard that is currently blowing through the mid-west. They felt that if he could get north of it then he would be ok. What they didn't take into consideration is that federal drive laws only allow him to drive for so many hours during the day before he is required to take a 10 hour break. He left St. Louis this morning just after 7am and is currently stopped at a truck stop in Watertown, South Dakota. There, chances are, he will be for the next few days since they are expecting 6-10 inches of snow. Tonight. And another 3-5 inches of snow. Tomorrow. And another inch of snow. Tomorrow night. So I am anxious. I informed him that he is to stop at a truck stop where he has a choice of meals, bathroom, and a hotel nearby. He did just that. He is within all of those orders as well as at a stop that accepts the cards the drivers use when they need to purchase fuel at company expense. With any luck, they will be more prepared for this type of weather than we were and not lose power. If they do lose power, my hopes are that somewhere in the vicinity of where he is stopped there is a generator. So I wait until tomorrow to make sure he is alright. Before he hung up for sleep tonight, I made sure to get contact numbers from his company so that if he loses his cell phone I can try to get in contact with him through his computer in his truck. Please remember him as you go about your day. It was frightening enough to go through an ice storm at home without power but I can't imagine sitting out a blizzard in the back of a semi truck.

On the home front, my body has finally decided to betray me and get sick. I am in the process of coming down with one nasty cold. There is so much pressure in my head that my teeth ache. Tonight I'm hoping that the sudafed I just took will be enough to knock me out, at least until morning. So for now, I'm hunting down the tylenol and settling down so I don't have to think. Or move.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Back Up and Running

Friday morning I got up to put the kids on the bus and found my internet up and running. I went through my emails, looked at a few things trying to catch up on what I missed but time was limited. Hubby was on his way home and I would be driving to Tennessee to get him so I had to be showered and ready when he called to let me know that he was nearby. He was coming down right through the area so I was going to fall in behind him and follow him down to our destination. By the time we got home, it was just after 1pm. Shortly after, the ISP company called about the message I left. On Wednesday. A tech was in my driveway in under 15 minutes with a new modem. Of course I made it clear how unhappy I was that my modem was the problem and I had called three weeks before. A phone call that wasn't returned. So for now we're watching to see if the modem was actually the problem.

Friday afternoon, I went to the grocery and left Hubby to get the kids off the bus, because I'm nice that way. Honestly, he volunteered to stay behind while I got groceries. And I didn't hesitate to take him up on that offer because who could turn down a chance to grocery shop while the kids play at home? When I returned home, Belle had gone to a friends house on a play date, Brady was wanting a friend to come over for a play date and Hubby was on the roof. Yes, on the roof of our house. He was rewiring our tv antenna since we can't seem to get the signal to work after we split the cable. After crawling under the house three different times, we still haven't gotten the darn thing to work. Brady's friend came over to play, I went to get Belle around 5 and got to watch the neighbors baby for a bit during all of this. We finally ordered pizza for a late supper. Belle then volunteered for the first bath of the night. I bought her a razor while I was at the store and she was very excited at the idea of shaving for the first time. Words cannot describe how not ready I was for this step, but I knew that the time was right for her. We both survived the ordeal, her without a nick and me with my sanity still intact. I can say that it did bring me a bit of joy knowing that she still needed me when taking this step. She has a couple of friends that are shaving and has seen the effects of how a razor can cut. She wanted me to use the razor first and show her how to work it. She hasn't decided she's smarter than me yet!

Saturday started off about the same way. The kids got up and fixed themselves breakfast. Then started the running. Again. Brady went to the same friends house for a play date. Belle and Bryce ran around the house playing while making a lot of noise. And noise. And more noise. Hubby was still working on the tv, trying to get it up and running while I tackled mountains of laundry. Laundry that I am still trying to conquer, but has diminished greatly. I got to watch the baby again for a few minutes while his dad put down a new mailbox post after his fell over. Still enough time to take in that sweet baby smell and giggles. I don't think I sat down much over the course of Saturday to do anything except glance at an email. So much for a quiet day.

Today has been another day of running. We went for a Sunday paper and a few things from the store so that Hubby could leave again. I never pick up anything that Hubby will take in his truck on Friday because he never knows what he wants until the last minute. So we usually go to get it just before he leaves. Then I made a decent lunch so that Hubby could have a good meal before taking off again. We got him to his truck and I made the trip home in 75 minutes with no worries other than threatening to pull the car over and adjust a few kids attitudes. As of right now, Hubby is in St. Louis, getting ready to sleep for tonight. Unfortunately, he is supposed to be headed into North Dakota which is already under blizzard conditions. Tomorrow he will be calling the company he is running for to see if they can change the delivery for next week. The area he is delivering to is north of the storm, but he would still have to drive through it to get to his destination and as it stands right now, most of the roads in the south central part of the state has been put under an order from DOT that they be avoided. I'll be sure to update you on what happens tomorrow with his delivery. He is to call me for road conditions in the state before calling the company or pushing on. My hopes are that they turn him back for something else. I hope.

This is the last week of school for the kids before spring break. Parent-teacher conferences are on Thursday where I will get their report cards. Hopefully some of the grades will be better than what they brought home on their mid-term reports. We'll see what happens. I did forget to mention that a friend of mine let me know she saw Bryce's picture in the paper where he was student of the month for January. When I asked him about it (because I knew nothing about it) his response was, "So that's what that picture was for! They took our picture, told us to get a sucker and go back to class." I can only assume the reason he didn't know himself was because it was during the period of not listening to his teacher. He was awarded for fairness, the first time he has been awarded student of the month in a few years. He was excited when he found out.

Now that I think I am finally up to date on everything going on, I am going to call it a night. Six comes very quickly, especially if Zeus doesn't feel the need to let me sleep. That is a story I neglected to share, but definitely a topic for tomorrow!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I have a good one, I swear! Tuesday morning, I was minding my own business, watching Brothers and Sisters on abc's website when my internet connection decided it didn't want to be connected any more. It then proceeded to mock me every time I walked by and checked it. That little flashing red light would literally laugh maniacally at me for even thinking about looking at it. Ok, maybe I just heard it laughing at me.

Anyhoo, I called my ISP on Wednesday and left a message with tech support. According to their message, they will get back to me "at their earliest convenience". I still haven't heard anything from them, although I did ask Hubby what he thought they would say if I offered to pay them at my earliest convenience. I have been going absolutely crazy. Part of me even considered stopping by Backyard Burgers and buying a burger just so that I could partake in their new offer of free Wi-Fi. Instead I mentioned my plight to my darling neighbor who recently hooked up with AT&T internet. Internet that allows her to connect four computers at a time. Internet that she was willing to share with me so that I could feed my addiction while the kids are sleeping soundly in their beds. Wasn't that so nice of her?

So here I am, checking in from the backseat of my van (where the laptop is currently plugged and charging), hijacking my neighbors signal. I have no shame. I'm alive and kicking but truly bored here at home. Unless I receive a call back first thing in the morning, you can bet I'll be calling and leaving yet another message for tech support tomorrow. Or I may have Hubby do it. You know that "man get a better, faster response" thing. So until next time, I'll be pulling my hair out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Drove Home from Tennessee

Just over a week ago, Hubby applied for a position within his company to drive strictly for one of their customers. Unfortunately this position doesn't get him home every day but does have it's benefits. He will get to drive more miles with this position than he has in the last six months, which is great. He will usually know the before the end of the week where next week will take him. By this past Thursday, we knew that Hubby would be going to North Carolina and Pennsylvania this coming week and would be home probably on Saturday. This position will allow him to keep his insurance through his company which means no wait time for it to kick in and no worries about pre-existing conditions. He will still be home every weekend since this company does not run weekend shifts. One bad thing about the job is that I have to take him to Dyersburg Tennessee every week and then return to get him at the end of the week, at least until we get another vehicle.

I hate driving like this.

I can drive around town, can drive to neighboring towns, but I can not stand having to drive well outside of my hometown that requires changing between major highways. This trip is roughly an hour and a half and in all fairness is not that difficult of a drive. I've taken longer trips to Indiana without Hubby to meet up with my sister-in-law. But I worry. I worry that I've missed my turn and should've taken the exit before. Then I start to panic because I don't remember this highway being this long before my next exit. Once I hit the Kentucky line on a highway I've driven since I was sixteen years old, I felt I could breathe again. I made the trip home tonight without any incidents. I drove home from Tennessee by myself, for the first time ever, with three kids in the car! And now? I'm going to sleep and hope that the trip doesn't haunt me in my dreams. Maybe tomorrow I will tackle another fear, but I will not make that decision tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

According to Facebook....

Not much more has happened between last night and tonight, although I did come up with a couple of random things. Last weekend, I called Brady into the kids bathroom with me and handed him a rag. I sprayed the toilet seat down with lysol and had him clean. I did it again with the bottom of the seat and the toilet itself. Then I let him know that if he didn't start paying attention to his aim, that he would sit on that wet seat (like Belle does if she doesn't look first) then he would clean it. Again. While babysitting yesterday, I felt I'd better use the kids bathroom rather than my own because the baby was playing in the living room floor and it was closer. So before I even attempted to use the toilet, I inspected it first. Imagine my surprise when I found the darn thing was spotless! Not once has he wet the seat in the last five or six days! I was excited!

Today on Facebook, a friend of mine took one of the quizzes that passes through. It was the "How Many Kids Should You Have" quiz and it informed her that she should have two kids. She has three. So I felt the need to take the same quiz. Now based on how old I was going to be when I planned to have children (in my case when I did), how old my mom was when she had me, how many siblings I have and depending on which of the Beatles, the Beach Boys or the Monkees I liked best, the quiz informed me that I was supposed to have six kids. I have no idea what my choice in music had to do with this information and I can't remember what the other question I had to answer was either, but it just knew I was destined to have six kids. So this six kids business I had to share. I called Hubby and informed him that Facebook told me we were supposed to have six kids. His response? "Absolutely Not!" So I calmly informed him that Facebook told me we were supposed to so that should trump his need to not have another child. He did not feel the need that a social network should tell us the number of children to have. I tried!

In baby news though, I have spent the last two days eating up the baby boy that had the horror pleasure of staying with me. One cannot resist those chubby little cheeks with the precious little dimples and that big round belly that just screamed for to blow raspberries on it after I changed that diaper to get his precious little giggle. I got to cuddle with him today for a bit as he woke up good from his nap and smell his sweet baby lotion. I've got enough baby today to tide me over until tomorrow next weekish. I hope.

Belle performed tonight along with about 20 other fourth graders from her class for the board of education. They sang a song and performed a song on "boomwhackers" and I swear I knew that song! The song itself was calling something silly like Seriously Wacky or something like that but I know it from an old 50's or 60's song but I just can't put my finger on it. I knew it while they were playing it but my poor child-bearing memory lost it the minute I had to gather three kids and walk out the door to load them into my car. The kids performed well and Bryce and Brady were very well behaved the entire time we waited for the performance to start and finish. I even got quite a few compliments on how Brady decided to carry a book with him to read while waiting and how nice it was to see a boy so devoted to reading. If they only knew! Granted the boys has no qualms about reading and can put away a pretty good sized book (they all can) but he'd rather being playing video games than going through a good book.

After all this babysitting, chauffeuring, laundering, cooking, cleaning stuff that I've had to do over the last couple of days, I feel I've earned a nice, hot bath. So I'm going to enjoy some quiet as the kids sleep and I wind down for bed while plotting out my strategy to get the rest of my six kids.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Few Dull Updates

I swear someone somewhere is determined to fix my internet addiction! Starting Saturday evening, my internet was offline more than it was on. And it was miserable for both me and Hubby, not that he will admit it. With Hubby being gone all week long, he is limited for time on the internet, so when it's in and out all weekend long it's very difficult for him to get any surfing done. What really hurt was Bryce had homework he had to work on for Wednesday and he wasn't able to get it completed until it finally came back up for good on Tuesday. I had every intention on taking him to the library or to my parents house if it wasn't up and running.

Friday night, Hubby called to let me know he was home just as Mom and Dad were down the street getting ready to pick up the kids. They pulled up and the kids had no idea the car was sitting in the driveway. Dad honked the horn and not one of them heard it so he opened the front door and told them if they were going with him, they'd better get moving. All three were out the door with their stuff in under 30 seconds. Wish he was around when it was time to get ready for the bus in the mornings!

Since it was almost six before Hubby and I got back into town Friday evening, we decided to eat at the house and rent a couple of movies. We ordered Chinese and watched The Haunting of Molly Hartley and Max Payne. Max Payne was ok, had a lot of twists and turns in it that made sense at the end and Molly Hartley was a typical horror flick. You always knew when something was coming. All in all, not a bad night. We picked the kids up around lunch on Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday were really uneventful. We hung around the house for the most part on both days. Hubby tuned up the tiller so that it was ready for when I decided to put out my garden. We had intended on making it to church on Sunday but none of us made it out of bed before 9am and since service started at 10, made it very difficult to be there on time.

Monday, Hubby was fitted for new glasses and went in for a check up following his last visit. Tuesday, he started the mower, tilled my garden plot, and cleaned out his truck for a new driving position that he will be starting next week where he will be getting a new truck. I vacuumed out my van yesterday, a task long over-due, in between laundry and dishes. Hubby left last night for the week.

Today, I got to babysit for my neighbor. He was a sweetheart, giggling, playing by himself a good part of the day, and eating a massive amount of food. I swear the boy is due a growth spurt for the amount of lunch he ate! He also took a couple of steps without help today when he thought I wasn't watching. His mom had told me she'd seen him do it a couple of times but I hadn't gotten to see it until today. The he grabbed hold of the arm of the couch and grinned that huge grin. Little stinker.

Tomorrow I get to babysit for him again as well. Belle is singing with a group of students from her fourth grade class for the board of education tomorrow night so I have to show up at a board meeting. Then I get to leave when she's finished. Aren't I horrible? As for now, I am off to bed after a very long night and a long day today. Maybe tomorrow will bring something a little more blog-worthy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fears, a Trip to Find a Wizard and Plans

Tuesday night, I had another one of those nights. It was warm enough that I had the kids windows and the living room windows up about two inches to let the breeze in. My bedroom window was completely open. Gracie had spent the night walking to the back door and barking. Cheech would walk back to the door and growl, but I couldn't see anything in the backyard that would tell me what they saw. Then came the truck. I was sitting on the couch, talking to Hubby, when a truck came creeping down my street. I mean so slow that I could walk faster than the truck was moving and the driver stayed on the brakes until he was out of sight. When I went to bed, I could not sleep. So I watched some tv and still couldn't get to sleep. Eventually I had to turn on a lamp just so I could doze off. Zeus woke me about three and I was finally at a point that I could turn the lamp off to sleep soundly. I hate those nights, especially when Hubby is in his truck.

This is where Belle found Callie on Wednesday morning. What you can't see in this picture is the layer of clothes that was stretched across the top of the basket, hiding her. The kids were so tickled to find her like this.

Yesterday I went on a quest to find space heaters. With the heater on my central unit being out, I still have to find ways to heat my home and while my new gas logs works wonders, it still gets very cold at night in the bedrooms. I went by Wal-Mart and Lowes to find that both stores had already sold out of heaters and were already stocking fans and window air conditioning units. So I went home empty handed. This morning, I got up when my alarm when off (an amazing feat since I didn't hit my snooze button) and started the logs so that the kids would have a little heat to get ready by. Then around lunch I went to the local Tru-Value store, to see if the wizard had a couple of space heaters. I found a version of this heater. The heater was a little bigger than I had intended on getting but I found heaters! They only had five or six on the end cap where I found them and I walked out with two for the kids bedrooms. I will sleep better tonight knowing that their rooms are warm.

Last night, I had Callie sleep in my bedroom so that she didn't go into the kids rooms with their doors open. As I climbed into bed, she had found her a warm spot, curled up on a turned down section of my bed right in the middle of my electric blanket. Guess she decided she was cold. As I laid there talking with Hubby on the phone, she was steady pouncing on my feet and hand as I moved around. She was determined that she was going to lay down on my pillow with her head through the blinds but after the fifth or sixth time of moving back down to the middle of the bed, she finally gave up and curled up behind my knees. Brady came into my room around 1:30 asking questions and got her stirred up again. He put her back into my room after she escaped and she went back to pouncing on the bed again. This time she decided to pounce up next to my head. I have a nice scratch about 1 1/2" long just above my eyebrow where her claw came down across my forehead. She spent the rest of the night sleep in a laundry basket in the bathroom.

Today, Mom called me and was talking about someone she had just ran into while at Dollar General. I let her know I had literally just past the same girl not 10 minutes before as I was getting ready to pull into Wal-Mart. That let me know she was in town and burning off some time before she had to go by her office. Since we were mere yards away from each other, she had me meet her in the parking lot so that she could give me Easter candy for the kids. This is what she handed me.I told her that I should hold on to them, give them to the kids tomorrow after school and bring them to her house. Yeah, let her handle the sugar buzz! Of course the kids were ecstatic. Belle spotted them first, handed them out to the boys and then asked "Are they from Memaw?" There's no small detail that gets past this girl let me tell ya. So I stretched out the conversation.

"Did I say anything about seeing Memaw today?"

"No, but are they?"

She knows all too well where candy like this comes from. I finally admitted that they did. "I knew it!" Of course she did. Belle took over the phone this evening as I talked to Mom and requested they get to come to her house tomorrow for a sleepover. So tomorrow they are headed to have some grandparent time and Hubby and I get a few minutes to ourselves.

Tonight as I got them ready for bed, things were easy. They took their showers when I told them to. All three kids were showered, dressed and ready for bed with teeth brushed by 7:30. So that's where they went. And they're were all asleep by 8pm. These nights are few and far between but I'll take them when they come.

As of tonight, there are no real plans for tomorrow night. Hubby will not be home until at least 5pm so that really limits what we will have time to do. That means probably a quick dinner and movie at home. An uninterrupted non-child approved movie. Wow. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When is a Warranty a Discount?

I'm sitting on my couch, with my windows open, and a nice breeze blowing across my living room. It is awesome. Or at least it would be if Sophie would stop barking and the boys actually go to sleep without one more incident tonight. I love the spring and fall when it's not too hot and not too cool and I can just open the windows to enjoy the air. Unfortunately, here in the very near future, I will have to shut my windows as storms blow in to our area. Darn!

Yesterday I had turned my a/c unit off because it had gotten cool in the house the night before. I turned it on because the house was so stuffy that no one was sleeping well. Well I noticed that I will still freezing and it wasn't supposed to get out of the sixties so I got up and turned on the heat. After a bit, I was still cold. So I walked back to my thermostat only to find the house had dropped another three degrees instead of going up. That's when I realized something wasn't quite right. I turned the unit off but it didn't turn off. I looked for a reset button on the unit, turned it off at the breaker and left it off for over a half hour. When I turned it back on, the thing was still running. So I called Dad. Poor Dad is the one I call every time something goes wrong and Hubby isn't here. So he came out and looked at the thermostat and unit. He let me know that my heat exhaust was what was actually running (I thought it was the fan) but the a/c section still worked. He took the thermostat off the wall, unhooked the wires and determined that it had to be in the unit because the unit should've shut down without the thermostat attached. So I shut it down at the breaker knowing I would have to call the a/c repairman this morning.

I have very bittersweet feelings about the a/c repairman. Simply because he is going to fix what I need in order to heat and cool my home, but is going to charge me a massive amount of money to do so. I will be billed for a bit of wire and labor for him to open my unit, tell me that some piece had gone out and triggered something else (these are technical terms mind you) and that it would need to be replaced. So he called the office and had the lady working for him (secretary, wife, gf???) check with the company to determine if I had a warranty on my unit. Surprise, I did. I was stunned. This unit will be 10 years old next year and I have a warranty no one told us about. Even with the warranty, it is going to cost us $400 to fix my unit. Come January when my warranty runs out, it will run us $1200. Words cannot describe the frustration. Doesn't warranty usually mean if the part goes out that the company replaces it? I don't know.

Since I had so much to do this morning, I skipped the opportunity to take a nap. The repairman was here within an hour of calling him and left after 45 minutes (bill is in the mail, I'm sure). I applied for an administrative assistant job for a local company. I washed nine loads of laundry today, including the sheets on all four beds, and made those beds. I picked up a small section of the boys bedroom. I folded all of that laundry that I washed and dried. I had the most productive day than I have had in a long time. Maybe tomorrow I will continue to be productive and clean the boys room. Maybe. But that would require me to go to bed soon so I guess that's what I will do. Sleep.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Beds and Brothers

The rest of Friday night finished up uneventfully. Belle spent the night with our neighbor, with explicit instructions to be home by 9:30 Saturday morning. Bryce had passed out by the time I finally got Brady to finish eating and in bed. I went to bed shortly after that.

Belle returned home at 7:30 Saturday morning complaining she wasn't feeling well. Nothing ever came from her complaints, she never got sick so she went about her normal day. Hubby got home around 10 after spending three nights sitting in Texas (sooo not happy about that). We went to the store around lunch time where Hubby took Brady to the toy section for a $5 toy (to make up for the money I forgot), scoring a new Bakugan, while Belle went with me complaining about how unfair the whole situation was. Now I'll have two happy children, one child happy and one in therapy about how she didn't get a $5 toy, or both children in therapy because one got a toy and I bought the other child off. If I'm really lucky, both children will grow up, have children of their own and realize that I only did what I could to keep things even. Bryce didn't voice his opinion about the situation so watch him be the one really affected by the whole situation.

We got back from the store yesterday and Hubby was looking over my shoulder at the corner of the kitchen with this odd look on his face. He turned me around to find Callie was in that corner giving herself a bath. In a fish tank. Ok, it doesn't have water in it but she was still in a fish tank.She finally curled up for a nap. Zeus couldn't be outdone so this morning he curled up on the back of my loveseat and used Bryce's hat for a pillow.Note the "Oh, no! Not again," expression.

We've been struggling with the boys over the last few months. They are at the point that Brady wants to play with Bryce but Bryce wants to play bigger games, games that really aren't fair to Brady. That leads to arguing and ultimately a big blow out. We're averaging at least one good blow out every two or three days. Here they are after Hubby sat them down for arguing yet again on Saturday evening.Notice they couldn't get any further apart on that bench. What your missing is the few minutes they had to hold hands while sitting on the bench. No way Bryce was going to get caught in photos holding his brothers hand!

Yesterday was uneventful. The kids played outside some before storms were to blow through and bring them in. The good thing is that the rain lasted all of thirty minutes before it blew over and they were back outside again. I dropped Hubby off at his truck last night and came home for Brady and Bryce to both inform me that they had homework. Due today. It was 8:30 and I was not a happy mother. They finished it up and went to bed under threats that if they gave me any crap today, they would be seriously paying. They got up with no problems. Imagine that. They're also under strict orders that any homework brought in on Friday will be done on Friday. Any book reports that are brought in will have the book chosen within a couple of days and the report will be completed as soon as the book is finished. I'm not going to do this battle again. That means Belle will be working on her science project assignment when she comes in this afternoon since it is due on the first. She's gonna love me!

Friday, March 6, 2009

And My Baby's Home Again

Brady is home tonight from his field trip. In one piece, not that I was terribly worried he wouldn't be. And the first thing he could say was that he had a horrible day. All because I forgot to send him $5 to spend in the gift shop.

I forgot. I even stopped by the bank yesterday specifically to get money so that he could take it with him. I still forgot to get it out of my purse and put it in his pocket. And I felt horrible when I realized it this morning, but short of chasing down the bus and hoping it would stop after leaving twenty minutes late was asking a bit much.

This is the third year in a row that one of my children have taken this trip to Nashville to the science museum. This is the first year that we received a last minute note about the field trip. It seems that the flu has taken hold of the kids school and has hit third grade especially hard. Because of this, they would be taking the kids temperatures before they boarded the bus and any student with a fever would have to go home. If your child got sick while on the trip, someone had to be ready to come and get them at a moments notice. I cringed just knowing that Brady would either get up sick or come down with it while in Nashville. Lucky for us, he didn't. Last night, I argued with the kids. The boys mainly.

"Go to bed! We've got to get up early in the morning."

"Get back in bed! You're not going to want to get up."

You get the picture. It was like that until 9 when I finally threatened to call Brady's teacher and let her know that he would not be going on the trip. I didn't see him again for the night. I spent the evening struggling to stay awake as I put them to bed, tried to get them to stay in bed and talked to Hubby. Finally at ten, I made my way to bed only for my eyes to pop wide open as soon as my head hit the pillow. Again. It was almost twelve before I finally gave up my fight and fell asleep only for the cat to wake me at 1:30 to go outside. I could've cried when the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. So I got up, showered and made myself presentable so I could drop three kids off at school without looking like a rag-a-muffin. I made sure all three kids were fully dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed, deodorant used and book bags in tow. I fixed Brady's lunch for his field trip and made sure he walked out the door with it and the books he was taking to keep him occupied. But. I. Forgot. His. Spending. Money.

Overall, he enjoyed the science museum. The minute I asked him about it, the tears stopped, his eyes lit up and he couldn't wait to tell me about everything he did and saw. Then I heard where they ate for dinner before coming home. Usually the teachers plan for the kids to eat around the Kentucky/Tennessee line but this time they had a surprise for the kids. This year, they got to eat at the Rainforest Cafe. He got a part of the field trip that Bryce and Belle didn't get to have. And he loved it.

Tonight, after I finally got him out of the shower, Brady came into the living room, sat down on the couch beside me and said, "Mom, I'm hungry and I'm cold and I don't know if I'm going to make it." The power of hunger. It's so powerful, he may succumb to it by breakfast. So I cut him an apple and put him to bed, which is where I'm now headed for the night.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Recap of Family Reading Night and More

Family reading night went really well. The school sets up station based on grades and the kids spend 20 minutes in each station. One station is in the library where the kids read and take their reading tests for double the points. Another station is one of the classrooms where the kids go to play games or create an art project. The last station is story time in the gym where the school brings someone in to read the kids a story. This year the school brought in the local sheriff to read the stories. If his reading style didn't catch the kids attention, his gun certainly did! I admit though, his reading had them captivated. He had a way of emphasizing certain words with a well placed shout that had the kids laughing. It also helped that he read the 3rd and 4th graders a Dr. Seuss book they had never seen. Finally, after they had been to all the stations, they marched their way to the cafeteria for pizza, fruit, chips and drinks. They had a blast.

This afternoon I had a conference scheduled with Brady's teacher about his math. His mid-term report showed a grade that I knew was beneath his abilities. Brady called this morning and let me know that his teacher was absent today so that I didn't get to the school for my meeting only to find her gone. She called me from her home later this morning, letting me know her daughter was sick and that she needed to reschedule. We had a nice conversation about trying to get him to focus more by having him write down her instructions on how to work a problem. He gets a study guide on how to do the problem, I get a problem that lets me know how she taught him to work the problem (so he can't tell me that's not how she taught me!) and he gets to make sure he's focusing on what she's telling him to do. We'll see how well that works. She's also going to send home information on the schools tutoring club so that I can get him into that. One bonus is that she teaches the tutoring for his grade so he will be getting reinforcements from her and not someone else. More on that as things progress.

Now I am finally off to bed so that I can rise at 5:45 to shower before dropping my baby off by 7. He's leaving the state on a field trip, his first time leaving town without me or his daddy. I'm struggling with this. He's my baby! They're all getting too big...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Something Has Gotten Into Me

And I'm not real sure what. First, I mentioned in one of my last two posts that I decided to try and make chocolate, chocolate chip muffins. From scratch. They were ok. I prefer they be a little sweeter and a little richer so I doubt I make them again, or at least that particular recipe. Yesterday, I had to run to the store for a craft that Bryce had to do for school and figured I'd try my hand at blueberry muffins and picked up some frozen blueberries. Usually we are simple people. Martha White Blueberry Muffin packets are usually the way to go. But? The kids and I both agree, the muffin itself was good but the blueberries were not. So much for that. I had one can of biscuits left over from my monkey bread craving and they had a recipe on the package for sugar donuts. They're in the oven now so I'll have to let you know how they turn out. I'm craving something but I just can't figure out for the life of me what it is I want. *Update* - Save yourself the trouble unless your craving canned biscuits with a buttery sugary glaze. Not what I wanted.

Today started out like a typical day. I didn't get to sleep until late last night so I didn't want to get up this morning. I put the kids on the bus, checked my emails and tried to take a nap. About the time I dozed off I started hearing a noise that I couldn't identify. So I sat up and found Gracie gnawing on a box that Hubby received last week. A box with his new work hats still inside. I had to get up and rescue the box before she demolished it (she had only bit a corner). I finally got to sleep and had been asleep close to 30 minutes when a friend called to let me know she and her daughter were on their way out of town. So I gave up and got up. I watched C.S.I. online and chatted with Hubby. At one point, I jumped up hollering because Callie walked across the desk in an attempt to catch the paper coming out of my printer and when I grabbed at her, she gracefully dumped a glass of ice water off into my lap. Hubby was very amused. She did not get the paper she was after. After I changed clothes, I walked through and picked up various things out of the living room floor so that I could eventually vacuum.

After the kids got home from school, I ran to the store to get a can drink for Brady's upcoming field trip (Ladybird, he's headed your way Friday!). I came home, had the kids pick up their things, vacuumed, put away the air mattress from Belle's sleepover weekend before last and got out my can of Pledge. And I started dusting my living room. I swear my dust cloth begged to be put into the washer after just wiping down the tv. I'm not ashamed to admit it took two cloths in order to finish the entire room. Have I mentioned how much I loathe housework? I cannot tell you which I detest more: mopping, dusting or folding laundry. This room is currently dusted, my desk is clean and you can find a seat on the couch and loveseat. My dishes are washed and my countertops and table are all wiped down. I can not tell you how long it has been since I have done this. I could tell you that I have every intention on keeping clean but honestly? Every time I make that vow I break it so why make it now? I'll just save my breath and bask in the glow of my clean computer monitor glaring on me.

I had a good day with the kids for the most part. They listened today. I didn't have to repeat myself time after time in order to get them to do what they needed to do. If I told them to pick something up, they did so. If I told them to get something, they did so. Until bedtime. That would be too easy. Belle was the only one who didn't stall about going to bed. So there was not a lot of fussing at them on my part. I was excited! Maybe tomorrow I can be that lucky! Maybe?

Monday, March 2, 2009

An Art Display

Friday I got a letter from the kids art teacher that Bryce and Belle both had artwork featured in a show that was to be open tonight. Bryce was indifferent at the time, but Belle was adamant. She wanted to go! Well after some checking, it seemed we were going to have to be at the art show for the schools latest orchestra concert Mascot* Idol (*enter the local county mascot for those who know us). So this afternoon we waded through some serious homework, had an early supper and made our way to the schools "Performing Arts" center.

Both kids had art quilts on display so I took pictures of them standing by their pieces.Bryce's is the curved piece above his head.Belle's is the piece on the bottom left corner, just below her sleeve.

The concert was a success with both kids playing a solo piece before the group performances. They have one last performance for the year coming up soon so that will be what they work towards next. Brady will be working toward how to sit through a performance without trying to take things out of my lap, curling up in the seat to lay down and asking questions that he knows can wait until after the show.

I have spent today curled up in a ball in a blanket. I'm freezing and nothing seems to help! My heat is on it's usual setting, I've turned on the logs for a bit and even under the blanket, I'm still cold. I'm hoping when I go to bed tonight that my electric blanket will help thaw the chill. Or maybe a hot bath will.

Last night, as Hubby and I was getting ready for bed, I asked him to run me a bath while I finished folding towels and put another load of laundry into the dryer. When I got to the bathroom a few minutes later, not only did I find a bath, but I found a bubble bath waiting for me! I was so excited especially since I was just expecting the tub of hot water. So sweet! I hated seeing him off to Texas this morning.

Tomorrow is Family Reading Night at the kids school. They get story time, pizza, and any test they take toward accelerated reading goals is doubled in points. It will run right up until bedtime. That always has it's pros and cons since they are usually pretty keyed up by the time we get home. So for now, I'm going to try and sleep so that I can face tomorrow night head on.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kinda On the Ball

I hit publish on my post yesterday, shut down my browser, walked to the kitchen and came back to find my modem flashing again, informing me that it was down. Again. Not two minutes after I left. I swear that someone is trying to limit my internet time. I admit, I'm addicted but allow me to make the choice to face that addiction. Don't make it for me.

Of course, it's back up again. It came back up yesterday and did the off and on thing but today? I've had internet all. day. long. So I caught up on my facebook applications and emails. I have most of my laundry washed and everything that is finished has been folded. And put away! My dishwasher is running and my kitchen is clean. I just pulled a batch of chocolate, chocolate chip muffins out of the oven for breakfast in the morning. The kitchen, laundry room and hall floors are swept. I've accomplished! But then again, I felt like I've been lazy all day long and haven't done anything. That, I will never understand.

But for now, I'm going to go curl up with my Hubby, watch Brothers and Sisters and enjoying some quiet time. What have you done today?