Saturday, May 31, 2008

Facing My Fears, Making a Change

The hot yoga isn't working; the evening walks don't help. The scale in my bathroom is slowly creeping up and my clothes are getting tighter and tighter. Today, I slid into some cargo pants, the pants I bought for my right after Spanky was born stage, and they were snug. I quickly slid out and looked at the size--about 3 sizes bigger than I was wearing last fall. I went to the closet and looked at all my clothes, trying skirt after skirt, pants after pants. All tight.

I sighed. It was time to admit my yoga and walks weren't doing the job any more. Last fall, I was running--I was happy but my knees were in pain. I turned to yoga and walking. Everything was fine; I noticed a bit more clinging in some clothes but not much. I noticed my rear view in the side mirror at yoga was a bit more bubbly than usual but I brushed it off. Surely I was not getting f-a-t but I was. And here I am today, bursting in clothes that, a year ago, did not even belong in my closet.

I know what I need to do. I need to rejoin the gym my husband already goes to and go back to the heart pumping, intense spin and step classes I used to attend more religiously than church. And this means addressing a real issue I have. No, it's not being in a room filled with beautiful buff super models (at least they look like this to me). It's child-care.

See I have this thing about germs, specifically kids with runny noses. I don't know why this bugs me so much. I have this overwhelming fear my kid will get colds. I remember in play group with my oldest the moms discussing ear infections and RSV. It got to the point I could not breathe if I saw a child with a really nasty green snotty nose. I would seriously need to leave the room. I have not shared this with many people. Other moms used to discuss how they had germaphobia. I was relived until  I would say something like 'Isn't it so hard to go to the mall at Christmas' or 'I alway have to wash my hands and my kids' hands after they touch a menu in a restaurant' or 'I never eat from buffets'--the moms always seemed to look at me  funny and slowly back away. I knew my fear was irrational. 

My germaphobia came to a full blown problem when Spanky was born (and I didn't mind wearing those 3 sizes too big cargos). I was having problems going to church; I didn't want Dino going to school; I made everyone carry a bottle of Purell with them at all times. And then I saw a request on Dr.Phil's website asking if you were scared of your kids getting sick even though they never got sick. Well let's see--between my four kids, I have had a total of three sick visits, only one which required antibiotics (sinus infection)--and of course I am horrified of my kids getting the plague so I wrote in and two hours later they called. Originally the producers wanted to share my letter or maybe feature my phone call but after they talked to me and learned I was slowly becoming Howard Hughes--we were off to LA with Spanky. And this is where it gets crazy--I was a wreck about bringing Spanky on a plane with all the enclosed germs. I had visions of him developing a cough and getting a runny nose at 8 weeks old. We almost did not get on the plane. But we did and nothing happened. Later, we went to the very crowded Christmas Eve service, and nothing happened. We drove to Ohio, not a single runny nose. Dino went back to school, not one cough. I started to feel better. The kids got chicken pox; I was OK. No panic attacks and then two weeks ago, Dino had a cough and I did not sit up all night pacing, horrified it was RSV, and he would have a cough forever. He survived

So I think I might be ready to drop off my kids at one of the most germ infested areas of the free world, my small town gym child care. I believe it is time to face this fear and get stronger (mentally and physically). I do not want to live in seclusion so I can be super healthy but drop dead of obesity at age 45.

I know there will be colds, maybe even a stomach bug but I feel it is time for me to do this for me and my family. But I do think I will wash their hands before and after each visit ;)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That Mommy Quiz

I am taking the Mommy Quiz you've probably already seen floating around the blog world. I decided to share since it did not say 'parent you don't want in your play group' or 'mom that really needs a new profession'....

Your type is: ISFJ —The “Tender Loving Care” Mother

“I want my children to feel they have an ally, someone who knows them completely. I want to be a haven for them.”

Gentle and kind, the ISFJ mother provides her children with generous amounts of tenderness, affection, and the comfort of daily routine. Her aim is to “be there” for her children, physically and emotionally. She is sensitive to their feelings, offering closeness, understanding, and quiet support.
Loyal and devoted, the ISFJ mother has a strong sense of duty and consistently puts her children’s needs first. She delights in taking care of the little things that matter to a child, making each one feel loved and special.
To provide her family with security and warmth, the ISFJ mother tends to the practical and domestic, aiming for a smooth-running household and an attractive home. She also observes and conveys the value and importance of family traditions.

A lot of this is true and I'll be blunt, some is not. I am firm believer in not being my child's friend. My kids can go down the street and find a friend. I am a mother. I am here for guidance and support. It is important for them to see the big picture and feel the consequences of a mistake. Yes, I do want to always be a haven for them but I think there are times they need to fail in order to be a real success. My best example of these points would be Miley and a recent history test. Miley attends a school that pushes lots of memorization for the grammar school years. She has a list of some historical events and dates she needs to memorize (building up to almost 40 events by then end of the year). Usually before the test, she writes out all the dates, then she does a 'puzzle' with the events and dates, and then she takes a mock quiz from me. One time, Miley told me she already knew it and did not need to study in my fashion. I knew she had a pretty good grade at this point so I told her she could do all the studying on her own on one condition. If she got below an 80, she would have to study my way no complaining allowed. On test day, I resisted every temptation to orally quiz her on the drive to school. And when I picked her up, I didn't even have to ask how she did--it was on her face. A 62--that is a low D, almost failing. A hard pill to swallow for a girl who usually aces the timeline tests.  A friend would not have let her fail, she would have done everything in her power to help, no matter what, to make her friend happy. I am not her friend.  I wanted Miley to know you need to work hard to succeed--you don't just get an A for showing up. Yes, I still hugged her and wiped the tears over the test, but now she takes studying seriously (at least she did for the rest of this year!). 

Monday, May 26, 2008

To Dino on his big 4 birthday!


Dearest Dino,

You are four--oh my goodness FOUR!! I still remember your birth--I remember how beyond ecstatic your sisters were when you were born. I remember how sweet you were no matter how many times we changed your outfits--you in my mind--were my last baby and I made it a point to remember each and every minute. 

This has been an amazing year for you! You have grown so much. You have started talking more--you love talking to just me at bedtime about your day. You love going 'under' blankets and we pretend to have a picnic with pepperoni pizza, doughnuts and juice :)

You love your cars. Lightning McQueen and Mr. the King go on magical journeys throughout our house. You build amazing little towns for them and towers are still your speciality.

You have a total fascination  with letters--especially 'A' and 'H'--you want to read so badly. We have started on Bob books and I know you love looking through them--although nothing can replace your two favorites 'Pizza Pat' and 'The Very Hungry Catapillar'.

You love music. Kindermusik is your favorite time of the week. At home, you like Michael Bubble and Josh Groban along with your Cars soundtrack. 

You are very serious about your dress and making sure everything you wear is spotless and 'neat and clean'--you say that about everything you like :) I never have to worry about messes where you are concerned. You even like to clean up with me.

Your best friends are Sophie, Kelly and Griffin. You are so excited when they come over and you love to smile and make them happy! You also love your pals from blastball. (You like to hit the ball but you really love outfielding and screaming 'BLAST" when you get the ball.) But your favorite playmates are your two sisters and brother. You love to run outside and play for hours in the little pool and on the swingset. 

Dino, you continue to amaze me in all you do. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you. I know you are destined for great things :)

I love you and I love your kisses and hugs--they always make a frown turn upside down!



Sunday, May 25, 2008

Help a Soldier Phone Home

In honor of Memorial day, I'd like to give a shout out to this very cool cause. Basically, if you have an old cell phone, you can send it here and a soldier has a cell phone he or she can use to call home. So drop off your old cell phone today and if you don't have one, maybe it's time for a new one--you know you want an iPhone, right?! (I've said it once and I'll say it again, they are a godsend!) 

 I got a shipping bag for my old phone in my last Amazon order so be on the look out if you are one of those on-line shoppers--it even comes postage paid!

And a special message to the soldiers and the families at home who are missing them, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU

You are in my prayers every night!

Friday, May 23, 2008

How to get your kids to hate fast food

(Yes, I'm posting again today. I am thinking my last post made sense to about 3% of the world so I figure I better share something that the 97% can enjoy too, hopefully or at the very least push the other post down the page !)

My kids do not like fast food, really. I cannot even get gas by the gas station next to the Golden Arches; the fries smell makes my daughters want to vomit (and they tell me this every time!).
School even offers a Chick-Fil-A day my kids refuse to eat--now they want the meal because everyone else has one but they also want me to still pack an entire lunch (future blog topic, trust me!). 

So how did they get this way? Well, I will admit since they were very tiny embryos in the womb, I would whisper the dangers of fast food, read pages from 'Fast Food Nation' as bed time stories and watch bits of Supersize Me during nursing sessions. But I can't take all the credit. Oh no, the daddy really scared them of fast food for life.

Daddy, you see, is a fast food lover. He would eat it everyday if he was not lucky enough to have me as a wife ;) but back to the 'event'. Miley was about three years old and Sara was just born. I was discussing food with a neighbor--I do this a lot! -- and she mentioned a friend who got e.coli from a burger at a nearby fast food place. Later that day, I informed the husband he needed to stop eating fast food meat for a while because I did not want to deal with e.coli, a toddler and a newborn all at once. I will admit I had some post pardum control issues.

So anyway, the very next day, I went to get my hair done and the husband watched to girls. When he picked me up, I saw wrappers from a fast food place in the car.

"Miley had no meat, "the husband said when I saw the crumbled wrapper.

"And you?"


"I swear if you get sick, you can drive yourself to the ER."


The car was quiet.

Later that evening, I gathered up the girls for an evening walk when the husband grabbed my arm from the couch and asked me to stay.

"I feel kind of funny," he paused. "In a really bad way. I think I'm getting sick."

I sighed; brought the girls back in and proceeded to entertain while the husband disappeared in the bathroom for a few hours.

I was getting ready to put the girls down when the husband called for me.

"Lisa," he cried. "I need to go to the ER. I am feeling like I am going to die."

So we loaded up the girls and headed for the ER. During this trip, I started to ask the husband why he would feel so bad. I answered the question myself and tore into my whole anti-fast food rant (yes, I have one).

At the ER, we waited in the main lobby while the husband was ushered in back. After three hours, I got restless watching crappy TV with a whiney toddler and a very cranky newborn and we headed in the back.

There Miley saw her daddy strapped to an IV and moaning on a stretcher. 

"Food poisoning. I think it was bad mayo on the burger, "he mumbled and then leaned over and vomited everywhere. There was a man right outside the curtain with a bucket so I am guessing this had already happened a few times.

Now the good wife would have wiped her husband's brow and tell him it's OK.

Instead in my very grouchy, sleep deprived state I turned to Miley and said ,"This is what happens when you eat fast food." 

Miley's eyes grew wider than saucers. She has not touched fast food since  and because she is the oldest, the younger kids have followed her path, unlike daddy but that's a post for another time.

American Idol SHOCKER!

I am still kind of deaf from the screaming by my girls during that shocking AI moment.  How did the producers keep it a secret?

What? Did you think I was referring to something else? Obviously, you do not have a 7 -14 year old girl in your house or neighborhood ;)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Friends don't let friends google late at night

Dino had a nasty cough for 3 days. It was mostly at night and he had a mild fever but not much else. Since my younger daughter had a reaction to Motrin at a very early age, I have always been weary of giving anything other than homeopathic 'cures'. The cough was starting to disrupt our sleep, severely. I tried rubbing Vick's Vapo Rub on his feet and covering them with thick socks--cough, cough, cough--I tried this fantastic cough helper from Whole Foods--cough, cough, cough--finally on the fourth night (and less than 12 hours of sleep total), I asked the wonderful husband to run to Target and get Shower Soothers; these are little tabs you put in the shower and they dissolve giving off a vapor to soothe coughs. It seemed to work until about 3 am and he was coughing again. 

The fantastic husband wakes up with him and brings him to the shower. I walk in to help (because I was not able to sleep with the coughing) and I notice he has rashes all over his back and a very flushed face. Both husband and I look at each other dumbfounded. 

"I'm looking this up," husband runs off to the Mac.

I get him the shower with another Soother and notice he is a bit warm. His fever was on and off this entire time but he had been fever free for two days. This did not feel good.

"Lisa, "hubby runs in the room. "Did he ever get his MMR?"

We are on a delayed schedule due once again to reactions my daughters got early on. You know that reaction 1 in 10,000 get--we are that one. So we are on a delayed schedule and refuse some vaccinations  like chicken pox and get the very serious vax shots (like polio) first. The MMR was not at the top of our list.
"Um, no. "My eyes are wide open, "The doctor wants us to wait until age 4 and then split them out."

Our doctor remembers the reaction.

"Well, it's measles, just look."

I scurry off to see the computer and see he googled Cough + fever + rash. One cause according to Web MD--measles. And there's more--measles are highly contagious and very dangerous for the very young and very old. I think of my dear sweet Spanky sleeping soundly. Was he in danger? I google even more--measles are equal in horror to the plague, cancer and heart disease combined, at least that's what I read in my sleep deprived state.

We dry off Dino and I spent the rest of the night looking up measles and symptoms and it all makes sense. He has measles. 

In the morning, Dino wakes up, no fever but still spotty. I get him the shower with another soother and I notice more spots. Poor kid--first chicken pox, now this.

I call the nurse. I explain the symptoms. She tells me she can make no judgement over the phone. We need to come in. I ask about something for his itching.

"A rash doesn't usually itch,"she says. "Where did the spots start?"

"Well, "I struggle to remember--I had been up since three afterall--" He had some big ones on his stomach but now he has a bunch of bumpy ones on his calves and feet."

"Rashes don't usually travel."

She then asks if he has been around anything new or taken anything new.

Nothing but the Shower Soothers.

"He is having an allergic reaction. He has hives. Give him some Benedryl and see what happens."

The husband rushes out to get the Benedryl.  Dino reluctantly takes it within 15 minutes the 'rash' is gone.

Our house now has two new rules.
1. No more Shower Soothers for the kids.
2. No googling illness symptoms--we are calling our doctor first.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Broken Heart

I tend not to obsess about material things. There are a few times I have seen items I really liked only to have them sold out before I bought them. This happens all the time in the shoe department. I am an almost size five and I am pretty sure they order only one pair of shoes in a five, ever. I have always been OK with it, saying 'well it was meant to be' and 'well I saved myself some money' until today.
Sunday was my birthday. My husband wanted to take me to get a new purse. I have not a new 'purse' in over ten years. Granted I have had lots of lovely diaper bags  but no purse. I never really had a desire for a new purse--my diaper bags did just fine. 
Well now that Spanky does not need diapers in public as much, I figured it was time for a purse. So we went to my very favorite mall and went to the Coach store. Nothing looked good. The signature 'logo' bags were cute but not me. I mentioned to our sales associate I wanted to pink. He showed me the most adorable bag, the Coach Patent Leather Ergo Satchel, in navy and then told me he could order me the bag in hot pink. I looked at the bag--it was beautiful--I especially loved the big brass snap at the top (which you sadly cannot see in this pic). It reminded me of an old fashioned hand bag. I was in love.

Stephen, the sales associate, informed me the bag in hot pink had sold out in two days but he could order one from the store and I'd have it in my pretty hands by Thursday. I was so thrilled I almost hugged him, really. I thanked him for making my birthday awesome as my husband went to the cashier to pay and set up delivery.
The next day Miley and I looked through the catalogue and drooled over my new bag. We talked about how cute and fun it was. I promised Miley she could use it when she was older. She beemed, like me.
Then the the phone rang this morning. It was Stephen. I was expecting to hear the purse was shipped to the store by mistake and would I mind coming in to get it (no problem I'd be there is twenty minutes!) but I didn't.
"We're sorry Lisa," he paused. "It's completely sold out everywhere."
I gulped back an unexpected sob. "OK."
"We'll have your card refunded tonight."
He did not even try to offer another bag. He knew my heart was broken.
I hung up and began a frantic internet search. 
Mostly just a bunch of woman who got the purse and who loved it and felt like a princess with it and were buying the same style in new colors they loved it so much even though it did not compare to the pink.
My husband came out of his study. He saw my tear stained face. He called Stephen. He asked for help. Stephen told him new colors would be available the 23rd of next  month. I thought of a purple or green satchel for fall. Things began to look brighter. I programmed an alarm on my phone for the 21st of next month. 
I smiled a little but I am still in mourning for my pink ergo satchel :( 

Monday, May 19, 2008

Summer Activities!

Now that school's out for us, it's time to plan some summer fun :)

I like to have most of our summer stuff planned well before the last ring of the school bell but what I like to do and what I actually do are two entirely different things--lucky for me, most moms tend to procrastinate when it comes to summer stuff so I am not facing lots of closed activities.

Usually I have a pretty fair budget from money we've saved for this season; however, it appears we need food to live and gas to drive so the budget is smaller this time around. As a result, I am getting a chance to be more creative in our choices. I've already got the swim lessons for the middle two lined up, math tutoring for Miley (she's just thrilled lol), an enrichment camp for Dino, fashion design week for the girls, ballet camps (intense workshop for Miley--not required but *highly recommended* wink, wink) and of course the summer stand by, Vacation Bible School (what would we do without VBS?).

Now I am looking for a few other 'free' stuff. I have discovered some Toastmasters offer speech 'class' for grade school and up kids, a math homeschool club, the library's book club and lots and lots of playdates! I am also going to try to resurrect an American Girl book club I put together among Miley and friends last summer and I want to get some kids' Sara's age together to have spelling bees or maybe a 'Little Bear' book club--who knows.

On top of that I am going to take advantage of living in one for of the hotter (intended pun) cities in the US and visit museums, berry picking, etc.

And I'm hoping all these options will keep us busy at least 10% of the summer ;)

So my question to all you mommies out there--what are your summer plans--I need some ideas!

Friday, May 16, 2008

And the best part was....

I took the kids to see Prince Caspian today, yes all four of them.  We went to the early morning showing to avoid any people and to hit nap time so Spanky slept through the whole thing. I also got the slightly overpriced kiddie trays for the other three to keep fighting (and noise) to a minimum. There was more sword fighting than I cared for but the message was positive, and I'm happy to report it was a successful trip!

Afterward, I asked the kids what they liked the most.

Miley said "All of it. Every single minute." (Yes, the movie was her idea and yes she has read all the Chronicles in the series.)

Dino said "The person made out of flowers." (A sweet dream sequence.)

Sara said "When the weird ugly troll drew the circle and brought back the witch." (Did I mention she loves Ursella in Little Mermaid?)
quick correction--Sara just informed me it was not a troll but an old bird without feathers ;)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Death by Tutu

Yay! It's ballet recital time! For most families across America, this is a fun time, getting a cute costume and getting to wear make-up (boys too--and let me tell you they are cute). But wait--do you hear that sucking noise--no, it's not your Romba. That's the most anal dance school in the Western Hemisphere making a fun event into a stressful, need a drink NOW, sorta event :0

Before I go on, let me first say I have been going to the most complex, Type A dance recital in America  at the most anal dance school in the Western Hemisphere for almost seven years. So you'd think I would not get all glassy eyed when they pass out the 16 page booklet of rules for each dance during the mandatory come-unless-grandma-just-died-or-you-are-on-your-deathbed parent meeting. But I do. I sigh as I glance through the page after page of requirements like the full page of make-up guidelines or the specific type of tights or the way you need to polish your ballet shoes. And then I get my pen ready for the numerous additions I need to know for each and every dance my daughters are in. I need to trim the wrap around Sara's bun to go exactly ten inches below her low bun; I need to buy special bobby pins to fix the feathers around Miley's high pony tail; the belt buckle on Miley's jazz costume needs to be tacked right on the top of the loop and at the bottom (they'll test it at dress rehearsal).

So you may ask why the heck do I subject my kids to this (have you tried to slick a very tiny girl's hair into a high bun with absolutely no whispies?). Easy, I do it because they love it. They see the months of hard work and constant dedication to do their very best creates a show that the audience will remember forever.  It's a lesson I try to teach in school (get your math facts down and you will find things easy) but is much more vivid to them on show day. And I love how perfect the most complex, type A dance recital in America is. It really is perfect ;)

Tonight I get to attend my mandatory come-unless-grandma-just-died-or-you-are-on-your-deathbed parent meeting for the ballet dances--I have already attended jazz and tap. I will smile and remain calm. Then I will come home, carefully hang the tutus upside down and steam them. Then I will have a lovely glass of Dynamite Merlot while listening to Handel's Water Music. And I will be happy if only until tech rehearsal!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

6 Uninteresting Things About Me

I got tagged from the lovely Mah-Mee for this one.
Basically, you list six things you thing are pretty uninteresting things about you- quite the difficult task since I am so very interesting, at least to my cat ;)
1. I am very, very picky about my chocolate. I buy chocolate in bulk 1 lb. bars and then chop these up for chips/chunks and sauce. I always have a bar of bittersweet (62.5%) and semi-sweet (54%) Callebaut. I also love Vosges Chocolate for holidays--the milk chocolate bacon bar is to die for--really! If you love chocolate, you need to try. I think chocolate is as varied as wine in terms of taste ;) Yes--I take it very seriously.
2. I love reading great literature and I love to read classics over and over again. Every time I always seem to find something different.  I am reading  "Animal Farm" again and have added "Pigs" from Pink Floyd (their 'Animals' cd goes hand in hand with the book) to the playlist in honor of my reading. I am excited my older daughter is just beginning to enter the realm of the classics and we are reading "Little Women" together right now. She loves it--we'll wait on the very political "Animal Farm" until she can understand the real context. My very favorite book is "Huckleberry Finn"--quite ironic since I truly have a strong preference for Brit lit.
3. I am really into music for mood. I love adding stuff to my music playlist. I love creating different playlists for our day to day tasks; I have a family fun playlist in which all of us have chosen two songs, a meal playlist loaded with Vivaldi and Handel, a school work playlist with Moztart and a wake up breakfast playlist with 'wake up' music and well you get the point :)
4. I have to drink water (or coffee) during a road trip longer than 5 minutes. The car makes me thirsty.
5. I get antsy if my bed is not made. I like to make it as soon as I get up. I'm not much of a neat freak though.
6. I cannot draw a thing.
And now for my tagging.
I tag Holly, Elizabeth and Elaine
Have fun!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Happy Wanderer

Taking all four of my kids out in public is not the walk in the park I make it appear to be (even if all we are doing is going to the park).  I like to pretend like it's fun to be in charge of four very busy children alone. I get myself excited about how much fun it will be to go somewhere with them--the memories we'll create, the way they will make me so proud. But here's my secret--these outings very often end in tears, usually mine.

The other weekend, the girls needed to go to Barnes and Noble for an event. Of course the husband had showings and it was up to me, Supermom, to bring all four to the bookstore alone. The kids and I discussed the event for days. It was going to be so much fun; they'd see friends from school and they could get summer reading books.  I was positive it was going to be a blast.
Once we pull up the bookstore, I realize Spanky has fallen asleep. I gingerly try to pick him and carry him into the store but Sara wanted out of the SUV, right then and she let me know with a scream. Spanky is now awake and in a not-so-pleasant mood. Great--but we could work with it.

After getting Dino out of his car seat, and closing up the back where Miley climbed out (while holding Spanky), we journeyed across the parking lot and into Barnes and Noble without getting hit by a car--yay!

Once inside the rather crowded store, Miley sees a friend.

"Can I go see my friends," she jumps up and down. "Pleeeaaaasssseee."

Before I can answer, she's off. Dino grasps my hand and smiles. Life is good as we follow Miley to make sure all is well. Sara notices a teacher and in a very Sara type move, runs away from us and hides behind a book case (to call her shy is an understatement). Spanky then wrangles himself out of my arms and takes off for the kids section amidst a loud squeal of joy--at least he's feeling better.

Dino is still be my side but is mesmorized by books in front of him. He does not want to move.
I do the risk calculations in my head. Miley should be fine. She is with friends and hopefully at least one parent. Sara will stay by me--even if I can't see her. She doesn't stray. Dino will be livid that he will be moving from the books but Spanky, Spanky could jump in someone's car and head for the border if not found, quickly. I grab Dino ("No, no. Stay here Mommy", and start to look for the baby Spanky. 

I begin to notice books off the shelf making a trail (and this is the point in which I wish I was exagerating) and then I notice the shelves are completely devoid of any books; they are all strewn across the floor making a very long trial. I begin to follow the colorful book road and call out for Spanky. Giggles are getting louder. I go down aisle after aisle of books on the floor everywhere and I see him, Spanky, knocking off every book as he is running down the next aisle. I run up and grab him. Trying to get him to stay with me, I giggle and tickle. Then I try to pick up the books when I notice Dino is gone. And my sweet neat Dino has not left a trail. 
I call out to Sara, hiding behind another book case and demand she help find her brother. Miley is suddenly in my sight and I call out to her (and yes, all of her friends) for help. We all start our search, stepping over the piles of books that now seem to be everywhere.

He is finally found, sitting sweetly in one of the kid's chairs with a Mickey Mouse book. I pick him up and inform the crew to think about books they want because we need to leave. I turn to grab Spanky but he is gone. I find him rather quickly drinking out of a random coffee cup he has found on the floor. I say a quick prayer the cup's previous owner did not suffer from the bubonic plague, measles or the common cold.

And then the requests begin.

"Mommy, can I have this," again and again and again.

I am now in a trance wishing I could only huddle in a corner in fetal position and cry myself to sleep. I nod at the book after book after book produced.

We trudge up to the cashier, all of us, and pay for a whole heap of books. It isn't until we get home, I realize we have only purchased ONE (out of the six) summer reading books. The entire point of the trip. I guess I am off to Amazon at one in the morning--alone.

Now that summer is approaching, I know an outing with all four will be at least an every other day thing. We will be going to Whole Foods (thank goodness for their samples!), running into Target, hitting the malls and maybe even braving the park in the fab Texas heat. And ya know what? It's going to be a blast. We are going to have fun this summer no matter what. No tears allowed :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Bright Side :)

As I have been painstakingly emailing my photos to myself, I found a picture buried in the midst of tons of others. If I had not gone through my photos, I would have never discovered it. 
The picture was taken a little over a year ago. Spanky was about 6 1/2 months and Dino was about 2 1/2. I know they fell in love with each other the second they first met, but I think this is the moment they became friends for life :)

I wanted to add the song "The Greatest Discovery" by Elton John to go with the picture but Playlist is down so please take a moment to read these beautiful lyrics ;)
Edited to add: Just added the song, it's the only one on the playlist right now so it should be playing for you :)

"The Greatest Discovery"

Peering out of tiny eyes
The grubby hands that gripped the rail
Wiped the window clean of frost
As the morning air laid on the latch

A whistle awakened someone there
Next door to the nursery just down the hall
A strange new sound you never heard before
A strange new sound that makes boys explore

Tread neat so small those little feet
Amid the morning his small heart beats
So much excitement yesterday
That must be rewarded must be displayed

Large hands lift him through the air
Excited eyes contain him there
The eyes of those he loves and knows
But what's this extra bed just here

His puzzled head tipped to one side
Amazement swims in those bright green eyes
Glancing down upon this thing
That make strange sounds, strange sounds that sing

In those silent happy seconds
That surround the sound of this event
A parent smile is made in moments
They have made for you a friend

And all you ever learned from them
Until you grew much older
Did not compare with when they said
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Monday Meme

I was tagged by Jacque here :)

What was I doing five years ago?
Planning a very fun Disney World Vacation with my two daughters and thinking how nice it was going to be to be shortly out of diapers forever ;)--little did I know two little boys were waiting to join our family!

Five Things on my to-do list
1. Laundry
2. Set up homework schedule
3. Plan dinner
4. Meet friends for coffee/story hour
5. Buy summer reading books

Snacks I enjoy
1. hummus with jalepeno baked pita chips
2. stuffed jalepenos
3. chipolte chips
4. chilpote and cranberry cheddar cheese with crackers
(see a pattern?)

What would I do if I became a sudden billionaire?
Stop stressing and buy our church its new wing. Then I'd take the family on a very long cruise. We would also move and plant lots of acorn producing trees :)

List five cities where I've lived
1. Akron
2. Bath (NOT the beautiful one in England sadly)
3. Columbus
4. Dallas
And that is it :)

Five jobs I've had
1. Hostess for the oh so lovely Olive garden
2. Waitress for a mob run restaurant
3. Tech Writer for a very big company
4. Freelance copywriter
5. Volunteer sous chef (best job listed here!)

Three bad habits
1. Eating too many sweets
2. Staying up too late
3. Watching too much TV (see #2)

Five random things about me
1. I have been watching Days of Our Lives on and off for over 25 years.
2. I am the frugal one in my marriage.
3. I am allergic to beef.
4. I like candles and flowers on the dinner table, daily :)
5. I am a hot yoga junkie!

Now I am tagging anyone who would like to play on this lovely Monday :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I'm back after a week hiatus. Where was I, you ask? Oh I was here cursing my beloved Mac that I wrote so kindly about. That Mac I said was so much better than the husband's PC. The hard drive experienced a defect. Yes, the perfect, wonderful Macbook Pro had a defect.  It had to be fixed; then the hard drive needed replaced.
And then,  all. my. photos. got. wiped. out.  (And no I did not back them up- because I thought my mac would never ever have a problem.) All 4356 of them. How do I know this number? Because the photos are on my oh so cool (yes, foolish bragging at this point) iphone.
So no problem right? The photos can just be re-downloaded via the fantastic,  life saving iphone. 
Not so fast, whispers the Mac genuis. The wonderful, incredible iphone does not work that way. But there is a solution, he smiles. Just email each picture to your account and reload the photos one by one.  
All. 4356. of. them.
Guess what I am doing today (after the blast ball game, the music performance and the homework of course)?!
On the bright side (because there has to be a bright side), they upgraded my O/S to Leopard for free. Once I can figure it out, I know I will be ecstatic but I will not brag to my PC friends. Promise--I have learned my lesson.