Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Day At the American Girl Store

It was Ella's 5th birthday today. We spent it (along with 800 other people) at the American Girl Store. Their dolls had their hair styled, we ate lunch, we rode the carousel, we even had princess curls put in their hair (by a man at the curling iron kiosk at the mall - he spoke like Frank in Father of the Bride - and tried desperately to sell me a $300 curling iron. By the end, he was down to "giving it to me" for $93. Casey had a head of curls and he only gave Chan one curl, which led to a minor meltdown - only little tears - not full out sobbing). The girls each had over $100 in gift cards and spent 4-ever deciding on what to buy. They needed to know every possible combination of items. In the end, Chandler got the kit with crutches, casts and bandages, a pair of ice skates, a pair of heeley's, Rebecca's robe and slippers, and a jazz outfit. Casey got the sweet treats set, Kit's school days outfit, new pajamas, a new t-shirt, red flats and pink furry boots. Total $238. New hair-do's - $30. Lunch at the food court, $21. Carousel rides $4. Not having to go back until Ella's 6th birthday....priceless.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

That Crazy Lady at the Store Was Actually Me

Today was not one of my better days. I have a billion reasons why, but I will only choose to share a few. It's my blog, so I feel that I have that right. Right? So here goes...

1. The van has been making some crazy tin-y sound. Chris took it in somewhere a few weeks ago, they cranked the engine and didn't find anything to be wrong. My stepdad suggested some "test", Chris performed said "test" and the outcome of the "test" was that it actually needs something fixed - shocks, struts, I don't really know. But whatever. So, because we drive a Saturn and they are virtually defunct in our area we have to take it to a GM Dealer. Which sucks, by the way. So they said to bring it in at 11. An appointment for 11. Only at 4pm today it still hadn't even been looked at. So apparently you need an 11am appointment on Tuesday for it to be looked at on Wed. That's crazy to me. You don't make a haircut appointment for 11am on Tuesday only to be seen on Wed. The world isn't supposed to work like that.

2. I took the girls shopping at a particular store in the mall (alright, twist my arm, it was Justice) to spend gift cards that they got for Christmas. It took us almost an hour for them to decide on what to purchase. Chris had to leave the store. He wanted to put a bullet in his head. Anywho, so there I was, with these girls that were having an incredibly hard time making a decision and trying my very best to be the most patient, loving mom that I could possibly be. This made me super sensitive to what was going on around me - like the fact that the store alarm went off 3 times while we were there because the person ringing people up kept forgetting to take off the security tags. That should have been my red flag. But I was busy dealing with a 7 year old that wanted a sequined, furry phone to put in their room. So, decisions made (2 shirts, a tank top, a head band, pair of socks and gloves) and I went to stand in line. 15 minutes in, I should have just left. The two customers in front of me both had problems, the darling little cashier girl kept having to get help and the answer was always, "I'm sorry. There is nothing we can do at the store level, you'll have to call customer service." So then it was my turn. She rang up the items. I handed her an old gift card that had a remaining balance of a little over $10. Then I handed her one $25 card, and then the second $25 card. She swiped it and said, "I'm sorry this card was declined." Huh? Its brand new. From Christmas. What? So I said, "What? I'm sorry. Its new. They just got it for Christmas." She tried it again and then called the assistant manager who went on to explain that the card must not have been validated when it was purchased, blah, blah, blah. She then called the number on the back of the card and it came up with a $0 balance. I was beginning to lose my cool. I kept having to shoo the girls back over to Chris (who returned just in time for me to check out). The assistant manager then told me that there was nothing that could be done, blah, blah, blah - she sounded like a recording. It was infuriating. So I asked for my gift cards back and left the store. Without making a purchase. So then I had to deal with sobbing hysterical children that had just spent an hour picking out the "most perfect" things. I was quite angry. Now, here's the catch. When I got home, I took the cards out of my wallet - she gave me back 4 cards instead of 3 - one was not what I gave her (different picture on the front), and called the number for the balance on the back of the cards. My three all had balances - including the one she claimed had a $0 balance. The 4th card - which must have been left by the register where she was stacking all of the cards - had a $0 balance. Which then really ticked me off. The girls and I then did our online shopping and I called the store to let them know what the problem had been. The assistant manager then gave me these lines, "I had just come back from lunch and did not know what the situation was when I was trying to help you." "The cashier was new and needed further training." But never once did she say anything that was even remotely sincere, like, "OMG, I am so sorry that happened. Do you remember what you were purchasing? I will pull them and have them for you behind the counter if you would like to come back in." Instead when I told her that I was disappointed in our experience and that I would no longer be a customer at their store, she said that was fine and hung up on me. Needless to say, I have emailed their customer service department. Sheesh.

3. The girls had a dinner invite that was canceled when we were en route to the person's house. Yeah. Good times.

4. Quinn is teething. He had shots yesterday. He has a terrible cold. He is not sleeping. He likes Chris better than me. He cried/screamed from the minute he got home to the minute we put him to bed. He has already been up twice.

5. Tomorrow I'm going to the American Girl Store with the girls. I am *thrilled*.

6. Yes, I know that I am being a sour puss. I can't help it. My Christmas break is spiraling out of control.

Monday, December 28, 2009

And then there were 3...

I know that I have mentioned before how incredibly lucky I feel in the friend dept and I feel the need to mention it again.

Saturday night my dear friends, Molly and Juli, came over for a visit and then the 3 of us headed into Athens for pizza at TransMet. Molly and I have been friends for over half my life now - starting in the days of high school track (which was a mistake on both our parts and the only things that we really gained from the experience was a hatred for running and our friendship). She is someone that I trust and admire. She is someone that I know that I can depend on to listen, to laugh with or cry to. She also has unbelievable taste in home decorating and fashion. She is a vintage guru. I often find myself green with envy (in a healthy, positive way) when I am around her. Jules was Molly's roommate in the dorm their freshman year at UGA and then again during college in an apartment and then 7 years ago they moved to Chicago together. Juli is another amazing woman. She lives in Brooklyn now and is a freelance writer and runner. She looks spectacular - so chic - and again I find myself green with envy (in, of course, a healthy and positive way). I love these women because I know that I can trust them with my soul. That I can come to the table and there is no judgment, no harshness and when I leave them I have such a sense of peace and happiness and a reserve of encouragement that I can draw from on days when I not feeling as peaceful or happy.

So, ladies, I thank you. Because right now my living room is a disaster, my son is running around half dressed, my daughters desperately need a bath, the bills need to be paid and I am feeling very unmotivated (and using the blog as a procrastination device), but I think back to Sat night and my wonderful friends and I am then quite pleased with my life and the fact that you are a part of it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quinn has been busy at work...


(please note the butt cut that Chris combed into Q's hair this morning...he was going for poindexter points)

...and so have I. There is a lanyard extravaganza up in my etsy shop and these beauties will be posted (along with several others) in the next couple of days. I think you should check it out. www.ang4332.etsy.com - if for nothing else other than humoring me. :)

turquoise beauty $16

blueberry bargain - vintage beads - $15

pretty pendant - $15


vintage plastic teal beads - one of my favs - $15

Friday, December 25, 2009

It is 7pm and all the children are in bed...


Quinn's gifts from Santa


The girls' gifts from Santa


the aftermath

the afternoon viewing of the new Tinkerbell movie (Q perfers watching movies in his diaper)


Casey and Chandler in some of their new Christmas goods. Casey requested this pose.

So really and truly all 3 children are in bed. This is because the girls were up at 4am and Q got up very shortly after 6am. I was not feeling friendly at 4am, so we waited until 5 to begin the present extravaganza. And then I napped. Chris has not napped and is beginning to hear the bed calling his name.

All in all, it was really a great holiday. The girls were good and gracious. Q was not terrible (even at church). We ate good food. We were all kind and giving. We remembered the real reason for the day (which not to try and help the economy, although I feel that we did our share of that too). I hope all of you have had a wonderful day as well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

So We Have This Train....


...and Q thinks that the books on the shelves are still more fun. Actually, that is not entirely true. He is a master train conductor - he can ride side saddle and jump off, he can lean back, operate it with one hand and wave with the other, he can start and stop it so quickly that he jerks back in the seat, finding this immensely amusing. He was riding the train, whipping through the figure 8 when I ran to get the camera. When I came back and he saw that I was ready to snap his picture, he jumped off and headed for the shelves. Almost like, "Take a picture of this, Mama." Where did we get this lovely train that takes up our whole library?, you might ask. Yes, ahem, that is thanks to my parents.

The week has gone by in a blur. But all in all, a good blur. We FINALLY closed on our refinance this morning. We are now free of Bank of America/Taylor Bean and all of their nonsense. We had a great afternoon with Chris's family. Tomorrow we will stay in our pajamas all day. I call that a great Christmas!


Chandler, Quinn and Casey


Chandler and Casey

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Worst Hair Day Ever


Chandler ran down the stairs last night screaming, "This is the worst hair day ever!" Now, mind you, I had braided her hair earlier in the day and I thought she was having a super cute hair day. Clearly though, once she tangled her bangs in the comb, it became the "worst hair day ever." My vote was to just cut it out. Chris had enough patience left to sit with her and untwist her hair out of the comb. We are not really sure what she was doing to land herself in this predicament. She was not really sure what she was doing to land herself in that predicament. It will remain an unsolved mystery.

We have learned that Q's favorite t.v. show is Yo Gabba Gabba. It is the modern day version of Teletubbies in my opinion. Although it is slightly better - they do speak actual English on this show. I found some clips on the computer last night - Q was thrilled! We began sitting together and watching on the couch, but it didn't last long. He decided that he needed to watch standing up so that he could dance. The girls were also thrilled.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Dipping and Spooning

Quinn loves dipping his food. In anything really. Ketchup, Ranch dressing, spinach and artichoke dip... He is also not picky about what he is dipping in what. Carrots taste much better in honey mustard, as does nilla wafers. Sometimes he decided that playing our little dipping game is just not worth it. Life is better when you just cut right to the chase and lick the bowl.
Q has also been practicing his spoon feeding skills. Note the spoon on the left side of his tray - the pink and blue one - yes, he opted to just scoop the applesauce right out of the bowl during this meal. The spoon was slowing him down.

Well, our busy week has come to a close. The grand finale was paying a visit to my hair ninja, Lori at Honey's for a cut and color this afternoon. (yay for me!!) I'm sure that I will post pics soon. And now we have two weeks of vacation staring us in the face. I am so excited I could cry. No, really. I am not kidding. Mom and Tom are coming tomorrow for our Christmas celebration and then we are laying low until Christmas Eve when we'll visit Chris's fam and go to church. Hooray! for us!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Soooooooo Excited!!!!

So, seriously...best night ever...I made my first sale on etsy!!!! WooHoo! And the fabulous Frankie has designed my logo and named my shop and I love her and I just sold a rockin' lanyard to someone that doesn't know me! Seriously...they live in Wisconsin. But if they lived here I would kiss their face. And I'm going to see Frankie tomorrow and I might kiss her face. Yes, I am THAT stinkin' happy right now. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Ride to Target

Last night the girls and I journeyed into Athens for a little Target shopping before their sleep over with DoeDoe. They loved looking at all of the houses decorated for Christmas and kept a running count of how many they saw throughout the evening.

Chan: Casey! Casey! Looklooklooklook! (pause) Oh! You missed it!
Casey: Well, I can't turn that fast because my leg hurts and I have this f*cking coat on!
Me: Um, what did you say?
Casey: My leg hurts. Its been sore allllllll day!
Me: And what about your coat?
Casey: Its fluffy.

Whew. Apparently I need to clean my ears out.

Then there was this...

Me: Ok, so at Target, you need to pick a girl gift to take to class that is $3-$5. Any ideas?
Chan: Ugh. It's going to take forever to find something that costs exactly $4.
Me: No, it can be $3, or $4 or $5.
Chan: Huh? What are you talking about?
Me: Something that is greater than $3 or less than $5.
Chan: Right. We have to find something that costs $4.
Me: Argh! Ok, something that is equal to or greater than $3 or equal to or less than $5.
Chan: Ohhhhhh....now I get it!

This is what I get for marrying a math teacher. I have to always use the proper math terms or they just don't get it.

We let the kids open their presents from my dad and Ger last night. The girls were thrilled with their American girl stuff and clothes from Old Navy. Quinn was thrilled with the wrapping paper. He would rip a tiny piece off, go throw it in the trash...rip a piece off, go throw it in the trash...and on and on and on. It took him much longer to open his presents than it did the girls. Actually things didn't turn around for him until we brought the trash bag over to clean up the girls' mess. This cut down on Q's travel time and sped the opening process along.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Unlucky Day

Casey had, what she considered to be, an "unlucky" day today. The climax of the unlucky day was the fact that they got to pick which rooms they went to in After School and she made a poor choice. She chose to go to the computer lab while Chan stayed in the cafeteria to watch a movie. They had hot chocolate while watching the movie. This was highly upsetting to Casey and she sobbed on the way home. Solution? Chris had her write about her day in her journal, she calmed herself down and was served hot chocolate with dessert tonight. She said that this proved that any day can turn around. I hope this lesson sticks with her.

Aunt Molly is coming for dinner Saturday night. The girls are THRILLED beyond belief about this. Chan responded to the news by shouting, "Yes!!!" followed by, "BooYa!" Really? You're 7, there doesn't need to be any "booya's" in the house.

***If you need more necklace information, please visit my NEW etsy store....www.ang4332.etsy.com

:)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Check here....

www.stylizedportraiture.com/blog

on Monday, December 7 for something really exciting. But I'm not telling you about it here, you need to make sure that you go there to find out more. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sick Children

Ugh. I am really hoping (and praying) that this winter/spring won't be like last year. So far, Chandler has had strep, the flu and infected tonsils. She was home Monday and Tuesday. Last night at about 3am, Casey woke up with a fever. So far this year she has had a staph infection and fifth disease. I have no idea what this fever is about. I'm pretty sure that the pediatrician relies on us to pay her power bill every month...that's how often we are there between the 3 children. Really. Not okay.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Naked Child, Some Conversations and My Obsessive Compulsive Behavior


Look, here's a picture of Quinn (during his naked time after the bath)...after he flipped the ottoman over and pushed it in front of the Christmas tree. He desperately wants to touch the ornaments, but has been very good (so far) at listening to us. The flipping and moving of the ottomans...yeah, its a nightly activity for him. I am thinking about calling Two Guys and a Truck and seeing if they would like to put him on staff. He is quite good at it.

This was last night's conversation on the way home from dance with Casey...

Casey: Why are our fingers all different sizes?
Me: Because we need them to be able to do different things.
Casey: But why is my pinkie so small?
Me: Well, you need it to help balance your hand when you are writing, but if it were bigger it would get in the way, right?
Casey: Oh. Yeah, I get it. What about the middle finger? Why is it so big? You know which one I'm talking about? The tall man in the middle? That middle finger, what does it do?
Me: Um, well, you can use your middle finger for lots of things.
Casey: Like what? What does the middle finger do?
Me: Maybe you should ask dad.
(I was stifling laughter throughout this whole conversation because I have the same sense of humor as a 12 year old. Middle finger. Heehee.)

Tonight's conversation....
Casey: So, here's my Christmas wish list. (handing me a piece of construction paper that has cut out pictures pasted to it)
Me: Oh. I thought you already gave me a Christmas list.
Casey: Nope. Here it is.
***on the list is a Nintendo DSi, a cell phone, some Barbie thing (we gave the Barbies away a long time ago), and a Little Tykes kitchen***
Me: Case, I'm done with the shopping already. And let me just tell you, you aren't getting any of these things.
Casey: But this is what I really want. It's ok, I'll just ask Santa. He'll bring me these things.
Me: No, I'm pretty sure Santa has been working on other things for you. (Like the friggin zhu zhu pets that you were dying for! And a horse for your American Girls! And new boots! And Wii games!)
Casey: I'll just ask him in case.

Big sigh. I made her leave the room again because I wanted to just get it over with and let her know that I AM SANTA! I am Santa. Chris is also Santa - I shop, he sets up. We tag team like that, and that, my sweet children, is why Christmas morning is so exciting. Because Mom and Dad rock.

Speaking of rocks, let me now tell you a little story about beads. (They go together, right? Rocks, beads?) So, I have a slightly obsessive compulsive personality. If you know me in real life, you know this to be true. I can't own a couple of books, or even a couple hundred books, I have to own thousands. I have to own so many that I need to call a room in my house "the library" and have Drew build us floor to ceiling bookshelves. I can't scrapbook an album or two, but twenty of them, sell my dining room furniture and turn that room into the "craft room." You see how this is in my life? It's really just part of what makes me, me. So, when the girls asked if they could bead necklaces for various family members for Christmas presents and I agreed, I figured that while I was shopping for beads for them to use, I should also pick up some beads for myself and make a few necklaces. I mean, we already have all of the "stuff" (I helped the girls bead a lot in kindergarten to work on AB, ABB, AABB, and such, patterns, and learned how to crimp and clasp) and I really like the necklaces that I see in the store, but refuse to pay $35 for one. I could totally just make a few for myself. And then I thought perhaps I would make a few more for Christmas gifts (the babysitters, my brother's girlfriend, and Frankie would definitely want one). But I couldn't stop. Its like eating potato chips - you can't eat just one - and I couldn't stop beading. Or going back into Athens for more beads. And before I knew it, I had like, 30 necklaces. I could wear a different one every day of the month. And then Chris said, "Um, what are you going to do with all of those necklaces?" And I didn't really have an answer. And then I realized how much money I had spent and knew that I now had a new business venture. So, I started selling them. And its going pretty well. So, we'll see how the rest of the week goes and then I think I might set up shop on etsy. Cause that's what you do when you hand make something. And perhaps I will join in some giveaways on the Manic Monday at Stylized Portraiture. So, if you are in the need of a Christmas gift...they are around $15. :)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 09

We went to my stepdad's family's annual Thanksgiving dinner that hosts so many Walton family members that it has to be held at the church's fellowship hall. No, I am not kidding. 40lbs of turkey, hams and some hens. And lots and lots of other yummy things. Among my favorites were the collard greens (served with 100 year old pitchfork type thing), potato casserole, cabbage casserole, squash casserole, onion casserole...are you noticing a theme here? Truth is, Chris is somewhat anti-casserole so it has become my most favorite holiday food - casserole. But back to where I meant to go when I started...so we went to a big Thanksgiving gathering, about 40 people or so - including my wonderful husband, our 3 beautiful children, my brother and his girlfriend and my parents - and the only pictures I took the whole entire day were of the food. And as I took the pictures of the food, I thought to myself, "Oh yes, I am definitely going to scrapbook these!" (with a giddy smile on my face!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

More correctly, another week of school bites the dust. And I don't know about you, but I was off a day for the whole week - in a negative way...on Wed I thought it was Thurs, on Thurs it felt like Fri. So it really was never ending.

But at the same time, it was a good week. Productive at work. No doctor visits for the children. A night out with two of my most favorite ladies...where we had this conversation...

A: So do you two have any personal days left this year?
Both D and I to this effect: Yeah, why, have something in mind?
A: Yes, actually, I do. I am taking Dec 9 off and I think you should to. I'm going into Tucker to have a mammogram done...
*At this point D and I about fell out of our chairs laughing because it really came out like A was inviting us to her mammogram with her. She really wanted us to go to the appt with her so that we could go out to lunch and to ikea for the rest of the day. It was a moment of perfect comedy though - the timing, the facial expression, and the look of disbelief with the ensuing laughter. The whole evening was really like that though, laughter, honest conversation, advice given and taken, future plans made. And on the way home my heart was bursting and I was a little weepy thinking about how thankful I am to have these women in my life, which led me to think about all of the women that I have been blessed with in my life. I am truly rich in friendships with people I genuinely care about and who care about me. The terrible thing (which is really not so terrible) is that I am a married mother of 3 and therefore my friendships often suffer because I do not have the time (and energy) to spend on my friendships as I would like. Which then made my heart a little sad.

In other news....Q pointed to the box of crackers on the table this week, pointed at them and said, "Crack?" Yes, my 17 month old son asked for crack. And we were extremely proud of him.

At church on Sunday we are supposed to be bringing blankets, but I had that big yard sale this summer and cleaned out the linen closet and got rid of all of our extra blankets. BUT I did already purchase new comforters for the girls as part of their Christmas presents. So we had this conversation at the dinner table last night...

Me: We are supposed to bring blankets to donate at church on Sunday and we don't have any to give, BUT I did buy you new comforters for Christmas and if you would like them early, which would mean one less present to open Christmas morning, then we could donate yours.
Chris: It would be one less present. So we don't want to hear it on Christmas morning.
Chandler: Oh, yes, I would definitely like to donate mine.
Casey: Um, (looking nervous), well, could I see the new one first? What does it look like?

I appreciate the honesty, but not the selfishness. :)

Then, following dinner and some t.v. time purchased with daddy dollars, it was time for the girls to go to bed. Casey came down and said good night. Chan came down about 7 minutes later, crying.

"I think (sob, sob) that I'm sick again (hiccup, sob). I did the diarrhea! (wailing, sobbing, sniffling.)"

Oh. My. Well. Not really sure what to say about that, but thanks for sharing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Week in Review

I am hoping that our schedule lessens in the next few weeks...just in time for the holidays!

On Monday I took Chan to the doc to have a blood test done. I was worried that she may be anemic - super tired, pale, catching everything that is out there this season. But everything came back fine. The supposed explanation is that girls begin puberty at age 8 (which she will be in Feb) and she could be having bursts of hormones and that is what is affecting her. I don't know about you, but I don't want to talk about anything "bursting" in my 7.5 year old. Um, no thanks.

On Tuesday I took Casey to the immediate care because she suddenly had an extreme skin irritation. It was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life. She had a staph infection and they were 99% sure that it was MRSA. They sent a sample off to the lab, but bacteria has to grow before they can confirm their suspicions and in the mean time I have to apply a topical ointment to the area for 6 weeks. Merry Christmas to me!

I am hoping that what Q is going through these days is part of the terrible two's. He is very stubborn and is becoming a champion temper tantrum thrower. I was "that lady" in Target last weekend. You know the one - the one with the screaming child who is throwing things repeatedly out of the buggy, and the woman looks like she could have a break down in aisle 9 at any moment...and you wonder to yourself "Why doesn't she just take that child home?" and she is ruining everyone else's quiet moments at Target...yeah, that was me. So, the other night while talking on the phone to my father I said...

Me: Is Ger (my stepmom) around? I have some discipline questions that I want to talk to her about.
Dad: What, you don't think that I am good enough to talk to about those things?
Me: Ok....

So I go into a lengthy explanation of my situation - he is nonverbal, the guilt I have with disciplining him, I am so unsure of how to handle a boy like this, the girls were so different...and on....

Dad: Yeah, um, hold on, let me get Ger for you.

So I talked to Ger for a while. She is one of the kindest, most helpful people on the planet. Truly. And I love her. Afterwards, Dad got back on the phone.

Me: Thanks for letting me talk to Ger. So that wasn't the kind of discipline question that were expecting? Were you looking for more of a 'to spank or not to spank' kind of discussion?
Dad: Right.
Me: I already know that your answer to that would be....
Dad: Always air on the side of brutality.

Excellent advice, Dad. Really. Outstanding.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If we get a new dog....

At dinner last night, Q was determined to yank his bib off...

Chris: Son, you can pull on it all you want, I am not going to take the bib off. You can decapitate yourself for all I care.
Chandler: Um, if Quinn does that, can we get a dog?

We all turned and stared at her. Did she really just say that? Yes, yes she did.

Monday, November 2, 2009

She's Givin Me a Whoopin

Last night we had a fight to end all fights in our house. The girls were told to go upstairs to pick up the blankets, pillows and stuffed animals left in the middle of the floor in their room from the Saturday night slumber party. Simple task, right? Apparently not. The argument began over a pillow - was it Casey's, was it Chandler's, did it belong on the spare bed??? Mind boggling. A question that could absolutely start a seven year war. They fought over the pillow. Casey threw the pillow down and jumped on Chandler. Offense #1. Then Casey took her shoes off on Chan's side of the room. Offense #2. So, Chandler did the most logical thing - she threw the shoes onto Casey's side of the room. Offense #3. Casey was ticked that Chan threw the shoes, so she ran to the other side of the room and spanked Chandler's rear. Offense #4. When Casey went back on her side of the room, Chandler did another very logical thing - she picked a remote up off the floor and launched it at her sister's head. She hit her target. Offense #5. At this point, Casey began wailing. Sobbing. Screaming.

Chris and I were both down stairs and did not know the proceeding events. We thought someone was seriously injured. Chris bolted for the stairs, calling out, "Girls! Are you okay?" To which Chandler responded, "She's givin me a whoopin!" Chris demanded that both parties return to the first floor. Casey carried on as though the end of the world had arrived. Chandler was irate that she was about to get in trouble and just kept repeating, "She gave me a whoopin! She gave me a whoopin!"

Ugh. They each had their turn to tell us the story. Surprisingly, there were a lot of similarities between them this time. The punishment last night was dinner, bath and straight to bed. They cannot buy wii or tv time this week with their daddy dollars. I offered to move the coffee table out of the front room and let them finish the fight downstairs...no one wanted to take me up on it...they were afraid of getting hurt.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rainy Halloween...not a problem for the Pendley's!


In spite of the rain, it was a pretty successful Halloween. Casey was a poodle girl, Chan was a flapper girl and Q (who was absent for this picture), was a dinosaur. We also had 3 of Wylie's and Savannah join us. We started out earlier, in what we thought was the end of the rain, got about 6 houses in and started being pelted with windy, cold rain. We decided to go forth with plan b...an Easter egg style candy hunt in the house for all of the kids. Success! The Wylies spent the night (I can't tell you how much I love these children!), and then we all headed into Athens for church this morning. The time change really sucks when you have children. Extra hour of sleep? Bah! Not in our house! The children are napping and then its back into Athens for children's choir practice.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Gig Is Up

How is it that I am finding time for 2 posts in one day, you might ask? Well...

a. the girls are at Frankie's
b. Q is napping
c. I am not grocery shopping today (executive decision made to preserve what is left of my sanity)
d. I am not doing laundry today (I say this now, but I know I will cave and throw a load in after Q wakes up)
e. I am just that awesome

While all of the above are true, I am not awesome enough to hide the Christmas presents well. The girls cleaned up their room this morning and then we sent them to work on the spare bedroom. They have begun treating this room as an extension of their room. They apparently decided to play 52 card pick up with the uno deck at some point this week in there and forgot about the pick up part. So, they were sent in there to clean. And then sent back when Chris found more uno cards behind the bed. The problem with this was the fact that I hid half of the zhu zhu pet haul (among other gifts) under said bed. Casey began screaming, "I found the zhu zhu pets! I found the zhu zhu pets!" Over, and over at the top of her lungs! Excitement was in the air! Children were giggling, running in circles and shrieking with delight! Chris looked at me as if to say I was the biggest dumbass on planet Earth. (Which in that moment, I was.) We sent the girls to their room and conferred on what our plan of action was going to be. It was not a problem that they found Christmas gifts....the problem was that they found the Santa gifts. Gifts that we have invested too much money in to give to them from us and buy new Santa gifts. Big sigh. So, we decided to tell them to pretend it never happened. We will not be talking about it. And if they don't follow our directions, Santa might not come at all because Santa doesn't like little girls that can't follow directions and he will put you on the naughty list. Big sigh. We'll deal with it when they come down stairs Christmas morning only to find all of the zhu zhu pet crap that was under the bed in the spare room in October. At that point, I think the Santa gig might be up.

I love Frankie

No, really, I do. :) Q was a complete wild man during the photo shoot today, in short, he was a jerk. Seriously. But Frankie captured things that I didn't even know were going on - the sweetness of my children. Perhaps I should look more closely more often. I had the pleasure of watching her edit and I actually found myself tearing up at one of them. How lame am I??? Then we went to lunch and then she took the girls for a sleepover. Does your photographer* do that for you? If not, perhaps you should look for a new photographer. :) And I'll say it again....I love you, Frankie!










Just in case you want fab photos like these of your family and don't know about Frankie already, you can find more info at www.stylizedportraiture.com ~ tell her that I sent you so that she will love me as much as I love her!

*a photographer that also happens to be my bestie. seriously.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I wish I could burn the calendar

At the end of September I looked at Chris and said, "September really sucked. But, so far, October looks great! The last week is book fair, but other than that, I think everything will be just 'normal' busy - not 'super' busy."

I will never make such a bold statement again. I was foolish in making that statement and now I am getting ready to pay the price. I was really just tempting fate to deal us a "super" busy calendar....and it has.

This week we have....
1. pictures with Frankie tomorrow, grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry
2. Sunday - church and fall festival at my school
3. Monday - Book Fair begins, Cheer Off at 7pm - I have no idea what this is going to be like, so I just keep picturing scenes from "Bring It On"
4. Tuesday - Family Night at Book Fair AND another football game...family night from 5-7, game at 6:30....good luck with that, right????
5. Wednesday - Muffins With Mom at Book Fair, dance class/halloween party for Casey
6. Thursday - Donuts With Dad at Book Fair
7. Friday - closing up book fair, heavy drinking (at home...not book fair!)
8. Saturday - possibly another football game, halloween
9. Sunday - church, party for football team and cheerleaders, children's choir practice

I really wish that I could just burn the calendar. But, the calendar is on my computer and that would be a really expensive temper tantrum. So, I will refrain.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Batteries Exhausted

No new pictures for this post...the screen on my camera is currently flashing "batteries exhausted." But before the exhaustion of the batteries, I got some great pics of Chan enjoying the empty diaper box almost as much as Quinn did. Apparently boxes are good for all ages.

Fall Break has been upon us. I was out last Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Chris and the girls were out Thursday, today and Monday. We had big plans for the girls to spend the weekend at mom's, but on Wed Chan was diagnosed with the dreaded step throat. (Lucky for the pediatrician that she didn't tell us that it was just allergies again.) So, she stayed home and Casey went to Mom's without her. We are all going out there to spend the day on Sunday to pick her up. This is the longest that the girls have ever been away from each other and it is strange (for me at least). They talked for half an hour on the phone today. Casey admitted to me that she is missing sister. Chandler will be having her own special weekend at Meme's over the Thanksgiving break.

I am still hopeful that Chris will be able to paint our bedroom this weekend. It was on his calendar to do today, but, somehow I never took the paint out of my trunk and carried it to work with me today. :( Once the transformation is made I'll post new pics, so long as the exhausted batteries have been replaced.

The next two weeks make me want to vomit. (Just thought I would share that.) We're back to cheerleading next week (it seems it will never end!), dance class, a leadership meeting at work, a full weekend complete with a fall festival at my school, then the much anticipated book fair. Which is when the media center hosts a family night, muffins with mom and donuts with dad...all in one week. Awesome. Chandler will also be competing in her fist "Cheer Off" that week. As her mother and the team coach, I am *thrilled*. All that I can picture in my mind for this is Bring It On. God help me.

The girls informed me the other afternoon when we went to pick Q up from the sitters that he had been a "happy pants" that morning. This is different from when I call him a "pissy pants" during his cranky moods. Perhaps I should consider using a different phrase around the other children.

I read one of the greatest books ever this week (along with one of the worst books ever - more on that later)! My dear friend Melinda told me to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - she said it was wonderful and that I would love it. I cannot tell you how many times I had picked up this book at the store and pondered on whether or not I should buy it. I was hesitant because of the epistolary format, so I never bought it. But, following her recommendation, I dove in. By page 23, I was laughing out loud and by page 87 I noticed that I was reading much slower than usual because I was so in love with the characters that I never wanted the book to end. I loved it! And, I will be highly recommending it to others.

The worst book was book 4 in the Blue Bloods series. Ugh. It has been about a year since I read book 3 and I just couldn't figure out what was going on. I hate series where the author spends half the book reminding you what happened in previous books, but I really, really needed more reminding in this one. I think that I am done with this series...whether the series is done or not.

Now, I have moved on to Her Fearful Symmetry...the new one by Audrey Niffenegger. I love, love, love the Time Traveler's Wife, so I have high hopes for this one. Such as, I hope that it does not disappoint me.

I am sure that there are a thousand more things that I could/should/would share if I could remember/had more time/did not already feel that this post was much too long, so I am going to leave it at this.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In the Box



Quinn had big fun this weekend...in and outside of the box. Yes, the toy of choice this weekend was an empty diaper box. Such fun! And I can only imagine what his reaction would be to something like a refrigerator box. Perhaps he will find out at Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas...I think that I am well on my way to securing enough zhu zhu pet items to make for a large enough set up for Christmas morning. We found some at the Toys R Us in Athens. Other than that though, it is amazing to me how grown up the girls are becoming. They actually asked for giftcards this year.

I had a difficult weekend, myself. I had this terrible feeling of crisis. Inner turmoil. I couldn't verbalize it (which I am still struggling with) and I couldn't figure out how to fix it (still not a clue). So instead, I spent the afternoon leisurely walking around TJ Max and Steinmart (you know, places that are a disaster to go to with children) with Frankie (who is NOT a disaster to go to those places with), and wishing that I had the style of the Mormons that I love out in Utah. It is true. CJane and Nie, even though I only read their blogs (along with a billion other people in the world), I love them and I covet their style. Much like my Molly. She is amazing at the finding of things. In my world, if Target doesn't have it, then I am not meant to own it. Sad, but very nearly bordering on being a true statement. I always think someday when I don't spend a trillion dollars a month on childcare, feeding children, clothing children and providing extracurricular activities for children, I will have the spare change to bulk up my vintage globe collection, have beautiful furniture mixed from flea markets, antique shops, ikea and pottery barn, or have a whole slew of fabulous beaded necklaces and artsy earrings. But then I feel that that is who I want to be now so that my children will recognize me then. Kind of like how, as a child, my mother and I lived a whole entire summer on hotdogs, creamete salad and sun tea, and now she is an out of this world chef - sauteed purple cabbage with goat cheese, warm potato salad with avocados, to die for brussel sprouts with lemon juice (I have to stop, my stomach is growling)...But seriously, I did not grow up eating this food and it took me awhile to recognize this woman slaving away in the kitchen as my mother. I want for my children to always know this eclectic side of me that is dying to be free. But, sadly, in order for them to know this woman, they would also have to know canned vegetables and spam. So, I think that my priorities are in the appropriate order. Big sigh. Someday I will own really fantastic pieces of awesomeness in my house, kickass jewelry, amazing shoes, and a desk that was not purchased from the good people at Target. Someday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Things My Children Say

While describing to me how cold her classroom is, Casey had this to say...

Casey: It is freezing like ice cubes in my classroom, Mama. Really. It is. It is so cold that my friend Alexis's blood vines are blue.
Me: Her what?
Casey: Blood vines. They were actually blue.

***************************
Me: We're going over to DoeDoe and PopPop's tonight for dinner.
Chan: For DoeDoe's birthday?
Me: Yep.
Casey: We should definitely make her a giant card.
Chan: Let's get her something. What should we get her?
Me: I don't think we're going shopping before we go there.
Chan: Not something big. Maybe like a new lunchbox.
Casey: You know, she is a nurse. Maybe we should get her some new nurse things.
Chan: Like what?
Casey: Like maybe a doctor thing.
Me: Ok, again, we're not going shopping before we go there.
***much whispering in the backseat***
Me: Girls we're leaving in a little bit, I don't think you'll have time to do something that is too involved.
Casey: It's ok, Mama, we've got it under control. Cause when two little girls have big dreams, amazing things happen.

Oh, crap. We're in trouble now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

My One Success


This was my one success of the weekend. I made my stepmother's very famous pistachio cake. Seriously. I made a cake. And then I sold it. The UMW was having a bake sale at church, so I made this super delicious cake and someone actually bought it. I think they either a. didn't know that I made it or b. don't know about my last cooking fiasco. Either way, truly, my one success of the weekend.


This is a picture of Quinn's latest success. He knows where his head is...and he will show you that he knows this on command. Yes, it is very awesome. This is also his pose when he drops something and when you say something to him that he doesn't like. I think he is a genius.



The girls each cashed in $20 daddy dollars and invited a friend over to spend the night Friday night. By Saturday night, I needed my own spend the night party...preferably in an insane asylum. Chandler's friend decided that she wanted to go home when it was bedtime (10:30pm) and her mom came and got her. Chan then proceeded to have a melt down...until a little after midnight. I slept with her in the spare bedroom. It is not very comfortable to sleep with a very long legged seven year old that lays horizontal in the bed. I awoke at 5am to a very loud and disturbing noise. Casey and her friend were up and decided now was a good time to play Lincoln Logs. So they dumped the ginormous bucket of them out on to the floor to begin building their very important structure. Did I mention that this was at 5am???? I told them to go back to sleep. They didn't. Slightly after 5 Q woke up. (Gee, I wonder why??) I gave him a sippy cup, rocked him back to sleep and went back in to tell the girls AGAIN to go back to bed. It was now 5:30am. At 6am there was much giggling and squealing. I went in to tell them to keep it down. At 6:30am there was screaming. I went in to beg them for the love of God and all that is holy to please be quiet. At 6:45am, Casey came in our bedroom to announce, "Mama, we're hungry." Of course you're hungry, you've been up since damn 5am in the morning! At this point, I politely asked Chris to get up with the hungry children. He made breakfast and then came back to bed until Q officially woke up, 45 min later. The little friend went home at 11am and the children and I all took naps after lunch. We desperately needed naps to get us through the rest of the day, which included a 4:30 b-day party at Chuck E. Cheese. Sunday, Chris took the children to Sunday school, I did a 28 minute supermarket sweep and then met my family for the church service. We stayed for fellowship dinner and the bake sale. Chris took the children home while I stayed for book club. I got home around 3pm and Chris made a fabulous dinner. I got 4 loads of laundry done and then Q refused to go to bed. I finished a Jane Green book and went to bed.

It is Monday and I am still celebrating my one success of the weekend...that damn cake!