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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. - 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, 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: 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 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


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Check here....

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. :)