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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just In!

Dancing Queen Necklace - chunky acrylic beads, multifaceted for great shimmer!

Olympia Multi-strand Necklace - be still my beating heart!

For the love of Spring! Serenity Necklace (short). This one is mine. If you want one too, just let me know. I can hook you up!

Serenity Necklace - Long - The perfect accessory for your perfect Spring outfit!

p.s. Don't forget to follow me! Click the "follow" button on the right hand sidebar. It'll be fun!

Please Let It Be Spring

These are my new spring shoes. I love them. Seriously, Old Navy has become my go-to place for ballet flats. They are cheap. They are comfy. I don't feel bad if something happens to them. I actually wore these shoes to church today (along with a new spring necklace that I just might post a picture of later) in hopes that it might make spring come a little quicker. I need it to. And this morning was just a tease...the sun is shining and beautiful...but the wind...ugh! But then James Taylor came on the radio and since Chris had the kids with him (don't ask, but we did all make it to church) I cranked it up and pretended it was spring. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plan for this Week

Quinn and Chandler (Q was really excited about taking this picture - doesn't he have a great hair do going on?)

Q with his poor scraped eyelid

family time watching a little yo gabba gabba (how can you not love this show?)

The pictures really have nothing to do with this post other than that I have felt bad about the lack of pics on the blog lately. (Funny how I haven't felt bad about the stacks of clean clothes in the hallway.)

This is my plan for the week...
1. Get at least 75 items posted in the shop. Then we can start having some more giveaways. You should really sign up to be a follower of the blog if you haven't already. The problem is never that I don't have enough items to post, its that I don't have enough hours in the day to photograph them and then list them. Time, people. Its all about time.
2. I am going back to the gym...starting Monday. I knew that February was going to kick my rear (which it did) so I forgive myself for taking a hiatus. But the hiatus is over. Back to work. Besides, I am in desperate need of some new material. I haven't had a lot to work with lately.
3. Survive Read Across America week. Guest readers galore. I refuse to stress over this. Refuse.

So, now that I have announced the plan, let's see if I actually follow through with it. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Favorites

In no particular order...
  1. spring
  2. weddings...especially the dance floor
  3. reading in the mornings outside with a cup of coffee in the summer...this doesn't happen often
  4. my slippers
  5. dave matthews band
  6. taking a long shower
  7. a clean house
  8. a quiet house
  9. when #7 and #8 actually happen...and stay that way for at least 24 hours
  10. water skiing (seriously. I am sitting here trying to think of things that I love and it pops in my head and I smile. I really do love to water ski. And it is shocking to people that I can actually do this...especially when they know how non-physical and uncoordinated I am. I go about once every 10 years any more, but it was a fair constant in my teen years. Good times.)
  11. girl time
  12. the green beans at PF Chang's
  13. jean jackets
  14. antique stores (oh how I love Cain County...and the market at Lakewood)
  15. Arthur (my all time favorite movie. I wonder if I can talk Chris into watching it again this weekend)
**please note, I did not list my family on here because that is a given :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Post With No Pictures

Ugh. I hate it when there is post after post with no pictures. It might not bother you, but it does indeed bother me. But I am lazy. And my children have not been very photogenic lately. Just sayin.

Tonight was my girls night. We have dinner once a month and I love it. These are the ladies that have laughed with me and cried with me and taught with me. They are my fellowship of teachers and I love them. I hope that one day we will all be retired and still having our dinners together. Seriously.

Changing subjects, Quinn has taken to time out quite well. Chris began sending him to the rug in the foyer when he is pitching a fit, so now when he begins to get upset, he just marches himself over to the rug, sits down, cries, gets over it and lets himself out of time out. The downside to this is that when he is down we'll say something like, "Yay! Are you ready to be a sweet boy again?" And then he will start to cry, march himself back to the rug and it begins all over again. It usually take 3 or 4 tries before he is actually ready to leave the rug.

Quinn also greatly enjoys pretending he is a puppy. He gets down on all fours and pants with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. He also likes it when you pat him on his head and scratch behind his ears. Now if only that would convince the girls that we actually do have a puppy in the house.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Toilet Paper Roll

At one point during my college years, I lived in a townhouse with a friend and his girlfriend...who also happened to be my cousin. One night they were all snuggled up on the couch together, watching a movie in the dark, when I came barreling out of the bathroom with the empty roll of toilet paper. I began waving it around (like a wild woman) stomped to the T.V. and turned it off. My blood was boiling and there was no stopping the rage. "Who did this?" I shouted. "Who did not change the empty roll of toilet paper? It takes two seconds to take off the empty roll and pop on a new one. Do you not have two seconds? Do you need a demonstration on how the toilet paper holder works?" I was now holding the empty roll in the air, my other hand on my hip and my face a wrinkled contorted mess of anger. They, (because they were normal and calm), just stared at me. Their jaws dropped to the floor. They looked at each other and then back at me. I stood there, the empty roll hanging in the air. And then my cousin began to laugh, "Ok, Ang, sheesh."

I stormed off thinking, how could they not get this? It only takes two seconds. Ugh. The insensitivity and rudeness of it all. And then I stopped. Dead in my tracks. I was my mother. I was 19 years old and I had just turned into my mother. Without a doubt I had heard those same words 18 billion trillion times while growing up...that nagging motherly only takes two seconds...I had just lost my cool over an empty toilet paper roll.

I share this story because tonight I used the last of the toilet paper. I did not change the roll. I flushed the toilet. I turned off the light and I didn't even think about the toilet paper roll. But then I had to go back in there and I noticed it and I thought to myself, no, Mom, I didn't have two seconds. But its ok because my mother doesn't live here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creative Outlet

Once upon a time, I won a senior superlative. I was voted Most Creative (girl...John Rapp was my boy counterpart). And it was a period in my life when I felt creative. I was in drama. I took art classes. I made a collage cover for my binder. I even sewed flowers on my jeans. I rearranged my room on a monthly basis. Super creative, right?

I went to college on a theatre scholarship. My work study assignment was in the costume shop. I learned how to make hats (just call me a regular old milliner). Another creative period. And then my parents stressed their concern that I might actually earn a degree in drama and then I would be homeless and penniless. I changed my major to know, where I was bound to make the big bucks. But I still felt creative. I spent hours designing and writing lesson plans and units of study. I attended conferences and conventions. I co-directed a musical theatre class which ended in a full length play performed by 8th graders. I was a fellow in a national writing project. As part of my grad program I took storytelling classes and poetry classes. I was still creative.

And then I decided to move to the media center, where I envisioned book clubs and reading incentive programs and display cases and book fairs and all sorts of fabulousness. But really, the life and time and energy and creativity is often just sucked right out of me by the logistics and procedures and paperwork and other demands and the lack of hours in a day.

I fill my creative void with my jewelry. I think about it on the drive home and what I would like to create that night. I also fill my creative void with this blog. I think about it on the drive home, too. Its mine and I can write what I want in the style of my choosing. I can write a short post or a picture post or a novella length post. I like looking at the layout options, backgrounds and designs. It is all up to me and there is no one there to tell me that what I can and can't do. (I mean, clearly, I understand the lines - I don't post about my job, or my parents or my least not without his permission.) I have had people tell me throughout my life that I should be a writer, and the thing is, right now, at this very moment, I am a writer. I actually write everyday (which is more than I have done even in my creative peaks) and my blog is a record of that. Am I going to win an award? No. Am I going to be published? Not by anyone other than the good people at blogger. But, right now, I am a writer and I feel creative. In 30 minutes after all 3 of my children have gone to bed, I will become a jewelry designer and I will feel creative.

So, I thank you, for listening to me ramble on about creativity...and the few moments of my day when I actually feel creative. Now, perhaps you should go and do something that will make you feel creative too. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Prize Fighter

He fought the stairs and the stairs won. Yesterday was a rough day. I posted in the afternoon when we first got home from our after church lunch, early in the afternoon, when I still thought that there was a chance that Q might actually take a nap. But it was not to be. He had fallen asleep for the last 4 minutes of the ride home and he was considering that to be his 4 minute power nap to get him through the rest of the day. So, he was up. And grumpy. We all went outside (yes, even me) to enjoy the beautiful weather (65 and sunny!). Q experienced the joy of Fort Pendley in the backyard and learned the excitement of the swing and the slide and bubbles on the patio. I tried to push him in his little tyke car, but he was insistent on standing up in it, so that was a short lived activity. We had a snack. We went upstairs. (Chris stayed downstairs to work on lesson plans. I blame the following events on public education and the amount of time that is required for teachers to put in on Sunday afternoons to be prepared for the week. Otherwise I think this never would have happened. At least, that is what I like to think.)

Back to the story...we were upstairs, with the gate up at the top of the stairs. Q was opening and closing the door to the closet in the spare room, so I convinced him that we should lay down together on the bed. It worked. And then the girls heard that there was snuggling going on, so they came in and joined us. Quinn decided there was too much estrogen in the bed and left the room. I sat up and sighed, "Your brother is going to be the death of me."

"What does that mean, Mama?" asked Casey, with her eyes wide at the mention of the word death.

I stood up from the bed and jumped into my explanation, "Well, its a phrase. You use it when something exhausts you and is somewhat irritating. Like, you could say, 'Cleaning my room is going to be the death of me.'" Eager heads nodded in agreement and then it happened...

A horrible crash and grunting and the thudding down the stairs. I screamed. I screamed for Chris as I watched my baby lie in a heap on the landing of the stairs tangled up with the gate. We both slid onto the landing at the same time. Q cried for 45 seconds. (Which is really remarkable, because he cries for 10 minutes when you tell him no.) His injuries? A scraped eyelid and nose, a slight black eye and rug burn on his shoulder. I believe the gate hurt him more than the stairs. Bottom line: this boy really is going to be the death of me.

**ps. I wish that I could show you a picture of this, but he wouldn't hold still. big sigh.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recovered...and WINNERS!

Casey seems to have recovered from the stomach bug. She was moaning while we were driving to the immediate care Friday night...

Casey: Ughhhhhh. Ohhhhhhh.
Me: Are you ok, Honey? Do you have the bucket? Are you going to throw up?
Casey: Nooooooooo. I am having bad (sob, sob) thoughts.
Me: What are you thinking about, Honey?
Casey: I'm dyyyyyyyyyyiiiiiiiiinnnnnngggggg. *wailing* I'm going to diiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee. *more wailing*
Me: Case, you're not dying. You're just sick and the doctor is going to make you feel better.
More moaning, wailing and sobbing.

And then, surprisingly, she felt much better half way through our doctor's visit. So much so that she was laughing and making jokes with the doctor and nurses and then I looked like a paranoid idiot taking my kid to the immediate care. I hate it when that happens. Can't she at least look sick for the entire visit. I promise you, she really did throw up all day. My carpet, couch and husband can vouch for me.

In an unrelated conversation, while the girls were naming their new LPSO pets, we were discussing names and Casey told me that she wished I had named her Tiffany. Chandler told me she would have preferred Lola. Apparently I was way off the mark in the naming department.

And now for the BIG NEWS....When I asked for followers for my birthday I didn't tell you that I had a goal in mind and if I hit the goal then I would really and truly give away some prizes. In my head I had 20. Just to make it to 20 followers. And it happened! (Yes, actually 22!) So, I had the girls pick 2. And the winners are....#3 and #21 - Shelley and Jules! Yay! So, here's the deal...Shelley - email me and pick something from the etsy shop for under $20 and I will send it to you! Jules - you don't get to pick (unless there is something that you really, really want) because I have something that is not in the shop that I think needs to be yours. But I do need for you to send me an address. :)

No worries...I think there might be some more giveaways in the near future. Because really, who doesn't love to win stuff?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Friends

The greatest part of having the booth this week was the fact that I got to meet some great new friends and run into some great old ones. (Not old as in age, but old as in long time friends. :) )

Thursday morning I met the vendor that was setting up next to me - Amber of Baileigh Grace Boutique. And as she was setting up, a friend of hers came in and brought her a coffee and as they were chatting, this friend turned and looked at me and said, "I know you! You're my neighbor and I read your blog!" (a mutual friend of ours had given her my blog address) Times like this remind me just how small the world (and especially our cozy little town) really is. And so we began talking. I have been a bad neighbor (with a million reasons why), but I had actually only spoken to this person once in the two years that we have lived in our house. This is even crazier because our sons are the same age and we could have been having playdates all along. But, point is, now we've connected and I am sure that in a short amount of time she is going to get sick of me. :)

Amber and I spent all of Thursday getting to know one another and chatting it up. The girl is hysterical! And the clothes that she makes...ugh! It makes me wish that I was five years old again so that I could wear her beautiful creations everyday. Seriously. Don't worry, I'll link you to her in a minute. If you live in Jefferson (or the area) you can also find her things in Love's next to Subway on the Square. I am having dresses made for the girls this spring. I am also dying to get Q a John John, but when I mentioned this to Chris he made blank face and said, "Didn't you come home with a ton of plaid shorts the other night?" And I said, "Yes." (Because its true. I really did buy Q a ton of plaid shorts. I love plaid shorts. Chris won't wear them, so I figure I should put them on someone who won't object. Mainly because he can't talk, but that's ok, I'll take it.) And then Chris said, "Haven't you done enough to the poor boy?"

Perhaps. But he would look so stinkin cute in the John Johns. Seersucker. With his initials embroidered on the front. So cute I could cry.

Here's the link. She'll have way more stuff put back up soon...just in time for spring. You can thank me later. And seriously, if you don't live here, you can order. Along with sewing, she knows how to ship things.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Such Is Life

So, the booth was not going well. Or, at least, not as well as I had hoped. I made the decision last night that I would not stay up there all day today...Chris and the girls were out of school, Q was going to the sitter, the girls were going to Babyland General with their grandparents and I was somewhat hopeful that Chris and I might get to have a grown up lunch together. It was not to be.

At 3am Casey pushed open the door to our room and whispered, "Mama? I feel sick." And then the puking began. And it has not ended. She has thrown up in just about every room in the house. She threw up multiple times on the couch and once completely covering Chris. We received our tax return this week and I am thinking that a new couch might be in our future.

Babyland General did not happen. The sale did not happen at all. Chris did not get his alone time and we did not have a grown up lunch. Such is life.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Casey's Valentine

Since the middle of last year Casey has had a "secret" boyfriend. It is a house secret...meaning that it doesn't get talked about outside of the house. It is a secret to the boy that he is Casey's boyfriend. Crazy? Yes, I know. But Chris and I have approved this manner of boy liking. She pointed him out to me one afternoon when I picked her up at school and whispered in my ear, "There he is, Mama. That's my secret boyfriend."

Only they had their Valentine's Day party at school this week, so love was in the air. And Casey's secret boyfriend asked her on the playground if she would be his Valentine. And then everyone in their classes said that they were going to get married. And Casey is on cloud nine. She can't believe that her secret boyfriend is not a secret any more.

As long as they continue playing tag on the playground and not kissing under the slide, I think it'll be ok.

***Please note, Casey and Chandler both think that kissing is disgusting. Chandler also informed me that even when she gets married she is only going to kiss on the cheek. The lip area is off limits. Chris was pleased by this.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So Tired...and my girls are huge!

Today I am so tired. Drained, actually. It was the first day of my vendor booth...plenty of lookers, not a whole lot of sales. But really, that's ok. There are still 3 days left.

This is what I learned girls are HUGE! Not really in size, but in age! From the time that they were 6 months old, I have been a gigantic fan of consignment sales. My girls have always worn cute things because I buy them at consignment sales and pay a fraction of the price. I buy pretty much their entire wardrobe for a season at consignment sales. But now, they are just too big. The selection isn't as great. The styles aren't as cute. The clothes aren't as nice. And tonight, I bought them 2 pairs of jeans (that don't fit and I can't return), 2 skirts, 2 pairs of shorts and a t-shirt. Someone will have to go topless every other day. Just sayin.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Technologically Impaired

I thought I heard my cell phone beep this afternoon, so I pulled it out of my purse, only to discover that there was a little yellow envelop on my screen. I do know that this means there is something in my inbox. I just don't know how long its been there. Although really, it couldn't be that long because I just bought a new phone last Wednesday, after Q broke mine on Monday. Anywho, back to the little yellow envelop. I find that it is a text from Sat morning regarding the girls b-day party. My first thought was, oh, look, she thinks I'm hip and that I text. Yes, Sat morning. And it is now Tuesday. The party has since come and gone and replying to this text would just be foolish. Besides, I am not really sure that I know how to text. I did, at one point, about 5 years ago. And I haven't used it since. I take that back. Once I sent Frankie my order for Ike and Janes via text (because she refused to just write it down) and once I sent Frankie a picture of a new necklace that I was super excited about. Only, she didn't ever get that text. And I'm pretty sure I was charged $18 to send it. I do know that I am definitely not fast enough with my thumbs to make it worth my while. So now if you text me and I don't text you back, you'll know why.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Big News of the Week

February is, by far, my worst month. Its the girls' birthday and my birthday. Its my dad's birthday and my brother's birthday. There is always a ton of stuff going on at school (gearing up right now for Read Across America and our Spring Book Fair), and well, overall it just nauseates me. Really. For the past 7 years I have also participated as a consignor, a shopper and a worker at a children's consignment sale. You just can't clothe kids unless you do these sorts of things.

Just to up the ante this year, I've also decided to try out having a vendor booth at the consignment sale. It wasn't terribly expensive to rent the booth space, its close to home, I have personal days that I can take at work and so I figured I should just give it a try. If I am going to be serious about this jewelry thing, then I need to put myself out there. So...this is me....out there. Stomach tied in knots and all.

If you are looking for something to do, or looking for great kids stuff or want to come hang out with me...the sale is at the Jefferson Civic Center and is open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Here is the link for more information...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Biggest Weekend of 2010

Quinn's first snow experience 02/12/10

Our house covered in snow

Casey and Chandler

bead-a-rama party!

Chandler and Casey

Just in case you noticed, its true, yesterday was the first day in 2010 that I did not blog. It was also my first day as a 32 year old. It was also the biggest party day in our house in 2010. For the ease of not having to tie everything together in paragraph form, I'm going to give a bulleted run down of our weekend....
  • Chris and the kids had Friday off because of the impending snow storm. This worked out fabulously for us because he was able to go to the store and get all of the necessary party supplies. You know, like cake and candles.
  • It began snowing shortly before I left school and continued to snow then for about 5 to 6 hours. It was my first experience of actually driving while it was snowing. Seriously. And it was not very fun.
  • We played in the snow. When I say "we", I mean the kids. It was Q's first snow experience. He was a little unsure about it but needed bribery to come inside.
  • After two canceled flights, my aunt made it in from Chicago early Friday evening.
  • Saturday was my b-day. Chris came through with the much beloved hat from Anthro. Apparently I just need to mention my "wants" on my blog. And it is helpful when I also post pictures of said "wants."
  • I also received a bag of underwear from my mother (you know you are old when you actually ask for underwear for your birthday), a giftcard to Anthro from my wonderful SIL and BIL, and a giftcard to BN from my aunt.
  • We ended up with the Wylie and the Pendergrass families, along with several other of the girls' friends for a beading extravaganza birthday party. We had cake and ice cream. It was quite enjoyable.
  • Following the kid party (from 1-3), we then had a family dinner party at 5. We ordered Moe's catering (I highly recommend this) and served 16 people.
  • My aunt spent the night with us and then we drove out to the Forum and met mom for lunch and a girls' shopping day. Adult girls' shopping day. It was wonderful. I also love having people fight over who is going to buy me things. Awesome. I scored some cute, cute things from The Loft, a delightful pair of ballet flats from Old Navy and the best dress EVER from Charming Charlie (its a color coded store - life doesn't get any better than that!).
  • And THEN, I stopped by Molly's and had a great little visit. I love visiting her because she always has new exciting things at her house. Like a fantastic new back splash (love it!) in the kitchen.
  • And now I am home and beginning to feel very worked up about this week. (More about that later.) Almost like I could vomit. I promise to leave this post and make my way to the bathroom if that happens though. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Because tomorrow is my Birthday....

I have a special request. If you read my blog, can you sign up as a follower? Just click the "follow" button that is on right side of the screen. Scroll'll see it. I would love it if you would do this for me. It would make me very happy. Perhaps there could be a prize involved. Really. You just never know. I, for one, am not opposed to bribery.

***and then if you can comment and tell me that you're a follower, that would be superb!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Day In the Life

3:55 pm - sign girls out at the after school program
3:58 pm - girls have made their way from the gym to the atrium of the school
3:59 pm - girls realize they forgot their jackets in the gym and have to go back
4:05 pm - girls are back from the gym, Casey dumps the contents of her unzipped book bag all over the atrium
4:08pm - girls stand outside the car arguing over who gets to sit in the middle of the backseat. They both want to because that person gets to sit next to Q. Casey did last time and even though she says we are doing "two turns in a row" I side with Chandler and tell Chan to sit in the middle.
4:15pm - arrive at the daycare to get Q
4:26pm - leaving the daycare, Casey races to the car, beating all of us and settling into the middle seat
4:28pm - Chandler is sobbing, I am yelling at Casey for ignoring my directions from 20 minutes ago. Q is chewing on his jacket while mooing like a cow.
4:37pm - We pull into the garage, girls get their school stuff and exit the vehicle. I unbuckle Q from his seat and he slides himself out. I try and juggle the diaper bag, my purse and shoeboxes for the girls' valentine's day boxes. We coax Q to walk through the garage. I open the door to the kitchen and he bolts for the driveway. He is halfway down the driveway by the time I catch up to him.
4:40pm - I carry in the box of spring clothes that I ordered from Old Navy that was left on the porch.
4:41pm - the girls wildly dig through the box after I told them not to. Q carries his clothes into other rooms in the house and leaves them there.
4:43pm - Q tries to climb the stairs alone. I wrestle him back down and put up the gate.
4:45pm - Q tears down the gate and climbs stairs. I carry him back down and put back up the gate.
4:52pm - Casey comes downstairs sobbing that she has lost her reading book homework.
4:55pm - She is now hyperventilating, wailing and pounding her fists on the floor. I send her to her room because I do not want to listen to this.
4:58pm - I put water on to boil and go to the pantry to get out the pasta and sauce for the night. There is no pasta and sauce. Q dumps a cup of water (that the girls left out) all over himself.
5:01pm - Casey has locked herself in her closet while she continues her screaming fit.
5:03pm - Q has a major poop. He won't let me change his diaper and he begins screaming and growling at me.
5:07pm - I order pizza to be delivered.
5:20 - 30 minutes after she began crying, I tell her that she is done. She needs to tell her teacher that she is sorry and that she will do better next time. Either she left it in her classroom, she didn't pick it up from her book bag explosion and it has been turned into the office or she has truly lost it and will need to pay for it.

We eat and all is well. The children all bathe together in the big tub in my bathroom. Chris comes home from his parent/teacher conference night.

7:18pm - I close the door to Q's room after putting him to bed. I hear Chandler in her room exclaim to sister, "Gasp! I forgot to finish all of my homework!"
7:20pm - girls bring down their agendas and reading logs to be signed. I ask Chandler if she has finished everything. She tells me yes. I tell her what I overheard. She blows it off and says she only has a little left to do. I refuse to sign her stuff. She begs to decorate her valentine's box. I send her to bed.
7:24pm - I have a meltdown and begin crying.
7:35 - Casey and Chris are wrapping her shoebox. Chandler comes back downstairs to apologize. She has finished all of her homework. She cries and tells me she loves me and that she is sorry that she lied and made me sad. We hug. I sign her papers so that she doesn't get in trouble at school. She asks if she can decorate her box. I tell her no. She accepts the punishment. I kiss her good night and send her back upstairs.
7:38 - Chandler joins Chris and Casey and tells Chris that she has worked everything out with me and she can decorate her box. Chris believes her.
7:52 - Chandler shows me her beautiful box...and then realizes that she shouldn't have done that. Chris is now furious with her. All girls are sent to bed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Daughters

Chandler Patricia 2/10/02

Casey Harper 2/10/02

Casey (left) and Chandler (right) with Meme - they are about the same age in this picture as Q is now. Amazing how much my children look like each other, isn't it?

Casey and Chandler 02/10/10

8 years ago the girls became the center of my world. On accident. It was an accident that I got pregnant, an accident that I had twins and an accident that I had them on this day.

Like I said in the previous post, I was put on bed rest at 26 weeks. It was not complete bed rest - I was allowed a few short outings each to the doctor's office or the hospital for my birthing classes. But my aunt and uncle were coming in town to see me for my birthday and I wanted my house to look nice, so I did a little light vacuuming Friday evening. I had done extra resting all week and I felt fine. So, Saturday morning, my aunt and uncle arrived, said the house looked wonderful, we bundled up about 8 pillows and headed out for an early lunch at Zim's. I sat with my feet propped up on the bench across from me. Then we went to the movies to see A Beautiful Mind - again - I laid back and propped my feet up on the pillows. We went home and I took a nap and then we went to Applebee's for dinner. I had been stuck in the house for months. I had acid reflux. I did not own a pair of socks that would fit and my XXXL overalls were suctioned on to my evergrowing belly. At this point in my pregnancy I was gaining almost 1/2 lb a day. I had already gained 75lbs and was tipping the scales at 200. At my doctor's appointment earlier in the week he told me that he thought I could go full term with them. I just wanted a day of normal. Or at least somewhat normal. I had laid in bed and cross stitched for over 40 hours that week. That was not normal. Later that night - after my aunt and uncle had traveled back to their hotel almost an hour away near my mom's house - I was on the phone with my mother, watching the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics when I noticed that Chandler would not stop moving. I thought she was going to break a rib. Then I decided I needed to eat some apple pie. And I passed the bathroom on the way to get my apple pie. So I figured I might as well go since I was in the neighborhood. And then there was blood. A lot of blood. Frantic phone call, rushing to the hospital, and the decision for an emergency c-section. My mom and aunt didn't even make it there by the time I was taken to the operating room. And then they were here - Casey - 4lbs 10 oz, and Chandler - 4lbs 7 oz, each 17 inches long, and 7 weeks early. They were born in the middle of the night and rushed to the NICU. They spent almost 4 weeks there. The longest, hardest 4 weeks of my life. And in the minutes that they were born, they became the center of my world.

And now it is 8 years later. They are so smart and funny, beautiful and kind. I can't wait to see what the next 8 years are going to be like. I love you, sweet girls, I love you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Haircuts x3

I decided on the way to pick the kids up this afternoon that today would be haircut day. The girls had not had theirs cut since the summer and Q had never had an official hair cut. We're hosting 2 birthday celebrations this weekend and they were looking a little rough. So, it was now or never.

Casey went first - she decided to get an inch cut off in length and add long layers. It looks wonderful. Chandler was up next who wanted hers cut to her chin. I really don't know why I ever kept her hair long - she is the perfect short hair girl.

While the girls were getting their cuts, Q was wild. Remember yesterday how he was an angel at the doctor's office? Well, he was the devil at the salon. He was immediately attracted to the back room. You know, the one with the large "Employees Only" sign on the door? Yep. At one point he was laying on his stomach under the sink that is used for washing hair. I couldn't get to him and he found this to be thrilling. He would also take off running and randomly grab things as he ran. When I would get close enough to catch him, he would throw himself to the floor, scream holy hell and make himself into dead weight. I know that the hairdressers were drawing straws to see who would be the lucky one to cut his hair. And then, we got him up in the chair ...he was an angel. He held still. He tipped his head forward when she needed him to. He laughed when she sprayed his hair with water. It was an amazing transformation...both in attitude and hair style.

I was really excited about getting them home and taking their picture together. All 3 with shiny new haircuts. But Q had a meltdown the moment we walked in the door and really didn't recover. Perhaps tomorrow there will be pictures.

Speaking of will be the girls 8th birthday. So, on this day, 8 years ago, I made a stupid decision. Even though I had been on bed rest for 7 weeks, I decided that I should vacuum the living room. It was a very small room. The carpet looked terrible and my aunt and uncle were coming in town the next day to celebrate my birthday with me. I figured the 5 pushes of the vacuum would be ok. Clearly, it was not.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quinn = Double Ear Infections

One snotty little boy. He was in the middle of trying to put the shopping cart in the fireplace. Just for fun.

I am at home today with Q. We paid a visit to the pediatrician this morning (you know, the one that once told me - referring to the girls - "Why, I think they might be the worst patients I've ever seen.") and he has ear infections - both ears - and they looked bad. On our way to the pharmacy, I called my mother-in-law to let her know what was going on. These are some of the things that I told her...

Quinn was an angel at the doctor's. He didn't cry. He walked everywhere by himself. He let the nurse and the doctor do whatever they wanted to him - listened to his chest, looked in both ears, then he opened his mouth and let them look at his new teeth and down his throat (using a tongue depressor even) . After all of that the doctor asked if I could turn him around so she could listen on his back. Absolutely, not a problem! And it wasn't because he is an angel at the doctor's office. I love taking him there. I would rather take him than his 8 year old sisters because he (at 19 months) is so much better behaved there then they are. And at the end of the visit he waved good bye to everyone and tried to blow a kiss to Althea at the front desk.

After my glowing review of our visit, my mother-in-law told me that I was never allowed to speak ill of Q again. I will try. I make no promises, but I will try.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Splash of Spring

Look at this! Frankie designed this lovely logo for me and my business cards are in! Aren't they so cute! I'm in love.

Fun, colorful bracelets ready for spring!

***Sorry this post is so short. I am exhausted and will be home tomorrow with a sick Quinn. Therefore, I am going to bed asap. Like, probably by 7:30. No, I am not kidding.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Stuff

multicolored stone beaded bracelet with pewter clasp $12

fantastic stretch bracelets multicolored glass beads - set of two - $12
Really awesome smooth wood beaded bracelet - not for sale - I love this one too too much! It is unbelievably lightweight and I have found a way to wear it almost everyday this week. I can make one for you though, if you like, but you have to email me first! :)

Stunning antiqued brass small chandelier style earrings - $12

I have been very busy getting ready for several events this month - we had a bazaar at the school that I work at (so much fun!), I met with the owner of Elements Salon in Athens this morning (more about that in a minute) and then I have a vendor booth at the consignment sale next week at the Jefferson Civic Center. I am not sure how that is going to go, if its even the right atmosphere for that sort of thing, but I figured it was worth a shot. After that, I am going full out with my etsy shop, so I have been working hard to build my inventory.

But back to Elements Salon...they have several of my pieces on display and for sale! They are located next to Earth Fair on S Lumpkin in the Five Points area of Athens. You should definitely stop in and check them out if you live in the Athens area.

My family is not for sale (although Chris might disagree with me), but I think they are pretty fantastic too. I felt like I hadn't posted a pic of people in a while so I thought that I would just bring this one back. It makes me happy. We have it hanging in the foyer and I catch myself stopping to look at it all the time. Its so beautiful its a distraction. You can't really see it so well in this size picture, but Q is spitting on Chris's head. That's pretty awesome. And probably the only time in his life that he will be able to get away with such behavior. Frankie took this picture of us in the fall...if you don't know about her, you should...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fun Facts

This morning, as I dashed out the door for work, Casey was coming down the stairs with a poster about Mars that she had worked on last night for a group project in school. The poster looked really good. She wrote in her neatest handwriting. I offered to put it in a garbage bag so that it wouldn't get messed up in the rain. As I put it in the bag I glanced over her work. She had taped index cards to the poster with "Fun Facts" written at the top of each card. Only she spelled "facts" - "facks"...and she failed to close the top of her a's so that they looked more like u's. Oops.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Box From Grandpa Part II

My dear sister in law commented on the last post something to the effect of "What did Quinn get?" Well, funny that should come up...

My dad and stepmom did indeed send something for Q in the latest box. I spoke to my dad Tuesday night (before the box arrived) and made a comment that there had better not be anything noisy in the box. He chuckled and then we had this conversation...

Dad: Well, er, um, we did send Q some V-day gifts and one of them is a little bit loud.
Me: Its not an umbrella with a whistle attached, is it?
Dad: (more chuckling) No, no umbrella. It is actually something that is representative of the greatest gift the Mexican culture has given us. (more chuckling)
Me: Dad, did you send my son Cheech and Chong dolls?
*silence and a long pause*
Dad: No. (very offended) I did not send him dolls.
Me: Ok, just checking.

Fast forward to the opening of yesterday's box...Quinn received a car from the movie Cars. It was Ramone - the lowrider Impala - with the voice of Cheech. He says things like, "Show me some respect, Homes."

The sad part of this story is that when my father said "the greatest gift the Mexican culture has given us," I knew automatically that he was referring to Cheech. Sad.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Box From Grandpa

My father lives in Chicago. (I believe I may have mentioned that once or twice before.) And so the girls only get to see him once a year. Our visits are filled with trips to the zoo, aquarium, children's museum, movies, etc., and they love it. They love the fact that my dad and stepmom still have the huge wooden playset in the backyard from when my brothers and I were little kids. They love that the food never stops there (we're an Italian family, you know), and that Grandpa and Gram generally let them do whatever their little hearts desire...even banging on the piano for hours on end in the front room.

The best thing about Grandpa and Gram though is that they send the kids "boxes" throughout the year...their birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter and sometimes just because. For a long time I had to go through the box before the girls because my dad would send each of them enough candy to last 8 years. Or there was the time that they sent them megaphones. And another time they sent them umbrellas that had whistles attached. Now, the girls are aware of what the box is and we have to open it together.

There was a box on the front porch when we got home. The screaming began in the car. It escalated in the foyer. GRANDPA IS THE BEST GRANDPA EVERRRRRRR!!!! Mind you, this is before the box has even been opened. But Grandpa and Gram never fail to disappoint...candy, Valentine's socks, fancy pencils, Littlest Pet Shop out the wazoo, $5 in cash and giftcards to Target.

Chris made the comment that he hoped that they carried memories of the "boxes" from Grandpa for the rest of their lives. I know that they will because I have been receiving the boxes since I was 8 years old and the "box days" are among some of the best days of my childhood.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Understanding

I once had a stepdad that was kind of mean at times. Or, I should say, in my little kid mind, I thought he was, but now, looking back, I have reached a new understanding. One night I was called to set the table. I entered the kitchen singing - loudly and badly. He asked me to stop. I then proceeded to try to whistle (something I still can't do). He asked me to stop. By now we were seated at the table and he and my mother were talking. I then began humming - loudly and badly - the same song that he had already asked me to stop singing. He told me to stop. I decided what he really meant was, Angie, please be a little quieter. So I began humming softer and more to myself. At this point he told me to leave the table and sent me to my room.

I remember feeling that he was the meanest man in the world. I huffed and puffed, throwing my napkin into my plate, putting the plate on the counter and stomping to my room. I threw myself onto my bed and lamented over my lost dinner. I thought of myself as a victim. I was being unjustly punished and the whole world was unfair.

Now when I watch my children singing while setting the table, humming through mine and Chris's conversation, tapping out crazy drumbeats during dessert...I get it. He wasn't mean. He had had a long day. He was tired. He just wanted some peace and quiet. He wanted to have a smidge of a grown up conversation with his wife. I had been asked nicely, I had been asked again, and I had been told to stop twice. I had run out of chances.

So, this is my formal apology to this man. I am sorry that I didn't get it then. But I do now and if I had a second chance, I would indeed do it differently.

Monday, February 1, 2010

An Encounter at the Gym

Today while Casey was at dance class I went on over to the gym. I hopped on my treadmill, began jamming out to some Widespread and surveyed the people around me. The man next to me was running like a gazelle. I have no hope of ever having such form, grace or speed. There was an older gentleman doing some kind of leg contraption where he was lifting a good 3 tons. And then I noticed that the manager was giving a tour of all the gym offerings to some poor new soul that had just joined. He was fully engrossed in what she had to say. His eyes did not wander around the gym the way that mine did/do. So, since he wasn't paying any attention, I took this as an invitation to stare at him. There was nothing that really made this guy stand out - mid 30's, receding hair line, little belly, dress shoes, nice khaki pants, dress shirt and a matching brown leather belt. Really just average. But there was something about him that seemed familiar. So I continued to stare trying to match him with a face in my memory bank.

So he filled out forms, I continued on my going no where path and then we left about the same time. I went out the member door on the side, he went out the guest door in the front. And then he was there, asking me where the stairs were and I remembered. We went to high school together. So we had this conversation...

Me: Do I know you? You look really familiar.
Man: Actually you look familiar to me to.
Me: Did you go to Berkmar?
Man: (face lights up) Yeah! I did. What's your name?
Me: Angie. Are you one of the Smith* brothers?
Man: Yes! I graduated in 94.
Me: Right. You had a brother in my class...class of 96.
Man: Wow. Did we ever hang out? (questioning look on his face)
Me: We ran in the same circles. (remember this for later)
Man: So you live out here?

And the conversation continued for a few more minutes and then he went on his merry way and I picked Casey up from dance.

Now, about the part that I told you to remember in the conversation....When he asked me if we hung out...Well, I remembered. I remembered that a group of us went to a gigantic field party (long, long ago...a good 15, 16 years ago) and there was some things that shouldn't be in a field, in that particular field on that particular night, along with about 200 of our closest friends. And he was standing next to me when 6 squad cars showed up and so we went (with maybe 4 other people) and hid in the floorboards of his Ford Probe. We stayed there for about 2 hours popping our little heads up every now and again to watch the cops perform breathalyzers on our *friends* and then take them away. I was terrified. My mother was out of town. I was spending the night at a friend's house and I didn't think it would go over very well to have to call my stepdad from jail. So I crouched down on the floorboards of this kid's car praying for it to all go away. And now here he is (my savior for that one evening 16 years ago) looking all responsible and... old (receding hair line, pot belly, matching shoes and belt) and how do I say that to him? You saved me one night when I was young and stupid and you spared my parents the drama of having me call from jail. And now, you really don't look like that kid in my memory - thin,with baggy jeans and converse...a full head of hair.

But then again, although it is hard for me to admit, I am sure that I really don't look like I did when I was in high school either. I'm sure I look like a woman in her 30's - with 3 kids and a minivan, so I really shouldn't talk about him.

So this was the story of my encounter at the gym today. The End.
*name changed to protect the innocent. If you were there that night and read my blog, please don't give it away. Thank you.