Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear GLEE, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Sometimes I am a little slow. Its true. And typically, I don't catch onto new shows very easily. I am somewhat anti-TV. I watch what I watch and I really don't channel surf or try new things. This is my usual line up....

1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Dancing With the Stars (but its not the end of the world if I miss it)
3. I've been known to watch a season or 2 of The Bachelor/Bachelorette

I hulu Private Practice, and I catch episodes of Castle, Modern Family and Cougar Town from time to time.

All the hype this year has been about GLEE and I had never watched it. I was leery of the campiness of the show. I try to fill my brain with more serious matters (you know, like, DWTS and the Bachelor). The majority of the people in my life watch it, rave about it and live to see it every week. But I'm slow, remember? So, Chris and I have been having 3 episode evenings after I made the purchase last week of Season 1, Part 1 and I must say...I am in love. In love, I tell you!

And now I'll say this...Mother-in-law of mine, if you have not watched this, you must! You can borrow ours. You will love it too!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quinn Loves Meme

And he loves his Meme because she gives him 3 bowls of dessert. To be fair, it was angel food cake with some kind of whipped topping, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I think.

The day started off badly - the girls ate all of the mint chocolate covered oreos for breakfast before we woke up. Then they denied having eaten said cookies. Then they blamed it all on the other one in a weak attempt to save their own skins. Following that, the girls began fighting in the bath tub which ended when Casey smacked Chandler in the mouth. I was doubtful at that point that today was going to be a good day.

But, surprisingly, it was. Q had a great time in the pool at Mom's (not to worry, his head stayed aboved the water). The girls were somewhat calm. And, as expected, the food was outstanding. Quinn tried to ride Duke. Duke kept licking him in the face.

And now, I am very tired. Why no pictures? Yeah, I forgot my camera. Story of my life these days, right?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Big Day Ahead

But first, here's Q with his swollen eye, splotchy forehead (which you really can't see) and water from his eye smeared all over his face. Surprisingly, I still find him to be adorable...even in that state.


We have a big day ahead of us (which really means that I should be in bed right now).
1. Chris is getting up and going into town to teach Sunday School. The girls and Q are staying home with me so that we can
A. pack to go to Meme's
B. bathe
C. finish food preparation (Chris didn't leave me anything difficult to do, so I should be ok)
D. wrap presents (we're celebrating Tom's birthday and Mother's Day)
E. check all of the online sales papers (this is my most favorite Sunday morning activity)
THEN, when Chris hightails it home after Sunday School, we will
2. eat a quick lunch
3. load up the van
4. head to Meme's

There, we will have an afternoon frolicking in the pool, eating my mom's yummy, oh so yummy, warm potato salad (it has avocado in it!) (and she's making it just for me!) and other various treats. We will stay for dinner and then come home a family of 3 - me, Chris and Quinn. The girls are having some alone time with Mems and Pops until Wednesday. Which is good news for me because they are no longer sick and grating on my nerves. They began slamming doors today. It was not pleasant. Just, you know, FYI.

I'm sure that I will be posting pictures tomorrow. I will spare you the pictures of me in a bathing suit. (side note: As a child, I called a "bathing suit" a "bailing loot". Apparently I not only had issues with s's but also th's. Awesome, right?) But I will not spare any pictures of Q hamming it up. Until then...And to all, a good night!

Just to Share a Few Things...

So, what's been going on with the size of my fonts lately? I just don't know. I mean, I change them and then when I change back it works until I publish and then it hasn't changed. What kind of baloney is that? Just thought I would get that off my chest. Thanks.

Now, on to some other things. There are days when I wear jewelry that I haven't made. Shocking, I know. But true. And typically people notice because its not my usual style. Then I rave about how much I love the jewelry that I buy and promise to send them the etsy shops that I buy from. And then I forget. So, I am sharing with you right now who I love and why I love them.

I love Crystal B's shop! Actually, I just love Crystal B all together. We've become good cyber friends and she gives tons of great advice and book recommendations. This one is my current favorite. I am also secretly in love with these. I heart her...and her jewelry.

I also love this etsy shop, Tied Up Memories. I don't know this person...in person or in the cyber world, but I do know her hinged cuff bracelets. And they know me. They love my wrist. Seriously, some of the most fabulous things ever! Like this one! And according to her shop, she is somewhere in the ATL. Who knew???

And there you have it. That's were I get the jewels that I haven't made myself. Now, of course, I want you to shop around in my shop...but my style is different from theirs and sometimes you just want something a little different. That's totally understandable.

Happy Saturday!

p.s. Even though I said I wasn't going to talk about sickness. I am. The girls are back to normal...temperatures, bratty-ness, yelling and slamming doors...and Q appears to have no lasting eye irregularities. I thought about stopping by the immediate care on my way to the post office this morning just to say hey, see what was going on, but I didn't.

Friday, May 28, 2010

And the Winner Is...

#10 - Katrina Southwick

Ok, so here's what I need you to do...
1. look in my etsy shop and pick out a pair of earrings
2. email me at ang4332@hotmail.com and tell me which one you've picked along with an address to ship them to.
(Please respond by Monday, May 31. If I don't hear from you then a new winner will be chosen.)


On now for some other news...The girls did not have fevers above 102 today. I call that progress. We did not go for blood work. But then I did make another trip to the immediate care with Q this evening. We thought he may have been stung and was having an allergic reaction - puffy, swollen eye, splotching face, eye watering like crazy...so I took him and apparently he just had something in it. I came to this conclusion after they "stained" his eye to see if there was a scratch on his cornea. There wasn't. And then they rinsed his eye 3 times and he was better. And I looked like a jerk as I handed over my $35 on the way out. Perhaps we're a little jumpy this week. I was told at the immediate care that our family was job security for them.

Glad to be helpful.

Now, for the rest of the weekend I will not be reporting medical conditions. I am done talking about these things. I will tell you how I feel about GLEE though.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Got Fevers? We Sure Do.

Good Lord. Seriously? The girls have continued to run fevers for the past two days. Actually, the only time that they were fever free was Tuesday night after the tepid bath, while sleeping with an ice pack. Chandler has gone over 104, 4 times in the past two days. I called the pediatrician today and she said that I could bring them in tomorrow for blood work. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before or not, but the girls are BEASTS at the doctor's office. Like go ahead and strap them to the table if you expect to get anything done kind of beasts. They scream. They wail. They foam at the mouth. Well, maybe not that last part, but close enough. And frankly, they are getting to be too big to
a. carry on like this...its embarrassing and...
b. be held down by me (Have you seen me? I'm kind of on the scrawny side.)

(side note: We were once told that they were the worst patients they had ever seen. Of course, this was when one child escaped from the room - while I was holding the other one for shots - ...butt naked...and went tearing down the hall screaming and trying every door to see if it was an exit. That was one of my most favorite days ever. It was awesome. I wish you all had been there. I'm sure you're glad you weren't. I do attribute this behavior to their time in the NICU after they were born. Nothing says Welcome to the World! like an IV in your head. I don't blame them for being unforgiving to the medical community. Really, Dr. Flowers, I wish you were closer. I think they would forgive you.)

So, needless to say, I am trying to avoid blood work at all costs. But after over 48 hours of antibiotic, steroids, and non-recalled tylenol/motrin, it might have to come to that. Sheesh. Yay for summer! Actually, it is Yay for Summer because thinking about all the sick days we would have to take for this little bout of whatever the heck it is....ugh.

That's all I have to say today. Now scroll down and enter the giveaway post directly below this one! It ends tomorrow night. It'll be fun. More fun than the doctor's office. Just sayin.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kicking Off Summer Giveaway!






To kick off summer, and to celebrate the fact that this year alone I have blogged more than the past two years together, I am giving away a pair of earrings from my shop. Yep, that's right, a pair of those earrings above (and there's more in my shop) could be yours! It is open to anyone in the world that is over 18! So, you international folks have a chance to win too! Here's what you have to do...everybody gets 2 entries...

1. Leave your name in the comments.
2. Become a follower! If you are not a follower, sign up to be one (click the follow button on the right). If you already are a follower, just tell me that you follow.

How easy is that??? I will use random.org to pick a number. The contest begins now (10am, Wednesday, May 26) and ends at 8pm eastern time on Friday, May 28. The winner will be announced Friday night.

Good Luck!

Also, p.s. - The girls made it through the night. They have been on the couch having a Disney marathon since 7am. And today, I am not quite feeling myself. Uh-oh.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summertime Blues


Quinn having his dessert - outside and naked (well, aside from shoes, shades and diaper).


Last night, at bedtime, Casey told me that her stomach felt sick. I told her that she was just nervous about the award ceremony at school today. At 4:30am, Chan came into our room and told me she was going to throw up. She didn't have a fever, so I got her settled back into bed with a trashcan strategically placed next to the bed. When Chris got up to take everyone to school, both girls were running fevers. Awesome. Today was the much anticipated Awards Day at school followed by big ice cream parties in their rooms. Tomorrow is their last day of 2nd grade. And they had to miss it. This afternoon their fevers reached 103 and Chris took them to the immediate care (our peds office is apparently closed now on Tuesdays...I was working my last day of post planning). Both girls tested positive for strep. Double awesome. Things were going well after the visit and into the early evening...so well all 3 kids had ice cream on the patio...and then they snuggled on the couch, watched a little TV and their fevers returned with vengeance. Chan - 104.7, Casey - 104.2 After 35 minutes in a tepid bath they were down to 102. The girls were counting on going to school tomorrow (yeah, right, like that was gonna happen) and are devastated to be missing it.

And let me just say, I was equally disappointed to miss the award ceremony. I love hearing teachers say nice things about my girls. I love watching them walk across the stage. I love applauding for them and cheering them on. I love watching them as they receive their awards - the looks of excitement and pride on their little faces - seeing the payoff of a year of hard work. As a mother, missing this day, seriously killed me. You can ask the ladies I work with, I didn't stop whining about it all day.

We have a middle of the night ER plan...just in case. I hate high fevers. They freak me out.




Monday, May 24, 2010

We're Celebrating It.

My Athens Bestie, Frankie (you may have heard me talk about her a time or two, this is what you might remember about her), and I had a terrific night out last night. We joined the majority of our church congregation at Cine' in downtown Athens to listen to the skillful drummer, Arvin Scott, at his benefit concert for the Kenya Project (members of our church are heading to Kenya on a mission trip later this week). I certainly believe that a great time was had by all. A great time was especially had by Frankie and I because with 7 children between the 2 of us, we were child free.

After the concert we walked to Transmet for dinner. If you haven't been there 1. You should go and 2. You have to stand in line and order at the cash register at the counter. So, we stood in line and then we ordered at the counter. It was a young (because I am so old) college age kid (and I can talk about college age kids...the ones in college now? Yeah, I taught them.) was waiting to take our order. I announced to him, "We're together," implying that we should be on the same ticket...only he just stared at me, like he didn't know what to make of that statement. And because he was just staring at me, Frankie interjected, "And we're celebrating that." It actually took the guy about 30 seconds to catch up with his and then he gave us a crooked grin and shook his head.

And that is the end of my story.

And in case you were wondering, we had the mozzarella caprese and the pesto vegetarian pizza with artichokes added. It was delightful. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

There's a Chinese Dragon in My Living Room



This was the big fun that Quinn and the girls were having yesterday afternoon - pretending to be a Chinese dragon, running laps around the living room. There were multiple times when the girls left him and ended up dragging Q while he hung onto the blanket for dear life. Good times.

While Q was fine yesterday, um, yeah, not so much today. He woke up from nap time acting, well, just not himself and brushing at his ears. So Chris ran him up to the immediate care...yep, both ears are now infected. I think we are well on our way to tubes. Again, good times.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fabulous New Things and A Wonderful Morning

A little zebra print, anyone? {$26}


Charmingly Bright No.826 {$26} Ok, maybe its not quite No.826, but sometimes to feels that way. But they are my favorite item to make - I love picking out all of the different colored stones.


Super Long Magnificent Earrings {$12}

If all goes well, these items (along with a few more) will be posted in the shop sometime this evening. I cannot tell you a time because Quinn is running wide open today. I've been working on this post now for well over an hour.


And now on to my completely wonderful morning... On the other side of the world (ok, it was the other side of Athens...but it did take me 56 minutes to get there) we celebrated the upcoming birth of my new niece at Emily's baby shower, hosted by the wonderful Mrs. Maxine. Delicious food, fantastic company, and Em got a ton of great gifts for Baby X. (They still haven't decided on a name. I think they should go with Coco...I mean if your last name rhymes with Chanel, like theirs does, how could you pass this up???) We have an outstanding UMW group at our church and several of the ladies were there this morning, including Mrs. Maxine (which would just be silly if she wasn't there since it was her house) and Pastor Lisa. Next weekend they will be leaving to go on a two week long mission trip to Kenya. Everyone is very excited about this, and so when the conversation turned to their Kenya preparations, Maxine jumped at the chance to show off some of her new purchases for the trip...including a large backpack, safari type hat and rubbers to wear over her shoes. She even tried them on and gave us a little fashion show.

I was hysterical with laughter and then Maxine's daughter turned to me and said, "You're going to blog about this later, huh?" And through my tears I nodded my head, "Yes. Yes, I am."

Pastor Lisa then helped me out by snapping some pictures to add to my post. Maxine adamantly told me that "she was not going to end up on the internet." But Pastor Lisa told me it was ok. And she is the pastor. And she is the one who is traveling with Mrs. Maxine for two weeks, not me, so I figured I have the proper permission. Shortly after I came home from the shower, Pastor Lisa emailed me the pictures with the subject line, "For the Blog!" Enjoy!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Oh, and Let Me Just Say This

...I am exhausted! Did you watch Grey's last night? I must say, I live for this show. I know that I am going to cry when the day comes that it goes off the air. Sob and wail, perhaps even hyperventilating. My world will never be the same when that day comes.

But anyway, OMG! Talk about a high stress season finale! At 9:30, I turned to Chris and said, "Holy crap! I feel like there is a shooter in our house, I am so on edge!" And I felt that way until they rolled the credits at 11. And then I was all sorts of worked up and couldn't go to sleep. Did you watch? Did you feel this way too????

Sneaky Children

The girls had a luau at school today. They announced it to me on Wednesday with a plea for grass skirts. If there had been a weekend in between the request and the party, I would have considered making a trip to Party City and getting grass skirts...but there wasn't...so I told them no. A grass skirt purchase would require going into Athens, something I am not typically willing to do during the week. We live in the country, people, and no grass skirts for the luau are the price we pay. Then they asked if they could wear their pool shorty shorts....um, no. See, when both of your parents work in schools, you tend to have to be big followers of the dress code.

Chris (who usually doesn't pay attention to what the girls are wearing in the morning - like capris in the middle of December) was on to them this morning. They had on shorts with jackets zipped all the way up. They were trying to hide the fact that they were wearing tank tops to school. And they were busted.

The ironic thing is that I was just telling the media clerk at work today about how the girls are pretty good about following dress code and how strict we are about it. No short shorts, no flip flops, no tank tops, and that the girls know and understand these rules. I guess knowing and understanding wasn't stopping them this morning from being sneaky.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yay!

Can I just tell you how exciting this day has been for me??? AND because of some server issues this morning, the good people at My Giveaway Today are leaving the giveaway open through the weekend! Hooray! Thank you for entering. Seriously. I cannot even begin to tell you how overjoyed I was to see that there were more than 4 entries. Whew!

For those of you that are new to my blog...and for my dearest friends who have been following me for ages...Here's a brief list of "best of." Choosing your favorite blog posts is sort of like choosing your favorite child. It changes daily. So today, these are some of my favorites.

My Freakin Gramma - Dec 08

Disney 09 - Feb 09
A Private Area Problem - May 09
Brief Update - August 09
There Are Many Reasons Why I Don't Cook - Sept 09
Dying a Slow and Painful Death - Jan 10
Blog Material - Jan 10
A Day In the Life - Feb 10
Friday Favorites - Feb 10

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome!

Welcome! So, I'm guessing that some of you have made it over here from My Giveaway Today and I am glad to have you! Let me introduce myself. I'm Angie...mother of 3 (8 year old identical twin girls - Casey and Chandler, and one almost 2 year old boy - Quinn), wife of 1 (Chris). Quinn doesn't always look as *happy* as he does in the above picture. The girls pretty much always look like that. And my husband, well, he knows better than to not smile in a picture. I have a day job (which I completely love) as an elementary school librarian. My husband is a middle school math teacher. We live outside of Athens, Ga...in the country. We're both UGA Alums with degrees in Middle School Education, Children's Literature, Educational Pyschology and School Library Media. Whew! When I finished my last round of grad school, I found that I had some time on my hands and was in desperate need of a creative outlet. So, I started making jewelry. For myself. And then people liked it, so I made gifts. And then people wanted to buy it. So, I started my etsy shop, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I began blogging almost 2 years ago, mainly as a record for myself and to entertain my family with the never ending, crazy, stories of my children. Since I started making jewelry, I have had several giveaways on my blog and I often post pictures of my latest work before I add it to my etsy shop.

This is where I work. Well, not during the day (I spend that time in a library...with lots of little kids), but at night I sit here and I work. My 3 are often in there with me, which is why the backside of the room looks like something exploded and demolished half the room's organizational system. Seriously. Why would I post a picture like this? That's crazy. But the orange and gray walls? You love them, don't you? :)

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I hope you come back again soon!

Tomorrow's The Day!

Whew! Tomorrow is the big giveaway on My Giveaway Today! And I am nervous. Like, super duper nervous. So nervous that I just said super duper. Seriously. Who am I? Barney? Sheesh. So, please, please, please remember to go and enter! I have been having this horrible nightmare where only 4 people enter...and 2 of the 4 are my mother and my mother-in-law...and they have to enter. Please don't let this dream become a reality. It would crush my spirit. I sound desperate, don't I? So, really, help a girl out!

Ok, enough about that. Moving on. Only 2 more days left of my school year! Woohoo! I have post planning for a few days next week, but for some reason, those days don't really count. I mean, they count in that we are working, and there are usually 18 thousand meetings, and packing and cleaning and organizing and paperwork...OMG the paperwork! But there is something special about a school when there are no kids in it. Kind of like, "Whoa! Hey! Look at all of the adults here!" Because in a normal day, the adults are way out numbered and often overshadowed. That's one of the great things about being in the library...I see a ton of people - and adults! I remember in my classroom, there were very few adults that I saw aside from the people on my team. I co-taught for several years and LOVED having another adult with me. Chris and the girls don't get out until next Wed. And then he has post planning, I am shipping the girls out to Meme's house and Q will be at the sitter and I might end up with a day to myself! Hip hip hooray!

Now, don't forget! Giveaway. Tomorrow. Enter here!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Casey's Explanation

Chris and I are both teachers. We are not big fans of standardized testing, but we understand that it has become part of life, and more specifically, part of our lives. The girls are at testing age and last year they did really well - they both exceeded all 3 areas that they were tested in. This year, Casey exceeded in all 3 areas and Chan only exceeded in 2. She scored an 845 in Math and an 850 is the line for exceeding. Essentially, she missed one question to not be the exceeding category. Casey took the time to explain to me why this may have happened.

Casey: Mama, you shouldn't worry about Chan's score. She probably just had to go poo a lot that day and she lost focus. I know. That happened to me during testing. It was all the mints. They made me have to go poo, like, every hour.

And there you have it. For the record, I am not at all worried about Chan's scores. She did a great job. Especially in Reading - a 920 - a perfect score!!! She did not miss a single question in that section!

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Think You're Gonna Like This






So these are some new necklaces that I posted in my shop this weekend...just in time for a BIG giveaway coming up this week. On Thursday, May 20, I will be the featured giveaway on the awesome blog My Giveaway Today (see their button my left sidebar? Click it and it will take you there!). You could win! And not to worry...I will remind you before then. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Children's Church? Yep, We Rocked It.

I must admit, I am very cautious about this whole church thing. It is something that I feel very unsure of myself about. Not about my faith or my beliefs, or what I want to instill in my own children, but the whole business of church. My parents did a great job of raising me with morals and having a faith in God, etc. etc. They also let me explore various religions and go to different churches with my friends, which has helped me be able to make decisions about what I like and don't like in churches, because I've seen a lot of them. But I never really felt part of a church family. (We did attend a church fairly regularly when I was a teen, but really, I didn't go for God, or to be part of a church family, at that point in my life. I went there for the youth trips. Where else can you go skiing with 35 other kids your age?)

So when I am approached at church or announcements are made about needing Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders and various committee members, I often find myself very immersed in reading the bulletin and avoiding eye contact with anyone. The thought of these things make me very nervous. I mean, what if I volunteer to teach Sunday School and I screw it all up and then those children are scarred for life? Or I give them false information and then they find out as an adult that what they believed all their lives was just a lie that their childhood Sunday School teacher told them (unknowingly, of course)? Do these other parents really trust me to help with the religious upbringing of their children? Let's just be honest, I haven't always set forth such a great religious example. Its not the teaching part that bothers me, I do have 3 degrees in Education and have spent the last 10 years of my life working with children...its the bible party. And here's a prime example...up until last summer, I thought that Joseph of Joseph and Mary and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat were one in the same. I had no idea there were multiple Josephs in the bible. Aside from "Jesus Loves Me", I don't know any other children's church songs. Chris is always singing about some Wee Little Man...um, yeah, I have no idea who he's talking about.

BUT, I do want my children to be a part of these things. I expect them to go to Acolyte training and Sunday School and Children's Church and VBS. But I can't expect that the other parents are going to pull their weight and mine any more. We've been going there regularly for a year now and its time for me to put my big girl panties on and step up to the plate.

So this morning, Chris and I led Children's Church. And, if I do say so myself, it went fantastically! And I am very excited about it! And I would love for Chris and I to be able to do more for this program. And that, my friends, is a good feeling. So, Children's Church? Yep, we rocked it!

p.s. - I do know that it is Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors, I just like calling it the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. It sounds so sassy that way. I have also stopped calling the bulletin "the program". I believe that's progress.

The Girls plus Andre Evening


{Christy, Molly, Juli, Angie and Beth}


I had a girls night (plus Andre, who was our fabulous chef for the evening) at Molly's tonight. My children were glad to see me go because they knew they were in danger of receiving a smack down. No one seems to know how to flush the toilet in my house (aside from me, Chris and Q...I'll let you figure out who is having trouble remembering). The same culprits do not know how to keep the toothpaste on their toothbrush, in their mouth or in the tube, and not all over the bathroom counter (which I suppose is better than the stair railing). I also believe that when I say, "Watch your brother for a minute while I go to the bathroom/blow dry my hair/get the mail, etc." that they then close their eyes...because twice today bad things happened after I made this request.
1. Quinn colored his legs with a black sharpie. I do not know where the black sharpie came from or why no one took it away from him.
2. He dumped a plate of cheezits on the kitchen floor, danced on them, and they left it there with no attempt to clean up the mess. Then when I came out of the bathroom I asked Casey to sweep them up. She swept the whole pile into the corner of the kitchen and left it there.

So, I was glad to go to Molly's and they were glad to see me go (I don't know this for sure, but I have my suspicions...and maybe not Chris, although he claimed he had enough social-ness this week and couldn't do another social outing). Juli is in town before her summer in Wisconsin and then travels to Seattle. It was (as always) great to see her. Beth joined us this evening, which was a great treat and Christy was also there (this is my once a year visit with Christy). Andre cheffed it up for us tonight with these amazing tomatoes filled with feta cheese, chives, drizzled olive oil and cracked pepper. I think I ate 12 of them. And then these fantastic portobello mushrooms with cheese and oinions, grilled and placed inside a toasted bun. He also grilled some fruit...but I am anti-fruit, so I didn't try it. A round of applause to Andre - for preparing a yummy, yummy meal for us and just being, well, one of the girls tonight.

ps - Please note that in the picture, I did not get the wear dark colors memo. This happens to me all the time. I went to a girls dinner a couple of months ago - everyone (and I am not exaggerating) wore a black top of some sort and me...yeah, I wore white. What can I say? Black just isn't me so much.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Its All Fun and Games Until You Have to Visit First Aid


These are pictures of the children on our way to the game. Chris and I felt like we were getting an F in parenting because the girls are 8 years old and had never been to a baseball game before. So when the opportunity came to go with a group of people from my school to the Gwinnett (not Atlanta) Braves game, we jumped on it. For some reason (which I really have no idea what it was) I thought bringing Q would also be a good idea. Um, yeah, it wasn't.

It took us about 45 minutes to get there, park and find our seats. And when we found them Q looked at us like, "What? You want me to sit? I just rode peacefully for 45 minutes in the car. Its time to run." He's nonverbal, so he said all of this through eye contact and grunting, but we understood.

Chris took his turn first and walked him from one end of the stadium to the other and back again. They returned and Q still wasn't having it, so I took a turn. The first two minutes and 18 seconds into my turn was great! We ran in the grassy area. We danced. It was excellent. And then he took off running on the concrete, and I had to take off after him. Music was playing, so thankfully he stopped to dance some more and I caught up to him. But then he realized I was standing next to him, let out a wild whoop and went to take off again. Only he caught the toe of his shoe on the concrete and in slow motion he fell...onto his face...on the concrete. He couldn't break his fall with his hands because he was holding a snack pack of cookies. And to make the whole situation even better, a guy who worked at the stadium was directly behind us and immediately whisked us away to the first aid station.

Q busted his lip. It bled. It bled quite a bit. But if you know Quinn, then you know that he has an unbelievable threshold for pain and a little bit of blood really doesn't slow him down. He continue eating his cookies while we waited for a paramedic. He made friends with the clerk at the station. He scored a free Webkinz. We were discharged, after I signed paperwork stating that they offered to take us to the hospital and I declined, and headed back to our seats. I relayed the story to Chris and the girls. The girls' response...."Did you get a Webkinz for us?" Chris's reply..."When you fall, bust open your lip and produce 3 tablespoons of blood, then you too can get a Webkinz." And so, our hour was up and we left. I have no idea what inning it was or if we were winning. But, we can now say that our children have attended a baseball game. I have checked it off the list.


Casey, Chan and Quinn - 1st Baseball Game - 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Mother's Day Post...Just a Little Bit Late


{Four Generations - Stella, Angie holding Angie, and Arlene, cir. 1978}

Yes, I know that Mother's Day has come and gone, but really? Only one day to celebrate mothers? Surely there should be more. So, today I am celebrating. Because the only celebration I participated in on Sunday was the quiet one going on in my house...by myself...with no children in sight.

I come from a long line of incredible, strong women. I was named after my mother's grandmother - Angela Casey Harper - a wonderful, proud, Irish woman. Also in this picture are my grandmother, Stella, (in the fab green dress) who I have gushed about previously, and my Mom, Arlene. (You can call her Ar, or even Arnie - as her younger brothers did.)

As a child, my mom worked to teach me independence. I think it backfired on her when I was 3 and announced that I no longer needed her to walk me into preschool...I could do it on my own. She also taught me (following Bill Cosby's wisdom) that cake, is indeed, acceptable for breakfast (mostly on special occasions). Another valuable lesson was that you should never put clean clothes back in the hamper with the dirty ones. She read to me every night. She taught me how to swim. We had "date nights" together when my stepdad was away on business - breakfast for dinner, which we ate at the coffee table in the living room, while watching Arthur (which is why I can now quote every line from this movie and why we will randomly act out scenes word for word, still today).

When I danced, she told me that I was the best dancer she had ever seen (which led to my wanting to have a career on Solid Gold). When I played the trumpet, she told me that I was the best trumpeteer she had ever heard (which led to dreams of playing in jazz clubs across the United States). When I acted in high school, she said that I was the best actress that had ever graced the stage (which led to dreams of landing a gig on a soap opera).

No matter which stage of my life I am in, my mother is there - to share the laughs, the share the tears, to encourage me, support me, cheer me on, or give me a swift kick in the ass (which is only needed occasionally).

I talk to my mother, well, honestly, just about everyday. Some days it is just to check in. Some days I need parenting or fashion advice. Some days we end up talking for hours.

When I was discussing this post with Chris, he thought that I should mention that my mother brings the party with her. And this is true. She is the ultimate hostess and entertainer. She loves dinner parties, killer uno parties, poolside parties... Oh, and the food my mother cooks. You have not had anything like it! Outstanding! Aside from her company, it is my favorite thing about being with her. She likes to make people happy, and her food, definitely makes people happy.

Everyday, I find that I am becoming more and more like her. And its not a bad thing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chandler and the Horrible Day

To be fair, it wasn't an all together horrible day. Just dance class and then the ride home from dance. I picked her up, she climbed in the backseat, slammed the door and began sobbing. I wasn't even out of the parking lot and the tears were rolling.

Me: Chan, what's wrong?
Chan: *sniff, sniff* Nothing.
Me: Seriously? You're lying. And I know this because you are crying. So, what is it?
Chan: Nothing.
Me: Are you hurt?
Chan: No.
Me: Was somebody mean to you?
Chan: yessssssss....

(Side Note: This kills me because Chan is the sweetest, kindest child on the planet. She has such empathy for other. AND she almost never cries unless something is really, really, bothering her...unless Case who is the ultimate drama queen and can at times be a mean girl.)

Me: Well, what happened?
Chan: I messed up in class when we were practicing for the recital. (sob, sob) And a girl in class said that all my work is sloppy. And that I'm not good.

(Another side note. My child really isn't that great of a dancer. She is kind of like watching a train wreck.)

Me: Chan, I know that you are doing your best and that is all that we ask of you. Its not that much longer until the recital and then it will be over and then you can take piano in the fall.
Chan: But she didn't....have.....to say that to me. It hurt my....feelings.
Me: I know, Honey. But you're trying and that's all that matters.
Chan: But now I feel like I have to practice every second and I already have to practice extra in math. (more crying, gasping for breath, we're at the point of complete melt down.)
Me: Chan. You are doing just fine. We can work on it a little bit more during the week, but don't worry about it. You can cry the rest of the car ride home and then you've got to dry it up when we go inside. It'll be dinner time and then baths.

And then she sat in the back seat with her knees pulled up to her chest and cried the rest of the way home. She dried her eyes when I pulled into the driveway. And then she was ok.

I really hate it when kids are mean.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Good For My Soul

This is where I spent my day. Ok, well maybe not the actual place where this picture was taken. But I was in a library, and no, it wasn't my own. If you know me, or have read my about me section, then you know that I am a librarian (media specialist...whatever). I try very hard to not blog about work, for a whole list of reasons, with not getting myself fired at the top of the list. I not only consider myself lucky to have a job (especially right now) but consider myself to be super lucky in that I have a job that I love. But, like anything that you do in life, there are times when you begin to feel burned out, run down, out of ideas, and just, well, not fresh. Do you know what I mean? But today? Today is definitely NOT one of those days. I spent the day in an elementary school media center, that was not my own, visiting with a friend of mine that I went to grad school with. He was recently named Teacher of the Year at his school. Yes, the media specialist was named TOTY. Which, really, is a remarkable thing in itself. We spent the day together having library conversations...not about books...but about lessons and units and practices and applications, student incentives, collaborating with teachers...everything that I used to talk about with my cohort of grad students for two years. It helped keep my mind in shape and not bogged down with all the ho-hum business of school.

Today was good, not only for my mind, but for my soul. I left there swimming with ideas and sad that I have to wait until next school year to try out these ideas. And so, thank you, my dear friend, Andy, for sharing your wisdom and your ideas and your positive attitude with me. It was good for my soul.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today I am Writing 3 Posts in My Head

Yes, I am that talented. But really, this is how it is when you blog. I have 3 different posts that I want to write and the rough drafts are currently being revised and edited in my head. I owe you a Mother's Day post and it will be coming later in the week. This just goes along with who I am - I can never seem to get cards in the mail on time, so at this point I pretty much just go ahead and buy Happy Belated Birthday cards, so why would I blog about Mother's Day on Mother's Day And now for a bunch of randomness...

At the gym today they had the food network on. Now don't get me wrong, I love some cooking shows as much as the next guy, but really? While I'm on the treadmill? Food Network? It seemed like a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

And speaking of food, the unthinkable happened tonight. Casey asked me on the way home from the gym/dance class what we were having for dinner. Sloppy Joe's and chips. (Healthy? Yes, I know, not so much. But I was in the mood for it this week. It reminds me of my childhood and I hadn't had one in at least 5 years. I know its been this long because Chris and I have never had one together.) Her response..."Yuck!" We got home, she took her stuff upstairs, Chan and I got everything put on the table and I called her down. She sat. She put the Sloppy Joe up to her mouth and began making faces and gagging. So I said, "Case, if you don't want to eat it, don't eat it. But don't sit there making faces and pretending to throw up. That's rude. You can put it down and go upstairs. You can just go hungry tonight. And if you decide you're ready to eat then it will be waiting for you. Your choice."

And so she chose not to eat.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Whew! Long Day? Check.

So here was the plan for the day...

Chris was going to his best friend, Nick's, graduation from Oglethorpe this morning, while I stayed at home with the kids - cleaning the house and picking up food for a noon lunch with my brother and his girlfriend who are in town from Texas. Then Chris was going to lunch at Manuel's Tavern with Nick's family and after that, coming home to get me to go to Nick's dinner party tonight.

Here's what actually happened...

1. Chris left the house at 7:30am to head to Oglethorpe.
2. I woke up around 8:30am but could do too much in the cleaning department because Q was still sleeping.
3. Q woke up at 9:30am. Another 14 hour night. Wonderful, right? Only not so much this time. All throughout breakfast, he kept pushing in his ear. You know, like he was a secret service agent listening to his ear bud. And that was all it took for me to know that he had an ear infection and that we would be spending some time today at the immediate care.
4. I left a frantic message on Chris's cell phone.
5. So, my wonderful father-in-law came out to watch the girls while I took Q to the doctor.
6. Quinn absolutely had an ear infection.
7. I spent the morning at the doctor and then picking up prescriptions (and sandwiches).
8. Chris came home early.
9. My mother-in-law met my father-in-law (my lifesavers) at our house.
10. Spent a lovely afternoon with Matt and Shalise.
11. Traveled to some unbelievably confusing place off 400.
12. Spent a lovely evening with Nick (the graduate!) and Liz (love her!) and some really wonderful people that we haven't seen in forever (Flynn and Chris!).
13. And now...I am oh so tired...and going to bed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Girls Night Out Part I

Last night? Yeah, um, I was just too tired. I'm tired tonight too, but I figured that missing blogging two nights in a row would be unforgivable (my mother-in-law worries when I don't blog).

Tonight, all I wanted for dinner was hibachi. Seriously. I couldn't get my mind off of it. Chris offered to buy as a way of getting out of a Mother's Day dinner. But he also didn't want to take Q out for dinner. So, tada!, instant girls night out. Me and the eight year olds. I was actually quite excited about this. The girls had never had hibachi before and I couldn't wait to see their faces when he made the big flames in front of us. 3 minutes after placing our order, Chan announced that she thought she was going to throw up. And then she started puffing out her cheeks and holding her stomach. I called Chris and he came to get her. Which is why this is Girls Night Out, Part I...Chan went home and now I owe her a dinner out. They are 8 and they already know about rainchecks.

Dinner? Casey LOVED it! She wants to eat the rice everyday. Steak, shrimp, chicken...yum, yum, yum!!! When everything was aflame, Casey jumped up and hid behind my chair. And then giggled nervously for 10 minutes.

Then a terrible thing happened when we were leaving the restaurant. Two boys with their father were sitting in one of the booths. I glanced at them and noticing that they were high school age (the age the majority of my former students are), I glanced again. One boy said, "Ms. Fondriest?" And I said, "Yes," with a warm smile on my face.

"Do you remember me?"

And I blanked. I had no idea who this kid was. None. It was HORRIBLE. This really, really, never happens to me. My heart sank. Ugh. What has happened to me??? And the poor, pitiful look on his face! It made me feel like a terrible person. Then he told me his name and I felt even worse. He is now finishing his sophomore year in high school, but when he was in 6th grade, he was one of my favorites! He just looked so grown up and he had changed so much, I didn't recognize him. I will be pouring over old year books tonight so that this doesn't happen to me again. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So I Have This Dream...

Its more of a vision, really. Today I went back to the gym and my song of choice was, Come On Ride the Train. You know the one - Quad City DJs. You're singing it right now. You may even be moving your arm up and down and making that choo choo sound. Its ok. I'm right there with you. So as I was power walking along, pretending I was on a dance floor in a frat house in college, I contemplated jumping my feet out on the rails of the treadmill, singing that song at the top of my lungs and moving my arm up and down. Just to see what would happen. In my vision, my fellow treadmill peeps would join in and it would ripple through the gym. It would be awesome. A musical in the gym! I shared this vision with Chris and he thinks if I involved a few strategic people that it could happen. Before its all said and done (aka my membership runs out) I might have to try this. You think I'm kidding. Am I? You tell me.

Corn Dogging? Yes, apparently it is something that the boys do to the girls in Chan's class. The boys knee the girls in the small of their back and call it, "corn dogging." I am not making this up. Inquiring minds needed to know this and so I asked, and now we all know. Rude, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Don't Corn Dog Me

The whole family is hanging out in the living room right now. The girls are snuggled up under a blanket in the armchair that is made of one. Quinn decided that he also needed to be in the chair with the girls, so he climbed on top of them. As he was scaling over their legs, Chandler told him, "Just don't corn dog me!" Um, well, I'm not really sure what that means. Chris turned, looked at me and said, "If she ever comes home from school and says that some boy corn dogged her, we're going to have a problem." Yes, I should think so.

An Earring Extravaganza





Monday, May 3, 2010

My Return to the Gym...

...was strangely like going on a blind date. On my way there I gripped the steering wheel - my palms were sweaty, my heart was racing, I felt like I could pee in my pants. Not because I was excited, but because I was nervous. What if I made a fool of myself? What if I could only put in a mile before passing out? What if I fell? What if I sang out loud again? What if (God forbid) all of the treadmills were full and I had to use that horrible, ridiculously hard machine behind them OR even worse, the stationary bikes which hurt me in places we shouldn't even talk about? So by the time I got there my brain was in panic, frantic, overload mode. Awesome. And because my brain is still operating in panic, frantic, overload mode, I am going to write this post in a numbered list (that is always calming to me) so that I don't have to worry about trying to string my paragraphs together. (Really? You had no idea that that was something that I worry about? Well, its true.)

1. There were treadmills open. I took that as being a sign from God.
2. 1/4 mile into my power walk, Elvis left the tanning bed. No, I am not kidding. He really did. Black hair, lamb chops, the sunglasses. I thought about laying in there just so I could say that I used the same tanning bed as the King.
3. Some teenage boy was on this apparatus - bending over at the waist when holding onto the steering wheel weight. I have seen people use these weights before and they are one of the most ridiculous things ever. Truly.
4. 1/2 mile into my power walk I began to feel like my monthly visit had made its appearance. This made me sweat even more. Why, oh, why did I have to wear my light gray pants instead of the black ones? Why, oh, why was this happening to me? Why, oh, why did there have to be a row of people working out behind me? I tried to brush this irrational fear out of my mind, BUT...
5. At the 3/4 mile mark I could not calm myself. I felt like I was beginning to hyperventilate. And by now I was sure that 3 liters of a certain bodily fluid had spilled from my insides and was running down my leg. Surely people could see this. And surely they were all pointing and laughing at me.
6. At .81 miles I couldn't take it anymore. I made a hasty exit off the treadmill, strategically walked to my purse (making sure to take the path with the least amount of witnesses), while planning how I would exit the gym without causing a scene, and paid a visit to the bathroom where I found nothing. Absolutely, nothing, people. I decided to take precautions just to be on the safe side.
7. Returned my purse to the cubby, made my way back to the treadmills and hopped back on. (Didn't that sound like I was excited to be back?) I resumed my 4.2 mile pace. The nagging feeling that something was just not right would not leave me. And then I realized....I have no feeling in my leg on the right side from my bikini line to the middle of my thigh (this is my lovely reminder of the 2 c-sections and hernia repair that I have had - dead nerves) and this horrible sensation that I was feeling...yeah, um, it was my work out pants rubbing my thighs. Apparently in real life (as apposed to my work out life) my pants clearly DO NOT rub like that. Whew! You have no idea the relief I felt by getting to the bottom of this issue.
8. 2.04 miles....my underwear rode up and there was no way I could fix it. There were people behind me with nothing else to look at except my tush. Ok, that's not true. There are TVs hanging from the ceiling, but I like to think that they are really paying attention to my cute hiney.
9. 3 miles...done!
10. I have also decided that I would be much better at this whole work out thing if there was something more involved than self accountability which in turned has really ticked me off at Joy for deciding to live her crazy dreams by moving to CO. This is my time of need. She could train me. And she wouldn't be all hardcore, no smiling, get serious, stop goofing off, and no, I am not going to laugh at you because that would only encourage you. She would make me work and let me have fun. I think its a rare combination. But the thing is, is that I just don't get working out. Its not fun. I don't enjoy it. I can think of a thousand other things that I would rather do with my 45 minutes. Big sigh. But I am going back on Wednesday. Because I need to get my act together. Aren't you proud of me?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Universe is Working Against Me

On the way into church this morning (as we were running late and I was feeling overwhelmed from the sprint that was getting ready this morning), I said to Chris, "The universe was just working against me this morning." He chuckled and replied, "Really? The universe was working against you? How? Because the girls left us alone and Quinn slept until almost 10am? Was that how the universe was working against you?"

Yes. Yes, that's exactly how the universe was working against me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Roller Derby

Tonight we attended Lucy's birthday party. It was a roller skating birthday party. If you know me, you know how this caused my stress level to go through the roof. 8 minutes before we had to leave Chris threatened to make me stay home because I was contemplating bringing helmets and pads to the roller rink with us. Head injuries, people, head injuries. His exact words to me, "If this is going to be like a trip to the park with you then you just need to stay home." And I laughed - a high pitched nervous laugh - and then he said, "Seriously. If you are thinking about padding them up, you can just stop. I'll take them and they will be fine."

So, I took a deep breath and made the decision to throw caution to the wind and let my children skate without safety precautions....

We arrived. We rented skates. We laced up. And Chan took off on the carpet. She was thrilled! Excited! Pumped! This would not be at all difficult. Of course, she had not entered the rink at this point. She was slowly skating on the carpeted side area. I warned her that the wood floor was much different, but she wasn't listening. And then she crashed. At that point, the rest of the evening was doomed by frustration. Chan is one of those children who think that they should be a prodigy at everything that they attempt. She has a hard time with the concept of practice. And so falling was a crushing blow to her ego. The evening ended in tears. To be fair, I am going to pretend that she was crying about her bruised tail bone and not the fact that she felt that she was ready for the roller derby team, only to learn that she still had a long way to go. (Side note: Chris gave her an ice pack for her bottom when we got home...she tucked it into her underwear and waddled around the house. It was actually very cute.)

Casey, on the other hand, exudes confidence and knows how awesome she is and so the fact that she only fell 18 times and not 20, made for a very enjoyable evening.

I also had a very enjoyable evening. Until they played Rob Base, (I do love some Rob Base), and I looked around and realized that I was the only one jamming out on the rink. And when I say "only one" I mean that I was the only adult. Then I felt lame. But really, I'm okay with lame. And I didn't fall at all....so all of those afternoons roller skating in my aunt and uncle's basement proved to be worth it.

New summer activity: teaching Chan how to roller skate.