Sunday, October 31, 2010

So, Cleopatra, a Sailor Girl and a Giraffe Walked Into a Bar...




...I don't really have something to finish that joke.  But I can tell you that we ate lunch at The Grill in downtown Athens yesterday and we walked passed several bars.  Quinn kept trying to open the door to them and we had this conversation...
Me:  Quinn, the bars are all closed.
Chandler:  What is a bar anyway?
Me:  Its a place that grownups go to to drink alcohol.  Why, were you wanting to go?
Chandler:  Oh, no way!  I am never going to go anywhere to sit around and drink drugs!
*I am going to remind her of this conversation when she is in college.  Just sayin.

Last night we went to a little shindig at Publix...a few games, a few pieces of candy...and really Quinn was primed for tonight.  We've been working on saying, "Trick or Treat!"  But it comes out as "Trick, Trick!"  No, Buddy, you want the treats, too.

Tonight we took Quinn out for about 8 houses and then he and I came back to open the door.   He was FANtastic!  He helped me pass out candy and if people hung around too long after he loaded up their buckets, he would just close the door on them.  Perhaps he has even more of Chris in him than we thought.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Pictures 2010







Today was family picture day.  I love family picture day.  Chris was wearing a different pair of jeans this morning and we had this conversation...
Me:  Oh.  You're wearing those jeans?  I thought you had the other ones laid out.
Chris:  Do you want me to wear the other ones?
Me:  No...I mean, if you want to wear the ones you have on, that's fine.
Chris:  But do you want me to wear the other ones?  Its family picture day and you can just tell me if you want me to wear the other ones.  I'll change.  You do get to tell me what to wear today.
Me:  Oh.  Well, then, yes, I want you wear the other ones.

I mean, really, when does that ever happen?  If you're familiar with my husband's F.O.I.L. ...Keepin' Algebra Fresh shirt, then you know that this doesn't happen very often in my house...where I get to tell Chris what to wear.

I also had my skinny jeans on this morning, but Chris agreed with Frankie...they weren't skinny enough.  Apparently, they both thought there was too much room in them.  So, I also returned them today...and they didn't have a smaller size.  Big sigh.  So, no skinny jeans for me.

Pictures actually went really well, (up until the very end, but I'll get to that)  and Quinn was the best direction follower EVER!  Last year we couldn't let go of him - he would take off like a shot - but this year, he could run ahead and when we told him to "freeze" he would.  He did EVERYTHING that Frankie told him to do.  Even better than the girls, who at times were complete spazzes.  They're my kids, I'm allowed to say that. 

And then, at what would become the end, Frankie jumped off a ledge and sprained her ankle.  Badly.  Like, couldn't stand up for a good ten minutes and may have rolled around on the concrete.  We thought it may have been broken.  The kids were still in position from the last picture and Quinn kept saying, "Oh no.  Ohhhh noooo.  Oh no."  And then, when I raced to get the van to pick Frankie up, the children didn't move.  So, I have learned today that in a crisis situation, my children know how to behave.  This is actually reassuring to me.

Family Picture Day 2010?  The best one EVER!

ps - If you live in the Athens area, you should totally pay a visit to Frankie at Stylized Portraiture.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quinn's Halloween Party


Quinn had his Halloween party at school today.  He decided he wanted to wear his costume from last year, mainly because he is suddenly BIG into dinosaurs.  I think all little boys go through a dinosaur phase, and trust me, his has definitely started.  Chris and I both had to work today, so we weren't able to be apart of the party, but thankfully, the ever fabulous friend CB, was there with her daughter.  She snapped some great pics of Quinnasaurus!  Above he is in his roaring-attack stance.  He's scary, isn't he?  Below...well, who wouldn't make that face if they were given a box of raisins for Halloween?  I really can't blame him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh How I Love Thee

I love these earrings.  Seriously. I. Love. Them.  And I love that my sweet friend, Crystal B, made them (she took this picture, too, btw).  I also love that my sweet, sweet husband bought them for me and presented them to me as a "Yay for Counseling!" gift.  I mean, really, I'll go everyday if it involves gifts.  Just sayin.  Not that I need to go everyday.  That would make me sound crazy.  Which I am most definitely NOT...right?

I also love this post that Crystal B wrote yesterday.  We have been email friends for almost a year now and we have had this email conversation several times.  Each time, I find myself nodding and whispering, "so true, so true."

So I read that post and then I went to my counseling appointment, where I did a lot of crying...which is ok...it was a cleansing cry.  Cleansing crying is a good thing, and we talked about my need for perfection and that I don't need to be so hard on myself, and that if I don't get everything done in a day that I want to it will be ok and that I should celebrate what I do do in a day.  That's a tall order, if you ask me.  Perhaps I will start having celebration posts.  Perhaps.

In other news, Quinn said his first fully complete sentence to me yesterday morning at 5:30am while he sat at the kitchen table with a bowl of animal crackers and a cup of apple juice (no judgments, please).  I took the dog out for his morning walk and when I came back in, Quinn pointed at me and said, "Mama toot dawg out."  Yes.  Yes, I did...take the dog out...not toot the dog out.  That would be frightening.  But, whatever, I'll take it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How High is a Normal Stress Level?

I'm just curious.  How high is a normal stress level?  I think I sprouted 8 new gray hairs today.  Just sayin.  And that is going to look *super* with my new skinny jeans! 

I'm not a good handler of stress.  I have a tendency to dwell on things and I have a hard time letting things going.  My poor media clerk....she has to listen to me all day long and I am sure that she is sick of it.  Just yesterday I brought up some ridiculous minor infraction that irritated me 3 years ago.  Three years ago!  I mean, really, just let it go.  Things like that put lines on my face.  Which I just realized a couple of weeks ago is now the same face that I used to have to wear lots of stage make up to achieve an "older woman" look when I was in high school.  Awesome.

I have, in fact, found a counselor - and she is neither old nor French - which is a complete bonus.  I went for the first time two weeks ago and she interviewed me to gather background information.  She took copious notes.  I am going to see her for my 2nd appointment tomorrow.  We are setting goals.  I do enjoy setting some goals.  I like to have a list of things that I can cross off.  I believe that "letting things go" will be an item on the list. 

This week is a good week to go, too.  Its book fair week at my school (which is kind of like Super Bowl week for a media specialist) and we have Christmas Pageant rehearsal and then dance and piano, throw in Halloween festivities, family pictures,  and then going into next week, Chris will be gone Monday and Tuesday nights.  So, she will get the privilege of seeing me in all my stressful glory.  Yay!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am a Slave to Fashion

We have our family fall/Christmas pictures coming up this weekend and I am struggling.  I wanted to do purples and grays this year.  Chris has a great argyle sweater that fits the bill and it would give me a reason to buy this really great cardi/tank combo from Old Navy.  I have several choices for the girls and NOTHING for Q.  Perhaps I should have gone through his options FIRST and then matched the rest of us to him.  But, clearly, I was an idiot about this whole thing.

So I went to Target this weekend on the hunt for something in the purple/gray/black family.  And guess what?  There is nothing purple for a two year old boy.  Big sigh.  So he has a black shirt, which is oh-so-boring. 

BUT, while I was there, I bought a pair of skinny jeans.  Gasp!  I figured, I am thin.  I need them to wear with my boots.  And I love the way they look on girls with their ballet flats.  And I DO have ballet flats in just about every color.  (No, really, I do!)  So, I bought them.  And then I brought them home and actually tried them on.  And this is what I've discovered....
1.  I have given birth to three children.  In doing so, I gained 75 lbs both times and for some reason, I still have some of that stuck to my thighs.  Skinny jeans are unforgiving in the thigh area. 
2.  While, yes, I have given birth to three children, I clearly have no butt.  Or hips.  And therefore, the jeans suction onto my calves and thighs, but make me look like a have a load in my pants because there is so much room in the butt department.  Junk in the trunk?  Not me.  Baby Got Back?  Not this one.  Big sigh.  So, there's that.
3.  The girls that I see...the ones that look so cute in them?  Yeah, they're probably 18, not 32 like me (who's getting closer and closer everyday to 33). 

And while I say all of this, I am still contemplating keeping them.  I am a slave to fashion like that.  I could always just wear them with something that is long enough to cover the butt area.  I may even wear them in the pictures on Saturday.  One never knows.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Hibernation Meal

Chris is home.  Thank God.  I don't really know what we would do without him if he were gone for longer than 2 days.  Just sayin. 

I spent the day at my school's fall festival.  While I was gone, Chris did the grocery shopping, picked up the children from my mother (they had a sleepover last night), finished up the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and had a discussion about kindness with the girls.

Since the conversation, they have been as sweet as pie and polite, to boot.  They even made each other's lunches for tomorrow.  I am quite sure that it won't last (I am a realist, after all) but we are enjoying it while it does.

Chris made a pot roast for dinner tonight with all the fixins.  I think pot roast onions are one of my favorite foods ever.  Pot roast is my hibernation meal.  I think I may be going to bed at 8pm this evening so that I can at least have a mini hibernation before going to work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Since I Shared Chandler's Letter...

 Since I shared Chandler's letter the other night, I figured perhaps I should share Casey and Quinn's handiwork.  I found these things while cleaning the house this afternoon.  The pictures above and below are of a math test that Casey wrote.  And from what I can tell, she wrote it for herself to then complete.  You can tell that she is a math teacher's daughter, right?  Question 1 is "Solve the Equation" and Question 3 is "Solve Mentally".  Don't ask me where Question 2 is.  I don't know.
 The letter below is also something that Casey wrote.  The "I" is meant to be Chandler.  Sneaky, isn't she?  It reads, "I promise to go first in the shower Wednesday and Thursday.  I will also let Casey sleep alone."  (and then something I don't understand) She read this out loud to Chan the other night and asked her if it was a "yes" or a "no."  Strangely enough, Chandler said no.  Go figure.  So, being the diligent record keeper that Casey is (she loves to fill in forms and make checklists), she wrote, "Chan P" in the no slot.  Just in case she forgot
a.  What Chan's answer was.
b.  Which Chan she asked.  "Chan P" should totally help her out with that one.




Below is Quinn's handiwork.
I'm not really sure what he did, or how he did it, but the front part of the door knob in our bathroom is not on there anymore.  You also can't close the door all the way now, unless you would like for it to take you approx 11 minutes to open the door to get out.  I know, it happened to me.  The thing that is really puzzling (because I know oh so much about door knobs, there is only one thing that is puzzling me) is that the screws are still in the handle.  I don't understand how that works.

Drew?  Greg?  Andre?  Anyone want to come over and fix our door knob?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Night 2

Its only Night 2 and it may as well be Night 200.  That's kind of how I feel at this point.  Now, I will say, at 4:15 this afternoon when I went to pick the kids up, I felt pretty dang on top of things.  But its easy to feel that way when you're by yourself in the mini van, rockin out to some Beck. 

And this morning...yes, I was freakin Mother of the Year.  Bad ass, all the way, if I do say so myself.  I made lunches last night and baked muffins for breakfast.  Then I even plated and covered the muffins, poured the juice (left it in the fridge)  and set the table before I went to bed.  The alarm clock went off at 5:45, 5:50 and then 5:55am this morning.  At the third alarm, I hopped out of bed, fed the dog, took the dog out, woke up the children, put Q on the potty and then dressed him while he was still too sleepy to put up a fight (genius, if you ask me).  Then I got everyone settled downstairs to eat while I took a shower and got myself ready.  We left the house at 6:45 on the dot and by 7:04 I had taken Q to school and dropped the girls off at their school.  I sang to myself on the way out of the parking lot.  Go Angie!  Go Angie!  Go Angie! It's your birthday!  Go Angie!  And at the 4 way stop I celebrated with a little Cabbage Patch action.

I made it to work by 7:30...only 15 minutes late (which was pre approved) and with time enough to type up the script for the morning news and get my crew on TV.  The rest of the day I busted my tail setting up our book fair, which kicks off on Sunday during our Fall Festival. 

So, I was tired when I left work, but still feeling good, like tonight was going to be no big thing.  I stopped by the house, put in some laundry, ran the dishwasher, fed the dog, took the dog for a quick walk, talked to Chris, and then went to get the kids.  Perhaps I was a little over confident (it has been known to happen from time to time) or maybe I jinxed myself with my song and celebratory dance in the van this morning. 

Either way...Good Lord!  Whose children are these????  I picked up the girls and then we went to Q's school.  Only when we got there, they were lining up the kids to go outside and play.  He refused to leave.  So we stayed for awhile.  And then he escaped me and took off running through the yard on the way to the van.  Again, I had to threaten to get the babysitter's husband (who really is wonderful and Q loves him), to get Q loaded.  When we pulled on our street, several neighbors were chatting on the corner, in our yard, with their dogs.  So the kids had to join the party and Q participated like a party animal.  I had to wrestle him into the house after 30 more minutes outside.

Once we were in, everyone wanted snacks.  And the noise....OMG...who put the nickle in these kids???  Ike was now crazed (he got to join the neighborhood dog party...it was in our yard, after all) and was running laps around the downstairs of our house.  After a period of complete chaos, where I felt like I was living someone else's life, I finally talked all of the kids into going upstairs to play while I cleaned up the kitchen and cooked dinner.  I turned up the ipod and danced in the kitchen to a little Amy Winehouse.  I love her.  Even if she is a little messed up.

I made the dinner of all dinners...pasta with pesto, feta, black olives and artichokes.  Chris hates this meal and the girls and I love it, so this was the perfect opportunity.  Until Q tasted it and decided he didn't like it.  And its Friday, and I need to grocery shop, so the cupboard was bare.  He had a hot dog bun for dinner.  (To be fair, I offered him other things as well and he turned them down.)

My funny moment of the evening...I wasn't really paying attention to what was playing on the ipod when the kids came back down and after a minute or two, Chan was trying to get ipod screen to light up...
Me:  Chan, whatcha doin?
Chandler:  I'm trying to figure out what this song is.  I LIKE IT!
Me:  Oh, um, its a Beastie Boys song.
Chandler:  Which one?  What's the name of it?
Me:  Paul Revere.  (gasping on the inside...What kind of mother am I??? Paul Revere while the kids are listening???)
Casey:  Why didn't you tell us about this one before???  We JUST learned about Paul  Revere!  I could have shared this with my class.
Me:  Um, yeah, not really school appropriate.

And so now we are watching an episode of Dora and then an episode of Horseland.  And then they are going to bed.  And then I am going to lay on the couch, hulu an episode of Private Practice and drink a mudslide.  Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Night 1

Chris left this afternoon to take Dr. A to the Furman Homecoming.  He was beyond nervous.  Like, on the verge of an ulcer, type nervousness.  In the 5.5 years that Chris and I have been together, THIS is the FIRST time that he has spent the night away from home without any members of our family.  No, really.  I'm serious. 

Which, in turn, means that this is my first time being home alone with all three children for an extended period of time.  And I am nervous.  Which is ridiculous, because at one point in my life, I was a single parent.  Of twins.  But that was then and this is now and Quinn is oh-holy-mother-of-God-out-of-control.  Not officially out of control...Chris can control him.  I cannot.  As in, he was climbing out of the cart at the grocery store, dumping a whole bag of animal crackers at the dance studio, and I had to threaten him with going to get his babysitter's husband to put him in his car seat when I picked him up from daycare.  Awesome.  I popped him on the bottom tonight and he squealed with delight.  I'm not really sure what to think about that. 

But, they have all been fed.  They are all bathed.  And now, they are all in bed.

I think I am going to wake up at 4am just to be on the safe side that we all get out of the house on time in the morning.  Just sayin.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Responsibility

We are big on responsibility in our house.  The girls need to be responsible for their belongings, their contributions to our household and their performance in school.  Every night, they are required by their teachers to get their reading log and their agenda signed by a parent.  Every night, they are required by us, their parents, to be responsible and bring us those things along with a writing utensil to sign with.

Last night, Chandler didn't bring us her things and honestly, we didn't even notice.  We put the kids to bed and went about our evening.  Around 10pm, Chris went up to bed.  On the floor in the doorway of our bedroom, Chris stepped on this letter, written to us by Chandler...

Dear Mom or Dad
HELP!!!
I did not get my agenda signed which means I don't do homework ronply (monopoly) and that also means I can't go into the prize box and I never got to go because I never got my ticket pulled.  And I never got a chance.
WANTED!  (and then there was an elaborate picture with check boxes of a signed agenda and reading log)
PRIZE (for us)
Hug Day and a Day With NO Quishons (questions)

CHANDLER

I told Chris that I thought this tactic was genius and that we should be willing to sign her agenda in the morning (which is typically too late in our house) and that we should begin cashing in our prizes immediately.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Conversations

This evening, while Q was taking a bath and Casey was in the shower, Chandler was having some alone time with the dog....
Chandler:  (while giving Ike a belly rub)  Tell me, Ike, how was it like being in the pound?  What was it like walking down the street all lonely?  Well, answer me.  Go on.  Answer.  (long pause)  And what is it like having whiskers?  Kind of like being a cat, isn't it?

When the girls came home from my parents' house this weekend, Casey ran to Quinn and began hugging him...
Casey:  I missed you, Buddy!  I missed you so much!  I am so glad to be home.  Give me a big hug!  Did you miss me?
Quinn:  Poop.

A usual occurrence at our dinner table....
Chris:  Quinn stop playing with your food.  Stop putting your fruit in your milk glass.
Quinn:  No.
Chris:  If you do it again, I'm going to take your milk away.
Quinn:  *grunts, does it again*
Chris:  *takes milk glass away*  You don't get to have your milk if you are going to put your food in it.
Quinn:  Peas!  Melk!  Peas!  Melk!  (peas, translates to please)
Chris:  Are you going to put your food in your milk again?
Quinn:  *sad face*  Yes.

I believe there is something to be said for honesty.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Like Ponies

We had spaghetti squash with dinner tonight (steak and salad - with homemade vinaigrette).  It is one of my most favorite things to eat.  Chris hates it.  Therefore, I only ask him to make it approx.  once every fall.  The girls like it though, and Quinn likes it, so clearly Chris is out numbered which should be reason enough for us to eat it more often.  We had this conversation at dinner:

Chris:  Maybe we should try chilling it and serving it on top of the salad. 
Me:  I don't like that idea.
Chris:  Well the girls seem to like eating their squash with bites of salad.
Me:  Right.  Think about some other things that they like. (under my breath in a whisper)
Chris:  *pauses* Yeah, maybe that is a bad idea.  They like some gross things. (under his breath in a whisper)
Chandler:  I like ponies.

Chris and I had a fit of laughter after that one.  And now, if you hear us randomly exclaim, "I like ponies!" you'll know that we stole that line from Chan.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Boy and His Marshmallow Pole

Quinn is very grateful for the play doh and marshmallow poles that Grandpa and Gram sent for Halloween.  There is really not a whole lot more that he needs in life to be happy.



New!

 {Charmingly Vintage Earrings $12}

 {Golden Mustard Earrings $10}

 {Golden Mustard Necklace $22}

 {Chocolate Sky Necklace $26}

 {Crestview Necklace $25}

 {Charmingly Bright - Purple Owl - Necklace $28}

{Charmingly Bright - Red Owl - Necklace $28}

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Boy and His Stick

 This morning we took the boy and the dog to Sandy Creek (the girls are at the State Fair this weekend with my parents).  We rented a dog run (lots of fun!  and super cheap!) for an hour and let them both run wild and free.  Quinn was extra excited about all of the sticks.  We don't have sticks in our yard and he's not allowed to touch them at school, so you can see why this would be extra exciting.
 He loved walking around with sticks.
 Ike loved walking (and sprinting) around without a leash on.
 Quinn also spent some time kicking around a ball....
 and trying to climb the fence.  He was actually quite good at it, which is slightly disturbing.
And now both boys are spending the afternoon resting.  We wore their hineys out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jackpot!

My children hit the jackpot today.  The Halloween Box from Grandpa and Gram was waiting for them on our doorstep when they got home from school.

There was screaming.  Shrieking.  Squealing.

The girls received these large stuffed dogs in purses and 800 pieces of candy...each.  The selection includes marshmallow poles, jumbo gumballs, smarties, finger lollipops, blow pops, and lollipop rings.  Really, they have just ensured that my children will be cracked out for the next 6 months.

After the girls grabbed their dogs out of the box, Quinn began shouting, "ME!  ME!" and snatched up the  gigantic bag of playdoh fun.  I mean tools and containers of play doh galore...all contained in a clear duffle bag.  (Which, of course, Q has been toting around with him for a good 30 minutes now.  I think he might even try to sleep with it tonight.)

The first time the girls were old enough to receive one of these boxes, I called my father and asked if he hated me.  He said no, but as the boxes continue to arrive like clock work....Birthdays, Easter, a random summer box, Halloween and Christmas, I am beginning to wonder.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today I Share One of My Most Favorite Rooms in the World


I made this picture extra large because I heart this room in an extra large way (and if you click on it, you can zoom in and see all of its fabulousness up close and personal).  Ignore the concrete floor, though...I'll tell you more about that in a minute.

This is my Molly's front room and I love it.  Molly bought her house some time ago and has been (slowly but surely) renovating it to her heart's desire.  For months and months, this room was just a vision in her head.  In reality it was filled with boxes and such and she would apologize for the state of the room when you entered her house.  When she first moved in, she pulled up all of the carpet and painted everything white.  I mean WHITE...everything!  And I was a little worried that her house would look sterile, like a doctor's office.  My house would look like a disaster if I painted everything white...ugh...just thinking about the grimy little fingerprints...ugh.  So there's that and I think I would go insane.  I am a color (seriously bright, bold color) kind of girl.  This is why Molly and I are a perfect fit.

The concrete floor is just a work in progress.  She has lovely wood floors picked out and purchased, just waiting for the perfect floor installation day.  Now, go back to ignoring the concrete.  Imagine a kind of honey-ish colored wood.

Molly and her mother have antique booths in the Atlanta area.  I say this like they're fruit stands on the side of the road.  They're not, so don't start looking for them.  They have one in Lilburn and one in the Highlands area in downtown.  What this means is that they scour estate sales and yard sales and frequent Goodwill, on the hunt for the most perfect treasures.  This also means that OMG Molly has some wonderful and eclectic pieces in her house that make me green with envy.   

But back to this room.  I love...
1.  the vintage black leather couch
2.  the oh so dreamy vintage chairs
3.  the book case with the glass doors
4.  the enormous (ENORMOUS) painting
5.  the vintage owl (very, very, large owl)...it greets you when you walk in the front door and I love that.
6.  the swanky white rug
7.  the phrenology head that is in the book case with the glass doors (How can you not love a phrenology head?  Chris is kind of nonplussed by this head and that is shocking to me!  Shocks me, I tell you!  I would want 10 of them.  Like my own personal Hall of Heads.  Only the heads would be porcelain and they wouldn't talk.  I think phrenology is genius...the study of the bumps on your head...awesome. And, of course, a total sham...which makes it even better.

Next time, I am going to randomly take pictures of her spare bedroom.  She has this vintage print above the bed of American Scientists and Inventors.  I swoon.  You will, too.  I am sure of it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

And the winner of the giveaway is...... (insert drum roll)....

ELIZA!!!

Yay!  Thank you all so very much for playing!  It makes me a happy girl.  :)  (And Eliza...please email me at ang4332@hotmail.com)

Speaking of happy girl...I love fall break.  I love fall break so much that I don't want to go back tomorrow.  But I also love my house and my car and food on my table, so I need a paycheck, so (big sigh), go back to work I must.

Yesterday, I gave myself permission to do nothing.  I woke up late and was feeling highly unmotivated, so rather than try to muster up the energy to make a list of things to do and then not accomplish said list and then feel terribly disappointed in myself, I decided that my goal was to read a book.  So I did.  I laid on the couch and read a book.

This also meant that I had a list a mile long of things to do today and only 15% of that list was accomplished today (which was a choice that I made), and therefore, the rest of my week will be a little on the hectic side.


In other news....I have been planning Chris and Dr. Ayers' trip to Furman for Homecoming and hit the jackpot today.  They will both have seats in the President's Box for the football game.  Yay!

 

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Just Can't Quit You

 We decided to go to the pumpkin farm this weekend.  I actually remembered to bring my camera for once.  And then I took 5 pictures.  Three of them were of the above shot...I kept trying to take Q's picture, he would turn, say "Cheese!" and then whip his head back around before I could actually catch him.  So Chris took the below picture...
 ...and my son looks kind of evil.  And like he has a giant size forehead.  Which he kind of does.  My brother, Joey, once wanted to know if we were planning to rent it out for billboard space.
 And then I took this picture of the girls with their cousin, Jonah.  My brother-in-law, Mark, was taking pictures of baby Janie at the same time...which is why his camera is in my shot.  To be fair, I didn't tell him that I was taking a picture.  He would have moved if I had told him.
 This is Quinn with a look of terror on his face.  They had a "bounce pillow" at the pumpkin patch and all of the kids were very excited about it, including Q.  Until they actually got on it.  And then he realized that he couldn't stand up with all of the other kids jumping.  And there were a lot of other kids.  Chris said he was fine.  I said he was terrified and made Chris go get him.

At the end of our pumpkin patch experience, we actually went to pick our pumpkins.  We usually just get small ones.  We're not the pumpkin carving bunch, so small is good enough for us.  Only nothing, I repeat, nothing was good enough for Quinn.  And then he started throwing pumpkins and having a melt down.  He was rewarded for this behavior with an early trip to the van.

We thought for sure that he would take a serious nap for us when we got home.  But, he didn't.  Just barely 45 minutes...with 20 of it being in the car.  So then he was a real gem for the rest of the day.  And then he asked to go to bed at 6:30...so we let him.

On Sunday, we went to church and then out to lunch with Dr. Ayers.  Quinn has taken to calling him, "Doc A."  It is super cute.  After that...home for a rest (which didn't happen), play time with Ike and then we went to Molly's for an Oktoberfest party....
 The boys...Andre, Chris and Q, Ben.  Quinn was just hanging out on Chris's shoulders and when I told them to gather for a picture, Q hugged Chris's face and began shouting, "CHEESE!"...
 ...which made everyone laugh.
 Aunt Molly, the girls and Twig - the three legged dog.  OMG how my girls love this dog!
And here we are!  Molly and I.  I think I have 800 pictures of is in this exact same pose.  We've been friends for 17 years, so 800 pictures is a small amount.

My plan was to take Fall Break off from blogging...post the winner Tuesday night and then start back up on Wednesday.  But, clearly, I just can't quit you.  Even for four days.  Big sigh.  :)

Now...if you haven't already, you should put your name in the hat in the giveaway below.  Go on.  Do it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

500th Post Giveaway! (CLOSED)






This is my 500th post!  WooHoo!  So, to celebrate, I'm having a giveaway!  One lucky winner will be to choose something (their choice!) from my shop.  Here are the details and directions...

Anyone over 18 and living anywhere in the world can enter.  You have three chances to enter...
1.  Leave a comment with your name.
2.  Click the follow button to become a follower of my blog and then leave a comment letting me know that you follow.  If you are already a follower, then you can leave that in your comment.
3.  Visit my shop and then leave a comment telling me what your choice would be if you were to win!

Please do not put all of this in one comment.  Leave 3 separate comments.  The winner will be chosen using random.org on Tuesday, October 12.

Yay for the weekend!  (And this is my fall break!)  Best of luck and may the force be with you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In a Nut Shell

This is how my day went:
1.  I found out that our insurance is going up.  Our co-pay for a doctor's visit will now be $45.  This means that someone will have to be dying before I take them to the doctor.

2.  Because I was thinking about this when I pulled into the driveway, I hit the garage.  Really, it was just my side mirror, but the noise was loud and it scared me and then I almost crashed through the side wall of the garage.  Picture the Hawaiian Punch man breaking through the brick wall.  That's what this would have been like.  And I would not have liked explaining that to Chris.

3.  Then I checked my bank account and there was deposit for almost $1100 entered yesterday that I didn't make.  I called my mom to see if she made one into her account and it was mistakenly put into mine.  Negative.  So I waited for Chris to get home to see if he deposited money into my account.  (Which, in the end, he didn't...so I will be calling the bank tomorrow.  I think they should pay me a mistake fee for teasing me with this money.  If they make me pay fees for overdraft, they should have to pay for their mistakes too.  Just sayin.)

4.  After Chris came home he went back into the garage, so while holding the dog, I opened the door to tell him about my side mirror.  While we were talking, Quinn squirmed between my legs and ran out of the house.  I told him to come back and he told me, "No." and took off running into the back yard.  Chandler then came running outside too.  Chris took off after Q and Chan followed.  I went back in with the dog and Casey.

5.  Chris came back in through the back door and Chan came back in through the garage.  She walked in and said, "I think there's a bee on me."  Then she began screaming as though someone had severed a limb from her body.  She dropped to the ground and began writhing in pain and screaming at the top of her lungs while holding the side of her neck.  I ran to her and ripped her shirt off (thinking the bee was in her shirt at the point).  The dog was berserk.  Casey was crying because Chan was screaming.  Chris went to get some ice and Q just kept saying, " 'kay?  'kay?"  And she was ok.  In fact, it was a little, tiny sweat bee that Ike then ate off the living room floor.  And there isn't even a spot on her now.

6.  We had breakfast for dinner.  Egg and cheese biscuits, hash browns and bacon.  Casey already doesn't like the bacon.  Tonight she announced that she also doesn't like hash browns.  Who is this child?  I just don't know her anymore.

Tomorrow is a Teacher Workday and then I have a 4 day weekend for Fall Break.  Hooray!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Its All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Kicked in the Eyeball

We had a dance party in the living room tonight after dinner.  Chris was the DJ and the girls were dancing.  Quinn was finishing an oreo and I was the audience.  They were doing quite well and Q was dying to get in on the action.  So, Chris wiped him up, sent him into the living room and started the song over.  I thought, Oh, what a perfect thing to put on the blog!  So, I set up the imovie on the computer and started rolling.  But then Q saw himself and was like a moth to the flame.

"Me?  Me?  Me!  ME!"  He kept yelling with his face approx 3mm away from my computer screen.  And then the girls began trying to nudge him out of the way so that they could get a little one on one camera time.  So I told them to just go back to dancing and then they would all be in the video.

But by then, there was mass chaos.  And wildness.  Screaming.  And some kind of crazy dancing fit going on and Q somehow got kicked in the eyeball by one of his sisters.

And then the dance party was over.  Because, really, its all fun and games until someone gets kicked in the eyeball.

And I also refuse to post the maniac video of my children.  Its their punishment.  When you kick your brother in the eyeball, your video doesn't make the blog.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Shaved My Legs For This?

Alternately Titled:
I Was Ready to Get My Zumba On!
The Universe Is Working Against Me!
I Am Trying to Get Better, Damn It!

So, at the dance studio, they offer a Zumba class from 8:15 to 9:15 on Tuesday nights.  This sounded perfect to me because it would be something that I could do after the kids went to bed, and you know, I do like to shake it like a polaroid picture on the dance floor.  In case you didn't know.

At 6pm I began calling around to some friends of mine to see if anyone would be interested in joining me.  These were some of the responses I received:

"I can't go tonight.  I've already started drinking."  (For the record, I then begged this person to come with me.  How could I not?  Drinking and Zumba?  Awesome.  She gave me some other reasons, too, but not as entertaining as her first response.)

"I ate a really big dinner.  Although I can't wait to hear how it goes...maybe next time."  (Then this person's husband whispered, "Angie's going to Zumba????")

"Yes!  Let me check with my husband though."  And then I didn't hear back from her.  I think she might be avoiding me.

"Errrr, um, next week?"  And trust me, I will be calling her next week, too.

To further solidify my Zumba decision, I took a shower.  And shaved my legs.  I didn't want to make a bad first impression.  So I shaved.  I put on my sports bra (I own one!  Yay!)  and my clothes and my shoes...you know the ones that are practically new from my (very limited) days at the gym.  I filled up a water bottle (not mine, Chris's...I hate water.  I like to pretend that my body is getting enough of it through the diet cokes that I drink throughout the day) and headed to the studio.

I got there early...because that's what I like to do.   I also like to sit in the front row in classes, that's just how I am.  So I got there early and I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I sweated off all of my freshly applied deodorant while I waited and tapped my foot in anxious anticipation.

My friend, Bethany, finished teaching her class and we chatted.  And chatted some more.  (I have missed her.  I loved seeing her every week last year.)  And then found out that Zumba had been canceled for tonight. 

Is the universe working against me?  Yes.  Yes, I believe it is.  I am aware that I am have some, errr, issues these days and I am trying to do things to make myself better.

1.  I called a counselor.  But she was old and French.  So, I canceled my appointment (via email) with said counselor.
2.  I called my insurance company to get authorization to see a different counselor.  They didn't have the new counselor listed as being "in network".
3.  I have called another counselor...3 times...and she hasn't called me back.  I am one step away from stalker calling her, but apparently she doesn't hear the crazy in my voice mails.
4.  So I try to attend a physical fitness class to release some "good endorphins"...whatever those are...my mother and Oprah both rant about them, so there must be something to them.  But the class is canceled.  And there is not another one that I can go to until NEXT Tuesday night.

I then contemplated either
a.  going downstairs to the Asian restaurant and ordering a $25 Hibachi meal.  Oh, yum!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
OR
b.  driving thru McDonald's across the street and ordering a milkshake and fries.

I talked myself off the ledge in both cases.

Sheesh.  I shaved my legs for this?  I was ready to get my Zumba on!  The universe is working against me!  I am trying to get better, damn it!

Sweet Child O' Mine

 It is hard to believe that this 
Sweet Child O' Mine
is two years old...
a potty training fool...
increasing his vocabulary daily...
and is also...
so incredibly 
stubborn
obstinate
unbelievable temper tantrum thrower
user of the word "no" 
and "mine"
8,000 times a day

and yet we can't imagine our family without him.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Middle of the Night

Our house was a happening place to be last night...in the middle of the night.

9pm - Chandler came downstairs to tell me that her belly hurt.  She did not have a fever, so I told her to sleep by herself, make sure she had a trashcan next to her bed, and that she could carry up a cup of water.
10:30pm - Chris and I went to bed.
11:30pm - Chandler stumbled into our room, "I THREW UP!!!"  She stumbled into our bathroom and spit for approx 20 minutes.  Chris spent those 20 minutes cleaning up the puke off her floor. 

Me:  Chan, did you make it into the trashcan?
Chandler:  No!  I had it right next to my bed, but then I threw up and somehow the trashcan was a foot away!  I don't know how that happened.  It was supposed to be right there.

Chris agreed that it should have been right there.  But it wasn't.

12:30am - Casey had a nightmare that a bear ate her school.  This is based on the movie, Over the Hedge.  So, clearly, we will not be watching any Jason or Freddie movies anytime soon.  Not that we were planning on that...ever...I can't take them.  And if I can't take them, then she definitely can't.  Just sayin.  While Casey was having this nightmare, she sat up in bed, screaming and crying.  Quinn went for help and was wandering, aimlessly, around the upstairs hallway.  Awesome.

1:45am - Chandler threw up again.  In the trashcan this time.  Hallelujah.

So, I stayed home with her today.  Still no fever and no other complaints.  It must have been something that she ate.  So, back to school (and work) for all of us tomorrow.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

14 Hours of Sleep

I am sick.  Not like throwing up sick, or even fever sick....but, ugh.  I've lost the majority of my voice.  I am achy.  I went to bed last night at 10pm and officially got out of bed at almost noon.  I can't tell you when the last time was that I did that.  I think its allergies.  We have (finally) had a break from the 92 degree weather and I opened the windows Friday afternoon (to give our air conditioning a break and to hopefully lessen our $200 power bill) and this is what I've ended up with. 

Our weekend in recap:
  • I got a wild hair Friday afternoon (it must have been the fresh air from the open windows) and decided that I MUST spend time with my Molly.  So I stalker called her until she got off work and called me back.  Then I drove to her house after the children went to bed and we talked until a ridiculous time.
  • Errands were run on Saturday.
  • We went to Chris's sister's house Sat night for our October family birthday shindig.  A good time was had by all.  Especially the children and their rocket balloons.
  • When we got home the girls argued about who was taking a shower first.  They are like that.  And then when I tucked them into bed, Casey had left her wet towel on the foot of the bed. And I said, "Casey, is that your wet towel?"  And she said, "Oh," got up, folded it and put it on her bedroom floor.  What is that????  Hang it up!
  • And then there is today.  I'm not really sure what I am going to be able to accomplish.  14 hours of sleep does that to you.  And, of course, mind you, it wasn't 14 hours straight.  That would be unheard of.  I woke up at 5am to take the dog out and fed him.  Then I woke up again to try and help Casey find a blouse that she wanted to wear to church, but that really just turned into me yelling (with no voice) about the state of drawers and the pile of dirty and clean clothes shoved into a shelving thing in her closet.
And, so, there you have it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What I Need From a Counselor

So, I've decided that perhaps I should see a counselor.  Although, I have to admit, the very thought of trying to work this into my schedule stresses me out.  I know that my problems are not enormous, but I think that it is the proactive thing to do.  And if I am going to complain about my life, then I should also take steps to try and change things.  Just sayin.

Over the weekend Chris and I spent some time searching for counselors that we thought would be a good match for me.  We settled on a group nearby with multiple women counselors that appeared to be about my age and looked like people that I would be comfortable with.  So I called them.  I told them who my insurance carrier was and found out that only one woman in the group would be covered by my insurance.  So, I left my name and number and was told that she would call me back to schedule my initial appointment.

Shortly after that she called me back and the conversation went like this...
Her:  Blah, blah, blah, blah
Me: I'm sorry, what was that?
Her:  Blah, blah, blah, blah
Me:  Forgive me, could you repeat that?
Her:  Blah, blah, blah, blah
Me:  Ummmmmmm, yes?
Her:  Blah, blah, blah, blah
Me:  Maybe????
Her:  Blah, blah, blah, blah
Me:  Excuse me?
Her:  Blah, blah, blah, blah
Me:  Huh???!???

You see, I couldn't really understand this woman (and talking on my cell phone really didn't help the situation).  She is French.  Like "Oui, Oui" French.  Heavily accented French.  As I was talking to her  I pulled up the website and found that she is older.  Old and French. 

Please note...I am not ageist (as shown by my love of both my grandmother and Dr. Ayers), nor am I discriminatory of immigrants (really...I am the grandchild of immigrants [with super heavy accents], I work in a school were 80% of the students are Hispanic), but I had this one thought...

I am going to be laying on the couch in this woman's office, potentially sobbing about something, and I won't be able to understand a single word that she is saying to me.  This is not what I need....counseling with a language barrier.

I have an appointment Monday at five.  I didn't catch on at first that I was actually making an appointment.  And then I felt bad and couldn't tell her no.