Monday, December 7, 2009

A Chuckle for my heart

Keener has learned to genuflect before we sit down at mass. She has been doing this without prompting for several weeks now, following the good example by her older siblings. Obviously, she does not fully understand the purpose of this because as I walked up to take Communion today, she stopped at every row, knelt and then got up again. It brought a smile to my face and a chuckle to my heart. Glad to see that she has found joy in mass.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Generosity


Generosity must be an innate quality that most people somehow loose. My dear little Keener was helping me watch my 5 month old goddaughter today. Keener thought that the "baby" needed her blankie. This is Keener's most prized possession. I was proud to see that she was willing to give away something that she loves to make the baby happy. What a generous heart.

This is a picture of them playing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Sound of Silence

The poor librarian took pity on me today. I was the victim of all of their policy changes from this summer. I already knew that the budget cuts had changed the library hours. This has made it difficult for me to get to the library because I try to go between 8-9pm when the kids are fed and on their way to bed. The new hours have the library closing at 8, which is a more inconvenient time for me.
So what else changed?
For starters, the limit on overdue charges went from $25 to $15. I have to say that I tend to have overdue charges because I normally have a stack of books and a few are missing. The $75 I spend at the library a year pales in comparison to what I would spend on the books.
The second change was that the fines went from $0.15 to $0.30. This may not seem like a big deal, but with a 50 book limit (Thank God that didn't change!), you reach your maximum in overdue charges on the 1st day overdue.
The third policy that changed was that I can no longer give my children's library card number and have their books put on their account. I must have their physical card. Since I did not want to carry 5 library cards around in addition to the 5 insurance cards that I have to carry around (why people ever complain about a mother having a big purse is beyond me. As if I could help it with all these extra ID's I need to carry around!!), I had put a label on the back of my library card with all the kids library #'s on them. So much for that idea! Anyway since we were checking out 56 books, I was 6 over the limit. Without the kid's cards, I thought I was out of luck, but the librarian (who was explaining all these policy changes) took pity on me and "forced through" the extra books onto my account. Thank heavens! I really appreciated it.

And what was my reward for (somehow finding) patience with the new policies? --a kind librarian and a car ride home with SILENT children who were all reading their books. Ahhhh, now that was an outing worth taking!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beauty takes root

I believe that no beautiful woman is beautiful by looks alone. Your personality is a large portion of your beauty. How many times have you met someone who appeared pretty at first, but had such a sour disposition that it changed your opinion of their outer beauty? How many times have you met someone who "became" beautiful in your eyes because of their inner beauty? I know my opinion has been changed quite a few times.

Saying all that, my sweet Elizabeth does not like the color of her natural hair. She was not feeling as beautiful as I know she is. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that this was a simple fix and why should I hold her back? I dyed my hair all the time when I was younger (and maybe I still do....). If you hated your dress, wouldn't you change it? Wouldn't you wear high heals (or flats) to change your height? I think that we all have little parts of us that we don't like. Is it your hair color? Your hands? your feet? arms? calves? back? bum? How we react to this aspect of ourselves is important. How much do you care about your ugly toes? Enough to never wear sandals or only enough to want to paint them, so you feel like you make them pretty?
So I decided to let Elizabeth know that if she didn't like her hair color, we could change it. She could pick any color she wanted (uhh, well not purple.... mama's not ready for that yet! But honestly it wouldn't bother me... that much!) I want Elizabeth to know that she has the power to feel beautiful. Sometimes it means taking a relaxing bubble bath with your favorite scented soap, and sometimes it means dyeing your hair. The important lesson is that she take control. I wanted it to be her decision and only hers. Her initial reaction was a happy shock. She hadn't even considered coloring her hair, but she seemed delighted with the opportunity. I told her that she needed to think about it for a few weeks. So after the "waiting period", I asked again.
Elizabeth was very excited and chose to become a redhead!

I stressed to her that she has to love herself both inside and out, and that I thought she was beautiful. I don't want her to fixate on her outside appearance, but I think it is a good opportunity to teach her that small things to make us feel prettier are certainly acceptable. The happiness it brings her help bring out her natural beauty.

I also thought it was quite brave for a 10 year old.

So here are the results!

Both are great pictures in my opinion.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

Keener is changing so dramatically every day. Her ability to communicate is rapidly increasing, yet the slips of the tongue and opinions of a 2.5 year old are keeping the rest of us smiling.

Example #1: Elizabeth is very good at convincing Keener that certain items are "princess" items. This comes in very handy when we are having trouble getting her to wear a certain article of clothing, eat a particular food, or try something new.
In a typical conversation Elizabeth asks Keener, "Are you a princess?"
and Keener replies with an enthusiastic, "Yes!"

Today Keener replied, "NO!!!!! I'm a KEENER, Not a PRINCESS!"

Well !! I guess she feels very strongly about that! She's NOT a princess, just in case you didn't hear it in your city!

Example #2: Rolo has this very disgusting, very decrepit, blankie that is dying a long and agonizing death. It is SOOOO nasty that I hate to touch it. I do wash it often, but I think knowing it's "history" is enough to make me not want to. We will jokingly call it his "pee pee blanket" (and yes it is because of what you think).
So today while talking with Keener (whose own blankie was temporarily "missing" (childspeak for "I left it in my room and want Mommy to go fetch it") I pointed to where Rolo's blankie had been left on the floor. I said "Why don't you use brother's?"
She turned and looked at me and said in perfect English, "That's Rolo's pee pee blanket. It's disgusting!! I won't touch it!"
Well!! I guess she isn't shy about her opinions, like I need another opinionated female in the house!
Example #3: I was wearing a mud mask that was white when dried. (Very fun to scare the kids by the way.) Keener walked into the room and saw my face. She was quite shocked and said, "Your face is dirty! You need to clean it now! I go get a wipe!"
When I tried to explain that it was okay and that I would clean it off in a minute, she became very angry and said, "No! Now! Clean now! Mommy no dirty face!"
What could I do?
So, I got the washcloth.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Swine Flu

We are finally over the Swine Flu. Lucky us!!! Everyone keeps asking me what it was like. Well...... (drumroll please) it is exactly like the regular flu (You feel like someone knocked you out and you wonder how you ever learned to crawl much less walk!) except with an REALLY annoying dry cough. The flu just seems to knock me out. I literally remember going to sleep on the couch after calling Honey to come home from work, then I woke up 2 days later in my bed. Weird. That loss of time and place.
Thankfully we are all better and had the chance to go get the vaccine for the regular flu, so hopefully (knock on wood) we will last through the winter without any trips to the doctor. ~~~Dream a little dream for me~~~

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Doing things in reverse order

So apparently we needed the flu to run it's course through the house prior to us getting the flu shot this year.

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh. *

"Yes, Pooh I agree! What a bother".

I got zonked with it first and then one by one we were all tagged "it". So now I am wondering, should I bother to get the flu shot since we already had the flu? I am so tired of being in my house and being sick and tired. I am looking forward to having a nice healthy family again. (A woman can wish can't she!!!)

I even found the gumption to cook today! I cooked up some lamb chops. We bought a lamb last winter and still have a few cuts left in the deep freezer. There is nothing more tasty than fresh meat from the farm. I don't know what the grocery store does to remove all the flavor from meat, but there is such a big difference. I hope that I can buy another one this year. It was a wonderful treat. If I ever followed a recipe I might share it with you, but alas I am the type of gal to open up the fridge, pantry, and spice cabinet, throw in what I feel like tasting. Then I mix, cook, and serve. Take that Martha and Julia!!!!



* Can you tell I have a 2 year old who is obsessed by Pooh at the moment?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Out & In & out

Out went the old ear tube that was stuck in the canal.
In went the new tubes, so that hopefully Rolo will be able to hear clearly again.
Out went the adenoids which were apparently already sick and infected, so a good advance call by the doctor. Surgery went well, Rolo seemed better immediately. I guess the adenoids were bothering him, but we couldn't even tell. I am glad to have my baby healthy. He is such a good patient and just like his mama. As soon as he woke up from his anesthesia stupor, he was ready to leave. He hates those hospitals as much as I do!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ear Saga continued

Oh if only the story with Rolo was over. The fun never ends here. I can only say that I am blessed that we have two insurance plans for the moment.
A week after the rupture, Rolo looks at his Daddy and says, "I can't hear out of my ear."
Oh great! So I am on the phone to the pediatrician and his ENT trying to see who can get him in first. The ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) wins. After a hearing test, I am told that he has fluid hanging out in his ear and that he needs tubes again. He also might need his adenoids removed because they might be causing the fluid backup or harboring infections. When the doctor put in the tubes she will scope him and see if it is necessary. Am I the only one who is like "Uhh, what and where are adenoids?" (click here for a link to a simple answer with diagram)
So I schedule him for surgery a week after we get back from my mother's big Birthday celebration. Is it really necessary for me to live at doctors offices?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Take a bite and hide the evidence...

Keener has been having a runny nose, but it started to smell funny. My Mommy radar went off and I took a look up her nose. Sure enough, there was something up there. After retrieving the object, I was able to figure out that she had taken a bite out of a purple swim noodle and then hidden the evidence in a (ahem) convenient location. Since it had been at least 2 days since we had gone to the pool, it was rotting. In a word, GROSS!!!!!

I'm still wondering why a 2 year old thinks it is a good idea to stick something up her nose.......

Monday, August 24, 2009

Add another one to the list

Having Fun with Honey at the beach.

Too bad reality set in.

Rolo woke up at 4:00 am on the day we were supposed to be leaving and was screaming in pain. His ear hurt. Rolo has had multiple ear infections and tubes in his ears, so off to the ER we went, a Saturday sickness in another city leaves us with very little choice of where to go. Since he didn't have a fever and the ER docs didn't "see" that much (a slight irritation), they gave him a topical pain reliever for his ear. A few hours later he had a fever and was no longer in pain, but was certainly a sick little boy. Then a few more hours later and at our home, I see that his eardrum has obviously ruptured (no need for gory details here). Ughhh! A trip to our pediatrician confirms the rupture. Some meds for the ear and the infection and my little boy is feeling much better.
This got me thinking of how many ER's I've been to with my kids. Here's the list for the past 10 years.
  1. Tripler Army Hospital Honolulu Hawaii
  2. Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center Norfolk Virginia
  3. Portsmouth Naval Hospital-Portsmouth Virginia
  4. Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters-Norfolk Virginia
  5. INOVA Fairfax Hospital-Fairfax Virginia
  6. INOVA Emergency Healthplex Center-Alexandria Virginia
  7. Howard County General Hospital- Columbia Maryland
  8. Erlanger Hospital-Chattanooga Tennessee
  9. Chatuge Regional Hospital-Hiawassee Georgia
  10. Dewitt Army Hospital-Fort Belvior Virginia
  11. Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital-Virginia Beach Virginia
Wow, that's a lot once I started to think about it. And that is just the ER's I've been to!

Thankfully we have been lucky that most trips have been for simple things and the two times I've had bad experiences, I've had the nerve to leave one ER and go to another. Word of advice... NEVER go to #2 DePaul Medical Center, unless you just want an autopsy. Horrible does not begin to describe their ER. I would always go to #5 INOVA Fairfax and #4 Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. CHKD saved Elizabeth from extreme dehydration when she was having a bad Reflux & stomach flu combo. The memories of my little girl being so sick still scare me. I wish I had some words of wisdom to gleam from all this time in the ER's, but my advice is the same as you read elsewhere.
  1. Make sure the staff cleans their hands. There is nothing more disgusting than an ER.
  2. Go with your gut. Remember the old joke "what do they call the person that graduates last in their class from medical school" Answer: Doctor. They are human after all.
  3. If a doctor is acting all high and mighty, start calling him/her by his/her first name. Nothing brings them down to your level so fast as the familiarity of a first name.
On to a simpler life for a month (I can only hope!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Honey is Home!!!

Honey's Home! So Glad to have him back. Here are the pictures!
Honey and me

Great Big Hug.

Almost There!

Jumping into his arms!

Two Littlest ones enjoying a moment with their Daddy



Great Big Bear hug for Daddy.

Daddy and his Girls!

Three Little Pumpkins sitting on their Daddy!

Decorated the Car Just for Honey!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Gratitude

Today as I prepare for the return of Honey. I can hardly believe that the time is almost over. Hours are all I have in front of me instead of months. In light of that I want to discuss a more serious topic, Gratitude. Gratitude is defined as thankfulness or appreciation. It is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgement of a benefit that one has received or will receive. (Wikipedia)

As I mentioned months ago, I am very grateful to the Bad Backs Lax for their gift to our family. There are many other individuals and families that have been so kind and generous to our family during the time that Honey has been away to defend our great nation. The kind words and outpouring of love, assistance with the kids, help with the laundry, mowing the lawn, meals and phone calls just to say hello; have been such a huge blessing. I don't think I have ever felt so loved. I am so grateful to know so many wonderful people. I don't think I could ever repay them for the friendship, love and support that I have been given. It is a gift of love that has no price. They have been a perfect example that "Kindness is love in action" (from The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick).
So I ask you to remember that the smallest things that you do might have the biggest impact on your day, or more importantly; the day of others. Try to follow John 15:12, "This is my commandment. Love one another as I have loved you." Smile at your mailman, say hi to the check out clerk, let that person in front of you in line at the store (or parking lot!), give your child or spouse a hug, call up a friend you haven't talked to in a while. These small things may make a big difference in their day. I know that the quick phone calls or emails to see how I was feeling, made all the difference in the world to my day. The acts of friendship made me not feel so alone. I am a huge believer in "what goes around comes around". This isn't just about the bad, it's about the good things too. Friendship means being there when times are hard, not just when it's easy. So when you get up each day, ask yourself "Who do you want to be nice to today?" And get to it. Be a blessing in someone else's life!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why NOT to travel with us!

The Car Cleaning Story got me in the mood to tell my other ... "this happened right before our vacation" story.
Four years ago we decided to take the kids to Disney-world in January. Since we live 15 minutes from the Amtrak Autotrain (About.com), we decided to take that rather than deal with flying with 3 kids (Strollers, car seats, bags, & security... what a nightmare!) The biggest advantage of the autotrain to families is that you can leave the car seats, strollers and bags in the car. You only need an overnight bag for the train. My in-laws (aka Nana and Granfer) were going with us. In order to do this, we needed to add storage to our Volvo Wagon. We had a bench seat in the back, so seating was not a problem, but since that uses all the cargo area, we needed to have a place to put our bags. The plan was to put a trailer hitch on, then put a cargo rack on the back and put the suitcases there. So the week prior, I go to UHaul and get the hitch put on. Well now we run into problem #1.
Problem #1a The hitch is not in stock (even though I ordered it and was told it was in stock waiting for me!). I now have to come in the day before the trip in order to get the hitch put on. Okay, not that big of a deal. (Problem #1b)So I go back on the day before the trip and the 1 hour install turns into 4! The kids are going nuts because of the wait and Honey leaves work and comes to pick them up. (Problem #1c ) It is of course now starting to snow with bit of sleet! Oh Great! (Problem #1d) So what is the reason for the wait... they didn't know how to install the hitch on a Volvo wagon. The UHaul "technician" actually asked me where I thought the hitch was supposed to be placed on the car. "Hmm, On the back?" How should I know? If I knew that I would have done it already and I wouldn't be paying you! Finally after who knows how long, it is done.
Problem #2. So we do our nightly routines and then put together the cargo rack for the trailer hitch. We test fit it onto the car. Uh, Oh, the cargo rack is hitting the ground. That's okay, we are parked on a slope. We'll just move the car. The problem remains, .... so the slope isn't the problem. I guess those Uhaul it guys didn't get it right after all. Hmm, I guess we'll have to go with plan B. We have a car top carrier, but we didn't have roof rails. (The carrier was a "gift" from my father because he didn't want to store it anymore). Since it was so bulky, we didn't originally want to use it since we would have to move it into the car during the train ride and it would be much more difficult to deal with. Since we were left with no choice, we went to get temporary roof rails from the auto store.
Problem #3 We have just enough time to go to the store and get the rails before the store closes. Then our problem will be solved... If only!!!! We got the rails, put them together and realized that one of the rail's rubber feet was missing from the box, so we needed to go back to the store in the morning to exchange the rails/ get the replacement, otherwise it would scratch up the car. That's okay. Everything else is packed.
Problem #4 Honey is getting ready for a half day of work (we have to be at the train station at 2:00 to load the car onto the train). I am in charge of getting the replacement foot and getting other last minute things for the trip. Not a big deal plenty of time... WRONG! I am groggy but waking and I look at Honey's pillow. Christopher is sleeping beside me, but there is something all over the pillow, it looks like chocolate. What has our little almost 3 year old Christopher been into in the middle of the night?!. I take another look and it's blood! I quickly jump out of bed and check out Christopher. Sure enough, he has a gash in his head. He needs stitches! I yell to Honey that he needs to call work and take the whole day off. One of us needs to go to the ER and one needs to get the rest of the last minute stuff done, feed the kids breakfast and lunch and clean up. We decide that he will take Christopher and I will do the last minute stuff.
Problem #5 I take Christopher into the kitchen to feed him breakfast before we leave. I put him onto the stool at the kitchen counter and make breakfast. Honey arrives as I finish putting the food in front of Christopher. As I turn to go get dressed for the day, Christopher falls off the stool and hits his chin on the floor. He now needs stitches in his chin!!!
Here is an Ikea Stool like ours. This is the second time that this stool has caused Christopher to fall and require stitches. Needless to say, we no longer have the stool!
We have temporary furniture out because our flooring is not yet installed. It is the last thing left to do for our house remodel. (Problem #6-House is under construction and thus the reason we NEED a vacation! Problem #7, we were having bank trouble all week, trying to get the bank to pay the contractor the proper amount of $ he was owed.)
So now Honey has to have two sets of stitches for Christopher and meanwhile I am praying that he doesn't have to deal with CPS (Child Protective Services). As I run around getting the other kids fed and dressed and the last minute stuff done. I do finally get to the store, get the cargo carrier onto the car, get the luggage into the car and effectively deal with Nana who has arrived and is warding off a panic attack over the stress of the situation (Problem #8)
Now all we need is Honey. It is 1:00 and I am starting to panic. He's still at the ER! Christopher is all stitched up, but they are waiting for some paperwork. Ugh! Gotta love bureaucracy in a time like this. (Problem #9) I am able to convince Honey that we have to leave for this trip and that if they don't come within 10 minute, he is to leave. We've dealt with stitches before so we know about the aftercare and they have our insurance info so they can bill us. I mean really, why was he waiting anyway?
Thankfully they come within the next 10 minutes and Honey is out the door and we get to leave on our trip.
Sometimes it's hard to believe my run of bad luck.

Moral of the story: Don't travel with us! We have horrible travel karma!


P.S.  This is not the end of the story, we had to go to the ER in Disneyworld to remove the stitches.  While there we all contracted the stomach flu from the family that was letting their kids play in the play area while they were sick (Some people have so little sense or kindness!).  It was NOT a fun trip home!

One last Trial before the end.

I woke up today and didn't want to move. My back was and is killing me! But I have lots to do before Honey gets home TOMORRROW!!! I need to keep the house clean, find a dog sitter, pack for the beach and the most necessary - the car must be cleaned. It's waited too long. It's been sitting & festering in the hot summer sun too many days. All the kids melted madness in the backseat was started to smell.... The most disgusting thing is not the yuck that is unidentifiable, but the chicken nuggets and french fries that look not one day older. Makes you wonder what it's really made of?!

After quickly cleaning Honey's car. I started on the Suburban. First I had the kids get all their stuff out (while I cleaned Honey's car). Then I had to pick up all the sticky change($) that they seem to accumulate in the backseats and in crevices. I also try to get things put away during this phase and strip the car seats so they can be cleaned as well. Next it was onto the vacuuming. There is a LOT of space in the Suburban and I normally have to make a few passes with the vacuum because of all the fries, crackers, candy, stickers, crayons, you name it!. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! Just when I was almost done with the vacuuming it started to pour down raining. Why does this always happen to me? So I of throw the rest of the vacuum in the car, go unplug it so I won't get electricuted (that would be my luck!), throw all the miscellaneous junk into the house and grab the keys so I can roll up the windows. I come back to the car, put the keys in the ignition, turn on the car, but it won't start! I know it's not the battery (I already replaced that while Honey was gone!). So, I called roadside assistance to come give me a jump. Apparently, I took an exceptionally long time cleaning the car! ... and I'm still not done! I still have to scrub the gunk off the seats and reinstall the car seats.
Who knew that you could spend so much time cleaning the car that you could wear down the battery?

For some other of my bad luck before vacation stories, visit "Family Oldie," "Why to Not Travel with us!" or "The Rest of the Story."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2nd String

The past few months I have listened to Taylor Swift a LOT. Her music really reaches out to a lonely soul and makes me remember all the things I love about Honey. Probably my favorite song is "Breathe" .
Now I know that the song is about a breakup, but many of the emotions of a break up are similar to being separated.
"...I don't know what to be without you around"
"...I can't breathe without you, but I have too"
"... Your the only thing I know like the back of my hand"
After being married for 12.5 years it is quite an adjustment to not have Honey around every day. We often spent time apart during the first few years of our married life while he was out to sea. But, once he left the Navy for corporate life 7 years ago, I have gotten to enjoy having him around. It is amazing how much you can take a person for granted because they are with you every day. You just expect them to be there to help with little things like getting milk from the store or filling up the car with gas. I hate filling up the car so much. I can not tell you how many times I have pulled up to the gas pump, gotten out of the car, and then realized that the car was too far away or that I pulled up to the wrong side. I feel like a moron when it happens, but I was used to Honey taking care of these things for me. When your team is no longer together, you feel abandoned and like you have no chance of winning the game. This is where the 2nd string must come in to help. I have been lucky in life to know a great many wonderful people. Luckily, these people have come in to help me. Friends like these are worth their weight in gold.

You can watch the video and hear the song here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Go figure?

Here's one [unexpected] thing about Honey's flight from Kabul to Kuwait that bugged me.
The Army sent the soldiers on a flight that mustered at 1:00 PM. It left Kabul at 7:00 PM. The plane landed in Kuwait 6 hours later. During the entire time the Army didn't feed them!
Honey (being the non-complainer that he is) said "Well, it wasn't a commercial flight. It's not like they have stewardesses."
Well, sure, ...but someone got paid to feed those 60 people. And seeing as how the military invented the MRE's (Meal's Ready to Eat for you non military types), It's not like there wasn't an ability to give everyone a quick (albeit bad meal). Annoying. I guess feeding the troops is not a priority.

Almost there, almost there...

Honey called to say that he is safely in Kuwait. Yeah!!! He has to clean his gun and turn it in, then endure a few days of needless drivel from the Army and then he will be home again. I am very excited to see him. The kids are very excited and anxious to have him home again. They keep saying sweet things like:
"I'm going to hug Daddy forever"
"When I hug you [Daddy], I'm never going to let go."
"I'm gonna kiss you all day!"
Looking forward to a joy-filled reunion. I'll get as many pictures as I can.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dropping things

It's the worst feeling to drop a child. In all fairness, I was tired because Keener was up until 4 am Friday morning, but I am grateful that only minor scrapes occurred when I dropped her later that same day in the pool's shower. Her wet little body just slipped right out my arms and onto the floor. Minor cuts, but boy did I feel like the bad mother.

Then today (Saturday), The bike tipped over with her in the baby seat. Ahhh!!! No scrapes or broken bones, Thank God!

I think I won't be getting that "Mother of the Year" award. Oh well, who likes clutter anyhow!

College Friend

My good friend from college came with her two children to visit me for a few days. She is Christopher's godmother. What a blessing to have someone else around, more kids for my children to play with and someone to distract me from the last few days of the deployment. I am very grateful that she took the 9 hour drive from Boston. I am amazed at how the gift of companionship can make such a difference in my day. No "priceless" work of art could compare to the gift of friendship. I'd pick my friends every time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Closer, Closer, almost there!

Ahh, the end is near. I am having a hard time concentrating on doing anything since Honey's arrival back home is so close. 8 days, but who's counting?
Answer: Me!! Me!! Me!!
Now if only I could get the 2 year old to go to sleep. She is giving me a lot of trouble not sleeping. I don't think Honey could come home soon enough! Then maybe I'll get a nap!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Achey Breaky Mama

I sure am tired. Not that I can remember doing that much today. I came home from the gym and put my feet up. They were so achey. I really need a good pedicure! Love the massage part and the foot soaking part. I really don't care that much about the whole painted nail thing. That's the excuse to get a foot massage! The days are ticking slowly 'til Honey comes home, but I will try to enjoy the days as they come, No use wasting a perfectly good day with mopeyness.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Secret Desire

What is it about boys and stitches? Do they think I have a secret desire to live in the ER? Do they think that I might miss the ER if I don't get my annual visit? I honestly don't know how many times I've been to the ER for the boys for stitches.
So what happened this time? Well, Rolo was walking on the couch taking off the cushions to make his fort, when he slipped and hit his chin against the coffee table. I took one look, saw fatty tissue (my sign to go in for stitches) and sent the rest of the kids to my neighbors while I went to the ER. I am actually so used to this, that I stop to think about what I might need for the ER (Books, Ipod, blankie).
I was hopeful that this time they might use the glue rather than the actual stitches. The glue is 10 times easier to deal with as a parent. There is no need to go back to the doctor and have it removed, no need to numb the injured area, no need to strap the kid in a body board (All I can say is that those boards DO NOT work on my kids! Junior Houdini's....). The glue just peels away like a layer of skin after a week or so. I have never had an injury that qualified just for glue, but I am always hopeful. This time Rolo's injury was glue eligible. Yeah!!!!! I was so happy. Rolo was very calm while they fixed his chin up. Here's the photo with the glue. Doesn't look that bad............ now.
One of the books that I took with me was this one. The Human Body.
I brought it because Rolo loves puzzles and since you never know how long the ER visits will be, you need to be prepared. The doctors and nurses loved it. They thought it was so great. They kept asking Rolo if he thought he'd be a doctor. It was funny because he kept giving them a very decisive "No." I said I think he'll probably be an engineer like Daddy and Granfer. But of course he can be whatever he wants to be. Isn't that the fun of watching your kids grow up? Seeing who they become.




Thursday, July 30, 2009

Running

Now that I started running, I had to get better workout shoes. My feet were starting to hurt from the lack of support. So I went to buy shoe's at Dick's Sporting Goods. I mostly go there because the kids love the little sample track that goes around the shoe department. They can run around the track while I look at the shoes, and they are ALLOWED to run around in the store. They love it and it gives me time to browse. Gotta love a store that can entertain the kids while I shop!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

O's pain

Tonight we went to our 3rd Orioles game this season (O's for you Baltimoreans). Every game we have seen, they loose. I think we must be bad luck or they stink (probably, they stink!). Tonight they actually won (but only after we left!). The game was painfully long. And I mean "longer than a normal baseball is sooooooo slow," sort of pain. I was looking at the clock in the 2nd inning, thinking "Will this game never end?!". In their defense the game did start 40 minutes late since it was raining when we arrived for the game, but that part was actually quite entertaining because the intermittent rain meant that the field kept on getting covered and uncovered, covered and uncovered. It sure is fun to watch those guys run and cover the field.
The most entertaining part of the game though, has to be Christopher trying to get onto the audience camera. He hasn't gotten on yet, but I keep telling him to have patience and wait, he's not making a big enough idiot of himself. When he does the job properly, then he'll get on the big screen! Hmm, I think he took it as a challenge.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Geico my AC

Should I tell the Geico guy (great spoof of their commercial) that I saved $150 on my electric bill by opening my windows and not turning on the AC until mid July? I know it's not car insurance but I almost died when I saw that the bill for June/July was $66. I don't think it's ever been that low. Yeah for me! It's the little joys in life.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh you figure it out!

The past two days have been very busy. Doing what, I do not know. Yesterday we left the house for church at 10:25 and didn't return until dinnertime. Yes, church is 10 minutes away and it does start at 10:30, but we were having one of THOSE mornings when everything would spill, clog, clump and hide itself. Luckily (I guess?) I am a bit of a speed demon and we made it to church by 10:32 and they were just starting the procession. I did manage to get all green lights on the way, so that helped. After church we ran a few errands and then I went to the gym. I am trying to get myself into some kind of shape to strengthen my back and relieve me of my pain. Who knew that a minor fender bender could mess me up this bad? It's hard to believe that it's been almost 8 months of pain. I thought I'd feel better in a week or two, wishful thinking apparently. I can't complain though. I will be better, I just need to have patience. One virtue that I am SERIOUSLY lacking.
Today was busy, but relaxing. We went to the Post Office to mail Honey some more snacks, then off to the gym so I could kill myself. My first day of running on the treadmill instead of speed walking. Oh my %$#^!, Did I really use to go running for fun? Man, am I out of shape! But "Yeah for me!", I ran for 30 minutes & walked the other 30 minutes. After the gym we went to our neighborhood pool, so I could relax (And I guess so the kids could have fun too.) Despite the fact that I know that the sun causes cancer, I really, really love spending time in the sun and getting a tan (as much as this little Irish girl can!). I could fall asleep in the sun if I didn't have the kids to watch. Makes me remember all the time I spent with my friend Alice up on her parents roof laying out and sunbathing. Makes me glad that I had such a great friend growing up. Makes me glad that I still have such great friends.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Goodbye N♡-

We said goodbye to our sweet exchange student yesterday. N♡- was a little blessing that God bestowed on our family for a month. She was so good for all of us. Christopher was crying when she left and is moping around. Keener keeps asking about her"ria, ria" and Elizabeth was sad that she did not get to spend more time with her. I enjoyed having someone to talk to. We feel so lucky to have had her stay with us. We are all looking forward to the day when we get to go visit with her in Spain.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Juvenile Delinquent

So Keener got kicked out of childcare today, Lucky me! When I go to the gym, I take the kids to the childcare. Normally I get to workout in peace. Occasionally I get called for a scrape, but more often for a diaper change. Today, Keener decided that she needed to bite 2 kids. So although my other kids could stay, she had to go for 24 hours. Ughh! What a pain. My little diva is certainly a big pile of trouble. Too bad she's so cute. It's hard to stay mad at her. The next time she does this, she can't go to childcare for 3 days. I told Elizabeth, Christopher and Rolo that if she does it again, I'll put a football helmet on her. If you can muzzle a dog, I can muzzle my kid!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Satisfying Homeschool

I had a very satisfying homeschooling moment. I have been trying to teach the kids a little bit about art and art history. I have been using the Usborne Book of Art. I read 2 pages at a time, when we get a chance. I am basically trying to introduce the kids to art, but not push anything on them. So today we were speaking to N♡- about Bilbao Spain where she lives. She showed us (on Google Maps) her home and school and the Guggenheim Museum. She showed us some pictures from the Guggenheim. One picture she showed us in particular was of the very large Spider scupture.
This picture is from wikimedia commons.
I kept thinking that I had seen it before but couldn't place where until Christopher chimes in with "That's in our art book on page 21-22."
And boy was he right! Right page, right sculpture. I was pretty amazed, but utterly satisfied that I had taught my little boy and he had learned more than I did! Along that same art theme: We got a package today from Honey that contained some Lapis Lazuli. There was a picture that we had studied with a beautiful blue color. The paint had been made from this stone which coincidentally comes from afghanistan. Since it is only $5 for a few small rocks, Honey sent them to us to help the children "see" and "touch" the rock that made the pretty blue color. It was very satisfying to see . Thanks Honey, you are helping the kids with their Art lessons by sending the rocks to me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whippersnappers!

Apparently I still have some balance in my old age. Christopher was trying to stand on his head. He was having trouble balancing so I helped him out by putting my arms out to catch his legs if he started to fall. He asked me if I could do it. I said, "Well I can try." So, I did manage to do better than him and better than N♡-. Take that! you young whippersnappers! Not that I was anywhere close to my more balanced younger days. (I had a lot of free time to "practice" back then). It was a lot of fun. We were giggling by the time we had all fallen over a few times. Sometimes it is nice to be a kid again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baltimore & Ohio

I went to the B & O Railroad museum in Baltimore today with N♡-, Keener, Rolo, & Christopher (Elizabeth is at Girl Scout Camp). We met up with Nana and Granfer and Cousin Edward. Although we have been before, N♡- had not been and I thought it might be interesting for her since the railroads played a substantial role in the development and commerce of our budding nation. Not to mention that the building is beautiful and the train collection is impressive. The kids enjoy going. It was a good way to spend time with their grandparents. N♡- also enjoyed it. It was a good choice for the day. We then went back to Nana and Granfers to let the kids play in the woods. What a nice day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clogged, Again

I got to see my friend R----- the plumber again. This time the clog was 77 feet! Let's hope that this time it fixed the problem for good. Luckily it was a free visit since it was under warranty for 6 months (yeah for me!). I think Honey will be coming home to a whole new house. Hope you like it Honey!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Only Child

What a strange feeling to have only one child again. It was eerie and wonderful at the same time. I loved spending time with Keener. She is a lot calmer without the other children around (Proof that her tantrums are for attention). We read stories, hugged and kissed and played on the big playground in McLean. It is called Clemyjontri Park and it is a completely handicapped accessible playground. It was really neat to watch her play and enjoy every part of the playground. Amazing how her personality is different without her siblings around. She loved exploring the playground. The only problem with the day was the weather. I of course had to go when it was 100 degrees!!!
While I was enjoying my day with Keener, N♡- went to DC with her friend Mi☆.
She has been with another host family in the Richmond area. Mi☆ is very nice and it was nice to have her stay for a few days. The family she has been with and I have some fundamental disagreements about 17 year olds. One of which is the idea that two 17 year olds can go alone to DC during the day to visit the museums. The father yelled at me for allowing them to go alone. "They might get shot" he screamed at me. (Yes, he did really scream at me). My reply was that the Mall in DC was probably the safest place they could be. There are Secret Service, FBI, Capital Police, Park Police and Museum security to name a few of the protective forces in the area. I think you would have a hard time breaking the law in the DC Mall without getting caught. But just to make me put my foot in my mouth, Divine Intervention stepped in. (See Story Below⇓)

Oh bother!
    Here's the story from the Washington Post.
    WASHINGTON – A chaotic scene unfolded near the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after police shot and killed an armed man in what authorities described as a routine rush hour traffic stop that turned deadly. U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Schneider said the unidentified 35-year-old man refused to stop at the checkpoint about two blocks north of the Capitol complex. The man drove the wrong way down a street and struck two officers with his car — one on foot and the other on a motorcycle, Schneider said. The two officers received minor injuries. Police opened fire after the man brandished a handgun and refused to put it down, said Schneider, who described the melee as "very fast moving, very fluid." "The officers felt they were being threatened — they were in fear for their lives," Schneider said. She did not know if the man fired at police first. District of Columbia Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer said the man was being taken to a hospital. It was not clear where he died. The late afternoon scare occurred as lawmakers were wrapping up a third day of hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Police briefly sealed off part of the Capitol as a precaution, but the buildings were reopened about a half hour later. Authorities said the shooting was not related to the Capitol complex. "We hear pop, pop, pop, like a gun," said Carol Lanigan, of Toledo, Ohio, describing how she saw a white car come flying down the street with two police cars behind chasing it. She said she heard about four or five shots. "There were so many gunshots being fired my family got down," said Robert Drumm, a tourist from Oklahomawho was visiting the nation's capital with his family. Drumm said he saw someone being taken away in an ambulance. He said he first noticed trouble when he saw one car speeding and being chased by a police vehicle. Numerous emergency vehicles converged quickly in the area. Another witness, Dale Lanigan of Toledo, Ohio, described a similar scene, although he said two police cars gave chase. As the car went past him, Lanigan said, "the driver had one hand on the wheel and it looked like he was reaching for something."Lanigan said he then heard shots and police ordered him to get away.Associated Press writers Gillian Gaynair and Lara Jakes contributed to this report.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Walking on water


With 3 of the 4 kids off at camp and staying at Aunt and uncle's home, I took Keener and N♡- to the Beach for a little sharks teeth hunting. We found 7 sharks teeth. It was a perfect day. Too bad N♡- thinks she walks on water...
Just kidding, a very low tide made it easy to walk very far out.

Keener had a great time falling in the sand. She was laughing and having a lot of fun.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Drinks Anyone?

Today, Honey's friend from Afghanistan Bri----- and Bri------'s fathercame by to bring us all of his alcohol. He is moving to Belgium and apparently you are not allowed to bring any alcohol with you. We were the lucky recipients of all the booze. Darn the bad luck, I really HATED being so helpful. Check it out. This is all from him. Thanks Bri-----!


And yes, we will have to have a big party once Honey comes home, so we can all have some. Until then, I think I may have to sample it!
While his Bri----- was here, Honey called so they got to chat for a few minutes. His father read Keener book after book after book. She kept bringing him a new one when he finished. He must be a great granddad! I think he read 10 books to her.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spanish Food Recipe included.

Had a great lazy day at the pool and home. Perfect weather. N♡- and I made a Spanish Omelette for dinner. Her uncle sent us the recipe that she uses at home, all translated for me to use. Thank you Uncle. Here is the recipe.
SPANISH OMELETTE
Ingredients:
9 spoons of oil (olive)
5-6 eggs
Salt (.5-1 tsp)
Onions if wanted (200 Gr.), diced
4 big potatoes.

Wash and peel potatoes. Cut them into cubes about 1-1,5 centimeters.
Put the oil in a large frying pan or skillet and heat, medium-high, add the potatoes with salt.
When the poatatoes began to be cooked, nearly to be golden brown and crisp, include the onions thinly sliced into the oil.
Meanwhile, beat heavily the eggs with salt (at least 1 minute).
(Add onions Tomatoes, green or red peppers, cod, or any vegetable) if you choose.
Drain oil if needed into a glass. Remove Potatoes and onions into bowl with beaten eggs for easier draining.
Now, Put the skillet back on the heat, and make a little thin line of oil (from the oil we have in the glass) when the oil is hot, Pour the potatoes (and onions, tomatoes etc.) and the eggs mixture onto the skillet.
After 2 minutes, more or less, invert a large plate over the pan or skillet, and carefully turn the omelett onto the plate and make another thick line of oil, and slide the omelet into the skillet with the uncokked side down. Add cheese if desired.
Cook about 2 minutes more and test with a knive if the eggs are set. serve Warm.

In this Kind of omelete you can add for example: Tomatoes, green or red peppers, cod, any vegetable, cheese, etc.
Cooking
The finished product.

Yes, this is a picture of me. I don't have anyone to take pictures of me normally (unless you would like some knee shots, some up the nose shots, or the REALLY, REALLY close-up shots that the kids take.
Don't tell the kids that they ate potatoes because the loved the omelette. It was a fun quick tastey meal. We ate outside and enjoyed the nice evening. It has been a lot of fun having N♡- with us. I know we will miss her when she goes home.

Busy, Busy, Busy Bees

Friday was a busy busy day for us. We had a doctor appointment, a Girl Scout Lunch Party, a Girl Scout Water Park Party and tickets to see the Orioles play (If you could call what they did "playing"). Everyone but me got to take a nap as we drove in rush hour traffic from DC to Baltimore. Ughhhhhhhhh. 2 hours to take a 1 hour trip. I hate the beltway!
The kids had a great time all day except for Christopher getting stung by a bee at the water park. We had a lot of fun at the baseball game singing along to all the songs, watching the video clips and watching the game. A foul ball landed just 6 people away from us! Then there was a firework show at the end of the game. It was a great show. A very busy, very wonderful day. Glad to get home and get some rest.



Before the game.

During the game.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Well Done

I tend to consider myself a fairly good cook. Things don't always turn out right, but most of the time I do pretty well. My fatal flaw seems to be the grill. I just don't have the patience to stand by and turn things, and watch the fire and all that stuff. I think men must like grilling so much because they have to stand around drinking beer, waiting for the meat to cook. They have to stay with it so that it does not burn.
So today I decided to use the grill for the first time since Honey left, I was trying to avoid heating up the house, (Still no A/C on .. AMAZING!.. YEAH!). I took the meat and wrapped it in foil to cook, followed the directions and set the grill on low, and put the meat on to cook for the time the recipe called for. I even checked the temperature, everything was going according to the recipe, until I opened up my chargrilled mess. The choices were well done or blackened. Hmmm, not exactly what I wanted to serve Father H-- or our new friend the Seminarian L---who came for dinner. Luckily, there was enough meat inside the blackened mess that was actually moist and tasty. It just involved a lot more effort to get at it. Luckily enough for me, I had enough other food to fill everyone's bellies. Father H-- kindly said that is was good. Hmmm, Good thing he was going to confession after his visit with us......

Here's a picture of the kids turning our New York Priest into a Orioles "fan"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Driving Miss Crazy

DC traffic really makes me crazy.  I have lived here for 7 years and only started to drive in DC 2 years ago because I hate it so much.  I still hate it, but I force myself to do it so the kids can see the museums.  The biggest problem is that the signs are poorly located (if they  exist at all).  I have found that I finally "see" the signs only after I have gotten lost multiple times in the same area (and no longer need the signs).  Often they are low and get hidden by parked cars, or too high and get hidden by tree limbs or too small to be read unless you are parked.  Too bad the DC politicians are too corrupt to fix the problem.  I think they believe this discourages tourist from driving in DC.  I wish they would see that it only adds to their traffic problems to have someone drive in circles, lost.  Oh well, I am not about to tackle DC's problems.  That is a whole novel!