Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 278 - I'm Done

I've reached my breaking point. I'm so done with this. 5 more months, are you kidding me? And with winter right around the corner - my least favorite time of year - I am in a dreaded state of major funk.

So, if anyone wants 3 perfectly charming kids, they are up for grabs. I'm thinking about heading to a deserted island somewhere where there is a never ending flow of slushy drinks. No cleaning, no bills to pay, no cooking, no taxi service, no 5 am wake up calls, no kids sitting on top of me at any time, no meltdowns, no fighting, no Sponge Bob, no grocery shopping, no laundry, no light bulb changing, no floor scrubbing, no toys to pick up, no Baby Einstein, no recycling, no movie returning, no sock sorting, no diaper changing, nothing...


That is all I want for Christmas, please.

Day 277 - Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner at my dad's. Always good food going on there.

Elise had her first taste of un-Gerber-ized turkey. And, really, I do own bibs, I just would rather do lots and lots of laundry.

The family tradition of playing UNO. Luke was not intimidated in his inaugural match.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Days 264 - 276 - Two out of Three

2 out of 3 sets of grandparents were visited this Thanksgiving weekend.

2 out of 3 kids behaved nicely.

2 out of 3 kids spent the night at my sisters house last night giving my mom and I lots of prime Boggle playing time.

2 out of 3 craft shows are finished.

2 out of 3 kids are at their friends' houses right now giving me time to write.

The turkey tour is now complete, and it's time to concentrate on Christmas I guess. Shopping, programs, baking, Santa visiting, decorating...will I be able to handle it all?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 263 - Cranberry Sauce

Only 2 days until Thanksgiving. I can't wait for some turkey. Today I made my cranberry sauce. To each their own...but I won't eat that sludge that comes out of a can.

Here's the recipe if you want to try it.

1 lb. fresh cranberries, washed
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 whole orange, unpeeled, seeds removed and chopped fine. (This year I used a clementine.)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
dash of ground cinnamon

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add cranberries, orange, and cloves. Simmer over a high flame, stirring frequently until the berries pop open. Add crushed pineapple and cinnamon. Turn off heat and let cool. Add walnuts.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Days 259-262 - Craft Goddess

I love my job as a crafter. This time of year, it finally pays off. I may never, ever profit with this job since I have a huge addiction to shopping at craft stores. But there is something so wonderful about creating something and someone else buying it, because they can't or won't make it themselves.

Friday and Saturday half of my items were on display at the fancy house. 900 people came through that house over the weekend to shop, and when I went to pick up my leftover items there was not much left. All of the stained glass and clipboards sold. Most of my tags and post-it note clipboards sold. (That means I get to make more!!)

Saturday I had a show at a church by my house. It is the 4th year I've done this show and each year my friends (who I share a booth with) and I have record sales. It almost feels like people seek us out. It seemed so slow at first that we were getting worried, but by the end of the day we made over 10x our booth fee so we were very happy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 258 - Offers

Sometimes I think no one ever thinks about the situation our family is in. I really don't talk about it too much or try to get attention for it. I guess it just seems normal, and almost flawless.

It's not that I am trying to be super mom in any way. I am just being a stay at home mom with a husband who never comes home. Sometimes I have to be at three places at the same time and I have to figure it out. It would be that way whether Chris was here or not.

But lately, I've realized that people do think of us. The offers to help out are coming in which is nice. It makes me feel like our family and what we are doing for our country is appreciated.

We got an offer for Thanksgiving dinner from someone we only slightly know. He just wanted to be sure we had somewhere to go, and something yummy to eat.

We have an offer from Chris' co-workers to get the video camera things we need to get hooked up with Skype. Since I'm low on technology ability, having someone else figure it out will be nice. I hope someone on Chris' end will be able to help him out.

For the next few months I am looking for anyone who wants to take a girl or two off my hands while I take Luke to wrestling twice a week. Or even better...anyone want to take him for me? That stinky wrestling room is all man. All man.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 257 - Random Stuff

Today I dropped off half of my finished craft goodies to a house that will sell them for me during a tour of homes type of sale. Look at this place...I love it.

Most of all, I love this door. Chris...put that on my wish list for our next house, OK?

I had a lot of encounters with dead deer today. It is deer season I guess, but I still get taken off-guard when I see them strapped on top of cars and in truck beds. The cleaning lady told me today that her husband killed 2 and he processes them himself. She proceeded to tell me much more than I ever needed to know about that.

I ate 2 lunches today. The second one was at Sonic. I love those Blue Coconut Slushes.

I've been complaining (to myself mostly) that my XM radio expired again in the car. I'm addicted to it. Especially since the only decent radio station around here only plays about 10 different songs and about half of them seem to be by Nickelback. Ugh. Well, it turns out I still have it. 1st wave and Alt. Nation live on!

I'm getting good at tennis. I'm thinking about doing it twice a week instead of once. Watch out Wimbledon...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 256 - Hard Day

We had it rough around here today. Maria skinned and fattened up her lip in a scooter mishap, the baby bonked her head pretty hard as she (literally) ran away from me, and I crushed my foot on the baby's toy.

I figured it wouldn't be a complete day unless Luke had some mishap himself.

Instead...I got a call from the principal that he caused a mishap. A melee' is a better term for what happened. Against girls. He hit girls today. I could not be more disappointed.

I struggle every darn day with him. I feel bad for him and for the hand he's been dealt. I want to strip away all of the meds for ADHD and the problems caused by Chris being at war, and see what is left...who is the real Luke?

I want to blame it all on something.

Is it because he is surrounded by girls? All of the neighbors his age are girls. His class is 2/3 girls. He is taught by females. He is stuck in this house with all females. I imagine he just wants to wrestle, fart, and whatever else boys do.

Is it me? Am I just a bad mom? I want the magic pill. I want the quick fix.

Here he is at 7 and I am already resenting the calls from the teachers and the prinicpal. I don't even feel like answering the phone...because I don't think I can fix it.

I am tired of all the prescription experimentation, the doctors, the questions about his short life history, the paperwork, the appointments, the therapy.

So, enough of this bad day. I hope for a better one tomorrow. That is all I can do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 255 - My Day Off

I spent today, a day with no kids, working on my upcoming craft shows. This weekend I am doing 2 shows - one I have to be at, and another where I just drop off my things and they sell it for me.

Today I priced most of my finished items, then divided the loot into what I would take to each show. One thing I didn't factor in was having enough display pieces for 2 simultaneous shows. My friend Melissa had some great things from when she sold Pampered Chef and she thankfully is letting me borrow them.

I think everything so far looks perfect.

Day 254 - The Grandparents

Chris' parents left yesterday after a nice weekend. I got to cook real food (chili, pork tenderloin) and splurge on things we don't normally eat (donuts, cinnamon rolls).

It did seem that the weekend revolved around sugar. Grandma Mary Lou wanted to make decorated sugar cookies with the kids. We made turkey shaped cookies using the kids' hands for templates. Left over Halloween candy and lots of sprinkles made them awesome.

Then on the second run to the store for donuts, the grandparents brought back these obnoxious mother-load of all sugar high craziness:

I haven't even let the kids touch these guys yet. I'm waiting for a moment where I can let them run it off. I'm not even sure that is possible. I think that is about 3 pounds of frosting on that thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Days 250 - ?? Wow...I am behind!!

I guess you could say I went on a blogging vacation. Poor Chris - he finally gets his internet up and running and his wife duds out on him. I guess he can catch up on the last 8 months though.

I missed Wednesday 250
Thursday 251
Friday 252
Saturday 253.

Ok...I'm caught up now.

Here is a slight recap of the last few days.

Luke went to a new doctor, got a haircut, went to the dentist (no cavities) went to a wrestling night out and is on new meds.

Elise is walking up a storm. And figured out how to open the pantry catastrophes yet.

Maria got a huge goose egg on her head at school, went to a tennis night out at the gym, has been singing along to her headphones every chance she gets.

I have been crafting up a storm, got the Christmas lights out, and have been cooking like mad now that the in-laws are visiting.

That's about it. I'll blow the dust off of the camera next week and hopefully get back to my perkier blogging self.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Days 248 & 249 - Lunch

I've been on the go the last 2 days. Craft stores, dentist appointments, the post all makes a mom-on-the-go a little hungry.

So, I splurged twice on Panera Bread. (I could eat there everyday if I had to.) Yesterday it was a chicken dijon panini with a BBQ chicken salad. Today it was the smokehouse turkey panini with black bean soup. The belly is very happy.

I've been crafting up a storm the last few days (and the house sure looks like it). Only a few more days until I have the adventurous duo-craft show weekend. Hopefully, I will have some items left over to put in my Etsy shop. My shop has been more than a little neglected lately.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 247 - Taking Off

Elise has all of the sudden made some amazing strides.

She is walking like crazy. The gates are up, and I'm frantically trying to remember where I put all of the cabinet door locks.

She plays peek-a-boo. She finally gets it.

She sings "E-I-E-I-O."

She can say "bye-bye."

She eats everything I put in front of her. She is officially the best eater in the house right now.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Days 245 & 246 - Beautiful Weekend

We could not have asked for better weather this weekend. Sunny. 60's. It's all a big tease for what is soon to come (I don't even want to think about it.)

I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about our neighbor who died this week. During the visitation and funeral there were so many heartfelt stories of how wonderful he was. It made me realize I had missed out by not knowing him very well.

I think the thing that tore me up the most was seeing all of the neighbor kids exit the church with tears in their eyes. Cancer is so cruel.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 244 - What We Miss

Last night a facebook friend posted this amazing story. It was captivating to me. I dug deeper and read more about it (including the snopes website, just to make sure it was legit.)

What I took away from it is that we need to slow down and enjoy the beautiful things that are right in front of us.

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

The questions raised:

*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.

How many other things are we missing?

Check out the video here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 243 - Just Thinking

I spent my day thinking about my neighbor who lost her husband to cancer last night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 242 - The Butterfinger Diet

If you've been a faithful reader, you know a couple of things about me. I eat a lot of junk food and I work out a lot at the gym. (I am a Libra after all.)

Back in June I had that encounter that led me to trying harder.

And nothing. For 4 months...nothing.

Until...lately. Last week after eating mounds of Halloween candy I am suddenly down 7 pounds. (I didn't even buy my favorite stuff - which would be Heath Bars and Almond Joys if you are looking for Christmas ideas.)

But I did charge right through a bag of Butterfingers. And no, Chris, I did not have to tape them to my ass...because I lost 7 pounds.

So there. Whoo-hoo!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 241 - I Love Mondays

I seriously love my Mondays. Luke and Maria go to school and the baby goes to daycare.

I can hear it now... What? The baby goes to day care?? What kind of stay-at-home mom ships their kid off to daycare??And has a cleaning lady??)

I "work" 24/7 right? 3 kids against 1 me, hubby at war...totally justified.

So, on Mondays I get my 8 hour break. (I have to pay $45 for it...but still, totally worth it!)

Today, I used it to get a caramel apple spice from Starbucks and then got working on my 36 clipboards. I am proud to say that they are 98% done! A few more ribbons once I turn off this time-sucking machine and they will be ready for my upcoming shows!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 240 - Time Change

I remember back when "falling back" used to mean something. It was a night to more hour of sleep.

All that specialness is quickly thrown out the window when you have kids. Anytime you change a clock it means you have at least 2 days of being seriously messed up. The kids don't feel like going to bed when it's light, it's too dark in the morning to get up, it's too light in the morning to sleep, etc.

So, today...a day for sleeping in, grabbing that extra hour, the baby woke up at 6:30...5:30 new time. Ouch. The other 2 soon followed too...even though it was pitch black.

We took advantage of the dark morning with our extra light bracelets from Halloween. (15 for $1 at Micheal's.)

Does this mean the kids will go to bed early tonight?