Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 239 - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

From Ben 10, Tinkerbell, and a cute little chicken!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 238 - I said "No."

Today was Luke's Halloween party. Everyone was healthy, so it worked out that I was able to perform my room parent duties as scheduled. I'm glad the party was not perfectly planned out because today's rain threw a big curve ball at us and made things a little crazy. Oh's over. I did hear a lot of "I don't want the party to be over" kind of statements as the students were getting ready to go home. (I hope that was because they had a lot of fun, and not because they didn't get enough of it.)

As we were leaving school, Luke's teacher caught me in the hallway and asked if I would bake a Mickey Mouse shaped cake for an upcoming celebration they are having. As difficult (and foreign sounding) as it was...I said, "No." I actually said something like..."I'd rather you try to find someone else, and if you get completely desperate call me." (That sounds like "no" doesn't it?)

Well, regardless, it was liberating.

Before Chris left I had decided to not volunteer for things as much. While I did drop a couple of school commitments, I picked up 3 more. And then to volunteer to host the annual neighborhood Halloween party (which is tomorrow) has rendered me completely insane! (On top of half of the family having the flu this week.)

So, from now on, I am going to relish in saying "no". You won't be hearing the famous reluctant "sure" from me. You can blame it on my complete loss of sanity.

(You can place your bets for how long this lasts in the comment section.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 237 - The Yard

This was the last day for mowing the yard this year.

Mowing is one job that Chris and I don't mind doing. I usually start out until I lose interest then he finishes up. I do love having that time to myself and only having to think about one thing - straight lines.

But this year was different. It was impossible for me to mow with the 3 kids constantly under my feet, so we turned over the mower to our neighbor, Dirk. I'm glad Dirk treated our grass as his own, or we'd have some seriously long grass by now.

I think he enjoyed his time out there. He even invited other neighbors to help him out. This was the scene today:

I wonder what they are talking about? Just sitting there, mowers off, shooting the breeze. Classic.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Days 235 & 236 - Running Together

This has been the LONGEST week. Is it seriously only Wednesday?

Sunday - coughs all around
Monday - Luke (fever), Maria (fine), Elise (OK)
Tuesday - Luke (fever), Maria (fine), Elise (fever)
Today - Luke (better), Maria (fine), Elise (fever, then better)

Cancelled - personal training session, tennis, and cleaning lady (didn't want to get her sick!)

Missed - school (3 days) for Luke, Odyssey of the Mind (Luke & Maria), Halloween party (Luke)
Maria's Halloween party (Me - bad room-mom!), SLEEP (ME!!)

But, we made some things work. My neighbor took Maria to the Halloween party at the gym last night. She was happy to get away from all of the sick people. And Luke was so sick he didn't care that he was missing it. Thanks Melissa! (Melissa gets another round of thanks for the soup and movie return!)

Maria got another surprise this morning when one of her best friend's mom showed up to give her a ride to school. (We missed the bus...and I didn't want to haul everyone into town with me.)
Thanks Sarah!

Later this evening since the kids were feeling up for it, we did some neighborhood "booing". We rang doorbells of 2 of our neighbors and left them yummy goodies.

I think tomorrow all goes back to normal. The flu has left the building. Let's hope!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Days 233 & 234 - Sick

Mayday! Mayday! It's here!

Yesterday is was innocent little coughs. Today it's the flu. (For Luke anyways.) He is down for the count. Fever, lethargic, throwing up.

We ran to the store to get our battle supplies...tylenol, motrin, soup, kleenex, juice, and gatorade.

Now, we have to weather the storm.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 232 - Sweet Potato Yum

Anyone who knows me can say that I am a picky eater...specifically veggies. I carry a lot of guilt by being a poor role model for my children. So far, they have not caught on that I don't eat what I am trying to make them eat.

Chris on the other hand, eats anything. The veggier the better.

I can not possibly compete with that.

But today, I made something yummy which technically is a veggie - sweet potato chips.

The kids wouldn't try them...but I ate them right up. Lucky me! (And that isn't even sarcastic!)

Want your own? Here's what you do:

Peel a sweet potato and slice it as thin as you can. Meanwhile heat up canola oil in the bottom of a heavy skillet or pan. (I don't make the oil much deeper than the slices of potatoes.) It seems to work best on a medium high heat.

Cook them and flip them a bit. Keep an eye out and when they start getting dark pull them out with a slotted spoon and let them hang out on a paper towel covered plate. Salt them while they are hot.

I'm glad I bought 3 more sweet potatoes. I might do this again tomorrow. And I probably should eat them right in front of my kids.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 231 - Thinking

Lots of thinking going on today. Here's a sample.

Why does Chris not have a calling card to call me? Why does he have to call me collect? And how much is a 5 minute collect call going to cost?

Why can't they mix all of the immunization "juices" together to make one big shot, instead of 5 separate pokes? (Elise had her 1 year check up/pin cushion duty today.)

Why do all of the leaves have to come down in one rainy day instead of gradually, and therefore lesson the blow of winter being on our doorstep?

Why did I nearly eat the entire pan of brownies myself?

Why can a day take so long, yet the month passed so fast?

Day 230 - Costumes

Elise is going to be a chicken for Halloween.

Maria is going to be Tinkerbell.

Luke is going to be a Marine. Nope, a vampire. No, wait...Luke Skywalker. What? He can't take a light saber to school? OK...then he'll be this:

This would be a Ben 10 costume. Made to look like this cartoon character -

Luke loved his costume so much that he slept in it last night. Then this morning I caught him in the bathroom trying to style his hair like Ben. I guess we have a winner!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 229 - Clipboards

So today I perfected the "get ahead of the game while you procrastinate" move. I should've been doing other things, but took advantage of a clean house and a sleeping baby to start crafting.

36 clipboards are now in stage 1 of production on my kitchen counter. (Remember that clean house thing...forget that I ever mentioned it.) Tomorrow, after the doctor appointment, the shopping for Halloween costumes, and the Halloween party meeting, these babies will be getting their bath in Mod Podge.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Days 227 & 228 - Overstretched

Now that the trip, the surgery, the birthdays, and the reunion are over, I can concentrate on my next batch of chaos.

Next up are 3 Halloween parties. I am the co-room parent in both Luke and Maria's classes. I am also the host of the annual neighborhood party. (WHY???...why do I do this to myself?? Why can I not say the word - "no"??)

Altered art by Vintagesnapsandscrap

I'm sure they will all come together, but procrastinating is keeping me sane at the moment.

Then in 2 weeks I have 2 craft the same time. See...I am crazy. Just send me away now. Rubber room. Throw away the key.

Gosh, the holidays are going to seem like a cake walk after this month.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 225 & 226 - 20th Reunion

This weekend I spent with the Class of 1989. Totally fun, loud, chatty, rowdy, and sleepless.

Here is a picture of me and my girls. We all agree that we should have spent less time worried about boys and concentrated more on us being friends. (Well, maybe Laura didn't - she married her high school sweetheart.) 20 years got quickly whisked away in one short weekend.

There was a great turn out nearly 150 out of 350. But there were so many people that weren't there that I wanted to see. So, here is my call-out list. If you know any of these people start hounding them for the next one (hopefully in 5 years!)

Lara Bennett, Amy Siler, Trent Campbell, Kris Flasch, Rosanna Villarta, Megan Mills, Ian Adkins, Atticus Sumner, Brandon Driscoll, Curt Stewardson, Anita Sheridan, Joy Powell, Doug Kope and Brian Kolin.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 224 - It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday. And it is the beginning to my 20th high school reunion weekend!

I'll probably have lots of interesting pictures later this weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 223 - The Breaking Point

I had a feeling today was going to be one of those days.

First off, we spent 2 hours at the doctors office. All for him to take the bandage off. (Okay, they did take some pictures and tell me everything looked good...) but seriously - 2 hours. A handful of Dum-Dums only partially made me feel better.

Here is what Elise looks like today:

Next, I got a jury duty notice in the mailbox. Instant stress. I figured I would be excused...but it was just one more thing to do. Add it to the long, long neglected list. But, I got right on this one...I didn't want to risk a trip to jail or anything.

I sent off my e-mail explaining my excuse figuring I'd have to find Chris' orders and fax things over to them, again...stress, tears, and stress.

And then the epiphany of truffles occured. Chris sent these to me for my birthday and I ate them- all of them. (What difference does it make if I eat them all at once, or over a period of a month...they are all going to end up in the same place.)

I got back on the computer, and received my "thank you for your service to our country" type of excuse from jury duty with no strings attached, no extra work, no faxes...and life was good again.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 222 - Elise's Surgery

I am glad today is over.

Elise and I started our day by being at the hospital at 6:30 am. She was hungry, tired, and probably wondering what the heck everyone was doing to her.

Everything went very smoothly. I was able to go into the operating room and comfort her while she "went to sleep". She was so calm. The doctor described her behavior during it all as "way above average".

The doctor came to see me after the surgery and said that the cyst in her eye was tricky to get out because of the close proximity to her skin, but that it came out in tact and without too much bleeding. She has 3 layers of stitches above her eyelid (below the brow line). Her eyelid was immediately purple. Later in the day the other eye started to turn colors too.

She slept most of the day. The little time she spent awake today was spent eating and pulling on the big bandage.

Tomorrow we go back to get the bandages off and talk with the doctor more. Then in a week or so the stitches will come out.

I'd have to say she was a trooper today. And a sweetie. I think all of the nurses fell in love with her.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 221 - Elise

Tomorrow is Elise's surgery. It's extreme for us. We've never even had to take any of our children to the E.R.

So, this is a little nerve racking.

No eating after 12:30 a.m. tonight. No drinking clear fluids after 4:30 a.m. Leave for the hospital by 6.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 220 - Sugar Overload

As if eating a week at Disney wasn't sweet enough...

Today was the third day of birthday treat overload. Saturday was Elise's birthday so I made cakes for her and Luke. Yesterday was Luke's birthday party and I bought cupcakes for that. Today was the day Luke was to bring a birthday treat to school for his class.

So, enter super mom (who is now officially the room parent of Luke AND Maria's classes AND the co-chair of the school carnival - someone slow me down...)

Anyways, as I was saying...cupcakes. So, today I baked them and made homemade frosting...mmm. (That canned stuffed is gross...) So here is how to make some yummy (and easy) frosting:

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

1 1/4 sticks of soft butter
3 1/2 cups powered sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla

Whip up the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the other ingredients and beat until fluffy. Yum!

I'm going to start the Post-Disney Detox program tomorrow...really.

Day 219 - Birthday Bowling

Luke had his birthday party at the local bowling alley. It was brilliant. The kids were busy, noisy, and I didn't have to clean my house.

The kids each bowled 2 games and had pizza, ice cream, cupcakes, and pop. The bowling alley also gave Luke a bowling pin that everyone signed. He also got a disposable camera to take pictures with...(Those should turn out interesting!)

The favorite present of the day had to be the whoopie cushion - thanks Genna! He also got Bakugan, Pokemon, Transformers, glow in the dark star stickers, and a Mario DS game. I'd say that was quite the haul!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 218 - Elise's Birthday

Elise spent most of her day snoozing away - recuperating from the long week.

She woke up to a party just for her...well, kind of. I made 2 cakes today. One for Luke and one for her...(just one layer each - nothing crazy.)

She got 2 new toys and had her first taste of cake...a great day!

Days 216 & 217 - Luke's Happy Birthday?

Wednesday we went to Hollywood Studios where I found my new favorite ride:

This one was so fun...totally worth the longest line of the week. I ended up riding it 3 times with some strategic fast pass action.

I almost caught Luke with a smile on this shot. He gets stubborn when the camera comes out.

Thursday was his 7th birthday. He got in a lot of rides...the park was very empty (because it was almost 100 degrees!) But the heat didn't slow us down.

Of all the food eaten throughout the week...these were the best. Especially the one on the right. It is a pineapple juice float made with pineapple ice cream. Unbelievable. So good, I ate 3 of them this week. (The Disney Detox/Diet starts tomorrow.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Days 214 & 215 - Holy Hot!

Florida is hot. Period.

Yesterday we went to Epcot which on a regular day is my 2nd favorite park. But this day it was too hot to fully enjoy. We did great on the front side, but once we hit the countries, all we did was sweat, so we left and went for a swim.

We came back later for dinner at Biergarten and an obstructed viewing of the fireworks. Luke got heatstroke, and we were all just plain pooped. The good thing is we are all getting close to that 8 glasses of water a day thing down.

Today we did Hollywood Studios. I have a new all time favorite ride now:

I rode it 3 or 4 times it was so fun.

We watched a lot of shows today and ate dinner at 50's Prime Time. But the heat did us in again. It was 94 today (a record high). I hear it is calling for snow this weekend at home.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Days 212 & 213 - Disney Days 1 & 2

I could not be more pooped. But we are having a great time.

Yesterday started with a 4:30 am wake up call, 7:00 am flight, and arrival at the Magic Kingdom by 11:00 am. Round one lasted until 8 pm, and once I got the kids to bed my sister and I held out until midnight.

Today was Animal Kingdom. I did more than I thought we would here. (It is my least favorite park.) But, it was a great day for the Kali River Rapids. Maria and I were first timers on this. Getting soaked never felt so good! It is so hot and humid!!

After a swim and dinner, we took a boat ride into Disney Marketplace. Time for Luke and Maria to part with their spending money. Luke spent all of his at the Lego store, and Maria ended up with a Tinkerbell play set.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Days 210 & 211 - Packing

It seems like the only things I've done the last couple of days have been making lists, doing laundry, and packing.

But, we have the hard part down. (At least I am hoping so.)

I am in a hotel across the street from the airport. As soon as that 4:30 a.m. wake up call gets me coherent enough to realize I'm going to be at Disney World in just a few hours, I'll be as giddy as you can imagine.

It's almost time to "Have a Magical Day!"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 209 - First

First day of October.

First frost.

Chris loves the cold. He loves winter, and I love summer. But fall is my favorite. Sweaters, jeans, and things that smell like pumpkin.

Where he is now, he will not be cold for a long, long time. I am anxious to hear from him to get a weather report.