Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If the shoe fits...

Poor Jim. It seems like, more often than not, if something odd is going to happen with the girls, it happens when I'm at choir and he is home with them.

Tonight was no exception.

As he was helping Beta brush her teeth, he noticed her grabbing a bunch of toilet paper to wipe her nose. He asked her why she was doing that. "Because I have a shoe up my nose", she replies.

Say what?

"A shoe. Alpha did it first."

"ALPHA!", Jim says with authority in his voice. Alpha comes in the bathroom.

"Did you put a shoe up your nose?"

"yes" (eyes cast down)

"Did you tell Beta to put a shoe up her nose?"

"yes, but she took it out."

"No, I didn't," replies Beta.

A quick glance with a flashlight reveals the heel end of a tiny shoe from a Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty playset. Something like this.

About this time, I get home. Jim has Beta lying on her bed with a pair of tweezers and all the lights on. It becomes my job to hold Beta's hands down b/c she keeps trying to block the tweezers from touching her nose.

The tweezers aren't working.

Noooooo! We both think! Not the emergency room AGAIN! (We've been there twice in the past 3 months for Beta's asthma. I just paid the 2nd emergency room bill today. I don't want to have to pay a THIRD one!)

Luckily for us, Jim holds down one side of Beta's nose and tells her to blow. Out shoots a snot-covered pink shoe! I've never been so happy to see snot before!

We both breathe a sigh of relief! And then start trying to explain that we don't put tiny toys in our noses, ears, mouths, or ANY OTHER PLACE on our bodies!

I'm also afraid that we may have to take that Mattel recall seriously and take away their magnetic Polly Pocket toys. I haven't done it yet b/c they love those toys AND I figured my girls were old enough to know better, at 6 and 3. Apparently, they are not.

Jim's now working on his motorcycle. Let's hope it doesn't have any shoes up its nose.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Momma said there'd be days like this...

So here I sit yesterday. Happy to no longer have the grueling commute for work. (ok, ok. it was only a week. but I hated it!) I guess I thought my day would be like one mini-vacation. I was wrong.

My "day" started at 2:20 am when Beta woke me up. She needed to go potty, as usual. While she was washing her hands, I noticed her eyes had yellow gunk oozing out of them. Yuck! Pink eye! Oh no! I washed them off and sent her back to bed. At our real wake up time, she had more gunk. Ok. Doctor's office , here we come!

I'm filing this under the "you just never know" category. At the doctor's, I find out that Beta has ear infections in BOTH ears as well as the eye infection. Wow. Talk about a good call.

$51 and one trip to the pharmacy later, we are back home.

With eye drops.

For those of you who don't know, eye drops and 3 year olds don't mix. Or gel. Or even co-exist.

Which would be another blog post altogether.

So at 3:00, we pick up Alpha. YAY! I get to pick up my baby from school on time! As soon as she gets in the car, she says, "mommy, my ear hurts." I say, "oh, really?" She starts trying to describe the pain. She finally agrees that it feels like when she has an ear infection.


Call #2 to the doctor. Appointment in 1 hour.

While at the doctor's, we wait. And wait. We never have to wait this long. Ironically, this is the same doctor we once waited an hour on at the same time of day. I make a mental note not to use this doctor again. (There's like 12 so we have plenty to choose from.)

While we are waiting in the exam room, Alpha is laying on the table, moaning. I am wishing the doctor would hurry up and get there. All of a sudden, alpha leans over the side and throws up! AAAAACCCKKK! I throw open the door, and thankfully another doctor has just left a patient's room. He grabs a nurse and they help me start to clean her up. There is blood. We are all about to get really worried, but then we see that her nose is bleeding. Whew.

The doctor who helped us says that getting blood into your stomach will make you throw up. The doctor we were there to see, who finally shows up after everything is clean, says that the pain could make her throw up. No one is sure why her nose started bleeding. My guess is that the pain was so bad, and in her inner ear, that it made her nauseous and then sick.

$28 and one trip to the pharmacy later, we are back home.

At 6:00 pm. Wasn't this the time I was happy to avoid?? IRONIC, I tell ya.

And to add insult to injury....

Jim had called that morning and asked if his keys were on the dresser. He rode his motorcycle and ended up leaving his house keys in his other jacket. He figures there's no need for me to bring them to him (I couldn't find them anyway) since I'll surely be home when he gets home.

Well, he got home about 5:30. We got home at 6:00. On the plus side,the garage is a little cleaner.

Everyone got to bed early last night.

And everyone is on antibiotics, and not contagious anyway, so they are at school.

Maybe today will be better.
Except for the eye drops.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Buying children's clothes at consignment sales

As promised, here is my second installment of tips for consignment sales. Today we're going to talk about the fun part of consigning, BUYING more stuff! After all, you know how good the items are that you are selling. Just think of other people with high quality items that happen to be selling them in your children's current sizes! If you know what to look for, you can score some real bargains.

Tips on Buying from Consignment Sales

1. Bring a BIG container! Laundry basket, stroller, new trash can (yes, I've seen it done), cardboard box, ANYTHING to put your prospective purchases in. Even if you expect to "only buy a few things" or "only spend just a little". Your arms won't be able to hold everything. Plus, you'll need to pick out more than you want to buy just so you can have some choices. More on that later.

2. Grab everything! Well, ok. Not literally EVERYTHING at once. However, here is what I witnessed at the Duck Duck Goose sale. These women have their huge containers and they go through the rack grabbing anything remotely interesting. THEN, when they are done, they find a corner and begin sorting through it. That is when they make their decision on whether or not to buy. So, if it looks like you MIGHT like it, grab it. You can always put it back.

3. Go through the racks a second time. This is a corollary to #2 above. Once these women have decided which items they are going to purchase, a sizable number of the items they first grabbed will be put back on the rack. So, wait a little bit and go through your child's size again. There may be stuff you didn't get to see the first time.

4. Double check sizes. I got burned by this just a few months ago in the spring. The rack said size 6. The consignment sale tag said size 6. I bought it for my oldest daughter. I get it home and it won't even button around her! I look at the tag in the dress and it says size 4!!!! Luckily, my second daughter could wear it, but boy was I mad. Ultimately, it was my own fault. So check the garment label and don't just rely on the price tag.

5. Double check for stains/holes/missing buttons. This one burned me as well. (Can you tell I've learned the hard way?) Some items have stains where you can't see them. On the bloomers of a dress, around the collars, on the back. There may be a small tear on the inside. Tears on seams can be fixed. Holes in the middle of a shirt cannot. The owners say they only accept high quality clothing, but I've seen stained and holey garments at all the consignment sales I've been to that the volunteer check-in workers missed. All sales are final at these things so double and triple check before you buy.

6. Shop the half-price sale! This one applies more here in Northwest Arkansas than at Duck Duck Goose. I have done 3 seasons of consignment sales up here now. Except for the sale last week, I got LOTS of my stuff back that was completely fine! This time, I finally wised-up and realized that if my good merchandise is still there on half-price day, then some other people's good merchandise is there, too. Last week at Rhea Lana's, I got a dress for $2, tights for $1.25, and several other items for only $1.50. THOSE are the great bargains we're all looking for! Plus, if you saw an item you loved but didn't want to pay $9 for it, it might just be available for $4.50, provided it doesn't have the dreaded "red dot" that means the consignor doesn't want it to sell for half-price.

7. Buy baby equipment and toys. Equipment has some of the best bargains at the sale! When my first child was a baby, I bought an exersaucer for $10. I saw the same one for sale at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart for closer to $50. I got a great Peg Perego stroller at one sale for $40. They are around $200-$400 brand new!

8. Check out the sides. Look around the walls of the room where the sale is held. This is usually where other items are displayed such as shoes, bedding, books, baby carriers, furniture, hair bows, etc. There are great bargains to be had here as well.

One last note: This is just personal preference. There are certain things I DON'T buy at consignment sales or garage sales either. Underwear, socks, potty seats/chairs, diaper genies, burp cloths. All those items that were more likely to come into contact with bodily fluids. Yes, I know clothes get spit upon and such, but these are items you KNOW were peed or pooped in. I know you can sterilize them, and they may be as good as new. Like I said, this is just my personal preference. If I was just dead broke, I probably would buy some of that stuff used. But I'm not so I figure I can afford new underwear for my kids.

I hope this helps some new moms who may be going to a consignment sale for the first time. There are some great bargains out there. You just gotta know where to look!

Here are links to the 3 main consignment sales that I know about in Northwest Arkansas:

Just Between Friends
Rhea Lana's
2nd Look Consignment Sale. Email

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rhea Lana's Northwest Arkansas Consignment Sale

Today was pick-up day for Rhea Lana's consignment sale. I made $54! I didn't break even with my purchases, though. I purchased $85 worth of items. However, I got 19 items for $85 for an average purchase price of $4.47 per item.

NOW, let's add back in the money I made. If I made $54, or say $55 to make the math super easy, and spent $85, then the net amount I spent was $30. So I essentially got 19 items for $30 which is an average purchase price of $1.58 per item. Whohoo! That's the way, un huh un huh, I like it!

Sorry. Needed a song break there....

I have had limited success at consignment sales in Northwest Arkansas. The Duck Duck Goose sale in Little Rock is MUCH better. I don't know how that lady does it, but her sales are bigger and have more items sold than any I've been to up here.

Anyway, to honor my successful sale, I thought I'd post "Tips on Selling at Consignment Sales". These are strictly OTJ tips. As in, I've probably learned all of these the hard way....

Tips on Selling at Consignment Sales in Northwest Arkansas

1. Bring your BEST! This time, if any item looked a little too worn, like it had been washed 1000 times, I immediately sent it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Those items will sell in Little Rock, but not here in NW Arkansas.

2. Newer clothing sells better. I sold a lot of outfits that were purchased new just one year ago. Yes, it hurt to see the shirt I bought for $9.99 8 months ago sell for $3. But seeing it NOT sell is even worse.

3. Don't combine jeans and shirts to make outfits. This is a tip from Duck Duck Goose as to how to make your items hit their $2 minimum price. I did this in all the past sales up here and didn't sell a one of them. This time, I sold jeans separately and shirts separately, and they just flew off the racks!

4. Original "outfits" sell better than separates. If you went to Gymboree and bought a cute shirt, and the pants to go with it, and the headband, and a hair bow, etc, THAT stuff will sell like hotcakes. Unless you price it too high, but more on that later. If you just buy shirts, and pants, and then match them up at home, they don't seem to sell as well.

5. Toddler clothing sells better than infant clothing. There is SO MUCH infant clothing. So, it's hard for a new mom to sort through it all. Plus, most of the 0-3 month sizes aren't going to be purchased by moms-to-be who are expecting to have showers. It's the larger sizes, the ones where family and friends quit buying clothes for you, that will have you scouring consignment sales like crazy!

6. Price your items low. Yes, it hurts. You know you paid $15 for the entire outfit, she wore it twice, and now you want $12 from a consignment sale. Sorry. Ain't gonna happen! I learned this mistake the first time I sold at Duck Duck Goose. $5 and under seems to work best. Occasionally, higher priced items will sell, if they have lots of extras attached (hats, hair bow, matching shoes, etc.). Most of the time, though, items over about $6 will be left hanging. I overheard these two ladies shopping and saying that one doesn't buy items over $5. The other one didn't buy items over $10. Just like all "sales", you must ask yourself if the item in question is worth the price. It doesn't matter what it's original price was or how much "off" it is.

7. Let your items go for half-price. Yes, this hurts even more. However, I have had many items sold on half-price day that had NOT sold during the regular sale days. If I had not let them go half-price, I would have gotten $0 for a $3 item instead of $1.50.

Well, that's the gist of it. I could come up with a few others, but these are some good, general guidelines to help you maximize your consignment sales. Next up: BUYING at consignment sales!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Scratch that

Well, it's over! My humongous week filled with school, work, consignment sales, and tiredness! Here is an overview:

School - Alpha likes her new teacher. Today they read Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. We saw the play last summer at a rep theater here. She loves it! I hope she begins to make some new friends next week.

Consignment sales - I got lots of cute clothes! I'm also keeping track of my sales online. I haven't yet broken even, but I'm going to come close. This time, I shopped the half-price sale. I kept getting nice things back of mine that didn't sell. So I got smart and figured out there must still be tons of bargains on half-price day. I went tonight and got more stuff!

Work - Well, it wasn't fun while it lasted. I enjoy working, talking with adults, and having a sense of purpose. I don't enjoy mindless data entry. However, that's no longer a concern because I got a call from Accountemps tonight saying that the assignment had been discontinued. So they will start looking for me another job on Monday. I am equally relieved and saddened. I did NOT like the commute, not seeing my girls, or getting home at 6:00. However, I was liking the thought of getting paid, and I still need the hours for my license.

Tiredness - Ugh. I think I could sleep for 24 hours straight. I'm headed to bed as soon as I'm done typing here. I have not worked this much in a long time.

I'm hoping I can get an assignment in town next time. Full time wouldn't be quite so much the burden it is if I can leave and only drive 15 minutes instead of 45.

Ok. Bedtime. I don't think I've ever been more glad that tomorrow is Saturday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stop the world! I want to get off...

OK. Enough is enough! This week is going to be the death of me. I have to get up at 5:30. Leave the house at 7:15. Work from 8-5(!) Drive home for 30-40 mins. Then get supper ready.

Plus, this week I have been busy every night. Monday was drop-off night for the consignment sale. Tuesday was gymnastics. Tonight was consignor-shopping-night for the consignment sale. Tomorrow night is NOTHING! Friday night is the half-price sale. I don't have to go to that, but they had these wonderful smocked dresses that would be almost the perfect price on half-price night.

Maybe next week will be better. I'll get paid. So it might make it feel worth it.

I want a job closer to home. WAY closer to home. Commuting stinks!

And on that note, I must get to bed. Feel free to leave comments. I like comments! Unless of course they're along the lines of "you lazy! I work from 7am-6pm every day! Get over it!" Then, I don't like comments so much.

Have a good week, all!

P.S. Alpha likes her teacher now! He plays the guitar for them.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This is a day of new beginnings...

Well, it's here. The BIG NIGHT before the BIG DAY! And it's a big day for 2 reasons. More on that later...

Alpha had her pajamas on at 7:30. It's almost like Christmas for her. We put her name on all her school supplies tonight and organized her backpack, which in her case is really more of a big purse.

The Meet-Your-Teacher night went ok. Her teacher is a young guy and it's his FIRST year to teach! I talked with a fellow PTO mom, and she said she likes new teachers. They are still fresh and excited and have lots of energy. This guy seems VERY nice. He was the director of an after-school program for 6 years so he's not totally new to kids. Plus, the other 3 teachers have all been there for a long time so if he has any problems, I'm sure they'll help him out.

Alpha didn't really say much about him. She likes that her classroom has individual desks instead of tables. She was sad that she didn't see any of her friends from last year there. 3 of the kids from last year are in her class this year.

Anyway, she's still very excited about school. And so are we!

Now...part 2
I am starting a new job tomorrow. I don't normally talk about work on here because I like to keep jobs, not lose them, and you never know who is going to read this stuff. However, I will provide a brief update. I am about 1000 hours away from being able to apply for my CPA license. Therefore, I need to work. Well, no CPA firms in town are hiring at this time of year. So I signed up with Accountemps. My first assignment starts TOMORROW and is at the Wal-Mart Home Office! Now, that's all I'm going to say about actual work. You just can't ever be too careful.

What's buggin' me is that this is FULL-TIME work. 8am-5pm. That sucks. I want to work part-time, but there just aren't many part time jobs out there. Plus, I NEED these hours. But, this means I can't take Alpha to school tomorrow or any of the next 30 days. WAAAAHHH! It also means I have to put her in after-school care. I know my kids don't NEED me as much as they did when they were infants and toddlers, but I still liked being there when school got out. Alpha would tell me about her day and show me her work. I also had time to fix a home-cooked meal and be calm by supper time. At least this is only temporary. However, I should probably try for full-time during tax season to get my hours in.

Anyway, wish us all luck tomorrow! Jim is picking Alpha up after school on her first day. Because I told him to. :) The rest of the week, she'll have to go to after-school care.

I may not post again for several days. We have something planned for each of the next 3 nights! Yikes! And I won't be getting home until 6:00 each night. Please pray for my sanity.

One last thing.....
Tonight, as I was explaining to Alpha how her daddy would take her and pick her up from school tomorrow, I told her I was going to work at Wal-mart. She got excited and asked if I got to wear one of those vests! I told her, sadly, no, I have to wear work clothes. I guess, at this age, the coolest job I could have, in her eyes, would be as a checker for Wal-mart!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Save the Last Dance for Me

This past Tuesday, Beta's summer dance class came to an end. Parents were invited to come watch. All the video cameras were out in full force! We used our digital camera with some very good results.

And now....ladies and gentlemen....To showcase a beautiful 3 year old and some wonderfully savvy tech know-how, I present

Beta on YOU-TUBE!

Some notes before you watch: These are 3 & 4 year olds. For most of them, this is their first dance class. The smaller girl you see running around is someone's little sister who was not in the class. We filmed little clips of the class and strung them together. A little past the middle, you will see my favorite clip. It's the one where you hear me say "Lord, have mercy!"

ENJOY! Just click on the arrow right in the middle of the video frame.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Open up and say AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Well, we hit a new milestone today. Beta had her first visit to the dentist.

She probably wishes it were her last.

Alpha went today, too, but it was not her first visit. Plus, Alpha isn't scared of anything! (except mean male teachers...see previous post)

Alpha went first. It wasn't hard to determine that. The hygienist asks "who's going first?" and Alpha says "me!" and Beta says "Alpha!" I think one problem was that Beta got to watch everything they did to Alpha. So when it came time for Beta, she put on the brakes and refused to walk over to the chair. Or sit in it. Or open her mouth. Or do anything remotely resembling compliance with common-sense dental standards.

We eventually got her to get her teeth cleaned. Well, I'm not sure exactly how many teeth, other than the front ones, the hygienist could reach, but she did get some fluoride in her mouth. The dentist even looked in her mouth. Well, with some mechanical assistance. Now THAT was scary to me! But it worked. I tell ya. Pediatric Dentistry is not for the faint of heart.

The best part of all...NO CAVITIES!!!! On either girl! Whew! No more out-of-pocket expenses.

Alpha was absolutely perfect! I've got to come up with something extra special to give her for being so good. She's also getting her 6 year molars! I had forgotten about them. She said a few weeks ago that her mouth felt funny back there. I figured it had just gotten burned by hot food or she had bit her cheek or something. She didn't complain much so I didn't worry about it.

Now I know that she was getting her first permanent teeth! She still hasn't lost any baby teeth. But that's one milestone I'm not ready to get to. It's the first milestone I haven't hurried toward. I remember HATING loose teeth.

Well, I could go into more gory detail, but nobody wants that. I wish I had had a camera to show you all the waiting room. It was decorated like the ocean and had huge fish hanging from the ceiling. It was the absolute coolest waiting room I've ever been in. It looked like a museum display. I wish they had had that when I was a kid.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The dreaded "Mister"

Oh my goodness! My momma-heart is aching tonight. We drove up to school tonight to see if they had class roster lists posted. They did. Alpha was SO excited about seeing who her teacher was even though she doesn't actually KNOW any of the 1st grade teachers. So, we spot the lists, get out of the car and start looking. Alpha spots her name right off. I look at the teacher and think, "who?" Last year they had 3 1st grade teachers. This year they have 4. Alpha is in the new teacher's class.

The new teacher's first name, according to the list, is "Chris".

Hmmm. I think. There are some other names that are shortened by the computer. So I think it must be "Christine".

Nope. A quick look on the updated school website reveals a "Mr."

Alpha's first grade teacher is a man.

She is not happy.

The ironic part is that last week, out of the blue, she says, "I sure hope my 1st grade teacher isn't a man." A quick look at the yearbook showed 3 women teachers so I told her she was probably safe. Then, they didn't have the lists posted yesterday so she came home, looked in her yearbook, and picked out which teacher she wanted.

To top it all off, Mr. Dustin, Jim's friend, was visiting tonight when we got back with the news. Without thinking, and quit kiddingly, he says, "Wow, I wouldn't want a man teacher. He's probably mean."

So at bedtime, Alpha is in her room crying. It breaks my heart! Jim & I both tried to reassure her, since she hasn't even met this guy yet, that she might just like him. I pointed out the new principal, whom she really likes, and asked if he was her teacher would she like him, and she said yes.

This makes all those sleepless nights and temper tantrums seem easy. It's so hard to help your child realize and deal with the realities of life. As an adult with *ahem* several years experience in the classroom, I know that we'll have no idea what he's like until we start classes. But trying to explain that to a scared 6 year old, at 10:00 at night, is difficult.

So keep us in your prayers. This Friday is an open house/meet your teacher night. It's going to be interesting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Random musings

I can't think of anything coherent to write tonight. So here's some random thoughts from this weekend and today.

Friday night, we went out to eat at Jim's Razorback Pizza. Not my Jim, another Jim :) My Jim loves supreme....

HOLD IT! NEW IDEA! Now I DO have something to post about.

As I was sitting here typing this, the whole house was quiet. Jim was playing a video game and the girls were asleep. All of a sudden, from our bathroom, I hear a low, long sigh. THERE'S SOMEONE IN MY BATHROOM! Had this been 20 years ago, I totally would have shot out of my own skin and ran screaming through the house. However, being the mature adult that I am, I just raised an eyebrow.

As I slowly step toward the bathroom, I feel wetness under my feet. There, on the bath mat in front of the tub, lies Beta. Asleep. I walk over to her and feel the back of her panties. WET Before I do anything else, I run and get Jim and say, "you gotta see this!"

We cleaned her up, cleaned the floor up, and then carried her back to her room, all while she was still asleep.

My best guess, of which I'm almost certain, is that Beta needed to go potty. (She still feels the need to tell me, however, when she gets up during the night. She also likes to use our bathroom instead of hers.) She must have seen me and Jim playing Lego Star Wars II on the xbox, waited too long outside the TV room, and didn't make it to our bathroom in time. Or maybe she just woke up, headed straight for here, and still didn't make it on time.

Either way, that was NOT what I expected when I came back here, exhausted.

And just when you think you're done with potty accidents. Oh, and she was probably too embarrased to come tell me. So she thought she'd just hang out a little bit.

So there's my post for tonight. David, Jennifer, get ready! This too, can happen to you.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bringing back memories...

I took some food over to Sheila's house tonight. Everyone was doing as well as could be expected. It brought back tons of memories, though, on what it's like to lose someone close to you. She and the kids seemed ok just talking and stuff. The problem is going to be tonight when everyone goes home and they are in that house without him. It was hard enough on me, as a daughter, to lose my father. I can't begin to imagine how it would be to lose my husband. I don't even want to think about it.

I want to reassure them that they will eventually be able to wake up without crying. And make it through a day without tears, and even laugh again! What I can't assure them is that they will "get over it". You never get over it. You learn a new life that doesn't involve him, and you learn to be ok with it. But you never forget him. You never encounter a new milestone or experience without thinking "I wonder what dad would have thought about this!"

Ok. I'm about to make myself cry. I'd better quit.

Go tell someone you love them. Do it now. Tomorrow may be too late.

And thanks to everyone who prayed. The other morning Sheila asked for a sign that everything was going to be ok. She woke up with a sense of peace. I think God touched her.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Prayers Please

I have a prayer request for anyone reading this. A fellow PTO mom, Sheila, has had a tragedy strike her family. This afternoon, her husband, Dave, had a stroke. He's only 39. He's in the ICU right now and is stable, but not anywhere near out of the woods. They gave him some medicine that seems to be helping.

Dave is self-employed and Sheila is a stay-at-home mom. They have 3 kids ages 17, 13, & 11. PLEASE keep them in your prayers tonight and tomorrow.

Update: Things are looking grim. His stroke was on both sides of his brain rather than just one. The doctors told her people don't usually wake up from that. PLEASE continue to pray for Sheila and her family. They need all the prayers they can get right now.

Update2: Dave passed away at 6:45 am this morning. Please keep Sheila and her children in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just pictures

I've been writing too much. And I haven't posted pictures here for the last few posts. So this post will have nothing but pictures. Well, maybe some slight commentary on each one.

Here is Beta after her haircut. Her curls are not all gone, but it didn't curl as much as we thought it would. It's sure easier to take care of now.

Here is her hair from the back.
That's all natural curl.

Here is Alpha after her haircut. I wanted it cut to chin length. She said, "No! I don't want it to my chin." We asked her how long she wanted it, and she pointed to her ears!

We cut it to her chin. She'll thank us later.

Here is Alpha all decked out in her Jasmine costume. Maybe Halloween will come early this year!

Here is Beta in the new Belle dress. I had some toys left over from previous gift-buying occasions so I pulled them out the other day. This was one of them.

One last funny story:
This morning, while I was in the shower no less, Beta comes running into the bathroom to tell me that her "neck-eee" shoes are too small, gosh darnit, and we're going to have to go buy her some new ones. (Remember, her sister got new ones yesterday.) I thought for a moment and then said, "Your Nike shoes?" She said yes. Alpha had called them "neck-eee" shoes.

Monday, August 6, 2007

My how time flies...

I'm kind of feeling down tonight. Let me detail 4 things that happened today.

1. While the girls were eating breakfast, and I was putting away dishes, we watched a few minutes of a new show on TLC called "Bringing Home Baby". Instead of "A Baby Story" where they end with the birth, this show started with them coming home from the hospital. I saw the end of one show and the first few minutes of the next one. (As a side note, they must have researched these moms and found those that were likely to have NO post-partum depression whatsoever b/c these ladies were actually smiling and laughing. They didn't look like me those first few days at home one bit!) Anyway, it was a cute show and reminded me so much of how little my girls used to be.

2. While we were at the library, the girls played with a little baby named Phoebe. She could pull up and stand holding onto the wall and hit it really hard. Both girls had a blast watching her. Once again, it made me think back....

3. We went shoe shopping for Alpha this afternoon. She'll need tennis shoes for PE when school starts and all she has are crocs. We bought her a size 1.5 and she tied them herself! (Remind yourself that she's only 6 years old and is now out of "kids sizes".)

4. The log that broke the camel's back....I was sorting through old clothing finding items for a consignment sale. I pulled out a bunch of clothes to see if Beta could wear them this winter. They were size 4T. She pulled on each pair of pants and they all fit NOW! I'm talking, if we were in a store, I would so buy them. Her 3T's are up around her ankles and size 4T fits her perfectly.

WAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! My "little one", what I used to call her, is wearing size 4T! That means she's getting closer to not being in T's. She's less than 6 months away from her 4th birthday! I don't have babies any more! I wish I could just stop time for a little bit longer....I mean, there are definite advantages to them getting older. But after seeing those newborns and that near-toddler today, the girls just looked so old to me! I guess I didn't realize how old they were getting.

Or how old I'm getting, for that matter. But we won't go there tonight...
Nor will I discuss how my body still looks like I had my "little one" 6 weeks ago....
(The late Erma Bombeck once noted that she kept telling people her belly bulge was because she "carried the baby low" when the "baby" was 18 years old!)

Ok. That's enough pouting. As my cousin's bathroom plaque says, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!" I'm sure I'll be fine tomorrow. At least we've got 2 more years until kindergarten...

It's alright

Well, we survived the weekend! It was a really good weekend all around. Like my SIL, Robin, said, "All that worrying for nothing."

The girls swam in the lake! I was assuming there would be a beach, but there wasn't. Jim said it was just a dock. They were on a ski boat and a pontoon boat. Jim described Alpha as one of those battery-powered fish. As soon as you put her in the water, she goes and keeps going. He said she probably SWAM for 3 hours straight! Beta got in the water with him, but she "maintained a FIRM grip on his arms." Yes, they both had life jackets on. He took some pictures, but they are on his computer so I can't upload them here.

Ah HA! But I can put a link to them here! He posted them on flickr.

My weekend went well, too. I got to meet and hear Joel Raney play. He's a composer for Hope Publishing Co. If you've sang in a church choir recently, you've probably sung something he wrote. He gave us some tips on improvising at the piano as well as accompanying on hymns. The concert Friday night with him and Jane Holstein was AWESOME! I love it when musicians make organ music new and exciting and accessible by everyone.

The group who hosted the conference was the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts.

So overall we all had a wonderful weekend! Oh, and no sharks were spotted in the lake!

Friday, August 3, 2007

This weekend

Well, in about an hour, I will be leaving on my trip. The associate organist at our church, and I , are going to a worship music conference tonight and tomorrow. It should be interesting. There is a concert tonight and then workshops tomorrow. I hope the concert is interesting. At least it's not the Guild of Organists. Organ concerts are either powerful and riveting or incredible snooze fests.

Jim and the girls are headed to the lake tomorrow with this Community Group from church that we joined. I'm kind of bummed that I don't get to go with them b/c this is the girls' first time in a lake! Ever! I want to hear what they're going to say and see how they react.

Jim, of course, is not too sympathetic.

See, I am a Shark Week Officiando. This week is shark week. I have been watching The Discovery Channel nearly every day! The girls have even seen plenty of shark shows with me. I've been careful to turn it off if it got too scary. Well, the girls have already broached the most important question, "Are there sharks in this lake?" I have assured them that sharks live in salt water in the ocean and that this is a freshwater lake with ABSOLUTELY NO SHARKS! I've warned them not to get there tomorrow and scream at daddy that there are sharks in there. (I've also taken great care not to mention that bull sharks, some of the fiercest sharks around, CAN live in freshwater and have been found up river, far from the ocean.)

So Jim is afraid that he'll have to spend all day on the beach because of the sharks. I'm not sure he realizes that Beta doesn't get in very deep water anyway. She'll only get up to her neck, even if you're carrying her, and she's only about 3 feet tall. It's very frustrating. Alpha, on the other hand, is getting more confident with her life jacket. So much so that I'm afraid she'll end up out near a swimming dock before he'll know what happened.

Oh well.

I just wish I could be there. But this trip was planned before the lake day got moved to tomorrow so I'll just have to trust the good father that he is and hope he takes it easy on them. (And doesn't sneak up on them in the lake and scare the bejeezus out of them!)

Ok. Enough talk about sharks.
Here is a link to a cute little tropical fishy.