Monday, May 26, 2008

A non-10 list

Things I learned this weekend, in no particular order:

1. I should be a clothing designer. I need to design a line of sleepwear for 30-something moms who aren't "old", but also aren't college coeds either. With the current sleepwear offerings, even at various stores, I can look like grandma, a college sorority chick, or a slut. Take your pick. Oh, and everyone is supposed to sleep in LONG PANTS even when the temp tops 80 degrees! Puh-leeze!

2. The store, Forever 21, has perfected the art of swimsuit-cover-up-as-dress. They call them tunics.

3. Patio furniture is either very expensive or very cheap. There is no middle ground.

4. If you wake up one morning and have nothing you "want" or "need", suddenly coming into some money will bring to mind more things than there is money for.

5. Pretty soon we'll all be paying sales tax on online purchases because some websites are getting smart and asking you what county you live in.

6. Kids can break things even when they're being good.

7. Kids will make a mess no matter how many times you've warned them not to.

8. You should probably mulch or cover your garden with something in the fall so that it doesn't become another rainforest next spring.

9. The day you plan for your yardwork and/or yard project, it will rain.

10. 3-day weekends, even with a fourth day thrown in, are never long enough.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vegetarians and peanut butter sandwiches.

A few weeks ago, Beta had her second annual allergy test. Surprisingly, she did not react to peanuts AT ALL! So, this past Friday, we went in for a "peanut challenge". Now, it's not some new show the Food Network is offering. It's where they feed her lots of peanut butter and see if she reacts to it.

They began with 1/8 of a teaspoon. Then moved to 1/4. Then 1/2. Then 1, 1.5, and 2 teaspoons! And let me tell ya, 2 teaspoons of peanut butter may not sound like a lot, but it's a heckuva lot more than I'd ever put on a cracker! Beta got tired of eating. We had to convince her to eat the last few crackers.

And the results are in...........drum roll please..........




allergic to peanuts any more!!!!!

YAY! She also, quite frankly, is sick of peanut butter. I think she got her fill on Friday. She HAS eaten chex mix, though, which is made with peanut flour and is strictly taboo for peanut allergies.

So now we don't have to terrify day care workers with "oh by the way, my daughter's allergic to peanuts". Her current preschool never had a problem with it, even after we brought in the epi-pen. The mother's day out program we used to go to, though, was all "oh my gosh, can she be near it? can other kids bring it? what do we DO???" Yes, it was annoying.

I think she's most excited that she gets to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the other kids at preschool now.

And one final, unrelated note......
We are sitting at lunch today. Beta won't eat her hamburger. We tell her she must eat some of the meat and not just the potato chips we had with it. Alpha responds, "Mary (kid in her class) said she wanted to be a vegetarian, but she really just wants to be an animal doctor."

Ba dum ching!

So from now on Beta will be saying, "Ala peanut butter sandwiches!"

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gone, baby, Gone

We sold the organ today.


She's gone.

She now lives in Texas, somewhere.

Hmmm, for those of you who don't know, a little background.

It was August of 2002. Jim's birthday was coming up in September. For HIS birthday, he said he wanted ME to have an organ. I had just started playing piano for churches and wanted to learn the organ. He researched them, called people, called real organists, and got a pretty good idea of what a good organ should do.

He did all of that for me!

How could I say no?

So, in November of 2002, she arrived. All golden wood and lights. Alpha, who was 18 months old at the time, LOVED it! She would hit a button, the lights would light up, and she would squeal with delight! We didn't let her play with it, but it was so cute to watch!

So I began learning. It was hard. Mainly because I had a toddler with me. I would plug in the headphones and practice while she took a nap. I used it to work up hymns for church on Sunday. I even practiced for several weddings on it.

After Beta came along, the organ just kind of sat there. If I didn't have much time to learn it with 1 kid, I CERTAINLY didn't have time to learn it with 2.

That was about the last few times I played it in earnest. Once we moved, there was no reason to play it. I don't have a church job up here, and have no reason to believe I'll get one. I don't even really want one, now, because I have another job and I enjoy sitting in church with my family.

So for nearly the past 2 years, the organ has sat there, unplayed. And luckily unharmed. (unlike a certain drawer in the bathroom that now needs to be replaced......that's for another post) The girls would use the bench as a diving board and jump from 3 feet up into the beanbag. (Last summer I tried to tell them that if they could jump off the organ bench, they could SURELY jump into a swimming pool. No such luck.)

But some nice young man from Texas came and bought it today. Jim listed it on the internet. We'd listed it several places the past few months, and were beginning to think we weren't going to be able to sell it. But then this guy emailed. He lives near Dallas and left in the middle of the night to be at our house between 8 and 9 this morning! He offered to get there earlier, but Jim assured him 8-9 am on Saturday morning was quite all right. :)

Anyway, this guy seemed VERY thrilled to receive it. He commented on it being in excellent condition and I couldn't help but think "that's because no one's played it in about 4 years!"

So now it's gone. It was a bit sad, but I knew it needed a new home. I also know this guy will give it a great home and probably utilize it to its full potential! That's exciting for me! It's a good organ that deserves to be played.

And now the fun begins.....what do we do with the proceeds?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How does your garden grow?

Here are pictures of my updated flower beds. I planted yellow marigolds and dianthus. I LOVE dianthus!

I also LOVE the macro function on my digital camera. One of these days, maybe I'll have a DSLR so I can REALLY do close-ups. (DSLR is what the pros use.)

My garden is on the north side of the house. Hence, the shade. Hence, hostas.

I've never bought marigolds before. They are usually orange, and I don't like orange. But these are yellow. Little drops of sunshine!

Here was my gardening "supervisor". She didn't want to help plant. Just stand there and tell me I missed a spot.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

THE party.

It finally happened! We had a friends-invited birthday party for Alpha. It was Saturday afternoon. She enjoyed it immensely!

We bought a bunch of "punch-balls" for the kids to play with. My brother and I used to love these when we were kids. It's just a rubber band attached to a huge balloon. But they are great fun!

I planned for 12 kids. We had about 8. These gift bags have Hannah on one side and Miley on the other. Saturday morning, Alpha and Beta were arguing. They were saying "Mine have Hannah Montana" and "Mine have Miley". So obviously they were fighting over the same darn bag! I laughed and explained it to them. Beta said, "It's magic!"

Happy Birthday!

She got to open her presents with all her friends around. She was very excited.

Here is one of our attendees. This little one will be 1 year old in about a week. I'm standing next to our old microwave cart with my legs against the cabinet doors so she can't open it. It's amazing how un-child-proofed our house is now!

Friday, May 16, 2008

What happens when you split up in the grocery store...

Why are kids so messy?

Why are kids so messy? Tonight, we went out to eat. Beta took her sprite with her in the car. EVEN WITH A LID, as she was getting in the car, she DROPPED it! Sprite pooled in the floor of our car. I will NEVER buy a used car from people with young children........

Later, as we are leaving Wal-mart, another disgusting thing happened. I'd let both girls buy new tooth brushes. Alpha's had been found on the floor of the bathroom more than once. As we are walking out, Alpha CAN'T WAIT. So she OPENS her tooth brush. AND.....IT FALLS ONTO THE GROUND!!!!!!!! I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! (apologies to Dave Barry)


Monday, May 12, 2008

Where did my baby go?

Well, today was the day! 7 years ago, that is. Seven years ago today, I became a mother. Little Alpha arrived in this world on her own time schedule. First, she was so restless she kicked a hole in the loving bubble that held her. So my water broke and I went into labor 3 weeks early, on May 11. (ok, I know you can't prove that, but honestly, that child would not, and still cannot, be still! She's in gymnastics. Fate?) Then, 23 1/2 hours later, she was finally born into the world when I decided I'd had enough. (There's more to it than that, but I'm not going to recount the birth story.)

So here we are. Alpha's seventh birthday! This birthday is really weird for me because I acutely remember turning 7. Not 6, or 8, or 9, but 7. So I hope I made this one extra special for her.

Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I'll let the rest of these do the talking. I'll add commentary where I think an explanation is needed. Oh, pooh, you know I'll say something after every picture! I can't keep my big mouth shut!

I found the cutest balloon at Party City! It is a giant butterfly. Butterflies are Alpha's favorite animal. Unfortunately, this one only lasted a few hours. It got caught on the top of the china cabinet. Alpha was quite sad. So today, I went to our Party City and bought another one. She was so happy! She's named the new one "rainbow."

Alpha wanted an analog clock. Not a digital. Which is good because I would not have gotten her a digital one. She needs to learn to tell time on a good, old-fashioned clock with hands.

Well, I kind of broke my rule about no sibling gifts on birthdays. I bought Alpha some pajamas, which she needed anyway but could double as a birthday present. So, I also bought Beta some. I knew she'd be jealous of everything Alpha was getting. I didn't wrap them. I just stuck them in a plain box and handed them to her. She loves them! Hers have monkeys. Alpha's have butterflies.

After opening presents, we went to Maggie Moo's for dessert! Since we had cake yesterday, and we'll be having cake on Saturday for her friend party, I thought she'd like ice cream. Maggie Moo's has a wonderful dark chocolate ice cream that Alpha LOVES! She got a big scoop of it mixed with gummi bears. (I know.....ick)

Here she is eating her ice cream and loving it!

Both girls wore their new pajamas to bed. Alpha is holding her butterfly VIP from Littlest Pet Shop, standing under her butterfly poster, and wearing her butterfly pajamas. Beta is doing a dance pose in her monkey pajamas. When I was tucking Beta into bed tonight, she said "no! Don't cover up my monkeys!"

"Flutter" the newest interactive pet we own.

The rest of her presents: a desk lamp.

A new gymnastics leotard, Hannah Montana shirt, and rainbow dress.

A blue shirt with a jewel butterfly and khaki capris.

Alpha went to bed so happy! She even voluntarily said thank you for all the presents! Yay! Maybe some of our lessons are getting through to her.

Now, if I could just stop time at this moment.....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My new bathing suit

I just had to show y'all a picture of my new bathing suit! It arrived today and I love it! Actually, it arrived Monday. Well, the top half. I searched all through the obviously empty box and finally called Land's End and said "where's the rest of it?"

Oh, and did you think I meant a picture of ME in the new bathing suit? I would not do that to y'all. LOL!

By the way, Land's End was extremely nice and prompt! They immediately sent me another one with no shipping fee. I also get to send the "defective" one back with no shipping. Yay! Of course, it was their fault so I would expect no less, but it's nice to know I didn't have to remind them of that.

I also have a picture of my new black sandals. They came today as well. They are not meant to go with the new bathing suit. I need them to match these black capris I bought over a month ago. The sandals and capris are part of my summer work wardrobe. I don't have many summer work clothes. That means I get to go shopping in the coming months!

Now that my suit's here, I can't wait for vacation! (of course, I couldn't wait for vacation before it got here either!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A ticking time bomb

Stop this train!!!! I want to get off!!!!

Friday night, Jim felt fine. Really! Saturday morning, he says his stomach hurts. Then his throat. Then, next thing I know, he gets to lay around playing World of Warcraft all day while I clean.

He misses church. We move our Community Group meeting to someone else's house.

His symptoms include tiredness, achiness, and now major congestion. He's feeling somewhat better now, but he's still not 100%.

So last night, at 1:00 am when Beta crawls into our bed, I think nothing of it. Until she asks to go back to her room. Picking her up, her little body is BURNING UP! I take her temperature. 102.9!!!!

Beta also felt fine last night. She and Alpha even played together quite nicely before bedtime. Without fighting. Hmmm....maybe that should have been a clue...

AAAAHHHHH! I'm surrounded by 2 sick people who like to give me kisses! I feel fine right now. But how do I know I won't feel horrible tomorrow? Or this weekend? I'm kind of nervous. I'm washing my hands as much as I can, but I can't help feeling like it's too little too late.


Monday, May 5, 2008

My Day Off!

Today I had a day off! It was a teacher inservice day for Alpha. (which just coincidentally happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo.....) So I kept Beta home and we all had a day off!

To start things off, we all slept in. I got up at 7:30. The girls got up about 8:00. Poor Jim has a cold but had to go to work. :(

The girls woke up, ate breakfast, and then played together quite happily for a couple of hours.

We then went to Beta's preschool to retrieve one of her webkinz that she left there on Friday. (Bedtime last night was not good......) We also went to a garden center and explored some new plant options for the front yard.

When we got home, we were going to eat lunch and then head to the park, at Alpha's request. Suddenly, I had an impulsive idea! Let's have a PICNIC in the park!

I pulled out my "picnic orb". It's a big, plastic ball filled with varying sizes of plastic plates and bowls. It also comes with 6 cups, a salt & pepper shaker, and some flatware. We got it as a wedding gift and have used it exactly once! (We don't picnic very often.) I wouldn't let Jim get rid of it, though, because it is still SO COOL!

So, here are our pictures from our picnic in the park. Enjoy!

Here is the "picnic orb" along with our food on the neat sheet that thankfully was stored in the trunk of our car. The girls would not take a picnic table. Oh, no. It had to be the GROUND!

Beta loved carrying the picnic orb. She was thrilled with it!

After lunch, we played on the playground. Beta can do the first monkey bar, but that's it. She swings out and then puts her feet back on the platform. One time, I was at the car, and she couldn't swing back. So this other mother had to get her down b/c I had my hands full and was about 50 feet away. I thanked her profusely when I got back.

Here is Beta with the bubbles! They fought over who would get the yellow bubbles because they had more bubble solution than the purple or blue bubbles. Argh. I'm sick of this fighting! I told them to hush and we'd figure it out when we got to the park. I guess you can tell who won....

Since the whole district was out today, Alpha saw a boy from her class there. We shared our dessert with him and then he and Alpha played together quite a bit. I think this picture is so cute, but Jim's not too happy about a boy with his arm around his daughter. LOL!

Here is Alpha at the Castle. It's a famous landmark, kind of like the Old Mill in NLR.

I got this cute one of both girls when Beta asked me to pick her up and put her on this ledge. Alpha went around to the front and poked her head through the door that Beta is standing in front of.

Ok. Maybe this wasn't nice. But this couple was sitting on this bench in the wonderful dappled sunlight. And they were asleep!!! I know the guy was asleep and it sure looked like the lady was as well. I just thought it was funny. It was a wonderful afternoon to sit outside and take a nap. I almost wish I could have joined them!