Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'll be back in business tomorrow.

The laundry business that is.

We went to Lowes this morning and brought a new washer and dryer.  I've been eyeing up the Electrolux product line for close to a year now, but I didn't want to spend the money on them.  They're pricey and buying them when I had functioning machines didn't exactly make sense.  Since our washer decided to bite the dust yesterday, we had no choice but to buy a new one.  It didn't make sense to me to get a fancy new washer and keep the dryer that has seen better days (I think it's been leaking gas since we moved here 23 months ago--not good, I know).  So off we went to Lowes to buy a new washer and dryer.  Bryan decided to spring for the pedestals, too.  I'll get to put all my laundry stuff in one area instead of having to use my Ikea shelving for laundry stuff.  

While I got the washer and dryer that I wanted, I did have to sacrifice aesthetics to save some money.  I really wanted a blue or aqua washer and dryer, but it's not worth accruing debt to get a cool color.  So I got plain old boring white, but the folks at Electrolux gave their white a cool name.  It's "Island White".  I would have loved to have had the Mediterranean Blue appliances, but it wasn't worth spending over $300 for a cool color.  No one ever goes in my laundry room so I guess the color doesn't matter.  And really, it's not like I'm going to start showing off my unfinished basement laundry room to everyone that stops by.  So even if I did have the cool color, no one would see it.

Since we have a bad track record with washers, we opted to buy the extended warranty.  So we should be good for the next 5 years.  I'm hoping that the new machines will last me at least 10 years.  That would be really nice and would make the price a little easier to swallow.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why now?

Bryan is getting ready to head out to California for the week on a business trip.  So I'm going to be doing the single parent thing from Monday until Saturday morning.  The week is already filled with obligations, so I'm going to be busy.  The last thing I need is a broken appliance.

I went downstairs to do some laundry this morning and I noticed that the clothes in the washer were awfully wet (insert unenthusiastic "Yay!" with sarcastic inflection here).  So I figured I should do another spin cycle and see if that helped.  It didn't.  Another washer bites the dust.  This is our second washing machine in 9 years.  What on Earth are we doing to these things?  Both of my girls had pretty bad reflux as babies so we have used our washers more than the average consumer.  Each washer did 1-2 loads a day at a minimum for a full year before going back to normal levels of use, and each endured a round of potty training.  The dryer has been a trooper.  The faithful dryer has been serving us without fail for over 8 years.  Thanks to onesie snaps, the pain has worn off the inside of the dryer in many places.

Tomorrow, Bryan and I will have to go to Lowes and pick out a new washer and dryer.  I'm praying that they can have them delivered on Sunday.  I have laundry piling up and I need to wash Bryan's clothes for his trip.  This seriously could not have happened at a worse time.  And worst of all, I still haven't decided what type of washer I want.  I've been trying to decide what I want for nearly 2 years.  I can't decide between a front loader or an agitator free HE machine that is a top loader.  I just know that I need a machine that can accommodate my king-sized comforter. 

So now I get to stress out about a washer and dryer as well as Bryan's upcoming travel. Ugh.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pop Quiz!

Ever feel like God wants a little humor and so he throws a little pop quiz your way?  I do.  I'm pretty sure a few minutes ago I had a pop quiz.  It's amazing how everything can go from perfectly normal to crazy in the blink of an eye.

Despite my protests, I wound up outside watching Ellie.  Madeline went outside for Mr. Softee and then stayed outside playing with the neighbors.  Ellie wanted to go play, too.  The problem with Ellie is I have to be out there with her.  I didn't want to be outside, but you can't just let an almost 4 year old go out front by herself.  So I capitulated to her pleading to go play outside. While I was out there I figured I'd clean all the trash out of my car and vacuum out all the cracker crumb debris.  Everything was going beautifully.  The kids were happy, I was cleaning (which is Karen for happiness) and the dog was behaving inside (that's what I was choosing to believe--more on that later).

So out of nowhere the universe shifted and it was pop quiz time.  The neighbors left for a t-ball game and Madeline decided it was time to run around the corner to try and attract more kids to play with.  So I get a frantic Ellie asking where Madeline is.  I tell her she's with the neighbors (that's before I knew they had left) and she starts freaking out.  So I come out of the garage and Madeline is rounding the corner to come home asking if another friend can play with her now.  So in my annoyed state (because she ran off and didn't tell me where she was going) I shouted at her and told her no.  I let her know that it was time to play with Ellie.  

Less than a minute later Madeline is having another one of her the world is ending overly dramatic moments because the ball went across the street.  So I tell her to go get it and stop crying.  Mind you, we taught her how to safely cross a street last year.  So my child decides to run across the street without looking both ways.  I shouted at her to look both ways before coming back.  She ignores me and bolts back across the street, only this time there's a car coming right for her.  Yay! I got to experience anger and fear at the same time.  Thankfully, she was spared and did not get hit by the car.  I don't think she understood the gravity of the situation she nearly encountered.  I started ranting at her about how careless she was and told her it was time to go inside.  I'm sure it was quite a scene.

Somehow on their way in, the ball wound up in the street a second time.  I was about to have Madeline properly cross the street to get it, but our neighbor from across the street ran and got it for her. Only now Ellie is screaming her head off.  I didn't see what happened, but I'm assuming that she fell because her knee was all bloody.  She managed to scrape off a wart that was on her knee and it was bleeding quite a lot.

We moved into the house so I could bandage up Ellie.  I had blood dripping all over the floor while I patched her up.  Ellie who is usually a trooper for this type of stuff was inconsolable.

Once I finished up with Ellie I started to move on to the task of cleaning the blood off the floor.  This is where naughty Mr. Furkins re-enters the story.  As I go to get paper towels and windex, Oscar decided that he was going to help with the mess.  I can't tell you how repulsed I was to see the dog licking up Ellie's blood.  I chased him away so I could finish cleaning the floor.  

Amazing how much can go wrong in a matter of 4 minutes. It was like the day had been suddenly turned upside down.  I handled the situation with as little grace as you can imagine (that means I probably failed the quiz).  I also discovered that Oscar was chewing on some toys the girls had on the steps while we were outside, so he wasn't behaving like I had assumed he was.

Now that the craziness has passed I can sit down and collect myself.  I'm thankful that Madeline didn't get run over and that Ellie's knee has stopped bleeding.  Here's hoping that the rest of the day will be boring.

Small Successes

Celebrating the little things in life that add up.
  1. Bryan and I finally got the soaker hose and mulch down in the pool retainer wall.
  2. I volunteered to join the board at Ellie's preschool for the upcoming school year and I volunteered to teach a Religious Ed class this upcoming school year (and yesterday I got a generous offer from a friend to watch Ellie for me while I teach).  I've been wanting to volunteer more so I can feel like I'm actually giving back to the community.  Now I'm on my way!  
  3. I have remembered all week to write down the dates and times of appointments, events and things I need to volunteered to do.  I even have all the ingredients I need to make the cupcakes that I'm providing on June 9th.  I'm determined to get my memory back.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's school fair time of year!

This week is one of those weeks that zips by because it's a four day school week.  Add in two school fairs and a field trip and we're talking about a week that flys!  And, just for fun let's toss a 2nd grade end of year luau planning meeting on top of that.  And I thought I was in for a nice relaxing week.

Today I got a 6:54AM wake up call from the school district.  It was a recording letting us know that the Spring Fair was on for today.  Yesterday we had some cold, miserable, rainy weather.  I was actually banking on either a rained out fair or a chilly day outside.  I was hoping for the chilly day with a side of ominous cloud cover.  The day started off glum enough.  We had cool temperatures and plenty of clouds.  By noon it was warming up but some of the clouds were still kind enough to lull me into a false sense of security.  I decided that a short sleeved shirt and no sunscreen were the way to go.  Five minutes later I pull onto the field to park and realize that it's a little warmer at the school than I expected.  Figures.  We live essentially two blocks from the school, and every single day I find that it's always colder at the school than it is in my front yard.  So, of course, I'm perplexed that it's warmer over there today.  Then the clouds decided that they should make their exit.  As a result, Ellie and I both have sunburn now.  I can deal with myself having it.  I know better and it's my own stupid fault that I have it.  What I can't deal with is Ellie having a burn.  I knew I should have put sunscreen on her before we left, but I started rationalizing all the reasons why I didn't need to.  I wasn't planning to be there for very long, it was cloudy and it wasn't that hot out there.  None of these are or ever will be valid reasons to not use sunscreen when you have very fair skin.  So thanks to me, Ellie has some very red skin.  I have a nice heaping pile of Mommy Guilt.  Someday when my skin cancer ridden daughter granny-dumps me at the worst nursing home she can find and never looks back I'll have no one to blame but myself (let's hope this scenario never actually comes into play).

We had a pretty good time at the fair.  I met up with my friend Amy while we were there.  Her daughter was in Madeline's class last year, and she has a little brother who is around Ellie's age.  Amy and I had a pretty good time wrangling our crazy three year olds and trying to keep tabs on Madeline and Angie.  

I mentioned to Amy that I volunteered to teach a CCD class this year, but I was waiting to hear back from the deacon about it because I was going to have to bring Ellie with me to the class.  I've been trying to figure out if I could get a neighbor to watch Ellie and I would take their kid to CCD with me and bring them back in exchange, but I hate to burden someone like that.  Amy perked up when I told her about me wanting to teach and she actually volunteered to watch Ellie for me provided the deacon will put Angie in the same session that I teach.  How awesome is that?   If the deacon agrees, then Ellie will get to play with her friend every week and I'll get to volunteer like I wanted.  Not to mention, Amy's generous offer just sets off a nice chain of good deeds.  

I'm so happy to be surrounded by such nice people like Amy and my neighbors.  I actually feel like I'm part of a community now.  I haven't felt like this since I moved away from my hometown nearly 9 years ago.  After almost two years in this town, I can now go places and recognize lots of familiar faces on a regular basis.  I love it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm jumping in!

I've been feeling way too ME centered for several years.  Sure I devote my entire existence to caring for my family, but that's MY family.  So I regard that as essentially being for me.  I don't work for compensation (just hugs, kisses and the occasional thank you) and I honestly don't see myself working for money anytime in the near future.  When I do have both girls in school full time and am home alone (presuming, of course, that I don't have another child to care for by the time Ellie is in full day school) I just can't see myself going out and getting a job.  I can totally see myself volunteering and I fully intend to do so.  Over the past 4 years volunteering hasn't been the easiest thing for me to do.  It's hard to commit to something when you aren't sure how the small child who is being toted along will behave.  Now that Ellie is almost four, life has become a lot easier in that area.  I can reason with her and she has the self control to sit quietly for a decent stretch of time.  

I made the decision that I'm going to join the board at Ellie's school.  Being on the board would require me to go to a meeting a month that lasts about an hour.  I would be helping out with various fund raisers and essentially doing the types of things I do when I organize parties for Madeline's class.  It takes a bit of work, but it's nothing overwhelming.  I plan to have Ellie at this school for another two years.  I let Cora, the director of the school, know that I'm interested in joining the board.  Last Tuesday a letter went home asking for parents to please consider joining the board since most of the parents on the board would be gone after this school year.  It was an open invitation to come to the meeting next Tuesday.  Apparently, next Tuesday was last Tuesday.  Really?   I'm either the loopiest mom ever or the letter had bad timing.  I suppose I should have looked at the events calendar on the wall at the school, but I think a date on the letter might have been helpful, too.  So I'm pretty sure Cora probably thinks I'm a total ditz.  I think I might live in a time warp or something.  This stuff seems to happen to me all the time now.  So next month (June 16th to be precise) I'm going to go to the board meeting.  I was set to go there tonight.  I'm very glad that I said something to Cora this morning or I would have showed up at a locked school tonight.

The registration forms for the kids Religious Ed classes came in the mail today.  So I got them all filled out and brought them over to the parish offices.  So the deacon goes and tells me that the letter that says to have the forms in "by June 1st" to ensure your first choice of class session, means that they're not accepting the registration until June 1st.  Hmm...the English language has either changed and left me behind, or these places don't know how to use it. First the preschool and now the church.  Maybe I just don't know how to read anymore.  It's a mystery.  Anyway, he wound up taking the registration after I mentioned that I wanted to teach a class while Madeline was in her class (don't want to teach Madeline since I envision that as a chaotic scene).  I explained that my trusty friend Ellie would be tagging along with me, but that I planned to bring a laptop equipped with dvds and headphones to keep her occupied.  He's going to get back to me, but we'll see what happens.  I'll send a follow-up email in a few days. Ellie was just happy to get a lollipop out of the visit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm bringing my A game!

Watch out June 9th!  I'm coming for you, and I'm going to be armed with a box of Funfetti cupcakes with seasonally neutral cupcake liners and sprinkles!  I am very much aware that I am bringing cupcakes to Ellie's graduation.  All I need to do now I buy eggs that won't expire before June 9th and I'm totally set.

This weekend my mission was to make sure that I purchased cake mix, icing (although I just discovered that I had some in the pantry) and cupcake liners that didn't have pumpkins on them.  I'm not going to repeat the cupcake liner hodge podge of last month.  I felt rather foolish last month when I went to make muffins for Madeline's "Bunny Breakfast" at school and discovered that I didn't have enough Easter themed liners.  I brought the muffins in with Dora, Spongebob, Bunny and Halloween liners.  I felt like a total scatterbrain when I realized that I didn't have appropriate liners.  I was able to organize the entire breakfast for Madeline's class but I couldn't remember to buy a pack of Easter cupcake liners.

Tomorrow I'm going to head to the grocery store and pick up eggs.  I want to make sure that I have everything I need for June 8th when I go to make those cupcakes.  Now I just have to pray that I will not forget the cupcakes at home the morning of her graduation.  I have reminders on my calendar so I hope I won't forget.

I've been considering taking on a little bit more on the school volunteering front.  I'm contemplating whether or not I'm going to join the board at Ellie's school.  They need new board members and tomorrow night is the next meeting.  I was approached about joining the board when Madeline was in pre-K at this school but I was too busy adjusting to live with two kids.  I've been slowly volunteering to help out with more school stuff.  This year I started helping out in Madeline's class for parties instead of just sending in things.  Madeline has been very happy with my involvement.  So far, for Ellie, I have stuck with sending things in for class parties and snacks.  I've also volunteered to teach a CCD class at our church, but I didn't get a response from the Religious Ed office.  I'm going to email them again this week.  I'm thinking my volunteer offer may have gotten ignored because I said I'd have Ellie tagging along with me, or my email just got lost in the shuffle.  I'm going to email them again with my offer this week and let them know that Ellie will be occupied with my laptop and headphones so she can watch a movie or play a game while I'd be teaching.  I used to be a substitute teacher when I was in college and I miss teaching kids, so this is something I'd really like to do.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How'd you sleep last night?

I woke up pretty early yesterday morning.  Not sure what has gotten into me, but I keep getting up around 6 AM.  Perhaps I'm just old now.  I fully expected after having a rather full day of gardening, going to confession, more gardening, swimming, going to Mass, and then going out to dinner that I was going to crash on the couch before 10 PM.   Apparently sleep just wasn't in the cards.

I was ready to lay on the couch and watch a movie or documentary by 9 last night, but Bryan had put Kung Fu Panda on for Madeline sometime before 9 (I live in a time warp) and we both said she could stay up to watch the end of it.  I didn't realize that the end wasn't going to be until around 9:45. Ugh.  

Ellie was clearly wiped out and wanting to go to bed before that. So we put her to be sometime shortly after 9.  I figured that she had just had a long day.  I figured wrong.  I discovered at 12:30 last night that she was sick.  Ellie isn't the kind of kid that will come and get you if there is a problem and that usually creates a bigger problem.  So last night when I was finally ready to go to sleep I walk upstairs to a strange smell.  Turns out poor Ellie had been vomiting.  Everything on her bed had some degree of vomit on it.  She also threw up over the side of the bed onto the carpet and her pjs were covered.  I called my smelling impaired husband, who was in a sleep induced haze, in to help out.  Bryan ended up taking one for the team when he carried her into the bathroom.  Once we got Ellie and her room cleaned up I tried to go to sleep.  I'm not sure how long I was awake but I don't think it was long.  I woke up at what I think was 2:30, but Bryan tells me was 3:30 (maybe I need to relearn my numbers) to the sound of Bryan springing out of bed to the sound of Ellie at the start of the vomit cough. Ugh!  The second mess wasn't as bad as the first time, but I needed to change the sheets again.  I felt so bad for poor Ellie, but the kid handled the whole thing like a real trooper.  She didn't cry about it and only asked that I brush her teeth. 

We woke up again at 8:30 AM to the sound of Madeline asking when we would be making breakfast.  So far, Ellie seems fine.  She's drinking but not eating.  She says she feels fine.  Here's hoping that no one else gets sick.

Aside from all the laundry last night, I think the worst thing that happened was Bryan was reminded of what life is like when sleep gets interrupted.  Once we were back in bed after the second round with Ellie he made a comment that this is like having a newborn again.  It may not seem like such a profound statement to an outsider, but it was a message that I got loud and clear.  Guess I'll have to back off my already scaled back campaign for another baby.  On a positive note, he also realized that he still has the great waking up in the middle of the night dad instinct.  I pretty much lost my ability to wake up to the sound of a crying baby when Ellie was a few weeks old.  

So I'm certainly tired now.  I plan on taking a nap today.  I just hope it actually happens.  

*Fun Fact: Bryan has no sense of smell and never has.  The only thing he can "smell" is mineral ice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Loose lips sink ships

That's a phrase that I heard uttered around me often as a child.  I was notorious for going up to the person that I wasn't supposed to tell something and saying "I'm not going to tell you [fill in the blank with secret, here]."  And, of course, I always did this in front of the person who told me not to tell.  I was the queen of the blabber mouths.  In fact, I seriously doubt that I have ever actually kept a secret in my life, unless it was my own or Bryan's, in which case it's in the vault. Today I learned that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree*, and that Madeline is the new reigning blabber mouth.

Let me give you the backstory first so you can understand how Princess Blabber Mouth earned her new title. Back in February at Madeline's first reconciliation we had a little incident where my husband had what I felt was a 2 year old tantrum when I decided to go to confession. It consisted of Bryan trying to pull me out of line and telling me over and over that I didn't have to do this. I suspect he did this because he didn't want to go or feel obligated to go, too.  It's an incident that is still very vivid in my mind, and quite frankly, I don't think he's ever embarrassed me so much as he did that day (we knew the people who were behind us and our neighbors witnessed it from a nearby pew).  Apparently, Bryan was just incredibly shocked that I would willingly elect to go to confession.**   In all honesty, there are lots of things I'd rather do, but I'm not going to spend a lifetime avoiding it. His initial response was pretty bad, and he followed it up by walking around for the entire weekend shaking his head and saying "I can't believe you went to confession." and "Why?".  Talk about an awkward weekend. Nothing like being made to feel guilty for going to confession.  

So today I took Madeline over to the church for confession (I left Bryan and Ellie at home).  She had done a few things this week that I felt were confession worthy, so off we went.  I had been planning on going soon, so I figured I'd seize the moment. Why not?  I just wasn't planning to tell Bryan that I was going.  Why set myself up for more razzing?  I made it pretty clear to Madeline on the way over to the church and on the way home that me going to confession was not her Daddy's business simply because I didn't want a repeat of this past February.  Apparently, she didn't think she needed to listen to me (What else is new?).  Bryan wanted to know what her penance was, so she told him and then says "What was  your penance Mommy?".  Ugh! She realized immediately that she did what I asked her not to do and her question to me did not go unnoticed by Bryan.  So far I've managed to not get tormented by Bryan.  

I'm happy to say that for the first time since I converted back in 2000, I was able to leave confession and not feel all weird about it.***  I call that progress.

*Today is cliche day!
**That was his explanation.  You're welcome to buy it if you like.
***Don't ask how many times I've been over the span of 9 years.  Let's just say I wasn't on my  Catholic "A" game the first 8 years or so, and that the number is greater than 2.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Small Successes

Celebrating the little things in life that add up.
1. I managed to pull off the illusion that I'm not a forgetful mom and brought the carrots to Ellie's school on time.

2. I vacuumed my stairs this week. As an obsessive neat freak I'm slightly embarrassed to let you all know that I wait until my steps are a little,  ahem....hairy before I attempt to vacuum them.  There you go, I've let you all in on my dirty little secret (pun intended, I assure you).

3. I woke up on a weekday at 6am.  This is really no small success considering I hate to get up early, but don't go applauding me.  I only did it because it's Ascension Day and I have to get to the 6:45 am Mass.  But still, I'm up, it's early and I'm pretty tired since I just went to bed 5 hours ago.  Someone named Karen is going to be sneaking a nap today(I hope)!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not Guilty!

Bryan just got a call from the Apple store.  Turns out his laptop issue is totally unrelated to the ball throwing incident.  So I didn't break his beloved MacBook. Whew!  That's a relief.

I asked Bryan if he was happy that he didn't jump to conclusions and blame me for the problem last weekend.  For the past 4 days, it has been pretty evident that he wanted so badly to blame me for the problem.  I called him on it just now and as he's telling me he didn't want to blame me, I could see in his face that he did want to be able to say it was all my fault.  I'm very happy that I am not guilty, because if I had been, I would have never heard the end of it.  Now I don't feel like I should offer to pay for the repairs out of my money.

So now I'm old and endangered?

I'm having a fun week with finding little things that just make me feel like my world as I know it is upside down.  Shall we review the latest discoveries?
Well, on Sunday I learned at Mass that I'm not a young adult. 31 I don't feel old, but apparently after age 25 you're too old to be a young adult.  Fine, I don't have to be a young adult.  I'll hang out in the limbo age range that is not middle aged and not young for a little while.  Maybe this is why some people have a mid-life crisis.  For the most part, I'm not someone who cares about age.  Bryan and I are younger than most of our neighbors by about 10 years and their kids are close in age to ours.
Then, last night we were at BJs picking up old people stuff like laundry detergent and toilet paper.  Exciting, huh?  So I'm standing in the self check out lane and I see a disturbing magazine cover on the latest Time.  I didn't buy the magazine (because I'm cheap) to read the article, but apparently the GOP is being labeled by Time as an endangered species.  Lovely.  Given that I've identified myself as a Republican since I was a child, headlines like that disturb me.  My mom voted for Jim Florio when I was in 6th grade (if I remember correctly) and I didn't talk to her for several days because I was so angry that she would had the nerve to vote Democrat.  Might just as well tell me that sugar is going to be pulled from the market, too.  
So there you have it.  At 31, I'm no longer young and the political party that I identify myself with is said to be endangered.

Guilty or not?

Hmm...that's the looming question here.  Last Saturday while sitting on the love seat in the family room (wanted a change of scenery since I own sitting rights to the couch), Mr. Furkins, in a dubious plot to cause destruction, brought me a ball.  The dog, as well as every other breathing creature on the planet who has seen me throw a ball, knows that I pretty much have no aim.  Did I hit the plasma tv?  No, that would destroy my documentary watching and probably land me out on the street as a homeless person and I wouldn't be blogging right now.  Did I knock another picture off the wall? No, of course not since I was throwing the ball in a carpeted room (Pictures only fall off the wall in areas with no carpet, we have to keep things interesting here!).  Did I break a window? No, of all the things I could possibly hit, I hit the screen portion of Bryan's MacBook Pro.  Now in my defense, he knew I was throwing the ball in his direction, and he was ready to catch it (we like to tease Mr. Furkins).  So my throw went slightly awry and squarely hit the apple in the center of Bryan's laptop top.  I knew instantly that I had just turned into a pumpkin.  I'm pretty sure Bryan growled at me.  Not wanting to be the guilty party here, I yelled at the dog (he is the resident scapegoat, and he seems to be OK with it as long as we feed him).  I also decided that it was a good time to stop playing ball with Oscar, too, since I don't want to break anything.

So let's fast forward to Saturday night.  Bryan somehow managed to not freak out on me for the ball incident.  For some reason, his laptop was mysteriously experiencing some technical difficulties.  He spent a decent amount of time working on getting it fixed.  I spent most of that time cleaning and doing things that made me look disinterested and unaware of what he was doing.  Every once in a while, I'd stupidly ask what he was doing and get reminded that we had a little ball incident earlier in the day.  

Last night, Bryan's computer (the laptop apparently hates me) decided to stop working and wouldn't start up for Bryan at all.  So my technical, computer geek spouse had to set up a Genius Bar appointment at our local Mac store.  I think when you are someone like Bryan, when it comes to computers, that seeking tech support is an emasculating experience.  So while he dealt with the Genius Bar guy, I got to stand by as the computer killer and watch the girls play games on the Macs set up for kids.  I'm not sure how long we were there exactly, but I do know that I got to have my ears blasted by an obnoxious Dora the Explorer game.  The Mac Ellie was using had some sort of issue where you couldn't control the volume.  I think I can still hear the Dora the Explorer song.

Bryan will now be without his beloved MacBook for 3-7 days.  With the holiday weekend coming up, I suspect it will be on the longer end.  At most, the repairs will be $350.  Amazing how an $7 Kong ball can cause so much damage, isn't it?  I cautiously asked my agitated Bryan if the Genius Bar tech thought the problems were related to a direct hit from a ball.  Bryan tells me that it most likely is given that they can't get the laptop to start up.  He's clearly not happy with me and I know he's very annoyed that he doesn't have his laptop, but he hasn't come out and blamed me for the incident. Want to know what the worst part all of this is?  If this had happened a month ago, it would have been covered by the Apple Care protection.

So am I guilty?  He knows I can't throw accurately and he knew the ball was coming his way.  I tend to think I'm not, but maybe I am.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Sure, they seem like such unassuming vegetables, but did you know they can make you lose sleep?  How?  Well, if you sign up to provide carrots for your child's preschool class and you realize that you didn't buy them the night before the morning when they're due, you can lose sleep obsessing about how you once again forgot something for your child's class.

I'm not sure why I'm always forgetting the stuff I volunteered to send in for Ellie's class.  Maybe I don't like 3 and 4 year old kids.  Or, maybe I don't want the teacher's lesson plans for the edible alphabet to go as planned. Or, maybe I just need to learn to write this stuff down on my trusty Mom's Family Calendar.  I do, in fact, like Ellie's cute little Busy Bears class and their wonderful teacher.  I'm fairly certain that Miss Susan probably thinks I'm a ditz.  Then again, she's probably just really grateful that I remember to pick Ellie up at the proper time each day.  I was relating my forgotten carrots story to the director of Ellie's school today and telling her how I never forget anything for Madeline's school, but if it's for Ellie's class I always remember at the last minute.  She's kind and tells me it's because Ellie only goes two days a week and Madeline is at school all week long.  I think I only have the capacity to manage one kid in school.

So this morning I pawned Madeline off on my neighbor (not the ones the give me random ingredients or birthday pies).  I called her up and explained that I forgot carrots for Ellie and that I couldn't drop Madeline off at school,  stop at the grocery store for carrots and still get Ellie to school on time.  She kindly agreed to give Madeline a ride.  It's so nice to have good neighbors.  I don't think Madeline was too thrilled that I opted out of taking her to school.

So the carrot crisis has been averted.  And do you know what I did as soon as I dropped off the carrots?  I signed up to provide the cupcakes for the preschool graduation.  Will I remember the cupcakes at the last minute?  Your guess is as good as mine, but I think I'm going to go write it on my calendar right now!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Powder room trash picking, anyone?

The weekend is over and the house is surprisingly clean considering I've had Bryan home for the past three days.  I liken Bryan to Pig Pen from the Peanuts comics.  All he has to do is walk in the door and I have an instant mess on my hands.  Usually it's  just his back pack, shoes, keys, and work related stuff that seems to get tossed all over in the kitchen and family room.  Given that I'm an absolute neat freak, this drives me insane.  

It's essentially the same routine when Madeline comes home from school or soccer.  Everything she brings home winds up strewn all over my kitchen.  When you operate under the delusion that kitchens are just there to look nice, it can make you a little crazy when your clean countertops have keys, random small toys, and school work covering them at the end of the day.  
Ellie is my resident toy scatterer.  I'm fairly certain that God sent her to help me learn to lighten up when it comes to trying to have a perfectly maintained home.  Ellie makes it her business to ensure that there is always a small mess somewhere in the house.  She doesn't want me to be idle.  
Oscar has also picked up on this let's keep Mommy busy routine.  He scatters his toys all over in the kitchen and family room so I can have the pleasure of tripping over them while I'm in a cleaning frenzy.  What a wonderful addition to the family he has turned out to be!  His latest obsession has been trash picking treasures from the powder room trash can and scurrying back to his crate where he can eat them and just chew on them to make revolting messes.  Just as I was getting ready to blog about something totally different, I hear out four-footed friend scamper from the powder room en route to his crate.  I picked up on the rustling paper sound and realized that he was up to something.  Apparently, we found the paper wrapper to a roll of toilet paper.  Exciting!  I was fortunate enough to get it away from him before he could create a mess that would have left me gagging.  I am totally revolted by wet paper products.  The sight of them make me feel sick to my stomach.  I am also unwilling to come into contact with blobs of wet paper products, unless I'm cleaning up a spill or cleaning windows or counter tops.  I have felt this way about wet paper products since elementary school when some girls used to wad up TP, wet it and toss it on the ceiling or mirrors in the girls room. GAG!

So now that my neat freaks anonymous digression is out of the way, I suppose I can get blog about what I came here to do.  Although, I am wondering if it's going to look half as exciting as my neat freak and wet paper product revelations.  Probably not, but if you're bored and looking for something to read, as I often am, this will just give you something do to.  Amazingly helpful I am!

I apparently met my quota for inappropriate social gaffes for the week already.  I managed to get it out of the way before 9am on Sunday.  Since Bryan is taking some time off from church (insert my eye roll and loud sigh here, please), I took the girls to the 7:45 Mass yesterday.  I typically get up around 6am on Sunday so I can have some time to myself in the morning, so I decided to get the girls up, dressed and out the door in time for the earlier Mass.  It was a bit of a time crunch for me since Madeline moves slow in the morning and I got up a little late, but we made it there on time.  My reward was not having to her the Folk Song group this week. Yay!  So my black-eyed Ellie sat on the end of the pew and apparently caught Fr. Vic's attention (not to mention she was making faces and sticking her tongue out when Fr. Mazz, our pastor was making some very long announcements at the end of Mass, and I'm sure he saw her).  So on our way out Fr. Vic wants to know how she got the black eye.  Mind you, I've been getting this question and judgemental looks all week.  Explaining that my child stood on a rocking moose, fell, cut under her eye and had a big goose egg has been getting the "I'm not buying that explanation" response from the general public.  If you know Ellie, then you know that the explanation is accurate and you wouldn't be surprised in the first place that the kid has a black eye.  So I jokingly respond to him that we beat her.  The stunned look on his face and all those around us was priceless.  I quickly followed up with the "she fell and hit her face" answer, but I don't think anyone brought it.  So there's my social gaffe for the week.  I told Bryan about it and he told me that it's not funny to joke around about that.  Hmm...if he was with me yesterday morning, perhaps this gaffe wouldn't have happened.  Either way, I'm getting tired of fielding black eye  questions.  I hope the bruise goes away soon. The cut has healed nicely and I think she will not have a scar from it.  Note to self: not funny to explain child's injuries with what I think will be a witty response, just stick to the crazy stranger than fiction facts. Oh, and continue to lament the fact that most people are not going to get or appreciate my sarcastic and often off-beat sense of humor.

So Spring soccer is now officially over.  Madeline's last game was yesterday.  The rain cleared up just in time for the game.  Unfortunately, it was pretty cold out there.  I am not officially not looking forward to the cold soccer games in October and November and by this fall I'll have two kids playing.  Did I make a mistake in signing Ellie up to play this year?  I guess we'll find out this fall.  I suppose we'll be busy on the weekends for most of the fall with soccer games on Saturday and Sunday along with Ellie's CCD classes on Sunday mornings.  Madeline played really well.  She has come such a long way from when she started playing last August.  She didn't score any goals yesterday but she came close about 5 or 6 times.  In the past, she would just kind of give the ball a little tap when trying to score, but now she's out there kicking the ball with some force.  She took out the other team's goalie with one of her kicks yesterday.  She hit the girl square in the face with the ball and made her nose bleed.  I know it was awful that she hurt the other girl, but I have to say I was so proud of my daughter.  She can kick the ball really  hard now AND it gets some air!  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's the little things that amuse me

Bryan and I just put the girls to bed.  Ellie has continued on her path of trying to drive me insane.  I think at this point that my little goofball is now deliberately transposing syllables and letters in words, or she has hit her head a few times too many.  I just got a request to read "The Very Hungry Paterkiller".  Sounds like a lovely bedtime story, doesn't it?  I would love to say that she transposed it because she was tired, but even when she's not "tie-red" she does this stuff.  If you try to correct her she digs her stubborn little Ellie heels in and insists that her pronunciation is the correct one.

When I went into Madeline's room she told me about a little accident she had in school today.  Seems the poor child slipped on a pencil in class and fell flat on her back and hit her head.  So of course, I imagine this scene in my head and start laughing at her.  I'm sure most moms would feel bad for their child, but I'm not most moms.  I'm standing there laughing and telling her how I wish I could have been there to see it happen.   Sure, if she had cracked her head open or sustained a concussion I would have felt bad for her, but she didn't so it is perfectly acceptable for me to laugh.  I did ask her if she cried (she didn't) and I asked what her teacher said.  The teacher sent her to the nurse who in turn gave her ice.  Joshua, who I am told is one of the "bad" kids, shared my feelings about the situation.  Madeline tells me that he immediately told her to watch out for that pencil after she fell.  Gotta love the sarcastic kid.  Poor kid got his clip moved off of green for that.  I hope the vision of Madeline in mid-air (that's how I'm choosing to picture this scene since I wasn't actually there) was enough to make having his clip being moved off green a worthwhile thing.

Small Successes

Celebrating the small things in life that add up.
1. I survived Madeline's First Holy Communion.  The entire day went smoothly from her hair to the party and everything in between.  It all added up to a very nice day.  Even the weather cooperated.  I am very relieved that all the craziness leading up to her big day is a thing of the past.  Four more years and I'll be repeating all of this for Ellie (she's already talking about her Communion).
2. I managed to eliminate the menacing mountain of laundry that was threatening to take over my basement. Everything is cleaned, folded and put away!
3. Finally, after 8 days of rain, I got the mulch laid in the front gardens.  If the claim on the bag is true, I shouldn't have to battle weeds for another 6 months.  That'll work for me!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I really do have awesome neighbors!

Yesterday was my birthday.  I started to think that the universe was working against me late in the morning when I couldn't find my birthday pie.  I went to two Shop Rites, one Acme and the dreaded Super Wal-Mart (I seriously dislike setting foot in Wal-Mart).  I called Bryan after I went into two grocery stores and asked him to check on line to see if Mrs. Smith's still sells my beloved lemon meringue pie.  A minute later he confirmed that it still existed (although my visit to the Mrs. Smith's website a minute ago leads me to believe it is a product that has been phased out).  After that phone call I went to Wal-Mart and one more Shop Rite in vain.  I called my mom and told her about how my birthday took a sour turn because I can't locate my birthday pie.  She checked her local Shop Rite and came out empty handed.  

Shortly after resigning myself to the fact that I wasn't getting my pie, my phone rang.  Kelly, my neighbor, was calling me to let me know how her daughter made out at the ophthalmologist that Madeline sees.  I mentioned how the universe was working against me on my birthday and told her all my pie woes.  Kelly offered to run into the Acme that is near the place where I get Madeline's glasses since they were headed there.  I honestly didn't think she'd have any luck.  About 90 minutes later she calls me and wants to know who my favorite neighbor is.  I went from bummed out to over the moon happy in seconds.  So I let Kelly know that she was my favorite neighbor, of course.  Turns out she and Mary decided to make finding my pie their mission for the afternoon.  They went well out of their way to Path-Mart and found my pie.  How incredibly nice of them was that?  I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful neighbors.

That pie made my birthday a very happy one.  It's nice to know you have friends out there who are willing to go above and beyond to find you a pie.  If everyone had neighbors half as nice as the ones I have, the world would be a better place.

So thanks, Kelly!  It may have seemed crazy that I needed a particular brand of lemon meringue pie when other brands and even bakery fresh ones were all around me, but you cared enough to find my pie and that means a lot to me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

First Communion, Mother's Day and a Birthday, oh my!

I have had a busy past three days going on four.  Friday, I ran around my house like a crazed lunatic making sure everything was ready for Madeline's First Communion.  I also had to run out and buy Mother's Day plants for the grandmoms.  To say that I am exhausted right now would be an understatement.

I'll start off with Madeline's First Communion.  I started the day off at 6 AM.  I successfully got Madeline's hair into her up-do.  That took me about 45 minutes to do.  I have been worried since January that I wasn't going to be able to get her hair right on the big day.  I'm very happy to report that it went up perfectly and that she looked like an absolute princess.

I've been hoping for many months that I would be able to get some awesome pictures of her in the dress.  Unfortunately for me, Madeline wasn't in the mood to cooperate for my camera.  She gets moody with me when it comes to taking pictures outside.  I'm hoping that Madeline's godmother and my mother managed to get some decent shots.  For some reason, Madeline will not open her eyes when she's outside for pictures, so just about every picture of her has her squinting and looking like she's about to cry.  Doesn't matter if the sun is at her back or in her face, I get the same look from her.  It's very frustrating from my standpoint, especially when other kids will face in the same direction and let me get beautiful pictures of them.
Madeline did a great job at church.  She looked like an angel when she processed into the church.  She was very excited to receive Communion for the first time.  As soon as they did the presentation of the gifts she turned to me and asked if she could go up now.  She was a bit disappointed when I told her she needed to wait just a smidge  longer, but she managed to be patient.  Out of 54 kids who were receiving First Communion that day, Madeline was the third from the last, so she really had to be patient.
After Mass we got some nice pictures in and outside of the church.  We even got to meet Fr. Mazz's dog, Pio.  We hear about his dog frequently in his homilies so it was nice to finally meet him.  I wonder if he'd trade his calm and beautiful sheltie for our spastic Oscar. 
Madeline got her hair cut after our guests left the party we had.  She's thrilled with her new do. 
Her hair looks almost exactly like mine now.  So I have a hair twin in the house now.

Mother's day was pretty good.  Ellie had her last CCD class for the year and she made me a handprint.  Both girls gave me presents that they made at school.  Ellie gave me a story that she dictated to her teachers.  It was a riot.  Did you know that peanut butter and jelly is a recipie?  She had a whole page about the PB&J sandwiches that I make for her.  The kid really likes her sandwiches!  
Madeline gave me a coupon book that I can redeem for chores.  It felt like it was Christmas when I discovered the "This coupon is good for: a clean basement".  Our basement is the playroom and it was totally trashed after a playdate Ellie had on Friday and then the Communion party.  Madeline wasn't too happy when I told her that I was going to use that coupon.  

Bryan took us out to Olive Garden after Mass yesterday so I actually got to eat in a restaurant on Mother's day. Usually we just do take out on Mother's day because I don't like sitting at a packed restaurant.  We eat out all the time and for the most part we don't eat in on Mother's Day or Father's Day because of the crowds.  Those are out two designated take out days of the year.

I even got to nap yesterday.  Not sure how long I slept for, but Bryan kept the kids at bay.  I really appreciated that.  I've been running like a crazy person for the past three weeks and I needed that nap.

Ellie had a bit of a mishap yesterday.  When Bryan sent the girls to the basement to clean up, Ellie decided to play instead.  For some reason she was standing on her rocking moose (that I asked Bryan to put in the utility closet two weeks ago) and she fell off.  Poor Ellie now has a cut on her face and a big black and blue mark.  My poor baby looks all beat up.  Something tells me she won't be standing on the moose anymore.

Today is my birthday. I'm now 31. Woo Hoo!  24 more years to go and I can join AARP and live in a retirement community.  Of course, AARP thinks I'm already old enough to join.  I got my preliminary membership package two months ago.  Somebody is confused.  To celebrate my day I'm going to a Mother's Day tea at Madeline's school.  When I come back I'm having cake with my parents and possibly my brother.  It's my dad's birthday today, too.  I'm still not sure if I'm going to buy or bake a cake.  I have to decide soon since I don't have a lot of time left.  When Bryan comes home from work I'm going to have a birthday lemon meringue pie.  I still have to go out and buy that.  I'm tired of cake at this point.  I still have about half of Madeline's Communion cake left over.  Anyone want cake?

I am looking forward to next Monday.  CCD and soccer will be over for several months, and if all goes well, there will not be any cake left over in the house.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Umm...thanks, but no thanks!

I was looking around on a message board that I frequent and I came across a link to a story about Judy Blume.  I remember as a kid reading one of her books and by the time I got about 20 pages into it I decided that not only was the book not to my liking, but also that I didn't like her as an author.  I set the book aside and  never opened it up again.  I never understood the friends I had who devoured her books the way I did the Baby Sitters Club series and many classic books.  I have many friends who think highly of her work, and constantly tell me that I missed out as a kid and should buy her books for Madeline, who is an avid reader. After reading the article from the link on the message board, I have decided that there is no way on God's green Earth that I'll ever spend any money on books written by this twisted individual.

Apparently, Ms. Blume thinks that a donation to Planned Parenthood would make a lovely Mother's Day gift.  Is there any gift out there that is more sick than one that says "Gee Mom, I love you so much that I funded the murder of an innocent child in your name!"?  Nothing quite like giving a gift of abject horror and guilt to dear Mother.  It's kind of like saying "Hey Mom, you probably should have aborted me when you had the chance, but since you didn't I'm having a baby killed in your honor. Happy Mother's Day!".  Blume feels that such a donation would surely please your mother.  I'm fairly certain that my mother wouldn't want that gift, and I know I wouldn't want it either.  Why not a donation to a crisis pregnancy center so that another woman can know the joys of motherhood?  I think most moms would be proud to have a son or daughter who made a such a thoughtful donation in her honor.

So I wonder, does Judy Blume realize that by supporting Planned Parenthood she's killing children who might have purchased her books?  If I was an author I wouldn't want to support killing off my intended audience.

I have awesome neighbors!

I wrote last week (I think it was last week) about how I'm that crazy neighbor that asks to borrow sugar and other random food items.  The neighbor that I ask for the food is just really nice.  She doesn't tell me to take and hike and go to the store and buy some food or anything like that.  I feel very fortunate to have such a nice neighbor.

I have other great neighbors, too.  There's a family that lives around the corner from us with three little girls who like to play with my girls.  I get along great with their mother, Kelly.  She accepts me and all my crazy characteristics.  Her husband, Steve, is a really nice guy, too.  Yesterday on the way to pick up Madeline from school Steve was driving behind me.  He noticed that my break light was out and was kind enough to tell me when I got to the school.  You're reading this and saying well that's just common courtesy, right?  Well, I mentioned that I'd have to go get a bulb and hope that Bryan would get around to taking care of it for me soon.  Steve, being the awesome neighbor that he is, told me he would change my break light for me.  I am incredibly grateful that Steve not only alerted me to the blown out bulb but, also replaced it for me.  I really have the best neighbors.  As far as I'm concerned, Steve saved me a second trip to the inspection station.  My car is due for inspection this month.  If I didn't know about the break light, I would have failed the inspection and that would have cost me another trip to the inspection station.  So while it may have seen like a small thing to him, it really meant a lot to me.

Small Successes

Celebrating the little things in life that add up.
1. I finally got all the bags of hand-me-down clothes that need to be given away out of my living room.  6 bags of clothes take up a lot of space.
2. After much searching, I found a quilt for Ellie's room that matches her existing sheets and goes with her wall color. I no longer have to deal with her poorly made lumpy Tommy Hilfiger comforter that didn't last 10 months.  Now, I'm just waiting for the new bedskirt and accent pillow for her arm chair to arrive.

3. I have just about everything on the main level of the house cleaned and ready for the party we're having after Madeline's First Communion.  Only two more days left!  I'm excited for her.

Bonus #1: Yesterday we got Madeline's new glasses just in time for her First Communion (I've been worried that they wouldn't be ready in time).  Now she won't have to wear beat up glasses on her big day.  I don't know what that girl does to her glasses, but she sure is hard on them.

Bonus #2: I managed to not kill naughty Mr. Furkins today.  Someone decided that it would be a good idea to dig in the backyard after 7 days of rain.  That someone also mistakenly thought that we would be pleased that he decided to dig up an area where we are desperately trying to grow grass that was destroyed during the pool construction last year.  In making these most terrible decisions, Mr. Furkins has caused me 1 load of laundry, a dog bath and the necessary cleaning of a now muddy tub.  Thanks, Mr. Furkins, I don't already have a ton of stuff to do between today and Saturday morning.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First Communion is approaching fast

I have three more days to make sure I have everything in order for Madeline's First Communion and the brunch afterwards to celebrate.  Despite my slow start to getting the house in order this week, I think I finally managed to get myself on track this afternoon.  After the First Communion rehearsal at the church last night I came home feeling totally unmotivated to get things ready.

Sadly, I came home last night feeling rather bitter which is not the way I want to feel about this very special occasion.  Our church is small; max capacity is around 450 if I recall correctly from a previous First Eucharist parent meeting in the church.   At every single meeting the parents have been told that there would be a few pews in the back of the church where overflow guests could sit.  If you were fortunate enough to get a full sized pew, you would have room for 10 people.  We got a full sized pew, but with three sets of grandparents, the Godparents in addition to our family we have 12 people.  I've known since November or December that everyone wouldn't fit in our assigned pew, but the deacon who is the head of our religious ed program has assured the parents at every parent meeting that there would be a few empty pews in the back of the church, and to tell our guests to arrive early to make sure they get a set.  Problem solved, right?

Seating problem...this is your cue.  Madeline's group has three CCD classes.  That means the every available pew in the church is assigned to a child and his/her family.  So now I have two guests who won't have a place to sit.  We're not the only family in this situation.  The church was buzzing with annoyed parents who were all asking each other where their guests would be sitting, since no one is allowed to stand in the back or on the sides.

I am incredibly annoyed that our assigned pew is the third pew from the very back of the church.  I feel like we're practically sitting outside.  This also means that I'm not even going to be able to get a decent picture of Madeline processing into the church.  My neighbor (the one I borrow milk, bread and eggs from) said she will have her husband take pictures of Madeline as she walks up since they're in row 10 (we're 25, ugh).  We're also not allowed to stand up to take pictures of the kids walking in, so that means at best the picture I am able to take of Madeline as she walks about 9 feet towards me will be a close up instead of a full length shot.  The deacon tells us that the pews were randomly assigned by pulling names out of a hat. I think this random assignment stinks.

Then the kids practiced the song they're singing at Mass.  They decided that the best way to line the kids up would be to take the tall kids and put them in the front.  As a parent of one of the shortest kids, I have a problem with this.  Someone tell me why my neighbor's son who is about 9 inches taller than my daughter needs to be front and center blocking short kids behind him?  Every single very tall boy was placed in the front row so the kid in the back was eclipsed.  Surely I can't be the only parent who noticed this.

I also got the great news that they now want the kids at the church a full hour before Mass for the group photo and for the line up to process in.  Two months ago they told us to be there 30 minutes early.  That extra 30 minutes makes a big difference when you have to be at a 9:30 Mass and you have to put your daughter's hair in an up-do in addition to getting yourself and another child dressed and ready.  Madeline's hair will take me about 45 minutes to an hour to do. 

Chances are I'm going to lose my mind before Saturday.  I'm trying very hard  not to let the assigned pew, the fact that I won't be able to see my daughter singing the song, and the impending time crunch on Saturday morning get me down.  I've been looking forward to Madeline's First Communion for several years now, so I don't want these unsavory details to tarnish the significance of the Sacrament.

For now, I'm going to focus on getting the house cleaned and I'm going to pray that the cake does not turn out to be a cake wreck.  Bryan is picking up the cake and brunch items that I ordered from the bakery.  

Madeline is counting down the days until her First Communion.  She's clearly excited.

On a happy non-whiney note, Ellie was just too delightfully cute for words today.  Her preschool class made Mother's Day presents and Miss Susan told them to hide the present until Mother's Day.  Ellie is so proud of herself for making me this gift and hiding it under her bed all by herself.  She wouldn't let me open her backpack.  As soon as we got home she ran her backpack up to her room so she could hide her present for me.  The look on her face when she came back downstairs was priceless.  I wish I had a picture of it.  It was one of those melt your heart moments.

Ellie also got into one of her evil makes her giggle moods.  Somehow she pulled Bryan's arm out from behind him while he was lying on the floor and made him fall backwards.  She had the most infectious mischievous giggle.  She's such a funny kid.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Memory, where have you gone? I need you!

I suspect greatly that by the time I hit 50 I will have no memory to speak of.  Maybe I'm sleep deprived or maybe I just have too much going on right now, but one thing is certain:  I seem to lack the capacity required to remember things.

Over the course of the weekend and into today, I have made more trips to the store to buy things I forgot while I was there the first time than I can recall.  I was talking to my mother yesterday and she suggested that I go grocery shopping after I told her about how every time I turn around I find out we've run out of yet another essential ingredient for whatever meal is being prepared.  Last Tuesday, while I was making a meatloaf, I had to borrow an egg from my neighbor because the one I had left expired 6 weeks ago. How on Earth did that happen?  I find it so hard to believe that I haven't brought eggs since March (not counting the run of the mill white eggs I brought Holy Week for the kids to dye on Good Friday).

Apparently, I am that neighbor that you see on the 50's TV shows that comes knocking on your door asking to borrow a cup of sugar.  I always realize at a crucial point of the cooking or baking process that I'm missing something essential like milk or eggs.  I think my next door neighbor expects my strange requests now. If nothing else, I add humor to her day when I call her up asking for random ingredients.  And, I have learned that your neighbors don't want you to return 1 1/4 cups of milk or an egg when you've finally decided to go grocery shopping.  My wonderful neighbor now tells me that she doesn't want the two slices of bread back when she saves me from a hungry three year old's hunger induced tantrum.  Bryan tells me that I'm crazy for even offering to repay what I asked for, but I think it would be un-neighborly not to at least offer. 

So, now that I've made separate trips to the store to buy bread, toothpaste, peanut butter, shampoo, soap, sugar, apples and eggs over the past four days, I come to find out that I need to go back to the store and buy bread, again.  What on Earth happened to the last loaf?  We have two slices left for Madeline's sandwich tomorrow.  On some level, I should note, I am not always aware that we have run out of a certain food or essential item.  Bryan has a habit of using up the last of something and doesn't bother to alert me. He makes Madeline's sandwiches for school and will often use up the last of the bread and not tell me.  I only find out that we've run out of bread when I go to make Ellie a sandwich later in the day.    My current lack of memory only makes the situation worse.

Because I have Madeline's First Communion coming up this week, I have made sure that I have lists detailing what I need to buy at the stores and what needs to be taken care of at the house.  If all goes well, I will be able to get myself organized and focus on getting the house ready for a brunch, instead of running to Target and Acme every few hours to pick up another forgotten item.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why am I making lollipops?

Madeline's First Communion is now less than a week away.  I have a long list of things I have to do in order to get everything ready for next Saturday. I still have some yard work to do (A new variety of weeds grew for the third time in two weeks in the front garden--does it ever end?). I still have to buy some of the not so perishable food items and supplies needed for the brunch. And, I need to stress out about whether or not I'll be able to successfully put Madeline's hair into an updo before 8am next Saturday and also get myself and Ellie ready so we can be out the door by 8:30.  I want to put it out there that I am very envious of the mothers who have children that receive their First Communion at the 12:30 Mass.  If Madeline had the later Mass, I'd have her hair done by a professional and I'd have plenty of time to get things ready back at the house for the party.  
 Somehow I decided that today would be a great day to start making the lollipops for the party.  I slept for about 4 hours last night.  So I'm sleep deprived and slowly making lollipops in batches of 5 at a time.  Wilton, if you're out there, make candy molds that have more than 3 lollipops on them (I'm sure no one is using the teeny tiny crosses on the cross mould) and make two different moulds for the kneeling Communion child.  I'm not making the boy lollipops because I don't have a boy.  Making two girls and three crosses at a time is taking me forever.  It's 11pm now, and I started this project about 6 hours ago.  I have 20 lollipops done and 5 sitting in the fridge.  I think I have two more rounds to go.  This is a project that is much more enjoyable when I have a mould or two that have 6 or 7 lollipops each.  I remember being able to bang out 50 lollipops in two or three hours when Madeline was a toddler. I must have been an overachiever back then or I'm a slacker now.  I guess life was simpler when I only had one kid. God help me when/if a third child comes into this family. Surely, I will lose my mind.  I already can't keep track of who's who between the girls, the dog and Bryan.
I'm hoping I can get these lollipops finished soon so I can go to bed.  If I don't wake up before everyone else I'll wind up having a miserable rushed morning trying to get everyone ready for Mass.  Tomorrow is the only day of the week where I will willingly get out of bed at the unsavory hour of 6am.  The rest of the week you are lucky if you see me out of bed before 7:30.

Friday, May 1, 2009


The last thing I wanted to see this morning when the shade went up was rain.  I have one week to get my house in order before Madeline's First Communion and the brunch that will follow at our house.  Rain is something I'd rather not see today.
I have a growing list of things I need to take care of outside.  I have six blueberry bushes and two rosemary plants that need to be planted in the retainer wall.  I have to sweep the concrete around the pool since Bryan decided to cut the retainer wall stones up there and it's now littered with stone fragments.  I really wish he had cut the stones over the grass, but I guess he wanted a sound level surface for the circular saw.  
The front yard needs my attention, as well.  I have hedges that need trimming.  I also have a driveway that is covered in a giant dirt stain from where the pile of top soil was earlier in the week.  The rain isn't coming down hard enough to wash the dirt away so I'm going to have to sweep and hose it off the driveway.  I also need Bryan to spread mulch around in the front gardens. 
Bryan is going to a charity golf event tomorrow. He's not going to be around to help me with all this yard stuff tomorrow until much later in the day.  I'm also willing to bet that he's not going to want to do much when he gets home.  He has to get up at 5am tomorrow so he can head out to the golf course.  I don't expect to see him until 4 or 5pm tomorrow.  I will do my best not to be bitter about this tomorrow.  
I seriously feel like I'm running out of time here.  Tonight, if it stops raining, I have to play in a scrimmage against Madeline's soccer team.  Her coach thought it would be fun if the parents played against the kids for the practice tonight.  One half of the game will be dads vs. kids and the second half is moms vs. kids.  I don't play soccer, and the thought of playing against a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds who are probably going to kick me in the shins isn't very appealing.  Sunday we have a soccer game for Madeline after Mass, so we're busy until around 2 in the afternoon.  That only gives us a few hours to work in the yard. 

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