Sunday, May 31, 2009

Low Tech? How About NO Tech?

OK.  I have a blog.

So, naturally it follows that a) I have a computer and b) I actually use it.

Unfortunately though, I am ready to confess something.  I am quite technology deficient. For example,  I am not sure about cookies (unless they are dipped in a glass of ice cold milk.)  I still can only locate my photos on my hard drive by using the help window feature.  And if that is not bad enough, every time a window pops up about authenticating a security certificate, it reminds me just how insecure I really am with this computer.

One time, not too far in the past, I was typing away on a post, and lo and behold, my screen went blank.  I opened and closed the lid to the lap top hoping that that would do the trick.  Unfortunately, it did not.  I closed my eyes, said a silent prayer, and surreptitiously opened them.  No dice!  Black screen.  I tried to reboot.  Nothing.  Finally, I called for back up, and hubby came to the rescue.  He tickety tapped a few keys, glanced around the back of the computer, and then smiled mischievously.  

"Well? It's dead right?"  I asked, jumping to the worst case scenario.  My mind replayed my last few minutes with the infernal machine, trying to find the cause of its death.

Paul sighed, looked up to the ceiling, and then declared exasperatedly, "Annie!  It's dead alright.  The battery is dead!  Just charge it." 

And, it was!  He was right, and I was just plain computer stupid, two things that I hate!

So, needless to say, any little freeze, glitch or problem with the computer and I panic.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I posted a discussion on another person's blog via the blogfrog (The widget in the right corner of my blog. . . or for you fellow technology inept readers, the button or link.)  I was pretty impressed with myself that I had figured out how to get to the blog's forum and then had also figured out how to post a discussion question.  I asked for granola recipes without nuts, because of El's nut allergy.  All was well and a few people posted some great recipe replies, but then tragedy struck.  As I scrolled down the page to get to the most recent recipe posts, the page stopped.  No more scrolling.  And, even though there were clearly more people that had gone out of their way to answer my plea for recipe help, I could not access their posts no matter what I did.

I tried every avenue that I knew. (Although, I admit I do not know that many avenues or roads or streets for that matter.  Unfortunately, I am not a GPS for computer maneuvering.)  Nothing.  Finally, I emailed the blogfrog help desk.

Clearly, I need help . . .

and my granola recipes!

Cooling Off

It has been super hot here in the midwest, not that we are complaining.  And lest you think that we are just wallowing around the house, sweating and swatting at flies, here are the kiddies cooling off at the local fountain.

El had never seen water that just shoots right out of the ground.  Needless to say, she was surprised  and fascinated by it, especially when it would disappear just as she would try to catch it!

Ab just decided to park herself happy right on top of one of the fountains.

And, E, being all boy, just stuck his head right in.  It reminded me of the time that I had to fish his head out of the ball return at the bowling alley.  Aaaaah!  Good times!

Clearly, we all had a blast. . .
that is until I had to strong arm El into the stroller to go home.

It's a good thing that I have been working out.  My little ball of fire is strong and stubborn!  (Which are great qualities to have as an adult, but not so great qualities to deal with as an 18 month old!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails?!?

There is definitely a difference between boys and girls.

I witnessed this firsthand at the ballpark tonight.  Two little rugrats on E's team were gabbing while waiting to bat.  I couldn't help but eavesdrop as they played in the mud right in front of my seat.

"Hey!  Where did you go?"  Boy 1 asked Boy 2.

Boy 2, looked perplexed, shrugged and then went back to packing his mud into a mound.

Boy 1 tried again, and this time he was sure to be good and loud.  "I said, where did you go?"

"Go?" Boy 2 answered.  Then it dawned on him.  "Oh!  Go!  There was a port a potty over by that dugout," he gestured over his shoulder to the big boy ball field.  "I went there."  

"Oh."  Boy 1 answered.

They both played for a few moments, getting muddier and muddier by the minute.

Finally, Boy 2 volunteered some more information in a semi-whisper, "It didn't have a sink so . . . I didn't wash my hands."

Boy 1 instantly froze, looked at Boy 2 right in the face and said, in awe, "That is so cool!  You are so lucky."

As God as my witness, I couldn't make this stuff up.  It just happened right before my eyes.

So, there you have it.  

I love, love, love little boys. . .

But they are gross.

Better Beware

It is Thursday evening and hubby is golfing his weekly game.

On his way out the door, he threw at me this tidbit, "There's a bet tonight."

"On what? "  I answered.

"On which wife will call and interrupt the last time before we finish our nine holes," he explained.  "The husband whose wife calls last loses the bet."

I rationalized, "So, if I call you in the next hour, it is a safe bet that you will not lose, because surely another wife will call later than me."

He thought about this for a second, with his hand still on the doorknob to leave, and then said, "Yeah, you are pretty safe then.  Bernie's wife called and interrupted at least 3 times last week."

Feeling pretty good that it hadn't been me, I replied, "Is that when you guys instituted this bet?"

Smiling devilishly, he replied as he scooted out the door, "No.  The bet was created after the night that you called me several times about E's t-ball game."  

I could hear him laughing as he walked to the car.

A good wife would feel guilty that she was the cause of a bet about disturbing golf.

I, however, am not a good wife apparently, because, as he chuckled on his way to the car, all I could think about was making a mental note to myself to call him in about 3 hours . . .  just to say that I love him.

I am sure that he will appreciate it!  But if not, his buddies sure will.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Ellerie can unbuckle her carseat.

Currently, I am trying to appreciate just how much more interesting my everyday car trips have and will become.  I mean really, it is always so pleasant to be surprised with a kiss on your right shoulder by your 18 month old, while driving.

So, if you see a tan colored mom-mobile veering down the road, remember to be patient, be kind, and to stay out of the way.

It is probably me, trying to restrain El with one hand, while pulling over the car with the other.

And, if perchance you have your windows down to enjoy the lovely weather . . . please excuse any random and/or  interesting language that wafts through your windows.

It may be me with my selective Turret's syndrome.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update to Not Me!

After divulging my static cling panty moment from last week in yesterday's post, a friend shared this gem to cheer me up. . .

"At least your stow away panties were pretty, lacy panties.  It could have been worse.  They could have been granny panties or stained ones."

Amen sister!  Indeed, they could have been.  We all know that on some days those grannies are a necessary evil.  They are our work horse panties, and panties that should certainly never, ever be seen, even if it is only in a static cling moment.

So, my black lacies may have been on display, but I am learning to be OK with that.  At least E didn't bring them to show and tell for his black color day.

Oh, and mom . . . in case you were wondering, I had on two clean pairs of undies that day.  

So, I was doubly safe in case of a car accident!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Not Me! Memorial Day

It is Monday again, and this Monday did not start as a usual Monday.  Because of Memorial Day, there was no evil alarm clock, no rushing to brush knotty hair, and no gulped down toast on the way out of the door.  Instead, I had leisurely coffee with yummy french vanilla creamer, I read the entire newspaper, and I ate a whole wheat English muffin with melted butter. (Do not even talk to me about margarine!  Fake fat?!  I mean, seriously, if I am going to consume fat, it is going to be the good stuff.  Full fat.  Full flavor!  Yum!)  The kiddies slept until 9 am and hubby went golfing in the early am hours, so the house was quiet and comatose.  A beautiful morning all in all, and a great preview of the summer mornings to come.

Bring it on, I say.

I am ready!

Like most Mondays, I will divulge my secrets to you in the form of a Not Me! Monday, a posting idea made famous by the fabulous blogger MckMama.  A Not Me!  Monday is the one day of the week where you are brutally honest with yourself in the hopes that you can fend off a trip to the psychiatrist's office.  Purging the craziness allows for a fresh outlook for the upcoming insanity of the week.  With that said . . .

Onto my free therapy . . .

It was not me that on E's last day of preschool was running late to pick him up.  I would certainly have allowed enough time for a decent shower after my trip to the gym.  I would not have hurriedly threw clothes on, ignoring the fact that my shorts were a bit snug.  It also couldn't have been me that after running into E's school building and gathering a few looks from other on-time mommies, noticed that the reason my shorts were snug was that a stray pair of my black lacy underwear had hitch hiked a ride inside my short's leg.  It also could not have been me that was mortified that the stow away undies said in bright pink on its band, "Victoria's Secret PINK!"  Ridiculous!  I would never suffer from static cling, nor do I  worry about what other mommies think of my undies.  That would be a waste of my time, don't you think?

It was also not me that served my kiddies macaroni and cheese three times last week.  I would recognize that macaroni and cheese is not an every day meal, but a sometimes meal.  I also would not have been caught eating the said macaroni and cheese out of the pan with a serving spoon.  I know that I am supposed to be watching my calories, not watching my calories grow.

Clearly, it could not have been me that discovered when writing my bills that I had no more checks.  I would have been more fiscally responsible and ordered my checks weeks ago when I noticed that they were becoming scarce.  I would not have spent close to $40 to rush order more checks so that I could pay my bills in a timely manner.  That would have been frivolous for me to do.  Silly!

It was also not me that found an extra book of checks in my secret hiding place for emergencies . . . three days later.

Finally, it could not have been me that did absolutely no laundry for 4 days straight just because  . . . well, just because the weather was so beautiful.  Clearly, a family's laundry is important.

But, . . .

it just can't be me that thinks that it isn't that important.

Oh well, off to the rest of my day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


My hubby and I are overachievers.

Currently, we are . . .

1) Trying to solve the water problem in the basement.  So far we have removed the floor, cleaned the water up, fixed the broken gutter that was the suspected culprit of the crime, and are investigating preventing water problems in the future.  

2.) Doing spring cleaning in the garage.  Hubby took a trip to the dump yesterday with a car load of junk, mostly broken down toys, leftover building materials, and general gahr - bahge.  Purging (junk that is) is one of my favorite things to do.  The kiddies know that if they leave their toys out, they will either be donated to Goodwill, trashed (if they are broken or unsafe), or sucked up by the vacuum if they are small enough to fit through the cleaner hose.  No questions asked. I am evil in that way.  It's OK though.  I am good with it.

3.) Laying new floor in Ab's room.  The project is 98 percent complete, despite some very colorful language from hubby.   We reused the leftover good flooring from the basement, so, no cost.  Just labor.  Very time consuming and cursing inducing labor.  It's a good thing that the weather has been so nice, the kiddies were outside to miss most of it.  We actually may have to invent a new language to express our dissatisfaction in front of the kiddies.  Something along the lines of, "Holy Sch-nikes!" a la Tommy Boy or maybe, "Son of a motherless goat."  Somehow, those don't seem to express quite the same sentiment.

4.) Working on the kitchen remodel.  One section has no walls or flooring.  As I write, hubby is drilling into the wall to locate the electrical wires to do some rewiring.  Unfortunately, I just heard an, "Uh oh."  An uttered, uh- oh, usually means, hire a professional, and in this case, hubby just drilled through an electrical wire.  Fortunately, I have experience in this area (uh-oh's not electricity), and I have my electrician's number programmed into my cell phone for just this reason.

5.) And, if these projects are not enough, I am in the midst of finishing painting the hallway.  This is not an easy task as the stairwell has 20 foot ceilings, and I will need to use the extension ladder.  Extension ladders plus three kiddies and a cat equals hire a baby sitter for my sanity.  She will be helping out later this week.

So the insanity of the week continues as I live in a disaster zone.  We overachievers don't mind though. We see past the drop cloths, construction dust, and rubbermaid tubs full of tools and supplies. Instead, we only see the end result in our minds.  And, the end result will be spectacular!

Too bad it will take the better part of the year to complete.


Hi-ho! Hi-ho!  Off to work we go.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer Teaser

We are experiencing true summer weather these last few days here in the midwest!

Absolutely beautiful . . .

Sun soaking . . .

Outdoor living . . .

Blue-sky, delicious weather . . .

And . . .

we are enjoying every single, solitary minute of it!

(P.S.  Can you believe that that is actually my rose bush?  And, that I haven't killed it with my brown thumb?  It is just one of my many every day miracles!)

Here's hoping you have a delicious day too!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's Summertime

Ethan informed me yesterday that Friday was his last day of school.

"Isn't that great Mom?" he gushed.  "It's summertime!" he sang, complements of the High School Musical soundtrack.

I chuckled at his obvious enthusiasm and replied, "Yep E.  Mom is ready for summer!  No more waking up early to get to school."

And without skipping a beat, my little angel replied, "I know!  And you want to know the best part?"

"Sure,"  I answered.

"The best part is that I get to be home all day every day with you!" he answered sincerely.

Yes, dear boy, that is the best . . .

and the worst part, indeed.

Let the summer insanity (and the margaritas) start flowing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Playing with Food

I have a million dollar idea.

I will share it with you as long as you promise not to steal it.  Promise?

OK.  There I feel better now.

My idea (and really, it is soooooo fabulous that I can't even stand it) is  . . .
to incorporate a playroom into your local grocery store.

Ingenious, no?

I came upon this idea after trying to do my weekly grocery store run with all three of my kiddies in tow.  After I rescued El from almost doing a header out of the cart's seat. After I had said to E for the 107th time, "Don't touch every piece of produce!" After I sounded like a broken record saying, "No.  You don't need that.  You want that,"  or "If sugar is first on the label, forget about it!"  After all of that, it occurred to me how pleasant grocery shopping could be if, and only if, the kiddies weren't there.

And the idea was born.

What if upon entering your local grocery store, you first stopped at their well equipped playroom?  You could check your kiddies in safe with the knowledge that a) they would be no where near you and could no longer sneak goodies into your cart and b)  you could shop at a leisurely pace instead of having to run up and down the aisles to keep little hands from grabbing items and to stem the inevitable meltdown that a too long grocery trip triggers.  Wonderful, right?  The kiddies would be happy too.  No longer would they have to deal with a grumpy, snapping mom.  They could instead play on the play equipment, organize a mean game of house, or just generally run amok.  Happy mom equals happy kids equals win-win in my book.

To up the ante, just off of the playroom, the grocery store could have a swanky coffee bar.  Moms could drop off their kiddies, grab a cup of joe and actually, enjoy grocery shopping. Then, moms could linger a little longer in the produce, be able to ask the butcher questions, or even (gasp!) read labels.  I personally think that this extra time spent in the store would certainly translate to more money spent by the shopper which, in turn, would then translate into greater revenue for the grocery chain. But, that is just my opinion. 

And, after your shopping is complete, and you have made it through the checkout with no meltdowns, no extra chocolate bars snuck in the cart, and no extra buttons pushed on the credit card reader by messy little fingers, you could smile!  Your chore completed, you could pick up your happy, if exhausted (an added bonus) kiddies on your way out to your mom-mobile.  

It is genius, I tell you.  

I would even drive across town to visit a food chain if they had a playroom.  


May Blizzard

Since the weather has broken, I have been promising the kiddies that we will get ice cream one night after dinner.  One of our favorite summer ice cream stops is the local Dairy Queen. . .  and, now that E is five, he has declared himself old enough to eat a Dairy Queen blizzard.  

So, every day (and night) for the past few evenings, E has questioned, begged, and pleaded for his beloved blizzard.  

And, so far, every evening we have had something else to do, so, no blizzard for E.

Last night, while I was showering after working in the yard, E barged into the bathroom, closed the toilet lid, and parked himself comfortable. 


Through the sound of water I answered a garbled, "Yes?"

"Mom, I am not going to ask you about Dairy Queen or a blizzard!"

I smiled.  I suspected that he was up to something.  "That's great E.  What's up?"

"Well.  I thought that I would sing you a song instead."

I waited and wondered just exactly what he was concocting.

"OK, Mom.  Here it is . . .  I loooooove blizzards.  Dad looooooves blizzards.  Sisters looooove blizzards, except for baby sisters who are allergic to peanuts!" he sing-songed heartily.

I immediately started to giggle at his attempt at persuasion, so I was unprepared for his last line of the melody.

"Even Jesus loooooooooves blizzards!"  He paused.  "That's it Mom.  I am done.  Did you like it?"

Seriously, how could I not like it?  It was a complete original, and I had to give him points for including Jesus, because, after all, Jesus was a man.  I suppose that he could have liked blizzards.

I just wonder if the Virgin Mary was ever disturbed while she bathed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Picture Perfect

One of my girlfriends recently volunteered to take pictures of my kiddies.

After I stopped laughing, and realized that she was actually serious, I quickly took her up on her offer before she could change her mind.  

I mean, really, did she not witness El's frequent meltdowns in the line at Kroger?  The ones where she wiggles her body in a 360 degree maneuver to escape the cart's seat belt.  You know, those ones!  For that matter, has she not witnessed E on any given day when he has various goose eggs, scratches, and picked mosquito bites all over his little body?  He is quite often a walking scab.  Not pretty, my friends.  Not pretty!  Finally, has she not seen my darling fashionista, especially when she is trying to smile her model smile?  Interesting, to say the least.

Apparently, if she had witnessed any (or all) of these daily occurrences, she still wanted to preserve them on paper.   Or . . . maybe she just likes to laugh.

Anyway, the photo shoot went as most photo shoots do when three rambunctious children are involved.  It was crazy!  E was literally in a tree, El picked the heads off of the prized tulips in the garden, and thankfully, Ab helped me to chase the other two around.

We did get a few shots that were super, though.

This was shot while E was in the tree. ( My girlfriend is fantastic!)

And this one is a keeper!  It makes me fearful for the teen years down the road.  I mean, (eek!) she is only seven!  (By the way, when this was being taken, I was fishing El out of the gold fish pond.  And, no, I am not exaggerating.)

Here is one of El when she was being jovial.  Sweet, yes?  Notice the wooded background?  We were in a local garden, and she was, as usual, off the path . . . way off the path.

And here is one of El in her meltdown mode.  Notice my hand is holding her wrist so that she doesn't flail her whole body to the ground in dramatics.  I love, love, love this one, and someday she will hate, hate, hate it.  Tee hee!  

Finally, this is the best shot that my girlfriend could get of the three of them together.  No one is looking in the same direction, Ab has got a death grip on El, and E seems like he is just along for the ride.  I love it!  Those are my three to a T, sisters and brother, hanging on to each other. 

So, I would call this photo shoot a success.

And, as for my friend?

She survived . . .  

and, she is still a photographer. 

(**** Seriously, Kim!   You are the best.  I love you girl!  Thanks for the insanity.)


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