Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This was yesterday. Jack stayed home tonight in his jammies with a fever of 101.7. Send wine!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

There May Be Hope

Claire got sick to her stomach yesterday morning and spent most of the morning on the couch feeling poorly. Then this happened.

There may be hope for this dog*.

Also, this, just because he's adorable.

Mary Grace got to go to a birthday party at the zoo. She held a hedgehog and petted an armadillo. I didn't get photos, though. She has reached the age where parents don't stay for parties anymore. Sunrise, sunset, etc.

Pumpkin carving today.  I'm hoping to convince them that doing it with a Sharpie is as much fun.  Pumpkin guts are disgusting.

*Don't worry, Jen, we don't let her on the couch unless she's actively being therapeutic.  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I made it home yesterday afternoon just in time to watch my to-do list odometer flip from 999,999 to 1,000,000 things to do.  My to-do list is magic, because every time I check off one thing, two pop up to replace it.

Maybe I need to stop checking things off.

I have a sinus thing going on, so I have to blow my nose every 11 seconds.

I yelled at the kids tonight because they were misbehaving at bedtime, and it took an hour and a half to put Jack to bed, but only 20 minutes after I finally broke down and gave him Tylenol.

We met with our life insurance guy today, and I think he is trying to sell us way too much insurance.  As in, well over seven figures worth of insurance.  How many kids do you have, and how much life insurance do you have?  How did you arrive at that number?

According to the same insurance guy, if we want to have enough money to put all of our kids through a state school, like Purdue or Indiana University, we have to start saving $2000 a month.


If I had an extra $2000 a month lying around, I wouldn't live in this house.

We're absolutely screwed if they want to go to Notre Dame or some Ivy League thing.

I don't understand how we're ever going to be able to make college happen, ever.

I have already started teaching the kids that if they get (and use) a full ride scholarship to any university, Mommy will buy them a car.  (No fair getting a full ride to State U, but then deciding that you want to go to Princeton, Prettybabies.  That will not count.)

Mary Grace has already chosen a pink "hug bug" as her car of choice.

Her first report card, ever, came home today and it was excellent, so only 51 excellent report cards to go.  (That doesn't sound like much - 13 years of school, 4 report cards a year, 52 report cards over the course of K-12).

I don't honestly know why I'm posting one sentence at a time today, it just seems like the thing to do.

My throat REALLY hurts.  Whiskey is good for that, right?

We had breakfast for dinner tonight.  Bacon, scrambled eggs/omelets, and pancakes.  The pancakes were "dessert."

We also got the stuff to make caramel apples with Karen and her kids on Friday, but I couldn't find the sticks.

I can't believe I suggested an activity as sticky as caramel apples as a thing to do with 7 kids under age 6.

I think this sinus thing has gotten into my brain.

Talk to me about report cards, caramel apples, and life insurance in the comments.  I'm going to bed.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I was supposed to be home by dinner time tonight. There was fog in Texas, though, so we are still waiting on our flight - it was supposed to leave at 10:30 and now we're scheduled to go at 2:35.

Spending six hours in an airport with a baby is as much fun as it sounds.

I'm going to miss my connecting flight in Tampa.

Thankfully we have family all over, and my mom has a condo near there, so we aren't homeless tonight. Amanda offered to come back for me but it's a 3 hour round trip from her house to the airport, and 3 of those in 2 days is too much to ask of someone who has a 200+ page report due this week.

I've had a great time, but I'm really ready to get home, and I hate this airport right now. People are extremely friendly in Indiana, and I'm spoiled. I miss home, where men see a woman with a baby and they offer her a seat in a crowded gate area. Southern hospitality apparently doesn't have a ticket, so it's not allowed past security.

Jack is finally napping, extremely late, but better late than never.

It could always be a lot worse. Entertain me with your worst travel disasters in the comments!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What the what?

I've flown with my kids dozens of times, and have never needed any documentation for them (with the obvious exception of MG's passport when we went to France). So I was shocked when the ticketing agent asked me for Jack's immunization records or birth certificate to verify his age before she would let me fly today!

"I flew out of here on Southwest 2 weeks ago with him, and we didn't need that," I told her. I quit arguing and started making calls when she told me it was a $10000 fine if TSA asked me for proof of his age and I couldn't produce something. "But neither of those things have his picture. How will you know that it's really his?!" I sputtered.

"Ma'am, if you choose to give us false documentation there isn't much I can do... This is for your protection, they've really been cracking down, probably because of all the abductions..." she trailed off ominously and I thought of the Free Range Kids blog.

"No, I can get his shot records if you can take a fax," I said, deciding not to quote the stats about crime being at a 48 year low. I called the doctor's office and got the records faxed, and we were sent on.

At security I asked, and the three TSA agents I spoke with had never heard of such a thing.

And they couldn't hold Jack while I put my shoes back on because they're not allowed to touch babies.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Third Trip in 10 Months!

Tomorrow Jack and I will be leaving on his third trip on an airplane since he was born.  We are headed to Louisiana to see my dear friend Amanda from college.  I'm grateful that he's not old enough to remember the stories we'll tell, because I know there will be lots of reminiscing.

I'm also grateful that he has proven to be an excellent flyer.  And I'm a light packer.  We should be in good shape.

It's funny how you change with each kid.  I didn't take Mary Grace anywhere alone until she was 15 months old and we went to Texas to see a friend.  I took Claire to Amanda's wedding when she was 9 months old. I first flew with Jack when he was 4 or 5 months old and we went to Disneyworld.  I guess I only get partial credit for that one, since we met BJ and the girls there.  My point, though, is that I never would have dreamed of taking Mary Grace anywhere when she was that little.  We could barely make it to Grammaland at that age, because she screamed in the car.  My hearing must not be as good, because that sort of thing just doesn't phase me anymore.

Sorry ye ol' blog has been light on content lately.  We've been idiotically busy.  Good friends are moving to Russia any time now (Fulbright fellowship) and we've been seeing them as much as possible, we've had tons of playdates and activities with friends and school, I've been trying to keep my head above water at work, and the meds that the doctor gave me for my shoulder put me in a coma by 9 pm most nights, so my usual blogging time is spent dreaming, instead.

The shoulder is improving, as is my cold.  We're hanging in there.  Jack had a weird rash all over his chest and tummy tonight, but the internet told me not to freak out, so I'm not freaking out.  Thanks, Dr. Google!

Since I don't have any great stories, I will leave you with a recipe for Chicken Stew that I made today in the crock pot - it was especially yummy on a cold, wet, miserable day:

Coat 1-1/2 pounds of chicken (more or less) in 1/4 cup of flour.  Put in crock pot.  Add one bag of frozen stew veggies (mine, from Kroger, had onion, carrot, celery, and potatoes) and one can of chicken broth.  Cook 6-8 hours on low (3-4 on high).  30 minutes before serving, stir in one bag of frozen peas and 1/2 a container of Philly Chive and Onion spread.  Easy peasy, and really really good!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Shoulder

It is with great relief that I tell you that I did not screw up my rotator cuff (although, this is the year to do it, I've already met my deductible).  I strained my trapezius.  Dr. M gave me flexeril and vicodin.  Party at Amy's!  I took a flexeril last night when I got home around 5 pm, and thought, "This isn't doing anything."  I made dinner, cleaned up, etc. etc. all with the same amount of pain that I'd been having.  Then I went to lay down with Jack at 8 pm and I slept in my clothes until 7 am.  I woke up a couple times in the night with Jack, but never enough that it seemed like a good idea to put pajamas on.

So while my shoulder may not feel any better, at least I'm rested.

Time to get everybody ready for school...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We made it home, in spite of the fact that we started the day by going to the wrong airport.

I've done something horrible to my right shoulder and I have a doctor's appointment that will probably interfere with my ability to pick up both kids and the dog tomorrow. Oh, and the dog has worms, which is AWESOME. So after I get her I need to take a fecal sample to our vet. Did I mention that BJ is going to be gone out of town on business for about 12 hours tomorrow? Hahahahahahahahaha.

I can't even reach the radio and AC buttons in my car, much less lift anything. How am I going to parent three kids alone tomorrow?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Long Walk on the Beach

BJ wants me to point out that he is wearing the sling, he isn't in the Mr. Beach Dad pageant or anything.


Dear Jack,

Yesterday I danced with you at a wedding for the first time, and I had this moment where my current self and my future self must have thought about each other at the same time, because all of a sudden you were a grown man, and we were dancing together at your wedding, and in a heartbeat I was back to the present, with fresh tears in my eyes.

Don't grow up too fast, my darling son.


Thursday, October 6, 2011


This kid is definitely his Grandpa Ben and Grandmother Diana's boy. They're both pilots, and he LOVES to fly. Long day of travel today. We have a few hours at MCO before we fly to Panama City. We should arrive at the location of the wedding, St. George's Island, around bedtime.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Some pathetic person who has nothing better to do with his or her time than leave rude comments on my blog has forced me to turn off anonymous commenting for the time being.

I don't care what this idiot has to say, but it really bothers people I care about, and I won't have that.

For now, you're going to have to put your name behind your thoughts if you want to share them on my blog.  That should take care of the problem.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

We Win At Parenting

Since school started, I've been feeling a TON of guilt because other mothers will wait at the bus stop with their children for the bus, while I stay in my jammies in my house and watch (off and on) from my front window.  The bus drops off in my front yard.  The kids play out there all the time.  I see no reason to supervise.  Besides, I can count on the other parents to protect all the kids if something bizarre happens, right?

Wrong, as it turns out.

BJ and I were standing in the front window (we were breaking down a gate to pack into the giant bag that happened to be on the couch) while the girls were waiting for the bus (Claire likes to hang out with MG.  She hasn't tried to get on the bus, herself, yet.)  All of a sudden I saw kids scatter into my front yard, which was odd.  Then I saw a HUGE dog.

"There's a dog out there. Go.  GO!"  I said to BJ, who was more dressed than I was at the moment.

Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife!

He ran out there like a superhero and caught the dog (who turned out to be a big doof of a lab, probably 80-100 pounds, friendly but full of energy.  He's currently awaiting his owners in the back yard).  I grabbed my robe and a leash, then brought Penny in so he could put the dog in our yard.

The other parents, a married couple, stood there and did nothing!

What is the frigging point of standing out there every morning if you're not going to bother to protect your kids when the opportunity arises??

After the bus came, I took a shower, and had a chance to mull things over a bit.  When I got out I said to BJ,  "You know, I'm feeling some very primal feelings toward you right now.  You protected the offspring from threat while lesser men stood idly by....  It's very sexy!"  I said.

We may have to do daily reenactments.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Faith in Little Old Ladies: Restored. Humanity? Not so much...

While picking Mary Grace up from Daisy Scouts, today, I got into a conversation with a lovely little old lady (LoL) who was picking up her granddaughter.  Jack was dancing around on a folding chair, delighted with his own ability to pull himself up to standing, then bounce around a bit, then make Mommy squawk and freak out when he tried to dive off of the chair in a random direction (lather, rinse, repeat).

"You know," she said, "when a baby is that happy, you can tell that he gets lots and lots of love at home."

Ok, LoLs of the world, I forgive you for the comment about the curls.

I will NOT, however, be forgiving the denizens of Goodwill.  Ever.

So I was looking for a muumuu.  "Why why?" you might ask, and rightfully so.  Because, because I am attending a wedding on Saturday, and that was the suggested attire.

The only place I could think of to find a muumuu was Goodwill, so off we went.  Indeed, they had a few, but they were all in regrettable patterns, and if I'm going to wear something with less shape than a bean bag chair, it had better at least be made out of cute fabric in flattering colors.

I'm standing in the aisle, looking through the dresses, and a woman is talking to Jack, who is in the cart beside me.

"Oh, aren't you a precious boy?  Aren't you happy?  Are you having fun shopping with GRANDMA today?"

That sound you hear is someone scratching the needle off of the record in my head.

I just turned to her and said, "Really?" and swore never to set foot in Goodwill again.

(The muumuu is a no no, anyway, particularly when one is nursing.  I will be wearing a skirt and top, instead, thank you very much.)

The Comments Section

Boooooobz. (via List of the Day)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Imagination Station

I've lived here for 13 years, and I always thought that the Imagination Station was inside the semi trailer outside, so being mildly claustrophobic, I never took the kids. Turns out that the trailer is just a sign, and the Station itself is actually in the brick building behind the trailer.


Jack has licked the whole place, so we will certainly be sick by Tuesday, which is AWESOME because we are flying Thursday.