Thursday, October 30, 2008
Pretty random, eh? I guess that is the point. This picture was taken over the 4th of July weekend 2005. We were at the IL's church for our nephew's baptism (he was born 5 weeks early, he wasn't even supposed to show up until then). That is Uncle Nick, and I think he's taking a picture of Emma--before the nephew showed up she was the only grandchild/niece on that side of the family. I was also 35 weeks pregnant with Leah at the time. This was also one of those rare occasions where all of dh's family was home together. It happens about once every 2-4 years or so, but it is always fun when all the kids are home. Now there are 4 grandchildren/nieces/nephews to spoil.
So here is the next picture in the folder:
Emma looking at the picture Nick took--what did we ever do before digital cameras and instant gratification? Can you remember when you took pictures, waited for the roll to be finished, sent it in, waited 3-4 days for it to come back, then saw the pictures? Things our kids will never know.
Some more 4's
A) Four places I go over and over
B) Four people who e-mail me regularly
Victoria's Secret (seriously, its multiple times a day--and I don't shop there much)
Hungry Girl newsletter
ISU Alumni Association
I do use e-mail, but honestly I use my phone or IM more. As you see, most of the e-mail we get is because we are on some list. The pesky viagra people e-mail me all the time, too.
C) Four of my favorite places to eat
Macaroini Grill (haven't been there in a long time)
anywhere where I don't have to cook
D) Four places you'd rather be
sleeping in bed still
shopping without kids
E) Four TV shows I could watch over and over
ANTM (I just like to see the pictures at the end)
I Love the 80's and 90's shows
And speaking of 4's . . .
We have a small investment account that we started a number of years ago. It has a few individual stocks and mostly mutual funds. Let's just say that hubby and I would never be cut out for wall street, we can't pick stocks worth a darn. We recently bought stock in a company that dh could've worked for. It is rumored that this company may have to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, so the stock's worth at close of yesterday? Forty-nine cents. Ye-ouch.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Emma was home from school on Monday and the two girls actually played very well together. For lunch I decided to do something "special" for them, so we made "Witches Brew". They both love oatmeal, so to the oatmeal we added:
- dirt (cinnamon)
- bugs (raisins)
- mouse poop (chocolate sprinkles)
- blood (red gel frosting)
- bug guts (Halloween sprinkles)
- "Boo" written in black gel frosting
They also had vampire blood to drink (maybe I've been reading a few too many vampire books). That happened to be strawberry milk. After lunch Emma told me, "You are the best mom EVER!"
We continued the theme into supper last night. The girls had some brains (spaghetti noodles), troll boogers (broccoli), goblin teeth (carrots) and we cooked and ate the witches dog who clucked like a chicken (chicken). Once again we had vampire blood to drink.
Last night when I set the plates on the table, Emma's had broccoli on it and Leah's didn't. Leah immediately went into a song and dance about "I don't have any broccoli, yea, yea, yea." I then put a piece on her plate and she said, "Yuck, I don't like broccoli!" I told her it wasn't broccoli, it was troll boogers. "Oh, I LIKE troll boogers!" and she immediately picked it up and took a small bite. The look on her face was priceless because she still didn't like broccoli, but she was trying hard to choke it down. I know the feeling, girl.
Maybe this weekend I will cut their sandwhiches out with Halloween cookie cutters. Just call me Martha.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday: Hubby took a 1/2 day off to help decorate for the alumni band party. My mom came down to watch the kids and help sew Halloween costumes. We made a very cute dalmatian costume in under 2 hours--we both manned a sewing machine, she sewed the top and I sewed the bottom. Hubby and I went to the alumni band party from 7pm-midnight. It was a fun party, we got to see people from college whom we haven't seen for many years. We inherited another child, my nephew, whom my mom got to watch in addition to our two girls.
Saturday: Hubby and I were off to band practice by 9am. Found out before we left that my nephew had gotten sick in the middle of the night; lovely. I was home around 11:30 am. Decided pumpkin carving would be a fun activity for the kids. My two took one look inside and decided that was good enough. Grandma and I carved an intricate spider design (which the kids chose) while the kids played. Hubby was home for 45 min (remember, he left at 9 am) and had to be back to the stadium by 4pm for a 6pm kickoff. My dad stopped by to pick up me and my nephew to go to the game. Watched the Cyclones lose (but they did keep playing until the very end) and got home after 10 pm.
Sunday: Finished details for the dalmatian costume. Sent Grandma home in 50 mph winds--hope the drive was okay! Got the girls off to early naps in preparation for neighborhood Halloween party. Went to said Halloween party, it was fun but all most too many kids/people there. Dalmatian costume came home with blue paint on it, as did my favorite pair of jeans. So far my jeans are fairing better than the costume getting the paint out. Hubby mowed the lawn in 50 mph winds and 40 degree temps--just about as bad as the rain.
**A side note about the band party. You see, ISU is a big engineering school so the majority of the marching band is actually made up of enginerds (hubby included). One of the people on the band board happens to be an electrical engineer. One of the games at the party was "Tuba Hero" where you could play the game Guitar Hero by using an actual tuba--each of the three valves co-incided with three of the "strings" of the guitar. I wasn't brave enough to try the tuba hero, but hubby and I had fun playing against each other in guitar hero. We may just have to get a PS3 for Christmas. ;)
It was a fun weekend, but it is time to get back to "work". Emma doesn't have school today due to a teacher inservice, so I have an extra one at home. The dishwasher is going, there are dirty dishes in the sink, the washing machine is going, there are 3 baskets of clean laundry to put away, and I have enough work to keep me busy for awhile.
Friday, October 24, 2008
On our street we have the "Desperate Housewives Lawnmowing Club". Most of the time you will catch us ladies out mowing the lawns because our husbands don't all work typical hours. I don't mind mowing, except when the temperature is below say 60 and its raining. Ours needs to be done, too, but I don't see that happening for awhile. Should I ask the neighbor to come on over when he's done?
- Wednesday I waited 4 freaking hours for the appliance repair guy to show up. Yes, we live in a new house. Yes, my appliances are less than a year old. Yes, every appliance save one has issues. We are going on ice maker #3 for the $2K fridge, the door of the microwave works . . . for now, and I'm getting a replacement sensor for my oven. The temp runs low at temperatures under 400 degrees. Hey, at least I can try to blame the oven when my cookies don't turn out. And a plea to the dishwasher--you are the one appliance that hasn't quit yet. Please do not wait until after your warranty is over to start having issues. Thank you.
- I'm changing my lifestyle once again. No, I'm not becoming a Democrat, although my daughter announced this morning that is how she would vote (she just likes the candidate's name). I have to say lifestyle change because it isn't a diet, right? We got a picture in the mail from the 15 year class reunion and it wasn't pretty. So I've got some new found motivation and its going well so far. And I also determined that I wasted $115 on my hair, it didn't look that great either.
- We have a busy weekend ahead. My mom is coming down today and we have to cut out and make Emma's dalmatian costume. It will just be a pair of pants and a hooded sweatshirt with ears and a tail added. I'm all about re-using parts of costumes if at all possible. So after Halloween she will have a new pair of sleep pants and a sweatshirt she can wear to school.
- Tonight my husband and I have a social event (gasp!). It is the alumni band party, so hopefully we will see some old friends. That is mostly why Grandma is here, to watch the kids. Saturday is ISU's Homecoming game. Our temperature hasn't topped 45 degrees all week, but supposedly tomorrow it will be sunny, dry, and 58 degrees. I don't believe it. The game is a night game, so I may only make it through halftime to watch hubby march and then I'll go back to my cozy warm house.
- We also have a Halloween party on Sunday afternoon with the neighborhood "gang". Emma was invited to a bowling birthday party as well, but she chose to go to the Halloween party instead. Hubby may be bowing out, which is just fine--that boy hasn't been home before 7:30 pm all week and needs some down time.
- I got Emma to wear a pair of jeans to school this week--a breakthrough! She did tell me that one particular pair was comfortable and she would wear them again. Good, because its the only pair she has. Now we're back to the underwear issue. I'm doing laundry as I type because the 4 pair of underwear that she likes are all dirty. The other dozen or so in her drawer are "too small". Even though they are all the same size and 1/2 of them came from the exact same package as her favorites.
Was that random enough for you? Have a good weekend, everyone (I could probably list you all by name).
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Once I became a parent, I became a little more fanatical about costumes. I do not like the cheap, store-bought costumes if you can make something cuter for about the same money you fork over for those hideous things. For Emma's 1st Halloween she was about 6 months old and I had found a sleep-n-play mouse "costume" cheap at a consignment shop. I did add a few whiskers to make her look more mouse-like. We happened to be in the middle of a move/job change at that time so we were back in Iowa visiting my sister and my nephew for Halloween. I think photographic evidence of that Halloween is stuck on my parents' computer.
Here are the next few Halloween costumes:
Halloween 2004--Black Cat (skirt, tail and ears made by me)
Look at me, I even got into the spirit of things that year
Halloween 2005--Yoda (made without a pattern by Aunt Glenda)
Emma was obsessed with Yoda at the time. She had a toy Yoda that she played with everyday and she would watch the parts in different Star Wars movies with Yoda in them. Glenda happened to be staying with us while Leah was in the NICU and she whipped this costume up for Emma. One of my favorites. Leah was supposed to be an adorable pink poodle (because you know, Yoda had a pink poodle) but she was only 2 months old and a little crabby on Halloween night. That costume was given to Maren this year--all 1 month old babies need to dress for Halloween.
Halloween 2006--Cowgirl and cow (cowgirl vest embellished by me and Glenda, cow made by Glenda)
Again, another favorite. I had bought a cheap stick horse in September and declared "Emma will be a cowgirl this year". Hubby had two things to say: 1. It was September, Emma would change her mind a few times in 2 months and 2. Since he was the one taking her out trick-or-treating for the most part, he outlawed accessories after he had to carry the Yoda light saber around the previous year. She didn't take her horse out trick-or-treating, but that guy still gets played with to this day.
Halloween 2007--Vet and black cat (revisited)
What good are Halloween costumes if you can't pawn them off to the next sibling? And can I say the vet was my favorite? Oh, wait . . . I've said that before. My mom helped sew the scrubs, coat, and surgical hat for the vet. We even ironed on "Dr. Emma" on the coat in sparkly pink letters. Adorable, if I do say so myself. And by this time, Aunt Glenda had sworn off making Halloween costumes for the nieces/nephews. It's a little hard to coordinate over many miles, and Grandma is just up the road.
Halloween 2008--dalmatian and pink princess or Ariel
Pictures to come. Leah still switches between being a pink princess (pink dress, pink sparkly shoes, pink accessories) or being Ariel. Maybe she'll wear each one once; we have a Halloween party on Sunday. I just bought the pattern and material to make Emma a dalmatian costume, which will be sewn frantically this weekend when Grandma is here.
I tried to talk Leah into going as Yoda this year, but she is too "girly" for that. We even have a store-bought (gasp!) Darth Vader or Princess Leia costume that Emma could've worn. No takers. And I don't really care about the whole coordinating of the costumes, it just happened to work out the past few years. The only thing the dalmatian and princess and/or Ariel have in common is their ties to Disney.
And just to prove how lame our childhood Halloween costumes were, take a look:
That's me in the recycled dance costume and my younger sister, kdotp, in the hand-me-down clown outfit. Gotta love it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've already got my daily dose of tears in this morning, and its not even 8 am. If you have your keenex ready, go read Graham's birth story, written by his mom, Cristin. The story is so eeriely familiar to what we went through. Graham faced many more challenges than Leah ever did, but is now an adorable 5 year old who we must meet someday. Damn that Cristin for making me cry this morning. ;) And thanks for sharing your story, I know it was a hard thing to do.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I was just about ready to go buy the stupid thing when a friend came to the rescue. I had mentioned on my Facebook status about my failed hold when a friend said she had books 1 and 2 and I could borrow them. Woo hoo! I may see her this morning, so I can still get my vampires in before Halloween.
I did pick up a different book while at the library:
"In Candy and Me: A Love Story, Liftin chronicles her life through candy memories and milestones. As a high school student, Hilary used candy to get through track meets, bad hair days, after-school jobs, and her first not-so-great love. Her sweet tooth followed her to college, where she tried to suppress the crackle of Smarties wrappers in morning classes. Through life's highs and lows, her devotion has never crashed -- candy has been a constant companion and a refuge that sustained her."
Considering that yesterday I consumed no less than three Oreos for breakfast, two 100 Grand mini's for snack, and a Hershey's with Almonds for lunch, I though this book would be appropriate. I have a slight sweet tooth and like to hit the candy bowl pretty hard. Our house is never devoid of candy--I bet I could shock you with the contents of my cupboards (just a hint--we right now have three open bags of M&M's--one plain, one dark plain, and one peanut.) That's just the M&M's. We also have a and open bag of Halloween Kit Kats, a bag of dum dum suckers (potty training rewards), a bag of Jolly Rancher Halloween suckers, a bag of Starburst jelly beans, and an open bag of 100 Grand minis that are supposed to be for trick-or-treating (we have two other bags I bought that I've been able to keep away from. . . so far). There is also random candy bought on clearance after Easter, a bag of parade candy left over from April, and a bag of unopened cherry Hershey's kisses from Valentine's Day. I think I just recently threw out the remains of last Halloween's candy a month or so ago.
And I wonder why I can't lose any weight or why our dentist is building a huge new house after we've become patients.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Yes, I know I am one of the last people on the face of the earth to read the "Twilight" series. I am also one of the cheapest people on the face of the earth because I patiently waited (twice) for it to be in at the library instead of spending the $8 or so to buy the paperback version. I can't wait to go pick it up at the library today.
I've also started recording the HBO series True Blood. The show is based on a different vampire series written by Charlaine Harris. I had actually read one of the books awhile ago (I've read quite a few different vampire fiction books--bet you didn't know that little fact!) and the show is pretty good. Now I just have to find the time to watch my shows without the kiddos around, it is definitely not G or PG or even PG-13 material.
After that post filled with vampires, you may now resume looking at the pictures of the adorable baby below.
Both the girls got to hold Baby M and give her lots of kisses.
When asked if we should have one of these at our house, both of them said, "No."
Here are the cousins on my side of the family
The girls now outnumber the boys. Can you tell they are all related? (Hint: they must be related, they all have red eyes--ha ha)
These are all pictures from my sister. I did bring my camera, but when I pulled it out to take pictures, I had forgotten to put the memory card back in. Doh! I was quite bummed because not only did we see Miss M for the first time, we also went to see my Grandma. I hadn't seen her in two years (bad granddaughter, we live in the same state--just on opposite sides) and she is now in a nursing home. It is just a little eerie to see her because my mom looks very much like her, and I probably look the most like my mom out of us three girls. Seeing the 4 generation picture we took was like looking into the future.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Its not just the economic woes, its also the health concerns of kiddos around us. We had Leah go through surgery two months ago. Another good friend had to send her little guy into a major surgery a few weeks ago (went well, he's recovering nicely). Now another CDH kiddo has reherniated and is not doing well. A friend of Emma's who was born with a heart defect is having to go in for "urgent" surgery. All of these kids are 5 years old or younger and should not have to go through these things. I guess we were sheltered from so much if it since Emma was born healthy and has always been healthy (knock on wood!). If your kids are healthy, give them a big hug and a kiss and pray that they stay that way forever.
I actually got to meet the mom of the CDH kiddo yesterday in Iowa City where her little girl in in the PICU. They live on the eastern side of the state, but she was one of the few CDH kiddos I knew lived in Iowa. Her family actually made the decision to deliver her at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) because of their experience with CDH. CHOP is a long way from Iowa, but in their hearts they knew that was what was best for their baby. She did extremely well and the mom has been a champion for supporting other families going through CDH. Now she is faced with the fact that two years later things could go bad out of the blue. The little girl reherniated (something like what Leah did), but instead of a quick laproscopic fix, she had a bowel obstruction as well and they removed a section of her bowel, they had to close the diaphragm again with a patch, she's had mulitple infections, she's still on the ventilator, she had a skin burn due to a type of dressing they used, and now they had to re-open her abdomen to releive pressure--they have a mesh "patch" over her inscision until the swelling of her internal organs goes down. The swelling was impacting her ablity pee and get bad fluids out of her body, and was also compromising her lungs. Two weeks ago she was a smiling, happy two year old who loved to dress up, sing, and dance.
Anyone got good news to share? I need to lift this dark cloud and feel like things are good in the world - - although holding a one week old precious little girl did help some this weekend.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Here is how the cake turned out for the cake walk. I went with a Halloween theme--I've never made a Halloween cake before. It was a two layer chocolate fudge cake (box mix). In between the layers I put chocolate frosting on each and then chocolate chips in the middle. Not sure how it will taste, but unless Emma wins it back, we'll never know!
The black is chocolate frosting. I learned that trick a few cakes ago--if you are wanting black frosting, start with chocolate frosting. It is much easier to tint black and doesn't get that "green" tinge from the coloring. I use Wilton frosting tints.
I was trying to break down the cost of the cake, but most things I had on hand. The box mix costs about $1 and I always have eggs and oil around. I did buy 2 cans of chocolate frosting at about $1.25 a can and used less than a can and a half. The frosting colors I've had for ages (like at least 5 years). The chocolate chips in the middle were the end of a bag I had. I did have to go buy the M&M's to put around the cake--at first I was going to do frosting dots but decided I could get the effect just as easy with M&M's (and then I wouldn't have to mix 3 additional colors of frosting). They were $1 for the bag at Walgreens. Leah picked out the sprinkles at Target earlier this week--I've already used them on rice crispy treats and will use them on cookies later, too.
What is my potential profit--how much would you pay for this cake?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Pink pee--Emma had an accident at school this week and another one at home later that afternoon. When I went to help her clean up, I noticed her pee was pink. Not good. So that was a trip after 5:30 pm to the doctor, Target, and Panera. (Hey, you gotta eat when you've been out with the kids and don't get home until 7:45 pm). She is doing better now.
Cat puke--the cat decided he wasn't causing enough trouble, so he started puking all over the house. Lovely. That spurred a vet visit, which he was none too happy about. He showed his displeasure by putting a hole through one of my favorite shirts with his claws. "I'll show her!" he says. Of course the vet didn't have much useful information except feed him less and think about spending $170 to run a bunch of test to tell us nothing (most likely).
Baking cakes--the school carnival is tomorrow and the kindergarten parents are asked to bring a cake for the cake walk. Way to start them off in their first year of contributing--make them bring cake. Other grades get to bring 2 liters of pop. Easy peasy. You can buy a cake and even have it delivered to the school so all you have to do is make a phone call, but when you are the Queen of Cakes, you make one. My oven is pre-heating as I type.
I have a list of things to get done today. Better get crack-a-lackin'!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I know she is "advanced" for her age as far as reading goes, but it runs in the family. I know I was reading by kindergarten and even remember reading out loud to my class at story time. I'm pretty sure hubby was reading by that age, too.
The other day Emma came home and said that her teacher was doing reading testing to see what level they would be in. I asked her what kind of words she read and her response was, "Well, I kinda got stuck on conscious" Okay then. She ended up in reading level "M", whatever that means.
We have a TV upstairs that automatically turns the closed captioning on if you 'mute' the sound. Hubby was watching TV out there when the girls came to tell him good-night. He hit 'mute' so he could talk to them, so while he was telling Leah good-night, Emma was reading the captioning out loud. Good thing he was only watching "America's Funniest Home Vidoes" and not some foul-mouthed movie on HBO.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Observations from the class reunion:
- I should've worked harder at losing weight. Almost everyone else was skinny. Damn.
- The DJ was too loud. That shows my age.
- The people with 4 kids helped average out the people with no kids.
- There two couples there that were HS sweethearts, still together. Another couple from our class got married somewhere between our 5 and 10 year reunions. There have also been the usual number of divorces/out-of-wedlock children/cougar dating.
- The husbands that got drug to the reunion were pretty good sports, especially mine. He even got a poker game going for a little while with the other deserted dh's.
- Some people were probably hurting the next morning--hubby said he saw quite a few liquor bottles being emptied at the bar.
- You may not want to show some spouses pictures of their hubbies kissing other girls in 8th grade, especially after spouses have had a few drinks.
- Its easier to talk to boys in your class when you are 15 years older and all have families of your own.
I got to see my BFF from HS and it was great. We talk every once in awhile, but if we do get together we can talk like no time has passed. We were supporting each other in our lack of weight loss/apparent weight gain from HS. Man, I saw some pictures from prom and stuff my junior year where I was a complete stick (and my BFF was always smaller than me!) Those were the days. We had to laugh that we both showed up in leopard print shoes--I guess we are still alike in some ways.
Everyone in our house is trying to recover from the lack of sleep over the weekend. The girls had a great time at Grandma & Grandpa's house, but they didn't get to bed too early. Six-thirty came too soon this morning. At least Leah slept in!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
It was fun to see old classmates, we even went to the bar and had some beers (about one each, it was all us old fogies could handle). We brought up all of our classmates and played "where are they now?" Luckily the person who sent out e-mails/invites was there and gave us the updates she had heard. We talked about old boyfriends, rowdy parties, and even went back to reminiscing about grade school. We were a small class and pretty much all grew up together.
This morning a group of us met so the kids could play together. Before I left, I dug out a couple boxes of things my mom had saved and found some great pictures--mostly of prom/formal but also some from junior high. We had great laughs about the bad hair, the bad clothes, the bad eyebrows (we didn't learn until college about the benefits of waxing). At least we were all in the same boat together! And it was the early 90's after all--we all thought we were so cool. If I had the patience, I would scan some pictures so my internet friends could have a good laugh.
So tonight is the "big" event--social time/taco bar at the country club and DJ entertainment to follow. I can't wait. ;) All of us who were together this morning were saying, "Not to be all high school, but what are you wearing?" Some things never change.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Remember what I said about my sister being spoiled? Well, spoil away--she deserves some nice jewelry after having to deliver a 10 1/2 lb baby naturally. I talked to her last night and she seemed to be doing well, although she may still have been high on drugs and adreneline.
I'm still awaiting pictures of the baby. Geez people, this is 2008. I should've been e-mailed a picture by phone as soon as that baby was cleaned up! What good is your silly super-expensive phone that can do everything if you don't use it, BIL? Get me some pictures! With a laptop, camera, camera phone and everything else available to you at your fingertips you have no excuse (except "We didn't bring the cord for the camera"--still, there are other ways).
Welcome to the world, Maren Audrey.