Saturday, December 29, 2012

Working from Home

I hung out my digital shingle earlier this year, and I've had pretty steady work as an editor since then.

This afternoon, I was busy editing a children's book manuscript, finishing the readthrough and then entering the line edits before sending it back to my client.

The Fries had spent most of the morning watching movies and running around in their jammies.

After they had  lunch, I let them watch one last video (The League of Incredible Vegetables) before giving them the boot to go play elsewhere in the house.

Despite getting the theme song stuck in my head (see previous post), I kept working.

Then Small Fry walked in with her baby doll that she got for Christmas.  "I tol' Lawrge Fwy dat only mommies can stop babies fwom cwying an' get 'em to sleep.  You awre Mommy."  She held out the doll.  "Can you get hewr to sleep?"

I took her dolly and started rocking it in my arms.  Small smiled sweetly and skipped out of the room.

Yes, if you must know, I kept rocking gently after Small left.

She came back about three minutes later.

"Da baby is asleep now," she told me, and held out her hands.

I returned her dolly, and whispered, "Okay.  I don't want to wake her up."

About five minutes later, Small and her baby were back.  "Lawrge was loud an' woke her up."

I gently took the baby Small held out.

"Hewr name is Honeybun," Small said seriously.

I nodded and looked down at the dolly I was once again rocking.

Then I took a picture and tweeted it on my business account.

I then propped the baby doll on my shoulder so I could still work and kept entering line edits until Famous Singer Namesake arrived, and I went to meet him out in the kitchen.

In fact, I didn't pass off the baby to Small Fry until I needed to locate a Tupperware bowl for him.

I know, I'm nuts.

But I'm a good mom.

Today's Earworm

You're welcome.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Overheard Yesterday

Hubby had apparently eaten something that refused to agree with him.  It was making itself known—how shall I put this?—in a decidedly unpleasant olfactory way.


It was to the point of almost needing a gas mask to breathe in the kitchen.

I was really ready for him to leave for work.

Needless to say, I was very careful in how I hugged him before he left.  (I didn't want to squeeze too hard.)

Small Fry was sitting on the little storage bench in the kitchen that holds hats, gloves, and mittens.

"Bye, Daddy!  I love you!" she chirped.

There was a slight pause.

"No huggies, 'cause you'wre stinky!"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ho Ho Ho

Medium, Hubby, Large, Small, and me.

Merry Christmas from all of us!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm not dead.

I'm just INCREDIBLY busy.

December is usually nonstop here anyway, but between being behind on Christmas shopping and trying to catch up, working on a script for the Christmas Eve service (the worship pastor bugged me to, and he was starting to get really annoying about I said I'd do it, just to shut Hubby up *wink*), Christmas cookies that needed to be baked, and then really digging into the novel I'm editing, I've been swamped.

Somebody cue Count Rugen to tell me, "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything."

The novel—all 87,000 words of it—is due back to my client at some point tomorrow, complete with markup and finalized drafts and editing report.

I'm over halfway through with entering my final line edits, which is good. This bodes well for getting it done tomorrow.

Back to work!

Friday, December 14, 2012


We took the kids to see a local place called Tiny World, which is populated with miniature houses, shops, gas stations, schools, and churches, built by a retired gentleman who had too much time on his hands and started out with building a house for his cats.  It snowballed from there. And, at Christmastime, he decks the place out in lights.  There's (very) hot cocoa.

It's pretty cool.

Afterward, we decided to go out to eat (actually, we decided this before we left the house; both of us were still reeling from the earlier events of the day, the kids—thankfully—were blissfully unaware, and neither of us felt like cooking).  Hubby selected an Asian buffet not too far from Tiny World.  The kids have had Chinese before, so we knew we could find something they'd like.

It turned out to be a bit more daunting to find something they would all eat, but at least they ate.

As we were finishing our meal, this conversation took place, after Hubby and the Fries had returned from the dessert/salad bar area with a selection of fruit.

Hubby: Eat your orange.

Small Fry: It's yellow, not orange.

Hubby: It's an orange.

Small: But it's yellow.

Hubby: Fine. Eat your yellow.

Five minutes later...

Hubby: You can have ice cream once you eat your—

Medium: Yellow?

I can't make this stuff up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Inquisitor Strikes Again

Hubby and the Fries just got home from church.

I had stayed home because ... well, because my ankle is far older than the rest of me right now, and I've been in pretty severe pain for the last three days.


Hubby came into our room, where I've been resting and hoping the painkillers and anti-inflammatories I was prescribed today will kick in and cut some of the fiery pain in my ankle.

And he related this conversation that occurred on the very short, four-minute drive from the church to the house:

Medium: What's Two-D's middle name?

Hubby: I don't know.

Medium: What's Sha's middle name?

Hubby: I don't know.

Medium: What's my middle name?

Hubby: Seasonal.  [It really is.  Appropriately seasonal, that is.]

Medium: Is my name Medium Seasonal HLN [Hubby's Last Name]?

Hubby: No, your name is Medium Seasonal MMN [My Maiden Name].

Medium: Why don't I have a HLN in my name?

Hubby: Well, MMN is the name you were born with.

Medium: Can I change my name?

Hubby: Well, yes, when you're old enough, you can change your name to whatever you want.

Medium: Den I'm gonna change my name to Medium HLN!

Small Fry [not to be outdone]: An' I'm gonna change mine to Liwwy!

Ooooookay...  (Admittedly, it's also the first name of one of the girls in the youth group that all the Fries adore.)

And after they came into the house, it continued:

Small: If I change my name to Liwwy, will you call me Liwwy?

Hubby: Sure.  Go get ready for bed, Liwwy.

It's late.

I have been trying to catch up on the shows I regularly watch...erm...irregularly watch but have set up for series recording of all new episodes.

Tonight, it was a marathon of NCIS, to at least get me into the current season (I almost made it).

In between episodes of the show, when the DVR is deleting the old episode, the tv reverts back to the channel watched previously.  In this case, Disney Junior.

As last season's finale finished, and I deleted the episode, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse appeared back on the tv.

Those of you who've watched the show are very familiar with Toodles, the magical Mouseketool-bringing helper.

"Oh, dear!" Mickey exclaims.  Cue whatever problem now requires a Mouseketool.  "You know what we have to say!"

"Oh, Toodles!" the whole gang choruses.

"Getcher freakin' butt out here, Toodles," Hubby muttered as he half-stumbled out of the room.

Yeah, definitely bedtime.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I hate these conversations.

Right about now, I'd love to be kicking and screaming and pouting and yelling "It's not fair!"

I don't want to have to be a responsible adult.  I don't want to say the right things when everything in my heart is dying to say what I'm really feeling.

We took the kids out shopping tonight.  Their cheapo Wally World sneakers were about one day's recess away from completely coming unglued (literally), and so we actually went somewhere and bought better-quality sneakers this time.

Geez, they won't stop growing!

Large Fry has gone up a size.  Medium Fry has gone up a size.  Small Fry has gone up two sizes!

Then we went out to dinner, since we had a $20 Applebee's gift card.

This turned out to be a comedic disaster.

I surprised Hubby by ordering steak tonight.  I usually don't, for a couple of reasons.  One, it's expensive.  Two, I need to have it cooked well-done (and there are certain chefs who get their noses out of joint about that).  And three, it's almost never cooked to order when I do decide to splurge on myself like this.

First: Hubby decided to try their chicken tortilla soup, in hopes that it would be almost like Max & Erma's tortilla soup (which also has chicken in it).  It wasn't.  Not even close.

Second unpromising moment: Large Fry was brought a kid's chicken sandwich rather than chicken strips.

The manager stopped by our table after that to apologize, and to make sure all else was well.  She even asked if my steak was cooked correctly.

Well, it was...mostly.  There was this tiny strip on the one side that was somewhere between medium and medium well, but I didn't want to make a fuss.  And the rest of it was probably just a skosh more towards medium well than well, but again...didn't want to fuss.  It was still yummy, and hitting the spot.

Although, I really began to think that the generally dim lighting in most restaurants isn't so much for atmosphere as it is to keep you from really being able to see your food sometimes.

The last inch and a half of that steak, was decidedly medium rare.  There was no way I could eat it.  The next time the waitress stopped at our table, I reluctantly pointed it out.

No, I didn't want another steak...I'd already eaten 2/3 of this one.  And I had a monster baked potato.  I might go for a dessert, but eh...check with me later.

The manager came by again.  Offered to comp a dessert.  The headache I'd had when we walked into Kohl's had suddenly reappeared (I was really hoping food would fix it), and I didn't want one.  We settled on ordering oreo sundaes for the kids.

We got oreo milkshakes.

The manager stopped by again, and Hubby asked if everything was okay with our waitress.  Her service otherwise had been wonderful.  The manager looked surprised, and said that our waitress was usually spot-on and near-perfect...but she'd had a very irate customer earlier, who had even managed to tick off the manager herself.  And, the manager said, while that should not have affected our service or our orders, it's possible that the waitress was still a little internally flustered over the earlier events.

I totally understood that one.

The manager was very kind, and comped all three of the kids' milkshakes, and took care of us herself until we left.  When she departed to handle our bill, I looked at Hubby.  "I want to make sure..." I said.

"Oh, I know," he agreed.  I love it when he and I think on the same wavelength like that.  I wanted the waitress to have a good tip.  He left her a tip of well over twenty percent, and a note on a spare napkin, wishing her a merry Christmas and a better evening.

Now, I told you all that, so you'd kind of understand my general mindset as we got in the van to head for home.

Headache going into Kohl's.

Cranky, hungry children going into the restaurant...tired, sorta cranky children coming out of the restaurant.

Headache that food didn't fix.

Not getting to eat all of my yummy steak.

Me being tired myself.

Naturally, this is when your children start asking difficult questions.

And Medium Fry is too smart for my own good.

She led the Inquisition tonight.

First, she asked why the song on the radio—a Christmas song—mentioned her sister's name.  And since Small Fry and I share the same first name, there's now a general wondering about why our name is popping up in songs.

This led to a discussion about the Fries' names.  "Why did you an' Mommy pick dem?" she asked Hubby.

"We didn't," Hubby explained.  "Daddy S and Mommy XSIL did.  That's why Small's first name and Mommy's first name are the same."

And since we've now parsed out what Mommy's and Small's first name means, well...the obvious question.  Define Large and Medium's names, please.

Innocuous little conversation, all in all.

Up to this point, anyway.

Since it was Medium, I was half hoping that the conversation wouldn't veer into uncomfortable territory.  And since it was Medium, I knew I was hoping in vain.

"Why doesn't Daddy S like us to call him Daddy S?"

Oh, dear.

Hubby and I both heaved huge, silent sighs.

We have lots of speculation on that one.  And I am so glad she asked Hubby that, not me.  I was trying to figure out how to charitably respond that one, just in case, when Hubby answered.

"I think I know why Daddy S gets upset about that," Hubby said carefully.  "But I'm not sure.  So I'm going to say I just don't know."

Silence.  Temporarily.

"I just don't think Daddy S likes that you call me Daddy."  Hubby glanced into the rearview mirror to look at Medium.

"Doesn't Daddy S like us?"

I am changing Medium's moniker on here to the Inquisitor, I think.

"Yes, he likes you," Hubby reassured her.

"Daddy S not liking what you call Daddy has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with him," I said.  And then I nearly bit my tongue to stop myself from saying more.

"It's so crazy!  We have two daddies and three mommies!" Medium nearly wailed the words.

I nearly swallowed my tongue, but managed to say, "You have lots of people who love you, then."

"We have Daddy, an' Daddy S, an' Mommy, and Mommy XSIL, an' ...who else?"

"Your stepmom."

"Wright.  Stepmommy."

"That's five people who love you a lot!" Hubby exclaimed.

"But who loves you the most?" I asked, desperate to not be relegated to the backseat of my children's hearts.

"Daddy an' Mommy."

Hubby reached over and wordlessly eased three of his fingers into my clenched fist.  I squeezed for all I was worth, burying my rioting emotions in that as much as I could.  "That's right.  Nobody loves you more than Daddy and I do."


Ham.  "Yes, Jesus loves you more than Daddy and I do, but he's the only one."

There was relatively blessed silence for the remaining two minutes of the drive home.  We got inside and Hubby studied my face as I collapsed on the couch in the den.  The Fries had gone upstairs to get ready for bed.  "You okay?"

"No."  I never am after these conversations.  I don't want to be smart.  I don't want to be kind.  I don't want to be charitable.  I want to eradicate the memories of their biological parents, who do not deserve the smattering of loyalty their children give to them.  I want to selfishly hoard them all to myself, to our little family.  And teaching them to love, and love generously, sometimes makes me want to throw a tantrum that a two-year-old would envy.

"They know," Hubby said quietly.  "Mommy and Daddy.  They know."

Knowing that is probably going to be the only thing that will let me sleep peacefully tonight.

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Addition

Oh, stop looking at me like that.

I'm not pregnant.

But there's a new addition to my list of Class V Beverage Alert posts, and this one is so astonishingly hilarious that I couldn't just add it to the list and not tell you about it.

I laughed so hard my eyes welled with tears.

Medium came into the den.  "Mommy, are you crying?"

I assured her, as I wiped my eyes, that I was laughing.

I'm glad she didn't ask what had kicked over my giggle box.

But, I'll tell you, this is one of those times I'm almost glad I don't have boys.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Silly kitty!"

This morning, as I was hunting down a clean shirt for Large Fry (I'm kinda behind on's been one of those weeks), she observed that the Weasel was awfully whiny.

"Maybe he's hungry," she said.

I pulled more jeans from the dryer.  "Go see if they need food."

"Well!" I heard a few moments later.  "Silly kitties!  They ate all of their food!  That's so silly!"

I came out of the laundry room with a clean shirt for her.  "They're supposed to eat their food."

"They ate it so much that it's all gone!  That's so silly!"

"It's not silly.  They need to eat their food."

Scooping of kibble and dumping it in bowls commenced as Minou wandered out of the shop room where we keep the kitty food.

"I can't believe they ate it all.  Silly kitties!  So silly!"

I gave up.

Silly Mommy.  Of course the kitties are silly for eating their food.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All together now....


Large Fry, Small Fry, Medium Fry, and us...Christmas, 2006

My mom sent me this picture after seeing the post about the twins' December projects.

Were we cute or what?

Hubby and me, that is.  The kids have always been cute.

Family Project Night

As a rule, I hate these things.  The twins have one project every month for kindergarten that the whole family is supposed to help with.  This is in addition to daily homework, the occasional send-home project to do "on our own time," and daily reading and writing and reviewing of high-frequency words.  To me, it's one more activity that I have to jam into the family schedule.  The due dates range from early in the month to the end of the month.  This time, it's really early in the month...tomorrow.

I understand the purpose.  I really do.  It's supposed to foster family time and cooperation and other necessary group skills.

But they drive me nuts.

Some of them have been fun.  Some have been irritating.  We've done them all:

  • August: a decorated book box (something to hold their little paper primer readers)
  • September: a family picture banner
  • October: decorate a pumpkin
  • November: decorate your turkey picture to help hide Tom Turkey from the farmer who wants to make him Thanksgiving dinner
  • December: another family banner, this time with tracings of everyone's hands and details about their favorite things about the holidays
So I raided my office for Christmas stickers that I knew I had in my scrapbooking stuff, and printed off pictures of the kids from each Christmas we've had with them.

Large Fry was kind of put out that she didn't get to use any stickers or determine how the twins' banners were going to be decorated.

Here are the end results:



Meanwhile, Large was doing her own thing.  She traced all of our pinkie fingers.  Then she drew "pinkies" for each of the kitties, asking me to spell their names.  I thought it was cute that she drew little claws.

Large's masterpiece.
It wasn't until she was done, and I looked at it again, that I realized she had added our two late kitties, without asking me how to spell their names.  (The spellings are pretty creative.)


She'd made them angels.

Thanksgiving: A Photo Essay

We spent Thanksgiving with Hubby's family this year....

Large Fry helps Auntie Lou get the rolls ready for the oven.

Small Fry and her piggie move in a chair.

Medium Fry brings in a chair, too.

Poor Chwis.  Medium fell in love.

Auntie Lou's landlord's dog had puppies. They're two weeks old!

Medium loves the puppies.

So does Large Fry.

Large Fry got to hold one of the puppies!

Hubby held this one until I took it from him.

Helping Auntie Lou decorate her tree.

Medium hangs an ornament.

Large Fry.

When did Large get so tall?

Medium again.

Small takes two ornaments to hang.


We went to a lights display about 40 minutes away.

This would show a guy fishing and trying to pull the fish into his boat.

Snowman driving a sleigh.

The horse's legs would "move."

Well, that explains why Santa can do it all in one night.  Alien technology.

Covered bridge...a nod to the area's history.

Another nod to the local history.

Gingerbread couple.

This elf would reach the top of the ladder and fall down.


Noah's Ark.


All in all, we had a good trip.