Tuesday, July 30, 2013


HRH Koa the Graceless
I have mentioned before that Koa is our cat who skipped out on the line for feline grace in order to get more 'tude. She fell asleep tonight in the blanket bin, right in the corner (the full blanket bin). About an hour or so ago, she rolled over in her sleep...and rolled right out of the bin, knocking over a plastic tote cover, twitching crazily on her back for a good five seconds, before getting up and staggering out of the room in a lopsided gait. After Keiki's seizures last year, this concerned us, so we chased her upstairs to where she hid under our bed. We came to the determination that she was most probably not post-ictal (I was SO scared that she was having seizures too; she's only 12); she'd probably just conked her head when she hit the floor and knocked herself silly.

Still, when I heard her let out a weird yowl about half an hour ago, I was concerned enough to go look for her. She wasn't upstairs or on the kitchen level, so I went downstairs. I was about to head back up without seeing her when she emerged from the fireplace in the toy room. She gave the fireplace an irritated look.

I think she climbed back in there to nose around, and got herself momentarily stuck.

She might be queen of the house, but she's also the moments of surprising comic relief around here.

Wedding Fever

Ever since Large Fry's birthday and Jester & Mitzy's wedding (conveniently on the same day), the Fries have been all agog about weddings.

Asking about our wedding.

Looking at the scrapbooks from our wedding.

Peppering us with questions about Jester and Mitzy's wedding.

Interrogating me about last Saturday's wedding at our church (the church was rented for the event; we didn't know the couple getting married), and why Daddy had to go clean up after it for Sunday morning.

Pulling out our wedding scrapbook (done by my mom) last night when Jester and Mitzy came over for dinner.

Tonight, Small Fry was drawing pictures after dinner.  She handed me the first one, and went to work on the second.  I looked at the first one, which she'd folded in half before giving it to me.  My name was in a heart on the outside.  On the inside was this:

Why, yes, I do have very long legs.
This, Small Fry explained, is me in my wedding dress.

Just before bedtime, Small handed me her second picture:

You'll never guess.

This one was addressed to Daddy, his name in a heart as well.

Naturally, this is Daddy on our wedding day.

Large Fry creeped in around Small's side.


I looked at her.

"When I get married, can I wear your wedding dress?"


I knew she'd mentioned it to Hubby.  He'd said something the other night.  He'd told Large Fry that he was sure I'd be okay with that.

Hearing her ask was different.

I smiled.  "Yes, honey.  If it fits you and it's still in good condition, you can wear my wedding dress when you get married."

All together now: Awwwwwwwwwwww.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Either Urine or Urout.

The last several days have seemed to revolve around pee.

First, there's the feline culprit, who is apparently unhappy or sick or something. I narrowed down the suspects to one Pa'ani, aka Weasel, especially after I caught him peeing in the laundry room when I was actually in there, doing laundry.

Then (to protect the guilty I am withholding names), last night, guilty child #1 showed me that her top sheet on her bed was wet.  Oh, and so was the fitted sheet, in the same general spot. Questioning revealed that she had been sitting on the end of the bed and simply not bothered to get up and go to the bathroom first thing Saturday morning. No "I couldn't make it" or "I couldn't get there fast enough."  Just didn't go. Well, she's short enough. Her feet won't reach the wet part. And it's bedtime.

And I'm still feeling icky.

I'll wash the sheets in the morning.

Not ten minutes ago, as I'm determining that Pa'ani, who has spent the last, oh, 15 hours locked in the downstairs bath, hoping that he'll pee and we can get a sample to the vet to rule out/in an infection (the vet could not get one on Friday when I took him in), and that he's still in there after Medium grabbed a stool to unlatch the exterior lock on the door, I'm informed that guilty child #2 has peed on the black stool in the Mickey Mouse bathroom.

Not only that, guilty child #2 is just standing there, shorts wet, mess on the floor, still playing in the sink.

Let me reiterate.

She is not more than ten feet from the toilet.  In the same room as the toilet.  Within sight!

"Why didn't you go to the potty?"

"I couldn't make it."

"Did you even try?"

"No." A small, sheepish voice.

So, to recap:

A cat who's peeing everywhere downstairs, but has held his bladder for 15 hours and won't pee in the quasi-litterbox we've left for him.

A child who decided peeing on the bed was better than walking down the hall.

Another child who decided she wasn't going to walk ten feet to a toilet that's in the same room as she is.

If somebody else pees on the floor, I'm going to have a cow.

Friday, July 26, 2013

2:55 a.m.

I'm awake, because I've been sick this week and my sleep cycles are wonky as a result (I'm sparing you the ugly details, too). I heard a door open down the hall, and figured we're about to have company.

I'm right.

Medium Fry sleepily stumbled into our room seconds later, her curly hair in disarray and highlighted by the low-wattage hall light.

She climbed onto the end of the bed, by Hubby's feet, and hesitated.

"C'mon up, sweetie," I said with a smile that she probably couldn't see. I let go of Hubby's hand so she could settle inbetween us.

Hubby was half-awake, and felt me release his hand and Medium crawling up between us. "What's wrong, sweetie?"

"Does somefing hafta be wrong fowr me to come in hewre?" Medium mumbled around her thumb.

"What?" Hubby hadn't quite caught that.

"Does somefing hafta be wrong fowr me to come in hewre?"

Stunned silence followed. He'd heard her this time.

"Well...I guess not."

I grinned as he rolled over slightly and lifted his arm, so Medium could come snuggle right next to him and hug his arm if she wanted.

Smart as a whip even when she's half-awake, that one.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just now...

Small Fry: Did youwr mommy put that [AfterBite] on youwr bug bites when you were little?

Me: Yes, she put stuff on them.

Small: Is youwr mom still alive?

Me: Yes...that's Gramma.

Small: Oh, wright.

Medium Fry: Is youwr step-mommy still alive?

Me: I don't have a step-mommy.

Medium: WHAT?!

Me: My mommy and daddy are still married.

Oy...the family dynamics are strange for these poor kids.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

At the Fair

Sundays are normally pretty long days for us. My alarm goes off at 6:30, and the kids are up not long after that, since we all need to be at church just before 8a.

Today, we threw in the added factors of a late night last night due to Jester and Mitzy's wedding (yay!), an afternoon cookout with several families from our church, and the community vespers service at the local fair (which started yesterday).

My poor head was aching when we got home last night, still hurt this morning, and I was so exhausted that I had a very hard time staying awake during the first service at church. I went home right after, even the mile-long drive between church and home being a struggle to stay awake. I crashed hard, slept until I needed to pick up Hubby and the Fries, came home, and slept again until picnic time.

Now, I told you all that so you'd understand why I didn't go to the vespers service. (Plus, it was hot and humid and I was miserable by 5:30.)

Hubby took the kids with him to the vespers service at the fair.  Large had been feeling woozy when we got to our picnic, due to overcast skies and winding roads, but she was feeling better within half an hour. Since the vespers service was put together by several area pastors, it promised to be at least an hour long (PeeJay had encouraged a much shorter service during one of his years of involvement, to no avail). They didn't get home until 9:30, so I'm guessing the 7:30 service went really long.

Hubby came in to tell me how things went after he'd gotten the Fries in bed. Apparently, the last thing they did in the service was serve communion, using little pre-packaged single-serving cups, with the wafer sealed over the juice.

Large Fry took one, as Hubby asked if she remembered what the elements meant. It only took a quick reminder that the bread (she'd never seen a wafer before; our church uses actual bread) symbolized the body of Christ for her to remember.

Hubby said she felt sick to her stomach while the service wrapped up, but nothing happened.  They stopped at a trash can along the way back to the car, but again nothing. It wasn't until they were in the field where they'd parked that Large said urgently,  "Daddy, I really have throw up now!" She did just that, before Hubby could find a trash can. At least it was all grass around.

Then, Hubby said, Medium observed, "Maybe it was 'our daily bread.'"

Hubby muffled a chuckle. The Lord's Prayer had been said right before communion.

"Or," Medium continued thoughtfully, "maybe it was 'the blood of Christ.'"

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Outside temp at 6:49 pm tonight. The humidity is so thick it slaps you in the face as soon as you step outside. Yes, still.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nature vs. Nurture

When we were in Florida, Hubby and I consented to a "no, really, you'll love it and want to buy into it" sales presentation at the Wyndham resort where we were staying, to get a fantastic deal on some SeaWorld tickets.  A presentation, mind you, that was promised to just be "an hour and a half."

I could write a whole post about how our 10:45 appointment lasted until after 1:30 (when we finally got back to our suite), and how certain idiots don't understand the concept of our trip's budget, spread out over the course of a year, would get us enough points to stay here or there or wherever, but would then use up all our vacation money, so we'd never be able to travel.  Yeah, you yahoos, our vacation budget included everything: gas, hotels, food, entertainment, souvenirs.  Not just lodging.  Some serious ID10T ailments there. All this to get tickets and all-day-eating passes for five people for under $600.  It was a good deal...but I don't know that I'd sit through such a horrendous event for that again.  We belong to AAA for a reason.

But I digress.

We are probably at nearly the 2-hour mark of the sales guy's spiel, and I really have to give him props for being charmed by the Fries as opposed to irritated, even when they gave him the nickname "Funny Face."  We have insisted that we cannot afford this, like it or not; sorry, he won't be getting a sale today.  We have some things creeping on the horizon that are more important than vacation points ownership in the Wyndham Resorts family, swanky and sweet as their resorts are.

We explained a little of our situation, that the Fries are our nieces, to the sales guy, just by way of making our argument that we have to do what's right for our whole family.  He finally took his leave to go get the guy who would rubber-stamp that we had said no, authorize the paper to let us cash in on our SeaWorld deal, and probably try to convince us that we couldn't let this deal pass by (he did; we refused).

Inbetween smarmy salesmen, Small Fry looked at me.  "Do I hafta be youwr niece?" she asked.

My attention immediately zeroed in on her alone.  Crap, crap, crap.  They find security in being your children, not your nieces. Ummm...  "Well, you are my niece," I said carefully.  "Did you want to be my daughter instead?"

Small's face lit up like she was smuggling a halogen bulb.  "Yes!"

"That's good."  I leaned into her space with a grin, and she giggled.  "Because you are my daughter, too."  I smooched her cheek for emphasis.

The SeaWorld tickets were a great deal.  We had a marvelous time.  I can't wait to be able to go back.

But that little conversation?

That's the only thing that truly made almost three tedious, boring, why-won't-you-shut-up-and-take-no-for-an-answer hours worth it.

Small didn't want to be my niece.  It wasn't enough.

She wanted to be my daughter.

Oh, honey.  You have been for more than five years.

And you always will be.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Birthday Recap

Yep, it's my birthday, and it's been wonderful, so I thought I'd share my wonderfulness with you!

*Church this morning at our church, for what felt like the first time in weeks. We've been gone so much of the last month that I've missed being there.

*Sunday school with the teens, some of my favorite people. Lots of birthday wishes and hugs.

*Mom and Dad came to our church for the day, and Mom brought cake!

*Lunch at GVD with some of my favorite people: Hubby, all three Fries, Mom, Dad, and Jester (who's celebrating his last weekend as a single man).

*Ice cream and cake! And not just any cake. Grandma Myrt's from-scratch chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting that seeps into the cake and makes you wonder if you'll go into a sugar coma just from inhaling the aroma. The waitresses at GVD served my ice cream with a candle in it and sang to me. Yes, I made a wish. No, I'm not telling.

*Cards and presents! Okay, I admit I'm weird and that I'm one of those people who loves to give and feels a little weird being on the receiving end. And sometimes I'd almost prefer being the giver over the givee. This, however, is not one of those days, and so I was happy to open packages.  Hubby and the Fries got me a nice Momisms plaque, and Mom and Dad got me some fun socks, a new CD for my digital scrapbooking program,  and something I didn't expect: a Living Locket. Jester gave me a hug, a present that's always the right size (and always appreciated).

*Lots and lots and lots of sticky hugs and kisses and choruses of "I love you, Mommy! Happy birthday!" from three little people I love more than life itself.

*I had a lovely birthday nap.

*I got about a squillion birthday wishes from friends near and far via Facebook.

*To top it all off, tonight was the church ice cream social. Yeah, I may not need to eat for days.

Yep, a great day!

This is the Living Locket. Hard to get a decent picture, but the middle holds all three Fries' birthstones and other charms.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Post from the Road: Best Bedtime Quote

"Did you know that we're designed to talk?" Medium, after I'd reminded her and her whispering twin that they needed to not talk and go to sleep.
(Incidentally, I stifled my chuckle and replied, "Yes, I know, but you need to be quiet anyway." Then I told Mom and Dad as soon as I got upstairs, and indulged my desire to chortle. )

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Post from the Road: Live from Gramma and Boppa's

We're bunking out at my folks' this week, since Hubby is bunking with the teens (the group is on their annual summer mission trip to JOL camp).

I find it so much easier to play man-to-man defense when Hubby is out of town.

So, today, Hubby called from the road, after we'd finished lunch. He and the gang had spent yesterday at Cedar Point, so we hadn't talked to him since late Friday afternoon.

Medium was on my folks' landline as I came down the hall (I hadn't even heard it ring). I asked Dad who she was talking to. "Hubby," he said.

Large had an ice pack on her knee.

"She hit it on the table. I saw it happen, and asked, 'Are you okay?'" Dad mimed a huge intake of breath. "And then...'Aaaaaauuuuugh!'"

I kissed her boo-boo, and by then Medium had passed the phone off to Small.

I looked over just in time to hear Medium stage-whisper to her twin, "It's not Daddy S. It's our real daddy."

Yeah, they get it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Foto Fourth: A photo essay

We went to Florida this year on our family vacation...

We stayed at the Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando.

The sole reason we went into the Harley-Davidson store at Downtown Disney...

You wouldn't think they're having fun, would you?

The Fries & the Incredible Lego Hulk

Large Fry's Lego car won the race!

Maleficent, in fabulous Lego dragon form, battles an equally Lego Prince Philip.

Four princesses. In very bright sun.


I love Medium's face here.

Large is hat-tastic.

Punk Goofy.

Minnie-Princess Large Fry.

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"

Medium strikes a pose.

So does Small, but she's not as sure about it.


The Fries wanted me to try this one on.

Cap'n Jack Medium.

That cowboy hat was seriously sparkly. Sequin overload.

NO. Not any time soon. NO!

The kids wanted us to pose as Mouse bride and groom.

Pooh and friends!

There are no words.

Giddyup!  Medium has a fancy black steed.

Small's horse was a beautiful white.

Mini splash park!

This dolphin was playing in the back pool while we waited for the show to start.
And kept playing throughout the show, for that matter.

That takes good balance.  And skill.


Six dolphins diving in tandem.

The mime at the Clyde and Seamore show.
Yes, he posed for me.

"Watch where we're going!"

This little guy was the first volunteer and got his pic snapped with Clyde and Rob'n Plunder.

Thievin' otter.

Large & Medium with the hero and heroine of the A'Lure show.

Small didn't want to go up alone, so my college friend Jo went with her.

Fries, a jellyfish, and something pink!

Jo and Large Fry (with twins behind them) on the Shamu kiddie coaster.

Small cried through this ride three years ago.  Look at her smile!

Shamu show!

Even the baby orca is jumping backwards!

One wet Medium, at Shamu's Happy Harbor splash park!

Small Fry got right up in there.

Large and Medium fire the water cannon.

I have to wonder: was Small getting a massage from the water jets she was blocking?

All of us, at the end of a long but happy day.

Jo and the Fries.

The view from our balcony at the Ocean Walk Resort in Daytona Beach.
Twin Fries, no extra charge.

Here come the waves!


I'm ready for you, wave!


It's T-storm season. I loved getting to watch the
thunderheads each day.


Watching the pelicans was another of my favorite pasttimes.

Shame that she hates the beach, isn't it? ;)

Conspiracy afoot...

Yep, Medium is no longer needing Daddy to jump the crests.

Large Fry is brave.

We watched this storm approach for an hour and a half.

Look out, water!  Small's ready for you!

These kids were having a sand castle contest.  Hubby wasn't even done with his yet.
He wasn't in their contest.  He still won.

♫ We dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig in our mine the whole day through... ♪

Finished castle.  Almost.

Now with spire!

Large coming down the slide!

Our last day in Daytona, and Small decided to try the water slide her sisters loved.

Guess what.  Small loved it too.  We couldn't keep her off it.

"Toss me, Daddy!"

I love Medium's face here.

"C'mon, Daddy, toss me, too!"


Mommy, I can swim!

Another run down the slide.

"Keessh me!"  "No!"

No kisses.  Sad Daddy.

C'mon, I want a kiss.

Medium splashed water into his face instead.

How to Splash 101

See?  This is how it works.

We had a marvelous time.