Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you old?

The Fries are in bed. That means it's time to watch non-kid TV!

I let Hubby have the clicker after I watch the show I want at 9p. He flips through the channels and finally settles on AFV on ABC Family while I chat online with a friend. The Weasel (given name Pa'ani) is half-sprawled on my lap, catnapping. And while the channel is set to ABC Family, he's still got the on-screen guide up on the bottom third of the screen (and he's not too happy I'm posting this story *snicker*).

I'm waiting for the next comment from my friend when I hear Hubby say, "Oh, my gosh, I'm OLD!" I look at him, and he points to the TV. He's got it on Bravo now, which is airing a war movie. I'm trying to figure out how the lone soldier on patrol, who's humming Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," is making him feel old. I look back at Hubby, who indicates the screen again. Then I see what's made him feel old.

Back to the Future Part II is about to start...on the Retro Channel.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Daze

We live in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Thusly, you would expect two things.

One, that we would get more snow. (But apparently, we're too far in the southern foothills for that.)

Two, that we would know how to handle snow.

Given that our snow accumulation for the SEASON has been less than four inches, obviously we do not get lots of snow, and nor does the area know how to handle it.

We woke on Tuesday to find that we had maybe 3/4" of snow on the ground. Now, granted, we did have this marvelous ice/snow/wintry mix storm system barreling down on us. But there was less than an inch. If you're generous with your measurements, then we had an inch. A whole inch. Whoopty-do.

But knowing my little burg, I check the online version of the local paper. It doesn't list school closings. (Because Large Fry has speech therapy on Tuesdays at one of the local school affiliates, I have to keep an eye on these things. If school's canceled, so is speech.) Our local paper has an article predicting up to six inches of ice and snow by the time it's all done. (Stay tuned.) I find a list of school closings on the website of the NBC station out of Hagerstown, and discover that school has been canceled.


Well, that frees me up to go grocery shopping. The state of staples here is pretty desperate.

Wednesday. There's maybe an inch or so of ice on top of our (generously) two inches of snow (There's not enough to warrant even looking for a plastic sled or two to take the Fries sledding. Grass is still poking through in spots.) Despite the fact that I have seen more snow plows and salt trucks come rumbling through my neighborhood in two years here than I ever saw in Columbus, the local roads are still pretty awful, but the main roads aren't too bad. But knowing that we have mountainous terrain, this time I'm not surprised that the schools are closed again. Hubby canceled youth group for the evening,given that the church is at a higher elevation and requires some pretty curvy roads to get up the mountain just to get there. He also decided to just take the day off.

After a short debate, we folk from the snow/ice belt, who are not afraid of a little snow and ice (I'm more afraid of the road conditions and inexperienced drivers), decide to pack up the Fries and head to the mall. Uncle Hubby needs new black dress shoes for church. I need boots before we go to Big MAC Ski Attack. The kids...they just plain need new shoes. And here at the house, I do not want to be messing around with laces. I want velcro-strap shoes.

I've not had breakfast (unlike the rest of the crew), so our first priority is making Auntie Jlwrites a bit more human by getting her some food.

Despite the "attraction" the highway signs proclaim our illustrious mall to be, it doesn't have a food court. (I know. It boggles the mind.) There's a Subway, an Auntie Anne's pretzel place, a candy shop, a pizza place, and a Bonanza restaurant. I suggest the pizza place, because I know the girls love that. However, when we find out that the kids' buffet at Bonanza is free for ages 3 and under, we decide that's too good a deal to pass up, and we go there.

Thankfully, it's not crowded, mostly due to it being midweek and mid-inclement-weather. We settle in, Hubby gets food for the Fries, and then we take turns filling our own plates. (He lets me go first. I think I might've been snarling.)

The Fries eat remarkably well for being out and not having the usual fare from home. We're closing in on the end of our meal when an older couple passes by our table on their way out of the restaurant and back into the mall. They pause, and the woman says, "You have very well-behaved children."

Hubby snorts. I smile and thank them. We know their better behavior is because we're not at home (around our small little round table, where they can pester each other and drive me nuts), and we say so.

"No, seriously, you do. How old are they?"

I gesture to Medium and Small. "They're twins; they just turned two right after Thanksgiving." I indicate Large Fry, who is on the other side of Hubby. "She'll be four in July."

Again, the couple expresses how well-behaved the Fries are. The woman smiles and says that her daughter-in-law is expecting twins. "So I can tell her it can be done, going out with twins."

I smile and thank them again, and Hubby and I look at each other as they walk away. "I guess we're doing good, then," he says. "Most people will stop to complain before they stop to compliment."

We must be doing something right.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Tuesday evening...

...and it's been one of those days. It's payroll week, I've got work up to my eyeballs, and Hubby has a rehearsal at church, so I'm on my own with the Fries.

I heave a huge sigh of relief as I get them all in bed. I know I'll be up late to get everything done I need to for the next day, but at least I'll have relative quiet in which to do it.

The way it usually goes, once I get them in bed, is this: Large Fry will rustle around in bed for a bit in her room, but she settles down for the night pretty quickly. Medium Fry settles in right away, thumb in mouth and duckie tucked into an elbow, and she's usually the first one asleep. Small Fry often jabbers for awhile (why this doesn't keep Medium awake is beyond me), and will occasionally require a scolding and a threat or two before she will lay down and stay that way before finally nodding off last.

I dug into work, hoping I wouldn't be still working at 2 a.m. (I was). About twenty minutes after the kids are in bed, the screaming starts.

I let it go for a few minutes, hoping that it won't require a trip upstairs. And it sounds like an I-want-attention scream.

The wailing continues, and is obviously that of Medium Fry. Since it's unusual for her to still be awake this long after getting into bed, I head upstairs to see if she's gotten her foot stuck again between the spindles on her crib.

She whimpers as I come into the room. "What's the matter, sweetie?"

Medium pulls herself up to a standing position and holds out her hands. I give her a hug and tell her everything's okay, and ask again what's wrong.

She whimpers again, and then says, "I want to go pway!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This will only make sense...

...if you've seen VeggieTales' movie The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

I am upstairs hiding in the bathroom (I admit it; it's the only place I get solitude these days). Dan has gone to the church, despite tonight's activities cancellation, because some kids may not hear the call about that if their phones are down along with their power and to get some work done so he doesn't have to go into the office tomorrow. The girls are in the living room/playroom.

All is, for the moment, well.

And then I hear running feet. And giggles. And shrieks of "Cheese curls!" And feet running the other way. And more giggles. And more shrieks of "Cheese curls!"

The girls had watched The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything earlier today while waiting for my folks to arrive and to give me a chance to get some work done.

I grinned as I realized what they were doing.

More running. More giggles. More "Cheese curls!" as they dashed from one end of my Kiddo Korral (my trademark on that is pending *grin*) to the other.

I wished for all the world that I had some space left on the memory card for my digital camera to take some video of it.

Or that they'd still been running from fierce, imaginary cheese curls when I got back downstairs.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This is what makes it worth it.

It's breakfast time here at Casa Fries. Mean auntie that I am, I make them eat most of their breakfast before I give them milk; I know they'll fill up on milk rather than food if I don't.

While I was out escaping the house for a bit last night, I stopped off at Target to see if I could find some new sippy cups for Large Fry (who only has three, and we can go through 'em faster than I can run the dishwasher), and some extra kiddie plates and silverware (I forgot bowls *smack*). The kind that Large Fry usually uses had rather boring patterns on them, and Large Fry has this thing for Disney Princesses. But apparently Target doesn't stock those kind...however, they do stock ones the same style as the twin Fries' Elmo cups that have Disney Princesses. I bought a two-pack.

I loaded all my new purchases up in the dishwasher last night after I got home and ran it.

The Fries have mostly finished their waffles (except Small Fry, who is actively teething, and in a fair amount of discomfort) when I get clean cups out of the dishwasher for milk. Large Fry about comes unglued when I pull out one of the new Princess cups.

"That's for Large Fry!" she cries hopefully.

"Yes, it's for you," I say with a smile.


Of course, she then kinda ruined the effect of her glee by imperiously informing her sisters that this was HER new cup, not theirs. *grin*

But it's always good to know when you do something that right.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reach out and touch someone!

Since I've been under the weather the last few days, all of us girls took naps this afternoon. The Fries and I woke up at pretty much the same time. So I got them downstairs, handed diapers to Hubby, and went to get them some juice. I also hid in the kitchen to eat some Oreos...but got found out by Small Fry and simply brought some out to share.

As I handed a cookie to Large Fry, Hubby turned to me and explained that Large Fry had wanted to talk to Grandma and Boppa since she wouldn't see them today. He wondered if I would be willing to make that call so she could talk to them.

Hubby left for youth group, and once Large Fry finished her Oreo, I dialed my parents' number. I didn't even say hello, just held the cordless phone up to Large Fry's ear right before Mom answered.

She talked to Grandma for several minutes, mostly about how they were watching the Jonah VeggieTales movie (they weren't yet, but they were going to). Then she said, "Bye," and shoved the phone back at me.

Then Small Fry wanted to talk to Grandma. She got out "hello" and "I lahhyou" before the buttons on the handset became more interesting.

I talked with Mom for several minutes myself, mostly about SIL's flights en route to South Korea today. Then I asked if Dad could come to the phone, since Large Fry had wanted to talk to them both.

Dad got on the line and I put the phone back next to Large Fry's ear. "Hello, Boppa," she said, "I want to talk to Grandma."

I was not able to stifle my laughter.

I heard Mom come back on the line, since Large Fry was right next to me on the recliner. Large Fry now said they were watching The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything VeggieTales movie (the tv was still on figure skating), and then said she wanted to talk to Boppa again.

You will never guess what she said to Dad when he came back on the line.

I heard Dad chuckle and then Mom's voice.

And, of course, Large Fry immediately asked to speak to Boppa again.

I was a little surprised by what I heard next:

"I want to talk to Uncle Cole!" Large Fry said, rather indignantly.

It didn't surprise me that Large Fry probably thinks that my BIL lives at Grandma and Boppa's...she's only ever seen him there. But I was amused that she wanted to talk to him.

She shoved the phone away and I took it back, and found both of my parents were talking to me.

Sensing a pattern, my parents had decided to fix her...they put her on speakerphone. Large Fry is not stupid. She quickly figured out she had them both on the line. And, in order to continue her game, she asked for the next person she figured would be there.

I almost called my sister to have her put her husband on the line. But I figured she'd then want to talk to her cousin Ruben, too, who is barely three months old and wouldn't say much.