Friday, August 31, 2012

Can we slow down the milestones a bit?

On the sort-of spur of the moment, Hubby and I decided to go out to dinner tonight.

(Translation: He got home at quarter after 6 and neither of us wanted to cook.  And I'd been contemplating dinner out anyway.)

We went to one of our favorite semi-local places, GVD (it's about 10-15 minutes down the road, between here and our last burg).  The kids whooped and hollered, because they know eating at GVD guarantees ice cream for dessert.  Plus, we hadn't been there in over a month.


The food is good, the service is fast, and we're now waiting for Small Fry to finish mangling her roll, eat it, and for the waitress to come back so we can place our ice cream orders.

Small has been showing off her wiggly tooth all week.  The same one her sisters also lost first.  She shows it again to Hubby, who exclaims that it's really getting loose.

He's just admonished her again that we can't order ice cream until she's done.

And there's a little squeak from Small Fry.  "I lost my toof!"

Hubby whips around to look at her.

Sure enough, her little tiny tooth is laying there on the table.

"Let me look at your mouth, honey," he says, passing off the tooth to me for safekeeping.  He presses a clean napkin into the hole, and instructs her to let him hold it there.

"Is it bweeding?" Small asks around the napkin.

"A little.  Holding this helps it stop."

The waitress picked that point to come back to our table for our ice cream orders.  She waited as our first-lost-tooth insanity settled down, and then took our  ice cream orders.

Of course, we had to take a picture to send to Gramma and Boppa.

First day of kindergarten on Monday, first lost tooth today.

I may go cry.


New things!  New headings!

New other stuff!

New locations for old stuff!

And the number-one reason why I'll never make it as a Reader's Digest writer!

Check it out.

I contemplated a "Meet The Fries" section, but that's probably taking things a bit too far, don't you think?

Yeah, I thought so too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We now return you to your regularly scheduled insanity.

Three days back from vacation now, and my house resembles a small-grade disaster.

Between getting the kids going and off to school, some inconvenient insomnia, and my own qualms about the twins starting Kindergarten, I haven't wanted to do much of anything else.  Breathing has required enough work.

I decided on Monday night that I was going to tackle my home office, which looks even worse than the rest of the house, and spent two hours in there, getting some boxes sorted and shored up and moved out for eventual storage in the attic.  (They're currently sitting in the entryway.  I haven't gotten them up there yet.)  Apparently, I created the perfect storm: Taco Bell for dinner, followed by semi-strenuous work in the office, with no a/c on, and not enough cool-down time.  I was sweating and shaking by the time I determined I had to stop, and proceeded to be ill for the rest of the evening.  And most of the next morning.

So I'm sure there's been some entertaining stuff happening here.

I'm just either totally missing it (probably bad), or it's happening out of earshot (probably also bad).  Quiet children are conniving children.

I've enforced early bedtimes for the last few days, because the kids are still worn out from vacation.

Heck, I'm still worn out from vacation.  But then, I also had insomnia last night and was up until almost 4:30 before I finally succumbed to sleep.

But enough about me.

How's life for you?

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Daddy, why is Mommy crying?"

My babies started kindergarten today.
Small, Medium, and Large: K, K, and 2nd grade.

I did really good.

I grabbed the camera before we left the house.

When did they all get so big?

I did great as we walked across the street to the school.  I was more concerned with making sure traffic stopped for us and everybody stayed in the crosswalks like they're supposed to than I was with why we were making this walk.

We've never done the first day of school for kindergarten with walking students before; Large rode the bus when she started kindergarten.  This was a new experience, and kindergarten was *muffled* years ago for me, and three more than that for Hubby.

I was impressed.

The teachers carefully retrieved all the kindergarteners off the buses first, along with all kindergarten walkers like Medium and Small.
Heading for that last hug.

Small threw a last-second hug at Hubby.  Medium just went with the flow right on into the school.

I got nothin'.

And I stopped being good and let the tears fall.

Large was still standing with us.  She tugged on Hubby's hand.  "Daddy, why is Mommy crying?"

"Because Medium and Small are starting school, and it makes her kinda happy and sad at the same time."

A very simple explanation for the overwhelming emotions I was feeling.

But it worked, and Large skipped off into school herself.

"Are you okay?" Hubby asked me.

"No!" I sniffled.

 We went back home.

And I took a nap to escape reality for awhile.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Good gravy!

Large Fry is tearing around on the beach.

Gramma just hollered to ask what she was doing and point out that she's gone too far.

"I'm chasing a birdie!" Large shrieked as she ran pell-mell through a low-flying flock of seagulls.

"You did NOT tell her that," I said to Hubby.

"What?" Mom asked.

"You didn't tell her she could keep a sea gull if she caught it."

"I plead the Fifth."

"You did!"

Hubby shrugged cheerfully.  "I always tell them that."

Even reminding him that his brother's oldest daughter routinely chases birds and catches them does not dissuade him.

Some day, we're going to come home with a duck or goose or sea gull or something.


After one day at the beach, Large Fry looks like we popped her into a toaster set on "charbroil."

She always gets so dark in the summer--they all do, but she gets the darkest--but it was crazy to see just how dark she got yesterday.

I just burn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Mommy, I want to go back to the beach pool!"

We spent close to six hours at the beach today, and my sand-covered kids would've happily stayed for hours longer as long as they got more food.

What had started out as a possibly iffy beach day turned into a beautiful one.  It wasn't too warm, there was a good breeze off the water, and the skies blued up nicely.

Some observations:

  • Having only two sets of public restrooms on the boardwalk, 18 blocks apart, invariably means that the happy-accident, "oh, wow, we're really close to the beach" parking spot will land you pretty much equidistant between the potties.  Yay.  Especially when you have small kids.  A 2/3-mile hike to the bathroom when your five-year-old has to pee "really bad" is, well, really bad.
  • I really need to learn semaphore.  Or something.  I was curious what the beach lifeguards were telling each other with their little orange flags.
  • Even with reapplying my SPF-70 sunscreen, I still managed to get burned on my shoulders and face.  One side of my nose is even redder than the other...because that's the side that was shielded from the sun by both the way I was sitting and the shade from the beach umbrella.  Doesn't anyone make a sunscreen that's SPF Bulletproof?
  • Standing or walking on the boardwalk is cooler than being in the two-holer ladies' room.  (Seriously, folks.  More stalls.  And how the heck do you think you're going to effectively police the "no changing clothes in stalls" rule?  That's what was going on in both when I entered the bathroom.)
  • I must seriously reconsider my previous stance against wearing tankinis.
  • Watching the lifeguard blow his whistle with obvious irritation (at the next guard down, it turned out), point hard, then jump down from his chair and take off down the beach in the opposite direction and at a good clip is both entertaining and concerning.  (I heard no sirens, no beach patrol, nothing to indicate that it was a serious emergency.)
  • Looking way out to sea and seeing a pod of dolphins frolicking along the surface is really cool.
  • I hope the dolphins come back tomorrow and I can get better pictures.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Old Maid

My mom bought three kids' card games for our vacation this week: Crazy 8s, Go Fish, and Old Maid.

Tonight, Gramma promised Large Fry that we could play games after dinner.  Immediately the twin Fries wanted to play, too.  Gramma quickly determined that we'd have to split up kids and games.  Each group would play a game, and then we'd switch.

Good plan, but only in theory.  Dinner ran long, so we did split up the group of us to play games, but we didn't switch.

Hubby laid on the floor with the twins, and they played "Go Fish."  Their game was punctuated by peals of child laughter as Small Fry either said "Go swim!" or "Goldfish!" every time she meant "Go Fish."

Mom, Dad, Large Fry and I first played Crazy 8s.  There's a game that lasted only a single hand.  Either we needed harder rules, as Dad observed, or we needed a better shuffling job.

We moved on to Old Maid.  I ended up dealing, to explain to Large Fry how all the cards were supposed to be dealt out.  I was lucky enough to deal myself the Old Maid card.  Yay, me!

Large Fry, being the youngest, went first, picking a card from my hand.  Within two hands, Large had the Old Maid card.

Large should never play poker.

Two turns later, Mom pulled a card from Large's hand.

"You got the Old Maid, Gramma!" she cried rather cheerily, all but face-palming herself.

"Don't tell!" Mom said.

"I'm not telling!"

Yeah, Dad and I had to hold back our smirks.

Yellow Car!

After Hubby got back from his NJ trip with the teens, he told me that he learned a new road game.

Seeing as we get bored burying each other's cows, and often have none when traveling through less rural areas, and you can only play the alphabet game so many times before one or both of you gets bored and you forget where you're at in the alphabet, a new road game is exciting stuff.

Although, in a pinch, we will play the cities game as demonstrated by Hawkeye Pierce and BJ Hunnicut in an episode of M*A*S*H, where you start with one person naming a city, and the other has to come up with another city name (any in the world will do, as long as it's verifiable), starting with the last letter of the previous city.  That can be kinda fun, but it gets challenging after awhile, especially when your playing partner tosses out a name like St. Croix.  (Thanks to M*A*S*H and The Shawshank Redemption, I have a grand total of two city names that start with X that I can think of off the top of my head.)  You can't repeat city names...which adds to the challenge.  Not a good game to play when you're, well, not on your A-game.

So.  Yellow Car.

It's similar to our counting-cows game, with several notable exceptions: you're not limited to your side of the road for your counting, you're not having to watch the other side of the road for cemeteries to force your opponent to "bury" his cows while keeping an eye out for cows on your side,'re not counting cows.

You're counting yellow cars.

Yellow vehicles of any kind, actually.

There's a couple exceptions: school buses do not count.  Neither do yellow cabs in urban areas (unlike, say, C-burg, where we used to live, which only had two taxis, and they're both white).  Construction vehicles are also out.  Yellow tractors are fine on farms, as long as they're actually farm tractors and not construction tractors.  Yellow boats are long as they're at the dock or actually in the water.  But if they're on trailers or in drydock, no go.  And all vehicles must be able to operate under their own power in their proper place of movement (in other words, a yellow kayak would count if it were in water).

The first person to see a yellow anything gets it, and nobody else can claim it for their yellow counts.

Fun so far, right?

Here comes the twist:  Unlike burying cows, cemeteries on either side of the road are fair game for whoever sees them first.  Shouting out, "Bury your cars!" forces your opponents' car counts down to zero.  Churches also come into play; see one, and shout "Marry my cars!" to immediately double your car count.  If you have a church and cemetery side by side, you'd better be fast if you want to double your count and keep I'd suggest burying your opponents' cars before marrying your own.

Yes, I know that sounds weird.


The other night, we scooted down to C-burg to go to Five Below so the twins could pick out new backpacks for school (*sniff*), and on the way home, Hubby started playing Yellow Cars without telling me we were playing.  (Minor detail.)  Plus, I hadn't really committed the game to memory as he was describing it, largely because I was tired after three days of single mom and sick kid.

Never let it be said that I'm not a good sport, so I played along.

I scanned the highway for several minutes before I pointed and shouted out, "Yellow car!"

"What was it?" Hubby asked.

"A Hummer."

"Are you sure?  'Cause there's a Jeep or something that looks a lot like a Hummer, but isn't."

"No, it was either an H2 or H3.  It was a Hummer."

"Yeah, I think you're right.  It was a Hummer."  Hubby slumped down in his seat.  "You just won the game."


"If you see a yellow Hummer, you win."

"Well, that's a key piece of information that you didn't give me!"

Hubby shrugged.


First time playing the game, and I win without realizing it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's a bird! It's a plane!

I was relating the earlier events of the bug-that-wasn't to Hubby about 20 minutes ago.

Not five minutes after I finished with the tale, I heard blood-curdling, 100% gen-yoo-wine screams from upstairs.  "Honey, somebody's crying upstairs again!"  I didn't wait for him to stop his episode of DS9 and follow along; I knew he would, just from the sound.

I got upstairs and Medium was freaking out.  "Dewre was a biwrdie in hewre!  It was flyin' awound!"

I glanced around the room.  Nothing.  No sound to indicate a bird or other flying thing.  I wondered if somehow she'd dropped straight into REM sleep, came awake enough to open her eyes, and thought one of the bluebird decals on the wall was a real bird.

"There's no bird," I said firmly.

"Yes, dewre is!  I sawl it!"

I couldn't convince her otherwise.

I was going to call Hubby, because I clearly needed backup, when I heard his footsteps in the hall.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"She says there was a bird flying around their room, and I..."

He started to go into the twins' room and got as far as saying, "There's no--" when I put my hand on his arm to stop him.

"Honey."  I pointed to the top of the pocket doorway to the stairs, where there was something brown that did not belong there.

Hi there.
A bat.

Okay, I thought, I am sorry I didn't believe my child.

I went in to do the care and comfort thing.  "Sweetie," I said to Medium Fry, after grabbing my camera and documenting our little winged guest, "it was just a little baby bat."

Hubby got one of the kids' butterfly nets, and closed Large Fry's door and our bedroom door.  I closed the twins' door and stayed in there with them.

We could hear the bat squeaking unhappily as Hubby tapped on the molding, hoping to get the stubborn little thing to move on out.

No such luck.

He'd decided he rather liked the crevice of our pocket door, and was disinclined to acquiesce to Hubby's request.

The chirping and buzzing scared the twins, and I reassured them by saying it was just the bat talking to Daddy, but bats have really high, squeaky voices.

Hubby came to the door and said he'd gotten the bat out and downstairs, and it was now doing flyovers of our living room.  He was heading downstairs to chase it out.

When Hubby came back to give the all-clear, he explained that the bat had gotten out, projectiled itself with the ceiling fan in the entry (Hubby turned that off so we didn't have a bat-ball repeat), and was thankfully uninjured and zooming around the living room.  Mika stalked the bat from the floor, keeping the bat airborne while Hubby turned off lights and opened the front doors.  When the bat's course took it back into the entryway and straight at Hubby, Hubby waved his hands so the bat could "see" him, and the bat hooked a left and flew right out of the house.

It's a good thing Hubby's brother wasn't here.  He would have been cowering on the bed with Medium.

Medium was very disappointed that Hubby didn't actually catch the bat in the butterfly net, because she wanted to see it before he took it outside.  (Apparently, my picture didn't do enough for her.)

Hubby did some final soothing and I came back downstairs.

When he came downstairs a couple minutes later, he paused in the doorway of the den.  I looked up at him questioningly.

"That weren't no baby bat," he said.  "That thing had to have an 8-10 inch wingspan.  I finally got him out, and flooloolooom." Hubby gestured with his hands.  "That was a big bat.  And I said to myself, 'There's no way that's gonna fit in this net.'"  He gave me a look.  "But you'd already told them, 'Oh, it's just a baby.'  I had to acknowledge it that way."

I suspect our leetle friend got in when I opened the front door to ask Hubby if he wanted the porch light on.  The windows in the twins' room were secure.

I just hope our vacation isn't this exciting.

I don't think I could handle that.

I'm very afraid I'm going to die...

...before I even get to vacation.

I sent the Fries up to get ready for bed.  This usually takes them several minutes, so I wait a bit before heading upstairs myself.  (Okay, I'm lazy, and I don't want to have to go up the stairs and down the stairs more than once each for bedtime tuck-ins.)

It hadn't been more than two or three minutes and I hear muffled crying.

I figure if it's serious I'll get called.

No, it just continues.

And the screams get worse.

I went upstairs and discovered why the sounds of distress were so muffled: the pocket door to the top level had been closed.

As soon as I hit the hallway, things got considerably quieter, which told me right away that this was less than they were making it out to be...whatever this was.

Medium screeched that there was a bug behind the door.

So, they're all paralyzed?  What, they couldn't come get me?  They all had to stand there, in various states of undress (Large was closest to having her jammies on; she was putting her arm through the sleeve of her nightgown), and scream and cry so loudly that I was expecting buckets of blood when I tore upstairs?

Oh, I was not happy.

I explained to them (in increasing decibels) that this was NOT an acceptable reason to scream and cry and carry on the way they were, as if, magically, I would come riding to the rescue from something that they are a gazillion times bigger than.  As if I have supersonic ears that can hear over an air conditioner, two ceiling fans, a closed solid-wood pocket door, and a lawnmower outside.

I growled at them to finish getting ready for bed, then demanded to know where this "bug" was.

They couldn't find it.

I said their carrying-on probably scared it away.

After a final growl to finish getting ready for bed, I headed downstairs; I'd heard the mower stop out from and figured Hubby needed me to turn the porch light on.

That's when I heard Medium.

"It was just a fuzzy!"


I am going to die.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Day's Review

  • Left threatening message for those blasted little sock elves that must be the ones kiping Large Fry's shorts.  She has at least three more pairs, and they're not in her dirty clothes hamper, not hiding in her room that I can find, not hiding in the twins' room, and not hiding downstairs by the laundry room.  I know, because I've searched.  And since everything but what she wore today is clean now, it's not 'cause they're hiding in the dirty clothes hamper in my bedroom.  I have no idea where they are, and it's really irritating me.  I heard snickering, so I know the elves found my message.  I just don't think they were intimidated at all.
  • The kids got themselves breakfast, so I fixed myself something to eat.  Then I started scrounging the pantry for the stuff I'd need to bake cookies today.
  • Great.  I have no baking soda.  How'd I miss that?
  • Moving right along.  I was going to do peanut butter cookies anyway, because I'm a nice wife who understands her husband's love of all things peanut butter is second only to his love of bacon, and I'm just using a mix for that.  One egg and a third of a cup of oil.  I can do that.
  • Great.  I only have two eggs left.
  • Texted Hubby.  Said I needed him to get baking soda and a dozen eggs on his way home.  Forgot to tell him we were almost out of butter, or that we're so close to being out of liquid dish soap that he should get those things too.
  • Fixed lunch.
  • Tried to bake peanut-butter mini-cupcake cookies with the kids' "help."  Ended up pressing Medium and Large into service, unwrapping Hershey's Kisses.  You can't have peanut butter cookies without chocolate shoved into 'em right after they come out of the oven, in my mind.
  • Hubby wasn't home from work yet, sooo...folded two baskets full of clean clothes.  It looks like a small, haphazardly-organized clothing store erupted in my den.
  • Finished a book in only about two and a half days.  That's unheard-of around these parts, folks.  At least, in the last four years.
  • Plugged's free browser plug-in to no less than half a dozen friends who are not thrilled that they've been forced into Timeline.
  • Mediated several disputes from the downstairs Throne Room.  Again.
  • Refused to let the kids watch TV multiple times.
  • Discovered that the Music Bullet is exactly that.  It shoots holes in your music rather than acting like a speaker.  Maybe if I run the battery all the way down, and totally recharge it, I'll have better luck with sound quality.  I bought the thing solely for the purpose of not having to lug a stereo speaker set along with us on vacation, so the kids can have their music at night, when they go to sleep.
  • Got involved in deep nomenclature discussion with Small and Large Fries.  Left my heart very unsettled.  Managed to hold it together until Hubby came home.
  • Barely managed to keep the tattered thoughts and feelings at bay while Hubby ran out to the corner store for butter.  (And, as it turned out, a four-pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  $5 minimum on charges.)
  • Hubby finished fixing dinner.  By then, he seemed a lot less grumpy than he had earlier, which didn't help my unraveling rope.
  • Washed one last load of clothes.
  • Hubby informed me that there was mac & cheese for dinner.  I nodded, and went upstairs.  Sometimes, you just have to have a good cry.  (Although, I'm not sure what all is really good about it, other than the catharsis of released emotions.)  Hubby and the kids had elected to eat in the den, and were watching Bambi 2 on Disney Junior.  The Great Prince was chewing Bambi out about something, and  it was just too much.  I couldn't sit there and watch it.  I retreated to my bedroom, bawled like a baby for five minutes, and then crashed on the bed.  I figured maybe I needed to just rest for awhile.  Mika came in and kept me company.  I must really have been out of sorts, because he also licked my hand.  (I didn't actually sleep, but the rest felt great.)
  • About 7:30, Small Fry came into the room.  "Mommy?" she asked.  I turned, and she flipped on the light.  "It's soda time!" she said cheerfully, and brought me a cold Dr Pepper.
  • Since I now had eggs and baking soda, I started churning out cookies.
  • The cookie tally: two batches of orange-carrot cookies (about 5 dozen), 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies, and 4 dozen peanut butter blossom cups.  When I remembered I still needed to glaze the carrot cookies (which results in the whole orange part), I abandoned my ideas of making a batch of my world-famous ginger bends (I make 'em chewy, so they don't "snap").
  • Successfully created carrot cookie glaze.
  • Cleaned garbage disposal (I cut up the abused oranges and ran 'em through it).
  • Glazed cookies.  Barely had enough.  That always happens.  I think I've got oodles, and I end up using it all.  They need to sit out overnight before I can store them.
  • Collected piles of kids' clothes for vacation.
  • Put laundry in dryer.
  • Gave Weasel the evil eye for jumping on my careful piles.  He probably thinks he's starving again.  He usually does.
  • Good golly, is it really quarter to 11?  No.  It's quarter to 12.  I'm going to bed.

Breaking News...

Small Fry: Youwr name is Lawrge [Hubby's Last Name (HLN)]!
Large Fry: Sometimes my name is Large [My Maiden Name (MMN)]!
Small: Nuh-uh. Youwr name is Lawrge HLN!
Large: No, it's also MMN, at my school. Mommy, is my last name MMN or HLN?
*oh, the breaking of my heart*
Me: Your last name is MMN.
Large [authoritatively]: My last name is MMN. That's what it is at my school.
Small [not to be dissuaded]: And HLN!

 Cute, but also heart-squeezing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rule #2, Man. Rule #2.

I'm talking on the phone with my dad about the most recent Gaither Music Catalog cover and whether or not the strange-looking guy on the cover art for the Gaither Vocal Band's newest album, sitting there wearing a blue plaid shirt and with a guitar leaning against his leg, is really David Phelps or if Gaither somehow pulled a switcheroo and we didn't know it.

We're about ten minutes into our conversation, and I hear a blood-curdling, decidedly non-happy scream from upstairs.

Small Fry.  Without a doubt.

About a minute later, she comes into the den, where I am.

"Why were you screaming?" I asked her.

"Becawse Medium an' Lawrge were twying to pwretend to eat me, an' I didn't want them to!"


Yeah, there's not a whole lot I could say to that one.  Dad heard Small's explanation through the phone and chuckled.

Oh, and if you were wondering, it is still David Phelps on the GVB cover.  With much shorter, darker hair, a mustache, and wearing clothes that would make a hillbilly prouder'n dirt.  Very much not looking like the guy on his website.


Click here.

I promise, you won't regret it.

(Thanks, Dad.)

My own I Love Lucy tales

I read a lot.  I admit that.  And one of my favorite authors is Jill Shalvis, who has not only made me laugh out loud repeatedly when reading her books, but also her blog.  She claims to channel Lucy Ricardo and often confesses her most recent I-Love-Lucy moments.

Today, she asked us to share our own ILL stories.

After reading some of the incidents others had posted, mine seemed woefully tame.  And all revolving around the same things: keys to the new house.

There was the day I accidentally locked myself out of the house when I went to go pick up my oldest from school.  The twins were still at preschool, so it was just the two of us.  We'd bought the house less than six months before, and so some things still required making sure the knob to the back door was unlocked before I closed the door.  It turns regardless on the inside, so I just walked out and went.  Thankfully, my husband only works about five minutes away in heavy traffic (which, for us, is about ten cars and three horse-and-buggies), and I had my cell phone, so I called him to come let us in.  I put a house key on the key ring with my car keys (it's more convenient for me to keep car keys and house keys on two different rings).

However...apparently, when we made copies of the door keys, Hubby got my back door key instead of his front-door key (so he now has two of the original back-door keys, I think).  Not too long after the come-let-us-in debacle, I grabbed my car keys just in case I needed the house key to get in.  Now, the den door to the outside (also at the back, but not the official "back door"--that's in the kitchen) and the front door use the same key.  But the den door also has a sliding lock on it, which I usually kept locked.  Locked myself out of the house again when I went to pick up Large Fry, but had my car key ring.  Went to unlock the back door and...nada.  I knew the sliding lock was on the den door.  So Large and I trooped around to the front of the house and went in that way.

Those were both several months ago, while school was still in session.

This one, however, was only a few weeks ago.

I had a follow-up appointment with a dermatologist out near where my folks live (due to an emergency appointment while the kids and I were out there at the end of June, for a severe case of hives, which turned out to be an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, but I digress).  I am notoriously geographically challenged.  Whatever direction I'm facing is north.  I love our GPS, but it's been on the fritz, so I was going to try to update the maps and get it working again so I didn't have to rely on printed-out directions for how to get there and get home (I can at least manage that much) when I'm the only one in the car who can both drive and read fluently (Large Fry is only 7, after all).  So I'm outside, tearing the van apart, looking for the GPS unit.  It was Hubby's usual day off, but because we knew we were likely going to be traveling for a funeral later in the week (whole other story), he'd gone in that day so that we could make the trip.  And when he'd left the house, he hadn't unlocked the kitchen door knob.  He just left.

The kids were inside, and I'd left the kitchen door open, so no biggie.  It was still early enough in the day that it wasn't swelteringly hot yet, so I didn't worry about my nice, conditioned air leaking outside.  And my kids, whom I love, seemed to all think they'd been raised in a barn (I know better), because they NEVER closed that door when they went in or out.

Until that day.

Small Fry likes to know where her peeps are.  If she can't find you, and she needs to touch you (she's my tactile child), she'll come hunt you down.

So that's what happened.

"Mommy, where were you?"

"Out here, honey.  Cleaning out the van and looking for the GPS."

"I thought you left us."

"I wouldn't do that."

I dumped the bags of trash I'd gathered in the trash can, and went to head back in the house, GPS-less, and discovered that Small had closed the kitchen door behind her.

Okay, no biggie.  I still have two kids inside.  I banged on the kitchen door and was soundly ignored.  I *knew* they were in the den, so I didn't think anything of it, other than to get seriously annoyed.

I stomped over to the den door and insistently ran the doorbell.

THAT got a reaction.  I think the slider lock was still engaged, so I sent Medium to the kitchen to let Small and I in.

I was inside the house for several minutes before Large said something about answering the front door.

The poor DHL guy was standing on my front stoop, and probably had been for a good five minutes or more, waiting for me to come sign for a package.  Because my kids didn't tell me he was there, and I wasn't in the house to hear the front doorbell!  (We really need obviously different doorbell tones for the front and den doors.  Which we don't have yet.)  I apologized profusely to the man, and he was a very good sport about it.  (It helps that my kids are so gosh-darned cute.)


Okay, so maybe that last one gets me in the running.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My kingdom for a gavel.

This is one of those days when I desperately wish I had boys.

I have no illusions that I would have more bathroom privacy if I had boys.  I'm sure I'd have just as much then as I do now (which is, well, none).

But then there are days like today, when I really feel the need to have a black robe and a gavel hanging on the wall of the downstairs bath.

I kid you not, I went in there to make use of that room in the way in which it was originally designed (not just to hide in there, because I'll freely admit that I've done that before).  I was not in there 30 seconds before the screaming started.


There was not a wall close enough for me to bang my head against.

I ignored the shout.

Didn't last.

Medium approached to tattle first.  I waved her away after determining quickly that this wasn't a real issue.

Small was next.  "Lawrge won't let me sit onna cowch!  She blocked me wif da clipboawrd!"

Her indignance remained until I sighed and shouted up the stairs, "Large, let your sister sit on the couch."

Small was down less than thirty seconds later.  Oh, I couldn't wait to hear what the problem was now.

"Lawrge won't let me sing!"

"She was singing a bad song!" Large shouted indignantly from upstairs.

It was a Migraine Salute moment.

I looked at Small Fry.  "What bad song were you singing?"

Small shrugged.

"Large Fry! Come here!" I shouted.

When I didn't hear her coming down the stairs from the den in a quick enough fashion, I shouted for her again.

I asked her why she was not wanting her sister on the couch.  Large said, "She was singing her bad song!"

I looked back at Small Fry.  "What bad song were you singing?"

I got another shrug for my troubles, so I turned to Large Fry.  "What bad song was she singing?"

"I don't know it!"

"Tell me the words."

"I don't know it."

"Then it can't be that bad a song."  I gestured with my hands.  "Go."

From out in the toy room, I heard Medium ask Small, "Wewre you singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Littewl Bat?"

I didn't hear Small's response, but I did hear Medium start singing.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat.
   Wonder where the potty's at?
   Straight ahead, or to the right?
   Caves are very dark at night.
   Little bat, why'd you frown?
   Do you tinkle upside down? ♪

Yes, these are the things my children learned in preschool.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I need another music app like I need a hole in the head.

But it was the only way to download these guys' entire album ( only has 3 singles available in mp3).

Their video cover of Smooth Criminal shot them to fame, apparently just in time, too.  (Someone had apparently suggested the idea to them, as a way to maybe generate some income, according to the Wikipedia info page.)

This has got to be the most beautiful cover of U2's "With or Without You" that I think I've ever heard.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Last Twenty Minutes

I can't make this stuff up.


Small Fry marched determinedly into the den, up to me, and shoved the kids' Dora toothpaste and her toothbrush in my face.

Small:  Help.  There's none left, 'cause my hands awre sweaty.

Her hands were indeed wet, probably from washing them after going potty.  There's still a pink glob of toothpaste easily seen at the end of the nearly-empty tube.

Me:  None left, eh?

Small:  'Cause my hands awre sweaty.


I finished up the bedtime tuck-in routine, which, I swear, has something new added to it every night, and then said goodnight.

And walked out of the twins' room.

And thought that was it.

Silly me.

Medium:  Mama?

Me:  What?

Medium:  Um...I love you.

Me:  I love you too.  Goodnight.

I resumed course to Large's bedroom, and dropped down on her bed next to her.

Large: My name is Pocahontas now.

Me:  Okay, Pocahontasnow, lay down.

Large:  Pocahontas!  Not Pocahontasnow.

Small [from down the hall]:  Mama!  Mama!  MAMA!

Me:  What?!

Small:  I wanna s'eep wif Medium.

I debated saying no.  What I knew for sure was that I didn't want to be screaming this conversation up and down the hall.


Me:  I'll be right there!

So I went back to tucking Large in, calling her Pocahontasnow, making her giggle.


Back down the hall, in the twins' room....

Me:  Okay, what?

Small:  I wanna s'eep wif Medium.

Me:  That's up to her.  Medium, can Small sleep with you?

Medium [pretends to think]:  Yes.  As long as she's quiet.  And doesn't go up on me wif her bum.

Medium flipped over on her belly, shoved her rear end up in the air, and proceeded to bop it around a few times to demonstrate exactly what she meant.

I pressed my lips together as both twins burst out in giggles.  And desperately wished I had video.

And then I actually had to step out in the hall and try to pull myself together, since I was not going to be able to stand there, look at them, and not laugh. 

Ten seconds later, I tried to pull myself together.

No luck.

After another twenty seconds, of me failing to muffle my laughter out in the hall and their out-right glee in the bedroom, I gave up.

Me [still laughing]:  All right, yes, you can sleep with Medium, as long as you behave and you both sleep!

I was still laughing as I got to the stairs.

Medium:  Mommy, don't tell Daddy...

Me:  I can't promise you that one!

Treasure Hunter

I'm in the kitchen working on what is going to be a very late dinner when Medium Fry comes tearing down the stairs.

"I foun' the key of wisdom!" she proclaims loudly. And to no one in particular.

Hubby and I aren't tabletop gamers, but we have several friends who are, and my first thought was that this sounds like a successful quest in some RPG. (Badger and Doc Awk, aren't you proud?)

I have no idea what she and Large Fry are playing. They're not on this level, which is my general qualification tonight, and they're loud enough that I know they must not be wreaking too much havoc.

"Mommy, do you want to see my key of wisdom?" Medium bopped into the kitchen and asked.

"Sure." I turned to look.

Her key of wisdom:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I am either a really good mom...

...or I am more than half a bubble off plumb.
Told you it was tiny.

I'm sitting here, "drinking" pretend tea that Small Fry has poured for me.  (I think this is about my fifth cup, and she's overloading me with "lemons" for my tea, just like Gramma likes.)

Small Fry isn't even in the room.

None of the kids are in the room.

And I'm still sipping from a tiny purple teacup.


So I staggered into the bathroom around 4:30ish (heavy on the -ish) this morning, and thought for sure that I'd finally run out of luck and had caught the bug Small Fry had last week.  The nausea was overwhelming.  I couldn't tell if I was feverish, but I figured that was a secondary concern.

I wobbled back to bed, noticing that Medium had crawled in some time in the last couple of hours.  It probably took me another half hour or so to really get back to sleep.  I was out of it enough that I wasn't sure if I was really feeling sick, or if I was still mostly asleep during my constitutional and I was dreaming the whole thing.  Either way, I tried to breathe through it (does Lamaze work for nausea too?), and eventually fell asleep.

No fever when I woke up this morning.

The nausea, however, remained.  Not as nasty, but it was still there.

As was the persistent ache in my head.


Sneak-attack migraine that hit so severely in my sleep that I thought I was getting sick.

I woke the kids and got them dressed and Hubby helped with hair, and then took off on his bike for work.

I drove the Fries the whole third of a mile to the counselor's office, because the twins had an appointment this morning.

When I got there, and the counselor's car wasn't there and the office was dark, I whipped out my phone just as Small Fry cried, "Whewre is she?"

The appointment is tomorrow.

Migraine = Idiocy.  Or forgetfulness.  Something.

We came home.

I quietly but strictly ordered the Fries that there will be no shouting (even in glee), no whining, no fighting, and they will be kind and speak gently to each other, because my head hurts.

Then I downed rescue meds.

These stupid things do seem to come in cycles.

I'll go months without having one, and then have a stretch where I get them frequently.  Looks like that's where I am right now.

Thank goodness the kids are being pretty good today.  I guess sweetly-whispered threats work.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Letters from the elementary school across the street arrived in today's mail for Medium and Small Fries.

My babies are going to kindergarten in three weeks.

I can hardly believe it.

They are in the same class, which I specifically requested, since I know they're probably not ready to be separated at school yet.

I don't know that I'm ready for them to go to school.

If you don't mind, I'm going to go sit over there until I get this huge speck of sentiment out of my eyes....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

3-Day Single Mom Recap

Nighttime accident requiring washing of sheets/blankets just washed a few days ago?  Check.

Sick child?  Check.

Child who stuck finger in a running fan?  Check.

Child who is pursuing a doctorate in tattling?  Check.

Company for two nights?  Check.  (Good to have you, Mitzy!)

Brand-new wasp house in my mailbox today that wasn't there yesterday?  Check.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today's Adventures

At quarter of six this morning, Hubby woke me up just before he left the house on his tell me that Medium had had an accident during the night, and he'd gotten her cleaned up but hadn't stripped the bed.  So Medium climbed into bed wearing just panties and we both went back to sleep.

It was obvious when Small joined us in bed that she was still running a pretty hefty fever, so I mentally penciled in a visit to the walk-in clinic.

The normally staid PA that we saw there was the most animated I've ever seen him.  It was comical.  The man should have gone into pediatrics; he was that good with Small, who was NOT happy about the throat swab to run a rapid strep test (negative, which was both good and bad...good, because who wants strep, and bad, because that meant it was viral, which increased the likelihood that the other two would get this and I'd be having all kinds of fun).  I've never seen him smile that much.  When he saw us at the check-out, where the Fries were all getting stickers, they giggled over his gruff-yet-humorous, "Why are you still here?"

I enforced naptime after lunch.  I managed a bit of one myself, even after texting back and forth with Mitzy about her arrival time tonight and what our plans were after the girls were in bed.

Made a quick run to the pharmacy after I got dinner in the oven, where the kids amused themselves with asking a zillion questions, and I found myself dumbing down the process of photosynthesis and oxygen release to explain to Medium that trees didn't breath for us, but because they take bad stuff out and release good stuff, they help us breathe.

Dinner was thankfully a hit, and Jester & Mitzy's arrival was even more of a hit.

The kids are in bed, and the three of us are watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Not a bad day, I suppose.

"Oh, look.  More desert."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another thing I never thought I'd say...

"Why is there jelly in your eye?"

To Medium, who was in the kitchen, and who shouted the obvious complaint.

If you'll excuse me...

I'm going to go over there, sit in the corner, and whimper.

I have a raging headache, Medium Fry is pretending to mew like Mika while she and Large Fry hunt him down (poor Mika), and Small Fry just made the thermometer beep at 100.8.

And my brother has decided he wants to complicate matters.

I'd go scream, but it will hurt my head.

I'll mainline Dr Pepper and take a migraine pill instead.

I am not going to survive.

Hubby leaves at the crack of ugly early tomorrow and will be gone for three days on a beach retreat with the teens.

If today's behavior is the way the Fries are going to behave for the next three days, there's going to be massive losses in privileges, and probably a second Sunday in a row of being stuck in bed with a migraine.

Mitzy, are you sure you have to go to this school stuff?  You can't just hang out with me for three days?

There I was...

I had innocently gone upstairs to get a bandaid for a small cut on my thumb...and found the girls playing dress-up...

...and found myself pressed into service as wedding photographer.  Which was kind of odd, since I'd heard Large Fry say something to her sisters about getting a baby for the anniversary (it's been on their minds ever since our wedding anniversary last week), but these are my kids, and oddity is really unsurprising.


"Mommy, take our pictewre!  We'wre at da wedding!" Small enthused.

Small Fry was wearing a dress we'd gotten as a hand-me-down several years ago, when it was ridiculously big on any of the girls but Large had thought it was so pretty that we took it anyway for the expressed purpose of playing dress-up.  (It's still too big for any of them to wear it for anything other than dress-up.)

Medium Fry wasn't wearing anything extra, but she was helping Large Fry "get dressed."  Large had pulled on a stretchy lace child's full slip, which was probably too small for her when she was half her current size (no idea how she didn't rip it when she put it on).  It barely reached Large's hips.  Medium had just thrown the Batman cape, which we'd gotten from Hubby's sister-in-law two Thanksgivings ago (Medium had fallen in love with it), over Large Fry's head and was tugging it down to her waist to serve as a train. Large's pink doll blanket that Gramma had made for last Christmas was tucked in front as the skirt.

It appeared that Medium was to be the FOTB, Large the bride, and Small the MOTB.

My stomach quietly griped that it was still waiting on Cheerios or something (the kids had already had breakfast), and Medium was still fussing over Large's ensemble.

Finally, I insisted that, if they really wanted me to play photographer, they all needed to come out into the hall, in the sunlight through the skylight, and let me take their pictures so that I could go eat.

They trooped out and Medium arranged everyone to her satisfaction, giving Small Fry the bean-filled pillowy princess backpack to wear and positioning Large in the middle between her "parents."  And they called out various phrases to smile to as I snapped several pictures with my cell phone's camera.
Medium (FOTB), Large (Bride), Small (MOTB)

"Now can we do silly pictewres!"  Small was really not asking a question there.  I dutifully took a silly-face picture.

As I headed downstairs, promising my stomach some food, and toot sweet, I heard this:

Small: Awre dese my nippewls?

Medium: No, dat's youwr fowrwawrd-facing backpack.

Small [disappointed]: Oh.  I wanted dem to be my nippewls.