Thursday, December 29, 2005

Word for the Week

Ever had a new word just tickle your funny bone? Here's one that struck me recently off a friend's blog:


Main Entry: com·mo·tion Pronunciation: k&-'mO-sh&nFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin commotion-, commotio, from commovEre1 : a condition of civil unrest or insurrection2 : steady or recurrent motion3 : mental excitement or confusion4 a : an agitated disturbance : TO-DO b : noisy confusion : AGITATION

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Duncan awoke at 5:56 a.m., and just as directed, came and woke us up first (UGH). After unsuccessfully suggesting he go back to sleep for a little bit (ha), we sent him to wake Connor and come back to our room. I went downstairs and got the camera turned on, and then both kids EXPLODED down the hall to the living room.

Duncan truly made my Christmas, he was so excited about every little thing, even the inexpensive crayons in his stocking! Both kids liked everything they got. By 7am they were settled playing with their newfound "loot". Dot arrived around 11:30 with her gifts AND gifts from Aunt Susan & Uncle John... so we had another round of "Christmas". My children are truly blessed by all the people who care for them and do for them.

At 12:30 my precooked turkey dinner was hot, and we sat down to eat. Both kids were too excited to eat, so we let them leave the table -- I wasn't going to fight over a clean plate on Christmas. Poor Sassy had trouble manuevering the house with all the stuff strewn everywhere.

At 4:00 my happy little elf and his grandmother headed back to Charlotte for the week. I miss him alot, but sometimes it helps to have some peace and quiet -- at least the kids can't fight in two separate cities. Connor enjoys his Mommy/Daddy time when Duncan is away.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Good News, Good Food, and OK News

We travelled to visit my parents on 12/23 -- it had been too long since we had visited. Since the car wasn't supposed to be finished until late today, we took the rental car up. The kids behaved pretty well in the car.

We really enjoyed our visit -- other than a couple of small tiffs, the kids behaved well. They enjoyed the presents my parents got them for Christmas, enjoyed the food (Connor especially enjoyed the pumpkin roll, see the photo blog), and were sorry to head home. The only "OK" news of the day was they had found more damage on the car, and it wouldn't be ready til next Wednesday at least.

So we headed home... Duncan was awake well past 1am... UGH.

Saturday brought a day of playing with new toys, and the Christmas eve service at church. The church does a “children’s sermon” and invites the kids to come down and sit with the minister and hear a sermon directed at them. They did the story of Christmas, and invited the kids to act it out. None of the little girls volunteered to be Mary, so Connor volunteered! Baby Jesus was the pastor’s 13 week old granddaughter, his first grandchild. Duncan was a shepherd.

They also had communion, Duncan announced (Ioud enough for ½ the church to hear) that he was hungry and could he have a bigger piece?! Out of the mouths of babes.

They were tired, and luckily passed out early so Santa's elves could finish their Christmas eve preparations. We finally got in bed about 11:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Better Mood, Better Luck

God bless the Ford Body Shop -- they've dealt with this adjuster before, like her about as much as I do (NOT!), and said we could just sign the check over to them to pay for the car. Phew.

Thank you so much for all the blog comments from my bad mood swing -- blogging is like group therapy -- I feel much more normal now. I did find two more deals for Connor's Christmas and am feeling better about that, and spent less than $20 to do it. Charles was a sweetheart when I told him how upset I was about not having stuff under the tree for him -- I now have two gifts (small) for him, and some ideas he helped me with to make it look better for the kids (homemade gift certificates for certain things).

So maybe this elf has stretched her dough (or lack thereof) a little further. I got off work today at noon and don't have to be back until Tuesday. We are spending the day tomorrow with my parents celebrating Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I just can't win!

Our money from the insurance company to pay for the car repairs arrived
today, payable to Paul Fodel. Very nice, but Charles Fodel is who was in
the accident!!! Now I have to HOPE that the bank will take the check and
we can get this straightened out. I'm so very annoyed and stressed!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mood Swing From H-E-L-L

OK, all of a sudden I got hit with a major downer mood swing. I'm staring at my dining room table covered in unfinished Christmas presents, I don't feel "done" shopping but my shopping money is definitely "done"... I haven't wrapped the first gift... why do moods like this have to happen? I'm kind of the barometer for my family mood -- I have to be "up" so everyone else can be "up"... Yet all of a sudden I want to go crawl in bed and stay there.

Duncan came home from school sick today -- complained of a sore throat, and his chest was kind of junky. His inhaler helped some, but it hyped him up and he's been a real pistol today. Tomorrow is his school party so I have to go wrap the gift for that exchange, and Charles is making cupcakes. Do you know I have absolutely NOTHING under the tree for Charles? The item I was supposed to get him from his mom is backordered, won't be here before Christmas, and I *thought* we were gonna do our Christmas later, but my husband decided to buy for me without telling me, so now I have gifts under the tree and he doesn't. I feel so stinking guilty. Dot helped Santa get Duncan a new bike, so Duncan's Santa is going to be HUGE compared to Connor's... and I don't have the $$ to even it up. I just wish it was 12/26.


OK, I got tagged with this one TWICE, once from Courtney, once from Annette. I'm gonna respond to the first one right now.

The rules for this particular meme are as follows:
Remove the blog name in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add yourself to the bottom slot.

1. Running2Ks
2. Queen of Spain
3. Kdubs
4. Courtney
5. Carolyn

Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to.
1. Mary
2. Julie B.
3. Felicia
4. Bonni
5. Deanna

Now, on to the questions!

What were you doing 10 years ago? About to have my future husband move in with me.

What were you doing one year ago? Off of work for the whole week for Christmas
Five snacks you enjoy:
  1. Chocolate
  2. Chips
  3. Chocolate
  4. Chocolate
  5. Chocolate
Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
  1. Devil Went Down to Georgia
  2. Buzz Buzz
  3. Stray Cat Strut
  4. Jump Jive N Wail
  5. Another One Bites the Dust
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
  1. Be debt free!
  2. Make my parents debt free (I think they're close but...)
  3. Prepay both kids college
  4. Send my husband back to college to finish
  5. Hire a maid and a gardener!
Five bad habits:
  1. Diet Coke
  2. Too much computer time
  3. I yell
  4. I'm messy
  5. I'd rather do it myself than let someone help
Five things you like doing:
  1. Computer time
  2. taking pictures
  3. reading
  4. scrapbooking
  5. listening to music
Five things you would never wear, buy, or get new again:
  1. Underwire bras
  2. tight clothing
  3. clip on sunglasses (too heavy)
  4. chokers
  5. socks with toes
Five favorite toys:
  1. My computer!
  2. my camera
  3. my quickutz
  4. my DVR
  5. deck of cards

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Something Went Right

I felt so sorry for Charles last night -- he hit a moment where he was really open and honest, and told me he felt Dr. T (his pychiatrist) had let him down, as he told Charles that "if anything happens, just call me." Well we had a moment of brilliance, and called the emergency number for Dr. T's office. He wasn't on call, but Dr. M was, and he called in a refill on Charles' mood stabilizer. Whew. He still says he feels out of sorts, but at least we're back on track for 30 days.

The kids have been a pistol this weekend -- Connor has been Mr. Hyperactivity, egging his brother on, bouncing balls OFF PEOPLE, just plain obnoxious. Yes I know, this is my golden child I'm referring to.

Check out the photo blog, I've updated it this weekend as Susan informed me I had taken the sparkle out of her morning routine as there was nothing new to look at last week.

I have handmade Christmas presents spread all over the dining room table drying. ACK -- I'm suddenly really behind. With all the stress of the car etc this week I just haven't gotten to it. Guess I need to get on the ball huh?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

More to Come

More to come today -- Charles' mood stabilizer medication prescription ran out, and his
F*%^ing psychiatrist's receptionist won't let the doctor know we need a refill. Our family physician won't touch it, so he is REALLY out of kilter. We have a message in to the therapist for help, our last resort is to take him to the emergency room, but that's a $75 fee on top of the prescription. UGH. And I'm busy working on the last few handmade Christmas presents. More tonite!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Name 5 Talents/Gifts that you have

Found this on Meghan's blog --

Name 5 talents/gifts that you have.

1. Even though I've never kissed the blarney stone, I have the gift of
gab -- I can talk to anybody!

2. I have an amazing memory for trivial details -- my dad refers to it as
a "steel trap".

3. It's sounds so cliche (because we are all listing it), but I'd say I'm
crafty -- I've enjoyed cross stitch and scrapbooking.

4. Self-confidence -- when I can channel that I feel I do amazing things.

5. A strong family -- sometimes when everything else fails me, the love &
support of my family always carry me through.

How about you guys?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Which of Santa's Reindeer are you?

Stolen from Courtney's Blog!

You Are Cupid
A total romantic, you're always crushing on a new reindeer.
Why You're Naughty: You've caused so much drama, all the reindeers aren't speaking to each other.
Why You're Nice: You have a knack for playing matchmaker. You even hooked Rudolph up!

My Weekend -- WHEW

I hope it's a long while before we have as many things to do in a single
weekend as we did this one. I'm sick, tired, and drained. On the
bright side, I think the kids had a marvelous time, which was the whole
reason for all of it.

Saturday morning bright and early Duncan & I headed out to the Pinewood
Derby Race. His car didn't place or anything, but it looked good, and he
was such a good sport -- I'm so proud. His buddy Comfort placed 5th
overall out of 116 cars! GO COMFORT! The fastest cars averaged
around 2.96 seconds. It was a long morning -- I think Duncan's
favorite part was doughnuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch. Since
Charles and I were up til almost 2 a.m. working on his car, and then I was
up again at 6:30 a.m., I was exhausted by this time. My mother-in-law
(Dot Dot) arrived about 1:00 p.m., and proceeded to lecture Duncan on the
state of his room. Trust me, you don't want to know! He worked on
his room (under LOUD protest) for a while, and then we set out to run some
errands. We made a find at the consignment shop -- long sleeve white
button down shirts for the boys for $4.50 each! Off to Target for long
underwear for the parade, and hats & gloves for both boys. We got home
around 4:30, and I was REALLY tired then. I made spaghetti & garlic bread
for dinner.

Fast forward to Sunday morning. I had three hampers of kid's clothes to
hang up between the two boys. I purged some size 6/7 ones out of
Duncan's closet into Connor's. We put both boys in their new (to them)
white shirts & khaki pants for church, and Connor and I left early as he
had a last minute choir rehearsal before services. He did great, except
he wiggles... ALOT. I'll have pictures up SOON on the photo page.
Duncan had a meltdown at home before Connor & I left over shoes -- I wanted
him to wear his white tennis shoes because they blended with the outfit
more. He erupted over this -- he hadn't slept well the night before.
So he arrives at church about 3 minutes before the service starts.
Fortunately, the "choir mom" got him settled, and other than yawning during
their song he did good! It was a nice service, the sermon was about John
the Baptist and "The Message and the Messenger". Lots of music, the
advent candle lighting.. I can't believe it's only two weeks until

We got home from church about 11:50, and I had just under two hours until
Duncan & I had to be at the parade spot. I made an ugly discovery when
he and I went to get him dressed -- he's GROWN! He's now 4' 4.5" and 63
lbs -- I knew he had put on a little in the waist, but I wasn't prepared
for every pair of pants he owns to show his ankles!!! GAK! Needless
to say Santa is going to have to bring Duncan some pants at least. His
long sleeve shirts hit him about 1/2 way between his wrist and his elbow.
This all fit great two months ago! I know it's normal for kids to have
growth spurts, but this is the first time in a LONG while that Duncan has
popped out of his clothes mid-season. So we got him into the thermal
underwear, a pair of khakis, and his uniform shirt. We bundle up and go
dashing off to Lewisville. It was colder than a dead man's butt Sunday!
I was amazed at how big of a parade it was for a small town -- it lasted
over an hour! We saw Daddy & Connor along our way (Dot watched from the
warmth of her car), Comfort's family, my friend Marcia from work, Mr. Cann
(a prior assistant in Duncan's class) and Mrs. Stock, Duncan & Comfort's
teacher. I'm guessing it was a 2-3 mile walk round trip? Duncan
threw almost 800 pieces of candy to the crowd, and generally had a good
time, but boy were Duncan & Comfort s-l-o-w by the end! I had to laugh
-- Connor rode home w/me, Duncan w/Dot Dot & Charles; Connor was asleep
within 5 minutes of leaving Lewisville! Poor guy, all tuckered out.
I'm such a bad mom, this was their very first parade! I didn't think he
could make it through the White Christmas program at church, so we didn't
go. Dot treated us to McDonald's to let the boys run and play a bit for
supper. Then home, and relax, kind of. Charles is on a Christmas
decorating kick, so he put up the tree last night -- tonight we start

At least this week the only thing we have to do after work is fellowship
supper on Wednesday. Then no more obligations until after New Year's.
Tomorrow I take Connor for a speech/language evaluation, but I got time off
from work to do that in the afternoon.

Friday, December 09, 2005

What Have You Done?

Here's another quiz making the rounds!

( ) smoked a cigarette
( ) crashed a friend's car
( ) stolen a car
( X ) been in love
( X ) been dumped
( ) shoplifted
( ) been fired
( X ) been in a fist fight
( ) snuck out of your parents' house
( X ) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back?
( ) gone on a blind date
( X ) lied to a friend
( ) skipped school
( ) seen someone die
( X ) been to Canada
( ) been to Mexico
( X) been on a plane
( ) purposely set a part of yourself on fire
( X ) eaten sushi
( ) been skiing
( X ) met someone from the Internet
( X ) been at a concert
(X) taken painkillers
( ) love someone or miss someone right now
(X ) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by
( X ) made a snow angel
( ) had a tea party
( X ) flown a kite
( X ) built a sand castle
( X ) gone puddle jumping
( X ) played dress up
( X ) jumped into a pile of leaves
( X ) gone sledding
( X ) cheated while playing a game
( X ) been lonely
( X ) fallen asleep at work/school
( ) used a fake ID
( X ) watched the sun set
( X ) felt an earthquake
( X ) slept beneath the stars
( X ) been tickled
( X ) been robbed
( X ) been misunderstood
( X ) petted a reindeer/goat/kangaroo/deer
( X ) won a contest
( X ) run a red light/stop sign
( ) been suspended from school
( ) had braces
( X ) felt like an outcast/third person
( X) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
( X ) had déjà vu
( X ) danced in the moonlight
( ) liked the way you looked
( X ) witnessed a crime
( X) questioned your heart
( X ) been obsessed with post-it notes
( X ) squished mud through your bare feet
( X ) been lost
( ) been on the opposite side of the country
( X) swam in the ocean
( X ) felt like dying
( X ) cried yourself to sleep
( ) played cops and robbers
( X ) recently colored with crayons
( ) sang karaoke
( X ) paid for a meal with only coins
( X ) done something you told yourself you wouldn't
( ) made prank phone calls
( X ) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
( X ) caught a snowflake on your tongue
( X ) danced in the rain
( X ) written a letter to Santa Claus
( X ) been kissed under the mistletoe
( ) watched the sun rise with someone you care about
( X ) blown bubbles
( ) made a bonfire on the beach
( ) crashed a party
( X ) gone roller-skating
( X ) had a wish come true
( ) jumped off a bridge

Derby Jitters and Paint Woes

OK, we're about to race a plain green car! We tried using the metallic
paints last night and the stencils to put the dragon on the car...
EWWWWWWWW! So I painted over it all in green, again, and it's home
drying. There is a nasty glob of paint on one side -- I couldn't get it
off with the exacto knife, so if Charles doesn't get it off today I'll be
sanding right when I get home. UGH! We have to be there by 8:00 a.m.
tomorrow for check-in -- we're not ready! Charles has promised for two
weeks to help Duncan sand the axles... is that done yet? NOOOOOOO!

Enough of that panic... it's been a long week already. I had to travel
to Charlotte for class on Monday -- left at 6:10 a.m., got home at 6:30
p.m. Tuesday afternoon Duncan had his quarterly visit with the
psychiatrist for a medication check. We upped his ADHD medication a bit
-- he's had NO impulse control lately. He's also gained 7 lbs since
September, up to 63 lbs. While that is a good thing, it's also a sign
his meds aren't working as well. The note from school on Wednesday said
he showed a remarkable improvement in the afternoon, which is normally his
worst time of day. He was roaming the house in the wee hours last night
though, so let's hope that doesn't continue. Wednesday I was in meetings
most of the day at work, and I had stayed up late Tuesday night to finish
up some work. My neck started bothering me on Monday -- it always gets
stiff and achy when the weather gets cold. Everyone at work is trying to
tell me it's in my head, "tension". Thank you very much, but I'm positive
it's in my NECK!

One of my reality TV shows ended this week -- America's Next Top Model.
I wanted Kim to win, but I wasn't disappointed with Nicole. Last night
Survivor went down to four people, it finishes up on Sunday! What will
I watch now?! I understand Project Runway on Bravo is gearing up again,
so maybe I'll have that to watch.

I had to give back the dining room table this week -- I've had it covered
with scrapping stuff etc working on Christmas cards and gifts. I'm not
done with that either. Besides the Pinewood Derby tomorrow, both kids
are singing in church on Sunday. Connor is singing "Go Tell it on the
Mountain"; I'm not sure what Duncan is singing.

So anyway... that's my busy week so far, and it's not over yet. One final
note... one of my scrapping/blog buddies had a death in the family this
week, very close to her heart. You know who you are -- please know I'm
thinking of you and your family this week!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More Quiz Nonsense

Harry PotterYou crave your own knight in shining armour: the
guy who will swoop in and save you, and manage
to be a sweet lover and good dad all at the
same time. You are the girl he's fighting for!

Who is your Harry Potter love match? (for girls)
brought to you by

Sunday, December 04, 2005

An Interesting Mail Day

We forgot to get the mail out of the mailbox yesterday, so we got it this morning. Charles had his accident Wednesday morning; the mail came Saturday. Imagine my surprise to find letters from 7 different lawyers addressed to Charles, four lawyers addressed to Connor, and 4 chiropracters! We now have 5 copies of the accident report! Thanks guys! Sheesh, what a bunch of vultures. All this because of a rear end fender bender? We have more information on whiplash and neck injuries now than anyone could possibly need! Oh, and less I forget, one letter addressed to me, the car owner, from the Ford dealership bodyshop!

No wonder insurance costs so much!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It's Beginning to Feel Alot like Chistmas!

ad·vent ( P ) Pronunciation Key (dvnt)n.
1. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important: the
advent of the computer.
2. Advent The liturgical period preceding Christmas, beginning in Western
churches on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and in Eastern churches in
mid-November, and observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting,
and penitence.
3. Christianity. The coming of Jesus at the Incarnation.
4. Christianity. See
Second Coming.

Me Helping with Nativity Scenes

And so begins the holiday season at church... instead of fellowship supper on Wednesday, they had an advent festival. The kids had a BALL. Most of the activity was around making holiday crafts -- a nativity scene, banners, christmas tree cookies, angels, advent wreath etc. I volunteered to help the kids make the nativity scenes -- it was really cute.

My kids crafts at the end of the evening
Duncan & Connor made nativity scenes

Then this morning we went to church again and had breakfast with Santa! My kids got to do more crafts (Duncan was in 7th heaven!) and talk with the big man himself. The "elf" in the pictures is the christian education director at church. Connor was the very first one to jump into Santa's lap!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bad Morning

Charles got rear ended this morning -- GRRRRR! With Connor in the car
--- major GRRRRRRRRRRR! It gives me 3 of my 5 things to be thankful
for today: 1) No one was hurt. 2) It wasn't our fault. 3) The
car is still driveable, though the bumper is crunched in two LOVELY places.

As soon as my conference call ends I'm calling their insurance adjuster to
figure out what to do in order to get it fixed. Charles says his back
is a little sore, so we are sending him to the doctor today to be looked
at. I know this is minor, I know this is "small stuff", so why am I so

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Holiday Blog Tag

OK, I decided to be a leader today rather than a follower. I therefore
have made up my own "blog tag" for all of my blogging friends to answer to
get in the holiday spirit.

Do you celebrate Christmas?
What are your favorite "holiday" colors?
Favorite Christmas song?
Favorite Christmas movie?
Favorite Christmas cartoon?
Real tree or artificial?
Special family traditions?
Travel or stay home?
Does Santa wrap presents?
Do you do an advent calendar?
Do you send Christmas cards? Store bought or handmade? Christmas
letter? Pictures?
What do you put in stockings?
Typical holiday meal?
Are you done shopping yet? Have you started?

Here are my answers...

Do you celebrate Christmas? Yes.
What are your favorite "holiday" colors? Red & Green
Favorite Christmas song? "O Holy Night"
Favorite Christmas movie? "Scrooged"
Favorite Christmas cartoon? "The Grinch who stole Christmas"
Real tree or artificial? "Artificial"
Special family traditions? We try to go to a local park that has
amazing Christmas lights on Christmas eve. Our favorite holiday treat
is "trash mix" (otherwise known as Chex Party Mix)
Travel or stay home? I like to be home Christmas eve and morning
Does Santa wrap presents? Nope
Do you do an advent calendar? We try to -- my aunt normally sends them
to my kids each year.
Do you send Christmas cards? Store bought or handmade? Christmas
letter? Pictures? I try HARD to send them every year, and I'm
working on doing homemade, but don't always succeed. I'd love to do a
christmas letter & pictures, but I don't always succeed.
What do you put in stockings? Socks, small toys, gift cards, candy
Typical holiday meal? Turkey & fixins... at my parents house it used
to be wild turkey
Are you done shopping yet? Have you started? Bwahhahahahah... nope
I'm not done!

Group Therapy

That's kind of what blogs are to me... group therapy. Sometimes you don't
have anything to say, you just want to listen. Hearing others have your
same issues makes you feel OK, n-o-r-m-a-l. Sometimes seeing someone
have an epiphany about how to solve an issue sets off the light bulb in
YOUR head. And then there are days where you hog the floor and talk
talk talk. If you are lucky, what you says moves someone else in a
positive direction, and they actually let you know that.

My husband rants at me sometimes about how "you care about people you've
never met more than me". While that may technically be true, I've never
been face-to-face with most of you, I sure feel like I know you! And
he's wrong, I don't care less about him. But this piece of technology
allows me to be at home with my family, be in a city where my skills earn a
decent living, and not be deprived of people I connect with who live
elsewhere. I don't have to arrange my schedule to go to an inconvenient
therapy session -- I post when I have something to say, I read when I need
to listen. So there! :P

Monday, November 28, 2005

Carolyn Needs....

game time...
saw this fun little game on another blog and thought i'd play along too. just google your name plus "needs", (eg. "carolyn needs"), then record the first ten search results. too funny! here's my list:

  1. To cut back on stress and find emotional satisfaction, Carolyn needs good food,good shelter ... Carolyn needs to take long hot baths and add some herbs. ...
  2. Carolyn needs to take long hot baths and add some herbs. Carolyn needs a hug, her hubby took her bears away.
  3. Carolyn needs good food Carolyn needs a rock boy Carolyn needs to take care of him a little more in the bedroom and maybe she ... (makes ya wonder doesn't it?)
  4. Carolyn needs the names of all graduating seniors so they can be honored and ...
  5. Carolyn needs a family who can provide a nurturing and safe environment for her and her two siblings.
  6. Carolyn needs shingles.
  7. Carolyn needs help with her anger.
  8. Carolyn needs a dose of reality. (No, she isn't to young for that.)
  9. Carolyn needs a break from cooking, and goodness knows when I get in the kitchen,anything can happen.
  10. Carolyn needs this information to answer appropriate questions and give you theproper feedback.

OK, it's a little weird, but then aren't most of these games?

Turkey Blog

Forgive me in advance... there is a feature on Blogspot where you can
publish via email. So I thought I'd try this out so I could write entries

Did everyone enjoy that annual eat-a-thon? We got to do it twice
(kinda). First an extended family gathering at the home of Charles' Aunt
Dianne. Then to his sister's home for Thanksgiving dinner. I
really enjoyed the gathering at Dianne & Larry's because our kids got to
play with all the other kids, and they had some Lebanese dishes. Connor
ate kibbeh, but wouldn't try any of the rest of them. Bobby (Charles'
cousin) made the tabbouleh, and there was baba ganouj, laban, and a
Lebanese cookie I can't remember the name of. YUM. I even liked Dot's
cabbage casserole, and that says ALOT as I don't really like cabbage. It
is amazing how quickly time passes in the lives of children. Charles & I
didn't go last year as it was on my birthday. I can't believe how much so
many of the kids have changed. Adam, who shares Duncan's birthday (and is
12) is now taller than me! Dianna, who is now 10, has gone from a girl
to a young lady. And the "little ones" -- we have a herd of school age
kids, no more toddlers!!! Charles' cousin Janet is as tiny as ever
except for baby #3 due in about 2 months! Can you tell we enjoyed

Thursday brought the 41st anniversary of my arrival on the planet, as well
as turkey day. My friend Lisa pointed out that at least this year
everyone was celebrating with me! The kids got up pretty early, but
once they had breakfast, I got to lay back down for a nap. There is
apparently a new Scooby Doo movie that premiered on the cartoon network
this week, "Scooby Doo: Where's My Mummy?" We had to pry the kids off
the TV to go to Susan's house! Dot had someone make the turkey and
dressing, and Susan & Irene (Susan's MIL) made the rest of the meal.
Again, YUM. Sweet Potatoes, asparagus, Mac & cheese, egg salad,
cranberry salad, green beans, carrots.... I know I'm missing some items.
Plus three desserts... banana pudding, a pie/souffle, and my birthday cake.
Susan ordered it from her favorite bakery, Tizzerts, and it was
S-C-R-U-M-P-T-I-O-U-S!!! I'll post a picture of it tonight. I had
to laugh at Irene, she gave me a gift card to Michael's and included the ad
from Thursday's paper in the card! Does she know a crafter well or what?
John & Charles took the kids out to walk in the woods behind their house
after lunch. After that we just kind of lazed around and visited -- Dot
left earlier than we did. Lunch was at 1pm and we didn't leave until
after 6:00!

Friday I got up early and headed out to Michael's to spend my gift
certificate. I got a new instant eyelet setter and some odds & ends.
I then practiced my southern manners and made thank you cards! I had
intended to work on my Christmas cards, but left my intended stamp at home!
Friday night we went to visit our friends Penny & Jim and their new baby
Jasmine. What a cutie! She's such a good baby. I enjoyed visiting
with all Penny's cats too -- again, when I'm home I'll post a picture of me
holding Lint & Jasmine. I miss having a cat -- they had two small
kittens as well that I could have taken home if Charles had let me. We
tried to visit the lights in McAdenville, but apparently they hadn't
started for the season yet.

Five things to be happy about today:

1. I don't have any after work plans so I can just go home today.
2. I have on really cool new wool socks my mother-in-law bought me over
the weekend -- they are WARM!
3. Both kids are wearing some new clothes courtesy of my MIL.
4. I have some new cub scout scrapping stuff to work with tonight thanks
to birthday cash.
5. I've still got time to get my Christmas cards done if I keep up the

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Turkey Day

I am safely at my mother-in-law's house, about to head out for the first of two holiday gatherings over the next couple of days. May this find you all warm, safe, and well fed!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Rainy Monday

Anyone else wish Thursday would get here? So our work week will be over?! I am just so overwhelmed at work, I'm starting to not want to go, and that's a REALLY bad sign for me.

Charles had to go pick Duncan up from school today -- he went to the health office crying about a headache and tummy ache. He says his forehead hurts. Sinus we think; he resisted getting any tylenol all day. He was very subdued... we are going to keep him home from school Tuesday and hope the rest will improve things. This is going to kink our holiday plans if he doesn't get well soon, as we were supposed to go to Charles' Aunt Dianne's house for dinner Wednesday night. Not sure what we'll do if Duncan is still sick Wednesday morning. At least Thursday is a much smaller group and mostly immediate family (we're eating at Susan & John's house).

Connor has his Thanksgiving party tomorrow. Preschool is so much fun; once he gets to "real" school they don't get to celebrate as often! Next week his class is going to a Moravian candle tea -- I've lived here 15 years and still haven't been to one. I hope they have a great time.

So what am I doing on the computer so late? I came home from work really tired, and once we had fed the kids I went to bed... at 6:30 p.m. When Charles came to bed about 11pm I woke up, and couldn't get back to sleep. So I'm up now and on the computer.

Five Things to Be Happy About Today:

  1. Charles is in a better mood today, and did deep cleaning on BOTH bathrooms.
  2. I got to see baby pictures of friend Penny's little girl.
  3. I got a compliment on the latest picture of Duncan getting his bobcat badge on my photo blog.
  4. Most of my favorite bloggers posted today and I enjoyed reading them.
  5. It's a short work week!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Headache Sunday

I've had a headache all weekend actually, it won't go away. Other than that...

Saturday we did next to nothing. Charles got sick at lunchtime, claiming it was bad food and lazed around all afternoon. I made spaghetti for supper and the kids ate and ate. Sunday (today) I got up and Charles still didn't feel good. At 7:30 am I was positive Duncan would never settle down enough to be able to sing in choir. But we made eggs & toast and gave him his meds.

Lo and behold, 8:45 a.m., I notice Duncan sitting very calmly watching tv... so I start sorting thru closets to find church clothes (note to self... gotta get all the stuff that's knocked down/wadded up in the closets back in circulation). 9:45 am we leave for church. Too late for Sunday school, but kinda deliberate, I wasn't gonna push my luck. We show up right as the children's choir is "robing up" and getting ready for the 10:30 service. Connor and I hang in the kid's room until 10:15, then head to the sanctuary. Duncan is up in the choir loft (excellent sign), and we sit with the Tomihiro family. He did it! He stayed up there the whole time AND sang! Connor wandered off during children's church to go to the bathroom, but he did very well. I have a picture of Duncan in his choir robe I'll post tomorrow. Twenty minutes after we got home he was bouncing off the walls again, but that's ok.

So 1:30 rolls around, I'm thinking maybe a nap might improve my headache, and the phone rings... it's Judi, Comfort's mom (from Cub Scouts). Do we want to come over and work on pinewood derby cars? So we head out about 2:30, and over the next three hours two cars get cut out, sanded, and weighted. Woot! Duncan wasn't terribly interested in cutting his out, and he halfway sanded, but that's ok. Thanks sooo much to Jodi for helping us! Now for fine sanding, and PAINT. Pictures to follow!

Friday, November 18, 2005


It's late and I'm tired, but I did want to thank you all for the encouraging words! I was positively EXHAUSTED Thursday, and am still tired today. Duncan got his Bobcat badge at cub scouts tonite -- I'll post on that tomorrow probably. I have a speech evaluation for Connor scheduled for December 13th. I knew he had some articulation issues, but when his preschool teacher mentioned it to us I went ahead and called rather than waiting for kindergarten screening. Charles missed almost two days of medications -- he's been really REALLY down lately. We did get some Christmas shopping done last night.

Courtney, this one's for you...

5 Things to be happy about today

  1. Duncan got his first badge (bobcat), a progress bead towards his bear badge, and a swimming belt loop at cub scouts tonite.
  2. I put an "ick" task behind me by getting Connor's speech evaluation scheduled.
  3. My friend Penny had her baby on Connor's birthday, a girl, and is home with her now
  4. I heard from my friend Sherri today
  5. It's FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Bad Day

Well I go from feeling "in control" to having the worst day in weeks. Tonite at fellowship the choir director in the absolute nicest possible way talks to Charles and I about Duncan's lack of focus and how it's making it hard for the other children in his choir who are really passionate about the music to enjoy their experience. She was trying so hard to be compassionate it made me cry. I cried out in the hallway all the way thru his practice. They are singing Sunday in the choir loft, and she's concerned about him being up there for the whole service. So we'll see. Momma to the rescue, to micromanage him for 24 hrs this weekend to align the stars, his diet, his rest, and his meds to see if I can get a perfect day. And I'll do all this and he'll get cold feet and not wanna do it. Of course I'll be disappointed if we need to take him out of choir, but that's MY problem. I worry about how he'll feel about it, it's like karate all over.

So just when I'm starting to calm down from that, I get THIS email from his den leader.


Fun was had by all last night. I'm sure Duncan had a lot to tell you about his Lowes visit. I do want to talk to you about ways I can help Duncan focus on the subject at hand. Charles mentioned that his behavior and non focus last night was due to his medicine expiring for the day. I do need you and Charles' helping me during
meetings so all of the children can get the most out of the meetings and what is being taught. I just felt like many times last night that I was trying to keep Duncan focusing on the subject and he was not responding to me. Just help me learn how to help Duncan so everyone is comfortable with the situation at hand.
So here we go with the tears again. He would NOT understand about not being able to do Cub Scouts. You get so much shit from other people about how if you'd just "parent" your child properly they'd behave. It's not that easy with a child with all these issues. I *do* rely on medication to help us, and of course, again, it's not working the way it should. So I have to find time in my slammed schedule to call the psychiatrist and see if we can get in for an adjustment sooner, and it's hit-or-miss as to if that helps.

The only bright note was some useful information about encopresis (don't look up the word if you don't want TMI) -- finally, some practical ideas on what we can do. But administering enemas, mineral oil, and all the suggestions they have really need to be done by a primary caretaker, someone at home with the child. And that someone is depressed and not doing squat other than whining. And bitching. He's started whining that he takes too many pills. That is usually the sign of him starting NOT to take them. UGH.

So here I sit, wondering how I'm ever gonna keep up at work at the moment, and I'm overwhelmed by Christmas shopping, school, dealing with Duncan... and of course, everything is my fault. Ask the expert (the whiner). And for the record, yes Mother, I'm taking MY medication. Doesn't seem to help tonite. Oh, one other bright spot, Lisa got sent home on America's Next Top Model! Sorry to be such a downer, I just hate when my life slaps me in the face.


Got this from an old friend's new blog...

I am nerdier than 93% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I've had an absolutely HORRID day... I'll post more later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Courtney is doing a new thing on her blog that I like, so I thought I'd try it.

5 things to be Happy about today:

1. I started my Christmas shopping.
2. My friend Penny has some amazingly good news that I'm not allowed to share yet. =)
3. Connor has shoes that FIT.
4. Connor helped me put away his clean laundry today.
5. Duncan had a great day today at the science fair and at cub scouts.

Unobservant Mommy

OK, so I confess publicly, I'm a bad mom. We knew it had been a bit since Connor had been to the shoe store to check his feet, so Charles finally made time to take him today. He was wearing a size 11 extra wide, only now his feet are a size 12.5 extra wide. ACK! He's really proud of those new shoes though. He should be for $40!

Lots going on today -- Duncan had a den meeting tonite at a local grocery store, so they could complete achievement #9. He'll get his bobcat badge Friday night, at least one progress towards rank bead (two if we can complete #11), and his swimming belt loop.

I started my Christmas shopping today, but it was really my parent's Christmas shopping. They give us $$ to do their shopping for our kids. Connor got the Camelot castle from the Imaginext King Arthur line, and one of the items from a Top Toys for 2005 list -- a Matchbox buried treasure set. Toys that make these kind of lists disappear fast from the shelves. I have some ideas for Duncan, but we won't get to Walmart til tomorrow or Thursday at the earliest. The same list above should have items for Duncan's age tomorrow.

I got to go cropping (Scrapbooking) on Saturday by myself. I worked on Duncan's cub scout album and some other stuff. I really enjoyed that -- I need to make time to go again soon, or commandeer the dining room table for a weekend.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fifth Birthdays

My baby is five years old now... WOW. I asked him Sunday morning what he wanted for supper on his birthday. He said "Something delicious!" LOL -- so I offered him meatballs and pasta since they about licked the bowl clean last time we had it.

I survived the official party at Chuck E Cheese on Thursday. I posted one picture from in on the photo blog -- when I get a chance I'll post more. They weren't nearly as attentive as the party we had for Duncan in August, plus 3/4 of Winston-Salem decided it was a good night to be there. The line to turn in tickets was 7 people deep so we still have to turn in his tickets for prizes. The best thing about the party was Connor had a marvelous time. He got a matchbox car track, "Fast Lane" from Ian & Connor. We set it up Friday afternoon and the kids played with it for a long time. I think Connor T. is about to BUST to come over and "help" him play with it.

Friday brought our opportunity to take snacks to school for his class. Only 6 of 11 showed up, so we had cupcakes and juice boxes all around. There are pictures from this too, but I haven't uploaded them from the camera. They did the cutest Johnny Appleseed blessing -- I wish I'd had the presence of mind to video it on the camera. Then we went to the Hot Dog Lunch the school had and ate lunch with Connor.

So back to Sunday... he opened presents mid afternoon. My parents got him some items from one of the new imaginext King Arthur line -- Mordred's castle and some of the figures. Dot got him a hotwheels pack that has this looping track. Duncan got him a Dora story book, and a Backyardigans CD. We got him a scooter that converts to a skateboard. He loved it all, it would be hard to point to a favorite.

A Quiz!

Lifted from Amy's Blog (again)

  • 2 - names you go by: Carolyn, Sissy

  • 2 - parts of your heritage: Italian, Swiss

  • 2 - things that scare you: Snakes, high open places

  • 2 - of your everyday essentials: Diet Coke, My computer

  • 2 - of your favorite bands or musical artists: The Nylons, Rockapella

  • 2 - favorite songs: "On the Last Night" by Rockapella, "Zombie Jamboree" by The Nylons

  • 2 - things you want in a relationship (other than real love): Friendship, to be taken care of

  • 2 - physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex): Strength, buns

  • 2 - of your favorite hobbies: Scrapbooking, computers

  • 2 - things you want really badly: Calm in my house/marriage, a clean house

  • 2 - places you want to go on vacation: Cruise, Tahiti

  • 2 - things you want to do before you die: Dance on a regular basis, see Alaska & Hawaii

  • 2 - ways that you are stereotypically a chick: I hate snakes, and I'm very unmechanical

  • 2 - things you are thinking about now: wishing Charles would hurry back with my diet coke, hoping Connor has a good birthday

  • 2 - stores you shop at: Scrapbook Traditions, AC Moore

  • 3 - people I would like to see take this quiz: Briana Fisher, Courtney Deters, Robin Somazze

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Report Cards & Proud Mothers

So Thursday rolled around -- and I actually managed to get out of the office ON time. Wow. I headed up to Lewisville to volunteer at the pickup for the school fundraiser and go to Duncan's IEP meeting. Some background here... I was for the most part a straight A student. In the beginning days where an AP class could get you a 5.0 for an A, I graduated with a 3.987 and the valedictorian title. So I was pretty compulsive about grades.

Fast forward to 2005, and I get to see my oldest child's first report card with GRADES. Since he has an IEP, they don't have to grade him normally. I've always bugged them to do it, as I want to know where he stands against "normal" kids. I want to know where the bar is, know-what-I-mean?? In all my years, I never thought I'd cry tears of joy over seeing the worst grade on my child's report card be a "C". It has been such a struggle the last four years. (We did Kindergarten twice) He got an A in Science, a B- in math, a C+ in reading and a C in writing. There are some more Bs mixed in there in the sub categories. His marks for behavior & social development were good, and his work habit development marks were REALLY good except for an unacceptable in "avoids unnecessary talking/interuptions".

I was pleased with the goals they wanted for the next year. Duncan still tends to rush through problems -- he could do better if we can get him to try harder. So that's the next step, planning our strategy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Wiggles

No, not the group... I'm referring to the five preschool boys who attended choir practice tonite... at least three of them had "the wiggles", including mine. I've decided Connor's choir director is a saint... she has soo much patience with them. I don't remember singing in choir in church, so maybe I missed this, but I am amazed at the effort Lynn goes through to teach these kids about Jesus and the meaning of Christmas while learning songs. It really touches my heart. They are learning signs to do during the songs as well.

We talked to the education director tonite about the Christmas play. Given the timing of the rehearsals for speaking parts, I think my boys are going to be sheperds and angels if they participate. Most of the parts are meaty, and I don't think either one is ready to even be considered. We had ham, veggies, and potato salad for dinner at fellowship tonite. Charles thoroughly embarassed me by going up for seconds and getting an ENORMOUS second helping of potato salad.

Tomorrow will be a long day, but short at work. I'm working the morning, and then headed to Lewisville to volunteer at school and attend Duncan's IEP meeting. I have to do a fast food shop on the way there, and then pick up Charles & Connor to head to Charles' therapy appointment by 4:30 p.m. Then we head to Chuck E Cheese's for Connor's birthday party. Whew. See y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Day 2 of my short/long work week. At least it's flying by. The kids were actually pretty good in the car on the way home from work today. I was mean, I made Charles go w/Duncan to cub scouts tonite. Duncan is so funny... they have their "official uniforms", referred to as Class "A", and a pack tshirt, referred to as Class "B". They only have to wear class "A" if they have a visitor to a den meeting, go out somewhere as a group, or to pack meetings. We tried to get Duncan to wear his class "B" tonite (sooo much easier). "Nope Mom, if I wear my class "A" I get to lead the Pledge of Allegiance!" LOL -- who would have thought that was motivation???

He has gotten two good notes from school on behavior so far this week (quick, knock on wood!!) I am kind of dreading his IEP meeting Thursday -- I'm just expecting a blindside from the committee, and I have nothing to base that fear on except instinct (or paranoia). I also agreed to help out with fundraiser item pick-up while I'm up there -- I always feel guilty that I don't volunteer more but it's so hard to get up there. Duncan has Friday off for Veteran's Day.

We are celebrating Connor's 5th birthday on Sunday. Thursday we are going for the "official" party at Chuck E Cheese. Friday I am taking cupcakes to his preschool class, and then we are attending his "hot dog lunch" at school. I haven't bought him the first present yet. He's into the Backyardigans, Go Diego Go, cars, and anything Duncan is interested in.

Besides all I mentioned above, we have fellowship supper tomorrow, plus choir practice for the kids, and a secret shop that I got assigned last minute (but it pays well!), another shop at lunch on Thursday (fast food), a cellular shop on Friday, and possibly a computer shop this weekend as well. I'm working towards a big payment in December to supplement Christmas shopping. A cyber friend from Scrap Addict is coming to W-S on a college visit this week too. Saturday I'm supposed to go on a birthday crop at my LSS, but all of my friends have cancelled, so I'm not sure if I'm going alone or not. I am also doing an interview this week with a local newspaper report about female gamers -- I'll post online if it appears (he's talking about sending a photographer out -- ewww!!)

So there's my busy week. Ooops, forgot we have to pick up popcorn from the cub scout sale Friday, and I have to find time in the next 10 days to use a free bowling coupon.

I'm tired and I've hardly started, how about you?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Lifted this from Amy's blog...

My top 5 Indulgences:

1. Chocolate.
2. Being alone, and quiet.
3. Reading blogs.
4. Scrapbooking
5. My camera.

I forgot...

The most embarassing part of our day. Charles took the kids to church this morning, leaving JUST in time to get to the 10:30 service. Imagine my surprise when he pulls back in the driveway at 10:50. Apparently neither kid would stop talking and he finally left. UGH. We have such a never ending cycle of drama and stress the past several months. I'm trying so hard to be the "strong" one and not contribute, hoping it will rub off on the "boys" (all 3 of them) but we don't seem to be getting anywhere.

Duct tape on their mouths in public is NOT an option -- any suggestions???

I am gardener, hear me ROAR!

Heh, well, not exactly. It's a lovely day, and our yard is in dire need of attention. I went out and blew all the leaves & nuts off the driveway, then got the weed eater out and edged the driveway and the front of the yard. It looks sooo much better. I also edged the sidewalk and trimmed back my house eating bushes. Charles needs to mow the yard desparately, and I am hoping that will save me from having to do leaves this week. This should be the last mow for the season. The kids picked up the trash the sanitation people let drop so they helped too.

Tonite for dinner I'm trying a new recipe... tater tot casserole. I got it from Carrie (I think) at Scrap Addict. I hope it's yummy. Tonite I have to catch up my calendar with all the new stuff that has popped up for the next few weeks, and figure out what money we have to put aside until payday to cover things like fellowship supper, Connor's Chuck E Cheese party on Thursday... he's gonna be FIVE on Sunday. Wow, where did the time go? My SIL is making me look like a sloth... she's almost 8 mths pregnant, has all her Christmas shopping done (well almost all)... and I haven't even gotten ready for Connor's party yet, much less Christmas.

I have one more secret shop to do today, then I can have my tater tot casserole and a peaceful evening. I'm in blog withdrawal... I caught up on them all on Friday/Saturday after being gone, and now only a couple have updated since then -- come on ladies!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

MIA Apologies

I thought I had posted that we'd be gone visiting Dot this past week, but apparently I hadn't. Sorry to worry everyone! We had cancelled plans to go anywhere this week due to $$. Well Dot decided to use a timeshare week Susan couldn't use and treated us to a trip to Myrtle Beach. We weren't beach front, but it was a very nice place. We went to the timeshare presentation, and got paid $50 to say "NO", so we were able to take the kids to the Alligator Adventure during the week. Not only that, they let you come back within 7 days for free, so we got to go TWICE. Aunt Susan sent "mad money" for each kid, so I didn't have to say "NO" in the gift shop either. Duncan and Connor got to feed bears, pet alligators, snakes, turtles and lizards, and see lots of neat critters.

We alternated between the pool, the beach, and the resort amenities. We ate sandwiches, spaghetti & hot dogs in the condo for alot of meals, and pretty much just laid around. We used the time in the pool to complete Duncan's swimming beltloop for cub scouts. Monday night they had a big Halloween shin-dig -- the kids got to go to a Haunted House, go on a Halloween Treasure hunt, a costume contest, and a "mummy wrap" contest. Yours truly actually beat out four other contestants to win the "Name That Candy Bar" contest!!! I got 8 out of 11 right!

So now I'm home... gotta do some secret shopping this weekend, catch up laundry, and work on some Christmas gifts. Sorry to leave everyone hanging!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Camping IOUs & Pumpkin Patch

Well, my muscles DEMANDED their IOU from the camping trip -- it hurts when I stand up and sit down! Duncan is still talking about the trip -- I wish it was warm enough to go again before Spring.

Connor got to go on his first field trip at preschool today -- they went to the house of one of the school's teachers, and took a hayride (wagon pulled by tractor) and then got to "pick" pumpkins. Charles went along and took pictures for me. Connor looked like he was having a marvelous time in every one! They are having a Halloween parade Thursday morning, and their Halloween party. Charles will have to pinch hit for me at that one too. He's having a "hot dog lunch" the week of 11/10 -- I'll be able to attend that one at least. It really is nice to have him bring art home, and be excited about "school". Many thanks to the family benefactors who helped us make his preschool possible -- he is blossoming as he gets to go to school.

We have another busy week -- I had to turn in Duncan's popcorn sales tonite, tomorrow is a cub scout den meeting (they are making trail mix at one station), and then Wednesday is the church's fellowship dinner & Fall Festival, followed by Trunk-or-Treat. Friday starts Duncan's fall break from school.

Can you believe Connor will be 5 in less than a month? Where has the time gone?! I am so behind this year -- haven't STARTED on Christmas yet, and Connor's birthday is rushing up so fast. This week is our benefits enrollment for 2006 -- utterly depressing, let me tell you!

Sunday, October 23, 2005


We're home -- and we had a great time. It wasn't warm, but it was dry (not even any morning dew)! We drove north about an hour from home to Rendevous Mountain in Wilkes County (closest town is Purlear, NC). Pretty country -- the leaves are starting to turn, and we were definitely up a mountain. I swear, no matter where I had to go Saturday or Sunday, it was uphill! We arrived around 11 am Saturday, and stayed til 10:30 am Sunday. A few select photos can be found here. It was a primitive site, except we had a picnic shelter and flush toilets. We camped in a tent, right near the shelter.

I was ever so grateful that alot of the dads/den leaders took a group hiking to the fire tower & civil war graveyard -- it was a 3.5 mile hike! After that the kids played on the trails until dinner time. It was a very relaxing afternoon. Every kid there ate every bite of their supper (no wonder!) and then after dinner we made s'mores over the fire -- YUM. Then the kids played "flashlight tag" for at least an hour. The adults laughed that any four legged critter in hearing distance ran from the noise! Duncan finally fell asleep about 9:15 pm. I then got to taste a WONDERFUL beef stew made in a dutch oven over fireplace coals -- talk about GOOD!

I didn't sleep well, and just like a clock, Duncan woke up promptly at 5:50 am. The kids who were up early stood around the fire and enjoyed making flames by burning boxes. Little pyromaniacs! Then breakfast was served about 8:30 am -- pancakes & sausage. The leaders gathered up the boys to sweep the camping area for trash, then took them on the Talking Tree trail. After that we headed home.

Lessons learned from my trip:

  1. Out of shape, overweight 40 yr old women aren't meant to rough it.
  2. It's worth the effort to bring an air mattress!
  3. Tent manufacturer's lie about how many people a tent will hold.
  4. A level campsite is very important -- be early so you get one (note, we weren't early).
  5. Anything cooked over a campfire tastes yummy.
  6. My mother-in-law was right, campgrounds entertain kids for HOURS.
  7. Always, ALWAYS be sure the bag with your clothes makes it in the car.
  8. I need better sleeping bags and a bigger tent!
  9. Despite being cold, and grungy, it's still possible to have a great time -- your muscles don't collect the IOU until you get home!

Sooo, I'll be tent shopping this winter in preparation for the family trip in the spring. Duncan is already asking to go back next weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2005


OK OK... anyone whose blog I visited recently and thought "Why haven't they updated??", I apologize! We've had a busy week since our last entry. Tuesday night was the den meeting. They covered achievement 7 (Law Enforcement is a big job), and had a special visitor in Officer Oliver. They did GREAT sitting and listening.

Connor & Duncan both went to choir practice Wednesday night. Connor's group is starting to work on their music for the Christmas holidays. He's really enjoying the new preschool, and he gets to go on his first field trip on Monday (to the pumpkin patch!)

Friday night was our October pack meeting. We had a special guest, the "Mad Scientist". The boys really liked his show. Then it was time for den awards -- you can see pictures of Duncan getting his first progress bead and his marbles belt loop on the photo page.

This weekend we didn't do much -- I'm shopping for some odds and ends camping equipment for the pack Parent/Son Camporee this coming weekend. I'm on a pretty tight budget -- only my secret shopping $$ has to cover what I need. I think I'm going to have to borrow sleeping pads (to go under sleeping bags), but otherwise I think I have it covered.

Any reality tv fans out there? I'm watching America's Next Top Model on Wednesdays, and then Survivor: Guatemala on Thursdays. And in my spare time (ha) I'm working on Christmas presents, and trying to work on decluttering this house.

Anyhoo... sorry it's been so long between entries. More by Monday for sure -- I'll have pictures from camping!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Children's Sunday

Today was Childrens' Sunday at church -- almost everything but the benediction was presented by the children of the church. Our Connor attended one rehearsal, and gladly got up and sang with the preschool choir! He also participated in the processional where the kids gave teddy bears to the local children's hospital, and then came down front to listen to the children's sermon -- I was one PROUD mama. Duncan got scared and wouldn't do the processional, but he did very well sitting with us in the balcony. My mother-in-law was up for a visit, and she came to church with us too.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fairs, Choirs and other things

Duncan's class had a marvelous time at the fair! The weather was crappy, but they still enjoyed it. We saw most of the animal exhibits, two shows (All the Kings Horses & Flying Canines), ate some fair food, and enjoyed ourselves. Once his class left Charles & Connor joined us along with our friends the Tomihiro's. The kids got to eat more fair food, ride rides, see exhibits (including Duncan's 1st place art exhibit!!!), and we finally left tired as we could be.

Act two on Wednesday -- Lisa & Bob had invited us to a special Wednesday night supper at their church since a local restaurant was catering it. Towards the end of supper, Connor Tomihiro (who's six months older than our Connor) gets up to go to children's choir, and invites our Connor to come along. OK cool, I'm thinking, our Connor gets to watch. When I go to check on him later, they ask me if it's ok if he sings with them on Sunday!! So my baby is singing at their special Children's Sunday tomorrow. We've been talking for a long time about joining a church, and Lisa & Bob have certainly been courting us to theirs since they met us. So we are finally taking the plunge. Duncan is going to start going to the choir for his age next Wednesday as well.

Back to Tuesday -- I had my first opportunity to go to one of Duncan's den meetings. I am really impressed with his den leader. She has planned for the whole den to get their bear badge by the January pack meeting -- she works achievements into the meetings. I even got to teach a station -- gulp! Thirteen third grade boys... Duncan will get his first belt loop award next Friday -- they all learned to play marbles. You can bet I'll have pictures!!!

Check out the photo blog -- I'll post pictures from this week there in a minute!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Indoor Surfing, better PreSchool, Fairs etc.

Busy week and it's only Monday! My husband tried indoor surfing last night, check here for the results! We were afraid it was a rotating fracture of his big toe, but the orthepedist said it looked more like he dropped something heavy on it from the xray (he didn't, I watched him fall).

We enrolled Connor in a better pre-school starting next Monday -- wooHOO. Five days a week, and a more school oriented program. The last month at KidSpot helped get the potty issues under control (at least away from home). Wednesday brings the Dixie Classic Fair, and I'll be accompanying Duncan's class to the fair. We had planned to make it a family day at the fair, but it will depend on how Charles feels.

My niece Hanna is still hospitalized, but the reports are improving. Thanks to all of you who have sent prayers her way!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Silly Blog Stuff

Your Blog Should Be Purple
You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


My niece Hanna is ill at the moment, so please forgive me if I'm not updating as much -- my mind is on worrying about my brother's family.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Catch Up for My New Readers

Got a comment a few days back questioning something I said. Since I know I've gotten some new readers, let me "catch you up". My husband Charles & I have been married for 9 years, and we have two children, Duncan (9), and Connor (almost 5). We've been having some issues over the past few years, and have even been to counseling. Charles has bipolar disease, and we've had a rough summer with him as he had a major episode in June. Since then we are balancing getting his meds straightened out, finding the right therapist, and dealing with stress issues with both kids. If you truly want to know more than that, email me at and I'll fill you in.

Blog About Yourself Poll

OK, Brianna had this on her blog, and said she expected us to do it as well. Here ya go lady!

1. What is your dream occupation? Working in theatre as a professional stage manager

2. What color is your underwear? It varies -- todays is a pink/purple floral

3. What are you listening to right now? Connor playing on the stairs behind me

4. What was the last thing you ate? A flavored tootsie roll

5. Do you wish on stars? yes

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Green

7. How is the weather right now? sunny, warm

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my friend Penny

10. How old are you today? 40

11. Favorite drink? Diet Coke

12. Favorite sport to watch? figure skating

13. Have you ever dyed your hair? Only wash out color

14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? glasses

15. Pets? Fish

16. Favorite month? October

17. Favorite food? Steak

18. What was the last movie you watched? March of the Penguins

19. Favorite day of the year? Christmas

20. What do you do to vent anger? yell, kill electronic blips in video games

21. What was your favorite toy as a child? not sure

22. Fall or Spring? Fall

23. Hugs or kisses? hugs

24. Cherry or Blueberry? yuck, neither =)

28. Living arrangements ? Own my home, live with my husband & two children

29. When was the last time you cried? about two days ago

30. What is on the floor of your closet? lots of junk

31. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Missy -- been friends since college (1983)

32. What did you do last night? Read the cubscout handbook

33. Favorite smell? lately? eucalyptus/spearmint

34. What inspires you? people who can move me with their stories

35. What are you afraid of? snakes

36. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese

37. Favorite car? not sure

38. Favorite type of dog? mutts

39. Number of keys on your key ring? 4

40. How many years at your current job? 15

41. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

42. How many states have you lived in? 6 - Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, North Carolina

43. How many cities have you lived in? 9 - Baltimore, MD, California, MD, Mechanicsville, MD, Lynchburg, VA, Concord, VA, Youngstown, OH, Plano, TX, Flint, MI, Winston-Salem, NC

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Bobcat Trail

I started working with Duncan tonite on his 8 achievements to get his Bobcat badge. The first one is to learn the cub scout promise. Any experienced moms of cub scouts out there? I'm just wondering how long it takes for these things... he's about to explode about "getting a badge", and it's not registering that this takes work rather than simply desire.

Anyhoo.... hope this finds everyone well!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A New Cub Scout

Please do check out the photo blog -- we now have a cub scout in our family! Duncan officially joined the cub scouts on Friday night at the pack meeting (Pack 752), and we got his uniform over the weekend and he had his first den meeting last night. They listed to the Lewisville librarian give them a history of the town, and she gave them a chance to pan for "gold", and then made friendship bracelets. His classmate Comfort is also in his pack. He's really excited about this, except we're having trouble explaining that you don't just "get" badges, you have to earn them. First step on the bobcat trail is learning the cub scout promise -- we start on that tonite!

Connor continues to go to his MMO program and he's having a great time. I gotta run to work now, we're hiring another teammate and we have a candidate in today for interviews so I gotta get there.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Quotes from Oprah, and Apologies

I got the stomach flu this week, and have been kinda out for the count, or at least severely limited. Sorry! I want to share a lovely quote I found on another blog:

"every day, passion speaks to us through our feelings. that's why when you allow yourself to become anesthetized by what others think, you literally block yourself from living the life you were called to live. i promise you that if you make a choice that doesn't please your mate, your friends, your mother, or whoever, the world will not fall apart -- the people who truly love you want you to love yourself. and as you become clearer about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you -- the first time around." ~Oprah Winfrey

To me, this is what blogging is about, our passions, our thoughts -- and the freedom to express it. Some of the nonsense that prompted her to use this (getting blasted for NOT commenting on Katrina) made me glad I'm not a "popular" blogger. This is about ME. I'm thrilled if others get something from it, but it's about what I need to express.

I did update the photo blog today after taking a few days off. We are supposed to have our (mostly) weekly "date" with our friends at their church playground tomorrow for supper if Ophelia lets us. Friday brings our first cub scout meeting with Duncan -- I hope he likes the folks there and wants to join. Connor has been busy doing pages in the workbook Grandma sent him, and having a large time at "school".

Since I've been home sick for a few days, I've, well, been home. I'm worried about Charles -- he sure isn't doing much. I know alot of it he blames on me -- *I* make him sad. Oh, well. I wish I could use that excuse at work and still get paid, KWIM??? I've still got very sore ribcage muscles from vomiting earlier in the week, so I haven't been doing much physical even as I've started to feel better. Our friend Roger came over tonite for the first time in weeks and shared our spaghetti supper with us. It was nice to see him, but I worry about him too -- he's unemployed (again) and very negative at the moment. Don't get me wrong -- he's entitled to be negative, but I worry that it will impede him getting another job.

Anyways, it's way too late, let me try to sleep again.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Ahhh, the weekend -- too bad my kids still get up at like 6am! I feel very domestic this morning, I made them scrambled eggs, bacon & toast for breakfast. Normally we do muffins, cold cereal or frozen waffles for breakfast.

I'm doing some scrapbooking today -- my favorite online site, Scrap Addict, is having an anniversary cyber crop. There are some pretty amazing prizes, so I'll be cropping today, as well as playing bingo.

I am so enjoying the fall weather -- the crisp, cool mornings are so nice to sleep in during! It still gets humid and warm in the late afternoons, but otherwise I consider this almost perfect weather!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Blog Spammers

OK, I've turned on word verification for comments -- tired of getting blog spam, I get enough in my email. If anyone DOESN"T know how to do it, send me an email and I'll explain.


Ahhh, what wonderful weather we are having -- this is my favorite season. It's still a little humid in the late afternoon/early evening, but we have opened the windows and broken out the fans. It's delightful in the mornings.

Connor has started a "mother's morning out" program 4 days a week to get him over the potty training hump (and hopefully into "real" preschool in October). He has come home happy and tired both days. Charles hasn't gotten a huge amount done around the house, but I'm trying not to be judgemental til he's on this schedule a week or so. Duncan has started homework again -- yesterday he had to write a "movie plot" using his spelling words! His teacher tells me it will only get tougher as the year goes on. He has 3rd grade "pre-testing" next week; they test at the beginning of a year to establish a benchmark for the end-of-grade testing in May.

I'm having fun with some photo challenges over at Scrap Addict; you see the results in my photo blog from the Photo-A-Day one, and now we are doing a scavenger hunt one as well. I really need to work on the lighting on my inside photos, sheesh!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

BackPacks, Girls Night Out, and Other Stuff

Hurray for holiday weekends! It's so nice to know I don't have to go to work tomorrow! I'm actually going to a free scrapbook crop tomorrow from 10-2.

We had company Friday -- my friend Stacy is out east visiting family, and came to see us with her friend Laura. The "girls" went out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, then off to the mall to help Laura spend a gift card at Hecht's. Stacy brought her dog Thunder -- the kids really enjoyed his visit.

Saturday I headed out for a round of secret shopping ( a fast food one) then Charles & I put the kids at Kid Spot so we could run some errands. We found gas again for $2.99, and topped off the tank. We hit Target and got a deal -- both kids needed backpacks. I guess I didn't realize how much Connor was ready for some of the "trappings" of big-boy-ness. When I tried his backpack on him, he sighed, got a serious face, and announced "I need some homework!" He carried the backpack everywhere with him the rest of the evening, including to bed. He had filled it with toys and books -- he took a book out of it for me to read to him at bedtime, and then told me he had to put it away in his backpack!

I also went shopping for a new accordian file to put Duncan's school paperwork in this year -- didn't find what I wanted, so I'll empty and old one and reuse. I can already see from his homework so far that's he's digressed in his handwriting -- this will be the first year he hasn't had OT at school so hopefully practice will get him going again!

We still haven't gotten Connor enrolled in a "real" preschool, (due to the potty issues), but I think we have something figured out for September that is a transitional thing. He'll start four days a week on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hump Day Ponderings

My boss told me this morning she was going to change my title to "Bonnie's Personal Translator" because, as she puts it, "I know I'm speaking english, but they sure don't seem to understand it!" At least my day started with a laugh!

I felt like I hit the lottery today -- I filled up my gas tank this morning at $2.55/gallon. By the time I left work it was $2.99/gallon. My MIL says they are worried that Charlotte will run out of gas here soon due to no deliveries in the past few days. I am really worried about gas prices.

Duncan had a bad day at school. Charles screwed up and gave him his night time meds this morning -- third time in a year this has happened. So I now have to make it MY job to give him his medications. Connor had a pretty good day today -- Charles put them both in our inflatable pool this afternoon so they got some much needed outside time.

I'm off to go work on some scrapbooking stuff!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Almost "Fall"

Wow, is it really the last day of August tomorrow? Duncan continues to get great notes from school -- although he argued alot about ordinals repeatedly during homework last night. He actually fell asleep on the couch tonite -- check out the photo-a-day log I'm keeping to see.

We have a busy weekend upcoming -- I've got two secret shops to do, my friend Stacy is supposed to come in to visit Friday night, and Charles' mom is headed in on Saturday. Duncan & Connor need backpacks, I desparately need to edge the yard, and I'm behind on some Christmas gifts I'm working on. Ah well, we'll see what gets done!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Third Grade

And so the first day of third grade begins! I took several pictures of Duncan at the bus stop this morning, but this was the only one where he didn't give me a "serious" face. We was actually easy to get up and moving this morning which surprised me. His planner note said he had a great day, and when he got home he went right to his homework. WooHOO!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Giraffe Rides and A New School Year

Bet THAT got your attention... hahahha...

Our Saturday was fun -- we went out and saw March of the Penguins at the theater with our friends the Tomihiros. Connor got bored and was in and out of the theater, but I really enjoyed the movie. Dot & Susan took Duncan to see it on Sunday. He had studied penguins in school last year, so he really enjoyed it. But on to the bigger news of the week.

My mother-in-law called Saturday, and informed us instead of bringing Duncan home on Sunday, could Charles & Connor meet them at the Lazy 5 Ranch on Monday instead? But of course! We told Connor when he started balking at bedtime Sunday night that he needed his sleep because he had a "big day" tomorrow seeing wild animals... well on the ride to take me to work on Monday we were talking about it, and he informed me he was going to get to ride a giraffe today. LOL -- I told him he was going to SEE a giraffe. And he did -- even got to feed one! Image hosted by
They had a lovely time at the ranch -- they have a wagon ride that you can go on to see and feed the animals. Susan used my camera so I wouldn't have to miss the whole thing. I think all three of my boys had a good time. They were certainly exhausted Monday night.

Image hosted by Image hosted by

Today we attended open house at Duncan's school -- can you believe he's going into 3rd grade?! I was so glad we went -- he has the same teacher as last year, but they moved his classroom. One of the assistants in his room, Mr. Cann, moved to West Forsyth HS, so Ms. Steward is now there. She was familiar with some of the techniques used with sensory problems, so I was very encouraged. We signed up for the PTA, bought Duncan one of the new school tshirts, and a magnet for our car.

Image hosted by

Tomorrow is a "free day" for Charles and the kids, and then school starts on Thursday.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Tears and Frowns

I guess it's my day to be in a down mood. I've been having hot flashes really badly all week, haven't slept well, and generally haven't felt good this week. I brought home some work to do this weekend, but haven't gotten motivated yet. I got really depressed last night and cried alot -- although it did get me to clean Connor's room -- ewwwww. Charles keeps pointing out how well he's keeping the house -- there is dried shit on Connor's carpet I have to deal with today, and we haven't tackled Duncan's room yet. I guess Charles couldn't see the shit for all the toys on top of it?

I get so angry sometimes. I actually work 40 hrs a week. I know keeping kids is work, but is it too much to ask that he do housework too? He'll proudly demand I "notice" that he cleaned when I get home. OK, so he ran the vacuum for 45 seconds today. If I say anything about something that needs doing I'm "raising my standards".

And yet, I'm still motivated to try and make things work. And because of this I have been told I'm keeping secrets, rambling... well you know what, I'm a pretty open person. Except when sharing information gets me attacked. I don't like to fight. When I care about someone's opinion I'm very non-confrontational. Can I explain why I care about the opinion of a man who keeps a nasty house and wants me to praise it? No... when I figure it out my readers will be the first to know. One piece of advice I've gotten is to quit the best job I've ever had and move home. Hmmm, can barely make ends meet on what I make now, constantly get criticism that I don't manage my money well enough -- so I should go to $0 income... plus I don't want to live where I grew up. My job is the only part of my life right now that makes me feel good, besides my children. On my task list is to call a therapist I fired because he told me *I* needed to change so my marriage would work, and ask him to write up his comments about Connor's potty issues to try and get him into a preschool. Yep, I'm motivated to do that. I do good to get lunch some days, my boss is pressuring me to work overtime, yep, I've got tons of time to write those kind of letters or make phone calls. Oh, do it when I get home after 40+ hours? But when would I get my husband's job done, or give him the attention I deny him?

Sorry, apparently I needed to vent a little. Don't get me wrong, I think any readers are entitled to their opinion of me, good or bad. You're even entitled to express it. Just understand that my response might be an emotional blog entry.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Blah Blah Blah

Brace yourselves... this will probably a very bland entry. The bipolar mood swings continue -- Charles was depressed and combative last night, and today he is all smiles and upbeat. Connor has been in good humor lately other than being frustrated at Toon Town -- the other kids often won't include him when he's in cashbot headquarters, and if he's tired he cries over it.

Work has been incredibly busy. One of my team quit in July, and we are really starting to feel the effects of being down a person. My boss is lumping more on me, and I'm not keeping up very well at the moment. A few weeks back I traded this week as vacation for a week at the end of October. Duncan has a school break then.

I am busy trying to find a preschool that will take Connor since he's not 100% potty trained. We've all agreed he needs the time out of the house, and Charles would benefit from it. Connor missed the age cutoff for kindergarten this year by just a month, so he needs something to go to.

Did I mention I've started doing "secret shopping"? A friend clued me in to how to get on as a mystery shopper for a local grocery store chain -- thru that site I've found others that do merchandising audits, fast food shops, restaurant shops, even a gas station one. I'm hoping it will bring in some extra pocket cash, and lots of times you get reimbursed for purchases too.

Some days I wish I didn't have such good taste. My current wishes-and-wants list is getting long with items way out of my price range. I'd like to get an iPod, I've seen a computer desk I like so much better than my current one, and an awesome scrapbooking armoire. The scrapbook armoire/desk was "only" $1700.00.... think I should just run right out and order it? LOL -- at least I have my list ready if I ever hit the lottery!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Our Weekend in Charlotte

Ladies, I'm sure you all agree, every now and then there has to be a little "me" time. Well I took mine this past weekend. I almost didn't get there. Wednesday I drove to work -- and at 5 after 2:00 I got a panicked call from Charles telling me he and Connor were romping on our bed and Connor fell off and got a lovely gash on his head. I've shared the pictures here, they aren't that great... (yes I took a camera to the dr).
So I go flying out of work and home to rush him to the doctor. Nothing too serious, but he was awfully sleepy and he staggered a bit, so we had to watch him for concussion symptoms for 24 hrs. Thursday morning we went to pull out of the driveway and this horrific grinding noise starts. WTH -- I had just had the brakes done (rotors no less) to the tune of $324 in June. So we detour to Midas. And when we get there the guy says he thinks it's the calipers. Thankfully it turned out to be a broken pin that holds the pads -- $28 and no real harm done, except I was an hour late to work.

Sooo, yes I did make it to Charlotte Thursday evening. Friday Charles dropped me at the Charlotte convention center for the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooking Convention. I had bought class tickets in June. Over the next two days I took five classes -- everything from card making to grungy boy layouts. I had a lovely time, though I was exhausted. I spent very little at the vendor faire, but had a great time looking, and catching up with some of my cyber buddies from the NCMemory Makers list.

Saturday night, the rule of 3s struck -- we are still struggling with Connor & potty training. The therapist says Connor is using it as a control issue due to the stress in the house from Charles' illness etc. Charles and Dot don't agree. Well, I was laying down taking a nap, and apparently Connor had a potty accident. Next thing I know Charles' temper ERUPTS. He got so mad he broke a wooden spoon over the toilet, and scraped up his knuckles when he hit the wall. I really need more
education and support about bipolar disease. I am still upset -- I can't live with this kind of temper and strife in my family. I want to give Charles every opportunity to get the help he needs to be the best father & husband he can be -- but I can't continue to allow the effects of his illness on my kids and me... so I ponder my choices. Charles is very contrite and remorseful, but I'm just not sure I can stay the course. Connor will start preschool 1/2 days in September, and I will be working toward improving our finances to position us for whatever the right choice turns out to be.

I feel so inadequate some days.... those of you that have joined me in blogville... thanks for letting me into your lives. Seeing that we all struggle with our own issues and day-to-day decisions helps me feel normal. I'm sorry if I don't find time to post comments on your blogs, but I do read them (Deanna, Julie, Robin, Toni, Tara, Elyse, Courtney.. and others)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Duncan's Birthday

As I mentioned in my last post, we decided on Chuck E Cheese for Duncan's birthday party. I choked a bit on the price, but my mother-in-law helped out a bit. Fast forward to party day... we are driving home from my work and Duncan asks about his party. "What party?" I deadpan... and he eagerly informs me it's his irthday... "It is???" I know, I'm a bad mom to tease him so.

He got really REALLY excited when we arrived at Chuck E Cheese. I must say, if you haven't had an official party there, it's worth it. Our table was decorated at our arrival with a big sign that said "Duncan is 9". He and his guests got 40+ tokens each, and other than eating time and when Chuckee came to visit us in person, we only saw them when they brought tickets back or got more tokens. His friend CJ (and mom Janet) came, and the Tomihiro family came and brought nephew Scott too. Duncan was so excited about his Yu-Gi-Oh dealing thing from Dot Dot he squealed when
opening his presents. He also tried to ride his new scooter from Mom and Dad around the restaurant. His other big gift was from my parents -- a new hood/light for his fish tank and two new plecostomus. He's very excited to have his fish tank lit again.

We spent over 3 hours at the party, then Duncan left to head to Charlotte with Dot & Susan. Connor opened his "birthday brother" gift from Grandma & Granddad when we got home and hugged them all the way to bed (little Tonka friends). I was exhausted, but pleased. I think we'll be doing the same party for Connor in November.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


OK, so I feel terrible -- what happened to those daily blog entries I
intended? I get just as frustrated when I visit blogs that I like and
there is no update -- I'm so sorry! Blame the heat (high 90s, high
humidity, heat index over 100), blame work (more about that in a bit), blame perimenopause (hot flashes, tired, irritable)...

So what's happened in the last week or so? I took the "family swim
center" we bought at Walmart for $30 out to the backyard, and let the sweat
roll into my eyes as I inflated it. Any regrets vanished at the sight
of two pairs of dancing eyes watching intently from the kitchen door.
They went flying to wake their daddy from his nap and make him help me.
LOL! Since we inflated the pool they spend 1-3 hrs a day splashing in
it (10' x 6', 22" deep) and it has been the only way I've gotten them to
play outside this month. Charles discovered the heat is almost bearable
if we bring one of the little fans to the backporch to blow on the
supervising adult. Since it would cost us $14 per visit to the local
pool, we've gotten our money's worth easily already. It came with a
cover, and we've added a foot washing bucket so we aren't having to drain it as often. They are also sleeping much better since the inflation of the
pool. As a matter of fact, they now want to both sleep in Duncan's room.
I missed the picture of the week though, they woke up super early last Thursday (3:30 am) and by the time I got home Thursday Connor was passed
out on the couch with his swim goggles still on. It was soooo cute.

My favorite online game, Asheron's Call, launched an expansion, Throne of
Destiny. I've been busy in the later evening hours enjoying the game and
camaraderie. Charles continues to play World of Warcraft, and has a
regular online "date" with our friends the Tomihiro's on Wednesdays. Our
kids play Toontown Online together and are working on their computer skills
while squealing and dancing in delight. We got Jump Start 2nd Grade
Advanced installed on the kid's computer but now the monitor is misbehaving so I have to look at that again.

Fourth of July week brought the return of Big Brother 6 to CBS -- yes, I am
a reality TV junkie. I really like most of this year's cast -- they
booted the one guy I thought was horrid (Michael) -- but I'm waiting to see more "secrets" as the theme this year is "summer of secrets".

I need to get out in the yard and get the last of the limbs we took off the tree over the house into the yard waste container, and use the trimmer in the front yard -- it needs it SOOO bad, but considering I pour sweat
standing still, I'm kind of waiting for things to cool off. There's a
rumor it might only be in the 80s Thursday and Friday so maybe there is hope.

Next week marks Duncan's 9th birthday on Tuesday. We'll go shopping for
his present this weekend -- I think we are going to get him a scooter.
I had tried to get Tuesday off, but didn't manage it, so we are going to
Chuck E Cheese Tuesday night for dinner. We have invited two other
families (3 kids total) to join us and are actually doing the official
party package. By the time I buy party supplies and a cake, I spend close
to what I'll have spent on the party fee. So we'll see how it goes.
Duncan will get a kick out of them announcing stuff about "Duncan's birthday party" so it should be alot of fun.

P.S. -- I dated this for the date I wrote it, not the date I finally got around to posting it!