Recent Posts

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Brag Day!!!

Okay, my sister, Kandiland, is doing a Linky....gotta tell ya, I am not at all sure what it is - but I am trying it anyway!

I am going to move from youngest to oldest - since the oldest usually gets to go first.

She is 19 months old and just a chucklehead.  I mean that literally - she will just look at you, smile and then just start with this cute little chuckle.  It usually means that she is up to no good or has some plan that she wants you to let her get away with - but you can't help but laugh along with her!!!  She is afraid of going over speed bumps in her stroller - but she will climb almost anything and fling herself from piece of furniture to piece of furniture without so much as a whimper!

Then there is this one...

She is almost 4.  She is a sweetheart, who tries to act like a princess.  Actually she and I had a famous (in our family) argument when she was about 2 years old about this very issue - it went something like this:

Me:  "You are not a princess!"
Her:  "I am too a pwincess!"
Me:  "You are not a princess!  I am not raising any of my girls to be princesses!"
Her:  "I am TOO a pwincess!"
Me:  "We aren't going to argue about this....but you are NOT a princess!"
Her:  "I am a pwincess!  I am."

Pause to let a little time pass...

Her:  "I am too a pwincess!"

That argument aside, she doesn't like to get in trouble and, other than the above argument, if you raise your voice to her (and I mean, not even a real yell - just a stern tone) - her eyes get all big and blinkie, and, if she can, she will go hide.  She absolutely hates it if she hurts someone or makes them cry.

Then we have this little man:

He is 6.  Actually this picture kind of sums him up.  His mouth is always open - and, by the way, isn't it a huge mouth?!?  He is really, really funny.  He tries really, really dangerous things.  He is really, really curious.  He is a really, really big sweetheart.  He loves to snuggle with me and is very good about keeping tabs on just whose turn it is to be with me on the couch.  He likes fairness.  He loves babies.  He makes me laugh on a daily basis.

Moving along...

This little sweetheart is almost 9.  I picked this picture for a reason.  She is very pretty and very photogenic....but every now and then - she gets a little wild...and by wild, I mean, crazy and she just tears around the house being goofy and crazy and usually can't control her hysterical giggling.  This picture, to me, looks like she is getting ready for one of those kinds of moments!  She has a contagious laugh.  We call her our little kitty because she likes to snuggle so much.  This is the one the little man above has to keep an eye on when he is trying to make sure mom doles out fair snuggle time on the couch - she will sneak in if there is ever a moment and just roll herself up into a little ball and let out a little purr....okay, she doesn't really purr - but it is close!  She is always planning.....something.  She is a really fast runner and is one of those people who can just survey a situation in a room quickly and accurately....and use it to her advantage.  This seems like a really good skill to have as an adult.  We will see if I am right.

My oldest daughter...

She is almost 11.  She is very creative and crafty, like my mom.  She is always thinking of new projects to start....sometimes (okay, many times) before she has finished the last one.  She is a little mother-hen to my kids and any kids that cross her path.  She is quietly funny....if that makes sense....she doesn't make all the jokes that some of the other kids do, but when she does, she makes sure they are funny!  She likes to be good at things and (like me), doesn't really want to try things she may not be really good at!  She likes to spend time with me....I am hoping this phase lasts for a while.  She is able to just sit quietly with me, whether it be reading, crocheting, or other busy hand work...she will just "be" with me.  She rubs my head when I have a headache....I guess she is a mother-hen to me too!

My oldest....

He just turned 13.  He is turning into a man in front of my eyes.  It is scary.  Although every now and then, he plops down on the couch next to me to snuggle and doesn't have an ulterior motive.  Really!!!  He is really funny.  He uses his humor to get out of trouble sometimes....I hope this ends up being a good quality in his life.  He loves babies and just told me he is ready for us to have another teeny, tiny, baby in the house again. (You and me both, brother!) Rainman calls him my shadow, because when he has things to tell me, he will just follow me around the house from task to task and talk my ear off.  I don't complain because I am afraid one of these days, he will decide he doesn't really want me to know so much.  He is very his daddy.  He seems to be sensitive to the needs of the underdogs in society...I hope this quality sticks with him. 

Okay, that is it.  My kids in a nutshell.  Being a mother of six...I had to look over this post a few times to make sure I doled out the love and bragging equally before I posted it....hope I did okay!

I just noticed that I sit on the couch a lot and we move babies!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

So Smart....Kind Of....

My youngest, little V-Girl is so smart. 

She will push a chair that she is tall enough to climb onto over to our really tall bar stools, so she can get up to all the "good" stuff we keep up on the counters - knives, scissors, glue stick, DVD's, my purse, you get the idea. 

She can flip herself in and out of the playpen that we tried to keep her contained in when we figured out her little climbing trick.  She literally flips herself - hanging on the entire time, so she never falls - but, believe me it looks scary and she gets herself all twisted up - and remember, I have 6 kids, so if it looks scary to me - it is scary. 

When we are getting ready to go somewhere.  She will say "Go!  Go!"  And they she proceeds to bring everyone their shoes...and she is never wrong....always the right shoes to the right person. 

And she knows that this...
View Image
is a puppy!

And this...

Go to fullsize image
is a puppy!

And this...

Go to fullsize image
is a puppy!

And this...
Go to fullsize image
is an extra large puppy!

And this...
Go to fullsize image
is a puppy! 

Albeit one that scares her and makes her run screaming "Puppy!  Puppy!"

So isn't my baby girl smart?  Well, kind of.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Eyes Have It

Well, my son, D-Man, has succumbed to the great genes Rainman and I have passed on to him.  He now wears glasses.  We realized that he was having trouble seeing when we would ask him what time it was and he would have to walk all the way over to the clock to tell us.

We had his eyes checked and confirmed he needed glasses and then proceeded to look at the wall of glasses at the eye doctor.  Can you say sticker shock?  I think the cheapest frames we found were about $150 without lenses and the ones we really liked were around $300. 

D-Man is in a competitive math club and his coach wears glasses and always has a different pair on each time we see her.  I told her about Doug and how expensive glasses are and she told me about a great company that I am about to endorse.

**Zenni Optical.

We got 2 pairs of glasses for D-Man for $45

Pair #1 - black wire rims.

Pair #2 Grey plastic frames

I was able to add coating and some other stuff to my order.  I got coating on one pair and not the other.  The frames were $6.95 and $12.95, so the extra cost for was lenses and the coating.  I am fairly certain they were made in China - like everything else these days....but, while I would love to support American made products - if I can get 2 pairs of glasses for under $50, then Ni-Hao, China!!!

Ordering the glasses couldn't have been easier.  We just uploaded a close up picture of D-Man without glasses and then as you shop, you can click the "Try On" button to see what you look like in the glasses.  When you decide on your frames, then you enter your prescription from your doctor, you take a measurement of your eyes from pupil to pupil (which is actually pretty easy - and when we got our glasses we received a little ruler designed just to measure this for next time), and pick your coatings or extras.  That is it.

We got the glasses in a little over a week.  They come with a hard case and a cleaning cloth.

It has been fun to hear D-Man exclaim as he realizes how clearly he can see things now....telling the time from across the room, seeing the leaves on the trees in the field, reading street signs from afar.  All the same stuff I remember being amazed by when I first got glasses in 5th grade!  He can't believe that what he used to see was "normal" and that he didn't realize anything was wrong until we told him.

Oh, and for you friends from up north, D-Man had his first baseball game this week.  He has been having practice for over a month now.  Weird, right???

**Zenni Optical doesn't know who I am or that I love their product/service - so, sadly, I have received no remuneration for this endorsement.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Computer Glitches and Teeth

Hey y'all, I have been gone for a bit longer than I had planned.  First, we got a rogue virus which was a sneaky bugger that I couldn't get around.  So a trip to Best Buy,  a once over by the Geek Squad....and minus a few hundred dollars out of my pocket - I have my computer back!!!

I also just ended up having oral surgery and a tooth removed.  I had the option of getting a crown and paying $864 out of pocket....or having it pulled and paying $171 out of pocket.  I chose option #2.  I did shed a few tears for my tooth....just because it makes me feel like an old woman.  But since we are paying off credit card debt----that $600 some dollars can be put to better use with Visa!

So, I am going to go have my Tylenol #3 and put my feet up and put my face on ice....but I will be back soon and give you updates on 40 Bags in 40 days, one of my kid's got new glasses, and Harry Potter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Need a Wife.

Recently, my Mother-in-Law came for a visit. 

I love my MIL.  I really do.  We never fight.  I only occasionally mumble things under my breath when she is around.  She loves my kids and doesn't seem to get overwhelmed by them as others are prone to....could be because she raised 7 kids and the last 2 were twins!

The things is, my MIL is in her early 80's and really hasn't slowed down much.  I think she finally stopped sitting on the floor to play games with my kids about a year ago.  Too hard to get back up.  I have that problem and I am half her age!  Anyway, it has become a joke, with the kids and I, before she comes, we have to have a "Grandma Ready" house.  What does that mean?

It means that the house is really addition to the normal sweeping, vacuuming, dusting stuff, there is nothing shoved under beds and hidden behind the doors....cupboards are wiped down....baseboards are wiped down.  Our goal is for Grandma not to have to do any cleaning when she is here.  If we didn't - that is really all she would do...."Just let me get down on my hands and knees and get those baseboards shining."  "I will sit down and relax after I Windex your T.V. screen."  "I just want to get that hardened crusty spaghetti sauce off the roof of your microwave."  All the motivation that the kids need is to remember that if there is something to be cleaned, Grandma will postpone playing games or reading the book until it is done.

I think you get the idea.  She wants to be helpful.  We want her to relax and have a leisurely visit.

On this last trip, she decided to cook and made some Polish/Slovak specialties for Rainman.  She made Halupky or Galumpky - depending on whether you are Polish or Slovak...and she made some noodles and dumplings.  My job was relegated to showing her where ingredients were located and sitting and visiting with her while she rolled the cabbage.

I cooked a few meals while she was here too, but it was so nice to have a break from being responsible for the meal....AND then to have a meal that wasn't frozen pizza or mac and was a real, nummy, meal and I didn't have to make it.

As I mentioned already, my MIL hasn't really slowed down....which means she has a hard time sitting still.  So, even if the house is "Grandma Ready" and we are sitting down watching a show, when a commercial comes around, she takes a look around and finds something to get up and do - like pick up the dirty socks that have materialized on the living room floor....or toss the rogue Legos back into their bucket....or put the books back on the bookshelf.

It is actually a marvelous idea - but I never think of it.  If I am finally sitting down on the couch to enjoy watching Parenthood or The Middle or something....I am down for the count.  Lots of times, I even have the kids bring me my snack! 

I know!  Right?

But, you know what I noticed when she was here?  Everything stayed picked up.  It did not stay spotless.  She didn't have to "clean" anything, but, when we went up for the night, there weren't 10 billion little things laying on the floor that would be the first thing I would see as a descended the stairs in the morning.  The counters and table were wiped down -after meals AND after snack time.  The floor was swept more than once a day (which it really, really needs).

It got me to thinking. 

Boy, it sure would be nice to have a wife. 

Aren't we a cute couple?

Not that I want one of those Sister Wives situations, because I REALLY don't want to share Rainman - but, I can see the beauty in some of the day to day stuff....the cooking of "real" meals, just keeping things picked up, having someone to chat with while the cabbage is rolled, someone else to change the next stinky diaper....aahhh....yes....I can see the possibilities....

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Little Girl is Growing Up

My oldest daughter will be 11 next month.  She has been asking for things that most girls her age ask for off and on for a while now....cell phone, pierced ears, to be allowed to wear make-up, to be allowed to wear high heels.  I have successfully held her off, but recently succumbed to one thing.  Her ears.

She has been asking me since she was little when she could get them pierced.  According to her, way back then, I told her 10, then when 10 got here, I told her 11.  I had plans to tell her 12 when her 11th birthday rolled around.  But a visiting grandmother messed that plan up! 

Grandma arrived with her usual fanfare of her carry on luggage stuffed with goodies for the kids - from packages of gum, to Suduku books, to the free stuff she and her lady friends win at their meetings (I honestly have no idea what these "meetings" are - but, whatever they don't need, they send for the kids).  This trip one of the free items from their meetings was a necklace and earrings that she gave A-girl.  As she was getting settled in, she told my 3 girls who have April birthdays, that she would like to take them shopping and pick out their birthday presents while she was here....and, then, she told A-girl she would pay to get her ears pierced.

What?  No discussion with the mommy of those cute, perfect little ears?

Nope.  The damage was done.

There would be no speech about waiting just one more year.  Grandma had made it a reality.

I got my ears pierced when I was 11 - but somehow when it is your child - 11 feels totally different.

We ended up going to a strip mall that had a Claire's.  I told the lady what we were there for and she proceeded to hand me a stack of paperwork to sign and initial - basically that I wasn't going to sue them or anything. 

Okay.  That is comforting.

First I told her that I needed to get a "before" shot and then I announced that I was also going to get "action" shots and then an "after" shot. 

Before shot.

Aren't her ears just perfect and wonderful just the way they are...I mean were?

That is the clerk behind A-girl.

As we were walking in, A-girl admits that she is nervous and asks if I will hold her hand. 

Are you kidding me?  Of course I will!

So, I finished my stack of paperwork and hand it to the clerk - who, while I had been initialing and signing, had cleaned her ears and made little dots on them.

In my head, I had a real mother/daughter event planned.  A rite of passage to womanhood.  I would hold her hands and comfort her, she would feel better because I was there, we would look deeply into each others eyes, we would remember this moment for all time, because I would have time to get pictures of all of this.....but instead.....

I got this rushed picture of....her second ear being pierced!  It was all so fast. 

I never got to hold her hand. 

We didn't look deeply into each other's eyes.

I barely got this picture.

It was really as fast as a blink of an eye - or in this case, a piercing of an ear - I handed over my paperwork, looked down to get my camera from A-girl's lap to get ready for our big moment together and I looked up to see this!

The lighting is bad...oh, and that is our van just outside the window! 

Notice that A-girl's face looks kind of shocked too.

It happened so fast that Grandma, who was paying for this momentous event was off looking at earrings and didn't even know it had happened either!

I don't remember how much my ear piercing cost.  I remember the sound of the gun next to my first ear scared me though.  The guns are much different now and don't make any noise.  You get a choice of about 30 earrings you can put in - for a price.  I am pretty sure my choices were silver little ball thingie or gold little ball thingie.  The cheapest ones were around $17.00 which is what we went with.  The most expensive were about $42.00.

I have decided that perhaps for the next three daughter's piercings I will either go someplace else or I will make sure I do not go at a busy time of day.  The clerk was the only one working, so while she was piercing, she also seemed to be looking over her shoulder for shoplifters the whole time and would every now and then yell out, "I will be right there!"

I hope this is not the first of many disappointments in mother/daughter event times that I have painted in my head!

She does look beautiful though, doesn't she?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I am getting old...not a grandmother...yet....but I am getting old.  So technology is starting to make me nervous.  I don't understand BluRay and how it makes you look like you could reach out and touch Buzz and Woody.  Even if we had a Wii, I am not sure I would want to be able to download movies instantly and watch them....well, I guess I would like it - but then it makes me feel like someone could be watching me all the time through my Wii.  Know what I mean?  I can text, I am just not too fast at it, I don't really like it...AND....I spell all the words the right way.  I still like to hold actually paper books and not curl up with my Kindle to read. 

I think you get my idea. 

I like technology, but I am kind of late to the table on the new, exciting stuff.

I am happy to say that the "new" technology I love is the web cam!

For those of you who are new here, or aren't related to me, we got transferred to Georgia about 18 months ago, after spending a lifetime in Minnesota.  And most of that time was spent within about 20 minutes of the grandparents farm, just like almost all of my cousins.  Moving was traumatic for me.  My sixth child was just 2 weeks old when we left.  My sisters Kandi and Karen were my best friends. 

Fast forward 18 months and I am loving Georgia.  The only bad part really is missing the people I love from my sisters.

One of the things that my sisters and I started about 6 or 7 years ago, was getting together for an Oscar party.  We would eat, talk about what everyone was wearing, mute the speeches so we could talk some more, eat some more, etc.  We even have a traveling trophy for who picks the most winners!

The last few years, my sister, Karen has been hosting.  She is the one with all the ideas.  So as the years have gone on, our event has gotten more organized and fancy.  Although we still wore our sweats! She creates swag bags for us and we have elaborate dinners, snacks and drinks served by her husband and sons.

In theory, we thought that I would just fly up and join them every year for our annual party.  But it didn't work last year....or this year.  Last year I snuck down to the basement and called them and we stayed on the phone for the entire telecast.  I couldn't hear very well.  They would laugh and I had no idea what they were laughing about.  My brother-in-law served them a wonderful dinner while I had my popcorn and Reese's peanut butter cups.  I ended the night feeling sad....although I did win the traveling trophy!

Fast forward to this year, I had tried to figure out a way to get myself up there...without kids....with just a few kids....with the "baby" who refuses to stop nursing....rental car....where to just got complicated in a real hurry, so we all just decided that this just wasn't the year for us to be together yet.

Late last week, my friend, Debbie and I were heading to the Farmer's Market and she asked me if I had a web cam.  I said that none of my computers were new enough to have one built it and I didn't have a free standing one either, but that one day I would like one.  I explained to her how people had been telling me since we moved that I should get one so we can stay in touch with people in Minnesota easier.  My old boss kept in touch with her daughter's family when they moved to Miami this way.  They had a weekly chat, so they got to see all the missing teeth and school projects.  Sounded great, but we were on a budget, so I didn't even check into them.

Debbie said that she thought that she had one just sitting around because she had recently upgraded her computers and they all had built in ones now.  She drove over to my house special on Friday to hand me the web cam so I would have time to play around with it in the hopes of getting it up and running by Oscar time!  Have I mentioned how much I love my friend, Debbie?  Not because she gives me stuff....but because she thinks about me.

So, this is a long story to tell you all about how my sisters and I watched the Oscars together via Skype.  I heart Skype!  We had to switch the venue to Kandi's house to use her laptop, as a bonus, I got to see my two nieces up close and personal!  Karen had sent me my swag bag I had that with me...

Click here for Karen's GREAT sugar scrub recipe.

My kids wanted to get in on the trophy action they filled out their ballots and made their own traveling trophy...

A Barbie mummified in tin foil!

We did not have the best of internet connections and I still couldn't hear every snarky comment that was made - but it was ALMOST like being there.  I had a great time.  I love them.  I love that I got to see my nieces dancing around and waving in my computer screen....even if they were just waving at themselves on their side!!!

So, I guess this old fogey is coming around....maybe I will go out and buy one of them new fangled Sony Walkmans....oh, too late, huh?  How about and Ipod I too late for that craze?!?!?