we’re not exactly boring…

…and yet I don’t feel like we’ve done a lot either. (Edited to add: …and then I read this post and it made me feel tired from all that we’ve been doing…)

Last week?  Um.  Yeah.  Monday we did something during the day, I’m sure, but I don’t remember what.  In the evening David had his last regular den meeting for Tiger Cub Scouts.  I took the other kids to nursery at church while I attended VBS training (I’m a craft girl this year).

Tuesday was MDO and I had lunch at Olive Garden with my friend JG.  I also hit Hobby Lobby and used my mother’s day gift card to get a couple really cute shelf brackets, some kids apron & oven mitt sets, and a little camera & phone case.  In the afternoon we got to meet my parents new neighbors (here in my town)– a family of three (their son is 7 months old).  (A funny story: the wife was trying to drive into the garage for the first time and her SUV’s antenna got stuck in the garage door and pulled it off the track.  Ok, maybe that’s not funny, but we got to meet her and chatted while she waited for help to arrive.)

Wednesday we skipped library day in favor of having coffee with some neighborhood moms.  One of them (the new one to the neighborhood) didn’t show up, but it was fun to have the other one over.  She has a little 6 month old girl that is just too cute.  We went out to dinner at the local chinese “super” buffet (there’s sushi & mexican & chinese & a really weird salad bar & ice cream).  Afterwards Nick helped the new neighbors move some stuff into their house (another funny story: they got locked out of their house that time.  The babysitter had to bring the spare keys over.).

Thursday I spent all day baking.  Seriously.  We’d been told that we were going to be low on scouts from our den for the end of the year Pack Meeting/Awards Ceremony/Potluck, so we’d need to bring a bit extra dessert.  Then my parents and Nick’s mom decided to attend, too.  So I ended up bringing four desserts and an extra entree.  And a good thing I did, too.  There was only one dessert besides mine there (a small plate of brownies) and not too much other dinner food either.  The meeting was utter chaos, in part because the pack leader was stuck in another state.  But mostly because the kids were just SOO HYPER.  Not my kids so much, or my friend JB’s, but all the other ones.  One kid drop-kicked another one in the hallway.  The other parents totally ignored the chaos.  We were appalled.  Nick’s mom thanked us for being such good parents and raising such great children and also suggested we find another pack to join.

Friday we went to my friend BB’s for a playdate.  She’d told us to bring a picnic lunch, but we were out of everything sandwich related & we were totally running late (my parents were still here and my mom wanted to show me “just one more thing” in the yard.  *sigh*) so we stopped and picked up chicken biscuits (it was still breakfast serving time when we got to the drive-thru) to go with our leftovers from the pack meeting.  The kids had a lot of fun and we got to meet some new people, so that was good.  The kids all played in the mini-pool.  We have a mini-pool, too, and I’m astounded at how we could fit 5 small kids in it without a fight, because at my house the same size pool is not big enough for 3 kids (although I have to admit that David takes up a ton more space than the small kids).  Anyways, when it came time for lunch I felt like I maybe fed my kids too much food or something, cause BB just fed hers cheese & crackers & fruit and mine didn’t finish their food (which had they been home, they would have finished most of it).  *shakes head*

Saturday I had a coffee date with my long lost friend JB.  See we live in the same part of town, have kids approximately the same age, and were in a mom’s group together, but with one thing and another we manage to never see each other.  Her kid left something at the pack meeting the other night so I called about returning it and we ended up at Starbucks (where neither of us had been in more than a year) for a three-hour-chatfest.  Her house has also been in chaos with a kitchen remodel (they’re doing their own stuff though).  Her family is also leaving the cub scout pack for next year (but for a different one than we’re going to).  And we decided that we can’t ever let our meetings go this far in between because we get along really well.     (And since I forgot to bring her pictures from the pack meeting, we have a perfect excuse to get together again soon!)  Once I got home, I spent two frustrating hours installing a coat rack & a shelf in the front hallway.  Due to my arthritis, I’m no longer strong enough to nail stuff into the wall using a regular hammer, but I’m really really stubborn and tried it anyway.  Eventually it was done and it all looks good.

In the evening, Nick went to prom with his mother.  Yes, you read that right.    Nick’s dad is not the dancing/chaperoning type, so Nick’s mom asked if he could come and dance with her a few times (she’s been watching swing dancing videos & he’s gone over to practice with her a bit).  Nick’s brother was the DJ (and it was the brother’s birthday that night, too).  Apparently it was all good.  I stayed home and watched “The Wedding Date,” which was unintentionally hilarious at times.

Sunday we….umm….really I should remember, but I don’t.  Nick did a lot of yard work.  The kids and I went to church.  And….I don’t remember what else.  Monday we made the rounds of Nick’s family: first to Mandy & Mark’s house to pick up some pecan wood (and a chain to bring to Nick’s dad) and the kids played & saw baby puppies & kittens & stuff and then off to his parents house to pick up our extension cord (which I’d taken over to the prom on Saturday morning).  The kids played there for a while, too.  We went back home & Nick went up to work to study some more for his PE.  The kids and I started reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, which I love.  They didn’t know what a tollbooth was, so we made one out of an old computer box.  We painted half of it purple (like in the book) and the other half blue (because David wanted it blue).  We made the signs “Slow Down Approaching Tollbooth” and “Have Your Destination in Mind.”  And then we picked out boxes for them to make cars out of, but didn’t get them painted, as Nick needed to get to the grill by then to make supper.  Once back inside and once the allure of the tollbooth wore off, David turned it on it’s end, blue end out, and made decorations so that that side of it looked like the Tardis.  So then there were Adventures!  In!  Time!  And then we ate dinner.

…and yes…there are photos at flickr.com….and they’re terribly out of order, but flickr doesn’t let you fix that…

pretty quiet here

It was actually pretty quiet here this week.  Monday I had this flurry of back-and-forth phone calls with the cub scout den & pack leaders, the end result of which was that we were having neither the TV station tour nor the pack meeting this week.  Our Tuesday night plans were likewise nonexistent.  So instead we’ve hung out with my parents a lot, weathered a really bad storm, hit the end-of-year mom’s group meeting (had an epiphany there, actually, more about that later), and took Ben to the world’s shortest doctor’s office visit (I only had one kid with me, so of course there was no wait this time).  Playdates were cancelled due to Ben’s illness (ear infection + virus) or rescheduled to next week.  And since we’ve not been at our house much, it’s actually stayed clean, which is heavenly.

In other news, the Great Computer Repair did not turn out well.  I bought a new power supply and I have nearly enough parts for three whole computers, but enough of them either a) don’t work or b) aren’t compatible with other components that I’d actually have to spend more money than I’d like to get them all together (which in my world means that I’d be spending nearly as much to get them together as I’d spend on a new-but-cheap complete system).  It’s very frustrating. We’re going to decide tomorrow whether we buy more parts or just a complete system (I love the tinkering, but I’m almost at the “just buy something new” stage).

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hope everyone is having a happy day!

We’re all sick here, except the baby, who we can’t actually tell if he’s sick or not as he can’t speak up and say “I’ve got a headache and a sore throat” like the other kids can.  It took us a few hours when we got up to actually remember it was mother’s day.  Once we did, the one’s whose throats weren’t so bad ate some breakfast and the rest of us just watched.  Then I opened my presents: 1) a couple painted flowerpots (one from ben, one from david) 2) a pretty wine-themed apron (yes, I requested an apron–my old one was 11 years old and not pretty) 3) a Nikkon Coolpix 10 megapixel camera (actually my birthday and mother’s day gift combined).  Woot!

After that I called my mom and Nick tried to call his.  My mom is doing the Parade of Homes this weekend and my sister is visiting her right now as I type.  Nick’s mom wasn’t home when he called, but she had a really full day planned, so we’ll try again this evening.

Then we rested a bit more and cleaned house a bit while the kids “rested.” (I send them to their rooms for 45 minutes, it’s up to them whether or not they sleep.)  Nick has an apple pie in the oven right now.  It smells soooo good.

We’re having my favorite Nick dinner tonight (chicken with brown butter apple sage sauce and roasted red potatoes) and then I’m going to force him to watch the second installment of Cranford on Masterpiece Classic and afterwards we’ll watch some more Doctor Who.  Whee!

It’s been a really good day despite us all feeling poorly.

… & the boys

It’s come to my attention that when I sign things “Lisa and the boys” that people are thinking that Nick is not included.  Au contraire, mon amies.  Nick is a boy, albeit a big one, and is included in that signature.

(I am sick.  Sick, sick, sick.  I am wearing clothing so close to pajamas that I feel like I maybe never left them.  Mmm…pajamas.  My mother’s day dinner might need to be pureed.)

oh so busy

I’m trying to remember what’s been keeping us so busy and my brain just whirls on and on.  Last week we had two park-related playdates, one with a new friend and one with an old friend.  The new friend works at the church, but is a comic book/Green Day fan with many tattoos.  The old friend is Z’s mom (Z, who is marrying Ben someday, as long as she can call him Mr. Ben-ana and they eat cookies instead of cake at the wedding).  We had lots of fun on both playdates.

This week we went to the DSP with a couple different families (due to a weird misremembered scheduling accident, but it worked out) and no children were lost permanently, but some were missing for about five minutes.  I’d forgotten that you can’t go anywhere in the month of May without running into some school group somewhere.  Drives me nuts.

We had meals at two new=ish places in town last week.  One I went to with my parents for lunch and it was a franchise of The Jalapeno Tree.  It was awful.  Just dreadful food and not great service.  They had lovely decor though.  The other place we went to for date night on Saturday and it was not part of a giant chain and did not have the loveliest decor, but had excellent service & food and even a piano/lounge singer and a mariachi band (Pico de Gallo, for those that want to know).

David has been out-and-about with cub scouts.  Did a hike at the local giant-park-and-trails place.  Went to a local baseball game.  Next week I’m taking them all to tour a tv startion & to watch the evening broadcast.  David will be getting a couple belt badges for bicycling and chess at the next pack meeting, too.

Let’s see, what else?  It’s National Teacher Appreciation week: don’t forget to thank your teachers!    We brought desserts to David’s school and presents for Ben & Greg’s teachers.  (We bought one for David’s teacher, but he’s forgotten to take it to her all week long.)  We’re going to take notes to the Sunday school teachers  & nursery workers this weekend, too (they already did an appreciation thing about a month ago and we brought food for them then).

It’s also doctor’s appointment week, it seems.  I finally got David in for his 7-year-old well-child check-up (I had no idea it would take so long for them to get him on the schedule).  He’s 4 foot, one inch tall now and weighs 56lbs.  I loved watching the neuro-check, it’s hysterical.  He and Gregory both got the HepA or HepB shots (whichever is the one they give to kids in school & daycare; I never can remember).  So I took them to McDonald’s afterwards, which has become a tradition.     I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow for a check-up and actually found a friend both willing & available to watch my kids so they don’t have to be dragged along (It’s a hard combination to find, sadly).

Next week Nick will be out of town, as he’s going to some big long training/study session for his PE exam (which he’s taking in October).  It may not technically be the PE exam; he told me the other initials of the specific branch of the exam he’s taking and I can’t remember exactly (CSEPE?  Maybe?  Control Systems Engineer Practical Exam?).  I’m doing both the TV studio tour and the pack meeting on my own (with all three children), not to mention mom’s group and everything else.  I may go insane.  If you hear a giant “argh!” out of nowhere, it’s probably me.    (I did have a friend offer to take one of my kids during key moments next week if necessary, which is very much appreciated, but I’ll have to reciprocate during the next week with one of hers.  Fortunately, both kids we need to have out of the way are the laid-back, easy to deal with kids.)

Is that really all?  I don’t know.  I’m still finding jello soup everywhere….

I wish I were a Lion

Five things make a post (or My Day as a List)

1. Jello Soup.  On the floor.  On the walls.  On my feet.  In my hair.  In the laundry basket.

2.  “You’re only inviting me over because you’re an Otter and I’m staying at home because I’m a Golden Retriever (and I love the rain.)”

3.  Only my own child can kick one of my children.

4. ”Let’s just exterminate the dirty dishes!”

5.  I typed this in its entirety with a child climbing in my hair, one of his fingers shoved into my eyeball, one leg on one side of my chest, the other on my back. (and then, as if that were not enough, he leapt into the upholstered chair next to me, which had two other children in it, and knocked the whole thing over–it’s now  on top of David and Greg’s back in it. ”gregory put his foot on my penis!  Penis!  penis!  Order in the court!”)

Give me shelter from the storm…


Originally uploaded by awamiba.

This morning my mom called me, in a panic, because there was a storm headed our way. We get these calls from time to time, but usually it’s just a little bit of a storm, no worries. I had a weird feeling about this one, though, so I made the kids put on shoes (I did, too) and put together some stuff on the counter just in case, then went about the rest of our morning.

It got darker and darker outside. The wind came up and the thunder started roaring. And then it got very very quiet. I heard this whine from outside that I realized was actually the tornado siren. I picked up kids and pillows, all I could carry, and tossed them into the hallway. Ran and grabbed out drinks, crackers, flashlight, phone charger & radio (which does have batteries in it, just in case, but I plugged it in, as we had power at that point).

The kids thought this was hysterical, of course. Ben wanted me to go back out of our little shelter to put on my “cute little red shoes” and Greg wanted his bottle instead of the cup. They couldn’t understand that this was scary, not fun. I tried to tell them that when I was little that we always went to the basement, but that in our house there isn’t one, so they have to go here, to this hallway made safe by shut doors, when they hear that oh-so-distant whine of the siren.

Nick tried to call me, but phone calls weren’t making it through. He texted me about the siren, but by then it had stopped running. The news on the radio said very little about what was happening, only advising people not to leave their homes and to seek shelter immediately. The kids got quiet at this point and just crawled into my lap to snuggle in. We stayed in that position for quite a while before Nick called again. He still couldn’t hear me talking, though I could hear him. Eventually he got through for real and told me that he had heard that we could go out to the rest of the house again, but to stay inside just in case.

I plugged the TV and computer systems back in. The internet was useless at that point, but one of the TV stations said that the bad part had passed by us already, by mere minutes. We watched the news, huddled together on the couch, as the sky got lighter and the branches grew more still. We watched on radar as the hail passed through other towns and were fascinated by the new computer radar system that could show us how the clouds that held the hail were formed in the sky and touched the ground.

Eventually we grew brave and left the house to explore the garden. Ben wanted to make sure his plants were all okay, looking at all their leaves. Gregory checked out the gym and the trampoline, inspecting bits too small for the rest of us to notice. I just stared up into the trees, searching out the weakest branches, making sure nothing looked like it would fall on my house again.

now, with CAFFEINE!

My parents have been in town two days now.  Yesterday my kids each drank a bunch of creme soda and ran around like crazy wild beasts.  Today after the kids each drank another can apiece (special treats, ya know.  only at grandma’s.  at home they drink no soda.)  we took a closer look at the cans, which in addition to not being diet (my mom knew they weren’t, but bought them anyway) now include among their ingredients: caffeine!

And my head?  It is pounding so hard that while I was lying on the bed I noticed that my cell phone, lovingly placed on my forehead by a boy, was throbbing in rhythym with my heartbeat.

(So yes, the boys are watching The Goonies in the next room.  I know it’s terribly inappropriate for 1-year-olds and 4-year-olds and 7-year-olds.  I may have been 9 by the time it came out, but I know that my sister, then 6, and my best friends sister, age 4, loved it.)