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Monday, October 31, 2011

Finally done with Halloween

It's over. Yay! The costumes are all packed away, and will not be seen again until next year. The candy will most likely disappear very quickly - into a safe hiding place (much like the Easter candy, which I just found about a week ago).

Alex had his Halloween parade at school this morning....

Even the teachers got into it and did a dance number....

I spent the afternoon in the glorious weather and finished up cleaning the corner of my yard.

Took all of the stuff to the landfill....

Got Alex from school....

And then Daniel and I hung out and watched movies and folded/put away laundry while Alex went trick-or-treating with his father for a few hours.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of gloating about our glorious weather today, and I think it's already coming back to haunt me - my head is pounding, my stomach is crampy, I'm freezing cold....I've been fighting it for days, but I think it's got me this time. So I think that maybe if I go to bed now, I might be able to sleep off enough of it to at least get up and get Alex to school in the morning.

So, you get nothing fun and witty from me tonight - just a recap of the day. Hopefully I will feel human tomorrow.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh yes I did go out wearing that....

Today was really just a totally lazy day. I woke up still not feeling so hot, so I made the executive decision to skip church so that I could lay around and do nothing. The older 3 got up and pretty much got themselves ready (thank God we had some cereal so that I didn't have to actually cook something) and I just reminded them to grab a few things that they needed before their father got here to pick them up.

Alex went ahead and got himself dressed while I laid around and watched movies with him and Daniel, but Daniel hung out in his pajamas all day.

I ran out of Diet Pepsi, and I really needed to go across the street to get some, but I really just did not want to go anywhere. It took me all day to get up the motivation to even go that far.

Now, when I say that Alex was "dressed" I use that term loosely. I'm not exactly sure where he managed to find this pair of jeans, but I'm guessing that they might be Jared's - who is about 3" shorter and 20 pounds lighter than Alex. But, he was dressed. And he put shoes on too. (Temps were in the 60's for this adventure, so I didn't really care that he was wearing flip flops.)

I picked out some clothes for Daniel to put on, but he's now going through this phase where he must dress himself. He refused to do it for more than the first 4 years of his life, and now suddenly, he goes all nutso on me if I try to help him. But he "allowed" me to pick out clothes and then he put them on. I didn't realize until we got outside that his shirt was on backwards, so I did at least make him fix that before we crossed the street.

He picked out his shoes.

So we got into the store and wandered aimlessly for a while until I remembered what we were there for (Diet Pepsi....duh) and then we grabbed a few other things, checked out at the register and walked back home.

That's when I looked down at my own feet.

No. I did not go out like that. Did I?

Yes, yes I did. And the more I look at that picture, the more I think I look like something from the Wizard of Oz.

Now let me explain - not that there is any defense in going out like this, but there is an explanation. Sort of.

1. The sweats - eh, they're sweats. It's the weekend. I don't give a crap about them. They were clean and not torn up or skin tight or anything, so whatever. Anyone who has a problem with my sweats can kiss off because I won't give them up for anything.

2. The socks - ok, the socks are hideous. I admit it. But, the girls got them for me for Christmas, so I have to wear them occasionally. And even though they are ugly, they are actually really comfortable. And, if I wear the ugly festive socks on the weekends (or when I don't plan to go anywhere) it leaves more of my "normal" white socks to wear in public - especially when laundry needs to be done. I consider wearing the ugly festive socks to be part of laundry budgeting - wear them to save the white ones for later.

3. The shoes - ay yi yi....I know, I know, I know. BUT there is a story here. When Crocs became popular, I swore that I would never ever ever ever wear them. They're ugly. I mean really ugly. But then I tried a few pairs on and started thinking hey these are kind of comfortable....still, I held out.

I think I was pregnant with Daniel when I finally got this pair. I was carrying a kid (Jared?) through the shoe store and was looking for a pair that I liked. There was a reason for buying them though - as I got bigger and bigger, it became harder and harder for me to bend over to put shoes on my fat feet. Remember, this was also when I still had my original hip, and so moving in general was difficult and painful. I needed something that I could just slip on and off of my feet. Anyway, I was carrying this pair but had no intentions of buying them because, well, look at them.

Then Jared decided that he was going to puke - in the middle of the store, all over me, and all over the generic knock-off Crocs in my hand. So yeah, I bought them. And I wear them when the situation calls for them. To the lake, or mowing the grass, or to the store when I feel like crap and don't want to lean over to put real shoes on my feet.

However, after seeing how ridiculous I actually looked, I may think twice before I wear them again.

Or not.

It's not like I'm out to impress anyone. I'm me. Love me or not.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or Treat is done!

This afternoon was Newton's Halloween Safe Walk - basically they shut down about 3 blocks of the main drag through town and representatives from area businesses hand out candy to the kids. It's always a zoo (putting it mildly) and really just makes me dislike Halloween even more than I already do - but at the same time, it gets all of the trick-or-treating out of the way and we don't have to get in and out and in and out and in and out of the van to go door-to-door.

Sarah and Emily opted to stay with the church group and hand out candy, rather than walk to get candy - this made me happy in many ways. I'm glad to see them starting to want to be more involved with our church, since they go to their father's and not mine on a regular basis. The youth group was in charge of handing out candy, and although my girls are still a little young to be a part of it, they're a great group of kids for them to get to know.

It also meant that I only had to keep track of 3 kids in the crowd, and that there would be 40% less candy to take home. Win!

Wasn't even going to attempt to get them all to smile. Sometimes, it's just not worth it.

It was a beautiful - but windy - afternoon.

He can look so darned cute at times...

Just a small sampling of the crowd

Like I said, gorgeous day...



Oh holy crap, it just gets worse....

The truck, in full superhero costume.

The haul

Of course, I also had my Policy Council meeting to contend with today - it was supposed to be from 10:00am until 3:00pm - but of course, there are always those people who don't believe in following an agenda, and so we didn't get out of there until almost 3:30. And I got elected to be the secretary again. Yay me. Actually, I don't mind it that much, because it forces me to pay attention and to stay awake during the meetings. Of course, I was paying so much attention today that I wrote down the date and time of the next meeting on the minutes, but forgot to write it down in my datebook. Crap.

After we got home tonight and got supper out of the way (thank you, Wendy's) Emily decided to do some laundry. I was helping her to get it started, and something in the laundry room just didn't smell right.

I looked behind the dryer, and sure enough, the vent duct had pulled off of the back of the dryer. Gee, wonder when that happened - judging by the layer of lint and filth behind the dryer, I would say that it's only been a few days, but still.....

I really wasn't in the mood to clean back there, but since I was there anyway I took care of the worst of the grime after I got the duct reattached (really wish I could find my duct tape) and then got everything put back into place. Now I can do even more laundry. Oh, yay me.

But for now, I think I'm just going to work on straightening things up around the house and then try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I'm not feeling so incredibly hot tonight and I think a shower and some sleep will work wonders....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frantic Friday Fun

The older 3 kids didn't have school today, but the younger two did - so it was nice to spend the day with the older ones doing stuff that we don't usually get to do.

The day started with Daniel's Halloween parade at playschool this morning. One of the teachers asked my kids if they'd like to hand out the candy, so Daniel thought that it was pretty cool that his big brother was handing out some of the treats.

We went out for lunch after we took Daniel to preschool this afternoon.

Then we went shopping to get the girls some new jeans, which they so desperately needed. I wasn't really thrilled about spending the money, but they really did *need* them. We found some good sales, so that helped, but dang they're expensive!

After we got done shopping, we went back and picked the boys up from their schools and then came home. We had dinner, and then we had to go back out again to go to a Family Fall Fun Night or something like that for Boy Scouts - now that Jared is in that, it just adds to the hectic schedule that we already have.

Anyway, the kids had fun playing silly games and winning even sillier prizes.

On the way home, we were greeted by another incredible sunset.

Then when we got home, I was called to the bathroom and told to look down the drain in the sink, where I saw this lovely sight. *sigh* So off I went to get a pair of pliers and a bucket to perform surgery on the plumbing.

I was not impressed by the treasures that I found in the murky water of the trap. *barf*

The final (for now) project of the evening was to work on a Halloween costume for a truck for tomorrow. I might have procrastinated a bit on this one...but I'm not the only one. But it's about as done as it's going to be. It's a cape (because every superhero truck needs a cape) and it's huge - I didn't make the cape part, but I was assigned the "S" and the crosses, which were made out of this horrible shiny gold faux-sequined stretchy stuff, and it was awful to work with, but it'll do at this point.

Tomorrow, we have a meeting to go to from 10:00am until 3:00pm - it's a Policy Council thing, and I have no desire to go, but I'm obligated. Luckily they're providing childcare...

But as soon as we get out of that meeting, we have to get ready for trick-or-treat and meet everyone from the church to get the costume on the truck, and then deal with all of the chaos of the Safe Walk....and I know that there was something else that we were supposed to do tomorrow but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.

All I know is that I ran out of Diet Pepsi today. Tomorrow's looking ugly already.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Massacre

Because we have about 829,462,591 things going on in the next few days, I thought that I would be smart and go out and get pumpkins today for the kids. So while they were all at school, I ran to the grocery store. I had noticed yesterday that they had some pretty good-sized ones there, and they were $4 each regardless of size - so I figured that I'd get some big-ish ones.

Picture this. I got to the store, and they had the pumpkins outside of the front doors, in two of those gigantic cardboard bins. I started poking around, and noticed a huge one just under the top layer. So I rearranged them and pulled it out and put it into the cart. Then I found another one the same way. I rearranged some more, and got that one.

Then I saw it. I saw the mother of all grocery store pumpkins, at the very bottom of the bin.

I went for it.

Seriously, I felt like I was dumpster diving. I was headfirst into the bin, trying desperately to get a hold of it to pull it out, but I was just too short (damned genetics, anyway) to get it. The 873-year old grocery cart guy tried to help, but he was useless, so he got one of the younger guys who looked at me with the "lady, do you have to have THAT pumpkin" look. I shot him the death look back, and he helped me to get it out of the bin. After I loaded 6 pumpkins into 2 carts (only 3 were huge) and paid for them, I headed off to do everything else that I needed to do.

After all of the kids got home from school, we inhaled some pizza and then started The Great Pumpkin Massacre. It only took about 5 hours from start to finish, included a few meltdowns and a spilled mop bucket of nasty water (dammit I knew I should have dumped that before we started), but it resulted in 6 pretty cool looking jack-o-lanterns.

Where are the pictures, you ask? Well, Blogger seems to be having issues tonight, and it won't let me upload a single picture. It's just telling me that there's some sort of internal error. I really don't feel like fighting with it, so if you want to see the pictures, just CLICK HERE. Hopefully that works. If it doesn't, just go to my facebook page and look for the photo album called "The Great Pumpkin Massacre".

I'll deal with the blogger issues tomorrow. If I have time. I still have to finish making a Halloween costume for a truck. Yes, for a truck. You read that right. You'll see that on Saturday, if I make it that long.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Which way do I go?

I could go so many different directions right now. I really could.

I could totally go off about how a certain someone claimed to me that he made all of the necessary arrangements to ensure that his child support payments were being made since he switched jobs - but with one phone call today, I disproved that claim.

I could vent about how I totally rearranged my entire evening (and the contents of the van) so that I could go meet someone to pick up a bookshelf that I was going to buy, but when I got to their house, they weren't home and after I moved the 8000 pound bookshelf across the yard by myself I found out that it wouldn't fit in the van anyway so I had to drag it back across the yard by myself.

I could complain about grocery shopping today, but it really wasn't that bad. After all, I got enough stuff to last us darned close to a month (plus a lot of non-food crap that we needed) for under $300. Not too bad. I should only have to go back to get things like eggs and milk and stuff like that - or at least that's the plan. I did the same thing last month and it actually ended up working out really well.

I'm also glad that I got all of the bills paid today, so that's one job that's out of the way. The girls are signed up for basketball again (yay) so it's just a matter of time until that starts.

There are some really great things going on in my life right now. I mean, really great. I've been able to reconnect with some people from my past. My kids are doing great in school. Things in general are just going well. And for that, I am so very thankful.

And that's why I refuse to allow simple-minded people to bother me. Sure, crap happens that irritates me - that's all a part of life. I might even get downright pissed off at them - but I get over it. And most of the time, I sit back and laugh. I've just gotten to a point in my life where I'm just not going to let them get me down. They can try - they can post snarky comments on here to try to humiliate me. They can try to make me look bad - don't care. They can do anything that they want to do, but they can't get to me.

It has taken me a long time to get to this stage in my life. I used to stress about what people thought about me, but I don't do that anymore. I was always living my life for someone else, and not for the most important person - me. Not anymore. My kids and I come first - no one else. This is my life, and I will live it my way. No one has to agree with my choices - because they are MINE.

Don't like what I have to say? Then don't read it. It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tigger's Chin

This is Tigger's chin.

And this little piece of plastic is going to be the death of me. It is going to be the final straw that makes me lose what little bit is left of my tattered mind.

And what exactly is it? Besides Tigger's chin......?

It's a puzzle piece. We have had this plastic, sort-of 3D puzzle of Tigger ever since the girls were little, along with several other puzzles. The other ones are the typical cardboard ones that have maybe 4-6 pieces, and there's a wooden one that used to be mine. I took all of the puzzles away from the kids a while back because the pieces were just constantly getting thrown all over the place and I was tired of dealing with them. I know, bad mommy. Whatever.

The Tigger puzzle has been missing his chin (obviously). So I stashed the puzzle somewhere until the chin appeared. I have occasionally seen the puzzle - somewhere in the house. I even saw it a few days ago.

Now that the chin has magically reappeared, do you think I can find the puzzle?


I have looked in all of the obvious places. I've looked with the other puzzles - it's not there. I've looked with the other toys that are packed away - not there. I've looked in the furnace room, where I've stashed some other stuff - not there. Seriously, I've looked in all of the normal places - and I can't find the rest of Tigger.

I know what's going to happen. I'm going to put the chin somewhere 'safe' - and it's going to disappear - and then I'll find the puzzle. And then I'll put the puzzle somewhere 'safe' - and it's going to go on and on and on and on.....

And how do I know that's going to happen? Because this isn't the first time that either the chin or the remainder of the puzzle has appeared.

So, in an effort to end this horrendously vicious cycle, the chin is now taped to the inside of the door on the upper left-hand side of my disk, right by the Tooth Fairy pillow, which also tends to disappear occasionally.

Maybe, just maybe, I can connect the puzzle and the chin. Someday.


In other news, I went to Emily's school this morning for the Honor Roll Breakfast.

Just in case my editing job sucks as bad as I think it does, that says that she has a 4.0 average...


And how is it that I remember to do some of the things that I need to do? Easy. I have a number of pens stashed on the visor of the van. And when I remember something, and get to a place where I can stop (for instance, while at Sonic getting a drink today), I write myself notes.

Where I can't lose them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Poop train

After Daniel got sick the other day, he seemed to be fine all weekend. He didn't eat much, but he never really does (unless it's peanut butter & jelly) and he acted fine. This morning we got up and took Alex to school, and when we got back, he still seemed to be fine. We laid around for a while and enjoyed the peace and quiet after the chaotic weekend, and then when it was just about time for him to go to school, he raced to the bathroom where the diarrhea hit him once again.


I called the school and let them know that he wouldn't be there again today, and we took off for Wichita, as I had already made plans that really needed to be done today.

On the way there, we saw something interesting....I saw a jet cruising across the sky - it only caught my eye because the sky was perfectly clear and the contrail was so incredibly white against it. But then I saw it start to turn, and as I watched, it made a complete u-turn! I actually pulled over when I saw that Daniel was staring at it too, and we took a few pictures of it.

Anyway, we got to Wichita and picked up my carpet shampooer from a friend who was borrowing it (and returned her roasting pan that I've had for 8+ months - oops) and then ran to the other side of the city to deliver a custom costume that I made for someone and then we headed back to pick Alex up from school and then home, where we just hung out all evening. Daniel had a few more run-ins with the poop train, but he still seems to be feeling ok - so maybe it's just the remnants of the bug he had the other day or something.

On a humorous note, I have a really bad habit of leaving my camera out within reach of little fingers. So sometimes, when I transfer the pictures to the computer, I get surprise photography from the kids. Apparently Daniel was playing around this morning at some point. These are some of his shots:

Go figure.

A toy apple on my desk

The same toy apple and the hedgeapple from the other day

Daniel's eye view of the bulletin board

I really need to start putting my camera away.

On a side note: can anyone see the Aurora Borealis tonight? Wichita news stations are saying that it's visible if you look to the north - but I have too many trees and streetlights interfering, so I can't see it. Boo. :(

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A better day

You know, it's funny. I was joking around on my facebook page last night about wearing my bathrobe to church today if I didn't get my laundry done. I said "They're used to me running in there, usually about 5 minutes into the service, gasping for air, hair still dripping wet (if I was lucky enough to get a shower)...."

Well guess what? The kids and I ran in there about 5 minutes late, my hair was still wet, and I was out of breath. But we made it. The older three were happy to go to our church for a change, and the other people there were happy to see them since they don't get to go with me very often.

After church we came home and made lunch and I continued to work on cleaning and doing laundry.

Then we went outside.

I have this corner of my yard that just epitomizes the whole ghetto-riffic atmosphere. It appears that someone in the past started chucking branches there instead of getting rid of them, and over time the pile got bigger, some beer bottles were added to it, and stuff started to grow through it. It's not a huge area, but it's big enough to be an eyesore and it's a pain to mow around (see this post for more details on this particular subject) so I decided to get rid of it.

For the record, the piles of crap behind me are not mine. Those two huge trees are the property line - that stuff belongs to the neighbor.

Jared wanted to cut something.

Something tells me that these have been here for a while.

I got a lot of the big stuff bundled up, but I need to get some big lawn & leaf type bags to put the rest of the crap into, and then I can take it all to the landfill and get rid of it, and my yard will look somewhat better - just in time for winter. But at least I'm getting it done.

I found out last minute that I had to take Jared to a Boy Scout meeting - wasn't too thrilled about doing that, just for the time factor more than anything. Ex1 and I switched some time around - otherwise the older 3 wouldn't have even been here today - so I just didn't really want to have to leave early to take him to a meeting. But I did, and then Daniel and I came back here to hang out for a while. I was going to go back outside and work, but I lost my initiative somewhere. Oops.

Alex got home shortly after we did, with a fantastic surprise for me!

Huh. He never even told me that it was loose. I just hope that the permanent one moves into the hole and lines up with all of the other ones.

Tonight was haircut night for Daniel - and it was the first time ever that he didn't scream his head off the entire time. It was quite refreshing.

He looks so much like his father here. *sigh*

Kind of hard to tell the difference in the pictures, because he's going through this I Refuse To Cooperate For Any Sort Of Pictures phase. He can be such a turd at times.

Finally, bedtime. I had to call the girls at their father's house to find out where the official Tooth Fairy pillow was hidden, but it was located, the tooth was inserted, and Mr. Big Boy went to bed with the tooth pillow stashed neatly under his pillow.

Now, just hope and pray that the Tooth Fairy remembers to visit tonight....she's been known to forget once or twice before.