Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekly Winners Aug 24-30

Mayhem decided to take up knitting this week. He found he had plenty of time to knit in the car while we ran errands


Oops! Dropped a stitch


The dinosaurs were very busy the other afternoon. Once again they requested muffins and they pitched in to make them.


Though there was some conflict over who got to stir.


Rumors of muffins attracted other dinosaurs


And there was some more conflict over control of the bowl


The winners circle the bowl in a victory dance


But they shouldn't celebrate too soon, because over on the kitchen table trouble is brewing.


I'm told they are just getting ready to cut the muffins into equal parts so everyone has a share.

but I'm dubious.

visit Lotus at for more Weekly Winners

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday Aug 30

Scrapbook Saturday

These are the layouts I have completed this week.

Mayhem at 2 months, examining my camera. whatis1

Mayhem at 11 months getting to play in a big pool for the first time.enjoy1

Havoc at his preschool fall pumpkin patch trip. fallfun1

This layout makes me happy


Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to allergy weekend

It started last night with the itchy, watery eyes and the burning about-to-sneeze feeling in the nose that never quite develops into a sneeze. This morning my eyes are still itchy and the sneezing has begun. They are just mild random, sets of 3 sneezes still, but soon they will become strong repetitive full body sneezing sessions lasting several minutes at a time. They come over and over again with breaks of maybe 10-30 minutes in between. They leave me exhausted and sore. I have to lay down but when they hit me while I am laying down they cause me sharp pain in my abs from the muscles tightening and often cause charley horses.  The physical effort of all the sneezing occasionally triggers asthma attacks. I lay on the bed *sneeze*, *wheeze*, *gasp* over and over again for up to 10 minutes at a time.  It's miserable, it's exhausting & it is depressing. This will happen again and again over the next 2-4 days.

This has been hitting me for over a decade. Nothing helps. I take allergy med regularly in August - pills and nasal sprays - because I have seasonal outdoor allergies. They work the rest of the month but come Labor Day weekend they fail. I use a neti pot. I take multiple showers. I eat local honey. I clean the house as well as I can the week before (I am also allergic to dust, "as well as I can" is very haphazard)I've tried shutting up the house, in case it is outside; I've tried opening up the house, in case it is in the house. Leaving town is the only thing that has prevented the sneeze fest, but I have to go a long long way.

I wish I knew what was so special about this weekend. What is blooming or dying outside that is too much for my system? Is it inside the house, do I somehow slack off on the cleaning more in August than any other month, so that by the last of the month the dust bunnies are so large they overwhelm me?  Is it a combination of something outside & something inside?

It's taken me an hour to type this because I can't sneeze & type.  I really don't like Labor Day weekend

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday sort of

Impatient with my slow toy production time, Mayhem has decided to just knit the things himself.

p8270112 (2)

Forgot the muffin recipe

I worked myself into enough irritation about the muffins and forgot to post the recipe. *I* like them even if the boys are only so-so about them. I bet if I made them with Nutella and raspberry jelly Havoc would like them more.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

This makes a dozen regular sized muffins. Use paper muffin cups. Preheat oven to 375.

1.5 cups AP flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 teas baking soda

1/2 teas salt

Combine in a large bowl& set aside

1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter

2 eggs at room temperature

Mix these together well in a second bowl then add

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

4 tblsp really soft/ melted but too not hot butter

and mix thoroughly. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined

Let sit for 10 minutes. Then spoon into muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 of the way. Add a teaspoon of grape jelly to the center of each cup, making an indentation as you do.

Bake for 20 minutes

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I just don't get it

Mayhem loves PB&J sandwiches. He eats them almost every day. He has been asking me to make PB&J muffins for a month now. Today I finally make them....

He refused to eat them. Said they smell bad. - WITHOUT actually being in the room to smell them. WTF?

I think making him part of the process is the problem.  Most kids, if you let them help they are more likely to eat the food. Mayhem is the opposite. Seeing eggs mixed into peanut butter is gross. Smelling them is even grosser. Sometimes things don't smell or taste as good raw as they do when baked (Cookie dough is the exception. Cookie dough is better raw than baked) He doesn't understand that baking changes the taste & smell of things. That the slimy eggy peanut butter combines with the other ingredients into light fluffy baked goodness. He can smell that the finished muffin is different than the batter. He can see that it looks different. But he cannot forget what it once was. The raw batter was nasty looking. So the baked muffin is also nasty.

The part that irritates me the most is the rejection without trying. OK, if I am making jalapeno muffins and you don't like jalapenos, feel free to reject them without tasting. But when you love PB&J sandwiches and I am handing you a PB&J sandwich in muffin form, rejection without tasting is not an option.

I made him eat half a muffin. He admitted it tasted like a PB&J sandwich - mostly. Somehow I doubt he'll eat another one. Havoc ate one. He said it was ok. He said he might have one for breakfast. I like them but I don't think this was a keeper.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My son the middle manager

Mayhem is just full of ideas - ideas of things for other people to do. Most of Havoc & Mayhem's play is Mayhem directed, in theory. Havoc may come up with the idea - "Lets build a tent with blankets" but Mayhem quickly takes over with suggestions about which blankets, where to put them in the living room, how to arrange them and what toys to take into the tent. Havoc, like any good cubical worker, looks like he is listening and then goes and does what he was intending to do anyway & then explains away any discrepancies in the final project by persuading Mayhem they were actually his idea. So it works out.

Mayhem thinks I should be more of a traditional mom. I assume this from the projects he comes up with for me to do. He is full of ideas of what I should be baking. "You should make these muffins today Mama. Then these tomorrow and then these. Then maybe you can make these for when we go camping." Mayhem's favorite book is

He pages through this thing every day and bring it to me with ideas. "These muffins look good, why you not make them? When we have these muffins for dinner?" He sounds just like my old boss bringing me articles from trade publications and asking me why we aren't using this software (um, because the company is too cheap to pay for it and the training necessary or better yet, it has NOTHING to do with my job). I wouldn't mind so much, but like managers who ask for reports and then never look at them, Mayhem rarely eats the muffins he asks me to make.

When he isn't bossing me around making helpful suggestions in the kitchen, he gets out his other favorite book

and suggests things I ought to be crocheting. He does play with the toys at least. I just finished this penguin at his request.


I'm working on an octopus for Havoc right now, then Mayhem thinks I should make the owl, then the dog, then maybe the monkey, then another dinosaur.

I'm not letting this kid know about my quilting books.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekly Winners August 17 -23

I'm still experimenting with Lightroom 2.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Havoc's first day of school **disclaimer - no children were actually given a ride on a running motorcycle, though the bike did slowly coast to the end of the driveway**


Waiting for brother to come home


Dinosaur feast


For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday August 23

Scrapbook Saturday

A couple of layouts I created this week


kit is Carolina Haven by Eva Kipler at Sweet Shoppe Designs


kit is Prehistoric by Dani Mogstad at Sweet Shoppe Designs

Friday, August 22, 2008

The boy is bored.

Mayhem misses Havoc. He's not used to being Havoc-less for more than a few hours, a couple days a week. Last year Havoc went to preschool 5 mornings a week and Mayhem went 3 mornings, so there were only about 6 hours a week where Mayhem was alone. Most of those hours were spent at the gym play area and running errand with mom. This year Havoc is away from 7:15 to 4pm. It is a long time to be without your brother. The first day of school Mayhem walked down to the mailbox twice to wait for his brother (and was given the lecture of his life the first time on "NEVER EVER go down the driveway without Mommy or Daddy" and a smack on his but the second time. It's cute, but it's dangerous). Finally it was time to go meet the bus

waiting1stday007 (2)a

It was a loooong wait because they couldn't tell me when they would drop him off so we were 15 minutes early.

Yesterday and today have been more of the same, minus the walks to the mailbox, instead he asks every 20 minutes "When we go get Havoc?" The only thing that distracts him from his boredom is Super Why on PBS & that's only on 2x a day. I've tried to involve him in things. We've set up train tracks, we've made muffins, we've set up the sprinkler & built blanket forts. But none of it is the same without Havoc apparently.

Naturally this newfound longing to spend time with brother only lasts for about 15 minutes after Havoc gets home. Then the "Mom!!!! He did something" cries begin.  I've got one more week before Mayhem starts preschool. Its going to be a long week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The kind of mom I want to be (I think)

I made muffins. I made those muffins specifically to give to Havoc when he came home from school. See, I have this vision in my mind of the kind of mom I want to be - the kind that greets their children with home baked goodness and milk when they get home from school. The kind that sits down with them at the kitchen table and asks them how their day went, in a casual, non-cross examining manner. I want my kids to have a memory of a mom who fed them fresh from the oven baked goods and listened with interest & sympathy to their thoughts after school. I've been waiting for almost 6 years to get a shot at being this kind of mom & now it has finally happened.

I have no idea if I actually am that sort of mom, or if this particular fantasy of mine will last beyond next week, but it's worth a go. I have the essential elements - I like to bake and I am a good listener. But I am also lazy and selfish and get involved in other things to the point where it is too late to bake something or I'm just not able to stop & listen right then. So while I want to do it, I have some doubts about my ability to follow through. (I've known me for 41 years, follow through is an issue for me)

It's important to me to try, because I always wanted the "meet-you-at-the-door-with-cookies" type of mom. What I had was the "shout-to-you-from-the-laundry-room-"Don't eat anything you'll spoil your dinner" type of mom. (and she was correct. I got home after 4pm and we ate at 5:30). Mom has never been much into baking either. I made all the homemade cookies in the house starting when I was 8. I'm not saying I felt deprived by this, or that my mom didn't take an interest in my life; she was always willing to listen, but she didn't ask much. "How was you day?" was a dinner time question and the amount of attention you got depended on how everyone else's day was, how picky you were being about the food and how badly your sibling was behaving.

I met Havoc at the bus stop and we walked back to the house. He was delighted to find chocolate muffins waiting for him and we spent about 8 minutes eating muffins and talking about his day.

Then Super Dog came on.

When I was constructing this little after school fantasy in my head I had forgotten I was dealing with my children, who are occasionally shockingly like me. See...despite wanting a 'meet-you-at-the-door-for-cookies-and-chat' mom, I was not a 'cookies-and-chat' sort of kid. I was a 'But Mom, Scooby Doo is coming on" sort of kid. I really preferred to veg in front of the tv for an hour before I spoke to anyone, a habit that stuck with me through college & all of my working life. I need coffee before I can talk to people in the morning & I need a mindless sitcom rerun after work before I tell you how my day went. So, as with most fantasies, they don't work well in real life. I'm going to continue to provide an after school snack & a willing ear, but I'm going to try & time it better.

The muffins were good though.

Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2.5 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweet cocoa (not Dutch processed)

1 teas baking soda

1/4-1/2 teas ground cinnamon

1 cup softened butter

1.5 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teas vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups shredded zucchini

4oz bittersweet chocolate well chopped

Preheat oven to 375

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda & cinnamon together in a large bowl

In another bowl cream the butter & sugar together until fluffy (I use a stand mixer but a hand mixer is fine too, or if you really want a workout - a whisk). Slowly add the oil while mixing, then the eggs one at a time. Add about a third of the four, when it is combined add half the buttermikl, repeat until all the flour & buttermilk are added. This has a very creamy almost icing like texture. Fold in the zucchini & chopped chocolate

Pour into baking cups and bake for about 25-35 minutes, checking until a toothpick comes out clean.

This makes about 20-24 regularly filled muffins (fill cups 3/4 full). It makes 15-18 overfilled muffins (cups filled all the way up). In my case, since I only had 12 cups, it made 12 overfilled muffins and 14 overfilled mini muffins (bake 15-20 minutes)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A letter to my son


Today is your first day of kindergarten. You've been looking forward to it.  We met your teacher and saw your classroom 2 days ago. You told me she seemed nice and you couldn't wait to play with all the things in your class room. You were very excited about getting to ride on the bus this morning and when it finally came you climbed on with a quick goodbye and hardly a backward glance. My little man! So grown up already.

I'm glad you are so eager & so positive about this experience.  I want this to be a happy time,something you look back on with fondness, but being Mom, I worry. I'll always worry about you. That's my job.

Starting today you will now spend more time with others than you do with me and I worry. Will they be kind to you? Will they understand you? Will they patient? Will you make friends? Will they be good friends? What sort of friend will you be? Which of the myriad of influences you will be exposed to, will you pick up?   Have I taught you the interpersonal skills you need to make friends and to cope in strange & new situations?  Have I provided the best example of kindness, tolerance & understanding?

I want to be there to hold your hand as you walk to your classroom. I want to be a friendly & familiar face in new and unfamiliar environment. I want to help & encourage you when you meet your new classmates.  I want to assist you to interpret & filter the things being said & done around you. I want to hold you and never let you go. You are leaving me & going out into the world, which is what you are supposed to do & what I want you to do. But it is so hard letting go.

You are a sensitive soul. You want to help. You are good with smaller kids & assisting people who need it. But you are fragile sometimes. You can be hurt so easily by a mean word. You are strong and you are sure of yourself too, so the pain doesn't usually last long. You have it in you to be a leader & encourage others. You are smart & pick things up quickly. You are good & kind person. I am proud of you

I hope your teacher can help you learn to focus your energy on your classes. I hope she has better luck that I did. I hope you make good and lasting friends this year. I hope you become an even better person than you already are. I hope this year fulfills the expectations you have for it today.

I love you with all my heart


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Normal life - Day 2

Yesterday got off to a non-normal start due the nature of my errands and the order in which they needed to happen. I had to go to the school's Open House to see what supplies I was missing before I went to Wal Mart. The Open House was in the afternoon, so I couldn't actually go to Wal Mart yesterday because there was no time. I couldn't go to the gym because it is up by Wal Mart & I don't like running all the way into town for only one thing. This means that my normal Monday morning routine of gym, shopping, library couldn't happen.

The Open House was also a non-normal event. Normally I don't go anywhere in the afternoons. I do housework instead. Open House went well. We met the boys' teachers & saw their classrooms. Both boys practiced finding their classrooms from the front door & did well. They seemed to like their teachers. I felt like I ought to be asking the teachers meaningful & penetrating questions about their classrooms and teaching techniques, but I couldn't think of anything except "What do I do if I need to pick him up early?' Next year I'll use the summer to come up with a list.

Dinner was normal. Normal in the sense that I cooked it from scratch and the boys took a bite & decided they hated it. I made miso chicken sandwiches with sprouts & ginger mayo, so I was anticipating this response.

So far, today has been normal, if longer than normal.  We had Havoc's glasses adjusted. We had to wait around in line for that, which has never happened before. We went to the gym. We picked up a prescription and had to wait in line. That almost never happens. We went shopping at Wal Mart, having to stop in almost every department and maneuver around giant restocking carts all over the grocery section. We stood in one of many long long lines to check out.  These things always happen. We went to Staples and then to Target. We picked up a cheese pizza for lunch. We had to wait for it to cook because they only had pepperoni ones made. That never happens either. We sat in lots of construction related traffic - normal enough.

I'm currently doing laundry & boiling some eggs for dinner. I anticipate the boys won't like it. It's not pizza or corn dogs or fish sticks, so it's not edible. That's normal.

Tomorrow Havoc will get on the bus for the first time ever and go to school. Mayhem still has 2 weeks before he starts. I think we will stay home & finish the housework and make some chocolate muffins for Havoc to have when he gets home.

Nothing says 'normal' like chocolate muffins.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekly Winners August 10-16

I'm playing around with Lightshop & comparing it to what I can do in PSPX2.

Story behind this photo - the screen at this McD's never shows anything but these words. Apparently just by being on the screen ensures order accuracy & prompt service. Or so it thinks anyway...


The boys fell asleep reading my amigurumi crochet book (PSPX2 edit)


Havoc and one of our cats (Lightroom edit)


Perhaps the grass does need mowed (PSPX2 edit)


Dino races! The stegosaur won. (Lightroom edit)


Please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom to see more Weekly Winners.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Menu planning for the second half of August

I have really fallen down on dinner planning for the past few weeks. Meals have been very haphazard & food is being wasted. Today I inventoried my freezer & pantry, then locked myself in the bedroom with my recipe cards and planned out 12 meals for the next 2 weeks. I only actually cook about 10 of them. We go out for dinner once a week, do rotating cookouts with friends on Sundays & at least once in 2 weeks dinner will be courtesy of Kraft or Mrs Paul. This is what I have come up with for the rest of the month, in no particular serving order.

Chicken with cider & parsnips

Pocket sandwiches - chicken & veggies

Pesto chicken pizza

Miso chicken sandwiches

Scotch eggs & salad

Baked eggs with potatoes

Greek marinated steak & feta salad

Steak chimichuri & veggie kabobs (our turn at grill night)

Spaghetti carbonara

Pizza di spaghetti

Turkey croquettes with spinach mashers (new to me Rachel Ray recipe)

Sweet pea soup with parmesan garlic toast

I'm feeling proud of myself because I've managed to come up with a menu that leaves me with little to no waste. Instead of being left with a quarter cup of cream, half a thing of thyme & 3/4 of a cup of broth; I'll use up a carton of cream between 2 meals, a packet of fresh thyme between 3, a box of chicken broth between 2 and a bag of spinach with 3. Plus I can make double the amount of the cider chicken & use the leftovers on the pizza and in the pocket sandwiches and extra spaghetti carbonara becomes pizza di spaghetti 2 days later. Only the cider chicken & the pocket sandwiches need the oven, everything else is stove top or grill.

What are the boys likely to eat on this list? Pizza, assuming there is just cheese on theirs, the spaghetti & possibly the pocket sandwiches and the pizza di spaghetti. Havoc might eat the egg meals, Mayhem probably will not. They have never had the croquettes or the sweet pea soup so it is hard to predict their reactions. Not the most kid friendly menu I've ever done but we've had almost constant kid friendly stuff the past few weeks. It's the grown ups turn.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I've decided normal life begins again Monday

I had done fairly well at sticking to a routine through June & most of July. I went to the gym 3 days a week. I had meals planned for 2 weeks at a time. I kept on top of grocery needs, sales and coupons. We went to the library once a week, had a reading plan and kept track of our books. The boys had a nice routine of running around, imaginative play, swimming, Wii, and TV/DVD watching. We had playdates. We even had a weekly craft thing going.

It all went to hell in mid-July. The humidity here was outrageous, keeping the kids inside & pushing off swimming until after 4pm. Or it rained all day. Having them underfoot all the time is distracting & left me with no time to keep up on the grocery lists & coupons. It was too hot to want to cook anything so the meal planning went out the window.  My car a/c crapped out, and we don't have a garage, or anyplace continually shady to park a car. It was an oven. I didn't drive it anywhere I didn't have to go. Two weeks ago the library informed me I had 22 books checked out and I could have sworn it was only 9. The weather finally broke & it was comfortable. The kids could go outside again. Two days later Mayhem had his tonsils out and we have been housebound ever since.

Last night though Mayhem slept through the night, without once waking, screaming in pain. I'm going to optimistically take that to mean the worst of the healing process is over and perhaps we can now get back to some of our regular activities. Havoc starts school Wednesday and routine will be forced on us. I have decided that Sunday I will go through the freezer & the pantry & organize what I have. I will make lists of what I need. I will plan out meals - including Havoc's lunches.  Monday morning the boys and I will go to the gym and I will attend my much neglected Body Pump class. Assuming I can still move after it, we will go grocery shopping. I will make lunch. I will make dinner. I will go back to getting off the computer at 7pm every day.

Normal life - it starts Monday. So I should probably get the odd stuff out of the way this weekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

13 Things I am Feeling Grumbly About Right Now

I'm not really in a constant bad mood, right now I am feeling pretty good in fact. It's just been a long week since Mayhem had his tonsils out & I am easily irritated & things just seem to keep popping up. These are the things that have put me out of sorts off & on over the past week

1. Mayhem seems to be taking longer to heal than they said he would

2. I am up 3x a night dealing with a child in pain and am very very tired

3. I'm so over the past 8 years of Bush bashing (I didn't vote for him, I'm just sick of hearing it)

4. I am dreading the coming minimum 4 years of Obama or McCain bashing

5. If I hear one more word about how great/horrible it is the county & city are merging I am going to scream. I don't even live in that county. I really don't care about the issue and am so sick of hearing about it from people who expect me to feel just as strongly as they do

6. The school has had 5 months to tell me Havoc's physical is out of date. Why wait until the week before school starts, leaving me to rush around trying to get a last minute doc appointment when they have all been booked since June?

7. All I want is a copy of the immunization records. Why does the doctor's office always act as if I am the first person ever to inconvenience them so greatly with such an unusual request.

8. My car a/c has a leak in it somewhere but the shop can't find it and I have to pay $60 to be told "We don't know"

9. The main bathroom toilet is leaking. DH has tried to fix it twice but we need professional help.

10. It's been 3 days, not one plumber has called me back.

11. I've run out of ideas for dinner. My brain is exhausted from lack of sleep. The guilt on the recent lack of vegetables is really getting to me.

12. I paid the electric bill on time, in person, I have the receipt but they say they didn't get it so I have to drive all the way into town, with Mayhem, who is cranky from low grade pain, to show them the receipt by tomorrow OR ELSE!

13. The book I am currently reading is not so good but not so bad I'm ready to toss it aside & I find my indecision on it irritating.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Still recovering


i'm playing around with Lightroom

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I've got a meme!

And it's a good thing too, because with Mayhem still in pain recovering from tonsils and Havoc being frustrated by having no one to play with most of the time, my brain is fried.

Jen tagged me to do this meme - List 6 of your unspectacular quirks.

1. I shout when I get frustrated

2. I cry when I am afraid

3. I have to rearrange the layers of every sandwich I order in a deli or restaurant because they pile everything up in the center to make it look huge when it is cut in half and I prefer my sandwiches to have evenly spread ingredients

4. I wear my underwear inside out because I have sensitive skin & the seams rub

5. I don't always speak up when I should

6. I can talk myself out of working out very easily

I'm tagging







Here are the rules when you get tagged:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekly Winners August 3 - 9

Havoc got some new goggles


The stegosaur now has a nest of eggs


And there was some conflict over a watermelon.


Havoc uses our old digital camera from time to time. These are his weekly winners.

One of our cats


Daddy's motocycle




Saturday, August 09, 2008

Worst dining experience ever

At least, it was for the people around us. We were not exactly thrilled by it either.

We were visiting friends in Baltimore for a weekend. We had gone to the Baltimore Aquarium and then decided to visit a casual & inexpensive seafood restaurant for dinner. There were 12 of us - 6 adults (over 30) and 6 kids (under 5). We were, or course, every waiters nightmare. And we recognized that fact.  Every one of us had, at some point, put in a year or more in the restaurant business. We made sure to call ahead, to arrive at the family dining hour of 5pm, to bring our own sippy cups, goldfish and some toys.

Had the restaurant held up their end of the deal I think it would have been a much better experience for everyone. But they didn't so they have no one to blame but themselves. First, we had to wait 10 minutes for them to decide how to seat us, even though they knew we were arriving when we did. Second, instead of tucking us into one of their many alcoves (which were empty and would have seated us just fine) they pushed 3 tables together right in the middle of the main floor. (why would you do that?). Then there was the waiting.

We waited a rather long time for the drink order to be taken. Attempts to also place kid food orders or appetizers at the same time were rebuffed. We waited an even longer time for the drinks to arrive and then for the waiter to come back and actually take our food orders. No lie, we'd been seated 20 minutes before we were allowed to order food. Why didn't we leave at that point? It was pouring down rain and the cars were parked 2 blocks away.

The appetizers arrived in a timely fashion but nothing else. We'd asked them to put the kid meals in with the appetizers but that failed to happen. So we waited some more. Naturally 6 kids under the age of 5 are by now out of their minds with boredom & hunger (not being fans of calamari) and have nothing else to do but egg each other on in screaming and running matches. We can't take them outside for a run because it's still pouring rain. We're getting death looks from the entire restaurant and are actively looking around for our waiter so we can cancel the meal and go to Burger King when finally *some* of the food arrives. The rest of it would arrive 10 minutes later. This is not a matter of having 12 entrees to make at the same time. 1 adult chose to just have the appetizer, 1 was having a salad, 2 others were sharing an entree, so there were only 3 to make, plus the 2 kids meals we'd asked to have arrive around the same time as the 3 appetizers we'd ordered. I've seen tables of 5 order just as much food with far fewer problems.

The kids settled down and ate rapidly. No wonder, they were starving. They were done long before the adults, even before some of us had received our food. By now we are just as annoyed as the people around us & decided to stick it out and eat our meals rather than box them up. The waiter seemed to realize this and suddenly baskets of bread sticks appear at our table (where were they an hour ago?) to keep the kids occupied. Yeah, occupied.... Breadsticks make great swords.

Our longest wait was for the check. When the last of the food arrived we'd asked for the check right then. It didn't come. Time passed. Food was finished. Breadsticks were broken by breadsticks wielded by others. Time continued to pass.... One of our number even went looking for the manager so we could get our check. People at nearby tables asked their waiters to bring us our check. Eventually our check arrived and we were able to leave.

Surveying the stacks of plates, the numerous plastic cups, the food on the floor, the broken breadsticks everywhere and the disgruntled patrons one of our number observed "Chaos, destruction & misery. Our work here is done."

“This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.”

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mayhem has no tonsils

or adenoids either, though I would have been hard pressed to point out his adenoids in any circumstances. I know what tonsils are. Adenoids? Those are those things they usually take out with your tonsils, leading me to believe they are related somehow. I do know they are the part mostly likely responsible for his speech problem, but where exactly they are located I can't say.

It went really well & despite my fears I had no time to be afraid. We got there the requiste 2 hours early, so we could have an hour and 40 minutes to sit around and wait. I can only assume the 2 hour early rule is so the hospital can make sure you really don't eat anything for at least those 2 hours before surgery. They can tell you "no food for 8 hours and no liquids for 4" but I'm willing to bet people don't follow that & that can cause trouble. If they make you be there 2 hours early they can ensure that small food & drinkless window. 

Mayhem'd spent the trip to the hospital whining that he didn't want his tonsils out but the moment we arrived there, he led the way. He marched right up to the nurses station, chatted with them about his tonsils, asked them about their machines, and read the numbers on his blood pressure. He had apparently decided to have an outgoing day. They assigned us to a room we shared with another child who was just coming back from surgery when we arrived. He wasn't happy so we went to the play area.

They have a nice little play area in the pediatrics department & Mayhem was the only child in there the whole time we waited. We went in almost immediately after a little girl went for her surgery and a little boy came in right after we left, so I commend the hospital for their scheduling. Mayhem played with the trains and the big wheel and the bead tower and watched some fuzzy tv and was very well behaved.

He willing walked with me to the pre-op room, answered the nurses questions and asked some of his own. He only baulked when the OR door opened. "I not going in there!" he announced. They tried to interest him in the machines but he knew better. This was the serious room & he was not happy about it. He really didn't like the gas they gave him. He sat on my lap, spitting into the gas mask and saying "I not breathing! No big breaths!" He dropped off with a really annoyed look on his face. It was only as I put him on the table that the fear actually hit me. However the nurses, no doubt from long practice, immediately distracted me by telling me how to get to the waiting room and how to get to the cafeteria and there were so many lefts and rights and floor numbers to remember they completely overwhelmed the fear and it never came back.

The surgery went so fast DH & I barely had time to find the cafeteria, buy a couple hot dogs, find our way to the pediatric waiting room and eat the hot dogs before a nurse came in to tell us Mayhem was in recovery. It took less than 25 minutes & everything went fine. Apparently his tonsils were really huge.

He was cranky & groggy for about 30 minutes, after that you would never have known the kid had just had surgery. Granted he wasn't running around his hospital room & I had to lay in bed with him. But he talked as much as he usually does, he drank 3 glasses of icy juice and ate 3 popsicles and he played with the bedside tv. It was on this adjustable arm, bolted to the wall & he loved moving the tv around & up and down for optimum viewing pleasure. 

When the nurses said we could leave, he immediately asked "We go to far away Target now and get my toy?" (The 'far away' Target is on the way to the hospital, the 'close by' Target is in the opposite direction from our house.) We had asked the nurse to call the prescriptions in to the far away Target anyway, since it was on the way home & we aren't familiar enough with the area around the hospital to find any nearby drug store. So we went to the far away Target and Mayhem thoroughly explored the toy aisles before deciding on, (sigh) more plastic dinosaurs. We bought him a milkshake from the ice shop and got ourselves some Quiznos subs. He fell asleep on the way home & woke up briefly for storytime & another dose of meds.

Today has been a cranky, low energy day for him. Most of spent laying on the sofa. He's had some ice cream, a couple spoons of pudding, a piece of American cheese, maybe half a glass of juice and a couple glasses of vanilla Carnation Instant Breakfast. He says he wants mac & cheese for dinner. We'll see how that goes.  Havoc is going nuts because Mayhem won't play with him.  I'm hoping when DH get home he'll take havoc outside & run some that energy off. It's driving me bonkers.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My other hobby

I like to crochet. It is my longest lasting hobby. I learned to crochet from my maternal grandmother when I was 7 and have been doing it off and on ever since. I have a newer hobby as well. I am a digital scrapbooker. I started digi scrapping in 2005. I've always liked the idea of scrapbooking but it just seemed so much work to get all those supplies out, not too mention the issue of having an infant & toddler underfoot, so I would constantly be having to put everything away. There was the storage issue and the costs of supplies. I have no space for all the paper, ribbons, buttons, die cutters, etc and no income to buy them. The biggest issue though was scissors. I am not good with scissors. I can't cut a straight line to save my life.

A friend of mine discovered digital scrapbooking in Aug 2005 and sent me some links to Digital Scrapbook Place. They had a lot of tutorials for Paint Shop Pro. I'd heard of digital scrapbooking but everything I'd seen was about using Photoshop. I am a PSP user and have been since 2002. I was already using PSP to create sigs & blinkies for a parenting forum and it turned out to be a very easy step to start scrapping. Scrapping digitally was just what I needed. All my supplies are in one small space, unreachable by little fingers. I can endlessly reuse the supplies I buy, making it much cheaper than paper (assuming you actually do reuse the kits, otherwise it can be just as expensive) and undo any mistakes I make. I have my layouts printed at various online sites or bound into a photo book.

I stayed active in the forums at DSP for over a year, taking classes, buying supplies, completing challenges and posting layouts. Then I started visiting other sites, buying things from many stores & doing a variety of challenges. I've been settled at the Sweet Shoppe for several months now. I love the designers there, the community is friendly and I find the challenges inspiring. I complete about a dozen or so layouts a month. These are some of my most recent ones.

The boys on a camping trip


Havoc doing carpentry work


Some mini golf in the yard with family


I saw a kit called "Mischief & Mayhem" and had to use it.


There are, perhaps, too many dinosaurs in my life.


Monday, August 04, 2008

The Cost of Friendship

Jeans, on sale for                        $12

Beach tote, on sale for                  $8

Thomas Train DVDs, on sale for     $5

320GB EHD, on sale for                $89

High heeled boots, on sale for      $72

100% bamboo yarn, on sale for       $9

15' swimming pool on sale for     $150

Having a friend who lets you know where all the best sales are


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Weekly Winners

Making mud puddles was popular this week. Both making them


and standing in


Then there was the dramatic sword fight


brother against brother


going on and on


It was exhausting.


and the sage has flowered.


Visit more Weekly Winners over at