Saturday, January 31, 2009

This week has been a trip.

I skipped my regular gym & shopping Monday because it was Mayhem’s birthday & on your birthday you get to call the shots (within reason). He wanted to stay home & play Lego Star Wars and we agreed to do the gym & shopping thing Tuesday when we normally stay home.

Then it snowed and we had snow days Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

Friday DH calls from the doctors office to say he has walking pneumonia & has been contagious at least 24 hours and will be for at least 24-48 more. While waiting for his prescription to be filled he went next door to the AT&T store and picked me up a new phone to replace my broken one


I finally fled the house today in search of gear for my new phone. None of my ringtones & wallpaper transferred from the old phone (neither did any of the contacts. I love new things, but new things can be a real pain). My new phone isn’t a regular USB plug and I didn’t have a card reader on my laptop, plus the only memory card I had that was the right size was already in use in my pocket camera.

I have memory cards in every size they make –micro to no longer produced large sized, holding everything from 8MBs to 4GBs of storage.

I tried to find an adaptor for the phone but decided a card reader would probably get more use. I also bought a 1GB micro card for the phone.

I’ve loaded a bunch of ringtones on the card, old & new and a bunch of images. Now I just have to sit down and redo all of my contacts. At least this time I’ll have a QWERTY keyboard to type with.

I’m working on a cleaning project & found some interesting stuff I’ll be sharing with as the week goes on.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

day off again!

Day 3 of icy road conditions cancelling school.

Sorry if I haven’t visited the forums or the galleries or blogs or dropped cards on anyone. These kids being home is throwing off the rhythm of my days.

And the ice is playing merry hell with my internet signal.

But it is warming up today, the ice is melting & hopefully there will be school tomorrow and I can get back to my routine. I like the occasional snow day. I like a surprise day set apart from the routine.

I’m just not so keen on 3 in row. As a kid it is great. As a parent, not so much.

I’m so over being in this house. We’re headed to a local consignment shop & to Wal Mart to get some groceries, get Havoc’s glasses fixed (3 whole months without needing them fixed! A record!) and some new pants for Havoc since Mayhem is outgrowing his.

Then I think we’ll find some fast food with indoor kiddie hamster tubes and let the boys run around while I read a book and very very slowly eat some fries or a salad.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"wordless" Wednesday

Day 2 of schools canceled due to weather.  Hour 18 of Wii Lego Star Wars.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finally some snow!

And it's actually sticking this time!

The canceled school due to the icy road conditions & given that the snow we have falling now is supposed to turn to icy rain overnight, I'm guessing there will be no school tomorrow either.

Apparently they started plowing around 3am.  This is our road at 10am


7 hours of plowing later and they haven't even reached our road yet. I'm hoping they at least salt it before the freezing rain starts or DH may have a challenge getting up the hill & into our driveway when he comes in from work. 

Havoc has already been out in it. 'shoveling a path for the cats to get to their food' he says


and sled ridding


Monday, January 26, 2009

But it was just yesterday I thought

I could have sworn I just went into labor with Mayhem, but the photographic evidence suggests otherwise.

Jan 26, 2004

jan 04dr008

Jan 26, 2005  01jan05034

  Jan 26, 2006 cake001

Jan 26, 2007


Jan 26, 2008


Jan 26, 2009 DSC_2021a

Happy Birthday Little Man!   

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekly Winners - week 4

The week started out with Mayhem getting a hair cut 118c

Then we found Greenie, who was reported missing back in October & has been the source of much random anxiety on Mayhem's part


It was snack time at dino day care


Mayhem is considering doing his own 365 Project


For more Weekly Winners visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, January 23, 2009

At least they didn't arrest me

I got a speeding ticket last month. I was doing 19 over the limit in a zone that changes speed 3 times, 2 while going down hill. Not that that is an excuse. I drive that road often enough that I know the limit goes down halfway down the hill. I drive often enough with children having hysterics that their lollipop fell on the floor, that it shouldn't distract me from slowing down on the hill. But sometimes events overtake us and we find ourselves noticing a police car off to the side ahead of us, instinctively look down at the speedometer, hit the brakes just seconds too late and  SHIT! those blue lights are for us.

This is hardly my first speeding ticket. I'm not trying out for NASCAR or anything but every 3 years, give or take, I get a ticket. Usually for for going too fast in a 35 or 45 zone because I fail to notice the limit changed. Since nearly all my tickets occur around where I live, this is solely due to failure to pay attention on my part and in nearly every case I willingly  'admit my guilt' by mailing in the ticket with a check for my fine.  I see no point in trying to play gotcha with the cops at the courthouse asking about when the radar gun was last tested or calling the legality of the zone into question or hoping the cop won't turn up to testify (unless he is sick or there is something bad going down nearby, he'll be there). I was speeding & I got caught.

I have a slight learning disability with numbers. I see them backwards initially & unless I take focused time & double check, I write them down backwards. Sometimes even then I get them wrong, especially if it is more than 2 digits long.  I looked at my court date & in my memory it was Jan 12 at 1:30. Then we went on vacation & I forgot to order a new wall calendar and it slipped my mind, until the 12th when I remembered, dug out the ticket & saw with relief it was actually Jan 22. I made a note to go pay the fine after the 15th.

But I never did.

So yesterday I am in the car, headed into town to run some errands & see my OB. I'm just started listening to a new Stephanie Plum mystery & the book starts with her explaining she is bounty hunter working for a bail bondsman & tracks down people who miss their court dates.

Court. dates. SHIT!

Ok, I think, it's only noon, my court time isn't until 1:30 & I am only 10 minutes from home, turn around, get the ticket, call for the fine, swing by the bank & then go pay it. Should be done by 1 at the latest.

Except my court time was 9:30am

Now I'm starting to worry a bit. I didn't show & I didn't pay the fine. What are they going to do to me? Put out a warrant? Suspend my license? Will they tack on court costs, making it a $300+ ticket? Will they arrest me if I turn up to pay the fine? I know they will take my license right then if it's suspended.  How will I get home?  Who'll meet the kids' bus?  Should I even bother going in today or wait until Monday when DH can come with me? DH is away on business, he won't be back until tomorrow. No one I know can meet my kids' bus because they are meeting their own kids' busses. If they arrest me should I not even bother wasting the phone call & just tell the police to have CPS pick my kids up at the end of school?

The more rational part of my brain is telling me that I'm just looking at a huge fine, they only do that other stuff to people who have a history of vehicular citations. But the panicy part is saying "A ticket every 3 or so years regularly over a period of 25 years IS a history of vehicular citations. And remember the time you rear ended the handicapped school bus on the icy road going 5MPH? It was a decade or so ago but it's in your records. You are a danger to society.

I'm driving in to town, on hold with the court house (just racking up offenses here, though I had a hand's free set & had dialed before getting on the road), trying to find out what they are going to do with me and never reach anybody, while all this is going through my head. I get $300 out of the bank & go to the courthouse. The cops at the scanner say "Smile. It's a good day" and I smile because it's been drummed into me that by not smiling I am the rude person, not the person who demands a total stranger change their expression for no obvious reason other than their own pleasure. (anyone else find that odd?) They joke with me about leaving my hand grenades in the car, which shocks me because I didn't think they were allowed to joke about things like that (though maybe that is just the TSA). Apparently that is ok but not me taking a picture of their sign


must be taken out of your pockets


So I could sent it to the Blog of Unnecessary Quotations.

I get in the fine paying line & stand for 20 minutes, listening while the 2 cases in front of me get their licenses suspended and one of the clerks is being told off on the phone by someone who had been on hold longer than I had.   I'm still trying to work out who to call to come & take me home so I can at least meet the kids' bus  and suddenly it's my turn. The clerk says she'll have to check if I have a fine or am on remand. Remand? That means they'll arrest me right? What, no suspending first? Back she comes, apologizing because she thought I was someone else with the same last name. I just have a fine, no court costs even. 2 points on my license & here's a list of safe driving classes to take to get one of the points removed, have a nice day.

So then I drove home at exactly the speed limit because the fine took all my 'fun money' & I couldn't go shopping. But at least they didn't arrest me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Take that!


I went to Body Pump today & I kicked ass!


I went last week for the first time in over a month & it felt good, like I might be able to get back to where I had been the last time I took it (which wasn't quite where I had been from the time before that. I had been doing squats with 34lbs back in October, then took a break & was only at 27lbs in December & last week I had 20lbs) by February. I had intended to go Friday but missed it.

So today had been a week since the last time. I just slapped on the weights I had been using a month ago (27lbs at squats) & went with it.

It hurt like hell!

But I did it!

I even did all those freaking thigh agony lunges for the first time ever!

With the weights!


I am going to be so sore in about 6 hours..... I doubt I'll be able to get out of bed in the morning.

But I'm going back on Friday.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Day Tomorrow

The kids finally go back to school! Mayhem had Wed-Fri & today off. Havoc had half days Wed & Thurs, plus Fri & today off. They were teacher in service days, not weather related. It's supposed to flurry today though, which tends to incite panic in people around here. But our county did show remarkably good sense last time it was supposed to snow so I'm hoping even if flurries arrive there will still be school.

I did buy milk & toilet paper, as required by local ordinance.

I seriously need my normal 4 kid-free hours. I haven't been able to sweep or mop or put away anything since Tuesday. The only thing I have accomplished is laundry (though not the folding of it).

I'm hoping to catch at least some of the inauguration in between cleaning. I know a lot of people who initially planned on going but none of them are now. Cold and logistics have changed their minds. We're only 2 hours away. It's not an impossible thing for adults or teens but none of us can see taking young kids into that crowd and transportation nightmare. If we lived closer or still had friends in Adams Morgan we might go, even without tickets. But I just can't see doing it from here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekly Winners week 3

So far this week we have gone out to Buffalo Wild Wings for 99 cent kid meal night


I received my 2008 Project 365 book from Blurb


I tried two days in a row to take photos of the weather. But 'cold' is a difficult thing to photograph when there is no ice, snow or trees being blown in the wind. We just have really cold stillness. This is Wednesday


and this is Thursday. It was about 12 degrees both days


Friday I ground up some filling for Cornish pasties


and Saturday I made muffins. Off to the right you can see who that brought out of hibernation.


For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Friday, January 16, 2009

Found Something New to Stress About

I talked to my folks last night & mentioned that the boys were wondering when we might see them again. It looks like it'll be June, when they stop by on their way to WV for July. Then we'll see them in July if we can find a hotel room (my parents sold thier house in Wheeling last summer & now live in an efficiency rental apartment for 6 weeks every year when they 'go home').

My mom tosses out "or you could come down for Easter if the kids have off. I've seen flights out of Pittsburgh for $79 one way."

Um...except I am flying both ways, and live about 7 hours from Pittsburgh.

But what the heck? Why not check it out? I went out to and plugged in my dates & preferred airports.  Because I hate to fly (airports stress me out, I set foot in them, even to meet someone at baggage claim and I get really really tense) & the whole idea of managing the boys alone in a couple airports fills me with deep dread, I had a bunch of conditions for getting on a plane.

1. Non-stop! This is a dealbreaker. There will be no race from one end of the Atlanta airport to the other, dragging 2 kids & luggage, hoping to catch a flight that departs 15 minutes after I land. Nor will there be any attempts to entertain 2 kids in the Newark airport for the 3 hours between connections. Not happening. Not without a lot of booze, which would render me incapable of doing it anyway. I can't even occupy myself for 3 hours in an airport.

2. All 3 seats must be together, though I will accept across the aisle, and near an exit row.

3. Under $200 a person

4. Leaving after noon in both directions.

You are no doubt thinking I am dooming the project before it starts, I certainly assumed so.


US Airways had non-stop flights coming and going! leaving at 1:20 and at 4:00! with several empty rows on both flights! For $158 a person! Only 4 seats left!!


The miracle flights.

Now I really have to consider going.

It takes me about 24 hours to get my head around the idea of flying anywhere, let alone alone with the boys & I'd had only 10 minutes. Did I really want to spend that much? We were planning on going to Great Wolf Lodge about 2 weeks after this trip would happen. It'd have to be either/or, we couldn't do both & they cost about the same. And did I really want to go? I dread being solely responsible for my kids away from our house (I know, I suck as a parent). But my dad is having another back operation this month and he is 70. I feel like I want my kids to have as much time with Pa as they can & who knows if that will be 20 years or 6 months?

I finally decided it is a good deal and entirely workable from my airport/plane stress issues today. (not that allays my stress, just that it limits it a great deal). I figured I'd go check the tickets & then call DH & see what he thought & then call my folks & see if the dates worked for them.

Of course the flight is full now & tickets non stop are only on Jet Blue and for $425 a person. But for the heck of it I tell it to look at nearby airports. I found what looks suspiciously like the original flight I saw yesterday. Only this one is flying out of Reagan National. Same price & as near as I can tell, same departure times, certainly the same airlines. Which leads me to wonder just what airport those flights were in yesterday.  I know I didn't tell it Reagan National, frankly I forget National is there and go with BWI and Dulles.

So it looks like the boys and I will be visiting the grandparents for a week over Easter. I can feel the stress about it creeping up my neck now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2008 Project 365 book arrived

I received my book from Blurb yesterday.  It is really very nicely put together.

Here are some photos, but let me warn you they don't do the book print quality justice.  The lighting in the house sucks because it's morning. We don't get full sun on our main windows in winter until about 3:30pm.

Here is the cover. I ordered a 10x8 landscape book with Image Wrap cover, the photo is printed on the cover itself.


It's 158 pages


Couple of shots from the actual pages



I paid extra for the Premium Paper which is 35% heavier than the regular (hoping it will stand up to the boys). It has a silk finish, which gives it a matte appearance but a nicer feel. I would have preferred glossy paper, but the hardcover Image Wrap Style doesn't come in glossy. The hardcover with dust jacket does, but a dust jacket wouldn't last 8 seconds with the boys around. Softcover comes in glossy too, but again...boys...

They love the book. They both have gone through it several times already.

I'm working this years 365 Project a little differently than last years. I'm going to try to do a layout a week with all the photos. I found the idea of doing that last year daunting on top of just remembering to take & edit photos. Blurb offers a square photo book & you can assemble as the weeks go with the software & I really like that convenience, so I will probably be ordering next year's book from them as well.

I recommend Blurb. They are good quality & good completion time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute-for love of my library


When I became a SAHM 6 years ago, we gave up over a third of our income. That meant cutting out lots of little things that we used to buy without thought. The biggest expense in this category was books. I had a 2 book a day habit before I had kids. UPS regularly brought boxes from Amazon to my house. I drove an hour or more to go to a Borders or Barnes & Noble. I knew the owner of the local used book store very well. And it all had to stop.

This wasn't that big of deal for the first 2 years. I had 2 kids 15 months apart. The first one didn't understand the word 'sleep' no matter what language I said it in and while the second one did sleep, the first one had to be constantly prevented from waking him up. So there wasn't much time to read or even think about books.

Things eventually slowed down and I thought to myself a new book might be nice but $24 for the latest by one of my favorite authors seemed a bit much. Then one day as I came out of Safeway I noticed that building at the other end of the shopping plaza. wait a minute! That's a....a... whadya call ' lending thing...LIBRARY! That is is a library!  They will GIVE me books!

Oh and they have demon watching classes, um... Toddler Story Time, as well! I can browse for 30 minutes in peace!

I have been a regular visitor there for the past 4 years. Rarely does a week go by that I do not stop in, drop off some books and leave with new ones. I read books I never would have if I had had to buy them.  I love having the freedom to pick up whatever catches my fancy and not feel I've lost anything if I hate it. I've found so many new books that I like because of that, books I never would have read if I had to buy them. They even order books for me, through inter-library loan or buying them outright.

The boys have attended drop in story times off & on until this year when school finally intervened. I think we have read every dinosaur book in the juvenile section. The boys come out with stacks of books and videos. The library has a nice selection of kid TV & movie videos and they are free!

I love our library. My life would be emptier without it.


Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Internet headaches

Something happened to my internet connection in the past week. First there were sporadic power outages, then some high winds and connection speed took a nose dive. I went from an RSSI of 70 to one of 50 (and they boot you off the tower at 60 because you are dragging everyone else down). My error rate went from 35% to 49%. My connection is now moody. Sometimes it is in an upload mood, letting me upload things like this post or photos. But if it is in an upload mood, no downloading is allowed, and vice versa.

This is not good.

I have broadband internet and due to topography issues my signal comes from a 4 ft antenna at the top of a 50ft pole on my roof. So if the problem is not with the router in the house, then it is with the cable coming from the antenna or the antenna itself. Meaning the pole has to be collapsed as much as it can be and taken down, things replaced and then the pole gets hoisted back up and extended. (My house is underground so while it is a PITA to undertake, it is not actually that dangerous because you are on the ground even though you are on my roof, though the weight of the antenna does put such a bend in the extended pole until it is tied down I do freak about it just snapping in two and killing someone standing under it).

The fun part is that due to topography, there is no way of knowing if what you replaced actually fixed the problem until the pole is back up & extended. So if it didn't work, the pole has to come BACK DOWN again, other things replaced, repeat.

Sunday DH took the pole down, replaced some things and together we put the pole back up (yes he needs me to get his pole up.  I have to hold it while he pulls on it to get it long enough to the job. *insert other pole related innuendos here*)

But it failed to fix the problem. We're still at an RSSI of 50 and no clue why.  It was freezing out and the game was starting and I'm not sure there is anything left to replace, so the pole remained up. I appear to be in upload mode at the moment, judging from the time it takes web pages to load, so I am going to post this while I can.

I hope we can get this fixed soon. I had speed test site mock me Saturday "What? Are you on dialup or something? It is the 21st century you know." 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekly Winners week II

Over at Sweet Shoppe Designs they had a challenge this week to take at least 8 photos of your day and then do a layout about it.  These are some of my photos from January 9th.

I went to Safeway


where I got food


and drugs.


Then I got some books from the library, both bought & borrowed


I finished the boys homemade Snuggies


And was watched closely by Nefertiti


For more Weekly Winners please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom.     

Friday, January 09, 2009

My stress inducer happened to someone else

And I was relieved of my stress by it

Every weekday about 4:02 I have this stress event happen.

"What if I missed the bus?"

The school system has this (very admirable & I totally agree with it) rule that they won't let primary kids off the bus unless an adult is visibly waiting for them (and the kids have to recognize the adult - the bus driver will ask the kids if the bus driver doesn't recognize the person).  If your happen to live near the road, like just about everyone else on our road, this means you can stand on your porch as the bus pulls into site, or even stay inside your front door or by a large window in the comfort of your house, should you still be clearly visible.  However, you can't see the road from our house & you can't see our house from the road. We have a long driveway with a 'rise' in the middle of it. (I'd call it a hill but that'd be gross exaggeration, but it is a visible incline and you do have to go uphill from either end of my driveway) Plus there is a curve in it.  So I am not visible to the bus driver until I am 2/3 of the way down the length of my driveway and at the top of the 'rise'.

Meaning I get to stand out at the end of my driveway in all sorts of weather - blazing sun, icy rain, bitter cold wind, etc. Naturally I am not wild about spending any more time there than I have to, so I leave it as late as I dare to leave the house. You can usually find me pelting down the driveway at 4:00 everyday, certain that THIS time the bus will arrive at 4:02 instead of 4:04-4:11 like usual. Because on 2 occasions it has, but they were in September when I was leaving still at 3:58, so I was there.

I'm always thinking about this stress that I will miss the bus. That the day I say "enough already, the bus never comes before 4:04 so there is no need for me to leave before 4:02" the bus will come at 4:02 and I'll never know about it because it only takes about 10 seconds for it to drive out of sight. (2 minutes may not seem like much, but it is a very long time in an icy rain).  I could very easily reach the top of the rise and never know the bus has been & gone. So I'd be standing around at the end of the driveway assuming it was a 4:08 day, or maybe 4:11 or even the rare 4:17 day not knowing I'd missed it & my kids are still on the bus.

I know they radio the bus depot & the dispatcher then tries to reach the parents. But I am standing at the end of my driveway, where my portable phone range doesn't reach and even though my cell is with me, there is NO SIGNAL at the end of my driveway. There is a 50% chance they might reach DH, assuming he is not in some even more of a backwater county checking on towers. Then I think they take them back to the school, make another attempt to reach parents or emergency contacts (they may or may not reach mine depending on the day of the week) then they hand the kids over to CPS.

And I'm still standing at the end of the driveway dithering about whether to risk leaving to call the bus depot & possibly miss the bus.

I think about this a lot when it reaches 4:09 and the bus isn't there. I can't leave & go call the bus depot because I pretty much have to go all the way back to the house to use the cell and I can't see or hear the bus from there. What if it comes while I am gone?

I'm the first to admit stress clouds the judgement.

I could drive to the end of my driveway & sit in the car & at least be out of the weather but then I'd have to back my car UPHILL and around a bend and no good would come to my axles, my bumper, a number of small trees and numerous large rocks if I did that. (trust me, I've tried it, I somehow perched my car on a railroad tie edging part of the driveway while backing up and had to be towed off of it)

So I stand in icy cold wind & rain at 4:00 every day for upwards of 15 minutes, composing blog posts in my head, hoping to not miss the bus.

I was composing this post today while waiting, debating whether or not to expose my neurosis to the internet, when the bus arrived at 4:07.

The first words out of my boys' mouths were "Danny's dad wasn't home & he has to stay on the bus. Miss A called on the radio but they couldn't find Danny's parents. We waited forever at his house."

My first thought was "Man I feel for Danny's dad." but it was immediately eclipsed by "they WAITED?!?" You mean the bus will wait a bit & see if the parent shows up? Suddenly I am slightly less stressed. I asked what was going to happen to Danny & they said Miss A is going to drive back by his house after dropping everyone else off & then take him to school.

Drive back by!

My kids are nearly the end of the route but even then I have at least a 5 minute leeway before the bus comes back down the road. Suddenly common sense blows through my stress induced fear. "Well, duh, why not drive back by the house? It's no faster going some other way back to school."

I hope they were able to get a hold of Danny's parents. If I had any clue who they were I'd call them up & offer to be their emergency contact from now on in gratitude for the relief they have inadvertently given me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A photo meme

I'm bad about returning tags for memes. I admit that and I apologize if I still haven't done yours. I'm doing a little catch up right now & I am working backwards because that is how my email is sorted. (I could resort it forwards but I'd have to start in the middle & I get confused when I do that. Probably I ought to do a purge of that folder & just leave the meme links. I'll add that to my list)


Lola at Lola's Diner tagged me with a meme where I have to find the 6th photo in my 6th folder in My Pictures' folder. Then I have to list 7 things about me and then tag 5 other people.

So first off the photo. I just purged my pictures file, copying a bunch of 2008 stuff to my EHD, so in the interest of not posting jan 6, 2009's daily photo which is what it would be because I only have 2 folders in my Pictures at the moment) I decided to use the EHD's My Picture's folder because there is more variety there.06jun06006

Look at those curls!  This is from Jun 06 (the file is actually 06jun06006.jpg, which is scary in a way. I knew I was organized but that seems a bit much really) Mayhem is playing with DH's guitar, which is bigger than he is.

Now, on to 7 things about me. Coincidentally I have just done a layout about 5 things about me & here it is


I love to read, enjoy being craft, bake a lot of muffins, hoard juice by the gallon & am surrounded by dinosaurs.

A sixth thing would be that I am from West Virginia and my marriage license does actually ask on it how the bride and groom are related.

For real. It also comes with a disclaimer that states that just because you are married to this person you do not have the right to beat them.

I am not kidding.

A seventh fact is that I got a spot on Traci Reed's Hawt Mama creative team!! My term started Jan 1 and she has been hazing us ever since. That layout uses one of the kits from the collection she is putting out Saturday at Sweet Shoppe. There are so many kits in this collection! We've been going nuts getting layouts done with them. They are so delicious!

Now for the tagging part. I'm tagging everyone who is doing a 365 project this year. You are on your honor after reading this to consider yourself tagged and follow through with the meme.  I'd throw out some good old fashion Catholic guilt as a motivator but I save up that super power for when the boys are REALLY bad.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Complaints of the Cold & Rainy

No ice thankfully (or not, depending on how you look at it). It never quite gets cold enough for ice. Just lots of freezing rain. 

The boys are bummed because Monday the teachers (and everyone really) were all talking about how an ice storm was coming & there might not be any school Tuesday or Wednesday. Then it just rained and everybody had to go to school.

That's almost the worst thing about winter when you are a kid. Weather forecasts get your hopes up for snow or ice and all the adults start talking about what to do if the roads are bad and school is canceled. You get all excited and giddy at the thought of a day off of school (even though you just started back after a 2 week vacation) and then...


That just sucks when you are a kid. You were -}this{- close to having a day off and then - you were robbed! Damn those lying weathermen anyway!

But what is the absolute worst thing about winter when you are a kid is when the neighboring school district jumps the gun and cancels school the night before, in anticipation of the storm, but your school district decides to wait & see what happens and call it in the morning. So you end up having to go to school while other people have the DAY OFF and for NO GOOD REASON!

And when you live on the district line and know people who had the day off while you were stuck in school, that is really the absolute worst. Because thoughts of them having to go to school a day or so longer than you at the end of the year are no consolation. June is a very long way away when you are only 7 days into January.

Monday, January 05, 2009

We have normality. I repeat we have normality

Anything you still cannot cope with is therefor your own problem

Douglas Adams quotes make me happy.

The boys are back in school. I am back at the gym. The tree & decorations are packed. The menu for the next week has been planned. Laundry is being done. There are no more 'marathons' on TV. Routine has been re-established.

I am about to head out to the big town for a bunch of stock up shopping. To the Mennonite market for bulk baking goods, to Sams for bulk everything else, except meat (we just got 40lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for the same price as bone skin on chicken thighs), to Michael's for sheets of beeswax to make candles. (Imbolc is coming up). To Barnes & Noble to find a journal of appropriate thickness to make a new 5 year journal. (I'm a few days late getting it together but I'm having a hell of a time finding the right sized book). I also need a wall calendar. Havoc has become obsessed with the Snuggie/Slanket (As seen on TV) so I'm stopping at JoAnne's to get some fleece to make him a reasonable facsimile.

In other news I finished my 365 Photo Book! I created it with blurbs' BookSmart software, putting each month's worth of photos in the book as the month ended. That was very handy. I really liked the ease of the software & that I could do it as an ongoing project over the year, uploading the whole thing at the end.  I do wish there was a greater variety of templates though.  Apparently you can create your own in .pdf form but I wasn't up for figuring out how to do that & worrying about margins & containers & things. I uploaded the whole thing to this afternoon & ordered my book.

This is the cover. It is 156 pages. It has 369 photos (some extra for Xmas), 12 layouts separating the months and front and back cover photos. I created a 10x8 landscape book and opted for the full wrap hardcover and premium paper. $62, plus another $11 for shipping. It should arrive in about 2 weeks and I am really looking forward to seeing it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Weekly Winners 2009

I missed last week because I was in a car for 10 hours Saturday and 12 hours Sunday, so you are getting a mix of this week & that one.

Sugar cookies, emphasis on the SUGAR


Dinos trying not to wake Santa


Fun in the pool


A plethora of Lego City vehicles


The rebels have arrived


We had a very short, yet intense, flurry fall on the 31st


First photo of the new year


He got himself up there, but then couldn't get back down.

Be sure to visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom for more Weekly Winners.

I'm starting a new 365 Project for this year.  No theme this time, just glorious randomness.

and probably dinosaurs.   


Friday, January 02, 2009

time to start again

I'm not good with new year's resolutions because I tend to view every Monday as a day to begin again.  Most of my resolutions fall under the broad category of "BETTER".  I will be better at keeping up with the house cleaning. I will be better at sticking to my meal plan. I will be better about clipping & using coupons. I will be better at not snapping at the kids.

My resolution for this year, if you can call it that, is to not just say I'll do better, but say HOW I will do better.  I will make a cleaning schedule, I'll put the coupons with my groery list, I'll count to 10. Whatever I need to make it happen.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Starting 2009 off right


This is the Jan 1 photo for my 2009 365 Photo Project

Mayhem, stuck in a tree.

So, which is more disturbing:

A. We left a 4 year old unsupervised out in the yard long enough for him to get the swimming pool ladder from the shed in the background, haul it to the tree, and then climb up so high he can't climb back down.

B. He was farsighted enough to go get a ladder to help him get into the tree

C. Our reaction to his inability to climb down was to run inside and get the camera.


We had our usual NYE party last night. It was DH's 43rd birthday as well. It was too windy to have the bonfire we usually have, so 15 people crowded into the house. The kids took over the larger living room and the adults stood around in the kitchen most of the night.  I whacked the bejeebus out of my knee right before guests started arriving. Slammed it upward right into the sharp corner of my desk. There is a gate around my desk area & I was stepping over it at an odd angle. I seriously thought I'd be heading to the ER there for awhile, but after the initial shock wore off & I could move it again, I realized it was a bruised muscle. I'm still limping but not in nearly as much pain.

Mayhem put himself to bed around 10pm. Havoc made it to about 12:15. I was in bed by 1, I think they made the rest of the kids go lay down about then too. DH and the rest of the adults stayed up until about 2:30 playing dice.

The boys were up at 6:30am. Our houseguests kids followed them about an hour later.  DH dragged himself out of bed about 8 and I followed at around 8:30. Pixie was already up & her DH got up about 10am. We all loafed around & ate strata while the kids played outside. Some other friends came over about 1 or so. The kids ran around inside & out and the adults sat around watching Mythbusters & talking. I made BBQ pizza for a snack. Everyone left around 5 and we've been snacking on party leftovers ever since.

DH has to work tomorrow & then its the weekend.

Then life goes back to normal.