Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Morning at My House

Lately my children have been going to sleep later and later.  It seems that no amount of threatening or removal of privileges serves to encourage them to stop talking to each other and go to sleep already.

I guess I should be thankful that they're all getting along, but why does it only seem to happen between 9:00 and 10:00 at night, when at least two of them should already be asleep?

Last night, at about 9:45, I informed them that I didn't care anymore what time they went to sleep.  I was simply going to expect them to get up right when I woke them in the morning, no complaining.  Since I did this in my "Mom's disappointed in you" voice, I think they realized I meant business.

As a general rule, waking them up consists of me shaking them vigorously by whatever body part I can reach at the time (the setup of their beds - all three in one small room - is such that, if they're creative, at times they're not actually accessible to anyone less than a contortionist) and singing really obnoxious wake-up songs in a very chirpy voice, until they get out of bed just to make me stop.

This morning, I smoked them out instead.

 Oh, sourdough toast, how tasty you would have been.
Also, a new toaster is now at the top of my Christmas list.

It was the fastest I've seen them move before 9:00 in the morning.  Ever.  But they were all consequently ready to go on time today.  Possibly emotionally scarred for life, but ready to go on time.

In related news, I can take comfort in the fact that Ellie knows what to do if she ever catches on fire.  The first thing she did when the smoke alarms went off, before any smoke was even visible upstairs, was drop to the floor and start rolling around.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday - Thanksgiving Edition

Not so random today, but that's okay.

Today I'm thankful for:

My Family.  I'm blessed with an amazing and supportive husband, who has yet to complain about the shambles the house has fallen into since I went back to school.  I'm blessed with three daughters who remind me every day what is truly important in life.  I'm blessed with parents who loved me enough to let me go and a sister and two brothers who have clearly forgiven me for being the bossy big sister I was.  I'm blessed with in-laws who welcomed me warmly to their family years ago and continue to love me like one of their own daughters.  And I'm especially blessed that so many of our family could be with us today.

My Savior.  I may have doubts and questions at times, but the one thing I will always know is true is that I am a daughter of God and He loves me and knows me and is always there for me.

My Village.  Time and again, my wonderful friends and neighbors have been there for me when I've needed them.  I only hope I can give back what's been given to me.

Technology.  Because of modern technology, my children can talk face-to-face with their grandparents even though 800 miles separates them.

Music.  Nothing lifts a weary soul like good music.  And nothing makes a mother smile like her children singing.

Food.  What can I say?  I appreciate good food.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  My your turkey be juicy, your potatoes fluffy, and your pie every bit as good as you imagined.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things to be Thankful For

While going through my file of old emails to our Utah family, I found an account of our first Thanksgiving here in Oregon, back in 2005.  In previous years, we had always had Thanksgiving with one or the other extended family, so this was the first year I'd had the experience of cooking a turkey.  It was definitely an educational process:

The girls watched me get the turkey ready. They were fascinated by the whole thing, until I got the wrapping off. Then I pulled it out of the bag and the "juices" came dripping out and Vicki started screaming, "It's bleeding! It's bleeding!" (She refused to eat any of it at dinner, so I think if I do a turkey again next year I won't let her watch the prep part so she doesn't get scarred for life.)

She asked where its head was, and I explained to her that they cut off its head and neck, and they put the neck inside, and that when I pulled it out she could see.

I was, and I realize now that this was probably not the best idea, referring to the turkey as "he", and just as I said, "they cut off his head and put it inside him", Lexi walked into the kitchen and asked in an extremely concerned voice, "Whose head? Dad's?"

There's probably a really good reason that I don't ever remember watching my mom get the turkey ready on Thanksgiving morning.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mother of the Year

It was Vicki's 11th birthday a few weeks ago, and her grandparents sent her clothes.

The problem with buying clothes for a kid who lives 800 miles away is that they aren't always the same size they were the last time you saw them.

Thankfully, Grandma included a gift receipt, so Vicki and I headed off to the nearest JC Penney (which, unfortunately, is still about 20 mins. away from our house.)  We immediately found the same clothes in a bigger size, and made the exchange.  Vicki stopped off in the bathroom while I waited on a bench outside, and then we stopped in Claire's to look at jewelry before heading home.

It took a good 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot and back on the freeway (FYI, local people, 6pm on a Saturday is not a good time to leave Clackamas Town Center.)  About halfway home, a thought occurred to me, and I turned to Vicki and said, "Do you have the JC Penney bag?"

And she said, "No, you had it."

And she was right.

I had had it.  But I didn't anymore.

So we turned around, drove back to the mall, went back to the bathroom bench where I'd set the bag next to me while I waited, and where I'm 100% sure I left it when we went to Claire's.  It had been nearly an hour and it wasn't there anymore.

We checked with the nearest cashier, who called the lost & found.  Nothing.

We retraced our steps through the mall, on the off chance that I'd set it down in Claire's.  Nothing.

We check the lost & found ourselves.  Yep, nothing.

Long story short: two days and a 45-minute drive from Clackamas to Vancouver (because the missing shirt was the last one in her size) later, I replaced the missing birthday present.

Definitely not one of my finer moments.  The upside is that my daughter is an eternal optimist and not yet a teenager, so she didn't hate me, even though it was my fault.  But, you know, disappointing someone like that is almost worse.

Tell me I'm not the only one who's ever done anything like this.  Please?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Somewhere along the line I must have done something on the library website to indicate that I'm really, REALLY interested in Star Wars.  Because every time any new Star Wars material becomes available (and you'd be really surprised at how often that happens), I get an email about it.

Of all the things about housework I hate, laundry is definitely at the top of the list.  So guess which housework item Chris tackles first now that I'm busy with school?  I love my man.

Now, if those toilets would just clean themselves...

It's pretty awesome to get to go Christmas shopping by myself, without having to make special arrangements.

Why do I have such a hard time figuring out what to eat for lunch?

My house is soooooo cold.  Two shirts, a hoodie, socks, and slippers, and I'm still freezing.

When your 6th grader is asked in class to list her 5 favorite musicians/music groups, and she includes The Beatles and Bob Dylan, you know you've done something right.

Today's Groupon is for 63% off Turducken.  And it's surprisingly tempting.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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I would like to have time to blog again.  Actually, I would like to have time to do anything again, besides study chemistry and do the bare minimum cleaning required to keep random visitors from thinking I'm a slacker (please don't drop by unannounced and ask to go upstairs.  That's all I ask.)

I lost Vicki's birthday present from her grandparents.  In the mall.  Maybe if I find time, I can write a post about this event.  It was not one of my better moments.

Lexi, bless her heart, is trying out her conflict resolution skills downstairs right now with her sister and two of our babysitting friends.  Based on the screaming, I'd say it's not going so well.

Do you ever have a moment when your entire life suddenly seems very surreal?  As in, how on earth am I the mother of three children?

Oh, me neither.

Sometimes a non-school day is a good thing.  And sometimes, not so much.

Apparently Vicki's school is having a dance today, during school.  She didn't say anything to me about it.  I wonder why...

There is too much drama in this house.  Way, way too much.  Somebody save me.  Send some boys over; that should help.

Did I seriously just say that?  In about two years I will probably be saying exactly the opposite.  There is no escape, is there.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Having school uniforms was supposed to eliminate the drama of getting dressed in the mornings.  And up until this morning, it did.

There is way, waaaaaay too much chocolate in my house.  This is not good for me and my hips.  So not good.

Kit Kats for breakfast may not be the healthiest option, but it's the one that goes over with the least resistance.  Don't judge me.

I decided to let Vicki read The Hunger Games.  But I told her we have to read it at the same time.  The only trouble is, she's a faster reader than me (which, if you know me, you'll know is saying something), so by the time I started on my copy, she was halfway finished with hers.  She read the whole thing in one day, and I'm still on page 30.

It's nice, for a change, to hear a private school parent defend their decision to send their kid to private school, rather than feel like they're questioning my decision to send my kid to public school.

I get to register for my next term in a few weeks.  And one of the classes I need to take is available online in two different sessions, both of which include an on-campus lab that conflicts with something else.  Neither one is out of the question, but I sure wish it was offered on one other day as well.

It was probably not the smartest move for me to bake cookies the day after Halloween.

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Obligatory Halloween Post

(Mom, this is for you!)

Vicki is studying ancient civilizations this year, and has been really into the Percy Jackson books, so she decided to dress as Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom (hence the owl on her shoulder).  She made her costume by herself - how cool is that?  Ellie has been planning on being Rapunzel pretty much since she saw Tangled for the first time.  And it was extremely important to her that she have a wig.  She determined that her own hair, despite being the longest in this household, is nowhere near long enough, and anything I might have attempted to create with yarn would only have been met with all the scorn a 6-year-old could muster, so I caved and bought something that is now sitting in a tangled (ha!) mess on my stairs.  Lexi...well, I don't really know why she wanted to be a zombie, but she made an awesome one.  We had a blast designing her costume and doing her makeup, and her hair was a riot.  Yes, that's her real hair.  It was lots of fun to comb that out afterward, let me tell you.

Our church has a Halloween party every year, and they always find someone to take pictures, which I love.

This is the one I took with my cell phone camera
behind the photographer's back

I'm seriously considering making this our Christmas card this year

This is the only picture I have of Chris's and my costumes.  Chris made his own steampunk attire.  He wanted to go all out, but budget constraints made that a challenge, so he just went with an awesome eyepiece and a wrist-mounted rocket launcher.  And I just recycled my punk costume from years past, but with better tattoos and a different hair color (I tried purple this year, but I think I like last year's blue the best...what do you think?)

After the church party, we humiliated our children by taking them to the pumpkin patch in full costume.

Contemplating the choosing of the pumpkin

She went with a "zombie pumpkin"

Isn't she cute?

And then, of course, we carved the pumpkins.

Happy Halloween!
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