Monthly Archives: March 2009

Just to clarify…

Don’t you hate it when you say something that comes across nowhere near what you meant?  Or when you type something that may not be clear without closer inspection?  That happened to me yesterday when it was rightfully pointed out that, for a second, it may have seemed that I regretted having the children.  So after breaking out in immediate hives, I went back and re-read what I wrote and I can see how it could have been worded more clearly.

The editor responsible for yesterday’s post has been fired and replaced by a new one.

What I was trying to say was that after I welcomed our most beloved children, the ones for whom I proudly carry stretch marks, I regretted that I  let the maid go. 

Deep, deep regret at letting her go.

“Let’s have a moment of silence” kind of  regret.

“Lost my girl, my dog, my truck” country song regret. 

“Standing in the rain holding a boom box over my head begging her to come back” regret.

Glad we cleared that up.

Besides, if I had not had the children, I would have missed out on the magnificent odiousness brought to me by Baby C’s feet yesterday.  Seriously, how in the world does a nine year old have feet like that?  I had to ROLL THE WINDOWS DOWN they were so foul.  I’m re-thinking the “Sure, you can wear your Crocs without socks!” rule.  It was a rough ride home.

I also would have missed this gem of a question “Mom, do you think I’m old enough to establish a plan for a new toy aisle at Target?”

Sure, baby, knock yourself out.While you’re at it, do you have a plan for getting out of 3rd grade without having your mother committed to the psych ward?

The next hour was spent drawing scale models of the new Bionicle aisle (coming soon to a store near you), and somewhere I saw an agenda of items he intends to bring to the store manager’s attention next time we’re there.  Oh, I’m so looking forward to seeing that manager’s face when the conversation takes place.  I’ll be around the corner, pretending to use the self-scan price checker that hasn’t worked in three years.  Or maybe I’ll REALLY be around the corner…. hiding out at Walmart.

And speaking of conversation, before I had time to set my hopes on overnight fame and fortune brought to us by my brilliant child selling his design rights to Target, those hopes were dashed by overhearing:

Child 1: “Hey, let’s ask Mom if she’ll take us to Pei Wei.”

Brilliant Child: “I don’t like Pei Wei.  Teriyaki makes me hurl.”

Child 1: “But you like Chinese food.  Why don’t you like Pei Wei?”

Brilliant Child:  “I like Chinese food, but Pei Wei’s not Chinese.  It’s Asian.”

pei2

Hard to argue with brilliance.

Have a nice day.

FLY me to the moon

Okay, today’s the day.  Whimzie and I are jumping on the Flylady bandwagon.

Again.

I wish I had known about Flylady when I was a youngster at boarding school.  I’ve always been a little bit of a Messy Marvin, and nowhere was that more evidenced than by the Reminder Sheet on the back of the door to my bedroom at my home-away-from-home.  Every morning our rooms would get inspected by our dorm-mother.  Shoes had to all be pointing in the same direction, 0nly two extra hangers allowed in the closet (on which we were to hang up our clothes after school), beds  neatly made, and drawers spit spot. I’m breaking out in hives just remembering.

If our rooms didn’t pass inspection, we’d get a check or a “reminder” of what needed to be done.  Exceed a certain number of reminders in a week, and privileges were revoked. Let’s just say I had a clear understanding of what “revocation” meant at a very young age.

When I gave up maid service when the kids came along (a decision I regret to this day) and I quit my paying job to stay home with them (a decision I have never regretted), things quickly spiraled out of control.   A friend turned me onto the Flylady and by following her very simple routines, order was soon restored to my house and I actually kept up with the laundry.  I was in such a groove with the system that I didn’t panic when the doorbell rang unexpectedly (and that’s saying a lot considering I had triplet toddlers running around).

I fell off the wagon a couple of years ago when I moved into our current house, and it didn’t take long for the piles to start appearing.  So, in an attempt to get my act together so that I can have time to do the things I want to do (I’d love to actually read the books I check out of the library and not merely accumulate fines), I am back in the game.

In anticipation of beginning the program today, I cleared my first hot spot yesterday.

beforeafter

You don’t know how much better I already feel.  Hopefully that counter will stay clean this week.  It is my #1 goal. (And I feel compelled to insert here that the rest of the house doesn’t look like that counter.  It is the absolute junkiest place in the house.  EVERYTHING gets dumped there.)

Having a clean countertop isn’t the only thing that’s making me happy.  We thought our cat was dying last Thursday and had taken him to the vet to see if anything could be done.  I’m not one of those crazy cat people, but this pet is special because he was the first gift that Craig gave me after we were married.  When I was growing up, I had always wanted an indoor cat, but my dad had allergies.  Though I had many outdoor cats as a child, I decided long ago that the day I owned my own home, I would bring the cat inside.  Simba was the fulfillment of that childhood desire and has been a very welcome part of our family for almost 13 years.

He started heading downhill and experiencing breathing difficulty last week.  By Friday he had gone three days without eating and I had gone several nights without sleeping listening to him wheeze and thinking he was going to die any second .svet1

I wasn’t sure when we took him in that he’d be coming back.  My heart was heavy.  In the grand scheme of things, he’s just a pet and we’ll lose him one day, but the last thing I wanted to do was give the okay to put him down.  I just didn’t have it in me.

So you can imagine my delight when they figured out a way to ease his breathing (I still haven’t looked at the bill and told Craig not to tell me) and gave us more time to enjoy him.  He is positively skippy and back to his old purry self.  It makes my heart happy.seat

And speaking of being happy, guess what I picked up while wandering Blockbuster this weekend…..

pp1

And it’s not due back until Thursday.  Marathon, anyone?

Besides wandering Blockbuster, I also wandered the aisles of Costco.  School started back this morning, so that means I’m back in the snack and lunch-packing routine .

cloadAnd yes that would be a smashed up Nutrigrain bar in the trunk of my car.

And finally (I am all over the map today)  in addition to new routines and a new lease on life , I’m getting back on the straight and narrow as far as my eating habits go. They have been as undisciplined as my housekeeping, so I’m endeavouring to do two things for my health this week.

Eat more vegetables.

Get on the Wii Fit for 15 minutes a day.

healthy

I realize as I read through what I just wrote that I’m setting an ambitious agenda for the week, but I welcome the challenge.  I like to shoot for the stars.  That way, even if I flame out, I still land on the moon.

Have a nice day.

P.S.  Happy Anniversary, Craig.  Thank you for making me laugh and for hanging on with me on this crazy ride (and for paying through the nose for the cat).

I love you.

La Vida Crazy Fun, y’all…

kelsus1

Oh.

She.

Is.

Fun.

Fun.

Fun.

Fun.

__________

So tonight’s the night that I went on my bloggy date with Kellie.  I have been looking forward to this for weeks!  The evening began here:

pei1

and I’m a hugger and had warned her, but she’s a hugger, too.  Yay!

I was slightly nervous because she was all crunchy and ordered brown rice, so I decided to go with the brown rice, too, you know, to be all healthy like she is with her kale juice thing, and then she informs me that brown rice is actually more caloric.  Sabotager.

And we talked until the ladies kept clearing plates that had already been cleared twice, so we took the hint and decided to go across the street to get some coffee (duh)

caribou

where we ran into a bunch of knitters and the evening ALMOST veered off course because there was so much to ooh and aah over and apparently the “Yarn Whisperer” was there, but she was a little bit frightening in a three-cornered felted hat which made Kellie and I break out into spontaneous song “My hat it has three corners”, so we decided they might be a little hardcore for us, so we found our own corner and talked the night away.

And let me interrupt this post (and take a breath after the world’s longest run-on sentence) to say that Kellie has gorgeous hair.

So we sat and talked about sex, guacamole, bad hair, shopping, pregnancy cravings, dating, skinny jeans, and Jesus. We laughed out loud.  We may have even cackled.

So.

Much.

Fun.

Oh, and she gave me this lovely pillow to hang on my office door which is SOOO me.

inout

And then we closed the coffee bar down because the employees actually had the nerve to want to go home before midnight. But not before exchanging directions to each other’s house, because we will SO do this again.

Except without the hat lady.

Because she was scary.

Really scary.

Have a nice day.

Gnome if you want to, gnome around the world

I went all over this crazy state yesterday.  I took the kids toward the western part of NC to abandon them place them into the loving care of their grandparents.  And, hello, isn’t it supposed to be officially Spring?

weather

temp

Thirty-nine degrees, people!

In the SOUTH.

In March.

And who packed shorts for her kids for the next three days?

I enjoyed the ride over.  The boys were great travelers.  Especially since they were surprised by the new BOLT DVD we bought for them as a fun treat.  They popped that puppy in and wrapped themselves in a little Disney Magic while I tried every magic word I knew to get morning rush hour traffic unsnarled.  Seriously, I moved out of DC to get away from that mess.  Eesh!

kidvid

Now before some of you leave comments about me not watching the road, I’ll have you know that I WAS watching the road, and that’s why this picture is catywampus and shows the true state of my Surburban.  And this is a good day for the floorboard in my car.  I had actually tidied it 10 minutes before the picture was taken.  It didn’t take them six seconds to un-tidy it. And my mother wonders why I never bother to clean the house.

With the kids safely ensconced in my mother-in-law’s minivan and smothered with enough kisses to get them (and me) through the next three days until we’re all back together (and threatened within an inch of their lives to be on their best behavior), I found myself with a few hours to spend before my next appointment.  As I drove through Greensboro, I saw a billboard for a pottery/decorator place that my friend had mentioned to me, so I took advantage of not having the boys (thus not having to worry about the store enforcing the  “you break it you buy it” policy) and pulled over and went in.

otp

Old Time is really a decorator’s heaven.  I am not a decorator (and am currently using all my imaginative skills to imagine a day that the principal doesn’t call), but sometimes I pretend I know what I’m doing.  I was trying to find some apothecary jars like my talented friend Gretchen has, but I broke out in hives over all the different kinds and then I started to second guess what I’d do with them, and then I got to envisioning jars filled with cute stuff AND Legos, so I bailed on it all.  But not after walking around and fingering everything for a solid two hours.

I did see some interesting things, though, that I quite didn’t know what to make of ….

bananacandle

Not Banana, mind you. Banana LEAF.  I’ve burned banana leaves before.  Let me tell you, I don’t want to pay for the privilege to smell it again.

I’d rather have this scent wafting through my house:

nillawafer

There were a lot of these:

gnomefount

gnomewall1

But THIS takes the cake, er, cheese….

mousegrate

Really, a RODENT grater?

I think I’ll just stick to parmesan….

And then I got lost, drove halfway to Charlotte before I could find a spot to turn around, went to the mall, bought stuff I didn’t need but I had a gift certificate for,  refreshed my makeup at Sephora, and met girlfriends for supper.  And didn’t get home until 10:00.

Gno more roaming for me.

Have a mice day.

You may be excused…

I excused the kids from the table last night before some of them were ready to leave.  Why?  Because Craig and I were hovering over the plate remains like vultures circling six day old carrion.

Oh.

My.

Word.

Crabcakes.

Just stop whatever you’re doing and go to the grocery and buy a pound of crabmeat.  It doesn’t have to be lump.  It just has to be real.

Combine well:

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s – I think it’s Best Foods for my West Coast friends)

1 beaten egg

1 1/2 ts. dijon mustard

1 1/2 ts. brown (spicy) mustard

1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 ts. hot sauce

Add in:

1 C. crushed saltines

1 lb. crabmeat

Blend together, and let it chill for 30 minutes before shaping into patties.  Broil 4 minutes a side.

Slap your mama good.

And P.S.

In case you were feeling sorry for me having to endure exploding cannons and dodging Security, I thought you might want to know that I took the kids one other place on our vacation.  To further their education, of course.prime

Because they need to learn to never pay retail.

And I was fortunate to be there with my bestest shopping buddy, K., who talked me into the 50% off sale on this:

purse

And she talked me into the 40% off on this:

pink

She’s very chatty.

If I have jeans that are clean (and if they’re not, I’m not telling), I’m going to wear them with my new cardigan set to meet this new friend on Thursday. Because I’ll need something to distract her from my bad hair.

dulce


I am beyond excited to meet up with Kellie.  I met her through Meredith and after a few weeks of pleasantry and sorting out whether or not the other had outstanding restraining orders, we realized that we were practically neighbors and quickly set about trying to marshall troops across Europe/broker Mideast peace coordinating our calendars to find a night we both had free.  It’s taken three weeks, but Thursday it is.

Before I can meet up with her, though, I must do vacation laundry which, judging by the wrinkled nose that my neighbor had as she came through the back door, is smellier than regular laundry.  The nice thing about doing laundry this week is that as soon as it comes out of the dryer, instead of just sitting in the laundry room for weeks because I hate to put clothes away, I get to recycle the freshly laundered vacation clothes into “going to Grandma’s” clothes. I’m not even going to pack them in suitcases.  Nope – going to Grammy’s house packed in the laundry basket.

While the kids are are being spoiled rotten and eating at their own personal Waffle House (Grammy loves being a short order cook for them), I’ll be catching up with girlfriends, going out on dates, going to the library, not cooking, and missing/worrying about my munchkins until I see them this weekend.  I heart my crazy boys.

Oh, so very much.

Have a nice day.

An “Ask Sus” Vacation Special

So, Sus, where have you been?  My Google Reader was lonely.

I’m fresh off a mini-vacation with friends K&B and family, and I am refreshed and utterly vacated.  Good times were had by all, and the Commonwealth of Virginia (and I) can breathe a sigh of relief that the boys did not damage anything historically significant.  There was only that one little incident where someone lifted the armor and went running a quarter of a mile down the sidewalk to go find Mom.  Fortunately we were able to take a picture before Security noticed it was missing.

jarmor

Did everything go off without a hitch?

Not exactly.  We loaded up kids, luggage, enough snacks, toys and DVDs to ensure a very fun ride, and then *click* *click* *click*…

Dead car.

Which is very odd since I had gone to Food Lion mere minutes before because we were out of syrup and we could not eat our traditional Saturday morning pancakes without it.  And I was annoyed that I paid 50 cents extra for the non-high-fructose-corn-syrup kind and got home and proudly showed my beloved children who could not have cared less, and my beloved husband turned the bottle over, and the first ingredient?  CORN SYRUP.  Just not the high-fructose kind. I am such a sap.

Was there a point to this story?

Oh, yes.

So we crammed everybody into Dad’s car – the pretty one – the one that doesn’t have ground up chicken nuggets in the floorboard – and went our merry way.  Dad gets major points for not grinding a molar over that. The downside was no DVD player and Dad’s selection of music which included a lot of Kool and the Gang. I may have ground a molar over that.

How was your hotel?

Oh, you mean the 4th one we finally checked in to after discovering that the pool at the originally reserved one was closed for renovation?  It was lovely.  It had a pool.  And at this point, stopping the children from hyperventilating was high on everyone’s priority list.

And the hotel had cinnamon buns that I know the other guests would have loved to enjoy for breakfast had they arrived BEFORE my children did.

And the walls were soundproofed, which I’m sure B&K appreciated since their room was next to ours and my boys decided that shooting cap guns inside our room 50 million times was a fun thing to do.

Was the trip educational?

I’m so proud of the boys.  They have learned to read a map.  I foolishly thought this would help them find directions to the blacksmith’s shop, the school, the church, etc.  They honed in on “Ye Olde Toyshop” and could not have cared less about anything else the entire time we were there.  At said Toy Shoppe they purchased wrist-mounted laser-sighted dart guns, cuz nothing screams “Colonial Williamsburg” like the ability to put your brother’s eye out at close range.

Oh, and we bought muskets.  Which they insisted at pointing at all the Europeans (not topless this time, thank goodness), and pretending they were expelling the Brits.  I tried to look at it as an educational opportunity to teach our foreign friends about the Second Amendment.

revoty

And they learned how to man curtsy.  Which was fun to do while we were wandering Colonial Williamsburg, but made the man in the elevator back at the hotel a little nervous.

Anyplace other than Williamsburg?

Oh yes.  I also dragged them to visited Jamestown Settlement.  Dad wasn’t so sure about that one. I was pushing it since we had already been educational the day before.

But the minute we walked onto the grounds at Jamestown, we were greeted by this and Dad perked up:

milweek

Dear Reader, does this look like 1607 to you?  Guess who had unwittingly planned our visit to Jamestown on Military Battlecamp Re-enactment Weekend?  Guess who was now in the 4th circle of hell? Me.  Who was now ecstatic?  Everyone else.

Sometimes you gotta’ take one for the home team.

And now my children think that Jamestown rocks. 

Because nothing screams “colonial fun” louder than blowing up a hay bale with a grenade thrown at thirty paces.

Have a nice day.