Monday, January 28, 2008

Toothfairy Troubles

The reason Michael woke up this morning to find his tooth had not been replaced by cold, hard cash is because it was so dark in his room that the Toothfairy could not find his tooth and therefore didn't take it and, moreover, as she was feeling around for a place to leave the cash, she ended up leaving it inside the pillow making it a difficult discovery for one, young 6-year-old and upon further investigation by his mother, the special inside-the-pillow hiding place was discovered and everyone was happy.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I didn't title this post because I can't decide between "Ode to My Dear Husband" and "Glued Back Together." See, God knew what He was doing when He gave me Mark. Mark is calm, cool, and collected in any emergency. He can always overcome the emotion to come up with a solution. Me? Well, I've been known to "freak out" as the kids call it (in all fairness to myself, the term is usually used by Jacob as follows: "Mom, come get Audrey before she freaks out."). I don't do well under duress. (Someday I'll blog my journal entry about when Alex stuck a bead up her nose and then, after witnessing my "freaking out", put herself voluntarily in time-out!)

Anyway...this is what transpired last night: We traded our two boys for one of Alex's friends (temporarily, of course!). This way, Alex could enjoy a girls' sleepover with just girls, and the boys would have a chance to play with their best friend Jack. Around dinner time, Mark got a phone call from Jack's mom. When I heard Mark say, "OK. I'll come get him", I assumed it was Jacob and that, as brave as he had been when he left us, he was having a difficult time being away. Mark was as calm as if he had just been told we were expecting rain tonight. And he remained just as calm as he explained that Michael had gotten hurt and would probably need stitches. Before I even had a chance to freak out, he calmly informed me that he would be glad to go get Michael and take care of him. And he did. I wasn't even worried. I didn't even freak out.

And it didn't turn out to be as bad as we thought. Michael was taken to an urgent care facility where they "glued" his owie back together. After his doctor's visit, Michael was still distraught but for a different reason...he wanted to go back to Jack's house. Jacob did too. My wonderful friend was nice enough to take back my little wild man (who, incidentally, received his wound from a vicious door). The two of them finished their sleepover and can't stop talking about it!

A Late Sleepover Birthday

The birthday celebration was late. Not the sleepover. Surprisingly, the girls were asleep by about 10:00, so not late at all by silly girl sleepover standards. If you'll recall, my now 8-year-old baby (!) spent 12 hours of her real birthday in the car with a barfy 2-year-old baby. Not a fun way to spend your birthday. So last night was the big make-up party (there actually was, surprisingly for me, no theme though make-up would have been fun for the girls).

There were, in fact, not as many Mommy plans involved in this party as usual. Alex, however, was into the planning. A week or so ago, she presented me with this:

Birthday Plan

6:00-6:30 Dinner

7:00-8:00 movie

8:30-9:00 free time

9:00-9:45 stories

9:45-7:00 sleep

7:00-7:45 Pillow fight

7:45-7:55 Breakfust

7:55-10:00 Party!!!

Notice the 45-minute long pillow fight and then the 10 minutes to wolf down "breakfust." Things didn't exactly turn out as she planned, but the girls had a good time anyway. "The girls" were three of Alex's homeschool girlfriends. Her friend Grace actually left with us from church, and our boys left with Grace's family. Clearly not a fair exchange and so when my friend said "Good luck" to me I wondered. She's the one who needed the good luck, but that's really another story. Anyway, by 5:30 all the girls were here. After playing for awhile, the girls had their dinner. Then it was cake decorating time. If you know me, you know that I'm usually the one to do the cakes. Last year, however, I ran out of time and had the girls decorate their own Barbie doll cake. I guess the activity was enjoyable enough to become tradition because Alex requested a plain cake for her and her guests to decorate. (More precisely, she requested an ice cream cake to decorate--can you imagine how that would turn out!)

After cake decorating and cake eating, there were presents and goody bags. Then a good-natured fight over which movie to watch. Then a good-natured fight over who would sleep where (we had to draw names to solve this one). And then, to my surprise, they were all asleep by 10:00. Must be my mothering skills; when I lay down the law, everyone listens. Right.

The one thing that did go right as Alex planned was the 7:00 wake-up time. After homemade waffles, it was almost time for one of the girls to leave. After all but one had left, it was suddenly noticed that no pillow fight had taken place. Pillows were quickly drawn, but with little interest, the fight never really came to fruition. Maybe a call for a pillow-fighting tournament is in order...

What happens when you ask 4 little girls, "Which piece would you like?"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Ain't No Redneck Snow

So I was wrong in my characterization of our snowstorm...both on Wednesday and today. It's actually sticking! Wednesday we ended up with about an inch of snow on the ground, but it quickly melted away in the 55 degree sunny weather on Thursday. We have about an inch today, and it's still coming down. We're expecting a chill under 20 degrees tonight and just in the 30s tomorrow, so maybe we'll have a couple of days to play.

The kids had a blast this afternoon building their first snowman...of sorts. The dog quietly snuck off with Mr. Snowman's M&M mouth, but I think Mr. Snowman stood his own even without his candy lips. After the completion of the snowman, we had a family snowball fight in which we all joined forces against Daddy.

Two substantial snowfalls in the same week...quite unprecedented here in Georgia. Someone get Al Gore on the phone...we're experiencing Global Colding (to borrow a term coined by my boys' best friend Jack)!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Redneck Snow

Redneck Snow is known to the northern half of the United States as flurries. But I don't have the heart to tell my children that most meterologists would not categorize what is now falling from the sky as "snow." I'm sure they would beg too differ; after all, you can't squash dreams that only occur maybe once a year in Georgia.

They're all out enjoying our little flurry storm to its fullest...even my littlest one who has been a little under the weather. No doubt she'll pay for it later, but the sacrifice is well-worth a few moments of utter delight. And I say "a few moments" because that is exactly how long redneck snow falls. I just overheard Alex say, "If we wait a little while maybe we can make a snowball." Um. Yeah. Sure. I hate to rain, er, snow on her parade, but I'm still seeing brown grass out there. But I love her positive attitude.

If our redneck blizzard continues for any length of time, we may just declare tomorrow a Snow Day. 'Course the rest of the city will be shut down anyway, so that probably makes the most sense.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Daddy Candy

Daddy Candy: a piece of candy each child receives for every day Daddy is gone; Daddy Candy helps the children count down the number of days until Daddy gets home; Daddy candy also helps with our 4 times tables (# of children x # of days absent).

We started Daddy Candy a couple of years ago, and over the past week in Daddy's absence, the Princess has finally caught on. At every snacktime now, I am met with an eager, expectant face and a soft, gentle voice that asks, "Daddy Candy?" Although this week it was simply an M&M, the little Sweet Tooth found it well worthwhile. We'll find out tomorrow when Daddy is home if she clearly understands the purpose of the Daddy Candy.

Kinesthetic Spelling

It's been awhile since I've thought about some of the Learning Center activities I provided for my second graders the year I taught at Bethlehem Christian Academy. It's a shame I've gone a half a year without the spelling activities for my kinesthetic learner whose favorite subject is NOT spelling.

Today I got out the cookie sheet with dried rice for him to use as a "writing tablet" for his spelling words. He loved it AND spelled most of his words correctly! He has really struggled with spelling, so this activtity is sure to become a regular. I also intend to pull out some of the other tricks such as spelling with paint, shaving cream, and glue. The glue has several variations. You can use colored, puffy glue or just regular glue and then attach beans or sprinkle on the glitter.

My other two academics enjoyed experimenting with the rice as well. As for my littlest student...she enjoyed herself too, although there wasn't much spelling going on. And most of the rice ended up on the floor after her turn.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

All Outside Activities Canceled

The Princess has a cough and 99.9% of the little person population this time of year. Except, for my "gag-prone" little girl, every cough may or may not be followed by vomit. This, coupled with the fact that this week I am an MSM (Married Single Mom), has forced me to cancel all outside activities for the day...including basketball...much to my 8-going-on-teenager's dismay.

Honestly, I would be happy to go to Alex's basketball practice armed with my weapon of choice in this case: a beach towel. But even the towel, poised in catching position, will be a dead giveaway and will draw unwanted glances of suspicion and glares of accusation. And should the unthinkable happen--that I have to use the beach towel to make a catch--I will instantly become the Black Ewe of the Supportive Parents Union. I know because I've placed the label on other well-intentioned parents. And I know because I've seen the stares before. She has, after all, had a cough before. And the unthinkable has happened in a restaurant. Twice. I think her adorable little face is probably plastered on their "Banned from this Establishment" poster hidden beneath the hostesses' podium.

"She just has a cough," I could protest, but I'll still be looked upon as if she has the plague. And mothers will clutch their children a little tighter and quietly get out the hand sanitizer as they mentally try to re-trace their children's steps to ensure they haven't crossed my little girl's path. So it really is just easier to cancel the activities and pray for the all clear before we get to tomorrow night's basketball practice.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Flat Travelin' Again

I'm not sure what rekindled the enthusiasm, but the kids requested we re-open the Flat Travel Agency again. In the course of our previous flat adventures, Flat Princess Alice, Flat Super Jake, and Flat Super Mike had the opportunity to visit Sutter's Fort in California, King's Island in Ohio, a hospital in Tennessee, Soap Lake in Washington, Washington D.C., and New York City. On their last voyage, the flats went to Indiana, Oklahoma, and England. Unfortunately and for reasons unknown, Flat Princess Alice and Flat Super Mike have gone MIA. It is assumed they have taken up permanent residence in the great states of Indiana and Oklahoma. We are unsure of their condition: Are they laying in a landfill somewhere? Are they crammed in a toybox or closet? Or did their hosts enjoy their compansionship so much they just couldn't part? Whatever the case, we're OK with it, and the kids are thrilled with their new flats, which they made today.

Here we have Flat Football Mike, Flat Mermaiden, Flat Baseball Jake, and Flat Princess. Flat Princess, of course, belongs to our resident princess who, since our last adventure with flats, is now old enough to know when she's being left out of something extraordinarily fun! We have yet to make specific travel plans for our flats but will soon consult with our Homeschool Flat Travelin' Group. Once we have a destination for each of the 4 travelers, we'll send them off to see the world!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Michael Dimension

I know a picture says 1000 words, but alas, the battery was dead, so these 274 words will have to suffice. Both of the older kids began basketball through Upwards at a local church. Considering neither has spent a whole lot of time at our driveway net nor under the instruction of a coach, I'm pretty impressed with their ability and progress. Tonight was the first opportunity I had to be entertained by support my son at his practice. And I discovered that when Michael is on the court, he is in The Michael Dimension. I’m quite sure that, had my Better Half been on the sidelines with me, he would have chalked Michael’s behavior up to “just being a boy.” For me, the jury’s still out. But one thing’s for sure: I will have the telephoto lens and the video camera at the next practice. That way, I will properly capture… cute little boy running laps around the gym, arms spread out wide in good airplane fashion--while the rest of the boys obediently jog around as proper children should. silly boy frog-hopping to the back of the free-throw line. Yes, frog-hopping--as in crouched down on all fours. jokester standing directly behind the coach "hiding" and almost tripping him. Yes, I know...Michael Dimension or not, this was disrespectful and won't happen again! gymnast (since when?) trying to do a handstand after being placed in his position at the top of the key.

...the best moments of all--when he makes a basket and looks over at me with a huge grin to make sure I caught it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Little Resolution Fib

Alright. So I realize I told a little fib about not making New Year's Resolutions. This is because I had totally forgotten about the tiny little resolution I muttered to myself as I was racing through the mall 48 hours before Christmas. It was actually a two-part resolution:

1. Don't ever go on an extended family vacation 2 weeks before Christmas (and without having at least started the Christmas shopping beforehand).

2. Shop online next year and finish by November 12. (I'm not sure why I chose November 12 as I don't even know what day of the week that is, but I was in the throes of frustration and stress.)

I hate to shop. Yes, I said that. I hate to shop. I'm a female, and I hate to shop. I also have little interest in shoes. And I would never opt to spend hours at the salon because if I had hours available to be BY MYSELF, there are at least 126 things I'd rather do than spend that time with a stranger running her fingers through my hair. As a result of my shopping condition, I am not a good gift-giver. Truth be told, the only reason I give presents is because that's what you're supposed to do. I say this at the risk of offending any readers to whom I have given gifts, but I'm just not a thoughtful gift giver; I mainly just want to get it over with.

Take the gift for my better half, for example. He wanted a gadget, one of the GPS thingys. I had a "discussion" with my brother-in-law who was trying to convince me how useful this thing is:

"It helps him find his way around."

"But he knows his way around Atlanta."

"It will help him find his way around when he's traveling."

"When he's traveling, the car with the GPS thingy will be sitting in the airport, and he'll be driving around in a rental...that has its own GPS thingy."

"But it helps him find his way around."

"Isn't that what MapQuest is for?"

"Yeah, but you can't always access MapQuest."

"You can if you have internet access from your phone...which my husband does."

I gave up. I went to the electronics store to get it. Of course I hadn't considered there would be 1012 choices of GPS thingys. And considering the price of some of them, I thought about asking the electronics store guy if they washed the car...and maybe cleaned the house as well. I refrained. I had no idea which one to choose for my gadget-loving husband, so I did something really lame. I called home to ask him which one he wanted. He already knew what he was getting anyway. I suppose I could have just chosen one and then returned it if it wasn't the right one, but that would have meant another trip to the electronics store...which was the last thing I wanted. So that was that. I did end up wrapping it, though I don't know why since it was no surprise.

He on the other hand is a thoughtful, creative gift-giver. I was given a poem of clues to find my gifts hidden throughout the house, all things I wanted but still surprises to me. I do so enjoy being on the receiving end of his gifts! But do I resolve to be a better gift-giver next Christmas? Well, not in so many words, but perhaps if I stick to that resolution I whispered under my breath in that moment of insanity, I will have more time to put more thought into my virtual shopping. At least until November 13 when it will hopefully be done.


I refuse to set myself up for failure, so I don't set new year's resolutions. After all, we ALL know those are just made to be broken, right? I do, however, like new beginnings and therefore love to see a new year roll in. The new year gives me sort of a starting point from which can spring my new beginnings. 2008 is to be my new beginning, my non-resolution, of getting healthy and back in shape. With all of the eating on the cruise and at various holiday tables, I'm pushing right on past my pre-baby weight again, so it's time. Plus, sometimes I feel like I'm 85--my neck hurts, my back hurts, I have tennis elbow (and not from playing tennis, mind you!) and can barely use my right arm. Just this morning I had a fight with a jar, a battle which my husband had to end up winning for me. For cryin' out loud--I'm still 2 months shy of mid-thirties!!

So for days I've been saying I'm going to start getting up early to work out. I used to work out in the evenings, but evenings have so little time in them, plus the energy of exercise keeps me from sleeping, and falling asleep is already a big enough struggle without contributing to the problem. I could tell my better half was skeptical about my waking up before the sun to go do something I don't particularly care to do. So it probably was my spiteful "I told you so" attitude that kicked my butt out of bed this morning. That and inspiration from a fellow blogger.

I dragged myself into our little "gym", a converted sitting room off of our room. In an attempt to keep from waking my better half, I shuffled along in the dark, feeling around for the TV remote...which I, of course, dropped. I turned on the treadmill which frantically beeped. After I got going, I dropped--and almost broke--his I-Pod. So much for being quiet. At least he was polite enough to pretend to stay asleep. And I had a really good workout...and feel great for it. So I'll be up for another workout tomorrow in the dark, and next week when my better half starts traveling again, I can make all the ruckus I want!

So it's a new beginning for me. My non-resolution not set in stone. Although I suppose I'm putting this all in writing to somehow be held accountable. You know as well as I, however, that I'd never tell if I failed, right?!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Treasured Chapters Archives

So I've made the switch to Blogger from HomeschoolBlogger but can't find an easy way to import my archives aside from the ol' fashioned method of cuttin' and pastin'. I slowly cut and paste, you can find additional archives at

And...if you know if an easy import method, feel free to share!