Last week was busy for me. The holiday weekend and birthday celebrations left us running around, in a completely good way. this should make excellent blog fodder then, right? Not so much. I had a lot of fun. We were busy, but it's over now. I'm not really thinking about it anymore, so I haven't felt liek writing about it. I'm horrible at recounting stories. I mostly write what's on my mind, and that was sooo last weekend. (heh) But in the interest of prosperity, here's a roundup:
Tuesday night we headed over to my dad's house for an early Thanksgiving. I had thought it was going to be immediate famliy, but was surprised by a huge number of poeple. The bad thing about this is that none of Dad's family was there. It was all Leann's family. This in itsself is not a bad thing. leann and I got over our differences a long time ago, and I've seen these people many times throughout the years. it wasn't uncomfortable. but I still didn't fit in. And since I didn't fit in, it made it even worse for Rob. He hadn't ever even met most of them. Still, it was a decent meal, and we were treated well. Just not what we had expected. but there were approximately 500 hundred kids running around, so my gils had a blast. (birthday cake #2 (#1 was at the YMCA birthday party last week))
Thursday, we headed over to my grandma's for my favorite gathering of the year. Thanksgiving at Grandma's is awesome. There are absolutely no pressures. There is no drama. No one there feels entitled to anything, and no one is fighting to be the center of attention. Everyone settles into there roles, be they cleaning, cooking, setting tables, watching children, deep frying the turkey, or cuttting hair (my step-sister went to cosmotology school and always styles/cuts at least one person's hair while she's there. This time, I know it was at least 4 people) or even just sitting on the couch and watching tv or takling. It's very low-key. The kids love it. I love it. Darra even came up with us last Easter which was cool, but she was doing Thanksgiving at home this year. We missed her. But Mom brought cake, and Ally got presents, and we managed to soldier on. (birthday cake #3)
Firday left us trying to wrestle allt he freaking Littlest pet shop toys out of their fucking packaging. I managed to stick a finger between the scissor blades. duh. We got it all open, and the kids took turns fighting over the pets/pethouses. They had a blast. Anya even liked putting LIttle Poeple in them. We put all the little bitty peices in a storage container that Anya can't get into, and at every chance she grabbed it and brought it to someone begging to be let in. ha, ha. Those are for Ally. Ally of course loved that part of it. What could be better than new toys, except new toys that your sister can't play with? Awesome. Rob's dad came over after lunch to play, and Anya slept through most of it. He brought Cullen and Kasen (nephews) and everyone played and had a good time. (birthday cake #4) I let the kids run around and jump on the couch, so they loved it. That's not allowed at Grandpa's house. Anya woke up and recieved lots of attention and everyone ran around the kitchen table like maniacs. Kids are weird.
Saturday was Ally's actual birthday, so again, she got presents.. This time from us. We also had a bunch of money from her birthday burning a hole in her pocket, so we headed to Toys R Us for some spending. She picked out 5 Little Pony toys and was in heaven. Then we spent a god-awful amount on Christmas toys for Anya since I have barely bought her anything. She's so hard to buy for. She just likes to play with Ally's toys. but we found these little Snap-On-Doll things that she likes. They are actually Ally's but she never played with them. Now they make babies. Babies are Anya's current obsession. She spent quite a bit of time at the store hugging every baby we could find. So I bought a bunch of them for Christmas and couldn't resist giving her one early.
When we left the store, we met Mom at hell ChuckECheese. It actually wasn't so packed that it was almost enjoyable. Afterward, Ally went with Mom to Peoria for a parade. She thought the parade was because of her birthday. She loved it. How are we going to top a parde in honor of her birthday next year? we aren't.
I thought about calling my new old friend to come over this weekend. Here's how the conversation would have gone.
K: Hey, you free tonight?
J: Yeah, what you have planned?
K: Well, we're going to have some supper around 5. I have no idea what we'll eat, but I'm tired of fighting with the kids, so they're having pb&j and basically whatever else they ask for. I'll have to tell them again that we don't have any OJ and they'll have to settle for milk and stop whining please. We'll tell them to stop talking with food in their mouths, oh, about 50 times before we finally decide we're done dealing with it at which point we'll make them get down. uh, you might just want to skip supper...
J: Ok. You want me to bring a movie we can watch after supper then?
K: Well, we get cleaned up from supper about 6 and the kids need a bath at 7 so Anya can get in bed at 7:30 and Ally can get in bed by 8. It's my night for stories, so I'll be done by 8:30.
J: You want to watch a movie then?
K: Sure. But make it a quiet one. I don't want to wake the kids up. And nothing boring. I get pretty sleepy after the kids go to bed you know.
If anyone has any shopping to do, these might be helpful - at http://hasbrotoyshop.com you can get 10% off with these promotion codes PONY10 and MLP10. I'm not going to need them, and besides, I don't want to pay shipping.
Did I tell you how I almost broke my daughter's finger this weekend? It was wonderful. Ally was in a cart at Best Buy (more on that later) and had her hands sticking out ofver the sides. I took a corner a little too tight and heard a scream! I pinched her pinkie between the cart and a shelf. It swelled up and rubbed a little skin off. She freaked out. I grabbed her out and calmed her down as best I could, but really it was "that silly squirrel" that cheered her up. Ice Age was playing on a TV that just happened to be behind me. Ally saw it and started laughing. She said "That's the funniest thing I've ever seen" and "that silly squirrel helped me feel better" Thank god! It was pretty much all better yesterday, so no premanent damage, but that sucked ass.
While we were at Best Buy, Darra bought me a external hard drive!! Whee!!! So happy. I was just about out of space for all the pictures I've taken, and scrapbook stuff I've collected. Now I can store it all and it's portable!! Merry Christmas to me!
Ally's birthday party was Saturday. It was just right. I felt bad that she wasn't going to have a huge crowd of people there, but it's the holidays and I'm just not that familiar with all her frineds parents. We don't have a large circle of friends that she plays with. So we had 4 people show up to play with her at the small pool at the YMCA and it was perfect. Not too overwhelming and easy to handle. We swam for an hour and then did cake and ice cream and presents and everyone was happy. I'm glad we did it. And it only cost $40. bonus!
We looked at a bunch of houses again this weekend too. We saw one that I really liked. Rob's not as in love with it, mostly becasue the yard is a little smaller than our current one. He's a big outdoor person. Whatever. The subdivision has a park that's located right behind the house. The kids can play in it. of course, our house has to sell first. It's going to be a race, because they have a very nice house and it's priced right for the market. I hope ours sells first. This is the best house by far that's actually been in our price range.
I also got the girls's day care pictures back. They turned out awesome. But of course, they weren't available digitally, so I have to scan them. someday.
Last year, Beth had a neat idea. She did a Christmas card swap with her readers. I jumped on the idea, because I absolutely love to get mail. So are you all doing Christmas cards this year? Do you want to exchange cards? Come on. It'll be great. No, I don't know why, but who knows why people send cards every year. You just do it. Anyway. If you're interested, email me with your address (ktjrdn at yahoo dot com) and I'll let you know where to send yours, and we'll be best friends forever and have sleepovers where we can do each other's hair and have pillow fights and play light as a feather stiff as a board and freeze the underwear of whoever falls asleep first and such. Or just get mail. Either way.
Do you do the "year in review" type letter with you cards? I can't manage to write one that isn't far too boring, so I never bother. Besides, all my family has my blog address anyway (which makes it really hard to complain about them) so they know what's going on anyway. I always get pictures of the girls and not Rob and I, because no one really wants to see our mugs anyway. This year, I found a download of some absolutely gorgeous Christmas cards, but I can't manage to get the kids to stand close together to be able to use them. Yet. So I bought some form Penney's. But I"m really annoyed. Stupid (wonderful, best holiday of the year) Thanksgiving is making them take forever to be ready in digital form, so I can't show you what they look like. Boo. But I'm going to keep trying for the DIY picture, because these cards are lovely. (So email me for the swap so you can see what the finished product looks like.)
Rob went to see a different ear doctor yesterday. She's a neurology specialist who teaches all the ear crap to the medical students. She is supposed to know her stuff. She wants to cut his head open again. We did this the first time back in 2003. They drilled a hole in his head and hollowed out the mastoid process and stretched him a new eardrum. Apparently this one's crap too. He has to go in to get a CT scan next week and talk to her some more. Hopefully get his questions answered. Like "why do you think doing it again will work any better thant the first time?"
While he was there, she asked him if he worked around coal dust. Apparently he had some fine black dusty type stuff in his ear. I'm sure it's from working here. It's mold or dirt from this building. He told her he works here and she said "I thought they shut that building down. Can you work somewhere else?" um, no. We need this paycheck quite a lot actually. But it does justify my decision not to bring the kids to this day care. Rob and I are both on allergy medicine as it is. He's going to have to get a skin test to see exactly what is causing his problems. i already had mine. I'm actually not very allergic. There's just such a concentration of the crap in the air here, that it bothers me a lot. I didn't have any problems like this when I moved and lived in Virginia for a year. Illinois is full of allergens!
When I went to see the allergist, she recommended that I buy mattress covers. I looked at the brochure she gave me and thought that it was an awful big expense. It sounded so nice, but I just couldn't afford it. Then I was contacted about the Protect-A-Bed covers. I sent sent a set for each bed in my house and was thrilled! We all have allergy problems, and I would be able to have some protection, even if I couldn't afford them. But then I looked carefully, and found that these aren't the same brand that I had looked at. They weren't near the cost, and offered the same protection. In fact, I couldn't see a single difference. And look at all the features! I was worried that they'd be crinkly and plasticy, but I can't even tell they are on the bed. I was worried that they might not fit on our super thick mattress, but it's plenty deep enough. They zip around 3 sides, and are very easy to get on and off.
Having the protect a bed makes me sleep easier at night. I know that I am doing all that I can to help the kids avoid having as many problems as their parents do with allergies. Plus, they are waterproof. I used to use a flat waterproof mattress pad, that always managed to bunch itself up at the corners and never stay where it belonged. The protect a bed covers zip around the mattress, so no bunching. and the crib cover is fitted, so no problems there either. I haven't actually had to use the waterproof feature yet, but I did learn one great bonus benefit - they are virtually stain proof. When Anya fell and busted her lip open, she bled a little at night for the next couple nights. I threw the sheet away, because it stained. I figured the cover didn't matter because it waqs under the sheet anyway, but it came out of the washer clean! with nothing but regular detergent. And kept the mattress absolutely clean. (So, it's a perfect thing for those surpise visits from Aunt Flo too) I am definitely going to buy one for Anya's bed whenever she outgrows the crib mattress and gets into a twin. Because they'll still be useful, even if we can ever move out of this godforsaken state.
My uncle suggested that I write commentaries on daily news stories. I love my uncle, but he kinda lives in a different world than I do. One that he's interested in. Well, he aske dfor it. Here's what I get when I look at the news.
I don't know who any of these people are. Therefore, I can't muster up any energy to care. I'm entirely too selfish to read the news. If something affects me, I figure that someone I know will be talking about it to me. I'm horribly pollyanna-ish when it comes to all the crap I read about. If I don't know about it, I don't have to worry about it. Head in the sand. It works for me. I don't watch the news. It's filled with sad, scary shit I don't need to know about. Like that nun up there. I'm not Catholic. I've been to a Catholic school, and I sure as hell am not sending my kids to one. now I've had to think about something unpleasant because I read that headline. Something that would never affect me. You don't have to be a genius to figure that people who have sworn off sex are gong to have some ... uh... issues. They aren't right in the head. i didn't need a news story to tell me this. So I don't read the news. I talk to people instead. They read the news. They talk to me. If they start talking about something I don't care about. I stop them and say "uh, I don't really want to know" I have one friend in particular that does this all the time. She seems to get a kick out of feeling bad or something. She's always dwelling on other people who do crazy stupid shit. And then telling me about it. no thanks.
So, Rog. You read the news. If you see something that might interest me, shoot me an email. i don't have near enough bliss in my life. I'm saving my ignorance on this front.
Ally: T. A. C! Daddy, your shirt spells cat backwards!
Rob: That's right. (smiling)
What else does it say?
Do you know what that means? Those are all groups of people that help to protect us from all the mean guys. They're in a far away place to help keep us safe. Do you know this word? I think you do.
Yep. That says "In our eyes you are never forgotten" We wear these shirts so that we can think about the people who work to keep us safe when they are far away.
And we won't forget them?
This is why we wear red shirts on Fridays. It's not to make ourselves feel better. It doesn't do much for the actual soldiers (Although we do send large group pictures to them often with our care packages at work to show them we're thinking of them). It doesn't really do anything. But maybe make someone else ask a question. Maybe a 3 year old (almost 4. Less than 2 weeks. How did this happen?) will wonder what it's about. Maybe it will be a reminder to someone to sit down and actually write that Thank You letter they've been thinking about. Maybe all it will do is remind me of the sacrifice that so many are making to ensure my freedom. Even if that's all it accomplishes, it's worth it to me.
This buying a house/selling a house thing is going to be the death of this blog. I am stressed out, and my mind is going 5 hundred different directions. Selling your house sucks. You are all the time thinking about money, and if you remembered to throw your underwear in the washer (where we hide all our dirty clothes until we have time to sort them and wash them, because god forbid anyone come over to the house and actually see a laundry basket!), or left them on the floor. And we packed away everything fun in the house, and it's boring boring boring. The kids toys get picked up every night, and the hosue is so clean, there's nothing to do. blah. I knew there was a reason, I don't clean that much normally. it sucks to have a clean house! There's nothing to do. And then you get thinking about why the realtor said sucha nd such and if he really meant this thingy, or if he was just confused, and if the house is going to show or not, and you've got a 3 day weekend coming up with no plans, and you're not even looking forward to it because there's nothing to do! Bah!
In other slightly less boring boring on a whole different level news, i just managed to get all the scrapbook crap I've downloaded and saved to my computer unzipped and sorted into folders. All 14.8 GB of it. My God that was a pain in the ass. But it has taught me that I need a life en external hard drive desperately. Anyone want to send me one. Soonish?
Also! We managed to stay under budget last month! Well, except for all the crap we bought to fix up our house to make it look shiny and new (like A Virgin) you know, that extra $650 we spent that wasn't included in our month-to-month budget. Except for that. But otherwise? Golden.
i've also been planning Ally's birthday party. Well, not planning so much as making a reservation giving out invites and sitting back and waiting for it to get here. Very low-key. I'm hosting it at the YMCA. they have a little 2-3 foot pool that is perfect for the kids to splash around in and is dirt cheap. Then I'll feed them cake, get them all sugar high and send them home. Perfect.
So anyway, what's new with you?
Is there anything you'd like me to talk about to entertain you? Any deep dark secrets you want to know? Like the time my sister and I stole borrowed a car? Maybe about the time I caught my mom smoking and she tried to hide it like a teenager? Or the first porno I ever saw? (Or do you like porn? Are you more into the erotic literature (like some anonymous person who used to hide a book in her underwear drawer and reads this site occassionally, and doesn't know that I read it too)? neither?) First boyfriends? Prom stories? Evil step-parents? Random babbling? I've got lots of that apparently. Let me know. I'm bored here.
*hey, look at that. I'm apparently not out of things to say after all.
I often go on about my love for google. (at least in person. I don't think I do it here much, because I didn't want you all to know how much of a dork I actually am) Google knows all. I hardly ever even use a spellchecker, because I can type it in google and it will tell me "Did you mean..." why, yes, google, I did. Thanks ever so much. Some people don't like the fact that google knows all, but I'm a pollyanna, and don't think anyone bad will ever look for me! that stuff always happens to someone else.
But google sometimes lets me down. The other day (in this case meaning, sometime in the last 2 years or so, because really, who keeps track of these kind of timelines?) I tried to search for a bunch of my childhood/high school friends. I couldn't find many. I don't know if it's because I grew up in a small town and they aren't all over the internet, or what, but it sucked. I was particularly sad about not being able to find a friend named Jenni. She was my best friend in grade school. I pratically lived at her house. I had a crush on her older brother, or we would have played at my house more often, I think. We had a club and everything. It was based on the Rescue Rangers. (Yes, those Rescue Rangers. I never said we were cool). Her parents were awesome. Bonnie made to-die-for cinimin rolls/monkey bread type things. They took me with them on their vacation out west. We went to the mountains, and the Four Corners, and who knows where else. My family never took vacations. But her dad got another job and they had to move when we were in fifth? grade or so. I was crushed
When you grow up in a small town, there isn't much choice in who you can be friends with. There are the popular ones, and the unpopular ones. There weren't enough people outside the in-circle to make any other groups. I mostly hung out on the fringes of it. I never felt like I had any "real" friends. I missed Jenni.
We saw each other very rarely after that. Life goes on and all that jazz. I went to her high school graduation party. We caught up once or twice in college. I'm really self-absorbed most of the time, and am horrible about keeping in touch with people, so the years went by. One day an old friend of Rob's called him out of the blue and got me thinking about my old friends.
So I googled her and couldn't find her. I did some things I'm not supposed to do at work, and still couldn't find her. grrr. And then I went on about my life.
Sunday, she and her dad come to our open house. She lives with her parents about 10 minutes form my house and started working in the same building as me in January. This building has more people in it that the town I grew up in. but still! What coincidence! That meeting made the fact that they were the only ones to come by not important (we're going to have to list with a realtor and let them steal some of our money sell it for us. bah!) oh, I hope we can be friends again.
Oh come on, it was only 2 days ago. I'm not that far behind. For those of you that don't pay attention know, Ally got to be Sleeping Beauty this year, and Anya picked out a monkey costume at Old Navy (She seriously pulled it to her and hugged it and wouldn't let go for the rest of the time we were in the mall) back in September. Unfortunately, she decided to grow 3 or 4 inches in the month and a half between then and now, so the pants rode a little high. Whatever. She's still adorable, in my highly un-biased opinion.
Last year, we had 2 pumpkin candy gathering baskets. It would only seem logical to assume that we'd have those same baskets left over this year, right? I coulnd't find the second one anywhere! No matter, we have a yellow Easter basket that would work just as well. Rob thought I was just being cheap, and well, he was probably right, but I didn't have to because the day care saved the day! Anya's teachers sent home her Halloween treats in a little pumkpin basket. just in time. We walked all through the neightborhood. Anya had a great time trying to catch up to her sister who ran everywhere ahead of us. Anya had no trouble appreciating what was going on. She picked it up right away. You walk up to people's houses, hoist your bag up to the door, and they give you candy! She wouldn't even let me help her carry it when it got heavy. God forbid I try to lighten the load any by sticking some of it into my pockets! We were out for just under an hour, and both kids' bags were filled! We got home and dumped it all out and Anya tried to eat it without even unwrapping it. She took a bite from the Hershey's bar paper and all. I would have taken a picture of it, but I was too busy trying to keep her from doing it again.
Ally wouldn't hold still long enough for me to get any pictures of her. She was a princess on the move. I bought her a crown too, but we got tired of it falling off her head pretty early on and decided to ditch it. She had to dump all her candy out when we got home and compare what she got with Anya. She was really excited to see it all. There's no way in hell that she'll eat it all. That's what mommies are for right? To help out. i love Halloween
I'm entering the Del Monte Fruit Chillers contest to win a Disney cruise vacation. Tonight is the last night to upload your video. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. I found out about the contest by email and thought it sounded neat. Then 2 days later I got another email, that was quite puchy and I pretty much decided then that they pissed me off, and I wasn't going to fuck with it. But you know me. I'm a prize whore, so I'm uploading it tonight, since the stupid firewall at work is currently blocking youTube form me. tomorrow, you should be able to find it at www.youtube.com/group/fruitchill But I thought it was kinda cute, so I thought I'd share it with you now too.
For the next 2 weeks, the judges for the contest will pick their top 10, and then sometimes in December viewers get to vote for their choices. If I make it into the top 10, you had better believe that I will be pestering you endlessly for votes. Get ready. :)