Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So after a rather lengthy hiatus (we'll blame it on the house, feeling sick and general craziness around here) we're back!

The big kids started school this morning and life is (kind of) back to (almost) normal around here!

Chloe and I are going to play a game of cards (she found Daddy's old baseball cards in the attic and now we need to play some kind of game with them that seems to be similar to Go Fish crossed with "these guys look funny because they have funny looking mustaches."

We'll post pictures later!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Housecleaning or What My Children Really Think of Me

We have had several snow days in the past couple of weeks (Read: at least six, not counting holidays and teacher work days).

We have taken the opportunity to spent a lot of mother-children time. The other day, I helped the children clean their room. And by cleaning, I mean I put everything that was on the floor in a box and carted it out of there while they fussed and hollered. (Don't worry, I did give them plenty of notice that they were to pick up the things they wanted to keep. The things they didn't want to pick up, I would happily take care of for them. Those are on their way to the attic this afternoon.)

Believe it or not, my kids were not very thrilled about this and took the opportunity to tell me just what they thought.

Child 1: You're so mean! You're the meanest mom ever!

Child 2: I know why you wanted to have children. You wanted to have children so you could torture us!

Child 3: I know you're not even our real mother. I remember being two years old in the orphanage before we came here. I wish we were still there.

Maybe we should screen Annie one more time if one of mine truly thinks it's better to live in an orphanage than to pick up a few things off their floor.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kitchen photos

I'm putting up some recent pictures of our kitchen on our house blog.



Who's confused?

The other day I walked into the kitchen to find this:

While they scrubbed, I could hear them sing:

It's a hard-knock life for us.
It's a hard-knock life for us.
Instead of treating we get tricked
Instead of kisses we get kicked
It's a hard-knock life.

So I foolishly said, "I know what you're playing. Which one of you is Annie?"

Chloe looks at me like that was the stupidest thing she's ever heard and said (and picture her saying this as if she's a teenager)

"No, we're playing Harry Potter."

"You're playing Harry Potter cleaning?"

"No, we're playing Harry Potter workshop."

Of course. There are tons of scenes in Harry Potter where Hermione and Ginny are scrubbing floors. I should have noticed the tie Chloe was wearing. It'd have clued me in since everyone at Hogwarts wears ties. Especially when they clean or act out Annie.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Know how some days don't seem to turn out the way you plan? Today was one of those days for us. It seemed like it'd be straightforward: take Caleb to a play date, come home in time for the insulation folks to finish insulating our house, do some housework, maybe bake a treat or two in my new kitchen.

Unfortunately, that's not how things worked for us.

On the way out the door to take Caleb to his friends' house, I realized I didn't have my keys. It would have been great if I had realized it before the door latched behind me. It's such a tease to look through the window and see my keys but have no way to get them. Of course I'm extra careful about keeping doors and windows locked so there was no way to even pry open a window. Luckily I had a spare car key in my purse so I was able to get Caleb to his play date. Then I was able to find Rob's new work phone number from our GPS (he can't use his cell phone in the OR and I didn't have the new number in my phone yet) and was able to let him know I'd be over to grab his house key. Things were pretty uneventful on the drive over, except for Chloe's begging to eat lunch with her dad. Never mind that it wasn't lunchtime or that we had people waiting for us at our house because by this time the insulation guys were waiting for us. We drive straight home and that ride was pretty uneventful too, except for a bout of motion sickness. Fortunately Chloe has gotten pretty good at throwing up into a cup. Unfortunately we didn't have a cup, only a small baby bottle Chloe had brought with her for who knows what reason. Anyway, I got home with a load of laundry to wash. Lucky me.

We got the insulation folks all set (they had come out last week to insulate and got almost half of the house done before realizing they didn't have the right amount of insulation listed in their paperwork, so they had to come out and finish today) and then I got to clean up the mess from yesterday's daddy-kid cookie baking adventure. I busied myself making a big batch of marinara sauce (too bad I didn't have any mozzarella cheese in the fridge) and thought about baking a treat. I did some shoveling (I figured I'd better shovel a path to the side door and one from the front door to the street so the kids don't have to tromp through the snow to get to the bus before it ices over tomorrow).

(Did I mention that I certainly hope there's school tomorrow? They had a snow day on Wednesday, another one on Thursday, a teacher work day on Friday, the weekend and then today's holiday. That was a surprise six day vacation. Wish I had known in advance - I'd have taken the kids out of town or at least planned something fun to do. There are rumors spreading that we'll have another snow day tomorrow...sure hope not!)

Anyway, the girls kept themselves busy today.

They turned a half a loaf of bread into PB&J sandwiches, cut into star shapes with a cookie cutter they found.

Camille "organized" our pantry. I did explain to her that we are going to put up shelves before we really put food in there, but she wanted to do this anyway.

Chloe took a well-deserved nap.

That gave her enough energy to do some art on the wall. This is after I told her she couldn't write her name on the wall again.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Sun Came Out Today

Today we had a ladies' day out. My little ladies and I got dressed up and went to see a performance of Annie. We had such a great time. My sister and brother-in-law gave us the Annie Broadway soundtrack a couple of months ago, so we spent the drive up and back singing our favorite songs from the musical. I especially enjoyed listening to the girls sing along to the music.

After the performance we went to our favorite diner for lunch. It was so fun to spend a day doing girl things with my girls.

Here's a few pictures of the girls after we got home (I didn't want to bring my big camera with us to the show and I couldn't find the charger cord for the small camera).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Where has our little cat gone?

After years of swearing we'd never be pet owners (dogs need too much attention and Rob's allergic to cats) we broke down. Maybe it was the day I stepped on the mouse outside on the front porch. Or maybe it was the day we discovered a mouse chewed its way into our van. Or maybe it was the first day we heard critters inside our walls (they turned out to be chipmunks, not mice). At some point Rob decided we needed a pet. Something low maintenance. Something that could earn its keep.

So we start looking around for a cat. I had lots of cats growing up and come from the school of thought that cats shouldn't really cost anything. Sure you have to feed them and get them their shots, but they're pretty inexpensive as far as pets go. We looked at the humane society, but thought maybe the perfect situation would be to find someone with a young cat (not kitten) that they just needed to find a new home for. We got so lucky.

We found a guy on craigslist who fosters cats. He had a couple of them, but the one who seemed best for us was a two year old black and white cat he called Oreo. He was all up to date on his shots and had a sweet temperament. We were sold.

When we went to pick him up, this cat ran right over to me to say hello. I'm not a cat person, but he showed his sweet personality from the beginning. The kids were so excited that not only were we finally getting a pet, but we were getting one that was named after junk food! At home the kids were so excited to show Oreo his new home: one of the kids shared Oreo's bowl of cat food. Another followed the cat around with his scratching post, calling "Here's your scratching post Oreo. Don't you want your scratching post?"

Oreo seemed happy to be with us, though he showed an obvious preference for Rob. He would jump onto our bed at night, crawl onto Rob's chest and stick his little kitty nose right into Rob's face in an Eskimo kiss. We loved that cat more than we thought.

About a month after we got him, the cat (who insisted he be an outdoor/indoor cat) got hit by a car. He then took off, hiding in the woods nearby. We figured he had gone off to die, but he came limping home around dinner time, obviously very hurt. We took him to the vet the next morning, anticipating that Oreo had a broken hip or internal bleeding or something. Nope. That lucky cat was just banged up and the vet sent us home with a bottle of kitty Advil. Less than a week later, you'd never know that anything had happened to him.

Typically Rob lets Oreo outside when he leaves for work in the morning. Today I was up earlier and let him out, so he came back inside when Rob left for the day. The big kids went to school a couple of hours later and I assumed Oreo had sneaked out the door. There was no sign of him around lunchtime or even when the kids came home from school. When he didn't come home at dinner, I started to worry. We kept whistling out the door for him throughout the evening, but he didn't come. Finally I went upstairs to put on my pajamas and looked for a fresh pair in the dryer.

And guess who popped out?

Our cat spent the day in the dryer. Caleb had opened the dryer to get a pair of jeans and the cat must have gone in there while the door was open.

It must have been cozy and snug in there, but I certainly am glad no one turned the dryer on today!