Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shake it up

What can I say? These kids are craaaaaazy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Well, it's all my fault

I checked online yesterday to set up a picture sitting for my kids.  Nothing holiday, just yearly updates I could send with our christmas card.  I made the appointment with JCPenney, where we always get them done, and made the appointment yesterday because they sent me a reminder email.  I simply called the number on the email and we were all set for 11:00 at the Orchards.  Or so I thought.

For once in my life my kids were bathed, well fed, rested, nicely dressed, and ON TIME - all at once!  We can be one or two of those, but not everything together.  On time in our pajamas.  Well-dressed but 20 minutes late.  Fed but naked. So when we showed up at 11:00 on the DOT I was dismayed that there was a huge LINE at the studio.  The one time we're punctual!  So we sit, and sit, and sit.... and at 11:45 the person gets my name, assuming we're next, and we're NOT SCHEDULED!  Suddenly I'm second-guessing myself; I definitely made an appointment for 11:00 today, but is this place not called the Orchards?  No, it IS the Orchards, so who the heck did I call?  We always get our pictures here, surely it was they who sent me the email.  Well, too late now, we're up next even if we weren't scheduled here, so we finally get our pictures taken about 12:15.  My kids had completely lost their charm by then, only Patrick sat still and smiled, so we got what we could, which was seriously not much, and they gave us a couple free sheets for our troubles.  We only spent $20 and I'm happy with the ones of the boys, but Carolines are... pretty awful.  Awful enough that I'm considering making ANOTHER appointment for her alone to TRY AGAIN.  The sorry part is, that means no cute ones of all the kids together.  Maybe I could reschule for evening so Joe could make it? Would it even be worth it? Probably not. So here's a re-cap:

GOOD: Cute kids for pictures
BAD: Took 2 hours to get pictures done, so kids cease to be cute
GOOD: Free photo sheets, save about $10
BAD: Did I mention the 2 hours?
GOOD: Ended up with nice shots of the boys
BAD: Every single one of Caroline's photos :(

Friday, November 18, 2011


This would be the next post in which I vilify Joe (for real this time).
Are you tired of over-priced tortillas at the grocery store?  Wish there were a cheaper way to make your favorite burritos and quesadillas?  Then you need..... a KITCHEN HELPER!
Patrick and I got very ambitious one afternoon and had a GREAT time rolling our own tortillas.  Nice and thin, as you can see in the video. "Don't click" meant "don't take the picture yet," he didn't know I was videoing.  I thought the tortillas turned out SO WELL, especially for a 1st attempt, so I made one into a quesadilla and had Joe try a slice.  Granted, he was feeling wretched that day with a stomachache, so it probably (definitely) wasn't the best timing for a taste-test, but to all our effort he said, "It's alright. It doesn't taste very Mexican.  But that's okay because you're not mexican."  Uhhhh.... thanks.  I'll take that slice of cheesy quesadilla BACK, thankyouverymuch. Then I went to the store for Saltines and Gatorade and he appreciated that MUCH more.  I made one into a burrito for his lunch this week and heard no complaints (as a home-makin' tortilla goddess shouldn't), so I think it's a venture we'll definitely try again, especially with cabin fever months fast approaching.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Hero

Joe sometimes complains that I make him The Bad Guy on my blog.  Mostly I don't talk about him, I think, but I'll compliment* him in this post today!

Last Thursday while making my routine 4:30 call to see if we would see him soon he happened to be getting tickets handed to him that very moment!  Avalanche tickets, too - my favorite!  (Who even knew I liked hockey? Now you know). So we quickly called a babysitter (thank goodness the next day was no school, THAT was lucky) and at 6:30 the babysitter was here and we were gone.  Freedom! Bliss!  A completely random date!  Not only was it a GREAT game (the Av's won in overtime, 4-3), Joe rose to my wishes and dressed nicely.  I get all giddy to go places together since it happens so rarely, I'll put on high heels to hit Home Depot these days if we're going together; Joe, on the other hand, is typically non-plussed and wears his regular un-matching brown shorts and black shirt or even (my personal pet peeve) his glaring-yellow free t-shirt that hurts my eyeballs to even glance at peripherally. He likes it for some reason, possibly because it annoys me SO MUCH it's fun. His grunge and my formality then REALLY clash and we look ridiculous together... but not on Thursday.  We were one smoooooooth couple.

Joe, you're my hero!  Thanks for the date and the nice button-up shirt, I appreciated ALL of it :)

*I can't believe compliment was the best antonym they had for vilify.  They had about 30 synonyms!  And I can't believe I correctly used the word antonym but botched vilify so badly.  Sorry, Joe, I'll probably vilify you in the next post.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm not helping the cause of her looking like the boys

Slowly but surely Caroline's hair is getting longer.  Not long enough that I've done anything CUTE about it, just long enough for me to torment her in future years with naked-mohawk-baby pictures.  Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Monday, November 7, 2011

2 cool

Eli turned 2!  Last week, in fact.  Judging by the fact that I'm posting about it a week late, you can guess (correctly) that it wasn't exactly a huge deal.  He got an awesome car track from his grandparents when he stayed at their house.

The day he got home (not his birthday) I had his presents from us and his other grandparents on the table, and he and Caroline immediately set to opening them. 

We figured what the heck, so he got his birthday presents on Sunday.  He thoroughly enjoyed wearing the curly ribbons at earring, I even accidentally put him to bed with them on!

His actual birthday was Wednesday and Joe didn't get home until 6:00 or so, I had mutual at 7:00 and had to get dinner and a birthday cake whipped up, so we scarfed dinner, sung Happy Birthday in fast-forward chipmunk voices, and wolfed down cake before BAM, I was out the door. So I was glad we opened presents another night when things were slower.

Anyway, now he's finally two (which it seems he has been for quite a few months now, it really fakes us out quite a few times and we thought he was turning THREE), fully potty trained during the day, and we're living the high life with how much he talks and entertains us. Love ya, kiddo!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Here's the story I vaguely mention in my last post:

Sending the kids to Joe's folks' house was such a huge blessing for me, but I knew it was putting a huge inconvenience on them, so I was hoping to make it as smooth as possible.  All that raw energy can wear a caretaker down!  Right now Eli naps and goes to bed well alone, but can only seem to manage it in his crib with his crib-tent (yep, we went that route), so in the hopes of him napping for his poor, worn-down caretakers I purchased a crib on Craigslist.

I love Craigslist, I really do - you can find all kinds of stuff at all kinds of prices, and you can sell everything from cars to clothes quickly and easily.  So I found a nice-looking $30 crib in Aurora, mattress included - perfect for sending to Craig! I picked it up and noticed there WASN'T an extra bag of hardware, so I asked the owner and she said her husband had posted the crib and sundry other items; OTHER items had notes about hardware, but this one did not so the hardware must be with the pieces they already gave me.  Okay, there were a number of screws included on the headboard and footboard, so I didn't question it and we loaded up and headed home.  ALSO, the woman's daughter was IN LABOR on the front porch! Her water had broken some time before and she was waiting for a ride to the hospital and I just felt so bad, I didn't want to take up ANY more of their time arguing over screws.  Which (hindsight) I should have, I guess, labor or no labor.  Also hindsight, I did not ask if they were smokers, which they WERE and the "handily included mattress" was completely unusable because it REEKED (and stunk up my car on the drive home).

Upon returning home, even before I unloaded the reeking mattress, I walk in the door and the phone was ringing; it was the crib seller, saying I forgot my hardware. Forgot?!  Oh, no my friends - I ASKED about that hardware and you said I HAD IT, so I plainly said, "I cannot drive back to Aurora for some screws.  You can mail them to me or you can drive them to me, but I NEED THEM."  They agreed to drop them off the next day (Tuesday).... but on Wednesday night when we still had no hardware I ran to Ace and got the required screws (not that difficult, and only 98 cents). The crib had originally been a drop-side crib (all recalled now, so I wasn't thrilled, but I'd forgotten to ask before I drove to freakin' Aurora) and some of the elements were damaged (continuing to be less-than-thrilled) so I wanted to convert it to a basic crib - easy!  It would only take a few minutes. However, Joe was none too pleased at being asked to be a handy-man on a crib while he was packing for deer hunting, so I had to come up with a new solution: to disassemble Caroline's current crib and pack THAT one with him. 

Thursday morning, 5:15 a.m., I disassembled Caroline's crib so Joe could pack it up so his parents could reassemble it so Eli would take a nap and leave them alone for 5 minutes.  Thursday lunch time, the hardware showed up.  I wouldn't have used it anyway since I got all the screws I needed at Ace and half their hardware was for the drop-side feature, but I wanted them to give it to me out of SPITE.  You OWE me that hardware, you un-forthcoming hardware-forgetting Craigslisters!

Sunday afternoon, back at the ranch, I got out the drill and the screwdriver and now the crib is totally CUTE and SAFE, though in the end it cost $30.98 and included a smokey little outdoor trampoline but NOT a mattress. Caroline's crib made it to Craig, but in the end they decided naps were for sissies and just had Eli sleep in their bed at night - hey, whatever works! I am just grateful beyond grateful that they took the kids, and it can hang out until I put it together next time I'm there.  SOMEONE will sleep in it, I'm sure.  For now, Caroline sleeps in her new crib at home and I have a saga to tell.

If you're going to sell or shop on Craigslist, DON'T FORGET: 
Cash only, don't expect me to give you change. We had someone need change for $100 once.
Call within reasonable hours (9 a.m. 9 p.m. is a good rule).  We had someone call at 11 p.m.
Ask if it's from a non-smoking home. 
Ask if they have pets.
Disclose if you are a smoker with pets.
Make SURE all parts are included.  Make that woman call her husband to ask if he forgot to leave a note about this particular item.
Make sure nobody's family members are going into labor when you pick up your items. I'm just sayin'.        

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I can't promise that this is the last post about my ceiling, even though you're dying for me to stop talking about it.  Well, here it is: SCRAPED.

Here was my constant companion while the rest of my family was gone: EASTER. 

Here is what else I managed before they came home: NEW CRIB (that's another story).  

Here's what Joe said about the ceiling: "OH, GREAT.  More work.  I hope you don't expect me to start texturing that."

Needless to say, I was underwhelmed by his lack of enthusiasm.