Monday, June 29, 2009

I forgot that I was going to post a few pictures

I exported a few pictures of our beach trip for your enjoyment. Then I forgot to include them in my last post.

Here's a picture of Mr. at Home playing in the sand with our youngest. Notice his hat. I made it.

Our friends loaned us a couple of boogie boards. We've never bought any on our previous trips to the beach and never knew that we were missing out on the most fun thing ever to do at the beach. K was instantly smitten with them.

L took a little longer to warm up to the idea, but it was the one thing that tempted her away from the sand and into the water. Granted it was only about 3 inches of water, but it was enough to thrill her.

Remember that hat I mentioned that I made for Mr. at Home? His was actually hat #5 of my sunhat making ventures before the trip. Here are the first 4.

I found a pattern, picked the pink paisley fabric, and set out to make a hat for myself. It turned out a smidge too small, but it looked fabulous, so I decided to go ahead and make one for everyone. I reserved the first hat for my mom and we went back to the fabric store where the girls and I picked out our own fabric. My second attempt at making a hat for me ended up too big, so I added a bow to the back to take up some of the slack. Mr. at Home was impressed with the hats and asked for one for himself. Except flat on top. And oval shaped. And out of canvas. So I altered the pattern and made him a bucket hat, which turned out awesome enough that he wore it all week.

I love craft projects that actually work!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vacation on the brain

I dutifully packed my laptop and all the necessary cords when we left for the beach. When we had the pop-up set-up and organized, I plugged in the laptop. Once I even tried to get on the wi-fi, but it didn't work immediately and I put it away again. Only after we got home and Dad made me upload the pictures from his camera did I get around to uploading mine. I was just too busy not being busy to worry about it.

It's been a great vacation time. Lots of chances to be busy mixed with lots of chances to be lazy. The beach was fun and the pop-up was a lifesaver since it was HOT! Actually, the first day was miserably hot. The second, we spent the morning on the beach and the afternoon roaming around town so it wasn't nearly as bad. The last 2 days were really very pleasant with cooler temps and more breeze and we had learned not to visit the beach in the heat of the afternoon :-) It was fun to do all the summer activities the campground offers - VBS, water slide, parties, etc. Even still, I think I'll reserve the beach trips for our traditional early fall time frame when it's much cooler and MUCH less crowded.

Once we got back to our house, we've slowed down even more and have done really nothing more than hang out and cook. Since my parents are here, we've been making all our favorite foods and trying out new recipes like these meatballs and this corn. I have to say that fresh creamed corn has changed my life. A-maz-ing. My dishwasher has been working overtime with the cooking extravaganza, but it's been worth it.

My mom and the girls and I headed out to the mall yesterday and had to detour around some road construction which took us past the new fire station. The grand opening was yesterday so we stopped and got there just in time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The girls got to help cut the ribbon and ended up right next to the fire chief and got their 1.5 seconds of TV time. They were excited when we watched the news last night and they got to see themselves.

Today is one more lazy day. My parents have gone for a drive through the mountains and we're just hanging out here. Tomorrow morning, my parents start their long journey home, but the girls and I aren't letting them get away that easily. We're following them to the stateline and camping with them a couple of nights in the Smokies. It's been years since we've been there; K wasn't even 2 the last time. It's such a neat place to visit.

When we get back, life starts again and there are many things waiting on my time and attention. The biggest is getting ready for school. L's curriculum arrived on our doorstep last week so I have that to look through. K's curriculum I have to map out myself. I have books to read, questions to write, projects to design, pacing to set. Some of it is done for me, but not reading and history and I want to get a really good chunk done before we actually start school. Surprisingly, I'm really excited about doing it. Now that she's in 4th grade and I've got a few years experience with this elementary thing, I'm more comfortable. With the first few grades, I was worried that I'd totally screw up and she'd never learn to read or add. K's past that stage and has proven that she's pretty smart, so we can get to more fun stuff. Like real books in reading and pirates in history. Did you know Blackbeard operated out of NC? I didn't. I'm going to learn a lot in history this year.

But only after vacation is over.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy day ahead

We're ging on vacation!! It's funny to hear how anxious we all are to just. get. going already. The girls have been done with school for weeks, Mom has been retired for 2 weeks, Dad is finishing out his last obligations and he's finally done, and Mr. at Home has been having a busy, stressful few months at work. We're all ready to GO somewhere!

Of course, as with any trip, there's a lot of work that has to be done beforehand. I've been busy with it, but it's not finished. My parents will be here sometime today and I do have to have a few more things done by then. Like...

Finish cleaning the house. It's halfway done and thankfully it's the worst half that's already done (the bathrooms included!). I've just got to finish.

Laundry. Again, it's a little over halfway done. We're packing for vacation and everyone needs plenty of clean clothes.

Ironing. Some of those clothes I did wash are *wrinkly* and there are a few things that need a quick touch. It won't take long, but it just needs to go on the list.

Errands. One box to mail. One list to make. One or two stores to visit. There are a few things we need before we leave, but I've already told my mom that we'll just buy most of the food down at the beach since there's a Wal-Mart nearby and not worry about hauling it.

Pull out all the camping stuff and get everything we need organized in the garage so it can be packed into the trailer and cars.

Humm, the list looks pretty short and manageable when I write it out. Of course, it always takes me twice as long to get stuff done as I think it will, so I'm off to get working. Don't worry, I think there's wi-fi at our campsite and hopefully I can post some pictures from our trip.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting things done

It's a week for getting things done. Starting today, in which I...

1. Ordered next year's curriculum for L. Where I learned I could...

2. Called the curriculum company and asked them to return our retainer money for last year so we got a refund of almost $70.

3. Stopped by the fabric store on the way home where I found fabric and a pattern for a sun hat. When you have a large head like me, it's really hard to go to the store and buy a hat that fits.

4. When we got home, I pulled into the driveway and decided that we needed to straighten the garage back up so we could actually park IN the garage. We tossed all the old shoes, drove a couple of nails to hang stuff, and got everything else organized so we could put the van in. As I got into the van, I decided it was the perfect time to...

5. Finally got over to the neighborhood sales office to ask all the questions that have been coming up, like when are they starting the homes across the street? (soon) When is the construction fence behind our house coming down? (they'll ask) Do we need to call someone to schedule our last walk-through? (they'll call for us) What do I need to do to get the dead bushes out front replaced? (call the HOA). So I...

6. Called the HOA about all the dead bushes in front of our house. Since we live in a townhome, the HOA handles all the landscaping. They'll drive-by tomorrow and see what they can do.

Not bad for a day's work.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stuff that makes me happy

Every once in awhile, I just have to tell you about the cool stuff I've found that just makes me happy.

1. My iPhone. Because it facilitates other things that make me happy. Like #2 and #3.

2. Sony Universal iPod iTouch & iPhone dock. Mr. at Home listened when I told him what I wanted for Mother's Day and came home with this. It is AWESOME. It's an ultra full-functioned alarm clock that I can plug my iPhone into at night. I set it to the ambient station on Pandora (more on that later) and set the sleep timer. I go to sleep with quiet soothing music and wake up to the alarm playing my iPhone playlist. It even charges my iPhone.

3. Pandora internet radio. It's the ultimate in radio music. You can create custom stations by entering artists or songs you like and it picks other songs based on what you entered. Then you can approve or ditch individual songs and it learns from your selections. I have finally created a country station that doesn't play anything that I don't want my kids to hear. I have the Pandora plug-in on my iPhone so I can listen using my speaker dock (see #2) or my earphones.

4. Sitting in Panera writing this post while drinking chai tea latte, eating chocolate chip cookies, and listening to Pandora over my earphones. I love that my awesome husband gave me the night off!

Hummm, it smells like something got burned. At least it's in their oven and not mine!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Our new friend, the podiatrist

It's 2:21 am and I can't sleep. I'm hot and I'm itchy and I'm waiting for my allergy medicine to kick in. The big question is what caused this attack? Was it just time for one since the allergies have been so well controlled lately? Or is it the new anti-inflammatory that my podiatrist prescribed? I admit to being allergic to anti-inflammatories as a general rule, but I used to be able to take this one without any problem. That's the problem with allergies - they change without warning.

So why is a podiatrist prescribing me medicine? Well, because I fell off a ladder awhile back, which made my heel hurt. When I finally broke down and went to the doctor, they discovered a heel spur. It seems my high arches and flat feet have conspired against me once again and the fall aggravated the condition. So I've been warned to wear supportive shoes, do exercises, and stay off my feet for a few weeks. Plus take the medicine. It took me a few days to make it to the pharmacy to get the prescription and thankfully I still had it in my purse Friday.

Because on Friday, I ended up calling them for emergency advice. The girls and I were out when L ran up to a door and stopped waiting for someone to open the door for her. When I did, we discovered that it was the perfect height to swing right over her flip-flop and toe and into her big toe nail, completely lifting it straight up.


I took her back to the car, wrapped her foot in a sterile pad from the first aid kit, sent K inside for a bag of ice, and pulled that prescription out of my purse to call the podiatrist. I mean, what do you do about something like that? Urgent care? Emergency room? Just bandage it and go on? I figured the podiatrist would know.

She said to bring her right to her. I now love my podiatrist.

I carted the girls over to her office where she examined it and said that we needed to do nothing but keep it bandaged until the toenail falls off on its own.

Again, *shudder*.

That could happen anywhere from 4 days to a month. Then we wait for about 9 months for her toenail to regrow to see if the cells that grow toenails were damaged. Hopefully, they're fine and her nail will come back in smooth and perfect.

After the first few minutes of initial screaming, L has been perfectly okay with the whole thing. On the way to the doctor, she was laughing and chatting. At the office, she watched as the doctor checked her out, answering that no, it didn't hurt, when the doctor pushed on the top and end of her toe. She's been running, jumping, and swimming without missing a beat, though she now has to wear closed-toed shoes and swimshoes to keep the bandage on.

She's doing much better than her mother who cringes every time she has to put a new band-aid on that toe.

It's 2:49 am and my skin has finally calmed down, so I am going back to bed. Good night.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I finally have uploaded the pictures from my iPhone. Since Mr. at Home bought me the absolute best Mother's Day gift - an alarm clock that docks my iPhone, charges it, AND plays Pandora radio - I haven't synced with my computer and thus haven't thought about uploading the pics.

Last week we went on a field trip with friends to Columbia where we visited the zoo and the art museum (they had Monet! And Renoir! And Van Gogh!!). We've been to the zoo many times before, but we've never done one very cool thing. The funnest thing the zoo has to offer, as it turns out.

We fed the lorikeets.

For $1 each, we got little cups of nectar, then we went inside their enclosure where we were immediately set upon. Kate was the first to attract their attention and they got a little too close for her comfort.

L was too scared to hold her cup, so this is what I got to do.

My friend ended up holding her daughter's cup, too.

Eventually, the keeper got L to hold a cup.

Isn't this one cute?

But this picture? This is just classic.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A letter to my youngest

Dear L,

When I tell you to do something, there is a very good reason for it. I am not doing it to hear my own voice, to revel in my power over you, to be mean, to ruin your fun, or any other reason than to teach you to be a productive member of society. Most of the time, my instructions are to keep you alive and healthy so you can actually stick around here on this earth long enough to BE a productive member of society.

When I tell you 40 separate times to stay away from the heavily loaded shopping cart, I have your safety in mind.

When I kindly explain that I cannot stop the heavily loaded shopping cart quickly and you could get run over, I have your safety in mind.

When you then step in front of the heavily loaded shopping cart and it runs over your foot, I am not going to feel real sorry for you.

It's a very painful lesson and I tried to save you from having to learn from experience, but if you insist on learning it the hard way, don't come crying to me. I will check to make sure you are not seriously injured then I will tell you, "I told you so", in spite of nasty looks from various other shoppers.

On a similar note, if I warn you to stay out of my way when I am carrying in large boxes of heavy groceries, you would do well to heed my warning. If you race in front of me and bend down in the doorway, I will not be able to see you or stop in time. I will proceed to walk right over you. When you cry, I will again check to make sure you are not seriously injured, and then I will leave you to get over it.

Hoping that maybe this time, you will learn that obedience is truly in your best interest.

With love,