Monday, August 31, 2009

Coffee Musings....

Today was productive. I took the Princess to get her hair cut and then afterwards to the dance store to buy her shoes. (The 20% off helped decide whether or not I should wait until she "officially" outgrew her shoes from last year.) We also picked out two new leotards, some tights, and a few hair "tu-tus". She isn't interested in the skirts that go with the leotards. She had a blast modeling them for us. (Yes, us. The saleslady fortunately wasn't too busy with customers so had time to be an appreciative audience. Thank you Mrs. Jeanita. Now I remember exactly why I came specifically to your store. Not only do you give excellent customer service but you are kind to little girls as well.)

Afterwards, The Princess and I met a friend for lunch at Maya's. It was really nice to see this friend. Lunch was good and I think I've got my ordering down. (1 Tamale, a side of rice, and guacamole.) I need to work on the Princess. She only REALLY likes the chips and salsa. (Which always amazes me since she doesn't like vegetables - especially tomatoes.)

Now, I am having a cup of coffee, relaxing with the computer waiting for Mr. Happy to get showered and dressed. Happy Girl has a volleyball game this afternoon at school against Amherst. Amherst is a really good team (or at least they were last year.) I have hope this year that our team will present themselves well. Our coaches seem to be experienced and they have done a lot the last few weeks to teach our team all about the game. Go Raptors!

The coffee's gone and so is my break.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And Some Fun for My Friend Liza....

This is the neatest video. I thought you might enjoy it!
Mrs. Tab

Finally....Two Feet Firmly Planted!

Well, I'm finally here. Two feet firmly planted in a fall routine. Happy Girl has gone back to school. (Yesterday was a lovely day and she is still excited to go back - YAY! I think this will last as long as she still has a "new" outfit to model. As long as this is her motivation, we should be good until September 30th.)

I never quite realized how much I rely on routines. I've been so mixed up lately and it's really affected me. I DESPISE being disorganized. I DESPISE how I feel when I forget something or when I make a (stupid) mistake. (versus an honest one) It's the same feeling I used to get when I would forget to do my homework. A little shame mixed with self loathing. While discussing this with some friends I realized that most people look at Summertime as a way to chuck those routines away for a while and just wing it. I suppose I've done some of that, but for the most part I still think we had a routine. It was adapted from the school routine of last year, but it was a goal. I think most days we met our goal and that's why I was calmer.

Since I've posted last, life has become completely insane. I was busy shuttling Happy Girl back and forth to Volleyball. Adjusting already established summer routines to accomodate a fall activity. Trying to fit her Piano Lesson in was hard. We spent one day (one WHOLE day) back to school shopping so that Happy Girl could shop for ALL her back to school looks. Coordinating this with various family members so that a favorite Auntie could join us and the princess could stay home. (or not completely at home, but away long enough for Mr. Happy to get his car detailing done.) Happy Girl has also been to a few "It's the end of summer and I have to have a party" type sleepovers. One lasted for two days. (This is extremely unusual for her since we don't allow her to do that ~She's WAY too bitchy afterwards) It seemed to be a time for bending some rules. The chores didn't get done and it didn't help that I also was sick a few days here and there.

Also, the Princess has made a few friends this year. One of whom, temporarily lives a few houses down with his Aunt and Uncle. He's a cute kid, but he's always here. I really don't mind this except when I have to run the older girl around and then the younger decides that she'd really rather stay home and play. I feel bad making the princess schlepp along with us. Mr. Happy would rather I take the princess with me since he is perpetually catching up on sleep. (His sleep issues are a whole other post. Trust me when I say it's bad) Having a few kids run around home while I'm gone is not his favorite thing and he tends to just sit and wait it out. When I get home, I am under pressure to play catch up with all the stuff that wasn't done while I was gone. One of those things is dinner. Mom has to eat regularly and preferably at the same time each day because of her meds. (She doesn't enjoy this and doesn't make this easy to accomplish) Again, the whole feeling of forgotten my homework. This month we haven't been eating until late. (This goes for lunch and dinner) Finally, I chucked it and reassigned pills to the hours that we seem to get our meals in. 9:30 am, 1:30 - 2:00 pm, 7:30 dinner. There will be a snack sometime around 4:00 - 4:30 pm. Hopefully this will work with fall schedules. It sucks in a way because now we aren't eating dinner until almost bedtime. (well, at least the kids' bedtime. Mom, Mr. and I don't go to bed until almost 11 - 11:30) I guess we all just have to adjust. I have to keep reminding myself that if I have to do this all by myself then they are just going to have to adjust as well. I'm not super woman.

So now I am done with summer. It's been fun this year. I've been to some places I've never been before and back to some I haven't been to for a LONG time. Right now, I'm just going to take a few moments and just breath. The fall routine is here. It's still a little chaotic because of school, preschool, sports, piano, psr x2, and dance. But it's a little more organized than it has been.(I hope!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Random Things About Marriage to Mr. Happy

Random Things About Marriage to Mr. Happy
  • I was 24 and he was 29 when we were married.
  • We've been married for 15 years and 10 months.
  • His Sister (my Sister N Law) and Brother In Law held their 25th Wedding Anniversary Party on our 1st Anniversary.
  • For our 5th Anniversary we went to the Henry Ford Auto Museum in Michigan. We left our (then) 3 year old Happy Girl with relatives for the first time. Little did I know that it would be the first of many car shows.
  • Together we have lived in Old Brooklyn, Parma, Seven Hills, and Berea.
  • For our 10th Anniversary we took a family cruise to Belize & Key West.
  • I was (very) pregnant on our 2nd and 11th anniversaries.
  • On our 15th Anniversary, we went for a quiet dinner for two to Steve Dakota's Grill in Medina. They make the best steak/prime rib that we've ever had. (Well, at least since our Honeymoon.) Happy Girl was the babysitter for her 3 year old (soon to be 4 year old sister) We weren't gone long.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No, I'm not MIA - I'm just busy...

...doing nothing. (With nothing witty to say about doing nothing.)

A few good things:
  • Kids slept until 11:15 am. I think the whole " You have to be up by 10:00 am" thing is pretty much shot. I figure Happy Girl will have to start getting up around 7:30 next week for VB. I'll let her enjoy the last week without enforcing the "rule".
  • Princess went for a play date at the neighbor's house.
  • Happy Girl and I went to find shoes for VB today. Found them, on sale, at target, after only trying on 3 or 4 pairs, and she likes them. A lot. We then went to Old Navy where she found some shirts she really likes (for school) and they were on sale too! Afterwards we had a really nice lunch together at Panera. (which she ate all that she ordered and was appreciative for the meal and the time alone - with me.)
  • Broke down and bought a food processor. It was also on sale - a 10 cup wide mouth for only 30.00. It's a steal!
  • Got two loads of laundry done in between all this.
  • Happy Girl LIKES VB camp - even if she did hurt her back doing "Wall sitting". She is also happy to be hanging around with our neighbor J's girlfriend "A" (who happens to be part of the High School team that is helping to teach the camp) . A is really a sweet girl and is an excellent influence on Happy Girl.
  • Got the oil changed on my car today - even though it took FOREVER for them to do it! Mr. H, Princess, and I sat at Walmart and people watched. It was fascinating!
  • And lastly - I started my second sock.

It's been an interesting day even if nothing funny happened.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh, and by the way.....

31 days until school starts for Happy Girl. 37 until the Princess meets & greets her teacher.

"I've Waited my Whole Life" to see this video

This has to be one of the Funnest Videos I've seen in a long, long time. It's given me such a good feeling and made me so happy that I can't help but cry for joy when I see it. (Even after the 5th or 6th time.)

I wish this couple the best - they've created an awesome beginning! If they continue the rest of their marriage with as much joy and humor as they've started it with, I think they should be okay.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And Then The Yarn Gods Smiled


One Down - One To Go....Not too bad for a first attempt.

(Hopefully this came out the way it was supposed to - and that I can do it again!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Zucchini Apple Bread

2 Cups all purpose flour (I use 1/2 all purpose, 1/2 wheat)
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 Cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small zucchini, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 small apple, peeled and shredded (I chop mine into smaller chunks)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 - spray loaf pan with vegetable pan spray (I use crisco - old fashioned, I know) Set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla, zucchini, apple, and sugar. After combining wet ingredients, stir in flour mixture. When mixture is just combined, stir in nuts. (Do not overmix) Turn mixture into prepared pan(s)

Bake approximately 50-60 minutes for (1) 9" loaf, (1) 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 + 2 small 4 inch pans. (Toothpicks should come out clean from center of loaf). Cool bread in pan for about 10 - 20 minutes (depending on pan size) then cool completely before slicing.

(This recipe came from the Essential Home Medium Loaf pans that I purchased but does overflow the pan if you plan on making only one 8/12 size pan. I have been making 1 8 1/2 inch pan + 2 4 inch pans per recipe. 50 - 60 minutes would be appropriate for the larger 9" loaf pan - The smaller pans get done sooner - around 30 - 40 minutes as well as the 8 1/2 inch pans get done about 45 minutes.)

Lazy Days of Summer

Nothing much going on here. Softball/T-Ball are over and Volleyball doesn't start until next week. I've gotten most of the basic cleaning done and don't really feel like delving into anything complicated. I've read some good books (none of them a "book club" selection) and I am contemplating taking a nap. (It's only 10:45 am - but that doesn't seem to matter)

I have a little bit of running to do today but it should be okay. I also have a "Hot Tub Maintenance" Class to go to tonight. I'm hoping that going to this will give me some confidence that I'm not destroying my spa. I'm also hoping to be in my spa starting this weekend. (It was repaired yesterday and we are now in the process of "flushing" the pipes.) I picture a glass/bottle of "an adult alcoholic beverage" in hand, the spa lights on, my hubby by my side, and no children in sight. I miss that. It's hard when he has to be to work so early in the am and my children stay up too late.

So, I am going to kick back and enjoy these last "true" weeks of summer. August will be here and with it fall sports and school preparations. I hope to relaxed and ready.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Few Things I Would Like To Do This Fall

  • Go to Amish Country
  • Go to a Friday Night High School Football Game
  • Go to/ Have a Bon Fire - (Still kinda waiting on that one from Summer)
  • Take A Picnic to the Park with Family and/or Friends (Saturday or Sunday afternoon/night?)
  • Go to Red Wagon Farm's Harvest Festival
  • Trick Or Treat - Possibly a party here on Halloween? (It's on a Saturday this year)
  • More Zoo trips - Boo at the Zoo?
  • Maybe an outdoor Birthday party for Mom and the girls? (Think the weather will hold out?) Think somewhere around the beginning of October.... Would that work for Lindsey?
  • Continue to be outside as much as possible.
  • Get a good fall schedule done BEFORE school starts this year. (Take a closer look at my habits - Good & Bad)

These are just some thoughts. ( AKA The randomness that rolls around in my brain.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Summer!

Today was Summer's 5th Birthday Party so we all got together at my niece's house and basically did what we do every year.

The kids got together and played (or posed while waiting for the cake to be cut). Of course EVERY kid there grew A LOT (since last year) and was totally unrecognizable. The adults sat around and shot the breeze. Of course what we mostly talked about was how the kids have grown so much. A few of them still work and a few are retired. Some have new jobs and some have lost their jobs. Some are still waiting their jobs out to see if they will still have them next year. Thankfully everyone is healthy.

Here we are in the garage...

...or outside in the backyard under one of the MANY trees. (The backyard is completely wooded and was beautifully shaded)
A few things were different like Mad Mike and Big B pulling my oldest niece (who is also Mad Mike's Mom) around in the wagon up and down the hilly side yard. Did I mention that Mike is only 3 and that he pulled that wagon around the yard almost effortlessly? His new nickname is "bam bam". Big B is going into 1st grade and will be 7 next week.We all had a good time and ate too much.
But before we go, here's a picture of the birthday princess....
Eat some more cake....or else! Happy 5th Birthday Summer! I hope you enjoyed your day.
(And thank you for having us over!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

We "Heart" Randomness

Mr. Happy "Hearts" Banana Split Decision Ice Cream Cake (Specially Made For Him) From Coldstone

(But Not The Way His Waistband Feels AFTER He Consumes It)

Happy Girl "Hearts" Sleepovers & BFF's

(But Not Being on the Bottom for Pyramids)

I "Heart" My Girls!

(But Not This Celebrating THIS Birthday")

The Princess "Hearts" Chippies!
(But Not Fruits or Vegetables)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And Let's Not Forget To Do This...

Stay up until 4 am to watch scary movies with two 13 year olds and watch them freak themselves out. - Of course, after watching the scary movie I will (of course) explain it to them so that they can have the total effect of being COMPLETELY freaked out and then I will probably have to "tuck" them in. I may even receive an invitation to join the "sleepover" but (of course) I will decline just so that I can go to the basement and send them creepy texts until about 5 am which will complete the evening and keep them up extremely late.

Ahhh - Summer Fun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Status: What's Left To Do

41 days left before school starts (as of today). It's not a small amount of time. It's more than a month and almost 6 weeks. These are a few things I would like to do still before the volleyball madness and the back to school craziness begins.
  • Go to the Westside Market
  • Go to the County Fair (Cuyahoga, Medina)
  • Go to the State Fair
  • Go to the Medieval Faire
  • Hit the Zoo a few times (This one might wait a bit until September since we don't mind going here for just a few hours here and there.)
  • Finish at least two pages each week and get the beginning of 2008 started in the scrapbooks
  • Declutter my house for a joint garage sale that could happen the beginning of September. (joint project with my neighbor)
  • Visit our local pool a few more times (at least enough to justify the cost of the passes)
  • Finish up the garden - Freeze or give away anything extra that can't be consumed fresh.
  • Have the Dance Class friends over for a play date.
  • Even though when the school year starts up it will be obsolete, I'd like to come up with some type of routine that will help me feel more organized.
  • Come up with some portable way to keep a calendar that will work to keep our family on task - and use it.
  • Use a few new patterns to crochet some winter type projects. (Socks, Mittens, Hats, Scarves...)
  • Read a few (more) good books.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nicknames I've had: Past & Present

A small friend came over today to see the princess. He is new our street and doesn't know our names very well. While he was speaking to us, it reminded me of a few of the nicknames I've had in the past:
  • Tada - courtesy of my baby brother EJ circa 1973.
  • Tabba - A gift from my friend Jodi and continued with the Arbogast & McClure Children. (Although for them I was "Mr. Tabba" Yeah. Okay!)
  • Tab, Tabby, Tabs, & Tabber - My maternal relatives and some friends.
  • Red - Thanks Uncle Fred! He used to say "Better Dead than Red" and I would reply back "Better Red than Fred". We would chuckle and the joke continued for years.
  • Tabeetha - most every teacher I've ever had in my educational career. One would think that they'd never seen "Bewitched" before when I KNOW they were all old enough to see it LIVE! (Hell, I'm old enough to have see it live but I remember it more from reruns.)
  • Tuna (or adapted to "Tuna Lee")- Thanks for that one Dad! I'm not sure if you knew how much this one bothered me when I was 8 or so. I'd give almost anything to hear you say it again. Even in front of the kids.
  • Tubba - It was an honor to be called "Tubba" by Jodi's Dad, Jerry. I didn't see it as an 11 year old child but then again, I didn't know that he lovingly called his daughter "sleeze bag" and his wife "the head sleeze bag" either. Jerry's terms of endearment were always derogatory. In other words, if he liked you, you got a crappy nickname.
  • Ta-Bitha - Something my stepfather would shout if he wanted my attention because he was gonna play a joke or just was in a playful mood. It was just the way he emphasized those syllables that would make me laugh (or hide. I still remember the fish he and my mother put in my bed when they came home from fishing/drinking one night.)
  • Ta-boota - My father n law gives everyone a name - that was mine. It sure beat "Mosquito" which is what he called Lindsey since she would buzz around him all the time.
  • Tabidda - My german grandmother couldn't pronounce Tabitha.
  • Dorcas - It's what Tabitha is translated to in Greek from Aramaic in the Bible. Some bibles say "Tabitha" and others use "Dorcas" (Acts 9: 32-43 or read more here)
  • Taffeta, Tiffany, Tapioca, and Samantha - What I was called when people couldn't remember my name correctly. I still have a hard time believing people would actually think my name was Taffeta or Tapioca.....Crazy! Samantha I always understood because it made sense with the whole bewitched theme again.

And today we've added a new one to the list:

Mrs. Paa-Tabitha

We had baked potatoes with dinner tonight and invited our young friend to eat with us. Since we were talking about potatoes and how good they are (all for the princesses benefit) maybe he thought we were "Paa-Tabithas". Mr. Happy is called "Mr. Paa-Tabitha". Ha ha ha!

Monday, July 13, 2009

What A Day....

Some Highlights For Today:
  • It's been about 75 degrees, sunny, breezy (but not too breezy) and gorgeous outside.
  • I got my first cucumber today from the garden and Happy Girl has "called it".
  • Princess Happy has her last T-Ball game for the season tonight and her coach is taking the team (13) out for Ice cream to "celebrate" the season. (I personally think he is celebrating that it is over. Managing (13) 4 & 5 year olds has to be enough to drive anyone to drink or at least celebrate that it's over with chocolate ice cream.)
  • I did a real life "Farm Town" style swap with a friend who swapped cabbage, radishes, & Mint Jelly for some zucchini, squash, Cherry Jam, and a cuke. (No, it isn't the same one that Happy Girl "Called".)
  • One of the kids from up the street came over to play with the Princess. (The highlight isn't that she came over, it's that she just went home.)
  • I won 2 tickets to an Indian's game thru the Strongsville Library reading program AND Happy girl won 2 tickets to an Indian's game. We now have vouchers for 4 waiting for us to pick up at the branch. I'm not a huge fan to go but it is something Mr. Happy and Happy Girl enjoy doing together. Now they get to go twice! Yay! I'm holding out for the gift cards to Target, Borders, and Panera they said they were offering.
  • And speaking of Mr. Happy - He helped me grocery shop and run Happy Girl to her lesson today. That was a HUGE help especially since we explored the new GE at Parmatown. The princess got the play in the Eagle's nest and we had some "quality time" together. Ahhh - just like when we were dating!

And tomorrow - I have a list almost like it. I hope it will be just as satisfying!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some Friendly Neighbors

Our next door neighbors are pretty nice. (I think we are REALLY lucky!) The "S" family has been here in the neighborhood awhile. They've raised two boys - D & J. D is presently serving in Afganistan in the Marines and will be for the next year. J will be following in his father's and brother's footsteps in a month. When we talk with him, he tells us he is excited and anxious to go. His mom and dad are very, very proud. (Especially his dad who is a die hard, "Semper Fidelis" kind of a guy.) This evening is his graduation party and we are looking forward to congratulating him on his career choice.

Just this week J has taken a few of the little kids on our street under his wing and invited them to just hang out with him and his buddies. I think this says a lot about the character of these young adults that they would take precious time away from their friends/girlfriends just to play ball or ride a scooter with a 4 and 5 year old. They are really making an effort to talk to the kids. They know they won't ever get this last summer of freedom back and yet they are taking the time to just play and get to know these children. It makes my princess feel very special to play with the big kids. Someday (soon) they will have jobs, families, adult responsibilities to take care of. I'm really in awe. I didn't think this happened anymore. I'm so glad it's happening here and that we get to be part of it. When those responsisbilities come I think these kids (ah hem, excuse me - "Young Adults") will be ready. In the meantime - I think I will just enjoy watching them play with the kids and thank God that they are my neighbors.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

I'm so happy. I get to go scrap tonight. An evening. With friends. Without Children. Without Hubby. YAY! I'm so happy! I might actually finish my vacation book tonight. (I'm very close to done - I think I only have about 6 - 8 pages left to do.)

I love to scrap but I've decided I hate to scrap by myself. It's more fun to get in a group and b/s about stuff. I have a wonderful scrapping room downstairs. It has a lot of room and I probably own most of the "toys" out there to fill it. I'd like it to be better organized. I wish it was painted a pretty color. But when it get's down to it, I really don't need that in order to be productive. I just need to get down there and get working. I try to work a year behind so that I have time to pick up supplies that I use when they are on sale. It also gives me some breathing room so that I don't feel like I'm being pressured to get it done NOW. (I probably should put a little pressure on myself or else I don't get anything done ~ LOL) I'm also not worried that I'm going to miss a picture (like this one) if I scrap it too quickly.
(This is one reason I love to scrap - imagine displaying this page at her graduation party! giggle!)

I also try to do them in chronological order or chronologically by child. In this case, I will scrap this adorable tea party (Thank you Lazymama-Designs for the awesome picnic cloth bag which holds the tea party stuff perfectly!) in the Princesses book. (Even though I'm temped to keep this layout in my book because my hubby looks so cute playing with the girls. (I'm still surprised he isn't dressed up - at least with a crown.)

And lastly - I scrap because my children utter such gems at the strangest of times.

"Does this floaty make my butt look big?"
~ Happy Girl 7/9/09

(Note: Its also why I am blogging. It's becoming a great tool to help me remember!)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It Was A Beautiful Day!

Checking out the Waves at Huntington Beach!

Now Here's Some TASTY Vegetables.....

But P.S. - Don't tell the Princess - she thinks it's Chocolate Chip Bread!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

For Gretchen

It's a MIRACLE! Halleluia!

She was a Sk8er Girl.....

She was a little nervous since it was her first time on her skates. She wasn't sure what to make of it. (Okay - I admit it. I was a little nervous - she was excited! She still wasn't sure what to expect.) She knew enough that if she was going to fall that she should fall in a soft spot like grass.

See Ya! We went several times around the circle stopping only to stand in the grass for a few minutes. I'm not sure if she was catching her breath or just deciding whether or not she should go any further. The skates are set on the easiest level and she really wasn't going very fast. Our neighbor suggested she "bend" her knees a little since she looked like one of those dolls that skates. (It's true!)

Enjoying her Water! I would say because she circled the street 8 times that this is a success. Of course it helps that she didn't fall down.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Four Things That are Making me Happy:

1.) We discovered we do have Sugar Snap Peas growing in our garden. There aren't many (And there probably won't be many since most of the plants didn't make it) but there are 3 plants that have pods on them.

2.) I paid Happy Girl to weed the garden today - and she did the MOST awesome job ever. It didn't take her too long and the garden looks great! I've been keeping up with it, but I haven't had time the last few days and I probably won't have too much time in the next few days.

3.) My house is clean and I didn't have to bully anyone into helping me. They did their chores, no complaints.

4.) My Zucchini is shredded and ready to make zucchini bread. YUM! The Princess even sat and watched me shred it. I didn't tell her what it was for. (I'm afraid she won't eat it if I do.) She even played "Zucchini Delivery Girl" and took 4-5 smaller zucchini and 1 larger Squash next door for the neighbors.

Three Things That are Making me Sad/Irritated:

1.) Mr Happy decided to go to a car show tonight and tomorrow night so my carefully planned dinners are going back into the freezer and I have to think up friendlier fare. (Note: My Cheese steak sandwiches & cantaloupe dinner have been "shelved" more times than I like to admit. He swears he wants me to make it, but now I'm not so sure. Mom & the Kids don't really care for it so I had Grilled Cheese planned for them.)

2.) One of my oldest friends has taken offense that I cancelled my reservation to her family reunion. I wasn't sure I should go in the first place and when she kept coming up with (A lot of different) excuses about why we wouldn't have fun, I made the decision to cancel my reservations. She knew that I was considering it, yet is still trying to pin this decision on my family and dh's reaction to me going. Of course, her saying that "she wouldn't travel that far to see my relatives" and/or the comment that she didn't think that she or her family would have a lot of time to spend with us so we probably wouldn't have any fun - might've had something to do with it. I was okay with the fact that she probably changed her mind about inviting us and was looking for a way to ask us (gracefully) not to come, but when she started pinning excuses on my family (which were varied and untrue) that started to irritate me. This whole situation makes me sad. I should've listened to my inner voice the first few times she invited us and just declined outright. It would be a shame to get into an argument about this.

3.) I have disgusting brown fingers from all the cherries I pitted today. I've tried bleaching them but it's in my nail beds and it looks totally disgusting. I was going to make sour cherry freezer jam, but now I'm not so sure since I tasted my strawberry jam and am not terribly excited by it. It'll keep until tomorrow - I'll decide then what to do. In the meantime, I will keep bleaching my fingers so people don't think I have disgusting bathroom habits.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Now those were some Tasty Vegetables!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You Play Ball Like a Girl.....

Happygirl Pitching

The Princess, running for home plate

It's Almost Over. So They Say.

I have been talking to a few friends and acquaintances lately. (Which isn't that unusual, I talk to everybody and I talk a lot.) What grabs my attention is that quite a few of these people have commented that since we are coming up on the 4th, that the summer is almost over. These friends have school age children which means that school starts around August 26th. The way I see it is that there are still 52 days LEFT of vacation. Maybe for others they are counting down the days because they aren't enjoying their vacation. Maybe with all the Summer Clearance Sales going on, maybe it makes them feel rushed. And following those, maybe the back to school merchandise that is beginning to show up on the shelves is pressuring them to start putting their brains into "Back to School" mode. I don't know. I just don't see it that way. We've had almost 3 weeks (23 days) of vacation so far. In those three weeks we've been busy. We've had some wonderful opportunities to do all kinds of summer things. Pick Strawberries, go to the pool, observe the girls at their softball games, watch fireworks. Just hang out in the back yard and dig in the dirt. In a few weeks we will be taking a road trip to Kentucky to hang out with a dear friend and her relatives. I just can't put myself into the mindset that summer is almost over.

In August, Volleyball conditioning will begin for Happygirl. Maybe by then I'll have my brain wrapped around all the back to school stuff. In the meantime I'm just going to enjoy my days as they are.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th Fun on July 3rd

It started being a cleaning day to get ready for being out on the 4th but somewhere along the way we ended up going (very last minute) to see fireworks in Medina with some friends. After driving Grandma to the beautiful shop we packed up a picnic and went to Medina to pick up our friends. Fortunately, MrHappy drove the van so we were all able to ride together. (Which was fun - almost like a bus trip~the Kids thought is was the greatest thing.) This helped because we knew with Medina having a carnival at the same time, that parking would be difficult to find for one car let alone two in the same area.

So the guys in the front navigated us to this spot - away from the concession stands (YAY!) but right across from the High School. They parked the van on this one patch of grass and it was AWESOME! I mean really! The spot could not have been any better. We were able to pull stuff out of the van and not have to haul it anywhere, the fireworks were viewed perfectly from our seats, and when the whole thing was over we were able to just throw everything and everyone back into the van (which we did in 4 minutes flat) and we were back at our friend's house in 10 minutes. (It is a record. When we lived in Parma and viewed fireworks at Tri-C, it used to take us over an hour to get home and we only lived 7 minutes down the street.)

We still didn't get home until 11:30 last night but it was an enjoyable evening and something that I'm glad we were able to do. Fireworks are one of my favorite things to do during a holiday. (It ranks up there with driving all over creation to see Christmas lights, viewing my Fisher Price Nativity set, making Valentine's sugar cookies, and dressing up for Halloween.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

To Do List

  • Laundry
  • Dust
  • More Laundry
  • Dig in Closets in the basement to de-clutter junk to take to the church by dance class for donation
  • Even More Laundry
  • Pay Bills online
  • Get all the LAUNDRY out of my Laundry room because it's driving me nuts and I can't find anything and it's really making me a little insane because I've been washing all week but the laundry never seems to go anywhere except where I need to go and it's in my way have I said it's in my way because if I didn't then I really should say that it's in my way and I can't do anything else in that room because the laundry is still there and I need the space to work in there and....
  • Oh - and remind the children & my dear sweet hubby to put away their laundry.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Garden

One of the things I've been busy doing this summer is planting a garden. We had a patch of landscaping that didn't grow anything but thistle and humongous bush/flowering plants. (Not very pretty) It did grow a few bunnies in there last summer but after I went all "Tony Soprano" on them, they became a little more cautious. (I believe they live in the field behind our house and not in our yard anymore.)

Here are a few pics of my new hobby:

In the beginning - there was only weeds and overlarge flowering bushes.

Here are the landscapers clearing the land.

This is it on May 22nd - about 6 weeks ago. I had only gotten as far as hilling the rows. I put the plants in the next day.

This was it Yesterday June 30th.
We've already picked the first "bananas" (As the princess has named yellow squash) and would've had a few grape tomatoes this week except either the wind blew so hard it broke the tomato stem where it was tied to the stake or the cucumbers behind it pulled it and broke the stem. I'm not quite sure which. So far, we've put a lot of work into it and it's been pretty satisfying. It's not too bad for a first year's effort. I swear I'm learning a lot!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Conversation with a 4 year old at 10 PM at night...

Me: "Goodnight sweethear.....wait. (gasp)What did you do Princess? Did you cut your hair?"

Princess Happy: "Yes. (Starts crying)"

Me: "Where did you cut your hair?"

Princess: "Downstairs. In your scrappin room"

Me: "Please show me."

Princess: "Are you mad, please mommy, are you mad? Ohhhhhhhhh - your mad. I can't stand it, your mad.....whaaaaaaaaaaaa"

(This litany was wailed thruout the house as we walked to the basement to my scrapbooking room)

We arrived in the scrapping room to find several LARGE chunks of hair laying on the floor by her art desk. The biggest chunk missing is right in her bang area and will take several months to grow out (Hopefully, in time for school pictures) Needless to say, I'm not happy at this point. We cleaned up the hair, confiscated her scissors and took her back to bed. Our conversation continued.

Me: "What made you think you should cut your own hair?"

Princess: "Well, (sob) I didn't want you to take me to the evil hair shop again where they would do mean things to me like they did when I was a baby and make me cry....(sob)"

Me: "Princess, Mrs. Michelle is not mean and she doesn't work at an evil hair shop. If you wanted your hair cut, we could take you to see her."

Princess: "Oh No! Now I'm gonna be bald like daddy....whaaaaaa"

Me: "No, you won't. But now you can't complain if I have to pull your hair into a pony tail. I think we've had enough talk for one night. Goodnight princess. Sweet Dreams!"

Princess: "Good night mommy!"

I hope she didn't dream about the evil hair shop or being buzzed! I'll try to post a picture today before I do her hair. She really did a job on those bangs (that we've been growing out for about 7 months now)
Edited to include picture!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Conversation with a 4 year old at 10:00 pm at night...

Princess Happy: "I'm wearing underpants"
Me: "Yes Princess, I see you are wearing panties"
Princess Happy: "I call them underpants not panties"
Me: "I know you call them underpants. I call them panties when they are girls and underwear when they are boys"
Princess Happy: I have fairies on my underpants. How come you don't have anything on your underpants?"
Me: "Because they are Ladies panties and not kid's panties. Why? What should I have on my underpants?"
Princess Happy: "I think you should have pictures of vacuums and grocery lists on your underpants. Oh! and car keys because you drive a lot. Maybe some dishes because you wash them and some cooker pans because you are the cooker in our house."
Me: "Giggle, maybe I should suggest those to the companies that make "mommy panties".
Princess Happy: "Okay - but I still want fairies and princesses on mine. Even when I grow up"

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's Been A While....

It's been a while since I've written. I've never been a consistent writer to begin with. (I guess the date of my last entry just reaffirms it.) So here I am - trying again to narrate my life. I'd like to say not much is going on, but I have a bazillion pictures I need to upload that say differently. Let me see if I can run down the list:

Since April 7th, we have:

Had my brother & his family out for Easter.

Went on a field trip with the Princess's preschool to the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.
(I loved the planetarium!)

Fought with landscapers who were supposed to come and repair my lawn after the Electric Co. tore it up last fall. (I also discovered the city isn't interested in helping with this.) I ended up paying to have it fixed myself.

Went to Happygirl's Spring concert and watched her perform a solo. (Mr. Ferrante, the high school music teacher, mentioned that he can't wait till she gets to the high school so he can be her teacher)

Was drafted into a board position to the Princess's preschool only to discover that it is unlike any board position I've ever had and that they really only want people for the "free" labor that the school needs/wants. (Haven't decided which it is so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt) I have since resigned and enrolled the Princess into another preschool that offers a Pre-K class that would better suit her.

I've attended the Princess's Dance Recital - which was WAY better than the chaos that was promoted as the "Winter recital". There were a few snafu's (Mostly including "fake" hair and guests that don't place importance on being on time but prefer to sit and bs while my family is waiting for them to leave) but overall it was good.

The girls have started playing Softball & T-ball. So far, so good. Happygirl's team is really exciting to watch and she has pitched a few games. Princess Happy has decided that all her cool dance moves are totally adaptable to t-ball. They are a cute bunch and one boy was heard to describe the infield as a "desert" during one hot and sunny practice. The hilight of all the games are when they get to run the bases as a team and the snack.

Princess Happy has been to "Princess Camp" at ATB. It was a neat program that lasted a week. She learned a few princess specific dances, made a few crafts that had plenty of glitter, had a few healthy snacks, and practiced her good manners ("no thank you, I don't want any a-scusting vegetables") I - during that time - got to finish a few crochet projects since I wouldn't leave. (Just in case her highness needed someone to "wipe her butt" I just feel that Princess Miss Mo doesn't get paid enough to wipe 24 girls' behinds daily)

Happygirl has volunteered two weeks out of her summer to help instruct Kindergardeners on safety. Safetytown has been good for her. I'm very proud of her for giving of her time - especially when I know that she would rather have slept in instead of waking at 8:00 am each day. Today is the "graduation ceremony".

I've also gotten in touch with my "inner farmer". It all started with Farm Town on Facebook. I had so much fun that I decided to take a patch of weeds and plant a vegetable garden. After Squire's Four Season's came out and prepped the area, I planted (9) tomato plants, (6) pepper Plants, (4) english cukes, (18) Sugar snap pea plants, (6) squash plants - 3 zuccini, 3 summer, (2) White eggplants, a basil plant, a rosemary plant, and a cilantro plant. I've surrounded this with a flat of yellow marigolds and a short bunny fence. So far, most of the vegetables are doing well except for the snap peas, one cuke plant, and the rosemary. I think the peas are still deciding if they want to grow. Everything else has either blossoms, small fruit, or a combo of both. I have also made the mistake of killing all the plants around my pond and deck while trying to kill the grass that has invaded the beds. (Note - only the plants have died. The grass is thriving!) So now I am replanting those areas - slowly.

The Princess and I have also been strawberry picking with Lazymama & family. We've made freezer jam with the results. I haven't actually tasted mine yet because we are still enjoying the pint that Gretchen gave us. I hope it's as good. Especially since I made a lot more than what we'll use and I want to give some away. (I'm holding off until I can taste it)

The girls and I have also started trying new cuisine. So far we have tasted Thai & Middle Eastern. I like it, Happy Girl likes some of it, and the princess just stuck her nose in the air at the Thai restaurant . (Same with "MrHappy's Momma" when presented with Loobi & Pilaf from Aladin's)

We've ALL had a few playdates with friends (Scrapping, swimming, car shows, dinners, book clubs - to name a few) and we've also started catching up with a few things that have been put off (waited for more time to do them - housekeeping, dr/dentist appoitments) So far it's been busy, but it's been fun.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just a thought...

While we were at Disney World - one of the biggest hilights for my princess was looking out for Disney Characters and getting their autograph and a Picture. We saw Belle (3 times), Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (twice), Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Chip N Dale, Lady Tremaine & her two daughters, Marie the Cat, Capt. Jack Sparrow (although he wasn't signing any autographs - bastard, that would've been a good one.), Jasmine, the Genie, and Aladdin (we waited but they had to leave before we got a signature) and a few others that I can't name right now because my brain is fried from driving for the last two days. (note - I don't think returning to "3 inches of snow" is helping any either.)

I guess this has made in impact on the Princess - she has been walking thru the house today with a little pink notepad and a pencil - asking for autographs. from our family. she is even introducing herself so that we know what name to write.

I wish they never outgrew this cuteness!

(Poor Grandma is having a stroke every time the princess asks for her autograph. It's hard for her to see the paper in this little pink notebook.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ahh Vacation....Points of interest

Vacation was a little rough getting going but I'll highlight a few of the more interesting parts that have happened (so far)

  1. We had decent weather driving from Cleveland to South Carolina. It didn't get too rainy and it was only foggy in North Carolina. Fortunately it wasn't foggy in West Virginia's hilly parts. We had that back in 2003. It wasn't fun.

  2. Our hotel in South Carolina was a dive - but we arrived at 1:00 am and left again at 8:30 am. So I told the girls to consider it "Roughing it" and promised that our Orlando hotel wouldn't be as bad as this.

  3. Our hotel in South Carolina had a stray cat in the parking lot that became quickly attached to us - even so far as trying to get into our hotel room. We consider her the welcoming committee. (It for sure was a she since she looked a little pregnant. My kids didn't realize it and I didn't tell them. They already feel bad about leaving it there in SC - alone.)

  4. I was able to keep my promise about the Orlando hotel. Our resort suite is awesome! I can't believe how nice this is for how little we paid. My kids want to live here. Forever. They don't even care that they have to share a room. They have their own bathroom...... I want to live here forever too. My personal bathroom is nicer. It has a huge bath tub with a separate shower. Go Me!!!!!

  5. I went to buy groceries for the week with my Master Card - it was declined and told us to call the card company. I was buying groceries at 10:51 pm and the store closed at 11:00 pm on Sunday night. I was still able to pay for the food - but I was upset because we specifically called the company to let them know that we would be traveling out of town and that the charges would be from us. (We had an incident when we started paying for our room and tickets that they declined because they were big ticket items purchased from another area. We cleared it up and were advised to call before we went......bastards) Mr Happy called them and confirmed that we were out of town and want to use our card. When I went to pay for souvenirs at the Magic Kingdom today - they declined the card again. Rat Bastards!!!! I hate them! It was so embarrassing to have to use "another form of payment" because MC can't get their act together. Hopefully Mr. Happy wasn't as nice when he called them tonight......if not I might have to tell them to take their 10,000.00 limit and shove it up their a@@! Obviously they want to give it to me - but they don't want me to use any of it. They have totally messed me out of 1300+ dollars in rewards points.

  6. Monday was a slow start but we made it to Magic Kingdom. Since there were so many people today - they decided to extend park hours. It was beautiful - weather wise and we enjoyed walking around visiting shows. Princess Happy was in awe to see Cinderella's castle for the 1st time. Happy Girl did a lot of texting.

  7. My Dear Hubby got picked to be "the Beast/Prince" during Belle's Story Hour at MK. Princess Happy was a little anxious that some "man" was going to put on the Beast costume during the show. Little did she know that "some man" would end up being her dad. She wasn't too sure at first but Happy girl and I just laughed our butts off. She got better as the show progressed. I always knew my husband was a prince - but this proves it. He was such good sport.......What a guy! Of course we got lots of pictures.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll write more as time allows!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3 Days & Counting....Destination: Insanity

3 more days. I can't believe it. I'm not ready. I think by the time this vacation begins I will be in desperate need of it. (Oh, wait....I think that was last week when I got there. Damn. Now I'm starting to forget stuff.)

I love going on vacation but I hate the chaos that I experience before I go. Some things on my to do list:
  • Pack Clothing by Wednesday. (Yeah right. Like that's going to happen and I'll explain more below)
  • Clean House so that relatives won't be completely grossed out when the come to stay with my MIL. (Okay - derailed again. See below)
  • Finish Shopping for trip and go grocery shopping so that MIL can eat next week. (I got 1/2 done before last night)
  • Call Roto Rooter and have them snake out basement toilet. (AHHHHH the problem within my carefully laid out schedule. They came last night and didn't snake the toilet. They used a truck/machine to "power clean" the pipes all the way to the street. It was twice as much as snaking AND they told us that in the future we are going to either do the whole power wash thing as part of our yearly maintenance OR we are going to have to dig up - possibly the driveway - to Straighten the pipe that leads to the street. Apparently we have a "dippy" line and refuse collects in the bottom of the dips and within a year it will block up again since the flow of water can't push past it. They blew the line clean but some of it did back up into my downstairs bathroom and laundry room. Of course the water is disgusting so my DH spent most of the night bleaching and tossing. I stayed upstairs so that I wouldn't get a perpetual "stink" in my nose. (Once that happens - forget it. It never leaves. No really - it's true.) He didn't get done until 1:00 am.
  • Middle School: Write note for Happy Girl so that I don't have to remember to call her off on April 6th and maybe they will give her the homework/classwork ahead of time to do before we go.
  • Preschool: Fill out all field trip forms and fill 12 eggs for Easter hunt when we get back. Do this by Thursday
  • Plan Easter: My brother and his family will be out to visit us on April 9th to stay for Easter. We will have professional pictures done and go to some activity (like a museum, zoo - something weather appropriate) I've already ordered the "Easter food" that I won't be making this year. The rest I can pick up and freeze this week or the fresh stuff won't be picked up until Tues the 7th.
  • Lastly - Pay all bills that will be due up to April 13th. I definitely don't want to come back to phone messages from anyone regarding a bill. Or worse - find out I can't get gas to come home because my card won't work. That would really suck.

We have a few fun things to look forward to this week. Mr. Happy will be going to the princess's preschool for a father's evening. Friday is observation week at dance and my MIL has said she will go. Later that evening we are going to an "80's" party. And then lastly - Saturday morning we will be going to a friend's 4th birthday party and then leaving for our vacation.

It will be a busy, crazy, (hopefully) stink-less, rest of the week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Countdown begins....

Well. Next week at this time I will be in the car driving to Florida. We will have "almost" arrived to the happiest place on earth. I'm sure it will be a lot warmer than here in Cleveland. At least I'm hoping it will be A LOT warmer than here in Cleveland. That would suck if wasn't. (Especially since I'm planning to pack mostly "warm weather wear")

We've shopped for new clothing (for all of us but especially for the kids.) They've grown so much. The princess has grown about 3-4 inches since last summer and another kid's size. Happy girl has grown expensive taste in clothing since last summer so her "target" duds aren't cool enough to wear anymore. Especially if I want to take any family photo's on this trip.

Today is when the packing will begin. Today I will begin packing and repacking the same 5 articles of clothing. Why? Because the family will want to help (especially my princess). I've already found several items I've put into a pile to be packed in the suitcases suspiciously moved into the toy washer & dryer in the laundry room. I've also seen every purse and backpack pulled out and strewn thru the house.

Also on my list to do: Clean House so that it looks the ABSOLUTE best it ever could. My in-laws are coming to take care of my MIL for the time we are away and I always worry that my house is a disaster and they are forced to stay in a mess.

Also on the list: 2 birthday parties, a Dad's night at preschool, an ortho appointment, a trip to both the hairdresser and nail shop.

I can see - it will be a very, VERY, busy week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Final 24....

Yes - it's the final 24. "24 What?" you say. Well - the final 24 hours of being in my 30's. What else? (Yes, I'm aware that there is a television series out there named "24" but the Sutherlands are not real high on my list of "Have to Watch" television and so naturally the mind will turn itself to age.)

I don't know why I'm so bothered. I keep hearing that "40" is the new "30" and that "50" is the new "40". Yeah right! I wonder who came up with that logic. Also I've heard - "Your as old as you feel". Well most days I feel like signing up at the nearest nursing home for occupancy. Basket Weaving and tapioca pudding sound really good sometimes. So how old does that make me? 30? 40? 50? 90? 115? For good measure I should probably put in there that I seem to be on the verge of more "Temper Tantrums" than usual. Maybe we could throw the number "3" in there too. After all - the inner brat wants out sometimes too and since we're as "old as we feel" - "3" is a good description too. Of course - I also want to "roll my eyes", pop gum, forget to clean my room, and give a few blond stares when questioned about it. all Maybe I should throw in "13" too. Yes - I believe that "13" is a good age to be. Because I have young children I also still hang out with some "20 somethings" and "30 somethings". Through them I see my young child through the eyes of new parenting skills. I even get to make the same parenting mistakes - again. (I know - one would think that I would learn the first time but parenting rules change every 10 years or so. So what was acceptable 10 years ago has evolved or devolved - depending on your perspective - into something else.) I also have friends and relatives whose children are going into college or have graduated already and are starting their own families. Through them I see where my children are headed and I feel like the "baby" of the group. When we compare woes I hear "Just Wait!" "You'll See!" "That was easy compared to _______."

Yes - I know these final "24" hours are just numbers. Hours ticked off until the big "4 - 0" happens. I've used them to think about what these numbers really mean and how they will affect me tomorrow. I think what I need to remind myself is that at any given moment tomorrow and/or the next year, I will mentally be a baby, 3, 13, 20 something, 30 something, 40, 50, 90, and 115. That's just something that happens to all of us at some point in our lives. I will not be the exception. 40 is the physical age of my body, not my mind. I will just have to get used to it. Considering what the alternative is......I guess 40 sounds pretty good.

I do however hope that there won't be 40 candles on the cake tomorrow. That just might be dangerous.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What I've Been Doing Since I Last Posted...

  • We've planned a trip to Walt Disney World for the end of the month. We decided because Mr. Happy probably won't get a week off this summer that we should take advantage of him being off during Happy Girl's spring break and go somewhere. Warm. Far Away. By Ourselves. Without Additional Relatives.
  • I spoke to my youngest brother and planned for him and his family to visit us for Easter. They will be out the Thursday before Easter and stay with us until Holy Monday or the Tuesday after Easter. We spent last Easter together at his house and had a very relaxing holiday. I hope that they will come out and have the same experience.
  • I've been taking advantage of spending time with friends by going to play areas at Fast Food restaurants or the mall. We've had some fun - especially because I have gotten to crochet with someone who actually understands more of what I'm supposed to be doing than I do. I made a shopping bag. I'm so proud of myself - especially because my MIL can't believe I made it myself. She thinks that I made some of the stitches too big. I laugh because she is legally blind. (And the blind woman gives advice on stitch size... This is the same lady that can't knit anymore because she can't see the stiches. Sighhhh - I just agree, but I am still proud of my efforts)
  • I'm gearing myself up for turning 40. I'm still not sure how I feel about this birthday - but I know that it isn't something that I'm going to be able to do anything about. I should just accept it - but it bothers me.
  • I've been scrapbooking a little more than I was before. I dug out photo's from our last two trips to Disney and since there aren't too many I am able to scrap them. Hopefully I will be done with at least 1999 before we leave.
  • I've also been sorting thru Princess Happy's summer stuff & Happy Girl's summer stuff. Some of it has been packed away for the princesses cousin who is a year younger, some of it has gone to Plato's closet, and some of it was just plain junky and went into the garbage.
  • I've also been watching my diet. It's not easy - especially around my house with several picky eaters. I've made a lot of homemade soup lately. It's by products have made my MIL happy (She loves dark meat chicken and eating it reminds her of the meals she used to cook for her & my FIL) and my kids love homemade chicken noodle soup. I'm trying to make healthier meals and still satisfy everyone.

So that is what I am doing. It's not exciting - but it's time consuming. I'm not complaining.....but it's why I'm not here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Survived.

Valentine's Day is officially over. The children have all had their outings. Mr. Happy & I have had a datenight. It is over. I am tired.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day - The Weekend...

Yes, it says Valentine's "Day" but for us it is more of a weekend this year. A LONG weekend. It started Thursday when I was the helper at preschool. It was cute to watch 3 and 4 year olds grasp the concept of "LOVE". One child didn't want to give valentine's to any one else but her "Bestest Friend in the World". So the concept was explained that all of our friends should be loved (at least at school from 12:15 - 2:15) equally.

On Friday - we had the pleasure of having 7 3 & 4 year olds over from Dance class (and one that I hope someday will be in our dance class since they are so cool) to share valentines, food, & conversation. The party turned out to be really fun (and heavily loaded with chocolate & treats). I am truly amazed (and slightly awed) that all the girls were able to get along so well. I look forward to doing this again sometime in the summer when they can play outside as well. (Marga - tini's on deck anyone?)

Saturday - despite the glitch of my car not starting it went well. (Somehow my hatch was opened on Friday and left open for 3-4 hours before my departing guests noticed and told me. My battery was drained but I didn't know it until 5 minutes before it was time to take my MIL to the beauty shop on Saturday) Mom was visibly relieved that she didn't have to leave the house, and I wasn't too panicked because I didn't actually have to be anywhere critical. The day was spent peacefully picking up and reading a love story. Later that evening - Mr. Happy and I went to dinner, the movies, and then out for coffee. The dinner was good, the movie was excellent, and the coffee was "Blessedly" decaf.

Sunday - Even though I am starting to feel really nauseous from all the extra goodies, I'm excited for Happy girl and her friends to have their slumber party tonight. Happy girl and her friends have very definite ideas on what a slumber party for 13 year olds MUST consist of: Heart Shaped champagne goblets with their names written on them, Sparkling grape juice Punch, Pizza (Preferably shaped into a heart) Paper hearts completely decorating the upstairs, and of course home made strawberry cupcakes personally baked and decorated by Happygirl and friend the night before while babysitting Princess Happy. I'm on my way in a few to pick up a few things from the store:

Pink Plates, 7 up, stuff to decorate the paper hearts, Breakfast items, and Tums (for me).

It has been a "LOVE"-ly weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2009


What a crazy day! It started off fine. Coffee, solitude, the last chapter of a book. It's all good. Princess Happy showered and dressed in a timely manner. Grandma Happy was coherent and pretty lucid. We got to dance class on time without driving like a maniac. Dance class went well, enjoyed some conversation with other moms, got out of line dancing, and had a fun lunch/play date with a few of the other moms/students in the class.

THEN we came home. We arrived just in time to watch Happy Girl's bus deposit students along Fair Street. I honked as I got closer to my street so that Happy Girl would see me and I could offer her a ride. She never turned around. She a few friends from up the street were deep in conversation while strolling down the middle of the street. I pulled up quietly behind them. Still - nothing. Didn't turn around. Didn't get out of the middle of the street. Just kept on walking and talking. So I laid on the horn. I've never seen 3 - 13 year olds freak like this. I think that they thought I was gonna hit them with the car (I was about a foot or two directly behind them) and they also realized that they were walking in the MIDDLE of the street. One boy even pushed his way past the two girls to get to the side of the road - but his eyes were WIDE OPEN CRAZY at the same time. Ha ha ha - it was funny. The girl's lectured me a little and up the street older sister also told me that if she ended up in the hospital because of her heart attack - I was getting the bill. Of course they were laughing hysterically while they lectured (I think it was the giddiness you feel when you thought something awful was going to happen and it didn't.) Ha ha - I laughed all the way home, while unloading the car, and cleaning the house.

Around 5 pm - Happy Girl decided to take the dog out for her evening potty break. She went out on the back patio to put the dog's leash on when I heard this blood curdling scream. MOOOOOOOOOM, HELP!!!!!!!! So I rushed to the back door to find my daughter screaming about a furry face behind the grill and that it had glowing red eyes and it was gonna bite her and don't let it into the house, and how does she keep Jetta from it .....(And she screamed all this so loudly that it brought everyone over to the back door to "help") I'm concerned, not because my daughter thinks a wild animal is going to bite her, but because the grill is less than 3 feet from my back patio door and I think this animal is going to rush in from outside into the warm house. I'm not quite sure what it is at the moment - but I yell for Happy Girl & dog to run into the house RIGHT NOW because I'm not holding the door open to talk them in slowly. They get in and as the door is shutting - Happy Girl is freaking, Princess Happy (Who is NOT a big animal lover to begin with) starts freaking out because she thinks it going to get in the house and bite her and she's crying.

OMG! Mr. Happy looks out the kitchen window and announces that it's a Opossum. It's peaking it's face in between the slats of my patio. So what do I do - I grab my camera of course. I climbed up on my kitchen counter to get several shots of the animal that caused all this confusion while I left my husband to calm down the girls. He can't. They are totally freaked out and hysterical. Of course, I'm starting to laugh at this point and I asked if anyone wanted to go camping. Mr. Happy shot me dirty look and kept trying to convince the older one that it was okay. He even offered to call next door to our retired police officer neighbor to see if Mr. Dave would "remove" the animal from our yard. Happy Girl then freaked - she said that we weren't allowed to kill "Pablo". PABLO????? WTF! Now she's naming this animal? I'm glad she didn't want it to be killed - but naming it? The little one is still screaming about "Oposs-I" and how horrible they are and do they eat children or dogs? I took the opportunity to look up Opossum on the Internet and discovered that they like to eat slugs, spiders, mice, rats, and snakes. They are "nature's gardeners" and the "Sanitation workers" of the wild. Oh Brother!!!!!!!!!! Eventually I got the princess to LOOK at a picture and announce that they aren't so bad.

So here is a picture of a "child eating" Opossum named "Pablo". I hope he doesn't stay too long. I think that I will have a hard time getting Princess Happy out into the backyard to play this spring. Forget about any snow fun in the backyard. I don't think I will tell her I found tracks on the driveway and on the side of the house. She might never go out again!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Random thoughts for the day

1.) I was totally surprised by the amount of snow we got. (shocked is more like it) When Mr Happy called to check out our itinerary, I was surprised because I hadn't been upstairs to see what a mess it was outside. Our plans were cancelled because we couldn't get the car out of the driveway. I'm also grateful to my neighbor across the street for driving Happygirl and all the other middle schoolers to school instead of making them wait in a snowdrift for the bus to pick them up. Thanks Amy!
2.) Didn't have much to do today because I planned to be out of the house most of the morning and to have company afterwards. The house was clean, laundry was mostly done, and I was (dare I say it?) caught up. I read a whole book (Thanks Mr. Happy for letting me get to the library on Monday "BY MYSELF". I am totally stocked up!) played some games with the princess (although none of them involved laundry and standing on a chair - LOL), read a few books with her, and then watched her take a 4 1/2 hour nap that refused to be interrupted by "dinner". Needless to say - Now she's up and ready to go and I'm tired from doing "nothing" all day.
3.) Saw some television tonight. Love the show "Lie to Me". Happygirl hates watching with me since I can guess the plot. Ha Ha HAH!!! Maybe she will take this as an omen about lying......
4.)I'm worried about my MIL. She seems so much more disoriented lately. Yesterday at the foot doctor - she complained of pain in her right foot because her toes were curling up tight and it hurt to manipulate them. He then explained to her (I was sitting next to her so I heard and saw EVERYTHING) that he would numb the foot, make a small incision on the bottom of the foot by each toe and this would do something to help manipulate the toe. He would only do two toes at a time -three weeks apart. She seemed to understand, watched him do this, and had a detailed discussion of it in the car with me on the way home. Today - she can't understand why her foot hurts and is shocked that the Dr. did something to her toes. She was horrified that he cut her foot. My hubby and I were there checking her bandage and all we could do is look at each other. This gloomy weather is not good for her. When the sun is shining, she is more "in the world" and can have a reasonable conversation (at least what limited hearing and limited vision will allow) otherwise she lives in this "bubble" that only she understands what is going on - and it isn't always current or relevant to any conversation being had. I'm very worried for her. I might make an appointment to talk to the nurse practitioner privately to see what I should be watching for.
5.) I started scrapping my TSO pictures. I found some neat paper that isn't very christmassy -is in all the same colors as the light show of the concert. I am almost done with my 2007 pictures. So now I have to make a few title pages and year in review page. Then I can work on January 2008. It's a minimal month for pictures so it shouldn't take too long. I don't take a lot of pictures in February either. So - I should be able to get caught up to where I want to be in a few evenings.
6.) I am praying for a school day tomorrow. If we have a snow day - it might interfere with my plans for the afternoon. (Which reminds me - I have to get my yarn ready. I also have to make Play dough for school tomorrow.)

Otherwise - not much happening around here. If it does end up being a snow day tomorrow, I will make my play dough, scrap my pictures, and possibly put up some Valentine's decorations.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Few Things That Made Me Chuckle....

What a weird last couple of days. It's been crazy busy, but somewhat entertaining also. Here are a few things that have made me chuckle:

  1. My 4 year old princess announced that she "loved the Jonas Bruvvers (Brothers)" and asked me (oh so sweetly) to invite them to eat dinner at our house. She also said that she wished they were her "bruvvers" so that they could help "sister" do her chores. I guess this is an open invitation to the Jonas Brothers - If that Singing career doesn't work out for them - they are invited to dinner and to be adopted because "Sister" needs help with vacuuming.
  2. My 13 year old Girl seriously contemplating wearing a new pink hoodie to school yesterday despite the fact that it has a big white security tag hanging off it and that her new white hoodie matches just as well as the pink one. (Would that be the beginning of a new fad? Hmmmm?)
  3. Discovering that my husband's van is the exact same make and model of the van of a dance class friends' husband who is a rep for a beer company (minus the company logo). Even the interior is identical. (Our cup holders haven't been working properly - do you think he will notice if I swap them out? He's not supposed to drink and drive - right? )
  4. Listening to my princess sing "My Humps" while fingering the formal dresses at May Company. Something is wrong with this - but I can't quite put my finger on it. Regardless, it was funny and the people around us were chuckling too.
  5. The look on my husband's face when he found out that I have a blog. (Even he knows that I'm a reader, not a writer.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Something different

Since I'm so new to blogging, I'm going to take a page out of my friends blog and just write a few things that I appreciate today.

  1. Being the helper (again) at Princess Happy's preschool. Even though I felt like I wandered into another dimension, it was good to meet new people.
  2. American Idol - the end of the auditions. Next week they are going to Hollywood week. Heh heh.....Now it REALLY begins.
  3. Meeting friends at the mall for a desperately needed play date after waiting out 3 trains and traffic and not having to leave right away when Happy girl called to say she was staying after school for a Yearbook meeting. (Note: Yearbook was discussed the night before- before I made any plans - and was pronounced to be "too boring" to stick around for. Ahhh - the teenage quickly it changes.)
  4. Discovering that I actually like television and that there is SOMEthing interesting to watch out there (other than Clean House & American Idol) - Disclaimer: Anyone reading this that likes the new FOX shows "Fringe" and "Lie To Me".....Any show that I am even remotely interested in WILL be cancelled within the first 10 shows. If you like this show and would be interested in it's continuation.....Forget about it. I just seriously jinxed them. Does anyone remember "Boston Public", "Joan of Arcadia", and last years "New Amsterdam"? Yup - that was ALL me baby! Wahoo!
  5. Recovering my google password. It's difficult to update a blog if one can't log onto it. (Stupid Java update!)
  6. Discovering a sale for both my girls at the above mentioned mall. 15.00 hoodies (since I am sick of seeing the same two rotated and worn -to death- almost daily - I was able to purchase 3 more with a surprise hoodie/sweats set to be given for valentine's day.) 5.00 Long sleeve fleece nightgowns in a size (or two) larger for my princess who never hesitates to remind me when I wear a nightgown how much she loves them and misses wearing them since it became winter. A bonus....I got an additional 10% off because of my store card. I was also able to pick up a cute hoodie/sweat set for the princess for under 12.00 (with an additional 10% off that too.) She will be wearing the gowns for at least another year or two since they are a bigger size than she wears now. The princess was THRILLED to take her shower and put on her new warm cozy gown. Happy girl practically knocked me over to hug me when she saw the three hoodies, 1 new camisole and 1 new purple striped T shirt on her bed. I am "ALMOST" the best mother in the world. (I might have that tattoo'd somewhere so that I can moon her when she tells me how awful I am...)

Okay - my last positive thing.....I'm off to bed for a good night's sleep. Night!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow Days

The phone rang at 6:00 am this morning to announce that school was cancelled for the day. Of course, Happy girl was already up, showered, dressed, and putting make up on before she heard the news. (I'm secretly hoping that she will rethink the whole "getting up at 5" thing because of this. ) I, of course, didn't sleep after that either. I had to put the news on to see if Princess Happy's preschool was cancelled today. After watching for about 40 minutes, I gave up looking for Strongsville Schools and went looking for coffee instead.

Happy girl had already made croissants (for everyone) for breakfast and was curled up on the couch watching MTV with a cup of tea. She announced that she had already looked for the princess's school and that it wasn't closed. (Sheesh - had I known she was this on top of things, I would've stayed in bed much later. Especially after watching the princess run to her sister first for hugs, kisses, and cuddles this morning.) Happygirl then ran off her list of chores that she did already and asked if there were anymore. Since she did such a good job - I let her off the hook for the vacuuming and told her she could have her friend from school come with us to run errands today. (Yes - I'm psycho. I take my kids out in sub-zero temperatures to go shopping.)

After we confirmed that the princess did have school, we dropped her off, and went to the mall to "look". It was a quick trip (since preschool is ONLY two hours) but we managed to find boots and candle stuff. We also managed to try on all the makeup at Sephora. (Two Teenage Girls + Free Makeup = ~Bliss~)

After we picked up Princess - we decided to go to the movies and use a gift certificate to see a movie we all wanted to see. The movie was decent (even if it wasn't falling down funny like the critics said).

Not a bad way to spend a snow day. I've heard we've got another for tomorrow. If it goes as well as today - that is just fine with me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What do I write about?

What do I write about? Hmmmm - very good question. Should I write about how I got most of Mt. Washmore done and almost all put away? (YAY!!! Clean gotchies for everyone. No more Commando!!!) Should I write about a meeting with the loan officer at our bank because we are thinking about refinancing our home (that we've only lived in for 2 years) because interests rates are really low now? (I mean REALLY REALLY low now.) Should I write about the crappy weather and how I slid all over the road today just trying to meet a friend who made some awesome burp clothes for me to give as a gift?

Nah.... I think I will touch upon the impromptu party that happened in our home this evening. I left the house about 4:45 pm with Mr. Happy slumbering peacefully (if not quietly) in his chair, Princess Happy playing polly pockets in her bedroom, and Happygirl doing homework in the dining room. (Yes, she has a desk but I guess she can't do 7th grade algebra correctly without listening to her dad snore. - Go figure!) I came back from picking up the gift and Grandma Happy's meds (that we ran out of and NEEDED to take at dinner tonight) and we had a house full of girls. Happygirl invited a friend from school over to play (this was expected since she did ask permission first) and to eat dinner with us. While Happygirl and schoolfriend were out playing in a mound of snow - freshly created by the local snowplows - a few neighbors decided to join them. So now we have Happygirl, Princess Happy, and Schoolfriend out playing in the snow with our "up the street neighbors" which conveniently one of them has the same first name as Happygirl. (Yes it's interesting trying calling my child in for dinner. If I'm not careful - sometimes I get the wrong child.) So Upthestreetgirl and her sister Princess Upthestreet came over to play with our group. Then the princesses saw me pull in the driveway and decided that they were too cold. (They are only 4 and 5 and it is pretty cold - so to me it seems a reasonable request) So I have them come in while I'm preparing dinner. Mr. Happy decides this is the PERFECT time to go snow plow the driveway and I'm left trying to entertain two preschoolers and make dinner at the same time. I'm in a hurry to make dinner for a few reasons. Grandma Happy has diabetes so she has to eat around the same times each day because of her meds. Also - Schoolfriend's parents are picking her up around 8 - ish and I would hate for her to miss dinner or have to wolf it down before she leaves. Also - and this one is the MOST important one of all- I'm hungry. So I called the big girls in to watch the little girls - and ended up with 2 more guests for dinner. While Upthestreet girl is calling home to see if she and Princess upthestreet are allowed to stay - their older sister (Who is Happygirl's age) decides to come down for a visit. Now I have 3 extra guests. I ended up making a kid friendly meal and Happygirl and Princess Happy ended up having a party. The adults had dinner in the dining room, the kids ate in the kitchen - but things were still pretty loud. After dinner and dessert (I made homemade Hot chocolate pudding for 8 - the kids decided to divide and clutter. It was 8:00 pm at this point so I wasn't doing anything else except watch American Idol (One of the few TV shows I enjoy watching). So Mr. Happy got to wander through the house and take care of the chaos while I watched TV (Mark your calendars - this doesn't happen often) After 4 extra girls - it probably won't happen again anytime soon. It was crazy - and chaotic. (Princesses don't like to clean up after themselves and neither do the big girls.....) It was also fun. but I'm hoping that if we do get a snow day tomorrow - that it won't be repeated. Give me a few days ladies before you crash upon my doorstep. I'm old and I need to take breaks in between these wild parties. Besides - it will probably take me that long to put away all the polly pockets, dress-ups, and fake food that migrated all over the house while Mr. Happy was "Supervising".

(P.s. - does it make me an official blogger because I now have "2" posts? Let me know.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kicking and Screaming....

errrr - Uh maybe not. When my friend Lazymama asked me when I was going to start a blog - I just laughed. Loudly. I AM NOT a writer. I am a reader. I love to read. Books, Magazines, cereal boxes, blogs. All of it. I would rather spend my free time reading other people's blogs. This all started when I went to Borders last summer. I was browsing the books and I came across this book called

"Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered, Smartass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office".

The title just grabbed my attention and I had to get it. 24 hours later I was back at borders buying the two sequels - Bright Lights, Big Ass (AND I had to ask a male associate for help locating it. That was interesting and I'm sure I left quite an impression on him.) and "Such a Pretty Fat". A week later I was hooked. I went online to, I searched the library (Dear Mr. Happy - when I die - please have me cremated and scatter my ashes somewhere between Historical Fiction and Science Fiction.) for other authors. I found Meredith Efken and a few others that I can't name and now I'm totally hooked. Jen is visited often so that I may get a quick dose of her snarkyness.

So - imagine how happy I am to discover that my friend has a blog. YEAH!!!!! Now I finally get to read about people I actually know. I get to experience an event and then read about someone else's perspectives on it. YEAHHHHH!!! And of course, I get to comment on these same items. When I tried to leave a comment with my name on her blog - I couldn't quite figure out how it works without using "ANONYMOUS". So I left my comment "Anonymously" {Wink Wink - think she'll find out?} and then decided to create a "BLOG" so that I could leave my name with my comments. Then I decided - well, since it's a blog - maybe I should write something for anyone who trips over this so they don't think I'm totally clueless (which I am - but don't tell. Let'skeep this between me and you.) and then I realized.....

Tricky Gretchen - VERY VERY tricky. You just knew I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut forever. Didn't you? You knew I would have to create this and that I would Blog it.

Very clever my friend. Kicking and screaming.....Nah, I don't think so. You are way too subtle for that.