Archives for November 2007

Shoot. Me. Now.

This morning at Target (picked up some Christmas gifts for Hubby), The Princess asked if she could get something from their Dollar Spot. While I hate dollar stores tremendously, we do like the Dollar Spot at Target – especially since I heart bribing my children into behaving. So, I said, Suuuuuuuuuuure.

She picked a deck of Hello Kitty cards.

The little fact that she failed to consider in this purchase is – she knows NO card games. And, as people who know me can attest, I don’t really either (aside from Go Fish). I don’t play poker, I don’t play any of those games. I think I’m the only person to have attended college in the midwest without learning euchre (though several people tried and failed to teach me). I hate card games. This is most definitely Hubby’s arena.

Meanwhile, The Princess is so desperate to play with her new cards, she is making up games. Yes. And the joyous thing about kids making up any kind of game is that the rules are ever changing, lack logic, and the kid almost always wins. Except The Princess could tell I was not feeling it, and kept assuring me how easy her game was. I would put a random card down, and she’d nod at me, “VERY tricky, mom….” or “You’re REALLY getting it!” And I won. Imagine that. And because I won, we had to play again, because obviously, I really understand it.

In fact, as I type, she’s talking and talking and talking and talking – telling me the rules of her game… I think the cards may have to disappear until Hubby can get home or I’m going to go nuts.

Prayers, Well Wishes, Positive Thoughts, Good Vibes

Whatever you’ve got, we’ll take them.

We are in the final countdown. On Sunday, my brother will be moving in to an assisted living facility and will have what he’s needed for a long time – more supervision and less access to manipulative people who cause trouble and take advantage of him. It seems neverending lately.

Currently, he lives in a government subsidy-type apartment complex. This ensures that most of the other residents are also people a little down on their luck, or similar to my brother with issues, both mental and physical. There’s a teenage girl down the hall with a boyfriend who is straight-up trouble. They have leeched on to my brother because of his inability to say no. They have gotten numerous free dinners from my brother, rides all over the place in his car, and really, god only knows what else. The boyfriend apparently has been living in my brother’s apartment (news to us), and he sleeps in my brother’s bed while my brother sleeps on his couch.


This means that my brother’s already poor health is worse, because 1) he’s not getting much sleep, and 2) he’s sleeping on an itty bitty couch. As my dad said yesterday, “Sarah, he’s REALLY ill. I don’t know how long he’s going to live.” Because of all my brother’s health issues, medical research says his life expectancy is probably half that of a healthy person who is “normal”. He is FAR from normal. His recent behavior leads us to think his IQ (already low) is declining. He moves like an old man – slow, rigid. He just does not look well. And then there’s all this drama. My dad and his wife feel that he just is scared to tell these people “no” and “can’t”. I don’t know what to believe, but know that the drama is pretty close to pushing my mom over the edge, as she’s been falling asleep nightly saying the rosary.

Sunday is the day. Sunday is the day that he moves in to the new place. Tonight after work, my mom needs to go to a bank to close an account likely opened for the purpose of these people writing fraudulent checks in my brother’s name. They are teenagers. How the hell do they even THINK of this stuff? It’s really sickening.

We are all just crossing our fingers and waiting for Sunday and hoping it comes without too much more drama.

Bursting My Bubble Already

Okay, I know that there is no reason whatsoever that I needed to have had four Gingerbread Lattes within six days (I think), but today, The Princess wanted a Starbucks kids hot cocoa, and since we were there anyway… I figured I’d get another Gingerbread Latte. Like you wouldn’t have done it too – I mean, we were ALREADY THERE!

The barrista prepared our drinks, and we hightailed it through the 23 degree weather to the car and that is where I took the first sip of the NASTIEST GINGERBREAD LATTE EVER MADE. I’m guessing that the gingerbread syrup was just not quite right. It was a bitter, nasty drink that I actually ended up tossing, nearly full, into a trashcan at the gas station (my next stop in the errand running).

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. What a bummer.

Hazy Shade of Winter

(Sheer irony that this song was on my iPod was I was gearing up to post).

It’s cold today, ya’ll. So cold that about 45 minutes after the school bus came to pick up The Princess, I figured I probably kinda might want to take her snow pants to her at school – they don’t care how cold it is, they still send the kids outside to play. Never mind that the wind is blowing so hard today that my trashcan blew over – I’m thinking my trash can has to be heavier than many of these kindergartners who probably don’t stand a chance at staying upright in these gusts.

This is a day that begs for hot cocoa (which I now make less hot than I used to last year, for those of you concerned – I’ll also drink it out of a travel cup with a lid so as to make it less easy for myself to get scalded if I happen to drop it). This is also a day that begs for comforty winter food. On our menu tonight is a Beef & Beer Chili from Cooking Light magazine. Looks like it’s a speedy preparation (a plus) – we’ll see if it makes it past the kid-critics though, as only one of them likes beans.

This is a day that begs for mellow music (which prompted my latest iTunes purchase – Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” – why didn’t I have that yet?).

I have sunshine coming through my slider, and after six loads of laundry, the downstairs smells like Tide and Downey. Not bad. But it would be better about 40 degrees warmer.


I was going to vent again about more things about the holiday season that are already frustrating me – but, it’s not even December yet, so I’ll hold that thought for a bit. Here are a few random things (Writer’s block has been hitting me hardcore – too much on my mind lately) that are making it a bit easier to find the Christmas spirit:

1. I said it before, but I really think my co-shoppers are in better moods this year. This morning at Target, I was trying to get the rugrats into the shopping cart and I was (admittedly) totally blocking this other woman from getting through with her cart. I apologized and she responded with a smile: “No apology necessary! I totally understand!” Wow. It was nice.

2. Gingerbread lattes. Why have I never tried these until this year? Yum.

3. Buying stocking stuffers. My stocking is my favorite part of the Christmas-gift part – and aside from putting together my kids’ stockings, I also coordinate my mom’s (I totally thought her husband would take this job from me when they got hitched… but he hasn’t). I love looking for goofy little things to put in the stocking. Mom is getting some ornaments in hers, as well as some music and a movie. At some point, I’ll go get her some new margarita salt, and OPI’s I’m Not Really a Waitress.

4. Stocking related weirdness: Mom and I asked each other for the same CD and the same movie. Should I be alarmed?

5. We have planned a date for the Second Annual Cookie Decorating Party. Oy. The Princess is SO excited.

6. Just about a week and a half until the Hannah Montana concert. Y’all wish you were me, dontcha?

7. Hubby finally told me what he wants for Christmas… He wants a golf bag. I freakin’ hate golf. I asked him what are the specifications to buying a golf bag – he said the configuration is VERY important. I asked, “How so?” He didn’t answer. So… fantastic. At least I have half an idea. I’ll probably just buy the nice looking one, and get the gift receipt.

Bah Humbug?

Since a few days before Thanksgiving, The Princess has been hounding Hubby about putting up the Christmas tree. I have been dragging my feet, because while I loved to put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving in my pre-children life, it’s a habit I’ve become less thrilled about lately. The thing is, when you have young kids, a Christmas tree is not a peaceful, joyous sign of the holiday. It’s not. It’s a huge safety hazard and it’s something you are going to spend the next few weeks telling the kids to stop touching, stop moving the ornaments, stop shaking it, stop stop stop.

It has been up less than 24 hours (I apparently was outvoted on the whole “let’s wait a few weeks before putting up the tree” thing). I already want the darn thing down. Pumpkin has taken to dragging a footstool next to the bottom of the tree, standing on it, and touching every ornament she can reach. Of course, the ornaments that play music are the most popular ones (WHO bought those for us anyway?) – every time one of the girl squeezes one of those ornaments to activate it, the tree lists to the left and I think it’s going to fall over. It hasn’t… yet. But it’s not even December yet.

The ornaments, hung mostly by the kids are pretty much at mid-tree level. That is arm’s length for The Princess. The cheapy, won’t-break ornaments are all at the bottom branch level. And all the kids want the lights on – ALL THE TIME.

It’s going to be a long month!

I’m Getting There

I ventured out for Black Friday today and maybe it was because I waited and wasn’t waiting at the doors when the stores opened this morning, or maybe it was because the sales just seemed sorta lackluster and not really worth getting my heinie to the mall for a 4 a.m. opening (Um? No)… but the malls definitely weren’t as crowded, and the people even seemed… nicer. It was pleasant.

Because the sales weren’t really anything I had to have, my mission was to go out and see what there was and hopefully get a couple items crossed off my list. I had been eyeing a sweater for myself (I know, I know) and I also wanted to get something to read, so that was sort of on my list as well.

My first stop was Macy’s where I found adorable Christmas ornaments for the kids – I found ALL THREE names, and they were all spelled correctly. This is no big feat for Stepson, who has a fairly common name. My girls, however, while they have names that are common, they are also a myriad of ways to spell those names… but… I found all three names. Yay. I like to get each kid a new ornament every year. Mission accomplished.

Onward to some random perfume place. My mom’s fave perfume was discontinued, but I was able to score a bottle of it (yahoo!), along with one for my sis. The store also gave me a sample of Perry Woman, which I can only describe as stinky, and “no wonder they were giving it away”. Not my thing.

Moving on, I found a few things at Barnes & Noble. One for me, one for mom. Onward again to pick up a few clothing items for the kids at Old Navy (including a hot pink puffer vest for The Princess that she is going to LOVE because a) it’s pink, and b) wearing a vest means she doesn’t have to wear a coat). Went to the Gap where I have been eyeing this very orange sweater. Figured I’d pick it up and see if one of my kids wants to give it to me for Christmas (love the way we shop, don’t you?). I also wandered into Gap Body because I love their undies – so cute and so comfy. It might have been the funniest part of my day when the young guy ringing up my undies had the worst time getting the price to come up – you could tell all he wanted was to get done and to be able to put the panties away! At one point, they rang up as $80 (!) and his face just got redder and redder. He looked like he wanted to crawl into a hole. I thought it was funny. In the end, it all worked out, though, and I have a funny story to tell because of it.

Also, while shopping, I tried a Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks (You can’t be surprised there was a Starbucks stop in the midst of this all, can you?). It was surprisingly yummy. I may have a temporary new favorite. At least for the holiday season.

I’ve still got plenty of shopping to do, but I did make a decent dent in the process. I had already started shopping and expect a big box from to show up anyday now. I told Hubby, “I have got the practical stuff taken care of for the kids – it’s up to you to buy the toys!”

Thank You. Gracias. Merci.

Happy Thanksgiving. I type this as Pumpkin is napping (for that, I am thankful!) and Hubby is entertaining The Princess and Stepson. We’ll head over to my mom’s to gorge ourselves on turkey and other yummies once naptime is over, but I am loving the quiet for now, and sure needed it!

It’s been kind of hard to come up with a list of things in my life for which I am grateful. Admittedly, I’ve been in a crabby mood lately – and while I am (of course) thankful for my family and friends, it’s been hard to feel fully appreciative because of my knickers being in a twist. I’m such a joy, right?

Today, I’m thankful for:
2. iTunes – instant gratification – I hear a song, I download a song, I listen to a song repeatedly. It’s good.
3. Cheesecake brownies – I’ll have to post the recipe, y’all – they are good. Very very good.
4. That the ugly snow that was sitting on my lawn when I woke up has already melted. I hate winter.
5. That the local humane society is offering a deal on black animals tomorrow for Black Friday. I think that’s awesome… and while we’re not ready to get a pet just yet, I think it’s a great thing they’re doing.
6. Having re-found some amazing friends this year – I had lost touch and have since found them and now can’t imagine life without them. Such a blessing – it’s been a fun time reconnecting.
7. Days when I can be “off duty” – being a mom is some tiring stuff. Some days, it’s nice to turn it over to someone else and I can veg and not have to worry about it.
8. That there are so many things to read online when I’m procrastinating being productive.
9. Coke Zero.
10. And of course, my extra foamy cappuccinos. Yummers.

More Unexpected Good

Just a few things of note that are awesome this weekend. The first thing being: They found an assisted living home for my brother, he was accepted, and he’ll move in in the next few weeks. This is a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders and a huge relief. He is excited, as are my parents, who can go back to blissfully ignoring each other.

Also, my dad did NOT flake out on me this weekend – he even showed up (nearly) on time this morning, bearing a cappuccino. He stayed several hours until my children said, “You’ve been here a real long time”, and left just before I went to meet a friend for some (more) coffee.

Great conversation with my friend over coffee – we don’t do that nearly often enough! I had a great time, and was able to be out of the house sans kids.

ALL good stuff.

A Plus

Yesterday was some serious ugly, and there was a slight redemption towards the end of the day which completely saved the day from (as a friend of mine says) “stinking like a bag of dead turtles”. My friend and I were able to briefly escape the chaos of our children-filled homes and head to the mall to get some dresses.

I will be the first to admit – I really don’t much like shopping. In fact, I kind of sort of really don’t like it. When I have money to blow, I don’t typically like to spend it on clothes and stuff – but… My friend has a company holiday party this weekend, and I have Husband’s work Christmas party (gag!) and a wedding for my cousin all within the next few weeks, and we were both needing something to wear.

Fortunately… we both found success at the first store!

I tried on a few dresses (including some that looked too much like nightgowns to attempt for a wedding), and hit the jackpot with the fourth dress, which I loved and made me feel so pretty that I didn’t want to take it off. Yes, I’m pretty much going to freeze my butt off wearing this in December – but, I’ll be able to breathe in it, even after eating (!), and I’ll be able to dance in it — and those were the most important criteria for me in choosing this dress.

My friend’s dress (also dress #4!) was beautiful and she was pretty pleased to find success at the first store (with no tears shed!). At the register, we found out that there was an awesome sale, further proving that these dresses were meant to be ours.

So, for all the stuff about yesterday that made me crazy, at least I have a super cute dress that I can’t wait to wear.