Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why I Don't Do More Yardwork

Since I've been sick for the past few days, and Sarah was home sick Monday through Wednesday, Katie hasn't left the house at all this week. Last night, she must have finally been fed up with it because she reached into my purse and began pulling everything out until she found my keys. Once she had my keys in her hand she took off for the door saying, "Bye-bye!" repeatedly the entire way. I caught up to her and took my keys from her and told her we were not going "bye-bye," and boy did she throw a fit!

So, this morning, I thought I'd be a good mom and take her out into the backyard to play. I was still very tired and had a hard time keeping my eyes open, but Katie was having a good time playing on the slides and throwing her balls around.

After sitting out there for a while, I started doing what I always do when I am in my yard for any length of time - I started making mental notes of all of the things that need to be done in the yard. One of the things that needed to be done, one of the things that has been driving me crazy for a while now (I know - short drive), is cut down the damn neighbors' vines that have been snaking up into one of my oak trees.

While staring at those vines, the craziest thing happened. I suddenly found myself with hedge trimmers in my hand cutting away at the vines. I don't know how it happened because anyone who knows me at all knows that I hate work of any kind, but I most especially hate yard work. There I found myself, though, actually doing yard work, and feeling good about it, too.

Of course, little did I know when I began my project (and how could I since I was obviously in some sort of voodoo transe), but those despicable vines contained some sort of sticky white liquid substance that got all over my hands. Since it was already there, though, I just kept on working, figuring that I could just wash it all off after I was done.

WRONG!! The sticky stuff was so sticky that it did not come off with soap and water like I had expected. Since I was washing my hands at the sink, I tried using the scrubbing side of the sponge to scrub it off. That sort of worked, but there are still a few small spots that I have to scrub some more.

Oh, and even better than getting that sticky stuff all over my hands, was running my fingers through my hair and finding that some of it had gotten into my hair, too. So, now I have to go wash my hair and pray that it will all come out. Please say a little prayer for me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh, Dear Lord!

My sweet baby girl has been sucked in. To what, you ask? She's been sucked into the hell that is Hannah Montana.

Maybe these happy pills I've been taking aren't such a good idea after all. Sure, I'm a lot less stressed than I used to be, and because of that I've been letting a lot of the so-called "little stuff" slide around here. But apparently, letting things like Hannah Montana to be viewed in my home has caused my precious baby girl to not only dance, but sing along to the theme song. Ugh!

I witnessed Katie singing along to the Hannah Montana theme song for the first time this afternoon and I immediately wailed, "NO!" She turned around and said to me, "What?!" like what she was doing was completely normal and I shouldn't be upset about it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things I Miss About Not Having Asthma

While I was driving home from Jen's house tonight after her Discovery Toys party, I was listening to the eighties radio station when Prince came on the radio. The song was "Kiss" and I used to love singing along with this song. I say "used to" because I can no longer hit the high notes that I could before I came down with asthma. There are also certain Guns-n-Roses songs that I can't sing anymore either.

Election Day - Part 2

I finally got my butt up and out to go vote. Can I tell you how much I LOVE my polling place? I vote at the Masonic Lodge in my neighborhood. Whenever there is an election, the lovely Masons give out free hot dogs to all the voters. I know it's not much, but I look forward to it every election.

Election Day

Today is election day here in Florida. I must go vote. I feel like crap, but I know that if there is one thing that I need to do today, it is vote. My polling place is just one street away from me, so I don't have to go far. Under ideal circumstances (not sick, nice weather), I would put Katie in her stroller and walk on over. Not today, though. I can barely muster the strength to get dressed today.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fun While It Lasted

For those of you who don't already know this, I am not the healthiest person in the world. I have a number of health issues that cause me to become ill quite often. My loyal readers will remember how miserable I was between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My girls were also sick during that time, but we were all healthy in time for Christmas.

Apparently, our healthy times are over. I was due to get sick, though. I can't remember the last time I went an entire month without so much as a cold. Sarah and Emily are also sick. We all seem to have come down with upper-respiratory infections. I am hoping and praying that Katie doesn't get sick, too. It's way more difficult to care for a sick baby when you are sick yourself.

I get sick like this quite often because of nasal issues that I need to have surgery for. I know I should just go ahead and have the surgery, but I am scared. For one thing, I have asthma and I am scared of being put out with general anesthesia. I am also scared of the painful recovery period after the surgery.

Then, there's the whole deviated septum issue. Part of my nasal problems involve my deviated septum. But I am afraid that if I have it have it fixed, the shape of my nose may change. You hear about people having surgery to fix a deviated septum only to end up with a completely different nose.

I know that a lot of people don't like their noses and would welcome a chance for a change. However, I am not one of those people. I have always been insecure about my looks, but the one feature I have always been happy with was my nose. I know it sounds weird, but I have even had people compliment me on my perfect nose. I would hate to have this surgery change the shape of my nose.

Oh, well. I guess I'll eventually have to bite the bullet and have the surgery. I just hope I don't come out of it looking different.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

10 Things I've Done

My friend Julie has made choosing a topic for my post today easy for me. The contents of the post, not so much. Julie tagged me (and the other ladies participating in our playgroup blogging challenge) for a meme. Here we go.

List ten things I have done that others likely have not. This was very difficult to do.

1. I have broken both of my wrists within 24 hours of each other.

2. I was crowned Miss Flamette in the local Riverview beauty pageant when I was nine years old.

3. I was given an award for being the best student in the education department while I was attending HCC.

4. I burned my cornea with a curling iron when I was in high school.

5. I vomitted on my father's boss's daughter while flying on their private plane when I was a toddler.

6. I married my ex-husband's Best Man from our wedding.

7. I slid down a swing chain when I was a child and cut my labia. (Yeah, that one hurt and the ER visit was not pleasant.)

8. I beat up a bully who was beating up my brother because the adult in charge wouldn't do anything about it.

9. I sprained both my wrist and my ankle during the same outing to Adventure Island.

10. I accidentally burned my hand with boiling water two years in a row while making macaroni-n-cheese before going to the annual church picnic.

So there you have it folks. Ten things I've done. In looking back over my list, it seems pretty obvious that I used to be a major klutz, considering that half of my list consists of injuries I've incurred.

UPDATE: After taking a little more time to think about this topic, I have come up with a couple more things.

1. I was on Romper Room when I was two years old. They were only supposed to take three and four year olds, but they let me on because I could count, knew my alphabet, and could recite my pledge of allegiance.

2. I took classes for gifted children at USF when I was four and five years old.

3. I was filmed as part of the opening sequence of a kids' news program that ran in Kentucky.

4. I was in a Busch Gardens and Kash-n-Karry commercial when I was a child.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some of the Cutest Kids I Know

Yesterday, Jen had a swap meet for our playgroup at her house. It was a lot of fun hanging out and talking with the ladies. The kids were all playing while the moms chatted and traded kids' clothes. My friends have some of the cutest kids. I couldn't help but snap a few photos of them as they played.

Stella is Stacy's little girl. Isn't she adorable?

Noah is Amy's youngest son and Ian is Karlise's youngest son. Both boys are absolutely gorgeous.

Isaac is Scarlett's youngest son. He is a very talented little boy, as he apparently can play both the guitar and drums at the same time.

Here, Katie is meeting another little Katie for the first time. Marta's daughter is so cute with her big brown eyes and gobs of black hair.

Katie really likes to play with Karen's youngest son, Joshua. I think she likes how adventurous he is. Or maybe it's just his big blue eyes she's so attracted to.

You can read all about the adventures of these adorable children on their beautiful mommy's blogs.

Friday, January 25, 2008

First Hair Cut

Katie's hair has been getting rather long and unruly lately. Her bangs really needed to be cut, and the back of her hair was so much longer than the sides, she was beginning to look like she had a mullet. So, Phil and I decided that we would take her to get her first professional haircut.

We took Katie to Gel-ee-Beans kids' salon for her haircut.

Miss Blanca cut Katie's hair. Katie was very good for Miss Blanca and held very still while getting her locks snipped.

Katie was rather impressed with all of the attention she got at Gel-ee-beans. We opted for the First Haircut Package, so Katie got a certificate, a keepsake lock of her hair, and a photo of the finished haircut.

Katie was very impressed with herself and how cute she is. She was really hamming it up for the camera.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ode to Rubbermaid

Oh, Rubbermaid, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

One... two... three... four... five. Yep, I count five.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to locate my sixth container at this time, so I'm stuck using a clothes basket, which just irritates my OCD to no end. However, everything that is in those containers, and that awful basket mocking me with its non-conformity, is extremely organized. I have one container loaded with boys' clothes, one container full of shoes, one container with girls' bottoms, one container with girls' short-sleeved tops, and one container with girls' long-sleeved tops and dresses. And the evil basket contains girls' outerwear.

Ladies, please promise me that when you see my containers and their contents, you won't call 9-1-1 and have me committed. Technically, it's not really a disorder unless it keeps me from living a normal life, right? Of course, if I start screaming at you for messing up the perfectly organized contents of my Rubbermaid containers, somebody's gonna have to slap the crazy out of me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heaps of Clothes

My friend Jen is having a playgroup swap meet at her house this Friday. I was so excited when she brought the idea up because this swap meet is forcing me to take care of numbers 2 and 3 on my New Year's Resolutions list. In anticipation of this exciting event, I have been gathering up all of Sarah and Emily's outgrown and unworn clothes. I also had my mother go through all of the clothes that she keeps at her house for the grandchildren and bring me everything they've outgrown. Here's what I've got so far.

I'm hoping to get this all organized tomorrow and placed in my beloved Rubbermaid containers.

I also found a stockpile of outgrown shoes in the bottom of Emily's closet. Can you believe all of this came out of there*?

And of course, even though we just thinned out her collection right before Christmas, Emily still had tons of stuffed animals that we determined must find new homes.

Don't worry, Ladies, I don't plan to bring the stuffed animals to the swap meet. They will be donated to charity.

*Technically, two pairs of the shoes were Sarah's.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jerry O'Connell Does Tom Cruise

So I totally ripped this off of another blog I read, but it was too funny not to. Enjoy.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy 56th Birthday, Dad! We love you!

Growing So Fast

Katie is growing up so quickly. She's not a baby anymore, that's for sure. She's a full-blown toddler. Lately, she's really been into playing with her baby dolls. Today, she found one of Emily's old dolls and decided she must make it her own.

The doll was naked except for the tiny preemie diaper that Emily had put on the doll back when Katie first came home from the hospital. Since Katie really enjoys undoing the velcro tabs of the diaper, I decided to look through Katie's stuff to see if I could find one of her preemie outfits for the doll to wear.

While dressing the doll, I recalled how I had dressed Katie and this very same doll in similar outfits that were the same size and taken a picture of them. I took the picture to illustrate that Katie was so tiny, she was the same size as Emily's doll.

So, today I took another picture of Katie and the doll. Only this time, I took the picture to illustrate just how much my little Katie has grown. Check it out.

What happened to my tiny little baby?

Monday, January 21, 2008

F*cktard of the Week

I bought something on eBay last Sunday. No, not yesterday, a week before that. As soon as the auction ended, I immediately paid for the item. The item description, as well as the shipping information, stated that I was paying for USPS Priority Mail shipping. So, I figured, best-case scenario - I get the item by Wednesday; worst-case scenario - he waits until Wednesday to ship the item and I don't get it until Saturday.

Well, the entire week came and went, with said item never showing up in my mailbox. So, I send a message to this person asking them when they shipped my item since I had not yet received it. Today, I got a response to my question. "Dear mel0die,
You should be getting your item this week. There is a holiday in there so that may of held up time alittle. It was sent 1st class mail. Thanks
- be4today"

I'm usually a rather patient person (Shut up! I am to!), but right now I just want to reach through the internet and slap the sh!t out of this person. "There is a holiday in there"?? Hello? What holiday? Was there a holiday last week that I wasn't made aware of? I pretty sure my mail ran every day, so whatever this imaginary holiday was, it obviously didn't affect the USPS. "It was sent 1st class mail"??? Seriously?? After you specified and I PAID for PRIORITY MAIL you decided to just send it FIRST CLASS?? Are you just trying to make an extra buck? Like it wasn't bad enough that I was being charged $5.50 for $4.60 shipping, you still had to be even more greedy with my shipping money. I think I deserve a refund at the very least.

Thanks for nothing, F*cktard!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Random Things

So, earlier today I was planning on writing a post about my love for Rubbermaid. But since I am still in the middle of my project that involves the Rubbermaid, I'm going to save it for another day.

I swear that Katie is turning into a teenager already. When I told her to help me clean up one of her messes, she ran off. And where do you think that I found her?

She was in Emily's room watching The Little Mermaid II on Emily's little pink DVD player.

A bit later, Sarah was whining about needing some new pajamas. I'm not so sure that she really needs them. What do you think?

Okay, Okay... I guess she really does need some new pajamas.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What Are They Feeding These Kids?

Today we went to Emily's soccer game up in Dade City. We had played another team from this soccer club last month, and all of the girls seemed to be evenly matched up size-wise. This week was a completely different story, though.

The team we played today had this one girl on their team who was HUGE. Emily and another girl on her team are the oldest and tallest girls on her team. This girl on the team we played today, was a full head taller than both of them. I really wish that I had taken some pictures so you could get a visual on this. Our coach said she double-checked this girl's age before the game and she is actually YOUNGER than Emily. ...By a couple of months.

This HUGE girl was playing very aggressively during the game and had a few penalties called on her for pushing. At one point in the game, she pushed one of our smaller girls down with her butt*. Our girl took the hit at the top of her back, right between the shoulders. Picture that for a moment. This girl was so HUGE that her butt was at the same level as our girl's shoulders.

Anyhow, it was a good game to watch. Our girls played great, with the exception of the first goal we scored. One of our girls accidentally caused the ball to go into our own goal, so the other team got the point. After that, though, each team scored two goals. So, if it hadn't been for that one freak thing, it would have been a tied game.

Also, in the fourth quarter of the game, Emily got put in as goalie. She did a great job, and didn't allow any points to be scored on her. She didn't seem so sure of herself when she first went in, but with every goal she blocked, she gained a little more confidence and was quite good by the end of the game.

*The HUGE girl didn't get a penalty called on her for this one. Either pushing someone down with your butt isn't against the rules, or the ref didn't see it happen.


Hey, you! Yeah, you! Did you notice that I have a poll over there --> ?
Well, I do. And if you haven't already voted, please do so now.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Teen Age

Last night, Emily had a Girl Scout meeting to attend. Since we live about 20-30 minutes away from the meeting site, I usually hang out and wait for the meeting to end. While I was waiting, I ended up playing a marble game with some little girls*. Over the course of our games, the little girls decided that I was a teenager. (Obviously, because adults don't play kid games.)

When my nephew came over to visit me, the one little girl, Haley, told him that I was thirteen years old, maybe fourteen, but that I was definitely a teenager. Can I tell you how much I love this little girl now?

Eventually, Emily came out of her meeting and blew my cover. You should have seen the look on Haley's face when she heard Emily call me "Mom." I had to admit to her that not only was I not fourteen years old, but that I was actually twenty years older than that. So much for being a teenager again!

*And yes, I did kick their little butts in the marble game. Yes, I am that competitive that I wouldn't even let little kids beat me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cool Mom

Sarah came home from school one day last week and told me that a couple of her friends have requested that I chaperon their Spring field trip. They told her that they really enjoyed having me as their chaperon on their Spring field trip last year and that they think I'm a "Cool Mom." Can you believe it? I've been called "Cool" by middle schoolers. That's gotta be something special, right? Those kids don't ever think adults are cool.


Emily's school is apparently under attack from bees. On Monday, when I was picking Emily up from school, one of the other moms at the school warned me to "watch out for the bees" because "they're really bad today." And I did notice a few flying around us, but didn't think too much about it.

There have always been bees at Emily's school. There are some people who raise bees for honey all up and down the street that the school is on, with one of their main properties being directly across the street from the school. There are literally hundreds of bee boxes there.

On Monday, when I was picking Emily up from school, I noticed a news crew from the local CBS affiliate filming in the school parking lot. I wasn't sure what it was all about so I just ignored it. Then, there was another news crew, this time from the local FOX affiliate, filming across the street from the school yesterday when I picked Emily up from school. So, then I knew something was up.

This morning, I had to go into the school office to drop off some of the girls' old uniforms for the school's "Clothes Closet." While I was in there, I found out that the news crews had been there because of the bees. It seems that the bees have multiplied quite a bit and are becoming a big problem. I even heard the Principal's secretary talking to the Principal about a phone call from the attorney representing the school district in this matter. I don't know if that means that a parent is suing because they don't feel that the school is doing enough to protect the students from the bees, or if the school district is suing the bee keepers for causing the school to be overrun with bees, which puts the students in danger. Either way, the bees have become a pretty big deal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Motivation, or Lack Thereof

Excuse me, but if you see my motivation, could you please bring it back to me?

Seriously, I'm sitting here, and I can think of at least five or six different things that I could be doing right now, things that need to get done, but I just have absolutely no motivation to get up and do any of them.

I think that I'll put Katie down for a nap and try to take a hot bath. That usually makes me feel better, and it should also help me to stop shivering, which is a major deterrent to getting out from under the blankets.

I'll update you later to let you know if I manage to accomplish anything today.

UPDATE: So, I did get to take my hot bath, and it felt so good that I was in there for over an hour. Shortly after I got out, Katie woke up and needed to be fed. Then I had to go pick Emily up from school. Once we got home, everything was so hectic between trying to get Emily to do her homework and get ready for soccer practice, and figuring out dinner, and keeping Katie out of trouble, that I really wasn't able to get anything else accomplished. Oh, well. At least I was clean!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Did I Do the Right Thing?

Yesterday, I had to make a phone call that I didn’t want to make, and I have been sick about it ever since. Emily came home from school yesterday and was very upset about something her friend at school told her. Apparently, Emily's friend told her that her mother’s fiancé had physically abused her for disobeying him. Basically, her story was that she was sent to her room by the fiancé, and when she left her room to answer her mother’s call, the fiancé shoved her back into her room and started hitting and kicking her and also slammed her down onto her bed. There was also some mention of blood being in the vicinity of her eye. Emily was so worried about her friend being abused that she insisted that I call DCF to report it.

Here’s the thing that has me so upset: What if this girl was just making it up for attention? Since I don’t know this girl or her family, and I didn’t speak to her directly, I really have no clue if her story is true or not. Of course, I had to err on the side of caution, because if she is being abused and I did nothing, then I would be to blame for letting it continue.

Now here’s where I tell you my dirty little secret. The reason why I am so upset is because I know what it is like to have someone report you to DCF for something that is completely untrue. About three years ago, someone called DCF and claimed that I was beating Sarah with a belt because she wanted to live with her father*. I have always assumed that it was just some spiteful person from my ex’s family trying to help him wrestle custody of the girls away from me. But I had to wonder if it was just some other random person who truly believed that awful thing about me.

Because of the claim, a social worker from DCF had to go to the girls’ school and pull them out of class to question them about it. I was humiliated about the whole thing because everyone at that school knows me and my girls. Back then, before I had Katie, I was a regular volunteer at the school. I couldn’t help but wonder if the incident made anyone lower their opinion of me. The social worker also had to come to my house to make sure that the girls were living in a proper home (you know, with walls).

I would hate to be the cause of anyone else unnecessarily going through the same thing that my family and I did. Of course, in the long run, I guess it is better to be safe than sorry. Ugh! I hate feeling like this. The stress is giving me heartburn.

*Of course this was completely fabricated. When the girls found out what the accusation was, they were shocked to think that anyone could or would beat their child with a belt. Oh, what a sheltered life they lead.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Crazy Cat

If you’re a mom, then you know what it’s like to be followed to the bathroom by a toddler who thinks that it is against the rules for mommies to have any privacy while they are on the toilet. Well, my cat, Bella, must think that she is a toddler, too, because she doesn’t allow me to go to the bathroom by myself either. When I go to the bathroom, Bella always pushes the door open and waltzes right on in to see what I am doing. And if I dare to close the door all the way, she’ll cry and scratch under the door to try to get in.

As a mom, you also know what it’s like to have your children who have been quietly ignoring you for the past half-hour or so suddenly need to have a very important conversation with you the moment you get on the telephone with someone. Bella does the exact same thing. When I am on the phone, she jumps up onto my lap, gets in my face, and starts meowing very loudly. I still haven’t quite figured out if she is trying to get me off the phone or saying, “Hello,” to the person on the other end of the telephone line. Since this happens every time I get a phone call, the people I talk to regularly, have started just going ahead and saying, “Hi Bella,” to her when they hear the meowing.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Then He Left Me for Another Girl, Or Two

What a stud! Phil had dates yesterday with not one, not two, but three girls. I already told you about his first date yesterday. Well, last night he took Sarah and Emily to the Girl Scout Father/Daughter Dance.

The theme for the dance was "Fiesta," hence the mariachis and Mexican dancers on the photo backdrop.

The girls had a great time dancing with their friends to Hanna Montana all night. And Phil? Well, Phil had my brother there to talk to for three hours.

There were door prizes, too. Guess who won the grand prize? That's right - Phil! Guess what he won? I'll give you a hint.

Did you figure it out yet? No? Well, here's another hint.

Give up? Okay, I'll tell you. He won a football shaped grill. I guess it's supposed to be for tail-gate parties or something. It's cute, but we don't need it. And since I am on a mission to purge my house of all unnecessary things, it won't be around here for very long. I just have to figure out what to do with it now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Date Night... er, Afternoon

I went on a date today! With my husband! Without the kids! Woo-hoo!!!

I had this great idea for Phil and me to get out and do something together without the children. Since Sarah and Emily were supposed to be with their sperm-donor this weekend, all I needed to do was find a babysitter for Katie. So, I asked my mother to come to Emily's soccer game this morning and take Katie home with her after the game.

You see, my plan was to go see a movie with my husband. The last few times I have been to the movie theater it was with the girls, and usually to see a kids' movie. So, I thought it would be nice if Phil got to see a movie in the theater for once. And since I'm cheap, we had to go during the day to save money on the tickets.

So, after making arrangements with my mom to babysit Katie, I went online yesterday to purchase our movie tickets*. Everything was all arranged. I told Phil about our date last night when he got home from work, and he was happy. Of course, he wasn't exactly sure he would like my movie selection, but I assured him that he would** and also that it was the only movie that I was interested in seeing that fit into our limited time frame.

Well, as fate would have it, the ever-unreliable sperm-donor was a no-show for Emily's game (from which he was supposed to pick up Sarah and Emily). Of course, since my mother was taking Katie home from the game with her, I just sent the older girls home with her, too. Crisis averted!

So, Phil and I went to see the movie Juno. It was absolutely wonderful! The writing was fantastic. The acting was beautiful. The soundtrack was awesome. I just don't have enough great things to say about this movie. Juno is a sweet story about a pregnant teenage girl who decides to give up her baby for adoption rather than abort it. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

*I actually mistakenly bought tickets for yesterday's showing instead of today's, so I had to exchange them for the correct date.

**Yes, he loved it, too.

Friday, January 11, 2008

C is for Cookie

Well, it's that time of year again. Cookie time! Today is the official first day of the Girl Scout Cookie Pre-Sale. Sarah and Emily, as well as the rest of the Girl Scouts in our council, begin taking orders for cookies today. The booth sales won't begin until late February, so don't expect to see Girl Scouts in front of stores before then.

Before I had children, I used to hunt down Girl Scouts so I could buy my beloved Thin Mints. When I got pregnant and found out I was having a girl, one of my first thoughts was that in just a few years, I would have my own personal source for Girl Scout Cookies. Of course, after six years of selling cookies (this year is our 7th year) I'm less and less thrilled about Cookie Time. It's not the cookies that I dislike, but all of the selling and trying to acheive the different prize levels.

Of course, this year, Emily's new troop leader has set a goal for each girl to sell 200 boxes. Yeah, like that's possible. Considering that I have two girls selling, and we have to keep their sales relatively even, that would mean that we would need to sell 400 boxes. I am a SAHM, we live in a small neighborhood, my husband works with a handful of men who don't buy cookies, and there is at least one other Girl Scout in every group we are in. Who are we supposed to sell to?

Anyhow, if you'd like to take pity on me and my girls and help us out with our quest to sell a bazillion boxes of cookies, please send me an email. And for those of you out-of-towners (Do I even have OOT readers?), please support your local Girl Scouts.

Oh, and when you get your Girl Scout Cookies, make sure you visit this website. Or better yet, go there now so you can buy your cookies accordingly.

New Game Plan

So, I was just sitting here thinking about how I'm not getting anything accomplished, when I started thinking about my "to do" list endeavors. As stated in a previous post, I haven't really been doing very well with my "to do" lists. So, I've decided that instead of having a daily list, I will switch to having a weekly list. This will give me more flexibility in accomplishing my tasks. If I have a "blah" day and don't get anything accomplished, I can make up for it on another day. Hopefully, this will help me get more accomplished instead of being depressed that I'm not getting anything done.

Emily suggested that I post my "to do" lists on my blog page, and maybe I will do that someday, but right now I'm just not ready to share with you the menial tasks that I am incapable of accomplishing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I'm worried about Emily. I spoke to her principal about it briefly this morning when I was yet again signing Emily out of school because her stomach hurt.

Shortly before the Winter Break, Emily's class was split up among four other fifth grade classes due to her teacher's health issues (colon cancer). Every since then, she has had some issue or another (headache, stomach ache, sore throat, etc.) almost every single day. I thought that maybe it was just an adjustment issue, but it kept on happening.

Then one day her new teacher misunderstood something that Emily said and accused her of cursing in class. Emily was humiliated because the teacher wouldn't let her defend herself and made her change her behavior card color. She also sent home a note about it and said that Emily definitely had said the word because she herself had heard her say it.

I, of course, knew that there was no way Emily would ever do something like that. I sent a note back to the teacher telling her that she must be mistaken because Emily not only doesn't use foul language, but she is always shocked when she hears someone else use it. I went on to state that once she gets to know Emily better, she would see that something like that is just not in Emily's character. I was afraid that telling the teacher that she was wrong would make things worse, but I couldn't let her get away with not only claiming that Emily had said that, but also basically calling Emily a liar when she tried to defend herself.

I also thought that maybe things would be different with the new year and new semester, but today was day three of the new semester and I have had to go pick Emily up from school twice already. So, I'm thinking about calling the school counselor about the situation, and if that doesn't improve things, the principal told me to come see her and she would do whatever she could to help us out.

So now I'm just waiting to see if things get any better. Hopefully, they will.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Coversation with Emily

The following is an actual exchange I had with Emily this afternoon.

EMILY: Mom, don't be surprised if you find blood in the refrigerator.

ME: Why would there be blood in the refrigerator?

EMILY: Well, I don't really know what happened, but my foot is bleeding.

ME: Emily, why was your FOOT in the FRIDGE??

I never did get much of an answer to that one. I sure do have one weird kid, though.


Yesterday was a hectic day. I knew it was going to be more hectic than the past few weeks, since Sarah and Emily were starting back to school, but it turned out to be a lot more hectic than I had expected.

Here's how it went: Wake up, take Emily to school, go back home, remember that Sarah has a dentist appointment, wake Katie up and get her dressed, take Sarah to the dentist, chase Katie around waiting room for an hour, take Sarah to school and sign her in, drive-thru Steak-n-Shake to get burger for breakfast, go home, eat, begin packaging eBay boxes to take to post office, start to make lunch for Katie, get phone call from Emily's school, go sign Emily out from school, drive-thru bank to make a deposit, call dentist while driving there to get appointment for Emily, chase Katie around dentist waiting room for another hour, drive-thru Wendy's to get lunch for Katie and me, go home, eat, pass out from exhaustion*.

Luckily, there was no soccer practice or Girl Scout meeting to rush off to last night, so the evening was less hectic. But I am still very tired and must go take a nap now.

*I wish I could have passed out. Then I might have been able to get a little rest.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lowry Park Zoo

Yesterday, Sarah, Katie, and I went to Lowry Park Zoo with some of our friends from our playgroup. It was a lovely day and we all had a great time. Katie is finally getting to the age where she enjoys looking at the animals, so I think we'll be going to the zoo a bit more often so she can learn all about the animals.

Katie and Sarah got up close and personal with a llama.

Katie decided that she needed to get a little closer view of the birds in the aviary.

One of my favorite animals, the meerkat.

Look at how tall those giraffes are!

My most favoritest animal of all, the white tiger. This one is a tiger cub, born back in April.

I also read this article last week about a new exhibit that will house a pair of rare albino American alligators and a water flume ride called "Gator Falls." The new exhibit is scheduled to debut in April, just in time for the 20th anniversary of the Lowry Park Zoological Society.

Monday, January 7, 2008

To Do Lists

Number 16 on my list of New Year’s Resolutions was to make “to do” lists and try to stick to them. I made my first “to do” list last Wednesday night with things I wanted to accomplish on Thursday. They were all things that I would not need to go outside to do since the weather was so frigid. I saved the “leave the house” stuff for my Friday “to do” list.
I had four things on my little “to do” list for Thursday. Guess how many I was able to cross off the list? That’s right, none. Zero. I was just too darn cold to get motivated to do anything on Wednesday.
I did, however, cook dinner for my family, which is working toward resolution number 12 (cook dinner more often). Of course, I really had no choice in the matter, because there was NO WAY I was going to go out in the cold to pick up dinner.
On Friday, I again had four things on my “to do” list. I did better on Friday than I did on Thursday, but I still only completed two of the four tasks on my list. I just ran out of time. I did get something accomplished that wasn’t on my list, but would have been on a future list, so I guess that’s something.
The only thing on my “to do” list for Saturday was to attend the BAMs Post-Holiday Get-Together. Woo-hoo! I made it, although I was about 30 minutes late getting there. It wasn’t much of a get-together as there were only 3 of us from the group of 18, but the kids had a good time and I enjoyed having the chance to talk to people who I am not related to.
Sunday was another day with no “to do” list, but today’s list had a few items on it. Out of the four tasks on my list, I actually completed all four of them. Yay me! So, it seems that I am getting better at this list making and keeping thing, although I’m sure there will be days here and there that nothing gets accomplished. Oh, well. So is life.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Since we live in an older house with no sewer service in the neighborhood, we have a septic tank buried in our backyard. Ever since we moved into this house almost four years ago, we have had issues with our septic system every so often. We had the septic tank drained shortly after moving in and found some very interesting items in there (Pantyhose?).

About a year later, we had to have it drained again, so we decided to dig up the drainfields to see if they needed to be replaced. The drainfields were mostly okay. The major problem was that a large root from one of our oak trees had grown through the junction box and crushed it. So, we replaced the junction box and the small section of the drainfield that had also been crushed, and all was good.

Until this past summer came along and we started having trouble again. We were having issues with the toilets overflowing whenever someone flushed because the septic tank was too full for it to drain into. Since we were having Katie's first birthday party at our house in August, we had to pay to have the septic tank drained out again so that our guests would be able to use our bathrooms without incident.

After that, things were good for a little while, but they got bad again over the past few months. It got so bad that we couldn't drain an entire bathtub full of water without it coming up from the bottom of the girls' bathroom toilet and getting all over the place.

So, today, finally, Phil decided to dig up the junction box and drainfields to see if he could find the problem.

Apparently, we're having more root issues. Those darn roots are just so destructive. And of course they're attracted to the septic system. Wouldn't you be if you were a root looking for some good nourishment?

So, I guess things are okay for now, but we'll probably have to do some more digging in the future when the roots grow through it again. These darn trees are such a pain in the @$$. I wish I could just have them all removed, but since there are so many of them, I'd probably have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it all. Oh, well, maybe I can just get that one pesky oak tree that keeps messing up our septic system removed. Eventually...

Update: After looking at my pictures again, I realized that it's actually two oak trees that are the problem.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Following in Julie's footsteps, I have a F*cktard award to give out. This one goes to the stupid cashier at Little Caeser's Pizza last night. I don't know what was going on there, but their pizza's were not "Hot-N-Ready" like their ads and signs proclaim. They may have been hot, but they certainly were not ready. Of course, the stupid cashier did not make this little fact known to any of the customers unless they asked, which was usually after they had already paid and were not immediately handed their pizzas like normal.

While waiting for my pizzas to be ready, one lady with her three or four daughters came in and ordered a couple of pizzas. After paying for them and not getting them, the lady asked how long it would be and was told "a half-hour." She then says, "Oh, well, I can't wait that long." So, the stupid girl rolls her eyes, huffs, and yells in a snotty tone, "I need a refund!" Then her manager had to come up to the front and get the key to give the lady her refund. Then they made the lady write her name and address on her order to get her refund. How f*cking hard would it have been for the stupid girl to tell the customers that it was going to be a wait for their pizzas BEFORE they placed their orders? The sign says "Hot-N-Ready." If the pizza is not going to be "Hot-N-Ready," then they need to tell people and give them the option of not placing an order. At the very least, they could have put up a sign.

Child For Sale

For Sale: One slightly used, 12 year old, female child. Relatively good child, however cannot be trusted with a cell phone.

That's right, I have to put Sarah up for sale in order to pay her cell phone bill. I found out yesterday that Sarah has been text messaging and using internet features on her new cell phone. She has only had this phone for two weeks and these extra charges she has accumulated are going to cost around $600. That's right! $600 in addition to our regular cell phone bill. Right now, I am seriously regretting adding her phone onto my plan. I should have just let my mother get a separate plan for Sarah so I wouldn't be affected by things like this. But, no, I thought I'd be nice and save her some money by adding Sarah onto my plan and letting my mother just pay the difference. What a mistake that was!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Crazy Dreams

I had a crazy dream a last week involving my life-long love, Johnny Depp. I was sitting in a theater, in the middle of the row (which is so unlike me), when an usher asked me if I would be willing to push Johnny Depp’s wheelchair up to the stage so he could accept an award. Of course I agreed (Duh!), and when they brought Johnny to me in his wheelchair, he was completely naked except for a pair of plaid boxer shorts. His tattoos were even missing.
Anyhow, I wheeled him up to the stage, and he got up from his wheelchair and walked up to the podium to accept his award. While I was waiting with his wheelchair, I noticed that his body was quite a bit more muscular than usual. (Why my mind did this to him, I don’t know, because I really don’t like guys who have bulging muscles.) When he finished accepting his award, he came back down, sat in his wheelchair, and I wheeled him back up the aisle. I couldn’t figure out why he was in the wheelchair or why he hadn’t been clothed, because the next time that I saw him, he was fully clothed, hat, glasses, and all, and walking around just fine with Vanessa on his arm.
Oh, and Johnny decided to give me his goody-bag (you know how all the celebs get a goody-bag at awards shows?) to thank me for helping him out, and it was filled with cool things from Pampered Chef. But that pesky Vanessa had taken out the best stuff before he got a chance to give it to me, which was a bit upsetting to me because, seriously, she’s rich and can afford all of the Pampered Chef stuff she wants, so why did she have to take mine? She’s already got my man, so why does she have to be so greedy?
So, yeah, crazy dream, right? You don’t even want to hear about the one where Sarah and I were both suddenly pregnant. Must be all of those Lifetime movies I watched over the holidays creeping into my brain.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Kind of Organization

OMG! I just found this article on the internet and was simultaneously thrilled and shocked. This guy must have OCD (yeah, takes one to know one) or no children. I no longer have any Legos in my house, but I so could have done this when I did. However, I would NEVER, EVER let the kids play with them ever again! Not if I put that much effort into organizing them.

I do, however, love plastic ziploc bags for organizing toys. I can separate toys into baggies like no one else. Then all you have to do to keep them neat is to place the baggies into neat little stackable bins. The hardest part about it all is that the children don't quite seem to "get" the concept of keeping their toys nice and neatly organized. Especially that Katie. She keeps unalphabetizing her books, and I can't tell you how many times I've put her tea set back onto the tray the way it's supposed to be.

Al Gore is a Big Fat Liar!

Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE cold weather? I am a born and bred Florida Girl, and I was just not made to withstand temperatures below 70 degrees. Most of my northern-transplant friends are just loving this cold weather, but I am miserable.

When it gets cold like this, I can’t get anything accomplished, which is really putting a damper on starting on a few of my New Year’s resolutions. I am so cold, even with the thermostat set at 70 or 72 degrees, that I just bundle up and wrap myself in a blanket and wait for it to pass.

My father holds my mortgage on my house, and I usually have lunch with him on the first or second day of the month so I can give him my mortgage check. I had to call him Wednesday morning and beg him to let me come on Friday (the 4th) instead because it is just too darn cold for me to leave the house. Sarah had an appointment scheduled for this morning and I called to reschedule it because I can’t bring myself to brave the freezing cold temperatures this morning.

Hey, Al!! Whatever happened to all that Global Warming you’re always yapping about? How about sending some of it my way?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sunny Day, Sweeping the Clouds Away

This morning, I let Katie watch Sesame Street for the first time. Her eyes were glued to the television. She primarily likes Elmo, but what kid doesn’t? There were a few parts that she wasn’t much interested in, but for the most part she was in love with the show. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Sesame Street around this house.

Crappy In-Laws

Phil’s family situation is odd, to say the least. The man he calls “Dad” is really of no relation to him at all, unless you count the fact the he is the father of Phil’s half-brother. However, he used to be married to Phil’s mother and is the man who raised him, which is why he is called “Dad.” We get along wonderfully with him, and he is very good to us. He lives in Utah, but he makes sure to visit us at least a couple of times a year.

Phil’s mother is no longer involved in our lives. It’s a long story, but I’ll just say that she made her bed and now has to lie in it. And I no longer have to deal with a manipulative, meddling mother-in-law.

Then there’s Phil’s biological father. Phil has a very odd relationship with him. It’s more like that of a distant relative. He’s someone that Phil shares blood with, but not much more. I have always sort of had to push Phil a bit to include him in our lives. Phil didn’t even want to invite him to our wedding, but I had to encourage him to go ahead and invite him.

Anyhow, Phil and I have been married for six years now. Every year, for the past five years, his bio-dad and step-mother have included my daughters in the Christmas gift giving. They usually send the kids gift cards for Christmas. Last year, they sent all four of the children gift cards, but for some reason they sent a larger dollar amount to Colin (my step-son) than to the girls (and no, they weren’t the ones that are already a set figure). This kind of pissed me off, because they were obviously showing favoritism toward Colin.

But this year was even worse. This year, they sent a measly $15 gift card to Katie and TOTALLY STIFFED Sarah and Emily! They got zilch, nada, nothing. Not even a card saying “Merry Christmas.” Oh, and get this, Katie’s card that the gift card came in was addressed to “Kathie.” That’s some grandfather that doesn’t even recall his only granddaughter’s name.

So anyway, I am no longer going to be encouraging Phil to keep in touch with these people. I am done with them. They have obviously decided that my children don’t “count,” and that is just something that I cannot put up with. If Phil decides to keep in touch on his own, that’s fine with me, but I am certainly not going to be the one who is facilitating everything. Not my job anymore.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Dinner

Many cultures have a traditional New Year's meal. Over the course of my life, I've been offered the traditional "corned-beef and cabbage" and the traditional southern "hog-jawls and black-eyed peas." To which I say, "Yuck!" to both.

A few years ago, when once again offered some hog-jawls and black-eyed peas, Phil and I decided that we needed to come up with a new, tastier meal for New Year's Day. And so, the traditional Harbaugh Family New Year's Day dinner of steak, mashed potatoes, and corn was born. Supposedly, what you eat on New Year's Day will foretell of your year to come. So we figure that the corn kernels look a little like gold nuggets, so they must symbolize prosperity. The steak also symbolizes prosperity since good steaks aren't cheap. And the mashed potatoes are there because, well, we all really like them a lot. That and they're all mushy like the way we feel about each other.

So tonight we had our traditional New Year's meal for dinner. My brother and his children, including my nephew from the previous post, stopped by while Phil was cooking, so we decided to include them in our wonderful meal. It was a very nice dinner.

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!

So, the last time I made a New Year's Resolution was two years ago when I vowed to "lose ten pounds." I found out two days later that I was pregnant, so that was quickly replaced with "try not to gain more than 20 pounds." I almost kept that resolution, until the preeclampsia hit and I suddenly gained several pounds which put me up to a 25 pound weight gain. Oh well, it was all worth it.

Anyhow, I decided to sit down and type out a list of New Year's resolutions for 2008. I'm hoping to be able to keep a few of them. Some will be easier to keep than others. Wish me luck.

2008 New Year's Resolutions:
1. Get more organized.
2. Clean out closets.
3. Get rid of unneeded stuff.
4. Win BAMs Blog contest. Oh, yeah!
5. Lose weight. Aim for 135.
6. Break Katie’s pacifier habit.
7. Drink more water.
8. Try to clean more.
9. Don’t do crack.
10. Remember to take iron pills more often.
11. Organize recipes and get rid of bulky cookbooks.
12. Cook dinner more often.
13. Get a family portrait taken.
14. Take charge of recycling. Set up a recycling center.
15. Organize refrigerator magnets.
16. Make “To Do” lists and try to stick to them.
17. Stop buying stuff we don’t need just because it is “cute” or “neat.”
18. Have children pick oranges and give them away to the needy.
19. Get trees trimmed.
20. Take time for myself. Get out of the house by myself at least once a week.

I'm 100% positive that I'll be able to stick to at least 5-10 of these. The rest will be a challenge, but I'm going to try my best. Do you have any exciting resolutions?

Oh, and before I forget...
Happy 8th Birthday to my dear nephew, Bradley!