Monday, October 29, 2007

Why I Had to Go To Work

(Okay not the only reason and certainly not the biggest, but a factor none the less.)
Checks I Have Written to the School  in the Last Month
School Photos
$10 (for the smallest package) x 4 kids =$40 (not sure why I buy the school photos since I am a photographer and do portraits of my kids every year, but there is something about a school pic that says so much about the kids - perhaps because I know it won't be the only portrait during the year so I let them have more say in their wardrobe for the day.)
Magnets made from pictures drawn by my kids (an annual fundraiser for the school)
$5.50 X 4 kids = $22 (this is one of those things that seemed harmless when I only had one kid in school, but now that there's 4 of them and the magnet thing is a tradition - the oldest kid has 6 magnets - and the youngest school age kid was so excited that he'd get a magnet this year, well . . . )
Fall Festival
$54 for "admission" armbands and 2 food ticket per family member (again a tradition that seemed harmless when only one kid was in school, but has gotten a bit painful.  This is on top of donating candy/prizes/cookies in the name of EACH child, as well as something for EACH child's class basket (ie family night basket full of games, movies, treats, etc.) that is auctioned off.  I'm sure I spent $100 or more this year)
Field Trip
$10 for ticket to The Cay play (this one I don't mind because it falls in the realm of "educational," but still it's more money.)
Lunch Money
$20 - 50 depending on which kid, totalling around $100 for Oct (I vowed the kids would only eat the occasional school lunch and would take a juice box rather than buy milk, but the kids quickly got tired of that and mutinied.  So with the exception of M who is really picky, they occasionally take a home made lunch, and M would rather buy a milk. So at $1.75 per lunch and $0.50 for milk this quickly adds up.)
Year Books
$20 x 2 = $40 (technically this will be next month, but why leave it out when I know it's coming.  This year I will buy 2 yearbooks.  1 for the younger kids to share (that's a discussion for another day, but do the math and I think you'll agree) and 1 for C since he is a "graduating" 5th grader.)
And let's not forget the winter school clothes that I've had to purchase recently and the need to keep hair trimmed so as not to be turned in for neglect and the current condition of M & E's shoes will soon require replacing and teacher gifts for Christmas and . . .
And I thought diapers and formula were expensive!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Heaven Help the Teachers Today

My kids' school decided to let the kids wear costumes to school today (why today and not on Halloween I don't know, unless it being Friday was a big deciding factor) as a fundraiser for a group of teachers who are participating in the Three Day Breast Cancer Walk.  So each kid brings $2 and is allowed to wear his costume (no scary costumes, no masks or face paint). 

I can only imagine the craziness at that school today.

In case you're wondering I sent an old man, an un-scary witch, a cowgirl and a transformer (minus the mask).

Monday, October 22, 2007

What Does It Mean When . . .

You radically change your hair style (in a good way, it's just a perm, I'm not sporting purple hair with spikes) and no one at church says anything about it?
It could really just be that I stayed home with a sick child last week and the week before I was driving to Savannah so it's been three weeks since I've seen anyone and even then I'm in the nursery so if you don't have a toddler, I don't see you anyway, but come on didn't anyone notice my curls?  Or are they just so hideous that everyone went with "if I can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?"
Nothing like feeling like your invisible to make a girl's day.
And in other news, it's raining here in the Atlanta area.  Here's hoping it lasts for a few days.  The dire predictions for the complete lack of water come next summer if we don't get a lot of rain this winter are getting really depressing.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Your Welcome

What for? you ask.

This nice little warm spell we've had after the couple days of waking up to temps in the 40s (at least in my neck of the woods)

What did I have to do with that? you ask.

Well, the house started getting cool at night, not really turn-on-the-heater-cold, just the-kids-should-wear-long-sleeves-and-pants-to-bed-especially-since-none-of-them-will-keep-covers-on-cool. Problem was we were severely lacking in the long sleeve jammies department, so I bought new jammies for all the kids (and a jacket and gloves for me for work, cause I nearly froze the week before) and that very night the temp only dropped to the mid 60's and has stayed there since.

I can't promise this will last very long, the universe can only laugh at me for so long, but let me know when the cold is just too much for you and I'll buy new winter coats and hats and mittens for the crew. That should get us a couple of days of moderate weather sometime this winter.

(And as more evidence that the universe loves to tease me, the day the kids woke up and is was too cold for shorts and I realized they'd have to wear shorts anyway because I hadn't updated there long pants wardrobes since last spring, I made trip to the stores to get new jeans for everyone and then we had another week or more of shorts weather. Really it's a scary power.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Letter to My Children

Dear Kids
Please enjoy the cookies that your little sister and I baked while you were at school.
Should you think that the cookies are a bit off please do not think that I have lost my touch.
P is learning quickly how to bake cookies, I'm sure in a few short years she will be able to accomplish the task of dough mixing without any help from me -- she knows exactly which ingredients to pull from the cabinets and which measuring utensils are used for which ingredients.  She has not, however, mastered the number of times to use said utensil with said ingredient.
I removed as much of the over used ingredient as possible, but the damage was not completely fixable.
Any, know the cookies were made with love and please don't mention the taste to P.  She would be devastated if you didn't lover her cookies.
With much love,
Your Mother

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why I Love My Kids' Pediatrician

But first . . .
Why is it that your throat starts to hurt the instant the nurse swabs your kids' throats looking for strep?  Or does this only happen to me?
Now for the pediatrician. . .
Yesterday I took 2 of 5 to the doctor.  We were seeing the nurse practitioner rather than the doctor.  But the doctor saw us while we were walking back to the exam room.  He smiled and waved.  Nice, but not the reason I think he's fabulous.
As we were leaving, with a diagnosis of 1 strep and 1 probable strep, the doctor talking to another mother who was on her way out.  He finished that conversation and then did a quick job to catch up with us.  He went out of his way to ask, "Everyone okay?"  I gave him our diagnosis and he reminded me to call if we needed anything or thought the others might have the same thing. 
I know it seems like a small thing, but to a mom with sick kids, it means the world.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Overheard while P and Little Girl We Baby Sit (who is 3 and will be forever more known on this blog as G) were watching Diego:
Diego:  Can you say "sea turtle?"
G: Sea turtle!!
P (who will usually happily play along with Diego): I DON'T WANT TO!!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sorry for My Absence

But I've spent every spare minute of the past two weeks working on my real estate course, at least until Thursday when I started my one-day-a-week-job, which left me with a huge headache so all I wanted to do was relax when I got home, and I made the mistake of starting a new book on Wednesday while I was waiting for C to have 3 of 7 baby teeth pulled so that he can resume wearing his orthodontic positioner that will hopefully help the adult teeth that had already started coming in behind the baby teeth come in close to straight and maybe he can avoid a second round of braces, and the new book distracted me on Friday so I didn't do my real estate course then either and we also took the little girls to out for lunch and did the grocery shopping and then today I had a photo shoot scheduled with a graduating senior, but my light broke 30 minutes before she was supposed to arrive so I had to push that back so I could run out and buy new lights, and then 3 hours later when I was finished with the photo shoot and I had to go to a birthday party for the little girl we baby sit and the rest of the weekend, and probably Monday, will be spent editing the nearly 200 shots from the shoot because she has to have them submitted for the yearbook before the end of the month and I really must get back to working on my real estate course, so I can't promise I'll be back again any time soon, but I will certainly try because I have these great little tidbits I've really been wanting to share.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Why is it that the first child to get sick after the kids go back to school is the only child that doesn't GO to school?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

M 2, Pants 0

Okay, maybe the score isn't completely accurate.  M has been in school for 19 days.  One day she wore pajama bottoms (even I didn't realize it until she got home.  Her defense is that she took them from her pants pile in the closet, so it was oviously my fault for putting her pajama bottoms in the wrong place.  No big deal, they weren't see through, or covered in bunnies), 17 days (including the pajama day) she has returned with her pants covered in so much dirt and crud that you'd think she'd been playing rugby in the rain. 
And on the other two days? you ask.  Holes, big holes, okay half-dollar size holes in her knit pant/leggings.  Holes, as in mulitple holes.
Can you guess what my first question is going to be at tonight's open house?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


As in, "Do we have any goggleators so I can see the bird's nest in that tree better?"
*J's word

Friday, August 24, 2007

Why is it . . .

. . . that the child who doesn't so much as flinch when she has blood drawn or gets a shot, screams when I brush her hair?

Wash, Dry, Fold . . . . Repeat

Why is it that laundry multiplies faster than rabbits? In my house we* don't consider the laundry to be complete, unless we can get it all (usually 4 or 5 loads) folded before enough new laundry has accumulated to make a new load (what I call a college load - everything goes in regardless of color).  If enough new laundry accumulates during the laundry process then the deadline resets and we try to finish before enough new  laundry accumulates.  Generally it takes a day to do all of the laundry and if we can get it done before the kids change into jammies for the night, we win.  If not, we lose, because 5 kids changing into jammies creates enough dirty clothes to make a new load (and it is pretty much a given that whatever they take of is dirty - it's nearly 100 degrees here, if you walk out side for even a moment you get sweaty and gross, ergo your clothes are dirty.)  And if we don't get done in one day and a load sits in the wash over night it will almost surely have to be rewashed (the Husband has a sensitive nose and will complain loudly if there is even a whiff of something not spring fresh).  And then there is the white load - the most hated load in the house.  All those socks to match and almost nothing that can go straight to hangers.  Unless we are in dire need of socks the white load is always the last load we wash because we would rather let it sit in the dryer and pull clean clothes from there as needed until it's time to put a new load in the dryer rather than fold it.
So anyway, I've explained all this just to complain that we have been unable to "finish" the laundry for nearly a week.  I keep finding clothes and starting a college load to try and get finished, but now it seems to have multiplied and there is enough to actually require sorting and officially starting the process over. 
* this is not a royal we, nor does it include the Husband. This we is largely comprised of my mother who lives with me and, truth be told does a significant amount of the cleaning and laundry, as well as covering child-care duties when I'm running one kid or another to appointments and such.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Know It's Going to be a Long Day When . . .

you are offering the crabby two-year old who has been up since way too early chocolate for breakfast if she will just stop fussing long enough to eat it. 
Oh, oh and I remembered what I was going to tell y'all yesterday.
J, who started Pre-K this year is so confused.  He can't understand why he has to go to bed when it's morning (translated to mean still light outside) and get up when it's night (still dark).  Poor kid.  Doesn't make much sense to me either.  But it won't be long before it's dark way before it's time for bed and still dark when it's time to get up.
And, did you know that "y'all" get's through my spell checker?  Must be a Southerner.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Homework Might Kill Me

M's homework specifically - or really M's reluctance to complete her homework without complaining and whining and dragging it out.
C is to the point he realizes it's just easier to do it and be done with it.
E might frown and wimper at the thought of it, but she will sit and just do it.
M on the other hand will only do her work if I sit over her and prod and threaten her.
I should not have to take an extra prozac just to get through homework!

Oh, oh, oh, oh . . .

I was so going to tell y'all something, but now I forgot what it was, and it was really good, or at least it was cute, or maybe it was only funny in that you-had-to-be-there way, but I was really going to tell y'all something and now I can't remember what it was.
Promise I'll come back when, okay IF, I remember it.
Or come up with something better to tell you.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Really Good Chocolate

On a recent trip to Target, as I was waiting my turn to check out, I noticed a small chocolate bar made by Scharffen Berger, hardly bigger than a Hershey Snack Size. I was tempted, as I always am with chocolate, to take it home with me.

And then I saw the price. $1.79 for a 1 oz chocolate bar.

I was shocked! And then I wondered what was so special about this tiny chocolate bar that someone would pay that much for it.

I looked a little closer - it was Artisan chocolate. Well, okay, but that really just sounds like putting a fancy name on something and charging big bucks for it.

It's made with organic milk. Okay, I'll pay a little more for organic milk, but almost 2.5 times more?

I tried to resist, but curiosity got the better of me.

Did I get my money's worth? I'm not sure. The chocolate is divine - creamy and rich, just a little darker than most American milk chocolates, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. But would I buy it again? Probably not. I through enough money away on my chocolate habit. I don't need to double the damage, but for an occasional treat, I might splurge.

And that itty-bitty chocolate bar is so cute, how can I not take it home with me?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Working - But Just a Bit

So the Husband and I decided that we need more income and there were several ways to do that. The first being that he would get a second job. Not really our first choice since then I would have no backup and he'd never see the kids.

The next option would be that I continue do the small odd jobs I have been doing for most of the last year. Not a bad idea expect it's very little money for a good bit of work (not that I mind working, but when a job only pays $10 and it takes 3 hours to complete - you do the math.) So while I will probably continue to do those odd jobs, they won't really satisfy the income need.
Another option would have been to ramp up my photo business in hopes of making it more profitable. This is really my favorite option, but also the most costly (I really need some additional equipment, not to mention some kind of advertising, not that it has to be fancy, but something to get my name out there more, and that can be costly.) So again while I will continue to work on the portrait business (as well as the art fairs I started participating in this summer) it will not be my main focus, yet.

So all of this is the long way of saying that I have been seeking employment. I have applied several places (not fast food, I refuse to do fast food right now, we are not that desperate), even received one job offer (which would have really been a fab job in my field, but the hours were outrageous for someone who had hopes of still being able to put her kids on the bus and be there when they got home - and really is that too much to ask? I could totally be the person there before the high school kids got out, okay there might be a couple hours between when I'd need to leave and the high-schoolers could get there, but come on, there's bound to be some kid out of school early on work release - do they still do that?), but so far nothing has really fit the bill.
Until today, and while you might scoff, have you ever tried finding a job when the last entry on your resume is from over 10 years ago and the company has gone out of business, so there's no one to contact for a job reference, you can't remember your boss's name, much less how much you were being paid (and is that really relevant when it was 10 years ago anyway) or the exact dates of your employment? No? Not easy.

But I did find something and my work history or qualifications didn't even enter into the conversation. I think I was hired solely on the recommendation of a friend that works there and the company's recent loss of all the college kids that worked there over the summer. And I do know the general manager, but that did not come up either, but based on the person that recommended me for the position, they know I know the GM.

It's really pretty perfect, just enough to get my feet wet, a gentle transition from SAHM to WOHM, even if the WOHM is only one day a week.

And P will stay home with Nan on the day I work, leaving me with just the teeniest bit of mommy guilt. So yippee for me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bait and Switch

So way back in January, the adults in the house started on South Beach.  We only made it about 3 weeks before gradually dropping back into old habits. The one habit that stuck was using Splenda instead of sugar to make Kool-Aid.  This was especially easy because Splenda had introduced these new Quick Packs that are equal to a cup of sugar - perfect for Kool-Aid. (In an effort for full disclosure I must admit that I use three Quick Packs to two Kool-Aid packs).

So I was doing great until I ran out of Quick Packs and couldn't find them at the local store.  At first I believed they were just out and in a few days (on the next milk run), I'd be able to pick some up.

I tried another store, again no luck.  I checked the Kool-Aid aisle instead of the sugar aisle.  Nope.
During this time, I've been using the little packets to make Kool-Aid.  I just couldn’t go back to using real sugar.
Today I ran out of little packets and had to use  . . . Sugar.  So I did the only thing left to me.
I ordered it online. 
What a world.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Honeymoon is Over

On Monday the kids started school.  They were each up well before the appointed time, bouncy and already dressed. 
On Tuesday they were again up before I came to wake them.  They were not quite as bouncy, but J was thrilled to be riding the bus to school.

On Wednesday, they were awake, but still in bed when I came upstairs to assist with the morning rituals.
Thursday, they were not awake, but the quickly got out of bed when I turned on lights.
This morning was more like the scene in Freaky Friday (okay, not that bad, but it took some definite prodding to get the kids to give up their covers.)

And then when J got home from school, he said, "Today was my last day of school."  I hated to burst his little bubble, but I couldn't let him think he was done.  I gently informed him that he only had two days off and then would go back to school on Monday.  "Okay," was all he said.

One week down.  Now I remember why weekends are so good.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day 2, Day 5 (or is it 6)

Today is my kids' second day of school.  Yes, I know we start early, but we also get out before the end of May. J loved his first day of Pre-K, although he was mosted excited about getting to ride the bus.  He didn't blink when I left, but it was all I could do not to shed a few tears.  He's so big, but still my baby, although I'm not allowed to call him that anymore.
M & E are enjoying the second grade and I am pleased with their teachers.  The first struggle of the year is transitioning to "real paper" from the stuff with the red/blue lines and the dotted center line (you know the stuff).  They used it all through first grade, so the change is a bit of a struggle.
C is in 5th grade - so far so good, but the home work hasn't started yet.  This is the last year that C will be in the same school as M & E until he's a senior and they are freshmen (and even then the high school here has a seperate ninth grade campus).
As for P -- she is on day 5 or 6 of living without a pacifier.  She was down to one last pacifier, and we explained that we weren't buying any new ones.  One day last week she couldn't find it when she woke up, so we knew it had to be in her room, but we didn't search very hard. She has gone from only taking the thing out of her mouth to eat to not having one at with very little trauma.  She occasionally asks for it, but it hasn't even been a problem at night.  I found this missing paci last night, and rather than throwing it away, I put it in my nightstand drawer -- the last paci, a final reminder of the time when my kids were babies. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Potty Time

I am not a pushy mom when it comes to potty training.  I’d really rather not deal with accidents and I just can’t get behind reminding the kid every 30 minutes – if they can’t take the responsibility to at least tell me when they have to go, then they just aren’t ready.


So my oldest was just over 3 when he trained.  The twins were 3.5 (and finally took the plunge because I told them Santa would not be bringing toys to 3.5 year olds who were not potty trained).


So when J, my fourth, turned 3 I started making noise about it being time to put away the diapers, but he wasn’t really interested.  So I let it go.  6 months later he still had no interest even though we promised him a great truck and a new bike.  Somewhere along the way he’d transitioned to pull-ups rather than diapers, without the desired results.


But a few weeks ago while we were traveling I sensed an opportunity.  Regular potty breaks, complete control of the liquid intake, etc.  So I bribed him with a car at the end of the day if he was dry.  And for 3 days he did great and I thought we had this beat.


Then we got home and he was back to his old ways.  And then I ran out of pull-ups and decided we just go for underwear.  After a day of accidents I popped his little toosh in a real diaper and called him a baby. (Not the best mothering, but the child was a month away from being 4.)


He cried and said he wasn’t a baby and he wanted his big boy underwear back.  I gave him one more chance.


Four down, one more to go, but she’s only 2.5, so I’m not worried . . . yet.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Things that bother me about Caillou (other than the whining)

Somehow P, now well past 2 and speaking in full sentences with attitude, fell in love with Caillou.  I blame it on the little girl my mother baby-sits.

Although not nearly as bad as Barney or the Teletubbies in my book, most mothers would probably agree that Caillou is a whiney little boy and we’d rather not be forced to listen to him.  But the tantrum that will be thrown by the 2 year old in love with Caillou is more unpleasant and easily avoidable, so Caillou it is.

Aside from the seemingly constant whining, there are several other things I have noticed that bother me about Caillou.

  1. Why is Caillou bald?  I mean really.  He’s 4.  Shouldn’t he have hair?  And if his parents are shaving his head on a regular basis to maintain this look, I think that ought to be explored in a future episode.
  2. Why does Caillou wear shorts and a short-sleeve t-shirt when all the adults in his world are wearing long sleeves?  Yes occasionally he wears a snow suit or a jacket, but generally he looks a little under-dressed compared to the rest his world.
  3. What do Caillou’s mommy and daddy do to put food on the table?  We’ve seen his mommy in the office a couple of times and a few times Caillou’s daddy has been wearing office clothes, but mostly it would seem they are at home.  Or maybe the show is just about what happens on the weekends, because if it’s not, Caillou’s parents have a lot of time off.

Anyone have any answers for me?  I’m not going to go crazy thinking about it, but I sure would like to know.  Especially that hair thing.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Emailing It In

So did you miss me?  No?  Well that’s okay.


I’ve figured out how to email a post in, so maybe I’ll post more often.


But first let’s just test this new method.


Promise I’ll be back.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

Hadn't you noticed?

A few days before Christmas I was wondering a store (okay Target) looking for that one gift that I should have picked up when I saw it the first time, but didn't and now couldn't find, and what to by wondering eye did appear but clothing that looked remarkably springy and pink and covered in hearts and was I imagining it but was that all the winter stuff on clearance?

No!! We hadn't even finished Christmas and they were clearancing it and putting out Valentine's Day and even a little St Pat's green!

And then I was out at the same store earlier this week and I saw SWIMSUITS in the toddler section.

I'm not sure what's worse -- the fact that swimsuits are already in stores, or the fact that I bought TWO!