Monday, January 31, 2011

Cute things said lately ...

I feel a little bad, since I don't have a lot of Bucket quotes. Probably because she's mastered speaking more than Bruise has.

She loves to play with words. Those irregular verbs are a challenge, too.
And she likes to go for effect, especially to make people laugh.

"Don't spank my buttie!!" is something that she likes to giggle. "Don't pinch my nosie!" "Don't touch my hair-ie!"

Getting into the car to go to church yesterday morning, Bruise asked for a piece of gum.
"Can I have one, too??" Bucket chimed in.
"Well ... no. Not until after Sacrament. This way you won't have to spit it out before then."
And Bruise dropped his head, DEJECTED, and moaned, "Dis is so HAWD."
And I completely bust up. And so did Bucket (who has started quoting this as a joke). And, when Michael got into the car, we had to tell HIM ... and he laughed, too.

And, YES, the kids did split a stick of gum after the bread and water was passed.

During church, Michael had to sit on the stand, as Elder's Quorum President, since Bishop's counselors weren't there.
Bucket asked me why Daddy had to sit up there.
I told her that, since Bishop's counselors weren't there, Bishop didn't want to be lonely. :P

Michael asked me later, how I enjoyed the talks.
I have TWO FIVE-YEAR-OLDS jockeying for WHO gets to sit on Mommy's lap, trading spots (YES, I am grateful that they share. Less so when they WHINE about how HE/SHE wants to sit on my lap. Or how SHE NEVER gets to sit on my lap) DURING THE WHOLE MEETING.

MY FLIP. It's no small wonder that I have COMPLETELY LOST the ability to pay attention to speakers at church. (I try and listen hardest to the people that I know. Or that I want to get to know better. Or the youth --- since their talks are the SHORTEST. ^_^)

Yeah, give me about twenty years or so. I'll be able to pay attention to talks again. I hope!!

Bruise, a few nights ago, as we were reading scriptures ... Michael asked, "Who is the light of the world?"
Bruise: [Cousin's name]. *laughs* Jesus.

Crazy children. They're nuts. ... Like when Bucket will do this deep, growly voice. Sounds like she's possessed. Pretty funny.

Okay, I'm being summoned to go play Lego Star Wars on the Wii. Better go. Who knows what trauma they'll claim I've inflicted otherwise. Ha ha ha.

Crazy Dream Chronicles - Harry Potter Edition!

I don't know WHAT was going on in my subconscious last night ... but here's how it went down.

In my dream, I was with Harry Potter and  ... maybe Hermione? We were in my childhood bedroom. But it was in Godric's Hollow. We had gone back in time. And we could only be in rooms where people from that time weren't. And, for some reason, Harry had been there when he was younger. Like three or four.

AND we were hiding in my old room from Death Eaters. Harry had to hide on the bed, covered in blankets, so they couldn't see him as they patrolled around the house. Even though my aluminum-framed window was all wet with condensation. (THAT is VERY true.) So, to ensure that they wouldn't look closely as they walked by the window, I took to licking trails through the consensation as Draco and Lucius would walk by. And, boy, did they give me some WEIRD looks.
(Oh, I was younger in this dream. Like ... seventeen?)

There was this lady who was pretending to be Harry's mum. But she wasn't Lily Potter. Nor did she look anything LIKE Lily. And she had magicked and kidnapped a couple (and then returned them unharmed) because they had (besides gold lame swimsuits) tattoos that told, when they had their back together, how to get to Godric's Hollow.

And she was taking care of Little Harry.

As Harry was hiding under a blue coverlet, I saw the Weasley twins out the window. So I climbed out the window and told them that, since their birthday is April 2 and I was due on April 1 (both are true. Seriously, Rowling has put that April 2 is their birthday. I don't know WHY I remember this trivia so well. Probably because I'm a dork.), that we were "Aries-twinsies." And I snogged one of them. But he wouldn't tell me if he was Fred or George. And they walked off. And I somehow climbed back into the window. And then we went looking around (maybe we ALL had climbed out of the window?) and then we had to hide. QUICKLY, so we ran into my mom's closet. And Little Harry had followed us. But we weren't supposed to let him see us, since it was against the rules. But Harry sneaked a peek. Cute little boy. He smiled back at his older self.

But, yeah. I really should get names before I dream-snog.
But, hey, I totally snogged Gred or Forge in my dreams. I consider that an accomplishment. (Since, in my dream, I was an unmarried woman, so it's totally not cheating.)

(See, when I had a dream that I and another married man were crushing on each other, in my dream he and I were both all, "We canNOT EVER be alone together. Think of what it'll do to our spouses!" ... It's nice that my subconscious tries to be all moral. I'm glad about it.)

And, for the record, I don't go for gingers, really. But I do adore the Weasley twins. I'd totally be thrilled to be in their circle of friends. Totally.
And I'd get in SO much trouble. *sigh*

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sleep Deprived ... But on PURPOSE this time

Since I stayed up chatting and laughing until three in the morning at the Young Women Retreat.

We stayed at a beach house, just a few blocks from the ocean. It was really awesome.
We had ... 17 girls and 9 adults (including Bishop and another Brother from church ... in case we needed a blessing or anything. Church rules. Just like how adult leaders of either gender cannot sleep in the same room/tent as any of the girls that are NOT their daughters. True.)

We had GREAT food (delicious soups and rolls for dinner. Brownies for dessert. Breakfast was French Toast and sausage links. Leftover soup and sandwich rolls for lunch. Everything was so tasty!) and lots of fun.

It's kind of a pity that we can only afford to do it once a year. But I made sure to get lots of pictures. And I got to know more of the girls. And to spend some more time with some of the leaders and girls (and some of the moms) that I don't always get to see (besides at church).

So, yes, I'm not dead. I'm exhausted. But in a good way.

And we have some great little inside jokes. Excellent.

Friday, January 28, 2011

For the record ...

And it NEEDS to be said.

I have GREAT friends.

I have AWESOME family. Both sides.

I figure that I should make sure that I say it more often.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blech ...

Normally, the Necco Conversation Hearts are a HUGE reason I look forward to Valentine's Day.

Now, with the new, "improved" version ... notice the air quotes? Those are air quotes. Just so you're aware.

Yeah, those new ones? ARE GROSS.

Why did they have to mess with them? I LIKED the old, chalky, YUMMY ones.

The new ones ... the texture is all wrong. And the new flavors are icky.

Is nothing sacred?????

Okay. I'm done whining.
About that, anyways.


I woke up this morning (okay, last night) to clean up after Bucket ... who had eaten too much, got up in her sleep, missed the toilet on the first try, got the toilet on the second, and went back to bed.

I couldn't fall back asleep at first. And, while I was lying there, it occurred to me that Grandpa and Diana-cat died just about a month apart.

It feels longer than that. This NOT-EVEN-A-WEEK feels longer than that. I feel older.

Grandpa's funeral went well.
The family all sat together during the viewing.
Grandpa didn't look like himself. It was more like looking at a waxwork. I KNOW that he used to be there. But it wasn't him. It was paler and solemn. Grandpa was almost always with a smile.

When Cousin H stood there, in front of the casket, and quietly said, "I miss you, Grandpa," ... gosh, I really lost it.
I'm just glad that, for the most part, I'm a quiet crier.
To be honest, it was so hard seeing how sad everyone is.

The grandsons sang the opening song. Most were choked up.
After Uncle D and Dad C spoke, the granddaughters sang.
And most of us weren't able to sing all that well. A good deal of the song, I couldn't read the words in the hymnal. Since my eyes were full, you see.
Grandma was able to pick out my voice, which was nice. Uncle D told me later that he's sure that Grandpa was up there, appreciating our singing. And that made me cry. Again.

There was an honor guard at the graveside. I've never seen on in person before. They did a wonderful job. I'm grateful for their service. To our country and to our family.

Michael dedicated the grave. First time he's done that.

Back at the church, after everyone ate, I was chatting with Grandma. I told her that if she needed anything, to give us a call. (Since we do live close).
"Oh yes. We will. ... I will. ... ... It's hard to get used to saying 'I' and not 'we' anymore."

And my heart broke just a little bit more.

K, my brother-in-law, ... his granddad passed this last weekend, too. But it was a drawn-out affair. They knew it was coming. Still, that doesn't make it easy. I knew for years that Gingi-cat wasn't going to be alive for forever. And it was still difficult.
He will be delivering the eulogy for his granddad this weekend.

I got a bloody nose. I haven't had one of those for a long time. Just out of nowhere, really. I'm assuming that with how much I've been crying and blowing my nose this week, something had to give. And it was those dang capillaries. It ended. ... And just started up again.

It was good to see family. I just wish that it had been under different circumstances.

Also, Uncle B (Michael's great-uncle) said "hi" to us. ... He looks similar to Grandpa. And, oh. There's something in his voice. It's not EXACTLY like Grandpa's voice ... but ... it's similar enough. It made me cry.

Well, tomorrow I'll be spending time with the Young Women. That will be nice. It still feels weird, though. ... LIVING, that is.
I don't even know if I'm making sense. Still, lately ... after Gingi-cat died, after Di-di, Pop-pop and now Grandpa ... it just feels strange. Like I'm a little raw or something. Oh well.
I'll toughen up and remember how to get by again.

But I kinda doubt that it'll be in the next couple of hours.

I think that I'm going to get a shower, get my nose to stop bleeding, and maybe get a nap.
And maybe read something. Escapist reading for the win, right?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The little things ...

I remember back to when Elder David A. Bednar was called to be an apostle.

And, not long after, he gave a wonderful Conference talk about the "tender mercies of the Lord."

I can witness that, yes, He knows our needs. He hears and answer our prayers (Not always in the way that we'd prefer ... but that He DOES answer prayers).
And, sometimes, He answers prayers that we aren't even aware of having.

Some of them are silly.
Like how today, after we picked up a friend's son to watch/have a playdate with, I got a knock at the back door.
I wasn't expecting anyone. But I answered it.
A neighbor had called a company who hauls off broken equipment. He saw the old water heater in our carport and asked if we wanted him to take it.

Michael and I have been meaning to get rid of it (take it to the dump) for ages. Since it broke, in fact.

So I gladly accepted. It's gone.

And I know that Heavenly Father is looking out for us.
Even though crap things happen ... He is still there, loving us, helping us to be happy.

And that's really nice to know.

Another thing that's ... well, it's good ... but still ...

There are so very many people, that when they hear of Grandpa's passing, who tell us how sad they are, how much they'll miss him, what a wonderful man he was.

I think that a true testament of a person's character is how much one is missed when he/she dies.

And ... yeah. LOTS of people miss Grandpa. Because he was a truly wonderful man.


I don't know how much of all this Bruise and Bucket are understanding.
Heck, I barely understand it all, myself. It's still a bit of a shock. He was so HEALTHY and full of life when he and Grandma came to the kids' party. ... Yeah. I'm still reeling a bit.

Bucket sat next to me and asked me why I was sad.
"Sad about what?"
"Are you sad that Daddy's dad's ... that Grandpa's dad died?"
"Yes. I miss him. But it's not for forever. And that makes me feel better. We miss people that we love when we can't be with them, right?"
She nodded. She understands that much. She and Bruise.
Especially with how Ginger and Diana aren't with us.

Bucket asks when we're going to get another cat.
"When we find one that's perfect for us." That's all that I can tell her right now.

But ... yeah. There have been some good things.
I've gotten to see my Bri more often (a VERY good thing!). She gave me a cute haircut. (Seriously, it's darling when I style it. And, when she dropped by yesterday, she asked what I had done. It was cute, but different. "I combed it. That's it. I didn't do it." ... THAT is the sign of a GOOD haircut. ^_^ Yes. I'm that lucky. To have a wonderful friend who is VERY talented.)
I had a hilarious conversation with Hilary. She cracks me up. (I told Bri about you, Hilary. She thinks you'd fit right in with us. ^_^)
I've been good and have shower presents for my sister-in-law, T1, AND for my cousin-in-law, K.
The sunsets have been beautiful. At least, the glimpses that I gotten of it (yes, I barely go outside. I'm crazy like that.)
Michael seems to be feeling better.
I really do have some wonderful friends ... and I'm humbled that they like me. And I'm terribly flattered, too.

Things are better. Gradually, I'm feeling better.
I still cry. But, hey, it's been less than a week. But I'm crying less. (My eyes and nose are very glad of this. I have VERY sore skin on my nose. *sigh*)

Still, it's really nice to NOT have a broken water heater in our driveway. *smile* That's a nice blessing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tell them I had a clever title. Make something up.

Church went well ... Michael wasn't feeling so hot, so I took him home after Sacrament meeting.
By the time I got back to church (not long), Sunday School was already about halfway through. So I did the usual ... skipped. Yeah. I'm bad.
(I HATE walking in late. Everyone looks at you. You KNOW you're disrupting the class. You have to find a SEAT. ... So, yeah, if I'm more than 5 minutes late, I don't go. Unless Michael's with me. It's stupid. I know.)

Young Women's went well. I went to the Beehives' class, since they only had one adult for their class. It's the first time that I got to see our new Beehive instructor teach. And she does it well. (I like her. A lot. Her family and Michael's family have been friends for ages. And she's really wonderful.)

Then I had to talk to a member of the Bishopric at the end of class.
I'm NOT in trouble.
So, for those of you who know how it works, you can guess what's going on.
I can't tell you anything more until Sunday.  *sigh*

I picked up the kids and we went home.
And I made them tortilla wraps, since our bread was moldy. (The price of buying bread without TONS of preservatives!)

As I was at the computer, working on a few things, I hear Bruise, at the table:
"Happy birffday to yoooo ... Happy birffday to yooooo ... Happy birffday dear sandwich ... *laughs*"

Yup, that was just what I needed. It helped.

In the evening, I went to meet the missionaries to help teach a lesson to an investigator.
I FINALLY found the place ... which took me a few minutes longer than I was planning.
And left me parking the car about five minutes early.
And I waited.
And I called the elders after a few minutes. And they were on their way.
And, after they arrived, NO ONE WOULD ANSWER THE DOOR.
I had seen people through the window as I waited. We could hear them inside.
The husband even came home, walked through us on the front porch as he answered a few questions ... then closed the door behind him.

The elders felt AWFUL that I had left my sick husband to wait for them and to have that ... kind of reception at the door.

I mostly laughed about it. You always hear about the missionaries have doors slammed in their faces.
I always figured that if people made appointments, they either would be there OR they'd not be home.
It's rather silly to just not answer the door. ESPECIALLY when people can HEAR that you're in there. :P

Today, I got up. We got the front rooms vacuumed. Michael's home sick. Still.
I don't mind him being home. I just don't like that he's sick.

I took the kids over to a friend's house (one of MY friends) so they could play with her kids' toys while I taught her the basics of blogging. And we got to chat. Which was really fun.

Tomorrow, I'll be watching the sons of another friend in the ward. I'm a little nervous. Four kids. Here. For over six hours.
I have snacks and lunch planned out. Everything else ... will ... well, it'll happen.
(There's a BIG REASON why I don't do childcare out of my home. Or homeschooling.)
(That reason is ME.)

Michael felt up to buying a suit. Since he's been needing one. Especially for Grandpa's funeral Thursday.
During the services, he'll be singing with the male grandsons (any of his brothers, brothers-in-law, and cousins/cousins-in-law that want to), being a pallbearer, and dedicating the gravesite. I have an easier time. I will sing with the granddaughters. That and try not to be a drippy mess.

I should make sure that the house is clean. Just in case we need a place to congregate after the service.
And I should make dinner in the crockpot. And maybe have a dessert and bread baked, too. Just in case.

It seems like it's been so long since Saturday. I feel older. Saturday was just a very long day.
This week isn't a good one for spending time with Michael, anyways. Between meetings, activities (The Elders Quorum is going shooting. I'll be at the YW retreat), we don't have much of a weekend. *sigh* But it'll be good to spend time with my girls. And, if the weather stays this nice, the shooting activity will actually HAPPEN this time. (It was supposed to happen in November? December? But the EQ presidency had a last-minute meeting that they all had to go to, family emergencies, and the weather sucked. You have a hard time shooting outside when it's POURING.)

But, yeah. This month ... within a 15-day period had a total range from a perfect day (being the kids' birthday when we went to the Aquarium) to quite horrific (being Grandpa's death on Saturday).

Let's just hope and pray that things will keep pretty stable and pretty mellow. That Michael will pass this Engineering license test. That we will (get off our duffs and) sell the baby truck. That the kids have a good time when they start school this fall. That I lose 50 pounds and am voted Homecoming Queen! (Okay, how about just fitting in the really cute skirt I got a few months ago? I'll totally settle for that.)

Okay. I need to close this up and play cards with my daughter.
Ciao and all that.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

After the Storm

After everything yesterday, my eyes hurt. My face hurt.

I did take that shower that I wanted. I cried in there.
And I scrubbed the hell out of the shower stall. It's VERY clean.

Michael's taking things really well. He's feeling much better physically. And he's got that eternal perspective going on ... And, really, as one of my friends (again, I seem to be good at surrounding myself with folks with eternal perspectives. It's a gift. Really.) said, Grandpa is probably happy to be free of his old, aching, sick body for a while.

It's not like he TRIED to abandon all of us or anything.
But I will miss him something fierce. Because he was very, very wonderful.
One thing that's truly awesome about the family I married into, they are VERY welcoming.
My father-in-law, Dad C, calls all of his daughters (biological AND married-in) "DEAR DAUGHTER!" (Really, he says it all in caps. And, even with his calling A, T1, T2, whoever J will marry, AND me that, it still is completely sincere and makes me feel special.)

Grandpa would greet all of us with a hug. And would rib us a little if he had to ask (if we were talking to someone else or not paying attention). And he appreciated my ... less-than-Celestial sense of humor.

Once, at C&A's, for one of their kids' birthday parties (Must have been B's party, since we were talking about all the Disney princesses that were on her cake. And which ones were cutest/most marriageable material for the present menfolk. Yeah, I love my family.), I told a joke that Michael told me:
Q: Why do mermaids wear seashells?
A: Because B-shells are too small and D-shells are too big!

A's dad was shocked at first ... Obviously, I'd done well at making a good first impression. Then I had to open my big mouth. Ha ha ha.
Now he knows the real me. :P

And then had to suppress it so he wouldn't have to tell Grandma why he was laughing.

And he still loved me just the same. Even though I have no filter. :P

Now both my son's namesakes have passed. Michael mentioned that last night.
That stinks. But we named him well. Both his great-grandpas that he was named for were excellent men.

BUT, as I was going to say, I woke up this morning (after crying more last night) ... strangely calm.
It hasn't lasted perfectly. But it's better.

I am making my way through the stages of grief. I already went through denial:
*in the shower* "I wasn't there. Maybe it didn't really happen. I didn't SEE him die. He could still be alive."

*scrubbing FURIOUSLY in the shower*

I'm still not totally over it ... but everyone's been so wonderful and supportive.
A family that's been friends with Michael's family for AGES brought over cookies yesterday evening.
(No wonder the mom was the Compassionate Service chair at church. She's really amazing. ... And their kids are great, too. We're friends with more than one. ^_^)

I'm not wearing waterproof mascara today (or waterproof anything), so I can't bust into uncontrollable sobbing.
Yes, I am that vain.

It's about time for church, so I need to brush my teeth. And then we'll see how it goes.
Hopefully Michael's fever is going away.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You could go with this or you could go with that ...

Things I feel like doing:

  • screaming until my throat is raw
  • running/walking until I reach the horizon
  • scratching my skin off (I won't. But it's tempting.)
  • Taking four ibuprofen and sleeping until Thursday
  • crying in the shower

Things I don't feel like doing:
  • cleaning the house
  • talking about my feelings
  • talking at all
Wow. You're so lucky to have me around. /sarcasm

I'm gonna go shower. At least take off the waterproof mascara. In case that's the reason my eyes feel all dry and ouchy.

It all started with strange dreams ...

and then it got worse.

As far as the dreams, I don't remember a whole lot. I woke up from one because a grizzly bear fell on me.
Yeah, like the Australian drop-bears ... but a Grizzly.

The other was ... weird. As in girl-on-girl action. Not my kinda thing.
But, hey, at least my stomach was flat and I had skinny thighs.

And I'm totally happy NOT participating in any of that kinda thing.
I have Michael and he's enough. Really. And he's fine with the fact that I don't have that toned stomach and thin thighs. Thank goodness. (Either that or it's a good thing he doesn't wear his glasses all the time. :P)

But then, after I had gotten up, gotten showered and was about to start breakfast (while Michael, poor guy, was sleeping off this bad flu) ...


Just got the call I didn't want to get. Even more than the call that I got this morning.



As I was saying, I was showered. Michael was sleeping off the flu/thing that he's been fighting (took a sick day yesterday, even). Kids were in their PJs.

Mom C texted. We needed to get to the hospital now if we wanted to see Grandpa.
We all got dressed in a hurry. Even (especially) Michael, as he was sweating out that fever. And we ran over to the hospital.
I waited with the kids while Michael went to see Grandpa.
(Grandpa is one of the biggest influences on Michael. And I've adored him since I've met him, too.)
I got to see him. He was heavily sedated, so he was sleeping.

I really kinda hoped that maybe there'd be a last-minute miracle-type-of-thing ... but, you know, I was totally going to understand if there wasn't. I mean, it'd be nice if all genocide would miraculously stop, too ... and that'd take a miracle ...

We hung around the hospital for a few hours. Most of the family was there. From what we knew, people were waiting until all the family got to come and say good-bye before they decided to pull the plug.
After people had eaten lunch (runs to Arby's and a burger place downtown) at the hospital, we dispersed to various locations.
C&A took all the kids, theirs and ours, to A's parents house to play.
Michael and I headed home so he could sleep off the rest of his plague (he started to feel better. Better enough that he's sure that a nap -- which I had to wake him up from -- and a shower will have him back to normal. Phew).
T1, J, T2, and W headed to T2 and W's place.
Along with most of the cousins in the area heading to various places.

And then, a few minutes after we all left, Grandma decided. And they pulled the plug.

And Grandpa's gone.

As hard as it is for me, I'm sure that it's harder for Michael.
Still, all the feelings that I had when Pop-pop died ... I remember them. I know how it feels.
(It's not like when my mom's stepfather died. I was, sad to say, glad to see him go. Long story. Bad story. And not because it happened to me. It didn't. But still.)

Michael handles his emotions differently than I do.
I cry. I fret. I complain how it feels like death is this betrayal/abandonment. Even though I KNOW that it's temporary. I KNOW that we will all be resurrected. I KNOW that families can be together forever.

It still hurts. I still HATE IT that I can't get a hug, get advice from these loved ones. I hate that I can't remember the exact timbre of their voices, each note of their personal scents, how their skin feels. I can look at pictures of them ... I can hear and even tell stories about them ...

It's not the same.

And I hate that. HATE. IT. SO. MUCH.


Driving back home from the hospital, before we knew that Grandpa was really going to die in the immediate future (we knew it'd be this afternoon or this evening. ... But that's not NOW, you see.)(Although, now it's the past. And it's HAPPENED.), I thought, "I'll blog about this. And, maybe, just maybe, I'll wake up tomorrow and go to read my blog. And it won't be there. Because it's all a bad dream."

Yeah, fat luck on that one.

Is "fat luck" even a phrase? If not, it should be. Kind of some combination of "fat chance" and some kind of sarcastic luck.

My head hurts. My eyes hurt. I hate days filled by tears. I hate being emotional.

Oh, T2 just called. Wanted to make sure that we knew. Sweet girl.

After Mom C called, I woke up Michael to let him know. (He's my #1 priority.)
Then I texted back to his cousin, K, who'd I'd been texting back and forth with, giving updates ... since I promised her that I'd let her know what I knew, as I got it.
And I called my mom's machine. Again. And left a message.
And started to cry again.

I had already explained to the kids what was happening, this morning, while Michael was upstairs at the hospital, visiting Grandpa.
That, when you get old, your body doesn't always work like it should. You body gets old, too, and when it doesn't work right, you die.
And that we shouldn't be too sad, since we will be together again. It'll just take a while. And we will miss people when they die. But that it's not for FOREVER.
And, when we get to see them again, they'll have their bodies back. And their bodies will be perfect. They won't be in pain or sick or anything.

Poor Michael. Both of his grandfathers have died.
I still have one left. I'm not all that close to him ... but there's the fact that he's still alive.
I can't even imagine how this feels for Dad C. I don't know how I'd feel if/when my dad dies.
Though, really, Dad C and his dad are closer than I feel with my dad.
And poor Mom C. She's cried more than anyone, I think. I wish I knew what to do to help.

All I want to do is to crawl in some hole/cave and just sleep. And, maybe, when I wake up, things will be perfect again.
My house will be clean.
Everyone will be alive.
No one will be sick or in pain.
Gingi-cat and Di-di will be back.

So ... yeah. That's most of what's pertient around here.

How was YOUR day?
(PLEASE say it was better. PLEASE. Lie to me, if needed. I really want there to be GOOD things happening today. Because if everyone's day is this sucky ... I may just lose the will to live. So, PLEASE have had a better day. And tell me what was great. I'd appreciate it.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bruise: Another description

"Dad, your puwse fall down."


For the record, let it be stated that my husband does NOT have a man purse.
It's a computer bag.
Though it doesn't always contain a computer.

My son. Describing Pop Tarts.

(Yes, I realize that I'm a terrible mother for [1] allowing him to eat Pop Tarts instead of a homemade, organic diet AND [2] for laughing)

Bruise: Can I have anudder one? Of those fings dat you puy in your mouff. And they have chokwat [chocolate] in dem??

Yes, they were S'mores-flavored pop-tarts.

But "you put in your mouth." He didn't describe them as food. Just that you put them in your mouth.

Also, I was REALLY tired.
And I laughed for about five minutes about it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


So, Michael took us to the other Humane Society in the area.

We looked at all the cats (and the dogs, too). Then we went to Borders to buy calendars. And so I could think about all the cats that we'd seen.

The choice was up to me.

I REALLY liked three cats a lot. Four, if I thought about it.
We went back and looked at them again.

None of them totally felt quite right. One was SOCLOSE ... but, with how the kids don't always shut the doors ... I don't want to get a cat just for it to run away.

And, instead of two of the ones that I was looking at, a set of kittens (well, five-month-old cats) caught my eye. But ... I can't be spending $160 on cats. (I still would need to get them collars and a scratching post.) Not right yet.

So, we arrived at home empty-handed. And, yes, I did cry about it.
But ... as bad as I felt not choosing ANY, the thought of choosing one right now felt worse.

I don't like being responsible or being a grown-up right now.


And everything in between ...

Since I FINALLY covered ALL of the Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!!!!!, now I can fill in the blanks since I last posted.

Monday - Kid's birthday DAY. I made waffles for breakfast. They had cake for lunch. We went to the Aquarium. Had Taco Bell for dinner (Note: The new salsa verde packets? Yum! But I still love the mild sauce. Which is why I have about a dozen packets in my purse. What??) Kids had Cold Stone for dessert.

Tuesday: I really don't recall ... But I know we watched Castle. Oh, yeah! I read to the kids. We got through the Isaiah chapters from Nephi (since Michael was looking forward to getting through them). So I missed/totally forgot(!!) about watching Glee. Oops!

Wednesday: Mom was working, so she wasn't able to come up. We stuck around the house. Really (NOT) exciting.
Started playing Echo Bazaar, which I am a little addicted to now. Steampunk, Underground London, mystery ... if you start playing, let me know!

Thursday: Had issues with my Diva cup.  (Because I was forgetting to give it a turn so it'd seal. DUMB!! <-- me, that is.) Skipped the Relief Society activity to run some errands (I had to pick up my holds!!) That and I spent a good portion of the day uploading the kids' birthday pictures to Facebook. And labeling faces in Picasa (did YOU know that it has face-recognition? I didn't! And it's funny who it thinks pictures are sometimes. A good deal of the time it's right. Sometimes, not so much. But it's entertaining. Even though it's taking me FOREVER to get through it all.)

Yesterday: Helped Michael with trimming the branch over the roof. I don't have issues with heights (though I'm currently the only one in the house without insurance -- and I'm very aware of it), so I climbed the ladder to the roof. And it was WINDY. So Michael, who doesn't care for heights, had to get up there and work on the branch as I kept the kiddos under control on the ground.
But the tree has been barbered a bit. No windows (or bones!) were broken in the process. Phew!!

Then we all got showered or had a bath and went to the library.
Michael updated his library card (expired since 1999 ... almost half of that time, though, was spent living in another town). So he now has his own card.
AND SO DO THE KIDS. Yup! Exciting!!
And they got to check out their DVDs and books on their own cards.
Then we drove around, looked at their school (from the car as we drove by), and went home.

And, as I mentioned before, then we played Operation! and Uno. And Michael and I slept in the kids' room.

Now we're just waiting for Michael to get back from his HAM Radio class. Then we're off to run some errands. Exciting, I know. (NOT. But still.)

And ... yeah. I think we're caught up.

We're still enjoying Netflix. So far this week, we've watched Knight and Day (not as terrible as I worried it'd be) and Despicable Me (I'm ready to buy that one).

And we now have the whole Star Wars saga. Thanks to Costco. Phew! (Though, that happened last weekend, I think. Oh well. My days run together a bit.)

Okay. I'm caught up. Phew!!!!

Bruise and Bucket's Fifth Birthday Party EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! (Part Three - Everything Else)

Okay, so we've discussed the cakes and the pre-party party... What's left?

The party! And then their ACTUAL birthDAY (since the party was a few days earlier)!

Okay ... Let's see.
It was a family party. My folks were there -- Dad, L, Mom, and Aunt J (My Stepdad wasn't feeling well. And it's a trial to get his to travel even when he is. :P). Michael's folks and his siblings (except brother C and his wife, A, who sent their kids over with Mom and Dad C. And brother-in-law, K, was busy studying, so he didn't make it. But his wife, T1, was there. And Grandpa and Grandma C came.
And Bri and her mom stopped by for a pre-party visit, got to see the hedgehogs.
Bri's mom, Stephanie (or "Other Mom," as I call her. ^_^) remarked on how tidy the house looked. ^_^ (If only it looked so nice right now. *sigh*)

The kids got lots of presents. But, with how all the kids were in the center and how fast their older cousins delivered presents to be opened, I really don't know who all gave WHAT, exactly. So, writing "thank you" cards, which was my goal this year, is a little more difficult.

We did presents before cake.

(We also got a present, too. Besides the awesome presence of so much awesome family.
Jason-head gave us a copy of Jeopardy for the Wii. Since his company made it. And, if you look through the credits, he's in there. With a picture of his head and all. ^_^ We've played it. Quite fun!)

And people liked the cakes. T1 told me that the Blue Velvet cake tasted really good. (It did. I just hadn't tried any at that point. PHEW!! When I get food compliments from T1, I KNOW it's really good. ^_^)

Bruise and Bucket enjoyed playing with all their new things. Bruise recruited Michael ASAP in helping him put together all the new LEGO sets. ^_^ Bucket and her older cousins ran to their room to play dress-up. I think that I enjoyed Bucket's new Rapunzel dress more than Bucket! (And this was one of the things that Bucket REALLY wanted. ... And we had to shop around for a bit. ... But, it soothed me a bit that Bucket was truly thrilled to get the Barbie Three Musketeers DVD that I had ordered. Since it was on a really good sale. With free shipping. ... It was $5. I HAD to jump on that deal. And I'm glad that she really, really liked it.)

The kiddos are really looking forward to September, when they can use their big presents from Mom and Dad C -- BACKPACKS! Bruise's is still on order (Darth Vader) and Bucket LOVES her Hello Kitty pack. And it even had a HK sandwich container and water bottle. ^_^ Very fun.
(Honestly, even though I'm kinda scared at the fact that the kids will be starting school, I AM way excited for school supply shopping. Yes. I am a geek. I know.)

We played with their new games last night. A couple rounds of Operation! and a game of Uno (Bruise won. Bucket came in second ... with a little help). And, to finish out their birthday week, Michael and I slept in their room last night. (Yes, we sacrificed watching DVDs of Castle: Season Two for them. Obviously, we love them a LOT.)

Going back in time a little ... since this IS my blog and I CAN do that, Michael came home early on Monday and we went to the Aquarium. (Since it was too cold to go to the zoo.) It was really a ... perfect day. I couldn't think of anything that would have made it better (well, shy of receiving a windfall of money so that we'd never have to work again. And I could make HeiferInternational donations constantly -- best anti-depressant EVER).

The aquarium wasn't too crowded. The kids were happy. I got some good pictures (Truly? The aquarium is AWESOME for practicing with my camera. I use the shutter-priority setting there a LOT. ^_^).
And the kids opted for Taco Bell (which pleased Michael to no end. He doesn't love their favorite restaurant -- McDonald's. :P). Then we headed home and got them their birthday ice cream at Cold Stone.

And it was good. Very, very good.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bruise and Bucket's Fifth Birthday Party EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! (Part Two -- The CAKES!)

(If you find yourself bored by all the talking, just jump down. There are pictures. I won't be offended. Promise!)

We try and let the kids choose each year what kind of cake they want.
Bucket and Bruise have known for a couple MONTHS how they wanted their cakes decorated: Hello Kitty and Captain America's shield, respectively.

I also ask for their input on what kind of CAKE they want. You know, chocolate, yellow, pink, white ...

I think that Bucket's opted for a Funfetti (white with rainbow sprinkles) nearly every year!

Friday morning, I realized that Bruise still hadn't decided on a cake flavor! And the party was tomorrow! And I needed to bake his cake today!! (So we could decorate it after getting home from another party!!)

I wasn't WORRIED, per se. I can (and do, on occasion) bake cakes from scratch. I actually prefer to. It's not like they're HARD or anything. If you have all the ingredients. And I try to ALWAYS have ingredients on hand for basic things.

"So, Bruise," I asked him. "What kind of cake do you want?"
"... Yeah, I know that. ... But what KIND of cake do you want? To eat ... Chocolate? White? What?" I pressed.

And then ... then he said...

Those fateful words ...

"I want a BLUE cake."

"Oh. Okay ..."

And then I had to find a way to make my firstborn son a blue cake.

So, I did what any loving mother would do.
I turned to THE GOOGLE.
And I was inspired to Google "Blue Velvet Cake."
Since a RED Velvet cake is a real cake. I've even eaten it before.
Maybe a BLUE Velvet Cake really existed.

And *ding-ding-ding*, IT DID!
Paula Deen has made one! And so have some other bloggers!
So, I printed out a recipe (Not Paula Deen's. Hers was my second choice) and got to work.

I mixed up the boxes of Bucket's Funfetti cake and baked those in my GIANT glass dish.
Then I started mixing stuff for Bruise's Blue Velvet Cake ... and I used EVERY. LAST. DROP. of blue food coloring in the batter (so Michael and I had to run by the store on our way back home that night so we'd have coloring to make the frostings).

And it was a BLUE CAKE. (It could have been blue-er ... but it made my Bruise-boy a happy little man. Which is what I strive to do.)

Of course, Michael had requested that I bake Bruise's cake in the springform pan, to make its removal easier, so Michael could decorate it.
(NOTE TO SELF: Put the springform pan ON a cookie sheet. When the batter is first in there, it's not firm enough to stay in there on its own. So, yeah, I got to clean my stove later. But it was just a minor failing. It DID turn out fine in the end. ... I learn this by experience so YOU don't have to. You're welcome. :P)

SO, after Michael and I got home and put the kiddos to bed, we got to work decorating the cakes.
Bucket's was rather easy. I frosted it with storebought frosting (Vanilla, of course). I BAKE the cakes, Michael decorates. It's a system that works well for us. (He doesn't get as easily frustrated as I do. And he's tapped into all that artistic talent. Bucket does NOT get it from me. I can't take credit for it at all. *sigh*)
Michael put a crumb coat of homemade cream cheese frosting on the trimmed blue cake. Then I just had to add food coloring to storebought cream cheese frosting so Michael could pipe (and smooth) the stripes and the center circle.

And I also got the bright idea (I call it TOTAL INSPIRATION) to make marshmallow fondant (which, it so happens, is really easy. I should know. I never made it before. And it IS really super easy).
The fondant became a star, a bow, and a little yellow nose.

Of course, my hands were stained with blue and yellow spots. And then looked like I committed some foul murder from all the red coloring that I kneaded into the white fondant. (Hello Kitty's bow was more PINK than RED ... but Bucket was still VERY happy. Phew!!)

I used a cookie cutter for the star. I freehanded the nose. Michael had to do the bow.
When I start cussing a la Firefly ("GORRAMIT!! Stupid piece of GUSSAH!" (No, I cannot spell it.), that's Michael's cue to shoo me away and make it look pretty.

We're such an awesome team. :P

But, within a couple hours, we had the piping done and fondant placed. Then we put the finished cakes in the other fridge (where there was room. And so the icing would firm up a bit.)

In the morning, the kids came out and peered over the counters to see their cakes.

I had cleaned up only a little (saving it for the morning, obviously. Since, thankfully, spending the last week or so cleaning the house DID get it into some semblance of order. Phew!) , they found only a little bit of our handywork on the counter.

On a plate were the trimmings from the blue velvet cake and three balls of colored fondant (red, white, and yellow).

"Is this our cake??" Bucket finally ventured.

"Yes, THAT is your cake." Michael quipped. (They say not to use sarcasm with your kids. But it is, on occasion, HILARIOUS.)

"... ... Wow." They said and looked QUITE disappointed.

Later, as I cleaned, I put the fondant and trimmings into the garbage. Bruise walked in and, aghast, gasped, "Mom??!? Why did yoo put my cake in da GAH-BAGE???"

I laughed. (I COULDN'T HELP IT!) And I told him that THAT wasn't his cake. His cake was fine and was somewhere else.

And we brought the cakes out before guests started coming.
And the kiddos were pleased.

Here they are, in all their epicurious glory!!
*drumroll, please!*



Bruise's Captain America's Shield

Bucket's Hello Kitty
(modeled after a REALLY CUTE laptop sleeve.)

Witness the blue interior!!

When you turn five years old, it's MANDATORY to have cake for breakfast, right?

Okay, okay, so it was WAFFLES for breakfast.
Cake was for lunch.

No, I'm not joking.
(Sorry, Michael! You still love me, right? It's what they WANTED for lunch! And it was their BIRTHDAY!)

Bruise and Bucket's Fifth Birthday Party EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! (Part One)

Okay, this is PART ONE ... since it's going to be PICTURE HEAVY.
Just warning you, okay??

Technically, the kids birthday was Monday. THIS party was Friday.

One of my besties, Roxy, has two daughters. Her youngest is born three days before my kiddos. And they are friends. My kiddos LOVE her daughters. And, if I had a vehicle (and if her oldest wasn't in school), we'd be commuting for more playdates.

Roxy asked about places more local to us to meet up. We agreed on A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village. And, sure enough, the kiddos all had a great time.

They got to play in the Bubble Room ...

Milk a fake cow (which "moo"ed REALLY LOUD" and ... lactated... water, 

Play with electricity, 

Turn back time (Okay, not really ... but they got to sit in a time machine!!),

Watch the trains ...

And slide down a dinosaur's back!

After all that (AND sliding down a HUGE slide!), we all packed up and drove to a Pizza parlor a few miles away. After pizza, soda, birthday cake, and presents (for the birthday girl and for Bruise and Bucket), we headed home, tucked the kids in bed and finished the cakes ....


My boy, I love him so ...

Because he'll say things like this ...

SCENE: In the van, on the way back home from a fun (most excellent) afternoon at the Aquarium.
The kiddos have fallen asleep as we're taking them to Coldstone to get their birthday ice cream.
I have moved to the middle row of seats, so I can poke and prod the kidlets awake.

Me: Bruise? *poke* Bruise?? Are you asleep???

Bruise: *swings his head from one shoulder to the other, then mumbles* No. I'm just FINKING abouu SOMET'ING.

(Yes, that's how he said it. And it cracked me up enough that he and Bucket woke up enough to ask me what I was "laffin'" about. ... Then I had to poke Bucket in the nose again to get her awake.)

They're FIVE. Five years and four days! How insane is that???

Friday, January 07, 2011

For my Hilary ...

Hilary (who is HILARIOUS, by the by. Really. I love reading her blog. Or joking with her on Facebook.) tagged me in a little meme.

And I wouldn't want to disappoint her ... so here it is!

1. Four shows that you watch:
  • Glee
  • Firefly
  • Castle (we're a season behind, since we borrow the DVDs from my mom. But we love it!)
  • Big Bang Theory (we're two seasons behind. At least. Since we check it out from the library. And it's POPULAR. )

2. Four things you are passionate about:
  • Learning
  • My family
  • Sleeping
  • Reading

3. Four words/phrases you say a lot:
  • Blast it!!
  • Crap!!
  • What the heck?!?
  • Gorammit!! (When I'm REALLY frustrated.)

4. Four things you have learned from the past:
  • I obviously am who I am. People always remark on how I haven't changed (personality-wise).
  • Having children (twins, even) isn't as scary as I worried it was.
    (Heck, if I can keep two kids alive and healthy, ANYONE can.)
  • I really do lack patience. And sometimes tact. Which galls me something fierce.
  • That I wish I were a better letter-writer. Then I wouldn't have lost touch (and contact info) with some of my friends. :(

5. Four Places you would like to go:
  • Disneyland (with the kiddos)
  • Great Britain
  • Alaska
  • Australia

6. Four things you did yesterday
  • Vacuumed
  • Swept the front porch/walkway. And gave myself a blood blister putting the broom back together. *rolls eyes*
  • Was reminded of stuff that I NEEDED to do for YW and HAD FORGOTTEN COMPLETELY ABOUT. (Oops.) But I got my proverbial buns in gear. Things are moving again. Phew!
  • Woke up to drag my screaming-and-gagging-in-her-sleep daughter out of her brother's bunk and to the bathtub in time for her to PUKE the STANKIEST vomit ever. (Srsly, Michael and I were nearly retching. So gross.) And I did that half-asleep.
    Yeah, I'm so hardcore.
7. Four things you are looking forward to:
  • Michael passing his Engineering test and receiving his license. (Prayers please? The test's in April.)
  • Having no mortgage or car loan (or school loan) payments.
  • Going on a family vacation ... someday ... maybe to Disneyland?
  • Getting another pedicure sometime.

8. Four things you love about winter:
  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving (yes, technically it's in the Fall. But who cares? It's the HOLIDAY SEASON. So, yeah. Whatever. ... This is MY meme, so MY rules. *nods*)
  • Snow ... when we get it.
  • I get to wear scarves and sweaters and cute gloves. 

9. Tag four people to play along:
  • Aubri
  • Katie
  • Jenny
  • Robin
    (But no pressure. I'm not going to force you to do it. And, if I didn't tag you and you want to do it? Totally go right ahead! And let me know! I'll read it!!)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

So THIS is what it feels like to be caught up on the dishes ... Weird.

My house is still not TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY CLEAN ... but it's close.

I should change the shavings in the hedgies' cages again. And I DESPERATELY NEED to vacuum. Since I haven't done it all week.

Michael's and my room and bathroom are trashed, pretty much. And I have a few loads of laundry to fold and put away.

And there's lots of clothes in the kids' room that need to be picked up/put away ... besides the usual amount of catastrophic mess in there. Which will be cleaned Saturday morning, before their birthday party.

I really DID think of having a family party and then a friends party for them.
But I am just zonked THINKING about it.

Would it be bad form to have an unbirthday party for them? No presents or anything. But ... maybe a half-birthday party? Splash in a wading pool, eat some ice cream, play with friends? Would that be okay? Or am I overthinking this?

I had birthday parties when I was little. And, I remember liking all my friends getting together. And, also, being totally pissed off when I won a game and DIDN'T get a prize (since, as birthday girl, you get PRESENTS, it wasn't quite fair for me to get PRESENTS and a prize ... but, still ... I won that party game, I'll have you know.)

Then I had lots of slumber parties instead of birthday-party-parties. And those were (mostly) fun. (Except the one year when one of the girls said something and I repeated it. So _I_ was the one who got in trouble for gossiping at school the next day. Which is probably why I really do avoid gossiping. Because it SUCKS getting in trouble with your teacher AND YOUR MOM, who teaches in the classroom next door, ON YOUR BIRTHDAY.

Yeah. Looking back on all that ... it's amazing that I was as social as I was, since most parties that I really remember ended with/resulted in fiasco.

(Of course, there are some that balance out. Like the Beehive sleepover where one girl told me that my toes were WEIRD. [Oh, the humanity. I know. But STILL, I'm self-conscious. So sue me. {Not literally.}] ...
That one is balanced out by the Merrie Miss (our church's Sunday School class for 11-year-old girls. Back in the day).

That one was awesome. It was at my house. Even though my mom wasn't the teacher.
We were reading spooky stories out of one of the books from my mom's classroom.
I had already read it, and I knew what was coming up ...
So I said that I had to check the door [or some other lame excuse that was JUST PLAUSIBLE] and got Jazzy-cat out from under the dining room table. Then I snuck her back, as I settled back into the group.
And as poor Crystal S. was reading the part about how this monster from under the bed was reaching out his "hairy paw" out toward the little boy, I touched her hand [out of the flashlight's beam] with Jazzy's paw.
Oh. My. Stars. And. Garters! She screamed ... then the other three girls screamed ... and my mom burst out of her bedroom and yells out from the hall to find out what the heck is going on.
"We're just reading scary stories," I managed to choke out between hysterical giggles.
Yeah, good times.  ... And, yes, Crystal does still talk to me. In fact, she thought it was funny ... after a couple minutes. She's good people.)

But yeah ... So, I'm still kinda tired. And I figured out that I'm PMS-y. Fun, fun.
How did I figure this out?
Well, I was feeling all surly and yelling at the kids about dumb stuff ... and I couldn't figure out why I was so ... off.
And then I started thinking about how it might just be easier if I wasn't around anymore. Since it sucks that my cats are all dead and I'm too scared/indecisive to get another. And, if I wasn't around, I could just hibernate and NOT stress about cleaning the house or dealing with the kids or any animals ... And then I told myself that I couldn't die or hibernate because (1) I have no life insurance and (2) I have too darn much stuff to do.

And then I mentally took a step away from the situation and thought objectively, "You know, I think I'm PMSing. Huh. That explains it all."

Yes, my dears. When I'm toeing the line of being suicidal, I realize that this amount of sheer crazy is brought to you by the letters P, M, and S. Evil hormones.

And, really, once that I REALIZE that I'm premenstrual, I can DEAL with it.
It's not like I didn't KNOW that it would be coming up pretty soon (like, in a few days. Thank you, little cycle tracker/predictor on my computer.), it's just that I kind of forget that I get PMS before my cycle hits. Stupid, huh? ... I think it's just a touch of denial. You know?
Since it SUCKS that I go six flavors of crazy before I get my period ... maybe my brain is just all, "Oh, nothing to see here. Go back about your business, good citizens. Nothing to worry about. I'm sure that this was an isolated event."
But it's not.

Wow. It's like my hormones are serial offenders.

WOW. It's like I'm a total dork, too.

But, yeah. The house is almost clean enough for company this weekend.

And I swept off the front walkway. While doing this, the tip of the broom came off ... that part that you can hang the broom from when you're NOT sweeping? And, in the process of putting it back on, I pinched my finger and gave myself a blood blister.
Yippie skippie, right?

I'd show you, but it'd look like I was flipping you off.

It's stopped aching and throbbing (and now lets me type and use the mouse inimpeded) ... it just feels CRAZYTIGHT when I fully extend/hyper extend my finger. Probably since there's that added pressure from that pocket of blood in my finger.
Almost the exact size/shape as a grain of rice, so it's not like it's GINORMOUS or anything.
Just stupid.

I should wash the window on the screen door.

Yes, I am just that crazy ... This is what I've been doing. I reclutter up my desk ... then I think, oh, time to get rid of those cobwebs that I can only reach with the broom. Hey, while I'm doing that, let's dust the light fixture over the dining room table (the one that I can only reach by standing on the table). Oh, the lights are dusty. Let's take off the covers and wash them. Okay, after they're dry, let's put them back.

All while avoiding vacuuming OR doing my WiiFit workout for the day.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Some funnies

Since I KNEW that you were just waiting for cute stuff that the kids say.

Bucket: And then I could make you a CAKE! With a picture of you and your dad kissing on it!!
Me: WHAT?? *slightly horrified look*
Bucket: Um ... With a picture of you and your dad hugging on it??
Me: Yeah, that's better.

Bruise had crawled into bed to snuggle with me before I got up. He's such an early bird.

Bruise: *snuggles into my neck* Mommy, you're stinky. You should take a shower.
Me: *tartly* And YOU should learn some manners.
Bruise: .... .... Please?

Yes, these are the fruits of my loins. I have obviously raised them well. :P
I'm sure you are all oh-so proud and in awe.

Um, what day is it again?

Seriously, it doesn't feel THAT long since I blogged. Sorry ... I've been insanely cleaning, trying to get ready for a bunch of people (you know, that bunch called "my family" ... the bunch that I love and adore?? ... And even though I love them all so, I still KNOW that I'm not the bestest housekeeper ... but I want to have a clean house for them. One with softly-tinted wall colors and ample amounts of diffused lighting ... Yes, I've obvs been reading too many home-improvement blogs. Color me discontent. :P) this weekend.

But, yes.

  • The kids' room has been (key word: HAS BEEN. Isn't quite there at present.) cleaned and organized.
  • I cleaned my desk. (Try not to look shocked.)
  • I've updated the rosters for YW (Young Women. For church) and did the January newsletter/calendar.
  • I've cleaned the living room.
  • The kids' bookshelf has been put back into a semblance of order.
  • I'm caught up with the dishes. For now.
  • I've organized the kitchen cupboards. Seriously.
  • I've cleaned off the junk counter.
  • I've swept and mopped the kitchen.
  • I cleaned and swept the laundry room. (It's not reorganized. YET.)
  • I've cleaned the kids' bathroom.
  • The Christmas decorations are all back in the shop.
I still need to:
  •  Vacuum. Like a thousand times. 
  • Make the kids' beds.
  • Pick up their room. AGAIN.
  • Take the new clutter off my desk. Or just put crap away, you know?
  • Make the cakes (so Michael will decorate them. The plans are easier this year. Bruise wants a "Captain America shield." Bucket wants Hello Kitty. We can do this.)
  • Wash the windows. Or, at least, take down the OLD window stickers that the kids haven't played with in AGES.
  • Fill all the water bottles that are currently sitting on the counter by the sink.
  • Put the slipcover back (PROPERLY) on the couch.
  • Michael will go through the pile o' mail on the junk counter. And then, after Mom takes the pile of videos back home, it will be clean!!!!!! Mwhahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
  • And countless other minutiae. Like, I COULD clean and organize Michael's and my bedroom and bathroom. But I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. 
  • Oh, I have to finish folding/putting away laundry. It didn't get done New Year's Eve.
I mean, yes, I still have TONS of STUFF without a set home. Most of which, right now, are school stuff for Bruise and Bucket. So, until next Fall, when they're in school, it's staying OUT. So, yeah. Oh well.

I also have been working out most days with the WiiFit. I know, go me, right? Especially since the only thing I have to work around to do it is the kids. I mean, I can do it in my jammies. I can do it whenever. Not too shabby, eh?

I've also been crazy-exhausted. Which, I'm sure, has NOTHING to do with the fact that I've been cleaning the house or exercising when I haven't been on Facebook. Or reading overdue library books. Yes, I was bad. They're getting turned back in today. Promise!

But, yeah ... I've felt really busy. And really tired. And stressed.

In other news, Jazzy-cat died Monday night. Jasmine was the cat that we've (my mom and I) have had for nearly as long as Gingi-cat. I brought Jasmine home, tucked into my jacket, back in the Spring of 1992 (or was it 1993? When I was in sixth grade, anyways). I had run into a couple of girls giving away kittens on my way to the post office, before walking home from school. And, if the kittens didn't get adopted, they'd go to the pound and be PUT TO SLEEP!!!!!
You know that I couldn't handle that. Especially not when I was 12. (Must have been 1993.) So I picked the cute little black, orange, and white calico. And when Mom got home, I held her out and proclaimed, "Mom! Look what I got for you!!!!"

And that's how we got Jazzy-cat.
She was tough and amazing and crazy.
For a while, I thought we had a run of thunderstorms ... which turned out to be Jazz running around on the roof. 
She was best friends with Mom's dog, Dottie (who passed away a few years ago).
Once, I was picking up the apples in the yard, when Jazzy and Dottie both couched down and raced each other ... however, since Dottie (who liked to go on walkabouts in her spare time) was on a dog run (you know, she had a lead attached to a cord above? That thing?), as Jazzy sped past the end of it, Dottie was jerked back. It was pretty comical. And Jazzy came back to console Dot. Good times.

One of Jazz's granddaughters, Lily, is still at the house. But Jazzy-cat was pretty much one of a kind.
It'll be weird to go to Mom's and not have her there, prowling the yard.

Mom brought Jazzy inside (a rare occurrence. Jazz was VERY MUCH an outside cat) to spend the night, since Jazz was cold and wasn't able to walk. Or eat. She drank some milk, purred like crazy as she slept, and ... slipped away in her sleep.

I'm glad that she went purring. 
And I miss her.
She was a good cat. And she had a long life. She liked us well enough to hang around for, what, about 18 years.

I hate outliving people and animals. It makes me feel ... old? Brittle? Sad? Small?
It's not a happy feeling, anyways. 

But I know that she's not in pain. And I'm still glad that she went purring. That is a comfort.

Okay, I should get dressed. Vacuuming obviously isn't my priority right now.

Counting ...

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