Monday, October 22, 2012

Yet another post in which I catch up from the previous post ... Since that's how I roll, y'all.

So, when I last posted, I was gearing up for Curriculum Night.

And we went and it was good.
Michael showed up about 15 minutes into it (since he drove straight from work).
He and I passed Bubbles back and forth (mostly to him, though, since I was taking notes).
Bruise and Bucket got to play with their other classmates (and the non-baby-aged siblings) in the cafeteria.

At the end of the night, there was a drawing from the names of the students whose parents had attended (and  the student had to be there, too. Of course.) ... Bruise's name was picked out. So he scurried over to the prize bucket and, without ANY hesitation, picked out a pen with a clownfish on top.
When you squeeze the fish, its eyes bug out.

Bucket says that we need to get her one, too. And that she KNOWS they're at Staples, because we've BEEN there and she's SEEN them.

Friday, I made SURE to get a shower before Michael got home (Thursday, I BARELY got a shower before Curriculum Night. Gross.) ... and he got home and Bubbles IMMEDIATELY woke up.

So, we went out to lunch for a date (of course, taking Bubbles with us). We went to a local Thai place, which seems to be our new haunt. Ha ha. But it's small, the food's good, and the service is pretty quick.

Bubbles snacked on some bits that I had brought for her (yogurt bites, puffs, and the like) and drank from her sippy cup. We shared our spring rolls and entrees with her (Michael got the Drunken Noodles again. I broke from tradition. Instead of getting Chicken Pad Thai, I got Yellow Curry Chicken. YUM! It was a little spicy, but it was REALLY, REALLY good. Bubbles liked it, too ... except that I don't think she's used to such spicy fare on her little tastebuds).

Then we ran some errands. Took the filters (didn't fit) for the fish tank back to one store. Ran to old Navy to pick up a few things while I had a good coupon. Ran to the tea store so I could get what I needed to start using my teapot (Infuser for the loose-leaf tea, a scoop for the tea leaves -- I have an infuser and a scoop for a CUP of tea. But I needed those for a POT of tea -- and a tea light warmer, for the pot to sit on and stay toasty ... so I can drink all 3-4 cups of WARM tea).

Then we headed back home and Bubbles took a nap before the kids got home.
It was raining, so we stayed in.

Saturday, we went grocery shopping and then up to Michael's folks. Mom C invited us to come up and paint/carve the pumpkins she had left over from her Activity Day girls (like Boy Scouts ... but ... not really).
Bruise chose a cat in front of the moon. Bucket chose an owl. And, for Bubbles, we chose a happy bat in front of the moon.
Of course, since it was CARVING being done, the adults did most of the work.

My speciality is cleaning out the insides of the pumpkins. Michael carves the kids' pumpkins. ... However, we did learn that I still am good with a smaller knife (like an Exacto-type knife) ... You can take the girl out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of a teacher's daughter.

We ate pizza and the kids and their cousins watched The Lorax (which Michael and I found WAY too politicalized to enjoy ... However, Betty White is always awesome) and Madagascar 3.

We got home and got the kids into showers and pajamas. Then it was bedtime.

Yesterday (Sunday, if you lost track), we had church. Michael went to his early-morning meetings. The kids and I were getting ready. The neighbor girl was coming with us. I told her to come at 8:30, since that's when we leave.
She came, originally, at 8 AM. Then 8:10 ... When we still weren't ready and asked her to come back at 8:30, she apparently waited for those 20 minutes on the porch.
I feel bad ... but, Bruise and I weren't DRESSED all the way.

I need time to help kids find clothes, get them fed, and take care of Bubbles, AND make sure that I have everything for church.

She also told me that her mom said it was fine if she stayed for lunch.

I told her that I'd have to discuss it with Michael.
(We told her to come back over after we'd been home for 20 minutes. It gave us a chance to make lunch and clean up a bit.
However, she'd gotten into trouble and didn't come over for lunch at all.
... Michael DID, on the drive home, (he took Bruise, Bucket, and their friend home in the truck. Bubbles and I were in the van) tell her that she needs to let other people extend the invitation.
She seemed to understand it when he asked how HER mom would like it if Bruise and Bucket came over, saying that THEIR mom said it was fine for them to stay for a meal, without asking.)

After lunch, we had some downtime ... then I ran off to go Visiting Teaching.
Then Michael ran off to a meeting.
Then the kids and I ran off to join him at the church for Choir.
I also had made some calls to get meals taken to a family who'd recently had a baby in our ward.
(Hey, it's my calling. And I'm thinking that I have this calling because it'll help me get over how crap I am at calling people.)

Michael and I got our scripts for Savior of the World.
(He's already off book ... he'd SAY it's just because he only has ONE line ... I maintain it's because my husband is just that awesome.)
I THINK, if I work at it, I SHOULD be off-book MAYBE by rehearsal. If I work at it.
I mean, it's only five lines. And they're in dialogue. So it's not like I have any monologues to memorize.

The music will be the fun part ... right?
I should probably familiarize myself with it, no?

That and clean the house. I'm off to a slow start ... Got laundry started. Ran a load in the dishwasher.
However, Bubbles wants me to be RIGHT NEXT TO HER, if not holding her whenever she's awake.
I'd have gotten a shower during her morning nap ... except I was talking on the phone instead. Oops! Oh well.

But, yeah ... I think that gets everything caught up. Unless something majorly exciting happens between now and when I blog next. We'll see. No promises.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crazy Dream Chronicles - Part A and B

I had two crazy dreams:

In the first, I was a princess. A Disney Princess ... but a modern-day-type one.
Which, truth be told, is a lot more boring than you'd think.
You have to just go about your life, knowing that you're a princess ... but without the cool, poofy dresses or talking animals.

BUT, as I was being a princess, attending college (which was at my alma mater), my mom came to visit me.
She and I decided that we were tired of going out to lunch everywhere in town and that we were going to visit the gardens (which somehow replaced where, IRL, are tennis courts at my college).

I kept noticing boys, since I was a single princess.
However, though they all seemed like nice guys, none turned my head. So sad.

I was driving my minivan around (TOLD YOU being a modern-day princess is not all it's cut out to be!), looking for a parking spot.
One of the side doors came open randomly.
I hopped out and smeared one nail of my fresh, hot pink manicure.
AND I turned around to find that I was in front of a HUGE crowd, like a movie-premiere-red-carpet crowd. And they were laughing.
And a friend from high school, K, was there ... and she was wearing mittens on her feet.

My mom was aghast and SURE that K had told everyone about the door and my nail and THAT'S why there were laughing AT me.

Nonplussed, I pulled a Geoffery Chaucer (being the version of Chaucer in A Knight's Tale. As evidenced below:

See? Like THAT.)

And it didn't matter at all that I had a crappy van and nail polish smeared all over my left palm.

Mom and I got out of the van, beloved ... or, at least, respected.

As we were inside, we saw Prince Phillip.
Like Sleeping Beauty/Princess Aurora's prince.

And Mom was going to set us up ... but I told her that he's my best friend.


In my second dream, it started with me sitting in the middle-back of some pews in a much darker chapel.
There was a cat in my lap. Someone else's black cat jumped into my lap ... and I was petting both kitties.

There MIGHT have been more cats in my lap ... and my main concern was that I was now going to have the reputation as THE CAT LADY in the ward.

I went to a class ... somehow ended up at a movie theater.
I had Bubbles in my lap.

There was a game that I wanted to play. On my computer or a BIG phone.
But, since we were in a movie theater, I thought it (the light from the screen) would be distracting.

However, the people in front of us were WAY distracting.
Obviously, in the words of Shepherd Darrius Book, they are going to the "SPECIAL HELL."

This game was ... different.
It was like a cooking game? And a rearranging the fridge game? And a taking-ingredients-down-the-street-to-be-cooked-at-your-restaurant game?

Like I said ... it was ... odd.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Welllllllllp ...

Mom got home safely ... right about the time that Bruise and Bucket got off the bus.

I showed them, while Bubbles napped, the new clothes we got for Bubbles ... and the new leggings for Bucket (who outgrew about half her leggings ... apparently, she's outgrowing a lot of shirts now. What's up with that?!?) and a new shirt for Bruise, so HE got something, too.
However, he was bummed that Bucket got more clothes than he did.

So we all sat down and read a Berenstein Bears book and talked about how, sometimes, life just isn't fair.
And they went out and played with the neighbor girl. And I did my nails.
And promptly messed up one ... so redid that ... and messed up some more ... so I just redid that whole hand. ugh.

I was NOT very energetic, so we had leftover spaghetti for dinner.
When Bucket took my bowl back (I didn't eat until after giving Bubbles a bath and overseeing Bucket's shower ... Michael was in charge of Bruise's shower), she remarked ...
"This bowl is so FREAKING warm!"
And I responded, "You don't need to talk that way."
Yes, I am a hypocrite.

I ALSO pushed three children out of my uterus AND graduated college AND had a TRYING last term of student teaching ... so, well, I think that I've EARNED the right to say "crap" and "freaking"...

However, I am trying to wean Bruise and Bucket from saying "What the ..."
JUST because Bumblebee, the Autobot, says it, does NOT make it acceptable for my kiddos to.
Just like how a set of their cousins have a house rule that you do NOT say "stupid" or "butt."
Every house has slightly different rules. And you try to respect that without giving up your integrity ... like, if a friend's parent offers them a sip of wine at dinner at THEIR house, they can just say, "Oh, no thank you. We don't drink wine." No biggie.
And we try not to say "stupid" or "butt" at their cousin's house.
However, when their cousins are here at MY house? I am not all that careful.
My house, my rules. :P

So, in other news, my kids apparently have lost faith in the bus system.

Back in September, the bus route changed, since there were SO MANY KIDS on the route.
They split the route that my kids were on (Sadly, Bucket's bestie was moved not only from her bus route but, also, into Bruise's group at school. Muy tragico0. We were given a list of the stops for each route (in case our route had any changes), along with what time.

I usually send Bruise and Bucket out the door about ten minutes before the time posted on there. Since, they do request that you get to the bus stop about five minutes early. And ... after their first day of Kindergarten, when we MISSED THE BUS, I wasn't taking any chances.

So, after they waited for ten minutes (so, according to the timesheet given, the bus was TEN minutes late), the and the neighbor girl ran back to the house stating that the bus hadn't come and they needed a ride to school.
Thank goodness I had on a robe.
I ran to the bedroom and put on shorts (in 40-degree weather. WINNER! ... Well, it's not like I had to get out of the car) and a sweatshirt. And a bra, too. That's important.

And we all loaded into the van and I got them to school. After we passed the corner, where the rest of the bus-riding students had ALREADY BEEN PICKED UP WHILE MY KIDS FREAKED OUT. *sigh*

But I got them to school, safe and sound.

I called the school to give them a heads-up. And, per their instruction, also called the bus garage (though, at first, I wasn't wanting to. Since, after Monday's fiasco ... when one of the gals working there [not the head gal, though I did talk to her, too. Head gal was LOVELY] finally called me back (I called on Tuesday afternoon ... didn't hear back, so I called back on Wednesday morning), I had the impression that she thought I was making a huge deal out of nothing ["Well! That was QUITE the message!"]. And I don't want to be a bother, really. I have no desire to be THAT PARENT. ... At the same time, though, when my kids are a half-hour late AND crying? I do think that I deserve to know the bus driver's account of the story. I don't want him to get in trouble ... I just know that I'm not always getting all the info from my six-year-olds, no matter HOW hard they're trying to relate all the facts to me).

I talked to the NICEST guy at the garage. He told me that I was ALWAYS welcome to call with ANY questions or concerns ... which made me feel a lot better.
AND I learned that, at our stop, the bus didn't get there until about seven minutes later.
(So the kids were freaking out that the bus was THREE OR FOUR minutes late ... instead of being about ten minutes late.)

*rolls eyes*

But, hey, I also now know that I can keep the kids in our warm, dry house for just a little longer ... which is great news with the wet and cold weather coming in.
So that's good.

Tonight is Curriculum Night at the school (so we're missing rehearsal ... but I put that we'd be unavailable this  Thursday back when we auditioned. So ... it's clear. And I emailed the director a couple weeks ago to reminder of the fact that Michael and I weren't going to be there last Thursday or today. ... I DO try to be responsible and cover my bases. ... Also, it appears that HALF the cast wasn't there for the last rehearsal.

Oy. Good thing it was just the read-through and getting to know everyone. Still ... that's really harsh.
This week is starting to get familiar with the music ... Good thing we have the CD. ... I should start listening to that, right?)

But I'm glad to get to meet with the kids' teachers and to learn what is going on in their classroom.

I feel so clueless this year.

Last year, the kids brought home weekly homework ... so I knew from that what concepts were being taught.
AND their teacher, bless her sweet heart, wrote WEEKLY newsletters home with information on what was happening in the classroom.

I miss that.

And I know that I shouldn't EXPECT weekly newsletters ... but ... well, when we ask the kids what went on at school, usually they'll just tell us about recess or lunch. If pressed, they'll tell us about learning to write their numbers or count to 120 or something ... but, well, they're at SCHOOL for about SEVEN HOURS (plus another half hour for the bus) ... I KNOW that they have to do more than count for SIX HOURS plus recess and lunch.

(Though, sometimes, Bucket will tell me what "Free Friday" activities she's done in her class.... I mean, that's a start, isn't it?)

If I didn't have an infant, I'd try to be there, volunteering in their classrooms at least once a week (and volunteering at our local library once a week, too) ... But ... since I can't BE there, I feel really ... lost in regards to what is going on at school.

And, the one sad thing about being in SOTW is that rehearsals are on the same weeknight that PTC meetings are scheduled. *sigh*

Oh well.

In other news, I've done the dishes and thrown a couple loads into the washer so far. Rather productive. Still need to get a shower and dressed professionally enough to attend curriculum night.... At least my nails are cute, so that's something. (Maybelline Plum Paradise -- cheaper dupe of Essie "Sexy Divide" -- base with a faux-gradient of Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Be-Jeweled ... Ring fingers have the glitter starting at the tips. The rest have the glitter starting at the cuticle. They look rather like the first set here: ... except the glitter is purple-based. Almost silver-lilac with larger pink sparkles in there. If you really cared.)

And ... yeah. I think that's most everything to report.

UPDATE: Just for you, Robin, since you asked so nicely. :) complete with chips, hangnail, and all.
(Since I missed seeing you at church!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Still haven't cleaned off my desk ...

... because I am GOOD at procrastination.

It's like an ART, y'all.

So, since we last chatted (Ha. Most like, "since I last chattered away at you and you pretended to listen, nodding and smiling placatingly"), what's gone on ... Hmmm....

Monday afternoon, I got a call from L (a gal from church. I VT her. Our kids ride the same bus home. In fact, her son gets off one stop after mine).

L: Are [Bruise] and [Bucket] already home?
Me: No, not yet. *checks clock. It's about 15 minutes past when they normally get home* I suppose the buses are running late again.
L: Well, [her son] just got home. He said that there was a lot of commotion on the bus and that the bus driver missed the stop, couldn't turn around without getting stuck, and that [Bruise] and [Bucket] are still on the bus, crying.
Me: Well. ... I'm going to call the bus garage and see what's up. Thanks for letting me know. Thank [her son] for telling you.

So, I call the school. The office worker I talked to called the bus garage. The driver had also called the garage, telling them that they'd missed the stop and he'd drop the kids off after the route's done. The gal at the school asked me to call her back when the kids got home.
(Which I did. I also texted L to let her know, too.)

Bruise and Bucket came, half an hour later than normal, RUNNING down the street, CRYING.
Like crying so loud and hard that I could hear them halfway down the block.
Bucket was worried that they'd NEVER get home.
Bruise just told me, "MOM!!! I MISSED YOU!!!!"

I got them calmed down ... (reported back to the school that they were home now) ... and shared a story about when I was in first grade. (I rode the bus, like, once a week to go to my aunt's. Once, I got on the bus on the wrong day. I told the driver, as soon as I realized it, and he just told me to hang out while he drove the rest of the kids home. Then he took me back to the school and I ran home from there. No biggie.)
They felt better that I'd been there, done that. (So has Michael, in full disclosure.)

I called the bas garage yesterday to get the full story. I was told that the kids forgot to get off the bus.
Which is odd, since THAT never happened before. And that NONE of the six-or-so kids that get off at our stop remembered.
And that L's son, when I've talked to him, is not one given to overexaggurate.
I quizzed Bruise and Bucket about it after they got home.
No, they didn't FORGET to get off the bus. (Theirs is the first stop. That makes it difficult to forget, no?)
And all of the kids were on the bus for the whole trip.
What they reported was that kids on the bus were being REALLY LOUD. Some were using inappropriate words (Yes. "Inappropriate words." That's a direct quote.) One kid was screaming.
The driver drove past the stop. Then he called in to the garage, went through the route, and swung back around to drop off the first-stop group.

Ah! On the answering machine is the response from the bus barn. Not only were kids loud, but the windows were REALLY steamed up from the rain and all the kids' body heat. It was an accident.
And I need to let my kids know that as long as they're on the bus and the driver's there, they're safe. And that sometimes a wrong turn is made and these things do happen.
(For the record, my kids have already experienced a driver making a wrong turn. They can handle that. It's when the bus barrells past their home ... I'd be a little worried, too. But it all ended well enough.)

Besides that, I've tried a few recipes from Pinterest. Most have been great.
I'll warn you that making mac 'n cheese with cooking the noodles in milk ... the sauce gets REALLY THICK REALLY FAST. The flavor was fine. The texture wasn't so great.... since it was done before Michael got home from work. So the noodles were really mushy in a THICK sauce.
I'll give it another try sometime ... I'm giving it the chance that it was totally MY fault, not the recipe's.

We finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Monday night. I got through it without crying ... too much ... this time. (It's Michael's favorite of the series. I still like Goblet of Fire ... plenty long without too many people dropping like flies. *sigh* Between Joss Whedon, Steven Moffat, and J. K. Rowling, I should have embraced the fact that every character I've ever loved will DIE. ... But, hey, I'm an optimist. I go into every book thinking that every character will come out alive. Well, unless it's a murder mystery. Then someone will die. And I always hope it's the most repugnant character in the novel.)
We've started Half-Blood Prince ... Then it'll be Deathly Hallows ... Then .... I'm going to have to figure out what to read to them next. Maybe The Little Prince and some more Roald Dahl... Such choices.

I cleaned the fish tank (well, most of it) today. It was getting gross.
Let's hope that I haven't given the fish a death notice by removing the grossness of their tank.
I did squirt some StressCoat in there ... Let's hope they make it through.

If not, Bucket's asking for neon Tetras for her birthday. Or another goldfish. Since, as I told her, I'd worry that the goldfish she has would nibble on the Tetras.

Bubbles has started waving. And she'll give high-fives ... especially to my face. *rolls eyes*
But, overall, she's still her affable, sweet self ... even though she's not sleeping as thoroughly as she could.
Someday, hopefully soon, she'll start sleeping through the night on a regular basis. Instead of falling asleep around 8 and waking up at 2 AM. Or midnight. It depends. But I'd like for her to sleep from around 8 PM until ... how about 6:30 AM? I could settle for that. I'd prefer 7 AM ... but 6:30 would be nice. I'd even be willing to get her for a dream feed around 10, if she'd consistently sleep until 6:30.

Well ... I can't think of anything else to write ... So ... yeah.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crazy Dream Chronicles: Oh, Canada ...

So, as usual, I don't remember ALL of what I dreamed ... because, well, don't get me wrong.
I LOVE you ... but I am NOT getting up at dark-thirty AM just to write down a crazy dream.
I NEED my sleep.
My kids will agree.


Here's the gist of it ...

There was a group of travelers. They were backpacking/camping.
One of the campers had his girlfriend with him as they were in the ITBC - International Territory of British Columbia. (No, it's not really a thing. I mean, British Columbia IS real. I've been there. I loved Victoria, BC. But the ITBC is NOT a real thing.)

Her name is Anna Baldwin.

As she spooned him, apprehensive about camping in the open, under a canopy of dark firs, he told her about spooky stories of the area.

When the camp woke up later, she was gone.
No trace of where she could have gone.

They met up with a scientist (who was relating this story to me, in my dream) and no one could figure out where she went.

And, I woke up wondering which would be freakier .... if all her stuff had been left with the camp.
Or ... if none of her stuff was there ... like she'd never been there at all ... the spot where she had lain or where her chair had been were completely undisturbed ...

Then, I had to wonder about my sanity ... asking myself a question like that in the middle of the night.

But, yeah ... I do find myself wondering, in real life, what happens to people who've just disappeared?
Not the ones who've run away or been kidnapped, but the ones who are there and then aren't at all ...

Like Oliver Larch ... he went out one winter night to fetch water from the family's well ...  His footsteps in the snow just ... stopped. And they could hear cries of help ... but couldn't reach him at all. Since they were coming from the sky.

SERIOUSLY, this kind of stuff kinda freaks me out.

And then I have to dream about it ... what gives?

I have no idea what's supposed to have happened to this Anna Baldwin who disappeared in my dream. I have no idea why my brain made up a fake place for her to disappear in.

Of course, I suppose it would be even stranger if, when I DID look up the particulars, there WERE a real case with Anna Baldwin being a real person who disappeared in a real place.

... Why can't I just have regular odd dreams like NORMAL people?

(Well, if I did, then I really wouldn't think to write about them, now, would I? And then what would you do? ... Probably something much more productive. :P And what fun would THAT be?)

Still, I don't think that I want to go camping in the middle of the woods. I'll totally stick to campsites. Especially since there are TOILETS. And SHOWERS.

And, well, if you know a blonde gal named Anna Baldwin ... tell her to dump her jerk of a boyfriend and stay out of the woods. Just because some mental is worried about her.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stuff my Son Says

Bruise ... has such funny ways of describing things.

And it's not helped by the fact that his diction is not the clearest.

Bruise: Mom, is Bri your friend that's FIRST?
Me: First at what?
Bruise: No, Mom. VERSED.
Me: ... Um ... Can you describe it to me?
Bruise: Your friend. She married a man and he was bad and now she's VERSED.
Me: OH!!! DIVORCED! Yes! ... But Bri is going to be married to a man who treats her well. She won't be divorced anymore. You're right.

And, then, we were talking about wedding outfits ...
Bruise wore his grey suit with a turquoise shirt. Bucket wore a deep turquoise chiffon dress.
I wore a dark teal cotton dress and those nude heels I keep talking about. :P

Me: And, can you grab those nude heels? Those ones that make me really tall?
Bucket: The ones that you're wearing for the wedding? That are peach colored?
Bruise: The ones that make you look like you're standing on your tippie-toes?
Me: YES! Those ones! Thanks!!

Things like this make being a mom a fun thing.

Breathing Room

Let's see ... When I last blogged, it was Monday and we were gearing up for my BriBri's wedding ...

Monday, Bubbles got her flu shot. She cried, but only until I picked her up. Then we skedaddled back home.

Tuesday, I skipped Zumba (AGAIN) and ... what did we do ... OH! Bubbles and I went shopping (groceries) and then we walked a couple blocks to Visit Teach a gal ... who had JUST laid down for a much-needed nap. So we had a quick, lil' chat and Bubbles and I hoofed it back home ... where (due to the rocking as I wore her in a sling) she was tuckered/soothed enough to take a lovely nap.

Wednesday, Mom came up.
My stepdad's been diagnosed with dementia ... it could be Alzheimers, even. But it's still mild.

I was getting a crazy-painful lurker zit coming in under my nose. So I pulled out all the possible weapons that I could -- I dabbed at it, repeatedly, with tea tree oil ... I did an oil cleanse and steam ... I scrubbed at it with a Buf-Puf ... I scrubbed with an almond cleanser ... I did an aspirin mask ... I did a clay mask ... My mom brought up her Zeno (since my Zeno Hot Spot got all used up. Stupid 80-use limit) ... And, what do you know? By the evening, that zit was going, going, gone!
(Of course, Thursday morning, I ended up with a DIFFERENT zit on my temple ... Oh well.)

Mom watched the kiddos while I got together with Bri and her MOH and we got pedicures.
Bri had gorgeous teal polish with teal glitter... so there was some depth to it. Very cute ... it's the "something blue" of her wedding getup.
C got a rich, deep, bright pink with pink glitter (OPI "Teenage Dream") on top. Tres cute.
I opted for three coats of a glittery champagne (OPI "Up Front and Personal," if you really wanted to know), which is a lovely neutral.

I couldn't fall asleep very well ... so I painted my fingernails that night (Sally Hansen "Dune" ... which matched the nude heels that I would be wearing).

Thursday morning, after a fitful night of sleep (I dreamed that we were moving house. I'm not great with change.), I woke up to my cell phone ringing at 5:23 AM. Caller ID says that it's my stepdad...

Me: Hello?
Stepdad: Hello??
Me: [Stepdad's name], Are you okay?
Him: Yeah.
Me: Is everything fine?
Him: Yeah.
Me: What's up?
Him: This is your husband.
Me: Um ... No. This is ALLANNA. Are you okay?
Him: What? ... Allanna?
Me: Yeah.
Him: Is your mom there?
Me: Yes. Yes, she's here. She's sleeping. ... Since it's FIVE IN THE MORNING.
Him: How are you doing?
Me: I'm tired ... since it's five-twenty in the morning.
Him: Oh. Well ... can you tell her that I called?
Me: I will. When she wakes up. I'll tell her.
Him: Okay. Thanks.

Yeah ... Mom has told me, time and time again, that he has NO CONCEPT OF TIME.
Point taken.
He obviously missed the speed dial button for mom's cell ... And he, though he never remembered calling me, was VERY sorry when he learned of it.

Mom left shortly before Michael got home.
Bubbles and I made a last-minute run over to Ferd Meyer to pick up some window paint for the wedding car, per the MOH's request.
Then Michael got home and we went to pick up Bruise and Bucket from school.

Got them, jetted home ... they threw their lunchpails into the fridge, and we started getting them ready.
I did Bucket's hair and Bruise's hair ... they changed into their wedding clothes ... I changed into my dress (and nicer sandals) ... last minute touch-ups to my hair and make-up ... Michael was in a suit by this point.
We got in the car and took off .... only to return home to grab my heels. *SIGH* ... Grabbing them, I tripped running out of the door. Had to re-paint my knee with the Sally Hansen Airbrushed Legs spray. :P Just a small scrape. >.<

We got there and waited around and helped out with last-minute things so that everything could go without a hitch.

The ceremony was very nice. I almost burst into tears a couple times: When Bri and her dad came down the aisle. I mean, she was so happy, glowing ... I know it's cliche. But it's totally true.
And her husband's vows ... I'm so, so happy for her (for them BOTH, really) ... After all the crap that she's had to deal with ... It's just totally following what John Bytheway said: "Sometimes the wrong one is the right one to lead you to the BEST one."
And ... yeah ... she and her husband are such a great, great couple.

(Also, the food?? SO FREAKING GOOD. The Stake President and I agreed that the stuffed mushrooms were AMAZING.)

Bucket was complimented on what a good job she did as flower girl. Bruise did a great job, too, carrying the banner announcing Bri's entrance. (Bubbles, too, did a good job at not crying or being a terrible distraction. Michael stood with her in the back.)

Bruise and Bucket ended up with the garter and bouquet ... Well, technically, MICHAEL caught the bouquet (the wind blew it right to him), but he gave it to Bucket. Bruise, although he liked the WINNING aspect of getting the garter, had no desire to keep something frilly ... so he gave it back to Bri. :P

We had to leave a little early. The kids were all tired ... and, well, the adults were tired, too. But it was a really lovely wedding. All of Bri's and C's planning paid off.

Friday, there was no school (Thank goodness!!) ... and the kids, Bubbles included, let me sleep in until about 9 AM. Which I obviously needed. (Bubbles did wake up a bit during the early morning, but she let me put her down in her bed again ... so I got some more sleep.)

Michael got home from work and we relaxed for a bit ... then we headed out to get pumpkins.
It was a bit cold and rainy, but it was the best time for us to do it.
We were the only people on the hay ride ... sadly, since it wasn't the one guy, the kids didn't get a chance to drive the tractor this year. Oh well.
But we were able to pick out our pumpkins and buy some cider and doughnuts and get back into our nice warm car.

Saturday, we mostly just stayed around the house. I went to a Scentsy party and put in an order for Mom and me. Then, later, we went out to pick up some milk, butter, and a few other sundry supplies (Got a weed wacker for $25!! That was exciting!) ... then Michael and I settled on the couch, after putting the kids to bed, with a few episodes of That Mitchell and Webb Look. (Sketch Comedy sounded like a good way to spend the evening ... since "The Omega Man" was ... well, it wasn't very good. But, at least we could get that off the Netflix queue.)

We had church today ... Came home, ate lunch, Michael and Bubbles are napping. Bruise and Bucket are "cleaning" their room. I figured that I'd blog a bit. Need to do some laundry, dishes, plan some meals, tkae out the garbage ... Maybe I'll get a nap. Or a bath ... A bath sounds really nice.

I need to finish setting up Visiting Teaching appointments ... but, besides that, there's not a whole ton on the calendar.
Well, besides Savior of the World rehearsals ... I mentioned my not-up-to-standards-at-all audition, I think? (If not here, definitely on Facebook) ... Well, regardless, Michael and I both have speaking parts (and singing. Everyone has singing parts, at least in a chorus. I have one line that I sing solo.) ... Michael is Thaddeus (a disciple) and I'm Mary, Mother of James.
So ... if you want to see Michael in his musical-theater debut (and see me do more than just walk across the stage a few times :P), we'll be performing in March.

I think that's about everything!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Monday ... Bloody Monday (Not really. More like "bloody" in the Brit-sense. But not. Since it hasn't been THAT bad or anything. I just don't want to be awake.)

Well, let's start with my To-Do list for today:

Set up VT appointments
Call W Family re: baby here? (For RS ... when will they need meals? Gotta set THAT up!)
[Bubbles]'s flu shot
Face mask
A million sit-ups (Or a hundred. Or ten ... Whichever comes first, right?)
Listen to conference
Read scripture
Buy milk
Target run (Q-Tips! Hairspray! Maybe pantyhose! Or at least, the Sally Hansen Air-Brushed Legs spray!!)
Scrub shower (since it's kinda gross. Not gonna lie.)
Organize makeup (Since it looks rather like that part of the counter got hit with a disaster-area WMD.)

Yeah ... good luck on this, right?
Especially since I didn't put "Feed Bubbles about a million times. Or, like, eight- really. But still" on there.
And I need a shower.

But, even though it's been a mostly-fun weekend ... I am EXHAUSTED.

Let's see, what all's happened?

  • Thursday, I was able to whip the house into SOME semblance of order ... at least I got the dishes ALL done. Phew!
    Mom came up.
    We talked about my stepdad's last doctor's visit. (He's been diagnosed with dementia. So has my Nana. Different types, though. Looks like I now will get to read up on that ... so I can be more-than-usually-informed about at least two types of dementia, along with Type 2 Ushers Syndrome. And y. Pestis. But that last one is just for fun. Not because it's in our family (At least, not that I know of ... New goal: Track family history through the plague! ... *sigh* I'll be done when I'm like, 80. And that's ONLY if I have good luck.)
Friday, we got the kids off to school on time ... even though my alarm on my phone didn't go off.
Mom and I went shopping and got presents for Bri's lingerie shower.
(FOOTIE JIM-JAMS FOR THE WIN! ... No, really. Bri LOVED them. ^_^)
I made a card to go with the pajamas.
I was able to catch a ride up to P-Town for Bri's Bachelorette party.
We went to Darcelle XV's ... which is ... well, it's a Drag Show Review.
It is NOT family-friendly. I mean ... okay, I thought that I'd heard a crapload of profanity before. I was, really, quite the potty-mouth my Sophomore year of High School (Yes. Between that and wearing belly-shirts and strappy tank tops ... and thongs [but people didn't get to see THAT], that was most of my rebellion. Yeah. I know what you're thinking ...
Yup. Totally ... Though I do use the term "bad-heinie."
  • While we were there, one of the girls had ordered a Strawberry Daquiri off the Non-Alcoholic menu. As she ordered it, the server (who, since we didn't know his name, we referred to as "Bedazzled" as we talked amongst ourselves), asked, "The regular kind?" "Um ... yeah."
    Well, turns out the regular kind is the one with alcohol.
    She took a sip. "I think this tastes weird." Bri took a sip and before she could warn me, I had a sip.
    OH MY WORD. My mouth was on fire and then went numb and I almost threw up.
    I know that some people love them their drinks ...
    I also know that I have relatives that are alcoholics ... I know now that that's NOT going to be an issue for me.
    "Do I need to talk to the Bishop?!?" was my question.
  • Michael, when I got home and told him, responded, "Did you do it on purpose?"
    "Are you going to do it again?"
    "I think you're alright."

    We escaped (well, most of our party) before the strippers came out. Because, let's face it. I have seen enough man-parts in my life. Especially since I had a toddler boy (who's grown into a sweet child who doesn't run about in his nudiepants. At least not nearly as much). Just sayin'.

    Bri, H, and I waited for the rest of our party outside, then texted that we'd meet them either at the car (while Bri and H changed out of their heels. I was wearing my Toms ... so, though I didn't have a cute, Girls-night-out outfit, I was totally able to walk for miles, if need be. But I'm glad it wasn't.) or at Voodoo Doughnuts.
    I got a Bacon Maple Bar there. SO. FLIPPING. GOOD.

    Then H and I drove back while the other girls took Bri out dancing.
    Oh, H and I did get a random high-five from a nice guy while we walked to Voodoo.
    Bri was bummed that he didn't give HER a high-five, so we shared our high-fives with her.
    Good times.

    I didn't get home until 2:30 in the morning. Michael waited up for me, bless him.
    Then Bubbles woke up at around 5 AM. *ugh*
  • Saturday (and Sunday, too) was General Conference.
    I did a CRAP job of listening. I didn't even take notes, like I usually do.
    Michael got a nap on the couch, then headed out with Bruise and bought a (push) lawnmower.
    I colored my hair (since I had this weird ombre thing going on. It wasn't a cool-ombre ... because it went dark roots--blonde(-ish) inch-or-so--brown(ish)-six-inch-remainder.
    If my roots had been the lightest part, I might have left it alone. However, since it was this weird Neopolitan  it had to be changed. So, now it's a mostly-uniform dark golden brown.
    Which will still look good with my dress on Thursday.
    I did get a nap in the afternoon, while Michael was at part of the Priesthood session of Conference (He came back half-way through, so I could make it to Bri's lingerie shower).
    It was fun to see so many friends at Bri's party. C (the maid of honor) has an amazing knack for decorating and planning parties. (Must be a nice talent to have. I mean, I can host Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners ... since I can cook, apparently. But cute decorations? ... That's not my forte at ALL.)
    There was a Pure Romance party, too. I got Pink Cupcake-scented Body Dew. I smell delicious when I wear it. I did also pick up some massage oil and a heated massage pad. (They were on SALE, y'all!! If you need one this month, while the sale's going ... let me know. I'll give you the consultant's contact info.)
In full disclosure, I know that I could never be a Pure Romance consultant. Mostly because I have the sense of humor and propriety of a twelve-year-old boy.
I mean ... Michael and I were going through the online catalog (see if there was anything that we couldn't live without) ... and, well ...
Me: "I obviously don't know or remember how to be sensual at all. Why are you even married to me?!?!??"
Him: "Don't worry about it. Let's go watch zombies."
(Since we had one last episode of The Walking Dead to watch).

We are so, so romantical.
I can't get through a catalog, due to punny names without snickering like a loon.
So we snuggle and watch a group of near-anarchists blast away rotting corpses.
(I don't blame them for being near-anarchists ... the whole infrastructure has fallen apart. They TRY to establish some rules. But it's HARD.
This is why Michael and I do plan on what to do if the Zombie Apocalypse ever occurred.
He knows how to make a flamethrower.
He will use a shotgun and a longbow.
I will man a crossbow, a machete, and ... well, I'm better with a rifle, since there's not as much kick-back.
(Seriously, as we watch this, I ask questions like, "Can you use the other end of the gun? Like for blunt-force-trauma? ... Without bending the barrell?" ... Yes. We are so, so special.)

The other bit of excitement yesterday was when I was wearing my new heels (for Bri's wedding) around the house.
Bucket tried to turn off a lamp and ended up unscrewing the switch. I strutted over there, screwed the dratted thing back in, and during my dismount from the arm of the couch, entangled my heel in the straps of Michael's drill's bag.

I glanced my cheekbone against Bruise's tough cranium and landed on my knee.
I rubbed Arnica cream into my cheek and knee and used an ice pack on my cheekbone ... I look fine. Phew.

I also had a burst of energy last night ... got rid of a TON of old magazines in the bathroom. It looks a lot more open/neat in there. Now to just get my make-up and stuff all organized. Then it might look like a bathroom and not like a make-up counter exploded. >.<

But, now, I REALLY need to get a shower. And Bubbles woke up from her (SHORT) nap.
So, I should feed the girl, get her settled safely, get a shower, and then get on completing the rest of my list.

Even though ... I really would like a quiet day. Reading and napping and watching shows/movies sounds lovely.
I'll get that someday ... like when Bubbles is in kindergarten, right?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Creative Titles are Not My Priority Today

So, where did we last leave off?

Oh! With how I had no sleep, right?

So, Friday, after the text-to-phone-calls at midnight and the PMS-induced insomnia, I was ... tired.

BUT I got to get together with my bestie, Bri, and another bridesmaid and drive to a bigger mall (in another town) and look at shoes.
It was between silver, sparkly Vans and nude pumps ... the pumps won.
(Though I might have to go back and buy the Vans anyways. Or just invest in the silver Toms, since I love my multi-sparkle Toms so much. ... Then I'll need the blue ones, too. OF COURSE.)
So, even though the bridesmaids all have totally different dresses, we'll have matching shoes to unify us.
And, since they're a neutral, we can always wear them again with other things.
Just like I'll totally rewear my dress after the wedding.

Friday night was Bri's bridal shower. I won a prize by beating everyone else at British slang.
Not bad for a shut-in who's only traveled as far as Mississippi (to the south and east) and Victoria, British Columbia (to the north and west).
Upon accepting my prize, I wanted to thank the BBC, myriad Romance novelists, and various vloggers (Charlieissocoollike and Alex Day) ... and, especially Louise Rennison with her book series (starting with Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging). I could not have done this without you.
And THE GOOGLE. Thank you, THE GOOGLE. Thank you for all the webpages full of Across-the-Pond terminology that I've perused in the past to make sense of what I've read elsewhere. And to find really good not-naughty-word-(well, at least not naughty HERE. Since it's REALLY fulfilling to refer to someone who DESERVES IT as a wanker)-swears.

Hey, gratitude is IMPORTANT.

Saturday, we took the kids to their Primary Program rehearsal.
I sat in, for a bit, as one of the Primary teachers ... until he showed up.
They moved the kiddos from one bench up front to the OTHER SIDE ... so I couldn't see them at ALL from our normal seat. So I took Bubbles to change her diaper and so I could get my crying done with in private.
(Sunday, we SHOCKED THE WHOLE WARD by sitting on the OTHER SIDE of the chapel, so we could see our dang kids. Got quite a few remarks about that. ... No, I'm NOT LYING. Seriously, we're like CLOCKWORK. We get to church early and sit in the SAME SEAT every week ... except for, well, TWO times now. Yeah. I know.)

Then we went shopping and back home where Michael got a nap. Then I went to the church again for the General Relief Society Broadcast. We had some classes before the broadcast (I know now how to make corn tortillas ... Now, I should take that knowledge and DO it, huh? Especially since I have the ingredients! That corn flour I bought at least a year ago isn't going to use itself up, now is it??) and a dinner afterwards.

Then I went home and SLEPT.

Sunday, like I mentioned, was the kids' Primary Program. Bruise and Bucket did EXCELLENTLY.
My mom had called then up before and after school for the last couple weeks so they could recite their parts to her. And we worked on diction and volume and NOT SPEAKING TOO QUICKLY.
So they had their parts DOWN. And they were well-behaved up front. And they looked very nice, too.

Mom, Mom and Dad C, and T2 and her husband, W, and their baby daughter, S, all came. It was nice.
(Except that Mom and Dad C's car broke down on their way home! Eek!)

After church, we went home where we visited with Mom before she drove back home to take care of my stepdad. Then we changed and loaded up to go to Mom and Dad C's to visit with T2, W, and S while they were in town.
We visited, had fun, and watched The Avengers ... good times.
Then we headed back home to get the kids in bed in preparation for school Monday.

Monday ... what did we do Monday? The kids went to school ... Oh!! That's right!!
Monday was SUPPOSED to be payday ... but Michael came home and told me that their new office manager was still learning ... so no one got paid at all (No, we don't get direct deposit. That'd be a nice thing, though!) ... and he was amazed at how well I took it.
I was all, "Well, we still are in the black (not by MUCH). So ... we'll get paid tomorrow? I mean, we have enough milk to last us, right?"

(Yeah ... NOT in my character. Usually I FREAK THE CHICKEN OUT about money issues. But, for some reason ... I was ... okay.)

So, we ate biscuits and gravy. With maple-flavored sausage .... Yum .... maple .... Mmmmm.

Bubbles slept EIGHT WHOLE HOURS.
Too bad, though, that the eight hours started at 7 PM. Still! It was very nice!

Tuesday, yes, he got paid. I skipped Zumba so that I could go help out at Bruise and Bucket's school (which allows me to visit with the wonderful mom of one of their sweetest friends -- so, well, it's not totally altruistic. ^_^).
So, Robyn's son told HER that Bucket was his girlfriend. That Bucket and he sat by each other at P.E. and at lunch ... and she said he was cute.
Robyn had messaged me about it, so I could get Bucket's side of the story.
  • Yes, Robyn's son is cute. EVERYONE thinks so.
    (And she's going to tell his mom that I said that this boy is downright ADORABLE.
    Seriously, he is. He is so darling. And his personality matches, too. Which is even more important.)
  • Yes, they sit together at P.E. and Lunch. 
  • Yes, they sometimes hug.
  • EW!!! NO, they don't hold hands or kiss. That's GROSS.
  • No, he's not her boyfriend. He's a friend-that-just-HAPPENS-to-be-a-boy. He is not a ooh-la-la-boyfriend (my term, not hers. But she liked it a lot).
The kiddos got home from school and, after reading for a little, went out to play with a friend.
And got to ride on a little electric bicycle/scooter with her uncle. (They wore their helmets.)
Michael got home and after eating dinner (Not as exciting. Chicken marinated in Italian dressing, rice, and green beans), we went grocery shopping. And bought a lamp to replace the one in the living room ... where the middle of three lights is nigh impossible to turn back off.
I put it together while he folded laundry as we watched a couple more episodes of The Walking Dead. (Almost done with season two! ... Too bad we don't have AMC so we could keep current. Oh well.)

Yes, we're THAT couple. The couple that cozies up or folds laundry while watching and chatting about the Zombie Apocalypse. We're so special.
(Seriously, he's the best thing to happen to me. I don't know of anyone else who'd willingly put up with me. Or give me such dang cute kids.)

Today ... I answered the door in my robe (after the kids had headed off to school) to a couple of gentlemen asking if there were any Spanish-speaking people in our home. Or in the neighborhood ... Which, um, no, none in our house (well, the kids are learning Spanish, but that's not what they were asking), and I don't know our neighbors well enough to really say. We always speak English to the ones that I know ...

I also ... well ... I got to discuss birth control with my uncle who's in his sixties.
He's met someone. And, well, they're looking into taking their relationship to the next level.
... And ... well ...

WELL, it's VERY flattering that he trusts me enough to ask my opinion. And, seeing as how Michael and I have been married for almost twelve years and we've only had three kids, it's true. I do know about birth control.
(I asked Michael afterwards, when I called to chat with him during his lunch break, if it was wrong to give my uncle advice and not be all, "Um, you SHOULD be married before doing all of that ..." BUT, at the same time, his last marriage was ... not great. I mean, when your spouse tries to kill you and, failing that, tries to get you put away in prison ... well, I figure that he might be a little gun-shy about marriage. And, since he was baptized into the church as an adult, he'd have sat through all the missionary discussions ... and he'd know the Church's stance on pre-/extra-marital sex.  So... yeah.
But, yeah, I just wanted to make sure that I didn't need to go talk to the bishop about leading someone astray.
Michael assured me that I was okay. And that HE was very glad that I was the one to have this conversation. ... It's cute how Michael isn't very comfortable having THE TALK with, well, ANYONE ELSE but me. This is why I CANNOT DIE ... at least not until our girls are married, right? [It helps that my mom is AMAZING and made sure that I knew that I could ask her anything and she'd give me an honest answer. Since she'd much rather that I be confident enough in her to ask her, as opposed to learning about sex from kids at school. So, yes, I've asked my mom LOTS of questions growing up. ... Also, I was confident enough to read about sciencey stuff {e.g., genetics, development, and reproduction} so that I know about my body... and my kids' bodies, in case THEY have questions.])

Besides it being a little ... strange ... to discuss prophylactics, et al, with a family member twice my age, I felt so sad for his lady-friend. She's gone into menopause ... but didn't ever realize that when you stop having any cycles, due to menopause, you stop ovulating. She hasn't had a cycle for ... five years or so ... and thought that because she still had eggs in her ovaries, she could still get pregnant.
Poor girl ... I mean ... I just feel bad that she's been worried about something that she (99% shouldn't) doesn't need to fret about.

So ... I guess if your kids ever need to talk about reproductive stuff and you don't feel comfortable doing it, hit me up. I will tell young'uns DEFINITELY that they should get married before exercising their powers of procreation ... but, if they need some info, I can talk about what I know ... or help them research it, too.

In other news, one of my friends had reserved a table at a restaurant a few states away (since we live in different states). The reservation was created over a month ago. A few days ago, the restaurant cancelled the reservation due to a private party happening. This is the reservation for celebrating a milestone birthday for her dad.
So, I offered, if she gave me the name of the place, to try and help out.
She supplied the name and town of the restaurant. I looked them up, found an email address, and wrote a complaint letter about the situation.

Within the HOUR, the manager emailed me back to apologize. He was headed off to a meeting and would respond as soon as he got out. He was glad that I had emailed him, since he was unaware of the situation.

A few hours later, he emailed back and offered a free dinner for my friend's group. I supplied her contact info (which I had asked her if I could in advance) and there you go!

My friend was rather pleasantly shocked that I'd do that. She hadn't even considered contacting the restaurant ... I mean, most people don't need to.

But, well, this is where I come in.
I strongly believe that if there is a problem ... maybe it's a problem because someone didn't know about it to prevent it.
So, like I did here, I brought it to the attention of someone who CAN do something about it.
I assume that it's not on purpose.
I ask for something to rectify the situation.
(Hey, I've read more than my share of posts on The Consumerist. I KNOW about complaint letters.)

So ... well, if you need a complaint letter written ... or help writing one ... hit me up.

I guess I've discovered my talents ... giving THE TALK and complaining. :P
(Well, crafting letters of complaint. ... I also try to craft "Thank You" letters, too. Those are nicer to write. ^_^)

Well, I should start housework or something, shouldn't I?
I mean, I already made it to the bread store (DUDE, I got THREE LOAVES of whole wheat bread for 99 CENTS. YES.) and got a great resolution for my friend via email ... That should get me a by, right?
If only. 

Counting ...

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