Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Starting out behind this year ...

Like usual, here's my chock-full-of-stuff catching-up post!

Okay ... so it looks like I last posted ... over three weeks ago. Whoops!

Let's see ... The kiddos' school had their "Winter Celebration." Which means that we didn't sing any carols ... BUT!! They had a gathering where teachers could read aloud to small groups. And there were books and board games that were given away to all the families (Thanks to a VERY generous group).
Bucket got a (vintage) Pound Puppies book. I don't totally remember which books Bruise or Bubbles got. But they all got a little book. And we got the Headbandz game, which the kids have enjoyed.

We rushed at getting the Christmas shopping done as soon as Michael got his bonus ... and it took us a little while to get everything together. Even though I was working VERY hard to compile a list of who all we were buying for and WHAT to give them.

Michael and I got new phones. And now my old phone (which still works ... mostly) is a toy for the kids. A nice little collection of games on there. And, YES, I really, really like my new phone (Droid Razr Maxx HD. It's nice to have a phone with a great battery life. And that texts people consistently. And that doesn't need to be consistently restarted/factory rebooted).

I also got a new computer chair (on a good sale), which Bubbles and I put together while Michael was at work and the kids had left for school. It's a good feeling to NOT almost fall out of your chair or worry that the arm is going to break off totally, dumping you and the infant on the ground/into the desk.

I helped a friend to set up a blog ... while I was there and we were passing Bubbles back and forth (she needed a nap. And wasn't getting one), my friend asked if Bubbles would like a graham cracker. Which I knew that she would ... so they went to the kitchen to get Bubbles a cracker to nosh on.
While my friend was opening the cabinet, her dog barked. While she was distracted, a can of pineapple glanced off of Vesper's eyebrow as it fell out of the cabinet. Whoops!
It was just a deep scratch. It's almost completely gone without scarring now.
(My friend felt AWFUL. I immediately latched Bubbles on to nurse, to get her calmed so I could look at what was bleeding. I asked my friend, who is a nurse, if it needed stitches. It didn't. So I was all, "Eh. She'll be fine. Let's get her calm and keep her hands off of it so it can clot. If she doesn't need stitches, I'm good."
We put a cool compress on it. It didn't even bruise!)

We did get a day of snow ... but not enough for the kids' school to be closed. It also was the same morning that Michael and I woke up to see that the power was out. He still went to work (since that's FAR enough away not to be affected). The kids and I lit candles (after poor Bruise was FREAKED OUT that the house was dark and none of the light switches worked. Poor guy.) and huddled under blankets as I called (on my old phone which was NEARLY out of batteries ... yeah, before we made the switch) the power company to find when the power would be restored. It came back on before the kids needed to head to school. (Then Bubbles and I headed over to help my friend with her blog in the aforementioned story.)

Michael had really wanted to take Friday, December 21st off. However, there was so much work that it wasn't feasible. So we just planned, anyways, on not heading down to visit family until the 22nd.

We packed that car FULL ... and, since the kids were getting lots of presents, we arrived back home with it FULL. In fact, it was so full, that we couldn't find my camera bag in there until yesterday! (Yeah, we've been busy.)

We visited my Nana, my dad and his girlfriend, and stayed at my mom and stepdad's for a few days.
(My stepdad ADORES Bubbles. He says it's because she's such a mellow baby. We think that it's also because there's only one. Twins can be a little overwhelming. Don't get me wrong ... he loves the older duo ... but he is completely enamored of Bubbles.)
We managed to take the kids to The Festival of Lights outside of Roseburg. I grew up in the Roseburg area ... and in the 18 years that I lived down there, I never managed to go once. But it was really nice. The kids enjoyed it a lot. It's a little spendy at $8/car ... but it was pretty awesome.
I did want to take the kids to the WildLights at Wildlife Safari ... but it was so cold and rainy. So we'll save that for another year.

After lunch and presents on Christmas Eve with my mom, stepdad, and aunt, we loaded up and drove out to the coast to spend Christmas with Michael's family at his sister's house.
We went to dinner at the Sizzler there ... where Bucket threw up. TWICE.
She came to me to take her to the bathroom ... and we raced, her with her hand over her mouth, dripping on the floor. And I ended up with two big splashes of vomit on my pants ... that I could see. AND SMELL.
Then, a few minutes later, she needed to go again ... and that time she didn't make it quite to the toilet.
We were in the bathroom ... but, golly.

As soon as we finished dinner and got back to T1's house, I gathered up the kids and put them all in a bath. I got them all settled in pajamas (with Michael's help ... as he worked at unloading the van as well), and then I jumped in the shower ... and, upon undressing, I found that I ALSO had a patch of vomit on the BACK of my jeans. WINNING. (Not.)

However, I felt a lot more human (and a lot less like curling in a corner and crying for being THAT MOM at Sizzler whose child puked TWICE. Yeah.) ... and we worked at getting the kids to bed and helping Santa with stockings, visiting with family, and getting to bed.

We were awake before any of the kids Christmas morning. In fact, I think we were up before anyone else. So we just chilled until people woke up ... for the present extravaganza!

Bubbles was not totally into her stocking ... until she got some crackers from it. ^_^

The kids all got a great haul from grandparents and cousins. We finally gave Bruise the Darth Maul lightsaber that we picked up on a great sale (Target Deal of the Day) months and months ago. He even used it for a staff when he, Bucket, and their baby boy cousin posed as a nativity scene (Bubbles and their other girl cousin there were in desperate need of naps ... and too wound up to take them. Whoops!). I like to joke that we refer to him as Joe-SITH.

Bucket liked the Barbie DVDs that I was able to pick up (Black Friday sales). They also really liked the other presents that they got, too.

We stayed Christmas night and took off the next morning. We drove up Hwy 101 and took the kids to the Newport Aquarium, which was a real treat. (Yes, we got a membership. We only have to go twice more to more than recoup the cost. AND with at least one trip, we can take grandparents, too. We asked Michael's folks if they'd want to come along with sometime this year. And they were very amenable.)

And we headed home and started unpacking ... and Bruise and Bucket started putting together their LEGO sets from Santa.

Freyja-cat was very happy to see us, after we were gone for five days. I'm glad to report that the Kitty Prozac did its job. There were no messes or bad smells to clean up. ... Just loads and loads and loads of laundry that I'm behind on.

We took the kids with us up to the Portland Aquarium (I had gotten passes a few months ago on a great discount via Sharing Spree ... It's like Groupon), which was very crowded. We had to park in a lot of a neighboring business. But it was fun. There's a LOT of hands-on tanks ... and, if you buy the food, you can feed the fish. Bruise got to pet a baby shark (a white striped bamboo shark, IIRC) and a ray.
I got to play with my Christmas present from Michael -- a video camera. (Seriously, Costco has great deals. We got one with a case AND an extra battery, with an 8GB memory card included. Which is a very nice thing.)

I also got to use my Christmas present from my mom -- a "whizzy stick!" ... It's an immersion blender with lots of attachments. I used the food-processor one to cut up carrots and pickles to put in tuna salad sandwiches last week. Yum. (And a nice way to get some extra vegetables!)
We call it a whizzy stick due to the Youtube videos of Titli's Busy kitchen ... since that's what she refers to her immersion blender as.

We also, while we were up in Portland, took the kids to IKEA. I picked up my IKEA Family card. We ate dinner there ... and we checked out furniture that we'd like to invest in ... when we have the truck and NO kids to transport that day. (Because we couldn't fit a couch AND the kids in the van at the same time. No possible way.)

And we stopped by the Washington Square Mall. I had a coupon for a free hand lotion at L'Occitane. And Michael and the kids went to the LEGO store. Bubbles, with me, flirted with the salesclerk at L'Occitane (He always pronounces my name correctly, so I already like him). She and I eventually moseyed over to The Body Shop ... and I snagged some body butters and a lip butter. Yeah, I like beauty products.
If I knew that I'd have that much time to kill while Michael and the kids were STILL in the Lego Store, I'd have also dropped into Lush to check out their stuff. ... As it was, I wheeled Bubbles (in her stroller) into Victoria's Secret to look at their lotions and body sprays.
I headed back to the LEGO Store ... just in time, so that Michael could snag the LEGO VIP card from my wallet.
Gotta love those VIP points! ^_^

We moved Bubbles out of our room and into the kids' room. Which meant that we had to rearrange their room (and buy a shelving unit to hold their tubs of dress-up clothes and such) ... so it's a lot more open in there, even with more furniture in there ... and there's an industrial-chic vibe with that shelving unit (Home Depot, what would we do without you?)
Bubbles has been sleeping pretty well (and deeply) in the kids' room ... which means that Michael and I are getting more sleep again.

We also picked up some sundries for home projects (new light for the front porch, house numbers so that we can put them in a spot where pizza/Chinese food deliveries can see them at night ... IMPORTANT stuff, you see?).

We also replaced out old (nearly twelve years) vacuum. We went for a less-expensive model ... though I'm tempted to try a Dyson someday. But our old bagless Hoover was a good worker for SO LONG ... we just got a newer Hoover. And a little handvac so the kids can help keep the Dining Room floor cleaner.

Michael spent the last couple days of his vacation with the flu: sore throat, fever, chills, aches. Not the stomach flu, but not feeling great at all. Poor guy. He wasn't feeling awesome this morning ... but he still headed into work. At least he's feeling a little better, right?

Funny conversation with Bucket, the other night:
She has a habit of naming stuffed animals after family members ... and she has a stuffed triceratops.
"Look, [Bubbles]! This is 'Daddy!'"
"Um, [Bucket], that'd be confusing to her. how about a different name?
"Okay ... how about Horny Daddy?"
"No. That's not appropriate. Let's find something else."

And NO, I didn't explain to her WHY "horny daddy" is not a good name for her stuffed animal ... however, I was VERY composed the whole time. Whereas, Michael was shaking with suppressed laughter.
Usually, it's the opposite.
Apparently, I was VERY tired.

Just now, Bucket made a card for Bruise, for his/their birthday.
Inside it, there's a picture of him as the earth, smiling. And she's the sun, smiling.
And she's putting me in there as a smiling Jupiter.
"What?? You're going to make me a GAS GIANT?? You should make me Saturn! Daddy like me so much he put a ring on it!!"
But she's not to be swayed ... I am a gas giant (*raspberries*) and Michael's Saturn ("Mom!! It looks like monkey ears!!! ... And [Bubbles] is going to be Pluto!!")

But, yeah, she's working herself up into a state.

The house is cleaner. I need to do another load of dishes and lots of laundry. But the floors are vacuumed (I need to vacuum the kids' room and our room. Sometime.) ... the hall bathroom is pretty clean. I need to clean the kitchen, our bathroom and bedroom (which hasn't been done in so long. *sigh*) ... And tackle the laundry room with its piles and piles of boxes to be collapsed and put in recycling. ... and all the laundry in there, too.

And let's not start on the state of my desk. Oy.

BUT! At least I've sent out the save-the-date for the kiddos' birthday to family. And Michael and I are getting plans put together for what to do.

I just need a few more days weeks to get the house clean and everything planned.

Oh!! Did I mention that Bubbles has cut her first tooth? It's in there! And it's a sharp little thing. Feels like her second tooth is not far behind. And I keep waiting for her top teefers to pop through, too.
Can you believe she's going to be ten months old tomorrow?

Bucket's started watching Invader Zim ... I can't complain (says the girl who told her husband, ala Gir, "I have to have tacos or else I'll explode! ... that happens sometimes." Yes, the fun we have when we go to Jack-in-the-Box).

okay, okay ... I'd better go throw another load in the dishwasher and washing machine. This house isn't going to clean itself!

Oh ... also I gave a talk at church on Sunday. I was TOLD that I'd be the first adult speaker (in the middle). I was the last speaker (so I needed to fill up the time ... good thing I prepared a 20-minute talk!). Yeah ... my topic was gratitude ... and GOSH, I'm SO grateful that it's over!! Then, after that, my kids' class didn't have a teacher. So I passed Bubbles to Michael and taught their class ... including a boy who said "Poop ... poop.... poop" throughout the opening prayer before our lesson. Then, after I told him that that was NOT reverent behavior (and we HAD just had a class trip to the bathrooms and drinking fountain), he screeched out, "I HAVE TO GO POOPY!!!!"
"Well ... then ... go to the bathroom." I told him.

And he did and got back to the classroom. And was all wiggly and distracting. Then he yells out, "MY BRAIN!!"
"Are you okay?" I ask (Earlier in Sharing Time, where the children's classes meet together, he snarled at my not to touch him after I had patted his knee. So I wasn't about to touch him against his will).
"I don't feel good! I want to go home!!!"

So, I left the kids for a minute (good thing that the other three are pretty self-sufficient and well-behaved) so I could take this one to the Primary President ... and she tracked down his family.

The rest of the lesson went quite well ... especially since I only had time to review it during Sharing time. Trial by fire, that was.

Yeah. Crazy times. If it wasn't ALREADY vacation, I'd ask for some vacation ... but, well, we see where that got me now, don't we?

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