There's no place like

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Too exhausted to work on the computer tonight, I'm going downstairs to click around and play cards.

Laundry incomplete because of my nap this afternoon but I'll catch up on it before tomorrow's meeting at Sarah's school. My to-do list for the next week is horrible.

Ice thawing.

The captain continues his declaration of innocence in the near-drowning incident. His boat was broken and he couldn't stop to help me out of the water. If his boat was so broken he should have stayed away from the figure struggling in the water. Every time he drove by his boat spat out fuel that choked me. Despite my pleading him to fix the leak, he continued to deny the leak and pollute the waters. While struggling in the water these past three days I continued my efforts to clean up the debris from the schools of fish as they swam by me. My efforts went unnoticed unless I failed to replace one of the corals they'd knocked astray. I managed to knit some seaweed into a blanket with my toes and only need some help seaming the edges but everyone is too busy to help me with my blanket. I also attempted to help a small fish that the captain had only replaced one fin on and needed the other fin replaced. The surgery was difficult without the captain's tools and skill and I need his help in stitching up the open incisions before the fish gets lost at the bottom of the sea.

I am angry. I feel as though I have been drifting in the water without a piece of driftwood to cling to. Alone and drowning in the ocean of life, the only time a boat appeared on the horizon it spurned the water and attempted to push me down. Suddenly today I am on the shore, dripping wet, cold and surrounded by people who don't notice my misery. The captain of the boat who only added to my suffering while in the water is happily frollicking on the beach and instead of apology, he offers me condescension and indifference. I will attempt to find a tiny spot of solitude to nurse my wounds and pretend that the indignity never occurred while the wound inside continues to ooze.

Stared at nothing on the tv until about 1 a.m. Still irritated about my website and spending today doing laundry won't improve my attitude any.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

My website is messed up, my bedsheets are still in the dryer and I'm too aggravated to do anything but lie on my bare mattress and watch tv.

I've managed to completely dork up my website. Three of the navigation links take you back to the index page and I can't figure out why. Grrrr. I'm going back to doing the laundry where I feel semi-competent.

Still working on my webpage changeover to coldfusion. Doug slept until time for the movie. Now he's off watching "The Passion" and I'm sure he'll post a review when he returns. Background here - Doug was raised in a family that went to church on holidays and not always then either. Doug still thinks that he is in control of his destiny. However, he's seeing the movie with my father which guarantees him some prosthetizing. Amy is running around with a flashlight giggling like it's the coolest thing in the world. Tommy is playing games on Doug's computer.

Started creating the Asperger's Yahoo Group. It still needs more work but it's functional. I need to do some serious work on my personal webpage. It's a mess but it's going to require concentration and effort on my part because it's halfway between being html and cf which I don't really understand. I'm a "learn as I do" sort of programmer. I DON'T need any more projects right now.

Good news - Amy hasn't been putting Playmobile in her mouth today. Bad news - Amy has spent the day shoving Playmobile up her nose.

For the past several days I've had dozens and dozens of attempted e-mail viruses sent to me. It's a little annoying because it stops the e-mail process every time it happens.

The boys fell asleep just after 11 which was pleasantly surprising. Of course it'll take me all day to clean the house and today is my usual laundry day. I did get the support group flyer finished and e-mailed last night. Now I need to make a yahoo group for the support group so that meeting reminders can go out automatically. I also need to get some guest moderators scheduled for the group. I haven't heard back from the zoo about the Girl Scouts camping out there and the police officer hasn't called to confirm the safety training yet. I need to get the safety class in the scout newsletter but I'll do that today. Sarah is at a birthday party right now and later today she has a swimming party. Tonight Doug and my father are going to see "The Passion". Doug still has a sore throat and therefore can't do anything but sleep, watch tv and be cranky. In a day or two he'll get the suffed head and runny nose to go with his sore throat.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Noah invited two friends to sleepover so Sarah went to sleep at a friend's house. Sarah is a lot less noise and worry than the two visitors. Tommy is having his Friday night at the grandparents. Poor Amy is having to sleep with chaos in the living room. Doug has spent his day sleeping because he has a cold. It's the same cold that all of us have but Doug believes that he must sleep until the cold is gone.

I don't see anything about blogging being a soft addiction so I guess I'm cool.

All of my family and friends know that I color my hair. I don't make a secret of it. In high school I had gray hairs and by the time I got married at the age of 21 I was coloring on a regular basis. My hair is almost entirely white now. I didn't color when I was pregnant with Tommy (that didn't seem to matter) but otherwise it is a regular part of my life. I have had my hair every shade of brown, black and most of the red tones. I've never done blonde. A hairdresser once suggested I go all gray. "It would be so cool to be all white when you're only in your 30s." Umm, I don't think so. I'd need a lot more therapy than a hairdresser can provide to be talked into being gray. Later this week I'm going to try frosting my own hair for the first time. $10 to do it myself or $60 to have it done at the salon? I think it's worth the risk. If I mess up I'll have to pay more getting it fixed.

Dishes done, flyer rough draft sent to Doug and Alice for critique and guest moderator for support group contacted. Time for a brief break.

The snow is melting off the trees so quickly that it sounds like rain outside. I've read and replied to e-mail, read friends' blogs and the newspaper. The fish are fed and the upstairs is cleaned except for a load of dishes which I will do when I finish this blog. After the dishes I need to create a flyer for the new support group. The house is quiet and calm today.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Sent out a couple of dozen e-mails and made phone calls regarding the zoo event and I'm happy with the progress on it for the most part. I don't like the way people have assumed that Doug and I are doing the set-up and clean-up because we aren't. Scheduled a safety class for all the Girl Scouts in our service unit and all that is left is confirmation from the police officer doing the training and taking rsvp's from troop leaders. I may end up making copies for the officer but I really think that they'll bring all the materials they need. Sent in the paperwork for our troop to have a campout at the zoo and sent out another plea to the troop parents to say if they'll be helping with any of the cookie booths. Finally printed the documents I needed to finish updating my planner and got them put in the planner. Moved the chunk of wood that is supposed to be in a Pinewood Derby in less than a week. I put it on the kitchen table so that we all have to look at it a thousand times a day and will hopefully get it finished. Tomorrow I'll print up and send out the Support Group flyer. I'll print the zoo event layout and see how many tables we can fit and e-mail the donation letters out to everyone. I also need to visit the grocery store. The upstairs is clean and everything is ready for the morning rush. Now I'm going to lie in bed and paint my toenails (hot pink) while I watch ER. Doug wants me to wean off the Tylenol PM that I've been abusing lately. I know he's right but without it I toss and turn for an hour or more and wake up at every little creak in the house. That deep sleep brings such wonderfully vivid dreams.

Paperwork filed to use library for Asperger Support Group (that I agreed to coordinate) meetings and Girl Scout safety program (that I agreed to coordinate). Talked to Jim about Children's Mental Health Day celebration at the Knoxville Zoo that I (insanely) agreed to coordinate. Now I only have a million more things to do. In my introspective moments I've realized two things about myself. Both fall under the too much information category but oh, well. First the useless one. I recognized that part of my getting dressed ritual includes making sure my panties and bra match my outfit. What a stupid waste of my time. Second one is much more useful. I can put every argument that Doug and I have in one of two categories. Category one is "Tommy" and that is where most of the disagreements belong. Category two is "Parental Mood Problems". This is hard to explain but basically all our other disagreements happen because Doug, I or both of us is having a mood problem. Whether the mood is over-tired, over-anxious, grumpy or depressed the disagreements are about nothing and completely caused by our personal behavioral problem.

Judith lists her food-pyramid friendly, nutritious and incredibly delicious sounding meals on her blog. My children (and Josh, Noah's friend who spends more time here than at his house) got peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with potato chips and kool-aid for lunch today. That's why I don't list our meals. If you want to hear about yummy meals look at Judith's blog.

Took some pictures from inside the house. One is taken looking out the kitchen window into the backyard where we watch the birds. The other is looking out the front window into the cove where the children like to ride their bikes.
Kitchen view Living room view

Back inside after a brief romp in the snow. Had to drag Amy back in kicking and screaming. She had FUN! The other three children are all out front building a snowman, even Tommy who is supposed to be resting. Doug got some software from UPS and he'll spend the rest of the day on his computer. I'm going to sit on the sofa and stare out the front window watching the snow and the children.

Awoke to a winter wonderland! It's still coming down so that looking out the front window is like looking into a giant snowglobe. Sarah and Noah are putting on their first outfits of the day. They'll go through several. Tommy is in his room playing video games and Amy is staring out the window yelling "Snow!" It sounds a little like her "no" but much happier.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Doug and I left my parents in charge of the children and we went to see Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the cable guy. We had fun, laughed and didn't have to worry about anyone wandering off. Tommy is happily snoring, dreaming about the fun he'll have getting a sick day tomorrow. Sarah and Noah have their pjs on backwards because "everybody" knows that it makes it snow. Apparently school is where you go to learn stupidity. I want to go in and peek at Amy since I didn't tuck her in but Doug would probably kill me if I did. I think I should find some dinner. A few bites of pretzel just doesn't make me feel like I had food. Doug ate two pretzels, a hot dog and a few cokes. The idea of free soda and half price food just thrilled him. Today's accomplishments: 1. bathed, shaved legs and washed hair 2. visited library and got paperwork for using their meeting space 3. e-mailed badge order 4. had a date with my husband 5. visited pharmacy for Sarah & Tommy's scripts

Tommy has strep. Crud. Now everyone will get it.

Doug took Tommy to the pediatrician while Amy napped. I bathed and washed my hair which you know is how I judge the day's quality. no bath = gonna feel yucky all day bath = feel human and ready for whatever life throws at me bath & wash hair = happy and ready for any challenge bath, wash hair & shave legs = a miracle

Mom (tonight's babysitter) is going to feed the children so I need only get them bathed and in pjs. Badge order is in and now I'm just waiting for Amy to nap.

Goals for today: 1. Talk to library about mtg space for support group and girl scout safety class. 2. Kids bathed and fed by 6 p.m. 3. Upstairs floors scrubbed. 4. Talk to Jim about zoo flyer. 5. E-mail badge order to scout store. 6. Find a small lift truck to borrow until cookie sales are over. OK, some of that is going to roll to tomorrow now that Tommy has to visit the pediatrician at 1 p.m.

Tommy's teacher called and asked us to pick him up because "he looks sick".

Upstairs straighted. Fish fed. Amy watching Sesame Street blissfully unaware that I'm turning he tv off when her show is over. I'm sitting down to blog, e-mail and drink my cold Starbucks frappuccino. I'd prefer a hot mocha, but I'm happy with this too. Doug is angry that I didn't come upstairs this morning. Sarah came down for me to fix her hair since today is school pic day. With a giant cold sore they should be really interesting pics. Noah didn't like the clothes I had out for him (too hot). I sat in bed for a half an hour listening to Amy fuss and complain. If I walk in the room when she's happy she jabbers and we pplay some games together. If I walk in the room when she is upset she clings to me like velcro, says no to everything I say and won't let me put her down without howling and crying (from her, not me). I'm just waiting for her morning nap time so I can take a bath and wash my hair. Tonight is Jeff Foxworthy. I hope it goes well. We really need to have some mental escape time where we let life's worries go for a few and just laugh till we cry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Sarah is only 10 years old and she acts like a teenager. Hates to be told what to do. Wants to make her own decisions but accepts no responsibility for her actions. Hates having us check her homework. Doesn't want to wear whatever I pick out for her. Likes to have her hair hanging in her eyes (knowing that mothers hate that). Maybe we should become Catholics and send her to an all girls school with uniforms and ruler-carrying nuns. Dr gave us meds for her cold sore. Said her eye is probably the same thing.

Doug got Sarah duty and I got Amy (runny nose, watching Sesame Street), Noah (riding bike in neighborhood with friends) and Tommy (wandering house looking for something to get into).

Sarah has had a nasty cold sore for days. When she got home from school her eye was swollen and pink so i'm sending er to the pede. She is very angry about having to go. "I am NOT going to the doctor." Yesterday and today Noah got in trouble for talking in class. Tommy is having fairly good days but struggling with math.

My two cents on The Passion of the Christ. Let me preface this by saying that I was raised in a VERY Baptist home. We were at church three times a week and I had to go to private school so I would only be around "good, Christian people". That said, my father is all excited about this movie. It has been well marketed to churches as being made for the right reasons and sinful, Jewish Hollywood is trying to stop its' message. So, my father excitedly said "Who is going to the movie with me?" Doug said "I will" because Doug likes going to see any movie (you would think he'd be able to recognize actors). I said no because frankly, if I avoid all slasher and horror movies, why would I go watch someone being murdered. Cartoon-like violence against obviously pretend people is tolerable but this is real people doing real things. I don't watch movies based on "real-life" murders for the same reason. Too horrible. Ever since Mel Gibson's comment that his own wife is going to hell I've stopped caring about this movie or the well-done publicity campaign. My father may NOT take my children to this movie.

Stupid e-mail server is down again. I can feel a migraine coming and the worst part is that I can't stop it. Light and noise sensitivity, dull pressure, a feeling like I'm in a cave that will only get worse as the day proceeds.

Add to goals: Upstairs floors cleaned.

During one of Doug's digs through the garbage (I hate it when he does that) he pulled out an old makeup brush of mine. Amy is now brushing her face, neck and hands. We get to go see Jeff Foxworthy tomorrow. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Well, we may as well be proud of who we are. Yee-haw!

Woke up earlier than I felt like because I heard Amy crying. Today's goals are simple. Laundry, kitchen and desk all need to be cleaned. A few night ago Doug and I took Sarah and Noah to Olive Garden. It was strange to have a meal without someone throwing food, running around the table and squealing for no reason. Since it was a Friday night there was a wait and it was 8 p.m. before we got our food. Noah is usually in bed and asleep at 8 p.m. Noah ate a few bites then started complaining about being cold. Noah never complains of sleepiness. He is cold, has a headache or some other complaint. I let him sit between Doug and I and put his head in my lap. I stroked his hair and back for a few minutes and he fell fast asleep. Doug, Sarah and I continued our conversation and meal. Some time later I was watching Noah sleep and ran my fingers along his side casually, feeling the groove of his ribs under his shirt. I did this several times before pondering aloud, "I can feel hs ribs. Do you think he eats enough." Doug had been watching from the corner of his eye until my comment. At that point he turned and looked at sleeping Noah as Noah twitched and curled up in a ball rhythmically while I gently stroked his tiny frame. Doug's deadpan reply - "No, but I do think he's ticklish."

Monday, February 23, 2004

I'm back from the cookie lottery. My adrenaline is so high that my ears are ringing. The good thing is that I know what to do different next year. The bad thing is that I'm going to have three weekends of absolute chaos. I'm off to bed for (hopefully) destressing and some fun with Doug. If I'm really lucky the fireplace has the room toasty and comfy.

Children came home. Tommy had a good day and Noah only got in trouble once. Sarah, however, didn't turn in two assignments. When quizzed she had several reasons it was not her fault. "I ran out of notebook paper and you never put more in my backpack." I have told her repeatedly where in my office there are about two dozen packs of notebook paper, a dozen folders, a couple dozen spiral notebooks, pencils and lots more office supplies that I stockpile whenever they are on sale. "You didn't give me some plain white paper." She asked for this last night as I was turning off her light and saying goodnight. "I had to do Thinking Day." Umm, Dad and I stayed up all night Friday night preparing for this and it was over at noon on Saturday. The excuses went on and on but she remains convinced that this was not her fault. I ran up to the store for some face powder and on the way home the only working car we own's transmission started to go out. The fun never stops over here. I leave in 30 minutes for cookie booth lottery. Just writing that makes my stomach churn.

Grumblings of discontent continue among the group working on this year's zoo event. Why did I agree to chair this project? I'm the only person not getting paid to be there. I will not be doing this next year.

Doug is downstairs working and after hearing Amy thud a few times and then cry a lot he decides she is sick and goes into panic and anxiety mode. If he was up here he'd see that she is fine. She was happily watching tv until I enforced my new "1 hour on=1 hour off rule". When I turned on music instead of television she spent a solid 30 minutes throwing herself on the floor, crying and throwing things. I am blogging now because the tv is back on and she is happily staring at it. When I go to turn it off in 20 minutes the tantrum will resume. This will go on for several days until she accepts the limits on her tv viewing. Tommy started on a new bus today. I am not happy about it but will wait 1 week to see what happens. Doug and I are going to see Jeff Foxworthy Wednesday. Yay! A night out alone. Almost a date. Not really a date though because we are too poor to go so we signed up as Red Cross volunteers for the event and that gets us in for free. I saw Lyle Lovett as a Red Cross volunteer and there were no medical problems so I just sat and enjoyed the show. I don't expect any real problems at a Jeff Foxworthy show. If we signed up to go to a thrash metal concert we'd be really busy with the gauze so I think we'll avoid those. I need to use the next 15 minutes to get dressed so I'll quit the blog here. I need to visit the bank and the dry cleaners this morning. Tonight is the dreaded cookie booth lottery. Doug posted the Thinking Day pictures for me at: Thinking Day pictures.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

My head hurts. I've lost Noah's homework. I can't find a matching pair of socks for Tommy. I want to take the dryer apart and rescue all those lost socks. The upstairs is straight and the dishwasher is splish-splashing so I'm going to bed and stare at the nothing on TV, Arrested Development isn't on tonight and the show that I secretly watch is still in reruns. Doug knows I watch it. He even bought season 1 for me so I could catch up on what is really just a soap opera. It's embarrassing though because I am far from the target audience. In fact, on this show I'd be dead. Too much information. Goodnight till tomorrow when I promise to tell the past due Olive Garden story.

I am fighting back a migraine. I need to go relax in a hot bath but Amy won't let me.

Upstairs cleaned, newspaper read and Girl Scout paperwork all caught up. I just need to e-mail my badge order in and then attend the cookie booth lottery. I'm a bit nervous about that one. The woodpeckers, cardinals and finches are very active in our backyard today. It's too early for nesting isn't it? Doug is hibernating. He's been asleep for almost 3 hours now.

Doug is walking around with the headphones in his ears. He only does that when he doesn't want us talking to him. Tommy begging to go see man next door. Amy napping. Sarah and Noah spending their Sunday at the grandparents. Dog sleeping in the sunbeams on the floor. I'm thinking of crawling back in bed.

Doug and Tommy fought. I interfered. Now Doug is not speaking to Tommy or me. I asked Tommy to write his feelings down and he actually did! I thought it was a sweet, well-thought note. Tommy put the note on Doug's desk like I suggested and Doug got upset that Tommy was near his stuff and could have taken some of Doug's things. Doug said more hurtful words to Tommy and the tension around here is horrible.

Upstairs cleaned up. Time for scout paperwork I've been ignoring. I think I'll read the Sunday paper first.

A bit groggy this morning, but otherwise feeling fairly calm and relaxed. I'll attribute that to Thinking Day being over and having no errands today. Only fairly calm because I am a little anxious about which cookie booth our troop will get in the lottery tomorrow. I'm hoping we get one chance at selling inside the mall (roof, heat/ac, etc.) and don't get stuck someplace without even an overhang to protect from the rain. Goals for today. Clean upstairs. Laundry. Catch up on some scout paperwork.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Ten o'clock and only my second blog today. Too busy living life to blog it. Spent the first half of the day at Thinking Day with 6 girl scouts, one visitor, one sibling, a college student and another mother. That was just our troop. There were 14 troops and the brownie troops were 15-20 girls each. Lots of giggling and wiggling and not completely paying attention to the older girls who were trying to lead the program, but I think everyone had fun. I had fun but I'm really glad it's over. I had two parents take their girls to the regular meeting place and time despite printed flyers, e-mailed flyers, e-mailed directions and even a phone call reminder. One of the parents was just irritated, the other was downright cranky. I feel terrible about the mixup and wonder if next time we shouldn't just meet and travel together. Spent the second half of the day looking at a "summer camp expo" at the mall. The children all picked up stickers, pencils and candy. I have a mountain of brochures to camps we can't afford. Visited with the great-grandmother briefly. Came home and watched Noah do some homework as well as read a book then took Noah to the grandparents for the night. Home at 9. Checked e-mail. Blogged quickly. Now I'm going to collapse in bed and stay as long as possible. "Haze" was a very nice little book. Target audience is teens, but there's a little message in there for parents.

It's 4:30 and this is my first blog of the day. I have a zillion things to say but i'm too tired to do so right now. Suffice it to say that the day has been full. More later.

Friday, February 20, 2004

After a brief nap I had children coming home and needed to hear about their day. Noah's was good and Sarah's was good but she was clearly exhausted. Fixed up overnight bags for Tommy and Amy just as the grandparents arrived to pick them up. Had a nice dinnner at Olive Garden (funny story I'll have to tell tomorrow afternoon) thanks to a neighbor's thoughtful Christmas gift. Home to make a quickie display about Korea and prepare the craft materials for tomorrow. Took a brief break for this blog, then back to the Thinking Day preparations. I am soooo tired.

My order came in today. I'm going to read "Haze" and "Of Mice and Aliens" by Kathy Hoopmann before I give them to Tommy to read. I also ordered Zanadu on DVD for Sarah. I know I thought it was a cool movie when I was a little bit older than her. She might think it's dorky. Anyway, as I was looking over my three shiny new toys I realized they have something in common. I'm not saying what it is, but I put the links in to help you solve the puzzle. Don't peek at the comments until you are ready for the answer.      

Not sure if I'm amused or annoyed. On the way home from the Korean grocery and Sarah's school Doug drove home through a nearby neighborhood to show me some garages, porches and patios. Amy fell asleep in the car and I knew that was going to shorten her nap time. When we got home Doug tucked her in the crib and I went to bed for a nap. Amy awoke after only 45 minutes and Doug quietly took her upstairs. I stayed in bed since I was just then falling asleep. It always takes me a good hour to fall asleep. Anyway, 45 minutes later I got up and found Doug sitting at his computer downstairs. I got concerned. "Where's Amy?" "She's upstairs. Wanna see?" I looked at his computer and he had my camera angled to watch her as she sat mesmerized in front of the tv. This child is way too addicted to the tv.

30 mph winds take all the fun out of a 60 degree day.

Amy is staring at Dora while chewing on her toothbrush, but I need to pack her up in the carseat and run some errands. Sarah forget her safety patrol belt when we left the house at 5:30 a.m. and I am going to visit the Korean grocery store. If I don't get out I'm going to fall asleep on the couch.

Tim pointed out that my permalinks were't working and Doug rushed upstairs to fix them. I left the room for just 5 minutes while he did and he added "trackbacks" to my blog. Don't know what they are or why I need them but have at it. I seriously need to password my computer. :)

Up at the crack of dawn, no, up before the dawn and most of Knoxville. Took Sarah to a small radio station downtown so that she could be interviewed about Girl Scout cookies. I thought she'd be nervous. This is the child who freaked out at the last minute and refused to do her flower-girl duties at her uncle's wedding. Sarah was happy, calm and very well spoken. She got stuck for a minute when listing the two new cookie flavors, but she pulled it off. Afterward I drove her to Krispy Kreme for a sugary breakfast before taking her to school. Happy and proud, she insisted on wearing her scout vest to school. When I got home Tommy was dressed and reading on the couch while Doug chatted on the phone. Amy was awake in her crib and Doug got her up while I began my morning routine. 1. Read e-mail (block spam senders as I go) 2. Read favorite blogs 3. Post my blogs 4. Clean upstairs I'm really looking forward to my, I mean Amy's nap today. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2004

All four children are sleeping happily. Doug is programming with his headphones on and singing. I took a hot bath and feel more relaxed. I;m going to dry my hair and then watch a little TV before nodding off. Tomorrow is a very early morning and busy day. Sarah has to be at a radio station downtown at 6:15 a.m.

All three of the children working at the table erupted into chaos and war. Tommy needed help and Sarah reluctantly offered her calculator but only if he used it according to her rules. Within seconds they were screaming at each other. I sent them both out front to calm down. This was much more effective when it was cold outside. Outside they accelerated with Tommy laughing manically while Sarah screamed at the top of her lungs and cried alligator tears at the injustice. Several minutes later it was getting worse, so Dad squirted them both with the water hose. A few minutes later we invited two crying, insulted children back in the house. Dad sat down at the table to help Tommy with his homework while Sarah complained to Mom about having to do her homework "in the same room as HIM." I am exhausted. I'm sure Dad is too.

When Doug took Noah to school he found out that Noah was the target of some teasing during lunch. Noah sat and cried because the boys were calling him a "Barbie lover" and a "pink tighties wearer" and a "diaper baby". Further explanation here. Noah does wear pull-ups at night and although we've warned him to be discreet I'm sure that the other boys have noticed it during sleepovers. Also, this group of 5-6 boys have been getting in trouble for teasing others and using questionable subject matter throuh the entire school year. Recently Noah was given a different seat in class to try and split of two of the trouble makers. Starting tomorrow the boys are all going to be seated away from each other at lunch. My father has warned (lectured) me to keep Noah away from bad boys. I'm inclined to think that this is just an unpleasant phase that they are going through and wonder if we shouldn't have MORE time with the friends over so they can learn to play together more appropriately.

The victory was brief. Amy slept only 45 minutes. It is going to be a cranky afternoon. Sarah has a lot of homework and a new long-term project to begin. Tommy has a little bit of math. Noah came home with a note about homework but nothing in his bag, so Dad drove him back to school where the teacher filled Dad's ear with her discontent. Noah has a project that is past due. Apparently it was assigned several weeks ago and Noah didn't want to bring it home and have it interrupt his "play time". Sigh. All three of the homeworkers are sitting at the kitchen table scowling at each other between scribblings. They attempt to help each other but resent rather than appreciate it when the help is given. I can't work on the Korea display now or Amy will mangle it. Postpone that project until 8:30 when all the little people are in bed. Still no craft idea. Redirect energies to laundry and dishes for the next hour.

The battle was fierce, but sleep finally won. Just in time for the house volume to crank as the little people and their friends come running, yelling, stomping and clattering into the house.

Amy is not being a good napper today.

Doug just threw me a life preserver. He ran in a Korean grocery and picked up a newspaper and magazine. Let's see what I can do with these on the display board. If I could only think of a good craft.

Since my computer moved upstairs (going to have to start calling it "everybody's" cause "everybody else" is on it all the time) it won't talk to the printer. :(

Goals for the weekend: 1. Make it through Thinking Day 2. Get my logo on the blog and at

Wasted an hour reading e-mail and blogs. Now I must get serious about the Thinking Day display. It's like being in elementary school again with a big project that you've ignored but my parents aren't going to stay up all night doing it for me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Lots to be done but no desire to do anything. Overwhelmed and unmotivated.

3 out of 4 children calm in bed. 4th child reading quietly. I'm watching Smallville. I could really have used some special powers from a meteor shower when I was a teen.

All the children had good days at school. Took Sarah to her therapy appt so she could complain about Tommy. From there we ran to the library to return books on Daniel Boone (Sure, my wife had a baby with my brother but it's ok since the last name is still Boone) and check out books on South Korea for Girl Scouts Thinking Day (still have to visit the Korean grocery, church and restaurant). A quick run in Party City for small bowls and spoons for Thinking Day then home to a completely destroyed living room and kitchen. Can't stay on the blog because I have to go bathe Amy and clean up the mess.

Why my father shouldn't drive.

The dishwasher is splish-splashing, Doug is tapping away at his computer and Amy is playing happily while listening to Blues Clues. The fish are fed and the dog and cat are napping in the sunshine. Life is good.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Assorted family photos.

Checked Sarah and Noah's school notes, then rushed out to pick up Tommy for his group therapy. Left there and went to Target only to realize I had no license or credit card with me. Back home, picked up the cards and then went to the pharmacy for Tommy's scripts (2 out of 3). Picked up Tommy then went back to Target for shampoo (for me) and hair gel (for Noah's new hairstyle). Home to a tired, cranky baby and dinner. Took a break for some blog writing and reading before doing a load of jeans (for Tommy to wear tomorrow) and the dinner dishes.

Doug decided to post pictures of my computer to chronicle its' adventure yesterday. Warning: Graphic filthiness

I got to bathe AND wash my hair. I am human again.

I woke up with a really sore throat. We didn't have a fire last night so it could just be the cold. Sarah still felt warm but she insisted that she needed to go to school. Amy feels warm today. she wants to be held but she hits and pinches me which makes want to put her down. Plus she wants to pound on the keys. Once the novelty of having the computer in the kitchen wears off I hope to start on some projects that have been in the back of my head.

Monday, February 16, 2004

My computer is now upstairs! It has technically been up here for about 5 hours now but I am just now getting to use it. First, Doug had to have a video chat with his sister and some friends in Australia. Oh, did I mention that I didn't even get to bathe today? So you can imagine how lovely I felt. Because I felt so very pretty Doug decided to do a reality program and broadcast the evening meal with the camera pointed right at me. My favorite part of the meal? Doug asking what happened to my forehead. Umm, nothing dear. That's just a pimple that I didn't get to put makeup on today. So I felt a little fried by the time I got everyone fed, bathed and tucked in and I flopped on the couch to defuse. Doug became captain paranoid and announced that I was pissed and stomped off to bed. The good part of this is that he's finally getting some sleep. The bad part is that I can't work this out without waking him and upsetting him further. If I just password my computer we won't have this problem again. :)

Doug just casually commented that my computer might not work again after being moved, taken apart, cleaned and put back together. Rats. Sarah is going to need another day at home, so no school tomorrow for her. Tommy starts riding the bus again. The bus has never been a very good experience for Tommy and we are a bit anxious about it.

I was going through e-mail withdrawal and my computer looks like it's going to be disassembled for a good bit of time so I'm borrowing Doug's PC. Hard to do because I don't like his keyboard and don't know his OS. Expect typos. The computer move has begun. It is part upstairs, part downstairs and the cable is run in what I hope is a temporary location (pictures later). I have spent my downtime finishing my planner cleanup as much as possible. The last bit of work requires information off my computer and the use of the Covey forms software. Amy is active today. Her favorite word now is definitely "no". Sarah is still warm but feeling much better. She was very upset that I wouldn't let her go out to play. Tommy is antsy and nervous. Noah is happily playing with a friend,

Going offline to start moving my computer upstairs. I'll blog when it gets back online. Cross your fingers that this won't take days.

Gloomy Monday morning here. Children playing quietly. I really need my computer upstairs so I can watch them while I type on some projects I need to work on. Free speech or vandalism?

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Laundry caught up for a little while. Sarah's fever stays down as long as I convince her to take Tylenol every 3-4 hours. Not an easy task. Tommy sleeping and snoring louder than I've ever heard from him. Amy asleep in Noah's room. Noah giggling at cartoons in our bed. Doug working on the fire. I added a friend's blog to my list of lives that I peek in on every day. The dog is doing the hypnotic stare that means I'm supposed to read her mind. I'd better go check her water bowl.

The rain turned back to snow and my computer isn't going to get moved anytime soon. At least Arrested Development is on tonight.

With the snow now covering the grass, Noah is suddenly completely recovered from his cold and spent time playing with a friend. This is okay with us because it means we can put Amy's port-a-crib in Noah's room while Sarah is sick. The snow has had a healing effect on Sarah also and she is now sitting up in bed watching DVDs and demanding Sprite. Tommy is blissfully taking apart a broken VCR. I wonder what functioning appliance will get disassembled by Tommy in a moment of poor judgement?

Sarah still sleeping. Tommy and Noah busily doing chores since I offered a quarter per chore (something I rarely do). Doug hopping from the computer to a chore and back to the computer. The rain has turned to snow! We are all crossing our fingers for some accumulation.

Tommy is getting testy. Noah has a new haircut and is quite jolly. Sarah is in her bed looking and feeling very ill. She is running a fever and says she has the "worst stomach ache ever". Doug has had too much caffeine today.

Doug slept in this morning while I played with Amy. I went back to bed two hours later thinking he'd be ready to wake up. He wasn't right away but did eventually. My mother called to say that Noah seems to have a bad cold while Sarah has a stomach virus. Noah has had the cold for several days but the stomach bug is new. I asked Sarah to nap before we went to get her so she could make it home without an incident in the car. Tommy is on a "making money" drive today so I sent him in to scrub the upstairs bathroom.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

No new cell phones for either of us yet. Doug is still "comparing" all the different choices. This could take forever. :( No progress on moving my computer upstairs yet either. Guess I'll go to bed and read or maybe watch a movie. I'm cold from getting soaked by Amy's bath splashing so hopefully the fire is blazing.

Quiet day over here. Tried to organize my Covey planner. I don't think it serves its' purpose correctly when I have notes, dates and appointments scribbled on receipts, post-its and business cards which are crammed in the binder in no particular order. It will need more work tomorrow. Tommy was snappy today but no major problems. He's stretched out on the sofa watching a Star Trek movie right now. Then again, he might be asleep on the sofa. Amy got upset when the grandparents came by to get Sarah and Noah. Then she washed her hair with the spaghetti she was served for dinner. Amy's dinner

I woke up with a sty, In the corner of my eye. It looks really bad and that makes me MAD!

Yesterday Amy learned how to open the fridge door. I heard a lot of racket in the kitchen that didn't sound like her usual "emty the dishwasher tabs container" noise and went to see what she was doing. She was emptying the fridge shelves to use them as a ladder in an effort to get some cheese. She just looked up at me with a big smile and said "cheese?". Too cute, but very scary. I wonder if I can run the network cable myself. I can't go downstairs anymore unless Amy is napping. :( Last night I couldn't sleep so I woke Doug up at midnight for some company. He is such an understanding husband. This morning I awoke to Godiva chocolates and an etched glass paperweight. He got a new candle and a bag of green M&Ms. Our blog buddy in Australia whose wife gave birth to their fourth daughter only a couple of days ago crashed his motorcycle and broke his collarbone. Those two need a live-in nurse for a while.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I haven't finished the laundry and we don't have new cell phones yet. Not the most productive day. Amy is sleeping happily while Sarah and Noah are fighting over a game of checkers. I think they could fight over anything. I'm going to read in bed and watch Monk. Tomorrow Doug and Noah have Boy Scout activities. Tomorrow I get to clean and do laundry. Gee, for real excitement I might even paint my toenails. Wahoo.

On Monday Doug and I made plans for today that Doug has now forgotten completely. This morning he announced he wasn't going out today for anything. He got an invitation to have lunch out and now he's off having a restaurant lunch while I'm home doing laundry. I'm disappointed but not upset. He's under a lot of pressure and he certainly needs the break.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

More reasons to move the computer upstairs despite it breaking my "no new projects" edict that I've given Doug. So, Sarah already goes completely silent when I walk in her room during a phone call. She just gets this blank look on her face and stares at me until I leave. Today she asks to use my computer to IM a friend and I said fine just don't change the settings which the kids love to do (I don't know why). Then, she gives me that same look and stare because I'm standing beside her to see what she's going to do. I pretended not to notice but noises from the other children sent me out of the room and as I left the room I could hear my keyboard tap-tapping. Doug took Noah to Boy Scouts and Noah came home happy as a clam. Sarah is begging me to play a board game with her so I'm going to tuck Amy in and go play a game that will inevitably end up being too long for Sarah's attention span. "Umm, can I go paint my fingernails?"

Honey, could we please have a treehouse?

I've decided that I want my computer moved upstairs (for MANY reasons, but if you scroll down to the picture of Doug's workspace you'll understand one of the reasons). I expect that this will involve Doug tearing countless holes in walls and floors to run the network cable. He likes tearing stuff up but I don't think he's going to enjoy untangling the mess of cords and cables under my desk right now.

Quiet rainy/slushy day makes me sleepy. I realize that I never finished describing the residents of our cove. I talked about truck guy at the end of our cove and about contractor and renters to our right. I also did nice family on our left. That just leaves three houses. Directly across from us are the oldest residents of the cove. They, like many in this neighborhood, have been here since the neighborhood was new. They are now retired and except for their daily trip to the local "cafeteria-type restaurant" for breakfast, rarely leave their house. However, they spend a large part of their day sitting in front of their large living room window or (on nice day) sitting in their screened-in porch. They watch EVERYTHING that goes on in this cove and somehow know what everyone is doing. Doug likes to wander over there to get updated on the cove gossip. They don't have as much to talk about since the nice family moved in to our left (I already explained the drug addict/bank robber that lived there before them) and the contractor moved in to our right (already explained the strange family dynamics there). Beside the retirees across from us are two very large women (one is an aunt but they both look the same age) who work in nursing homes. They keep to themselves unless you annoy them. If you do they call the police every time you do ANYTHING. We have managed to stay on their nice side so far (I can't imagine how) but renters next door are on their hit list right now. Next to aunt-niece is the recluse. Recluse claims to be a millionaire and has built a large wood fence all the way around his property so that it is impossible to even knock on his door. He has cameras on his roof for security and I can tell by the trash that has gone to his curb, buys computer equipment and musical instrument accessories regularly.

On the brighter side, I might get a new cell phone today. Mine stopped working a year ago and I've been stuck with a plain one that the store loaned us ever since. The phones have been barely working all week and tech support blames it on our outdated phones. I don't believe that's the only problem but I'm still more than happy to get a new phone. As long as I can make calls, do text msgs and personalize ring tones for different callers, I'm happy. Doug likes to have a LOT more options on his phone. He uses wireless Internet, voice recognition, etc. etc.

I didn't wish hard enough. There's just a dusting of snow on the ground and the roads are clear. Still, Tommy's teacher called and suggested that we keep him home since half the class wasn't coming in and both aides weren't coming in either. No problem. I like it better when he's here anyway. He's ticked off because I told him he has just one assignment to do before he can play video games. He has to memorize the presidents in order in honor of Presidents' Day. He is sitting in the rocker glaring at everyone who walks near.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Doug's workspace My dearly beloved's workspace. Don't you think he'd work better if it was clean? See what happens when you take pictures of me in my pjs dear?

Good days at school for all! Yay! Found out that Noah's good day was probably because hs teacher had him switch desks with another student. Should be interesting to see if the constant chatting really has stopped. I printed labels to make his Valentine writing go quicker (and neater). Amy bonked her 4 times today! She did eat some sausage and scrambled eggs though. Hope tomorrow is much safer. We have snow in the forecast so I'm hoping we'll get an unexpected blizzard. I love it when we are snowed in and have no place to go. Fun!

We have snow in our forecast. Cross your fingers for a blizzard!

Decided to steam artichokes in my favorite piece of cookware even though it makes the house smell funny. Maybe one of the children will bake cookies to give the house a better smell.

I have sorta figured out how to update my family pictures but the footer is still very messy. I'll work on that later.

I'm trying to update the photos on my web page, but Doug has changed some of the site to coldfusion and I only know html. I'll keep trying.

Although this entire subject disturbs me, I am especially bothered that this class is being offered by a funeral home.

Filled out my first pile of paperwork for Girl Scout cookies. I was all excited about our troop selling just over 500 and then last night another leader casually says that her troop of 3 juniors ALWAYS sell 1000 boxes EACH! She is signing up to do 30 booths! I was thinking our troop would do umm, 1 or 2 booths. We do have 30 boxes pre-sold for the charity our troop chose. I think that's pretty good.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Yeah Josh! I love watching Westminster! If it makes me teary-eyed over the television, imagine how goofy I'd be if I ever got to be in the audience. Cell phones aren't working so I couldn't text back and forth with Doug during the service unit meeting. Tommy is in bed moaning that his throat hurts. Amy has fussed several times although I only had enough time to get in there before she calmed herself only once. I have a feeling we'll be visiting the pede tomorrow to learn that the family has strep. Illness is very scary in a family without insurance. Our entire food budget could end up being spent on antibiotics.

Picked Tommy up from school and dropped him off at group. He was clearly acting out. Ran the two girls to the mall for sneakers. Amy made a present in the mall, so I rushed home and left the girls here while I went back for Tommy. Tommy came out so wild he was dripping sweat. Ran him by the office supply for a new notebook then brought him home and sent him to bathe. Now I have to run to the scout leaders mtg for just one hour. Then I'm leaving regardless of whether they are done. I'll not be blogging again before late this evening. Whew.

Doug filled the bird feeders and the birds and squirrels are all out feeding. Doug says that the squirrels are foraging for food because a storm is coming. I think they are out because it isn't storming. :)

Go Josh!

My mother just faxed us an ad from a local florist seeking delivery drivers for Thursday thru Saturday at $5 per delivery. We have only one running vehicle but we should use it to run all over town delivering flowers and balloons? It doesn't seem like a very good idea to me but clearly my parents just want to see us bringing money in no matter how much time it takes or how little the amount is. His parents are the same. His mother wants to know why I'm not working while he's between contracts. Who is supposed to watch the children while I'm working and he's job hunting? This is all so frustrating and depressing.

I watched the first half of Westminster last night. I was disappointed to see yet another poodle going to the finals. I have nothing against poodles. I just want to see more of the other breeds getting a chance at best in show. It seems like a given that if a poodle is in the top 7, the poodle is going to win. There are so many other breeds out there that never make it because poodle breeding is down to a fine art. Tommy has group therapy this afternoon. Noah is bringing a friend home from school. "Hello? This is Jason's mother. The boys arranged for Jason to ride the bus home with Noah and I just wanted to tell you that is okay with me." "Umm, gee I had no idea but okay, we'll see Jason tomorrow." I need to take both the girls and get them new sneakers. Amy's are too small and Sarah's are falling apart (not to mention the doodles she has done all over them). Tonight I have a Girl Scout service unit (bunch of leaders in this area) meeting. I can imagine their faces when I hop up and leave after one hour. "Sorry, but Westminster is starting and I have to get home." Doug is TENSE today.

Women have different priorities than men.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Noah got in trouble for talking too much at school again today. I wonder if he needs to spend some time learning at home. Sarah's grandfather picked her up to take her cookie selling in his neighborhood. Yesterday Sarah suddenlt became hysterical about wanting to sell 50 more boxes of cookies. I don't understand why it is suddenly so important and I am irritated with my mother scolding me for "pushing her so hard" because I haven't.

Couldn't figure out what was wrong with the Ipod until Doug noticed that I didn't have it plugged in. They do say that childbirth causes brain damage. Otherwise families would only have one child each. :)

Got a bit more laundry done today. Spent the day trying to get Amy to understand the potty chair. She wouldn't sit on the chair without her clothes. She happily sat on the chair while wearing her clothes and happily ran around the house with a bare bottom. She especially liked making puddles on the wood floor and then splashing in them like a scene from an old Gene Kelly movie. On a related note, we need to run to the politically incorrect WalMart tonight and buy a new rag mop to scrub the floors.

Quiet morning. Amy slept in after staying up an hour past bedtime to watch Blues Clues. The sleep did her good because she has the giggles today. Doug is in a good mood since he got his half of the office a bit cleaner over the weekend. I've watched the new Blues Clues twice now and I maintain my belief that it was written by the marketing department. I can even see exactly what toys will appear on the market. Stuffed Polka-Dot with pocket for talking key (sold separately), Locking Blue's room box (furnishings sold separately), Roaring dino, Drawing board game, Fred's party ware, etc. etc.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

FINALLY got everyone settled in for the night. I'm going to collapse in bed and watch Arrested Development.

Sarah and Noah spent the entire day at my parents. They used to come home around 1 p.m. on Sundays but now my parents keep them there, take them to evening church and bring them home after 8, unfed. I am not enjoying this new arrangement. They get to bed late and are cranky and slow on Monday mornings.

Got nearly all the laundry done, including bedsheets. Trimmed the fingernails of a wiggling, flailing toddler, then celebrated my successes with a bath. Not just any bath either. A long, hot peaceful uninterrupted bath with enough time to shave BOTH legs (instead of the usual do one today, get one tomorrow) and wash my hair. Thanks Doug!

I straightened my desk and printed chapter outlines for Tommy's entire science book. He won't be thankful, but maybe it'll help him learn anyway. My toes are completely frozen now, so I'm going back upstairs to resume folding laundry.

We watch a lot of children's programming over here. Too much according to the 10-year-old. "I'm the ONLY fifth grader who has to watch Sesame Street instead of Good cartoons." So, we're planning on watching the newest incarnation of "Blues Clues" tonight. I have to confess that I'm not watching with an open mind. After watching the previews I had a creepy "PeeWee's Playhouse" deja vu. I think the decision to use less animation and real characters was made by the marketing department. I also think it takes away from what was a very sweet concept.

My brother and his wife want to get a labradoodle. I don't think I've ever seen one.

Tommy and Doug are going to have one of THOSE days again. I get to spend my day doing laundry, so I'll be grabbing lots of excuses to run to the computer for an escape.

"If you wanted something that purred and laid around the house, you should have gotten a cat, not a boy."

Saturday, February 07, 2004

I have watched the Westminster Dog Show faithfully for the past (I am so old) 25 years. I love to see the dogs' personalities. I wish I could be there.

Like anybody ever cared about the talent.

This sounds like a good idea.

It's getting COLD here! We need to get the wood burning stove going again.

Noah had a friend over to spend the night. The kids all watched Pokemon and ate popcorn until I forced lights out at 11 p.m. Too much to do tomorrow to stay up all night. Up early to bathe and wash hair for a busy day. At our scout meeting EVERY girl turned in their order form. This is so unbelievably good and unusual. Most leaders will spend the next week chasing down order forms. I am very happy to have all the forms. I do have one form out because the store where we meet unexpectedly asked us to leave a form there for a day so the employees could order. Two wonderfully lucky gifts in one day! Near the end of the meeting my head started to throb and it came so out of the blue I was physically knocked down. I don't know if it was stress, not getting sleep or what that caused it. I was supposed to attend some leader training but I knew my head would be so bad that I'd be down for three days if I went so I called in sick. I hate missing appointments. I am staying calm and comfortable to try and fight off this headache. Of course, Tommy will be home any second and then the potential for noise and stress multiplies greatly. He went to a boat show this morning, so he might be jolly. We'll see.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Today I am both terrified for the safety of and grateful for the existance of my two daughters. I understand girls. I don't understand little boys at all.

I have finished more than half of the rice bowl swaps (yay). Visited the grocery for a few things but need to make a Sam's run. The rain is still coming down. Noah wasn't paying attention and missed his bus stop so Doug met the bus at another stop. Sarah and one of Noah's friends are upstairs slamming doors and giggling. Tomorrow we have to be in 3 different places at once with one functioning vehicle. My assistant leader isn't going to be at Scouts so I'm outnumbered with that group again. Argh!

Doug kicked my laquer spray-painting out of the basement. "Don't you know that stuff is toxic? Do that upstairs with windows open." Oh, a picture of my nocturnal activities. Cathy crafting

Rain sounds made for a pleasant night's sleep. Up and dressed quickly this morning. No time for a bath. Went to see Noah dressed as Daniel Boone at his school's wax museum. Too cute! This morning he had a bad headache and didn't think he could make it through the day but now that his shift at the museum is over he suddenly feels fine. Amy is in a good mood (as usual) but her grandmother left lipstick kiss marks on her head and she doesn't like having her face washed so I'm ignoring them for now. The rain is coming down hard and Doug and I are both nervous that the basement (otherwise known as our bedroom) might flood. Some schools in our area are closed because of the flooding. The weather is supposed to turn colder tonight and we may have snow tonight. I want snow, but I need to have the Girl Scout meeting tomorrow so I can get everyone's cookie order forms. Some of the girls will forget theirs and I'll have to track them down because paperwork is due to council on Monday. Noah's costume

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I am happy that ISPs are trying to block spam. However, I can't send any of my friends with aol accounts an e-mail with a url in it. That is rather annoying. Doug just found out that his yahoo attachments are getting cut by yahoo because of their spam filters. I'd rather throw out the garbage myself than have good stuff tossed by the mailman.

I have been asked why I'm making the Girl Scout swaps instead of the girls. Well. . . . The first batch of rice bowl swaps the girls made got thrown in a ziploc and forgotten until the next meeting. I pulled them out and they were solid mold. Apparently the glue wasn't fully dry when they went in they bag. So the girls made another batch. I brought them home and immediately laid them all out to dry (on my good cookie sheet). They took over our kitchen table for a week because I wanted to be certain they were dry. At the end of the week I picked them up to inspect them. The girls hadn't mixed enough glue with the rice and the little glue-rice patties slid right out of the bottle caps. So. . . I have spent the past week desperately trying to make these things and going overboard with the glue and dry time on each every one. We need to have 75-100 of these things made before Thinking Day and I have other things to do to get ready for Thinking Day. This is our troop's first event with other troops, so it will be their first time exchanging swaps. My girls don't have enough swaps and I am trying to get a couple of different swaps made for each of them so they will be able to trade. Add to that the science fair type 3-sided poster board that our troop is supposed to have prepared. The country our troop is doing is Korea. I know diddly-squat about Korea. So I need to get all these swaps done and concentrate on printing Korea information for the board. There will be two traditional Korean outfits at our booth because the girls say they are "too hot and itchy" to wear. I have no idea how to display them. But wait, there's more. We are supposed to have a food for everyone to sample from our chosen country. Now, I think that the two girls in my troop who are from Korea are going to bring a vegetable dish and I just need to bring small spoons and dixie cups. However, since the parents speak zero English I am taking the word of 10-year-old girls that this is going to happen. I am supposed to have a game or craft for all of the girls who visit our display to do but I haven't even begun to figure that out. I also need a small rubber stamp that somehow symbolizes our chosen country to stamp the Girl Scout "passports" as they come to our table. In the midst of all this is the Girl Scout cookie sale that we are in the middle of doing. None of the other parents had time to be cookie mom so I am in charge of the paperwork, organizing, ordering, picking up, delivering, etc. etc. So, that is why I spend my evenings with scissors, glue, rice, bottle caps and fun foam spread out all over my bed.

Amy is crying because Doug is vacuuming. I don't know why she is so afraid of the vacuum. I put some clear laquer on the swaps. Doug is gonna freak when he walks down here and smells it. "Why didn't you go outside?"

This is the time of day when I feel like crawling back in bed but can't because there's too much to do.

Very ticked that the teacher scheduled my child's performance at a time when she knew I wouldn't be there while the other moms there during my assigned work time all got to watch their children perform. I'll play nice and ignore it. I need to go scavenge some late lunch and clean a bit. Tonight my mother is babysitting Tommy and Amy so that both Doug and I can go to the Boy Scout event. I learned that ER made edits so they wouldn't offend anyone. I'll prob watch anyway. I like to have something playing in the background when I'm crafting. My version of multi-tasking.

Both of the fish tanks need water. Are the fish drinking their water? Bathed and dressed and getting ready to spend some time with Noah's class. Today and tomorrow they are doing a "wax museum" and this afternoon I am helping out with the class. Tonight we have a Boy Scout banquet. Afterward, home to try and put some closure on the Girl Scout swaps and watch ER to see if they caved in and made edits.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The fifth grader came home complaining that EVERYONE got to watch the Superbowl but her. I reminded her that she has never been interested in football and asked her if she was upset about missing the halftime show. Her answer was "Yes. I want to see Justin Timberlake grab Janet Jackson's booby." In case you missed the hidden message in her answer, she was interested in Justin Timberlake, not Janet Jackson's "booby". I calmly informed her that she could find the pictures on the Internet if she really felt deprived. My answer flabbergasted her and the conversation ended. I honestly believe that if the seven-year-old had been watching (and prob the 13-y-o) they would have just thought "Oh, she must be going to feed a baby." My kids and every child in the neighborhood have seen my breasts a million times with a baby attached. It's only been a few days since I quit nursing so I'm sure it's still freshly imprinted on their little brains. So, this will be the last time I comment on Janet Jackson. It's just a breast America. Get on with the things that matter and stop acting all shocked. You've all seen them, touched them or have them. I live in the deep south and I've seen men with bigger breasts than Janet Jackson running around without shirts. End of hysteria over nothing.

Long, hard afternoon. The stress of living in a house undergoing renovation (thanks Dean) is well known to be huge. The stress of having a special-needs child is known by all who live it as a hard thing to manage day after day. The stress of being unemployed is far reaching economically, socially and emotionally. All together it's a whole lot of pressure.

My e-mail is being attacked with virus attempts. They seem to be coming from 2 main domains, one is a national non-profit group and the other is a state university. Shouldn't they have a staff of people maintaining their system?

Got in touch with my roots today. :)

Put my clothes on and went in the bathroom to wash my face. Facial soap dispenser betrayed me and squirted all over my clothes. Then I played a game of find Mommy's toothbrush initiated by the one-year-old. "Where's Mommy's toothbrush?" Found it but decided it needed to run through the dishwasher before it could be used. Went downstairs to use spare brush and check e-mail. Doug has the fire roaring and it makes the bedroom just WAY too tempting.

Still thinking of the Janet Jackson incident since the fifth grader came home from school to tell me that "all the kids are talking about it." 1. I still believe it was on purpose. 2. What is the big deal about showing a breast with the nipple covered? Breasts are all over the TV. I saw Diana Ross where an outfit like that on some awards show. The streaker ran around completely naked and everyone thought it was cute and funny but the showing the breast was just so horrible? Come on people. As a woman who has breastfed 4 children in restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, churches and many other public places I just don't think a breast is something to be offended by or feared.

Woke up to a silent, empty house. Combination of really wonderful and completely wrong. Doug is jolly today.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Off to bed with an IBC black cherry. Have I said I'm addicted to these things?

Almost everyone is settled in and the equipment is ready for tomorrow morning. So, off to work on my Girl Scout swaps (which are a total disaster). Oh, but wait. I promised I would mention the other homes in our cove. It's too late for all so tonight there will only be two. I've already said that the house to our right is owned by a slum lord and resided in by at least two different couples. On the other side of the renters is one corner of the cove. It is currently owned by a contractor who is living in it and fixing it up to sell for a profit. We are disappointed that it isn't a family but excited to see the huge improvements being made and confident that a slum lord won't be able to meet his asking price when he sells. The owners before the contractor were a family of three and one mother-in-law. They lost the house when it was repossessed by the bank (I know it sounds familiar). The reason it was repo'd was because the husband showed up to work drunk one too many times and lost his job. The wife didn't mean to get pregnant and hated being a mother (it interfered with her anorexia). So, when the baby was a year old she went to California to "find herself." She came back about twice a year for week long visits during which the husband would stay away (as would his girlfriends). The rest of the time husband lived there with his mother-in-law who was bipolar and well known for 2 and 3 day sleep-deprived marathon projects like working in the yard or painting walls. They got along WAY too well. Anyway, when the son turned five dad filed for a divorce and full custody. Mom then returned home and said she was there to stay but failed to mention that she kept her living arrangements in L.A. It was quickly apparent to everyone that she came home to keep the house (not the son). After dad lost his job and they lost the house she declared that she was going to art school in California for just a little while. Dad, son and Grandma lived in an apartment in Georgia where he had extended family. The divorce was finalized and Dad filed for child support from Mom so Mom came down, took the son to California and that's the last we heard from any of them. The other house in tonight's post is brief. It is truck guy, who doesn't actually live in our cove, but is the house looking directly into our cove like an arrow would look into a bow. Truck guy is some sort of landscaper. This is confusing to me because he hasn't done ANY landscaping to his own property. He does have a bamboo jungle isolating his house from his neighbors and his front bushes grow into his gutters, so it's not easily apparent where the front door is. Truck guy keeps his fireplace going from the first cold snap until the last frost. He doesn't get the paper which wouldn't be noticeable except that our newspaper delivers free to everyone at least once a week. I don't know if it's a political statement or if he can't read but truck guy won't pick those free papers up. You'd think he'd need them for the fire but apparently bamboo serves as kindling. The pile of newspapers under his mailbox would be quite large except that the ones on the bottom have decayed and flattened and created their own compost pile. I can't say anything about his personal life because unlink all the other residents of our cove, truck guy keeps to himself. In fact he's rather hermit-like except that every time I see him he smiles and waves. We like truck guy.

This is turning into a day from hell. Tommy didn't handle his therapy very well and carried his emotions over from therapy into the classroom for more behavior problems. Sarah is irritated and annoyed at having to share her therapy time and at having to be in the car during some stress and tension between Doug and I. Noah got in trouble for talking and making raspberry noises at school. His sister tattled that he was kissing someone on the bus. Then there's Doug. Doug is not having a good day and when he has a bad day, everybody has a bad day.

I DO NOT want anything with more than 4 legs for Valentine's Day. Actually got to bathe today (hooray!) but must hurry and get dressed instead of playing around on the Internet. We have two children to check out of school and get to therapy today. I am also concerned because the Travel Bug hotel may have been looted.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Got distracted by other people's blogs and found how stuff works which I haven't really checked out well, but it looks promising for mind-numbing, useless information. Off to bed now.

The upstairs is straight and the children's equipment (clothes, coats, backpacks, signed notes, etc.) is ready for the morning chaos. I'm off to bed for two or three tylenol pm and some crafting. Tomorrow is our first therapy appointment with Tommy and Sarah together. Should be fun. I think tomorrow I'll have to comment on the other residents of our cove lest ye think there are only 3 houses. Including the two corners and the one directly across the cove, there are 8 houses involved in our community dramas and I've only covered ours and two of the neighbors so far.

Internet is acting screwy again. I can't view any of my favorite blogs (Doug's, Tommy's, Dean's, etc.) and I'm getting e-mail dated yesterday and the day before. Bill Gates is going to end up charging for e-mail and make even more money. Dear Mr. Gates, Could I please have some money. You have more than you could possibly ever spend while we have none. I'd really like my house to not look like a construction zone. I'd like to get professionals out since we failed our radon test and have live mold in our walls. I'd like to give my special needs child the education he deserves. I'd like to be able to get medical care for my toddler, my husband and myself. We currently have no insurance and avoid the doctor because of (1)the horrible expense and (2) our fear of "pre-existing conditions" keeping us from EVER getting insurance. We would really appreciate some of your wealth trickling down on us. Thank you, Cathy McCaughan

Attempted to get one of my brothers to start blogging. Don't hold your breath waiting for his blog. Chaos upstairs.

Didn't sleep, but the time was relaxing anyway. :) Doug went to pick-up Tommy. We haven't heard anything about a bus for Tommy. Noah got in trouble for talking in class again. Sarah brought home a note that she didn't turn in an assignment due today. What should I do?

Fell asleep on the couch and Doug didn't come up to get me. Had a meeting for Children's Mental Health Week because we agreed to coordinate the event. Went ok. Amy just went to bed and the house is soooo quiet. I'm going back to bed. BTW - I don't believe that Janet Jackson's public exposure was an accident. If it wasn't supposed to happen, why was there a pasty there? I think the only question is whether she did it because she's jealous of Michael's publicity or it was to create a distraction from his publicity.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Tired but can't sleep. I bounce my knee or tap my foot sometimes but lately it makes Doug angry when I do. Going to lie on the couch and watch TV.

Amy thought about nursing once today but I successfully distracted her. I think she's done. She doesn't need me anymore.

Children are fed and in bed. Now I prepare clothes and bags for morning. Then I wash dishes, then I start a load of laundry, then I lie in bed and do crafts. Blah blah blah. On the bright side, we haven't heard from our neighbors yet.

I feel like I should give equal time to the neighbor on our left. It is a house with a floor plan close to ours, except that theirs is one story and ours has a full basement that makes it two stories. The house is freshly painted and even landscaped. The couple that lives there with two young children not only maintain it, every few months they do a major project like add on a patio. They are both college graduates (geology and archeology) but she manages a restaurant and he is a chef at a different restaurant. They are pleasant, polite and incredibly tolerant of our children. When they were moving in our children went over, stared in the window and then asked if their little girl could come over to play. At that time she was 3-years-old. I felt like my children were baby snatchers. The house itself does have a bit of history. the previous owners were a family of four who seemed average enough. Then things started disappearing like our lawnmower. Then, we learned that the husband had gotten in a car chase with the police (in his company car - a pest control vehicle) when they caught him smoking crack. He wrecked the truck, lost his job and had charges pending against him. Then, we start hearing from people that the husband looks just like the man who robbed the bank right around the corner from us. By that point I was chatting with the wife daily and she all but admitted that it was her husband who had done it. So now all the neighbors start getting questioned by the police. The single mother had child support checks stolen, the other neighbors gym bag matched the one used in the robbery, etc. etc. So the man checks into rehab and his wife starts lying to the police about everything. The house gets repossessed by the bank but the woman says she won't leave until the police throw her out. Then the man disappears from rehab and appears at the house threatening to kill the entire family. We call the police and they come out. Shortly after, the wife moves with the kids into public housing, but not before she sells everything not nailed down (doorknobs, light fixtures, everything) and then proceeds to trash the house (dirty diapers left open, trash bags dumped on the carpet, cigarettes put out on the linoleum, etc.). We are SO lucky that the family decided to buy it anyway instead of a yucky slum-lord like our neighbors on the right.

Every day cars use our cove as a turn-around. It is worst in the summer when the trucks pulling trailers full of lawnmowers and other landscaping equipment come through our cove daily. Our nasty, unpleasant neighbors on the right side of our house (they are renters) always whip through their cove so they are facing out, then park their cars in the street and make it difficult to get through if they aren't right on the curb. They drive way too fast and frequently are in the street working on one of their vehicles. Working on it apparently means you raise the hood and gun the engine for an hour. There are at least two couples in the house and they all work different shift-type jobs (I think they are janitors at a local hospital), so there are several cars coming and going at all hours. The newest development is that one of the cars is broken, so they have someone picking them up and dropping them off. The car flies into the cove, lays down on their horn as they pass the house, spins around the cove so that they are facing out and then screeches to a halt in front of the house. If the carpooler doesn't emerge immediately, the horn is blasted again. Today, Doug stomped up to the car and told them to quit using the horn in our cove. TN law says that horns are only to avoid accidents. The driver got very angry and I expect we'll have a knock on our door when the neighbor's shift is finished and he returns home. I was more upset by the speed at which they went through the cove but I still feel like we've started trouble. These people are wierd. Doug knocked on their door once to ask a question and the woman answered the door with a butcher knife in her hand. Many months ago we asked one of them to slow down and the neighbor came to the door and told us "don't be telling my friends how to drive." After that they came to the door to inform us they were putting in a satellite dish. "We don't care what you think, we just want to know if there's any ordinances against it." They put the satellite right at the curb, next to where their trash can sits and buried the line going to the house about 2 inches under the surface of the lawn. They refuse to mow. "It's not our property, so why should we maintain it?" I wish they'd move. The renter before them was a single mother of 5 who screamed at her kids too much but she kept things picked up and even planted flowers around the house. Besides, she made our family seem small. :)

Just learned that superbowl is only a few months older than me. Very depressing. When I look in the mirror I feel so old and ugly. All the bad stuff that I've done or had done to me shows in the gray hair, wrinkles and fat. Yes, I've had good things but they are the source of my heartbeat. They are invisible to the eye but felt with the soul. Granted, there are times of such joy and happiness that the heart pumps it through the body and it radiates out the skin. Mostly though, the skin is tough and ugly, bruised and scratched by the pains of life.

Last night was going really well until Doug got a bit wierd. After that I felt tense and nervous around him. Doug is tense, cranky and looking for a fight today. Tommy seems lost and confused, searching for something to do. I awoke with a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. Noah's Daniel Boone costume is due tomorrow so I guess I'll go bathe and get dressed in case I need to get costume supllies or props. Maybe the hot bath will clear my head. Amy didn't nurse at all yesterday.


In the house:

Me - the Mom
Doug - the Dad
Tommy - age 15
Sarah - age 12
Noah - age 9
Amy - age 3
Evan - 8 months old
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Seldom & Never
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