Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to my husband! I skipped all my classes today and spent the day at home being the mom. It was a good day! Gracie was a scary lion - ROAR!

Long Version: First thing this morning, around 6am, I let Gracie crawl into bed between us for a mommy and daddy snuggle before we all get up. She promptly kicks her father in the nose very hard! The force of the blow sends out a stream of loud cussing, but fortunately, no blood or bruising. Happy Birthday, Daddy!

I skipped school all day long and cleaned and grocery shopped and made taco salad for dinner. That's what the birthday boy wanted, so that's what he got. We had pumpkin pie and ice cream for his birthday treat. Yummy!

Lexie went to hang out with her friends. So, I kept in contact with her via cell phone every hour just because she's a 16 yr old out prowling the town on Halloween, that made me nervous.

Katie had to work at the mall.

Gracie put on her costume and went trick or treating next door. She roared like a fierce lion when I put it on her! Once I got her outside, she didn't mind that she was wearing a costume, but as soon as we got back home, she was yanking it off. Or, I should say she was trying. We got it off and that was the end of that. She liked answering the door and watching us hand out candy.

Keith had a nice birthday. He said he didn't want to hear one more rendition of the happy birthday song though. He heard it enough at school. He didn't dress up to answer the door like he usually does, he said he was tired and just wanted to relax. So, he watched the discovery channel and relaxed like a zombie while I answered the door, took care of Gracie and kept track of Lexie. That was a treat since I should have been in class and he would have had to handle it all. I told him what i wanted to get him for his birthday, but I didn't end up finding it. He said the stores will have them in a week or two and he'll just get it and pretend its from me. Ok! I wanted to get him a turkey fryer. He wants it so he can brew his own beer. Toast / Drink Up!

Then after I got Gracie to bed, the kitchen cleaned up and the pie and ice cream put away, I went to go get Lexie and next thing you know, Halloween was over.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What's for supper?

I am not a cook. I am not a gormet cook, a short order cook or a cook of any kind. Cooking is the part of being a domestic goddess that I dread. Eating... hey, that's another story! I love eating! But cooking, ugh! I do not enjoy any part of it. Thinking about it, grocery shopping, the actual cooking, and the cleaning up. The whole process is my weakness.

Right now I'm in a dinner making rut. I've really only been cooking twice a week since school started. I have excuses that take me almost all the way through the week, but every now and again I have to feed the family.

Since it's Friday, I'm using my Friday excuse for not stepping foot in the kitchen. The excuse "It's Friday!" But I am thinking about it. That counts for something, right?

The trouble I have with cooking is making something everyone will enjoy. This is a rare event. Very rare. Since it's nearly impossible, I usually end up making two meals so that everyone can eat. Or two variations of the same meal. This is why "fend for yourself" night works so wonderfully!

I'm going to get myself out of this rut. I really am! Well, till I fall back into it again. I need to get myself organized by making a list of entrees, beef, chicken and other. I think if I have a list it'll be easier than trying to come up with something. Or maybe I'll have a launching pad to come up with other ideas. I'm determined to get out of my rut. I am open to ideas and suggestions!

Oh, I should point out that my lack of culinary talents are not leaving anyone hungry. I just fed the toddler cottage cheese and an avacado. She had an apple earlier (we shared it) and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Sometime during the day she wolfed down an entire banana and some cookies. She only ate one nugget of dog food today, so she had a pretty healthy menu today. She usually does. Everyone else gets to dig through the freezer and see what kind of magic the microwave can do.

Updates.... we are still safe from the fires but we were wondering the other day when there was a fire 3 miles from our home. Lucky for us, the wind wasn't blowing that day and the fire crews are awesome! It was out in 2 hours and only burned 14 acres. It was just a small one. There is another fire 12 miles from our house but it's all the way across town. School was called off until further notice and the air quality is horrible but improving. My grandma is out of the hospital but not before she tried to run the place. She's home and almost good as new. Plans for her 100th birthday party are in full swing. I'm looking forward to the party!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fire! Fire! Fire!

We are safe, but we are sandwiched between some very bad fires. They are both to the South and the North of us. We have very poor air quality, but hey, we aren't burning.

My college classes were canceled today. Of course, when I left the house at 7:15 am (running late, as usual!) I didn't know this. We only get our TV news from the Los Angeles area, nothing from San Diego. And the LA news never mentions San Diego. So, I didn't know about the fires in North San Diego County when I headed south. I got to the exit I usually take to the college and everyone in the world is getting off here! Interstate closed! The sky was orange and brown, it was awful. I got to the college and the street was deserted. There is usually a mile long line of cars turning onto campus, seriously, it's a mile long at the point where I join it and it goes for 5 miles behind me after I turn into the line to get on campus. But, that's another story.. so the town was deserted and the campus was orange-coned off. I turned around and came back home. When I was driving north on the interstate, there were very few cars, kinda creepy. The road was open where I got off and hopped back on, but as I drove north, it closed behind me. Very frightening to be on such a lonely road. Escondido was on fire, still is.

My husband was dealing with the same type of thing as he drove north to his school. We both drive 45 miles in opposite directions. His school wasn't closed though, but the air was thick with smoke and they had high winds. His college class wasn't canceled either, so he's still working. He'll have to drive home in the dark smoke.

The fires destroyed over 100 homes at Lake Arrowhead, this is where my cousin owns a lake cabin. I sure hope her house is not damaged. She just got home on Sunday from a 5 week adoption trip to Kazakhstan and brought home her newly adopted son. What a welcoming.

We are just watching the fire on the news; watching them show all these fires that are out of control. They keep spouting off statistics that just keep getting worse as the day has worn on. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. 300,000 people evacuated from San Diego. that's enough stats for you for today.

In other news.... my mom called me and said my grandmother (her mom) was taken to the hospital for chest pains. Turns out it wasn't a heart attack, but it was angina. She was given some medication and is on some monitors in the hospital overnight. Mom said she was going to go home today, but so far no answer at the house. I bet she's staying one more night. My grandma is 99 yrs old. And she's too darn stubborn to have a heart attack, so I'm sure she's just fine. But, she's on my mind.

Lets end this post on a good note. My toddler learned how to go DOWN the stairs today! And not by doing a nosedive. So, we've spent most of our day going up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down.... repeat... repeat again!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The baby slept all night long!

After an hour of inconsolable kicking and screaming and thrashing around on the floor, my 19 mth old finally let me hold her and she nursed herself to sleep. Normally, she nurses herself to sleep in my arms so that part isn't any different. The hour of hell was definitely out of character.

I got her tucked in at 9:10 pm. Usually she wakes up at midnight, 2am and 4am before getting up for the day at 6:30. Did I mention that I also wake up at midnight, 2am, 4am and get up for the day at 6:30?

Last night, she fussed at midnight but didn't wake up, she flopped over and all was quiet again. Whew! Next time I heard her fuss was 6am! WOW! She slept for 8 hours straight! All in a row! No interruptions!

If you could see me jumping around and smiling my face off, you'd see how excited I am! I don't want to jinx it by thinking this might be the start of sleeping all night, but I am celebrating it! Major accomplishment! I didn't even care that I was so filled with milk that I nearly exploded by the time morning rolled around. Went to bed a B, woke up a DDD. Had to keep the happy excited jumping to a minimum.

And after 2 years of not sleeping through the night (I'm including pregnancy in that time since I had to get up to go potty 6 times a night!), I am exhausted and have some catching up to do. A good long night snuggled in my bed is just the kind of quality mom-time I needed! Bring it on, I'm ready to make this a habit!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Princess Party!

My oldest princess really is a princess! She was hired to act as Belle from Beauty and the Beast at a birthday party for a 4 yr old girl named Mia. Mia was speachless when she saw that Belle came all the way from Disneyland to be at her birthday party. And she was 100% convinced that Katie was the real Belle! Here are some pictures from the party, Gracie was invited and had a good time too!

The princess costume was an adventure. The party mom asked her to come dressed as any Disney princess. Katie tried on costumes at the costume shop for Snow White and Cinderella and Belle. I've never seen my daughter look so awful in a dress! The costumes just hung on her and she just looked like a girl wearing a cheesy cheap costume. And the wigs weren't very good either; Poor Katie doesn't have the right hair for Snow White or Cinderella. She can't let this little girl down! Mia has an annual pass to Disneyland and she knows what the princesses look like!

So we ran to Walmart to buy fabric since everything else was closed at that hour. By the way, this is the night before the party around 9pm. Luckily, they had a bolt of beautiful golden satin. Whew! Belle will be at the party! We came home and put Baby Princess to bed, Katie ran off with her friends and I was left with a job to do. I laid out the satin on the dining room table, pulled out some patterns for guidance since we didn't have a pattern to work from - I had to piece some old ones together and size it with our best guesses. I worked on it till 1am when Princess Gracie woke up for the first of her night-wakings. (she wakes up 2 or 3 times a night and needs to be fed, snuggled and lulled back to sleep). I went to bed after that. Gracie woke up again at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep till 6am, her next normal waking time. We slept till 7am and then it was back to the piecing together the dress. Between Gracie's demands, and Katie's fussiness about looking perfect, I got the dress done at 12 noon. We grabbed her tiara that she wore to prom last spring, and we were ready! Party in two hours and we had an hour drive to get there!

The neatest thing that happened at the party was Katie's connection with a down's syndrome girl. Jandi does not socialize and prefers to be left alone in her own space, and nobody is allowed to touch her paper and her markers! Nobody until Katie came along dressed as Belle. Not knowing Jandi's personal space issues, Katie was able to interact with Jandi which drew attention from her family. I heard whispers of "Look, she's talking to Belle!" Cameras started coming out. Then a collective gasp from the crowd as Katie took one of her markers and began to color with her. Katie and Jandi drew pictures together and talked together. Tears were being choked back by the grown-ups in the room. Jandi gave Belle a hug and a drawing, Belle gave Jandi a hug back, a drawing and a piece of candy. Katie has a gift with children and her interaction with Jandi was the gift of the day for everyone! Katie was thrilled to pieces after she learned that her interaction with Jandi was a major accomplishment. I'm so proud of her! She has once again been refueled with desire to become a special education teacher. Thank you, Jandi!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Toddler in a Glass Shop

When Keith started up the mower the other day, a rock came flying out of it and hit the patio sliding door. Wow, what a mess! The glass broke into a zillion pieces and of course, it fell inside instead of outside. It was all over the couches, rug, floor, every nook and cranny. Lexie took Sandy and Gracie upstairs and Keith and I cleaned it up.

Today I took my patio door to a glass shop to get a new piece of glass put in it instead of buying a whole new door. I saran wrapped the entire door frame so that no little leftover shards of glass would get in the van, and I'm going to bring my saran wrap to bring the door home too cuz if we are in an accident, I don't want my family to be all cut to bits. I tucked all the seats down on one side of my van and the door fit in there pretty sweetly. (thank you stow 'n go)

18 month old in a glass shop – bad idea. But we got out of there without buying any more panes of glass than we need. But she did touch and/or lick every piece of glass and mirror in the showroom, played peek-a-boo, and ate some Styrofoam off a cut-out display, yelled “HEWWO” to the secretary on the phone, and screamed bloody murder when I restrained her. I’ve never seen so many people so happy to see me go away.

The pane of glass is costing us $147.00 and it’ll be ready later today. I’ll pick it up after I get Lexie from school so that Gracie will be asleep in her carseat and Lexie can stay in the van with her while I get the door.