Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thank You, Darling BN

Warning.  I am my usual random self today.

We braved the winter storm to visit my mother this past weekend.  She asked us not to come, but since she is prone to dramatics when it comes to weather, we decided to travel anyway.  It wasn't so bad on the way up.  VDOT was out doing a fairly good job.  It wasn't clear by any means but passable.  

We did have a slight slippedy slide when BN passed a tractor while going a little fast.  But he understands all that turn the wheel right when the ass slips left or maybe it is the reverse.  Anyway, he gets it and corrected like a pro.

She had close to a foot of snow upon arrival.  It snowed while we were there and by the time we left, VDOT was at home by the fireplace and we were in snow/ice up to our yingyangs.  Again, BN's mad skills behind the wheel got us home safely, although I think I had my first panic attack.

I started our way of list making when my oldest was about 3.  When the big toy catalogs come in the mail or Sunday paper, I let him cut out pictures of the things he liked and glue them to a piece of construction paper.  He loved doing this and I was actually able to find the things he wanted.  I've continued this for the past 7 years and my youngest makes one as well.

When Grandmas ask what to get the boys, I pull out the list and let them pick and choose.  So this past weekend we had Christmas at my moms.  When we returned home and the boys pulled out their goodies to play, RePete suddenly looked at me and asked to please remove this goody from his list.  He didn't want Santa to bring him the same item.  He's so thoughtful.


I rock at Spongebob Typing.  75 WPM.  Too bad I didn't know about blogging when I worked.  I think I could only do about 45 wpm back them.  I wonder if I can list Blogging under education on my resume.  Hmmm.


This is the first year we've been able to put presents under our Christmas tree.  I was always afraid the boys would open the presents (because Pete did many years ago) so we've always had an empty tree underneath.  Of course, none of the boys gifts are under there because BN believes they should wake up on Christmas morning to a magical wonder.  Oooo.  Ahhh.  He also believes we have to buy every stinkin' thing on their list.  The more the merrier and all that.

I've got to figure out how to take photos in the gym.  Pete started basketball and I can't have all his photos look like crap.


It's my first year not sending Christmas cards.  That month I lost after my knee surgery just messed me up.  It's during that month that I would  have made cards, extra handmade gifts, kids Christmas party and just all my planning.   Instead I was laid up or on crutches or just feeling tired.  What a difference two months makes.  I feel fantastic now, but alas it is too late to worry with cards.  Oh well.

Have a Great Christmas or whatever you celebrate.  Even Festivus!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's December!

It's become my own little tradition to post the birthdays of my fellow December Birthday Buddies (some links may no longer work and I'm not gonna fix it) and rather than recycle that old post for the third year in a row, I'll just give a little link. Go wish everyone a Happy Happy Day.

In other news, I really dislike those pre-made gingerbread house kits. But I bought one anyway because the boys have already made do with my Lazy Mom's Gingerbread houses. Not only are the pre-made ones not quite right, it is quite impossible for 9 and 5 year old boys to create what is shown on the box. Lucky for us, my boys are more interested in how much icing and candy they can sneak into their mouths than the actual outcome. Even still, their house is super sweet.

Let the countdown to Christmas begin.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I ruined my surprise party.

Leave it to me.

My sister can't keep a secret.  A few weeks ago, we were out shopping and she kept mentioning that I had plans for December 12th.  Eventually, it became too much for her to hold in and she spilled the beans.  Apparently, she thought the big 4-0 was a big deal and she had gotten phone numbers of my friends and was planning a surprise birthday dinner, including inviting our mother and my mother-in-law.

In my defense, I've never made a huge deal over my birthday.  And the closer I get to a hundred, the less of a deal I want to make of it.  So I told her this and after much hashing back and forth, she decided we would just have a family get together.

Two weeks later, I told her that I didn't want to make my MIL and her mother drive down here for a few hours for an event that wasn't a big deal to me anyway.  Not to mention, my sister planned for us to get massages and the in-laws don't like massages.  So now the BIG party is down to my little family, my sister, nephew and our mother.

For the massages, I recommend a girl I know who is a massage therapist and that I've seen for over a year.  With my neck and lower back problems, I just don't trust the ones in the salons.  Turns out the girl I use is not available that weekend and suggests her assistant.  As if.

So now, we are down to a tiny family party and no massages.  We are all heading up to my mothers the weekend after my birthday for our Christmas celebration, so I convince my sister that having Mom drive all the way down here by herself doesn't make sense since we'll be seeing her the next weekend.

Now there is no party.  Just the way I like it.


Thursday, October 8, 2009






Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When Nature Calls - Trees,




Tuesday, October 6, 2009







Monday, October 5, 2009






Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Nature Calls - Cattails

Barb over at Handbook of Nature Study is graciously hosting a Charlotte Mason approach to nature study. This series from her "Outdoor Hour Challenge" is the "Autumn Series" and this week's nature calling was Cattails.

I used to drive this overpass and see houses way out yonder and wonder who lived there. How does one even get there. I found out. We live there now. This area is on the outskirts of the Great Dismal Swamp so finding cattails should be easy. In fact, maybe there are some in my back yard.

We stand on the deck and zoom in a bit. We look left.

And then right. No cattails.

So the boys and I drive around to the next street where Sushi lives. She has a pond behind her house and I am pretty sure I remembered seeing cattails out there during one on my walks.

We are not dissappointed. Well maybe a little because they are
so scraggly
and we can't touch them.

I'm late getting to this, so I'll leave you with just these photos and when the boys and I finish our notebooking, I'll come back and post those pages.

Thanks, Barb!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Adult Time?

WARNING Self-Righteous Post Alert
If I'm wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Forget socialization. This is the question about being a stay at home mom and homeschooling that boils my blood. Some of you may take this personally and for that I am truly sorry. This "logic" applies to me and my brood and if you take something away from here, then I'm happy to be of service.

Adult Time? "I need me time." "I need to be around other adults to feel complete." "I would go crazy being around my kids all the time." People actually wrote these things with regard to their children.

On that same thread about socialization, so many folks claimed they could never homeschool because they couldn't stand being around their children so much. ??? They needed that time away to be an adult. To do adult things.

My first instinct, because I am hot headed is to ask, "Why even bother having children if they disrupt your adult time so much." "They didn't ask to be in your way, a hindrance to your personal growth, so why torture yourself so."

But I try really hard to squelch that nasty part of myself. Karma and all that.

Now on the one hand, I get it. I really do. When my boys fight over who has more dirt in their pile, I want to throw the towel in. When they've reached their hundred questions per day limit, I want to throw the towel in. When I just want to read one more blog chapter or go to the bathroom by myself, I get needing that adult time.

And I get that some people want it all. Not everyone wants to stay home or homeschool. Career and families? Perfect! I love it! But if you start making comments like those above, using your career to avoid your children, then shame on you.

The way I see it is this. I'll probably live to see my eighties, maybe my nineties. I take reasonably good care of myself. The period of time my children are with me day in/day out? A mere 18 years. So mathematically, assuming I live to 90, I spent the first third of my life a free bird. I'll spend less than a quarter of my life caring for my children and then I'll have about half of my life to again do as I may, including taking a crap in private. (I don't actually want to work out the fractions, so don't add that up, pretty please.)

And then I'll hope that my adult children want to call me from time to time to chat.

That span of time the kids are in our home is so short. Sure, I'll gripe and complain from time to time. But in the end, I'm glad I didn't miss one single minute. I'll be glad I was there when...

But that's just me.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sing Along

BN and Me, 9-16-09

"Yes, I wear a muffin-top blouse, a muffin-top blouse, a muffin-top blouse. Yes, I wear a muffin-top blouse, so I can hide my fat."

Don't you love muffin-top shirts? It's sad that we live in a society where this style has become the norm, but it sure is wonderful for mommas who delivered 9 and 10 pound babies.

I will lose that baby fat. I mean, really, my baby is only five years old. Give a girl some time to recuperate, right?.?.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Literal Pete

We visited Jamestown today and looked at a life size replica of a "middle class" home. Pete said the people who lived there must have been rich because of all the things they had compared to an earlier living space we saw.

I said, "No, this home belonged to a middle class family."

Pete: "This isn't a school, it's a home."

Me: "No, not class as in classroom, middle class refers to the family's income standing. To make it simple: poor, middle, rich. These folks were middle of the road."

Pete: Why were they in the road?"

I give up.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Iscream for Icecream

At dinner tonight, Pete said he was too full to eat anymore.

Let me backtrack. Pete was outside playing with friends and had to come inside for dinner.

So Pete is too full and to clarify this point to us he said, "Even if there was ice cream in the freezer right now, I wouldn't even want that because I am too full."

BN and I said okay fine, go outside and have fun but remember that you get nothing else later. (This is a pitiful bluff because both boys know that if they feign hunger, I feed!)

So Pete runs outside and not 10 minutes later he runs back inside and says, "I want to get ice cream from the ice cream truck and I'll even use my own money. Pleeeaase."

So much for being full.

We told him no.

Boys - 1846, Us - 1.

That's, right. We bad. Ahem.


Kick in the Ass

I need one. I can't get going this morning. We need to pretend do a little school. I want to call my sister and see if she wants to hang this afternoon.

Have I shared my favorite new curse word? It Fruitcake. I know it sounds benign but when you use like this..."where the fruitcake is my pen?" or "are you out of your fruitcaking mind?", it gets a little raw.

I like it. It rolls off the tongue quite smoothly. I use it A LOT.

Everyone say hello to my Mom. She came across my blog and unfortunately she'll see what a potty mouth I really am. Oopsie.

BTW, anyone have a mouse die in their wall before? I think one died in ours and it is starting to smell. I hear it can take a month to be rid of the smell. Ugh. The little fruitcaker!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Me? A Serial Killer?

I have to get my ACL replaced.  Not repaired, replaced.  About three years ago BN and I left our children, for the first time, in the capable hands of my mother and my sister while we stole away to the mountains for a little couple time.

It was our first time staying in a bed and breakfast and we were going to ski the weekend away.  Yes, I said ski.  Get your minds outta the gutta.  Although there should have been plenty of that too.

So anyway, we arrived, we toured the bed and breakfast - sooo lovely and serene.  Then spur of the moment decided we would get in a little early ski time that evening.

So off we went and I made it down the bunny slope to the lift with no problems.  BN showed me the real bunny hill, apparently the 50 feet or so was a transition spot for one of the black diamond hills.  Who knew?  It looked like a bunny slope.

Anyway, next pass we went the "right" way and it was going fine until I came upon a cliff (BN said it was a small mound) and I pointed those skis inward at the toes as far as they would go and I leaned forward to stop the momentum, and suddenly I heard a loud *POP* and I was on the ground with my right leg bent awkwardly under me.

BN had already whizzed by me, so I crawled my way over to the side to get out of the way of all the toddlers, still with pacifiers in their mouths, sailing by and then BN and ski patrol were there to haul me off.

My doctor says we can do this one of two ways.  Remove a small part of a ligament from my knee to replace this shredded one or use one from a cadaver.

Anyone seen that movie where the guy gets a hand transplant and then starts committing murder.  At least I think that is how it goes.  I haven't seen it, but it makes me wonder about having a murdering knee.  There I am walking along and suddenly *KAPOW* to some unsuspecting passerby.

I just don't know.  Any cadaver users out there?


Monday, August 31, 2009

Skate 2 stole my baby

Skate 2 is a video game. My boys don't particularly like playing video games, they prefer to use their imaginations. I love that about them. But this game...something about it. Maybe because it is about skateboarding and they love skateboarding.

I'd show some photos of them skateboarding, but those are lost files. moment while I mourn my lost 2009 photos

...okay, back now

The characters in these games can be modified and the one Pete made looks so much like him. Until recently, he was baby faced and small. Yesterday, he received "upgrades".

Now he is square jawed. Sports a goatee and has muscles. And wears a "married ring". I look at I see my baby in just a few short years. moment while I mourn my lost 9 year old


Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Wee Garden

the "back nine"
the "front nine"

Timidly, BN and I started a garden this year. We constructed two 4x4 raised beds and planted according to the Square Foot Gardening techniques and it has been a learning experience.

First, we planted everything from seed (against my better judgement) and some of it worked. Actually, everything grew something, but not everything produced.
The melons were the most puzzling. They both literally fell off the vines when ripened.
That watermelon was the size of a large navel orange. It was ripe and delicious but I was only able to scoop about a cup of fruit from the rind. The seed packet, "Moon and Stars" shows an oblong melon of up to 40 pounds!
Those cantaloupes? Not much bigger than the very large eggs we get from the farm. I used a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the wondrous 1/3 cup fruit. The seed packet, "Hearts of Gold", shows a melon the size of a child's head.
Both types of melons produced very tasty flesh. Both looked exactly like their much (did I say much) bigger cousins in the stores, but why so little? Hmmm.

Farmer error of some sort.. Do you think Mel will return my calls?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Screaming Power

The boys like to play superheroes and such and RePete has a superpower. It's screaming. It was funny for about 2 minutes.

Now it's really annoying. He yells at his brother if he is being ignored or picked on and we've been trying to curb that behavior. Now the "screaming power scream" has replaced his regular "normal scream".

What to do? What to do?

I am taking an entire day and doing absolutely nothing but monitoring the screamer. Every time he screams - in his room he goes. e-v-e-r-y t-i-m-e!

If this doesn't work, I'm gonna scream!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Yes, I'm Fickle

You know, my fickleness doesn't only apply to my blogging. It applies to my life in general. I think this crazy dance I do isn't really that I am indecisive. I think it is because I waffle between what I want to do and what I am expected to do.

Homeschooling is a prime example. I loved school. I loved the smell of the school and I loved having a new backpack with new supplies in the little front pocket. I loved that I spent a month of my summer vacations at school for activities. To this day, I love school. I mean what nerd has five degrees? Me, that's who.

On the other hand, I love unschooling. I love the freedom, the thoughtfulness, the pure genius of our minds. I've basically unschooled Pete from first to third grade. I don't deny buying all the school supplies, poster boards, and plenty of "curriculum". I did. I bought it all. But we didn't use it.

What he knows today, he knows from our talks. He knows from books we've read. Hell, he knows from TV and movies. But the thing is...he knows! He aced his required test for third graders.

This year, because everyone expects it, I purchased all the right materials for fourth grade. Today, I let Pete practice multiplication facts online because he thought that was fun. We read to help him with his fluency. I asked him to read a book to RePete because RePete loves to hear Pete read. He is all but entranced from start to finish, no matter how long it takes.

Where is this going? I don't know. I think we may continue our current trend of collecting school books.


Friday, July 17, 2009


The boys and I were at the zoo a few weeks ago and Pete said to me that he was in puberty.

I snickered before asking how this was.

Pete said he was tired which meant he was in puberty. His cousin T-Bone had told him that when he was young, he never got tired, but now at the ripe old age of 14 he was tired all the time. The culprit? Puberty.

BN and I explained what puberty meant and I explained that BN was still in it. More snickering on my part, blank looks from all the men in my life.

I just hope when he really does start to experience puberty, he tells his dad about it.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Round Robin -Floating

If you missed my music entry from last time, you can view it here. I thought I post dated it to publish on time, but alas, it was sitting in draft mode.

These leaves got my attention a little while ago and really creeped me out. Very Titanic-like.




Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yin and Yang

And see, today was the opposite of yesterday. Sunny and productive.


  • Pete got beginning algebra (No! I'm not teaching him algebra, he just gets it.)

  • RePete learned to skip rocks.

  • Both boys learned how to taste the nectar from honeysuckle.

And it's only lunchtime.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Petisms: Showers and Life

Me: Head upstairs and take a shower.

Pete: Mom, I just came in and it was raining. I already had a shower.


Pete: Babies are so lucky. It must be great to be a baby.

Me: Why?

Pete: Because babies are brand new and have their whole life ahead of them. I've already lived nine years and I've seen everything. Life is going to be boring now.


Whatever happened to "Ifinty and Deyond"?

Buzz Costume


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

RePetism and a Book

If you've ever heard someone or yourself say, "I wish these kids came with a manual", then I have found it. It's called Kids Are Worth It: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline.

The majority of the book is just that and reminds us that children are human beings, not objects or possessions. Then she throws in a few chapters on this and that using that same philosophy on subjects like money, mealtimes, toilet training, sexuality, etc. I love this woman because she speaks my language. Buy it for someone you know - either new to parenting or struggling with parenthood. Sometimes a new outlook changes everything. Kids are people too.


RePete and I were sitting quietly at Pete's tutoring session, he on my lap in the wingback chair, his head resting against my left breast. He sat up suddenly and said he loved me and that I was comfy. Then he asked if I would buys him girls for presents. I'm pretty sure he meant actual girls, not boobs, but it was funny all the same.

And last night we went to watch my nephew, Tbone play soccer and afterward we walked (my sister's suggestion) over to a forbidden (in our house) fast food joint (McD's) for ice cream. It was approaching 8:30 pm and it was getting dark and RePete got all excited and said,"Oh my gosh, we get to walk in the dark and cross the big road and eat ice cream at McDonald's!" Do you think I shelter my boys? *gasp*


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Egg Blowing


Did you ever blow eggs for Easter? My mom used to do this with us girls all the time. They are so fragile that making it a yearly tradition is a must. I tried it with my boys this year for the first time and they loved it. I loved that they used all their hot air to clear out the eggs. It gives me a headache.

I found some pretty rub on stickers at Michaels and they came with rhinestones. If you know Pete, then you'll understand why his egg in the middle resembles a disco ball. That kid loves shiny stuff.

From one of our Dogwood trees, we cut a few branches with tiny buds for our vase and with a little water, the beautiful flowers bloomed and added to our arrangement.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sex Education, Part II

...or, kill me now, please.

We spent Easter Sunday with my in-laws and they had that movie, Marley and Me. MIL assured me that it was all about this dog and nothing bad was in it, so Pete could watch it. A little bit into it, (close your eyes if you haven't seen it), Anniston has a miscarriage and they talk about "trying again".

Trying again. Two very simple words that a year ago would have flown over Pete's head and he never would have blinked an eye. Sunday, he blinked and looked at me.

Pete: What do they mean try again?

Me: Try again to have a baby. Now, shhh. Watch the movie.

Pete: What does try again mean?

Me: (shit,not again) Pete. It means they'll try to have another baby. That's all.

Pete: Mom. What are they trying? How do they try?

Me: Again Pete, we'll have this discussion when you get a little older. Oh wait, I think I hear Grandma calling me.

So now this is building up. I don't want it to build up. I don't want it to become so taboo, that it becomes so taboo.

However, I don't want to have this conversation yet. Pete thinks things too hard, sometimes to the point of obsession. This is just the kind of thing he'll obsess over. And the act of sticking his penis into a vagina is NOT something I want him thinking too much about - not at nine. I don't want him thinking about me and BN either, which he will.

I never thought about this moment before. Maybe I figured he'd hear about it from the neighbor kid or something and he wouldn't ask. Although, realistically, I don't want the neighbor kid teaching him that. I would prefer he learn it from us, but I never thought about the yuck factor in that.

This morning at breakfast, Pete asked me if I would just tell him how babies were made and I deferred to my earlier comments. I also said I'd ask Dad to talk to him about it later as I had to do something right at that moment. He said he didn't want Dad telling him because he made it too complicated. That cracked me up. BN does tend to over explain everything. In fact, I used to cringe when he answered Pete's questions because he gave too much information. Luckily, it went over his head.


I'm going online to find a benign explanation. Or maybe there is a book. You know, I don't think I ever got "the talk". Maybe that is why I am having trouble with this; I'm sure I learned it from a cousin or friend. Of course, I wouldn't have obsessed over it, so it was no biggie.

??? Now I'm obsessing over it, aren't I? Making too big a deal? How did you explain it to your young ones?


Monday, April 13, 2009

Sex Education, Part I

...or lack of.

Pete is nine and things that used to go over his head are no longer.

The other day in the car went something like this:

Pete: Mom, why do my testicles hang down?

Me: That's just how you are made.

Pete: But why? Why can't they be inside?

Me: Well, they just are. (thinking) Your body is too hot. They need to be at a cooler temperature. (crap)

Pete: Why?

Me: (how do I get around this? is there any other way?) Well, there's a fluid inside that needs the cooler temperature. If it gets too hot, it'll die. (crappola)

Pete: I'm gonna die!!!

Me: NO! The fluid will die.

Pete: Whydoesthefluiddie?AndwhydoIneedit?Whatisitfor?

Me: (biiiiig breath) Well, Pete, the fluid contains sperm. Sperm is needed to make babies and if it dies, you can't make babies. (work with me here, people, I'm trying to simplify and tell as little as possible, but it isn't working)

Pete: What do you mean? Moms make the babies.

Me: Well, (I couldn't stop using that opener) babies actually require a Dad and a Mom. The sperm from the Dad and the egg from the Mom make the baby.

Pete: You have eggs! (think chicken) Can I see them?

Me: (I go on to explain how tiny they are and that he can't see them)

Pete chews on this information for a bit, then asks the biggie.

Pete: How do Dads and Moms make babies.

Me: Pete, I'm tired right now and I answered your original question. I think the rest should be answered when you are a bit older.

Pete: Mooooom, I'm niiiine!!!!

Me: Right. Ask me again when you are a teenager.

**I thought I was done. I'll share Part II tomorrow.**


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Since my last post, I've literally been attached at the hip with my iPod. I decided that since all the books were checked out and I already had the next four books on cd checked out, I would give it another try.

It took a while to stop concentrating on the narrator's voice. After that, it wasn't so bad. I only used one earbud and I was able to do all of my household things while I listened. I was even able to carry on conversations with the kids and BN while listening. Oh and teach math! How's that for multi-tasking.

After a few days, BN told me that he would rather I plain ignored him and read the books than to see me with my new accessory. He said he could never tell if I was listening to the cd or him and if I hesitated for even a smidge before I answered him, he assumed I was ignoring him. Pete kept yelling at me because he thought I couldn't hear him. I never let on that I could. *snicker*

So I decided to go back to the books and I've finished them all. I saw the title of the last book and without really looking at the author, put it on hold at the library. Of course when I picked it up, I found it wasn't the right book and then found out the latest one won't be out until May! Waahhh!

Oh and it took a long time before I could "hear" the male characters with an actual male voice in my head. I had that damn narrator's version of a male in my head. And the accents. Blech!

Anyhoo, on a positive note, I learned how to upload cds to iTunes and how to put them on my iPod. And I learned that listening to an iPod 24 hours a day will cause your ears to wax over, or maybe it was her voice. Either way, I am still feeling the effects of that. Very annoying.

Packing and playdate tomorrow.

So let's end in a song.

M-I-C, See you real soon. K-E-Y, Why? Because I like you. Now I'll go vo-mit.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Summer Creases

...second verse, same as the first. Or I magically lost the first writing and have to do it again. *sigh*

Do you know what summer creases are? It's when you iron a crease in something but mess up and wind up with more than one line. Get it? Some are (summer) here and some are there. I learned that in the Navy and I get a kick out of it...especially since I haven't ironed anything in probably ten years.

Okay so now that the brain dump is complete, let's move on.

I get to leave for the Land of the Mouse in 9 days. This will be our third time in five years. I think I am over it now. I'd rather head out west and see natural wonders or rent an RV and hit the road.

Anyhoo, I finished knitting a hat for BN just in time for summer.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reading? Fun?

I have to put this in writing. I bought some small books that use all the Dolche words within the stories for Pete. We are working on fluency and these will do just that.

Today, I had him read the first few stories in the first book and he actually said, "These are kind of fun."

"Gasp, gasp, sputter, sputter," said I.

THEN, Pete said, "I think I will take this book with me to DisneyWorld so I'll have something to read on the way there."

More gasping and more sputtering from me.

I'm in heaven, y'all.


ps There are four books in that series and they cover primer through grade three dolche words and the nouns. Not too babyish for older readers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Yes, that day is a commercial disaster.

For twenty years or so, I've been telling BN that buying me flowers is not necessary. In fact, if you've gotta buy something, buy me a plant. It'll last a whole lot longer.

I've also told him that gifts aren't necessary...until this year. I love me some Vera Bradley and since I've purchased from her a time or two before, I get these little postcards in the mail that say something like, "A Special Gift Just for You". For me? And I only have to spend $65 to get the special gift? It's on, baby!

This early February, true to the commercial spirit, Vera sent me a postcard. I tossed it to the side (my effort at saving us money) and out of the corner of my eye, I saw BN surreptitiously pick it up. He didn't ask me about it until about 2 days before Valentines. I sent him an email with a link to the bag I wanted the next day. He laughed and ordered it.

I can't wait to get it. Darn that Valentines - suckered us again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bags are packed...

...Or we still have 39 days until our trip.

BN and I decided to stimulate the economy a little by taking a trip to Disney World. We told the boys we were checking on dates available since we wanted to take advantage of the" buy four get three more" deal. They both immediately ran upstairs to "pack their bags" before we even finished telling them the good news.

When we go on long trips, I always encourage the boys to pack a backpack with things they'll miss from home - toys they might want to play with during downtime. I decided to check out their bags and see what is important to them at this stage in their life. I feel guilty but the curiostity is killing me.

Power Rangers, Ironman, Batman, empty Nerf gun, binoculars, stuffed dog and Nemo cell phone.


Ironman x 2, watch, empty camera case?, binoculars, wallet (not empty), Tech Deck collector cards, chirping bird, Connect Four game, pen and notepad, candy and gum (contraband!!)

What's funny about this to me is that it is so typical of their ages. Four years ago, Pete would have packed the same stuff as RePete and in fact, I think he did - minus Ironman (he wasn't popular back then). And now, Pete is so grown up. The wallet (BNs old one), his watch, pen and paper, less toys. As his mom, those crack me up. The candy and gum might mysteriously disappear.

I vow in front of the whole entire blogworld, or all three of my blog friends, that in another four years I will NOT go through Pete's bag. He will be 13 (gasp). I sure will be curious though.


Friday, February 6, 2009

I learned about parenting...

from Captain Underpants.

If you have not read these books to your boys (or rowdy girls), then you are all missing out on funny stuff. Not to mention parental insight.

Just today, I read volume eight to RePete and had to edit my rules about saying such things as butt, poop, pee pee, and on and on. George and Harold observed that for the first few years of a child's life, the parents talk daily of poop and pee. They ooh and ahh every little tinkle and turd. They give the kids balloons, candy,...parties and other such goodies. I even posted pictures! *gasp* All in the name of excrement.

THEN, the child is potty trained and suddenly saying things like poop and pee are taboo. The young ones are hushed and the parents are mortified. Why is that?

Such a wonderful point to ponder.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lego Storage Solutions...

...or My Excuse to Drive Four Hours to IKEA. (Yes, I am still coming down from that IKEA high and it was almost a week ago that we drove up to Potomac Mills.)

Today the boys and I spent the entire day (minus a little time for a math worksheet) playing with Legos. Pete commented that he loved being able to build Legos rather than sit in a classroom all day. I agreed. It was nice and even after my temper tantrum yesterday, I still think it's a whole lot of fun having the boys with me all day, unlike some people.

Out of necessity and choice, we have the boys sharing a room. We moved into a smaller house four years ago (only 3 bedrooms) and we think sharing a room teaches many coping interpersonal skills. Sharing, courtesy, respect. I'll let you know when it starts working!

And last year we moved them from the bigger of the spare rooms to the smaller one. I figured smaller room = smaller mess. Yep, I'll let you know when that comes true too!

It's in my madness nature as a trained interior designer to make sense of crazy spaces. I've tried other solutions and time and time again, they failed. But not anymore. I've found the magic box(es). And my beloved IKEA never disappoints.

This set comes from the Trofast series and they rock. Meet the new Lego work station. Try not to drool.

Look at 'em all color coordinated.

I also bought larger versions to use for toy storage and even for dressers. Now their clothes are all in the closet and out of the play area.

I couldn't love IKEA more if they gave me free stuff. *knock knock* Hello? IKEA?


To see the results two years later, click here.