Monday, October 26, 2009

Lots of Leaves

Over the weekend, the kids and I decorated our porch. We put out our new lighted archway and now have an awesome Halloween porch.

Today was the first day in a long time that we have had both sunshine and no rain. So, we decided to go out and tackle the growing leaf problem in our yard. To remedy this situation, we decided to make giant leaf piles and jump into them.

After several jumps, we noticed that our pile had taken on a shape. So, we worked on it and created a leaf sculpture. Meet Leaf Teddy:

And here is Savannah holding hands with Leaf Teddy. You can see how big he is.

Now I've had enough fun with the leaves. They will probably stay where they are and next summer we will have a giant "Leaf Teddy" shaped dead spot in our yard.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bumbling Tooth Fairy

Myles lost a tooth, and our bumbling tooth fairy's services were required once again. Our tooth fairy is often forgetful and often needs a couple of days notice before the monetary reward is exchanged with the tooth.
Additionally, Myles, who is 11 years old, has been sleeping with his bedroom door closed at night to block the hallway light that Savannah requests be left on. However, on this fateful, toothless night, Myles surprisingly requests that his bedroom door be left open and informs me that his tooth is tucked into a baggie and has been placed in the pocket of his tooth fairy pillow.

"The pillow is right over there, Mom. On the other side of my room. Do you see it?" (hint hint wink wink) He's not on to me, is he? Well, I can promise you that at the risk of having to give up the tooth fairy's payment of $2, he'll never admit to being a non-believer.

So, again, the bumbling tooth fairy's services are required. I have now been subtly reminded by my son and to aid my senile mind, I race downstairs and write a black "TF" on my hand for additional reinforcement.

Well, as 11pm approaches and I feel confident that there are sound sleepers upstairs, so I attempt to tip-toe up the stairs of our century old house. I remembered that we have 17 stairs leading up to the second floor and each and every one of those steps has a very distinctive creak in it. There is absolutely no sneaking in this house. The hallway leading to the kids' rooms is just as creaky. And, to speed the falling asleep process, I turned out the hall light. It is completely pitch black up there. And in the 20 minute journey up the creaky stairs (I was attempting stealth, but failed miserably), I would have thought that my eyes would adjust, but they had not. So, I was forced to move one step at a time with my arms outstretched in front of me. Step. Creak. Stop and listen. No movement from kids, then repeat. It was painfully slow, but I made my way successfully into Myles's room. Two steps past the threshold. I had a general idea of the location of the pillow, but this was going to be tricky. I knew there was a chair between me and the tooth fairy pillow and I was determined not to stub my toe on it. So, I extend my foot out in front of me. No chair yet. So, to expedite this mission I decide to take a giant step toward the tooth fairy pillow. And land my foot right on a plastic shopping sack, which crinkles and sticks to my foot. The enormous racket caused by this sack forces me to make a speedy retreat back into the hallway, where my foot is ensnared in a pile of dirty laundry and I crash into the hallway wall.

I believe both kids sat up in bed and asked me what I was doing. "Just checking on you guys," I told them, trying to regain my footing.
"You are doing it very loudly," I was told.
"Sorry. Good night." I headed back down the creaking staircase.

So, the tooth fairy's mission was a complete failure. She'll be making a second attempt in the morning.

It's very unfortunate that my children should be assigned to such a bumbling tooth fairy.

Tales of a Relived Youth

Well, I spent this past week getting up an hour early and racing around to get Savannah off to her cheerleading camp. The rather enjoyable side effect of this was that once Savannah was at school, I had nearly 40 full minutes of morning with nothing to do. (Ok, there was plenty to do, but I chose to have some fun with my spare time.)

While Myles was stumbling down the stairs to get himself ready for school, I busted out the Guitar Hero game. Amazingly, I had it completely to myself each time I did this. I guess early morning bleariness doesn't lend itself well to schooling your mother on the Wii. And, it brought back memories of hurrying downstairs every morning as a kid to get first shot at the Nintendo. There is nothing like a little early morning video gaming to get you going. So, I was rocking out all week to Guitar Hero.
"Hey Myles," I yelled on Friday. "I'm totally jamming out here."
"I don't think so," he told me. "I can hear all of those missed notes."

Damn. He can still tell that I need more practice. (But this is only due to the fact that I had promoted myself up to the medium difficulty since I felt I had graduated from easy.) I was hoping that Joan Jett might be looking for a band mate, and thanks to Guitar Hero, I was ready for her.
So, I played on all morning, and learned that my right hand that is used for the strumming action on that guitar would cramp up after a while and I had to develop new ways to hold either my hand or the guitar to ease that pain that my wimpy hand muscles were experiencing.
"Wuss," Myles taunted.
I am no wuss. So, I played through the pain in a truly non-wuss fashion.

After nearly a week of this Guitar Hero-ing, my hand was still wimping out after about 30 minutes of playing. It wasn't toughening up at all. Maybe I am a wuss.

Saturday morning I woke up with my right hand aching and feeling as though it were riddled with arthritis. The simplest movement of my hand would nearly send me to my knees. It took me nearly half of the day to realize that this newly crippled hand was caused by my Guitar Hero mornings. This condition is akin to the "Nintendo Thumb" that I used to suffer from as a child after spending an entire day trying desperately to rescue Princess Peach. Oh that princess nearly cost me my thumbs.

In the same way that the Nintendo has evolved into the Wii, I think the "Nintendo Thumb" has evolved into the "Wii Arthritis". And I'm afraid that my jamming days are over. At least for a while.

I did make myself feel better today with a little Super Mario action. I played my old Nintendo on the same console television that I played on as a kid. Surprisingly, I still remember many of the secret tricks to that game. I also was reminded of the frustrations of not being able to save your progress in that game. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!! Tomorrow my thumbs will probably hurt. Advil and I are becoming better friends these days.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sleep, sweet sweet Sleep!

Due to my total sleep deprivation this week, posts have been lacking, but I am going to cram it all in to this one novella post.
I took the kids out Sunday afternoon to try to find Halloween costumes or get ideas on what to make for costumes. I was determined not to spend $150 on Halloween costumes. However, after a trip to Nobbies and Halloween Express, $150 didn't even seem like enough. So, we left those two shops and headed over to Target. By this time we were all hungry and pretty much hating everything about this Halloween shopping trip. I was thinking that it would be cheaper for me to spend $30 on candy and forget about the costumes all together. I think everyone would be happy in the end. There wouldn't be any stress about having to put on a winter coat over costumes or having to take out a second mortgage to afford the stupid costumes. And, there would be a huge amount of candy that didn't suck! Win, win. Except for the darn school parties. DRAT! I'm not even in school any longer and I must still succumb to peer pressure.
So, after much angry searching on the Internet, we have decided on Myles dressing up as a Woopie Cushion and Savannah is going to be the Statue of Liberty. For the statue of liberty costume, we are making the entire thing. Wish me luck. The instructions and pictures I found on the internet make it look easy, but we'll see how true that is.
Monday was the first day of my crazy week. I have to get up an hour early everyday this week to get Savannah to school by 7am for cheerleading practice. (It may not sound like that big of a deal, but I function on an average of 5 hours of sleep a night. Not by choice, but how else could I get everything done? So, this week, it's been 4 hours a night and it's sucked!) Day one was rough. And to make everything better, I was greeted by some "special rocks" (as they are known in my house ) deposited in my back porch by my little Fillmore. And, in the pitch blackness of the 5:30am morning, I nearly stepped on the "special rocks". I love being sleep deprived and having to deal with bad little dogs all at once.
Day two, Savannah and I got to walk to school at 6:30am. This is just wrong. It is still pitch black out at 6:30am. And our little town has very few street lights. It was an adventure. We made it there and I walked back home. Prior to our walk, I had done my hair, but when I returned home, thanks to sweat, wind, and humidity, this was how I looked.

Day 4 was the worst. I went to bed late. I've been nervous each night that I would hit the snooze button and sleep through her cheerleading practice. So, my shortened night's sleeps have not been good. Last night, Fillmore decided to bark at 3:30am. For no good reason. I chose to ignore him figuring that if I didn't get up he would shut up. But at 4:15am I could take it no longer. I got up, shuffled to the Fillmore's kennel, opened it, shuffled to the back door and shoved him out. All without opening my eyes. It was an attempt to not fully wake up so that I could still get my last needed 30 minutes of sleep. It worked. (But, tonight any barking will result in certain death) Now, tomorrow is Day 5, and we will be walking again. (This is due to the fact that our second car is uncooperative and won't start during our greatest times of need). It's been raining hard for the past 24 hours and could possibly be snowing in the morning. Should be the makings of a great Friday.
Tomorrow night she gets to perform with the cheerleaders at the high school football game. (and she gets a sweatshirt, which I think was her biggest incentive to do this cheerleading camp. So much like her mother, she is. Offer us clothing and we are there.) Then, on Saturday, we will be completely focused on the making of her Halloween costume. (And catching up on the hours and hours of sleep I'm behind on).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Swine Flu and Ham

Well, guess what is going around my town? The Swine flu. Or H1N1. And, it’s in my house. It’s been here since last Friday. Myles started feeling bad on Friday and is only now starting to return to normal. He had every swine flu symptom that was listed online except for the high fever. I have theorized that this is because the virus has mutated and Myles is actually sick with the H1N2 virus. That’s right, folks. We grow giant pumpkins and hybrid viruses. Come on over! I’ve been hearing ever since that kids have been dropping like flies at school. Lots and lots of absences. And, to celebrate this institute of germ sharing I spent the evening working at the Scholastic book fair in the school’s library. I was thinking that surgical masks should have been offered to everyone entering (or at least to me since my health should be everyone’s top priority). There were so many sniffles and coughs in that little room that I will certainly come down with some sort of terrible cootie. When I got back to my car, I hosed myself off with Purell. Twice.

Onto some exciting news. Savannah lost her tooth at school today. I think this is the first tooth she’s lost at school. She got a special treasure chest ring to put her tooth in and wear for the rest of the day. She also won a coloring contest at school and gets to pick out a poster from the book fair. Woo-hoo. Top ten day for Savannah. She drew this picture when she got home from school. It illustrates her new smile without the tooth.

Yesterday, B harvested our pumpkins (without me). I came home to a pile of pumpkins next to our front porch. It was exciting to see them up there, but I would have liked to witness the transportation of the pumpkins. Myles told me that B had to get our plastic saucer sled out of the shed, roll the giant pumpkins onto the sled, and slide them up to the front. Since he was home sick, B had told Myles that he wasn’t allowed to come outside to watch (it was about 34 degrees out), so we have no you tube-able videos of pumpkin wrestling. Darn it. But, here they are. (Maybe I'll be able to get some pumpkin wrestling videos when we carve them :) )

I had to take this picture while it was raining down ice pellets. Or, micro-hailing. That’s my new weather term. I’m writing in to Jim Flowers (local meteorologist) to let him know that it was micro-hailing in Arlington and we had hail the size of Nerds at our house.

Adventures in Ham -- Dinners this week have been a challenge. I thought that I would purchase a ham from the grocery store when I saw they were on sale. We don't eat ham very often and now I remember why. I cooked up a big ham and for dinner Tuesday night, I enjoyed it. Myles, full from his cupcakes, wasn't interested in ham and potatoes. (I brought cupcakes home from work and he greedily devoured 2. Later that night, while complaining of not feeling so good, I learned that the 2 cupcakes had been all he'd eaten all day. Good Job Mom!) Savannah took one bite of the ham, convulsed violently, and informed me that she didn't like ham. (I couldn't have figured that out from the dramatic performance she just gave). So, I sat happily enjoying my ham. Night 2 I had planned to make ham and cheese melts. Under normal circumstances, my kids will devour any sort of melt presented to them. But these were not normal circumstances. Myles was full from his Salisbury steaks and gravy. (After I fed him nothing but cupcakes, B thought a lunch of frozen Salisbury steaks covered in a thick gravy with a side of fries would be a good lunch for a sickly kid. We are hopeless.) B wasn't hungry either (thanks to Salisbury steaks). Savannah wasn't putting that ham anywhere near her mouth, so was instead served a turkey melt. I had a ham melt. So, after 2 nights, my humongous ham was now missing exactly 3 slices. Tonight, we will all be enjoying a crock pot dinner of Au gratin potatoes and ham. Will anyone enjoy this meal besides me? Probably not. And after these 3 nights of ham dinners, I still have nearly half of the ham left.
I hope the dogs like ham more than the kids do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slumber Party Aftermath

Remember the good old days? Staying up all night, gossiping, playing truth or dare. Savannah spent the night at a friend's house last night, and in true post-slumber party style remained awake for an entire 10 minutes once she got home.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Did I Miss Fall?

This is what I woke up to this morning.

After watching the news last night, I was expecting the snow, but it was only suppposed to be around an inch and most of that was supposed to melt since it had been so warm lately. But, once the sun came up it still looked like this.

I've been excited about the trees changing colors and the fun of going for a walk with the kids and crunching our way through leaves, but that was only beginning. I think we are getting jipped. Where's our fall? I'm not looking forward to winter and am in no way eager to bust out the snow boots. Savannah, however, is now beginning the countdown to Christmas. The snow inspired that. 76 days and counting. We may have to move. Trick or treating in the snow will definitely suck. And, to make matters worse, Myles may be sick with the swine flu. Best weekend ever? Probably not.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Spiders are moving into my house (and they might be trying to kill me)! I think they knew that snow and cold was coming and liked the decor inside our house, so decided they would invite themselves in.
I sent Myles to go brush his teeth the other night and he hollered at me that there was a spider in the sink. I told him to kill it, but he said he couldn't get it. So, armed with an especially menacing Nine West flat, I entered the bathroom and killed the offending spider. I returned to the living room only to be called upon again. There was another one!! So, I smashed that one, too. Ha, ha. Everyone thought that was very funny. Two spiders right in a row. But, wait. A third one had just jumped out from behind the mirror. Cripes!!! Ok, three spiders down. I declared that if I saw another one, we were going to have to move. But, there weren't any more.

The kids went to bed and I came back downstairs. I walked into that bathroom and guess what was staring up at me from our bathroom rug? This...
Ok, maybe it looked more like this... But that's still not much better.

I, of course, shrieked like the girl that I am and the kids came running. I had already grabbed my trusty shoe and was beating the crap out of our rug. I was truly tempted to just roll up the rug and toss the whole thing in the trash, but decided to be brave and grab out the smashed spider bits. That was the end of our spider adventures for the day, but none of us feels comfortable in that bathroom anymore. And the movie arachnophobia may be at fault. I'm definitely not going down into the basement to see if there's any sort of nest being built down there.

If I do see one more spider in the house, this will likely be me.