Saturday, August 30, 2008

Total Count: $34.05

In early August, our church had a "Mission Week" for kids that had school-agers go out and serve others for a few days. Among other things, Muffin and I had a chance to sort food at a local food pantry, make cards for shut ins, help clean our church and volunteer at the local Humane Society to walk dogs and pet cats. Muffin LOVED this last one. She adores cats and kittens and wanted to buy them some new toys.
Flash back to a week before the mission week. Muffin had mentioned that she'd like to have a lemonade stand to make some money. When I asked her what she would do with the money she made she said, "Buy more lemonade". What an entrepreneur! I convinced her that eventually she would have to do something other than invest in the business and encouraged her to think about it.
So after visiting the Humane Society we talked about how they pay for the food, medicine (and toys) for the animals and she decided she wanted to donate the money to them. Doodle asked to help too so she and I made cookies to sell with the lemonade. When my mom and s-i-laws said they were having a garage sale, we even had a place to do it. Doodle, Mator and I spent about 3 hours there on Friday and Muffin, Doodle and I spent about four hours on Saturday to make a grand total of $34.05 (Where did that nickel come from????) Thanks to everyone who helped: watching Mator, allowing us to park our stand at the garage sale and having hungry and thirsty kids! We'll take the cash in to the Humane Society when both Muffin and Doodle can go. Here are a few pictures from Muffin's visit to the H.S. and the lemonade stand too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Darling Drowsy Doodle

Wow! What a day! After dropping Muffin off at school and Mator at Pop & Sue's, Doodle and I headed over to the dentists office where we were both pronounced excellent brushers! Yeh!

It was around 10:00 when we got to my great-great Aunt Elsie's assisted living place. For financial reasons she's moving from the assisted living wing to the nursing home wing. It is actually only about 5 rooms (around a corner) away but is a good bit smaller. Considering that the amount of things in her two rooms was pretty much the equivalent of furnishings for an entire house, it was quite a challenge to reduce that all down to one room.

My mom is very good at deciding which are Elsie's favorite pieces so with the help of the handyman, we moved most of it today. Doodle was amazing. She had such a great attitude and did everything I asked-dusted, carried things, handed me things, pushed the cart, pushed Elsie's wheelchair... she was busy! And when she wasn't helping, she was racing around in the hallway on the wheeled carts that we used to push some heavy stuff around. I wasn't sure how long she'd be able to keep up but once she discovered that there were fountain drinks available at our disposal, I think she could have moved in! First there was the cran-grape concoction we created, then apple juice, next was Sprite. Now, my kids don't drink pop. Not because I'm so health conscious but because they don't like the "spicy" taste of carbonation. But not today. Doodle found a new love-"Sprite". She couldn't get enough of it and kept negotiating with my mom and I to go and refill her cup.

At 1:30 they had some dancers from Columbus come in to entertain the residents. Doodle escorted Aunt Elsie down to the public area and waited for the dancers. I stayed for the first song and took a few pictures then went back to work in Elsie's room. About 20 minutes later a nurse came in to tell me that Doodle had fallen asleep! I grabbed my camera and caught her dozing against the couch, it was so cute! Considering that all she had put into her system since 7:30 was juice, Sprite and some of Elsie's mac and cheese, I don't blame her!

Dozing Doodle Asleep by aunt Elsie's feet The entertainers

Aunt Elsie & Doodle before we moved things into her new room

Monday, August 25, 2008

A "Ho' Bag!"

It has finally happened!! Mator took herself to the potty and "dropped the kids off at the pool". She "took the Browns to the Super Bowl" or "released some hostages". YEH! This was not a particularly good morning as far as these things go. Walking around almost naked all morning, she had actually peed twice on the floor which is very unusual. She also found a highlighter and redecorated my TV room walls and the slipcover on the couch but that is totally unrelated and not so unusual.

She was playing downstairs with us and the next thing I know I hear her yelling, Mommy, come here! See this!" When I found her she was still yelling, and standing beside her potty. I, of course, did not have to fake excitement at this wonderful act. She wanted to try for some more so here is a part of our conversation as she sat on the pot...

ME: (Singing potty song) Mator went poopy in the potty, Mator went poopy in the potty, Mator went poopy in the pooooottttttyyyyyy-And now she gets a whole bag!
(Whole bag is simply a reference to the fact that doing a #2 in the potty gets a toddler a "whole bag" of monkey fruit snacks. This is significant because doing a #1 only gets said toddler ONE monkey fruit snack)
Mator: Ho' Bag!!
ME: Yes!! As soon as you are done!

A few minutes later, after viewing her efforts multiple times before I could dump it in the big potty our conversation continued:
Mator: Eat it? (this said in the sincerest little voice)
ME: Oh good night NO! Poopy is yucky! It will make you sick!
Mator: Daddy eat it?
ME: Oh NO! No one eats poop-it makes you very sick!
Mator: No one?
ME: No one.
Mator: That's yucky!

So if Mator ever happens to "spackle the bowl" at your house, and she calls out "ho' bag!" you will know that she is not calling names in urban slang, she is simply celebrating her achievement!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Top 10 Places I've (Recently) Wished I Had a Point & Shoot Camera

Here, they are, in no particular order, the top 10 reasons I wish I had a point and shoot camera. There is the assumption that I would carry it with me at (almost) all times as opposed to the the giant (expensive) SLR that I have to make a huge commitment to carry.

1. My niece's soccer game where she started (as a freshman) and made her FIRST GOAL!!!!
2. Slate Run visit two weeks ago with my three, my s-i-l and her three
3. The pond (every time we go)
4. A-HA children's museum where all three kids had a ball and had many great photo opps
5. Mother-Daughter retreat with Muffin a few weeks ago
6. Busch Gardens on our vacation in June
7. The grocery store -when all three kids were on or in 1 cart and I pulled the other with the food.
8. The grocery store - when I realized that Doodle could push one of those small carts (at Meijers) with the light food (chips, bread) and I could push Mator with the heavier stuff. Doodle was such a huge help, even helping put the groceries on the belt for me!
9. Yacht Club for more swimming pics with cousins
10. All those ordinary moments when we are out and I think, am I ever going to remember all this even happened?

So why don't I get one? Well, to be honest, I'm a little picky. Really, I know it's hard to believe. But I want a really NICE point and shoot that will probably run close to $300. And right now we have made it a priority to pay off our minivan loan. Plus we also need a new video camera since ours in now 8 years old and shooting in VHS. And there's always that pool I've been dreaming of...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Aid in the Second Grade

It's the second day of second grade. Things went pretty well this morning, actually, better than ever before. Muffin got up, got dressed and ready and was down so early that when she turned on the TV to watch "Hi-5" she thought it was over because they were all singing. It turns out they do that at the beginning too but we had never been downstairs that early! She was cheerful and completed all the morning tasks without complaint. We even picked up the kids on time so it looked like a great day!
Doodle had a playdate this morning with "Little Grace" and they had a splendid time, even allowing Mator to join in for much of the fun. After I had put Mator down for her nap and was reading to Doodle, the phone call came from the school. Now, every time I see the school's name on the caller ID my first thought is, "I hope everything is OK with Muffin". This time I just figured, "What paperwork did I forget?" I mean, it's the second day of school so what else could be wrong?
Nurse Andrea reported that Muffin was complaining about her ear hurting and it looked quite red. It was already 2:00 so Andy will get there as soon as he can but poor thing! I made her an appt. with the doc tomorrow at 11:00 so it remains to be seen whether she'll be absent and miss 1/3 of the school year!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day of Second Grade

Well, the day that I've avoided thinking about since the last day of first grade arrived today. Bright and early. When my alarm went off at 6:30 (I slept in for the first day) I actually thought-"Why aren't I homeschooling?". But I dragged everyone else out of bed at 7:00 and it wasn't too horrible. Andy even met us at the school as a surprise to Muffin. I wasn't sure how a big 7 1/2 year old would handle getting her picture taken at the school and with the teacher and at her desk but she was a champ. I daresay she even enjoyed it. Here is a picture I snapped on the front porch. Notice little sister in the back window desperately wanting to join us. The was such a visual metaphor for the was it was for both sisters that I thought it was perfect.
After dropping Grace off, Emma, Katy and I got in the van and as she buckled her seatbelt, the reality of her (Emma) situation must have hit her like a ton of bricks. She asked, "Who am I going to play with?" as if she had never considered this aspect of Grace going back to school. Poor thing. If I were a really great mom I would have prepared for this situation by setting up a play date for today. As it was, I set one up for tomorrow and we went to the grocery store instead.
At one point in the store I was standing about ten feet away from the cart selecting ice cream when I hear Emma scream and yell, "Stop it". I don't even turn around. I'm perfectly aware that Katy just injured her in some way but come on-I've got important decisions to make- mint chocolate chip or cookie dough? Two seconds later, "OW!! Emma hit me." OK, fine-mint chocolate chip AND cookie dough. The lady coming down the aisle towards us is chuckling and I am in a good enough mood to joke with her, "Sure, YOU think it's funny because it's not YOUR kids." She smiled and said it reminded of her of her childhood with her brother.
I got to pick Muffin up from school today and she was all abuzz (for her). We went to the bookstore to get her a Bible for school and she was so chatty about school. It turns out they had 3 recesses instead of two and she told me exactly how long each one lasted, who she played with (Caitlin, Heather and Renee) and which cousins she saw (both Jared and Will). She told me the details about lunch and the accumulation of stars by the class to earn a party. I was really proud of her because I had asked her to try and include the new girl (Heather) when they played and she had actually done it! I know that isn't easy for her either. She was a regular chatterbox compared to normal so I was loving it.
We have really had a good month of talking and getting along and I'm thankful for that development. I pray that it will continue even as school starts and she gets more tired and we see less of each other.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wow! It's just that simple!

OK. I can't believe that it is just that easy to start a blog. Don't I need a license to influence or something? Wait. I guess that would imply that someone would be reading this and that might not even happen.
So I've been reading blogs for a year or two and I thought that if we do end up traveling abroad next year, that would be a good time for a blog. But I want to be good at it by then and have it all figured out so this is my practice blog.
My first entry is going to be about the title of my blog. One of the reasons I hadn't started my own blog yet is because I just can't think of a clever name. I mean, you have to have a clever name or it might indicate to a reader that you aren't that clever. And that would be bad. But honestly the biggest reason I haven't started my own blog is because I think, who the heck would care what I write? But now that I have a potential to do something (travel overseas) that I wouldn't be able to easily share with friends and family, maybe I would have an audience. So, back to the lack of a clever name. It has haunted me too long so when I looked to see how hard it would be to start my own blog and found that it was not hard at all, I was suddenly at the part where you have to submit a name. Panic began to well up inside me and I calmly asked myself, "What do you think of when you think of your family?" Almost instantly a Sesame Street classic popped into my head. It goes like this:
"Oh I've got five people in my family, and there's not one of them I'd swap. There is a sister and two brothers and a mother and a pop (That's me!). Oh five is such a pretty number..." This was a particularly meaningful song as a child because our family of five did indeed have a sister and two brothers. But my current family of 5 involves 3 sisters and a mother and a dad. And even though everyone asks us if we're going to try for the boy, and even though I always had hoped that Andy would have a son, there's not one of those girls that I'd swap. They will each be featured in future posts so that's all for tonight!