Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tuesdays re-visited

It only took a couple of Tuesdays for me to realize why Ethan needs a break from taking the boys to daycare...he and Evan have identical 'morning' personalities. Evan gets up, comes in our room, gets into bed and watched TV. At some point he is told to get dressed which he does in a very leisurely manner, running in and out of the room for various reasons (help with a short, putting dirty clothes in the laundry), eats breakfast while in a constant state of motion (looks out the window, helping Eric eat, making Ethan's coffee), spends an unimaginable amount of time in the bathroom brushing his teeth. After witnessing this a couple of times, I realized he's just a mini-version of Ethan, who is still sleeping while Evan watches TV, then briefly hustles when he realizes what time it is, yet somehow finds time to sit at his computer and look at email/articles before realizing they're REALLY running late and then all heck break loose. So, when the boyz are with me in the morning, I am showered and dressed before they're even awake, and there's no time for the putzing, which results in a lot of threatening and counting.

This Tuesday, being my birthday, really didn't go well. To the point that I just flat out said I wasn't going to take the kids in the morning anymore until we developed a more agreeable routine. And, all to Ethan's credit, he did. I ended up with morning duty on Friday (Ethan had to go in at 4 AM--insane!!), and Evan was a different kid. He came out of his room fully dressed and politely asked for a bowl of oatmeal, which he had finished by the time I got Eric up and dressed. Who said guys can't be trained?

Incidentally, Eric is more 'me' in the morning...get up, get dressed, and get going! Thankfully he (usually) sleeps later than Evan, especially on the weekends ;-)

Is Zain a boy or a girl?

Getting writer's cramp from filling out invitations to Evan's birthday party, so thought I'd take a break and blog. I know, who does handwritten invitations? Quite a story...we decided to do the 'kid' party this year and stop subjecting our friends to attending our children's parties. I don't have a strong desire to have 27 kids (not a typo, 28 including Evan in his class) plus parents crammed into out house, so we checked out some local parks and found a perfect setup a few miles away...playground in the shade, pavilion you can rent for a very reasonable fee, and clean bathrooms. Not available the weekend of Evan's birthday--drat! But the next weekend is open, so we're all set. Until the little voice in my head reminds me that another classmate's birthday is that weekend and how would I feel if someone just stomped on my plans? I really need to get rid of this guilt complex...

I cal Skye's mom (who's a very nice lady and much cooler than me, I think) and explain my story. She suggests a joint party, which I was half-hoping she might. Sweet, right? Eh. She works on Saturdays, so can we do the party on Sunday (during an Eagles game)? Ok, that's not so bad, Ethan gives me a look, but agrees. Then a few days later I get the phone call that she has to be somewhere Sunday evening, so can we make it a little earlier on Sunday (like right in the middle of when Evan usually takes a nap)? I mumble that I think this isn't a problem, but in the back of my mind am thinking of calling the joint-party off. Neither kid has really warmed up to the idea of having a party with the other one, Evan wants Cars while Skye is torn between princesses and Curious George (and if she does CG, then I may as well persuade Evan to do the same thing despite the fact we have a huge box of Cars party supplies already). Losing my train of thought...oh, so a few days later I get another call and the party is clearly on. Skye has decided on Little Mermaid and they've already started the invitations. I think it will be fine (despite the time) because all the girls will get LM invitations/favors and the boys will get Cars. And if it's not, then I'll promptly call the park and reserve the pavilion for the right weekend next year ;-)

I bet you're wondering what this has to do with Zain, right? So I get the class list from Evan's daycare (all 28 of them) and quickly realize I don't know if half of these kids are boys or girls. So Evan and I go through the list, 1 by 1. Zain? Girl. Khaled? Boy. Rida? Girl. Daniel? Boy.

Ethan interrupts at this point to ask why I'm asking if Daniel is a boy or a girl when it's rather obvious it's a boy. My point was, I don't know if Evan is just making this up, so I better ask him about the obvious names too so I don't look like a fool giving a girl a Cars invitation when she's already going to get a Little Mermaid invitation. Ethan no longer interrupts, even when I ask Evan if he is a boy or a girl (ok, that was just to be funny).

So here I am, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, addressing invitations while the rest of the house sleeps. But we're headed to an O's game with friends a little later, and I am really excited to see everyone!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

30 and lovin' it!

Yes, I've crossed the line and am officially no longer in my 20s. Not much is different though...
  • my husband still make me take the kids to daycare on Tuesdays (even when my birthday falls on a Tuesday and I sacrificed my Monday to Eric and his ear infection)
  • kids still throw temper tantrums at the dinner table, despite threats of no cake or computer time
  • I still sit in traffic for no apparent reason on my way to work
  • Evan still asks me to make Buck be silly at bedtime (Buck is his stuffed dog that he adores)
Things that were a little different...
  • I got some nice presents and TONS of cards and phone calls...than you all, I loved every second/word of them :-)
  • I found an extremely long gray hair. Not my first gray hair, but my first really long one.
  • two words: free lunch (and no singing--thank goodness)
  • Outback got the bloomin' onion perfect. Absolutely perfect.

My special birthday wine glass (with a nice birthday wine!)

Evan needs his picture taken too, of course.

I don't think Eric cared about the picture as much as he cared about eating his cupcake...I have another one to upload where he is attempting to pick crumbs off the floor!

Monday, September 24, 2007

When you can't fit 2 dinosaurs and a stroller at the same time, it's time for a bigger truck...

How's that for a sales pitch? The boyz and I were at Costco a while ago and Evan spotted some dinosaur toys from miles (aisles) away..."Mom, I see a T-Rex!!" We finally made our way over there and, I have to say, these were some pretty cool looking dinosaurs. I almost took one home with us, seeing as how Evan was being a perfect Costco travel companion (not only was he not whining, but he was actually sitting in the cart next to Eric. Did I mention it was a Saturday morning and it was just me and the kids?). But, since birthdays are right around the corner, I told Evan it would need to wait and maybe he would get the T-Rex for his birthday.

He's been talking about the thing ever since. We did a little early birthday mini-party for him at Kings Dominion with cupcakes (thanks Aunt B!) and on Sunday he told me, "well, Mom, see, I had my birthday yesterday and now I'm 4 and we need to go get the T-Rex." Huh. I'm not sure how we got away from the topic, but we did, and also reminded me that I need to go get the T-Rex because I truly do not think I could stand to see the disappointment on his face if he didn't get it (he didn't even whine when I said no the first time!!). So I left the guys to watch the Eagles FINALLY win a game yesterday and went in hunt of the T-Rex. Turns out, T-Rex has a buddy...Spinosaurus? I think? Maybe Stegosaurus...In any case, as I'm staring at the tower o' dinos in Costco, I manage to convince myself that it would be silly to only buy the T-Rex, right? I mean, if I only get one, what will Ethan play with? Thank goodness there were only 2 types of dinosaurs, or who knows what would have happened...

When I get home, of course I can't take these ginormous things inside (they're about a foot tall and with the box it's even worse), so they're currently having a little dino party in the back of my truck with the cargo cover pulled shut so Evan doesn't see them when he's getting into his seat. No problem. Until I have to put the stroller back there (see earlier blog about the bright and early trip to the doctor's office). Not possible to put 2 dinosaurs and stroller in the back of the Tribute and close the little cargo cover. Guess it's time to upgrade--yippee!! Hey, I've had this car for just over 6 years which is longer than I have owned ALL of my previous vehicles combined. I think...bought the mazda 323 in the summer of 96, got the Tribute in summer of 2001...yes, 6 is more than 5!

Someone remind me not to blog about my kids gifts before they learn to read the blog, ok?

Bring on the germs...boo...

So after the brief glimpse of fall weather, followed by hot and muggy, combined with a little mold in the ceiling and touching all sorts of germ-covered surfaces at Kings Dominion, we have our first official wintery illness. Eric spent a good portion of last night sleeping in an upright position, which smells like an ear infection. Amazingly enough, it was! I'm not a nut (although I am a little tired), but the poor kid was so sick last year and made about a hundred trips to the doctor for a suspected ear infection and it never was. It was always a plain old virus and we had no choice but to just wait it out for like 5 days. After that, an ear infection is a piece of cake!! Antibiotics and he should be back at daycare tomorrow! Woo hoo! (I just poured a Pepsi, the caffeine will kick in soon and I'll stop rambling like a crazy lady). Anyway, it stinks that it's only September and we already have the first ear infection of the season, but it's a heck of a lot better than having to wrestle him with the nebulizer every 4 hours.

Back to the all-day Disney movie marathon (Little Mermaid, currently on the 3rd episode of Little Einsteins) while I deal with the fact that 5 counties in Indiana want to change their time zone. AGAIN.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What's with all the fluff shows?

Why do the networks feel the need to put these 'teaser' shows on and make me think it might be the season premiere? First was the show to transition Kate Walsh from Grey's to Private Practice...now some sort of Desperate Housewives teaser/recap. Either way, a waste of time and Tivo space!! I got about 10 minutes into both and had to change the channel.

But it does make a nice lead into what shows I'll be watching this season. I haven't seen any new ones that look interesting (might give Private Practice a try), but here's the ones I'll keep on my list:
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Two and a Half Men (quality time with the hubby)
  • House (more quality time with the hubby)
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • ER
  • Scrubs (Thursday really is must-see TV in our house...usually end up watching Scrubs and ER on a different day)
  • Days of Our Lives (shush, I watch the whole hour in about 10 minutes)
  • Real World Sydney (I have no idea how I got started on this one)
Huh...that's not really as bad as I thought it was going to be...

Not a genius, part II

Just figured out how to upload more than one picture at a time onto the blog. Sigh.

Let me revise that statement...I figured this out during the previous blog. Otherwise I would not have put nearly as many pictures on there as I did. But this multi-picture would have been good to know when I was doing the vacation blogging.

But I would walk 500 miles...

Certainly felt like I had been walking 500 miles after the exhausting (and fun!) day at Kings Dominion yesterday. No, we're not fools for venturing to an amusement park on a beautiful Saturday, my dad's company rents out the park for a day so the crowd is pretty manageable. Too bad the staff was a little slower this year, and I don't think we covered quite as many rides as in the past, but oh well. The day had plenty of enjoyable moments though...

Late afternoon, after our group was just beat, all Evan wanted was an ice cream. Who can argue with that? Sadly, like the rides, the line to get ice cream was a little long and not moving. The frozen lemonade cart seemed like a good alternative...ended up being the best $4 we could spend. That thing lasted for like half an hour and everyone got to have some. Even Eric was sitting with his mouth hanging open asking for more!

At the end of the day, to take the edge off the inevitable "we're leaving" meltdown, we promised Evan he could pick out a souvenir to take home. He immediately remembered the laser tag gun he had spotted earlier which made all sorts of obnoxious noises and had some equally obnoxious flashing lights, so our mission was to find a store that did NOT sell this gun :-) After wandering aimlessly (and slowly) through a store that was full of all sorts of un-kid-friendly items, he settled on a plastic fish that you can fill with water and use to squirt others. Not too obnoxious, so we picked out a second one for Eric and headed to the cash register. Price tag? $2. For both. Never in a million years would I have guessed we were getting out of that store for $2.

Anyway, pictures are worth more than words, so here they are...more posted on the Sanderson snapfish site...

Hail, hail (most of) the gang's all here!

Evan gets a blue band!!

Eric enjoys the all day free stroller ride

Wait a minute, we know those people!
Keri, Charlotte, and Elizabeth take a spin on the antique cars

Ethan and Evan on the carousel
Lisa and Margaret playing around by the fountain

Dad and Rose on the non-roller coaster ride

Pretty cute for a trio of jailbirds!
Oh wait, they're just waiting in line :-)

Nick shows Evan how to drive

Ed tries out the sit-on-a-bench ride too!

Enough with driving cars, time to fly an airplane!

Evan and Ethan cool off in the misty Coca-Cola tent thing

Eric enjoys some stroller-free time in the kids play zone...
he's already got a cold, how many more germs can he get?

Are we there yet?

Ethan swears that parents make up the story of kids asking "are we there yet?" over and over during a trip. Until Evan asked about 9 times during the car ride to Kings Dominion yesterday...and that trip is only an hour and a half (tops) and he was plugged into a movie the entire time. I think that's why he kept asking...when he has headphones on, he can't hear us talking to him and probably didn't realize we had even answered :-) Eric, on the other hand, entertained us with some light reading "apple...banana...cheese..milk" before passing out for a little nap. He loves his food book; takes it to bed with him every night and reads through it in his crib when he wakes up in the morning.

Almost as 'cute' as Evan repeatedly asking if we were there yet was Ethan asking me to Google map Kings Dominion. As though we can miss the giant Eiffel Tower that can be seen from I-95. Or in case we missed the 15 signs telling us what exit it's at (98)? All I wanted to do was play one little game of Collapse!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tivo has the WORST timing...

I remember the first time our Tivo receiver died...I was about 8 months pregnant with Evan and it was the week before the start of the NFL season. I was supposed to send in the broken receiver, wait for them to diagnose it, and then they would send it back to me. I don't remember the exact conversation, but it was something to the effect of they were going to need to pay for my defense or divorce lawyer because there's no chance in hell I was going to be able to co-exist with my husband during football season sharing a TV. They agreed to accept a deposit and send me a new box immediately and return the deposit while they fixed the other box.

About a week ago, our bedroom Tivo (yes, we have 3 of them) started to die. Tech support's brilliant suggest to re-boot only lasts for about 5 days. Sadly, I am outside of the warranty period and Tivo wants me to pay...we have a lifetime contract, so I'm kind of stuck paying the exchange fee, but that's ok. They don't make the current model anymore, so most likely we'll get an upgrade. The kicker is that I have to pay to ship the old box back...once I send it to them, they'll send the new box the next business day. So if I want a new box in time for the season premiere's, I have to spend who knows how much to overnight them a box (probably more than I'm spending for my new refurbished box). Tivo, Tivo, Tivo...

I know, I know, I have 2 other Tivo boxes, so what's the problem? Nothing really, or I would have had one heck of a yelling match with Tivo service the other day. But I love to keep my crap TV shows on the bedroom Tivo so I have stuff to watch while folding mountains of laundry. But I guess I have to time laundry folding with regularly scheduled programming for the next couple of weeks. Either that or teach Ethan how to fold laundry ;-)

Where does he get these teeth?

I'm convinced Eric is skipping the whole baby teeth thing and going directly to his adult teeth. The ones coming in are as big as the teeth I have now. He drools more than a dog with a steak dangling in front of it...we go through at least 5 bibs a day, the ones with plastic on the back so his shirt doesn't get soaked. The 'eye' teeth are the current problems, 1 is in and the other 3 (I hope) are on their way. To ease the crankiness, we give him a teething ring to chew on...looks like a little necklace with discs full of water. I'm holding him on my lap and wondering how in the heck his drool got to be so cold when I look down and realize the teething ring is half-empty. Eric has bitten through the thing that is supposed to be indestructible for kids. Not my kid!! Do they sell dog toys that you can stick in the freezer and give to teething kids?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How many re-seats of a toilet does it take to stop a leak in the dining room ceiling?

This isn't quite as dramatic as Emily's bathroom saga, but again, Ethan and I are not the do-it-yourself home improvement people. We're more of the sign the check/swipe the credit card types. In any case, there's been a never ending ugly spot on our dining room ceiling that has grown to a huge crack. We've had the bathtub drain replaced, the toilet re-seated, the toilet replaced, tile resealed, the toilet re-re-seated, but on Friday the damn spot decided to grow some mold. Great. Just what I need. Incidentally, Eric also started getting sick yesterday (runny nose/cough/sneezing), but I'm going to blame that on the sudden change in weather and the fact that another enormous tooth seems to be coming through.


So we call our favorite plumber (more like we're their favorite customer) and request our friend Chad to come out, since he usually seems to know what he's doing. He's the one who got it to stop leaking for a good 3 months, at least. Chad comes out, cuts a pretty hole in the ceiling, and discovers a leaky elbow. Of course, replacing this requires cutting all sorts of pipes, re-re-re-seating the toilet (no charge this time), replacing a flange (?). So I suggest, if they're going to pick up the toilet anyway, couldn't they bust up the tile and rip out the vanity? Both are ugly, and how much can this be?

Silly Jessica. Silly, silly Jessica. If you want to do this then you may as well re-do the whole darn thing, to the tune of several thousand dollars. So I'm stuck with the ugly tile (which Chad says looks like a 5 yo laid it), a scratched vanity (Ethan tried to clean the sink with steel wool), but several thousand dollars in our bank account. And a hole in the ceiling that we will not be patching until we are truly convinced that the leak has been fixed. Isn't it pretty?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes

Eric to Cole: "Moo!"

Evan to Eric, as Eric is trying to get in the bathroom door: "Eric, you can't come in here, I'm doing something...Eric, don't come in, it's too stinky!"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What's in your wallet (purse)?

I recently upgraded to a 'big' purse. I didn't think I would like it, but I do. In my old purse, everything had an exact spot and there was no room for anything else. Thinny wallet and my work badge (w/chapstick attached) on one side, keys, phone, and sunglasses on the other. A tiny zipper spot for a few personal items.

Now I have a big purse. There are bigger, but for me, this a big deal (no pun intended). I had to get a big wallet to go with it. One that even has room for multiple photos of my kids and doesn't triple in thickness as soon as I put change in it. I can even fit my camera in there (the purse, not my wallet). Cool.

I have no camera in the purse today, but the damn thing is pretty heavy, so I took inventory:

Wallet
Cell phone
Keys
My sunglasses
Bluetooth headset
Cell phone sync cable
Pen
Eyeliner pencil
Kids sunglasses
Cheese sandwich crackers
Corkscrew
Pacifier
Hair tie
Gum
Nail clippers
Keyring full of membership/bonus cards (Giant, CVS, Best Buy, etc)
Badges/keys to my office
Badges/keys to Keane office
1 lip gloss
2 lipsticks
3 chapsticks

I think I'm getting a little carried away with the big purse...

Parmesan Garlic Crusted Steak

I had a lovely 'WFH' day (apparently that's the office abbreviation for working from home...like PTO or OOO). Took Eric to his allergist appt in the morning (all good, hoping he will grow out of remaining patches of eczema in the next year or so), stopped in my actual work for a visit (very close to the allergist office), and then headed home for my busy work-filled day. Except for the lunch break with a friend (who I work with, so that counts, right?). Anyway, realizing there was a lovely fat steak in the fridge, I called Ethan to see if he would be home in time to grill. He would, so I'm off the hook for thinking up something for dinner. After he gets home, I realize I actually have a desire to go to the gym, so we decide to cook afterwards. Kids aren't a huge fan of steak anyway, so no real disappointment when they get pasta instead. I make a BEAUTIFUL salad for dinner (it really was...probably should have taken a picture) and head to the gym dreaming of my parmesan garlic crusted steak and the beautiful salad. Not wanting to get home before Evan goes to bed (I told him he couldn't come with me because I would get home too late), I suffered through 30 minutes on the bike, 15 on the rowing machine, and a rather dull 90210 episode (Dylan's mother comes back to town, he starts drinking, blah blah blah). Where was I? I call Ethan on my way home so he can get the grill going (smell the parmesan garlic crusted steak!!).

Phone rings as I'm pulling up to the house. Apparently the grill was not properly shut off after the football cooking on Sunday, so the propane tank is empty. And the backup propane tank is no good if you never get it refilled. Similar to the indicator of how full the tank is is no good when you never look at it.

I haven't eaten since lunch. If you've spent any time around me (or my father) when there's a food delay, you should know this is bad. REAL bad. Ethan seems to have forgotten this.

"Give me 10 minutes, I'll get another tank." Which means I won't be eating for at least 30 minutes...bad idea.

"Do you want me to cook something else?" Helping by asking questions is possibly the worst thing you can do in this situation. Either put some already prepared food in front of me or move the hell out of the way.

After a reminding glare (Eric has the same glare, by the way), Ethan wisely moves out of the kitchen and my parmesan garlic crusted steak is replaced by leftover pasta and a bowl of my beautiful salad.

Why did I blog this...now I'm hungry again and all I want is my--you guessed it--parmesan garlic crusted steak!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, Ethan and I swap our parental duties. I get the kids ready for and take them to daycare in the morning, and he picks them up and prepares dinner in the evening. I have to say, I'm not really enjoying the swap because Evan and I are opposites when it comes to getting up and going in the morning. I like to, well, get up and go, and Evan prefers to move at a more leisurely pace and talk. A LOT. Jury's still out on Eric, but I think he's leaning towards wanting to get on with his day with minimal conversation. So that's the morning.

After a HELLISH day for many reasons not to be discussed here, I come home to tuna noodle surprise. And I do mean surprise. Tuna with cheese(?), noodles, and cheerios sprinkled on top.

Cheerios?

Glad I had dinner plans with Mom and a friend of hers for the evening :-)

If only it were this simple...

I dedicate this to the new leadership group at my company...



"I must have a raise," the man said to his boss. "There are three other companies after me."

"Really?" the boss asked. "What other companies are after you?"

"The gas company, the telephone company, and the electricity company," the man replied.

I'm it.

I've been tagged...here's the rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Facts About Me:

  1. I write left-handed, but otherwise am right-handed (more random, Evan is the opposite).
  2. I watch 'Real World' on MTV.
  3. I hate it when people touch my computer screen. I swat at people's fingers with a pen the way a nun slaps wrists with a ruler.
  4. Speaking of nuns, I was kicked out of class in high school because someone ELSE talked back to the teacher (nun) in an attempt to defend me.
  5. I own seasons 1 and 2 of Beverly Hills 90210 and have downloaded episodes to me Treo in the event that I have some spare time to watch them.
  6. Who am I kidding...I'm halfway through Season 2!
  7. I hate to throw away boxes.
  8. The only vehicles I have owned have been made by Toyota and Mazda. In that order.

TAGGED: Well, no one...Emily has tagged me. Petra doesn't blog anymore (probably because other people are doing it). And it would just be weird to tag my dad ;-)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Girlfriend

Evan and his 'silly song'...lyrics courtesy of www.lyricstop.com

video

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I don't like your girlfriend!
No way! No way!
I think you need a new one
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I could be your girlfriend

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I know that you like me
No way! No way!
No it's not a secret
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I want to be your girlfriend

You're so fine
I want you mine
You're so delicious
I think about ya all the time
You're so addictive
Don't you know what I could do to make you feel alright?
Don't pretend I think you know I'm damn precious
And Hell Yeah
I'm the beeping princess
I can tell you like me too and you know I'm right

She's like so whatever
You could do so much better
I think we should get together now
And that's what everyone's talking about!

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I don't like your girlfriend!
No way! No way!
I think you need a new one
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I could be your girlfriend

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I know that you like me
No way! No way!
No it's not a secret
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I want to be your girlfriend

I can see the way, I see the way you look at me
And even when you look away I know you think of me
I know you talk about me all the time again and again
So come over here, tell me what I want to hear
Better yet make your girlfriend disappear
I don't want to hear you say her name ever again
(And again and again and again!)

She's like so whatever
You could do so much better
I think we should get together now
And that's what everyone's talking about!

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I don't like your girlfriend!
No way! No way!
I think you need a new one
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I could be your girlfriend

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I know that you like me
No way! No way!
No it's not a secret
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I want to be your girlfriend

In a second you'll be wrapped around my finger
Cause I can, cause I can do it better
There's no other
So when's it gonna sink in?
She's so stupid
What the hell were you thinking?!

TomTom, the road is closed!!

Evan and I headed to a baby shower this morning, leaving Eric at the mercy of Ethan and the Eagles game (wow, that's a lot of E's!). Traffic came to a halt just past 270, so we decided to detour and let TomTom do his thing. After getting past the "make the first legal u-turn" we seemed to be moving and headed in the right direction. And then we hit a 'Road Closed' sign. I turn around, thinking TomTom will re-route me, and of course he does. Right back to the 'Road Closed' sign. And TomTom doesn't seem to hear me when I tell him the stinkin' road is closed. I finally drive so ridiculously far out of the way that TomTom has no choice by to send me another route that adds 20 minutes to our trip. Of course, the joke is on me later when I learn from another baby shower attendee that TomTom has a 'find alternative route' button.


On the plus side, Evan had a great time jumping in the moonbounce for 2 hours!


Friday, September 7, 2007

We love the E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!

Ah yes, NFL season is back. Evan was inducted to this year's season with a new Brian Westbrook Eagles jersey. He came running into our room this morning (scared the hell out of my when I opened the bathroom door and found him literally jumping up and down with excitement)..."Mom, Dad said I can wear my new Ryan Westbrook jersey to daycare today because the other kids haven't seen it yet" and off he ran to get dressed, unprompted. So here he is...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Are you there?

**Names have been changed to protect the innocent**

My office is a fun place to work. Lots of practical jokes, but in a nice way (well, occasionally one goes wrong, like the time someone couldn't find their car keys until 9:00 at night, but usually very entertaining). Today was one of the better ones though, and deserved a blog.

Someone (my money is on Jane, with Doug as an accomplice) decided to mess with people's ringers. Our office phones have about 20 different ringers and sound more like cell phones than office phones. One of those ringers is a female voice calling out "Are you there?" Turn the volume way up and it scares the hell out of you.

Anyway, I'm in my boss's office helping with some unpleasant proposal demands and his phone 'rings' with everyone's favorite 'are you here?' I see our company's office number pop up on the screen and watch in shock as my boss picks up the receiver and promptly drops it back on the hook.

Me: I think you just hung up on someone.
Boss: No, something is wrong with the phone system. It's been doing that all day.
Me: That's your phone ringing.
Boss: No it's not, there's something wrong with the phones.
Me (trying not to laugh): No, really...I think maybe someone changed your ringer.
Boss: What?!?

I go through and show him that was in fact his ringtone and try to change it back to whatever alien-sound he had before. After that, he scrolls through his missed calls and realizes he's hung up on our HR manager, the main number to our company office (hope none of those were his boss!), some of my co-workers, and his wife.

I love my office. I especially love the fact that I get to stay somewhat immune to the jokes because I keep lots of candy at my desk and can threaten to withhold it if someone messes with me :-)

I just don't learn (aka Fast Food Blunders pt. 2)

In his most angelic little voice, Evan asked on the way home today "Mom, please can we go to Old McDonald's for dinner?" Who can resist that? Especially when we're running late and a small riot is going to break loose when I get home unless a fairy godmother has magically put dinner on the table? So off we go to the red McDonald's ("not the blue one, I don't like the blue one").

Speaker: Can I take your order?
Me: Yes, I'd like 2 cheeseburger happy meals with apple dippers, 1 with chocolate milk, and 1 with white milk.
Speaker: Double cheeseburger happy meal w/apple dippers and chocolate milk. Drive around.
Me: Umm, no (I instantly realize my mistake in ordering). 1 cheeseburger happy meal w/apple dippers & chocolate milk. 1 cheeseburger happy meal w/apple dippers and white milk. A 2 cheeseburger meal w/ a coke to drink.
Speaker (shorthand version): 2 double cheeseburger happy meals with something to drink. Drive around.
Me: (SIGH). No. {repeat earlier order} and a Big Mac.
Speaker: What?
Me: Big Mac.
Speaker: What?
Me: BIG MAC!
Speaker: I can't hear you, come around to the window. Do you want the meal or just the sandwich?

And so we move to the face to face portion of our visit. 'Speaker' becomes a younger (than me) guy named 'Angel.' I will later find out this is a sign...

Angel: Sorry, I can't hear you through the speaker.
Me: Yeah...so I have 1 cheeseburger happy meal w/apple dippers & chocolate milk. 1 cheeseburger happy meal w/apple dippers and white milk. A 2 cheeseburger meal w/ a coke to drink and a Big Mac.
Angel: {something about 2 double cheeseburger happy meals and a drink}

I stopped to pray. Honest. Never in my life have I had to take 10 seconds out at the drive-through and ask for strength to get me through this situation, but today it happened. Who would have thought, considering an angel is at my service? I run through the entire order again and Angel nods his head at each meal as if that's what he's reading on the screen and informs me I owe $18 and change. For 2 happy meals, a 'value meal,' and a sandwich. Seems a little steep, and I tell him this. After reviewing the order AGAIN (how many times is this??), he discovers he has charged me for a Big Mac meal instead of just the sandwich. Angel seems a little angry at this point, as he is jabbing the screen/keys hard enough to make MY fingers hurt. Without giving me an updated total, he swipes my card and thrusts it back at me.

Me: Receipt?
Angel mutters something about the next window and waves me away. Evan asks me why I was yelling at the man. I have no lollipops to distract him (or me).

So finally we arrive at the food window.

Food guy: 2 nugget happy meals with apple dippers?

How I managed to stay in my vehicle and not go into some high-pitched screaming rage, I don't know. I look in the bag and discover 2 cheeseburgers and 2 orders of fries. Hello? How does this happen? I hand the bags back and through a clenched jaw tell the guy I need apple dippers instead of fries. He hands it back a few minutes later with the correct contents of the happy meal orders, along with everything else. I tell Evan that, in the future, we should go to the blue Old McDonalds and hand him a french fry before can argue.

The End

Monday, September 3, 2007

Evan's list of demands

Evan told us yesterday that he wanted to (in this order):
  1. Ride his bike
  2. Run around
  3. Go someplace cool
  4. Play in the sprinkler
Items 1 and 2 were done yesterday (quick bike ride on our street and a playdate/dinner and his best girlfriend Caitlyn's house), so #3 was first on the list today. I guess going to my work to pick up a power cord didn't qualify as a cool place :-) In any case, by 10 AM, he had decided the cool place was the play area at the mall, so off we went. Well, first we had to deal with the mis-communication of Ethan saying "take Eric and I'll take the trash out" which really meant "meet us in the car." Ten minutes later after my shirt is covered with drool, tears, and nose goo, I realize Ethan and Evan are in his truck having a good old time while I'm trying to convince Eric they're on their way back inside. The mall was pleasantly empty, so the play area wasn't too jam-packed when we got there and the boys were able to wear themselves down.

Evan getting ready to jump off a mushroom
Eric trying to climb the tree like the big kids...we stopped him before he could go any higher. Yesterday I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper and when I looked down, he was sitting next to me. Next week I'll come down and probably find him standing on the table or something heart-stopping like that...
Ethan calculating how many germs the boys are getting by playing at the mall...pretty sure Eric spreads more than he gives with the faucet of drool!

As close as we could get to a picture with the 2 of them together. Might have to try my new Adobe Photoshop skills on this one!

A prisoner in our own home...

When we came back from vacation a few weeks ago, nature had left us a little homecoming gift...a robin's nest underneath of our deck. Since then, the eggs have hatched and now there's a new baby robin...I think there were 2 to start, but only 1 these days :-( Anyway, baby is doing well, and starting to poke his head out of the nest, but allow me to enlighten you about life with a momma/baby robin under your deck:
  • We're not allowed grill...not even beef or pork. Momma Robin 'yells' at Ethan if he goes out there. That's why Evan named her Jessica :-)
  • Don't even think about going out the back door if she's on the nest. And if she's not there, we carry things across the patio so as to not disturb the baby bird.
  • The baby bird is LOUD when he's hungry. Really loud.
  • The grass has not been cut in about a month because of the mini-hostage situation. I'm sure it's breaking Ethan's heart that he hasn't been able to do this :-)
I've tried many many many times to get a picture of our new resident, but he's not real excited about posing for the camera. Could be the fact that I almost busted my head open in the process of taking a picture the other day (note to self: don't stand on the swiveling barstool on your tiptoes with the camera way over your head next to a sharp corner and in front of a glass door). Scared the crap out of both of us :-) Anyway, here's what I got...


Cole is not amused by our newest family addition...but he is enjoying the jungle of a backyard!And, to answer the questions I keep getting, yes, this is kind of late for baby robins to be hatching. I have no idea if it will be big enough to fly south for the winter. If not, we'll be requesting donations for a patio heater to keep the little guy warm until next spring!

09/14 update - the nest is empty! Hopefully the little guy is doing well out on his own!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Eric and Ethan have fun too...

No, I didn't lock them in a closet while Evan and I were on our all-day adventure yesterday. I don't know what went on most of the day, but just before Evan and I headed to Frederick, the other E's headed out for a bike ride. Eric's first, so here he is, all suited up. According to Ethan, he had a blast (translation: he wasn't screaming his head off, so we assume he was having fun!)

Not looking too amused about the whole helmet thing
Trying for a picture without the pacifier...even less amused
Is it just me or are his legs longer than the rest of him?

Buy me some pretzel and lollipop...

After the morning birthday party, Evan and I stopped home for a nap (Evan, not me) and then headed up to Frederick for the Keys doubleheader with the Maryland Christovich crowd. Thank goodness they all live in the same state, because I would have spent all afternoon naming everyone who was there :-) Evan understands baseball games and the fact that you must start eating as soon as you get there, even if you're not hungry, and immediately requested a (stale) pretzel. At least he wasn't calling it a bagel this time! Later we found and sampled the pizza, chicken tenders, french fries, and a gigantic lollipop. We also found and sampled the restrooms half a dozen times over the course of 4 hours, thanks to Evan. And I didn't give him anything to drink until after the second trip.

The outing was fun, but Evan is at the stage where you can't pretend to listen to him and really have a conversation with someone else (Mommy? Mommmy?! MOM! Are you listening to me?). And that makes catching up with everyone else kind of tough, but oh well. They only live in Maryland! Let the blogging of pictures begin...I'll try to remember to put these on the Sanderson Snapfish site in the next couple of days.

Evan and I and the gigantic lollipop...I'm amazed he didn't get this wrapped in someone's hair at some point during the game!

And the sugar rush has kicked in!
Ben is my silliest cousin...I love it :-)

Rebecca, Lisa, Margaret, and Charlotte

Charlotte, Benjamin, and Margaret

A very happy birthday, indeed

Round 2 of the daycare birthday parties, and this one was a winner. Beautiful day, tractor ride, pizza, lots of running on the playground, and Evan was home sleeping by about 1:30. Awesome :-)


The 'men' operating the tractor
Enjoying the BEAUTIFUL day
Boys are running, running, running!
Cool dinosaur bones underneath the playground

A genius I am not...

I know, you already knew this (so did I). But now I've taken it to a new low...

Saturday morning I come downstairs to find my computer off and no interest in powering on. I try unplugging it, restarting the surge protector, taking out the battery, holding it at various angles, cursing, praying, you name it. Ethan pretty much repeats my efforts and, as I'm starting to feel like Carrie in the Sex and the City episode where her computer dies and she learns a valuable lesson in why you should back up your hard drive (read: I don't back up my hard drive with the exception of uploading pictures to Snapfish), Ethan narrows the problem down to my power source (either the charger or in the computer itself). But not the hard drive. Amen.

Yesterday was busy (more blogs coming), so this morning the boyz and I took a quick trip into my office to pick up the docking station and extra power cord, on the hopes that I can keep using my computer. Otherwise, Tuesday will be extremely un-productive, and did I mention I was off Friday so my usual Friday work hasn't been done yet?? While Eric empties my case of Pepsi and Evan does some creative scribbling on my whiteboard, I plug the computer in. It starts up perfectly, so we grab the cord, put the Pepsi away, and head back home.

Have you figured out the ending yet?

We get home and I go to switch the power cords. I follow the cord from the back of the computer and come up with...a disconnected power cord. Yes, the laptop cord has 2 pieces to it and while I had checked the connection to the computer and the connection to the electrical outlet, I never bothered to look at the middle connection. Sunova. At least the kids enjoyed the car ride and the adventure in mommy's office :-)