Sparky's getting fixed

I am stranded without my car today - at least, until the dealership calls and some kind soul wants to pick up me and my kids and drive us to Scottsdale to pick it up. If you want to be that kind soul at about noon today, let me know...


Sunshine and happiness.

Just SIX more days. Hopefully my kids and I can survive that long.


On most days, I have an agenda that is full of productive things to get done, fun things to entertain my kids, projects to work on, etc. Sometimes I even think about meals in advance (I know, right?) and actually have an answer ready when I hear that horrible "What's for dinner?" question, and am ready for the subsequent whining and gnashing of teeth that goes on. Today was one of those days. I had stuff lined up to do at home, a list of items to return/exchange/procure from various stores, a fun scrappy project to start, a plan to be a good Mom and attend a PTO meeting, even had lined up arrangements for my kids to be watched for the evening - including the girls having a sleepover at Grandma's. Even had thoughts of ditching Josh with someone tonight so I could get to the gym.

Yeah. Not so much. Instead, I:

Was awoken by an angry little 5-year-old, who lost her first tooth yesterday and was QUITE annoyed that the tooth fairy didn't come (oops, she must have forgotten!)
Was crowded over in bed by same 5-year-old, now panicked because she had opened the box and now couldn't FIND the tooth (I can't tell you how many times it's been lost in the last 24 hours)
Assured her that we'd find it when Mommy got up and made the bed. Please, please, let me go back to sleep!
Was able to catch a few more Zs, and actually slept late because Josh did too (he's my alarm clock).
Jumped out of bed, but still didn't get the trash out to the curb on time. Dang. It's totally overflowing.
Combed every inch of my bed linens and carpet, looking for that dang lost tooth. Didn't find it.
Walked into my closet to smell... something. Probably a present left by a certain 2-year-old who likes to get out of the bath and streak through the house. I guess he marked some territory as his own... great.
Started laundry because I had no capris to wear today. Folded two loads of clothes. Thought about vacuuming, but didn't want to mistakenly suck up the lost tooth.
Made pancakes, which the kids barely touched... (what in the??)
Did dishes. Then forgot to turn on the dishwasher.
Finally pulled Josh awake at 8:45 to find he'd soaked through his jammies... tried to change him as he's eating breakfast... (I used to be a pro at diapering kids who were standing up - not so much anymore...)
Transfered laundry to the dryer, really hoped I'd have something to wear today.
Could he eat any slower today? Really?
Threatened, to no avail, and lost all patience by 9am, as no one would listen...the girls could not be talked out of taking their banks, of all things, to the movies with us to buy candy (can you imagine them dumping out hundreds of coins on the counter? Ugh)
Got ticked at my 7-year-old, who made us late because she was upstairs counting her money, making sure she had enough for licorice...
Put shoes on Josh. Buckled him in car, where he promptly took those shoes off. A never-ending battle these days. Put his bowl of pancake bites in his lap. Hoped for the best.
Finally left the house. Sheesh.
Dealt with traffic all the way to Mills, while pancake pieces flew up from the back seat, and the girls screamed, tickled, argued, wrestled, and basically used everything else they had stored in the arsenal to destroy Mommy's nerves.
Put shoes on Josh.
Rolled my eyes as I watched, again, the girls race to push the button to open the door at the mall. You know, the handicap button? Yeah, it's a HUGE deal with these two.
Tried to talk my 5-year-old out of throwing a fit about the button. Watched her sweet little brother collect her purse and water after she angrily hurled them to the ground.
Finally made it into the theater. Late. Picked up the girls' licorice and my Coke Zero on the way. (Hey, it was already one of those days, trust me, I needed it.)
Tried to contain my whirlwind of a 2-year-old during Igor. After he took off his shoes, of course.
Ended up exhausted, both of us covered in my soda he had spilled, and sticky with all the licorice drool. Fun.
Washed, then once again, put shoes on Josh.
Headed down to Ahwatukee, where I was actually able to cross a couple of the "to-get" things off my list.
Put shoes on Josh.
Watched J pick up his nugget off the floor at Wendy's and eat it. Yum.
Put shoes on Josh.
Exchanged stuff at Target. Looked for school shoes at Payless. Yep, by this time J was fit to be tied, as was I.
Headed home, where J threw a monster fit about taking a nap.
Started the Happy Birthday banner project. Had Manda help to paint chipboard.
Pulled Josh awake, put his shoes on, and headed to gymnastics. Again, replay scene from this morning, but with worse traffic.
Was at my wit's end by the time we got to Tempe.
Traded off with Grandma (thank you!) and started heading home, sans girls, to attend PTO meeting.
Watched as my car started overheating. Oh crap.
Pulled over, added fluid, started revising plans, making calls ...
Limped, stopped, waited, sweated, detoured around construction, stopped, added more water, got helped by strangers, waited, and limped some more until I got my car to the dealership.
Did I mention it was 115 degrees today?
Felt immensely grateful for Grandma, who picked me up, bought us pizza, found us toothbrushes, and gave us a place to stay for the night.

Spent 1 1/2 hours putting my kids to bed. Thought I might actually go deaf with all of Josh's screaming.


The countdown, breathing sawdust, and J's vocabulary

Nothing much has been going on here, that is, if you don't count the not one, not two, not three, but FOUR swim outings, playing monopoly with volleyball friends, twice, going to the "Hotel for Dogs" movie, running around at the church with kickboxing friends, twice, a trip to the Children's Museum, a trip to Costco with Mom, gymnastics, an excursion to the Tempe Splash Park, and a D-backs game... but of course, we're only talking THIS WEEK! No WONDER the girls have been so bored out of their minds, fighting and driving their mother mad!

Don't you feel sorry for them??


it's a shame that in just NINE short days all of this "boredom" will have to end!

{Insert maniacal laugh here}

In other news, my craft room has made significant progress! I want to wait to post a picture until everything is totally done... but I'm getting closer and closer...! Just one more power tool to borrow, a little cutting, a little silicone, and maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to load all my stuff back in this room! I'm envisioning greatness...

And in other news still,

J can TALK! Well, if you know what he wants, that is, you can sort of make out a few words... he's in the "identifying" stage an likes to mimic everything... "zu-zute" (Swimsuit) "Bo-bo" (Bean Burro) "Uh-Oh" (Apple) "Aaaaw!" (Off, as in his shirt), "Hat", "Buh" (Bug - he insists upon pointing out every dead cricket he finds until Mommy disposes of them), "Ha... Ha" (Hot) and my favorite, "Waaaer" (Water). Finny is "EEEEE", which also sounds a lot like what he calls "drink". "Mo... Mo" is milk, "Duck" "Shirt" "Duh duh" (Manda) "DaEEE" (Daddy)... and he can also identify most things on his face... "nose" "Mou" "Eye" "Ear" and "Hair". Cute kid!


Harry Potter and the half-done movie.


I feel so... empty after watching it. How about you?

My thoughts, in case you care:

The movie was entirely too much about the teenage romances - - and not enough about the real story and the memories of Voldemort's past!

The fire scene around the Weasley home in the middle of the movie, you know, the one that wasn't supposed to happen? Why in the world would you add that in, whilst completely ignoring the all-important raging battle at the end between the Order and the D.A. students and the Death Eaters within Hogwarts????... yep, that was probably the biggest peeve of mine.

The underwhelment of this movie started in the beginning, though, when Draco's mom was entirely too calm when she went to Snape's house... I was expecting hysterics! And by the way, Draco's wounds didn't seem as severe as they should have been from the Sectumsempra spell...am I right? Seems like most of the characters underreacted to what was going on... especially Hagrid at Aragog's funeral... Or worse, Snape and crew at the end taking the stroll through the forest, instead of running for their lives to escape Hogwarts...

Another couple of personal pet peeves... the downplay of the Felix Felicius potion... just the slightest mention of the Marauder's Map...the inconsequential role of Fenrir... the hourglass in Slughorn's room {what was that about? Seemed like they set it up to be important, then didn't follow up???} ... also, would have liked to at least have mention of Madam Rosmerta and the imperius curse she was under, right?


So, so wrong that Dumbledore seemed to have plenty of strength at the end, yet didn't immobilize Harry as he was supposed to... what? or that Harry and Dumbledore were NOT supposed to apparate from Hogwarts, rather from Diagon Alley!

Certain details just seemed to be missing, like Crabbe and Goyle, or the new minister of Magic... and most of the time, Harry's invisibility cloak... or how about all the student's pajamas at the end - they were all woken up, yet had their street clothes on!?

And honestly, to leave out the funeral entirely? I'm a little miffed and saddened both that there was no closure...



I'm tired.

Tired of the heat. Oh Mylanta - why do I live here???

Tired of feeling so broke, when it seems everyone I know has money to take elaborate vacations, go on cruises, buy Wicked Tickets, etc. I'm still reeling from money spent on food and gas from our California trip... either we never leave for so long again, or we figure out a much cheaper way to do it!

Tired of my home value plummeting.

Tired of watching our retirement funds waste away into nothing.

Tired of the free pass that this administration seems to get on everything.

Tired of these insane bills getting shoved through Congress so quickly that no one even has a chance to read them. Starting to worry about the pig population dwindling, what with all of the pork...

Tired of America getting distracted by Michelle's workouts, and ignoring what's really going on.

Tired of paying for the Obama girls to go on vacation.

Tired of double standards.

Tired of listening to the outrageousness of the big O's plans. How much more of my money do you think you're entitled to, anyway? I only give the Lord 10 percent - and you expect what, 40?? What the? And in exchange for that, you're going to exercise governmental control over how many more industries? You SAY that I'm still going to have a choice in my health care, really? How long do you expect private insurance companies to really last? Give me a BREAK.

Tired of my blood boiling. I guess, maybe, it's got nothing to do with the temperature in Phoenix.


Girls Camp 101

It turns out, it wasn't nearly the horrible experience I thought it would be. I learned quite a bit, such as...

• Wearing close-toed shoes and jeans for five days is SO not pleasant.

• Skits that you put together the day of turn out pretty great. No need for crazy costumes or extravagant props. Ours can be seen on Facebook...

• There were actually a couple of girls who were completely helpful and pleasant to talk to, who restored my hope in that species they call "teenager".

• Oh, there were plenty of the other kind too, who whined that everything was too hard, refused to participate in activities, and ditched out on many things, hiding out in their cabins.

• If you leave any food outside at night, you will absolutely have little critters come a visitin'. Apparently, licorice does have a smell!

• Skunks like licorice.

• Trying to teach a partner dance at girls camp is a little ridonkulous.

• Demonstrating the "pop, lock and drop it" hundreds of times in one day is murder on the thighs, and not advisable. And will probably keep you from walking normally for many days after.

• Lomia can't really be called "camping", what with its cabins, cots, electricity, bathrooms, lack of campfires, and complete kitchen staff. The results of flat irons and eyeliners could be seen almost everywhere, on everyone.

• Many, many girls come from very difficult, heartbreaking circumstances at home.

• There is such a thing as an overscheduled schedule.

• A cabin full of women will stay up all night talking and laughing like teenagers, if given the chance.

• There is a distinct difference between the dynamic of those in charge, who have to play "the heavy" and the grunts who run around and do the work and actually interact with the girls... and I hope I will NEVER be a part of that first group.

• I sort of understand why Jackie likes camp so much... though I'll never understand why she puts so much darned work into seemingly silly details.