Thursday thoughts.

• Birthdays came and went last week for the girls. No big hurrah this year at seven and nine years old, just a few small gifts and special meals with parents and grandparents. We'll make up for it big time next year and do a party up right for the big 2-digit "10" and biggie "8" birthdays.
• Conference started well with comfy nests made up on the floor, plenty of conference activities and notebooks - but ended the way it always does with and the cheap toys broken already, and some good naps.
• Nonnie and Papa visited over the weekend; we attempted to watch conference and got a few things repaired, but mostly played a whole lot of games of Bump-O. Papa made the game for the girls for their birthdays, and MAN do they love it. It's a fixture on the kitchen table, at least for a while. We've already lost all the green marbles, though, oops.
• Made two Halloween wreaths over the weekend - pictures forthcoming.
• Cleaned out most of the fridge this week. Found not one, not two, but three tupperware full of adobo peppers (apparently I make Café Rio pork a lot, but never know what to do with the peppers afterward)
• We're on fall break this week, and as much as I thought we should spend a quiet week at home, I'm now trying everything I can do to avoid that, since "quietness" and "home from school" don't really go together after all. It's more along the lines of "screaming" and "chaos".
Monday: After I worked my triceps into a tizzy, ouch, we hung out with friends at an only slightly ghetto-ish indoor amusement park called Jeeperz or Jambo or something in Mesa - kids had a great time, and Mom could actually afford it with a $1 entrance special. We didn't get ripped off until we decided to buy tokens and let the kids play games, and then trade their tickets in for "prizes". Oh brother, how I hate those things. I had to carry J out of the place screaming because he'd changed his mind and wanted something different, and I had to listen to M whine for half the day Tues because she'd already lost her mini finger-skateboard. Sheesh. We spent dinner and an evening of decorating with some friends.
Tuesday: once I finally got going and finished my treadmill stint, we were off to the Children's Museum - and thank goodness we didn't get there a moment sooner; it was packed. It did clear out after lunchtime, though, and we were able to hang out practically by ourselves in the afternoon. We then braved the torrential downpour (of rain, and of M's complaining) and headed over to gymnastics. I dropped the crew off and decided to make a quick trip to Joann's - wow, was I ever dumb. I got stuck in major rain and traffic and flooding and UGH, it took me forever. At least J got a nap in the process.
• I've been thinking about our little gymnastics habit lately - and how it's more of a convenient habit for me, to take turns carpooling and have an excuse to shop Tempe/Ahwatukee every couple of weeks, versus the girls actually learning and progressing and getting exercise. M still can't do a decent cartwheel - after two years. I'm not criticizing the place nor the teachers there. It's just a matter of barely being able to afford just one hour class per week. This habit may be ending when 2010 does, I think.
• Storm score: Hail, 3, Carters, 0. N's pretty new car has about 2 dozen dents now, and our stucco on our house has golf-ball sized chunks out of it in several places. Window screens on the east side of the house are torn up as well. At least we don't have any broken windows.
Wednesday: I found that it's actually do-able to take all three kids shopping with me. Well, at least to Walmart and Target, anyway. I had a dentist appt. in the afternoon where they took more x-rays - I have an abcessed front tooth that will need a root canal shortly, and I'm hoping to get four veneers in the process as well. We'll see how much of it the insurance will pay for... I don't have high hopes.
• A has an ortho appt in a few minutes, so I guess it's time to shower & dress for the day (yes, it's after noon)

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