Thursday, October 30, 2008


Apparently I am "embarrassing" Katie by putting her actual grades on my blog. But here is the way I look at it. You are reading this blog because
A) You know us, and you care about our lives
B) You stumbled in here and may want to hear that other people have problems TOO!
C) You stumbled in here by accident and can't wait to get out
Either way, I am trying to show our REAL life, not just the happy fun times. I wish they all were happy, but that is not reality.
Katie got bad grades.
She needs to work harder at her schoolwork.
The bad grades are as much (or more) of a reflection on me at this point. She is in First Grade. She only learns what she is taught. I have been slack and remiss. I have let her coast through her little page of homework and spend the rest of her time playing. Heck, some of her "play" is writing out her sight words and playing school. It seemed like she GOT all of this. She would breeze through her homework. She sliced and diced up sentences right in front of me. So, it really did come as a complete shock to me that she brought home an F. My first response, to let my feelings explode onto this blog instead of taking it out on her. So, now I am even more of a Mean Mom because I will tell the truth about our problems.
There, maybe I should just change the title to "Dirty Laundry Flapping in the Breeze". Hopefully we encounter no bigger problems than bad grades!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

108 No, Katie CanNOT Come Out to Play!

Katie is grounded. Why you ask? She just brought home 2 F's and a C! FROM FIRST GRADE! Stuff that we go over at home and when she gets to school she has no idea what she is doing. On one sheet where they were supposed to circle the verb she just circled the last word in every sentence. LAZINESS! She just randomly colored in circles on another sheet. Making sentences like: My friends don't play at (fill in the blank) she put WHAT. or the very worst: The pet is (fill in the blank) she put HELP. Yup, those fill in the blanks were multiple choice!!
She gets herself frustrated and she gives up. I know this is what she does, because she does the same thing at home. Of course, at home I am there to calm her down and work her through it. She is not a dumb child, but she gives up way too quickly. If she sees an easy way out she will take it.
So, until she starts bringing home PASSING GRADES she cannot come out to play. I am sorry if your child likes to play with her, but they have other friends. Until she shows some improvement she is on house arrest.
I am officially the Mean Mom, and I do not like the change in title!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

107 My Hubby Loves Days of Our Lives!

(image from

Mainly in a sarcastic way. If I am watching it when he walks in the room he will bring up one of two things. Marlena being possessed by the Devil where we learn that John was once a priest (how convenient!). Or that he thinks that Stefano is really a Mexican wrestler, a luchador. He hopes one day they will reveal him in his signature mask. Of course the soap opera is outlandish, that is what makes it so fun to watch. I have been watching Days on and off since I was a wee little thing. My grandmother started watching it when it came on, and if I was at her house at 1pm then I too would be watching Days of Our Lives. What better escape from the mundane than to spend an hour in Salem? Well, now that we have the wonderful world of Tivo it is a bit shorter. What I really want is a complete family tree of all of the Days characters. Can you imagine how twisted the branches must be?!?! It amazes me how close these crazy kids get to dating their aunts and uncles. Though technically Stephanie was dating her uncle-by-adoption, Max. But he seems to have a thing for his adopted sibling's kids. And really, how many times have they brought people back from the dead? And how many times can Sammy be placed in the Witness Protection Program? And you have to love how people leave the show, and then once a year they will randomly mention their name. And not to mention that time goes at its own pace. Babies grow to toddlers in the blink of an eye. Somehow Belle and Shawn ended up the same age. Speaking of Belle and Shawn, that is a twisted tree branch! Belle is Marlena and John's daughter. John is the son of Shawn Sr's sister and Stefano's father. Shawn is the son of Bo and Hope. Bo is the son of Caroline and Shawn - but wait, he is illegitimate because surprise, he is really Victor's son. I bet the writer's have to have a huge family tree board to figure out their next move. Ahhh, how I love my Days!!
Oh my, there is a Family Tree, but you have to navigate around it. Very confusing and HILARIOUS! And just reading a few blurbs about the history of the show reveals that the current story line is a bit tame. Wow, who woulda thunk it!?!?

Friday, October 24, 2008

106 Random Blathering

I want to be a cool blogger. I want to be one of those funny bloggers. The ones who are just talking about their regular life, but you are rolling in your chair the whole time. The one's with the kids that aren't perfect, but darn are they funny! Or maybe they don't have funny kids, but they make the best knit /crochet /painting /scrapbooking thing EVER! Either way, you look at their blog and it is like you have known them forever. You become part of their little circle of friends, and boy do you feel lucky to be there. But, sadly for you, I am boring. My kids are incredibly amusing to me, but probably not that exciting to you. I say you, like anyone other than my family and nearest friends read this blog. My husband is not a fabulous artist or musician. He plays computer games, A LOT! And me, right now I am a stay-at-home Mom. I am the worst housekeeper you have ever seen. I want to create art/craft/stuff but I don't have the time. I have a room full of crafty things to play with, but unfortunately it is too full to have room to play. I love taking pictures, as you may have noticed, but my daughter acts like the camera is going to emit laser beams that melt her face. Connor is adorable, but totally unable to sit still for two seconds at a time. He has become mobile and there is no stopping him. In fact, he still has to be swaddled to go to sleep because if you don't he will just walk around his crib screaming until you get him. He does scream when you swaddle him, and he fights it ... but 30 seconds after you leave the room he is sound asleep. Thank goodness, since Katie needs a lot more attention at bedtime. She needs a bedtime story (she usually picks out 3), and she needs to be "tickled" which means you have to rub her back, her legs, her tummy, her feet, and even her armpits. At that point I usually pass out from sheer exhaustion. Then I get to sleep until Connor wakes up hungry. Then I get to come downstairs and spend a few minutes typing nonsense. Hey, how much sense do you make at 4:45 in the morning!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

105 Punkin

On Sunday we had made some plans to go to a pumpkin patch in Hernando with our buddies. Of course, being us, when the day rolled around those plans were still a bit iffy. Connor decided to finally take a NAP after being napless for a few days. (His top teeth are fighting their way through and he has been restless) Toya had a headache that she hasn't been able to shake for a while, and a little man also needing a nap. Charity had to be there for her Dad's business picnic. As long as I wasn't the only one bailing out I did not feel too bad. Then Toya texted me that they would be there in 30 minutes!! Here comes the guilt :) Not that she was trying to make me feel guilty, I just did. So, Connor woke up and I got Katie down from Mia's and off we went. Oh, did I mention that it is about 3pm and the pumpkin farm closes at 5?
Cedar Hill Farm is a beautiful little spot. But, I am sure everyone has been somewhere similar. In fact, we went to an almost identical place a few years back on a visit to Atlanta. Of course the name escapes me, but I am sure Mom will remind me of it tonight. Anyways, Cedar Hill Farm has a hayride, pony rides, a petting zoo, and a corn maize. Also, they have something called the Pigadega 500 ... yeah, it is what you think, a pig race. It looks like a good place to spend a few hours with the family. However, we got there about an hour before they closed.
There was only ONE HOUR left, and they still felt the need to explain to me the "wristband" option. $20 that gives you unlimited access to just about everything. I had 60 minutes, exactly how much "everything" did they expect me to get to do? We ran through the petting zoo to the Pigadega 500, not because I really wanted to see the pigs run but because Toya and her family were there.

Charity was lost in the Corn Maize at this point. We were going to head out to the pumpkin patch to snap some pics of the kids, but Charity said it was so picked over that it was not worth schlepping our way out there. The kids spotted the Hay Fort and we were done. They played there for the rest of the time. There was a kid sized hay maze. Connor loved the hay!

He loves anything he can tear apart with his hands. We hit the Pumpkin Stand on the way out. They had a bunch of dried gourds in the corner so I plopped Connor down for a picture, too bad it was pitch black! The kids were trying to pick up the biggest pumpkin they could find, but we were able to talk the girls into picking more reasonably sized pumpkins. Katie's weighed in at 6.5 pounds, and it only cost $2. Made me wish I had let her pick a biggun! All she wants is the seeds anyway.
Then she managed to ruin the trip ... again! She wanted to go to the store and get a "treat". How in the world do you ask for a treat for being good on a trip that was in essence a TREAT!! I take you somewhere with your friends. You play. You buy a pumpkin. And you want a reward! Not happening. Not today, not tomorrow ... pretty much not ever. Chip has taught her this idea of "treats". I don't mind buying her stuff, but not as a reward all the time. And, if it is going to be a reward, then it should be a reward for doing something! Wow, you were good for an hour. Yippee! Maybe if she can be good for a month ... or smile and pose for a picture with a big pile of pumpkins. Okay, so that is one thing that really made me mad. She refused to pose with the pumpkins. How hard is it to SMILE? You would have thought that after all these years she would have realized the sure fire way to make Mommy happy. Maybe when she figures that one out things will go a lot smoother. I will definitely have to buy her a treat ;)
It also did not improve the day trying to drive a stroller over all those tree roots. Next time I am bringing Chip, gotta have an extra set of hands!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

104 It Just Ain't FAIR!

Technically it is the Horn Lake Fall Festival. I think the main difference is that the whole thing is TINY, not just the carnies hands. Prices are still horrendously high. Like the Ferris Wheel should cost $5 a person!!! And really, a big slide is $3 a person!! INSANITY!! Katie did win a prize, a 6 inch tall Panda, which looks like it was rubbed on the ground first ... that only cost $15. Sure, you know the games are a ripoff, but that was crazy!! Chip paid $10 for 7 darts, popped 7 balloons ... which qualified him for a SMALL prize. Then you could pay more and build up to a bigger prize. Since when is this a progressive thing? He paid $5 more for Katie to throw 3 darts (which he said guaranteed any child under 6 a medium prize) she popped another balloon. Even with his 7 and her guaranteed medium prize we still ended up with, you guessed it - A MEDIUM PRIZE! At that point I wanted to throw a dart at the carnie, but I figured that might turn out badly, so she picked out her panda and we walked away. So, let's do the math.
$43.00 for ride tickets
$15.00 for a game of darts
$58.00 for a child that whined and cried the minute we said we had to go
While we were riding and playing she had a great time. She even managed to smile for me to take pictures. It was great being able to ride a few rides with her. I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl with her and the Ferris Wheel. Chip rode the Gravitron, the Ferris Wheel, and the Tilt-A-Whirl with her. By herself she rode a little motorcycle on a merry-go-round type thing, and she went down a big slide (smacking her elbow and hurting her arm, of course). Connor was a good boy the whole time. It was a wonderful family outing, aside from the price-gouging, UNTIL it was time to go. You would have thought we never did anything for that child. That we had brought her to the Festival, showed her the rides, then laughed gleefully as we dragged her back home without allowing her to ride them. Sure, 58 bucks is not crazy, but we weren't even there for two hours. Chip had to go to work, so we had to make a short trip (thank goodness). Seriously, her attitude about having to leave pretty much ruined the trip for us. The happy fuzzy feeling from spending a wonderful afternoon with our children was destroyed by her "give me more" attitude. One day I will look back and not remember the snarl on her face, but it might take a while. And to top it all off, she wouldn't even let me clean off that nasty panda ... *shudder*

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

103 Connor's Birthday Party!!

A picture says a thousand words, so here are 66,000 to describe Connor's first birthday.

We had a small group, which was great because Connor did not have to freak out. He was comfortable with everyone there, and he was a pretty happy boy all around. He LOVED his cake. Mainly the frosting :) I did not have a baby size cake pan, so it was baked in a Mandarin Orange can. Which actually worked out great. I sprayed the inside and the cake slid out when it was done (better than the ones in the actual cake pans). Obviously I do not have a future in cake decorating, but Connor did not care how ugly his cake looked. As soon as he finished smearing frosting all over his face, we stripped him down and popped him in the sink. He was just too messy to wipe off!! The heart shaped cookie and brownie bites were a huge hit, though it was hard to keep count of how many you popped in your mouth. Katie's favorite was the snow peas. Connor got some really great gifts, but I think he loved being surrounded by the big kids as they "helped" him open his presents. Then they all had a good time "Sharing". The only thing that could have made the day better was if more family could have made it out.
Happy Birthday my little Monkey Man!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

102 One Year Old!!

I know it is completely cliche to say that time has flown by, but it really has!! I don't know where the past year has gone. And even though it seems like just yesterday that he was born, it is impossible to remember just how tiny Connor was when he was born. To look at him now you would never think he had been a preemie. 4 pounds 14 ounces!! And now he is somewhere around 25! He definitely made up for being underweight when he was born. Even though everyone has warned us that he will develop about 6 weeks behind schedule because he was so early, we have never actually experienced that delay (well, if you don't count how long I waited for teeth). Katie took her first steps on her First Birthday, but Connor has been taking steps for a little while. He is so close to just walking around all the time. He is so awesome!! I wish everyone could experience the joy on his face, and the pride, when he walks those few steps to me. He knows that he is doing something HUGE! My baby is not much of a baby anymore, but I will hold on to the bits of baby I can still see as long as possible!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

101 While you were sleeping

Alternative Title - While Chip was ONCE AGAIN SLEEPING ON THE COUCH!!
I got Connor down for a nap, and I was just planning on cutting the cleats for the wall. Then that was so easy I decided to cut down the 2'x4' piece to be 2'x2'. Then that was so easy I decided to go ahead and screw the cleats into the wall. And at that point I might as well just finish it off, right?! Of course, the monkeys that built our house thought it was awfully strange that the bossman kept talking about "plums". That wall was horribly off! What would be the back of the shelf tilted out. The right side, tilted in ... So I had to shave the shelves down. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun with power tools today. They aren't finished, but they are usable. I will tackle the trim for the front later.

Monday, October 6, 2008

100 Toofus

CONNOR HAS TEETH!! Well, if you can call two sharp ridges, barely peaking through pink gums, teeth. Sunday he popped out the first one. He was so sweet when he crawled over and bit my thumb. No, really! It was so darn cute. Then he let Katie feel it, but he decided that he'd had enough dirty fingers in his mouth and would not let Daddy near it. Two days later we have the beginning of number two peaking through. Thankfully he has been really good at not nipping while nursing. Chip still thinks I should wean him next week ... notice I did not say that I think I should. Katie just weaned herself and it went so EASY! I have heard horror stories about forced weanings. Fever and mood swings, screaming babies. Not my idea of how I want Connor to celebrate his first birthday.
Connor is also obsessed with CLIMBING! He has climbed up the stairs (with me directly behind him) a couple of times. He will use anything he can to climb onto the furniture. He will roll his toys up close to get a leg up. I can't do the dishes with him nearby because he will invariably climb onto the door. I changed a couple of the lower kitchen cabinets around and he crawled into those! I thought Katie was a little daredevil, but I am finding out that I was sorely mistaken. This boy is going to end up giving me a heartattack!!

He thinks about walking, but not too hard. He will let go of something, then get so tickled that he is standing that he can't go anywhere. He will just smile and smile until his legs get too tired, then he will slowly lower himself to the floor. He can walk pretty fast when you are holding onto one of his hands. Sometimes, when he thinks we are not paying attention I will see him try a few steps, but he refuses to walk to us. He will probably end up chasing after his sister for his first real walk.
Speaking of Katie, HE LOVES THAT GIRL! The look in his eyes when she is playing with him is pure adoration.

He loves everything she does. Well, except when she tries to pick him up and carry him around. He is not so big on the dangle/carry. She acts like she is punching him in the gut, and he LAUGHS SO BIG! She tugs and pulls on him and he just rolls with laughter. I keep reminding her to be gentle, but he just loves it. She leans in for a kiss and he grabs her hair, which he thinks is the funniest thing ever, even if she does not agree. But, my favorite ... he will reach out and hold her hand at the slightest opportunity. Today I was nursing him and she sat down beside us, he reached right over and took her hand. It was as if he had everything he could ever want.
I think one of the reasons I love watching them together so much is because I must have looked at my brothers like that. It is a little glimpse at what my babyhood must have been like with two older brothers. Then they started treating me like a maid/gopher ... then I just looked at them and rolled my eyes. Ahhh, the good ol' days!
As for the rest of the family. We have just been enjoying the semi-warm weather. After the stifling heat of the summer, this last week has been pretty nice. We have headed out to the park a couple of times. It has been cool enough for the kids to run crazy without collapsing, but warm enough that Katie and Mia could have a water balloon fight. That is until today, when it has poured down rain ...
I was rolling through some pictures to post and came across this one taken on Saturday. I think he might have been hiding it from me!
Once again I put off blogging for a few days, and I know there were things I wanted to say ... too bad I can't remember them!! Oh well, can't have been that important!