Saturday, July 31, 2010

Button Gear

Caly and I have decided that we should start a company called Button Gear that has button-themed cleaning and organizing supplies. That way people could say, "I need to get my Button Gear and start cleaning the living room."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting ready for school

I've been doing all the back-to-school shopping this week. I'm so tickled because I scored 3 free-after-rebate backpacks. One at Staples and two at OfficeMax. What I'm not tickled about is that Quinn is just not ready for school. He's 3 (almost 4) and not completely potty trained. He can go most of the day without a diaper (and even overnight) but just won't poop in a potty. Not only that, but he will pee anywhere. When we're inside and he needs to go he usually asks to go to the bathroom. But if he's outside he just whips it out and starts looking for a good place to let it fly. And no, it's not just in the grass. It's also into any interesting looking container. I am so envisioning angry phone calls from parents who found out he peed in their kid's lunch box during recess. Thank God we have a few more weeks to work on this before school starts. Of course we've been working on it a lot longer than that and it's still a problem.... Maybe you can all cross your fingers for us?

By the way, this post will be deleted at a future date to ensure his privacy. Not that any kid his age won't have a similar post on their mom's blog.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The heat.

It's soooo hot here. It was over 100 actual temperature today and very humid on top of that. We just have a window A/C at home and it's just not cutting it. Even running full out, the house is just uncomfortably warm. And the forecast just keeps calling for more and more heat. I'm starting to think that global warming really sucks!

On the plus side, tomorrow is when Upward Bound ends and Zaven comes home. I know he's technically not that far away, but I missed him. I'm used to seeing my kids every day so it's hard to have him leave for 7 or 8 weeks every summer. Plus this summer has just been so overwhelming. I want things to be more normal. That means having Zaven around.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The magic show

Today was Zoe's birthday. We'll be having a party in a week or two, once the house no longer has active construction going on. For today, we kept things simple. Caly invited her best friend Elysha over and the two of them made a cake for Zoe. We read "Happy Birthday To You," by Dr. Seuss aloud (and I do mean LOUD). That's a family tradition on all the kid's birthdays. We even have them shout 'I am I' from the toppest blue space (usually my bed). And at Zoe's insistance, we had a magic show.

When Caly was in the third grade, she and Elysha started putting on magic shows for us. Any time Elysha spent the night, the two of them pulled out the fanciest play clothes, brought in props from all over the house, and put on a show that involved lots of "OK, close your eyes for a few minutes" and "pretend you don't see the string" moments. And, of course, lots and lots of giggles.

Now the girls are 14 and starting high school. Over the years, the show has evolved. Now it always includes their 'lovely assistant Zoe' and even live animals like the goldfish and the cat. But it still includes fancy outfits and not a single trick that actually works.

You can't improve on perfection.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Good grief! They want you to pay what???

For Zoe's birthday I bought a bunch of Littlest Pet Shop toys both for her gift and for party favors for the few friends coming over. We decided to open the packages and put them in baggies beforehand because I know from experience that it's almost impossible to get those things out of their packaging in a hurry. When we opened the boxes, we saw that there were collector stickers inside and an offer to get a free toy platypus (about 2 inches tall) if you send in 8 stickers. Then we read the fine print and realized you had to BUY a collector's diary to get a form to send in the stickers. The diary comes with a toy pet, too. But still, you have to pay money to get it. So we decided we'd just look online at Amazon and see how much just the platypus cost. $27.95! And it's marked down from $39.99! And you have to pay shipping! Good grief that's insane!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Resisting Temptation

Next week is the last week of Upward Bound, so Zaven will be coming home soon. Then in not quite three weeks, school starts. Next summer he'll have his last summer of Upward Bound and then he'll be going to college. So these last few weeks of summer are some of our last few weeks where our whole family will be together and not overwhelmed with school, sports, lessons, etc.

I want to go on vacation. I want it bad. It's been a rough summer.

But we can't afford a vacation.

I try to be a frugal person, save money when I can, coupon shop, etc. So we've tried 'staycations' in the past. Can I just take this opportunity to say how much I hate staycations? They're great if you live in Chicago or New York where there's a ton to do and even the people who live there can't have done everything... or if you live by the beach or the grand canyon where no matter how many times you've been it's still exciting and new. But for those of us who live in a small town, chances are we've been to every interesting place so often they know us by name. 'Real' vacations are a break from your normal life. Plus real vacations involve someone else cleaning up your living quarters while you're out and about, eating out so there aren't dishes, and staying where your kids can't pull out every toy they own because all those toys and books and videos are back at home.

Sure you can eat all your meals out since you're saving all that money by not paying for airfare, gas, and hotels. But that doesn't take into account how cheap I am. On my vacations, we drive rather than fly, stay in priceline hotels (with free continental breakfasts) at bargain prices, and fix sandwiches in the hotel room so we only eat our lunch mean in restaurants. It doesn't feel bad doing this on vacation because we remind ourselves that the money we're saving is paying for all the cool things we're doing during the day. But fixing sandwiches at home for dinner doesn't feel at all like a vacation because the money we're saving is only paying for the trash pickup and the electric bill.

I keep a pretty close eye on our budget and I know how much we can and can't afford. We CAN'T afford a vacation.

Maybe I'll win the lottery.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

I know I don't have that many readers. But I didn't mean to abandon the few I did have. It's been a long time since I posted and I'm sorry about that. I'm hoping to just start fresh but I feel I owe an explanation. But just like in the Princess Bride, there is too much. So, let me sum up.

Zaven and Caly both had big birthday bashes for which I prepared fancy cakes, etc. Both parties were big sucesses.

My mom had open heart surgery. She's doing great.

Part of our kitchen floor started to sag wildly. Scott cut a 3 foot by 12 foot hole in the floor so he could do repairs. The subfloor is rebuilt but there's still a lot of construction going on so the kids and I have been staying at my mother-in-law's house.

My pets had babies. We are now covered in puppies outside and kittens inside. I'm hoping to give them away soon, but it's hard seeing as I've been staying in another town and Scott has been up to his ears in rebuilding our house.

So that's the summary of the past couple of months. Hope yours went a little more smoothly.