Tuesday, June 30, 2009

These are the days of our lives!

Good Lord! I know it could be worse, but really? Sick kids again? I'm really getting tired of cleaning up vomit and poo. Thursday night, after the whole dog-bite business Sam woke up puking in the middle of the night. I know I told you all about that and Katie being sick too. Well, she's fine now and Audrey has picked up where Katie left off. Since Friday, she's been complaining about her stomach and has had diarrhea. And Sam is still waking up at least once to puke and still is exploding out of his diapers worse than usual. I had my spa day set up for Monday morning and by the time I left the house at 9:30 AM, he was in his 3rd outfit of the day. I just don't know how much more excitement I can take! Last night my stomach started hurting. Thankfully I was okay by morning, but I didn't get much sleep. In the shower I was thinking how yesterday at the same time I was waiting to go to my massage. This morning I was waiting to go to my annual female exam. Oh, how quickly things change.

The spa was wonderful. I had my hour massage--quickest hour ever!--and an eyebrow wax and pedicure. Then it was back to reality! I was supposed to go to a friend's house to sew this afternoon, but since the kids were sick we had to cancel. So, I stayed in and cleaned a little. I swear, the messes around here are like gray hairs. You clean one and two more pop up to take it's place. Except usually it's more like 5 pop up to take it's place. I just can't keep up--even if I wanted to! I did get the LR, hallway, and girl's room picked up, vacuumed, and carpets cleaned. That's something right? My carpets needed it. The LR especially. It gets really bad really fast. I was mortified when all our neighbors were in our house last week because of the dog bite thing. If some robbers had come into our house that day, they would have said, "There's nothing left. Someone's already tossed this place." Really. So...I'm telling myself that I'm going to make a better effort to keep things cleaner. We'll see how long that lasts!

Right now my girls are next door at "Grandma Sherri and Grandpa Jim's" house visiting with Jim and Sherri's REAL grandson, Sebastian. Katie keeps calling him "Sevassion". It's so funny the way she says it. They are so awesome with the girls. The girls go over there and if they aren't feeling up to it or are busy, they just give them a couple peppermints and send them home. If they're up to it, they'll have them over for a while and play with them and then send them home with peppermints later. Katie choked on one while Jim was watching her when I took Audrey to the doctor. I don't know what happened exactly, but I do know that Katie has been refusing peppermints ever since. Must have been semi-traumatic.

The car search is the same. We are waffling. Still. There for a while, I was wanting a Suburban. I still think it would be nice to have all that room as much as we travel and stuff, but I agree with Vince that the MPG is scary. All the salesman keep telling me I should get a minivan. Ugh! Stop with the minivan stuff already. I don't want a van. We are looking at foreign stuff now. I know, I know. Buy American and all that. Try comparing the MPG and resale values, though. I have narrowed my searches down to a Nissan Pathfinder or a Honda Pilot. I'm leaning toward the Honda. They are amazingly roomy, not to mention safe and more fuel-efficient. And the resale value is the best. The problem is, there aren't any used ones here in RC. The closest ones that we have found in our price range are in Ft. Collins, CO. It's about 5 hours from here. We're thinking road trip! My uncle lives there and it's close to Denver so we could hit the zoo and the Rockies and stuff and make a mini-vacation out of it. So, maybe I'll have a different car soon. At this point it's really a crap shoot. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Drama Mama

Geez. It has been a busy week as usual. Audrey had dance camp all week and her friend went too, so I was shuttling kids around. Plus, Aud had a couple play-dates in the afternoons after dance camp, plus Vince has been gone, plus it has been nice out so we have been at the park a lot and hanging out with friends, plus working at the Y yesterday and running errands. Then, yesterday evening we were in the backyard hanging up some laundry when I heard our neighbor call to me and start talking. Yes, THAT neighbor. She's hardly said 2 words to me in the 16 months we have lived here. (She did ask me once, about 3 months after Sam was born, if I'd had the baby yet. I was in my bathing suit at the time. Yeah, it's like that.) Well, Kim picked that moment to speak to me, so I walked over to the fence to chat. 'Cause y'all know I never pass up a chance to chat! Audrey came over and so did the dogs. All of the dogs started barking at one another through the fence and one of her dogs, a chocolate lab, stood up and put her head over the fence and bit Audrey's shoulder. She just put her mouth around Aud's shoulder and chomped down. I slapped the dog and she let go, so I pushed Audrey away from the fence to take a look at it. Audrey was wailing and there was a lot of blood coming out of this one puncture on the back of her shoulder. I took her inside and slapped a napkin over it to staunch the bleeding, then I ran next door and got Jim to come watch the little kids. I called the doctor's office and they told me to go ahead and bring her in. Kim came over too and wanted to know if there was anything she could do. I told her no and bundled Audrey into the car. The doctor at the Urgent Care clinic said he didn't want to stitch it in case of infection, so he cleaned it up and put a steri-strip across it to hold it together. She has a pretty good bruise going across the front of her shoulder and then the nasty-looking puncture in the back which I'm sure will bruise too. At the clinic they told me that they had to report the incident to the authorities even if I didn't want to press charges or anything. State law. Great! As if relations aren't already strained. I know it's the right thing to do for my kids and for the 2 yr. old that Kim babysits every day. When we got home, I tried to go to her house and let her know what the Dr. said, but she wasn't there. So, I got the little ones from Jim and Sherri's house and came home. We were just heading out the door to grab some dinner (this all happened around dinner-time. It was almost 7 and the kids still hadn't eaten), when Kim and Trent came over to see how Audrey was. I could tell that she felt really bad. She said they had just gotten home from Lowe's where they picked up some 6-foot privacy fencing. Yay! She wants to pay any Dr. bills left after insurance pays and she wants to take Audrey to the toy store for a shopping spree. I'm okay with the first, but the shopping....eh, not so much. I don't know her well enough to take my kid out alone, especially with her prior flaky behavior. Of course, Audrey is all about it. Anyway, the animal control people called last night to get some information. They are taking the dog for a 10-day quarantine and then they will have to take her to the vet for testing and exams and will have certain stipulations they have to follow from now on. I told Kim that someone would be contacting them about this and that we didn't want anything to happen to the dog (whom she refers to as her daughter), but that the clinic had to report it. She wasn't mad and said that she knew it was state law. So that's good. Then she started telling me how cute my kids were and how she never realized how pretty I was and what was I doing to lose all my baby weight so fast, etc...Yeah, blow some more smoke, lady!

To top all that off, Sam woke up last night vomiting and was covered in diarrhea this morning. Then Katie came in and said she had poop in her diaper (she still sleeps in them) and it was diarrhea too. Great!! I tell ya, I can't take any more excitement around here. And of course, V was out of town for all this. It's a good thing I have a spa day scheduled on Monday, courtesy of my mother-in-love. I need it. Hell, I may need an entire spa-week!

In other news, I may have found us a car. We'll see what V thinks. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back to normal

I say that because we just spent a week with Vince's parents and our niece and nephew. This was just a short time after we returned from vacation, so life hasn't been "normal" for several weeks now. But that's about to change. My in-loves left Saturday morning after spending the entire week cramming in as much fun stuff as possible. They hit the Chapel in the Hills, Old MacDonald's Farm, Reptile Gardens, Watiki water park (3 nights in a row), the 1880's train, Custer State Park, the dinosaur museum in Hill City, Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon and Devil's Tower. I think that's all. Maybe. The kids had a blast with G'ma and G'pa and Alex and Bryanna. I spent several of those days with them just to hang out and help a little with the kids. At night, Vince, Sam and I would head for home and leave all those kids in the hotel with 2 exhausted grandparents. I talked to my MIL a little bit ago and they were close to home and starting the laundry. My girls have been sleeping a lot since they left. I think they were worn out too. We really had fun.

It has finally gotten warmer here. It has been raining every day here for several weeks and I'm pretty tired of it. It's really green though. Today it was in the 80's and Audrey wanted to have a lemonade stand. We had some fruit chiller tube things too, so she decided to add that to her wares. She said that she was going to have a "lem-pop stand" since she was selling both. She comes up with some silly stuff. She sat out there in her star-shaped sunglasses waving at cars and made $14! She kept saying, "I'm rich!!" It was cute. People were driving by and then making a U-turn to come back and buy some lemonade. One lady even gave Katie a tip for being a good assistant. She promptly used her dollar to buy a couple of popsicles. She's like her mama. That dollar bill was burning a hole in her pocket! After Audrey got tired of doing the lemonade stand and we put everything away, she asked me what else she could do to make some money. I told her that she could do some chores around the house. She said, "Nah. I know! I'll paint some rocks and sell those!" So, she scooped some rocks out of our neighbor's driveway and proceeded to paint them. Whatever makes her happy. It kept both girls busy for a while and Sam was napping so I actually got some quiet time to read my book next to my painters. Audrey wants to buy something with part of her money. We'll see what she decides on. She put some in her bank to save and kept some back to give to charity, and a couple bucks are for the collection plate. Vince and I have decided that she needs a regular chore to do for an allowance. She likes to help with the dogs, so we are thinking that she can be the official pooper-scooper. We are going to get her one of those fancy scoops to make it easier. I'm not sure how long it will last, but she does like money so maybe she'll stick with it.

I have to give a couple of shout-outs to some friends today. The first is to congratulate my friend Craig and his wife Jaime on the birth of their baby girl Tatum. She sure is a cutie! Hope you guys are getting some sleep. Keep sending those pictures. And tell Jaime that I don't think it's fair that she can look so good just after giving birth. Not a hair out of place!

The other is for my friend Sheri, who knows me and my family far too well. For our birthdays, she sent one big package for the year (she said it would be easier that way and I have to agree) including some yummy lotion, M&M's, goldfish crackers, Twizzlers, and a set of 4 water guns. LOL! Snacks, candy, and weapons--is that fitting or what?! The night that we got the package I had a not-so-nutritious, but oh-so-delicious dinner of Twizzlers and M&M's. I did go run the next morning, so there! Anyhow, we thank you girl. You rock!

V and I have been having the car discussion lately. Trying to decide if we should get a different car. We like our Explorer and it's nice to have the 3rd row for when we have company, but it sure would be nice to have a little more room and less miles. We just rolled over 72,000. On the other hand, how often do we actually use the 3rd row? And if we traded now, we would end up not getting what we owe for our trade-in. We also don't really want to make a bigger payment. We like our low one, thank you very much. We have looked at several things. I really liked the idea of a Suburban, but am also really scared of the MPG. Vince says it's like grocery shopping when you're hungry. We just had company and were wishing for a bigger car so we didn't have to take 2 everywhere we went, but now that everyone is gone we won't need that bigger car. For the moment, I think we have decided to keep this one and just make sure that it's running well. Need to get that cracked windshield taken care of too. Dang South Dakota winters. The salt and gravel that they put down really does a number on your vehicle. Soooo, I'll keep you posted on that. As if you care.

What else? Nothing I guess. Just need to get the girls into bed. They really need a bath first, but it's past their bedtime already, so we'll hold off until the morning I suppose. Gotta hit the Wal-Mart in the morning. Ugh. Our Wal-Mart is HORRIBLE! But it's the cheapest store around. And when you spend over $300 on groceries every 3 weeks, cheap is good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

From the mouths of babes

Some funnies from Katie:

While pointing a spear-like stick at Vince and standing in a defensive position: "Don't even think about it."

When she got to go inside to see our neighbor's new camper: "This is absolutely cool!" She said this with a serious look on her face and with her arms spread out like she was really surveying her surroundings.

Sitting in the back seat of the car, she starts singing in a low voice, "A big 'ol man from Tennessee."

While trying to get out of a tight spot: "How in the HELL-O am I supposed to get out of here?" (That's a quote from Madagascar 2)

She calls our neighbor, Sherri "Shewwi" or "siwwy Shewwi" (silly Sherri).

A funny from Audrey:

After I told her that she looked cute she said, "Well, if I'm so cute I should be able to do anything I want then."

Long time no blog

Well, hello there happy blog fans!! Sorry it's been a while. I have actually logged on to finish this several times before today, but I get interrupted every time. Dang kids. I'm kidding!

We've been back from vacation now for almost a week and some of us, who shall remain nameless (Vince) are still getting dressed out of a suitcase. That's how little we've accomplished since we got back. My house is still in a shambles, but when is it not really? My in-loves are coming tomorrow to stay for about a week. I really should clean up for them. They are only staying here for a couple of nights and the rest of the time they are taking the girls and staying in the hotel with the huge Watiki indoor water park. They are also bringing with them our niece, Bryanna and our nephew, Alex. I'm sure the kids will have lots of fun and G'ma and G'pa will be completely exhausted! It was G'ma's idea. She's nuts. Once again, I'm kidding. She's not really nuts. Just insane.

We had a blast on our vacation to Yellowstone and Glacier. Most of you are aware, I'm sure, that we rented a pop-up camper and took the kids and the dogs for 10 days through Wyoming and Montana. We probably saw more of Montana than most people who live there. We stayed in Wyoming the first couple of days and traveled through the Bighorn mountains, over to Cody, up through the Beartooth range via the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, which has to be one of the prettiest drives in America, up through Cooke City, MT (home of the gold-plated camper tires) and back down into Yellowstone. At Yellowstone we saw a black bear, elk, pronghorn, bald eagles, lots of buffalo, tons of ground squirrels (which the girls loved) and some of the most beautiful scenery we've ever seen. We even got stuck in a buffalo jam one day. They were stampeding across the road. I think one of the prettiest things was Yellowstone Lake. We picnicked there one day. We got "geysered on" as Vince says. One of the geysers was going off (think it was Fountainhead? or something like that) and we walked through all the steam to get across the boardwalk. As we were walking, it sprayed us. The water was so warm! Katie and Sam were NOT fans. We saw another geyser that some rangers told us they had never seen go off before. That was cool. And we saw Old Faithful twice. The first time it was very cold out and we were standing right in front of it. When it went off, the wind changed and all we could see was steam. It was a let-down. We went over to the Old Faithful Inn for breakfast (I highly recommend the breakfast buffet, it was delicious) and by the time we were done Old Faithful was ready to go off again. This time we were standing on the side and got great views of the water shooting into the air. We spent lots of money on souvenirs there. We were really happy that we had the camper since it was cold and rained most of the time that we were there. From there, we went north, through the arch that Roosevelt built and into Montana. That night we stayed in a private campground with showers and laundry. I have never been so thankful for a hot shower in my life! We were getting a little ripe after 4 days without one. Then we visited a ghost town at Garnet, MT. It was neat because a lot of the stuff was still there. It's maintained by the BLM and another group like "Save Garnet Assoc." or something. Most of the buildings are standing and in pretty good shape and some of them still have furnishings in them. The old hotel still had the beds and some wallpaper and stuff. It was pretty cool. From there we headed toward Missoula and saw the old state penitentary. I think I spelled that wrong. Anyway, it's the old prison. That was cool too and a little creepy I thought. The kids fell asleep after so we kept driving on up to Flathead Lake. Along the way we stayed at a couple of Montana State Parks and they were really nice. Some had showers and really nice facilities. We enjoyed Flathead Lake a lot. It was actually warmer and sunny that day so the kids wanted to get in the water. It was waaaay too cold for me. Audrey flopped around a little bit and Katie got in to her knees, but Sam thought his feet were just fine, thank you, after getting them a little wet. They say that even in the summer, the water there usually hovers around 60 degrees. We were actually able to build a fire that night and spent a nice time roasting chicken, hot dogs, brats, and marshmallows. Then when the kids went to bed, V and I broke open a bottle of wine and sat around the fire. It was so nice to just sit and relax. Camping is hard work, especially when you break camp and move every night. The next day we left there and went to Glacier. It was even more beautiful than Yellowstone I thought. We stopped at Lake McDonald (I could talk forever about the green water and rainbow colored rocks) and had lunch. I picked up some purple rocks--so cool, but don't tell the park rangers! Then we spent lots more money on souvenirs and headed East to the other side of Glacier because at this time of year, the pass over is still not open. They were still plowing all the snow off the roads. Ridiculous. It's June! On the way we stopped at Goatlick to see the mountain goats. They go there to lick the minerals off the rocks. We were looking at the ones that were way up on the side of the mountain resting when Vince goes, "Hey look right there." There was one just across the gorge from us! I've seen mountain goats at Mt. Rushmore before, but they are so tame that they come into the parking lot to eat the bushes and have tags in their ears. We really wanted to see a grizzly, from a distance of course, and everywhere we went we had to take all the precautions with our food and such because they come into the campgrounds all the time supposedly. By the end of the trip I was ready to smear myself with honey and sleep in the middle of the campgrounds because we never even got a whiff of one. Dangit. So, that night we were expecting some snowy stuff to blow in. We camped on the East side of Glacier so that we could plug in and have heat all night. And boy did we need it! It snowed like crazy that night. We had planned on staying 2 nights there, but it was supposed to snow all day and into the next night and you couldn't see anything because of all the clouds, so we left after driving around the area for a bit. We did see Jackson Glacier. A little. It was all white with the snow and because of the fog we could only see the outline of it and couldn't get any pictures of it. That's okay. I saw a glacier! Then we headed in a southerly direction and stayed near Billings in a really nice KOA Kampground. We stayed for 2 nights because we were tired. After that we headed for home, but stopped for a little bit at Little Bighorn Battlefield Nat'l Memorial. That's a mouthful. It was nice to be home.

We all had a great time. Audrey really liked roasting marshmallows. Katie just ate hers raw. She kept asking to go home. She's my little homebody. Audrey didn't want to go home. She's got her Daddy's adventurous spirit I think. Sam was our little alarm clock. He had a hard time sleeping on this trip. I'm sure it was just that we were all in the camper and there was too much going on. He slept with V and I. So, every morning somewhere around 5:30, he was up with the sun. Therefore, we were up with the sun. Then he would get to sleep in the car while we drove around. I think he was happy to be back in his bed too. He slept forever that night. I did take my running shoes with me on this trip. They stayed packed away. Getting all sweaty and then waiting 4 days for the next shower didn't really appeal to me or anyone else. Plus, it rained and rained and rained. I'm not opposed to running in a little rain, but not pouring rain. I'm pretty sure I gained a considerable amount of weight on this trip. I'm afraid to get on the scale, but my pants are a wee bit tight! We ate a lot. So, when I got back I headed for the gym. I am sooo sore!! It's amazing to me how quickly you lose strength and endurance and how long it takes to gain it back. I have been out the past couple of days on runs. That first day I thought I was gonna die! I had to take a nap later to get rid of the pounding head after those 2 miles. I pushed myself too hard. This morning I ran/walked 3 miles and feel better than I did yesterday. Never put off running for a month. It sucks. Here's another tip for ya. Don't eat bunches of fried pies in the same week that you decide to start running again. It's no good for your jiggly bits.

I need to go do something more useful, like help my daughters make their lunch. One is currently standing on the counter trying to reach the PB while the other is standing with the fridge door open looking for the jelly that is right in front of her face. Sam's in his bed yelling at me to be let out too. Back to work! Let's see if can stand on these wobbly, sore legs. Bye!