Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas gifts this year

What did we receive for Christmas this year? We tried to keep it low key and with not too much stuff. B doesn't play with much these days and V plays with everything. She's really at a fun age to buy for. I think was her favorite (picked out by dad):

Lip Balm making kit
easy, fun. I wish it had more wax beads because there is only enough to make four of them.

my favorite gift to her was this: American Girl Like Me Doll . Crazy expensive, but oh how I love it so. I hope she loves it as much as I do.

She also loves this: Trolls Hair Chalk The kit I bought was at Five Below. It isn't coming out easily, either.

Benny got some Hot Wheels stuff. He really isn't into little cars, but I want him to be.

This little sound machine was a huge hit.

P bought me a deluxe Kindle. Spoiled rotten, I am.

My favorite gifts to him were this USA and National Park Scratch Off Map. Now he can record all his travels!

as well an an Ibex hat. Wow, they have nice things.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

School Holiday Party

I really like V's school. It seems huge to me though - she has three 2nd grades and a 2nd/3rd split. Her class has 28 kids in it and aide for only 2 hours in the afternoon. Yikes! Her class is really diverse, there are kids from several different countries and also different ethnic groups and races. She loves learning about differences and wishes she could speak another language. Her school won a Blue Ribbon Award this year.

Due to working full time, I don't get to volunteer in her class much at all. We both wish it was different. I took the afternoon off last year and this year to come in and help at her Holiday Party. The other parents were really friendly and the kids were so well behaved and mature! I was really impressed.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Leftovers - Holiday Edition

* The holidays are coming on fast and furious. I ordered most of the gifts online which I dislike. However, it's the only way with my current time limitations.

* The Festival of Trees was early this year. I took the kids for the 3rd year and this year was better than last, which was lackluster. We were there shortly after opening, no line to meet Santa. We have the same Santa and the positions of children in picture as last two years (unintentional).

* We decorated some sugar cookies last night and the kids were waaayyy more interested in eating the toppings then decorating.

* Since V didn't have a birthday party (we were gone most of August), and I failed to make it up to her with a Halloween Party as promised, she is having 4-5 other girls from her class over tomorrow to make crafts, decorate cookies, eat pizza and watch a holiday movie.

* My family still expects me to make a bunch of cookies for them given my EXTREMELY busy state. I compromised and made some easy fudge from a kit and some sugar cookies from pre-made dough since it was an activity I could do with the kids. They all are less busy than I am, my mom and sister refuse to bake or cook.

* I wanted to do a Christmas night at the Zoo or Greenfield Village but again, time.

* On Christmas Day I want to sit on the couch, relax, play with my kids and snuggle with my husband. I don't want to entertain, do dishes, go anywhere. It a simple goal, but sometimes impossible.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A (weekend) day in the life

I don't think people really understand just how busy we are. Maybe my day doesn't sound busy, but it seemed fairly crazy to me. I won't even blog about yesterday.

Last night was P's Holiday work party. It was nice. I was up a bit later than usual - 11:00. I woke up around 5ish, then drifted back off until 6:40 when I heard the pitter patter of little feet. On weekends, I leave a phone or Ipad for Benny, then he takes it back to his room until at least 7:15 am. It allows me to get a bit more rest. V will wake up and stay in her room reading until we go get her. Most of the time.

Around 7:30 am I blundered downstairs, got the kids milk and cereal bars. I drank some water and dealt with V looking for Elf on the Shelf. P blundered downstairs, looking terrible. I found him some aleve and water. I made an Optifast smoothie and then sat on the couch while V and B fought and annoyed each other. After getting jumped on and the blanket pulled off me while I tried to read the news, I finally found my workout clothes and went down the basement around 9:00. Before that I gave V her ADHD medication and hoped it would settle her down.

B hung out with me and finally I set him up with Playdoh so I could finish some newer Jane Fonda for 40 min. I did the rowing machine for 10 minutes then called it a day. P was resting. I swtiched over the laundry and went upstairs to get dressed and take a quick shower.
By this time it was around 10:30. I wanted to run out to the store but we had to get ready for a birthday party at noon. I had some Diet Coke (didn't get to finish because V poured stuff in it) and gave the kids a snack of watered down juice and some baked Lays. Took the kids upstairs and helped them pick up clothes and get dressed. Picked up random crap and garbage for a few minutes.

11:40 am. We had thankfully already wrapped the gifts so we drove over. Spent some time at the party and kids were a bit whiny.

2:00 pm - Drove through McD's drive through and bought a Diet Coke for P and I.
2:20 pm - Ate some leftovers from last night. Delish! Assembled the Christmas Village from P's childhood on the mantle and kept asking V to help me. She was cutting up pieces of old ribbons to make belts. B spent some time in the bathroom. I switched over the laundry and put on the oven. I put some pre-made sugar cookies in to bake for V's party on Saturday. Made four dozen.
3:30 - left to take Benny to a playdate. It was a 12 minute drive. Was there until 6:00. Called my mom to check in on the drive home.
6:10 - home. hungry. P felt better and had supervised V's shower and piano practice, helped her with homework, did the dishes, played a boardgame with V.
I found something to eat. Benny ate at playdate, V ate while I was out. P didn't eat. Got the kids milk. Plugged in the Christmas lights. Emailed book club because I didn't read book and wouldn't make it tonight.
Set up V on IXL math program on my laptop. Benny kept bugging her and I and whining. P ended up taking him for a bath.
7:15 - decided to make some Oreo bark. V cried and whined the entire time about wanting some. I poured her medicine - Bactrim (urinary reflux). I emptied the laundry and took V upstairs while P was getting Benny to bed. V got ready for bed (with much prompting) and I put away laundry in her room while she read. P switched off with me and I went downstairs. Realized it was snowing so I found all the kids' snowpants and boots and gloves and labeled them in neat bags for school.

8:30 - cut up and put away the cooled Oreo bark. Realized that I am really really tired.
9:00 - sit down finally. Get a class of water. Wait for Westworld to start.

Is anyone else this busy?


Friday, November 11, 2016

Benny talks about my dad

My dad died 13 years ago and unfortunately will never meet my kids. I don't talk about him to the kids that much and I don't have a ton of pictures of his around. He and I were very close and I miss him every day. Benny was in bed with the lights off and I was snuggling him.

Benny: Is Grandpa Jerry a little bit dead?
Me: ? yes, he died.
Benny: Is he a little bit dead?
Me: yes.
Benny: He got sick. He needed a Band Aid.
Me: ?
Benny: He's better now. He likes to walk in the sand.

Okay. What was going on in his little head? What prompted him to talk about this? Are these small children more open to seeing/experiencing things than we are?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

1st day of School

The first day of school has come and gone and I am just now posting. We start late here in Michigan since a state law was passed mandating a post-Labor Day start (helps with tourism $$$). V started 2nd grade and Benny started pre-K both at the same place as last year. (pretty much daycare, but with a preschool teacher and more formal learning). V was prescribed glasses in July, just for school work. So far, V really likes school, and Benny has been really tired, both going to bed an hour early. V is still going to before and after school care, which she really likes. Benny really wants to go to V’s school and after school care. I think we are going to try him at her camp in the summer. But he has to become more comfortable in the water and changing clothes before that time. Both are required. Here’s to a good school year!

Sunday, August 21, 2016


"Mama, I don't like surf boarding (he was watching wakeboards).  I'm small".

"Mama,  zero isn't a number"

"The gorilla doesn't eat people".  

"Mama,  dogs can't use the potty.  They don't have penises".

"Mama,  you're my best friend".   
Me -  later that week-  " who is your best friend?"  
Benny -"Paz and Paloma" (twins at daycare).  Thanks buddy.

"Mama,  you're a rock star".

"Mama,  you're sooo beautiful".

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mom to the rescue

Benny usually doesn't have any issues with bathrooms. He is good about telling you when he needs to go or just doing it. He likes to have a lot of time to peruse the IPad for certain bathroom times, which I indulge. V had some issues with leaking and wetting which I haven't talked about. I took her to the MD and they said it was "behavioral". WHATEVER. Well, two months after that she became very ill. She was having high fevers and lethargy. I took her back to the MD and insisted that they test her urine, and they found out she had a UTI, which later grew out E.coli on culture. I had demanded a referral to Urology prior to this because I KNEW they were wrong. No seven year old starts wetting the bed and leaking all day long out of the blue. At Urology, they ordered an ultrasound and cystography which thankfully Paul took her too. It was pretty rough. It did show that MAMA was correct, she had urinary reflux and a bladder wall deformity of some sort. That with her encopresis can be a challenge. She is now on prophylactic Bactrim daily to prevent any infections. We have to go back to Urology and I know they are going to want another test and I just don't know if we can get V to go along. Last time she had the luxury of not knowing what was going to happen. It's tough she has another problem to manage, a problem that can have some social stigma to it. But right now she doesn't need surgery, and we are watching it closely.

So we were at counseling for Victoria (her ADHD). Benny and I hang in the waiting room and he is allowed some Ipad time. He was so worried about someone taking away his precious Ipad, that he didn't mention he had to potty and proceeded to have an accident on the waiting room floor. I cleaned it up with paper towels. (It was carpet ). We walked to the car to try and find extra clothes or a swimsuit. There were none. So I took the trash liner out of the garbage, put his clothes in, and tied my sweater around like a skirt. He didn't mind at all. Motherhood - makeshift clothing achievement = unlocked.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Peanuts Birthday

As I've posted before, Benny is obsessed with Peanuts. In the car today, he exclaimed, "Good grief mama!". Peanuts was briefly popular when the Peanuts movie came out about a year ago, and now everything has disappeared from stores. I decided to actually plan ahead (something that is not my strength) and make his birthday as Peanut-y themed as I could. We decided to have his birthday at a local gymnastics place that he has been into for a while. Trampolines, jumping, blocks, tumble track, balance beams for 45 min, then 45 min in the lobby. It was fairly economical and we brought all the food, which I like, instead of forcing people to eat gross cold cheap pizza supplied by the venue.

I ordered him a shirt off Etsy, they did a great job! His sister got a shirt from Kohl's and I did too so we were representing Peanuts. I couldn't find one for Daddy.

I got his cake from Kroger. Not the cheapest or best place, but driving 40 min round trip to Costco, or 20 min to Sam's made it worth it. Kroger was willing to put a yellow background with a black stripe. I bought the figurines at Target and put some on the cake. Note: Black icing is mess!

Some people are not big believers in gift bags. I understand that, although I love gift bags. I try not to put junk in them, just some little snacks. The little canvas bags are Oriental Trading, on clearance from Valentine's Day. They were the perfect size to put a few little things in. The little balls, puffy stickers, and necklaces were ordered from there too. Kroger had Snoopy fruit snacks - 5 for $1.

So it was a fun day, and Benny had a LOT of fun, which makes it nice.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Plans

V is going back to the Rec Center camp this summer. I wanted her to do the school camp, since it is at the elementary school right down the road from her elementary school (the west side of our town has a lot of population growth) and I like the teachers and she knows a lot of the kids. However, she wanted to go back to the Rec Center, which is out of our way, but not crazily so. My only complaints are that she is in the pool four days a week (her hair gets fried from the chlorine), she gets crazy tired, they are forgetful about her medicine, and it has a huge parking lot, where I have to park and walk through the facility with a preschooler which adds a lot of time onto our day. They do go on fun field trips every Thursday. It is also $20 cheaper a week than the school camp.

The 2nd week of August she is going to day camp with her friend at Greenfield Village. What a great opportunity! I am carpooling, so will have to drive over there after work (probably an hour) and do pickup. The last week of August we are driving across the country!

I kept Benny at daycare for the summer. I considered putting him in some sort of active day camp, but ended up keeping him there for the following reasons: He will be there in the fall for Pre-K, his friends are there, he still needs a nap, it is 0.6 miles from my house. Next year he can attend V's camp, but it is pretty fast paced and he will just be entering Kindergarten.

We'd like to do some weekend trips this summer, but it seems like it is jam-packed full.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hello, Hello

A month passes. Hahahaha! We've had the end of school, baseball x 2, dance rehearsal and recital, Memorial Day, Our Anniversary, my birthday, a bad illness for Benny, a surgery (cancelled at the last minute, more on that - GRRR), a weekend trip. It's all just too much. I need to clone myself or work part time. It's insane. I take a look at my last blog post and realize a month has went by.

Here are some children pictures:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Crabbo McCrabpants

Someone was a crabby, short-tempered, quick-to-cry, non-eater this weekend. Thursday they called me from daycare saying that he had tackled his friend Bradley (He does this at home), and Bradley's finger ended up in his eyeball. He had been crying for 30+ minutes (he isn't a crier),and wouldn't open his eye. She was worried his cornea got scratched. UGH UGH. P was out of town and both kids had dance. I picked up V early, intending to take her to Urgent Care with us, but at the last minute, wondered if my neighbor was home. She has a 4 year old and one year old and is crazy busy, so I felt badly asking her. But I wasn't sure if I could handle him so upset AND her demands at Urgent Care (I've done it before). So she was kind enough to take V (Her four year old loves V), and I gave her a long lecture about not begging for treats and minding her manners.

I went to school to get Benny and he had a paper towel compress over his eye. He wouldn't let anyone see. We got to Urgent Care and there was no wait (hooray!) THis nurse came by and sweet talked him into taking off the compress. He blinked, and then seemed fine! They tried to put dye in it, which didn't go well. They thought it wasn't scratched, and sent us home with eye drops.

This weekend, he was so crabby. I thought his eye hurt. With Tylenol every seven hours, life was improved.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Is why I can't cut his hair.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My afternoon every day.

Since P and I both work outside the home, he is usually responsible for getting the children up, dressed (I leave out the outfits, perfectly coordinated with the weather), fed, sunscreened, medicated, and dropped off and school and daycare. I am still responsible for V's lunch, and setting out their coats and shoes. If I had to do morning and evenings I do not think I could work outside the home. In his last position, he used to travel a lot and it was just so tough on me to do both. I had a rough time getting up earlier and getting the children up earlier. It also causes me to get into work almost an hour later (8:30) then I like to be there. In addition, the traffic to work is much worse the later I go in.

So I do pickup. P really doesn't have a predictable evening schedule. Although in his new job of three months, it seems like he is getting home earlier ~ 7:00 pm, most days, and no weekends. I leave work anywhere between 4:05 and 4:35 pm. It is a 20 minute drive to my house (on most days). Fortunately, my home, daycare, and V's school are all within one mile of each other, unfortunately, it is an extremely busy road with no sidewalks. Some days I use the 20-30 minutes to run a few errands - usually Kroger or gas or pharmacy. I stop at the daycare and Benny is always glad to see me! I strap him in and 0.4 miles down the road we pull in to V's school. She attends before and after school care and really, really likes it. If you are early to pick her up, she is not pleased about it. Benny loves to pick her up. If it is after a certain time, they are playing on the playground. Benny loves to go slide while I find her and sign her out. Then we have to walk all the way through the school (It's a big school) and collect her things and out to the car. The best part is that Benny loves to sit at the desk in the front lobby and pretend he is a student. "My books go down here, and my pencil goes here". He is so proud.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

7.5 years (late!)

I did this interview style.

What do you like best about being 7.5?
Well, I get to go on lots of rollercoasters and do fun stuff.

What don't you like about 7.5?
I have to do lots of chores (she really doesn't)

What is your favorite TV show?
SpongeBob Squarepants (it really isn't)

What is your favorite food?
ice cream

What is your favorite thing to do at school?
play with Mila and reading

Where do you like to go?
The Summit to swim

What is your favorite shopkin?
Roxy Ring. it's a limited edition.

What do you like to wear?
pretty fashionable dresses with sequins

What do you like about Daddy?
He reads me stories at bedtime

What do you like about MaMa?
she likes to buy things online for me (?)

How do you want to make the world a better place?
clean up all the trash that people litter.

What do you like best about Benny?
I don't know. I like how he plays with me.

What do you like best about yourself.
I don't know. I like how I look. I like how pretty I am.
What about on the inside?

Is there anything you would like to invent in the future?
I don't know. A TV that is 100 feet wide.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A fashion designer or a famous singer

What do you like about your house?
I like the way my bedroom looks.

How many kids when you grow up?
what would you name them?
Ruby and Emerald if they were both girls. John and Bob if they were both boys. If I had a boy and a girl it would be Mila and the boy's name would be James.

How do you think people will live in the future?
Maybe they will eat bigger food. Maybe a a big cereal piece as big as the round table in the living room.

Where would you most like to visit?
Canada. I like to visit Yellowstone or Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


"I'm ready to go bike riding".  (It's 57 out)


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Peanuts Obsession

Victoria has has various obsessions throughout her 7.5 years. The first was Elmo for maybe ages 18 mo-3? Then Disney Princesses of course. A small Frozen interest, right when it came out - maybe age 5? Scooby Doo for a while. Then it was Winx videos on the Ipad, a short Monster High time. Now it is mostly Shopkins.

Benny liked Elmo for a while. The current obsession, probably for the last four- ish months is Peanuts and Charlie Brown. P had purchased a three pack of the Peanuts holiday specials (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) for Victoria and we watched them at appropriate times. Benny somehow became obsessed with them. I ended up buying a few other Snoopy and Charlie Brown DVDs I found around. He also likes my Charlie Brown Dictionary that I received for Christmas in 1978 (complete with inscription). He can name every character, and quotes (sometimes not so nice) things from the DVDs - "You blockhead!" "Momma, I'm NOT your sweet Baboo". He carries around the DVDs, scratching them in the process and begs to watch it. He screams out loud when he watches it and finds something funny. His favorite characters when prompted are "Marcie" and "Charlie Brown".

What a surprise. But Peanuts is great (with the exception of mean Lucy) and it's been fun memories for me.

Snoopy and Woodstock shirt. The headband was his own selection.

With one of his precious DVDs. He took it to bed.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Night Leftovers

Friday Night Leftovers

Why yes, I’m alive. I always say how busy I am, but it’s true. Some nights, I don’t have time to eat dinner, so just grab a smoothie or something fast like toast and cheese.

I been doing a much better job of putting the laundry away lately. P has been taking V to counseling appointments on Wednesday nights instead of me, so I’ve been putting away laundry those nights, so it’s not such a terrible job (around 5 loads) on Sunday. So much laundry.

Also helping with laundry put away is that I’ve gotten into watching “The Walking Dead”. I run it on the Ipad while I put away laundry. I have always read and watched a lot of post-apocalyptic movies and books. We had watched the first four episodes on Netflix some time ago, but P wasn’t that huge of a fan. When I was off having surgery there was a marathon, so I Tivo’d the rest of season one and most of two. Then I started downloading on Amazon. I’m now on Season six. So amazing. So heartbreaking. I’m a Rick fan of course. Rick all the way! Carol has to be my 2nd favorite character, followed by Glenn.

I’ve been trying to get back into running after my break for surgery. One day I did one mile, and one day I did 1.6 miles. I wish I was back up to 2.5 miles that I had been doing previously. I still want to do a 5K in April. I need some serious training before then.

The weather has been crazy lately. 50 and sunny one day, 55 and artic force winds the next day, 42 the next day, 65 and sunny the next day. Welcome to Spring in Michigan.

We had the presidential primary here in Michigan last week. Trump and Sanders won. My two least favorite candidates. C’mon Michigan.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I'm hanging in there two weeks posy surgery.  I wanted to blog every day but just never got around to it.  Taking meds and keeping hydrated and feeling miserable takes lots of time.   Anyway, I had a good day Saturday and Sunday and by Sunday evening I was feeling terrible.  So I was on the couch and "Dr. Benny" came over with the medical kit.  Here he is listening to my heartbeat.  I paid for his services in m & m's.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


I finally had my surgery -  I'm in the thick of recovery -  day 4, and its rotten.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hand me down sweater

My mother was cleaning her cedar chest out (which is sorely needed IMHO), and found this Snoopy sweater my nephew's (he lived with us at the time) other grandmother made him.  Benny is very into Snoopy and Charlie Brown right now AND it's winter.  So the sweater was awesome.  My nephew is 24 years old BTW,  so this sweater is approximately 20 years old.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Being three (and a half).

I was coming downstairs from putting away laundry (of course). Paul was supervising Victoria's bath.   Benny was watching Charlie Brown.

Benny:  mom (not mama like usual), I peed in my underpants.
Me:  you did?  Let's go in the potty.
Benny: my pants aren't wet.
Me:  oh yes they are.  What happened?
Benny:  I don't know.

Paul:  did he pee on the new chair?  (We just got him a mini-poang chair from IKEA).  He put it together about 30 minutes ago.
Me:  yes
Benny:  what a mess!  Someone peed in this chair.

Paul:  do you know what happened to this chair?
Benny:  I don't know.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Night Leftovers - New Year Edition

·         Going back to work over the Holidays is tough!  It was a rough week, everyone wants to stay home and no one wants to get up.
·         V received a dancing game for the Wii for Christmas.  I think Benny likes playing it the best.  He will dance along, but when he gets a Wii controller, he stands in awe and watches the screen. 
·         I’ve been running.  I’m up to 2.5 miles.  Sometimes it is wonderful, sometimes it is tough.  I’m up to about 10 miles a week.  Small peanuts to some, HUGE accomplishment for me.
·         I worked a lot over the Holidays.  I wish I would have been home with the kids more, so I’m kind of sad.  We did have some great times playing board games.  V received “Catan Junior”, and we are all big fans.
·         What is my New Year’s Resolution?  Trying not to be negative.  Phrasing everything positively.  Especially with the kids.  Being calm. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Haircut

Guess who got his first haircut?  They only made three cuts and didn't charge me, but it looks so much better! It is even curlier. The front was not cut, that is just how long it is.  Remember, he's three and half years old.  So he definitely has my side of family's thin hair.  Let's just hope he doesn't have my teeth too!