Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And this is because you told me I was pretty...

A real, live crockpot lasagna recipe that met with the M, C, and A seal of approval. Yes, the noodles, even whole wheat ones, were nice and soft with out precooking or using the slightly yucky tasting no-boil ones. And if you make it meatless, it is even easier.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It makes it all so much better

I have been in Halloween hell for the last few days. As 2nd assistant classmom, apparently Halloween is "my" holiday. So I have been cutting out foam haunted houses, gluing them, cutting windows and doors, tying on strings, etc. etc. etc. I have been accepting the fact that they are making me dress up. In a costume. Snow White, to be exact. I have been coordinating balloon pick ups and sing-a-long practices. I have been frequenting the local party store so often that they know both my children's names.

But tonight, after finishing the last of the foam haunted houses and packing up the rest of the supplies for the party tomorrow morning, I discovered that at long last my new cell phone carrier has my song as a ring tone. I am happier than I have been in weeks. Ahhh, the joy of the familiar. Jeannie, take me away...

A new way to count sheep

C has been having difficulty sleeping. Tonight as I was cleaning up downstairs I heard: "Two hundred and fifteen wool blankets, two hundred sixteen wool blankets, two hundred seventeen wool blankets..." He cracks me up.

Shopping help needed!

So A only has one sweat suit that fits, and we have, ahem, lost it. And now that it is cold out the child needs at least two, preferably three sets, much to my husband's dismay as he hates them with a passion. But when shelpping a three-year old to swimming and gymnastics in the cold weather, it makes the most sense to me. Easy on, easy off, relatively warm. Except I can't find them anywhere. She won't wear the kind with elastic at the bottom, which is the only kind being shown at Old Navy and Target (although I have not been in Target for a while, so correct me if I am wrong there). I have looked online at all the usual places, and there is nothing. Carter's has tops, not bottoms. Oshkosh had big girls, not little. Even Gymboree seems to be lacking in them this year. WHAT are little girls wearing for comfort and warmth these days??? And have you seen a plain old sweat suit anyplace???

Monday, October 29, 2007

Overheard at the kitchen table

M: "What are you doing?"

Chichimama: "Scooping out the pumpkin."

M: "Why?"

Chichimama: "So I can make pumpkin soup."

M: "You can eat pumpkin?"

Chichimama (blinks): "Uh, have you ever had pumpkin pie????"

M: "I thought it was, well, fake."

Chichimama: "No, not so much."

M: "Huh. Imagine that..."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The end of an era (almost)

Chichimama: "C if asked you if you wanted p-i-z-z-a for dinner, what would you say?"

C: "YES! Pizza!!!!"

Chichimama: "What if I asked you if you wanted h-o-t d-o-g?"

C: "Yes! Hot dog and pizza!"

Chichimama: "What if I asked you if you wanted e-g-g?"

C: "Silly mommy! That's a breakfast food! Are we really having hot dog and pizza?"

Chichimama: "No, we are having p-a-s-t-a."

C: "Peanuts? A is allergic to peanuts."

Chichimama: "Thank God. I was about to get really freaked out...."

Overheard from the backseat

C: "So we played inside today. The teachers were discussing going o-u-t, but then they decided to stay i-n. I was going to ask them why we couldn't go o-u-t, but then I figured if they were spelling o-u-t instead of saying out, they probably wanted to hide the fact that o-u-t was an option. So I didn't ask."

Chichimama almost swerves into incoming traffic because she is laughing so hard.

C: "Why are you laughing?"

Chichimama: "It's a grownup thing. Hard to explain."

C: "I really don't understand grownups sometimes."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Because I look at my blog more than my calendar

MUST get children passports. And buy tickets to London.

MUST make appointment for cats to see vet for their "senior wellness checks."

MUST call the nice company who fixes furnaces. Because it might get cold, someday.

MUST order wood for the fireplace. And transplant the lilies that are currently residing where the wood is going to be placed.

MUST go to bed. But am now hooked into the world series. Plus, Dumb Cat is out and refuses to come in. At least he is feeling better???

Three in one day! Unheard of!

My third post of the day. Clearly I am chewing up all my creativity (cough, cough) before November. But I am standing in my kitchen, after dinner, with the kitchen cleaned up, C's homework done, and the children playing happily together in the basement. I should be putting them to bed right now, but this seems like too good a moment to ruin. So I'll wait five minutes until it all goes south and then turn into "evil mommy who makes tired children go to bed...."

And on a totally different note, I need a good idea for an appetizer than can be served cold and doesn't require much work on my part for a women-only cocktail party on Friday night. Anyone have any brilliant ideas beyond the chip and dip or veggies and dip route?

There it is. The first yelp of "No FAIR!" And I'm off to begin the bedtime proceedings. Wish me luck...


The birthday party circuit has started up again, and this year it seems to have thrown me for a loop. I swear that just a few weeks ago I was standing in the same toy aisle picking out birthday gifts for C's friends, and yet here I am again, trying to figure out what 6 year old children might want to play with instead of five year old children (Answer: pretty much the exact same thing, I believe).

And if I am buying gifts for other people's children, it means that in not too many months, my oldest will also be turning six. Which is just so hard to believe. Of course, by the time he turns six I will be equally surprised that he isn't yet six, as after four months of other children's parties, I tend to forget that mine is on the younger end of all his friends.

I feel like I have somehow missed a whole year, even though I remember all of the things that happened during it. And I'm not quite sure if this year is an aberration, or whether time from now on will just keep speeding up until I am one of those people who stares at you in a grocery store and exclaims "How can you have children!?! I swear you can't be more than 18, because I didn't you just head off to college?"

But yet, even though the years seem to be speeding by, the days still drag. How, oh how can it be only Wednesday today? And it is not even that far into Wednesday. Shhheshh. Some people are never happy...

Inquiring minds want to know

So at what point do you take a cat to the vet? Dumb Cat is really not himself. He is sneezing and snuffling and curled up looking very bedraggled in the basement. I mean, if he has a cold I know how he feels because if I could curl up in a nice dark place I would, but I've never seen him like this. But can a vet really do anything for a cat with a cold? I have to assume that it is kind of like taking a child to the pediatrician for a runny nose, right? Is there a way to tell if a cat is running a fever?

Who knew I would get so worked up about the heath of Dumb Cat...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A snuffle and a snort

We all have colds over here, even the cats. I had no idea cats could get colds, but both of ours have been sneezing and snorting up a storm today so clearly they do. Or else they have bird flu and we are all going to die, but I'm going to go with cold. Regardless, it is really, really gross to have two cats sneeze all over you on a fairly frequent basis. Clearly, black was not the right choice of tee-shirt color for today.

I should probably be going to bed, but M is out of town and I have a ton of TIVO to catch up on. Plus, lying down causes me to feel even worse, so right now collapsing on the couch with a big ole cup of tea is sounding like the better idea right now.

On the upside, they claim it will start raining here any minute and bring the temperature down to a mere seven degrees or so above normal....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blog Fodder

M: "Chichimama, you look sad."

Chichimama: "No, I'm just a bit sick and weather obsessed."

M: "I have just the thing to help you! Look!!!"

Chichimama: "A remote control helicopter???"

M: "Yes! Well, a rather inexpensive one. On a real one you have up and down and front and back and left and right, and on this one, well, you have two buttons...I got it for free really..."

M demonstrates the helicopter, to the delight of Lazy Cat who scampers around the kitchen like a kitten instead of a ten year old cat.

Chichimama: 'BLOG FODDER! With pictures! Keep flying while I grab the camera!"

Chichimama returns with camera not more than three seconds later. Lazy Cat has decided to take a snooze and the helicopter has lodged under the fridge grill.

Chichimama: "So much for bog fodder. That about sums up my day."

M: "But look! A remote control helicopter!"

Friday, October 19, 2007


I have become weather obsessed (yes even more so than usual). I check various weather sites several times a day, and have taken to watching both the 10 pm and 11 pm news just for the weather forecast. Even C has noted my obsession with the weather, and alerts me when a forecast comes on PBS Kids.

I just want to know when the weather will break. And when the leaves will start turning. And when I can stop feeling guilty about wanting to sit on the couch and knit warm wooly things rather than chasing my children around the playground. I don't know how y'all who live south manage in this weather year in and year out...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The "man" meme

As seen at Jen's...

1. Who is your man?

M. Or Orangeman Mike, as he calls himself.

2. How long have you been together?

Continuously? 12 years. But we had a few false starts...

3. How long did you date?

Two years and two months from our first date to our wedding.

4. How old is your man?


5. Who eats more?

M. Especially when he is training for a marathon...

6. Who said "I love you" first?

M. I think. He would have been more likely to say it first anyway...

7. Who is taller?


8. Who sings better?

I do. He's totally tone deaf (love you honey!).

9. Who is smarter?

Technically, we think I have the higher IQ based on pure numbers, but he is infinitely more successful. Doing well on standardized tests really doesn't mean much in the real world..

10. Whose temper is worse?

His. Although that's not saying much. I can only think of two arguments that resulted in a raising of a voice. But he is more likely to swear at inanimate objects...

11. Who does the laundry?

Me. Although he used to do it all, many moons ago...

12. Who takes out the garbage?


13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?

He does.

14. Who pays the bills?

He does. I used to, but refused to use Quicken because it is a stupid program, so now he does and he bitches about it constantly.

15. Who is better with the computer?

He is. I have become computer illiterate since we started living together.

16. Who mows the lawn?

Vinnie. He's the man.

17. Who cooks dinner?

I do. But he does the dishes (most of the time).

18. Who drives when you are together?

He does. Unless he hasn't had enough coffee. Then I do because I've learned to live on minimal sleep without caffeine...

19. Who pays when you go out?

He does. He swears he married me because I let him pay on the first date without blinking an eye. See number 9 ;-).

20. Who is most stubborn?

He is.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?

Neither of us. Which is why we still have no furniture for several rooms in the house.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?

Toss up. We probably see his slightly more, but they live 25 miles away while mine live 300.

23. Who kissed who first?

The first time we dated or the second ;-). I think he did. Or maybe I did. Ask Rebecca, she'll know.

24. Who asked who out?

My sorority sister told him where to find me 12 hours after my ex dumped me. So I suppose technically she did. But our official first date (to the Natural Museum of History, how cool is that as a first date idea) was initiated by him...

25. Who proposed?

He did.

26. Who is more sensitive?

I am.

27. Who has more friends?

He hangs onto friends. He still talks to people he went to elementary school with. The only person I still talk to besides him (and his friends) who I knew before kids is Rebecca. But in terms of sheer numbers at this particular point in time I probably have more because he works so much.

28. Who has more siblings?

I do, if you count step-siblings.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?

Heh. It depends on who you ask. Probably A.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So I know I do this every year....

But when is it cold enough to turn on the heat? Inquiring minds want to know as it's pretty cold in here. But seriously? I just turned the AC off (again) last week and it feels just WRONG to be turning the heat on less than a week after turning off the AC. Or perhaps I just have hang ups about heating and air conditioning. Fine. CLEARLY I have hang ups about heating and air conditioning. Still, what is YOUR magic number?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The stuff legends are made of

When I was little, my mom was known to be the tooth fairy by the entire elementary school (or at least those who were young enough to believe in such things). She garnered this particular reputation thanks to an unfortunate sleepover where a tooth was lost, and small children pretended to sleep, and she was caught in the act of replacing the tooth with a quarter. Wide-eyed, my sister's best friend gasped "Mrs. J! You're the tooth fairy!" And my mother, unsure how to handle the situation, mumbled "Ummm...," which was taken for a yes, and a legend was born.

This year I am in charge of Breakfast with Santa at our church, one of the obligations that I have been unable to unload onto someone else. So over the last few days I have been making frantic phone calls trying to locate a Santa (for free) and discussing the merits of various cheap toys for goody bags in a hushed voice over the phone. C quickly caught wind of what was going on, and apparently proudly announced to his entire class on Friday that "My mommy knows SANTA. And she has been talking to him. DAILY."

As the students erupted from the school in joyful abandon at the end of the day, a hush fell over the crowd as the children surveyed me chasing A around and threatening her with various and sundry punishments if she didn't get into the stroller "RIGHT NOW." Then a little girl, whose name I still don't know, screamed out "Everyone! Be good! C's mom is here! And she's going to tell Santa on all of us!" And twenty-three kindergarteners quietly walked to their very confused parents. Thus, another legend was born.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Scaling back

I have totally over committed myself this fall. And I am in the process of disengaging myself from what I can. Which, quite honestly, is not all that much. But hopefully ditching a few of the things on my plate will ease things around here enough that I can get back to a semblance of normality. Because no one here at Chez J-E is having fun. Except maybe the cats, because I'm up until the wee hours of the night providing a warm lap.

Monday, October 08, 2007


After over a year of waiting, C has a wobbly tooth. There has been much rejoicing and many tears held back by mommy as C proudly wiggles said wobbly tooth. My little boy, with a wobbly tooth. Hard to believe.

I guess the tooth fairy needs to figure out exactly what her payout will be, huh? What is the going rate these days???

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I think I am horrified

I rarely watch commercials thanks to my friend the DVR. But tonight I happen to be watching TV live. And I just saw a commercial for this. An exercycle attached to a TV, designed for kids. Am I wrong? Or is that? What ever happened to riding your bike around the block???

Hats are my new love

I finished this hat this morning. And I've decided that I love hats. They knit up quickly. There is little to no finishing. If you are expecting a holiday gift from me this year, think hat. Then email me with your choice of color...

A Scalloped-Edge Hat in a yummy orange alpaca. I couldn't tell you the brand of yarn, it was such a good deal that I just grabbed it without noting anything else about it. I also discovered that I love alpaca...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My day so far

I've had a mildly productive day. I managed to get gas, and milk, so I can have coffee in the morning just as I like it. I've fed the cats, and only got slightly distracted by reorganizing the cabinet in which the cat food resides. I've made one trip to Michael's to buy crafts for the Kindergarten Halloween Party (yes, it deserves all capitals. It is a Big Deal, apparently). I may have also purchased some very cute baskets 40% off, and just might be making another trip back there tomorrow to pick up a bunch more.

I've taken two doors off the hinges and put them back on, in order to fit M's new couch into his office. I went to a home improvement store all ready to get my mums, only to discover that they were totally picked over and I should have done that a month ago. I've redecorated the upstairs bathroom for $12 (oh, how I love the Home Goods) and bought pillows and a throw for M's new couch (No flowers. Brown and blue stripes. Manly, in a metrosexual sort of way.). I've loaded the car up with two boxes for the thrift store, and read half of Crazy Aunt Purl's new book.

I watched 15 minutes of Noggin, but only because I was trying to reprogram the new DVR yet again. Oh TIVO, how I miss thee. I may have even had a glass of wine before seven. Because I don't have to worry about putting the children to bed. I tried to watch the evening news, but then decided that it was way too depressing and really, my child-imposed news ban is actually a good thing.

I've talked to M twice, and the kids once. I may be just about to call them again. And I can't for the life of me decide when to have dinner. The childless me used to eat at 8 or 9 pm. But the mommy me is used to eating fifteen minutes ago.

It is very odd being alone.


For the first time in five years, I am alone in my house for more than two hours. M took the kids down to his sister's for a long overdue visit, and here I sit, alone. In the chaos. But, at least it is quiet chaos. I should really be organizing the entry, or the linen closet. I think, however, I am just going to sit here and actually finish a cup of tea before it goes cold for once. And then, I am pretty sure my weekend alone will turn out something like this. Because we're out of milk. And gas. And there is always laundry to be folded. But first, I have to find that tea cup.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Overheard in the Kitchen

M (arriving home from work): "OMG, do yourself a favor and turn on the AC!"

Chichimama: "It is OCTOBER. I am doing NO such thing."

M: "Well, I am."

C: "Thank GOODNESS. I'm SWEATING in here!"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Some questions for the organized

OK. So my plans for the weekend involve a massive organization of the house. As it is driving me bonkers. But there are some items that I have no idea how to deal with. Paper, fine. Files, etc, etc. But where do you keep your library books so they get read, but not lumped into the regular bookcase??? And how do you deal with the small little plastic crap that comes home in goody bags? What about cell phones, ipods, and their various charging paraphernalia? Coupons to Bed Bath and Beyond and such, so they aren't hanging out in the open, but yet not shoved into a drawrer to be found 2 years after the expire?

How about your table clothes and such, assuming you don't have a buffet or other similar piece in the dining room? Art supplies? Hats and mittens? Shoes in the entryway?

I KNOW I have some super organized readers. And some readers who have learned how to be organized in the not so distant past. Please help a gal out. Feel free to shout out some other things that I know I have forgotten, like the tupperware that gets used every day in the lunch box, but can't really sit out on the counter.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bullets of Catch Up

  • We did eat in the dinning room. And no red sauce landed on the carpet. Because the kids were soooo excited to be eating with other kids that not a single one of them ate anything until desert (ice cream), which was consumed outside.
  • I am (almost) seeing the light at the end of my crazy SeptemberOctober. I think maybe by the 15th things should settle down a bit.
  • Except apparently as class mom, I have to DRESS UP for Halloween. Y'all know that Halloween is my least favorite holiday, ranking right up there next to Valentines Day, right? Had I know I was expected to dress up, it would have been deal breaker. Seriously.
  • So what the hell do I do? I feel somewhat obligated to be slightly more creative than the witch's hat, but I don't feel like spending much money on this one. Any ideas of crafty bloggers?
  • We have started the process of redecoratingdecorating the train room. Except it is so small that we have stumped the free design consult service at the furniture store. So we have moved onto plan B, which is to move the old furniture in the family room into the train room (we tried it the other night and it does in fact fit) and redo the family room instead. Which I am rather excited about.
  • M is not, as it is potentially a much more expensive project. So we'll see if it ever gets off the ground.
  • I have decided that I really hate our weekly schedule. I spend my life racing from one school to another and back again. And I have at least another two years before they are both in the same school.
  • On the upside, we ditched tennis and fall baseball. Which is a good thing as I have no idea how we would manage. Right now we all live for Thursday when our day ends at 11:30.
  • I even begged Lovely Friend to pick up my vegetables from the CSA tomorrow so we don't have to leave the house again if we don't want to.
  • Of course you know the kids will be at each other's throats by 12:01...
  • Off to start the mad morning dash now...