Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And we're busted...

So, our "bustin' out" didn't make it all the way to the King of Prussia. We made it about 9 miles down the road to Willow Grove Park Mall. You can tell it's the end of summer because all you see in the mall are women with their children, and most every woman is trying to check the clearance racks while saying some variation of "stop that" or "listen to me" or "please behave or we're leaving" in the same exasperated tone. I actually find it comforting--like I'm not the only one at the end of her rope!

We spent a good deal of time in the Disney Store. They already have out Halloween costumes! It's too hot to be thinking about Halloween yet, and at Macy's, I saw Christmas trees. Yuck! I mean, I'm ready for the kids to go back to school, but talk about rushing things. At any rate, it was nice to be out of the house for a few hours. Now that we're home, I can see I have to give some serious attention to all this dust from yesterday.

Bustin' out!

After being in lockdown for almost 12 hours yesterday, the kids and I are busting out today! I'll post pictures later (like after I've removed the quarter inch of sawdust that's everywhere and then taken the "after" shots), but our new hardwood floors are beautiful! The only sucky part was that we were basically trapped upstairs all day. Today we are getting the hell out of dodge--but we're doing it Mommy-style, which means that the kids are going to get their exercise by running through the King of Prussia mall. I figure if I stop every hour or so to buy them a pretzel, I'll be in good shape.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mulch, mulch, mulch

It's all I can think about! I put down four bags of mulch yesterday, and it didn't even begin to cover all the ground I need covered. I woke up at 6:00am today, and I couldn't go back to sleep because I was trying to estimate how many more bags of mulch I need to finish my project. (Six, by the way) I just feel like it's wrong to lose sleep over mulch. Now, new clothes or shoes or stuff for the house--I'd give up a few winks to mull those over, but mulch? I'm going to have to get outside with the camera so I can post some pictures of what I've been up to.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Many projects

We are having a party at our house in a couple of weeks. My husband has a predictable pattern of behavior at such a time--he decides to begin a couple of home improvement projects. About a month ago, we got an estimate on hardwood flooring for the kitchen. They're installing it next Monday. I haven't thought through how we're going to eat that day if the kitchen is off limits...

In keeping with our home improvement theme, yesterday I went out (twice) to pull weeds. You see, we have a pond in our back yard--actually, it's a pond surrounded by two large patios. There is no grass, there is only weeds. And since we've had about two inches of rain in the past few days and it was cool and overcast yesterday, I got to work! Wow, did my wrists hurt. That had never happened to me before. I was expecting the lower back pain, but the wrists? No. Thank goodness for ibuprofen.

In some areas, you can really see the improvement, but there are still other parts that remain untouched. I have ordered some plants, but the delivery dates are post-party. Maybe they'll come early. At any rate, we definitely need to mulch the beds to suffocate the weeds before they come back. More yard work is hard to get excited about.

Next week is the last full week of summer vacation--that's something I can get excited about!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rainy Monday

Yes, it's raining. It began yesterday and will probably continue through tomorrow. Currently, the temperature is sixty-four degrees (and as I type those words I hear the "local on the 8s" voice from the Weather Channel). We need the rain, and the break from hot weather is nice. It's always fun to wear jeans in August--for a couple of days, anyway. Let's not get crazy.

Caroline is doing better. She had a low-grade fever this morning, but her appetite is returning and the arguing has increased. She and I had a really nice, really quiet weekend together.

I took the kids to the library this afternoon. I usually don't get any books from the library because the kids want to run right to the kids' section--not follow me around while I browse. Based on our last couple of trips, I can't really say "be right there, kids" because I've had to run across the kids' section to break up their fighting. Can't imagine how embarassing it would be to have to run across the whole library to stop Caitlin's screaming. I did pick up the latest copy of BookPage: America's Book Review, and I read it once we got home. I found several books in it that looked good to me.

Now I usually love to go to the bookstore or troll the book aisle at Costco, but today I just couldn't imagine going with my travelling circus. So, I've been on Amazon, shopping for books. I've added quite a few to my wish list, but haven't ordered them yet. It feels weird, buying a book without having held it, read the back cover, or smelled it, even. Then again, I just do love getting packages delivered to my door.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Splashdown 12:30am

It's on to Round 2 of the vomiting/low grade fever experience. Caroline woke me at 12:30 this morning. Poor thing was retching over the toilet. And then she told me that she didn't get to the bathroom in time--there's a whole puddle of vomit on the carpet in her room. Awesome! She woke up repeatedly during the night. Add Bobby's 5:00am wake up call and you have one sleepless night.
The bad part is that we had about 8 girls from the neighborhood over last night to watch the premiere of High School Musical 2, so there's no telling how many children she's infected.

The good news is that the weather is awesome today (currently 66 and sunny), so opening the windows to let in fresh air is no problem.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You Better Work!

Our fall fashion show had mixed degrees of success--the greater the age, the greater the success. Bobby wouldn't even try on pants. He declared them too big. Notice that Caitlin has on a complete outfit, but the shirt is backwards. And yes, those are cat whiskers drawn onto Caroline's face.

Oh, how I wish I could put audio on this blog. You'd be able to savor the earsplitting shrieks of precious Caitlin. Apparently she's in dire and immediate need of a peanut butter sandwich. I guess the four days off from eating last week are catching up with her because she's been begging and whining for food constantly. Is it wrong to wish a fever upon your child because it will shut her up? Or maybe when they're sick and quiet you just want to do everything for them because they're so sweet (and QUIET). Breathe, breathe, breathe. And possibly go make a cup of coffee.

It's 8:30 a.m.

And Caitlin is telling me she's hungry (again). This after a fifteen-minute screaming bout because she wanted pancakes, not cereal. Then she ate the cereal, and now she needs a snack. I swear, the constant whining over food is so annoying!

We're in that three-week period of no camps, no swim lessons, nothing on the horizon until that blessed day, September 4. It feels like at the end of a pregnancy, when you've got nothing to do but wait, and wait (and in my case, wait some more--all 3 babies were late!). Ah, brainstorm coming on! Since dear hubby has asked that I pull back on spending, and since the girls have so many hand-me-downs, maybe this afternoon we'll do a "fashion show" of fall clothes. That way I can see what fits, and with the ol' digital camera, we'll give it a real runway feel. This could take up at least an hour! Wish us luck.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Loose ends

Okay, I've been waiting to post vacation pictures. I guess my idea was that I would post a whole bunch, so you get the feel of how it went. I'm not sure why I've been waiting, so I'll be including those pictures today. I don't know what my captioning abilities are, if any, so it may just be a bunch of beach pictures.

Caitlin's status: holding steady. After her brother gave her a big, fat nosebleed last night (threw a toy at her head, I think--I had of course just left the room to answer the phone), she went to bed okay. At 3:00am she woke up, burning up and asking for water. She refused any medicine. At 7:30am, still burning up, she finally took the Tylenol after her father repeatedly bribed, begged, cajoled, and almost threatened. Now her temperature is down, but she doesn't want to eat. Now, do I take her to see the Wizard of Oz play today or do I eat the tickets? That's the question of the day.

I'm not sleeping well. Part of it is the repeated middle-of-the-night antics of Caitlin and my geriatric dog, but part of it is my freaking pillow! I have had pillow problems for the better part of two years. I think I'm at the point where I buy yet another pillow. Company Store, you'd better come through for me this time!

Layout changes: you may have noticed all those books at the top of my blog. My friend Colleen turned me on to Shelfari yesterday. You can post what you're reading, read and post reviews of other books, etc. It looks like fun, and I'm always on the lookout for another good read. Hope you enjoy.

Finally, I have got to get out of the house! The walls have been closing in, we're out of milk, and I haven't been to the gym since Monday! Aaaagh!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Some improvement!

Well, Caitlin is slowly improving. Around 2:30 this afternoon, I persuaded her to take some Tylenol, and about an hour later she was much cooler. She even ate a slice of turkey and drank some more water. For dinner she ate some pasta shells with butter and cheese. I hope we'll be able to get out of the house tomorrow! The other two are starting to climb the walls (as am I), and they're at each other's throats.

Still febrile

Poor Caitlin has probably slept for 20 of the last 24 hours. Her fever seems to be coming down--she feels cooler. She saw me coming with the thermometer this morning and started yelling, "no!" She's had a few sips of water, but never more than one at a time. She's also eaten maybe two pretzels. At least she hasn't thrown up since last evening. She threw back up the water she had been drinking, maybe that's why she's reluctant to drink. I had to carry the poor baby in when we dropped Caroline at dance camp. Not fun to tote a five year old while trying to cross a busy parking lot with a seven and three year old in tow. We took the elevator today--three flights of steps would have put me under! The best part is that we get to do it again in less than an hour. At least the downstairs is vacuumed and the bathrooms are clean. Another day at home and the whole place should be sparkling!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Not such a lucky duck day

Poor Caitlin. She's on the couch, curled up under a blanket. She has a low-grade fever, and she threw up in the front yard as we returned from dropping Caroline at dance camp. Now that I'm thinking about it, this little bug/virus/whatever may be throwing a serious wrench into this afternoon's plans. I mean, they weren't great or anything (1pm yoga class followed by library excursion), but at least it was a couple of hours out of the house. The kiddie kare at the YMCA frowns upon bringing febrile children...maybe this is a big cosmic sign telling me that it's finally time to bust out the vacuum cleaner and get to work. Bummer. I always want the big cosmic sign that tells me to go shopping or something fun, but housework?

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Home Stretch

I realized today that in less than a month, two of my children will be back in school. Now, if we can just get through that month...I swear the bickering has increased exponentially since returning from vacation. Maybe the kids miss their cousins and grandparents. I know Caroline does--she all but moved in with her cousins last week.

Anyway, I've begun to plan ahead, and that always seems to involve shopping of some kind. (Yay!) You see, both girls will be taking dance lessons this fall, so we'll need new shoes, tights, leotards, etc. I've been online looking for good deals on dance shoes.

As a random aside, I received an email about how Mars will appear to be as large as the moon on August 27. This morning on NPR I heard that it's a hoax, although there is going to be a good meteor shower around the 12th, I think. I suppose we could go on over to http://www.npr.org/ to get the full story.
Regarding the picture at the top of the post, those of you who know about Caitlin's tendency to squint her eyes in photographs will see that she comes by it honestly!
What else? I finished my Deathly Hallows reread on Saturday. It was every bit as amazing the second time around, and maybe more so because I was able to slow down enough to really react to what I was reading. During the first reading, I was racing to the end because I had to know what was going to happen. Now I'm between books again. I think I'm going to start The Sportswriter by Richard Ford. I'll let you know what happens. I also ate my first home-grown vegetable last night. This is my first attempt at a vegetable garden, and I was thrilled to cook a pepper that I grew all by myself. I can see that I'm going to have more tomatoes than I can eat or cook. Maybe next year, I'll plant fewer tomatoes...there's a lesson here somewhere.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Back from vacay

Well, we made it back yesterday, and now I'm catching up on the mountains of laundry. I'm not sure how I ended up behind on laundry again... I washed most of our clothes at the beach, but between sheets and towels and Caitlin's numerous wardrobe changes, I'm buried again!

Cape May was very nice. I was surprised by the amount of Shore traffic--we were hitting the brakes often. Maybe a Sunday to Sunday rental would be the way to go. At first, I was disappointed in the quality of the restaurants, but toward the end of the week we found some really good ones. Check out the Blue Pig Tavern and Tisha's Fine Dining if you're in Cape May sometime. They were both really good.